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The Three Saotomes
Xianghua and Ranma moved slowly, circling one another patiently.
Each waiting for an opening in their opponents defense. The sun was
moving down below the horizon in the distance, opposite the buildup of
dark clouds that was forming in the east.
"I'll have my revenge at last, Ranma," said the woman as she moved
forward first. Charging him head on.
"Not yet," he replied in an emotionless monotone as he deflected
her jabs easily and stepped back. "There's a storm coming."
"I noticed! It won't arrive in time to save you this time,"
snarled Xianghua as she spun into a kick that Ranma almost lazily
"So it seems," commented Ranma as he stepped back a bit and
avoided a few more strikes.
Xianghua growled at the lazy attitude he seemed to have adopted.
"Dodge this you bastard!" she screamed as she brought up her arms. The
metal bracers on her forearms flared with a pink energy and blasted a
ball of pink light at him.
Ranma merely sidestepped the attack, but it caught his shirt and
ripped a large hole in the sleeve, twisting his body as it passed. He
paused and stood silently for a moment, in an almost relaxed pose.
"You should know the same thing never works twice on me."
"Are you finished fooling around now? Can we finish this?" said
the woman with a rage burning in her eyes.
"As you wish," said Ranma coldly.
Xianghua moved in again, this time, her punch was met with a sharp
kick to her stomach. Both blows connected, sending the pair flying
Ranma skid across the concrete, while Xianghua hopped back
precariously for a moment before regaining her balance.
"Not bad," said Xianghua.
"I see Tofu has been instructing you," commented Ranma as he
rubbed at the tingling sensation that had started on his face. "You
should have learned from his fight. That won't work against me."
"What business of yours is that?" snapped the woman.
"He leveled his gaze on her again, and frowned deeply. "We don't
have much time. I've got something that I have to do in a short
"You should have kept your schedule open. Death last for quite
some time," replied Xianghua.
"I know, but I'm in no hurry to die. This fight, is another
matter," the boy jumped up into the air, and away from her. He landed
a fair distance back and clenched his fists at his side. "Are you
ready this time?"
"That was a nice warm up, let's get started," replied the woman
"He sounds different," commented Nodoka with a slightly surprised
Nabiki nodded as she held her camera on the fight. Ranma did
indeed sound different, his voice was deeper, some how more mature. He
had seemed to be on the same level of maturity as his younger brother
before, always with a sort of sickening cheer about him. Now, she
could see his real age, he looked and sounded like a, very serious,
eighteen year old man now.
Nodoka stared at the fight, unable to tear her eyes away from her
son. Her hands were clutching the wrapped blade in her grip tightly.
There was something more to this fight; she had no idea what it was
though. Something was going on with her son and this woman that was
deeper than the tournament. "Is this the reason...?" she muttered to
herself under her breath.
Nabiki spared her a quick glance and raised her eyebrow slightly
at the comment. She quickly lost interest and returned her attention
to the battle.
"What is he doing?" said Taro in confusion. "He could end this in
"They almost killed each other last time," commented Akane.
Thankfully things seemed a bit tamer this time around. She wasn't sure
if it was intentional, or they just had gained more skill.
"Ranma isn't winning," said Genryu as he glared at the battling
"Seems pretty even to me," commented Ukyo.
"No, boy is right. Ranma not win fight this way," said Shampoo
with a sagely looking nod.
Mousse had been strangely silent thus far; he crossed his arms and
made a grunting agreement. Japan was definitely more interesting than
he had expected.
"You're getting weaker," said Xianghua with an evil looking smile
creeping onto her face.
Ranma glared at her silently, his chest heaving as he breathed
roughly and stepped back into a wider stance. "Damn it..." he muttered
to himself after a moment.
"You used up too much energy fighting the boomerang boy," said
Xianghua as she realized what was happening to him. "You're mine this
"We'll see. I've still got a trick or two up my sleeve," countered
Ranma as he took up a strange stance in front of her. His feet were
spread out across the ground in a horse stance, and he pulled his
hands up to his chest. He closed his eyes and began to breathe slowly.
