Episode 150: Finale! Every End Brings A Beginning
It was the final effort against the Stillness. Lina had come up with a plan, which she quickly finished explaining. "Xellos, you'll be forcibly pulling Shabranigdu's energy from the Stillness' grasp along with me, but this won't be a double Dragon Slave." The crafty red haired sorceress got the idea from when she saw Amelia and Zelgadis casting Ra-Tilt together before. "This will only be one Dragon Slave casted by both of us. You better make sure not to fall out of rhythm, but don't strain yourself and put your life in danger either. I'll be counting on you to talk Beast Master into throwing a victory banquet for us when this is over with more of her delicious cooking!"
"She better not include dragon cuisine in the menu!" Filia protested.
"Dragon cuisine is the food of champions," Xellos teased, "of course we need to have some of that."
"You piece of raw garbage, we'll discuss this later!" Filia growled and went back to concentrating on calling out to Luna.
"Zelgadis," Lina continued handing out strategic roles in the final effort. "Prying Shabrannigdu's energy off the Stillness won't be easy, especially if it goes on the attack with those draining waves of light again. Keep the Stillness busy with astral attacks!"
"I'll give it everything!" Zelgadis assured.
"Amelia, we'll be counting on you to watch over all of us," Lina set the final piece in place. "Heal us with your magic and keep our spirits high!"
"I'll make sure we all continue our wonderful lives together!" Amelia cheered.
Thus the group effort against the ultimate enemy continued, against one that was in a sense the opposite of the Mother of All Things, and thus the opposite of all of them.
"Source of all souls which dwell in eternal and infinite..." Zelgadis called upon power from the astral side.
"Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows, buried in the stream of time is where your power grows..." Xellos and Lina chanted in perfect unison.
"Ivory beyond white, everlasting infinite light..." Receiving Ceifeed's power from Luna, Filia casted a powerful holy spell.
It was something against nothing, existence against nonexistence, chaos against emptiness. Gourry protected the group from the attacking zombies, using his skills and speed to move around them, not allowing any of the zombies to reach his precious friends.
"Everlasting flame of blue, let the power in my soul be called forth from the infinite... Ra-Tilt!" Weakened by Zelgadis' attack, the Stillness was losing its grip on Shabranigdu's power.
"I pledge myself to conquer all the foes who stand, before the mighty gift bestowed in my unworthy hands..." Xellos and Lina continued simultaneously.
"Brightness that pierces the night, by your endless power destiny ignites..." Filia continued her spell as well.
To the tune of the improvised rhymes of the 'life is wonderful' song, Amelia constantly casted healing magic to make sure everyone maintained the strength and stamina needed to play their respective roles.
As soon as the Ra-Tilt was released, Zelgadis started casting another one, empowered by Amelia's healing magic. "Source of all souls which dwell in eternal and infinite..."
"Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess..." Xellos and Lina had amassed a good amount of Shabranigdu's energy, forcibly stealing it from the Stillness.
"Let the world be purified by your might..." Filia was almost done with her spell.
"Everlasting flame of blue, let the power in my soul be called forth from the infinite..." Zelgadis' second Ra-Tilt was almost ready to attack.
"I won't allow this... I won't allow this world to exist!" In a final desperate effort, the silver mist glowed brightly, trying to drain away what little life was left on the surface of the planet, along with the planet itself.
xoxox xox xoxox
In Seyruun, Philionel, Naga, Gravos, Jillas, Elena, Palou and the people of Seyruun felt as if their very existence was being drained. The most recent zombie attack had just ended and Philionel was in the middle of addressing the city and all those present in it when they felt the attack from the astral side. "The enemy is reaching out to us in desperation! That means our comrades are almost victorious, we cannot let their efforts go to waste! We cannot allow the enemy to use our own energy against us!"
"Ah! Ha ha ho ha ha!" Naga laughed loudly and vigorously. "I came to Seyruun to make sure the world could go on after the battle, to make sure there was a place our brave heroes could return to, a place we could all call home." Her royal roots started to show as she addressed her people as a princess would. "Seyruun was and still is one of the places that is keeping the world alive. We are supporting life itself. It's up to us to do our part to help save the world. Everyone, hold on to life, wish to live with all your heart, think of the brave victory that lies ahead! Laugh with all your might and let us celebrate that we're alive!" Naga cheered. "Ah! Ha ha ho ha ha!" Everyone who was gathered actually started laughing with Naga, not caring about how obnoxious they were. Their combined will sent a rush of positive energy towards the Stillness as it helplessly tried to steal their life force, only to have it work against it.
xoxox xox xoxox
At Taforashia, Pokota had been addressing his people as well. "Our will to live will save us. Be strong, let's show that we can't be erased!"
