A/N: Self-Played Fanfare Hey! I'm back! - And this time, I finished my original story and edited it myself! Yay! (I still want someone else to edit it though…email me at if you're willing to read through some 250 pages, thx!) So I thought it safe to begin another fanfic. This one... is a sequel to Liona's Quest. Lina is about 43 so....Liona is 25...- For their group of friends, it's around the same age as them respectively, in a rough approximation.

What's this story about? Well, I've realized how little attention is paid to Sylphiel, so hopefully, this story will bring out the best and worst in her. It may take a bit of work considering Gourry and Lina have been together so long, but I'm hoping! - Oh, if I happen to go all perfect and Mary-sueish on one or more of the characters...please forgive. It's a bad habit of mine when I don't realize what I'm doing. Hey, if you can't have at least one perfect person, how do you determine how non-perfect the rest are? Stereotypes are bad you know, and actions sometimes belie the truth. Blah, enough with that. On with the story.

Disclaimer: Ah, I haven't said this in such a long time...I DON'T OWN SLAYERS!!! Woot! - Ah, that was fun...

Magic Bears Capricious Fruit

Ch. 1: A Cure at Last? Impossible!

Sylphiel Rels Nada collapsed into her chair, more exhausted than she could ever remember. After ordering a pot of jasmine tea, Sylphiel squirmed to compose herself- adjusting her cloak here, smoothing out wrinkles there. It wasn't as if she was expecting anyone important- it was just a small habit of hers. After all, it never hurt to look a bit nicer than otherwise, no? Of course, her dust blanketed clothes, skin, and hair did nothing to improve the situation. With a sigh, she thanked the waitress who brought her tea, before rummaging to pull an equally battered map of the Old World from her cloak.

On the map, over delicate, ink-drawn geographical features and cities, a clear solid line zigzagged all over it. The line marked Sylphiel's trek in search of an elusive cure for a dear friend's mysterious illness. Even a visiting dragon priestess could not cure her of it, a sign in and of itself that told them it was serious. Thankfully, the last time she checked, it wasn't contagious, but she didn't want to risk her friend dying from it, of that she was certain. So she had volunteered to scour the lands for someone or something that could.

Sylphiel sighed again, leaning back while staring at the map. "I'm getting too old for this." Even though she was only forty-four, and being a mage helped slow the aging process, she still grew wary easily. "Then again, adventures and conquests were never really my cup of tea."

"Oh, I don't know about that; you're as fit as a fiddle compared to some others I've seen of late."

The sudden new voice made Sylphiel snap her head up like a deer caught in the headlights. A young woman, perhaps in her mid twenties, watched with avid amusement from the chair across from her, a chair that had been vacant just moments before.

The woman's kind smile broadened a little. As if sensing her surprise and unease, she added, "I apologize if I gave you a fright; it's a woe begotten triviality I always seem to forget."

When Sylphiel realized that she was staring, she blinked and shook her head. "No, no, it's all right; you just surprised me a little."

The woman's face remained placid as Sylphiel took a calming sip from her tea cup. Watching the stranger from over the rim of her cup, Sylphiel's eyes narrowed. Upon setting her cup down, she started, "Who-"

"Who am I?" the stranger interrupted, obviously a type who was hard to judge accurately. Sylphiel could only nod.

Her smile brightened for a few moments, perhaps in self-satisfaction of being correct, before she answered. "I've been called many things, some of which I care not to repeat, but most know me as simply 'Liona'. Do you have any other questions for me, Sylphiel Rels Nada?"

At that, Sylphiel jumped slighting in surprise. Liona once again anticipated her question, and waved it off carelessly. "I have my sources. But I really must wonder, where, pray tell, are you headed? Surely this is a bit far off from New Sairaag, is it not? You also mentioned adventures and conquests, and I find myself curious about the details."

Liona seemed to sense the hesitance in Sylphiel's eyes. "Again, please forgive my forwardness. I hear things, and I get the yearning to here it all from their source."

Sylphiel studied Liona's face for a few moments, before sighing and answering with a shrug, "No, it's nothing, quite all right. I have no problem with telling you, but...if I may? Is it possible that you-"

With a grin, Liona finished her question again. "-can read minds? Yes, from time to time, but only from those who live their lives with good intentions, and only when I care to."

Sylphiel's gaze turned to her tea as she began at a murmur, "I see. Well, in all honesty, I'm searching for a cure to a new disease that one of my closest friends came down with a few weeks back. I haven't had much luck so far, I'm afraid. This new disease produces very unusual side-effects."

