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Xellos sat, snickering in the emptiness of his lair, as he gazed into his wineglass, replaying the night before in its crystalline edges. He had seen it all with his deep violet eyes, watching from the shadows as his plan unfolded before him, like the crisp edges of a dollar bill.

“This is going so well!” He whispered and mused to himself while the light of the fireplace started to die down, making the room a dark, empty dungeon. He slowly finished off the last of his wine, savoring the sweet flavor in his mouth, and set the glass back down. “Ah. Still work to be done!” Then, he was gone in a fizzle of darkness and his lair was back to its empty nothingness of space and time.

*****

Lina awoke at the same time she did every morning, as the sun shown in and settled its gentle warmth upon the room. And, as usual, Janai was already awake and most likely downstairs. The bright rays of the sun bounced from corner to corner across the room, reflecting off Lina’s silken red hair. The warmth and happiness enveloped the room and the birds could be heard from the window, singing their merry songs of the morning’s beauty.

Lina walked out of the hotel and towards the small diner they had eaten at the night before. As she walked toward the door she looked around and saw a peaceful village scene; children playing in the streets, a dog sleeping on the sidewalk, and the smell of freshly baked bread from the bakery. She noticed something else that glimmered in the sun among the busy streets, on a bench farther down the street sat Janai, her hair shimmering radiantly with the warm glow of the sun. Lina walked over to her, and as she did so all the busy noises of the village seemed to fade as her footsteps echoed in the silence.

"Janai?" As Lina approached Janai she noticed she was in deep concentration. Janai's eyes seemed empty, yet full of pain as she gazed down at a small golden locket she held that lie loosely among her fingers.

"Oh…Good Morning Lina." Her voice was shallow, drained of all emotion. She diverted her attention away from the locket for only a brief second, turning back to it as if she were in a hypnotic trance. Lina wanted to ask about the beautiful locket, but she held back, merely sitting next to Janai.

"Oh, You must forgive my rudeness." Janai said sweetly as she finally woke from her silent prison and placed the locket back around her neck. She softly held it, as it lay close by her heart. "I became so involved in what I was thinking, I almost didn't notice you." She blushed softly, the sweet color of a field of roses brightening her soft, pale face.

"No, It's alright." Lina inquired, "I bet there is something very special to you in that locket." The sun danced along the locket's golden surface, casting a magical reflection.

"I would not know." Janai stated solemnly, her eyes overcome with immense grief. "I cannot open it. I've had it since I was a little girl, along with this crystal." She held up another necklace, on it hung a perfect blue crystal, which cast a haunting glow, as haunting as the Demon Sea. The crystal seemed to possess a magical power, similar to that of the locket, but its reflection hid its true meaning. "All that I know is from this inscription on the back of my locket." She removed the locket from around her neck and handed it to Lina. Lina carefully studied the inscription on the back.

"It's written in an ancient text!" Lina was astonished; she had only seen this text used on items such as the Claire Bible Manuscripts. Janai simply nodded. Lina continued to read the inscription aloud, "My dearest Janai; Someday, when you are older, the world will throw you many hardships and you will grow stronger with each one. As you grow you will one day be able to open this locket which will reveal your true parents and the secrets of your past. Always in love -Mother." Lina's body became cold, as her life seemed to be drained from her. The words written on the locket echoed through her mind. She looked up at Janai, who solemnly gazed at the darkened shadows her life had cast at her feet. The thoughts raced through Lina's mind 'Who are her parents?' 'Why so secretive about her past?' 'Is she hiding something?' But as her head lay an empty void containing no answers, she realized Janai had been left the same.

"I must know Lina…" Janai grasped her skirt in anger as a tear slowly fell and soaked her hand. She looked up as her watery eyes met Lina's. Her eyes…they seemed to bore into your heart and grasp your soul and leave you wading in an empty sea of blue. "I must find out who my true parents are…and why…" She stopped as the voices of the children that played were silenced, the smell of bread turned stale, and the peaceful streets returned to the chaos from which they were brought forth.

Lina leaned over and wrapped her arms around Janai to comfort her. The sun began to shine once again and the children began to play as the smell of fresh bread enveloped them and the village was born from chaos once again.

*****

The Demon Sea, where the deep blue towering waters reflect only chaos as they stretch out for eternity…

Deep Sea Dolphin sat in her lair; a shallow pool of crystalline water laced her feet. Her frozen eyes stared deeply into the water as it played a silent scene of a young girl with flowing red hair and shallow blue eyes. Deep Sea's cackles echoed across the devouring waters like the tormented screams of crushed hearts.

"Janai…" Her voice was emotionless, yet heartless, and full of the anguish of a thousand hungry souls. The soft light of her lair reflects across the restless waters as it surrounds her in a majestic aura. "So, you are that Xellas' new assignment. But, no more." Her voice became stern and cold; her hatred for Xellas was immense. The light in her lair was suddenly choked like the crushing of a human throat. Only the echoes of her sinister whispers and the chaos filled waters remained. Her eyes darted furiously with and arctic glare of stone as they focused on the shadows of the young girl. "It has been a very long time…"

*****

"So what are we looking for in Simbachi?" Lina inquired. The illumination of candles darted from corner to corner, casting shadows that violently flickered in brilliance. As all eyes focused on Janai, she concentrated on nothing more that the superficial contents of a tea cup, which sat before her. Contemplating the answer to Lina's question was not on her mind, instead she sensed something. A presence of some sort, a presence not typically of this world. Something was just not quite right.

