By: Chaos Lord
Disclaimer: The characters in this story belong to their respective owners. The concepts dealing with the Time Gates the Ultimate Good and Evil and the Forbidden belong to PacMan.
In the life of one, Ranma Saotome, there were only two ways of waking up; being thrown through a window in order to fight his lazy panda of a father and the other is that of PAIN. Be it the pain of regaining consciousness after having his skull caved in by his violent, ill-tempered, and yet in some sadistic way caring fiancee. Or the pain of the heart and of the soul, knowing that when he wakes up and leaves the quasi safety of his futon he can count on beatings, insults, and trickery. And most recently the possibility of loosing his mind and becoming a rampaging killer that no one could ever hope to stop. Today it seems that the gods in their constant game of, "Wheel of Ranma," have spun the wheel that is his life and landed on PAIN. And pain it is, a mind cracking, eye bursting pain that though limited to just his brain it feels as if someone is jamming red hot pokers into his still shut eyes and at the same time someone else is pulling his brain out of his ears. The pain is so great that it is as if there was fog bank in his mind keeping out any rational thought.
Cutting through the pain, like a foghorn, Ranma heard some voices. Although he currently couldn't tell the difference between the two voices, he could tell that there are two people talking together. Now that he had something other than the pain that he could focus on he could tell that he wasn't laying on his futon and it didn't feel like the mattress he had in his room at his mother's house. Whatever it was the only word that could describe it is COMFORTABLE, in fact it is the most comfortable something he has ever laid on. Now that he is thinking a little, he is able to somewhat push aside the pain and he can hear the voices more clearly. Listening to the two, he can now tell that the voices are a male and a female and that they are discussing something.
Deciding to listen to what the two are talking about, he heard the man say, "I agree with you, Washu, and I would be happy to train him to use his power. But I wonder, how much do you think we should tell him about us?" Ranma perked up a bit at the word training, but he still kept his eyes closed because he knew that if he opened them he would be blinded by the bright hospital light. He now knew it was a hospital due to the smell of alcohol and the steady beep beep of a heart monitor. Which made him wonder why would the bed be this comfortable? Every hospital bed he's been on has been very uncomfortable
He then overhears the man's companion, probably that Washu person, say something in reply. "I think we should tell him everything, if we are not completely honest with him he might not be willing to train with you. That would be dangerous for anyone that happens to be in his way when his power activates and I don't think we want that do we." At hearing that he could become a danger to others he decides to take a chance and open his eyes. As he expected the lights were really bright and to his abused brain it seemed as if he was staring into the very heart of the sun. Suppressing a groan so as not to interrupt the duo. He blinked his eyes and forced his head in the direction that he heard the voices. As his eyes came into focus he saw two figures with their backs facing him, they where looking at some sort of screen. One was what appeared to be a girl sitting on a floating cushion, her spiky red hair obscured both her clothes and whatever the two were looking at. The man standing next to her looked about Ranma's age and had close cropped, spiked black hair with part of it in a small pigtail. The man was wearing a brown work jacket and a pair of black pants that seems to have gotten as much use as the jacket. His suspicions about being in a hospital were confirmed at seeing all the medical equipment along the walls, some of the items were familiar to him from the few times in the past when he was in a hospital. The other things such as the recessed tube were unfamiliar to him, but he wasn't concerned about that since he didn't know that much about regular medicine.
After listening to the two talk about who is going to tell him something, he hears the man say something to, who he can only assume is that Washu person, that causes Ranma to laugh. "Well I feel responsible for the way he is now. I mean I know it really isn't my fault, I should blame whoever beat him up, but I just can't help thinking that it is my blood that made it so he can't live a normal life anymore." A normal life, HA! That is one of the funniest things he ever heard, him the "great" Ranma Saotome having a normal life, it was so funny and yet so painful he couldn't stop himself from laughing.
"Heh . heh . heh."
This caused the duo to stop talking to each other and spin around to see the source of the bitter laugh. Even though the two were now facing him he still couldn't see their faces, due to the fact that he had turned his head back towards the light to laugh. In his pain addled state the bitterness and emotional hardships he has had to face in his short life came to the surface. For perhaps the first time in his life Ranma Saotome spoke from the heart. "A normal life it doesn't exist. Not for me anyway, a normal life is for people that have jobs, a place to call home, and people that love them. I don't have that and I never will, so there is nothing you can do that will ever change that." The pain and despair hurt so much that he wanted to cry but he didn't because he did not want to appear weak in front of others. The tears would come but at a time and place of his choosing.
He heard the one he assumed to be Washu exclaim in surprise, "your awake!" "Wow," he thought bitterly, "she's a master of the obvious."
After a few seconds of nothing but silence and the beep of the heart monitor the man's voice rang through. "How do you feel," asked the man, his voice tinged with panic. "How do I feel," thought Ranma. "How do I feel?! I've got a headache the size of two Mt. Fuji's and he asks, "How do you feel. Well mister, quite frankly I feel like crap." Of course, due to the training he did with his mother he didn't say that. He wanted to stay on the good side of his mysterious benefactors. So instead, he decided to say something nicer.
"I don't think you should be asking me that. You should probably be asking the little angry tomboys in my head that are banging away with mallets, how I feel." Ok at least it was somewhat better than what he thought of, I mean he only trained with his mother for six months. If he didn't have a headache he would have thought of something better. So stop harassing him for Pete's sake.
"I think I can remedy that," answered the little girl called Washu, in a professional tone.
Ranma smiled weakly at that, the little girl wanted to help him and once again renewed Ranma's faith in humanity. He looked over to her and saw what she and the man looked like. The little girl, Washu, was wearing a brown shirt with a dark green over jacket and a pair of pale green shorts. Her green eyes had a look of concern in them, deciding to humor the child, Ranma replied, "thanks! I'd appreciate that."
He watched as the girl walks over to the head bed and after she disappears from his field of view he can hear the clicking of someone using a keyboard. At first Ranma thought that the girl was going to get him some aspirin for his headache but when he didn't see her walk out of any door and instead the typing he began to wonder. When the typing stopped Ranma heard a drawer open on the side of the bed. He then saw the girl pull a white gun and a tube filled some clear liquid and he became slightly concerned. When she put the tube into the gun and cocked it slight concern became intense concern. And when she moved to place the gun's barrel against his arm intense concern became mind numbing terror, the kind of terror he gets when Akane comes in with a dish of something that not even the Devil would eat and tells him she made it all just for him. Deciding to stop her and maybe get an explanation on what kind something he is about to be subjected to, he says.
"Wait! What is that and what are you going to do with it," he asked, in a slightly panicked voice. This showed the amount of self-control Ranma possessed that his voice had only a slightly panicked edge to it, is amazing. Because even though he is terrified inside, if he shows his terror he will be in so much trouble, the headache would be a joy compared to the beating he would receive if he showed any sense of fear or apprehension at using her stuff. He learned his lessons from Nerima well.
Her expression took on a look of hurt, "Why this is only the most advanced medicinal injection apparatus in the entire universe, capable of delivering 200 cc's of treatment in .2 seconds. And it's loaded with "Lil' Washu's" deluxe anti-headache formula and low-grade liquid explosive, it will cure any headache in twenty seconds or blow you up. But anyway you look at it you'll not feel anything anymore. I'm the greatest! Mwa . .ha . .ha." As she kept on talking her look of hurt became one that was a mixture of both pride, which is ok in his book and insanity, and in the life of Ranma Saotome, insanity is not always conducive to one's health. Especially the part about explosives, but he figured he could handle it, "I mean if explosive okonomiyaki, chain throwing duck boys, and Saffron can't kill me, I doubt that liquid aspirin will." The thought of all the things he has had to live though made him depressed. Also the sound of her laugh gave him some wicked Kodachi flashbacks.
Of course everything else the girl said went right over Ranma's head, that is why his response to Washu's back patting was, "What?" The confusion that he felt at her words was clearly obvious in both his voice and expression.
Ranma could tell that she didn't like his reaction when she deflated a little. When she started to grumble, Ranma became worried, in his experience when a women grumbles it usually means that he is going to be in a world of pain. She then directed her speech at him, "Its an advanced needle and headache medicine," her voice a dull monotone. "Would you like me to use it on you?"
Hoping to get on the girl's good side he replied in the happiest voice a man with a headache the size of Fuji can. "Oh. Sure if it will get rid of this blasted headache."
Ranma heaved a mental sigh of relief at seeing the smile form on the girls face, "Thank god," he thought, "that was close." As Ranma watched the girl he also kept an eye on the man with her. When he saw the man's face lose all it's color Ranma inwardly smiled, "He must have heard the part of her rant about the medicine is also an explosive. Heh, that must be what I looked like whenever Akane made me some of her so-called "food"." He then watched as the man's eyes began darting around as if he was searching for something, "He's probably trying to come up with something to get her to stop." The man's face took on look of resolution, "So he's thought of something. This should be good."
"Eh . he . he. Little Washu are you sure that is safe? You did say that it might not be completely good for him," said the man. Ranma didn't miss the sound of panic in the man's concerned voice. "Might not be completely good for him," thought Ranma, "she said it might blow me up. What does he live in, his own fantasy world!?" At the man's question Washu took up a look of indignation, "Oh boy, that guy is gonna get it now."
Washu then haughtily replied, "of course I'm sure, Tenchi. I finished the clinical trials on rats a month ago and only 17.6% percent of them blew up. I'm absolutely positive that it is safe for him . . . well at least 82.4% positive," by the time she finished her tone of haughtiness became one of embarrassment. "She's probably embarrassed that the number isn't 100, I can understand that," and he could. If there was one thing he knew for sure it was that he had to be the best in whatever he set his mind to. And if it wasn't perfect the first time then he would continue at it until it was. It depressed him, all the things he had to endure and for what? A truckload of fiancees that he no knowledge of until they showed up at his feet. Guys out to kill him at the drop of the hat and others who jump at the chance to make false assumptions about him and his deeds. On many a night, when his only companions were the stars above, a thought would make its way through his mind, "What's the point. If being the best meant only hardship and suffering then why do I always try so hard to keep it." And immediately after that thought ran it's course another one, from a part of himself that he hid from all others and sometimes even himself, rose up to challenge it. "I must be the best because if I'm not then all the work I have done will have been in vain," and that was one of the reasons he left Nerima. After all the time he spent with the Tendo's Ranma learned something, one can't define one's self through the art alone. Just look at Happosai, his father, or himself. How well would any of us do if we could no longer use the art? So Ranma decided to get rid of this weakness in himself. Knowing that in the chaos of Nerima he would never be able to find a life, Ranma left.
