At Wolf Pack Island, little Fili jumped onto Xellos' bed where her master was among purple cushions. She jumped on him and licked his face. He petted her and offered. "How about I rename you Kiri? Filia might be pissed off." Not sure how to react, the puppy let out a little whimpering sound of protest. Xellos sat up and picked up his bag, which he had tossed aside earlier. He removed the dragon Filia doll keychain from it and conjured a small flame in his hand, watching the item burn to ashes.
Fili whimpered some more, she didn't like the sour mood that her master had been in, even if he didn't demonstrate it towards her. Xellos picked up the cub off his lap and placed her on the bed. He got up, putting his bag back on and picked up his staff. He swiftly exited his chambers and went to find Beast Master with an idea in mind.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Lord Beast Master?" Zelas knew that tone of voice, she recognized it immediately. That was the tone that Xellos took on when he wanted to do something for fun.
Perhaps she would humor him this time. He approached her while she was in the garden surrounded by her wolves. "What is it, Xellos?"
"Today I really feel like having some dragon cuisine. May I request some of your delicious cooking?" Xellos grinned. "I even offer to help prepare it."
Zelas shook her head lightly, scolding without any real annoyance. "We've been over this, you're not allowed in my personal kitchen. But I suppose you could help find the ingredients. The earth has produced many spices thought to be extinct and though the outburst of fertility seems to be slowly running out again, we can still stock up. Perhaps I should send you in such an errand, since there is nothing for you to do at the moment that requires proper use of your abilities."
"I would gladly overtake any task you assign to me." Xellos offered, with the hint of a coming addition soon to be attached to his remark, not a condition, as he couldn't set those, but a request. "Although, I may not be familiar with all the spices and such, even with my amazing culinary skill," which he was still convinced he had, no matter how many times it was clearly proven otherwise. "Perhaps it would be best if you came with me."
"Perhaps," Zelas agreed and Xellos grinned.
Xellos mused that he could blow off some steam, not that he had any real reason to be upset as far as his consciously accepted thought process went, get a good meal and maybe manage to piss off Milgazia. Then that would contribute to the progress of making him and Zelas break up. Although Lina had sent Jarde over with a message claiming her dragon cuisine reward, Xellos had refused her demands. She didn't help his mission at the beach, so he didn't want to reward her. He would have to watch his back the next time he ran into Lina, who had responded in turn with a rather violent sounding letter expressing her frustrations and claiming more credit than Xellos thought she deserved for that particular occasion.
xoxox xox xoxox
A great dark power surrounded Xellos as he allowed Zelas to teleport him away to an unknown location. When they reappeared, he recognized his surroundings as Dragon's Peak. Several dragons ran away in fright while others glared, ready to defend their clan, but they mostly, didn't make too much of a fuss. Though they didn't fully understand, and really who could? The relationship of brass rackets partnership that their valiant leader held with the monster lord, they didn't think that her presence was necessarily for the purpose of destruction. Maybe she was there for more of those odd diplomatic negotiations with Milgazia that the Water Clan assumed must be taking place during some of their time together.
"Why are we here?" Xellos complained, obviously not pleased with his location. He wanted to keep Zelas away from Milgazia at least for the day and there she went teleporting them to his place of residence.
"For spices, of course, it is said there are some rare ones that only grow in these mountains." Zelas explained in a calm, matter of fact, kind of tone.
Milgazia had approached on time to hear Zelas statement. He inquired with suspicion, "is that the only reason why you're here?" He did a fine effort to hide the flu that afflicted him, not wanting to show any signs of weakness to the monsters.
Xellos' frown deepened as he foolishly cut in before Zelas could reply, "yes, we're here for spices, we're not here to see you!"
Milgazia observed his behavior; Xellos was never this snappish in the past. "If that is the case, then I will give you the spices so you can be on your way." The golden dragon elder addressed Xellos, as he had been the one to speak directly to him.
Xellos interpreted Milgazia's reply as an attempt to get rid of him. There was no way he was going to run home with the spices while Zelas remained in Dragon's Peak with that... that... that very infuriating dragon. Xellos firmly planted his feet on the ground in emphasis, "I'm not going anywhere." The purple haired monster pouted.
Finding the behavior to be very peculiar, Milgazia nodded, "very well. As long as you do not cause trouble, you may stand there for as long as you wish."
Xellos crossed his arms stubbornly, "I will."
Zelas let out a breath that combined exasperation and amusement in a single expression, if that was even possible. "Your pet is rubbing off on you. I'm not sure if I like it."
Xellos' firm stance wavered. He did not want to be compared to Filia. "Not at all, Lord Beast Master, I am nothing like her."
"Of course not," Zelas nodded with a somewhat mocking expression. "Well, while you stand there, I shall go find the spices. Milgazia which spices do you think-" would taste better with dragon cuisine? Zelas was about to tease before she was interrupted.
Not wanting to leave them alone, Xellos moved from the spot that he claimed he would not move from and hurried to stand between Zelas and Milgazia. "I'll come with you."
"Xellos," Filia's voice as she approached the other three, made them pause. She froze a few feet away from them. She wasn't expecting to see Xellos, very much less Zelas at Dragon's Peak. She assumed that it was Milgazia who always visited Wolf Pack Island and that Zelas' presence at Dragon's Peak would be rare at most. She didn't expect to coincidentally run into her or Xellos. She didn't like the way she parted with Xellos and wanted to do something about it, but she didn't know what. Filia had to have a word with him though, she didn't like having him mad at her like that, she couldn't stand it. "Can I talk to you?"
"No," Xellos replied.
Sensing the overload of emotional drama coming from Filia, Zelas proceeded to override the answer with a hungry, "yes." Maybe then she would get even more of a meal from the upset Filia.
Xellos frowned. His own master was trying to get rid of him so she could be alone with her lover. Oh how terrible! "You too, Lord Beast Master?"
