The Five Saints

© 2001 by Torquemada

This page was last modified: 2001/03/16


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Dedicated to SeiyaChan. I hope he will forgive me this.

Disclaimer:

This fic takes place where all fanfictions tend to happen, i.e. in some parallel/parasite universe. So please do not wonder about strange geography -- in the sense of this parasite universe, it might be not strange at all.

Like always -- "Saint Seiya" is the property of Masami Kurumada, Toei Animation and the publishing company which I always forget. I am not making any profit of it, and even if I wanted to, who'd ever pay for this? And if you don't like something, don't sue me. Since I have no property, you'd only waste your precious time.


1.

Imagine a young boy... on the second thought, it's not necessary at all. If you read this, you definitely saw "Saint Seiya", thus spare your imagination for the better things. So, what you really see here, is Seiya in his own person, standing in the middle of a crowded square, blinking in confusion.

This was the first big city he ever saw after he left his peaceful tiny village with a miserable amount of money, a dose of good advices, completely forgotten by the current moment, and an envelope in his pocket. The envelope was opened and contained a smaller envelope, which was closed, and a piece of paper with the words "Seiya, I told you not to open it, now didn't I?" All that, added to his enormous self-confidence, was meant to help him to conquer Sanctuary.

And now Seiya felt that his point of destination was very close, maybe because of the big blue sign with the writing "Sanctuary 0.5 miles" on it. So he decided to stop here and to have a look around. Seiya didn't want to reveal himself as a naive country boy (who he indeed was) in such a famous place like Sanctuary.

His attention was already attracted for a full ten seconds by a man, who was leaning against the aforementioned blue sign. The man was likewise staring back, and his icy dark blue gaze made Seiya feel very uncomfortable. A country boy would just back somewhere out of the disturbing look, but the future Fab of Sanctuary definitely had to act in another way. Like...

"You lookin' at me?"

The stranger turned a slightly surprised look to Seiya (author's note: from what we can discover he was really looking at something else. Blame Seiya's confidence that everyone in his vicinity had to look at him) and answered softly: "No, actually, I was looking at the street behind you" and then directed his gaze back to said street.

Seiya turned around and indeed he saw a street. The most sensible way out of this embarrassing situation would have been to say "Sorry", and pretend that nothing had happened. But nobody ever had seen Seiya act sensibly (author's note: and nobody ever will), so he chose something very opposite.

That was to keep buggering the stranger.

"So what you say is that this totally empty street is more interesting for you than I am, right? You say that, eh?"

The stranger looked at Seiya again with some amusement and replied "I do not remember saying anything like that, really" and returned to watch the street.

Seiya felt slightly annoyed and stepped to block his view. Now the stranger had no choice but to look at him, and Seiya was finally content. Things went on their proper way.

"Look, young man. I don't know what you are trying to achieve here, but could you please step aside?" the stranger's voice showed a hint of impatience.

"I don't like how you look at me!" Seiya announced, boastfully. The stranger shrugged and made a few steps aside so that he could see the street again.

'Now I am really, really upset!' Seiya thought and decided to do something.

"Hey, are you running from me, mister?"

"Look, boy," the stranger said, wearily. "Now I see that you want to incite a fight and be thoroughly trashed. For that, please go to the nearest pub and there you'll have it. And please leave me alone."

"I cannot go to the pub. I'm under-age." Seiya muttered.

"Excuse me?"

"I say, why go to the pub when I already have a better target!" Seiya corrected himself, loudly, and encouraged by the seemingly bottomless patience of the stranger, he bravely went on: "But you seem to be a coward, and I begin to doubt whether you are worthy to fight me!"

And then Seiya understood he made a mistake, because the patience of the stranger did have a bottom, and it was reached exactly on that moment. Fast as snake, the stranger shot his hand, grabbed Seiya's collar, and with the words "Coward or not, I'll give you a good spanking which you obviously need, puppy, to learn how to behave towards your elders!" he put his statement into action right away.

This time Seiya attracted the attention of all the population of the square, but now he strongly wished he hadn't.

"Camus-sama, what is going on here?" Somehow the female voice with foreign accent, which said that, drowned away both curses from Seiya and cheers of encouragement from the crowd.

The stranger released Seiya, who plopped onto the ground and immediately jumped up in a mad urge to tackle the stranger, but in the last second his curiosity won, and he turned to look at the owner of the voice.

And froze on the place, his mouth open, and his intentions completely forgotten. Unnoticed by himself, his eye-pupils morphed into the form of pink hearts.

The owner of the voice was a tall woman, dressed in white, with a long heavy mane of silvery hair, big dreamy eyes and the most beautiful face Seiya had ever seen in both reality and those, er, embarrassing dreams. Slightly frowning, she looked at Seiya's stranger.

