Chapter 3: The Knight of Cephied

Zelas puffed on her pipe as she considered. Reaching to her left, she grabbed a glass of wine and took a sip of chilled wine. Closing her eyes, she savored the taste of this newest batch of Zephilia wine. Hum ... not bad. Although... not as good as last year's. Must have been a bad season, she mused. Holding up the wineglass, she studied the way the brilliant red color of the wine reflecting off the relief of a dragon craved onto the crystal clear globate. It was utterly enchanting the way the color seemed to make the dragon dance and leap with every slight movement.

Sighing, Zelas looked up and focused once more on immediate problems. Frowning, she tried to think a way of avoiding the inevitable. However after days of agonizing planning, she reached the same conclusion: she needed help. But who? Zelas wondered. Who would know where it's located? For that matter, who would even know of its existence? Taking another sip of her wine, she saw the dragon dance again. The dragons would. She decided. They're always so nosy about such matters. Zelas almost laughed. And I know just the person to talk to.

Smiling, Zelas took another puff on pipe but was brought up short by another intruding thought. Luna-chan will never leave unless her little sister is taken care of. The nagging sense of worry reappeared. Zelas scowled.

Although was it amusing that her best friend would even think of trying to keep a secret from her, Zelas the collector of secrets. It irked her to no end that she has never met this sister of Luna's. No one in Zephilia seems to even know of this mysterious sister. Hell, I didn't even know Luna had a sister if Luna hadn't let it slipped a few times.

After nagging Luna for a couple of years, she finally admitted to having a little sister named Celina Inverse. Draining her wine, she mused, Will Luna-chan show this mysterious sister to me now? Or will she refuse my request just to keep her sister anonymous? The corners of her mouth curved upwards and her golden eyes sparkled with amusement. It will be interesting to see Luna-chan's reaction. Time to go! Draining the last of the wine, Zelas left for Zephilia.

Luna smiled. With the broom firmly in hand, she swept away the last of the dust into a little corner. Pausing for a moment, she glanced all around the room. The vases has been cleaned and now proudly showed off their bouquets of flowers. Books were back onto the shelves instead of scattered around the room. The furniture polished and rearranged. But most of all, the room was now CLEAN.

"LUNA-CHAN!!" A loud voice yelled out happily causing the fragile vases to shatter and some books to fall onto the floor. The pile of dust blew all over room as a whirlwind of air suddenly burst into the small room.

"ZELAS!!!" Luna screamed in fury as she threw her broom onto the ground with enough force that the broom handle broke into two. Snatching a broken broom handle, she marched toward the suddenly materialized Dark Lord.

"Now, now Luna-chan." Zelas laughed nervously as she backed away from the Knight of Cephied who was burning with anger, literally. "Temper, temper."

"TEMPER THIS!" Luna shouted as she threw the broom handle along with a fireball at the Dark Lord. "FIREBALL!!"

Zelas threw herself to the side a moment not too soon. She felt a searing heat and heard the loud impact of the fireball through her bones. Turning, she stared speechlessly at spot where she once stood. Only the charred remains of the broom handle, a chair, and a part of the wall remained.

Outside, the people of Zephilia paused a second to appreciate the fireworks before continuing with their normal activities. As if such explosions are quite common, Zelas mused. Looking at what Luna had done a second before, Zelas thought with a sweat drop. And it may be that way.... Watching Luna carefully for any more outbursts, she quietly tapped Luna's shoulder. Before she could blink, Zelas was lying on her face her arm twisted behind her back.

"Zelas? Is that you?" The pressure lessened and Zelas weakly sat up.

"Been working out?" Zelas gasped out as her friend helped her up.

"Of course." Luna replied with a grin. "You know better than to sneak up behind me." Looking critically over Zelas, she continued, "Good thing I'm tired today or I could have done something really bad."

"What can be worse than thrown onto the ground like a sack of grain?" Zelas demeaned as she gingerly probed her face for any broken bones.

"How about a roasted bag of grain?" Luna suggested with a friendly smile as she handled Zelas a cup of water.

Zelas greedily emptied the cup. "What the - !" Throwing the cup against a wall, she stared accusingly at Luna. "That was water!" Dark shadows danced around her slender frame as she healed her aching bones and bruised skin.

