Sailor Moon Aeons.
Book 2: Rebirth.
Act 2: Dark Moon Rising.
Episode 32: Training Day.
By Razor Knight
Last update: March 20, 2013
First thing Usagi and the others saw when they walked in, was their friends all lying around the base, and they all looked quite bruised. Usagi saw an older man standing in the center of the 'arena,' staring at her, and frowned. "Who are you?"
"Kyo Hakko, I'm sure Terry told you about me. In my defense, they attacked me all at once."
"He told us to. And we couldn't hit him once," Minako said, trying to sit up and failing miserably.
"Okay, I'll fix them," Hotaru said and started concentrating.
"Hmph, he can't be that good," Mako said.
"You can try hitting me if you want. I like knowing what my students can and can't do before I start teaching them."
Mako smiled, and charged at him. Hakko blocked her jab, and tried to punch her in the ribs, but Mako skipped back, barely dodging the blow. She went for a kick to his chest, and Hakko took the hit, but then caught her leg using his arm, causing her to lose balance. Mako tried to kick with her other leg as she fell, but that only let Hakko hold both her legs. He swung around, releasing his hold as he did, and sending Mako flying back a good dozen meters.
But Mako didn't give up. She jumped back up and charged again, this time going for a flurry of punches. Hakko blocked them all, and then hit her chest with his open palm as she slowed down, sending her down to the ground.
"Okay, I guess he can be that good."
Hakko looked at Mako as she staggered up, and smiled. "You're not bad, girl, but you don't seem to plan ahead."
"I've been told that," Mako said, glancing at Terry, who shrugged.
Hakko looked at Usagi. "You must be Tsukino. I was told you were the leader of this group."
"Everyone keeps telling me that," Usagi said.
"She looks harmless," Terry said, "until she's shooting at you with a man-sized energy beam."
"In case you were planning to, I'll say I don't want to fight you right now."
"Are you afraid of being hurt?"
Usagi walked past Hakko. "No, but I've fought four evil creatures in a span of a few minutes, I'm really not in the mood for another fight."
Hakko smiled. "Enemies won't ask you if you want to fight, so why should I?"
It happened too fast for most to follow, but Hakko had once again covered several meters in a split second. Just like with Minako, he had stopped his punch milimeters away from Usagi's face. But Usagi had managed to move her head to the side, so his fist would not have connected even if he had kept going.
Terry stared at Usagi in awe. "Damn it, how did she-"
Hakko was looking at the blonde girl, and smiling. "Terry told me you were good at dodging, but that was beyond 'good.'"
Usagi blinked a few times. "Uh, I don't even know how I did it."
"I've seen enough," Hakko said and walked to the elevator. "You can rest for the day, but tomorrow I'll start training you all for real."
Mako stared at him. "You mean you were holding back?"
"Mako, if he fought you all out, you would have been knocked out in half the time," Terry said. He turned to Hakko. "Just try not to beat them up too much, at least the girls."
"I've told you before, gender is but a footnote," Hakko noted, "and you have a healer, don't you?"
"I suppose you could call me that," Hotaru admitted.
Hakko looked at Hotaru. "I know who trained you, so I'm quite sure you're better than most of them."
"I also tire much faster," Hotaru explained.
"That's a bad flaw to have in battle. I can help you correct it, or at least minimize it."
"That would be good."
Terry saw Hakko walk into the elevator, and noticed Ami was rubbing her arm. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Ami said, then saw ChibiUsa was looking at the base's computer console. "Uhm, please don't touch that."
"I won't." ChibiUsa smiled and walked to where Usagi was. "Thaks for your help."
"You're welcome," Usagi said. "But I'm curious, where did you get that missile launcher from?"
"Missile launcher?" most of the others asked in unison.
"She used it against Cooan."
ChibiUsa smiled and the cat-like sphere appeared near her. "That was my Luna-P."
"Luna-P," Terry repeated. "And it looks like Luna. Strange coincidence." Was it a coincidence, even?
ChibiUsa looked at the sphere, and it turned into a sword, a gun, and a motorcycle before returning to its normal form. "It's my favorite toy."
"Toy?" Terry muttered. "Who built that thing?" And who would give such an advanced artifact to a small girl?
"I don't know," ChibiUsa said.
Usagi sighed. "Let's go home, I don't feel like training after all those fights."
Yukiko was leaning on a wall, watching the sunset. It had been pretty good for a first battle, even if Sailor Moon had done most of the damage. Her disguise was almost perfect, specially her idea of turning her black hair purple with a simple spell. And she had seen her spells did work even against 'bosses' so she wouldn't be a hindrance for the Senshi. She had no skill when it came to melee combat, but as long as she kept her distance, that wouldn't be a problem.
