Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ Slayers: Days ❯ Chapter 1

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

Supernatural occurrences, unexpected mishaps and a very mysterious monster annoyance... It's just another day for Filia. XellosxFilia, GourryxLina, ZelgadisxAmelia A collection of short stories

One shot collection based on Slayers: Alive and Slayers: Chaos.

Slayers: Days

Arc 1: Curse of the Castle Town

When an angry Filia chases an annoying Xellos into a cursed town, the pair becomes trapped in a loop where every day is different but the tragic end is always the same. Can they change the course of destiny and break free?

Chapter 1: Misplaced Reality

Life is full of challenges, some greater than others. Right now Filia's greatest challenge was hitting Xellos with her laser breath as she soared through the skies in her dragon form. She had gone a considerable distance away from her shop, but she was determined to catch that annoying monster. The golden dragon lost altitude as she flew over a lonely town that she could have sworn wasn't there a second ago. She didn't pay it any mind though, her attention was focused on her target.

Xellos on the other hand did notice there was something odd about the town. It looked like it was surrounded by some kind of astral warped space, but it wasn't exactly a pocket of astral space. This was something peculiar. Dodging another laser from Filia, Xellos lowered himself closer to the town at the center of which there was a castle. Filia flapped her wings and hovered above him. She shot a few more lasers, which Xellos dodged while at the same time examining the area around the town. Seeing that it was blocked by powerful magic, he looked for a weakness in the barrier and sensed one at the gates.

Curious to investigate the mysterious energy emanating from the castle town, Xellos approached the gates, easily dodging Filia's laser breath. The golden dragon was feeling tired and out of breath from chasing him around so much. Xellos teleported in front of the gates and cautiously examined the area. He felt the thump of Filia's landing behind him. She transformed without giving it too much thought. She was too angry, too tired, too desperate to let out her tensions. "Xellos!"

The purple haired monster looked back and grinned. He noted that Filia was bent over and breathing heavily. She wouldn't be able to blast him with a laser right now. It also didn't look like she had the strength to lift her mace an go on the physical offensive. There was a crackle of magic as if something was set in motion inside the barrier, unknown to them it was something that happened everyday. Wordlessly, Filia rushed towards Xellos and tackled him. He was expecting her to throw out some more insults while she waited to recover her strength. Her actions took him by surprise and he was thrown forward past the castle town gates landing in a heap with Filia on top of him.

The atmosphere within the castle town gates was drastically different from the atmosphere outside. The noise of a terrible battle was clear, while it had been imperceptible outside. A swarm of bandits raided the town, stealing, attacking, burning and causing all around chaos. Xellos enjoyed the taste of it while Filia was tortured by the sights. It looked as if the raid was in its final stages and the victims were many. She couldn't understand how it was possible that she didn't hear the screams of terror or see the rising smoke of the burning buildings. This was a disaster.

A bright flash of light overcame their senses, it was the end of the loop that happened every day when the sun set. The shadow of a dragon was seen, golden scales shone above them, the source of the bright light. A well build man with a spear dashed past them, he was heading towards the gate, but didn't make it out on time before the light enveloped the whole town and just as suddenly it faded away.

The town was once again buzzing with activity. The bandits were gone and the sound of the panicked screams and destruction were replaced by the sharply contrasting sound of merchants setting up shop, people greeting their neighbors and early risers making their way down the street. In the castle town of Aeterum time didn't matter. It could be day, it could be night, it mattered not, but when the sun set or the sun rose, the bandits returned. Sometimes they attacked in fast forward and decimated all in seconds, sometimes it was painfully slow. Either way the result was always the same, there was no escape.

"What just happened?" Filia got up off Xellos and ventured into the town. "What did you do?"

"Nothing," Xellos replied truthfully. "It was what you did. This area was inside some kind of astral shield and you pushed us into it."

"What?" Alarmed, Filia tried to make their way towards the town gates, but found that she could not go past them.

"It looks like that route is one way," Xellos concluded. "The energy of a curse is in the air, mixed with the energy of a dragon. Such bitter creatures..."

"I don't know what's going on," Filia frowned defensively, "but there's no way a dragon did this." She made her way through town where no one seemed to mind her. She wanted to go home, but she had a bad feeling about all of this. She headed towards the castle at the center of town, passing a booth selling masks. She looked at an oni mask with critical eyes, picking it up just to feel that the scene was tangible and real. "It must be the work of a monster."

