Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2, Darkstalkers, Hellsing and any other series mentioned in this story belong to their own creators.
< >: Thoughts
The Samurai’s Curse
Matthew sighed as he walked home. The duel between Akane and Lilith had turned out as he had expected. The so-called best martial artist in Nerima had no chance against a Darkstalker, and the short-tempered sister of Nabiki should consider herself fortunate that she had gotten off as easily as she did. Lilith had kept her promise and went easy on her opponent. Though in Darkstalker terms, it was still a bit much...
Akane charged blindly at her opponent, with the intent of ending the duel with one blow.
And the duel did end with one blow, however the Tendo girl wasn’t the one who delivered it. Morrigan Aenslade’s daughter smiled as she read her opponent’s moves. For a mortal who thought she was the best fighter, she was REALLY slow! By the time Akane had her fist cocked back, Lilith had extended her right hand and held it up in front of her adversary’s face. With a single flick of her index finger, she sent Soun Tendo’s daughter flying away.
To Akane, it felt as if she had been hit by a speeding truck. In actuality, Lilith had just used a small, focused amount of supernatural energy in her pointer digit. In Darkstalker terms, it was a trifling attack, like a slap on the wrist. However, in mortal terms, it was just by sheer luck that Akane had only received a sore jaw and several dozen bruises as she tumbled end over end on the ground. She came to a stop on her stomach with her face down and moaning. With but a single move, Lilith had defeated the heir to the Tendo Anything Goes.
There was a thunderous cheer as the hordes of Lilith fans stood up and applauded their new idol. The succubus smiled and waved cutely back at her admirers. The loudest among them was of course Kuno as he was jumping about and waving a pair of Japanese victory fans.
“Bravo, dear sweet Lilith! Bravo!”
Meanwhile, Nabiki and Matthew ran over to where Akane lay and checked on her condition.
“Will she be all right?” Nabiki asked with concern.
Matthew gave the girl a once over and nodded. “Yeah, she’ll be okay, but she’s going to be really sore for a week or so. She should consider herself lucky that Lilith wasn’t serious about this match. If she went all out, then you wouldn’t have anything left of Akane’s body for the funeral. Even a well-trained martial artist would have a hard time of holding his own against a Darkstalker and...”
End of flashback...
Matthew sighed again as he remembered what had happened after Akane had been humiliated and defeated by Lilith. It figured that ‘Ranma’ would show up at that time. After being lost for the last two weeks or so, he finally found his way to where he had just witnessed his fiancée get beaten.
Now the werewolf had nothing personal against the so-called heir to the Saotome School of the Anything Goes Martial Arts. Though he knew the real truth, he wasn’t about to let on that ‘Ranma’ was actually not Genma’s son. It was Matthew who was really Ranma, though technically, he wasn’t Genma’s child either. A simple blood test would prove that. Matthew just didn’t want that fat, lazy slob on his case, and trying to get him married in that half-baked scheme to unite the schools, just so that idiot could live off his sweat and the dojo for the rest of his life.
Matthew liked Nabiki just fine, but he wasn’t about to be pushed into something against his will. And even if he did marry Nabiki, Matt still wouldn’t carry on the dojo. No, strike that, take over the dojo, since there wasn’t even a proper heir to the Tendo school’s branch of the Anything Goes. Akane barely knew the basics, judging by how reckless and sloppy her techniques were. And a martial artist like Soun didn’t even deserve to own a dojo, if he was just going to whine and cry, instead of continue taking students and maintain the school’s legacy. Heaven help them if someone comes to challenge the dojo for the sign.
Matthew shook his head as he arrived at his apartment. As he came through the door, he was greeted by his father.
“Hello son. Dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes and...” The Elder Talbain noted a few things about his offspring and asked, “Son, I sense that you had gotten involved in some kind of conflict.”
“You could say that Dad.”
“You can tell me about it over dinner. There is something I’d like to discuss with you as well.”
The Tendo Home...
“Akane!!!” Soun blubbered as he dampened the floor of his home with his tears. After Nabiki had brought her home and let Kasumi tend to her injuries, she had filled in her father on what had happened. Naturally of course, Soun went into his Demon Head and had his old friend Genma cowering.
“WHERE WAS YOUR SON?! WHY DIDN’T HE PROTECT HIS FIANCÉE?!”
Genma was already in his Crouch of the White Tiger and was silently cursing himself for having such a weak son who lost to a foreigner. The honor of the Anything Goes was at stake and his ‘son’ had let him down. Oh what did he do to deserve such an unworthy heir?