Similar situations were taking place all over the world, including Dragon's Peak where Milgazia's clan was putting up a strong resistance against the Stillness.
xoxox xox xoxox
At Wolf Pack Island, Zangulus, Martina and Sylphiel stood surrounded by wolves. "We're defending a monster lord's territory, but I guess it's okay this time," Sylphiel concluded.
"I'm pretty sure our boss' boss will be pleased with this," Zangulus agreed. "And these wolves are actually pretty good battle comrades." He patted one of the many ferocious wolves that Zelas kept on her island. Though they wouldn't normally allow humans near them without ripping them apart, they were used to having certain humans around when Beast Master said it was okay and acted more like puppies than wolves with those few exceptions.
"They're adorable once they know who their allies are," Martina agreed. "With the reward Lord Beast Master will give us we can rebuild the kingdom of Zoana and maybe even build a shrine to Zoamelgustar and a shrine to Beast Master! Ah! He he ha he he!"
Fang came running over in his semi-human form, with little Val flying by his side in dragon form. "Val is a fast learner; I've taught him a few tricks that are useful for battle!"
Sensing something in the atmosphere, Sylphiel pointed it out. "Do you sense that? It feels like the enemy is trying to drain our energy. I can't allow that!"
"The Stillness has another thing coming if it thinks it can steal energy from us!" Zangulus resolutely declared.
"We're too strong for it! Right, Val?" Fang cheered.
Val was all too happy to agree, "right!"
"We're protected by Zoamelgustar and by Beast Master, we can't be defeated!" Martina shouted victoriously.
xoxox xox xoxox
In a random little town where human survivors had gathered, Zelas was wrecking havoc. "Are you just going to give up? Are you just going to die? Feel fear, feel anger, feel a thirst for vengeance, feel alive!" Fighting a hopeless situation depressed people, but when the problem was an enemy rather than a seemingly hopeless situation, having a face to blame for their trouble gave people a target for their efforts. With that came the motivation to bring forth those efforts seeking vengeance, even if it was an impossible revenge.
The townspeople fought against the wolves that accompanied Zelas with no real chance of victory, but a stubborn lively determination. They didn't know she was planning to spare their lives to use their frustration to feed her monsters. This also contributed against the stillness because even negative emotions could encourage living when they fueled a strong fighting spirit. The monster lords couldn't get too close to the Stillness and the atmosphere was uncomfortable to them, but they were far stronger than regular monsters and could still put up a fight.
In other survivor settlements across the world, Dolphin and Dynast were bringing terror to the citizens in a similar way to Zelas. They never truly understood all of the complex details of the hidden truth, but they knew this was a good way to generate anger, fear and despair. The kind of negative emotions that had some substance to them, rather than that empty sorrow of quiet acceptance that tried to overtake the world. Overall, Zelas was enduring much better than the other monster lords because of the links she cunningly constructed with the chaotic living creatures of the world.
xoxox xox xoxox
In the main battle field, Gourry continued his efforts until every zombie had fallen to his powered up sword and the Stillness could no longer call anymore undead minions, as it braced itself for the impact of the powerful magic that was about to assault it.
"Resurrection!" Amelia extended her magic to the other spell casters for one final boost of power.
"Ra-Tilt!" Zelgadis released his spell, opening the path for the final blow.
"Dragon Slave!" Lina and Xellos released their team-casted spell.
At the same time, "Heaven Light!" Filia released the spell she had been casting with Luna's energy.
The magic hit the Stillness all at once, causing the silver mist to glow in all the colors visible to the eye as it finally began to fade away. The Stillness' final effort to drain away the energy from the people left on the planet backfired and it continued to disintegrate without a defense against the power of its opponents' magic and will to live. "It is not my end, not until everything ends!" The Stillness screeched as the silvery mist that formed it started to fade away.
Lina had begun to cast another spell soon after the Dragon Slave she casted with Xellos was released. "Multiply my humble speed, let all my energy be freed, to quickly do as I please, accelerate all my deeds. Haste!" Lina was drained from the battle and using a haste spell would only cause the remainder of her life to be drained away faster. Her hair was already starting to lose its color from her dangerously low energy level. Yet she knew this was necessary. "I won't let you escape; you won't retreat to come back again!"
The Stillness was an inch away from being completely destroyed and Lina knew they couldn't afford to go through a battle like this more than once. This enemy had to be defeated permanently now. "Invisible links of the chain, which binds all in this plane, make the target's struggle vain, follow the inescapable lane! Pursuit!" Lina casted the spell on herself, linking herself to the Stillness so that it wouldn't get away. This time it was different from the way the spell was used in the past. Probably because of the properties of the atmosphere where they were, Lina could clearly see a chain of astral energy linking her to the Stillness and dragging her along as it faded away.