"I don't think so," Xellos picked up a dragon mask, holding it over his face as he spoke, "it's the work of a dragon.

"I'm not listening to you, raw garbage." Filia placed the oni mask back on the display on the booth and walked off in a huff. Xellos returned the dragon mask to its place and hurried after her.

A jester stood in the center of the castle town's plaza entertaining the locals with puzzles and riddles. "What is darker than twilight and more crimson than blood?"

"Ruby Eyes Shabranigdu!" The people around him replied in a chorus.

"Stop following me," Filia grumbled as she made her way faster across the plaza.

"Should you really be wondering around an unknown cursed castle town alone?" Xellos taunted.

It was ironic how she went from following him to running away from him. Filia had tried to get her revenge on Xellos and it did not work out, now she was done trying for the day and wanted to get away from him. She soon realized that the jester at the center of the plaza wasn't alone. A whole trope of performers invaded the area in festive costumes and gowns as if it was a masquerade ball of clowns. Filia got caught among them and made to spin around in a dance. The townspeople played along amused by the traveling performers that ignored the golden dragon's anger at having her personal space invaded.

Before she threw a big tantrum and leveled the town, Xellos discreetly cut into the dance and led Filia away from the mayhem of the performers. As much as he would enjoy watching her go on a rampage, it might be dangerous to allow that given the peculiar state of that mysterious castle town. The scene shifted as Xellos spun Filia in his arms, the dragon trying to get away from the commotion in the plaza. The sun that had come up so suddenly sun in the horizon and they were left under the moonlight.

The party continued as a town-wide carnival as Filia pushed Xellos away and stumbled down the stairs to the street below the central plaza's platform. She was caught by the same man she and Xellos had seen running towards the gates at their arrival. He looked like he was not there by coincidence, as if he had been searching for them. His eyes were focused on Filia, as if he had recovered something precious.

The muscular spear wielding man steadied Filia on her feet and glared at Xellos, pointing his weapon at him and standing in front of Filia. "I can't stand monsters, especially monsters who attack defenseless damsels! It is foul creatures like you that are my rivals in life!"

Xellos grinned widely, "you call yourself my rival?" He mocked. "You call that a damsel?" The monster general priest pointed at Filia, who glared fiercely in return. "She's not a damsel, not a lady, she's a dragon," he smugly teased.

"Excuses!" The spearman roared. "Dragons are honorable creatures. I, Kardis Xeriun, am myself am indebt to elder of the Aqualord's clan who saved my life!"

"You think all dragons are honorable just because the ever dull Milgazia saved your pitiful existence?" Xellos mockingly inquired, his ever present grin was still in place, but his eyes opened for just a split second as if he was specially annoyed by this man's interference. Xellos inched closer, pushing the spear away lightly with the end of his staff and taking a few more steps towards his challenger. Kardis was different from the rest of the townspeople, he didn't belong in that town and yet he was somehow caught in the curse, perhaps linked to it some how.

"Stop it!" Filia screamed in annoyance. She swiftly positioned herself between Xellos and Kardis and pushed them apart left and right. Her dragon strength made them fall to the ground.

In the distance there was the echo of shattering glass as a lady dropped a vase in fright at the sight of the group of bandits invading the peaceful town as the sun rose in the horizon. People screamed, children cried, the whole town panicked. The bandits swarmed the town, cutting down people left and right. They were helpless. The children's cries intensified as the cruel gang set the castle town ablaze. Everything was chaos. "How could we be out of time already?" Kardis scrambled to his feet and grabbed Filia's hand. He began to run, "we have to hurry, transform, fly, we need to reach the gates before the raid ends, it's the only way out!"

Filia was pulled along at first, but there was an echo in her ears that stood out above all other sounds. Kardis insisted that she transformed, Xellos teleported in front of Kardis, both eyes, open, ready to go on the attack with a possessiveness that not even he could understand. Everything was in turmoil, but all she could hear was that sound, the sound of the children's cries in the middle of a great tempest. "Let go!" Filia freed herself from Kardis' grasp.

Kardis looked back as she ran away into the eye of the storm, into the area where the tempest was at its worst. He hesitated for a split second before running away full speed towards the gates. This damsel was a dragon; she could take care of herself. Xellos paused perplexed, tasting the desperation of the human man, the hope, the fear of disappointment and the resignation of giving something up. He ignored him as he dashed by and focused on Filia. "Stupid dragon, you're running in the wrong direction!"

