Chapter Four

“No Need for Additives”

 

            Saffron was bored.  He had already started his growth cycle again.  He had already progressed enough to be able to speak and walk again.  How embarrassing!  Having to go through all the suffering of infancy so soon because of a snot-nosed teenager!  Of course, kidnapping his fiancé wasn’t the best idea he had ever had in his millennia of life.  All of it had led to his premature death.  He still couldn’t believe the power and skill the martial artist had displayed.  He had seen the Hiryu Shoten Ha before, but the kid had managed to invert it into a deadly weapon.  Quite impressive really, the move and the size of the Ki blasts the boy had thrown around in attempt to shoot the phoenix king down.

 

            So back to the reason he was bored, there was nothing to do!  This place was boring, devoid of any excitement at all!  Plus, after that boy had killed him, the aftermath had freed his people of their dependence on him.  He didn’t even need to perform his usual duties as the warmth and light bringer.  No duties, no peers to do anything with, no battles, no excitement anywhere.  He would have done something with some of the bird maidens, but the reincarnated body wasn’t old enough yet, damn it.

 

            The living king of Mount Phoenix sighed.  “Nothing to do!”  Maybe I should terrorize the Amazons or the Musk.  He thought.  Nah, they get too touchy afterwards.  Those tribes simply didn’t know how to take a joke.  One simple raid for fun and they’re all up in arms…literally.  He stretched out his body, his wings splaying out to the side.  “I guess I could always look through my collections again.

 

            Saffron leapt off his throne and flew toward the large double doors that were before him.  The guards to either side had seen the young king flying forward and had already opened the doors in anticipation.  The king didn’t even thank them as he went through the doors and banked hard right, towards the archives.

 

            More guards waited at the door there.  They wore the usual battle armor of the bird people and carried the swords as well.  They were not going to let anyone into the treasures of the Phoenix people.

 

            Saffron flew in and settled down on an empty pedestal to look at the treasures laid out before him.  Of course there was the usual ornate gold and diamond arrangements as well as other gems.  There were even some platinum pieces that were held onto for their rarity.  The king bypassed these and went toward the more exciting pieces.  For example, the Kinjakan and the Gekkaja, the fire and ice turn keys of the now defunct Jusendo.  Again the memories of the boy that had killed him resurfaced.  The boy had used the Gekkaja to freeze himself to wade his way through the fireballs and inferno blasts that the phoenix king had thrown.  Oh what a battle it was!  He was tempted to start it all over again to get some excitement again.

 

            He sighed again and went through other various magical weapons and artifacts, all of them special in their own way.  He stopped at last in front of glass case with a red rock incased within.  The rock was roughly diamond shaped and was blood red with black highlights.  It was a recent addition to his collection, but an interesting find nonetheless.  The rock withstood every attack against it, and just continued to emanate its dark power.  If there was a way to use the power that would certainly make things interesting!  He could conquer the Earth and then he’d make the entire world keep him amused.  After all, immortality and power have their privileges.  He reached up and touched the glass that held the stone.

 

            “An interesting specimen you have there.”

 

            Saffron turned to see a short, cloaked man standing in his chamber.  “Who dares?!”

 

            The cloaked figure stepped forward and looked up at the rock.  “An interesting specimen indeed.  I’d like to add it to my collection.”

 

            Saffron eyed him warily.  “It’s a part of my collection.  You cannot have it.”

 

            The squat man chuckled.  “Why don’t you just yell, ‘mine’, little boy?  It would better befit your age.”

 

            Saffron’s face distorted in anger.  “How dare you insult the king of Mount Phoenix?!”  He turned toward the doors to the vault.  “GUARDS!  SEIZE THE INTRUDER!”  No answer came.

 

            The figure walked closer to the pedestal that held the rock.  “They won’t be coming.”

 

            Saffron turned back in anger.  “Why not?!”  He demanded.

 

            The figure had a single fang sticking out of his mouth when he smiled a malicious grin.  “Because I killed them.”

 

            Saffron’s body began to boil with power.  “Impudent whelp!  You dare to attack my people!!!  You have declared war on the bird people of Pheonix Mountain!!!  I’ll destroy you right here!”

 

            The figure sniggered.  “Whelp, indeed.  Look who’s talking pip-squeak.”

 

            Saffron clenched his young fists.  He began seething.  “You’ll pay for your impudence.  You face before you the Pheonix God!  No one can oppose me!”

 

            The dwarf just smiled at him.  “That’s funny, but I could have sworn that you should be older now.  The only way you should be young is if someone had killed you, oh mighty ‘god’.”

