I do not own Shaman King. It belongs to Takei Hiroyuki, Jump Comics and a bunch other guys.
Prologue to Exaudi Nos Et Misrere.
Fear me, for I have seen a Marco/Tamao Japanese fan site!
In England, a mansion has stood for almost two hundred years. In the recent memory of many of the new residents of the area, it was a quiet and abandoned place. The garden was overgrown and weeds had long since choked the life out of all other plants. The straggly brambles and vines that, which under brighter circumstances made the place quite aristocratic looking, lent a haunted air to the entire mansion. It was a gothic mansion the likes which could only be described by Edgar Allen Poe.
Speculation and rumors about the stately (and seemingly abandoned) mansion were rife amongst the newly arrived residents.
Children spoke of the ghosts that must haunt its dusty corridors. Parents eyed it, wondering who would buy it next or who exactly owned the property. While others hidden in, shadows wondered if there was something inside worth taking (and similarly those who once were hidden in shadows, but now languish in prison, curse it and the owner heartily).
Nevertheless, if one took time to research the house and its house, they would discover the rich history of the Diethyl family.
The motto of the family was 'Tha mi a' stri a bhi cothromach'. It was Irish Gaelic for 'I strive to be just'. A fitting motto
The Diethyl family was of Irish descent. Unusual given the rather vitriolistic attacks and degradation that the English inflicted upon the Irish. The Diethyl family had persevered throughout the centuries by abandoning their Catholic heritage and converting to Protestantism to better their chances as nobles. However, what had really cemented the Diethyl family's survival were their abilities as dowsers and their occasional duty to Crown and country. Accolades, knighthoods, and all visible decorations of bravery, integrity and accomplishment littered their path. The Royal family made it a point to invite each member of the Diethyl family to all functions. Even Integra Fairbrooks Wingates Hellsing respectfully acknowledged the Diethyl family's contributions (though the previous religious devotion of the family tickled her deep-seated anti-catholic sensibilities).
Sir Liam Diethyl was another great head of an already illustrious family. One of the greatest detectives in the world; a dowser whose abilities even seemed not only to sense missing things but also the bonds of fate; a great man. Moreover, a father with a loving wife and talented son.
This was the Diethyl family. It seemed that nothing could stop it from continuing its long honorable tradition. That the sun would never set on them and God would never His back on them.
But it did. Twilight had set and God turned away.
It was on a clear night that the ancient seat of the Diethyl family flickered and burned in the memory of all. The world famous detective Sir Liam Diethyl and his wife, Celeste were slain in a horrific double murder.
Those who still remembered the event would shake their heads with sadness and a touch of pity.
The slaying had left the couple's only son Lyserg an orphan and the front of the great house in ruins. The brooding and enigmatic scion of the Diethyl family made every effort to restore the mansion but failed to maintain it over the years and neglect. As though the recreated façade was not worth his time or that it could never have the same feeling of home. The long time residents were not surprised that the last living Diethyl still resided in the dilapidated mansion. They had seen bare glimpses of the green haired boy that lived there occasionally and still paid their respects to the son of a great man when they were allowed to.
This continued for many years and it no longer surprised them that the grand mansion was as dead as Sir Liam Diethyl's corpse.
What surprised them was the sudden life that the mansion had taken. The lights were on, the weeds had been pulled, the rust, rot and cracks were repaired and the signs of actual habitation sprang to life in just under one month.
The children thought that the ghosts had finally been driven off. The parents thought that the house had finally been bought. While those hidden in shadows were enthusiastically arrested by the owner of the house when the said owner was possessed with a sudden and joyous mania.
Lyserg Diethyl had finally proposed to the one he loved… And she had accepted without hesitation.
Fireworks went off! The orchestra played! The alcohol flowed freely… almost.
They were getting around to getting soused up for the night.
The house played host to eight guests; Asakura Yoh, Oyamada Manta, Umemiya 'Ryu' Ryunosuke, Usui 'Horo Horo' Horokue, Tao Ren, Johann Faust, Chocolove and Marco Innocenzo Testarossa.
"It has been decided that we will play a game in celebration of my engagement," Lyserg announced solemnly in the drawing room. Lyserg was dressed in his finest suit and the large room itself had been tastefully decorated, lending an air of majestic maturity at his ripe old age of 22. The effect was definitely ruined by a very perky looking Horo Horo bringing in crates of alcohol with Faust and Chocolove's help.
