THIS IS WEIRD!
Part ? of !
by Curtis Wildcat
If there IS a "Harvey's Ham" somewhere, let me know so I can change it.
Got flame? So does Lina, so your point would be?
Lina, Gourry, Amelia, and Zelgadis were gathered around a small campsite somewhere along the route to Seyruun. Amelia had decided that she had had enough of traveling with Lina and the others for now, and that she should get home before Phil started getting concerned; she was especially eager to do so, since Lina had been really crabby for some reason or another the last few days. Xellos, for reasons known only to him, wasn't with them.
Shortly after they had eaten dinner, however, they were intercepted by two mazokunamely, Kurthish and Kharlosa. The latter had an odd mix of disgust and shock on his face, while Kurthish looked like he couldn't care less about the situation he had found himself in. All in all, it was rather startling when he repeated: "We've been asked to follow you from now on and make sure no one does you any harm."
An immediately suspicious Zelgadis glared at them. "What's Phibrizzo up to now? Is he planning to set some sort of trap for us, or is he having you turn on us when we least expect it?"
Kharlosa turned his back to them. "Neither," he grumbled.
"Speak louder, Kharlosa," Lina said, her eyes narrowed.
"I said neither, senorita Inverse!" Kharlosa snapped angrily. Calming himself slightly, he said: "Seems Mother wasn't too happy with her little boy for kidnapping you recently, so she arranged a 100-year timeout. Also seems she wants to keep you alive for whatever reason. Said something about being able to control her energy without wrecking the world, if that helps any."
So THAT was why Lina had been thoroughly ticked off, Amelia thought. "So if the 'little boy' was Phibrizzo, then 'Mother' is..." Her words trailed off abruptly as she realized who Kharlosa was talking about. Lina and Zelgadis's eyes widened a bit as they came to the same conclusion. Gourry ignored them, finishing off what was left of dinner.
"And the candles are lit," Kurthish confirmed sarcastically. "I'll be honest, though. I kinda like being able to work for the Lord of Nightmares herself. Following Phibrizzo's orders was somewhat of a drag."
"I can imagine," said Amelia. "It must be terrible to follow the orders of a madman, having to cater to his every whim and follow all his orders..."
Kharlosa interrupted her spoken thoughts. "You forgot one thing."
"He stinks. Mazoku or not, his clothes reeked of extreme B.O. The last time he took a bath, the entire town held a festival in his honor."
A few seconds later, the ground had three facial imprints. The fourth face, Gourry, finished swallowing dinner.
In an unknown location many miles north, a conversation was taking place.
"Rumors are abounding, my lord. Two mazoku have recently been spotted several days away from Seyruun."
"Hmm. Do they work for any of my...siblings?"
"From what I've ascertained from our minions, their residual signatures are not those of Zelas or Dolphin. They certainly do not work for us."
"That leaves them as rogues. With both the others out of the picture, anyone who operated under Gaav or Phibrizzoas unlikely as that soundsare bound to either go undercover or reappear and interfere in some way with our plans. We can't have that."
"Your orders, my lord?"
"Track them down and destroy them."
"As you wish...Lord Dynast."
Morning several days later found the crew subtracted by one. At a town not too far from Seyruun's borders, Amelia had said her good-byes and took off for home via the Ray Wing Express. Not too long after, the remaining members of the gang tried to decide which restaurant to go to.
"Zesty Stew Pot!" Lina argued, pointing at the food joint behind her. Gourry sided with her, as well; the Zesty Stew Pot was advertising that two people could eat for the price of one, and served great soups and sandwiches.
"The Crabby Cutters" was Zelgadis's choice. Since the town was not far from a fair-sized lake, the restaurant served high-quality seafood amongst other things. Plus, their coffee was tasty.
Kurthish, having demonstrated his appetite once already, was more concerned with quantity than quality. "Looks like I'm at 'Harvey's House of Hunger'," he decided. "Kharlosa, go with Gourry and Lina. Get yourself some tea or something."
"I'd rather have a jar of taco sauce, but they haven't made that stuff here yet," the spiky-haired mazoku muttered as the group seperated.
