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Episode #22

VICE! The One Who Was Left Behind

Synopsis written by Tim Miller

As they head deeper and deeper into the laboratory, Gourry starts wondering how far down they're going to have to go; Lina tells him that she has absolutely no idea ... but if Rezo's legacy is hidden this far underground, then it's got to be something great. As she and Zelgadis explain to the swordsman, some pretty weird things can happen if a spell or magical artifact being worked on goes wrong somehow, so mages make their laboratories as deep as they can. That way, if the worst happens, there's at least a way for the surrounding area (above ground) to be protected. Lina remembers one laboratory she found, which had the body of a sorcerer at the bottom - and nothing else. He was trying to dig it as deep as he can, she figures ... and he died of exhaustion.

Zelgadis forges on ahead a little ways, sending a light spell as far down the next set of stairs as he can - and he actually discovers a chamber which doesn't have any stairs leading down from it, just a door. Lina opens the door ... and reveals yet another descending staircase. However, Amelia notices another door on the far side of the chamber, next to the stairway which they came down by.

Rezo and Eris, in the meantime, are proceeding through a different series of passages, guided by Eris's knowledge of the laboratory as Rezo handles the opening of secret doors. Eris is eager to reach the bottom, and claim Rezo's legacy for her own ...

... while Lina and the others are deciding what to do. Zelgadis notes that since Rezo designed this labyrinth of a laboratory, they should be prepared for a lot of 'bad jokes' - such as putting a set of impressive- looking doors in front of yet another stairway. Lina figures that the stairs might be a trap, and decides to see what's behind the other set of doors - even though they might be another dead end. Amelia asks what they'll do if the other doors just lead to more stairs going down; Lina's succinct response is, "Then I get violent," and opens the door.

Doing so does not reveal another set of stairs going down, but it does set off a gout of fire from the other stairwell, and the five adventurers hurry into the new passageway and slam the door shut. This passageway is a very long one, but Lina's explored enough dungeons to know that only the designer of such a place knows where all of the convenient shortcuts are - or at least that's the idea. However, they soon encounter a fork in the corridor ... and Lina, having no idea which way to go, turns to Amelia and Sylphiel, the two clerics, in hope that one of them can figure it out.

Sylphiel agrees to try, and summons her magical rod as she starts working ... but her mind wanders to her father briefly, and she has to try again. The second time, the rod wobbles a bit, then falls to point at one of the passageways; Sylphiel says that she senses something from that direction. Lina is hardly impressed by this, claiming that it's just like dropping a stick to decide which way to go.

In fact, the indicated passageway leads to a dead end. While Lina is busy berating Sylphiel, Amelia checks it out, and touches a lamp on the wall ... triggering the secret door. Lina give Sylphiel a slap on the back, and keeps going down the hall. On the far side is some kind of storeroom, with exactly one occupant: a three-foot-tall chicken wearing a vest.

When addressed as a "chicken," the creature claims to be "Tiiba-sama" (the great Tiiba) of the Mazoku. In fact, he dislikes being called a chicken, and shows himself off to the group, asking what they really think he looks like.

"A giant chicken."

"A chicken, from every possible angle."

"The chickenest-looking chicken I've ever seen."

Now distinctly upset, Tiiba asks Sylphiel what she thinks. Her response: "A very pretty ... chicken."

Introductions completed (such as they are), Lina proceeds to grill Tiiba about what he's doing here and what he knows about Rezo's research. Tiiba claims to have been summoned to help Rezo with his research, but balks at saying anything further - that is, until Lina threatens to turn him into a fried chicken dinner if he refuses to help them, and Tiiba reluctantly agrees to assist the group.

Elsewhere, Eris and Rezo are confronted by a group of Guardian Monsters. Eris mutters that they don't have time to fight their way through, but Rezo motions her aside and orders the Guardians to depart; they obey him, and Eris realizes that the Guardian Monsters would obey Rezo, since it was he who summoned them originally.

After going through a particularly harrowing teleport-warp, Tiiba leads Lina and her allies to the real deepest chamber. The door there refuses to open to brute force, and Tiiba says that it will only open for someone possessing great magical power. Lina promptly steps forward to give the doors a try; Zelgadis notes that she'll be really embarrassed if she can't open the doors. Lina tells him off, then casts a spell of opening. It works, and the doors slide open to reveal an immense storeroom.

Lina asks Sylphiel to try again to detect Rezo's legacy; she concentrates for a moment, then points at an ornament: "Don't you think it's cute?" Lina is seriously unamused, but Sylphiel protests that everything in the room is so magical that she can't tell where Rezo's legacy might be. Lina turns to Tiiba again, asking if he knows anything; all Tiiba is willing to tell them is that Rezo was working on something that would help to fight a really powerful Mazoku.

Lina and Zelgadis trade glances; they both remember that Rezo was planning to resurrect Shabranigdo to cure his blindness. However, Rezo hadn't expected Shabranigdo to be reborn in his own body, but somewhere else instead ... so Rezo must have been planning to go after the Dark Lord in a stand-up fight somewhere. Resigned, Lina orders the group to spread out and start looking; along the way, they uncover a couple of additional examples of the Red Priest's bizarre sense of humor. However, their search allows Tiiba to slip away almost undetected; Sylphiel notices him sneaking off, and follows covertly.

Tiiba makes his way to a pair of masks hanging on the wall, looks between the two of them for a second, then picks one of them off the wall. "This ought to be it," he says to himself as he fits the mask to his face ... and begins to transform. Startled, Sylphiel edges backwards - and tips over some kind of container that was on the floor. The noise alerts Tiiba to the fact that he has a spectator; Sylphiel screams, bringing the others running.

When Rezo summoned Tiiba, the Red Priest sealed Tiiba's power into a mask so that the Mazoku wouldn't be able to run loose. While the seal was in place, Tiiba was stuck in chicken form, but now that he's back at full power, his true form is revealed - still distinctly bird-like, but much more intimidating than a three-foot-tall chicken. Tiiba is dead-set against any humans laying hands on Rezo's research, or anything else which would let them fight back effectively against the Mazoku, and a fight breaks out.

Tiiba's major attack is a barrage of "feathers," effective enough to force Lina and her allies to keep their heads down and prevent them from launching an attack of their own. Warning Lina not to attack head on, Gourry draws the Sword of Light and goes after Tiiba, who evades easily. Tiiba also has a fairly standard energy blast, which knocks the whole group into a pile next to a pedestal which has stone tablets hanging on its sides; Zelgadis and Lina both call Tiiba chicken (in the bird sense, not the cowardly one), and his anger alone is powerful enough to knock one of the tablets loose. It hits Lina right on the head, stopping her from attacking ... but the power of the tablet protects them from Tiiba's attacks.

Now, Tiiba's panicking. That tablet is Rezo's legacy, and he knows it; Lina figures it out too, and casts Elmekia Flame while she's holding it. The blast injures Tiiba, and Zelgadis and Amelia combine their power to cast Ra-Tilt at the Mazoku, blasting him out of existence in a pillar of light.

It seems like Lina and her allies have won, but Rezo and Eris show up - and Eris uses magic to snag the tablet right out of Lina's grasp. With a triumphant laugh, Eris holds the tablet over her head: "This is Rezo's true legacy: the manuscript of the Clair Bible! Rezo's legacy is finally mine!"

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