Note: Just a reminder, I do not own any of the Gash Bell characters. Thank Makoto for that. I also do not own the race crossover character who will probably be what you think he is. Note that this will be a crossover fic, but with what universe, you'll officially find out in chapter 2, once I do it, that is (but there's plenty of clues right now) Also, this may be a bit disconcerting, but I generally use Japanese names for characters and spells (so it's Gash, not Zatch, and Tio instead of Tia...especially confusing when you have the "Latino" school of thought that a is feminine, o is masculine), HOWEVER, I use the term "Mamodo", because "Demon" is so generic.
For Whom the Bell Rings
Chapter 1 Nice Day for a Crashed Wedding
Ten years have passed, since the last Mamodo War on Earth, and with it, a new King of the Mamodos was crowned. Gash Bell, King Bell II, King of the Mamodos, had a large celebration to celebrate the tenth anniversary, and also, at the same time, there would be a wedding. His one-time rival, one-time friend, and now girlfriend, Tio, was to marry him.
The day before, Gash stood at a balcony of his palace, surveying the lands that seemed to unroll and stretch forever. Contrary to his people being referred to as "demons", the land itself was nothing whatsoever like the "Hell" that some on Earth believed that he and his kind came from.
Still, there were things that were troubling him. He announced an end to the once a millennium contest, where a hundred chosen Mamodo children were sent to Earth to compete for kinghood. It was such a burden to be chosen, and some of the children chosen were not even aware of what was entailed. Friendships would be shattered on Earth, as the rules dictated "There Can Be Only One." The Mogeri Commission was set up to find out just what happened. One hundred young Mamodos were chosen by the Royal Academy, the most prestigious school in the whole Mamodo kingdom, to go to Earth. While there, they were Book-Bound; meaning each had a Spell Book, their powers could only be used through a human partner who read from this book, and if the book were destroyed or incinerated, the Mamodo in question would immediately be returned to the Mamodo Kingdom. Damage from another Mamodo's attacks would cause the spellbook to catch fire, and this fire would continue to burn even underwater.
According to some of the findings of the Mogeri Commision, some of those chosen would normally have been deemed not emotionally or mentally ready, but were mysteriously granted waivers. Some parents had even been lied to, told that their children were just taken to a preliminary round, when in reality they had already been chosen. At least one of the chosen ones was believed to not be an actual Mamodo, but artificially created. There were also Mamodo from the contest before that, but due to having been petrified, they were both "out of the match", but not returned to the Mamodo Kingdom. A few of those who returned found their entire families gone.
More disturbing, though, were the fact that quite a few of those put to work for the Commision had mysteriously vanished. One of those who went missing had a note left on his bed.
"Please do not stop the Tradition. It is needed for Mamodo greatness. It is Tradition. It must be Eternal."
Three were in charge of the Selection, deciding who would get to battle on Earth. There was Miasma Sakura, Headmistress of the Academy, leading expert on various magical forces (and rumored to have mastered fifty different types and styles) and over five thousand years old, very old, even by Mamodo standards. There was also Dr. Tinkertrain, respected biologist, physicist, and geneticist. And the third member of the group, who was kept secret from everybody outside the group. He was only known as "The Keystone." When Gash first became King, he summoned the Keystone for an audience, but was told that the Keystone had left, for "reasons of importance beyond comprehension of the common Mamodos." But last week, he was informed that the Keystone had returned, and demanded an end to the Mogeri Commision, and that the Battle of A Hundred Mamodos be reinstated.
This whole Battle was the first thing to go when he assumed power. He also overhauled vast sets of laws, and implemented a system of principalities, and an elected Parliament, although he still had final power. He also saw to it that most of his former opponents on Earth were given fitting jobs. The musically-gifted Yopopo, for example, became the impresario of the Royal Orchestra.
"GASH!" came a familiar female voice.
The King turned, to see a pleasant sight. An old friend of his. The pink haired humanoid Mamodo named Koruru. Her pink hair and light pink dress fluttered in the wind. "KORURU!"
Protocol be damned, Gash rushed and hugged Koruru, and kissed either cheek.
"Gash, I have bad news," she started.
"What is it?"
"I met the Keystone."
"The Keystone? THE KEYSTONE?"
"Yes, him. He says that you have to abdicate. Or else many will die."
