"Darkness beyond twilight,
Crimson beyond blood that flows
Buried in the stream of time
She punched the tree, and it gave a few inches to her fist. "Damn!" she screamed to the wind, not even caring who might hear her. This area was mostly abandoned anyway; why else would she be bothering to practice the Dragon Slave here? "Damn, damn, damn!"
She plopped down in the dirt and punched her fists into the ground, ignoring the bits of gravel that flew up in her face. Her cape billowed out behind her then settled down around her. Followed closely was a light red tail before it wrapped itself around her waist.
I can't believe this! she complained to herself. I can cast the Ragna Blade so easily, but I can't cast the Dragon Slave! It should be so easy; why can't I do it? It briefly occurred to her that it could have something to do with said tail, but she dismissed that theory quickly; it was unfounded, anyway: she could cast the Ragna Blade with her strange appendage, so she should, theoretically speaking, be able to cast the Dragon Slave. Of course, then the next step will be the Giga Slave, but one step at a time, Miya-chan.
She laid back in the sun and let her eyes just close. "Mother of all things, if you actually listen to us mere mortals, I want more power," she whispered. "I want to reach my fullest potential, L-sama. Onegai," she finished as she drifted off to sleep.
Two figures slowly took form before her. At first the only things she could really see were black hair and haloes. (Angels?!? Here?!? Not bloody likely! her mind screamed once more.) Then the haloes faded, and their bodies began to take form. One was taller than the other, and his hair stuck out wildly in every direction. The clothes he was wearing appeared to be a gi of some sort; it was a deep orange color, and he wore a blue shirt under it. The second man was only a little taller than she was. He too wore a gi, his of blue, with white gloves and boots. Both had black hair and eyes, and muscles to spare. Okay, the tall one's not my type... demo, the other one...
"Who are you?" she demanded, fireball held in ready. Ready to toast 'em if they threatened her, ready to drop it if they didn't. She couldn't really get too much of a sense of their intent; it would be awful to fry a potential ally or pair of allies.
The taller one opened his mouth as if to speak, then suddenly she saw nothing but blackness. Thinking she'd been attacked, she let the huge ball of fire fly. Then suddenly, from deep within the darkness, she heard a very feminine-sounding laugh.
:Do you think to hurt me with that little attack, chibi?: the woman asked.
"Who are you?" she demanded, her tail - and whole body really - bristling at being called "little one."
The voice spoke again. :I am the mother of all things. I am the one who has dreamed for years uncounted of regaining my form. I am darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night. I am the Sea of Chaos, the source of all Chaos. I am. . . ,: a spark of gold appeared in the blackness, and the voice apparently originated from it, :the Lord of Nightmares.: [A.N.: And that came directly, word-for-word, from Slayers Next dubbed.]
"L-sama?" Miya whispered. "But. . . how?"
:You asked for power, chibi. How badly do you want it?:
"Nani? What do you mean, how badly do I want it, L-sama?"
:What are you willing to risk, to give up, for this power?:
'I. . . don't know."
:A wise answer.: The voice was silent for a moment, and the gold expanded around her. :To find the power you seek, a power greater than any ordinary magic you could learn here, you must leave this world for another.:
:To learn what you need, chibi, you must find Vegita and Kakaroto. There, with them, you may learn both power - and of your kind. That is why I showed them to you.:
"My kind, L-sama? You mean,. . . what?"
A laugh. :Only that you are not human, chibi; you're Saiyajin. The last female Saiyajin born on Vegitasei.:
Her legs gave out from under her, and she collapsed. "I'm an alien?"
:Yes, you are. Do you still wish to learn your power, or do you wish to stay here and mourn for a family that was not your own?:
Rage flooded through her, and she sprang to her feet. "Kaasama and Tousama may not have been related to me by blood, but they were my family!" she screamed, regardless of any consequences.
:Good,: the voice in the darkness stated out of the blue. Miya blinked in surprise before her scowl returned. :You'll need that anger. Build it up, and wear it as a shield around you. Otherwise, you shall fail.:
"You were baiting me, L-sama?" There was no answer, but amusement rippled in the air around her. "I want the power, but may I say good-bye to Kaasama and Tousama before I leave?"
:Of course, chibi.:
"Then I only have two more questions. How am I here instead of on this Vegitasei? And why are you helping me, L-sama?"
:You survived the destruction of your homeworld through my will. I brought you here to be trained in magic for the same reason I am helping you now: you, chibi, are one of my Avatars, just like your adopted mother. That is why I saved you, and that is why I'm helping you now.: The voice sighed, and the golden darkness began to fade. :Go. Say your farewells. Then return here, and I shall show how to go where you must.:
"Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu, L-sama."
She finished speaking just as the presence faded, and the blackness was replaced by the lonely, empty meadow where she had been practicing the Dragon Slave.
