Disclaimer: I make mention of but do not own Dynasty Warriors 5
Two things, first One hundred and one apologies for the tardiness of this update, just been really busy lately y'know? What with writing 5 fan fictions at once it's hard to remember which one's next on the update list, and fan fiction isn't the only thing I write either, and let us not forget that at this time Dynasty Warriors 5 has recently come out and Ling Tong somehow found a way to make nunchuks cool, and . . . well yeah, that's probably the real reason I'm late. Gotta love Wu!
Second, Ranma's curse is revealed during the planning session in chapter 3, Ranmorgan's reaction was one of pleasure because this meant he could send Ranma without implementing himself. Ranma's curse showed itself again in the next chapter when his horse kicked him into a water troth and Arkane inquired to see if Ranma was still alive.
A Dragon Called Ranma!
Where You're Needed!
Over the course of her years Nabiatrix had known many pains and pleasures. Finding herself in the castle Letom (the castle of beautiful men) was for example, a great pleasure. Learning that the beautiful men were only interested in other beautiful men was a heart breaking pain.
At first not having to argue with, or listen to her sister argue with Ryoga had been a fantastic pleasure. But as time wore on and she came to understand the Dragon Slayer's true purpose in her life it became a mind wrenching pain!
When Nabiatrix had decided that she would take over her father's country she felt a slight pain because it meant betraying her family. But as her plans began to come together, and as Kaneosuke became her pawn she knew great pleasure, even excitement.
This was her destiny after all, she was to rule the land . . .
She was a conqueror and a liberator, a creator and a destroyer and there was a mixed pain and pleasure in that knowledge.
But there was no pleasure whatsoever in listening to her daily royal audiences! This was a real pain, she was hoping to appoint a regent to take over this nonsense, but there was no one she could trust enough not to usurp the power she'd tried so hard to steal.
It was not that she was no good at ruling over her people, she could quite easily handle these matters, it was simply that they bored her to no end, most of them were just nobles presenting her with gifts so she'd listen to them defame some other noble who's name she'd forget shortly after it was spoken.
Not that she was forgetful, she simply didn't care enough to remember.
Ah yes, the duke of Scrubingbubbing had slept with the countess of Bubblytub, so sayeth the count of
Bubblytub, and he kindly suggested that Empress Nabiatrix demote the duke, oh and by the way, here's a fantastic golden dragon statue.
Later, after forgetting the incident all together the duke of Scrubingbubbing had shown up with a golden gryphon statue, and ah yes, count Bubblytub had gone and slept with duchess Scrubingbubbing now.
Both men became united in calling Nabiatrix a tyrant when she made three declarations: First: they were to trade wives. Second: their gifts were to be melted down into golden chastity belts. Third: it would be them, not their wives, would wear said belts.
It was the third declaration that upset them, but Nabiatrix was sure it would become quite the fashion statement.
She remembered when she'd tuned sixteen and been forced to wear a chastity belt . . . not much pleasure in that memory, she was quite sure that if men were forced to wear them they'd soon stop forcing their wives to do the same, she'd be worshiped by other women.
However her apparent interest in maintaining chastity had netted her the title of "White Virgin Empress", which was not exactly accurate, another pain in the neck.
And this was a normal day in her life now; sitting in an uncomfortable throne wishing she could be somewhere else instead of listening to the people seeking audience tell her about nonsense she didn't care about for hours.
Of course when they clouded her mind with their trivial nonsense she was unable to focus on Sir Ryoga, which was becoming more and more of a plus.
It had seemed he was not coming after all . . .
It had seemed he was not coming . . .
But now here he was!
"You are certain it is him?" Nabiatrix asked the soldier calmly.
The little man nodded vigorously, "He was at the gate empress, the officer on duty reluctantly let him through."
Nabiatrix laughed a humorless laugh. "You're telling me that after this wait sir Ryoga might actually have been sent away from us at the gates?" The crowd of nobles shared her laugh, it made Nabiatrix slightly uncomfortable, didn't these people have the ability to decide for themselves what was and was not funny?