Yes, actual crates of alcohol.
The paranoia and suspicions of everyone in the room spiked dramatically.
"I knew I shouldn't have come," Ren vocalized his regret. He was his usual grumpy self and began to wonder why he was here. Ren had a very organized schedule that he stuck with.
He would awaken at 6 a.m. then take a shower and get dressed. At 6:30 a.m., he would have breakfast with no less than two glasses milk. At 7 a.m., he would work on some papers due for his law professor or overlook family business until 10:30 a.m. He then took two-hour workout, shower off and then eat a large lunch with no less than three glasses of milk. When it became 1:30 p.m., he would then take a drive to his classes at Beijing University which started at 2 p.m. until they ended at 6 p.m. Return home and eat dinner, do homework and see what other business needed to be taken care of until 10 p.m. Work out until 11 p.m. and drink three glasses of milk. Shower and go to bed at 11:30 p.m.
That is, it would be his typical day except that his dear sister Jun would utterly ruin the carefully planned routine from time to time. She said that he needed to take a break and have fun. Ren knew fully well that he did not need fun and hated breaking from his routine but he didn't mind too much because Jun was the rare few individuals who could possibly get away with making him do something he utterly despised.
And while he was happy for Lyserg's engagement and all, he initially had no intention of coming to London for the stag party. If it was the wedding, he would come in a heartbeat but since it was not Ren was planning to skip out.
The bastards brought the issue to his sister.
Thus, his schedule was completely ruined and he boarded the first plane to England when Jun begged Ren to come.
"You shouldn't worry too much Ren. This actually is quite tame compared to the parties I had to endure in the dormitories when I was studying medicine. I remember doing this before my wedding… Of course, the vast majority of guests left after just a few minutes. Don't know why though," Faust recollected happily about his life with Eliza before his wedding. Faust looked quite healthy and alive compared to how he looked like twelve years ago. The once ever-present bags under the eyes (which his wife observed looked like mascara) were gone and he was no longer quite so pale or thin.
Fatherhood had done a world of good for Faust. Hohenheim Faust was the son that Dr. Johann Faust had always dreamed of. The boy was intelligent, healthy and just a shade enough insane not to be overly traumatized by things that went on in the Faust family home but sane enough to interact with the normal world. Given the history of the Faust family and their sanity (or lack of thereof). Hohenheim Faust was perhaps the sanest individual in the tainted family history.
Which was good because it soon became apparent that Eliza Faust was almost as crazy as Johann Faust (though not 'quite' as fanatically devoted) when Asakura Yoh resurrected Eliza Faust?
"Yeah well we should get 'popping'! Get it guys? Instead of cracking we're popping open bottles," Chocolove joked and laughed at his own rather terrible pun. The collective audience groaned and Ryu rolled up a paper ball and threw it at Chocolove. It was once again established that Chocolove's jokes were off the mark again.
"I don't get it. Women love my jokes but when men hear them, they groan or they stuff at me…"
Ren's furyoku enhanced Kwan-do appeared out of thin air and pricked Chocolove's bulbous nose.
"OW! What the," Chocolove shouted and grabbed his nose. A thin trickle of blood appeared but before anyone could even blink, Faust appeared by Chocolove's side with a bottle of peroxide and a band-aid.
"You also forgot I have a tendency of stabbing you every time you make a bad joke," Ren said calmly as he dissipated his kwan-do from where ever it had originally come from. Faust in his ever-efficient manner disinfected the cut and slapped on the band-aid.
"Where do you get your glaive from anyways?" Horo Horo asked.
"If I tried explaining it to you, your uneducated mind would collapse under the strain of trying to comprehend the language of the explanation," Ren muttered.
"Um guys… May I remind you that if you send each other to the hospital, that Lyserg, Testarossa-san and I will not be paying for your medical bills again?" Manta reminded the two quarreling friends/rivals/whatever they were.
"Heh, I could afford it…" Ren muttered as he shot a dark glare at Horo Horo.
"Shut up you rich bastard," Horo Horo bite back.
