Disclaimer: This chapter is brought to you by an immense friend of mine, Sir Alex McMullen. He's graciously contributed this chapter to the collection, and since I lost any unpublished chapters when my hard drive crashed I'm glad that everyone who took a liking to this story will be able to get another chapter to enjoy. And if you happen to like this, I suggest checking out the rest of his body of work. He has many good Bleach stories, as well as a small but well done collection of Hellsing ones, plus others. I highly recommend reading them.
Anyways, enough rambling, on with the story. As usual, I left everything as I found it, with only a bit of minor grammar editing.
The Melancholy of the Three Kingdoms
You'd think I'd be used to it by now, don't you? You'd assume that enduring such brain-melting oddities for so long would have me accustomed to it all…How wrong you are. Living with Haruhi Suzumiya is different. Each new day is a brand new assault on my sanity. The rest of the scattered members of the SOS Brigade never bat an eyelash over the things that happen…but I do!
Now Haruhi Suzumiya has done some strange in the past and the events she's caused have been even weirder…But this just about tops it. Ever played Dynasty Warriors? Ever imagine really playing it? Like getting off your fat, basement-dwelling ass, picking up a sword and fighting yourself? You probably haven't and I'm most likely rambling, but suppose you did. I bet it never happened, right?
It did for me.
Don't ask why, because honestly I don't know. And frankly, I don't want to know. There are some things man was never meant to know…like why I'm standing in Ancient China in ridiculously flamboyant armor with na shiny sword in my hand?
"Hey! Get over here, Brother!" Haruhi snapped.
"'Brother?' I'm not your brother, and besides…" I trail off when I turn around. Not because Haruhi looks cute in her battle costume, (Though it looked pretty nice on her, I must say), but because there are at least a thousand soldiers standing around her and every single one of them looks exactly the same! Every last detail of theirs is identical; even their stance was the same. You know, the one that looks like they're constipated and yet still ready for war.
"Brother, get over here!" she yells so loud that subtitles appear under her, all in capital letters. No, I don't understand how that works either; but trust me, it happens.
I reluctantly approach her and she points her sword at me. At me! I know I bag the SOS Brigade a lot and I don't put in that much of an effort, but I could have sworn the whole "death penalty" thing was just a joke! Don't tell me she's actually going to-
She hefts her sword and lifts it up to the clouds. She looks toward me expectantly and when my heart slows down I copy her stance and raise my sword. She says something to me but I'm distracted by the subtitles again. She sighs and repeats herself, only this time with twice as much attitude.
"We three brothers-" (Yes, there is wrong with that statement. But hang on, there's more.) "-shall fight together, destined to die on the same day, of the same month, of the same year, on the very same battlefield!"
Uh, no thanks. How about we just go home? You can take your anger out on a million, billion clones by yourself. That's why this game exists in the first place, isn't it? To keep anti-social psychopaths off the streets and safely inside where their mothers can supervise them?
"Um, excuse me…?" I murmur with as enthusiasm as I can muster. (Hint; it's not a lot.)
"Quiet Brother!" Haruhi cuts me off again. I know it happens a lot but it's still as annoying as it was the first time; just like Rebecca Black's 'Friday' or herpes. She flicks her hair back with one hand while using the other to point at a large valley beneath us. A large black splotch stains the mountainside and it takes a moment for me to realize that it's an army. An army of palate swapped clones.
"What is that?" I ask.
"That is the army of Wei. They are lead by a cruel and heartless warrior." Her face actually looks serious for once and that alone is stranger than just about everything else that has happened up to this point.
"So what do we do?"
Haruhi slaps me. Hard. And just like that, she's back. "What do you think we're gonna do? We fight!"
Haruhi smirks. That smirk that spells trouble… Actually, not trouble; more like doom. Actually, on third thought, there are no words to adequately describe that smirk. But trust me, it's bad!
Anyway, she smirked and ran around behind a tree. I can't see what she's doing there, but there is an unmistakable scream accompanying her aggressive demands.
Miss Asahina… Oh poor Miss Asahina, I do feel sorry for her…
…But all feelings evaporate when she steps out from behind the tree. She looks like a goddess in her little maid costume, and- Hang on, wait a second! Maid costume? Since when in Ancient China dod people wear maid costumes? I know games aren't prone to historical accuracy but for god's sake! (Or is it Haruhi's sake? I'm not sure…)
I think my surprise is obvious, because the way Mikuru whimpers at the sight of me sends waves of guilt through me. I shouldn't even be feeling guilty; I had nothing to do with this psychotic episode! Still, I stare somberly at the poor girl that has been dragged into this mess.
"Mikuru here is our secret weapon!" Haruhi exclaims. She forces her sad little to raise her arms in exaggerated glee but that only makes her cry out like an animal in pain…a poor little kitten or puppy or some other animal that appears on old people's calendars. That aside though, just how is Miss Asahina supposed to be our 'secret weapon' anyways? Not only is she involuntarily involved with this nonsense, but I'm quite sure that this is the girl who would lose in a fight with a speck of dust. So how then is she supposed to win a war with us? Magic?
