Author's notes: Well guys... it's been fun. I guess I'll have to start planning something else after this. Oh no! The horror! Ehem... I love your reviews! I think I'll cut them out and put them on my wall! Oh wait... they're in the computer, so I guess if I was to do that I'd have to print them out first huh? And here I am too lazy to even post my finished fanfiction...
It took a while for Amelia to come to, and during that time everyone had gathered around Milgazia's fallen bloodied body. Lina was already up and about after taking a short time to rest, and Gourry was nursing the bruises to his face for when Lina had regained her awareness, she kicked and waved her arms to get out of the swordsman's hold. The poor man didn't have a chance then.
"How awful!" Amelia sobbed when she saw the elder lying dead in a pool of blood that stained his white clothing.
"There was nothing any of us could do," Lina told the princess.
Even though Filia tried to convince herself otherwise, she knew Lina was right. Even if they had gotten to him sooner, the wound he had received couldn't have been healed even with the most powerful healing spell. Milgazia had died right after helping them. The truth stung her.
"We should give him a proper burial," Amelia said as she brushed some of the tears from her eyes.
"The other dragons need to know," Filia spoke softly, but her calmness was suddenly shattered by a strong evil presence. It gave her the shivers. Xellos sensed it too and he went to her side. He placed the egg back in her possession before turning to face the woman who was coming towards them. His expression showed a mix of fear and dread, and it instantly put Lina on the alert.
The woman had long flowing black hair and wore a long-sleeved blue dress as dark as the ocean depths. She seemed content and kept a slow leisurely pace. Her eyes fell on the body Milgazia; she lifted her hand and his body vanished so that there wasn't a trace left of him.
"She looks familiar…" Lina mumbled to herself.
"What do you mean Miss Lina?" Amelia asked in a hushed tone. The state of her two non-human friends hadn't escaped her. They seemed very uncomfortable, and it worried her even more.
The woman had been watching looking elsewhere, but as she approached her attention fell completely on the group. She looked at Xellos and Filia first before regarding Lina. "You killed my priest," she said in a soft-spoken voice.
"That's what I was afraid of," the sorceress remarked. "It's been a while hasn't it Lord Deep Sea Dolphin? Let me guess, you're here to kill us for killing your priest."
"Miss Lina!" Amelia cried. "I thought you said the Dark Lords wouldn't get themselves involved directly like this…"
"Dark Lord?" Gourry questioned pointing at the woman. "Her?"
The Dark Lord smiled a small, almost shy, smile. "I came for reason other than killing any of you."
She turned to Xellos who had grown weak with worry. He was pale and looked as though he could collapse at any minute.
"A few years ago, the Dragon King Garv was killed by Hell Master Phibrizo. This not only resulted in the death of the labelled traitor, but it also killed Phibrizo as well." A look of melancholy fell across her face as she reflected on this. "I didn't say or do anything back then because my views wouldn't have mattered, but it looks like the Lord of Nightmares has given me a second chance."
Xellos was curious, but no amount of curiosity could rid him of his fear. Dark Lords caused pain. He didn't want to be near them, but he had placed himself in front of Filia to protect her. He wasn't sure what Deep Sea Dolphin wanted or what she was planning, but so far she didn't seem particularly interested in fighting.
"I think my race has forgotten how pointless it is to kill each other," the Dark Lord continued. "All we do is weaken ourselves when we choose to turn on one another. That's why I've come to let you know that I will not be following the path that my brethren have chosen."
"But you did get your priest to attack us," Lina reminded her.
"That was simply a test to see how determined you all were to live," Deep Sea Dolphin replied as she thoughtfully placed her finger on her chin. "His actions were his own. Maybe I was a little vague when explaining what I wanted from him."
"What did you tell him exactly?" Amelia questioned. She was standing a little behind Miss Lina out of the away of the Dark Lord. She knew her question was out of place, and that she probably wouldn't get an answer, but she couldn't let Milgazia's death rest until she knew why he died. Why did he have to die..?
Deep Sea Dolphin thought back and tried to remember exactly what she had said. She hadn't said much that day… so it didn't take long for her to remember. "I believe my exact words were "go get them."
"Hey if you're a Dark Lord, does that mean you're older than Xellos?" Gourry suddenly asked before Lina smacked him for his stupidity.
There was a pause. "Yes," the Dark Lord replied.
"Wow..." Gourry's eyes widened in amazement as he pointed a finger at Deep Sea Dolphin. "Hey Lina, this woman is ancient!"
Filia had listened quietly long enough. She was still angry over the death of Milgazia, and she blamed the Dark Lord. Even though Deep Sea Dolphin was a powerful monster, she couldn't understand how Lina could let the Dark Lord off so easily.
She opened her mouth to speak, but Xellos quickly stopped her. He could sense her resentment, and he didn't want her to say anything that could get them both in trouble. He gave her an apologetic look as he removed his finger from her lips. Xellos was right. There was no need to destroy the peace offered by the Dark Lord.
"Are you saying that you'll convince the monster race to leave Xellos alone?" Lina asked.