"Of course." Luna said without looking at Zelas as she calmly began to straighten room.

"What - " Zelas begin.

A polite knock on the door interrupted their conversation. A little girl about 16 timidly peeked out from behind the door.

"Yes, Sacha-chan?" Luna asked gently.

"Papa wants to know if he should call the carpenter again?" The little blond replied shyly. Her large brown eyes fixed on Luna with a look of pure wonder. Zelas turned her head away in disgust.

"Yes, please Sacha-chan. And please tell the carpenter to use fire-proofed wood this time for the wall." The blond nodded as she started to close the door until she remembered her manners. The girl bobbed a curtsy before leaving the room.

Zelas looked sternly at the door grumbled to herself. "Children these days have no respect for their elders!"

"Oh?" Luna asked absently as she grabbed some books off the floor.

"Did you SEE that!?" Zelas demand as she paced around the room stepping over any debris she encountered. "She wasn't even AFRAID! She should be shaken with terror to stand in the presence of powerful beings like us!"

"Beings?" Luna turned around and asked in amused tone of voice.

"Of course. I'm a Dark Lord and you Dragons could hardly be called people." Zelas replied absently as she continued to pace.

"REALLY? What would you call dragons then?"

"Worms are the proper term I believe. So is wyvern..." Zelas broke off as Luna started to illuminate. "Ah, Luna-chan. Why are you glowing again??"


"You should really learn to control your temper Luna-chan. " Zelas advised weakly before she passed out.

Luna ignored her friend as she calmly surveyed the smoked ruin that was once her room. "Hum, should had the carpenter use the fire-proofed wood like Cephied advised."

On Wolf Pack Island within a lavish castle in a kitchen flooded with sunlight, a silent alarm went off. A second later, the door to the kitchen slowly opened creaking loudly as it swung open.

A brown hat entered through the door and shook itself furiously before it fled out the door. When nothing happened, a white-gloved hand holding a ruby topped staff moved inside the room testing for a reaction. When only silence greeted him, a purple-haired young priest walked confidently through the door.

Smiling evilly, he preceded to his destination with silent, purposeful steps. His smile widened as he found the target: a plain brown jar filled with cookies made personally by his mother. Settling down his staff on the counter, he reached for the lid intent on stealing - borrowing the cookies.

"Ah!" He cried out instinctively in alarm as something blue suddenly flew into his face. Unfortunately, as he had suspected earlier, sound will active the defenses of the small kitchen. As long as he kept quiet, nothing will happen. But now that he cried out ....

A silver steam drifted out from the pots and cabinets beside him. Drawers opened to allow its deadly daggers to flew out and attack the thief. The young priest quickly ran toward the exit as he hastily threw up a shield. As if encouraged by the sudden new power within the room, the silver steam increased in size until it hung like a huge cloud that clung to everything within the room.

The young priest made it out the door and quickly shut it with a heavy sign. Wiping off the blue paint from his face with his sleeve, he noticed something was different. Very different. "What?" he whispered before realization hit him causing a scream to be ripped out from his throat.

Lina started starry-eyed at the world before her. This is what life is about. She thought dreamily before she grabbed a chicken leg and attacked her lunch with a vengeance. She was working on her twentieth dish when a loud explosion shook the tavern. "What?" Lina cried out when her lunch crashed to the floor from the table. Before she could recover, however, another more violent explosion shook the old tavern.

Several of the newcomers to the town clang to each other weeping in terror. One suddenly stood up and declared that it was the end of the world. The rest of them - all of whom have lived in Zephilia all their lives - picked up their plates and continued to eat.

"Luna-chan!" A high voice cried out as it waved its arms frantically.

"Sacha-chan, what are you doing here?" Lina asked when she finally spotted the blond-headed girl. "Shouldn't you be working at the inn?"

"Lina-chan!" Stopping in front of Lina, Sacha grabbed Lina's hands urgently. "Did you do anything bad today?"

Confused, Lina replied, "Nothing that I didn't do yesterday. Why?" She asked as she went back to eating.

"Because the explosion came from Luna-sama's room!!"

