REVALATION! Comes the Swordsman
What will Zelgadis' final decision be?
Lina Inverse here again! With everything happening, you’d think that arriving in the small town of Utopia would give us a chance to rest on our journey to Seyruun. But, instead, no. An old Vulpine woman named Marien approached us and asked us if we’d like to come over to her place to talk. We agreed, but for some odd reason or another, Zelgadis was freaked about it and decided to go for a walk instead.REVALATION! Comes the Swordsman
We met Marien’s granddaughters, Cammi and Jezell. Cammi wants to find Zelgadis because she believes there’s some good in him. Jezell is after an old friend of Zel’s named Kronos, but would also like to see Zel dead.
Then, we heard stories that Zelgadis was part of a group of quote-unquote ‘demons’ that attacked Utopia about three years ago. Gourry confronted him, but only succeeded in pretty much making him snap.
Now, none of us have seen him since that happened. I wonder what’s going on, and if he’s alive. . .
Zelgadis Graywords and Kronos were riding horses through a dark part of the woods, a good distance away from Utopia.
“Ah, this is the place,” stated Zelgadis. “I’m telling you, Kronos, he’s here. Would I lie to you?”
“Have you ever done anything else?” Kronos asked. “This is what I’ve dreamt of every night for the past three years. The four of us, reunited.”
“Gives whole new meaning to the phrase ‘dream team,’” Zelgadis joked.
“Ah, it’ll be like the old days!” stated Kronos. “Better! Whatever we want, we have.”
“Or else we take,” Zelgadis, who had ridden ahead a little, finished, looking over his shoulder .
“That’s the spirit!” encouraged Kronos. The two lifted their heads as they heard the chopping of wood. “It’s Silas.”
“It’s been over three years, he may not remember us,” Zelgadis stated.
“He’ll remember. What we were, you never forget,” Kronos said, looking at Zelgadis.
“And what if he doesn’t want to come with us?” Zelgadis questioned.
“He’ll come,” Kronos assured.
In the meanwhile -- Silas, a very tall, strong, muscular chimera -- was chopping wood with his axe. He heard something approaching and threw a look in that direction, one that pretty much said ‘you had better not be sneaking up behind me.’
He found Kronos and Zelgadis, walking up and leading their horses. He watched them for a moment, holding the handle of his axe with both hands. The two others each stood on opposite sides of the tree. For a moment, they all just stared. Then, Silas threw the axe. Kronos and Zelgadis both leaned back from the tree. The axe hit in the dead center, directly between their heads. The group stared at each other for a few moments more. Suddenly, Silas began to laugh.
“I guess he remembers,” Kronos said to Zelgadis, not looking at him.
“Brothers!” Silas grinned, extending his arms.
Silas walked towards them. He and Zelgadis met in the middle, and Silas hugged his friend, quite literally lifting him off the ground. Zelgadis let out a short sound, kind of like the air was barely knocked out of him. Silas sat him back down a little after.
Kronos was walking up about now, still leading his horse, as Zelgadis was as well.
“We ride?” asked Silas.
“We ride,” grinned Kronos.
“And where the hell do we expect to find an insane chimera?” questioned Jezell, narrowing deep blue eyes at Gourry. “Seyruun?”
“No...” Gourry responded quietly. “No one’s crazy enough to keep a chimera in a city populated by humans, elvens, or Creaturics.” He smiled a bit. “We’re headed for the city of chimeras itself.”
Jezell nodded, catching on.
In the meanwhile, in the asylum in Chimar, Silar, Kronos, and Zelgadis were talking to the head doctor in a small room.
Silas was pacing, but Kronos was leaning against a wall with his back towards the room, outside the door.
“This is a highly irregular request,” the doctor stated. “It could take weeks, perhaps even months.”
“Well, we’d like him now,” Zelgadis smirked with a slight nod.
“We have procedures, gentlemen. Patience is a virtue,” the doctor responded. “I’m afraid my hands are tied.”
At that point, Kronos turned around and walked into the room as Silas leaned on the table beside Zelgadis.
“Then... um... perhaps this could help you untie them,” Kronos said, dropping a leather bag onto the table before the doctor. “12,000 gold.”
The doctor smiled a bit, accepting the offer.
A little later, the doctor was leading the three chimeras through an extremely dismal, chilly, blan stone corridor, with cells lining the walls.
“What are you going to do with Caspian?” he asked.
“Rehabilitate him,” Kronos said flatly and simply.
The doctor began laughing.
“You’re serious?” he questioned, amused. “You can’t be serious.”
“Why? What did he do?” asked Zelgadis lowly.
“They don’t know how many people he killed,” shrugged the doctor. “They found parts in his basement, in his yard... the small pond behind his house!”