"Nah, I can still feed on her misery even from a little further away." As a powerful monster lord, Zelas had a pretty good range for such things, better than regular monsters. "I'll get started on picking those spices," Zelas decided. Filia would just hold back on her emotional outbursts if she remained in earshot. "Milgazia-"
"Have a great time looking for spices Lord Beast Master!" Xellos interrupted with an overload of cheer. "We'll be waiting right here so as to not break your concentration. A culinary genius such as yourself needs no interruptions!"
"That is very true," Zelas agreed, again caught between annoyance and amusement. Milgazia and Filia both realized she was referring to Xellos' interruption, though if the purple haired monster noticed, he showed no indication.
"Would you just let them go?" Filia snapped. She knew why Xellos would want to keep Zelas and Milgazia away from each other and honestly, she wanted to do the same. Yet this time, there were things far more important to her than the mission. "Zelas wants spices and Milgazia knows this area so he can tell her where they are, that's all there is to it. Quit stalling, you piece of raw garbage!"
Zelas chuckled, tasting the pain and fear that emanated from Filia. "Well, Milgazia, it seems our presence here is not wanted." She grinned in amusement.
Milgazia didn't know what kind of relationship troubles Filia and Xellos were having, but she certainly seemed eager to talk to him, albeit he did not. Perhaps it would be best to give them some space and talk to Filia later. "Right, let's go."
Xellos glared metaphorical poison covered, not daggers, but swords, at Filia as he watched Zelas and Milgazia walk away. They walked at a diplomatic and impersonal distance from each other, like two people who happened to be coincidentally heading in the same direction but were not walking together. Even so, Xellos shuddered to think about what kind of activities they would engage in behind some rock as soon as they were out of sight. "You're making things difficult, are you satisfied, Filia?"
The way Xellos spat out her name like venom made her quiver with a strong sense of agony. She actually wished he would call her stupid dragon in that mockingly cheerful, playful tone of his. "I need to talk to you." She reiterated, though she still did not know what to say.
"So?" Xellos urged impatiently. "Talk to me, get your useless jabbering done and over with."
Filia lowered her head, terribly frustrated by her own lack of words. "I'm sorry; I don't want you to be angry at me. I don't want things to change. You annoy me, you drive me crazy, but... somehow... I..."
"You what?" Xellos prompted neutrally.
"Miss Filia, Mr. Xellos!" Amelia's cheerful voice greeted them. The princess approached with her beloved chimera following her closely. They had no idea what they had interrupted; in fact they didn't even realize they were interrupting anything at all.
Realizing that she wasn't quite ready for this, Filia took the opportunity to buy more time with real curiosity. "Amelia, Zelgadis, when did you get here?"
"A few minutes ago, Mr. Fang helped with the transportation. He was kind of bored, so he came to hang out with us. He got permission from Zelas first, of course," Amelia explained. Albeit Filia did not clearly remember who Fang was, a vague recollection surfaced in her memories at the mention of the name. Xellos of course, knew who Fang was, as he had known him for a very long time, well before the period hidden from him by amnesia. "I'm so glad you're here," the princess took Filia and Xellos' hands on each of hers. "Let us be comrades for this fine endeavor!" She shook their hands dramatically and elegantly, then let them go.
"What fine endeavor?" Xellos inquired, not sure if he really wanted to know. The last thing he needed was an extra dose of opposition to his quest to restore sanity to his life. Surely, just as it had happened at the beach, Amelia would be adamantly opposed to any plans involving any sort of relationship sabotage strategies.
Zelgadis let out an imperceptibly quiet breath and made a face that communicated 'please humor her.'
"Let me explain," Amelia began. "Recently, Miss Onyx received an invitation to live in an elf village. A reputable family has decided, after learning of her story, that they wished to welcome her into their household and help her to live a peaceful life. Miss Onyx told them she would think about it and has actually decided to go live with them!" Amelia vigorously declared, as if the choice signified a major turning point in the climax of a cheesy overly dramatic novel.
"That's good?" Filia commented unsure. Amelia's tone didn't make it sound like the choice was favorable, but it didn't sound like a bad thing at all. Though still blurry, Filia also felt a recollection of who Onyx was, surfacing in her memories. Xellos remained clueless, assuming this Onyx was one of Amelia's friends or perhaps an acquaintance of most of Lina's traveling companions, who had joined them for their latest adventure, the one he couldn't remember.
"It would be if it were that simple," Amelia elaborated. "But it's not," the energetic Seyruun princess sighed with concern. "Miss Onyx is giving up on Mr. Phythan. She told me herself that she has no intentions of pursuing him. That is the real reason why she's leaving. We need to do something! We have to make sure she considers this carefully before making a choice that she will terribly regret!"
"I have no interest in playing matchmaker." Xellos pointed out with his usual painted grin and squinty eyes. At the same time, Filia tried to remember who Phythan was. A golden dragon, naive, innocent, lacking in modesty, a younger brother figure.
"That's not what I had in mind," Amelia clarified. "I just need someone to help me talk to Miss Onyx. She can be very shy and quiet at times. Actually, I was only going to ask for Miss Filia's assistance, as it would probably be more comfortable for her if it's just us girls. Will you come with me, Miss Filia?"
Filia couldn't wait to fix things with Xellos, if there was any way to restore the chaotic link that they had. Yet she wasn't ready, she was too confused, too mixed up, too lacking in information. "Yes," Filia quickly offered to go with Amelia and the two young women left.
A dull moment of silence passed between Zelgadis and Xellos after Amelia and Filia were gone. The quietude lasted until the chimera inquired half detached and half... concerned? "Everything okay?"
Xellos tilted his head in curiosity. There was that clear air of detachment around Zelgadis as he asked a question that he shouldn't be bothered asking in the first place. Yet there was also something that tasted of concern, but by the laws of logic couldn't possibly be. "Peachy," the purple haired monster answered sarcastically.
"I see," Zelgadis caught the obvious sarcasm and interpreted it as an unwillingness to share information. Aside from the while drama involving Zelas and Milgazia, Xellos seemed to have his own personal problems to deal with concerning Filia, albeit Zelgadis had no clue about what they could be. Addressing the topic about Zelas and Milgazia, Zelgadis honestly stated, "don't you think you're being hypocritical?"
