Subject: [PMFFML] [FFML-R] NEW![Fanfic][Ranma] Three Souls, One Heart Chapter 16
From: "David A. Tatum" <desaix@sysnet.net>
Date: 2/6/2001, 6:12 PM
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Chapter 16

Cologne stormed into the Nekohantan, a rather uncertain look on her face. 
Shampoo and Mousse were waiting for her, finishing up the morning
preparations for the day of business.

"Great-grandmother!" Shampoo exclaimed.  "You back fast!  Learn anything?"

"Yes and no," Cologne answered, frowning.  "They told me a lot of things,
but none of it is likely to be useful in helping us with the Oni problem."

"What they say?"

"Mostly what we already knew- that the Oni possessed Akane, and agreed to
release her only if Ranma would have sex with her while she was still
possessed."  Shampoo flinched, much as Cologne expected, but being blunt
was best in her case.  "There was a curse placed on Happosai, the nature of
which none of them knew, but it was present."  Then Cologne paused.  "Oh,
yes... and Iria currently resides inside of Akane's body."

"Iria?!" Shampoo exclaimed.  To Amazons, Iria was a divine protector.  The
myths involving her were not exactly favorable- after all, she was
partially responsible for the curse on all the menfolk- but she was all the
Amazons had when it came to a defense against demons and other supernatural
beings.  The Pheonix Mountain tribe and the Musk dynasty both were unable
to pass through the defenses established by the ex-demoness.  That she
really existed, and that she was INSIDE of one of her greatest rivals, was
an extreme shock.

"Indeed, though she is much weaker than she was when she travelled through
our village.  She is the reason Ranma could not remove her through...
ahem... more conventional means."

"Were there any useful bits of information that you could gather from the
discussion?  Any leads we could follow to pursue the Oni?  You said nothing
which is LIKELY to help, not that there was absolutely nothing...." Mousse
asked, changing the subject.  He was not exactly one of the more
enthusiastic supporters of the Irian cult- of course, few Amazonian males
were.

"There was, perhaps, one thing which they did not say which may give us a
lead.  They said nothing about the man who initially held the Oni-
Alejandro Perez.  It makes me wonder what became of the man... he may have
something useful to say, if we could find him."

"So should we start looking for him now?"

"No," Cologne answered sharply.  "Not now, later.  Now, we awaken Ukyou,
send her off to school, and open up the restaurant for business.  I cannot
keep it open on my own, and our customers will not appreciate it if we are
closed for the day.  The hunt continues tonight."

*	*	*	*	*

Ranma and Akane's attempts to 'keep up appearances' regarding their
relationship consisted of teasing each other as they walked the path to
school that morning.  It was a useless attempt, however, and they knew it-
the more they teased each other, the more they realized they were just
flirting with each other.

Still, as long as no-one paid too much attention to the way they were
saying the words to each other, it would seem like just a typical contest
of wills between them.

"I guess you're right- it's not like you'd have the guts to try it!" Akane
teased, sticking her tongue out at Ranma in a somewhat provocative way.

Ranma's eyebrows waggled suspiciously.  "Oh, really?  Wanna bet?"

"And actually ENCOURAGE you to be more of a pervert than you are?  Are you
kidding?" she shot back, winking at him.

"Well, if you think that I'd be sneaking into the girls locker room just to
peak at you, you don't need to worry about that!" he growled.  Glancing
around to check and make sure that no-one they knew had seen them yet, he
leaned in and whispered in her ear, "Of course it's you I'd be peaking at!"

Akane couldn't stop herself from laughing and taking a playful swing at him
with her bookbag.  "Ranma Saotome, I swear, sometimes I think I c-"

Outraged female shrieks and shouts from a side street a few blocks in front
of them interrupted their interplay.  Ranma and Akane exchanged serious
glances.

"Happosai?" Ranma suggested.

"Probably," Akane agreed.

"Should we get involved this time?" he asked.

Akane sighed.  "If we don't, who will?"

Ranma grimaced.  "Good point.  I'll be the bait- you just get ready to
crush him, 'kay?"

Akane raised her nose and sniffed disdainfully.  "Nonsense.  You're a guy
right now, and I have no intention of letting you become a girl, today, if
I can help it."  She unbuttoned the top three buttons of her schoolgirl
blouse, parting the fabric slightly to show the edge of her lacy bra. 
"I'll be the bait."

Ranma's eyes bugged out slightly.  "Hey!  Button that back up, will ya?! 
People will see!"

Akane chuckled dangerously.  "Why?  You don't have any feminine modesty,
why should I?"

Ranma looked into Akane's face hard, then frowned.  "Iria, does Akane know
what you're planning?"