“Why didn’t they execute him?” Silas questioned.
“In a less progressive age, a man like him would have been,” the doctor responded. “But today, we are more humane.” They left the corridor, heading deeper into somewhat of a sub-basement, that was obviously terribly kept. As they walked, he continued, “I don’t know what you want him for, but believe me... this one’s better off dead.”
Zelgadis looked around, where they were walking.
“Real humane,” he muttered sarcastically to himself.
The doctor finally stopped in front of a door, hesitating and staring into the window, almost terrified.
“Open the door,” Kronos commanded, walking up next to the doctor.
The doctor blinked a few times, as if snapping out of a trance, and fumbled a bit with the keys. He unlocked the door, which opened outwards, towards them.
Kronos entered first, ducking a bit to get through the door. He looked around, his eyes finally catching Caspian, stopping in his tracks. Caspian stood up, pulling his hair out of his eyes as he lifted his head.
“HA!” he cried.
The doctor came in as well, standing a little beside Kronos.
“Are you sure you would not like to consider another candidate?” he asked Kronos.
Zelgadis slid in behind them, and Silas stood in the doorway.
“Unchain him,” demanded Kronos, harsher in his words.
The doctor looked nervously at Caspian, who had his knees bent and appeared ready to pounce. The chimera had a huge, evil grin on his face. It was almost as if he was a dog, awaiting the kill.
“I think we should call security,” the doctor murmured nervously.
He turned to leave, and Silas entered, standing straight in front of the door, blocking the doctor. The doctor stepped back a little. Zelgadis leaned towards Silas a little, almost as if backing him up. Kronos pulled out his sword, looked at it for a moment, and sliced the chains with it.
The instant he was free, Caspian leapt at the doctor and grabbed his throat, pressing his thumbs into the doctor’s chin area.
“Get him off me!!” he struggled, fighting hard. “Ge...”
“Why?” Kronos asked simply.
Zelgadis and Silas were watching on quietly as Caspian finally took the guy down. Zelgadis moved between Silas and Kronos, who were still watching, and left.
The doctor screamed once weakly, then silence.
A few days later, in Atlas City, the four chimeras stood inside a huge, abandoned storage house. Silas was walking through, calling for Zelgadis.
“Zelgadis!” he called. “Hey, Zelgadis!” He found Zelgadis sitting in chair and reading a book. He turned, looking around for a bit. He took a deep breath and let out a mildly happy sigh. “What the Hell is this place?”
Zelgadis didn’t look up from his book.
“Kronos’ idea of Camelot,” he stated flatly.
Silas sat down in a chair to Zelgadis’ right.
“So,” he asked cheerfully, “where are the stables?” No response. “The horses?” Zelgadis still didn’t look up from his book. He only shook his head a bit. Silas looked back to where Caspian stood with his back to them, then looked back at Zelgadis. “Well... how do we ride?”
“Where have you been for the last three years, idiot,” bit out Caspian as he picked up a cage with a rat in it. “Four chimeras on horseback? They’ll think nothing of us.”
“Well, they won’t think that for very long, would they?” replied Silas stubbornly.
Caspian walked up to the table, placing the rat on the table.
“We’re having a friend for dinner,” he grinned. “Tell me, what’s better with rodent? Red or white?”
“You eat him,” growled Silas, “and I’ll eat you.”
“You’re crazy,” drawled Caspian sarcastically. “You should’ve been in the madhouse instead of me!”
Zelgadis looked up at Caspian from his book, then his eyes moved to Silas.
“Keep talking,” growled Silas angrily.
Silas grabbed his axe at the same time Caspian grabbed his sword. They stepped to the side of the table, getting into a stance, prepared to fight. Kronos walked in.
“Put them down,” he ordered. Neither listened. “Do it now.” Silas and Caspian continued to stare hatefully, but finally dropped their weapons to the table. Kronos walked between them.
“We never raise a blade against each other.” He looked up at Zelgadis. “Isn’t that right, Zelgadis?”
Zelgadis looked up from his book again, smiling a little.
“You said it,” he responded.
Kronos walked around to the other side of the table.
“We are the Four Swordsman,” he said encouragingly. “No band of men has ever been more cruel or more feared! Remember that.”
He extended his hand, palm up. Silas took his hand, putting it on Kronos’ arm. Caspian put his hand on Silas’ arm, and Zelgadis walked over, putting his hand on Caspian’s arm. Kronos grabbed Zelgadis’ arm finally, forming a square.
Jezell and Gourry had finally arrived at the asylum. This was the day after the killing. There was a body being removed from the lower cell.
