A/N: Ah…I again thank you all for your consistent reviews. It may not seem much to you, but it means lots to me. Thanks!!! Well, here's the epilogue as I see fit.
A while after Angelina told her personal prophecy, they continued to watch the water for any signs of life. Quite the opposite actually happened; a black, inky liquid that seemed similar to fast-moving storm clouds, spread from the lake dragon's dead body until the whole lake had been turned a bubbling, pitch-black. Right before their eyes, the dragon corroded until only the skeleton was left. Even as it was sinking into the bottomless abyss, the skeleton seemed to be disintegrating as well. A sickening belch was heard as the last of the dragon was consumed. The whole event was mind-boggling, numbing, and just plain horrifying.
Angelina was the first to hurry off the cliff, a bracing hand on her mouth. Luna was soon to follow, saying that she had kitchen duties to get back to. Blake was next to go, mumbling that he was going to be sick. Taking one last look over the edge, Lina and Gourry both prayed that their one and only daughter would come back. Gourry told Lina in an attempt to reassure them both, that they raised her to the best of their ability, and all that was left was for them to wait. Lina nodded absently in reply. Almost reluctant, Lina turned with Gourry to go back to the castle. Lina couldn't hold it in any longer; all the way from the cliff, to the castle, to their room, through the rest of the day, she cried with all of the pain and sorrow she had felt in the past month, and the past morning.
Angelina stopped at the bottom of the cliff. She quickly collected a small portion of her energy into a small white ball in her hand. She released it into the murky water with the command to find and protect Liona until she was ready to emerge. Once the ball disappeared into the dark depths of the once peaceful lake, Angelina ran off towards the castle.
That night, after dinner, Luna informed a gloomy array of guests that she had to return to Zephilia immediately. According to her, the work force there would get very lazy without her, and not to mention be very vulnerable to attack. Turning to Lina, she told her directly, "I understand if you don't want to come back now. But whatever you decide, Zephilia will always be your home." Telepathically, Luna related to only Lina, "You've suffered the pain of loss- several losses in fact. Just remember this: Cherish what you have when you have it. If you don't, you'll never be able to live with yourself." Outloud again, Luna ended by saying, "I leave by dawn, whatever you and your friends decide."
Lina suddenly remembered something. "I- thank you. Wait a minute. What about Mazolina? She said she'd be waiting for me when I came back to Zephilia."
Luna smirked. With a single split-second glance at Angelina, Luna answered, "Don't you worry about that. I'll take care of it. Do all of your moping and mourning and all that here. I won't accept a mournful waitress under my supervision."
Lina smiled back wanly. "I trust your word, onee-san. I appreciate the help and support."
Luna sniffed as she turned her heel. "Think what you will, but in Zephilia, I will always be in control." With that, Luna left the room.
Every day for almost a whole month, Lina visited the lake, no matter how much it sickened her to look at that inky pool. Surprisingly, little by little, a light began to show through the darkness. One day, when Lina noticed this change considerably, she heard the soft voice of Angelina behind her.
"Your love for Liona is shining through. Just as this putrid lake despises your senses, your warm love and strength of connection with Liona sickens the darkness within. When the moon is full, and the lake is pure again, may be the day that Liona arises once more. But you must leave here before then. Her presence gets stronger with every day. She's ashamed to face you, with all the wrong she's done and said."
Lina shook her head in dismay. In a low voice, Lina replied, "Nothing she's said, or could have said, would have ever made me feel the least bit of negativity towards her, my little girl. If I am not ashamed of her, she should not be ashamed of facing me. Families are meant to be together, and I believe in my daughter to complete our family again."
With a disgruntled sigh, Lina slowly got up on her feet. "But if you say she'll only come back if I leave, then so be it. I'd rather that she be alive and happy, than miserable midst a pool of darkness."
Angelina gave Lina a warm smile. She held out her hand; in it was a small vial, filled with dark red liquid. Lina curiously took it and inspected it closely as Angelina spoke with her constantly calm and collected voice. "Liona entrusted me with this before her fall. In you still lies the virus that is implanted through the medallions. Taking your medallion off will be of no greater purpose now. However, if you take this 'antidote' of sorts, it will clear your system completely of this virus."
All Lina could say was a confused stumbling, "How-. . . what. . . Where did Liona get this?"