"Forgive me this little accident, Milady Hilda. As you know me, I am not into that kind of games. But this obnoxious little creature picked on me while I was waiting for you, and tried to hamper my mission by all means. I am sorry again, I shouldn't allow myself to be provoked in such manner." The stranger gave a polite bow to the woman. "Is everything alright, Milady? Can we go now?"

"Yes..." The woman called 'Milady' drawled, and in an adequately lazy manner shifted her eyes to Seiya.

"Glip!" That was the only word Seiya managed to articulate.

"Provoked..." Milady continued, ignoring Seiya's reaction and Seiya himself completely -- as if she looked at an empty space. "Are you sure that all of this was just a plain accident, Camus? It sounds very suspicious for me."

"It might be, Milady. Nowadays, one cannot be too aware," Camus admitted, looking at Seiya meaningfully. His gaze slipped away, and stopped on the small white piece of paper on the ground. He bent to pick it up.

"Hey, leave that alone, it's mine!" Seiya followed the stranger's gaze and recognized his envelope, which probably fell out of his pocket in the whirlpool of events. "Don't you even try, thief!"

He snatched the envelope first, and, very excited by himself, stuck his tongue out at Camus. Camus frowned, this time apparently angered, and said something, very silently. Seiya suddenly felt very cold.

"Please, gentlemen," Milady said, with one hand touching Camus' chest in a calming gesture and extending her other hand towards Seiya.

"May I, please?"

"B-b-b-ut of course, M-m-m-milady!" Seiya obediently handed her the envelope. 'How she said that "please", uh!'

"Thank you." The woman took the envelope and hid it in her bosom. Seiya felt an overwhelming urge to jump after it.

"Now, you can finish that, Camus. I shall wait in the carriage." She turned to go, Camus nodded and gently touched Seiya with one finger.

Seiya numbly watch them both entering the carriage; then the carriage moved, Seiya wanted to keep following it as well, but suddenly to his great surprise he realized his numbness was not so much of a mental, but rather of a physical nature.

"What the..." He tried to struggle free, but could not move an inch. And then he heard heavy steps approaching from behind.

He struggled even more, trying to look back, and failed again. And the heavy steps sounded right behind his back. Seiya tried to close his eyes, failed with that, too, and there was nothing much left to be done.

The heavy steps stopped. Then a muffled girlish voice said "Here we go...lift, lift, lift -- whoaaaa!" Seiya got the feeling of a hot water bucket poured over him. That left him wet, but the numbness went away, and he quickly turned back to see a smiling girl with -- what a surprise -- an empty bucket.

"Hey! Do I look like a sewage tube?"

"You look like a thankless scoundrel," the girl sulked. "I released you from the ice, and you..."

"Ice? What ice?"

"Haven't you felt it? Camus-sama put a thin layer of ice on you," the girl explained.

"Bastard! Thief! He stole my letter!" Seiya yelled in helpless anger, but the carriage was nowhere to be seen. Then he remembered something, and added, dreamily. "But she...how beautiful she is..."

"Who?" the girl inquired, coyly.

"Milady..."

"Pah!" Angrily, the girl turned to go away, and Seiya understood it was not a good idea to turn possible allies into enemies.

"Hey, wait! Wait, wait... She's nice, all right, but nothing special, to think about that. And of course no ice queen will ever compare to the beauty of our local girls! And she is bad, she stole my letter, and she is the friend of that villain who froze me, so let's forget about her, OK? You are much more beautiful, and in addition a very kind girl...what did you say is your name?"

"Miho." The girl glanced at him sideways, but slowed her steps.

"Miho! What a beautiful name, and how it suits such a girl! And what is such a girl doing in this place? And where, er, do you live?"

"In an orphanage." The girl apparently forgave him already and spoke in a sly-happy manner. "Would you like to visit us there? I think you have to get a rest after all that happened, and your...wounds," she blushed, "must be examined and cared for..."

"Uh..." Seiya remembered the accident and immediately threw the unpleasant moment out of his head. "Sure. Of course, I feel so tired and in need of someone to care for me. You are so nice to me, Miho. How can I ever repay you for this?"

"Well...we'll se later to that."

* * *

Meanwhile, a few miles away:

"Dear Marin!

It was a long time since I wrote you my last letter. I am sorry, I was terribly busy with one thing; I'll write about it in this letter below. Now, how are you there in Sanctuary? I hope everything is all right. You were always a brave and smart girl, able to make your life fine.

Here in our village everything is quiet and peaceful, like always..."

Hilda skipped a few pages that dealt mainly with countryside events and gossips, and continued on

"Now, may I ask a favour from you, my dear? As an old friend? The matter is, that my little brother, Seiya, grew up. I do not know if you remember him -- "Seiya the Disaster", as people called him -- and, mind you, keep calling him till now. Anyway, as I said, he grew old enough, and the complaints of the neighbors, especially those with teenage daughters, finally got me. I think it would be better for all of us if the boy could get a proper education under your supervision in Sanctuary. I am not looking for protection, darling -- well, I admit, just a little bit. Please guide him to the right way, and treat him strictly. I will be eternally thankful.