After listening to the man named Tenchi yell at Washu incredulously Ranma decided to stop him. After all if she could make an aspirin- explosive, who knows what she could do to him.
"It's ok. Let her use her medicine, I don't mind." And he really didn't. Ranma knows the sound of pride when he hears it and Washu's voice had plenty of pride in it. With his luck it'd probably give him the runs.
"Whaaat! But you might be blown to pieces." Ranma was happy with that. That this perfect stranger was concerned with his safety made him happy. In his experience not many people care about another's safety before they ever get to know them.
"Been there, done that, along with many other things. Besides I'm not lucky enough to be really blown up, so she can inject me and get rid of this damn headache." Which at this point was the really important thing. When talking about her aspirin, Washu said it best, "but anyway you look at it you'll not feel anything anymore," and if he blew up then he would no longer be in any pain, either physical or emotional. "Besides," he thought, "maybe I'll be able to talk without this headache getting any worse."
Washu then smiled and started the gun towards Ranma's arm. "Ok," she then pressed it against his arm. The cold of the barrel slightly stung. "This might hurt a little," she said with a comforting smile. As she pressed the trigger Ranma could hear the sound of compressed air being released. While that is what he heard, what he felt was a sharp stabbing pain in his arm. A few seconds after being injected, the pain, both in his arm and in his head, disappeared.
After the pressure in his mind eased, Ranma realized that Tenchi was nowhere to be found. He then remembered that as Washu was moving the gun towards his arm Tenchi dove to the floor. "Heh, he's probably on the floor expecting me to blow up." He then looked over at Washu and saw her eyes narrowed in anger, "hoo boy, when she gets done with him he's gonna wish he was the one to blow up."
"Tenchi, as you can see he is still in one piece. So if you would be so kind to GET UP OFF MY FLOOR, I'd be oh so happy," she says with false niceness. "Not everything I make blows people up, you know." "Well that's a comforting thought," Ranma thought wryly
As the man named Tenchi got up he was scratching the back of his neck and laughing nervously. "Eh . . .he . .he I know that Washu, I was just . . . following proper lab safety procedures. Yeah! That's it!" "Oh come on! He should have said that he was praying to her greatness. Following proper lab safety procedures. Feh." Ranma watched as Tenchi moved his eyes from Washu and focus on him.
"Hey there! We've done all this talking and we haven't introduced ourselves," he said. "My name is Tenchi Masaki and the lady who cured your headache is Washu, pleased to meet you," when he finished his hand shot out in greeting and had a smile on his face.
Ranma stared into Tenchi's eyes trying to see if this guy could be trusted. What he saw astounded him, this man before him had a spirit similar to that of Kasumi. Although this man's cheerfulness was not forced as was hers. After a few seconds a smile formed on his face and he shook Tenchi's hand. "The name is Ranma, Ranma Saotome."
"Well Ranma, Ranma Saotome," said Tenchi with a smile, "how do you feel now?"
"I feel good, although I'd like to get out of this bed. If that's ok?"
"I've got no problem with that but Washu might. What do you say Washu," Tenchi asked with a smile.
"Sure he can, just let me get something." A small black portal opens beside her and she sticks her hand into it. When her hand comes out she has a camera. After she points it at Ranma she then starts talking again. "Ok you can get up now," she said with a leer.
"Uh Little Washu what's the camera for," Tenchi asked in dread.
"Why it's for when he removes that blanket," she replies in happiness.
Ranma then slightly lifts up the blanket and sees that he is completely naked beneath it. "Ack!" Ranma then pulls the blanket up to his neck, his face red in embarrassment. "Um can I get some clothes here!?"
"He . he . he . I was just kidding there Tenchi." She then snaps her fingers and another black portal appears over Ranma. Out of the portal dropped a red shirt, a pair of black pants, and some underclothes, right onto his head.
"Thanks," came Ranma's muffled voice. The clothes and Ranma then disappear under the blanket. When this happens Washu and Tenchi are treated to the sight of someone putting on their clothes underneath a blanket. After a minute of contorting the blanket launches off the bed and a fully clothed Ranma appeared in his traditional Chinese outfit. "Wow this feels great! How did you know I like to wear this," he asked, confusion and gratefulness apparent on his face.
"Well when we found you, you were wearing clothes similar to these. They were ripped and bloody so I couldn't let you use them. But I could make a copy of them so I did. Of course I didn't use silk like in your old clothes. No, I used a lightweight titanium zakurium weave capable of withstanding blows in excess of 3,000 psi. I'm such a genius mwa . . ha . . ha."
While she is laughing Ranma leans over and in a stage whisper he asks Tenchi, "Do you know what she said?"
While shaking his head Tenchi replies, "I have no idea."
"Let me guess, she does this a lot."
"Pretty much, yeah," says Tenchi while nodding his head.
Seeing the guys obvious lack of enthusiasm Washu goes directly into her simplification, "Their really durable."
Ranma and Tenchi simultaneously replied, "Oh," comprehension evident on their faces.
"So now that we now know who you are, Ranma, do you know how you ended up in the forest, beaten and bloody," Washu asked in concern. After all it's not everyday you find a guy beat up in the wilderness.
Ranma's face took on a neutral expression and his eyes clouded over, "Yeah I remember. I remember it real well . . ."
Flashback Three months after the wedding incident
Today one Ranma Saotome is woken up in the usual manner . . . for him anyway, that of being thrown through the window. During his flight he does a flip in the air and lands upon a boulder in the Tendo yard. As he waits for his attacker he begins to think, "Damn that old man. Why can't he let me sleep in every once in a while?" When his father landed on the adjacent boulder, Ranma decided to take the offensive instead of waiting for Genma to do the same.
Genma in his shock over seeing Ranma taking the first shot, was late in raising his defense. Because of that Ranma was able to deliver a blow that incapacitated Genma's left arm. Before Ranma could lay another blow Genma jumped back onto the stone wall. "Is that all you've got boy? I've felt stronger hits from babies," Genma boasted, hoping to get Ranma angry and off balance. Inwardly though Genma was concerned, "The boy has never done something like this before, at least not in the first exchange."
Kasumi was also concerned. She recognized what Ranma did to Genma. He hit one of the pressure points she learned from that book Dr. Tofu let her borrow. "I wonder why he did that. He usually doesn't do that kind of thing, I wonder if he is ok," she thought.
Genma's concern only grew when Ranma didn't respond to his verbal jab. But he didn't let his concern effect the outcome of this fight. So Genma hurled himself off the wall and towards Ranma. As he was nearing him he got ready to throw a punch at Ranma. When he was in range Genma launched his attack but was surprised when Ranma redirected him head first into the boulder behind him. Genma hit the boulder with a meaty "thwak" and fell to the ground. After waiting in a defensive position for a few seconds, Ranma took on a look of panic and jumped to the ground where he frantically checked his father's vitals. Seeing that his father is alive and relatively unharmed, except for being unconscious, Ranma calmed down and headed back into the house.
"Hi Kasumi, how's it going?"
"Oh fine Ranma," she replied in a daze.
"Well that's good. Do you need any help with breakfast?"
"No I don't but thanks for asking."
"No problem. I'm going to head inside and take a bath ok."
"Sure," she says with a smile. Ranma then begins to walk off, but before he can get far he is stopped by Kasumi's voice. "Ranma."
He stops and turns to face her, "yeah. What's up?"
"You know you can always come and talk with me if you need to? Right?"
"Yeah, I know and thanks for the offer but I'm fine," he say with a smile and then he continues on inside. In the dining room he spots a still sleepy Nabiki, "Hey Nabiki. I hope the Panda and I didn't wake you," he says in concern.
"Uh no. You guys didn't wake me. I guess I'm just used to getting up this early," she said, shocked that he would ask.
"That's good," Ranma then continued on to the furo.
Nabiki watched as Ranma headed out of the room and when he was gone Nabiki said, "well that was weird."
"So you noticed."
Nabiki turned around and saw Kasumi standing in the outer doorway. Though she said it to Nabiki she was looking at the spot where Ranma left the room, her face a mask of worry.
Said girl turned her head and her gaze turned onto Nabiki.
When she didn't respond Nabiki grew concerned. "Kasumi, what's wrong?"
"I don't know, but he used a pressure point to disable Mr. Saotome's arm and then threw him into a boulder."
"So, he gets hit in the head all the time why would that matter," said a still not quite there Nabiki.
"If that was all then I wouldn't be concerned, but after Ranma threw Mr. Saotome into the boulder he was rendered unconscious. Usually when that happens Ranma just comes inside but this time Ranma looked really panicked and he even checked to see if Mr. Saotome was ok," she said and when she was done she turned her head and looked at the still unconscious form of Genma Saotome. "I've never seen Ranma get upset at the prospect of hurting him, but this time . . ."
"Don't worry Kasumi, I'm sure if there is anything wrong Ranma can deal with it," Nabiki said assuredly.
While still looking Genma, Kasumi replied, "I hope you're right." She then turned and headed into the kitchen to cook breakfast for the occupants of the Tendo residence.
When Ranma left the dining room he hurried upstairs to get the clothes he would wear after his soak. On the way to the guestroom Ranma's face was devoid of all emotion. After retrieving one of his red Chinese shirts, a pair of his black kung-fu pants, and his bathing supplies he headed downstairs to the furo. The only thought on his mind the entire time was, "Must get to the furo." Upon arriving to the changing room Ranma set his bathing supplies on top of the washer. He then took off his sleep wear, which consisted of a muscle shirt and a pair of boxers and threw them into the clothes hamper. After that he picked up his supplies and headed into the furo.
As he entered Ranma was relived that no one was there. After getting a stool and bucket to use Ranma then sat down on the low stool and began to fill the bucket with cold water. When the bucket was filled to the top he then picked it up. He stared at the water in the bucket for a few moments, preparing himself for the opening of his emotional floodgates, and then dumped it over his head. Once again changing him into a girl. When the change was complete a shudder passed through his body and with shaking hands he set the bucket back onto the tile floor. As soon as his small hands left the bucket they flew to his face. Covering his eyes as sobs silently wracked his now female form.
"I hurt him," he sobbed, "why god? Why do I always hurt people?"
