Episode 074: Reconcile! Meant To Be
Episode 074: Reconcile! Meant To Be
After most of the crew had caught up on a few things that needed to be done, they all got together at Zephilia to enjoy a big meal. As always, Lina and Gourry were the ones that ate the most. After dinner the red haired sorceress and the blond swordsman snuck away and went for a walk. They stopped at the Zephilia park and unconsciously headed to a specific spot. "This is..." Lina whispered in realization.
Gourry, sometimes being a little clumsy with words, put the situation bluntly from what he could interpret. "This is the same place where you dumped me, isn't it?"
In this case it was a good thing that he told it like it was, because then Lina could realize that he didn't really know it like it was. "I dumped you?" She placed her hands on her hips angrily. "You dumped me!" She poked Gourry's chest with her right index finger in an accusing motion.
"No, I didn't," Gourry insisted. "I know my memory isn't the best sometimes, but I remember this. You broke up with me, just like Luna said you would, and I told you I understood and that I wanted to still be friends."
"Luna?" The mention of her sister made Lina stop cold and reevaluate the situation. "Luna told you that I wanted to break up with you?"
"I think so..." Gourry replied unsure.
"Luna!" This time Lina's shout was not filled with fear, but with an unparalleled fury. She dashed out of the park and back to her house.
"Lina?" Gourry blinked in confusion over the sudden outburst, before deciding that it was best to swiftly follow.
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Lina threw the door to the Inverse residence open. The action made Luna shake her head in disapproval. "Lina, you know better than to come in like that. You are being quite rude," the elder Inverse sister scolded.
Surprisingly, Lina didn't even flinch. "You were the one who confused Gourry and made him think I wanted to break up with him!"
"Oh that..." Luna realized what her sister's anger was about. "It was all a misunderstanding that I thought you too could clear up. I was going to say something if you didn't, but then there was that whole mess with Darkstar and I couldn't do anything. When we were reunited, I thought you guys had already fixed things, so there was no need to bring it up. I do deeply apologize to you both for the misunderstanding that I accidentally caused." Lina was still raging mad, the petite sorceress' energy was projecting itself as a red hot aura around her. "Is it just me, or has her bucket capacity increased dramatically?" Luna wondered.
"Must be that training she did in the over-world, something about coaxing more energy to come out and levitating without casting a spell," Gourry recalled.
"Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows," Lina began to cast her signature spell, feeling as if it had been far too long since she used it and now was the best time she could think of to put it into action. "Buried in the stream of time is where your power grows. I pledge myself to conquer all the foes who stand, before the mighty gift bestowed-"
"Lina!" Light interrupted his daughter's chant with a scolding tone. "You know the rules, young lady, no ultra destructive spells inside the house! If you want to blow each other up, take it outside and make sure you don't step on your mother's flower garden!"
Lina immediately stopped her chant and allowed her spell to dissipate as both she and Luna automatically lowered their heads and said, "yes father," then they obediently exited the house with a perplexed Gourry tagging along after them.
Lina let out a frustrated breath, having calmed down just barely enough to know that trying to Dragon Slave the Knight of Ceifeed was a bad idea. "I really am sorry," Luna apologized again.
Lina sighed, "I guess I'll have to forgive you. But you owe me some free food at the cafe!"
"Fair enough," Luna agreed. "Well then, I'm sure you both have things to talk about, so I'll leave you alone now." She went back inside the Inverse residence, closing the door behind her.
A moment of silence passed between Lina and Gourry, until Gourry finally asked. "Hey Lina, if you weren't going to break up with me back then and if after all that's happened you still don't want to, can we go back to being engaged like before?"
Lina blushed, feeling like she did the first time she started her relationship with Gourry. "Yes..." She paused, remembering what she meant to say when the misunderstanding began. She wasn't going to let the opportunity slip away again. "Actually, no, not like before at least." Because their previous engagement was an indefinite one without real plans of marriage.
"No?" Gourry looked disappointed. "Why not?"
"That time I wasn't going to break up with you, but I did have something to tell you," Lina revealed.
Interested and curious, Gourry asked, "what is it?"
