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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
Xellos stood before the humans feasting on the hate and rage that flowed from them. He was enjoying the fear that also found it's way to him, it's source was Lina Inverse. He watched her color pale as she stood backing away at Gourry's urging. Xellos smiled knowing this was not the time to take his revenge but he wanted Lina to live in fear now. He wanted her to know that she was powerless to stop him. "Well, well Lina this time shall be different don't you think? I mean without your Chaos magic or any magic at all this fight should be much quicker."
"Xellos I don't care why you're here but your fight is with me. Why are you involving everyone?" Lina was furious, she couldn't fight Xellos, she couldn't protect her friends and family, she couldn't even see her enemy. All she could do was yell at him.
Xellos phased out and appeared behind Lina grabbing her around the waist and whispering into her ear. "That Lina Inverse is not a secret. I enjoy your pain, the knowledge you can't do anything to protect those you care about. I am leaving now for a while but what is a secret is when I will take my final revenge." He kissed her on the lips quickly before leaving them.
Gourry dropped the Sword of Light and caught Lina as she nearly collapsed. Shaking as she clung to him, Lina tried to regain her composure. Zelgadis and Amelia began to let go of the energy from the spells they were holding. Lina's family had come in just as Xellos left.
"Lina are you all right?" He held her tenderly, his voice filled with concern. He couldn't tell if it was her heart racing or was it his he could feel. He had been terrified when he saw Xellos grab her, but he couldn't afford to attack him. "Lina?" He asked again when she didn't respond.
"I think so Gourry. I'm just really shaken is all." She pulled away from him. "Xellos is what was so important that you came back, wasn't it." She wasn't asking him this, she was accusing him pain.
Mrs. Inverse saw where this was headed and cleared her throat. "Well children, lets go eat. Dinner is ready." She knew that now was not the time for such feeling to be talked about.
Dinner was a somber meal with little talk. Everyone was lost in his or her own thoughts. Eating slowly the meal lasted for a while. Gourry did eat nearly five helpings while Lina only ate two. Zelgadis found it odd to be at a meal that was shared by Lina and Gourry and a fight not break out over food between them. When dinner was over Amelia helped Mrs. Inverse clear the table and wash the dishes. Zelgadis went up to his room to meditate and Luna took Lina to get a bath saying she needed to have a long talk with her. Gourry and Mr. Inverse were left alone in the living room.
"Son let's go outside. I want to talk to you." Without any further words, he walked outside knowing Gourry would follow him.
Once outside he sat down on the steps of the porch. "Well a third time we meet again it seems."
"Yes it does seem like for a third time we've met meet." Gourry looked straight before him. He didn't like being alone with Mr. Inverse. It wasn't anything personal, just the fact he nearly let one of his daughters die.
"Once a long time ago, I asked you what you were going to do with that sword. That was the first time we met. Then I asked you, why you did throw it away, that I did care what your actions were when it led to my youngest daughter being hurt. That was the second time we met. Now I see you went and found the sword again and have come back to protect my youngest daughter with it. This is the third time. My question to you is, will there be a fourth meeting after this? Will you leave again or will you stay?" He watched the blond man's hands clench into fist.
"I don't know. If Xellos isn't destroyed then, I will leave till he is. If he is killed then I don't know." Gourry's voice had lowered and was strained.
"Well son, I want to apologize for our second meeting. I realize that what I said to you was part of the reason that you left. Luna won't apologize but I did scold her for what she did too. When I'm wrong I admit it. I want you to think about staying and when the time comes to fight Xellos throwing your life away in the fight would be a waste." Getting up he brushed his pants off and walked back inside leaving Gourry alone with his thoughts.
Gourry leaned against the railing of the porch looking up at the stars. He was in no hurry to go back in. Holding the Sword of Light in his hands idly, he lost himself to in thought.
Lina walked the familiar path to the springs they used to bathe without much thought till her foot caught on a root sending her stumbling. "Damn it!"
