Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma, though I'd figure that'd be a given. I also don't own Sailor moon, though if you thought I did you have mental problems. As for the many other series I've crossed with, I don't own those either.
I'm a terrible, terrible person. I know. I said it'd be by the end of the year. Over a year later, I'm finally updating. On the plus side, this is the longest chapter yet. But still, over a year! This yearly update shit has got to stop. I'll never finish this fic at this rate.
So if any of you out there would like to see more frequent updates and think you can help, I'm open to having beta-readers, editors, consultants or co-writers, if you're up to the task. JSB has already kindly jumped on board, and is the primary reason this chapter was finished.
I'd also like to thank Archaia Fengari, who offered to bribe me with Fanart to write a new chapter. It was a big help for my inspiration, so for those of you who think I write too slowly, never forget that I accept bribes.
It was a cold, mid December morning that greeted him that day as he looked out over the apartment complex. The air seemed to move almost lazily, slowed by the chill that gave it that strange texture that was so common in the winter months, like a thickening of the lungs as you breathed it in. He was never one to notice the cold, however. It was something he was accustomed to, something he welcomed. He always felt more at ease in the chill of winter than during the hotter summer months. As he breathed in that crisp air, he couldn't help but feel optimistic. December was a good month.
"On the lookout for Panties Girl, eh?" A voice from behind him spoke up, breaking him out of his peaceful thoughts.
"Shut up, Albert! I was just trying to enjoy some fresh air." He chastised his brother, turning away from the railing to glare at the younger boy. Albert rolled his eyes, a grin on his face as he jumped up on the railing and pointed towards the ground floor.
"Right, just enjoying the fresh air while staking out the mailboxes. Makes sense." Albert replied sarcastically. He leaned over the edge, pushing his weight forward and gripping his perch precariously by the tips of his fingers in such a way that it immediately brought to mind images of his brother falling to the cement below, flying head over foot in an uncontrolled tumble that would, at the very least, end with blood and screaming, and at the worst, only blood. Admittedly, he couldn't help but feel the former would be deserving, and almost worth watching, but the possibility of the latter is what made him reach out and pull the younger boy back to safety.
"Quit being an idiot. You're gonna crack your head open." He chastised, smacking Albert upside the head with the same hand he used to pull him back.
"Don't change the subject. I know you watched her leave from the window. You wanna be out here when she gets back, admit it." He ignored Albert's accusations, turning away as the boy once again jumped up on the railing. As if on cue, a dark haired woman came into view, running around the corner and into the entryway proper, slowing to a light jog as she went about checking her mail. Albert grinned as he pointed her out.
"Hey, there she is now. Aren't ya gonna go talk to her?" Albert asked, only to be disappointed at the unsure look that had crossed his face.
"I told you, I'm not out here waiting for her." He began, trying to drop the subject as he turned his gaze towards the ground floor. His eyes were uncontrollably drawn to her as she collected what little mail she had received, to the way she continued to jog in place as she did so, and the way this inevitably made her breasts move. He was also incredibly conscious of his brother's eyes staring at him, obviously not believing what he had said.
"Besides, I wouldn't know what to say," He continued, turning back towards Albert, "I mean, we probably have nothing in common, and we only met yesterday, briefly, so what am I supposed to say about that? I don't know her name, she doesn't know mine, and I saw her in her underwear, which was obviously embarrassing for her, so do I just ignore that, or-"
Albert smacked him upside the head before he could ramble any further.
"You think too much, Chrono. Stop it. Quit being such a wuss and just talk to her, already. Say 'hi.' You can't go wrong with 'hi.'" Albert coached, just as the girl in question reached the top of the stairs and headed their way. Chrono froze up, unable to say a word as she walked by without even looking at the two of them, despite the numerous jabs Albert gave his ribs to convince him to speak up. As her door slammed behind her, they just sat in silence for a moment. Chrono couldn't even register what had just happened, while Albert sighed in a combination of disappointment and pity.
"Smooth, bro. She was all over you. You're a real lady killer. Practically had to beat her off with a stick." Albert said sarcastically, breaking the awkward silence. Chrono simply released a breath he didn't realize he had been holding, putting his head in his hands with a sigh as he turned back towards the railing.
It was still a cold, mid December morning that greeted him as he looked out over the apartment complex, and as he took a breath of that frigid air, he couldn't help but feel depressed. December sucked.
Ryu collected her breath as she shut the door behind her, wiping the sweat from her brow angrily and clenching her gathered mail in a tight fist. Her frustration was palpable, clear from the look on her face and from the way all her actions held more power than was entirely necessary. She slammed doors behind her as she crossed her apartment, her footsteps heavy against the floor as she moved to her room and tossed the crumpled mail angrily on her bed. She was still trying to regain her breath as she pulled off her sweat stained shirt, leaving her in her sports bra as she collapsed to a nearby chair.
"Twenty miles, huh?" She mused with a sigh, leaning back in her seat as her breathing slowed. All her life, Ryu had pushed her limits. It was a necessity of her lifestyle to strive for more, to become better and better, the strongest she could possibly be. How much sweat had she shed in her life to attain physical perfection? How much blood? So much effort, every day, and it showed in her every action. Before, her body had been like finely cut stone, and just as sturdy. She could work for days on end with minimal rest if need be, and the last time she had tried, she ran fifty miles without slowing down.
"Twenty miles..." She muttered again as a bead of sweat followed the curve of her face. She clenched her fist and slammed it against the wall beside her, sending cracks through the concrete as bits of dust fell from the new dent. She was somewhat satisfied that she had at least accomplished that much, but still felt weaker than she had in years. She pushed herself to her limits today, ran as hard as she could, as far as she could, and she hadn't even hit the halfway mark before she started slowing down. Her body had weakened so much, in so little time. Was this really the difference between men and women? If she could face her male self in battle right now, would she even stand a chance?
That thought stuck with her as she sat silently in her room, staring at the pile of crumpled mail on her bed. As the sweat and grime from her workout dried against her skin, her mind continued again and again to the subject of her former self. She had been so proud of her own power, so proud of the strength of her body, and now she was losing it all. Her hands clenched into tight, white knuckled fists as her train of thought continued down a path of negativity. The air around her shifted and started to heat up as Ryu's body began to glow, gritting her teeth as her hair seemed to move in an absent breeze. With a burst of chi that sent vibrations through the chair into the floor, Ryu fully manifested her Yamasenken Aura, growling out in anger as she stood up and lashed out.
The wall before her simply vanished in a cloud of dust and debris with a cacophonous shattering of glass, wood, ceramic and concrete. Water sprayed uncontrollably into the air from broken pipes, dragging the debris cloud down with moisture as Ryu's bathroom came into view through the new hole. As she settled down and began to collect herself, she quickly crushed the water pipe to stop the spray before stepping back a few feet, annoyed by her choice in targets. How was she supposed to shower now?
With that thought in mind, her eyes drifted back towards the pile of mail, seeing the larger folder that had been sent from Furinkan High. Right, she had signed up for that dumb school in order to keep tabs on Ranma's stupid monster hunter group. She was supposed to start today.
Schools had PE showers, didn't they? She'd just have to use one of them. Furinkan was at least 10 miles away from her apartment, though, and she was still winded from her earlier run.
She abandoned that thought as quickly as it hit her. Screw her weaknesses. She was going to run all the way to Furinkan even if her legs broke in the process. She wasn't gonna let this beat her. She'd get her former strength back, no matter the cost.
"To Furinkan, then." She muttered, going to her closet to get a change of clothes.
Ranma twisted through the air, his breath visible in large puffs as his legs sliced through the wind in vicious arcs. His foot touched the ground as he twisted again, lashing out with several more arcing kicks before falling into a sweep that cut a swath in the grass. He returned to a standing position in the same spinning motion, the air moving in tight circles around him as he settled himself and calmed his breathing. He turned briefly to regard his father, who was doing some kind of exercise in his panda form, before heading inside. His father had been acting odd for weeks now, having stopped their morning spars to instead run around on all fours. He couldn't figure it out, but he wasn't going to let his father's disinterest keep him from practicing in the morning.
"...Combatants Act does nothing to alleviate this tension. It's a grave oversight that must be addressed." The TV was on in the next room, far louder than it needed to be. Ranma could easily pick up the discussion taking place as soon as he walked in the house. He glanced into the living room, spotting Nabiki lounging on the couch with the remote in hand.
"What are you suggesting, Representative Yamiuchi?" "I'm suggesting that these so called 'Combatants' are a menace to society, and the Diet's response has simply been to look away."
"Jeez, Nabiki, can't you turn it down?" Ranma shouted into the room, earning a casual glance from the Tendo girl before she looked back to the TV. He didn't understand what was so enthralling about it; looked like some boring political stuff.
"...and riots in the street before you know it." "But aren't the police called in those situations?" "The police are powerless, that's what I've been trying to say! That's the entire reason behind the self-moderation clause of the act. Just a few weeks ago, an entire police swat team was decimated by a single Martial Combatant. Most of these men had to be hospitalized, and the perpetrator is still on the loose!"
"You might wanna pay attention to this, Ranma. This kinda concerns you." Nabiki replied, still watching the two men in suits arguing on the TV. Ranma just waved his hand dismissively as he tuned it out, heading into the kitchen. There was no sign of Kasumi anywhere, much to his dismay. All he could find in the kitchen was a simple note stuck to the refrigerator, declaring that she was out shopping with her aunt and that breakfast will be late today.
Ranma's stomach grumbled as he frowned at the note, opening the fridge to find it painfully bare. the pantries followed, as well as every cupboard and cabinet he could get his hands on, in search of something edible. Unfortunately, the best he had come across was some canned fish stashed near the sink, eying it suspiciously as he looked for an expiration date.
"Hmm...still good. I guess its better than nothing." Ranma muttered, pulling the top off and taking a bite as he turned, spotting Luna sitting on the counter behind him. She was staring up at him in horror, her eyes locked on the small tin in his hands, tears streaming down her face.
"What's wrong with you?" Ranma asked in confusion, taking another bite of fish. This only seemed to make Luna cry more.
"How could you? That's my food! Stop eating my food!" Luna insisted, standing on her hind legs and pointing at Ranma angrily with her paws.
"First you never feed me, now you're even eating my food in front of me? You're too cruel, Ranma!" She complained. Ranma rolled his eyes as he turned back to the cabinet, pulling another tin of fish out and pulling it open before tossing it onto the counter next to Luna. She eagerly began eating it up, standing over it protectively to keep Ranma away from it. He just shook his head, continuing to eat his own as he walked out of the kitchen.
"..at Furinkan High!"
Ranma stopped as the TV finally caught his attention, turning towards it in confusion. Why were they talking about Furinkan High?
"Are you talking about the gas explosion that was recently reported at a high school in your district, Representative?" "That was no gas explosion. It was yet another example of Combatants running amok. That school has long been plagued by Martial Combatants. I'll have you know a known Combatant was hospitalized after the incident. It's a clear indication of fault."
"What? Akane had nothing to do with that!" Ranma shouted angrily, throwing his canned food across the room with enough force to embed it in one of the walls.
"Care to explain why my little sister has been at Tofu's for the last few days, then?" Nabiki asked. Ranma briefly met her eyes, seeing her accusing look, before storming out of the house.
"I'm going to school." He announced, closing the door behind him hard enough to shake the entryway, his mood darkening.
Akane groaned as she woke up in the small hospital bed, the dull sensations of pain across her entire body reminding her once again of her current condition. She grabbed at the controls of the bed to incline, wincing slightly as she was forced to sit up in the process. Glancing around the small clinic area, she looked up at the sunlight streaming in through the open window, before looking about for any sign of Tofu in the area. She wrapped her blankets around her a bit tighter to keep out the chill as she let out a sigh, leaning back and staring at the ceiling to collect her thoughts.
She still couldn't really remember what had happened. She vaguely recalled being angry at something. She... couldn't remember why. She just knew she was filled with rage, and then there was the explosion...and then she woke up at Tofu's clinic. According to the doctor himself, Ranma had brought her here after some kind of explosion at school, but since then, she hadn't seen hide or hair of the pigtailed boy. She strongly suspected he was using her hospitalization to avoid her.
"Stupid Ranma, When I get better, I'll show him to ignore me all week." Akane muttered, wincing a little at some of the pain running up her side. She heard a knocking from the doorway, and looked over to see her friend and science partner standing with a bouquet of flowers.
"Oh, Mikoto," Akane greeted her guest, smiling slightly. It seemed the other girl had brought her some flowers, that was nice. It was more than Ranma ever did for her.
"Hi... Akane." Mikoto said, pausing, "Um...How are you feeling?" she asked, staring at the bouquet in her hands in favor of looking at Akane.
"I'm fine, a few pains here or there, but I'll be out of here in no time!" Akane bragged, lifting her arms and flexing her muscles to emphasize her point, only to let them drop immediately after with a wince. It was far too early for her to attempt that again. The pain was almost unbearable.
"I... see." Mikoto forced a smile, seeing the obvious pain the other girl was in. Her thoughts drifted towards the accident as she continued to stare at the flowers in her hands. It took her several moments to realize what they were, and remember why she was holding them.
"Oh, right. These are for you." She said, offering them to Akane. She realized quickly that Akane wouldn't have anything better to do with them than she did. Flowers needed a vase. Why would Akane have a vase here? She was so stupid, she should have brought her own vase. She wasn't used to stupid pleasantries like this. How the hell were people supposed to keep track of all these social rules?
"I'll just...put them down over here..." She added, finally, putting the flowers on the nearby table. One fell out of the bunch and rolled to the floor. She didn't dare acknowledge it.
"Thanks, Mikoto." Akane replied, glancing briefly at the flowers before looking towards the girl. "I wasn't expecting you to come by."
"Felt like I should, considering..." Mikoto began, trailing off as she noticed the confused look on Akane's face.
