Categories > Anime/Manga > Slayers > Slayers: Alive (Part 2)

Episode Twenty-Eight

by Mikari 0 reviews

Category: Slayers - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Published: 2012-06-25 - Updated: 2012-06-26 - 9967 words - Complete

Slayers: Alive - Episode 082: Unpredictable! Impulses Of The Heart

"Go Mr. Phythan! Justice is on your side, you can't lose!" Amelia loudly cheered.

"Not to mention that Kalio isn't actually trying to win," Zelgadis pointed out, taking a moment to examine the battle more closely. "Actually, Phythan isn't trying to win either. Even if he's inexperienced fighting with a horn, Kalio is purposely leaving himself wide open for an attack."

"How tragic!" Amelia gasped. "Mr. Kalio feels guilty and believes the only way to atone is to fall in battle, but Mr. Phythan is an ally of justice who wishes to save Mr. Kalio and will not strike him down no matter what!" Just as Amelia's hyper excitement grew, the ground beneath her feet began to vibrate in a barely perceptible way at first.

The movement soon evolved into all out shaking, which had Amelia clinging instinctively to Zelgadis with the chimera returning the gesture in a protective embrace. The crowd of onlookers that had formed a circle around the fight started running around wildly and stupidly seeking shelter under the near by trees. Phythan's horn was about to collide with Kalio's sword when the shaking incremented, causing the golden dragon to stumble, momentarily losing his balance. Then the sharp horn broke Kalio's weapon as he attempted to instinctively block and stabbed him on the chest. "No matter what?" Zelgadis ironically inquired.

Amelia gasped tragically, as the earthquake finally subsided and the land was once again still. "Oh no!" Amelia tragically declared.

"Mr. Kalio?" Phythan removed his horn from the victim as gently as he could. Kalio collapsed with both hands trying to hold back the abundant blood coming from the wound on his chest. "I didn't mean to hurt you! The earthquake made me lose my balance, it was an accident!"

"Kalio!" Medusa hurried towards her fallen comrade, immediately casting a Recovery spell, joined in doing so by Amelia. "Hold on Kalio, just hold on!"

Phythan looked like he was just about ready to cry, but before he started, Zelgadis pointed out something helpful. "You're a golden dragon; don't you know how to cast a Resurrection healing spell?"

Phythan's mood suddenly changed from tragically sad to energetically hopeful. "You're right, I do!" He focused his energy, calling forth all his power, "Resurrection!"

A warm and gentle golden light surrounded Kalio, whose wound was miraculously healed. "I'm... still alive... Why have you saved me, golden dragon? Do you not understand that my only destiny is to slay you? We must fight until one of us falls!"

"That's enough fighting," Medusa spoke solemnly, with a few tears of relief escaping her big expressive eyes. "Your loyalty has truly touched my heart. I am forever grateful to you Kalio, the amazing man who's willing to give even his life for the sake of my wishes. Right now, my wish has changed, I no longer want revenge, I want you to stay by my side, my beloved!" Medusa dramatically announced at the top of her lungs, adding an after thought in a quick muttered whisper. "Besides, now that your shirt's been ripped to shreds and your wound has been miraculously healed, I can see that you're pretty hot yourself..."

"Do you mean it, Miss Medusa; you're willing to return my affection?" Kalio's eyes were all starry with metaphorical hearts floating around him too.

"I mean every word!" Medusa assured. The happy couple looked like they were about to kiss, which was something that Amelia was anticipating like the final chapter of one of those romance novels she liked to read. Zelgadis really didn't want to witness this and Phythan was too innocent to see it coming. As for Fang, he just wished that someone would throw the ball so he could fetch it.

Fortunately for those who didn't need to see a human and a jellyfish kissing, the scene was interrupted by the arrival of Kally. "Kalio, dear brother!"

"Kally!" Kalio was filled with both tension and relief at the arrival of his sister.

"I felt your very life fading away, it was so painful!" Kally hugged her brother, sobbing lightly. "I feared you would die!"

"I'm so sorry, Kally, I've been terribly selfish, I'm the worse brother in the world. I know you feel my pain because of our special connection, yet I..."

Kally stopped him from going any further, "don't say anything else, you're safe and that's all that matters. After the pain subsided, I sensed that you were filled with joy. What has happened?"

Kalio's face turned scarlet, "I... I have found true love!" He announced much louder than necessary, reinforcing the crowd's theory that this was all an act for their entertainment. "This is my beloved Miss Medusa. Miss Medusa, this is my dear twin sister Kally."

"It's wonderful to meet you," Kally greeted, "or rather to meet you in a better situation."

"I say the same," Medusa agreed, "let us leave the past behind and live peacefully and happily."

"Life is wonderful!" Amelia cheered.

Zelgadis felt himself almost twitch in disbelief. He wondered if some giant tidal wave would show up to return all the fish people to the sea again, but none came. "Life is a soap opera..."

"Princess Amelia, I'm sorry for all the trouble I caused. I go berserk when I see those creatures," Kalio apologized. "I hope you can forgive me and not exile me from Seyruun."

"I'm the one to blame for Kalio's state. It is because of the pain of a past experience I had, which I rather not think about, that he ended up like that," Kally explained. Due to the connection they shared, though Kalio was not poisoned by an octopus allergy directly and thus presented no physical symptoms, he felt Kally's pain and suffered along with her. Instead of developing an acute fear like Kally's, Kalio wasn't affected by verbal references to octopi, but if he ever saw an octopus he went into a crazy fit of rage.

"It's okay," Amelia assured. "I will gladly welcome all of you at Seyruun whenever you're ready to return, you too Miss Medusa."

"Thank you!" Kalio, Kally and Medusa chorused happily.

"If it is alright with you, princess, I would like to continue my journey," Kalio requested. "I feel that I still have much to learn about life, love and justice. Miss Medusa, are you willing to come with me on this journey?"

"I will, I'll go anywhere with you my love!" Medusa gladly agreed.

"Then I will remain here and work as a doctor," Kally decided. "I'll make sure to report my findings to Seyruun."