Filia returned, running back towards the gates just in time to yell back. "I know what I'm doing, raw garbage!" She was holding a little boy and girl in her arms, running towards the exit with them as fast as she could. Then the bright flash of light returned, the silhouette of a dragon was seen and the flames that assaulted the near by houses grew to great proportions. Surrounded by fire, Filia held the children close to her in a cold embrace using ice magic to keep the flames away.

"Stupid dragon!" Xellos used his monster magic to try to put the flames out to no avail. It was an illusion all part of the curse that overtook the castle town. "I'm not sure what's going on, but I think that guy knows, so if you'd stop being stupid for a moment-"

"I'm not leaving them!" Filia shouted as she hugged the children protectively. They were fading away, disappearing from her arms. The atmosphere around her was still cold as Xellos tried to pull her to her feet. The children disappeared completely; Filia ceased her resistance in shock, allowing Xellos to pull her into his arms. The atmosphere was still cold around them, almost freezing from the ice magic she had used before.

Then the scenery finally finished changing and it was daytime again, a busy morning with townspeople walking about, minding their own business and not minding the visitors. Filia saw the children she had tried to save safely playing in the plaza, amused by the traveling entertainers. She looked towards the gates and saw the spearman looking frustrated. Kardis Xeriun, just who was he and what did he know about that strange place where reality had been misplaced?

To be Continued

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Chapter 2: Tea Leaves

Xellos stepped towards the gates and gave the spearman his trademark cheerful grin as if he was blissfully unaware of his own curiosity. Filia had enough, she wanted answers and though she was usually the first one to blow her temper, this time, she was the one to stop the fight. "Tea!" She shouted, "I want a cup of tea."

"A suspiciously convenient time to get thirsty..." Xellos voiced, scratching the side of his face in slight curiosity, his cheerful mask becoming a little more like a real grin. "Fine then, let's all go have a cup of tea, your odd new friend too."

Kardis glared, he had missed another opportunity. "I see no reason to drink tea with a monster."

"With this raw garbage near by," Filia pointed at Xellos as if his mere presence was a misery. "I'm sure even the sweetest tea will taste bitter, but he's really hard to get rid of. Let's focus on the explanations for now."

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A few minutes later, introductions were officially exchanged and Xellos, Filia and the mysterious Kardis were sitting in the middle of a flower garden with the colors of dusk painted in the horizon in the background. Filia took a calming sip of tea then let out a slow breath. "Mr. Xeriun, if you would please tell us about this castle town."

"Just Kardis," the spearman replied as he threw a distrusting glare at Xellos. A soft breeze blew slightly moving his blond hair as the morning progressed in apparent peace. "As for this castle town, it's called Aeterum. It was cursed by a dragon along with everyone in it, locals and visitors. I came to investigate some mysterious disappearances. This town usually always repeated the same day over and over, but when you two entered the flow of time went crazy, probably because a dragon and a monster entering at once caused a power surge of sorts. It seems to have settled down now. As for the way out, after being trapped here for so long I've figured it out. To leave this place one has to cross the gates during the raid. The rest of the time the entrance at the gates is only one way, it lets people in but not out. It's harder than it sounds. During the raid something always happens to prevent my escape."

"What about the townspeople?" Filia asked with concern, while Xellos focused on his tea.

"I tried to warn them, but they won't listen," Kardis revealed. "Who would? To them, I'm just a crazy visitor predicting a senseless disaster. I don't think they would listen even if a dragon warns them." It was clear that he had gone in circles many times and had been unable to solve this.

"I could try to force the barrier open," Xellos suggested with a grin of amused curiosity. "The town would probably be destroyed in the process though."

"Even a dragon would be injured by a burst of energy of that magnitude, if not killed," Kardis pointed out in warning. Although on second thought, that might have encouraged Xellos to test his theory... yet somehow it didn't.

"That option checks out," Filia determined, leaving no room for argument in the firm glare she gave Xellos. "Maybe if we can figure out the cause of the curse, then we can safely break it."

"That dragon..." Kardis mused aloud, not finishing voicing the thought. He took a drink of tea.

Filia sighed and admitted, "not all dragons are good..."

"Really?" Xellos raised an eyebrow and opened one critical yet teasing eye towards Filia.

"It could also be a monster influencing the dragon," Filia added.

"I've looked around but haven't been able to find any monsters, aside from him," Kardis nodded towards Xellos. "Maybe you would be able to sense what's happening more clearly."

