Disclaimer: Characters and concepts from "Slayers" are Copyrighted to Hajime Kanzaka, Tommy Ohtsuka, and Rui Araizumi. This work is a parody and not to be used for any commercial purposes.

Author's foreword: SPOILER ALERT: This story is set during the Slayers Next series. Key plot details are discussed.

Loyalties of a Mazoku

Air displaced in a room on Wolf Pack Island. Beastmaster Zelas Metallium looked up, knowing that her most valuable follower had returned.

"Greetings, my Lady." Xellos' voice was less grating than what Lina would hear, but he himself looked more fatigued than usual.

"You have not been gone for as long as I expected, Xellos." Beastmaster's voice was also deceptively pleasant. "Have you learned something urgent?"

"No, I am sorry to report. My visit here is for the purpose Hellmaster believes it is. I require restoration of your most excellent emotional shield."

The Beastmaster walked around her priest-general, reaching out with her astral senses. "My badness, the shield has been nearly breached." The Mazoku lord remarked. "Has that young princess you told me about been so enthusiastic?"

"No, the problem is with the other princess." Xellos replied.

"Martina?" Zelas queried. "But you told me that she hated Lina Inverse. Surely she should be making you stronger, not weaker."

"As you know, my Lady, raw and crude emotions are not to my taste. Martina's hatred was rather like butter without bread to a human. But her hatred seems to be changing somewhat. Immodest as it may be to say, I believe she has become enamoured with me."

"Yes, that would certainly account for the damage." Zelas closed her eyes for a moment as she focused her power on restoring the shield. "I take it you will eliminate her when there are no witnesses."

"Actually, my Lady, I would recommend that she be kept alive. Lina is remarkably intelligent, and Zelgadis is no fool either. If Martina were to disappear, they would be suspicious. Whereas Martina alive may very well distract Lina long enough for her to be totally committed to the search for the Claire Bible by the time she realizes the situation. She may even provide a distraction for Gaav."

"Ah, yes," said Zelas thoughtfully, "Gaav and Phibrizzo. Is it still your belief that Phibrizzo's ultimate objective is to maneuver Lina Inverse into casting the Giga Slave?"

"More than ever." Xellos answered. "Hellmaster's orders were to keep Lina alive, even if I had to interfere directly. He wants Lina for something further than simply defeating Gaav. And what would he want more than to return the world to chaos?"

"True." Zelas nodded. "But Lina successfully used the Giga Slave against a fragment of Shabranigdo. She might well maintain control of it again if she uses it against Gaav."

"My reading of Hellmaster is that he is not the sort to leave such a thing to chance. He will make sure that the spell goes out of control."

"Xellos, I would arrange to be somewhere else when that happens. Phibrizzo has one disadvantage compared to me: he is male. My intuition is that his plan will not produce the result he desires. The Giga Slave does not simply draw on the Lord of Nightmares' power, as do the Gaav Flare and Lord Ruby-Eyes' spell. L-Sama is not likely to be pleased at any interference."

"I think I understand." Xellos said. "A pity that this world will continue in its present form for some time longer."

"A pity? Not to my mind." Beastmaster looked amused.

"My Lady?" Xellos looked at his superior with confusion. "Do we not want the return of the primal chaos?"

"Different Mazoku have different tastes, just as humans." Zelas waved her cigarette. "Unlike the Demon Dragon King and Hellmaster, I am less interested in ruling over as many others as possible, and more interested in not being ruled over. Shabranigdo and L-Sama may stay distant for long and long, as far as I am concerned. I will not risk direct interference with Phibrizzo, but if he fails I will be happier than if he succeeds. After all, Xellos, are you not enjoying your current situation?"

"I confess that I am indeed." Xellos closed his eyes and smiled as if recalling a banquet. "There is so much embarrassment, annoyance, jealousy, and discontent that I would feel guilty about having Lina Inverse's group to myself, if I could feel guilt. I am ashamed to admit that I hope that it will not be necessary for them to die."

"No need to be ashamed. When I decided to combine the offices of priest and general, I gave you a great capacity for loyalty. You are feeling loyalty to those who have given you sustenance. I object to it no more than I object to the fact that water freezes when it is cold enough. However, concerning the humans," Zelas drew herself up to her full height, and her tone became commanding. "Xellos Metallium, hear the will of your mistress!"

"I stand ready, my Lady." Xellos bowed his head.

"The Demon Dragon King and Hellmaster will receive what fate they have earned. But as for Lina Inverse and all who follow her--" Zelas paused a moment for emphasis, "--I want them alive."

"So that you can enjoy their torments yourself?" Xellos looked dismayed, but resigned.

"Oh, no. I've just always wanted to say that." Zelas grinned. "Did I sound diabolical enough?"

And Xellos, greatest of the Mazoku priests and generals, destroyer of dragon tribes, promptly face-faulted.

"Well, you are my creation." Zelas pointed out. "Where do you think you got your impishness from?"

"Y-yes, my Lady." Xellos got up somewhat shakily from the floor.

"Now go forth, my Xellos, and help save the world." Zelas said. "After all, if everything is returned to chaos, what will happen to my beasts?"


"But Mazoku are the enemies of all who live!" Amelia proclaimed. "They cause terrible destruction for no reason! And to think we've been traveling with one . . . !"

If you only knew my orders, thought Xellos. He raised a hand in protest. "Please don't say that! I'm not that bad--!"

T h e E n d

Author's afterward: At the beginning of the final confrontation in Slayers Next, Phibrizzo tells Lina that he uses the dead of Sairaag as servants partly because Xellos is still recovering from his wounds. But Xellos conveniently appears in the aftermath of the Giga Slave, less than thirty minutes later. It would seem that Xellos was not honest with Phibrizzo, for reasons of his own. This may also explain why Martina and Zangulus survived.