In another room, ‘Ranma’ gritted his teeth as Kasumi applied some soothing cream to his bruises and cuts. The resulting fight between him and Matthew over defending Akane’s honor had gone badly as his ‘Ranma-always-wins’ attitude had been given a rude wake-up call. In his mind, he went over the battle and shook his head.
“How could you have done that to her?” ‘Ranma’ demanded as he glared at Lilith.
The young succubi shrugged as she replied, “Don’t blame at me. It was your girlfriend who was looking for a fight. I won, she lost. It‘s that simple.”
“You little tramp!” Akane cried out as she tired to convince everyone that Lilith had not fought fairly. “There’s no way you could have beaten me!”
‘Ranma’ clenched his fists at his sides as he glared at the Darkstalker. Sure Akane was violent, but she was his fiancée. It was therefore his duty to avenge her honor.
Matthew then stepped forward and got between them. The last thing anyone needed was another conflict. He held up his hands and tried to smooth things over. “Uh look, the fight’s already over and there’s no need to get all worked up over this. Akane Tendo challenged Lilith Aenslade, she answered it, they fought, and Lilith won. Honor is satisfied and we should all just forget about...”
Just then, Lilith sidled up to him and snuggled against Matt’s muscular back. She purred seductively and said, “Ooh, you’ve come to defend my honor, Matt? How very chivalrous of you!”
“Whoa! Wait a minute! I’m not...!”
“Hmph! I always knew you were a pervert, Matthew Talbane!” Akane shot out as she saw her opportunity to lash out at him. “Here you are, flirting with that slut, and cheating on my sister!”
“Hey! Now hold on!” Talbain cried out as he gently, but firmly pushed Lilith away. “Where do you get off accusing me of being a pervert, you little brat! I’m just trying to...”
“Where do you get off, insulting Akane?” ‘Ranma’ shot back as things started to heat up.
On the sidelines, Nabiki saw that things were about to get ugly and she started to pull Akane back. Though Nabiki knew that none of this was Matthew’s doing, she had gotten a little jealous when that succubus hussy began making a play for beau.
Akane smiled a bit in triumph. Ranma would surely beat up that pervert Talbane and she was certain that her sister would see him as the cad that he was. Of course, it had NOTHING to do with her earlier defeat from the wolf-fighter. Not at all.
“Look, I really don’t want to fight you and...”
“What are you? A coward?” Genma’s ‘son’ taunted. “I thought you were a martial artist? Let’s see this Wolf-Style of yours, or are you going to run with your tail between your legs?”
By that point, Matthew had taken all that he could stand from this cocky jerk. He wanted a demonstration of the Talbain School of the Wolf-Fist. Fine. He got into a stance and let off a low growl, like a wolf that was about to tear into his prey.
‘Ranma’ got into a stance as well and took on an arrogant air. This would not take very long.
End of flashback...
‘Ranma’ groaned again. The fight was indeed short, but he did not expect to be the loser.
As far as he could remember, ‘Ranma’ had trained extensively with his father during their ten-year journey, (though for the life of him, he couldn’t remember the first 6 years). It was discovered early on that his innate talents lay in strength and endurance, rather than speed and agility like his father’s style. As a result, the training had been modified to suit him. (1)
‘Ranma’ shuddered as he remembered all of those strength and endurance-training exercises, to build up his toughness and ability to withstand pain. He thought that he could take anything that an opponent could dish out, but Matthew Talbane’s fighting style was something else entirely. For one thing, he hit a LOT harder than any opponent that Genma’s heir had ever faced before, including his ‘father.’ And the gaijin’s speed and agility was inhuman. He did not try to exchange blows with him in a power match, but rather used quick attacks with sudden bursts of power to wear him down, then finished him off with one final technique...
‘Ranma’ tried to connect with a wild right, but Matthew easily slipped under the blow, let loose with several jabs to the face, then whipped his right leg about in a devastating roundhouse kick. His right foot glowed with a white light as he connected with his opponent’s jaw.
“SPIN RAZOR!” (2)
The heir to the Saotome School of Anything Goes went down in a heap.
End of Flashback...
He had to admit, Matthew knew some pretty powerful moves and ‘Ranma’ needed to increase his training regime in order to catch up. The more he thought about it, the more depressed he became over the fact that a foreigner was far more advanced in the Art than he was. It was obvious that Talbane knew how to focus his ki, and ‘Ranma’ would have to learn as well.
With that in mind, he decided to later question his father on the Forbidden Techniques that he had once spoken of. Maybe he could find a method to counter Matthew’s Wolf-Style.
Now which way was the bathroom again?
Meanwhile, back at the Talbain residence...
“Son, you’re hurt!” Jon remarked as he noted a small bruise on his offspring’s left side. Currently, his son had taken off his shirt in order to practice his katas.
