Episode 010: Switch! Put Yourself In My Shoes
Episode 010: Switch! Put Yourself In My Shoes
Xellos had just woken up at Milgazia's house as a dragon with partial amnesia and false information. He tried hard to remember. He was a dragon born in the fire clan, who joined the water clan after the fire clan's destruction during the Darkstar incident, which he very blurrily vaguely remembered. Yet his role and the roles of the others were different, with some elements being completely absent from this new version. He decided to leave things be, he knew the basics of life, who he was, Xellos Ul Copt, and where he was, Dragon's Peak at the Kataart Mountains. He knew that Milgazia was his current clan leader and he knew what he was supposed to do. No wait, he didn't know that. "Was I trying to accomplish anything?"
"There is something you need to do," Milgazia wondered if this would actually work to his favor. It puzzled him that Zelas would leave the opportunity open to him; she was more cunning than that. None the less, Milgazia would take this chance to get more information from Xellos, though he would take it with a grain of salt, so to speak. "A human sorceress called Lina Inverse will be here soon. You must accompany her in a journey and report on the actions of the monster race."
Xellos took in the information. He was being given a mission by his leader. That made sense, though there was also something off about it, this leader was different. Perhaps he was assigned missions by the Flare Lord's clan elder before and was still getting use to the elder that represented Aqua Lord Ragradia's clan. Xellos nodded as he stood up. "Understood, Lord Aqua Elder," that had a particular odd ring to it. Did he address someone so formally and respectfully before? Was it his previous clan elder? He shook his head, all of this, it didn't quite fit.
Milgazia saw a hint of doubt in Xellos' eyes, but it was heavily shrouded in real confusion. "Milgazia will do."
Xellos nodded and dismissed the thought of confusion, "right... Is that what I usually call you? My memories are very fuzzy right now."
"It must be because of the battle, I'm sure you'll recover with some rest," Milgazia played along. "Do you think you're well enough to go on this mission?"
Xellos nodded eagerly. He didn't want to sit around waiting for his head to clear. The thought of going out on a journey with a secret mission was much more appealing to him, and wasn't that Lina girl the human involved in the Darkstar incident? He wasn't clear on the happenings though he knew he was there. Perhaps a journey with her group, if they came along as well, would help him properly remember. "I'm alright, no big deal, I'm certain I can accomplish this mission just fine," he grinned his trademark grin.
"Very well," Milgazia agreed, "take a moment to rest for the time being, I'll go make some tea." Because really, Milgazia could use some tea right about now.
The golden dragon elder headed to the kitchen, leaving Xellos to rest in the living room. One cup was already out; he opened the cabinet Zelas had been rummaging in to retrieve another cup and a blast of purple smoke suddenly exploded from inside it. Milgazia coughed repeatedly and tried to push the smoke out the window with a minor wind spell. After the smoke was gone, he moved his other hand away from his face, as it had instinctually gone to cover his mouth and nose, then notice the purple tint on his hand. This was not good. He washed his face, hoping that the purple would come off. Fortunately it seemed to be washing off, judging by all the purple water that sunk into the sinks' drain. Unfortunately, some purple still clung to the end of his long golden lined white sleeves and he had a feeling that he wouldn't be able to wash it off.
Searching for a reflective surface, Milgazia exited the kitchen and headed for the decorative mirror on the wall on the living room. He noted that Xellos had sense left his position on the couch and was entertaining himself by looking at the various portraits that hung on the walls. He seemed particularly curious about the picture of himself with a human female warrior that lived in an era that from a human's perspective could be called a long time ago, but not long enough to be ancient history.
Turning his attention back to the mirror, Milgazia realized that the purple dye was stuck to his hair in streaks of color. Great, now he'd have to bleach his hair. Zelas and all those linked to her were such trouble makers, except Filia who tried her best to set things right. Feeling the sensation of eyes on him, Milgazia turned his face to look at a curious Xellos, "that," Xellos pointed at his hair, "is kind of cool," he admitted.
