THE WILL OF THE LORD

He had won.
Lina knew that as she watched Martina futilely swinging the Howling Sword at the smugly grinning, unscathed, beguilingly innocent looking child. Phibrizo, an angelic smile on his face, was gleefully taunting the green-haired girl slashing wildly at him; effortlessly dissipating the boomerang-shaped waves of wailing green energy she flung at him.
Stop, Lina thought. Don't you see that you're just feeding him?
Finally, growing bored, he made a lazy flick of his wrist and crushed the last golden ball in his hand. A sharp silvery jingle cut into the fading shrieks made by the sword.
Martina cried out in pain, crumpling to the rocky ground of the vast cavern.
Lina ran to her and caught her just before she hit the hard jagged ground.
"Lina-san..." Martina looked at her with glazed eyes, voice weak and scared. "Fight, please save Gourry-san... PLEASE save us..."
Her head rolled limply. Martina was dead.
"Martina!" Lina shook her, fighting the tears that burned in her eyes. First Gourry, then Amelia, Shiefeel, Zel, Zangulus and lastly, Martina. All her friends killed... just so that the Hellmaster could see her greatest spell.
And destroy the world.
"Well?" Amused to the last, Phibrizo landed close to her, to gloat. His angelic smile twisting into something very evil. "Will you now show me the beauty of the Giga Slave?"
He waved and the five fallen friends were suddenly encased in crystals like Gourry, winking out to hang beside Gourry's crystal on the ledge. Trophies on a wall.
"I promise to free them after you've cast it..."
He smiled at her encouragingly, mockingly.
Why not, Lina thought dully. I haven't anything else to lose... Gourry...
"Darkness beyond blackest pitch..." Stop this! Remember what Aqua showed you!
"Deeper than the deepest night..." I shouldn't be doing this! I can't control the Giga Slave!
"King of Darkness who shines like gold..." But Martina said to fight, to try and save them!
"Upon the Sea of Chaos..." Save them? If I lose control I'll destroy them!
"I call upon thee, swear myself to thee..." I swear... Just let me save them-LET me just save him, Lord of Nightmares, whatever the price to me...
"Let the fools who stand in our way..." WHATEVER the price...
"Be destroyed by the power you and I possess..." Gourry! I just can't let you die!
"GIGA SLAVE!!!"

A A A A A

The Giga Slave, not held back when she had first forced it through the Sword of Light was indeed beautiful. A crackling, blazing orb of deepest blackest ebony. Awesome and mesmerizing, the orb grew, spinning wider and wider...
The huge crystal that sat in the middle of the cavern burned crimson, raining blood-red power into the swelling orb. The orb sucked hungrily, pulling energy from everywhere; her control slipping bit by bit as it grew...mustn't lose control... She could hear Phibrizo's childish voice, laughing in glee and triumph.
I won't be... BEATEN...
Suddenly, the orb flared, bursting out, engulfing her...
The world went black.

