Chapter Two: The Hidden Fear

"No, you are wrong! I am sure that we should go by the right!"

"Really? I think that going by the left it is a better idea."

"Is it? I think that you are just going to make us to lose our way by walking through the stupid forest. Namagomi!"

"Do you think that I am that stupid to walk through the forest if I don't know the way? Gee, Filia-chan, I am not as dim-witted as you!"

"What do you mean?!!"

"Isn't that obvious? Stupid Ryuzoku!"

"Namagomi Mazoku!!"

Lina and her gang sighed as both Xelloss and Filia started their bantering again. "How long will these stupid arguments last?" She stared at both of them for a while. "Can't they be a little bit more mature?" Lina thought. Regardless of their age, Xelloss and Filia were really acting like small kiddos.

"Hey, Filia! Stop argu -- fighting with Xelloss! Lina shouted as Filia swung her mace. "It seems that I am the middleman again." She sighed. "So...Filia... Why we are going by the right?"

"It is the fastest route to Atlas City?" She replied smugly.

Lina looked at Xelloss. "And you?"

Xelloss smiled. "Because it is the safest route we can take."

"Safest?" The Slayers gang asked in unison, including Filia.

"Are you kidding, Namagomi?" Filia frowned. "It is the safest route?"

"Filia-chan, I am surprised that how you become the Miko of the Fire Dragon King. Didn't you notice that both Ryuzoku and Mazoku are now chasing us?" He asked.

"So what? Don't beat around the bush." Lina asked impatiently. "Just tell us the answer, Xelloss!"

The Trickster Priest smiled. "By walking through the jungle, it will not be so easy for them to detect our Astral Presence. Especially, Filia and I have such obvious ones. Besides, it is easier for us to escape in the woods if there are some sudden attacks"

"Err...Huh" Lina nodded in agreement.

Amelia asked curiously. "Xelloss-san, why it is not so easy for the Dragons and Demons to detect us when we are in the forest?"

The golden maiden answered quietly. "The presence of the spirits and ghosts in the woods will disrupt them... Hate to agree with this Namagomi, but he is right."

"Thanks for your compliment!" Xelloss bowed.

"Spirits...and ghosts"!" Amelia shuddered as Filia said that. "Ne, Lina-san, maybe we can take Filia-chan's suggestion." Amelia looked at Lina pitifully. "Please, Lina-san?"

"No, Amelia. We will follow Xelloss's advice."

Gourry said casually. "Hey Amelia, I don't even know that you are afraid of ghosts!"

"What!!" Amelia yelled. "Who say I am afraid, Gourry-san! As a protector of justice, Amelia is not afraid of anything!"

"Ok?" Gourry replied as he covered his ears.

Amelia sighed as muttered under her breath. "Even though they are really scary?"

"We better carried on our way?" Zelgadis suggested. "It is getting dark!"

"Well?" Filia nodded. "Let's go."

"It's looks creepy?" Amelia commented as she looked around. The howling of the wind and the rustling of the leaves were causing her to have a nervous breakdown. "Lina-san, don't sleep! Can't we have a chat?"

"Just shut up and go to sleep?"Lina yawned. "Don't make a nuisance of yourself. Amelia, the spirits and ghosts will not hurt you unless you go and provoke them."

"I know." Amelia protested. "But, Lina-san?"

"Sleep." Lina murmured as the white energy expanded in her hands. Without further ado, the young girl had fallen into a deep sleep. "Have a nice dream, Amelia." Lina smiled as she noticed the cherry smile on the young girl's face.

Filia looked at her companions vaguely. Gourry, the simple-minded swordsman was snoring away in his sleep. Filia sighed. Sometimes, she was really envy about the happy-go-lucky man. The jellyfish do not seem to have any troubles. Zelgadis, the sorcerer who was trying to find his cure desperately, had fallen asleep too. It was quite an unusual sight, as usually, the chimera did not need to have much rest. "It has been a long day?" She whispered softly.

"Feeling tired, Filia-chan?"

Filia frowned as she looked at the Trickster Priest who was floating in the mid-air.

"That's none of your business, Xelloss."

"Yare, yare! You hurt me, Filia-chan." Xelloss smiled as he sat beside the golden maiden. Surprisingly, Filia did not show any sign of detest. "Don't you want to have some rest?" He asked. "Lina-san and the others had fallen asleep already."

Filia replied firmly. "No." She took in a deep breath as she asked. "So, what are you trying to talk about, Xelloss?"

"Gee, Filia-chan. I never know that you are not that stupid." Xelloss grinned as she swung the mace at him. "Missed! Just kidding! Ne, Filia-chan, I am just curious that why you are willing to help me."

"Huh?" Filia was startled for a while before she answered. "Don't get the meaning wrong! I am not helping you. I am just trying to help the others!"

"Really?" He smirked. "I never expect that you will accept this ridiculous request just by the few words by Lina and I. Normally, you will say that it is the ulterior motive of the evil Mazoku or Xelloss are just fooling around. This time, surprising, without a second thought, you are willing to help us?"

"You forget to mention the Knight of Cepheed." She said. "I am just following her advice."

"Is it?" His grin grew wider. "I don't think that the Knight of Cepheed has asked for your help before?" He paused for a while. "Ne, Filia-chan, can you tell me the truth" I am really suffering from headaches by thinking on that."

