Jeniam's spot on the web | home
Slayers:Death's Aria | Prologue | Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven
Aria walked down a hallway that smelled of wet earth, and musty caves. She was not happy about it , she knew that her fear of what was to come was feeding every monster in the fortress. She looked at the cold, unforgiving eyes of the stone statues lining the hall, as they sent a chill down her spine. At the end of the hall she came to a pair of doors, pausing she placed her hands on them and willed them open. Walking in she did not lift her to any one in the room, at the center she kneeled and let her head hang low. "You have summoned me, Lord Phribrizo, Lord Gavv, Lord BeastMaster and Lord Dynast." She remained in that position, afraid to breathe.
"Yes, we have been made aware to your disobediance and it is now time for you to be punished." HellMaster chuckled, pleasantly. He had chose look no older than Aria, in fact if one were unknowing they would take the two for twins. He walked around her and brushed back her long hair, smiling. "Oh yes, my song of death, you must be punished. Normally I would just have you killed, but Xellos has expressed his unhappiness with that decision so I have found a new punishment. One, I think, that will be just as fun." He walked back to his position in front of her, laughing madly.
"Next time you decide to pick a fight little girl, know the consequences." Gavv looked down on her with a cold hate.
"Yes, Yes we all know you love to fight, but now comes the punishment." Phibrizo looked to be all too pleased with himself. He smiled as the girl who was raised in their midst, trembled before him. He chuckled as he paused, feeling her fear build as the silence became deafening. In a low soothing voice he spoke slowly to her, as he kneeled down and lifted her chin. "Aria, since you have been loyal to us, for the last twelve years I have choose to seal your magic away. For one year you will not set foot in this fortress nor will you be called on. You will live as a ordinary pathetic human." He bent over and kissed her for a long moment. Feeding deeply from the fear and confusion he broke the kiss and let go of her chin. "Now for the rest of your punishment. I have been easy on you Aria, but for such a crime I can not just give you a vacation like that. Oh no. For one year the humans shall be under attack by my monsters, for your mistakes your race shall suffer as well. If you can survive, you will be welcomed back home and the attacks stopped. If not, you will be a good meal for someone."
Aria trembled, she hated Phibrizo more than any monster. Her mind screamed out in out rage at such a decree. `How? How can he punish everyone for what I did.' Looking up she gathered her courage. "No Lord Phibrizo please, why punish everyone for what I have done?" She tried to keep her voice even, and calm.
Phibrizo just laughed and Aria found herself surrounded by dark energy, a feeling of emptiness came over her and her mind fought to stay awake. In her mind a voice spoke. "If you can live and return, then and only then, will I answer you again." Hearing this the world faded to darkness as the black void engulfed her.
"Aria, wake up Aria. I do not have much time." Xellos stood over the woman whoseemed to have been spending lot of time unconcious these last few days. He watched her come to slowly, looking about in confusion at the fact he was standing over her and she was laying in the middle of a dirt road.
"Xellos where am I? Where is this? How did I get here?" Aria stood, a bit unsteady and looked about herself.
"A days journey from here, there is a town, go there and live your year out. The town is small and the people or full with positive emotions." Xellos to Aria's amusement looked turned a few shades of green. "Aria, make sure you survive and come back to me at the end of one year. I have an assignment for you to do, I would prefer it was done now, but it can wait till the year is over.. Do not disappoint me by allowing yourself to be killed." Xellos opened his eyes, looking at Aria and then phased away.
Xellos sat on a tree branch watching Aria walk toward the town, he could feel her worry, unsure of how life would be now. He didn't know why he had lowered himself to ask Lord HellMaster for leniency she was but a human girl. She made him think and feel things inside that no one had managed to ever inspire and he doubted anyone could ever take her place. She made him question his own being at times and he could feel her delight at his frustration when he would ask her why she did something a certain way and her reply was always that it was a secret. She bedeviled him and was not afraid. No human before her was so casual about life. "Well so casual about life now." Xellos chuckled to himself as he remembered Aria in her first few years serving under him.
Aria approached the town wearily, she had never been without her magic like this. She looked about as the shops were closing and the people turning in from a long day of work. She stopped looking about for an inn someplace she could sleep tonight. Wandering the streets she studied the people, they were pleasant enough she supposed. "Relaxed even in this time of war, how can they do it?" She spoke softly to herself.
Stopping next to a tavern she dug in her pack and pulled her money purse checking it. She was amazed to see it full of gold. `Thank you Xellos.' She would never understand that monster. He was incapable of feelings that involved caring and love yet he did small things like the coins. She smiled and went in to have something to eat along with a good, strong drink.
Sitting at a table by herself she waited on her food, sipping her drink. She watched the people and a realization hit her. Unless she moved on, she would be seeing these people almost everyday for the next year. That was a thought that unsettled her. She wasn't used to seeing people on a regular, steady, neighborly way of life. One old man in the opposite corner of the room held her interest. She studied him closely, most she had seen were hard working people. Their body movement and talk proved that, but not this man. No he was a mage or a scholar perhaps. She looked away when he turned his gaze directly to her, locking his eyes with hers for a moment.
Soon her meal came and she devoted herself to it. She never realized how hungry she was until she was nearly through with her meal and contemplating seconds when a shadow fell over her table. Looking up it was the old man. Swallowing her food, she looked at him. "Hello. Can I help you?"
"No, I was just wondering if a young lady like yourself would like the company of an old man for a bit of conversation?" He chuckled at her startled expression as he sat down across from her. He was gray and hunched over,but how strong he is couldn't be seen. His robes hid too much from the eye. "Now what brings a young woman like you to a small town like this?" His blue eyes searched hers as she finished her last bite.
"I thought it might be a good place to live, for a while. Traveling for several years does make one weary." Aria could sense the power coming from him. He was a mage, a powerful mage. She kept her voice calm and neutral. "May I know your name?"
"Oh of course! Where are my manners? Old age I suppose. I am Aitrus, and your name young lady?" He chuckled in a pleasant, jolly old manner.
"I am Aria." She knew the stories of the old man before her, he was a mage that studied black magic and the way the stories told it, he had betrayed his Master. He was supposed to be dead.
"So you are the infamous Aria of Death, I thought so. Your magic has been sealed it seems. A small town such as this would be a good place to hide for one who has so many enemies. Where are you going to stay?" He stroked his beard absently, watching with amusement, the shock that played on her face.
"I guess the inn." She stammered.
"No you won't. You will come back to my house, where it is safe and you will tell me all about yourself. It is not often that two people that have defied the Monsters meet and have a chance to swap stories." He rose and left gold to pay for her meal on the table. "Now let us go and talk in deeper matters."