Episode 072: Fishy! While The Wolf's Away...
Episode 072: Fishy! While The Wolf's Away...
Dolphin stared blankly at Zelas' explanations and finally nodded her head like a bobble toy. "I didn't fully understand all that, but the point is that I'm alive and there's a chance I'll get my power back. But what will we do in the mean time. There are dragons here, Lina Inverse and, call me crazy, but I feel the Knight of Ceifeed's presence on that crescent moon shaped jewel that woman who looks like she could be Lina's mother is holding." Dolphin lowered her voice more and more as she spoke, ending the warning in a quiet whisper. "With most of your power outside of your control for the time being and my power gone, Xellos is stronger than the both of us... and considerably stronger than I remember him being for that matter. But will he be able to fight off the dragons en mass and the knight of Ceifeed and Lina Inverse and all other possible dangers that want to kill us at the same time? I am assuming you don't want to kill me yourself, since you took the trouble of rescuing me from Darkstar."
Zelas laughed at Dolphin's uneasiness. "Darkstar really got under your skin, didn't he? Quit panicking. Although I suppose I shouldn't blame you. The first time I found myself without being able to control a decent amount of power," meaning a considerably large amount, "I was pretty upset too, but I survived and recovered. Besides, I'll let you in on a not so secret detail, without my help, Darkstar can't be defeated, the dragons can't touch me or they'll be throwing away their lives."
"I get it, it's genius! And since I'm your ally, they can't touch me either!" Dolphin nodded rapidly in self reassurance. "We are allies aren't we?"
"My, my, you're suddenly quite fond of me, aren't you?" Zelas laughed. "You better not forget how much you owe me in case I decide to collect one of these days. By the way, I have news..."
"More?" Dolphin wasn't even sure if she could take it.
"Since you we were removed from this world, all active pacts were broken, which includes Leviathan," Zelas informed with a Xellos style cheerful expression. "That means that your precious pet is dead."
Dolphin gasped, "my Leviathan, my longest pact record! Oh, that Darkstar's going to get it!" She stomped her feet in angry frustration.
"The legendary beast of the sea is gone?" Filia was surprised to hear it. Though she wasn't exactly an expert on the subject, she had heard many stories.
"Nah, those are just monsters named after Leviathan by humans," Zelas waved her hand in dismissal. "I was talking about Dolphin's pet goldfish."
"Goldfish?" Several members of the group sweat dropped simultaneously.
"I want to drown that Darkstar, if it was possible for him to drown I mean," Dolphin grumbled angrily. "Get him for me, will you Zelas?"
"I'll get him for myself," Zelas proudly declared.
"That's right, justice will always triumph!" Amelia cheered.
"I say it again, you're tough, Zelas," Dolphin commended. "You have to be if you put up with positive craziness like that."
Zelas shook her head hopelessly, "you don't know the half of it."
"Aw, but being optimistic is good. I mean, just look where it got you, Miss Zelas, you survived what any pessimistic monster wouldn't have been able to! Things are looking up, your power is safe and can be recovered, Miss Dolphin has been rescued, even if she has sadly lost her dear pet, may he rest in peace. We need to stay optimistic, just like Zelgadis and Gorun Nova did and it led them to become human!"
"That's right, Zel was supposed to become human and Gorun Nova too. With all that's been going on, I forgot!" Lina admitted; she was feeling somewhat like Gourry for becoming distracted enough to forget about something important.
"To be honest, I got caught up in all these explanations and wasn't really paying attention myself," Zelgadis confessed. It was one shock after another since their arrival back at their world. "It looks like it worked though, I'm finally human!" He could only hope that the effect was true and permanent this time, though he had spent some time as a human without his armor in the over-world and he did feel very much human still. "This is... I really think this is the real cure at last!" He could barely believe it after all he had endured.
"Then that means I should be a human too!" Gorun Nova hoped. "But I have never been human before so I don't know what it's supposed to feel like."
"I can help determine that," Xellos surprisingly offered. "Hold out your hand."
Too happy about the possibility of having become human to be on his guard, Gorun Nova obediently held out his hand. Xellos then proceeded to pinch the skin on the back of Gorun Nova's hand with his index finger and thumb, until with an indignant "ow!" Gorun Nova pulled his hand back and rubbed the affected area with the other. "What did you do that for?"
