Kunou Mansion – twelve hours later...
Hate. Rage. Anger.
Those were the emotions that were currently running through Ranma as she meditated inside the master bedroom inside the now-deserted Kunou Mansion. Her aura radiated around her in waves, the dark emotions washing over her in a way that would have made even Emperor Palpatine proud.
"Thought I'd find you here."
Ranma's eyes snapped open, only to find the perverted grandmaster of Anything Goes, seated before her, smoking his pipe. For once, Happousai was serious.
"Then again, it wasn't hard," Happi continued. "Your ki was a dead giveaway."
"What do you want, lech?" Ranma demanded.
"Peace, Ranma," Happi replied, trying to stave off his still-pissed heir. "I came from the hospital. I know what has happened to you. You worked Genma over pretty good with that katana."
"I was trying to kill him," Ranma deadpanned. "He got lucky."
"Indeed, but you gave him a fate worse than death," Happi pointed out. "He won't be able to practice the Art ever again. The School of Indiscriminate Grappling may be a school of questionable morals, but we also pride itself on honor. Honor that both your former parents and the Tendou clan is severely lacking. I was expecting this from Akane, but to have Nabiki and Kasumi to back up their father and your former parents..." He shook his head. "Those two idiots have abused my school for the very last time. This has turned out to be one unbelievable mess. Their views on honor is completely one-sided, from what I have witnessed. They wanted you to marry Akane – a person who hasn't been trained by Soun since his wife's passing – and to live off of your blood, sweat and tears. And the Amazons..."
"They're mine," Ranma hissed. "The Joketsuzoku...Herb and the Musk Dynasty...Genma, Nodoka...and the Tendous...they're mine, old man."
"So you are planning on getting even, aren't you?" Happi questioned. He almost felt sorry for those involved. Almost.
"No. I'm declaring a blood feud on all parties involved," Ranma replied. "Killing them outright is too merciful. I got something else in mind. I'll deal with the dragon bitch first and get my cure...then Cologne and her tribe will be next. The Tendous and Nodoka will be left for last." She looked at the ancient hentai with murder in their eyes. "I don't want you to interfere with my revenge."
"I have no intention of doing so," Happi replied. "In fact, you have my blessings. Regardless of you being ronin, you are still my heir."
"I won't be ronin for long," Ranma said. "I've been in contact with Grandma and Grandpa Himura for a while. Even met them a couple of weeks back without the others knowing. They will adopt me as soon as I return from China. I told them what has happened and they are not very happy with their daughter. I told them not to make a move against Nodoka until I return."
"I take it you have something planned?"
Happi cackled. "Oh, I can't wait to see what you have planned, m'boy!" After pausing for a moment, he asked, "What about that okonomiyaki chef? Are you going after her as well?"
Ranma shook her head. "Ukyou is still in Osaka, trying to reconcile with her father. I already called her and to let her know to keep away from this place for a couple of days."
"And the Kunous? I am curious as to how you're hiding in here."
Ranma smiled evilly. "That was easy. After kicking the fat bastard's ass for trying to pimp me out to Kunou-baka and his psycho sister, I called in a favor to the local bank. They transferred the wealth of the Kunou clan into a hidden account that no one knows about, not even Nabiki. As a result, the Kunous went insane. Kodachi poisoned herself, Kunou and their father. Kodachi and her father died from the poisoning, while Kunou is in a hospice. The 'True Blunder' is now a vegetable. Everyone else thinks that they are gone on vacation."
"Smart move," Happi said. "in the meantime, I'll make myself scarce. I heard there's plenty of silky darlings waiting to be liberated in Okayama. When will you come back?"
"In a couple of weeks. I leave for China tomorrow."
Three weeks had passed since Ranma's brutal attack on her former parents and the Tendou family following her being disowned by her family and banished from the Tendou home. Genma was released from the hospital, and was allowed to return back to the Tendou home.
Genma had taken the news that he would never be able to practice martial arts incredibly hard. No one had expected Ranma to react the way that she had did. No one had expected Ranma to brutally maim Genma, as well as attacking Akane, Soun and Ryouga when they had tried to stop him.
