Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ The End of Summer ❯ Turning from the Path of Least Resistance ( Chapter 2 )
Turning from the Path of Least Resistance
Zelgadis had a tendency to make the easy choices. It was what had gotten him into this body in the first place. Rather than take the slow method of building up his powers through practice and study, he had asked Rezo to make him more powerful. And, so he had power, but at the price of part of his humanity.
Even when he traveled, it was easier to drift from rumor to rumor, with only a vague idea of what was to happen if the rumor didn't pan out. When the rumor didn't pan out. Perhaps that was why Lina's business seemed to sweep him up so easily -- it was easy to alter vague plans, harder to alter entrenched ones.
Traveling was easier than stopping to think, because thinking meant going deeper than 'where can I find my cure?', into 'why would someone making chimeras ever want to find a way to reverse the process without killing the target?' or 'how difficult is it to separate a chimera into his component parts, without killing him?'. Hope was a fragile creature, living in shadows, when it came to Zelgadis, and it was easier not to shine the light of knowledge that far into the darkness.
It was easier to hold people at arm's length. He had never forgiven Rezo for betraying a grandchild's trust, and, rather than learn to tell those with good intentions from those with bad, he just resolved to never rely on someone enough that their trustworthiness mattered. But, despite this, he had made acquaintances, who had turned into friends, who had turned into the closest thing to family that he had any more.
It had only been helping Lina against a common enemy at first. Then it was realizing that he was in over his head, and needed the group to watch his back. A couple years ago, at a magic festival he was scouting out, he caught himself looking for two people making pigs of themselves at the open-air cafes, or listening for rumors that Saillune had sent a delegation to town. Somehow he had been pushed onto the hard path without realizing it, and, to his surprise, the going wasn't as difficult as he'd imagined.
Perhaps that was how he learned to choose the rocky path over the paved highway. The highway might be easier to walk, but the path would take him to where he wanted to go. He need not fear falling or faltering Ð he knew he could walk this now. As tempting as the other way was, it had never taken him where he wanted to go in life -- maybe it was time to try something new.
Zelgadis's boots crunched through the start of autumn leaves littering the courtyard. He spotted a figure standing at the door. "Good afternoon, Amelia."