You've never sent anyone to help me with the pain
"No, we didn't. And we didn't do it this time either.
You journeyed to them. As you were supposed to
with the rest."
There isn't any that can help with the other
pain...not until this world...
"Yes there are, actually. You just have to look to
find them. Anyways, you aren't dead now, just
sleeping. Go back."
One question first?
�What is it?�
Do you know why I shrunk?
�Yes we know. Your age was reduced to match
your current experience with the female form. Also,
to match your current emotional level.�
Yeah, I kinda thought so. Okay, I�m going now.
It has now been two months since my brother and
the old man have left me here. Ryouga has shown
up, infrequently, but he has shown up
nonetheless. I think, however, that Ranma and
Genma won't return...at least they won't without
Genma won't, at least. Ranma, if he remembers
me, would come willingly.
In the first month, they tought me meditation
techniques, to help push the pain away. To isolate
it, when I really needed to be around others. They
also tought me how to let it go...that is the hardest
part. "You have to forgive yourself, and you have to
forgive the one who hurt you."
Forgive myself? That's almost
impossible...especially with how much I hated
myself before. Oh well, I try, and that is the most
Shampoo tried several times in the first week to
ambush me and claim me...but each time, before
she could get too close to succeeding, her
Grandmother would appear and forbid her to do
so. With how fast she moves I now find it very
believable how good she was 'reported' to be
before. Shampoo gave up after that first week, and
disappeared completely. For some reason I think I
know where she went.
Grandmother has asked me, and I honestly say,
each time, "I have suspicions only, I can not prove
where she went. But my guess is Japan." What,
oh that? Yeah, I call her Grandmother sometimes.
It's harmless...it makes her smile, she's always so
serious, plus everyone gives me a wide berth
because I do call her that. IS there a relationship
there? Only one of student and teacher, nothing by
blood. Heck, my body was made purely out of
magic, there is no blood relation of me to anyone.
When Genma turned tail and ran, avoiding that
first month, Grandmother began to teach me basic
skills with my magic. She was surprised at what I
knew before, and my proficiency in them, but
everything else was new to me. In a way it still is,
as I have to build the spell-forms in my head from
scratch. Grandmother chided me on that, "You
have to do it step by step, don't leave anything
out," she admonished me one day.
"But Grandmother, all the steps you show me form
one thing only with the magic, and I can do that
without the hand waving and chanting."
"It's the principal, child. You have to give the
opponents a sporting chance to defend
"But I'm not sporting,"
"Try to be," That was the end of that conversation.
Actually, it is fun to do it that way, and it's even
more fun to build one spell form, and chant
another...really throws my sparring partners off that
I chant out the fireball spell, and instead fly over
them without doing any damage. THAT one got
me 'bread and water' for two days...and
congratulations from the entire village.
The _down side_ to how I do spells, though, is that
it takes months of practicing and memorizing to be
able to do the simple ones even relatively
quickly...and I only have four of them memorized to
that point so far. The tiny spell book in my hands,
however, holds all the spells I know even
It's not enough to make me a super-power in the
world, not that I want to be one. But it will let me
survive in the coming years.
I find that I want to survive now...as long as I can.
Ryouga steps up from the forest, "Can you tell me
the way to Joketsuzoku?" he asks me...then stops,
and grins sheepishly, "uhm, nevermind. Hey Liath,
are you ready to go?" I giggle softly then turn to
the village. Only two guards can be seen, but I
know others are watching. I raise my arm, and
wave a fond farewell. I then turn, grab the lost
boy's arm, and lead him south.
I check the map again, and try to compare the
characters on it to the ones on the sign ahead of
us. "Uhm, Ryouga?" I wish my Japanese was
good enough for this, "I hate to say this, but we are
going in the wrong direction. How about _I_ lead
us, this time?" I look up at him with my eyes wide
open. He shuffles his feet, looking down, "Yeah, I
know, you don't like to talk about it. Let's just
accept it for now, and try to get home straight
away?" He nods. "Good, let's go in here first," I
grin, "I think we're getting low on food and I want to
spend some of this money Cologne gave me."
We walk around the town looking for the
marketplace. We can hear the people, but it
seems to be a bit far out of the way...either that, or
the access to it is deliberately confusing.
Ryouga points to the side, "I think it's this way." I
turn and stare at him. "Really, I think it is."
I sigh, "Okay, let's try it your way this time. but if we
hit forest, we turn back, okay?" He nods, "Let's go
then." I grab onto Ryouga's arm before he moves,
just in case.
We slip into the side alley, and a voice behind us
says, "Hey, what will you sell the girl for?" A
sudden feeling of vertigo assaults me, and I almost
fall as Ryouga turns to the person.
"She isn't for sale, mister. Get lost." His voice
seems far away to me. Grey clouds my vision, and
"Hey, she's sick. I'll take her off of your hands,
then." There is a quiet *snick* of metal against
plastic. I fall to my knees, gasping..."Hey!" the man
yells, then there is a *whack!* of something solid
Ryouga kneels beside me, holding my shoulder,
"Are you okay?" he asks worriedly. I raise my
head...multicoloured spots fly past my eyes...it's
almost a minute before I can focus on his face.
"Don't move!" I snap, as I try to pull myself up onto
my feet again. Ryouga stands, and I again have to
look up at him. 'I wish I wasn't so small,' I think. I
grab his hand again, "Okay, we aren't where we
were before, Let's see if we can get directions."
"How do you know?" I glare at him. "Right. Sorry.
