Episode Seventy-Five: Unfinished Business
The sun sunk in the horizon and night fell over the majestic kingdom of Seyruun. Lina and Gourry were happily raiding the kitchen determined to consume everything that had not been sent off to help supply the other lands. Amelia and Zelgadis were taking a moonlit walk through the gardens, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. Phythan and Onyx had been given permission from Amelia to delight in reading her comic book collection, including her priced special edition full series of 'Fluffy and Ice-cream: Justice For All'. It was a peculiar side story where the duo acted as both detectives and lawyers, solving various crimes and defending the innocent.
With everyone occupied in their own tasks, that left Xellos and Filia with some rather peaceful free time on their hands, or so they thought. Xellos finished writing a few notes to send Beast Master, as she wanted him to keep her informed in Onyx's process. He was seated at a desk in his purple decorated room at Seyruun castle, which was filled with too many hints of pink for his liking, thanks to Filia moving most of her furniture there.
Filia claimed it was so that Onyx could take her room and that they wouldn't occupy too many rooms in the castle, which had plenty of vacant guest rooms anyway. She also claimed it was so that she could keep an eye on Xellos, to make sure he didn't cause trouble. Xellos knew it was simply because, one way or another, they always ended up sharing a room somehow, so she finally figured it was useless to try to pretend it wasn't true. His dear dragon was getting smarter...
Filia was brushing her hair in front of a mirror, humming cheerfully as she did. She set the brush down, put her hat on and got up, making her way to the window so she could gaze at the calming night sky. She peeked out and saw something unexpected, there was an adorable little kitten, small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, sitting on the windowsill. The tiny creature was white with brown and black spots and had golden eyes. "Aw," Filia reached out to pet the calico kitten, but the little one swiftly climbed up her arm, to her shoulder and jumped under her hat. Before she could retrieve the kitten from under her hat, Filia saw something else that took her by surprise. There was a semi transparent figure outside, floating near the castle. 'A ghost in Seyruun? I thought such beings would have trouble entering here.' Filia mused. Then the ghost headed straight for her all of a sudden at full speed and she didn't have time to dodge it as it flew, literally, into her.
Xellos took a moment to look over his finished report while the shadow of Filia could be seen from behind over his desk. He didn't move, pretending he didn't notice her. Maybe she wanted attention, which he was all too willing to give. The lighting spell, which was much better than candles to be used as light for writing, was starting to ware off. The brightly glowing orb floating overhead finally flickered and went out. Xellos felt Filia's hands on his shoulders from behind. He relaxed into her touch, but only for a few seconds before it became apparent that there was something wrong.
A pained whisper escaped Filia, "no..." Then her hands tightened around Xellos' neck as she lifted him off the chair. He tried to make her let go, but it took a few seconds for her grip to be loosened. "Run," Filia breathed, "run away!" She held her head in pain, screaming at the top of her lungs.
Xellos lit up the room with another light spell. The orb floated over their heads producing enough brightness for it to be easy to see Filia's face going from desperate to enraged, from fighting, to possessed. "Let go of her!" Xellos wasn't sure who or what was possessing Filia, but he wasn't about to let it take her. Besides, how was this even possible in Seyruun? Shouldn't the city have defenses against this?
"Xellos..." Filia spoke in an ominous voice. Her fangs were showing, her eyes were glowing, her tail was out and her hands were covered in golden scales, culminating in sharp claws. "My Xellos... join me in death!"
She tried to slash at him, with Xellos narrowly avoiding the attack. An exorcism spell would be good right about now, which meant finding Amelia was probably a good plan. "If you want to kill me so badly, you'll have to catch me!" Xellos taunted as he hurried out of the room and down the dim hallways of the castle with Filia close behind.
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Kally was walking down the hallway with a basket of various medical herbs in her arms when Xellos saw her. "I need an exorcism!"
"Oh, hello Mr. Xellos, Miss Filia," Kally cheerfully greeted. Though she was terrified of octopi, she wasn't easy to scare otherwise and she seemed to be a bit slow in taking notice of things, despite being such a genius with medicine.