“When did Caspian escape?” questioned Gourry.
“Sometime last night,” responded a female doctor. “We found the doctor this morning.”
“Let’s go...” said another lady to the doctor.
“Wait, wait,” pressed Gourry. “Did the doctor have any visitors yesterday?”
The girl looked through a folder.
“No...” she said. “There’s nothing on this chart.”
“Excuse me, doctor,” a man questioned the doctor.
“Excuse me,” the doctor stated simply. “I must give my statement to the police.”
She walked away. Gourry glanced at the chart, then looked at Jezell.
Jezell looked at the police, then followed Gourry.
They began walking at a fast pace down the corridor, down into the lower area.
“Kronos and Zelgadis already have them, I don’t know why we’re wasting time in this place,” she sighed.
He picked up a folded sheet of paper, upon which was a map with a location circled.
“This is why,” Gourry responded. “It’s a map of a city, with an inn circled. Zelgadis must’ve left it.”
Jezell followed Gourry again as he left the room.
“The question is, what for?” she asked.
“You think he’s setting us up,” Gourry said, glancing at her over his shoulder.
“Don’t you?” scoffed Jezell.
As they walked up the steps, Gourry shrugged.
When they got back out into the corridor, Jezell blinked in shock.
“But we’re going anyway?!” she questioned.
Gourry stopped and looked at her.
“It’s the only place we’ve been invited,” Gourry shrugged again, and they walked out.
Later that day, the Four Swordsmen were walking down a hallway. Kronos was talking to Silas.
“Silas, my brother,” he said. “Why would we ride with sword and axe when today there are weapons of unimaginable power?”
“Weapons ready to plunge the world into generations of darkness,” continued Zelgadis.
“If we choose,” Kronos stated with a grin. “What more could we ask for? What better time for us to come together than in this age of wonders? Just think about what men like us can do! Men without conscience, without fear! Think of the destruction, the devastation, the death! A world of anarchy and madness!” He turned to Caspian. “You think about that and dream.” They entered a room, inside of which were cages... within each of which were shrieking monkeys. Also in the room are hundreds of viles of chemicals, many beakers, and old jars. “The weapons today are different, but it all comes down to the same thing. There are the conquerers and there are the conquered.”
Silas looked around and tilted his head to one side.
“You want to conquer the world with monkeys?” he questioned.
“Not with them,” grinned Kronos, opening a chilled safe, within which was a vile of liquid, “with this. The glorious virus. AIDS, mono, and now many types of magic poisons. It doesn’t have a name, and it doesn’t have a cure. Tell me, Caspian... were you in Matrix when the plague struck?” Caspian smiled. “I was.”
“You’ve got a plan?” asked Caspian.
“I have a few thoughts, I have few gold, and that’s a start,” shrugged Kronos. “Now we have Zelgadis, now we have a plan.”
Zelgadis’ eyes shifted to Kronos.
“What’d you have in mind?” he queried.
“Once we rode out the sun, bringing death at the point of a sword,” Kronos stated. “There was no man or mortal who could stand against us. We were death on horseback, they called us the end of the world. Well, gentlemen...” He picked up the vile. “I want to give them what they fear most: the apocolypse.”
Gourry stood at the desk of an inn in the city from the map. He was talking... He turned to Jezell, then walked up to her.
“No messages, no reservations, nothing,” he said.
“Dead end,” grumbled Jezell.
Gourry looked at Jezell.
“He left that clue, he’ll keep in touch,” he reassured her.
“He’s done nothing but lie to you!” pressed Jezell. “That’s all he ever does.”
Back in the room with the small circular table, Kronos had his back to Zelgadis.
He turned to the other chimera, who was sitting across the table.
“A bomb of the virus in a fountain? How many do you think that’ll kill?” he growled. “You’ve gone soft, Zelgadis.”
He turned his back on Zelgadis, walking away a few steps. Silas and Caspian were listening as well.
“I’m scared,” Silas joked to Zelgadis. “Are you scared?”
“It’s a prelude. Have you read Aristotle’s poetics... no, of course not, you’ve never seen Casablanca,” Zelgadis bit out. “What is the first rule of great drama?” Kronos looked over his shoulder at him. “Start small and build. A fountain to get their attention, then a public bath to kill 100, then an arena to kill 10,000, then one drop of the virus in the city’s water supply. Within a week...”
“A country,” grinned Kronos, now sitting in the chair across from Zelgadis.
“You want to own the world, you give them a choice... The Swordsmen rule, or they all die.”
“The Swordsmen rule, or the world dies,” suggested Kronos. Zelgadis, Caspian, and Kronos nodded. Kronos then looked at Silas. “Has a nice ring to it.” Silas smiled as Kronos looked back at Zelgadis. “I forgot how good you were, Zelgadis.” Zelgadis smiled a bit, and nodded faintly. “We begin tonight.”
