Author's Notes: This is an Alte-Verse fic which takes place during the Ryuma series and does not follow exactly along the show's plot. Being Alte-Verse I twisted it and this is the first of a set I plan to do about Mushrambo for the Alte-Verse. Enjoy.
Warning: This is Alte-Verse. It's heavy twisted stuff. It's not going to be what you want it to be and you'll more than likely hate me by the end of it. Oh there are religious inferences in it so don't get on my case if you don't happen to agree with organized religion. I did my best to try and stick to the vague recollection I had of stuff that I once learnt and a friend helped me out as well. I'm not an advocate of religion but I needed to use it for this fic.
Disclaimer: All character's in this belong to someone else. I don't know who. Toei Animation more than likely. The songs used in here also don't belong to me. The first is 'Iris' by the Goo Goo Dolls who I love, the second and third are 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings' and 'Zero' which belong to the Smashing Pumpkins and finally the last is 'Hunter' which belongs to the greatly talented Dido. So seeing as that I am a poor University student and can't afford it if you sue me then perhaps if you give me a good spanking then all will be well! ^_^
"I can taste your fear, Yakumo. I know you regret not taking my sword, don't you, little Rabbit?"
"He will come for me, Ryuma."
"There's no doubt about that my darling. He's on his way here now. I called him to watch the woman he loves marry the man who controls him."
"You heard me Rabbit. Your hero Mushrambo loves you. Has it never crossed your mind how he or the others feel?"
"I thought as much. Only one thing has ever crossed your mind has it not Yakumo? That singular train of thought blinding you from your surroundings and the people around you. Shinzo. Never mind, this will be your sanctuary from now on. Come now Rabbit, we cannot disappoint our people now can we?"
The blonde male took the teary-eyed female by the hand. His piercing green eyes challenged her hope that her saviours would come. He'd already tempted her once with his the offer of his sword. He wanted her to fall from grace and she knew it. A single blow and her downfall would be complete. No longer would she be a emissary of peace, she'd be one of them. Tears formed and trickled down her frozen skin.
"Don't cry Yakumo," Ryuma said, the softness of his boyish features hardened by his voice. "Such a day was not meant for tears. You should be rejoicing, I offer you life when all others offer you death."
Yakumo bowed her head, the veil and her brown hair hiding the helpless rage that crossed her face. With a heavy heart she resigned her fate, only a small flicker of hope remained. Perhaps Mushrambo would be able to break free of the cursed Black Card, maybe Hacuba would come and neutralize the cards effects and her three companions could separate.
"Blind hope," murmured a voice.
Yakumo lifted her eyes and turned to the voice. Unga, the scientist who had created this trouble. He was holding a crown with a serpent sculpted into the design. As they moved slowly through the frosty corridors, Yakumo had a vague memory of Ryuma hurting the wizened old Enterran behind her.
"It's all right, Yakumo." His voice mocked. "I like to inflict pain, not kill."
She choked down on a sob. Her thoughts were no longer her own. She was Ryuma's rabbit.
Elements raged on the long and arduous trek to the frozen wasteland of Ryuma's Kingdom. The cruel wind lashed his long purple hair over his body, the falling snow caressing the rising welts with the icy sting of their kisses. He was not one to complain though. He knew his task, he heard the cry that called his soul. Deeper within he heard a nonsensical murmur. Pausing for an instant the snowstorm settled as he tried to coherently collect his thoughts. Shaking the snow from his head he plunged forward into the now raging battle of ice against wind. The beckoning call was louder, it vibrated more and more strength as he stepped closer. Quelling the rebellion inside him made the unspoken demand clearer.
"Come Mushrambo, and bow at my feet."
"Do you miss the music, Yakumo?"
Confused eyes met jade orbs.
"A simple question deserves an answer my dear."
Her brow furrowed. "I don't understand what you meant..." The soft tones of her voice trailing off before she could ensnare herself further in his game of verbal chess.
"Very well," he sighed. "Human music. Do you miss it?"
Yakumo halted, clutching the wall for strength as a cache of memories hit her mind.
"Well?" Ryuma hissed impatiently.
"Yes." She replied, biting her tongue in an effort to keep how she really felt inside.
"It pains you, Yakumo. I know how you feel. You don't have to hide your emotions from me..."
She raked her nails against the hard ice, tears brimming. "Yes." She hissed, her voice on the edge of hysteria. "I miss all aspects of Human culture. I am a stranger in this world and that which seems familiar is nothing more than a childish fancy!"
