Sailor Moon Fan Fiction ❯ The Radiant Sailor Moon ❯ Act II: Sharp Dressed Man - Part 1 ( Chapter 5 )
DISCLAIMER: Sailor Moon is property of Naoko Takeuchi, Viz Media, Toei Animation. I’m just a fan.
NOTE: There are NO MAJOR OCs in this work! Any unfamiliar names that you encounter will be a version of a character from the manga/anime.
Act II: Sharp Dressed Man
Part 1: Olugbeja Aiye
Usagi sat on the bench, eyes closed, enjoying the warm sunshine. Rainy season would be coming soon, so she was determined to enjoy the pleasant weather while she could…especially on her day off!
After a great night at her bar job, Usagi woke up to discover that Luna had gone off to do her own thing. If the past week was any indication, she would be doing that a lot. Usagi wasn’t worried. The two of them had been doing some talking since they met, teaching Usagi about the task she had been given. While Luna was pleased that Usagi seemed to believe her and understood how important a senshi was, she was still disappointed at her lack of motivation for practice. For her part, Usagi still felt as though Luna was holding back on some critical information.
“Hello, Miss Lazybones!”
Usagi opened her eyes and looked down the path at her best friend walking towards her. “Hey, Miss Works-too-hard!” she replied. Naru wasn’t lucky enough to have the day off, so they were meeting for lunch. Usagi wanted to help put as much positivity as possible between Naru, and the Osa-P incident.
Naru had been quite shaken by everything that happened, especially concerning her mother, who, incidentally, couldn’t remember anything past accepting the shipment of the Yamana Collection. All of the people involved had recovered, though many reported various degrees of hearing damage. The mass confusion, health concerns, damage to the building, and disappearance of the jewelry led to ongoing legal and investigational quagmires, especially since surveillance cameras were non-operational at that time. (Fortunately, Mrs. Osaka had an excellent insurance policy.) Only two leads were available: wild internet rumors about energy-sucking demon gems, and the testimony of a weakened young lady who swore that she saw a woman in a schoolgirl outfit run away with a black cat.
Usagi hopped up, the two girls hugged and headed towards the restaurant. On the way there, Usagi loudly mused about the guys who were hitting on her the night before. She produced a napkin from her pocket.
“Look at this! This guy actually wrote me a love letter in English!” She began to read, “Usagi…” She furrowed her brow and turned the napkin this way and that. Naru sighed and took the napkin from her. She began to read.
“Usagi, I think UR so hot! I want 2 see U later. UR so sweet N beautiful. I could b a good boyfriend. I write music and U deserve a special song. Please!” Naru laughed. “Wow! He gave you his number too! How drunk do these guys get at your bar?”
Usagi laughed back. “You should see it! They have such a good time, but they are so crazy! I end up laughing all night, but I’d never date one of them!” She took the napkin back. “Fortunately for me, this guy will be singing the blues. He’ll have to find another beauty to be his muse!” She balled the napkin up and threw it over her shoulder while she and Naru continued to guffaw.
“I’m sorry ma’am, but I’m not the burnable trash bin.”
The girls turned and looked backwards to see where the (slightly accented) voice came from. Sitting at a table at an outdoor café was a man wearing a pristine black suit, spectacular shoes, gorgeous cufflinks and a slick fedora. The nails at the end of his brown fingers were immaculately manicured. His face was temporarily hidden behind the recently discarded napkin that he was now reading.
“‘Sweet N beautiful…a good boyfriend…a special song.’ This is how you treat a man who is kind to you?” He pulled the napkin down from in front of his face, revealing deep brown eyes, a perfectly lined beard/goatee, and full lips that Usagi’s eyes couldn’t help but linger on. His musical, tenor voice continued: “I believe that he is the fortunate one.”
Usagi overcame her gaze and became annoyed. “Hey! Who asked for your opinion anyway?”
The man smiled. “Do you want my opinion?”
Usagi glared. “I didn’t ask for it!”
“I didn’t ask if you asked for it. I asked if you want it.”
“If I wanted it, I would have asked for it!”
“The fact that you didn’t ask for my opinion bears no relevance to whether you want my opinion or not. It simply means that you did not ask.” He arched an eyebrow. “Even though I already gave you my opinion.”
Usagi was becoming incensed. Naru was kind of amused. The young man sensed this. He looked at Naru and tilted his head towards Usagi with a little laugh. Naru smiled. Usagi yelled, “Keep the rest of your stupid opinions to yourself!” She turned around in a huff.
The young man mumbled something under his breath.
Usagi wheeled around and confronted him. “What did you just say?”
The young man looked perplexed for a moment but quickly regained his composure. “I said, ‘whatever pleases you, Puff-Puff.’”
