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.
"Come back here, dammit!" Ryoga's shout rang across the schoolyard, halting the pigtailed boy in his tracks.
Ranma sighed, and hung his head. "Aww, do we have to do this now? I'm tired from all that fighting today in school, and I was just heading home…."
Planting his feet firmly in the schoolyard's gravel, Ryoga shifted his shoulders, allowing his heavy backpack to drop down with a dull thud. The often-lost boy took off one of his bandannas, leaving countless others on his forehead, and used it to wipe all the sweat and grime which accumulated during his long journey off his face. "Don't be a coward, Ranma! You promised me this duel a week ago!" he yelled at his would-be opponent, discarding the now-dirty bandanna onto the ground by his feet.
"Yes…." Ranma clenched his fists in exasperation. "Because I planned to have it a week ago! I wasn't tired then…" he continued, pointing at Ryoga accusingly, "…so why couldn't you come earlier?!"
"Damn you, Ranma… if only you've known the true depth of my suffering…." Ryoga raised his head to glare at Ranma, as tears flew freely down his cheeks. "I've seen True Evil, Ranma… and her name is Chibi-Usa! So… pink, and so… fluffy…. I tried to escape for an entire week!"
"So, widdle P-Chan bit off more than he could chew?" Ranma jibed, but there wasn't much force in his retort. 'Chibi-Usa, eh?' he mused to himself. 'Interesting….'
"Enough of these foolish games, Ranma. I have come for our duel of honor. You cannot refuse me!" Ryoga cried out through his flood of tears. He drew his umbrella and pointed it like a broadsword at the other boy.
"Aw, jeez," Ranma groaned in disgust. The boy's demeanor changed instantly, leaving a high-caliber martial artist in the place of an irked schoolboy. "All right, if it means that much to you, we can have the duel now. Hibiki… defend yourself!"
Both boys leaped into the air at that point, launching themselves at each other. Ryoga tried slashing with his umbrella in a wide arc at his opponent, Ranma already compensating for the attack as it was still being launched and adjusting his own trajectory. Just seconds before the boys met in mid-air, Ryoga suddenly froze in the middle of sounding his battle-cry.
His eyes widening, Ranma was so shocked to see his rival suspended above ground level in that manner that he lost control over his attack. Ranma winced in sympathy for the fanged boy when his knee impacted against Ryoga's crotch.
Bouncing off Ryoga's chest, Ranma fell to the ground, managing to land in a crouch. He looked up, expecting to see a mad Ryoga shouting about cheating and unfair attacks… only to do a double-take when his friend continued to hang suspended in mid-air.
'How did he do that?!' Ranma thought in awe, walking around Ryoga's still body cautiously. 'It's gotta be some kind of new technique! The… Chibi-Usa-ken or something!'
After waiting for a couple of minutes for Ryoga to attack him, Ranma got bored and jumped upwards, sending a light punch into the lost boy's face. When the latter didn't show any signs of acknowledging the attack, Ranma repeated it a bit faster. Four hundred and seven punches caught Ryoga squarely in the nose, but achieved absolutely nothing.
Ranma landed back on the ground and turned away from Ryoga. 'Either this is an ultimate technique that blocks all of the damage done to the body… or something is seriously wrong.'
The pigtailed boy sighed, finding himself truly at a loss. The temptation to beat up on Ryoga as stress relief for stopping him from going straight home after detention, and getting involved in something weird as a result, warred with the martial artist's code of conduct, which dictated that one shouldn't attack those weaker than him.
Ranma eventually decided that Ryoga was a weakling and hence was to be spared a beating. With a chuckle, he also resolved to explain to the other boy in great detail why he been shown mercy, while idly doodling pink elephant cubs on Ryoga's face.
One problem had been resolved successfully, and to his satisfaction, but Ryoga still remained frozen in mid-air. Just when he was about to go and go and call Cologne for some advice, he heard a voice calling out to him.
A voice he didn't need his ears to hear.
'Am I going crazy?' Ranma wondered for the eighth time that evening, as he walked through the desolated halls of Furinkan High.
Everyone had left for their homes hours ago, leaving only him and Miss Hinako at detention together. Eventually, the childish teacher got bored and sent Ranma home before his time was up, retreating into her office to fetch her things. Not on to look a gift horse in the mouth, Ranma bolted outside before the teacher changed her mind… only to come face to face with Ryoga, who just had to show up for their duel. Their long overdue duel; Ryoga was such a loser.
Still, Ranma couldn't blame him for wanting to fight. With his directional sense and Jusenkyo curse, Ryoga didn't have the luxury of postponing these things. And a duel of honor to settle their differences once and for all — or, at the very least, for the next month or so — was certainly something Ranma craved as well. Now if only someone would hit Porky with a clue-by-four so he would be more rational and stop being such a nut bent on revenge for offenses real and imaginary alike….
'Well, no point in worrying about the duel now,' Ranma thought glumly, glancing through an opened door. He saw Miss Hinako standing motionless inside the small office, her eyes looking vacantly at him. Upon closer examination, Ranma noticed a drop of milkshake suspended halfway between the clumsy girl's mouth and the floor.