Angelina's smile and voice stayed consistent. "Ever since you first became sick, she's been collecting the materials for this antidote. She claimed to have run off for the Dragon Cuisine, simply because you mumbled about it in your sleep, but that was not precisely the case. The final ingredient to the potion required the blood of a healthy dragon that was capable of healing itself. She didn't want to use my blood, for fear that the virus would be cycled through again, but instead she trekked to the nearest port for fresh lake dragon- The Coastal Alliance. To make a long story short, she found what she was looking for and added it to the potion, barely in time before her strange transformation."
Lina smiled and shook her head hopelessly. "With every word that you say, I just realize that everything is that much more complicated. I won't ask any more questions, simply because I'm confused enough as it is. Well, okay, one more question. All I have to do is drink this?"
Angelina smiled back and nodded. "That's all. Make sure to drink every last drop though, that part is crucial. If even a single drop is misplaced or not taken, the spell will be ineffective. To make sure you did get it all, Liona also made the vial edible, so you could put the whole thing in your mouth at once."
Lina let out a chuckle. "Edible and Efficient. Liona's definitely my daughter. If you see her before I do, tell her that I am very grateful for everything she's done, including saving you even at her risk. Oh, and make sure she knows that everyone that really knows her at all loves her for who she is. Well, bon appetite."
Lina chucked the whole vial into her mouth. With a definitive crunch, Lina chewed, drank, and overall consumed the antidote. Licking her lips, she grinned and said, "Peachy."
A few days later, the travelers parted ways once more. Lina and Gourry headed back to Zephilia. Zel decided to stay with Amelia in Seyruun. Blake decided to return home. As for Angelina…well, she disappeared from anyone's line of sight. As days passed, the lake continued to get clearer and clearer.
On the outskirts of Zephilia, Lina and Gourry met Luna coming from their hometown. Both of her hands were behind her as she walked, and a confident smile played on her face. A few yards between them, they stopped on the road. Gourry asked what she was doing away from the restaurant on a workday. Luna's reply shocked them, to say the least.
Luna said that she had found a plethora of willing workers for the restaurant, and thus had time on her hands. When Lina asked if she could clarify the helpers, Luna stretched out her hands one either side of her. On both sides, tied together by rope, were numerous mini-mazolina copies all smiling happily. Lina and Gourry gave a start as memories flooded back. Luna told them to relax; Angelina had appeared the same day that she arrived back, and together, they completely separated Mazolina into copies. Angelina cast a spell that made the spirit itself return to whence it came. What was left was about fifty or so copies. After training them all to obey the good citizens of Zephilia and be as helpful as possible, they were eager to get to work. Luna told how she had made some money from "selling" some copies to various people that she knew needed the extra help. Lina remarked that, although it was all interesting, and she meant no offense to her older sister, she had still not told them what she was doing with them outside of town.
Luna continued to say that Gourry was to take them to his home in Elmekia. Lina could go as well if she wished. When Gourry asked why she wanted them to take the copies there, Luna smirked. Her only answer was that Gourry would find an interesting tidbit there that may permit him to stay there longer. Gourry and Lina looked at each other questioningly. Lina shrugged; she accepted the "mission" for them both.
About a week or so later, Lina and Gourry, as well as the two dozen copies, arrived at the giant Gabriev mansion. Gourry's mother, hugged him in greeting first, before relatives of all shapes and sizes began pouring through the double doors to welcome their long awaited guests. Gourry's uncle and aunt, who worked as caretakers, took the copies into the house while the relatives continued to dig their way in through the crowds to embrace the couple.
Finally, the commotion died down a bit, at least enough for them to be ushered into the grand hall- a very long dining room with an almost equally long dining table. It turned out that they had arrived just in time for an impromptu family reunion. When Gourry asked what the big occasion was for, a silence immediately blew over. The relatives glanced at each other and then at Gourry. Finally, an elated woman, Gourry's mother, remarked, "You haven't heard, Gourry honey? You remember your sister, Glenda?"
Gourry nodded. "Of course. She ran away when-"
His mother interrupted promptly. "Yes. Well, she came back. With a husband and the claim that she had adopted a son."
Gourry's eyes bugged out. Jumping up he exclaimed, "REALLY?!?! That's great! Where are they?"