Xellos raised a curious eyebrow. "About what?" He didn't know where Zelgadis could be going with any of this or why the chimera was even talking to him without bitterness, it was confusing. Actually, it seemed that the general attitude of Lina's traveling companions towards him had improved somehow. It had to be due to the events that he couldn't remember, Xellos logically concluded, and it made him even more curious to remember them. Even so, Beast Master had given him a sufficiently functional summary and he didn't want to trouble her for more information if she didn't deem it necessary to share it in the first place. The happenings were no secret though; he could just ask someone else... maybe.
"Zelas and Milgazia," Zelgadis replied. "I mean, you're with Filia aren't you? You're a monster and she's a dragon so-"
"I'm not with Filia," Xellos interrupted. He had been doing a lot of interrupting people in the middle of their sentences lately. "She was a pet and she still is a reliable source of food, but that's all there is to it. Amelia's naivete must be rubbing off on you if you would seriously consider such a thought."
'They're definitely having a spat,' Zelgadis quietly mused.
"Besides, Filia has that dragon," the identity of the non-existent dragon in question was a mystery to Xellos. Addressing the look of confused curiosity on the chimera's distinctively non-hostile face, Xellos elaborated. "She's expecting a child."
"What?" Zelgadis exclaimed, much louder than he meant to. "Filia is... is... she's pregnant? From another dragon?"
"Naturally," Xellos spat sarcastically. "If she's pregnant it has to be from a dragon, as that is what biology dictates."
"Oh..." Zelgadis frowned.
What was that which the chimera was feeling? Pity? Compassion? The taste made no sense to Xellos. He considered being offended, as he did not particularly like being pitied, but he was far too perplexed for that. "Aren't you supposed to hate me?" He asked with true puzzlement.
"Not particularly," Zelgadis stated naturally, the statement showing no signs what so ever of being in any way forced.
"Are you going to tell me that you don't hate anyone?" Xellos recalled Filia saying that in the past.
"No," Zelgadis truthfully replied.
"Who do you hate then?" Xellos tried to upset Zelgadis, to reach some familiar ground. "Rezo?"
"No," Zelgadis replied sincerely. "I hated Rezo and I hated you," he truthfully explained. "But I don't anymore. I've come to terms with Rezo, he was influenced by Shabranigdu and a lot of things happened because of that. As for you, I guess I found any hatred I might have had for you to be useless. I grew out of it, I suppose. I still don't like you very much, but..."
"But you don't hate me, enough to show... concern?" Xellos inquired and Zelgadis nodded. Xellos chuckled, then laughed, loud and clear. "The world really has been turned upside-down; I wish I knew what exactly I've been missing!" Zelgadis wasn't sure how to reply to that, so he remained silent. Still chuckling, Xellos commented in a teasing tone, "the princess' stubborn hope and positive attitude really is rubbing off on you. Who knows what other aspects of her are too."
Catching the hidden meaning of the comment, Zelgadis' face turned crimson. "I will not allow you to say things like that!" With a mocking laugh, Xellos stuck out his tongue and disappeared, fading away into the astral side. Zelgadis crossed his arms and huffed. For someone who just got dumped by his wife, Xellos was handling things relatively well. Still, he had trouble believing the whole thing about Filia being pregnant. Maybe that had been something she had said in anger during one of their arguments and wasn't actually true. Though he feared he would release Amelia's dramatic spirit further if he shared this information with her, Zelgadis still felt like he should.
xoxox xox xoxox
In another area of Dragon's Peak, Amelia and Filia approached an elf girl sitting by herself, writing something in a notebook. Onyx looked at the approaching people from the corner of her eyes, assuming they would simply pass by. When they sat down in the shade of the mountain-side in a circle alongside her, the elf finally looked up with a short quiet greeting. "Hello..."
"Hi!" Amelia greeted with energy and determination.
"Hi..." Filia added in thought. After actually seeing Onyx, a few more stray recollections of her emerged in Filia's mind. Onyx no longer dressed like Xellos, as she had no reason to do so, though her clothing still had the same shades of black and blue that she favored before and a generally similar style to her past attire.
Without further ado, Amelia addressed the issue at hand. "We're here to talk about Mr. Phythan. You shouldn't so easily give up on him!"
With a voice of detached monotone, Onyx calmly declared, "he is of little benefit to me."
"He could be your true love!" Amelia insisted.
"You do not understand," Onyx calmly reflected aloud, as if reaching an undeniable conclusion. Before Amelia could protest, she continued. "I will explain this only once." The elf's statement made the princess fall silent as she listened.
To be Continued
Slayers: Alive - Episode 143: Chaotic! Cheesy Novel Plot Twists
Filia and Amelia were sitting in the shade of the mountain-side at Dragon's Peak with Onyx, who seemed set in putting an end to their interference. "I am... not strong after all." Onyx admitted. "I have been carried by circumstance my whole life and only ever took action when I was pushed to the extreme. I'm not very strong willed. Living with the elves will be good for me, they are very kind, they'll keep me happy and safe."
"So would the Water Dragon Clan," Amelia pointed out. "But if you want to live with the elves, that's fine. I just don't know why you have to cut your ties with Mr. Phythan too."
"I'm a selfish creature, if I am safe and entertained, that is enough," Onyx voiced with the same sense of detachment that she often showed. "Phythan is energetic, cheerful and naive; Kirei can take care of him. I do not wish for these complications. In the Water Clan I would be treated as a member, but with those elves, they would treat me like a princess and I would live luxuriously. The happenings of daily life bore me; I feel only when the emotion is extreme, yet that does not always lead to good results when it's even possible. I will be happier if I go."
Amelia frowned, "you think he's too troublesome? Not worth it?" The princess shook her head. "No, you still don't believe you're good enough for him, even if he thinks you're amazing! A little competition and you run away? Miss Onyx, don't give up, the bond you share with Mr. Phythan is stronger than this!"
