|Chapter X: Burning Sands|
|Kuro Arashi: The Black Storm chapter|
|Focus Character||Namusan Sapou|
- "On that deserted beach, I was standing in the presence of one of the most evil beings in either world, and didn't even know it at the time."
- —Mei Sakura, The Unification War, Volume 1: Overtures
Opening where the previous chapter left off, the first scene finds Kaolla Su, Shinobu Maehara and Mei Narusegawa landing at Pararakelse, where they home in on Keitaro Urashima's signal using another of Kaolla's inventions.
Seno Nakakami and Motoko Nakakami continue to chase Keitaro into the desert, only for Motoko to succumb to heat exhaustion. Keitaro finally turns back, only to collapse himself. When both parties thing they've finally met their end, Naru Narusegawa shows up to lead them to an oasis, only a single hill of sand away. Their, the group, along with Nyamo Namo refresh themselves in the cool water.
Keitaro notes that Naru's clothing has been soaked through, clinging to her figure, which earns him an orbital launch from Naru, who orders him to go find some food for them to eat. Seno also heads off to help, once he's assured Motoko is once more conscious and in good health.
Below the desert, Namusan Sapou and Kawakami Gensai discuss the group above, watchign the five on a crystal projector. Namusan does not believe they are a problem, though Gensai assures his new ally that they pose a genuine threat to them both and Namusan's war against Heaven. Gensai states that both Seno and Motoko are an issue, and then specifically considers Naru, to which Namusan states he thinks Naru is thing of consideration in the group, and even then only to produce more soldiers for him. Gensai concurs, stating that to acquire her, Namusan must first take out those that would protect Naru.
Back at the oasis, Seno and Keitaro return with plenty of food for the five of them. Tauntingly, Naru introduces the duo to the girls' new outfits. All three females had abandoned their desert tattered and soaked through attire for bikinis made only of leaves and branches. Dinner followed shortly after that, with the quintet then splitting up for the night. Nyamo curled up to sleep within minutes, Seno and Motoko wandered off to the beach, while Naru and Keitaro split off to talk, with Naru stating that Nyama explained to her that her grandfathered had disappeared. This allows Keitaro to explain that he simply wanted to help Nyamo.
As they converse, Naru states she would love Keitaro no matter if he got into Tokyo University or not, and admits that she didn't even check the results and that it didn't matter to her if Keitaro or even both of them failed. Unable to argue, Keitaro leans in to kiss Naru, with Seno smirking to himself and declaring his mission complete. All five then settle down to sleep.
The next morning finds Kaolla, Shinobu and Mei still tracking Keitaro and Naru from the Mecha-Tama. Suddenly, the mech's engines cut out multiple times, sending it plummeting to the desert below. With a rather rough landing, the trio get out, noting that Su's radar is still flashing and Kaolla blinks in surprise when it displays hundreds of contacts. It is soon revealed that these contacts are numerous tortoises. Without warning, they began to pour into the depression the girls had fallen into, dogpilling the trio, though not trying to harm them. Nyamo then appears to part the turtles, helping Shinobu out of the dogpile.
Keitaro, Naru, Seno and Motoko wander past and call out to Nyamo, but do not notice Shinobu or the others, while Nyamo leaves to join them. Shinobu, unable to find her voice, passes out before she can catch her friends' attention. Waking an hour later, Kaolla sets to work repairing the Mecha-Tama, while Mei and Shinobu stay out of her way. Mei and Shinobu wonder if it wasn't a dream that Shinobu spotted Keitaro, while Kaolla doesn't care either way, and has finished working on the mech. Shinobu states that they can't give up and the trio climbs back into the Mecha-Tama and sets off again.
Filled with fervor, Shinobu begins to sing. Kaolla and Mei join in. Across the desert, Mustumi Otohime and Mitsune Konno also being to sing as they wander the burning sands. Spotting Kentaro Sakata's wrecked vessel, they board it and wake the unconscious boy. A few short minutes later, they trio had dug the vessel out and now proceeded across the desert in the vehicle on treaded mode.
Back in the jungle, the quintet still continued for, Nyamo in the lead. They also began to sing, coincidentally the same song as the other two groups were. Back at the Hinata-Sou, Haruka also joined in the song across the world. In the Desert, the Mecha-Tama and Kentaro's vessel meet up, continuing forth as the song came to a close in each group simultaneously. Shinobu reflects that she felt like, at that moment, her heart was connected with that of all her friends.
Naru, Motoko, Seno and Keitaro and Nyamo run into a dead end.
References to Other MediaEdit
- This chapter coincides with the Love Hina Spring Special.