'Damn, this thing — whatever it is — got her too!'
Yet again, Ranma wondered if he was going crazy, but dismissed the thought. Something was definitely going on. After all, there was a voice in his head telling him to go to the basement! As he kept on listening to the aforementioned voice, which seemed to be getting stronger with every step that Ranma took further into the school's main building, the pigtailed boy hoped that no one else had been caught up by the phenomenon.
He obliviously continued descending into the school's basement, noticing neither the two silhouettes to his right nor the money and pictures that were frozen in the process of exchanging hands.
Ranma's journey brought him to a small locked door. It seemed rusty and about to fall off, and as far as he could tell, no one had used it in decades. He knew that he had to break the door down and continue. While he had no way of explaining where that knowledge came from, Ranma knew that to be the absolute truth.
A simple ki-enhanced punch took care of that problem. Ranma entered a hexagonal chamber, and froze in place.
It was empty!
The voice in his head had obviously lied to him!
It took all of Ranma's willpower not to laugh out loud. The voices in his head were feeding him lies! Oh, joy. The school's counselor would surely have a field day if Ranma told him that. A small comfort came from the knowledge that no one could actually admit him to a mental hospital against his will, sans Cologne, Happosai or his old man, and neither of them would ever try that. The comfort was small indeed.
Despite his best efforts, a small chuckle escaped Ranma's lips. It was harmless, really. After all, he was entitled to have a small nervous breakdown, and it wasn't like anyone could see him….
Ranma's theory was quickly proven wrong, as the chamber was suddenly illuminated with strange lights. Several beams of focused energy shot at him at great speeds, and it took all of Ranma's skill and agility to try and avoid them. And he did just that; except for the final beam that managed to tag him on his right wrist.
Instead of the searing pain that Ranma had been expecting, the white light that engulfed his wrist was harmless… and almost soothing, in a way. The pigtailed boy felt himself being drawn towards its source, and took a few unsteady steps in its direction before shaking his head ruefully.
He wasn't about to give into mind control that easily!
Ranma prepared to fire his ki blast at the beam's source and make a break for the exit, hoping that it would be a sufficient distraction for whatever machine operated it. However, at that moment, a vertical sarcophagus, with a drawing of an open eye staring outwards listlessly, descended from a previously hidden compartment near the chamber's ceiling.
Mesmerized by the sight, Ranma felt himself being drawn towards it. And this time, nothing he'd tried to do in order to fight that compulsion worked. It just seemed… right… for some reason.
The sarcophagus opened with a slight hiss, the air previously contained inside it escaping its prison. It was a tall woman of ethereal beauty, her eyes closed and her hands resting by her sides as she slumbered in her upright position.
She was dressed in a black overcoat with a deep V-neck, which showed off her generous cleavage. Blue stripes ran along either side of her chest all the way down to her waist, where they touched a wide black belt, which seemed to be holding the torn outfit together by sheer force of will. A long white cloth running down hey luscious, light-blue hair was held in place by a large, metallic hair ornament, which resembled small, red feline ears peaking out atop her head. On her arms were a pair of long, black velvety gloves, which ran to mid-bicep, nearly covering the entirety of her arms. Around her wrists, the woman had two silver bands with small rubies embedded in them, a white rag, which once had likely been a piece of silk cloth, hanging down from each one. Beneath her overcoat, its rent lapels going down to her bare feet on each side of her body, she wore an exotic bodysuit which left almost nothing to the imagination, light purple and sky blue warring for dominance over it.
Ranma could only gape as the beautiful young woman opened her azure eyes slowly and stepped outside, only to trip and start falling towards the floor. His body was in motion before the teenaged martial artist even realized what it was doing, and caught the woman in the midst of her fall. She closed her eyes, letting her head rest against his chest with a deep sigh.
Puzzled by her actions, Ranma patiently waited for an explanation. When he saw that none was forthcoming, as she just seemed content to stay in his embrace, he decided to take the initiative. Gently yet unmistakably firmly he held the blue-haired woman at arm's length. Her eyes opened and stared questioningly at his for a few long moments, before Ranma broke the silence. "Who are you? What's going on here?"
The blue-haired woman sighed one final time, hugging him and stepping back a few steps. "To think that I waited for ten millennia just so I could send you away," she said softly, looking down at the ground, before her head whipped back up to look at him.
A wind slowly picked up in the chamber, carrying her long tresses with it, as a red gem in her choker glinted in the darkened chamber. "My powers have grown weak with the passage of years," she told Ranma, giving him a forlorn gaze. "Unless I send you to El Hazard now, all will be lost."
The gale had strengthened in the meanwhile, and Ranma had to really strain to hear the woman's words. He tried shouting through the howling wind… asking for an explanation; or, at the very least, for her name….
Ranma was ready for several things to happen next. To have the mysterious woman rush towards him and grab him into a deep kiss was not one of them. His mind shut down mere seconds later, somehow still managing to catch the woman mumble that she loved him before an explosion of colors consumed his sight….
To be continued.
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