"I'll try," Filia voiced. She was still very confused about what was going on, but she intended to get to the bottom of it.

"It's like a game," Xellos chuckled as if it was all very amusing to him, though the barrier did concern him. "We'll have to solve a puzzle and possibly win a race," he referred to the need to arrive at the town gates quickly.

"Easier said than done," Filia mused aloud.

The echo of a familiar voice interrupted their conversation. "I don't know what's going on, but bring on the main course, triple portions!" The female voice called from the direction of a restaurant a few feet away.

"I'll have the same!" A male voice added from the same direction.

"It looks like things just got a little more interesting," Xellos grinned mischievously. He finished his tea and winked to Filia, "good choice of tea leaves." Then set down his tea cup and stood up. He headed towards the source of the voices.

"That's the voice of..." Filia began with concern.

Surprisingly, Kardis finished for her. "Lina Inverse."

"You know her?" Filia exclaimed in surprise.

"Yes, I know Lina and Luna rather well, especially Luna." There was a hint of something hidden, though it didn't look like Kardis had any intentions of revealing it just yet.

"If you know Lina, then you must know we're in grave danger!" Filia began to hastily put away her tea set and clean up after the group. With the empty cups and tea pot in her cloak, she hurried after Xellos.

"Grave danger?" Kairdis mused for a moment, eyebrow raised. Then the answer came to him. If anything at all happened to upset Lina Inverse or she became frustrated with not being able to leave right away or at the latest when the destined bandit raid finally came, she would call upon the Dragon Slave. The energy would be either caught inside the barrier and thrown back at those within it, or it would forcibly break the barrier and cause a chain reaction that would lead to a powerful burst of energy. Either way, they would be doomed. He hurried after Filia.

To be Continued

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Chapter 3: Burn

"So you see, unless you break the barrier, there's no way you'll be able to free the castle town and collect the reward you're after." Xellos finished his own version of the explanation to Lina. It was truthful, yet conveniently incomplete.

Between big bites of food, Lina mused, "I could overload it with a Dragon Slave..." She saw Gourry reaching over to grab another portion of chicken and quickly became distracted. "That's my chicken!"

None the less, Xellos commended with a mischievous grin, "excellent idea, Lina."

"That's a terrible idea!" Filia interrupted as she arrived on the scene. "If you use the Dragon Slave, it will cause an overload and we'll all die!" She noticed that Lina's attention was not on her as she made her very important statement. Strangely, the sorceress wasn't looking at the food either.

The petite redhead tilted her head, eyes focused in recognition, "Kardis?"

"Good to see you again, Lina," he greeted.

"Is this a friend of yours?" Gourry asked with curiosity after swallowing another big bite of food. "Can I spar with him sometime?" His tone could be compared to that of a little boy asking if he could borrow a toy.

"Sure, sure," Lina agreed, answering in place of Kardis, which made Gourry smile at the reply. "I've heard a lot of people disappeared when they came to investigate this town. Have you been stuck here since you dropped off the face of the earth?"

"Unfortunately so," Kardis took up a chair at Lina and Gourry's table, reaching over for the roasted chicken and picking up a drumstick.

"Oh no you don't!" Lina greedily pulled the chicken away, but Kardis didn't let it go.

"This is my favorite, I'm going to tell Luna you're being greedy," Kardis warned. Lina yelped and let the chicken go.

"Now, now, Lina," Xellos shook his head. "Are you going to let him pick on you like that? That was your chicken this terrible man stole. Shouldn't you, at the very least, burn him with a fireball for his insolence?"

Lina pouted, "you're right, I should!" However, her determination deflated a mere split second later. "But then Luna might get angry at me if he tells her I'm being too greedy." She groaned in resignation.

"Well, I'm glad everyone is so well acquainted," Filia tried to get the group back on track focusing on the task at hand. "Now if we could discuss a plan of action to break the curse that doesn't involve getting blown up..."

"Why don't we just ask him?" Gourry dumbly inquired with a look of clueless confusion upon his face that didn't justify the genius of his rare logical statement. It was simple, straight forward and effective. Yet the suggestion was in fact so simple, that the others failed to appreciate it at first.

"Ask who?" Lina inquired. "Xellos? He'll just try to trick us. Kardis? If he knew how to break the curse he wouldn't still be stuck here."