Wiping tears from her face, she turned her attention to the other grave. "Kaasama, I'm sorry; I still can't cast the Dragon Slave yet. Nadia-chan will be keeping things up for me while I'm gone, so you just worry about keeping Tousama in line." The tears flooded down her face now as she traced her mother's name written on the stone. "I miss you so much, Kaasama. I wish you could go on this adventure with me. I think you'd enjoy a whole new world. L-sama has promised to show me the way."
A breeze rippled the grass across the clearing, and Miya felt a shiver run up her back. It felt almost like cold fingers. "Kaasama?" she whispered. The breeze dried the tears on her cheeks and brushed her hair out of her eyes. "Kaasama? You don't want me working with the Lord of Nightmares, do you, Kaasama? That's why you always warned me against using her power, isn't it?"
"That's right, musume," a voice echoed, this time a voice she recognized very well. Only one woman called her that.
"Kaasama?" A thin specter appeared before her, and she scrambled to her feet. "How are you here?"
Her mother winked. "I may be dead, but I'm still one of the greatest sorceresses ever. So you're going on an adventure of your own, are you?"
"Hai, Kaasama, I am."
"Do you have everything you need?"
The specter before her sombered. "The world you're going to is going to be very dangerous, or so Enma Daiou tells us. There's going to be a few things you'll need before you leave." A light shimmered between the two women and slowly took shape. "Your father sent this for you, musume, with his love."
"His sword?" Miya whispered in disbelief, her fingertips dancing over the hilt, scarcely daring to believe it was really there and physical enough for her to touch.
"Go on, take it; it's real enough," her mother prompted. She grabbed the hilt - and it certainly felt real. "And from me, musume." There was a second sparkle of light, then a small bag dropped into her other hand.
She almost dreaded opening the velvet pouch. Her mother had occasionally been known to be something of a trickster. Four large silver claps with red stones fell out. "Your talismans to increase power? Kaasama, I can't . . ."
"Do you think I have any need for them up there? Take 'em, and do me proud. No daughter of mine is going into a fight under-powered."
"Kaasama, you knew. . ."
Her mother frowned and seated herself upon her own gravestone, one leg tucked up under her and her head resting on her hand. "That you weren't our daughter?" Miya nodded. "Of course. You showed up when you were four; your father and I were still just friends at the time you were born. But we loved you like you were ours."
"You did, Kaasama."
"You didn't seem to remember anything before showing up at our dinner table, so we left it at that. Good enough?"
"Hai, Kaasama." She paused, chewing her lip in thought. "Kaasama, what do you know about Saiyajin?"
"Just what I pick up from Enma Daiou. Something about them being one of the most dangerous and powerful races in the galaxy. One Saiyajin is said to be more than a match for the most powerful sorcerer."
"Doomo arigatoo, Kaasama. Now I know what I'll be dealing with."
The form before her flickered, and her mother glanced behind her. "Looks like my time's up," she sighed. "Anything you want me to tell everyone?"
"Hai. Tell Tousama arigatoo for the sword and I love him. And give my love to Ojisama and Obasama. And I love you so much, Kaasama."
"I love you too, musume." She smiled. "Come here, Miya." Without hesitation, she moved closer to the ghost. Her mother untied the black bandanna from around her forehead and then tied it around Miya's. "There. Now you look like a true Inverse sorceress." A serious look passed over Lina Inverse's face. "You know, I am with you always and I'll help you however I can."
"I know, Kaasama. I know."
"Ai shiteru, Miya-chan." The specter completely vanished.
"I love you too, Kaasama," Miya whispered as she slowly left the clearing.
The darkness grabbed her and lifted her off the ground. :Hmm. Interesting ensemble. You dress like your mother. But I don't think it's particularly proper for the place you're going. I believe armor might be more appropriate.:
"Armor?" She looked down. She now wore a black bodysuit with white and gold armor over her chest. Her sword was across her back with the talisman bag tied around its scabbard. "Is it going to be that bad, L-sama?"
:Probably it will be, chibi, but you are ready. Relax now. I will take you where you need to be to enter this other world; unless you call upon me, you will be on your own from then on. Understand?:
"I understand, L-sama," she responded, pushing her bangs out of her face. "Let's go."
:Amusing child.: The blackness swirled then was replaced by endless, glaring white. :This is the door to this world; it's called the Room of Spirit and Time. Remember all I have told you, chibi. Keep your anger close, trust no one, find Vegita and Kakaroto, and call on me if you need help.:
"The Giga Slave?" Her voice echoed in the vast emptiness. "But it's been sealed."
:Yes, by your mother, my last Avatar. Only another Avatar could unseal it. So call me if you need my help.: The voice faded out, and she could sense that she was truly alone now.
"The Room of Spirit and Time, eh?" she mused aloud. "Then there must be a door, ne?"
8 August 2000
Sorry about slicing so much off of it like this, but I'm preparing to finish it soon after Welcome to the Future is done. Shouldn't be too much longer, unless I get nasty emails.