Chapter 4: Fury Attack
Ranma groaned as he leapt aside to dodge an umbrella thrust from above that created a large pothole in the street. However, he wasn't used to his new level of speed and strength and stumbled badly upon landing. Ryoga took advantage of the opening by throwing a couple of his trademark bandanas, which Ranma only barely dodged by leaning back before pushing off his hands to flip back to his feet.
"Cut it out, bacon breath!" Ranma complained. "It's not whatcha think!"
"Save it, Ranma!" Ryoga snarled in reply. "I heard everything. You broke Akane's heart and made her cry, you b******! How could you do that to your own wife?! Die, Ranma!"
Ryoga charged at Ranma and started swinging his umbrella and throwing punches and kicks at speeds Ranma had yet to see from the lost boy. Thankfully, Ranma was already beginning to adjust to his more powerful body and managed to dodge or block Ryoga's blows until he found an opening to pound Ryoga in the gut a couple dozen times with his jackhammer chestnut fist as he called out the name of his attack: "KACHU TENSHIN AMAGURIKEN!"
Ryoga jumped back out of range giving both sides a chance to rest for a few seconds. Ranma briefly wondered how Ryoga could've known Akane was crying before realizing that he had once again been taking advantage of his cursed form. 'That's it! I don't care what agreement we had, as soon as I get my memories back, I'm tellin' Akane everything about Ryoga and P-chan,' he thought bitterly.
"I'm tellin' ya it's all just a big misunderstanding," Ranma tried to explain again, only for Ryoga to shout "SHI SHI HOKODAN!" as he shot off his signature ki attack with just his right hand. 'Doin' it one-handed is new but still just as easily countered,' he thought as he gathered his own ki. "MOKO TAKABISHA!" he called out as he sent off his own ki blast to intercept and block Ryoga's. However, Ryoga had immediately fired a second blast with his left hand that went unseen until after the first set of blasts collided. Ranma had no time to counter and was sent flying into a neighbor's boundary wall.
'D*** it! Ryoga's learned quite a few new tricks in the last year. I shouldn't underestimate him,' thought Ranma as he shook his head clear from the impact. He was immediately forced to roll to the side as Ryoga aimed a fist at his head only for Ryoga to stick a finger out at the last second with a cry of "BAKUSAI TENKETSU!" Luckily, Ranma had caught the slight movement (which he noticed had been Ryoga's middle finger for once), not to mention the shouted attack name ('Why do we do that, anyway?' he quickly wondered.), and was therefore ready to catch the pieces of sharp concrete that were sent flying in his direction.
The two superhuman martial artists were both breathing heavily as they faced each other once again. Ranma smirked as he noticed Ryoga was losing control of his anger. He always became sloppy when he got too mad. He just had to push him a little further. "Yo, bacon bits! Ya find anything over there? Even an eternally lost pig can stumble upon a truffle."
That did the trick as Ryoga roared with rage. Sparks flew from his index fingertips as he gathered his ki in what must be another new technique. 'Okay,' Ranma thought, 'I dunno what this does, so I'd better just wait for it and dodge the first strike before I try an' figure out how ta beat it.' He dropped the debris he had caught, took a agile stance, and waited.
While this was normally a sound strategy against an unknown technique for someone with Ranma's speed and reflexes, this was unfortunately the wrong attack on which to try it. The sparks surrounding Ryoga's fingers increased as he brought them together and called out, "DENSHI NO GYORETSU HA!"*
Ranma immediately felt extreme pain branching across his nervous system from an origin point on his right leg followed by that leg going numb, while the rest of his muscles still felt very sore. No longer able to support his weight on his damaged leg, Ranma collapsed to the ground. Belatedly, Ranma realized that he had been hit with a bolt of electricity, which was impossible to dodge due to the attack traveling at the speed of light. Effectively, he had been struck by a weak lightning bolt.
Ranma knew how dangerous lightning could be. It was one of the things that every wanderer had to learn to keep him/herself safe from the dangers of mother nature. It was only because of his conditioning, further strengthened by his ki, that he was even still conscious, as a normal man would need to be rushed to the hospital. Even a martial artist of his caliber would sustain life threatening injuries if he had been hit in the chest. It was this thought that gave him hope that as mad as Ryoga was he still wasn't really serious about actually killing him.
As Ryoga approached his downed rival, he had a confused look on his face. Wait, confused? "Ranma, just what are you trying to pull?" He demanded. "That technique has never worked on you after the very first time I tried it against you. You're always mocking me about how long it takes to charge up and either clobber me before I can get it off or block it with that annoying energy shield technique of yours. One time you even went so far as to redirect the lightning right back to me! What's going on?!"
"Well, it must either be 'cause I don't remember it, or I want cha ta beat me up," Ranma replied with a healthy dose of private irony as he gathered a small ball of ki out of view in his left hand.
