Shadowy Bonds

Part 3 - Plans

Zelas poured herself another glass of wine just as Xelloss reappeared in the room. “They are asleep?”

“Yes Master,” he said.

“Good. You and I need to talk.” Zelas sat back down with her wine, taking a long drink from the glass. “This wine is incredible. Do you want a glass?”

“No. What do you want to talk to me about?”

Zelas smirked. “Your child. I’m assuming you have felt her power as well.”

“I have.”

“So you know why Dynast wants her, then.”

“Of course. That was obvious from the beginning.”

Zelas chuckled. “I’m impressed, Xelloss. I’ll admit when I first discovered your relationship with this dragon girl, I imagined all sorts of ways to punish you severely. But you were lucky this time, my servant. This mistake may indeed prove to be a great accomplishment.”

She paused. Xelloss waited for her to continue.

“Your daughter possesses great power,” Zelas said thoughtfully, mostly to herself. “There is no way of knowing just how powerful she is until she grows older and learns how to use it. In the meantime, we must keep her from Grausherra and his servants. He must not be allowed to use her power.”

Xelloss was not surprised that this was coming. He had known ever since Elisa was born that she was powerful, but had kept it to himself. It had crossed his mind once or twice that her power could be used, but for some reason, it didn’t sit well with him, and he knew it wouldn’t go over well with Filia, either. Still, he could use the knowledge of her power to his advantage for the time being.

“Are you saying you will assist me in keeping Dynast away from my daughter?” Xelloss asked.

Zelas nodded. “I am, for now.”

Xelloss smiled, bowing gratefully.

“Does your dragon maiden know about her daughter’s power?” Zelas continued.

“I do not know, Master. We haven’t discussed it.”

“Just as well. Avoid talking about it at all costs. I do not want a conflict.”

Xelloss nodded, knowing full well the seriousness of that statement. Beast Master handled conflicts as violently as possible.

“She will not cause a conflict, Master.”

Zelas smiled. “Good. For her sake, make sure of that. In the meantime, I need you to make sure she doesn’t leave.”

Xelloss cringed. “Master, I didn’t force her to come here, she came of her own will. If I make her a slave, she –“

“I didn’t say make her a slave, Xelloss, I said make sure she doesn’t leave. That can include doing whatever you can to make sure she is happy here.”

Xelloss nodded, feeling somewhat relieved. However, he knew that his master was up to something and wasn’t inclined to tell him just yet. As much as he wanted to keep his master happy, he didn’t want Filia angry with him. He had been positive that pleasing one would almost guarantee the other’s displeasure. It looked as though his master was…asking him to please Filia…but to keep her there on the island.

Xelloss sighed. Whatever her plan was, he wasn’t about to argue with her. He had to go along, no matter what he thought. He would worry about it later.

Zelas watched her servant ponder her words, knowing he was sorting all of this out. She’d created him to be a fast thinker, and knew that it wouldn’t be long before he figured out her true plans. At the same time, she’d taken a great risk in creating him with free will, and it seemed as though that area was beginning to get out of hand. It had worked fine for the last two millennia…but she never imagined he’d go and do something like this. However, her ploy to keep the dragon girl there had to work. He would get to continue his act of being the generous and loving (disgusting though it were) husband, and she would get the results she needed for her ultimate plan to be carried out.

She waved her hand, dismissing him without a word, and smiled evilly as he vanished. “Oh, Zelas, you sly one, you,” she whispered, giggling. Sometimes she truly amazed herself.

The next day

Filia yawned, rubbing her eyes as she sat up in bed. Then she looked around, momentarily confused as to where she was. She was in a strange bedroom, with all kinds of paintings and gothic-type decorations. Along the walls, there were statues of wolves that seemed so alive, they’d be ready to jump at her and tear her to pieces right then. She shivered…then remembered where she was.

“Oh my goodness,” she whispered to herself. “I’m really here…Wolf Pack Island. Then it wasn’t a dream.” She looked over at the empty space on the bed, where Xelloss had been when she fell asleep the night before. “Where is Xelloss?” she wondered aloud, then felt silly for talking to herself.

She swung her legs over the side of the bed and padded over to the window to look outside. For miles and miles, all she could see was ocean. Mist covered most of the ground below, and the sky was dark and gloomy. Even for daytime, her room was dark, shadows lurking in all corners. She suddenly felt extremely out of place.

She glanced at the clock. Goodness, she’d slept nearly all morning! She wondered if Elisa was still asleep, too. Filia hadn’t heard her make a sound. Shivering again, she lit a candle and walked over to Elisa’s bed, wanting to make sure her baby was alright. She pulled back the covers, smiling. “Good morning – huh?”

For a moment, she couldn’t believe she was seeing right. Then it registered to her that the baby bed was empty, and she screamed. “NO!” Without a second thought, she flew out of the bedroom screaming at the top of her lungs, tears streaming down her face.

Elisa…Elisa was missing…she had to find her!

Filia ran through the house, looking around, yelling for Elisa, yelling for Xelloss, yelling for anyone who could hear her. Finally her tears blinded her and she tripped, collapsing to the floor in a hysterical mess.