"Mr. Dragon," Gourry replied. The blond swordsman strained his memory to recall Xellos' recent narration. "Xellos said the town was curse by a dragon, right? Why don't we just ask the dragon about it?"

"As if he'd tell us!" Lina huffed. "Right, Kardis?"

"I haven't actually tried that option, but I would assume he wouldn't tell us," Kardis logically concluded.

There was a long moment of thought filled silence until Gourry encouraged. "We won't know unless we try, right?"

Another pause followed and Filia actually agreed. "That might be worth a try. We'll have to wait until the next time the dragon appears. Well not the dragon himself, but the embodiment of the dragon's curse. It might carry the dragon's will, so it will probably be possible to communicate with it."

"Until then, we'll eat!" Lina cheered.

"You know, this food is only an illusion," Kardis pointed out. "It fills the stomach and keeps us alive, but what's really doing that is the energy around here, kind of like recovery. The dragon's purpose wasn't for everyone to starve, just imprisonment." He called the waiter over and ordered some more chicken, then turned to Lina and Gourry with a chuckle. "Illusion or not, it's tasty so we might as well enjoy it."

Lina felt her eye twitch. "The illusion of food?" Her face became enraged, wild, vengeful. "I didn't survive a world wide famine and defeat the ultimate enemy of the Mother of all Things just so some dragon can disrespect food. This is a sensitive subject that must be respected!" She growled fiercely.

Kardis' eyes grew wide in realization. "This reminds me of when I first met her and thought she was Luna's daughter because she's so short and flat... This can only mean..."

Though Lina would have certainly been further enraged by Kardis' reminder, she was already too furious to hear him. "Darkness beyond twilight, crimson beyond blood that flows..."

"Lina, no!" Filia tried to stop her, "we'll get blown to bits!"

"Buried in the stream of time is where your power grows..."

"That's it! Keep going!" Xellos cheered her on.

"I pledge myself to conquer all the foes who stand..."

"What part of 'this is suicide' do you not understand?" Filia screeched.

"Before the mighty gift bestowed in my unworthy hands..."

"Don't worry so much stupid dragon," Xellos smiled cheerfully, one eye open in anticipation. "If things get too hot, I'll teleport you, Lina and Gourry out of here."

"Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed..."

"What about Kardis and the townspeople? We can't leave them! I can't leave them!" Filia argued fiercely. "Didn't you see what it was like when the bandits came? Everyone ran minding only themselves. It's no wonder they didn't stand a chance. If they had stood together and helped each other..."

"By the power you and I possess..."

"That's it..." Kardis came to a silent realization that he did not have time to share.

"Dragon Slave!" Lina released the full extent of her powerful signature spell.

The shield around the town flickered and everything was surrounded in flames. The bandits appeared out of nowhere as the scenery abruptly changed to sunset. The light of day gave way to the light of flames as the town burned.

To be Continued

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Chapter 4: Sacrifice

The townspeople were in a panic. "The gates! Everyone to the gates!" Kardis rushed to battle, expertly wielding his spear to make a path for everyone to escape.

"It's out of control!" Filia shouted in alarm.

"I guess I over did it..." Lina realized too late. "But it wasn't my fault! Food needs to be respected!"

Gourry had already jumped into the battle along with Kardis, who was chanting a spell in an attempt to put out the flames. "You who crosses between sky and earth, gently flowing water, gather in my hand and give me power... Demona Crystal!"

The shield around the town glowed, making it look as if the sky was on fire and the silhouette of the dragon appeared again, angered. "Dragon, please talk to me. Tell me why you've done this!" Filia tried to reason with it to no avail. "Why do you hurt these people?"

"I hurt no one," the embodiment of the dragon's curse that carried his will spoke in a resounding ominous echo. "They disappoint me, if they had only learned, even from a single visitor, they would have been freed. The power that I have casted upon this castle town might have been overloaded by the power summoned from Ruby Eyes, but it will not simply allow an escape. This is your last chance. Fulfill what must be done or perish once and for all!" The glowing silhouette disappeared, ghostly and eerie, as the atmosphere became heavier with more power by the second. The shield would not hold for long and an explosion would surely ensue.

"What is it that must be done? Please tell me!" Filia insisted, but no reply came.

"Stupid dragon, the exit at the town's gates is open, we need to leave!" Xellos urgently reminded.

"Alright, you heard him, Gourry, Kardis, let's go!" Lina tugged on Gourry's arm. "This is a useless fight, an illusion, we need to retreat."

