the rules of the game
A Slayers fanfic by MurasakiKaze
      "Hurry up, Lina-san!! You don't know what you're missing!" Amelia Wil Tesla Sailoon, princess of the kingdom of Sailoon, called out to her mentor and her friend.
      "Yeah....Lina...we're, uh,," Zelgadis said annoyance creeping into his normally calm voice. He sat next to the booth watching the overly genki princess whack yet another Mazoku out of existence with a very large and very heavy mallet. She called it the Hammer of Justice smashing the evil out of the world.
      Lina Inverse, sorceress extraordinaire, ignored both of them and leaned over the counter. She carefully took aim making sure the sights were in alignment and squeezed the trigger. A loud bell overhead rang and the man behind the counter smiled at her.
      "Okyakusama, that's the third time in a row! What prize do you want?" the carnival game vendor asked sweetly.
      "That one," Lina replied, with equal sugar in her voice, pointing to a large stuffed teddy bear on display. "Give it to him."
      Minutes later Gourry Gabriev was hauling around a huge stuffed red bear and following Lina through the crowded walkways. Zelgadis was waiting for someone to relieve him of his "official" duty impatiently. They had all been assigned by Prince Phil to guard his daughter while she visited the local Sailoon Justice and Fun Carnival.....and it was their job to make it fun for her. Maybe Amelia was a bit too old for all the kiddy games and things like that, but she wasn't showing it. This was Amelia's last year going to the carnival and Phil wanted to make it special for her, but he had to leave on princely type business.
      "Hiya, Zel!!" Lina smiled and patted the unhappy chimera on the back. "You want to try some of these games on your break?"
      "My break? I just want out of this lunatic asylum. Some little kid tried to hit me with an inflatable hammer and called it the Hammer of Justice," Zelgadis replied coldly.
      Amelia sighed as she hit another Mazoku, "A warrior of justice in training, how sweet."
      "Sweet my-" Zelgadis began to grumble.
      "Zelgadis-san!! Will you win that for me?" Amelia cried out and pointed to a bright pink fluffy stuffed pony in another stall. "Please?"
      He was going to say no when he noticed Lina charging up her fireball. She wasn't about to give up a 950,000 gold coin payment for keeping Amelia out of trouble and making sure she had fun, which meant anything she wanted. Zelgadis gave Lina an icy stare and shrugged to Amelia. She jumped up and down as Zelgadis reluctantly took a seat at the wooden table.
      "Rules of the game: 1) no leaning, 2) no swearing, and 3) no injustice!" the vendor called out.
      "No injustice?" Lina asked skeptically.
      "What does that mean?" Gourry looked at the name of the booth. "And what is this game?"
      The vendor smiled as he pushed back a small red curtain, "You have to sit there and take bull from another person for one minute without beating the guy to a pulp, injustice, or saying anything mean back. Then you win the prize of your choice."
      "What?!" Zelgadis jumped up, but Lina pushed him back down in his seat.
      "Remember, Zel, we have to keep her out of trouble and happy to get my money," Lina hissed.
      "I'm not taking bull from anybody," Zelgadis growled.
      "You will and you'll win. Get the picture? Either win or...." Lina held up a bright glowing orb of flames and smiled. "Now play."
      Zelgadis stared at the fireball for about one minute then turned to the vendor who had suddenly reappeared, " Let's get this over with."
      Gourry leaned in close to him and whispered, "Good choice because I’m not so sure she wouldn’t have hit you with that thing..."
      Lina turned on Gourry with venom in her voice, "I heard that. DIL BRAND!!!!"
      Suddenly Gourry was a crispy brown and very unhappy as he lay on the ground in pain. He coughed and a small black puff of smoke rose out of his mouth.
      "Ready? Good. Okyakusama!! We're ready!" the vendor pushed back the curtain. A tall man with dark purple hair entered and smiled at Zelgadis.
      "Why, hello Zel. Who would have thought we'd meet here?" Xelloss Metallium smiled in that way only he can.
      "Your minute starts now," the vendor boomed as he sat down to read the newspaper. Xelloss took the seat across from him and smiled, saying nothing. "Listen, pal, you have to say something. The rules of the game."
      Zelgadis was already shaking in anger at the thought of having to listen to HIM when Xelloss spoke, "I have the cure you need."
      Everyone's jaws dropped and Zelgadis stood up, knocking the chair across the walkway, "Where is it?"
      "Right here," Xelloss replied coolly.
      "Hey, buddy," the operator said, clearly ticked off, "the object is to tick the guy off! You only have thirty seconds left."
      "Give it to me," Zelgadis demanded.
      Xelloss thought and tapped his ruby tipped staff thoughtfully, "Hmm....."
      "Give it to me," Zelgadis repeated, anger creeping into his voice.
      Again silence came from the opposite end of the table. Zelgadis was about to grab him when Lina tapped him on the shoulder.
      "Remember the rules. No leaning, no swearing, no beating Xelloss to a pulp," Lina whispered.
      "Fine," Zelgadis stood there and looked at Xelloss. "Give it to me."
      "Ten seconds," the vendor called.
      "Well," Xelloss began.
      "I am actually.."
      "Just give it to me."
      "What's wrong with your counting?"
      "Don't have it. I lied."
      Zelgadis promptly reached over the table, yelled something quite inappropriate, and slammed his stony fist into Xelloss' face. Xelloss stepped back, smiled again, and healed himself. The vendor smiled.
      "Nice style, Xelloss, and thanks for stopping by again. Sorry, Okyakukun, you LOSE," the man smiled and shook Xelloss' hand before letting the priest depart.
      Amelia began to pout and Lina was furious, but Zelgadis was very happy. "It was worth it and my time was already out."
      "What?!" the vendor jumped and looked at his watch. Zelgadis was right. He had grabbed him at zero, yelled at one second afterwards, and punched Xelloss well after his time was up. "Oh, hell."
      Zelgadis smiled, cracked his knuckles, and looked at the vendor, "And now for you...."
      Half an hour later the vendor was gone and Amelia had her stuffed pony. Lina was ready for her reward and Gourry still had to lug that huge teddy around. So everything was right in the world. Of course, later, some kind of disaster happened and Lina didn't get her money, but does she ever?

Copyright reserved 1999 MurasakiKaze []

Slayers © H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi / TV TOKYO / SOFTX / Marubeni

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