"Considering what?" Akane asked, unsure what Mikoto was getting at. The redhaired girl didn't really know how to respond. Did Akane not remember what had happened? How her machine had reacted to her and caused her injuries?
"Do you...not remember what happened?" Mikoto asked, needing clarification. Akane just shook her head, leaning back in her bed a bit.
"They told me there was some kind of an explosion. I just remember walking to school and then..." Akane trailed off, a thought suddenly coming to her. "Oh, right! There was something I wanted to show you."
"Huh?" Mikoto muttered, her train of thought totally lost on that. "What do you mean?"
"It's in my clothes pocket, over on that chair. Its a meteorite I found." Akane explained as Mikoto reached into the pockets, pulling out a small, green hexagonal crystal. What was this, a piece of cut emerald? No, this thing would be worth a fortune if it was. Maybe a jade then? Wait a second, meteorite?
"This is a meteorite? It's a crystal." Mikoto announced, holding it up and looking at it in the light. That's odd, it almost looked like there were some kind of structures in the middle of it. like thin lines or cracks...
"I guess the rest of the outer shell came off, but yeah, I saw it fall from space and everything." Akane replied, watching Mikoto closely examine the stone.
"Space, huh?" Mikoto muttered. Not a chance this thing came from space. It was a cut stone, like from a jeweler. Even if it were possible for crystals to form on asteroids and fall to earth, they wouldn't look like this. "More like an airplane or something. Just cause it came from the sky doesn't mean it's from outer space."
"Don't ruin my dreams, Mikoto." Akane pouted, turning her head. "Finding a meteorite is much cooler than finding some gem that fell from some airplane." The girl would have crossed her arms, but that would also bring wrathful and unnecessary pain upon her.
"Sorry, Tendo, it's just a fancy gem. Maybe you can pawn it." Mikoto replied, tossing the stone to Akane. She reflexively caught it, as the stone suddenly shined brightly with a brief, high pitched sound, much to the two girls' surprise.
"What the hell was-" Before Mikoto could fully voice her confusion, however, they hard the door of the clinic opening again, drawing both of their attention as Yuka and Sayuri came in the room.
"Hey Akane! How's the recovery going?" Yuka asked as both she and Sayuri walked up to the bed, both of them noticing the peculiar gem in Akane's hands. "What do you have there Akane? A gift from Ranma?"
"Like that jerk would ever give me anything. He hasn't even come to visit me yet!" Akane denied, her hands tightening around the gem.
"Hey, hey. No need to get angry," Sayuri said, attempting to calm her down. "It was only a joke. So how are you feeling Akane?" The injured girl sighed to her self, breathing in deeply before answering.
"I'm feeling better, I guess. I'm still in no shape to go to school. Or even move around much," she said, looking up to her friends.
"Consider it a blessing. No school, no work, and no Kuno of any type." Yuka commented, earning a chuckle from the girls.
"Yeah, but I'll still have to do the work. And Kuno might come here. That's even worse." Akane sighed. This totally sucked. Why did she have to get caught in some explosion?
"That's true." Sayuri agreed, nodding her head. "How about Yuka and I bring you your homework so you can get started on it early? Sound good?"
"That would be great," Akane said, smiling.
"And if Mikoto comes as well, she can help us all get it done!" Yuka cheered, looking expectantly at the mad scientist. The girl in question looked around at the three excited faces, and sighed. She probably wouldn't be able to come up with a good excuse anyway.
"Sure, why not. We're friends right?" She muttered, much to the joy of the two perkier girls.
"Now then, time to spill! You guys met the Senshi, didn't you!" Yuka suddenly said, looking between the two girls with jealousy.
"Huh?" Akane muttered, not really understanding, while Mikoto bit her lip.
"Yeah, we heard all about it on the news this morning! They've been saying the Senshi were at Furinkan the other night. That's why there was an explosion!" Sayuri chimed in, equally envious.
"You guys were both right there when it all happened, you must have seen them in action! So come on, spill!" Yuka continued, clearly upset for having missed out.
"I don't remember what happened at all...Wait, you were there during the explosion, Mikoto?" Akane asked. Suddenly all three pairs of eyes were on the bespectacled girl, much to her chagrin as she involuntarily took a step back.
"Hey, why are you all looking at me?" Mikoto put up her hands defensively as all three girls looked towards her with interest. Truth be told, Mikoto remembered that night all too well, everything from the strange man that attacked her, to the things he said, and the way she...
"It was just a regular old, every day lab explosion! Happens all the time!" Mikoto insisted. She'd rather not think about what happened that night.
"Liar! You totally saw something! Come on, don't hold out on us! We're in the Sailor Senshi Fan Club, we have to know!" Yuka demanded, quickly crossing the room to get the truth out of the redheaded girl.
"Hey, stay away! Stop that!" Mikoto shouted, yelping as Yuka came at her. Ranma could clearly hear it all from outside, standing as he was just to the right of the clinic door. He had come straight here from the dojo this morning, same as every morning, standing outside in the cold, not daring to go inside, only moving to quickly hide when someone else came by. He could hear them talking in there and was glad somebody had come to cheer Akane up. He still didn't have the guts to do it.
'I should have been there, damn it. Akane got hurt and I should have been there, but I sent Konatsu instead.' Ranma resisted the urge to put his fist through the wall. Instead, he just continued to eavesdrop, listening to the girls go on and on about senshi gossip.
'They're saying the Senshi caused that explosion now, huh?' Ranma thought to himself, watching his breath in the chill air as he listened to the girls still going on inside. He still couldn't believe the Senshi were important enough to even be publicly recognized, let alone end up on the news. Apparently he didn't watch enough TV.
"Damn it, what else could go wrong?" Ranma growled under his breath, finally moving away from the door and heading towards Furinkan, still unwilling to head into the clinic.
Somewhere out in the Sea of Japan, a young Chinese man was grinning madly. Finally, after many months of training in his homeland, he had finally perfected his technique, not to mention a few other new tricks he picked up along the way. It was finally time to head back to Japan and win his love once and for all from that insufferable bastard! The wooden boat swayed back and forth under his feet as it continued its voyage across the unforgiving sea, ropes straining the mast, wind pushing the sails, reminding him once again of his chosen method of transportation. It was definitely not the most pleasing way to travel, but it worked, especially for some fishing crews. However, for travelers, it was possibly the worst way to get across a sea.
"Why did I think this boat was a good idea?" The young Chinese man questioned, leaning over the side to once again relieve his upset stomach. He made sure to keep his long, black hair out of the way. If it was hit, it would continue to smell like vomit for the rest of the trip, which would only serve to make him feel more sick.
"Probably because it was the cheapest option you had." Mousse narrowed his eyes and looked down angrily at the voice coming from the covered pet carrier at his feet.
"Sh! Shut up! Pets don't talk!" Mousse whispered harshly, glancing around with shifty eyes to see if anybody noticed.
"You should have just bought a plane ticket, you cheapskate. We'd be in Japan by now!" The rough voice from the pet carrier added, ignoring Mousse's warnings.
"Shut up! You're supposed to be a pet, damn it!" Mouse insisted again, before considering his odd companion's words. "And a plane? Don't be stupid! There's no way someone from the backwaters like me could ever just fly to Japan so casually."
"We are beginning our final approach towards Tokyo Narita International Airport. Please put your tray tables up and return your seat backs to their full upright position. The local time is 5:45 AM. Thank you for flying China Airlines." Cologne sighed pleasantly as she returned her chair to the full upright position, as recommended by the flight attendant. Air travel had to be one of the top reasons she was happy to be living in this century. It was hard to believe some of her kin still took rickety old boats to cross the ocean. Completely absurd!
'I suppose I should enjoy this luxury while it still lasts. With our ancient foes on the move, this modern world of convenience may soon be thrust back into the dark ages.' Cologne thought to herself, her hand falling protectively over the old tome she held in her lap. She didn't dare put it with her bags, it was far too important to her people, too sacred.
'So, a thousand years of peace have finally ended, and the Red Witch returns. If only The Artifacts had not been lost to time, maybe we'd have a chance against what is to come.' Cologne continued to brood as the plane came in for its landing, her eyes fixed on the tome as her fingers slowly and carefully traced the crest on its cover. It was the crest of their eldest clan, of the most ancient of warriors who were the predecessors to the entire martial way of her village, and their symbol still carried great significance. She couldn't help but admire it as she briefly became lost in thought, admiring the noble dragon coiled around an ornamental sword in the foreground, at the phoenix rising triumphantly towards the sky behind it.
But now was not the time to reminisce on the past. Now was the time to prepare for the future. War was coming, and even without the Artifacts of old, she would do all in her power to ensure they were ready for it.
Bishonen Senshi Sailor Moon
He looked up at the wall hangings pensively, the symbolism behind the dragon and the phoenix seeming to taunt them now. The Red Witch was on the march and their prince had fallen directly into her clutches. Love had blinded him, and now, they were all doomed.
"I refuse to stand here and wait for death!" Ryouma shouted, slamming his fist into the table with enough force to splinter the solid wood it was carved from. He turned away from the wall hanging then, observing the other guardians in the room.
"Our honor as warriors demands we fight to our last breath, every last one of us giving his life to defend this kingdom from our enemies." Tayama insisted, still sitting in his chair stoically. Ryouma growled at him, turning his full attention to the other guardian.
"Fight to our last breath? In a battle that cannot be won? To what end! Our Prince has abandoned his people, and drags the Sword of Soul into hell with him! We are but Guardians before the Sword. Without the heart, the body is nothing more than a dead husk! Our Artifacts will be powerless when the Prince falls!" Ryouma shouted, his voice echoing around the grand war room chambers. Its girth seemed almost comically inappropriate, now. Nothing like the grand council it once was, now graced only by the Four Guardians.
"Now is not the time to speak of honor, but of survival! We will be the last of our kind should the Red Witch have her way." He concluded.
"You would abandon our kingdom to save your own hide? What of our people? Think of your family!" Rinji insisted, standing from his own chair with the Staff in hand.
"I am! To stand and fight will be the requiem of our people. I will not have my wife and daughter taken by the Witch's hordes. Our lands are a pittance before the lives of our kin. Evacuation is our only recourse." Ryouma returned to his seat as he finished, and a silence fell over the room.
"Evacuation?" The words left his lips, but he did not speak them. This scenario was on auto-pilot, and he was but an observer. "To where could we go? We are the Guardians of the Soul. Our very essence is tied to our artifacts, and they to the Sword. When the Prince falls and the Witch claims the Sword, we will be as puppets to her will. No matter where we lead our people on this earth, our very presence would draw our enemies to their door."
The silence became deafening as they all sat in that old room, the gravity of their fate weighing upon them. He could do nothing but stand and watch, still an observer trapped in his body, as the four deliberated.
"Konaru speaks truth. When the sword falls, We become but a liability." Ryouma declared, standing from his seat. "Our people shall evacuate across the sea, but our fate is sealed."
"They will flee, but we will stand." Rinji added, rising as well.
"Fighting to our last breath." Tayama finished as he also stood, "With honor."
Konatsu opened her eyes, wincing immediately and closing her eyelids again to hide from the light that mercilessly forced its way into her pupils. She sat up and glared at the small crack between the door and the wall that let the light in from the next room. It was most unpleasant.
The light was only a momentary distraction, however, her thoughts immediately returning to her dream. It was much different than the usual dreams of princesses and palaces since becoming Sailor Mars, but still just as vivid. What were the Guardians? And who was the Red Witch? She felt like she should know this. However nothing came to mind, and she found herself struggling to figure it out. It was like it was on the tip of her tongue.
Suddenly the door to the room opened, and there stood Ukyo. She didn't even look down at Konatsu as she reached forward to grab some clothes off the shelves above. Once she was done, she turned around, closing the door behind her, and leaving Konatsu in the darkness of the closet.
"Ukyo-sama..." Konatsu began, opening the closet door and climbing out of her bed. She lowered her gaze slightly as she saw Ukyo begin to dress. "Can I ask you a question?"
"Sure, just let me finish getting dressed." She replied, fumbling slightly. Konatsu continued to avert her eyes while she waited patiently. This was going to be a really strange question, but it was probably best to at least ask someone about it.
"Alright, so what's up Konatsu?" Ukyo asked, turning towards the newly minted girl. That still kinda weirded her out, to be honest, but she was trying to get over it.
"Well...Do you think dreams have any meanings?" Konatsu asked, earning a confused blink from the chef.
"Uh...I don't know, I guess it depends on the dream?" Ukyo replied, straightening out her school uniform and slowly stretching out the kinks in her healing wounds. She was pretty much back to normal now, thankfully.
"Why, you've been having weird dreams or something?" Ukyo asked, remembering her own recent dream with a shudder. She certainly hoped there weren't any deeper meanings to it. She didn't want to think what that'd mean for her sanity.
"Do you think that dreams can show the past?" Konatsu asked. She had a very strange feeling that this was in fact the case for some of her dreams. The dreams she used to have, of being a princess of mars, seemed linked to her newly found magical girl powers. It made sense, but this newest dream didn't follow that pattern. She had no idea who this Konaru was, and yet it seemed just as real.
"Th...the past? Like, past lives? Past lives in some kind of crazy kingdom? No! That's silly! That's totally impossible!" Ukyo suddenly started to rant, ignoring Konatsu for a moment as she started to pace and continued to mumble her unstoppable train of thought.
"I mean, okay, fine, Ranma's a prince. I get that. And sure, crazy redheaded witch who wants to take over the world, why not? Totally plausible I guess! But there's no way in hell that Ryoga is my-"
"Ukyo-sama..." Konatsu began, cutting the chef off halfway through her ramblings. "I never mentioned kingdoms..."
"Oh...right...of course not." Ukyo replied, pausing for a moment in awkward silence, "That's because they're totally not real and don't exist, so why would you mention them? I sure didn't mention them. Hahaha..."
