This is where the filler chapters end, and the meat of the story begins. If you have been actually reading this story and not just skimming, you probably have a pretty good idea about who six of the unknown destined ones are. Trust me though, you have no idea who the seventh one is, a character who, as far as I know, has yet to play a main part in any Slayers, be it fanfiction, anime, or manga. This clue and the one on the scroll are the only ones I'm going to give you, so seethe in silence.
Lina sighed as she gazed at the top of the hill overlooking Sairaag. "I'm not sure I want to see the ruins, you guys. It's so depressing..."
Zelgadis set his jaw. "No matter how little we want to do this Lina, we must. Besides, we've been on the road a week. It'd be stupid to stop now."
Xellos nodded, for once in agreement with the chimaera. Amelia struck a heroic pose (well, she thought so). "Miss Lina, for the sake of justice, we must continue, with no thought of ourselves..."
"Who are you kidding?" asked Gourry. "Lina's doing this for the reward. I didn't know you got paid for being a champion of justice... so Lina must not be one!"
In point three seconds, Lina had the hapless swordsman in a headlock. "What did you say, jellyfish brains?"
"Nothing! Lina, I'm sorry!"
"Sorry isn't going to be good enough!" About then Lina noticed the rest of the Slayers walking up the dreaded hill, far ahead of her. "Guys, wait up!" and she ran after them, Gourry ambling on behind. Lina panted to a stop, where her friends waited... or so she thought. "Guys pant why'd you run ahead gasp of meeee..." she then saw what her friends had really stopped for, and could only stare in shock. Well, for about four seconds. "Where are the ruins?"
Amelia gasped. "There's a city here again..."
Zelgadis was suspicious. "Do you think it is another phantom city, like the one Phibrizo made?"
Xellos shook his head. "No. It's real, can't you see? Everythings different, and some of the ruins are still there."
Lina was awed. "Wow. So people have come back to Sairaag. Xellos, your scroll was really out of date."
"It was created one thousand years ago. Part of an ancient prophecy that was supposed to occur this millennium. It was actually referring to the old ruins of Sairaag, the ones created by the demon beast Zanaffar six hundred years past. It was off by five hundred years, but the facts remain the same."
Filia didn't even bother to comment on the mazoku's monologue, having been busy treating Val and his cold for the past two days. "Now Valteirra, blow."
The sorceress then got a great idea. "Hey guys, why don't we look up Sylfiel? Might as well while we're here."
"Sylfiel?" asked Gourry, who by then had caught up.
"Yeah, jellyfish brains, Sylfiel. The one who has a giant crush on you?"
"Oh yeah! She was a great cook, much better then you Lina." Lina decided to let that remark slide.
Amelia wasn't sure of Lina's brilliant plan however. "Miss Lina, how are we supposed to find Miss Sylfiel? She might not even be in Sairaag. She might have moved..."
"Nonsense! Where there are people that need help, Sylfiel is there, especially if it's at her hometown. I would guess she'd be at the biggest temple around, healing and helping people. Now where would that be..."
Xellos pointed to the largest structure in the city. "There it is Lina, the temple of Cephied."
The sorceress struck her fist into her palm. "All right! On to the temple."
Zelgadis sighed as the sorceress ran down the hill. "The cliches in this story are getting so old..."
"Wow. This temple is huge!" Val stood open mouthed, craning his neck to see the top of the structure.
Most of the group mutually agreed, but Filia sniffed. "Hmph! This shack is nothing compared to the temple of the Fire Dragon King! It was so large it..."
"What's left of it anyway," Xellos remarked.
Amelia tried to stop the argument. "Trains do tend to knock down structures, no matter how holy."
Valteirra was interested. "I never heard about that!"
"I'll tell you later Valteirra," Filia said distractedly, still glaring at Xellos. Val was disappointed, but got over it when he saw some children playing in the temple's courtyard. They looked the same age as him. He was especially intrigued when the orange ball they were playing with was snatched away by an older boy, and the ball promptly exploded. The boy screamed, and the five who were playing with the ball to begin with looked scornfully at the boy, who was taken away by two priestesses. Val's eyes widened in surprise when another ball formed in the hand of a purple/red haired boy, who looked older than Valteirra by about two years. Val tugged at Filia's dress. "Mom! There are some kids playing with a ball..."
