-- *Insert Standard Disclaimer* ---

Chapter 2: Home Sweet Home?!
Dawn rises and Valtierra woke up finding himself on a bed in a cozy cabin. He walked over to the table and thereís a bowl of hot oatmeal and a note next to it. He read the note and said:
Dear the boy who was attacked by Berserkers last night,
Thereís a bowl of oatmeal on the table and you could eat
it if youíre hungry. Iím going to the town so stay here.
Itís cold outside.
"I wonder who wrote this. Hmm...probably the person who saved me last night. Well, I AM hungry, so maybe I should eat the oatmeal"
And Valtierra ate the oatmeal and went back over to the bed.
°"Where AM I?" Suddenly the door swung open and a beautiful girl walked into the cabin with a bag in her hand. She had silver hair with black and purple strips and amethyst eyes and she wore a plain dark blue dress with a light purple scarf.
"I see that youíre all right now." She said and she laid her bag on the table and went over to take a chair and put it next to where Valtierraís bed and just smiled at him. "So kid, whatís your name?"
"Valtierra...Valtierra Copt. Excuse me miss, where am I?" Asked the little dragon.
"At a forest near Virusun Harbor."
"Virsun Harbor?!?! How did I walked this far? Oh~Filia must be really mad now...°® Said the depressed Valtierra.
"Valtierra-kun, who is Filia? Is she your mother?"
°"Oh Filiaís not my mother but she takes care of me. And neechan, could you call me Val? Only Filia calls me Valtierra. Oh, neechan, thank you for saving me."
°"Youíre welcome, Val. So what are you going to do now?"
°"Well...I guess that I should go home now...®
°"Val. You seem depressed. You donít want to go home? Home is a great place and you should never be afraid to go home. Oh I know! Why donít I take you home! I love to travel and I like to help people like you"
°"Really!? Thanks neechan"
°"First I need to write a letter to someone, °ĎOkay?" She took out a small piece of paper out of her pocket and started to write. After she finished writing the letter, she opened the door and picked up a pigeon that was eating birdseeds next to the door and tied the letter on its leg. It then flies off towards west.
°"well...letís go!" She picked up the bag from the table and walked out of the door with Val following her and the two headed west towards the direction of Valís home. The two became friends and they start chatting along the way. Val found out that her name is Leoni Metalium and Val starts talking about himself.
°"Val, why did you run away from home?" Asks Leoni.
°"Because Filia always yells at me"
°"So, does Filia always yells at you?" Val nodded. °"Well maybe you two would end your arguments if she knows how you fell"
°"But she doesnít know how I feel"
°"She will if youíll just talk to her. Sheís probably worried sick about you so donít worry. I bet she wonít yell at you when you get home" Said Leoni, smiling.
°"Leoni-neechan, when we get home, could you stay with me? I want you to stay with me forever! No one have ever been so nice to me!" Said Val and he looked up at her hoping for the word yes from her mouth but he was greatly disappointed when she answered him.
°"Sorry Val, I canít. I love to travel and I love to stay with you but staying at one place bores me." Val face fills with disappointment.
°"Hey, I could always visit you, so please donít feel sad, youíll make me feel sad too! Now why donít we rest for a while under that tree over there!" She said as she points to tree at the top of a hill near by. °"Hey, Iíll race ya!" Valís high spirit returned and he jumped up.
°"Leoni-neechan, Iím the fastest runner at my school! Okay, lets race! Ready?"
"Ready"
°"Go!" And they ran as fast as they could to the tree and it was a tie.
°"Hey...youíre good! No one ever ran as fast as me." Said Val, tired and out of breath, he sat leaning against the tree.
°"well, same here!" Said Leoni, also tired and out of breath and she sat next to Val under the tree. °"Hey, do you want anything to eat or drink?"
°"Anything other than tea and biscuits would be nice." Leoni took out a bottle of grape juice and a cup from the bag she was carrying and she pours the juice into the cup. °"here, have some Zefirian grape juice!"
Then she took out another bottle and pours the reddish purple liquid into a wineglass she took out earlier. Then she took out two sandwiches and gave one to Val and she ate the other and drank the reddish purple liquid. °"Val, why donít you like tea and biscuits?"
°"Because thatís what Filia make me eat every single day." Said Val, enjoying the sandwich and the juice. °"This is so good! Leoni-neechan, did you make it?"