"I am such a pitifully idle creature driven by circumstance..." Onyx breathed monotonously.
"Then don't let that go on! Take control of your life!" Amelia encouraged. "
"It is not worth it," Onyx closed her eyes serenely. "This is not your concern. I merely get in the way with my lack of interest in such matters."
"Circumstance..." Filia mused quietly. Her memories were blurry, but she had something to say. "It doesn't matter, regardless of what happened, what didn't happen, what could have happened and what might happen, there are things stronger than that. No matter what, because of who you are, there are things that come from you, regardless of what else is going on. It might be easy, it might be hard, it might even seem close to impossible, completely illogical and frustratingly confusing, but if it is your heart's true desire, somehow, you'll always end up chasing it no matter what the conditions. It's not a mere circumstance, it's more powerful than convenience, it's... it's... it's what you want, isn't it?"
Onyx nodded, "the rush of the moment can only keep me in motion for so long. I don't have the momentum you do. I suppose, if I make a mess of things, I can try to fix it later, or just ignore it and move on even without fixing it..."
It didn't exactly sound cheerful but Amelia seemed to read deeply enough into the answer to smile in response. "Go for it, Miss Onyx!"
xoxox xox xoxox
In another area of Dragon's Peak, Zelas approached Xellos. "Are you done playing around here. Let's move on with our shopping." From a few feet away, Milgazia watched them making sure they didn't cause trouble during their hopefully short visit.
"I can't wait to leave, this place stinks terribly of dragon," Xellos grinned mockingly.
"Wait!" Filia dashed down the mountain path towards the monster lord and the general priest. "Xellos, I need to finish talking to you. I think I can now."
"Too bad, because I'm already leaving," Xellos' cheerful expression stayed intact.
"Let her tag along," Zelas suggested. "She can help carry the grocery bags like a good little pack mule." The monster grinned with mocking superiority.
While Milgazia shook his head in disapproval, unseen by the others whose collective attention was on Filia, she considered the option. Finally, Filia accepted the terms, "alright, I'll tag along and help carry the bags." Then maybe at some point Zelas would leave her alone with Xellos and they could finish their interrupted conversation.
xoxox xox xoxox
Filia spent most of the day from that point on following Zelas around as she hunted rare spices and examined food products. The tired golden dragon set aside the multitude of grocery bags she carried and glared at Xellos for not helping her. He was casually leaning against a wall at a human town marketplace licking an oversized purple lollipop. Not too far away, Zelas was standing in front of a vegetable booth, engrossed in the task of critically poking tomatoes, much to the shopkeeper's annoyance.
Filia remembered when Xellos obtained the large purple sugary treat not too long ago. He had been making a clear point out of ignoring Filia by constantly talking to Zelas and pointing out random things to her. The golden dragon was reminded of a particularly hyper little boy on his first trip to a large marketplace with his mother. Just as Filia became fed up with being ignored, Beast Master became fed up with her general's constant chatter and shoved a lollipop into his mouth with the sweet yet grave order of "take this and shut up."
The sides of Xellos' face had stretched to accommodate the lollipop that shouldn't have fit through his mouth in the first place. Filia found herself thinking for a moment that having an astral body that could defy the laws of physics could be quite comical in certain situations such as this. The shop keeper of the candy booth was too shocked to say anything as the elegant lady, the physics defying purple haired man and the person under the mountain of grocery bags continued walking down the street without even paying for the candy.
Now in a whole different area of the marketplace, Filia decided to try to address the matters she had been trying to discuss again. "Xellos, I've been thinking-" The message that Filia was trying to communicate was interrupted when Zelas shoved a bag of tomatoes into Filia's hands. With the monster lord ready to go off to their next stop and Xellos determined to keep his full attention on his giant lollipop, Filia would have a hard time getting any form of message to reach him.
Finally, the time came for the main ingredient and at that point, Filia, realizing that Zelas did not change into her true form just for show, but rather to hunt, decided it was time to leave. Upset, she set the grocery bags down in front of Xellos, stole his half consumed lollipop and threw it on the ground, changed into her dragon form not caring that he was watching, stomped on the purple candy, then flew away.
xoxox xox xoxox
The days passed by and the time came for Amelia, who had along with Zelgadis, returned to Seyruun, to stop lightly hinting for Filia to say something and instead address the situation directly. As for Filia, her thoughts were in such turmoil she couldn't even react to them and tried to carry on as normally as she could. It was a calm afternoon when Amelia, who had been informed about the supposed situation by Zelgadis, decided to call Filia over to the castle for tea.
Coincidentally, Milgazia happened to pass by, arriving with a fruit basket for Filia when she was on her way to the castle. Amelia and Zelgadis had been in the gardens as the two golden dragons approached. Still out of their hearing range, Filia inquired about the occasion of the gift.
Milgazia, who had gotten over his cold, explained. "Xellos showed up the other day asking me if I knew about your condition. When I realized I didn't know what he was talking about he left, just as suddenly and inexplicably as he came. I thought about it and came to a conclusion." Filia held her breath as Milgazia continued. "I thought I must have given you my cold."
Filia let out the breath she had been holding without realizing it. Her nervous then very relieved reaction stood out strangely to Milgazia, but he didn't comment on it. They had continued walking past the castle gates as they talked and were now in earshot of the pair who was, unknown to them, near by in the royal gardens. "So you've come to take responsibility for my condition?" Filia smiled, glad that this was just about a common cold misunderstanding. Unknown to her, Amelia and Zelgadis, who had seen them and were walking over, stopped cold with shocked expressions.
Noting that she appeared to be in good health, Milgazia observed. "I was rather late it seems."
"It's alright," Filia smiled in a friendly way. "I appreciate it all the same, thanks for taking care of me." She finally saw Amelia and Zelgadis, who were as still as statues and deadly pale. "Are you alright?"
Amelia and Zelgadis looked at each other and nodded for the sake of saving face after having heard something that they were not supposed hear. The chimera occupied himself in giving Milgazia a critical glare of disapproval that the golden dragon elder did not understand, while Amelia led them to the tea room and tried to act natural. This was a fine mess; the princess would have never expected such things from the ever serious Milgazia. 'You can never tell with those diplomatic types,' Amelia mused, her spirit of justice infuriated.
