Disclaimer: I do not own Slayers or anything related to them. I am a poor college student just trying my hand at a story I hope people enjoy. If I did own Slayers, my mother would be the Lord of Nightmares and Xellos would be my slave. Now onto the story!
The Chaos Within
Lina looked up from the pile of books she had been searching through to the window of one of the great libraries in Seyruun. There were stars in the night sky, shining brightly to twinkle at her every now and again. She had been in this library for a whole day now, searching for the very answer to the riddle that the Lord of Nightmares had given her that fateful day when she had gone up against Hellmaster Phibrizzo, one of the Mazoku Lords of her world. She remembered it very well, despite what she had told her friends. It was actually the only thing she could remember of that time hen she had 'blacked out' for it had echoed in her head from the moment that the Giga Slave went out of control, to the moment that she found herself in Gourry's arms.
She giggled remembering the embarrassment she had when she felt herself pressed so closely against his chest. And she had reacted the only way she knew how; slugging him and screeching at him until she felt better. She smiled fondly at Gourry. Had she only known then what she knew now; that it was okay to openly love someone she cherished above all else.
Lina loved Gourry with all of her heart for he had always been there for her. He was her lover, her confidant, her partner, and most importantly her friend; occasionally he was even her punching bag. He had sworn to stay with her to protect her for the rest of his life and that was exactly how it was and how it should always be. He was there with her even now, hidden behind a stack of books, snoring away as the books were 'so completely boring' and he could never stay awake when it came to her searching. He gave the usual complaints, but she could tell by the look in his eyes that he never truly meant it. He just liked spending time with her, no matter what she did.
Their connection was an odd one—she had to admit that—but after traveling together for so long she couldn't make a move without him knowing exactly what she was planning. She never had to say anything either, he just knew what to do. None of her traveling companions had ever been as good as he was, they never reacted just how she needed and when she needed.
He never really questioned her antics either. They did what she wanted to do because it made her happy, and Gourry only ever wanted to keep her happy.
It meant fewer headaches.
Lina shook her head to clear it. Though a trip through memory lane was always nice, she had work to do, and it wasn't going to get done with her thinking about her partner. She could get to him later, when she finished looking for what she wanted.
The only problem was that she didn't know exactly what she wanted. All of the books here were very good for white magic; they were even good for shamanist magic. But she was looking for black magic, or as she realized early on, chaos magic, which was really quite different from black, and these books spoke only of Ceified as the only god that magic could be derived from.
It was as to be expected in one of the Great Libraries of Seyruun.
Crown Princess Amelia had kept up with keeping the city a white-magic-only city. Black magic would only taint her kingdom. And though she had added many shamanist spell categories to those that could be practiced, she would never allow the dark arts to enter her city.
Amelia had even made it a law that no one could practice black magic in the city, and from all the rumors Lina had heard, the use of black magic within the walls of Seyruun could lead to the practitioner promptly ending up in jail or worse, exiled. Though Lina felt that seemed mighty strict, she also felt that perhaps there was only a partial truth to that as it was just a rumor. Amelia couldn't possibly be that stringent.
Then again it was Amelia…
Lina was in fact probably the only person in Seyruun allowed to use her destructive magic. They couldn't exactly keep her out—nor could they really keep her confined to a jail cell, as she would probably just blow up the entire building and perhaps a few others around it just to get out—so she was made to be an exception, especially since Amelia was still a great friend.
In reality Seyruun owed her big time for all of her assistance even if she had been rewarded each time. Sometimes money could be a great reward, and sometimes all the money and treasure in the world could not pay back the debt that Seyruun had accrued with Lina.
Amelia was even thinking of giving Lina the key to the city so that everyone would know just how much the city owed the sorceress.
In the meantime, Amelia had given Lina full access to the libraries, knowing that Lina would eventually find something to aid her in her quest. Amelia didn't know anything about Lina's quest, in fact no one did. Not even Gourry, not that he ever paid enough attention when she did tell him about what she was looking for. All she had told Amelia was that she was looking for something that had a mention or snippet of information regarding chaos magic.
Lina recalled their conversation.