"Dynast is stubborn and the Greater Beast Master has cut herself off from us," Deep Sea Dolphin spoke quietly. "I don't know what I can do or how they'll react. I can try to reason with the Greater Beast."
"But… what I did…" Xellos said in an unsure voice.
Deep Sea Dolphin eyed him sullenly which caused him to bow his head in submission.
"It's true that you betrayed us by rescuing the world from destruction, so I can't say I'm against you being banished," she told him. "But to have you destroyed wouldn't be fair to the rest of us. Every monster desires to return to chaos, and to give you that escape would be like letting you off free."
Filia had never thought of it like that before. Being a dragon, she enjoyed life and the long existence she would lead. She didn't understand how someone could think about giving up their life to go back to something they couldn't even remember. Did Xellos really think this way? This sudden implication startled her, and she looked into the monster's eyes to confirm what the Dark Lord had said.
Xellos lifted his head to meet Filia's gaze. The look he gave her told her that Deep Sea Dolphin had indeed struck a nerve.
"So you're saying that Mr. Xellos is out of danger then?" Amelia asked. Her voice was light and filled with hope.
Deep Sea Dolphin turned to leave. Just before she vanished into the night she called back, "It would be safe to assume that for the time being."
"I'm glad that's all worked out," Lina said inching closer to the Princess. "Now, about what you owe me."
Amelia let her head fall as the sorceress began talking about a price. There would be no escaping Lina Inverse. She waited for a moment, hoping that someone would save her, but Filia and Xellos were already making their escape.
"Hey Xellos!" Lina called, and the monster froze. "Where do you think you're going? I saved your butt so you owe me too!"
"Actually, since Xellos saved Amelia's life twice, I think it'd be fair if she covers whatever he owes you," Filia said. She ignored the princess' shocked and dismayed expression as she took Xellos by the hand and pulled him along with her.
"Hmm... She has a point there Amelia," Lina remarked. She turned back to the princess who had collapsed and was lyingi n a daze on the ground. "How could Filia be so cruel?" she murmured to herself.
"Are you ok Amelia?" Gourry asked. When she didn't reply, the swordsman bent down and poked her in the head. "Amelia?"
Where were they going? He was being taken somewhere, but Filia wasn't speaking to him. Did he do something wrong? Xellos wanted to stop, just for a moment. Before they had been running from the monsters, but they weren't chasing them right now. Why were they moving so quickly if no one was chasing them? Maybe something was chasing them and he couldn't see it.
"Filia…?" he questioned unsurely. His arm was starting to hurt, and without the distraction of fighting for his life, it wouldn't be long before the agony of the torture he remembered all too well returned to him. His gloveless hand slipped out of her fingers, and he stopped.
"You didn't think I'd notice..?" she asked as she held Valgarv's egg in front of her. Xellos tried to avoid her accusing eyes without success. He knew she was trying to show him the mended fracture in the egg, but he had already seen it. He was the one who fixed it.
"He was split right down the middle wasn't he?" she asked as tears sprung to her eyes. She hugged the egg closer to her body as she began to cry with the thought of the egg lying broken in half. She was supposed to protect Valgarv, but she had failed him miserably.
Filia had kept the egg with her so she could protect it. She would have protected it with her life, but now she realized it had all been for nothing. Valgarv had been killed, and it had been her fault. Wither her vision blurred by tears, she didn't see Xellos approach, but she did feel his arms wrap around her.
He held her closely and whispered, "I'm sorry Filia. He was hurt. I didn't know what else to do."
The golden dragon pulled away from him and looked up into his amethyst eyes. He had kept his only monster feature visible for so long, they seemed almost natural to her now. She stepped back into his embrace and rested her head against his chest.
"He's half monster again isn't he?" she questioned softly.
"I didn't know what else to do…" Xellos repeated weakly. After a few moments of peaceful silence, his hold on her slackened, and she reached out and caught his hand. He still hadn't repaired his gloves, so his hands were bare. She noted how warm his was and blushed. She turned her head a little to hide her face, but he had already noticed.
Xellos pulled her forward and caught her in a kiss. Her eyes widened in surprise, and they remained like that until the monster broke away and whispered, "When he's older, he'll be able to protect you…"
"And you will stay and protect the both of us," Filia said before looking up at the starry night sky, and for a moment she could picture Milgazia, staring down at them with the same calm expression he always wore. When she looked back down again, she found that someone was infact staring at them, mouth agape, but it wasn't the elder.
"I don't even want to know..." Zelgadis finally said. He turned around and began walking away from them at a pace which suggested that he was probably going to have nitemares later on that night...
Maybe I should warn him that Lina is in that direction, Filia thought to herself. She leaned against Xellos and yawned. It had been a very stressful day, and she didn't really feel like moving. Or maybe I won't.
Author's notes: I'm finally DONE! Omg! This is probably the first "thing" with chapters I've ever completed for anything! (Outside of school of course) I'm beyond happy right now. Actually, I think I'm feeling overjoyed! Wow. And I even managed to squeeze Zelgadis in there. My work here is done.