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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
If a traveler had passed by he would have seen a group of people having a picnic, in an open field. If the traveler took a closer look, he would notice how different everyone was. A young girl with black hair, a chimera, a blond man and a girl with white hair. If once was truly observant he would see quickly, there was no laughter nor joy in their conversations. Each one held a look of sadness as they all spoke in turn, retelling the pastů
"I remember that day started out so well. We were going to sail home that evening, all we had to do was sit around and relax till the ship was ready. The view was so gorgeous. A large shade tree, good company, the sun was shining, it was all picture perfect."
"Yea, then the clouds came. It was like an eclipse, everything turned dark. Then that acidic rain started, not even my stone skin was safe from it. Everything was killed caught in it. The bay was filled with dead animals and people. It was horrible, at least our magic shields protected up from it, till we found shelter."
"It was almost as bad as the Golden Dragons being killed, watching them fall from the sky. I remember hearing Amelia scream and seeing Xellos standing over her. I don't know what was stronger. The shock of seeing Xellos betray us, or the fear of realizing we would have to fight him."
"I let my guard down, I thought of Xellos as an ally. I never felt so helpless in my life. The sound of bones breaking and the cries of pain still haunt me. He tossed us all aside for Lina though, and that's when time stopped. It's still crystal clear in my mind. Lina hadn't been able to cast anything to stop him, we were all in the way. When he took you, I felt something snap inside."
"Where he took me I'm still not sure. I don't want to ever find out. I was given to the chance to fight him. I tried, but it was pointless. He phased in and out so much I couldn't hit him. Then he hit me. I think my ribs shattered on that first blow. I hate the taste of blood, and that all that was filling my mouth. He laughed, taunting me. Telling me how everyone was going to die. How it was going to be my fault. That's when he brought me back, everyone was so badly hurt. I don't know when Filia got there but I was glad to see her."
"Miss Filia said she felt something, a vision showed her we were all in danger. She left Val with Jilas so that she didn't have to worry about him. Golden Dragons have an amazing healing power, too bad she didn't get more of a chance to help. The moment Xellos came back and saw her, he tried to kill her. She fought so hard too."
"Filia was never a match for Xellos. We weren't either. I thought he had killed Amelia, and was about to kill me. I tried to protect us. Gourry, I don't think even having the Sword of Light would have done any good."
"No it wouldn't have, not then. I admit it, I was scared to death. I thought he had killed Lina, till I heard her cry out to Xellos. Oh gods Lina, you were so bloody. We all were. Filia was unconscious, Zel was doing his best to shield Amelia and I couldn't move. Every time I tried to get up failed. All I could do was scream to you. Why didn't you listen to me Lina? Why didn't you run?"
"Because, I couldn't let you all die. I had to do something, I was the only one that should have been made to suffer that day. It was my fault that everyone was being hurt. I called out to The Lord of Nightmares, I begged her to give me the power to save you all. I never cast the spell to activate the Demon's Blood talismans, but they flared with energy and it gave me the hope and strength to stand, to fight Xellos."
They all walked back in silence, it had become dark and they all agreed that it was time . Emotionally everyone was drained. Talking of that day was something none of them had ever done, not to each other as a group at least. Each had their own demon to remember and confront personally.
Lina had been exhausted at the end of the day, she walked slowly in the middle of them now. She was no long the leader in that sense, she had to depend on someone's arm to guide her if they left her home. She had become a teacher at the magic school and that had helped her feel not so useless now. She was well respected and her students adored her. Amazingly, Lina had been a patient teacher, she always joked that it was all the time of trying to teach things to Gourry.
Zelgadis now lead the group, he had taken the point position as they walked. He noticed that Lina was starting to fall behind more and more and elbowed Gourry. Zelgadis knew that it was an unspoken bond between him Lina that kept him here. He often wondered how the explosive sorceress had managed to get through all of his defenses. Lina had urged him to stay close to Amelia and grudgingly he did. He often wondered just how much Lina and Amelia plotted behind his back.
Gourry fell back and kneeled down before Amelia and Lina, his back to them. He knew Amelia would catch on fast and laughed when she pushed Lina right up against him. Feeling the weight of Lina falling on top of him, he wrapped his arms around her legs. Carrying Lina piggy back was an adventure in it'self. She screamed and ranted at the fact she could walk, while beating him about the shoulders. In a lot of ways he felt this was like old times. He felt a deep gratitude form for Amelia and Zelgadis, he wouldn't have ever come back if they hadn't urged him to.
Amelia laughed and skipped ahead of Lina and Gourry. She was smiling and bubbling (over) with talk of love and how beautiful it was to see Miss. Lina and Mr. Gourry together again. She smiled seeing Lina's tantrum end, the sorceress now riding with her arms wrapped around the blond's neck. Looking up at Zelgadis she thought for a moment and stepped closer to him, letting her hand brush against his. She was happy that he didn't step away from her, only his blush let her know that he was aware of her closeness.
Dinner was ready by the time they got home. Gourry carried Lina all the way to the dinner table, sitting her in her chair, then took his place near the end. Zelgadis and Amelia took their places beside Lina. Luna took her place at the end. Mr. Inverse took his place at the head of the table.
"Lina, Gourry, Zelgadis and Amelia could you four stand up please?" Mrs. Inverse stood at her place, looking thoughtful at the four young people. "I want Lina to come and sit next to your father, now Gourry come and sit beside her. Zelgadis, you sit next to Gourry and Amelia next to Zelgadis." Sitting down she smiled happily, her new seating order working nicely. "Just don't sit there turning red, dig in I made plenty of food!"
Gourry found himself sitting on the porch after dinner was over, again he was alone. He sighed looking at the stars. Wishing on a falling star as it streaked across the heavens, he rested his head against the porch railing. A small smile played at his lips.
Lina walked out onto the porch and over to the rail, she had come to love it out here on the porch. She often spent most of her time here. She could sit out here and still feel the sun on her face, the wind through her hair and at night listen to the world as it slept. Leaning against the railing she lay her head on her arms.
Gourry didn't dare to breathe, he was afraid of breaking this moment. Lina was bent over, her hair falling in cascading water falls around her face and arms. Lost deep in thought, her white eyes, though sightless were taking the world in. Her face was calm, an expression of serenity had come to find it's way to her. Gourry couldn't take his eyes away from her, the moon was full tonight and it cast a pale glow about her.
Lina sighed and stood up, she knew the evening routine. Her father would be coming out soon. They would talk, and then he would go to bed. She would remain outside till Luna or her Mother came to tell it was time for bed. Her hand slid along the rail till it found something soft.
"Hello Lina, I didn't want to disturb you." Gourry felt her hand touch him and the moment was broke. He kept his voice low and quiet. "If you want I'll leave you alone, you looked lost in thought." Deep inside, he hoped she wouldn't send him away.
Before Lina could answer an explosion lit the night's sky up.