You can guess the crossover. Ranma won't wear a fuku, and also no tuxedo. He won't be some re-incarnation. He is just... Ranma. I want to avoid numerous stuff that became the norm in these crossovers but that actually is pretty stupid. I also will make it clear that while Ranma and the Senshi learn new techniques, I won't sink to the insane levels of the canon, where it became an absurd arms race in the later parts of both series. It's a common weakness in anime series that the power level increases to ridiculous levels. (In my opinion, DBZ is the worst offender in that regard in the anime world) I will try to stay on Earth and try to give everything a bit more realistic feeling (as much as it as it is possible) but don't worry... hilarity will still ensure!
Needless to say that I will slaughter the canon of both series, but I guess you expected this. Also I don't have any rights to both series, but I guess you know that, too.
The final part of the big confrontation took longer than anticipated, but that's because I wanted high quality and not weak work. Thus why I re-worked lots of it in the writing process.
I do have a page for the story at TV Tropes, the link is found in my bio. Please help to contribute to it if you feel like it.
As always, I try to answer all reviews and I'm always happy for reviews.
Note that specific notes are at the end of the chapter, to avoid spoilers.
Chapter 46: Battle for the World, Part IV - Final Confrontation
"Hm... What is going on with the tree?" Helios narrowed his eyes while trying to make sense of the strange behavior of the mana tree.
While he wished he could have helped in the battle currently raging in Tokyo, he knew that his lack of any kind of combat training made his magical powers a moot point. He would have been more a hindrance than an asset, thus his decision to stay behind while everyone else went to battle. However, then the mana tree had started acting strangely, leading to his current occupation of checking it carefully.
I need to check the magic currents going through it. I don't like this at all.
Closely observing the mana tree, Helios felt his concern grow when seeing the pulses in the magic flow - they were different from normal. He was very good at reading the tree after so many years of doing so, thus he knew right away that this meant trouble. The normally smooth flow showed disruptions and the pattern told him enough so he could make his conclusions.
"Someone is interfering with the tree's ability to distribute magic evenly over the planet," he realized. "That's madness. If this goes on for too long, it can cause serious damage to the planet's magic. Ah, who am I kidding? They of course don't care about that."
He had a good idea who was being responsible, though he couldn't fathom what they thought they would gain with this tactic. On the other hand, the potential damage from this was very clear to him. While the tree had gone through worse before, it always had been in the aftermath of great disruptions. This however was a deliberate disruption.
Of course the tree was fighting against it, but the attack was quite clever. It didn't attack the tree directly nor was it intended to damage the tree. Thus a number of the tree's defenses were circumvented. No, this was far more sinister, as the attack was meant to install a foreign influence in the magic distribution network that could interfere in highly disruptive ways and misuse the energy for dark deeds.
"I have to warn them They need to hurry and stop whatever this is as soon as possible," Helios decided and left Elysion as fast as possible.
#"I still wonder what that light was. It even managed to get through the clouds, and that means something in this storm. You think they succeeded?"# Xian-Pu asked, taking a breather while they sat behind a barricade manned by soldiers.
#"It's what I hope..."# Despite all the fighting going on, Mu-Tsu had been unable to really distract himself from the worries. Not much of a wonder, considering his girlfriend and her friends were going up against a cosmic horror intent on eating the entire world. #"Though we do have our own trouble as well. You noticed as well how they are getting better?"#
Xian-Pu knew what he was talking about. #"Yes. Looks like the refuse got flushed out and we are now starting to see those that do have skill."#
Truth to be told, these more skilled Youma were also much more dangerous and gave everyone an idea what the enemy was truly capable of - and she had a feeling that these weren't even the elite troops of the Dark Kingdom. Considering that the cannon fodder had already been capable of causing so much death and destruction, it created the question how much more powerful their trained troops were. The idea that the worst was yet to come was not exactly reassuring.
Hearing a strange noise, she looked up. #"Look!"#
He saw it as well. Something bright had broken through the raging storm and was shooting down to a place very close by. Having an idea what this could mean, they began to run through the half-flooded streets, ignoring the shouts of the soldiers that it was dangerous, until finally reaching an intersection. They ran faster when seeing that their friends had indeed returned from their confrontation on the Moon.
"Woah!" Jupiter gasped when Mu-Tsu hugged her out of his run. Then she saw what he was about to do - normally very welcomed but not at the moment. "Stop, not now! I just barfed and you wouldn't enjoy a kiss much."
"Oh." Hearing that, he instead settled for holding her close.
"You can't imagine how relieved I am to see all of you alive and well," Xian-Pu said, only barely suppressing the urge to hug some of them as well. She then noticed that even though Ranma was soaked by the cold rain, he was still male. "How are you still...?"
Ranma knew, the fact water was not affecting him any longer would have come up rather sooner than later. "Trust me, it's a long story I'll be happy to tell once we've gotten through this." He then tapped his earpiece, hoping it was still working after the recent adventure. "Is this still working? Do you hear me?"
"Yes, and you are right that questions can wait until later," Isamu confirmed, though he himself wondered what could have happened. "Things are getting pretty heated. All of a sudden they are ferrying in new Youma, and those are much tougher than those you've been fighting. Wait... there is lots of movement. It's like they have shifted their priorities."
The sudden increase of gunfire and explosions nearby was answer enough.
"I have a feeling what their new priorities are," Ranma growled.
"They shifted their behavior only moments after your return. There is something going on," Isamu warned him. "It's like they are itching to fight your friends in particular, while before the killed everything in sight."
Someone else appeared right then. They were on guard right away, but then relaxed when seeing it was Helios.
To their surprise Helios was not wearing his usual white suit, instead wearing a white rubber raincoat. It seemed his magic had some other uses he hadn't told them about. "Thank all goodness I've found you. We are in serious trouble!"
"Bigger trouble than we already are in?" Neptune asked, finding it hard to imagine that things could get even worse.
"Much bigger! The Dark Kingdom is altering the magical distribution system of the planet; installing some kind of backdoor. Also... they are hooking something into it - something very dark. They are circumventing the mana tree's defenses," Helios explained as fast as he could in the most simple terms.
Mercury looked like she understood all of that, while Ranma tried to understand. "Eh, that's bad, right?"
"Very much so. If we don't do something, they gain the ability to redistribute Earth's magic for their own needs," Helios explained further.
"Damn..." Pluto cursed. "So that is what these towers are about. Regardless what they are exactly planning to do, we can't let it happen."
Helios saw that they understood the problem. "We have to take at least one tower out as fast as possible, before..."
Helios was unable to say more when Youma started to arrive, looking very intent on fighting them, which was quite a difference from earlier when they were mainly killing whoever they could get their hands on. This sudden change in behavior made them realize what this was about - their plan of attacking and destroying these crystal towers that had appeared throughout the world had been deduced by the enemy.
"They know what we are planning to do," Mercury said, arming herself with her bow. "And it looks like they don't want us to leave."
Clearly, the Youma had no intention to allow them to escape this battlefield to foil the Dark Kingdom's plans. It was a simple but effective way of stopping them from interfering.
"That worked better than expected," Devilbot commented, pleased that yet another tower now was secure against nosy intruders. He even was a bit bored with how easy it had been. "Though, we gave them no time to get their big guns, I'll grant them that."