“Huh?” Matt looked down at his side and shrugged. “Ah, it’s nothing. That Ranma jerk got in a lucky shot and I let my guard down for a second.”
“Matt, this is not something that should be ignored. If it were just a regular injury, I wouldn’t think much of it, but this bruise hasn’t healed completely yet. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that you had gotten hurt by magical means.”
“Magic? Ranma didn’t have any magic... oh, wait a minute. I guess that curse he’s under would count.”
“Yeah, Nabs told me all about it. Ranma and Genma are under a couple of Jusenkyo curses that changes them with cold water. You remember that Cursed Springs place we visited a few months ago in China? Well, they didn’t listen to the Guide like we did and they ended up in the Springs of Drowned Panda and Pig.”
“Ah, I see. Yes, I suppose that being under a Jusenkyo curse would give your opponent some mystical qualities. You’d best be careful in the future against him. And speaking of Jusenkyo, I just received a message from an old friend in China. We’ll talk about it over dinner.”
That night, at the Kuno Estate, the so-called Blue Thunder smiled as he gazed upon his latest acquisition. He knew that he had to impress his goddess Aenslade. Showing up in this ancient armor of the powerful and majestic samurai would surely prove his worthiness!
Little did the idiot know that the Cursed Armor of Bishamon carried within it an ancient bloodlust. As the foolish samurai wannabe began donning the armor, the spirit of its former wielder started to take hold of Kuno’s psyche.
Tatewaki laughed as he looked at his image in a full-length mirror and held up the katana which came with the armor. Truly he was the living personification of the legendary warriors of the past. Lilith Aenslade would indeed see the nobility of the Kuno line and then she would...
At that moment, an icy chill spread across his body as a red haze started to wash over his field of vision. Something was causing his heart to beat even faster as his body trembled as a great and terrible power seemed to surge through his very soul. Then he heard an ominous voice in his head...
<Kill... kill... kill... kill... >
Then the Kuno Mansion quaked as a bloodthirsty scream echoed throughout the walls...
Furinken High, two days later...
“Hey Nabs.” Matthew said as he gave his girlfriend the usual greeting of a kiss on the cheek.
Nabiki smiled as she returned the kiss on Matt’s cheek. “Hey, good-looking.” She took a quick glance through the corner of her left eye at the nearby crowds of girls and smiled. The expressions of jealousy on the other females made her feel even more confident in her own femininity. With all the other boys after Morrigan Aenslade’s daughter, she was glad to be the only other girl who wasn’t spending her Friday nights alone.
“So how’s your sister?” Matthew asked as he and Nabiki walked toward the school’s front door. “Is she doing okay?”
Akane’s sister shrugged. “She’s still sulking over her defeat and saying that Aenslade cheated, but she’ll get over it. As for Ranma, well he got lost again and I doubt I’ll see him for at least a week. Although he was kind of gung ho over training to beat you. He’s really cocky and when you beat him, his ego took it personally and... well, it’s not something you should be worried about. I mean, you can’t be beaten by a normal person, right?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say that.” Matthew admitted as he remembered back to the bruise his adversary had given to him. “The Jusenkyo curse he’s got does give him a chance to hurt me. Normally, my super-fast healing abilities can handle up to a missing limb or certain organs, but I am vulnerable to magical energies as well as silver or another lycanthrope’s attacks. The mystical energies of his curse can cause me pain. That hit he managed to land on me took a little longer to heal.”
Nabiki became concerned when she was told of this. Judging by the way Ranma and his father sparred, being told that her werewolf boyfriend could be hurt by that baka was not very encouraging. She had just gotten someone special interested in her and didn’t want to see him hurt. She decided to change the subject.
“Speaking of egotistical idiots, I haven’t seen Kuno for a couple of days. He didn’t show up for class and no one has been able to contact him at his home. And there has been some strange rumors going about near the neighborhood where he lives.”
“Really? What kind of rumors?”
“I know it sounds really crazy, but there have been some reports of some nut running around in ghostly samurai armor and attacking people. Twelve bodies have been found so far. You know how much Kuno thinks of himself as some great samurai warrior, right? Do you think that this might be connected to him?”
“Well, let’s not jump to conclusions.” Matthew said cautiously. “I mean, Kuno may think he’s a samurai, but he’s just a wannabe and not a killer. Nobody would be crazy enough to go running about like he’s Musashi or something. It’s probably some hoax or something...”
“Why don’t we check it out? It sounds like fun!”
Both Matthew and Nabiki were surprised when Lilith suddenly showed up out of nowhere.
“ACK! Where did you come from?!” Nabiki said as she tried to calm down her sudden increase in heart rate.