“Filia, what are you doing?”

She whirled around, her mace in her hand, ready to pound whomever it was…then stopped, her mouth dropping open in disbelief.

Xelloss stood there, looking at her with a concerned, yet somehow mischievous, look on his face. In his arms he held a giggling, squirming, and safe Elisa.

“NAMAGOMI!!!” she screamed, taking Elisa from him a little more harshly than was necessary, but all she could think about at that moment was that Elisa was safe, and that idiot had had her all along. She hugged Elisa to her, trying to quell her nerves. “I can’t believe you! Why didn’t you tell me you had her in the first place?”

Xelloss opened his eyes, giving her a serious look. “You were asleep, Filia. I didn’t want to wake you.”

“You KNEW I would go berserk when I found she was missing, didn’t you? That’s JUST what you wanted, isn’t it? I haven’t been mad enough lately for you to get a decent dose of negative emotions, is that right?!” Filia’s eyes were now glowing, and she had her mace raised above her head.

Xelloss sweatdropped. “Now, Filia-chan, it’s not like that! I simply wanted to spend some time with my daughter, is that really so bad? Besides, she’d started crying and someone was sound asleep. I thought you were going to lay in bed all day, so I had to feed the poor thing.” He held up the empty bottle to prove it.

Filia’s mouth clamped shut. “She…was crying…and I didn’t hear her?”

Xelloss nodded. “You must have been very tired. Don’t worry so much, Fi-chan. Relax. She’s safe here, isn’t that why I brought you both here in the first place?”

She brought her mace down. “I…guess so…”

He smirked. “See?”

She glared at him. “You don’t have to be so smug about it, Namagomi.”

“Oh, so we’re back to calling me names again? This is the thanks I get for doing something nice for a change…you should be more grateful.”

“WHY YOU!!!” She stopped. Of course, he was right…as always, the crazy, egotistical jerk. But wasn’t that why she loved him? Hah!

“Hmph. Fine, Xelloss, thank you.”

“Now was that so hard?”

“Oh shove it.”

Xelloss grinned as he watched Filia storm back to her room with Elisa. It was nice to see that his Filia was back to her old self again.


“I hope you know that I’m not one to make deals, Beastmaster.”

Zelas laughed. “Oh this isn’t a deal, my friend. This will be more like an agreement.”

“I see. So tell me, what is it you want me to agree with? I hope it has to do with your new ‘grandchild’, strange as that word sounds. I know you’re keeping her and the dragon girl from me, which doesn’t improve your standings with me. You had better make it good.”

“Touché. A glass of wine for you?”

“No. Get to the point.”

Zelas took a long drink from her glass and sighed. “Ahhh…it’s ever so good. Anyway, I’ll tell you my plan, and if you agree with me, then we’ll go from there. How’s that?”

“Fine, just tell me already. My patience is wearing thin.”

“No need to be hasty, we have plenty of time.” Zelas leaned back in her chair, watching the man sitting across from her very carefully. His face was shrouded in darkness, all but his ice-blue eyes. They seemed to glow brightly in the dimly lit room, making his appearance all the more intriguing. She knew the menacing power that lay beneath his cold appearance, and wasn’t prepared to start a fight with him…just yet.

“It’s simple,” she said. “My grandchild possesses power. That is why you want her, correct?” “You are correct.”

“You seem to be forgetting that she’s only three months old, nowhere near old enough to know how to use or control her power. You’re also forgetting that there is no way of knowing yet just how powerful she will be. She may not be as strong as you or I think she will be.”

“But you have sensed her power, haven’t you? You’ve felt it. That has to mean something.”

“Yes and no. I can sense power, but I can’t tell how strong it is. I believe it will be strong because of the evidence.”

“You mean Valgaav. Because of his mix of demon and dragon powers. She is the same.”

She nodded, playing with a strand of her hair. “Not only that, but also the result of mixing holy and demonic magic. She will have the power to use both.”

“What are you getting at, Beast master?”

She chuckled. “I’m getting to our agreement. I want you to order your servants to stop trying to take her.”

“What?” His eyes narrowed and his voice lowered dangerously, but she showed now signs of fear. She smiled.

“Calm down, Dynast, darling. You’ll get your chance to have her. If you allow her to be raised here, with her parents and I, then will I allow you to have her when she reaches sixteen.”

“Do you expect me to believe that? I am no fool.”

“On the contrary, you’re a wise business man. When she reaches sixteen, you will be able to test her skills fully. I will give you the chance. Until then, I want no disturbances. She needs to be allowed to draw out her power without any interference.”

The dark lord from the north rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “It makes sense. I have no knowledge of children, and I do not want there to be damage to her if she is to have this power you say she will have.”

“There is also one other condition,” Zelas continued.

“Oh? And what is that?”

“That you do not turn her against me.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it…”

“See that you don’t.”

Dynast laughed. “Your threats don’t scare me, Beast master. I would watch what I say if I were you.” She simply smiled in reply.

He rose from his chair, standing to full height as he glared down at her. “Very well. I’ll agree to this for now. But be warned, Beast master. I am not fooled easily.”

Zelas finished what was left of her wine, then smirked. “Of course not.”

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