A Ranma ½ / El Hazard OAV crossover story
Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty and Viz Communications own Ranma 1/2. Hayashi Hiroki, Pioneer and Viz Communications own El Hazard.
"Hinako! Nahato! Attend me!"
A pair of children walked over to the man who had just called for them, bowing before him.
"Lord Gallus, for what purpose have you summoned us?" the blue-skinned boy asked with the utmost respect.
A blonde Hinako, in her young body and who had been sucking on a lollipop, nodded her head enthusiastically in agreement, also eager to find that out.
"It appears that my carefully laid plans had been foiled," Gallus told them through gritted teeth.
"I have heard about the Bugrom commander, my lord, but I was under the impression that Kiriya was to rectify that problem," Nahato said in confusion.
Hinako blinked and continued to look on.
Gallus' shoulders sagged and he sighed wearily. "Fools. It seems I'm surrounded by fools." Shaking his head, he muttered, "Good help is so difficult to find these days."
"But you found me just a few days ago!" Hinako gushed, beaming at him radiantly.
Gallus took one look at her and sighed again. "I know."
Nahato snickered quietly, and Hinako for her part shrugged and skipped off to explore the large underground cavern they were in.
"What do you require me to do, my liege?" Nahato inquired, serious again as soon as the two were left alone.
"Kiriya, that weak fool, that… female…." Gallus spat on the ground in disgust. "She has failed. Miserably. With repercussions that may affect our plans."
"Has she failed and gotten herself imprisoned before she could take her own life?"
"Worse. Kiriya has… fallen in love. With our greatest enemy. At first glance."
Nahato forgot about all formalities at that point and boggled at the older man.
Gallus nodded sadly, grasping the boy's shoulders. Looking him in the eyes sternly, he whispered harshly, "Our quest of vengeance is in peril, my dear child. The time draws near that I am discovered and the army mobilized against us. Recently, two exceptionally strong beings capable of standing up to the best the Bugrom can dish out and win have entered the game."
"My lord, how can that be?" Nahato asked in wonder.
"I know not. However, it won't be long before they are formally approached by the Alliance. And without the threat of the Bugrom, the accursed Roshtarians could turn their entire army against us."
Nahato grimaced. "There must be a way to resolve everything and buy us more time," he commented thoughtfully.
"And there is." Gallus chuckled deeply. "It is simplicity at its best. We fight fire…."
The boy's eyes widened, and he cut in urgently, exclaiming, "With fire!" and smacking a fist into the palm of his other hand.
Gallus smiled. "No matter how powerful this Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon may be, no one rivals the power of the legendary Demon Goddess, Ifurita!"
"Ifurita? What's that?" Hinako asked innocently, having come over while the two were engrossed in their conversation.
"It's a who. Well, technically, you can call it a what. But it is alive. Well, it's a she, not an it. You see…." Nahato stopped in the middle of his ramblings and looked at Hinako.
He received a blank look in return.
"You don't see…." the blue-skinned boy said with a deep sigh.
"No matter!" Gallus interrupted. "Go to the Forbidden Island and awaken Ifurita right away, Nahato. Go, my minion!"
The man then spontaneously burst into laughter, leaving the two kids staring at him in confusion.
"Um, where is the Forbidden Island, exactly?" Nahato asked the room dumbly.
Gallus continued to laugh madly, and Hinako blinked when the boy's eyes swept over her face.
"Thank you kindly, sirs!" a burly villager gushed, serving Genma another helping of supper. "We don't know what we would've done if you two hadn't shown up!"
"I bet we'd lose our yearly food supply to the Bugrom," a ten-year-old boy groused quietly from his place in the far off corner. "Not that there would've been much of a difference."
"Hush, child!" His mother looked at him sternly. "At least we still have a roof over our heads. Giving her husband a glare, she added, more for his benefit than the boy's, "And your stupid, good for nothing father might have gotten maimed or even killed while trying to repel the attack! Who would have provided for us then?"
Genma, for his part, was oblivious to all of that. There was plenty of food. It was his to feast on. He was in heaven.
A teenager with a goatee approached the eating martial artist, careful not to stand between him and the food. "Excuse me. Are you the one who had defeated the Bugrom army that was attacking this village?"
"Who are you?" Genma asked rudely around a piece of chicken. "Do you bring food?"
"I bear no gifts for you, noble stranger," the teenager replied with a smile dancing on his lips.
Genma snorted and returned his attention to the food. "Go away. Bring food."
"Excuse me," the teenager tried again, brushing a hand through his goatee. "I offer something even better than simple nourishment."