Usagi put her hands on her hips. “And just who are you calling ‘Puff-Puff?’”
Mockingly, he looked around. “Well, since there are no other 150cm women with puffs in their hair around…the answer stands before me.”
She grabbed her hair. “These are not ‘puffs’, they’re odangos! Just like the food!”
“As is ‘Puff-Puff,’” he responded. “In Nigeria, Puff-Puff is a dessert dish that looks just like your hair.” He smiled. “Given our current circumstance, you should know that!”
She turned red. “Who are you to tell me what I should know?”
She paused. “What?”
“Olugbeja Aiye. That’s who just told you what you should know.” He winked. “Nice to meet you, Usagi.”
Usagi huffed again. “The only thing I know is that you’re a jerk!” She started to walk away, but not before turning back to him, snatching the napkin away, and sticking her tongue out. He chortled as he watched the two girls depart, eventually returning to reading the article on his phone: “Demon gems suck energy from innocents.”
“Can you believe that guy?” Usagi steamed as they continued their walk. Naru didn’t respond. Usagi looked over at her friend to discover that she was staring at her strangely.
“What?” Usagi inquired.
“I know you’re a whiz with spoken languages, so what was that?”
Usagi looked confused. “What was what?”
“You were speaking a language that I’ve never heard before,” Naru said. “What was that? Where did you learn it?”
Usagi’s look didn’t change. “I…was…speaking a different language just now?”
Laughing weakly, Usagi tried to look innocent. “Well, you know that I try to pick up what I can! I guess I surprise myself sometimes!”
Naru looked unconvinced. “Sure.”
Usagi began to feel uneasy. What just happened? Who was that guy and why did he send her into a frenzy just now? Was she really speaking a different language? She didn’t even notice that they were no longer speaking Japanese. And what about poor Naru? Was she beginning to think that Usagi was hiding something from her? Usagi certainly didn’t want to do anything to add to her friend’s worry…and she hadn’t even thought about the whole “Sailor Moon” thing yet! (Not to mention a talking cat…)
Usagi sighed. Nothing to do now but to keep being a good friend. Her eyes met with Naru’s. They shared small smiles and continued on to lunch.
* - - - -
Plopping down on her bed, clad in comfortable pajamas, Usagi lamented the fact that she wouldn’t get two days in a row off. She laid on her back, aimlessly scrolling through her phone. Suddenly, a text message notification from her Line app came up. Her eyes rolled. Based on the greeting alone, she knew who it was:
“Hey, you guys!”
Since there was nothing else to look at before bed, Usagi opened the message. Several other people, including Naru of course, were included in the message.
“I and my fellow seekers of justice and truth have organized a new website! No evildoer in Tokyo will escape our watch! Click the link to support us and find out exactly what’s going on in this city!”
Usagi yawned. Umino was an uber-nerd. It was only a matter of time before it became his full-time job. She closed her phone.
“Why don’t you click that link and take a look?”
Usagi looked to the windowsill. There sat Luna, apparently reading over her shoulder.
“Why?” Usagi inquired. “It’s just crazy rambling about robberies and Sailor V and…”
“And evil jewels absorbing people’s energy?” Luna interrupted. A look of realization came across Usagi’s face. She opened her phone back up, Luna hopped into her lap.
Usagi tapped on the link. The site appeared to be an aggregator of stories having to do with crime, the occult, and unknown phenomena reported in the Tokyo area. Usagi read through some of the headlines.
“‘Alien twins grow tree in apartment,’ ‘Lake monster ruins family vacation,’” Usagi smiled and pointed. “Here’s one for you, Luna! ‘My housecat is an ancient youma!’”
Luna looked at Usagi. “Not amusing.”
Usagi continued to scroll when all of a sudden, Luna placed her paw on the screen.
“There!” she said. “That’s the story!”
Usagi read the headline, “‘Ghost Bride’ terrorizes men across Kanto Plain,” and clicked the link.
The pair read through the main highlights: according to numerous victims, all men, a beautiful ghostly woman in a wedding dress would approach them and put them in a trance. Subsequently, they would wake up in the hospital, suffering from dehydration and exhaustion.
Usagi giggled. “Sounds like the ‘Ghost Bride’ gave them a good time!”
“Usagi, pay attention to the important details!” Luna commanded. “All of these events happened outside of bridal shops, the victims were all hospitalized with no external injuries, no suspects have been found. An untraceable, health-draining entity? Doesn’t this sound familiar?”
“Ohh…” Usagi groaned, “Does this mean what I think it does?”
“It very well might,” Luna confirmed. “Here, click that link.”
