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The Adventures of Shishido Hood
by Cheeseburger of Doom
A long time ago, long before income tax was created, and certainly before anti-wrinkle cream was invented, and yes -- even before microwave dinners! there lived a very valiant man called Shishido Hood. He went away on some very noble crusades, and was doing a pretty good job of fighting and stuff when he got captured. He rotted away in prison for a couple of years until he managed to escape.
When he got home, he found out that the acting ruler, Prince Hiyoshi, had seized all of his land. He was Extremely Pissed, and decided to get back at Prince Hiyoshi. He became the stuff of legends...but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you the entire story, from beginning to end. Well, maybe we'll skip a little here and there, because I'm sure that no one cares about little details, such as whether he slept nude or with teddy bear pyjamas -- but the entire story for the most part is a tale of adventure, action, suspense, and of course love....
"What the hell do you mean, Prince Hiyoshi has seized my land?" Shishido demanded, as he barely restrained himself from snapping the neck of the man he held captive.
"Um...well, he sent us down here to start tearing stuff apart. He thought the owner of these lands was dead, sir."
"I'm the freaking owner!" Shishido let go of the poor man, and stormed off in the other direction. Oh, Prince Hiyoshi was going to pay for this one! Prince Hiyoshi wasn't even the real leader of the country -- King Atobe was, but he was still off at the crusades, fighting away. If he wasn't dead...but Shishido refused to believe that King Atobe was dead. One day, he would return, and put Prince Hiyoshi in his place...
Until then, Shishido would get back at Prince Hiyoshi in his own way. The best way to do that was to attack what Prince Hiyoshi loved most -- money.
"Oh, glorious money. I love you money," Prince Hiyoshi sang, as he swam in his money pool.
"What is it now?" Prince Hiyoshi asked irritably. He hated to be interrupted while swimming in his money!
"There has been a two hundred percent uprise in crime in the past few days," said the man who had interrupted, pushing very thick glasses up his nose. He regarded his green notebook -- er -- scroll with interest.
"So...one man has been robbing from the rich, and giving to the poor. It's upsetting the delicate balance between...well, rich and poor."
"Don't bore me with these things," Prince Hiyoshi said.
"Ah, but sir...he robbed the palace last night, and left this note."
Prince Hiyoshi took the note, read it, and flew into a rage.
"Shishido Hood! I should have known. I had hoped he died in the crusades, along with my annoying brother Atobe..."
"Well, he didn't," said Inui, the sheriff of Nottingham. "What are you going to do about it?"
"I want him dead! Kill him and get him out of my way, before he takes any more of my precious money! Put up wanted posters everywhere! Anyone who brings me his head shall be greatly rewarded! Well, maybe not that greatly...but rewarded!"
"Yes, sir." Inui bowed and left the room.
"I'm finally the leader around here, I'm not going to stand for anyone's crap!" Hiyoshi howled to no one in particular.
Shishido Hood blew raspberries at the guards chasing him as he dashed out of the palace. It had not been the best of ideas to crash the banquet, but the look on the tyrant Prince Hiyoshi's face earlier had been priceless.
"Hey...what the hell is that peasant doing in my banquet?"
"Ah, sire...that appears to be Shishido Hood."
"How did he get in here?"
"That's a good question."
"Someone get him out of here!" Prince Hiyoshi made a few random gestures with his hands, and his guards weren't sure if they were the sings for "chase and kill" or "light the barbeque, we're going to roast some children tonight", so they remained where they were.
"Prince Hiyoshi! I've come to spit in your eye!" Shishido announced valiantly, and he did just that. "That one was for my long lost house!"
Prince Hiyoshi squealed like a little girl, and rubbed his eye with his sleeve. "Ew! Gross! GUARDS, KILL HIM!"
It was worth being chased now, really.
"You'll never catch me!" Shishido Hood said. However, the guards were almost caught up with him.
"Hey, over here!"
Shishido found himself being yanked into a conveniently placed secret hole in the wall.
"You'll be safe here for a while," said his rescuer. A very handsome woman...no, wait, man in dress.
It could only be Maid Ohtori -- who was famous throughout the world for his infinite beauty and tendency to wear women's clothing.
"Thank you for your help," said Shishido Hood, bending over the fair maiden's hand to kiss it. He realized with some amount of shame that the fair maiden was actually taller than he was. Well, most people tended to be taller than he was, since he was...well...kind of short...But it wasn't his fault he had defective genes!
"You must be Shishido Hood," Maid Ohtori said. "I've heard so many stories about you, how you rob from the rich to give to the poor. I think it's wonderful."
