The Guppy sailed the ocean's waters without any sea monsters or big demons or madmen with crews of four and forty harassing them.  Everybody on board got some rest, which was hard considering the dinky ship now had seven people to house and feed, but they managed.  When food supplies got low, Lina started to nibble on Gourry in a frenzy until someone found a chocolate bar Amelia had been hiding under her pillow to save for a later day.  In other words, things had gone back to normal, or what passed for it with these people.
    The Guppy docked at Las Sailoon's harbors, and on arrival, Amelia wrangled up a royal coach and honor guard to ferry them to the castle.  The coach had everything, even a mini-bar, much to the delight of Naga, who was drunk out of her mind and singing bawdy songs by the time they reached the gate, making for a very interesting welcoming ceremony.
    The final step, of course, was constructing the Oracle Mirror.  Lina had the old frame hauled in, and Zelgadis poured in enough water to make a decent surface.  It crystallized nicely, Oracle Trigger was cast -- and this time, Lina put in a voice activated trigger so there'd be no slipups, and suggested putting a sign on it reading 'BREAK THIS AND LINA INVERSE WILL GET MIDEVAL ON YOUR ASS', but for some reason, Prince Phil decided against adding the sign.
    The crew loitered around the castle a little.  Naga got reacquainted with her unbelieving family in a little domestic comedy / domestic dispute.  Zelgadis restlessly prowled around with nothing to do until he decided to head out to seek his fortune.  Lily joined a white magic society in Sailoon.  Amelia did princessly stuff and tried to petition for royal funds to build a funpark, without much success.
    Dayvid took up Melvin Mallorean's old job, since Mel was now quite retired.  Apparently his brief encounter with adventure had been a bit more than he wanted in life, and he turned in a resignation and left to find the only part of the world where no human had touched yet so he could have a nice relaxing life from then on -- and upon finding Doomed, decided just to go back home and get a house in the Sailoon countryside.
    Generally, nothing very interesting or worthy of noting as anything other than a P.S. happened once the fateful day on the Peak of Despair climaxed.
    Except, perhaps, a few things.
    The night after the disastrous success on the Island of Ultimate Despair, relieved to find that their inn hadn't been melted into radioactive slag in the incident, Lina and Gourry had a late night snack and mused.
    "That means the quest is over, right?" Gourry asked.
    "More or less," Lina nodded.  "Some stuff to mop up, but that's it."
    "So where're we going next?" Gourry asked.  "Got any plans?"
    "I'm sure something will pop up," Lina smiled.
    Later that night, Lina locked her inn door, and got ready for bed.  Tiring day.  She stretched out a bit, unbuckled her cape and let it drop, did some flexes, unfurled her wings and opened the windows to take a deep breath of that nice night air, which felt good on.. her...
    She quickly grabbed her hand mirror, took a look in it and briefly wondered if Optimum Vision was still cast on it.  It wasn't.  Plain ordinary mirror.
    Plain ordinary mirror which was showing large, golden orange butterfly wings, a new anatomical addition she could swear she didn't have before.
    Giga Slave, Giga Restoration.  She held the first in one hand at one time, and now had held the other.  An irreversible path...
    Prophecy again.
    But it was too late, and too long coming for Lina to panic, or freak out.  She just looked up to the night sky, surprise on her face passing.  She gave a little smile, gave a little shrug.
    Whatever THIS meant, she could face it tomorrow, and with a bright smile.  For now, rest.
    Far and away, in a small cottage on the edge of reality, Xelloss snapped the final piece of his puzzle into place.  Literally.
    It would have been very metaphorical if it wasn't simply a jigsaw of a small boy tugging along a wooden duck on wheels, which frankly even Xelloss had a hard time reading some meaning into.
    What was it he was going to do today?  Oh yes, ring up his partner in crime and get a status report.
    He used a modified version of a mirror spell, since Xelloss never really was one to cast a pure spell without a hack or two of his very own, and opened a two way communication link.  The picture in the mirror didn't change into it pulled down one eyelid and b'iiiiiihed him.
    "And a merry hello to you to," Xelloss said.  "How fares?"
    "Quite well, quite well," his reflection said.  "Lina's joined up with the Sisters of Light as suspected.  Hasn't lost her touch, it seems."
    "I'm so pleased everything worked out," Xelloss said, having a seat, relaxing.  "Both Linas came out the other side better off.  Although..."
    "Something seems different," Xelloss said.  "An odd feeling, an element of chaos I hadn't planned on.  But it must not have been anything noteworthy, since the plans didn't get interrupted.  There were a few close calls -- I had to pull Zelgadis back from the future or he wouldn't be able to supply the water on time.  And I suspect my mistress will have a few harsh words, but little more than that.  I DID obey her orders to a T, after all.  Secretly I think she enjoys giving me these puzzles to puzzle out, don't you?"
    "Oh, most definitely!  What fun would life be without a challenge?"
    "Quite true, quite true.  But still.. smashing success."
    The two nodded in sync, pausing, thinking.
    "You know... about Lina.  I wonder..."
    "...if she even suspects?" the reflection asked.
    "No, probably not," Xelloss said.  "It's better that way.  Wouldn't work out."
    "Agreed.  Still... ah, but affairs of emotion are not the norm for Mazoku, are they, brother of sorts?"
    "No," Xelloss smiled.  "Good thing we're not true Mazoku, eh?"
    The other smiled.
    Lots of smiles.
    Xelloss cut the link.
    Somewhere beneath the shining sun, somewhere in the green and fertile lands the world, somewhere in the city/state of Sailoon, somewhere on the grounds of the Happy Traveler's Mega-Inn and Conference Center, a story was finished.
    The storyteller didn't have the world's most receptive audience, but she continued along anyway.
    "And so," she said, "The poor twin returned to her home, the darkness smashed at the island of doom, the sorceress and her companions found the conclusion they sought.  And perhaps they will live happily ever after, but that forever remains in the realm of the future -- who's to say?  Perhaps I'll have another tale to tell soon.  But for now... that is the end."
    The tavern-goers sipped ale, and considered.
    "Rubbish," one said.  "Doesn't make sense.  First of all, a beast betraying its kind?  For some girl sorceress?  I know monsters of lore, and they're great bloody bastards, they are.  They don't smile, either."
    "And all this crud about alternate history and such..." another said.  "While it's good fiction, it just doesn't wash with me.  There's only this world, that's all.  I should know, I've been livin' in it for decades..."
    The storyteller girl smiled.  "As a bard once said, as you like it, gentlemen.  Now, some coppers for my fine tale?... a tribute to the art of oral tradition?  And no disgusting jokes from YOU about oral tradition, Mr. Farthingshire."
    Coins were passed around, copper, silver, one gold.  The story was liked quietly, if not verbally, and folks went back to their drinking, back to their homes, or to work.  The storyteller scooped up her bag, stored the money and walked out.
    "What'd she say her name was?" one of the drinkers asked.  "Miss what?"
    "Just Miss, I think," another said, then belched.
    "Thought it had more of a TH sound..." the first said.  "Miiith.  Mith.   Miss Myth?  Stage name, probably.  And who'd she say she was lookin' for?"
    "Lina Inverse," the other said, because that's not a name you forget.
    "The enemy of all who live?  Eh, luck to her, then.  Hope she survives THAT encounter."
    That was all that need be said at the time, because that story was over.
Story copyright 1998 Stefan Gagne, characters copyright H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi.
A Spoof Chase Production.