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Smoke filled the room, creating eerie shadows against the wall as Xellas exhaled gracefully from her cigarette, lying limply in her left hand, a glass of whine in the other. Her lavender hair lined the dark shadows on her face as she sat concocting plans with her servant, Xellos. Xellos sat in the chair across from her, gazing at his reflection in his whine glass.

“So Xellos dear,” Xellas said in her eerie, sinister voice, “Do you understand your job?” She looked up from her whine glass and took another smoke from her cigarette.

“Yes,” Xellos grinned demonically, his violet eyes glimmering in the reflection of the blood red whine in his hands. “Clearly. Brilliant my Lord.”

“Thank you.” Xellas giggled and smiled as she took a sip of her whine. “Now, go and make me proud.”

Xellos set down his whine cup and bowed, his purple hair falling over his eyes in the shadows, “As you wish.” With that he was gone in a blur.

Xellas giggle to herself, “Oh this should be fun!” She laughed as she sipped her whine; the blood red liquid quenching her thirst as her demonic eyes gazed back evilly at her through the crystalline of her glass.

*****

The crickets chirped silently in the cool summer’s breeze. The moon’s full shine lit up the room as it bounced from object to object until it hit Lina’s eyes. She sleepily turned over when she heard a sigh come from the direction of the window. She sat up, her long crimson hair flowing loosely across her shoulders and back, and gazed in that direction. Janai was sitting by the window, her beautiful red hair tumbled loosely along the cold, hard floor of the room, her lace nightgown hung loosely around her body. The moon cast an eerie, almost inhuman glow across her face, as she gazed up into the starlit sky. Lina slowly crept out of bed, as not to wake the slumbering Princess, and over to the window where Janai sat, locked in a dreamy daze out into the moonlit plains below.

“What are you doing awake, Janai?” Lina asked in a sleepy whisper.

“I couldn’t sleep. So I decided to sit here and think.” She said, not taking her gaze away from the window.

“About what?”

Janai sighed, “Nothing unparticular really. Isn’t it so beautiful outside? So peaceful, the way the moon lights up the sky in a ray of hope, the calm waters reflecting its beauty, the fields of slumbering flowers taking in the light for the coming of the sun. The beautiful way the insects chirp their songs of joy, and the glimmer from a newly hatched bird’s feathers. There are so many things we take advantage of in life, Lina.” Janai stopped, almost to tears, but continued, “I wish life could be as beautiful as that, but it’s not. When I was little, I used to love to lay in the fields of little white flowers and watch the moon, how its glow reflected in the newly fallen dew. I’d sit there for hours on end, until the woman who raised me would come and tell me to come in before I caught cold. Of course, I always refused, but she’d always promise me a special treat if I came in, so I did anyway. I always used to love to gaze up into the stars and ask their guidance in helping to find my real parents, a real home to look out my bedroom window and watch the calm summer nights.” She stopped and slowly turned her gaze from the window to Lina. “Isn’t there always a dream you had as a child Lina?”

Lina was almost to tears, what Janai had said was so beautiful, it had touched her heart. Until she finally spoke, “I always had dreams, dreams to become the greatest sorcerer and heal people and save people. I’d always come back, to see that smiling flower, alive with beauty, and I always wondered why my life wasn’t as simple as that. It’s the little things in life that we enjoy so much, yet we take advantage of the beauty around us.” Janai smiled and turned her gaze back to the window. “Anyway, we should probably get some sleep, ne?”

“That would be a good idea, Lina. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Janai.” Lina turned back around and tiptoed over to her bed, laid down, her eyelids heavy, and fell asleep to the beauty of Janai’s words.

*****

The sun shown brightly through the crystalline pane of the window, reflecting spectrums of light across the room. The birds began to chirp their morning songs of happiness, and the air was fresh with the scent of morning dew. The suns rays warmed Lina’s face as she slowly opened her eyes, the sounds of the birds filling the room, the bright sun light warming her gentle skin. She yawned and stretched as she slowly slipped out of bed and started to get dressed. She was nearly done when she heard her roommate, Amelia, wake.

Amelia pranced in, “Good Morning Miss Lina! Did you sleep well? Say, where is Miss Janai?” Her voice seemed to be even perkier in the sunlit morning.

“Morning Amelia. Yes I slept well, but I haven’t seen Janai this morning. Perhaps she’s already downstairs.”

“Maybe so. Well let’s go down and check Miss Lina!” Lina and Amelia exited their peaceful room and proceeded down the narrow hallway to the stairs. It was much darker in the hallway, because there were no windows to let in the sunlight. As Lina walked, she continually thought about her conversation with Janai the night before. They proceeded down the stairs and to the lobby of the Inn. Sure enough, Janai was sitting with Zelgadis at a table in the diner.

