Sailor Moon Universe Act XI
Past her enemies, Lola looked and discovered a familiar odango-haired girl with her many comrades around her.
"Sailor Moon!" Uranus and Neptune exclaimed.
"You! You're not supposed to be here! Do you always have to show up?" Lola complained.
"When it involves my friends, yes I do! I stand for love, and I stand for justice! You've harmed too many people with your Pure Heart quest and must be stopped!"
Sailor Moon was interrupted from finishing her heroic speech and turned to Uranus who spoke up. The Outer Scout looked bothered as though someone irritated her.
"We warned you about what would happen if you interfered. Tuxedo Boy won't be able to save you out of this one."
"Wait, what are you saying, Uranus? Wait, please! Us fighting each other won't solve anything!" Sailor Moon saw how both Uranus and Neptune got into fighting stances and narrowed their eyes on her. Seriously?
"Not a chance. Neptune, you deal with Moon Face's friends."
Neptune broke away from Uranus to confront Sailor Moon's allies by herself. They raised their fists as she lifted hers to start this five-on-one battle. "NEPTUNE... DEEP... SUBMERGE!"
An orb of bright aqua-green energy flew towards her targets and all but one of them managed to evade it.
Pikachu's anger flared up as he saw his owner be knocked down by this wave of water. His red cheeks sparkled with electricity and he charged his powers.
Neptune received the damage and Uranus heard her scream while she was dealing with Sailor Moon.
This whole fight came to a standstill as everyone watched an electrocuted Neptune slowly rise back to her feet. She'd always known that something about Pikachu was unusual; for being so small, his bolts sure packed a lot of punch. He wasn't to be underestimated.
Ash groaned while fighting to stand back up himself, but he was okay overall. His hair and clothes were completely soaked from Neptune's water, but he had no physical injuries. "Pikachu! I'm okay!"
Pikachu happily ran up to his owner and hopped into his arms to be held close.
"Thanks for protecting me, Pikachu."
Ash returned his eyes to Neptune's cold ones and experienced that same discomfort he felt when he was around Uranus. Neptune was elegant and sophisticated, but also capable of sharp anger. Her looks weren't to be thought of as a representation of her personality.
Ash remembered a time in his life where two of the same beings didn't get along like the Sailor Scouts here didn't. The beings' motives were different, but that same pride and mistrust lingered here in this time between the Inners and Outers.
Ash took off his hat and waved it around to help it dry, then he held on to it and looked back at Neptune. "You can't do this. Sailor Moon doesn't want to fight you and Uranus."
"She brought this on herself. We warned her to stay out of it."
"What do you mean? How could joining forces be so wrong? I don't understand."
"URANUS... WORLD... SHAKING!"
This light attack traveled along the ground and would've hit Sailor Moon if she hadn't moved fast enough.
"SHINE... AQUA... ILLUSION!"
Uranus noticed water and sidestepped out of its path to avoid getting turned into an ice sculpture, and that was when she saw Mars appear beside Sailor Moon like one of the four loyal guardians she was. The red Sailor Scout sent a serious glance her way that said, "We won't let you hurt Sailor Moon."
These little girls think this is a game.
While Uranus fought against these heroines, Jupiter stayed with Pikachu to protect Ash while Venus approached Eugeal and put her Pure Heart back inside her body.
Lola spotted this though was approached by Mercury before she could do anything to stop Venus. She became uneasy as she watched her cousin's life return to her face. The Death Buster hadn't planned on dealing with Eugeal again; for when she woke up, that was when the real battle would commence.
"You're Lola Aoi, a chemistry student from Mugen Academy. Who asked you to find these Pure Heart Crystals? Was it the Professor?" Mercury interrogated Lola.
"That's none of your business. You Sailor Scouts have humiliated me for the last time!"
Lola reached inside her lab coat pocket to reveal a tube of purple liquid and a golden nugget she'd found while entering these caverns. Just one drop of her chemical would be enough.
"You and Uranus shouldn't do this by yourselves. Pluto told me that the Sailor Scouts needed help. That's why I'm here," Ash insisted to Neptune.
"You were brought here to help Sailor Moon and her friends? That doesn't make any sense. Why would Pluto ask a kid to help save the world?"
Before Neptune got a response, she, Ash, everyone suddenly noticed a strange, golden, rock monster morph from that tiny nugget of Lola's. It stood about ten feet tall and was enormous like a Onix.
"Uhh..." Eugeal barely regained consciousness and almost jumped when she saw her cousin's creation. "Aaah! What is that?"
"It's so huge!" Jupiter said with amazement.
