Chapter 4: Liana Reverse ~The Sorceress~
Lina sighed as she put her hands through the black gloves she had bought. The sorceress outfit she had bought at town fitted her perfectly. The black gloves, the black cape, the red tunic and blue jeans were as if they were made for her. Lina opened up her bag and put the four talismans in there. She wasn’t going to tell anyone she was Lina Inverse and the Talismans were a giveaway to her old friends.
As Lina stared at herself in the mirror she nodded her head in acknowledgement. It had taken a lot of will power but Lina felt that she did the right thing as she touched her now straight, deep brown hair color. No longer was it the golden-red color that she loved, or the soft curl that it had. “Liana is not Lina” Lina whispered as she took out a small case.
In this town there was a place that sold things called eye color glass. Which were these little circular glasses that you put in your eyes and changed your eye color. After a lot of thinking Lina decided to buy the green colored ones. “There.” Lina said as she finished putting in the little glass. Now, all she had was a resemblance to Lina Inverse. “Lina Inverse lived a life that was hers and only hers, but as it turns out it was not. She thought she was choosing her own life and yet there were mazoku and ryuzoku who were convinced they were choosing her fate.” Lina sighed. “If Lina Inverse can’t gain happiness, then I, Liana Reverse will.” She slowly picked up the four red orbs she had dispatched from the Talismans.
‘Liana’ started to chant a spell as a soft fire emerged in the center of the room, right above the center of the magic circle she had created. Carefully, she walked over and dropped the orbs through the fire one at a time. As the orbs fell through the fire they turned into red ash. When she was done, ‘Liana’ gathered the ashes and chanted a small wind spell that had elements of water and fire mixed in. Slowly the ash mold into the shape of a ruby bracelet.
“Not bad.” She sighed in relief that the reshaping of the orbs worked. From past experiences of Lina, she knew that the element of power enhancing wasn’t lost through the process and the bracelet will still give her the same power as the talismans did. If she was going to fight mazoku, she needed the talismans aid. “Now though, they can’t guess I’m, was, Lina Inverse.” Liana smiled as she looked at the bracelet. Just then, she heard a knock on the door.
“Lina-san?” Shilfiel called and Liana turned around to open the door.
“Liana Reverse, Shilfiel.” Liana reminded as she walked passed the priestess who had her mouth open wide.
“Um, Lina-san….you’re hair and eyes…..”
“Shilfiel, please, Liana. Li-a-na. Got it?” Liana pointed out again. “Lina Inverse is dead, no one but you is going to know who I really am. Don’t you dare tell Amelia, Zel, or Gaury. Got that?” Liana threatened Shilfiel with her eyes.
“….yes.” Shilfiel managed to reply.
“Good. Now, let’s get going.” Liana smiled as she paid the inn keeper the money and picked up her bag. “You don’t have anything?”
“Um, no, no I don’t.”
Liana looked at Shilfiel’s face with concern for a second but then smiled. “Okay then, let’s go!!” As the two walked out of the inn, a group of kids came running up to them.
“Miss Liana, don’t leave!!” “Miss Liana please stay.” “Miss Liana!” “Miss Liana” “Miss Liana” “Miss Liana” “Miss Liana”
Liana felt herself smile at the kids who were grabbing onto her where they could to make her stay. “Kids, look, I need to go on a very important mission. Top secret.” Liana said. “But when it’s all done I’ll come back, I promise.”
“Lina, I mean, Liana-san!!!!” Shilfiel shouted.
“I still haven’t fulfilled my promise to teach these kids magic. I’ve only taught one.” Liana replied and turned her attention back to the kids. “Don’t worry, I’ll be back to teach you guys magic.” Liana smiled. “But for now, I need to get going with Shilfiel right here. And don’t you guys have chores to do? Go now, run along.”
After the kids left, Shilfiel couldn’t help but giggle. “What?” Liana asked a little crossed.
“No, you just reminded me of a nanny I had when I was a kid.” Shilfiel replied while trying to stop giggling.
“Will you stop?” Liana asked as she put her bag over her shoulder. “Come on, let’s go.”
“It’s been a while hasn’t it.” Amelia said as she served tea to her guest. “How many years?”