Oh wait, that might work! This is a game after all…
A distant roar like that of a hundred lions tears across the valley and reaches our ears. It's chilling, especially when the huge patch in the earth suddenly starts moving and yelling and…well, just that. (But it's still scary!)
"You're going down!" a voice that most definitely belongs to Tsuruya strike from nowhere and everywhere at once. I spin around frantically, my eyes darting for a sign of her. The hyperactive ball of green hair and bubblyness appears out of thin air. It was only her upper body and head however, and it seemed like she just opened a window in the air and was leaning out to have a little chat.
"Tsuruya?...You're here too?" I ask blandly.
"Ha! Lowly commoner! Don't you dare speak to me! I'm megas powerful and in charge of my super cool army! We're gonna get you!" For no apparent reason she bursts into laughing (though she did that before she got dragged into this) and then she disappears within the little window in the air.
"Hmm, that was odd-"
"Ha ha ha!"
She's back again… She laughs for far too long and then vanishes into thin air again like the assistant in a lame magician's show. By the time her distraction is over the army of palate-swapped clones is almost upon us. I can actually see their uniquely identical faces.
Mikuru hides behind the tree again. I stand there like an idiot. Haruhi just laughs and picks up her sword. Don't tell me she's seriously going to…
"Haruhi, wait! Maybe we should-"
"Bring it on! Charge!"
Yep…she ignored me again.
Without a moment's hesitation (or seriously thought) she rushes into the foray and starts hacking away sat the mob of blue guys in a storm of bloodless mayhem.
"MISS SUZUMIYA!" Aw damn it! I know this is kind of serious and everything, but I just have to point out how sweet Mikuru is when she's- No, I won't say that. Now isn't the time. I have to do something before…before what exactly? Surely Haruhi can't be defeated in a world she created? Or maybe she can, but I don't really want to find out.
"Kyon, stop right there!" OK. Technically I wasn't moving anyway, but alright, I'll play along. I turn around slowly and face Ryoko Asakura in full battle dress on a black horse and…wearing an eye patch?
"So what are you supposed to be, a pirate?"
A sword slices through the air above my head.
Suddenly, I don't feel like being a smartass and the sense of real danger kicks in. I duck under another swing of Ryoko's great bit sword and run over to my own blade resting against the tree. I might not even know how to use a sword but I guess I feel safer somehow with it in my hands.
It doesn't help much though, as Ryoko just swats the weapon out of my hands and knocks me to the ground. As she stands over me she looks as tall as a mountain. Her imposing figure blocks out the sun and my sink goes all prickly. I fear for my life right now-
But not now. Ryoko has suddenly fallen over. Was there a strong breeze? Actually, I never noticed Yuki before. When did she get here? And what's with the mask she wearing? I thought she wore glasses?
"I fight." Well said. Easy enough, I suppose. They can tough it out for now while I climb up the tree and hide.
Meanwhile, Haruhi still fights alone and somehow overpowers them (God-mode much?) Mikuru is cowering nearby, crying softly. I can't really see what she's doing but it looks like she's putting in eye drops.
But I have little time to be observing the actions of the sweet young time traveler; I have more pressing matters to attend to. And by that I mean hide; hide and don't come out until it's all over. And so I scramble up the tree and hide in the thick leaf cover. I should be safe here and I can still see the battlefield through the branches.
Now things don't look so good; we're getting our asses 'mega-kicked' (as Tsuruya points out from her little window). This is bad, but if they want help then they are looking to the wrong person. I'm not the most headstrong of people, and unlike some people testosterone does drip from my pours at every waking moment. (Strangely enough I'm talking about Miss Suzumiya here.)
So the battle is going downhill in two way, one of which because we're on a hill. Also, even the surprise appearance of Yuki Nagato has done nothing to turn the tide, and neither have Haruhi's one man army tactics. The short version is: we're screwed.
There's only one thing that can save us now…
"M-M-Mikuru Bean!" Miss Asahina cries out all of a sudden. She makes the "peace" symbol with her hand and places it up to her eye and a brightly colored bolt of energy shoots out, decimating the blue guys and somehow causing no damage at all to the ground. Which, by all rights, should have become a smoldering crater.
She does it again with her other eye, and then with both. In the end, the army of blue clones is reduced to a mere handful who run away screaming like drunks who just found out it's their turn to pay for the tab for once.
I blink in disbelief. I have to be on an acid trip right now, or maybe I've gone insane from fear? Or possibly…oh I give up! Guessing games aren't much fun when anything is possible.
Anywya, the battle is over. Tsuruya ran off with her buddies soon after Haruhi slashed at her chest. Tsuruya backed off and ran away, cradling her arm for some reason despite being cut somewhere else and crying out "Nyoro!" for no important reason. But that's no longer important; the battle is over and so is the game!
Doesn't that mean we can go home now-
Now then, let us conquer all of China!"
I hate my life…
And there you have it! I hop you all enjoyed Alex's submit to this collection, and will review favorably (for both our sakes). And remember to check out Sir Mcmullen's own stories as well.