Episode 073: Lunatic! We're All Mad Here
Episode 073: Lunatic! We're All Mad Here
Milgazia was stuck thinking about how to handle the unlikely, but apparent, situation of Dolphin having a nervous breakdown that drove her to seek a creative way to protect herself. Darkstar had drilled the fear of death into her head during her captivity, something that Milgazia did not doubt that he could do, thus it was only natural that she clung to the life giving power of fusion magic, even subconsciously, as a form of protection. After all, even when monsters wanted destruction, they had their, ifs, ands and buts about it, as if they didn't want to just get it over with. Exterminating others, they would do it, especially when it empowered them, thus making them safer at the same time, in the case of the higher ranks, or preventing them from being labeled as incompetent and exterminated by their superiors in the case of the lower ranks. Yet at the last moment, like any sentient creature that existed, they wanted to continue existing. They were chaotic, not nothingness, after all.
This also worried Milgazia for another reason. Zelas had been studious in overcoming the monsters' known weaknesses and even managed to provide several of her minions with added defenses through various processes. Fang was a monster and fox chimera, part monster and part living beast. Xellos had experienced humanity and retained the lessons learned well enough so that he was stronger as a monster towards their usual weak points. However, Zelas had not made any changes to herself, yet she was able to adapt to wielding courage, albeit it still pained her. Granted, Canal was able to wield wrath, but upon remembering the situations he had been told about in stories shared while traveling through space in the over-world, Milgazia mused that they were worse off than he thought. Just as Canal had been outmatched at that time, so were they. The balance of darkness and light was so off that one side wielded the power of the other in an effort to restore that balance and that led to evolution, the mixture of light and dark. To take some of the opposing forces and wield them to even out the field, said field would have to have been severely tilted in the first place.
It all also reminded Milgazia of when he started to wield black magic, even mastering several spells that borrowed power from Zelas. He wasn't raised to do so, being a golden dragon and all. He should think he would want nothing to do with such forces after the events of the War of the Monster's fall. Yet he took that power and used it as if it was his own, his instinct guiding him in an ironic twist that felt too necessary to be a mere coincidence. To win is to lose and to lose is to win. Those who push the world out of balance will have their power taken for the purpose of trying to restore that balance. Over a year ago the battle had been motion versus stillness, ever changing life versus eternal death, chaos versus nothingness. This time it was an odd mix of a being that wielded both darkness and nothingness in unpredictable ways. Yet one thing had to be the same as last year, Milgazia didn't know how, but he knew it. "She knows..." He muttered under his breath. 'Zelas once again knows more than she lets on,' Milgazia mused. She must have reached the same conclusion as him as us didn't further push the worlds out of balance even if she had the chance to kill Luna, maybe even ruin or seal her very soul to prevent the knight of Ceifeed from reincarnating. Yet she let her go so easily, she must have expected to require using Luna's power for herself in the future somehow. Maybe it was just an inexplicable instinct, but a beast's instinct was usually right.
"Who knows what?" Dolphin snapped, not liking the long silence. She wasn't used to being in such a weakened state and the feeling of Darkstar's power trying to overtake her was far too fresh in her mind for her uneasiness to leave her any time soon. Receiving nothing but silence in exchange for her question, Dolphin continued with a thoughtful expression replacing her slightly psychotic one from before. "A monster who is worried about dying, the world is a backwards place if I am haunted by what I feed on."
"One less person alive means one less to threaten you. Submission gives you power to protect yourself. Your so called inclination towards destruction is self preservation to the extreme," Milgazia pointed out.
Riksfalto's glare intensified on the golden dragon elder and she opened her mouth to speak with none too polite words. Yet before any sounds could depart from her throat, Dolphin raised her hand to silence the monster general. The monster lord of the sea smoothed out her blue dress as if to buy herself some time with useless fidgeting to calm her indignation. "Way to throw our principals on our faces, but it's not like I didn't know that monsters are contrary. We're supposed to be, I think, we're chaotic," she grinned almost insanely.
