The people in her room had other plans, however.
"Lina!!" Gourry exclaimed, the volume of his greeting driving Lina's ears six feet into her skull. "How are you?"
"Annihilated," Lina mumbled in reply. "Could someone grab a white magic specialist? My head feels like a.. a.. really painful thing."
Gourry nodded, and decided to dash out and fetch one himself. This left alone with her other visitor.
"I suppose saying 'I told you so' would be rude," Zelgadis wondered, arms crossed as he looked over at Lina from his seat by the window.
"No..." Lina said, trying to remember back, a task that was proving difficult to do. "I remembered your little Moral of the Day Speech. I was careful, gentle magic probes, nothing harsh. Didn't work, anyway. I think... the mirror broke, didn't it?"
"Into, as they say, a million itty bitty pieces."
"Damn... what did it?" Lina asked, rubbing her temples. "Do they know?"
"Could be physical force, metaphysical.. who knows?" Zel shrugged. "Didn't you break it?"
"I can't remember..."
"It probably doesn't matter. It's history now, legendary history at that. You may want to flee the country -- Prince Phil's calling a press conference soon, and is expecting you there," Zelgadis said. "I think I could get you out of here."
Lina sat up, head swimmy. "Gotta wait for Gourry."
"Lina, there's about two hundred angry wizards down there and the entire Sailoon army. I'd think getting out as fast as possible would be more important, if you want to survive this."
"Gotta wait for Gourry," Lina repeated.
"Suit yourself," Zel shrugged. "Myself, since I'm usually implicated with your little party, I think I'll be going. Good luck, though."
With that, he opened the window and leapt out to his death. Or would have, if he didn't know a Raywing flight spell, in which case he simply zipped off for parts unknown.
Fighting her headache, Lina tried to think back. To figure out exactly what happened. Okay, she had sat down to fiddle with the mirror... no spells were working. Gourry's spastic hand waving didn't work. Thought-reading concentration didn't seem to work. So she started brainstorming, and.. and..
Well, something must have gone wrong. She didn't recall the mirror actually working. She knew it broke; there were a half dozen little cuts on her body which would need some professional healing. But beyond that, a big black void. Very annoying for someone who likes to know exactly what's going on in life at all times. Maybe if Gourry found an expert in white magic, she could heal her mem--
"Lina, look! I found someone!" Gourry called. "She--"
Lina fell out of bed in an awkward little heap.
"Lina! I'm so happy to see you!" Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon cheered, bouncing up and down in place. "Amazing, how we're constantly drawn together in times of trouble to go on bold journeys for truth and justice!!"
Lina's morning went from the frying pan and into the heart of the sun. Of all the people she wanted to see now, short of the Lord of Nightmares, Amelia was last. Some people thought Lina was hyperactive, but that was mostly because they had yet to be introduced to the junior terror of love and justice, Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon. Her arrival usually earmarked the start of something truly awful.
"Hello, Amelia," Lina managed. "I seem to have broken my head. Help."
"Oooh, you really did get hurt!" Amelia exclaimed, grabbing Lina by the shoulders and helping her up (and banging her against the wall in the process by accident). "Don't you worry, I can fix you right up. Oh! Will you come with me?"
"Yeah, sure, whatever," Lina waved off. "Come on, make with the healing spells."
"HOORAY!" Amelia cheered, letting go of Lina, who promptly collapsed again. "Together again!"
"Ano?" Gourry asked.
"Eh?" Lina followed up with.
"Come on, let's go!" the younger sorceress of light and sugar exclaimed, grabbing them both by the wrist and running. "There's so much to do!"
Before Lina could do anything effective to escape the vice like grip of Amelia's determination, she had dragged the both of them down the stairwell and through a small door--
And onto the ballroom main stage, in front of the eyes of all two hundred wizards, magicians, sorcerers and cultists, as well as the fully armed Sailoon Honor Guard.
Lina muttered a silent prayer for the damned, and closed her eyes.
"Papa! Lina's agreed to come with me!" Amelia said. "We're all set to go!"
"YOSH!!!" Prince Phil exclaimed. "Listen, everybody! Lina Inverse has agreed to repay her debt to the kingdom of Sailoon by questing with my daughter on a royal expedition to recover the Legendary Lost Lore of Mirror Magic and fix the Oracle's Mirror!"
The crowd cheered, more or less.
"Let's hear it for Lina Inverse!"
"Three cheers for Lina Inverse!"
"Bring back the book or we'll hang you, Lina Inverse!"
"HIP HIP HOORAY!"
"Oh, god," Lina whispered to Gourry, a sinking feeling descending through her digestive system. "Don't tell me I just agreed to..."
"I'd say something right now, but I'd be telling you what you just told me not to tell you," Gourry logically said. "Well.. how bad could it be?"
"Gourrrry!" Lina groaned. She lowered her voice, not to be overheard. "Nobody KNOWS where the tomes of Silverquick are! There's a reason why they're Legendary LOST Lores! It's a fool's errand. We'll never find them!"
"Oh, don't worry. I saw his address on a card behind the mirror," Gourry smiled.
"...what? You what?!" Lina babbled. "Gourry, we need to get out of here NOW."
Lina gestured to the assembled wizards, who were too busy talking amongst themselves to notice. "If any of them find that out, how many power-crazed sorcerers do you think we're going to have on our tail, since you're the only person alive who has ANY clue about where to find the Legendary Lost Lore of Mirror Magic?!"
"Oh, umm... let me see... six? Err, five?" Gourry guessed. "You know I'm not good at math, Lina."
"Just don't tell anyone about what you know, got it? Not until we're out of here."
"No need to worry!" Gourry laughed out loud. "I'm great at keeping a secret like the address of Silverquick's home!!!"
Many hundred eyes immediately turned to Gourry.
"Annoo... was that too loud?" he asked.
"Time to go!!" Lina yelled, grabbing Gourry and Amelia by the earlobes and taking off, leaving a smoking trail behind her.
It was the fastest leavetaking ever in the history of Sailoon Royal Expeditions. It basically involved running to Lina's room, stuffing as much stuff as could be fit into a suitcase, and jumping out the window to make a break for it.
The group touched down outside of the city, and following Lina's lead, didn't stop running until they were safely and completely lost in a nearby forest, away from any hint of civilization.
Amelia, completely out of breath, fell to her knees and tried to regain her strength. "Ne... ugh... Lina! Why are we in a rush? Oh! I get it! You're eager to journey for the honor and glory of Sailoon, right??"
"Something like that," Lina agreed.
"Well, I'm more than happy to lead our group to victory!!" Amelia exclaimed, popping to her feet and into a dramatic pose. "Onward towards glory!"
"Ano NA!" Lina yelped. "I'm leading us! That's how it always works, ne? We've done this kind of thing before."
"Actually, I thought Zelgadis was the one who lead us and we always just let Lina think she was in charge to make her happy," Gourry mused to himself.
"What happened to trying not to make me hit you?!" Lina asked.
"Well, you didn't say anything about mentioning your incredible ego--"
"This is exciting!" Amelia smiled. "Let's go, gang! To an other adventure!"
And so, the journey was off. The three, arguing and walking at an even pace, started to make their way out of the forest.
The forest was, for the large part, happy to see them leave.
The figure smirked.
"OOOHHOOHOOHHOOHOHHOOOO!!!!" it laughed into the back of her hand. "So, you think you can obtain the Legendary Lost Lores before me, Lina? You're so naive! I, your greatest and most dangerous rival, will overcome!"
|TO BE CONTINUED|