Turns out that Ranma was more skilled with a katana than Nodoka, and it showed.
Genma considered himself lucky to be alive. Ranma had killed before in order to save his now-ex-fiancee, and she was more than willing to kill even his father. But the event had changed Genma. He knew that Ranma had surpassed him in martial arts, and despite the death threats coming from both Nodoka and Cologne should Ranma ever appear in either Nerima or near the Joketsuzoku village, Genma knew that Ranma would not back down.
However, one member of the Nerima Wrecking Crew were absent that day Ranma was disowned. The 'cute fiancee' of the Fiancee Brigade, Ukyou Kuonji, had been in Osaka, trying to mend bridges with her ailing father. When word reached Ukyou about what had happened, she was genuinely worried about Ranma, but was appalled as to how his parents and the Tendous had reacted.
When Ukyou found out that Genma was crippled, her only response was "Serves the fat panda right," and decided to stay a while longer in Kyoto with Konatsu.
Ranma had not been seen since the Incident at the Tendou hall, and everyone within the Tendou compound went on as if everything was normal. In the meantime, Nodoka, exercising her authority as clan head, had adopted Ryouga Hibiki as her son and 'convinced' Genma to make him his heir to the Saotome School of Anything Goes. Ryouga couldn't have been happier. He had helped in destroying Ranma and getting him banished from the Tendou-ke. But even more important, he was now engaged to Akane.
Unfortunately for them, Ranma still had friends and the respect of most of the people in the ward.
Unfortunately for those involved in abandoning Ranma, the Saotome and Tendou's personal hell was about to begin.
Kasumi Tendou hummed a happy tune to herself as she walked along the street, heading for her fiance's clinic. In her hands, was a plate of cookies, freshly baked.
Kasumi was engaged to Tofuu Ono, the local chiropractor in the town. It had taken a while, but Tofuu had managed to get over his 'Kasumi-itis' and proposed to Kasumi, who accepted.
Little did Kasumi know that her actions - as well as the two offending families - regarding Ranma's expulsion, had reached even Tofuu. Suffice to say, he was not very happy with how the family had taken Ranma's plight. He was more surprised as to how Kasumi had supported the family in their decision, forgetting that because of Ranma that he was able to get over his 'Kasumi-itis' and propose.
However, he had received a phone call from Ranma the previous day. Tofuu did not want to believe what Ranma had told him, but Ranma simply told him to confirm the story from Kasumi when she visited.
Tofuu was inside his office when the door opened. Moments later, Kasumi entered the office, oblivious to the oncoming maelstrom that she was about to step into.
"Good morning, Tofuu-kun," she greeted. "I made some cookies for you." It was at that moment that Kasumi noticed the look on his face. "Tofuu-kun, what's wrong?"
Tofuu's face was serious. "We need to talk, Kasumi," he said.
Kasumi set the plate of cookies on the counter and took a seat. "Of course. What is it?"
Tofuu folded his arms across his chest. "What happened three weeks ago?" he demanded. "What did your family and the Saotomes did to Ranma?"
"Herb, the Dragon Prince of the Musk had locked in his curse. Father and Uncle Saotome have both dissolved the engagement between her and Akane. Uncle and Auntie Saotome have disowned him and named Ryouga their new son, and banished Ranma on threat of committing seppuku should she ever show her face in Nerima again. Then Ranma attacked Genma and crippled him for life and assaulted Auntie Saotome, my father and my other sisters before Akane malleted him out of the house." Kasumi replied as if she was discussing the weather.
Tofuu rubbed the bridge of his nose. "So the rumors were true...Ranma has been disowned."
"It was for the best," Kasumi said. "Ranma is useless if he can't be a male."
Tofuu looked at Kasumi as if she had grown a second head. His fiancee, sweet, wonderful Kasumi, was actually supporting this decision that could have very much destroyed Ranma's life? This he expected from the parents and even Akane, but KASUMI?
Tofuu groaned as he felt a headache coming on.
"What's wrong?" Kasumi asked.
"You are what's wrong," Tofuu replied flatly.