"Stop thinking about him and where start thinking about where you're going. If you stray off the path I won't come and find you." Stopping she waited for Lina to catch up to her. She looked at her little sister, waiting to see if Lina would reach to take her arm so that Luna could guide her. A rare smile came over her face as Lina brushed passed her muttering that she didn't need her help. No, all of the pressure and training hadn't been lost.
Reaching the spring Lina was still fuming. She wasn't as afraid of Luna now, but she didn't want to cross her. Stripping down she felt for the familiar branch she always used and hung her clothes on them. Tying her hair up in a ponytail she slipped into the water, listening to Luna move around her. "So what did you want to talk about?" She knew what it was and she wanted to get it over with.
"You getting hurt again." Luna spoke with a commanding tone, but her expression had softened some since Lina returned home.
Sinking further into the water Lina just shrugged. The thought of Xellos returning had never been very far from her thoughts but the savage pleasure he was taking in this did surprise her. "I handled Xellos once before, I will find a way to do it again." She tried to sound casual about it, once more the brave front covering the fact that inside she was terrified.
"I don't think Xellos would hurt you again." She watched the confused look appear on Lina's face. "Xellos will kill you this time. Who I am concerned about hurting you is Gourry." Luna moved over behind Lina taking her hair down and not to gently dunking her under so she could start to shampoo her hair.
Lina came up sputtering and coughing as she felt hands running through her hair and the first bits of lather falling on her shoulder. "Gourry won't hurt me Luna, I don't know why you would think that." Soap fell into her sightless eyes causing them to tear up, or at least that was what she told Luna.
Figuring that her stubborn sister would deny that she had been hurt to find that Gourry had left when she needed him most, Luna dunked Lina roughly again. "Lina, I spent all my life pushing you not to depend on anyone. To be able to take care of yourself and what did you do? You went and let a chimera, a princess and Gourry get close to you. For their sake, you are without magic and blind. You also get sick easier now and tire quickly. Lina you lost everything you ever were for them, for him. Zelgadis and Amelia stayed but not Gourry. Lina, he hurt you and you know it, drop the act and face facts." She dunked Lina one last time getting all the soap from her hair.
Lina came back up choking on another lung full of water as she pulled away from Luna. She knew Luna was right, but she still didn't know everything that had happened. She needed some answers herself, and planned to get them no matter had bad Luna punished her. "Luna I want you to tell me everything that happened after I was brought home. I can't remember everything, I remember waking up off and on with you, Mom, Dad, Zel or Amelia there beside me but I don't know if I dreamed waking up with Gourry there or not."
Sighing Luna pushed herself back against the edge of the spring, resting there she studied her sibling. Knowing these questions would eventually be asked, she nodded more to herself than to Lina. Lina wanted the truth of what happened and she was going to tell it to her.
Luna had been returning home from work when she saw the carriage surrounded by armed guards in front of her house. The fact they were from Saillune, caught her attention, she hadn't missed any of her sisters exploits from that kingdom. Walking quickly, she dared any of the guards to stop her as she entered the house.
Once inside, she found her Father talking with a large man with a booming voice, that she recognized as Prince Phillionel. This made her wonder even more, but the expression on her Father's face caused her to worry. Something wasn't right. Moving past him and entering the hall that led to the bedrooms she was greeted by a chimera and a blond man, wearing armor. A moment passed before the chimera told the other one to let her by. Luna decided she would find out later if they were who she thought they were and entered into the bedroom they were guarding.
"Lina?" The name burst out of her much louder than she meant it to. Luna Inverse was always calm and collected, knowing most things that went on in the world but this had her in shock. Her Mother was sitting holding the hand of a very pale and fragile looking girl that very closely resembled her sister. On the other side of the bed was the Princess Amelia Will Tesla Siallune who was herself looking very pale and exhausted. "What is going on?" Luna couldn't stop staring at the girl between her mother and the princess. Her hair was as white as the sheets she lay on, Luna had to watch closely just to catch her breathing. Slowly the horror came to her that it was Lina she was looking at.
