Note: There may be some page breaks missing and italics that lack spaces due to document format exchanging.
Chapter 5-TRIP! Visiting Seyruun
Sylphiel awoke to the sound of the door of the inn opening. She awoke and wandered down. There weren't many people who came to this town since the attacks began, so she was the only one in the inn most nights. It was odd to hear any noise at night in the town except for the marching of the newly formed volunteer sentries.
She came to the bottom of the stairs to make out the Eezoon with a sad face and the girls holding each other and crying behind him. Lina was the only one not out in tears, but her stoic silence and slumped demeanor showed how taxing it was on her mental strength. She stood silently beside Eezoon.
"Wha-What happened?" The cleric asked.
Ranma put a hand on Lina's shoulder. "We'll talk about it in the morning."
That night the senshi cried themselves to sleep around their God.
"So one or two of you need to stay here and help her. I can come back and get you - teleport if necessary - if you need me, but Sylphiel won't last too much longer like this. I was thinking about leaving Lina behind, since you know each other and she is the most powerful of the bunch. She has prior experience to dealing with these Mazoku even before she became my priestess. It's more like an added ability and power boost to her than anything. You shouldn't have any problems short of someone like that Xellos character."
Lina nodded reluctantly. "That's true… but I want to go on with you…," her expression hardened with her tone, "I want to get to the bottom of this."
Ranma shook his head. "We need to get help before we can even get to the bottom of this. This is a battle - not a war. We need soldiers. We are strong, but we are not enough. If things end up the way I think it will… I am the one to go toe to toe with the big guys. I need people to take care of the rest."
[Don't worry. I can fill you in like this anytime.]
"How?" Lina asked.
Lina blinked. "Wha-what? Since when could you do that?"
The group watched on as Lina looked crazy responding to what appeared to be nothing. They figured something must be going on because she was looking straight at Ranma.
Ranma caught on to the looks and responded out loud, "Probably from the moment you became priestesses. I could probably force my way into anyone's head, but its easier with you." Ranma fidgeted uncomfortably. "I can see and hear everything you do and think about you as if I'm you. It was something that is tingling in the back of my mind, and if I think about it I can see exactly what you are doing and thinking at the moment. I can even remember what you did even if I wasn't paying attention. I think that even when I'm not directly paying attention, I'm still storing it away in my head like it was my memory. It was confusing at first to separate your memories from mine at first. I block it out most of the time though, but it is always there. I try not to because I think it is, like, violating your privacy or something. It's like watching someone shower though a peephole but worse. I probably should have told you before."
Lina looked at him as did the other girls and they all shifted around someone uncomfortably. Filia, who was sitting at the table and observing quietly responded.
"I imagine that your awareness and mind is somewhat different from a normal person. But I also think that probably the Fire Dragon has the same thing over me. However, I've never met him except on my ascension. So I guess it is a bit different. So it isn't in my face everyday. I probably should have told you this… but this type of bond is quite powerful. He owns your soul for as long as you are alive and probably after."
"What happens to priestesses when they die?" Minako asked hesitantly, undecided if she liked this or not.
"Well, you remember the astral plane from your ascension right? Remember you traveled in Eezoon's mind and soul? You'd probably travel around there. You are as apart of him as much as his own thoughts. Gods are on a whole different level than mortals. What is merely our imaginations as mortals are practically, if not actually, a real existence to high beings. Just as we of the world are formed from the Sea of Chaos, which is a higher being itself. You could say existence is merely its dream. Our souls as priestesses could probably travel there whenever we wanted, if it wasn't for the fact that we are innately material and physical. It is just like the fact that everyone has the ability to see beyond the physical because they are both a physical and a spiritual being; however we favor the logical material world and shut out our spiritual sides."
Lina blinked. That was an interesting bit of information. One could say being somewhat of a historian is a requirement of being a sorceress. She had suspicions of that before but wasn't sure.
Ranma bowed his head. "I'm sorry. I never would have done if I known that. Its like I own you."
