A/N: A Magic Knight Rayearth one shot. Magic Knight Rayearth and its characters are owned by CLAMP, not me. The only character that belongs to me is Leah. Takes place during "The Truth about Inouva and the Return of Memories!" episode. This is a prequel to my previous one shot "Undying Loyalty". This fic is rated PG-13 for violence. Flames are not welcome.
Leah was feeling slightly irritated with Zagato. He had refused to return Inouva to his original form in order for him to attempt to defeat the Magic Knights once again. She was sure that Zagato had his reasons for refusing and that he meant well, but she still thought he was being unreasonable and ridiculously overprotective. Sure, Inouva was defeated the first time, but it was only because Fuu succeeded in reviving the Rune-God of Wind, and Inouva was not able to use all of his powers as a humanoid. If he were to battle the Magic Knights in his true form, there was no way those pesky little viruses would stand a chance, unless luck was on their side. But as far as she was concerned, a lucky streak could only last for so long. Leah decided to urge Inouva to try asking Zagato to revert him to his original form. And to make sure he won, she wanted to fight by his side, even if it meant that she would lose her life. This would also give her an opportunity to redeem herself from her previous failure. She left her luxurious bedroom and went to look for Inouva. A strand of her long indigo colored hair fell out of the hair clip that kept it in place.
'Oh screw it,'thought Leah, feeling slightly annoyed. As bothersome as the tickling feeling on her neck was, she was going to leave it that way, for she had other things to worry about. She knew that getting Zagato to relent was like pulling teeth, but it certainly would not stop her from trying. She found Inouva on his way to Zagato's throne room. He registered her presence. "It's just you."
"You're going to see Lord Zagato again?" Leah asked Inouva. 'Please, PLEASE say yes…I don't want to have to scold you.'
"That I am," answered Inouva.
Leah was glad to hear that. She believed that if he really wanted to do something, he shouldn't give up. And it showed that he wasn't intimidated by Zagato. Secretly, she felt a tad jealous of Inouva's closeness to Zagato. Sometimes she felt like Zagato didn't appreciate her. She wondered what she had ever done for Zagato to treat her that way.
"Well, I'll be going now…come if you please." Inouva's tone was a bit gruff, almost as if he did not want her to come. She didn't think anything of it; instead, she followed him without a word.
(Zagato's throne room)
Zagato was on his throne, relaxing. He had just come from checking up on Princess Emeraude. As usual, she begged him to cease the war, telling him that the damage could not be undone at this rate. Although he frankly didn't care, the incessant flow of her tears made his heart ache. He felt that it would be nice if she realized that he was doing it for her sake. At that moment, Inouva and Leah entered the throne room. Inouva bowed respectfully to Zagato. "Lord Zagato, what is the condition of Princess Emeraude?" he asked.
"She's the same. Her heart has not wavered since the battle first began. Her tears did not stop for a single moment," Zagato answered.
That didn't surprise Leah one bit, but it didn't stop her from thinking that Princess Emeraude was a fool. She believed that it was futile for Emeraude to try to fulfill the legend. Sometimes she didn't understand what Zagato saw in her. She thought Emeraude was such a crybaby. But she knew better than to say such a thing in Zagato's presence, so she kept quiet.
"Alcyone, Caldina, Ascot, Lafarga could not defeat the Magic Knights, and of course, neither I nor Leah were able to," said Inouva.
Leah's dark eyes glazed over. She certainly didn't need reminding that she was defeated in her battle against the Magic Knights, as it was a pretty humiliating defeat. Her ego had been bruised quite a bit, especially considering that she was quite a powerful sorceress of dark magic. She was even more powerful in her true form, which was one of the reasons why she wanted another chance. She gave Inouva a look that said, 'stop stalling and ask him.'
Inouva didn't pay attention, though. Not that Leah had to wait another minute. He went on to ask Zagato to grant him one more chance to eliminate the Magic Knights. "They may have defeated me in this form, but if I were to revert to my original form, I would be able to use all of my powers. My lord, I ask that you consider what I am saying. I know that the only reason you kept me by your side was because I was a gift from Princess Emeraude. Please return me back to what I was before any of this every happened my lord." He knew he was babbling, but he was a little desperate, especially since chances were that Zagato would say no.
