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Chapter One   |   Chapter Two   |   Chapter Three   |   Chapter Four   |   Chapter Five   |   Chapter Six   |   Chapter Seven   |   Chapter Eight   |   Chapter Nine
Chapter Two
What is A Fat Fairy Doing Here?

      Her eyes widened as instead of the purple haired monster she was expecting, a pudgy figure floated into view. She took in the sight before her: a rounded body about half her height, long blue hair, pointed ears, gossamer wings, and a giggle that just wasn’t stopping.

     “What is Xellos doing looking like a fat fairy?” Gourry asked, question marks popping out over his head.

     “That isn’t Xellos,” Lina answered, hitting him over the head. “I’m not fat,” added the being not giggling anymore, “just full figured.” Punctuating her comment with a second hit to Gourry’s head.

     “Mr. Gourry, you have to learn to think before talking,” Amelia admonished while handing him the ice pack she had learned to keep nearby. “Welcome to Seyruin. I am Amelia, these are Lina and Gourry, you would be...”

     “What would you be?” Lina grumbled, “Not another monster.”

     The being fluttered down to a chair and snuggled into it.  After arranging herself in a comfortable position (like the posture of a teenage girl on the phone), she smiled broadly.  “You can call me Melee as for what I am I really don’t remember anymore, my race has been gone for quite some while.  I’m not a monster though or a dragon. I have come to talk to Lina as I believe our travels are going the same way for a while.”

     “What do you mean by that?” Lina sputtered, a fireball forming in her hand. “I refuse to be set up again.”

     Melee gulped, she wasn’t afraid of Lina’s magic but this was too important to be misdone.  Plastering a bright smile to her face she considered quickly, “I’m searching for clues about where my race went to, some ancient manuscripts are with the Dragon Sword and they just may be old enough to help me.”

     “How did you hear that we were searching for the Dragon Sword?” asked Lina, while lifting the fireball.

     “The Guardsmen your friend Gourry was sparring with were talking about it in the village.” Melee tried to make her body look as intimidated as possible. “Please let me come along.”

     Lina let the fireball go out, “Tell me what you know,” she ordered Melee.

     “Not much, but I remember the battle, it upset the balance terribly as did the death of Garv and Hellmaster.” Melee looked off in space. “Not that the balance wouldn’t have been destroyed irrevocably by their plans, balance in all things is so important.  You are balanced Lina...” Melee shook herself.  “That wasn’t the question though, I think Gourry has the answer. Don’t you dear?”

     Gourry squirmed as Melee’s look turned hot for a minute as she addressed him.  He forgot about it as she then started to do loops around the room giggling.

     “Well Gourry?” He brought his attention to Lina and looked at her blankly.

     Lina took a deep breath and counted to ten, “Did you find out something today?”

     “Right, the Guard Captain said something about finding dragon bones as a kid in the mountains, now why was that important?” Gourry scratched his chin.  “There was something else though... I told him to talk to you.”

     Shaking her head Lina reminded herself that if it wasn’t fighting or weapons it just didn’t stay with Gourry. “Okay, I’ll go talk to the guard captain. You and Amelia get the packs ready.”

     Meanwhile on Wolfpack Island, Zelas was calling her priest.  “Xellos, I can’t see what they’re up to anymore! A mist has formed around Lina Inverse and her friends.  Get your scrawny butt down there and find out what’s going on.”

     Scrying for an area close to the mist, Xellos prepared to teleport, it would be interesting to see what Lina was up to now.  All of the Beastmaster’s comments registered just before he left and he muttered an indignant “My butt is not scrawny,” before he teleported.

     Xellos wondered what Lina was up to now, the inability to scry was upsetting.  He had only seen a similar effect around the other monster lords lairs and even that was not as effective.  Had Lina discovered a new spell, and if so what was she doing that was secret enough that she felt she had to use it?  A fun as all of it was he hoped that Lina hadn’t decided to push Zelas too far, their little trips were the closest thing he had to vacation time.  Really, just one of Lina’s temper tantrums was enough to feed him for a week without any further effort on his part and it was such a nice pure rage, devoid of other adulterating emotions.

     Xellos kept on trying to probe the mist, the boundaries were clean cut but moved in a peculiar pattern  almost as if it was centred on some one moving around inside.  It could be a talisman but he hadn’t heard of any that worked in quite that way before.       Quite a puzzle but it was time to see Lina, he smiled happily, if he could only see where to teleport to things would be perfect. She hated being surprised.  