Kasumi took a step back from her fiance. She had never seen him act like this before. "What do you mean?"
"'What do I mean?'" Tofuu repeated. "Let me tell you what I mean. Ranma looked up to you as an elder sister. He supported me in my pursuit of your affections."
"I don't see why this has anything to do with us. Ranma is an honor-less man...well, make that a woman."
Tofuu bristled at that. In the back of his mind, he wondered how he had fallen in love with someone as callous as Kasumi. But, as the events from two days prior has shown, her housewife exterior was nothing more than a mask. She was clearly a faker as was the rest of her family.
"No," Tofuu countered, getting more and more upset by the minute. "In any case, Ranma has more honor than you, your family and his parents combined. How many times has he defended your family from getting hurt in his fights? How many times has he upheld the honor of your father's dojo? And how many times has he saved Akane from danger. More times than anyone can count. I heard that he even took on a Godling and survived! So what if he has a curse! You of all people should have supported him! Nabiki should have supported him, with all of the money she had made off of him! When he lost his purpose, all of you just stab him in the back and cast him aside like a piece of garbage!"
"I will not have you talking about my family like that, Tofuu," Kasumi replied coldly. "Ranma has no honor. All that he has done for my family...that was in the past. What happened two days ago...that was to preserve my family's honor."
Tofuu scoffed. "'Honor,'" he sneered. "Everything about your family is about honor. What about doing what you know is right? What you and your family have done to him was basically strip everything away from Ranma." He sighed as he slumped back into his seat. "Since you care so much about honor, I know what I must do."
Kasumi did not like where this was going.
"I spoke with my mother earlier today and she agrees with me," Tofuu continued as he rose to his feet. "Since honor means so much to you, I, too will preserve my own honor...by officially terminating our engagement. I will not be engaged to someone who is as honor-less and two-faced like you."
Kasumi was taken aback by Tofuu's cruel words and his cold gaze. "Wh-what?" she stammered. "Tofuu...you can't be serious. I thought you loved me. Please...please don't do this to me..." she pleaded, on her knees. "Tofuu, think of my family...I'll do anything for you. Please don't leave me."
Tofuu looked down on the sobbing woman in disgust. "I once loved you, Kasumi. But your actions have changed all of that. Had you defended Ranma in his time of distress then we would not have been having this conversation. I don't want you here anymore. I don't want you. We are finished, Kasumi Tendou."
"Tofuu..." Kasumi sobbed. "Tofuu..."
The young chiropractor was unmoved by the sobbing woman. "You and your family are no longer welcome in my clinic. Oh, and tell Mr. Saotome that his services are no longer necessary. I will find another assistant. I have no use for a cripple," he said in a mocking tone. "He and his wife are no longer welcome here as well, unless they want to experience some painful pressure points that I picked up over the years." He pointed to the door. "Get out."
"Get. Out. NOW."
Kasumi shrank back from Tofuu's red aura. She turned on her heels and ran out of the clinic, crying. Once she was gone, Tofuu picked up the plate of cookies and tossed them in the trash.
Taking a seat back behind his desk, he removed his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. This was going to be a long day indeed for Tofuu Ono. If he knew the Tendous, then either Nabiki or Soun would be at his doorstep by the end of the day. Soun was easy to deal with, but Nabiki was the real threat. Tofuu knew that she would be more than willing to make anyone who offended either herself or her family suffer.
Tofuu swore that he would not become another tally mark for the Ice Queen. It was time to knock down the mercenary Tendou a couple of notches.
He reached for his phone and dialed in a number.
At the same time, at Fuurinkan...
Akane noticed that something was amiss upon arriving at the school with Ryouga. The Hentai Horde was there, but made no move to attack. Instead, they were all looking at the offending pair as if they were nothing but garbage. In fact, the majority of the students and even the faculty looked at her and Ryouga with nothing but utter contempt on their faces.
Akane shook it off as the weirdness of the ward and entered inside.