A A A A A

Am I dead...? Did I destroy him... or did I destroy the world? Where am I...?
She blinks in surprise.
She is in a wide hall that is seemingly endless, far greater than the cavern that had kept Phibrizo's huge crystal. The ceiling was lost in the shadows, and the hall lit brightly by some lights she couldn't place, it was made of shimmering crystals. Pillars rose in neat rows to either side of her and she stood in the middle.
Bewildered and dazed, she goes to the end, seeing something and seeming drawn...
At the end is a huge throne, stuffed with the softest cushions and pillows, immensely wide and looked so comfortable and cozy. She was incredibly tired maybe she could...
And stopped, in front of the throne was a huge table.
On the table she could see... orbs. There were too many to count but four of them were neatly set in the middle of the table, placed away from the rest. They were no bigger than marbles and yet were still bigger than the rest that were scattered haphazardly over the table, they were infinitely perfect... marble-sized worlds. There was something swirling in the marbles, flashes and glimpses of things that looked vaguely familiar...
She snapped her gaze up, suddenly seeing the lady that stood staring down on the marble that was swirling the wildest.
The lady was so incredibly beautiful, she froze, fearing to move might make the Lady to look up and see her. Her impossibly long hair was the purest, brightest shade of golden blond, glittering in the lights like liquid gold, falling elegantly on a face that was beyond beautiful, beyond perfection. She was very tall and magnificently shaped, everything about her was beyond perfection.
Suddenly shy and scared, she tries to back up, but her boot falls loudly on the crystalline floor, making a sharp crack.
The Lady's head gracefully turns to her.
She freezes again, trapped by the gaze that locks with hers.
Eyes of molten gold burn into her, holding her in place. "Ah, you have arrived," her warm rich voice ringing clearly in her head. "You are tired, I see."
She nods slowly, even more unsure.
The Lady glides around the table to her, seeming to flow, her gown made of golden light and softest silk. She stares, mesmerized.
The Lady's graceful hand lightly brushes back her hair that had fallen over her face, the Lady suddenly stands in front of her. She tips her head up, realizing that she barely reaches past the Lady's slim waist, she dimly feels her face blush.
The Lady laughs lightly. "Well, I see that you have quite a bit of growing to do, it is of no matter, we have all the time."
The Lady smiles down on her fondly, gently sliding her arm around her tiny slender shoulders. "Come," she bids, pulling her to the throne, past the table...
She stops suddenly as she gets close to the table, something flickering in the marble...
... a child in a vast cavern cowers before a blazing figure of gold. The child first tries to hide, fails, then pleads... strikes-the child suddenly vanishes, ripped into nothing...
She cries out faintly in surprise and fright, the child's death horrifying as she sees him, his soul ruthlessly torn and destroyed, cruelly slow and utterly final.
The Lady's hands rest on her tiny shoulders, pulling her into a gentle embrace. "Shh... there is nothing to fear, my little one," The Lady's voice is soothing, sweeping her fear away. "That is the fate that one will face when they DARE defy me. No harm shall ever befall that which is mine nor will I allow it." She nods, something stubborn stirring, fighting against what the Lady had said. What is mine...?
The Lady looks down, fond smile deepening. "Ah, you have not lost your will, I see. Good. I treasure that above all things about you. That you have always been strong."
She looks back to the marble, a memory calling...
The figure of gold shines too bright to see, but she looks to the figures who huddle before it. A black-haired little girl, a bluish-purple-haired rock-faced man, a long black-haired girl, a green-haired girl, a black-haired man... and a blond-haired man...
Seeing the last figure fills her with relief.
"Yes, they are all well," The Lady steps up, waving a hand and the marble goes dark. She just catches a glimpse of a new figure bowing low before the figure of gold...
A staff with a red stone and purple hair...
"They have been brought back with the highest price payable."
She blinks, glancing back to the Lady, faintly curious, distantly wondering what now.
The Lady nods as though seeing her thoughts. "Yes, where shall we begin? I have so much to show you and you have much to learn..."
The Lady places her arm back around her tiny shoulders, once again pulling her to the throne. The Lady sits down elegantly amidst the cushions, and she stands before her, unsure and shy. The cushions look so cozy and warm... but she does not know what she should do. The Lady has not told her or waved her to join her.
The Lady suddenly beckons to her. "Sit."
She looks around, trying to find a place where she can sit that will not bother the Lady. She goes to the edge, meaning to sit there at the Lady's feet.
"No," the Lady says. "That is too far."
The Lady takes her by the waist and picks her up gently, as though picking up a child and sets her right in the middle of her lap.
She freezes again, head bowed and looked down at her own lap, her hair falling over her face like a gold-red veil.
"Now, we may begin," the Lady's hand suddenly comes into view, slipping past her hair, glowing gold as a whirling golden ball spun into existence in her hand. "Watch, look, learn..."
She sees... things.
Her hands, so tiny when compared to the Lady's, take the ball out of her hand, holding it in both of hers and pushing it closer to her face to see clearer into the ball.
The ball glows brighter...
The Lady leans back, smiling down fondly on the girl staring fixedly into the ball. She runs her hand through the girl's red-gold mane, delighting in the way the silken locks curl tantalizingly around her long fingers. She shifts a little, leaning back, letting the girl rest against her chest, idly stroking the girl's fiery mop as she watched her look into the ball.
The Lady's smile deepens even further. So much promise in one so young, truly incredible. She had every intention of keeping this little one, now that she had her in her grasp, and no intention of releasing her, to lose such a prize as this...
Startled, the Lady looks up.
"It cannot be..." she murmurs.
There is another in the hall. A tall man, his blond hair tumbling down his long legs. His face is grim and his eyes hard. And in his hand, blazing like a jagged piece of blinding light taken from the heart of the sun, is a sword... the Sword of Light.
The Lady looks at him. He boldly looks back, but his eyes stray to the girl on her lap. His face becomes grimmer, harder, set.
The Lady chuckles. "I commend you on your determination, Swordsman of Light."
"Give her back to me," his voice is icy.
The Lady frowns faintly. "She is mine, by right and by bargain."
"No," he slips into a stance, gracefully deadly. "Give her to me or I'll kill you."
The Lady stares a moment, anger flashing on her face but suddenly laughs, her hand flicking out the ball that the girl had been holding. She gently pushes the girl up, and rises. She rests her hands on the girl's shoulders and leads them both to the man. She stops in front of him, her hands were lightly placed on the girl's tiny shoulders but they may as well have been a tight grip.
"Do you truly think that you can harm one such as I?" The Lady's smile is amused. "You cannot, neither you nor anyone else."
She gazes at him, watching him struggle under her gaze. "I could kill you, utterly destroy you for such threats or make you suffer horribly, begging for an end that will never come..." she looks down, smiling tenderly, hand stroking the petite girl's flame-hued mane. "But she cares for you, more for than the others that she saved from him... I would not want her to be hurt and your death will surely hurt her. As well as she has paid for your life in full..."
"Then, I'll pay for it instead of her..."
Her striking gaze snaps back to lock with his. "You have nothing that I would desire, Swordsman of Light. NOTHING that I already have."
He tightens his grip on the hilt, the blade burns brighter. "I'll fight you for her-"
"You court your own destruction."
"I don't care!" his voice is hoarse.
The Lady looks down suddenly, staring intensely at the girl who stood so silent in front of her. "She fights me now, struggling against me in a vain attempt to save you, she knows that you risk your own death..."
The Lady frowns thoughtfully. "She is still so very young and has much to learn... that your world may teach her, should I let she return; though, she has indeed gone beyond my wildest hopes and expectations..."
The Swordsman takes a step.
"I will return her to you for now, Swordsman," she freezes him in place. "But know this... I WILL return for her."
He nods, lowers his sword and reaches out with his hand to take the girl from her. "And I will be waiting. Give her to me."
"Not yet."
The Lady makes the girl face her, one hand untying the black bandanna that the girl wore on her head, slipping it off to reveal two perfect little moles in the middle of her forehead.
"But, I WILL mark what is mine," she declares, cocking the girl's chin up.
She bends down and gently kisses the girl on the forehead, right on the two tiny moles.
The Lady then swiftly reties the black bandanna and pushes the girl into the surprised Swordsman's hands, so fast that he lets go of his sword to catch her and they both vanish.
The Lady smiles slightly, picks up the sword. She will return this as well... later on.