"Lina!" Gourry struggled to reach Lina, but there was no way he could get to her fast enough. He could hear everyone calling out her name, none of them would be able to reach her. No one would be able to stop the Stillness from taking her away; Lina had chained herself to it. "Lina, take this!" Gourry couldn't reach her, but he could at least lend her his sword. Lina caught the dragon horn sword just in time as she faded away completely along with the Stillness. "Lina... Please win and come back like you always do."
xoxox xox xoxox
Lina held on to Gourry's sword as she went through a tunnel of light, the astral chains binding her to the silver mist ahead. "Human, there is nothing you can do. This is my final ability, the power of rebirth. I was destroyed back there, but I was not erased. What I have learned, I'll take it back with me to the past and come back stronger. This war will be repeated until I win and I know this second time will be the last!"
"So you're going to the past to merge with the past Stillness. That would create a paradox that would shake the very foundations of the world and make it that much more chaotic!" Lina threatened.
"It doesn't matter, because all that chaos will be gone in the end. The world will simply be even more imperfect than it already is!" The Stillness argued. "Don't you know? The illusion of logic is nothing but a lie, because the chaotic world is a mass of energies pushing and pulling with the random whims of those who inhabit it. You strive to create the effect that you expect and call it logic. Yet in the end the chaos of the world is ready to make it burst at the seams at all times with all its inexplicable phenomenon, starting with life itself. Existence is illogical, what is to live? What is to be? What is to exist? It is all imperfect chaos!" The Stillness bitterly accused.
"Bitterness," Lina observed, "even you who are nothing have become an entity. Hypocrite, if not for the chaos that contaminates you, you wouldn't exist. Since you hate chaos so much, I'll be taking it away, leaving you as a pure nothing that will forever fade into the emptiness of nonexistence! I will not allow you to reach the past! I was the one who caused the Lord of Nightmares to stop shielding the world for a moment and set the cycle of the end in motion. In a stubborn foolish whim that only a chaotic existence such as a human could have, I exchanged the world for the life of the man I love... Even though no one has directly blamed me, this time I'm going to take responsibility for my actions!"
'I allowed you to live even after you gave up everything, do not expect it to happen again...' Lina remembered the words spoken to her by the Mother of all Things.
"This sword's blade is made of dragon horn and the hilt is infused with monster energy, the dragons and the monsters, the representatives of the opposing forces that fuel the chaos of the world. Let this blade be tempered with the energy of the Mother of All Things, the Lord of Nightmares!" Lina shouted with unbreakable determination.
'I have been avoiding using this type of spell since your warning. I know I shouldn't abuse this power, but this time I'm not giving up anything. This time there's not a hint of desperate resignation in me,' Lina called out to the Mother of All Things in her thoughts.
With the power of chaos surrounding her, Lina chanted a powerful spell, using the dragon horn sword to channel it. "Lord of dreams that terrify, sword of cold and darkness, free yourself from the heaven's bonds. Become one with my power, one with my body and let us walk the path of destruction together! Ragna Blade!"
The dark chaotic energy of the Lord of Nightmares covered the sword becoming one with it as Lina attacked the Stillness one final time. The blade cut through the silvery mist, dissolving it truly and completely by absorbing anything related to chaos into it and leaving the Stillness as a pure nothing that could not exist. Finally, the Stillness was no more. The Ragna Blade faded from Lina's hand, the sword in its core being reduced to dust along with Lina's body, leaving her with a ghostly appearance.
Lina looked into the distance and saw the Sea of Chaos. A ghostly Tiffany that, other than being partially transparent looked like her original self, floated towards the Sea of Chaos. "This isn't your place, Lina. Don't you hear him calling you?"
Lina focused and she could hear it, faintly at first, then almost as clearly as if he were standing right next to her, it was Gourry's voice. "I hear him and I'm sure Celo is calling out to you too."
"He is..." Tiffany smiled with more warmth than anyone would guess a ghost could have. "But I don't have enough energy left to answer right now and he understands that. You're still charged with chaotic energy, so you can go back, you can be restored to how you used to be."
"Sorry for all the trouble I caused..." Lina apologized.
"It's okay," Tiffany assured. "You are the manifestation of chaos, acting rashly and evolving as a result is part of change, of motion, of life. I am free from the End and for that I'm thankful. Now go, Lina Inverse, let the strong emotion of the rush of a chaotic moment take you back to those who wait for you. Go and be alive!"