She paused slightly, glancing nervously at Konatsu. "I'm going to school!" She suddenly announced, grabbing her bag and heading out the door with unnecessary haste. Konatsu just stared at the door, confusion growing in her mind as she tried to make sense of Ukyo's insane ramblings.
"So I should run the restaurant while you're at school, then?" Konatsu asked the air. It offered no reply.
"Ah...what a nice, brisk air. Perfect weather for a morning work out." Amawa Hibiki muttered, closing his eyes and breathing deep to cherish the winter air. Nothing quite like cold air to wake you up and encourage your body to move. Winter was always the best. Students tried harder in the cold than they did in the summer, maintaining activity simply as a means to keep warm. He had a good feeling about today. Gym class was going to be a good one.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Amawa muttered, coming out of his reverie and pulling out the small reminder note he had written himself. He had more than just gym to attend to today. He was supposed to cover a homeroom for some teacher that was going to be arriving late. "What was her name again...ah, Hinako-sensei, right."
The gym teacher's attention was drawn away from the reminder, however, at the sight of movement in the corner of his eye. He glanced up quickly, spotting a girl in street clothes jogging onto the field at a fairly high speed. For a moment he smiled, proud of such a brilliant display of athletic devotion, only to be brought out of it when he saw the girl heading into the door that lead to the boy's locker room.
"What is she up to?" The teacher muttered, pocketing his reminder and heading into the gym himself.
Ryu turned the handle on the shower, closing her eyes as the cold water shot out of the shower head and soaked her body. Slowly the water began to turn warm and more comfortable as she sighed, rubbing the soreness out of her joints. The softness of her body only reminded her of just how much she had lost, so undeniably feminine in shape. Her thoughts drifted towards her run, and how far she had to push herself just to make it here. She was still catching her breath even now as the water washed the sweat away, running her hands through her hair. Strange, it was longer than she remembered.
How much longer would it be before she regained her former glory? How much more sweat and blood would she need to spare? The idea frustrated her, that she would have to reattain something that she should rightfully still have. She sighed, rubbing her head in frustration. If only there was a quicker way to get back to her original strength, a faster method of retraining her body. She laughed at the thought. Like there would be something so convenient.
"Excuse me." Ryu turned towards the voice, spotting some older man with a long ponytail standing at the edge of the showers, averting his eyes towards the ceiling. Who was this guy? The Janitor?
"What are you doing here?" Ryu asked, glaring at the man for a moment before returning her focus to her shower.
"That's my line." Amawa said, still trying his best to avoid looking at her. "You do realize this is the boy's locker room, right?"
Ryu stopped for a moment at that comment, glancing up at the man again before looking around the showers. The boy's locker room, huh? She hadn't even been thinking about it. It was a factor of her recent gender change she hadn't considered, one that probably should have come up sooner. She really would have to use the ladies' room from now on, wouldn't she? She thought on that for a moment, thinking about the times she had to use the public baths in the past, as well as the fact she was now enrolled in this school, and would thus have to change in the girl's locker room.
"What's your point?" Ryu asked, looking down at the water around her feet, flowing towards the drain. She was clean enough, she decided, shutting off the valves and grabbing her towel.
"My point is that you shouldn't be in here." Amawa said, looking in any particular direction that was not at the nude female teen that was separated from him by a thin piece of plastic. It was then that he noticed her clothes on the bench outside the showers. "Are you even a student here?" He asked, once again looking at the ceiling.
"Yes." Ryu reapplied simply, stepping out of the shower area with her towel around her body, watching as the man turned around completely.
"Do you have a school uniform?" He added, looking in the opposite direction for a few moments when the sudden sound of metal being torn open grabbed his attention. He momentarily forgot the almost naked girl behind him, reflexively turning around to see her tearing a locker door off and grabbing the uniform inside.
"Do now." She said, dropping her towel as Amawa turned around again. He frowned, staring in the opposite direction again as the girl changed. Ryu quickly pulled on the baggy uniform and tossed her dirty clothes in the broken locker, brushing her hair over her shoulder as she walked past Amawa and towards the door.
"What's your name?" Amawa demanded. It was his duty as a teacher to properly deal with this delinquent girl, even if she was fairly scary. She barely looked over her shoulder, flipping him the finger before opening the door.
"Fuck off, Janitor. Not like I'm ever gonna see you again, anyway." Ryu slammed the door behind her, leaving Amawa to his thoughts as his frown deepened. It was a few minutes later when he finally remembered the reminder in his pocket, heading off towards Ms. Hinako's class with a frustrated sigh.
Ranma glanced towards the door, briefly wondering where Ms. Hinako was. Not that he was complaining about her absence, of course, though anything would be a welcome reprieve from the conversation he was currently having.
"No way, Mars is the tallest! Mercury and Moon are both short compared to her." Yuka insisted, pulling out some kind of tabloid and pointing at the blurry photo of the senshi someone had snapped during the carnival. They were showing up in tabloids now? Ranma could only shake his head.
"She's wearing heels, you goof! Of course she looks taller! Mercury is definitely taller than Mars!" Sayuri countered, pointing to the footwear on the red colored senshi. Huh, Konatsu did wear heels when transformed, didn't she? Ranma briefly wondered how she ran around in those things.
"What do you think, Ranma?" Both girls were suddenly giving Ranma their complete attention, causing him to stop slightly in his leaning and straighten out.
"What were we talking about again?" Ranma pretended like he wasn't paying attention, though the looks on both girls' faces told him they weren't buying it, "Uh...Jupiter is tallest, hands down."
"Huh?" Yuka muttered in bewilderment.
"Jupiter?" Sayuri joined in confusion.
"You know, the green one? Kinda messy hair? Big boobs? Tall? Shoots lightning at things?" Ranma continued to list off attributes, only to see the other two girls grow more and more confused, "She's the one... you two... haven't... heard about... yet..."
The sudden realization that the only fights Jupiter had partaken in either had no witnesses or took place in the Tendo home hit Ranma like a sack of bricks, and the way the two girls were now looking at him was getting more and more uncomfortable by the second.
"I knew it!" Yuka loudly declared, pointing dramatically at Ranma with a triumphant smirk, "You DO have inside information on the Senshi!"
"Um...No...really...I, uh..." Ranma's mind was racing a mile a minute as he tried to think of a good excuse, wishing he could kick himself for being so stupid.
"You're totally using your martial arts skills to track and spy on the senshi, aren't you! You're like their number one fan!" Sayuri suddenly concluded, her own confident grin adorning her face. Ranma quickly fell over, tipping his chair slightly too far backwards and slamming into the floor with a heavy thump.
"Yeah...That's it...You caught me." He deadpanned, slowly pulling himself up and righting his chair. Both girls were now completely focused on him. He had a feeling this was what it was like to be a slab of meat held before two hungry dogs.
"You are like, so totally the official president of our Sailor Senshi Fan Club, Ranma! You've got my vote!" Sayuri insisted, with Yuka quickly joining it.
"Yeah! Now spill! We want the full scoop on this new recruit!" Yuka insisted. Luckily for Ranma, the door opened at that exact moment, as he righted his chair and sat up straight.
"Sorry, can't talk now. Class is starting!" He quickly said, glad that Hinako had finally shown up to save him from this conversation. Only it wasn't Hinako who was coming in.
"Good Morning, students!" Amawa yelled as he entered the classroom. All talking petered out in a matter of moments, and all the students looked up to see someone who was definitely not their homeroom teacher.
"Ryoga's uncle?" Ranma muttered in confusion. Where was Hinako?
"You should all recognize me by now as your Gym Teacher, but for those of you who have been skipping Gym, I am Hibiki-sensei!" Amawa announced, turning around and quickly writing his name on the board behind him. "Hinako-sensei is running late today, so I'll be filling in for her homeroom class. But don't worry, I've been assured she'll be here in time for English."
"Hinako's late?" Ranma had never known the teacher to be late, especially considering her gung ho approach to the school rules. Being tardy was an offense worthy of draining, by her standards.
"Let's see here..." Amawa muttered, checking the notes Hinako-sensei left on her desk, "Hmm...It seems like we're supposed to have a new student joining us, today. Is Ryu Kumon here?"
Ranma promptly fell out of his chair, smashing his head against the desk of the person behind him with a curse. The class glanced at Ranma as he angrily got back up, just as the door slid open again.
"Ryu..." Amawa begins, seeing the girl from before standing in the doorway, a schedule in hand. She took one look at him and groaned audibly, putting her free hand to her face as a smirk built on the teacher's face. "...Kumon. Tardy, I see."
"Shoulda seen this coming..." Ryu muttered to herself. Amawa gestured to a pair of buckets in the corner, already filled with water.
"Stand in the hall, Miss Kumon." Ryu's eye twitched, hand clenched and knuckles cracking as she struggled to resist the urge to put the teacher through the wall for that one. But she controlled herself, grabbing the buckets and heading towards the hall. "And hold them at arms length. Don't think I forgot about the gym."
"Whatever." Ryu replied, closing the door behind her. Ranma just blinked at the exchange, still unsure of what was going on. What the hell was Ryu doing there? This was his school, damnit! With none of the other senshi in school, it was his one place to be free of all that crap.
"Who's the new guy? He's cute!"
"He looks like a delinquent, though."
"That's totally a girl."
"What? No he isn't. He was wearing a boy's uniform!"
"It totally didn't fit her."
"Yeah, and Ukyo wears the same thing."
"Ukyo's a girl?"
"Where the hell have you been?"
Ranma banged his head against the desk a few times, groaning as he did.
"Is there something wrong, Saotome?" Amawa asked, having watched the peculiar display.
"Just the realization that I will never, ever find peace in life." Ranma replied, not lifting his head from the desk.
Ryu readjusted her grip on the two buckets, holding them straight out from her body as she felt her muscles strain to keep them upright. That teacher was crazy if he thought this was supposed to be punishment. She would have done this anyway. Hell, she might add some squats to the equation at this rate, it wasn't nearly enough of a work out yet. Another student arriving gave her pause, however, turning to the girly boy coming up the hall now.
Ukyo blinked as she arrived at her class, spotting someone new standing with buckets outside. It was obviously a girl, though she was poorly masquerading as a boy in that uniform. Wasn't even trying to hide her large boobs. Who did she think she'd fool? It's not like you can put on a boy's uniform and make an angry face and expect to pass.
Ukyo's eyes lingered on the girl's face for a moment, feeling an odd sense of recognition. She looked...familiar. But from where?
"Do I know you?" Ukyo asked as she approached, earning a glance from the girl. There was something about her face that was setting off alarm bells in her mind. She could have sworn she'd seen her somewhere before.
"No." Came Ryu's reply. That still didn't stop the boy from staring at her face, however, so Ryu decided to stare right back. Hmm... On second thought, this was probably a girl. No guy looked this girly.
"Huh...Coulda sworn..." Ukyo muttered, still thinking about how she knew this girl. It never occurred to her that this was the girl Ranma and Konatsu had dragged into her restaurant several weeks ago. Instead, her mind went to a more recent memory, causing her to jerk back as she suddenly realized why the girl looked so familiar.
"Hahaha, my mistake. It was just a dream!" With that, Ukyo quickly went into class, leaving Ryu to just stare at her exit in confusion.
"Weirdo." She muttered, beginning her squats.
Time passed, the day went on, and Ryu eventually found herself actually in class, not that she actually paid attention to anything the teacher was saying. No, she was fairly certain that would make this experience even more mind numbing than it already was. Instead, Ryu's attention was drawn to the rest of the students in the class room, primarily because the majority of them were focused on her.
Ranma was glancing at Ryu, still unsure why she had become a student. He didn't even realize they were the same age. What could have possibly possessed her to start going to school? It sure as hell didn't look like she gave a crap about her education. She was screwing with him, that had to be it. She was bitter about losing the duel and having to be a senshi so she was going to annoy him for the rest of his life in vengeance. It was the only rational explanation.
Ukyo was focusing on Ryu because Ranma was focusing on Ryu, and she did not like the way the pigtailed boy was giving this new girl looks every couple of seconds. Who the hell did she think she was? And what was with that boy's uniform? The new girl was cramping her style, and she wasn't going to stand for it, no sir.
The rest of the students had their attention on the new girl for their own reasons. The girls who thought she was a guy were admiring her beauty, the guys who knew she was a girl were doing the same, and the rest were all expecting some more drama to erupt between the new girl and Ranma, which was always good for entertainment.
The teacher was focusing on her because she was making no attempt to even pretend to be paying attention. It wasn't until Ryu snatched the piece of chalk thrown at her out of the sky that she even glanced at the slightly obese man trying to give them an education.
"Miss Kumon, go stand in the hall." Ryu crushed the chalk into powder, glaring at the man for a moment before standing, grabbing some buckets and leaving the room.
"Now then, back to the subject at-" The teacher paused as Ranma abruptly stood. He was about to punish the boy, only to see him grab some buckets and head out into the hall, apparently punishing himself. Having no idea how to respond to this, the teacher simply stood there in stupefied silence.
And then Ukyo did the same thing, grabbing a pair of buckets and following Ranma out of the class. Now everyone had their attention firmly glued to the door as the teacher sighed, realizing he had no chance of regaining control at this point.
"What're you doing here?" Ryu asked, seeing Ranma appear from the classroom carrying his own buckets.
"Me? What're you doing here? Since when do you go to school?" Ranma demanded, closing the door behind him.
"Hey, I made a promise and I intend to keep it. I'm no good to you halfway across town." Ryu replied, just as Ukyo arrived.
"What does that mean?" Ranma jumped upon hearing Ukyo's voice, turning to see the other girl.
"Ukyo, what're you doing out here? Get back in class!" Ranma insisted. Ukyo promptly ignored his plea.