"A bit too easy, if you ask me. That had been no challenge," Rocco complained, looking a bit unhappy. "I expected a bit more excitement from it."
"Only you could complain that everything is going according to plan," Devilbot groaned. Glancing to Catian, he saw the big anthromorphic cat shrug in reply. "You should be glad it was so easy."
"Well, great, but I'm still bored," Rocco sighed while re-binding his boxing gloves. "What would I give for some real action instead of playing the glorified guard."
"You'll get all the action you want soon enough."
All of them straightened up when a life-sized hologram of Queen Beryl appeared in front of them.
"Devilbot, Rooco! The Senshi did the dirty work for us and destroyed the Pharaoh; making the world ours to take over. It now is only a matter of a short time before our great Master is free and the plan goes into effect. We can not allow the Senshi to interfere and damage even one of our towers until the deed is done."
"Does that mean we are to stop them?" Rocco asked, hoping this was the case.
"Yes. Take Catian with you and bog them down to prevent them from leaving the battlefield and causing us trouble. Keep them busy at the least. I don't expect kills, though that of course would be to our advantage. I already have given orders to only leave minimum crews behind in the towers. Now hurry." With that said, the hologram vanished.
"Looks like you are getting your wish, now that we go into the fray." Devilbot put on his helmet. "Let's go."
...near Tokyo Tower...
Compared to the piss-easy Youma they'd faced before, who could only become dangerous due to their sheer numbers, it became obvious really fast that these Youma were a very different breed. These were the actually dangerous ones, who not only had more destructive powers but also the training to engage in battle with discipline and cunning. Unlike before, the Senshi and their allies now showed the hardships of battle.
It was strange coincidence that the flow of the battle had directed them to the city bock where Tokyo Tower stood. They rested at the foot of the tall structure after having finally cleared one wave, the still brightly illuminated tower being a stark contrast to the now sad and gray battlefield that Tokyo had become. It looked like a reminder that there still was hope.
"Urgh, that hurts..." Uranus winced. "At least... it wasn't too deep, or I would have literally spilled my guts."
"I don't need to hear that," Saturn said while her glowing hands did their work. "Good thing it's not too deep. I wouldn't know how to heal internal damage."
It had been a short moment of inattentiveness that resulted for Uranus in a shredded uniform mid-section and bloody slashes on her stomach. At least they had managed to get themselves some breathing space to tend to the worst wounds. These new Youma were vicious and quite well trained, giving them a run for their money.
"I don't complain." Now Uranus was glad she'd vomited earlier - it vastly reduced the urge to do so now.
Someone my age shouldn't be used to seeing so much blood, Saturn thought
Several of the others only looked little better, some worse, having kept Emdymion busy with healing some pretty nasty injuries. The partially shredded and blood-soiled uniforms were a good hint how hard the battle now was on them. It wasn't that they couldn't match the Youma, but that the Youma attacked in numbers and were not the cannon fodder from earlier.
"They are keeping us from leaving. The Dark Kingdom knows we are onto their towers and keep us from leaving Tokyo altogether," Pluto spelled out what they all suspected by now. "And we can't do so now because we first need to treat the injuries."
"And they are doing a good job of keeping us busy..." Venus said, inspecting her just healed arm which had been broken in three places. "Where's Helios?"
"Up there in the tower," Xian-Pu said, pointing up to the uppermost observation platform of Tokyo Tower. "Said the best thing he can do is to not be in the way."
That gave Pluto a new idea. "He can make himself useful and finally transport us to one of the towers. After all, his teleportation powers are not hindered by injury."
"Oh no, you will stay exactly where you are..."
Jumping up and taking battle formation when hearing that voice, they saw something they wished they hadn't. The three remaining Great Youma jumped off a rooftop and landed on the streets, flanked by numerous goons, all of them looking very disciplined. In all the chaos they had forgotten about these three and would probably now learn that that oversight had been a bad idea.
They had encountered Devilbot and Rocco before, but Catian was new to them. Mercury however quickly knew what he was after one look with her visor. "He's the one of the seven we missed." Now she was glad that Ranma no longer suffered from his fear of cats, or the sight would have pushed him over the edge.
"Not good. We can't simply blow them to dust," Moon realized, having a feeling this would become a difficult battle.
"Yeah, and we still have a score to settle." Rocco then gave Jupiter a menacing look. "Don't think I forgot the humiliation you gave me back in that graveyard. I've waited a long time for this moment."
"Oh no, you won't..." Mu-Tsu growled, holding several barbed chains while standing close to Jupiter. This was something he could help her with.
If anything, it amused Rocco. "Ah, you found yourself a boytoy? Don't worry, once I'm done I'll dump both of your remains into a single grave. That way you can stay together forever." He looked to Devilbot. "These two are mine."
"Oh, I have no problem with that, since I myself have a score to settle with little Mercury there," Devilbot said, turning his attention to Mercury. "And it looks like she isn't alone, either."
Ranma was not intimidated. No, he was angry that the bastard openly threatened Ami. "Bring it on."
"If that's what you wish..." Devilbot chuckled. "Catian, take the others and clean house while we take care of our personal affairs."
Catian let out a loud roar - the attack signal.
To their dismay, they had to learn very fast that these Youma were good - not elite, but easily in the upper third. They were smart, well-trained and each and every of them had powers well-suited for battle. Now it paid off for the Senshi that they themselves had trained for months so that they wouldn't have to rely on their magic alone. Without that training, they would have been slaughtered in mere moments. The battle, however, was still difficult enough.
"Still think I'm a pushover?" Devilbot laughed while slamming a massive electrified hammer into where Ranma had been a split-second ago. Ranma however had not a moment to counter-attack, instead being forced to avoid a swing from something that looked like a chainsaw. A rip in his clothes showed how close it had been.
This guy is nuts! The way he's swinging around these weapons, I can't even get in one hit without risking serious injury, Ranma cursed silently. Devilbot clearly had spent lots of time on thinking how to improve himself.
"What in all names?" Mercury had tried to use a freeze arrow, but Devilbot had been prepared. A small disc got launched from his armor automatically, directly into the path of the arrow. The disc got frozen and shattered when falling to the floor, but little else happened.
"Surprise! Shoot all the arrows you want, try to freeze me... It won't help you, since I'm prepared this time with my automatic defense system," Devilbot mocked, sounding very pleased with himself.
Not good. He's practically neutralized most of my attacks, Mercury thought, after a second attempt with a freeze bolt failed the same way. As bad as I am at it, I have to go into melee.
Devilbot however had different ideas and shot an expanding net at Mercury. As soon as she was entangled by it, she got tormented by electric shocks. "Ahhh!" It was not enough to knock her out, but it hurt, hurt, hurt!
"You animal!" Ranma snarled, making it his priority to reach Mercury to free her.
"Flattery won't get you anywhere," Devilbot mocked, now wanting to see how long he could keep Ranma away from the suffering Mercury.
They, however, were not the only ones being in trouble.
"You thought humiliating me in that graveyard had been funny?" Rocco spat, attacking mercilessly with incredible speed - not as fast as Ranma, but still incredible.
"Yikes!" Jupiter gasped, barely managing to use her mace to block a strike that otherwise would have shattered her face. Despite being fully charged however, the mace didn't cause any damage to Rocco's boxing glove. "Huh?"