"Who is he? NOBODY threatens my land, or my people. NOBODY!" Gash stood defiantly, the wind blowing through his blue robes. While older and bigger, he wore a variant of the blue gown that he'd always worn when he was younger, but this one was shinier. Ornate loafers on his feet, and a crown with the Five-Circle emblem of the Mamodo people, were the other things he wore. He held his arms to the side. "The Keystone is in SERIOUS TROUBLE!"
"I wish I could help, butonce !" Koruru clutched her head in a headache. "The Keystone !" She convulsed on the floor, and Gash ran to her side. "STAY AWAY FROM ME!" She shook. "I.I WILL COMPLY. I OBEY!" she added, in a monotone voice, before calmly rising to her feet. Bright pink light surrounded her, and then she was gone.
Gash could not sleep well that night. He was not in his usual bed, as according to tradition, his wife-to-be would use that bed, symbolizing her preparation for her new life. In the spare bed that Gash tried to sleep in, bumps were felt everywhere, and he could not calm down.
Upon finally falling asleep, he saw disturbing visions.
"WHAT'S THE MATTER, IS YOUR CROWN TOO HEAVY? LET ME TAKE IT!" Gash was standing in front of his brother, Zeon. "You can't do anything right. You never could. You only got lucky." Gash faced his brother, and closed his eyes and opened his mouth. He still had a problem, that some Mamodos have, of momentarily "blanking out", or more accurately, having an absence or petit mal seizure, when using his powers, although with his eyes closed, it was nearly negated for some reason. His basic Zakeru lightning attack leaped forward, but Zeon just disappeared. He then saw the first Mamodo he ever defeated on Earth, Reikomu, along with his human partner, Hosokawa.
"Remember, Gash, you are a tool. That is all that Mamodos are. TOOLS! It doesn't matter if it's a human, or another Mamodo, or the Keystone, YOU ARE STILL A TOOL! GIKORU!"
Reikomu breathed sharp ice that struck Gash in his chest.
Gash awoke with a start. He was sweating, and his heart was racing. What was going on, he wondered. And just who was this Keystone? Was he, she, or it responsible for the disappearances? The world, like Earth, had regular night and day patterns. And it was still night. The five moons ominously hung in the sky, forming a downward pointing wedge. When they were near each other, the luckiest pattern was for them to be in the Five Circle formation, the symbol of his people.
He remembered when he was younger, during his time on Earth. He often woke up Kiyomaro Takamine, his partner during the Battle. Still, he wished that Kiyomaro were in the room with him, telling him how stupid he was for worrying about his dreams. Kiyomaro would be at the wedding the next day. But more than the dreams, the Keystone worried him. And the last piece of news he heard, just before he went to bed, in the house of one of the missing Mamodos on his commission, was a note, with only two Japanese Kanji written, spelling out the words Warui Okami "Bad Wolf."
Even this "guest" bed that he was in was bigger than the ones he slept in on Earth, but some things had not changed.
Crowds had gathered around the Noon Star Palace, where the wedding was to take place. Even friends and acquaintances from Earth were there, including Kiyomaru and Megumi. The two were now a couple. Kiyomaru was a successful electrical engineer for a major company, and Megumi was effectively THE female face of J-Pop music. The two split up to find their former Mamodo companions. They had been chosen as Best Man and Maid of Honor, respectively. The halls were crowded, and a group of flustered palace guards tried in vain to control the crowds, and only succeeded in controlling their faces into being stepped all over.
"Dr. Tinkertrain, why did you un-cure me?" sobbed Koruru, in a corner of the palace.
"I have no choice, you know it, I know it, if the Keystone hears too much about this, it won't be good."
"But I don't want to"
"You have to. We have no choice," replied a frustrated Dr. Tinkertrain. He was sharply dressed in a dazzling white suit, and had three dazzling white horns on his head to match. He nervously adjusted his bowtie. A noise crackled, and he adjusted a nearly concealed earpiece. "Yes?" he began. "Yes, she will interrupt the wedding. Yes, we will read the ultimatum. Correct." Koruru thought she heard a robotic, gravelly sounding voice warning him not to fail. "We obey," was his reply. He turned towards Koruru. "The Keystone is watching!"
A large hall with blue and red carpeting was chosen as the room where the event would take place. Row after row of improvised seating was placed quite neatly, and on an elevated platform on one side, an orchestra, conducted by Yopopo, was tuning, waiting for the signal to begin. Two of the walls had enormous shields with the Five Circles emblem. Another wall had the Star emblem, one of the characters written on the front of every single Spellbook.