Yours ever, Seika.

P.S.: Keep him away of cliffs. He still has this little problem."

"Seiya..." Hilda folded the letter, thoughtfully. "I think we must remember this name, Camus. Something says in me, that we will hear about this name again."

* * *

2.

"So your name is Seiya, right?" Marin sat behind the desk in her room at Sanctuary's headquarters and looked at the newcomer with open curiosity (author's note: she could allow herself to stare in the most impolite manner. The mask hid everything.)

"Exactly, miss...?"

"No miss. Silver Saint Aquila Marin. Let's proceed, then -- you say that my childhood friend Seika sent you?"

"That's right, Silver Saint Aquila Marin."

"And where's the proof?"

"I had a recommendation letter, Silver Saint Aquila Marin! But on the route here it was rudely stolen from me -- if I only could get the bugger who did this! And I barely escaped alive, Silver Saint Aquila Marin, if not for the hospitality of... er... the local population, I could have been killed, Silver Saint Aquila Marin!"

"Marin will do fine, thank you," she interrupted. Despite of the weird story, she believed the boy. Seika, as far as Marin could remember her, was really able to play such a nasty trick on Marin, sending her unforgettable Seiya the Disaster. Though, she could understand Seika -- if her brother's ability to cause accidents wherever he appeared had grown up together with him, then Seika's wish to have a break was very natural. Yet, it was cruel anyway, to entangle Marin in this.

"Alright, Seiya. Tell me please, what had precisely happened on your way here."

* * *

Meanwhile, in a room not far away:

"Well, well, well. Guess who I have in my workshop again," Aries Mu purred, pacing back and fro in front of the line of three Saints. These obviously had found something terribly interesting on the floor, and now were staring at it, intensely.

"No need to guess. Cygnus Hyoga, Andromeda Shun and Phoenix Ikki. The same old faces, so painfully familiar. And what tale have you brought for me today?"

"Er..." Hyoga began, with his eyes still glued to the floor. "We were attacked by Hades' Specters, Aries Gold Saint Mu."

"Oh, what do you say?! Hades Specters, how terrible! But this is a novelty, guys -- bravo! You never used Hades' crew before, I wonder what that could mean? You blamed Poseidon four times, twice it was Abel's fault, the same with Eris, and Asgard you abandoned after you messed with the names of their leader -- once it was Hilda, and another time some Dolbar, if I remember correctly. By the way, who came up with that brilliant idea with Lucifer? I suppose, you, Hyoga? As an un-practising Christian, it sounds very much like you."

Hyoga shifted uneasily in his place, and Mu continued, in a dreamy voice:

"So there came time for Hades. Not that bad, I may say. Very logical, indeed, and plenty of possibilities. Just a small advice, boys -- you'd better work on your alibis more thoroughly, instead of depleting our Pantheon so mercilessly. There is no infinite God family, you know. Although some are really, really big. Yet, with your speed of damage you may hit the bottom sooner than you expect."

"But Mu!" It was Ikki who lifted his head first. "We are not lying! All these accidents were for real!"

Shun and Hyoga nodded.

"Oh, really? And there's a big bunch of pink elephants flying north..." Mu cooed in his sweetest voice. "I can't understand why you don't tell me truth once for a change? That, say, you, Hyoga, called Crow Jamian a scavenger..."

"He began first with that duck," Hyoga mumbled, gloomily.

Mu pretended he didn't hear, and continued in his melodic voice:

"Or that someone was telling a joke about Aphrodite and Deathmask exactly when the latter was passing by... Yes, young men, the Cancer Saint was more truthful when he came to me. And please don't act this innocence offended, Shun. I know exactly who the joker was."

Now it was time for Shun to feel like sitting on pins and needles, but then Mu's tone suddenly changed. "By the way, I miss someone here... Yes, of course! How could I forget the fourth member of your Eternal Cloth Destructors team, the one who holds the all-time record of damage? I mean, of course, Dragon Shiryu."

"Er..." Hyoga coughed and glanced sideways at Ikki, looking for support.

"Well?"

"Um...he is ill, Mu. Ill and in bed." Ikki blurted out.

"Ill? What kind of disease?"

Silence followed his words.

"I am waiting for the answer, gentlemen."

"I am afraid it's a cataract, Mu." That was Hyoga.

"A cataract? For a man of his age? Who are you trying to fool, young people? Do you really expect me to believe such nonsense? Cataract... Now, of course! He probably played that silly Outstare Medusa game with Perseus Algol again. What a foolish kid...but Algol, he's a full Silver Saint, shame on him to behave like a teenager!"

