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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
Gourry heard his voice scream with rage before he even realized he had even opened his mouth. All he wanted to do was kill Xellos. He leapt for the Trickster Priest, sword raised high with the intention of splitting the mozuka in half as he brought it back down. The Sword of Light only found air. Gourry spun his eyes desperately looking for Xellos.
"Oh dear. It seems I angered you Gourry. I will try to be more considerate and come back later when you aren't around." Xellos laughed, leaving the mercenary to steep in his rage and hate for the mazuko.
Gourry stood there for a moment, making sure Xellos was truly gone before walking over to Zelgadis, who held a very pale and very frightened Lina. Gourry replayed the event in his mind. He knew he couldn't have reached Lina in time to save her. Zelgadis had heard his warning from his room and with a ray wing spell, he was fast enough to get her out of the way. 'Zelgadis I owe you much' He silently thought to himself as he kneeled down next to the chimera. "Lina? Are you all right."
Lina just nodded. She hadn't felt this helpless since she came to realize her magic and sight were forever gone. She had heard the movement and then heard Gourry yell to her. She had froze in confusion, only then feel herself being roughly shoved away before en explosion sounded behind her. She slowly let go as Zelgadis gently tranferred her over to Gourry.
Zelgadis stood and walked beside Gourry and Lina. Amelia was on the porch with the others. No one was sure what had happened as Gourry carried Lina inside and straight to her room. When he didn't come out Mrs. Inverse went in to make sure everything was all right.
"How is she Gourry?" She couldn't help but smile, seeing the large man tenderly cradling her small daughter. Even in sleep her daughter held on tightly to Gourry, not that he seems to mind at all
"She is vulnerable and frightened. She isn't sure of her place anymore, but she is physically unharmed." His voice was soft as one hand brushed a strand of hair from the sleeping girl's face.
Walking over and placing a warm hand on the boy’s shoulder she spoke softly. "Gourry, she is still healing. Her body has healed as much as it ever will. Nothing we do or wish can restore Lina to her former glory. Her heart and soul still bear the scars of the past. Friends and even family can only do so much to help her, but you can do more than we can." Mrs. Inverse sat next to him and looked into his blue eyes with her dark ones as she spoke. "Gourry, you were the most stable person in her life. You were with her for three years, always by her side. I know you left to trying to make things right, but it hurt her when you were not there to catch her as she stumbled and fell through the last two years."
Gourry slipped Lina's arms from around his neck, careful not to wake her as he gently lay her on the bed. He knew what Mrs. Inverse said was the truth and slowly the first few tears silently fell onto the sheets next to Lina. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ever hurt her." He didn't know what else to say, he had left in so much anger and guilt. He had lived the last couple of years letting those emotions consume him.
She reached over and took him into her arms hugging him tightly. "Gourry no one ever blamed you for what happened to Lina. Words were spoken in anger and in fear. You saved her life if anything. You gave her a reason and the courage to fight, to keep on living. For that I thank you." She held onto Gourry, feeling his tears turn to sobs, as pain he had kept buried finally broke and was released. Rocking him gently, she ran her hand over his back and hair, knowing that Lina was not the only one in need of healing.
Sunlight streamed through the window and onto the sleeping form of Gourry. Mumbling, he pulled the covers over him and rolled over. He had slept all night without a single nightmare and he didn't want to get up.
"I can't believe you let Gourry sleep in the same bed with Lina, Mother!" Luna was helping her mother prepare a large lunch. The idea of sending the four out alone to have a picnic wasn't making her happy either, but her mother felt they needed to get away from the stress and relax some.
"Now Luna, neither were in the shape or mind frame to take advantage of each other and I'm sure they have shared a room before. Stop concerning yourself, they are just going out to the fields and Lina has three loyal body guards." She chuckled as Amelia and Lina came in to the kitchen, Lina red as her hair once was.
"Amelia, look I honestly don't remember anything! I just woke up and there he was, OK!" Lina had her hands thrown up in the air, totally frustrated at the giggling princess.
"Sure, Miss Lina, then how did you get into your night gown and Mr. Gourry out of his armor?" She knew everything that had happened but wasn't going to pass up a chance to tease Lina.
Zelgadis entered just in time to see Lina raise her hands in the motion of a fireball, only to have nothing happen.Amelia was the target who was almost ready to fall over laughing, along with Lina’s mother. He shook his head thinking about Lina’s logic, long as Lina tried to casther spells, it left hope that her magic might oneday return, Lina refused to let them become sad when the spells failed. Luna, he noted was not laughing but had a smirk on her face. Chuckling himself, he decided to save what little dignity Lina had left. "After Gourry fell asleep, I took his armor off at your mother's request Lina. She already had you in your night gown."