Too bad it had gotten worse when she had arrived at her classroom. Her friends Yuka and Sayuri acted as if she had never existed. Ryouga had gotten himself lost in the meantime, leaving Akane alone. Miss Hinako was conducting roll call. Akane noticed that she had skipped her name. "Excuse me, Miss Hinako?" Akane interrupted, "you forgot to call my name."
The resident school disciplinarian/ki-vampire ignored her and continued on with roll call. Even Sayuri and Yuka, her friends since childhood, ignored her and carried on their conversation as if she was not there.
It was as if she was a ghost.
By the time lunch came around, she was summoned to the principal's office. Wondering what the hell was going on, Akane answered the summon.
The youngest of the Tendou girls stood before the door that had the words Riona Hiroyuki, Principal. Below that was a custom-made sign which had said, clearly to intimidate any offending student sent her way: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
Akane opened the door. Seated behind her desk, looking rather intimidating, was Principal Riona Hiroyuki. Following the disappearance of the insane Principal Kunou and his two children months earlier, Sayuri had been promoted to the highest office of Fuurinkan.
"Sit down," Hiroyuki ordered, pointing to the chair in front of her desk.
"Principal Hiroyuki, what's going on?" Akane demanded as she sat down. "Why is everyone giving me the cold shoulder?"
"Simple, Miss Tendou," Hiroyuki replied coolly. "They know about Ranma. They know about your family's crimes against him. And I can't guarantee your safety against the Hentai Horde, should they decide to attack you once again."
Akane snorted. "I can handle them," she said. "Those perverts aren't even a threat. Why are you defending that honor-less bastard anyway?"
"Because that 'honor-less bastard,' as you call him, saved my family's life, which is why I tend to look the other way regarding his fights on campus," Hiroyuki replied. "Be that as it may, Miss 'I'm-a-martial-artist-too,' If the Hentai Horde decide to pull the kiddie gloves off, you could be in serious danger...or worse...eventhough you deserve what's coming to you. For that, you are no longer a student here in Fuurinkan. Your school records have been mailed to your father and as of this moment, you are trespassing on school property. You are no longer welcome here."
"WHAT?!" Akane screeched. "You can't just throw me out!"
Hiroyuki's eyes flashed dangerously. "Really?"
The school gate slammed shut behind Akane following Hiroyuki punting her out of the school grounds. Akane had landed in a mud puddle, given the fact that it had rained earlier, drenching her from head to toe.
The gate slammed closed in her face as Principal Hiroyuki turned and walked back into the school. Furthermore, several hakama-clad members from the school's kendo squad – each armed with steel katanas – stood guard at the gate.
Akane considered the idea of fighting the three kendoists, but remembered that following Kunou's disappearance, the new kendo club's captain was a more competent and a more skilled fighter than the 'True Blunder.' Akane had even fought against him once and lost very badly, in a matter of fact.
Defeated, Akane turned around and trudged home. As she rounded the corner from the school, the rain had started up again, drenching her completely. Back inside the school, the students and faculty cheered.
Nerima City Hall.
Soun had received a phone call from Toshikaki, one of the senior members of the Nerima Council, in regards to an emergency session of the council.
Thinking that he was finally being taken seriously for once, Soun left the Tendou-ke and arrived at City Hall. Little did he know was that he was the subject of the emergency meeting.
"Why is Yamada in my seat?" Soun demanded as he entered the meeting room. The council had nine members, with Toshikaki Hazuki as the senior member of the council, and the one with the most pull and influence. He was also one of the few people that Nabiki had nothing on for blackmailing.
"I haven't been entirely honest with you, Soun," Toshikaki replied. "This meeting is in regards as to your spot on the council. We have taken a vote and decided that you have acted dishonorably and are no longer worthy to sit in the Nerima council. As of this moment, Yamada will take your place until a special election is held for a more respectable replacement."
"What?!" Soun barked. "You dare lecture me about honor?!"
"Given what your family has done to Ranma," Toshikaki replied curtly, enjoying the surprised look on Soun's face, "I do dare lecture you about honor. You and your family is banned from this council as long as they live in Nerima. Furthermore, there is the matter of the massive bar tab that you and your friend had ran up in Ranma's name with the bars all over Nerima. Since he is no longer a Saotome, the bill defaults back onto you."