"I wish you all the best of luck in your chosen paths and don't forget, you'll always have a home in Seyruun." Amelia happily send them off with radiant joy. After one last farewell, Kalio and Medusa went off in one direction, hand in hand, or rather tentacle in hand. Kally walked off in another direction, while Phythan, Fang, Amelia and Zelgadis remained. "Everything worked out well in the end."

"Yeah," Phythan agreed, transforming back into an elf and raising his fist into the air victoriously, "justice always triumphs!"

Zelgadis slapped his own forehead and shook his head hopelessly, "you're never going to learn your lesson when it comes to modesty, are you?"

Phythan looked clueless, as if he didn't even know if Zelgadis' vexed mutterings were directed at him or not. Then he adopted a thoughtful expression as he came up with a rather stupid theory. "Do you think that if I get injured and I'm an inch from death, and Miss Onyx sees it, she'll suddenly realize she likes me?"

"I don't think being injured is a good thing," Amelia warned. "I'm sure Miss Onyx will be sad if you're hurt, we will all be sad, so please don't take such a risk."

"It wouldn't work," Zelgadis added, his next words taking everyone by surprise. "You're not the problem, she's the problem. The way Onyx is now, she cannot love anyone."

"Because of her amnesia?" Phythan sadly inquired.

"No," Zelgadis insightfully replied, "it's because she doesn't believe she's good enough to be loved. I heard her talking to Xellos. When she asked to speak with him alone, I thought they might be discussing some kind of plot from Zelas, so I eavesdropped. I think Xellos noticed, but he didn't say anything about it. Onyx probably didn't know." Zelgadis confessed. "Onyx thinks she's a defective chimera, she's unhappy with herself. That's why she can't accept anyone's feelings, not unless she accepts herself." It was something that Zelgadis knew from his own personal experience.

"I see... I won't give up, but I'll take things slowly. I'll try to let Miss Onyx know how much fun it is to be around her. Then she'll accept herself and maybe even like me. Then we'll be best friends!" Of course, one couldn't expect anything too deep or serious to be spoken by Phythan, who still had the innocence of a child.

"We'll be cheering for you, Mr. Phythan, just take things slowly and be patient," Amelia smiled encouragingly. She understood that Zelgadis was referencing his own personal experiences with his interpretation of Onyx's situation. The princess leaned her head on the chimera's shoulder lovingly, which caused a blissful red tint to invade his face.

"I won't give up!" Phythan was determined. The golden dragon's blissful expression slowly evolved into a doubtful one as a particular thought reemerged in his mind. "I have a feeling that I've forgotten something important," he gave it some more thought and finally reached a conclusion. "Oh yeah, now I remember, since my horn has grown out completely, a clan of dragon slayers might come to kill me soon. Mr. Kalio and Miss Kally said they would help me out with that, but I guess that with all this excitement they forgot. It's okay, I feel much better now so I can take care of myself, and I have Fang to help me out if I need backup."

"I'm sure they didn't mean to forget," Amelia assured. "Kally has a lot on her mind worrying about her brother and getting ready to face her new career. Kalio is in love and that can be pretty distracting. Just make sure to be careful not to go off into any lonely dark alleys and if anyone attacks you, shoot a bright light to the sky and we'll follow it to you right away!"

"Thanks, I appreciate it," Phythan smiled, while Fang tugged on his clothes with his paw impatiently. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Fang." Phythan picked up the little ball they were playing fetch with and threw it far away. By then the crowd of spectators had dissipated, since it looked like the dramatic show was over.

"Where should we go next?" Amelia inquired, cuddling Zelgadis lovingly.

Zelgadis happily embraced her, giving the question some thought. "I'm getting kind of hungry, do you want to find a nice restaurant and sit down for a good meal?"

"That's a great idea, I'm getting hungry too," Amelia agreed and the happy couple walked off.

Phythan blinked in confusion, debating if he should call out to them or not. He finally decided to let them go, they looked so happy walking away arm in arm that it felt wrong to disturb them. The golden dragon glanced at the white and red checkered blanket as Fang brought back the ball he fetched. "It looks like they forgot about their picnic. I guess love really is distracting. Oh well, there's no sense in letting a perfectly good picnic basket go to waste. What do you say we have a snack, Fang?" Naturally, the energetic monster fox was all too happy to agree.

xoxox xox xoxox

A few days passed in relative peace. Nothing seemed to be disturbing the quietude of the world, save for the occasional earthquake. Actually, the earthquakes were becoming a little too occasional, which began to make Lina and her traveling companions grow suspicious, especially Xellos, who secretly wondered if the earthquakes were somehow connected to Zelas' winter plans, whatever they might entail. Currently, Xellos was sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a bowl of cereal after having slept in, never mind that lunch time was right around the corner.

The proximity of the next meal time was made more obvious by the fact that Filia was slaving away at the kitchen, trying to prepare something especially delicious for her family. Xellos watched her from the corner of his eyes, yawning slightly. It wasn't that Val cried in the middle of the night to be fed, the real problem was that Filia woke up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, wanting to check on Val to make sure he was alright. Every time, the baby dragon would be sleeping soundly and Filia would blissfully return to the warm comfort of Xellos' arms in her room. Then after an hour or so, she would wake up again and wake Xellos with her motions to get out of bed so she could once again check on Val.

The same scene was repeated over and over, until Xellos finally had enough of it and the next time Filia got up, he accompanied her. Without a word, he picked up the comfy basket crib where Val slept and moved it to their room, where Filia could keep an eye on Val without having to get out of bed and wake Xellos in the process. As for Val, he had a great night's sleep and was full of energy, ready to pounce on his parents and jump on them continuously at the crack of dawn in hopes of getting some breakfast. Though he was still quite small, Val's wings had developed and he learned to fly on instinct.

The tiny ancient dragon swooped into the kitchen and landed on Filia's head, curiously stretching his neck down to look at the pleasantly aromatic contents of the pot his mother was steering. "Val, honey, it's not nice to land on people's heads. Plus it's dangerous to lean into a boiling pot of food like that." Filia carefully removed Val from her head and placed him on a high baby chair next to where Xellos sat at the kitchen table.

"Have you ever heard about dragon cuisine?" Xellos inquired with an infuriatingly sweet smile. "Lina and her friends once hunted down a dragon for its meat, but it turned out the cuisine took too long to make so they had to move on with their journey. That's too bad, because they were really looking forward to tasting dragon."

