Slayers SEARCH 3: Reunion and wand trouble

By: Zeraliss Darkchime

Amelia walked forward, "I donít se why this Zera wonít let us come without permission." Lucienne grked, "She doesnít like unwanted visitors. Last time that happened, it left her and her cousin with the King and Protective Slivers. Theyíre very powerful, so powerful that they betrayed the hive and took out almost half of it a while back." Amelia shut up, sorry that she asked.

The two glowing red eyes watched silently. They blinked a few times, the disappeared totally. Then it came from the shadows. It kept its eyes closed as it moved to the roof braces above Zelgadis. It then morphed into a Barbed Sliver. Gourry saw it do this, "Um, Lucienne? What kind of Sliver is that?" he asked. She looked up, "That? Thatís a Barbed Sliver." "No, I mean, itís coloration is weird, and it just morphed from a Clot Sliver to the Barbed Sliver," Gourry said. Luccienne huffed, "Oh, then thatís a Shapeshift Sliver."

The strange Sliver seemed to laugh. When it "saw" that they werenít looking at it anymore, it started to squeeze the roof braces with its spiky tails. The wood slowly gave way with snaps and crunches. Zel was the first to notice, because even though the heavy rain blocked the sound out, sawdust started to fall. "What the?Ö" Zel looked up, and the wooden roof braces and part of the first floors roof fell down on him. "YARK!!" He cried out. There was an insane laughing where the roof fell. Everyone but Zelgadis looked up. There they saw a young girl, clad in almost the exact same clothes as Zelgadis, only, it was a real dark blue and the inside of the cape was pitch black. Her hood was drawn and the mask was over her face. Her skin was a light tannish/brown and here eyes were red. Her waist-long hair was lavender. What caught the groupís attention were her face and hands. Each of her fingers ended in a sharp point and her face was dotted with small white plates of stone, arranged like the stone on Zelís face. She stopped laughing just long enough to say, "Eeek, howíd THAT happen?" innocently. Then she leaped down with speed that was unmatched by any in the group, blazed to the spiral stairway leaping up and clearing five stories with a single bound. Amelia ran and tried to use levitation to follow, but Lina grabbed her, "I donít think that would be wise."

Zel slowly got up and brushed himself off, the large chunk of wood falling off his head with a rather loud *THUMP*. They all gathered in a group and Lucienne explained, "That was Zera. She likes to bother unwanted visitors at first, but if you REALLY piss her off, well, just donít. You do NOT want to know." Zel just whispered, "That voice, that laugh. So familiar." Gourry looked up and saw a small leather bag hanging from a splinter in the wood. Assumedly, Zera dropped it. "Um, Lina, what do you think is in that bag? Whatever it is, it looks like itís gonna fall, and I donít want it to be a bad thing." Lina looked up just as the bag fell from the splinter. It hit another piece of splintered wood and ripped apart from the sharpness. Lina and Gourry yelped and Lucienne looked up, "Yeek!! Everyone, take cover! Wands!" She dived out of the way as the others were trying to make sense of it. Too late. Wands rained down on the whole group. There was a bunch of "Ow"s. Lina rubbed her head and noticed something different.

She caught the wand that hit her as it bounced off her head. The first thing she noticed was her skin, "Eep! My skin!" The skin on her arms (but not her head and face) was covered with silky black feathers. She looked behind herself and saw a short tail covered with long, ebony feathers also. She growled and examined the plain black wand finding only one word, karasu. "Aaack! These are animal wands! Iím turned into a stupid were-crow!" Gourry laughed, but soon felt his own ears. They were pointed and furry. He grabbed the wand that got stuck in his hair finding the word "kitsune" on the plain light blue wand. He looked behind himself as well. Just his luck, there was a long, fluffy yellow-colored tail tipped with white. Zelgadis didnít bother to check his ears and immediately looked back. A slender orange tail with black stripes peeked out from under his cape. He sighed and huffed at the same time. Amelia pulled at the dark pink, pointy ears atop her head, but refused to believe that those, along with the slender, furry dark pink tail were those of a lion, because the wand that hit her said "raion / shishi" on it.

