neaking back into Sailoon's city core was no easy
Already, wanted posters for Lina and Gourry were
put up. Lina was mildly relieved to see 'Wanted Alive' on it, rather
than another word which started with the letter D, but the efficiency of
Sailoon's justice patrol was still unnerving.
"I think that's a good sign," Gourry said.
"It means she's probably very worried about us and wants to help us out."
"Right, Gourry. And maybe she'll invite us
over for tea while she's at it," Lina grumbled.
"Uh... Miss Lina?" Myth said, squinting slightly.
"I can't see very good... can I have my glasses back?"
"They're part of my disguise," Lina said.
"See, people don't look THAT hard at you. They just check the color
of your costume, what sort of hairstyle you have, and maybe any ornaments.
If you change those three things around, you'll easily pass as someone
else in a crowd! You don't have to go so far as buying a cheesy makeup
kit and a cloak, you know."
"But aren't I wearing her southslayer's cloak?"
Gourry asked, muffled inside the hood of the cheap garment.
"Exactly!" Lina said, without missing a beat.
"You've got her old costume to cover all your features. I've got
her bard's outfit and hairdo and glasses. Myth is wearing my outfit,
with her hair down..."
"Doesn't that just mean I'll get arrested instead
of you?" Myth asked nervously.
"Details, details," Lina said. "We'll be getting
you into a maid's uniform in a little bit, anyway, once we find a costume
shop. Then you sneak into the palace, go raid out rooms to get our
swords, gear, and my book..s. Meanwhile, Gourry and I will buy provisions
for the trip, using the money you brought to fund our party--"
"--but that's my money--"
"It's BRILLIANT!" Lina proclaimed, ignoring any
protest. "We'll be out of Sailoon in under an hour... what are you
Myth didn't look up from the small book she was
writing in. "Notes. Even if I have to participate, I have GOT
to get this story down. It's so exciting! And dangerous!
And I'm a little scared! But it's exciting. It'll make a great
Curious, Lina peeked into the book and read aloud.
"'And so the noble sorceress came up with a brilliant stratagem of deceit
and cunning...' Kinda flowery, isn't it?"
"What's a stratasphere?" Gourry asked.
"It has to have a little.. embellishment," Myth
explained. "That's what makes it even MORE exciting."
"I had some embellishment once," Gourry said, grinning.
"It was really great with some strawberry jam and plum pudding!"
"Um," Myth said, "That's not what it--"
"Let it slide," Lina suggested, spotting a costume
shop across the street. "Trust me. It's a lot easier that way."
Twenty minutes later, Myth was busy doing something
she had never done before in her life. She was sneaking into the
palace of Sailoon through the servant's entrance while wearing a skimpy
maid costume designed for Fruit Lantern's Eve. Admittedly, she hadn't
done it before because it was a very specific thing to be doing, but that
didn't make it any easier.
This was crazy. This was crazy. First
of all, she was directly involved in the story. She NEVER was that
before. Even when she did tag along with a hero, she'd write herself
out by staying out of the action, by keeping to the sidelines when the
hero wrestled the ogre or tangled wits with the troll or whatever.
But Lina... Lina was like a great big steamroller of a story. If
you didn't run ahead of her fast enough, you'd get flattened.
So now, here she was, in a very unflattering outfit
(but she still had her book, since she'd sooner part with a leg than let
it out of her sight) and doing something quite illegal and possibly attention
getting. And what's worse, she'd have to write herself as a CHARACTER
now! What would she write? She didn't want to seem too egotistical
and make herself the center of the story, that was Lina's role, but...
it was all so perplexing.
'Maybe this would be it,' she figured. 'Lina
just wants me to go fetch their stuff. It's a simple job, and once
done, I can squat comfortably in the margins for the rest of the trip.
Maybe I could write in a sidekick for this particular role and kill him
off dramatically afterwards. No, wait, that's not comedic...'
She was so busy thinking about coherent plot and
pacing of Drama that she bumped head on into the seamstress.
Since the seamstress had more of what would scientifically
be defined as 'mass', Myth bounced off her like a rubber ball, landing
on her tush.
"Watch it there, missy," the ample woman said, lending
Myth a hand to get back up. "Need to keep track of where you're going
in this place. You're new here, aren't you?"
"Yes," Myth said truthfully.
"It's the costume," the seamstress smiled.
"I can tell."
Myth didn't know how Sailoon's inner palace worked.
Maybe the headsman was always a simple five second jaunt away from every
hall. Times like these she wished the wingless were immune from death,
rather than just being immune from aging...
"Honestly, gel, you need some respect for yourself,"
the seamstress said. "I know the young ladies like to dress all...
that, to try and impress their bosses, but what sort of a promotion is
that? Not a proper one, I can say."
"I.. oh! Oh. Yeah, you're right!" Myth
said, having a moment of crystal realization : Acting wasn't just saying
dramatic lines, like her failed attempt at fortune telling. It was
a lot like writing as you go. "I don't honestly know why I listened
to the others and tried this... isn't this the most hideous frock you've
"Eh, I've seen worse," the seamstress said, believing
Myth's false sincerity. (Although sincerely, she DID hate the dress,
so it worked in double favor.)
