A/N: Thank you for your reviews. They made me happy. I like the reviews that say you like my story the best. Please review. Disclaimer: I don't own Slayers. Never have - Never Will ""(U_U)"" Too bad. I really wanted it for Christmas, too. :P

Departures and Separations

"I think we should try to help Gourry out. He's protected us over the last five years, so it's the least we can do," Kollina stated simply.

Slightly irritated, Mazolina muttered back, "Yeah, even if none of us ever needed it, except maybe around Lina's 'time of the month'."

Lina blushed and said, "All right, all right. I think we all agree that we should help Gourry become smarter, but how would we go about doing that? I don't think there's a spell right now that has anything to do with that."

Kollina thought and replied as if the answer was obvious, "Well then, let's create one. We'll use an experimentation lab to devise a spell and my thesaurus to write the chant."

Mazolina sat up with a bored look. "But this castle and town doesn't have a single lab in it. Where could we possibly do it?"

Lina solemnly answered, "Elmekia Empire. Barbados to be exact. I, for one, know that Barbados has an excellent Experimentation Guild. I'm sure with my reputation and status, we'll be able to get in easily." Noticing the other two's hurtful glare, she added, "Not that you don't also have important status, it's just that everybody still knows us as one person, in one body."

Mazolina and Kollina accepted this, but Mazolina leaned forward and complained. "But Barbados is more than a two weeks' journey from here. I like it here, it's comfortable."

Kollina smirked. "Well then, we'll bring folding beds for the road and we'll sleep in the best inns money can buy for towns. Besides, compared to what we've done before, this is nothing. Remember the trip to the Fire Dragon Temple a while back? That took at least three months!"

Mazolina sat back and grumbled, but Lina and Kollina smirked knowingly at Kollina's persuasion. They all knew that she was right, Mazolina hated it, but the others didn't mind so much (why would Kollina not like the fact that she was right? It's for a good cause). ^__^

Finally, Mazolina stood up and muttered, "Fine, fine. Let's just go. We'll pack up now and leave after lunch. Okay?" The other two nodded in agreement and also stood up. They began to pack every possible thing that they would need into Mazolina's bottomless dimension pocket (they just floated around in subspace, the opening being in her cape). You know, the usual 25 bags of gold for restaurant food, 100 bags of actual food for the road, 10 large bags of firewood, 5 sturdy foldable beds and tents, a few extra clothes, weapons, and a bag or two of miscellaneous things that they wanted to bring for enjoyment or other ideas . . . ^__^

When they finished packing, they were just in time for lunch. They decided that after lunch and before they left, they would explain the travel arrangements and Zel's transformation to everyone. They all ate lunch in relative peace, with a few chitchats here and there. After lunch, King Inverse and Luna excused themselves because they said they had something they needed to do. (King Inverse - sign lots of papers, Luna Inverse - job as waitress) Amelia and Zelgadis were also about to leave when Lina stopped them.

"Wait, before you go, I have something to address to all of you, including you, Xellos." Xellos popped out of thin air with a bemused smile on his face. Lina ignored him and continued. "I'll have to be leaving soon for an important errand. Considering how good my luck is, I'll definitely be back by Christmas (Six months from then). Now then, who'd like to go with me? Kollina and Mazolina already have to go, so don't ask."

Amelia replied first, "I'll stay here. As much as I'd love traveling with you again, I feel that I must stay here and catch up with my older sister, Gracia. I should also be near Seyruun in case I am needed. (Wow, that seemed kind of too mature for Amelia to say. Then again, she's about 17 years old now)" Lina nodded and looked to Gourry.

Without even really thinking about it, Gourry quickly said, "I'll follow you wherever you go, Lina. I am your protector all." Gourry beamed proudly at this. Lina just smirked and mused softly, "Well, I suppose you'll have to come anyway. The experimentation can't really be tested if he's not there to use it on . . ."