"It's not real? The people aren't real?" Gourry asked unsure as he parried a blow from a bandit and sliced through the wooden handle of the robber's axe, leaving his weapon without a blade and the enemy defenseless.

"They are real," Kardis corrected as he impaled another bandit with his spear. "I understand now, this is not really a curse, it's a final effort to save everyone, if a worthy one should come..."

"What in the world does that mean?" Lina asked exasperated. This was certainly not the time for philosophical musings and such time consuming activities that stole away precious seconds needed for the important task of escaping with their lives.

There were those voices again, the voices of small children, a boy and a girl. "Open a path and lead everyone away. Get them all out!" Kardis insisted.

"Alright!" Lina wasn't sure what was going on, but if those people were not just part of the illusion then she had to save them... and collect some rewards for her efforts! "Let's go, Gourry!"

Kardis headed towards the source of the voice, catching up with Filia, who was being scolded by Xellos for being a stupid dragon who placed herself in danger. While they argued, he tried to drag her away from a burning building and she resisted, the spearman headed inside among the flames. "He's even more suicidal than you..." Xellos commented with a hint of disappointment. He would rather Kardis fall as a result of his own trickery rather than throwing away his life.

The flames consumed the building almost entirely and the structure looked like it would collapse in itself. This wasn't a rescue; it was a sacrifice, a gamble, a dangerous act of selflessness. A loud roar echoed as Filia transformed into her dragon shape and casted a Freeze Rain spell, using her laser breath to change the endless falling icicles into water that put out the flames of the three story structure where Kardis was. She destroyed the floating ball of ice as soon as the task was done and using her massive size and strength she ripped off the building's ceiling. "Kardis, where are you?" He wasn't in the top floor.

"You're feeling rather wild today, aren't you? You can stomp around later; we should really get going now." Xellos reminded with more urgency, refusing to leave Filia's side until she retreated to safety. The shield around town glowed a deeper shade of red and a powerful burst of energy rained down upon them sudden and deadly. Xellos called forth his power, pointing his staff upward, the red gem glowing brightly. The burning energy collided against the shield he created, bouncing off to the sides and making a bigger mess of the area around them.

Finally, the building collapsed. "Kardis!" Filia called in worry.

"I'm here!" Kardis made it out of the rubble just on time, with two small children in his arms. "We need to leave!"

"Right!" Filia picked up Kardis and the kids on one hand, grabbing Xellos with her other.

"Hey!" The monster protested, but opposed little resistance to being carried off like a sack of potatoes.

Filia dashed towards the exit, zooming past the town gates and taking flight speedily, just on time to avoid the final overload of the shield around the castle town and the massive explosion that followed.

To be Continued

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Chapter 5: No Sense of Occasion

Everything was obliterated and it came as no surprise for those who were used to being in the company of Lina Inverse. However, this final time, the purpose of the so called curse had been fulfilled in spite of all the useless repeats. "What that dragon expected was..." Kardis mused aloud as he gazed into the crater where the castle town once stood. "Nothing short of a miracle. It wasn't as much of a curse as a second chance, one in which we all got caught. The answer was to get everyone to safety. I understand now..."

"Than the dragon's magic actually helped save the townspeople?" Filia let out a breath of relief.

"You can put us down now..." Xellos reminded with his usual grin. Realizing she still held Xellos and Kardis in her dragon hands like dolls, Filia quickly put them down.

"Another mystery solved by the beautiful Lina Inverse!" Predictably, the gluttonous red haired sorceress took all the credit. "Where's my reward?"

The residents of the town were gathered around the crater that was once their home. The leader, a man in his fifties, stepped forward to address the sorceress. "I'm afraid we cannot reward you." He motioned towards the big, obvious crater that took up the portion of land where the town used to be. "Everything we owned was destroyed," he frowned in disapproval.

"At least you're free of the curse and you won't have to relive the same day over and over being attacked by bandits." Filia tried to point out the bright side of the situation.

A young man huffed, "right, now we'll have to rebuild our town from scratch and live a whole bunch of hard working days that will feel the same." A multitude of murmurs erupted from the crowd.

"You're actually complaining? You were rescued, freed! This is a happy occasion of gratitude and you have to reward your savior!" Lina adamantly argued. "You have to reward me!"

"Didn't they fail to save themselves out of selfishness or something like that?" Xellos pointed out with a grin that told he was rather amused with the situation in the end.