“Ten.” The guest replied. “There wasn’t a day that I forgot about you.” Amelia tried to smile at that sincere comment but it didn’t work. “Amelia, has time set us apart that much?” The guest asked with deep sadness. Amelia wished to shake her head but it didn’t work. “Amelia, it wasn’t that I wanted to leave you all alone, I wanted to find myself!!” The guest explained.
“I understand.” Amelia relied as she took a sip of her tea. “But….I’m sorry, I can not forgive you, not now.” Amelia looked down and saw her own reflection in the cup. She bit her lip to fight the tears that threatened to overflow. “You were always independent and lived for yourself. I loved that aspect of you but…after you left it was only a pain to me.”
“Amelia, please!!! You know I care about you!!” The guest pleaded. “That’s why I came back. My dear Amelia stop torturing yourself…”
“I am not torturing myself.” Amelia replied calmly. “Nor am I dear to you, you showed that many years ago.” Amelia’s pleasant smile stayed on her lips as she offered the guest more tea. “I’m sorry but father is ill and I don’t wish to add more stress to him. I must ask you to leave. I can arrange for you to stay in a nice hotel while you are at Seyluun.”
The guest’s lips twitched downward in sadness. In the back of the facade of pleasantness it was evident that Amelia was asking that the guest leave. “Amelia….”
“If you will be so kind to come with me and give me you preference I am sure I can get you a nice room and all.” Amelia smiled and started to stand up but the guest stopped her.
“There is no need, I will get myself a room. Thank you for the kindness.” The guest lightly bowed her head and left the room. As the door closed the guest leaned against it. “What am I to do Lina?”
After the door closed Amelia closed her eyes and a single tear rolled down her cheek as she clutched the family photograph the guest had given her.
Zelgadiss cursed as he got under the roof of one of the taverns. The sky had been an overcast for a few days now and today it finally started to rain. He looked up at the sky and sighed. It was pouring heavily now and didn’t seem like it was going to clear up for a while. Zelgadiss has used up most of his money getting to this place that he couldn’t well go in and warm up inside the restaurant, which meant he was out here for awhile. Zelgadiss cursed again and leaned against the window frame.
After about half-an-hour passed the door to the tavern opened and a woman with short blue-violet hair and bangs that covered her eyes came out. “Come on in, it’s not good publicity when your just standing there doing absolutely nothing.” She beckoned him to come but Zelgadiss didn’t move. “Come on or do I have to make you.”
“Try it?” Zelgadiss asked challengingly. The woman sighed and whipped out of thin air a rope that tangled around his neck. “Wha-?” With one yank she was dragging Zelgadiss into the store.
There was certainly an interesting site. Although the woman was tall she was very slim and didn’t seem to have any muscle, and Zelgadiss was all stone. Yet the woman was dragging him across the floor with one hand and not even breaking a sweat. However no one in the tavern seemed to care. Even when the woman picked him up and placed him in a chair like a little kid.
“So what do you want?” The woman asked Zelgadiss who was still wide eyed from the whole incident. “Well?” With that Zelgadiss snapped back into reality and glared at her.
“I don’t have any money” He hissed and then turned around. “Oh, okay. Then you owe me 10 bronze coins for a regular coffee.” The woman informed him as she jot it onto her note pad.
“Wha-?! I am not a begger.” Zelgadiss howled.
“I know, just sit and relax. I only have another half-an-hour of my shift left.” The woman replied and turned around.
“Who said I’ll wait!!” Zelgadiss hollard. The woman turned around and smiled.
“You will want to Zelgadiss Graywords. You will want to.” With that she disappeared behind the counter leaving Zelgadiss dumbstruck.
“How’d she….know my full name?” He wondered as he stared after her. Suddenly a chill ran down his spine. That smile she gave him before she disappeared reminded him of Xelloss. The smile that said ‘I know something that you want to know but you won’t easily get it from me’. Could she be….
Just as Zelgadiss started to think he heard a ring of the bell and his head jolted up. Zelgadiss looked up just in time to see a woman with long curly blond hair and tanned skin wearing a white tank-top that and a long straight white skirt with huge slits that went up way too high. Zelgadiss couldn’t get a good look at her from here but one thing was sure, she was good looking and had a great body.
“Hey Meta.” One of the guys called and put his hand around the woman’s waist which earned him a punch in the face.
