Summarized & HTML'ized by Mandisa Washington. c. 2001, ver. 1.0
Original material by Kazushi Hagiwara, Jump Comics, Shueisha. c. 1988
Abandoning all pretext of secrecy, Dark Schneider breaks down the castle gate with an explosion that alerts everyone inside. Distracted from Yoko's interrogation, Gara receives word that a sorcerer and a group of knights have successfully passed both the gate guards and the traps outside. His men are aghast that anyone could accomplish such a task, and he agrees, although silently he considers the one man who regularly achieved the impossible. Intrigued, but not really surprised, Gara orders his ninja to hold back their assault and until their quarry comes to them. He points out that they have the best lure possible, a helpless young girl (who has very little time to spare and even less clothing).
Taking his sweet time, Dark Schneider leads the Metallicarnan knights and their princess over the rubble and the fallen ninja. Even as Sir Bon Jovina, the lead knight, wonders where the defenders are, the wall bursts open and a massive Minotaurus storms into the antechamber. Wielding a great two-handed axe capable of slicing sheer rock, the monster nearly whacks Lady Sheila. Instead, Dark Schneider grabs her and pulls her to the relative safety of his arms. Excited beyond reason, Sheila slaps the man responsible for her quickening heartbeat, despite the threat of imminent death.
The Minotaurus has no patience for adolescent tantrums. Fleeing the monster's wrath, the rescue party makes its way to a ladder perched against the last intact wall. Of course, the armor-clad knights balk at the suggestion that they attempt such a precarious climb, even to save their lives. Employing his legendary charisma, D-S declares that he will protect the princess and risk the treacherous ladder, and leaves the knights the dubious honor of grappling with the Minotaurus to cover the princess' escape. Easily manipulated by this appeal to their nobility, the knights fall willingly upon the monster's blade.
The trip up the ladder poses its own difficulties for Sheila, since she is wearing only a very short shift. [Ed: She had to ditch her heavy armor outside, see Vol. 1, Ch. 7.] Pissed off by her untimely modesty and by her fondness for face-slapping (you know how he feels about the face), D-S solves the problem by hoisting the little princess over his shoulders calf-style. Bumping and heaving up the ladder, with her behind poking up into the air in a decidedly un-ladylike fashion, Sheila can do little besides be embarrassed and think very hard about this strange man who makes her heart race.
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While the knights' battle cries echo around the monstrous Minotaurus, a panting Dark Schneider and Sheila reach the top of the ladder, only to be attacked by a vicious magical ball! The ball resolves into a Suzuki-Dogezaemon, a demonic watchdog from the home-realm of Anthra-Sax, intent on frying the would-be rescuers.
High above, Yoko is finally freed from her manacles, but only because she is moving to a new prison. The ooze has done its job admirably, as she is unscathed but also unclothed. With a certain heaviness, Gara tells her that the time is soon approaching when he will face her wizard in battle. Yoko fears that the shock of seeing her in such a vulnerable position would be too much for her Rushe. Boldly, she swears vengeance on Gara for his past and future mistreatment of her body. Nonplussed, Gara tells her of the days when he and Dark Schneider fought bravely as near-brothers, with each man capable of great prowess in battle.
Engaged in battle right now, Dark Schneider unleashes a Damudo spell on the Dogezaemon, to no avail. Apparently the creature has a kekkai [magical shield, see Vol. 1, Ch. 2] of its own, much like that used earlier by High Priest Geo. Sheila tries to remain shielded by D-S, while he musters the strength for an Anthem spell. The mighty magical missile strikes, momentarily stunning the creature and giving the pair of warriors an opening. Unfortunately, even in a blind rage, the eyeball-critter stabs D-S in the shoulder, nearly wrenching off his arm. The thing from beyond also manages to work in a butt-lick on poor Sheila. Incensed, they attack it again and manage to weaken its magical shield. While Sheila goads it with a stout stick, Dark Schneider launches a Sodom spell that shreds the monster into little gooey bits.
Pleased with her performance in battle, Sheila attempts some light banter with D-S. She remarks that since they make such a good team, maybe there's no need to rescue Yoko after all. The two of them could live quite peacefully and happily together, and Yoko can take care of herself. Aghast, Dark Schneider curses the girl out and perches her roughly on his shoulders again. To make his displeasure even clearer, or maybe just because he's got the opportunity, he bites into her thigh like it was a juicy chicken leg. And with that auspicious start, they make their way deeper into the ninja fortress.
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From her precarious perch atop Dark Schneider's shoulders, Sheila tries to figure out her confusing feelings. On the one hand, she hates this lecherous, foul-tempered, ill-mannered man who poses a potential threat to her country. On the other hand, his good looks, rough ways and intense emotions attract her with their alienness. Then of course, there are Yoko's feelings to consider. Rational thought is impossible when draped across a man's shoulders, so Sheila once more demands to be let down. D-S complies, but not before planting another jovial kiss on the young woman's ample thigh. He really doesn't seem to understand why such affectionate behavior puts the strange girl on edge.
Coming to a rune-laden Wizard's Door, Dark Schneider pauses to study the writing and casts an admission spell, rather than simply blasting away the obstacle. Sheila questions this decision, and D-S explains, with only a little impatience, that sorcery takes a toll on a person's physical and mental strength. Large, violent spells like those he's been tossing around lately, most recently in the fight with the Dogezaemon, take a toll on him when he'd really like to reserve his strength for the coming fight with Gara. For that reason, he warns her to heed him carefully so that they can avoid any entanglements. Sheila impatiently acknowledges his words, but nonetheless grasps a decorated broadsword embedded in the stone wall. Even as D-S yells for her to stop, the sword is free and light suffuses the chamber.
Sheila struggles to release the magical sword, unsuccessfully, but Dark Schneider comes to her aid and wrestles the accursed object from her grasp. Suddenly weak, D-S collapses to the floor, bleeding and poisoned by the now-motionless sword. Apologetic and remorseful for her dangerously headstrong behavior, Sheila offers D-S any aid that he might need. His reply is to disrobe almost entirely, revealing a nasty gash below his lung. She must suck the poison out of his flesh or they're both dead. Of course the thought of putting her lips to Dark Schneider's supple body, now glistening with the sweat of exertion and fever, gives the smitten princess pause.
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End Chapter 11 -- Return to Contents
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End Chapter 13 -- Return to Contents
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