What was supposed to be a simple mission of relationship sabotage at the beach soon became a very complicated situation. Gourry and Zangulus were oblivious to most of the chaos, occupying themselves in sparring. Zelas however, was well aware of what was happening around her and she enjoyed its taste.
"Zoamelgustar!" Martina yelled as she ran towards the monster lord. "Beast Master!" She dashed in circles around the beach chairs occupied by Zelas and Milgazia with Josephine in fast pursuit. After it became evident that Zelas had no intentions of slaying her aggressor, Martina dashed away. "Anyone!"
"I should do something about this," Milgazia considered interfering. He began to get up, but Zelas pushed him back into his seat.
Dismissively, the elegant monster lord insisted. "Martina can take care of herself, just watch."
Once again, Martina dashed by in front of Zelas and Milgazia. This time she had enough; she planted her feet firmly on the sand and held out her talisman. Where in her small yellow bikini did she keep that talisman was anyone's guess... and nobody's business "Feel the power of Zoamelgustar!" The talisman glowed, creating a shield around Martina that protected her from Josephine's hammer.
"That technique!" Josephine exclaimed, "that impenetrable force field!" She appeared to be impressed. "You must teach my Jeffrey that power, it would be quite useful as a defense. If you do this, I will forgive you, granted that you treat my wonderful Jeffrey with respect in the future."
"Ah ha ha he ha ha!" Martina laughed victoriously. "So you wish for your son to become my pupil? It is good that you have recognized my amazing talent! Very well, I will take Jeffrey under my wing as an apprentice of Zoamelgustar! Ah ha ha he ha ha!"
At that very moment, Zelas chose to conveniently clear her throat with an "ehem" that sounded more melodious than it should.
"Oh right," Martina recalled, catching the hint. "Being my student also means that Jeffrey will be one of Lord Beast Master's minions, as it is stated in my job contract." Although not all of Zelas' 'employees' shared such a clause in their contract. Martina and Zangulus did, though Sylphiel, for example, had a much less binding job contract free of monster lord alliances and more so leaning towards the display of a sufficient amount of neutrality to perform her duties.
"I suppose being allied to a powerful monster lord would not be a bad thing if it keeps my Jeffrey safe. After the near destruction of the world, I have been trying to find more ways to ensure he is alright," Josephine agreed. Thus a new alliance was formed.
"Alright then!" Martina held out her hand and Josephine shook it. "I, Martina Zoana Mel Navratilova, welcome you to the ranks of Lord Beast Master. Ah ha ha he ha ha!"
Although Martina certainly knew, as the realities of Amor Resort and the truth about the upper management had been revealed to her and Zangulus some time ago, Josephine did not appear to be aware of the fact that the one and only Beast Master Zelas Metallium was present right there, not too far away. "I, Josephine Mailstar, accept this pledge of loyalty."
After Martina and Josephine walked away, discussing something or other about Zoamelgustar and magical training, Milgazia commented. "I sensed something peculiar about Martina." He made a mental note about the fact that the world was still in many ways in peril if humans were seeking monster lords for protection. He would have to start a motion among the dragons to try to reassure humans and build a closer relationship with them. If the other, more experienced elders didn't like it, then too bad, Milgazia was determined never to hold back.
"She is expecting a child," Zelas calmly stated. "Although it is in such an early stage that it is impossible to tell just by looking at her. Zoamelgustar was originally not quite real; it was a monster of Martina's own creation. The displays of power that supposedly came from Zoamelgustar were actually her own. Yet she so strongly believes that Zoamelgustar will be reborn through her, that is what will happen. All this chaotic energy around the world has opened up a sea of possibilities, perhaps that is what the Sea of Chaos really is, an infinite collection of possibilities where there are no impossibilities."
Milgazia's eternally serious face showed a hint of still serious disapproval. "You placed a drop of power in her child?"
"I did not," Zelas admitted. "Martina's strong belief in Zoamelgustar caused her to absorb chaotic energy. It probably helps that she has been trained in the arts of chance spells, which are closely related to chaos, unpredictability and randomness. As such, her child was granted chaotic power, the little one is otherwise a human, originating from a human mother and father, the child has only received a power-up of sorts. Martina had already decided long ago that she wanted to name her firstborn baby Zoamelgustar, thus the product of her imagination in a sense has truly become real."
Milgazia contemplated the situation. "Who knows what kind of possibilities the chaotic energy in the atmosphere will make available." It was a silent promise that he two would explore said possibilities and do all he could to use them in his favor. Yet that was how it was supposed to be, a constant struggle that kept things in motion. Even a pleasant activity could become unpleasant when it was not varied with something else. Motion, change, dynamics, unpredictability, surprises, chaos... It wasn't a trap as Darkstar and Vorfeed had believed; it was life itself.
"Such concepts are not alien to monsters," Zelas stated as a matter of fact. "A strong will is what keeps us in existence after all, the very belief that we exist."
"That almost makes it sound as if denying your existence would make you go away." Milgazia noted, although he understood that it was more complex than that.
"Only to a lesser monster, a particularly weak apparition," Zelas mocked. "Besides," she added thoughtfully, "if monsters disappeared so would dragons."
"Because the opposing forces would be lost and the lack of contrast would lead to some sort of... reaction?" Milgazia mused. "Or an absence of reactions..."
"Possibly," Zelas voiced with regal calm. "But before the last monster is lost to disbelief, magic would go first and the dragons will be left powerless as mere legends." Moving on to a more pleasant aspect, for her at least, the monster lord concluded. "I would rather return the world to chaos than allow that to happen. Start over and keep it in motion for as long as possible again."
"A collection of fleeting moments... that's life." Milgazia quietly mused deeply.
Interrupting the diplomatic philosophical musings of the monster lord and the golden dragon elder, Zangulus and Gourry dashed by, their swords clashing against each other, although they were both regular iron swords. They were relying more so on speed and skill than on weaponry. "Look, there's the father of Zoamelgustar now." Zelas pointed at Zangulus. "He had his doubts about pledging his loyalty to me when the truth of my identity became clear to him, but his dear wife persuaded him."
"The way you keep gaining minions," Milgazia disapproved, his previous calm tone being replaced with one of distaste. "One spreading the offers to join you to another... It's like a decease."
