The Beast Within

Disclaimer: Ranma ½, Darkstalkers, Hellsing, and any others belong to those who get paid for writing this stuff.

< >: Thoughts

{ }: English language

Chapter 11

Welcome to Castle Talbain

In Nerima, 2 weeks after Nabiki left with the Talbains…

“Look everyone! We just got word from Nabiki!” Kasumi cried out as she entered the dining room with a letter in her hands. Behind her, a couple of postal workers carried in a large crate. They gently laid it on the floor as the eldest Tendo daughter signed for it. After they departed, Kasumi began reading the letter, while Soun and Genma were busy opening the crate.

To my family,

How are things going in Nerima? I hope everyone is doing fine. Traveling with the Talbane family has been really exiting so far. Visiting China and training with them has been very interesting. Enclosed you’ll find photos of me in Beijing and Hong Kong. I’ve bought some souvenirs for you all and you’ll find them in the crate I sent with this letter…

At that point, Genma broke open the top of the crate and greedily started digging into its contents. He gave off a whoop of joy as he found the bottle of Formula 247 Miracle Grow Hair Shampoo he had asked for. He immediately rushed off to the bathroom to use it.

Soun smiled as he found a bottle of rice wine and some cigarettes. He also found several boxes of Oolong Tea, and some Chinese clothing, some in Akane’s size, while others were in Nabiki’s and Kasumi’s respectively. Kasumi continued to read the letter.

You’ll also find a picture of me and my friend from a rustic, Chinese village near Jusenkyo. You know, that place where Mr. Saotome and Ranma got cursed in? Sorry, but I’m afraid that the Guides won’t let me ship a bottle of Nannichuan, Spring of Drowned Man Water. Why Mr. Saotome and his son didn’t ask for the stuff when they got cursed is beyond me.

Soun paused for a moment and cocked his head in puzzlement. Why didn’t his old friend and son ask for the cure? He made a note to ask Genma later as he continued to listen to his eldest daughter.

My friend comes from a village of Chinese Amazons, or warrior women. Her name is Shampoo. I know her name sounds funny, but she’s a very skilled martial artist and she’s helped me in my training. Who knows? By the time I get back, there might be a new ‘best martial artist in Nerima.’ Just kidding Akane.

“Hmpf!” Akane snorted in irritation over her sister’s joke. Nabiki, the best martial artist in Nerima? Not likely! Though the youngest Tendo girl was still envious that her sibling was traveling abroad and getting foreign martial arts training.

Kasumi read on…

As of now, the Talbanes and I are heading to the next stop in our training journey; London, England. Can you believe it? I’m going to Europe! Mr. Talbane said that I should be getting some training from Western Fighting Styles, and since our family martial arts is Anything Goes, it should be a good experience. And don’t worry Daddy. Mr. Talbane is making certain Matthew and I don’t miss any schoolwork , since he’s hired tutors to educate us along the way. Oh, and Matthew’s father has also made a deposit in the family bank account today, so you don’t have to worry about the bills this month.

Love you all and hope to see you soon.


Soun breathed out a sigh of relief. Without Nabiki present to manage the books and provide steady income, he had been fearing that the bill collectors would be calling him. With no regular job, nor any students to teach at the dojo, the head of the Tendo family was basically incompetent at providing for himself, his children and two houseguests. Well, one houseguest mostly, since Akane’s fiancé was once again on his unintentional trip around Japan, trying to find the bathroom. Sometimes he wondered if ‘Ranma’ really was his friend’s son.


Soun and the rest of his family turned their heads in surprise at the shout and saw a huge mass of hair running about. Apparently, Genma had ignored the instructions of the Hair Growth Shampoo, and had dumped the entire contents on top of his bald head. Now he had a huge mass of hair growing on all parts of his body, except for his scalp. He had a long beard, and he was covered by a thick coat of body hair. Even his eyebrows became bushier by the minute. He looked like a Japanese, bald-version of Bigfoot.

Kasumi picked up the empty bottle and began to read the warning label that had a Japanese translation. “Warning. Do not use more than half an ounce of product on Jusenkyo-cursed victims, as unstable magic will cause all remaining functional hair follicles to grow in excess.”


A few thousand miles away, London, England…

“Wow! So that’s Big Ben! I‘ve only seen it on TV and books.”

Nabiki looked up in wonder at the huge clock tower, which was one of London’s most famous landmarks. Walking beside her, Jon and Matthew continued to guide their companion.

“That’s right, Nabiki. That clock tower’s been working for the last 150 years or so.” Matthew’s father explained as he hailed for a taxi. “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid that we won’t be able to do much sightseeing right now.”