Everyone's fights basically came to a stop once this colossal Nugget stole the spotlight. It was unlike anything anyone guessed could happen thanks to chemicals, but substances made by the Death Busters weren't normal.
"Are you all blown away by this? My chemicals are a force to be reckoned with! Nugget Monster, weaken those two Sailor Scouts over there, and take their Pure Heart Crystals! This ends now!" Lola commanded her minion.
As it was ordered, the Nugget Monster turned to the Outer Scouts and started running towards them with its giant feet. Each step it took shook the ground.
Uranus and Neptune jumped out of the way when it tried to tackle them, and they landed next to Sailor Moon.
"Uranus! Why don't you and Neptune leave this place?"
"And why don't you mind your own business?"
Uranus failed to see what the Nugget Monster was planning and got punched square in the mouth, landed back a couple of feet and was on the ground.
Neptune rushed to her comrade's side and saw what their enemy had done. Blood trickled down the corner of Uranus's mouth and a few of her teeth had been knocked out of her gums. She spit the broken teeth out onto the ground and wiped her mouth with her gloved hand carelessly.
"Uranus... are you alright?" Neptune asked.
Uranus stood back up and returned to the battle like her mistake had been nothing.
That minor flaw made Sailor Moon feel like the whole accident had been her fault. She kept mentally blaming herself as her mind resurfaced what Koga had said.
You've contradicted yourself. They don't want your help, yet you insist they need it... I won't simply let you borrow my boat to chase down these friends when they don't want your assistance... You're compassion and heart for these people is admirable. A mere child like you dares to unite opposing sides, and you cannot do that alone... you cannot do that alone!
"URANUS... WORLD... SHAKING!"
The Nugget Monster's head was blasted off his rocky shoulders, but it regenerated like magic and he was brand-new looking, as though he'd never been hit to begin with.
Eugeal still didn't process all of what she was seeing, but she knew one thing that made sense. It stood some ways away from her with that same murderous weapon. "Lola!"
Lola quickly turned towards her cousin and grew fearful. She knew what was coming and hadn't prepared for it.
"I can't believe you tried to take my Pure Heart, Lola!"
"It was an accident!"
"An accident? You call pointing that gun at me and not our targets an accident? I should've made sure you didn't follow me here! You're a thorn in my side!"
"Oh yeah? W-well, you're an eyesore! I wish you wouldn't always go for the things that I want to do! I wish you would disappear!"
Eugeal gasped at this last statement. She never thought she'd see the day where one of her relatives insulted her like this. Well, she would have a response for that. Lola thought she shouldn't exist? Well, too bad!
"You're going to wish you never said that, Lola! You're the one who needs to stop copying me!"
Eugeal reached for her weapon, Fire Buster II, from her shoulder holster and pulled its trigger to shoot out beams of fire.
The speed of these flames caught Lola off guard and so she had no choice but to turn around and let them touch her back. "Aaaaahhh!"
"No way!" Ash thought out loud, "There's gotta be a way to stop this monster for good. Buizel, I choose you! Use Water Pulse!"
Ash watched his Sea Weasel Pokemon inflict pain on the Nugget Monster with a pulsing blast of water and slow it down. It wasn't destroyed, though lowered its guard and started looking around the room confusedly. The boulder giant made deep puzzled noises, having no idea where it was or who these people around it were.
"What's it doing?" asked Uranus.
"I think it became confused."
Neptune and Uranus remained still as this mammoth of solid mineral wandered through their surroundings aimlessly.
"How does a big guy like that forget what's going on?" said Sailor Moon.
"The attack, Water Pulse, has a 20% chance of confusing the opponent. Buizel was able to do that now," Ash summarized this technique then turned his eyes to Buizel once more, "So, Buizel, finish him off using Ice Aqua Jet!"
Buizel gathered all his energy to rise into the air as his body became surrounded by water. While he spun his tails around like a propeller, his fists glowed light blue and that same aura enveloped his entire body, shaping the Pokemon into an icy missile. This move had been attempted four other times and proved to be successful yet again.
Buizel rammed into the Nugget Monster and the collision between both combatants resulted in a huge explosion of pebbles, icicles, and ice dust.
Everyone covered their eyes as this ice dust enshrouded the area in a misty fog, similar to Mercury Bubbles Blast.
Lola tried pushing herself up using her shoulders, but Eugeal approached her through this fog and kicked the girl right across her face with her heel, making her faint and black out.
That will be enough from you.
Ash and the others watched this mist vanish, and laying before them was a pile of rocks and ice shards gleaming in Eugeal's lamp light like a pile of treasure. Ash was glad for his Pokemon's victory and showed him his appreciation by saying, "Good job, Buizel! You were awesome!"
