Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ Slayers: Chaos ❯ Episode 75 and 76 ( Chapter 63 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Slayers: Chaos

Episode 075: Balance! Arrival At The Zero Hour

"Lina! Lina Inverse, I know you're there!" The insistent voice made Lina stomp out of Melly's cottage, with a curious Gourry and Melly following her. The elf had since dropped her disguise and held a younger appearance than her human exterior.

"What?" The redhead sorceress yelled. "I was eating cookies; can't you keep it down so I can focus on that?"

"Um... Lina..." Gourry adopted a thoughtful expression that usually meant that he was going to say something silly. He pointed at the man who had been calling for Lina to come out. "Doesn't he look familiar? It's like I've seen him before."

The young man was dressed in mostly black with the typical attire of a black magic sorcerer. He had a sword strapped on his waist, which also seemed of familiar character to Gourry. The man had big pale blue eyes that gave him an innocent appearance, not befitting of a dark sorcerer or fierce swordsman. His ebony hair was a chaotic arrangement of wild curls that no amount of gel could coax into submission. "Lina Inverse... I challenge you to show me your Dragon Slave!" The man demanded.

Lina blinked in surprise, "who are you and why do you want to see my Dragon Slave?"

"I am the greatest sorcerer in the world of the future and as such, I demand to see your Dragon Slave! If you refuse to use your signature spell on me head on, I will cause chaos and destruction all over this planet until it is torn apart!" The mysterious man threatened. "Ah! Ha ha he ha ha!

Lina felt herself twitch, there was something about that laugh, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Finally she groaned, "okay," wanting only to be left in peace to eat.

"I will not hesitate to carry out my threats!" The unknown man warned. "If you continue to refuse to-" He paused, a look of realization overtaking his face. "Oh, you said okay? Well that was easy. Who ever said wisdom came with age? This Lina is the smarter Lina, far more compliant than the Lina of my time."

"Not near my garden!" Melly warned.

"Right..." Lina breathe. "Look, I don't know if you're really from the future or not, but regardless of that, if you want to get blown up by the great Lina Inverse, so be it!"

"But Lina, you might seriously hurt him," Gourry cautioned.

Lina had a curious and thoughtful look upon her face, as if she was trying to deeply analyze something. "My instinct tells me there's more to this guy than what it seems and my instinct has never been wrong before." She whispered to Gourry.

"In that case, gather around, I know of a wide area where we can go for this... experiment," Mello offered. Gourry, Lina and the unknown man, who had a peculiar chaotic feeling to him, gathered around the elf. She encompassed them all in her Raywing spell and quickly transported them elsewhere, flying rapidly through the air.

They landed in a swamp in the outskirts of the forest, which Lina wasn't exactly pleased about. "Why did you bring us here?" She frowned and twisted her nose at the surrounding muck.

"I don't like this swamp at all," Melly admitted. "If you use your Dragon Slave here, you'll clear it all out and the crater that is left behind will surely become a nice fertile valley," the elf happily explained.

"I guess so..." Lina agreed. "Alright, you, get ready!"

"I'm always ready!" The sorcerer exclaimed.

Melly and Gourry backed away to give Lina some space as she began her chant. "Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows, buried in the stream of time is where your power grows. I pledge myself to conquer all the foes who stand, before the mighty gift bestowed in my unworthy hands. Let the fool, and the swamp, that stand before me be destroyed, by the power you and I possess... Dragon Slave!"

The usual effect following such a chant from Lina Inverse ensued as the land was effulged in a massive blast of power that left nothing but a crater where there was once a thick swamp. "Oh, how lovely, I'll plant lots of flowers here now that the nasty swamp is gone." Melly announced as she and Gourry rejoined Lina's side.

"Now let's see if that guy is as special as he things he is." Lina hopped down the crater where she found the bruised and burned sorcerer twitching in pain. "Look at that, I was right to think something was unusual about him, he actually survived that, sort of."

"Re... re... re-covery..." The mysterious young man muttered with difficulty, but failed to summon the inner strength to cast the healing spell, as his defenses had been exhausted in preserving his life.

"Oh, whatever, it's not like he's a serious threat," Lina decided to be merciful. "Recovery!"

The man stood up as quickly as he could. "You didn't need to do that, I was perfectly in control of the situation."