Filia glared in annoyance. She was mostly used to Xellos' taunts, but sometimes he still managed to tick her off. This was one of those times when she didn't know if he was kidding or completely serious, as his tone could never really be used as an indication. "You're lying!"

"Not at all," Xellos mocked with a wide grin and cheerful squinty eyes. "You can ask them yourself, unless you really don't want to know."

Before Filia could come up with a proper retort to Xellos' taunts, Val flew from his baby chair to Xellos, landing on the top of his head and snuggling into his hair. "Xellos, we need to teach Val not to land on people's heads. I don't want him to grow up to be rude and inconsiderate like you."

"That last bit was uncalled for," Xellos feigned hurt. He then proceeded to take another spoonful of cereal, not doing anything about Val who was still happily perched on his head.

"Xellos!" Filia scolded, "you're not being helpful!" She growled impatiently. "Val, sweetie, please get off daddy's head." Val looked at Filia, making a little confused and pleading sound as if asking if he really had to and pointing out the fact that his father didn't seem to mind. "Come on, honey, I already told you it's rude to stand on people's heads." She worried that one of these days Val would fly out the window and land on some bad tempered person's head. "You need to respect people's personal space."

Without any further protests, Val hopped off Xellos' head and landed on the table. "Want some cereal? I put extra sugar in it," Xellos offered, pushing the half eaten bowl towards the baby dragon.

Val curiously looked at the substance, before sticking his head into the bowl and eating some. "Xellos!" As expected, Filia had something to say about that too. "Don't encourage Val to stick his head in dishes, that's terrible table manners! If you're going to feed him cereal, then set a good example and contribute to teaching him how to use a spoon!" As a second thought, she added, "actually, don't feed Val cereal now, I'm about to serve lunch in less than ten minutes and you're making him lose his appetite."

I wouldn't be a very good father if I didn't make sure my child is fed," Xellos gave Filia his usual cheerful expression that seemed to be painted on his face. "You're such a cruel dragon, letting a baby go hungry."

"You're lying!" Filia defended. "I gave Val a good breakfast while you were sleeping in late!"

"Whose fault was it that I had to sleep in late?" Xellos teased.

"It's not my fault that you're a light sleeper," Filia retorted.

"It's not my fault that you're clumsy getting up," Xellos countered. "Every time you would get out of bed you would slap me or kick me."

"Not on purpose!" Filia argued. "I was sleepy and stumbled around a little." She took away the super sugary cereal and offered Val a bread biscuit. "Here, Val, have an appetizer instead." She tossed away the remainder of the cereal, ignoring Xellos' exaggerated hurt expression and picked up a basket full of similar bread biscuits to place it on the main dining table. On her other arm, she balanced a stack of plates, exiting the kitchen.

Val picked at the bread biscuit, but it wasn't as sweet as the extra sugary cereal, so it didn't really interest him s much. Xellos got up from his seat and rummaged through the pantry until he found what he was looking for, a bottle of hot sauce. "Let's help mommy with her cooking." Xellos walked over to the simmering stew with Val curiously joining him, perched on his shoulder. Then the earth shook again to the sound of a few vases falling and breaking in the shop area. The tremor wasn't too long, but it was stronger than the previous ones.

The bottle of hot sauce slipped out of Xellos' grasp and fell into the large pot of stew. Val was taken by surprise and lost his balance, falling off Xellos shoulder, too startled to remember to flap his wings. Fortunately, Xellos caught the baby dragon, before he fell into the boiling pot. Filia rushed back to the kitchen in a panic. Xellos quickly stepped away from the stew and pretended to be innocent. "Is everyone okay?"

"Of course we're okay; it was just an earthquake, no big deal, stupid cowardly dragon." Xellos grinned teasingly.

Filia let out a breath of relief. She had heard some vases breaking, but no pained voices, so she concluded that the shattering objects didn't hurt anyone at the shop. Plus it only sounded like one or two vases, so the property damage was minimal. She noticed that Xellos was holding Val protectively, which further calmed her down. She gently caressed her son's head. "It's okay honey, mommy and daddy will keep you safe." Filia smiled at the baby ancient dragon, before turning a critical look towards Xellos. "Although, there have been far too many earthquakes lately."

To be Continued

Slayers: Alive - Episode 083: Official! Smoothing Out The Technicalities

Xellos shrugged his shoulders and pretended he didn't find the frequent earthquakes at all suspicious. It's not like he had any real information to share anyway. So what if Zelas was plotting something? Zelas was always plotting something, it wasn't really news. If he shared his vague theory he would only cause Filia to worry and uselessly go around in mental circles trying to figure out what was going on.

Then Filia's furious voice pierced through Xellos' thoughts, startling Val and even Gravos and Jillas who were all the way in the shop area, with its loud volume. "Xellos! Why is there a bottle of hot sauce floating in my stew?" Filia looked so angry that one might think she swallowed a whole bottle of hot sauce, or ten.

"I don't know," Xellos tried to look innocent. "Maybe it fell in with the earthquake."

"It was in the pantry," Filia pointed towards it across the kitchen. "It couldn't have fallen all the way from there, to here!" She pointed at the ruined stew.

"At least you still have the roast, if you haven't burned it," Xellos teased.

"Of course I didn't burn it!" Filia growled, not willing to let go of the issue of her ruined stew so easily. She roughly opened a drawer and pulled out a large butcher knife, holding it in a stabbing position. Anyone who entered the scene at that moment might assume that she was about to stab Xellos to death, since the look in her eyes was certainly murderous enough. Filia opened the oven and pulled out the tray with the roast, carefully cutting it with the knife, it's delicious scent invading the atmosphere. "See? It's perfectly fine."

Filia set the roast down to cool on the kitchen table and, thankfully, put away the butcher knife. Instead she pulled out a tray of silverware from another kitchen drawer and handed it to Xellos. "Help me finish setting the table and if you get into mischief I'll..." Filia made a stabbing motion in the air, then pointed at the roast. "I'll make sure you don't have any of my roast!" She finished the threat that sounded far more murderous a few seconds ago.