Filia cut through his self-admonishment quickly. "You don't understand Eezoon-sama. Most people don't! You are looking at it like forced slavery! That is not what it is at all. What if someone took away all your worries? You never had to worry about starving or not having a place to sleep or someone to love and love you? Bonding with a God is practically like giving all your worries and pain on them. If anything it is a burden on the god and a relief to the priestesses and followers."
Filia turned to the girls. "You no longer have to worry about or ponder about what happens to you when you die. Death is no longer a fear. If Eezoon-sama so wished, he could bring you back from death as long as he exists. Your god loves you as much as, or perhaps more than himself. You are as part of him as a person's arm or leg. Your everything is naked before him, as he knows your every fault, and he still loves you unconditionally more than even a parent could. You no longer have to think or worry, because you will always be fine because your god loves you and takes care of you! Even if this whole world perishes, as long as Eezoon-sama exists, you will as well.
"You could live carefree in afterlife. Technically, your god alone judges you. Others worry and don't have anything nearly as concrete in their lives as you girls now do. Be thankful that you don't need to wander eternity by yourself. Most souls wander eternity looking for enlightenment to ascend and become a higher being - a trial that you might not make it through. You could become corrupted beyond redemption, falling into a hole of never ending despair. Contrary to popular belief, a soul is not indestructible in the way that you exist as you are now for all eternity. It can be," Filia paused looked for the right word, "-dissipated. Just as if a rock can be turned to dust. You still exist… but…"
The girls shuddered.
"Now you don't have that worry. You no longer have to struggle and temper your spirit for eternity."
Ranma's eyes steadily widened as she gave her speech, he did not think he would like it himself, but for someone else it sounded like a dream. However, Ranma was one who liked to prove himself. If he hadn't become a god like this, he would have eventually succeeded anyway. He believed in strength. But now that she mentioned it he thought about how he felt about them, openly basked in the glow of their soul and realized he found each one of them beautiful in a way beyond measure. He realized that the priestess was right.
He turned to look them in the eyes and they all became glassy as they met his. An understanding passed between them and Ranma let go of his insecurities and objection as both sides finally reached acceptance and contentment with the situation.
"I'm sorry." Ranma bowed his head. The girls eyes widened and mouths began to open to object when as Ranma continued unhindered, "I wish I would have realized sooner. I'm glad to have met all of you."
The Senshi began crying openly and rushed him in a affectionate and firm group hug. Lina smiled at him behind the crowd, her eyes shimmering. When the defenders of love and justice reluctantly broke off, she approached him silently with and uncharacteristic gentle smile on her face. She hugged him tightly and whispered in his ear. "I guess I should say thank you, Eezoon."
Ranma snorted and her playful tone. Ranma knew it long before she became a part of him. Lina was as sturdy as soul as he was. She had just as much pride. It just wasn't in her character to call him 'Eezoon-sama'. It made him somewhat more comfortable around her.
She whispered once more, "I guess I'll stay for you and for Sylphiel." She let herself float in Ranma's soul. He felt her inside him and surrounded her with warm and fuzzy feelings he did not feel all to manly about defining, embracing her spiritually.
Ranma lay waiting patiently as he awaited the restless priestess of shadow. He felt her uncertainty as she wavered on her decision. He let his awareness be felt by her.
Lina felt Eezoon in her soul, as if feeling his soft and strong eyes gazing at her intently, watching her every move unabashed. With one final bite of her lower lip her decision was made and she walked into her god's room, knowing that knocking was pointless as he knew she was coming.
She came in and sat on his bed beside him as he sat propped up against the bed post. Their eyes met brazenly and with a complete comfort rarely found between any two people. In silence they stared into each others eyes for an indefinite amount of time. Lina, for the first time in her life, looked into her lap submissively. She knew Ranma knew and she could not hide from him behind her strength.
Ranma hugged her to his chest and whispered, "I know. I'll miss you too. And don't worry, I am one too."
Ranma's hand slid her gown off of her shoulder as it caressed her arm.