Everyone's eyes became downcast. The elderly woman continued, "Unfortunately, they offered to go shopping one day and got lost in the surrounding forest. It's still a surprise that you two managed to find our home so well. As it turns out-"
Gourry's mom was interrupted by the doorbell. A single ring that echoed throughout the whole mansion. A maid rushed to answer it, as several curious onlookers watched from the other end of the hallway.
The maid's gasp echoed slightly. "Why, if it isn't Mistress Glenda and her husband! We thought you were lost!"
With that, the relatives began piling through the hallway to get to them. Lina and Gourry looked at each other, before deciding to go along with the crowd. After the commotion died down, Glenda explained that yes, they had been lost in the forest. However, who should rescue them but their own adopted son! Glenda stepped aside, as did her husband, so that a blushing youth could be seen by the Gabrievs' peering eyes. Upon seeing him, Lina couldn't help but exclaim, "BLAKE?!?!"
Blake gave a start as he looked up into the crowds. He saw Lina and Gourry and uneasily waved. When Glenda asked if they already knew each, Blake rubbed the back of his head as he replied, "You could say that."
Well, it took a while for the commotion to die down again. Much discussing and swapping of stories took place before and after dinner. With the extra help, the food came that much quicker.
In the end, due to the momentous motives of the family reunion, Lina and Gourry stayed longer than all of the other relatives, but eventually, they, too, left, with many promises to stay in contact more, and visit more as well.
Meanwhile, two months had passed since Liona had fallen into the depths of the lake outside of Seyruun. Through continual hope and love, the lake had been purified once more. The night of the full moon, the forest was at peace once more. When the moon had reached its peak, the still lake rippled. Then, slowly, a serene beauty started to walk up the wall of the lake, never disturbing the water around her any more than a tiny ripple. She was a well-endowed woman, who looked to be in her older teens, but had the posture and presence of one who was older. Adorned in a silky-smooth, sparkling white gown, with flared long sleeves that covered her hands. The fringe of her gown barely covered her bare feet as she stepped onto the sandy bank. However, her feet did not leave prints, though she seemed to barely touch the surface of the ground. With her clear, blue eyes and cascading red hair highlighted by way of golden streaks, she seemed as if a beautiful angel, come to bless the people; an image that was further accentuated by her slightly pale, but fair skin.
At the bank, the beauty looked up at the moon, and raised her arms to it. A smile was displayed on her lips. Three gold bracelets jingled on both of her wrists, seemingly acting as a signal, for something happened after three jingles. Appearing slowly as if descending from the moon itself, was an almost identical copy, if not for its size; it was only about a third of the first beauty's height. The smaller angel had wings as well, but did not flap them as she waved her arms with a white aura. Golden sparkles danced around the beautiful lady. As the sparkles clung to her, she herself glowed, and her clothing was changed. Facing the lake to serve as a mirror, she inspected her new clothing.
Now, she wore off-white flared pants, held up by a black belt that was overlapped by a belt for a sword, sheathed in its scabbard. The hilt of the sword, as well as the scabbard, were
black in color, but intricately engraved designs were made in gold to accompany the matching set of a ruby, sapphire, and emerald that was presented on them both. She wore a red elbow-sleeved silk shirt fringed with gold over a pure white tank top. On her shoulders were shoulder guards that had the same design as her scabbard; three gems, fringed in gold designs, but mostly black. From the guards, held together by a gold chain of circular pieces, was a dark blue exterior-dark red interior cape. When the beauty now dressed in slightly extravagant traveling clothes, the chibi angel snapped its fingers, and a cool blue cloak went over it all.
In a voice so smooth and melodious that it couldn't possibly be human, the beauty thanked the angel, who nodded and disappeared, leaving a trail of golden sparkles. The woman took in her surroundings, and breathed in as if it was the first breath of fresh air she had had in a long time. In her scouting of the area, she spotted a middle-aged man, possibly a peddler or a merchant by his nearby wagon of barrels led by a single plodding horse. As she saw that he was staring aghast at her eyes and mouth wide open in surprise.
She smiled softly as she made her way toward him. His horse was eating the grass peacefully in front of him. In her soft voice, she asked, "Good evening to you, fair traveler. May I ask what a man such as yourself is doing in a forest at such a late hour?"
For a moment, the merchant was too stunned to say anything, but with a shake of his head, he found his voice. "I-I was just on my way to S-seyruun to sell my wine."
The woman raised an eyebrow. "Wine? What types to you have with you?"