Filia shook her head. "You can play later Valteirra."
"But mom..." Filia and the others walked inside, and the young dragon hurried after them, still wondering about the children and the magic balls they played with.
"Sylllllfiellll! Hey Sylfiel, where are you?" Lina yelled into the temple corridors. The priests, priestesses, and acolytes standing there stared at her. Lina quieted down, grumbling, "I'm positive the acolyte told me she worked here..."
"Oh, so you're looking for High Priestess Sylfiel nels Rada?"
Lina nodded. "I'm not sure about the High Priestess part, but yes, we're looking for Sylfiel."
"She's in a conference with a VIP, and does not wish to be disturbed. But," the priest said hastily, noticing Lina's expression, "I'm sure she wouldn't mind if it's important..."
"Where is she?"
"Go down the hall, turn right, sixth door on the left."
Lina nodded and walked off. Only Amelia remembered her manners. "Thank you," and she waved as she followed her friends down the hall. The priest weakly waved back.
"High Priestess nels Rada, that's very interesting, but I'm wondering if you know where the sorceress Lina Inverse is..." the strange woman got no further, for just then Lina found the door where Sylfiel was holding the conference with the VIP. The door opened with a bang.
"Hey Sylfiel, long time no see! Sorry about interrupting your conference..." Lina stopped, her face white with terror, her eyes glued to the VIP Sylfiel was talking with.
"Hey Lina, what's wrong?" asked Gourry, and the Slayers piled into the room. Lina didn't answer, paralyzed with fear.
Xellos was the only one who moved, being the only one not startled by the sorceress's behavior (well actually, he hadn't noticed). The mazoku walked past the group, and up to the VIP. He grinned. "Luna, long time no see."
Luna, the Knight of Cephied, the patron of the god of light, stood up and pulled Xellos into a hug. "Hey demon-boy, same to you."
Lina's jaw dropped open, now in surprise. Everyone else in the room gawked while Xellos and Luna chatted like old friends (which they were). "So Luna, still with the waitress schtick?"
"Of course. It's an honest and good paying way to make money. How's the old wolf doing?"
"Same old, same old. She misses you though. Mistress is a demon who I am convinced needs to go to an AA meeting. Talk about depressed. You don't visit anymore."
"I haven't moved. She could visit me for once."
"I try to tell her that, but she says that it would leave Wolf Pack Island in a vulnerable position."
"She's right. Tell her I'm sorry, but the restaurant's been full lately."
"You could always take a vacation."
"I haven't taken a vacation in ten years and don't plan to start now."
"What are you doing here then? This sure doesn't seem like a mission."
"Fine, I haven't taken a vacation in ten years and decided I needed one."
"You did ask."
"Must be pretty important."
"Maybe. I'm not sure yet. It was a feeling I had. Woman's intuition and all that."
"You are one of a kind Luna."
"Same with you."
"Mistress likes it that way."
"Zelas never was one to repeat mistakes."
"I'm joking Xellos." Silence.
"Are you sure? I never have seen you laugh."
"A good comedian never laughs at her own jokes, and yours are never worth a smile."
"That's a joke too, right?"
"Mostly." Everyone had been watching this exchange, but after about five minutes of nothing but useless conversation (something each of the recipients rarely did) they noticed the silence around them, and the eyes on them. The two asked, "What?"
Lina managed to stutter out, "Lu... Lu... Luna..."
The Knight of Cephied grinned. "Nice to see you too, short stuff. You never did allow me to get revenge on you for that bathing... incident. As I recall, you jumped out of your window before I came home."
Gourry, stupid as always, used his mouth before his brain. "Lina, this is your big sister? I thought she was a gigantic monster that ate poor defenseless little girls who didn't know what they had done wrong. Gee, she has way more of a chest than you, Lina. Are you sure you two are related?"
Lina tensed, waiting for her sister to attack Gourry, or her, or both. The Knight of Cephied grinned again, obviously amused. "Cute boyfriend, short stuff." She turned to Xellos. "So demon-boy, how long have you known the squirt here?"
"Almost six years. We have a very intimate relationship. Death threats and all that."
"Already to that stage? Why aren't you dead?"
"For some reason, she seems to like me. Must run in the family."