"Giving up?" snarled Xianghua as she charged forward.
"Hardly," said the boy calmly. The woman was forced to jump back
as the ground at his feet began to glow with a light blue.
"What the?" she stammered as a tingling sensation began to run
through her body. "What is that?"
"An electromagnetic field. The Earth constantly generates
electrons, I'm collecting them," said Ranma calmly.
"What?" stammered Xianghua as she rushed forward again, intent on
"I wouldn't recommend that," commented the boy calmly.
Xianghua ignored him, and stopped just in front of him. She was
thrown back by an arc of energy that slammed into her chest from the
power field around him. She was lifted her off the ground and laid out
across the ground.
"I warned you," commented Ranma.
"Take this!" screamed Xianghua as she recovered and stood up. She
thrust her arms forward again, creating another blast of pink energy.
This time, Ranma was the one sent sprawling across the ground.
"Damn!" He rolled across the ground as he landed and twisted back onto
his feet again.
"So, it seems you aren't as invincible as you claim," snorted
"I never said I was, come on," snapped Ranma as he slowly stalked
forward towards her again.
Xianghua met him halfway, and the pair exploded in a flurry of
punches and kicks. Neither one seeming to have the advantage. Finally,
the woman staggered back as Ranma landed an elbow to her face.
The boy pressed his advantage, rushing forward and slamming his
fist into her gut, before spinning into a kick that caught her across
her face. She was thrown onto her side, and rolled away from a strike
that was meant to catch her on the ground.
"Bastard! I won't lose this time!" she screamed as she rushed
forward, seemingly unharmed by the assault.
"What the?" said Ranma in shock.
"Aiya! Woman train in breaking point technique?" said Shampoo as
she watched the scene.
"Seems she's had some kind of endurance training," commented Taro
"Huh?" said Ryoga and Genryu in unison.
"If you get hit enough, it stops hurting so much," explained Taro.
"Seems like it," agreed Mousse.
Xianghua rushed forward, catching Ranma across his face with a
left hook. The boy staggered back and braced himself. She did not
Xianghua was merciless as she beat her former lover back. He managed
to remain standing catching most of the blows with his forearms and
legs, but she still pounded him back. Finally, her assault ended as
she spun into a back kick that caught him dead in the chest.
Ranma was thrown back, and landed on his back roughly.
"Are you ready to die now?" snorted the woman as she stalked
"No...not yet," he gasped as he painfully rose to his feet again.
"I can't die yet."
"You don't have a choice, husband," snarled the woman angrily as
she raised her fist as she stood over him.
"NO!" snapped Ranma as he jumped up, catching her in the jaw with
Xianghua cursed as she staggered back. Ranma was as kind as she
had been, rushing forward to press his advantage. This time, he held
nothing back. Power started to crackle down the length of his arms,
creating a flash of energy as each blow struck her.
Xianghua grunted in pain, patches of her clothes exploded as they
came in contact with his fist, leaving a bruise behind with each blow.
Ranma screamed as he worked his arms relentlessly, forcing her to
stagger back a little more with every strike.
Finally, they reached the edge of the ring. The world had gone
completely silent to both of them, nothing but the fight mattered now.
Ranma stopped his attack and glared at her with madness in his eyes.
The energy crackled across his body, his hair stood upright, and a
strange glow formed in the back of his pupils as he glared at her.
"Damn you..." she managed before falling to one knee. "I won't be
beaten!" Her fists slammed into the concrete at his feet, the bracers
on her arms flared to life at the same instant. The ground exploded
beneath the both of them, sending a shower of rocks in every
Everyone stood silent as the dust cloud generated by Xianghua's
attack hid the pair from view. It seemed to hang in the air for an
eternity, slowly fading away around the edges.
Finally, a blue light could be seen within the ring, followed by a
smaller, pink light.
Someone in the back of the crowd screamed.