“That’s okay. I mean, just being here in London is pretty cool.” Kasumi and Akane’s sister said as they all got into the cab. “So where are we going?”

“We’ll be heading to our family estate near Brussels, and then we’ll be seeing Felicia at her show in a couple of days.”

“Hmpf!” Matthew growled as he absently looked out the window of the cab.

Jon let off a tired sigh. “Son, isn’t about time you let that go? I mean, it’s not like Felicia was the one who threw you into that pit or had mauled you. And she is a very good friend of the family.”

Jon’s son let off a tired sigh to match his father’s as he replied. “I know that, Dad. But you can’t really blame me, can you? That stupid old man of mine…”

Nabiki nodded as she thought back to when Matthew had revealed that he was actually the REAL Ranma Saotome, and not that imposter that was engaged to Akane. Any respect she had for Genma Saotome, (and she had extremely little to begin with), went out the window, with the revelation that he would stoop so low to deceive her father, and take advantage of the oath to freeload at the Tendo Home.

Oh she had her own questionable traits, and she admitted it. However, what she did was for the sake of her family, since her father was incapable of providing for it. Now that she knew the truth, she had two options, neither of which was very appealing.

The first option was to tell her family the truth about the fake Ranma, or whoever that poor sucker was, posing as the heir to the Saotome Anything Goes. That would certainly get Genma out of the house, once his deception was uncovered. With no true son to uphold the pledge to unite the schools, that greedy idiot wouldn’t be able to mooch off his friend.

Though kicking out that walking bottomless pit would certainly ease the family’s food bills, there was a considerable problem concerning the pledge to unite schools of the Anything Goes Martial Arts. Knowing how much her father was obsessed over that dream, Soun would most likely insist that the real Ranma, namely Matthew Talbain, follow through with the oath and marry one of his daughters. Nabiki knew for certain that Akane wouldn’t accept him as a fiancé, (considering how many times he humiliated her and her martial arts). She wasn’t too certain about Kasumi, though she did remember her saying that she’d rather not marry someone younger than her. That meant that the middle daughter would be the most compatible and logical choice. After all, she and Matthew were already dating and shared the power of lycanthropy.

Though she occasionally flirted with the idea of marrying Matthew, and would even look forward to it, she knew that he wasn’t ready for marriage yet, and he certainly didn’t like it when someone tried to force something on to him. He also didn’t seem to be interested with carrying on the Anything Goes. In retrospect, why should he, when it had brought him nothing but pain and suffering, and his true family’s martial arts were far more powerful? Furthermore, technically speaking, the younger Talbain was not bound by the oath, since he wasn’t Genma’s son. Jon Talbain was his father, and he made no such promise to Soun Tendo. To press the issue might lead to Matthew leaving altogether, and that was something Nabiki did not want.

The second option was to not reveal the truth about Ranma, but that didn’t really sit well with Soun’s second daughter. Certainly, it would ensure that Matthew would stay, but there were other considerations. If the marriage was allowed to take place, it would most likely end up hurting the family, especially with the fake Ranma’s lack of direction and Genma’s mooching. The School for the Anything Goes would also suffer. What kind of respect as a sensei, would the fake Ranma have, if he was never there to teach his students? Akane would also be unsuited as an instructor, considering her lack of patience and that hair-trigger temper of hers. Most likely she’d strike out violently when one of the students made a mistake.

Though she resented her sister for her uppity ‘I’m a martial artist’ attitude and the attention she got at school, Nabiki felt that it wasn’t right, keeping this kind of truth from her. After all, Akane would be stuck with fake Ranma for the rest of her life, or until she killed him with her God-awful cooking. She shuddered at the memory of Akane’s attempts to cook in the past. (1) Her sister’s cuisine should be categorized as lethal biohazards.

To tell the truth or to keep it quiet. Both options had their pros and cons, but neither was more favorable. Nabiki decided to table those thoughts for later, at least until her own lycanthropy could be brought under better control.


Two hours later, in Brussels…

“This is your home?!” Nabiki asked as she stood in awe at the huge structure in front of her.

The ancestral home of the Talbain Family was an enormous, ancient, but very well-maintained, medieval castle that overlooked a valley and several hundred acres of forest. The entire Tendo Compound could fit inside the castle walls with ample room to spare! The middle Tendo daughter thought she had gone back in time to the era of Robin Hood. Heck, she wouldn’t be surprised if Errol Flynn suddenly made an appearance.