"Yes I did." She replied, taking a sip of her drink.
°"Leoni-neechan, what are you drinking?"
°"Magical potion!"
Val stares at the liquid. °"Thatís magical potion? Can I try it?"
°"No silly! I was just kidding! This is Zefirian wine with a little of my special potion in it. And you are not old enough to drink alcohol!"
Val was disappointed but he continued drinking his own drink.
Suddenly a group of bandits appeared out of nowhere. The tallest of the bandits steps forward and walk towards Leoni.
"What do you want, mister?"
°"Oh, nothing much miss. Ya see, this hill belongs to us, the Wandering Bandits of the Hill!"
"So?"
"So, ya gotta pay us for eating on this hill!"
°"What if I donít?" "Then kill ya, both of ya!"
°"Is that so?" Leoni said with an evil glare and she took the last sip of her drink. °"Then try to kill me, human. I bet you that you canít even scratch me."
"OH WHY YA LITTLE!" The bandit leader shouts with rage, "GO GET HER!" The other bandits starts to attack Leoni. Leoni dropped her glass on the ground and raised her hand at them.
°ßI really donít like bandits. FIREBALL!°® In less than a second, most of the bandits were burned to ashes.
°"Wow............°® Val was fairly amazed since he had never seen a spell more powerful than a light spell in his (this) life. While Leoni was busy throwing fireballs at the bandits, the bandit leader tries to get away but Val saw him before he ran too far away.
°"Leoni-neechan! Heís getting away!" Leoni jumped in front of the bandit leader.
°"You know, I really need to thank the hellbrat for teaching me this."
Leoni glared at the bandit leader and a dark yellow sphere starts to form in her hands. °"Yo bandits, when you get there, be sure to say hi to him for me! DEATH BLOW!°®
The yellow sphere grew huge and it absorbed all the bandits into it.
Leoni walk towards the sphere and touched it. It immediately shrinks to the size of a golf ball. She leans down to pick up the sphere and crushed it in her hands.
°"Now that takes care of it. Hey Val, letís go!" Val nodded and gathered up their things and they continued on their journey.
After three hours of silence and walking through the forest, Val and Leoni finally got to a town and they went to a restaurant since it was already diner time and both of them are starving. While they were waiting for their food, Val decided to speak.
°"Leoni-neechan, you were great back there!"
°ßYou think so?"
°"Yeah!! So youíre from the inner world?"
°"Well, where I come from is on the boarder of the inner and outer world. Howíd you know?"
°ßI learned it at school! My teacher was a sorcerer from the inner world and he told us that the people from the inner world knows powerful magic!"
°ßHmm.....yeah, thatís right," Leoni took a sip of her wine.
°"Then could you teach me?" Leoni put down her cup and smiled at Val.
°ßI could teach you, but we got so little time. How bout that I teach you a light spell so you could show off to your classmates?" Val jumped up with delight and all the people at the other tables starts to stare at him. Val blushes slightly and sit back down quietly.
°"So when would you start teaching me?" Just then, a waitress came over and laid dishes of delicious looking food on the table.
°"Iíll start teaching you tonight when we get our room at the inn. Now, letís eat, Iím starving!" After they finished their meals, they went over the inn across from the restaurant and went to their room.
In the room, there are a table, a mirror and two beds sitting next to each other and Val ran over the one of the beds and starts bouncing on the bed. Leoni threw her bag at the table and went over to sit on the other bed. She took off her shoes and sat cross-legged, facing Val. Val finally noticed that she was waiting for him to settle down so he stopped jumping on the bed and sat on the edge of his bed.
"Had fun?"
Val blushed a bit and answered her, "Yeah, a bit. Filia never let me jump on my bed...°®
°"Okay, now letís get started on your first sorcery lesson. First Iíll do a light spell and show you a little trick that I know, then Iíll teach it to you step by step. Val, could you blow out the light?"
Val went over to the table and blow out the candlelight. It was total darkness except for the moonlight shining through the window. Val made his way back to his bed and as soon as he sat down, a ball of light started to form in Leoniís hands.
°"This is a basic light spell and why donít I show you something extra." The ball of light started to dim and it starts to float in the air. It divided itself into many balls of light and they start to change color. Each of the balls changed to a different color and they all starts to spin around in the room. Suddenly all the lights went out and there was only moonlight.