"Are you sugar coating your threats because Val is listening?" Xellos mockingly inquired.

Filia looked like she was a time bomb about to blow. "Just go finish setting the table." She growled and started to mentally count to ten, until she finally realized there was no way she could hold in the urge and called after Xellos as he exited the kitchen, "raw garbage!"

xoxox xox xoxox

After having had a week of rest, the group was once again reunited at Celo's wooden clock tower. Jillas and Gravos had stayed at Filia's shop, while Filia and Xellos journeyed back to Amor Resort with little Val, whom Filia wasn't ready to put down for more than a little while just yet, he was simply far too cute to let go of.

Lina called for a conference, which was attended by Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Xellos, Filia, Phythan, Fang, Onyx, Celo and Tiffany. Val was there too, but he was a baby and thus didn't understand what was going on any more than Gourry did. In the end, the results of their conference consisted of stating things they already knew and tossing around crazy theories of conspiracy. To summarize, their so called conclusions were quite inconclusive. Thus Lina suggested that taking a walk and getting some fresh air might help them clear their heads and get some ideas, maybe notice something that had escaped them before.

Celo and Tiffany were as usual, busy with Amor Resort's business and Fang was content enough taking some time off to lay around napping on a plush carpet in front of a fireplace. The atmosphere was turning colder by the day, predicting the coming of a very early winter. Onyx drowned her uncertainties in comic books, with Phythan joining her, in a heavily contrasting cheerful mood as he worked on more drawings for the comic version of her novel. He was very thankful that he had not been auctioned again yet.

Thus Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Filia, Xellos and Val found themselves making their way through the busy streets of Amor Resort in a similar way that they had in the past, although in truth they've all made a fair amount of progress since then. Among cheerful chatter and adoring remarks about how cute Val was, the group's attention was suddenly captured by two familiar voices calling out to them. Much to their collective surprise, Sylphiel and Pokota approached.

Lina stopped cold, her face drained of all color as she waited for Sylphiel to refer to Gourry as 'dear Gourry'. Then that big mouth jellyfish brain would blurt out the news of his happy engagement. Then Lina would surely secretly swell with pride while her face recovered its color and beyond as it would become bright red. Yet none of that was the real problem. The problem was that a part of Lina would feel bad for Sylphiel, who had met Gourry before she did, and had a crush on him since long before Lina met him. Given that this was Lina Inverse, she was not used to feeling guilt and the unfamiliar sensation would surely bug her to insanity. "Sylphiel... I... um... hi..."

"Hi," Sylphiel replied with a hint of sadness on her face, while Pokota was yet to say a word, as if he sensed the heavy tension in the atmosphere. After a long choking silence, Sylphiel finally added, "congratulations on your marriage, Mr. Gourry, Miss Lina..."

"Marriage?" Lina echoed, taking note of the lack of dear attached to Gourry's name. Sylphiel probably thought that it would be improper to call him that if he was married to another woman, though he was actually engaged, albeit legally married.

"We're not married," Gourry pointed out casually, "we're engaged," he corrected. "When we do get married, you'll go to the wedding, right?"

Lina considered kicking Gourry, but she abstained from doing so, seeing that Sylphiel's expression actually improved. "I'm glad to hear you want me to attend your wedding." She smiled, accepting that Gourry was with Lina and addressed both of them as she added, "we are good friends after all, right?"

"Of course we are," Gourry grinned cheerfully, still blissfully unaware of the tension that had began to dissipate from the atmosphere around them.

From that point on, the encounter improved, though Lina's curiosity still got the best of her as she inquired. "Where did you hear that we got married?"

"From Amor Resort's monthly catalogue," Sylphiel revealed. "It lists a lot of offers for reservations and mail order purchases. It also has a section announcing all the marriages that take place here. I guess the people in charge of compiling it must have mixed up the engagement with a marriage."

Seeing that most of the tension was gone, Amelia finally found her voice. "It's a nice surprise running into you both. We're here... sort of on vacation, I guess, what about you two?"

"I'm here because one of my distant cousins recently got married and I was attending the wedding," Pokota explained.

"I was the one who conducted the wedding, I just recently moved over here to work on weddings," Sylphiel revealed. "I ran into Pokota and his family at the wedding reception and we talked about our adventures with everyone. There was a rumor that the Lina Inverse was somewhere in this resort, so we decided to meet the next day and look around."

"Well, you found me alright," Lina laughed, not sure if her reputation preceding her was a good thing or not, it usually wasn't.

"I see that you have a new traveling companion with you." Sylphiel referred to Filia, who neither she nor Pokota had met before.

Though the talking stuffed animal was a little odd looking, he was still cute and the young woman appeared to be polite and good natured. Introductions were exchanged for Filia and Val, with Val immediately becoming quite fond of Pokota and flying over to play with him. "Children really like their uncle Pokota, I guess it's because I'm such a great and reliable example to follow," the fuzzy green creature happily declared.

"Or maybe it's because you look like a toy." Xellos pointed out with a mocking smile, causing Pokota to grumble something inaudible in response.

Sylphiel giggled in amusement, "ever since I came to Amor Resort, there hasn't been a dull moment. It's been fun spending my free time enjoying the amusement park attractions and working on weddings the rest of the time. No matter how many times I declare couples husband and wife, I always get butterflies in my stomach when I see them share their first kiss as a married couple, symbolizing their love and willingness to spend their life together!"

There was a detail about Sylphiel's words that caused something to click in the back of Xellos' mind. He tuned out the rest of the group's conversation and focused on what she said, replaying the statement word per word in his mind. A kiss of love and willingness? That sounded exactly like what was described as the cure to his curse. The willing kiss of a golden dragon, maybe it was the traditional wedding kiss. Xellos stopped walking, the group moving a few steps ahead of him, absorbed in their conversation, until he spoke, "Filia..."

Filia stopped walking and looked back at Xellos, who was standing there looking determined. She tilted her head in puzzlement, wondering what in the world he could possibly be plotting. "Yes?"

"Marry me." The request was simple and to the point as Xellos thought there was no reason to go around in circles about it.

Almost certain that she had heard wrong, Filia blinked, giving Xellos a confused look and called for a repetition. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me, stupid dragon, let's get married," Xellos reinstated his request.