"Princess Amelia, I would like to introduce you to my oldest daughter. Luna." Mrs Inverse's eyes were red from crying. Her hand gently petted the white hair of her baby girl. "The Princess and her father brought Lina home, they thought she would recover best here."
Luna could feel her impatience gnawing at her temper. "What happened to Lina? What did this to her?" Dark eyes bore into the Princess.
"We were on our way home from fighting Dark Star when Xellos attacked us. We were nearly all killed, Mr. Zelgadis did his best to protect me and Mr. Gourry did what he could to protect Lina."Amelia looked away from Luna, she was starting to understand why Miss Lina feared her.
"Mr. Gourry had let the Sword of Light go back to the Over World so he didn't have anything to really protect Miss. Lina with. He tried too. Miss Lina had been beaten pretty bad, we were all hurt badly. Miss Filia, I think you met her tried to save us. She was nearly killed. Xellos tossed Lina aside and told her he was going to kill us first and make her watch." Ameila quickly finished going over what happened and sagged into her chair as Luna turned and stormed out.
Luna Inverse was furious, she knew that her sister had saved these peoples life and part of her was proud of her. The rest was angry that they let her sacrifice so much for them. Walking past the chimera at the end of the hall she noticed that the Prince and guards were gone. After searching the house she found her Father and the blond man outside.
Mr. Inverse walked past her and she could tell he was upset. This made her dark mood even more dark. Focusing on the blond man she walked straight up to him and punched him with all her strength. "You are the one that swore to protect my sister. You are the one that wielded the Sword of Light. You are the one that failed in your self proclaimed job and let Lina almost be killed."
Gourry hated himself for failing Lina and finding out who Lina's father was made it worse. Now this person who was Lina's sister was attacking him. He had enough. Standing he looked at her eye to eye, not once flinching as the dark eyes cut into him. He spoke with a rage that was barely contained."I know that I failed Lina. I know that she nearly died, twice for me. I know that she was willing to sacrafice everything to save a worthless swordsman, but I do not need you to tell me what I already know. I don't know if Xellos is dead, I don't know how I can protect her from now on but I am staying till I see she will be all right. After that I'm leaving to go kill that bastared and to make sure he can never hurt Lina again." Gourry walked past Luna and into the house without another word.
Days passed and the tension rose between Gourry and Luna. He would sit with Lina talking to her, apolgizing for his failure while Luna worked. The moment she returned home, Gourry would leave and go to the woods or to the back of the house. If they ever saw each other no words would be spoken, only glances of anger and blame would be exchanged. Finally the tension was broken when Zelgadis walked out and found Gourry and Luna fighting again. That night Gourry left without a word to anyone but to Lina.
"Lina I'm sorry. I failed you. I will return when I know Xellos is dead and there are no more threats to you. I'm sorry..." Gourry left without looking back. He never saw eyes slowly flutter open for the first time since the attack or ever heard the weak whisper that followed before Lina slipped back into unconsciousness...
Luna walked out from the bedroom next to Lina's watching the man leave and then hearing the weak name called out from her sister. Catching Lina's eyes close she felt a few slow tears fall seeing the white eyes briefly.
Lina wasn't sure what she was feeling right now. She slowly dried off and redressed in silence after learning of the fight that went on between her sister and Gourry. She needed to talk to Gourry and she asked Luna to let her talk to him first before anything else happened. She let Luna lead her back to the house. Once inside she asked where Gourry was and left to find him.
Opening the door slowly to the front of the house she heard someone move. Lina walked outside, finding her way down the steps. "Gourry?" Placing a hand out before her she made her way towards the sound she heard. "Gourry?"
Walking up the road from trying to clear his mind Gourry heard Lina calling his name. Spotting her walking towards him he noticed a movement in the darkness and the glint of light catching on a crystal tipped staff. Drawing his sword he screamed to her to go back to the house. "Lina! Go back! Go back!" Running as fast as he could hear the laughter of the Trickster Priest as the light of a spell blinded him.