Marco wondered for the umpteenth time; why Lyserg had bothered, invite him to his bachelor party. It was not as if he knew anyone in the room very well aside from Lyserg and Oyamada Manta. He was actually starting become rather concerned about the entire thing.
The crates brought in contained a plethora of drinks, of which even the jaded veteran drinkers of the group were impressed with. There was scotch, vermouth, whiskey, vodka, wine, coolers, sake, champaign, and what suspiciously looked like rubbing alcohol and much more. Some of the labels on the bottles were staid; while others were festive and yet others were strangely ominous and very obscure.
Yoh began to wonder what kind of drink was called Beelzebub.
"The drinking game is 'I've Never'. Let me explain the rules of game. Everyone sits in a circle so turns go clockwise and we decide the first person who starts the game. Then that person would say something like 'I've never been arrested' or something. Anyone who has been arrested before has to drink. You don't have to drink the whole glass but you have to have more than sip. We go until everyone has had at least two turns," Lyserg explained and sat down.
"Any questions?" Horo Horo asked proudly and beamed unnervingly at everyone in the room. Manta reluctantly raised his hand.
"Is it too late to leave?" Manta asked quietly.
"… Yes, because Horo Horo has locked all the doors using his oversoul," Ren answered and noticed that the doors were glowing faintly with furyoku. Many individuals fidgeted nervously and started to seriously regret coming Lyserg's home.
"I've got a question then. Let's say that the I've never question has been done before by the one saying it. Like um, I've never worn a dress," Yoh began as an example.
"Yoh! You promised not to mention that!" Lyserg said cringing and blushing with embarrassment. Everyone began grinning and chuckling.
"Don't worry Lyserg… What I mean is does the questioner have to drink if they've done it before?" Yoh smiled vaguely.
"I have a feeling you're going to be embarrassing a lot of people at this table…" Horo Horo muttered.
"To answer your question; no the questioner does not have to drink, unless they feel like it, to a question that they ask and have done before."
"I have a question!" Ryu announced, all attention came upon him. Unsurprisingly Ryu still had not really developed any true fashion sense. His pompadour was still in its football like splendour… in fact his hair had grown a bit but luckily rather than wear his eye-killing white polyester suit, he was wearing his finest black suit with a red tie. The suit was obviously homage to the Hitman, however it was of low quality and on Ryu looked like it was a grade shy of being sleazy rather than refined.
"What is it Ryu? If it's about Pirika, Lyserg or about why I had to borrow your bike, I am not going to answer you question."
"Oh don't worry it's nothing like that. My question is what the hell is he doing here?!" He pointed at Marco, and the said person glared at Ryu.
"Marco's here because he still can't get over the fact that Jeanne is a grown woman, engaged to get married and has no life outside of work… Kind of like you Ren," Horo Horo answered; he couldn't help but take a potshot at Ren.
"Don't act as if you're my friend by using my first name, Usui," Marco snapped and glared at Horo Horo.
"Would you prefer Marcine then?" Horo Horo asked casually. Marco's glasses shined ominously and he was still for a few seconds. He then turned to Lyserg and stated in a frigid voice that brooked no arguments.
"I will be going first in this game, Lyserg Diethyl…"
Horo Horo began sweating nervously and smiled weakly.
"Hey man, just chill. I was only joking, if you want to get mad at someone then get mad at Meene. She was the one who…"
A flat stare that was colder than Kororo's ice attacks froze Horo Horo in mid sentence.
"Did you know if you put a little paper hat on a snowball that it'll last a really long time in hell?"
Marco proceeded to stand up and went into the middle of the gathering where the crates had been placed. He spent a full forty seconds quickly looking over the names of may of the drinks. Then he chose a rather dusty looking bottle and poured Horo Horo a shot of it.
Exactly one shot, as though any more would be deadly for the drinker.
The sharp smell of alcohol was amazing, it was so strong that it almost seemed possible to get drunk off the fumes only. The bottle was immediately capped and Marco stretched out his hands towards Ryu.
"Your lighter please…"
"Why do you need to use my lighter?" Ryu asked curious as he got it out.
"To test the purity…" Marco answered matter of factly. He took Ryu's lighter and picked up the glass. Then set fire to the drink without hesitation and a blue flame appeared over the clear white liquid. Marco put out the flame and gave a very evil smile as he set down the shot glass in front of the victim of his ire.
