Pairing: Lina Inverse/Zelgadis Graywords
Theme: #21 violence/pillage and plunder; #16 invincible/unrivaled
Disclaimer: Slayers and its characters are the property of Hajime Kanzaka and Rui Araizumi and a whole smattering of other publishers and producers.
Just barely making the deadline. Again.
Summary: Zelgadis puzzles how they all fit together.
Blazing flames engulfed the compound and sent towers of thick, black smoke billowing into the air. Resounding blasts from explosions added to the confusion, sending debris flying and tremors through the ground. Panicked people fled in every direction, tripping over rubble and prostate bodies in their panic. At the center of all the carnage, someone stood laughing maniacally.
It was, in short, a perfectly normal day.
Zelgadis Graywords stood on the nearby hill over-looking the campsite with his companions, and they watched with an air of resignation that by all normal respects should have been at least a little more horrified than it actually was considering chaos before them.
“Shouldn’t we stop her?” Amelia finally ventured. Out of the corner of his eye, Zelgadis regarded her profile. It would seem that even after all these years the young princess still hadn’t managed to shake off that natural propensity towards philanthropy.
“Don’t bother,” his other companion said. “You know she’d do it anyway.” That was true enough. But Zelgadis supposed that if anyone knew Lina Inverse, it would be Gourry. The man was pretty dense, but you don’t travel that long without at least learning a few things about people.
They called her Bandit Killer and Enemy to All Who Lived. And with a performance like this, it was pretty easy to see why. Zelgadis snorted softly under his breath. But of course, she always protested she didn’t know for the life of her how those names came about, honest to goodness.
Lina giggled gleefully as she sent off another fireball in the direction of a fleeing bandit, and the three heaved a simultaneous sigh, exchanging looks that said you go get her.
What a strange bunch they were: an idealistic princess, an idiot savant, and…him, the chimera with the chip on his shoulder in more ways than one. They had absolutely nothing in common, and they were the last sorts of people with whom Zelgadis ever expected to associate, let alone end up facing off against half the dark lords with. He wasn’t a very trusting person by nature, and Amelia and Gourry were the types he usually scorned. Yet, here he was commiserating over a burden equally shared, and that only they would ever be able to truly appreciate.
In that sense, Lina Inverse was even more incredible than he gave her credit for. With nothing but the force of her personality and actions, she was able to forge a fellowship of four strangers, and together they literally were able to conquer anything. If you had asked him ten years ago what he’d be doing right now, this wouldn’t have even made the list.
Zelgadis chuckled, reminiscing over his old life. She had quite changed it, with that characteristic explosive chaos that she always used to handle such delicate matters. It no longer resembled anything he had expected it to be.
He glanced over to his companions. They had been through so much together. They had fought forces that hadn’t even been charted in this world. They had won, all the while following the lead of one Lina Inverse. Because something in her made them understand that her immense power was their best chance of survival. Because something in her made them believe. Because something in her made them feel invincible, just the way they knew she was.
Zelgadis jumped lightly into the air and levitated onto the ground. Gingerly side-stepping a pile of charred rubble, he made his way to the center of the encampment. “Lina,” he said, tiredly. “Don’t you think it’s about time to stop?”
Lina Inverse grinned impishly and blew him a kiss. He shook his head ruefully, but couldn’t quite cover up the knowing smirk starting to form.
Those who knew of her infamy cursed her name to the darkest depths of the Underworld and back. But the ones who knew her best knew they would follow her there.