It did nothing at all? What in all names did he do with himself? Jupiter wondered in horror.
"You didn't really think I wouldn't take steps to make sure you can't hurt me, do you?" Rocco mocked her, before seeing something coming in from the side. "No, you won't!"
Seeing the barbed chains Mu-Tsu threw his way, Rocco jumped back and then whirled like a tornado for a few seconds. His wings seemed be as hard as steel, effortlessly shredding the chains into tiny pieces. When he stopped rotating, he gave Mu-Tsu a cold smile. Mu-Tsu for his part was baffled at the move, as he hadn't seen that one coming.
"Surprise. You didn't really think these wings are just for show, do you?" Rocco laughed.
"You've got to be kidding me..." Realizing that thrown weapons would be pretty useless, Mu-Tsu pulled out melee weapons.
"No... No kidding at all," Rocco said with a smile, before firing one of his gloves at Jupiter, hitting her directly into the stomach. He was pleased when seeing her cough blood. "I'll enjoy this."
That finally was enough for Mu-Tsu. It was sheer torture for him to see his girlfriend being tormented like that. Holding two running chainsaws, he went on to the attack against Rocco.
All of them were pushed to their limit by this assault of competent Youma in such big numbers, and it showed. It was not that they were bad - months of training had managed to turn them into reasonably competent fighters - but the longer the battle lasted, the more they were showing visible signs of how much of a toll the day was taking on them. Even Pluto was now showing visible injury and uniform damage and they were unable to deflect all damage away from Saturn, who cried out in pain each time she got hurt.
"These little bastards are really tough! I hit one with my magic dead-center and he was still able to continue fighting!" Uranus growled, finally managing to ram her sword into the gut of an especially persistent Youma, then sliced up to make sure she would finally die.
"It's not only that!" Neptune added, blocking a big blade with her trident. "Every time we kill one, another takes its place. We are getting worn down... Damn!"
Neptune was about to get run through by another blade, when a dark force field shielded her from the strike, causing the blade to shatter. Saturn's eyes were glowing slightly, which combined with the damage she'd taken make her look very dangerous for a 12-year old girl. It was jarring considering how incredibly nice she normally was.
"No more nice girl from me," she said, swinging her glaive. The Youma was cleanly cut in two by an incredibly sharp energy arc erupting from it.
"That girl is scary..." Xian-Pu noted, while being busy with trying to smash in a Youma's skull with her heavy mace. All this fighting had taken a toll on her as well.
"You think?" Mers asked rhetorically, before ramming her lance through the Youma from behind, finally killing him.
Xian-Pu knew there was no reply to that. Truth to be told, this battle was far worse than the one at Jusenkyo, if alone due to the sheer scale and hostile weather surrounding them. Sure, Jusenkyo had been a bloody affair, but this one was worse in terms of brutality.
Catian, it seemed, was arrogant enough to select Sailor Moon herself as his main target. While on first glance he was a pure physical fighter, seeing his roar blast a crater into the ground showed that his roar had to be some kind of sonic attack weapon. Shockingly, for a Youma of his size Catian also was quite fast - additionally to being a bundle of rage.
"Stay away!" Endymion growled, holding Catian off after an especially vicious attack on Moon.
"Nnng..." Sailor Moon was still reeling from that last attack. She had barely avoided getting her face torn off and like the others she was collecting bleeding injuries while her uniform continued to get torn up. The problem was, that Catian clearly had no desire to get blasted with her healing magic.
If we could only get him to hold still for a moment, she thought, trying her hardest to fin a solution to the problem. That's it! I totally forgot!
The Youma had no idea why Sailor Moon suddenly shouted that. -Blaaaaang- The next moment they understood when with a deafening bang a white light ignited. All humans in the battle had managed to close their eyes in time - as did Rocco and Devilbot was protected by his helmet - but the other Youma were less fortunate.
Catian was almost blind, having seen directly into the bright light. Disoriented, he had to wait for his vision to clear, but there was no time for it... "Now I got you! HEAL!" That was the last the Youma Catian ever heard.
"Damn it! Catian is out!" Devilbot cursed when seeing Catain being reduced back to his original host - a fat cat that looked around in panic, before running off. The loss had clearly hurt the morale of their troops.
"You won't get me so easily!" Rocco shouted, taking off with his wings. "I would have preferred to best you in melee, but if I need to best you like this, I won't complain." That said, he started to create small boxing gloves that raced down like missiles, before exploding violently, forcing them to scatter.
Devilbot meanwhile confronted Moon for what she had done, ignoring Ranma freeing Mercury. "I'll give you a free shot," he told her, sounding very sure of himself.
She felt there was more than just arrogance behind that, but tried anyway. "Heal!" It however was to no avail, as the healing magic just bounced off his armor. "Ohhh, you can't be serious!"
"Ha ha! Surprise, I improved my armor in more than just one way. Your little trick won't work on me anymore!" Devilbot laughed, before two nasty looking buzzsaws unfolded from his arms. "Now rest in pieces."
"Ahh! Yikes!" She barely avoided being cut in two, the only casualty being a bit of her hair, but she could hardly fight if she had to avoid this spinning death constantly.
-WHAM- Devilbot however did not expect the energy blast hitting him from behind, cracking his armor in the process. Correction - his system had intercepted the blast as expected, but it had been unable to deal with the resulting shockwave. That spoke of the power behind the attack.
He cursed himself when seeing Endymion attacking him. "Looks like I suffered from tunnel vision..."
"Bring it on..." Endymion challenged him, raising his sword.
"Gladly!" Devilbot laughed, one hand suddenly holding a defensive shield, while the other ejected a stream of green flames. Endymion did good at avoiding those, since the pavement it hit was liquified almost instantly.
"Aargh! ... We need to get the jerk down!" Mars cursed while struggling to hold her shield against the explosive gloves from above. The fact that she of all people was suffering from nasty burn wounds spoke volumes how bad these things had to be.
"I don't think he's inclined to do so!" Venus gasped. "I tried, but he's incredibly good at dodging all our projectiles!" The fact that whatever white parts of her uniform remained were colored red from all her wounds spoke volumes how vicious this battle was.
"Wait, I have an idea!" Ceres then threw her sickle.
Rocco laughed when he easily avoided it. "Ha ha! You missed!"
"Really?" What Rocco did not expect was for the sickle to obey it mistress' command and return to her like a boomerang - a guided boomerang at that. -rriiiiiip- With precise aim she managed to steer her sickle over one of his wings, maiming it in the process, before it returned to her hand. "I would say spot on."
"Arrrgh! Uurghhh!" Rocco gasped. With one wing maimed, it was next to impossible to hold his altitude.
Of course it then got worse when several chains wrapped around him, one of them with links that looked like golden hearts. At the ground, Venus and Mu-Tsu pulled hard to get Rocco down, and Rocco knew he was starting to lose that battle, being unable to free himself.
"Get him down here. He's got something coming for him!" Jupiter called to them, charging up her mace in anticipation.
"Give it up, just one fluke is not enough to get me down. I have build-in counters for all attacks and more than enough in my arsenal to keep going while you get weaker," Devilbot mocked when Endymion jumped away for some distance. He then saw Endymion conjuring a rose. "Oho, sorry that I don't swing that way," he mocked.