When Sylphiel paused, Liona softly prompted, "Such as?"

Instinctively, Sylphiel looked to the ceiling for answers as she counted them off on her fingers. "Well, her skin has turned blue all over, her hair is as coarse and as sharp as strands of wire, scores of dark gray lumps have appeared nearly everywhere… and… um… oh, she says her hearing has become so good, it hurts."

Sylphiel turned her glance back to Liona, to see amusement highlighting her crimson eyes. She gave a questioning look, but Liona shook her head. "I have a feeling 'disease' isn't quite the word for that. It sounds like your friend has become a second-hand chimera. Tell me, has she been in close physical contact with another of that description?"

"I don't-" Sylphiel paused as a sudden image came to her. Her eyes widened in almost certain dismay. "Zelgadis-san…"

If Sylphiel had not been so suddenly enraptured by this new revelation, she might have caught the blur of recognition that clouded Liona's eyes then. But before she could take notice, Liona blinked and returned to her previous calm demeanor.

"A friend?"

Sylphiel absently nodded. "More a friend of a friend of a dear friend, actually. Zelgadis-san scourges the world in search of his own cure- in his youth, he'd been turned into a chimera by Rezo the Red Priest. Sometimes he travels with Lina-san, and my dear Gourry."

Liona twitched at the mention of each name, but again abandoned it without notice. Her face and voice remained calm as she added in a bit of interest. "You care for this…Gourry?"

Her blush snapped Sylphiel back into focus. Glancing shyly up at Liona, her eyes told of her unrequited love. "Yes," She continued unnecessarily, "I know Gourry-san and Lina-san love each other, and I've accepted that, but old habits die hard, I suppose."

Sensing Liona's amusement, she questioned it; the feeling evaporated midst a cloud of mock confusion. "I'm not sure, but it's nothing to dwell on. Hmm…so what is it that happened with 'Zelgadis-san'?"

In soft contemplation, Sylphiel answered, "Zelgadis-san stayed in my friend's home…for about a month while he searched the city's libraries. Afterward, he left without a word, from what my friend told me. A few weeks later, I visited my friend, and she had already assumed her current state."

The amusement returned, but this time, Liona revealed the reason behind it, somewhat. "Ah yes. I had guessed it when you first described it, but this makes me certain of it." At her companion's questioning look, Liona merely asked, "How long have they been like this, your friend and Zelgadis-san?"

"My friend has been, well, a chimera I suppose for oh…about five or six weeks now, I think. And Zelgadis-san…" Sylphiel paused as she counted on her fingers. "I believe it's close to twenty-five years now."

Liona let a wry smile pass across her expression before she extended her hand over the table. "Would you please hold out your hands for me?"

Sylphiel did as she was asked, curious as a newborn kitten. She looked down to her hands from Liona's smile when she felt the soft velvet. A pair of small, drawstring pouches lay there- one white, one red. As Sylphiel peeked into them, Liona explained their contents.

"The little tablets in the white pouch contain a special spell that when consumed with a drink of some kind, will cure the body of all ailments and curses. The red pouch's tablets will reverse the effects of its white twin. Be careful not to get them mixed up."

Sylphiel frowned, thrilled but bewildered. "But if they have the cure, why would they want to take it away again?"

Liona smiled, expecting this question. "Because sometimes, we learn that a curse can be more helpful active than not. Mmm…oh yes, I almost forgot. Here you are." Liona opened her fist again and a green pouch to match the white and red fell into Sylphiel's hands. "This one's for your use, though feel free to distribute it as you will. These tablets restore energy, both physical and magical. Each of these pouches is self restorative, so even if you make a mistake or drop one accidentally, you'll still have more."

With a soft sigh, Liona stood up. "Now then… I regret to say that I must now leave elsewhere. Please tell your friends that one pill is sufficient per case. Take care; I bid thee adieu, Sylphiel of Sairaag."

Before Sylphiel could utter even a single protest, let alone a thank you, a sharp clang distracted her attention for the shortest of seconds. When she looked back, Liona was gone.

Sylphiel's gaze eventually returned to the pouches. It seemed that Zelgadis-san and Princess Amelia would be receiving an interesting gift for the Winter Solstice Festival.

A/N: Meh, I know it's short, but I have to get my thoughts together, and consider the best way to do this on my little knowledge of Sylphiel, and still make it as humorous as my ability allows me in my situation. If I succeed, please tell me so in a review; just one is enough to make my day! - Happy Holidays!