During the battle with Saffron, Ranma saw the dark side of the art. He saw not the side that was protecting the weak, learning, and fun. No, Ranma saw the side of the art that was merciless, evil, and killing. Ranma did something at Jusendo that no one should ever do, he took a life. All his life Ranma was taught that a life no matter how wretched and evil must not be taken. Even though Saffron was immediately reborn Ranma still ended Saffron's previous incarnation. During the trip back to Nerima he did some serious thought and in his grief he decided that he would no longer hurt anyone. Even in self-defense, thus his use of pressure points and redirecting Genma's momentum.
Once he has regained partial control over his raging emotions, Ranma then continued with his bathing. While tears continue their silent trek down his face Ranma scrubbed his body to remove any dirt that had accumulated since his bath the night before. After he was sure that he scrubbed his whole body, Ranma refilled the bucket and dumped the cold water over his head. With the soap and grime washed off Ranma stood up and started for the furo. Before he immersed himself in the hot water and thus returning to his birth form, Ranma looked into the mirror over the sink. There he saw the face of the one that he considers his savior and said simply, "Thank you."
And thank her he does. Unlike the others who have been to Jusenkyo and received its rather dubious "blessing," Ranma liked his curse. Oh sure, at first he hated the fact that with the simple application of cold water his muscular male body was transformed into a red-haired beauty. But as time went on Ranma came to realize something was different about himself, something other than the obvious change in gender. As the time since Jusenkyo increased Ranma became more aware of his emotions. He always had emotions but he had been suppressing them since his father told him that showing emotion made you weak and girlie. During one of his stargazing sessions he realized something, all that suppressing of emotions isn't healthy. In fact now that he can look back on it Ranma realized that if he had never gotten this curse he would probably ended up a very cold hearted and lonely man. Now though, his emotions have been much closer to the surface but even though emotions come much easier to him now Ranma still can't label some of them but he's getting there.
Ranma then steps into the hot water and he changes back into a man. As he is soaking, Ranma lets his mind drift and relax. After soaking for awhile and rebuilding the façade that lets him get through the day, Ranma gets out of the furo and dries off, his mind blissfully empty. He then walks into the changing room and puts on his clothes for the day. Before exiting the changing room and beginning his day Ranma stopped to make sure his mask was in place. While it isn't a real mask in the sense of a costume but a mask one creates to keep others unaware of their true selves.
Ranma walked into the dinning room and observed that the only one at the table was Mr. Tendo, who was already reading the morning paper. Shrugging his shoulders Ranma headed into the kitchen to see if Kasumi needed any help with making breakfast. Before he can get there he is stopped by the sound of Mr. Tendo's voice.
"Ranma m'boy, how are you this fine morn," asked a very pleased Soun. He was happy because for the first time in a year he was able to wake up at a leisurely pace instead of waking to the sound of flesh pounding on flesh.
"Just fine, Mr. Tendo," he said with a smile.
"Excellent," said Soun and then went back to reading his paper.
Seeing that the conversation was over Ranma continued on into the kitchen. When he entered the domain of Kasumi Ranma was assaulted by the smells of another wonderful meal. Ranma sees Kasumi standing with his back turned to him humming a little tune to herself.
"Hey Kasumi, is there anything I can do."
"Oh Ranma, thank you. Yes if you don't mind will you set up the table," she asked with a smile.
"Sure," Ranma walked over to a cabinet and retrieved enough bowls and cups for everyone then headed back into the dinning room. As he heads to the table he notices that Nabiki is already there. Her hair is still ruffed up and she is still in her pajamas but unlike most mornings she is wide-awake.
As soon as Ranma entered the dinning room Nabiki was focused on him. After her discussion with Kasumi she became concerned about Ranma. Some might say that Nabiki Tendo is a cold-hearted bitch and they might be right if they weren't family or friend. But for those that she considered thus, her heart is as big as the Moon, she just doesn't show it that much because if she did others might try to take advantage of her. Ever since she heard what happened at Jusendo she has cared for Ranma very much and is very worried at this sudden change in his behavior.
As she watched Ranma set the table she didn't notice any apparent difference in his demeanor, but it could be mask. Just like the one that she uses on a daily basis. "This will bear further observation," she thought calculatingly. "I'll tell the girls to keep an eye out for Ranma's 'friends' maybe I can give him a day off. It's the least I can do." She broken out of her thoughts by Ranma's voice asking her something.
"So Nabiki, got any plans for today."
"Just the usual, why do you ask," she asked with interest.
"So scaring the masses and then stealing their money, right," he said with a wry grin.
"Ok now something is really up, he has never played around like this before. I better play along," thought Nabiki. "Well I wouldn't say steal. More like borrowing the money on a quasi permanent basis," she said with a grin to match Ranma's.
Of course this playful banter was interrupted by a jealous fiancee. When Akane saw her idiot of a fiancee doing what appeared to be flirting with her sister she saw red. "That jerk flirting with Nabiki like the pervert he is. He probably wants to get her and one of his bimbos and do something perverted," as she was thinking this she got increasingly angrier. She then walked over to her unsuspecting fiancee and belted him into the yard, "JERK."
She continued walking until she got to the porch and began yelling at her fiancee, "You pervert! Stop flirting with my sister. She doesn't want to be any part of your schemes," she yelled and in the process doing more damage to her fiancee than that done by her punch.
"B-but Akane I wasn't flirting with her. I was just being nice," his voice full of pain and remorse.
"Yeah right! Being nice, I know why you where being nice," her face full of contempt and with that she turned her back and headed inside.
Ranma then got up and brushed off the dirt that was on his clothes. With shoulders drooped Ranma made his way inside but before he could make it to the porch The Amazing Idiot Squad (IE Genma and Soun) appeared in front of him.
"Raanmaa! Why where you cheating on my little girl," yelled an irate Soun Tendo.
"Yes boy speak up, how could you disgrace yourself so," asked Genma while shedding crocodile tears.
"Dad, Mr. Saotome, Ranma wasn't flirting with me. He was just being nice," said Nabiki, her voice like that of hell frozen over. "Damn it Ranma doesn't need this right now," she thought angrily.
Knowing that Nabiki would never give out info for free if it wasn't true, Genma and Soun replied rather unintelligently with, "Oh."
Genma in his rather obtuse way then came up with a reason why his lazy son would be nice to Nabiki. "Tendo my friend, I've got it. His being nice to Nabiki obviously means that he wants to get married to Akane," he said excitedly.
Knowing where this conversation is going and not wanting to be apart of it Ranma decided to employ the Saotome Final Technique. He ran.
"Boy where are you going," Genma bellowed.
But Ranma didn't answer he just ran. Some would say that he was a coward for running but they obviously haven't had two men with the combined brainpower of a Raisinette try to force them to marry someone. So he ran to the one place they would never think of following him to, Furinikan High. Deciding that going to Uchan's or the Nekohanten would be a bad idea Ranma went straight to school, hungry and in his house slippers.
As he passed through the gates of the school Ranma felt a sensation not unlike that of a person waking over his grave. Thinking that it was just a premonition of a future beating, Ranma just shrugged off the feeling and continued on into the school. This was a grave mistake.
Known to a privileged few there are nexuses throughout the world. These places of power are focal points for various types of energy. Places such as Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza are focal points for a myriad of energies. Others like the Statue of Liberty lie at the intersection of only two or three lines of energy. At all of these places one tends to feel something different than in normal places. Of all the types of energies that flow throughout the universe the most dangerous and most necessary is that of chaos, otherwise known as chance and random. Unlike other powers that may have millions if not billions of focal points throughout all of creation chaos has a very limited quantity, perhaps a thousand at most. As one approaches these points of confluence the laws of probability are broken down and at the exact center of the points almost anything can happen. Now normally these intersections of chaos are docile and they usually don't bring danger to those who live there. That is under normal conditions, but should a key be introduced into one of these places the regular energy begins to rise until it explodes violently. Now a key is a person that for some reason or another is a magnet for chaos or is a nexus themselves. A person that by their very existence can cause a radical change in history, either good or bad.
It just happens that there is only one nexus of chaos energy in our portion of the universe and it is directly underneath Furinikan High. And there is only one key that regularly visits this place, Ranma Saotome.
As Ranma waited for the rest of his class to arrive he decided to meditate some and prepare himself for the rigors of school. After sometime the class began to fill up and he was brought out of his meditation by someone tapping on his shoulder. As he opened his eyes he saw Nabiki standing there holding his bag and shoes.
"Here you go Saotome," she handed him his stuff.
"Thanks Nabiki," he said after taking his belongings from her. As he was putting on his fighting slipper he asked her, "So how much do I owe you?"
"Hmm. Give me ten yen and I'll call it even," she said with a grin.
"Ten yen? Well I don't know, that seems pretty steep to me but I guess I can afford that," said Ranma, his grin a match for Nabiki's. He then pulled out his money and gave her ten yen. "Here you go Miss Tendo."
"Why thank you Saotome, I'll be on my way now," with that she turned and left, a grin still on her face.
"Well she's certainly been nicer lately, I wonder why?" He was interrupted from further contemplation by Daisuke's voice.
"So Ranma you trying to get with Nabiki too," he said with a leer.
"Yeah Ranma going to take a walk on the ice queen side," Hiroshi's leer matched Daisuke's.
"No way man, She's my fiancee's sister for Christ's sake," cried an indignant Ranma. Of course Ranma's life being how it is Akane walked in to hear what Hiroshi said but was to angry to care about what Ranma said.
Said fiancee stormed over to Ranma's desk and picked up his school bag. She then took his bag and began to hit him with it. As she was hitting him she was yelling, "You jerk. Will you stop trying to seduce my sister!?" After she stopped yelling she hit him with the bag a few more times and when she was done she threw the bag onto Ranma's face with a final, "Jerk." She then walked over to her own desk and plopped down, all the while muttering under her breath an occasional "jerk" or "idiot" where heard coming from her.
After getting his bag off of him with a groan, Ranma slowly sat up. Internally Ranma silently despaired, "Why does she always hit me for no reason. I can understand hitting me when one of the girls latches on to me, but I wasn't doing anything to her sister. Why would I? I'm just trying to be nice to her." When he was back sitting in his chair Ranma opened his bag and started to rummage through his back, making sure that nothing was damaged. Seeing that everything was more or less in one piece, Ranma pulled out the supplies he would need for his first class. After his teacher called role he immediately went into his discussion for the day.
