A/N: First and foremost, I simply must thank Winged Knight and Maurice A. Nigma for sticking with me for this story. As short as it was, in comparison to some, I still really appreciate it.
Disclaimer: If I didn't own it in the beginning, what makes you think I own it now? Sheesh...weirdos... :P
"So that's it then? That's your mother-daughter 'closure'? It's over?"
With a wry smirk, Lina slowly got to her feet, and turned to face Zel. "That depends- when is what over? Liona's not dead- but I'm coping with her not being able to see her on a daily basis. I don't know about your cure Zel, or Sylphiel's apparent 'improvement', or erm... sorry, just who are you anyway?" She was now looking at Eldora, who bowed in response.
"Eldora's the name, Miss Inverse. As I said before, I was employed to among other things, escort your friends here. As to the snails and slugs, I apologize on your daughter's behalf, though even I cannot offer the reason for their temporary occupancy in your humble abode."
There was a mysterious glint in Lina's eyes then, but it soon passed. Shaking it off, she took a deep breath before smiling grandly at her small audience and gestured, "Well, whatever. I suddenly feel starved. Whatd'ya say we all go and eat at a restaurant? My treat even."
"Not just yet." Luna's assertive voice sent a noticable chill through her sister. "If you'll look around, you'll notice that though the snails themselves have left the premises, the fact remains that their body residue has not. Therefore, before you even so much as plan going anywhere, I suggest you start cleaning- and as compensation for the weeks without customers or housekeeping during my absence, no magic will be used in the process. Now get to it."
Lina blinked at her older sister for one moment before swiftly turning to her friends. "Hey guys, you up for another adventure? It's called 'Operation Clean-up'. Whaddya say?"
An idle thought crossed Zel's mind, one that wondered if this was the reason Liona had planned all this- to help Lina clean up the place. No, he decided soon thereafter, she wouldn't have such petty reasons as that.
"Sure, Lina, I'll help." (Zel)
"Yes, you can count on me!" (Sylphiel)
"Of course I will- I'm your guardian aren't I?" (Gourry)
"Well, since I'm here, I might as well." (Eldora)
"All right then- let's get this party started!" (Lina)
"Oh, and Lina? One more thing- be done by the start of the dinner rush (that's two hours)." (Luna)
Needless to say, dust flew in the rampage of rushed cleaning- but hey, at least Lina didn't have to do it alone. As Zel was still experiencing a few technical difficulties (a.k.a. he's extremely weak), Lina had him dusting, mopping, and wiping surfaces. Gourry and Eldora assisted with lifting furniture to clean underneath those as well. Sylphiel controlled the kitchens, helping Lina to wash dishes before preparing the evening meal. In addition to dishes, Lina ran upstairs to change the sheets, supervise the cleaning process, and make sure everything was nice and tidy. Technically, Zel and Sylphiel probably had the most work, but considering Gourry and Lina were up until recently bedridden, and Lina didn't really know Eldora, it was an accepted exchange of roles. Luna remained in her room, two hour glasses at the ready, chalking up the accounts, budgets, and all that paperwork. Once that was cleared out of the way, she gathered the normal staff and had them spread the news that the Inverse Inn (no alliteration originally intended) was now back in session.
Luckily, Lina-tachi did finish within the "time limit" and were therefore allowed nice long baths before joining the customers with food orders. As expected, the Inverse household was surprised to see Eldwin in the place of Eldora (who was nowhere to be seen). Once that situation had been summarized, they accepted him/her to their table of sorts, but only as a useful acquaintance (just a tad like Xellos ;P ).
As dinner drew to a close, Eldwin's eyes blanked out momentarily, just enough to catch the attention of Sylphiel and Zel, before reverting back to normal. He stood, which attracted much more attention, and suggested that they all go outside to "view the stars", at least, according to what he said. Still, as it wasn't a bad idea, the group complied readily.