"Um… Is that normal?" Yoh whispered to Faust. The blue flame was something that Yoh had never expected from alcohol set on fire. Usually the flame was orangey red, like when Ryu did a flambé using cooking wine for some guests at Funbari Onsen Hotel.
"Oh dear… I do believe Horo Horo will be unable to play the game after drinking that…" Faust looked pityingly at Horo Horo.
The victim put a brave face and stared defiantly back at Marco.
"Make my day," Horo Horo said in a firm voice.
"Oh… Don't worry, I will."
The room shuddered at the maliciousness in Marco's voice.
"I've never had issues with rival affections for Tamamura Tamao."
Horo Horo's eyes narrowed.
"Fuck you," Horo Horo hissed.
With that, he downed the shot quickly. For a few seconds, nothing seemed to happen and Horo Horo actually seemed fine. Then he became red in the face and his mouth opened and shut like a fish wanting water. Tears appeared at the corner of his eyes and Horo Horo felt like his stomach had been hit with a dash of overly warm acid that was trying to eat his internal organs out.
"Hey moron, are you all right?" Ren asked, despite the less than endearing nickname, there was an underlining tone of worry in his voice.
Horo Horo attempted to speak but it came out as a squeak.
"Water…" Horo Horo begged.
"But there's only alcohol!" Yoh observed as he and Faust searched the crates for a bottle of water.
"Damn… What the hell did he drink?" Chocolove asked.
"He drank an entire shot of 160 proof moonshine," Marco answered calmly. He wiped off the grime on the bottle's label and showed everyone.
"Genuine Texas Moonshine. 160 proof. It doesn't get any harsher than this," Ryu read it aloud for the benefit of Horo Horo.
"Er… As a doctor, I suggest we ban that drink from the game or else we'll all get alcohol poisoning before the game is over," Faust said as took the bottle of moonshine away from Marco.
"Not… ack, until… I get… My revenge!" Horo Horo managed to say as he regained a semblance of vocal ability. His throat felt as though it has been scorched but his stomach was finally setting down.
"I have to agree with Doctor Faust. Drinking something 80 alcohol can't be healthy," Lyserg seconded Faust's decision. He was slightly afraid that the night was going to end somewhat badly but he hadn't expected Marco and Horo Horo to get into a fight.
Most of the people in the circle were busy wondering why 'Marcine' was so insulting to Marco.
"I guess I'm next then…" Yoh said as he looked over the alcohol and chose a bottle to open. The smell was strong but compared to the moonshine it was rather light.
The label was vodka of some sort but it was in Russian. In fact, it looked like Животная Убийца.
"Does anyone know what that says?" Ren asked, knowing that everyone was wondering the exact same thing.
"Just a second, I'm checking it up on my BlackBerry… Let me just scan it in and search for a translation," Manta said as he brought it the bottle to scan the Russian writing.
Chocolove pressed close to be one of the first to read the translation.
"Animal Killer?! This vodka is named 'animal killer' in Russian?!" Chocolove gaped.
"It also seems that it is a 140 proof vodka, well known for being the number one vodka of choice amongst Russians who just want to get plastered… Yoh-kun, I don't think you made a very good choice," Manta said in a worried voice. Oyamada Manta wasn't as short as he was as teen but it didn't change the fact that he was a dwarf compared to most normal people. One drink of anything above 100 proof was going to get him drunk, any higher and he would get alcohol poisoning.
"That's pretty harsh, 70 purity," Marco observed.
"Oops, oh well. Too late," Yoh said in his typical easygoing manner and poured everyone a shot of the vodka.
"Don't tell me that you've got something that's going to make everyone drink…" Ryu watched as the last shot glass was filled.
"We'll see… Let's see, I've never tried to kill or hurt people who eventually became my friends," Yoh announced. Ren, Faust, Ryu and Lyserg drank down their drink after scowling a bit.
"Heeey, wot about ew… for ayes?! Horo Horo announced and got the collective stare of everyone because his slurred speech.
"I tried to kill him and he forgave me but I am not his friend," Marco answered back succinctly.
"Aw, I guess I'll just have to try harder and be your friend then," Yoh said as he smiled lazily. He passed the vodka onto Chocolove.