"This," Milgazia frowned. "Is the result of a prank from a very annoying woman," or monster more accurately.
Xellos chuckled, "you should thank her then, she just did you a favor. Maybe she likes you," he teased jokingly.
Oh yes, Xellos was amnesiac alright, Milgazia concluded. 'You'd be quite angry at yourself if you knew the terrible thing you're suggesting,' he mused, because he knew that from Xellos' perspective, such an impossible possibility would be a terrible offense to Beast Master. "No, I'm sure that's not it, she's just an annoying trickster, that's all."
"You think she'd do that to my hair?" Xellos curiously inquired.
Milgazia could hardly believe this. "You really like this strange style?"
"It's cool," Xellos admitted and Milgazia couldn't even come up with a reply. "Speaking of hair," Xellos continued, glancing at the portrait of the human warrior and the younger Milgazia. "I feel like I've seen that hairstyle before."
The hair was long, going all the way to her waist. The bangs reached just below her nose and they were parted to the side over one eye. "Maybe," Milgazia voiced. He doubted that Xellos had actually met her, though it wasn't impossible. The hairstyle was very much like that of her descendant, Gourry Gabriev and that was most likely where Xellos had seen it. "A few people might have that style."
With Xellos entertained enough with his examination of the portraits, Milgazia returned to his previous task of making tea, this time much more cautious in his own kitchen.
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, at Wolf Pack Island, Filia slowly opened her eyes. Though she expected drowsiness upon waking up, she had none. Then she dismissed the thought as being nonsensical, monsters didn't get drowsy, then again, monsters didn't need sleep either. She sat up among purple sheets and cushions, wondering where she was. Information came to her from the far reaches of her mind and she knew, rather than remembered, that she was at Wolf Pack Island, in her room to be specific. Her memories were fuzzy and when she tried to recall everything was blurry. Reasoning that the best course of action was to report to her master immediately, Filia teleported away.
She reappeared in front of Zelas' throne room, as it would be rude, she reasoned, to teleport directly inside. Her blue eyes examined the door, before she stepped forward, long purple hair flowing behind her. "Lord Beast Master!" She called.
"Come in," Zelas' voice replied from inside.
Filia phased through the door with no necessity to open it. She walked a few steps in front of Beast Master's throne and kneeled with her head slightly bowed, as if she were being knighted. "Pardon my intrusion, Lord Beast Master, but I must inquire of the latest happenings. Please excuse my incompetence, but my memories seem to be unclear."
"Do you know who you are?" Zelas asked curiously.
"I am Filia Metallium, the general priestess of Lord Beast Master Zelas Metallium," she replied with pride.
"Then you know what is most important for you to know," Zelas concluded. "As for your awakening, you were injured in a battle and have just recovered. That is all you need to know about that."
Filia's eyes widened, though she kept her head bowed. She was injured? Lord Beast Master's general priestess was injured?! How could she have been so careless? "My apologies, Lord Beast Master," she wanted to know more about the details of the battle, but dared not further question the monster lord she served, or at least thought she served.
"I will give you a second chance." Already Zelas was amused, though she mused that he amusement might not last. Filia was dedicated and perhaps even highly effective, but she was too dedicated and lacked Xellos' free spirited, yet loyal nature, for now at least. This was the Filia that Xellos told her about from before she opened her eyes to the world, this was the sheltered Filia, except this time she thought she was a monster. How would she relearn life's lessons then? It might be interesting and most importantly, chaotic. Zelas removed the amethyst necklace she had been wearing and caused it to float towards Filia, it was a symbol of the temporary pledge. "Take this with you and should you need additional power, it shall provide it. It will also gather chaotic energy that I need to accumulate, so you must not waste its power."
Filia received the necklace and put it on. "Thank you, Lord Beast Master! I won't let you down!" There was that hint of optimistic innocence, she sounded like a child who had been given a fun new toy. "What shall my next mission be as I gather chaotic energy? Should I use a specific method?" She inquired eagerly.