"Hahahahaha!! You guys look ridiculous!" Xellos was too busy laughing at the rest to notice his own "transformation". Zel looked at him rather seriously, "Well, it looks like you need a nut or two, NOT unlike yourself." "Huh?" Xellos reached behind him and pulled out an extremely long, short furred fluffy purple tail. "GRK!!" He reached for the sides of his head and found two, small round (and rather cute) ears. "Dammit!! That little rat! Iíll kill her!" Now it was the groupís turn to laugh. "YOU look more like a rat yourself, "commented Lucienne, who was lucky not to get hit by any of the wands. Xellos clutched the tail tightly in his right hand.

"Serves you people right," came a voice from behind them. They all turned around. There stood a strange figure. He seemed dark, but he was clothed in pure white robes. The non-white parts were a creamish color. There were plates of round armor on his shoulders and stony wrist guards with small spikes on the upper part that stood at the end of the robeís long sleeves. The hood drawn over his head was large, and covered his outward protruding face. His face, as a matter of fact, belonged to that of a Mindwhip Sliver. It was lined with uneven dark blue spikes on the top, but the center-most spike was very long, like the horn of a Uni Sliver. There were no eyes, and his skin was a dark gray with a hint of deep blue. It was rough in texture and appearance. His arms were unusually long and he had leathery, dark blue wings, which were rather large. His voice was light and oddly young.

He "looked" at Lucienne, "Lucienne? I never thought youíd come back to the hive since the Stones Enchantment." Lucienne sighed, "Will you quit reminding me of that? That was one of the worst days of my life, not to mention the day I found out all that I know about you guys." The figure sighed in turn, "Well then, who are these, people? They look like something the Hesslin dragged in." Lucienne looked up and giggled a bit, "Well, to tell the truth, thatís EXACTLY what happened. I have a feeling it was Nova and the "Stars of Darkness" again. You just killed Nova a day ago." The figure laughed, "We did? HAH! All I know is that we were out cruising until an annoying little moggling pissed us off and got us into a small, two Sliver stampede. We didnít watch where we were going, but all I know is that we hit SOMETHING." He laughed again. He extended his gloved hands to his side, then brought them to the his hood and pulled it off. "Iím Crainark Darkchime, nice to see you people actually ALIVE after what seems to have been a battle with the toughest group of Armored Hesslins in this part of the land." Lucienne cleared her throat, "Um, well, our were-risu friend over there wasnít very lucky. He WAS dead, but luckily, he was a Mazoku, and the Hesslin used a Destroying Licid," She pointed to Xellos, who growled at the "were-risu" remark. Crainark laughed, "Oh, donít worry, "he picked up a wand and examined it, "These are my cousins temporary effect wands. Itíll wear off by tomorrow." He paused, "Wait, that Hesslin had a bag of Licids?" Xellos nodded. "Oh, what kind of Hesslin was he?" "Armored Fire," came an answer from Zelgadis. Crainark pounded his right hand into his left fist, "Ooh, thatís the cheater Hesslin, Sunfire. Heís one of the worst cheaters of all. I mean, Hesslins are cheaters, but that guy is so bad, it makes people, even other Hesslins, notice." He walked towards the spiral stairs and gestured in that direction with his right hand, "Come, weíll meet in the guest quarters."

Lucienne looked at Zel, "Well, do these people remind you of these "relatives" of yours?" "He nodded, "Yes, they do. Zeraís voice and laugh, and even her attitude remind me of my younger sister. Crainarkís voice and attitude remind me of my younger cousin. They were both around the same age, nine or ten before they got separated from us. My cousin had a thing about thinking that he was much older, much like this young-sounding Crainark." They reached the guest quarters after about a few minutes of silent walking. When they entered, Zera was there, toying with a light turquoise wand. She looked up, "So Crain, getting nice with our somewhat "uninvited" guests?" "Shut up, Zera, youíve not much of a say. You treat even our invited guests like rubbish." Zera huffed at her cousinís remark. The two were quite contrasting. Zeraís skin was light compared to her very dark blue outfit, while Crainarkís skin was quite dark to his white and cream outfit. The opposites were not just in appearance, but in a bit of personality, too. Crainarkís outfit looked almost like an outfit of priesthood, while Zeraís looked like it belonged to that of a sorcerer.

Zea placed the wand on the table and looked up. She spoke, "Well, I guess thereís some major explaining to be done. But we have to start with names. Of course, you already know our names and we already know Lucienne. I guess we should start from you," she pointed to Gourry, who was the leftmost.