"All right. HA! I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE ON YOU HUMORLESS FOOLS!" Chocolove announced. He attempted to do the cliché villain evil speech tm but seeing that a man in a skirt doing it, the effect was something to be desired. Ryu threw another balled up piece of paper at Chocolove again.
"Shut up and just do it," Ren snapped.
"Fine, really you guys have no sense of humor," Chocolove muttered as he poured drinks for those who drank last round.
"Maybe because your jokes are so bad," Marco muttered silently.
"Not to mention your puns tend to annoy us rather than make us laugh," Faust bluntly observed without a thought of tact.
Chocolove saw red.
"I've never laughed at Chocolove's jokes," Chocolove railed back annoyed.
No one reached for their drinks.
"Come on Yoh! You laughed at my jokes!" Chocolove begged pathetically.
"I laughed because I thought you were funny, not because your jokes were funny," Yoh answered.
Chocolove deflated and sadly passed the bottle to Manta. He then went into a corner and sulked.
"I guess were a bit too harsh on him," Manta observed.
"He'll be all right… I think," Lyserg stated.
"Okay. I've never used a computer," Manta said simply. He smiled crookedly, knowing that almost everyone in the room had used a computer before. Practically everyone took their drink of vodka, except for Horo Horo who was beginning to look bored in a drunken sort of way.
"You haven't used a computer before?" Manta asked in disbelief.
"Yeah Horo Horo, it's the 21st century. I mean, even Anna has used a computer before," Yoh said.
"I dun need ta and I dun wanna," Horo Horo stated proudly. The bottle was passed to Ryu and Ryu refilled the drinks once more.
"This game is far too tame! I'm going to liven things up! I've never groped a girl!" Ryu said.
"Groped a girl! That's obscene!" Marco was drunkenly outraged. Only Yoh, Faust and Horo Horo drank in response though.
"Faust! You groped a girl! I mean Yoh and Horo Horo, I can see but you?!" Chocolove, who somehow came back into the circle without notice, was surprised and everyone turned to see what Faust's reaction.
"Of course! Eliza has the most wonderful breasts and butt, I still do it in fact. It's so soft and…"
"SHUT UP!" The group shouted as one. Faust was a good doctor and all but the idea of the necromancer groping his wife (it probably had to do with the age of the couple) was a bit too much information.
"What? What's wrong with wanting to touch and appreciate my Eliza?! ARE YOU SAYING SHE'S UGLY?!" Faust began to look rather angry. He began his rather insane mumblings and giggling that creeped a number of individuals out.
"No, it's just that… well, you seem like such a…" Lyserg tried to grasp for a way to defuse the necromancer's temper.
"It's just that we would never expected you to be a groping type," Ren quickly filled in the gap.
"Yah… you're moor laike the romantic fairie type…" Horo Horo slurred.
"Moored romantic ferry pipe," Chocolove punned. Everyone ignored him and that sent another wave of depression come crashing down on Chocolove.
"Oh, very well then. As long as you didn't insult Eliza, otherwise…" Faust let the threat hang in the air.
Ryu passed the half-empty bottle to Ren.
"Why am I doing this?! Fine, I've never danced outside in my underwear," Ren said. He then proceeded to drink from the bottle of vodka as Horo Horo, Chocolove, Ryu and Yoh drank their shot.
"Um… you didn't need to drink yourself Ren," Lyserg reminded the Chinese man.
"After remembering how Horo Horo danced in his underwear to cheer me up, I needed something to purge my mind of the memory. Not to mention I don't want to remember this game when it's over and done with," Ren muttered darkly. He glared at the Ainu and then drank the rest of the vodka
"'ey! What arr ew talkin' about. You laiked it and went all red. You're jus' mad becuz Pirika went afta your sista," Horo Horo said. A number eyebrows went up at the statement of Pirika going after Jun.
Faust luckily deflected the speculation by quickly grabbing a bottle of whiskey and did his turn when it became obvious that Horo Horo had forgotten his promise to Pirika.
"I've never used chocolate sauce on anything but food," Faust announced. With that, he chugged down a good portion of whiskey. Yoh, Horo Horo, Ren and Ryu drank.
"Chocolate sauce?…" Marco asked, as he turned red at the thought of where else chocolate sauce could be used.
"Iss not fair! Ave been drinking almost all the taime," Horo Horo whined.