Akane, who Ranma now knew was being controlled by the one-time succubus
inside her, pouted sexily.  "Aw, you figured it out.  But you know I
wouldn't be able to do this if Akane didn't let me- she wants to do this
for you, she just wanted to put me in charge so she wouldn't have to
experience being groped by the old freak."  Iria smirked.  "In my former
career, I had to endure numerous... encounters which were significantly
worse than anything Happosai has ever given to anyone around here.  I can
deal better than either Akane or you."

Ranma hesitated.  "Maybe so, but it's still Akane's body, and I really
don't like the idea of that being used to attract Happosai."

Akane's eyes shifted to show her natural expression, and one hand
unconsciously rose to hold her shirt together.  "Ranma... that's sweet, but
don't worry about it."  She paused.  "You COULD use it as a training
exercise- just like Cologne used the Pheonix pill to get you to learn the
Tenshin Amaguriken, you could use protecting me as motivation to come up
with some trick that'll really work against Happosai... WITHOUT turning
yourself into a girl first."

Ranma was still uncertain, even though he could tell it was the real Akane
trying to reassure him this time.  "And... you're sure Iria can handle it?"

At that, Akane grinned.  "She was a sex demon, Ranma.  I'm pretty sure she
can handle it- probably even better than you could."  Before he could
challenge that assertion, she continued, "And it's no shame that you aren't
the best in that field.  After all, you aren't female like she is, and
she's been training for this sort of thing for thousands of years longer
than you've been alive, while you haven't really been training for it at
all."

Ranma did not look amused.  "Yeah, well... I still think I could handle
it," he muttered.

Akane raised an eyebrow.  "You know, it's starting to sound like you WANT
to be groped by Happosai.  Maybe you really ARE a pervert, after all!"

The shrieks of the victims down the street rose in pitch, attracting the
couple's attention.  "Gah- okay, whatever, we'll do it your way!" Ranma
growled.  "But only because we don't have time to argue- let Iria take
over, and then let's go."  He glanced at her.  "I still don't intend to let
him touch you if I can help it, though."

Akane, now controlled by Iria, winked at him coyly, adjusting her blouse to
show more of her cleavage again.  "If you really want to, though it might
be fun if he did."

Ranma stumbled slightly, then shook his head.  "Sheesh- you're supposed to
distract HAPPOSAI, not me!"  Diverting his attention to the chaos ahead,
where Happosai was approaching them at full speed, he crouched down into a
fighting stance.  "I have a plan- get ready!"

"Plan?"  Akane-Iria echoed, turning to glance at him quizically.

Before he had a chance to explain, Happosai was upon them, the hoarde of
outraged girls behind him.  "Akane!  Wow- you need to dress like that more
often!" he chirped, leaping for her chest.

Before his withered old form had even reached her, Iria felt the bra
disappear from her chest with a sensation similar to rugburn.  It didn't
appear to have been Happosai's doing, however, as the perverted creature
wasn't holding it as he approached her.

Happosai was inches away from Akane's body when he noticed several very
unusual things.  First, the bra she had been wearing seconds before wasn't
there any more.  Not that this would normally make his attention to her any
less pleasurable- just the opposite, in fact- but its sudden disappearance
was a surprise.  The second thing he noticed was that there was some wierd
aura eminating from her chest.

His fingertips grazed the sides of her breasts, and suddenly he was in too
much pain to care.  Something felt like it was melting his hands off of
him, and the unpleasant fire from whatever it was he was touching seemed to
be shooting through him to his very core- almost on a spiritual level, in
fact.

It was with great relief that he felt the bra strap wrap around his neck
and tear him bodily off of Akane's chest, almost before the pain of the
touch even reached his brain.

Happosai was whipped into the road with a sickening *thud* before the bevy
of girls following him caught up to the scene of the confrontation and
began stomping him as always.

Akane recognized the bra used to lasso Happosai, and wrenched control of
her body back from Iria.  "Ranma!  You pervert!" she snarled, genuinely
annoyed at him.  "WHAT, exactly, did you do?"

Ranma looked at her, looked at the bra in his hands, and then looked at the
horde of girls obviously too absorbed with pounding the old man to care
about what he and Akane might say to each other.

He shrugged.  "Eh, I figured I didn't have a chance to stop him before he
got you- or your bra- so I figured you'd rather I got it first.  I needed
it as a weapon, anyway."  He paused.  "Er, do you really think that was
perverted?  I mean, we ARE... um..." he motioned to her ring finger, not
willing to speak of their marraige near such a crowd, whether people were
paying attention to them or not.

Akane exhaled through her teeth in frustration.  'Well, I don't really
think of him as a pervert any more- at least not that he's intentionally
being one, anyway- but he REALLY needs to learn a thing or two about proper
behavior in public.'

"Ranma," she growled, glaring at him angrily and yanking the bra out of his
hands.  "We are going to have to have a serious discussion about this when
we get home.  In the meantime, don't do ANYTHING just because you think our
new... status... allows it, okay?"