She saw Tsukino walk by and sighed. Unlike her, Tsukino had a lot of friends. Yukiko didn't like being a loner, but making friends was not something she was good at. On the other hand, and from what she had gathered while trying to figure out the Senshi's identities, Usagi's skill at making friends was, some said, her only skill.
"You look worried about something."
Yukiko looked at Usagi. She had heard rumors about her being able to read people's mood. Perhaps they weren't just rumors after all. "It's nothing," she said, then frowned. "No, actually... Do you know who the Senshi are?"
"I'm sorry, but they don't reveal themselves easily."
"Well, I had to try."
Usagi was about to walk away, but instead looked at Yukiko. "You know, the Senshi aren't the only ones you could have as friends."
Yukiko gave her a half-smile. "Are you saying you could be my friend? Don't you have enough-" she stopped and looked at Usagi. "Sorry."
"I've observed you at school. I don't think you're a loner, you just don't know how to befriend others."
"I see the rumors about you were right, Tsukino."
"Call me Usagi, all my friends do."
"Call me Yuki, then... It's what I would want my friends to call me."
Usagi smiled. Sure, Yukiko was a bit too enthusiastic when it came to the Senshi, but she didn't seem like a bad person. "Well, I'll see you at school."
Yukiko watched Usagi walk away. Perhaps coming to Juuban was a much better idea than she had thought.
As Usagi reached the base, she saw her friends were all training, fighting against each other as Hakko watched. The man turned to her and frowned. "You're late."
"A leader should not give such a bad example to its troops."
"So what are you going to do, make me stand in the hallway?"
Hakko's stare made it clear he was not joking. "I'm here to help you improve, but if you don't want to, then it will be pointless to even try."
"I didn't choose to be a Senshi, but since I'll have to fight time and again, I have to get better at it. I want to be a better fighter, so I can help and protect my friends."
"Your actions thus far tell me otherwise."
Usagi summoned two wooden chakram out of thin air. "I guess just saying sorry won't be enough."
Hakko smiled as Usagi stood there, holding the discs. "You can get a hint, after all." He noticed the others had all stopped fighting and sighed. "I didn't tell you to stop, now did I?"
"Nag off, Kyo, we want to watch this."
Hakko shook his head at Terry. "Fine. Maybe you'll learn something from this."
Usagi rushed forwards without any warning, tossing one of the discs at Hakko. The man was not as distracted as he seemed, however, as he caught the disc, using it to parry Usagi's following swipe, and then hit her square in the stomach, sending her reeling back.
Usagi fell to one knee and panted. "Too strong..."
The man's face was unreadable as he tossed the disc back at Usagi, who caught it as she staggered up. "You didn't wait for me to be ready."
"Our enemies won't wait for us to be ready, either."
Hakko nodded. "Some would call it playing dirty. I call it being wise."
Usagi rushed him again, this time throwing both discs. Hakko caught them both, and Usagi realized her mistake as he punched her with one of them, using it to lift her over his head and send her crashing to the ground. "That plan looked better in my head."
"This kind of weapons should not be thrown unless you're quite sure your foe won't catch them. And throwing both at the same time leaves you without a weapon."
"So she should learn how to fight with no weapons as well," Mamoru guessed.
"That's right. You all should."
"Alert. Enemy attack in progress."
Hakko looked at the far wall of the room. "I suppose that means training is over."
Usagi shrugged. "We'll keep training when we get back."
"After a battle, a warrior must rest. It's pointless to train while exhausted or injured."
Things were relatively under control by the time the Senshi got there. Circe and Calisto were facing the two aliens, while Mira fought what looked like a humanoid scorpion. "Well, now I know the pattern," Mercury noted.
"Pattern?" Most of the others asked.
"First was the lion, Leo. Then the crab, Cancer. Then the fish, Pisces. And now, there's Scorpio."
"The zodiac," Saturn noted. "Interesting coincidence."
Mira leapt aside as the scorpion tried to stab her stomach with its tail stinger, then looked back at the Senshi. "I can take care of this one, help the others." Moon was about to protest, so Mira decided to demonstrate her point. "Selene's Light!" A beam of light shot out of Mira's palm, and it hit the creature square in the chest, sending it flying back for nearly one block.
"Okay, I'll risk saying she's got this bug controlled," Dragon Sun commented.
Ail and Ann were just done dodging a barrage of fire blasts when they noticed there were one too many Senshi for them to handle. "Damn it, not again!"
"Ann, we can't risk ourselves. We'll try again later."
Moon saw the two aliens vanish and then noticed Mira had just turned the scorpion into a smoking pile of ashes. "Aww, we didn't get to fight anyone."
"Thought you didn't like fighting," Mars mused.
"I don't, but I also hate running through half the city for nothing."