“I’m not here for you scums.” The woman replied coolly and walked over to the table where Zelgadiss was sitting. “I’ve never seen you around.” She stated. “But….” She put her knee on the table, revealing a perfectly tanned beautiful leg up to the thigh. “I have something to discuss with you.”
“Who are you?” Zelgadiss growled and the woman let out a laugh that sounded like bells.
“People around here call me Meta. You call me that too. Okay.”
“hey Meta, leave him alone, ‘She’s’ already got him for a date.” A guy that looked about 16 and wore only jeans and had ruffled brown hair informed Meta. The guy didn’t look half-bad but seemed to have a personality problem.
“Hmph, so? I said I wasn’t here for you scums. You can’t even get any of the girls around here. What makes you think I’ll go for you. I hate hormone crazed idiots like you.” That set up a whole round of laughter through out the tavern and the boy got beat red. Zelgadiss though, was left blinking at Meta. Noticing that Meta moved her face to his ear.
“Don’t worry, I’m not what you think I am. Besides, you know my son.” She whispered. Which left Zelgadiss wondering more and more.
“When are we going to get off this ship?” Liana whined as leaned against the railing. “We’ve been on it for hours.”
“Patience is a vertue Li--ana-san.” Shilfiel smiled.
“Practice my name before we meet up with Filia at the next stop. Remember Shilfiel. I’m not Lina and I don’t know who Filia is so you better introduce me to her.” Liana pointed out and then sighed. “This war should only last a year at most.” Liana informed Shilfiel.
“Why?” Shilfiel asked.
“I’ll get the strongest person in this world to help you.” Liana said as she played with the bracelet. “Once we set foot inside the barrier, let’s go to Zefiria. There resides the reincarnation of the god Cefied.” Liana looked at the setting sun with fondness. “The older sister of Lina Inverse.” Liana closed her eyes to wipe out the image of Luna and Lina playing in a meadow.
“Jiras, Grabos, are you two sure you can take care of the business while I’m gone?” Filia asked as she finished packing her bag. “I won’t be back for a year at least.”
“Don’t worry.” Jiras reassured her. “You can leave everything up to me, Grabos and Val. Right Val.”
“Yup!” A boy about six years old answered enthusiastically. “Don’t worry about a thing Filia-Mama. I’ll keep up with my studies and help the business. You just worry about your task at hand.”
“We’re fine Ane-san.” Grabos smiled. “Val’s in safe hands. Besides, if worst comes to worst the people in this town will help.”
“Thank you Grabos, Jiras, Val. I’ll write to you all explaining what is going on.” Filia then knelt down to Val’s height. “Good bye my Val-chan.”
“Filia-Mama, don’t get all teary eyed, it’s not as if we’re not going to see each other again!” Val hugged her trying to calm the Filia that started to cry. “You know that we’re safe here.”
“I know…Val, what are the three major rules of this house?” Filia asked wiping her tears from her face.
“Be polite to customers, Help out willingly and Don’t let in any Namagomi Mazoku.” Val recited.
“YES.” Filia said strongly. “Especially the last. I will die before I see my store being tainted by some Namagomi. Why many years ago….” Fire started burning in the background as Filia’s tail popped up.
“She’s going at it again Jiras.” Val muttered.
“Leave her be.” Jiras and Grabos advised.
“She needs to catch the train though.” Val pointed out. “Filia-Mama, It’s already noon and the train leaves in fifteen minutes!” That seemed to bring Filia back from her trance. She gave each of them a quick hug and left at the speed of light.
“Well, I’m going to go take a walk.” Val waved to his two guardians and left the store. “I’ll be back in about an hour.”
“He’s certainly growing into a fine young man.” Jiras commented, dabbing his eyes.
“Yeah.” Grabos agreed.
“It’s heard to find the old Valgarv-sama in him anymore.”
“……….not if you look when he thinks you’re not looking.” Grabos said as he stacked the shelves.
“Huh?” Jiras asked.
“He’s got everything. Family, friends, money. Still sometimes he looks far away with a silent fire burning in his eyes.” Grabos said with a serious expression. “It’s usually only for a split second but…”
“You worry too much. Just like Ane-san. Val is fine and happy.” Jiras stated and nodded.
