a Slayers fanfic
Chapter 6: Some Revolting Developments
Mayaki circled the forest until she spotted Zelgaddis, stopped by a stream. She carefully landed in another nearby meadow and shifted back to human shape to approach on foot.
Zelgaddis peered into the cool, flowing water, thinking quietly to himself. A twig behind him snapped, and he had his sword drawn in a flash. "Who's there?" he asked threateningly.
"It's me... Mayaki," she called shyly.
Zel sheathed his sword, sitting back down on the rock by the stream. Mayaki silently paced up and sat beside him.
"I told you to stay at the camp," he growled at her.
She nodded. "Couldn't let you go out all by yourself," she countered. "Dangerous bandits around these parts, especially on the roads at night, you know."
He blinked in surprise at hearing his own words turned around on him. Then he glowered at her. "Why did you follow me?"
"I thought... you might be lonely. I thought maybe I could help."
"I'm not," he said harshly.
"I know," she said quietly. "But I am." Uncomfortable silence hung in the glade as she stared into the clear water and Zelgaddis stared at her.
"You should have told us," he said at last in a disgusted tone. "You should have told me."
Mayaki snorted. "What would you have done if I had? A lot of people don't trust monsters, you know. What would I have said? 'Hi, I'm half Mazoku, want to be friends?'" Zel stared dumbfoundedly. Mayaki stared right back. "I'd think you of all people, would be able to understand that, Zelgaddis." She got up and trotted a few steps away when he tried to grasp her shoulders.
He shook his head and put a hand to one temple as if he had a headache from just thinking about the whole situation. "Mayaki, it's... it's not so much that as the shock... traveling with you, I got to trust you and just when I thought I was getting to know you, you turn out to be... something completely different. It's like you deceived us. You LIED to us."
"It was my secret. Even Xellos didn't deny me that."
"Just like Mazoku to be on the same side," he snorted.
The remark bit deep. Mayaki's eyes teared up, then flared for just a second before she grabbed Zel by the collar and tossed him to the ground using the strength of her monster side. "How dare you accuse me of being like him?! I would never work with Mazoku slime like Xellos! I am half human, you know, and I won't betray that part of myself to become evil! Never! I may look like a monster part of the time, but I never forget my other half, you hear me?!" She kicked some loose dirt at him. "I may never be fully human, but I'd rather be half human than all Mazoku," she snarled bitterly, then angrily turned and, running a few steps, opened her wings and launched herself high into the air, soaring back to camp.
"Mayaki!" Zel called after her, getting no response from the empty night sky. He gazed upward, searching for her. "I see what Ari meant about her temper..." he said to himself, standing to brush himself off. He sat back on the rock and looked into the water, seeing his reflection hovering above the stones at the bottom. He touched the stone scale at his jaw and sighed. "I of all people would be able to understand that..."
* * * * *
Zelas sat smugly on her throne. The wolves were howling pleasantly outside in the wonderfully dark, moonless evening. She puffed contentedly on her cigarette, then followed the nicotine up with a splash of bourbon on the rocks. "So, Xellos, my dear faithful general-priest, how are things going with that Lina Inverse girl I sent you to keep an eye on?"
"Oh, everything's wonderful with her, Beastmaster! Don't you worry about her. She doesn't have a clue." Xellos smiled up to his Master, kneeling in deference to her before rising.
"And our little plan?"
"Coming right along, as expected."
Zelas smiled, and even allowed herself a slight chuckle. "Good. So there's been nothing of particular interest to report... why are you here, Xellos?"
"What? Oh, I'd almost forgotten," he said smugly.
"Don't play your trickster's games with me, Xellos."
Xellos looked slightly abashed. "Well. I thought it might interest you to know that Lina and her friends have joined up with the daughter of a red wyvern."
Zelas tapped her nails impatiently on the arm of her chair. "A wyvern. Why should this interest me?"
Xellos waved casually. "Not that it should interest you, Master, but... I was wondering if I might have your permission to try to convert her to your service. She is quite powerful for being only half Mazoku, and out of practice at that."
"You've taken a liking to this little half-human then?"
He nodded confidently. "She harbors so much anger and hate, and she kills with raw efficiency that I would swear she prides herself on, though she is limiting herself. She would make an excellent Mazoku, and a great servant to you, Beastmaster. After all, you will need minions to help overthrow the remaining two of Shabranigdo's chosen five. I don't presume the others will be such pushovers as MaRyu-Sama Gaav or Phibrizzo."
"True," she admitted slowly after a pause. The silence continued as she thought his proposal over and took another swig of her bourbon.
"Please?" Xellos put in quietly and shyly.
"She attractive?" Zelas asked.
Xellos grinned wickedly in response.
"Oh, all right. If the chaos created by this half-human draws you so much, my faithful one, I see no reason you shouldn't convert her, so long as it doesn't interfere with my plans. Understood?"
Xellos bowed deeply. "Yes, Master. Thank you."
She waved nonchalantly at him and took another gulp of her drink as he disappeared into a small black tornado. "Kids," she mused, taking another drag of her cigarette.
Disclaimer in short: Slayers and related characters aren't mine. Mayaki and various other incidental characters are.
Thanks for reading! Please leave me some feedback; I live and thrive on criticism! (not to mention, I'm a perfectionist. ;)