"Who is this girl, Ranma?" She demanded.
"The weirdo girl again? Who are you anyway?" Ryu asked, only to see Ukyo get rather indignant and step forward. Ranma intentionally placed himself between the two, knowing where this was going with a growing sense of dread.
"I'm Ranma's Fiancee, Ukyo Kounji! Who are you?" Ukyo was clearly angry, and Ranma looked like a man who was staring down an oncoming train. Ryu just glanced at the girl in confusion for a moment. Finacee? Wasn't Akane Ranma's Fiancee? That came up repeatedly back when she was trying to get the Umisenken...
"What? You can't be Ranma's Fiancee, he already has one." Ryu insisted. Ukyo suddenly saw red, turning her glare from the new girl to Ranma, who was doing a fantastic impression of a man about to have a heart attack.
"Shut up, Ryu..." Ranma insisted through clenched teeth, feeling Ukyo's eyes burning holes in the side of his face as he picked up the sound of the entire class whispering in the room behind them. This situation was all falling into place with horrifying speed and clarity, and there was little Ranma could do about it. Just one more false step and everything would be-
"Wait, you have more than one fiancee? You womanizing bastard!" Ryu accused. Ranma couldn't help it. The reflex was too great. He released a bucket and facepalmed with such intensity the sound of his hand slapping against his skull reverberated around the hall. That was it, the final nail in the coffin. Ryu was completely oblivious to what she had just done, and now there was no stopping the avalanche that would be coming his way for the rest of the week. The windows of the classroom flew open as all the students in their class began talking all at once, and Ukyo looked like she was about to explode and take the entire hallway with her.
'I need a distraction.' Ranma thought, just as the sound of maniacal laughter and the outraged cries of high school girls echoed down the hall.
"Perfect timing." Ranma muttered under his breath, dropping his buckets as Happosai ran by, pursued by half the female student body. Ranma instantly gave chase, with Ryu close behind, and Ukyo close behind her. At which point, the entire class decided it'd be a good idea to follow, leaving the teacher silently weeping at his desk.
Happosai cackled as he ducked into the gym, watching as his pursuers ran by without stopping. The chase had been sweet, but now was the time to bask in the spoils of war, and he couldn't have any distractions while he was admiring his silky darlings.
"What a strange little human you are. Almost look like a Youma already." Zoicite commented as he appeared in a swirl of petals, floating easily in the air as Happosai turned around to see who dared interrupted him.
"Now then, let's see your true for-"
"SWEETO!" Happosai was off in a flash, much to the effeminate general's surprise. He latched onto Zoicite's chest with a look of pure joy on his face, which promptly turned to horror as he felt the firm manly chest under the blond's uniform. Impossible! How could someone like this be a man? Happosai went into convulsions, freezing up and falling over backwards without resistance, too horrified by groping a man to break his fall.
"You vile beast! How dare you?" Zoicite howled in outrage, stopping to kick the diminutive man several times in the ribs for this injustice. He stopped about a few minutes and caught his breath, remembering what he came here for and quickly extracted the crystal.
"I'll just be taking this, you horrible fiend, and then I'll be on my-Ah!" Just as Zoicite got his fingers on the crystal, a small dagger sliced through the air, clipping his hand and sending the Indigo jewel flying into the hands of his attacker.
"I'll be taking this." The masked man announced, catching the rainbow crystal with ease.
"You! How dare you strike me! Give that back!" Zoicite insisted. At that instant, Ranma and Ryu entered the room, first noticing Zoicite and Tux Boy, then spotting Happosai convulsing on the floor and glowing with energy. Only then did Ranma notice the crystal in Tux's hand.
"Hey! What're you doing with that?" Ranma demanded. Without a word, Tux leapt away, landing in a window near the top of the gym and bounding off.
"You won't escape!" Zoicite announced, giving chase. Ranma was about to follow as well, only to be stopped by Ryu's hand.
"Ranma, we need to deal with this first!" Ryu pointed to Happosai, who promptly exploded with power, filling the gym with smoke.
"Shit..." Ranma glanced around quickly, making sure no one else was around to see. Where was Ukyo? Hadn't she been right behind Ryu? They must have lost her at some point, which was definitely a good thing now.
"Moon Prism/Jupiter Power, Make up!" They shouted in unison, drawing their respective transformation items and saying their respective lines. Jupiter finished her transformation first, a frown on her face as she once again found herself in the disturbingly form fitting and girly uniform. If she ever met the guy who designed this outfit, she was going to kick him in the balls. Moon completed her transformation about a minute later, landing just as the smoke cleared and revealed the new form Happosai had taken.
"I always knew that old goat was a monster of some kind..." Moon remarked, looking at the odd ape like creature that now stood before them, grinning like a mad man and staring at them with his insane yellow eyes.
"Jijijiji..." The youma muttered, looking between the two hungrily. There was something about the way it was looking at her that creeped Jupiter out. It was almost...lustful.
"Supreme..." Jupiter began, collecting lightning on her fingertips as she glared at the new monster. He was creeping her out, and the sooner she blasted him to hell, the happier she'd be, "...Thunder!"
The bolt of lightning struck where Jiji was, but he was gone in an instant. Jupiter suddenly froze as she felt a sudden weight on her midsection, glancing down to see the tiny ape clinging to her body just in time to see it shove its face between her breasts. A horrible chill of utter revulsion passed through her, followed by a chill of a completely different sort as the strength just completely left her body. Her legs grew weak, her arms felt like lead, and she was suddenly on her back, barely able to move as the horrible little monster continued to rub itself against her.
"Moon Tiara Action!" The youma leapt away from Jupiter as the discus of death cut through the space his body occupied, twisting through the air and returning to Moon's hand. A flash of motion of the corner of her eye was the only warning she got as she quickly hurled the tiara again, forcing the youma to break off his approach and dodge again to prevent being cut, only to rebound again at insane speed and catch moon across the abdomen, his feet grabbing her biceps and his hands on her thighs as he shoved his face in her crotch.
"GET THE FUCK OFF ME!" Moon yelled, struggling against the monster only to find all the power seem to leave her body. She collapsed like Jupiter did, seeing her tiara making its return pass and willing it to strike the demon latched onto her body. This time it connected, dragging the youma across the gym as both senshi struggled to get back to their feet.
"What the hell is that thing?" Jupiter growled out, shaking the numbness out of her body as she tried to wipe the feeling of that disgusting imp rubbing her from memory. Moon returned to her feet as well, face red with embarressment and fury as she glared at the tiny monster. It was somehow blocking her tiara, getting dragged around the air instead of cut to pieces. She willed it to slam the little bastard into the ground for good measure, before it finally ran out of power and returned to being a normal tiara.
"The old goat gets strength from feeling up girls. Shit...to think he's even worse like this..." Moon announced, standing in a defensive position and glaring at the youma that was now returning to its feet.
"He gets stronger from being a pervert? Look at the way we're dressed, genius! Think you could have mentioned that part sooner?" Jupiter replied bitterly, never taking her eyes off the imp. It was suddenly in motion, flying at her with speed that reminded her of the Umisenken. She barely saw it, dodging more by reflex than anything as he tried to grope her breasts and instead got a punch to the face for his troubles.
"Die!" She growled, lightning crackling on her fists as she tried to blast the little imp again, only to see him dodge aside casually between each blast. She collected the lightning yet again, spotting Moon rushing towards the monster out of the corner of her eye and blasted at him again, this time aiming slightly to the right. He dodged left, directly into an arcing axe kick that hurled him into the ground so hard he went straight through the floor boards and cratered the concrete foundation underneath.
The Youma barely slowed down, rebounding from this blow before Moon could even land, launching out of the hole he made and latching onto the redhead's rear as he returned, fingers going wild. Moon screamed in outrage, but Jupiter had been expecting that, her boot catching the little imp in the cranium seconds after he got a grip on Moon and sending him flying into the wall.
"Watch out!" Moon shouted, spinning around as the imp once again rebounded. Her tiara went flying, however it was deflected by the monster, who made a beeline for Jupiter's still raised leg.
In an instant the youma was behind them, moving so fast the displaced wind blew at their skirts as Jupiter shuddered, still feeling the imp's hands all the way up her leg from when it passed her. She also noticed a rather odd draft, turning around to see the little demon rubbing a piece of white fabric on his face.
"Jijiji!" he shouted in joy, not even paying attention to the girls in favor of his new bounty.
"Is that..." Moon muttered, glancing at Jupiter to see a look of pure rage on her face.
"Yes... It is..." She replied. An instant later, she exploded, her hair standing straight up in complete defiance to gravity as her aura expanded around her. Moon almost stopped her. Almost. But to be honest, Happosai deserved it.
"MOUKO KAIMON HA!" The little youma glanced up just in time to see an enraged Jupiter rushing him at speeds approaching his own before everything simply exploded. Moon had to shield her eyes from the resulting blast of shrapnel, looking up just in time to see the entire eastern wall of the gym was simply gone. Jupiter stood at the center of the blast, her leg firmly planted in the crater that used to be the floor, shaking with rage.
"He...dodged..." She gasped, collapsing to the ground as her aura was completely stripped, the youma latched onto her back and groping her chest from behind. Moon's tiara flew towards him again, forcing him to abandon his victim to avoid it and instead focus on the girl who was still standing.
"Damn it, just stand still and die already!" Moon shouted, dodging an attempted grope and slamming the imp into the floorboards. He wiggled out from under her fist, coiling up her arm like a snake and caressing her skin in disturbing ways as he went. Moon punched him off again as he reached her shoulder, feeling a little numb from the touch as the imp once again rebounded and came straight back at her. He was going right for her chest, and there was nothing she could do to stop him, too slow to react.
A wave of power rushed between them, forcing the youma to stop short and change direction as the ground was cleaved in half along its chosen course. Moon took a step back in surprise, looking towards the source of the disturbance in shock.
"K...Kuno?" Her jaw dropped open, unsure how to respond to this. Jupiter struggled to a kneeling position, breathing heavily as she watched the newcomer step in.
"You ladies look like you could use some help." Kuno announced, tossing his book bag aside and firmly grasping his bokken in both hands.
"Jijiji..." The youma muttered, glaring at the interloper angrily before rushing towards Moon again. Kuno's blade flashed forward, glowing with power as a crescent wave flew from its edge, rushing across the gym to cut the Youma off from his chosen victim. The Youma seemed to expect this, however, rebounding off the ground just before the wave and flying towards Kuno.
"Asaruto!" Kuno shouted, twisting to the side to avoid the Youma's claw and bringing his blade back up. He struck solidly, a wave of power following the crack of the wood as the Youma was blasted into the ceiling with a cry of pain, rebounding off and flying down towards Moon again.
"Sutoraiku!" Kuno spun, magic power trailing on the tip of his blade as he thrust it forward, launching a sharp spike of energy through the air that intercepted the small imp before he reached his target, once again earning a cry of pain from the beast as it was blown clear across the gym, smashing into the far wall with enough force to crater it. For the first time, it didn't rebound, instead falling out of the new crater and slowly regaining its feet.
"Is that the best you have, Jiji? I can do this all day." Kuno remarked, magic power coiling around his blade as he stood at the ready. Moon just continued to gape at him. What in the hell was going on? She had been getting her ass handed to her this entire time, and Kuno just casually shows up and wipes the floor with him? Today was turning into the mother of all bad days. Outdone by Kuno? The very idea made her want to kick something.
But still, the youma was injured, and that's all she needed. Whether it was because of Kuno or not, she wasn't about to turn down a chance to put an end to this nonsense, producing her moon stick with a flourish.
"Moon healing-" Jiji wasn't about to cooperate, however, and burst off at top speed, heading for the exits. Moon cursed and gave chase, Jupiter struggling to a standing position and doing the same.
Kuno took a few steps forward only to find himself dragged backward by an invisible force, turning slightly to see Nabiki standing in the doorway.
"Nabiki Tendo, what is the meaning of this?" Kuno asked, glancing at the mercenary girl with a frown on his face.
"This isn't our fight, Kuno. Stay out of their business." Nabiki answered, gesturing towards Kuno's discarded bookbag, which promptly flew across the room into her hand.
"Excuse me for disagreeing, Nabiki." Kuno replied, taking his bag from the girl and looking towards where the two senshi and youma went, his frown deepening slightly.
"Some part of me tells me it's a bad idea to help them." Nabiki said.
"I try to ignore that part of myself." Kuno replied.
"I don't mean that part." Nabiki returned with a sigh, before turning and heading towards the door, "They don't need our help. Not yet. We shouldn't let their enemies know what we can still do."
Kuno just stood there silently for a moment, sparing one last look towards the other exit before sighing and following Nabiki, heading back towards class.
Ryu struggled to catch up to Ranma, still recovering from having all her energy drawn out. She had already dropped out of her Senshi transformation several blocks ago, but she wasn't about to slow down. Now back in the boy's uniform she stole, she at least had pants now, which meant much less worrying about the uncomfortable breeze. She pushed herself harder, increasing in speed until she was matching Ranma stride for stride, looking over at the other girl to see the look of frustration on her face.
"This wouldn't have happened if I was a guy," Ranma growled, dropping the transformation as she ran. Tightening the draw string on her pants, she continued to chase after the impish youma, which was thankfully still in view. "Only reason Kuno did better than me."
"Where the hell is this thing going, anyway?" Ryu asked, bounding over the edge of one roof and hitting the next in a roll, immediately returning to a full sprint alongside Ranma.
"Considering it's the old goat, a place where there are a lot of women," Ranma stated, recognizing the building up ahead, "Detour."
As Jiji went over, Ranma bounded down, going through the open door and straight through the main room into the kitchen beyond with Ryu in tow. She spotted the tea kettle without slowing down and slammed into it, wincing through the boiling water as he was once again a man.