Matthew growled a bit as he remembered how the succubus had gotten him involved with Akane and ‘Ranma.’ “What do you want, Lilith?”
Morrigan’s daughter chuckled lightly as she caressed his chin with a finger, making Nabiki a little irritated. “Oh don’t be that way, Matt. I just wanted to thank you for defending my honor that time.”
“I didn’t do it for you.” The werewolf snarled slightly. “I just wanted to keep things from getting too far out of hand!”
“Well, it was still very gallant of you. Now what’s this I hear about a Ghost Samurai?”
“Look, it’s none of your business and I think it’s all just a big hoax anyway.” Matthew waved her off as he took Nabiki’s hand and began walking away from her.
Lilith smiled as she said nonchalantly. “Oh, I suppose you’re right and it probably has NOTHING to do with the Cursed Armor of Bishamon.”
Her statement stopped Talbain’s son in his tracks as he slowly turned back toward the succubus, who was now taking on a most innocent expression.
The slender girl smiled as she said, “Well now, do you think this whole thing might still be a hoax?”
“Okay Lilith, how did you know about Bishamon’s armor?” Matthew asked as he, Nabiki and Lilith were sitting at a bench in a secluded area near the soccer field.
“Oh, I heard from a few minor imps in the Makai Realm. A few days ago some foolish mortal had purchased that old armor. It’s possible that it was my most devoted admirer.” The succubus smiled as she took a dainty sip from her juice box.
“And you’re just telling us NOW?! Do you realize just how dangerous that armor is?!”
“Well, I wasn’t one hundred percent certain that it was Kuno, but I saw no point in following up on it. It wasn’t any of my business after all of what mortals do.”
“I don’t understand. Just what is so dangerous about an old set of armor?” Nabiki asked.
“That’s not just any set of armor, Nabiki.” Matthew said. “Dad told me about it. Anyone who puts it on will receive the power of one of the most murderous samurai warriors in history. It happened sometime around the Tokugawa Era. It’s said that a samurai named Bishamon made a pact with the dark forces of the Makai in order to become the greatest warrior. He was given a set of demon armor and a cursed sword that gained power every time blood was spilled.”
Lilith nodded as she continued with the story. “Oh yes. Bishamon developed an insatiable bloodlust and went on quite a rampage. He killed all of his enemies, his allies, innocent bystanders, and even beheaded the Shogun that he had sworn fealty to.”
Matthew then finished the tale. “In the end, his bloodlust grew so much, that his mortal body and soul became consumed by the very armor he wore. Now, that thirst for combat and the need to kill inhabits that damned armor and will infect anyone who wears it. The person will go on killing and killing until his body and soul expires.”
Nabiki turned a bit pale at the thought as she said, “If what you’re saying is true, then Kuno is...”
“We don’t know if Kuno is the one who’s been killing people, but we may have to look into this.” Matthew said. “And I happen to know of some people who may already be involved...”
Hellsing HQ in Japan...
Integra Wingates nodded as she finished reading the files. Though her organization’s main goal was to combat vampires, she could not ignore the fact that another source of evil had just appeared and must be dealt with.
In the shadows of her office, a certain fanged individual appeared. Alucard nodded to his master as he gave his report.
“I have investigated the scenes where the bodies had been found and it is indeed the handiwork of Bishamon, or rather that of his armor and sword. The cuts can only have been made with a katana and I sensed the signs of the ancient bloodlust of the samurai. Such a waste to spill so much prime human blood and not consume it.”
“This is most serious Alucard.” The leader of Hellsing said as she considered what to do. “Whoever is inhabiting that armor must surely be lost to the killing urges of that cursed warrior. He is no more than a mindless beast now, and we cannot allow it to roam free.”
“So I am free to find the armor and... deal with it?” The vampire asked.
“You are.” Wingates replied with a firm tone. “By any means necessary. The human soul cannot be saved at this point, so you may do what it takes to set it free. Make certain that the armor is destroyed.”
“As you command.” Alucard bowed to her and disappeared into the shadows.
At another hidden location in Tokyo, a certain member of an unorthodox branch of the Vatican stirred within a technological chamber.
Nearby a technician nodded at his console and took in the data on his readouts.
Paladin Anderson had taken quite of time to regenerate after being nearly blown apart by B. Bonnie Hood, but his creators were certain that their servant of God would be ready for his next confrontation with the creatures of the night. After hearing of the appearance of the Cursed Samurai, the members of Hellsing’s rival organization worked around the clock to get their greatest weapon back on his feet. And once Anderson was fully recovered, then woe to anyone who stood in his way.
This time, there would be no escape for the Darkstalkers...