Buizel replied with a smile and thumbs up, then suddenly perked his ears when he noticed yellow glue coming his way. He, Ash, their allies, and the Outer Scouts's feet was covered with this mysterious substance and they couldn't move.
Artemis tried picking up his feet, but the cat's efforts proved to be futile. This glue was very sticky!
"It looks like I'll be the one to see if you girls really are the holders of the Talismans," Eugeal spoke evilly.
The Death Buster put her Fire Buster II back in her holster and traded it with her Capture Gun. Uranus or Neptune, Eugeal didn't care who she shot first.
"Put the gun down! No one knows if Uranus or Neptune really has these Pure Hearts," Sailor Moon pleaded.
"Actually, Moon Brat, I do know it's them. My program leads me directly to their faces when I looked for them on my computer."
Eugeal fixed her aim and moved her finger to the trigger. After just a few seconds she would have two of the Talismans and be closer to completing her mission.
Everyone grew panicky as her weapon was pointed at Uranus. The Soldier of Sky and Distance could only stand there and take this problem like a hero. If this glue wasn't trapping her, her and Neptune would've been out of harms way ages ago and they would've annihilated Eugeal.
Pikachu sent a Thunderbolt in Eugeal's direction, but she dodged the strike and let the first shot from her Capture Gun fly.
Neptune watched her ally's Pure Heart be taken from out of her. Uranus lost consciousness and fell down to the sticky floor on her side. Tiny sparkles came together from her body and formed an object that everyone least expected to see. Not a crystal, but a sword embedded with jewels, the Space Sword... one of the three Talismans.
Sailor Moon couldn't believe this. All along, Uranus was the carrier of a Crystal Treasure. She was the one who the Heart Snatchers were looking for to reach their goal. Their target, and their sacrifice...
Ash was speechless. He hadn't heard much about these Talismans except that they were needed to bring about judgement or salvation to the world. And here, right in front of them, he and his friends discovered one of those tools. It saddened him to see Uranus down and out like this. If Eugeal took the Space Sword away from her, then wouldn't she die? There would have to be a sacrifice like she and Neptune kept saying.
Did this mean that Neptune was involved? Was she a holder of the second Crystal Treasure? Would she have to give up her life too?
"So, that's her Pure Heart Crystal. I'll get yours now, Sailor Neptune."
"No!" Ash became angry and raised his voice, "We won't let you get away with this! We don't want our friends to die!"
"We held the Pure Heart Crystals this whole time and didn't know it... we will be the ones who give up our lives," Neptune spoke to herself with a sad tone, "It's cruel."
"Just face it, kid! This time, I win. I've found one Talisman and I'm going to see if there's another. Here goes!"
Eugeal pulled the trigger again and watched her shot plunge through Neptune's chest like an arrow.
Like once before, Sailor Moon had to suffer and watch her fellow Sailor Scout be shot down. Neptune fell backwards and her hair was spread along the sticky ground like a green sea.
This was our mission. We were the ones who were asked to protect the world, even if it meant sacrificing lives. Our lives. At least me and you will both go out together... Amara.
"Neptune..." Ash managed to say in a whisper.
Her Pure Heart wasn't a blade, but instead it was a beautiful mirror with the Neptune symbol on the back. The Deep Aqua Mirror, the second Talisman.
Ash wished that none of this were true. He didn't want to see anyone give up their lives. The world was supposed to saved, meaning no one would have to be a sacrifice.
"Just as I thought! She was the holder of the second Talisman. Now I just need to find the third one, and the Purity Chalice will belong to the Death Busters!" Eugeal declared her early victory.
"I don't think so."
Ash was snapped out of his trance as heard a familiar woman speak.
Eugeal turned her head and spotted a Sailor Scout that seemed to stay hidden while this saga went on.
"Pluto!" Ash and all the Sailor Scouts cried.
"Eugeal, you will surrender those Crystal Treasures."
"No way! I've found two of them and soon I'll find the last one."
"A wicked witch like you will never have these Crystal Treasures. The last Crystal Treasure is out of your reach."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Watch and see."
Pluto raised one of her gloved hands and made her staff appear. The Garnet Orb separated from it, so she kept hold of the staff while the Deep Aqua Mirror and Space Sword left their owners to form a triangle of light beams with this orb.
Everyone gasped at this amazing phenomenon and watched the triangle shine until it flashed white. Everyone shielded their eyes from the light until it finally diminished.