Out loud, Lina said, "All right. Xellos, you can choose to stay or come with us, as long as you don't cause too much damage. I don't really care." His reply was, "Hmm . . . I'll go with you, it's more fun and chaotic traveling with you." With a slightly disappointed sigh, Lina said, "Okay, we won't leave for about another hour or so. Gourry, we've already packed the essentials, including money, food, and tents. Just bring some extra clothes, armor, and whatever personal items that you feel you need to bring. Kollina, you stay behind here and explain Zel's transformation to them while I fix up something for Gourry. Come on, Mazolina." With that, Lina rushed out of the door, with Mazolina trailing behind her, before anyone could even utter a protest.

Sighing, Kollina turned to the group, took a deep breath, and began. "First off, I want to say that we didn't make Zel's body permanently human. L-sama didn't feel that Zelgadis should be allowed to ever regain his human form completely, he's too well known now. *Kollina receives wide eyes and shocked looks at this but continues* So she compromised to let Zelgadis to stay human for most of the day, and have the ability to turn chimera in battle or when he gets into any surprise trouble, for a total of five hours a day. Watch. Zelgadis, put both of your hands outstretched in front of you and say 'Chimeric Transformation'."

Still surprised, Zelgadis did as he was told. Immediately, right before his eyes, his hands quickly became a familiar stone and blue shade. He had become a chimera again, but this time with absolutely no pain at all. Choosing to ignore this fact at the moment, Zelgadis turned to Kollina angrily.

"You turned me into a chimera again! How dare you!" Kollina smirked and said, "Well, technically, YOU turned yourself back into a chimera. That was the long version. You can become a chimera just by thinking those words. The same with turning back into a human. Just say 'Humane Transformation' instead of 'Chimeric Transformation'. It's quite simple actually. When you need to protect yourself or fight, you can transform into a chimera and be your usual strong self. Afterwards and in between those times, you can simply enjoy the few joys of being human."

Still growling at the fact that the cure hadn't been permanent (though he was secretly happy because he could protect the ones he loved instead of the other way around), Zelgadis tried to simply think 'Humane Transformation'. It worked. He had suddenly turned back into a human, and he relaxed happily.

Seeing that Zelgadis had calmed down, Kollina went on. "Oh, and the reasons that you can't come with us are (1) It has nothing to do with you and (2) Since you are freely able to turn chimera and back, the Sorcery Guild will naturally want to study and examine you." Zelgadis became infuriated at this. Kollina raised an eyebrow and continued, "Oh hush. We gave you the cure that you so desperately wanted, and I know that you're secretly pleased with it. I can read thoughts, you know. Anyway, being with Lina for so long, you must already know - Lina almost never gives anything without expecting anything in return. And if you refuse to do this, we will do all of the following: (1) Lina will beat you to a pulp (2) Mazolina will fireball you three times in succession (3) I'll reverse the cure so that you remain chimera 24/7 and (4) We'll all kick you out of the castle. So, are you going to do it?"

Obviously, Zelgadis nodded quickly out of fear of the consequences. Kollina smiled, "Good. Every day, until they say their done, go to the Sorcerer's Guild in town, it's the tallest tower in the whole city, state your name and mention 'Chimera Observation' at the front desk, follow the receptionist to the 'study room' and wait until they say they're finished for the day before you leave. Got it?" Zelgadis could only nod again, still shocked with fear. (Hey, even Zelgadis would be fearful of all the things I listed, especially one after another)

Just then, Lina came running into the room. When she stopped, she gasped for breath - she had run from wherever she went. Mazolina had been leisurely floating behind Lina, and came down as Lina stood up straight again. Handing a parcel wrapped in brown paper to Gourry, Lina said, "Here. Open it. I have a feeling you'll need it in the future, near or not." His normal puzzled self, Gourry looked at Lina as he gently took the parcel from Lina and began opening it. He gasped as he saw what Lina had given him, and held it up for all to see.

It was a long and narrow sword. It had a golden hilt with small drawings (just lines and curves) and had stainless steel metal. It was about as big as his old sword (regular blade not the Sword of Light) but much lighter and easier to carry.