"Well, I do my best," Shishido said.
"I think you're wonderful," Maid Ohtori said. He had a very dreamy look in his pretty eyes. Shishido found himself blushing.
"Come back and see me soon, Shishido Hood," Maid Ohtori said. "Now the coast is clear, so escape while you can."
Shishido couldn't sleep. All he could think about was the fair Maid Ohtori, and his Earth-shaking beauty, and the fact that he hadn't even gotten Maid Ohtori's phone number...
Shishido Hood's next order of business was to gather a band of men. He needed all the men he could get. He went to childhood friends, childhood enemies, random people he'd never met before. They all had something in common: they hated Prince Hiyoshi, for one reason or another. He had stolen their land, stolen their money, stolen their teddy bears...(Shishido Hood was very outraged about that one, being a fan of teddy bears himself.)
He gathered over a hundred men, in a very short period of time. There were a few men in his group that he was happy to have on his side, because he knew they would come in handy in a fight, even if they were a little on the odd (and/or scary) side...
Shishido was out for a stroll, when he came to a bridge. On this bridge was a very angry looking man with tall grey hair.
"What are you doing?" Shishido Hood asked.
"Standing here," replied the angry man, in his growling voice.
"Because I feel like it. You wanna make something of it?"
"That's it, I've had enough of your attitude!" The man on the bridge took up a great staff, and handed one to Shishido. "Now fight me!"
"I don't really want to..."
"Do it, or I'll kill you!"
Shishido Hood could see he had no choice in the matter. Very soon, he defeated the man on the bridge, and sent him sprawling face first into the river underneath it.
The river turned out to be nothing more than a stream, and the grey-haired man rose, looking even angrier than he had before.
"You little brat! How dare you defeat me at my own bridge?"
"I'll kill you for this!"
"DIE!" the man lunged. Shishido took up his horn, and blew it. It was a somewhat magical horn, and whenever his band of merry men heard it, they came running to his aid.
Upon seeing how many men Shishido Hood had on his side, the grey-haired man decided to accept his loss a little more gracefully.
"Will you join us in our quest to ruin Prince Hiyoshi's life?" Shishido Hood asked.
The man shrugged. "Yeah, I guess that would be a decent way to pass the time."
"What's your name?"
The second-in-command of the group, whose name was Dan Taichi, stepped forward. "Welcome to the merry men, desu! From now on, you shall be known as Little Akutsu, desu!"
"What the hell?" Akutsu's face got very scary.
"It's standard procedure to take a nickname, desu!" Dan Taichi chirped nervously. "Please don't kill me, desu!"
Akutsu calmed down a little, and shrugged. "Whatever."
"You also have to wear green, desu!"
"eek! Yes, green, desu!"
"I have no problem with green."
There was a great cheer among the merry men, and then they all went to have dinner and get really, really drunk.
Shishido stared at the river in front of him very glumly. He wanted to cross, but he didn't want to get his pretty new tights wet. He'd just stolen them the day before!
Suddenly, he noticed the figure lounging by the river. The figure wore a monk's robe, although he had a full head of hair, and a scary smile on his face. A smile that was definitely not appropriate of a monk. In fact, it would have suited a weird reclusive pervert much, much better.
"Hey, you. Carry me across the river," Shishido ordered. Monks were there to serve, right?
"What makes you think I should?" the monk asked pleasantly. Still, his voice sent a shiver down Shishido's spine. There was something incredibly creepy about this man.
"I don't want to get my tights wet."
"Oh, of course not." The monk moved closer, and alarm bells went off in Shishido's head.
"Here, climb on my back. I'll take you across."
Shishido did as he was told. Halfway across the river, the monk dumped him into the water.
"Oh, I am sorry. I lost my balance," he said.
"Like hell you did!" Shishido exclaimed angrily.
The monk shrugged. "You'll never prove otherwise."
"Who the hell are you, anyway?"
"...the monk who works for the Sheriff of Nottingham?!"
Shishido stared. "Why haven't you tried to capture me yet? You know who I am, don't you?"
"Well, a few different ideas crossed my mind. At first I thought you were my cousin Phil, but as it turns out, you're only the most wanted outlaw in...well, the world, right about now. Hm, as to why I haven't tried to capture you...I have a bit of a proposition to make."
A proposition from this monk? Shishido was instantly worried. He feared some form of improper suggestion -- which just wouldn't do, because he was saving himself for Maid Ohtori.
