Hello! Thanks for reading my fic, Awake - A Crow/Slayers Crossover. I hope you enjoy it, and if not, that's ok, too. Please remember that The Slayers is copyright to those lovely people in the anime business (don't ask me who, cause I don't know), but at any rate, it does not belong to me. Neither does the Crow, as it is copyright to someone else, as well, and may Brandon Lee rest in peace.
Chapter 1 – Tragedy Strikes
“That just can’t be true,” Zelgadis stated, looking at Lina in shock. She nodded grimly.
“It is true,” she replied. “I saw her with my own eyes. It happened not long before I got there, and I saw Filia lying on the floor. She was still alive when I got there, but there wasn’t anything I could do to save her. She was in terrible condition. I tried to heal her…”
Amelia stared at Lina, her large eyes filled with tears. “Couldn’t you have gone for help or something?”
Lina shook her head. “There wasn’t anything anyone could’ve done, Amelia. Don’t think I didn’t try to help her, because I did. She was our friend, after all.”
Gourry scratched his head. “What happened to her, Lina?”
Zelgadis and Amelia both repeated it. “Yes what happened to her?”
Lina sighed and looked down at her cup of coffee. Her voice was shaking badly as she replied. “She was…beaten severely. Maybe even tortured. Her magic was sealed so that she couldn’t defend herself. I found her mace lying nearby, broken so that she couldn’t use it. She was helpless.”
Amelia choked back a sob. “Who? Who could’ve done that to her?”
“And why?” Zelgadis asked quietly, also deeply troubled by this news.
“I don’t know why,” Lina replied. “I have no idea why, but she did tell me who before she died…it was the Mazoku.”
Amelia and Zelgadis gasped. Zel clenched his fists together in rage. “You mean…Xelloss did that to her? That bastard! I knew he was evil, but I didn’t believe he would be so cruel. Filia didn’t do anything to him.”
“That is unforgivable!” Amelia cried. “I can’t believe that Mr. Xelloss would do that to Miss Filia!”
Lina held up her hand to stop Amelia’s tirade. “Wait a second, Amelia. We don’t know that Xelloss even did it. There would be no reason for him to…unless…”
“Unless his Master ordered him to,” Zelgadis finished. “Beastmaster Zelas Metallium.”
“But why would Xelloss’s master want him to kill Filia?” Amelia asked.
“She was one of the remaining golden dragons in the world…the only one who ever dared to go against her people and do what she thought was right.” Lina tapped her fingers on the table as she stared down at them. “I don’t know why they would want to kill her. Maybe they saw her as a threat.”
“Did they kill her to get to Valgaav…or Valteria, I mean?” Zelgadis asked.
“No. They didn’t kill Val. He was hiding in his room under the bed when I found him. The poor kid was sobbing hysterically. He’s staying with Filia’s neighbors for right now; they said they’d watch him while we figure things out,” Lina replied. “There’s absolutely no reason that I can see why the Mazoku would’ve wanted to kill Filia. But there has to be a reason, and if Xelloss is the one who killed her, then I want to know why.”
Amelia stood up, pointing to the sky. “That’s right! This is unforgivable! We’ll find that evil monster and bring down the fires of justice upon him!”
Zelgadis sweat dropped. “Amelia, how are you going to do that if you don’t even know where he is?”
She stopped, blinked, and blushed sheepishly. “Um…I don’t know.”
Lina rubbed her temple wearily. “Well, there is a way we could find him. Ask Beastmaster Zelas Metallium, herself.”
Gourry blinked, and rubbed his chin. “Is that another dark lord? I’m getting tired of those!”
Lina pounded him on the head. “Of COURSE Zelas Metallium is a dark lord, Jellyfish Brain!”
Zel sighed. “How are you going to ask Beastmaster Zelas Metallium where Xelloss is? Do you even know where she is?”
“No. It’s simple. I’m going to summon her.”
Zel face faulted. “You know how to do that?!”
Lina shrugged. “Of course. I know how to summon any dark lord, the ones that are left, anyway. It’s not widely used, of course, since most of the crazy people who summon them generally end up dead. So it’s not a wise thing. But I don’t care in this case. I have to know why they killed Filia.”
“Are you sure that picking a fight with a dark lord is a wise idea? You’ve had enough trouble with the Mazoku. Do you really need more? I don’t see how there’s much you can do about what happened…even though I want to know, too. It’s horrible, what they did to Filia…but…”
“But what, Zel? Just forget about it? You know me better than that…I can’t just sit by and let the Mazoku get away with hurting my friends. And no matter what Xelloss may have done for us in the past, I can’t forgive him for this. So don’t ask me to just go on with my life and forget what happened. I don’t see how you could do the same, either.”
“I wasn’t going to say that, Lina,” Zel retorted somewhat indignantly. “I don’t know what I was going to say, but I would never expect you to just give up and not do something. That just wouldn’t be you. And since this is personal, and Filia is our friend, I know that I could never ask you to do that.”
