A Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon / Oh! My Goddess crossover story
by Elsa Bibat
Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC. Oh! My Goddess © Fujishima Kosuke, Kodansha, TBS and KSS films; AnimEigo, Studio Proteus, and Dark Horse Comics. This is used without permission.
This disclaimer also applies to several intellectual properties referred to in the text. Please be guided accordingly.
Green fields, blue skies and crystal clear rivers passed swiftly by, a panorama of Nature's beauty in motion. The sense of wonderment and splendor that the scene was supposed to convey was lost on one Usagi Tsukino-Serenity — Small Lady, Crown Princess of Crystal Tokyo. Although the term 'Small Lady' might have been a bit of a misnomer, now that she'd grown. Sixteen years old, with her birthday a few months away, she was, like her mother, a bit of a late bloomer. Her sudden growth spurt at the age of fifteen left her at five feet, four inches… and still growing. She was starting to become the very image of a beautiful young princess.
Currently, she was a very bored young princess. She sighed as she stopped looking out the window and stood up from her chair to stretch a little. She surveyed the surroundings of the Royal Coach, the special train compartment used whenever her parents had need to travel via rail. There was full bookshelf in one corner, along with a table filled with copies of the latest newspapers and magazines from the world over. Her father was taking a nap on the couch, and her mother was seated comfortably on one of the other chairs, a sketchpad in one hand, a pencil delicately balanced in the other. She was exercising one of her few passions, drawing.
Usagi noted that even half-finished, Neo-Queen Serenity's sketch of her husband was starting to look really good. If she weren't the Queen of the world, the young princess thought, she'd probably make a great artist, since she was. She smiled at the thought. She remembered reading about her mom's previous occupation before ruling the world: a manga artist with quite a few best-selling hits under her belt. A few of them had been made into anime, and Usagi had often seen them as reruns on late-night TV. The Serenity Cult gobbled it up like candy.
After the Reawakening and the Purification, her mother's manga creations, already expensive to collectors and enthusiasts, were considered holy artifacts by some people and the stuff's prices went up astronomically. Especially those with her mother's autograph. She had managed to read them, borrowing from Aunt Rei's extensive manga collection, and she loved all of them. They had ranged from romance to fantasy to horror, and so on. Name the genre, Usagi Tsukino wrote in it. Ironically enough, her mother had written only one series with a magical girl in it. It was one of her first successes, and had made her name in the business. All of the rest shared the elements that made them bestsellers: wonderful characters you couldn't help but love, well-made plots that made sense and were believable, and, of course, the gorgeous art. There was also a second level to it that she had noticed when she read the old tankoubon. The stories had a depth and understanding of the human condition that just grabbed the reader and gave him or her an insight into it. They made the reader think.
She looked up at the clock and noted that it had already been an hour and they still hadn't arrived at where they were supposed to be going. Her mother had specifically ordered the hyper-train to move at speeds that were near to those experienced by the steam trains of the nineteenth century.
All she knew that her mother had received a message and had declared this rather impromptu trip for the Royal Family. If Neo-Queen Serenity wanted to get somewhere in a hurry, she could have just used her powers and teleported anywhere on the planet. Why go on a sudden trip, on a train that could get anyone anywhere in the world in a matter of hours, and purposefully slow it down?
"You're wondering why we aren't hurrying, aren't you, Small Lady?"
The princess blinked as she noticed her mother setting aside her sketchpad and looking at her. Then she remembered what her mother had called her.
"Moooom, will you please stop calling me 'Small Lady'! I'm sixteen! At the very least call me with a grown-up name like Usagi or something."
Her mother smiled lightly and shook her head. "You will always be either Small Lady or Chibi-Usa to me, my dear. Which do you prefer?"
Usagi grimaced at the thought of being called Chibi-Usa again, to which her mother responded with a wide smile. Then Usagi remembered what started the conversation.
"How did you know?"
"You were looking at the clock and had a puzzled expression on your face. The logical conclusion would be something troubling you concerning time, or something relating to time. And since you haven't had another lesson from Setsuna about temporal mechanics recently, and the fact that you looked momentarily out of it, I deduced your thoughts related to time and the speed of the train. It would be elementary to follow the line of thinking to your questioning why we, after going on a sudden trip, are not going at faster speeds."