Lina froze at the mention of Luna's name; the chicken leg held half way from her mouth. Looking up at Sacha's anxious eyes, she managed to utter, "Luna-sama?"

Sacha nodded vigorous causing her blond curls to bounce.

Her face paling Lina yelled, "Got to go, Sacha-chan!" She fled the inn in such a hurry that she knocked over one of the waitress.

Sacha started blankly at the empty seat before her.

A second later, Lina came back. "Oops, forgot to pay. Luna-sama will throw another fit! There!" Thrusting a heavy bag of coins into Sacha-chan's hands, Lina continued. "Give that to the tavern owner please, Sacha-chan! Bye!" Thus saying, Lina fled the tavern running over yet another waitress.

Sacha looked from the empty chair to the money in her hands and back to the chair. Signing, she got up and started to look for the tavern owner.

"Why are you here, Zelas?" Luna asked abruptly.

They were in the guest room since Luna's room was ruined .... The innkeeper sent all of Luna's belongings to this room with a resigned look on his face. Apparently, this has happened before. Several times in fact.

"Must I have a reason to visit my best friend?" Zelas replied. She pointedly ignored the cup of tea sitting in front her.

"Hum," Luna snorted as she sipped her tea. "This visit didn't have anything to do with the strange power that destroyed the mountain range several miles from here, did it?"

"What strange power?" Zelas asked innocently. She kept her face down to hide her smile. So Luna-chan doesn't know what caused it.

Luna pounded the table with her hands as she glared at Zelas. "Don't pay innocent with me, Zelas! Everyone is talking about it." She looked directly into Zelas's eyes and added, "Even some of the human sorcerers felt it."

"What!?" Zelas exclaimed as she sprang to her feet. "Was it that powerful?"

"Yes. Which is why I need to know everything you know about it." Luna said patiently. "The humans have probably the weakest magic of our three races. If they can feel it, then it must be the extremely powerful. Maybe even ...."

"Even what?"

"Maybe even from the L-sama." Luna answered soberly.

"It can't be." Zelas cried out as she accidentally knocked over her teacup. The brown tea stained the stark white table clothes. "She promised our Lords to never interfere in our world."

"Yes, I know. But I heard rumors that ... someone from our world cast that spell, not L-sama herself."

Zelas looked up in alarm. "Who?"

"The witnesses couldn't see clearly with all the light but they insisted that they saw someone...."

"What did you see, Luna-chan?"

"I wasn't here at the time the mountain range... disappeared in a great burst of light." Luna looked up at Zelas. "So I'm asking again, what do you know about that power?"

"Well, " Zelas hesitated. "I knew it wasn't from our world."

Luna stared at Zelas shocked.

"But I don't know if it's L-sama's power or not. It could be energy from a being from another world." Zelas looked down as the stained cloth worriedly. "I also believe it may have the power to destroy our world."

The room became unusually quiet.

"You still haven't answered my question, Zelas. Why are you here?"

"I thought you would like to check this out with me."

They grinned foolishly at each other.

"Wouldn't the other Dark Lord be upset?"

"Who cares about those stiff-necked, back stabbing weasels?" Zelas waved off any farther protest from Luna. "No one will care where the information came from as long as it's accurate." Pausing, Zelas asked curiously, "What about you?"

"Me?" Luna grinned. "Who would dare?"

"Who would indeed." Zelas muttered to herself as she remembered why they were in the guest room and not Luna's room. More loudly, she asked, "What about Celina?"

"Celina?" Luna repeated. She frowned a little. "Say, this isn't just another ...."

"No, no! Of course not," Zelas said quickly. Although it's the prefect opportunity to find out who and where Celina is... "She around 8 right? So I thought she needs someone to take care of her while you'll gone."

"Why are you suddenly so concerned over a mortal?" Luna asked. Her left lifted up incredulously.

"Luna-chan!" Zelas protested. "I'm not always evil. Besides, any relative of yours has to be special. Also, how can you concentrate on the search unless everything has been taken care of?"

"You have 'someone' for the job?" Luna said finally after a moment of thought.

Zelas chuckled wickedly. She leaned over to whisper the person's name into Luna's ear. Luna's eyes widened with surprise before she, too, started to chuckle.