Zelas paused, with only the chatter of the beach goers, the sound of the rolling waves and the clang of metal against metal of the sparring blades being heard. "Did you just call me a decease?"
He had, Milgazia realized, which was terribly undiplomatic of him. It was too late to take it back and he was not going to apologize to Zelas of all creatures. Thus he decided that the best course of action was to simply be honest, "I did."
The iron swords broke against each other by the sheer force of the combatants. "Should have used Astral Vine..." Zangulus commented. He had gotten pretty good at weapon power up spells with some practice.
"That is a secret?" Gourry inquired, meaning to ask 'would you cast it on mine too?'
"Yes, I wouldn't want any unfair advantages," Zangulus agreed. He had more or less started to get the hang of interpreting Gourry's strange speech pattern. Albeit he still had to wonder if the blond was under some kind of curse. At least it didn't look like it was contagious. Thus the two swordsmen started to walk off to find another pair of swords to resume their friendly but intense battle.
Simultaneously, Zelas chuckled and batted her long eyelashes in a blatant display of absolute sarcasm. "Milgazia, you say the sweetest things, you're such a charmer."
Milgazia considered rolling his eyes, but he was far too diplomatic to do so. He had his little undiplomatic slip up for the day and that was more than enough. At least sarcasm was better than Zelas' usual culinary comments about him making her hungry. He had expected plenty of those, something along the lines of roasted dragon perhaps. Maybe the only reason why Zelas had not actually said anything of the sort was because she suspected, or even knew, that he expected her to say those things. It wouldn't be unpredictable anymore.
xoxox xox xoxox
A few minutes later, in another area of the beach... "Gourry!" Lina pulled him over. Martina had come by to get Jeffrey to train him, relieving Lina of the burden of having to hang out with the naive young man so as to not offend his mallet wielding mother. Big hammers tend to lead to crush skulls and Lina did not want to have one of those. She was, for one of the very few times in her life, actually glad to see Martina in that occasion. With Jeffrey gone, Lina's company remained as consisting of Amelia, Zelgadis, Xellos, Filia and now the newly arrived Gourry and Zangulus. "You were close to Zelas and Milgazia a while ago, what did they say?"
"That is a secret," Gourry replied with a smile, proud of himself for sticking to Lina's training ever so well.
"Do you mean that literally or are you just repeating that line I taught you?" Lina inquired impatiently. She was beginning to regret being so insistent in training Gourry.
"That is a secret," Gourry uselessly replied.
Releasing a breath of frustration, Lina let it go. She muttered under her breath once more. "It better be a really big steak."
"Mr. Zangulus," Amelia proceeded with the information gathering, directing her question at a more profitable source of information. "Did you hear what Miss Zelas and Mr. Milgazia were talking about? Could you tell us?"
Zangulus certainly didn't want to be accused of eavesdropping on a monster lord, but he figured it would be okay to lightly comment on the subject in passing, making it clear that he wasn't prying, he just overheard. "I wasn't really paying attention." He ascertained, being graced with looks of displeasure for those who were thirsty for information to fuel their own opposing arguments. "But," he added, instinctively raising his hands in a sign of defense. "I overheard her saying something along the lines of 'you say the sweetest things' and 'such a charmer' that's about all I caught." Zangulus assumed, as any other sane creature in proper use of their mental faculties would assume, that Zelas' remarks were sarcastic. Plus it was plainly obvious judging by the tone of her voice.
His audience didn't seem completely pleased with his words and Zangulus didn't understand why. Lina frowned, muttering something about a big steak she was determined to obtain, Filia looked horrified and Xellos started singing about the wonders of life under his breath. Zelgadis seemed to take the information calmly enough and, contrasting with the majority, Amelia was overjoyed. Zangulus concluded that this was just another of those moments of insanity that were abundant around Lina Inverse and her traveling companions. Without another word, Zangulus was on his way, inviting Gourry to follow. So the two swordsmen left the scene, once more off to find new swords and continue their spar.
"Obviously, they're in love," Amelia firmly declared. Then her eyes softened as she gave Xellos a look of supportive understanding. "Don't worry Mr. Xellos, we're here for you. We'll help you accept this and give you all the emotional support you need!"
Frowning slightly in a gesture that looked very alien on his usually cheerful face, Xellos complained, "Lina..."
"Sorry Amelia, but I'll have to stand in opposition," Lina defiantly declared. "There's a big juicy," dragon, she did not specify aloud, "steak with my name on it and I can't miss out on it!"
"You'd take the side of gluttony instead of the site of love?" Amelia gasped offended. "That's terrible! If this is how it is, then I'm afraid we're rivals. I'll make sure to guard the lovers and ensure that they have a wonderful date together. I won't allow you to sabotage them! Let's go, Zelgadis, we need to protect Miss Zelas and Mr. Milgazia!"
Zelgadis paused in deliberation. They had to protect Zelas and Milgazia? They had to protect a monster lord and a golden dragon elder? They had to protect two creatures more powerful than themselves? That sounded odd, to say the least. Yet even so, Zelgadis couldn't help it but to follow Amelia.
Lina declared in determination as Amelia and Zelgadis walked away. "Just you wait! I'll earn that steak!"
"Hello Xellos!" A new voice joined the conversation as two others approached Lina, Xellos and Filia after Amelia and Zelgadis had left. The man, who had so cheerfully spoken, had blond hair with long dark purple bangs framing his face. He had odd little triangular clips on the tips of his hair and displayed two rows of fangs when he smiled. Yet even with all of that, there was another more prominent feature to him, his glowing green eyes. Those eyes seemed to have multiple spinning wheels of different shades of green that were, in a word, hypnotizing.
"Hello Neuro!" Xellos replied with the same energy with which the other man, who was in fact a monster, greeted him. "Taking your pet for a walk?" He tilted his head towards the woman accompanying Neuro.
The young woman looked completely human and rather petite in comparison to the tall man beside her, though not quite as petite as Lina. She had short blond hair with a pair of peculiar hair clips shaped like smiling fanged mouths and warm brown eyes. "I'm not a pet," she tried to point out uselessly.
"Yes," Neuro replied to Xellos' question, ignoring his companion's protests. "I just had a wonderful meal in town not too far from here. I must say I'm glad the Stillness has retreated. When it killed I couldn't really feed on it. It killed just because, without malice, it was such a waste. Murder needs to be malicious and delicious!"