Soun paled. This was not looking good.
Nabiki returned home later that night from her classes at Tokyo University to find the house in an uproar.
Nodoka was in the living room with Kasumi, the matronly woman trying to console the eldest Tendou daughter, who continued to sob uncontrollably in the older woman's embrace. Akane was fuming and Ryouga was trying to calm his fiancee down and failing.
"What's going on?" Nabiki asked. The last time she had seen Kasumi so distraught was when their mother had died. "Oneechan, what's wrong?"
Through sobs, Kasumi managed to get out, "Tofuu...he dumped me!"
As Kasumi resumed her bawling, Nodoka explained everything. "Tofuu had found out about what we had done to the disowned. In retaliation, he terminated the engagement between himself and your elder sister." She gestured to Akane and Soun. "Akane was thrown out of Fuurinkan and your father was ejected from the council. All of Nerima has found out about what has happened here."
"How dare he do that to my little girl!" Soun bellowed. "Why was my little girl treated this way? Why, oh why was she deserving of such an ungrateful fiance?"
Nabiki slowly digested the information. Tofuu had dumped Kasumi. He terminated the engagement because he had found out what the Saotomes and her family had done to Ranma. Her sister was booted out of Fuurinkan and her father lost his seat on the city council.
The room's temperature fell several degrees as Nabiki turned towards the door. Soun noticed his daughter heading towards the door. "Nabiki, where are you going?" he asked.
"Going to have a chat with the good doctor," Nabiki replied coldly.
"I'm coming too!" Akane shouted as she stood up.
Nabiki turned her glare on Akane, stopping her little sister in her tracks. "No. You stay here. Tofuu is mine."
Seeing as how Nabiki would brook no argument, Akane nodded and returned to the living room. Nabiki then took her leave from the Tendou-ke. 'So Tofuu was responsible for hurting my sister,' Nabiki thought darkly. 'No one crosses my family...especially Kasumi. Tofuu Ono, by the time I am finished with you, I will make your life a living hell unless you take my sister back!'
The clinic was closed, but that didn't stop the middle Tendou sister from entering. The door was unlocked, as if he was expecting someone.
Tofuu wasn't that hard to find. He was in his office, behind his desk, looking over a medical chart. He didn't even bother to look up as Nabiki entered the room.
"Something I can help you with, Tendou?" he asked as he continued to scan the chart.
Nabiki was straight to the point. "Why did you break off the engagement?"
Tofuu countered with another question as he placed the medical chart on the desk. "Why did either you or your sisters stopped your parents or the Saotomes from disowning Ranma?" he replied coldly.
"That was a family matter," Nabiki replied cooly.
Tofuu placed the chart on the desk. "I am very disappointed in, Nabiki. With all of the schemes you placed Ranma in, including your role in the failed wedding months back, I was sure you would have said something to stop this injustice from happening. You always talked about people repaying their debts to you, but it appears that it was the other way around. Ranma had paid his debts to you, and your family."
Nabiki met the doctor's cold glare with her own. "I'll admit that I made plenty of cash off of Saotome...I mean, Ranma. But all good things must come to an end. He has outlived his usefulness to me, and to my family once his curse was locked."
Tofuu glared at the younger woman. "Ranma may have been rough, but given all the times he rescued your sister and defended your family's dojo...what's going to happen the next time Akane get kidnapped? Who's going to save her then? Who is going to defend your family dojo now that he is gone? That Hibiki boy? Please. He got lost in my own closet. He wouldn't be able to rescue your sister even if the bad guys had given him a compass, GPS, and a road map. I thought that given the times that Ranma had saved your family, you would have the decency to stand up for him."
"You are in no position to tell me what my family and myself can do, Tofuu," Nabiki countered.
"That's Doctor Ono to you, Miss Tendou," Tofuu shot back.
