This is my first fic, so please be gentle. Constructive criticism is welcome. This story is a Ranma/Saint Seiya fusion, AU, crossover or whatever you want to call it. Be warned, there will be a lot of OOCness and some character deaths. For the Saint Seiya part I've blended the manga and the anime together.
Disclaimer: None of the characters and series belongs to me but to their respective authors (Rumiko Takahashi and Masami Kurumada respectively). I'm only using them to entertain fanfic fans.
Many thanks to Trugeta, Deathgeonous and Porthos112 for their encouragements and the guys and gals at fukufics for their comments.
When the world is threatened by evil forces, warriors of hope appear. These warriors are called Saints.
A long time ago the Goddess Athena was protected by a group of teenagers called Athena's Saints. Their bodies were the only weapons they needed as their fists could rip the sky and their feet split the ground.
And today, a new generation of teenagers, fighting bravely to protect Athena and gifted with an untameable spirit and great strength has appeared.
This is the story of one of these teenagers. A boy who has suffered a lot of hardship in his young life but who has overcome every obstacle in his way, the biggest of which being his own father, to become one of this generation's greatest Saints, Saint Cassiopeia.
14 years ago, early February, night-time, Sanctuary, Greece
A dimly lit and rather bare room in Athena's temple. Apart from some chairs it contained nothing but a crib surrounded by a ring of candles. The crib contained a giggling baby, an adorable little thing, not yet aware of its destiny and the important role it would have to play in the years to come. Its breathing was slow and regular and an aura of peace surrounded it. A sudden gust of wind blew through the room and the candles flickered briefly as a man (1) clad in white robes, wearing a Greek Corinthian helmet ornamented with the figure of a dragon on top, a facemask and several necklaces entered the room and approached the crib brandishing a dagger above the baby's head, ready to strike. As the blade descended onto its prey a loud scream could be heard and the blade was intercepted by a hand, which then started to bleed profusely.
The scream originated from a young man, a teenager even, wearing golden armour that glittered in the candlelight. "What are you doing?" he asked. "You of all people should know who this child is, the reincarnation of Athena, our Goddess we swore to protect with our lives."
"ATOMIC THUNDERBOLT!" the teenager yelled and launched a powerful attack bathing the room in a light that shined as intense as the sun at noon. The bolt hit its target. The masked man staggered back and his mask was torn off by the powerful blast.
"No, I can't believe it! YOU!" shouted the armoured man, disbelief clearly visible on his face.
"So you know my secret now. Too bad, but I can't allow you to live. No one must know my true identity", spat the man venomously while trying to cover his uncovered face with his right arm.
The armoured man quickly grabbed the baby, jumped out of the window and ran away as fast as possible.
"GALAXIAN EXPLOSION", he heard from behind him and was hit in the back by a powerful blast and launched forward. Rarely had he felt such pain. He staggered but didn't fall, and managed not to throw up but to keep the pace at which he was running.
A few hours later
The sun was just rising. It wasn't really cold but it wasn't warm either. A large, imposing man, for a Japanese at least, about 1.85 meters tall, with a bushy white beard and white hair pointed his camera at the ruins and took some pictures. He seemed to be in his early fifties but radiated a vitality rarely seen in people his age. Next to him stood a much younger but well muscled man, barely 20 but already bald.
"Waaa… waaaaaa… waaaa!"
They heard the cries and ran to the place the wails were coming from.
"What the…!" the older man wondered.
He was shocked by the sight in front of him. Lying there on the floor was a teenager, who looked pretty beat up, bleeding profusely and cradling a crying baby in his arms. Next to him was a strange, large square golden box. It was finely crafted and looked very expensive. A centaur archer drawing a bow could be seen on one side of the box and stars on the other sides.
Running to the boy he asked him:"What happened? Do you need medical help? I'll call an ambulance immediately".
"Tatsumi, quick, call for help!" he ordered.
Tatsumi reached for his cell phone and dialled 911, asking for an ambulance to come to the Acropolis.
"Thank God I listened to Tatsumi and bought one of these. They are really useful", he thought.