"Ha!" Lina chided, "you're not even fully recovered."

"That's not the point, I am alive and that's what matters. My mission in this time has been accomplished. Remember this, Lina Inverse, that I, prince Zoamelgustar am strong enough to survive a direct hit by your Dragon Slave, so next time I request to test my power against the legendary Lina Inverse, do not speak those infuriating words of 'I'm too much for you, kid.' Ah! Ha ha he ha ha!"

"That's it!" Gourry recalled. "I knew he looked familiar and his sword too. He's Zangulus and Martina's son and that's his father's sword!"

"Then he was from the future!" Lina gasped, eyes going wide as her mind came up with all sorts of reasons for his visit to the past. "Wait a minute, how could you have trouble recognizing people you've seen recently and you can recognize someone you seen relatively recently, but as a baby! He's all grown up, I can see the resemblance to the baby if I look for it, but how did you pick up on it so fast?"

"That's easy," Gourry smiled proudly. "The sword is an easy give away."

Lina blinked and let out a hopeless breath, leave it to Gourry to be able to recognized swords in such detail. "Now that introductions are out of the way, tell me, Zoamelgustar, why have you come to the past? We're busy dealing with the threats upon the world in this time, don't tell me there's a future enemy we're going to have to deal with at the same time?!"

"Um... no... Well, I mean, the world's been in danger before every now and then since I was a child, but I didn't come here to warn you or anything. I just wanted to test my strength against your Dragon Slave, that's all," Zoamelgustar explained.

"And you time traveled for that?" Lina groaned. "Spoiled brat," she muttered.

"Prince Zoamelgustar!" A familiar golden dragon entered the scene, there was a flash of light and he emerged from what looked like a circular rip in the very fabric of time with an orange outline around it. The portal faded away a short while after it was created. The dragon looked a bit different, but still easily recognizable by Lina as being Phythan. "Oh, hello, Lina, Gourry, Melly," he greeted them all, which meant he must have gotten acquainted with Melly at some point in the future. He still held the same innocent light in his violet eyes when he pulled up his goggles to rest atop his head. His robes were a big singed though, as if something had blow up near him recently. He held a strange machine fashioned similarly to a bazooka, though it was smaller than one, albeit larger than a pistol. "Please go back to your time, prince, your training partner awaits for your usual sword and magic spar and I need to get back to my experiments if I'm ever going to reach the level Celo had. Beast Master won't like it if she finds out I'm wandering through time when I should be doing my intern duties."

"Alright, I'll go home and give my rival a taste of my power. With my chaos I shall win this time!" Zoamelgustar dramatically declared, ending the statement with a far too early victorious laugh. "Ah! Ha ha he ha ha!"

Phythan shot the gun to open a new portal and in another flash of light, the fabric of time was lightly ripped again, though this time the portal had a blue outline around it. Zoamelgustar jumped in and he was sent back to where he came. "I really should be going now, we're not supposed to be time hopping for no reason, it can break the worlds if we do it too much, but Zoamelgustar dropped the time portal gun when he used it, so he would have been stranded here," Phythan explained. "Ah, I'm probably saying too much already, well, goodbye." The golden dragon jumped through the blue outlined portal and seconds later, it disappeared after him.

"Time portals, huh?" Lina mused aloud. "At least they fade away after a little while or the time stream would be full of holes by now." She couldn't help it but to curiously wonder who that rival of Zoamelgustar was...

xoxox xox xoxox

Parting ways with Milgazia, Zelas headed towards the location of her beast portion to find Xellos in one of his attempts to communicate with her, which, as all other previous similar interventions, failed miserably. "Sounds like she still won't listen to you, or maybe I should say, I." Zelas, the persona, voiced as she materialized next to Xellos, noting his peculiar attire.

"And here I thought I would get her to listen if I was properly dressed," Xellos pouted.

"Well, you can stop worrying about that now. I sense my monster is at the Elmekia desert crater." As if on cue another earthquake shook the land, there had been plenty of those lately. "Get your pet and meet me there."

"Yes, Lord Beast Master," trusting in Zelas' plan, whatever it may be, Xellos teleported to find Filia.

