Part One

You had all of them on your side, didn't you?
You believe in all your lies, didn't you?
The Ruiner's go a lot to prove he's got nothing to loose,
And now he's made you believe.
The Ruiner's your only friend well he's the living end to the cattle he deceives.
The raping of the innocent you know the Ruiner ruins everything he sees.
The only pure thing left in my fucking world is wearing your disease.
How did you get so big?
How did you get so strong?
How did you get so hard?
How did it get so long?
You had to give them all a sign, didn't you?
You had to covet what was mine, didn't you?
The Ruiner's a collector he's an infector serving his shit to his flies.
Maybe there will come a day when those you keep blind suddenly realize.
Maybe it's a part of me you took it to a place I hoped it would never go.
And maybe that fucked me up more than you'll ever know.
How did you get so big?
How did you get so strong?
How did you get so hard?
How did it get so long?
What you gave to me
My perfect ring of scars
You know I can see what you really are
You didn't hurt me nothing can hurt me
You didn't hurt me, nothing can stop me now.

The Ruiner NIN [lyrics: Trent Reznor]

"Mmmmm this fish is delishhhuusssh." Lina slurred, voice thick with the effects of too much alcohol. Gourry was curled up, and in his usual fashion sleeping peacefully, oblivious to his companion's, present condition. Crickets and the crackle of the fire were the perfect accompaniment to the unusual feeling of contentment that one could muster upon viewing this scene. A yawn broke the silence, and the azure hued golem cursed softly.

"Where the hell is that girl?" He muttered, impatiently waiting for Ameria to return to the camp so he could go take a swim in the tiny pond not too far away. A forlorn sigh passed his lips, as he imagined how she would act the instant, she saw him.

"Oh Mr. Zelgadiss! How lovely to see you!" He mimicked snidely, using sarcasm to hide the pleasure he felt from her affection. It was safer to believe he "hated" her, although his carelessness would soon cost him, and the price would be far greater than he could ever imagine.

Justice was the true purpose of her existence! Wonderful fairy tales cascaded through the young princess's mind, as she dozed close to the edge of the pond. Yet a sinister whisper broke through the pleasant reverie, and she helplessly suffered through the slaughter of her daydream. The charming prince (who looked like Zelgadiss as a human) had been in the process of rescuing the damsel in distress (who oddly resembled Ameria Sigh), but he was stopped, Ameria's alter-self shrieked in horror as her beloved's severed head hit the ground in front of her.

"Those illusions of yours, start to face reality Princess of Saillune."

"Halt villain! How dare you intrude upon the sacred dreams of an innocent! Your evil deed shall be - "

"Punished? My child do you know the definition of Justice? Just like a human, they see only themselves and their shallow truths."

"Sh-Shallow? You monster!"

A chuckle, one that sent shivers of dread down Ameria's spine, spilled out, from some undefined area. "Thank you for the nice complement my dear, though I do believe there are others far more deserving of the title. Take you for example, the epitome of hypocrisy!"

"I'm not a hypocrite! The fire of pure justice courses through my veins, and, "

"And nothing child. You are worse off than a disillusioned whore, who's discovered she can no longer sell her body to survive, and now has to beg in the streets for food. Don't you understand there is no such thing as the ultimate justice? Truth in itself comes in shades of gray rather than clear-cut black and white. Besides that, in your pursuit of 'peace' and 'annihilation of evil'; you have brought about mass chaos, and destruction of large kingdoms. Tell me now miss, is that just? Or what about the villagers who lie starving in the streets whilst you stuff your mouth full?"

"I, no, it-it can't be!" She sobbed, wildly denying his all too acute observations.

"Are we experiencing doubt? Good, maybe you will learn from this. If you remember anything from this night, keep my advice dear to your heart. The one who shines like gold upon the see of chaos has sent you a vision, he who is the winged dragon of the Heavens has delivered upon you a warning, "The mysterious voice trailed off, and a premonition of horrific holocaust overwhelmed the youth. Just when she thought she could take no more - Splash!

Ameria choked, and swam sluggishly from the water she had toppled into. At least she hadn't been fully dressed yet, in a disorientated haze she yanked on her clothing and trudged back to the camp.

"Where were you anyway?" The chimera muttered as Ameria sat down on an upturned log near the fire.

"Taking a bath Mr. Zelgadiss." She replied distantly, her troubled gaze directed to the flames. He took no notice of her upset countenance and growled:

"That lasted 3 hours?" When she didn't respond he mumbled something vague and took off, a towel slung over his shoulder.

He sank into the hot spring with a happy groan, the water soothing his frazzled nerves. Zelgadiss sat still for a time, fully intent to enjoy the rare solitude. After debating life's philosophies, he reluctantly started the arduous task of washing his body. He picked up a bar of soap and was just about to scrub his stone skin, when his heightened senses caught the faint giggle coming from the bushes.

