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Episode #10

JACKPOT! The Great Life or Death Gamble!

Synopsis written by Xelloss

Shabranigdu, towering over the trio, repeats his offer to them to join him or die. His thunderous steps rip new chasms in the ground, yet amidst the odds Lina remains steadfastly confident. Shabranigdu continues, "Zolf and that old man were fools to attack me..." which only angers Zelgadiss more; Gourry and Lina have nothing but contempt for Shabranigdu's lack of regard for human lives. Zelgadiss charges forwards, yet Shabranigdu raises a torrential wind to brush him aside. Lina tries to cast Gaav Flare, a streaking bullet of plasma energy, against the Dark Lord, but it is easily annuled by Shabranigdu. Indeed, the Dark Lord sends it back at Lina, threefold!

Zelgadiss tries another attack, calling forth lava geysers with his Vlave Howl attack! Lava cascades all around, encasing Shabranigdu in a hard shell... which breaks easily at Shabranigdu's will. "You should use lava like this." he says, forming several wispy wyverns out of lava, which start flying around and swarming Lina and the others. Gourry slashes at one of the flaming wyverns, and it crumbles into dried lava; Zelgadiss calls forth a protective web-shell with his Van Rehl spell, keeping the rest of the wyverns at bay. One last wyvern nips Zelgadiss with a fiery breath; Lina launches a Freeze Arrow at the beast and leaps into the sky with her Ray Wing spell to hold her aloft. Lina flings a Fireball at Shabranigdu, knowing it to be useless as anything but a diversion for Gourry to leap in with his Sword of Light!

Shabranigdu catches the Sword of Light effortlessly in one hand before flinging Gourry aside with a halfhearted energy blast. Lina looks over to him and to Zelgadiss, and both valiantly cling onto their lives as Shabranigdu sends a flurry of energy bolts at them. He explains that he gains energy through their screams, as if the screams of heroes are more potent than those of more 'normal' humans. For thousands of years Shabranigdu existed in the hearts of men before taking residence in Rezo.

Turning to Lina, Shabranigdu launches another volley of energy bolts, one of which grazes Lina's thigh. As she casts a healing spell, Shabranigdu mocks its usefulness in the end and forms a giant fireball... "To the end, a useless struggle..." Gourry, almost exhausted, throws the Sword of Light to Lina, "Use it, Lina!"

Lina struggles to her feet, calls forth the light of the Sword, and then casts "ELMEKIA LANCE!", which sends a lance of energy out towards Shabranigdu, who catches and shatters it. Lina wonders what spell she can cast with the aid of the Sword of Light...

Zelgadiss calls out, "Rezo! Do you really want to destroy the world you fought so hard to see?" Shabranigdu pauses at the shout; Lina senses the last vestiges of Rezo's soul fighting back and calls out, as well: "No matter how strong you are, there is a stronger Lord than you! Another legendary lord - the Lord of Nightmares!" The Sword of Light transforms its holder's will into power, and so Lina focuses her will, every thread of her being into her final spell, her "most secret of secrets!"

She flips the sword onto its side, grasping the blade with her other hand; she calls on its power, and the sword is surrounded by negative energy. The sword is engulfed in darkness, sparkling with faint electricity as Lina continues to chant, Shabranigdu amassing even more power. Lina chants, "'Darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night! King of Darkness, shining like gold upon the Sea of Chaos, I call upon thee! Swear myself to thee! Let the fools who stand before me be destroyed by the power you and I possess!' Sword! Accept this darkness and obey my command!"

"Rezo! Will you let your soul be consumed, or take revenge?" The sword crackles with electricity and lashes out at Shabranigdu as Lina finishes, "GIGA SLAVE!" The inky darkness surrounds all as Shabranigdu launches an energy counterattack; the Nightmare world opens in the sky, though, as does Rezo's image! Bathed in light, Rezo's spirit bears down on Shabranigdu along with the sword and the Nightmare energy into a huge explosion of searing white light!

Only when the light clears, Shabranigdu is still standing. Exhausted from the effort, Lina collapses. The Dark Lord begins to speak: "A valiant effort. You, mere humans, have destroyed the Dark Lord Shabranigdu. I have granted you and Rezo the honor of killing me. It was fun while it lasted." The Dark Lord turns an ashen grey and crumbles to the ground.

Lina closes her eyes and lies motionless, her hair bleached white from the overexertion. Rezo's spirit, still present, thanks the three for everything, and apologizes for the trouble.

Once the three recover, they start back along the path for Atlas City. As they walk, Lina denies full credit for the victory, placing one-third upon herself and the rest on the Sword of Light and Rezo. Zelgadiss does not want to give Rezo thanks, yet Lina argues that she thinks it was Shabranigdu, not Rezo, who made Zelgadiss into a Chimaera, leaving Zelgadiss to make the decision for himself. With Atlas City now visible in the distance, Gourry has finished his obligation to Lina and no longer has to accompany her. Gourry has the Sword of Light back, though, so Lina will follow him wherever he goes. Zelgadiss, though, follows his own path, separate. Lina and Gourry continue on into the city...

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