Hello there! Thanks for reading my story, Shadowy Bonds. I won't bore you with a huge speech, but do remember that Slayers is copyright to the amazing people in the anime business and not to me. If I owned them, I'd be a lot richer, and wouldn't have to worry about college anymore. But I digress. I hope you enjoy the fic, and if not, that's perfectly alright. ~Steph~
Through the forest, filled with mist and darkness, as the moon hid behind the clouds above her, she ran as fast as she could. She was blindly running from an unseen predator, holding close to her body a tiny bundle. Her cloaked figure blended in with the darkness around her, save a few blonde strands of hair the escaped her hood. She gasped as she nearly tripped over a log and fell, but desperately stayed on her feet, not wanting to crush the tiny bundle in her arms. The bundle made a soft noise and stirred.
She looked down at it…her baby daughter…and smiled. The blanket she’d wrapped her daughter in slightly revealed her precious face…so innocent and alive. She knew that if she didn’t keep running, her daughter would not remain alive for much longer. With that thought she kept her child close to her body as she began running again.
A pair of glowing ice blue eyes watched her run, narrowing in the dark and seeming to smile. The air seemed to breathe darkness around them as a soft yet malicious voice chuckled to itself.
“Run, dragon priestess. Run for your life…and your child’s life. It won’t do any good. I’ll have you both in the end.”
Far away, on Wolf Pack Island, inside her dark domain, Zelas Metallium was about to kill something. She wanted to kill something…or someone…but she couldn’t decide. She’d been pacing back and forth for hours now, nearly worried out of her mind…very unusual for the Beastmaster. She didn’t have anything under control in this situation, and she hated that.
She hated it very much.
Who could she kill for this? Xellos? No…that wouldn’t do any good now. She needed him to stick around if only until this matter was solved. It was his fault anyway. Forget the fact that it takes two to tango, she didn’t really care at this point. It was his fault, and he was going to fix it. With her permission, of course.
She could kill Grausherra. Right now he and his servants were plotting to go after the very same thing she was after. How he found out about it, she still didn’t know. But then, the majority of the Mazoku race were profound gossips. The upper levels were not, of course, but that was why they had lower levels working for them…they could never keep their mouths shut, and were sneaky as hell. Perfect for relaying information.
That was why she only had Xellos. She found that he was perfect at finding out information and relaying it to her, but was also brilliant at keeping secrets. He had been loyal to her, she couldn’t ask for a better servant. Until now.
“Dammit!” she screamed, wishing she could pound her fist into her trickster priest’s face right now, if only to make herself feel better. “Why couldn’t I have had a servant who knew how to control himself??!!!”
The very same servant sat alone on a high tree branch gazing out over the terrain. He was somewhere near the village, he knew as much. Where she lived. Where he’d spent so much time with her…what had gotten them both into this mess. Now she was gone…and he was unsure of the future. He had always been sure of himself, sure of the future…and now he hadn’t a clue. Everything had changed. He had changed.
It was because of her that he had changed. For the first time in his existence, someone had challenged what he was and what he believed. And he found himself believing that she was right. Demons can feel…demons can love…even pesky, stubborn dragons.
He wondered, though, if perhaps she had tried too hard to change the stipulations of what they both were. She was Ryzuoku, he a Mazoku. Dragon and demon…two races destined to always hate each other and be at each other’s throats. He had known that he loved her for quite some time before she admitted her own love. Even then, he knew that their love would only cause pain and heartache.
And it was true. He felt more pain inside him than he’d ever felt. Gaav’s sword ripping through him did little to compare to the gnawing ache he felt inside. He had no idea what to do about this. Confident, self-assured Xellos was running scared inside. It was indeed the most out-of-control situation he’d ever been in.
Everything had been going so well. He tried to tell himself he had a plan in having a relationship with Filia, but as it further progressed he realized he didn’t have a plan at all. In fact, it had ended up being dangerous for both of them. Now he was on bad terms with his Master, the Ryuzoku had turned against Filia, and now it seemed the entire Mazoku race was hellbent on capturing his and Filia’s child. The Mazoku he could handle, but it angered him that Filia’s own race would turn against her so quickly. Indeed, their relationship had been rocky at best, but Filia had done nothing wrong.
