Five

Title: Dragon Ball Ninbunnoichi
Plot, or Lack Thereof: The Nerima Wrecking Crew go Dragon Ball Hunting
Reason for Banishment: Weak characterization and major differences in setting and tone between series.


Mousse wandered without any idea of where he was going.  He had never been here before; but, even if he had, he couldn’t see the ground before him.  He pushed his thick glasses as close as possible, squinted hard, and barely made out a shape that might resembled a hole.  He decided that it was only his imagination, and kept going.

“AAAAH!” He screamed as the ground dropped out from beneath him.

“Ha! I told you it would work!” A strange voice declared in triumph.  A blue head, then a dog’s head, and a girl’s head peered into the pit.

“Who up there?” Mousse adjusted his glasses again.  “What up there?”

“What?” The blue creature asked in astonishment.  “You don’t recognize the Great Lord Pilaf?”

Mousee blinked.  “The Great what?”

“Never mind!” Pilaf commanded.  He cleared his throat, then continued: “You have fallen into my trap.  I am willing to help you out of it—that is, if you give me the Dragon Balls that you have.”

“And if not?”

Pilaf shrugged.  “I dunno; maybe a hungry beast might come along and decide to join you.”

Mousse wasn’t intimidated, but he did need to get out of the pit.  He hated to beg, but.  “Oh, please do not leave me here, Lord Pilaf!” Mousse threw himself on the ground, a move he often practiced against Cologne.  “I give you Dragon Balls! Just pull me out!”

Pilaf wasn’t completely taken in.  At least, not yet.  “You won’t try anything funny, would you?”

“I dare not!” Mousse pulled his face into the most desperate expression he could manage.  “Please pull me up! I hate small spaces!”

Now Pilaf was convinced.  He turned to his canine sidekick.  “The rope, Shuu.” Shuu hesitated.  “I said, ‘the rope, Shuu’!” The dog obeyed, but it didn’t look happy about it.  Pilaf threw the rope down to Mousse.  “Hold on tight, now!” He called down.

“I hold very tight!” Mousse called back.

“Okay, you two,” Pilaf commanded his trustworthy assistants.  “Pull!” Shuu and Mai strained, grunted, and pulled with all their might, without much success.  “What’s the matter with you?”

“This kid is heavy, Lord Pilaf!” Mai gasped.  “It’s like he’s wearing fifty-pound weights or something!”

“Ridiculous!” Pilaf snorted.  “You’re just being lazy! Pull harder, or I’ll deck your salaries for a month!” Mai and Shuu pulled harder, despite the fact that they had never seen a single paycheck during the forty-odd years that they worked under Pilaf.  Clouds started to gather overhead.  “Harder, you two!” Pilaf ordered, panicking; he did not want his new hat ruined by the rain.

“Hurry!” Mousse chimed in, also panicking.

The first drops of rain started to come down just as Shuu and Mai pulled with all of their might.  They fell back on top of each other as a giant robe popped out of the pit and slammed into the ground.  Two Dragon Balls rolled out of its sleeves.  Shuu handed them to Pilaf.

“Well, well! Not too bad of a start.” Pilaf clutched the Dragon Balls in his hands.

“But, Lord Pilaf, what happened to that young man?”

“Who cares? We have other things to worry about, like the rain, for example. Shuu! Where’s my umbrella?” The ninja dog fumbled with a case of capsules; after a few moments, it brought out an umbrella and held it over Pilaf’s head.  “Ah, much better! Onward!”

Mousse, now in his cursed form, finally managed to struggle out of his robe.  He swore at his horrible luck.

When I get my hands on that. He imagined giving Pilaf a slow, painful death.  But first, he would have to find some hot water.  A bit difficult, given the circumstances.

***

“Are we there yet, Great-Grandmother?” Shampoo gasped.

“Do I look like map? Check Dragon Radar.”

“Right.” Shampoo reached into her suit and discovered that the Radar was gone.  “What?”