"You will travel across the land accompanying a sorceress called Lina Inverse," Zelas commanded.
Lina Inverse, the name sounded familiar to Filia. Ah yes, the human involved in the Darkstar battle. "I understand, Lord Beast Master."
"There is another important detail, two details, I should say," Zelas elaborated with emphasis. "You must accept Lina's leadership in the journey. She has an exceptional ability to surround herself with chaos, so following her will be beneficial to your mission. The other detail is that there will be a golden dragon by the name of Xellos Ul Copt traveling with Lina. You must not kill him."
Forbidding her such an action puzzled Filia. Was she not the dragon slayer who eliminated so many dragons during the war of the Monster's Fall? Though it was knowledge rather than a memory and it felt very much as if it had not happened, Filia attributed it to her proper lack of conscience, she was a monster, she wasn't supposed to dwell on such insignificant details. All the more reason why Beast Master's warning puzzled her. Why would that Xellos dragon be any different from the others? She felt bad for daring to question the orders she was given, but Filia couldn't help herself as a curious "Lord Beast Master?" escaped her.
"Do not question me," Zelas spoke commandingly. "You will not murder the golden dragon called Xellos, that is an order."
Filia bowed her head in apology, "yes, Lord Beast Master."
"There is no more time to waste," Zelas ordered. "You must depart at once for Dragon's Peak at the Kataart Mountains. Lina Inverse will meet you at the home of the Aqua Lord's clan elder, Milgazia."
"Right away, Lord Beast Master, I won't let you down!" Filia assured and with those final words spoken, she teleported away.
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, at the Kataart Mountains, "we're here!" Fang happily announced, wagging his fox tail. He had just teleported Lina to Dragon's Peak near Milgazia's house where she was to meet her traveling companions.
"So it begins again..." Lina mused aloud. Except this time her adventure would be without Gourry. He had been traveling with her for so long; she couldn't imagine what it would be like to be without him. 'Don't think of Gourry,' she told herself firmly. 'Don't think of the past, think of the present and future.' With renewed determination, Lina was ready to face the chaos that was to come. Surely, once she was caught up in Xellos and Filia's antics it would keep her mind off Gourry... hopefully.
"See you later Lina!" Fang disappeared, leaving Lina to face the trials before her.
With a deep breath and a steady stride, the sorceress knocked on the dragon elder's door. Milgazia opened the door and invited her in with questions all over his face. Lina stepped inside and shrugged her shoulders, silently communicating that she wasn't fully informed either. The scene she found inside the house wasn't particularly chaotic just yet, possibly because Xellos and Filia were not yet in the same location. Lina had decided, after a moment of staring curiously, that she would not inquire about the violet tips she doubted Milgazia had willingly dyed into his hair. She wondered if Xellos was to blame, because he seemed entertained dying a purple line into his hair rather clumsily.
Dye dripped into the tea cup that sat on the coffee table which also held the hair supplies, labeled as temporary, Lina observed from the bottle, though she wondered if Milgazia's dye was temporary too. Done with his attempt at making his hair more interesting, Xellos picked up his teacup and drank, immediately feeling an odd unpleasant taste and spitting it out. He stuck out his now purple tongue trying to look at it to examine the extent of the damage, which just gave him a cross-eyed expression. Observing the scene as Xellos ran off to wash, Lina shook her head and crossed her arms, "too harmless to b real," she mused aloud.
"Harmless, you say?" Milgazia pointed at the ceiling, "I can only hope it doesn't rain until I can get that fixed."
The ceiling was full of holes that looked like they had been made with laser breath. "What was that about?"
"He got the hiccups," Milgazia frowned. "I don't know just how many memories were locked away, but it's not just memories, it's life lessons too. He's like at the War of the Monster's Fall, curious, playful and lacking full control of his power. He's still cunning and tricky, but he might believe his loyalties lie with the dragons. Albeit it's only a matter of time before he finds that something is amiss. Memories can be locked away and feelings repressed, but instinct always resurfaces. After all, he still knows bits and pieces of the past, modified to fit a different identity."