     Keeping to the shadows, he heard Lina’s voice coming from the guardroom.  She was asking directions to the foothills and descriptions of the caves.  What was she searching for?  He took a sharp breath as she asked about the Dragon Sword, a nice piece of metal and quite effective in the right hands but not enough to merit the type of spell that was blanking out the scrying.  He calculated carefully, no the centre of the mist was not with Lina.  He waited quietly as Lina placed the map in her bag and walked through the door.

     “Hello Lina!  You weren’t thinking of leaving me out of the fun were you?  And here I was counting the days until we saw each other again.  Life has been so boring lately!” Xellos smiled brightly.

     “Xellos what are you doing here?” Lina screamed.  “As if I don’t have enough weird people  around me.”

     “Weird? Who me? Never! How could you say such a thing about our old friends Amelia and Gourry, I know sunshine and stupidity are hard to handle but I’ve never heard you call them weird before.”

     “ I’m stuck with you aren’t I” Lina grumbled “Just remember if you get out of hand I’ll have Amelia sing her love and joy song to you.”

     Xellos paled lifting a hand in surrender “Anything but that please, our paths are simply  going the same way again. We’ve worked so well together in the past I thought it might be fun to do it again”

     Lina glared at him “Are you telling me you have no interest in my newest travelling companion ”

     “Someone new?” Xellos started, then thought about the mist. Someone with power was interested in Lina.  A new power was involving themselves in her life. A possessive anger bubbled up in his chest, no one else was allowed to play with his toys. He reined in the emotion and smiled at Lina wagging a finger at her, “not one of ours, I’m afraid.  Have you checked in with the dragons? They like playing with humans too. They’re just more orderly about it”

     Lina looked  at Xellos closely then sighed, “You haven’t outright  lied to me yet. I’d describe Melee to you but I don’t think I could do her justice, this is one individual that you have to meet for yourself.”

     Motioning for him to follow Lina started back to the castle entrance a smile quivering on her lips.  This should pay the monster back for a few of the tricks he had played on her in the past.

     As they arrived at the door, Amelia and Gourry  rushed through almost knocking Lina down. Behind them Melee followed looping around oblivious to the destruction in her path.  As the newly arrived duo looked pleadingly at Lina as the sound of Melee’s off key singing wafted through the door.

     “Make her stop, please just make her stop” Gourry groaned.  “I’ll do anything, I’ll give you all my food just make her stop.”

     Any other time Lina would have found their plight  hilarious but not when she was being subjected to it as well.  She did take a mental note of Xellos standing frozen with his eyes wide open so she could remember it later.

     “Hey Melee! Come meet the newest member of our team”

     Melee stopped immediately stopped singing and flew over to Xellos and Lina.   Hovering in the air, she started examining Xellos, poking at his cape and peering into the stone at the top of his staff.  He took it in good humour until she grabbed for the pouch on his belt, as he rapped  her knuckles and backed away  he growled dangerously.

     “Who and what are you?”

     Melee’s eyes went  distant. “Xellos child you don’t remember me?  I was there at your birth ... such a lovely child so full of anger and spite...  you’ve grown and changed... not better not worse but more balanced ... perfectly balanced no not quite.  So beautiful and so terrible are you one of the one’s ... you could be... not now...maybe soon...  yet  you  could be... I hope you are...” her voice trailed off as she looked inward.  Then with a quick change of expression she smiled happily, laughed and performed a quick loop de loop.

     “You will be travelling with us” Melee giggled “Good, we could use another handsome man. I like keeping warm on cold  nights and what better than two of you. One  for each side.”

     Lina and Amelia started laughing helplessly.  Seeing the scared looks they were receiving from  the two speechless men, tears started rolling down their faces.

     “Still think she might be a dragon Xellos?” Lina asked as she caught her breath.

     “I don’t know her and I’ve never seen anything like her before” Xellos explained in a strained voice.  “What she said at first, I have no explanation except senility for”

     Becoming more serious, Lina queried “You mean her race is totally unknown to you, you’ve been around for a while Xellos how is that possible?”

     “ I don’t know Lina, I just don’t know.” Remembering the mist around Melee in the scrying field he reminded himself  to keep a close watch on winged woman.  There was something going on here and for once he was not the one with the secrets.

     After a hard day of travelling, the intrepid group of travellers expertly made camp and finished off the evening meal amid much shoving and food snatching.  Afterwards, Melee happily tried to see exactly how red she could turn Gourry while Lina and Amelia settled down for a good round of gossip.  Xellos found himself a comfortable tree a bit off from the group and looked up at the cave entrance in the side of the mountain.