He then turned back to the injured boy and asked if he could do anything for him while they were waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
The two were talking for a few minutes and then the older man hastily took the baby while Tatsumi took the box and both of them left before the ambulance arrived.
Several days later, Nihon University Itabashi Hospital, Itabashi ward, Tokyo, Japan
"Congratulations, it's a boy", said the midwife grinning from ear to ear.
"My son! Can… can I hold him, please?" an over joyous beautiful young woman with luscious auburn hair and still sweaty from the ordeal she just went through asked the midwife.
"Yes, of course", replied the midwife handing the baby boy to his mother.
"My, isn't he the cutest little thing you ever saw, Genma dear?" asked the woman her husband. "Thank God he doesn't look anything like his lazy father" she thought and just then noticed a passed out Genma lying on the floor.
"GENMA! Why are you lying on the floor? Husband, get up this moment! Aren't you supposed to be a man?" asked the woman, disgust clearly visible on her face. "What a wimp", she thought to herself. "Doesn't even have the guts to witness the birth of his son. Why did my parents make me marry such a pathetic excuse for a human being?"
Shaking his head, the bespectacled, black haired man slowly got up and looked at his wife and the small bundle she held in her arms. Suddenly he grabbed the boy and shouted: "YES! My heir is born! And my retirement secure."
He looked at his wife and said: "I'll make a man out of him. He'll be the strongest martial artist of his generation. I can't wait to start his training. As well as get him away from YOUR influence. "
"Husband, it's much too early to make any plans concerning our son's Future. There will be plenty of time when he's older for you to train him. Right now I can't wait to take my sweet little boy home and pamper him", she stated while staring with loving eyes at the sweet little thing in her husband's arms.
"I agree, he's too young to be trained yet, but not for long. But in a few years I'll train him in Anything Goes and he WILL become the strongest martial artist ever", promised the man "and that will be much sooner than you think. Can't have a weak, pathetic woman in charge of my boy's education. She'll turn him into a weakling."
"Could I have him back, please? I want to cuddle him some more. I've longed for a child for so long", she said, her face beaming with love for her child. This is the happiest day in my life, even if Genma is the father. I really hope he doesn't take after him. Just thinking about the possibility makes me sick. If it weren't for the agreement between our families I would never have married him. At least I won't make the same mistake my parent's made and arrange a marriage for him. If he marries it will be a marriage of love."
"Here, take him. I'm going to the bar with Soun to celebrate this joyous event. See you later", he told his wife and left the room all the while thinking; "now my Future is secured. In a few years the schools will be joined and I will finally be able to enjoy a sweet retirement in luxury. Thank God my stupid wife doesn't have the slightest idea of my plans or there would be hell to pay. Even if she's a weak woman she can be scary at times, especially when she waves around her damn sword. I can't wait to tell Soun the good news."
5 years later, night-time, Saotome home, Itabashi ward
Everything is calm in the neighbourhood apart from the occasional car passing by or cats meowing. If anyone had paid attention he would have been able to see the front door of the Saotome home opening slowly and a man wearing a white gi and carrying a large rucksack on his back and a small bundle in his arms leaving the house like a thief and making off into the night.
In the morning a very loud shout that sounded suspiciously like 'GENNNMAAAAA!' could be heard through the whole neighbourhood. A few minutes earlier Nodoka got up at dawn like she did everyday and noticed that her husband was gone from the bed.
She thought that was unusual as she normally had to resort to drastic measures to get his lazy ass out of bed but didn't think anything of it and went to check on little Ranma. When she saw that the boy's bed was empty she became worried and frantically checked the whole house to find him. As she really started to panic she found a piece of paper on the table. After seeing what it was she gasped and all colour drained from her face. Then she started to shake with anger and shouted 'GENNNMAAAAA!'.
She immediately called the police and told the policemen what had happened and showed them the seppuku pledge. They promised that they would do anything in their power to try and locate her husband and child. After they were gone she collapsed into a chair and started to cry.
