Lin was sitting on top of a hill in Wolf Pact Island with Zelas’s pet silver fox Rakuma sitting on her lap. It had been two weeks since that incident in the forest near Iris, and Xelloss had strictly ordered Lin not to leave the island, Rakuma was her watcher.
Rakuma was originally human, and as unlucky as Zelgadiss. He had accidentally wondered into Wolf Pact island about fifty years ago, and changed into a fox by Zelas. Lin wondered why Zelas did so, since even if it was only a glance Lin got a look at Rakuma, the human and Lin remembered thinking he was quite cute, with short red hair and ever green eyes.
"…It’s boring isn’t it Rakuma, to just sit around this island. I wish I was off in the human town. I’d have a lot more fun then." Lin laid down on the grass, watching the clouds move. "It’s pretty addictive, those human towns. Full of activity, anger, hatred, you get it all just by standing around, not as good as a battle field but good enough." Lin giggled as Rakuma licked her neck. "Stop it!! I’m ticklish!!" She tried to sound angry but her words came out laughing. She grabbed the fox into her hands and hugged it.
"…Do you want to go back Rakuma? Back to where you were before…when you were human?" Lin asked. Rakuma couldn’t answer her but licked her face instead. "I’ll take that that you want to stay here." Lin analyzed. "I wonder what Lina’s doing now. Don’t you think she’s perfect for Xelloss-sama?" Rakuma looked puzzled. "Lina’s this girl that I met, she’s really beautiful, I know that she’d be perfect for Xelloss-sama!!! Lord, I wish you could meet her Rakuma." Lin sighed and looked up at the sky.
"I haven’t seen her in two weeks, Xelloss-sama in a week!! I’m bored, bored, bored!!! Zelas-sama is busy working on some project with Sir Dynast, Xelloss-sama is off on a mission, have no one to talk to!!!" Rakuma nudged her face, contradicting her. "That’s right, you and Xeres are still here." She grumbled and stood up. "I probably should go feed Xeres." Lin then teleported into the castle with Rakuma.
When she entered her room, she put the fox down on her bed. "Don’t get into mischief." She smiled teasingly, knowing that Rakuma would get mad. Rakuma was well behaved and NEVER got into mischief. So when Lin said such things, he’d get mad, and his reaction was so cute Lin couldn’t resist the temptation of teasing him. His hair stood up and he growled at her.
"You are too cute Rakuma!!" She laughed and left the room, bumping into Zelas.
"Oh, good Lin you’re back."
"I’m sorry Zelas-sama." She apologized.
"No big deal. But I have something to ask you. I sensed a human with in the boundaries of this island. I’m pretty busy working on this thing with Graushelaa right now to go check the person out myself. Can you bring her to me?"
"Sure no problem!!" Lin said, delighted to do SOMETHING. "but…I can’t sense the human.."
Zelas handed her a compass. "This would point to where the human is. If you get closer to it the color of the pointer would change from blue to red. Remember to bring it to me, other than if it’s ugly. If it is, you can kill it." Lin nodded and teleported to outside of the castle.
She took a look at the compass, which was pointing towards South East. "Okay human, just stay in that spot." Lin teleported to south east, noticing that the color of the pointer was reddish purple. "Okay, I’m pretty close." She smiled and focused her mind. Most beings on the island had a more mazoku toned astral wave. Which meant that the human’s astral wave would stick out distinctively in this island. Lin noticed it and teleported to that exact spot.
"Huh? Where is that human?" She looked around but saw no signs of any human. Lin stood there and folded her arms, looking at the compass. "It’s bright red, I should be on top of that human."
"Literally." A voice said from beneath Lin. "Can you PLEASE get off!!" Lin stepped off the black cape as the human stood up. Lin’s jaw hit the ground. "Been a while hasn’t it Lin." It smiled, her red eyes twinkling mischievously.
"So, why are you in this Island?" Lin asked after she got over her initial shock. "Do you know how dangerous this island is?"
"Well, I’ve got a vague idea of how ‘weird’ it can be but not dangerous." Lina replied as she laid down on the grassy meadow.
"It’s a good thing I found you. If Zelas-sama was the one who found you, you’d either be dead, turned into an animal, or be a mazoku." Lin emphasized each thing Zelas would do. "Besides, why are you here?"
"Well…to collect the money you own me." Lina said matter-of-factly and Lin slapped her own head.
"I would have given that to you sometime so don’t worry. Right now you should get away from this island." Lin pointed out. "I’ll guide you to the exit."