"Inouva," Zagato began. This was something he did not want to do. Before he could express his doubts about it, Leah asked for a chance to redeem herself from her previous failure. "I would like to fight alongside Inouva. I know that with our combined powers, we will be unstoppable, my lord," she said.
"I do not wish to be disappointed a second time. A failure like you cannot possibly be of any help to Inouva," Zagato said nonchalantly.
Leah couldn't believe Zagato's flat refusal. The other minions have had more than one chance, and not only that, she would be deprived of fighting by the side of the one she loved. Sometimes Zagato's stubbornness drove her crazy. She honestly felt like smacking him. But she knew better than to openly show her anger.
"Lord Zagato, please," begged Leah. A piercing glare from Zagato silenced her.
"Leah," barked Inouva, "Lord Zagato's decision is final!"
Leah pouted. "Fine, then," she said coolly. Inwardly seething, she stiffly walked out of the throne room. Zagato watched this with an amused expression on his face. He considered her to be quite bratty and infantile at times, but at the same time her exit made things easier for him.
Inouva considered going after her, but decided to wait until he was done speaking with Zagato.
"Please just give me a chance to repay you for always keeping me at your side, even if only because I was given to you as a gift," Inouva requested.
"Inouva, you are not ordinary. You are a creature with the highest magical powers, and that is the only reason I was able to turn you into a human as you wished," Zagato pointed out.
Inouva understood that, and felt that maybe it was selfish of him to ask Zagato to transform him back. After all, he wished to become a human so that he could wield a sword and command those who were gathered to defeat the Magic Knights. However, he was not able to use all of his powers as a human, and considering that the girls from another world had survived for this long, he would need to be at his strongest.
"Once you revert to your previous form, you will never again be able to take a human shape," Zagato reminded him.
Inouva nodded. "Yes, I understand that, Lord Zagato."
There was something Zagato didn't understand. Neither of his henchmen have been extremely devoted to him before. Well, actually, Alcyone and Leah tried, but failed miserably. He decided to find out whether Inouva was devoted to him for a shallow reason or not.
"Inouva, why do you remain so devoted to me?" he asked.
Inouva was taken aback. What made Zagato decide to ask that? Did he not appreciate Inouva's loyalty? "I have seen you beside the princess all this time, and I have seen you reveal your emotions as well. Cephiro is the land of the will. There is no chance your wish will not come true."
"You say that, even though it is an evil wish that will destroy everything of value in Cephiro?" Zagato asked incredulously.
"Nooo, let them call you evil, Lord Zagato, it does not matter to me. The only thing of importance to me is that you meet your goal," Inouva told the raven haired high priest.
Zagato finally agreed, and he raised a hand in a mystic gesture. It began to glow and emit a golden flash of light. Inouva screamed in pain as the transformation was in process. Once complete, he was a wolf- like creature. His human clothing dropped onto the ground and he howled. He disappeared from the throne room, and went to see Leah. He found her fanning herself. She looked up. "Oh," she said in an emotionless tone. "It's you."
Inouva could see that she was still angry about what happened in the throne room. He knew that in spite of the fact that she could be an explosive person, she really meant well. That made him regret what happened.
"I apologize, Leah. Not to worry, I will return, and when I do, I will make it up to you," said Inouva.
Leah softened a smidge. "I will hold you to that. In the meantime, be careful." She bent over and kissed Inouva on the nose. Though she knew that she should have faith in him, a part of her was afraid that she would not see him again.
Inouva was a weensy bit surprised by the kiss. Still, he had to admit that he loved the feeling. "That I will," he reassured her. In an instant, he disappeared.
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu continued their journey to find the remaining Rune-God. The recent communication with Master Mage Clef made them more determined to do so. They just couldn't allow Cephiro to crumble. Not after they had come as far as they had. All of a sudden, lightning flashed in the dark and dreary sky, and evil laughter was heard. The girls were caught off guard and frightened, Umi especially. "What the hell was that?"
