Tension was high at breakfast. Lina kept her gaze pointedly fixed on her plate, jabbing viciously at her food with her knife and fork, as if she would liked to have been stabbing something else instead. Zel alternated between eating, glancing warily at Lina when her fork slammed down a little too close for comfort, and darting looks at Amelia. The Seyruun princess occasionally looked up from her meal to survey the others, her gaze mostly alternating between Lina and Gourry. A thoughtful expression had slowly settled itself on her face. Gourry seemed pretty oblivious, devouring his own meal with his normal gusto and helping himself to some of the food on Zel's plate as well. The only good part was that they'd actually managed to find a restaurant.

When breakfast was over and everything squared away, Lina pulled Zel to the side to speak with him, much to Amelia's discomfiture.

The Seyruun princess, sensing something important was afoot, wasn't about to be left out. "Miss Lina! Mr. Zelgadis! Don't forget about me!" She dashed up to them, hands on her hips. "If something is happening which obstructs justice, I cannot sit idly by and allow it to continue!" Climbing atop the nearest table, she pointed a finger at the two of them, assuming her best 'Hero of justice' pose. For their part, they stared up at her, pained expressions on their faces.

Finally Lina sighed, raising one hand to her forehead. Then her eyes snapped open, suddenly bright with a look of appraisal that Amelia found rather frightening. It was the same look the sorceress got when she was deciding what treasures to 'liberate' from a hoarde of bandits.

"Oh, I didn't forget about you, Amelia." Lina's voice was almost TOO friendly. Scary... "I just had something else in mind that you could do. It's a very important task, and I wouldn't want to give it to just anyone."

That sparked Amelia's interest immediately. Her blue eyes slipped shut in a blissful look as she hugged herself. "You're right, Miss Lina. I, Amelia, humbly accept this noble task in the name of justice!" With a happy sigh she turned to the sorceress, starry-eyed.

She didn't even notice the forced grin on Lina's face, followed by a rather large sweatdrop.

"I wonder why Miss Lina is so upset about this mazoku... and why she wanted to talk to Mr. Zelgadis about it instead of telling me!" She sighed , "Oh well, I'll still do my duty as a hero of justice and find the information Miss Lina needs!"

Her enthusiasm waned slightly as she realized she didn't know where she could find out about mazoku. "What would Miss Lina do?" Amelia mused as she walked. The question brought an immediate image of the sorceress standing atop a heap of rubble with occasional burned bandits sticking out here and there. A slight frown crossed the princess's face at the thought. "Well... what would Mr. Zelgadis do, then?"

Back when we were trying to find Rezo's legacy, Amelia remembered, Mr. Zelgadis wasn't looking for the others. He was reading... Her eyes went suddenly wide.

"That's it, of course!" A couple of passers-by stared as Amelia climbed atop the nearest high object, a fountain shaped like a horse. "I, Amelia Wil Telsa Seyruun will find the information Miss Lina needs in the name of justice!!"

Assuming a cool pose, Amelia jumped down. Her effect was ruined as she slammed headfirst into the ground. She lay there for a moment, catching her breath, when she noticed a foot clad in a soft white boot just inches away from her face. She glanced up, looking into a pair of concerned green eyes almost hidden behind a pair of round glasses.

"Are you ok, Miss?" The young man helped her to his feet. He was a short youth -- about Lina's height, with an unruly thatch of pale gray hair that fell just short of his shoulders. He was wearing clothes that made him look like he was someone who was just on the verge of being wealthy but not quite making it.

"I'm ok. " Amelia winced slightly as she rubbed her aching side. She would have a bruise tomorrow. She saw the boy nod and turn, as if to walk away, but her hand snaked out and caught hold of her wrist. She couldn't let him walk off! He was a local, and had to know the place batter than she did. "Say... do you know where I can find a library here in town?" She gave him her cutest pleading look.

She was rewarded by a slight blush and a pointing finger. Her gaze followed the path of his finger, coming to rest on the plaque just below the fountain she had been perching on.

"Corgat Library..." She looked up at the building right behind the fountain and finally noticed the huge sign on the building. "Oh..." She slapped her forehead. "Did you just come out of there?"

"I work there." The boy replied, shifting from foot to foot nervously.

Amelia wanted to cheer at her good fortune. Justice always provides! She did a little twirl, accompanied by a victory sign with her fingers. "Maybe you could help me out then?" Her gaze was hopeful as she tried to look bright and appealing.

It wasn't long before the fellow gave in to her charms with a smile and a slight nod. "Ok, Miss...uh..." He glanced at her expectantly.

"Amelia." She offered up her name.

"Miss Amelia." Her repeated dutifully. "My name is Senty. Senty Archave. And I'm very pleased to make your acquaintance!"

They entered the cool building, Senty in the lead. Once he was inside his element his demeanor changed entirely. The muddled look vanished to be replaced by a cool professional manner that the princess came close to envying.

"Well then, what can I help you with, Miss Amelia?" He steepled his fingers in front of his face as he sank into the chair behind the desk. His dove gray outfit blended in so well with the stacks of dusty books that the Seyruun princess had the unnerving sensation she was talking to a ghost. But, of course, she wasn't afraid of ghosts! What reason would a hero of justice have to fear the undead?