Ranma stood glaring angrily at Xianghua, completely unharmed by
her desperate attack. Her body was now covered in the pink glow, but
it was rough, and fading away quickly.
"You've lost," he said calmly.
"I'm not down yet," she snarled. Her body was covered in bruises,
patches of her clothes were torn away, leaving very little behind to
cover her. She was not in good shape, one arm hung limply at her side,
and dirt and blood seemed to cover her skin.
Ranma was beaten, but very lightly. The cold blue glow that had
formed in his eyes seemed to shine off of his irises, giving him a
surreal air of power.
"Your energy is fading away, I'm not even at half strength yet.
Xianghua, you've lost," he said as calmly as ever.
"Never!" she screamed as she moved back into a battle stance
Ranma closed his eyes; a single tear ran down his face. "It's
"No!" screamed the woman as she charged him again.
Ranma became aware of several voices, silently calling out to him.
The sky above roared angrily, and Xianghua's charge seemed to be in
slow motion for a moment. Everything around her was moving, the crowd,
the wind. Slowly, his eyes went wide and he screamed in desperation.
"Xianghua! Look out!"
The Chinese girl saw him burst forward in an amazing display of
energy. She felt his hands on her shoulders, and his leg pushed
against her belly before she could react. He leaned back, pulling her
down with him and rolled onto his back. Finally, she felt herself
being thrown into the air as he kicked her up and back as he landed,
throwing her clear across the ring, and off the other side.
Slowly she staggered to her feet, a look of complete shock on her
"Ranma! No!" screamed Genryu as he stood up from directly beside
"What?" she repeated in confusion as everyone around her seemed to
be in a panic. "Who?" she managed after a moment of uncertainty.
The Amazon girl was rushing towards the ring, a long glowing spear
in her hands. The other martial artists were either being held back by
those calm enough to realize what was happening, or standing in shock.
Slowly she turned to look at the ring again. There was Ranma,
lying on the ground. An armor clad warrior standing over him, with a
sword thrust into his side, pinning him down on the ground. The boy
was clutching the blade, glaring up at the thing hatefully.
Ranma Saotome screamed, and the world went bright white, all sound
seemed to be sucked out of the air in an instant. It was followed by a
resounding boom, that tore through everyone around the ring, sending
them to their knees.
Nabiki noticed the people rushing by around her in a panic. Ranma
and Xianghua were still locked in combat, the dust cloud slowly fading
away around them. She paused as those shoving by her became more and
more forceful. She turned and saw Nodoka, now clutching her unsheathed
katana beside her. A look of complete terror on her face. Nabiki
slowly turned the camera towards the middle of the crowd. Standing
there, was a black and gold clad suit of armor, hacking his way
through the quickly thinning spectators as he made his way towards the
"My god!" she whispered in horror. She panned the scene, revealing
a long red trail behind the thing as it moved forward, without slowing
once. "It's true..." she managed after a moment.
Nodoka didn't seem to notice, she was pulling on her shoulder,
forcing her back. Thankfully, the woman's katana afforded them both a
little more room than the rest of the terror stricken spectators.
Finally, she lowered the camera as the thing approached Ranma and
Xianghua. It raised the blade over its head as it walked up behind the
Shampoo stood up in an instant, working with practiced ease as she
unwrapped her spear. The thing had cut a path through the crowd, and
was now bearing down on Ranma and Xianghua.
"Shampoo!" stammered Mousse as he turned towards her.
She decked him, sending him sprawling across the ground
indifferently. "Stay out of way." She walked calmly into the ring,
watching absently as Ranma was pinned to the ground after saving the
woman's life. Her eyes narrowed as the thing looked up at her, its
eyes glowing red for a moment.
"Shampoo kill you now," she said simply.
Then, Ranma screamed. She couldn't hear the sound that came from
his mouth. The only thing she remembered after seeing him open his
mouth was a white light. Then the burning sensation, that was quickly
quelled as the protective aura of the spear surrounded her body.