"Well, insanity did come down from our father's side."
Luna turned again to Lina. "So short stuff, what are you doing here in Sairaag?" Lina didn't answer. Though Luna's eyes were covered by her bangs, they seemed to narrow. A dangerous tint got into her voice. "Answer me."
Lina swallowed. "Well big sis, we're her to visit Sylfiel. She's an old friend."
"Umm... we're on a quest to find the destined ones."
Though that lack of information should have gotten Luna probing for more, the Knight nodded. "I thought as much."
Amelia asked the question that was on everyone's mind. "Miss Luna, how do you know Mister Xellos?"
The Knight grinned again. "I used to baby-sit demon-boy. He also delivers presents to me on my birthday from Zelas." Luna glanced at Xellos. "Though I take it the book on demon hierarchy was your own contribution."
"Of course. I do get paid you know. And you are my friend."
Lina burst out laughing. She never was one to keep terrified for long. "Xellos, the fearless mazoku, was baby-sat by the Knight of Cephied. Hahahahaha!"
Xellos nodded. "Yes I was."
The sorceress, realizing she wasn't getting a rise out of the demon, fell silent. Val peered at Luna intently. The young dragon suddenly got excited. "Xellos! Lina! She's one of them! She's one of the destined ones!"
Xellos and Lina looked the Knight to see if Valteirra was right. Xellos eyes widened. "Val, you're right! She is one!" Lina nodded, silently agreeing. Luna struck her fist into her palm. "So that's why I felt a compulsion to come here!"
Xellos smiled. "Exactly."
Val still wasn't satisfied. "Xellos, there are more than one of the destined ones around this temple. Almost all of the destined ones are near, I can feel it."
Xellos concentrated again, and looked surprised. "He's right. My senses must be dimmed because of this holy temple."
Zelgadis shrugged. "Let's look for them then."
Luna sighed. "How long is this vacation going to take anyway?"
Sylfiel, forgotten by everyone, asked Lina, "Miss Lina, can you please examine some students we recently acquired? I would really appreciate it."
"Why Sylfiel? We are in a bit of a hurry."
"Miss Lina, the five students the temple accepted last week, are highly unusual. They are very young, younger then they should have been before they came here. But Miss Lina... I cannot comprehend their power. I do not know how strong they are."
Lina shrugged. "Oh well, the universe can wait. This sounds interesting anyway."
The Slayers and Luna waited in Sylfiel's study while she went to go get the five children. Val was nervous. So were Xellos and Lina. Zelgadis finally lost his patience and asked, exasperated, "Alright Lina, what is it now?"
Lina shook her head to clear it. "Nothing. Well, it is something. Power envelopes the temple."
That got Zelgadis's attention. "Evil power?"
"No, not exactly. It's just potential. Power yet to be unleashed. Since it's only potential, it's nothing."
Zelgadis wanted to inquire further, but Sylfiel arrived, shepherding five children in. Zelgadis, Lina, Xellos, and Val's eyes widened. "Those are the children I saw playing outside!" the young dragon annouced.
Xellos shuddered. "No, it couldn't be him," he murmered.
Lina whispered to Zelgadis, "Aren't those the children we saw in Seyruun?"
Zelgadis nodded. Sylfiel said to the children, who looked nervous. "It's alright." She turned to Lina. "Miss Lina, this is James," and she pointed to the red head, "this is Samuel," and she pointed to the black haired boy, "this is Alia," she pointed to the blue haired girl, "and these are the twins, Matthias and Gregory. The one with his eyes open is Gregory," and she pointed to the taller ones with purple/red hair.
"Why are your eyes closed?" Zelgadis asked Matthias abruptly.
"Um, I'm blind. I know mage sight though."
"That's what confuses me," said Sylfiel to Lina. "Matthias learned mage sight within two days of being here. It usually takes five years. They look at shamanism books that they shouldn't even understand, but can cast the spells that are within the books. Fireball, Raywing, you name it. They have already begun to master Summoning spells, and their Invisibility is perfect. It worries me."
Zelgadis was still staring at Matthias. The boy shifted uncomfortably under the chimaera's gaze. "Mister, why are you staring at me?"
"Were you born blind?"
"Uh, I think so."
Gregory intervened. "Mister, will you stop staring please? It's kind of unnerving."
