A/N: Do you think this needs its own trope page? I think it needs its own trope page, if only to motivate me to write more of this.
Thirty Xanatos Pile-Up
by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chapter 8: Arc Fatigue
Disclaimer: I own none of these series. All of them belong to their respective owners. Some have probably been mutated beyond recognition. Please don't sue me.
Hibiki Ryouga had not stayed in the dorms, of course. How could he, when there was VENGEANCE to be had? He'd changed back into a man and gone walking about the campus, seeking his hated rival. Hard to take vengeance on someone who wasn't right in front of you. Well, for him anyway.
Which as why late afternoon found him a her, dripping wet, wearing black lingerie, a vampire-style cape, thigh high stockings and vivid cyan hair. She hung her head in despair, before standing straight again and taking it in stride. It was still better than the whipped cream bikini or having band-aids on her groin.
"Saotome Ranma!" she cried to the heavens. "This is all your fault!"
She was promptly arrested for public indecency. It wasn't the school festival, after all.
The first two entrances into the Acererak wing nearly killed them.
"Why would anyone want to booby-trap a fake door?-!-?-!-?-!" Ranma panted, having seen his very boring life flash before his eyes. Twice. "Seriously, who does that in a library?-!"
"The Mahora Library Security Club," Haruna said cheerfully. "Our sworn enemies."
"What kind of cockamamie library clubs do you have?-!" Ayaka demanded.
"Oh, right, like the Equestrian Club is going to teach you a useful life skill," Haruna said, rolling her eyes.
Teeth gritted together, Ayaka raised her fist, debating bringing out her swords, but Chizuru's reassuring hand on her shoulder steadied her.
The leek in the bustier girl's hand, however, made her smile.
"Haruna," Chizuru said. "Find us a way in. Now."
Akira, for her part, was wondering who would go through all the trouble to make a skull-shaped giant bookcase wall...
They'd tried to escape. They'd been unable to. Lacking anything else to do, Negi, to distract himself from the fact he was having a bottle episode with several very attractive girls, proposed they have a study session. After all the groaning and the reminders of why they were originally there, everyone had begun looking through the books to see if there was suitable review material. Finding copies of their textbooks had been suspiciously easy.
"You'd think the library would have other kinds of books here," Akane commented as she picked up a copy of Neo Horizon hanging from a tree branch, suspiciously at eye level. "Things like, you know, old Hardy Boys, crappy poetry anthologies, Victorian romance novels..."
"What I want to know is how the heck are any of these books in readable condition?" Vita said, looking around at the bookshelves and staring at several bookshelves and books that were actually underwater. "I mean, shouldn't the water and stuff be destroying them?"
"It's the EVIL, I tell you!" Asuna said, who'd vehemently rejected going within ten feet of any of the open pools of H2O. "Evil!"
"If that were true, the books would be destroyed by the water, Asuna-dono," Kaede pointed out.
Asuna hissed. "Don't be fooled! If the water really were on our side, all the books would be destroyed and we wouldn't have materials for a study session!"
The Baka Rangers paused.
"Asuna-chan actually makes a convincing argument..." Makie mused.
"Don't encourage her," Akane said flatly.
Somewhere, Saber, Setsuna and Signum were running away screaming from a giant boulder rolling towards them.
"Who would put a trap on a toilet seat?-!-?-!-?-!" Setsuna demanded as she ran.
Saber sighed and lamented losing her underwear. At least she got to finish...
They eventually found the elevator behind the waterfall by the simple expedient of the giant stone armor golem trying to crawl towards it to escape their beating. It had been dark when they'd finally managed to get out, and each had gone home, hoping to get some sleep before the test tomorrow. It wasn't until two hours later, when they reconvened early to use the book to improve their brain power, that they realized it had vanished.
Yue slapped her very wide forehead. "Oh, how could I forget. We forgot to fill out a library card, so the Library wouldn't let us take it out."
Her companions aimed glares of seething hatred her, even Negi.
She chuckled nervously. "Uh... oops?"