As the teacher was droning on about the subject at hand the students where treated to a sight that was becoming common and yet still creepy. Ranma was taking notes and paying attention to what the teacher was saying. He answered questions as accurately as he could and asked questions when he didn't understand what was being said. The reason for this sudden change in Ranma's scholastic behavior was also Jusendo. After Ranma made his vow to no longer hurt others he realized that he needed something other than martial arts to fall back on. And as horrible as it sounded to him Ranma knew that school was the only way for him to do something else. So Ranma turned his intellect that for his entire life was focused on the art and focused it on school. While he wasn't making straight A's he was doing much better than before, to his mother's obvious delight.
As weirded out as the people in Ranma's class were at his behavior they were always happy at lunch. Both because it was lunchtime and also because Ranma still jumped out of the window to go to lunch. Today though everyone was on edge, Ranma and all his fiancee's except Akane were nowhere to be found and it was eerily quiet. The only thing that made people comfortable was the fact that upperclassman Kuno was ranting and raving that he had finally defeated the vile sorcerer Saotome. Even though Kuno was bringing the masses a measure of comfort they were still residents of Nerima and being so they all had a sense for when something bad was going to happen and this sense was ringing like a air raid siren.
One might ask where was Ranma and the rest of the fiancees during lunch? Well Ranma was on the roof of a building two blocks away, peacefully eating the lunch that Kasumi made for him. She had made the lunch twice as large as she usually made him and included with the lunch was a note,
"Ranma, Here is the lunch I made for you. I hope that Nabiki didn't charge you too much. ^smile^ Since you left in such hurry and didn't eat breakfast, I made your lunch twice as large as usual. I hope you enjoy it. Kasumi."
After eating the lunch that Kasumi had so carefully and lovingly prepared Ranma took out a book and read until the start of class. Ranma was reading one of the stories his mother requested him to read. It was a rather good one two. Who would have thought that Shakespeare would be good to read. He was also deep into the Umisenken because as much as he thought being on a roof was safe he knew that his father's technique would make it impossible for others to notice him. The technique was one of the reasons that he still even respected his father a little.
As for the fiancees, Ukyo was at her restaurant preparing for her date with Ranma, a date I might add that Ranma had no clue about. Shampoo was at the Nekohanten waiting tables and planing to see her airen when he was done with his school. As for Akane she was at school getting angrier and angrier that her fiancee was not there to try the meal she had oh so carefully destroyed . . . er prepared.
Five minutes before the bell Ranma gracefully landed in his classroom where his short-tempered fiancee once again attacked him. "Ranma where were you. With one of your floozies no doubt, and after I worked so hard to make you lunch. This was the best meal I ever made," and it was. Unlike the other things she cooked, this meal would only kill half the people one of her normal ones would. And with an, "I HATE YOU," and a slap she finished ranting and walked back to her seat. Miss Hinako, still in child form, then entered the room and asked everyone to take their seats. After everyone was seated she began her lecture on proper verb usage. While she was talking the entire class was taking notes, that is all but Akane. She was glaring at Ranma and silently thinking of all the things she could do to him as punishment.
And that was how the rest of the day went on. In Ranma's class he was busy taking notes and trying to be the best student he can. Akane was busy fuming, building her anger , layering it on top of each other until she became a raging volcano. At the Ucchan, Ukyo was making her final touches to the outfit she was going to wear on her date. At the Nekohanten, Shampoo was getting prepared to visit her airen. And at the Tendo Dojo, Genma and Soun were putting the final touches on their perfect plan to get Ranma to marry Akane.
And unknown to most, the well of power beneath Furinikan High grew.
Ranma's Classroom 10 Minutes Before the End of School
Ranma Saotome sat in class taking notes exactly as Nabiki taught him to: writing down anything he felt important and anything he had a question about for later review. As he was taking notes he felt only one thing, absolute boredom, but as bored as he was, he continued doing his work. Knowing that despite his boredom, this was important to his future and without a decent education his future would be very bleak indeed. As he was working Ranma could feel the anger coming from Akane increase as time passed. He could only guess what she was thinking, "Heh, she probably thinks that as soon as school is over I'm going to have an orgy with Ukyo, Shampoo, and Nabiki or some other stupid thing like that." His thoughts then took a decidedly more depressed tone, "Why does she always think that about me? Can't she tell that I don't like it when they attach themselves to me like one of those aliens from that American movie. And doesn't she realize that no-one wants to eat her damn food. I would mind so much if she actually tried it but since I've never seen her on the floor unconscious she must not." And this is when all the little things that Akane has done to him add up. Now one must remember that as normal as he is acting he isn't himself. So in his altered state he came up with a thought that would shatter the very fabric of Nerima, "She really hates me. I mean I didn't believe her since she always says it but she must really hate me. No-one can say they hate someone that many times and not mean it."
"Look at that pervert sitting over there. He's probably doing all this work to get on Nabiki's good side. And he didn't eat my lunch. I can't believe that he would rather go hungry than eat my wonderful meal. I put all my love for him into that meal and he didn't even eat it, the Jerk," she silently fumed. Some might wonder if she truly loves Ranma and the answer would be yes. But unfortunately for her she can't express her love in a meaningful caring way therefore she ends up bashing Ranma with the nearest blunt object she can get her hands on.
As Akane was fuming and Ranma was brooding some thing was going on under their feet. Deep under Furinkan High the well of Chaos energy was rapidly reaching critical mass and very soon the status quo of Nerima, possibly the entire world would be altered for all time.
******** The Ucchan Ten Minutes Before Classes End at Furinikan High
Ukyo Kounji was many things: a great chief, an excellent martial artist, and a wonderful employer. But what she wasn't at the moment was completely sane. Now one might argue that anyone willing to live in Nerima, ground zero for chaos, was not completely sane but in the case of Ukyo she is even worse than before. You see ever since the aborted wedding Ranma hasn't been talking to her and she has also stopped taking her medication. Ever since her mother committed suicide Ukyo has been on a mild anti-psychotic. On her medicine she is nice and good with mild bursts of irrational behavior. On the other hand when she is off her medication she is prone to delusions and violence.
That is why she is getting dressed for her date with Ranma. She is wearing a long black dress. The neckline is low enough to show some cleavage but not so low as to be obscene. The bottom of the dress ends right before her knees, also the dress is tight enough to show of her generous curves. As she examines herself in the mirror Ukyo thinks, "I look great. With this dress, Ranchan will surely want to go a date with me. But something is missing," she then looks over herself. "Hmm, let's see hair, check. Makeup, check. Dress," she then ran her hands down her body, smoothing out her dress, "definitely check. So what could be missing," she then looks over her outfit for the third time. After a few seconds a look of realization passed over her face and she snapped her fingers, "I've got it," she exclaimed. She then picked up the harness she wears for her combat spatula and put it on. After checking to make sure that it is secure she then picked up her weapon of choice and placed it into its harness, after looking back at the mirror she said with a satisfied smile, "It's perfect."
After making sure that she looked perfect, Ukyo headed downstairs. As she was leaving the restaurant she called out to her sole employee, "Konatsu mind the place while I'm on my date with Ranchan." Her gleeful voice put Konatsu in a quandary, should he go tell Lord Ranma what she is planning or should he let Mistress Ukyo do what she want. "What's wrong with her? Why is she acting so different," and she was acting different. The Ukyo that Konatsu knows and loves wouldn't act like this, getting ready for a date that doesn't exist. She also wouldn't wear a slinky dress and her battle spatula. Deciding that it might be better for all concerned, Konatsu closed up the shop and headed out after Ukyo.
******** The Nekohanten Ten Minutes Before Classes End at Furinikan High
Today was the day, today was the day when all her hard work and effort would come to fruition. Today was the day when Ranma would finally marry her, or at least that was what Shampoo believed. "How can he resist me," she asked her reflection in the mirror. "I mean my hair is perfect, and all my charms are in their proper positions. My make up is fine and so is my dress," and so it was. Her plumb colored dress clung to body like a second skin. The dress went down to her mid-thigh and had a slit running up her thigh on both sides of the dress. A dragon was embroidered on the dress wrapped around her body and accented her generous bust line.
She had bided her time, waiting for her airen to be ready to marry her. After crashing his wedding to the kitchen destroyer Shampoo realized that she had made a mistake. Ranma wasn't going to marry her he was just being nice. He was just letting her down gently since all that Akane went through at Jusendo made her upset. Once the kitchen destroyer realized that he didn't want her she would gladly give Ranma to his rightful wife, Shampoo. At least that was what Shampoo thought. Seeing that she was ready to meet her airen, Shampoo ran out of the Nekohanten and towards the High School.
Back at the Nekohanten Mousse was furious, "Damn that Saotome," he silently fumed. "Why must he always plague my darling Shampoo," with that Mousse ran up to his room and retrieved some of his more lethal weapons. "Today is the day that I will make you pay Saotome. One way or another," he said while staring at a dagger. After storing the myriad of weapons in his volumous robes Mousse then ran downstairs and headed after Shampoo.
As Shampoo and Mousse were planning the downfall of Ranma Saotome there was someone at the Nekohanten that was worried about Ranma's well being. Cologne, Matriarch of the Joketsuzoku, was worried for the male known as Ranma Saotome. At Jusendo she saw the power of Ranma Saotome, yes she realized that Ranma's physical power was augmented by the power of the Gekkaja. Thereby allowing him to create the intense cold needed to defeat Saffron. Cologne wasn't interested in that, no what amazed Cologne about Ranma's battle with Saffron was Ranma's creation of an effective variation of the Hiryu Shoten Ha. In all her three hundred years, Cologne had never seen any one with such limited knowledge of Amazon secrets come up with such an amazing variation of an Amazon technique. She realized that she had to get Ranma into the tribe, by any means necessary. She had written her fellow members of the Council of Elders on the possibility of dropping Shampoo's marriage claim in favor of making Ranma an honorary Amazon and if he needed a more serious push there where several other possibilities beneficial to Ranma included in that letter. That was two and a half months ago, "What is taking that council so long? How long could it take to make such a simple decision? Can't they see that I'm right and that we need that boy in the tribe."