Annoyed even further by the smart-alack response, Ryoga raised his right fist in preparation to bring it down on Ranma's skull. Ranma quickly brought his arm around to aim at Ryoga's crotch and hoped it would be enough to incapacitate Ryoga before his head took up new employment as a boxing training bag.
"Both of you stop it right now!" shouted a familiar voice. An out of breath Akane now stood between them. After taking a few deep breaths she called out, "ITAMI O KYOYU SURU!"** while pointing at both Ranma and Ryoga. A tendril of ki shot out from each index finger and attached themselves to their targets. Akane clenched her teeth as she felt the last lingering effects from Ryoga's lightning attack jolt through her body.
"Ryoga, you haven't seen this before, so allow me to explain," said Akane. "Our nervous systems are now linked. Any pain the two of you cause each other will also be felt by me. Now calm down and stop fighting, you dummies! Honestly, can't you two ever get along?"
"But Akane," protested Ryoga. "I was only giving the jerk what he deserved. You said he was insulting you again and told you he hadn't wanted to get married. Don't tell me you're actually going to forgive this slimeball!"
Akane gasped in surprise. 'How could Ryoga have possibly known that?' she wondered. She decided it wasn't important right now and got back to the matter at hand. "Auntie Nodoka says Ranma has a good reason for acting the way he did, and I'm going to listen to what he has to say. I'm not the immature girl I once was who would jump to conclusions and pound first, ask questions later. A good wife listens to her husband before she decides on any punishment."
"I don't care," snapped Ryoga. "I won't let anyone treat you this way even if he is your husband. I still owe him a beating, so release us, or I'll be forced to knock you out...for your own good, of course," he finished timidly and nervously. Thankfully, he had studied a few pressure points with Dr. Tofu and felt confident he could hit the right combination to put her to sleep before she could block him.
As Ryoga walked towards her, Akane gave one last warning. "Stop right there, Ryoga, or I'll drop you where you stand."
Ryoga laughed as he continued forward. He knew Ranma had been training her, but there was still no way she could hurt him too badly with the unnatural durability he had from the breaking point training.
Akane flashed a predator's grin as she released her neural link with Ranma and formed a small mallet construct with her ki. Ryoga didn't understand what was so threatening about it until Akane actually used it to strike herself between the legs while shouting out "HENTAI NO BATSU!"***
"AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" screamed a voice in severe pain. Of course, this was not Akane's voice, as she lacked the equipment for the blow to cause anything more than minor pain. However, Ryoga, who was still linked to Akane, did possess such sensitive organs and was lying in a fetal position in the middle of the street with his hands clutching his groin. Akane walked over to him and said, "Don't underestimate Anything-Goes," just before she hit the same combination of pressure points that Ryoga had wanted to use on her.
Akane began dragging two human lumps back towards the house, one unconscious boy by his bandana, and one mostly incapacitated boy by his pigtail who kept up a running commentary of complaints against this treatment. "Come on, dummy," Akane growled. "You still have some explaining to do, and it had better be a good one."
Note: these technique names are based off of Japanese words gleaned from Google Translate. I apologize if I've screwed up the translations in any way.
* "Line of Electron Blast" - Ryoga uses his ki to charge up electricity in his fingertips before shooting it at his opponent. While very powerful and impossible to dodge, it is easily countered if you know it's coming as Ryoga pointed out. This technique was inspired by the lightning-bending in "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Avatar: The Legend of Korra."
** "Share the Pain" - Akane attaches herself to one or more targets by tendrils of ki to link together the pain receptors in their nervous systems. Any pain felt by one will be shared by the other. It's useful for breaking up fights or as a prelude to the next technique.
*** "Pervert's Punishment" - After using "Share the Pain" on a male opponent, Akane purposely strikes herself between her legs to take advantage of the fact that men are a LOT more sensitive to pain in that particular area than she is.
Additional Author's Notes: Yay, I've finally updated this story again after nearly a year! In hindsight, I really shouldn't have started so many stories at once. At least now I have "Ranma and Akane: The One True Couple" to get some more of my ideas down on paper (or whatever) without backing up the queue even further.
I've fixed up a few things in the previous chapters. I can't believe nobody called me out for using the wrong hand for Ukyo's engagement ring.
Congratulations to Puto for finally figuring out the chapter title theme. Give yourself 1,000 points from the American version of "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" Of course, this means I've just recently been given several new possible options for chapter titles.
Akane has not always been able to create ki mallets in this story's universe. I subscribe to the school of thought that she uses actual mallets and other blunt objects (or her fists or feet) in the manga when she hits Ranma and Kuno. She has learned this technique alongside the others through her training with Ranma over the past year. He favorite ki construct is actually a bo staff, and she takes advantage of the fact that a ki construct isn't required to always keep the same shape like a normal weapon. Ranma can also do it, but he usually considers it an inefficient (as it takes a continuous output to maintain the solid form) waste of ki since he prefers to fight unarmed.