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Episode #21

UPSET! Gourry vs. Zangulus

Synopsis written by Tim Miller

After blasting her way through the outer door that leads to Rezo's sealed laboratory, Lina leads the others through ... only to find a much weirder-looking set of doors, which prove resistant to her fireball. Although she's ready to try "opening" them with her Dragu Slave, Zelgadis points out that Eris was looking for the Sword of Light - and the seal over the doors is exactly what she must have needed it for. Sure enough, Gourry's family heirloom, the legendary Sword of Light, is exactly what it takes to open the sealed doors.

Of course, opening the seal that way still attracts attention - how can you miss a massive pillar of energy, like the one the seal gives off when it's broken? Zangulus is busy bandaging his injuries (and his pride) when he sees the pillar, standing out like a beacon; Rezo and Eris see it as well, from just behind Zangulus, and the three of them head for the lab in pursuit.

As the pillar of light fades, the doors seem intact ... but not for long, and when the explosion clears, Lina gives Gourry a pat on the back. A really hard pat on the back, in fact - one that leaves him hopping up and down, yelling in pain. Gourry tries to tell her to knock it off, and gets another cheerful smack for his troubles; Sylphiel tries to intervene, worried that Lina's going to hurt Gourry, but Lina says it's all right. "This is just how I show my appreciation!" she says.

Lina and her allies have the head start for now, but they've got one major handicap: they don't know the layout of all the corridors and passageways the way that Eris does. Eris knows the laboratory very well, and is confident that her knowledge will let her, Rezo, and Zangulus beat the others. And in fact, Lina crashes into a door, behind which is a "pretty room," as Sylphiel describes it: a large room decorated with many large crystals, and already occupied by the 'terrible trio' of Eris, Rezo, and Zangulus.

Before Zangulus can challenge Gourry, though, Lina and her companions disappear in a flash of light as Eris activates the teleport, sending them into the lower levels. Zangulus has been following Eris's orders for now, because she's been paying him so well, but now he splits with the intent of fulfilling his own wish: to challenge Gourry in a fight to the finish. So saying, he steps into the teleport area and disappears.

Lina and Sylphiel materialize in a room full of statues, which give Sylphiel a scare before Lina determines that they're just a bunch of non- functional golems, leftovers from a golem "factory" that someone was running. As they head off to start looking for the others, they see a large relief of Rezo mounted on one of the walls. "Creepy," Lina calls it, and the two sorceresses move off.

Zelgadis and Amelia have arrived in a library, and Zel is already poring over the books, looking for a way to reverse the curse which left him in the form of a golem/demon/human chimera. Amelia, on the other hand, thinks that they ought to get on with looking for the others, and chastises Zelgadis for being so selfish.

And Gourry has appeared in a huge room with a great echo ... but he doesn't have time to admire the scenery; however, Zangulus appears before Gourry can start looking for the others. Zangulus says that the huge room is going to be the arena for their final battle, although originally it was probably a place to test new magic spells. He draws his Howling Sword; Gourry draws and activates his Sword of Light, and the two of them begin dueling.

Lina is examining the walls of the golem factory, hunting for secret doors; Sylphiel is very worried about Gourry, even praying for his safety. Trying to reassure her, Lina says that Gourry wouldn't die even if you killed him, but it doesn't really work. Lina admits to Sylphiel that she is worried about Gourry ... and just as the priestess thinks that Lina must be in love with Gourry too, Lina clarifies matters by saying that she's really after his Sword of Light. "With a weapon as powerful as that," Lina declares, "I'd be the most powerful person in the world!" That's all Lina wants, and the fact that such a powerful weapon as the Sword of Light is in someone else's hands bothers her - or so she claims.