"I've got a whole assortment of wine, ma'am. But most are from Zephilia. They make great wine there, they do."
She nodded with approval. "Indeed they do. Would it be too much to ask, if I could purchase a flask of Zephilian wine?"
"Of course not. For a beauty like yourself, I'll even give it to you for free." The man took a bottle from behind the seat and held it out for her.
The fair lady looked surprised. "Oh no, I couldn't let you do that. I know a group of successful merchants, and they would never let me live it down if I allowed a fellow merchant to do something like that." She raised her closed hand, and opened it to reveal five gold pieces. "Here. At least let me give you this much." The exchange was made, wine, gold, and thank you's. Pocketing the wine, the lady bid the merchant goodbye, and walked west, towards Seyruun. Behind a shrub, the woman disappeared from view. Hurriedly, the merchant put his horse into full gear and had it trot to Seyruun. He couldn't wait to tell of his remarkable meeting with the Lady of the Lake. Unfortunately, that same merchant never saw her again, but that isn't to say /other/ people didn't have chance meetings with her…
The sun was shining, the birds were chirruping; it was a great, cheerful morning in the forest. The same beauty that emerged from the lake traveled the forest path, surrounded by birds. Along her travels, she had befriended a pure white wolf as her sole companion. Even in her traveling garb, she was still a beauty among beauties, dressed finer than royalty to some. This, incidentally, attracted the eyes of bandits. Unlike the notorious Lina Inverse, she did not openly steal from them. In all actuality, /she/ never even harmed them at all. Her wolf companion, whom she had named Hyouden (First Snow of Winter), guarded her as if she were but a newborn child. The beauty had an interesting insight on life. To normal people, and those she knew were good characters, she was as sweet as sugarcane coated with honey. However, to those who were 'corrupted by evil' and resisted her kind words, faced the wrath so abominable, no one who knew of it, could speak of it. To none she spoke of her name. To none did she let on to her past. Through circulation of mouth and gossip, she became known as the Lady Liona (Lioness).
A/N: There, the end of Liona's Quest. That a good enough ending? I think I covered everyone. Well, now, here's my traditional post-story character bio. This story's person is Blake!
Blake Blueriver Gabriev:
Known as: Blake
Job or Status: Trained Assassin and Plane Traveler
Slayers Equivalent: Adopted son of Glenda Gabriev, sister to Gourry. So technically, Blake and Liona are something like step-cousins I think? Also, the son of a demi-demon under Deep Sea Dolphin
Age: About 18 years old
Hair: Black at the roots and changes gradually to gray and then white at the very tips of his bangs
Hairstyle: Overall messy, but hair points up and forward; keeps bangs from eyes with red bandana
Eyes: Cool, slate blue
Height: About 5'8
Official Outfit: black vest with gold trim and a dragon stitched into the back of it; black drawstring pants with a tear at the kneecaps, and a ragged design at the bottom cuffs; black traveler boots were worn and covered in a layer of dirt
Extra Appendages: a dragon head tattoo on his left arm (if you consider that an appendage)
Aura color: Unknown (Blue maybe?)
Personality: Overall nice, but does what needs to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. To most, he prefers to not be known as an assassin, as he doesn't like to have watchful eyes on him constantly
Strengths: Due to his job, he has picked up several things, such as the ability to disarm both physical and magical barriers and spells. He is also a trained assassin by way of sword.
Weaknesses: Can't kill a child younger than fifteen, and women not at all; chivalry comes before his job
Abilities: Has learned to travel across the planes that L-sama created
Main Power: Used to wield a sword created by Kollina Inverse; a sword that draws from the wielder's negative energy, thus making it more powerful in the hands of part-mazoku or possessed beings
Personal Love: None at the moment, but is quite fond of Liona…oh, meat too
Personal A/N: Not much is known about Blake; what can I say? He's a mysterious character. I'd like to say he's an anti-hero kind of person, but I don't know if I've exactly portrayed that feeling. Ah well.
Ending A/N: Well, this is the end of the line. Now, I plan to concentrate on my pokemon/slayers x-over fic. Other people seem to like it…so why don't you go check it out (look in my bio) "Pokemaster Lina" is about, well, Lina as a kid going around the Kanto region while catching as many pokemon to boost her power as she can, while meeting many people from both Pokemon and Slayers. Well, tah tah for now!