Lina hugged everyone as they stood ready to travel. She came to Ranma last. She gave him a hug before looking deep in his eyes. Then to the shock of all present gave him the biggest wet one they had ever seen. It was hard for Ranma to give her his full attention with the shock and now jealousy flowing from the other girls. At least it wasn't giving way to anger like Akane, but something else he was not sure he liked so much. When he and Lina broke from their kiss and shared one last heartfelt look, he turned to find the senshi giving him a speculative look. He knew that look. He swallowed visibly.
Filia and Milgasia left to inform the Dragons at Dragon's Peak about the successful summon and rally forces to help the humans. Ranma continued training the girls in martial arts, and did not allow the girls to use his power during physical training. They became harder and more lithe as they traveled to Saillune. The girls had taken to cuddling up with him in embarrassing positions when they slept. He needed sleep himself since that was the default re-charge method.
They approached a city with wooden spikes set all around to prevent easy charging of the walls. There were trenches that allowed no straight path to the gate. There were dead trolls and bones everywhere. There were not any human remains anywhere they could see, but then again they were probably buried after battle.
Ranma's danger sense went off, and he looked up to find sorcerers holding spells ready to fire.
"Halt! Who goes there!
"We come from Sairaag to offer aid to this city, and find out information about the enemy," Ranma said.
The guard looked down on them wearily. They had realized that the only evil creatures capable of mimicking looking like a human were mid and high-level Mazoku. Besides, because of their travel on the astral plane, they could not prevent them from entering the city unseen. So pretty much, if it looked human, it was allowed in. He motioned the other guard nearby to start wheeling the gate upward. They opened it just high enough for the group to travel in and closed it behind them.
When they walked in everyone seemed jittery as they watched them walk in with beady eyes. It was like gloom set in on the city. It also seemed smelly and crowded, as there were more people than there should be. Many people did not seem to have a home and where sitting in alleyways or on the street. Ranma stopped a weary guard.
"Do you know where I could find someone named Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune?"
The guard blinked and brought his spear in a defensive position. "What would a commoner like you need with her?"
Ranma looked at him blankly. Ami spoke up, "Hey, didn't Lina say that Amelia was the princess? If that is the case she'd probably be in that castle over there." Ami finished, pointing towards the center of the city.
"Oh. Guess you're right."
Ranma and company began walking that way and the guard ran in front of them and stopped them. "What is your business with the princess!"
Ranma waved him off. Ignoring the threatening spear. "We just need to talk to her. Apparently she used to hang out with some girl named Lina. Lina sent us to come help her."
"I have never heard of this, 'Lina'!" The guard told them.
Ranma tapped his foot impatiently. "Could you send her a message for us to meet us?"
"Why would the princess want to speak with you, commoner?"
Haruka remarked, "Something tells me this war has made people paranoid."
"Gee, you think?" Ranma responded sarcastically. Ranma hovered off the ground and flew towards the castle. "Come on!"
With a chorus of 'Ray Wing!' everyone flew towards the castle at a rapid pace. Until fireballs began streaking through the air towards them. They had the place heavily defended and kept a sharp eye out. It probably also did not help that the guy on the street they had ignored starting ringing the nearest intruder bell. Causing everyone to start ringing their intruder bell, prompting the whole city to began to lock down.
Like a trained jet battalion, Ranma exploded forward faster with the rest of the girls falling back and peeling off to change trajectory, as not to make themselves an easy group target. Ranma decided to land on one of the open balconies. The girls followed shortly after dodging a some magic defensive fire. They did not fire magic at them after they were on the balcony. They probably did not want to risk hitting someone important, which probably means they were near the right place.
"What? The intruder bell!" Amelia was currently with her father looking over a map that marked all the Mazoku's known forces, and all the neighboring kingdom's last reported positions when she heard the bell.
"Report!" Crown Prince Philionel El Di Saillune demanded from the nearest commander. The commander paused to listen to the corporal that just ran in, and turned to the prince. "Intruders. 9 of them. They made it through the sorcerer guards' fire, and landed on the balcony of….," the commander swallowed, "King Eldoran."
The Crown prince blanched before shoving the commander out of the way. Amelia had the right mind to order, "Send out the elite sorcerers and warrior divisions of the castle to the vicinity, immediately. Protect the King!"