Outside, surrounded by medium-sized trees, lying on the soft sea of grass, the stars seemed to glitter with more intensity than any night previous. Perhaps it was because there was no moon to deflect their light; in any case, the sight was simply breathtaking. And then it started.
The skies erupted in flashes of red, of gold, of blue, of purple- starting out like the rays from the sun, and soon becoming noticeable as specific pictures. A purple chibi Luna, followed by a yellow haired Gourry jellyfish, and then a chimeric Zel head. After that, Sylphiel's face came into view, holding up two fingers in the traditional victory sign, preceding what Eldwin said was Eldora's full dragon form, accompanied by Eldwin's human form. The last picture it seemed, was the one of Lina. Outlined in red, intricate even to each individual amulet on her suit, was a chibi form of Lina, which also resembled Liona, to an extent. Then- words appeared in a rainbow fashion. The very skies read, "In remembrance of all that you've done for me, let today be known simply as, 'Independence Day'." Below it, the delicate signature of Liona Inverse was air scripted. The magical bursts in the air returned to the original ray model, but for the group lying in the grass, the memory was fresh, would remain fresh for as long as they lived.
A/N: Yes well, had to have some reason for fireworks :P
And now, a few extra notes in case you missed them (or I didn't mention them):
Because Liona was resurrected by a "God" under the power of the Lord of Nightmares, She will live on until she is murdered by her kin (an Inverse) or she takes her own life. Human aging and assassination attempts just won't affect her. (If you're asking how she could survive her head getting chopped off, it's simple: her skin is hardened so that nothing can penetrate it)
Liona doesn't have anything planned for her civilian army just yet. I'm determined not to make her evil, or bent on world domination. That is like so last century ;(:) Depending on whether I come up with something or not, you might see a sequel of sorts, so watch for it, but don't expect it to be soon in coming. (Voiced wishes for one such sequel might help the process of thinking of one in the first place)
Zel's cure is removable, as mentioned before, by the white pills. The reason why she said it would have been better if he'd taken it earlier, was because the longer he stays human, the more human he becomes. Therefore, he'll start to feel the pangs of hunger and fatigue a lot more than even now, as well as being subjected to the dangers presented to normal humans. He can, of course, relearn magic and swordsmanship with more ease than the Average Joe (like Gourry maybe) but it'll still take some time.
Sylphiel's magical boost is only temporary, just long enough for her to realize what it could be like if she let some of her quirks behind. With the "help" of Luna and Lina, she's sure to improve her tapped potential on her own standards, so she'll be all right.
Eldora has completely accepted that her love, Eldwin, will always be with her now, even in death, so she's appeased and not at all resentful at the thought of her body being taken over every night. She happens to enjoy the transition point (at sundown and sun up) anyway. ;)
She'll help around the Inverse place for a little while before returning to the Kataart mountains.
Speaking of going places, Zel will go back to Seyruun a little after Eldora leaves, and accept his role as King with Amelia as his Queen. I haven't gotten around to naming or putting a gender on their child, but that's at least eight of their months in coming. (It's not a chimeric baby either) Hmm... Perhaps I'll have Naga in for a visit just in time for them to name the baby... ;) Or Martina... XD
Eventually, Luna will relinquish Lina from her restaurant duties so she can open up her own antique/treasure store. With Gourry to help with transportation, and Sylphiel along for on-the-spot training lessons (for acquiration of goods), she's bound to be mucho successful. Meanwhile, Luna still has her Knight of Celphied duties to attend to...so XP
Hmm...what else? Oh-
Liona will continue watching over her network of past friends and family, while she goes on curing the people who need curing in the world (stopping short of those who would be worse off with a cure, no matter how desperate). You're wondering how she makes money, if she doesn't charge for her healing services, mmm? Well, let's just say, if dragons need exercise, she'll scatter their treasure, bless any willing female dragons with babes to carry on the family name, and let them go off and find their treasure again. Oh, and she swipes as many coins as necessary along the way. (Though in truth, she doesn't actually need to eat or sleep anyway)
Oh, what was Xellos grounded for? Hmm... hold on, I forgot for a few moments... well, if I didn't tell you an answer beforehand, it was that he had a party (of sacrifices) in his astral plane "bedroom" and didn't clean up after himself before Zelas (Momma dearest) found out. :P
Any more questions, you can ask in a review- I'll just add onto this chapter come next week (so watch for it)
Hmm... well, that seems to just about cover it. -nods to self- As always, reviews are loved!