Lina groaned, at least she was already becoming engrossed in the chaos that would take her mind off heartbreak. "Which means that it's going to be as I feared, a pre-reality check Filia with a monster mindset."
Milgazia wasn't fully sure about what that meant, but it didn't sound good. Having cleaned out his tongue of the purple dye, Xellos returned to the living room and took note of the new arrival he was too busy to notice before. "Lina?" The name seemed to fit the face, though his memories were fuzzy.
"Hey," Lina greeted casually. "Are you ready to go on a new journey?"
"Of course I am," Xellos grinned.
"I take it Filia isn't here yet?" Lina inquired.
"I am here," Filia's voice replied from a few feet away. She had suddenly teleported into the house without warning, just on time to hear Lina's question. With a dignified stride Filia approached the group and officially introduced herself, though she vaguely remembered that she already knew these people. "I am Filia Metallium, general priestess of Lord Beast Master."
Milgazia was, Filia vaguely knew, the golden dragon elder who took on the leadership of the water clan after she had slain the previous elder during the War of the Monster's Fall. Lina inverse was the younger sister of the knight of Ceifeed, she was the human sorceress who was involved in the Darkstar battle, as well as several other noteworthy incidents. Xellos Ul Copt was the infuriating golden dragon who tagged along with Lina's group when they faced Darkstar and provided his energy for a fusion magic attack, not that she needed help from a dragon of all creatures anyway.
Lina saw that Xellos and Filia were sizing each other up and quickly intervened. She had a feeling that her job as referee would keep her very busy. "Good, we're all here, let's go!"
Filia completely ignored Lina and instead extended her hand to touch Xellos' purple lock of hair with the tips of her fingers. "You made a clumsy job at this, dragon. There are splotches of purple all around the strand and it's not even in a straight line."
"At least I didn't spill the bottle on my head like you did," Xellos retorted.
"This is my natural hair!" Filia argued.
"You don't have any hair, or skin or anything, because you're a monster. You're not a real person, just a monster, only energy, I guess you can't help what you are," Xellos mocked with a clear hint of superiority.
Infuriated, Filia growled, "well I guess you can't help it but to be a piece of garbage, you filthy raw garbage dragon!"
Lina buried her face in her hands while Milgazia continued to observe the scene unfold. "I can see it now; it's Darkstar all over again, only worse." She very much doubted the lack of a reincarnated monster lord, a vengeful dragon-monster and an explosive obsessed fox would make the situation any easier to deal with.
Remembering what Filia's temper was like, Milgazia joined Lina in musing. "I believe there was a reason why those two were born in the races they were. Having one of them change, I fear may seriously upset the balance of the world, but with both... maybe..."
"They would reach a balance, which means just the right amount of chaos, except the novelty of it all, for them at least, will create more chaos," Lina continued. Once again, she tried to gather their attention. "Okay everyone, I'm ready to start the journey now!"
"And what is wrong with pink?" Filia continued arguing with Xellos, oblivious to Lina's pleas for attention.
"It doesn't match that necklace of yours, lavender would look better on you, as if to hide your hideous true self a little," Xellos replied with a very matter of fact tone of annoyance.
"Dragons have terrible taste!" Filia shouted.
"Monsters know nothing about taste!" Xellos retorted, his ever present golden scale covered dragon tail twitching.
"Enough!" Lina shouted over all the noise. "I would like to start this journey some time this century, if you don't mind!" She threw her hands in the air in exasperation.
Xellos and Filia glared at each other and threw their heads back with undignified "hmp!" sounds. Finally, much to Milgazia's relief, they followed Lina out of his house and towards the mountain path that lead to the foot of the Kataart Mountains.
To be Continued
It begins again!