Slayers Fan Fiction ❯ You Can Fly So High, Keep Your Gaze Upon the Sky ( Chapter 2 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
“You Can Fly So High, Keep Your Gaze Upon the Sky”-Corrinne May

Days passed. Letters arrived. Letters were sent. Tori adjusted. Lina blossomed. Lina talked about saving kingdoms. She also talked about destroying them. She talked about people she met, and people she wished she’d never met. And always her mother was reading between the lines.

“Aha!” she cried one day as she was reading one of Lina’s letters.

“What?” asked her husband. He had just returned from one of his trips. Every now and then he tried to check up on Lina covertly.

“She’s met someone.”

He sat in his chair a little straighter, “Who?”

“She says his name is Gourry and that he’s a swordsman and that he’s a little annoying, treats her like a kid.”

“Gourry? Why does that sound familiar? Anyway, it doesn’t sound like she’s found the man of her dreams, dear.”

Tori smiled knowingly, “She’s too dismissive of him. I was the same when I met you.”

“What do you want to bet?”

A few weeks later Tori stormed into the store triumphant. “I was right!” she said. “You owe me a box of Avidog Chocolates!”

“What?” Hawk asked as he looked up from the inventory.

She set a letter on the counter, “Turns out that Gourry owns the Sword of Light. Lina says she’s going to hang around until he gives it to her. What a convenient pretense our girl has thought of, don’t you think, hon?”

“When she brings him home, then I’ll give you the chocolates and…wait, the Sword of Light? I think I’ve met this man…”

One week later Luna walked into the family room to find her parents reading a letter Lina had written, their jaws slack. “I knew she was powerful, but the Dark Lord Shabranigdo…” Hawk whispered.

“I never thought either of them would have. I mean, when your children are little you’re wondering what jobs they’ll get and who they’ll marry. I never thought that the Dark Lord would be reborn, much less that one of our daughters would fight and kill him. Still, I would have thought Luna would have been the one slaying such powerful monster, not Lina.” Tori said.

“I don’t know whether to be amazed or terrified.”

“I’m both.”

“You should be.” Luna said as she entered the room. “Lina attracted the attention of some high ranking monsters with that spell she used. I foresee some rough days ahead for her.”

Tori spun around. She was no fool. Much as she would have liked to believe that Lina slaying Shabranigdo would mean that she would be immune from danger, she was too informed to know better. Her younger daughter had just painted a big target on her back. Still, Luna’s confirmation of that fact sent chills down her spine. “We’ve got to warn her, help her…”

“And send her the message that I’ll clean up her messes? I don’t think so.”

Tori shook her head as Luna walked out. She suddenly felt unbearably tired. “Get some rest.” Hawk said as he rubbed her arm, unable to hide the look of concern on his face.

She wanted to protest that she wasn’t tired, but the truth was she was. “I don’t know where my energy goes these days.” She sighed as she walked to her bedroom, “I guess it’s to worrying about her…”

Lina’s letters continued to arrive fairly regularly. She talked about royal intrigue in the Seyruun court and losing her powers. Despite her upbeat tone Tori had the nagging feeling she was hiding something and she had good idea of what it was. Luna had passed along intelligence that the Demon Dragon King wanted Lina dead. Tori suspected that Lina knew, and did not write about it to save her some worry.

Luna seemed to have no qualms. She sat down to dinner one day and calmly announced that Hellmaster Phibrizzo was the true ringleader behind the troubles Lina was facing as calmly as one would announce that there was a fifty percent chance of rain. Tori dropped her spoon while Hawk shot up from his seat. “Hellmaster? What does he want with her?”

Luna smiled enigmatically. “I think Mom suspects.”