The ghostly Lina nodded with a bittersweet smile as she looked towards the blue sphere with patches of green and swirls of white, surrounded in a red glow of magical energy, that was her world. "Victory banquet, here I come!" Surrounded by a bright chaotic light, Lina flew towards the world from whence she came.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Lina... Lina... Lina..." She slowly opened her eyes and saw Gourry's smiling face with a background of clear blue skies. The group had returned to the surface and were at Zelgadis' island. "How do you feel, Lina, are you okay?"
Lina smiled, glad to be back. "I'm better than okay, we won, the Stillness is gone for good." She took in her surroundings, glancing around. Amelia, Zelgadis, Filia, Xellos and Celo were all there. "I lost your sword, broke it actually. Sorry about that."
"It's okay," Gourry smiled sweetly, lovingly. "I'm just glad you're back."
Lina leaned into Gourry with the smile remaining on her face until she noticed a peculiar detail. "Why am I wearing Filia's cloak?"
As if it wasn't a big deal, Gourry explained. "You were naked when you fell from the sky, so Filia's letting you borrow her cloak so you don't catch a cold or something."
Lina's face turned an impossibly bright shade of red. She discretely peeked into the cloak, while making sure to keep herself covered. "I fell from the sky na... na..."
"Now you know how I felt during that town rampage incident," Filia commented with a teasing smile.
Lina felt her whole body shake in mortified rage and she reacted in the only way she could think of right now. "Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows..."
"The Stillness was destroyed, so Lord Ruby Eyes is no longer being drained by it," Xellos pointed out. That meant that the Dragon Slave should be back to normal and given Lina's temper that translated to trouble.
Lina continued, "buried in the stream of time is where your power grows..."
"Lina, don't destroy this island, I need it!" Zelgadis pleaded.
Too mortified to listen to reason, Lina did not stop. "I pledge myself to conquer, all the foes who stand..."
"Forget the island; if anyone tries to interfere with us again they'll have to answer to me!" Amelia bravely declared with more aggression than anyone expected from her. She wouldn't let anyone come between her and Zelgadis again, especially not because of an outdated technicality.
Lina kept going, "before the mighty gift bestowed, in my unworthy hands..."
"Amelia..." Zelgadis was taken by surprise with Amelia's determination and it made him very happy. He too was set on making things work by any means necessary.
Lina was dangerously close to finishing her spell and it didn't look like anyone, not even Gourry, could stop her now. "Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed..."
"Everyone gather around for an emergency teleportation!" Celo urgently called out.
"By the power you and I possess!" Everyone except Lina was teleported away from the island. "Dragon Slave!" The island was no more...
xoxox xox xoxox
Several days later, Seyruun was full of great festivities. Amelia and Zelgadis were enjoying their time together. He expected trouble to arise because his island was destroyed, thus he was no longer the ruler of anything. Yet surprisingly, no one tried to steal away the throne after all. Maybe the stubborn distant relatives of Amelia came to their senses, perhaphs because Amelia got fed up and threatened to break their bones with a pacifist crush. Either way, the point was that the happy couple was allowed to be together without any further complications.
Lina and Gourry were pigging out. King Philionel was giving a victorious justice speech. Naga and Martina were laughing loudly. Gravos and Zangulus had formed a mutual understanding for each other and became good friends. Martina had recently noticed she was pregnant, she and Zangulus were very excited about baby Zoamelgustar, or excited and terrified in his case. Jillas and Elena were talking animatedly, clearly enjoying each other's company. Fang was playing with Val, Palou and Fili. Milgazia, Memphis, Phythan, Onyx and Sylphiel were also guests at Seyruun. Solex was safely sleeping inside his egg. Xellos was a monster again, continuously teasing Filia as he always did, but she was okay with that.
Even Zelas attended the party at Seyruun... and brought some dragon cuisine to share. Lina and Gourry appreciated her cooking, though none of the dragons present were happy about it. Enjoying the festivities, despite the inconveniences, Filia mused about how much her life had changed and yet the essence of it had been preserved. Life was certainly full of a lot of crazy twists and turns. The unexpected occurred and the impossible was discovered not to be impossible after all. Life was unpredictable, erratic, hectic, confusing, exciting, amazing, chaotic... Chaos, that's what it was to be alive. Filia realized that deep down she didn't want it any other way.
I hope everyone enjoyed this, my longest fanfiction yet. It's half a million words! :D I had lots of fun with this story and it will always hold an important place for me. If you're still thirsty for more, check out the sequel Slayers: Chaos and the bonus one-shot collection Slayers: Days.