Xellos ducked as Filia tried to claw his head off, then jumped when she attempted to trip him with her tail. "Never mind the greetings, exorcise her!"
"My apologies Mr. Xellos, I cannot remember why, but I have a feeling I should be upset at you for some reason." Kally mused, she had ran around in a panic after Xellos had said 'pulpo' on that day some time ago, a word that translated to octopus and made Kally think of her fears. All her wild running and screaming eventually made her pass out. She remembered everything up to the last few seconds before Xellos said the terrifying word, but her rampage a blank. Even so, she did hold a certain amount of inexplicable resentment towards Xellos. "I'm afraid you'll have to endure your relationship troubles on your own."
Xellos narrowly dodge Filia's laser breath. "I'm not having relationship troubles. Filia is having possession troubles!" He argued.
"Nonsense," Kally shook her head in disbelief. "Ghosts cannot easily enter Seyruun and possess someone. This city is protected. I'm sure Miss Filia is simply angry at you. If you think hard you might be able to figure out why. Have you forgotten any birthdays, anniversaries, or any special dates recently?" Kally paused, realizing that Xellos was several feet away, dashing down the hallway with Filia still following him. She shrugged and continued on her way, this was none of her business anyway.
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Kally was of no help, though Xellos was reasonably sure that she did know a few exorcism spells. Of course, that was useless if she wasn't willing to cast them. He made a mental note to say octopus in her presence at some point in the future. Xellos ran for his life, then rolled for his life when he reached the stairs and tripped on them, wishing he had casted a levitation spell instead. He painfully scrambled to his feet and continued his dash through the lower levels of the castle. Wasn't the kitchen near by? If there were evil spirits in Seyruun, then something had to be wrong. It might be a good idea to share this information, thus Xellos hurried into the kitchen where he knew he would find Lina and Gourry.
"Back off, Xellos!" Lina didn't even give Xellos the chance to speak. "The chocolate ice-cream pie is mine and so is the rest of the food!" Lina loudly growled as she aggressively hurled silverware at Xellos. The knives, forks and even the spoons, became embedded on the wall behind Xellos in a shape outlining his silhouette.
Realizing that he would be in double the danger with not one, but two wild women trying to assassinate him, Xellos hastily retreated out of the kitchen.
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Xellos continued his run for dear life with Filia still chasing after him. He hurried out of the castle, running past Kalio, who was standing guard at the back exit that led to the royal gardens. The castle guard sighed sadly, "it seems that everyone has a special someone except me. Maybe one day I'll have someone to lovingly chase me under the moonlight."
Not catching anything from what Kalio said, as he was far too focused on the task of making a speedy get away, Xellos ran across the royal gardens. He jumped over the sign that read 'Don't step on the flowers. -Aeris' disregarding the gardener's request by trampling several white and yellow flowers as he hurried away.
Xellos finally spotted Amelia and Zelgadis, happily walking around at a slow pace, hand in hand; laughing about some joke only they could understand. "Amelia, exorcise Filia!" Xellos ran in circles around Amelia and Zelgadis, with Filia still chasing him.
"Mr. Xellos, what did you do to make Miss Filia so upset? You should apologize at once!" Amelia commanded.
"I'm telling you, she's possessed!" Xellos argued, still running in circles around Zelgadis and Amelia, with Filia continuously chasing him.
Amelia placed her hands on her hips in an upset way. "How could Miss Filia be possessed here in the heart of Seyruun? Not only that, but I'm sure she knows exorcism spells. Miss Filia would not be an easy target to possess. I think you just don't want to admit you've done something to upset her!" Amelia adamantly insisted.
"Filia really is possessed!" Xellos argued uselessly. Why was it that no one believed him? Just because he often upset Filia enough to make her look as if she was possessed by something fierce, didn't mean people should disregard it when he told them she really was possessed. "Can't you cast an exorcism spell just in case? If it turns out I'm wrong then I promise to apologize!"
"Somehow, I don't think you're going to keep your word," Zelgadis doubted.
"I don't think so either," Amelia initially agreed, before giving it some further thought. "Even so, it's only fair to give Mr. Xellos a chance." She casted an exorcism spell on Filia. If she wasn't possessed it would be harmless anyway.
