Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ The Slayers: Mirror ❯ Chapter 14
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Slayers: Mirror Fourteen
Slipping away from the city wasn't all that hard, especially for this young man. He had been a adventurer for many years, on both sides of the war between light and darkness, and had picked up many skills during that time. The brown garb of a simple monk shielded him as he rode, taking the main trading route south, where tales of slavers and banditry abounded.
'That is where Amelia was headed,' Zelgadiss thought, his greenish, almost rock like skin hidden beneath the monk's hood, 'and where I must go.' Over his shoulder he carried a bag of supplies as he walked his sword tapping against his side.
Amelia, princess of Saillune took her duties quite seriously, and one of those was defending her people. When she found out about slavers raiding Saillune she had ridden forth without telling Zelgadiss or her father Phil and had allowed herself to be captured, probably hoping to reach the leaders of the slavers. Impatiently Zelgadiss waited for word, but as days passed to weeks and no word came, he decided to act.
'Of course she may already be on her way home,' Zelgadiss thought, 'but I still have to try, if only for the sake of my pride.' For a time he debated trying to find some of Amelia's old companions like Lina or Gourry, but time wasn't on their side. Finding them might take weeks, and there was little that he and Amelia couldn't handle together.
Traveling south Zelgadiss visited many taverns, bars and inns, not to drink but instead to listen to the rumors and stories minstrels, bards and travelers carried. There were the usual tales of dragons slain and great swordsmen, but those were all commonplace. What he sought were tales ofd a holy warrior, with or without companions, and eventually he found such a man.
The tale that he told sounded almost eerily familiar to Zelgadiss, of Amelia, a sorceress and a swordsman battling together against the forces of evil. The details were a little off but from the descriptions he was sure that it was Lina and Amelia, though the third figure was a mystery to him. The story came from much farther south but it sounded like they were on the main trade road leading to Saillune, so all he had to do was head south to meet them.
The little town, barely a collection of buildings around an inn, was a week and a half trip for Zelgadiss, and he brightened a bit as he heard merchants mutter as he passed about another strange traveler. He headed towards the inn that morning with a cautious step, going inside to scan the place warily for possible foes.
The inn keeper nodded suspiciously, his black eyepatch marking him as a former soldier or maybe bandit. The crowd inside was a mixed lot, made up of merchants, local people and a few travelers going either to the big city or possibly away from it. He felt wary eyes on him but Zelgadiss just ignored it, moving forward looking around for who he was searching for.
The three women were sitting at a corner table, one chosen carefully. The three of them could see most of the comings and goings in the in, and it was also near the exits. Zelgadiss instantly recognized Lina first, her flaming red hair shimmering in the light, then he felt his heart lift as he saw who was sitting there eagerly eating porridge.
The taller woman spotted him first, a oddly familiar face looking wary as he approached their table from behind Amelia. Addressing her Zelgadiss said wryly, "Next time you get yourself captured by slavers, could you please include me in the plan?"
Amelia jumped to her feet, white clothing shimmering as she threw her arms around him with a happy cry, "Zel!"
"Friend of yours?" the tall woman smiled wryly towards Lina, watching the joyful reunion with some amusement.
"That's Zelgadiss," Lina nodded to him, "he's a good friend, actually, despite the fact that he tried to kill me when we first met."
"Sounds typical," she murmured thoughtfully.
Zelgadiss pulled a chair over and settled down, consciously choosing to sit by Amelia. He looked over at the stranger and curiously asked, "I don't think we've met...?"
"Lady Naga," Amelia smiled, "I'd like you to meet Zelgadiss."
Naga nodded to Zelgadiss, her eyes twinkling with amusement. "It's good to meet you," she answered, "I've heard a lot about you."
"Hopefully good," Zelgadiss answered with a slight smile.
"So what brings you out here, Zel?" Lina asked him curiously.
"Phil was a little worried about Amelia," Zelgadiss explained, "he patiently waited as long as he could then sent me out to try and find her."
"I'm so sorry to make everyone worry," Amelia said a bit sheepishly.
Zelgadiss put one of his hands over hers, squeezing gently. "He understands, I think," he comforted her. He looked at her curiously, "What happened exactly, though?"
"It's not too complicated," Amelia shrugged, "I tracked down where the slaver's were snatching girls and went unarmed, gambling that they didn't know who I was."
"And..." Lina prompted, always enjoying hearing a story.
"They hit me with a sleep spell when I was unready," Amelia confessed, "or else I would have dealt with the miscreants then. They transported me to their camp some distance away and woke me, expecting me to be frightened and docile."
"She wasn't," Lina supplied with a grin,
Zelgadiss raised an eyebrow, "Oh?"
Naga smiled slightly as she said, "Lina and I had broken into the bandit camp chasing a different group of criminals when we stumbled upon the slave auction going on in their headquarters."
Amelia was blushing faintly as she said, "I started fighting back as soon as I awakened, and I guess the sounds of battle drew Lina and Naga to where I was."
"Together we made pretty short work of the slavers and bandit leaders," Lina said cheerfully, "and later I razed the camp to the ground with a Dragon Slave."
Zelgadiss' eyes widened just slightly, "I heard a rumor about that, but when I heard the bit about the giant statue of you in the wreckage I thought they were lying."
"The statue was Naga's idea," Amelia said impishly.
Naga shrugged, her large breasts bouncing a bit under her simple tunic. "A variation on the stone golem spell," she explained, "Lina is the one among us with a reputation as a bandit slayer so I thought it might be good to use that to our advantage."
"Not to mention how it helps my reputation," Lina added smugly.
"Now that's the Lina I know," Zelgadiss chuckled.
Lina just stuck her tongue out at him.
Zelgadiss looked over at Naga thoughtfully, studying the woman. She seemed a unusual individual, a magician yet carrying that impressive looking sword with her and dressing in such a conservative manner. "If you don't mind my asking," he said, "how did you meet Lina?"
Naga smiled slightly, "It's a long story." Lina and Naga sketched in their background, explaining the tale of the enchanted mirror and their meeting again some years after. A bit about their next few adventures followed, along with some of their escapades with Amelia.
"The only thing that bothers me," Amelia murmured as they drank cups of ale with the remains of breakfast, "is how... regular these attacks are."
"You think someone is targeting the group," Zelgadiss mused, "or one of your number?"
"Could be one or both," Lina frowned, "we've all made enemies, at one time or another."
"True enough," Amelia agreed, "which is why we need to continue on to Saillune as quickly as possible. There we'll be safe and can consider our next move."
"And Phil can try to find your sister," Naga added softly.
"Huh?" Zelgadiss blinked.
"The woman that Naga is a reversed copy of may or may not be Amelia's elder sister," Lina explained to him helpfully.
Zelgadiss blinked as he looked between Amelia and Naga thoughtfully. "That's going to be a very interesting family reunion," he finally murmured.
"Hey!" Naga and Amelia protested together.
Surprisingly Lina reached out to put her hand over Naga's, squeezing it comfortingly and the taller woman blushed, looking away.
'We'll isn't that interesting,' Zelgadiss noted.
To be continued....
Note: I'm spelling Zelgadiss like this because that's how the official novel spells it. If that's wrong let me know and I'll correct it later.