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Slayers Library -> Fanfiction -> "Beauty and the Chimera," Part Six

"Beauty and the Chimera"
Part Six

(Meanwhile, inside the castle, Lina, Gourry, and Filia are in a sitting room, discussing their bad turn of fate.)
Lina: (seething) Ooh, that was so stupid of him! We were so close to getting those bounties lifted!
Gourry: (dejected) Maybe it would have been better if she had never come at all.
Filia: (hearing a noise) What's that?
All: (rush to the window)
Lina: Maybe it's her!
Gourry: (reaching the window first, gasps in shock) Uh, Lina, I don't think so!
Filia: (peeks out the window) Invaders! Encroachers!
Lina: (noting that Zangulus, far below, is holding something that looks familiar) And they have the mirror!
Filia: We have to warn Zelgadiss-san!
Lina: (rolls up her sleeves, a bloodthirsty look in her eye) If it's a fight they want, we'll be ready for them. Ready, guys? (turns to see that Gourry and Filia have already run out of the room) Hey!
(The mob and Zangulus keep pounding away at the door with their makeshift battering ram.)
Zangulus: (shouts over everyone) Take whatever booty you can find, but remember, the beast is mine!
(Gourry, Lina, and Sylphiel rush down the main stairs, ready to defend their home.)
Trio: (singing) Hearts ablaze, banners high!
We go marching into battle,
Unafraid, although the danger just increased!
Mob: (still outside) Raise the flag, sing the song
Here we come, we're fifty strong
And fifty Frenchmen can't be wrong,
Let's kill the beast!

(Inside Zel's room, Filia knocks and, when she hears no answer, opens it slowly.)
Filia: Pardon me, Zelgadiss-san.
Zelgadiss: (quickly) Leave me alone.
Filia: (puts her hands on her hips) But the castle is under attack!

(Downstairs, Lina, Gourry, and Sylphiel are getting ready for the invaders to barge in.)
Sylphiel: (nervously) What will we do when they finally break down the doors?
Lina: (smugly) We toast them, of course.
Gourry: What if they run away before we're done toasting them?
Lina: (blinks in surprise) Y'know, that's not such a bad question...
Gourry: (brightens) Wait, I know! We can hide! And then surprise them once they're inside!
Lina: Yeah!

(Meanwhile, back at Zel's room, Filia is trying to convince him to go downstairs and fight.)
Filia: (pulls at Zel's arm) Now, Zelgadiss-san, you're being very unreasonable. If someone's intruding into your home, you kick them out! It's the only rational thing to do!
Zelgadiss: (still horribly depressed) It doesn't matter now. Just let them come.
Filia: (huffs, unspeakably frustrated, folds her arms) Well, YOU'RE no help! I'm going downstairs to see if I'm needed. (sarcastically) Good luck. (stalks out the door)
Zelgadiss: (looks the other way silently)

(Finally, the mob manages to break down the doors to the castle.)
Mob: Kill the beast! Kill the beast! Kill the beast!
(Everyone falls silent as they enter the building. They see the enormous main hallway and some assorted pieces of furniture scattered around: a chest, a wardrobe, and an enormous grandfather clock. They start to approach the big staircase across the room.)
Lina: (pops out of the chest, yells) Now!!
Sylphiel: (throws open the doors of the wardrobe and immediately puts anyone nearby to sleep with one of her spells)
Gourry: (jumps out from behind the grandfather clock, his sword drawn, and starts to fight with the nearest villagers)
Lina: Heh heh, this is what you get for busting into our castle. (lifts her hands, each one glowing red with power) FIREBALL! (The villagers nearby are torched. Their clothes catch fire and their hair turns black and crispy.)
(The mob begins to fight the three, using their pitchforks and farm implements as weapons. The chaos continues, with Gourry knocking people out by hitting them with his sword hilt, Sylphiel putting others to sleep, and Lina using a Dill Brando against anyone within ten feet of her.)

(Back at Ameria's cottage, Baby Valgarv, still in his little green dragon form, has flown down to the window and is now hitting it with a branch to get it to break open.)
Baby Valgarv: I's almost (whap, whap) ...there!
Ameria: Yes! (pauses, then says) Hey, if you're a dragon, couldn't you use magic?
Prince Phil: That's right, dragons have some of the most powerful magic in the land!
Baby Valgarv: (sheepishly) Oops, I forgot. Well, I don't know nearly as much magic as Mama, but I'll give it a try! (concentrates, then opens his little mouth and shoots out a blast of whitish magic. The window is smashed inward, allowing Ameria just enough room to wiggle out.)
Ameria: Yatta!