"Hm… I should have thought about using chocolate sauce," Lyserg whispered to himself.
The bottle went to Lyserg. The drinks were poured once more.
The next statement got everyone drinking except one man.
"I've never gotten Marco mad," Lyserg said. All the men in the room drank except for Marco.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Marco asked outraged.
"Exactly what it's supposed to mean," Ren muttered. Marco twitched and coolly ignored everyone.
Then came Horo Horo's turn. By this time, drinking nearly a dozen shots, if not more, of over 100 proof alcohol was beginning to tell on the participants. Red faces, slurred speech, silly laughs and such were becoming very prominent. The fact that many of the participants had been sipping their drinks while playing the game was beginning to show. It was obvious that a second round was not going to be possible.
"Wee need sumthin' a bit stronger," Horo Horo announced and grabbed the moonshine that Marco had chosen at the beginning of the game. Manta wasn't nearly as drunk as everyone else (he had wisely sipped his drink rather than drink it all) and had the foresight to fill his glass with weaker alcohol. Horo Horo swayed a bit but poured each man a shot of moonshine unevenly.
"Shere's one thaat eberyone must 'ave done!" Horo Horo slurred the words together happily.
"And that is?" Yoh asked.
"I've nev'r 'ad sex!" Horo Horo proudly announced.
"What is with you and sex?!" Ren spat out.
There was a mass movement of hands reaching for drinks, with the exception of one individual.
Marco cringed and stared at his untouched drink, avidly ignoring everyone else's stares.
"Stop looking at me! There is nothing wrong in being a virgin," Marco snapped.
"Um, yeah but at your age? I mean, you have hormones right?" Ryu asked. The non-virgins in the room shook their heads and pitied Marco.
"Just because I haven't jumped into bed with a woman does not make me any less of a man. I have hormones but it doesn't mean I have to act on them," Marco felt insulted.
Then it hit Marco, right then and there.
Lyserg had drank. Meaning one thing.
He had done that 'deed' with someone.
"You unfaithful little… ARGH! How dare you do that to Jeanne! I'll kill you!" Marco was almost foaming at the mouth in rage.
"Unfaithful what?! What did I do!" Lyserg said bewildered by the sudden change in the situation. Everyone dog piled Marco before he reached Lyserg, even Manta helped.
"You had 'relations' with another woman other than Jeanne didn't you!"
"I'm sorry but I don't understand."
"You're marrying Jeanne you nitwit! And you tell me you've had sex with someone else?!"
"Oh…. Oh! Marco, I swear that I have only had sex with Jeanne! Ask any of the guys here! Hell, call Meene!" Lyserg laughed drunkenly.
Marco felt a flood of relief that Jeanne was not going to be heartbroken in any way. Then he thought the situation over as deeply as he could, that is while he was drunk, within seven seconds and while under a human pile. He concluded that the fact that Lyserg and Jeanne were intimate with each other was still pretty bad.
In fact… It was infinitely worse because it meant with utter finality that Jeanne was an adult woman.
"My little girl's all grown up!" Marco bawled and buried his face in his hands. Lyserg counted himself exceptionally lucky that Marco tended to forget things when drunk. Everyone got off of Marco and sat on the ground bored.
"We should be ending this now… I can't drink any more without getting sick and because I'm horny. I want Eliza," Faust baldly stated.
"Yeah, that talk of sex made me want to go to Anna… But she's with Jeanne on a girls night out…" Yoh laughed drunkenly.
"YESSS!!! THE POWER OF SEX ENDURES!" Horo Horo crowed.
"SHUT UP OR I'LL FUCK YOU!" Ren hollered at Horo Horo.
"… Is it me, or did that just sound wrong?" Chocolove asked.
"It wasn't just you…" Manta noted.
"We should go out and kidnap our women! We cannot abide by our lack of sex at this very moment!" Ryu announced.
"ONTO THE BREACH!" Lyserg enthusiastically announced. All the men stood up and hardened their resolve for the night.
"I'm not kidnapping anyone… I'm just going to make sure Lyserg doesn't do anything with another women," Marco muttered.
The gaggle of shamans left the Diethyl mansion and marched into London's street with their confused spirits, who had been wondering what was going on inside, in tow.
It proved to be an interesting thereafter as well.