Part 5

During breakfast, Ryoushi did not let her guard down. She knew Xelloss would be back at any time, and she couldn't let him sneak up on her the way Zelgadiss almost had. She simply ate her small breakfast while the other three at the booth stuffed themselves silly, and waited.

Suddenly, Ryoushi's arm swung back behind her, missing Amelia's face by centimeters.


Amelia blinked as she watched Ryoushi's fist connect with Xelloss. The force threw him all the way across the room into the wall. She then looked back at Ryoushi, who was calmly taking a bite of her pastry. Amelia sweatdropped. She was about to say something when she noticed half of her food had disappeared.

"Hey! That's not very nice Gourry-san! I was going to eat that!"

"I'm sorry, it looked like you were done."

"Well I'm still hungry!"

With that, she began to eat at twice the rate, trying to keep any more of her food from escaping her plate.

Meanwhile, Xelloss had reappeared near Ryoushi.

"Gooooood morning, minna-san! I see Zel-kun has already left. Ah well, his loss. I can't wait to go shopping! Oooohh, I hope there's some good sales!"

Everyone sweatdropped, including Ryoushi, who successfully resisted the urge to grind his grinning face into the table.

After Amelia was done eating, she waited patiently for the other two to finish (Ryoushi having finished long before) before heading out. After all, being Dragon Slaved is not many people's idea of a good way to start the day. Possibly Xelloss's, but he had gotten his nice welcome from Ryoushi already, and didn't need to push for more just yet.

As soon as Lina set down her fork, she felt herself being dragged out of her seat.

"Ready Lina-san?"

"Uh, I guess....."

Gourry and Xelloss could only watch as Amelia grabbed Ryoushi and Lina and took off out of the inn's restaurant with all the force of a hurricane. They then hurried (Gourry hurried, Xelloss quickly floated) over to the door to see her running down the street with them flying out behind her. The sounds of yelling reached their ears. The yelling reached a higher intensity as Amelia dashed across the street without looking; the other two just barely missing getting hit by a cart.

Xelloss transported over to them, and Gourry ran to catch up.

"Amelia, put us down!" yelled Ryoushi.

"AAARGHH! Amelia, you idiot! FIREBALL!"

Both Amelia, and Ryoushi, who didn't have time for a shield, were fried. They both fell over and began to twitch. Gourry and Lina sweatdropped, and Xelloss laughed.

"Crispied," croaked Ryoushi.

Zelgadiss had been traveling on the road out of town for a few hours. There was still no sign of the temple where the Calean opal was supposed to be. He sighed. This is never going to work. What do I know about free-form spells?

To keep his mind busy he thought about Ryoushi. He didn't trust her, mostly because her mental ability was so impressive. She seemed to work around his mental barriers without any trouble at all. He frowned. He had spent a lot of time and effort to carefully rig a barrier and alarm system in his mind. That girl had just sailed on through like they weren't even there.

Ah well. Lina can take care of herself and the others. Ryoushi can't be that powerful, just some kind of empath or something.

Amelia recovered in record time and bounced up.

"First stop - the magic shop! Gee, that rhymed!"

She headed into the store.

"How nice," Lina said dryly as she went through the heavy door.

"This is going to be boring. It always is. I hate these places, 'cuz I never know what any of this stuff is and Lina's always yelling at me not to touch anything." Gourry shrugged. "It's just a bunch of junk to me."

Ryoushi coughed, and smoke came out of her mouth. She tried to shake some of the ash off.

"Are you coming in, Ryu-sushi?" Gourry offered Ryoushi a hand.

Ryoushi rolled her eyes and accepted his hand. She didn't feel like bothering to correct him, as much as the mispronunciation irked her. He wouldn't notice anything anyway.

Xelloss, however, found it positively hilarious.

"Oh yes, are you going in.... Raw Dragon Fish? Though you're not so raw after Lina-chan's frying....But fishlike, perhaps, and a dra - "

Ryoushi couldn't help herself.