"Whatever. You crossed the line when you messed with my family. I am within my rights to make your life a living hell," Nabiki countered. "But...if you take Kasumi back as your fiancee, then my family and I will forget this little confrontation. If not, then-"
"'Then' what? You can't intimidate me, Nabiki," Tofuu said. "You are fighting a battle you can't win. I am not one of your stoolies or your marks who you can threaten."
"You crossed my family, Tofuu. Refuse and you will pay dearly. You will lose your medical license, no one will deal with you...unless you take Kasumi back and forget about that honorless freak."
"Since when did you care so much about honor?" Tofuu snapped. "All you cared about was making a fast yen, not giving a damn about got caught in the crossfire."
"I don't have time for this little debate, Ono," Nabiki snapped back. "Will you take Kasumi back or not?"
Tofuu leaned back in his seat. "No."
"You will regret this Ono," Nabiki said in a cold voice as she leveled her gaze on the older man, who showed no fear. "By the end of the week, I will destroy you. I will personally make your life a living hell."
"You will not," a second female voice said from the open doorway.
Tofuu rose to his feet as Nabiki turned around. Standing in the open doorway, was a woman. From the look of things, she was about Nodoka's age. Short dark hair framing her face, smartly dressed in a business suit. Her posture radiated authority. Behind her, were two men, walking masses of muscle, dressed in dark suits. Eventhough the woman was very attractive, her ice-cold expression made Nabiki's own Ice Queen persona look like an amateur in comparison.
"Obaasan." Tofuu bowed.
The woman responded with a nod. "Dear nephew. Apologies for my time," she said. "I got here as soon as I could from my meeting." She turned to Nabiki, sizing the younger woman up. "It appears I have arrived just in time. So you must be Nabiki Tendou, the so-called 'Ice Queen of Nerima.'" She scoffed. "I've seen better."
Nabiki bristled at that insult. "You have no idea who I am, do you?"
"Funny. I was going to say the same about myself," the woman replied. In the same cold tone. "Allow me to introduce myself. Ruriko Tsubaki, Chairwoman of the Tsubaki Society."
Nabiki immediately recognized the name. 'Tsubaki...no way...! Tofuu has ties with the Yakuza!' she thought as she visibly paled.
"Ah, I see you're not as dense as you look," Ruriko said as she savored the look on the middle Tendou. "My husband is the oyabun of the Society, while I am his second-in-command. With the exception of drugs, guns, and murder, my group is involved in every aspect of organized crime." She gestured to Tofuu. "My sister-in-law nor my brother didn't want Tofuu-chan to follow our family's path, so Tofuu decided to become a doctor," Ruriko explained. "Tofuu has no ties with the group whatsoever, although he occasionally performs physicals on my family and some of our men. Neither does Ranma, and I owe him for saving my daughter's life."
"It's true," Tofuu said. "Several months earlier, Ranma saved the life of my cousin by pulling her out of the path of an incoming car. When Aunt Ruriko called me and told me what had happened and gave me a description of the person who saved Kumi-chan, I told her that it was Ranma who had saved her life."
"Imagine my surprise when I find out that he was friends with Tofuu-chan," Ruriko continued. "My husband and I even offered Ranma a place within the group, a chance to become a made man. But he refused. Honorable to a fault, the boy is. That was one of the reasons that Ryuji-kun and I respected about him, despite the curse. Ranma, however, did agree to the fact that Ryuji and I owe him a favor. Now, I am paying back what I owe to Ranma."
Ruriko took a step forward, while Nabiki took a step back. It was clear that she was way in over her head, if the Yakuza was at her throat. Soon, her back was up against the wall.
"I know about your little network of spies and informants you have running around Nerima and Toudai," Ruriko continued. "They pale in comparison as to what I have at my disposal. I also know about your betting pools, as well as your extortion and blackmail schemes. You'd be surprised as to what people can tell you when you offer them enough money...or if you threaten to break their legs."
The gangster's eyes took on a steel hardness that not even Nabiki's glare could break as she lowered her voice down to a whisper. "I will only say this once, Nabiki, so please pay attention. For threatening to destroy my nephew's – my favorite nephew's –good reputation, I could, as you like to say to your own victims, 'make your life a living hell.' And I will not stop there. As the heavens above as my witness, I will destroy you, Nabiki Tendou, totally and completely. Your little scholarship to Tokyo University will be revoked...you will be blacklisted, unable to attend university in the country...your little operations will be seized and placed under my control...and your family will also feel my wrath.