"I was simply answering your question," Xellos innocently replied with a blameless smile. "That is what being human feels like, painful. Trust me; I've been through it, good luck getting use to it and watch out for possible hidden allergies." Xellos couldn't help it but to shudder remembering his own allergic experience, though his was an extreme and rare case.
"If I'm human, like Flagoon, then I'm happy," Gorun Nova decided. "Besides, this can't be any harder than being a sword that can't even talk or decide where to go. Compared to that, this form is very comfortable, though it might take some getting used to, since I've never been a biological creature before."
"I'm happy for you, Gorun Nova," Gourry smiled with a thumbs up. "Now that you're a human there's lots of cool things you can do, like eat!"
"Mr. Gorun, you should stop by Seyruun sometime, my dad's martial art lessons will help you get used to your human form in no time!" Amelia offered. "Then you can work out an appetite and enjoy a nice meal."
A few of those present shifted, wondering if it was a good idea to let Philionel train Gorun Nova, who was just getting used to being human. Gourry discretely whispered to Amelia, "please tell Phil to go easy on him."
"Speaking of food, I better get cooking if I'm going to deliver the promised banquet," Labyrinthine recalled. "But first we need to go by Taforashia so we can drop off Luna's soul in her body. The cube turned into this jewel, but it seems its functions are the same."
"About that jewel," Zelas interjected. "After you're done putting Luna's soul back, do you mind if I keep it as a souvenir?" Though it was voiced as a question, it basically meant, 'give it to me or I'll take it.'
"I don't see why not," Light considered it. "Do think that's okay, Luna?" The jewel only pulsated in return, as it was all that it could do to communicate, yet somehow, Light understood his daughter. "Sounds like she's okay with it."
"Then it's settled, you can give me the jewel later," Zelas concluded.
"When will the food be ready, mom?" Lina hungrily inquired.
"It will take a while, dear, please be patient." Labyrinthine smiled at how some things about her youngest daughter never changed.
"I should check on Dragon's Peak to make sure things are alright," Milgazia decided. "I will see everyone later."
"Bye..." Onyx quietly left as well, catching a ride to Dragon's Peak at the Kataart Mountains with Milgazia.
"I'm sure Phythan is worried about you," Milgazia commented as they flew away. 'My wings do feel stronger now,' he quietly mused on the effects of the jetpack upgrade.
"He probably has a lot of sketches to show me. Other than comics, he has been taking up an interest in machine designs, must be all those books Celo left for him," Onyx mused. "He'd be surprised at all the things I saw in my short time in the over-world."
"I thought Zelas' influence would stay with him. Somehow I can picture him becoming her intern again in the future, perhaps for a job similar to Celo's," Milgazia let out an exasperated breath. "I suppose it can't be helped, but it's better to have one more dragon keeping a close eye on Zelas' plots than one less. Besides, Phythan would be very difficult to corrupt, though relatively easy to trick."
"I hear you," Onyx understood the request spoken between the lines. "Keep an eye on him, got it."
xoxox xox xoxox
After Milgazia left, Xellos went to take care of some official monster business with Zelas, who was sure the representations of her power would make a move and make their location known soon. Filia decided to check on Val and the others at Seyruun and gave Amelia, Zelgadis and Gorun Nova rides back to the white magic kingdom in her golden dragon form. It felt very good to stretch her wings and tail again after such a long time.
With Fang providing additional transportation via astral side teleportation, Light and Labyrinthine easily reached Taforashia, where they found Pokota and Sylphiel, who was visiting. Luna's real body was safe and her soul was restored to it. With the knight of Ceifeed safe once again, the Inverse family and Gourry, who had tagged along, returned to Zephilia. After delivering his passengers to their destination, Fang took the promised crescent moon shaped jewel and left to take it to Zelas.