Ryuma laughed. "I'm breaking you, Rabbit, am I not? Your personality changes with everything I say. Isn't it tempting to kill me for what I've done? Come Yakumo, take my sword and one of your many problems will be solved. A swing of the blade and I'll be gone..."
Yakumo's knee's felt weak. "No." She whispered. "Killing you will not solve anything."
He leaned in close to her, his breath tickling her ear. "I have a surprise for you."
Out of the corner of her eye she saw her snap his fingers and flinched in response. Eerily sentimental music filtered out of the walls.
"And I'd give up forever to touch you; Cause I know that you feel me somehow..."
"Do you understand what I've done for you, Yakumo? I've given up everything I've ever believed in for you. Do you feel it? The winds of change are strong, Rabbit. Listen and thou shalt hear the cry."
The music changed. A violent beat thumped through her brain.
"Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage; Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved..."
"I picked these songs just for you Yakumo. Do you understand the meaning of it all?"
She shook her head.
"Listen to the words Rabbit. Hear what the people are saying and put it to your situation."
The music switched again.
"I'm the face in your dreams of glass; So save your prayers; For when you're really gonna need 'em..."
Everything paused and time stood still in Yakumo's mind.
"It's a message, my love, what do the words say to you?" Ryuma's voice cut through like a knife.
"Anger..." She choked miserably. "I'm a prisoner to my anger and because of this all will fall..."
"Well done Rabbit, you passed. Now the second."
"Yes." He replied anticipatory.
"Everything I believe in doesn't exist. You're the only truth... I should stop wasting my breath on false hopes until there is something more concrete..."
"Have I broken you yet?" He asked, pulling her close to him. "Have I torn down your defences? Will you swear fealty to me lest your soul be devoured?"
Terror struck Yakumo's heart when she heard the hiss of snakes in the distance.
"Like the biblical snake of your time tempted God's creation Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and when she saw her appearance she was shocked. All she'd lived was a lie and she realized her mistake that she was naked and shame fell upon her being. Do you see it now? I've given you knowledge and you've realized your shame."
Ryuma dragged her down the corridor. The doors that met them swung outwards. He took her by the elbow and proceeded to walk into the giant hall sedately.
"See the people you paraded your nakedness of Shinzo to," he murmured. "Has the knowledge you've been provided made you ashamed? Recant your evil ways Yakumo and I will save you from damnation..."
They reached the steps where the priest was waiting patiently at the top. A sea of eye's watched Yakumo's jerky movements. She'd shed the last of her tears a long time ago and replaced them with a slender arrow of fear which grew larger and larger. With bated breath she stood beside Ryuma. The crevasse of the unknown swallowed her whole.
"See the people. Do they look like they care? You represent everything that they despise. For once we are united in seeing your destruction. I'm not giving them a martyr, Rabbit. I'm giving them a symbol. Your quest for peace gave us the gumption to band as one and rise against the last of our oppressors. You'll not die by my hand, Yakumo, you'll rule by my side as the spoils of war. Your presence will remind all that I was the one who caught you... You delivered yourself and your Champion into my hands and I have claimed you both..."
"Are you ready my, Lord?" The priest asked.
"Give me my bride's crown..."
He paid no attention to the thronging masses that milled about aimlessly in the castle's ice-filled courtyard. The blackness that had shrouded his once pure soul overwhelmed the three Enterrans that were his creators.
"Can you hear us boy?"
Their voices dulled by the dark song. Emptiness filled the air and one last unison of voices cried out.
Determination to continue without further interruption made him change his stance. No longer was he willing to not attack, his purpose needed to be served. His power surged. A blinding light erupted from his body. Screams of terror then nothing. The storm subsided, the rage in his mind died. Checking for the object that would lead him to his heart's desire, he spied a pair of frozen wooden doors. Behind which was his salvation. Light burst forth again. Ignoring angry screams he proceeded.
"I see our special guest has arrived."
"Mushra?" Yakumo asked hopefully.
Ryuma's laugh echoed around the hall.
"Kneel before me Mushrambo." Ordered Ryuma as he regained his composure.
A lengthy pause gripped Yakumo's heart. He wasn't going to bow to Ryuma. His will was not bent... She caught his eye, the gaze lingered.
"Mushra." She pleaded. "Sago... Kutal..."
They spun in the blackish-purple void. Mushra held tightly onto his EnCarded friends, their faces locked in an agonizing look of despair. They heard her calls and pleas for help, each mentally crying out and wishing they could aid her plight.