From her hiding place several buildings away, a twenty year-old with her blue hair in a braid watched as the five of them split up. Her first target was entering the Zesty Stew Pot. Deciding that she didn't want to risk an encounter with Lina Inverse or Gourry Gabriev just yet, she turned her attention towards Harvey's House. The second of the two targets had already entered the establishment.
"Perfect," she whispered, stepping out of hiding and strolling calmly and confidently towards Harvey's.
Kurthish speed-read the menu, then eyed the waiter standing near his table. "I'll have the Harvey's Ham smothered with melted cheese, four slices of bread with strawberry jam, a full order of meatballs with that tangy sauce, a pitcher of orange juice...and an apple."
The waiter nodded calmly (hefty men were often seen here, so he wasn't surprised), jotted it down, and quickly walked away. Meanwhile, deciding to pass the time, Kurthish pulled a book out of his robe and started reading.
After reading for a little while, his tranquility was interrupted by the sound of metal sliding against metal.
"Greetings, rogue," the girl greeted him, smiling darkly and holding a glowing longsword in one hand. "Who do I have the pleasure of speaking to? Not that it matters, of course."
Other than a page being flipped, there was no response.
"Who am I speaking to?" she repeated. "I can't just put 'Anonymous' on your"
"My name's Kurthish, and you're standing in my light, lady," Kurthish said without turning his head.
The girl folded her arms. "My name's Sherra, and that's just too bad. You going to fight or surrender?"
"You going to sit down or shut up?" Kurthish uttered quietly, still reading. "Menu's on the table."
Sherra gritted her teeth. "You must be either very strong or very dumb to just ignore me. Which are you, anyway?"
Kurthish flipped another page and said nothing. Irritated, Sherra raised her sword and jammed it through the book he was reading. "There. Now face me like the mazoku you are, you coward."
Not even this seemed to rile the chubby mazoku; instead, he examined the part of the sword that had been stuck through his book. Raising a finger, he traced it along the sword's side; this left a glowing red line that turned maroon. "Nice sword. Think I'll use it as a bookmark."
"A BOOKMARK?" Sherra nearly shouted, incredulous. "Nothing except the Sword of Light can break it! Are you implying that I'm some sort of fool?"
Kurthish waited a second until the maroon line turned black, then easily snapped off the sword's blade beyond the line and stuck it between the pages he was reading. "No. I'm implying that as long as YOU'RE here, I won't be able to get any reading done. Are you going to sit down or not?" he asked irritably, slipping the book into a hidden pocket within his robe.
The broken longsword clattered to the floor alongside Sherra's icy demeanor. "That...sword...was..." After several seconds of stuttering, she grabbed the back of the chair and yelled directly into his ears, catching the attention of most of the restaurant's patrons. "YOU STUPID FOOL! Lord Dynast personally oversaw the forging of that sword centuries ago, and had it designed especially for me! How could a SIMPLETON such as YOU use...it...as...a...BOOKMARK!"
Unseen by Sherra, an annoyed Kurthish's brown eyes flashed orange. "You're a really noisy girl, you know that?"
Shocked into silence by this remark, Sherra didn't say anything. It was about this time when several servers brought in the meal Kurthish had requested. After paying them off, he wasted no time in digging in.
Now, keep in mind: Sherra had already determined that Kurthish was one of the two "rogue" mazoku that the rumors spoke of. However, he wasn't acting very monster-like at all. Most people with an ounce of intelligence would be afraid of a mazoku, especially a second-in-command of one of Shabranigdu's direct servants. Kurthish wasn't, and the people he'd been seen with seemed to like him somewhat. Also, no one should've been able to break her longsword; the Sword of Light was the only known weapon capable of surpassing it, and yet this unknown had broken it like a stick.
But the clincher was that he had a small smorgasbord of food arrayed in front of him...and he was ENJOYING it. "Mazoku don't eat," Sherra complained, sheathing what was left of her broken sword. "They don't have anything REMOTELY like a digestive system. You're only fooling yourself."