Left alone, Zelas moved towards her beast part, who was marching out of the heavily forested area and commanding her beasts to attack a human settlement on its outskirts. As amusing as the show was, enough time had passed and Zelas could feel the pulsations of Darkstar's power becoming ever stronger as the separation of the worlds got weaker. Such a broken state would surely suggest a do over from the Lord of Nightmares, which Zelas wasn't ready to prompt just yet, and most likely not for several millennia. The persona moved a certain dish she held in the astral side to the physical plane, where the beast could clearly perceive its scent as if by purely physical means. That beastly side of her, she knew, had an inclination towards physical detail especially concerning smells and would surely be called to attention by the scent of the roasted boar. The recipe and secret sauce were specially made and very much to the liking of the chef. As expected, the beast immediately noticed the scent of something grand and, as Lina Inverse would, she dashed towards it. Grinning, Zelas, the persona, disappeared, though with no intentions of escaping from the beast, but merely of leading her to the meeting place.

xoxox xox xoxox

When Milgazia arrived back at Dragon's Peak, teleported by Fang, he was covered in sauce stains. Those present at the mountain only glance at him in passing, with short casual greetings and didn't inquire for any explanations concerning his filthy state. They already knew the likely reason for that to be Zelas and thus no one bothered questioning it.

The dragon elder got himself cleaned up and, without much explanation, received the item Fang had been holding for him and was teleported to Seyruun. At the city of white magic, the trickster side of Zelas was literally bouncing off the walls, giggling madly like something out of a horror novel from a dragon's perspective, except for Val that is, as he had been taught the enjoyment of chaos by Xellos, and was having fun. A stressed Filia, accompanied by Jillas and Elena a few feet further back as they could not match her dragon speed, dashed after Val, futile trying to get his attention while the boy was too focused on the joyous chaos to notice.

It was at such a scene that Milgazia and Fang had arrived almost simultaneously as Xellos, who was still wearing his peculiar attire. Filia halted and blinked, not sure if she wanted to comment or not. She waited until she realized that she could not resist her curiosity and finally voiced her inquiry. "Xellos... why are you dressed in a fur loincloth?"

"I thought it might be helpful," Xellos smiled cheerfully as he always did. His words were true, but taken out of context they made little sense.

Filia opened her mouth to speak again, then closed it resolutely. "Never mind..." She looked at the approaching Milgazia who held a pie, with Fang not too far behind. "Milgazia, Fang?"

"Greetings Filia..." Milgazia rose an eyebrow at Xellos' unusual appearance, but decided not to ask and, so as not to waste time by provoking one of Xellos' 'rude dragons' rant, he included the purple haired monster in the greeting, "Xellos..." albeit with an obvious tone of lesser importance.

Xellos gasped and pointed at the pie. "Is that Beast Master's ultra special meat pie?" His eyes opened for a moment as if contemplating the thought of stealing it.

"Yes and it's not for you," Milgazia quickly explained. "It's for the trickster. Zelas has assured that if I speak certain lines in her presence, she will follow me and try to steal the pie, then she is to be led to the Elmekia desert."

"I am to take Filia there too, but I was provided with no pie to bait her with," Xellos pouted.

"You would have eaten it yourself anyway," Filia pointed out. "Besides, why must I go to the desert? I am guessing the parts of Zelas are being gathered to be united as expected, but what role do I play?"

Xellos shrugged, "I'm not sure, but I suppose we'll find out soon enough. I would say, if I were to take a guess, something related to fusion magic."

"Ah... that makes sense actually," Filia nodded thoughtfully. "Fusion magic would be the key to putting her back together, most likely..."

"What I don't understand is how a pie would be of great interest to the trickster enough so that she may be led to Elmekia by it. Furthermore, why must I be the one to taunt her with it and not someone else? I suppose I'll know soon enough too. At least the boar recipe with the secret sauce made a shred of sense, the scent was rather appetizing," Milgazia confessed.

"Ah, so she's attracting her beast part with her favorite food other than dragon cuisine. Did you get to taste it?" Xellos curiously inquired, while in the background of their conversation, Seyruun continued to be immersed chaos.

"No," Milgazia replied cautiously. "Not that I would want to eat food prepared by a monster if I can help it."

"You only say that because you didn't get to try it," Xellos assured. "If you had, you'd be begging Lord Beast Master for more. That roasted boar dish is only second to dragon cuisine."

