At last the final chapter! I hope everyone will be satisfied with it
Ichiban Victory: Oh! I know the myth you're referring to! The man's name was Orpheus, and yes he is a prime example of how characters in myths easily forget the warnings they are given.
Shadow eXtreme: You are correct! Lina and Gourry are playing the roles of Persephone and Hades. I actually considered writing the story of how Persephone came to live in the underworld starring Lina and Gourry, but I ended up dropping it.
I thought of those two because I could imagine Gourry accidently giving Lina the pomegranate seeds and then Lina tackling Gourry when she realized the mistake she had made.
Earning Your Wings
By the time the boat approached the surface, Amelia's fingers were twitching. It was like an itch she desperately needed to scratch before it drove her insane.
"BUT I MUST NOT OPEN THE BOX!" she reminded herself.
The river-man brought the boat to the river's edge. "We are here. Good luck to you."
Amelia thanked him as she stepped onto dry land. She waved goodbye to him, then the itch returned, stronger than last time.
She stared at the box. The once prized object was now scaring her. It felt like it was calling to her, beckoning her to lift its' lid. Maybe even mocking her.
"But.....there's Zelgadis. I can't open it! I want to see him again!"
The call grew louder. Amelia forgot where she was. Her legs buckled. Her throat was dry. Effortlessly, she collapsed to the grass.
"What am I to do? Why is it so hard to resist?"
Tears streamed down her cheeks, like she was experiencing a painful migraine that wouldn't leave. She wiped them away.
Amelia had to satisfy the craving. She couldn't concentrate on anything else. The craving had to go away!
"I....can't open it.......but what's wrong with a peek." She laid the box down on the ground.
Amelia gently lifted the lid a little and peeked into the crack.
"I'm almost there!" Zel thought, but never slowed his speed. The trees, mountains and rivers were all a faint blur as he flew. His mind was focused on one goal alone!
Across the next horizon, the river of Styx came into full view. The young god flew faster than he thought he was capable of.
Swiftly he landed. "Amelia!" he cried. Frantically, he scanned the area for any sighting of the princess. He turned left and right, spinning about in all directions.
A still figure caught his attention. It was a motionless body. Zelgadis's blood ran cold.
".....No....." Fear took control. He ran to the body. The person was....Amelia!
Zelgadis went numb. Without a command, his legs crumpled and he went down on his knees. "No!.." he breathed in a hoarse whisper. "I can't be late! I can't!"
He touched Amelia's cheek and shuddered at how cold she felt. Zel's vision was soon blurred by tears that poured from his eyes. The young god lifted Amelia and cradled her in his arms. He let his giant wings wrap around them like a shield to block out the rest of the world.
"Amelia......I'm sorry." he murmured. "If only I'd gotten here sooner! If only I stopped you from opening that box!"
Where was that cursed box anyway? Zelgadis lifted his gaze and spotted the object. It sat there, mocking him. The lid.......closed shut?
Zelgadis did a double take. Closed? He looked to Amelia. None of it made sense. If the lid was never opened, why was Amelia in this state?
A possible theory popped in. Could Amelia have only peeked? If the box wasn't fully opened...... a flicker of hope kindled. There might be a chance to save Amelia! If the amount of beauty that was on Amelia was small enough, he could remove it and place it back in it's container.
Zelgadis stroked Amelia's hair before picking up the box. He started to chant. His godly power brewed. A blue aura floated around Zelgadis like mist. Completely focused on the task, Zelgadis placed his hand on Amelia's forehead.
The chanting became louder and stronger. Amelia's body glowed a bright rosy pink. It coated her, but the colour was tainted. Stray areas had small dark bits of black mixing in with the pink.
Zelgadis was thankful to discover the damage was minor. If Amelia's aura had been entirely black, she would have been beyond help. Using his powers, Zelgadis willed the dark aura to gather and form into a solid ball that was the size of his palm.
It floated above the princess, hovering and waiting for a command. Zel grabbed hold of the ball and returned it into the small box. His gaze leaped back to Amelia.
Her breathing was stable. Her cheeks turned from a pale grey to a cheerful pink.
The princess's eyes fluttered. A moan was uttered. Zel held his breath.
