Chapter 2: Town's Cuisine; Lina and the Job

Author's Notes

I know, sad. Throughout the whole first chapter only two spells were cast. Well sorry, it won't get better for one or two more chapters. No bandits on the road they're traveling... though there might be a dragon or two. A small thing I'm doing wrong in this fanfic is make Valterin sound thirteen, not four. Yeah well, sorry folks. In this saga, just assume that Val got his maturity from his past life. I know it's a small plot hole (for Valterin doesn't remember anything from when he was Valgaav,) but his soul is the same, so he still doesn't have much innocence.

Lina, Gourry, Filia, and Valterin were at a resteraunt, with the picture of a fish on the sign out front.

Gourry and Val were all drooling at the sight of the menu, but Lina was staring at Val, not looking at the menu at all. "Oh no, what am I going to do?" Lina thought to herself worriedly. "By the looks of it, Val eats almost as much as I do. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to remind Gourry about that time two years ago when cannibals tried to eat him and I came to his rescue." Lina sighed. "I'm starting to run out of good excuses as to why Gourry should pay for the bill. Better save him from some terrible fate soon."

Xellos walked into the resteraunt and sat at a table near theirs. He picked up a menu and looked at it thoughtfully. Xellos glanced up. A waiter seemed to materialize at his side (as waiters often do,) and smiled with a fake grin. "Yes sir?"

"I would like the red Chatenou '89 please."

"Tiapa or Zoana edition, sir?"


"Very good, sir." The waiter took Xellos's menu and disappeared. Just then a waiter showed up at Lina's table. "What would you like, gentlemen and ladies?"

Lina put her finger on the menu, and ran her finger down it. "I would like one through twelve." The waiter gaped.

Gourry was next. "Six to nine, triple portions." The waiter then made a sound of exclamation.

Valterin surprised everyone (except Xellos and Filia,) by ordering... "The whole menu, times two please." Lina stared at Val in horror.

The waiter said hesitantly, "Young sir, are you sure you want that much..."


The waiter turned to Filia. "What would you like miss?"

"A cup of your very best tea." The waiter blinked, but bowed and faded away.

Val turned to talk to Xellos. "So Xellos, how much longer 'till we get to Seyruun?"

"About three days, I believe." Val wriggled in excitment. "Oh good. We still have a long time before we reach it." A waiter materialized with Xellos's wine. He took it and turned back to Val.

"Val, I take it you have never been outside of Sya Town before?" Xellos sipped his wine, and Val nodded.

"Mom never lets me go anywhere." Filia was pointedly ignoring this conversation. Xellos grinned, and winked at Val. Val got the clue, and started to speak loudly. "Once she sent me into the forest to get some mushrooms. I had no idea, but mom had sent me into a wood full of rabid wolves possessed by evil spirits. I barely escaped with my life. Mother just wanted my inheritance from Uncle Asro. Good thing you adopted my, cousin Xellos."

Xellos whistled in appreciation, as several people were making sounds of sympathy. Filia was shaking in anger, and she had grown fangs, with eyes that were slowly turning red.

Before Filia attacked Xellos or Val (or both,) the food arrived. The mounds before Gourry and Lina were huge. Filia's cup of tea looked pathetically small in comparison. Valterins food wasn't there. Val asked, "Excuse me. Where's my lunch?"

The waiter said, "Excuse me sir, but can you please move tables? If any more food goes onto this table it will be in danger of collapsing."

"Okay." Valterin got up, and moved to Xellos's table. Five carts of food came filing in, each with four plates of food on it. Val's eyes widened in anticipation, and his mouth started to water. When the food was set down on the table (and the table next to it,) Val turned his head and said, "Thank you," to the waiter, who bowed and disapppeared. The young dragon then promptly started to devour his food. Lina gaped while she sees the mountain of food before Valterin disappear in a matter of minutes. Gourry was quickly snatching Lina's food while the sorceress wasn't watching.

After about ten minutes Val leaned back in his hair with a sigh of satisfaction. Now Lina and Gourry were staring at Val. Their food wasn't finished, and when the two realized this, they started to devour their food at an even faster rate. Xellos was still sipping his wine, and Filia was still drinking her tea. Neither seem surprised at how fast the young dragon had consumed his food.

Just then a short, shadowy figure entered the resteraunt, and approached Lina. The voice from the figure said in a gruff voice, "So Lina Inverse, I have found you."

Lina swallowed and turned to the shadowy man with a look of skeptism on her face. "Look shorty, do you really think an obviously low level monster like you could defeat me, the beautiful sorcery genius Lina Inverse? You know I'd kick your butt, so make it easier for both of us and crawl back into the hole you came out of."