"There is rumored to be a magical crystal of immense power there." The mysterious voice echoed without end, yet it had no beginning. No mouth had opened to speak and each body was left trembling. A figure suddenly appeared before them, born from darkness, staff in hand, and a cheerful look on his face. The bewilderment of his presence caused both Gourry and Zelgadis to jump from the table, with sword in hand.

"Xellos!!" Zelgadis roared in astonishment. Xellos merely smiled at them and wave a kindly gesture. Gourry and Zel reluctantly returned to their seats and watched as the mysterious man joined their table. They had been weary of Xellos from the beginning, but no knowing he was of the demon race made him harder to trust.

"So what is it you want this time Xellos?" Lina questioned. Janai shifted in her seat, but nevertheless, her attention did not waver.

"Why only to help you of course, Lina Inverse." Xellos smirked and placed a finger to his face. Though his expressions seemed kindly, his voice mad even the gods quake in terror. Janai couldn't stand it any longer. She had not been with Lina long enough to know about the meddling Mazoku, but for some reason her whole body contorted with pain in his presence. She boiled with overwhelming rage and hatred, slammed her hands on the table, and pulled herself to her feet. Her eyes still coldly stared downward as her breathing grew heavy and labored and the blazing beads of sweat dropped slowly one by one devouring her very existence. All eyes intensely followed her as in one swift movement she drew a shimmering sword of water from her hand and held it at the neck of Xellos. The room fell silent and the candles flickered furiously, as Xellos' kindly expressions faded and his eyes became evil and cold.

"Why have you come, demon?!" Her gentle smile, her kind words were no more, they had faded as day fades to night. Her eyes now possessed an arctic glare of fury. The raging fires of hatred engulfed her spirit as she drew the sword closer to Xellos' throat.

Lina's eyes grew wide with amazement. She never would have expected such animosity from Janai nor that she could sense Xellos' hidden secret. She studied the spell, which held a blade of water in Janai's hand. She had never seen such a spell before. "Janai…" Janai diverted her attention away only to acknowledge her name. "Xellos has helped us in the past, and even though we may not really trust him, he's still kind of like a friend. Anyway, what choice do we have but to go along with him?" Janai turned her gaze to Lina, then to Zelgadis, then to her hand. Her eyes melted to the calm shallow seas they had been before as she watched the icy luster of the blade disintegrated in her hand. She turned to her seat as Lina breathed a sigh of relief.

"I shall have my eye on you, Mazoku." She sat back into her seat and solemnly gazed back into her cup of tea.

Xellos erased his look of surprise and curiosity for the moment. As for the others, they were still astounded by Janai's actions. "You make it sound as if I am an annoying pest, Lina. Anyway, as I was saying…This crystal is said to be buried deep in the heart of the city and can immensely amplify magic powers."

"We could use it to destroy all evil and spread Justice throughout the world!" Amelia seemed to have a 'way' with justice speeches, as Xellos twitched. Janai took a gentle sip of her tea. She seemed to be oblivious of what was going on around her.

'If I could amplify my magic, maybe I could find a cure…' Zelgadis thought to himself.

"If I could amplify my magic…" Lina grinned wildly, causing everyone at the table to twitch.

"Well I've told you what I know, I'm sure we'll meet again very soon!" With that Xellos vanished and only the darkness of his presence and the sinister echoes of his voice remained. Janai finally relaxed and broke from her trance.

"I say we leave first thing in the morning." Janai smiled warmly, filling the room with her kindness once again.

*****

A wineglass shatters across the empty space of time, and with it the sound of the millions of lives Beastmaster Xellas has crushed just as easily. She paces across a void, in pure anger, her heavy footsteps spreading chaos beneath her feet.

"Damn that Deep Sea Dolphin!!" Her voice rings out with the pure hatred of all that is evil. "Xellos!"

Her faithful servant promptly appeared, kneeling before her. "Yes, my Lord?"

"There's been a slight change of plan due to that damned Deep Sea Dolphin's intervening." He had never seen his master filled with such hatred, although he knew Deep Sea and Xellas' rivalry dated back before the Battle of the Monsters' Fall.

Xellas draped herself over a chair and languidly pulled up a cigarette, it had always seemed to suppress her mood. The smoke cast a haunting shadow as it wove throughout the darkness. She inhaled as the intoxicating waves of fire filled her lungs and danced around her intense eyes. "Now our plan is to simply unleash this girl's power, but we must find out how…Send in the twins."

"Yes, my Lord, that can be easily arranged."

"I shall assist myself if I must. And once we get her power…" Xellas' voice echoed from wall to wall, leaving chaos and destruction along its path.

Xellos grinned sinisterly and vanished just a quickly as he had come, and the darkness returned to chaos and the sun died, turning the fire of day into the raging darkness of night.

*****
End of Part 3
*****

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