"Your father, Soun Tendou, will suffer, as will your sisters, Kasumi and Akane, as well as Genma and Nodoka Saotome. I will make you beg for death, but I will not deliver." A sinister grin spread across the older woman's face. "I think your sisters, as well as yourself, would make a nice addition to the Society's brothels in Kabukicho, especially your elder sister. She is very beautiful, I must admit, and will make a lot of money by spreading her legs, as will Nodoka. I know some men who like older women. And given your father and Saotome's gambling habits, not to mention that several of the bars he visited are under the Society's control, I could call in his debts and have your family home seized and the lot of you thrown out to the streets without a yen to your name."
"She's telling the truth, Nabiki," Tofuu added from his desk. "Ruriko-obaasan is not as forgiving as I am. She can be very...creative in meting out punishments. I think you should listen to what she is saying to you."
"All I am asking, no make that demanding, that you leave Tofuu alone," Ruriko finished. "You play nice with me, Tendou, and I will do the same. For your family's sake, don't fuck with me, or cross my nephew. Know your place, little girl, and we'll get along just fine. Are we clear?"
Nabiki swallowed as she slowly nodded, accepting defeat. She may have been a mercenary, but even she knew that if the Yakuza had caught wind of her rackets, then she would be forced out of her own operation. Even worse, her family would be placed in danger.
Ruriko turned to Tofuu, a smug grin on her face. "You see, nephew? Even the proud can be humbled." Turning back to Nabiki, Ruriko added, "I will be watching closely, Tendou. I also have my own personal network of spies and informants in Nerima. Oh, and I suggest that you don't mention what has happened here to your family or anyone else, if you want to keep walking under your own power. For your sake, Nabiki Tendou, I hope we never meet again. Now leave my sight."
The two guards parted, allowing Nabiki to run out of the clinic in a fright.
Nabiki returned home in defeat. She had clearly underestimated Dr. Tofuu, and it showed. Nabiki did not like to lose, but there was nothing that she could do. If she had made her move against Tofuu, then word would reach back to his aunt and uncle, and all hell would break loose.
Ruriko's threat of turning her sisters – as well as herself – out made her sick to her stomach. And the idea of losing her home was unbearable.
Nabiki entered the family room. Kasumi had calmed down somewhat, but was still being held in Nodoka's arms. The sound of bricks breaking told Nabiki where her younger sister was at the moment. Ryouga was also absent, meaning that either he got lost again or he was in the dojo with Akane.
The two fathers were also in the room, playing Go and cheating at every opportunity.
Kasumi noticed Nabiki enter the room. "Well...what did he say?" she asked hopefully. "Will he take me back?"
Nabiki sighed. This was the hardest thing she ever had to do. "I'm sorry, sis. He won't take you back."
That caught the attention of the two fathers. "WHAT?" Soun bellowed as Kasumi once again broke down. "HOW DARE HE HURT MY LITTLE GIRL!"
"That ungrateful man!" Nodoka admonished. "We only did what honor demanded us to do! Kasumi had nothing to do with this!"
"He made it very clear that he wants nothing to do with either Kasumi or the rest of us," Nabiki continued, ignoring the outbursts. "In fact, he has outright banned all of us from ever coming to his clinic." Nabiki remembered Ruriko's threat against her family should they ever confront Tofuu. "We have no other choice but to let Tofuu be."
With that said, Nabiki left for her room. Once she was alone in her room, she sat at her desk and sighed. First Kasumi gets dumped by Tofuu. Then Akane is thrown out of Fuurinkan and her friends turn their backs on her. Her father loses his seat on the council. Nearly all of Nerima had turned against the Saotomes and her family. And the worst part of it was that Nabiki could not do anything to stop this from happening.
'Things cannot get anymore worse than they already are,' the mercenary Tendou thought.
In the coming weeks, she would be proved wrong.