Milgazia concluded then that Dolphin was indeed rather unstable. He had heard the rumors of her having gone insane after having to remain at the sea for such a long time, yet during his brief meetings with her before; she seemed to still have her sanity intact. Or at least she was as sane as anyone else in the group of people that sometimes crossed paths with Lina Inverse. Perhaps there was another less sane side to her that came and went and Darkstar had brought out. Contemplating her and trying to guess her actions, Milgazia remained silent unsure of where he stood, and most importantly from his perspective, unsure of how safe his clan was. He could take on Dolphin in her weakened state, though Riksfalto would give him trouble. Even so, with his fellow dragons having recovered to an extent, victory was a very realistic possibility. Yet Zelas had granted Dolphin protection and all that Beast Master had to do to obtain a fatal revenge was refuse to do anything at all, as her help would surely be needed against Darkstar.
Unsatisfied with the silence, Dolphin insisted. "So, are we going out or what?"
Milgazia sighed hopelessly. Monster lord or not, rejecting such an unstable woman felt as if it was a very suicidal idea. He prepared himself for a big headache and finally breathed out a tired, "yes."
Both Linesword and Riksfalto stared at him in open mouth shock while Dolphin clapped her hands together. "Grand! Let's go then."
"Where?" Milgazia inquired with disdain.
Giving the prospect some additional thought, Dolphin realized she had not planned things out that far. She just wanted a creature that was as opposite as possible to Darkstar near by to use as a potential shield. "Anywhere is fine, you can pick as long as it's not in the center of dragon society or something like that."
"Very well, I will think of something," Milgazia agreed.
"Wha..." Linesword tried to speak, but he was simply too shocked. He swallowed hard and pushed his voice to function. "Sure they're both pretty, but they're also both rather insane." He had the nerve to joke about Dolphin and Zelas, while Milgazia gave him a displeased look. The elf gave the golden dragon elder a pat on the back. "Good luck, I'm sure you'll be just fine, as you've always behaved like a perfect gentleman, so I see no reason why things wouldn't go perfectly." He let out a small laugh, knowing very well that this so called date would be nothing like a real date.
"I'm tagging along," Riksfalto half requested and half declared, her mouth turning into a dissatisfied line.
"Of course you are," Dolphin nodded with insistence. "In fact, I'm ordering you to play the third wheel." With a frown and an impossible to understand grumble, Riskfalto nodded and accepted her unwanted role.
Before Milgazia could even decide on where he could take Dolphin that seemed acceptable to her and not too troublesome to anyone who could be nearby or himself, a dark presence invaded his senses. This time he noticed right away and was on guard when the monster in question appeared.
"Erosnum!" Linesword was the first to verbally identify the dark creature.
"I thought I sensed Deep Sea Dolphin here," Erosnum spoke in a mocking voice as several monsters continued to materialize behind him. "My last endeavor in the Kataart Mountains was not a favorable one, but this time I've brought more monsters with me.
"Hey!" Dolphin placed her hands on her hips and glared in indignation as Riksfalto looked back and forth between Dolphin and her former monster allies. "Those were my minions, you traitors! Milgazia, sick 'em, boy!"
"You are pitiful and I will-" Erosnum's threat was interrupted when he sensed something. He looked to the golden dragon elder, who was quietly chanting something.
Soon another presence joined them. A feminine tan arm locked itself around Milgazia's neck in a headlock akin to what Lina would sometimes use on Xellos. "What's the big idea, dragon boy? Summoning my power like that. All my spells should be unusable for now, leave it to the obnoxious Milgazia to tap into my energy and specifically me rather than the other three bigger portions. I can block it rather easily with my current much smaller astral body since power doesn't seep out as much, but the constant tug is terribly annoying and-" Zelas suddenly released Milgazia, who occupied himself in getting some air into his thirsty lungs. "I see, so this is why you were calling for me, the traitor is here." She glared at Erosnum fiercely, as if she had her full power at her disposal, even if she did not.
"Lord Beast Master!" Xellos appeared, causing Erosnum to look tense. The traitor knew he couldn't win against the general priest.
"Stand down, Xellos, you too, dragon boy, and I don't even have to tell the rest of you to get out of the way, do I?" Riksfalto crossed her arms and grunted as she stepped aside, while Dolphin swiftly positioned herself between and behind Xellos and Milgazia. "I alone will be your opponent, Erosnum."
Erosnum stared in disbelief, then laughed mockingly. "Liar, you don't have the power right now. You'll just send Xellos to get me. He might be able to beat me, but you'll never get over the shame of having to be protected by your minion, instead of just served by him like a prideful beast?"