Filia stopped running suddenly in front of Amelia and Zelgadis. Xellos was so focused on keeping his legs moving that he finished running the full circle around them until he bumped into Filia's back. He stumbled back and watched Filia as she stood there with her fists clenched, tail swinging left and right, her whole body twitching with tension. "Get out!" The golden dragon screamed at the top of her lungs. A ghostly figure floated out of Filia, but it was only visible for a moment before it went back in. "No! Get out! Get out... Let me go..." Filia's countenance changed to pure evil and she let out a mighty roar worthy of a golden dragon. "Join me in death, my Xellos!"
Saying 'I told you so' was usually very satisfying, especially for Xellos, but not on that occasion. "You see? I told you she was possessed, I told you so!" After making such a declaration, Xellos resumed his previous activity of running for his life.
Amelia and Zelgadis watched on in shock as Xellos ran all over the gardens, being chased by a murderous Filia. "She really was possessed," Amelia reiterated.
"That was unexpected," Zelgadis admitted.
Amelia nodded, still in shock. "I guess that means we should help out?"
"If you want to," Zelgadis voiced.
"Coming through!" Xellos was running right towards them, causing Zelgadis and Amelia to jump left and right so Xellos could run past them, with Filia chasing him closely.
"Wait up Miss Filia! Let me try that exorcism again!" Amelia joined the mad dash, with Zelgadis tagging along after her.
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Xellos entered the Seyruun castle once again, in hopes of losing Filia in its many hallways. Lina and Gourry were just coming out of the kitchen, with Lina holding a chocolate cake, covered in sugary white frosting, with cherries on top. "This will be my midnight snack later," she happily decided in a song-like voice as she practically skipped back to her room with a satisfied stomach.
Lina was about to turn the corner, when Xellos suddenly showed up running as if his very life depended on it, which it did. "Out of the way!" Xellos was followed by Filia, who was followed by Amelia, who was followed by Zelgadis, all of them running in a wild stampede.
"Eep!" Taken by surprise, Lina jumped in a startle and tossed the cake she was carrying into the air. "No!" The world seemed to move in slow motion for the gluttonous sorceress as she watched her precious cake land on Gourry's head. "My cake! You'll pay for this!" The furious Lina ran after the group, with a cake covered Gourry following after her.
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At the Seyruun castle library, Onyx was situated at one of the tables reading a comic, while Phythan sat next to her drawing. He was rather talented in art and enjoyed it very much. It was his dream to become famous comic artist like his father. His only problem was that though his art was beautiful, he wasn't very good at coming up with interesting stories to tell and often ended up drawing random scenes.
Phythan paused and examined his pencil. He glanced around for a pencil sharpener and spotted one on a neighboring table. He walked over to get it, picked it up and quietly stood over the trash can, that was easily visible next to the entrance, and proceeded to carefully sharpen his pencil. He softly tapped his tail on the floor while his attention was focused on his pencil sharpening task. His tail sometimes came out when he was drawing. It was an automatic habit akin to someone sticking out their tongue on the side of their mouth when in deep concentration.
Xellos continued his desperate exploration of Seyruun castle, arriving at the royal library. He dashed in and accidentally stepped on Phythan's tail as he went, causing the dragon to let out a very loud painful roar. Phythan's pain was made worse when Xellos' little parade of chasers mimicked the action. Filia, Amelia, Zelgadis, Lina and Gourry all dashed by, following Xellos' every step a little too closely. They didn't seem to notice their action in their haste and continued chasing after Xellos between the book shelves with no librarian working after hours to tell them to stop running and be quiet.
"My tail, my poor tail!" Phythan cried pitifully. A loud noise invaded the library as a shelf was knocked over with books and dust flying all around. The shelf collided with the one next to it creating a domino effect that all those at the library scrambled not to be crushed by.
In the hallway outside of the royal library, the group took a deep breath of relief, with some coughing at the dust that was still in the atmosphere. The trance of relief at having escaped being crushed was soon broken when Filia once again growled, "join me in death, my Xellos!" She continued where she left off, once again trying to murder Xellos, who was once more running for his life.