Beast Master, or at least the part of her that held her persona, was at Wolf Pack Island having a meeting with Neuro and Zenki. Galathia was also there, hovering over in the background, waiting impatiently for Zelas to finish talking to her lieutenants so she could talk to her about anything and everything. Xellos had accompanied Dolphin to her home, as per Zelas' request, and made sure none of her minions were getting ideas of treachery, as Dolphin was now officially Beast Master's ally. Riksfalto seemed to get the message and kept an eye on Dolphin while she tried to begin the recovery process of her power. Other than the rogue pieces of power that Zelas needed to reintegrate into herself, Xellos was currently the top monster in that world.
xoxox xox xoxox
Milgazia and Onyx arrived at Dragon's Peak to find Memphis in the middle of what could only be described as a pep talk to the dragons, who were all too happy to see their leader had returned alive and well. Phythan was happily reunited with Onyx, while Milgazia gave Memphis the update to answer her rapid stream of questions, all of which could be summarized as, "what happened?"
There was a human with Memphis, a sorcerer by the looks of him and surprisingly, Milgazia's old friend Linesword, who rarely ventured out of his elven village, was there as well. The older elf kept a close eye on his daughter and more so on the human man beside her. It was a peculiar behavior that Milgazia couldn't help it but to notice as he spoke with Memphis.
Finally, the elf girl let out a frustrated breath and turned to meet her father's gaze. After a few silent seconds, Linesword finally looked away and she continued what she had been saying to Milgazia. "So that's when that monster called Erosnum attacked along with a group of other monsters and we had to fight them off. Vrumugun had just recently arrived at the time on a diplomatic visit on behalf of the kingdom of Zoana and helped us fight off the monsters. He's a pretty skilled sorcerer," she smiled. "However, some people are being rude to him," she glanced at her father disapprovingly. "And as the dragon elder around here, I think it is your duty to make them stop!"
"I see..." Milgazia quietly took in all the information and decided to have a private talk with Linesword. "Well, it looks like you've handled the situation quite well, I commend you on that, Memphis. Mr. Vrumugun, I am very grateful for your assistance to my clan. Though we are in a time of crisis, I would very much like to conduct proper diplomatic discussions with you as soon as there is time to do so. For now, please enjoy your stay at Dragon's Peak and make yourself at home." As Milgazia spoke, Linesword let out a little huff, which made Milgazia glance at him in question.
"Memphis, maybe you should do another round of patrol just in case," Linesword suggested.
"That's a fine idea, father," Memphis agreed. "Vrumugun, would you mind coming with me?"
"I would be glad to," Vrumugun left along with Memphis, despite the looks Linesword was giving him.
After they were gone, Milgazia let out a tired breath. He didn't expect to arrive at Dragon's Peak and find everything in order, but he didn't expect this kind of trouble either. "What's going on?"
"That Vrumugun guy has his eye on my Memphis, that's what's going on!" Linesword grunted. "That Zoana place is closely allied to Beast Master; it's a kingdom of black magic that's not to be trusted!"
"This isn't like you," Milgazia observed as calm and collected as he usually was, when there wasn't a certain monster lord purposely trying to get on his nerves. "You are usually quite open and friendly to humans, black magic users or not. Besides, Zoana isn't really a bad place despite their alliance. I'm sure we can both agree that Seyruun is an exemplary honorable kingdom and they have a sort of alliance with Beast Master too. Diplomacy with monsters, albeit quite headache inducing most of the time, has become a necessity in this day and age."
"That's not the point," Linesword rumbled. "It's not that I'm discriminating against Vrumugun specifically, but rather, any man that goes after Memphis needs to be subjected to a very detailed scrutiny."
"I can understand that," Milgazia half lied. He understood the basic concept behind the situation, though he had no children of his own to be protective, or over-protective, of, albeit he cared for Memphis like a niece. "You must try to be open minded; love can be found in the most unexpected of places such as with-"
"A monster!" Linesword suddenly exclaimed.
Milgazia thought about it as if Linesword was suggesting the possibility. "Admittedly, I'm still a bit skeptical about that, but I suppose there could be stranger things. I mean, there have been obscure legends about such topics which had to be based on something. Plus there is Filia's situation and I'm sure she would say that it is quite possible for a monster to love, even if she assaults Xellos with her mace more often than-"
"No, I mean there's a monster right behind you, two actually," Linesword insisted.