"Son in law?" Cologne muttered, watching Ranma bound through her kitchen and out the back at a full clip, using her kettle to return to being male. There was an odd girl right behind him as well, someone Cologne didn't recognize. What a curious situation. This definitely needed some looking into.
"Mousse, watch the store. I have some business to attend to." Cologne said, grabbing her staff from against the wall. The almost-blind man turned to her and smirked.
"That's a first. While I am honored, I must ask: are you sure you should be letting me control the future's of people's food?" Mousse asked sarcastically, adjusting his glasses.
"Are you giving me lip, boy?" Cologne asked, glaring at the blind man.
"N-no." He stuttered, taking a step back.
"Good. Shampoo's father is in charge while I am gone, not you. Your job is to merely stand there and take the blame should anything go wrong in my absence." With that said, the old Amazon left out the back door, following the other two martial artists.
"You should be ashamed to call yourself a man." Came the voice from the pet carrier on the counter. Mousse just growled at it, throwing a towel over the offending box.
"See if I let you out anytime soon." Mousse replied, moving to clean up the hot water Ranma spilt everywhere. There was some struggling from the pet carrier, as if the animal inside was struggling to open the door, before it stopped.
"At least feed me, you jerk." The voice said, sounding sullen. Mousse just scoffed in response.
"He's heading to the damn bathhouse!" Ranma announced, suddenly realizing where the little imp was going. It was the only thing in this direction that made any sense, and the idea of this monster getting into the girl's bath made his blood run cold.
"Damn it, why is this thing so damn fast?" Ryu complained, still pushing herself to her limit. There was only so much strain she could handle in a day, and with her morning work out and having all her chi drained, twice, she was beginning to feel a serious plateau approaching.
"Just stay here, Ryu! You're not gonna be any help anyway." Ranma shouted, pushing himself just a bit faster to try and close in on Jiji. Ryu turned towards him, glaring at the pigtailed boy for a moment as she promptly ignored her limits and pushed herself even faster.
"The hell is that supposed to mean, Saotome?" Ryu demanded. Ranma just glanced at Ryu, resisting the urge to groan.
"He gets stronger from fighting women, Ryu! It should be obvious why you should stay out of this!" Ranma stressed, pushing himself even more. He was starting to gain on Jiji, but unfortunately wasn't losing Ryu.
"Are you trying to say I'm too weak to fight him just because I'm a woman?" Ryu shouted back. Ranma audibly groaned this time, averting his eyes from the pissed girl.
"Oh my god, I am not having this conversation right now... I put up with this shit from Akane plenty! Just stay out of this one!" Ranma insisted.
"Like hell!" Ryu replied. Jiji reached the bathhouse then, slowing ever so much as he was forced to change direction. They used that opportunity to close the distance, a step behind the youma as he burst through the doors into the main room.
"You aren't getting away!" Ranma's fingers dug into the shoe locker in the entrance and tore it from its supports, pulling it overhead and hurling it towards the fleeing Youma. He intentionally overshot, however, forcing the Youma to skid to a stop as the locker crashed down between him and his destination.
Ryu skid to a halt as Ranma closed in, unleashing a flurry of blows upon the diminutive youma that immediately began to dodge and weave around every attack he could throw. It was like Ranma was fighting a smokescreen, none of this blows hitting anything but air as his frustration continued to build. Cologne arrived just in time to see Ranma scream with rage and bisect the shoe locker with a roundhouse kick, the small imp leaping over his head with a maniacal giggle.
"Interesting..." She muttered, watching the creature shove her son in law's head through the floor. So Ranma had taken up monster hunting, had he? This was certainly a new pass time.
"Screw this, I'm not just gonna stand here!" Ryu shouted, bracing herself as she built up her aura again, pulling on what little remained of her chi reserves as she once again exploded with power. Cologne raised her eyebrow at this, closely examing the technique of this new girl.
"Very interesting..." She decided, descending from her staff to sit nearby and watch the fight.
"KIJIN RAISHU DAN!" Cologne's other eyebrow went up, witnessing the implosive force of the vacuum blade tear half the building apart.
"Very interesting indeed..." Cologne simply sat back and watched the fight, ignoring the by-standards that were now fleeing in abject terror, including the buck naked people who had been in the baths. Ranma found a fist connecting with his midsection and was launched across the room, passing through the wall and landing in the baths as Jiji proceeded to ignore him in favor of the glowing girl who was acting like a one woman demolition team. Ryu was on her last legs, however, unable to keep her power up to maintain the technique as she launched another vacuum blade at the annoyingly agile youma.
"Damn it...I can't..." Ryu gasped, trying hard to catch her breath as she fell to one knee, seeing Jiji coming at her with arms stretched out, prepared to rub his face all over her breasts again. Ryu felt her second wind coming with the shudder of revulsion that thought brought her, bringing up her right hand as the youma approached.
"Dokuja Tanketsu Sho!" She thrust her hand forward, aiming for the dirty little bastard's heart, seeing him start to dodge and correcting her own trajectory to compensate. In an instant they crossed, a sound like thunder reverberating across the entryway as Jiji landed behind Ryu, his left arm landing in front of her.
"Ji?" The little imp muttered in confusion, apparently surprised by this development. The arm turned to ash and vanished as Ryu turned, slowly getting to her feet with a confident smirk between her tired gasps.
"Gotcha...you little pest..." She got out between breaths, turning slightly as Ranma bounded back into the room through the hole in the wall he got punched through.
"Alright, that's it, I'm pissed." Ranma announced, landing with a stomp that cracked the concrete under his feet and cracking his knuckles as he stood, looking somewhat surprised as he finally looked at the monster. "You tore his arm off?"
"He tried to touch me." Ryu replied. Ranma had no good response to that. Sounded like as good a reason as any.
"Jiji..." The little imp backed up a step, clutching at the empty socket where his other arm used to be.
"JI!" With an angry howl, the youma leapt into the air, a multitude of small explosives appearing in his only remaining hand as he began hurling them around the already decimated bathhouse. Ranma's eyes widened in horror, lifting his arms to try in vain to protect himself from the resulting explosion.
"Oh Shi-" He didn't even finish his sentence before there was a deafening boom, thrown clean off his feet by the resulting shockwave. By the time the smoke cleared, the bathhouse was little more than a pile of rubble, and the Youma was nowhere to be found.
"God damn it!" Ranma shouted, getting to his feet and punching one of the few remaining parts of the wall that was still standing, which promptly crumpled and fell over. "Could this day possibly get any worse at this point?"
"Interesting habits you've picked up, Son-In-Law." Cologne spoke up, making her presence known. Ryu climbed out from under some rubble, coughing a few times as she cradled her injuries. Cologne's eyes were drawn to the girl again, watching her return to her feet. "Interesting company as well."
"Cologne? When did you get back to Nerima?" Ranma hadn't even noticed when the old woman showed up. Last he checked, Shampoo said she was in China for something or other.
"This morning, Son-in-Law, but my absence and recent return isn't what's important here. I'm far more interested in this new friend you've made." Cologne replied, waving off Ranma's attempt to change the subject and gesturing to the injured Ryu.
"Ugh, not this shit again. I don't have time for your misunderstandings!" Ranma growled out, his frustration at its peak as he simply leapt from the wreckage of the building to a nearby roof and bounded off, trying futilely to track the youma that escaped.
"Such anger. That boy is going to tear himself apart at the rate he's going." Cologne muttered to herself, turning again as Ryu returned to her feet and began to leave. "I suppose I should just ask you for an explanation, then, child. What are your intentions with my son-in-law?"
"Son-in-law?" Ryu muttered, rubbing her shoulder a bit, "Look lady, the only thing I intend to do with Ranma right now is beat the tar out of him. Don't go thinking anything else."
"Is that what they call it these days?" Cologne replied, chuckling slightly at the look of horror that crossed the girl's face.
"I'm a man, damn it!" Ryu shouted, red in the face as Cologne only chuckled some more.
"That was a joke, child." The old woman said, getting back up on her staff, "And I already suspected you were a man."
That gave Ryu pause, her anger vanishing as she looked at the woman in confusion.
"How?" She asked, honestly curious.
"Because you use your chi like a man." Cologne answered. Seeing only more confusion, she continued, "That technique of yours, that aura, what do you call it?"
"Yamasenken." Ryu replied quickly, wondering where the old bat was going with this. Used her chi like a man? What the hell did that even mean?
"You should consider yourself lucky, child. That technique is indeed quite impressive, however, I have my doubts you would be able to master it had you not become a woman." This only served to make Ryu even more confused.
"Huh?" She asked eloquently.
"Sigh...youngsters these days don't understand anything..." Cologne muttered, holding the bridge of her nose as she thought of a good way to explain this.
"Chi is generated in the lower abdomen, child, below the navel. All the chi in your body is contained there, and it is like a great reservoir that you tap for all its uses." Cologne began, bouncing up to Ryu and poking her just below the navel, for reference.
"Now, the male and female bodies are built very differently. This point happens to reside within the pelvis, and coincide with the uterus, and just as your hips are naturally wider to accommodate a child, so too is the tap on your Chi." She continued. Ryu immediately tried to forget all references made to her uterus and hips, not even allowing the image of pregnancy to enter her mind.
"A man's tap is thus far narrower than a woman's. To compensate for this reduced flow, a man learns to control his chi by releasing it at high pressure, expelling it from his reservoir explosively to obtain the amount he needs for his techniques. A woman, by contrast, releases her chi at a steady flow, having no need for the high pressure technique of a man." Cologne bounded away from Ryu at this point, briefly looking towards the horizon.
"The Jusenkyo pools of drowned man and woman are thus especially debilitating for martial artists. A man who becomes a woman calls on his chi, expecting a burst and receives a trickle. The result is a massive loss in power output, and a tendency to become exhausted far faster from calling far more chi than is necessary in an attempt to match the same explosive results as their male body. By contrast, a woman who becomes a man will often find herself unable to perform techniques at all, her power completely crippled by this reduced flow." Ryu blinked in surprise, blown away by the idea that her chi might flow differently than when she was a man. Could that...could that really be the answer to her weakness? She had to completely relearn how to draw on her chi?
"What does this have to do with the Yamasenken?" Ryu asked, still not sure what the old woman had meant by her first comment.
"That technique of yours is something quite unique, drawing on all the power you have and calling on it in one massive burst, supercharging your entire body. Such massive amounts of chi...I don't believe it would be possible to summon so much at once without the greater flow a woman's body offers, and yet, its completely impossible to do without an explosive release, something only a man would know how to do." Cologne explained, turning towards Ryu as realization finally dawned on the girl's face.
"So...that means..." Ryu looked down at her hands, having trouble comprehending this new information.
"As I said, you should count yourself lucky. Had you not become a woman, you never would have mastered that technique." Cologne repeated, watching the girl cope with this revelation for a few moments before moving on to a more pressing subject matter. "Now then, for the more important question: Who are you, and why is my son-in-law helping you hunt demons?"
It was lunch again at Kolkhoz High, which meant it was the perfect time to get out, stretch your legs, have a bite to eat, and watch the crazy people duke it out in the courtyard. This pastime was especially popular during winter, as it meant the Martial Skating club would be practicing, either on the frozen pool, or in the courtyard on roller blades.
"You look bored." Chrono said, glancing to his brother as he pulled his lunch out from his bag.
"I am bored. These guys are boring," Albert replied with a bite of his bread. Both he and his brother were eating lunch together in the cafeteria, looking out the windows towards the courtyard where several members of the Skating club were fighting.
"It's too bad Panties Girl doesn't go here. That would be far more interesting," He continued, taking another bite of his bread before proceeding to ignore the fight outside.
"How would that be more interesting?" Chrono asked, glaring at his brother.
"Well, if she came to this school, it would give you more attempts to fail at asking her out, which is totally more interesting than anything else this school has to offer." The younger brother stated, smiling wide before taking another bite of his lunch.
"I mean, I know the whole point of coming here was all the martial types around, but these fights are just totally lame. It's not nearly flashy enough. Would it kill them to throw an occasional fireball?" He went for his milk box next, taking a quick swig in-between thoughts.
"Probably?" Chrono stated, looking down at his wrapped piece of bread. "Fireballs tend to explode."
"Yeah, well, that's why they're awesome." Albert replied. The sudden sound of screaming reached their ears as both brothers looked up, alert and on edge. The entire cafeteria seemed to quiet all at once as the screams got louder just outside, with some kind of commotion in the hall.
"What the hell is that?" Albert asked, swallowing the last of his bread as he stood from his seat.
"Another fight?" Chrono suggested, his own meal forgotten as he stood as well, having a bad feeling about this.
"He...Help me!" A girl screamed, running into the room as a bizarre imp like creature bounded in after her. It was truly disgusting, being oddly ape like, but with only a short stump where its left arm should have been, as if it had been cut off. Everyone immediately stood from their seats and panicked, fleeing away from the weird monster as it tackled the girl to the ground, rubbing itself all over her body in a lewd manner. Her screams and struggles grew weaker until she barely moved, barely conscious, her energy clearly being stolen by the monster. What was worse was that it was apparently healing itself at the same time, its arm nearly grown back in the process.
"The hell?" Chrono grit his teeth, moving to attack the creature only to be stopped by a hand on his shoulder. "Let go of me, Albert!"
"You know I can't do that! We're incognito, remember? What the hell do you think you're doing!" Albert said harshly, through clenched teeth. The monster ignored them, instead concentrating on the fleeing female students as it bounded towards another one to molest.
"We can't just let that thing go on a rampage!" Chrono insisted, turning on his brother with a look of betrayal.
"That's exactly what we have to do, and you know it! We ran away, Chrono! MIA. AWOL. Do you really think we can just take up monster hunting and nobody will notice? We pull out the pyrotechnics and we might as well send them a god damn invitation!" Albert shot back, pulling back on Chrono again as he tried to chase after the monster. It was now heading out into the courtyard, close on the tail of a pretty brunette.