Later, as the sun was setting...
“So what are you going to do?” Nabiki asked as she and her boyfriend walked home from school.
“I’m not really sure Nabs.” Matt replied as he considered his options. “Maybe I should ask Dad for some help. He’s got more experience with dealing in this kind of thing than I do.”
True, Kuno was a total moron with delusions of samurai greatness, but even he didn’t deserve to be under the spell of the cursed spirit of Bishamon. According to the legends, whosoever dons the armor gains not only the demonic sword skills of the bloodiest samurai that ever lived, but the soul of the victim would become enslaved forever to the murderous urges of Bishamon, in which only death could free him.
“We can’t just let Kuno go running around killing people.” Nabiki pointed out.
“Yeah, but this isn’t like taking on an ancient mummy like Anakaris. We’re talking about an innocent life here and I’m not going to kill unless I absolutely have to.”
“There are times when death is the only solution, young werewolf.”
Both stopped in their tracks when they heard the ghostly voice in their heads. They looked about and wondered where it came from. Matt sniffed about with his sensitive nose and tuned in his mystical senses. He then pointed to a nearby alleyway. When they entered the darkened area, Nabiki almost screamed when she saw a certain bloodsucker emerge from the shadows.
Alucard smiled as he recognized Nabiki and gave her a nod. “Ah, it is good to see you again, Miss Tendo.”
Nabiki felt goosebumps on her goosebumps as the vampire lord smiled at her showing, displaying an impressive set of fangs. She then recalled his face from the time at the museum and said in a stuttering tone,
“It... it’s... you. You... were the one... who saved...”
“Indeed. I did so as a favor to the son of my ally, Jon Talbain.”
Matthew stepped forward to confront his father’s old acquaintance. “So what brings you here Alucard?”
“You know my name?”
“Yeah, Dad told me about you.”
“Ah, I see. In any case, to answer your question, I am here on the orders of my master to take care of a certain set of cursed samurai armor. From what I heard, you may know some of the details.”
“Hold on. What are you planning to do when you find it?”
The vampire nodded as he replied simply, “My master commands me to destroy it, of course.”
“But what about Kuno?” Nabiki asked.
“He will have to be destroyed along with it.” Alucard said simply.
“What?! Just like that?! But you can’t just kill someone in cold blood!”
“It is already far too late, Nabiki Tendo. By now, the cursed armor has completely taken over this Kuno person’s soul. The fact that he has already killed dozens of humans in two days indicates that he has totally given himself over to the murderous intents of Bishamon. I daresay that deep down, he wants to be the samurai.”
“No, it can’t be. Sure, Kuno can get really annoying with his ‘I’m a samurai’ bit, but he’s never gone that far and killed someone.”
At that moment, a lithe figure came down from above and landed lightly on his feet. Jon Talbain nodded to his son.
“Dad? What are you doing here?”
The elder lycanthrope replied. “Alucard contacted me and informed me on what’s been going on. He needs to have someone who can track down his target and I’m... already familiar with Bishamon’s armor, since I’ve encountered it before.”
“Yes. It was about a year before I found you son.”
<Found him? What does he mean?> Nabiki wondered as Talbain explained his connection with the samurai’s curse.
“It was around eleven years ago. I was in London at the time, and I came across the armor when I visited the museum near Scotland Yard. I didn’t think it would be of harm to anyone locked up in that case, but when thieves broke in to steal it, I sensed a great surge of dark energies. I tracked down the armor to a warehouse, when I encountered the ringleader of the gang. They had intended to sell the armor on the black market, but the leader of those thieves became cursed by the murderous soul of Bishamon and slaughtered his men.”
“What happened next?” Matthew asked.
“When I came across Bishamon’s armor, it nearly did me in, being powered by dark, mystical energies. Luckily for me, it was a full moon that night and I was at the peak of my abilities. I managed to get the armor off that man, but he was already too far gone. I was forced to put him out of his misery. Then that cursed armor and sword tried to possess me. I threw them into the Thames river, and that was the last I saw or heard of the armor, until now.”
“And tonight, I shall require your skills, my friend.” Alucard said. “There are no better trackers than werewolves and you are the best person to ask on how to deal with the armor. Shall we begin?”
Jon nodded as he triggered his transformation to his hybrid form, and gave his son and girlfriend his instructions. “You two go straight home, no arguments!” He then leapt up to an astounding sixty feet and began bounding over rooftops. Alucard became a bat and followed as the sun dipped below the horizon.
“Will your Dad be all right?” Nabiki asked as she watched the two of them leave.
“Oh, I’ve got no doubts that Dad will find Bishamon.” Matt replied with some concern. “He could track down a gnat through a swamp after a heavy rain. But I can’t let him go alone. I’m going after him.”
