"Miss Liana, can you show us that light trick?" A bunch of five year old kids gathered around a woman with long hair the color of the fire and ruby colored eyes. She was dressed in a plain brown shirt and pants. She had been walking down the street lazily when the kids caught her.
"Why do you want to learn the light trick?" The woman called Liana asked the kids as she started to walk down the streets with them.
"So we can fight off monsters!!" A kid with brown hair who was dressed in a blue shirt answered. "Monsters are scared of light, they vanish when there’s light!!"
"Hmm, how do you know that Marun-kun?" Liana asked.
"It’s common sense miss Liana." Marun replied, his whole body speaking that he was excited to learn the trick. He waved his hand frantically as he tried to explain why the light trick would save them. Liana paid close attention and smiled fondly at the children. She always had a soft spot for children.
"Hmm, I see. The monsters fear light and so they run away when they see it." Liana nodded.
"Yup!! And that’s why they only appear at night!!" The kids chorused.
"Well, I’ll have to discuss it with your parents, they aren’t used to seeing such tricks." Liana reminded them. "So, whose parent should I convince first."
"Mine!!" They all said at the same time and Liana couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
"I can’t visit ten parents in one day!!" She exclaimed. "I’ll do one kid at a time. The way I’ll decide that is…" Liana posed for effect.
"Is…" The kids repeated impatiently.
"Luck of the Draw!!!" Liana announced as she took out a few pieces of paper and a bunch of pens. "Write your names on the papers with the pens." Liana said as she handed them to the children. "And then put them in…" Liana took her bag off her back and rummaged through for something. She soon took out a box. "here." The kids put the paper that had their names on one by one. Liana shook the box for a few minutes after the kids were done. And then opened the lid and put her hand in it. "Hmm…the parent I’m going to visit today is…" Liana posed to read the name. "Rown’s!!"
The brown haired boy squealed out of delight and the kids sent him envious glares. Liana soothed them saying that Rown would surely show his newly learned trick. The kids then broke into smiles and went to each of their homes while Liana went with Rown to his house.
The talk with Rown’s parents were pleasant, and they offered to pay Liana if she would teach them a few basic ‘tricks’ as well. Liana agreed, and told them that she would teach them ‘Recovery’, ‘Lighting’, and ‘Sleeping’. A few basic magic spells that people in this town called tricks.
Liana didn’t mind it was actually better this way. It was an honest job, Liana didn’t need to do a lot in order to get her pay. She was content with this life style.
"Miss Liana." Rown’s mother called to her just as she was ready to leave.
"Yes Mrs. Burgh? Some thing wrong?"
"No, no nothing miss Liana. I just want to thank you for teaching us these tricks. And for such a reasonable price. I know that we must be unusual, knowing that you are from with in the barrier, to you. But it is really un-known…"
"Mrs. Burgh I understand." Liana interrupted the woman. "I know that in this world sorcery isn’t common knowledge as it was back in where I come from. I don’t mind teaching these techniques, in return I get the knowledge that didn’t exist back where I come from."
"Miss Liana…I am so glad to have met you. Before I met you, I thought all magic-users were like that…that rumored, Lina Inverse!!"
Liana’s body tensed at the mention of the name. "Wha-what do you mean by that?"
"Well, you know that Lina Inverse is a wild, untamed, animal in the form of a human. Her name provokes fear in everyone’s heart. I am so glad to have met you Miss Liana, thank you for proving my stereo type wrong."
"Ah~, well…um, I don’t know what to say." Liana inwardly sighed. So that’s what everyone REALLY thought about me……I’m really not that different. She thought. She quickly said good buy to Rown’s mother and left to go back to the inn.
She was staying at the inn under the name Liana Reverse. It was pretty corny, not that different from her past name Lina Inverse. She wondered why her past self was considered the way Mrs. Burgh described her. Lina Inverse was wild, she would admit that. But that was probably the only thing she had changed. Well, she didn’t throw a fire ball every time some one got on her nerve.
Lina went to her room thinking and laid down on the bed, trying to get some sleep and relax her nerves. There was nothing to be worried about since she was outside the barrier where no one will recognize her.
It had been a year since Shilfiel Nels Raada received the letter saying that Lina Inverse was dead. The letter was formally written by a fairly well known political figure who was born in Sailarg and had taken an exceptional interest in why Flagoon had disappeared. The letter had been written as such.
‘Dear Miss Shilfiel Nels Raada.