Back at the inn, Gourry and Jezell had checked in.
Gourry was out on the balcony, leaning against the railing. Jezell came out as well, to lean against the railing beside him.
“He’s not your friend, he’s no one’s friend,” she stated. “He’s putting the swordsmen back together, you have no idea what that means.”
“But it’s Kronos who’s behind this. Let me deal with him, then we’ll worry about the rest,” Gourry responded.
“Kill Kronos, you cut out the heart of the swordsmen,” Jezell continued. “Kill Zelgadis, you take the head.” She looked up at him. “They both have to die.”
“Even if you get your revenge, the memories won’t end,” Gourry told her. “Killing can’t erase what happened, only living can do that.”
“Nothing can do that,” Jezell retorted, tears in her eyes. “Nothing.”
Gourry looked sympathetic, and hugged her.
Silas was sitting in the monkey room, actually feeding them. Zelgadis walked in.
“Zelgadis, you look troubled,” stated Silas, turning to his friend.
Zelgadis shook his head.
“Just thinking...” he responded.
“You’re always good at that,” he shrugged. “I guess after all these years, you still are.” He laughed a little. “It’s not like the old days, is it?”
“What do you mean?” questioned Zelgadis nervously.
“I don’t like this killing from a distance,” explained Silas. “I like to feel my axe in my hands, look at my enemy’s eyes before I strike...”
“Soon enough,” smiled Zelgadis.
Silas turned to Zelgadis and smiled.
“You don’t think the virus will work, do you?” he asked.
“It will work,” Zelgadis assured with a shake of his head. He walked up to his comrade. “Silas... for three years, we have lived without this, we have lived without the blood, the fear, th--the power. For three years, I have dreamed for the day we would ride again.”
“You always said, Zelgadis,” Silas said, “we live, we grow stronger, and then we fight...”
Zelgadis just stared at him.
“I’ll see ya later,” he murmured, then turned and started walking out of the room.
When he was about halfway through, Silas’ voice stopped him.
“Do you think he’ll let me have one?” he asked.
Zelgadis looked back at him.
“Monkey. I like this one.”
Silas pointed at one.
“I’ll ask him.”
“Thank you, brother.”
He turned back, and started feeding the monkey once again.
Outside the inn where Gourry and Jezell were, a lone figure watched quietly. She wasn’t wearing her typical sorceress regalia, and her wavy red hair was tied neatly. She looked like a common country girl...
But it was Lina.
“I’m gonna find out what’s going on, powers or nay,” she murmured under her breath. “Dagnabbit... Why did ‘that time of the month’ have to hit now?”
In the room at the inn, Jezell was just coming back up from the baths. Gourry was sitting, looking out the window, when Jezell walked in in her robe. He didn’t even turn his head.
“Will you kill him, Gourry?” Jezell asked. She waited for an answer, and when she got none, she asked again. “Can you kill him?”
Gourry looked at the ground, then looked at Jezell for a moment.
“If I have to,” he stated in a flat voice, then looked back at the ground.
“Did it ever occur to you that he may be trying to help us?”
Jezell thought for a moment.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Gourry stood and walked over and opened it. A young man stood there, and handed him a piece of paper.
It read: The shrine in the center of town in a half hour. Come alone.
“Was that from him?” questioned Jezell.
“The people here at the inn are requesting the payment now. I’ll be right back.”
It was around dusk when Gourry reached the shrine. It wasn’t yet dark, but the sun wasn’t to be seen. Gourry entered, finding Zelgadis sitting in the first chair in the first row, sideways. He looked somewhat ashamed. Gourry stared.
Zelgadis finally looked up at him.
“Well, I’m here,” Gourry said.
“Yeah, thanks,” responded Zelgadis quietly, then looked back at the ground.
“Why did you lie to me?”
“About Jezell, about who you were.”
“I have been many things, Gourry.”
Gourry stared at him.
“Who are you now?”
“Why do you think I didn’t tell you? I knew how you’d react! What I’ve done, you can’t forgive. It’s not your nature. You just accept it.”
“Accept what? That a friend I trusted with my life slaughtered innocent women and children for what? A few pieces of gold and some rock? What’re you gonna tell ‘em, Zelgadis, that’s how the world was?”
“No, the world was what we made it.”
“No, the world was how you chose to make it! How you chose to slaughter her people and burn her village!”
Zelgadis turned his back on him.
“And I chose to let her go.”