"I'll kill you!" Asuna roared, lunging at her.
By the time they'd all calmed down, it was time for school.
Konoka looked around the classroom, frowning slightly. "Strange. Where are Iinchou, Chachamaru, Chao, Zazie, Akira and Setsuna-san? You'd think they'd know to be in class for a test..."
"Iincho, we need to go!" Chao said, trying to pull Ayaka towards the door.
"NOOOO!" Ayaka cried. "No, there's still hope! We still have 10 minutes before the test starts! We can still get them out! NEGI-SENSEI!"
Zazie, face bland, grabbed Ayaka by the hair and began to determinedly drag her back out the door.
13 feet later, the door to the Acererak wing closed behind them, sounding as if it were laughing at them as the traps they had labored so hard to dodge or deactivate reset behind them. Nodoka had long since gone home, so they'd been operating without a mission control. It had technically been against the rules, but no one had dared walk the twenty feet it had needed to drag them out of the wing. It was highly dangerous, after all.
As Ayaka sobbed and Chizuru soothingly patted her shoulder to calm her down, a stone panel next to Akira slid open, and Setsuna's head popped out. Her bloodshot eyes locked onto Akira's hair. "Ojou-sama!" she cried, surging forward. "We're here to rescue you!"
"It's me Sakurazaki-san," Akira said tiredly.
Setsuna peered closer at her. "Oh," she said flatly. "Ookuchi-san, you should really dye your hair or cut it or something. You look too much like Konoka-san. It's confusing."
Behind Setsuna, there was an argument as Saber and Signum argued who was going to go out next.
"Really Iinchou," Asuna chided smugly, waggling a finger. "Being late for an important exam like that. And in such a sorry condition too. Aren't you supposed to be setting a good example? I heard you were playing dungeon explorer or something all weekend while we bakarangers were diligently studying for our exams. Shame on you Ayaka. What would Negi-sensei urk!"
It took a while to get Ayaka to stop strangling the redhead, mainly because Asuna kept pulling at her hair...
Katsuragi Keima looked at the redheaded loli in the strange uniform sitting in front of him and said, firmly, "No."
Itsuka Kotori tilted her head, her expression amused as always. "'No', what?"
"No, I will not join your secret world-protecting organization," Keima said.
Kotori blinked, the loli-pop in her mouth nearly falling off in her shock before she recovered. "How do you know about that?-!"
Keima snorted derisively. "Oh, please. You are obviously an aggressive, likely tsundere little-sister type loli, domineering variant. Judging from the clothes of those around me, your custom uniform shows you're high ranked, and since you're sitting on the chair that doesn't have anything in front of it in the middle of the room, you're the captain, and therefore the leader. A leader means an organization to lead. Any organization that recruits aggressive, tsundere little-sister type domineering lolis must be a world-saving organization. And everyone knows that the lead agents of such organization are inexperienced males between middle school and high school with no girlfriends with only one or fewer parents at home and dark hair. That's how it is... in games."
The blonde man standing next to her and the woman with bags under her eyes stared at him as Kotori grinned. "You're perfect! Welcome to Ratotaskr!"
"I said no!" Keima declared.
"Name how many lead agents in such organizations get a choice," Kotori said smugly.
Keima paused. "Oh, crap."
Itsuka Shido felt at the newly appeared collar at his neck. "Come again?" he said, slightly panicked.
"I said it will cut your head off," Elsie said. The little devil smiled pleasantly "But don't worry! I'm sure that won't happen! Come on Shido-san, let's go hunt down runaway spirits with love!"
"..." Shido said eloquently. "Kotori is going to kill me. Why me...?"
After the exams, Negi-sensei was not seen for several days. In unrelated news, the people who lived in his neighborhood reported some couple was being very loud at all hours of the day...
- To be continued...
A/N: and we're wrapping this up so we can work on some new insanity. Honestly, the Library Island phase wasn't as fun or inspiring as I'd thought it would be.
Please review, C&C welcome.
Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.