Chapter 1: Discovery

Three Rings for the elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

... or as I say....

Three Rings for sorcerers roaming under the skies,
Seven for those who shelter evil within,
Nine for the mazoku spreading lies,
One for the Dark Lord with servants of sin
In the Land of Forgotten where fruitcakes flies.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Forgotten where fruitcakes flies.

It seemed as if a fog filled the room as the beautiful sorceress (according to herself at least) Lina Inverse searched through her newly gained loot. Old dusty books, sparkling rubies and saphires, glittering gold and other valuables competed with the sparkle in the sorceress's eyes.

"This should pay for tons of meals!" she squealed with delight as she filled her pockets with the valuables, grabbing as most as she could before she set off back to the inn where she had checked in ealier that day. With a smile on her face she picked up her sacks, said a few words...

"Ray wing!"

And then she was off...

Later at the inn:

"Hmmm, these might bring in a few gold coins..." she mused as she examined her loot. Most of it was good, and what was broken she fixed with a few spells.

Then suddenly something caught her eye...


There, lying among some shining saphires and coins, she saw a small golden ring.

"Oooh, pretty!" she smirked and picked it up, holding up against a lit lamp. It seemed simple enough, pure gold and no more, yet there was something about it... She could feel some sort of magic flow through it, like it was enchanted.

"Hmmmm... someone must have put a spell on it.... But it sure is pretty!"

Deciding it was late Lina went to bed and put the ring on the table beside the bed, and it didn't take long until the petite redhead was sound asleep.

In the meantime (essential in these kinds of story, villain cue ;)

The scent of smoke, fur and wine lay in the air, making those present if not a bit whoozy.

With one leg over the other Zelas Metallium gazed at them through slitted eyes, blowing out a stream of smoke from her cigarette.


"So what?" she replied.

"Why are we here?"

The Beast Master smirked a little, then stood up from her chair and walked over to the windows.

"Because," she began, "it has been found."

"What?" Garv asked, seemingly annoyed because he had been woken up in the middle of the night. Phibrizo wasn't exactly joyous either, trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes.

"Whatever it is, we're all happy for ya Zelas. Now just let us blow this joint, I'm bored already."

Zelas turned around at this, sighing.

"I'm talking about the ring."

Garv and Phribrizo exchanged looks there.

"So? You've found a ring?"

Once again Zelas rolled her eyes and hit her forehead with a palm.

"This isn't one of those ordinary rings! This one has been lost forever, and it's magical!"

She was interrupted in her annoyance however, as another joined the three.

"You summoned, Juuou-sama?"

The three dark lords looked over to the doorway to see the Trickster Priest... clad in a long purple nightgown with yellow spots on it, also sporting a matching night cap and a somewhat tired smile.

((Author's note: Sorry, I had to! ^_^ wicked grin))

While Garv and Phibrizo gave him a puzzled and disgusted look, Zelas chuckled.

"Yes Xelloss. You have to catch your beauty sleep later."

Xelloss walked over, smiling his usually cheery smile.

"Well, maybe these two needs it more than me..."

Before the three could commence fighting, Zelas continued.

"So, as I was saying, it's important that I get this ring back. I need your help, and I've asked the other dark lords and mazoku to help too."

Garv humphed.

"How'd ya loose this ring in the first place, anyway?" he demanded.

"Xelloss borrowed my jewelry without asking me."

The mentioned priest got weird looks once more from Garv and Phibrizo.

"At least you got your earrings back, Juuou-sama...."

One week later

This morning was the same as mornings used to be for Lina Inverse. Though she liked to eat her food without having to fight Gourry for it, it wasn't exactly the same. And things were quiet without Amelia's constant speeches of justice... She sighed, finishing her fifteenth portion of stew and putting the empty dish ontop of the others.

"Hi Lina."

She quickly turned around, and a smile lit up her face.

"Zel! What took you so long? You told me that you'd meet up with us yesterday! Speeking of which, have you seen Gourry and Amelia?"

The chimera sat down at the opposite side of the table, shaking his head.

"No, I haven't. Amelia might have been delayed by some of the official business that is going on in Seyruun, and Gourry... well..."

There was a pause, and Zel took a sip of his coffee.

"Zel, you DID give him an instruction with the map, right?"

"Eh... no."

Lina shook her head.

"Then we can't count him coming here today...."

For a moment they both sat there, Zelgadiss drinking his coffee quietly while Lina played with her fork.

"Ummm... anyway, why did you want us to meet you here Zel?" the sorceress finally ventured, tilting her head.

"Because we're in trouble."

"Trouble? Why? The waiter hasn't come with my bill yet!" Lina said, puzzled. Zelgadiss groaned and shook his head, leaning forward on the table.

"Rezo is back."

Chapter 2   |   Fanfiction