"There's no rule that says mazoku can't eat," Kurthish argued after swallowing a bite of ham, his eyes glowing a brighter shade of orange. "They either don't choose to or they just decided to tell themselves that they couldn't eat, and then changed themselves to match. Your standards have fallen really low since Ruby Eye was imprisoned; can't even enjoy a cherry pie now and then."
Sherra folded her arms and spoke, her voice snide. "Hardly. We're still superior to humans in every way. Our standards are still intact, which is more than I can say of you."
"Teh," Kurthish scoffed, turning to face her for the first time; his eyes had faded back to brown, so he didn't look as dangerous as he sounded. "At least some humansI'm not saying all, I'm saying SOMEcan tell when something's wrong with them. On the other hand, you're so flawed that a child could tell me what's wrong with you."
"If you're so smart, then tell me," Sherra challenged, her eyes and voice cold. "What's wrong with me?"
Kurthish smirked a bit, detecting some smoke. "For starters I set the back of your uniform on fire just by making my eyes glow orange, and you didn't notice a thing."
Three seconds later Kurthish was able to enjoy the rest of his meal in peace, ignoring the clapping coming from several tables.
A short while after the last of the food had settled, the entire group met up again outside the Zesty Stew Pot. "So, how'd it go?" Kurthish asked.
"It was alright, but most of their sandwiches leave a lot to be desired," Lina told him, somewhat displeased but shrugging it off. "And their stews were too spicy, so I gave them to your friend." She turned to Kharlosa, one eyebrow arched. "And wipe that smug look off your face before I wipe it off for you."
"There was something that happened earlier that you probably know about," Zelgadis said, gazing at a small map. "What was with that strange girl who ran around screaming like crazy?"
Gourry nodded. "She was yelling something like 'hot, hot, hot' each time she ran by. Was there something wrong with her?"
Kurthish shrugged. "She said she was there to destroy me, but she's just some noisy girl who wouldn't shut up and leave me alone."
Kharlosa's smugness disappeared. "Did she say who she was, amigo?"
"She said her name was 'Sherra', or something or other. Why?"
Kharlosa's eyebrow twitched; Lina and Zelgadis stood stock still, nonplussed. Kharlosa spoke first, though. "Buddy, you just ticked off the second-in-command of one of the world's leading mazoku."
"So what? I was trying to read," Kurthish explained, indignant. Behind him, the silhouette of a mazoku appeared and raised an open hand. "It's hard to concentrate when a yappy girl thinks she's all that AND a slice of cake." Winking twice at Kharlosa, he stooped down as if to pick something off the ground...
...and Kharlosa fired a shot from his index finger right into Sherra's right hand, causing the preparations for a super-powered Icicle Lance to backfire. Lina, Gourry, and Zelgadis immediately tensed in case of retaliation, but their attacker's right hand was already absolute-zeroed.
Sherra looked down at her right hand, then up at Kharlosa and Kurthish. She took note that the others with them were quite capable of making Lord Dynast search for a new general, but her anger released that note from her mind. If anything, her expression looked quite comical (just not to her). "You are a disgrace," she snarled, an imaginary vein throbbing. "You fools are nothing like us. You're more interested in fooling around and disrespecting the names of those stronger than you. You...aren't...evil."
"Oh, get over yourself, senorita," Kharlosa said, smiling and walking past her. "We're evil, and we know it. And you can tell Dynast that he doesn't have to worry about us; we got a job offer that we could afford to take."
Sherra's anger dissipated slightly. "You aren't? I thought for sure that..."
"They're right," Lina spoke up cautiously. "Someone hired them to travel with me and make sure nothing terrible happens."
"I can't say," Lina said, an evil smirk of her own forming. "In the words of Xellos"
"I get the idea, thanks," Sherra interrupted. The fact that they wanted to keep the duo's mysterious employer a secret spoke volumes; it had to be someone with a lot of power, for instance. Deciding to deliver her report to Dynast, she turned her gaze back to Kurthish and Kharlosa. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm leaving. Don't do anything stupid, or I'll be back to finish what I started."
"Well, that was...interesting," Zelgadis thought aloud. Sarcastically, he added: "I wonder why she wanted to attack you in the first place."