Lola woke up with a throbbing headache as this flash hit her eyes. The villain was the first to see what'd been left behind in that triangle's place, and she couldn't put what she saw into words.
Ash's mouth hung open at this same sight. If the Pokemon Trainer didn't know any better, he would say that this thing he and his friends were seeing was a trophy. Not like the ones he received for winning Pokemon championship battles back home in his time. This object had a different purpose.
"The Purity Chalice! This is perfect! Thank you girls for delivering this to me. You've saved me an awful lot of trouble," Eugeal said delightfully as she prepared to reach for this special token.
"We'll never let you have that trophy!"
Eugeal heard Ash's defiant remark and turned to the Pokemon Trainer with a scowl. "Hmph! You're mistaken, kid! The Purity Chalice belongs to me! FIRE BUSTER!"
Eugeal retrieved her gun and shot flames at Ash and the Sailor Scouts so that they were surrounded by a raging ring of embers.
"Ah!" Jupiter backed away as this fire almost touched her.
She and the others weren't sure about what to do, but they could all feel this glue from their feet start to melt, so now they were free.
"SHINE.. AQUA... ILLUSION!"
"Buizel, use Water Gun!"
Together, Buizel and Mercury sprayed water and put out Eugeal's flames, thus allowing Sailor Moon to chase the Death Buster. The Sailor Scout's team mates would've followed her but she'd gotten off to such a fast head-start that they realized she had this situation under control. She was their leader. They needed to believe in her.
Eugeal was running at a good pace, but Sailor Moon would catch up sooner or later.
"I'm so glad that Uranus and Neptune don't have to sacrifice themselves, but I will not let Eugeal take the Purity Chalice, even if my life depends on it!"
"I won't let it end like this..." With her back burns aching and her head still hurting a little, Lola fought to stand up and started after Sailor Moon to join this high-speed chase for the Purity Chalice. "I've come too far to call it quits. This will be my victory!"
Eugeal glanced over her shoulder and saw that Moon Brat Goldilocks following her. The villain increased her speed and put her sights back on the special item ahead. She was too close to this Purity Chalice for anyone to stop her. The treasure was hers and these Sailor Scouts would be sorry for ever trying to foil her plans.
This surprised gasp of Sailor Moon's reached Eugeal's ears but she ignored it. There was no point in looking back when the Purity Chalice wasn't that much farther away from her. "Come to mama..."
Eugeal's thoughts were interrupted though by the sound of this new voice. She dared not to look back and see how furious her now conscious cousin was. She'd burned her back, knocked her out, and the girl was still up. It was ridiculous!
Lola panted as she fought against her headache and back burns. She was serious in her statements and persistent in her running past everyone to obtain that chalice. "I won't let you have that chalice, Eugeal!"
Eugeal ignored that personal remark; neither Lola or Sailor Moon was still close to her, and Sailor Moon was her bigger concern. What could Lola possibly do?
Sailor Moon didn't see Lola advance up to her and start accelerating even faster. The Sailor Scout's side started aching and soon she was the one behind in third place. "Oh no... they're almost there. I won't pass them in time. How do I slow those two down?"
A weary Sailor Moon watched her enemies near closer and closer to the Purity Chalice with no solution but to keep carrying her legs. This same hopelessness she felt strangely reminded her of that unforgettable day when Sailor Moon was born...
Sailor Moon, what are you doing? You must fight this evil monster or the whole world could cease to exist!
I don't want to play this game anymore! I want to go home!
Quickly, throw your tiara then say, Moon Tiara Magic!
What good is that going to do?
Just do it!
... just do it and hope for the best. Those were the words Luna hoped to imprint in her heart.
Sailor Moon remembered this piece of advice and reached for her tiara to throw it with all her strength. It flew after Lola and Eugeal so that it did a circle around the two and stopped them from running for a bit. They gasped as this golden disc almost cut them and they heard a pair of familiar footsteps.
"That Moon Brat!"
Eugeal and Lola fumed as Sailor Moon appeared in between them. She was a detriment to the success of the Death Busters and now stood a better chance of defeating them. They couldn't let her win.
In about ten seconds, someone would have the Purity Chalice in their possession. Good, evil, or ego-maniacal. Who would grab this treasure?
Lola clenched her teeth as she dealt with her injuries. The Purity Chalice was nothing but three feet in front of her. With all her might, this Death Buster shoved Sailor Moon hard with her left shoulder so that the girl bumped into Eugeal and they both fell to the ground. And that was when Lola's entire life changed...
The Purity Chalice's lid opened and released a shining golden light. Everyone covered their eyes as its brightness consumed the whole room.