"But I really want the money NOW." Lina replied refusing to move. "…besides Xelloss promised me I’d get it."
"You will, I promise, now let’s get out." Lin dragged Lina by the arm, pulling her towards the exit of the island. "you can be so stubborn."
"I know I can be stubborn. It’s a family trait." Lina replied finally giving in and letting Lin guide her back to the exit. "…do you like this place?" Lina abruptly asked. Lin’s eyes got wide from surprise for a second by Lina’s calm tone of voice, but then smiled.
"I love this place. I wouldn’t trade being here for anything in the world." Lin whistled out and a wolf and fox came running towards her. Lin bent down and petted them. "This is Rakuma and Xeres. Rakuma is my…companion, partner. Xeres is a half mazoku, half wolf, and with the complicated things I don’t know, Zelas-sama created him that way. He is the leader of the wolves on this island, also my companion." Lin smiled as she buried her face in the fur of Xeres. "then there’s Zelas-sama and Xelloss-sama. Zelas-sama is a little bit light headed, but when she’s nice she’s nice. Xelloss-sama…he has always been there when I needed someone to hear my problems. He would be considerate to how I felt. I can’t imagine life with out this place."
"You’re lucky Lin. Not many can say such a thing." Lina replied as she continued to walk. Soon they reached the exit. "Can you tell Xelloss I was here? There’s something I have to ask him." Lina asked the favor. "Please. He can decide whether he wants to come and talk to me or not."
"I’ll give him the message, I don’t know what would happen though, I am in a way disobeying Zelas-sama’s orders but not taking you to her but." Lin sighed. "I guess it’s safer for you this way. I’m sure Zelas-sama would understand why I did this. Like I said, she can be really nice."
Lina nodded. "You know Lin, next time you try to match others up, maybe you should just be straight forward to them."
"Would you have trusted me from the start if I’d gone up to you and said, ‘Hi I’m a mazoku that works under Xelloss-sama, I’m going to fix you up with him.’. I bet you would have Dragon Slaved me." Lin replied as she smiled.
"I wouldn’t have done that!! I would have fire balled you!!!" Lina argued.
"Pretty much the same thing. You wouldn’t have trusted me. But if I were fixing up people I know, then I may have been more straight forward."
"You knew Xelloss."
"It’s different. Yes I knew Xelloss-sama, but I didn’t know you from the start." Lin smiled at Lina. "You should go now, spending time here isn’t the best idea."
"Okay, I hope I’d see you some day soon Lin. And not to fight you." Lina’s eyes saddened for a second. "As long as I’m human, and you’re mazoku there’s always that chance that next time I see you, you would be my enemy."
"That’s the main reason I can’t be with Xelloss. If the day comes when I have to fight him, I know that I won’t be able to kill him, even though if I don’t I would get killed."
"Stop it!! Xelloss-sama and you can’t die!!" Lin protested.
"It’s the truth…If I don’t kill, I will get killed. It’s the way the mazoku treat me, and the way I should treat them. Understand that."
"No!! You and I won’t fight, and neither would you and Xelloss-sama." Lin argued.
"It’s not that easy as you wish…" Lina sighed and levitated out of the island. Lin was left pondering the idea of what Lina said. It possibly couldn’t be true. Her master wouldn’t die.
Lin sat down on the ground and took off her ribbon, and stared at it. It’s too complicated. Why Lina can’t be with Xelloss. Were the barriers between a mazoku and a human that large. True a mazoku’s life span exceeds that of a humans by a few thousand years, as well as their powers.
Lin screamed out in frustration. "Stop it!!" She yelled to no one in particular. She then noticed a purple stone on the ground. "What’s this?" She wondered out loud as she picked up the stone. Lin was sure it was not from the island since she never saw one like it.
She traced it with her fingers. It was in the shape of a prism, and the purple color was transparent. "An amethyst." Lin muttered identifying the type of stone. But she still wondered why it was there. "Oh well.." Lin shrugged and put it in her pocket.
Xelloss was tired. The work load Zelas gave him took up most of his time and he was in need of rest. He felt frustrated about something but he couldn’t exactly pin point what it was that made him so frustrated. Something just didn’t seem to be ‘right’.
He heard a knock on his door and walked over to it, opening the door. He found Lin holding a tray with some food on it and smiling at him.
"Would you like some?" She asked smiling sweetly. Xelloss nodded and let her in. Lin placed the tray on his desk and started to leave when she suddenly stopped.