(The chaos at the castle, in the meantime, has continued. Lina, Gourry, Sylphiel, and Filia have beaten back the intruders to the point where they no longer represent any real threat.)
Lina: (blasts the last of the mob with a large Fireball, and dusts her hands triumphantly) Hmph! That'll teach you not to mess with Lina Inverse!!

(All this while, Zangulus has been exploring the castle in search of Zelgadiss, a crossbow that he found mounted on a wall somewhere in the castle armed and ready. Finally, he finds Zel's room, and he enters quietly, taking aim with the crossbow.)
Zelgadiss: (notices Zangulus, looks up and then away with indifference)
Zangulus: (releases the arrow and it strikes Zel's shoulder, but it bounces off his stone skin)
Zelgadiss: (annoyed, stands) Your arrows won't work. The only thing that can penetrate this skin of mine is the legendary Sword of Light.
Zangulus: (immediately sees he's at a tactical disadvantage, since he doesn't have the Sword of Light, tries to figure out what to do, but is interrupted when both hear a sound)
Zelgadiss: (looks around, his eyes wide as his ears pick up on the jangling sound of an all too familiar staff, hisses) Rezo.
Zangulus: (points out the open window)What?
Rezo: (levitates himself up onto the balcony, laughs) Hello, again, my temperamental little chimera. I've come back for a little chat now that you've just lost your only chance of curing yourself.
Zelgadiss: (turns away, too depressed to even fight his hated grandfather/great-grandfather) Just go away.
Rezo: (frowns) You can't disregard me like that, Zelgadiss. I made you what you are.
Zelgadiss: (in despair) Look, you've won, right? I'll be a monster until I die, so just leave me in peace.
Rezo: (disappointed, since he really wanted to rub it in to Zel that he was going to be stuck as a chimera forever) We'll see about that... (levitates forward quickly, grabs Zel by the shirt, and drags him outside and onto the roof)
Zangulus: (whistles nonchalantly) Maybe it might be in my best interest to let the red guy take care of the beast. (nods to himself, satisfied with his decision, turns to leave, sees Gourry blocking his path)
Gourry: (his sword drawn) A swordsman, huh? What are you doing here? Where's Zelgadiss?
Zangulus: (draws his sword) That stone freak was dragged outside by this blind red-robed priest who showed up on the balcony.
Gourry: (scratches his head) Why would a red-robed priest come here?
Zangulus: (shrugs) You got me. I came here to kill the beast, but the red guy'll probably take care of that pretty quickly. He didn't seem like he wanted to fight anyone. (sizes up Gourry, gets a competitive look in his eye) So I guess I'm going to have to fight you if I want to get out of here alive.
Gourry: (confused) Actually, I could just let you walk ou--
Zangulus: (interrupts) No, no, I insist. If I don't fight my way out of here, I'll really lose face back home.
Gourry: (considers that) Oh. Well, I suppose that makes sense. (shrugs, readies his sword) OK, then lets fight!
Zangulus: I won't hold back!
Gourry: (grins) Then neither will I!

Xelloss: (teleports in near Zel's balcony, sighs and shakes his head) Swordsmen... (shrugs and looks back to the book) Well, now that we've killed the suspense of this story by assuring the audience that no one dies... (ignores a loud "Hmph" from Esther out of nowhere) We can now move on to Scene XVII.

(On the roof, Rezo drops Zel unceremoniously against the slanted roof. He slides down until he reaches the narrow catwalk between the roof and the parapets. Rezo levitates a few feet above the surface of the roof, hovering nearby, taunting Zel, and trying to get him to fight.)
Rezo: (laughs evilly) Get up! (sneers) What's the matter, Chimera, too kind and gentle to fight back?
Zelgadiss: (ignores him, his head hung in despair)

(At the same time, Ameria has arrived at the castle, and is standing on the drawbridge, with Prince Phil on Philippe. She notices what is happening on the roof, and gasps in horror as Rezo attacks Zel, almost knocking him off the roof.)
Ameria: No!
Zelgadiss: (hears her voice, which gives him a will to live) Belle!
Ameria: (points behind him) Look out!
Zelgadiss: (ducks just as a bolt of Rezo's magic passes through the air right where his head was, starts chanting under his breath, yells) Ra Tilt!!
Rezo: (takes the blast of magic, withstands it, attacks Zel with a volley of fire spells)
Zelgadiss: (ducks behind a large gargoyle, hiding)
(Meanwhile, Ameria runs into the castle, intent on finding her way up to the roof, and Gourry and Zangulus are still fighting in Zel's room.)