"Oh..." Milgazia glanced at the pair of monsters that stood there uneasily. Several dragons have rushed back to the scene upon sensing the unexpected visitors, but Milgazia was quick to assure them that everything was under control. The dragons seemed happy enough to let Milgazia handle things; he was good at appeasing monsters as far as they could tell. In the privacy of his mind, Milgazia admitted to himself that he was embarrassed not to have become fully alert when the monsters teleported into his clan's territory. Linesword and the others had certainly sensed them, yet Milgazia had gotten so accustomed to being surrounded by monsters, literally surrounded while traveling in the Great Beast, albeit it was a different form, that he didn't even feel uneasy and disregarded the feeling of an uninvited presence in the back of his mind. He mentally scolded himself thinking he really shouldn't allow himself another slip off like that. Finally, after a pause that felt too long, he addressed the two monsters with a diplomatic tone. "Greetings, Lord Deep Sea Dolphin and General Riksfalto. To what do I owe this visit?"
Riksfalto stood by quietly, looking rather annoying, while Deep Sea Dolphin stood forward and pointed at Milgazia with her index finger. "You!"
"Yes?" Milgazia blinked in confusion over her strange behavior.
Dolphin delivered a most peculiar request, or rather order, as she stated her unexpected and so far inexplicable intentions. "I'm taking you out on a date!"
Linesword's jaw hung open wordlessly while Milgazia just stared wondering if he had heard wrong. But he knew his ears were clean, they were always clean and he never had to be told twice, even as a child to wash behind them as well. After a long moment of silence, Milgazia finally spoke with an unsure, "pardon me?"
"You're pardoned, now let's get going," Dolphin insisted, grabbing Milgazia's arm and starting to drag him off, with Riksfalto hovering about in the background uncomfortably.
"Wait a minute!" Milgazia exclaimed as he firmly planted his feet on the ground. "I believe I have misunderstood. Could you repeat your reason for having come here?"
"I said I'm taking you out on a date. You know, a date, those strange outing ritual things." Dolphin's explanation hinted that she was not exactly an expert on the subject, but she certainly sounded dead set on making it happen.
"You have to tell me..." Linesword pushed each word out with difficulty as the shock of what he had just heard had rendered him speechless. "What in the world do you do to make monsters crazy for you like this? It's... it's..." The elf decided to use a more modern expression than what he would normally speak. It was a phrase he had heard Memphis use and no doubt she had picked up the eloquent little remark from the humans. They were quite good at coming up with a variety of expression for each and every situation. "It's freaky!"
"I'm not... I didn't... I don't..." Milgazia stuttered to find the right words to say, but they were simply none. Thus he took a deep breath and decided that, first things first, he should begin with a simple and reasonable request. "Dolphin, please stop pulling at my arm." Surprisingly, the monster lord did so. Once that was out of the way, Milgazia proceeded to inquire as calmly as he could. "Why do you wish to go on a..." it was too weird to say it, Linesword was right, it was indeed 'freaky.' "On a date with me?"
"Oh it's not that I like you or anything," Dolphin twisted her nose in disgust. "I've seen sailors that are better on the eyes than you, in fact sailors are... Er, never mind, that would be getting off topic. My point is that I don't find land lovers like you the least bit attractive. However, Zelas is always hanging around you, sucking information out of you with her diplomatic meetings, so I decided to top her by taking you out on a date, then I can get more info and come up with a plan to gain some power so that I don't have to be embarrassed that I'm not even as strong as Xellos and I won't need to have Riksfalto hanging around me playing bodyguard all the time." Dolphin twitched. "Oh and if I do get attacked and, and, and Riksfalto gets destroyed, and, and, and there's no one there to do anything about it, then I can use my power combined with yours and fusion magic the enemy to next Tuesday!" She twitched some more. "Cause you know, fusion magic is strong, but I need to have a dragon near by to do it. Oh and since Zelas is my ally, don't you even think about betraying me because then she'll cook you. If she asks, just make sure to tell her I'm only borrowing her dragon, not stealing it, I mean you."
"A nervous breakdown as an after effect of what Darkstar subjected her to?" Milgazia theorized.
Riksfalto let out a hopeless breath and nodded, "yeah, ruin paranoia."
To be Continued