In a rare moment of clarity, Genma raised his face to stare at the teenager dumbly. "Who are you?"
"You may call me Erik," the teenager replied with an annoying smirk. "Erik Raijin."
"How do I get rid of you, Mr. Raging—"
"Let's not go there!" the teenager interrupted him quickly. Regaining his composure, he pushed his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose.
"Okay, I'll simply call you Erection," Genma replied absent-mindedly. "Now go away."
"My first name happens to be Erik, and I have no idea how you knew that my traditional grandmother, bless her inheritance, gave me Zion as a middle name. And they most certainly do not come together into… into… that word… and into that phrase… no matter what everyone and their pet goat thinks!" he corrected the heavyset martial artist agitatedly with a strong twitch in his left eyebrow. "What is it with people perverting ancient Henta-Lionne names?" the teenager mumbled to himself. "In any case, I have come to offer you free promotional service!"
"Can you eat it?" Genma asked between bites, filling his mouth with pieces of salmon.
"Mr. Crouching Tiger, by promotional service I mean free commercials. Our subscribers might be interested in hiring you and your friend for new jobs, and that would in turn result in more food."
"Should've said so in the first place," Genma commented lazily, washing down the food with a bottle of wine. "What's this 'subscriber' business, anyway?" he asked curiously.
"You can't eat it," Erik said wryly, his eyebrow twitching again when Genma nodded in all seriousness at his words. "Since I happen to work as a freelance reporter I plan to get your story and post it in the Daily Gannan, a local newspaper I have a contract with."
"I'll have to work?" Genma asked pitifully, stopping in mid-bite and looking at the teenager with infinite sadness in his eyes.
Erik sighed. "No, Mr. Crouching Tiger, you won't have to work. People would be interested in legendary fighting powers that rival the Demon Goddess Ifurita's, but…."
He must've blinked, because the next thing he knew, Erik was held by his throat and lifted into the air by Genma's right hand. "Where have you heard this name?" he hissed dangerously, looking around wildly.
Erik coughed, making choking noises. "Legend of the… Demon Goddess… Ifurita… that sleeps forever… on the Forbidden Island."
Genma released the teenager, turning towards his friend swiftly. "Come, S— Hidden Dragon! We must fight evil and right wrongs once again!"
The crowd cheered as they took off into the sky, turning into small dots on the horizons mere moment later. The reason for their festivities became evident to Erik once he noticed that the two strangers left without finishing their meal, leaving enough food for the entire village to exist for a month in relative luxury.
"So, let me get this straight. This Lord Phallus—"
"Gallus!" Kiriya yelled in exasperation. 'How difficult is it to remember one simple name? Or is he doing this on purpose?'
"Yeah, right, whatever." Ranma waved his hand in a dismissive manner. Looking at the female assassin, he asked for clarification, "So this guy sent you here to kill me?"
Kiriya blushed under the boy's scrutinizing gaze, nodding shyly.
"It makes sense, I guess." Ranma sighed. "So, what did I ever do to him?"
Kiriya blinked at the question. "What did you do to him?"
The pigtailed boy threw his hands up in exasperation. "Yes! What did I do to cause him to go after me? What is this all about? Bread? A jealous fiancé?" Shivering, Ranma asked in an unsteady voice, "A dowry?"
Kiriya shook her head slowly to the negative, immediately noticing Ranma's immense relief. Continuing to puzzle over it, she explained, "Prince Gallus had kidnapped the real Princess Fatora for certain… experiments. Your arrival threw off his plans and you became an obstacle. Hence, I have to kill you and everything will be all right again."
"Oh," Ranma said slowly. "Ya know, that's the dumbest reason I've ever heard!" he exclaimed a moment later. The boy mumbled afterwards, "I mean, a bread feud I could understand…."
"We have to save my darling Fatora!" Alielle gushed suddenly, her face nestled in the valley between Kiriya's breasts.
'When did the perv get there?' the disguised assassin thought, looking down dumbly. And then, realization hit her. 'Oh, no! I've been molested by a gnomish lesbian! Now I'll never get married…. But wait! Ranma was felt up as well, so he is in the same boat. Which means…! Yes! We'll comfort each other,' Kiriya deduced, reaching the obvious conclusion for her train of thought, 'once I buy the sweet, sweet home we'll live in with our cute pet after getting paid for killing him, of course.'