She did not even wait for the affirmative before taking off, hot on her father's heels. They ran up steps shoving the guards out of the way, paying no heed to where they fell.
They shoved the guards out of the way that were wearily approaching the intruders, too afraid to cast spells because the king might be hurt.
"Who are you to invade our castle like this? What is your intent!" Prince Phil shouted at the assembled group.
The girls looked wearily around at the defenders before looked at Ranma expectantly. He sighed. He was hoping someone else would explain since he was the master of bad first impressions.
"We are here to help in the war."
Amelia narrowed her eyes and barred her fists. "Then why didn't you enter the normal way?"
"No one would tell us where you were. They're all paranoid. Lina sent us here to find out what was going on. Talk to someone named Amelia."
Amelia's eyes widened. "I'm her. I've never met you before! I've traveled with Lina many times."
"Well," Ami began, "From what Filia said, we were summoned from our world in some sort of prophesy."
Amelia eyes shown recognition. She did remember Filia mentioning a summoning, but had not heard from her in a couple of months. "If that was the case, where is the shinzoku she was supposed to summon?"
"Shinzoku?" Ranma asked, he had never heard the term before.
"It means 'race of gods.' Just like our enemy is mazoku, 'race of demons.'"
Phil looked at them thoughtfully. "You have no idea what that means…" He mumbled. Everyone in theory knew what Shinzoku were. But then again, he had met Gourry. He forgot everything. "If that is the case, were they successful in summoning the Shinzoku?"
"I'm standing right here…." Ranma said sarcastically.
"And we're his priestesses," Usagi said, pointing at herself. "We are defenders of love and justice on our home world!" Usagi held one fist before her in a triumphant and heroic pose.
Amelia's eyes lit up. Suddenly Usagi's hands were being held in the older princess'. "You believe in Justice, too?" Everyone could hear the capital in Justice. For some reason when she said it, chills went up the senshi and Ranma's backs.
"Love and Justice always prevails!" Usagi beamed, unaware of the beast of uber-cuteness she was awakening.
"With Justice on our sides Nothing shall stand in our way!"
Usagi stared at Amelia with big, watery doe eyes. Amelia returned the look.
Haruka muttered, "Someone give me a break…." Michiru lightly elbowed her lover.
The two avid believers of justice alternated hugging and staring into each other's eyes. It was very reminiscent of the father daughter reunion Lina had witnessed before. In other words, so sweet your teeth would fall out.
"Surely we are kindred spirits!" Amelia declared.
The guards at this point started easing their way out the door.
Prince Phil nodded in understanding. "Those who believe in Justice shall always gather when evil appears and triumph over it." He stated in a voice that implied deep wisdom.
Ranma ran a hand over his face. Minako started snickering. Ami was blushing at how embarrassing their once not-so-fearless leader was acting. Rei moaned, "Oh, meatball head."
Makoto turned to Ranma. "Do you know what's going on here?"
Ranma shook his head.
"They like each other very much…" Hotaru said suspiciously oblivious.
"Anyhow…. How about you tell us what's going here on the war front. Lina has been dying to know."
"It's a months travel or more back to Sairaag. She can wait a day or two." Amelia said, still hugging Usagi.
Ranma shook his head. "I can talk to her telepathically."
Amelia blinked. She abruptly dropped Usagi on the floor. "How is Miss Lina doing?"
"She is… tired. But not too bad. She has my energy to draw from now."
Ami explained, "We became his 'priestesses using a ceremony the Dragons use to use holy power."
Amelia squealed. "Holy magic was lost here during the war of the Monster's Fall. Do you know how we could use his power without becoming his priestesses?"
Ami shook her head.
"Well, Lina learned how to do some spell from me that she uses like the dragon slave, but she draws from me. That was before she became a priestess."
"Do you know how she does it?"
Ranma shook his head. "No, but I can ask her."
"But is a thousand miles away!"
[Hey, Lina. How do you do that spell? Eezoon Flare?]
[Hmm. Well. I think I finally figured out the chaos words.]