Zangulus: You're good, Gourry.
Gourry: (smirks, parries another blow from Zangulus's sword) So are you.
Zangulus: (leaps back, then jumps in with another slash)
Gourry: (dodges, spins, meets Zangulus's sword with his and attempts to knock it out of his hand)
Zangulus: (grins appreciatively) Very good, in fact.
Gourry: Thank you. I've worked hard to become so.
Zangulus: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Gourry: (steps back, scratches his head) Then why are you smiling?
Zangulus: Because I know something you don't know.
Gourry: What's that?
Zangulus: (switching hands) I am not left-handed! (lunges forward in a vicious string of attacks, appears to overwhelm Gourry)
Gourry: (parries quickly) You're amazing!
Zangulus: I ought to be, after so many years of practice.
Gourry: (struggling to keep Zangulus away) There's something I should tell you, though.
Zangulus: Eh? What's that?
Gourry: (grins) I'm not left-handed, either. (switches hands, goes on the offensive, driving Zangulus back across the room, all the while trying not to trip on the mess on the floor) Now, are you sure you don't want to just forget about this fight and walk out of here?
Zangulus: (ducks a wild swing, rolls, comes up on Gourry's right side, slashes at his chest, which Gourry dodges, then tries for another thrust with his sword) Of course not! I have my pride.
Gourry: (blocks and counters Zangulus's move, flicks his wrist so his sword arches in a circle, catching the hilt of Zangulus's sword with Gourry's blade and sending the sword flying. He steps forward and places the tip of his sword at Zangulus's throat.) Now will you stop fighting?
Zangulus: (gulps, opens his mouth to say something heroic or stupid (with Zangulus you never know), but is interrupted by a trio of squeals)
Martina trio: (shriek and run into the room) Gaston! Gaston! We've been looking all over for you!
Gourry: (steps back, thrown off-guard by this development)
Zangulus: (is knocked backward as he is mobbed by the three girls) How did you get here?
Martina 1: (squeals) We snuck in!
Martina 2: (matter-of-factly) Zoamelgustav was protecting us from the evil servants who live here.
Martina 3: (hangs on Zangulus's arm) We want you to come back to the village with us, now.
Zangulus: (looks at each girl, then at Gourry, who smiles and gestures toward them, as if to encourage him) All right, I guess.
Gourry: (walks over and shakes Zangulus's hand) You're a good swordfighter.
Zangulus: (smirks) And one day I'll be even better than you!
Gourry: (nods and smiles) Have fun with your fan club. (gestures to the Martinas, who are already starting to drag Zangulus off once he picks up his sword from the ground and resheaths it)
Zangulus: (looks from Martina to Martina to Martina, then grins broadly at each of them) You lucky just so happens I'm back in the dating pool right now...
Martinas: (squeal in delight as they lead him out of the room quickly)
Gourry: (sheathes his sword, smiles warmly, then remembers something) I wonder how Zel's doing...