With those words, Matthew triggered his own transformation and assumed his hybrid form. He turned to the middle Tendo daughter and said, “You better head home. Things are going to get dangerous.”
“No wait...!” Nabiki called after him, but he was gone in a heartbeat.
Moving with incredible speed, Jon Talbain bounded from rooftop to rooftop. His keen sense of smell was heightened to mystic levels and could detect even the faintest odors. It wasn’t long before he detected the unmistakable scent of an ancient evil.
<It is near. I can smell the stench of the armor.>
Maintaining a telepathic link with his lupine companion, Alucard agreed in his bat form. <Indeed. Even I can detect it. Such a waste of good blood.>
Jon snarled a bit as he too caught the telltale scent of blood, freshly spilled blood. The Curse of Bishamon was already destroying more innocent lives without remorse. The werewolf knew all too well the kind of bloodlust the armor was capable of inflicting on the victim who wore it. Judging by the amount of blood that was spilled, whoever was wearing the armor was completely in its thrall. There was no choice. The armor must be destroyed, along with the poor devil who was joined with it.
Talbain flexed his claws and reached behind his back to pull out his nunchakus. Jumping down from a four-story building, he landed in a ready stance. In front of him was a scene of carnage.
Kuno was breathing heavily as he stood over several corpses. In his hands was a monstrously-decorated katana, its blade dripping heavily of blood. The armor glowed with an eerie light as its malevolence continued to be fed into the delusional high-school teen. For Tatewaki, he had finally attained what he had always dreamed of, to become a samurai of awesome skill and power. However, it was the armor, rather than his own free will, which had been controlling his actions. Twin blue flames hovered near his shoulders as he turned to face his newest opponent.
Matthew’s father tensed up as he readied to battle him. He could tell that his opponent did not possess any considerable skill, but with the armor controlling him, he had the power of a blood-mad samurai. And the look in Kuno’s eyes told the werewolf all he needed to know. This was going to be a battle to the finish.
Kuno let off a blood-curdling battle cry and charged at him.
The possessed adolescent pivoted on one leg and brought up his sword up to deflect the shot that had been aimed at his head. The chunk of blessed silver was expertly turned away. He then continued on toward his first target and started slashing away at lighting speed.
However, Jon Talbain was no slouch when it came to close-quarters combat. Using his nunchakus, he blocked every attack and countered with a flurry of punches and kicks.
High above, Alucard nodded as he held up his still-smoking gun. He had to admit, there weren’t many who could deflect his bullets. And now that Jon Talbain was heavily engaged with his target, he could not get a clear shot. He couldn’t risk shooting again, since Talbain might get hit. Even without being blessed, his silver bullets would most certainly kill his lycanthrope ally. He would have to bide his time until an opportunity presented itself. When he had the chance, he would end the rampage of Bishamon’s armor... and Tatewaki Kuno’s life.
Racing across the rooftops, Matthew used all of his extraordinary senses to home in on his father’s whereabouts. He had to stop him from taking a life, no matter the circumstances and how much of a delusional jackass Kuno was. Killing was not an option. There had to be another way. As much as he disliked the wannabe samurai, it wasn’t his fault that he was slaughtering innocents. If there was a way of removing the armor without destroying the person inside it...
Suddenly, a flash was seen off to one side and a shot was heard. Matthew twisted about and barely dodged the gunfire as silver-tipped bullets whizzed by his chest. He immediately went into a ready stance and whipped out his nunchakus. He snarled as he recognized a certain individual in a red hooded cloak stood a few feet away, brandishing an Uzi.
B. Bonnie Hood smirked as she leveled her weapon at her target. “Yep. And I still mean to collect that bounty on your head. Speaking of which, I think your head stuffed and mounted over my fireplace mantle would look good.”
“I don’t have time for this!” Matthew growled.
“No problem.” The cold-hearted Darkstalker hunter shrugged. “Your time is up anyway.” Then she opened fire.
However, her quarry was not going to stand still and let her kill him. Reacting with his superhuman speed and reflexes, the young werewolf dodged the volley and moved in closer to engage his foe. He could only hope that he could finish this fight and stop his father from killing Kuno.
Charging up his weapon with a combination of ki and supernatural energies, he began swinging the chained clubs about in wide arcs and circles. The nunchakus flashed with light, flickering like a candle’s flame in wind, hence the technique’s name, Million Flicker. Every bullet was neatly deflected as the nunchakus were whipped about at supersonic speeds, giving off a snapping sound. At the same time, Matthew maneuvered closer to his opponent.
