WHO MADE THE MAKER?
A/N: Look! It’s yet another Slayers fic! Isn’t it great? Or is it just annoying? I’m making an effort to do one about any character that might have dark issues swirling around in the attic, but I was running out of ideas, so I did another Xelloss one. Hopefully, all attempts thus far have been successful. I don’t know, because I have no loyal and adoring fans to sing my praises. ::cries:: Well, I’m blathering on and if you came here to read a fic, you may want to do that now. Don’t forget to send feedback, y’all! ^_^
........It was a place unlike any ever reflected off the living eyes of man, god, or monster. It was a fundamental place, a place for beginnings and endings. A dark place, a place where the primordial evil and the primordial good are born together of the same womb. A place of contemplation and silence, a white noise so undetectable that it was as if it were simply not there at all.
........It was in this place of all that is or was or will be that the Mazoku sat, swaddled in the shroud of quiet. Another figure was beside him, a mirror of his own features, his other. They spoke softly, their words swallowed into the nothingness, inaudible to any mortal or immortal ears but their own.
........“What is the purpose of life and all things living?” asked the other.
........“The purpose of all things is simply to be,” answered Xelloss calmly. “There is no other reason for life than to live.”
........The other nodded, a nod that gave no indication of either approval or lack thereof, and asked his second question. “Who was your master?”
........“My ultimate master was myself,” he said. “Even the Lord Beastmaster, my mother, was not truly capable of ruling every aspect of even the tiniest of ants.”
........Another nod. “Who were your friends?”
........“I cannot tell you the answer. To know who my friends were, you must ask them, for to have friends I must be their friend as well.”
........Once more a maddening nod of the familiar yet alien face. It went for time unmeasured, one question after another, about Xelloss’s life and his understanding of it. He answered each question with a statement of fact that earned him another noncommittal nod of the other’s purple head. Perhaps a hundred questions, two hundred, a thousand, each answered with a wisdom that only could have come with untold centuries of life.
........And then, the other asked his final question, the one question Xelloss was unprepared for.
........“What is love?”
........Xelloss opened his mouth to reply, but found that no answer was forthcoming. Love was the one and only thing he had never fully understood in his long, long lifetime.
........“I—do not know.” He bowed his head in shame and defeat. He had failed. Failure meant Hel, a torment he could not bear to endure. For surely, she was in the other realm, and all the fires of the damned could not compare with the pain of losing her.
........When he looked up, the other was smiling. “You have passed the test.”
........He stared. “But how could I have passed? I did not know the answer.”
........His own annoying laugh wafted by, permeating the thick atmosphere with the precision of a scalpel. “That was the answer.” A pause, then, “You have passed the test. Choose which realm you wish to enter.”
........“Why a choice? No one wishes for Hel.”
........“Love,” was the simple reply.
........Befuddled though he was, he responded, “I choose whichever realm Filia Ul Copt is now in.”
........“And if she is in Hel?”
........“I thought this test was over,” Xelloss snapped impatiently. “I choose to be where she is. I choose the other realm, whose name, as a monster, I may not speak. For surely, that is her final resting place. Now obviate your test and—” He halted, hearing his own words. His other echoed the thoughts that swirled in a chaotic wind inside, and here, outside, his head.
........“How can you choose a realm whose name you cannot even speak, nor hear?”
........“Why did you give me the choice if to be damned is my only option?” Xelloss asked, his voice as dull as a leaden weight.
........“Because it is not,” said the other. “All realms are one. Hel is merely the darker facet of the other realm, the realm named Rubiai.”
........“But Rubiai is the Lord of—”
........“Your Filia Ul Copt would know the realm as the name of her god. It is the same thing. The powers of both are made here, in the same place, by the same maker. The Hel you fear is only for those too narrow-minded to comprehend their lives. The truth of Hel is that it is life. A second life, in another world, another trial to be endured and puzzled out. It is the ultimate punishment.”
........Xelloss took a moment to assimilate this. “So,” he said, and smiled.
........The other vanished, and in his place was Filia. The Mazoku held out a hand to her. “You passed the test. So you knew the meaning of all life, did you, Filia?”
........“No,” she answered, clasping the proffered fingers, “but I knew the meaning of love.”
........“Tell me, and I will tell you.”
A/N: Coo, ne? Well, hopefully it alleviated and/or obviated some of the angsty stuff in Aftermath. Luv ye lots, ‘cuz ye reads me stuff! ^_^
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