 

            “The boy got lucky!”  Saffron seethed.

 

            “It doesn’t matter to me.”  The cloaked figure removed the glass casing from the rock.  “I’ll just take this and be on my merry way.”

 

            “FOOL!!!”  Saffron unleashed a powerful fireball at the squat figure.

 

            The short man easily evaded the blast and landed at the entrance.  “You are so far below me, it’s not even worth the effort to kill you.”

 

            Saffron’s eyes were ablaze with unfettered ire.  His aura flew up around him.  “I’LL SHOW YOU WHO HAS THE POWER HERE!!!”  The temperature in the room jumped a hundred degrees as the king powered up, and it threatened to go further.  “I AM POWER INCARNATE, YOU PITIFUL FOOL!!!  NOW YOU WILL DIE FOR YOUR DISRESPECTFUL ATTITUDE!!!  PHEONIX TRANSFORMATION!!!”

 

            The room was ablaze as the form of Saffron was engulfed in flames.  The power went out and destroyed all the pedestals and sent artifacts flying.  The heat melted many of the treasures and imbedded the rest into the walls surrounding.  The powered erupted in the small room like a rocket engine, sending out a powerful wind through the door.  The blast sent the other figure into the royal courtyard.

 

            The dwarf just landed lightly on his feet and waited for the Phoenix King to arrive.

 

            Arrive he did, in full adult form.  He wings splayed out in a canopy of flame.  His hair extended down his back and some over his shoulder to about his waist.  “I only have a few minutes in this form, but it will be enough to deal with you!”  He opened his hand and unleashed an enormous fireball.

 

            The diminutive man easily evaded it.  “You’ll have to do better than that.”  He opened his hand and fired an enormous Ki-blast into the Phoenix’s stomach.

 

            The blast caught the king unawares and sent him flying into the wall of the courtyard.  “DAMN YOU!!!”

 

            The figure just smiled.  “Now, I’ve got something to show you.”  The man held up his hands and winds that seemed to come from nowhere began to blow his robes upward.  “You’re not the only one who can transform.”  The clothing disentrgrated as the small figure became a seven-foot tall ebon monster with large pointed ears and enormous muscles.  “Now you will die.”  He said simply as he lifted his hand and blasted the king.

 

            “LOOK OUT!”  A blur of movement tackled the king and moved him out of harms way.

 

            “What?”  The monster bellowed in his deep bass.

 

            Saffron turned to look at his savior.  “You!  No, you can’t be him, you’re much too young.”

 

            The boy that had rescued the king gave him a cocky grin.  “You wouldn’t believe how much I get that.”  Hatsumi turned to face the monster.  “Okay, Basil, it’s time to got back to the kitchen.”

 

            The monster tensed up and seemed to grow another few inches.  “THAT’S GARLIC YOU LITTLE WHELP!!!”

 

            The teen just kept the cocky grin in place.  “Whatever, Junior.”

 

            “DIE!!!”  Garlic Junior fired a Ki-blast at the young teenager.

 

            “Earth Wall!”  The boy crossed his arms and a large shield of granite appeared to block the blast.  The wall was destroyed, but the boy and king were unharmed.  “Now try this one on for size.  Fire Dragon!”

 

            A fireball shot out of his hands and transformed into a massive dragon made entirely of fire.  Garlic simply rose up a Ki shield and absorbed the attack.  “My turn.”  He prepared another blast.

 

            His preparation was brought short as a red and yellow spiral beam struck the ground in front of him throwing him off his feet.  The source of the blast dropped in beside Hatsumi.  “Stop mixing the attacks, Hatsumi.  They were made to be used in a specific way.”  The namek scolded the teenager.

 

            “Come on, Nail!  That’s no fun!”  He pleaded.  “Where’s Ryeka?  You were supposed to watch her!”

 

            Nail smiled.  “You were supposed to stay out of sight, too.  Besides she can take care of herself.  You aren’t worried are you?”

 

            The boy’s expression went neutral.  “Yeah, but only cause aunty will kill me if anything happens to her.”

 

            Garlic got back to his feet.  “Damn meddling kids!  Stay out of my way!”  He fired a blast at the two fighters, who both easily dodged.

 

            “You’re the meddler here!”  Saffron had finally brought himself back into the fight.  “Now you will pay!  TENKA SHUNMETSU KOUKYUU DAN!”

 

The courtyard filled with Ki-powered flames of temperatures that threatened to rival the sun.  Hatsumi managed to throw up another wall to protect himself and his Namekian companion.  The world went white for all of them.  The light died down to reveal a panting Saffron and Garlic Junior with a large portion of his right torso missing.

