Story: Slayers Mirror (chapter 11)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 11


Slayers: Mirror Eleven

"Where did this storm come from?" Amelia cried, snow blowing over her short black hair, the wetness clinging to both cloak and clothes. Leaving behind the Fall warmth of the lowlands they had ventured up into the mountains, a formidable barrier on their long journey to Saillune.

Lina led the way, a blazing sphere of light held above her head to cut through the twilight storm. "We had to cut through the mountains," she said with a scowl, "but it's early for this kind of weather, though." The little redhead shivered slightly, the enchantments on her clothes not that useful against conditions like this.

"We need to get under cover," Naga said, moving her body to partially shelter Lina from the worst of the wind, "it's probably going to get even worse before it gets better." Her long black mane was edged in ice, her leather armor and the clothes underneath uncomfortably damp.

"You're probably right," Lina conceded, "but where?"

"I don't see anything," Amelia offered.

"Give me a moment," Naga closed her eyes, frowning in concentration. A faint glow rose up around her, the feeling of elemental magic shimmered in the air then Naga's eyes suddenly popped open. "There's a cave not far ahead," she said crisply, "it should be enough."

"Thanks Naga," Lina looked up at her with a warm smile, "let's go!"

Amelia hung back a bit to watch them walking together, Naga hovering protectively while Lina forged on ahead boldly. They seemed to fit together, despite the differences in appearance and attitude, in fact those very differences seemed to compliment each others' strengths.

"Don't fall behind," Naga looked back to Amelia with a gentle smile, "we wouldn't want to be separated in this snow."

"Right," Amelia hurried to catch up.

Considering how long Amelia had known Lina she thought that she knew the sorceress pretty well. A chaotic but true hero, Lina did the right thing even if she might claim that it was only for the profit. She might be a bit self centered but she was a good person, despite what she might want everyone else to think. Oddly this mirror Naga seemed to bring that good side out of Lina more and more often, the three of them diverting to help people several times and even with all of Lina's complaining she eagerly helped out.

There was a sound, a low rumble just off in the distance and the three paused. "Please tell me that was just thunder," Lina sighed, looking around warily.

"If I did," Naga said as she smoothly reached over her shoulder to carefully loosen her longsword, "I'd probably be lying."

Lina brought her hands together, sparks of light beginning to dance between her fingers even as Amelia moved to stand at the other two women's side, the sound gradually growing louder. The cold wind whistled by them, trees creaking slightly under ice, then there was the groan of ice and compressed snow nearby.

The pack burst out from the snow shrouded forest to race at them, the great wolves bounding across the ground with almost impossible speed. They were massive beasts, with muscles bulging beneath snowy fur they shimmered with a feral power and nearly unearthly fury, white foam trailing from those fang filled mouths.

"Fireball!" Lina cast her spell, throwing the sphere of power right into the leaders of the pack, watching it explode to consume three of the beasts in a burst of light and fire.

Naga stepped forward as the beasts' charge faltered, the great animals clearly surprised at what they found themselves facing. Her sword came free with a steely hiss then she swung outward, a single sweep dropping two more of the wolves in a splash of blood.

"Rune Flare," Amelia exploded the ground with a wave, sending rock and snow to pelt at the wolves. The final unearthly attack proved too much for the pack and they turned to flee, the wounded trailing behind as they retreated to the forest.

"Think they'll be back?" Lina asked crisply, cloak swirling around her as her breath left a cloud in the chilly air.

"I rather doubt it," Naga bent to clean her sword on the rough fur of one corpse, sliding her sword away easily.

"Poor beasts," Amelia sighed.

"I'm surprised," Lina looked over at Amelia, "they did attack us, you know."

Amelia shrugged, "We invaded their territory, Lina."

"They intended to do us harm, we stopped it," Naga said simply. She knelt and picked the beast up with a grunt, heaving it up onto her shoulder as she continued, "We'd better get to that cave."

"You don't intend to...?" Amelia looked at the wolf carcass warily.

"We don't have that much in supplies," Naga answered her dryly, "and there's no reason to let this meat go to waste."

They forged on through the snow, eventually reaching the side of a great cliff. The cave was large, thankfully, and with a fire started in the shelter of the cave mouth they soon began to feel warmer. With ruthless efficiency Naga cut sections of the wolf and spitted then on branches, setting them over the fire to cook.

"I had best get rid of the remains away from camp," Naga said as she moved out to grab the already snow dusted bones and flesh, "can you keep an eye on this while I'm gone?"

"Yes," Amelia quickly volunteered before quietly adding, "and thank you."

"You're welcome," Naga answered her simply, hefting the wolf once again before heading out into the snow again.

"Be careful," Lina said as Naga moved off, watching her walk off with an unreadable expression on her face.

Once Naga was gone Amelia asked Lina a question she had wanted to ask for many days, "Is this Naga so different than the original?"

"Like night and day," Lina chuckled to herself softly. She looked into the fire thoughtfully as she remembered, "The original was impulsive, often foolish, and she was probably as mercenary as I was." A slightly sad little smile, "She drank like a fish, was immodest and had the loudest, most annoying laugh that you ever heard."

"Did she love you like this Naga does?" Amelia asked, keeping her tone casual.

"Yes," Lina answered Amelia honestly, only fully registering what she had just done a moment later, "hey!"

"Didn't mean to trick you," Amelia said, "but I needed a honest answer out of you." Reaching out to carefully turn the slices of meat she added, "When you parted... it wasn't really over a reward that you won, was it?"

"Hmm," Lina nodded slightly. She sat there, knees pulled up to her chest as she gazed into the fire before finally saying, "Part of why we fought was over a reward, but how she felt about me came out in the fight."

"And you parted because of it?" Amelia asked sadly.

"Yes," Lina nodded, "and there have been times I've regretted it. Naga was probably the closest friend I had, despite how she annoyed me at times, and I missed her."

"It must have been strange, meeting this Naga," Amelia noted.

"The past come back to haunt me," Lina agreed, "and it was even odder seeing that the other Lina and her had stayed together for so long. It made me wonder what might have happened if The original Naga and I had remained together."

"What ifs are never easy," Amelia commented.

The crunch of snow outside signaled Naga's return, the taller woman ducking a bit to make it inside. "I dropped the carcass far enough away we should be fine," she said as she pulled her snow covered cloak off and shoot it outside before sitting down beside them at the fire.

Lina reached over to feel Naga's red cheek, "You're cold as ice." Picking up her own dry and warm cloak Lina slipped it around the shivering Naga, "Here."

A bit more red came to Naga's cheeks as she blushed, "Thank you, Lina."

"It's nothing," Lina turned away from the warmth of Naga's gaze only to see Amelia looking at her with a mildly amused expression.

"Looks like it's cooked," Amelia decided it was safer to concentrate on their food, "let's eat." Both Lina and Naga nearly lunged for their share and Amelia fought back a laugh.

To be continued....

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