"I agree," Xellos nodded with a smile.
"Murder?" Filia nearly shrieked in indignation. "You feed on murderous emotions?"
"Mysterious murders are my favorite dish," Neuro smiled, showing off his fangs. "So, Xellos, are you taking your pet out for a walk too?"
"I'm not a pet!" Filia fumed.
Ignoring her outburst, while not missing the opportunity to feed on her annoyance, Xellos replied. "My business today is more than simple recreation." Perhaps Neuro and his human friend, Yako, could be of assistance in the mission. He was a high ranking monster for Beast Master after all. Surely he too was concerned with her current relationship. Besides, if the monster race was as informed as Dolphin made it sound, then Neuro of all monsters must surely know. "Would you care to join us in sabotaging Lord Beast Master's relationship with Milgazia?"
Neuro wondered for a moment if Xellos was joking, but then he realized this was a serious offer. Sure, he would enjoy annoying Milgazia as much as any other monster would, but sabotaging Zelas' brass rackets partnership was going too far. "I'm afraid not," he declined. "I can't risk angering Lord Beast Master with such actions and you shouldn't either. It is true that she greatly favors you, but you'd be wise to stay in her good graces."
"Shows how much you know." Xellos pouted like a little boy whom everyone had refused to play with. He was sure that once Beast Master returned to her senses and realized how utterly ridiculous her relationship was, she would be thanking him for this.
Yako appeared to be trying to sneak away from the group, but Neuro grabbed her head and pulled her back towards him, twisting her neck painfully in the process, his hand transformed into a purple claw. Filia was about to strongly express her disapproval for the monster's mistreatment of his human companion, but said human girl spoke first in an accusatory complaint. "Neuro! You said that after you were fed I could go eat. There's a rumor going around that there will be a scavenger hunt today in this beach and that the winner will get dragon cuisine as a prize. I need to find out if it's true!"
"Dragon cuisine?" Filia exclaimed, very upset. She was in fact so upset that her tail popped out, ripping the fabric of her bathing suit. Xellos, being Xellos, couldn't resist the urge to point and laugh. He was joined in the mocking action by his monster compatriot, Neuro, both of them laughing in great amusement. Red faced and enraged, Filia glared at all those around her.
"Um..." Yako backed away, moving closer to Neuro. He was a gluttonous, deceiving, impertinent, sadistic, smart-aleck of a monster, but she knew that when it came down to it, he would protect her with his very life. The appearance of Filia's tail made it pretty obvious to Yako why she was upset. The gluttonous girl, whose gluttony was in the same rank of the gluttony of the legendary Lina Inverse, tried to excuse herself. "I would never eat a dragon that I've spoken to before. I know the difference between friends and food."
Filia remained unconvinced. She was about to scold Yako, whom she didn't feel sorry for anymore for being stuck with Neuro, but Lina spoke first. "I thought this situation was familiar," the redhead sorceress noted. "You're Yako Katsuragi aren't you?" With a shy nod from Yako, who was unsure of how her identity would be received, Lina exclaimed, "I knew it, you are that detective! It's ironic though, after hearing the rumors, I had thought you were a monster who had enslaved a human as her assistant, but it turns out that the assistant was the real monster. Anyway, I've heard of your adventures solving mysteries, they call you the piggish detective, right?"
"Yes," Yako pouted, "but I hate that nickname!"
"Tell me about it," Lina felt identified. "I don't mind being called the bandit killer, but I hate it when they call me dragon spooker."
"Dragon spooker?" Yako gasped, "you're the Lina Inverse?"
"The one and only!" Lina proudly declared. "Last time I saw you, I was so busy with the sea food barbecue and... other cuisine, that we didn't even have the chance to talk." Lina referred to Xellos and Filia's wedding reception, where Yako had also been busy for the same reasons.
"I've heard a lot of stories about your adventures!" Yako happily exclaimed. "Not too long ago, I had a pretty interesting adventure myself when I went to solve a murder mystery with Neuro at Dils. The most interesting part came afterwards when I had some delicious curry, it was..."
Filia stared at the two young human women as they bonded over their love of food. They used adjectives such as beautiful, noble, divine and even sexy to describe food. If she had not heard the start of the conversation, Filia would assume they were describing the perfect man rather than a dish. "They're not listening to me," the golden dragon concluded.
"Oh dear, this might be troublesome. Do you realize that the three greatest appetites in the world," Lina, Gourry and Yako, "are in the same place at the same time?" Xellos pointed out with fake worry and real amusement.
"This is quite a catastrophe indeed," Neuro agreed with that sharp fanged smile of his.
Just as the group's squabbles were about to continue, they heard a voice that made their heads turn in curiosity. "Attention! Attention!" None other than Sylphiel was near by, holding a bunch of entry forms. She had taken a break from her usual duties and was instead managing a scavenger hunt that would take place at the beach. "All those who wish to participate in the scavenger hunt and try to win a mysterious prize, please sign up in teams of two!"
To be Continued
Slayers: Alive - Episode 140: Tidal Wave! We Are The Bringers Of Chaos
After hearing Sylphiel announcing the scavenger hunt with a mysterious prize, Lina and Yako could only theorize that the prize had to be the rumored dragon cuisine.
"Partners?" Lina offered her hand.
"Partners!" Yako agreed, shaking Lina's hand.
Gourry had no idea about the scavenger hunt, plus he was entertained sparring with Zangulus. He needed to have a guys day out now and then just as much as Lina mused that she needed a girl's day out. Of course, her reasoning wasn't as simple as that. The gluttonous and greedy redhead concluded that she was better off partnering with a detective for this event. 'With my amazing charm and Yako's detective skills, we'll be an invincible team!' Lina thought.
"There they go," Neuro watched as Lina and Yako ran off to get an entry form. "I suppose I can let my dear little pet play every now and then."
Through her fury and frustration, because no one seemed to be taking note of her rage, Filia noted a hint of fondness in Neuro's glowing green eyes. It made her wonder just what kind of relationship he shared with his human companion. Before she could decide if she should inquire about it or not, very much less even begin to figure out the source of her curiosity, Xellos voiced. "So, you're really not going to help us with the sabotage?"