"Indeed. I will aid you in your quest to ruin Prince Hiyoshi's life, if you do me a little favor."
"What kind of favor?" Shishido asked sceptically.
"I need you to rescue a certain someone for me."
"Oh! Well, that's easy enough. Who is it, and where are they being held?"
"His name is Mukahi the Miller's son, and the Prince threw him in the dungeons for killing a deer. It's against the law for a commoner to do that, you know...deer is for kings (or princes) alone. I would have snuck him out of the dungeons myself you see, but I'm sure I'd get caught."
"Well, I'll do my best!" Shishido Hood said.
"Ah, that's all we monks ever ask for," said Friar Oshitari, with yet another disturbing smile.
Shishido picked the lock to Mukahi the Miller's son's cell, and the door swung open.
"Hey, who the hell are you?"
"Shh, Friar Oshitari sent me to rescue you."
"Yuushi finally found somebody? Great!"
"Yeah, let's just get out of here."
"Hey, who goes there?" yelled a random guard. Shishido cursed.
"Come on, this way!"
Shishido Hood and Mukahi the Miller's son ran as fast as their legs could carry them, and somehow, they made it out -- then they ran all the way to the church, where Friar Oshitari was waiting.
Shishido averted his eyes from the scene before him. He didn't want to see a happy reunion, especially one that involved so much lecherous gazing and tongue action.
"Anway, I did as you said, so now you're both going to work for me, right?" he said, after giving them what he felt was a sufficient amount of time to properly say hello.
"Aw, do we have to?" Mukahi whined.
"Yes, Gakuto. I did promise."
"Right, when I blow this horn-type thing here, you have to come to my aid," Shishido Hood said, indicating the horn that hung around his neck.
"You can count on me," Friar Oshitari said. "...hm, or can you? I do work for the sheriff of Nottingham, after all." There was an evil glint in his eye.
Shishido was incredibly creeped out. Maybe Friar Oshitari wasn't such a good ally after all.
"...I'm just kidding, of course."
Shishido had already retreated at that point.
Shishido was doing his usual wandering (wandering was just what he did, in between raids on the rich people, of course) when he came upon a figure in scarlet, snoozing in the grass.
"Hey! Why are you sleeping on the ground?" Shishido asked, prodding the man with his foot.
"Gwah? Just like to sleep," the man mumbled.
"You look familiar..." Shishido tried to match the face to a name. Finally, he had it! The sleeping was Shishido Hood's sister's mother's brother's cousin Bill's former lover's younger brother's best friend's half-sister's cousin, Young Jiroh.
"Jiroh! Is that you?"
"Huh? Oh...hey, Shishido...I didn't know you were still alive."
"Damn right I am, and I'm trying to make Prince Hiyoshi's life miserable!"
Jiroh yawned. "That sounds all right."
"Why don't you join us? You can change your name to Jiroh Scarlet, and become one of the merry men?"
"Sure...as long as I get plenty of nap time," said Jiroh, yawning.
"Um, yeah. Sure. Nap time." Shishido Hood wondered just how useful Jiroh Scarlet would be in a fight. He remembered hearing something about his fighting skills, but maybe that had been just rumor...
"Jiroh, are you any good at fighting?"
Suddenly, Jiroh sprang up. "I'm sooo good with knives! Can we have a knife fight, pretty please?"
"Come on, fight me with knives!" Jiroh made knives appear out of nowhere, and attacked like a mad man.
"Wah, Jiroh, I'm not the enemy!" Shishido Hood's doubts were put out of his mind. Jiroh stopped attacking, and looked a little sad.
"My dad kicked me out of the house because I accidentally wounded his steward," he said.
Shishido did not doubt that.
"Well, you have a place to go now," Shishido said.
"Good." Jiroh dropped back to the ground, and began snoring again.
Shishido continued his wandering.
Shishido heard some depressing music, and went to investigate it. There was a figure clad in scarlet (and wondered what was up with scarlet, these days), playing some sort of medieval instrument. Since they were living in that particular time period, that did not surprise him in the least. What surprised him was the fact that this figure in scarlet was NOT smiling...for this was Fuji a Dale, a very famous musician in these parts -- known for his never-wavering smile, and beautiful voice.
"What are you looking so sad about?" Shishido demanded.
"Ah, my poor cute little brother has been corrupted," said Fuji a Dale sadly. "He's being forced to marry the evil Lord Mizuki, against my will."
"Don't you mean against his will?"
Bright blue eyes opened, and pierced into Shishido's very soul. He felt faint.
"No, I mean my will."