Loudspeakers were installed high on the walls, to better ensure that all would hear the orchestra, as well as the actual ceremony itself. A bright white flag with red tassels was waved across. That was the signal, and the orchestra began playing a piece of soft music.
A tension filled the air. Excitement built up. A door opened, and a trumpet started playing. First in walked Kiyomaro, wearing a very unusual outfit, for him, that was. He wore a dark robe, though not as ornate as Gash's, with a white cravat, and a golden embroidered Five Circle symbol on the front. He carried a staff, and half wondered what was going on, despite what he was told before. As was the tradition of Best Men in royal weddings the Mamodo Kingdom, he was the symbolic guard of the King. Behind him came Gash, who was wearing a paler, fancier version of his gown, and had his head uncovered, revealing two small conical horns, that had grown along with the rest of his body, since his days on Earth. The light of many torches showed a few drops of sweat on his face. The two men took their place on a raised platform at the front of the room. A gong was struck.
The orchestra began playing something, vaguely classical, but not of any composer from Earth. Bells rung out, every so often. On the third set of bells, the crowd erupted, as Tio and Megumi came in. Tio was now closer to Megumi's height, and smiling radiantly. She too, also had a pair of "Mamodo Horns", that the more humanoid variants of Mamodo tended to have. Hers were a light pink color that went well with her red hair. Shades of red and pink were the general color scheme for her outfit and accessories, as well. Her dress was multiple layers, the outer ones being darker shades of red, the inner ones, pink. Light pink pearls formed several necklaces around her, and adorned the hemline of her outer-most layer. Rubies dangled from the inner-most layer of the dress. Pleasant aromas of sweet perfumes wafted from her.
Megumi followed behind her, wearing a bright green dress with a serrated hem, and holding a large fan with which she waved at Tio. Soon, they to were on the platform. The cheering intensified. From down the aisle came someone else. He had a humanoid face, but the mane of a lion, and rabbit-like ears. He wore a cylindrical hat, and a loose robe. He held up his two hands, and spun around. The cheering slowly died down.
"Greetings. I am Omahkore. We are gathered here to com !cough! ...to com. !hiccup! ... to celebrate the joining of these two, and to welcome the new Queen of the Mamodo, Tio Bell!" The crowd erupted, before he silenced them again. "To the Best Man, dra !cough! dra !belch! place the Eternal Necklace around them." Omahkore whispered into Kiyomaro's ear, "it's in the pocket in the gown." He reached in, and pulled out a rubber chicken. His face turned red, and Megumi laughed. He reached in again, and took out a couple of used train tickets. He reached in yet again and took out a copy of Mad Magazine. Omahkore face-palmed his face. Finally, he pulled out a platinum chain necklace, and draped it over the two, who were hugging. "Maid of Honor, it is your duty to tie their hands together." Megumi nodded, and took some colored thread, which she wrapped around the hands of Gash and Tio. A very soulful peace of orchestral music played, and a sense of awe filled the entire room.
"Gash, I will be your wife, faithful to you, to be supported, and to support, in all times, good and bad," began Tio. "I will love you, for eternity."
"Tio, you are the woman I will be the husband of, I will support and be supported, in all times, good and bad, I wish for no other. I will love you, for eternity."
"Under the Seal of the Five Moons, I ask, anyone have any reason for which they should not be" began Omahkore.
"STOP!" came a familiar loud voice. In the middle of the room, stood Koruru. The orchestra also stopped, with the silence very pronounced. "Gash Bell, You have to abdicate. For the good of all the Mamodos, YOU MUST ABDICATE!" She yelled. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Tears flooded from her eyes.
Dr. Tinkertrain stood next to her. "STOP THE STOP!" he yelled. "I told her to tell you to abdicate."
".UNFORGIVABLE!" bellowed Gash.
"I had no choice. I made Koruru become that vicious monster. But only because I had no choice." He dropped to his knees.
"You were only following orders?" mocked Kiyomaro.
"Who's orders?" asked Tio.
"The Keystone. Butno more!" shuddered Dr. Tinkertrain. He ripped the ear-piece out, and tossed it to the ground, before stomping on it. "Koruru, you don't have to do this."