Finally, the light faded away, and the ringing in her ears
Ranma Saotome was standing, or more precisely hovering, just in
front of the thing. The aura around his body was the only light in the
entire field now. The lights that had been set up for the tournament
were now nothing more than a few shattered, and sparking, glass
His face was contorted in a mask of painful anger, both fists were
clenched tight as he stared the thing down, thunder rumbling in the
sky above him only heightened the effect. His eyes were now nothing
more than two glowing blue spheres of power.
He let out an inhuman cry of anger and moved with impossible
speed, rushing at the demonic armor.
She only frowned, she had seen this before, in the mountains of
China. Now, her Great Grandmother could not deny what she had seen.
Here it was right before her, the legendary technique that no one had
mastered for almost two thousand years. The Fist of the Thunder God.
"Die," said the demon as it glared up at Ranma fearlessly. The
bloodied Katana still in its grip.
Ranma merely roared incoherently, he blasted forward. The thing
could not keep up with his speed. The young Saotome boy faded in and
out of his slashes easily, striking with a resounding boom with each
blow. The electrical power dissipated as it struck the black aura,
leaving the thing unharmed.
Ranma spun in the air, weaving around the monster, striking with
seemingly endless power all across it's body, desperately searching
for a weakness.
The thing merely stood there, swiping at the air almost lazily.
"You cannot harm me! I am eternal!"
"Shampoo not think so!" said the Amazon as she rushed forward,
stabbing at the thing with her spear. The two aura's clashed, fighting
for dominance, neither gave any, creating a stalemate between the two
The demon ignored Ranma, and the boy jumped back hovering just
above the ground, with a slightly confused frown. Instead it slashed
the katana at Shampoo, who also ignored the strike. The weapon stopped
cold by her own protective aura.
Ranma grunted and raised his hands. Small beams of electric energy
shot from his fingertips, attacking the black aura of the demon. The
energy bounced away harmlessly. The boy snorted in frustration, and
raised his hands into the sky for a moment. He screamed in rage and
lowered his hands.
Shampoo and the demon were both thrown apart as another lightening
bolt slammed into the ground between them. Ranma was laughing madly,
as he floated above the scene, repeating the attack over and over.
Wai Mei Kai simply stood there, each bolt of power preventing him
from moving, but not doing any real damage.
Shampoo was screaming with her hands clutched over her ears. She
had fallen to her knees and the spear lay on the ground in front of
her. After a moment she stood up, staggering for a moment as Ranma
finally stopped his assault. She shook her head and hefted the spear
over her shoulder for a moment, glaring at him and the demon.
On the sidelines, the martial artist were standing in a group, a
fair distance away from the battle.
"My god," said Tofu in shock.
Matin, who had Mousse draped over his shoulder, merely nodded in
"What is he?" stammered Akane.
"He is human. I never thought I would see this. I did not believe
my Shampoo when she told me of this, but I can see it is true," said
Xianghua spat a small amount of blood on the ground and glared at
the two fighters in the ring for a moment. "Ranma's done this to me
"You survived?" commented Cologne in surprise.
"Barely. What I want to know, is what the hell that thing is,"
Xianghua pointed at the demon with a cold scowl on her face.
Genryu interrupted the pair, Ukyo was cowering in terror in his
arms. He looked up at the two women for a moment, barely able to tear
his eyes away from the scene to answer.
"That, is what killed your brother," he said calmly.
"Is not working!" said Shampoo as she glared at Ranma for a
moment. She turned away from him with a disgusted grunt as he ignored
her and continued to pour energy into the horrible thing that was
slowly moving towards them.
Ranma was nothing more than a berzerker at the moment, throwing
energy at his target relentlessly. Occasionally a small bolt of
lightening would strike him again, ensuring that he did not run out of
power. The demon was unharmed by the attacks of both teens though, and
merely walked after them almost methodically. Shampoo's aura, and
Ranma's speed kept them both safe for the time being though.