Did they need laugh simply because she did?
"Shall I have the officer reprimanded?" The soldier asked nervously.
"Of course not, he did his duty he should be commended." Nabiatrix said thoughtfully. "We cannot have just any riffraff sneaking into our fine city."
"Then what are your orders? How shall we proceed?" The soldier asked.
"Obviously when you see sir Ryoga and his men, you are to let them through to this room." Nabiatrix said.
She stood up--and noticed any noble who had been sitting did the same--and said, "At last, the Dragon
Slayer has come, and with him, our hour of conquest!"
Arkane frowned at her husband, who was pacing back and forth. She looked to the perverted wizard--who was washing a large pile of undergarments, some of which Arkane recognized as her own.
Happerlin was too content in his washing duties to offer any explanation, so Arkane stepped forward and put a hand on her husband's shoulder. "My love, what troubles you?" She asked.
"The amulets don't work!" Ranmorgan exploded, he turned to the wizard, "Are ye mad? Are ye completely mad?"
"Madder every second my darlings remain unwashed. They reek of womanly parts." Happerlin said in a sing song voice as he washed yet another pair, this one Arkane recognized as having gone missing that night last week when she and Ranmorgan had . . . well anyway that's none of your business.
"What's the actual purpose of having them? I thought you wanted them to reek of woman?" Arkane wondered. Before the little old man was just perverted and scary, now he was perverted and confusing.
Happerlin looked at the pile of washed undergarments, then the pile of unwashed undergarments. He leapt into one, then the other, then emerged and looked up at Ranmorgan and Arkane . . . he frowned and began to cry. "I've ruined them! I've ruined them!"
"The amulets old man!" Ranmorgan raged, "Tell me ye were just joking! Tell me they'll take the men where they need'ta be going!"
"Oh boo-hoo! One pile is lemony fresh and clean, the other is sinfully lustfully filthy! I can give up neither one, oh the pain, the torment, the suffering!"
"The amulets ye old kook!" Ranmorgan cried.
Happerlin scowled, "I told'ja, my boy, the amulets will take them exactly where they need to be."
Arkane nodded to her husband, who didn't seem to have calmed down in the least. "What's wrong my dear?" Arkane asked, "Is that not what the amulets are meant to do?"
"They are supposed to lead them where I need them t'be." Ranmorgan said unhappily.
"While casting the spell, I didn't specify whose needs had to be met." Happerlin admitted. "So according to my crystal ball, Sir Ryoga's amulet is leading him to Nabiatrix who seems to need him an awful lot, and
Dame Ranko's amulet is leading her to the prisoners because apparently the sons of the regents are eagerly awaiting a belly dancer promised to them by the prison warden for good behavior."
"Dame Ranko is a belly dancer?" Arkane gasped in surprise.
"Never mind that! At least she's going in the right direction, who knows what'll happen if Sir Ryoga and Nabiatrix meet?"
"If we're lucky he'll probably give in to her seduction, work with her towards your impending doom and her impending conquest, sire her children and then be killed six years from now in a military coup launched by an enraged and jealous Sir Kaneosuke." Happerlin said with a shrug. "If we're unlucky . . . well, I dont want to think about what'll happen if we're unlucky."
"That's it! Arkane help me, I'm gonna drown this perverted pipsqueek in the washing bucket!" Ranmorgan scowled, rolling up his sleeves. Arkane and Ranmorgan's guards rushed forward not to help him, but to hold him back.
Ryoga and his men had fought long and hard to reach the top of the tower, by 'fought' of course they had bluffed their way past each and every guard.
How this had managed to work was beyond poor Ryoga, but the fact was that it had managed to work!
Guards just kept stepping out of his way, it was crazy!
He certainly hoped Nabiatrix wasnt paying them too much!
His magical amulet just kept pointing the way to where he wanted to go--the prisoners of course--and he just kept following it.