(Meanwhile, back on the roof)
Rezo: (still looking for Zel, shouts) Come out and fight! (taunts) Were you in love with her, Chimera? Did you honestly think she'd want you, in your hideous state?
Zelgadiss: (has been provoked enough, draws his sword, casts Astral Vine on it, and leaps out at Rezo. He is caught off-guard by Zel's attack. Zel manages to slash at him, cutting his cheek.)
Rezo: (puts a hand to the cut, feels a trickle of blood, says nothing)
Zelgadiss: (Zel is about to follow up that maneuver with a cutting blow to the chest, but he thinks back to Ameria and what she would do in this situation. He glares at Rezo, and, instead of killing him, grabs him by the collar of his robes, hisses between clenched teeth)!
Ameria: (runs past Gourry, reaches Zel's balcony and calls to him) Zelgadiss!
Zelgadiss: Belle! (shoves a stunned Rezo away, climbs up a few gargoyles until he reaches the balcony. He hangs over the side and looks at Ameria, amazed.) You came back!
(Suddenly, Rezo recovers and blasts Zelgadiss in the back with a powerful spell. He zips forward, his hands glowing brightly with power, intending to kill Zel, but Ameria has a different idea.)
Ameria: (yells at the top of her lungs) Ra TILT!!
(The force of the spell, which comes as a complete surprise to Rezo, is just enough to knock him off the roof, and it hurts him badly enough that he isn't able to catch himself with a Levitation spell before he falls down the side of the castle and to his, well, not death, since no one dies in this story. Instead, Esther just makes it LOOK like he died. This IS a kid's story, after all.)
Ameria: (grabs a hold of Zel's hands just before he loses his grip on the banister completely, and helps him onto the balcony, where he lays down on the floor)
Zelgadiss: (manages a half-smile, despite the fact that he's in incredible pain) You came back.
Ameria: (throws her cloak off her shoulders and casts a healing spell) Of COURSE I came back! I couldn't let them...oh, this is all my fault! If only I'd gotten here sooner!
Zelgadiss: (rapidly losing consciousness) Maybe...maybe it's better this way.
Ameria: (boosts the power of her spell as high as she can, tears starting to fall from her cheeks) Don't talk like that! You'll be all right! We're together now. Everything's going to be fine! It HAS to be!
(Unfortunately, Zel's injuries are too extensive for Ameria's healing spell to save him in time. His eyes start to close, but he manages to bring a hand up to Ameria's cheek)
Zelgadiss: At least I got to see you one...last...time... (drops his hand, and his eyes close)
Ameria: (stops the healing spell, puts her hands to her mouth in disbelief, cries freely) No, no! Please! Please don't leave me! (chokes, then whispers) I love you...
(At the same time, Lina, Gourry, Filia, and Sylphiel arrive on the scene. They stumble through the mess in Zel's room and watch as the last rose petal falls. Then they see their fallen friend, and Ameria, who has laid her head against his chest and is sobbing quietly.)
Lina: (in disbelief) No...
Gourry: (wraps an arm around Lina, suddenly gets an idea) Sylphiel...couldn't you...?
Sylphiel: (looks down and shakes her head) I think he's too far gone...
Filia: (bites her lip and wipes a tear away, murmurs) They were so close...
(Suddenly, there is a flash of light, and everyone looks immediately to Zelgadiss. Ameria, however, hasn't noticed anything. The rest of the group looks on in amazement as his skin slowly starts to become pinker and the stones that were embedded in it start to disappear.)
Ameria: (opens her eyes and blinks as she feels Zel's chest rise and fall, sits up quickly and scrambles a few feet backwards) Zelgadiss?
Zelgadiss: (blinks, puts a hand to his head slowly, but realizes something. He pulls his hand away with a start and looks at it.)
Ameria: (reaches out to touch him, but jerks her hand back when he starts to move to sit up)
Zelgadiss: (rolls onto his side away from Ameria and stands up, looking at his hands in wonderment, then turns to face Ameria)
Ameria: (stands up, gives him a mysterious look)
Zelgadiss: (looks at her uncertainly, then steps closer, whispers) Belle? It's me!
Ameria: (looks into his blue eyes, and knows it's him) It IS you! (She cannot contain herself anymore, and rushes into his arms. They embrace for a few moments, until they pull away and kiss.)
(At this, the gloomy atmosphere surrounding the castle evaporates as the sun breaks through the clouds and the gray stone of the castle becomes a gleaming white. Gargoyles become cherubs and the once-dead vines that clung to the castle walls become lush with leaves. Lina and company rush out onto the balcony.)
Lina: Zel! Hey, Zel, you're back to normal!
Gourry: (claps a hand on Zel's shoulder) Glad to see you're okay.
Sylphiel: (smiles and wipes a tear from her eye) It's so wonderful!
Lina: (nods) Yeah, and I'll bet those bounties have been lifted too, since they were part of the curse!
Filia: (glances back and forth between Zel and Ameria, who are holding each other loosely) So when's the wedding?
Ameria: (looks up into Zel's eyes, her own shining with happiness, and shrugs a little) Not for a little while. We still have a little ways to go before we're ready. (turns to the others) But I think this does call for a party!
Zelgadiss: (lets go of Ameria, and, in an uncharacteristic display of happiness, grabs all his friends in a hug) Thank you, all of you.
Gourry: (grins) It's what friends are for!
Lina: (gleefully) Now what about that party? Parties have lots and lots of FOOD!
Ameria: (jumps up, holding her fingers in the shape of a 'V' for Victory) Yatta! (grabs Zel's arm) C'mon, Zelgadiss, I've got to reintroduce you to my father! (drags him away, but he doesn't mind, since they are happy now)

