She stood somewhere cool and damp. Water sloshed gently, echoing off of stone walls. A sharp, small pain throbbed in her right hand for some reason, and she was keeping it clenched tight. There were a few footsteps ahead of her, and then Bartz's voice. "Ghido?! Alley-oop!" A shell scraped over the rock and something like stumpy feet hit the ground.
"Oh! Thank you!" said a voice, plainly ancient but just as plainly unaffected by those years. "I suppose you can be helpful after all. The shock of the two worlds merging sent everything topsy-turvey... including me! I'm a bit too old to do much on my back, I rue."
"What do you mean, 'worlds merging?'" Bartz said.
Ghido sighed. It wasn't a human sound, and lower to the ground than one might have thought. "I see you're just as slow on the uptake as before. It's an ancient legend, but I had never imagined it was true... According to the legend, a thousand years ago, Bartz's world and Krile's world were one and the same."
What proceeded next was a lot of wind rustling through the trees.
"That means Exdeath was telling the truth..." Bartz said in a low voice, once real sound resumed. "He really did want to return the world to how it used to be..."
"However, without the crystals..." Ghido reminded. The pain in Krile's hand grew sharper, and she gritted her teeth as Bartz went on.
"The wind's power will never return..."
"Nor will that of earth, fire, or water," said Ghido soberly.
Whatever was in her hand suddenly seemed to grow to the size of a nail. Krile grabbed it and turned away to hide her distress, feeling a sick sense of shame over something so small. "Ouch! Ooh, this splinter really hurts..." But any attempt to sound like it wasn't that bad really failed. Suddenly it felt like an entire tree was sprouting out of her hand, and with an undignified squawk she fell to the ground as it ripped out of her palm. There was a change in the air in front of her and two soft clinks of armored feet touching down.
"Exdeath?!" Bartz roared.
"Mwa-hahahaha... I turned myself into a tiny splinter, waiting for just this moment! Now you can understand my true goal: to take the sealed power of the Void for my own!"
"Why do you think I merged the worlds together? Mwa-hahahahahaha!!!" Krile squeezed her eyes shut as fear and horror coursed through her. And then getting up suddenly seemed unwise--the entire cavern shook and a sound that ought to have been distant yet wasn't roared--a sound like an enormous vaccuum drawing something in.
"Ohh..." moaned Ghido. "Now that the two worlds are one, the interdimensional rift the Void was sealed with is appearing as welL!"
"Wait--" said the purple-haired woman, speaking up for the first time. "So in plain English, you're saying this Void whatevernot is coming here?"
"Yes..." said Exdeath proudly. "The Void shall be released from its thousand year prison and into my keeping! The matchless power of the Void will be mine!"
"Not a chance, Exdeath!" But the sound of Bartz rushing forward was cut off by the zap of a spell and the tumbling thud of him going end-over-end, coupled with the splash of something large into the water.
A hand gripped Krile's arm, drawing her to her feet. "Castle Tycoon..." she murmured. The fingers around her arm tightened as the woman roared "Lenna!"
And again the sounds of destruction--that indrawing air and destruction. "Beautiful... beautiful! Look!" Exdeath commanded. "Gaze upon the unlimited power of the Void; watch as it engulfs all in its path! And soon, it will belong to me!"
"Lenna... Exdeath, you...!" The woman finished the sentence by drawing a blade, but there was the same zap of magic, so close that Krile could feel the heat scorch her cheek. But there was a stumbling noise, an electric undercurrent of agreement, and then the three of them rushed him, weapons drawn.
...and then Krile found out just what that spell felt like. It combined burning, electricity, and impact in one efficiently painful package, slamming into her chest and sending her thumping painfully across the stone floor. "Peons! Tremble before my might! Mwa-hahahahaha! Time for your viscera to see the light of day! Now die!"
Before it could happen, something rose from the water like an avenging torpedo. The sound when it slammed into Exdeath rebounded off the walls, as did Exdeath's enraged shout. "Turtle!"
Krile watched--she must have been. She could feel her eyes go wide as saucers, following whatever battle was proceeding and ow ow ow that spell had hurt. "Not bad, for a reptile!" Exdeath said after a time.
"You think I sat around seven centuries munching on pizza?"
"Ha ha ha..." Exdeath's armor creaked. "Perhaps you should have taken the chance... You shall find no such tasty diversions in the afterlife!"
The room shook violently again. Whatever Exdeath shouted next was lost as all of them were blasted sky high--Krile's stomach jumped into her throat, fell into her feet, and the rest of her organs scrambled to figure out what to do next as they plummeted, landing with a thump in the grass some small eternity later.
It hurt. Everything hurt. Her head, her hand, her insides, her outsides... her heart. That hurt most of all.