"I cannot," Neuro reiterated. "If you decide to go on with this very daring move, I wish you luck. I'll be watching, enjoying the chaos and truly wishing that Beast Master isn't too angry at you if you get caught."
"I don't intend to get caught," Xellos smugly assured.
"Good luck then, happy sabotaging!" With his well wishes spoken, Neuro went off to find something to snack on. Other than murderous intentions, he really liked the frustration and confusion that people felt when being unable to solve a puzzle, the fear of the unknown mystery that he knew he was smart enough to solve himself.
After Neuro was gone, Xellos pointed out the obvious. "It looks like it's just us on the mission again and this time we have Amelia and Zelgadis to contend with."
"Yes," Filia nodded thoughtfully. She had to leave her tail out now because otherwise she would have a hole in her bathing suit. She tried to clear her head and focus on the mission. Milgazia had to be rescued from the evil seductions of that terrible she-wolf. But what if letting them be together would, sooner or later, with the passing of time and the illogical and reasonably impossible, yet still very vaguely probable, growth of true fondness between them, eventually lead to the banning of dragon cuisine?
Maybe, just maybe, by a long shot, a very long kilometric long shot, such a thing as real endearment would flourish and their passion will have room alongside it for some real love. It was ridiculous, monsters didn't love, thus monster lords didn't love. Yet Filia's little encounter with Neuro and Yako as well as other recent experiences concerning herself and Xellos, that she kept locked under a thick layer of denial, had made her doubt her initial extreme assumptions. "Xellos," Filia finally interrupted the moment of silence between her and Xellos.
Xellos looked back at her, interrupting his task of looking in the general direction of where Zelas and Milgazia sat in their beach chairs in apparent quietude. "What is it, stupid dragon?" There was no hardship or malice to the supposedly insulting remark, but a strange friendliness that bordered fondness.
"Neuro and Yako are in love, aren't they?" Filia bluntly asked, point blank.
Xellos paused, giving the question some thought. "Neuro is a monster, not a chimera of monster and something else like that researcher I've heard about, who is part human and part monster." He hinted at Celo, who he didn't remember he had interacted with in the past year and Filia didn't know of at all, given the state of their missing memories. Xellos didn't know, or rather didn't remember, about Tiffany, but there were rumors. Going back into the subject of Filia's question, Xellos elaborated. "Neuro loves to feed on murderous intent, puzzles and mysteries. He's a big glutton who is fascinated and perhaps even obsessed with food."
"With emotions?" Filia inquired, as that was monster food.
"Yes," Xellos confirmed. "Yako is an empath, a special kind of empath. She not only perceives, but is able to analyze and explain emotions that the one feeling them might not even understand themselves. The cause and effect, the hidden meaning, the obscure desires, she's got a talent for figuring that out. Her detective work adventures, although it may seem that she is doing a good service to society and in a sense she is, actually yield very precious research. Through all of that, Neuro gets a good meal. But he's still a monster, pure and unaltered. He is of a high rank, but it's still difficult for him at times. He has to cause Yako occasional pain and requires constant meals of the most nutritious kind. Murder is good for such a purpose, not the kind of passing murder that a bandit would commit for money, but a true murder full of the darkest emotions."
"Many criminals have been apprehended because of them." Filia pointed out, trying to look at the positive side of the situation.
"Yes, although, it left free, most of them wouldn't have committed that many more crimes anyway." Xellos explained. "A few perhaps, but those were not impersonal serial killers, they were people with strong grudges, strong emotions. Those were the kind of murders that were not about riches, fear or something superficial. They were mostly, close to the victims in some way with a deep emotional link."
Filia shuddered. "Well, at least the criminals are being apprehended even if it is so that Neuro can get a meal." She was disturbed enough by the topic and quickly pushed the conversation back in her initially intended direction. "None the less, even if it's difficult for him, even if he can't freely show his affection and he needs to have constant very... er... nutritious, meals, Neuro seems to be doing well enough. I think that even if he doesn't express it in a very orthodox way, Neuro has his own way to show his affection and Yako understands that he cares for her."
"I suppose so," Xellos accepted. "There was that one time he gifted her one of those heart shape boxes that usually have chocolates, except it had explosives instead. It was pretty hilarious. But we didn't come here so we could gossip about my odd monster friends, did we? Such nosy gossipers dragons are!" Filia huffed in response to Xellos' expected critique. Albeit her mind kept spinning around the topic of monsters and affection, even if she didn't want to continue overanalyzing it.
xoxox xox xoxox
On the roadside overlooking the beach, there stood a leopard beastman on an errand. He clutched the box securely, constantly reminding himself that the people around him did not know what was in the box and thus had no real reason to be randomly inclined to steal it. In fact, the leopard himself did not know what was in the box either. In the past he was part of a gang of bandits, but had since left the gang and gone off on his own, eventually joining a mafia organization. It was rumored that the leader was an acquaintance of Lord Beast Master, but no one knew for sure. If it was true or not was not the point though, because it was evident that the man was perfectly capable of fighting his battles on his own. That thought was enough to make the beastman clutch the precious box of unknown contents tighter in his arms and wish to get this delivery successfully done and over with as soon as possible.
The leopard, who answered to the name of Jay, scanned the beach in search of the person who was supposed to receive the mysterious package. The person in question was supposed to be none other than the son of the mafia lord that Jay worked for. The problem was that he wasn't even sure what the man looked like and the description he had received was vague at best. "You will find the young man at the beach in the company of a red haired woman and a yellow creature." Needless to say, the one who had given Jay that information was not a very informative informant.
The leopard beastman spotted a familiar looking man, whose purple hair was his most prominent immediately noticeable feature. He was reminded of the man, the monster, who had gotten into a fight back when he was still a part of his old bandit gang, except this one didn't have the golden strands in his hair and didn't appear to be carrying a mace. None the less, their resemblance was clearly noticeable and it made Jay wonder if they were in fact the same person.