In case you want to know more about Eldora/Eldwin, here's their bios (don't look back at the story and find the clashes, because I'm not before I write this)
Eldora fi Napoli:
Known as: Eldora
Job or Status: philos magnus
Slayers Equivalent: a dragon of the Kataart mountains cousin to Ancient dragons
Age: Perhaps a century or so older than Filia? I dunno, it doesn't really matter as a dragon; she looks to be in her mid-20's- also comparable to Filia
Hair: Jade (green)
Hairstyle: Drapes over shoulders to waist
Eyes: I don't think I ever mentioned it... cerulean blue I suppose
Height: Around 5' 7"... -sigh- I'm getting to feel that even I don't know much about her...
Official Outfit: Pale green gown of silk that comes down to knees; sleeveless and without noticeable trim; wears jade slippers magically protected from dirt and whatnot; gold earrings and gold chain necklace
Dragon Form: Ice blue flying dragon... serious features like Milgasia... white mane whereas Filia has gold... jagged tail like a spiked bludgeon
Aura Color: A luminescent icy blue
Personality: In human form, outside of actual business, she goes by the saying, "If you have it, flaunt it"; she's more of an actor than some might believe (no damsel in distress for sure); overall friendly, somewhat mysterious, bizarrely happy
Strengths: Using her surroundings to her advantage
Weaknesses: Anything in regards to Eldwin, her closest friend, her lover, and the spirit that inhabits her body during the night
Abilities/Powers: Calls forth Nature to take care of her enemies; Freeze Blast (like Filia's main beam attack except it's blue and it makes its target frozen solid)
Main Power: Worthy of the title "Damsel who plays her own Savior" meaning... she may look like she's in distress, but all the while, she's defeating her opponent too
Personal Love: Eldwin, her demonic counterpart
Personal A/N: I honestly don't know how I came up with Eldora/Eldwin, but... I dunno, there's something appealing, isn't there?
Eldwin mer Kushio:
Known as: Eldwin
Job or Status: solihp sungam (Eldora's status backwards)
Slayers Equivalent: a demon of the Kataart mountains cousin to Gold dragons
Age: As old as Eldora, perhaps a decade or two older; looks to be mid-20's, more mature than Eldora
Hair: Silky Blonde
Hairstyle: Down to shoulder blades but held together in low ponytail
Eyes: gentle sapphire
Height: Around 5' 9"
Official Outfit: Fair blue tunic fringed in black and darker blue leggings; black fingerless gloves; worn opaque boots; no cape or "jewelry"
Demon Form: Black... other info N/A
Aura Color: A luminescent dark blue to black
Personality: Comparable to Xellos; hides secrets without saying Xel's trademark phrase; generally happy; acts like a player...; overall friendly
Strengths: Using the shadows to make surprise attacks
Weaknesses: Anything in regards to Eldora, his closest friend, his lover, and the owner of the body that he inhabits during the night
Abilities/Powers: Keen swordsmanship, on par with chimera Zel; dark energy beam (from triangle hand formation) equal in power to an unamplified Dragon Slave
Main Power: Deadly blade, knows just how to corner opponent
Personal Love: Eldora, his draconic counterpart
Personal A/N: I honestly don't know how I came up with Eldora/Eldwin, but... I dunno, there's something appealing, isn't there?
A/N: Alrighty, as they say- T-t-t-that's all folks! Again, reviews appreciated!