By then the rest of the group had noticed the odd couple lagging behind and stopped to witness the exchange. Filia placed her hands on her hips suspiciously as her face gained a critical expression. "What are you plotting, raw garbage?"

"A wedding, obviously," Xellos pointed out as a matter of fact with a wide grin and cheerful squinty eyes.

"Don't toy with me," Filia warned, but Xellos' expression didn't change. "Are you serious?" Filia could imagine herself living with Xellos, with him occasionally disappearing to do Beast Master's bidding and coming back to cause mischief and drive her insane. Yet they would somehow call that their life together and difficulties aside, she would somehow find that she was happy. Yet no where in the series of events leading to the rest of her life did she ever imagine an actual wedding taking place. Perhaps the neighbors would think of them as husband and wife and maybe they would be similar enough, but the actual event taking place? Filia assumed that Xellos wouldn't bother. With a piercing glare, Filia demanded the truth. "Why do you want to marry me?"

"Don't you want to?" Xellos innocently asked.

"Quit playing innocent and confess!" Filia angrily demanded. "There has to be some reason why you would ask all of a sudden! Tell the truth, why do you want to marry me?" Her eyes shone with emotion as she waited expectantly to hear something sarcastic. Although if he said something cheesy like 'because I love you' she would probably leap into his arms and say yes... Even if five minutes later she would be threatening him with her mace and once again demanding to know what he was plotting.

"My cure," Xellos finally confessed the truth, while Lina, Zelgadis and Amelia watched on in suspense. Sylphiel, Pokota, Gourry and Val watched on in confusion. It was understandable for Sylphiel and Pokota as they were not fully aware of the particular details of Xellos' situation. It was also comprehensible for Val, since he was a baby and was only beginning to learn about the world around him. As for Gourry, he was just stupid, but everyone had learned not to hold that against him.

Filia closed her eyes, clenched her fists and shook in anger. "Amelia, please keep an eye on Val for me."

"Sure..." Amelia whispered, as if she didn't even dare to raise her voice.

Metaphorical flames appeared all around Filia as the whole group sensed the heat of her raging fury. "Idiot!" Filia roared into Xellos' face and took off in an all out run, which didn't stop until she disappeared in the distance.

Idiot? As in not the almost endearing raw garbage? Yeah, Filia was mad alright. With his painted on cheerful grin still plastered on his face and his eyes still closed, Xellos sarcastically spoke with too much cheer to fit the situation. "That didn't turn out very well, did it?" The group as a whole shook their heads in an obvious response. "I'm off to find the stupid dragon before she does something... well, stupid, or more stupid than usual." This was Xellos' cue to fade into the astral side, except he was still a human so he couldn't. Thus instead, he ran off in Filia's general direction. At least he got the hang of better controlling his expression over time, but the delicate art of deciphering Filia still eluded him.

xoxox xox xoxox

A couple of hours later after a short detour, the result of which Xellos thought Filia better appreciate, he spotted the golden dragon sitting on a bench, watching as the random couples walked by. He took a seat next to her. They were a short way away from the fountain with the cupid in the middle. The area was surrounded by rose bushes that produced flowers in a bright shade of hot pink complimented with minty green leaves that one could only conclude were fake.

They had sat in that very spot before, a fact that Filia clearly remembered. "Remember when you were sitting here in those silly clothes and I came to find you so you wouldn't blackmail me? It was right after that embarrassing incident with the berries. You were still a monster at the time and I still had no idea about your curse. Back then, the thought of kissing you of my own free will seemed pretty unlikely, so as to not say impossible." Filia moved closer to Xellos and rested her head on his shoulder.

Xellos placed his arm around Filia, drawing her closer and leaning his head towards hers. "You've come a long way, stupid dragon."

"We've come a long way, raw garbage," Filia corrected. She let out a cold breath that was far too chilly for autumn and addressed the issue at hand. "We've had this conversation before, about how your cure doesn't work unless it's willing and not just you selfishly trying to get cured."

"I know, but-" Filia held up her index finger to silence Xellos.

"Even if we didn't have an actual wedding, we were basically living together, raising Val." Filia sounded much less upset than Xellos expected. In fact, she sounded calm and content. "I was happy and I think you enjoyed it too, didn't you? That's all that really matters," she concluded. "So I'm not angry that the idea of a wedding only occurred to you because of the cure, after all, cure aside, we're already a couple anyway regardless of the technicalities. Plus I appreciate that you told me the truth."

"It's not like you ever expressed that you wanted to get married," Xellos pointed out.

"I didn't think you wanted to and I didn't want to insist on it and drag you into it only so you could humor me," Filia retorted. "Getting married is something people should do because they want to, not because they have to. But like I said, I've been thinking it's not the party that matters, it's the aftermath of it and we already have that."

"Then you don't want to get officially married?" Xellos inquired, a bit confused by Filia's apparent choice.

Filia gave Xellos a look as if he was asking a very stupid question. "Of course I'll marry you."

Looking quite puzzled, Xellos had to inquire. "If you're satisfied with the way things are and want to marry me, then what was that hissy fit all about, stupid dragon?"

"I just told you, raw garbage!" Filia half growled.

She took a short walk down memory lane, stated a few obvious facts and hinted that she was refusing his proposal. None of that amounted to an explanation in Xellos' opinion, but Filia was an eternal enigma and he had come to terms with that much. Maybe he even got to enjoy how she was such a roller coaster of wild emotions that he secretly missed being able to taste. "Okay..."

Filia huffed, labeling the explanation as a lost cause and snuggled comfortably against Xellos, closing her eyes in much needed relaxation. She had almost dozed off when she felt something kind of cold around her left hand ring finger. She opened her eyes to find a golden ring with a big amethyst in the middle and two smaller diamonds on each side. Filia thought she was well past the blushing stage, but apparently she wasn't. Yet this wasn't an all out burning of the face, but a cute rosy tone on her cheeks that matched her loving eyes and sweet smile perfectly. "I'm tempted to make you ask me properly."

Xellos grinned, with real cheer and amusement reflected on his face. "Not happening," he happily informed. "Here's something else instead." He kissed her and she concluded that proper proposals were over-rated anyway, this was much better.