°"What happened, Leoni-neechan? Where did all the lights go?" Leoni went over to the table and lighted the candle.
°ßI just stopped it. I think that Itís getting late and I really should teach you the light spell now.°®
°"Oh." For the first five minutes, Leoni taught Val the chant to the light spell and the light spell worked on Valís first try!
°"Val, I think you have a talent for magic and sorcery!"
°"Really? You really think so?"
°"Yeah, when you get home, you should take lessons from your teacher."
°"But I canít" Val respond, sadly.
"Why?"
°ßI asked Filia before if I could take sorcery lessons but she said no."
°"Why did she said that?"
°"She said that itíll lead me into trouble with people that I donít want to mess with. But I really donít understand what she meant by that."
°"Oh, then Val, would Filia be mad at you since you now know the light spell?"
°"Well," Val thought for a long time and give her a very smart answer,
°"She wonít get mad if she doesnít know!"
°"Okay then, thatís our little secret, °Ďkay?" Val nodded in response.
°ßI think we should get some sleep. We still have to walk about six hours tomorrow."
"°tís Okay, good night, Leoni-neechan!"
"Good night, Val-chan!"

~The next day~ On a road close to the village where Val lives, there are three travelers. The first one is a purple hair priest, the second is a redheaded sorceress, and the third is a blond swordsman. They chatted along the way, trying to get to their destination.
°"Lina-san, do we have to go there?" Asked the first traveler as he walks backwards, facing his companions.
°"You donít have to come with us if you donít want to, Xelloss." The sorceress named Lina answers.
°"Yeah, and it has been a long time since we saw Filia." Added the blond swordsman behind her.
°"Well, it might be fun...°® Inside the trickster priestís head, he was thinking of all kinds of ways to make fun of the dragon maiden that he hasnít seen in a long time. He starts giggling to himself and suddenly, a pigeon flies in front of Xelloss and landed on his shoulders.
°"Is that a pigeon?" Asked Gourry and Lina smacked his head.
°"Of course thatís a pigeon! Hmm...ití been a long time since we had pigeon meat...Gourry?" Gourry jumped towards Xelloss and grabbed the poor soon-to-be meal.
°"Wait!" Said Xelloss suddenly and he took the pigeon out of Gourryís hands and untied a piece of paper on the pigeonís leg.
°"Whatís that? A letter?" Asked Lina while Gourry starts making a fire to cook the pigeon but later found out that it had escaped.
°"Letís see now...°® Said Xelloss while he was reading the letter,
°"What?" And the letter slipped out of his hands.
°"Huh?? Whatís going on?" Lina asks and picked up the paper but the paper turns into blue flames before she could even read a word.
°"Xelloss, what was it?"
°"Itís a secret! Hey Lina, come on! Letís go, we should be there before nightfall." Xelloss answers and they continue their journey to the golden maidenís house.
Three hours later, they had finally arrived at the village where Val and Filia lived. They went around asking directions and they found the antique store that Filia owns.
°"Hmm...an antique store. So this is where Filia and Valgarv live?"
Asks Xelloss.
°"Should be. Oh Xelloss, his name is Valtierra now, not Valgarv. Iíd hate to see Filia turning into a dragon and chasing after you."
Replies Lina and they walked into the store. They walked around the store looking at antiques, maces, and vases and stopped when a fox-man interrupted them.
°"May I help you with anything?" Asks Jirazu.
°"Hey, arenítí you Jirazu? How are ya?" Exclaimed Lina.
"You...are?"
°"Itís me, Lina Inverse. Donít you remember? Well anyway, whereís Filia and Val?" After she said this, Jirazu ran toward the back room connecting the house, where Filia was resting on her bed and woke her.
°"What is it, Jirazu?" Asked the sicken dragon maiden.
°Itís Lina, the guy which used to own the sword of light, and some other guy. Theyíre looking for your." Jirazu replies.
°"Jirazu, take me to them." She got off her bed and Jirazu led her towards the store when Filia suddenly shivers and her tail pops out.
°"What is it?" Asks the concerned fox-man.
°ßI feel cold and somthingís is wrong. Well, ití nothing, letís go." And they found Lina and Gourry looking at some maces.
°"Hey Filia, long time no see!" Exclaims Lina.
°"Hello Gourry and Lina. It has been a while *cough* why are you here?" Asks Filia.