"Don't worry, we'll save her," Ranma assured the petite girl, regretting his words almost immediately when she zoomed and latched onto him instead. 'Such speed…' he thought in awe, futilely trying to pry her off of him. 'Such tenacity and strength….'
Ranma blinked, an idea forming in his head. 'Could this be the legendary Fist of the Amorous Oversexed Nympho?'
Seeing Ranma's glazed-over eyes, Kiriya sighed. 'He's probably thinking of new martial arts techniques.' Sighing once again, even more deeply, she thought, 'Why can't he ever get that look when he thinks of me?' Catching herself, she added mentally, 'So I can seize the opportunity while he's off-guard and kill him easily, of course!'
"Your breasts feel so nice when you inhale deeply," Alielle murmured, breaking Kiriya's train of thought.
"Get it off!" she yelled, jumping to her feet and trying to shake the over-zealous girl off her bosom. After running in circles around Ranma for several minutes and launching a long stream of obscenities that made him blush the disguised Phantom Tribe girl finally settled down in defeat with Alielle still just as firmly attached to her.
"I swear," Kiriya said listlessly, "you're almost as scary as the legendary ultimate warrior."
Ranma perked up immediately at her words. Looking at her with puppy-dog eyes, he asked, "Can you tell me more about him? Please?" His eyes twinkling with excitement, he thought, 'This guy must know lots of secret scrolls with El Hazardian martial arts techniques! Finally, a worthy challenge on this world!'
Kiriya seemed to be a little put off by the maniacal laugh that escaped Ranma's mouth briefly, but her resolve crumbled when the puppy dog look returned full force. "In El Hazard, there is a prophecy of a legendary Demon God, the strongest of them all. It is a weapon, sealed a long time ago during the Holy Wars."
Ranma's smile diminished somewhat when he heard that the ultimate warrior was a weapon. "Aw, and I wanted a good fight with this guy…."
"Ah, but the weapon is rumored to be alive," Kiriya replied with a smile, immediately gaining Ranma's attention again. Bowing her head, she stared at Alielle's joyous expression, trying very hard not to shudder. "I'm afraid I don't know much more on this. I am, after all, an assassin, not a loremaster. What I have told you now is merely information that is known to every child in El Hazard."
Ranma frowned, rubbing his chin in thought. "This weapon thingy just might be worth my time. Maybe I'll even pick a few techniques from it."
"But what about Fatora?" Alielle asked curiously. "And talking to the priestesses about unsealing the ultimate weapon?"
Ranma shrugged. "A little detour wouldn't hurt. We don't know where Fatora is being held, so it doesn't matter which direction we travel in. And as for the priestesses… Well, maybe Ryoga will meet them? He does end up in the strangest places…."
"Where are you, enemy of all women?!" Ryoga roared, charging blindly in a random direction. "Come out and fight, you coward!"
Ura was trudging after him half-heartedly, having gotten off the backpack earlier. 'Ura hope Stupid Boy get lost. Leave Ura alone.'
Hearing a surprised shriek, the Lost Boy stopped in his tracks, looking at its source. Immediately, his face froze in an expression of shock. Ura followed his companion's gaze as well, and wisely stepped back, well out of the danger zone.
Several more shrieks followed the first, coming from all around the still boy.
Blood gushed from his nose and he fell onto his back in a dead faint, barely missing getting hit by a huge missile created from water.
Ura shook his head, uttering one word sadly. "Idiot." Hearing footsteps rapidly approach him, he turned his head to the left to see who was coming.
"Are you with this… this… pervert?" a handsome lavender-haired woman in her early twenties asked the talking cat, finishing wrapping herself in a towel.
Ura was a smart cat. He shook his head to the negative.
"Can we kill it?" several girls clad only in towels asked in unison, brandishing blunt bathing utensils.
"You know you cannot commit murder in this holy spring," the lavender-haired woman who seemed to be in charge admonished them. "Maim him; preferably where it hurts the most."
And so, the slaughter began. Ura was forced to look away and suppress the urge to wince at the level of violence committed by the girls.
Eventually he sat on the ground, facing away from the Lost Boy's comatose body as the beating went on, crossing his legs as he did so. Ura was a male cat, after all.
Walking away from the slaughter that was nearing its end — the under-dressed women stalking away from the prone boy in a huff — the same woman squatted down next to the cat, taking Ura into her arms. The sentient feline idly noticed that she had managed to get dressed in the meanwhile.
"You lied to me, didn't you?" she asked gently, with small traces of admonishment in her voice. "You are with that perverted boy."
"Ura no like Stupid Boy. Boy Stupid, so Ura no like."