Then he took note of something else. Among the companions of the purple haired man, whom slowly left his side little by little, there was a red haired woman and a blond woman with a golden scaly tail. He reasoned that they were the redhead and the yellow creature mentioned in the description, therefore the purple haired man had to be the mafia lord's son. How inconveniently troublesome... He couldn't risk being beheaded because he didn't finish this delivery, so Jay summoned up all his courage and began to walk towards the group.
xoxox xox xoxox
In another area of the beach, a young man with unruly black hair and warm brown eyes was having a pleasant time in the company of a red haired woman and a yellow creature. The creature was a small monster that looked like some kind of rodent rabbit thing with rosy cheeks, a zig-zag tail and a cute face. Though the little monster was beyond a doubt adorable, it was very powerful.
"I really can't wait to see that new monster capture device dad's researchers developed." The young man exclaimed excitedly.
"A device that can capture even high level monsters," the red haired woman mused. "Is that even possible?"
"That's what I intend to find out." The man declared with fiery determination. He really wished the delivery would hurry up and get there already.
xoxox xox xoxox
Xellos and Filia had been left alone by the time Jay made it to their side. With abundant fear, the leopard beastman nervously held out the box to Xellos. "I have a delivery for you, Lord Ash..." Handing the box to Xellos, before the monster could further inquired about it, Jay backed away and bowed. "Please excuse me sir, I must return to my duties under the command of your father." Then he made his swift escape.
Filia blinked as she watched the leopard dash away speedily. She looked at Xellos, who was left holding the box that apparently belonged to someone called Ash. "That's not yours," she pointed out the obvious.
"I do wonder what's in it," Xellos expressed his curiosity with a grin. "That guy made it sound important." He began to open the box in spite of Filia's protests, perhaps even encouraged by them. In the middle of layers of bubble wrap that Val would love to play with, Xellos found an odd spherical item only slightly larger than a fist. The ball was half white and half purple with two slightly prominent pink circles on the top purple half and a white letter M below them. The center of the ball had a black line around it, dividing the purple and white halves with a little white button on top of the black line under the M.
"What is it?" Filia curiously looked at the device, sensing some sort of powerful magic emanating from it. "Wait..." A theory formed in her mind. "Is that a magical machine?"
Ah yes, a magical machine, a device that mixed the power of science and technology with the power of magic and the supernatural. A mix of apparent opposites, a blend of belief and logic. It was a powerful thing indeed. "Looks like it." Xellos' curiosity and confidence led him to making the grave mistake of pressing the little white button on the ball. Instantly, a red beam of powerful magic emerged from the strange device as the purple and white halves parted open. The red beam surrounded Xellos in a split second and absorbed him into the ball that closed again with him inside.
Filia gasped, without Xellos to hold the device, the ball fell to the sandy ground and shook. The button that activated the magical machine glowed until finally, there was a click and the sphere ceased its shaking. Cautiously, Filia bent her knees and leaned over the still purple and white ball. She carefully poked it with the tip of her right index finger, quickly retreating her hand immediately. Nothing happened, thus Filia realized that the ball was only activated with the push of that one button. She carefully picked it up and stood upright, examining it. "Xellos?" She called in uncertainty.
"Let me out of here!" Xellos yelled from inside the magical device, his voice a soft and muffled distant echo. "This thing has astral space inside, it's some sort of high level astral being capture device!" He had heard about magical machines used to capture relatively low level monsters in an attempt to tame them, but he didn't think a magical machine powerful enough to capture him existed, so he never really paid attention to the rumors. "Open it!"
Filia huffed and tried to sound angry and serious. "Why should I? You're better off staying in there, you piece of raw garbage!" A giggle escaped her. If this really was only an astral being capture device, then she should be safe from it and she had Xellos at her mercy. It was time to get him back for all the times he picked on her. "Maybe I should throw this ball out to the sea and let it sink to the bottom where no one would ever find you."
"I would be found and I'll get back at you for this you terrible dragon!" Xellos argued from his entrapment inside the master ball. He would probably indeed be found, most likely by one of Deep Sea Dolphin's minions and it would be terribly embarrassing. He considered saying something to upset Filia just to get back at her for not releasing him right away, but realized on time that it was a very bad idea. Filia wouldn't leave him there forever, she would release him out of the kindness of her heart after she had a little fun and he knew it. But as merciful as Filia could be, she was also very aggressive when it came to being caught in a berserk temper tantrum. She really would throw the ball far, far away or destroy it with him still in it if he provoked her, even if she might regret it later.
"Say whatever you want, but the fact still stands that you're trapped and helpless and there's nothing you can do about it!" Filia waited for Xellos to reply to her taunt, but he didn't. She waited some more and even shook the master ball a little, but there was still no answer. "Xellos?" The golden dragon started to worry, she didn't know what kind of effect this strange device could have on him. "Xellos, answer me!"
The sphere began to vibrate in her hands until it finally broke apart, its purple and white halves flying in opposite directions as a bright red light emerged from their center. The light took on the shape of a black cone, which, much to the astonishment of random beach goers near by, transformed into a purple haired man.
"You broke free of it," Filia stated the obvious.
"Yes," Xellos ascertained with both his eyes open in an endless piercing amethyst. "And now it's payback time. I think you really need to cool off!" Xellos picked up Filia, who yelped as they disappeared into the astral side.
xoxox xox xoxox
Xellos and Filia reappeared floating above the ocean. Before Filia even had time to realize where she was, she yelled, "put me down!"
Grinning mischievously, Xellos, one eye open and one closed, obliged. "As you wish," and he dropped Filia into the sea.
The pointy eared, dragon tailed woman sunk beneath the waves and what emerged in her place was a large golden scaled, winged dragon roaring ferociously. "Xellos!" The gigantic creature bellowed. The surfers and swimmers nearby made a frantic retreat to shore. Even the people who were at the shore panicked and started to run away, seeking shelter in higher ground, in an attempt to protect themselves from being devoured by the ferocious fury that apparently came from the sea.
From the shore, Zelas and Milgazia had front row seats for the chaotic action. "That's Filia..." Milgazia noted. She was in quite a rampage and this wasn't the first time he had seen her go berserk. That had to be the most temperamental dragon he had ever met. He never would have guessed she was such a fury at a first glance.
"Quite an amusing one, that dragon girl," Zelas chuckled. "You could learn a thing or two about properly entertaining your superiors, Mr. Dull and Diplomatic."
This was hardly the time, but Milgazia had to defend himself. "I used to be known as pleasant Milgazia."
"More like boring Milgazia," Zelas differed.