Zelgadis glanced at Gregory, but turned away. Lina looked with great interest at the children. "Where'd you kids come from?"
"An orphanage in Seyruun," Samuel answered. There was an awkward silence. Before Lina could get to testing the children, Alia suddenly began coughing a little. James and Samuel looked concerned. Matthias and Gregory were startled.
"Aqua, are you all right?" asked James.
Gregory stalked over to James and hissed in his ear, "What did you promise?"
James looked abashed. "Oh right."
Lina looked intently at James. "James, what did you call Alia?" The little boy looked away. "Nothing. Just a nickname."
Xellos smiled smugly. "Oh really, James? Or should I say, Gaav, the Demon Dragon King?"
James (or Gaav, as I shall now call him) whispered, "How did they know."
Silence. Zelgadis made a move towards the little boy, but Alia, Gregory, Matthias, and Samuel made a wall in front of Gaav. "If you touch him," and Alia made a fireball in her hand, "you will regret it," and Samuel made a fireball in his own. The twins started to glow.
Xellos nodded, satisfied. "So I was right."
Alia glanced at Samuel. "Let's forget the false alias's Phibrizo."
Phibrizo nodded. "Of course Aqua."
Gregory showed a feral grin to Matthias. "Ready Rezo?"
"Of course Kopii. I always am." Rezo looked at the group, calm as glass. "I knew our names would get us killed one day. I just wished it wasn't so soon." He then grinned ferally as well. "At least I can see."
Gaav closed his eyes, and began to shine red. "I'm sorry, Aqua, Phibrizo. I truly am, Rezo, Kopii. It's my fault."
Kopii shook his head. "No Gaav, it would have happened eventually. Humans aren't perfect; children even less so."
"Will you forget the pretenses!" Zelgadis shouted. His anger shone through. "Stop pretending to be weak! Stop pretending to be children! We know who you are, you murderers."
Rezo shook his head. "We may bear the names of the dead, but we have yet to kill. One by my brother's name destroyed the city. One by my friend's name finished the job. I should have known humans were too shortsighted to see past what is before their faces."
Sylfiel gasped. "You, you are Copy Rezo," and she pointed at Kopii.
Kopii's mouth twisted. "I may be in Rezo's shadow, but I am not his copy."
Val suddenly realized what the scroll had meant. "Xellos, Lina, mom! Did these people used to be dead?"
Lina nodded. "I killed them. I should know."
"Then that's what the scroll meant! We've already found a paladin of fiery temper. What about the first five? A resurrected child of light, two resurrected children of darkness, a resurrected holy man and his shadow... these are them! These are five of the missing destined ones!"
Zelgadis snarled, "I refuse to believe it." He pointed at Rezo. "This bastard is the one who turned me into a monster. How can he help to save the world?" Lina nodded in agreement.
"Lina," Gourry tried to talk to the sorceress.
"Not now, Gourry."
"Lina, isn't Aqua the Water Dragon King?" Everyone froze, but Gourry continued, "Isn't Aqua one of the good guys? Isn't she the one who led us to the Claire Bible? Why would we want to kill her? She's saved our lives a lot of times."
Lina grinned. "Your amazing Gourry. You have a brain like a jellyfish, but you remember things when they're needed; at least if no one else does." Everyone relaxed.
Zelgadis remained suspicious however. "Water Dragon King, what are you doing with you enemies?"
Aqua scratched her head. "If by Water Dragon Kind you mean me, what enemies? Gaav and Phibrizo are my brothers. Kopii and Rezo are some of my best friends. In fact, besides Gaav and Phibrizo, they are my only friends."
Xellos understood what was going on. He walked up to Gaav. "Gaav, who am I?"
The little boy craned his neck to see Xellos's face. "Um... a tall creepy guy who thinks I'm a dragon?"
Xellos grinned, and turned to the Slayers group. "They don't remember anything. Everything but their names, forgotten." Val nodded. He turned to the children (who used to be dead evil guys... well, except Aqua). "Do you want to join our quest to resurrect Shabranigdo?"
Phibrizo looked skeptical. "Why would we want to help the Ruby-Eyed dark lord become alive again?"
"To save the world." Valteirra answered, perfectly serious.
Rezo was confused. "Uh, isn't that a contradictory in terms?"