"In the words of Filia - Namagomi!" she yelled as she punched him sky high before he could finish.

"Ano, Ryomushi, I didn't know you knew Filia...."

Ryoushi sighed.

While Lina haggled over the selling price of some of her homemade magical amulets, and other loot, Ryoushi wandered disinterestedly around the store. Most of it was cheap trinkets, as well as the usual magic potions and such. The kind of thing that was of little value to a true sorcerer. Besides, she had all she needed. She couldn't think of a single thing she might need that she hadn't already got, either with her or at home. At least what passed for home, anyway.

What about want? Don't you deserve to get things just because you want them? Or don't you even know what you want? asked a little voice in head. She absently picked up a small statue.

I know what I want. She gently rubbed the statue, without looking at it.

I don't think you do.

Of course I do. She frowned.

No. It's not what you think, you na´ve fool. You can pretend all you want, but you're just denying yourself.

Shut up, I -

"What 'cha thinking, dragonfish?" Xelloss interrupted her thoughts.

She scowled. She certainly wasn't going to tell him that she was having a conversation with herself, a habit she had picked up over the years of solitude. He was trying to get a rise out of her, using that stupid name. Him and his idiotic smile. Well, too bad. She had released emotion for his benefit twice already today. It wasn't going to happen again. She wasn't going to feed, nor please, that namagomi mazoku.

"Well, I...." She put a hint of thoughtfulness in her voice.


"I was thinking how incredibly wonderful the color pink is!" She smiled her brightest smile.

Xelloss facefaulted.

Good, she thought. He'll not get the better of me.

Ryoushi kept her bright smile fixed on Xelloss as she set the statue back down again. She then walked out of the store to wait, without looking back.

When she was gone, Xelloss looked on the shelf where she had placed the statue. He had been watching her absent-mindedly caress it before he interrupted her. "Hmmm," was all he said. He put it in a pocket in his cloak before leaving.

The next store they entered was a clothes store. Ryoushi went in, but only because it was darker and cooler inside than on the curb.

She and Gourry sat down in an area near the front of the store. She had an idea that it was probably intended for men whose women had dragged them along. She smiled faintly. It was a good idea, and one she was currently enjoying.

Amelia and Lina begin to noisily (and messily) try on clothes, causing a sales clerk to come over. Ryoushi didn't hear what Lina said to the man, but whatever it was, he hurried away and she didn't see him again afterwards.

Xelloss was wandering around, exclaiming over various things. Ryoushi idly wondered why he was even bothering. She was pretty sure he wasn't going to pay for anything , no matter how good a deal. He squealed over something, and headed over to use the dressing room, even though he didn't have to .She closed her eyes and let her mind drift.

The curtain was quickly pulled back.


At the sounds of retching, Ryoushi quickly opened her eyes.

"Oh, I'm gonna lose my lunch - " Lina said and continued to dry retch.

"Aaaah! Xelloss-san! This isn't very just!"

"Aaaaaahh!" Gourry fell out of his chair.

A small "ack" was all Ryoushi managed. While the other three covered their eyes and looked away, Ryoushi kept staring. She couldn't seem to help it. It was like an accident, entertaining and horrific at the same time, though those two words often came close together in her mind. She was mesmerized.

"Why?" she finally asked.

Xelloss struck another pose, showing off Both top and bottoms.

"Because he's a sick, twisted fruitcake?!" Lina yelled without turning around. She retched again.

"Nooooo....I did it for dragonfish!" he spun around. "And she likes the color pink soooo much, too!"

Ryoushi blinked behind her glasses.

"Don't you just love it! I feel so pretty and sexy. Do I look sexy? Do I? Is that why you're still staring at me? Hmmmm?"

Ryoushi mumbled something like "Control...musn't lose control.....he likes not wring his scrawny little neck......or kick him where the sun don't shine.....control..."

"What was that dragonfish? You do? Oh! I'm so glad!"


Everyone within the radius of a mile was knocked off their feet.

Part 6   |   Fanfiction