As they approached the main gate, which was of course, a huge moat and drawbridge, Jon pointed to entrance. In his other hand, was a long, black case. The drawbridge he was indicating, had the Talbain Family Crest inscribed on it, depicting that of a wolf’s head against a crescent moon, with twin swords crossed.

“That’s Castle Tabain, which has been in the family since the time of Joseph Talbain, back in 701 A.D. That would make him Matthew’s… 42nd great-grandfather, if I’m not mistaken.”

“Wow! Was Joseph Talbain the first of your family’s werewolves?”

“No.” Matthew answered. “That would have been Marcus Talbain, back in about 50 B.C. or so. That about right, Dad?”

“Very good. You have been paying attention to your family history lessons. In any case, this particular gate has a very special feature, Nabiki.”

“What kind of feature?” She asked.

Jon put down the case he was carrying. He winked at her and said, “This particular gate had a magic security system installed at the beginning of the Middle Ages. When active, this drawbridge can only be opened by a wolf’s howl made by a member of the Talbain Family.” He cupped his hands to his mouth and was about to let off a loud howl, when his son held out a hand to get his father’s attention.

He gives him a smile and said, “Let me do it Dad.”

Jon smirked. “Go for it Son.”

Matthew took a deep breath, cupped his hands to his mouth and .…


As soon as he made the howl, the eyes on the family crest flashed in response. Then the huge drawbridge came down in front of them, bridging over the moat. At the same time, the massive, iron portcullis raised up to permit entry into the castle. Waiting for them at the entrance, was an elderly man with a small mustache, dressed smartly in a butler’s uniform. He gave the trio a polite bow as they crossed the drawbridge to meet up with him.

Speaking in a rich, but low baritone, he greeted his employers and their guest. {“Welcome home, Master Jon. And also to you, Young Master Matthew. I assume that was you I just heard now.”} He then addressed the young lady of the group, switching to flawless Japanese. “Miss Nabiki Tendo, I presume? I am William Dubroke, Head Butler of the House Staff. Welcome to Castle Talbain.”

“Hello. It’s good to meet you. I must say, you speak Japanese so well.”

“Thank you. I am fluent in six different languages. I am also Master Jon and Master Matthew’s personal attendant. My family, the Dubrokes, have faithfully served the Talbains for centuries.” He then turned back to Jon. “My Lord. Though the staff and I are quite happy to see you and your son again, we are quite puzzled as to why you suddenly called, and told us that you would be returning. We were under the impression that you and Matthew would be residing in Japan for some time.”

“Well yes, but a few things have happened since then. One of those things, was this.” Jon took the conversation off to one side, held out the case and opened it. In the meantime, Matthew led Nabiki away to show her the castle.

Dubroke gasped as he saw the contents of the case. {“My word! The Swords of Jacob Talbain!”} His eyes widened even further in shock and awe as he looked over the blades. {“But, I thought they were lost in Jusenkyo six hundred years ago!”}

{“Well, it took a while, but we finally got them back.”} Jon closed the case and handed it to William. {“Please have these archived in the museum in Jacob Talbain’s section.”}

The older man nodded as he took the weapons. {“Will that be all, my Lord?”}

{“For now. We’ll let Miss Tendo settle in for the moment, then we have to head back to London the day after tomorrow to catch Felicia’s show.”}

{“Ah yes. The lovely Miss Felicia. A pity that Young Master Matthew is still uncomfortable around her and her brethren. A pox on that Genma Saotome!”}

{“Well, I’m still working on that too.”}


“So what do you think, Nabs?” Matthew asked as he gave her an impromptu tour of his ancestral home.

Nabiki could only gape in wonder at the sheer size and opulence of the place. The expensive tapestries, the marble statues, the antique furniture, the paintings and draperies. She knew Matthew’s family was rich, but she never thought they were THIS rich!

At that moment, one of the maids, a pretty brunette with her hair done up in a braid, approached the two and gave them a curtsy.

{“Young Master… Honored Mistress… it’s close to Tea Time and we were wondering if you would like to have it in the Main Dining Hall?”}

Matthew shook his head. {“No, I don’t think so Alice. Why don’t you serve us in the Garden Patio in about ten minutes or so?”}

{“Very good, Young Master. Oh, and since it will be the time of the Full Moon, will you and your father be making a round in the forest, tonight? If so, Head Butler William shall have the usual arrangements made, so that no one will disturb your... nightly excursion?”}

{“It’ll be good to take a romp through my old stomping grounds.”}

{“Very good, Young Master. I shall inform William straight away.”} She gave the two another curtsy before leaving them.