The kissing lasted for a while, but none of the passer-bys paid them any mind, since kissing couples were not rare around the resort. After some time passed, they decided it was time to rejoin the group. Contemplating the coming wedding, Filia mused, "I wonder if all the marriages performed in this resort are done in the name of the Official International Tourism Guild, like Lina and Gourry's marriage... or engagement."

"Do you know who controls the guild?" Xellos had a certain cheer to his voice that he always enjoyed when he was about to annoy someone.

Filia considered not asking, but she knew Xellos would tell her anyway and she was kind of curious. "Who?"

Grinning in absolute amusement, Xellos informed, "the Metallium family."

"In other words, Beast Master," Filia frowned. "I don't want to get married in the name of Beast Master, even if it is indirectly. I'm sure Sylphiel will be able to perform the ceremony in the name of Ceifeed if I ask her to."

"I don't think Lord Beast Master will be very happy about that," Xellos presented a valid argument. "I'm already pushing my luck by getting married. Getting married in the name of the enemy would be too much. Besides, I don't want a wedding that's in any way related to Ceifeed."

"But most monsters aren't exactly big on love, why would anyone get married in the name of Beast Master?" Filia stubbornly argued.

"That's what makes it not so bad," Xellos reasoned.

"Have you never heard that the wedding is to please the bride?" Filia growled.

"Have you ever heard of a wedding without a groom?" Xellos merrily countered.

"Fine," Filia sounded as if she was going to give up her argument, but Xellos knew better than to expect that and he was right. "How about Seyruun?"

"Seyruun?" Xellos questioned.

"Yes," Filia nodded, elaborating on her idea. "A civil marriage made official by the kingdom of Seyruun. Sylphiel can perform the ceremony and Amelia can validate it."

Xellos considered the prospect, "maybe... But don't blame me if Zelas gets angry. Let's not forget that this entire resort is all one big training and research center in her service. She'll know when the wedding is and she might even decide to honor us with her presence." That gave Filia a whole new set of possible difficulties to think of.

To be Continued

Slayers: Alive - Episode 084: Poison! Prepare For Trouble

The preparations for Xellos and Filia's wedding were quickly started. Amor Resort had plenty of shops to purchase all the needed items, so finding things was not difficult. Sylphiel had agreed to officiate the marriage ceremony and Amelia would approve it in the name of Seyruun. As part of the preparations, Filia and the girls were getting dresses with Amelia, Lina and Tiffany playing the role of bridesmaids, soon to be joined by Elena when she, Jillas and Gravos arrived.

"Filia," a particularly annoying tone adorned the sing-song voice of the mysterious woman who appeared, literally, out of nowhere, or rather, out of the astral side if you want to get technical.

"Zelas..." Filia was taken by surprise, dropping her arms which she had previously held outstretched for Sylphiel to measure her. She wasn't expecting Zelas to cause trouble until the actual wedding.

"What do you think of this dress?" Zelas spun around to show off her elegant dress. It was strapless with small diamonds all around and a low cut that was open on the back leaving most of it bare. The skirt had multiple layers of shiny fabric adorned with more diamonds that matched the rest of her expensive jewelry. Her hair was done up neatly with a few strands elegantly framing her face. Zelas grinned her most annoyingly mocking grin. "Pretty, isn't it?"

The dress was indeed pretty, it was beautiful, it was gorgeous and it was white. Filia knew she should have seen this coming; of course Zelas wouldn't miss the opportunity to show up at her wedding wearing an extravagant white dress. "Very nice," the angry golden dragon finally spoke, careful to keep her voice even, or at least as even as her burning rage permitted. Then she turned to Sylphiel and casually declared, with more sharpness to her tone than any casual statement should merit. "Make my wedding dress pink."

A deadly silence invaded the atmosphere. Sylphiel dared not to protest, it was obvious that this lady was a monster, given her peculiar entrance, and she seemed to be a powerful one. That aside, people didn't always follow the white dress tradition and Filia could get married in pink if she so wished it. Then Lina, who was feeling particularly brave, decided to speak up. "Weren't the bridesmaids supposed to wear pink?"

Filia frowned and Lina quieted. "You can wear pink; I'll wear... lavender..."

"Dark purple," Zelas dictated, causing Filia to twitch at being told what to wear in her own wedding. "Xellos would like that, but of course; I can't expect such an uncaring bride to even remotely consider what her unfortunate groom would prefer." Zelas made a dramatic motion with her hand over her forehead as if pretending to faint.

Filia debated if she should reply or not. Zelas would no doubt be very difficult to argue with, being both cunning and annoying. Worse yet, if Filia did manage to get her point across, that might mean death. On the other hand, Filia wasn't sure what her point was anyway. "Dark purple it is!" Filia knew that there was no way she could beat Zelas in the art of being annoying. She was pretty sure no one could do that, not even Xellos. Perhaps her best survival strategy and hopefully the key to having a somewhat decent wedding was to play nice. "Lord Beast Master, would you pretty please, do me the great honor of designing my wedding dress?" Filia batted her eyelashes, her voice coated in a thick layer of sugar, while her aura screamed bloody murder.

Amelia leaned over to Lina and quietly whispered, "she lost it."

Then the next thing Amelia knew, Zelas had disappeared from in front of Filia only to reappear next to Amelia and whisper to her, "she never had it." Which caused Amelia and Lina to jump back and stumble like dominoes, knocking down Sylphiel in their path.

Zelas' silver eyes focused on Filia, the golden dragon noting the change of color which was all done probably just to better match the many diamonds and the ivory white of the dress, which any honest person had to admit looked good paired with Zelas' radiant tan. "Good to see you're learning your place."

Filia visibly shook with anger. Through clenched teeth she pushed out her reply. "I'm only all too happy to be a part of your lovely family." She wouldn't let Zelas drive her over the edge. That would mean that she lost and Filia simply couldn't give Beast Master this victory.

xoxox xox xoxox

After the measurements were taken, Zelas disappeared with the notes, claiming that she was off to create a masterpiece. Filia didn't even want to imagine the dress she would have to wear. While Amelia tried to console Filia with one of her positive thinking justice speeches, Lina and Sylphiel moved to the balcony of the atelier which resided on the second floor of a boutique. "Um... Sylphiel... about Gourry..." Lina brought up the difficult subject that she simply had to get off her chest. Sylphiel was an important friend to Gourry and she was Lina's friend too, she even saved her life in the past.