 

Garlic looked at the hole that used to be his right torso and arm and smiled.  “Any-Mortal Instant-Annihilation Emperor-Sized Blast, eh?  Good thing I’m immortal.  You just did me a favor.”  He reached behind himself with his left arm and produced the rock from earlier.  “Now I can be joined with the Heart of the Makio Star!”  He thrust the rock into his exposed innards and then his flesh rapidly covered it and regenerated his wounds.  Whole once more, Garlic Junior stood glowing with more power than he did before.  “Now nothing can stop me!”

 

“Aw crap.”  Hatsumi swore.

 

Saffron began powering up again.  I only have a few more moments before I burn myself out.  I have to put everything into this last blast.  “TENKA SHUNMETSU…”

 

Garlic Jr. raised his palm toward the Phoenix King.  “Not this time.”  He unleashed a Ki-bolt that grew in size as it approached.

 

“KOUKYUU DAN!”  Saffron finished his attack quickly to try and counter the other’s attack.

 

The two powers pushed against one another.  They came together into an enormous ball of energy in between them.  The ball grew bigger as the seconds passed.

 

“We have to do something!”  Hatsumi tried to think of what he could do.

 

“We have to get some distance and hit him with ranged attacks, and quickly before Saffron collapses.”

 

“Right!”

 

They flew a fair distance and powered up their attacks.  Garlic noticed the Ki buildup and decided it was time to quit fooling around.  He brought up his other hand and powered up another attack while he held his first attack with his other.  “HA!!!”  He thrust his hand forward, adding the power of the second attack to the first.  The new power struck the enormous ball of Ki in the middle.  The dam broke and all the power spilled out on Saffron.

 

The Phoenix King screamed in agony as he felt himself being torn apart.  The power subsided, and Saffron lay there bleeding and panting for breath, too low on power to even regenerate.

 

“Now, Hatsumi!”  Nail cried as they both unleashed their most powerful Ki blasts.

 

Garlic just laughed.  He faded out from sight and reappeared in the air behind the human and the Namekian.  “Wait your turn.   I’m not finished playing yet.”  He backhanded the boy and kicked the alien, sending them both plummeting to the ruins of the royal courtyard.  Garlic landed lightly in front of Saffron, who had managed to regain his feet, albeit very unsteadily.

 

The living phoenix glared at Garlic with his one good eye.  “I am the Phoenix God.  You will die for this.”

 

Garlic’s expression went serious.  “You used to be a god.”  The ebon monster grabbed Saffron by the neck and threw him into the air.  When the king of Mount Phoenix reached the zenith of his arc, Garlic fired a tight beam at the falling figure.  The sky lit up with a second sun, and then, just as suddenly as it had started, it was gone.

 

 

 

At that moment at the Masaki shrine, Ranma and Tenchi were sparring.  Ranma was enjoying his role as Sensei to the young human/Jurian.  He was dressed in a black tank top with his black pants.  Tenchi was dressed in a white gi.  All of the sudden Ranma stopped.  Tenchi landed a punch to the pigtailed martial artist’s face, only to hurt his hand.

 

“Ouch!”   Tenchi cried out in pain.  “What are you made of?”

 

Ranma was still standing there, looking like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.

 

Akane, who had been watching the whole thing, stepped up beside her former fiancé.  “Ranma?  Is something wrong?”

 

Ranma muttered something under his breath.

 

Akane stepped closer and put a hand on his shoulder.  “What did you say?”

 

“Saffron’s dead.”

 

Akane rolled her eyes.  “Ranma, you can’t keep beating yourself up over that!  He regenerated!  You didn’t really kill him!”

 

Ranma shook himself out of his daze and caught what Akane was saying.  “No, you idiot.  I mean Saffron is really dead.  Not regenerating anymore.  He’s kaput!”

 

Akane held back her anger for bit, deciding that she’d like to hear what he was babbling about for once.  “What do you mean?”

 

“I’ve got to go check it out.”  Ranma turned and reached for his red shirt on the ground.

 

“RANMA!!!”  Akane shouted.  “TELL ME WHAT’S GOING ON!!!”

 

Ranma finished putting his shirt back on.  “You stay here.  I’ll be back as soon as I figure out what’s going on.”  He turned and leapt into the air, rocketing off toward the west.

 

“Oh no, you don’t!”  Akane jumped up and flew to catch up with him.

 

Pan, dressed her usual red t-shirt and blue jeans, came walking around the corner about that time, ready for her turn at fighting Ranma.  She wasn’t too disappointed when all she found was a confused Tenchi.  “Hey cutie, where’s Ranma?”

