Rae: This is a very short chapter. But I'm having a very bad case of writer's block. You wouldn't think having a boyfriend would hamper the writing process so much. I haven't felt very creative lately. Or maybe I've just been daydreaming less.

"No!" Filia screamed even as Xelloss's attack hit Kaphala. For a moment all she could see was blackness and time seemed to stand still, then the attack faded. Kaphala's body lay in ruins, he was dead before he had hit the blue and yellow rug. Snow laid crumpled, unconscious at the bottom of the wall she had been thrown against. Xelloss was on his knees and as Filia knelt beside him he collapsed into her arms. She laid his head on her lap.

"Xelloss..." Filia's voice broke and for a moment she couldn't bring herself to say a word. She brushed the mazoku's hair from his face. His breathing was shallow and slowly stopping; she could feel his life slipping away. It would take Xelloss longer to die than the golden dragon, for he existed more on the astral plane, but not much longer. Filia knew within minutes she would lose him forever. "Please no."

Xelloss did his best to smile at the dragon, but his eyes looked tired, sad, and scared. He had never thought about dying. Mazoku didn't fear anything and to think about death was to admit you could die. But all this practice did in the end was leave you very unprepared. "Fi?" his voice was so soft.

"Y-yes?" Filia tried to smile, but got about the same result. She was running her fingers through his hair and doing her best not to sob.

"Ma-mazoku never speak about death....Wh-what do your people believe happens...when...when you die?" Xelloss asked softly. Filia had never seen Xelloss frightened before and all she could do was shake her head, tears rolling silently down her face. Xelloss tried to take a deep breath, "Please, Filia."

"It depends, Xelloss," she replied softly. "Dragons go to one heaven or hell, humans another, and....and does it really matter? You don't believe in Ryuzoku religion. I'm not sure I believe in it."

"Fi....I just would like to know," the dying mazoku pleaded with her. "Ma-mazoku, they go to hell?"

"No," Filia breathed the word, so soft it was almost nonexistent. "According to Ryuzoku scripture, Mazoku have no souls. When they die, they are gone. They disappear."

Xelloss looked disturbed at this. "Disappear?" he echoed just as softly as Filia's reply.

"Yes, but don't put any stock in it, Xelloss. You never believed any of it before, right?" Filia said trying to sound comforting.

"I....don't want to disappear," Xelloss said as he closed his eyes.

"Oh, Xelloss...please open your eyes," Filia moaned.

"I can't see, anyway," he told her softly. "Besides...don't I always have my eyes closed?"

"I guess you're right..." Filia said and they passed a few moments in silence.

"Stay..." Xelloss moaned softly. He reached out his hand.

"I'm not going anywhere,"Filia reassured him as she held his hand.

"Sound...so far..."Xelloss struggled to put the human words together. All he could think was mazoku, that was his first language, after all. "Rettay..."

"I-I don't know what that means, Xelloss," Filia said, crying harder.

"Filia...Je adome tue, Fi..."Xelloss said with his last breath.

"Xelloss, I don't understand, please..." Filia pleaded, but it was too late. Xelloss moaned one last time before his body reverted to it's astral form, a swirling black cyclone, and faded.

Filia sat on the floor crying for a long time before she sensed someone else in the room. For a fleeting momant she thought it was Xelloss, their aura was very close to his, but more powerful and more feminine. Filia knew at once who it must be. She looked up to see a tall woman with long blonde hair surveying the room, her amethyst eyes-so like her priest's had been-held a fury that did not show on the rest of her beautiful face. She looked down at Kaphala and with a flick of her finger his body was gone, only his blood on the floor left as testament to what had happened. Then she walked over to the unconscious Snow and picked her up by the throat. The wolfling came round looking, at first, dazed and then terrified.

"M-mistress," she squeaked as Xellas's grip tightened around her throat. "I tried t-t-to st-stop him, b-but I was t-to late-"

"Silence," Xellas growled. "I will not listen to your lies."

"Juu-ou-sama," she pleaded, crying, "I never m-m-meant for Xelloss t-to...to..."

"No, but you meant to go behind my back. For this you would die. For hurting my Xelloss, it will be worse," Xellas whispered harshly. Then the Beastmaster turned to Filia. The Golden had gone to Valtiria's crib and was holding him protectively, tears still running down her face. Xellas smiled at her, "Don't worry. Everything is okay. I promise Xelloss will be back to annoy you soon."

"But," Filia began, but before she could argue, Xellas and her disobedient wolf were gone.

Xellas walked slowly to Xelloss' bed and sat down. She pulled at the thin, silver chain around her neck and revealed a small glass orb, smaller than her thumb, that was filled with a small purple flame. "Hullo there, love," the mazoku lord said to the bit of Xelloss she saved in her necklace.