Disclaimer: I do not own Slayers or any of it's characters. If I did, Xellos would be the star. Since he's not, It belongs to someone else.
Depraved work of Valeria H
There was nothing wrong with introducing oneself with an edge of mystery, even if there was something very wrong with ones nature. But Xellos, Mysterious Priest, never concerned himself with what others thought of him. Well, that wasn't entirely accurate; humans provided him with infinite amusement as well as a nutritious meal of varied and complex emotions. If they were moving towards the point he was ordered to influence them to, then his consideration of their feelings stopped there.
Now would be a good example of that. A summons had been issued for him and he was required to obey. A village was causing a minor...inconvenience. The peasants should have remained in their ignorant bliss, but they had sought to better their existence and discovery of a Clair Bible Manuscript would do that for you. Well, at least until someone learnt of that finding. Now there was no choice but to eradicate all memory of the unearthing, as well as the knowledge that the script held. Although, perhaps a little peek wouldn't harm anyone, least of all his mistress.
As Beastmaster's Priest it was Xellos' duty to serve his mistress' interests. As such, he was obligated to play the part of the pawn, all to move humans to become unknowing pawns in her game. Although, there were certain pawns who knew all too well just what game he was ordered to play and just what piece they were being used as. As such they were wary of his interest and tried to avoid his involvement as much as possible. A certain red headed sorcery genius was proof of that.
The spunky sorceress drew his thoughts to a place he'd rather they not visit. He was performing his duties and now was not the ideal time for reminiscing. But those seemed to be visiting this forbidden ground a lot lately. It had seemed a safe solution when he had first thought of it, but now he knew it was fraught with peril. When one takes the advice of Lina Inverse, you had best be prepared for the disastrous consequences forthcoming.
* * *
"So, are you going to tell us this time what Mazoku plot you've gone and thought we were the best people to deal with. Which, we totally are by the way." One ruby eye winked in his direction and a swish of vivid red hair was applied for added drama. "Who could resist me, talent and beauty combined into one superior being." Disillusioning her could be awkward and would be attempted only by beings more foolish than Xellos.
"Huh, there's someone else here that Xellos wants to ask for help?" Ah, the idiot assistant was present. Of course, Lina rarely travelled without Gourry Gabriev anymore. Though how he put up with the violent assault that he continued to walk straight into for so long was a mystery. He only hoped that others from their party were not in the general vicinity.
While this argument could be interesting, it wasn't solving his problem. Gourry was present but that would be acceptable; no doubt he wouldn't have a clue as to what they were discussing but Lina was in full rant mode now and nothing was going to prevent her from torturing her favourite toy. Perhaps something low key was needed to refocus their attention. A free meal? He had some issues to resolve and an answer was required immediately.
The beating was over already? He must have been more distracted than he had considered to have missed the alteration of emotion. There was no way that he would permit her to see him off guard. Best to fall back on safe ground. "Ah, well that is a secret. However there is something I need your advice on. I've been feeling...odd recently. I've been thinking a lot about...non-Mazoku things and I feel warm whenever I see Ze – ze – zebra's! My mind won't concentrate either." Some sorcery genius, confused already, but he needed her to wander from the treacherous path of impossible fantasy and onto a more logical one. "Look, forget about the in depth analysis. Is there a cure?"
There was serious consideration as the sorcery genius wrapped her mind around the newly divulged information. Though a somewhat desperate decision, he knew this had been the right choice.
"Ah, are you sure you don't just have a crush Xellos" The idiot accomplice speaks once more. Maybe he should have been removed before the baring of souls began. Now she was wandering away from logical reasoning and getting ideas, never a good start for maintaining one's safety. Well, there was still time for the certain assistants to be removed. No, bad Xellos. Lina will not remain as cooperative (in the loosest sense of the word) as she had in the past with a dead assistant and no Sword of Light to show for it.
And then the serious facade snapped causing his worst nightmare to begin. "This is...you can't be...how can you not...ahahahaha..." The laughter was endless. Didn't she realise that this situation was not funny, it was serious. After all, it was his problem.
"Um, what are you all doing?" Oh no! Who could be this cruel? He turned, face burning (with shame he told himself) to confront the newest addition to their deep and meaningful. Zelgadis Greywords, unfortunate chimera, had obviously returned to travelling with the party of insanity. He was not alone either as an idealistic Amelia accompanied him, laden with food.
"Why Mister Xellos, what are you doing here?" Who cared about the reasons. Food, distract Lina! Go!