Usagi clicked and a map opened up. It documented the time and location of all reported Ghost Bride attacks. While there were attacks all over Tokyo, many of them were concentrated in the Shibuya/Minato area. Her heart sank as she saw the item sure to draw Luna’s attention: five attacks in the last week near the bridal shop closest to her apartment.
Usagi sighed. “We’re gonna have to go and take a look, aren’t we?”
“Absolutely,” Luna answered. “But you could go investigate incognito. No need to transform unless it’s necessary.”
Usagi looked hopeful. “Can this wait until…”
Usagi scrunched up her face. “I’ll change…” Before getting up, she made sure to bookmark Umino’s site: TokyoNegaverse.net
* - - - -
Usagi and Luna made the 10-minute walk to the local bridal shop. Despite the time and her desire to be snug in her bed, Usagi couldn’t help but get a dreamy look on her face.
She sighed. “I can’t wait to be a bride!”
“Your time is coming,” Luna assured her. “Right now, look for suspicious things!”
“The only suspicious thing that I see is this lilac dress! For the bride? Ugh!” Usagi window-browsed the display. Dresses were grouped by designer. She took mental notes as she walked by. One collection really caught her eye: she hadn’t heard of the designer, but the dresses combined elements of Western, Japanese, and Indian. They were absolutely amazing! She loved the sheer saree wrap of the first. The shoulderless faux-kimono style of the second was really sharp. And the third was…was…an empty stick where the mannequin should have been. That did seem suspicious.
Luna noticed it too. “A mannequin going missing overnight?”
“Maybe it’s just in the back? Hopefully?” Usagi responded.
Luna snapped her head and stared at the alley down the road. “I have a bad feeling about this!”
“What is it?” Usagi asked.
“I hear something down that street!”
Usagi and Luna quickly and quietly moved to the alley. They stealthily peered around the building. Both of them stifled gasps as they saw something unreal.
At first glance, it was a beautiful woman whose hair, skin, and stiletto heels seemed to shimmer with light. As Usagi looked closer, she could barely make out the outline of a mannequin through the ghostly shell. The ruffles of the mannequin’s dress billowed with an unfelt wind. The apparition’s arms moved fluidly and sensually, with its hand eventually finding its place on the cheek of a trembling man that it had pinned to a wall.
“The Ghost Bride!” Usagi marveled. “Holy crap! Umino was right about something!”
“Tell me that you love me!” the Ghost Bride’s silky sweet voice demanded of the man.
The man continued to tremble in fear, shocked into speechlessness.
The Ghost Bride’s eyes turned a familiar shade of red, sending chills down the spines of both Luna and Usagi.
“Tell me that you love me!” she ordered again.
The man’s eyes began to glow red. His tremors ceased. He began to sweat. “I love you,” he mindlessly answered.
The Ghost Bride moved her face closer to his. “Tell me that we’ll be together forever!”
“We’ll be together forever.” The man was beginning, ever so slightly, to show the wear and tear on his face that Usagi had seen at Osa-P.
Usagi and Luna ducked back around the corner. Usagi’s pulse was racing. “I’m gonna have to transform, aren’t I?”
Luna looked up at her. “I think that you know the answer to that already!”
Usagi swallowed hard and took the brooch out of her pocket. She felt the same fear as she had when going to help Naru. But, she also had the same desire to help this man as she did when walking into Osa-P. He was an innocent victim of this sinister force…a force using love to hurt people! Usagi felt some of that fear turn to anger. She thrust her brooch in the air, and…
“Usagi!” Luna whisper-yelled.
“What? I need to transform!”
“And you’re going to yell your transformation phrase less than 20 meters from your enemy? Usagi, you have to be more strategic!”
A little embarrassed, but a little wiser, Usagi held her brooch close and (softly) uttered the magic words:
“Moon Prism Power…Make…UP!”
Usagi was once again enveloped in the warm and colorful flow. She felt her clothes change and her strength increase. Luna was right, it didn’t feel like it took so long this time! In a flash, the boots, tiara, and sailor fuku were on full display.
Sailor Moon and Luna peered around the corner again. The man’s condition continued to deteriorate. The apparition continued to interrogate him.
“Will you love anyone other than me?”
“Never. I will love only you.”
The Ghost Bride turned her head to the entrance of the alleyway. There she saw a small, red-white-and-blue-suited young woman with long ponytails. Her concentration broken, her eyes were no longer red. The man slumped down against the wall.
“How dare you use your false perversion of love to hurt people!” the young woman shouted. “Preying on a pure desire, forcing that man to say those things…that is unforgiveable!” She struck a pose.
“Protected by the Moon! The pretty guardian, who fights for love and justice! I am Sailor Moon! And in the name of the moon, I’ll punish you!”
“Who are you to interfere with my happiness?” the Ghost Bride seethed as she moved towards the senshi.
