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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 was not happy about the turn of events that had recently occurred. Lord Beast Master had called him back to Wolf Pack Island, giving him the order to stop the attacks. She understood the power he was gaining from the misery and grief he was causing, but she knew that this could cause more problems than it was worth. He frowned at how Lord BeastMaster had all but ordered him to leave Lina alone. She said he would have one last chance to kill her, if he failed then he would not get another.
Xellos stood watching the humans as they traveled away from Zephilia, near where the Monster's Barrier once stood. The usual four and now they were accompanied by Luna. This made Xellos wonder what it was they were up to. He knew he would have to strike soon, their confidence and hopes were building again and that was not a good sign.
Amelia still wasn't sure why Lina had insisted that they visit some ocean bay that she never heard of. She looked over at Lina and felt concern for her friend. Lina had been pushing herself hard to make the journey in a short time. Amelia knew that in the past this trip should have only been a couple of days, but now it was nearing a week. Everyday she would watch Lina push herself to the point she would collapse on the road, unable to make her legs carry her any more.
She would use her magic to heal her and then Gourry or Zelgadis would carry Lina piggy back well into the night, before they would stop to rest. Glancing at the chimera, she suddenly wondered how he knew just where they needed to go.
"We will be there by nightfall. Let Lina sleep the rest of the day and night. Teaching these next few lessons will be draining for her." Zelgadis had been silent through most of this journey, he had been here once with Lina and he didn't look forward to coming back. The fact Luna was here was making him uneasy. He had learned the older Inverse's habits in the last three years and for her to choose to come with them was a bad omen.
Gourry just walked on, his mind on the sleeping woman he carried.
Hours passed and Zelgadis gave a signal to stop. Pointing to the low over hanging clouds he spoke in a grave tone. "We are close enough to the bay. We will camp here tonight, then when Lina is awake tomorrow, we will finish the trek. No one that has not seen that place should see it for the first time without Lina being there to explain it." He caught Luna's gaze on him and he looked at her. A nod was her only approval of his plan, but that was more than enough.
Early the next morning the five people topped a hill that over looked a grim sight. Zelgadis had been here before, as well as Luna. They both knew what to expect. Gourry and Amelia just stood in shock, staring at the dead bay. Lina couldn't see the area, but she knew exactly what was there. She had created this place.
"We won't go any closer to that place than this in to this. Amelia, I came all this way to show you what a mistake in magic can cause, before I teach you the Dragon Slave." Lina spoke with a calm authority in her voice. She had begun the first lesson of black magic.
"Whose mistake was this Miss Lina's?" Amelia knew the answer already but she needed to hear it said, she needed to hear the words.
"This was where I created the Giga Slave at Amelia. This is where Luna found me days later, nearly dead."
Amelia looked to Luna and the realization of what it must have been, like to grow up specializing in the exact opposite of your sister must have been like. Luna was the Knight of Cephied; there was no one more powerful in the representation or use of white magic or the knowledge of Cephied than her. Lina had grew up in her shadow and become one of the strongest wielders of black magic alive. Amelia in that moment of understanding found new respect for the sisters.
"I knew and understood that Lina had discovered a power that she should have never touched. I also knew that her life would be guided by that power someday. What could I do but make her strong enough to survive it. I had always pushed her and after that I did so even harder, but I know now what L-Sama desires can not be changed." Luna stepped away from them and walked towards a clearing. "Come, now training begins."
Zelgadis smiled at the Princess as he carried her back to camp, she had learned the spell today and had practiced all day. He had stood close by, watching her recite the words and concentrate the dark energy. Finally he watched her cast her first Dragon Slave and the faint from the strain of practicing. He was proud of her.
Luna and Gourry talked as they trailed behind Zelgadis, Gourry carrying an exhausted Lina. They had sparred all day, Luna giving Gourry some practice in fighting. They were both well matched for each other and it seemed to give them a common ground to stand on. After several hours of beating on each other, much of the hostility between them was gone.
The hours passed and soon it was well into the dark of night when Zelgadis woke Lina. He helped her away from camp and they walked towards the bay. Tonight Zelgadis would finish learning a spell that only Lina knew. Looking back he could see Luna watching them leave.
"Zel are you sure about this? I mean it's still chaos magic, it still is calling on the Lord of Nightmare's power." Lina spoke in hushed tones, she was still unsure about teaching anyone else a spell that called on Her.
"No Lina, I'm not sure but what else choice do we have? I mean a dragon slave might hurt Xellos, but would it destroy him?" Zelgadis put a hand on her shoulder, bring her to a stop.
"Lina, if anyone had ever told me that I was born to take any part in the destruction of two Dark Lords and a piece of Ruby Eyes, I would have called them delusional. If anyone would have told me after I became a chimera, that I would have people that I care enough about to risk my life for, I would have thought them insane. I now have people that I care for, that I want to protect and if learning such a spell is what it takes, then so be it."
"I know Zelgadis, I wish the Amplifiers still worked. Let us begin." Lina stepped away and listened to him begin. She sent a silent plea to the Lord of Nightmares, begging her to let him learn the spell.
Morning came and Zelgadis and Lina were sound asleep. Amelia and Gourry could figure out why the two of them couldn't be awakened.
"Let them sleep, and don't worry about practicing today. We all need to rest." Luna sat stirring a pot of something cooking, dark eyes regarding the princess and swordsman.
"Why won't they wake up Miss Luna?"
"Lina was teaching Zelgadis a spell last night. He evidently learned it by how exhausted they are. Give them a few hours, they will be fine." Watching Gourry take up his position for night watch, she nodded. "Thank you." Walking over to her own bedroll she lay down and slept.
"This is not good. They are becoming too confident." Xellos phased away from his hiding spot. He had been watching and was even less pleased by what he had seen. He knew that by the end of the night he would succeed and kill Lina Inverse or return to Lord Beast Master in failure.