1 year later, somewhere in Japan
Genma had changed a lot after the birth of Ranma. Over the last few years he had gained a few pounds although not all of them fat and where before he had only suffered from a receding hairline he now had gone completely bald. He wore a bandanna to hide his baldness and a dirty, white githat seemed too small for his massive frame. He was digging a large hole while the six year old Ranma was watching him, curious as to what his father was doing. Ranma also wore a gi. His mid-length black hair was tied in a pigtail and his blue eyes, uncharacteristic for Japanese, radiated life and were full of mirth and mischievousness.
"Whatcha doing, pops?" asked the young boy.
"I have to dig this hole in order to teach you an awesome and uneatable technique called the neko-ken. You want to learn the technique and become the best martial artist in the world, don't you?" he asked the curious boy.
"You betcha pops. I wanna be as strong as you are", Ranma exclaimed enthusiastically.
"And you will, son. In time you'll become much stronger than I am, I'll make sure of that. You just wait. Once you've learned this technique you'll just improve by leaps and bounds. Trust me. But now you must go to sleep. I'll wake you as soon as I'm finished with the preparations", he reassured his son.
At the break of dawn the hole was finished. After having wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his gi he opened the door to the small shed next to the hole. He took out a large bag that obviously contained cats as there was a lot of movement and thrashing inside the bag and loud meowing could be heard. The man opened the bag, dropped its contents into the pit and closed the hole with a steel lid. Then he went to his son's side and woke him up.
"Get up! It's time for you to learn the neko-ken"
"I'm still sleepy… lemme sleep some more, pops."
The man took a bottle of water out of his rucksack, opened it and poured the contents over the boy's head.
"WAAAAAAAAH!" shouted Ranma, outraged, and jumped out of his sleeping bag. "What didcha do that for?" he angrily asked his father.
"Now now son, stop whining like a weak little girl and show me some respect! It is time for you to learn the neko-ken"
1 year later, Inland Sea (2)
"Faster son, faster! If you don't want to end up as shark meat you'd better speed up a bit", Genma shouted to his son, who was swimming for his life as several great white sharks were following him after being constantly egged on by Genma who was throwing bloody parts of meat at them. Genma was following Ranma's progress in a sturdy boat and was quite safe from the dangerous animals.
8 months later, Mt. Tsurugidake, Toyama Prefecture
"Come here, son! Do you see that mountain? That's where we'll increase your stamina. You'll have to climb to the top without using any mountaineering equipment. You may take food but nothing else", he explained to Ranma. "I'll deposit food for you at certain key points."
"And what about you? Aren't you coming with me?" asked Ranma, his speech having significantly improved and his intelligence increased over the last two years as the monks from the temples they stayed at taught him more than just martial arts. But Ranma had to hide most of his newly gained knowledge from his father as he knew that he wouldn't approve.
"We're here to train YOU. I don't need the training anymore. I'll wait for you at the top. And now get on with it. You're wasting my precious time with your constant whining", he snarled, not an ounce of compassion in his voice, and left.
"One day old man. One day you'll pay for everything you put me through. And that is a promise", he thought to himself.
1 year later, somewhere in Honshu
"HELP!" shouted Ranma as he was running for his life, followed by a group of black bears after his father had poured some honey on him.
"Stop your whining, ungrateful boy, and show some gratitude for my efforts. Oh, why have the gods burdened me with such a sissy boy who doesn't have the guts to withstand some light training? You shame me son. Why was a world-class martial artist like myself cursed with such a weak little girl", he complained.
"I'M NOT A GIRL!" spat a very angry Ranma at his father. "I'll show you!" He mustered what strength he had left and sped up leaving several shocked bears behind. Two kilometres further he fell to the ground, exhausted, and wondered how he was able to escape. Although he had learned a lot and gained a decent education he still wasn't able to get rid of all the chauvinistic ideas his father has beaten into him over the years. He knew that his father was full of bull but after he was shown the seppuku pledge he did everything in his power to become a man among men.