"I need some information." She slammed one palm down on the desk for emphasis, coughing as the action whipped up a thick cloud of dust. It took a few minutes of frantically fanning to clear the air enough for her to breathe, let alone see. As she wiped her eyes and tried to regain her cool pose, the boy behind the desk just sat there, smiling expectantly. "You need to dust this place more often." Amelia complained as she brushed herself down. "It is unjust to take such awful care of such an important thing as knowledge! To say nothing of the people who come here seeking to learn! To subject them to such torture... being unable to even breathe the air in here... is a crime against JUSTICE!" So saying, she climbed atop the desk, pointing one finger at Senty.

"If you people do not mend your evil ways I will have to consider you fiends and enemies of justice! And then you shall be punished until you repent your cruel ways and turn instead to the path of righteousness!"

"Uhhh....r...righteousness?" The poor youth looked up at her, wide-eyed. Obviously she was getting through to him. Yes! She had done it again, turned another soul to the path of justice. With a satisfied smile, Amelia ran one hand through her short black hair, brushing it back into perfect order. There was nothing like succeeding in serving the cause of justice to make a girl feel good about herself. Striking one last brief pose, with one hand on her hip, the other pointing to the sky, Amelia decided it was time to get back to business. She hopped lightly down from the desk. Unfortunately, her foot came down on a loose book which skidded out from under her, and she landed with a thud on the floor, stirring up more dust.

"Are you alright, Miss Amelia?" The princess looked up to see Senty blinking down at her over the edge of the desk. With a soft sigh, she reached underneath her leg and fished out the book she had slipped on, handing it up to him.

"I'm fine. Now..." She got to her feet. "Enough of this stalling. I need as much information as you can find about the mazoku known as Ghurrevin."

"Ghurrevin?" The young man considered this thoughtfully for a moment, eyes barely visible through his dust streaked glasses. "Aha! Hold on a second!" He dashed for one of the stacks of books, almost tripping over a pile of scroll cases in his haste. He shuffled through the stack and finally emerged with a thick tome which he lugged over to the desk. "Let me see... The Good Magician's Book of Knowledge is supposed to have information on everything having to do with magic." He winked at Amelia, "Just give me your word you won't tell anyone we have it. There's a lot of sorcerers who would give their eyeteeth for a chance to look through this." He opened the book to the index.

"If it's so good, why doesn't anyone know about it?" Amelia could not help being slightly curious. If Lina, for example, knew the book was here, she would have already heard about it by now. And Mr. Zelgadis was also seeking these kinds of items in his quest for a cure.

"Because it's almost impossible to find anything in it. It's made so that you never find what you're looking for unless you know what you're doing. Or you can do what I do and cheat."

"Cheat?" That didn't sound very just.

He didn't answer her, he was muttering something softly beneath his breath. Leaning a bit closer, Amelia was surprised to catch the words of a spell. "Crimson fire burning over the emerald earth, Seeking winds show me what I desire to find..."

"You're a magician?" Amelia didn't recognize the spell, or precisely what it was intended to do, but caught on swiftly as she saw one of the pages begin to glow. Senty flipped to it eagerly.

"Here we are! It's a listing of mazoku..." He got no further before he was knocked out of the way by an eager hero of justice.

"Yes! I've found it! Miss Lina will be so proud! VICTORY!!!" She held up two fingers in a V for victory.

The bookkeeper looked up at her from his position sitting on his rump on the floor with his chair half on top of him. His eyebrows were furrowed with confusion, green eyes wide in startled surprise. She turned to him with a bright sparkle of happiness in her sapphire eyes and his lips turned up in a little smile. "So, is there anything else you'll be needing Miss Amelia?"

The princess considered for a moment, then snapped her fingers. "Yes!" She turned her best cute look on him. "Won't you teach me that spell you used to find it?"

"Uh..." The poor boy seemed to be dazzled by her charm, if the way his mouth was opening and closing with no words coming out was any clue. There was no way he could say... "N...no... I'm afraid I can't teach it to you, Miss Amelia."

"What? Why not!?" Amelia's big blue eyes got wider -- if that was even possible -- and teary.

Obviously the sight of a beautiful young girl crying made Senty feel guilty. "I'm SO sorry, Miss Amelia!" He bowed contritely. "It's a secret! I can't tell just anyone."

Aha! Amelia promptly took two steps forward, trying her best to look like she was towering over him. She pointed one finger at his face, almost brushing his nose. "I knew it! You can't fool me with that disguise Mr. Xellos! How cruel of you to toy with a hero of justice like this!"

"M...mr... Xellos? Wha...?" The gray-haired youth sputtered and blinked and looked as completely flustered as was humanly possible, none of which fooled Amelia for a second.

She clenched her hand into a tight fist. "For attempting to fool a hero of justice, you must be punished! Prepare yourself to face the hammer of justice, fiend!" As he cowered and covered his eyes in obvious terror, she pulled out a megaphone. "Now repeat after me! Life is WONDERFUL! The world is full of love and hope!"

His eyes snapped open and he gaped up at her like a landed fish. A rather large sweatdrop formed on the back of his head as he saw Amelia's sparkly eyes and the little stars and rainbows and hearts that were forming around her. "Uh..."

"Life is wonderful!"

"Ummm...life is wonderful...?"

05   |   Fanfiction