As if fate had heard her mental grumbling a bird with metal tubes tied to it's legs flew into the Nekohanten and landed before Cologne. "Well it's about time, it sure did take those old biddies on the council long enough," she grumbled. She bent over and opened the tubes on the bird's legs. As she began to read the councils decision she felt a massive spike of chaos magic from the direction of Furinikan High. "No, not this soon," she said, her face pale and panicked. She tucked the letters in her robes, grabbed her cane and headed towards the source of chaos energy as fast as small body can handle.
******** The Tendo Dojo Ten Minutes Before Classes End at Furinikan High
Some would call Genma Saotome a fat, lazy, stupid, greedy, worthless excuse of a human being. They would only be partially correct, yes he is fat, lazy, and stupid but he was only as greedy as anyone else on Earth. Everything that he has done in his life, all the horrors he exposed his son to, all of it can be summed up with one word, Love. Genma loved his family, he loved his family so much that he was willing to do anything to ensure his families well-being, even if it meant that when he was done with his goals and his family was well off that they hated him. It was Genma's secret lament, his son, his only son, one of his two reasons for living hated and didn't respect him. Everything that he did to Ranma, the Neko Ken, the fiancees, the curse, everything was for him. If the things that he did for Ranma benefited himself it was a happy coincidence.
That was why he's been pushing Ranma so hard to get with Akane. If Ranma could get married then everything Genma did would have been proven good. "But that blasted boy won't cooperate," Genma grumbled. "Why can't he see that it is in his best interest to marry Akane." He was interrupted from further grumbling by the plaintive sound of Soun's voice.
"What are we going to do Saotome? How are we going to get them to go with this," he asked, his voice full of sorrow. He needed Akane to get married, if he couldn't see one of his little girls happy then he would have failed his beloved wife. And it's not as if he can't tell that Akane loves Ranma. If she didn't love him Soun would move the engagement to on of his other daughters.
"Why it's simple, Tendo," said Genma, his face full of certainty. "When Akane and the boy see the brilliance of our plan they will gladly go with it," as he finished Genma stood and struck a pose of righteousness.
Soun then matched Genma's pose, "of course! You're right Saotome, why I bet they will even praise us because of our ingenuity!"
Genma slapped Soun on the back and exclaimed, "That's the spirit! Now come my friend and let us go and join our children and our schools." With that the two well-meaning fools gathered up the various objects needed to get their children married and rushed out of the house.
Happosai, Grandmaster and founder of the school of Anything Goes Martial Arts, had overheard Genma's and Soun's plans for Ranma and Akane and summed them up with one word, "Idiots." And in the mind of the aged martial artist that's all the two will ever be. They took his excellent school and split it into two separate schools. A true master of Happosai's school would know both the land and air styles and if the right person gained mastery over the true school they would be virtually invincible. It was Happosai's hope that one of his two disciples could harness the power of the school but at every turn they disappointed him. When they had children Happosai hoped that one of them would be able to become his heir. And then Genma and Soun did something that he would have never had thought they were capable of, they imprisoned him. It wasn't a standard seal that they placed on the rock covering his tomb, he should know because that wasn't the first time the old lecher had been sealed up. He had to give it to those two nitwits, wherever they had come up with that ward it was a damn good one. He remained in that cave for ten years and when he emerged from his forced imprisonment he decided to look up his defective disciples. When he arrived at the Tendo Dojo Happosai's disappointment was only increased. Out of Soun's children only the youngest, Akane, had any interest in the Art and she wouldn't be able to make a worthy pupil since she would never be able to control her raging emotions. Genma's child would have been perfect but because of Genma's stupidity Ranma had a weakness that Happosai believed he could never surpass. That was before he witnessed Ranma's exploits at Jusendo, now he wasn't so sure.
Before he could continue with his thoughts they were interrupted by a surge of something he hadn't felt in two hundred years, Chaos energy. "Damn it, not again! I swear this city has it in for me," as he was ranting Happosai headed towards the surge. Because even if he hated this happening every time he stayed in this city for any length of time he loved watching what happened to the hapless boob that triggered the event. And if his guess was correct then that hapless boob was Ranma, if it was then he would hate to be in his way when the boy snapped.
******** Ranma's Classroom Two Minutes Before the End of School
Something was going to happen, Ranma could feel it. Every one of his senses was telling him that he should be on a plane heading towards anywhere other than where he was. He hadn't felt this bad before Saffron and look how bad that it turned out. He felt like a caged animal, something was going to happen and he couldn't get away. And he knew with absolute certainty that no matter what happened he was going to be far worse off than he was now.
And deep underneath Furinikan High the well of Chaos energy was reaching it's zenith. Things were about to change in ways no one could expect.
******** Furinikan High School The End of School
Ring, Ring. And with that school ended and began the torment of Ranma Saotome. As Ranma left the building he saw the approaching figures of a slightly manic Ukyo in a slinky black dress, Shampoo with a smile that can mean nothing but trouble, Mousse wielding a broadsword, and Genma and Soun carrying a priest.
"Ah damn. This can't be good," said Ranma as he saw the group out to get him.
As the group got nearer Ranma heard their cries as if they were the heralds of the Apocalypse.
"Rannnchann I'm ready for our date," yelled Ukyo, her face full of manic glee.
"Airenn, Shampoo ready for wedding!"
"Saotomee you cad. I'll kill you for crimes against women," cried Mousse while waving around his sword.
"Ranmaaa it's time to marry Akane and give us an heir," yelled Genma, the official spokesman of the Idiot Squad.
"Well crap. Let's see Ukyo, Shampoo, Mousse, and the old men, the only ones missing are Ryouga and Kuno. Knowing my luck they're going to show up, right about..,"
"Vile Saotome! Cease your pursuit of the fierce tigress Akane and the bouncy Pigtail Girl," yelled Upperclassman Kuno as he struck a pose of righteousness.
"Ranma Saotome, for your flirting with Akane's sister prepare to die." Ryouga had heard Ranma's flirting with Nabiki and decided that it was time to kill him before he could enthrall any more women.
"Now," finished Ranma and he began the process of dodging. He dodged the bokken strike aimed at his neck and redirected Ryouga's umbrella into the ground. Avoiding the pair of strikes, Ranma then jumped up and forward. At the apex of his jump Ranma flipped and turned to face his attackers. When he landed he was between Ukyo and Shampoo who promptly latched onto him, large smiles where plastered on their faces.
As the two girls laid eyes upon one another their smiles instantly changed to angry frowns.
"You purple haired floozy let go of my Ranchan. We have a date."
"DATE," screamed Ranma.
"What you mean date, Stupid Pizza Girl? Shampoo and Airen have wedding," replied a haughty Shampoo.
Ukyo then released Ranma, "Stupid Pizza Girl, Stupid Pizza Girl. I'll show you who is a Stupid Pizza Girl you ramen-eating bitch," and with that Ukyo upholstered her combat spatula. Lowering herself into a combat stance she said, "Bring it on."
Shampoo's angry frown turned into a feral grin, "If that what Stupid Pizza Girl want." Shampoo then made her bombories appear and took up her own combat stance.
As Ranma watched two of his unwanted fiancees begin to do battle he felt an immediate danger coming from his right. Jumping backwards Ranma saw two chains speed through the space he previously occupied, as Ranma looked at the chain he could see that each individual link was razor sharp. Thereby making the whole chain a weapon. "Damnit! Mousse really means business this time," Ranma was nervous, Mousse had never used bladed chains before that means that Mousse is really out to kill him this time.
Seeing that his chains missed Mousse retraced them and pulled out his sword. "Saotome you fiend, today is the day you die!" With that Mousse rushed Ranma. As Mousse rushed Ranma he was joined by Ryouga and Kuno. And for the first time the three of them worked together to kill their mutual enemy.
As Ranma dodged the various chains, bokken, and umbrella he slowly made his way back towards the entrance to the school. When he got there he landed next to Akane and an out of breath Nabiki.
Akane left her classroom after establishing a time to go the movies with her friends. As she left her classroom Akane's fury at Ranma only grew. "That jerk how dare he leave without me. He's probably trying to flirt with Nabiki." Thinking that she headed towards her sister's class, pushing away any boys that got in her way. When she reached Nabiki's class she saw that Nabiki was finishing up whatever business she had and that Ranma was nowhere to be found. "Nabiki, where is that jerk," her anger at her clueless fiancee was very evident.
Nabiki was pissed, here was her sister who had a good guy handed to her on a silver platter and what does she do, treat him like crap. Keeping her features in her well-schooled mask she replied, "What jerk would that be Akane? There are so many." Although she is keeping her emotions in check some of the disgust she felt towards her sister seeped through.
Akane in her rage missed her disgusted tone and just listened to her words. "You know perfectly well what jerk I mean Nabiki. WHERE. IS. RANMA!"
Nabiki's disgust only grew at Akane's little outburst, "Gee I don't know Akane. Maybe you could try the courtyard where he is fighting for his life." Nabiki might not be a martial artist but she does have a sense for when trouble happens, it's what kept her and her family in the black for all these years, and when she heard the various cries for Ranma's life she knew they finally meant it.
As Akane ran downstairs to deliver what in her mind was divine justice, Nabiki ran after her. When the two got to the school's entrance Akane was breathing regularly and Nabiki was panting as if she ran a marathon, "Damn I'm out if shape. I better start exercising more," thought Nabiki as she tried to get her breath back.
When Nabiki looked out upon the carnage that was the front courtyard she was amazed. "Well it looks like the whole gang is here and they mean business. Good thing I got all the betting done before Akane showed up." She was shocked when Ranma landed right next to them.
"Hey girls! What's up," asked Ranma, his eyes still on the fights at hand. He narrowed his eyes when he saw Genma and Soun start heading his way. "Aw man, I don't need this crap now," he groaned with disgust. Ranma was knocked out of any further wining by Akane's shrill cry.
"Ranma stop ignoring me you jerk," she yelled.
Said jerk turned and unintelligently said, "Wha?"
"You know what I mean! First you leave class without me, then I see you here with your bimbos, then I see you are picking in Ryouga. You. Are. Such. A. JERK," she screeched. She then pulled out her mallet and wound up to hit Ranma. "RANMA NO BAKA," she then belted Ranma across the face and sent him flying into a corner of the school wall. As Ranma flew towards the wall Akane followed all the while swinging her mallet around.