"I was going to tell you," Lina blushed even more, her face a bright crimson like her hair. "I was going to say..." She took in a deep breath and stood up straight, ending her fidgeting and looking at Gourry instead of the ground. "I wanted to say that I'm ready." She finally confessed.
Time stood still as Gourry stared into Lina's eyes with an intense expression of deep thought that made her heart race. Then, in true Gourry fashion, his face gained a look of innocent confusion as he inquired, hand behind his head, "ready for what?"
"How could you ask me that, jelly fish brain!" Lina flailed her arms around and stomped on the ground, cheeks ablaze, as she took in big breaths of air. "I suppose it has been a long time, but you did say you'd wait, so I figured if I didn't say anything, you'd just wait around forever. So... yeah... What I'm trying to say is that we've known each other for a long time and we've been engaged for over a year, there was that time apart in the middle, but that's not the point. What I mean is..." 'C'mon Lina, just say it, spell it out for him or he won't get it!' "I want to marry you."
Gourry's face lit up with absolute joy. "Really? You do?" He picked up Lina, spinning her around, reminding her of just how small she was. "I'm so happy, thank you, Lina." Before the petite sorceress could say anything more, the swordsman kissed her and by the time they parted, she thought that she didn't really need any more words after all.
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Later that night, Lina realized that though Gourry had met her family, she still had not met any of his relatives as far as she was aware. She knew they were all traveling swords men and women, but she thought that there must be someone who had settled into a permanent residence somewhere that would be easier to track down. "We could go see grandma," Gourry suggested as he tried to think of a close relative of his that wasn't too hard to find or lived too far away.
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's go see her!" Rather than being filled with nerves, Lina was overloaded with curiosity, for the time being at least. She knew that they didn't have a lot of time to spare, so she called for Fang to teleport them.
Following Gourry's instruction, the monster fox chimera took the pair to a cottage in a clearing in the middle of a thick forest that Lina imagined was pretty easy to get lost in. After delivering his passengers, Fang returned to his duties at Wolf Pack Island.
Gourry and Lina approached the cozy little cottage and Gourry cheerfully called out. "Grandma, are you home? It's me, Gourry!"
The door to the cottage was opened by an elderly woman who was human in appearance. Nothing seemed to particularly stand out about her physique or her simple green dress except for the fact that her white hair was adorned with a crown of flowers that one would expect to see upon the head of a young maiden. "Gourry, my child, it is very good to see you, come in dear, and who is this young lady you've brought with you?"
"Hey granny," Gourry smiled greeting his grandmother as he and Lina entered the cottage. "This is my bride to be, Lina Inverse." The little house was impeccably clean and organized with beautifully carved wooden furniture that held a quiet simple elegance and flowers contained in vases all around. "Lina, this is granny Melly."
Lina quietly recognized one of the vases as being something Gourry purchased from Filia. He had asked her to cast a monster courier bird summoning spell to have it delivered last Christmas, though Lina had not been paying close attention to the details as she had been in the middle of her own holiday shopping frenzy. "Hello," Lina vowed respectfully. "It's very nice to meet you ma'am." A bit of nerves were starting to make their presence known in Lina, though she was still mostly calm.
"Oh, there's no need for such formalities," Melly hugged Lina. "You did save my life after all."
"I what?" Lina stared in surprise.
"She did?" Gourry sounded just as shocked.
"Yes, back when I was just a young girl, Lina Inverse teamed up with your grandfather to save me and my people," Melly revealed. "I knew the day would come when we would meet again. "It's too bad my dear Rowdy isn't here to see you again too. But you know how it is for soul mates, when they reincarnate, they are destined to meet again and so one day, after I leave this life for the Sea of Chaos and return once again, I'm sure I'll find him again. Ah, but I'm getting all nostalgic now..."
"Soul mates, huh?" Lina mused.
"Didn't we hear something about reincarnation before?" Gourry wondered aloud.
"Yes, with Gorun Nova," Lina reminded. "I've heard other legends too. They say that though people may feel affection towards several others during their countless reincarnations, when they finally find their soul mate it is distinctly different. Then from that point on they are destined to meet again and again."
"Didn't Milgazia have a crush on Flagoon too?" Gourry randomly recalled.