"All right, come out of there now Ameria." To his surprise the ploy worked! With apparent glee she skipped into the clearing and exclaimed:

"Oh my love! You have discovered me! Now we can be together, for all eternity as two warriors of justice should be!" It was then, he noticed she was, well, completely naked. He yelped and leapt from the water grabbing his cloth along the way. She merely laughed and vanished, the murmured taunt hanging in the air.

"C'mon, c'mon c'mon and find me."

In his enraged state, he was unable to comprehend that Ameria could never disappear like that and with a roar, he dove into the woods in search of the little pervert.

Ameria was still wrapped up in her musings, unaware of Zelgadiss's confrontation. Lina disrupted her thought process by loudly belching and Ameria cast her a disgusted glare.

"Whassa matter wit youuuuu hic widdle princess miss Zel-poooo?" Lina chortled drunkenly, hopelessly intoxicated after a barrel of strong ale.

"Shut up Miss Lina you're being mean." She declared firmly, an almost "holier than thou" note entering her tone. "You're not thinking clearly."

"I'm purfet-tly fine hic you needa attitude adjussment squirt. You no being fun hic. Mebbe I go shake down a baditttsss. YAH! hic."

"And endanger the lives of innocents? There is no justice in that!" Ameria cried in outrage.

"Not 'nother justice speeach, shuddup! Dey gimme a migraine, 'sides ish all talk anyways! I mean you travels wit ush, and half of ush been called evil so mani time I lose count o' it, " The sorcerer swayed unsteadily on her feet, and yelled for emphasis.


"Why on earth would you think that?!"

"No normul priestesh use black m-magic duuuuh!"

Ameria's eyes widened, at the realization that Lina was, right. At that precise moment Zelgadiss crashed through the shrubs, a terry cloth towel wrapped haphazardly about his waist and the intent to kill blazing in his eyes.

"Ameria!" He roared, taking a threatening step towards her. Dimly he wondered how she had gotten dressed so quickly, but dismissed the inane question.

"What's the matter Mr. Zelgadiss?" She squeaked, terrified by his anger.

"Don't you ever, ever interrupt my bath again! Acting like a common, " He trailed off, for some odd reason unable to finish the sentence. "Get this through your obtuse skull, I-DON'T-LIKE-YOU!"

The Princess yelped in dismay at his accusation and unflattering comments, already on the verge of tears.

"Slut, slut, slut, slut!" Lina chanted insanely in the back round, worsening the situation.

"You follow me around like a whipped puppy! Where is your pride child, or are you just a - WHOMP!" What ever, insult Zelgadiss had prepared to hurl next was cut off as Ameria punched him with everything she had (ignoring the pain from her bruised knuckles). She then kicked Lina in the shin, setting off the temper of the highly volatile Sorceress.

"Tha's it, DARE-BRANDO! (Dil-brand)"

Ameria blinked half certain she had died, and probably been sent to some hell far more torturous than the previous scene of last night. When her vision finally focused, she saw Xellos hovering near by, peering down at her in befuddled curiosity.

"Ah yes, I got you out in time." He seemed to be relieved by that prospect, much to Ameria's confusion.

"M-mister Xellos, Zelgadiss-sama hates me!"

The Priest arched a dark brow in query and quickly replied:

"I'm sure he doesn't! I know what hatred is, look at Phiria and I for example! Mutual enmity at its best!" A positively wicked smile passed over the Mazoku's face at that statement. "Zelgadiss treats you nothing like how treats me!"

"H-he told me so! H-he said I tried to watch him bathe, and Miss Lina called m-me a slut."

"A slut?" Xellos echoed, briefly stunned.

"A-and Miss Lina said I'd make the best bandit killer! I-I must be evil!" She sobbed, near hysterics. "I don't even know how to follow the path of justice without screwing up."

"Ameria, listen up and pay attention." He muttered, disgruntled by any woman crying in front of him. "Justice can be defined only by what is in your heart. If you're a slut, then, heh I'm a pretty little angel." He snickered, as if imagining himself with a pair of wings sprouting from his backside.

"That's the problem! I don't know how I feel any more! I guess I have to find that out, "

"If you are going to leave, please take this with you." He pulled a delicate chain that used to hang from his neck and handed it to her.

"I couldn't possibly!" She protested, admiring the artfully crafted golden dragon charm.

"It's for good luck, listen, I have few friends as it is. So take care of yourself, you can give it back, when you are safe okay?" He inserted his expression unusually solemn for a change.

Ameria nodded uncertainly, and allowed him to fasten it about the slender column of her throat. "Mr. Xellos? I have important advice for you, don't give up on Phiria, I think she likes you."

Xellos snickered and replied in his customary "devil may care" fashion. "Of course not, it's not my style. Besides Phiria is far too amusing to let go of now." She nodded and with a wobbling grin, took to the forest. The mysterious priest watched her form slowly vanish from sight with a slight smile. His plan had worked far better than expected! For an instant, he felt a minute twinge of, guilt, but then he hardened his resolve. It was for the little twit's best interests anyway, and besides, he had no choice but to obey his Mistress.

Part 2   |   Fanfiction