Nevermind." He stares at me as I stumble over to
our attacker and start to rifle through his pockets,
"What are you doing??"
"He attacked us, therefore, in honour, he forfeits
anything he has on him."
"That's not right!"
"He attacked us, right?" He nods, "He was trying to
buy me, then steal me, right?" Again, Ryouga
nods, albeit reluctantly. "Well then, he is paying for
me, but to be healthy this way, instead of paying to
own me. Does that work for you?" Ryouga looks
sullen, but nods again, grudgingly.
A female voice behind me makes my blood go
cold, "Is spoils of war, of course is right." I turn
around, and see Shampoo right behind me.
Ryouga growls, standing up. "Shampoo glad pig-
boy take good care of sister." My eyes feel like
they're going to fall out of my head.
"What???" he growls, falling into a fighting stance,
"What do you mean 'sister'? You never liked her!"
Shampoo nods, and steps back, "Is true. No like
Li-ya." I try to scramble away from her, "But not Li-
ya fault. Shampoo now know Li-ya try to make
peace with Shampoo. Not fight. Not eat prize. Try
stop Li-ya father from eating prize. Amazon law say
sister no kill sister." I relax, slightly, "Law no say
sister no _hurt_ sister." I squeak, and try to run
behind Ryouga as a bonbori crashes into the
cement where I was just kneeling. Her hand
flashes back to ready position as I scramble
around my friend. "Anyway, Li-ya owe Shampoo for
broken bones. Shampoo break Li-ya's bones."
"Stop!" yells Ryouga, "She's innocent! She was
only defending herself then!"
"Matters not to Shampoo."
"She's sick right now! Can you, in honour, attack
someone who is helpless?"
Shampoo stops. "Li-ya sick?" Ryouga nods,
"Shampoo see. Will come back later, try again."
She then jumps onto a rooftop, and away.
Nearly five minutes later, my shivering stops.
Ryouga looks down at me, "Are you okay?"
"I okay" I whisper. He looks at me strangely for a
second, "I need use Japanese here. Is Japan
here." Ryouga nods, then turns at me, looking
somewhat bewildered, "Trust me!" I grin as he
"Trust a little girl that looks half my age." he
grumbles. I gasp, he looks up, "What's wrong?"
"Half your age?" I stumble over the words, "I shrink
He looks me over, "Only a little bit. The way you
hold yourself makes you look older, though." I nod,
breathing a quick sigh of relief.
"Okay. We go find someone. You know where
Ranma is?" he nods, "Good. We ask next person
we see, where that place be."
"He's at the Tendo Dojo." I nod, and then pull him
towards the exit.
I pull Ryouga out of the alley and look around. We
apparently have our pick of people to question,
but, just out of sheer perversity, I walk over to the
policeman standing nearby.
"Excuse," I call out, "Can please show us way to
Tendo Dojo?" The policeman looks at me
strangely, then points to our left at a gateway with
a sign. I turn to Ryouga, "What sign say?" I ask.
"Tendo Dojo." he looks a bit sheepish...I wonder
I grin, "There, that not so hard, yes?" he shrugs
and blushes. Turning to the man, I bow and say,
"Thank you very much," Turning around, I see
Ryouga walking towards the gate. "Stop!" I yell,
hoping...miraculously, he stops mid-motion. I
"Why stop, we're already here." he looks confused.
I grin and run over to him, "No walk without me.
Ryouga might get lost, yes?" he blushes and
hangs his head. I lead the way, and pause at the
gate, but Ryouga keeps on going straight in.
"What you doing?"
He smiles, "They know me here, and I can bring
friends along, yes?" his smile turns to a frown,
"Ranma's a bit strange though..."
We walk to the front of the house, then we're
stopped by a voice. "Ranma? Is this another one
of your friends?" A girl I can only assume to be
Akane snarls, "Isn't she a little young for you?"
My brother looks at me, and voices up, "I don't
even know who she is." he declares, "Hey,
Ryouga, who's the kid?" Pain clouds my vision, fills
"She's your sister, Ranma! Remember? From
Jusenkyou?" Ryouga seems to be getting angry.
Why should he? He doesn't need to protect me.
"Jusenkyou?" Ranma looks startled, "All that
happened there was me getting my girl curse. I
want to go back there to get rid of it, but the old
man won't let me," The pain hardens, becomes
almost solid in my heart...
"You already tried to get rid of the curse,
Ranma...and she showed up when you did. You
told me about that when we went to the Amazon
Ranma looks thoughtful for a second, then shakes
his head, "Nope, can't remember at all."
The pain wells up from deep inside me. I can
barely see, I can barely hear...all I can feel is the
pain. Vaguely, I can tell that Ryouga and Ranma
are starting to yell at each other.
"Ryouga," My whisper vanishes in the noise with
surprising ease. I try again, "Ryouga!" Sudden
silence, "We go now. We not welcome here," The
lost boy nods, picks up our packs, and I lead him
from the house.
"And don't come back!" Akane's yell shatters the
silence...and my heart.
I reach into myself, into the wellspring...and feel,
below my feet, yet another one. No, not a well,
more like a river...or an Aqueduct. I reach to that
one as well, thinking, 'away...I just want to get
away!' A hand touches my shoulder.
The world goes black.
not too much different from the last post, but
enough to make a difference in the later (and
I await the flames!
The shadow is longer than the sun itself,
Its edge goes on to the light,
Walk ye at the edge of the shadow,
To finally understand the night.
(c) Liath Corrine Hidson, June 14,2002
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