Nabiki gave Matthew a confused expression. Since she had taken English courses in Furinken, she roughly understood their conversation. “She knows about… your family secret?”

Matthew nodded. “Of course she does. You don’t work as a member of Castle Talbain’s house staff, without swearing a blood oath to keep the family secret. Those who violate that oath get their memories magically erased… and they don’t get much on severance pay either.”

“So… how many people work here?”

“Well, let’s see. If I remember… we’ve got about twenty maids… six butlers… three chauffeurs… eight gardeners… one head chef with a dozen assistants… and a small crew of twenty for house maintenance and repairs… I think that’s everyone at the castle.” <Everyone that’s human.> Matthew thought.

Nabiki’s jaw dropped even lower at the her boyfriend’s wealth. The Kunos were paupers next to the Talbains. Akane’s fiancé didn’t even come close to compare with him.

Wherever he was at the moment.



<Now where’s that bathroom again?> The false Ranma wondered.


After having a quiet sip of tea in Castle Talbain’s Botanical Gardens, (which incidentally grew many types of rare herbs and plants), Matthew then led Nabiki to one of the little known sections of the estate, specifically the Talbain Family Museum. After passing through a multitude of security systems, they found themselves in a huge, cavernous room the size of fifty football fields. They were at least two hundred feet below ground, yet the atmosphere was kept at a comfortable temperature of 74 oF.

Nabiki was once again awestruck as she beheld more than 2000 years of Talbain Family history. There were countless artifacts, both ancient and modern. Each display was meticulously maintained, and there was not a single speck of dust anywhere. There were suits of armor from all time periods, and from different countries. Various articles of clothing and weapons were sealed in airtight cases. And adorning the walls were pictures of Matthew’s ancestors. She immediately recognized one particular image and made her way toward his section.

“That’s Jacob Talbain isn’t it? The one who saved the Amazons six hundred years ago.”

Matthew nodded as he noted that some new items had been added to his predecessor’s section. In a small display case, lay the original nunchakus that Jacob had used to fight Fire Wind with. Beside them, were the weapons that Jon’s son had pulled out of Jusenkyo. Jacob’s Orichalcum Swords.

His girlfriend caressed the glass case and considered the history of the blades. Just as she was about to ask him something, her ears picked up a slight, shuffling noise. Her nose also caught the whiff of an unfamiliar scent. She whirled about in a rough, basic stance, just as something large came down from the ceiling.

The creature was roughly eight feet tall, with grey, leathery skin. It had a square head, with two horns sticking out. On its back were large, batlike wings, currently folded over its shoulders, forming a kind of cape. It wore a large, plaid, skirt around its waist, and had a reptilian tail. Around its neck was an ornate pendant. Its feet had wicked talons, while its hands were clawed.

Despite having already encountered werewolves, vampires, undead mummies, succubi, and kuang shi, Soun’s daughter was still unused to seeing Darkstalkers and other mythological beings. Now she was face to face with a gargoyle! Just as she was about to make a move, Matthew let off a small chuckle and casually greeted the thing.

“Hey Grom! How’s it going?”

The thing responded with a smile and a very thick Scottish accent. “Greetings to ye, laddie! What ye be doin’ down here today? No that I dinna mind. Who be the pretty lassie with ye?” (2)

Nabiki stood and stared dumbfounded at the savage-looking beast who spoke Japanese, but with an accent straight out of the Highlands. Then she realized that the gargoyle was wearing not a skirt, but an over-sized kilt.



“So you’re the caretaker of this museum?” Nabiki asked as Grom showed her and Matthew around the museum.

“Aye lassie. That I be. The Talbain Clan and I been good friends for many a century. In fact, me great-uncle on me da’s side be the one who forged those wee little swords ye be eye’n.”

“Grom belongs to a family of Flame Gargoyles.” Matthew explained. “Jacob’s great-grandfather, Royce Talbain met up with Grom in Scotland, near Loch Ness. And yes, before you ask, the Loch Ness Monster DOES exist. In any case, Royce Talbain helped enchant that amulet that Grom’s wearing right now. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to understand him at all.”

“Then, you’re not speaking Japanese right now?” The short-haired girl inquired.

“Nay lassie. Gargoyles canna speak human tongue. What ye be hearin’ is me thoughts and how ye would ken them.” He held up the pendant around his neck. “Thanks to this wee trinket.”

She then turned to Matthew with a questioning expression. Matthew shrugged and answered her unspoken query. “I’m not really sure why, but that amulet translates anyone’s thoughts with a Scottish burr. Then again, since it was originally created in Scotland…”


Still later…

“Wow! I’ve seen pictures of these things in history books! So these were flown by your great-uncles?”