“Well…I…kinda just told you who I am,” Sailor Moon said, thinking that that exchange sounded awfully familiar.
The Ghost Bride smiled. “If you’re determined to keep me from my beloved…” Her eyes began to glow brightly with that familiar red hue. The unseen wind around her intensified, violently billowing her dress. Speaking of the dress, the clean, white fabric actually began to take on a faint shade of red itself! The entity finished its statement, “…then I will sacrifice you to our Great Ruler!” The Ghost Bride sprinted and lunged at Sailor Moon with astonishing speed. Sailor Moon ducked to the ground just in time to avoid a fist to the face.
“Luna! Find a safe spot!” she implored.
As Luna found refuge under a dumpster, where she could still see everything going on, Sailor Moon got back to her feet, just in time to see a swipe come towards her face. Instinctively, she launched into a series of back handsprings to create some space. After covering an adequate distance, the tiara-slinger grabbed the weapon off of her head and loaded up.
“Moon Tiara Boomerang!”
Sailor Moon flung the attack directly at the Ghost Bride, only to see the enemy deftly dodge and then come running back at her. Sailor Moon front-flipped to hurdle the Ghost Bride. She landed, awkwardly but stable, and turned to face her combatant. Her tiara returned to her outstretched hand.
The Ghost Bride looked annoyed. Her eyes burned with a fierce light. “You will not keep me from my beloved!”
The warrior returned a look of her own. “And you won’t be stealing energy from anyone else! I’m gonna…”
“Sailor Moon, LOOK OUT!” Luna screamed.
Before Sailor Moon could even turn her head, she felt a crushing blow to her right kidney area, strong enough to lift her off of the ground. While airborne, an impact to her shoulder blades sent her smashing into the ground. Dazed, she got up to her hands and knees. Her vision cleared right as a foot bearing a gorgeous white wedding sandal caught her between the eyes, sending her crashing into the same wall that the unconscious gentleman was still leaning against. Grimacing, she gingerly lifted her head to assess the new situation. The Ghost Bride stood over her with a second and a third figure flanking her.
“No one will keep us from our mission,” said the second figure, wearing a sheer saree wrap.
“Those who defy the Great Ruler will be met with death,” said the third, sporting a faux kimono.
Sailor Moon knew that she was in dire straits. This was a far cry from the Osa-P encounter where she just had to destroy an inanimate object and dodge some hypnotized ladies. A thought flashed with the Osa-P memory: the sonic attack! Could that work? She struggled to her feet and took a deep breath. At that moment, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the slumped-over gentleman fall over onto his side. It was instantly apparent that the sonic attack could hurt him further. She’d have to find another way.
The first bride used this hesitation to launch a quick strike. A punch to the midsection took the air out of the senshi’s lungs. She took the doubled-over Sailor Moon by the back of neck and tossed her towards the second, who gave their victim’s face a mean backhand, directing the young warrior’s body toward the third. A sharp kick to the chest, followed by a spinning kick to the midsection sent Sailor Moon flying backwards into the dumpster that Luna was hiding under. Blood was splattered onto the dresses of the assailants. Within seconds, the blood evaporated into red mist, leaving the fabric clean again. The trio moved ominously towards the downed young woman.
“Usagi!” Luna sobbed, “you must retreat! We can fight again another day!”
Despite her raging fear, her anger at being forced into this situation, and her body hurting with every breath she drew, Sailor Moon shook her head. The unconscious man was still in her line of sight. “If I leave, they’ll continue to hurt people. That evil that tried to take Naru and her mom won’t stop. I can’t give up.” She looked up to see the last quarter moon hanging just over the low-lying buildings. “I can’t give up.”
Sailor Moon dropped her eyes as the first Ghost Bride lunged with a punch. Swiftly, she rolled away. Looking back, she saw that the punch left a dent 8cm deep in the side of the dumpster. Enhanced strength or not, that punch would have caved her face in. Sailor Moon hopped back on her feet and grabbed her tiara again.
“Moon Tiara Boomerang!”
The projectile flew in an arc, causing all three Brides to scatter before returning to its origin. As she was winding up for another throw, Sailor Moon felt something grab her arm.
“No man will ever want you with THAT attitude!”
The third Bride used the senshi’s arm as a lever, catapulting her, and sending her spiraling face-first into the wall. Sailor Moon tried to regain her bearings, but at the time, all she was aware of was the blood and sweat pouring off of her face and the intense pain in her shoulder. She mustered enough strength to stand up against the wall and turn around to face her challenge. She saw a familiar sight: the first Bride, rushing at her with a cocked fist. Although she saw it coming, her body just couldn’t react in time. While Luna screeched, the young woman could only whisper, “I’m sorry.”
Sailor Moon closed her eyes.