As for his Master…well, she seemed to be accepting it somewhat…though not very quietly.
Xellos…come to me…
The calling voice of his master snapped him out of his thoughts, and without another thought, he phased out of sight, reappearing in front of his master as she sat restlessly in her large throne-like chair.
“You called, Master…” he said, his head bowed. His voice was low and flat, not having the enthusiasm she was so used to hearing. She did feel a slight wave of fear from him. That’s good, she thought. He ought to be afraid after what he’s pulled. I feel like I’m dealing with a raging-hormonal teenager. However, she imagined he was having a whole lot more trouble with this than he let on.
“Yes. You know what is going on.”
“You are the cause. You will fix it.”
His head snapped up, his eyes open wide in shock. “Master, I-“
“Enough!” she snapped, interrupting him completely. “I don’t want to hear an excuse! I will not have you act like a child, nor will I treat you like a child and repeat myself! You have been my servant for nearly two thousand years. I cannot believe you allowed yourself to lose control like that. I want this problem solved in any way, shape, or form.”
Xellos, quite taken by surprise by his Master’s outburst, was clearly afraid to answer. However, he took a chance and asked quietly, “What is it you want me to do, exactly, Master?” He crossed his fingers, hoping against hope that she wouldn’t ask him to do the one thing he wouldn’t do.
“The task is quite simple, Xellos,” she said, watching her priest very carefully. She had not missed the flicker of fear in his eyes, nor the tension in his body as he awaited her reply. She knew exactly what it was he did not want her to ask…and fortunately for him, that wasn’t what she wanted. “Bring the dragon priestess and the child to me. They are in Saillune.”
There was no mistaking his sigh of relief, nor his body relaxing. “As you wish, Master,” he said, his head bowed. She puffed on her cigarette and regarded him thoughtfully.
“Rise, Xellos,” she said. He did so, standing to his feet and meeting her gaze evenly. “One more thing before you go,” she said. “What would you have done if I had asked you to kill the dragon priestess? Or perhaps…your child…?”
She watched as his gaze hardened and suddenly focused on the floor, and he clenched his fists together. “I…would have done it…without thought, Master.” Though he tried, he could not keep the fury out of his voice. She smiled.
“I thought as much. Relax, Xellos. I don’t want to kill your lover or your child. But if I were you, I would be on the best behavior I could be for, oh I don’t know, the next two thousand years.”
Xellos relaxed and his mouth twisted into a slight grin at her joke, but he did not reply.
She yawned. “Go. And be quick about it.”
He bowed again. “Yes, Master.”
Filia finally came to a clearing, panting and heaving from running all night long. She was exhausted, and she her baby had been through a lot. Though, to her credit, the little one did not cry at all. Filia scanned the distance, looking for any signs of life, when she suddenly squealed and nearly jumped for delight. In the near distance she could see a city in the distance. When she looked harder, she realized it looked like Saillune. She was saved!
Gathering up her strength, she ran as fast as she could towards the city gates. Then, out of nowhere came a blast of energy that hit near her, nearly knocking her off her feet. She did her best to stay on her feet, not wanting to fall with her daughter. She screamed and ran, not wanting to see what the source of the attack was, just wanting to get away from it. It came again, and this time it did blast her off her feet. She screamed again as she fell to the ground, holding the child and shielding her daughter with her body. She landed hard on her side, but kept hold of her daughter.
It was then that her daughter began wailing, protesting against being jostled around. Filia looked over her cautiously, making sure she was alright. Then a shadow loomed over her, and she looked up to see a woman with dark brown hair standing over her. She was dressed in a knight’s outfit, and looked extremely menacing. Indeed, Filia noticed that her eyes were slitted, and she could sense the darkness coming from the woman.
“You…what do you want with me?” Filia whispered, holding her wailing daughter against her.
The woman grinned evilly and pointed. “I don’t want you, just your child. Hand her over to me, and I’ll let you live.”
Filia gasped. “NO! I won’t you have my baby! What do you want with her?!”
The woman closed her eyes and smiled. That smile sent chills down Filia’s spine. “If you won’t give her to me, then I’ll kill you!” Still grinning that evil smile, the woman lifted her sword above Filia’s head. Filia screamed and tried to move away, but her shoulder hurt too badly.