“Mousse.” Cologne hissed.  The boy is sly; not even I could have guessed that he would try something like this.

“Aiya! He must have stolen them when he glomp onto me!” Tears began to form in Shampoo’s eyes.  “Now Shampoo never get Ranma!”

“Quit sniveling, Shampoo! You are starting to act like Mousse!” Shampoo swallowed her sobs.  “I remember where Dragon Ball at,” Cologne continued.  She pointed further up the mountain.  “That way!”

***

“Oh, brother dear!” Kodachi Kuno called.

Tatawake Kuno stopped.  “Yes, sister?”

“Do you really have any idea as to how to find these ‘Dragon Balls’?”

“My love for Akane and the Pig-Tailed Girl will lead me,” Tatawake declared with confidence.

“Don’t make me laugh.  So far, all your love has done is get us hopelessly lost.”

Tatawake suddenly tripped over something, falling flat on his face.  “Oof!”

“Well, well…” Kodachi picked up the item which had caused her brother’s ungraceful fall.  “Perhaps you are of some use after all, brother…”

“Oh, no you don’t, sister ‘dear’,” Tatawake returned to his feet.  “I told you before: I would not hesitate to fight you.” He readied his wooden sword.

“Neither would I.” Kodachi set the 3-Star Dragon Ball at her feet, turned her hands upwards, and produced a rose between each finger.  She threw them at her brother, who blocked them with ease.

“I, Tatawake Kuno, am not defeated so easily!”

“Oh, really?” Kodachi pointed.  “Look, there’s Akane!”

“Where?” When Kuno turned his head, Kodachi summoned all her willpower to produce an immense mallet.  The air resounded with a metallic *CLANG* as Kodachi smashed her brother’s head in with it.

“Hm.” Kodachi dusted her hands off.  “It wasn’t as hard as I thought; I suppose it gets easier with practice. Now, off to wish for Ranma!” She picked up the Dragon Ball again and bounded away.  Her laughter echoed through the land, sending chills up the backs of all those who heard it.

***

Pilaf, having grown tired of walking, was now zipping towards the next Dragon Ball in a motorcycle.  Or, rather, he was sitting in the sidecar while Mai struggled to keep the motorcycle traveling in a straight line and Shuu hung on for dear life.

“Quit swerving, Mai!” Pilaf exclaimed, gripping the edges of the sidecar.

“I can’t help it, Lord Pilaf; the weight of the vehicle isn’t properly balanced!”

“Are you suggesting that I’m overweight?”

“No! Of course not, I—aah!” Something flashed before Mai’s eyes; she screamed and squeezed the breaks as tightly as she could.

“YAAAH!” Pilaf was thrown forward by the sudden jolt, but his fall was broken by Shuu.  “What’s the big idea?” Pilaf demanded, picking himself off his unlucky sidekick.

“I think I—hit something, Lord Pilaf,” Mai peered  over the edge of her motorcycle.  “And I think I killed it, too—?” A small orange sphere with three stars on it rolled into view.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Pilaf picked up the Dragon Ball and put it into a pouch.  Hey! Things are actually going quite well for once! Maybe I can finally have my wish! He climbed back into the sidecar.  “Drive, Mai.”

“B—but Lord Pilaf—”

Pilaf harrumphed.

Mai understood what he had meant.  “Yes, your eminence.” She started the engine again, then waited for Shuu to scramble onto the motorcycle before she took off, still swerving out of control.

***

“Yikes.” Trunks’ jaw dropped as he watched the Dragon Radar go ballistic in its attempt to locate the Dragon Balls.  “Those things are changing hands faster than you can say ‘Shenron’.”

“It would probably be easier just to stay here and wait for one of them to come to us!” Goten mused.

Ranma, Akane, Nabiki, and Trunks all glared at him.

“Eh, heh heh.” A Very Large Sweatbead formed over Goten’s head.  “I didn’t say anything! I didn’t say anything!”

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