Episode 041: Explorers! Inter-Dimensional Travelers
Episode 041: Explorers! Inter-Dimensional Travelers
Fortunately, the magical traps in the temple that held Luna's body were not made to be set off by a dragon. They were guarding against the monsters after all, not their own kind. Thus Milgazia could easily walk across the room, move all the traps one by one and release Luna. He didn't deactivate the chambers and runes around the room, but rather carefully moved them so that they still gave off a steady stream of energy for the guards to sense, but were not shielding anything. Once the runes and charms were enclosing nothing but empty space, rather than the whole inner chamber, Milgazia knew that an astral path was open for a monster to teleport in and out unharmed.
This was the tricky part. He had contacted Galathia in secret, a monster that he could best in battle, aided by the power of distraction if it came to that. She was creepy with how she flirted with him, but as sneaky as it was, he could use that in his favor. She was strange though, perhaps she wasn't originally a true monster, but that wasn't the real point. She could teleport through the astral side and that was all he needed to know.
Galathia was a last resort to escape of course. A clear path into the structure through the astral side would be her signal to proceed. It was the only way he could get out of there with Luna as he noticed the seal on the door that would activate when Luna went through. The door was the only way out, aside from teleportation, as he couldn't exactly blow a hole on the wall and expect it to go unnoticed.
Not too far from the temple, but far enough not to alert the dragon guards, Fang observed everything from the astral side. A web of light in tiny triangles that his astral body couldn't fit through was surrounding a space large enough to signify the inner chamber of the temple in the physical plane. The web of light moved to the side and that was the signal Fang was told to watch out for. He teleported, spotted Milgazia carrying Luna and without a word, he swiftly teleported again.
xoxox xox xoxox
Fang, Milgazia and Luna, or rather her empty body, reappeared in the location Fang was instructed by Galathia to transport Milgazia and the vessel of the Knight of Ceifeed, Zephilia. Milgazia thought that the safest place to leave Luna was in the care of her own family, in the land that produced so many skilled sorcerers and heroes. The golden dragon elder could only imagine the tumult that was forming in the temple at that very moment. The guards must have sensed Fang, though it all happened too fast for them to do anything about it.
The dragons would blame the monsters, but that would only serve in Luna's favor. If that piece of information got out, and it probably would somehow reach the ears of a monster spy, they would be looking for her in monster territory, maybe even in Zelas' territory specifically. Milgazia thought he could figure out a way to coax, or force, Galathia into silence, but the one who came to his assistance wasn't Galathia.
Fang stood there in his semi-human form, twitching his black fox ears eagerly and wagging his tail. "Galathia said you would give her something good if she did what you asked. She got beat up to an inch of death and is recovering now so she couldn't be here. I was supposed to deliver Galathia's reward to her but I don't want to. I did the teleportation work so I should get the treat!" Fang exclaimed. "Give it, give it! Give me the something good!"
Milgazia smiled with sweet victory. "I already have."
Fang blinked in confusion. "Where is it? I don't see it." He had a bad feeling about this.
"I give you..." Milgazia paused dramatically, "the opportunity to realize that you are deep down very kind and my thanks."
Fang cringed. "Monsters are not very kind and monsters don't like gratitude," he pouted. At least it wasn't too bad since he was a monster fox chimera, rather than a pure monster. "You tricked me!" He pointed at the golden dragon accusingly.
"Yes, I did," Milgazia admitted unfazed.
Fang looked surprised. "Why do you confess it so easily?"
"You were tricked by a dragon," Milgazia emphasized. "That's not very monster-like of you, how disappointing. Tell you what, Fang, if you keep our little venture a secret I will keep this a secret too."
Fang thought about it for a moment. He didn't want to be a disappointment, especially when Xellos was so cranky. "So if I don't tell anyone about the teleportation, or about Luna, or about any of this, you won't tell Xellos I was tricked by a dragon?"
