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Slayers:Death's Aria | Prologue | Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six | Chapter Seven
Aria stood looking at the young man holding onto her arm. As his green eyes bore into her black ones, she couldn't look away. Her mind raced at the fact that he wouldn't let her go, and that his voice held a concern in it that she had never heard coming from a stranger. She didn't know what to do. "Why? Why are you condeming your entire village?" Her voice was strained to understand why he even cared about her.
"Aria, I don't know who you are or why you are here. I don't know what makes you think you are responsable for the attacks by the monsters. You say my village is doomed if you stay. The man you were speaking to said he would destroy this village if you are harmed. This village will suffer no matter what happens. I want to know why my village has to suffer and you are the only one that can tell me that. So I am not letting you go." He held her with more than his hand, he held her by his words. He would follow her even if she refused to come back, he had to know and understand. She wasn't the fiery woman that had pinned him to a tree just a little while ago, now she was a girl that was scared and unsure. He never took his eyes from hers, he was sure that she would bolt if he did. "Please, let me help you. Come back and tell me your story."
Her heart ached, she wanted to cry. Gilford didn't know who she was and she was even more afraid to tell him now. 'He is trying to be a hero, he looks at me as if I am an innocent girl trapped in something that isn't my fault, but he couldn't be more wrong.' She shook her head not daring to speak, her voice would betray her she just knew it. Aria was about to try to run again when his words reached her, making her stop.
"Aria at least help me save my home and my family. If you can not save the world, help just a few. Running will make no difference in the end, the results will be the same. But if you stay and help the people here, it will make all the difference in the world." He softened his voice and reached out to her. His efforts were rewarded by the feeling of her tears soaking into his shirt as Aria broke down and let the anger and frustration go. After a while she looked up to him and he smiled back down to her, wiping her tears. "Ready to go back now? When she simplely nodded her head he turned around still holding her and walked back towards the house.
Gilford leaned forward, buring his head in his hands as he heard the door slam to the room Aria had been given. He looked up only to see the look of complete anger Aitrus was rewarding him with for his stupidity. He didn't know what to say, he had convinced her to stay, to open herself up to him. He held her talking softly to her the entire way back to the house. They had ate supper together, he even got her to laugh some at his stories of mundane life. He had begged her to tell her story to him and she had.
"By Cehpied what have I done?" He spoke more to himself than to anyone. She told him who she was and what position she held in life. Aria was a servant to the man with purple hair no, the monster he had seen. She didn't hide the fact she was an assassin more or less. She killed when she was told to. She had hesitated telling him that the increase of attacks are her fault because of simple disobediance. "What have I done? She told me everything, she didn't lie to me once did she?" He looked up to the old black mage, knowing she hadn't but he needed to hear it from someone else.
"No she didn't lie to you. She is Aria, servant to the Monster Race. Tell me something Gilford, what did you think she is?" He rarely used his presence as a mage, he didn't like to frighten people without cause, but tonight he let his full power radiate around him. He was angery, and determined to make the rash young man squirm.
"I thought she was. She was somone that. I don't know what I thought she was." Gilford tripped over his words, he face turning red with guilt. "I thought she was some innocent girl not willingly involved with evil." His voice fell to a whisper.
"Your right in your assumption. She was raised by the man, who by the way is called Xellos. He is a monster, very true. He killed her father who was also a servant to him. She knows this as well. She can no more help who she is than you or I can help being what we are now. She was give very little choice in her life. Now for making a choice that was not hers to make she is to watch everyone be punished for her crime. She is a servant to the monster, but she is still human. She does not like much of what she has done and she took no pride in her life when she told you either." Aitrus could see Gilford cringing as what he said sunk in slowly. "Gilford my young man, you have done to Aria tonight what she has been met with her whole life. You judged her by what you assumed she is, and then when you find out she was nothing close to what you thought she was...."
"I lashed out at her in anger. I called her evil and accused her lying to me. I called her a witch, a killer. I jumped away from her as if she were contageousm with some plague. By the God's.... I am a fool. She did what I asked her to do and she didn't want to, knowing how I would react. But I couldn't leave well enough alone could I? I kept pressing her to tell me." Gilford stood up and paced around the table shame and guilt eating at him.
"Be thankful her magic is sealed away. You might not be here to reflect and beat yourself up over this. Go Gilford and talk to her. Do something no one has ever done for her. Give her a second chance. You know her secret, now prove her wrong. She opened up and trusted a stranger hoping she would be wrong, let her hopes come true." Nothing more was said between the men as both went their seperate ways.
Gilford took each step slowly, trying to form an apology in his mind. He was still in shock at what he had learned in one day. Aria, a woman no older than he himself was raised to be an assassin and negotiator for the human agents of the monster race. Most of his life he had heard stories about her. People would use tales about her to make children behave, but she wasn't this ugly witch that people had painted her to be. He never in his wildest dreams though he would make such a feared woman burst into tears and leave running from a room. He never thought he would feel so ashamed of himself and be trying to think of an apology to say to Aria.
Standing before the door to her room he took a deep breath and knocked. 'No turning back now Gilford.' He stood there, giving her a moment before raising his hand to knock again, he didn't blame her for not opening the door.
Aria sat on the bed, her clothes were laid out and she was about to change. The tears that were being shed when she had left the sitting room dried quickly as her pain turned to anger. She was furious, opening herself up to this man was a complete mistake. He had shoved her away as if she were a filthy beast. She didn't understand people no matter how hard she tried and now she didn't care.'Let the human race die for all it matters, what are they to me. Nothing. I am nothing to them, so why should I give a single damn about them. I am Death, I am hate, I am Aria...' Her thoughts were cut short as someone knocked.
The first sound was Aria's hand leaving a red mark across Gilford's cheek as it echoed through the still hallway. The sound of a door being slamed in Gilford's face was the next heard. The last sound heard was her locking the door. Aria quickly started to change and Gilford stood there holding his face where the stinging slap was starting to show.
"Ok, I deserved that." Gilford rubbed his face and knocked again. "Aria please, I want to talk to you. I want to apologise."
"Go away! I have nothing more to say to you."
"Please, let me explain to you that I am an idiot and fool that listens to the old women tell their stories to children. Let explain that I was wrong to judge you, that my own shallow ego was hurt to find that you were not what I had dreamed you to be. Let me tell you that I am more sorry for what I have done tonight than I have ever been in my entire life. Give me the chance to try to make it right, to do you justice. Please Lady Aria give me another chance, I beg you on bended knee." Gilford dropped to his knee and took the most chivalrous pose he muster. He prayed that it would draw her from her room.
Aria definitely felt better, she leaned against the wall and heard him ask again to talk to her. He was the last person she ever wanted to talk to again. He was persistant, she couldn't deny him that. Closing her eyes she leaned her head back against the wall listening to him talk. She didn't pay much attention at first, but then she did, his words again began to draw her in. She looked at the door as if she were looking at him again in the woods. Again her heart didn't know what to do, it wanted so badly to believe but it also screamed at her to not open the door. She felt tears run down her face, how often as a child had she dreamed of somone taking her away from the pain and the hurt. Then he asked again for another chance. Before anything could stop her, including herself, she opened her door and her heart to the man outside on bended knee.