Four more days…and I still haven’t thought of a way to out smart Xelloss Lina using the name Liana muttered to herself and walked out of the inn. She was teaching simple sorcery everyday to the kids and it was flat out getting a little tiring. As much as she loved kids she just didn’t have enough time to teach them spells and think up of a way to outsmart Xelloss. He was intelligent and always thought out all the possibilities.
"If he wasn’t so smart than I’d feel a lot more at rest." Lina muttered and sighed. "If he was as dumb as Gaury than…" Lina sighed and walked down the stairs. Gaury was still alive and safe, that was what had kept her from going insane. Through the most part of the world Lina was a girl who ONLY cared about food and money, no one knew her inner self.
Lina loved life and she wanted to live it to the fullest of it. Food and money were an important part of her living her life to the fullest. She had liven it to the fullest in her opinion. She was able to conquer what was deemed impossible to humans, left a lasting impression, bad one but still an impression. Only things she regretted was that she would never know the joys of motherhood.
That was why she enjoyed being with the kids so much. They were in a way, a substitute for the kids she herself could never have. She treated them as she would treat her own kids, with love and respect for them. She would show them a different side of her that no one else in the world will ever see. A caring side, she would leave that for them before she left to another part of the world.
Traveling had turned out to be a part of her life. No matter who she was, Lina or Liana, she was still going to travel, and probably never quit until she died of old age. This nomadic way of living must be in her blood. Her parents, her father especially, although settled in Zefiria left the house for work and travel. Lina didn’t fault them, at least now, since she was also traveling and hadn’t gone back to Zefiria since she was nineteen.
She often wondered if either of her parents had cried for her, if either of them had cared enough to mourn her ‘death’. Lina hoped so, since they were her parents and, despite their faults Lina did love them. Then again, her sister probably knew Lina was alive. It was impossible to keep anything hidden from Luna Inverse.
Lina guessed that the only reason Luna hadn’t come searching for her is because Luna knew Lina needed time alone to think about things by herself. Lina appreciated that fact, and the recent solitude had been nice, she still don’t couldn’t say how nice it would be now to complain about all her worries to her sister.
Oh well, life goes on. Lina decided with a sigh and sat down on one of the tables at the inn restaurant. She didn’t have her usual appetite so she only ordered a meal for two. She reviewed her life so far to think of the best course of action.
Xelloss most likely won’t stop pestering her until she agreed to become mazoku, but there was no way she was going to become a mazoku. Of course she would have easily declined the ‘offer’ the moment she heard of it had he not brought up the subject of her friends.
Seriously speaking, she was tired and afraid. Maybe Xelloss was right when he said she wasn’t Lina Inverse. There had been times when she saw herself in the mirror and didn’t see the girl that had been feared and loved, instead she saw a tired woman struggling to live. Maybe pretending to die hadn’t been such a good idea. She was tired and so she just gave up. And she still called herself Lina Inverse.
Lina wanted to laugh at the irony. Five years ago if anyone told her she’d give up because she was tired she would have laughed out loud and then blast them with Dragon Slave.
Lina was starting to hate herself.
Shilfiel entered the only inn in the town. If rumors were correct than this was the only place she could be staying at. The more sorceresses the better chance the humans had at surviving the war. Shilfiel prayed she could find her and opened the door with determination. Thinking didn’t do anyone any good. The only thing to do was act. As Shilfiel walked into the inn, one person she never expected to see again came down the stairs. Someone who was known as the notorious robber killer and the well known Dramata.
Long fire-red hair that reached her waist and a slender petite form. Shilfiel dropped her arms to her side and she couldn’t say a thing. She was seeing a ghost. Before she muttered a word, Shilfiel fainted.
Lina brought her face up when she heard the sound of something being dropped. She had been too engrossed in her thoughts that she didn’t notice she had arrived downstairs.
She noticed that a group of people had gathered at the door, and her curiosity got the better of her, even though she knew she shouldn’t, she went over to the group. At first she was having trouble seeing passed the crowd since she wasn’t that tall and a lot of tall men had been gathered. Finally she made her way through and gasped.
"……..Shilfiel….." Lina muttered out the name of the former chief priestess of Sailarg, currently the ruler of that region. Shilfiel was suppose to be at Sailarg now, keeping the country safe. What was she doing outside of the Mazoku isle.
"You know her Liana." The inn keeper asked, bringing Lina’s thoughts back.
"….she’s an old acquaintance." Lina answered briskly. "She always fainted pretty easily." Lina added as an explanation.
"Than is it okay if we keep her in your room? We don’t have any other room’s open and I’m the only one who has an inn around here."
