Ranma's Light of Hope.
AN: Yes yes, I know I shouldn't be starting another story but this plot bunny has been trying to eat me for a month, but I Don't intend this to be a long one. I actually Intended it to be something similar to Being Happy with Goats, where it was just a one-shot mostly after he was settled, but the bunny disagreed.
I need to fire Vert, she didn't kill the plot bunny.
AN2: I'm making the books/anime take two years, which puts Ranma at the start of the fic at 18.
Warning: Angry Ranma at one point. He's going to making some points that I see as accurate.
Chapter 1: The departure.
It had been five months since the wedding, and Ranma was lying on a random roof. He had found that just choosing one at random made it harder for people to find him. He was thinking, something that many would say he wasn't suited for. He was thinking about his life.
He was starting to hate it, not living, but his current situation, the engagements, the rivals, the perverted old man, and the manipulations. He was sick of it all. At this point he was struck be two questions that everyone in his life would think is supremely selfish.
What does he want in his life? And What would make him happy?
Everyone that 'knew' him, would assume the answer to the second question would be 'Martial Arts' or to marry the girl of their choice, but Ranma wasn't so sure anymore. It felt like lately, his heart wasn't in it. Even the Art was feeling dull to him as if much of the spark that drove him has faded.
He needed to get away from his current situation, if only for a while.
Nodding to himself, the young man headed back to the Tendo Dojo. His plan was to gather his travel pack, and take a year off, journeying around the world, alone.
After gathering his pack, he was about to slip out the window when an unwelcome voice sounded, "Going somewhere, boy?"
Ranma stiffened and turned to the old man whom just spoke.
"You do know that my school hates it when the students run from a fight, right?" the old man continued while puffing on his pipe.
"Who said I was running? I'm taking a trip. I fully plan to come back after I find my answers," The pigtailed man replied.
The old man rose an eyebrow, and noting the lack of deception, he asked, "and the fact that you are just leaving without telling anyone?"
"I don't want anyone to follow, I planned on sending a letter in a few weeks. If I told everyone, they would all demand I bring along their girl of choice, or themselves, or forbid me to go."
The old man nodded at the explanation, then paused, and rewound the conversation in his head, noted a particular thing the other man said, and asked, "What questions?" at Ranma's questioning look he clarified, "What questions are you looking for answers to?"
Happosai's eyes widened as he heard the two questions. Along with a thought, finally.
"I will allow you to go my boy, but not before you inform everybody involved in the mess that's your life, and I will make it clear to everyone that has even the slightest respect for the art that you are to be allowed this," the old man said seriously. In fact, the tone of voice wasn't that of the perverted Grandmaster of Anything Goes, but of an actual serious grand master of a martial arts school.
The tone made Ranma stand up straighter, as if the person speaking was worth respecting, which Happosai normally was not.
"One week, if Ryoga isn't here by then, I will inform those that are and let them pass it on," Ranma countered, although more feebly than he intended, as he was still under the effect of the voice.
"Agreed, and my compliments, you're holding up, better with me like this than my other two students," Happosai said.
Then they heard it, something that made both started laughing, "WHERE THE HELL AM I NOW?!"
"I'll get Ryoga, can you please help me start to gather the rest of them?" Ranma asked.
Happosai nodded then bounded out of the room, while Ranma left via the window to talk to the lost boy, taking time after he left the window to stash his backpack in some bushes.
"Ryoga," Ranma said seriously, without a note of teasing. "Follow me to the Dojo, I will be making an announcement to everybody, and I want you there as well."
The lost boy looked at Ranma's expression and simply nodded, he was hoping against hope that Ranma was going to officially break it off with Akane, partially because his girlfriend Akari was looking like she was going to break it off with him, she simply didn't understand why he kept bringing expensive gifts to another girl.
It took three hours, during witch Ryoga tried to pry the reason for the meeting from his 'friend', and failing miserably, to gather everyone.
"Thank you all for coming today, Happosai convinced me to make this announcement, instead of going with my plan. My announcement is, I'm leaving, for a few years at most, well according to my current plan that is. I have some questions I need to answer, and I can't to that here," Ranma announced.
"And what questions would that be son in law?" Cologne asked.
Ranma looked towards her, and answered, "What do I want out of life, and what makes ME happy."
He was then hit with a wall of sound, almost all of it hypocritical screaming about his selfishness, or that the had to do something because of Honor, or that what he wanted didn't matter due to laws, or loss of manliness. Some were celebrating Ranma being gone for a while because then they could try and woo their favored girl.
"ENOUGH!" Ranma roared. "You all are pissed, and calling me selfish for asking these questions? I know that almost every one of you think the following, What can Ranma give me, give up, sacrifice, and/or do for me to make me happy? Almost every damn one of you thinks like that, never thinking that I deserve happiness. Let's take an example, Ukyo, if I marry you, what do you see our future like?"
"You better marry me sugar, but I see us opening a chain of restaurants. With your skills, both as a waitress, and a cook, we could expand quickly, and using the success of our restaurant, we can hire more to open stores in other districts, and eventually other cites. Our children would also help," the named girl responded, her eyes going starry from her dream, not noticing the grim expression on Ranma's face.
"And thus proving my point," the man whom asked the question stated, causing Ukyo to snap out of her fantasy with a frown pointed at the speaker. "I noticed in your little fantasy that there was no room for anything I might have as a dream. No, it was a rather, to me, appalling future."