“There’s Miss Janai and Mr. Zelgadis!” Amelia said, waving to them and prancing over to the table. Lina walked slowly over, pretending as if she had nothing to do with the Prancing Princess of Perk. Janai and Zelgadis looked up from their conversation and Janai smiled and waved back to the princess.

“Good morning Lina.” Janai said, smiling warmly.

“Morning Janai. Hey, Zel. Where’s Gourry?”

“Most likely sleeping in the heap where I left him.” Janai snickered. The diner was small, but sufficient. It was drawn with many windows and amber decor. The bright sunlit filled the room, reflecting from object to object. As Lina looked at Janai, she could see the light reflecting off her eyes, making their blue sereneness even more golden. Lina pulled out her chair and sat down.

“So, any plans as for what to do next?” Lina asked, leaning back and putting her feet against the table.

“None really,” Zelgadis said, shrugging. “Just basically go to the next town and see if we can find an leads on anything.”

“Actually, there is a town near here that I’ve heard about.” Janai looked up. “It’s said that it was built on top of where one of the pieces of Shabranigdo was hidden before it was released one thousand years ago. I think there might be some interesting things about it that we could check out.”

Lina lifted her feet, causing her chair to slam back down to its normal position. “Hmm. Sounds interesting. Well perhaps we should check it out, ne?”

“Great idea!” Amelia’s perk was a little too much then any of them could handle, especially early in the morning. There was the slow trudge of footsteps down the stairs, as they turned to see Gourry walking limply down the stairs, his golden hair a mess, drawn partially over one eye.

“Over here Gourry!” Lina said, waving her hands frantically at her companion, who trudged over and sat down at the table with them. “Well, I think we should leave right away, but before we do…WAITER! I WANT TRIPLE PORTIONS OF EVERYTHING ON THE LIST FROM A-T AND MAKE IT SNAPPY!!”

Zelgadis sighed, “Your appetite never does cease to amaze me, Lina.”

When everyone was done, they decided it was time to go out and try to find some trouble for them to keep occupied in. They walked down the dirt path on the outside of town. On either side were trees, flowers, and plants of every kind and color. The birds were singing as they hunted for food for their young and the bright sun was melting the last bit of dew off the leaves. Lina looked up to the sun, shielding her eyes from its glare, and watched an eagle soar overhead. Everything was so alive, so pretty, like in a picture. A pair of majestic violet eyes watched the group from the shadows as they proceeded on, the sounds of their conversation ringing through the peaceful trees.

Janai turned sharply, her long red hair flowing behind her; she examined the brush, but turned back around and proceeded onward.

“What’s wrong Janai?” Zelgadis could think of nothing more then to examine the beauty in front of him, especially that of his new mysterious companion. She was so enchanting, everything about her was like the pictures in a fairy tale, he wanted to know as much as he could about her mysterious life, and unlock it at for his own.

“I just thought I heard someone back there. It must have been only a squirrel or something.”

The dark eyes from the brush snickered and whispered to itself, “Soon, very soon…” Zelgadis looked around, his demon ears had picked up the sounds of the voice, but couldn’t understand it. All he could hear was the haunting echoes of darkness.

As they continued walking, they ran into a crossroad, which split in three different directions. The bright sun shimmered against the leaves of the trees. “Which way should we go?” Lina looked down each path as far as she could.

“This one.” The travelers turned as they heard the dark, haunting voice echo through the trees, hitting their ears like arrows through a fox’s heart. Zelgadis was about to open his mouth to ask a simple “Who’s there?” when a figure walked up from the center path. She was a tall and sleek woman, her magenta, shoulder-length hair waving in the wind as she walked. She carried no weapons, but wore a blue blouse, the top three buttons undone and smooth black pants. The sun gleamed from her hair, and casts shadows across her deep green eyes. Such a mystical color that it seemed as if a thousand peoples’ bloodthirsty screams from suffering. As she approached, another figure emerged from the shadows of the winding roads. He was a sleek man, yet muscular. His long green hair, tied behind him with a soft white ribbon, softly bounced as he ran to a silent clock. He wore a silken black leather jacket, open in the front with his white shirt showing, and the same smooth black pants. The sun reflected from the beads of sweat forming on his face, he had apparently been running for a while. He bore the same mystical eyes, and breathed heavily until he caught up with the girl. “You wish to go to Simbachi, ne? Well that is the road you should take.”

“How do we know if we can trust you, and who are you?” Lina got trembles of fear as she looked into the woman’s eyes.

“I am Kaitou, and this is my brother Kaishi.” She pointed behind her to the man who had just caught up with her. He looked up toward the group, his handsome face being blinded by the light of the morning sun.

“We are know as the Fukachi Twins. That way is the way you wish to take, and someday, we shall cross paths again, Lina Inverse.” Kaitou’s voice echoed slowly away as her and her brother disappeared before their eyes.