At first, Amelia seemed to be half asleep. Her eyes wandered like she wasn't fully aware of where she was.
The suspense was killing Zelgadis. He held her tighter. Hesitantly, Amelia raised her head. Eyes locked and flew wide open. Fully awake, the princess gasped.
Amelia sprang forward and flung her arms around the god's neck. Zel was thrown backwards by the sudden tackle. Almost choking, he fell on his back and Amelia landed on top of him.
Amelia buried her face into his chest, crying happily. "Oh Zelgadis! I can't believe it's you!" she rambled. "I thought I'd never see you again! I'm so sorry! I'll never break a promise to you again! I....."
"AMELIA SLOW DOWN AND BREATH!!" Zelgadis cried, after attempting to move but finding himself pinned to the ground.
Amelia did as she was told and brushed away her happy tears. Zelgadis sighed and in a much gentler tone asked "Will you please let me up?"
Amelia climbed off, freeing the young god and allowing him to sit upward. He brushed the dirt from his wings, then turned to Amelia.
Neither spoke. They were dying to say something but were unsure of how to begin.
Zelgadis felt out of place. He'd been so desperate to find Amelia, but he'd never planned what to say to her when he did. "She might even be angry with me." he thought. "Can't say I blame her. I can't say that flying out the window, without letting her explain, was the smartest decision I've ever made."
Amelia felt compelled to start things off and spoke the first words that came to her lips. "I'm.......sorry for sneaking into your room" She stared at him longingly. "I.....I broke my promise and betrayed your trust. I can't undo what I did. The only thing I can offer you is my apology and hope that you can find it in your heart............to forgive me."
Zelgadis's wings flexed, but he said nothing.
"I do love you Zelgadis and I'll never doubt you again....I .....I don't know what else I can do, but I'm just so happy to see you."
Amelia was on the verge of crying again.
Zel could only sigh in response. "You're right. You did break a promise."
Amelia lowered her head in shame. "But....it wasn't entirely your fault. I......should have been more considerate........if I had let you see me sooner, this whole mess could have been avoided."
Amelia stared in total disbelief. That was not the response she'd been expecting. "What made you think like that?"
Another sigh came. "I had a friend who.......talked, no, more like yelled and screamed some common sense into me."
".....Oh....." Amelia replied, tilting her head.
Zelgadis turned away and blushed. "My point is that....I'm sorry too. I'll forgive you, if you're able to forgive me for my selfish actions."
The god did not have to worry about waiting long for a response. Amelia gave a sigh of relief and smiled like she had been freed from the dungeon. She pounced and gave Zelgadis another hug. "I'm so grateful to hear you say that.......wait a second, Zelgadis what are you doing here anyway? Martina said I would only be allowed to see you once I completed my quest."
"She didn't expect you to complete it." Zelgadis replied. "My conniving mother knew you would be told not to open the box and she also knew you wouldn't be able to resist opening it." A smirk played on his lips. "Thankfully, you had enough will power to only take a tiny peek and not fully open it."
Amelia stared wide eyed, as the truth sank in. Then, rage and furry kicked in. "How dare she trick me! Playing with a girl's heart! I should strike her with the hammer of justice!"
Zelgadis sweat-dropped. "Somehow.......I doubt you will be able to do that Amelia. Besides, we have more important things to worry about."
Zelgadis got to his feet. "My mother won't be pleased when she finds out we're together again." He started to pace as he went deeper into his thinking mode. "We won't have any peace until she decides to leave us alone."
Amelia frowned with the comment. She tenderly held Zel's hand to offer comfort. "What if we explain it to her; to make her see reason."
"Ha!" Zelgadis laughed. "My mother and reason mix together as well as oil and water."
So....that plan was out, but Amelia still thought she was onto something. "Surely, there's someone who could make Martina understand."
Zel whirled around. His mind had clicked. He stared at Amelia like she held the missing key that was required to unlock his prison. "Amelia, you're brilliant!"
Unexpectedly, Zelgadis grabbed Amelia and twirled her in the air. The princess was startled, but welcomed the sudden twirling.
She laughed. "How am I brilliant?"
Zel returned her to the ground. "There is someone that could force Martina.....but it's also someone I wouldn't normally go to."