Zelas huffed, "if I were to die over something like that, I would already be dead." Though she was technically admitting her own weakness, she was so prideful and mocking about it that it unnerved Erosnum. "What do you think I've been doing this whole time if not fighting creatures bigger than me? I think I'm beginning to understand why a human such as Lina Inverse is so strong, even if humans are supposed to be frail, she has a strong spirit. Monsters are basically spirits in a sense. Brute force is fun and all, but a true beast has cunning too. I have no doubts that I will win."
"Lord Beast Master..." Xellos quietly murmured his master's name before smiling widely and cheering. "Wipe the floor with him! I won't get in the way, but I will be cheering for you from the side lines!"
"Isn't cheering counterproductive for a monster?" Linesword wondered aloud, but no one was really paying attention to him at that point, albeit many had arrived to witness the spectacle, observing quietly. Among them were Memphis, Vrumugun, Phythan, Onyx and several dragons from Milgazia's clan.
"Enough of this!" Erosnum charged forward, but Zelas nonchalantly held out the crescent moon jewel that once held Luna's soul and it captured the traitorous monster instantly.
The jewel pulsated in protest, but Erosnum was unable to break free. "A short anti-climatic battle is all that an unworthy creature such as yourself deserves." She shattered the jewel, ruining Erosnum and destroying him. She looked at the other monsters that had arrived with Erosnum threateningly. "Alright, who's next?"
The monsters looked at each other, not knowing what exactly just happened, except that Erosnum had been very easily destroyed. Without another second to waste, they ran away. "That's right, run away you traitorous land lovers!" Dolphin shouted after them. "When I get my power back from Darkstar I'm making you scrub the ocean floors clean with a toothbrush!"
"That made no sense..." Linesword quietly commented, though he was beginning to understand that with a crazy group like this, nothing ever did. "Just how many of those jewels do you have and how come it didn't absorb you?"
"My strength of will is far stronger than Erosnum's, so I could resist the pull of the jewel," Zelas explained. "I only actually had one, but those monsters didn't ask, so I didn't tell them."
"You're awesome, Lord Beast Master! Let's do a victory cheer for Beast Master! Yay!" Xellos cheered loudly. He glanced over at the others, pouting, "you're not cheering."
"You really expect us to?" Milgazia asked in disbelief. Then again, this was Xellos and crazy antics were not so rare with him. "Yay..." He muttered with sarcasm.
"Louder!" Xellos screamed at Milgazia's face.
"Yay..." Milgazia grumbled again, with even more sarcasm than before.
"Louder!" Xellos insisted.
"Yay... No way!" Milgazia suddenly stopped himself in realization. "You are not tricking me into reenacting a scene from that crazy pony show you were obsessed with in the over-world!"
Xellos' only responded by once again screaming, "louder!"
Milgazia sighed; he would have to humor Xellos with this if he was going to get him to shut up. Feeling utterly ridiculous, he took in a big breath, exaggerating the action and let out a rather soft sounding, "yay!"
Xellos fell to the ground rolling in an uncontrollable fit of giggles, while Milgazia begrudgingly complete the scene with the ironic question of, "too loud?" While Xellos kept giggling unable to stop.
"What just happened?" Riksfalto voiced the question that was on all the minds of those who had not visited the over-world.
"I'd like to know that too," Dolphin added, as Linesword and several others nodded in agreement.
"No you don't," Zelas assured. "Trust me; you really don't want to know. Only a very strong monster can withstand that."
Dolphin shuddered involuntarily. "Alright, I'll take your word for it and be thankful for my confusion."
"At least there were no skirts involved in this," Zelas mocked. She was referencing the events that occurred at a brass rackets tournament over a year ago.
"I thought we agreed we would never speak of that again," Milgazia reminded.
"Wait, was that the time when Xellos got all jealous and protective because he thought you were dating Milgazia?" Dolphin recalled.
"That is what we agreed never to speak of again," Zelas pointed out. "Discussions about Milgazia in a skirt are perfectly acceptable."
"No they're not!" The golden dragon elder growled.
"What about Milgazia in that loincloth outfit from Rolly-Rolly Village?" Dolphin giggled, feeding off the dragon elder's embarrassment and frustration. "That was pretty hilarious too."
"Can we please stop discussing me wearing anything?" Milgazia grumbled with a frown.
"What are we supposed to discuss then? You wearing nothing?" Zelas asked sarcastically. "That's the kind of conversation only Galathia would be interesting in."