"Yeah, we better not point any of this out too much or Zelas might get ideas and take to teasing him about getting dumped for a sword or some such similar joke. I'm sure neither Milgazia nor Gorun Nova will appreciate her taunts much," Lina concluded.
"It's okay, Gorun Nova has Flagoon, but Milgazia still has Zelas, right?" Gourry smiled with a clueless innocence in his eyes.
Lina sighed hopelessly. "You better not let Zelas hear you saying something like that, or she'll have your head."
"Okay, she's shy, I understand," Gourry nodded.
Lina couldn't help it but to roll her eyes as Melly laughed softly. "I guess you must be used to Gourry's antics since you're his grandmother and all." The sorceress chuckled in good humor.
"Oh yes, he always makes things so lively around here," Melly smiled. "Oh my, I haven't even served my guests any tea. How about I make you some, then we can have cookies to go along with it."
"Alright!" Lina and Gourry cheered in unison.
They sat at the table while Melly prepared the refreshments. "I was thinking about what you said, and thought it was impossible for me to have met you when you were little, as I shouldn't have existed back then. But now that you mentioned Rowdy's name it reminded me of something," Lina voiced.
"I'm still confused," Gourry complained.
"Time travel," Lina explained. "I once traveled back in time temporarily and fought alongside a boy named Rowdy, who wielded the sword of light. He had an elf sweetheart called Mellyroon, was that you?"
"That's right," Melly confirmed.
"But how is that even possible. I mean, Rowdy was a human, so wouldn't you still be a kid when he's an adult? By the time you're old enough to even consider marriage, he'd be old enough to be a grandfather!" Lina exclaimed in confusion.
"You already spoke the answer," Melly pointed out.
"Time travel," Lina realized.
"I remember Rowdy aging faster than I did. He always showed me kindness, though he thought he would be too old to marry me by the time I was old enough. Even so I was determined," Melly revealed. "Thus after a life of growing up at a much slower pace while Rowdy aged as humans do, I time traveled into the past and was able to meet Rowdy as a young adult when I was one myself. It was a little odd sometimes seeing Rowdy off, knowing that he was going to visit my younger self as promised, but the wait was well worth it, as I had the opportunity to spent two human lifetimes with him, as a friend and as a wife. As for my human appearance, it is but a disguise. Mellyroon the elf ceased to exist with my decision to defy time and Melly the human took her place. After I married Rowdy, I lived as a human and rarely even remembered that I was an elf."
"Wow," was all that Lina could say. Then she glanced at Gourry somewhat accusingly. "Why didn't you tell me any of this, Gourry?"
"Tell you what?" Gourry inquired in perplexity.
"About Melly being an elf," Lina pointed out impatiently.
Gourry shrugged. "I guess I must have forgotten..."
"It figures..." Lina sighed as she took a drink of her tea and reached a handful of cookies, then paused and delicately took one. She glanced at Gourry, who was looking anywhere but the cookies as if trying not to be tempted by them.
Melly got up from the table quietly and returned just as silently with two extra plates full of delicious cookies in such proportions that the mountains covered Lina and even Gourry. "Is this enough to make you relax?"
"But granny, you said I had to let the lady eat first," Gourry shifted uncomfortably.
"That's wise advice that should always be followed," Lina snickered and emphasized, "always."
Lina ate slowly, savoring the cookies one by one. They were very delicious and the speed at which she sampled them increased with each one. Before Lina noticed, she as shoveling the cookies into her mouth at top speed. When she broke free from the delicious trance, a horrified expression spread across her face. "I'm sorry!" She loudly exclaimed.
Melly laughed in good humor. "I'm sure my little Gourry feels very comfortable with you. Now that the lady has broken the ice, you can do the same, Gourry."
Gourry didn't have to be told twice before he started shoveling cookies into his mouth. "Hey, what about ladies first?!" Lina joined in, competing for the cookies like they always did when it came to food. Overall, they had a good time.