Endymion finally had enough. "You talk too much." Then he threw the rose.
Devilbot thought the thing would either embed itself into the defense disc, or blow up on contact. What he didn't expect was the rose having enough kinetic energy to outright shatter the disc and go on as if nothing was wrong. -chonk- -Brrooooooom!- The rose stuck his helmet, before exploding violently. When the fireball died off, Devilbot's helmet was cracked badly
"Arrgh, you jerk!" Devilbot cursed, only to be stuck silent when his helmet got encased by ice from a now pissed-looking Mercury. Crap, the defense system is malfunctioning!
"YAH!" Ranma screamed, jumping onto Devibot's shoulders, before delivering hundreds of enhanced strikes onto the frozen helmet in the span of mere seconds. That assault finally was too much for Devibot's head armor, causing it to shatter into tiny pieces, exposing his head. Ranma jumped off as soon as that happened.
"Damn it!" he cursed, feeling that this was going south fast. He was about to make a run for it, but in turn literally got an additional kick into the head from Ranma. Dazed, he was pressed to orient himself, when...
"Noooooo!" Rocco screamed when Mu-Tsu and Venus finally managed to force him low enough.
"From Japan with love, asshole!" Jupiter shouted, before swinging her fully charged mace like a baseball bat. It made contact the very moment the chains let go of him.
-smack!- "Watch ouuuut!" Rocco screamed when seeing that he was launched towards Devilbot, but it was too late. Rocco crashed into Devilbot and both of them ended up in a pile on the ground.
Seeing her chance, Saior Moon didn't hesitate. "HEAL!"
This time the healing magic hit and Devilbot and Rocco were no more. When the light died, two unconscious men laid on the wet pavement, freed after months of going through a most horrible nightmare. The sight of their commanders being destroyed finally broke the morale of the remaining Youma and the fled the battlefield... only to run into a hailstorm of blue projectiles.
Seeing their comrades being ripped into pieces panicked the Youma even more and they fled uncontrollably into the streets of Tokyo.
"I guess better late than never," Ranma commented when finally seeing reinforcements arriving. "I... hey, what's going on?" he wondered when all of a sudden the pouring of the rain started to die down, as did the howling winds.
Looking up, they saw high cloud walls going in a circle around them, and far up there was a huge hole in the clouds revealing a strangely purple sky. By now all rain had stopped and the winds had died down. After suffering through the storm, it was eerie how silent it now was. Pulling out her computer, Mercury quickly typed some commands, then looked up.
"It's the eye of the storm, it has moved so that we are now at its exact center... But now it has stopped moving. I don't like this at all..." she told them, hoping this wouldn't be a sign of something bad happening.
...at the same time in the Dark Kingdom...
It was a frightening atmosphere in Metallia's cavern. It was as if all light had been sucked out of it, leaving only the entrance, the small foot path and Metallia's vessel being visible. That was unnatural due to the sickly orange glow radiated by the vessel which should have illuminated the cavern. Queen beryl however was not disturbed by it, instead looking on in wonder at the change that was happening.
"Master, has the time finally come?" she asked, unable to look away.
"Indeed. I can feel it. The chains... the chains are finally breaking."
"It happens... It really happens! This is such a beautiful sight," Beryl whispered in awe while watching the dark energy of Metallia swirling like a vortex inside the vessel, which now showed constantly growing cracks on it crystalline surface.
"Yeeeees... My true power is being set free. It was your efforts that allowed this to happen."
"You can't imagine how long I've waited for this moment, Master!" Beryl breathed, finding the sight incredibly beautiful.
-crrrrc- The vessel looked ready to shatter and remove the final barrier to Metallia's freedom. Redistributed wild magic starting to give it the final kick after it got weakened over months. Once free from his final chains, Metallia would be free to run rampant, with only truly enormous powers being able to end her new reign of terror.
"For your faithful service, you will be rewarded greatly." Then finally... -PANGkklliirrrr- The massive vessel shattered to pieces, the boiling liquid from in it spilling everywhere. A swirling mass of the blackest energy hovered where the vessel had been. "Free! After so many centuries!"
"Your sight is overwhelming!" Beryl gasped, falling to her knees when feeling her strength leave her as if it got sucked out of her. "How can I serve you?"
"You will get the greatest reward of all. 10.000 years ago I made a mistake. But this time I won't do so." Metallia shot forward and knocked Beryl onto her back, before enveloping her entirely.
"Aaarrrgh!" Beryl screamed, feeling like fire was being forced through her body. Everything she had on her person - clothes, jewelry, even her tiara - dissolved, leaving her bare to the dark energy around her. "Aaahhh! Master! What?! Why?!"
"Do not fear. For your faithful service, you will get the biggest gift of all. You desired great power and will now be part of it. You will cease as you are now and instead become part of something bigger. Feel honored, for as of now, you will be part of me."
These words finally made her stop struggling. In the embrace of darkness, it then happened and the person that once was Queen Beryl was no more, becoming part of something much bigger. After some moments it felt like it had always been this way, though the true dominance inside the new being was clear. The new being felt her own body starting to change rapidly in the embrace of the darkness surrounding her; the energy turning into something solid.
This evil seed of something new sank into the ground and then started its rapid journey towards its destination. Once there, it would blossom and release the terror maturing inside it.
...back in Tokyo...
They would have left to attack one of the towers right away, if not for their bad injuries. Entering a new battlefield in their current position would not be a smart idea; possibly exactly what the enemy had intended to make them waste more time. The continuing silence was doing its part to make everyone nervous. It was as if the remaining Youma were hiding themselves away, waiting for something. The cured victims of the Youma-transformation had been taken away by the soldiers to be treated by field medics at a more secure location.
Endymion and Saturn had to sit down for a moment, all the healing having taken its toll on them. "I need a bit before I can heal more. I'm exhausted..." Endymion said, and Saturn didn't look much better, either.
"This is bad. All these injuries force us to sit idle," Pluto said, visibly favoring her left leg due to injury. "Did anything happen yet?"
Being busy with her computer, Mercury looked annoyed. "I don't know. This storm is so much charged with negative energy that my scans simply bounce off it and can't leave the area around us. Helios should know more, he's got a close ear to the tree."
Looking up the Tokyo Tower, Pluto had to admit, right now they should better be up there, and there was nothing for them to do on street level. That, and once that did catch their breath, they needed Helios anyway to teleport them to the nearest tower. Of course they wouldn't be jumping up the girders or take the stairs - not when they could simply take the elevator.
They joined Helios several minutes later - now that the rain had stopped, he was back to his normal outfit, some of them rolling their eyes at this use of magic. Without the rain, the damage to the city was plainly visible, as well as the smoke rising from fires. This really was the third big disaster in Tokyo's history after the great earthquake of 1923 and World War II.
Helios was looking over the city, but it didn't seem like he was seeing Tokyo, but something else. "This is very serious..."
"Helios?" Pluto asked, never before having seen him look like the apocalypse was near.
Only now did he notice them. "You are here. We can't waste any time, the towers are activating! I have to..." He stopped when all of a sudden the entire tower started to vibrate slightly. "Too late..."