“The spell.” Tori breathed, memories of the shock she felt when Lina first discovered the Giga Slave and told her about it floated to her mind. Tori was never comfortable with the spell and had told Lina to stay away from it. But that did nothing to stop her. Tori still had debates with herself on whether or not that was a good thing. On the one hand Lina might have not been able to defeat Shabranigdo without it. On the other hand, it was causing her a butt load of trouble at the present. “Luna, we have to do something. Warn her, you can slay a dragon with no sweat, surely you can…”

“Stay right here and stay away from it.” Luna said. “I have my own battles to fight without having to worry about hers.”

“But the fate of the world is at stake!” Tori protested.

Luna shrugged, “She handled it when Shabranigdo was reborn. She can handle this. Why do you keep thinking I would be better for the job anyway? Do you not trust her to handle her own problems?”

“Lina’s human, you’re the Ceiphied Knight!” Tori protested.

“And human.” Luna added. “But you’re right. And that’s why Lina is better prepared for the challenges ahead of her. She still feels and acts like a human, and she gets strength from that. I trust her. Why don’t you?”

Luna’s words bothered Tori for weeks. Especially as, shortly after a brief message saying that she was heading for the Kataart Mountains, the letters stopped. Tori and Hawk became desperate for word, and Luna was strangely tight lipped. Tori found herself wondering if she would have worried so much if it was Luna who was out there facing the unknown rather than Lina. Surely she would have.

Or was Luna right? Had she always underestimated Lina’s abilities and focused more on Luna’s? Was leaving home the only way that Lina could have come onto her own? Did Luna see her potential and drive her away deliberately for that purpose? Was there a way she could have encouraged both of their growth and talents without having them grow up apart?

Tori would wake up, drenched in sweat, anxiety holding her tightly in its grasp. Her stomach was so knotted she could barely eat. Nausea plagued her. Never before could Tori remember having such a physical reaction to stress. She wondered how the mothers of soldiers lived with it.

Finally a letter from Lina arrived. But there was something different about this letter. The tone of triumph was gone. It was brief, as if she was hiding something she was not proud of.

“Hi Mom,

I’m sorry I’ve not written. Things have been bad. Hellmaster had us tangled in some complex, messy web, and the long and short of it is that we won’t have to worry about him anymore, and that we are all alive.”

She then went on to ask how things at home were before uncharacteristically ending her letter with, “Lately I’ve wanted to talk with you, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to go home for a while. Too much going on.”

Lina’s last letter weighted heavily on Tori’s mind as she slowly felt her strength leave her. And while she was relieved that Hellmaster no longer was after Lina, the nausea was getting worse as she lost weight that she could not afford to lose. It was also getting harder and harder to put in a full day’s worth of work. At first she had thought it was stress and worry that sapped her energies, but then she started noticing a lot of strange bruises on her arms. Hawk kept pestering her to eat, but she just didn’t have the appetite she used to.

She had just gotten back from the healer when Luna asked her to sit down. “I know how Lina defeated Hellmaster.”

“Oh?” Tori asked as Hawk came in behind her. The listened with rapt attention as Luna related how Lina had cast the Giga Slave to save Gourry’s life.

A week later Hawk gave her a box of Avidog Chocolates.

The letters stopped for a whole year when Lina went to the Outer World. After that year she got a whole stack of letters that Lina had written and kept until they got back to their world. Tori no longer worried so much about Lina’s competence. Lina would pull through fine. Someday she would come home safely. The question was would Tori still be alive to greet her?

“You’d better write to her. She’ll be mad if you knew this long and said nothing.” Her husband said one day.

“I’ll be fine.” She replied dismissively as she looked up from Lina’s latest letter. She had just defeated Shabranigdo again. “This is nothing. And I told myself I would not interfere with her decision to come home.”

“You’ve been bedridden for months! And you remember what the healer said? You don’t have much time left.” Hawk said, his voice breaking slightly.

“She’ll come home.” Tori said as she struggled to keep her eyes open. “She’s not let me down once. She’ll come home.”

When Will You Be Home She Asks…We Both Know We Have No Clear Answer to Where My Dreams May Lead
We Need You, Please Come Back