Lola felt this energy trap her in a cocoon as if she were a caterpillar. And, after a few seconds, the goldness disappeared and standing in her place was a statue... of her.
The Purity Chalice fell from her hands and clanked against the ground when it fell. Since it'd been touched by someone, the three Talismans returned to their owners, so Uranus and Neptune were revived and woke up covered with melted glue. Ash, the Sailor Scouts, and Moon Cats were relieved to see these two conscious, however everyone's main concern became the person who'd obtained the Purity Chalice.
Ash immediately had a flashback of when he was in this same type of situation. He'd been turned into a rock from being blasted by two different high concentrations of energy. The opponents who unleashed them hoped to beat the other, but Ash wanted to break their fight up. Lola interfered with Eugeal and Sailor Moon, and got to have the Purity Chalice for a few seconds, but now she was suffering the consequences.
"What? Why did Lola turn to stone?" Uranus raised her speechless tone.
"The Purity Chalice brings the world peace, or destruction. Either only the Sovereign or Sovereign of Silence is allowed to use its powers and bring judgement. Anyone else who touches it will be cursed, because they're not worthy," Pluto explained these rules to Uranus and the rest of the group.
Ash stared longer at Lola and wondered if this curse placed on her was reversible. Seeing the villain in her current condition made the Pokemon Trainer feel sympathetic for her, because he knew what it was like to get in the middle of something when your emotions took over. Lola let her feelings run wild as there was some hate she felt towards Eugeal. Those two never quite exchanged apologies or put aside their differences, and so now one was cursed while the other was to live with regrets for the rest of her life.
"So Lola's been punished for trying to touch that chalice?" Sailor Moon asked Pluto.
"Yes. She'll stay as a statue like this forever."
"Isn't there anything we can do to reverse the curse?"
Pluto turned her eyes to Ash and sensed how willful the child was to see if there was any way to save Lola. "I'm afraid not. What's been done is permanent. If you suppose that this can end up like that story, Winds of Water, you're wrong. Those townspeople who died in that storm were innocent and had no intentions to do evil, so the tears of the Pokemon brought them back to life and all was well. This girl here has shown her true motives."
"But doesn't everyone deserve a second chance?" Sailor Moon interjected, "Sometimes we make mistakes, but that's life. Lola had something inside of her that was hurting terribly, like a deep wound. She never told it to anyone and now she'll never get to see that life does have its good times, not only bad."
"That's something that only she could've realized. It's true... life is full of ups and downs, and pleasures and pains, but the individual has to decide which one they want. Her time was sufficient, but she wasted it. There's nothing I can do to change that."
Eugeal kept staring at Lola with shocked wide eyes. Surely if she touched this object instead, then she would've been cursed. But that wasn't what happened. Lola took the fall and in the end got no victory whatsoever. What did all those attempts to out-do Eugeal mean now? Had it been worth it to be turned into a sculpture? This was a nightmare!
Without hesitating, Eugeal hurried up and left for the ladder to leave this floor where she would climb up it and hopefully leave this cave and twin islands for good. What'd happened in them was something she wanted to pretend didn't happen. She would try to live the rest of her life not thinking or ever mentioning it.
Sailor Moon saw the Death Buster leave and felt even sorrier for Lola at that moment. Cousins or rivals, Eugeal should've showed more sympathy instead of disappearing from the scene like she did...
"Who is the Sovereign?"
Ash broke this heavy silence that fell over the cave, and when he'd said it, Uranus had a response for him.
"We don't know. You and Sailor Moon need to leave this matter up to us. We've found the Talismans and now we're closer to stopping the Silence."
"We can help you three find this person."
"No. This task was left in the hands of the Outer Scouts. We are to protect this planet and find the Sovereign."
Immediately, the atmosphere became quiet as Uranus silenced Ash. She sounded harsh but was being honest. Her, Neptune, and Pluto were predestined to this destiny of theirs. The Inners opposed their views and were nothing but naysayers. What help would they be?
"Professor. Those Sailor Scouts, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, had the Talismans this whole time. The Purity Chalice appeared, but Lola touched it and turned to stone."
"Hmm... she wouldn't be of anymore use to us then. That's interesting that the chalice did that to her. We'll need to make sure we let the right person take control of its powers. So the Sovereign hasn't been discovered yet. Those Sailor Scouts don't have a clue about how to find them."
"Yes. Professor, forgive me if I sound rude, but I have a question. Why is it that we hire only females to work for this company?"
"Why do we hire only women? Because they're crafty."
TO BE CONTINUED IN...
Sailor Moon Aura