 

Tenchi blushed slightly and pointed in the direction the Nerimans had gone.  “He and Akane just took off in that direction.  Ranma said something about Saffron being dead and he said he had to check it out.”

 

“Just great!  He’s going back to Mount Phoenix and leaving me behind again!”  Pan started to take off.

 

“Hey!  Can you tell me what’s going on?”  Tenchi asked.

 

Pan turned around with a sly grin on her face.  “Sure.  I’ll tell you on the way.”  She grabbed him around the waist and took off into the air, Tenchi screaming the whole way.  She just smiled and took off after Ranma.  She found his Ki signature pretty easily and followed accordingly.  After Tenchi had calmed down, she told him what she had learned about Ranma’s experience at Mount Phoenix and how Akane had almost died.  Tenchi had heard part of the story from Ranma, but of course from Ranma’s perspective he was in control the whole time.

 

 

 

Up ahead, Ranma was still pushing forward with a determined look on his face.  He felt Akane catching up to him.  He rolled his eyes, turned around, and stopped dead in his tracks.  Akane came to a screeching halt in front of him.  “What are you doing here?!  I told you to stay back!”

 

Akane clenched her fists.  “Tell me what’s going on, Ranma!”

 

“I already told you before!  Saffron’s dead!  Really dead!  He’s not coming back this time!”  Ranma shouted.

 

“How do you know?”  Akane put her hands on her hips and gave him a stern look.

 

“I’ve been keeping tabs on him since I fought him last, just in case he tried something when he grew up again.  It’s like what I do with my instant transmission when I track someone’s Ki.  I kept one ‘eye’ on him the while time just in case.”

 

“But how do you know he’s really dead and not regenerating?”

 

Ranma shook his head.  “He’s not regenerating.  He’d still have a Ki signature.  He’s completely disappeared from this world.  I’m pretty sure I could track him if he was on the moon or something, but his essence just passed into another world.”

 

“Well, maybe he was just taken abducted!”

 

“It would still be worth my while to check it out.”  Ranma turned to start flying again.  “Now go back to the shrine.  I don’t ever want a repeat of the last time I visited.”

 

Akane blanched a bit from the statement but remained where she was.  “I’m going with you, for better or for worse.”

 

Ranma cringed.  “Did you have to say it like that?”

 

“At least I didn’t say ‘til death do us part.’”  Akane smiled.

 

“I could have sworn I remember you saying something about not wanting to marry me.”  Ranma scratched his head.

 

“Will you just shut up?!  We’ve got work to do.”  Akane grabbed his arm and began flying toward the Mountain again.  The sun was settings as they were beginning to cross the ocean.  “Why don’t we just teleport there?”

 

“I don’t have anyone familiar there to teleport to.  Saffron was the one I was using for a focal point because I knew his Ki signature.”

 

“I could teleport us using my Sailor Teleport.”

 

Ranma looked at her.  “You sure you can take a passenger.”

 

Akane smiled.  “Sure.  I’ve done it plenty of times while you were dead.”  She reached into her pocket and produced her Henshin rod.  Earth Power!  Make Up!”   In a swirl of light and molten lava, Akane’s clothes were replaced by the sailor fuku of Sailor Earth.  “Just hold onto me.”

 

Ranma put his hand on her shoulder.  “Let’s go.”

 

Akane nodded.  “Sailor Teleport!”  In a flash, they were gone.

 

They appeared on one of the peaks surrounding Mount Phoenix.  They were both shocked at what they saw, a giant ape rampaging on the mountain.

 

 

 

Flying out of Japan, Pan felt an enormous surge of energy come from in front of her.  “We need to hurry Tenchi!  Hold on!”

 

Tenchi hugged her tightly like his life depended on it, which it did.  “Okay.”

 

Pan smiled a lecherous grin at the closeness.  Maybe we could stop off somewhere.  The power surged again.  Damn!  Always when I’m about to have fun!  She expanded her aura to protect herself and Tenchi and took off at full speed, leaving several sonic booms in her wake.

 

 

 

Earlier.

 

 Hatsumi could only sit there with his jaw in his lap.  Garlic Jr. had just destroyed Saffron!  How could that be?  He quickly got back to his feet.  “Come on, Nail, we’ve got to bail!”

 

Nail shook his head at the unnecessary rhyme.  “Let’s.”  They both took to the skies.

 

Garlic turned on them.  “You will not get away!”  He fired another beam at the Hatsumi like the one that he had finished Saffron with.