I am sorry to be the one who is to inform you of a tragic event. Early this morning I found a dead body near the ruin of Flagoon. From the items the deceased had with her we were able to identify that it was Lina Inverse.
I have been previously informed that you had known Lina Inverse fairly well and have decided that you shall be informed of this tragic event. The reason for her death is unknown. There were no signs of suicide and no signs of struggle on her body.
After confirming her death and who she was I left to call up the officials in this town. When we returned her body had disappeared. I do not know what happened to it.
Again, I am sorry to bring you such news but I knew that you must have the right to know about this.
The rumor of Lina Inverse’s death spread fast, along with it came how did she die? Was she killed by a mazoku or a dragon? Who possessed strong enough power to beat the strongest sorceress alive? No one knew the truth. Some historians speculated that she was killed by a mazoku and then revived as a true mazoku. Yet no one knew the truth.
Her former friends were changed by her death. The second Princess of Seyluun, Amelia Will Tesla Seyluun was devastated that such a person full of life and spirit could possibly die so young and with out any one by her side changed drastically. She started to lock herself up and questioned the Justice that before she thought was the absolute and only truth. Her eyes that would liven up when giving speeches of justices were now dulled.
The chimera, Zelgadiss Graywords was worse. He didn’t, couldn’t understand who would and could kill Lina. Revenge for the first person to accept him as he was and make him laugh. He hunted down every Mazoku or Dragon that were strong enough to possibly kill Lina. His eyes that calmed when he was with Lina resumed the hatred and sadness he held when he was with Rezo.
The Gold Dragon maiden had lost the spirit she once held. Lina was the only thing that tied her to the innocent girl she was before she found out about the Ancient Dragons. With that tie gone, she came close to going insane out of guilt, something Lina had kept her from doing. If it weren’t for Valtierra, whom she took it on herself as her mission to see him grow up safe and happy, she probably would have gone insane.
All those three, as well as Shilfiel had some what accepted the death of Lina Inverse unknowingly. There was no proof to prove them wrong and they were sure that if she was alive by any chance they would have heard the robber complain about a sorceress who used Fire balls and announced ‘Villains had no rights’ to them. Yes, they accepted her death.
The swordsman that traveled with her, Gaury Gabliev still refused to accept her death. No one was capable of killing Lina Inverse and he had searched every where he could think up of in order to find her. His first choice was Zefiria, Lina’s home town. She wasn’t there but he had seen her sister.
Her sister, Luna Inverse was interesting. Her looks reminded him of Xelloss and her personality reminded him of Lina with control over her temper. She had admitted that she didn’t think Lina was dead and that she disappeared on her own will. She told Gaury that if Lina wanted him to know she was alive she would appear in front of him. If she wasn’t doing that she had a valid reason to it.
That didn’t stop Gaury from searching. He knew that Lina didn’t want him looking for her but he needed proof on whether she was alive or dead. If she was dead he wanted to at least find her corpse, and if she was alive he only wanted to see her.
Xelloss only stared at his master as she gave him the order. What she had just said was impossible to be correct. How could she possibly know?
"You’re current expression is priceless Xel." She whispered as she watched him just stare at her. "Is it that unbelievable? You know that you could have easily figure out if she was alive or dead, you just didn’t want to find out that if she really was dead." Zelas smiled and nodded. "I understand, it isn’t something you would really want to know."
"But Zelas-sama, how did you figure out that she really is alive." Xelloss asked. Still surprised by the order.
"Easy. I just tried to sense the talismans. Her body had never been found and it will be such a waste for such valuable items to be lost. All that’s found are her broken shoulder guards." Zelas walked over to Xelloss and made him look at her. "I know she is alive and it really will be nice if you did convince her to join the mazoku. She’s pretty much dead to everyone but a few people. Xel, my precious Ju-shinkan, bring her back to me." Zelas ordered.
Xelloss nodded. To a mazoku their masters orders were absolute. Besides Xelloss really did want to see her. The last he had seen her was when she fought Dark Star. Already six years. A year ago when he heard of her death he knew it had to have been not true. There was no possible way she could have died, save suicide. But Lina Inverse was not the type to commit suicide, she loved life too much to do so.
He teleported to the inn where he could feel the pressense of the talisman, something he had refused to do for so long. He was in the room and saw her laying on the bed. His expression softened for a second as he saw her.
Six long years had passed since he last saw her. How she had changed. She wasn’t the young reckless girl, yet she still was. The look of innocence on her face made him smile. Indeed she had been away from fighting too long if she couldn’t recognize his pressense when he was standing right near her.