"That's right," Milgazia agreed, this was a lot easier than tricking Galathia. He should have called for Fang from the start. He was a strong monster, but monster chimeras always sacrificed some of their monster aspects. In this case it was his sense of malice. "Don't forget, if you reveal any of this, you'll just be making yourself look bad and I'm sure Xellos will be very upset at you," he warned.
"I won't tell anyone!" Fang insisted. "In fact, I'll say I bailed out and didn't do what I was told. None of this ever happened and I was never here!" With those final words of parting, Fang teleported back to Wolf Pack Island, off to pretend he never left.
Milgazia chuckled lightly to himself. He wasn't sure when he became so tricky, but it was useful. Maybe he had spent too much time playing brass rackets in their odd definition of diplomatic meetings with Zelas if her tricky ways were rubbing off on him. He mused on it for a while and surprisingly decided that it wasn't so bad. It was about time the monsters got a taste of their own medicine anyway. Without further ado, Milgazia headed towards the Inverse residence with Luna's uninhabited motionless body.
xoxox xox xoxox
Light and Labyrinthine were certainly surprised to be visited by a golden dragon elder carrying their unconscious eldest daughter. She had been gone for a long time, but it didn't strike them as odd, as she was the Knight of Ceifeed and had duties to perform. Plus their younger daughter, Lina, was always running around all over the place. Luna was placed in her room where she looked as if she were sleeping.
"Thanks for bringing her here," Labyrinthine pulled the blankets over her daughter and stepped back, watching her unmoving form.
"I'm very sorry things ended up like this. Action is being taken," Milgazia assured. "Luna will recover if her soul is found and returned to her body." Except he had no clue about where it could be.
"You mean when," Light corrected. "I know my girls are strong. Luna's not going to fall so easily. She'll be back."
Milgazia nodded, the Inverse couple was certainly confident in their daughters' abilities and they had good reasons to be. Speaking of which, it was about time he met with Lina Inverse.
xoxox xox xoxox
Later at Seyruun, Milgazia landed at the royal courtyard and in a flash of golden light, the large dragon was gone, replaced with Milgazia's human form.
The first one to reach him was Xellos, who was not happy to see him. Then again, Xellos wasn't happy about anything these days. "Why are you here?"
Milgazia remained unfazed by the fact that Xellos actually looked like an obvious monster in his current foul mood. "I came to speak to Lina."
"She's busy," Xellos warned. He wanted to go to the over-world and didn't want any distractions getting in the way.
"Oh, c'mon, let me hear what he has to say." Lina and the others gathered in the Seyruun royal courtyard where Milgazia was. Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Philional, Naga, Gravos, Filia, Val, Fili, Palou, Jillas and Elena were all present.
Surprisingly, Phythan was also present among the group. "Milgazia!" He called out urgently, making his way to the front of the crowd. "I was trying to contact you, but Jarde kept ignoring me. I think he's being all rebellious and cranky because he misses his monster lord mommy. I was trying to tell you that Luna's body was stolen by monsters. That sucks, doesn't it? Just when we won the voting to keep her safe. I wasn't sure what to do, so I came here. Then when I was about to explain everything, you got here. Looks like it was a good thing I came here after all. Justice is a fine guide to follow!"
"What's this about Luna's body?" Lina demanded to know.
"What's this about winning the voting?" Milgazia added urgently.
"We won," Phythan simply stated. "I sent you a message about it."
"The message I got only told me to get Luna out," Milgazia frowned. He should have known nothing good came out of dealing with monsters. "Which means that all of that was completely unnecessary and utterly useless."
"All of what?" Lina insisted impatiently. "What's going on? What happened to Luna?"
"Luna's soul is not currently in her body," Milgazia explained. "The whereabouts of the soul are unknown, but the body is safe so that she should recover if the soul is restored."
"Safe?" Lina questioned. "Didn't Phythan just say her body was stolen by monsters? How is that safe?"
Milgazia shook his head and let out a hopeless breath. "That's a lie. I thought her body was set to be destroyed to prevent it from being possessed, but it turns out I was misinformed. I took Luna's body to Zephilia to keep her safe, not knowing that she wasn't in any danger anyway. There's nothing that can be done about that now, we might as well just leave things as they are. Luna's body is at Zephilia with your parents, she should be safe there."