"I can't tell you Amelia because I'm not even sure about what I want. All I know is that I'm looking for anything that pertains to chaotic energy."
"Are you trying to figure out another way to use the Ragna Blade?"
Lina looked into Amelia's eyes.
Amelia didn't really want to know the truth. She may have been all about truth and justice for most of their travels—and though she still was even now—she had cooled down in her vehemence for a justice driven world.
The thing was, she also knew Lina a little too well.
And Lina went against a lot of Amelia's ideals. To know any bit of the truth might make her want to stop Lina. But she also knew Lina's drive. Whatever it was she was looking for, Lina would not back down. And getting in Lina's way was a sure way to the family crypt. She had no wishes to join her cousin Alfred, or her beloved mother.
Lina looked away. She knew it would be easier for Amelia if she couldn't see the falsehood in her friend's eyes. "Yes... I want to control the blade better. I've only managed it for a little while, and every time I do, I can feel my control over it slipping. Even now, after all these years, I still have trouble."
That was such a colossal lie.
She knew it. Amelia knew it.
But what was more important was that Amelia could now honestly admit to not seeing the lie in Lina's eyes.
"Well, I'll give you complete access to all the libraries in Seyruun. May I also suggest looking into the temples as well? The priests there might have ideas on how to help you out. I do hope you find what you are looking for. And if you need any assistance, be sure to ask."
Lina smiled, "Thanks Amelia."
Amelia nodded and stepped off of her throne to attend to the daily matters of her kingdom. Lina watched her go before she headed off in the direction of the first library, Gourry following close behind her.
It had been three days since then, and she had only gone through one library and was barely starting on her second. Her stomach growled. "Patience my pet, nine more books to go, and then we'll get you something to eat."
Normally at the first sign of discomfort, she would immediately gorge herself on any food available. At the moment, she had not done any major spell casting, only a mage light to read by, and that was no effort to maintain as she could literally do one in her sleep.
After so many years of spell casting, Lina realized why she was always hungry, and why food never seemed to fill her up. She had tried one day to not use any of her spells. The result was she ate less, and had a bellyache afterwards. Her powerful magic consumed her energy like nothing else, and she had to eat as much as she did to keep up her strength.
The same went for Gourry. Though he no longer used the Sword of Light he had picked up another sword that was almost as powerful, and he had to eat twice as much as Lina did because the weapon consumed his energy just like the Sword of Light had.
It was a very interesting, very unusual sword with astounding attributes. Lina had given it a very thorough inspection once they finally found it—she was not about to have her partner carrying around a cursed blade, and with hints from Xellos she realized the power within. In fact, Xellos was the one who had pointed them in the right direction to finding it.
After Gourry had lost Gorum Nova he had spent most of their time together using, well, the only word for it was crap. Even the replica Sword of Light that Pokota and his people had come up with had not been good enough for Gourry, and Lina was up against heavy hitters most of the time. Gourry was dependable and he had needed a dependable blade in order to keep up with Lina.
The sword Gourry currently had was definitely that. It could absorb spell blasts that could, with his voice command, be hurtled back out. When it was devoid of magical spells, it seemed just like any other ordinary sword that anyone could pick up at any weapons shop, which made it all the more valuable in Lina's eyes. It didn't attract enough attention that they had to fight to keep it; most assumed that besides being an incredible swordsman, Gourry was also an incredible sorcerer and that the spells he fired out of the sword were his own; he did shout out the spells after all.
This sword, which Gourry had yet to name, was the closest Gourry would probably ever get to spell casting. Lina had tried to teach him a few times when there was nothing better to do and though he could have been a promising student with his amazing ability, he could never remember what she had taught him, much to her ire.
He could, however, remember all the spells she had discharged into the sword; he even knew the ones that he had intercepted when they were up against other spell casters and sorcerers. It was like he could feel what was in the sword.
To test her theory, she had once put a vast number of spells, mainly ones she didn't normally use around Gourry, into the sword when he had been asleep and he had used those as well as the Fireballs and Dragon Slaves she had known he knew about. He really could be quite brilliant sometimes, especially when it came to swords, and his execution of those atypical spells had been absolutely amazing to watch. She had actually sat on a rock halfway through the battle as she watched her partner defeat her enemy using all the spells she had given the sword.