Xelloss ran his hand through her hair just like he had wished to do so many times. After six years she still had the same effect on him and she was completely oblivious to it.
After he was like that for about half an hour he decided to wake her up. It was about time for her to come out of hiding and face the truth of what she was. She was a strong sorceress with a light that would die out if it wasn’t used. She needed to use her powers if she wished to hold onto her light.
Lina felt some one trying to shake her to wake up. She stirred and tried to inch away but the hand shaking her persisted.
"Five more minutes…" She muttered sleepily. Why does Gaury insist on waking me…wait a minute. I stopped traveling with Gaury…Then…Lina opened her eyes and screamed.
"You really are energetic Lina-chan." He muttered as he tried to get the ringing out of his ears.
"XELLOSS!!!" Lina screamed as she backed into the corner of the bed, against the wall. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE!!!!????" Lina demanded.
"Oh, that is my question Lina-chan. What is the supreme sorceress doing in such a small town. Or should I say Liana-chan?" He teased.
"None of your business!!" Lina barked and turned her face from his. What was this guy thinking?!
Suddenly Xelloss showed her something and Lina gasped. The talisman she had stored away. He was still smiling at her and Lina felt like strangling him.
"Oh but it is. A sorceress who earns a living by teaching people on the outside of the barrier simple spells. That isn’t like you at all Lina-chan." Xelloss muttered as he twirled on of the talisman around his finger. "I wonder how your friends would react to knowing you are alive. They would probably tear the world apart in order to find you then. Especially that swordsman of yours, he stubbornly refuses your death, the others have more or less accepted it."
"What are you doing here?" Lina demanded glaring at him. "I forbid myself to never use the lord of nightmares powers. What’s your intention of now appearing? I never break a promise I made to myself."
Xelloss chuckled. "Still as stubborn. Well, that’s better I wouldn’t have liked it if you had changed too much."
"Okay Xelloss, where’s the catch? Get it said and done with, and I want no secrets."
"…You have matured Lina. You are no longer that girl I knew six years ago." Xelloss muttered.
Lina looked closely at him. Had she imagined it? His face had for a second shown a side of caring but was soon replaced by his usual cold smile. She must have imagined it. Xelloss, caring, get a grip.
"Of course I’m not. After the fight with Dark Star I also had to fight that general to Dynast, got caught up in a bunch of wars, got dragged around by weird prophecies. I’ve had my share." Lina replied coolly. "So, why are you here?"
"Lina…do you miss sorcery?"
"Do you miss blowing things up, using your powers to relieve the stress, beating up robbers…Don’t you miss it?" Xelloss looked straight at her and Lina moved her gaze away from him. "Why aren’t you looking at me Lina? Is it because you know you miss it and are afraid to admit to it."
"…I am through with sorcery. True once in awhile I sort of miss it, such as using a fire ball to heat up a lake and make it a hot bath…But that’s it. I maybe miss beating up robbers, it was an easy income. But never have I regretted choosing this path." She than looked straight at him and glared. "Tell I am alive to ANY ONE and I’ll make sure you’re dead. And don’t dismiss this as a careless threat of the Lina Inverse you knew. If any one from my past finds out about this place…you better be watching your head."
"Are your friends that important that you want to protect them against mazoku, out laws, ones seeking to kill you, dragons, elves, goblins?"
"Yes. If I don’t exist any more than there is no way they would pester them. I need to protect them. It’s a responsibility I will not decline on."
"I see…Well then, how about if I make a bargain with you?" "A bargain?"
"Princess Amelia has enough influence on the world that with her command an army may attack mazoku and we really don’t want unwanted trouble. The chimera has been going around killing every mazoku and dragon he could find and the mazoku are really getting quite annoyed with him. Mazoku really are considering the possibility of getting rid of them both."
Lina gasped at his information. She tried to calm herself down by telling herself that this was coming from Xelloss who rarely told the whole truth. It was possible that Amelia will declare war to the mazoku, not impossible that Zelgadiss was killing every mazoku and dragon and it was quite possible that the mazoku were going to kill both of them. But there had to be a catch, there had to be!!!
"…what does this have to do with me?" Lina asked quietly at first. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN TO DO BY TELLING ME THIS!!!!" She demanded.
"If we have a single person who is capable of influencing BOTH these people then their lives will be spared." Xelloss muttered.
Something suddenly made a click in her mind. "Xelloss…you can’t be serious…you.."
"If you join hands with the mazoku Lina, you’re precious friends will be saved."