Hikaru looked up to see where the voice was coming from. On top of a cliff was a white wolf-like creature. It looked up at the sky and howled.
"What is that?" Hikaru wondered.
The creature emitted lightning at the 3 girls. They were barely able to dodge the attack. "That beast is trying to kill us!" Hikaru stated.
The beast spoke. "Little girls from another world!" it roared.
Umi nearly jumped out of her skin. Of all the enemies she and the other girls faced so far, this one was the creepiest. And the worst part was that she didn't know what it wanted. Fuu couldn't put her finger on it, but the voice sounded familiar.
"Girls from another world," the wolf-like creature repeated, "I'm afraid I cannot let you go any further!" The beast known as Inouva attacked the Magic Knights again. They screamed in pain.
Inouva gave an evil laugh; he liked seeing the Magic Knights on their knees. He was determined not to allow the girls to defeat him again, and considering that he was now able to use all of his abilities, the odds of that happening were slim to none. Unless, of course, they figured out his weak spot, but he didn't think they were intelligent enough to figure it out.
Leah was feeling reasonably calm again. She re-entered the throne room. Zagato barely acknowledged her entrance. Nevertheless, she gave him a polite nod to show her manners. She noticed that Inouva's cape was on the floor. She picked it up and wrapped it around her shoulders. 'Inouva,' she thought, 'please return safe and sound.' She couldn't bear the thought of losing Inouva to those annoying girls from another world. Not that their chances of defeating him were great, now that he was battling them in his true form. Those girls had a way of outwitting their enemies when it was least expected. 'Wait, what am I thinking? Those imbecilic girls are weaklings compared to Inouva.'
The Magic Knights found themselves in a dire situation. Inouva's attacks left them severely bruised. They had to do something, but what could they do? Inouva's speed was incredible. Fuu groaned in pain. "We have to do something before he tries to finish us off."
Umi was thoroughly annoyed at this point. "All right, enough fooling around! Tell us who you are!"
Inouva laughed at this. "It is I, Magic Knights. Don't you recall our encounter at the sky shrine?"
"He said the sky shrine…" mumbled Hikaru.
Fuu recalled the battle with Inouva when she revived the Rune-God of wind. "So you're Mr. Inouva?" she asked.
"Very perceptive, Magic Knight," Inouva replied. He attacked once more. Umi had enough.
The attack had no effect on Inouva. Umi was frustrated at this point. "Don't tell me that magic doesn't work!"
Inouva laughed again. "You cannot win against me!"
The battle continued to be in Inouva's favor. Things were looking abysmal for the girls until Ferio contacted them and revealed Inouva's weak spot to them-the gem on Inouva's forehead. He got this information from Princess Emeraude.
'It's about time,' Umi thought. However, there was one small problem. She and Fuu still needed to rest.
But Hikaru had other plans. "Umi...take care of Fuu, okay?"
Umi objected to Hikaru fighting alone...but there was not much of a choice. Hikaru aimed an attack at the gem. The gem cracked, and Inouva gave a bloodcurdling howl of defeat.
"My lord...Zagato…goodbye Leah, my sweet." Those were Inouva's final words before he disappeared.
Leah gasped when she sensed Inouva saying goodbye to her. She could no longer sense him, and when she saw Zagato's grim expression, she knew what had happened.
"Inouva….nooooooooooooooooo!" she cried. She dropped down on her knees and started sobbing hysterically. She felt as if her heart had been slashed by a knife. "You said that you would return to me…it isn't fair! You lied to me!"
Of course, it was Princess Emeraude who had a hand in giving the Magic Knights the information about Inouva's weakness. Considering the fact that her grief and heartache prevented her from thinking clearly, that was the last thing on her mind. All she could think about was that her love was no more. She remained hunched over, as if she had been stabbed.
Zagato decided to leave the throne room, for Leah's crying was much too loud for him to tolerate any longer. Leah didn't seem to notice, though. She was too busy wallowing in her grief. "NOOOOOOOOOO!" she screamed again.
To be Continued in "Undying Loyalty"