Sylphiel leaned on the balcony, closing her eyes in thought for a moment, before looking out in the distance at the busy crowds making their way through the resort. "It's okay; you don't need to sound so apologetic. I took a lot of time to speak up and maybe it's because I knew the two of you belonged together. My dear Gourry is happy," this time Sylphiel attached her usual way to refer to him in front of the name, because he was still someone dear to her as a friend. "That's all that really matters, one day, I'll find someone too. I'll be patient until then."

Sylphiel smiled so sincerely that Lina's worries evaporated. "I'm sure you will," the redhead smiled back.

xoxox xox xoxox

While the last few preparations for the wedding were still taking place, Lina suggested that they should rehearse to make sure everything went just right. At first Filia was surprised at how eager to help and thoughtful Lina was being, though she soon realized she should have seen it coming when the actual rehearsal took place that evening. It was held in the same location of the ball where Lina and Gourry got married, which turned into getting engaged. The dome was as elegant as ever, with its white marble walls round about, impressive glass ceiling and gorgeous levitating chandeliers.

Yet the locale seemed empty with its few occupants when it was built to house a large crowd. Lina certainly wasn't complaining, that meant more food for her. Which brought Filia back to her main argument, that she proceeded to state while cradling little Val in her arms. "Why do we need to have a banquet rehearsal, I thought this was supposed to be a wedding rehearsal!"

"Why would we need a wedding rehearsal? Don't you know how weddings go, stupid dragon?" Xellos teased. "I'm a monster," or he was originally and would hopefully become one again, "and even I know how weddings go."

"I know how weddings go, raw garbage!" Filia countered. "And I also know that no matter how we rehearse, it in the end it will only go any way Zelas wants it to go." She sighed, defeating her own point. Searching for something in the surrounding area that would distract her enough to calm down, Filia spotted Phythan following Onyx around like a lost puppy. The comparison was made more vivid by the fact that his tail was out for whatever reason, wagging slightly now and then.

Noticing what Filia was looking at, Xellos teased, "I bet she hits him in three... two... one..." Onyx turned around, glared at Phythan who tried to smile to soothe her anger. She walked around him and stomped hard on his tail. He yelped in pain, while she walked away. Xellos grinned proudly, even without his ability to sense emotions he could still guess what people were about to do at times. It probably came from his expertise in temper tantrums, which he obtained thanks to Filia. "Did you see that? I'm a genius."

"Anyone somewhat observant would have guessed that," Filia argued. "I knew she would hit him too. Onyx had that look in her eyes that's like..."

"Like when you're about to try to hit me with your mace?" Xellos offered, his expression still amused.

"Exactly," Filia agreed. "But she hasn't auctioned him again yet," Filia pointed out, glaring at Xellos suspiciously, while he tried to play innocent. "Don't give me that look as if you don't know what I'm talking about, I know you didn't let the payment go through. I guess it's okay as long as Onyx doesn't try to auction Phythan again. Maybe she likes him; she did kick him pretty hard." Filia mused aloud, not realizing that her theory was not exactly the most logical.

Xellos raised an eyebrow, one eye open and one closed, "I knew it, you're a sadist."

"No I'm not," Filia pouted, then went over her words again. "I meant it in a completely innocent way. It's like how a child would poke another child because of a secret crush. It's kind of like how you would always get on my nerves."

"A monster isn't exactly an innocent child," Xellos pointed out. "And neither is a grown human, but dragons are... pathetically innocent."

Filia huffed, "stop twisting things around! Anyway, I don't think Onyx is so bad. She's picky with who she graces with a few words, but her ego isn't as big as yours. I know because Zelgadis and I eavesdropped on your conversation with her. I thought you might be plotting something that I would somehow have to stop. Zelgadis muttered something about Onyx not accepting herself, but I didn't quite catch all of it. It didn't look like something he wanted to elaborate on at the moment, so I didn't ask."

Xellos pretended to be hurt, "don't you trust me at all?"

"When it comes to causing mischief, I only trust you to cause a lot of it," Filia retorted. She watched Onyx sneak away from the banquet uncomfortably, she had been in a bad mood since the whole event started. From a certain perspective it could be considered as an improvement from her usual monotone, but from the perspective of Phythan's aching tail as he followed her unsure of why she was angry at him, it was not an improvement. "Which is why I'm not leaving you here unsupervised to get into trouble while I go do something about those two."

"Matchmaking?" Xellos laughed mockingly. "We both know how your past attempts turned out."

"They were perfectly successful!" Filia emphasized. "All the couples that I tried to match-make for ended up together!"

"Not as a direct result of your actions," Xellos reminded.

Filia glared, maintaining her position, "I'm sure I contributed." She strolled over to Tiffany, who was making her way around the dome playing hostess. "Tiffany, can you keep an eye on Val for a little while? Xellos and I need to take care of something real quick."

Tiffany grinned mischievously, "I completely understand. Come here little Val, let's give mommy and daddy some time to do mommy and daddy things."

"Be good to aunty Tifa," Filia kissed Val's forehead and went on her way with Xellos.

xoxox xox xoxox

Filia didn't quite catch the meaning of Tiffany's words until she and Xellos were already out of the dome heading towards the forest of plastic trees that surrounded the wooden clock tower. She stopped, suddenly realizing, "I think Tiffany got the wrong idea about why we left."

Grinning in vast amusement, Xellos winked, "we could always make it right."

Filia blushed, "focus, raw garbage, we're here to make sure Phythan doesn't get auction away and to make sure Onyx has a trustworthy companion nearby for whenever whatever was sealed in her by the Lord of Nightmares finally manifests itself. Most of all, were here to make Onyx and Phythan realize they like each other!"

"You sounded like Amelia giving a justice speech, only worse, because your speech is about matchmaking," Xellos mocked.