How long that would last was the question.
Hakama stood silently on the side of the ring, simply watching the
scene in a fascinated horror. There was nothing he could do really,
and the panicked mob was opposite him on the field, running into the
darkness, or lying on the ground in shocked horror. The conditions had
gone from bad to worse, spectators had rioted immediately once they
began losing limbs and lives to the demon.
He watched both Shampoo and Ranma battle the thing with a sort of
calm fear, slowly his hand went to the covered box at his side.
"Saotome..." he muttered quietly.
That was when the rain began to fall.
Shampoo looked on in horror as her ally changed. It happened the
instant the rain began to pour down on them. Ranma arched his back,
his clothes tearing to shreds as his body grew and expanded. The cry
that escaped his lips was no longer human as he reared back, seeming
to land on all fours, despite the fact that he never touched the
The worst thing of all, was that his eyes never changed. They
still were nothing more than bright spheres of energy, surrounded by a
cold blue fire. His mane seemed to be alive, twisting and writhing in
the air along his neck.
The demon looked on indifferently, slowly stalking towards the
much larger target. It's blade rising into the sky as it neared it.
Ranma shook his mane and reared back on his hind legs, snorting
angrily. As he came down again, a ball of blue light erupted from his
mouth, slamming into the demon's chest, sending him back a few feet
and nothing more. Finally, another bolt of lightening struck again.
The energy in the air seemed to rise dramatically. Shampoo could feel
the increase across her skin, causing goosebumps to travel up and down
the entire length of her body.
The huge black stallion stood still for a moment, walking over to
her side calmly. It lowered its head down to her neck, still glaring
at the monster before them.
"Shampoo understand," said the Amazon as she grabbed a handful of
"Child! What are you doing!? Get off that cursed beast!" snapped
Cologne from the sideline. She watched in terror as her Great
Granddaughter pulled herself onto the horse's back. "You'll be killed!
Don't be a fool!"
The young girl glared at the demon that still moved slowly and
methodically towards her. She hefted the spear at her side,
determination burning in her eyes. The blue and white aura's
surrounding the pair flowed in and out of one another, seeming to
merge, while fighting for dominance. Shampoo switched back to her
native tongue, not bothering to look back at her Great Grandmother. "I
"Shampoo," stammered Mousse as he slowly rose from where she had
left him at the beginning of the fight. He shook his head, wiping the
water that had woke him from his face in confusion.
The horse reared back on its hind legs one final time, turning to
face the demon, who now simply stood waiting for them. It's blade
drawn, and held defensively in front of it.
"Is good day to die? Yes?" asked the Amazon on his back.
Ranma snorted, and charged forward.
What followed was an image that would never be forgotten by any
who witnessed it. Shampoo raised the spear over her head and let out a
war cry as Ranma reared back on his hind legs one final time, just in
front of the demon. Wai Mei Kai, slashed upwards with his blade,
attempting to halve both of them in a single stroke. When Ranma came
down, so did the spear, and another bolt of lightening that easily
dwarfed all the others that had struck thus far.
There was an explosion of energy, a white light brighter than a
thousand suns turned the entire valley into day once again.
Then, only silence.
Ranma Saotome looked up at the sky for a moment, the clouds were
dissipating quickly, revealing an endless sea of stars in the
distance. "Did I get him?" he wondered out loud as he slowly sat up,
staggering to his feet. "I'm...a man?" The air around him was a haze,
nothing more than a steam cloud that rose from the scorched ground
that had once been the battlefield. He shook his head and smiled as he
glanced around the shattered concrete. Pieces of metal, some of them
shining with a gold tint, were glittering in the moonlight. The crowds
were gone, a few bodies lying on the ground where they had once been,
and the small band of martial artist around the edges of the ring were
all that remained. "Heh, it's over," he said as he slumped slightly,
clutching at his belly in pain.
That was when she appeared before him again. Xianghua, she was
standing in the moonlight, staring at him.