"Stereo repair." Ryoga grunted half heartedly to the next pair of guards, who stepped asside and opened the door for him. "Paramedics, here for the botched circumcision." Ryoga sighed to the next group, the guards stepped asside and opened the door even faster than the last group had, even though Ryoga was fairly sure that paramedics and circumcisions didnt exist in this world. Not yet anyway.
"Your powers of persuasion are truly incredible Sir Ryoga!" One the commandos said.
"No . . ." Ryoga said with a frown, "I think the guards are just lazy. Either that or we're being led into a trap. We'll ask the next group."
Ryoga reached the next group of guards, ten halberdiers standing like statues in front of a large wooden door decorated with gold and silver . . . it was so familiar, Ryoga could have sworn he'd seen it somewhere before . . . where?
Before he could even speak a word the guards opened the doors for him and hurried his men and him into the room.
Ryoga wanted to scream, but he didnt. It was no prison, it was the royal audience chamber! It was jam packed with people wearing fancy cloths and giving him and his men snooty glances.
Ryoga scratched his chin. This wasnt right.
"Remove your hoods!" A guard commanded in a loud voice that seemed to carry through the entire room, even over the mumur of the nobles.
Ryoga raised his hand in order to his men to do no such thing. Instead their hands drew near to their sabers.
They began to back away slowly.
Until the doors slammed shut behind them, cutting off their escape, and no less than twenty crimson legionaires emerged from within the crowd of nobles, swords drawn.
Ryoga looked at his men, they looked at him, he couldnt see their faces because of course they were covered by hoods. The hoods of course allowed them to see out without allowing others to see in, but it was a little fuzzy.
Mousse would never have been able to do it.
"Remove your hoods, please." The guard repeated, this time managing to be even louder yet remain unthreatening. "You stand now in the presence of the supreme empress!"
Ryoga considered for a moment, then decided to remove his hood after all.
His men followed, and immediately the room came to life with conversation, most of it was about him, but some of the noble women seemed to recognize his men as well.
The twenty legionaires--actually now that he could see clearlyit was more like thirty--rose their swords in salute to the Dragon Slayer, as if that had been their plan the whole time, of course Ryoga knew it hadn't been.
"You are permitted to approach the imperial throne." The guard said in a yet louder voice.
Ryoga and his men walked up to the throne slowly, cautiously, the Dirt soldiers kept their hands on the hilt of their sabers, ready to draw them in self defense if these legionnaires attacked. Ryoga looked up at the throne and the beautiful young woman sitting on it.
Of course it was Nabiatrix, wearing a golden tiara and an old fashion--well Ryoga supposed it was probably new now--dress that would probably take hours just to get on.
Ryoga was a little annoyed wth himself when the thought of how long it might take her to get if off wandered through his mind. He was supposed to be here to topple her regim, not fantacise about her lovely, well curved figure.
And he shouldnt be so unfaithful to Akane either! Well . . . technically Akane hadnt been born yet so it wasnt cheating. And he hadnt confessed his love for her either so it was still further, not cheating . . . no court could convict him if he just . . . bleh, he'd know it in his heart.
And the thought of Akane waiting for him--the thought, and not fact, was what mattered to Ryoga--gave him extra strength! "Nabiki--er Nabiatrix!" Ryoga said in a commanding voice, "I have come to--"
"Do not adress the empress in such a familiar fashion!" One of the guards cried, lunging for Ryoga.
Ryoga grabbed the guard's halberd and meant to rip it out of his hands and throw it away.
Instead he threw the guard halfway across the room and kept the halberd. There were a lot of impressed and frightened gasps so Ryoga decided to act as if he'd meant to do that. He leaned against the ancient weapon--again, he supposed now it was quite new--and raised his eyebrows at the other guards. "Anyone else want to tell me how to speak?"
Nabiatrix clapped her hands and laughed. "Magnificent! Magnificent, you've grown stronger since last I saw you!"