The tea social call went by relatively uneventful. Amelia had planned to talk to Filia alone, but with Milgazia there, that wouldn't be possible. Plus the drama was much more twisted than she thought and the princess wasn't sure how to handle it without causing those involved more heartache. Although she was bursting with the need to reveal the whole situation like the climatic plot twist of a cheesy romance novel, she held back. Contingency measures had to be taken, though as far as Amelia and Zelgadis could interpret there would be little in the way to preserve Milgazia alive when Zelas caught wind of this.
xoxox xox xoxox
It was evening some time later in Wolf Pack Island when Zelas slightly tilted her head upward and informed, "your pet is here."
Xellos looked up from his task of brushing Fang's fur, sitting cross-legged at the foot of Beast Master's throne with the fox monster on his lap. "Filia?"
"Do you have any other pet dragons?" Beast Master inquired with a mix of curiosity and slight amusement. After a small pause, she offered. "If you wish to inquire information of me in regards to the specifics of her condition, you may."
Xellos considered it, then finally concluded. "It is none of my business, unless it involves a task you wish to assign to me of course."
"Not really, not yet at least." Beast Master voiced as if it were a subject of very little importance. "I don't want her to fly around in circles out there trying to enter Wolf Pack Island all night though. Do get rid of her, you may use any method of your choosing."
"Right away, Lord Beast Master," Xellos teleported away and Fang whimpered because the pleasant brushing of his fur ceased.
xoxox xox xoxox
Xellos reappeared on the surface of Wolf Pack Island. The location below seemed ghostly as if it was there but at the same time it wasn't, as it was protected by an astral shield set to only be partially perceivable at the moment. "What are you doing here, stupid dragon?"
Filia was actually glad to hear the familiar insult that was more of a nickname to her now. She was in her dragon form after having flown all the way there from Seyruun. "I came to talk to you. I'm not going to let you ignore me!"
"I don't know if you're monumentally stupid or just suicidal. This is Wolf Pack Island, you can't just come over here whenever you want!" Xellos scolded in all seriousness. "Beast Master ordered me to get rid of you by any method of my choosing. I'm getting rid of you by teleportation so stay still, unless you prefer a more permanent solution to your trespassing."
Filia nodded and allowed Xellos to take her back to Seyruun. He was talking to her and that was what she was trying to accomplish. She felt better once she was in the familiar city. She landed behind her shop and changed back into her elf form, levitating to stand at the balcony of the second floor.
Xellos landed next to her. It was obvious that she wasn't going to stop insisting until he listened to her. "What so important that you need to risk your life to tell me?"
"I don't want things to change," Filia stated with more certainty than she expected from herself. "I've been thinking a lot, wondering why I haven't asked anyone for explanations as much as I should. I have amnesia," she confessed. "The past few months are a mystery to me and though a few details about the people I've met in that time period have surfaced, there's still a lot that's missing. I have no idea where this egg came from and I was afraid to ask, to be reminded." She removed the amethyst ring she had been wearing since she woke up from her coma. "I can't remember who gave me this," it was the mystery dragon in question, she assumed. She tossed the ring away.
xoxox xox xoxox
Zelgadis had been returning to the castle after having a little spar with another knight of Seyruun out in the gardens. As he passed by, Amelia was walking down the hallway inside. She stopped at the window with a candle on hand and set it on the window sill as she stopped to talk to Zelgadis. It was supposed to be quick, but they got caught up and ended up talking for longer than they realized, until a small item fell from above and hit Zelgadis on the head, bouncing off his hard skull and landing on the ground beside him.
The chimera picked up the item and examined it curiously. "An amethyst ring?" It looked familiar.
"Isn't that Miss Filia's ring?" Amelia recognized it. "It was the ring Mr. Xellos gave her that she has been wearing this whole time. She must have thrown it away," being a dragon; she certainly had the arm for it. "Surely this means something; it's a sign of a coming dramatic plot twist!"
"Amelia..." Zelgadis smiled, he loved Amelia, he really did, even her overly dramatic naivete. "This isn't a soap opera." He deposited the ring into Amelia's hand.
The princess contemplated the jewelry, "I'll keep it safe for Miss Filia in case she..." pausing dramatically, Amelia rephrased, "for when she wants it back."
xoxox xox xoxox
Back at the shop's balcony, Filia continued her confession. "I was afraid that learning of the past would make me doubt the present. I was afraid that things would change, that I wouldn't be able to handle the truth. Where is he? Why isn't he here? Does he not want to be with me? Has he died? All those things worried me, but what worried me the most was his possible return. Because I can't... I don't feel anything for some mystery dragon and I don't think I would even if it wasn't a mystery. Was it a mistake of harsh times? Did the world's near apocalypse affect me to that degree? Was it all a matter of circumstance? The rush of a moment? It's too much..."
Xellos looked like he would say something, but Filia signaled for silence and continued. "I questioned myself, my priorities, my morals and my very sanity. I even questioned the existence of love itself. Then I realized I wasn't even afraid for the child, I can take care of another child just like I take care of Val. I've only been afraid for myself, because it's frustrating to have something and lose it and I don't just mean my memories. I don't want things to change. I don't want you to leave and stay away. I plan to get the full story and face the truth, but it doesn't matter what happened, what I've forgotten that perhaps you already know. I just don't want things to change and that's my biggest concern right now."
Filia dried her eyes, she didn't notice when they became moist, but the tears had stopped now anyway. She had found her resolve, it didn't matter what anyone said, it didn't matter if she remembered or not, it didn't matter what circumstances surrounded them, this was simply what she wanted.
"Stupid dragon, even with all that's going on, your biggest concern is that you miss me?" Xellos asked and Filia nodded, blushing lightly. Her emotions tasted of... affection? Deep affection? It was even beyond that... Before Xellos could speak again, Filia let out a pained whimper and felt her legs go numb, causing her to stumble into Xellos' arms.