Milgazia sighed hopelessly, "I can never win, can I?"
"Hey I just noticed something; the ever dull Milgazia actually has some emotional energy seeping out of him now." Upon hearing Dolphin's observation, Milgazia put his discipline to use and calmed himself, cutting out any perceptible emotional output. "Oh, never mind, I spoke too soon."
"It's true, he does come out of his shell every now and then now days, but only for a little while," Zelas observed. She went over to Xellos, who was still rolling on the ground giggling and pulled him to his feet. "That's enough, Xellos, it couldn't have been that funny."
Between fits of ever persistent laughter, Xellos replied. "It is if you imagine this whole scene with Milgazia wearing Fluttershy's Grand Galloping Gala dress."
"I would never!" Milgazia growled, sounding very much like a ferocious angry dragon, who was casted into the villainous role in a fairy tale.
A moment of silence paused afterwards until Zelas burst out laughing along with Xellos. "I still don't get it," Dolphin pouted.
"Maybe it's for the best," Riksfalto commented and Linesword nodded in agreement. "Lord Deep Sea Dolphin, are you still going on that date with Milgazia?"
Dolphin nodded, "I suppose I might as well."
"What? With Dolphin, really?" Xellos pouted. "I thought you had better taste than that. So you're not secretly stalking Beast Master?"
"I'm not stalking anyone. I'm the one who's being stalked by insane monsters!" Milgazia argued. "Besides, didn't you want me to stay away from Beast Master?"
"Yes, I still do," Xellos assured. "But if you switch to Dolphin now, people are going to think she's better than Beast Master and I can't allow that. The dragon race, and every other race, should know that Beast Master is the best!"
Milgazia whispered something along the lines of "mama's fan boy," that no one quite caught.
"Hey! I'm standing right here!" Dolphin stomped her foot in indignation.
"My... little... mermaid..." Another voice joined the conversation as an exhausted human man made his arrival known. "There you are!" He exclaimed as he spotted Dolphin and inexplicably regained his energy upon seeing her. "I'm so glad to finally see you again, my beauty of the sea!" This was none other than Wizer Freion in a pirate outfit. "Ah, Zelas, Milgazia, how I miss my days as your brass rackets trainer. I do hope that one day you'll both return to the professional circuit. As for you, my little mermaid, I did all that you instructed and became a great pirate feared in the seven seas!"
"Um..." Dolphin looked lost in thought for a moment before finally asking. "Who are you again?"
Wizer nearly fell down at the question. "How could you have forgotten me? Oh my beautiful little mermaid, you are so cruel to my longing heart!"
"Oh yeah!" Dolphin suddenly exclaimed, clapping her hands together in realization. "I remember you now; you were that insane guy who kept serenading me so terribly out of tune. I sent you on a crazy near impossible quest to become a legendary pirate. You actually did it? How surprising, I thought you'd die at sea for sure. Well I suppose I could welcome you into my ranks, but you have to tone down the stupid mushy stuff, us monsters don't like that."
"I understand, sweet mermaid, my heart shall be as black as the darkest night with love for you!" Wizer cheered.
"Isn't that a contradiction?" Milgazia reasoned.
"Have you forgotten all about Wizer? He is a living contradiction," Zelas pointed out.
"Right..." Dolphin shifted uncomfortably in the presence of such affection. "So, since you're my minion and all, I'm sending you out on a mission. Go get me some rare treasure from some rich sunken pirate ship or something."
"Right away, my lovely mermaid!" Wizer cheered and, with an inexplicable burst of energy, he dashed down the mountain.
"So now you're dating Wizer and Milgazia?" Zelas teased. "Aren't you the loved one."
Dolphin twitched at the mention of love, even the thought of it was unpleasant. "On second thought, I'm not going out with Milgazia after all. Having a human fall in love with me is troublesome enough, but a dragon would be much worse, I imagine. Maybe I should just go home and take a nap. Come, Riksfalto, we're leaving."
"Yes, Lord Deep Sea." A none too happy about the antics Riksfalto, disappeared along with the somewhat tired Dolphin.
"You just got dumped," Zelas teased.
"Woe is me," Milgazia once again let his usually well hidden sarcastic streak show.
To be Continued
The scene Xellos tricks Milgazia into reenacting is from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, where Rainbow Dash is teaching Fluttershy how to cheer. The chapter title 'We're All Mad Here' is from Alice in Wonderland.