Slayers: Mirror Two
'It looks like Naga wasn't exaggerating,' Lina quickly skidded to a stop, 'there really are dragons here.' The fiery reddish brown haired girl cupped her hands to her side, focusing her will as she cried out, "Fireballs Charge!"
The red dragon that was chasing after her had only a moment to look startled before her spell blew it away. All around the battlefield the bodies of the other dragons lay, smoldering or bleeding out into the dirt. The land just beyond them seemed nearly dead, the usual consequence of a band of dragons living in a place overlong.
"Now where's my new partner?" Lina looked about her irritably.
There was the sound of running feet and a cry, "Watch yourself, Inverse!" Lina spun around, just in time to see Naga's sword coming down on to the dragon that was about to strike her. Naga had leapt up, her blade driving home into the beast, and now she merely let her weight pull the blade down through the thick flesh.
'She saved my life,' Lina blinked in surprise, 'maybe she's going to be useful after all.' Clearing her throat, "Thanks, Naga."
With a single motion Naga pulled the longsword free, then shook it off a bit to get most of the dragon's blood off before sliding into it's sheath. "You're welcome," she said calmly. Naga scanned the ruins around them for the enemy, soon fixing on the entrance to the underground that was likely the dragon's den. "They've retreated to there," she nodded.
"Well, if we want the treasure," Lina looked at the den thoughtfully, "we'll have to go in after them." She gave Naga a look, "How many do you think there are?"
"I did a rough count when we started," Naga looked around them, "I'd say there's at least three left." She frowned, "Is the treasure the only reason you're doing this?"
"You fight them for your reasons," Lina gave her a look, "and I fight for mine." She smiled wryly, "I'm just glad that these aren't the intelligent type of Dragon, though. That would make this all just a bit more complicated."
"True," Naga admitted. The black haired warrior reached up, unclasping the tattered remnants of her cloak and letting it flutter to the ground. Her leather vest and pants were blood splattered, but she still looked ready for battle. "Shall we?"
"Let's," Lina agreed, and the two strode into the opening. As they passed into the darkness Naga cupped her hands in front of her, a softly muttered word creating a sphere of light to guide their way. "So you do still use magic," Lina murmured.
"Rarely," was Naga's calm answer, her eyes searching the shadows for any sign of movement. A slight smile, "I usually don't need it."
"Heh," Lina smiled. It was true, the woman really was good with that sword. Fast, strong and agile, she probably didn't need to use her magics to win in battle. The cavern's air was cool, damp, and the faint scent of rotting meat hung in the air.
"They've been bringing captives in," Naga's face was grim.
"We'd better find their den," Lina said coolly, "fast." She gestured, her cloak billowing around her as she concentrated, softly murmured words as she formed her spell, ending with a shouted, "Show me where my enemy lies!" From her hands a ribbon of scarlet snaked out, extending into the darkness as they heard faint cries of alarm.
"Now they know we're coming," Naga growled out as she drew her longsword, running forward into the darkness of the tunnels.
"They also can't hide from us," Lina shot back, running along beside her. The path led into a larger chamber, where the remaining dragons waited. Piles of gold and other treasures filled one corner, but just beyond that a circle of human captives cowered. "Damn," Lina swore.
"Distract them," Naga ordered Lina even as she ran towards the captives.
"Great," Lina muttered, running in front of the dragon's, "just great." She raised her hands above her head, "Flare arrow!"
The dragons looked confused, blinking away momentary blindness while trying to decide whom to chase after, even as the women moved to opposite sides of the remaining monsters. Naga put herself firmly in front of the captives, noting their weakened condition with a glance.
"Save us," a wizened old man managed weakly.
"I'll do my best," Naga raised her blade.
The dragon's curled up together, guarding each other's backs as much as they possibly could from the two fearsome warriors who had killed so many of their clanmates. They had never faced such a thing before, never known humans of such power. The pink things were just meat, only food to be taken at their leisure, not a threat.
"Explosion array," with a throwing gesture Lina detonated the rough stone floor, driving the three Dragon's off balance.
One of the beasts stumbled towards Naga, and she was ready. Her sword swept up and over, ripping through the dense flesh to sever the neck, the staring head dropping to the ground as black blood stained her. "Ptou!" Naga spat to clear her mouth, then smiled a truly nasty smile. "Two left," she said thoughtfully, "one each."
"Lets go," Lina charged at them on one side, Naga on the other. She threw a bolt of lightning, the one dragon's body convulsing even as Naga swung up then down, cutting the last of them. There was a long moment of silence in the darkness of the caves, then the surviving humans cheered.
Lina ignored them, of course, moving right over to the piles of treasure. Naga frowned, then she turned to the captives, quickly checking them over for serious injuries. "When she's done going through the treasure," Naga said to them , "go over and take whatever you can carry. I suspect much of it once belonged to the local people, before the dragons slew them."
"Will you not take anything for yourself, noble warrior?" one of the young women stepped forward to ask softly, the blonde looking up at Naga with adoration in her eyes. "And what is your name, handsome one?"
"Naga," a slight blush appeared on Naga's cheeks as she looked away shyly. "I don't have much need of treasure, m'lady," she answered the girl softly.
Lina finished getting the most high quality gems from the piles, then frowned slightly as Naga gestured the captives towards the piles of treasure. 'Definitely different than the Naga I once knew,' she mused. Naga gave her a wave and Lina walked over, "Yes?"
"There are bodies down here," Naga nodded towards a darkened corner of the cave, where the smells of decay were coming from, "and I fear that there's no way to move them." Her expression was sorrowful, "Could you give them a funeral pyre?"
Lina looked up at Naga a moment, then nodded slightly, "Of course." The fireball spell lit up the cavern, the remains reduced to so much ash. The captives finally moved away from the piles of treasure, and Naga walked over. Some pieces of gold, a few smaller gems, and she was done.
The young blonde was watching her, and moved up to Naga's side to loudly say, "I hope that you and the sorceress will come to our village later for a victory feast." She smiled up at Naga and dropped her voice to a whisper, "And I, Carolyn, hope to thank you... personally."
Naga went red, "I.. you don't need to..."
"Of course we'll visit your village," Lina had overheard enough of the conversation to speak up, "we'd love to join your victory feast."
Naga gave Lina a glare, but the sorceress ignored it. She looked back at the beaming blonde and sighed, "I guess we'll be joining you, then."
"I look forward to it," Carolyn sighed happily, running over to help the other captives.
Lina and Naga walked along with them, magic lighting their way back towards the daylight. "You remember what I said about dumping you before?" Lina asked softly.
"Yes?" Naga looked at her curiously.
"I've changed my mind," Lina quietly admitted. "Watching you in battle, you could be pretty useful, even with all of your irritating morals."
"Thank you," Naga looked ahead into the shadows. "I'll continue to travel with you, but only because my Lina-sama has commanded me to." She seemed to soften just a bit as she added, "It seems we can do some good together."
"Good enough," Lina agreed. She smirked, "Maybe I can convert you back into a double of your other self."
"Maybe so," Naga agreed, "or maybe I can make you into a noble person like my Lina-sama."
"Anything's possible," Lina smiled wryly as they walked out into the daylight together.
To be continued...