The exasperated Xellos ran away followed by the murderous Filia, who was followed by the excited Amelia, who was followed by the vexed Zelgadis, who was followed by the angry Lina, who was followed by the confused Gourry, who was followed by the upset Phythan, who was followed by the curious Onyx, who was the slowest runner of the group.
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The sound of yelling in the hallway alerted prince Philionel that something was wrong. He sat up on his massive bed and adjusted his light blue hat with little yellow stars that matched the fabric of his pajamas. Curiously, Phil listened to the voices in the hallway, recognizing them.
"Snap out of it!" A desperate Xellos.
"Join me in death!" A murderous Filia.
"Stay still!" An excited Amelia.
"What could have caused this?" An annoyed Zelgadis.
"My cake!" A distressed Lina.
"Wait for me!" A confused Gourry.
"My tail hurts!" An agonizing Phythan.
"This is fun..." An amused yet monotonous Onyx.
All the owners of the voices invaded the royal chambers when Xellos dashed in, with the whole parade still after him. They ran around Phil's room creating a loud ruckus, knocking things over and making a big mess. Then just as suddenly as they arrived, they left, dashing out the door in the same order that they came. Philionel was left in open mouth puzzlement for several seconds before he cheerfully declared. "I don't know what's going on, but you're all so full of energy I want to join in!" Then he ran after them.
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Xellos' random running next led him to the Seyruun castle storage basement area. He reached out to open a large door, finding it to be locked. He turned around just in time to see Filia swinging her claws at him and dodged. Instead of reaching Xellos, Filia's sharp dragon claws collided with the lock on the door, breaking it. Xellos took the opportunity and dashed further into the deeper levels of the basement.
Xellos and all those after him arrived at a large storage room cramped with boxes. He ran for his life leaping and dodging the merchandise as if it was some kind of obstacle course. At the center of the storage room, protected by a magical barrier, there was the magical pearl known as the fickle wish granter, which was said to contain the spirit of a heartbroken mermaid. Amelia threw another exorcism spell at Filia, this time with a good amount of extra power to it. The possessed Filia dodged it and Amelia's magic collided with the force field around the pearl, causing it to short circuit and fade out.
The pearl glowed brightly as a ghostly mermaid appeared floating before it. Stunned beyond words, Xellos, Filia, Amelia, Zelgadis, Lina, Gourry, Phythan, Onyx and Philionel watched on in shock. "Lost spirit, I sense that your pain is very much like my own. You too suffer with a broken heart. I thought that no one could understand my sorrow, but you surely can. Allow me to call you my sister and let us find in each other the courage to finally pass on!" The mermaid ghost extended her hand towards Filia.
The ghost within Filia came out, finally releasing her from the possession. Upon closer inspection, the ghost looked familiar. "Saramina?!" Xellos jumped back. He thought she was gone forever, but she came back to haunt him after all.
"That mermaid... that peaceful light around her... I feel that this person truly understands me. Yes, dear lady, I shall call you my sister!" Saramina's ghost glanced at Xellos. "I'm done chasing after you Xellos, my heart will no longer be broken because of you. It is time for me to move on!" Saramina and the mermaid ghosts faded away, and the magical wish granting pearl dissolved into dust, which also disappeared.
"I'm finally free," Filia took in slow calming breaths. "It seems that when I exorcised Saramina, I only destroyed her zombie body and her spirit was left to wander."
"How did she enter Seyruun?" Amelia inquired in concerned confusion.
A little calico kitten popped out of Filia's hat and jumped down to the floor. The tiny creature was surrounded by black light as it took on a different form to reveal her true identity as Lord Beast Master Zelas Metallium. "The answer to that is quite simple, I escorted her here. As for my purpose in doing so, that holds an easy explanation too, I wanted some amusement. Well, it's been fun; I bid you all sweet nightmares!" Fading away to the astral side, Zelas was gone.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Slayers. Justice For All is a reference to the Phoenix Wright game series. The sign in the garden signed by Aeris is a reference to Final Fantasy VII. I hope the funny chase scene made you laugh, or at least smile.