The figure said in a surprised voice, "But I am not a demon, Lina Inverse."

"Oh. So who are you?"

"I am someone looking for a sorcerer to hire. The best. You were recommended. Lina Inverse, the bandit killer and dragon spooker, who has a very small chest..."

Lina gritted her teeth, and said in a low voice, with fiery eyes, "You're one to talk about small, shorty. So dwarf, what job are you talking about? Hopefully something a person with my great talent would consider worthwhile... and with substantial pay, I might add."

The (potential) employer said, "I need you to take care of a dragon." Filia bristled. Lina leaned forward. "What kind of dragon?"

"This dragon is a rouge; one of the ignoble ones. He got let lose from a circus and has been terrorizing the countryside for weeks. Burning down villages, eating livestock, and basically terrorizing everyone. I want you to... take care of him."

"How much are you paying?" Lina asked casually.

"60 gold pieces."

Lina raised her eyebrows. "I'm Lina Inverse. Do you really expect me to take a job with such paltry pay?"

"Fine, 75 gold pieces." Lina shook her head.

"80 gold pieces? 90?"

"Nope, sorry pal."

"100 gold pieces, and that's my final offer."

"It's a deal." Lina stuck out her hand. The man shook it. "But first..." Lina looked at her food. "I have to finish this great meal!" All the surrounding people facefaulted except for for Gourry, who was too busy watching Lina to make sure she didn't take his food.

Filia, Val, Lina, and Gourry were walking down a road in the forest, behind Lina's mysterious employer. Xellos was no where to be seen. "Excuse me," Filia said hestitantly. Lina's empoyer turned around. "What is your name?" The dragon priestess asked.

"Yeah, we can't call you dwarf the whole time I'm working for you," Lina added.

The man sweatdropped. "Um, my name is Cweno. Cweno Dwibun."

"Mister Dwibun?"

Cweno turned to Val. "Yes lad?"

"How long, exactly, was the dragon in the circus before he escaped?"

"I believe about two months. A dragon hunter brought him in around that time. He was a recent addition to the circus. Not fully trained."

Valterin hesitated a bit before asking the next question. "What did the dragon look like?" Cweno scratched his chin. The hood on his cloak was now back, and the group could see he had a goatee, a huge mustache, and curly hair, all in brown. Cweno answered after a minute of thinking, "Well lad, he had red scales, green eyes, and was as tall as a palace."

Val looked down at the ground in disappointment, and thought miserably, "Graigu, why did you have to leave the mountain? I told you I would come back..." The young ancient dragon looked up, and said loudly, "Xellos, can you please take me to... my friend? I think he needs my help." No one answered, and Val started to look upset when...

"Val, of course I'll take you to see Graigu. I believe he could use some assistance." Val glanced up with a look of delight on his face. Xellos was above the group, sitting on a wide branch of a tree. One leg was dangling down, and his staff was lying across his lap. Filia opened her mouth in surprise, then closed it again.

"Xellos has never appeared when people asked for him before. Why is he doing it for Valterin?"

"Ready to go, young Val?"

Val nodded enthusiastically. "Ready Xellos." Xellos hopped down from the tree, and placed his hand on Val's shoulder.

Filia's motherly instinct finally kicked in. "You namagomi! Where are you taking..." Val and Xellos disappeared. "my son?!" A whisper of the wind was the only answer the golden dragon received.

Gourry spoke up. "Lina, I can't believe you paid for not only Val's lunch, but your own too! It's been a while since you've done that."

Lian turned around to face Gourry. "Oh Gourry, that reminds me. Remember the cannibals two years ago that tried to eat you?"

"Well, yeah..."

"Gee Xellos, we're really up high!" Val and Xellos were standing on the tip of a mountain. Xellos still had his hand on Valterin's shoulder, and Val was looking around excitedly, one hand on his brow to shield off the sun. Xellos pretended to be surprised at Val's comment. "Why Val, you're a dragon. Haven't you ever flown this high before?"

"Nope. Mom thinks I shouldn't fly for another year or so, when my wings aren't so fragile. You know, so they won't get damaged."

"Well, it sounds like Filia came up with a good reason for you not to have fun for a change."

"Yeah, I guess so." Valterin leaned forward; he had seen a sparkle of red near the base of the mountain. He turned his head up and looked at Xellos. "Xellos, I think I see Graigu!"

"That's good. Should we go direct him back home?"

"Yeah!" Val said excitedly as Xellos teleported them both away.

"Geez, I can't believe Xellos still ditches people," Lina said, while she walked with her hands behind her head.

Gourry defended Xellos. "Well, at least he didn't leave in the middle of a battle this time."

