Story: Slayers Mirror (chapter 7)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 7

Slayers: Mirror Seven

        "Watch yourself, Lina," Naga warned her, sweeping some of the goblins back with a single swing of her blade.

        "Worry about them," Lina flashed a little grin, the fireball she threw blasting more goblins backward, "not me."

        Amelia hammered another enemy backward, her body glowing white as she summoned up magic to augment her powerful blows. The three of them had encountered a group of refugees seeking aid, Naga insisting on helping them. Lina put up some token resistance but soon enough they were here in the midst of battle.

        "Damn it," Lina growled, a goblin getting close enough to strike her.

        Before the goblin even had a chance to realize what an error it had made Naga was there, cutting it down with a single swing. "I told you to be careful," Naga said, gently supporting her.

        "Thanks," Lina flashed a smile.

        Together they turned on the goblins and whatever the goblin's saw in their eyes, it was enough to frighten the rest of them into fleeing. Amelia shook her head, smiling as she said, "You didn't save more of them for me?"

        "Next time," Naga said, sliding her sword back into it's sheath over her shoulder. She frowned, "I'd just like to know why they'd even try attacking us."

        "It's odd," Lina agreed with a frown. "Goblin's aren't normally very capable to start with, they know taking on experienced fighters is foolhardy," she said.

        "Did someone put them up to it?" Amelia speculated.

        "If so," Lina said darkly, "I want to know about it, thank you very much." As they talked she collected the money pouches and jewels of the fallen goblins, putting together a meager pile. "Not impressive," she scowled, "it'll barely cover a meal or two."

        "Let's move on," Naga walked over to the side of the road to pick up her pack, slinging it back over her shoulder. "If there's a reason for the attack, we'll find out eventually," she shrugged.

        The three fell into step casually, the sun shining down on them as they followed the road through the forest. Not far away a river bubbled over rocks and gravel, fresh water ready for them if needed, at least for now. Once they followed it to the next major town they'd have to change course for Amelia's homeland, Saillune.

        "I can't believe you two have only been traveling together for a few weeks," Amelia smiled slightly, "I'm impressed by how well you work together."

        "Well, Naga's a lot sharper than Gourry ever was," Lina noted, "that helps."

        "Gourry?" Naga looked curious.

        "A swordsman Lina's been known to travel with," Amelia's eyes twinkled as she continued, "I always thought Gourry had a thing for Lina."

        Naga's face was pale as she looked at Lina, her expression oddly hurt. "You never told me you already had a partner," she said.

        "Had," Lina smiled wryly, "being the word. The last time I saw Gourry he was all ready to settle down with a girl we saved."

        "I'm sorry," Amelia said into the silence, "I didn't know."

        "No reason you would," Lina said dryly, a bit of a flush to her cheeks.

        Naga felt a flash of relief, one that confused her greatly. 'I love my Lina-sama,' she reminded herself, 'not this dark twin of her.' She cleared her throat and said, "You all adventured together?"

        "Oh yes," Amelia beamed, clearly glad at the change of subject. "There was Lina, Gourry, Xellos, myself, Fila, and Zelgadis," she said cheerfully, "we traveled both here and in the outer world, battling against evil!"

        "For a profit," Lina reminded her.

        "You have been known to operate out of altruism," Naga reminded her with a slight smile, "every now and then."

        Lina made a face at that comment. "Not that often," she said dryly.

        Amelia chuckled softly.

        A few hours later they reached the ford for the river, finding a city built on both sides. A great castle towered over the city, guarding the river to block any military access. The town itself bustled with life, markets filled with people and carts of goods moving regularly through the gates.

        "Should we stop for the night?" Amelia suggested. "We need to cross the river here and the sun will be setting soon."

        "Hmm," Lina had a broad smile on her face, "we can have a inn cooked meal and sleep under a roof again. Why not?"

        "Of course," Naga smiled slightly.

        They moved up the road, carefully navigating through the carts and other travelers. The guards standing at the gates had a sleepy attitude to them, but their eyes lit up as they saw the jewels on Lina's costume. Then they narrowed slightly spotting the sword on Naga's back.

        "Welcome to Glyn-crossing," the guard said, his garb marking him as higher ranked, "may I ask what your business is?"

        "A meal and a warm bed," Amelia said.

        The other guard had an odd look on his face, studying Lina and Naga thoughtfully. "And you are?" he finally asked them tentatively.

        "Lina Inverse," she said casually.

        "Naga," was the short reply.

        "Lina the Dragon?" the first guard blurted, his eyes wide. "Naga, the greatest swordsman of the North?!"

        "It seems your reputation precedes you," Amelia said to them before Amelia introduced herself with a smile.

        "It's my curse," Lina said dryly.

        Naga frowned slightly at the guards, both men looking at her nervously as she asked, "Where did you hear that about me?"

        "Tales of your skills have been spreading," one of the guards said nervously, "Dragon slaying, defeating the griffin, your battle against the bandits..."

        "Griffin?" Amelia looked at Naga curiously.

        "Long story," Naga said dryly. She shook her head, hefting her pack as she pointedly said, "We're holding up the line."

        "Have a nice day," Lina gave the guards a cheerful wave as the three headed inside.

        The guards waited a few moments, giving them some time to make their way up the road. "This is going to be trouble," the leader sighed.

        "Oh yes," the other guard muttered.

        The crowds tended to part as the three made their way through the crowd, a fierce blush on Naga's cheeks. "You're not happy having a reputation?" Amelia asked with a smile.

        "No, I'm not," Naga said shortly.

        "You get used to it eventually," Lina said with a slight smile. She tilted her head, the setting sun lighting up her fiery hair as she said, "And I wouldn't be too surprised if you were the best swordsman of the North."

        "Lina," Naga blushed fiercely.

        Amelia fought back a chuckle at the swordswoman's reaction. Changing the subject she offered, "We should start looking for an inn."

        Lina had a bounce to her step as she said, "I'm going to order three dinners to start with, how about you two?"

        "I see your appetite hasn't changed," Amelia chuckled.

To be continued....

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