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Episode #8

HELP! Shabranigdu is Reborn!

Synopsis written by Xelloss

Lina finishes recounting the story of the past few days to the others, in her favorite locale (a diner, of course!). Curious as to the blank stares, she asks, "What, don't you understand? Should I start over again?" Rodimus protests, "It's just... Good God, you talk a lot!", to which the others heartily agree.

Zelgadiss asks Lina for the Philosopher's Stone. Lina and Gourry disagree, on the grounds that they can trust Zelgadiss about as far as they can trust Rezo, which is to say that they can't. Then, food arrives, and Lina attacks!!

Lina wants to relax in bed, so they head to an inn. Zolf warns that they shouldn't be so quick to relax, with the threat of Rezo still around. Not paying attention to what's in front of her, Lina bumps into a small child, knocking him over. After apologizing (sorta), the group starts to move along, when the child suddenly turns into stone! A disembodied eyeball seems to be hovering above, and an image of Rezo forms. The phantom Rezo offers to pay for the Philosopher's Stone, but what price could be set for something of that power? Rezo responds, "The lives of the people in this village." If Lina doesn't give the Philosopher's Stone to Rezo, everyone in the village would be turned into stone. The vision tells the party to come to Rezo's tower if they wish to deal, then vanishes. Zelgadiss, annoyed, flings a dagger at the eyeball, which shatters on impact.

The party spends the night in preparation: Rodimus meditates, Zelgadiss practices with his sword, Gourry practices listening to Lina, and the others muse on the day's events. The next day they proceed to the tower, which is revealed to be about a thousand years old. Lina recalls that about that time, one of the parts of Shabranigdu was reborn, leading to the War of Monsters' Resurrection.

The tower is practically empty, the bottom half seemingly abandoned. As the party enters the tower, another vision of Rezo appears, beckoning them upstairs. Not wishing to take the long staircase up, Lina and Zelgadiss cast their Levitation spells, carrying the others. Gourry, carried up by Lina, seems a little untrusting of this method of flight, recalling the last time Lina used this spell with him (episode 1), but everyone makes it to the top okay.

The party makes its way into Rezo's chamber, finding a long table, covered with lit candles, and Rezo at the opposite end. Lina withdraws the Orihalcon statue, and says that she will relinquish it only if Rezo answers her questions. "What are you really after?", she asks, to which Rezo responds that he wishes the ability to see. He says that he would explain further, but that they wouldn't understand. Lina then inquires why Rezo didn't tell her the truth when they first met, and why he sent Dilgear and Zorom instead of coming himself. Lina throws an idea onto the table: Rezo made a deal with the race of Monsters that he would resurrect Shabranigdu, the Dark Lord of the Monster race, in exchange for his sight. And of course he needs the power of the Philosopher's Stone, hidden within the Orihalcon statue, to resurrect him.

Rezo applauds, "Brilliant! A brilliant case of deduction!" in response to Lina's scenario... although she was half-kidding when she said that, and wasn't expecting to have figured it all out... In any case, Lina won't give Rezo the Orihalcon statue, obviously... so Rezo calls forth the magic of Zelgadiss' enchantment and forces Zelgadiss to attack Lina! The puppeted Zelgadiss wrenches the statue out of Lina's hand, and Rezo snatches it away and runs to the tower's roof! Gourry makes a run to chase after Rezo, but Zelgadiss breaks off the attack and blocks the door.

Rezo steps into the prepared magic circle on the roof and destroys the statue, freeing the Philosopher's Stone within. Aiming his staff at the now-floating Stone, he calls forth its power, and energy channels out into the circle on the floor...

Lina, by this time, has realized that the possessed Zelgadiss will continue blocking the door upstairs unless they get rid of his enchantment. She casts Diem Wing, a pillar of wind, towards Zelgadiss' stomach, knocking him into a wall, then follows through with a rushing knee ("Lina?") and then an elbow smash to the head. "Lina, I thought he was okay before?" Zelgadiss returns, the enchantment gone; Lina thinks that Rezo pre-programmed Zelgadiss's body so that he would be able to control him in times such as this...

The party rushes up to the roof, to find that Rezo has already begun the process. The wind and power grow in intensity, as Rezo screams in agony... Rezo's eyes open, red energy streaming from within... Lina realizes that the tower was not Shabranigdu's seal, but rather, Shabranigdu was sealed within Rezo's eyes!

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