"Iím Gourry."

"My name is Lina Inverse." Crain elbowed Zera and whispered in her ear, "Youíre treating a rather famous person like trash." She ignored him.

"My name is Amelia."

"Iím Xellos." The two cousins paused trying to soak it all in as it came, and it came rather fast. Finally, Zera gestured to Zel, "And you?"

"I am Zelgadis." Zera almost fell out of her seat, and Crainark stood puzzled, "Zelgadis? Why is that name so familiar?" He shook his head shocked, "No way!!" Both he and Zera looked at Zel. "Whoo, after three years, itís amazing what can change. I donít remember MY older brother having the "chimera" look," said Zera. Lucienne looked at Zel, "I guess they are who you say they are." Crain again whispered to Zera, "You just dropped part of the roof on your brothers head." She smiled and whispered back, "Donít you remember? I used to ALWAYS do stuff like that." Crain laughed softly. She then popped the question, "So, brother, how did YOU come to being a chimera?" He sighed, "Well, Iím sure you know Rezo, the Red Priest?" The two nodded, "Well, it was him who did this." Zera looked at Crain.

It was Zelís turn to ask now, "Well then, who changed you two into chimeras." Crain cleared his throat, "Well, we donít exactly know who, but we know what happened. We went to a rather large school to hang out. That was after we got separated. We scared some of the kids there by bringing certain things. One day, we went there with the handle, hilt and sheath of a strange sword. The blade was missing, and the name of the sword on the sheath was all scratched out, but it was a long name. We knew what it was, though, by looking at the hilt and design. We fooled the kids, but just as we were getting the kick out of itÖ" Zera interrupted, "The sky started to get black. Darker and darker. Suddenly, from the middle of the largest field, five beams of light lanced up. There was a five-pointed star there, and at each tip of the star was symbol that gave off the beam. At the top was a sun which gave off a white beam, the next one to its right was a water drop giving off a blue beam, then came a skull which gave off a strange black beam. Then there was a tree symbol with a green beam and a fireball with a red beam. The two of us were intrigued, and we got closer. The symbols turned into solid spheres of the color light they were emitting. Suddenly, there was a flash and they all scattered, flying in every direction to parts of this entire world. The shock from the separation left us with these forms, and left me with this." She pulled from a large bag on her waist a large green sphere. The sphere was transparent like a crystal and every so often, it would flash a symbol of a tree. "This is one of the separated pieces. We soon learned of out new powers and started creating a Sliver hive. It was very small at first, but soon got bigger and bigger. Now we have this," Zera gestured to the massive structure of the huge fortress-like hive.

Lucienne butted in, "After the first bits of the hive were completed, they met me. That was this "Stones Enchantment" day. When we found out about this stone. I knew what it was. It was a part of a place called The Gathering World. It was a dimension that held your world to all the others. Those stones that separated were the strongholds of the Gathering World. If they arenít gotten back together in a few years, the world will return to a sea of chaos as the multiple dimensions and worlds fall apart." Zera placed the sphere on the table. It started to spin fast and soon glowed with a warm green light. "We got new powers from the separation of these stones. We knew of them, but we named it "Gathering Magic" on the Stones Enchantment day. Both our powers are the same. The names, powers, and uses of each spell are the same, only, the names of mine start with "Dark" "Darkness" or "Deep", and the color of the spells are either MUCH darker than normal or the color of the Giga Slave. You know that solid black color. We even have variations of our own Shamanist, White and Black magic. We also made our own spells for Shamanism, like the Elmekkia Engulf that we use to transform into our Sliver forms," Zera paused for a moment to change the subject a little, "Now, these stones also left us with personal abilities. I can transform my hands into weapons like axes, swords, flails, maces, and stuff like that. Though, when Iím a bit angry, I can change them into cannons, small Sliver cannons, normal, though much smaller cannons and Artifact Hornet Cannons." "My personal ability has to do with the land. I can turn dirt into pliable metal in my hands, be it gold, steel, sliver, that stuff. I can turn small rocks into crystals and wood or large rocks into the blades of weapons by crushing them in my fist. It glows and extends into a steel blade. From there I can make the handle and hilt with gold or silver and jewels. I can make any color leather from the bark of trees. Very useful."