"Xellos!" Filia scolded in displeasure, she didn't like talks about dragon cuisine.

"At any rate, I will go perform the task I was sent here to do." Milgazia stepped forward, holding the pie where the trickster could see it and loudly declared. "I have a delicious pie, yum yum, it's my delicious pie!"

"Could his acting be any duller?" Xellos mocked.

"Regardless of how much emotion, or lack of emotion the acting has, how is this supposed to get the trickster's attention anyway?" Filia inquired.

"Quite simple," Xellos watched as the trickster's eyes were locked on the pie and she charged forward to take it. Fang was faster and teleported Milgazia away, causing the trickster to follow them towards the Elmekia desert, via the astral side. "No trickster can resist a pie to the face of a dragon, especially one as inviting of pranks as Milgazia. He's so serious he just begs to be challenged by trickery."

"A pie... to the face..." Filia slowly repeated. "I suppose I've heard stranger things, and ruder too," she sighed hopelessly.

Jillas and Elena approached. "Hello," Xellos greeted them with a smile, while the two foxes exchanged looks of peculiar confusion at his current attire. "Filia and I have to be on our way now, in fact, I should probably round up the whole crew while I'm at it, so that leaves you and the rest of the supporting cast to watch the kids and take care of things in this world." He offered no room for arguments or questions as he began his series of teleportations, gathering more passengers with each stop.

xoxox xox xoxox

At the Elmekia desert, the monster part of Zelas had further increased the depth of the crater, digging relentlessly towards the planet's core. Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Filia, Xellos, Milgazia and Gorun Nova were all present at the scene, along with the main persona, plus the beast and trickster sides of Zelas.

"Ow..." Lina complained, clutching her stomach. "Can't a girl digest her food in peace without being thrown all over the astral and physical planes so suddenly?"

"It's time to go and face Darkstar," Zelas announced. "Which means it's time for me to reclaim my power."

"You think you win?" The beast Zelas mocked. "I stronger!"

"Maybe so..." The trickster Zelas teleported next to Milgazia and snatched the pie he held. "But clearly..." The dragon elder thought it was okay to let her have the pie and eat it, just as the beast had devoured the boar, since the food had accomplished its purpose of leading them to Elmekia. However, the trickster didn't take the pie with the intension of consuming it and Milgazia soon found himself with a face full of it. "I'm the most cunning!" The trickster giggled.

Milgazia glared as he tried to clean himself up. "I don't even know what's worse, being all sticky with pie, or a giggly Zelas."

"Hey!" Xellos pouted. "Don't you dare criticize Lord Beast Master or any sides of her."

"Either way, I'm the most complete, I'm the one who has the best of all these aspects, monster, beast and trickster," the persona declared.

Another earthquake shook the land and the sands of Elmekia that were pouring into the crater continued to do so more rapidly. "It's getting hard to stay on our feet here, whatever we're doing; I suggest we do it fast!" Zelgadis urged.

"I actually must agree, I would have no world to rule over if my monster side destroys this planet," Zelas voiced. "I suppose I could always take over the over-world, but it's just not the same. Sure it's a big place, but even in its vastness it has nothing that measures up to our world's dragon cuisine!"

"That's right, our world is great!" Amelia cheered.

"Amelia!" Filia exclaimed in horror. "I would expect Lina to react positively to the mention of dragon cuisine, but not you."

"Oh, it's not that I'm encouraging it," the Seyruun princess clarified. "It's just that it's good to see miss Zelas being so patriotic."

"Right..." Zelas commented flatly. "Well," she glanced over at the beast and trickster, who had gotten into a fight with each other. "Let's get this show on the road. Fusion magic should do the trick. If things fall out of balance, just add more of what is missing."

"Yes, Lord Beast Master!" Xellos stepped forward. "Now Filia, I know you're terribly clumsy, but you can't mess this up, so be careful and give it your all," he teased.

"I'm not clumsy!" Filia pouted. "You owe me for this, raw garbage."