Besides her normal spells, Lina had tested her chaos magic on it, to see if the sword could absorb chaos spells as well.
The sword could not.
As it was, the Ragna Blade had nicked it, and Gourry, very attached to his new sword, had become sullen with Lina until she placed a spell on it to keep it sharp and to smooth the nick as if the chaos blade had never been used on it.
Lina had wondered why Xellos had helped them, which seemed to be happening more and more as of late. She wondered why he had done so all of those times as well because the help had been needed and had been devoid of attached strings. In the past Xellos usually only helped them when it benefited his missions, but she couldn't figure out how getting Gourry a new sword helped the Mazoku. She could find no curse contained within it after her assessment—a very thorough, very meticulous inspection; this was Xellos after all—and except for the fact that Gourry was very attached to the sword, there was no fault to be found in it. It didn't make him insane or evil, nor did it make their enemies crazier.
The sword had even helped her more than a few dozen times. She had thrown in as many spells as the sword could contain—which was far more than she could cast in a day—into it, and when things went south for Lina in regards to her 'time of the month' Gourry had effectively used the sword to get her out of the jam. Now that they were much more used to it and its abilities, she usually tried to keep the weapon topped off when she had the extra energy to spare. It was probably only half full even now. But they were in Seyruun and under Seyruun's protection with no enemies in sight, and she currently didn't feel the need to add to the sword's spell count.
Snapping out of her reverie once more, Lina turned back to the book at hand. Flipping through the ancient pages proved only one thing to her. The appearance of the Lord, or Lady as she liked to think of Her, of Nightmares was not a common thing.
The runes on the pages contained spells only for white magic gifted by the Dragon God, Ceified. The existence of the Lady of Nightmares was a very secret thing, perhaps found only in the Claire Bible. Perhaps most people were happy not knowing that a higher being made completely of chaos presided over their world.
Perhaps they were happy not knowing that the Mother of All Things had a capricious nature and that She created their world on a whim, and that She could destroy it if it pleased Her to do so.
Ignorance was bliss.
Unfortunately for Lina, she was not so ignorant.
She jotted down some notes in her spell book from the current book she read. It had contained information on how to better perfect and hasten a healing spell. That was very helpful. She finished her notes and began reaching for the next book and so on, till she finally finished the ninth book.
All books on healing or purification spells; they were useful to her, but not helpful in her quest for the chaos.
Her stomach growled louder this time. She sighed as she stretched out. Her muscles were cramped, her eyes were tired, she was developing a headache and she was hungry—not the best of combinations.
"Usually by this time, you would have started eating the books. You're showing restraint Lina." A sardonic male voice spoke up from behind her. It could only be Zelgadis.
Lina turned to look at Zel with a smirk on her face. "I could eat you instead, but I don't think that even after all my practice with eating, my teeth could bite through your skin. You should consider yourself lucky."
Zelgadis laughed, "I suppose I should. Perhaps I could tempt you instead with a dinner at the palace. That might sate your appetite."
Lina stretched again and leaned into her chair. She was too bloody tired. "This late at night? I would have thought most of those courtiers would be needing their beauty sleep."
Zel chuckled again. "Yeah, this late at night. Amelia is really pushing the advisors lately and the late dinners are a result of it. So, can I tempt you into stopping for the night to join us?"
Lina looked thoughtful for a moment. "Only if it's a ten course dinner with triple portions followed by the soft served ice cream that only Seyruun has the secret recipe to."
Zelgadis smirked. "Besides the need for a late dinner for the rest of us and our extended hours, I'm sure Amelia has the kitchen staff working twenty four hours a day just to keep you sated."
Lina playfully smacked Zelgadis on his arm. "Ow."
"You would think that one of these years you'd actually remember that my skin is still made of stone."
Lina grumbled, "Yeah yeah. I've been reading and studying all day; allow me my pride in saying that my brain is a big pile of goo at the moment. In fact it's probably worse than Jellyfish Brain over there."