Their conversation is interrupted by a faint sound, which Lina hears; however, the sound isn't repeated immediately ... and Lina is just relaxing when she hears it again - and this time, the golems start moving! Lina and Sylphiel are just able to dodge the first blows of the golems before the two of them start running, pursued by the golems; Sylphiel tries casting a Flare Arrow as Lina cheers her on, but the spell comes out more like a "Flare Carrot" which does little more than tickle the golem. Lina's Burst Rondo spell turns several golems into rubble, but there are dozens of golems in the cavern, and every last one is after the two of them.

Zelgadis's "research" in the library hasn't been very fruitful either - and Amelia has sat down with a book herself as she waits for him, but she's still trying to persuade him to come along and look for the others. Zelgadis declines, warning Amelia not to wander off; there could be all kinds of traps that they don't know about. Her response is a terrified shriek, and Zel puts down his book with a sigh and goes to rescue her. Amelia has already been partially absorbed by a wall, and protests that she didn't do anything; Zelgadis tries to pull her out, but the force being exerted by the wall is too strong, and they both vanish through the wall - right underneath yet another relief of Rezo - and then reappear next to Lina and Sylphiel in the golem chamber.

After ascertaining that Sylphiel's all right (and politely asking Amelia to get off of him), Zelgadis gets back to his feet - and casts a wind barrier, just in time to block another set of punches from the golems surrounding the four of them. Lina notes that the golems are combining their strength, a very logical tactic - and gets scolded for admiring them at this particular moment. Lina tells Zelgadis to drop the barrier when she gives the word, then orders Sylphiel to find out who's controlling the golems. Amelia gets shanghaied into helping Lina and Zel block the golems' attacks, and then they're off: Lina casts another Burst Rondo, reducing the current circle of golems to scattered debris, and the whole group starts running, with Sylphiel in the lead and the others covering their collective backs, hers included.

Sylphiel leads them to another relief of Rezo, which Lina destroys with a fireball, but while they're all catching their breath, her sharp ears pick up the sound of swords clashing: Gourry and Zangulus, still fighting. Guided by Lina's hearing, they set off in search of the swordsmen; Sylphiel has gotten the hang of the Flare Arrow now, and takes care of blasting holes in the walls so that they can go through ... but as Lina points out after an explosion toasts them, Sylphiel still needs to work on her control.

But sure enough, by the time the four mages reach the arena, Gourry and Zangulus are still going at it. Sylphiel says that they'll help Gourry, but Lina holds her back, knowing that Gourry would never forgive them for interfering at this point. Gourry grins, recognizing that they won't interrupt, and turns his attention back to the duel. Zangulus proceeds to really cut loose, unleashing the full power of the Howling Sword with a shockwave that keeps getting stronger as it reflects from the walls - and forcing Gourry to keep hopping if he doesn't want to get smashed to bits by the blast!

To encourage Gourry, Lina yells a promise that if he beats Zangulus, she'll buy dinner for him; with this incentive, Gourry catches the next shockwave on his sword, resonating the Sword of Light to absorb the power of the blast and then sending it back the way it came. The reflected blast hits the Howling Sword directly, and breaks it, knocking Zangulus backwards.

Zangulus starts to get to his feet, only to be interrupted by the Sword of Light at his throat: Gourry has won decisively, and his companions cheer. Gourry sheathes his sword and starts walking towards them; Zangulus asks if Gourry is going to finish him off, but Gourry just shakes his head, saying "That's not my style." Then he turns to Lina and reminds her of her promise. Lina immediately tries to convince Gourry that it was the other way around, but this time he's not letting her off the hook, and the two of them start squabbling.

Zelgadis returns Zangulus's hat, wondering aloud how such talented people can be so empty inside. Zangulus shrugs the question off, then tells them that Eris and Rezo are looking for something in the deepest chamber - a revelation which gets Lina and Gourry to stop fighting. However, Zangulus has no idea what it is that the other two are looking for, and they proceed to part ways. Just before running out after Lina and the rest, Gourry turns to Zangulus and waves, telling him what a great swordsman he is; Zangulus laughs and says, "Of course I am! ... and so are you," he finishes quietly after Gourry has left.

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