Val had kept a smile on his face all the way to the forest but once he was in the forest his innocent smile disappeared and was replaced with a solemn look. Val closed his eyes and focused. When he opened them, the ground was further away from him. A sad smirk appeared on his lips as Valgarv leaned against a tree trunk.
Clap, Clap, Clap.
Valgarv snapped his head up at that sound and his golden eyes widened at who he saw in the sky.
“Why Valgarv-san I never knew you could grow so quickly.” The figure said cheerfully, too cheerfully that it sounded fake.
“Xelloss…” Valgarv hissed and his face twitched in anger as he said that name. “What are you doing here?!” Valgarv demanded. “You better not be trying to harm Filia!!”
“Oh, I have absolutely no interest in a worthless dragon like her. Actually I was more interested in you.” Xelloss replied as he landed on the ground.
“What do you mean?!”
“Well, let’s just say that I want to ask your help on one thing. I’ll say it now but I’m not trying to recruit you or anything. It’s just a favor.” Xelloss offered with a smile.
“What makes you think I’ll do a favor for you!?”
“It concerns ‘Lina Inverse’.” Xelloss stated.
“No, you see, she pretended to act dead to steer the mazoku’s interest away from Gaury-san. I found her the other day.”
“What do you want me to do, kill her?” Valgarv asked mockingly. Knowing all to well that that wasn’t what Xelloss wanted.
“She is not to die.” Xelloss just stated. “Like I said she pretended to act dead, and as a part of that she changed her name to Liana Reverse. Does that ring a bell?” Xelloss asked.
“Liana….Filia’s going to go meet up with them!!” Valgarv exclaimed and Xelloss smirked.
“What I want you to do is to persuade Lina-san to stop being Liana Reverse. I have no use for Liana. Lina is the one that is needed.”
“Who needs her?!” Valgarv snapped.
“Every one, of course. The Dragons, Humans, and Mazoku! She is the heroine of this war after all!!” Xelloss smiled. “Valgarv, you must know better than any one that if she is to die it must be in a battle, and her death must be elaborate!”
“Lina Inverse, her life is a story! What kind of story is it if the heroine who fought the demon kings to commit suicide. Her story needs a better ending. And what better place than the greatest war that will take place in history.” Xelloss explained like he was a child talking about a project that he couldn’t wait to get started on.
“You’re insane.” Valgarv muttered.
“I’m mazoku. But truly Valgarv, do you want her story to end just like that?” Xelloss asked as he snapped his fingers.
“I am not the one to write her ending.” Valgarv stated. “She said herself that she couldn’t stop herself from moving forward. That’s why she lives. She probably knows better than anyone else.” An image of Garv and Lina passed through Valgarv’s mind as he spoke. “Whether her name changes, whether she is no longer the same as she was before, she can’t deny the fact that she was Lina Inverse.” There was a time in his life where he tried to deny his name, but Filia and Lina taught him that the world didn’t just consist of him and everyone had their own life story.
Xelloss’s smile never disappeared from his face as he watched Valgarv explain.
“Most importantly. I’ll never lend a hand to your schemes.”
“Well, it was worth a try.” Xelloss shrugged. “Since you are the only enemy of Lina-san that is still alive I thought you might be able to convince her but, oh well.” Xelloss faked a sigh.
“Going by the old saying enemies know each other better than allies?” Xelloss smiled at that remark and then disappeared into thin air. As soon as Xelloss was gone Valgarv reverted back into his usual child form.
A year had passed since he regained his memory and powers as Valgarv. At first he had been shocked to wake up at night and find his body full grown and terrified at the images of death that stuck to his mind. Yet by the time morning came he remembered the slim thread of hope that he had found at the end of Valgarv’s life.
‘People are foolish and are easily hurt. But we can fix our mistakes, if hurt we continue on because we don’t want to stay hurt. We can’t stop just any where, because we’re living.’ The words Lina Inverse declared rang in his head. Lina Inverse had the power to attract people and make them believe that she could do things no one else could. Those red eyes would stare straight in to you and you had no choice but to believe in her.
“You said you’ll choose your own destiny…..meaning you’ll choose you’re own death.” Valgarv whispered.
A month later the Third Demon War started. The Crown Princess of Seyluun, Amelia, marched into Dragons Peak with the army of Seyluun. By her side was a sorceress with brown hair and green eyes.