"Yeah, right, anything you say. Now look, We're here to--"
"Moment! A moment!" Nabiatrix commanded. She clapped her hands and shouted, "Privacy, this instant!"
And her guards began herding everyone out of the room, including Ryoga's soldiers, leaving him alone with Nabiatrix and a pair of tough looking knights.
Or rather, tough looking armored soldiers, weren't knights supposed to be elite generals? He really wasn't sure.
"So . . ." Nabiatrix purred, "the time has come at last."
"Yes . . ." Ryoga shifted uneasily. Was she this excited about being overthrown? Well she'd probably had her kicks, maybe being empress was too much trouble for her.
"Now that you're with me, things can finally move forward." Nabiatrix nodded. "I've waited so long."
"Uh . . . oh-ho . . ." Ryoga scratched his chin. This wasn't really going the way he wanted it to, he sort of felt like he needed to take control of this situation.
"But now that you've returned to fulfill your promise--"
"Promise, you say?" Ryoga raised his eyebrows, this time in confusion.
"Yes of course, your promise to return in the event of a crisis. You swore to me that you'd come back to me!" Nabiatrix hissed, clutching the arm rests of her throne so tightly Ryoga almost expected her to leave claw marks in the marble.
"Of course I did. And I have." Ryoga shrugged.
Nabiatrix calmed down instantly, "Of course you have. You're a man of honor." She smiled. "And now that you've come back to me we can crush Dirt! Imagine the Dragon Prince's shock when the Dragon Slayer comes to offer him a rematch!"
"Uh . . . right." Ryoga nodded. "Crush Dirt, that's what we're going to do. Of course." He thought for a moment . . . "Empress, I want to see the prisoners." He said with a calmness he didn't really feel.
"The prisoners?" Nabiatrix raised one eyebrow. Then she frowned, "Ah, I expect you've heard about Lady Ukygowain's imprisonment then."
"Yes . . ." Ryoga nodded. "But I also want to see Kunobir."
"Whatever for?" Nabiatrix raised her eyebrows.
"War stories." Ryoga shrugged.
"Men!" Nabiatrix sighed, but she sounded amused. "Very well! I shall take you there myself!"
"Splendid. Just the two of us." Ryoga forced a smile.
"And a score of guards." Nabiatrix nodded.
"Ah yes, of course. And my soldiers as well." Ryoga nodded.
"You do not trust my guards?" Nabiatrix asked.
"Well one of them did charge at me." Ryoga scoffed.
Nabiatrix nodded. "I understand. Very well, you will take your guards, and I shall take with me a number equal to your own, so that you might feel completely safe and comfortable. There will be no betrayals between us, dear Sir Ryoga." The empress seemed very pleased with her compromise.
'No betrayals? Yeah right.' Ryoga thought. That was the plan all the time, wasn't it? To topple the power of a young woman who had been his adventuring companion. He wouldn't go so far as to call her a friend, though she certainly seemed to count him as one.
No matter. He'd do what needed to be done and be done with it.
The carriage ride to the prison tower was a pleasant one, Nabiatrix had never been more pleased.
Ryoga had returned, at last she could rule both kingdoms! Ryoga was of course the key to power, Tatewakay and Ukygowain would be welcome additions to her military if sir Ryoga did manage to convert them, but in the end now that she had Ryoga with her they were nothing!
Ranmorgan of Sand would stand no chance, not with the power Sir Ryoga possessed, and now that he'd come that power was Nabiatrix's!
They reached the tower and Nabiatrix and Ryoga, flanked by their guards proceeded carefully up the stairs, Nabiatrix latching onto Ryoga's arm as if she were a drunken sixteen year old, she made small talk but he seemed distracted, as if having a girl holding onto his arm made him nervous. But surely a hero of his caliber had bedded thousands of farmer's daughters, Nabiatrix's light flirtations should have meant nothing.
Likely he was concerned with the poor decoration of the tower, Nabiatrix would have to have the decorator flogged.
She decided, as the came near to their destination, to ask Sir Ryoga what she had waited so long to ask him, to tell him what she had waited so long to tell him!