"Tell our, " Luna smiled more broadly. "Our victim to meet Celina at the Owl Inn tomorrow when the sun is at its zenith in the sky."

Zelas pouted. "Don't I get introduced to your sister first?"

"I'm sure the... um victim will tell you all about her after this."

"Really, Luna-chan. Your sister cannot be that bad. " Under her breath, Zelas muttered to herself, "Certainly not compared to you."

"What does that last bit mean!?" Luna demanded as she pounded her fits on the table.

I forget dragons have sensitive hearing. "Heehee. Nothing Luna-chan. Remember, you need this room in one piece."

Once back in her audience chamber on Wolf Pack Island, Zelas poured herself some wine and gulped it all down. Signing with pleasure, she relaxed in her chair enormously pleased with herself. Luna-chan should really try wine sometime.

Reaching out with her thought, she commanded her General and Priest to appear. A split second later, the space before Zelas rippled and a blond little boy appeared, scowling. The boy's oversized clothes and cloak was stained with what looked like blue... blue-colored ice cream?

Holding a staff that was now three times taller than him, the boy sulkily asked, "What now?"

"Xel-kun dear, " Zelas paused to take another long hard look at her General and Priest. "What happened to you?"

"Nothing." Xellos sulked. He clearly didn't want to talk about it. His chubby little face held none of his usual smile, and he even kept his eyes open for a change.

Zelas looked at Xellos again and burst out laughing, almost falling off her throne in the process. Her wineglass shattered onto the floor, spilling its contents onto the spotless marble floor.

Xellos looked sourly at his master. Life just isn't fair. "What do you want?" he asked irritability. His expression became even more pained when his master laughed even harder. Not fair at all!

"Tried to raid my cookies again, Xel-kun?" Zelas managed to ask after composing herself. Zelas smiled with genuine amusement as the boy shifted his weight in his embarrassment. Taking a puff on her pipe, she continued relentlessly, "You just had to do it, didn't you?" Damned if I'm not going to press this, she thought with a smirk. "I told you that you would NEVER be able to steal my cookies this time." Gazing at the sulking boy out of the corner of her eyes, she thought smugly to herself, I'm still the better schemer, Xellos dear.

"I didn't think you would turn me into a mortal just for that." Xellos replied weakly.

"I had to do something to save my pride, Xel-kun. You should know better than to take what's mine without permission and not expect me to do something about it." Zelas took a puff before adding, "I win." She watched with great satisfaction at the look of utter humiliation on Xel-kun's face.

"You win." Xellos admitted. Privately, he added silently to himself, this time. "Now change me back."

"Can't do."


"Please keep your voice down, dear." Zelas frowned. "What did mother tell you about respecting your elders?"

"But... but... I'm HUMAN!" Xellos almost wailed. This is the most horrible thing to happen to him. He never thought mother had such a mean streak in her....well, not toward him anyway. A few tears flowed down a pudgy cheek.

Chucking, Zelas replied offhandedly, "Especially since this new," she paused mischievous "form of yours will be a great advantage in your next assignment." She ignored the ashen look on her son's face as she took another wineglass and poured herself more of Zephilia's famous wine.

Xellos's face became even less happy as he accepted his next "assignment." It was too humiliating to bear. First, he's stuck in a HUMAN form - and a child at that - and now he's stuck baby sitting some brat. What's so special about this 'Celina' mortal anyway? he thought irritably. Whoever it is, it's going to wish it were never born after I'm through with it. He promised himself.

"And Xellos?"

"Yes, master?"

"I order you to do whatever Celina asks of you unless it will put her in danger." Zelas took another sip of her wine. She ignored disappointed look on her son's face and continued. "Understand?"

"Yes, mother." Xellos mumbled.

"What did you say? Mother can't hear you."

"Yes, master!" Xellos shouted.

Xellos continued to sulk long after mother sent him away on his "assignment." He really didn't think he deserved this punishment. After all, he was just playing. That's all. "Life just isn't fair!!" He declared bolded to the trees around him in his tiny voice. The trees, of course, ignored him. Who wouldn't, Xellos thought sourly. It's not like I can threaten anyone in this shape. Walking slowly, he continued to brood on the injustice of it all.

Chapter 4   |   Fanfiction