Somewhere outside town
Overlooking the small town from a distance Amelia smiled.
"It will be nice to see Miss Lina, Gourry and Zelgadiss-san again." she thought for herself and made her horse trot down the path.
It was nice to get away from all that official business again, especially with all the things going on lately.
She didn't know much, but what she did know was that things were tense nowadays. During the last week it had seemed that things weren't going as smoothly. Bandit gangs had been causing havoc around Seyruun, and justice seemed to be taking a nap.
With a sigh Amelia found herself nearing the inn where Zelgadiss-san and told her to meet up with him, Lina and Gourry.
A pair of amethyst eyes gleamed in the shadows, and a soft chuckle escaped Xelloss' lips as he watched Amelia.
"Hmmm. the princess. Here?"
Carefully the Mazoku rubbed his chin with a gloved hand, pondering. What was she doing here? She wasn't wearing any fancy Seyruun dress, she was clad in her travelling clothes, and that *could* mean many things. but when the princess was out travelling, it was with a certain red-haired sorceress. And, since Amelia was here, wasn't there a chance that Lina-chan was somewhere near? Most likely, if he wasn't mistaken, this could prove to be a rather fortunate turn of events.
"This might turn out better than I thought." he mused to himself, then faded away silently.
Lina's eyes went wide and she stared at Zelgadiss.
"R-r-r-rezo?! HOW?!" she demanded, drawing the attention of the other patrons at the inn towards their table.
The chimera made a motion to her to quiet down, then went on.
"Yes... he was seen one week ago in the east. as for how, I do not know."
Still looking down at the table Zelgadiss sighed heavily.
"One week ago?" Lina asked puzzled, then snuck her hand into her pocket. It had been one week since she found that ring. She had been looking through various books and scripts, yet she had still been unable to identify the magic which was bound to the ring. Of course, she had been careful. After all, she didn't want to take any chances when not even she could know what kinda magic it was.
As Zelgadiss nodded Lina fumbled around in her pocket, checking if the ring was there. Yes, it was, that much she could confirm as it slipped onto her finger.
Suddenly Zelgadiss jerked his head upright, eyes wide.
"Lina?" he asked, then looked around.
"Yes?" she replied, arching an eyebrow.
"Where are you?"
Now he was leaning down to look under the table, he was obviously confused. The sorceress blinked twice, then leant over and poked him.
"I'm here Zel!"
At that he let out a startled gasp and jumped back up, crashing his head in the table.
Carefully rubbing his head Zelgadiss looked around once more, looking more confused than ever.
"What? I can't see you!"
Lina looked down at her hand, the ring on her finger, then at Zelgadiss, then back at her hand.
Huh? she thought. I'm invisible???
Sitting still for a moment she studied the confused Zelgadiss, then looked over to the kitchen. With a big grin on her face she got up from her seat, leaving the confused chimera behind to look around nervously.
After letting out a loud burp Lina exited from the rampaged kitchen, ignoring the furious cries from the chefs who couldn't understand how all that food could disappear into thin air!
Lina looked up to see Zelgadiss getting smothered by Amelia, who had thrown herself around his neck and gave him a big hug.
"I've missed you so! Finally we shall fight together again for justice!"
In the meantime the chimera turned slightly paler, trying to pry himself out of Amelia's tight grip.
"Ugh.. need.. GASP air!" he choked out, and Amelia immediately let go.
"Oh, sorry Zelgadiss-san!" she apologized. He waved it off, coughing slightly as he sat down.
"Where is Miss Lina and Gourry?" Amelia looked around, trying to spot her other friends, but Zelgadiss shook his head.
"Lina was here some minutes ago, but she seemingly disappeared into thin air itself."
The next seconds went by fast. Amelia shrieked and jumped up, crashing into Zelgadiss who again fell over and crashed into a pillar. And due to the chimera's weight and hard skin, that made the poor pillar rather unsteady, which again led to a loud whine from the above ceiling.
Alerted by the creaking of the ceiling Amelia and Zelgadiss looked up along with the other people in the inn.
While crawling out from the wrecked inn Amelia coughed loudly, followed by a fuming and confused Zelgadiss.
"What the hell happened?!"
"I don't know, Zelgadiss-san! One minute I was just standing there, then something poked me! But who...?"
Her question answered itself as they both heard a loud coughing, then turned to see Lina crawl out, brushing herself off.
"Oh L-sama, how can you be so clumsy Amelia?!" she whined and the ring into her pocket again while pretending to adjust her trousers.
"Miss Lina, you did that?!" Amelia demanded, eyes wide.
"What happened?! Where did you go?"
Zelgadiss narrowed his eyes at Lina, who smiled apologizingly.
"Eh. I'll tell ya, let's just find somewhere else to spend the night?"
The three had found another inn a little while later, then after eating a big meal (Lina was still hungry after her "free" one earlier), they retired to Lina's room to hear her explanation.
"Well, you see," Lina began as she sat down on the floor, accompanied by Zel and Amelia, "it happened one week ago. I was following this trail of a bandit gang north from here. They were wimpy of course, so there was no big deal getting rid of them. so. I looted them and took a few things."
"A few?" Zelgadiss asked, arching an eyebrow.
"Okay, I took some sacks with gold and jewellery!" Lina grumbled, then went on.
"Anyway, among all the treasure I found this."
The sorceress reached into her pocket and pulled out the ring.
"Oooh, pretty!" Amelia smiled and reached for it, but Lina pulled it out of reach for her.
Both Amelia and Zelgadiss gave Lina a weird look while she stared and them, clutching the precious ring in her hands.
"Yeah. right, I just wanted to look at it," Amelia apologized. Zelgadiss on the other hand was rubbing his chin, a slightly worried look on his face.
"May I take a look at it, Lina?"
Lina seemed to ponder on that for while, then she sighed and handed the ring over to the chimera.
"Here ya go."
Turning it around in his hand he studied it, eyes narrowed.
"It has magic in it." he noted, and Lina nodded.
"Yes, I know that. I just don't know what sort of magic yet. But it has this weird power! I put it on at the inn, and then you couldn't see me!"
"So that's what happened!" Zelgadiss stated, almost glaring at the ring.
The chimera closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
"It is what I have feared. it has been found."
"WHAT?!" Lina demanded and threw her arms wide, and Amelia looked confused.
"What are you talking about Zelgadiss-san?"
The two girls looked at Zelgadiss for a moment, then he opened his eyes and looked at them.
"The ring you found is very special indeed Lina. most people believe this to be just a myth."
"What do you mean Zel? And how do you know this?"
He took a deep breath and continued, all the time eyeing the ring.
"I read about it in one of Rezo's books when I was younger. this ring belongs to the Beastmaster herself. It was presumably lost a long time ago, no one knows why though. It has been said that it had strange powers mortals could only dream of."
"Like becoming invisible in a restaurant?" Lina asked.
"Eh. I'm not sure, but I do believe that wasn't the main purpose why the ring was made." Zelgadiss frowned, dead serious. "Many believe that it was made some thousand years ago."
"But why?" Amelia asked.
"I'm not sure, but since it was made by the Beastmaster it can't be good."
Then he looked up at Lina.
"You have to get rid of it."
"Okay okay okay," she grumbled and rolled her eyes, "I'll trade it in for some food at the market tomorrow."
"No! I mean, it has to be destroyed!" the chimera said and gave the ring to Lina.
"Destroyed? Piece of cake!" The sorceress yawned and pointed her index finger at the ring.
Chapter 3 | Fanfiction