"I don't know what to do. There's no way I can crash the wedding myself, since it is surrounded by guards. If only I had someone to help me..."
Shishido raised his handy dandy horn to his lips, and blew. Merry men appeared all around him.
"Ta da! Now you have someone to help you. If we help to rescue your brother, then you must join us in our quest to ruin Prince Hiyoshi," Shisido Hood said.
"That sounds like fun."
"Good! Let's go, men!"
"Hurrah!" they all yelled, and then they went to crash a wedding.
"I do," said Lord Mizuki.
"I...I..." Yuuta sniffled. "I..."
"Just say it already.
"Stop right there! I object!" exclaimed Fuji a Dale, as he burst through the door of the church. Shishido and his merry men started cutting down guards all over the place, as Fuji a Dale approached Lord Mizuki.
"You will never bother my cute little brother again!" Fuji growled.
Lord Mizuki ran screaming in the other direction.
"Yuuta! Come home, now, Yuuta. I'll protect you from all the evil Mizukis in the world," Fuji a Dale said, with open arms.
"Um...thanks for saving me, aniki," Yuuta said, looking at his feet. He was rather embarrassed.
"Friar Oshitari...why don't you perform a wedding ceremony right now?" Fuji asked. "I'll marry my cute little brother!"
Yuuta ran off screaming in a different direction than Mizuki had.
"Well, at least we saved him," Shishido Hood said.
"Indeed. I guess I'll join you now, Shishido Hood."
"Good. From now on, when I blow this horn, you have to come to my aid."
"If I'm available." The blue eyes were open again.
"...right." Shishido wondered why he kept allying himself with scary types.
Inui, sheriff of Nottingham, was seated next to Maid Ohtori at a feast that the Prince Hiyoshi was holding, in honor of...well, himself.
"All hail me!" Prince Hiyoshi cackled, as he proposed a toast.
"All hail Prince Hiyoshi!" cried all the nobles in attendance.
"Idiots," Inui mumbled, as he drank the toast as well. He only followed Prince Hiyoshi because there was so much interesting data to be had.
He turned to Maid Ohtori. "So, have you given thought to my proposal?"
"I'm sorry, sheriff, I'm in love with someone else. I can't marry you."
Inui's eyes narrowed. "That is definitely not ii data."
"Who is it?"
"...I can't tell you."
"Who is it?" Inui asked again.
"Just as I suspected. Someone had to help him escape that day he broke in...and that someone was you. Well, I'll soon take care of him, and then you'll have to marry me!"
"Oh no! Don't hurt Shishido!"
Inui was not listening, he was too busy plotting.
Maid Ohtori felt much woe and shame at having given away Shishido's identity...and he also wondered why Inui was so evil.
"Whoa, an archery contest? I'm so there," Shishido Hood exclaimed, as he looked at a flyer that was nailed to a tree.
"It could be a trap," said Friar Oshitari.
"Holy crap! Don't sneak up on me like that!" Shishido exclaimed.
"You should have heard me coming," Friar Oshitari said.
"This archery contest is a trap set by the sheriff, to get you out of the way so he can marry Maid Ohtori."
"Why would Inui want to marry Ohtori?"
"I really have no idea."
"...anyway. I'll just go in disguise, and everything will be fine."
"If you say so. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to disappear again."
Oshitari vanished into the shadows. Shishido started planning a suitable costume.
There was an interesting assortment of contestants at the contest. The most intersting being the man in the extremely large hat. The man in the extremely large hat won the contest with no trouble.
Inui stood from his spectator's position, and pointed an accusing finger. "That man is Shishido Hood!"
The crowd gasped.
"What are you talking about? I have short hair. Shishido Hood has long hair!" exclaimed the man in the very large hat. He removed the hat to reveal...very short and spiky hair.
The crowd gasped again.
"Shishido Hood would never, ever cut his hair!" Maid Ohtori said.
Inui was not to be deceived. "Guards, seize him!"
Shishido Hood lifted the horn around his neck to his lips, and blew. His merry men came rushing in, and kicked some serious ass. He escaped and lived another day to fight Prince Hiyoshi.
Maid Ohtori breathed a sigh of relief, and decided that it was time to get away from the castle somehow, and be with his beloved Shishido Hood.
Meanwhile, Shishido Hood cried in a dark corner somewhere. He'd cut off his pretty hair for nothing!
"What are you doing here?" Shishido Hood demanded. "You won't be safe if you're with us!"
"I don't want to stay near Inui. He's weird," Maid Ohtori said.
"...I can understand that."