"Don't worry, it'll work, I'm feeling optimistic. Look, there they are!" Filia pointed to a clearing ahead, where Onyx had stopped walking and Phythan had caught up with her. Filia ducked behind a line of plastic bushes, signaling for Xellos to quietly join her.

"I have an odd feeling..." Xellos whispered. He had never felt so in danger without his ability to sense the life forms around him. It was almost as if some kind of obscure survival instinct was setting him on edge.

"I'm feeling pretty relaxed," Filia yawned. "In fact, I've been feeling extra relaxed and kind of sleepy since we entered this fake plastic forest. There's something calming in the air here that I didn't quite notice before."

"Maybe it's that strange perfume lingering in the air?" Xellos suggested, "it's unusual, I don't like it." He glanced at where Onyx was yelling at Phythan not to follow her, while he grinned stupidly. "Phythan seems to agree about this place being relaxing, he's got such a stupid smile on his face." Xellos paused, taking note of Filia's expression, "It's just like the stupid smile on your face. I really don't like this, something is wrong, someone is here!"

Filia giggled, "oh, relax, Xellos, there's no one here but us." She didn't seem to care if Onyx and Phythan discovered them. Then a strange fog like a Dark Mist spell began to invade the atmosphere, but instead of getting alarmed, Filia giggled some more and cuddled Xellos. "Isn't that mist pretty? It's kind of romantic."

"Either that strange smell is toxic to dragons, or you've gone insane," Xellos had a strong feeling that it was the first possibility. Then he remembered the impending danger that everyone knew was to come but had been procrastinating to do anything about, since no real clues were available anyway. "The Dragon Slayers," Xellos blew away the strange mist with a Diem Wind spell. He hurried out of the false bushes to join Onyx and Phythan.

Xellos led Filia away by the hand, while she only giggled in response. "Aw, Xellos, are we going for a nice stroll? That's so sweet."

"C'mon stupid dragon! Don't let that lonely single brain cell of yours die!" Xellos tried to make Filia snap out of it to no avail.

"I love you too, raw garbage," Filia chirped happily.

The whole while, Phythan kept poking Onyx annoyingly asking, "Miss Onyx, Miss Onyx, will you be my best friend forever?" No amount of insults or getting his hand slapped away seemed to be able to stop him.

"I know you're there! Come out before I Dragon Slave you out!" Xellos threatened.

About eight people in black ninja-like clothing came out of hiding from several locations behind the plastic vegetation. They surrounded Xellos, Onyx and the two golden dragons. A tall one who appeared to be the leader, spoke from behind the black clothe covering his face. "Powerless monster, you should die along with the dragons you allied yourself with, I've always known the dragons are just as bad as the monsters and the fact they stand together proves it! We, the Dragon Slayers will rid the world of such creatures in the name of our great leader the Green Alchemist, the Mother of all Things!"

"I stand for justice!" Phythan nonsensically yelled.

"Me too," Filia joined in with a giggle.

'They're insane if they think some alchemist is the Mother of all Things... Or maybe just stupid enough to be tricked,' Xellos mused. "What did you do to them?" He growled angrily. "It better not be permanent."

"It's not, but what does it matter? You're all about to die anyway." The leader confidently declared. "Dragon Slayers, attack!"

The eight slayers threw chain kunai simultaneously at their primary target: Phythan. 'As I thought, they want to force Phythan to transform to defend himself and slay him for his horn,' Xellos concluded. After all, even in their unguarded stupefied state, they would still fight back if they felt enough pain, though it would most likely be with brainless raw power, which could be handled with the proper strategy. "Diem Claw!"

The chain kunai were pushed upward by a vertical gust of wind, rather than back towards their owners, who would have probably just caught them and thrown them again. In the few seconds of time it took the Dragon Slayers to pull back their weapons by the chains, Xellos took the opportunity to fire a rapid succession of Flare Arrows that caused the Dragon Slayers to jump away to dodge, taking their weapons off the intended target course with them.

"Onyx, don't just stand there slapping Phythan silly. You have Beast Master's amulet that's infused with her power, use it!" Xellos ordered.

"Yes, brother," Onyx released Phythan. Both sides of his face where bright red from the angry slaps he received because he wouldn't stop poking Onyx.

Xellos looked towards Filia, but realized that she was not where she had been a mere split second ago. Instead she was recklessly charging against the enemy, stumbling around in a drunken stupor. "Filia!"

Filia was exceptionally easy to capture and be held hostage, which was certainly not the way Xellos envisioned this battle to progress. "Get yer hands off me!" Filia slurred. "Only me fiance can like hold me like close. He's a jealous one, he's gonna rip yer head off... hee hee hee."

"I would rip his head off," in a much more literate fashion, "if you haven't gotten yourself captured, stupid dragon!" Xellos growled in frustration.

"Order the male dragon to transform," the Dragon slayer leader commanded, holding a sharp dagger dangerously close to Filia's neck. It was always 'the dragon' for the Slayers, they never used proper names when it came to the creatures they hunted. The dagger was coated in some green syrupy stuff. It was probably some kind of poison particularly effective against dragons.

"Onyx, tell that idiot to transform," Xellos relayed the order.

"Yes, brother," Onyx roughly pulled Phythan's ear so he would lean closer to her and whispered something to him.

Phythan nodded eagerly, stumbled in place trying to regain his balance and did a silly little salute. The whole time he was laughing stupidly as if he had heard the funniest joke in the world. Then he transformed, the horn on his forehead appearing to its full length. It was so large that it made his head feel out of balance, as if he didn't have enough of that as a result of the gases he was exposed to which affected dragons. "Now we play!" He picked up Onyx and literally threw her away into the distance, hopping around and clapping afterwards.

"Just when I thought he couldn't get more stupid!" Xellos grumbled angrily.

"Sir?" One of the Dragon Slayers inquired to the leader. "Should we pursue her?"

"Forget the girl, she is of no use to us," the Dragon Slayer leader still kept a firm hold on the squirming drunken Filia. "Monster, keep that beast under control while we cut off its horn and your little pet might live."

Xellos glared murderously, they would pay for this, he would make certain of it. But he couldn't take action while they were holding Filia hostage like that. For the time being, he would have to cooperate.

To be Continued
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