[The words that represent who you are summoning from and what you are using their power for. I can use power from something if I have a basic understanding, but it'll never work as well as it would as if I had the fuller understanding. That is what I learned when I was figuring out the Ragna Blade that summons on the creator of all.]
Ranma sent the mental equivalent of a nod.
[The odd thing about you is your power isn't really light or dark. It is just… you.]
Ranma nodded to himself, and Amelia seemed to be waiting on edge.
[When I became a god, they told me I was a god and demon.]
[Hmm. That should be powerful. My previous experience with mixed magic was exponentially stronger than the individual spells. I think you just told me the last bit I needed to know to perfect it.]
Ranma tapped his foot impatiently and Amelia seemed to lean toward him in anticipation.
[Light that casts Shadow.
Blue Eyes which shine upon a dark sea.
Lord of Battle who thrives on adversity,
Grant me the Power to defeat
those who challenge our might.
Ranma felt the power drain from him. Instead of a sip, this time it was a gulp of power.
[Uh, Wow. Luckily your shot tends to only annihilate everything only within a sphere of damage, and leaves everything outside of it untouched. Ridiculously destructive, but in a controlled way. Makes sense if you are both god and demon. It feels like I'm channeling less power than a dragon slave, but it is about twice as much destructive.]
"Okay, Amelia, right?"
"The words Lina came up were:
Light that casts Shadow.
Blue Eyes which shine upon a dark sea.
Lord of Battle who thrives on adversity,
Grant me the Power to defeat
those who challenge our might.
Amelia seemed to repeat that to her self for a few moments.
"How powerful is the spell?"
"She said about twice as powerful as the dragon slave. It destroys everything with in the radius of the spell, but leaves everything outside of it untouched."
"I can't wait to try it! My first holy spell!"
Ranma looked at her strangely, but shrugged it off. "Anyway, we came here to help out and find something."
Makoto spoke up. "Find out about the other Dragon Kings. Find where they are at, or their main temple, to see if we can get them to help.
Amelia nodded. " We can search our libraries during your stay."
A few days later Ranma stood behind Prince Phil as he showed Ranma the current status of the battle they had gathered from the agents they placed in all the major cities. Apparently most of the population pulled into the walls of a few of the large cities. They were overcrowded, and food was at an all time low.
"Apparently, Sairaag has fell back to Atlas city. Every major kingdom has had it's people fall back to it's capitol. Mid-Level Mazoku have become a problem, and no one can stop them from killing. They seem to be taking their time even though they could destroy the cities in less than a day. With that many people gathered in one spot, they are just sitting ducks!"
"Lina told me when she left Sairaag that she got a little info from a brass demon. It said that their bosses where gathering shoki for more power. Something about releasing Shabranigdo."
"But, they'd have to find him first!"
"Perhaps we are looking at this wrong…." The head of the Palace Sorcerers proposed. The middle-aged man tapped his chin. "There is one piece that everyone knows where it is at."
Everyone witnessed Amelia's face darken as she realized where. "The Demon King of the North. The piece of Shabranigdo revived during the War of the Monster's Fall. The Water Dragon King only froze him and the body he inhabited there. The amount of power would be ludicrous!"
"Well, Mazoku feed off negative feelings right? The people they torture might be a source?"
Amelia shook her head. "One person is practically only a tasty treat, I imagine."
Haruka and Michiu were with Ranma in the Strategy Room. They insisted to be there since they used to be in charge of the Outer Guard during their ancient empire. The Outer Guard was not just the Senshi, but armies of magical technology and sorcerers.
Michiru spoke up, "Well, if they feed off negative feelings…. Don't they have plenty enough from all the people crammed into all the cities? Because all the farmers and ranchers packed in and went to the cities for protection, food has been scarce. I imagine everyone does not have a place to sleep or bathe. They are starving and theft is high….Perhaps the cites themselves are the energy they are using. I'm sure no one is enjoying these conditions."
Amelia frowned sadly. "We are spending all the Kingdom's coffers on running ships down the river and down the coast, outside where the barrier used to be. Ironically enough, the food makes it most of the time, although it is not enough to keep everyone fed."