The artifacts in question were old fighter planes from World War II. The British plane was a Spitfire Mark I, and was painted a light brown with RAF markings. The American fighter was a P-40B Tomahawk, with an olive drab paint scheme, Chinese Air Force markings, and the famous Flying Tigers shark mouth design on the nose and fuselage. Both aircraft were in pristine condition.

“That’s right.” Matthew said as he sat on the wing of one of the fighters. “Great-uncle Kevin was in America when he joined up with the AVG. His brother Roy took part in defending London during the Blitz. They were sometimes known as the Sky Wolves.”

“Aye, Matthew.” Grom agreed. “Yer kin certainly knew how to scrap, even in the clouds.”


Another part of the estate…

“Whoa! Compared to this place, the one at Furinken High is nothing but a kiddie pool!”

The indoor pool at Castle Talbain was by far larger than any Nabiki had ever seen. There were diving boards at varying heights, and a huge hot tub. There was also a sauna and several massage stations, where private masseuses awaited, if needed. At that point, one of the lifeguards popped up out of the water and padded toward the two. The being was about two feet tall, green, looked like an oversized frog, and had a head that was shaped like a bowl, which was filled with water.

Kasumi’s sibling could only gape as the creature waved politely at her, then tottered over to the hot tub. Setting itself down on one of the submerged benches, it let off a relaxed sigh as it let the soothing bubbles wash over it. Occasionally, it would snack on a nearby plate of cucumbers.


“Oh, don’t worry about Shinko. My great-great-great…. great-grandfather… I think that’s about right… found his ancestors near Kansai at the end of the Tokugawa Era. (3) And like the legends go, as long as you feed a Kappa cucumbers, he’ll leave the kids alone. Besides, Shinko’s a good sort, (he’s never eaten anybody), and he keeps the pool clean and maintained.”

“He’s not the only one.” Another person said, with a very melodic tone. A beautiful woman then emerged from beneath the water and gracefully swam over to the pair. She had long, aqua-colored hair and saphire eyes. Just as she was about to rise up onto the pool’s edge, Nabiki gasped as she saw that she was only wearing a bikini top and nothing else. However, she didn’t need anything more as her lower body was covered in scales and sported a fishlike tail.

“A… mermaid?”

“Actually, I’m an undine, but mermaids happen to be close, peaceful cousins of mine.” The fish-woman said as she casually sat on the edge of the pool. “I am Kalesse.” (4)


Later, after dinner…

Nabiki couldn’t believe that she had dined on such fine food. Kasumi’s cooking was considered exceptional, but even she couldn’t have produced such quality and with such ingredients. It was her first time sampling rich European food such as caviar, swordfish, King Crab, giant lobster and fine desserts from France.

As the dishes were being taken away, Nabiki looked about the Main Dining Hall, and all of its finery. High above her was an elaborate chandelier, made of the most exquisite of crystal. Various, expensive paintings adorned the walls. She sat before a huge, banquet table, in which only Matthew, Jon and herself occupied one small corner.

As she took in everything, she began to feel a slight tingle wash over her body. She recognized it as her Secondary Lycanthropy starting to take over. Very soon, she would transform into her hybrid form, despite the fact that she was wearing her enchanted pendant.

Jon nodded as he checked his watch and addressed his son. “The Full Moon will be out tonight, so why don’t we give Nabiki a tour of the forests near the castle?”

“That sounds good, Dad.” Then Matthew snapped his fingers in realization. “But she’s going to need a change of wardrobe… right?”

Jon nodded. “You’re right Matthew. Why don’t you and Nabiki see Arana and take care of that? I’ll see the both of you near the northern edge of the forest, next to that big rock formation in about an hour, all right?”


A few minutes later…

“So who’s this Arana we’re seeing?” Soun’s middle daughter asked.

Jon’s offspring nodded as he replied. “As you know, that pendant you’re wearing, is NOT going to be able to keep you from transforming tonight. We can’t have you ripping your clothes like the last time.” He blushed when he remembered that incident. “So we’re going to have some of your clothes altered by the family seamstress. Arana’s quite good at manipulating mystic silk threads.”

“Mystic silk threads?” Nabiki repeated with some suspicion. “Let me guess. Arana happens to be a member of the non-human staff at Castle Talbain. No offense.”

“None taken. And you’re right. Arana’s family has a contract with mine. Did you ever wonder why some of my clothes never rip apart when I transform? They just either shrink or expand as my body changes. Well, that’s because she used her magic sewing abilities to imbue my clothing with the power to adapt to any form I take. Check it out.”