Lina sighed, "That's true."

Filia was fuming, "It's just like Xellos to disappear without warning, and with Valterin too. That demon is corrupting my son! Oh, when I get my hands on that mazoku..."

Cweno stopped suddenly. Lina ran into him with a crash, then fell backward in a passable imitation of a tree that had just been chopped down. She got up quickly, with fangs and slanted eyes. "Listen dwarf, you can't just stop like that when people are right behind you..."

Cweno said in a tense, low voice, "Quiet Lina! We are near to the dragon's lair. Silence must be observed."

Oh course, Lina didn't listen to the advice at all. "Why should I shut-up? I'll kill this dragon like I kill all things that get in my way. Walk up to it and cast a Dragon Slave. Easy as lunch."

Gourry drooled. "Ah, lunch..."

"This dragon is different, Lina Inverse. He can cast spells, and understands human speech," Cweno warned.

"If this dragon is as crafty as you make it sound, then how can you be sure it's one of the ignoble ones?" Lina asked in an irritated voice.

Cweno replied, as if it was obvious, "Quite simply, no intelligent dragon would attack defenseless villages without a reason."

Gourry said, rather reasonably, "Well, maybe it has a reason."

Cweno grew a giant head and yelled at Gourry, "The poor villages around here have done nothing to gain the wrath of a dragon!"

"Fine, fine." Gourry thought to himself, "I wonder what's got him worked up?"

Gourry, Lina, Filia, and Cweno were slowly creeping up a not-very-steep mountain. Gourry with puzzlement (as usual,) Filia with fierce determination, Cweno with hope, and Lina with her usual stubborness to never give up. After a few minutes, they all made it to the top; none of them gasping too hard. Lina and Filia peeked over the edge of the cliff they were leaning against, and saw a cave. No noise was heard from the gaping mouth.

Lina hopped up onto the cliff and crowed, "Well, we made it to the top! And no dragon in sight," she thought, surprised. The rest of the group got on top of the cliff after her.

"The dragon must be taking its midday nap. If we creep in quietly, Lina can kill it without even a fight," Cweno said with absolute certainty.

"Most of the time Cweno, things don't work out the way they're planned. Gourry, maybe you should have your sword ready." Gourry nodded, and started to unsheathe his weapon. Lina looked at Filia. "Filia, we'll look for Val and Xellos after I make the hundred, alright?" Filia didn't comment, but nodded as well, knowing she wouldn't get a better deal out of Lina.

The group was walking down the dark passageway of the cave. It was pitch black, for Cweno had warned Lina and Filia not to use light spells, so not to wake the dragon. Lina had reluctantly agreed, and Filia could see in the dark anyway, so she hadn't cared either way. As the slayers crept down the long passage way, they began to hear voices.

"I thought only a dragon lived here," Lina thought in puzzlement. Then an idea struck her. "Unless... Cweno is wrong and the dragon really is intelligent. That being the case, I'll charge Cweno anyway, for the trouble of wasting the whole day on a stupid mistake." The voices got louder, and Lina realized that it was not one, but two voices she was hearing. "Maybe Cweno got this more wrong then I thought, and this is actually not the cave the dragon is in. I guess it's possible."

The slayers reached the end of the cave, and saw to their surprise... "Xellos?! And Val?! What are you two doing here?"

Xellos rubbed the back of his head. "Well Lina, it's kind of hard to explain..."

Valterin didn't bother explaining. He simply walked in front of the dragon (just noticed,) and blocked the way, arms spread out. Val said solemnly, "Miss Lina, I cannot allow you to kill Graigu. He is my friend."

Graigu growled. Lina stared in amazement, then laughed uproariously. "Val, very funny. Now get out of my way. I have a thousand to make."

"I can't allow you to do that Lina."

Lina felt something poke into her back. She whirled around, to see... Xellos. Lina narrowed her eyes. "What are you doing Xellos?"

"I can't allow you to touch Val's friend. We are taking Graigu back to the mountain near Sya Town where he belongs, and you must not interfere."

Lina looked skeptically at the monster. "Xellos, since when did you care about a dumb dragon?"

The mazoku smiled. " I don't care at all, Lina. But I don't want Val to be sad. And..." seeing Lina was still skeptical (actually, she was more so than before,) Xellos continued, "neither do you." he leaned closer to Lina and whispered in her ear. "An unhappy dragon is one that wants to go home. A dragon mother who has an unhappy son will want go home as well, for she only went on this trip for her son's benefit. Better rethink your position, Lina."

Lina realized that Xellos was right, and turned to Val with a big fake grin on her face. "Of course we'll help you take Graigu back home, Val. Just leave it to me." Val relaxed and put his arm down, but refused Lina's kind offer. "No thanks, Miss Lina. Xellos and I can handle it."