It was not only the tower, the ground itself seemed to go through the strange vibration. This proved to be enough that the most damaged buildings finally couldn't hold up anymore and collapsed, throwing up big dust clouds.
"An earthquake?!" Moon gasped. That was the last they needed now.
Helios' eyes narrowed. "No... It's something else."
They then saw it. The ground of the small park right next to the tower was cracking. To her surprise, Pluto recognized this as the exact location where she had been spat out by the time stream after escaping her temporal prison years ago. This probably was no a coincidence, but she had no way to find out the why, and right now they had different problems.
Finally, the ground broke open, and from it... something looking like a massive, closed, dark-purple flower pod emerged. But that was not the end of it. Directly under the pod was a massive stem and this flower of darkness grew in height at an alarming rate, until the pod was on eye level with the group on the observation platform.
"I don't even want to know what's inside that thing. Regardless what it is, it can't be good," Mars gulped, her spiritual senses screaming 'DANGER'.
She regretted these words moments later, when the pod did begin to open.
Before their very eyes, the pod unfolded into a massive blossom of the evil variant. They saw... someone hunched down in the middle of the blossom - someone that had to be really big. Slowly the person in question rose us to full height, and they were taken aback. It was Beryl... and yet it wasn't her. It was difficult to put into words.
For one thing, she had turned into a giant - easily being eight meters tall now and looking like she could crumple all of them like empty soda cans with her bare hands. Her skin had become a light shade of blue and her hair an aquamarine not unlike Neptune's. Her hair also defied gravity, pointing up towards the sky. Her now blood-red dress was a stark contrast and didn't do anything to lessen the disturbing image.
"Crap... What in all names did happen to her?" Venus gasped, being highly unnerved by the sight.
"Guys, I'm reading something really nasty... I think she's been changed in more ways than just what we see," Mercury warned them.
Beryl's (?) orange eyes gave them a cold and calculating. "What an illustrious group you are - dressed in bloody rags. If the world could only see its so-called saviors now." Even her voice now sounded like something not entirely of this world.
"What are you?" Endymion wondered, looking at what Beryl had become.
"I am Berallia." She then let the gravity of this statement sink in. "Beryl was granted the greatest honor. She became a part of me and I became even more than I already was."
Metallia and Beryl fused? They tried to imagine how that was possible, but their imagination failed them. In a way this new Berallia was worse than Pharaoh 90. The Pharaoh had been a horror way beyond complete understanding, this here however felt so much closer to home. And that was what disturbed them so much more than a cosmic horror.
"How...?" It seemed Saturn was especially disturbed by this development.
Berallia gave her a look as if seeing an especially smart animal. "I won't bother explaining it. It's way beyond the comprehension of your little minds. Before, all of it felt muted, but now with Beryl's contribution, it all is so clear. I feel... I really feel now!"
If anything, that only made it worse.
The Pharaoh had been a something inhuman. However, Berallia, despite being the result of Metallia fusing with Beryl's body, was an evil they could understand and grasp all too well. This was an evil that was not too abstract - they sadly were able to understand it too well as it was way too relatable. It really was worse than the cosmic horror.
Berallia looked around, seeing that even though her voice carried far, they were being pretty isolated, and her ego - something she did enjoy having now - wouldn't accept this. "However, what use is my impending victory with no witnesses? Let the entire world witness your defeat."
They could see the air shimmer and... and it looked like a massive television screen that appeared in the sky, but it was slightly-see-through. They could see in the distance more such screens, as well as every sound they made being broadcast. They wondered what this was about, but could guess it had something to do with Berallia's ego.
"Countless of these screens are now scattered in the skies all over the world. Everyone now is witness to your upcoming defeat - everyone understanding us in their own language."
"All over the world? The power to do that and keep it up..." Mercury was trying to find words. That was an insane magical feat and Berallia had done it with a wave of her hand.
I wouldn't dare to calculate our chances at victory right now, Mercury admitted to herself.
Berallia chuckled darkly. "I see you are impressed, little girl. That's only a small taste of my power."
Ranma, Xian-Pu and Mu-Tsu didn't even bother with trying to disguise themselves. With so many fighters against the dark forces in Tokyo, their presence with the Senshi would be easy to explain away. They just had to make sure not to act overly familiar. Considering the current situation, that wouldn't be too difficult.
"Now enough of the pleasantries. I am here to take possession of the Silver and Golden Crystals to sweeten my takeover of this planet. Release them to me, and your end will be swift and painless. Should you refuse, the consequences will be most unpleasant," Berallia demanded.
There was no need to even consider that offer. "Over our dead bodies." That was the collective response.
Berallia had clearly expected this answer. "I shouldn't have expected anything different." She then gave them a dark chuckle. "However, I also believe in sportsmanship, so I'll do nothing for now and simply let you attack me..."
They all knew it had to be some kind of trap - no way she would otherwise invite them to attack her without her retaliating. It made them wonder what her game was; what kind of hidden ace she got in her sleeve. For some moments, none of them dared to go first.
Finally, Mars decided to step forward. "We'll see! Take that!"
Twin streams of the hottest flames erupted from her hands, racing towards Berallia, who looked unconcerned about it. Then, to all their surprise, as soon as hitting an invisible threshold, the flames just fizzled out. Stopping the flames, Mars looked in disbelief at how ineffective her attack had been.
Berallia on the other hand looked amused. "This was a nice try, but surely you can do better?"
"Looks like we need more firepower. Let's do attack together!" Uranus suggested while putting away her useless sword.
And attack they did. Magic projectiles of different natures rained towards Berallia, the Senshi giving it all to fire them off as fast as possible. However, like before, as soon as the projectiles passed a threshold, they just fizzled out, like their magic was sucked away. Unable to overcome this strange ability, the Senshi broke off their attack, having seriously exhausted themselves.
"So, you hardened yourself against magical attacks? Let's see how you take this! YAH!" Ranma's emotion-based attack flew further, but then the blast crashed against an invisible barrier and scattered. Ranma couldn't believe it. "You've got to be kidding me..."
"It actually is amusing to watch your struggles. You shouldn't bother, as I'm most well protected. Besides my own powers, which are vast, I can use the magic of the planet itself as I see fit to protect myself," Berallia mockingly explained to them.
"So that is it what these towers are for?!" Helios looked outright disgusted. "You're leeching off Earth's magic like a parasite to make yourself invincible to attack?!"
"You better watch your words, guardian of dreams, but yes. Planted at strategic points of the planet's magical distribution network, I can take the still raw magic and do with it as I see fit," Berallia confirmed, looking pleased with herself at how the plan had worked perfectly. "All and every attack against me is now useless."
"Do you have any idea what you are doing?!" Helios, if anything, looked deeply troubled. "Your meddling could cripple the world's magic if this goes on!"
Berallia clearly didn't care. "Then it's a bonus for me, as it will cripple those standing against me. Not that I'm dependent on it."
Helios was repulsed at such cold indifference for the well-being of the world. "You're insane..."
"Looks like we have no choice. I wish it hadn't come to this..." Sailor Moon took a look at the Moon Scepter and the Silver Crystal attached to it. Her tiara vanished, revealing the glowing symbol of the crescent moon on her forehead.