"I see," came the reply. The woman smiled. "My name is Miz, and water's my biz! But you can call me Miz Mishtal."
"Ura like Natural Lavender Lady better than Stupid Boy. Too, too nice woman take Ura to real owner, yes?"
Miz blushed to the roots of her hair, and it took her a few long moments to get her mouth working again. When it started complying wither again, she asked, "Who is your owner, Ura?"
"Fatora—" The cat smiled suddenly. "Ura make mistake. Ura no belong Sadist Bitch. Ura Ranma!"
Miz blinked, trying to process the information.
"You take Ura to Ranma, yes? Ranma smell cat, Ura like. If Ranma female cat, Ura have lot children together."
Miz looked at Ura for several long moments, before erupting into a fit of laughter. "You're just precious, baby! Did you know that?" She hugged the feline to her chest.
"I'll tell you what. If you know how to find this Ranma, I'll help you out!" Miz smiled again, wondering, 'Ranma… why does his very name make me shiver?'
"Ranma go find priestess. Unlock ultimate weapon. Too, too eager princess ask, Ranma go."
Miz's smile only grew in size and volume, if such a thing were possible. 'He is looking for me! It must be fate… and when I return his cat to him, he'd take me in his manly arms and….'
Seeing his companion begin to slip into a dazed state, Ura tried to talk even faster, skipping more words as he did so. 'If not say right away, she not think right for hours. Ranma too, too nice person for own good.'
"Ranma gone. Stupid Boy take Ura away. Say go find Enemy of All That Lives. Say find Ranma then. Ura has nothing better do, so Ura follow. Ura always follow orders. Sad fate. Even more sad death when come. At least there is symmetry."
Miz shook out of her daydream, looking at the feline in horror. 'The Enemy of All That Lives!'
"Can it be?" Miz murmured softly to herself.
"Can what be?" two voices asked from behind her.
Turning around with Ura in her hands, she saw two younger women standing there, one with a smirk on her face.
"Afura! Shayla! We must hurry!" Miz yelled, grabbing each of them by an arm.
Ura fell down to the ground and landed on his feet gracefully.
Panicking, Miz started running out of the water resort, shouting over her shoulder, "We must save my destined from Ifurita!"
The other two girls paled at this and dropped the parcels in their hands, jogging after her and calling out Miz's name.
Ura, for his part, was left behind, totally forgotten. He sighed. 'Such is life.' Walking over to Ryoga, he kicked him as hard as he could in the face.
The Lost Boy didn't even flinch.
Deciding it was time for more drastic measures to wake his companion up before the angry females decided to return and dish out more punishment, Ura steeled himself and sank his teeth deeply into Ryoga's groin….
"Ah, my beloved Ranma-sama… if only I were with you…." The raven-haired girl sighed, standing atop the Bugrom fortress, heedless of the dangers to her should she trip and fall. "We could do this… and that…." A rosy blush gathered on her cheeks. "Oh my, Ranma-sama… you're so bold! Lower… lower… Ranma-SAMA-A-A!!!"
A snort brought her attention to another's presence. "Come, sister dear. There is no time to waste on your foolish crushes."
She didn't dare turn around, lest the wetness in the front of her pants be seen. 'And those are the fourth pair today,' she thought sadly. Luckily, a full wardrobe had been provided to her by her… beneficiaries. And so, she continued staring into the distant horizon. "A foolish crush would better describe your pursuit of that pigtailed harridan," Kodachi opted to reply in a futile attempt to buy her the time she needed to cool off. It would also have the added bonus of annoying her brother to no end, and take the battle of wits into his unguarded and ransacked territory. "The love between myself and my prince is different… true…." Her voice broke over the last word, and she was barely able to stop her hand from providing her with relief.
"I care not for that scum. He had already been given my permission to date with you." The boy brought his hand on his sister's right shoulder. "The Tendo bitch requests our presence in the royal chambers."
"Not too fond of the woman that supplied you with pornographic pictures of your 'beloved', are you?" Kodachi barbed, chuckling. "The person who got you this prestigious position in the army? The person who gave you… minions?"
"I am no fool, sister dear," Tatewaki replied sharply, turning her around until she faced him. "Nabiki Tendo does nothing for free. Or if there is no amusement involved; amusement at the expense of others. I fear that in this case it is both." He sniffed the air suddenly, his forehead creasing in thought. "Do I smell fish?"