"Do you know where I could get a more... reasonable
outfit?" Myth asked. "I'm really low on money, this was pretty expensive...
foolish me for trying it..."
"Now now, no need to get yer knickers in an uproar,"
the seamstress said. "I've got a few from my early days. Would
probably suit you just fine. Come on, then."
Myth nodded, tagging along with the more experienced
house helper. But she walked behind her, so she could quietly write
down exactly what was said. This was great stuff!
Meanwhile, in another part of scenic Sailoon City, Lina
in her new bard's costume was approaching the gates of hell.
Today was the last day of the Annual Sailoon Magician's
Market, and EVERYTHING MUST GO! Wands, staves, scrolls, amulets,
capes, swords, cursed dolls, enchantments and services galore are yours
to be had for a LOW LOW PRICE! OUR PRICES ARE SO LOW, IT'S INSAAAAANEE!!!!!
And so was the crowd. Because the third day
of the market was the busiest, those last minute purchases involving a
lot of haggling and elbow-fighting to get at the choice items before they
ran out. Still, it was the best option they had for getting some
"Gourry, here's half... ah... a third... here's
one eighth of the money," Lina said, counting out a few coins and passing
them over to the becloaked swordsman. "Only get things that you think
we'll need for a road trip. Got it?"
"I got it. You can count on me, Lina!" Gourry
said. Then he was distracted by a bright shiny object. "Oooh,
armor polish!" Off into the fray he went.
Lina gave a sigh of despair, and also tried to work
her way into the crowd. It wasn't easy; she was small, female, and
couldn't see over everybody's heads. Her usual method of crowd control,
a well placed Dill Brand, would get her kicked out of here. So instead,
she resorted to dirty tactics. Tickling.
Leaving a trail of confused, giggling sorcerers
in her wake, she scooted from table to table, checking out the goods available.
The situation as she saw it was this; she had a group of semi-deity like
people she had no known location for who probably wouldn't want to go with
her, and had unusual power to lob around.
At the first stand, she bought a general-purpose
enchanted divining rod. A simple split-Y staff, the instructions
claimed it could find anything you might desire. Simply issue it
the verbal command from this simple set of functions, and fame, money and
power could be yours!
Lina doubted that, but it was cheap, so into the
shopping bag it went.
That would take care of finding them. Hopefully.
Next would be containing them for travel and transport, and she knew just
The stand was off to the side, uninteresting to
most because it only sold a few specific kinds of items. The proprietor,
a gnarly looking old guy, eyed Lina with his only ocular organ that wasn't
made of glass, and puffed on a long pipe.
"The ancient mystic powers greet you, little one,"
he said. "How may I help you unlock the secrets of the universe today
for twenty gold or less?"
"You had a rack of.. little jelly jars out here
yesterday," Lina said, making a sphere shape with her hands. "Do
you have any left?"
"Ah, you seek the mystic Man-Trap of Fa Chu," the
proprietor said, lifting a glass jar from a nearby box. "Very ancient
and powerful magic. Unscrew the lid and press the open mouth of the
jar to any person for five seconds, and it will contain and freeze them
for easy transportation and/or imprisonment. Unscrew the lid after
sealing someone in to release them. A steal at only five gold per.
The gods truly smile on such bargains--"
"Yeah, but what can they contain?"
"Could you get... hmm," Lina said. "Let's
say; could you make a Mazoku fit in there?"
"It stores any lifeform," the man said. "Very
mystical ancient powers. The wise ones of dynasties past were men
of energy and light. They formed their tools well. In the Shao
"I'll take eight.... no, seven of them," Lina said.
Money was exchanged. A small bag of little
jars was now in Lina's possession. She thanked him and turned to
go, when she noticed something on the shelf.
"Hey, how much for that monkey's paw?" she asked.
"You do not want that. It has a terrrible
curse on it. It grants wishes of human desire, yet--"
"Oh, curse. Forget it, then," Lina said, avoiding
a pitfall that had snagged people many, many times before who hadn't heard
that particular folklore.
Lina checked the money she had left, and it was
certainly enough for another large item. The question is, what would
Not only did the head seamstress give Myth a more suitable
set of clothes (these could come in handy later, she figured) but she also
got a master key to the guest wing. Myth lied and said that she had
orders to go dust the rooms there.
After putting up this act for awhile now, a pang
of guilt was starting to hit Myth. She was lying. True, all
fiction is a lie of some degree, and truth is subjective, but... SHE was
lying. The difference between a brilliant stratagem of deceit and
cunning and fibbing like a dog is that the hero does one and an average
person does the other.
She wasn't the hero, right? She was WITH the
hero, but she WASN'T the hero. The way she had theorized, long long
ago, villains had goons who had minions and sometimes employed thugs.
Heroes had companions and sometimes sidekicks who had honorable friends.
Was she a companion or a sidekick? It was the difference between
a dramatic and a comedic role, and a very important distinction.