It was a depressing thought that they would have to do what could be a suicide attack. Endymion knew this, the symbol for Earth flaring up on his forehead while looking at the Golden Crystal embedded in in the hilt of his sword. "The needs of the many..."
No one could say anything, their little history lesson told them what the price could be. Pluto couldn't help but look down in grief. All the good they had done, and yet Usagi and Mamoru would still lose their lives once they would unleash the full power of their crystals. The human body simply couldn't withstand such power rushing through it - not without something reinforcing it.
"No, we won't let you..." Moon and Endymion crossed scepter and sword.
"...even if it kills us!" Endymion finished.
Both crystals lit up and surrounded their wielders with a bright aura, before a thick, white beam of the purest light erupted from them. The beam slammed violently against the zone of absorption, before breaking trough it, slamming hard against Berallia's shield. The clash between both forces filled the air with a sound like constant lightning strikes, electric arcs escaping the impact zone.
"Not enough... we have... to give it all!" Moon groaned under the stress, knowing that ramping it up to maximum would kill them.
Berallia didn't look concerned. Instead, she laughed, showing off her sharp teeth. "Fools. My reserves now are so vast, that I could sit this one out until you do kill yourselves. That however would deprive me of slaughtering you myself..."
Berallia then countered with an attack of her own, the dark energy erupting from her hands pushing the white beam back. Both energies struggled against each other and Berallia did ground her teeth together, before pushing much stronger, causing both energies to cancel it out in an explosion. Moon and Endymion was thrown back and the entire tower swayed a bit for some moments.
"Ahh, what was that?" Sailor Moon groaned in pain. They had not managed to even get to the sacrifice part, Berallia had not let them somehow.
"She neutralized your attack. She couldn't have done so without the power she is stealing from the planet," Pluto realized, looking even grimmer than before.
"See what I mean?" Berallia mocked them. "My fate is now linked with your planet. Only Saturn blowing up the entire planet can destroy me now. Though that would be quite a counter-productive thing for you to do. He, he, he."
Saturn gulped hard, holding onto the Silence Glaive tighter. To her it was a horrible thought that the only way to stop this monster would be destroying the entire planet, thus dooming billions to death. With Berallia anchoring herself to the planet like this, she had effectively taken the whole world hostage and dared them to do something about it.
"There has to be something we can do against this monster!" Ceres shouted, not wanting to believe that this was it after all the had went through.
"There is nothing you can do." Berallia looked very pleased with that fact. "Your own power alone is not enough to defeat me, and the one power that could give you the edge is under my control. Fighting for love and justice? ... Heh! ... It is over."
Throughout Berallia's rant, Ranma had stayed silent, even ignoring the voices coming from his earpiece. Something was going through his mind. This was a situation that couldn't be solved with fighting. However, instead of feeling helpless due to his skillset, Ranma's analytical side - which he needed in order to find out an opponent's weakness - kicked in.
He remembered what the avatar of Earth's magic had told them on the Moon. "Remember the lesson well, that it is the people themselves that give Earth its magic, if you plan to succeed." Could that be it? I... I think I finally understand.
He knew, the Ranma of a year ago would have scoffed at this conclusion, unable to understand the idea behind it. However, after having made bonds to others and witnessing the fantastic as well as the fact that things like compassion really held power, he now knew better. He now knew what he had to do, and hoped it would give the spark needed.
"Now fun and games are over. I gave you the chance for your best shot, and now it's time for me to..." -clap- Berallia stopped when hearing that. -clap- Looking for the source, she spotted Ranma slowly clapping his hands. "Oho, and what is this supposed to do, little man?" She clearly wasn't taking him seriously.
"I finally understood." -clap- "You think yourself almighty, but we are many." -clap- Ranma looked to Sailor Moon and Endymion. "I believe in them. I give them my support and all the strength I can part with!"
If anything, Berallia found it ridiculous. "This is so naive it defies words."
Ranma was not intimidated. "Oh no, it's you who is wrong..."
Finally, the others began to understand what Ranma was actually doing - at first they'd thought he had finally snapped - when they saw a white sparks start in Ranma's eyes, as well as well as the air starting to shimmer around him. Him looking to the magical screen in the sky confirmed their suspicion. One after the other they stood up and moved to stand around Sailor Moon and Endymion, each of them starting to clap in rhythm together with Ranma.
"We are supporting them as well!" -clap- Mars declared fiercely.
"We will give them all the strength we can spare!" -clap- Neptune agreed.
"All of us together! For them!" -clap- Xian-Pu chimed in.
Berallia stopped laughing when she saw that all of them were now sporting glowing eyes and being surrounded by a white aura. From that very aura, faint energy ribbons emerged, flowing towards Sailor Moon and Endymion. The energy given seemed to revitalize them and they stepped forward again, crossing scepter and sword a second time.
"Ha, that won't be enough to stop me!" Berallia unleashed the power of her dark force, just when both crystals flared up again. The dark lightning clashed hard against the invisible shield the crystals were generating.
"You can't win! ... Hm?"
Even when attacking, Berallia saw more energy ribbons approach; not only from within the city itself, but from all directions and from far beyond the horizon. All these ribbons homed in on the pair, to give them more strength... and to her shock, it not only made them stronger, but was also converted into magical energy. With each moment, they were getting stronger.
What is going on here?! Berallia wondered.
In the Tendo home, everyone had been quite scared when the screen appeared in the sky, showing the confrontation at Tokyo Tower. Seeing that monster easily slapping aside any kind of attack had scared all of them, a feeling of hopelessness. That was until Ranma had started clapping. At first they had thought as well that he'd lost it, but once they did understand what he was doing, they had all joined in one by one.
All of them of course didn't want the world to be ruled by the Dark Kingdom, but further motivations differed somewhat. Those with family on the tower of course had a very personal reason to see them succeed. Ukyo and Konatsu only made the connection when seeing Ranma together with the Senshi, but it only fueled their desire to help their friends. Akane also was fueled by her desire to help her friends and the relief that she could contribute to save the world. Tofu and the remaining Tendos had less personal reasons to help, but nonetheless would give it all.
Even Nabiki had joined in, for the first time in years giving something away for free, but she knew this was only the start of attempting to repair her balance of life decisions to save herself from a nasty fate. Luna and Artemis, lacking hands, instead thumped a paw onto the floor, which clearly also counted as far as the magic was concerned. Whatever that magic was, it took everything into account, as Nodoka, Ikuko, Saeko and Luna only gave a minimal contribution, so that the life growing in them was kept safe from harm.
All their energy ribbons flew out of the big hole in the house created by Happosai's intrusion and towards central Tokyo to support family, loved ones and allies in the final confrontation at Tokyo Tower.
Everyone in the command center had watched the entire thing on their own screens and had one after the other joined in to give their contribution for the final defeat of the Dark Kingdom.
Isamu Nakmura had lived a very long life, most of it being dedicated to fighting the forces of darkness, and even though age had forced him to retire from active duty, he would follow the call of the Shadow Hunter until his dying breath, regardless in which way. Even the small amount of energy he could spare without risking his health would contribute to the final defeat of the enemy.
Khu-Lon had lived an even longer life, one dedicated to the life of a warrior. However, changing times and also the effects of old age had barred her from taking part in the battle itself. However, once a warrior always a warrior. Even if not for family and those who had become a sort-of extended family fighting out there, she would have given her strength freely. She was willing to lay down her life to help, but felt a bit annoyed that the magic only took enough to not endanger her.