Haruka rolled her eyes. "They probably are trying to keep their power source somewhat available. They wouldn't have anyone to feed off of if anyone was dead." At least most of the enemies she had faced as a Sailor Scout didn't think long-term that way. If you destroy the whole human race and steal all of the energy and souls, you'd run out of power eventually. It is like destroying your food source in a feeding frenzy. It's stupid. It just went to prove to her the amount of threat in the intelligence of these creatures called Mazoku they were fighting.
Phil's eyes widened. "They are weakened on the holy ground of the city, due to the fact it is shaped like a magical seal… but while they may not be able to act, doesn't mean they aren't gathering power! They are probably acting unseen, posing as another random face. We'd never be able to find them."
"We should gather forces and attack this enemy they are trying to revive before it happens. Who knows how close the are to accomplishing it." Haruka recommended.
"But how?" Amelia asked. "Everyone can barely defend themselves."
Phil asked, "Isn't Dragons Peak close to there? Dragons can fly, too!"
Amelia's eyes widened and she nodded. "I'm sure the dragons would help… but how would we get them a message?"
Everyone turned to Ranma.
"You've figured out how to summon my power, and a few other of your sorcerers have can too."
The Prince frowned, rubbing his huge, droopy mustache. "But without you and your priestesses, we'd lose a lot of power."
Michiru calmly responded. "Just ask some of us to stay here."
Ranma fidgeted, uncertain.
Michiru, from getting to know him, quickly figured out what his worries were. "Eezoon… We are quite used to risking our lives to defend people. It is was we were born to do. We've been doing it since long before we met you. Technically, long before you were born."
Haruka cut off Ranma's protest. "This city is a capitol of magic. You've seen in the two battles we've had since we arrived, that they do pretty well by themselves. They just need a little help for the bigger things. Most of the time, only a couple of attacks from us will get rid of a mid-level demon. This is somewhat a safer place than probably everywhere else. Just leave Usagi and Hotaru. They can handle it. And although Hotaru might not look like it, she is battle hardened warrior, in her last life and this one." Haruka paused before continuing, "And I have to admit the Princess always comes through in the end. Always."
"If you say so…."
Ranma and all of the girls had their own room with cots that were normally used for solders. Amelia and Prince Phil had offered their own rooms, but Ranma did not want to put them out and flat-refused. Compared to how they were roughing it out, without tents, this was paradise. When Ranma and the Priestess's gathered to discuss plans, Ami reminded them she had yet to finish going through the library.
Ranma scratched the back of his neck embarrassingly. "I forgot about that…."
Ami continued, "And it would be best if some of us stayed behind, in case it takes you a while."
Michiru nodded. "Yeah. We already decided that Usagi and Hotaru should stay behind. Guess you can too.."
Rei sighed at their god's over-protectiveness. "You can always teleport to where we are at if you have to."
Ranma blinked. "I can only teleport to somewhere I've been to."
Minako spoke up, "I figured if we are… like a piece of you, then you can always tell where we are, right?"
"You can go into our minds and can feel where we are at… You should be able to figure out how to teleport to where we are."
Ranma quirked his head sideways thoughtfully. "I suppose I could. Wouldn't be as accurate as if I were there, but I should be able to get close."
Ami's eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Why not?"
"Because yall don't have the same amount of senses I do."
Ami cocked her head thoughtfully, before visually acceding the point with a slow nod.
Just then there was a knock on the door.
Makoto was the closest, so she opened it.
An very old man, with tiny spectacles was in the doorway. He mumbled to himself before realizing the door was opened. He bowed deeply to Ranma. "My Lord."
Ranma waved him off. They man looked thoughtful.
"Yes, yes," He began nodding to himself, "I've found you. I thought you might have something you might want to look at. It is something I've been working on for a while, but turns out the amount of power necessary takes too long to gather, and that makes it almost useless for most use. It would take you the same amount of time to charge it as it would take to do without it."
Everyone blinked at his vagueness.