The young god's wings and shoulders both tensed. "I could go to Luna!"
Amelia gasped. "The Queen of the Gods?!! Zelgadis are you sure?!"
"No, but we're out of options."
Zelgadis gently stroked Amelia's cheek. "You don't have to come with me. If you would rather stay at my home, I'll understand."
The princess smiled and held his hand to her cheek. "I'm going with you, no matter what."
Zelgadis returned a grateful smile. "Very well."
He lifted Amelia into his arms, her hair tickling his skin. Amelia nestled in like a baby bird in it's safe nest and gave Zel another sweet smile. The god held her tightly, in fear of dropping his precious cargo, and flew off.
Val groaned. "This story is getting mushy again."
"Look on the bright side!" Xellos chirped. "At least it's almost over."
Filia twitched an eyebrow. "It won't be if you two keep interrupting me."
Zelgadis carried Amelia high into the sky. It was an incredible feeling, magical even. Amelia stared in absolute wonder. She had always dreamed of flying. To soar among the stars and clouds like birds and look down at the ground far under her feet.
"I wish I had my own pair of wings. Then Zelgadis and I could fly together."
Visions of flying beside her lover rushed through Amelia's mind and she blushed madly. The daydream seemed to last forever, but she awoke from it as the couple landed. Zelgadis had carried Amelia to the top of Mount Olympus.
Breathing steadily, Zelgadis put the princess down. He grasped her shoulders. Amelia could feel the insecurity clouding his eyes like mist.
"He's nervous." she thought. "But I have to be brave for him."
"Are you ready?" he asked.
Amelia gave his arm a squeeze. "Not really, but it's now or never."
Together and united, the determined pair walked in.
The hallway continued on forever, yet, it was also beautiful. Lovely statues, vases and other pieces of artwork were scattered in various places. The art was so life like. It felt like it would be ready to jump and move about at any given moment. The setting was like a dream to Amelia. "Not even Zelgadis's home is this nice."
They soon entered a large chamber, and sitting in her throne was Luna, the queen of the gods. Bangs covered her eyes, bet she stared at them in amusement like she was in on a private joke.
Amelia shivered a little. This was actually Luna! The most powerful entity in the universe stood before her. She turned to Zelgadis. He wasn't shaky, but it was clear he was nervous. The young god bowed and urged Amelia to do the same.
She did and Luna leaned on her palm. "Bout time you got here Zel. I've been expecting you."
Both Zelgadis and Amelia's heads jerked upward. "You....you knew I was coming." Zelgadis stammered
Luna simply shrugged. "I am the queen of the gods.....and I got a call from Lina. She had a feeling you would come to me at some point."
"I forgot that they were sisters!" Zelgadis thought. Lina must had told Luna all about Amelia. She could be such a blabbermouth, but for once Zel wasn't complaining, for it meant that Zelgadis didn't have to explain the situation in great detail and he'd been dreading how much he would be blushing during his explanation.
Luna crossed her legs. "I must say that I was surprised that a mortal girl caught your eye."
Zelgadis blushed, as he had feared. "But no matter. What's done is done." She turned to Amelia. "Princess, I must ask you something."
Amelia gulped. "Do you feel you could live with Zelgadis as your husband for the rest of your life."
Amelia relaxed. That question was easy to answer. "Yes I do."
"Alright then." Luna got up from her throne. "I don't usually offer this to a mortal, but Amelia, how would you feel about becoming a goddess?"
Amelia's body went numb. So did Zelgadis's. "A goddess?! Me?! I don't think I'm worthy enough!"
"I beg to differ." Luna slowly approached Zelgadis, her gaze still locked on Amelia.
"This guy is famous for being the most depressing and gloomiest god. Even the dead are more fun to be with than him! If you can actually make HIM smile and lighten up, then I'd say you have a power beyond the gods!"
Hidden from Luna's stare, Zelgadis glared at the floor. She was making it sound like it was a miracle. He wasn't THAT depressing! Temper under control, Zelgadis said "What about my mother?"
Luna smirked evilly. "Leave her to me. I've been meaning to.......lecture her on a few.....shall we say........ issues lately, anyway."