The group of survivors kept muttering among themselves and started looking less and less like the surviving victims of a disaster and more like an angry mob, a very angry, absolutely furious mob. "Get them!"

"Time to get out of here!" Lina was quick to jump on Filia's back, followed closely by Gourry.

"I'm not a horse!" Filia protested.

"No one said you were!" Kardis hopped on her back as well.

Xellos jumped on Filia's head. "Giddy up Filia!"

Filia shook her head violently. "Don't put garbage in my hair!" The exasperated golden dragon took to the skies, while the angry crowd struggled to keep up on foot throwing stones at their destructive group of saviors.

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After losing the angry mob, Filia landed, allowing Lina, Gourry and Kardis to get off her back. Kardis had decided to go to Zephilia, as he had been away for a long time, while Lina and Gourry planned to continue their endless journey across the world. "Really Lina, you shouldn't let him go like that." Xellos cautioned with fake concern. "Kardis is probably going to tell your sister bad things about you and get you into trouble. You're better off getting rid of him now. Don't worry about the evidence, you can use your magic to disintegrate the corpse and no one will ever know."

"If you so badly want me dead, why don't you try it yourself?" Other than the fact that he was a monster, Kardis could think of no particular reason why Xellos would want to kill him. Besides, the way he interacted with Filia was somehow different from his initial perspective. Plus Lina didn't appear to be particularly alarmed.

"That might annoy the Knight of Ceifeed and perhaps the dragons will jump into the fight sooner or later... not likely, but who knows? I'm not supposed to pick that kind of fight unless authorized by Beast Master." Xellos truthfully explained. "Such are the duties of middle management." His cheerful mask never faded from his face.

"Who's the knight of Ceifeed?" Gourry asked out of the blue, though Lina had told him before in various occasions.

"My sister, Luna, remember?" Lina pointed out. "And I really don't want to get on her bad side, so if you want to annoy her, find yourself a stupid pawn... a stupid suicidal pawn."

Filia frowned in disapproval, "or better yet, don't annoy her. Luna is my friend, you know."

"You're a terrible judge of character, stupid dragon," Xellos teased.

Filia huffed, "I'm not even going to deny that!" Clearly, she was referring to him.

Lina backed away, "I think it's best to leave those two alone." Wisely, Lina, Gourry and Kardis left, going their separate ways a little further down the road.

xoxox xox xoxox

Even after the others were gone, Xellos and Filia continued arguing for a while, until she saw that they were alone. She changed back into her elf-like form. "Everyone left and I didn't even notice. It's all your fault, raw garbage."

"Yes, I know," Xellos winked as he grinned smugly, "I'm terribly distracting."

Filia pouted as she remembered why she was chasing Xellos in a fit of rage the first place. She had asked if he knew what day it was and it somehow evolved into an argument. The argument led to broken pottery and that was like the cue to start the chase. "You have no sense of occasion." She crossed her arms and continued to pout.

Xellos wrapped his arms around Filia, pulling her close, and she didn't resist. "Still mad at me, stupid dragon?"

Filia dwelt on it for a moment before replying. "No more than the usual annoyance. I guess this is nothing in comparison to other things you've done. Plus it's more a matter of not doing something in this case. It's not like I was expecting anything extraordinary, but with the vast collection of trivial details you seem to know about every topic under the sun, I thought you could at the very least remember. That would have been enough, it would have been plenty."

"I still have no idea what that mysterious occasion you keep saying I forgot is." Xellos adopted a puzzled look.

Filia shook her head, "just forget about it." She looked towards the distant horizon. "With how crazy that town was I've lost track of time. I'm not even sure for how long we've been gone. I hope I didn't worry anyone." She wondered how Val, Jillas, Gravos and the others were doing.

"I'm sure no one would miss a stupid dragon." Xellos remarked with something that sounded very much like himself. He continued in a very casual tone. "They probably came up with a theory for our absence. Maybe they assumed we ran off on a second honeymoon for our anniversary or some other stupid thing like that."

End of Arc 1

There are a few writing challenge themes from Beloved Enemy in this story, they are from Summer Nights and Spook Festival. The character Kardis Xeriun belongs to Raiyone and is being used with permission by request. The castle town and key plot concepts, such as the time loop curse are also from Raiyone, I only modified them a bit and added some XellosxFilia to the mix. This disclaimer, as well as the fact that I obviously don't own the Slayers anime series, will apply to all the chapters.