Of course, if she screwed up this mission, she definitely
was just a sidekick. Determined to be a companion, she turned the
master key in the lock on Lina's room, and looted the place.
Mental checklist. She ran down it, item by
item, bagging anything she knew about into a sheet taken off Lina's bed.
The sword with a butterfly handle was hard to fit in, but it worked.
She had to use every muscle she had, which wasn't
saying much, to pry the loose brick away and grab the Giga Lores.
Curious, she leafed through them, like she would any good book; all blank
Gourry's room was easier. Grab the Sword of
Light, get his clothes, that's it.
Confident and pleased with herself, Myth swung the
bag over one shoulder, and walked out the door only to have the gigantic
sack get stuck in the doorframe.
Maybe she should have planned how to get all this
junk out of the castle without being noticed.
Lina held her new possession with delicate hands, as
one might handle the true Clair Bible.
Never before had she encountered such genius.
The very idea of this thing was pleasing to the core. How useful!
How powerful! How innovative! Minds like that deserved to have
ivory busts carved of them and placed in a hall of.. of... very important
people, that's for sure.
Confidence and satisfaction in a small, thin, rectangular
Gourry spotted Lina across a rare patch of empty
space in the market, and hauled a medium sized package with him.
"Lina, look what I got!"
"Oh?" Lina asked. "What's that?"
"Rations!" Gourry said proudly. "They're so
compact. They're called Meals-Ready-To-Eat! It's an entire
meal in a small package, utensils and all, with side dishes... look, they've
got Could Be Chicken, Possibly Potatoes and even Sort of Steaks!
We'll never have to worry about going hungry now."
Lina blinked a few times. Then giggles.
Then flat out laughed.
"Ah, Gourry, I've already taken care of that...
BEHOLD!!" she said, holding the card up in front of Gourry's eyes.
"A DINER'S CLUB CARD! Prepaid with the rest of my money. With
this, you can purchase food at thousands of convenient locations, and never
have to haggle about price, or about tips. One who possesses the
card has the power to obtain many fine gourmet meals from cities far and
wide! We're set for the entire trip, Gourry!"
"Wow," Gourry said. "It's a pity you got that,
what with my Meals Ready To Eat. But that's okay, maybe we can use
it when we run out of these."
"A compromise. You eat.. whatever that stuff
is, and I'll feast on succulent meats and soups in warm, insulated restaurants,"
Lina said. "Deal?"
"Uh, okay. How much money do we have left?"
"None," Lina said.
"And.. how much money did you have in the room?"
"So we're broke now?"
"We're not broke. We have the POWER OF CONVENIENT
EATING!" Lina reminded Gourry helpfully.
"Oh. So where's Myth?" he asked. "Aren't
we going to meet her here at the market gates?"
"I'm sure she'll be back soon," Lina said.
"It wasn't that hard of a job, after all."
Clunk. Clunk. Clunk.
Myth waddled. That was the best she could
manage, given the circumstances. Whenever someone would pass by,
she'd stop, in case they heard the sound--
A passing page boy spotted her. "Hello!
When are you expecting?"
"Huh?" Myth asked. She looked down at her
enlarged belly. "Oh! The happy day could be any day now!
How do you like the name.. um... Loot?"
"Odd name," the boy said. "But congratulations
He excused himself, and dashed off.
Carrying a bundle of stuff including two swords
under your dress wasn't easy. And you couldn't move real fast.
And it made a lot of noise. But it WAS working, besides those factors.
Myth clunked along carefully, only a few hallways and a staircase away
from the servant's entrance...
Voices drifted over from a nearby meeting room.
The temptation to be a fly on the wall was irresistible for her.
After all, that was her usual role, the way she obtained the stories that
were part of her Name... besides, she wasn't THAT late. She cupped
an ear to the door.
"...just saying that maybe they're feeling a bit
pressured," a boy said. "Amelia, you put up wanted posters all over."
"Yeah, but Daaaayvid! That was so if anybody
finds them, they can tell us," Amelia said. "Lina needs help!
She's talking nonsense and looked so feral in there, I thought she would
eat Gourry! I don't want her to run away scared."
"She's going to, if you scare her. Posters
are scary. Um. I mean, look -- if I found a poster of me saying
WANTED, I'd feel scared. Right? That makes sense."
"But what else can I do?"
"I'm just an engineer, not a problem solv... oh,
wait. I am. Hmm. Okay... she might still be in the city.
Her stuff's here. Have it collected and taken to a good place, then..."
"Somehow, get a message to her that she won't be
hurt and stuff. Then maybe she'll come in. Otherwise, we'll
have to go after her, if she's really that bad off..."
"Gourry said she thought she was on a mission from
the Lord of Nightmares... I mean, that doesn't sound reasonable, right?"
"The what? I thought the Ell Oh Enn was just
One particular Myth was hightailing it as fast as
she could clunk to the stairs. That was more than enough scary forewarning
for her; it was time to get out of town before anybody noticed all this
stuff was missing.
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka
/ R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.
Yep, that's what Myth generally looks like.. fanart,