“There’s more...” He sighed. “When we attacked, I saw her running away. I could’ve caught her and killed her, but no. She turned and stared at me for the longest time, and I could’ve gotten her then. But I just stared back. She got away. I let her go.” He sighed, his mind reeling with memories. “She must’ve tried hundreds of places before she found a place to take her in, and I’ll bet it was worth it just to get away from us.”
“So what are you doing with Kronos now?”
“Same as always, trying to survive. And if you want Jezell to live, you’ll get her as far away from here as you can.”
“What, and let Kronos go? You should know me better than that.”
He tried to walk past Zelgadis, but the chimera put his hand out, stopping Gourry.
“I came to warn you. The first step to Kronos’ ‘great new world’ will happen tonight.”
Gourry stared at him.
“In the fountain across from city hall.”
“You set a bomb.”
He started to walk past, but Zelgadis’ voice stopped him this time.
“You know anything about magic poisons? Well, there are worse things in the world... if you look. And Kronos looked.” He had already done a complete circle around Gourry as he spoke, and was starting another. “He’s bred a virus. No cure, very exotic. He’s got cages of monkeys he’s been testing it on. A little in a fountain will only kill a few, but it’s a start.”
“The water supply is next.”
Zelgadis barely smiled.
Zelgadis shook his head, laughing slightly.
“Oh-ho, nono. If I go up against him, I lose.”
“You goin’ with a winner?” Zelgadis only smiled. “So why are you here, Zelgadis, what game are you playin’?”
“It’s in a pool, just above the water line. White, then black, then red.”
“Don’t do this, Zelgadis, you have a choice.”
“And you have...” Zelgadis glanced at a tower clock outside the window. “...24 minutes.”
Gourry looked at him for a long minute, then walked away. Zelgadis only watched him go.
Meanwhile, at the inn, Jezell sat waiting for Gourry to return when there was a knock at the door. When she opened it, she found Lina standing there.
“Lina?” she questioned in confusion. “What’re you doing here?”
“Well, I followed you guys,” Lina explained.
“Oh, now this I have to hear about. . .”
Across from the city hall in town, Gourry was running up. Almost frantic, he started to yell.
“Get out of here!” he informed the people. “There’s a bomb, run!”
It didn’t take long for the square to be cleared out as Gourry spotted the bomb and lept into the fountain. He waded over to the bomb and looked at it for a moment. Only a few seconds left.
He remembered what Zelgadis said...
White, then black, then red.
Gourry extended the Hikari no Ken, carefully blocking the flow of magic. First the white band, then the black band, then the red.
The bomb stopped with only seconds to spare. At that point, the fountain went off. Gourry stood for a long moment, then let out an exhasperated sigh.
As Lina finished her story, Jezell walked into the other room.
“Keep going,” she called. “I can still hear you.”
“All right,” Lina said, a little louder in case Jezell couldn’t really hear.
As she continued, there was a knock at the door. Lina’s first instinct was Gourry, it had to be Gourry. He would be surprised to see her.
But when Lina opened it, she saw a tall young chimera... and it wasn’t Zelgadis!
Instantly, Lina tried to close the door, but Kronos put his arm out and stopped her, then pushed open the door to face the fiery redhead.
“I’m afraid Gourry’s otherwise engaged,” he stated.
Lina stared. This was bad.
Later, Zelgadis walked quietly up to Kronos, who was sitting calmly in a chair.
“Your bomb didn’t go off,” stated Kronos. “Not much of a plan.”
“Well, I’ll think of better,” shrugged Zelgadis.
“By the way,” Kronos began, “where were you?”
“Oh, I was just...” Zelgadis started, but was cut off.
“Warning your friend,” Kronos finished. He stood, walking over to Zelgadis. “You didn’t really think I wouldn’t know you would tell Gabriev, did you?”
“It’s not like you think,” murmured Zelgadis quietly.
“Ah, it’s exactly like I think,” corrected Kronos. “My dearest brother, that’s what makes you my perfect right arm. We think alike. We always have.”
“I doubt that, Kronos,” Zelgadis sighed. “No one thinks quite like you.”
Both of them smiled a bit.
“Spoken like a true scholar,” Kronos told him. “Listen to this: all I have to do is speak a short incantation, and a small vile explodes in the water supply outside the city.” Zelgadis’ face went straight. “And then. . .” he spoke quietly, directly into Zelgadis’ ear. “Well, you know what happens next, don’t you?” He stepped away from Zelgadis. “We all have our little plans. I’m sure you won’t disappoint me. Now, come with me. I... have something else to show you.”
The two were soon in a sub-basement. Down there was a cage, and around the foundation upon which sat the cage, there was ankle deep water. In the center of the cage lay Lina, unconscious, but groaning a bit. Both Kronos and Zelgadis stood on a walkway above, looking down on the sorceress.