Pain, fear, sorrow, dread, this was different than the pain and uncertainty she felt a moment ago. Fear soon dominated the other tastes as Filia fought to steady herself, her face contorted in a pained expression. "What's wrong?" Xellos urged, she was just fine a moment ago. "What's happening to you?"
"Too early..." Filia whispered breathlessly, "it's too early... ow!" She clutched her stomach with both hands, allowing Xellos to hold her on her feet. "The egg... some kind of complication... need a doctor..." she stuttered in pained alarm.
xoxox xox xoxox
Even if Filia was a dragon, Xellos' first idea was to take her to the infirmary at the Seyruun castle. He teleported her, as gently as possible and appeared in the proper location, startling a healer who was straightening out the white sheets on one of the beds after having changed them. Xellos helped Filia on to the bed, ignoring the shocked white magic specialist nurse. "Get Amelia..." Filia requested in a shaky voice.
xoxox xox xoxox
Xellos faded out of the astral side next to Amelia, who was still inside the castle, with Zelgadis still outside, their arms reaching in and out of the castle respectively, lips locked. Not caring about his rude interruption, Xellos tapped the princess on the shoulder until she parted from her fiance and gave him a curious and embarrassed look, though Zelgadis' face was a deeper crimson than Amelia's. "Filia needs medical attention." Without waiting for any replies, Xellos teleported Amelia away.
xoxox xox xoxox
The monster and the princess reappeared at the infirmary where more healers had gathered and were fussing around Filia. Amelia soon joined them, being filled in on the situation. "I'm sorry, Miss Filia, we have no experience in preventing premature eggs from being laid too early." The princess worried. "None the less we'll try our best, but..." she glanced at Xellos. Perhaps Milgazia would know what to do, he was a dragon after all and he said he'd take responsibility. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Xellos, but there's no one else I can ask. Would you please bring Mr. Milgazia here and please don't take your anger out on him."
Xellos assumed that Amelia's request was due to needing information from someone who knew about dragon biology. Milgazia, being a golden dragon himself and the elder in charge of one of the clans, had to know about dragon biology. "I know, there's no time to pick a fight now." The sabotage of his supposed relationship with Zelas would just have to wait. Thus Xellos faded away.
To be Continued
Slayers: Alive - Episode 144: Eventually! Sooner Or Later, One Way Or Another
"I still need an explanation for this." Milgazia demanded impatiently as he and Xellos reappeared in front of the door to the infirmary at Seyruun castle. "What do you mean there's an emergency and they need information? Who needs my information and about what?"
"Dragon biology," Xellos replied, "although, I probably should have just gotten a book or something." He opened the door slightly and peeked into the infirmary. "Hey, I brought Milgazia!"
"I said you didn't have to!" Filia yelled from her place on the bed, surrounded by healers who were fussing over her. He had not heard that, as he teleported away immediately before.
The round trip to Dragon's Peak and back took a few minutes, since Milgazia wasn't about to let Xellos teleport him away to an unknown place for an unknown reason. The monster did more arguing and threatening than explaining, which was the slower route, given that Milgazia would have gone along if he knew Filia was having an emergency. "Well I brought him anyway, you ungrateful dragon." Xellos entered the room and took notice of the very upset atmosphere.
"What's going on?" Milgazia followed Xellos in, fed up with the random unknown situation.
"Well..." Amelia was holding something in a bundle of yellow blankets. She showed it to Milgazia.
Milgazia examined the small thing that the princess held among the blankets. It was about as big as a marble, a clear sphere with some kind of shiny liquid inside. He had to take a moment to recognize what it was. "An empty egg?" A thought occurred to him and it soon spawned a theory. "I see what's going on, you drank that rare tea too. Zelas has been playing pranks on everyone."
"Tea?" Filia, Xellos and Amelia chorused in perplexity. They didn't know what tea had to do with anything, but the mention of Zelas' name especially caught their interest.
"Don't worry; this will have no further adverse effects on you." Milgazia assured and seeing that his audience was still confused, he gave them the full explanation about the tea leaves and their strange side effects on dragons. Though a empty egg would come out much sooner than a real one, as it was empty anyway. The general timing of the glow could also be a little off and in some occasions it wasn't even bright enough to be noticeable. A heavy silence invaded the atmosphere and Milgazia stated once more. "You just wanted to know if this had any side-effects, right? As I said, it's alright, considered yourself cured."
Filia finally nodded, "thank you for this information." Her emotions shifted heavily and Xellos could feel her confusion giving way to hurt and fury.
"I guess I'll take you back to Dragon's Peak then," Xellos offered, quickly leaving along with Milgazia via the astral side before Filia blew up at him.
The discomfort on Filia's face was obvious and Amelia reasoned that she might not want to be so crowded. The princess sent the healers away and just as the group in white exited, Zelgadis came in. "There you are, what happened?"
"It was just a false alarm," Amelia confessed, "an empty egg."
Catching the hint of something interesting, Filia inquired, "did you know about this?"
"Xellos told me," Zelgadis confessed. Filia wasn't sure what to say to that, but out of all her options, none of them were kind towards Xellos.
"Please remind me, who were the dragons that I was around in the past few months?" Filia requested, trying to remain calm. She'd save her outburst for Xellos.
"Well, there was Mr. Phythan," Amelia began listing off the dragons that interacted with Filia.
'Little brother,' Filia thought, that was how she saw him.
"Miss Tiffany," Amelia continued, immediately pausing when she realized she said too much.
"Tiffany?" Filia gasped.
"I'm sorry we didn't mention her before. We just thought it might be too much of a shock given that her husband is..." Amelia trailed off into silence; there was a bigger shock than that involving Tiffany, the fact that she was the host of the End, set to be sacrificed in the final battle against the Stillness, whenever it finally took place.
"I see..." Filia stuttered in surprise. She was misinformed about the topic and assumed this meant that Tiffany was living somewhere with her supposedly human husband. Getting back into the topic at hand, Filia prompted, "who else?"