"Mom, you're talking like Sherlock Holmes. I hate it when you talk like Sherlock Holmes. I had enough of that when he showed up last month."
Her mother laughed. "Sorry about that, Usagi-chan."
"'Usagi-chan'? Where did that come from?"
"You did say you wanted to be called something different, ne?"
"But you just put a '-chan' at the end!"
"It is significantly better than Chibi-Usa, ne?"
This time it was her daughter's turn to shake her head and smile. The young princess was silent for a few moments, looking out again at the passing scenery, and returned her gaze to her mother.
"Mom, to return to the original question, why are we going by train?"
Neo-Queen Serenity inclined her head a bit to the side, obviously thinking something over. After a few seconds, her neck straightened and she motioned for her daughter to take the seat opposite her.
Usagi sat down and waited for her mother to explain. There was a peculiar look on her mother's face that she couldn't put her finger on. Usually she was pretty good at reading her mother's moods, but this time was an exception.
"Well, it's time for you to find out about a lot of things, because the person we will be visiting is the reason for most aspects of life in Crystal Tokyo and the rest of the world."
"I thought that was supposed to be you?" Usagi said with a puzzled look.
Her mother laughed gently at this and shook her head. "Technically, but this person made me into what I am today, by teaching me all that I know. You don't understand, do you?"
The look on her daughter's face said it all.
"Do you remember that letter I gave you when you came back to the past for the second time?"
"Yes. That always bothered me. You knew kanji well enough. Why did you use katakana?"
"Because if the earlier version of me found out how much I would have to change to become the Queen, I don't think I'd ever have gone through with it."
Usagi nodded. "I remember thinking of you and the past version of you as two different people since you were so… so…"
"Opposite?" Her mother suggested.
"No! Not that! You're still the Usagi I knew in the past times. But… you're more refined, more graceful, and much—"
"Harder? I remember one of the newspapers nowadays describing me as ruling with a velvet-gloved iron fist," the Queen said with a smile. "Intelligent? I remember a time when I was a failing at Japanese, Usagi-chan. Nowadays, I am fluent in fifteen languages. When I was a teenager, I would never have even dreamed of getting a Ph.D. in Political Theory. Along with my degrees in Literature, Philosophy and History."
Neo-Queen Serenity looked out the window sadly. "When I was young, I would only read simple books and manga. Now I read reports on economies, political situations and other things that would have put me to sleep back then."
The Queen returned to look at her daughter again, smiling a little. "The person we're going to visit suggested that we take the scenic route. I think my old friend is trying to teach me a lesson again."
"The person we will be visiting taught me everything. Sensei first taught me how to learn, and how to love to learn. Then we started on from there. Along the way, I met every intelligent person that has ever lived: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Confucius… Lao-Tze to Machiavelli, and Aquinas to Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau and all the others. I disagreed with Nietzsche and flirted with Marx." The Queen of Crystal Tokyo had a look of nostalgia on her face as she said all of this to her daughter. "I got taught the sum entirety of human philosophy and knowledge. At least, those of three thousand years. And even beyond that. Sensei thought that I needed all of it. I don't know how, but Sensei was right about that."
"Since I see you're quite confused, Usagi-chan. Since this trip will probably be a long one, I might as well tell you the story of how I learned to be a Queen. Or as Sensei puts it, learned to be a human being."
So as her daughter listened, entranced, Neo-Queen Serenity, who used to be a young girl by the name of Usagi Tsukino in the city of Tokyo in the later half of the twentieth century, began her story where it all began.
Lesson 0: Meeting the Teacher
Usagi Tsukino paused in mid-bite and mid-run. It was painfully obvious that this was an unnatural position since she teetered on her one foot. The inevitable was, as always, unavoidable.
Ikuko Tsukino winced in sympathy as her eldest child crashed to the floor in an undignified heap.
The matriarch of the Tsukino family sighed a longsuffering sigh and helped her daughter up, wiping some of the butter and toast off her face. "You got me a tutor?"
"As if that weren't obvious," Shingo wisecracked as he danced around his mother and sister to reach the door and leave for school.
"Shut up, Shingo!" Usagi shouted after her brother as her mother and father both shook their heads.
"Shingo's partially right, Usagi-chan. You're not exactly the picture of scholastic excellence," Kenji said as he sipped coffee at the breakfast table while reading the newspaper.