Now Mu was apparently worried and concerned, he milled around the room, ignoring the Bronze Saints. Hyoga winked at Ikki. This was a good sign. If they made Mu drop the mocking tone and show his real feelings, that meant he probably wouldn't refuse to repair their Cloths another time.

The Bronze Saints knew that Mu, really loved and cared about the Sainthood under his responsibility, and the rough attitude was just a disguise (author's note: if Mu showed his concern openly, he definitely would be suspected for something, er, suggestive -- Sanctuary was quite a decadent place -- and Mu was no fool).

"Please don't worry about me. I'm fine."

Mu and the Bronze Saints turned their heads towards the entrance, where Dragon Shiryu stood with closed eyes.

"Shiryu!" breathed Mu.

"I say I'm fine, Mu. Really." To prove that, Shiryu bravely stepped forward and immediately hit some tool of Mu's that was hanging from the ceiling with his forehead. With an 'Ouch!' he sunk onto the floor.

"Drat!" Mu said and hurried to the barrel with the writing "Healing Water" on it. He put a cup under the tap and turned. Only a few drops of water emerged.

"What, again? I brought this barrel only a month ago!" Mu looked, astonished, at the barrel.

"Ahem, Mu." Hyoga coughed. "But this is Shiryu we are talking about, remember?"

"Right, how could I forget," Mu said, grimly, and soaked a piece of cloth as thoroughly as possible in the water.

"This time it will do, but please persuade him to avoid Algol at least until the next delivery of water arrives, will you?"

The three Saints nodded.

Meanwhile, Shiryu woke up, blinked a few times, painfully, remarked "I can see! ...again." and fell back into unconsciousness.

"Too little of the water," Mu explained. "He will get up soon, just his eyes will ache some time. But that's for his own good. Maybe then he will stop losing pools of precious blood everywhere. Now, off you go."

"Mu?" Hyoga decided that he could allow himself to be brave. "And what about our Cloths?"

"Ah, right." Mu looked intensely at each Saint and announced: "200 milliliters from Shun, that's almost a full glass, 0.65 liter from Hyoga, for Ikki half a liter will do, and..." he sighed, looking at Shiryu. "Like always, full three liters from him. But not right now," he added. "See to it that Shiryu eats more red beet roots, liver and other hemoglobin-rich food, guys. Due his amazing ability to lose half of his blood all the time, his blood became so thin, that I can make nothing better than aluminum out of it right now, and that's no good for armors."

"Alright. Trust us, Mu!" Even Shun found some courage to say something, and they all hurried away, carrying Shiryu with them to Mu's Blood Donation Center.

"Trust you? I'm not that stupid!" Mu said, when he was left alone in the workshop. "But anyway... I like these kids. Sometimes it is nice to feel superior."

* * *

And here we go back again...

Marin listened to Seiya's tale without interrupting him. All this sounded too awkward to be a lie. Strange things happened around Sanctuary far more often than common ones. Besides, that was exactly the kind of accident that Seiya the Disaster was famed to stick into.

"Does that man have a scar on his left cheek, right here?"

"No."

"I thought so." She nodded and a heavy sigh escaped her. "Seiya, I want you to keep away as far as possible from this man. He is very dangerous."

"What, do you know him? Then tell me where to find him, now! I'm gonna make a..."

"Stop that!" she cut in, harshly. "Now you are talking rubbish. I will never tell you how to find him, and you pray that he won't find you either!"

"I'll pray I get him and kick his ass as he deserves!" Seiya stubbornly refused to calm down, but then some memory crossed his mind, leaving Marin to guess whether these pink hearts in Seiya's eyes existed for real or were just a hallucination.

"But she...do you know her, too?"

"She who?"

"He called her Milady... Milady Hilda..." Seiya almost sang these last three words in a sweet and romantic voice, and the words were almost visibly pink, sweet and shiny (author's note: we all know Seiya. Yes, it sounded horrible).

'Oh no, not her, too,' Marin moaned in her thoughts, and started to collect the words to explain the situation. She had to be careful.

"Now listen to me, Seiya..." But Seiya was doing exactly the opposite, looking through her window with widening eyes. Before she managed to add anything to that, he yelled wildly:

"It's him! The man with no scar! Now, I'll get you, bastard!"

With wild eyes, he looked around, obviously searching for a weapon, and found nothing more than a plastic fork, that Marin had forgotten to throw away together with the pizza cardbox. And, together with this fork and a mad yell, Seya leapt out through a window.

"Young fool..." Marin sighed. "I hope you won't catch up -- Camus-sama in a bad mood is nothing that we Sanctuary people would like to face. And the boy is still the same Seiya the Disaster, only even more disastrous. Yet, he reminds me about my home sweet home so much..." and Marin drowned in the sweet wave of nostalgia (author's note: where we will leave her. It's not fair to spy on people in such moments).