All the energy floated up and away through the air vents, to travel to its destination.
Umino Gurio was as far from a warrior as it could get - thus the reason why his parents had left Tokyo together with him and they were now at a refugee camp quite some distance away from Tokyo. Of course once that screen in the sky appeared, showing them what was going on in the city, it had caused great unrest.
Now however most of the camp had joined in with clapping to show their support and give their strength to save the world. Of course not everyone, but the majority. Umino himself of course was one of them, especially since he had a very personal reason, as it were Naru and her friends confronting that monster. He knew besides being furious with himself, he would have been unable to ever again look Naru into the eyes if he wouldn't give them his support.
Granted, it felt a little weird, but in a good way. He after all was making a difference, regardless how small the contribution.
Ryo Urawa was looking out of the window of his room while clapping his hands, watching his energy merge with that of all the other people giving their support while it floated towards central Tokyo to give new strength to Sailor Moon and Endymion.
He had been unhappy when his parents had ordered him home - and thus far away from Akane - though he did them perfectly. He hoped that once this madness was finally over, he could return without too much of a hassle - in case of him and Akane, it seemed that absence really made the heart grow fonder. What he was doing now, his vastly diminished precognitive powers had actually told him about. Even if his powers had not shown him what was about to happen, the choice had been an easy one to make.
What he had seen made him full of hope and he was willing to part with most of his strength to do his part in the final defeat of the forces that wanted to conquer their world.
He had lived a long life and seen many things, good and bad. Good things like finding the love of his life, the births of his daughter and granddaughter, and bad things like his wife and daughter dying way before their time and getting a dishonest man like Takashi as son-in-law.
All these things however were irrelevant to Grandpa Hino while he joined in with hopefully many others to fight these would-be conquerors by giving as much strength as he could - which was not that much due to his advanced age. It was the thought that counted. While it was a tiny bit selfish, he also wanted everyone to survive so that he would live long enough to see Rei have children of her own. She sure would understand this wish of an old man.
Next to him, Phobos and Deimos - obviously lacking the needed body parts to clap hands - were pecking their beaks onto the wood of the shrine. It clearly was accepted, as strength was leaving them as well to contribute in the final battle.
Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite had been lost to darkness for a long time - though not of their own will - a fact that ashamed all four of them deeply. In their altered state of mind they had helped destroy the world of old and had caused much suffering in the current time. It was their actions as well which had enabled the Dark Kingdom to come this far.
Their shame over their actions during their time under the thrall of evil had made them fight against the invading forces without much regard for their own lives - though thankfully the worst had not come to pass. Still, it had felt like fighting against windmills - regardless how many Youma they destroyed, more were already on the way.
Now however... They had already felt how something had been fiddling with Earth's magic due to how intimately they were connected to it. In the past they had made an oath to even put down their lives for their liege if the were no other options left. Thankfully, it was not coming to that, but that were making a big sacrifice by making most of their strength available to their king and his love. Hopefully this would help to bring down the Dark Kingdom and finally reduce the dark marks their actions under the Dark Kingdom had left on their souls.
Standing next to Jadeite, Tethys was clapping together with them. Honestly, after an existence as a Youma, it felt weird for her how freely giving energy felt. It felt right and just... but still weird. She wanted this madness to end. She wanted to be a normal woman - as much as it was possible due to her magical powers - and build herself a new existence together with Jadeite. She was not asking for much and she would not let that monster Berallia destroy it all.
Hatake had known the battle would be hard - thank all goodness that, considering the heavy rain, none of his people save for Kiima were cursed - yet each loss of a comrade or friend had felt like a gut punch. This was worse than the meat grinder at Jusenkyo, that was for sure. Thank all goodness that the vast majority of his people were safe in the mountains far outside of the city.
Now however things were considerably different. As soon as the rain had stopped, he had gathered his remaining comrades, and then they had seen what really was going on. Without their help, Saffron would never have been defeated, thus he felt he could do nothing less than give them all the strength he could spare, and with him joining in, the others followed suit.
He was pretty sure that their civilians were seeing this as well and would lend their strength as well. The only one he was wondering about was Kiima. He wondered if she could get past her anger - he hoped that would be a decisive factor.
This had been the most intense thing the Black Guard had ever done - their losses spoke a clear language. Of course it also was the first operation they had done that was not in secret and there were rumors they soon would see restructuring to deal with their not existing legal status. However all of that right at the moment was not important.
Taki and Makie had seen a lot of weird shit in their careers, but the outright belief in magic had only been added recently with the emergence and the Sailor Senshi and their enemies - that was, before magic had exploded and spread all over the planet, which would change the course of mankind. Now however... all their careers they had practiced that the best way to deal with a problem is, to blast the crap out of it, but this right at the moment was a very different solution.
Taki knew that winning a conflict by clapping together with others sounded stupid, but the effects couldn't be denied and these kids needed all the advantages they could get. Glancing to Makie, he saw that the energy leaving her was green at first - thus revealing her otherworldly origin - but then changed to white before floating away.
Oh, how Ryoga had wished he could have been part of the battle, but the cold rain had made that pretty much impossible, as it would have instantly transformed him into a helpless piglet. It still needed Akari to talk him out of it, due to his tendency to jump the gun and ignore the obvious. Thus he was stuck on the farm.
A bit over half a year ago, his life had started to fall apart and beside his directional curse, he had also gained the damn Jusenkyo curse, which had made his life hell. To make things worse, in the weeks that followed, his reputation got ruined, the policed searched for him and as the rock bottom he'd learned exactly what kind of future would await him, should he continue to blame others - namely Ranma - for his own faults and errors.
However, finally learning to take responsibility for his own actions, life had decided to finally stop giving him lemons and his situation improved significantly after entering Akari's farm when looking for work. Despite the Senshi still scaring him a bit after the experience in the bad future, they were clearly Ranma's friends, and he was supporting them together with Akari, both of them parting with all the traength they could.
It was impressive what you could watch from an armchair directly at the window. Souichi Tomoe was in one of the safe houses of the Black Guard somewhere in the mountains far outside of Tokyo, waiting out the conflict, when he suddenly became witness of the very events in which his daughter Hotaru was directly involved in.
Considering all the horrors he had been forced to witness while Germatoid had taken over his body, he was not surprised - but still disturbed - by his lack of a more shocked reaction. After all, you can witness only so many horrors before the novelty of it wears off and you get desensitized. However, he of course still was deeply worried, especially since Hotaru was at the epicenter of the disaster that could doom the world.
He still was very weak from his own ordeal, but that would not stop him from giving at least something while joining in. Even if it was little, had he done nothing he could have never again looked Hotaru into the eyes out of sheer shame.
Ryu, Chun-Li and their allies all felt it in their bones that this battle had been even worse than their battle against General Bison. While their opponents were no longer human, it was worse due to numbers and the sheer bloodlust they exhibited. Then all of a sudden they had left, as if converging to an unknown goal... and then that thing in the sky appeared.
The last time a madman had tried to conquer part of the world, they had used their combined strength to send him to hell - it was that group effort that had led to lasting bonds of what was now known as the masters of Street Fighters. Now it looked like strength had to be combined once more in order to save the world, only instead of fighting powers, it now was belief and support.
Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken, Guile, Blanka, Cammy, Zangief and others voluntarily let go of much of their strength when they joined in. True strength also was, to know when you couldn't do something yourself and thus support those who could.
Normally, Motoki's parents only used the house in the summer and it normally would be locked up during this time of the year. However, considering the need to find shelter until the storm was over - in more than one way - the house was optimal as a shelter for the family. That also included Reika, since everyone pretty much saw her as part of the family by that point.
The elder Furuhatas knew their children had been dragged to the center of the madness more than once and thus were rightfully paranoid it could happen again. Yet, when Motoki, Unazuki and even the now timid Reika joined in with the clapping to show their support and donate part of their strength, they could not stay apart from them.
Thus all of them joined in on the effort to give their saviors enough strength to actually save them.
All over the world, many millions joined in, clapping like one to give as much strength as possible to Sailor Moon and Endymion to fight the monster that wanted to take over the world. Of course it wasn't everyone on the world - the mere idea was ridiculous - not even half of the world population. But it still were many, many millions and from all over the world the energy was floating towards Tokyo, into the bodies of these two heroes.
That this happened of course was deeply unsettling for Berallia, who was unable to comprehend what was going on.
"What are you doing?!" Berallia hissed, slowly dialing up her power while trying to break through the defense the two crystals had erected. "Where are you getting all this power from?!"
"From the people of this world! They are selflessly giving us part of their strength!" Moon said, her eyes by now glowing with power.
"Oh yes. The Dark Kingdom robbed people of their energy, while we just asked and they did so on their free will." Endymion's eyes were also glowing. "It is so much stronger and cleaner when being given freely."
Berallia only now made the connection. "Why haven't I thought of this...?"
"You only saw it as energy to be harvested - to be stolen! Never did you waste a single thought to the idea, that the world's magic originates from the hearts of its inhabitants! It's their strength of heart that give the world it's magic!" Moon accused her.
"It still won't make a difference!" Berallia wiped her own concerns aside. "They can give you as much as they want, I still have access to much bigger reserves! If I have to, I'll squeeze every last drop of magic out of this planet! You care... I don't."
"No... we won't let you. Again your arrogance blinds you to the obvious," Endymion said, feeling the pain the planet was in.
Berallia again couldn't see what they could be doing against it. "Empty worlds! You are bound to fighting me! What do you plan to do about that?"
Moon looked calm. "This."
Slowly, Moon and Endymion angled their crossed weapons, until the bare metal of both of them was touching the railing. Spreading from this point, the metal construction of Tokyo Tower started glow pure white, pulsing with energy. More and more energy was pumped into the superstructure of the tower, until finally...
A pillar of pure whiteness erupted from the tip of Tokyo Tower, blasting high into the sky before transforming into a massive circular energy wave. The magical storm clouds were ripped apart by it as it moved in all directions to cover the entire sky. It took only mere moments, before the skies of the entire planet were covered in the energy cloud.
All over the world, Youma screamed in panic when all of a sudden they - and nothing else - were being sucked up by the cloud. The massive towers built for parasiticly leeching on Earth's magic shuddered violently, before getting torn apart, the debris being sucked into the cloud as well. Inside the cloud, Youma and debris alike were crushed into fine dust, which then was ejected from the atmosphere to end up as harmless space dust.
Deep underground, in the tower of Youma, all the remaining statues of Youma shattered, but with the dust being ejected into outer space, none of the energy was regained. The magical glow was snuffed out, before the entire structure imploded, countless tons of earth and rock thundering in.
In Elysion, the mana tree started to glow brighter than ever, big blossoms appearing, as if to celebrate its freedom from the dark influence that had tainted Earth's magic.
In Tokyo, Berallia not only saw her Youma being sucked up by the cloud, she also felt her access to Earth's magic dwindling away with the destruction of each further tower. Now she finally realized how much she had underestimated the power boost her enemies got from the world's population.
"I won't stand for this!" Now she didn't care any longer. Dark energy spread all over her and her attacks became magnitudes stronger, slowly starting to crack the shield that was protecting her enemies. "I don't care anymore about this world! Now I only want to see you DEAD for daring to defy me like this, even if it means burning the planet to a cinder!"
The energy cloud finally dissipated and the the tower stopped glowing.
"Is that all you can think about?! Death and destruction?!" Sailor Moon called her out.
"And why shouldn't I?! In the end only the strong survive and egoism wins out!" Berallia countered.
"What a horrible world view," Endymion threw into her face. "You are incapable of even understanding things like compassion, friendship and love."
"Why would I even need these weak things?!" Under her constant hammering, the shield looked like it was about to give out. Just a little more...
If anything, Sailor Moon and Endymion... looked sad and disappointed. "You don't even understand that what you call 'weak things' is about to bring your defeat. You are irredeemably evil. We won't waste anymore words on you."
They had not yet bothered with actually striking back, first being content with just holding their position and letting the freely given energy flow into them. Now however, with the influence of the Dark Kingdom being erased from the world, they could give Berallia their sole attention. Protected by the strength of millions, they could finally unleash the full power of their crystals against Berallia.
Both crystals flared up and a white wall began to push back against the dark energies unleashed by Berallia.
That turn of events shocked Berallia. "What...? What is this?!"
Of course there was no reply. They were done with talking.
Now the roles were reversed with her being cut off from Earth's magical reserves, while her enemies were still getting more and more energy from the people of the world. It was not supposed to go this way; she was supposed to rule over this world as its god-queen! She was giving all her strength to push the light back, but to no avail. It still crept closer.
"You can't do this to me! I'm Berallia! I'm supposed to rule this world!" she ranted, starting to crack under the weight of this impending defeat.
The light grew, starting to illuminate the city brighter than anything ever seen before, yet no one's eyes were hurt by the light... except Berallia's. Half blind, she felt her power weakening, the constant strain taking its toll on her.
"No! ... This can't be happening! ... HOW?!"
The light flared up, and everything was swallowed by whiteness.
They could hear Berallia screaming in pain, then it felt like all conscious thought left them.
to be concluded...
"Life is Good"
Here are the notes.
Wow, it took me a long time to write this chapter, since I really want to show a confrontation, where in the end not the biggst stick was the winning factor, but those things that Berallia decried as weak. Thus why it took so long to write. In the end, I removed a part at the end of the chapter that is moved to the final chapter, since I felt this here is a much better ending for this chapter.
It's still hard to believe that only one chapter is left, and then the story is complete. I guess many didn't think this would happen, considering how much of a long-burner this story was.
I took pains to show as many people as possible connected to the Sensh iand Ranma in a way contributing to victory, to give an idea of how they are not alone in the struggle. The scene is actually an homage to DBZ, when Mr. Satan motivates the population of Earth to give Goku the needed energy to defeat Buu. The clapping however I borrowed from the final scene of "Brubaker".
I resisted really hard over the entire story, but I couldn't resist to make Tokyo Tower the place of the final battle, just like a many Japanese films and series. It's simply too iconc to leave it out, so I saved it for the final confrontation.
I also took pains to clean up all reaining outstanding plot threads, so that the book can be closed in the final chapter.