(The next night, everyone is dressed up and joyfully partaking of the grand party in the huge ballroom in the castle. An orchestra plays in the background, and a huge table of food stands along the side of the dance floor. Lina and Gourry are near it, stuffing their faces.)
Lina: (chewing) Y'know, (mmh) Gourry, they're really (gulp, swallow) cute.
Gourry: (glances in the direction Lina was pointing, nods and swallows a chunk of chicken leg) You got that right, Lina. (turns to her, tilts his head slightly) Hey, Lina, we're cute together, right?
Lina: (starts choking, grabs her glass of wine and gulps it down, then reels a little from the jolt of alcohol. Gourry reaches his hand out and steadies her, noting the fact that she's turned several shades pinker (and not from the wine).) Ummmm... (desperately finds another topic) I, uh, I told you Belle would be the one to break the spell! Yeah! Didn't I?
Gourry: (scratches his head) Well, I dunno, Lina, I always thought I was the one who said that first. I mean, I could be wrong, but I remember saying that at some time... (looks up, thinking)
Lina: (shakes her head) No, I said it first. Trust me.
Gourry: (shrugs his shoulders) Okay, Lina. Whatever you say!
Lina: (nods satisfactorily and sinks her teeth into a chicken leg, watching Zel and Ameria make their way around the dance floor)
(Ameria's long, full, golden skirt flares around her as Zel twirls her and brings her back close to him gracefully. Zel, in a royal blue suit, has never looked happier. He marvels at how warm she feels to his new, human skin, and pulls her closer so that he can nuzzle her head with his cheek. She sighs happily and glances at her father, who is leaning against Filia. Both are crying audibly.)
Baby Valgarv: (stands next to his mother, tugs on her skirt to get her attention) Are they going to live happily ever after, Mama?
Filia: (still crying, bends down and scoops Baby Val into her arms, snuggles him to her and nods) Of course, my dear, of course.
Prince Phil: (sobs, booms) What a happy ending for my beautiful daughter and that fine young man!
Sylphiel: (smiles warmly) It's a perfect fairy tale!
(They all watch Zel and Ameria dancing around the room, and the scene fades into a shot of the castle through a window from above, so that the whole ballroom is visible to the audience. The music swells to a crescendo.)
Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast!
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast!

(The beautiful scene of the castle and its happy inhabitants fades to black.)

Esther: (steps in front of a movie camera on a tripod, wipes a tear from her eye) Wasn't that the most BEAUTIFUL story? Ne, Xelloss? (grins evilly, looks down at the heap at her feet)
Xelloss: (has collapsed on the floor, the sappiness of the whole thing finally incapacitating him, mutters weakly) Riiiiiiight...
Esther: (giggles with delight and rubs her hands together eagerly) Hmmmm... (taps her chin with her finger) Now then, should I let them keep the memory of doing all these things in my little movie when they eventually are returned to their own world? They're still floating in the alternate dimension (gestures to the black, six-foot in diameter spherical void nearby), but they have to go back SOMETIME. (ponders this for a few minutes, then shrugs, deciding to leave them be for the moment. She bends down and picks up a large reel of film on the floor. She steps over Xelloss's prone form and starts to walk off, chuckling to herself.) Ooh, I can't WAIT till this reaches the general audience. (throws her head back, gives one last evil laugh, which echoes through the throne room even after she has teleported away to her editing room, leaving nothing behind but Xelloss, an empty throne and director's chair, and one green, leather-bound book laying casually on the marble floor. It is open to the last page, which reads "The End" in fancy script.)

Read Esther's notes about the story!

Please do not repost or reproduce without permission.

Slayers Library -> Fanfiction -> "Beauty and the Chimera," Part Six

"Slayers" is copyright H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi. Original ideas, artwork, and text present on this page are copyright Esther Nairn, unless otherwise noted. No reproduction is allowed without express written or emailed permission. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.