Matthew morphed into his hybrid form. On cue, his shirt and pants expanded to fit his larger, more muscular frame. A small hole appeared near the seat of his pants to allow for his tail to protrude from the small of his back. His shoes simply shrunk into leather anklets. He then transformed into his wolf form.

For Nabiki, this was the first time she had seen his full lupine body. He was much larger than a normal wolf, and she estimated that he was about the size of a large tiger. His clothes immediately compressed themselves into a small, fabric collar. As the former Saotome switched into his human form, his clothes reverted back to their normal proportions and appearances.

“Wow, that was pretty neat! So what kind of… being is Arana?”

“Well, why don’t you see for yourself? This is where she works.” He stopped in front of a door and placed a hand on the handle. “By the way, please do not scream or do anything that could be interpreted as offensive. Arana’s race had gotten a really bad reputation due to the myths and legends surrounding them. Don’t believe those stories. They’re really decent folk.”

The short-haired girl nodded. After encountering a multitude of mythological beasts and whatnot, she mentally prepared herself to meet Arana, whatever she might be. After all, Nabiki was dating a lycanthrope and was part youkai herself.

<I wonder how my family would react, interacting with non-humans on a regular basis?>


Back in Japan…

Lilith sighed as she strolled out toward the gates of Furinken High. As always, her loyal and lovestruck group of fanboys followed like puppies. All except Kuno, who was still recovering in the hospital after being possessed by Bishamon and encountering Alucard and Jon Talbain. Thanks to the Hellsing Organization, his memory had been completely wiped of the affair and his severed right arm had been expertly reattached.

At present, the young daughter of Morrian Aenslade was bored, ever since the Talbains had left the country. Since their departure, Lilith had been discreetly feeding on the soul energy of her followers. She never took more than a small portion from each, in the forms of kisses and caresses. As such, they always recovered soon afterwards. However, they were dull and predictable and she wanted some amusement.

She had considered going after the possessed Paladin Anderson, who had been wreaking havoc over the last few days, but she was forbidden by Hellsing and her mother to interfere. As a result, there was no one around to entertain her.


Well, almost no one.

The teenage succubus turned to face Akane Tendo, currently dressed in her training gi. She nonchalantly waved to her entourage to step back a bit. Showing absolutely no concern toward her angry opponent, she yawned and addressed Soun’s youngest daughter.

“Oh what is it this time? Another weak challenge from the so-called best martial artist in Nerima?”

“Weak?! Who are you calling weak?!”

“Oh please! I would think that it would be obvious.” Lilith said with a sigh. This was Akane’s third rematch. After her humiliating first loss against the succubus, the Tendo girl had been trying to prove that her defeat had been a fluke or that Lilith had cheated somehow. “If you’re the best that your family school has to offer, then you might was well tear off your dojo’s sign and use it for firewood.”

That barb got Akane charging in with a full head of steam.


Akane never got to finish as her opponent suddenly made a fancy top hat appear and tossed it toward her. The enraged Tendo girl was engulfed in a puff of smoke as a fancy curtain appeared to obscure her from sight. With a twirl, Lilith changed from her school uniform to a Playboys Bunny Suit, which made even her slender figure very enticing. She made a grand gesture and pulled on a silken cord, parting the curtain and revealing what was behind it.


Akane found herself standing on a gaudy, brightly-lit stage. The top hat was on her head as flying eyeballs with bat wings floated about. Then, against her will as music played in the background, she started to dance. However, like her martial arts, her dancing was sloppy, uncoordinated, and possessed no grace at all. She looked as if she was doing a bad rendition of Michael Jackson ‘s Beat It routine. This display immediately had the audience, namely Lilith’s Fan Club, booing, hissing and throwing rotten tomatoes at her.

Lilith then gave her review of Akane’s performance by bringing out a sign with a lightning bolt on it.


Akane was suddenly shocked by more than 100,000 volts.

Then Lilith flipped over the sign to show an image of a flame.


Akane got engulfed by a sudden flash of fire.

Then the Aenslade girl flipped the sign again, showing an ice cube, and causing her opponent to be encased in ice. Afterwards, the stage blew up. The third Tendo girl ended up sprawled on the ground in a bruised, battered and smoking heap.

Lilith instantly changed back into her school outfit and bowed to the spectators.

“Special Technique… Gloomy Puppet Show!” (5)


Back in England…

Jon nodded to William as the elderly butler handed him a phone. He picked up the receiver and spoke into it…


On the phone, feminine voice responded. “Hey there, you big and wild wolf!”