To be Continued

The time portal gun is a reference to the Portal video game gun. For those who didn't catch the hint, Zoamelgustar's rival is Lina and Gourry's descendant.

xoxox xox xoxox

Slayers: Chaos

Episode 076: Worlds! The Final Assault

Xellos and Filia began to prepare their fusion magic. Black energy with sparks of violet lightning gathered in his hands and golden energy with sparks of white in hers. They united the two energies into a ball that fused them both in swirls of black and gold with specks of violet and white like glitter. They couldn't go too fast or else they would throw the fusion energy out of balance, but they also couldn't go too slow, as it wouldn't grow sufficiently and they had little time to accomplish their mission. The orb of fusion magic concentration continued to grow as it was prepared to be large enough for its task, which was no easy feat.

As another deeper earthquake assaulted the Elmekia desert, resonating from it all the way to the opposite coast of the peninsula, Zelas observed that the fusion magic gathered was almost sufficient. She charged forward unexpectedly and pushed the quarreling beast and trickster down into the deep hole where the monster was, taking hold of them with her astral side and keeping them in the target area. Xellos and Filia then released the large orb of fusion magic into the hole, sending it to sweep away anything in its path and push the persona, the beast and the trickster into the monster down below, to unite the four.

A blast of magic echoed as the after shock emerged from the hole like a volcano of dark and bright light. Yet something was not right. "Lord Beast Master!" Xellos gasped, sensing his master's energy with great alarm at what he found. "It didn't work, that blast only hurt her, mainly the three that were closest to the surface!"

"But they're uniting, aren't they?" Filia focused her senses on what was happening below.

"No..." Milgazia's eyes went wide as he realized what this meant. "They're not uniting, the monster part was the least affected by the fusion blast because it was the one furthest away. The others were left injured in a sense, the monster is trying to consume them!"

"If one side of Beast Master consumes the others, her persona will be out of balance and she won't be the same!" Xellos rushed towards the crater. "She'll be ruined and we'll have only her monster side as a replacement!" Not the beast with an affinity to wild creatures, not the trickster who could be laid back and carefree, not the cunning plotting being who was a combination of many different aspects. The monster was the essence of her evil, the cruel side that took pleasure in suffering as more than a means of sustenance and a path to power. The part who wanted complete destruction, rather than continuous chaos, the part who would think that keeping wolves and other such beasts as pets would be pointless, as she would be an enemy to all those that live. The part that would give Xellos none of the special liberties that the true Beast Master allowed him, the part that would likely kill Filia and maybe even Lina and the others, never considering the thought of an alliance with such creatures to be worth entertaining. That wouldn't be the real Zelas, not the Zelas that Xellos held an unwavering loyalty towards, not his Beast Master.

"Xellos, wait!" Lina rushed forward, taking hold of the purple haired monster's arm. He could just as easily teleport out of her grip, as it was merely on his physical projection, but he waited. When Lina spoke in such a firm voice in these situations, it means she had an idea. "Don't rush in there so recklessly. Don't you see that this is all just a purposely made miscalculation? There wasn't enough of a balance of darkness and light and Zelas' own energy joined the fusion rather than simply react to it, but Zelas warned you, remember?"

"That's right..." Xellos recalled. "If things are out of balance we need to add more of what is missing. Lord Beast Master is a monster of dark energy, so we need more light, more holy magic!" He realized.

Filia nodded, knowing that Xellos was counting on her. "I'll do my best," She levitated at the edge of the deep crater and began to send her energy into it in a big burst of gold.

"It's... It's not working..." Xellos worried.

"It is working," Lina argued. "No one ever said this would be easy or painless and Zelas knew that. The key to healing is also painful for a full monster such as her. This is entirely different from Val, because he was part dragon and part monster, thus none of the required energies for fusion were alien to him. This is far more complex and more dependant on Zelas' own will. An identity, the knowledge and belief of their own existence are all vital to a monster, she'll have to rely on that."

"You're right," Xellos agreed. "Then just as before, we will also serve as Beast Master's anchor in this world, just like we did when we faced the Stillness in its purer form over a year ago!"

"Everyone give your happy thoughts to Zelas!" Amelia cheered, before taking a moment to reanalyze the situation. "Okay, maybe not your happy thoughts since that might not be too healthy for her, just your thoughts then."