"Interesting," said Amelia and Lina nodded. Xellos examined the green sphere and then looked up, "How do we know you can actually do these things? Sure you can probably show us." Lina looked at him, "Youíre trying to get information out of them when we canít even get information out of you." Zera looked at them, "Oh, anyway, it looks like you guys could use some cleaning up and a place to rest. Do you want to join us? Weíre trying to find the other four Gathering Stones. We donít want the world to fall into chaos all over again." "I say so. Whatever separated them in the first place isnít good thing. Whatever it is itís evil. What's the use of waiting here? For nothing? It is all too strange to me. I should get up off my rear and join this battle. Who's with me!? Shall we take on this great evil power?! We shall!" Crainark stood up after saying this, "Well, whoís with me?" Lina stood up, followed by Amelia and Zel, "We will! It seems that weíre in for another adventure, huh guys?" They nodded. Xellos also stood up, "I guess Iíll join for once, too. This sounds like itís going to be exciting, and Iím in." Zera nodded, "Well then, letís get going. Weíll start tomorrow, if you donít mind. Iím sure I can get some of the Worker Shamanist Slivers to get to work on your outfits. They SHOULD finish them by tomorrow if you donít mind. Think of this place as a rather big inn for a while. There should be clothing you can use in the rooms while the Shamanist Slivers work on your own outfits. Have a nice night!"

The next morningÖ

Lina awoke and yawned. She looked at the dresser beside her. Her traveling outfit was placed there, folded nicely. When she unfolded it, it looked almost as if it hadnít been even scratched, "Heh, those Shamanist Slivers are pretty good at laundry." She snickered to herself.

She walked into the guest quarters again, in her traveling outfit. The whole group was already there. She had noticed that the wands had worn off, and she was happy for that. Zera sat there, the sphere in her lap. It was still glowing, but it wasnít spinning, "Iím sure you guys have your own equipment?" Lina shrugged, "I think I lost my sword in the fight. If thatís not it, I tried it hit a Hesslin with it and ended up with a shattered blade." Crainark looked at her. His voice showed that he was smiling inwardly, because his Sliver face could not show such emotions, "Iím sure I can make you another when we get to the woods. Itís not that difficult." "You mean, for you itís not," Commented Zelgadis, who has gotten quite used to the fact that Crainark and Zeraliss were really his cousin and sister. "Well, weíll have to get equipped, "just as Zera said this, Crainark was off and heading upstairs towards the Equipment Room, "HEY! Not fair! Youíre going to take the CircularÖ" She stopped, knowing that he was already too far upstairs to hear her. She huffed loudly. She started to run up to the Equipment Room, the rest following right behind. When they got there, Crain was fitting a strange weapon into his sword belt. It looked like a sword, but parts of it were shaped like a circle. The handle was also a circle and studded with spikes. Zera sighed, but then looked up and grinned again, looking at the swords humming and slightly glowing blade, "I knew youíd take the Circular Blade." He smiled as she went and grabbed a sword off a higher shelf. It was pretty, it had a black leather sheath spiraled with woven gold. The handle itself was gold with crystals and eccentric curves. The grip of the sword was like the sheath, only it was dark blue leather and was spiraled with woven silver. The bottom of the sword had a green crystal. She pulled it a bit out of its sheath, and its blade glowed with green, divine energy. It seemed to make the room warm with a strange feeling of happiness.

Gourry looked at Zera as the sheathed the sword and put it on her sword belt, "Whatís that?" She looked at him, "This?" she pointed to her sword, "Itís an L&R. That stands for "The Great Sword of Laughter and Relaxation". Itís not the most powerful weapon in our inventory, and itís actuallly quite weak.. The most powerful is the Circular Blade, and we only have one of those." Crainark looked at her puzzled, "Why didnít you take the Dagger of Mordeth or the Kang? Or even the Mace of King Sulemain. Those are MUCH more powerful." "Remember? When the King and Protective Slivers attacked and took out most of the hive, those were destroyed." He sighed in agreement and shook his head. Zera grabbed a Sword Sliver off the shelf and placed it on her shoulder, where it squeaked. Crain took a small, young horned Sliver.

"Well, we shall be off!" She exclaimed, and they walked down to the hiveís entrance, and onto the beginning of the first portion of their adventure.