"We came to Nerima because of the high number of Martial types here. They won't notice if we use our powers every once in awhile." Chrono insisted, pulling away from his little brother and moving towards the courtyard, drawing a small card from his uniform pocket.
"That only works if we keep a low profile! This, what you're about to do, releasing your fucking device? That's not a low profile! If they find us, they'll turn us into ermines, you dolt!" Albert shouted, chasing after him. It looked like the imp was fully recovered now, its formally amputated arm now completely regenerated, but that didn't stop it from attacking the female students.
"This was the reason we left, wasn't it? Because we weren't allowed to help in these situations. Because we couldn't stand just watching as innocents got hurt by the supernatural." Chrono replied with determination, now standing firmly, card held in front of his face, a bit of frost forming on his fingertips.
"Yeah, but-" Albert tried to argue, only to receive a quick glance from his brother. Everything he needed to know was in his brother's eyes in that instant, and he knew there would be no convincing him.
"Svalinn, Set-" Chrono began, clutching the card in his hand, but couldn't finish the command.
"Crescent Beam!" came a feminine cry, as a beam of energy smashed into the monster and hurled it off its most recent victim. Chrono and Albert both turned to see a strange blonde girl standing atop a nearby building, smirking down at the monster.
"What? That was a spell..." Chrono muttered, looking at the woman in surprise.
"A Magic type?" Albert gasped. "She can handle it, we're getting out of here, now!"
He didn't wait for an argument, instead grabbing his brother around the collar and dragging him away. The newcomer didn't notice this exchange at all, instead focusing on the small white cat at her feet.
"Okay, I shot it, are you happy now?" She asked, a bored look on her face. The thing barely looked like it was worth her time. It was, like, half her size.
"Of course not! You have to defeat it! It's your duty as a sailor senshi to uphold justice and -" The cat began, though the blonde rolled her eyes and quickly stopped paying attention.
"Yeah yeah yeah, I got it. I kick its ass, we go home." Venus said dismissively, hoping down from the roof and landing in the courtyard. In that instant Jiji pounced, hand spread with a look of glee on his face as he prepared to fondle the lovely mounds before him.
"Not a chance, runt." Venus' hands were already up, finger pointed straight as a beam of light slammed into Jiji in mid leap. He hit the ground and rebounded again, going for Venus' legs, only to have another beam drill into the back of his head as he got close, pushing him into the ground and halting his charge as the girl quickly got her distance.
"Jiji..." The youma grumbled, returning to his feet slower this time and bounding away, only to get shot down mid leap by yet another crescent beam, crumbling to the ground in pain.
"Boring...This is barely worth my time." Venus grumbled, watching lazily as the youma returned to his feet yet again.
"Huh, still kicking?" Venus muttered, rapidly losing interest in the monster. Only reason she agreed to this stupid monster hunting thing is because she assumed her impostors would show up at some point to kick its ass. She wasn't really keen on waiting around for them either, especially considering how boring fighting this Youma was.
"Maybe I should handicap myself...No Crescent Beam, or something." Venus mused, wondering if it'd be worth attempting. The little bugger WAS pretty fast, probably too fast for her to take hand to hand, it just turned out lasers were faster. Her spell made fighting it a joke.
"Oh well, guess I should just finish it off..." Venus sighed, discarding her idea of a handicap with a shrug. The youma looked at her warily, slinking to the side in a wide berth, looking ready to make a run for it at any moment as she just leveled her finger towards it.
"Time to say goodbye, ugly. Cresent-" Venus paused, spotting a streak of color and movement out of the corner of her eye and looked up. She grinned upon seeing the other girl, carefully adjusting her aim. "-Beam!"
Mercury didn't even register what happened. One minute she was being forcefully taken to a Youma by the mercury computer, the next she was being hurled backward, a beam of light smashing into her chest with explosive force. She landed hard, rolling back to her feet with a grunt and scanning the area for her attacker.
"What the hell!" Mercury shouted, spotting an orange colored senshi with smoke rising from her fingertips standing near the youma. The Youma looked confused for a moment, glancing between the two of them before bursting off in a high speed run. Venus completely ignored it, leaving Mercury to watch it flee before glancing back towards her new attacker.
"So you're one of them, eh? My impostors?" Venus asked, crossing the distance between the two of them.
"Impostor? What the hell are you on?" Mercury replied, returning to her feet. She didn't quite get what was going on. Ranma hadn't told her about any new recruits after Ryu, so who the hell was this blonde girl?
"Venus, stop this!" Venus turned slightly towards the voice as a small white cat ran up to her, looking between the two of them frantically, "You mustn't fight her! You're both on the same team!"
"Yeah yeah yeah, you gave me this stupid princess defender-y bullshit speech already. Heard it, don't care." Venus said flippantly, stepping over the cat and returning her attention to the blue senshi.
"So, which one are you supposed to be? Neptune? Uranus?" She asked, earning an even further confused look.
"Mercury..." Mercury replied, looking over to where the youma went. Damn thing was getting away and this girl didn't seem to care at all.
"Mercury? Mercury's brown! Whoever decided your color scheme is a moron." Venus complained, shaking her head in disgust.
"Uh huh. Okay, yeah, I'll just be going now." Mercury quickly headed off in the direction the Youma ran, only to quickly jump back as she noticed the flash of light out of the corner of her eye, narrowly avoiding another beam.
"Did I say you could leave?" Venus said, blinking as Mercury suddenly rushed her with a swift jab towards her face. She caught the blow only to find Mercury was still moving forward, leaping into a knee that took the blonde full in the face.
"No," Mercury replied, answering the question while landing in a ready stance, "I did."
"Heh...not bad," Venus spit some blood out, smirking a bit as she did so, "I'm gonna make you regret that."
"No, you won't." Mercury replied, unamused. Venus rushed forward as Mercury crossed her arms, leaping into a kick the other girl ducked under.
"Crescent Beam!" Venus shouted in mid jump, twisting around to blast Mercury in the back.
"Bubble Spray!" Mercury replied, grunting from the blast but unleashing her own spell anyway, filling the area with the thick mist. Venus landed and looked around in confusion, suddenly finding herself completely without a point of reference. She couldn't see anything but mist.
"Tch, what's wrong, can't fight me face to face? You have to attack from hiding?" Venus shouted into the mist, turning around a few times to try and catch a glimpse of her opponent, straining her ears for the slightest sound. She found herself waiting quite awhile, as the mist faded away to reveal an empty courtyard, save for the various students standing around to watch.
"...Or maybe you'll just run away. Damn." Venus grumbled, kicking the dirt. Looked like the blue one was smarter than she looked. "She must have gone after the youma. I'll show her not to ignore me!"
Ryoga watched from the crowd as Venus ran off, happy to have thrown her off by dropping her transformation. She winced slightly, rubbing her shoulder a bit to try to relieve the pain from getting shot in the back. Even with her magic resistance, that shot had hurt like hell.
"Who the hell is she, anyway?" Ryoga headed out of the school grounds, her mercury computer already directing her towards the youma. The blonde had magic that packed way more of a punch than anything she had fought so far, and the speed at which she could fire it was unreasonable, much faster than the Shishi Hokodan. Ryoga didn't really want to admit it, but without any offensive magic of her own, her chances against the blonde weren't that great.
"Damn it, I don't really have a choice here." Ryoga muttered, pulling the computer out of her pocket and opening the communication program. She needed reinforcements.
Ranma cursed under his breath as he ran through the streets of Nerima, looking for any clue to where the youma had gone. He had been searching for at least an hour, looking every which way he could, desperate for some sign of the monster, straining his ears to hear the sound of a girl screaming, but nothing. He had up and disappeared. Now, almost out of breath, sweat dripping down his face as he stood on the side of the road, he couldn't help but feel his frustration build.
"Damn it! Where the hell did that little freak get off to?" Ranma swore, standing back up straight and taking a moment to catch his breath. He was about to run off again when he heard a familiar beeping sound from his pocket, stopping for a moment to pull out the small communicator Luna had given him. It came to life in an instant, a picture of a female Ryoga appearing on the screen.
"I found some kind of crazy youma attacking kids at a high school!" Ranma grinned at Ryoga's announcement, the chance for catharsis presenting itself. He forgot Ryoga's stupid little computer thing tracked youma. This was perfect.
"Where are you?" Ryu's picture appeared on the screen as she asked the question. Ranma rolled his eyes. Like asking Ryoga that question would do any good. He said a high school, so would Happosai have gone back to Furinkan?
"There's more than that. Some crazy blonde girl dressed like one of us attacked me. I found her when I found the youma." Ryoga added, her picture appearing again. Ryoga's picture disappeared just as quickly, replaced by Luna.
"An evil Senshi! Preposterous!" She insisted. Oh hey, apparently Luna kept a communicator for herself. Ranma didn't even realize that.
"The white cat called her Venus." Ryoga said as her picture again. A shiver ran up Ranma's spine at that dreadful word. A talking c...c...cat? That was absurd! He must have mistakenly seen a squirrel.
"Eh? That sounds like Artemis...but why would Venus be evil? Have the Dark Kingdom somehow..." Luna muttered as her picture appeared again, before the image shifted back to Ryoga.
"Yeah, you can figure that out later. All I know is she wants to kick our asses for some reason, and knows we're after the youma. She'll intercept us when we try to take it out for sure." Ryoga said, before her image was replaced by Ryu again.
"How the hell are we supposed to come help you if we don't know where you are, genius?" Ryu demanded. The image changed to Ryoga again, looking annoyed.
"It's going towards another school! Look!" Ryoga shouted, before the image changed and moved, Ryoga's face being replaced by a school in the distance. Ranma immediately recognized it.
"Damn it, that's St. Hebereke! It's an all girl's school!" Ranma shouted, jumping to the nearest rooftop and using that as a stepping stone to reach the top of a nearby phone pole, scanning the horizon for the school.
"An all girl's school? Ah, hell." That was Ryu's voice, but Ranma wasn't paying attention to the communicator anymore, still on the lookout.
"What does that matter?" Ryoga's voice asked, just as Ranma spotted his destination.
"The youma drains the life out of girls, and gets stronger in the process. Where the hell is this school?" Ryu's voice again, but Ranma just slipped the communicator into his pocket and dashed off at top speed, barely allowing himself to touch a rooftop before leaping off again as fast as his legs could carry him.
Ryu looked up suddenly, spotting Ranma sail overhead just as she finished her question. Looks like they were closer together than she realized.
"Nevermind, I'll just follow Ranma! We're on our way, Blue, so hold those two off as long as you can!" She said, jumping to the rooftops as well.
"Right!" was Ryoga's reply, before she too pocketed the communicator.
Konatsu closed her communicator and stashed it away, looking around pensively. She sat in the empty ucchan's for a moment, lost in thought as she looked down at her transformation pen, running one finger over it nervously.
"What should I do?" She asked herself. Unfortunately, she didn't have an answer.
It was a fine afternoon at St. Hebereke's school for girls, as it always was. For Kodachi Kuno, star gymnast of the school, it was just as boring as it usually was for her. The teacher continued to droll about mathematics or literature, or whatever she was teaching. It was so simple, and she didn't feel a lady of her stature needed to know the subject very well. Instead she focused her attention on the sword shaped pendant she flipped in her hand. Despite being made of metal, and in her possession since she was very young, there was not a scratch on it, and it still shined like it had when she first received it.
Her thoughts drifted back to when she had gotten the pendant as she continued to flip it between her fingers, enjoying the touch of the cool metal chain that was attached to it against her hand. Her dearest mother had given it to her before she had left the mansion one day, and she had never returned. Despite her father's attempts at searching for her, she was never found, alive or dead.
The pleasant and familiar jingle of the period bell brought her back from her reminiscing, and she looked up to see her teacher gather her notes together. Sighing, the younger Kuno sibling propped her elbow on her desk and rested her head in her palm, definitely still bored.
"Hey Kodachi?" The girl to her right attempted to get her attention. Kodachi just turned her head to acknowledge her.
"Have you heard the latest news on the Sailor Scouts?" The girl asked. Kodachi's eyebrow twitched slightly as she raised her head of her arm.
"You mean that group of scantily clad vigilantes who disgrace themselves on a regular bases and set a bad example for girls everywhere? Yes, I know of them." She responded. Of course she had heard of them. They were the gossip of the entire district. She would have to live under a rock to have not heard of them.
"That...That's not true! They're amazing and you know it!" The girl countered. "They fight monsters and-"
"Run around in harlot's clothes?" Kodachi finished for her. The girl just stopped for a moment, unsure of how to respond to that at first.
"Is it really any different from running around in a leotard?" The girl shot back. Before Kodachi could reply, a loud scream from the hall caused everyone to stop, looking up in confusion. The teacher paused as she was about to close her bag, standing up straight and moving slowly towards the door.
More screams came this time, sounding like an entire classroom worth of girls just down the hall, as everyone began to look around nervously and mutter amongst themselves.
"What is that?" "Did something happen?" "Is something going on?"
"Please stay calm, class. I'll see what the commotion is about." The teacher quickly spoke up, trying to pacify the worried students as she headed out into the hall. The girls all sat in tense silence for a moment when a blood curling scream came from the hall, followed by even more screaming. It sounded like all the other classrooms were evacuating now, as a high pitched, disturbing cackle echoed through the halls.
Kodachi frowned, tensing up as she felt the eyes of her entire classroom fall on her. She was the strongest fighter in the school, and whatever was going on, it would be her duty to put an end to it. She clenched her pendant tightly for a moment before releasing it, reaching into her bag to retrieve her ribbon and two small clubs, which she tucked into the back of her skirt.
"Kodachi..." she heard her name muttered by a few members of her class room, tears in their eyes and fear clear on their faces. She didn't respond, however, wordlessly standing from her desk and walking towards the door, gripping her ribbon tightly.