Lina looked relived, "that's good to know," she breathe. "If anything happened to Luna's body, her soul would somehow come back to haunt me and blame me for it."
"Kidnapping the vessel of the Knight of Ceifeed and blaming it on the monsters?" Xellos observed with a slightly teasing tone. Stressed as he was, this was just priceless. "Since when are you so tricky, Milgazia?"
"I'm not," Milgazia frowned. "But speaking of tricks," he pulled a card out of his sleeve.
"You cheat at cards too?" Xellos shook his head in mock disapproval. "Tsk, tsk, you really are a tricky dragon."
"I don't cheat; this is something Zelas dropped when she was summoned." When Milgazia revealed that detail, Xellos' attention was instantly caught.
Xellos' slightly improved mood hit rock bottom again. "What were you doing with Lord Beast Master when she was summoned anyway?" He growled threateningly. He wasn't allowed to be there, so he didn't want some dragon being there.
"I thought that if I watched I might be able to learn something useful," Milgazia was still unfazed by Xellos' anger. "I didn't really get much out of watching the summoning, but I did get an interesting history lesson from the Lord of Nightmares." The mention of the name of the Lord of Nightmares made everyone instantly become serious and alert. "You know what this means, if the Lord of Nightmares is out and about this is something big. But I got the impression that she has no intentions of interfering like she did last year. This time we'll have to figure out what to do on our own. As for the card, I thought it was ordinary, but after carrying it for a while, it feels like there's something in it."
Xellos took the card from Milgazia. "It's a good luck charm." He surrounded the card with dark energy, which caused an otherwise invisible shiny violet rune to light up. "It's a simple luck rune, nothing too rare. Though it does tend to favor the dealer in a game." He pocketed the card and ignored Milgazia's disapproving look. "If that is all the news you have to share, we'll be on our way now."
Lina stepped forward, claiming her role as the leader of the group. "Alright, it's time to go to the over-world!" "Naga, Gravos, Phil, Val, Jillas, Elena, Palou, and you too Algar, keep Seyruun safe and start getting ready for a major victory banquet on our return! Sylphiel, Pokota, Martina and Zangulus will be keeping an eye on any suspicious activities in Sairaag, Taforashia, Zoana and the nearby territories. From what I've heard, Memphis and Onyx are with the elves and Phythan and Milgazia will take care of the dragons. As for us, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Filia, Xellos, our mission is to be... Darkstar's worse nightmare! He won't know what hit him. To the over-world, to the battle field!"
"Justice will prevail!" Amelia cheered; Lina's speech was certainly inspirational.
Before anyone got further carried away and decided to add more to the speech, Xellos teleported the chosen group to Wolf Pack Island.
xoxox xox xoxox
Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Filia and Xellos reappeared at Wolf Pack Island. Celo was waiting with the machine ready. He was wearing an odd metal headband with a glass orb with wiring in the middle, which in another time might be described as resembling a lightbulb. "Welcome to the over-world express! It's the fastest and safest way to get to the over-world."
"Not to mention the only way," Lina added with a touch of sarcasm. "Well, let's get this show on the road." She hopped on to the platform next to which Celo stood, followed by Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Filia and Xellos.
"Join hands everyone, I wouldn't want you to get separated between dimensions," Celo reminded. "Here we go!" He chanted a spell to activate the magical device and the gears beneath the platform spun faster and faster, accumulating energy. The crystals of chaotic energy around the platform shone brightly and the atmosphere became thick and heavy.