°"oh we just wanted to visit you and Val. Filia, are you all right? You look sick." Lina replies. Filia sighs and looked down at the floor.
°"Well...°® Filia began but shivers when she heard a very familiar voice.
°"hello Filia. It has been a while." And she turned and found Xelloss standing behind her with his eyes opened and an evil smirk on his face.
°ßGET OUT OF MY STORE!!!°® Anger builds up inside her and she thought, Valtierra is gone, Iím getting a fever, and now this namagomi shows up. How can today get any worse? Filia took out her mace and swings it at Xelloss but she suddenly stops and drops her mace, making cracks in the wooden floor.
°"Huh?" And Filia fell unconscious on Xelloss. Lina walks over to Filia and put her hand on Filiaís forehead but quickly removes it.
°"Sheís having a high fever, Jirazu, take us to her room now!" Lina ordered and Gourry, Xelloss (who unbelievably picks up Filia), and Lina followed Jirazu to the dragon maidenís room. Xelloss laid Filia on her bed and Jirazu put some ice on her forehead. Lina starts chanting a spell and when the spell was completed, Filiaís temperature drops from bad to normal and she fell into a deep sleep.
°ßI just did a spell to cool down her body temperature and I think Sheíll be all right. Jirazu, whatís wrong with Filia? She doesnít usually gets sick after seeing Xelloss. Hey Xelloss, did you do something to her?"
°"No, no! I didnít do anything to her! Jirazu, you know what happened to her, right?"
°"Miss Lina, it is not Mister Xellossí fault." Jirazuís face darkens as he continue talking, °"Master Val has been missing for three days."
°"Val? Missing? Did someone kidnapped him?"
°"No he ran away because Miss Filia yelled at him. I need to go help Kurabosu now." After he said this, he ran back to the store helping the lizard-man. They all look at Filia, and she called out a name, Valtierra.
°"Poor Filia. By the way, whoís Val-er-something?" Ask Gourry.
*Lina hits him on the head*
°"Gourry, canít you remember anything? Well Iím not going to explain it all over again! Youíll get to see Val when he comes back...hmm...when will he be coming back?" Lina Exclaimed.
Outside, a couple feet away from the store entrance, Leoni and Val stood there, looking at the store. Xelloss lean against the wall next to the only window in Filiaís room. The window faces directly at the store and once he noticed two people standing near the store, he smiled to himself. Leoni noticed that theyíre being watched and she looked at Xelloss and smiled to him.
°ßVal?°®
°ßYes, Leoni-neechan?°® °"Home is a great place to be. Your family is probably concerned about you. You care for them too, right?"
°"Yes I care for them" Val then looks up at Leoni, °"but if I go home, Iíll never see you again. Youíre the first person other than my family that cared for me. I donít want you to go! Leoni-neechan, please stay!" Leoni was quite stunned when she heard this and she kneels down and smiled at Val.
°"Val, I do care about you but I have other things to do and places to go. Here, take this and when youíre sad and lonely, talk to it as if youíre talking to me. It will even grant you a wish." She took out something from the bag that she was caring and gave it to Val. He looked at it and itís a small hand mirror with silver around it and thereís a purple gem on the backside.
°"Thank you, Leoni-neechan! Iíll treasure it forever and Iíll carry it with me always. Here, take this." Val took out a small golden dagger out from the strap around his waist and gave it to her. °ßI hope you like it"
°"Thank you Val." She traced her finger around the edge of the blade.
°Itís beautiful."
Val smiled cheerfully and ran towards home. °"Leoni-neechan, thank you for everything! Remember to "visit And he swings the door open and ran into the store.
°ßI will Val. I will." Leoni whispered and she fades into darkness.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zelas: Hiya, minna-san! Like the fic so far? I hope you do! First I want to tell you that the magic in this fic that you havenít heard of before are from RPG games (such as Final Fantasy). Ah yes, all the characters belong to their owners! So far, only Leoni belongs to me and I donít wish to create more characters (want to stick to the main Slayers idea). I just love Val-chan very much and I hope that you like him too! Well, if you have any comments (bad or good), please (if you donít mind) write a e-mail to me and tell me what you think! Oh, do you want me to write more on the Friday the Thirteenth fic or this one? Please tell me!!! Iíd love to hear your comments!
E-mail: Zelas_metalium@hotmail.com