Zelgadis looked over at Gourry who was still asleep. "That's bad. I'll be nice."
Lina stood up poking Gourry to wake him up. "Come on Gourry. Zelgadis says Amelia has dinner prepared for us."
At the mention of food Gourry was out of there, heading toward the castle in a speed Lina did not feel like imitating. She was too tired to create dust trails. Instead she walked out slowly with Zelgadis after she finished gathering her research supplies.
The librarians would probably tidy her mess and take away the books in her 'read' piles, but for the most part they would leave her area alone as she had yet to finish all the books in the library.
They were both silent for a bit, the kind of silence that only good friends could have. No need for talk, just company. Lina used the opportunity of silence to take a quick glance at her friend.
Zelgadis had finally gotten over his quest for finding a way to turn his body back to normal. With both Eris and Rezo dead, and even the last vestiges of Rezo's spirit gone with the Hellmaster's Jar, the cure was dead with them. He could never admit it before, but he had known it all along. He was doomed to remain a monster for the rest of his life.
At least that was how he felt about it until he had gone back to Amelia to finally give her back her bracelet. It had been a few years since he had last seen her, since they had all been together, and she had grown up in those few years. She was no longer the bubbly little girl he had had a small crush on. She was a young lady who still preached justice every now and then, but had finally settled down.
Amelia had been ecstatic upon his return to her and she had begged him to stay in Seyruun with her until he had figured out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. After Zel had agreed with Amelia's wishes, Prince Phil, now King Phil, had then taken him aside and given him the, 'my daughter's worth it, so why aren't you asking for her hand yet?' speech—and although a bit overwhelming to Zel, it had been effective nonetheless.
Zel's crush had matured during the time he was away, and he was almost overjoyed by the fact that Amelia really did want him in return, that she really did want to be his wife and partner and even lover. That itself had done enough for his self image. The fact that he had been with her ever since had proved itself time and again by how blasé he was now about his body.
The proof was in his clothing. It no longer entirely covered his rocky blue skin. And if he wasn't proud of his body, at least he wasn't embarrassed by it anymore.
Zelgadis broke the silence. "Lina, what exactly are you looking for? Amelia said something about your search for chaos magic and how to perfect the Ragna Blade, but you and I both know that's bull. You've had that thing perfected for years."
Lina looked down, ashamed with what would be her answer. "I can't tell you Zel. I really don't know what I am looking for."
Zelgadis stopped. "Can't or won't?"
Lina stopped as well, and looked him in the eyes. "Both. Perhaps when I understand what I am searching for, I might tell you, but not until. Sorry."
Zelgadis sighed. "It's not like I can force it out of you anyway Lina. Hopefully, when you feel up to it, you will tell us." He began to walk toward the castle again, and Lina caught up once again to walk in the silence that they sometimes both preferred.
As they neared the palace, Zelgadis spoke up again. "How are things going with Gourry?"
"What do you mean?"
Lina couldn't stop the blush that was beginning to spread to her face. "Oh. Ok I guess."
"Still as shy as ever I see."
"No, just… I don't know. I'm just not good at talking about stuff like that."
Zelgadis laughed. "As I recall, you never have been."
"Hey, it took you a long time to realize that you liked Amelia. Everyone knew it, even Phil."
"Yeah, but at least I don't blush and overreact over it."
"You used to too. Don't give me that."
"Yeah, I guess I did, but you still do."
"Listen, what Gourry and I do is personal, and I don't kiss and tell. Besides, I know what you and Amelia are up to. With twins on the way, how can you deny it?" Zelgadis blushed a deep crimson. "Aha! See! You still blush!"
"So," Zel replied sullenly. "That's what married couples are supposed to do." He was silent for a moment longer. "Don't you want kids?"
"I'm not sure. Can you imagine kids from me and Gourry?"
"Yes. And I fear the world would starve to death."
"Hey!" Lina once again smacked him in the arm. "Ow."
"You're gonna bruise yourself if you keep doing that."
Lina only growled.
"But really Lina, what's wrong with kids from you and Gourry?"