By then, the children had powered down. Zelgadis pointed a finger at Rezo yet again, positive he was right. "That proves he hasn't lost his memory! He sounds far too mature to be six."
"Well, I did read quite a bit while I've been here."
"You arrived at the temple a week ago. You've been able to see five days. How in hell could you study anything extensively? You're a kid!"
Xellos tapped Zelgadis' shoulder. "If they had their memories, why would Phibrizo oppose Lord Ruby Eye's resurrection?"
"To give us the impression that their memories are gone."
Xellos sweatdropped. "Zelgadis, are you so far gone in your hatred that you can't see what's right before your eyes? These are children. Exceptional children, but children. They may regain their memories in time, but until then, Rezo is Rezo, not the Red Priest. Same with all of them."
Zelgadis sighed. "Maybe I don't want him to be the Red Priest so I can hurt him. Maybe it's because if he had his memories, he would remember how to make me human again."
Rezo said quietly, "I'm sorry for whatever I did, but what's wrong with you, exactly? I can see your basic outline, and it looks human... well, the pointy ears are slightly odd. Did I make you an elf, or something?"
Zelgadis ground his teeth. "You made me a chimaera."
Gaav clapped Rezo on the back. "Good going Rezo! Chimeara's are really complex. I hear only masters of the art can create them."
"Chimaera's are a mix of demon, golem, and human, correct? Why aren't you horrendous?" asked Rezo, ignoring Gaav for the moment.
Zelgadis stuttered, "Uh, eh, um, that is... I don't know, exactly."
"Why did I make you a chimaera?"
Zelgadis was dumbstruck. He began to realize he knew nothing about the procedures, or Rezo for that matter. "We.. well, um, I kind of asked for power, and you told me you would give it to me."
Rezo looked skeptical. "How old were you when this happened?"
"And you didn't know the laws of magic yet? You know; magical talent takes away from other areas. The more the talent, the bigger the repercussion. Artificial talent has even bigger repercussions. Of course this only applies to humans. I suppose that's why Lina has little cleavage," Gourry had to hold Lina back from attacking the boy, "and why I am blind. Maybe my brother had the consequence of not being completely human, and under another's control. You must have been remarkably stupid not to know that the magical talent would not come without a price." Zelgadis didn't respond. Rezo said quietly, "And I even told you this would happen before I did it, didn't I?" The chimaera looked away. Rezo said dryly, "Your silence speaks volumes."
Lina had calmed down by then, and became intrigued. "Rezo, why do you speak like an adult?"
"I don't know. I've only been able to read four days; it took me a day to learn how to read after I mastered mage sight. But in my head... I see magic, in all forms. Magimecha, bio-magic, shamanism, holy, and demonic. I think I even see some nightmare magic strands. They are like threads, or a dictionary, with all the technical terms. But yet, I understand them. It's... strange, and a little disconcerting. The threads were always there, but before, they were only threads. When I learned my first spell, mage sight, the threads began to weave into a tapestry, a tapestry of magic. I didn't know why; but what if you say is true, then the Golden Lord must have resurrected me with certain memories, but no others. I think my brother and my friends would agree." Gaav, Aqua, Kopii, and Phibrizo nodded.
Zelgadis turned back to the blind boy, what he said sinking in. "Bio-magic, you say? Could you turn me human again?"
"No. It is not in my memory. Perhaps it was someone else who cast the spell?"
"But you were the one! I'm sure of it!" Zelgadis was becoming desperate, though Rezo remained calm.
"Did I know anyone who specialized in that type of magic, who might have worked out the details, and given me just the finished version of the spell, but not the cure?"
Zelgadis closed his eyes. The tear that ran down his cheek could barely be seen, because of his blue skin. "Yes, there was. Eris... she was a specialist in bio-magic, and a student of yours. She left about a year after I became a chimaera."
"Then it was probably she, not I. She might know the reversal of the spell, but this is outside my knowledge. You will have to look somewhere else."
Amelia thoughtlessly said, "But Eris is dead..."
Lina hissed in the princess' ear, "We know that Amelia."
Zelgadis walked out of the room silently; Rezo didn't show it, but if they could have seen his eyes, they would have known the little boy felt terrible, watching the chimaera go.
Chapter 7 | Fanfiction