Ranma's errant flight did not go unnoticed by the others in the courtyard. The fiancees ran after him and their cries of, "Ranchan I'll save you from these crazy girls," and "Airen come and make Shampoo woman," ran though the courtyard. Ranma's rivals screams of, "Ranma for your crimes against women, PREPARE TO DIE," made Nabiki wonder if this is the day Ranma would be beaten. And the Idiot Squad's, "Ranma it's time to unite the schools," made everyone wonder what the hell the duo where smoking.
In a tree close enough to the action but far enough away so as not to be apart of the stupidity, sat Cologne and Happosai. And the two where thoroughly pissed at their various underlings.
"Blast those two don't they know they are endangering the entire Amazon nation with their actions." Cologne had tried she really had, but for some reason she couldn't fathom she couldn't teach Shampoo even a modicum of restraint. "How many times have I told that girl she should use caution when courting males. You don't just throw yourself at them like a prostitute, no you go slowly and creep up on them so that before they know it they can't live without you," she inwardly ranted. "And Mousse, that boy is nothing but trouble, I'll make sure that boy pays for his stupidity if Ranma doesn't. Speaking of Ranma, why isn't he fighting back," this last part she said out loud.
"Just when I thought those two couldn't get any more stupid they go and prove me wrong," thought Happosai. Those two idiots are going to end up destroying their dream at this rate," he thought with disgust. It wasn't as if he cared about the joining of the schools in his opinion there was only one of the branches of the Anything Goes style active. After seeing Akane hit Ranma once again, Happosai decided that she was too unstable for the art and that he is going to forbid her from using his art. "That girl is crazy, if she ever gets mad at a normal person she'll end up killing them. And I won't have any potential murderers in my school." Happosai was interrupted in his thoughts by Cologne's observation of Ranma fighting.
"It's about time you noticed that Cologne. Old age finally catching up with you," he asked with a grin.
"Shut up Happy. There are more important things like why isn't he fighting back," she shot back in concern.
"I don't know why he's doing that. The only thing I can think of is that it has to do with what happened at Jusendo." That was when he felt the chaos energy beneath the school explode, the waves of chaos energy flowed over the two, making them shudder at the feel of it.
"So it finally happened. I pray for Ranma," Cologne sadly said.
"No don't pray for Ranma. He's a survivor he'll be fine. Pray for those he is about to hurt. Pray for all those that have hurt him because when he snaps there will be no stopping him," countered Happosai solemnly.
Once again Ranma was in flight and this time it was his angry fiancee's fault. When she hit him he was so stunned that he was unable to correct his flight. Consequently he flew headfirst into the wall, she hit him so hard that when he impacted with it his head cracked the wall. As he slid to the ground he heard the varied voices of the people after him. He got up slowly, with his head in pain he turned to see everyone out to get him and he felt some fear. The first to get to him were Ukyo and Shampoo who immediately latched onto him and that fear increased. He saw his rivals and the fathers coming for him and the fear grew ever more. And finally the fear of getting married to a psycho and the fear of death got too much and Ranma looked for a way out. Any way he didn't care what but he had to get away. That was when the chaos energy beneath Furinikan High exploded. When the energy reached Ranma he realized how he could escape his pursuers and like anyone in this kind of situation he took it.
The only sound that Ranma's pursuers heard was, "Meow," and then all went red.
When Ranma woke up he realized that he was no longer at Furinkan High, realizing this he bolted up from his laying down position and looked around to take in his surroundings. As he did this he realized several things; one he was in his room at his mother's house, two the only thing that he was wearing was his underwear, and the third was that he wasn't alone. With one fluid motion he pulled up his blanket and whipped his head over to the other occupants of his room. Sitting in a chair beside his bed was his mother, Nodoka Saotome, and standing in the doorway were Happosai and Cologne.
When Nodoka Saotome saw that her son was awake she did the only thing that a mother whose son just regained consciousness could do. She lunged at Ranma and with tears in her eyes she enveloped him in a crushing hug, "My darling boy. I so happy you're all right." After crying for a minute or two she reluctantly released Ranma from her choke hold so that he could talk to his guests.
After his mother let him go Ranma looked at her and in an embarrassed tone he asked her, "Mom what happened to my clothes."
Nodoka paled, but her complexion quickly went back to normal, "They where dirty so I removed them so I can wash them. Would you like to put some fresh clothes on," she finished with a smile.
"Yeah I would."
Nodoka then shooed the other occupants of the room. Before she closed the door she smiled at her son and said, "We'll be downstairs when you're dressed."
Although Ranma was smiling on the outside, on the inside Ranma was pulling his hair. He had seen the way his mother reacted when he mentioned his clothes. "I know I'm a bad liar but I can't be that bad, can I? What could have been on those clothes." He thought in a panic. He quickly put on the spare set of clothes he kept at his mothers for a rainy day. As he put on the clothes he was scared, he remembered that he slipped into the Neko Ken but after that he couldn't remember a thing. He had seen the damage he could cause in that state and that had been to rocks and walls, he could only imagine what he could do to flesh and bone. When he was he fully clothed he rushed downstairs fear gripping his heart.
When Nodoka and the others reached the dining room they heard a knock at the door. "Excuse me a moment."
"Of course child," Cologne smiled.
Happosai pulled out his pipe and asked, "mind if I smoke?"
"No I don't as long as you do it outside," with that she headed towards the front door. After checking her hair in the mirror by the door she opened it to reveal Dr. Tofu. "Oh Doctor Tofu, what brings you here?"
"I came to see how Ranma is doing," his hope that Ranma had woken up evident.
"He woke up a few minutes ago. He's just getting dressed, we were about to talk to him," she replied tiredly. She was worried about how Ranma was going to take the news of what he had done.
"I'm glad I made it then. May I come in?"
"Of course, you are always welcome here," she then stepped aside so that the doctor may enter. Once he did she shut the door as he put on the slippers provided in the entryway. When they got to the dining room they saw that Ranma was just entering the room himself. Trying to postpone the inevitable discussion Nodoka asked, "How about I make some tea." At hearing the various yeses and thank yous she headed into the kitchen but was stopped by Ranma.
"Hey Mom, do you want any help."
She smiled at her son's thoughtfulness, "No dear, but thank you."
When Ranma reached the dining room he saw that his Mother and Doctor Tofu had just entered the dining room themselves and his worry grew. At seeing Tofu, Ranma was both relived and terrified. Relived from the fact that there was an unbiased person in the room. Terrified because he remembered the final moment before he lost consciousness, the mid- numbing terror, the hopelessness of not being able to get away, the blessed release when he slipped into the Neko Ken, and then nothing. Until that is he woke up in his bed.
He then heard his mother ask if everyone wanted and voiced his assent. Wanting to be helpful he then asked if she wanted any help. When she turned him down he was disappointed, now he had to sit there in the same room as the two ghouls.
As the group waited for the tea to be made no one said a word, their only companions where their own thoughts. After a few minutes Nodoka re- entered the carrying a tray loaded with various tea items, cookies, cups, and tea. "Here you go everyone tea's ready."
Ranma got up and walked over to his mother, "Let me help Mom," he said while taking the tray from her.
"Why thank you Ranma, I appreciate that," she said with a smile.
Nodoka and Ranma then sat at the low table, on the opposite side as Cologne, Happosai, and Doctor Tofu. After sitting there for a few minutes and waiting for all the tea to be served Ranma could wait no longer. He turned to where Doctor Tofu was seated and in a shaky voice that showed his despair he asked the doctor, "Doc is everyone ok. I didn't kill anyone, did I?"
Seeing the despair that Ranma felt over the thought of killing someone and to help soothe the boy's fragile psyche Tofu smiled and shook his head. "No you didn't but some of them are going to be in the hospital for awhile," he finished grimly. Tofu had seen some of the injuries and he inwardly shuddered. After hearing about the incident he once again vowed to show Genma Saotome a piece of his mind, after Genma's wife was done with him that is.
At hearing that he had hurt others Ranma lowered his head in shame and inwardly despaired, "I hurt somebody. I hurt them enough to put them in the hospital. I need to know. I need to know how much damage I did, how many lives I destroyed." He then looked into Tofu's eyes and with tears barely restrained he asked, "How bad Doc. How bad did I hurt them? I gotta know, please tell me," as he went on his voice gradually became a whisper.
Tofu sighed and lowered his head, he had been dreading this, it could kill him. Tofu was constantly amazed at the boy's gentle soul, how he had survived that trip with his father and remained sane he would never know. He took off his glasses and polished them with a rag he pulled out of his pocket. Seeing that they where clean he put them back on and looked into Ranma's eyes. The barely shed tears in the boy's eyes tore at the doctor's heart but he wouldn't hold back. "Mousse is the worse off. According to Nabiki and others he threw his chains at you and your Neko persona batted them away. When you did that he received a set of four parallel gashes along his chest. The gashes weren't that deep but they will leave scars, the real damage was done when you batted away the chains. As you may or may not remember Mousse was using chains with blades on the links," he paused to see Ranma's nod of remembrance once he saw it he continued. "Well when you batted them away they ripped along his arms at high speed, the bladed links tore large chunks of muscle out of his arms and shredded several nerves in his arms. Although the surgeons where able to sew him back together, he lost a lot of muscle and they where unable to repair all the nerve damage. We don't know how much use he will have of his arms and we won't know until he wakes up from the anesthesia. But we're pretty sure that he will never regain full use of his arms," Tofu then stopped to regain his breath and take stock of the people's reactions. Cologne and Happosai bowed their heads in remorse over the loss of Mousse's ability to practice his art. Nodoka was completely shocked and Ranma looked as if he could die.
Taking seeing their reactions and making a mental note to keep an eye on Ranma, Tofu continued with his grim pronouncement. "After you took Mousse out of commission the Kuno boy was next. Apparently he rushed you with his bokken raised to strike. You slashed upwards and made the bokken and his right hand explode. Lucky for him Ryouga knocked him into the side of the school and he was knocked out. Nabiki was able to reach him and stop the blood flow so he is still alive. After Ryouga knocked away Tatewaki he became your next target. Good thing that he underwent the Breaking Point training because if he hadn't then you would have eviscerated him. As it is he will just have four large scars across his stomach, he still hasn't regained consciousness but this is because blood loss and he should be up and awake any time now. Mr. Saotome has a broken arm from when you threw Ryouga into him and Mr. Tendo has some broken ribs from when Ryouga and Mr. Saotome flew into him. Other than that those two will be fine," with that he stopped to recover his breath and get over what he just pronounced.