Genma appeared five minutes later and started to insult him. "That was pathetic. We'll have to increase your training regimen. Why do I still put up with a weakling like you? "
Although Ranma wasn't as easy to rile anymore Genma still knew what buttons to push to enrage his son and make him lose his countenance.
"I AM NOT WEAK! YOU TAKE THAT BACK", he exploded and attacked his father like a berserker on hormones.
One hard punch at Ranma's gut later and the fight was over before it even started.
"Don't let your anger control your emotions", he chided his son. "I'll take it back once you're able to beat me."
"Yes", Genma thought, an evil glint in his eyes. "If I continue like this he will never be able to think for himself. My retirement is secure."
He left without acknowledging his son's presence. Ranma followed him, face red with shame.
1 year later, Bayankala mountain range, Jusenkyo, China
"This is our last stop here in China. Afterwards we'll return to Japan", Genma explained to a now 10 year Ranma after they had arrived at the training ground. The valley was encompassed by mountains and littered with over a hundred pools of varying sizes, with bamboo poles sticking out of them.
"Doesn't look like much", he answered, looking bored out of his mind. "I can't see what's supposed to be so special about this place."
A small, burly Chinese man wearing a Mao suit appeared near the pair and started to talk. "Good day, sirs and welcome to Jusenkyo, the legendary Pools of…"
He wasn't able to finish as Genma started to shout to his son.
"Less talking and more training!" he yelled while jumping onto a bamboo pole. "Let's see if you can keep up with me", he taunted the boy.
"You just wait old man; this will be finished in five seconds", he grinned evilly and jumped onto another pole.
The guide started to shout "Come back, honoured customers, you no idea of danger you are in."
But it was in vain. "No people ever listen to me", he thought.
They were hopping from pole to pole while exchanging punches and kicks at the same time until suddenly Genma misjudged the distance and Ranma kicked him in the gut. He was then launched into one of the pools.
"Oh no!" shouted the guide. "Honoured customer just fall into spring of drowned panda. A very cursed spring. Very tragic tale."
"What?" asked the distracted boy, barely noticing the large panda that had jumped out of the pool and landed on a bamboo pole near the one he was standing onto. He was too shocked to parry the incoming attack and was launched into another pool.
"Oh, how tragic!" lamented the guide. "Young customer fell into spring of drowned girl. Legend say young girl drown into pool over 1.500 years ago. Now all who fall into spring take body of young girl."
While the guide was absorbed with his monologue the panda appeared next to him and the guide took a teakettle that he had always ready for such an event and poured some hot water over the panda which miraculously turned back into a human being.
"What do you mean?" Genma asked the Jusenkyo guide, obviously he hadn't even noticed that he had been a panda just a few seconds ago.
At that moment Ranma emerged out of the pool but his hair had turned red. "What's the big idea, pops?" he yelled at his father. "And weren't you a panda a while ago?" he asked and jumped out of the pool next to Genma and the guide.
Genma looked at Ranma, shock visible on his face. "What happened to you, son? You're somewhat shorter. And why is your hair red?" he asked.
"Are you drunk again? What are you talking about?" Ranma asked only then noticing the changed timbre of his voice. "What happened to me?" he asked, frightened. "I feel strange". He looked down his gi pants and noticed that something was missing. "IT'S GONE!" the girl screamed and fainted.
Five minutes later she came to but was still shaken. "What a nightmare", she said, visibly relieved, and noticed once again her changed voice. She checked her body again and broke down. "It wasn't a dream, it wasn't a dream, it wasn't a dream..."
Genma approached his son, now daughter and slapped her hard. "Snap out of it, BOY! Don't act like a weak little girl. The guide told me that the changes aren't permanent so get up and we'll change you back."
Ranma calmed down and got up. She then asked the guide timidly: "Is... is there really a way to reverse this?"
"Yes it true", the guide answered. "But it only temporary cure and not real cure. Hot water change you back to original body until hit with cold water again. Cold water turn you back into girl". He then demonstrated this several times with Genma as his guinea pig.
"Thank God", Ranma said, a grin appearing on her face.
The guide then poured warm water over Ranma and waited for the change to occur.
