They all sat at the dinner table, Gourry and Lina were gulping down their dinners, fighting as per usual. Zelgadis was trying his hardest to keep a conversation going with the hostess but his efforts fell short when he became completely disgusted with Lina's slurping.
Thankfully, dinner was over within the hour and Zelgadis followed the shrine maiden into the kitchen. "Sylphiel, I need to ask a favor of you," he said softly, his hands linked behind him.
She turned a bright smile on him. "Of course Mr. Zelgadis," she replied, "What do you need?"
"It's... Canthrea. She's going to be studying at the mage guild not far from here and so she'll be staying when we leave...." Zelgadis said shyly, blushing faintly as he spoke.
Sylphiel smiled, lacing her fingers together, "I would be happy to have Ms. Canthrea as a guest here, Zelgadis."
He bowed his head a moment, "Thank you. It means a lot to me."
She blushed faintly, "You...Like her don't you?"
He nodded slightly, "Yes," though he didn't look at her face.
Sylphiel sighed, "I'm sure its hard on Amelia..."
Zelgadis smiled back at her, shaking his head, "She doesn't have a problem with it. We arranged this before coming here. Everything will turn out fine in the end. Good night Sylphiel. Sleep well." He turned then, making his way out of the sparkling kitchen. The black haired young woman blinked a few times.
"I don't see how," she said softly to herself, "I suppose I'll know soon enough." She sighed, praying that things would work out for them.
Zelgadis wandered toward the stairs, about to start up them when Canthrea caught his attention. "Come," she said softly from the sitting room door. He turned his steps toward her, stepping in and noticing the nicely furnished room. It was spacious with a throw rug on the hard wood floor. One whole wall was windows, a door leading out to a blooming garden.
Canthrea led the way out into the garden where she had set up a power circle in the grass. Silently he nodded, stepping carefully to the center of the circle with her. She bowed her head somewhat, whispering in a soft language long dead. At the first sound of her voice the circle in white powder began to glow, whirling light shining upward, like a fountain of light. Zelgadis noticed that it wasn't light that was sprinkling down upon them but the powder from the circle. Suddenly, he found his lips engaged with Canthrea but his urge to return the kiss lessening with every moment until finally he carefully pried her away.
She hung her head, "Its done..." she murmured softly.
Zelgadis lifted a hand and tipped her chin up, "I still think you're beautiful, Canthrea. A very beautiful woman. Good night." He placed a kiss upon her brow and went back inside, leaving her in the remains of her power circle.
"Good night, Zelgadis," she whispered into the night.
* * *
Morning had the group on the road again, minus Canthrea who had waved to them from the door. Sylphiel sniffled, "It must be so hard on you, Ms. Canthrea!" she said softly once they were out of sight, Zelgadis holding Amelia's hand as they walked.
The silver haired woman shook her head, "I'll have my reward tomorrow. I just have to live through today," she said vaguely. "Until then, perhaps you could teach me some of your spells? I'm very interested to know."
Sylphiel smiled sadly, "I could."
* * *
"So Zelgadis, what was that spell Canthrea cast on you last night?" Lina asked.
The young man shook his head, "She was just breaking a spell, I think she was anyway. She may have taken it completely onto herself which would probably be hard to cope with. But by tomorrow she'll be alright."
Lina frowned, "You're not making any sense, Zelgadis. What's going to happen tomorrow?"
Zelgadis smiled slightly, "Sore wa-" he didn't get to say the rest, having gotten fisted in the side.
* * *
"Would you like to come with me today, Sylphiel?" Canthrea asked softly.
The shrine maiden glanced around, "I suppose," she said taking up her cape and clipping it on. They had a long leisurely walk which ended once they got to the mage guild, the tall grass waving on either side. Sylphiel noticed that Canthrea was carrying what looked like Zelgadis's extra cloak folded in her arms.
Canthrea mounted the stairs and tapped upon the door, having it opened to her within seconds. She stepped in, Sylphiel carefully coming in after. "You're just in time, Ms. Canthrea."
She smiled, "Good." Sylphiel watched as Canthrea seemed to actually be excited about something. The Chimera woman hurried forward to watch the door of the Copy Chamber.
Sylphiel's hands came to her mouth, "Oh! I get it! You made a copy of Mr. Zelgadis!" she exclaimed and got a broad wink from Canthrea.
The door slid open, steam swirling out like a living thing. A fully formed figure stood highlighted within but his details could not be seen. Canthrea sprang forward, with the cloak and clothes folded within it, attacking the copied Zelgadis with them.
"Wha- I- where am I?" he asked as he was hurried out of the chamber. Sylphiel gasped, looking upon his silver hair, granite face and smooth stones set around his eyes and on his chin. "Sylphiel- why...." he blinked, completely confused but was once again attacked passionately by Canthrea's lips. Startled, he didn't move for a moment then his arms went around her.
"It doesn't matter where you are, you're mine and I'm yours and we'll be together now and Amelia will be happy and Seyruun will be happy- and Lina will never know!" Canthrea said and snickered evilly.
"I-....Amelia? Where are they?" Kopii Zelgadis asked softly.
"They went to Seyruun, but you'll be staying here with me."
"Canthrea, what happened to your face?"
"I took the curse of your original so that he can be with Amelia," Canthrea explained.
Tears stung his eyes then as he looked down at her. "I'm a copy?" he asked, things suddenly making sense.
"No. You're mine," she said firmly. "And I'm not going to let you agonize over weather you're as good as the other one or not because you're going to be too busy," Canthrea smirked slightly as his eyes widened after a blink. "C'mon, lets go back to Sylphiel's place."
"But we want to know if-" interrupted the owner of the guild and the lead researcher. "If he has the power you say his original does."
Zelgadis would have looked down at his hands but they were busy holding Canthrea, instead, he found his eyes meeting hers. "You know.. I think I got the better end of the deal," he murmured with a slight smile.
"I knew you'd see it my way," Canthrea smirked and they shared a deep kiss once more.