Wordlessly, Milgazia joined Filia and began to pour his own energy to fuel the chaotic fusion effect below. 'You knew the planet's wound was already too serious to be ignored, didn't you, Zelas?' He quietly thought. 'You knew your monster part would take advantage of it. All along, you knew what to do to pull yourself together, but it had to be done here, in this very place, close enough for the fusion to affect the planet itself. This was no accidental reaction; you allowed your own energy to become a part of the catalyst to power the fusion to an unprecedented level, to save your territory from destruction. To have an instinctual attachment to the world that holds your beasts and territory, even if you were told by your former master to destroy it, how very beast-like of you...'

As the fusion magic reached its peak, an explosion reached out to the skies from the crater. The waves of energy were so strong, that they blew everyone away in all directions. Ray of light and darkness colored the atmosphere with glowing points like raining stars of violet and white all around. Dazed, Lina sat up to realize that whatever she was sitting on had golden scales. As she saw Filia flying near by, she concluded that they were riding on Milgazia, who, along with Filia, had rapidly transformed to catch them. Fang deposited, an excited and optimistic looking Amelia onto Filia's back. It would make sense that the monsters would have to do some teleporting to assist in catching the group that had been thrown all around with such a force that Raywing couldn't withstand it to be used to carry them to safety fast enough. A rough, yet better than landing splat on the ground, catch, was their only option of survival.

Between the passengers of the two golden dragons, Lina observed that everyone was present and accounted for. She looked at Gourry who was on one side of her and Gorun Nova on the other, then glanced at the area where the crater at the Elmekia desert below used to be. There was nothing but the endless golden sands of the desert and no crater to be seen. Then a dark presence from above caused her to tilt her head upwards towards where a majestic figure floated.

The creature had golden fur, ivory wings and glowing silvery eyes with elongated pupils. "I feel a little different maybe, but I'm still me." The shewolf grinned cunningly. "I'm sure the remnant of the Stillness within Darkstar would turn in its host if it knew I went as far as to erase the scars left on the planet's core from before. That thing or rather, that nothing, has no claim to make in my territory."

"Lord Beast Master!" Xellos cheered, hopping over to ride on her back. He threw his arms around her neck as if she were a giant plush. "Shall we go show Darkstar who's boss?"

"Absolutely," Zelas agreed. "The energies that keep the worlds apart have been weaken sufficiently for me to tare a path between them." Normally, such a thing would be impossible even for someone of Zelas' power, but there were special circumstances at play, as the worlds reacted to each other. "All crew, report to the Great Beast immediately!"

Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis and Gorun Nova joined Xellos, followed by Filia and Milgazia, who changed back to their human-like form. "Lord Beast Master, I will await for the news of your victory!" Fang saw them off.

"I won't be gone too long this time," Zelas flew straight up towards the atmosphere, where the air was thin. The magic users created a shield around the group as Zelas ripped a small opening between the worlds and headed in, leaving the rip to close naturally behind her, though it would only close fully when Darkstar was defeated and balance was restored to the worlds.

xoxox xox xoxox

Zelas traveled through the space between worlds, changing as she went. Just as the magical shields faded, she changed into her space ship form and opened a hatch that led the crew to fall in. Soon the Great Beast emerged at the over-world in space and pinpointed Darkstar's location as well as the Swordbreaker.

An incoming transmission from Canal was received. "There you are! I've been looking for you."

"I know," Zelas replied before the image of Canal on the screen could finish. "It's time to face Darkstar."

"Right, let's do this," Canal declared with a tone similar to that of Amelia.

Zelas observed her crew, all of which looked ready to put up a fierce fight. She had evolved enough to draw power from all of them, not just the designated captain, and Xellos could further boost her system's functions. Thus Zelas, Xellos, Filia, Lina, Gourry, Amelia, Zelgadis, Milgazia and Gorun Nova, headed out to the final battle against Darkstar on the Great Beast, along with Canal, Kain and Millie on the Swordbreaker.

xoxox xox xoxox

The Swordbreaker and the Great Beast emerged from their light speed jump at what would become the site of their final battle. The massive ship Dugradigdu lay ahead, it's appearance different from what it had been before. The colossal vessel held a vast array of newly added weaponry, no doubt brought and installed by Bodigar, Nezard, Galveira, Ragudo Mezegis and Gorun Nova during their time of service to Darkstar. A communication link was opened between the three combatant vessels. "So you've finally come to challenge me. Your time of cowardice only served to make me stronger." Darkstar taunted.