"Doc what about the girls I didn't hurt them did I," asked Ranma. He had to know, he caused so much damage to so many people there had to be some light at the end of this bleak tunnel. Mousse, Kuno, Ryouga, the Fathers, sure they had done a lot to him in the past but he never in a million years want to hurt any of them. He certainly never wanted to end two of them's ability to practice their respective arts. It was every thing he could do to keep from sobbing but he had to keep strong. He had to be strong for his mother.
"They're fine Ranma. When you slipped into the Neko Ken you threw Ukyo and Shampoo off of you and into the school's wall. Their martial arts training prepared them for that kind of hit, so the only sustained minor cuts and bruises. Akane is fine physically, emotionally though she's a wreck. According to Nabiki after you took out your rivals she tried to snap you out of it. But instead of going to her you hissed and made a motion like you were going to slash her. Luckily she backed away and you ran off."
Everyone in the room was shocked and appalled at the amount of damage done to the people many had considered invincible. But out of everyone in the room the one who was shocked the most was Ranma. As he stared at his hands in horror he said, "I'm a monster. A monster."
Nodoka, with tears in her eyes gathered her son up in her arms, "No you are not. You are not a monster Ranma, you are my son and I love you more than any thing in the world." And that was when she realized that she really meant it. Ever since Ranma started going to her house she has said that the contract for him to become a man among men didn't matter, but in her heart it still did on some level. Now though, with the possibility that Ranma could do something to atone for his perceived sins, she couldn't see how she held honor over her son.
Cologne took this opportunity to speak up, "Your mother is correct Ranma, you are not a monster. If there ever was a monster it is your father for teaching you the Neko Ken. You can't be blamed for your actions under it's influence. The real people to blame are the one's who gave you so much grief. Because when you slipped into the Neko Ken all those injustices came out and you defended yourself." Deciding to get Ranma's mind off of it's current train of thought, Cologne, Matriarch of the Joketsuzoku, walked to Ranma's side and bowed to him. "Ranma, I thank you for sparing my granddaughter. I am forever in your debt. I ask for your forgiveness for everything my granddaughter and I have done to you."
Ranma was shocked, she has never admitted that she has done anything wrong. He then placed his hand on the Elder's shoulder, "Elder Cologne, please get up. As far as I'm concerned everything you have taught me has more than made up for what you did. As for your granddaughter, I can't forgive Shampoo until she really asks for it." Ranma smiled at the elder's shock.
"Thank you again Ranma." She stood up and smiled. "I have some news for you that should brighten your mood. Shortly before the incident at the school I received a letter from the Amazon Council of Elders and in it, they gave me permission to do the following." She then stood to her full height. "Ranma Saotome, I Cologne Matriarch of the Joketsuzoku hereby dissolve your marriage to the warrior Shampoo. I also grant you full amazon status with all the rights and responsibilities that entails."
Ranma was in shock, "I'm free," he thought. "I don't have to marry Shampoo, thank you God." It wasn't like he didn't like Shampoo but he had never wanted to marry her, which meant that one of his worries went away. But for now he wanted to know what Cologne meant about him being an amazon. "What do you mean full amazon status, because I don't want to be considered a second class person just because I'm a man."
Cologne waved aside his concern, "Don't worry about that Ranma. When you destroyed Saffron you proved to my fellow council members and myself that you are worthy of full amazon status, as a male. That means you have just as much of a voice concerning amazon affairs as any woman."
"Thank you Elder, I can only hope that I can make you proud,." This is when he decided to tell them about a decision he made. "Everyone I have decided to go on a training trip."
Nodoka was in shock he little boy was leaving her again, "Why? If you don't want to live at the Tendo's you can come here and live with me," she offered, hopeful that he would take her up on her offer.
"It's not that. Believe me when I tell you that I would love to live with you. But that is not the reason I gotta leave. Mom I hurt some people badly and ended Mousse and Kuno's ability to do their art, all because of the N-Neko Ken. I gotta find a way to get control of it, if I don't then I could hurt someone else with it maybe even kill someone and I can't have that. A martial artist protects the weak not endangers them because of a fear of c-cats. You see I can't even say the damn word without stuttering. What kind of protector can I be if one of my enemies pull out one of those and I go running like a chicken with his head cut off."
"Oh my son I understand and as much as I wish I didn't agree with you, I do. Please promise me that you will visit more than every ten years," she says in sorrow, tears leaking from her eyes.
Ranma reaches over and hugs his mother, "Sure I will Mom. How about this, I'll come back at least once a year and if I can't I'll call or write. Is that ok."
She nods her head, "That would be wonderful, son. Remember that no- matter where you go you always have a home here," she said with a weak smile.
Before Ranma could respond Happosai spoke up. "Ranma m'boy we need to talk."
Ranma was confused, "What could he want to talk to me about and why is he being so civil?" Since Happosai was being civil he would return the gesture, "Sure. Can we talk here or do you want to go in another room."
"In here will be fine. I don't mind if others here this," his seriousness clear to all in the room.
"Well go ahead," Ranma made a motion to get him to continue.
"As you know I've been looking for an heir to pass along the true Anything Goes."
"Yeah that's why you're always attacking me right?"
"Yes that's part of the reason I have been constantly attacking the other was to make sure you were challenged by someone with more experience. Now continuing with what I was saying. I've been looking for an heir, I had hoped either Genma or Soun would have been the one. That hope was destroyed when they took my school and separated it in two. When I heard that the two had children I thought that maybe one of them would be adequate. All of Soun's children where girls and I won't personally teach girls my style." He was interrupted by Cologne's snort of disdain.
"Why's that Happy, afraid they would be able defend themselves from your perversions," disdain for his habits was dripping from her voice.
"No that's not it. In fact I love it when women know martial arts, it makes the liberation of my silky darlings so much more fun." His then gets stars in his eyes and drifts into a fantasy involving a handsome Happosai traveling across the world saving women's underwear from evil.
Everyone in the room including Doctor Tofu looks at Happosai in disbelief and as one they say, "Riiight."
"So if it's not that, why won't you teach women your art," countered Cologne. She may respect Happosai for his abilities but she hated how he always preyed upon women.
"It's not a matter of won't it's that I can't teach women." At seeing the group's confusion Happosai simplified for their benefit, "When you teach someone in a martial art you naturally are in a close relationship with them. You have to touch them in various places to correct their stance or the placement of their arms or legs. I just simply don't have the willpower to not fondle or grope a woman under those circumstances. I can teach men and they in turn can teach women," he paused to let the embarrassment at that pronouncement subside.
"Now as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted," he then glares at Cologne. "All of Soun's children where girls so they where out. When I went and saw Genma's child I was amazed. In you Ranma I saw the salvation of the school and my last hope. But when I told Genma that I intended to teach you in the art that was when Genma and Soun sealed me in a cave. Ten years later I was finally able to free myself from my prison. When I got free I went looking for you and to check up on Genma and Soun. I watched you fight some and my hopes soared but when I examined your aura I saw the signs of something I hadn't seen in years, the Neko Ken. Shortly thereafter my suspicions were, to my regret and anger, confirmed. For a time I had considered killing him, not because you could no longer be my heir but because of what he did to you. I had seen a copy of the manual Genma must have used and I read the instructions for teaching of the technique and I was appalled. No one, especially a child, should have to go through that kind of horror," he stopped talking to control the raging emotions caused by what Genma did.
When he got his emotions under control he continued with his talk, "As time went by I watched as you overcame obstacles, learned techniques with amazing speed, and managed to defeat opponents far more powerful or experienced than you. Every time I watched you do the impossible my anger and disgust of Genma only grew. At Jusendo I watched as you defeated a being more powerful than any I had ever seen before and my hopes returned. So therefor I have a mission for you, I charge you with going out and gaining mastery over the Neko Ken. When you do that then I will name you my heir and I will teach you the fullness of my art."
With that announcement everyone in the room was shocked for three reasons; #1 Happosai was acting serious for more than five seconds, #2 he was admitting to having faults, and #3 he said that Ranma could be his heir.
To Cologne it's like she slipped into some kind of Twilight Zone, "Never in all my years would I have thought that Happy was capable of such real seriousness. And Ranma becoming his heir, it has always been a possibility but it was always one I never considered seriously. Ranma with full mastery over the Neko Ken, the true Anything Goes, and Amazonian Wu- shu would truly be unstoppable. With Happy's announcement I think I'll hold off on telling him the rest of what the council wrote whether I tell him now or after he gets control of the Neko Ken doesn't matter." She then talks to Ranma, "So when do you plan on leaving?"
"I going to leave early tomorrow. I want some time with Mother before I leave and at some point I need to go to the Tendo's get my stuff."
"You stay here with your mother and I'll bring it over for you," offered Happosai.
And with that Cologne stands up, "Well I think we should give Ranma and his mother some time to themselves don't you."
"Yes you're quite right," answers Dr. Tofu as he to stands up. "Ranma do you mind if I come over to see you off."
Ranma stood up, "Sure come over before 10 o'clock, that's when I be leaving," he then put his hand out to shake Tofu's hand.
Tofu shook Ranma's hand, "See you tomorrow then," and with that he left.
Cologne and Happosai took this opportunity to say their good-byes and they headed off. Cologne went to the hospital to check on Mousse. Happosai decided to go on a quest of his own. His quest was not one of mastery, no his quest was the most sacred any could attempt, the freeing of those poor defenseless silky darlings.
The next morning at the Saotome home was a quiet one. Today Ranma was able to do something that was rare for him, sleep in. After he woke up he went about his usual business of taking a shower and eating breakfast. All the while his mother tried to keep his mind off of what had happened and make his stay as enjoyable as she could.
Shortly after breakfast was complete the first of Ranma's well wishers arrived. Doctor Tofu was the first to arrive followed shortly thereafter by Kasumi, Nabiki, and Happosai who was carrying Ranma's pack. Luckily for everyone present Doctor Tofu had been working on his Kasumi problem. So instead of becoming a crazed lunatic in her presence he just becomes very giddy.
"Kasumi, Nabiki what are you doing here," asked Ranma.
"We're here to see you off Saotome. Will that be a problem," asked Nabiki with a wry grin.
"I have no problem with it. You two will always be welcome here right Mom," Ranma looked back at Nodoka.
She walked up and placed her hand on Ranma's shoulder, "That's right. You're welcome here at any time."