Being the gentleman that he is, Gourry said the typical reply after receiving something really fancy. "Oh, Lina. I can't take this from you, it's too pretty. Besides, if I use it in battle, it'll get really dirty fast. It looks too nice to get dirty."

Lina smiled. "Don't worry about that Gourry. The metal is stainless steel, meaning it's really easy to clean and blood or whatever won't stain on the blade. If you want, I'll give you a sword polishing kit to go with it. Oh, and here's the sheath to go with it. It's a special sheath that can defend against any sword by itself, as long as it isn't too powerful."

Dumbfounded (literally, more so than usual), Gourry looked at Lina, the sword, Lina, the sword, and back at Lina. He finally smiled and said, "Gee, thanks a lot, Lina! Now I can protect you even better." Lina smirked.

Suddenly, the light played on the sword, and Kollina realized just what that sword was. "Lina! That sword . . . Are you sure?" Confused, everyone looked at Kollina. Amelia asked, "What do you mean?" Kollina looked at the sword as she replied, "That sword was made especially by Lina herself. She made it before she left too. Lina created the sword so that not only would it be able to parry with any weapon possible, it could build up and send back magic attacks twice as powerful as before. Besides the fact that the Sword of Light was a special weapon from another planet, this sword is practically a complete duplicate of it, excluding the fact that the blade is solid instead of light, and that it was made here, by a human. Lina swore when she finished creating it, that she would only give it to her own personal bodyguard for life."

Lina smirked again. "That's right. As soon as the person I chose accepts this sword, they are officially my permanent bodyguard. So, I hereby pronounce, Gourry Gabriev, as Lina Inverse's personal bodyguard and Royal Knight-Guard for life. You four, Amelia, Zelgadis, Kollina, and Mazolina, be witnesses to this event. Kneel." Gourry kneeled. With that, Lina pulled out her sword and mocking-knightingly tapped both of Gourry's shoulders with the tip and said solemnly, "Rise, Sir Gabriev, Royal Knight- Guard of Zelphilia." Only recognizing his name and command, Gourry rose. After a few confused moments of blinking at Lina, he asked, "What just happened?"

Mazolina stepped forward to answer. "Didn't you hear, *Sir Gabriev*? (The asterisks for emphasis) Lina just knighted you. You are now part of the Zelphilian Guard System. You're OFFICIALLY Lina's personal bodyguard for life. I know you said that you would protect her for life a few years ago already, but now its official and you have to follow Lina around wherever she goes, excluding bathrooms and bedrooms, of course. Basically, just continue what you've been doing for the last five years, with the sword Lina gave you, and with it, you will publicly be known as her protector."

Seeing Gourry's still perplexed expression, Lina groaned and started walking to the door. She put a hand on her forehead and sighed. "Ugh. Let's just go already. I can't take much more of this. Gourry! Hurry up and get your stuff! We're leaving as soon as you're done." Kollina and Mazolina nodded to back-up that statement. Only hearing the command, Gourry sheathed the sword, hugged Lina in thanks, and rushed to his room before Lina realized what he had just done. Surprisingly, once she did, she just smiled and hugged her arms where Gourry had put his. Then she followed Mazolina and Kollina to the front hall. About 15 minutes later, Gourry met them there, they all said their goodbyes, and headed on their way.

A/N: Yeah, I'm ending this story here. Don't worry, I'll put a sequel up for it. Just look for the next thing that I put up. The sequel will describe an adventure they have before they get to Barbados. If you have any suggestions on what that adventure might revolve somewhat around, please free feel to review and tell me. I already have an idea of what I could write, but if I think your idea is good, I'll try to fit it in a little in the adventure. Uh oh.Lina-tachi left on the 13th chapter . . . Bad luck! She doesn't know it, but because she happened to leave on the 13th day of the month, which happened to be a Friday, and on the 13th chapter . . . She's bound to run into trouble. Please read, review, and await for the next story!