Lina wasn’t keen on that idea. It was the best for Shilfiel to get away from her as soon as possible. But she had already paid the innkeeper a weeks worth of stay and she didn’t want that money to go to waist. But she just couldn’t keep Shilfiel by her but….Oh well, Shilfiel would most likely had seen her by now, might as well get the inedible over and done with.
Since everyone in the town had seen Lina there was no way Shilfiel will be convinced it was a fragment of her imagination if she heard about Liana. Lina agreed with the innkeepers suggestion and went on to have her breakfast. Lina knew Shilfiel will recover quickly so there for she’d have to hurry up and finish eating. Too bad she’d have to cut down her breakfast.
Even then Lina ate three times as much as a normal person.
Shilfiel slowly came to it and the first thing she saw was a white cement ceiling. She got a look around and noticed that everything was extremely simple. The writing desk was made out of plain brown wood and had an inexpensive mirror on the top of it. Other than that and a small dresser there didn’t seem to be much of any furniture, except for the bed she was laying on.
"……..Where am I?" Shilfiel asked aloud to no one in particular.
"Inside my room, in my bed of the only inn in this town." A voice said from behind her. Shilfiel raised herself to turn around and she froze.
"……………Lina………..san?" Shilfiel asked the girl that had appeared in the room. If it was Lina Inverse than she hadn’t seemed to have changed much since she last saw her, which was two years ago.
The girl sighed and nodded confirming Shilfiel’s suspicion. "Yeah, I was Lina Inverse." Lina took a chair from the desk and placed it near the bed Shilfiel was sleeping in.
"……really? You aren’t some kind of con artist?" Shilfiel still looked at the girl suspiciously.
"What is the point in me lying to you Shilfiel. You already saw me right? That’s probably the reason you fainted. And no, I’m not a ghost." Lina added and offered Shilfiel her hand. "Touch it if you don’t believe it. I’ve got a body."
Shilfiel carefully extended her hand and felt Lina’s hand. Sure enough, it was warm and soft like a living human’s. She still couldn’t believe it though, Lina Inverse had been dead for a year now, it couldn’t be….
"You said ‘were’…." She remembered. "What does that mean?"
Lina sighed and ruffled her hair. "I don’t know where to start but other than the fact that my name’s Liana Reverse and I’m no longer the Lina Inverse you knew."
"….what does that mean?"
"You see Shilfiel. I can’t take it any more of the pressure, the frustration and the fear of being Lina Inverse." Lina stated. "It’s too much on the shoulder’s of one person."
"Fear?" Shilfiel repeated. "Lina-san what is there for you to be afraid of!!" Shilfiel just couldn’t imagine how Lina Inverse could feel fear. Lina was the strongest person, not only in power but in spirit as well, that she ever knew. How could Lina out of all people feel fear.
Even when she had Hell Master after her Lina had never felt fear, other than…….
It suddenly dawned on Shilfiel what Lina had always feared. It was simple, indeed it was something all people would fear. The loss of a dear one.
Of course. There was no way a human, even if it was the best swords man in the world, could continue surviving against fights against the strongest mazoku. Death was evident. That was what Lina Inverse had feared, Shilfiel now understood that.
"…Lina-san….than you did….or is it do….love Gaury-sama?" Shilfiel asked. Lina finally raised her head at that question. Then was it that Shilfiel noticed how much she had changed. From a young innocent girl to a grown woman. In only two years she had aged that much.
The lost innocence would never return, she was not the same anymore.
Lina ran a hand through her long hair and sighed. "I wish it was did Shilfiel….do you know how much I wish that. But it’s not. It’s not." Lina shook her head and allowed a weak laugh to escape. "It’s stupid. I know I’ll just get him in danger if I’m alive, but yet I still lo…..lo…..lo…….lo……lo…lo….lo…..love him." Lina finally managed as she blushed fiercely. It was the first time she had said her feelings out loud.
Shilfiel had the right to know though. As her friend, and as someone who also loved Gaury.
"……I never expected to hear you admit it Lina-san." Shilfiel said with a sad smile. "I knew all along that you felt like that towards Gaury-sama." Of course I kept on fooling myself by saying she was only after his sword…but when he lost the sword of light and there was no reason for you two to be together you were still with him. I am sorry Lina-san, but I must confess something. When I heard you died, I cried, I cried because I was sad and hurt. Yet there was part of me that was happy, happy that you were no longer with Gaury-sama. When I found that out I couldn’t believe myself. I there for….pledged myself to the god.".
"…What?" Lina asked. "Shilfiel……do you have any idea what that means. To pledge yourself to god you mean you….you…." Lina stood up from the chair in disbelief as she stared at the clergy, no the non-human clergy.