"Jijijiji!" Kodachi hardened her gaze at the sound carrying up the hall, looking around at the carnage. The bodies of her fellow students littered the hallway, in varying states of undress and completely unresponsive. What kind of monster could have done a thing like this?
"Jiji!" Kodachi quickly looked up, spotting a small imp at the end of the hall staring right at her, literally glowing with power that seemed to come off it in waves.
"You should probably start running, girl. This thing gets stronger by feeling up women." Kodachi glanced over at the voice, seeing a girl dressed as a sailor senshi, to her great surprise.
"Why do you allow this beast to roam freely through these hallowed halls? Is it not your duty to slay such monsters?" Kodachi demanded, not breaking eye contact with the small monster. It just stood there, giggling to itself in that horrible voice, staring at her with its disgusting eyes. A chill ran up her spine. It felt like it was undressing her with those eyes.
"Hey, my impostors are the monster hunters, not me." Venus replied, glancing down at the imp. It was a good thing she had thoroughly kicked its ass earlier, as it was now too wary of her to strike. She probably shouldn't have let it get into this girl's school, though. She doubted she could drop it herself at this point.
"Seriously though," Venus continued, leaning against the wall with crossed arms, "You should be running."
But it was too late. As if cued, Jiji struck, crossing the hall at blinding speed and leaping towards Kodachi's bosom with both hands held out. Kodachi reacted as quickly as she could, taking one of her batons and throwing it at the horrifying monster. Unfortunately, it was batted away almost instantly, not even slowing the imp down. She tried to move her ribbon, but Jiji was already on top of her, putting his hands in places no one had dared touch her before. Disgust and revilement filled her, and though she was boiling with rage and indignation, she felt incredibly exhausted for some reason, barely able to lift her arms.
Through willpower and anger alone was she able to move her ribbon, twirling it so it wrapped around the creature's body. She swung her arm as hard as she could to the side, successfully ripping the imp off of her body and away from her breasts. She fell to the ground, gasping for breath. It was like she could finally breath again. Unfortunately she was still far to tired to move anymore, her strength leaving her., She probably wouldn't be able to fight the foul beast off anymore. Looking over, she could see that the red imp was having a bit of trouble getting untangled from the ribbon, but it wouldn't be long before it was once again free.
Lightning flashed through the hall towards Jiji, who promptly attempted to flee. Kodachi didn't know where this attack had come from, but she wasn't about to let the vermin escape it, pulling back on her ribbon with what little strength she had remaining. Still tangled, the imp stopped mid jump, failing to clear the blast as it took the explosive blast of electricity in full force. It screamed out in pain as Kodachi distinctly heard the sound of some kind of chanting, a discus of light shooting up the hall and striking the imp before it even touched the ground. It bounced once before a beam of light smashed into it from the other side, stunning it once again.
At that moment, the hall suddenly filled with mist. Kodachi shivered in the cold, straining her eyes to see through the strange fog. She could hear another litany of chants and explosions, as more spells were fired into the imp, but she could not see the attacks, nor the creature they were targeting.
"Shishi Hokodan!" A girlish voice growled out, the hall clearing of mist as a solid wave of air seemed to blast through it, passing over Kodachi's head harmlessly and continuing on to the end of the hall before reaching the fall wall with an immense boom. She returned to her knees, looking over her shoulder to see that the imp was now firmly implanted in a crater on the far wall, twitching periodically.
"Such power..." She muttered, glancing back to see the three girls she knew to be Sailor Senshi standing at the other side of the hall in awe.
"Only three of you? Artemis said there'd be four." Venus muttered, readjusting her aim, "Oh well. Crescent Beam!"
"Eh?" Moon managed before the beam of energy struck her in the chest, throwing her off her feet as Mercury and Jupiter both took this as a sign to rush the orange senshi at full speed.
"What the hell! You were just helping us a second ago!" Moon exclaimed, standing up. Jupiter came in with a kick to the head while Mercury tried for a right hook to the face, both of which were casually avoided. The two senshi recovered, moving back for another attack, only to have the blonde once again dance between them, untouched by their flurry of blows. The two shared a brief look, and in that instant a strategy formed. Jupiter went high as Mercury went low, each attack they threw was avoided, but flowed seamlessly into the other's assault. Soon Venus had no choice but to start blocking as the attacks tightened, coming at her from too many angles too quickly.
"Crescent Beam!" Jupiter took a breath but got no air, the wind completely knocked out of her from the point blank blast to the diaphragm. She was hurled back, passing over Moon as she rushed in to join the brawl, a second beam taking Mercury in the abdomen just as the redhead smashed into the blonde with an axe kick that she caught in one open hand, a point of light gathering on the finger of her open hand.
"Crescent Beam!" Moon was barely able to twist just before the blast fired, narrowly missing her as she continued her twisting motion to bring up her other leg and smash Venus across the face with her boot. She released moon's foot at that, allowing the girl to land and come back with a punch, only to be caught in the sternum by Venus's heel and thrown down the hall.
"Damn it!" Moon cursed, rolling back to her feet as she held her chest in pain. All four of them stood motionlessly for a moment, Venus standing in a ready stance as she kept all three of her opponents in view, sizing them up.
"No charge up, super fast...She can even use it at point blank..." Jupiter muttered, watching the blonde warily. That spell was potent. Not as powerful as her own lightning, but the speed more than made up for it. She wasn't even confident she could cast without the blonde blasting her before she could finish.
"Her spell isn't the only thing that's fast. She took us both without breaking a sweat." Mercury added, also glaring at the blonde. What really annoyed her in this situation was how useless her own spell was. The blonde was a senshi, like them. If she made it thick enough to blind her, both her allies would be blind as well. It'd be counter productive to even try.
"Jeez, you really are all impostors. Your powers are pathetic." Venus announced in a bored tone, making an exaggerated yawn. All three moved in that instant, closing the distance in a flash and striking as one. A kick to the head, another to the legs, a punch to the chest. They clashed with the sound of bone hitting bone, all three senshi blinking in shock. Jupiter's leg had stopped against her forearm, Mercury's punch caught in her free hand, and a single leg risen to stop Moon's sweep with her shin.
"Yawn." Venus said with a smirk, spinning as all three of her opponents tried to recover from their attacks in vain. Her leg cut through Moon's defense to take her across the chest, before continuing around to hit Jupiter in the chin and lashing out with a punch to Mercury's shoulder in the same motion. It was over in a flash, all three other senshi hurled back as Venus completed her spin, replanting her leg.
"Seriously, haven't you bitches figured out how to empower yourselves yet? I thought this would be a lot more fun than this." Venus continued, her stance visibly relaxing in apparent boredom as the other senshi painfully pulled themselves to their feet.
Kodachi watched the continuing fight between the two groups of senshi, her annoyance at the Sailor Senshi growing more and more. Weren't they supposed to be protecting humanity from monsters like the one they were leaving alone? The horrible monster that had touched her in places that she reserved for one person? It was clear that the Senshi were far too busy with their stupid fight that they couldn't fulfill their small purpose, so it looked like she was going to have to deal with the issue
Shakily she stood up, tightening her grip on the handle to her ribbon, and saw that the impish monster was still tangled in it. Good. A small smirk found its way onto her face, and with the rest of her strength she began to pull on the ribbon again. She spun around, spinning the monster around with her, until she made a one more movement with her arm. The ribbon that was tightly wrapped around the monster loosened, and the momentum carried the perverted creature out the window at the end of the hall. Now the beast was gone, and no longer her problem.
"Okay, you're all starting to bore me." Venus said simply, catching a punch from moon and hurling her over her shoulder into the wall, which barely served to slow her down as she passed right through it and into the classroom beyond. Mercury came at her with a kick that forced her back through the hole as well, dodging around her blows while returning with her own, peppering Mercury across the sides and mid section with blows that were really beginning to tell on the girl.
"Come on! Is this the best you can-" Venus began, pausing as Mercury suddenly dove aside, revealing Jupiter standing in the hole with lightning dancing on her fingertips. "-do?"
"Supreme Thunder!" Jupiter shouted, throwing her spell forward. The blonde barely had time to widen her eyes in surprise before she was blasted clear out the opposite wall, screaming in pain from the electricity ripping through her body as she toppled end over end towards the ground below.
"F...Fuck..." Venus coughed out, landing in a crouch and throwing her head back up at the sound of electricity reached her ears again.
"Supreme Thunder!" Venus swore again and jumped back, the blast of lightning tearing a hole into the spot she was previously standing as Moon and Mercury both leapt from the building towards the ground below.
"See, this is more like it!" Venus was smirking now, light collecting on her finger tips as she prepared another spell.
"Crescent Beams!" Moon and Mercury were both shot out of the sky before they even landed, a third beam nearly taking Jupiter's head off as she dodged backwards, forced to stop her spell in the process.
"Still disappointing, though." Venus was beginning to wonder why she was even bothering, watching Moon and Mercury land hard and struggle back to their feet.
"Stupid bitch...I'm gonna kick your ass..." Moon muttered, her legs wavering under her as she collapsed back to her knees. Her entire body was screaming in pain by this point, having taken far too many direct hits from that damn spell for her liking, but she wasn't about to let that stop her. She forced herself back to her feet, standing firm, eyes locked on the blonde.
"Yeah...I'm just not feeling it anymore." Who promptly ignored her and started to walk away. Moon's eyebrow twitched, biting her lip and clenching her fists.
"Where the hell do you think you're going?" She screamed, her frustration peaking at this point. She'd gotten her ass kicked far too many times for one day, she refused to lose yet another fight!
"This is boring. Let me know when you idiots actually figure out how to use your powers. I'm going home." Venus lept away at that point, deciding she should probably go pick up Artemis from that trashcan she dropped him in. He'd be bitching at her for weeks for that one, she was sure.
Moon just stood where she was, visibly shaking with rage before screaming and putting her fist through the building wall beside her. Mercury just blinked at her as she stormed off, not saying a word.
"Well this was a huge waste of time." Mercury muttered, looking around briefly before dropping her transformation. Jupiter emerged from the building a few moments later, seeing the absence of Moon and Venus before dropping her own transformation.
"They're gone?" Ryu muttered, confused. She had decided to take the long way down to avoid getting shot out of the air, and the fight was apparently over by the time she got here.
"Venus got bored and left. Ranma got pissed and stormed off." Ryoga summarized with a shrug. She really didn't know what to make of this crazy new senshi, she just hoped the blonde stopped interfering with their youma fighting.
"Youma got away, too. It was already gone when I made my way down." Ryu added. Ryoga frowned at that, but didn't say anything. Both of them just stood there at that point, neither really knowing what to say or what to do. They realized they never really talked to eachother, outside of senshi business.
"You still owe me a date, you know." Ryu suddenly said, much to Ryoga's surprise.
"Um. Okay?" Ryoga muttered. Ryu nodded at her and then headed off, figuring she might as well find Ranma. Ryoga just kept standing there, sighing for a moment as he tried to recall a time when her life didn't suck. She drew a blank.
Today was easily in the top ten worst days of Ranma's life. Now, the first seven of those were strictly reserved for things that happened under the age of 10, with the exception of the day he went to Jusenkyo being third place, but oh man, today was easily a shoe in for ninth. The day he got kissed by Mikado had to be bumped down to tenth, and that day he spent trying to escape from Shampoo when she was armed with a pitchfork had officially been knocked clean off the list by the stupidly frustrating day he was having now.
"Akane's still in the hospital, jackasses on the news are bad mouthing her, they've been talking about the senshi all day, I got my ass kicked four damn times, and shown up by Kuno in the process. Not to mention Ryu randomly decided to start attending Furinkan, and I'm sure Ucchan is gonna bite my head off about that crap later. And worst of all, the day's not even over yet! What's next? Am I gonna get locked again? Is that where this is going?" Ranma ranted to herself, still fuming as she strolled down the street at a steady clip. She didn't have anywhere to go, but she was too angry to walk slowly, dodging around other pedestrians as they gladly gave her a wide birth.
"...some sort of monster, according to eye witness reports. We have also received various reports that the Sailor Senshi, the rumored female vigilante group, were on the scene of these attacks. We have here Representative Yamiuchi in the studio with us to give his take on these reports. Representative, you were on television this morning speaking out against the Local Combatants Act. Have these Sailor Senshi affected your outlook at all?"
"Reckless teenage girls taking the law into their own hands represents everything that is wrong with our current system. How can we trust our safety to children? We must push for reform!"
"But did you not yourself state that local law enforcement are powerless before Combatants? Does that not make the self moderation policies necessary?"
"Absolutely not, as those policies involve no form of oversight. There is no attempt to properly train these Combatants, to implement any kind of control over their actions. Instead, the Diet has swept them under the carpet, hoping to look the other way and pretend they don't exist."
Ranma turned slowly towards the TV screens that were in the display windows of the electronics store she was passing, eye twitching. Great, just life throwing another wrench into the machine that was her already bad day. She sighed and turned away, starting to walk again. This whole 'being on the news' thing was really getting annoying.
"We seem to have some breaking news. A video of a fight between the Senshi and this supposed monster earlier this afternoon has surfaced on the Internet, recorded by a student who was on the scene."
"What." Ranma stopped in her tracks, turned back around, and quickly moved to the front of the group of people gathering around the storefront, getting a front row look as the video came up on screen. The redhead paled, watching as the video came up. It was a blank blue at first, but apparently it had begun recording in the middle of Mercury's mist, as it quickly cleared with a blast Ranma recognized as the shishi hokodan. The youma flew right over the camera and smashed into the far wall, and that's when Venus attacked.
"Oh god..." Ranma muttered, feeling like she was watching a train wreck in progress. How the hell did they miss the girl on the ground with the freakin' camcorder?