Mercury suddenly looked to the side. "Unfortunately, we'll have to run again. Cooan's back, and there's another unknown entity there."
Moon's eyes widened. "We won't make it there in time."
Mira noticed Moon's look. "They're after your 'cousin' right? Sun told me about that."
Moon looked at two of the Dragons. "Right, I forgot you were Hunters too."
Dragon Sun smiled at that. "I'll see you at home, Mira. Mass Teleport!"
Calisto walked to Mira. "We should tell them what we sensed about these aliens."
"Not until we're sure of it. Did you get them?"
Circe smiled as she also walked ot them. "I could see the target of their teleport."
"Good. We'll go there later."
"Huh? Why not now?"
"We need to thread carefully, we don't know if we'll find someone else in there, maybe stronger than those two."
"Good point. And I'm exhausted," Calisto said, "we should go after we rest for a while."
Cooan stared at the two cats dismissively. "Really, they left some stray cats to watch over the Rabbit?"
Artemis shrugged. "The Senshi are bored of kicking your ass whenever you show up."
The woman tried to kick Artemis away, but he gave a small leap backwards and slashed her legs with one paw. "Argh! You damn fleabags!"
She turned to see her target holding a missile launcher. "Kid, again with that thing?"
ChibiUsa smiled at her. "Yep."
Artemis laughed as Cooan was knocked back by a large ball of purple goo. "I have to get one of those."
"We could use that too."
He looked at Luna. "No, we would have a lot of explaining to do if they saw us. Besides, Cooan is far too weak to be worth our trouble. Besides, someone's going to take care of Cooan for us."
Cooan was too busy trying to get the purple stuff off her hair to notice the attacker, but she did feel the attack's effect. "Ow. Who the hell..."
"Name's Warwitch, and I'm not going to let you harm that girl."
"Hmph. Stray cats and a Senshi reject. Forgive me if I'm not impressed."
Warwitch smiled. "You should be. Wave!"
"Dark Fire!" Cooan's fire attack cancelled Warwitch's watery one, but she didn't let her foe think of anything else. "Dark Fire! Dark Fire! Dark Fire!"
Warwitch was hit by two of the blasts, but managed to put up a shield to stop the third. Still, she knelt on the ground, panting. "Damn it, she's too strong."
"Give up, you can't defeat me."
Warwitch stared at Cooan for a few seconds, then smiled. "Good thing I don't need to."
"Moon Tiara Flight!"
Cooan was sent flying forwards as the tiara hit her back. As she stood up, she saw all the Senshi were there. "Oh screw this, I'll kill her later."
Moon sighed. "She escaped again." She looked at Warwitch and smiled. "Thanks for keeping her busy."
"It's no-" Warwitch started, then she coughed up some blood. "Ugh."
Saturn walked to her. "Here's a basic combat tip: The trick is to shoot at your foes while at the same time avoiding their attacks."
"Good one," Warwitch said weakly. "Heal."
"You could stop playing the mystery sidekick and tell us who you are," Dragon Mercury said.
"Yeah, I could," Warwitch agreed with a sly smile, her bruises mostly gone. "Teleport."
The Dragon stared at thin air for a few seconds before shaking his head. "Should have seen that coming."
"Moon, I think you should keep an eye on ChibiUsa," Luna said.
"I can take care of myself."
Artemis looked at ChibiUsa. "With what, that goo launcher?"
"Next time I'll use real missiles."
Yukiko groaned as she sat on her bed. Her mood wasn't good, and for a good reason. That stupid fire witch, she would show her what fire magic was next time! But still, it was good to be helping the Senshi. Maybe they would tell her who they were, eventually.
But for the time being, she had to keep her own identity a secret. She still wasn't ready to tell them, and she feared they would tell her to stop playing hero if they knew who she was.
She realized something else as she thought about her second battle, something she noticed as she fought, but couldn't ponder about while trading blasts with that woman. Why was the kid holding a missile launcher when she got there?
There were other questions in her mind, but she guessed they would be answered at the right time. She just had to keep on helping the Senshi, and they would eventually trust her enough to tell her.
Ail and Ann stood in front of a large tree. It was strange to see a tree growing inside a windowless room, and it was even more strange to see a tree like this. The few flowers it had were obviously alien, and it was glowing with a faint white light.
But the light grew dim, and finally died out. The tree, which had looked healthy for a minute, was now wilting. "It's no use," Ann said.
"The Makaijuu needs more life energy."
Ann looked at her brother, and an idea formed in her mind. "Those Senshi are powerful, they must have a lot of life energy."
The man nodded. "I know what you mean, but we need to plan carefully. We can't fight more than one of them at a time."
A/N: Hotaru's combat tips are good, indeed.