He stuck a hand behind his head and fidgetted with his pigtail, looking
suitably chastized.  "I'm sorry, Akane... I don't really know what I did
wrong, but I'll try not to do it again."

Akane sighed, seeing the puppy-dog expression of guilt on his face.  "Don't
worry, Ranma- I'm not TOO mad at you.  But we DO need to talk."  She
stuffed the bra into her pocket, deciding she'd wait until she was in the
school (and could slip into the bathroom for some privacy) to put it back
on.

"Talk- gotcha."  Anxious to get off the subject (and a little purplexed at
the fact he hadn't already been driven into the road for whatever it was he
did wrong- the fact that he wasn't eating dirt made him fear that it was
something much more serious than their usual playful spats), he glanced
over at Happosai.  "Hmm... doesn't he usually recover from these sorts of
things by now?"

"Say, you're right!  Maybe you hurt him more than you thought... I guess we
have to check on him, don't we?"

The crowd of angry girls had started breaking up, and the ancient pervert
looked even more dazed than usual.  "Well, he IS kinda our responsibility,"
Ranma said relucantly, kicking him idly to turn him face-up.  "We should at
least take him to the nurses station at Furinkan.  And we'd better make
sure the MALE nurse is on duty, today."

Reaching down, Ranma moved to pick him up.  He yanked on the old man's hand
to get him to stand up, but despite being unconscious Happosai convulsed at
the touch as if he was being electrocuted.  Surprised, Ranma dropped him. 
"Wierd- what's wrong with him?"

Akane shook her head, amazed.  "I don't know.  Maybe his hand's injured."

Ranma shrugged, deciding to pick the ancient martial arts master up by the
collar on his gi, instead.  His comatose form didn't seem to mind, so it
was that way that Ranma carried him as the could moved on into the high
school.

As he walked in the front gate of Furinkan High School, he barely avoided
being decapitated by an oversized spatula wielded by one very angry
okonomiyaki chef.  "Ranma!" Ukyou growled.

"Ucchan!" Ranma exclaimed, dodging the blow.  "Um, hi!"

"'Hi?'  Is that all you have to say to me, 'HI!?'" Ukyou screeched.  "You
and I have some talking to do, mister!"

Akane, stepping in behind Ranma, immediately recognized the danger signs. 
"Uh, I guess you want to talk to us," she intervened.  Ukyou's eyes flashed
to her wildly.  "Right... can we get Happosai to the nurses office first?"

"Lunchtime," Ukyou stated, brokering no argument.  "The soccer field.  You,
me, and Ranma.  We've DEFINITELY got some things to... 'talk' about."  With
that, she spun around and stormed off in the direction of her classroom.

Ranma swallowed.  "Well, at least she didn't try to kill YOU at first
sight," he said nervously.

"Did she you?" Akane asked.

"Oh, she just swung at me once with her battle spatula.  No big deal. 
She's done worse before."

"Are you okay?" Akane asked, concerned.  "I know she didn't hit you, but...
I mean, I know she means a lot to you, and-"

"Relax, Akane," Ranma said gruffly.  "I knew this was going to happen."

She studied him for a moment.  "Yeah, maybe.  That doesn't mean it hurts
less."

Ranma shook his head.  "Nothing's happened yet.  Everyone I know's been mad
enough to kill me at one point or another.  Maybe she'll calm down before
lunch.  No need to worry just yet."

Akane sidled up to him, grabbing his arm and patting it soothingly. 
"Ranma, if something bothers you, let me know, okay?  That's what yesterday
meant- we tell each other when something's wrong, we share in each others
happiness, and we help each other get out of trouble.  If you can't talk to
me about this sort of thing, then what happened yesterday didn't mean
anything."

Ranma sighed.  "Akane, I mean it.  I'm fine.  This doesn't bother me."  He
paused.  "No, what happens at the soccer field at lunch is what matters. 
We'll talk after that, okay?"

Akane looked up at him curiously.  "Promise?"

Ranma nodded.  "Yeah, promise."

They continued on together to the nurses station, arm in arm, never
noticing that a gawking Yuka had seen the entire incident.

*	*	*	*	*

Eubuleus the Oni was seething.  He gone through the records pertaining to
him and the succubus Iria, and found nothing.  He talked to his colleagues
in hell, and heard nothing.  He tried to make an appointment with the Lord
of Terror herself to discuss the situation, but was refused.  What in hell
was it that would keep him from communicating with Iria?