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Simultaneous to Filia's outrage, Deep Sea Dolphin had been considering if she should send out her tidal wave yet or wait a little longer. She had to pause and stare as this unnerving golden dragon pet of Xellos stole her thunder and caused pandemonium at the beach. "The nerve of her!" Affronted, Dolphin decided that the time to unleash her massive tidal wave was now and she would make it extra large. The sea retreated by Deep Sea Dolphin's command and swiftly returned towards the shore with a great force that washed away everyone and everything on the beach and even on the road beyond it.
xoxox xox xoxox
As the sun set in the horizon, a few people contemplated the now empty beach in separate groups. One of those groups consisted of two humans and a monster by the names of Ash, Misty and Pikachu. "The delivery never came," Ash sighed in disappointment. "Or maybe it did and it was lost at sea," he frowned.
"I hope whoever was making the delivery made it out alive," Misty commented. The trio left the beach, off to explore other regions in their endless journey.
xoxox xox xoxox
Deep Sea Dolphin pouted, the crowd of panicked people dared to blame the golden dragons for the pandemonium even after one of them, the saner of the two that were there in their true form, had started trying to help them. How dare they steal her credit? Dragons as the bringers of chaos? Ridiculous! Although, now it made sense why Zelas seemed to favor them as pets from what Dolphin could, from her own subjective perspective, perceive. With a resounding "hmp!" Deep Sea Dolphin decided to call it a day and go home.
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"If you don't mind, I'll be leaving now," Milgazia stated. He was currently in his dragon form, which he had changed into to try to save as many people from drowning as he could. Most people were afraid of him despite his good intentions; after all, they blamed that other golden dragon for causing the tidal wave.
"Fine, fine," Zelas waved her hand dismissively. "I have more pleasant pawns to be amused by anyway." Zelas faded into the astral side, returning to Wolf Pack Island, while Milgazia took off flying back to Dragon's Peak.
xoxox xox xoxox
"What about your career as a knight of Zoamelgustar?" Martina called after Jeffrey, who was passed out from the intensity of the latest happenings and was being carried away by his mother.
"If there's going to be tidal waves involved, this is too dangerous for my precious Jeffrey!" Josephine disappeared in the horizon with more dramatic flare than what was due.
Zangulus joined his wife, wrapping his arms around her waist. "Did you have fun today? I did, Gourry's skills have improved, I'll have to keep training hard so that I don't fall behind." He cheerfully declared.
Martina considered his question, then decided, "I guess it was an okay day." The king and queen of Zoana left the beach, off to return to the constant, rather expensive, toils of attempting to raise a splendorous kingdom.
To be Continued
Slayers: Alive - Episode 141: Glow! The Pain Of The Unknown
At the beach, after the massive tidal way panic had passed, Amelia and Zelgadis contemplated the day's events. "It looks like we weren't able to prevent the date's interruption after all," Amelia observed with a little disappointment.
"This was too big to be prevented," Zelgadis commented, not realizing that he wasn't exactly helping console her.
"Maybe so," Amelia admitted sadly, then her cheerful determination rose once again. "But love is greater than anything else. Even with this trial, love will still triumph!" She cheered energetically. After a moment's pause, she glanced at the beach one last time before remembering her planned schedule. "We should probably get going now; we have many places to visit on our journey." Thus the princess and the chimera continued with their trip.
xoxox xox xoxox
Gourry had rejoined Lina. The redhead was, along with Yako, lamenting the cancellation of the scavenger hunt and they were so close to finishing first too. Sylphiel approached the group with a mysterious box in her hands and an interesting announcement. "Since the scavenger hunt was cancelled, our secret sponsor said I was free to keep the prize myself. Your team really worked hard on that scavenger hunt and I'm sure you would have won, so I'll give this to the two of you."
Immediately, Lina and Yako began pulling the box in opposite directions, fighting for what they thought was at least a small portion of dragon cuisine. The cardboard box broke apart and the item it contained fell to the sandy ground. It was a framed autograph of Miku Hatsune. Lina and Yako stared at the item and agonizingly declared in perfect unison, "this isn't edible!"
Neuro, who had been watching quietly from a short distance away, approached. "Such delicious frustration!" He mocked. "In truth, the one that spread the dragon cuisine rumor was me. It was all a joke and you fell for it! Though it was originally only meant as a trap for Yako, I ended up with a double snack."
"Neuro, you're so cruel!" Yako complained.
Lina glared and pretty soon she seemed to be emanating Neuro's favorite food, murderous intent. She didn't care if black magic wasn't ideal to use against a monster, she didn't care if her violent nature empowered him; she needed to let out her tensions in the one way she knew how. "Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows. Buried in the stream of time is where your power grows."
"Since the Stillness retreated, Shabranigdu's power should be usable for now." Sylphiel reasoned, realizing in just how much danger they were. "Maybe we should give her some space."
"I pledge myself to conquer all the foes who stand, before the mighty gift bestowed in my unworthy hands," Lina continued.
"That is a secret," Gourry agreed.
"It's no secret that we really need to retreat," Yako urged.
"Ray Wing!" Sylphiel quickly transported herself, Gourry and Yako to a safe distance.
"Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed, by the power you and I possess." As Lina came close to finishing her spell, meal of aggression aside, Neuro decided that it was time to retreat. "Dragon Slave!" A large explosion overtook the beach, yet it wasn't as large as it should be. Lina could feel it, the remaining pieces of Shabranigdu were holding back, retreating away from something, but why? The Stillness had hidden itself completely, had it not? Unless a part of the Stillness remained outside of the enclosed astral space that surrounded Lamentation. Had the Void separated from it? If that was the case, then a fragment of the Stillness was hidden somewhere in the world, waiting to strike.
xoxox xox xoxox
After the tidal wave had come and Filia realized she was being blamed for it, though she was fairly certain that it wasn't her fault, the upset golden dragon had hastily flown away from the beach. Eventually, she had stopped rushing endlessly away and allowed Xellos to teleport her. He had thought it was kind of funny how she went from chasing him with violent intentions to flying away in an emotional outburst of offense at the crowds' unfair accusations.