"No!" the raven-haired woman exclaimed, a mask of shock settling on her face. "No… I mean, yes!" Finally getting an idea, she smoothed an imaginary wrinkle in her shirt, her face settling into an indifferent expression, and continued in a detached tone of voice, "You were quite right about Nabiki Tendo, brother dearest." Her eyes twinkling in amusement, Kodachi added, "If nothing else, her newly-gained powers suggest that. It suits that vermin that she would be able to speak to lowly bugs."
Tatewaki nodded quietly, seeing no trace of ridicule in his sister's eyes. "We must be cautious." The teenage boy glanced at his right arm, which was covered in a golden armband, his sister following his gaze with a knowing smile. "While this may give me access to the power of the gods themselves, the Tendo girl controls its source."
"Not to mention holding the key to even more power, of course," Kodachi commented lazily, bringing her ponytail forward over her right shoulder and examining it idly. Acting as casually as possible in her brother's presence, she took her cape and wrapped it around her body, taking great care to cover what she didn't want anyone else to see.
"Indeed." Tatewaki looked visibly uncomfortable to admit that, and Kodachi almost laughed out loud at his comical expression.
"She needs us, brother dear. She needs you…" the raven-haired girl said with a smile, "…for only you have the power to use the divine armor." Her smile widened, when she saw her brother take the bait hook, line and sinker and forget all about his other, more… personal… line of inquiry.
"And what of your power?" Tatewaki asked, curiosity seeping into his voice. "I do not believe even Queen Diva knows of it."
Kodachi's face twisted into a wicked smirk. "You might say that my power is what will keep the Tendo girl in line… for now. She had already had the… pleasure… of experiencing it." And she couldn't wait till all those other harpies after her Ranma-sama got a taste of it, starting with that horrible Tendo girl! The other one; the youngest. She would pay… oh yes….
Tatewaki nodded in satisfaction, unaware of the grave danger awaiting his beloved fierce tigress. "That will suffice. Now, let us be on our way to the war council. We still have much territory to conquer."
Kodachi nodded silently, and the two entered the Bugrom fortress. They walked through the long corridors of the citadel, various Bugrom soldiers bowing before them as the Kuno siblings walked proudly with their heads held high, not even acknowledging their presence.
"Where have you been, Tatewaki?" Nabiki demanded harshly as they rounded a corner and came face to face with her.
She was so agitated that didn't even use the pet name she had for him, Kodachi noted with an inner smile. "Brother dear was with me, Nabiki Tendo," the ponytailed girl said calmly.
Nabiki looked like she wanted to add something, but a glance at Kodachi's deceptively serene face cured that desire. "Why didn't you tell me about this 'Fatora' character when you first got the information?" she demanded of the kendoist, cutting right to the chase.
"The likes of you are not my superiors," he replied with an arrogant smirk.
"What my slow yet well-meaning brother wanted to say," Kodachi added with a disturbing smile on her lips that didn't quite reach her eyes, "was that he is deeply sorry for not realizing the importance of the information."
Tatewaki glared at his sister, but said nothing and nodded, turning his head away from Nabiki.
"I was informed that you received a letter and several pictures," Nabiki said, ignoring the entire incident and reaching out with her hand. "I want them."
"Five thousand yen," Tatewaki deadpanned, without even gracing the middle Tendo daughter with a look.
Kodachi chuckled, earning her a furious gaze from Nabiki. "My brother is merely joking, of course. You shall receive the information you desire in an hour, after I had time to compile it together for your convenience, Nabiki dearest."
Nabiki brushed a hand through her short hair, showing her irritation. "Whatever. Just make sure I get it as soon as possible, Kodachi. We have a more urgent problem on our hands at this point."
The self-proclaimed Black Rose raised an eyebrow. "And what might this… problem… be, Nabiki Tendo?" She let out a short laugh, covering her mouth with the back of her right hand demurely. "Could it be that there is something even the Celestial Warlord of the mighty Bugrom Empire cannot handle on her own?"
"Stuff it, Kodachi," Nabiki shot back curtly, gaining the other girl's undivided attention by the urgency underlining her voice. "This involves a power beyond even your wildest dreams. Her name is Ifurita and she is about to awaken from her slumber…."
"So?" Kodachi yawned. "Big deal."
"She's incredibly beautiful and Ranma's on his way to meet her."
A duo of voices, male and female, cried out in rage and indignation simultaneously. This was followed by an explosion of immense proportions, which shook the Bugrom citadel, causing Queen Diva to most ungracefully slip from her throne and land on her royal behind.
Karla smiled. All the chess pawns had been assembled, and history would repeat itself yet again.
To be continued.
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