"….Yes Lina-san. I do." Shilfiel replied. "I couldn’t live knowing I thought such a thing. There for I went to the gold dragons and had them help me. I now have the power of the dragons to receive ‘shintaku’s(Note: The thing Filia got that started TRY). That is why I came here."
"I heard of the story of a sorceress that lived outside the border and I had to come. It is a good thing it was you Lina-san."
"…what do you mean Shilfiel?" Lina asked. As she did Shilfiel and her face became darkened and serious.
"…..The Third Mazoku War is to start. We will need your help Lina-san. It is your duty to do so."
Lina thought the world had gone black when she heard Shilfiel. "….The ….Third……..Mazoku War….." Lina muttered under her breath. "That can’t be. The mazoku don’t have enough power!! Hell Master Phiblizo, Dynast Graushelaa, Chaos Dragon Garv, Garv’s Priest and General, Hell Master’s Priest and General, Dynast’s General Sheela……That’s eight mazoku less than the Second one and they still barely one on that."…
Lina thought to herself. The mazoku weren’t stupid, how could they think they could win with only two of the sub ordinates, their priests and general and one seventh of Shablaniguduu as their main strength. Unless…
"…was another Shablaniguduu reborn!?" Lina demanded.
Shilfiel shook her head. "Not that we know of. But then mazoku have their ways of knowing who Shablaniguduu rests in. That’s how they knew about Lei Magnus." Lina-san?" Shilfiel asked when she noticed that Lina’s face had turned ashen color.
"Shilfiel….leave." Lina stated.
"Leave Shilfiel. Please. I’ll talk about this more later on. Please, there’s something I need to think about….alone."
Shilfiel nodded when she saw Lina’s serious expression. "I will talk to you later than Lina-san. But please….don’t run away." Shilfiel stepped out of the room. She herself needed to sort out her thoughts about meeting with Lina again. Since the matter present had been urgent she had almost rushed Lina into the topic of the War. Of course Shilfiel could justify herself saying that it demanded Lina’s help but Shilfiel still didn’t have enough time to process the fact that Lina was alive.
Once Lina was sure Shilfiel was away she took a deep breath and prepared herself. "So Xelloss is this the catch?" She called out into the air. Soon a figure phased in from no where and appeared.
"Is what Shilfiel said true?" Lina asked as she folded her arms and glared at the mazoku in front of her. Xelloss had his eyes open and was looking at her with a smile on his face, a deadly smile.
"Why yes Lina of course." Xelloss’ smile widened. "You do know that if the mazoku have you on their side it could make up for the loss you caused." Xelloss disappeared and then reappeared right behind her. Lina quickly whirled around so that he couldn’t do anything from the back.
"…now I see why you and Beast Master allowed me to live all those years…you knew that the time would come when I could actually be of good use to you." Lina sat back down on the chair and looked up at Xelloss. "What makes you think I’ll allow you to just ‘use’ me."
"…Oh, I never intended on getting your permission. So have you thought about my offer."
"Stop smiling." Lina bit off. "And my answer’s the same. You’d be insane to think it would change in a week."
"…Has it?" Xelloss asked still smiling. Lina felt a chill run down her spine. When he was looking serious he was great to be looking at.
WHAT!?! She must have lost a screw in her head or something to be thinking that. It had to be meeting with Shilfiel, yes that had to be it!! She was tired and had a lot to think about with the war and all, yes that was it that had to be it!!
Xelloss was watching Lina as she seemed to be having an inner turmoil. At one point she’d be thinking with a serious look on her face and at another point she’d be shaking her head as if she was denying something. Indeed she was fun to watch.
"ANY WAY!!!" Lina screamed as she seemed to calm down some what. "There’s going to be a war for sure." Xelloss nodded at that statement.
"And you Lina, are going to be playing a fairly big role in it."
"….You and Shilfiel make it seem like I’ve got no choice but to be in this war…" Lina muttered.
"Oh Lina-san, that’s because you don’t." Xelloss informed her cheerfully. "If you’re angry curse your fate and the power you yield. The moment you learned Giga Slave, you chose your path. And that path just happens to cross with a lot of mazoku and ryuzoku plans."
"So what? You’re saying that I learned Giga Slave, it’s the power of L-sama I learned of and so now I just have to live with it?"
"Oh yes, you chose this path Lina-san."
"…Then I think I’ll step out of it." Lina said as a mischievous smile appeared on her lips. "Lina Inverse chose that path. I guess it’s time Liana chose a path." Lina smiled confidently as she looked up at Xelloss. "Four more days until the deadline. Come back here and see my answer than. I will surprise you. Mark those words Ju-shinkan Xelloss. I will surprise you." The one that smiled wasn’t Liana who had been worried over everything but it definitely wasn’t Lina who had been so carefree.