Lina Inverse swayed a bit, her whole body aching from the last shot the sorceress had been hit with. "Not bad," the slim redhead conceded, her cloak tattered and several of the magic gens she wore having gone dark.
"You're not too bad yourself," Hectate admitted, the blonde haired sorceress looking nearly as tired and depleted as Lina did. Her usually fine clothes were smudged and burned, her golden hair singed on one side.
"You wanna call it quits?" Lina offered again, the two standing in the ruins of a magician's lab. Vials and beakers of exotic chemicals were broken, scrolls burnt and tapestries along the walls had been both torn and burned.
Hectate shook her head no, "I have made my choice, I will live or die by it."
"Your funeral," Lina said with a hint of regret as she summoned up a fireball.
Hectate was nearly as fast on the draw with her force bolt, energies colliding explosively in the center of the room. The entire structure shook a moment as dust swirled around the two of them, covering them with dust even as the inner door burst open.
Amelia, Zelgadiss, the swordswoman Naga and Naga the White Serpent all crowded inside, gazing at the battle in surprise. Amelia was the first to speak, "Wow."
"I think separating them is going to be a bit harder than we thought," Zel mused calmly.
Hectate's eyes widened in alarm, but it seemed less in fear for herself than for concern for the black haired sorceress. "Get out of here!" she ordered harshly, "You'll be hurt!"
"Huh?" Lina blinked.
"As we planned," the swords woman Naga yelled.
"What in the...?" Hectate blinked as Zelgadiss, Amelia and the warrior Naga literally jumped on the distracted Lina, restraining her. Before Hectate could seize on the distraction two bouncy breasts appeared in her line of sight as Naga the White Serpent confronted her.
"We're stopping this fight now," Naga ordered, her long black hair flowing down her back. She scowled at Hectate, "You are a fool, you know that?"
"Get out of my way," Hectate ordered flatly.
Naga met her eyes challengingly, "Tell me the prophecy again."
Hectate raised a eyebrow questioningly, "What does it matter now? Let us finish this."
"Please," Naga gentled her voice just a bit.
Hectate puffed out a sigh. "The White Serpent will claim her soul," she quoted flatly, "Break her will and lay her low."
"Exactly," Naga smiled grimly. "Look at yourself now... how much lower can you go?"
Hectate's eyes widened a bit, "You mean...."
Naga shrugged, her full breasts bouncing distractingly in the leather bikini. "So that bit of prophecy is fulfilled," she said, "now just the rest of it."
Hectate looked at her challengingly, "How do you intend to claim my soul?"
"I think I already have?" Naga raised a elegant eyebrow questioningly as Hectate looked away and actually blushed.
"Let me up, damn it!" Lina roared as she was pleasantly squished by her version of Naga. She glared at her three companions, "What do you think you're doing?!"
Amelia kept one of Lina's arms down, "According to the other Naga, Hectate was manipulated into this fight!"
"Not that it hasn't happened to us before," Zel noted mildly as he tried to keep the surprisingly strong Lina from kicking her off. 'For someone so small, she's pretty fierce,' he noted.
"But!" Lina yelped.
Naga looked her in the eye, her black hair falling around her face. "You don't have to fight her," Naga said firmly. She smiled slightly, "But I promise we'll let you destroy some bandits on the way home, okay?"
Lina finally relaxed, unable to resist the woman she had fallen in love with. "Can we at least loot the castle?" she asked plaintively.
"We'll talk about it later," Naga answered evasively.
"Damn it," Lina glared at the others until they let her sit up. She looked around to see the original Naga smiling at Hectate, who was looking away and blushing like some village virgin. "Kiss her already!" Lina yelled.
"You!" Hectate yelped, blushing harder.
Naga the White Serpent looked amused,. "Hush, Lina. She'll do it when she's ready."
"Awww," Amelia smiled as Lina picked herself up, brushing her battered gear off.
Lina stalked over and looked up at the original Naga, "You all right?"
Naga shrugged, "I'm fine, except for this damned collar."
Lina reached out and touched it, yelping as she got a slight shock. She looked at Hectate, "You mind removing this?"
"Ah, right," Hectate blushed as she reached out and mumbled a few words, the leather choker falling apart at her touch.
"You want her?" Lina asked Naga, gesturing with her thumb towards Hectate.
Naga smiled slightly, "Yes."
"Fine," Lina looked at Hectate with a very unfriendly gaze, "I am not very happy with you, but if she wants you spared that's all right. However, I expect you to compensate me for the time and trouble we've faced."
"Such a mercenary," Zel shook his head.
"You expected her to change?" Amelia had to ask.
Zel laughed, "Well, no...."
Lina and Hectate bargained for a bit, Hectate working from the rather weaker position of having been defeated, but Naga the White Serpent managed to keep Lina from taking too much. "All right," Lina said briskly, "a third of your treasure horde?"
"Yes, damn it," Hectate sighed, knowing she was being let off easy.
"Be nice," Naga the White Serpent scolded gently.
Lina looked at the original Naga, then a slightly evil look crossed her face. "Hey, Amelia," she called, "doesn't your father want to see Naga the White Serpent?"
"Oh, yes," Amelia agreed, her eyes brightening as she thought of reuniting her father with his lost daughter. Not to mention getting to know her sister once more.
"Then you'd better bring Hectate along," Lina smirked.
Hectate's eyes widened as she realized what Lina was saying. "I have to go meet Prince Phil?" She looked up at her Naga, "Can I just hide out here, please?"
"It'll be all right," Naga the White Serpent comforted her.
"I unleashed a demon on his kingdom!" Hectate hissed.
"So Amelia and I will have to sweet talk him a bit," Naga the White Serpent shrugged casually as she added, "no problem."
"I'm doomed," Hectate sighed.
"You are a very evil woman, Lina," Naga noted with some amusement as they watched the sisters and Hectate talk.
"Yup," Lina agreed, "but you love me anyway, right?"
Naga put a arm around the battered woman as she sighed, "That I do."
Notes: I never really planned for this to reach nearly thirty chapters. It just kinda got away from me, I suppose. I suspect there would be more wacky hijinks if I continued this, including revenge of the giants and a very interesting meeting with Phil, but I think it'd be anti-climatic to keep the story going much longer. Still, I may do a one shot or two eventually, we'll see.
Thanks to everyone who's read this story.