"The amount of power you gained in this time is notable, but we gained a lot more, enough to surpass you," Canal retorted.

"Is that so? I recall you retreating because you didn't stand a chance and your little friend from that pathetic inferior other world was certainly no challenge. Is that a replica of her I see?" Darkstar curiously focused his radars on the Great Beast, the results of the scan perplexing him. "You are... real? But how?! I destroyed you!"

"You will learn the hard way that the monster lords of my world cannot be so easily defeated," Zelas threatened. "You don't stand a chance."

Darkstar couldn't understand how it was possible that Zelas could have survived his previous attack. "Then the one I destroyed was the replica?"

"You destroyed no one," Zelas taunted. "The one you fought before was me, but your attacks were useless."

Darkstar growled in frustration. "This time I'll make sure every piece of you both is no larger than a spec of space dust!" He no longer cared about extracting Zelas' power, she had become a problem and it was best to simply take the fastest route to eliminate her as soon as possible.

"Don't forget about us, Darkstar!" Kain challenged. "You'll have to contend with the inhabitants of this world and the next too."

"That's right, and let me tell you, I'm known for my ability to always come out on top!" Lina added.

"Enough of this, I will show you true power!" Darkstar initiated the assault by launching a rain of missiles upon the Great Beast and Swordbreaker.

The two smaller lost ships skillfully dodged the larger projectiles, countered others with their own and the ones that could neither be avoided nor stopped, crashed against their strong psy-energy shields. Canal opened a private communication link between the Swordbreaker and Great Beast. "If we get too close, he'll blast us point blank."

"I know," Zelas replied. "I've gotten accustomed enough to the burden of a physical vessel to realize that. Then our strategy should be clear. Draw out all his physical weaponry before charging in."

"Right, and since Darkstar is putting his resources into fighting, he won't be able to progress in absorbing Dolphin's power and destroying Dynast to absorb his power as well. They should remain protected by the encryption program till the end of this battle," a battle that was only getting started.

"Heh, I'm not their babysitter, my only concern is Darkstar's defeat." Zelas began to shoot missiles full force, to cause Darkstar to use his in retaliation. His vessel was too large to move as swiftly as the Great Beast and Swordbreaker, though its armor was far thicker.

"Missile usage to seventy-percent!" Millie announced.

"We're going to have to bring in the lasers soon," Kain decided. "Millie take your post!"

"Right!" Millie prepared, taking hold of the manual aim controls. "I'm the best shot in the universe!"

"I should thank you for the idea, Zelas, I too have learned to take energy from more than one source at a time," Canal announced. It was an unprecedented advancement for the lost ships native to the over-world.

"Is that so? Then that gives me an idea," Zelas grinned. "After our missiles run out, he'll still have plenty. The high precision lasers should detonate them at a safe distance, and Darkstar won't be too concerned with regular lasers, in fact he might not even notice was follows after them."

"I see where you're going with that," Canal agreed.

"Alright! It's about time we got to do something!" Lina cheered, also interpreting the strategy.

"What are we doing?" Gourry inquired in confusion.

"Never mind the details, just focus on being brave," Lina voiced.

"Okay, I can do that," Gourry smiled.

"The last few missiles are being launched," Xellos announced. "It looks like the Swordbreaker is running out as well. Activating high precision lasers. Lord Beast Master, should I?"

"Alright, get to work on gathering the psy-energy and I'll take care of the lasers. We'll need a lot of system resources for this, so..." A few panels opened up at the controls with manual aim systems. "A beast's instinct is more precise than anything, so my little beasts, fire when you see fit."

"Alright! This is just like a video game! I'll shoot down Darkstar's missiles in the name of justice!" Amelia cheered as she and the others took their positions.

The Great Beast and Swordbreaker shot a rain of lasers, both high precision and regular, mixed together in a blindingly bright light that generated enough interference to momentarily render Darkstar's radars and sensors useless. He wasn't too concerned as even if the lasers went beyond his energy shield, they couldn't truly harm his armor. Yet a surprise lay beyond the lasers. "The psy-energy blast is ready!"

"Zelas... that amount... your ship..." Canal warned.