"I met Lina today."
"Lin, did you.."
"No, I didn’t leave the island." Lin replied smiling mischievously.
"Then how did you meet Lina-san?" Xelloss asked in an exasperated voice.
"I met her in this island."
"WHAT!!" Xelloss demanded.
"She wanted her money for the time she ‘taught’ me sorcery. I told her I’ll pay her later." Lin smiled, obviously amused at her masters show of surprise and worry.
"Does Zelas-sama know that?" Lin shook her head at the question.
"She knew there was a human on this island and I was to bring her back. I didn’t though. I know I disobeyed but I thought…well…it wouldn’t be that of a good idea to have Lina and Zelas-sama in the same room." Xelloss nodded at Lin’s explanation.
Lina was okay, she was probably off in an inn right now sleeping, or beating up robbers somewhere.
"Oh yeah. Xelloss-sama, have you seen this stone before?" Lin asked and pulled out the amethyst she had found that day. "I found it today but I am sure it’s not from this island."
"…did you find it before or after you met Lina-san?" He asked, trying to keep his voice at a monotone.
"After. I was walking back to the castle when I noticed it." Lin replied. "…is it Lina’s?" She asked, finally catching on.
"Yes, it is." Xelloss replied. A smile playing on his lips.
"How do you know though?" Lin asked as she studied the stone.
Xelloss smiled and replied. "Sore wa himitsu desu."
"AAAAAHHHHHHH!" Lina’s scream echoed through out the inn. She was turning over all her furniture, sheets, pillows, and belongings to her room in the inn. Every time she turned over something, her face lost it’s color.
"Lina, is something wrong!?" Gaury demanded coming in to the room. Lina jumped up and ran, grabbing him by his collar and started shaking him.
"I can’t find my stone!! Where is it?!!??" She demanded as she shook him. "WHERE IS IT!!!?"
Gaury couldn’t figure out anything, and all he could hear was Lina shouting and his teeth rattling. "Li….Lina…..ca….calm…..da…..down." He managed through shaking teeth.
"How can I!??!?!? My stone is gone!!! WHERE IS IT!??!?!?" Lina just started shaking him harder.
It took Gaury a half an hour to have her stop shaking him, another fifteen minutes to have her explain things until he understood, and another fifteen minutes to get her to see things rationally. He summarized it would take him all night to have her fully calm down.
Once she saw things rationally, she decided to turn the entire inn upside down. When she still didn’t find it, Gaury, Zelgadiss, and Amelia convinced her that she needed her sleep and locked her up in her room. Gaury put at least ten chains on the locks and windows while Amelia and Zelgadiss put a barrier around the room so that her magic won’t get outside of it.
"LET ME OUT!!!!!" Lina screamed as she pounded on the door. When she found out it was useless she went over and sat down on her bed.
"Stupid fools…I’m not going to go to sleep anyway, why put me in my room?" She mumbled as she took out a book and decided to read it. There was no way she was going to fall asleep with out her stone, no way. Lina cursed herself. She shouldn’t have carried it along with her when she went to Wolf Pact Island, now it could be anywhere in the world. It could have fallen into the sea between the land and the island. Anything could have happened to it.
Lina slumped down on the bed, putting her book down. She closed her eyes and pictured the stone. Anything could have happened, and she had only herself to blame. How could she have done that though, how could she have been so careless. She would trace back her steps tomorrow, the moment her companions let her out of her room. She’d go to the Wolf Pact Island and walk around looking for it. Then over on the other land. Lina prayed that it would be found, that she could have it by her side again.
Lina opened her eyes and saw two pairs of purple eyes looking at her. It took her a second to react. She sat up on the bed straight and looked at the intruder in the room. "How did you get in here!! There’s Amelia and Zel’s barrier in here."
The intruder, Xelloss, just continued to smile. "Lina-san, I am a mazoku. Barriers put up by humans don’t bother me." He explained as he sat down on the bed next to her. "But I am not here to discuss how I came into this room. I came here to give you something."
"…weird… you’re actually giving me something…that’s a first." Lina mumbled. "Anyway, what did you want to give me?"
"Can I have your hand first?" He asked smiling at her.
"What for?" Lina bit off the words.
Xelloss didn’t answer her but took her right hand and placed something in it. "You tend to lose things very easily Lina-chan." He smiled mischievously at her and Lina looked at her hand and gasped.