Graigu (the big red dragon) nodded. Val pet Graigu's nose, and Graigu rubbed his head against Val. Xellos walked past Lina, and put his hand on Graigu's paw. Valterin held onto Xellos's staff. Filia (with her delayed motherly instinct,) managed to yell, "Xellos!" before the demon and dragons disappeared. Filia sat down on the ground in a heap. Before she began to get properly annoyed, Val and Xellos reappeared; Graigu was no where in sight. Val grinned widely and flashes a "V" sign at Lina and Gourry.

"Well, yet another job well done." Lina said, satisfied. The slayers were on the cliff at the mouth of the cave, but now the sun was going down. Lina turned around to ask for her pay, when she saw Cweno giving Xellos her gold! She instantly got up in Cweno's face. "Dwarf, why are you giving Xellos my hundred?"

"Lina Inverse, I told you I would pay you a hundred gold if you got rid of the dragon." "And I did."

"No, you didn't Lina. This young man did it, with the lad's help. You didn't do anything; they deserve the pay." Lina realized she was losing the battle, and turned to Xellos to demand her money. Unfortunatly (for her,) she couldn't at the moment.

"Now Val, you sure you don't want half?"

"Quite sure Xellos. All I did was spot the dragon. You did most of the work. Besides, I'm four. What would I do with 50 gold? 25 is more then enough."

"Well, if you say so." Xellos tossed Val a smaller bag of gold, and Val smiled in anticipation of all the candy 25 gold could buy.

Lina drooled at the sight of the money. "Hey Xellos, can I have some?"

Xellos sweatdropped, and sighed. "Lina has not changed at all..." Gourry was scratching his head in confusion, obviously having no idea what was going on. Cweno sighed, and walked down the mountain. No one noticed, for the battle between Xellos and Lina (with Xellos in a headlock) was fun to watch.

"Oh Mister Zelgadis, when is Lina going to get here?" Amelia (now in her traveling clothes) was pacing her study. Zelgadis was still in noble wear, sitting in a chair. Zelgadis tried to calm the distraught princess.

"Amelia, relax. You know Lina. She's probably in a resteraunt somewhere with Gourry buying out the resteraunt's stock. You've been restless ever since you got that letter from Lina a week ago. She isn't due here for another two days. Besides, how do you know you will be traveling at all?"

"I don't know, Mister Zelgadis. I'm just nervous, that's all." Amelia perked up. "Maybe the attacks on the royal family of Seyruun are done with. Nothing has happened in the last two weeks."

"Or the killers could just be biding their time, waiting for you and your father to get careless, and do something stupid. Say... going out in a carriage in the woods together? That would give them the perfect opportunity to make your deaths seem like an accident."

Amelia's happiness deflated. She started to cry. "Oh, Mister Zelgadis, I'm so scared! Assasins could be anywhere, and I don't know who to trust. The only ones I'm sure of are daddy and you." Zelgadis softened up, realizing Amelia was frightened. He got up and stroked her hair. Amelia buried her face in his shirt and wailed.

"Don't worry Amelia. As soon as Lina and the others get here, we'll have nothing to worry about. One of us will be with you and your father at all times until the traitors to the throne are caught. This I promise."

"Xellos, come here." A woman who's face and body are in shadow was sitting on a black throne, in a room lit by candles. She was smoking a long cigarette, and had a glass of red wine in her hand. She was wearing a long (rather revealing) dress. Around the throne were half a dozen wolves, sleeping.

Xellos appeared, and he kneeled with his head down, not looking at the woman's face. "Yes, mistress?"

"I want you to continue to follow Lina Inverse. I believe the incident involving Seyruun is just a fiasco to distract us from some greater purpose. Make sure you find out what that purpose is. I believe it is a scheme cooked up by my brother Dynast. He always did do things indirectly."

"Of course, Greater Beast."

Zelas Metallium (or Beastlord, or Greater Beast) sighed in irritation. "Xellos, stand up."

He did so, and looked into Zelas's face. "Yes, Beastlord?"

"What's with all the titles? I want you to obey me, not flatter me. Flattery gets you nowhere. I thought you would know that after 1,500 years of being my general-priest."

Xellos opened his eyes, and smiled. "Sorry, mistress. I'm practicing for the inevitable encounter with Dynast. He insists on proper decor."

Zelas grinned. "You're always one to be prepared, Xellos." Xellos bowed, then teleported away. Zelas lowered her chin, and for a split second, the Beastlord's piercing green eyes were visible, glowing in the gloom.

Chapter 3   |   Fanfiction