A loud voice rang through the valley, accompanied by a huge blast of energy sweeping towards where the woman and Filia were. Filia took that chance to move out of the way and scramble to her feet as the woman was caught in the blast. It had no effect, much to Filia’s dismay.
“What pitiful attacks!” the woman yelled. “Who did that?!”
“Who do ya think?”
Filia and the woman both turned to see a young girl with fiery red hair standing silhouetted against the sunlight. A genuine smile spread across Filia’s face as she realized who it was.
“LINA!” she called. “Help me!!”
Lina Inverse was completely taken by surprise. “Filia?” Indeed it was the dragon priestess, whom Lina hadn’t seen in over three years. With some tall, leggy woman wielding a sword, looking as though she was picking a fight with poor Filia. “Who is this chick?”
“Lina Inverse, this has nothing to do with you!” the woman roared, pointing her sword at the sorceress. “So butt out!”
“Not on your life, sister,” Lina replied. “Anyone who messes with my friends has to answer to me!”
“Yeah? You and what army?”
Lina sighed and yawned. “Zel, do your stuff!”
“RA TILT!!” The chimera unleashed the strongest astral plane attack, enveloping the Mazoku woman in the blast. She screamed in outrage, injured but still in fighting spirits. She took her sword and swung at Zelgadis, who quickly dodged out of the way.
“Ha! You think you can stop me that easily?” the Mazoku roared. “Nothing can stop me from taking what I-“
Her words were cut short as Lina sent the enormous blast of energy streaming towards her. It was the last thing the Mazoku said as the Dragon Slave incinerated her.
“Too easy,” Lina said, grinning. It wasn’t often she got to dragon slave people…or Mazoku…anymore. Things had died down considerably around Saillune, where she and the rest of the group had moved ever since Zel and Amelia got married, so that the gang could be together. She waved to Zelgadis, who smiled slightly, then he and Lina turned to Filia, who was sitting on the ground, trembling and holding the bundle against her.
“Filia, what are you doing here?” Lina asked as she walked over to the shaking dragon priestess.
“I…I came for your help,” she replied. “I’m in danger.”
“Of what?” Zelgadis asked. “And what’s that you’re carrying.”
Filia moved the bundle down where they could see clearly. They both gasped simultaneously as she added, “I might say that ‘we’ are in danger.”
“Filia…that’s your baby?” Lina squeaked. Filia nodded silently. “Oh dear L-sama. How did you…who did…when did this happen?” Lina was quite confused at this point.
Filia sighed. “It’s a dreadfully long story, one that I’ll tell you later. I’m so tired…”
Zelgadis and Lina exchanged glances over Filia’s head, their eyes meeting briefly before they helped Filia to her feet and led her to the kingdom of Saillune.
“XELLOSS IS YOUR WHAT?!!”
Filia nodded silently in agreement. “It’s true.”
Amelia, now the crown ruler of Saillune along with her husband, sighed with hearts in her eyes. “That’s so romantic, Miss Filia!” she gushed. Everyone else moaned. “Dark vs. Light, Dark joins Light. It’s sounds like a great romantic story!”
Lina shook her head. “I don’t understand. I thought you hated him!”
Filia blushed. “I thought I did too. Until I found out that I didn’t. Things just sort of…went from there and, well…now I have my daughter.”
“What’s her name?” Lina asked.
“Her name is Elisa.”
“What a pretty name!” Amelia commented.
Lina then got straight to the point. “So anyway, why are you here? Why aren’t you with him?”
“Because three days ago, I was attacked at home. By a Mazoku. He said he wanted my baby, and would kill me if I didn’t give her to him. I couldn’t very well transform into my dragon form and leave my baby helpless, so I tried using magic against him. He was getting ready to kill me when Xelloss intercepted and killed him.
“Xelloss told me that he learned from his master that another Mazoku Lord is after my child. His reasons are unknown, but he will stop at nothing to get her. It was then that I left to come here. I knew that I would be safe here, and that you would help me.
“How can we help you against Mazoku Lords?” Amelia asked. “How do we know what we're going up against?”
“And besides,” Lina said. “Why couldn’t Xelloss have protected you himself? Why didn’t he stop you from leaving?”