B. Bonnie Hood soon realized that her target would not be as easy a kill as she thought and had the advantage of close-quarters combat experience. If he got within striking range, then she would be torn to shreds. As her gun sputtered out its last rounds, she immediately reached behind her back for the silver-bladed dagger and prepared to slash at Matthew.
Talbain’s son immediately caught the movement and raised his weapon to block the attack. He then charged forward in a nimbus of light. The Beast Cannon knocked the diminutive bounty hunter off her feet and send her reeling back several yards, causing her to lose her grip on her dagger and her basket of ‘goodies.’ Just as he was about to end the fight, B. Bonnie Hood pulled out something from her blouse and threw it at him. The werewolf instinctively batted the object away, which appeared to be an... apple?
The building behind him exploded as part of its wall came tumbling down. Glass, wood, masonry and various other kinds of debris was sent flying all over the place. The force of the blast knocked Matthew forward, causing him to fall flat on his face, as his opponent used the distraction to escape. She had decided to retreat and hunt her prey another time.
It was then that the young lycanthrope heard a scream.
Jon Talbain tensed as he deflected yet another series of slashes from the possessed Kuno. The skill in which Kuno used to battle him went far beyond his kendo training and the dark magic within the blade was more than enough to kill him. The werewolf knew that he had to stop his opponent permanently. And that meant having to use his more lethal techniques.
Focusing all of his power into one final attack as his opponent charged at him, he parried a vicious thrust toward his abdomen, then let loose with an intense flash of energy with his claws. There was a long, agonizing moment as the two antagonists stood motionless facing opposite of each other. Then Kuno slumped forward as his right arm fell off his shoulder, the hand still clutching the demon sword of Bishamon. A moment later, the sword broke apart into several fragments. Then the armor also fell apart as the evil energy of the bloodthirsty samurai was dispersed.
Jon Talbain’s Final Attack... the Razor Slice.
At that moment, Alucard appeared beside his ally and aimed his gun at the now unconscious Kuno. Just as he was about to pull the trigger, Jon held out an arm and motioned him to step back.
The vampire was a bit surprised that his lycanthrope friend was showing mercy to this deluded fool. Surely it would be best to put Kuno out of his misery. After all, he would most likely bleed to death after having his arm severed. At least this way, his end would be painless.
Jon however, had mellowed out a bit since Matthew had come into his life and sniffed about for the malevolence of Bishamon. For some unexplained reason, he couldn’t detect it, and there was no trace of the madness left in Kuno. Could it be that destroying the armor and sword had purged him of the madness? If so, then there was no need to end his life.
To the amazement of the bloodsucker, the werewolf knelt down and began tending to Kuno’s wounds. Using the techniques he had learned from the Chinese Amazons, he made a tourniquet, a roll of bandages and several other items appear.
“What are you doing?” Alucard inquired as he kept his gun trained on Kuno.
“Keeping this poor bastard from bleeding to death.” Jon answered. “Alucard, please contact Hellsing and have them bring over a medical team. If we hurry, we might be able to save him.”
“My orders were clear, Talbain. I am to destroy the armor and make certain that the Curse of Bishamon will never again threaten others.”
“I sense nothing of Bishamon remaining in him.” Talbain countered as he used some rare Chinese herbs to stem the bleeding and sterilize the wound. “The armor and sword are broken and whatever possessed this fool is gone. He is no longer a threat.”
“I cannot take that chance.”
“Believe me, old friend. I would KNOW if this person still possessed the bloodlust of that damned samurai. I don’t know where that spirit went, but I have no wish to spill any more blood than I have to. Please, we can still save this one if we hurry.”
Alucard considered Jon for a long moment, then nodded as he put away his gun. It wouldn’t be the first time that he went against Sir Integra’s orders, but what Jon said made sense. Why waste a bullet on something that wasn’t a threat any more? He then reached into his left trenchcoat pocket and pulled out a cell phone.
Matthew frantically began digging through the rubble when he saw that his girlfriend was underneath. Apparently, she had followed him and had gotten caught in the blast. The young werewolf became horrified when he saw her broken and bloody body. She let off a weak moan and looked up at him as he moved a large chunk of wood. He knelt down and cradled her in his arms.
“Nabiki! Nabiki! Speak to me! Say something!”
Soun Tendo’s daughter coughed up blood and trembled as her body started to become stiff. Her body had been crushed and she had some internal bleeding. It was obvious that she was going to die.
“Nabs! Nabs! Don’t die! Please, don’t die!”
Matthew started to panic as her life began to slip away. He did not possess anything on his person that could heal injuries that were this severe. He couldn’t lose her because of some gun-toting psycho who was after his head. He had to save her, but how?