It felt as if they were being electrocuted, but those standing on the platform had no choice but to bare it and hope the trip was over soon. A bright pillar of light rose from the platform at the same time as the lightbulb on Celo's head lit up. The six travelers faded away into the light that disappeared into the distant skies from whence it came. When the light was gone, Celo disappeared as well, leaving only the odd head accessory on the ground where he once stood.
xoxox xox xoxox
A violet light surrounded Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Xellos and Filia as they held on to each other, trying not to become lost in the chaos that screeched in their minds and threatened to rip them apart. The violet bubble of energy at last wrapped itself completely around them, lessening the impact of the trek. The energy felt peculiarly like Celo, but he was fading fast. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, but was actually only a few minutes, the chaos gave way to a vast darkness with points of light in the distance and a brown sphere that got closer and closer. The blackness faded to an odd shade of blue-green cloud-less sky. The brown rocky ground was approaching fast. The violet energy burst around them and slowed their fall sufficiently, then it faded away completely.
The six travelers of worlds fell to the rocky brown ground with a thump. It hurt, but it wasn't enough to cause any serious injuries. Lina was the first to return to alertness and look around. The land was barren, devoid of trees, grass or plants of any kind. On the bright side, there didn't seem to be any ferocious otherworldly animals trying to eat them. She got up and dusted herself off, gazing into the skies. The heavens above were an usual shade and the rocky ground beneath her feet had wavy lines of pale and dark brown that were rather odd. "Looks like we made it to the over-world." Not that she knew what the over-world looked like, but she had not been to a place that looked like this before. The redhead looked around to the distance. "Unfortunately, it looks like we're far away from any settlements. Or maybe I should say it's fortunate, we wouldn't want our arrival to spook anyone." As she adverted her curious eyes away from the landscape and towards her companions she found them staring at Xellos and Zelgadis for various reasons.
Xellos looked like he was fading, trying hard to stay with them, but being pulled afar. "Xellos, what's happening to you?"
"I don't know!" Xellos' voice was echoing yet cut off. "I can't-" before he could finish what he was saying, he was gone.
"Xellos!" Filia yelled in alarm, but he wasn't answering. "What happened to him? Where did he go?"
"Calm down," Lina cautioned. "I'm sure there's an explanation for this."
"What if monsters can't survive here?" Filia panicked.
"I don't think that's it," Lina tried to calm her. "If that was true, then how is Darkstar supposed to steal the monster lords' power if they simply disappear?"
"Maybe he didn't plan to steal their power," Filia worried. "Maybe he wanted to kill them by luring them here. Maybe he already has and Xellos is-"
"Don't be so pessimistic!" Amelia suddenly interrupted. "We can't lose hope, we'll find Mr. Xellos, I'm sure of it!"
"Right... right..." Filia tried to calm herself and stay focused. Panicking wouldn't help the situation at all.
"Now, about that armor..." Lina looked at Zelgadis oddly, at least that person sort of looked like it was Zelgadis.
"I can't take it off!" Zelgadis kept pulling at the metal that covered his whole body, but it wouldn't come off. He couldn't even remove the odd mask over his face. "It's stuck, all of it!"
"I wonder if that armor has something to do with your being a chimera?" Amelia examined the metal, but could find no place where it looked like it could be pulled off. It all fitted Zelgadis' measurements perfectly, unlike any knightly armor, however customized, ever could.
"Does that mean I'm stuck like this?" Zelgadis didn't like it at all.
"I don't really know..." Amelia admitted.
It was up to the leader to once again try to keep things in order. "That armor is something of this world. I'm sure someone from here will know how it works and will be able to get it off. In the mean time, try to use it to your advantage. At least you're fully protected with it and it doesn't look as bulky and hard to move in as the armors from our world."
"I suppose there's no other choice, and surprisingly it really isn't hard to move in," Zelgadis accepted.
"Okay then, let's start walking." Lina decided. "There must be a sort of settlement around here. I'm sure we'll see some people soon, the over-world can't be that under-populated, right?" Unless the barren appearance of the landscape was due to Darkstar exterminating everyone and everything in that area already; but Lina decided not to voice such a grim theory. "As soon as we find people," and hopefully not corpses, "we'll find information."
To be Continued
Milgazia offering to give 'something good' as a reward, which turns out to be the satisfaction of helping others, is a reference to Flonne from Disgaea.