Kutal wished that his strength could break the clutches of the Black Card.
Sago fervently wished he could outclass and outsmart the card stifling his power.
Mushra just wanted to be there for her.
He knelt before Ryuma. His purple hair covering his stark white face as he bowed his head in total submission.
Ryuma crouched before him. "Look Rabbit," he spat, amused. "See your warrior? See my pet!"
She broke down again, all was lost. Her hope, her way to Shinzo... It was all gone.
Ryuma turned, he grabbed her wrist and turned to the priest.
"Begin the ceremony."
Yakumo tuned out. There had to be a way to reach him. Mushra could feel her heart and the other two she shared her soul with. She called out to them mentally, flinching as Ryuma crushed her wrist. She dimly heard a voice asking her a question.
"Yes." She replied distractedly as she tried to contact them again, her inner strength dwindling. She knew not how to access her gift...
"And the union is complete."
"Bring me my bride's crown."
"Please... Don't... I..."
Ryuma stroked the tears away from her left eye. "It's for the best, Yakumo," he whispered softly, tenderness touching his once acid voice. "I will not have you run from me Rabbit and destroy all that we have created here. I promise, you won't feel a thing."
Unga handed him the crown.
"Come to me Yakumo."
Her stomach clenched, bile teasing her throat. "Don't do this, you have a choice."
"My only option is this."
The crowd before them watched the reluctant Queen, their Ice King and his Champion with interest. Their hands slapped up against their ears as Yakumo screamed wildly. They watched her delicate movements as she tore Ryuma's sword from it's scabbard and blindly swung.
Her mind was awash with dark emotions. The tranquility which harboured all her thoughts vanished. She felt a surge of energy ripple through her body. Her power was awakening! After all this time she could fight back, crush her enemies. No longer would she be helpless.
The Black Card's influence dwindled. Clarity hit Mushrambo. He lifted his head and watched his master touch his face. The line of blood that trickled down Ryuma's face, it excited him. His eye's followed the outline of the sword aimed at his King. Slowly they focused on a figure. He stood.
"Ya..." He sounded. "Ku... Mo...?"
She dropped the sword and it shattered on the hardened ice floor.
"Mushra, Sago, Kutal? Can you hear me?"
The Mushrambo before her advanced. The smile on her face was hopeful. Her saviour was here.
"And like Lucifer my angel has fallen from grace. You drew blood Rabbit, you've lost your way. The path to Shinzo is gone."
"No!" She hissed, her face contorting. "I did nothing to fall from grace! I used my gift!"
He laughed. His mocking thundered in her ears as she flew at him trying to land any form of pain on his body.
"You used your rage Yakumo. No longer does the peaceful dove exist."
"No!" He voice faltered. "It was my gift... It had to be..."
"Justify it all you want Yakumo. Face it, you lost I've won. Let what is, be... Mushrambo hold her."
A painful clasp gripped her arms. She babbled about her power and how it had given her strength. Hot breath stung her skin. She felt ill. Something brushed her face, she felt a heavy weight placed upon her head, then nothing.
"People of my Kingdom," announced Ryuma grandly. "I bring you the last of the Human's and her traitor Enterran. I offer them to you, my followers for your effort in the wars that gained our supremacy. We reign supreme! Your new Queen, a figurehead of destruction and evil and she is controlled by me. My Champion, with his power we will rise to glory and take control of Enterra..."
Applause rang out as Ryuma set his bride on the throne next to his. Cheers resounded as snake's twisted and slithered over the Human.
"I've won my darling Rabbit," he murmured through a smile. "And there's not a damn thing your compliant body can do about it."
Lifeless eyes met each other and lingered. A vague recognition behind each set as they remembered something a long gone being had once played for them. It offered hope but nothing more.
"If you were a King up there on your throne; Would you be wise enough to let me go?; For this Queen you think you own; Wants to be a hunter again; Wants to see the world again, so let me go..."
They knew they'd fallen. A soft, empty smile touched her lips as their punishment was dealt.
"... For this crown you've placed upon my head feels too heavy now; And I don't know what I'll say to you but I'll smile anyhow; And all the time I'm thinking, thinking; I want to be a hunter again; Want to see the world alone again; Take a chance on life again, so let me go."
They unlocked their gaze. He bowed his head before her and she continued to smile benignly with a blank stare of dead baby blues.
It faded to black and they were happy.