"Xellos...has a...a crush on...ahahahaha...." It was still going. Surely her air supply had to forfeit soon! How could she find this even remotely fascinating with food in the vicinity? Gourry had already been sidetracked by the morsels but that wasn't exactly a victory as two more, slightly more intelligent creatures, had joined the fray instead.
The stars began to shine in Amelia's eyes and he knew she was warming up for a speak on love or justice or some other painful topic. "Oh, Mister Xellos, are you pining for your lost love?"
Oh. My. Dark. Lord. He'd wished his assumption had been wrong, he really did.
"Is it Miss Filia?"
The death glare he loosened on the young princess should have promised an agonising fate. As it was, it was somewhat tempered by the ridiculous glow of his cheeks, the unrestrained mirth of Lina echoing in the background and the distracted nature of his thoughts. He had to focus!
The quirk of stone warped lips made him want to vanish in shame and they certainly weren't doing anything to help his concentration. What was it that was so amusing? Mazoku could have feelings too and there had to be something flowing through their bodies that could flow elsewhere! Or perhaps it was less amusement and more of a mocking edge to those hidden thoughts. Oh dear, he had been degraded to a level of human contempt. But despite this he still wanted his hands to start at the neck and slowly trail down...
No, no, no. Must not think of things like that. Only a path of destruction and pain was likely to exist in that direction. It would start with an angry shaman's ire at having the little remaining innocence toyed with. Following it would be a ancient chant and a vengeful Dragon Slave hurled in his general direction. But that was nothing to the piece de resistance, the horrid wailing of "But Mr Xellos, you were such a good person." That would be really painful, as well as an attack to his ego. Good, like he was human!
Mission to gather possible remedies for infliction – Failure. Xellos had no new cures to wander in search of and only a ridiculous notion to show for consulting the Mazoku's favourite sorcery pawn. The only thing that was certain was that Lina's incredulous laughter would be haunting him for a while.
* * *
It was unquestionably haunting him now. His nature was one of Mazoku, an evil being known to manipulate human emotion for his own feast. Yet here he was, tormented by even the faintest wisp of memory towards that. What had the Mother of All, the Lord of Nightmares, been on when she constructed his fate to be like this? If he had a supply of it now perhaps he could see where her mind had been taking her, or at least feel marginally better for a time. Though he had been aware of her capricious nature, he'd never considered that she'd sink to this just for entertainment. He hated that he could describe his actions as pining and he knew the sorceress was doing so now, no doubt as loudly as her formidable vocal cords would allow her.
Why had he confided his problems to her? Oh, right, he was losing his feverish grasp on sanity. When he had questioned his mistress she had been vague and unaware as to how to assist him, but the secretive twist of her feral lips confirmed that she understood what affliction he was suffering from. Since Mazoku aid could not be relied on and Ryuzoku assistance was likely to consist of eradication he had turned to his only salvation. He had honestly thought that a human perspective on the situation would be of assistance and obviously he had been correct. But that assumption would now be his demise at the malicious smile befitting a Mazoku Lord that had presented itself to him. Now his illness was redefined as – ugh, how he despised this definition especially in relation to himself – pining.
How had it ended up like this? He had not been raised this way, to consider another at even remotely the same degree of importance as himself. He understood the desire to possess and be the only one to do so; he was Mazoku, it was what was done! But all the detestable other things he wanted out of this could just be returned. He had never sought another's regard, nor desired it returned. Wanting another to be happy was certainly a first as well as trying to assist in finding that happiness. It was going to put a real damper on all the fun he could have from now on. No more reckless abandon; consideration for another's feelings would replace that!
This would not do. Xellos was very fond of the horrors he could inject daily into human consumption and any further preoccupation with the current focus of his thoughts would drain the enjoyment from the debacle he was preparing. He had blushed, an utterly useless action that he hadn't felt the need to indulge in before. Now he had to prove that he was still Mazoku and worthy of that title. But he still couldn't help wondering how another particular hopeless quest was going. Would happiness ever be gifted to...
He shook that stigma from his mind. Focussing on the task at hand, he prepared himself for the forthcoming despair. It wasn't the best source of food, but at present his favourite food source made him feel...awkward. So, despite all the evidence and even the name for the emotion, he would not accept it. He was sick! Or worse! There, the ultimate justification to what was happening had presented itself and that was a more feasible explanation to what was happening to him.
"I must be dying." It couldn't be anything else and certainly not...that wretched title.
As the cries sounded in the distance, he turned his back to their suffering in favour of searching for the cure. How ironic that he and his zebra would share a similar ultimate goal of a cure that was impossible to find.
* * *
AN: Thanks to Rose Thorn for her review. It really helped me to improve upon the original and narrow down which parts were screaming for alteration. Hopefully this read better.