"Mr. Milgazia," Amelia replied, pausing to think before concluding. "That's all of them as far as I know and we were all traveling together most of the time. For the short time we spent apart, we were in constant communication, so if you spent time with any other dragons, in more than just in passing at least, I'm pretty sure I would have known. You..." Amelia debated if she should say the next part or not, but Filia encouraged her with a nod and a look that was thirsty for information. "You spent most of your time with Mr. Xellos."
Filia let out a breath, "I guess I would somehow end up spending time with him, impending apocalypse or not." Because this wasn't a matter of circumstance or the rush of a fleeting moment, it was who they were. "Thank you for telling me all this." Filia got up.
"Don't get up so soon, Miss Filia!" Amelia tried to stop her with concern.
"It's okay, I'm fine," Filia assured. "A little sore, but alright. Milgazia said there would be no adverse effects." She forced herself to smile for the sake of not worrying her friends.
Amelia bit her lip unsure and the look of disapproval returned to Zelgadis' face. Given Zelas' supposed involvement in all of this, it was very dangerous. It might be hurtful now, but it was better to get things out in the open before something worse happened, thus the chimera confessed. "We overheard you and Milgazia talking in the gardens when he brought you that fruit basket."
"You did?" Filia wasn't sure where the comment came from, why Amelia looked so concerned or why Zelgadis looked so stern.
"Yes," Zelgadis ascertained, making it clear that it was no use to play dumb. Filia and Milgazia were putting themselves in mortal danger and he would think they were more reasonable than that. "We heard what he said about your... condition." The egg had been a false alarm, but for a false alarm to be taken so seriously there had to be a reason.
"Oh, yes, that was nice of him," Filia smiled, though she was still confused about why this topic was being brought up in such a serious tone. "He felt bad because he thought he gave me his cold, but then realized I didn't catch it after all. He felt responsible, so he brought me something to help me recover."
"A Cold?" Amelia and Zelgadis wore matching shocked expressions. They looked at Filia; they looked at each other, then back at Filia.
While the golden dragon blinked in confusion, becoming uneasy with the strange behavior of her friends, Amelia aimed to obtain a final clarification in a semi-tactful way. "Say, just out of curiosity, do you think Mr. Milgazia is... you know, being totally... er honest with Miss Zelas? You know... loyal?"
"Of course he is," Filia replied with certainty, then tried to support her claim. "I mean, he might be in a relationship with a monster, which doesn't really fit his usual diplomacy, but he's still very much a gentleman. Besides, who would be crazy enough to cheat on a monster lord?"
"Right," Amelia smiled and she and Zelgadis shared a secret look of realization. They had overheard, misunderstood and jumped to conclusions.
As the strange conversation seemed to have ended, Filia decided to go home. At least Amelia and Zelgadis appeared to be in better spirits after the unusual discussion. Seconds after Filia left, Xellos appeared, as if he was purposely waiting for her to exit the area. "I'll be taking this." He took the bundle of yellow blankets where the tiny empty egg rested, then he disappeared. Amelia and Zelgadis found the action to be very strange, but decided not to interfere.
xoxox xox xoxox
At Zelas' throne room in Wolf Pack Island. "I have brought the egg, Lord Beast Master," Xellos reported, as per the orders he had received.
He gave the yellow blanket with the egg to Zelas, who examined it curiously. "It's smaller than I expected, but I suppose it will have to do."
"It's empty," Xellos stated, though it should have been obvious. "It seems the origin of this was tea..."
"Yes, I know, I offered to clarify if you had any questions, remember?" Zelas reminded with a mocking grin.
Xellos remained composed, "of course. I guess I should have asked."
Zelas shook her head, her grin never leaving her face. "You should have answered."
Ah yes, she had asked about what was bothering him, but he had not told her the full story. To think that getting an explanation would have been that easy. Xellos chuckled, realizing that his state of ignorance was in part his own fault. "You're absolutely right, Lord Beast Master."
"Well now, to move along with the plans," Zelas handed the yellow blanket with the miniscule egg back to Xellos.
"What should I do with it?" Xellos curiously inquired and this time, if he had any doubts he would actually ask questions.
"Carefully put your energy into it," Zelas instructed.
"My energy?" Xellos wasn't expecting that. "Is this some sort of fusion-like experiment?" Remembering that he had decided to ask his questions directly, Xellos further inquired. "Can I have a full explanation?"
"There was a creature mostly astral, part monster and part dragon. The being was created on accident by the enemy in an attempt to steal your power," Zelas revealed. "However, having been made from your energy, mixed with that of your pet, the creature recognized you as its master. His name is Solex, your freaky half-dragon little minion. Unfortunately, he was unstable and came close to being ruined. Using knowledge recovered from Rezo's lost research, we salvaged his soul and now he needs a new vessel. The egg will serve as a material for the vessel. A machine has already been constructed where it can be made to grow with closely controlled chaotic energy. A little can be beneficial, though too much would tear him apart in this stage. It is far too early to say if your minion will make it out alive or not, there are no guarantees as things stand now. Even so, if this project is successful, it is likely that he will be able to reach a sufficiently stable state so that he doesn't fall apart again."
Xellos was in shock to say the least. He had his own minion, not simply a monster placed under his command, but one that recognized him as his master for reasons beyond his rank. This Solex was half-dragon no less, quite a rarity indeed. Albeit by the sounds of it there was a possibility that he might not have a minion after all. "That was... unexpected." Xellos admitted. Well, he might as well get this project on its way; a minion meant all the more power to Beast Master, all the more power to him and an extra trickster to train, which might turn out to be amusing.
xoxox xox xoxox
At Seyruun, Filia couldn't sleep; she stood at her shop's balcony contemplating the recent events with fury. She was so stressed, so hurt, and Xellos knew about the whole thing the entire time? He must have been having a feast. She was so angry at him right now she had trouble maintaining her elf form as her tail swished around behind her in furious movements. Then the source of her rage appeared floating before her and soon after had the nerve to land on the balcony next to her. "Xellos," Filia growled.