It is true that he had no plans to harm the Tendo-Saotome clan any more-
after all the punishment the humans had put him through over the previous
thousand years, he had no desire to see what the worse hell could do to him
would be if he were to break an oath.  However, if he approached them in a
peaceful manner, he was fairly sure that Iria (and therefore Ranma and
Akane, since he was also fairly sure if he could convince her to help him,
she would be able to bring the love-besotted couple around), Nodoka, and
possibly others would be willing to aide him in his quest to gain revenge
on Happosai.  But now he was instructed to stay away from Iria, with no
explanation given, and so his hands were tied.  All he wanted to know was
WHY they were tying his hands, and he'd be satisfied, but apparently no-one
knew except the Lord of Terror herself, and she wasn't answering.

He knew the earliest stages of his plans were starting to work as planned. 
Happosai had already made contact with both Ranma and Akane, and his wards
were definitely effective on the human.  He had worried a little about
that- those wards had not been designed to effect those who were not of the
spirit world, and had never been tested on humans before (there never being
a human evil enough that a demon would WANT to test them on, before). 
Apparently, however, they worked as planned.  Happosai would never be able
to glomp either Ranma or Akane again- and that little problem, by itself,
would torture the pervert for the remainder of his days....

Or so Eubuleus had planned.  His next step was supposed to have been to
trap Happosai within an area from which he could not avoid running into the
couple frequently enough to upset him- and he had been planning to do it
with Iria's help (after all, the succubus had experienced enough of
Happosai's perversions to want a little revenge, herself, most likely). 
Without her, however... well, all of his plans would fall apart.

Which was okay.  Demonic plans only had about a fifty percent success rate,
anyway.  It wasn't all THAT likely it would have succeeded as he had
planned.  But to have his plan forcibly shut down in that manner, well...
that was most upsetting.  After all, what was to say he couldn't use these
plans to bring the succubus back into the fold?  Such things weren't
unheard of, after all...

But no.  He was forbidden from communicating with Iria at all.  Completely
forbidden.  With no explanation.

Eubuleus gave the demonic equivalent of a sigh.  Maybe he should just take
a sabbatical until the apocolypse.

*	*	*	*	*

Alejandro Perez was panting heavily, after a rather lengthy pursuit by some
wierd guy in white robes.  He would have likely been captured, had he not
been able to lead the man into a very crowded area and knock his glasses
off.  With the man virtually blinded by that loss, he was able to blend in
with the passerby's and escape.

The problem was, he had no idea why the man was so angry at him.  He looked
vaguely familiar, but from where he could not recall.  All he knew was
that, when he sat down in that Chinese restaurant- the Nekohanten, he
thought it was- he was suddenly attacked by an enraged waiter.  Well, that
place would never have HIS business, again.

Alejandro was miserable.  The Oni had just abandoned him outside of that
dojo, and he waited for over two days for some word.  When none came, he
decided he'd better leave before someone noticed him and started asking
questions.  He was quite surprised that no-one had, already.

Since then, he realized that he'd made a big mistake when he left the
island.  While he'd brought a large amount of money with him- more than
enough to last him for some time in Toma's kingdom- he'd forgotten that
some countries required you use native currency in making purchases.  On
Toma's island, Yen, Yuan, Kroner, Dollars, Francs, Rubles, Pounds, and all
sorts of other foreign currency were accepted (largely because there WAS no
native currency- it was all imported).  He didn't have any yen- most of his
money was in British Pounds, and therefore he couldn't buy anything like
food or clothing or rent a hotel room.

Finally, he'd found a money exchange and managed to convert what he had
into something more useful.  His first stop was a public bath, and that had
gone nicely.  It was a bit different from what he was used to- he'd always
taken private showers, before- but he was able to get clean and that was
what was important.

Then, he found himself a small hotel.  He didn't really WANT to know why it
had both hourly and nightly rates, he just wanted sleep.  After a good
night in a VERY comfortable bed (with a number of features he never risked
trying), he went in search of a good meal.

And, of course, the moment he sat down to eat, some maniac wielding swords,
chains, knives, spears, naginata, and all sorts of weapons attacked him.

Thankfully, however, it appeared as though he had finally given the lunatic
the slip.  Maybe, once he caught his breath, he could find somewhere else
to eat, and then he could find a way to get out of Japan and back to his
native Spain.  It would be nice being home again....

The tap on the back of his neck was barely noticible.  Suddenly, he fell
forward, unable to move a muscle in his body.  He was rolled over by the
point of a wooden staff, and there, standing over him, was a three foot
tall wrinkled old hag.

"My, my, my," she said in a gravelly voice.  "It looks as though my waiter
has finally proven himself useful as a watchdog.  I was about to launch a
search for you, but it seems you decided to make it easy on an old woman
and walk right into my restaurant.  Thank you, sonny....  Now, we've got
some serious things to discuss- namely, a certain demon you've been
cavorting with."  Motioning out of his view, she said, "Shampoo, help me
with this poor excuse for a human being.  And remember, child, to thank
Mousse for his quick action when we get back... if I thanked him, he'd let
it go to his head and I wouldn't hear the end of it for a week."

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