"Nothing I guess. Just that, how would we take care of them? I am in no way ready to settle down to have a family. It would be pretty hard on the children if I didn't settle down. Besides, there still are bandits and pirates for me to punish, and great food for me to eat, and treasure to grab. I can't give that up."
"Nor could you ever. Yeah, I suppose having kids would change all that."
"Besides, I'll get to spoil your brats and be their Godmother. That'll be better then having kids, cause then I can hand them back to you when I'm done."
"That I really fear. You'd spoil them worse then their own grandfather."
Lina chuckled. "Well that is the point of being Godparent. Spoil them rotten, then hand the brats back to the parents. Oh yeah, life is gonna be sweet."
"Maybe I should make it so they can't ever see you." Zelgadis took a glance at Lina, one eyebrow quirked, gauging her reaction.
"If you don't want to live to a ripe old age, go ahead and try it." Lina gave Zel a malicious smile, which made him shudder.
"Don't worry Lina, there is no possible way that I could keep them from you, even with the threat of spoiling. I couldn't bear them not knowing one of my best friends."
"Good to hear. Hopefully I'll be done with my search by the time they are born. Then I can spend most of my time with them, and helping you and Amelia out."
"I hope so. We let Filia know. She said she might or might not come down. It depends mainly on Valterria."
"How is that kid? The last time I saw him, he was in his terrible twos."
"Filia says he's a handful at times even now, as he apparently is still in his terrible twos; what makes things worse is that Xellos pops in every now and then to torment her. Valterria has taken an extreme dislike of him, not that I blame him."
"Yeah, well what can you do about him? He's a pest; that we all know. And considering the fact that he could kill us at any time he wants, I'd just rather not get on his bad side. You remember what it was like to fight him."
"Yes, and as I recall, you gave in."
Lina sighed. "I knew we were gonna be screwed no matter what we did. So…"
"So you just let him capture us after making us fight him for you. I suppose I can understand, though at the time it really pissed me off."
"I know. But at least we didn't die horrible deaths like we would have if he had chosen to get… nasty."
"Has he tried to recruit you lately?"
"Nope, thank the Lady. Nah, he's actually helped me out a few times. I mean really helped, not just given me false information allowing me to do his job for him."
"You're telling me? He was the one who helped find a replacement for Gourry's sword. It's really gotten me on edge. And I'm slightly worried."
"I don't know how to explain it. I just feel something abnormal is going on."
"Is that why you're searching for chaos magic?"
When Lina didn't respond, Zelgadis realized that perhaps this was what she was searching for. "Are you trying to find another spell to kill off the Mazoku so you don't have to use the Giga Slave again?"
Lina stopped walking. When Zel stepped closer to her, she answered. "No. They aren't bothering me anymore. In fact they seemed to have all but disappeared. I've actively searched for them, and I haven't found a one. Except when Xellos has popped in on those rare occasions, and even then he's there for as long as he needs to relay the information Xellas wants me to know and then he's gone. It makes me wonder what they're up to."
Zelgadis stared down at his friend. For the first time ever, she looked older than she was. It was not her body, for she seemed to age only a few years to look like a just turned nineteen-year-old when she was really much closer to twenty-five. It was her eyes that made her seem so much older. Her eyes were holding a world of knowledge, and if he didn't know better, fear.
Lina was never one to fear anything, even her death, for in truth, she had actually died, twice. Once when they were fighting Copy Rezo, and also when she lost control of the Giga Slave and the Lord of Nightmares' essence had consumed all that she was. It was only the love of her friends that brought her back, each time. No, Lina didn't fear much, though he had to remember her reaction to slugs and her sister. But the fear in her eyes now had nothing to do with slugs, or her sister. The look in her eyes stated she was fighting her fear by searching for chaos magic.
Zelgadis smiled in hopes of cheering her up. He wrapped his arm over her shoulder in a very brotherly way. "Well, whatever they're up to, I have the feeling that you'll beat them. You're one in a million."
They started walking toward the castle again. She could see the five towers in the distance. "Since when did you become so optimistic?"
"I think Amelia's rubbed off on me."
Lina laughed. "Just don't turn into a justice freak on me."