* * *

3.

Seiya roughly landed on the flower bed under the window, looked around shaking his head, and noticed the familiar figurine disappearing around a corner down below the stairs. Down -- because one of the most conspicuous features of Sanctuary were steps.

(Author's note: all the principal buildings of Sanctuary were connected with steps. In the upper Sanctuary, close to the Popery and Twelve Temples, the steps were even supernatural -- no matter which direction you were going, you always went upstairs. This confused younger Saints, but with the time everyone got used to it and stopped noticing it.)

However, in lesser and thus less holy Sanctuary's part the steps behaved casually. This particular one even had a handrail attached, and Seiya decided to use it for a faster ride.

The stairs were long, and in the end of the handrail Seiya had accelerated to quite a respectable speed, and with all that speed he slammed directly into a man, who was descending the stairs slowly, holding onto the handrail.

"Watch out!" yelled Seiya, but it was too late. He knocked the man down, and together they rolled down the remained steps of the stairs.

Seiya landed on top (sometimes he was lucky) and with some embarrassment he noticed that the plastic fork he was holding, had missed the man's eye by inch, sticking in an eyebrow instead.

"Sorry," he mumbled and was all ready to continue the pursuit, but the knocked-out person managed to stand up and caught Seiya on his ear.

"Sorry? That's all you can say? You think you can poke me into my eye and go away like that, just saying 'Sorry?' Well, that won't do!"

"Hey, let go!" Seiya tried to break free, but the man was strong enough to keep him attached. "Sorry I said, and sorry is enough, now let me go -- I'm in a hurry!"

"Hurry is not an excuse."

"Oh, really? And if I poke you directly into your eye, will that count as an excuse?"

The threat worked -- the eyes were definitely the weak point of this person (author's note: if you didn't recognize Shiryu, why are you wasting your time reading all this?).

"That's better," Seiya said and turned to run, but the remark from the man with the sensitive eyes made him stop short.

"What a rude young man! Directly from the country, I suppose."

"What did you say?!" There was no way Seiya could leave such an insult unpunished, and at the same time he desperately wanted not to lose the man with no scar. "If only I wasn't in such a hurry after some bugger like you..."

"Fine, Mr. Bugger, you can find me in no hurry at all. Today at noon."

"Noon? But it's already half past two!"

Shiryu sighed. He really hated it, when such dramatic moments were spoiled by rude and ignorant people.

"Six p.m. will suit you, then?"

"Alright, six p.m... But wait, wait -- at six p.m. what will happen?"

No. This guy really had no sense of drama.

"At six, I will wait for you at the Central Coliseum." Shiryu explained, patiently.

"I'll be there!" Seiya shot forward, but returned after a second. "And where is that Central Coliseum?"

"In the middle of the town there's a big crater, and this is called Central Coliseum. You won't miss it no way. Besides, you can always ask -- there're lots of people constantly around."

"Thank you, and see you later!" Seiya rushed away.

And only a few minutes later, on the run, he realized the scary truth: some guy just had set him a date.

The idea was so shocking that Seiya, despite of his urge to catch the man with no scar, had to stop and think. (author's note: walking and thinking at the same time was a thing too complicated for Seiya).

Phoenix Ikki suddenly stopped walking too, but this, unlike Seiya, happened against his will. Something was holding him from behind. Ikki turned around and noticed that some guy just tread upon one of his Cloth's tails.

"Let go, you!" Ikki growled, but this gave no result, the guy seemed to hear nothing. Ikki, who still felt slightly dizzy after the blood-donation, thought against pushing the stranger away, and pulled the tail instead. With a nasty 'rrrrrip!', the tail torn off, and lay under the heavy boots of the stranger like a dead snake.

"That Mu!" Ikki cursed (author's note: but he was unfair to Mu, it was not his fault. Ikki, like always, cheated with the amount of blood).

"Whoopsie!" Seiya (author's note: because it was him who stood on Ikki's...well, not exactly 'way', but anyway...) noticed the strange thing under his feet and picked it up, curiously.

"Give it back!" Ikki snatched the tail out of Seiya's grip. 'Now, what shall I tell Mu?' he thought, sourly. And just couldn't hold a remark, before leaving back to Mu: "Next time watch where you are going, boy."

"Next time look where you put your ropes! Or get a better tailor," offered Seiya, who liked his words to be the finishing point in the conversation.

"Isn't that a bit rude behavior, considering that you just broke my Cloth?" Ikki inquired, his mood steadily descending from bad to terrible.

"You call this big damage? On the contrary, I did you a favour -- now you have got a nice firm rope, on which you can hang yourself and free this world of your miserable existence," Seiya's mood was suffering an equal transformation, because he noticed he lost the goal of his pursuit -- i.e. the man with no scar had vanished into the void.