"Hey, stupid dragon," Xellos greeted with a cheerful grin. "That's a whole lot of wrath you have there, it's very delicious, but do you mind toning down the sorrow, I would prefer the pure wrath." His remark somewhat helped accomplish that. "Ah, much better."
"You horrible piece of raw garbage!" Filia yelled. "Do you have any idea what I went through? How upset I was? Of course you do, you can taste emotions so how could you miss it? I was losing my mind thinking about how illogical everything was. Then, when I finally decided what I would do, it turns out I was being played for a fool!"
"Actually, I didn't know about the truth either," Xellos pointed out calmly. Filia froze, her face was still red with anger, but she fell silent as he continued. "Beast Master offered to tell me, but I decided not to inquire about it least I be a little too tempted to turn your mystery dragon into cuisine. Funny how it turned out there was no mystery dragon after all."
"But you were there with me!" Filia argued. "Amelia told me we spent a lot of time together in the past few months. If anything major happened in my life you would have noticed!" She insisted.
"I'm sure I did notice," Xellos accepted. He swiftly added another argument before Filia's rage made her lose her elf form completely; he could see her fangs and claws showing. "But I don't remember. I have amnesia too, the past few months are a big blank to me. I only know a summary of the events which Beast Master told me."
Filia's rage shifted to focus only on one target. "Beast Master," she growled. "Did she do this for her amusement? She's gone too far!"
"If you don't calm down you'll end up destroying your shop, stupid dragon!" Xellos reminded. He didn't want to say anything so soon, but it looked like it was the only way to calm Filia's rage. "I asked Beast Master about this. She told me I had a minion before, one that was created during the time we can't remember. He was dying and she needed a new vessel for him. At this point, there's no guarantee that it will work, but there's a possibility that it might."
With only that explanation, Filia didn't fully understand the nature of this mysterious minion and why an empty golden dragon egg would be of any help, but that was not the point. "If it was to save someone's life, the life of someone important to you, I would have helped. It didn't have to be this way!"
"Beast Master has a reason for everything she does," Xellos tried to explain.
"Maybe she just wanted a meal!" Filia growled. Her rage was subsiding in realizing that the whole plot wasn't really Xellos' doing.
"Maybe, I suppose I'll ask her later," Xellos mused aloud. "Look on the bright side, stupid dragon."
Filia breathed deeply. Her tail was now still, having ceased it's violent swishing as her temper cooled off. "What's the bright side?"
"You were all stressed out about me not coming back." Xellos reminded with a teasing grin of satisfaction. Filia blushed and tried to come up with an argument, but she could not do so on time before Xellos continued. He opened one eye, expression amused. "I'm here and you can't get rid of me."
With her face still red, albeit it went from being from anger to a different cause, Filia looked away and grumbled in an annoying, yet somewhat happy tone. "I'm not sure if that's good or bad." She felt a great wave of relief in that things were seemingly back to normal. Noticing a peculiar detail, she brought it up, as she didn't want the silence between them to last too long. "You don't have the dragon doll keychain on your bag anymore."
"That little one had an accident involving fire," Xellos chuckled, his expression going from real amusement to a mask of cheer with both eyes closed. "Will you make me another one?"
Filia huffed and placed her hands on her hips. "No way! If you can't take good care of the things people give you, don't expect any more presents in the future!"
"Fine, be that way." The mask of cheer changed back to real amusement, one eye open again. "I guess I'll just have to keep the real one."
xoxox xox xoxox
A few days later at Dragon's Peak, Milgazia admired the pretty yet troublesome cursed jewel. Humans kept fighting for it and by a twist of fate the gigantic diamond ended up in his hands. It was nothing but trouble, but due to the magic placed on it to make it so strong and exquisite, destroying it would be quite difficult. Perhaps he could simply hide it somewhere. He wouldn't keep it so close to his clan, the sense of greed it produced on all creatures that stayed near it was too strong. It only worked on creatures of flesh and blood though, so at least there wouldn't be any monsters showing up to try to claim it affected by its evil enchantment.
Milgazia recalled that this was not the only such jewel that was in such a situation. There was also a tiara held by a human princess centuries earlier, a mere hundred years after the War of the Monster's Fall. The princess, who valued the tiara more than her kingdom and her very life, had run away to the Kataart Mountains to keep it safe from the thievery of neighboring countries that started a war over it. That was a very troublesome occasion, to say the least. Xellos had gone to see what the fuss was about and ended up claiming the tiara as a gift for Beast Master.
Ironically, after the tiara was taken away and hidden, Milgazia assumed deep in Wolf Pack Island, the fighting ceased and those affected by its greed were released from it, as its enchantment became out of range. The princess set out to restore the kingdom and the neighboring countries made peace. Milgazia wondered if Zelas would send Xellos to reintroduce the troublesome tiara into the human world and allow battles to rage over it, but she didn't. Perhaps she took a liking to the well crafted jewelry and decided to keep it to herself, even if she was, being a purely astral creature, immune to its hypnotic effect of desire.
Milgazia traced his fingers over the smooth surface of the large diamond. A golden band was attached to the bottom of it, though the thought of wearing such a large gem as a ring was ridiculous, since it was about the size of a fist. He assumed that the ring, though wide enough to accommodate the slender finger of a woman, was probably used to slip a chain through, so the huge diamond could be worn in a necklace. He felt the jewel's incantation trying to pull him in, to break his determination not to greed for it.
This wasn't a weapon and the only way it could be used as such was by offering its temptation, but as long as it existed it would offer its temptation regardless. It was the kind of strong and unreasonable temptation that, once one fell into it, they would go to such extremes that being manipulated by someone else would not be possible due to lack of reasoning. The pursuit of the jewel would be everything and the one tempted by it would not be patient enough to work for it, but rather try to obtain it by force, even if it was suicide. 'Sometimes the safest place for a dangerous treasure is in the hands of the enemy,' Milgazia mused. He would rid the world of the danger of the large diamond in the same way as the tiara was disposed of.
To be Continued