"But my grades have gotten better!"
"Better, yes, and we're proud of you for that." Ikuko personally thought it was that Mizuno girl's influence, and she silently thanked the kami for small favors. "But they're not good enough for a university. You do want to go to college, don't you?"
The question was met by nervous silence.
Kenji peeked over his newspaper with an arched eyebrow. Usagi was twiddling her thumbs and his wife was getting that look again.
Oh yeah, defuse-the-ticking-time-bomb-that-is-my-wife time.
And I quit my old job to marry her, Kenji thought with a smirk. This is at least twice as dangerous as what I used to do.
"Of course Usagi-chan wants to go to college, dear. She's just worried that it would be too much for her." Hope Usagi sees the winking and Ikuko doesn't. "Weeeell, yes. I think…" Usagi twiddled her thumbs some more.
"Usagi, you are going to go to college, and to do that you'll need a tutor. Mei'ou-san, that nice guardian of young Hotaru-chan, suggested a tutor that would be just right for you."
"Setsuna gave you suggestions for a tutor?" Usagi blinked. This was either one of those Guardian of Time intricate plot things or Setsuna just being helpful. Or it could be both.
"Yes. And you'll be going there this afternoon."
"But, Moooooom, me and the girls are going out!"
"Well, I'm sorry, Usagi. But Weyland-san was a difficult person to get, and she insisted on screening you personally."
She's probably some evil entity from beyond space and time, and Setsuna wants me to get properly introduced before we start with the insanity again, Usagi thought darkly as she reluctantly agreed to go to her new tutor's house and be subjected to an interview.
It was shaping out to be a bad day.
The ravens cawed at her as Usagi looked up at the iron gates that barred her from the large estate beyond. The pair of them gave her regarding looks, as if they were royal guards considering a petitioner to a queen. It wasn't exactly what she was expecting from a private tutor, but Setsuna was involved, thus strangeness was bound to happen.
"Just my luck. I'm betting she's gonna be like Rei," Usagi whined under her voice as she suffered the avian gazes aimed at her.
With a simultaneous squawk, both birds launched themselves from their perches and disappeared from view. The iron gate yawned open. Moments later, one of the ravens fluttered gracefully to alight on her shoulder as if from nowhere, in a move so silent that she only noticed its arrival when she felt the sudden addition of weight and the talons pressing through her uniform blouse.
She would have shrieked in surprise, but there was a restraining power in the look that the raven gave her, a glint in the eye that betokened supernatural intelligence, so she only tilted her head in response.
The raven nodded and cawed with seeming delight. It gyrated its head in an odd motion that Usagi quickly interpreted.
"You want me to follow you?"
It was times like this that Usagi really wanted to do rather bad, painful, long-lasting things to the Guardian of Time.
Having no other recourse, she followed the bird as it fairly leaped from its perch to the estate within.
The trip inside was an eerie one. The estate was vast in its own way, rather spacious for suburban Tokyo. The place must have cost more than a bundle.
The raven winged its way slowly, giving the blonde a chance to follow. The cobbled path slowly gave way to a marble one, lined with rosebushes.
The path led to a looming Gothic-style mansion. The great oaken door yawned open as she and the raven approached. They entered, and Usagi was awed by the dark beauty of the mansion's interior. Items radiated age and wealth in an understated way that only added to their worth. Suits of armor from East and West, Turkish rugs and Hindu tapestries; this was an incredible treasure trove from all over the world.
Another raven joined the one that led her, and they escorted her into a dark room filled with books. The voice surprised her.
"You have arrived, it seems."
It was a woman, sitting in a high backed chair, black leather gloved hands steepled before her. The room's only window was behind the chair, the setting sun's rays creating the peculiar effect of a blood-red halo around the chair and its occupant. Dressed in a high-collared black military-style tunic and matching trousers, her white face was made even more striking by her dark surroundings. The twin ravens swooped to land on opposing sides of the chair. The woman regarded Usagi with a single eye, an eye that seemed to glow with fearsome power in the afternoon twilight. That eye was set in an aristocratic, heart-shaped face framed by reddish black hair cut in a helmet style. The eye patch over the left eye only emphasized the cyclopean nature of the woman before her. The eye was the center of everything about Weyland-san.