"GASH BELL WILL AB-DI-CATE!" barked a raspy robotic voice over the P.A. system. "YOU WILL O-BEY. O-BEY! O-BEY!"
"WHY?" demanded Gash.
"YOU WISH TO END THE CON-TEST. THAT IS UN-AC-CEP-TA-BLE!"
"Everybody, leave the hall"
"YOU WILL NOT LEAVE. ALL DOORS HAVE BEEN SEALED. SE-CU-RI-TY OVER-RIDE IS IN E-FECT!"
"Please," begged Ohmakore. "Do you have to shout all the time?"
"I DO NOT TAKE OR-DERS FROM INFERIOR LIFE-FORMS!"
"Koruru will not serve YOU anymore," stated Dr. Tinkertrain. "Only I have the ability to"
"THAT IS IN-CO-RRECT! EX-PER-IMENT NUMBER NINE! ENGRAM SEQUENCE LEVEL 2 RESET! 2-3-1-1-5-1! PAK! CHOUI! UNF! PAK! CHOUI! UNF!"
Koruru began to shake. "What are you doing?"
"AMONG THE GUESTS THERE ARE HU-MANS. GASH WILL AB-DI-CATE OR ELSE KORURU WILL EX-TER-MI-NATE ALL HU-MANS!" Gash looked up at one of the speakers, and focused. Lightning leapt out of his mouth, at the speaker. An instant flash of strange blue hexagonal light appeared around the speaker. "RESISTANCE IS FU-TILE!"
In an instant, the assorted Mamodos were using their powers to attack the speakers, only to be frustrated by similar forcefields.
Gash stared at one of the speakers. "THIS MADNESS ENDS NOW!"
"YOUR DE-FI-ANCE WILL BE PUNISHED! E-SCA-LATE!"
"NO!" screamed Koruru, as she shook.
"NUM-BER NINE WILL E-SCA-LATE!"
"I OBEY!" screamed Koruru, with a vacant look in her eyes. She grew, and her hair turned darker purple and spikier. Her muscles bulked up, her dress ripped, revealing a pale coral colored leotard underneath, and sharp steel claws appeared on her hands.
"This ends NOW!" snapped Dr. Tinkertrain, as he produced a strange gun-shaped device. "I can easily stop this NOW! As for who the Keystone is, the Keystone is"
"YOU WILL NOT REVEAL MY IDEN-TI-TY. EX-TER-MI-NATE HIM! RO-TO-ZE-RU-SEN!"
Koruru put her hands together, and faced the fingers away from each other. Then her hands started spinning rapidly, with light glinting off the claws, and a loud whirring noise. The hands separated from her, and sliced through Dr. Tinkertrain quite quickly, spraying nearby bystanders with blood, before returning to her.
"NO!" Yelled Gash. "How dare you do this to her. KEYSTONE! I CANNOT FORGIVE YOU FOR THIS!"
"FOR-GIVE-NESS IS IRELEVANT! YOU WILL BE EX-TER-MI-NAT-ED!"
"JIKERUDO!" shouted Gash, pointing at Koruru. She lifted off the ground, and was slammed against one of the wall shields. "DID YOU DO THIS TO KORURU?" he demanded.
"AFFIRMATIVE. YOU ARE ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT A-CU-RATE!"
"AND ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STONE GOLEM INCIDENT? AND THE FAUDO?"
"NEGATIVE! YOU ARE IN-CO-RRECT. BUT CLEAR NOTE WAS MODIFIED. HE WAS SU-PPOSED TO WIN. HE WAS SU-PPOSED TO EX-TER-MI-NATE ALL INFERIOR LIFE-FORMS, OTHER THAN HIMSELF!"
"You're not a Mamodo?" inquired Gash, slightly calmer, but more focused.
"THAT IS CORRECT. MA-MODO ARE THE SECOND MOST SU-PE-RIOR LIFEFORM EXTANT. I AM SU-PERIOR!"
"Well, Today, YOUR MADNESS ENDS! COME HERE AND FACE ME, KEYSTONE! WHATEVER YOU ARE!"
"REQUEST GRANTED! YOU HAVE SEALED YOUR FATE!" Curtains began to rise. "YOU SHOULD HAVE AB-DI-CATED!"
To be continued
So, just who is this Keystone, anyways, and why does he want Gash to step down so badly? You'll find out soon enough