"See you in the Central Coliseum at seven, you, son of a..." Ikki strongly wished to deal with the insulter right away, but he had enough common sense to understand that a few hours of sleep and a decent meal would only be for the good of his blood-lacking body.

"Do you?" Seiya was genuinely surprised. How could he know that Seiya was going to have a date there? But as he already started to suspect, these people were quite weird, so he stopped wondering. Who cared, anyway?

He looked at the back of the retreating Ikki, didn't think of anything to add to his last words, and stepped onto the street.

The man with no scar had vanished, Seiya didn't even see the direction in which he had gone, and the town was strange to Seiya. But one of Seiya's best developed features was his persistence. So he decided to hang around a while, in the faith he'd spot something unusual or overhear some useful piece of conversation.

In the corner near the place where Seiya stood, there was a group of men, talking excitedly. One of them reached in his pocket, and when he took his hand out, something floated down onto the pavement. It was white and laced, and looked suspiciously like a piece of underwear.

"Wow! What a trick! No, it's a miracle -- to take off the underwear through the pocket!" Seiya thought, very excited. Such tricks always amazed him greatly (author's note: like farting in public, blonde jokes and other simple delights). "I really must ask him about that!"

He advanced towards the group, picked up the panties, and said with the most polite smile:

"Good day, people! Sorry to interrupt... my name is Seiya, by the way, and I noticed how this conjurer just performed the ultimately interesting trick of panties removal through his pocket, and I really wonder if it's possible to know the secret of that? I'd like to learn that trick, too!"

The accused person, a young and delicate boy (author's note: Hyoga, for the ignorant) blushed to the roots of his hair, and his fellows immediately developed wide cheesy grins on their faces.

Seiya always had a strong immunity against intuition and hints from the subconscious level, so he bravely went on:

"Could you please teach me? My, the people will like that!"

"I am sorry," Hyoga answered, pretending that he didn't hear the giggling around him; the temperature of his voice could make the air freeze. "I think you are mistaken. These are not my underpants, I assure you. Mine are in the place they have to be."

"But I just saw how you pulled them out of your pocket!" Seiya stubbornly repeated, completely ignoring the tone of voice. Then he held the panties into the sun, examining them. "Gee, aren't they small!"

"You bet," one from the group remarked, sniggering. "They are female ones."

"What, you wear female underwear?!" In the last minute, Seiya omitted '...you freak!'. No good offending people from which you still want a favor.

"As I already said, they are not mine." Hyoga repeated slowly, thankful for his Ice Saint Training, which helped him to look cool even in this situation, when he most of all wanted to go through another dimension. "To prove it, I can even do this..." He quickly unzipped his pants and shot them down. "See? Mine are in place."

"John Galliano, eh, Hyoga?" One of men bent down to read. "I never suspected you are so rich."

"This is nobody's business but my own, gentlemen," Hyoga cut and put his pants on.

But nothing was able to affect Seiya's unexisting sense of perception.

"Look, I don't know -- maybe you are wearing two set of panties. I just say what I saw, and I saw these panties slipping away from your pocket!"

"Take it easy," said one of the fellow Saints, who were in the same company with Hyoga. He took the panties from Seiya's fingers. "Hey, there's a letter 'F' embroidered on them! 'F', could that be for Freya, that foreign princess that you mentioned giving battle lessons for her fiancé, Hyoga?"

Supported by the cheerful coarse laughter, he winked at Hyoga's painful grimace.

"Watch your words, Jabu," Hyoga really did not understand how he still managed not to snap, but congratulated himself on that. "Pray that Hagen won't overhear what you said about his fiancée..."

"If he does, what do I have to do with it?" But the image of a mad Norseman going berserk and sweeping all -- guilty or innocent -- on his way, made the impression it was meant to. "Anyway, that's your problem Hyoga, these are your panties. Let's go, guys."

The group, after another set of naughty remarks and friendly pat-on-the-shoulder, retreated, leaving Seiya to face Hyoga alone.

"So I can't get it. Are they yours or not?" Seiya said.

Hyoga threw a sincere devastating glance at him.

"Do you realize that you discredited a lady, idiot?"

"What lady idiot? You mean that Freya?"

"Not Freya! They belong to Eris. Just there was that loose thread on the initial, I pulled it and...oh, but why am I telling this to you? That's it. Now, when you know even that, I have no choice but to meet you in the Central Coliseum at..."

"Eight," Seiya hurried. He remembered he would be busy at six, and hoped two hours would be enough for the first date.

"As you wish. See you at eight, then."

"OK," Seiya sighed. This intense day finally got even on his nerves. "I frankly cannot understand why all you guys set dates in the same Coliseum with people you see first time in your life."