Ignoring the now pissed girl, whom just had her dream insulted, Ranma skipped over Kotetsu, Ryoga, and Mousse, and pointed to his mother, "All you care about is the possibility of grandchildren, and the damn contract." ignoring the semi stricken look of his mother, whom he had actually started to hate, He then turned to the fathers and dismissed them by saying, "You just want me to marry Akane to take over the dojo that you two are too lazy to run." the fathers purpled in anger and started shouting about honor.
Turning toward Akane he said, "You have no idea what you want. You say you don't want to marry me, but at the same time me being friendly with any woman sends you into a rage, make up your damn mind. Perhaps me being gone would help that."
Looking at the Amazons, and ignoring the Mt. Akane that ready to blow, he turned to the Amazons, "Do you really think I should trust you? Or follow a stupid 'law' that isn't even legal in CHINA?! Yes, I contacted the Chinese government and asked them, they stated explicitly that they only gave me the info to keep me out of their country, that they give you an exception if it's within your town, but they don't count it legal anywhere else, and neither does any other country. Then there were the magic, drugs, presser points, and other bullshit you pulled proving that your people aren't trustworthy."
Ignoring the glare of the three Amazons, he turned to the Kunos, and simply said, "Get help, just get some mental help."
To Nabiki, he simply said, "Find another cash cow."
He then spoke to everyone, over the various shouts and accusations, and his words silenced them. "My journey is going to tell me what I want, I could Change my mind about Ukyo's dream, I could find that I want to go with the Amazons, I could even find that I like Kodachi, I could simply find that the life of a permanently wandering martial artist is in the cards. I simply don't know, and Grandmaster Happosai has something to say as well about my trip."
Happosai, still in his serious Grandmaster mode said, "I'm declaring this as Ranma's mastery Quest." at this announcement everybody with any real respect for the art froze, and the old man continued, "He plans to come back, but if he chooses not to, for a good reason, I will go to him and test him one final time, and grant him mastery if he finished his journey successfully. Should any of my school interfere with this, I will strip them of the right to use my school."
The three practitioners of said school froze, none of them, no matter how little of the school they actually use, or out of practice they are, wanted to lose it.
The amazons frowned, their own laws were actually working against them now. A mastery quest is damn near sacred to the warrior women, even though it is a male doing one instead of a female, they couldn't interfere.
The problem was The kiss of Marriage has a time limit, and Shampoo was quickly approaching the three-year limit. If she passes the time limit she will be punished, and the subject going on a mastery quest isn't really a good excuse to miss the deadline.
She needed another excuse, something to extend the deadline. Some service Shampoo could do for the tribe, or...
Some service Ranma has already done, to allow her to annul the kiss.
A service such as preventing an overly violent Saffron from running loose.
Such a service could easily be used to make Ranma an honorary part of the tribe, and immune to their laws. It was a poor second choice to having him marry into the tribe, but keeping the boy at least neutral to the tribe is paramount given the potential he has already shown. Having him as an honorary member wouldn't give him any extra rights, or responsibilities towards the tribe, but the outsider laws wouldn't apply to him. All he needed was a member of her village of high enough standing to allow him in their family.
An elder would do nicely, an elder such as herself. If Ranma agreed Shampoo would be getting a brother.
"Ranma, May I speak to you before you leave?" the old woman said gravely. "It has nothing to do with stopping you don't worry."
"Great-grandmother!" Shampoo gasped, aware of her deadline.
"Trust me, child."
Ranma nodded, and replied in a serious tone, "Stay behind, I'll speak to you then while we walk to where I stashed my pack.
out of Ranma's three 'rivals'. Only one wasn't happy about Ranma leaving. Well, he was, but he wasn't.
Ukyo was still angry at Ranma for dismissing her dream, but she knew he'd choose his 'cute' fiancee. After all, he owed her.
With much grumbling everybody left, some had plans to track Ranma and force him back, through force or blackmail.
The fates wouldn't be on their side.
Ranma, Cologne, and Mousse whom had decided to tag along walked back to where Ranma stashed his pack, which contained all of his documentation in waterproof pouches, and all of Genma's money.
Cologne proposed the solution, much to Mousse's glee, and Ranma, after understanding that it actually cost him nothing, and in fact was in his favor as he never has to deal with the kisses again, agreed.
He collected his stuff and met the old woman, and 'rival' at the Nekohanten and after a short ceremony, and some signing of documents, witnessed by the amazon male, Ranma departed, knowing that one of his issues was solved even if he didn't choose to marry Shampoo.
Ranma then headed towards the port, and after showing his passport obtained passage as a worker on a cargo ship heading towards Hawaii that was heading off in under five minutes. He would save money by working as part of the crew and helping with the heavy lifting for the voyage in exchange for passage.
The ship wouldn't make the trip.
A massive storm erupted partway on the trip, and while Ranma did her best to help the ship survive, she couldn't help with the fact that the ship captain had been pocketing the company money earmarked for inspections and maintenance. A large section of the hull was corroded, and when the engine went in a rather violent explosion, which killed the crew on duty, it also blew a hole in the hull below water level.
The ship rapidly sank, with few of the crew making it to the lifeboats, and even they sank underneath the massive storm.
Ranma tried to help, but she was caught from behind by a falling half-ton metal fragment falling from above, and she was knocked into a mass of life jackets, which got tangled around her, and with her unconscious, she was carried away on the current to an island the ship was passing by. The life jackets that tangles around the martial artist, were tangled in such a way to keep her head above water.
The redheaded martial artist washed up on the island where she was found by a tanned girl with short purple hair, and three red triangles under her right eye, and a brown dress.
It would be the start of Ranma's new life.
EN: this took me about 2 hours, what can I say, this was bouncing in mind for nearly month.