“Well that was just…odd.” Lina staggered with her words, and proceeded to walk down the middle path. “Fukachi…The ancient word for unknown, or mysterious. There is going to be trouble from those two. I can sense it.” The others followed Lina down the path, discussing their encounter with the strange twins along the way. The birds had begun to chirp again, and all returned to as it should be, the gentle pools of water, reflecting the suns glow and warming the air around it.

By the time they reached Simbachi, the sun was already starting to set. The sky turned orange and red as the bright yellow sun moved further and further down into the horizon. The path was covered in an eerie glow, the fires of the sky raining down upon it. The weary travelers checked into the town inn and eat at the small diner. The sunset flourished through the windows, casting shades of fire across the quiet room. A dark figure lurking in the shadows came to a halt. It’s face dimmed in the fiery shadows as the sun blazed across the horizon. Within the blink of an eye, the figure vanished in a ribbon of dark clouds.

*****

Xellos Metallium sat in his lair, the small light of the chandelier casting flickering shadows across the room. His lavender eyes, alive with mischief, gazing upon the wilted pages of a book.

“Oh what fun I’m going to have!” He snickered happily to himself as he looked up from his book, then turned his attention back to it. His voice was overcome with darkness as he recited the chartings in the book aloud. A wave of his hand and a mess of fire and darkness spread across the room then slowly faded away, and there were shadows once more. Xellos grinned happily and vanished without a trace.

*****

“So, what do you think these ‘Mysterious Twins’, want?” Zelgadis stared into his cup of tea, not even looking up as he spoke. The sun had set, and the restaurant was lit by the flickering of candles and chandeliers. The bleak silhouetted outlines of people framed the walls, dancing in an eerie, darkened pattern.

“No clue. But I think that they mean trouble.” Lina leaned back in her chair, as she often did when she was talking.

“Well they showed us the right way, didn’t they?” Gourry might have been dumb, but he did have his moments of glory…his few moments of glory and this just happened to be one of them.

“I’m very impressed that you remembered or even noticed that in the first place, Gourry.”

“Jeez Lina, you treat me like I’m some kind of dumb little kid.”

“This isn’t the time to get into that.” Zelgadis interrupted, looking up from his tea. Janai sat to his right, holding her cup with both hands and gazing down into its liquid contents.

“Anyway, I think it would be best if we all got some rest, and discussed it in the morning, ne?” Janai’s voice was sweet and rhythmic. Zelgadis didn’t know what it was, but tonight he felt more drawn to her. He wanted to study every aspect of her and enjoy her beauty.

“That’s a good idea, Miss Janai.” Amelia slowly got up from her chair and went in the direction of the inn. They all got up and followed her, but Zelgadis couldn’t stand it any longer.

“Janai?” He sweetly tapped her shoulder. She turned her gaze around at him, and her eyes seemed more beautiful then ever before. He loved the way her silken red hair framed her delicate face, and her eyes, so full of pain, so full of beauty gazed compassionately at everything around her. He wanted to just gaze into her eyes and tell her how he felt. For some reason, he had the courage that had never been there before, like a sweet magic spell wanting him to be closer to her, feeling her touch, meeting her every gaze.

“Yes Zelgadis?” Her eyes met his gaze as she turned around. His eyes were so beautiful, she thought. She had never really noticed them that much, until tonight. She could feel something special about that night, the auras of angels gleaming, singing their sweet rhapsodies of love. She loved how the sound of her name flowed of his tongue in his deep, soothing voice. Though she didn’t know what made her enjoy his company so much that night, and she didn’t really care.

“Can I…talk to you for a minute?”

“Sure.”

They walked together as Zelgadis led her to a small alleyway, lit by the flickering of candles from the nearby windows. He held her soft hands and gazed into her eyes, over come with the beauty as they glimmered in the pale light. He could smell her aroma, the sweet smell of fields of flowers on a summer’s eve. The beautiful scent pulled him in closer to her, her long red hair flowing gently behind her in the breeze. He wanted to run his fingers through her soft hair, feel it’s silken touch against his skin. He took a deep breath and gazed longingly into her eyes until he got up the courage to speak. “Janai…there’s something I want to tell you…”

She gazed back into his eyes, studying every single magnificent detail of his face. She gently squeezed his hands, they were so warm, she’d expected them to be cold as stone. “Yes Zelgadis?” Her voice filled the emptiness of the alley, bouncing from wall to wall until it muted into the flesh and stone. They stood, in hushed silence, as she slowly moved closer too him, and he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close, holding her tight.

“I just wanted to tell you…how beautiful you are…and that…” She hushed him with a finger to her lips.

“I know…” He held her close, she could feel his warmth, he could smell her beautiful aroma. He raised a hand and ran it through the back of her hair; it was soft as finest silk, so gentle against his skin. She leaned up to him, and slowly their soft lips pressed as their silhouettes danced on the wall by the light of the moon.

*****
End of Part 2
*****

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