"You are the Tsukino girl?" The voice was like honey on broken glass, a harshness barely disguised by a soprano voice.
"All you have to do is answer three questions, Tsukino-san. Then I will determine whether you are worthy."
The statement had a weird tone of finality that made Usagi nervous.
"Er… worthy of what?"
"Everything, Tsukino-san. Everything." A dagger-sharp smile flashed on that terribly beautiful one-eyed face. "Look into my eye and we shall begin."
Hesitating for a moment, Usagi squared her shoulders. Whatever this woman may say, she was worthy. Besides, Mom would totally kick my behind if I don't get a tutor. A bare moment after that thought, another flashed through her mind, and she just had to ask something first.
"Ah…. there isn't going to be a math question, is there?"
Weyland-san's lips quirked in amusement.
"No. There won't be math questions, Tsukino-san. May we begin?"
Taking a deep breath, she gazed into Weyland-san's eye and was suddenly swallowed by the fiery power radiated by that cyclopean orb. The word boomed ins
"Who are you?"
Weyland-san's voice held undeniable power, the question suddenly seeming to reverberate in Usagi's mind, giving the simple query a dire import.
Who am I? The question drew forth separate answers from her mind, almost as if they were summoned at the woman's call. From this multitude of voices, rose four voices.
Usagi was confused at the answers that seemed to bubble up from within her, as if summoned magically by the woman's voice. Groping for an answer from the multitude, she blurted out the most honest answer she could find. "I don't know." Well, that totally blew it.
To Usagi's surprise, Weyland-san only just smiled and asked another question. "What do you want?"
Another explosion occurred within Usagi's consciousness, the power in that voice was once again irresistible and her mind responded.
I want an ice-cream sundae. With chocolate syrup, sprinkles… mmm… better make that a double. Plus maybe a few more sweets on the side. Plus a milkshake. Usagi noticed Weyland-san arching an eyebrow, obviously noticing the hungry-glazed look in her eyes. Wincing, she just blurted out what she honestly knew.
"I don't know."
The eye concentrated on her and focused like a camera. The smile on Weyland-san's face was wider. She spoke but her voice seemed to be missing the earlier power that it had.
"Two rather distinct and very old philosophies summarized into two questions. And answered rather well by a sixteen-year-old. Now, my dear, the final question, why are you here?"
"Er… I thought I was here for a bit of tutoring for the college entrance exams. Now… I don't know."
A grin was evident on Weyland-san's face as she regarded her. "Expectations, as my sister is oft to say, are always shattered. Tsukino-san, as of this moment, you will call me Sensei, and I expect you to do your best in all the things that I seek to teach you."
"You mean I passed?"
A throaty laugh preceded her new tutor's answer. "Yes, Tsukino-san. Passed with flying colors, if you might ask."
Weyland-sensei gestured with a hand and one of the ravens left its perch. "Hugin will show you out. I expect you to come here at the same time tomorrow."
Usagi could only nod as the raven called Hugin landed on her shoulder with a squawk. Before she forgot, she better tell Weyland-sensei.
"Weyland-sensei, my mother was asking about your pay—"
"Teaching someone like you, Tsukino-san, is reward enough. Tell your mother I'll take you on free as a favor to Mei'ou-san."
"Uh… thank you, Weyland-sensei."
"Don't thank me yet, Tsukino-san." Weyland-sensei dismissed her with a perfunctory gesture.
As Usagi followed Hugin out, she could swear that mad laughter echoed from within the dark mansion.
Great. More insanity. I'm really going to kick Setsuna's ass for this.
Author's notes: The "goddesses" are now complete. Well, they're goddesses in a cosmology that is a synthesis of Lovecraft, Hodgson, Haggard, Blackwood, Machen, Tipler, Isamov, Wollheim, and de Chardin. Really weird shit.
Anyway, the plan for the "Education" is to release disjointed stand-alone "Lessons". That's still the same, but I won't be releasing to the FFML. Most of the "Lessons" are and will be philosophical ruminations on the foundations of the universe that "Dances" occurs in.
In other words, talking heads. ^_^
Good philosophy and great education but is not exactly writing that is appropriate for the FFML. Plus, considering that I have opinions and beliefs that would most probably contradict most people's beliefs, I'll just ask Larry F to post the "Lessons" on his site and have people who want to read my very annoying belief system. ^_^
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