Filia looked down at her baby. “He didn’t know I was leaving. After the fight, he made sure I was alright, then left, saying he had something important to do. I decided then that I couldn’t stay around there any longer if the Mazoku knew where I was. I don’t even know how they found out about it. We tried to keep everything…a secret.” A single tear streamed down her cheek. “I know this sounds strange coming from me, but I miss him.”
Lina looked at the sleeping child in Filia’s arms, now unwrapped out of her blanket, her tiny head pillowed on Filia’s chest. “Did Xelloss say who the Mazoku Lord who is after her was?”
Lina, Zelgadis, and Amelia all collapsed to the floor in pure shock. “DYNAST?” Lina shouted. “Why the hell does he want your baby?!”
Filia shook her head sadly. “I don’t know. I wish I did, but even if I did, I’m not giving up my baby. I’d rather die than be without her.”
“Well, we’re not going to let you or your baby die,” Zelgadis said sternly. “We’ll offer you the best protection we can.”
Amelia stood, pointing one finger to the sky. “That’s right, Miss Filia! That evil Dynast monster will be crushed by the FISTS OF JUSTICE!”
Filia sweatdropped. It appeared Amelia hadn’t mellowed out much since becoming queen. Fortunately, Zelgadis wasn’t nearly as brooding as he had been.
“Amelia, do you know how powerful this Dynast guy is?” Lina asked, sweatdropping as well.
“Um…pretty powerful?” she guessed, looking innocently at Lina.
“PRETTY POWERFUL?! He’s only the most powerful Mazoku in existence! The only one that was more powerful was Hellmaster, and since Hellmaster is gone, that leaves Dynast being the most powerful, and the most ruthless.”
“Oh,” Amelia said in a small voice.
“Anyway, Amelia, Dynast is someone who is not going to be a lot of fun to beat. I can’t believe we have to fight HIM!”
The five of them looked over in surprise to see Xelloss standing there, his eyes open and his face serious. There was an a slightly accusing and yet relieved look in his eyes as he stared at Filia, who met his eyes briefly before looking down at her baby to avoid looking at him.
“Whaddya mean ‘we won’t’?” Lina asked, skipping over the greeting and getting straight to the subject at hand. She was more interested in solving the problem.
Xellos smiled, however sadly. “You see, Lina, it's not that easy. There are several factors involved now. I can't risk Filia and Elisa's lives.”
Lina and the others exchanged glances. “So why aren’t you protecting Miss Filia?” Amelia asked, completely indignant and about to launch into a speech about the injustice of leaving Filia alone and unarmed, with a baby to take care of.
Xellos sighed. “That’s why I’m here, Amelia. Things have gotten rather…out of hand. However, it is my problem, and I will handle it.”
“Can’t we help?” Lina asked.
Xellos smiled again. “Thank you, Lina, but I think this time you’re better off on the sidelines.”
Lina grew red with fury. “Listen here, Xelloss. Filia is our friend. I won’t let her get hurt. So…I’m going to help whether you like it or not.”
“Please, Lina, don’t.”
Everyone looked at Filia in surprise. “He’s right,” she said quietly. “It’s his, or rather, our, problem. That’s why he’s come to take me back with him.”
Xelloss nodded. He wasn’t surprised that Filia had guessed his reason for being there. They both knew each other pretty well by now.
“Well then, shall we go?”
Filia nodded. She stood, then gazed at her friends. “I’m sorry. I’ve missed all of you. Amelia, Zel, take care. Gourry, Lina, you too.”
They all nodded, dumfounded as to what was going on. Lina felt strangely brushed off, like there was more to it but neither one were willing to involve other people. She wondered what the point of Filia’s visit had been. Oh well, at least they knew what was happening in their old friend’s life. However, it scared Lina for Filia. It was quite odd to know that Filia and Xellos had had a child, forget the fact that Mazoku Lords were after the baby. Lina glanced at Gourry. She was glad she wasn't involved in a relationship where the family would lay claims to all her children. <<*yeah I put Lina and Gourry together, too* ^_^ >>
“Goodbye, Filia,” Lina said. “If you need our help, you know we’re here.”
She turned and smiled warmly at them as she took Xelloss’ hand, her other hand supporting her sleeping infant. “Thank you. All of you.”
And then they both disappeared.