"Thank you Auntie Saotome," said Kasumi. She then took the bundle she had carried to the Saotome home and held it out to Ranma. "Here you go Ranma, I made some food for your trip. I hope you like it."
Ranma took the wrapped package from her, "Thanks Kasumi. You know I always enjoy your cooking," he said with a smile.
Cologne then chose this time to show up to see Ranma off. "Sorry I'm late. I had to convince Shampoo that I wasn't coming to meet with you."
"Hey no problem, Elder. At least you where able to show up," said Ranma with a smile. And he was glad she was able to come, she is the reason that he learned such powerful moves in the last year.
Nabiki was floored, "Woah, woah," she made a T motion with her hands. "TIME OUT! What the hell is going on? I thought she was trying to marry Shampoo," her confusion evident.
"Yes that is correct I was trying to get Ranma to marry Shampoo but that is in the past. This is now, my fellows on the Amazon council and I decided that it was better to have Ranma as an ally than to have him as an enemy. Don't you agree Ms. Tendo," Cologne wryly asked.
"Uh yeah sure."
Seeing that Nabiki will no longer interrupt her, Cologne then looks back at Ranma. "Ranma I have something for you. Since you are now an amazon you are allowed to know all of our techniques," she then reached into her robes and pulled out a scroll. "Here take this scroll. It contains some of our basic techniques and I'm confident that you gain mastery of most if not all of them before we next meet," with that she handed Ranma the scroll.
Ranma took the scroll, "Thank you Elder. I'll do my best to learn these techniques." He then put the scroll into his pack. After doing that he turned to his mother and hugged her. "I'll miss you Mom and don't worry I remember to keep in touch," he said with a smile.
"You do that and remember that I love you and that no matter what happens you are always welcome to come home," she said while crying.
"I will Mom, I will," said Ranma, some tears also leaking from eyes. He then pulled away from her and turned back to his pack. Before he could pick up his pack Doctor Tofu came up to him and began to talk to him.
When Doctor Tofu reached him he held out a leather bound book, "Ranma I want you to take this book and study it. This book is full of meditation techniques the same ones that helped me with my problem," when the doctor said problem his eyes darted over to look at Kasumi. "They might be able to help you in your quest."
Ranma was very grateful and he took the book. "Thanks Doc. I hope you're right about it helping me." He then placed the book in his pack. But instead of picking up his pack he stood up and took out a roll of money. He stepped over to Nabiki and handed her the money, "Here's some of the money I owe you. I know it isn't allot but it's all I got."
Nabiki looked down at the money in her hand and she shook her head. "I can't take this Ranma. After what happened at school I decided to clear all your debts with me," she then handed the money back to Ranma after she did that she took out an envelope and handed it to him. "I also want you to take this money. Consider it an apology for what I did to you."
Ranma was confused, "What exactly did you do to me?"
"For foisting you onto Akane." She then walked up to him, grabbed Ranma's head, and gave him a deep passionate kiss. When she pulled away Ranma saw the tears in her eyes and then she whispered, "We could have had something special." She then ran out of the room before she could break down.
Ranma stood rooted to that spot for several seconds and then he lifted his hand and touched his lips. He quickly thought back to the kiss and compared it to the others he had received in his life. He found that the kiss she just gave him had to be the most passionate kiss he had ever had. Also it had something that all the other lacked, genuine heartfelt love and for a moment Ranma felt a twinge of regret. But that was quickly dismissed, he knew that at this point the two of them could never be in a real relationship with each other. Maybe if she had accepted him when they first met they might have had a long and happy relationship but now, no.
Ranma then turned back to his pack and placed the envelope and his roll of cash into the pack. After making sure that the flap is secure Ranma hefted the heavy pack onto his back. He looked at the group for the final time and addressed Kasumi, "Kasumi could you do me a favor? Could you please tell Nabiki that her apology is excepted?"
With tears in her eyes she smiled at him, "I'd be more than happy to. Take care."
"I will and thank you." With that Ranma Saotome left Nerima but not for good. Because despite everything that this city had done to harm him it also gave him something more valuable than gold. Friends and his mother, and it is for them that he would one-day return.
And that was how Ranma stay in Nerima ended and how the greatest adventure of his life began.
After leaving Nerima Ranma decided to revisit some of the shrines that he had visited during his time with Genma. It was his hope that hidden within one of the shrines would be the way for him to learn how to control the Neko Ken. As he headed to the first shrine on his list studied from the scroll and book that he was given. Every time he would stop for lunch he would read over the scroll and book to decide what technique he would practice that day. When he stopped for dinner he would practice what he had read at lunch. Several of the techniques contained within the scroll where similar to those that he had learned when he was learning how to use Anything Goes. He figured that Happosai must have seen them in use and incorporated them into his own style. The meditation methods described in the book that Doctor Tofu where very helpful. While the ones that he had read about so far had not been any help with dealing with the Neko Ken they did help in other ways. They helped him clear his mind and find some solutions to problems that had previously eluded him.
That was how Ranma spent his days. He didn't cover great distances quickly since he wanted a more leisurely trip than his previous one. Consequently it took him many weeks to reach the outskirts of Okayama.
When he reached Okayama decided that instead of heading into the city he would skirt along the edge. He had plenty of provisions and instead of bothering with the hustle and bustle of the city Ranma wanted to walk through the woods. As he walked he was continuously amazed at the beauty around him. As he was walking Ranma felt an attack coming from his right. Jumping to his right and throwing off his pack Ranma saw that in the space he had previously occupied there was now a figure crouched there. As the figure stood Ranma slipped into a defensive stance and waited for his unknown assailant to make the first move.
"So I finally found you Fem-boy," the figure's disgust at Ranma was evident in his voice.
At the fem-boy crack Ranma knew who had attacked him. Only one person had ever called him fem-boy and that was Pantyhose Tarou. "Ok Tarou, why the hell did you attack me."
Tarou pulled back his hood and began to laugh, "Why did I attack you? Why did I attack YOU! You keep me from my goal more times than I can count and you have the gall to ask me, why did I attack you. I realized that I would never get the old freak to change my name if you where still alive." With that he threw off his cloak and lowered himself into a fighting stance.
Ranma was worried, every time he had to fight Tarou there where others there to help. "So you're saying that you think the only way to get your name changed is by killing me."
"That's right Fem-boy now shut up and DIE!" He then rushed Ranma, his arm pulled back, ready to strike.
Ranma moved to the side and redirected Tarou towards the tree behind him. But for his efforts Ranma received a punch to the stomach as Tarou passed by. As Ranma was recovering from the punch so was Tarou recovering from being thrown into the tree. Tarou then rushed Ranma again, being more careful to avoid being thrown again. As Tarou punched at Ranma he was able to hit a pressure point on Tarou's shoulder, locking it in mid punch.
At feeling his arm lock up Tarou leapt backwards to survey the damage. When he saw that he was unable to move his arm Tarou became even angrier than before. "Damn it Fem-boy fight me like the man you claim you are!"
Ranma couldn't miss the opportunity to poke fun at him. "If I'm not fighting seriously then why are you the one who can't move his arm?"
"ARRGH, THAT'S IT SAOTOME. NOW YOU DIE!" With that Tarou pulled out a canteen and dumped it on his head. After he transformed into his cursed form he tried out his right arm and found that he could now use it. He reared back his head and roared.
The last thing that Ranma said before Tarou attacked was, "Ah crap."
Tarou then rushed at Ranma and before Ranma could dodge out of the way Tarou grabbed him by the head. As Tarou lifted Ranma by the head he tried to escape by punching him in the hand. But with every punch that Ranma dealt Tarou's rage only grew. Tarou pulled back the arm not holding onto Ranma and began to punch him in the stomach as hard as he could. The only sound that came from the monster was a growl-like laugh. After punching Ranma for awhile, Tarou, while still holding Ranma's head began to swing him into trees. As he was hitting the trees Ranma could feel and hear various bones break.
Snap, his right arm is broken.
Crack, there went his legs.
Crunch, his ribs break. And it was with this break that Ranma felt a piece of one of his ribs punch through his lung.
After that Tarou swung Ranma around a few more times and then dropped him to the ground. Before Ranma slipped into blessed unconsciousness he watched as Tarou left him to die. "At last, I can finally be in peace," and with that he passed out.
Ranma shook himself out of his remembrance. "Yeah, I remember how I ended up in the clearing. What I don't remember is how I got here," he asked as he looked at Tenchi.
Tenchi scratched the back of his neck the back of his neck. "Eh, well you see. The thing is. . ."
******** End of Chapter 1
Authors Notes: Well that's the end of this chapter, if you have made it this far then give your self a gold star. Now we know how and why Ranma left Nerima. Now to address some thing that people might have had problems with. The first thing is why Ranma is not fighting back like he should. Remember he killed someone and when he made his decision to no longer hurt anyone he was in an emotionally damaged state. I would like to see you kill someone, if you aren't seriously screwed up afterwards then please look into having yourself committed. As to why he is able to use pressure points. Ranma has to deal with a woman that knows a great many pressure points on a regular basis. I think that it would be foolish on his part not to know some of the body's point even if it is to counter something Cologne might do. As for him liking his curse, the way I figure it even though his personality is male and he retains that after the transformation he still has female levels of estrogen running through his body. While I'm not saying that it makes him like to wear dresses or want to get with guys I would imagine that it would effect how he deals with emotions. Now about Akane's behavior, yes I know that I'm making her very mean but I do have a legitimate reason for her meanness that will be explained in a later chapter. As for Ukyo being on anti-psychotics I think that it is an interesting idea and her reason for halting her medication will be explained later. About Ranma's slipping into the Neko Ken so easily this was a one time deal brought about by extreme fear and outside interference in the form of the Chaos explosion. In my opinion Ranma has always had a chaotic life but it wasn't as bad as it was in Nerima but when he arrived his chaos reacted with the chaos field of Nerima and thus you have Ranma ½. Ranma's chaos will be explained later in the story but suffice it to say he wasn't born with it and it has nothing to do with his knowledge of Anything Goes. The reason Ranma's speech is so much better is that by the time he leaves Nerima he had been going to his mothers for six months. Now I know this messes up what really happened but this is how I wanted it. As for Ranma's becoming an Amazon remember Cologne wants him in the tribe by any means necessary. If it takes this to get him in then so be it. Yes I did have Nabiki likes Ranma but nothing will come with it. If anyone has further problems then calmly write about it and I'll try to answer it.