"Sir Ryoga . . . I wonder . . . have you mastered the secrets of the book of spells you took from the castle Letom?"
"Hmm? I've looked through it." Ryoga said nervously.
Nabiatrix frowned. "Surely you are being modest, one does not simply 'look through' a book of powerful spells!"
"T-they seemed pretty simple." Ryoga gulped. "Arcane hand gestures are," he gulped again, "pretty similar to those found in martial arts, a few complicated words. Kind of interesting, but I didn't really have time to study it. A-are we there yet?"
"Nearly . . ." Nabiatrix said calmly. She heard an odd sound, but couldn't really recognize it. It was vaguely familiar. "Tell me, Sir Ryoga, you do still have to book, do you not?"
"Hmm? Yeah." Ryoga nodded.
Nabiatrix squeezed his arm, and giggled seductively, "Perhaps . . . I could have it?"
"What?" Ryoga seemed surprised. "You want the book?"
"Why yes . . ." Nabiatrix said, wondering if perhaps she should have gotten him drunk before asking. Those in possession of such powerful magical items rarely just gave them up.
"Well . . . I guess so. But you've gotta do something for me in exchange, okay?" Ryoga said, sounding more sure of himself now.
"Anything!" Nabiatrix giggled, pretty sure after all her flirting that she knew what he'd want from her. "I would be happy to do anything you ask me to, in exchange for that spell--er book. Spell book. Yes, I meant the book." Nabiatrix held his arm even tighter.
But before Ryoga could speak the price of that ultimate power, that ultimate spell, Nabiatrix recognized the sounds she was hearing, and Sir Ryoga seemed to recognize them as well.
The sounds of battle, a terrible song emphasized by the clang of sword against sword.
Her guards rushed forward and opened the large doors to the prison chamber . . .
Nabiatrix rushed forward to take a look, she saw several gray cloaked warriors, like Ryoga's, their hoods pulled back and their sabers flashing as they engaged Kaneosuke's personal entourage.
She looked at Sir Ryoga . . . these were his mercenaries, were they not? Their sabers . . . were the sort that the soldiers of Dirt carried . . . why would they have them?
And what was Kaneosuke doing in the tower with such a large force? What was happening?
"Kaneosuke!" Nabiatrix screamed, trying to make sense of the situation, "What are you doing?"
Ryoga looked at the scene in surprise!
Curses! Curses, he'd had her right were he wanted her, he could have traded her the book for the prisoners, everyone would get what they wanted and no one had to get hurt!
But no, of all the rotten luck that blasted red knight had been in the tower at just that moment!
Without thinking he took his bandanna from his head and straightened it into a sort of dagger, he grabbed
Nabiatrix and held her close, raising the blade to her neck.
He didn't say "freeze" or "drop your weapons or the empress gets it!" he didn't know what to say.
Nabiatrix tried to remain very still, but Ryoga could feel her trembling. She managed to sound quite confident when she said, "I certainly hope for your sake, that you're just being over protective, Sir Ryoga. Now let me go."
Kaneosuke glared at Ryoga, and Ryoga glared right back.
He'd never liked that red knight, and now he could see the feeling was quite mutual, for some reason that made him feel just a little braver.
"I see." Nabiatrix said calmly. "I thought we were not to betray each other, Ryoga."
Ryoga loosened his grip a bit . . . he knew it was time to make a decision.
Quick thinking wasn't always his thing . . .
Nabiatrix was evil, she had to be stopped, her reign of terror had to end!
Of course he hadn't really heard her side of the story . . . just what Ranmorgan had told him. And
Ranmorgan of course had wanted him to overthrow Nabiatrix the whole time . . .
Who could he trust? What was he to do?
"Release the empress!" Kaneosuke shouted.
"Waste the chick!" Ranko shouted.
To Be Continued . . .
What will Ryoga do? Oh I just cant wait for the next exciting chapter! I wonder when it will be finished! P