A A A A A

Lina blinks as though waking from a dream... Thoughts, memories, things flashing in her mind in a jumbled frenzy. Some vanishing, some hiding away, some seen but not understood. She is someplace warm, being...hugged.
BEING HUGGED?!
She looks up, and sees Gourry... Feeling her arms around him... and his arms around her, leaning against his broad chest.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!"
She punches him off the ruined pillar they were on, sent him flying into a tiny lake made in the ruins of Sairaag.
What just happened? She wondered as she yelled at Gourry from the top of the ruin. She then realizes that the others are running to them. Maybe they can tell me...

A A A A A

"So you can't remember anything?!" Amelia asked yet again, incredulous.
"Yeah... are you sure I was possessed?" Lina looked shocked.
"You were glowing gold and you spoke with a different voice," Shiefeel told her.
"Not to mention, " Zel said. "That priest bowed before you. And called you 'My Lord'."
Lina blinked, something tugged at her. "Xelloss did WHAT?!"
"Plus, you were so powerful," Amelia said. "Well... REALLY REALLY powerful this time. I've never seen anything like it!"
"Ye-Martina?! Zangulus?!" Lina gladly broke off what she had been about to say. What was she going to say...?
"Well, glad to see that you made it out alive," Zel said.
"With Zoamel Gustav, nothing can harm me and Zang darling," Martina bragged.
"Zang Darling?!"
"Uh huh," Martina fluttered her eyes at the former rival swordsman of Gourry, leaning against him. "We're here to invite the lot of you to a wedding."
"Oh," Lina said. "Whose?"
"Ours, you nitwit!" Martina snapped, irked that Lina ruined that romantic moment. "I'm wondering when yours is."
Lina's gaze suddenly shot to Gourry and she blushed. "HUH?" she asked dumbly.
"Oh, that is so romantic!" Amelia gushed, and Lina looked away quickly, blushing furiously.
"Let's get to town!" Martina said, dragging Zangulus, who was starting to look a bit wild. "I want to get married as soon as possible."
Lina trailed behind as the three girls chatted over the wedding and Zel and Gourry congratulated (or is it comforted?) Zangulus.
What did happen back there...? Lina half-turned, staring at the ruins that had once been Sairaag. She shivered slightly in the warm sunlit day. Her hand absently going to her forehead, pushing her bandanna away, touching her birthmark, two perfect little moles... that are strangely tingling.
Whatever it is... I'll worry about it later on-now LET'S PARTY!!!
With that, a grin lighting her brooding face, Lina spins around and runs to her friends who have stopped, looking back at her and waiting for her.

A A A A A

In her hall, the Lady smiles, watching and waiting... ________________________________________________________________________________

Author's (RATHER LONG) note:


Well, in the ending episode, Gourry DOES chase Lina into The Realm of Darkness, catching her by the arm... but, apparently, the Lina he caught was nothing but a shell that fades away... The scene in the episode is that of Gourry and Lina floating in a multi-colored place... What if all WE were seeing was only one side of the story-Gourry's SOUL falls through into L-sama's home, leaving his body to float there. When Lina was returned, her body swirled back into existence with Gourry still gripping her tightly by the arm... and the rest you know (KISS!!!).
I did this mainly 'cause, I've always wondered where the REAL Lina was when she was being possessed by L-sama. And IF I was L-sama, I would very much WANT to get my hands on the ONLY being on my world capable of calling me for a GREAT number of reasons...
As to her returning Lina to Gourry just like that, look closer at what she had said... all the hints are there. L-sama does NOT want destruction, pretty obvious after what she did to the HellMaster-she WANTS control and having all the control is having all the power... Hoped you liked it. Oh, everything that happened, except the middle part with L-sama is from the original Next Series, I believe it would even satisfy the hardened Slayers Purist.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?