Matthew’s father smiled as he recognized the caller. “Felicia! Good to hear from you again. So you’re in London already?” He nodded as he conversed with her. “Yes, my son and I are at the castle right now. Yes, Japan was very nice. No, I’m afraid that he’s still uncomfortable around you and your troupe. I’m still working on it. Did you bring the item I asked for? Good! Oh, Victor and his sister are there with you? It’ll be good to see them too. My son, myself and our guest will be there the day after tomorrow. We’ll talk after the show. Yes, of course. Thank you. Goodbye.”


At a private hotel room in London, the person in question stretched out on the bed as she hung up on the phone. Like all members of her kind, Felicia the Catwoman was quite the beauty. Her body was lightly tanned and had very sensual curves. Her bosom was very generous and the rest of her would cause any man to go into heat. However, unlike humans, the feline female wore no clothes, though her body had sparse patches of white fur, which covered her private areas like an exotic bikini. She had clawed feet and hands, her hair was blue with white streaks in it. On top of her head were two cat ears, which were arranged around another patch of fur, giving an appearance of a kind of bonnet. A slender tail hung at the small of her back and swished behind her buttocks, completing the appearance.

Felicia and the rest of her catwoman troupe used no magic as they performed their exotic dances and acrobatic displays worldwide. The general populace assumed that they were wearing cat costumes and used stage props to emulate a kind of supernatural flair. They were world-renowned as a traveling performance group and had even gotten offers from Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey, and circuses from China and Russia.

As Felicia contemplated her upcoming meeting with the Talbain family, her sensitive ears detected the approach of two people coming toward her room. She also recognized their scents and bid them to enter as they knocked on the door.

A huge, hulking figure of nearly nine feet in height, came in first. He was heavily muscled with short, shaggy hair. His skin was a chalky grey and had several suture lines all over his body His head was square and had a huge electrode protruding from each of his temples. Behind him was diminutive little girl with brown hair done up in a braid.

Felicia smiled at Victor and Emily Gerdenheim, the final creations of Baron Von Gerdenheim, in Germany. Emily had been the Baron’s attempt to create a semblance of his deceased daughter. His first experiment was ultimately a failure as he was unable to create a mechanical heart that could continue to beat indefinitely. As a result, Emily’s heart had to be constantly recharged and she possessed a weak constitution. His second attempt, which was Victor, did succeed in giving him a regenerating power source, but the end result gave him a monstrous body. He was unable to complete his work as he died soon after Victor’s birth.

Emily would have eventually perished and her brother would have been hunted down and destroyed by the local villagers, if Jon’s family had not encountered them in the late 1800’s. Thanks to the Talbain wealth and connections, the work that was started by the Baron to give Emily a functioning heart was completed. She no longer needed frequent charging. As for Victor, not much could be done for his hulking form, though he was happy for his sister. Eventually, the siblings fell in with the Catwoman tribe and became stage-hands for Felicia’s troupe.

“Stage all ready for show.” Victor said in a heavy German accent.

Emily nodded as she asked the catwoman. “So we’re really going to see the Talbains again? It’s been over a hundred years. I still need to thank Robert Talbain for the heart.” She placed a hand over her chest.

Felicia shook her head. “Sorry, Emily. Robert is long gone now. But you can give your thanks to his great-great grandson, Jon. He’ll be at the show in two days with his son Matthew.”

As the two departed, Felicia then pulled out a picture from her travel bag and smiled. The photo depicted that of herself and Jon, during an outing in Ireland. Then she thought about their past and realized that though he now had a son, technically speaking, he wasn’t married. And the catwoman’s grandmother had been hinting that she’d like to see Felicia bear some kittens.


Back at Castle Talbain…

“So what do you think?” Matthew asked as he escorted Nabiki to the place where they would meet up with his father.

“That Arana really does some great work.” She replied as she admired the alterations to her clothes.

She was currently wearing a short-sleeved blouse, slacks and shoes. Imbedded in the fibers of cotton and leather, were miniscule strands of magic silk, which would alter the shape and size of her clothes to match that of her hybrid body, whenever she transformed. The feeling of her clothes against her skin felt far more comfortable than even the best fabric softener. She didn’t think it was possible.