"Hmm, now that you mentioned it, I see it is strange indeed..." Hyoga murmured. And really, why were all Saints arranging their secret meetings and duels in the most crowded and best viewed place in the whole Sanctuary's territory? (author's note: the answer is vain). "...Wait, what do you mean -- date?!"

But Seiya was already out of hearing radius and stared at Sanctuary's clock tower, one of the most famous landmarks and the only clock in all of Sanctuary, which had the amazing property to be seen from every corner of it.

"What is that, a clock with pictures? Don't them people know digits, or what? They are even crazier than I thought. Well, but if they think I'm a dumb country boy who cannot retrieve time from a posh clock, they are wrong. I've seen worse, the stupid clock won't scare me. So, the light on the kind of crab, and this is, let me figure it out, somewhen between 3 and 4 p.m. Not that I'd call this a very precise time, but if it works with them, it will work with me. Then six will be on the picture of...what's that, a naked babe?! Heh heh, indeed! Bingo, ain't I smart!" With these words, Seiya confidently went into further discoveries in Sanctuary city.

Nothing worthy of our attention happened in these hours (author's note: apparently, because Seiya fell asleep in the nearest comfy shade and woke up just before his time ran out).

The light jumped from Leo to Virgo, or, in Seiya's interpretation, from uptail dog to babe, just when Seiya entered the Coliseum. Shiryu was already there, blinking painfully at the sun.

"Here you are," he said. "I thought you wouldn't come, by the way."

"How could I?" Seiya was honestly surprised. "That wouldn't be polite."

"Good words," Shiryu admitted, slightly concerned about what Seiya and politenesscould have in common. "Anyway, my friends whom I've asked to come, are late, so would you mind if we'd wait a bit longer?"

"Friends, what for? I'd never have agreed on a group date if I knew!"

"A date?!" Shiryu's eyes widened and immediately watered from the excess sunlight. " What are you talking about, what date? This is going to be a duel!"

"Ah..." Seiya sighed, relieved (author's note: but a bit disappointed as well. He never had a date before.) "Duel sounds good. You scared me with that date, you know."

"Likewise. Ah, here he is, my friend."

"Friends. Two of them," corrected Seiya, without much surprise recognizing Ikki as one of the advancing figures.

"Are you sure? I thought my eyes were tricking me again."

"Hi, Shiryu," Ikki said. "Sorry I'm late, but Shun refused to stay alone, because it was getting dark, so I had to take him with me."

"Save your excuses, Ikki." Shiryu sighed. "As f I didn't know. Anyway, here's that guy I am going to fight with."

"What? But I am fighting him, too!"

"But at seven," Seiya noted.

"And why are you fighting him, Ikki?"

"Well, er...because of my Cloth."

"Is that rope of yours now sewn properly?" Seiya inquired.

"Yeah, thank you a lot," Ikki growled. "And that cost me another spoon of my blood, which you are going to pay back with all the percents and moral compensation."

Before Seiya thought on something offending, another familiar voice interrupted the conversation.

"Hullo, guys. What are you discussing here with my opponent?"

"Hyoga? Just don't say you are fighting him, too," Shiryu said in a tormented voice.

"But I am! What, you, too? Why?"

"He insulted me. And why you?"

"Well," muttered Hyoga, flushing, "let's say, because of the certain cloth, too."

"Yes, because of panties that belongs to some Eris and which he keeps in his pocket," interfered always helpful Seiya.

"What, again?" Ikki snickered.

"She is very absentminded," Hyoga said, and, unwilling to develop the panty topic, he offered: "Now, shall we begin?"

"Right," said Shiryu. "I am the first."

"Now, why that?" Ikki bristled.

"Because I met him first, that's why."

"But I am older than you!"

"So what?"

The conversation threatened to stretch into eternity, but luckily it was ended by a bunch of another freshly arrived persons.

"Ahoy, Bronze Saints! It seems to me you are going to fight here, and what about Pope's laws?"

The five turned their heads and faced Silver Saint Lacerta Misty in all his perfection. There were some other Silver Saints visible behind him, but in the presence of Misty they faded into the background (author's note: plus, neither their quantity nor names would do a significant effect on the plot, hence I spare the space).

"Which Pope, Misty?" Shiryu inquired.

"Grey Eminence, Shiryu. Like you don't know."

"Really? And we visited Blue Hair Pope just yesterday, and he encouraged us to fight."

"Yesterday was blue, today is grey. It's always the more recent orders that are valid, Shiryu, you know that. Now, follow me, please."

"How I wish he stopped his were-Poping of everyday," Shiryu murmured, but all the group stayed where they were.

"Hey," hissed Seiya, "would anyone care to explain what is going on here?"