Ranma bluntly asked, "What're you talkin' about?"
"Well, it started as a thought experiment."
Everyone silently begged him to elaborate with a stare.
"Well… I knew objects can be enchanted with spells, so I attempted a flight spell on a special type of crystal that holds spells well. The small gem floated for a few days before falling. That did not seem to be so bad, so I embedded the gem in a larger object and cast it again. It only lasted an hour."
He stopped to lick his lips and dazed off, lost in thought before resuming, "I found if a magic storage talisman were embedded in the same object, the spell lasted longer than the little amount the spell-holding gem can. Problem is the amount of energy is so high. It would takes weeks of charging to go just to hold an object up for such a prolonged time. So you see, it works but the only problem is…."
Ami finished for him, "Energy. A normal sorcerer cannot power it, and would take forever to charge storage gems. So I assume you mentioned this because you think that Lord Eezoon should have much more energy than a human, and could possibly power such a thing."
The man nodded. "Well, there is another way we are experimenting with, but we have yet to figure a conversion process."
Ranma felt himself getting bored. This sounded like two teachers talking to his ears.
"What conversion process?"
"We figured if we cast large black magic spells we could convert the spell energy back to rudimentary mana."
"But the amount of destructive power! Not to mention black magic is innately destructive! You could never predict the effects!" Ami has spent a lot of time in the library. She took the time to teach the others spells she found useful. But she read up on magical theory and the like.
The man nodded, "But with the new holy magic spell from Lord Eezoon, it might work… but that is still a year or more in the making before we could attempt it."
"I already have the frame designed. I only have to put in all the gems and prepare it for a trip."
"Huh?" Ranma eloquently asked.
Rei rolled her eyes, "What he means is he made a flying ship, but it takes a lot of power, so normally it could not be done. But since you are here, you could power it."
Them man sniffed at her simple explanation, but elaborated, "The Prince thought it would aid you to make your trip quickly."
"Makes sense," Ranma responded.
Ranma and company found themselves in a large shed the size of a barn build near one of the corners of the city. It was where the royal sorcerer's guild trained and studied. There were random items laying everywhere. Something looked like tools and others like odd contraptions. In the middle of the floor was a 50 meter wooden ship. It was sleek, and had no keel like a boat; the bottom was flat. The top looked similar to a small ship and had a deck that was mostly flat, except for an the upraised platform in front were instead of a helms wheel, there was a pedestal with different gems on it. It sat on what appeared to be foldable stilts. They were iron, and had steel wire running along, probably to fold and unfold them. The front was shaped like a water ship. Along the sides there was an 'fin' a little below the top deck that was smooth and made the whole thing look aerodynamic. Instead of sails, it had one post that rose with the Saillune crest at it's peak. It looked about two stories tall. It had a fish fin in the back that was aesthetic and similar to those seen on pirate ships.
The same man that explained it to them was giving orders to handyman and to some of the other sorcerers, marked by their off-white sleek robes that were tied shut with a belt. They ran around checking gems and casting spells.
The man eventually approached and bowed deeply. "Lord Eezoon, The preparations are almost complete. If it goes roughly the same rate as a human flying with raywing, it should take a little over two days to make it to Dragon's Peak.. We are going to give you a small crew consisting of a navigator, helmsman, cook, and a deck hand, for the landing system and to fix other things on the ship."
He motioned for them to follow him and he scuttled up the gangplank onto the main deck. On the aft end of the deck was a ladder well leading down below-decks. They went down two levels, which seemed to be the lowest deck. There were two doors at the bottom, peeking in the rear one, seemed to be a bathroom that had a small shower and a pot that could be assumed to be a sort of toilet. Beside the pot was a huge lever. It probably dropped the waste under the airship. The other, forward, door was into an apparent engineering space. There was a large vertical cylinder that had pole-arms out from it at waist level. It probably was the turning gear for raising and lowering the landing gear. Forward of that were two large balls mounted on a stand.
The old hunched scholar pointed at the top orb that was roughly a meter large. "This is the spell gem for the raywing flying spell." He pointed at orb below it that was blue and two-thirds the size of the red, "This is the spell gem for levitation, so you can 'hover' at slow speeds."