"I hope that you will suffer from it forever." She murmured. That was a good question. Why was she helping the Namagomi Mazoku? She frowned. She never trusted him and she was now actually helping him to open the Pandora's box, something that will bring disaster and misfortune to the mankind. "This is getting out of my nerves." Filia thought.

"That's mean, Filia-chan!" Xelloss smiled. "But never mind, I know that you will not answer me too."

"How about you, Xelloss?" Filia smirked as she fixed her eyes on the Trickster Priest.

"What?" Xelloss gave her an innocent smile.

"The motive of Mazoku is trying destroy the world, if L-sama is giving you a helping hand, why are you rejecting it?" She smirked. "On the contrary, you are trying to stop her. That really makes me feel confused."

"Don't ask the reason. That is a secret, Filia-chan!"

Filia sighed. "I also know that I will get this stupid answer from you."

Xelloss sneezed.

"Bless you." Filia said. "Wait a minute, why should I say that?" She was startled at her words. Why was she so concerned about Xelloss?

Xelloss smiled. "Anything you like. I think that you better have some rest. You look horrible, Filia-chan."

"None of your business, Namagomi!" She retorted.

"Goodnight, Filia-chan?" He disappeared before Filia could utter something.

Filia sighed as she looked around. There is an eerie silence with the exception of Gourry's thunderous snoring. "All of them had fallen asleep?" She thought silently.

"Maybe I should have some rest too?"

"Xellas, how are they progressing?" Luna asked as she looked at her best friend. She had just released from her work and was having chess with the Demon lord. Her eyes were hidden under her long bangs as she asked. "Have Xelloss tell you something?"

Xellas chuckled. "Yeah! Xel has informed me that they are heading for the Atlas City."


"What"s wrong, Luna? So quiet at the sudden?" Xellas asked, knowing something is wrong with the Cepheed Knight.

"Nothing." She smiled as she placed her pawn forwards. "Checkmate, Xellas!"

"Argh?" Xellas groaned. "I have lost three rounds already. Luna, can't you be ... Luna?" She looked at her friend suspiciously.

Luna was at a loss in her own world not even noticing her friend was calling her. "Hope Lina will not be so unlucky to meet...him." She whispered.

"We are finally here...Atlas city." Zelgadis thought as he looked around. "Where one of the blessed blade is hidden?"

"Lina-san, you are so mean!" Amelia shouted at the red haired sorceress. "How can you put a sleeping spell on me when I was not prepared."

Lina groaned. "Amelia, how could I sleep if I didn't do that?"

"That is the not the excuse for your evil doing."

"Evil doing?" Lina yelled. "Wait a minute! Are you indicating that I am evil?"

Gourry hold back Lina as he said. "Calm down, Lina! And Amelia stopped arguing with her please!!"

Xelloss smiled as usual. "From this tourist guidebook, Lina-san, there is a great restaurant just a few feet forwards. Want to have some food before we start our work?"

"Of course!!" She beamed as she seemed to forget the small conflict with Amelia. "Let's go, Gourry!"

Filia looked the small energetic group as they rushed their way to the restaurant. She remarked. "Namagomi, you really know how to handle those guys."

"Gee, Filia-chan. It is such a simple task" He smiled. "Even though I hate to do so?" Lina's anger was really delicious. But they did not have enough time to spare now. Xelloss said as he advanced. "Yare, yare...we better move on."

"Now, Xelloss. Are you are to tell us what to do?" Lina asked as she fixed her red eyes on him. "Where is the blessed blade hidden?" After having such a scrumptious meal, it was the time for them to settle down on their work now.

"Bingo!" Xelloss smiled. "As you know, all the blessed blades of Cepheed were lost during the Kouma War."

"Yah, I know about it?" Lina nodded. "So what?"

"Actually, I am not sure where is the exact location of the blade too?" Xelloss scratched his head in embarrassment. "So, Lina-san, I need you and the others to help me."

"What!!" Lina shouted. "You expect us to search high and low in the Atlas City for the blade! No way, Xelloss!"

"But Lina-san, you had made a effort in the searching of Clair Bible too?" Xelloss begged. "Don't worry, I will pay you for that."

"Xelloss-san. Why are we searching for the blade?" Amelia asked.

"We need the four weapons to unseal Pandora. Just like the dark star...they needed the five weapons of light to summon him." Xelloss explained.

Amelia nodded.

"So why Pandora was sealed at the first place?" Zelgadis asked as he sipped his cup of coffee.

"That is secret!" He winked.

Zelgadis frowned. This was one of the reason he did not like the Trickster Priest.

"Ok, let's get back to our topic!" Xelloss smiled. "Lina-san, can you and the others try to find out where is the blessed blade is? Please...?"

Lina sighed. "Xelloss, I expect you have enough money for my rewards. Let's go, Gourry."

"Gourry?" Lina shouted as she looked at the sleeping swordsman.

"He fell asleep?" Amelia whispered. "Gourry-san wakes up!"

The blond swordsman rubbed his bleary eyes. "Huh? Is it time for desert?"

"You stupid idiot!!!"

In the dark, a pair of emerald eyes shone.

"So...they are trying to unseal Pandora." A clear, childlike chuckle rang through the air. "That's interesting...Never expect Luna younger sis is such a funny person." He kept a smile. "Xelloss is involved too...that is really going to be fun?"

Candle flickered and shone on his innocent face. His grin grew wider as he stared at the blade in his hand now. "The blessed blade of fire, it seems that it is the time I returned back the Luna now?"

"If her sis and her companions pass my test?" He smirked.

Chapter 3   |   Fanfiction