"You see," Hyoga started, "Technically we have this ruler of Sanctuary, the Pope. But sometimes he goes nuts, and thinks he is someone else. So what we actually have, are two Popes, who can be recognized by the color of their hair. We Bronze Saints obey and serve the Pope when he has blue hair, and the Silver Saints are the guard of the one with grey hair, the so-called Grey Eminence. He's the evil one, and Blue Hair Pope is the good one, although the Silvers say it's all the other wqy round. But they are evil,so don't listen to them. And there are some Silvers who serve the Blue Hair Pope, and some Bronzies who serve the Grey Eminence, and also we have these Goldies, who live next to the Pope, and they are so used to his switches that they really don't care about anything and do what they please. Got it?"

"No." Seiya said, honestly. Hyoga rolled his eyes to the sky. "But what I understood, is that your Boss is crazy. Then why does he still keep his job? That's weird."

"A little health problem cannot be a reason to discriminate an employee and to forbid him to do the job he likes," Shiryu said, didactically. "Besides, we got used to it. It's fun, believe me."

All that time Misty stood in front of them, impatiently tapping his foot and cursing the stupid rules that did not allow bad characters to attack good ones while the latter were discussing the situation.

"Finished?" he asked, nastily, after silence settled over the opposite camp. "Then would you mind to go with us? I don't have the whole day."

"He is right," Hyoga whispered to Shiryu. "They have the advantage of quantity, and who knows, maybe the Pope is Blue again? I think we should follow them."

"And if he isn't?" Shiryu answered, silently. "I am neither in the mood nor health to spend a night in one of his prison dimensions, or even worse, in Sunion Cape. He apologized next morning, that's right, but this didn't help me against sneezing the whole two weeks."

"So what do you suggest? Fight?"

"Do we have another choice?"

"We do. Cape Sunion."

"Oh, shut up."

"I am waiting, gentlemen," Misty patiently reminded them of his presence.

The four Saints still hesitated. To fight the much larger number of Silver Saints was foolish, and Mu would be definitely enraged, but there was no honor in surrender, either.

Seiya solved the situation. Or, rather, he helped to settle on a decision.

"Hey pals, so are we going somewhere or not? Did you heard what that lady said, eh? It is rude to keep a lady waiting." And he winked to Misty, sensually (author's note: at least, he thought so).

"Oh no," Hyoga moaned. "He said that..."

Misty turned red, and two thick streams of steam erupted off his ears. (author's note: Misty was a very paradox creature. Despite of the tons of the everyday make-up he was never seen without, and the huge amount of hair-spray and perfumes he used, Misty went totally insane when anyone called him a woman. It was a really strange thing.)

"Get them!" Misty roared, and the Silver Saints rushed forward. The Bronze Saints stepped to meet them. Seiya suddenly found himself facing the enraged Misty, the other people, who were in the Coliseum, quickly fled to the tribunes and picked their seats, and the battle began.

(Author's note: I have neither time nor skills to depict the battle. For this, all what you need is to pick any episode of "Saint Seiya", and there you have it. It's probably not necessary to add that the Bronze Saints did win. I only want to point out that, when Seiya stuffed Misty into a hell-knows-where-appeared-from tin with water, some strange feeling came over him. People less ignorant than Seiya call this 'déja vu' sense).

"Wow!" Ikki cried, very happy and shining, when everything was over. "That was a proper end for a perfect day! And you," he approached Seiya and extended his hand, "you can count me as your friend from now on. The tail case is closed -- for seeing Lacerta Misty in such situation, I'd forgive more that that!"

"Me too", Shiryu nodded. "And that fork, I'd say, it was just a small nuisance."

"You are right," Hyoga admitted, solemnly. "Compared to the entertainment we had, what could some puny piece of underwear mean?"

Shun felt being thrown out of the scenario and hurried to add:

"Since you did nothing wrong to me, I have nothing to forgive. But maybe we can become eternal friends just like that? And if you want, you can always insult me later, if you feel the wish to set things properly."

"Friends?" Seiya couldn't believe it. "You all want to be my friends?"

"Yes, we do," that was Shiryu, who always took up the responsibility to speak in official moments. "From now, we are an inseparable team. One for all..."

"...And all for nothing," sighed Misty in his tin, having only his ruined make-up in mind.

* * *

And from that moment, the incredible adventures of our five friends began. There was Shaina, who knew all the plots and gossips of Sanctuary and was the trusty agent of all the V.I.Ps around; there was her jealous pupil Cassios; there was a quest for the Ring, which was initially given to Saori-Athena by the Grey Pope in a moment of passion (author's note: the history doesn't tell, what kind of passion exactly), and required back by the Blue Pope (because the Grey Pope whispered him this insidious decision) -- but Saori already gave the Ring to Poseidon, and Poseidon presented it to Milady Hilda, who later seduced the trusty naive Shogun Sorrento and tricked him into a rebellion against Kanon, Poseidon's favorite -- and as if the mess was not big enough, our Bronze Saints jumped directly into the whirlpool of events.

But this is another story, with which we won't mess.

The End


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