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Slayers:Death's Aria | Prologue | Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven
Aitrus sat across the living room of his house listening to the young woman before him. He stroked his beard thoughtfully, with an absent nod here and there. "So you have been around the Monster race for a long time it seems."
"By the time I was ten, Wolf Pack Island had become my home. It's out beyond any land poeple have settled, very few people have seen or heard of it? Fewer have set foot on it's soil." She sipped her drink as she looked about. The room was huge, from the walls hung tapestries that depicted dragons battling monsters. The furniture was grand, the wood carved in detailed patterns. She sat in a chair that reminded her of one her Father had. She sighed, retelling her life had brought back a dull pain she had buried deep in her heart, one she thought she was immune to.
"Tell me about your life afterwards." For him Aria was a gleaming gem in a pile of rocks. He had looked through countless magic users hunting someone that would be able to perform the experiment he wanted done. Not one of them came even close, but now, now in his home was a girl that was almost over qualified. He was most gratified ?.
Aria was just into the tenth year of her life, she was familiar with the fortress that was her home and the surrounding wilderness that over ran the island. She had learned quickly not to go anywhere that Xellos had not previously told her was safe. The beasts of the island were unfriendly in a deadly sort of way. She had a bedroom that was hers alone. She had been promised privacy by Zelas, she didn't believe in a Dark Lord's promise. Life was fairly routine , get up, eat and bathe then to studies that lasted well into the night, eat again, have a bit of time for herself and then to bed. Xellos had not lied when he said he would be personally responsable for Aria, he was there nearly every day to teach her.
Aria had never been able to forgive Xellos for killing her father but had hid the feeling deep inside of herself. She would not give him the strength of her pain. She had also found ways to bring herself a small amount of joy and revenge. She started everyday off bursting from her room, with spirits high and a cheery. "Goodmorning Uncle Xellos! Beautiful day isn't it!" The first time she had done it caught Xellos totally off gaurd and he fells from the chair he was sitting in, dropping his cup of tea. Aria just fell to her knees double over in laughter. When she could control her laughter Xellos had asked her why and what she was doing. "Now Uncle Xellos, that is a secret!"
It took Xellos three months to figure out that Aria was doing to him what he usually did to people. Aria was annoying him to death and loving every moment.
Xellos was soon learning more about human than he ever wanted to know. Aria had a mean streak, she knew what hurt him and if she had a chance she used it. Xellos learned that humans grow rapidly, because Aria had out grown her clothes twice in the last year forcing Xellos to take her shopping. She laughed often around him, joked and talked about trivial things. She wasn't afraid of him in the least. He didn't image that anyone could become so comfortable around a monster.
Xellos was waiting for his usual dose of positive energy to come from her bed room one morning when instead he heard a scream of terror. He phased in immediatly and found Aria huddled in next to her bed crying. Xellos was lost, what had happened? Aria explained that when she woke up her stomach was cramping, and about what she found when she went to the bath. She was terrified, she didn't know what was going on and neither did Xellos. He told her to calm down and phased out.
Coming back Xellos explained to Aria what "that time of the month" was and that she wasn't going to die. He reached over wiped her tears and gave her a breif hug before phasing back out. Xellos had went to a village and found the healer asking her about Aria. When the healer explained, Xellos at least had the grace to make himself blush. Xellos was surpised to find out women didn't have any magic during that time. He shook his head at what life was putting him through.
Life from then went smoothly for Aria till her eleventh birthday. That was when her life as a servant to the monster named Xellos began. She was capable of casting magic well beyond most who were considered Master's in black magic. Xellos explained to her that a mage in his service had decided to betray him. He wanted Aria to take care of the problem.
Aria went where Xellos told her, and she did indeed find the mage, 'He was insane.' she decided. His eyes were wild, darting everywhere, he shook and mutttered laughing crazily. She wasn't stupid, she knew what Xellos had meant when he told her to take care of his problem. She closed her eyes and resolved not to think about what she had to do, just to do it. She closed her eyes and began to cast a spell, holding out her hand a swirling ball of black engery formed in it. She cast the ball into the room with the mage and it expanded filling the room. Aria tried to shut the sound of his terror filled scream out but it didn't work, the last sound she heard was anguished plea for Cepheid to save him before it was cut off. The black sphere faded and nothing was left. Aria fell to her knees going into shock, she had just killed somone. She never felt Xellos pick her up and phase back to the Island.
It took nearly a month for her to come to terms with what she had done. She had seriously thought of killing herself and came close to it. In her mind she could not get rid of the the mans cries and pleas for help. Everytime she closed her eyes she saw it. Her killing that man. She would have went mad except for Xellos.
Xellos knew she would take this badly, but she wasn't eating or sleeping. All she could do was cry. He was feasting on her misery but didn't enjoy it. He finally stepped in after finding her about to stab herself. "Aria! This is not the way. Life isn't nice, learn that now. Death is something that you will have to live with. Do not let all that your father did go to waste. Do not tarnish his memory by being weak. Do not let all that I have done to honor his last request be for nothing. Aria you must live with what it is you are. You are my servant and it is not an easy job, but if you do not snap out of this the Dark Lords will demand you die. I can not do anything then. I will give you one more day to come to terms with this."
She shook as he grabbed her hand forcing her to drop the dagger. She wanted to end this misery. She didn't care anymore till he spoke. His voice held something in it that she had never heard before. Concern there in his voice and in his eyes. They bore into her soul and she saw a flicker of something she didn't think possible in them, for a brief moment she saw compassion.
"From that moment on I lived doing what he assigned me. I question it of course and he tells me that it's not my place to. We have that kinda understanding I guess. When I turned fourteen I left and traveled the world, going where I was told to and never staying in one place." Aria looked tired, and she felt she had lived a life that was too long.
"So you say this Xellos is very different from the others?" He was most pleased in this girl.
"Xellos is the closest to being human you might say. I have met most of the Dark Lords and know the hierarchy pretty well. No one is as close to it as Xellos. He is the exception to the Monster Race." Aria chuckled knowing full well how human Xellos could be. "I don't think he realizes it though."
"Aria during the next year I want you to stay here and work under me. I have some thoeries that you could help me with. I have never met anyone with as much experience or knowledge as you. I hope you will take me up on this." He threw another log onto the fire watching the embers fly up and float in the air before slowly going out.
"Why not? I have no where else to go." Aria was glad this had come up, she really didn't look forward to getting a job in some tavern or field.
"Good then in the morning we will begin" The old man chuckled merrily watching the roaring flames.