“She was asking about you,” stated Kronos. “You knew exactly what you were doing when you sent Gabriev to that fountain, didn’t you? So I did what you expected... I went and got Lina while she was unable to fight.” He turned to Zelgadis. “That was the plan, wasn’t it?” Zelgadis barely smiled, and nodded so slightly you could barely notice. “See? I know you better than you know yourself.”
“Which is why the plan was perfect,” Zelgadis said in a monotone voice.
“Your plans always are,” Kronos grinned. “I wonder what your friend Gabriev thinks of you now.”
“You think I care,” sighed Zelgadis, looking away.
“You should,” Kronos told him. “You lured him away. When he comes back and finds someone has stolen his woman... I mean if--if that was me, I’d want you dead.”
“Then we should prepare for Gourry to come here,” Zelgadis said softly.
“Already thought of that.”
“Did you send Silas or Caspian?”
Kronos laughed a little.
At the inn, Jezell was a wreck. As Gourry walked in, she approached him carefully.
“Gourry...” she said. “I have something I need to tell you.”
“What?” asked Gourry. “What’s happened?”
“Well...” Jezell began, “three of the Swordsmen showed up, and Lina had been following you... She was here when they showed up, and she was kidnapped!”
Gourry’s jaw dropped.
“Lina?! Kidnapped?!” Gourry cried. “I’ve gotta find her...”
Gourry was walking down the street, and it was dark out. No one was around, and no lights were coming from the buildings. He heard a noise behind him and turned to find Silas, holding a large axe.
“Welcome home, boy,” he said darkly. Gourry stared at him for a minute, then turned around to find Caspian. The two started to close in on him as the tall swordsman drew the Hikari no Ken, standing so he could see both chimeras approaching. “Kill one of us, and the other takes your head while you’re down.”
“If you kill one of us,” Caspian finished.
They had gotten too close, so Gourry finally made a move, leaping at Caspian, who instantly responded. Gourry blocked, but didn’t return. They stood for a moment, blades locked. Caspian was trying to get at Gourry, but Gourry was only trying to get past. Finally, after breaking, Gourry ran. Caspian and Silas instantly took up pursuit.
“Just like the old times,” laughed Silas. As Gourry ran, he looked around. He saw the two following, but kept running. Silas looked at Caspian. “Take the bridge!”
As Silas continued to chase Gourry, Caspian took a shortcut ahead to cut off the fleeing Gabriev.
Gourry started running across the bridge, but didn’t get far. He was cut off by Caspian. He slowed down in the middle. The two were readied instantly, prepared to fight.
“It’s been a long time, Gabriev,” Caspian said. “You’re gonna taste good.”
“Well, you’re gonna go hungry,” Gourry responded.
They leapt at each other, fighting furiously. Caspian lunged at Gourry, pulling out a dagger. Gourry managed to block the sword, but was cut across the side. Fortunately, it wasn’t deep.
“Two can play at that game,” growled Gourry.
At this point, they began fighting again. As this happened, Silas walked up and watched, but didn’t interfere. Gourry was trying his hardest working against Caspian, who was using both the dagger and the sword.
Gourry was, however, managing to block both blades, as both continued.
Finally, Gourry managed to draw his sword back, the incandecent blade cutting through the chimera’s neck and killing him with a quick swipe.
Gourry cast a glance at a very angry Silas. Despite his hatred towards Caspian... he was, after all, his brother. The two stared at each other for a minute.
Silas started stepping towards him, and when he got up to him, he took a swing at Gourry. Gourry dodged, and when Silas went for a second swipe, Gourry leapt into the water.
Silas looked into the water, leaning over the ledge.
“Damn you,” he growled, then walked over and picked up Caspian’s sword.
Then, he walked away, leaving Caspian’s body on the bridge.
Down in the sub-basement, Zelgadis was the only person watching Lina. There was a bowl of food sitting in front of the fiery red-head, but it was untouched.
“You should eat,” Zelgadis told her flatly. Lina kicked the bowl, causing it to slide away. “Well, there’s a first.”
“I’m not some naive little girl anymore,” Lina growled back. “I know what you are now. You may have fooled Gourry, but you never fooled me.”
“I wasn’t trying to fool anyone,” Zelgadis stated quietly.
“If Gourry knew what you really are, he would’ve killed you a long time ago,” Lina muttered.
“Well, he had his chance,” said Zelgadis, “he didn’t.” He looked down for a moment, then back up at the sorceress. “It wasn’t all that bad when we were traveling together.”
“I only traveled with you out of convenience,” Lina spat back.