Then he realized that there was only one way. There were dire consequences, but there was no other options. With one quick movement, he tore off the wolf-head pendant that was hanging around his neck and bared his fangs...
Jon Talbain, now in his human form, watched with satisfaction as Kuno was taken away by the Hellsing Medical Team. Beside him were Alucard and Sir Integra.
“I thank you for understanding, Sir Integra.” Jon said.
Integra nodded. “Well, I suppose that since the spirit of Bishamon has left Kuno’s body, then killing him is not required. With the armor and sword destroyed, the spirit has no medium in order to possess another. However, I would be more comfortable to know where it went and to have it destroyed permanently. For now, we will take care Kuno’s wounds and see to it that he remembers nothing of his rampage. This will take some considerable time and effort to cover this up.”
“I appreciate your help. I shall keep an eye out if Bishamon’s spirit does reappear. As for now, I believe that my son is waiting for me to return home.”
Deep within the depths of the Vatican hideout, a disembodied spirit floated near a large container. After being forced out the armor and sword, the essence of Bishamon had been searching for a new vessel to contain it. Eventually, it had been drawn toward the person contained within the chamber due to the individual’s innate bloodlust and violent personality. The spirit probed at Paladin Anderson’s form and then started to seep into it. The energies started to accelerate his healing factor to unprecedented levels as the ancient evil was again being resurrected.
This time, nothing will be able to stop it.
The Talbain residence...
Jon sighed and shook his head as he gazed upon the form lying on the couch. He couldn’t believe that things had gotten this far out of hand. He gave his son a disapproving look, which made Matthew feel very sheepish.
Jon‘s son looked down at the floor, unable to meet his father’s gaze, then replied in a quiet voice. “Well, what else could I do? She was about to die because of me! This was the only thing I could think of to save her!”
It was then that the person on the couch regained consciousness.
“Ooh! Where am I? What happened? Ow! I have one HECK of a migraine!” Nabiki groaned as she started to sit up. She rubbed the side of her right temple.
Matthew’s expression brightened at the sound of her voice then asked in very concerned tone. “Nabs! Are you okay? Are you still you?”
Nabiki gazed upon her boyfriend with a small smile, but also with a puzzled expression. “Huh? What do you mean am I still me? Of course I’m still me! What kind of question is that?”
Matthew then suddenly embraced her and let off a sigh of relied. “Thank God! We lucked out! You didn’t lose yourself! I was afraid that you wouldn’t remember who you were! You still retained your humanity!”
“Huh? What are you talking about? Why would I lose... myself...?” Her voice trailed off as she saw herself in a nearby wall mirror. She disengaged from Matthew’s arms and stood up. She took on a look of utter disbelief as she walked toward the mirror and saw a furry face with pointed ears. She then looked down at herself and realized why her clothes seemed so tight on her, especially in the chest area. She had gained at least six inches in height and had grown two bra sizes. She was a D-cup! Her form was more lithe, but firmly toned with extra musculature. Her body had a fine, thin coat of light-brown fur and she then noticed something swishing behind her legs.
<A tail? I have a tail?>
She then turned around to face Matthew and his father in shock. Her expression needed no words as Jon Talbain’s son answered her question.
“I’m sorry Nabs. You were dying. It was... the only way I could save you.”
To be continued....
Wow! It’s been a while since I updated this story! Now things are going to get interesting as Nabiki begins to discover the joys and sorrows of being a lycanthrope. In the next episode, Paladin Anderson makes his return and with the spirit of Bishamon possessing him, things are going to get even more violent. Plus, we will also have the appearance of a couple more Darkstalkers. See you there!
(1) Keep in mind that this Ranma is actually Ryoga after Genma had used the memory-erasing shampoo on him. Therefore, for those of you who think he should be able to fight like Ranma, remember that he received the Anything Goes training much later than the original did and he DOESN’T have the same gifts that Ranma had, such as his innate talent to learn techniques quickly and also to adapt during a fight. Ryoga’s physical skills lay in strength and power, rather than agility and mid-air combat like in the Saotome style. Genma noticed that his replacement Ranma didn’t have the same abilities as his heir, so he had to use different tactics in training him. If one remembers the original series, Cologne did try to teach Ryoga the Chestnut Fist, but he proved unsuitable for it.
That’s the main difference between Ranma and Ryoga. Ranma can learn ANY technique, up to a certain degree. He did manage to do the Shi Shi Hokodan, though he couldn’t get it up to where Ryoga was able, since he couldn’t reach that level of depression. So Ranma adapted it to become the Moko Takabisha. Same principle in this story.
(2) This is a Horizontal Version of Jon Talbain’s Climb Razor kick.