Once in Seyruun, Filia insisted on waiting for Xellos to go away before hiding herself and changing back into her elf form. Xellos perceived that there was an additional layer of worry beyond her usual modesty. It made him wonder what that was about. He waited for a while, floating above the shop, then let himself into her room via the window. Filia was laying on her bed, resting but awake with a swirl of emotions going through her.
Filia felt many things very intensely at the same time. Uncertainty, worry, confusion, frustration, heartbreak and even hope, yet it was all somehow so unknown, so fluctuating. What in the world could be going through her head? Very quiet and sneaky, Xellos made his way closer to Filia, standing behind her as she lay on her side, her eyes closed. She could sense him behind her, but she didn't show any signs of it right away. The seconds ticked away and finally, Filia rolled over so that she lay on her back, looking up at Xellos who was leaning over her with perplexed curiosity. "What do you want, raw garbage?" She fought to keep her voice steady. She needed to talk to someone who knew how to inform her, yet she was so tired, she didn't have the will to do it right away.
"Just curious, stupid dragon," Xellos admitted. "To what do I owe this feast of mostly negative emotions?" He waited for an answer that never came. Instead she sat up and with the motion she removed the hand that had been lightly resting on her stomach subconsciously. She didn't notice it right away, but he did. "That..." he pointed, unsure of if his eyes were playing a trick on him. The sun had set, shrouding the room in darkness, making even the faintest light more noticeable.
Filia looked down at her stomach. The fabric of the robe-like nightgown she had changed into was pretty thin. She had been careless. She immediately turned away and got up, her back to Xellos. "What?" Her voice cracked.
"Is that? Are you?" He walked around her, but she kept turning, refusing to face him. "Stay still!" Xellos grabbed the waist band that held the pale pink nightgown closed and pulled it off.
"Xellos!" Filia screeched, holding the thin pink garment closed with her hands. "Give that back, you piece of raw garbage!" She snatched the waist band back with one hand, still holding her clothing closed with the other.
"Answer me!" Xellos demanded with his eyes open, piercing... Angry?
Filia shuddered at the mix of disapproval and anger in his voice. Then she resolved to be firm. "This is none of your business! So what if I am?" Admitting it aloud for the first time shook Filia to her very core. Her arms fell motionless on her sides, as if her strength left her with the direct acknowledgement of the truth. The pink waistband slipped out of her fingers and fell to the floor. "So what if I am?" Her voice had lost the forced fire it held seconds prior. "So what?" She sobbed quietly, almost imperceptibly. "It's none of your business."
Xellos looked at Filia's exposed abdomen, placing his hand on the faint glow of light. "Your belly is still flat, your dragon hide won't permit the light to be visible and in this form if you wear thick fabric, no one will notice, he observed." He remembered her little outburst at the beach and her necessity to cover her midsection. Yet there it was, the unmistakable glow of a growing egg inside her body. He removed his hand as if it had been burned, not even bothering to take note of the fact that she had not immediately slapped it away. "You're right, this is none of my business." There was a bitterness that seemed very unfitting for a creature so cheerful as Xellos as he faded away to the astral side.
"Xellos, wait!" Filia called to him in agony. What was she supposed to say, what was she supposed to do? She couldn't explain this even to herself. She held no memories of how this situation came to be. The father of her child, where was he? Who was he? Why wasn't he there with her? She fingered the amethyst ring she always wore. If she had loved him so much, enough to let things go that far, then why couldn't she remember him?
xoxox xox xoxox
Later, Milgazia landed at Dragon's Peak and went straight home. He changed into his human shape, gave Justice some food and changed his water, then proceeded to rummage through his tea leaf supplies. He found an opened package with a note in Memphis' handwriting. "A package with tea leaves arrived while you were away. They smelled good, so I took the liberty to have some and shared them with Phythan and Kirei, since Onyx doesn't really like tea. I hope you don't mind."
Phythan's internship had ended and he and Onyx had recently come to Dragon's Peak where Milgazia let them stay. The white dragon, Kirei, had come seeking his help for revenge, though Milgazia had mostly persuaded her to stop her plans, albeit he suspected she wasn't quite convinced. Milgazia examined the remaining tea leaves in the mysterious package that a certain someone had decided to send after all and his eyes grew wide with recognition. He hurried to find Memphis and most of all Phythan and Kirei.
Rushing out to the mountains, he spotted a campfire with three people sitting around it. "Don't drink that!" He called out as Kirei was about to lift a cup to her mouth.
The white dragon froze and Memphis blinked, "I didn't think you'd mind," the elf apologized. "Sorry to have taken the tea leaves without asking."
"Has anyone drank any of this tea?" Milgazia urgently asked.
"I have not drank any yet," Kirei responded. "But Phythan has. Does it perhaps, produce sleep? He's been out cold for a while now."
"He drank quite a bit of tea too," Memphis voiced. "He liked it so much that I told him to go ahead and finish the first batch. Kirei was out training, so I decided to wait for her before having some tea myself. So far the only one who has tried it is Phythan."
Milgazia shook his head, already feeling sorry for Phythan. "He's going to be sick when he wakes up."
"You mean, the tea is harmful?" Memphis asked in shock.
"You can't trust mysterious packages," Milgazia lectured sternly. "If I were to take a guess, I would say this is from Zelas. These tea leaves, I thought they were extinct. It seems that they flourished again when the Earth was restored with chaotic energy." Of course, none of the younger people present would know of such tea leaves that had not been seen for over a thousand years. "This tea is actually pretty nutritious for a dragon woman who is with child, but no one else should take it."
Memphis' face contorted with worry and guilt. "Is it poisonous to dragon males?"
"Yes, but it's not fatal," Milgazia explained. "He'll just be sick and in pain for a few days, depending on how much tea he drank. This tea can produce strange dreams in anyone who drinks it. That is as far as its effects go in most living creatures, except dragons. With dragons it is poisonous to males, healthy for pregnant females and has a very peculiar effect on females who are not expecting."
"Really?" Kirei asked in curiosity, glad that she had not tried any of the tea yet. "What does it do?"
"An empty egg," Milgazia revealed. "A collection of nutrients and such that looks like an egg but has nothing inside."
"That would be pretty odd," Kirei observed. Laying an empty egg with tea leaves as the father? That would be very odd indeed.
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, at Wolf Pack Island... "You seem upset, Xellos." Zelas commented as she watched her favorite minion pace about the hallways of her secret palace.