“Don’t hate yourself,” Zelgadis said flatly. He stood up from where he was sitting, moving around to the side of the cage, sitting to Lina’s right. “Maybe it was convenience at first, but I think you came to trust me for company, and help.”
“I never trusted you,” Lina scoffed.
“You thought you did,” responded Zelgadis. “You thought I could protect you. You forgot what I was.”
His face was close to the cage, which was only made of vertical and horizontal running wire. As soon as he spoke, Lina slapped the wires as hard as she could. Zelgadis stood straight instantly.
“I forgot nothing!!” she shouted. “I’ll kill you with my bare hands! You, and then Kronos!”
“I’ve seen what happens to people who go up against him,” Zelgadis sighed, remaining calm. “If we were to survive,” he looked around, “we will keep him happy.”
“I’d rather die,” hissed Lina.
“Well then, you’ll die,” shrugged Zelgadis. Lina stared at him. “And you can forget about Gourry. Gourry is dead.”
Lina looked absolutely crushed, her jaw hanging open slightly.
Zelgadis went back to the spot where he was sitting before, and the room went quiet.
In the upper levels of the building, Silas had already told Kronos that Caspian had been defeated and killed. Kronos was staring at Caspian’s sword on the table, EXTREMELY unhappy.
He stood from the table.
“He killed Caspian and you just let him get away,” he growled.
Silas had his hands resting on his axe.
“I scowered the river,” he said. “I searched for hours!”
“Never again will we be four!” shouted Kronos.
“I’ll go back out,” Silas stated, gripping his axe in his hands.
Kronos looked over his shoulder at Silas.
“No,” he snapped, then continued quieter. “No. You come with me.”
The two went down to the sub-basement, finding the two standing where they had been. Silas stood by the door of the cage.
“If Gabriev even comes near, kill her,” Kronos told Silas.
Lina dropped the blanket that had been around her shoulders. She moved straight across to where Zelgadis was, putting her hands against the wire.
“He’s alive?” she questioned, hopeful.
“Not for long,” responded Kronos.
Lina looked at Zelgadis.
“You failed,” she said.
Zelgadis turned to Kronos as he started to talk.
“Come with me, my clever friend. You and I are going to poison the city.”
Back upstairs, Zelgadis and Kronos were just coming up. Both of them, with their sensitive hearing, caught the slightest sound. They looked around a bit, before finally seeing Gourry at the top of the steps with the Hikari no Ken’s blade extended.
“The Three Swordsman just doesn’t have the same ring to it, now DOES it, Kronos?” he asked. “What’re you gonna do now?”
“You’re not gonna be alive long enough to find out,” snarled Kronos to Gourry.
“Oh, we’ll see about that,” Gourry smirked.
He stepped forward, but stopped at what Kronos said.
“Don’t forget about Lina,” he said quickly. “Put down your sword and she lives, fight and win...” he laughed a little, “or lose, she dies.” Neither of them spoke for a moment. “C’mon, Gabriev, your life or hers! What do you say?”
At that point, Gourry’s eyes shifted to Zelgadis, who was staring back at him, but the chimera’s face read no emotion.
Gourry twirled his sword around with a nod, pointing the incandecent blade at the ceiling.
“I think she’d rather be dead,” he stated, taking yet another step forward.
“Tell Silas to finish her,” Kronos told Zelgadis over his shoulder. “And tell her it was Gabriev’s decision.”
Zelgadis ran half-way down the steps, when Gourry’s voice stopped him.
“Zelgadis, don’t do this!” he yelled.
Zelgadis stopped and turned, looking up at Gourry.
“Like you said,” he noted quietly, “I go with a winner.”
He took off running as Gourry and Kronos started to fight.
In the sub-basement, Zelgadis was wading through the ankle deep water over to Silas. As he approached, Silas lifted his head a bit.
“Gabriev is here?” he asked.
He swung open the door, as Zelgadis stated VERY quietly, “Yes.”
Silas reached into the cell and grabbed Lina by the hair, pulling her out just enough to where her head was out the door. She was on her hands and knees.
“No!!” Lina shouted, now petrified. “NO!”
Silas lifted his axe over his head, preparing to bring it down at Lina. Zelgadis swallowed hard and pointed his sword at Silas.
“You’re challenging me? For the girl’s head?” Silas questioned. “Take it brother, she’s yours.”
He backed away a bit. Lina was staring at Zelgadis in absolute shock.
“I am not your brother,” Zelgadis spat coldly as the two touched blades.
“How can you do this, going against what you are?” Silas asked.
“You don’t know anything about me!” Zelgadis snapped, using his sword to push Silas’ axe back.
At that point, their fight began.