"Yes, I'm a boy again", shouted Ranma but when she saw the guide's and her father's sour faces she was worried. She looked down again and noticed that she hadn't changed back."
"Wha... WHAT?" she cried out, and started to sob, tears falling from her eyes.
"What's the meaning of this?" asked Genma in a menacing tone while lifting the guide by the lapel of his suit.
"I... no know", answered the guide. "This never happen before".
"If that is the case, why doesn't my son change back?" a severely pissed off Genma asked and dropped the frightened guide to the floor.
At the same time Ranma continued crying apathetically, no emotion visible on her face.
Genma turned to his daughter. "Stop crying like a weak sissy girl, BOY!" he spat at her. "Oh why was I cursed with such a weak child", he continued with one of his usual barbs.
"What you doing, sir?" asked the guide. "She now need your support. She obviously upset."
"HE is upset? What about me? What about my future? What am I supposed to do with a girl? Girls are worthless as heirs. Only good for breeding and cooking. I raised my son to be the greatest martial artist in the world and a real man, not a weak pathetic girl."
"But sir, there no known cure. I been living at Jusenkyo for many years and I see many people getting cursed. No one ever able to find cure. Not victims and not tribes that live here for millennia and know more about pools and curses than anybody ever be able to find cure", he told Genma.
"Isn't there a spring of drowned boy?" Genma asked.
"Yes there several springs of drowned boy or man but they not do any good as curses mix", the guide explained.
Genma blanched as he understood what that meant and turned to his former son and then slowly back to the guide. "There is no cure" he whispered. "The boy will never be a man again. Then there is only one thing left to do". His face hardened and he resolutely marched over to his daughter.
"Ranma, from this day one you are no longer my son, nor are you a member of the Saotome clan. I hereby disown you", he proclaimed. "I have no use for a weak girl. You are a disgrace to our name."
After hearing this Ranma completely broke down and started to cry. The cries soon turned into very loud wailing.
But then Ranma's demeanour changed and she got angry, angrier than she had ever been before, and was soon surrounded by a blue corona of power which changed colours to an orange brown and grew dramatically in size when she felt her body explode from within. Her body was flooded with more power than she ever thought possible and with a loud "DAMN YOU!" she sent Genma flying into the upper stratosphere.
Several kilometres away a man stopped when felt the strong emanation of energy. "I've rarely felt such a strong cosmo", the man thought. "I wonder who produced it. I need to check it out as fast as possible." He then sprinted off into the direction the disturbance originated from.
Ranma meanwhile was desperate and her mood continued to darken. "What should I do now? I have nowhere to go, no family left and I'm all alone here in China, in the body of a weak girl. I have nothing left to live for."
She then walked over to her father's rucksack and started rummaging through it.
The guide stood not far away, feeling pity for the poor girl and wondered what he could do to help her. "She still a child", he thought. "She not able survive all alone in wilderness. Maybe I take her to Amazon tribe. They know lot about pools and curses and she probably taken good care of and maybe become member of tribe."
Meanwhile Ranma had found what she was looking for, her father's tanto.
"As a ronin I have no honour left, no future and no reason to live any longer. I might as well die for all it is worth". She kneeled down and unsheathed the blade.
The guide, understanding what the poor thing planned to do, was shocked by her behaviour and darted over to her to prevent her from committing the irreparable. He immediately realized that his efforts were futile as he was much too slow.
But as the blade was about to impale the depressed girl a blur appeared in front of her and turned into a young man in his early twenties who managed to stop her hand mere centimetres before the steel entered her flesh.
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?" he shouted. "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? LIFE IS MUCH TOO PRECIOUS TO BE WASTED LIKE THIS!"
Ranma slowly looked up and asked the stranger: "Who are you?"
"My name is Aiolos", he answered.
(1) The Pope's outfit is from the manga but the facemask is from the anime as he doesn't wear one in the manga
(2) As I'm sure everyone knows about the neko-ken and its consequences I'll skip that part.
(3) The predators I used for the training exercises exist in those places.