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Later, when dark energies started being detected in several places throughout the peninsula, it became evident that the pieces of Beast Master were on the move. Surprisingly, Zelas insisted that she would take care of things herself and didn't even give Xellos any instructions. Of course, he still wanted to help, thus he ended up running through a jungle, chasing after the strongest piece. Said piece looked like Zelas did when she was the Berserk Beast and had no interest in standing still to talk to Xellos. Instead she dashed through the heavy flora of the jungle, gathering beasts to follow her, presumably to launch attacks on human settlements. "Wait, Lord Beast Master! Or is it Lord Berserk Beast? I just wanted to talk to-" A branch to the face silenced Xellos and tossed him back. "Ow..." He got up again and rubbed his nose. "I'm not going to catch her like this. Maybe if I embrace my inner beast..."
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At the same time, Seyruun was flooded in chaos as another Zelas with an appearance similar to her alternate sporty look that she usually used when playing brass rackets, spread trickery throughout the kingdom. From exploding fruits to random spells that turned people into rabbits and other creatures, the city was in disarray. Filia, Amelia, Zelgadis, Naga, Gravos, Jillas, Elena and Philionel tried to stop the mayhem, while Val and Palou actually seemed to be having fun with all the pandemonium. It was only a matter of time before Amelia and Naga were swayed into thinking that the chaos was more so amusing than it was bad and, despite the extreme disorder that threatened to tare the kingdom of white magic apart, started having fun too.
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Another piece of Zelas headed to the Elmekia desert, specifically to the crater left as a result of the previous battle with Gorun Nova. She began to dig deeper and deeper with the goal of causing the planet to fall apart by attacking its very core, thus ending the lives of all the creatures that required sustenance from the planet, which would become too unstable to be properly inhabited. Massive earthquakes and strange weather had already begun to assault the surface as a result.
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As for Zelas' persona, the glue that could keep all the pieces together, so to speak, she had returned to Wolf Pack Island after her little detour at Dragon's Peak and Milgazia had gone to find her. "Your other parts are making a mess of things. Shouldn't you be reabsorbing their power right about now?"
"I doubt they'll stay still and let me," Zelas, the persona, informed with her usual nonchalance towards trouble that was not necessarily troublesome to her.
"Then what can be done?" Milgazia insisted on knowing as he followed her through the long elegant hallways of her palace. "I know you must have a plan to get your power back if you're being so calm about this!"
"Indeed... But first, some food," Zelas announced, reaching her kitchen and entering it. The kitchen was large, grand and well supplied.
"Food?" Milgazia stared in confusion. "But you don't even need it."
"That doesn't mean I don't want it, and I am a great cook. You've taste my cuisine before, so you should know," Zelas reminded with confidence.
"Dragon cuisine?" Milgazia glared.
"Not this time," Zelas informed, ignoring his upset about the subject. "Since Xellos insisted on running out to play and everyone else seems to be pretty busy, I here by dub you my taste tester for this cooking session. Feel honored."
"I think I should feel worried," Milgazia frowned. "As crazy as life is, maybe there is more to this cooking session than meets the eye. You always have a strategic purpose in mind with everything you do, and I'm sure that isn't going to change any time soon. I don't know how this will help you recover your power, but somehow, it will."
Zelas shook her head, though more so in feigned disbelief than denial. "You know me so well it's beginning to get creepy. No matter, you would have figured it out eventually anyway. Now, let us prepare for the occasion."
"Prepare?" Milgazia didn't like the sound of that.
"Yes, prepare," Zelas tilted her head towards a rack in the corner where several aprons hung.
One of the aprons was pink and frilly with a picture of a yellow baby chick in the front. "Somehow, I can't imagine you wearing that."
"That's Xellos' apron," Beast Master pointed out with a laugh. "This is mine," she put on a black apron with glittery purple letters spelling out 'fear the cook.' Then she gave Milgazia another apron. "You wear this one; you wouldn't want to get your nice clean white robes stained."
"What's the point? You're going to dump something brightly colored and impossible to wash off on me on purpose anyway." Milgazia examined the yellow apron he was given, which held a caricature of a roasted dragon in a pose similar to a roasted turkey. He didn't like it.
"Put it on anyway," Zelas ordered. "And like I said, at least pretend you don't know me that well. I'm started to get creeped out."
Milgazia frowned, "the feeling is mutual."
To be Continued