"Oh my. There appears to have been some kind of in-fighting amongst these so-called 'Sailor Senshi.' What do you have to say about this, Representative?"
"This is exactly the kind of thing I mean! No organization, no rules. These girls fight each other just as easily as they fight the monsters that terrorize my district, and they caused more damage to public property than the monster did! All Combatants, and these Senshi especially, are a menace to society!"
Ranma's fist pierced the glass and the television behind it with equal ease as everyone around her quickly backed up and ran away. She let out a breath as she slowly extracted her fist from the destroyed TV, listening to the glass cracking as the rest of the window finally shattered and fell away.
"If I ever got my hands on that guy..." Ranma muttered, flexing her hand a few times. She looked up then, noticing the store owner looking at her in horror from his spot behind the counter. It was probably a good idea to leave, now.
"My My..." Zoicite smirked as he watched the human broadcast, a plot starting to come together in his mind.
"So, the human government was turning against the Sailor Senshi, were they?" He muttered, waving his hand to dismiss the viewing circle he had been using. "I can use this to my advantage."
With that, he couldn't help but laugh. Oh yes, his plan was flawless. Soon, he'd do away with these senshi once and for all!
Tuxedo Mask made one last jump down into an empty alleyway from the roof top, looking up to make sure he wasn't followed. After a minute or so of waiting, a wide smirk spread across his face and he began to laugh victoriously. He reached a hand into his cape, slowly and carefully pulling out a indigo colored crystal so he could look at it again.
He pulled the hard ceramic mask off his face to get a better look at the crystal, mesmerized by the way the light looked through its surface. Finally, he got his hands on one. He had a Rainbow Crystal. He stumbled suddenly, grabbing his head and bracing himself against the wall as the crystal fell from his hands to land harmlessly on the floor. His whole body shook for a moment, a tremor of pain passing through him.
"Not now...I finally have one..." He muttered, collapsing to his knees. He looked down at the mask he had taken off, watching it fade away into rose petals as the tux around his body did the same.
"Ahhh!" With a final scream, his transformation vanished into petals and leaving him in his blouse, slacks and apron. He collapsed completely, laying motionlessly in the alley for a moment before stirring with a groan.
"What...happen?" Shampoo muttered, shakily getting to his feet with one hell of a headache. It's then that he realized that he had randomly become male again, much to his great displeasure.
"Why this keep happening?" Shampoo groaned, his eyes catching on an odd crystal lying in the alleyway with him. He had no idea what it was, but...something about it...He couldn't help but pick it up, holding it protectively. Something told him he needed to keep it, watch over it, and find others like it. He had no idea why, though.
"I need hot water." Shampoo decided, pocketing the crystal and venturing out of the alleyway in search of the one thing he knew would fix his current predicament.
Ryoga's mind and body were wandering with equal ease, albeit in opposite directions. While he walked in a random direction, not really knowing or caring where his feet were taking him, his thoughts drifted to Ryu's parting words, and the date he had foolishly agreed to when he tricked Ryu into becoming Jupiter.
He actually flinched a bit at that, remembering that it was, in fact, his words that were responsible for Ryu being stuck as a woman. He knew intellectually that it wasn't his fault, of course. Ryu was chosen just like the rest of them, and through some circumstance or another, she was going to end up a girl in a fuku. But still, he felt guilty for being the one who actually did the pushing over that metaphorical cliff, and was thus rather surprised Ryu intended him to honor that agreement.
"A date? I mean, a real date?" Ryoga muttered to himself in disbelief. He had thought Ryu was pretty miserable being a girl, unlike Konatsu, so why would she actually ask him out? It never actually occurred to Ryoga that Ryu might intend for him to be a girl on said date, hence his thought processes on what this date would entail were just as misguided as the rest of him.
"I mean, I suppose Ryu is pretty attractive, but she used to be a guy! That's just weird..." Ryoga continued to talk to himself, turning down a random street as he continued to walk without paying any attention to where he was going.
"But still...a date...I haven't been on a real date since-" Ryoga stopped in his tracks, his train of thought totally derailed as he paused mid step. Akari. He hadn't been on a real date since the last time he went out with Akari.
"AAAH! I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT AKARI!" He screamed, grabbing his head in horror. He had been on his way to a date with her when all this Sailor Mercury crap started! How long ago was that, a month? Two? He never even showed up! She must be worried sick. He quickly pulled out the Mercury Computer, fully intending to punch in Akari's address when he saw the mapping system was already running. In fact, it said he had arrived at his destination.
Ryoga looked up, seeing that he was in the park just as Jiji descended from a nearby building and landed in the grass. He really was out of it, he totally forgot he had been tracking a youma all day.
Ryoga quickly ducked behind a tree as the youma seemed to look around for something. Had it spotted him? He wasn't sure, but the short imp was definitely sniffing at the air, as if tracking a scent. Ryoga's transformation pen was in hand, however he hesitated, wondering if he should even bother to transform. He had no offensive magic as Mercury, and this stupid monster got stronger from groping women.
Before Ryoga could make a decision, another figure appeared in a swirl of flower petals, making his decision for him.
"Another one of those generals?" He muttered to himself, kneeling behind the tree to stay hidden. Taking a general on solo was not an experience he wanted to repeat, especially with a youma like that playing backup.
"Well done, Jiji. You've performed spectacularly. Come, I need you to lead a group of my Youma in a full assault on this pitiful city. We'll see how well the Senshi can defend against that." Zoicite began to laugh maniacally as he summoned a swirl of flower petals, which quickly enveloped both him and the youma. In an instant, both were gone, leaving Ryoga alone in the park.
"Teleportation?" Ryoga muttered, looking down at the mercury computer. The words 'Target Lost' were prominently displayed on the screen, as well as a picture of a blue haired woman in a lab coat looking around in confusion.
"Damn. They're planning something big. Akari will have to wait." Ryoga said to himself, entering the Tendo Dojo into the Mercury Computer and heading off at full speed.
"You sure this is it?" Jupiter asked, standing on the rooftop and looking out over the horizon on the city. She didn't like the sound of an all out attack, especially one in the middle of downtown Tokyo like this. Mercury just looked up from her computer for a moment to glance at the taller senshi before looking back down at the screen.
"The computer is picking up an energy spike here. Whatever's coming is coming soon, and it's going to appear down on the street below us." Mercury replied, shutting the computer and moving towards the edge of the building with Jupiter. She briefly glanced back at Moon, who was pacing back and forth with a deep frown on her face.
"Where the hell is Konatsu?" Moon growled, not looking up at either of the other two. Her entire body was tense with stress, a vein bulging slightly on her brow. Moon was still pissed from what happened earlier in the day, and was looking forward to beating the tar out of some youma to work out her frustrations.
"Haven't seen her since the explosion at Furinkan." Mercury replied, a slight beeping sound from her computer notifying her of another spike. "And we don't have time to wait for her, either."
A swirling energy began to form in the street below them, steadily building in force as the wind began to swirl around it. Pedestrians took notice and stopped to watch for a moment before their survival instincts finally kicked in and they started to flee.
"Ready?" Mercury asked, a sphere of magic appearing in front of her crossed arms as the portal fully formed.
"Whenever you are." Jupiter replied, lightning crackling across her fingertips just as Youma began to pool out from the newly opened gate.
"Now! Bubble Spray!"
The youma barely cleared the portal before a thick mist built up in the street, followed by an electrical current that seemed to arc across the water vapor in the air and shock the whole lot of them. A single figure bounded clear out of the mist towards the rooftop, cackling like a wild monkey as it reached out towards the two Senshi, only to have its leap intercepted by a boot to the face from the third.
"You're mine, you little bastard!" Moon growled out, spiking Jiji towards the street with a leaping heel kick. The mist was cleared and the first wave of youma were already turning into dust from the combined assault of Mercury and Jupiter, but there was still more pooling out from the portal as the two senshi in question leapt down into the street.
"Where are they going?" Mercury muttered, noticing that the youma didn't seem too concerned with overwhelming them like they had anticipated. Instead, the ones still standing were making a beeline for one of the nearby office buildings. Neither one could see Moon or Jiji anymore, the two having disappeared in the confusion of the first wave.
"Come on, we have to stop them from getting into that building!" Jupiter insisted, lightning crackling on her hands again as she unleashed her spell into the retreating waves of youma. Their progress was temporarily halted as they all scrambled away from the blast, only to find both Mercury and Jupiter now standing between them and their destination.
"Can we catch them all in the mist again?" Jupiter asked, seeing the portal still standing open as the giant mass of youma in front of them got bigger and bigger.
"Not unless you wanna electrocute both of us in the process." Mercury replied, readying herself against the horde. She tried to count them but quickly gave up, as they continued pouring out of the portal.
"This doesn't make any sense." Mercury muttered, looking over the gathered forces. There had to be a hundred of them already, rapidly filling the entire street. "If they had such a disposable force, they'd have been sending armies at us this entire time. So what could possibly be in this building worth losing over a hundred youma for?"
"Whatever it is, we can't let them get it." Jupiter replied, just as the portal finally closed. In that instant, the horde rushed forward, fully intending to overwhelm them by sheer numbers alone.
Not like either of them were gonna fall for that. The youma before them were instantly obliterated by the massive blasts of power, however the holes they open were just as quickly filled by the rest of the horde. Jupiter and Mercury were quickly lost in the masses, blocking and evading strikes from every direction and returning them in full, every blow reducing a youma to ash. Still, they were forced back, smashing up against the hardened glass windows that lined the lobby of the building these youma were trying to break into. The door was locked, which was lucky. The windows were apparently bulletproof, which was luckier. As it was, Youma were slamming into the building at high speed, badly cracking the lobby windows but failing to breach the building. More were scaling the building itself, digging their claws in and trying their luck with the windows higher up, only to be sniped off the walls by Mercury and Jupiter with the thrown bodies of their allies.
"Sai Dai Kyu Shishi Hokodan!" Mercury roared, throwing youma off herself as she summoned a massive pillar of energy. The blast went off like a small bomb, those caught directly under it instantly disintegrated as even more were sent hurtling away by the force of impact. This gave Mercury a temporary respite at the bottom of her smoking crater, however her enemies now had the high ground, and were flowing in at her to fill the hole she left.
"No wonder they've never sent an army before," Jupiter shoved her arm clean through a youma's torso, reducing it to ash in a single blow as she sliced another one in half with a roundhouse kick. "These things are ridiculously fragile."
"Bakusai Tenketsu!" Mercury cried out, another explosion rocking the street as her crater got deeper and another large mass of their enemy's numbers were obliterated, "You're right, this is too easy."
"Kijin-Gun Dai Ranbu!" A flurry of vacuum blades tore through the remaining forces as Jupiter spun around in a tight and chaotic dance, unleashing her strikes at random into the mob around her. She didn't even need to use the aura against these enemies, her ordinary vacuum blades more than enough to tear them apart as she halted her spin and allowed the remaining youma to rush forward to fill in for their slain allies. Their numbers were dwindling now, only a few dozen remaining as Mercury and Jupiter just tore through them with their bare hands.
The sound of glass shattering drew their attention briefly upward, watching a small figure fly out the window near the top floor and sail out over the horizon. That looked like Happosai. When did Ranma and the imp get inside?
"Die!" Jupiter shouted, smashing the head of the last youma with a downward strike that reduced it to a pile of ash. She stopped then, slowly catching her breath as she looked up to examine the devastation. The street was filled with ashes that were slowly blowing away in the wind, leaving behind a battlefield that had seen many better days. The front of the building was in ruin, and the street outside looked like it had been through a warzone, pockmarked with deep craters and large gashes created by their techniques. It was then that they noticed the audience that had formed, people far down the street and in the nearby buildings looking on with amazement at what they just saw.
"You get the feeling this was just a distraction?" Mercury muttered, looking around nervously. The sound of sirens was building in the distance as a few flashes of cameras appeared in the crowd.
"We should get out of here." Jupiter replied, and both promptly took to the nearby rooftops and dashed away at high speed. Once they were sure they had gotten far enough away, however, they dropped their transformations and doubled back.
"Where the hell is Ranma?" Ryoga muttered, landing on the rooftop they started on as she walked to the edge and looked down. The building was now surrounded by cop cars, with the small crowd from before now significantly larger. It looked like everyone within several blocks were gathering around.
"Ranma and the imp must have gotten into the building while we were fighting that horde. I saw him kick that old man out the window mid-fight." Ryu replied, standing beside Ryoga as the two watched events unfold.
"So if Ranma already defeated the youma, what's taking him so long to-" Ryoga stopped mid question, staring down at the building in shock as the cops came back out, "The hell?"
Cameras flashed in the crowd as Sailor Moon was lead away from the building in cuffs, looking fairly disoriented as she was pushed into the back of a police car. Ryoga and Ryu just stared, not really comprehending what they were seeing as the car drove off.
"Did...Did Ranma just get arrested? What the hell happened in there?" Ryoga muttered in confusion. It was then that the ambulance showed up. The two could only stare in growing dread as the paramedics rushed into the building, only to emerge about 10 minutes later with a bodybag.
"That's not good." Ryu sighed, shaking her head. She couldn't believe their enemies were this clever. It was a strategy they were completely unexpecting, and something they were unprepared to deal with, "I think Ranma just got arrested for murder."
To Be Continued...
What a twist! Here's hoping I can deliver on the next chapter in a timely fashion, otherwise this one it just gonna eat at you for a long ass time. Don't forget what I said at the top! You can do your part to ensure the next chapter happens soon.
Next time: With Ranma on trial for murder, the rest of the Senshi have no means of stopping the last of the Seven Youma. And if that wasn't bad enough, Kunzite's deal with Saffron reaches its conclusion. Do the Senshi stand a chance against the combined forces of The Dark Kingdom and the Phoenix People? Find out next time on Bishonen Senshi Sailor Moon: Turnabout Phoenix.