     Xellos didn’t like being out of the loop and the insect was getting on his nerves.  He had been right there was more going on than a simple search for a sword but what?  Taking advantage of Melee’s attentions to Gourry he started to review what he had sensed from the thing.  She was of a race completely unknown to him, there was her cryptic comments when they met and that strange mist.  What was the worse was that strange familiarity to her power, it seemed almost to be a blend of every power that he had ever felt even Darkstar’s.  It was innocence and lust; hate and love in equal measure. Her power called to him pulling him towards it.  He shook his head she was right though travelling with the slayers had changed his nature, their adventures had forced him to use restraint for the first time and depend on others for more than nourishment.  Usually monsters used humans that were closest to their own nature “Good” humans were only manipulated and killed.  He ground his fists into his eyes, he was going to have to get some answers out of Melee one way or another.

     He felt a warm weight snuggling into his side. He looked down and saw Melee using him for a backrest with her feet up on a rock.  Glancing over he saw that Gourry had rolled up near the fire and had gone to sleep.

     “What did you mean by one of the ones?” he asked quickly hoping to get a rational answer.

     “one of hers of course, and one of mine too.  I’ve found two of the ones, one is unready, one is unwilling”

     In one of her lightning quick moods Melee flipped up and grabbed the sides of Xellos’s face while hovering front of him.  “You are not ready but must you be chosen before becoming balanced?  Choosing you will cause unbalance until you are ready I think but how much of tilt will it cause.”

     “What  are you talking about?” Xellos   asked.

     “The Beastmaster would know if she could remember” Melee grinned, kissed Xellos full on the mouth and laughed as he backed away wiping his mouth furiously.  “In the past you would have pretended lust just to get information.  Why can’t you do that now my child?”

     “Do you want me to?” a furious edge came to Xellos’s voice.

     “Not really,  You don’t know what you’re missing though.” With a mischievous wink Melee landed and walked away with an exaggerated waggle to her hips.  Xellos just turned around and started banging his head on the tree behind him.  A hand on his shoulder made him turn back.

     “Lina dear have you gotten any information out of her?” he asked the girl.

     “What did she tell you Xellos” Lina replied.

     “That is a secret.” Xellos replied with a forced smile  and a shake of his finger.

     Instead of the anger he was hoping for Lina just sighed.  “Didn’t get anything out of her either did you?”

     “Not a thing that made any sense”  Xellos sank down to rock. “I really don’t like this Lina, I’m completely in the dark and it’s driving me crazy.”

     Lina smiled, “Now you know how I’ve felt with your secrets” she added “It’s this one of the ones thing, it feels almost like cheesy prophesy. I want to keep away from destinies but then I remember what could have happened if we hadn’t followed the prophesy about Darkstar...”Lina trailed off. “ I don’t like this Xellos”

     “Take comfort Lina this one seems to involve me this time,  I don’t have a clue about what she means about becoming balanced though.  I assume it has to do with my nature but how.”

     Lina smiled  “Maybe you’ll grow wings and become a dragon”

     “That’s been done in reverse already so I doubt it”

     “Valgarv just exchanged the nature of the dragons for the nature of the monsters so it would have to be a mixture of the two, Oh no! Xellos, not again.  I am not getting mixed up with her again!”  Lina disappeared in a flurry of activity and soon all that was left was a tiny point coming from the ground.

     “Did you talk about her sister Mr Xellos” Amelia yelled over the fire.

     “No, I think I managed to find something worse”  Xellos answered faintly he now knew who was the unwilling, and tried to cheer himself that he also knew one thing that Lina didn’t, not that it would help either of them.

     A cough was heard from the forest, “who mentioned Lina’s sister” a voice asked from the trees.

     “Mr Zelgadis” Amelia shouted happily as she threw he arms around his neck.

     “I heard you guys were on the road again and I had to make sure you, well all of you didn’t get into trouble.” Zelgadis detached Amelia slowly a blush coming to his cheeks.

     “Another one, no you are only balanced on the outside.  You are orderly aren’t you!  Can I hug you too?  Xellos didn’t like it at all and Gourry just turns purple, can I please please?”  

     Zelgadis looked at Melee as she jumped up and down in front of him. Slowly, one of his rare smiles broke out on his face. “You’re just like a puppy aren’t you?”

     “Yes, yes! You understand. That my nature at the moment” Melee hugged him happily. “But it might be different soon.”

     Zel was taken aback, “Sounds like Lina’s mood swings”

     Melee just giggled and flew though the branches looping happily  around them.  

     “Should we get Lina out or should you tell me what’s going on first.”

     “Explanations first I think Lina needs some time to calm down, I think Mr Xellos has a few things to say.” Amelia looked sharply at Xellos, “You were about to explain weren’t you.”

     “It’s very simple really, it seems our little Melee is involved with the Lord of Nightmares and she has some plans for me” he glanced at the pyramid tip “and for Lina as well”

Chapter Three