They went up one deck to the one right under the top deck. The forward door was a room lined with bunks and had privacy curtains for changing hanging from the overhead. The aft door was a small kitchen.
Their tour continued back topside onto the main deck. They noticed there was a pedestal on the front of the ship where the steering usually was, and assumed this was the same thing.
They went into the the forecastle which was half the length of the ship, and left room on either side to traverse from forward to aft. It had a door on the forward side and aft side. They went into the aft door.
As they approached the forward part of the room they realized the whole room was lined in baseball sized green gems at waist level. There were three rows of them following the wall.
"Ahem, yes. Yes…. These are the storage gems." Flat, embedded strands of golden metal ran from each of the 100 plus orbs in the bulkhead to the ceiling and onto the stand with the spell orbs. There was also two large inch think strands that appeared from the ceiling, probably from the helm.
"Now, after being filled, they will give off a pale glow. As each gem gets used up, they will go back dull, and stop glowing. Each vertical column of three is one hour of operation. As you can see there is enough to charge it for a week."
The old man shuffled over the beginning of the gems on the port side. "Now, Lord Eezoon, if you could try to charge this with magic?"
Ranma walked up and placed his hand on the orb. He sensed a aching void wanting to be filled. He seriously wondered how they designed things like this. It was not natural. He brought his power to his hand, like he would his chi, and let his firm grasp of the gathered power go. The gem sucked it up greedily. He reached out his senses to feel if it was full. He felt a slight ache and trickled a little more power.
The scholar watched attentively. When he saw that it was full her turned to the Shinzoku. "Was that too draining for you?"
Ranma shook his head. "Wasn't much power at all."
Now, if the old scholar had a care beyond books and experiments, he might be slightly fearful that someone could release an hour worth of a powerful mage's magic power in a couple of seconds and not be winded,, but the scholar was too focused on other things to ever feel fear. At best he would only feel curiosity.
"Do you think you could fill all of these now? That should be enough for a round trip."
"Hmm. Hmmm," the old man nodded. "By your leave, Lord Eezoon."
The old man skittered off mumbling to himself.
Ranma awoke to the feeling of someone drawing his power.
Ami?, Ranma thought. He carefully got off of his cot so as to not wake the priestesses. He padded through the hallway and down the stairs. After a long trek that took him underground he found himself at the royal library. He wadded through the bookshelves and found Ami, leaning back in her chair and seeming to slightly glow with his power.
"Ami?" Ranma queried.
Ami jumped and the glow flickered out. She blushed as she saw him.
"What were you doing?" Ranma asked her. "Something wrong?"
Ami looked away from him shyly. "Just enjoying the feel of your power. Its all I'm going to probably have of you for a little while. There is no telling when I'll see you again."
Ranma did not have any clue what to say to that.
"Come here." Ami beckoned.
Ranma came to stand beside her, and she motioned him to sit. She slid over onto his lap and circled her arms around him. Ranma felt a little nervous, but not as much as before Lina.
"Because I've been in the library so much since we've gotten here, I haven't gotten the opportunity to see you as much as the others."
"Heh." Was Ranma's reply.
"I never knew why the others fussed over men so much until you."
Ranma began to sweat. Ami leaned forward and whispered into his ear, "I know about you and Lina."
Ranma blushed. "Um... that is.. .um..."
"Well, perhaps you should keep the tradition up."
Ami gave Ranma a sweet and sensual kiss on the lips.
"Don't worry," Ami whispered, "I'm the only one down here this time of night..."
Well, here is another chapter. It's a little long, and this is pretty much all new stuff. For those of you who saw the previous posting of Eezoon, before I broke it into chapters, I only had before and after Slayers arc, with a little of the Slayers Arc. Well, since I already know where I want to go, I've got to accomplish and create all the events that make things turn out the way they did once they return. In a way, it makes it a whole lot easier to write this story because I already set up myself a detailed end point for the Slayers arc.
I've actually been sitting on this chapter for a while.