Lina smiled slightly. “Good. Glad to hear it. Let’s go.” She got up from the table and began walking towards the door.
“Wait, where are you going?” Amelia asked.
“To that hill over there. We can’t summon a dark lord in the middle of a restaurant, now can we?”
“Appear before us, Lord of Beasts!” Lina fished the summoning spell, throwing down the wolf’s blood she’d acquired from the cult store nearby. The four of them stood outside a large pentagram, also painted with wolf’s blood, and waited. Almost immediately, electricity charges and black wind began swirling around the pentagram, and they stepped back instinctively. Lina stared at the black wind, her eyes narrowed in contained fury. She would find out why those damnable Mazoku killed her friend if she had to squeeze it out of them…starting with the Trickster Priest’s very own lord and master. Finally the wind died down, and all four of them gasped.
“That’s HER?” Amelia asked.
Standing before them was a tall, blonde, very shapely woman with sharp yellow eyes and perfectly tanned skin. She wore an elegant, yet form-fitting black robe, with a golden waistband and gold bracelets around her wrists and ankles. She gave them a feral smile and took a long drag from the long cigarette in her hand.
“Lina Inverse, no doubt,” she said, her voice silken and smooth, very much unlike what they all had imagined a dark lord’s voice to be. She was actually quite unlike what they’d imagined at all. Lina caught Gourry staring at the dark lord’s chest, and she promptly flattened him to the ground before composing herself and answering the Beast lord.
“That’s right,” Lina said.
“What do you want with me? I hope it’s not something frivolous. I’m a very busy dark lord, you know.”
“I think you’ll be interested in what we have to ask you,” Lina replied. “First of all, we need to see Xelloss, too.”
A very dark shadow passed across Zelas’ eyes as they narrowed dangerously. “He isn’t able to be here. Anything you need to know you can ask me. Make it quick, my patience with you humans is already wearing extremely thin.”
Lina swallowed hard. “We want to know why the Mazoku killed the former priestess of golden dragon race, Filia ul Copt.”
Zelas puffed again on her cigarette, drawing it out intentionally. She blew the smoke in their direction and smiled. “I had a feeling that was what this is all about. You want to know why I would order Xelloss to kill her, am I right?”
“That’s right,” Zelgadis replied.
Zelas stared at them for a few seconds before she began to laugh. “How unfortunate for you,” she said, still giggling. In an instant, she became serious again and scowled at them. “I didn’t order my servant to kill the dragon. Xelloss didn’t kill her.”
“How can we believe you?!” Amelia cried. “All Mazoku are liars!” She pointed her finger at the dark lord. “And I think you’re lying!”
Zelas stared at Amelia evenly. “I’m not lying,” she said. “Xelloss is dead, too.”
All four of them gaped at Zelas. “WHAT?!”
Lina pointed at the dark lord. “How in four hells did that happen?!?” she shouted.
Zelas shook her head; almost sadly it looked like to Lina. “He was killed along with the dragon. So you can’t blame him. You’re wasting your time.”
“So who killed them?” Gourry asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Why don’t I believe you?” Lina said sarcastically. She knew that Zelas was hiding something.
Zelas shrugged again. “Believe what you want. I’m telling you that I don’t know who killed Xelloss or that dragon girl, or why they were killed. If I knew, those responsible for the death of my servant would be dead. This has caused me one large headache and plenty of trouble finding another servant.” She sighed. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to be going.”
And with that, the beast lord disappeared. Lina clenched her fists together and glared at the now-empty pentagram.
“Dammit!” she yelled. “Where did she go?”
“Do you think she was telling the truth?” Zelgadis asked Lina.
“I don’t know. Why would she lie about Xelloss? She said he died along with Filia…but I don’t know what she meant about that. The only thing I can think of is that Xelloss was there when Filia was killed…and then whoever killed her killed him, too. But I don’t understand…” Lina’s eyes dropped to the ground again, her entire body feeling heavy and her mind confused. This whole thing was just messed up, and so unbelievable. What could she do? She really couldn’t think of anything to do about this…but she didn’t want to give up just yet. Besides, there was one other thing…
Concerned, Amelia asked, “Miss Lina, what are you going to do now?”
Lina looked up at Amelia. “There’s only one thing I can do right now. I’m going to go get Val. He needs someone to take care of him.”
“YOU?” Amelia, Zel, and Gourry cried.
“Yeah, me! What’s wrong with that? The kid needs familiar people to take care of him and I’m just the person.”
“But Miss Lina…” Amelia began. “You don’t have any experience with kids…”
Lina nodded solemnly. “I know that. But I’m not about to let Filia’s hard work go to waste. She wanted him raised right, and I’m going to do it. I know we fought him once, but he was given a chance to start over. If Filia can’t help him, then I can.”
“What about finding Filia’s killer?” Zel asked.
Lina glanced back at where the dark lord had stood. “I’ll never give up on that.”
On to Chapter 2
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