Story: Slayers Mirror (chapter 18)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 18

The Slayers: Mirror Eighteen

Naga frowned, her short wave of black hair flowing over the warrior's shoulders as she dodged an attack. She hefted her long sword, the leather armored woman's eyes narrowed as she asked, "Do you think this is something like Joyrock?"

"Joyrock?" both Zelgadiss and Amelia blinked.

"A demon we fought once," Lina answered, the red haired sorceress leaping to avoid another servant monster.

The forests beyond Saillune's territory burned as the creatures spread from the demon lord's portal, sweeping out to rampage freely. The civil guard and border patrol were holding the creatures back, barely, but it was clear they would soon be overwhelmed. To make matters worse the master of the monsters hadn't even shown his true power yet.

Amelia struck, her pure magic dispelling another monster as they raced through the rubble of a small castle, the walls fallen and moat filled with debris. Zelgadiss was always at her side, the greenish skinned, rocky young man striking out with immense strength.

"We have to break through to the demon lord," Amelia said seriously as they met another charge, "this will never end otherwise."

"How, though?" Lina asked, throwing a Dil Brand and blasting them back.

"There's only one way," Zelgadiss said grimly, his cloak swirling around his body, "Amelia and I will delay them, you two go for the demon."

"Will you be all right?" Naga asked softly.

"We will rejoin you," Amelia vowed, "I promise."

"All right then," Lina grabbed hold of Naga's hand and cried, "Ray Wing!" In a burst of mystic power they soared skyward, even as Amelia, Zel and the remaining guards fought against the monsters with even greater fury.

"Got a plan, love?" Naga asked automatically.

"Love?" Lina nearly dropped her in surprise.

"Sorry," a faint blush colored Naga's cheeks as she continued, "I forgot myself, Lina."

"Actually, I think I kind of like it," Lina quietly admitted as they soared on towards their goal, the fiery gate and it's master.

The demon lord gazed up at them in slight surprise as they neared, casually leaning against a burning tree. Reaching up he snapped a branch off and lit a cigar, studying them carefully. "So you're Inverse and Naga huh?" he drawled.

"He knows us?" Naga blinked as they dropped not far from the demon and the spatial gate he was guarding.

"Of course, we're famous," Lina said dryly.

"Maybe," Naga said as they warily walked towards their foe, "or it could be he was hired to go after us, just like several other of our recent foes."

Casting the flaming brand aside the muscular, blue skinned man looked at them thoughtfully, amusement in his eyes. "You can call me Arberath, girls," he said pleasantly.

"Call, not his real name," Lina muttered. She met his orange eyes and boldly asked, "What do you want, Arberath?"

Arberath drew on his cigar, "Absolutely nothing, kids."

"Huh?" Lina blinked.

Naga studied him warily and asked, "You were sent here by someone else?"

Arberath smirked, "The Witch never said I couldn't tell... yes, I was."

"Who was it!" Lina pounced.

"That," Arberath smiled, "on the other hand, I can't tell."

Both Lina and Naga face-planted at that. Recovering after a moment Naga asked, "So why are you here, demon?"

"I'm a distraction," Arberath shrugged, "a big problem for you to solve so you're aren't looking for you-know-who."

"Naga the White Serpent," Lina breathed out.

"I can't confirm that due to the geas I'm under," Arberath smiled. He tossed the burned down stub of his cigar aside, "Now I'm sorry to say I've got to get to work." With a gesture the ground detonated beneath Lina and Naga, a act that should have sent them flying.

Both, however, had expected just such a move and had leapt clear, dodging to either side of the large clearing. Naga raced forward to attack first, sword drawn but with surprising ease he grabbed her blade in midair, the bulky muscles of his arm barely straining. Surprisingly Naga smiled, then shouted, "Freeze Arrow!"

"Wha..." Arberath barely got out as the spell struck, channeled through the sword itself. In seconds he was sealed in a icy tomb, utterly frozen still as a statue.

"Nice one," Lina grinned up at Naga, "do you think it'll hold him?"

CRASH! In a flash the ice shattered, Arberath shaking his head to get some ice flakes out of his ebony hair. "Glad I finished my smoke," he growled, "that'd be a waste of a good stogie."

Naga stood in guard position in front of Lina, "Any ideas?"

"One or two," Lina answered, whispering to her softly a moment. Then with a burst of magic she raced in, "Fire Ball!"

"Oh come on," Arberath batted the sphere of light aside only to blink as it split, smaller balls converging to detonate around him distractedly.

Naga chanted softly, the earth heaving and bucking around her, then the stone golem rose, a massive figure that loomed over Arberath. Then she shattered it with a gesture, sending boulders thumping to the ground and rolling right at him.

Arberath gestured, grabbing the air then tore, creating a kind of rift. He slid through the hole and was gone, reappearing clear from the falling rock and deadly stones.

"...come judgment from the grave, Dragon Slave!" Lina cried as he reappeared, finishing her spell casting and so unleashing one of her most powerful spells as he was still slightly disoriented from the transition.


In a castle far from the battlefield and nearly a day later two beautiful women looked at each other in shock even as the third laughed heartily. "I told you your puny demon would be no match for my diminutive assistant," Naga laughed, her long mane of black hair flowing over her scantily clad body as she raised a mug in toast.

"Oh shut up," Gwenyth glared at her then the pink haired girl looked over to her leader, "Mistress Hectate, did they really destroy Arberath?"

Hectate shook her head, the lovely blonde reclining in a chair on one side of the room. "No, he isn't dead," she said with a faint smile, "but they hurt him... so much that he needed to flee to his home realm to heal."

"But how?" Gwenyth blurted.

Naga smiled, her cheeks faintly red from the drink. "Foolish girl," she purred, "Lina and I fought such a demon before, you know. Don't you think we would have made plans in case we met one in battle again?"

"It doesn't matter," Hectate shook her head, "I used the delay to strengthen the castle wards and shields against detection. We should be safe from the spells searching for Naga."

"True," Gwenyth murmured. She got up from the couch and retrieved the jug of wine, refilling their mugs then reluctantly doing Naga's too. The opulent chamber was lovely, decorated with the finest tapestries and furniture, sunlight streaming in. The only off bit was the leather color that bound Naga, looking so rough and crude in such lovely surroundings.

"So," Naga gave Hectate a look, "are you willing to pay your bet?"

"Bet?" Gwenyth squeaked.

"We wagered on Arberath's success," Hectate admitted, "if he won Naga agreed to be more... compliant, if Lina won I agreed to give her the freedom of the castle."

"And Lina won," Naga smirked.

"You can't!" Gwenyth blurted.

"Can't?" Hectate raised a dangerous eyebrow at her servant and Gwenyth paled. Hectate chanted softly and Naga's collar glowed softly. "You may travel in the castle," Hectate told Naga, "no farther, or the consequences will be most unpleasant."

Without a trace of irony Naga smiled, "Thank you."

To be continued...

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