"Well? Shall we finish our fight?" he said as he put up one hand,
keeping the other clutched against the wound on his belly. "I'm
"You're in no condition to fight," she said to him quietly.
"You'll die if you fight me now."
"Heh, that's the plan," he quipped as he swayed for a moment.
"Why?" she said finally, emotion filling her voice suddenly.
"I've been a real bastard, somebody has to do me in. Right?" he
said with an almost joking tone. "Come on, let's get this over with.
My calendar is finally clear." He fell to his knees and spit up a
mouth full of blood. "Damn it."
Xianghua rushed up, pulling him into her arms. "No!"
"Sorry, Little Mountain Girl, looks like you don't get to kill me
after all," he said with a wry grin. With that, his head rolled back,
and his eyes closed.
"Ranma! No! Wake up!" she cried desperately as she shook him
violently for a moment.
"Noooo!" screamed Genryu as he rushed to the scene from his place
at the sidelines. "Ranma! Wake up! Damn you!" he gasped with tears
flowing down his face. He buried his face in the older boy's chest,
simply crying. Xianghua was still holding her husband's body,
seemingly numb as she stared at the scene in shocked horror.
"He is gone, my son," said Nodoka quietly as she knelt down beside
her living child. Emotion tore through her own features as well, she
was barely in control, looking down at the dead body of her son.
Xianghua paused, scanning the field desperately for a moment.
"Tofu! Get up here damn it!"
The man was already on his way. "Move away from him," he
instructed firmly. After a moment he grabbed Genryu's hands, forcing
them onto the wound on the elder boy's belly. "Apply pressure." He
took out a small flashlight and quickly went over the body, checking
his eyes and pressing his fingers against the boy's neck. "He's still
alive, barely. I can't keep him that way here. We're going to lose
him, there's nothing I can do."
"No, we aren't," said Hakama as he calmly walked into the scene.
He moved his hands, and four men rushed around the fallen Saotome. "I
have no intentions of allowing him the comfort of such a noble death."
"Where?" stammered Tofu as the four medics worked around Ranma,
pulling him onto a stretcher.
"Do you really think we can hold an event like this without
alerting some sort of medical staff?" snorted the boy in an almost
business like manner. "He will be taken to Nerima General immediately.
I'm far from finished with this one." Hakama turned away, leaving the
group alone as Ranma was carried towards a waiting helicopter that had
just landed a few hundred yards away.
Nabiki Tendo stood over the hospital bed with her fiance in it. He
had just come from surgery, and was still on the brink of death.
Bandages covered his body, and machines forced oxygen into his lungs
with a rhythmic pumping. A large bag of fluid hung beside her, slowly
pouring fluids into his arm. She frowned deeply as she looked at the
machines that were keeping him alive.
"All it would take is a simple flick of a switch, and you'd be out
of my life, Saotome," she said to him quietly. "Just pull on a single
cord, or adjust the flow of those medications they have stuck in your
arm. You'd be gone forever. You couldn't torture my sister anymore,
you couldn't endanger my family any longer."
She placed her finger on top of the main power switch of the
machine that was forcing him to breathe. "So why can't I?" She hugged
herself and turned away from him. "Damn you. I hate you."
"Just one switch, and she'd destroy the only friend her older
sister had made in years. She'd destroy her younger sister's
tormenter, who had gone out of his way to make sure her dreams became
a reality. She'd destroy the son of a mother who had somehow found
hope in finding her family again, even after meeting the terrible man
that her son had become." Nabiki glanced back over her shoulder.
"Ranma, I hope you..." she paused and frowned, uncertain about
what to say. "See you later you jerk."
Next Time: Tales of Adventures Past...
What happened? What's Hakama up too? What the hell happened to
Shampoo? Argh! So many questions...heh...you'll just have to wait.
C&C to Carrotglace@juno.com
Previous parts can be found at Http://www.fanfiction.net and R&C Books
International Fanfic Company at Http://www.rcbooks.org
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