"I want to stay here with you, and I want to help you fight the Prince!"
"Well...all right, but you have to promise to ignore Friar Oshitari if he starts giving you weird looks."
"Just...trust me on this one."
Shishido blew his mighty horn. He had a feeling that this might be the last time he used it. Today was the day...the day that would be followed by the night of the final battle. It was time to put Prince Hiyoshi in his place.
His merry men appeared. He looked at them. Little Akutsu, who was as angry and scary-looking as ever. Friar Oshitari, smiling in a way that really wasn't appropriate for a monk of any kind. Mukahi, the Miller's son, who never failed to whine at the most inopportune moments. At Jiroh Scarlet, his sister's mother's brother's -- his friend. Dan Taichi, his second-in-command...and all the other random assortment of mishmash characters.
Then there was Maid Ohtori, the love of his life.
""Well, men...are you ready to kick some ass?" Shishido asked.
"Yeah!" they chorused.
"...good. You go kick ass, and I'm going to go and run away with Maid Ohtori."
"Damn, I was hoping you'd be more supportive of Plan A. We'll go with Plan B, then."
"What's Plan B?" someone random asked.
"...I haven't thought of it yet."
Shishido Hood and his merry men stormed the castle that night. They fought of guards and noblemen alike in a rush of various weapons, lots of skill, and much flair.
Shishido Hood found himself face to face with his arch nemesis, the sheriff of Nottingham.
"Well, Shishido Hood. It comes to this," said Inui.
"Yes, it does."
They faced each other for a short while longer.
"Actually, I don't really want to fight you. I don't have that much of a problem with you, anyway. I've found myself a new maiden to try and seduce."
"Yes, his name is Kaido, and --"
"I don't want to know."
"So, what does this mean?" Shishido Hood asked. He was very confused.
"Well, I'm planning on marrying Kaido and moving to his kingdom, so you won't be seeing me anymore...so you don't really have to kill me, do you?"
"No, not really."
"Right. So, goodbye, and thank you for the pleasant rivalry," Inui said, and he disappeared into the sunset.
Shishido Hood...was still confused. He needed a new arch-nemesis.
Shishido Hood held his sword point to Hiyoshi's neck.
"Surrender or die, Prince Hiyoshi."
Hiyoshi made a few spluttering noises.
"What's going on here?" boomed a loud and commanding voice.
King Atobe had returned from the crusades. He was alive, and in one piece, and he was very, very angry.
"I'm about to dispatch of your evil tyrant brother," Shishido Hood replied.
"Hah! Step aside," Atobe commanded, and bumped Shishido Hood out of the way. He regarded his brother Prince Hiyoshi with disgust.
"Well, it looks like you've been busy while I was away," he said.
"Er...well yes," Hiyoshi said, cowering a little.
"Who's the rightful ruler here?"
"Um...you are, I suppose."
"Exactly. Why have you been messing with my kingdom?"
"Damn it, I should be the ruler! I should get to have all the money! I deserve it more! I'm the ruler now, the people trust me! I defeated you by the power of Gekokujyou, my goddess of victory! You can't take the kingdom back now, it's mine! Mine, I tell you, mine!"
"...whatever. Guards, seize him."
"Usu," said Atobe's chief guard, who then seized Hiyoshi by the arm and took him away.
"Nooo!" Prince Hiyoshi cried. "I'll get you for this!"
Atobe wasn't listening. "Inui. I'm disappointed in you for letting him get away with all this."
Inui shrugged. "It was interesting."
"Yes, well, I hope that we can keep things less interesting in the future," Atobe said. He made an official announcement the next day that he was back in power, and the entire kingdom breathed a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, Shishido was little miffed that Atobe had gotten rid of Prince Hiyoshi before he'd had the chance to really do anything. He held an emergency meeting with his merry men, and they decided to go and have a chat with King Atobe about the land that had been taken from them and so on.
King Atobe was not amused at being disturbed.
"Hiyoshi started building a theme park on all that land he seized, and I rather like the idea. It will bring in tourists, and therefore a lot of money. I can give you all different pieces of land, but you can't have nearly as much as before."
Shishido Hood and his merry men exchanged glances. Then, they left the castle, and decided to keep on going as they had been -- robbing from the rich and giving to the poor, until King Atobe decided to be a little more cooperative, or at least until Shishido Hood could find a new arch-nemesis.
Shishido Hood and his merry man made many, many more legends...but let us save those tales for another time, perhaps.
Oh, and of course Shishido Hood and Maid Ohtori got married and lived happily ever after.
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