The tone in her voice sent chills to Amelia and Zelgadis's bones.
"So Princess Amelia." said Luna, returning to the matter at hand. "I believe this would solve your problems. Are you sure you want this?"
Amelia thought that she was still daydreaming. Becoming a goddess was just so unreal! It meant an awful lot of responsibility. Even more so than the position of a princess. She turned to Zel and stared into his eyes for an answer. She smiled and breathed deeply.
"Yes. I'm sure."
Satisfied, Luna reached into her pocket and brought out a small green bottle.
"Drink this. It will give you immortality." Luna's explanation sounded like it was merely a pill for a common headache. She carefully placed it in Amelia's hands. "I'm going to have that talk with Martina." She threw a playful cat like smirk at Zelgadis. "You have good taste."
She gave Zel a hard slap on the shoulder and he nearly fell to the floor as a result.
"I'll see you two later!" Luna waved as she left.
Amelia sweat-dropped. "I never imagined the queen of the gods to be so.........casual."
"You should see her at parties." Zel replied.
He stared at the bottle. "Are you absolutely sure you want this?"
Amelia nodded. "I've never been more sure in my whole life."
She yanked out the cork and brought it to her lips. In a great haste, she swallowed it. It tasted bitter, but sweet. It felt cold, but her throat began to feel hot as it flowed down. Suddenly a remarkable sensation swept upon her like a giant wave. She thought she was floating, but her feet never left the ground.
A sudden flash of bright light broke out. Something burst from inside her. There was no pain, however, her body was tingling all over. The feeling finally died and the tingling sensation stopped.
Amelia looked to Zelgadis. He stared at her like he'd never seen her before. Amelia reached for him. "What's wrong......."
That was when Amelia realized that something was attached directly to her back. Something large. She went to touch it. It was so silky and smooth. Amelia sharply turned to a mirror.
She saw them, so odd and foreign, but so lovely and beautiful. Wings. A pair of brightly coloured butterfly wings!
She turned to Zel. "I........guess this makes us more compatible then ever."
Zelgadis slowly touched her wings like he was afraid they would vanish. They appeared fragile, but he could tell they were strong. "They....suit you."
Amelia hugged Zelgadis and grabbed hold of his hand. "Let's go try them out!"
Zel cocked a smile and they took flight. They danced all day in the sky and straight into the night. They danced among the stars, laughing like a pair of lovers caught in the rain and merrily splashing in the puddles. Amelia stared at Zelgadis, her one and only love.
She leapt into his arms and Zelgadis smiled, holding her tightly and never wishing to let go. The couple stared into each other's eyes and kissed. They were united. Now and forever.
Soon after, they were officially married. The wedding was beautiful. Everyone came, even Martina reluctantly went. She never caused any trouble for the lovers. Whenever it appeared she would say something rude, all it took was for Luna's name to be mentioned and Martina would mysteriously shiver and behave.
Lina and Gourry were also at the wedding. Lina congratulated Amelia and told Zelgadis that if he screwed up, she would be more than happy to set him straight with one of her "talks".
Zelgadis decided it would be best to try to avoid that as much as possible. Amelia was declared the new goddess of justice and she performed her role quite well. She loved her new life, but she especially enjoyed the fact that she could be with Zelgadis forever.
Filia breathed deeply. "And they lived happily ever after. So Val, how was that?"
".........Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z"
Filia blinked, bewildered. After harassing the entire story, Val fell asleep at the very end.
Filia sighed. "At least he's finally asleep."
"Not bad, Filia." Xellos complimented softly. "This proves you can put people to sleep when you talk."
Filia's eyes rolled as she crept out and shut the door. Xellos followed her.
"At least my story didn't leave a bad influence like yours would have."
Xellos chuckled. "True. True." He smirked. "I'd better be going, but I'll be sure to come tomorrow night."
"Of course." Xellos winked. "I can't wait to hear the story you come up with tomorrow." And the priest vanished.
Filia shook her head and marched to bed. Tonight, sleep. Tomorrow would have another new story to tell.
There you have it! The ending ladies and gentlemen! I hope everyone is satisfied with it. I really had a lot of fun writing this story, and I hope you all had just as much fun reading it.