"I get it," Zelas acknowledged. Even if she and Xellos, with even more ease than her, could handle positive psy-energy, hers was still a dark lost ship and some consequences with such a massive amount would be inevitable, but they could be reduced. "Linking psy-energy system... There, now we have access to the energy of each other's crew. Xellos, transfer some of that positive psy-energy to the Swordbreaker and divide the energy sources between us."

"Yes, Lord Beast Master!" Xellos did as he was told.

"Ah, this is some quality energy, Darkstar won't like this surprise," Canal grinned mischievously. "Ready!"

"We're ready here too," Xellos added cheerfully.

"Fire!" Kain and Lina shouted simultaneously.

The continuous blast of the lasers was finalized by two massive blasts of psy-energy, which Darkstar didn't see coming until it was too late. The psy-energy broke through his shield and collided against Dugradigdu's armor, damaging it. "You'll pay for that!" Darkstar threatened. "It's about time I showed you my true power. I now appoint Dynast as the captain of this vessel!"

"Can he do that?" Zelgadis had a bad feeling about it.

"A lost ship as the captain of another lost ship is something unheard of, but with all the modifications Darkstar has made to his vessel, Dugradigdu, who knows what he might be able to do," Gorun Nova warned.

"Canal, will your program protect Dynast?" Milgazia inquired.

"Not like this," Canal grimaced. "It protects him from being absorbed into Dugradigdu, but to be used as an external power source like a human would be; I didn't even think Darkstar could develop the resources to accomplish that, so I have no counter measures prepared. Dophin's presence isn't there anymore though."

"I guess it's a good thing I took her out of there, too bad I couldn't get Dynast out as well, but at least we only have half the trouble to deal with. If Darkstar can use a lost ship as a captain, then no doubt, he would be able to drain power from more than one source," Zelas theorized. "I'm sure he hates it, feeding on the power of life, the essence of the Stillness within him must make it so."

"I see, so even if Dolphin's power is still locked away, a prisoner of Darkstar, he can't use it because it is not a living thinking creature, thus no psy-energy can come of it alone," Filia concluded. "Then that means..."

"We'll have to get Dynast out of the way, or at least his persona," Xellos concluded.

"Darkstar probably has too much of a firm grip on the locked away power, so like with Dolphin, we'll have to leave that for later," Lina strategize.

"Actually, now that I've given it some further thought, we might not even need to be concerned with Dynast all that much," Zelas voiced.

"I hope you're right, because I detect a massive blast of dark psy-energy about to be shot at us!" Canal announced in alarm.

"Leave it to me. Xellos, create an inner shield with positive psy-energy," Zelas ordered.

"An inner shield, Lord Beast Master?" Xellos inquired in perplexity. "But the inner side of the Great Beast isn't as strong as the outer area. To shield it with energy opposite to it will only cause damage."

"It will be fixed soon enough, so do it," Zelas ordered.

"Yes, Lord Beast Master," not questioning his commands any further, Xellos placed a shield of positive psy-energy on the inner side of the Great Beast, specifically concentrating in the control room, where the crew was gathered. Sparks of electricity surrounded the area as the dark lost ship reacted badly to the shield.

Zelas moved the Great Beast to fly in front of the Swordbreaker, taking Darkstar's blast of dark psy-energy fully head on. The dark energy surrounded the vessel, causing physical damage with its intensity, but empowering her energy. The self repair system jump started at an amazing speed and made up for the physical damage received. The darkness penetrated the armor of the Great Beast, colliding with the shield of positive psy-energy, which Xellos held up. After the dark psy-energy had been mostly absorbed, Zelas cued Xellos to, "drop the shield!" Which he immediately did. The remaining dark pulsations made the walls of the control panel glow with swirls of black and purple, being ultimately absorbed to make up for the damage of maintaining the positive shield for the sake of the crew.

"Good strategy," Canal commended. "A dark lost ship can't be so easily harmed by its own element and you even managed to shield your crew."

"Nothing feels impossible anymore," Zelas admitted.

"Then it was the right choice for you to take on Darkstar's allied lost ships, you've come far since your initial arrival here and you even got Gorun Nova to join you, I can sense it's him, though in a different form," Canal revealed.

"The other world... it's not a place to be underestimated," Gorun Nova admitted.

"That's exactly what Darkstar is going to have to learn!" Lina announced with great determination.

To be Continued