"Thank god!! My stone!!" Lina breathed a sigh of relief. "How did you find it though? But more, how did you know it was mine?"
"Actually, Lin found it and handed it to me asking if I knew if it was from the island. As for why I knew it was yours is quite simple Lina-chan."
Xelloss smiled, the confused expression on Lina’s face was so amusing. He decided to toy with her a while longer. "Sore wa himitsu desu."
"I’m not accepting that as an answer Xelloss." Lina glared at him and Xelloss silently laughed. She was no ordinary human, that was for sure, and that made her even more attractive.
"Lina-san, how did you acquire that stone?"
"…I’m not telling." Lina replied. "And let’s leave it at that."
"I refuse to. I would like to hear how you got that stone, then I will tell you how I knew it was yours."
"In that case I don’t have to know how you knew." Lina replied as she took out a small navy blue bag. "I am really just glad I got this stone back. It has sentimental value to me." She said as she put it in the bag and safely put the small bag into a box before she placed the box into her bigger bag. Her face had a tranquil expression on it.
"…sentimental value…" Xelloss whispered.
"Don’t you dare mock me!!" Lina’s face changed in matters of seconds and she was glaring at him.
"I wasn’t mocking you Lina-san." Xelloss replied as he hid a smile.
"You’re probably thinking that the word ‘sentimental’ doesn’t fit me at all!"
"Quite the contrary." Xelloss contradicted her. "I think it suits you very nicely."
"Shut up!! I am not going to have you mocking me!"
"I am not mocking you Lina-san, I would never do such a thing."
Lina shook her head. God, if he didn’t stop flattering her and looking at her the way he did Lina was sure she’d lose her composure. She took in a few deep breaths and tried to calm her nerves down. Why was Xelloss affecting her so much? She didn’t know the answer.
"Are you still afraid of the dark with out this?"
Lina’s eyes widened at those words. No one, no one could possibly know she was afraid of the dark other than for her family. "Wha-what do you mean?" Lina asked, breaking out in cold sweat.
"…some ten or eleven years ago I was wondering around Zefiria when I heard the crying of a human girl. Curious, I looked through the window and found a girl about the age of seven with red-orange hair and red eyes crying. Now that I think of it, you resemble her Lina-san. Well, she noticed me just as I was about to leave and grabbed my cloak. She refused to let go and I had no choice but to stay there. The moment I entered her room, she grabbed me and refused to let go, claiming that if she didn’t have someone to ‘protect’ her monsters would eat her. Quite the irony, since a mazoku would classify as a monster and she was cringing to one. Anyway, she refused to move and I gave in after spending an hour trying to get her off of me. Well, she said that she was afraid of the night, and she demanded that I come and protect her every night, or else she would have her sister, whom she declared was the Cefied Knight come and fetch me. I did not want the Cefied Knight after me, nor did I want to spend countless nights like that. I then made a bargain with her, I took out an amethyst and gave it to her, saying that it was special and it would glow when a monster was near and make a shield to protect her. A fancy fairy tale story, but she bought it."
Lina was wide eyed at the story. Oh god….That was the exact same story as the one when she got the stone…only told from a different perspective. And there was only one other person that would know this story other than for her….the one who gave her the stone. Which meant that…would mean that….Xelloss was….the one who gave her the stone.
"I always wondered what kind of person she turned out to be though." Xelloss smiled up at Lina.
"…You mean…you’re the….you’re serious?" Xelloss nodded. "…well…I guess then men aren’t as bad as I thought…" Lina whispered. Xelloss looked puzzled. Lina stood up and started pacing the room "I used to think men were full of greed and self centered. I guess….some are better then the others though. Who would have thought I’d find such a noble man that’s a mazoku." Lina sighed. "I was probably a huge disappointment."
"Well…I mean, back then I believed in that there was something as a knight in shining armor that would rescue damsels in distress. Laugh if you want to, I think it’s stupid as well." Lina could feel her face get red with embarrassment.
"…Lina-san does it look like I’m laughing? I seriously would want to know why you would think that I was disappointed in the way you turned out." Xelloss’s eyes were open and Lina gulped.
"Look Xelloss, you, I am never going to say this again, but you were my knight in shining armor….until that guy came along."
"You don’t need to know."
"Was there some other man that turned out to be your knight in shining armor?"
"NO!! I ended up hating men because of him, which meant that I hated you too, well not you yourself, but you know…since you were a man…I…look let’s just drop the subject. And thanks for bringing back the stone."