Lina just fumed, sitting down. "Well someone needs to go wake up Gourry so we can get going..." She was trying her best to change the subject and was rewarded by more laughter.
Xellos watched the band of slayers reach the field and began preparing to have lunch. They were laughing and joking. His fingers dug into his palm, hand clenching into a fist as he thought back to his first failure in over a thousand years of service to Lord Beast Master. With the destruction of Dark Star at Lina Inverse's hands, it had become clear that she was too powerful. She was to be destroyed and to kill the Slayer of Dark Lords was to be a crowning achievement for Xellos.
"Mr. Gourry is still blushing!!" Amelia's voice traveled on the wind to the Trickster Priest’s ears. Humans were still a mystery to him. How they could laugh and joke even when death was certain to be the end result. The Princess of Saillune would be a sweet kill, she had become a strong influence in her kingdom. Her beliefs and ideals crushed, no amount of positive emotions would stop him. He had already destroyed much of that innocence and he would savor the taste of her despair when the time came to finish his task.
Watching the chimera sip his coffee as he tried to keep a bored expression, brought a sadistic gleam to Xellos's eyes. How often had the hate and loathing Zelgadis produced kept him fed in his time around them. He had been the perfect counter balance to Amelia. Leading him on hopeless cures brought a certain satisfaction to the mazoku as each failed mission caused him to slip further into depression. "Hmmm. Yes, Zelgadis I think you will finally have your cure that you thought was so important all those years ago, right before I kill you." Xellos chuckled to himself thinking of how the chimera finally excepted his cursed body and had actually started to enjoy life.
"Look, I swear I never touched her last night!" Gourry was trying to defend himself still as Xellos studied him. Gourry was dangerous now. Xellos always underestimated the blond fool thinking him an idiot, but no he had been wrong. Gourry realized much more than he ever let on and now that simple minded fool was gone. How Gourry managed to get the Sword of Light back was still a mystery to Xellos, all he knew was that it had something to do with Mipross Island. The Mazoku had become weary of the mercenary as his reputation grew, Gourry had become well adapted to killing them. There was another element to Gourry that actually fascinated Xellos. Always before there had been indifference in Gourry, now there was a cold and vicious feeling that Xellos could feel.
Amethyst eyes finally settled on the petite woman named Lina Inverse. The once crimson eyes, now white and sightless left her vulnerable. She had been the very image of self confidence and strength during the travels he joined them in. She was in herself a unique being, so much so that Xellos had not protested when he was first ordered to guide them. She inspired fear where ever she went, yet invoked loyalty from a group of individuals, all as opposite as night and day. He never understood how one moment her greed would be her main priority, then saving the world her next. All these things paled next to the one factor that drew him to her, like a moth to a flame. She didn't fear him. Not once did she fear him killing her. She knew what he was capable of doing but it didn't matter. Lina had even risked herself to save him, and that puzzled him for months. Why? She would attack him, yell at him and go as far as ordering him around. All of which he excepted willingly. Even when he had ended her life as a sorceress she never feared him, what she had feared was the death of her friends. Xellos stood glaring at her, but there would always be a grudging respect for the power she controlled.
As the meal progressed, he thought about what he knew already to be the truth of his involvement with Lina Inverse once more. Simply this, revenge. He had studied the humans long enough to understand this need, and now he desired it. Lina Inverse had be sent to kill the Dark Lord, Dark Star and had succeeded. She should have been weak from that. She should have never been able to fight him. It was so simple, he was an allied fighter against Dark Star, a friend and guide. He should have been able to kill her friends and then her with ease. It didn't happen. Some how through the pain and injury he had inflicted on her, Lina did what she was so famous for doing. She over came the odds and won. She had beaten him, nearly destroying him in the process. Xellos knew that the punishment received was mild, because Lina's victory was a hollow one. She was powerless without her magic and the fact she had been left blind was a bonus. The order to kill her was lifted. What better thing than to let her live her life out in such misery, but Xellos had begged to complete what he started and Lord Beast Master had granted it to him. Xellos was going to make sure Lina Inverse died a slow and painful death.
The lunch had passed and they sat relaxing. Talk filled the air as they all chatted away retelling old tales, speaking of new adventures and giving information of old friends. "Oh Miss Lina, Filia said Val got his first tooth." Amelia piped up happily. "Jilas found it when Val bit him on the nose!" This sent laughter through the group.
"I'm glad Val wasn't hurt that day. I think the guilt would have killed Filia." Lina spoke quietly. She had decided this was something that finally needed to discussed.