 

“HATSUMI!!!”  Came a high-pitched scream.  A black blur struck him and knocked him out of the way of the blast, but slammed him against the nearby mountain.  “Owies!”  Ryeka rubbed her head as she got up.

 

“You can say that again.”  The boy rubbed his own head.

 

A hideous laughter came from behind them.  “You’ve only delayed the inevitable.  You will both die slow and painful…what?  A tail?!?!”

 

Hatsumi turned to his companion and saw they she indeed had sprouted a brown furry tail.  “Damn it!  It grew back again!”  He quickly looked to the horizon and saw a full moon.  “Man, I can’t get a break.  Ryeka, don’t…”

 

It was too late.  The transformation was already taking place.  Her pupils were tight little spots that were turning white.  Her body began to shift and grow larger and thick brown hair sprouted from all over her body.

 

Hatsumi fly away as she continued to grow.  “Damn it!  Why now?”

 

Garlic just didn’t know what to think.  I’ve got to stop her!  He fired a powerful blast at her, but it only served to anger her.

 

Ryeka was now over fifty feet tall and roaring like a ferocious monster.  She turned and opened her mouth for another roar at the now smaller Garlic junior.  The roar was accompanied by an enormous Ki-blast that blew the black monster back.  When she lost sight of the dark figure she began stomping around, trying to find him.

 

Ranma and Akane could only stare dumbly.  “I don’t think fighting King Kong was ever in my job description when I signed up to be a martial artist.”

 

Akane only nodded.

 

Pan and Tenchi settled down beside them.  Pan looked up and saw the monster.  “Oozaru.”  She breathed.

 

They rest all looked at her.  “What?!”

 

“That’s what happens when a Saiya-Jin with a tail sees a full moon.  But that can’t be a Saiya-Jin, we’ve all had our tails removed.

 

In the skies above, Nail had noticed the newcomers.  “Hatsumi!  We’ve got company!!!”

 

Hatsumi turned and saw who it was.  “WHY CAN’T I GET A BREAK?!?!?!”

 

“It’s not in your blood line.  Come on, we need to help Ryeka.”

 

They dove in to the fight.  Ryeka had found Garlic and had him on the run.  Hatsumi and Nail began firing blasts to cut off his exits.

 

Pan saw what was happening and finally recognized whom the two boys and the ape were following.  “Sailor Earth!  Get Tenchi out of here, now!  Come on, Ranma.  We have to stop Garlic before he opens a portal to the Dead Zone.”

 

“What?”  The other three just stared blankly at her.

 

“Just get out of here!”  She shoved Tenchi toward Akane and took off in the air.  Ranma followed shortly after.

 

“Who are you?”  Tenchi asked the transformed Akane.

 

“I’m one of the Sailor Suited soldiers for love and justice.”

 

“I thought you guys only hung out in Juuban.  What are you doing here?”

 

She started to sweat.  “No time to explain, I have to get you to safety!”  She grabbed his arm.  “Sailor Teleport!”

 

Meanwhile, Garlic was running out of options.  Finally he decided to make his stand.  After all, I am an all-powerful immortal now!  He stopped to face the oncoming ape, only to be squished flat by its foot.

 

“We have to get that rock outta him!”  The boy with the braid shouted.

 

Pan took this opportunity to throw a razor sharp Ki disk at the Oozaru’s tail, severing it.  She swept in quickly to catch the de-transforming girl.  “Ranma get the other two!  We need to get out of here!”

 

Ranma grabbed the Namekian and went to grab the boy, but he disappeared.  “Uma-Sen-Ken?”  He muttered under his breath.

 

On the ground, Garlic was healing rapidly.  “Get…you…”

 

“Not before I get this!  Poison Snake Deep Hole Blow!”  Hatsumi jabbed his hand into Garlic’s chest cavity and pulled the Makio Heart out of him.  He jumped back and started to fly off. 

 

Garlic had healed and was back on his feet.  “You can’t run from me!”

 

Hatsumi smirked.  “Sure I can.  SHABON SPRAY!”  In a shower of bubbles, a dense fog settled on the mountain.

 

“Now he stops mixing.”  Nail grumbled under his breath.

 

Ranma and the others were caught in a dense fog and couldn’t see anything.  Suddenly they all felt themselves being hugged together.  “Use your instant transmission, now!”  The boy shouted at Ranma.

 

Ranma didn’t question, he just teleported them away.

 

On the ground below, the fog cleared to show a furious Garlic Jr.  “You may have spoiled my plans again this time, boy, but I will have my revenge!!!”  He shouted to the heavens.