"Lina-san…do you hate me now?"
"……………………..No, I don’t hate you." Lina said after a long pause. "But that doesn’t mean that…" Lina stopped when she saw his smiling face.
"It means a lot to me Lina-san." Xelloss’s smile was genuine. And Lina felt herself blush. "Lina-san, you were as far away from disappointment as it can get. I was surprised to see that she turned out to be like she did."
"Lina-san, you turned out better than I would ever have imagined." Xelloss said to her. "I am flattered of what you said."
"You can’t be serious Xelloss…I mean…I am….well, Lina Inverse."
"Lina-san, I know your name."
"Look, I’m also a, well, the infamous Dragon Spooker and Robbers Killer."
"I know your titles as well Lina-san."
"And I’m NOT a disappointment!?"
"….I don’t get it."
"Neither do I. I mean, I turned out good for the aspect of having to live by myself, but I’m nothing like that little girl you met you know. I gave up on fairy tales and all, I figured out they were only stories."
"…you still kept the amethyst."
"Because…because….I don’t know why I kept it, but it was special. End of discussion, you can leave now…"
"Not until I make sure no monsters are going to attack you." Xelloss said with a chuckle.
"Xelloss!! Stop teasing…" She stopped when Xelloss smiled up at her sweetly.
"You’re far more beautiful then I would ever have imagined…" He whispered as he walked over to her. "Far more strong than I would have imagined."
Lina felt herself go weak with those words. "Xelloss, stop teasing me!!"
"I’m not Lina…" Xelloss whispered, "I’m not." His voice sounded hoarse and pleading. "Lina, you are far better than what others say of you."
"Xelloss…I said…end of discussion."
"No Lina, not until you admit that you were foolish to think you were a disappointment." Xelloss stared at her strongly.
"Look Xelloss, I’ve tried so hard to be the type of woman a man WON’T fall in love with. So how can I not be a disappointment?" Lina argued.
"Simple…you are the easiest person to fall in love with, regardless of the race." Xelloss smiled at her.
"What do you mean?"
"…you are also very slow at these things…" He muttered.
"What things?" She demanded, finally getting a hold of herself. She had to keep her composure, she had to keep her composure, she had to keep her composure, she had to keep her
"I love you Lina. And if you say you don’t get what that is, then I advise you see a counselor." Xelloss bluntly stated.
Lina lost all train of thoughts. What had he just say? He loved her? Impossible. It was just impossible. "…I’m…human."
"And I’m mazoku. So? You better not be turning me down because of that."
"Are mazoku capable of loving?"
Xelloss shrugged. "I suppose, I know one that’s full of it."
"Lin…yes, she’s full of love. A little less perky Amelia I might say."
"Please don’t compare Lin to Amelia-san. Lin does not go around singing songs of love and life." Xelloss whined and shivered at the thought of Lin doing such a thing.
"No, she doesn’t." Lina agreed. "….I still don’t know how you can love me?" Lina wondered aloud.
"I just do. Lina mazoku probably aren’t capable of such emotions, but L-sama would do anything at the whim and if she wills mazoku to be capable of such emotions mazoku are. I can’t say for sure, but Lina I…am in love with you. And I would like to know what you think."
Lina thought for awhile. He was her first love, that was for sure. She was thinking about him constantly these days, even dreaming about him. "Answer me one thing first, no make that two. What would you do if we had to fight? Remember, I am the only one capable of using Giga Slave and calling on the Lord of Nightmare’s powers. There’s that possibility that we’d end up on different sides."
"…If that happens, I’ll lock you up and make sure you won’t go out on the battle field." Xelloss replied quickly.
Lina felt herself smile. "Second question…what is Lin to you?"
Xelloss thought that over for awhile. "…I guess…she is like a sister to me."
"That’s it, you’re sure?"
"yes. but what does Lin have to do with this?" Xelloss looked confused and Lina smiled at him.
"A lot." Lina smiled and gave him a light kiss on the lips. "And that was my answer." Lina smiled confidently.
Back in Wolf Pact Island, Zelas and Lin were watching through Zelas’s crystal ball.
"Finally!!" Zelas exclaimed as she turned around to go out of the room. "Now that that’s taken care of one less thing to worry about. I’m going to go rest, Lin you know the spell to turn off the crystal ball. So turn it off when your done." Lin nodded and waited for Zelas to leave the room and said to herself.
"I wonder if Zelas-sama is interested in being happy?"
TO BE CONTINUED