Kronos and Gourry, in the meanwhile, had been fighting so vigorously that they had pushed back into the monkey room. The monkeys, by now, were going nuts. The two split for a moment, pressing their back against the same wall, while on separate sides of the wall.
“Not bad, but not good enough,” stated Kronos.
“There’s more,” Gourry said.
“I’m sure there is, knowing you just killed your woman,” retorted Kronos. “Maybe you’ll meet again in the afterlife.”
Then, they came from each side of the wall and began fighting again.
Meanwhile, Zelgadis and Silas were still fighting. They were on their way to the main room again, as were Gourry and Kronos. Kronos and Gourry were on the second platform of the steps, as Zelgadis and Silas moved towards them. Both of the pairs were fighting hard. Sparks flew from the swords, and the Hikari no Ken gave off an eerie glow.
Kronos was cut a bit, and Gourry almost managed to kill him, but Kronos got back up.
Silas and Zelgadis finally got into the room, fighting as well.
Gourry and Kronos broke up and knelt, suddenly watching Zelgadis and Silas. Zelgadis went to grab his sword, since he had dropped it.
“Zelgadis,” Kronos murmured, disappointed.
Kronos and Zelgadis exchanged a glance, as Gourry and Silas did the same. Silas looked then at Kronos, and Zelgadis looked at Gourry.
Zelgadis looked back at Silas, and the two started fighting again.
Kronos stood, knowing that Zelgadis had turned against Silas. He looked at Gourry.
“You just don’t understand, do you Gabriev?” Gourry slowly turned his head to him. “I AM THE END OF TIME!!!”
Gourry narrowed his eyes.
“You’re history,” he responded.
Then, they started fighting again.
Then, after a lot more fighting, at the exact same time, Kronos and Silas looked up. At the same time, Gourry and Zelgadis used a quick slice of the sword to kill them.
Zelgadis, instantly, fell to his knees, catching his breath. Gourry stood quietly, not noticing as a shadow that was creeping towards Zelgadis, picking up Mystic Blade from beside him. She raised the sword. There stood Jezell!!
“I killed Silas!” Zelgadis cried, fighting not to cry. “I liked Silas!”
“Now I’m supposed to forgive you?!” Jezell shot at him, in tears.
“Jezell, I want him to live,” Gourry told her. Jezell didn’t listen at first. “JEZELL!!”
“You want him to live?” snapped Jezell in return.
“Yes,” Gourry responded, “I want him to live.” Jezell thought for a moment, then raised the sword higher. Gourry shouted. “Jezell, I want him to live!”
Jezell shook her hair out of her face, still crying a little, then dropped the sword and walked away. Gourry put his face in his hands, as Zelgadis started to cry.
Later on that night, the two men stood in a churchyard.
“So...” Zelgadis said quietly, “you and Lina are heading on to Seyruun?”
“Well, yeah,” responded Gourry. “Aren’t you and Nepha coming with us?”
“No,” Zelgadis said with a shake of his head. “The last time we were in Feli, Queen Arial made the comment that she wanted to start training me to become the prince. So, we’re headed back there. I do wish you two luck, however, and I hope your relationship kicks it off well.”
“Same to you,” Gourry responded. He glanced at his friend for a moment. “By the way, do you have any other enemies we don’t know about?”
“Kronos wasn’t an enemy,” Zelgadis stated calmly.
Gourry got a strange look, a slight smirk.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t think you’d come back for you, then?” he questioned. Zelgadis stared at him blankly for a moment. “Oh, come on, Zel. You had to know Kronos would come back for you someday.”
“I tried not to think about it,” Zelgadis sighed.
“You could’ve killed him,” Gourry pointed out, “why didn’t you?”
“I wanted to,” Zelgadis told him, “but we were brothers, in arms, in blood, in everything except birth, and if I judged him worthy to die, I judged myself the same way.” He paused for the longest moment. “And I wanted to live. I still do.”
He started to walk away, his stride slow.
“Kronos was right, you set the whole thing up, didn’t you?” Gourry asked.
Zelgadis stopped, just at the top of some natural stone steps.
“What do you mean?” he responded.
“You knew he’d go after Lina, and you let him, because you knew I’d go after her,” Gourry postulated. “You couldn’t kill him, but you hoped I could.”
Zelgadis paused for a moment.
“Maybe.” Zelgadis started to walk down the steps, stopping at the middle step to listen to Gourry. He stopped to turn as Gourry said his name. “Zelgadis... what about Jezell?”
Zelgadis looked at his friend for a moment.
“One of a thousand regrets, Gourry, one of a thousand regrets.”
At that point, the two walked off from each other, splitting up to go their separate ways.
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