Xellos put on a mask of a sugary smile for his master and tried to act natural. "I am perfectly fine, Lord Beast Master. I'm ready to serve you in any way you require."
"I'm sure," Zelas acknowledged with little pause. "But I must insist that you tell me what is bothering you," she pried with mild curiosity. "What has my favorite general priest so upset?"
"I'm your only general priest," Xellos pointed out with a forced overly cheerful smile.
"Don't change the subject," Zelas smiled very much like Xellos. Her usually open stunning eyes were now closed in the same fashion as his usually were.
Xellos' eyes opened. Zelas only closed her eyes like that when she was indulging in a moment of extreme silliness or when she was holding back a considerable deal of impatience. He knew he better get out with it. "It's nothing really, a detail of no importance. That ancient dragon is going to have a little sibling, that is all."
"Oh?" Zelas let out a light melodious laugh quite different from the full power of her roaring and howling laughter. "So your pet is expecting?" She feigned surprise so well that Xellos believed she was only now finding out about this. "You'll have another little pet then, how nice. What are you going to name it?"
Xellos closed his eyes again and grinned like he always did. "Kooky if it's a boy and Kootie Pie if it's a girl."
"Such fitting names," Zelas chuckled. "Do let me know when the little one arrives; I'm curious to see it."
"Why waste your precious time with such a hideous sight?" Xellos was still smiling in the same superficial way. "A baby dragon of all things is not worthy of being in your magnificent presence."
"I'm sure it's not," Zelas agreed with an amused nod. "However, I'm still curious and I want to see it. In fact, you are to bring the egg to me as soon as it comes."
"Oh..." Xellos' expression slightly fell, but he quickly recovered again. This wasn't a joke from Beast Master, nor was it a request. It was an order and Xellos knew that he had to follow it. "As you wish," he finally voiced.
"Naturally," Zelas agreed with a wide grin.
xoxox xox xoxox
After her conversation with Xellos, Zelas teleported to the rebuilt rickety wooden clock tower at the Amor Resort Island. The tower was surrounded by a thick forest that was not plastic this time around, as it had grown back following the apparent recovery of the world. Tiffany and Celo were there, him busily tinkering with machines and her making tea. She was under the effects of a visual illusion spell to look like her normal self. "Lord Beast Master, welcome to our humble home. Would you like some tea?" Tiffany offered.
"Why yes, thank you very much," Zelas replied with a mocking tone of superior politeness.
"To what do we owe the honor of your visit, Lord Beast Master?" Celo curiously inquired, while he, Zelas and Tiffany sat down around a table, where the golden dragon was serving tea.
"Just a casual visit," Zelas picked up her tea cup and took a sip. She set the tea cup down gently while Tiffany went to fetch some cookies. "How is the little resident of the jar doing?"
"He is alright, or as well as one confined to a jar could be." Celo smiled respectfully. He was talking about Solex, who had been preserved in a jar using knowledge originally discovered by Rezo.
"I see," Zelas noted, her eyes traveling to the plate full of brown chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips that Tiffany had brought over. The monster lord took a cookie and ate it. After a pause following the action she informed. "The vessel is being prepared, or a portion of it, I should say."
"That is good to hear," Celo quietly rejoiced with well practiced respect. "After that part of the vessel is ready, it should only be a matter of inserting a sample of General Xellos' energy into it and having the soul of Solex possess it, integrating itself into the new vessel."
"Realistically speaking, what is the probability of a successful salvage of Xellos' minion?" Zelas inquired, taking another sip of her tea following the question.
"It is difficult to say," Celo respectfully ascertained. "The chaotic energy in the atmosphere could be very good or very bad for our purpose. It is true that it pushed Solex to come undone faster before, but it may have a stabilizing effect this time. It is wonderfully unpredictable," Celo smiled with true bliss.
"Yes," Zelas nodded and took another cookie. "Chaos is wonderful indeed."
xoxox xox xoxox
It was morning bright and early in Seyruun when Filia considered requesting to speak with Jillas and Gravos, but decided against it. She felt odd and somewhat ashamed not to remember her lover and didn't actually address the situation directly. It was as if she was trying to convince herself, for the purpose of reassuring herself that she had not made a grave mistake, that she did in fact love that mystery man. She wanted to remember him of her own accord. The egg would not be due to be laid for a while and it would be an additional stretch of time before it hatched. Thus she could give herself until then to get her hidden memories to emerge completely before she asked directly.
Deciding that she needed to clear her head and a change of scene would be right for that, Filia decided to fly to Dragon's Peak. After taking care to make sure that everything was running smoothly at home, she took off on her own. She wasn't even sure herself why she was going to such a place, possibly simply because it was different. Though Milgazia and Memphis were kind to her, the Water Clan was still a little nervous around her, though less so than in the past. Even so, she needed to be in an environment that was essentially different from her usual life as of late. Maybe she could have some tea in the mountains and relax.
Secretly, deep down Filia wondered if perhaps Milgazia knew the father of her child. Albeit she did not remember being so close in such a way to another dragon, logic and reason dictated that the father had to be a dragon, or else it would be a biological impossibility. The world might be somewhat chaotic, but not that chaotic. Just as Xellos had pointed out, though the thought of the purple haired monster sent waves of pain through her body at the moment, Filia knew that as long as her clothing was thick enough to hide the faint glow in her belly, no one would notice it.
Filia was well received in Dragon's Peak, having landed near Milgazia's house. She learned from Memphis that Phythan was ill to the point of being bedridden and that a white dragon by the name of Kirei was taking care of him. The name did not settle well with Filia, but she forced herself not to show any outward reactions, instead making a quiet mental note to check on them.
Milgazia wasn't in the best state of health either, albeit it was for entirely different reasons as Phythan. He had hastily flown back to Dragon's Peak after the beach incident while he was still sopping wet with sea water. The flight had certainly dried him off by the time he got home, but the cool evening air made him catch a cold. The golden dragons, known by many as the dragon lords because of their exceptional abilities, were certainly a powerful race, but not even they were safe from the perils of the common cold. Even so, Milgazia wasn't one to let a cold knock him out of commission, thus he received his visitor and did his part to entertain her as well as he could.
To be Continued