"Something about wanting to exterminate rogue mazoku on Dynast's orders," Kurthish said. "I didn't get much more on the..."
"There's something you guys said that's been bothering me," interrupted Gourry, who had found the situation a bit confusing but didn't bother to say anything up until now. "You guys said that you're evil, but you've been with us almost three days and you haven't done a single evil thing yet."
Lina blinked at Gourry's comment, a bit surprised that he had brought it up. "Uh-huh. That's right."
"Actually, I put something on her uniform when I walked past her," Kharlosa said.
"What was it?"
Kharlosa gestured for everyone to lean closer. Once they did so, he spoke in a low whisper what he'd done. Shortly afterward...
"Okay...that's fairly evil."
"Of course it is. See, senor Zelgadis? We're evil. We just show it a bit differently, that's all."
"Okay, we've wasted enough time around here." This was Lina. "Let's get going. Adventure doesn't wait!"
Meanwhile, many miles north, Sherra rematerialized in her lord's lair. In a bit of a huff, she unsheathed the broken longsword and let it drop onto the floor.
Dynast, who chose to resemble a handsome young man in an armored uniform, arched an eyebrow. "Something wrong, my general?"
"I'LL say there's something wrong," Sherra snapped. "Those 'rogue mazoku' you ordered me to exterminate don't act like mazoku at all! My first target almost completely ignored me, snapped my sword like a twig and used it as a BOOKMARK, then ordered a meal and claimed to enjoy it! When I tried to discourage him, he set me on fire!" She spun around 180 degrees. "SEE!"
Dynast nodded, taking note of two things: #1, the uniform's back was scorched completely black; and #2, there was a little piece of paper stuck to it. "So I see," he said calmly, getting up and walking until he was right behind her. "I'll need to order a stronger sword forged, then. Anything else?"
"Yeah," Sherra growled half-heartedly, her mind still on the earlier incidents. "Seems someone claimed their services already. They didn't tell me much, but what I DID get implied that someone with a ton of power has entered the game. Equal to us, possibly more."
This got Dynast's full attention. "Indeed? This is certainly worth investigating. Starting tomorrow, I want you to trail them and see if they divulge any more on the subject. Keep out of sight the best you can." He nodded. "And tell the castle seamstress to repair your uniform. You're excused."
Sherra sighed and nodded her head, then started to walk away
and found herself pitched a dozen meters forward. Stumbling to a halt and regaining her bearings, she looked around. "What just...happened?" she wondered aloud, confused. "How did I...?"
Taking a look behind her, Sherra saw that Dynast was walking away as if nothing had happened. Figuring that it was of no consequence and putting the strange occurance at the back of her mind, she phased out.
As he sat back down, Dynast eyed the little yellow note that had been stuck to Sherra's uniform earlier. "Whoever those two are, they definitely have a mean sense of humor," he murmured. "Not ones to be underestimated."
For written in rather sloppy writing was the phrase: "Kick me if you hate dragons."
I'm starting to feel as if this story is starting to turn into Mazoku Central. Therefore Lina, Gourry, and Zelgadis will play the major roles in the next part as they search a vampire's castle in search of some sort of treasure.
In Part Seven, I said I'd list the references and cameos for those who missed some of them. Here you go:
Beavis and Butthead (I don't like the show; I just like the laugh)
Ami Mizuno (or Amy, take your pick), "Sailor Moon"
The Knights who say "Ni", "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
Ryoga Hibiki, Kodachi Kuno, "Ranma 1/2"
Conan Edogawa, "Case Closed"
Lupin III, Inspector Zenigata, "Lupin III"
Kuroneko-sama (the black cat), "Trigun"
Kenshin Himura, Soujiro Seta, "Rurouni Kenshin"
Tom Bergeron, "America's Funniest Home Videos"
Jim Carrey, "The Mask"
Also contained references to the following:
"Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", which Luna Inverse was
accidently drawn into at the end of a previous chapter.
The rock group Weezer and their song "My Name Is Jonas", which
was where the mayor's name came from. Hey, I thought it was a good
pun at the time. Okay?