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Prologue | Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Ending Number 2
The royal guards looked nervous as they escorted the man to meet with the Princess. They had heard of his reputation as a swordsman, long before his reputation as a mercenary took precedent over the other. They glanced at each other as he went in to the meeting room joining the two people inside. The chimera that was currently visiting suddenly became the least of their worries.
Zelgadis Greywords sat his coffee aside as he watched him enter. Zelgadis felt eyes widened in shock as watched him take the sword from his hip and placed it beside the other weapons. This was a place to talk not to fight. He studied more than the outer appearance, he knew better than anyone that what one looked like on the outside meant nothing. He studied his face, his expression and the way he moved but nothing told him more than what he saw in his eyes. Hate, loathing, and disgust. Zelgadis suddenly felt like he was looking into a mirror as he rose to welcome his old friend. "Hello Gourry it's been a long time."
"Zelgadis, has it been that long? I haven't noticed, it still feels like nothing has changed." Shaking hands with the chimera Gourry looked away before he could look Zelgadis in the eyes.
Amelia didn't know what to do, or how to react to Gourry. She knew he had changed, she made sure she was informed of all news pertaining to him, no matter how trivial. She just couldn't believe this was him. He was so cold and distant, there wasn't even a shadow of his former self left. She forced herself to stand up and speak without her voice betraying her. "Mr. Gourry I'm so glad your here!" Before she could stop herself she hugged him tightly.
"Hello Amelia, I see not much has changed in your kingdom." Gourry hesitantly let his arms close around the petite princess before pushing her away gently.
"Well let's go eat, I've already told the servants that I would dine alone except
for two guests. There we can talk and catch up on the past." Amelia nervously smiled and led them to her private quarters.
Neither Amelia or Zelgadis could have imagined Gourry would have changed so much. They looked at their friend in a hidden shock. His beautiful long hair was gone, he had hacked it off short, barely touching his shoulders now. His face on one side had a jagged scar where someone had managed to touch him. They both knew that he had become a full time mercenary, often hired out to settle political disputes between kingdoms. Not an honorable job most of the time. This didn't scare them though, what made them uneasy was that some how at his hip hung Golun Nova, the Sword of Light. They sat watching him eat calmly, neither sure how to approach several subjects.
Zel finally cleared his throat and started asking the hard questions , the meal had been far too quiet and the silence was enough to smother them. "Gourry, is that the Sword of Light?" He paid no mind to Amelia cringing at his bold question.
"Yes it is. I need it to take care of a job." Gourry volunteered no more information.
Zel just nodded, he knew what that job was and he had hoped for all their sakes, Gourry would eventually just let it go. He wanted revenge just as much, but he had learned that losing your friends wasn't worth the revenge. "How? Last time I saw it was took back to the Overworld?" He just had to know, natural curiosity wouldn't let that question rest.
"Just because I'm not a mage doesn't mean that my family doesn't have any in it. I called on an old favor that was owed to...." He stopped before he said anymore. He wasn't as naive as everyone thought him to be. He let that slip away a long time ago.
Amelia started to press the subject but caught the look Zelgadis gave her and quickly changed her question. "So what brings you back to Saillune Mr. Gourry?"She cringed hearing how her own voice sounded nervous and on edge.
"I've heard rumors, ever since the two kingdoms made an alliance in the last few months that the Mazuko attacks have increased around this region and Zephilia." Unconsciously Gourry let his hand slide down and rest on the sword of light.
You're hoping that by now he's been resurrected. We all know that he wasn't killed." Zelgadis didn't miss the look of hate that flashed over his friends face. He noted how tense Gourry was. Losing her the way he did... he shook his head dismissing the thoughts.
"Well Mr. Gourry I have to go to Zephilia in a week, official duties since Daddy has let me take over a lot more of them. Do you want to come with me. Mr. Zelgadis has already agreed to escort me. It will be like old times!" Amelia beamed with her energy and zest making Zelgadis cringe in his chair.
"No!" Gourry slammed his hand on the table as he jumped up, knocking his chair over! "No! Nothing will ever be like old time! Never!" His hand went to his blade as the door burst open and the guards started drawing weapons hearing the noise.
"Calm down! Gourry no need for that. Amelia meant well, you know!" Zelgadis slowly moved to the startled princess.
"I'm sorry, please you're not needed. Leave us now. Wait, prepare a room. Mr. Gourry will be staying the night." Amelia had learned long ago how to hide her fear when addressing people and now she was putting every bit of the knowledge to use. She had never been afraid of Gourry, but now she wasn't so sure. "You will do me the honor of staying won't you Mr. Gourry? Please?"
Gourry relaxed when the guards left, he bent over picking up his over turned chair. He didn't want to stay here, there were to many memories that tried to surface. He was going to refuse but he looked at Amelia sitting there, trying to be calm when he could see how badly he had shaken her. Sighing inwardly, he just nodded. "Yes, I will stay one night and I will think about going with you."
"Thank you Mr. Gourry. Mr. Zelgadis will you show him to the guest rooms?" Amelia prayed to Cephied that he would go, they were so many wounds that needed to be healed. Going to Zelphilia would she hoped begin the healing. She sat alone, giving them time to get nearly to the guest quarters before she buried her face into her hands crying.
Zelgadis walked slowly along the way, he glanced at Gourry off to once side. He didn't know when would be a good time to approach this subject, but he felt it would be best that Amelia not be there. He was angry at Gourry. They all hurt, but he was being selfish. 'Here I am, about to lecture the most selfless person I know about being selfish.' He couldn't help but wonder just how much life hated him. "Gourry, I really think you should come with Amelia and I to Zephilia."
"Why? What good would my presence be there?" He kept his voice cold looking straight ahead as he walked.
"What good? How can you even ask that! She asks for you every time I go there! She tries to hide it but I know better, it hurts her that you haven't went to see her! Damn it Gourry, Lina is there waiting for you!" Zelgadis couldn't finish what he was going to say as he felt Gourry's hands grab his clothes and lift him from the ground before slamming him into the wall.
His voice was low and dangerous, his eyes held only the promise of pain if Zelgadis pressed this issue. "Zelgadis, you are my friend so I won't hurt you, but do not ever try to force me to go to Zephilia. I know she is there. I know who she waits for, but that man is dead. He died two years ago in a battle. Now leave me alone, I know the way to the guest rooms." He let go of Zelgadis, letting him slide to the floor as he turned away.
Zelgadis sat with his back against the wall staring at Gourry as he went inside his room Part of him was numb with shock over the fact that Gourry had just physically and verbally threatened him. The other part was furious, he wanted to get up and go after Gourry but he knew now was not the place. Standing slowly he walked to his own room, needing time to think about what to do.