But then again, considering that Arana was a jorogumo, she was just as surprised that spider-web silk could be used in such a manner. (6) Nabiki had almost screamed when she beheld a pretty, Japanese woman with huge spider-legs protruding from her back. However, she remembered Matthew’s warning and kept a quiet, civil tongue. Keeping her thoughts to herself, she allowed the arachnid seamstress to work her magic and alter the clothes she was wearing. Arana also requested to have all of the Tendo girl’s clothes in her suitcases, brought over to her chamber, so she could adapt them as well.

It was at that time as the pair exited the castle and headed toward the forest, that the Full Moon made its appearance. On cue, Matthew switched over to his hybrid form, with Nabiki following suit. As they reached the edge of the northern sector, they met up with Jon.

It was time for their nightly training to begin…


Back at the castle, the maid named Alice met up with William as he currently polishing a porcelain tea set.

“Sir. Lord Talbain and his son are out near the northern sector of the forest. They are heading toward the lake with their guest.”

The elderly servant of the werewolf family nodded as he picked up a nearby phone. “Hello? This is Dubroke. The masters and their guest are out on the grounds tonight. Standard security procedures are to be followed. No outsider is to be allowed on the premises. All possible measures are to be taken to ensure that NONE of Castle Talbain’s secrets are revealed to the public. Outside surveillance devices are not permitted, and please have the illusion barrier engaged.”


In the depths of the castle, certain figures worked over a boiling cauldron. The beings were three elderly women, wearing elaborate robes, and possessing considerable magical ability. They were the descendants of those persecuted during the Witch Hunts of Salem in the 1600’s. Like all those the Talbains had met over the centuries, they too had been given a home at Castle Talbain. (7)

Upon receiving the message from William, the trio of spell casters began erecting the illusionary barrier, which surrounded the lands around the castle. This would fool anyone who was not part of the Talbain household, leading them away from the property, thus ensuring the werewolves’ privacy. In addition, several groups of security guards and hundreds of surveillance cameras kept watch on the outside perimeter.


Meanwhile, in Japan…


Seras Victoria gritted her teeth as she hefted the huge, anti-tank rifle in her hands. The weight of the massive weapon was not the problem, since the young vampire girl possessed superhuman strength that rivaled Jon Talbain’s son. The difficulty lay in fact that she had failed to destroy her target. The armor-piercing, depleted uranium projectile proved to be ineffective in slowing down a spirit-possessed opponent with unnatural regenerative powers.

Former Catholic Paladin Anderson smiled evilly as he stood with enchanted blades and a huge, gaping, and smoking hole in his chest. His eyes glowed with a murderous and malevolent light. The wound immediately healed itself up, as Anderson prepared to charge. At that point, a group of Hellsing soldiers came out and began spraying a murderous storm of blessed silver ammunition. However, this proved to be as ineffective as the anti-tank rifle, as the former agent of the Vatican easily withstood the barrage and advanced upon the agents.

Seras swung her weapon like a metallic club, but her opponent made some quick slashes with his blades, reducing the rifle into metal fragments. Knocking her away like a bothersome fly, he then tore into the Hellsing troopers, butchering them with glee. The entire street became littered with blood, gore and body parts, as the victims screamed in terror.

Just as the last of the troopers was reduced to human sushi, a shot rang out, blasting a sizeable hole in Anderson’s forehead. However, this only caused the spirit-possessed maniac to pause. As his regeneration powers took case of the damage, he looked up and saw a familiar figure.

Standing on a rooftop, with a huge, smoking gun in his hand, and his trench coat flapping in the wind, Alucard smiled, baring his fangs. His eyes glinted as he beheld the ghost of Bishamon overlapping Anderson’s form.

“Well now, this is quite the bargain. I get the chance to destroy TWO enemies at once. This must be what the humans call a two-for-one special.”

With that, he leapt down to battle.


In the forests near Castle Talbain…

Nabiki was ecstatic as she ran through the woods, following Matthew and Jon Talbain. This was the first time she had been able to experience the full capabilities of her hybrid form since being bitten. The enhanced senses she had as a human were nothing compared to what she had now. Her strength and agility were phenomenal, putting even Gold Medalist athletes to shame. With the Full Moon’s power flowing through her, she felt unstoppable. She was making forty-foot leaps with virtually no effort whatsoever. She mimicked each of the moves of the Talbains with little difficulty and kept pace with them. Her endurance by far outstripped that of her sister Akane, and if she wanted to, Nabiki could have beaten the entire Horde of Hentai in her sleep, a hundred times over.

As they approached a nearby lake of tremendous proportions, the trio came to a stop at the end of a dock. As they took a small breather, a familiar figure suddenly leapt out of the water with incredible grace, made a lazy turn in midair, then splashed back down. The middle Tendo daughter approached the water’s edge and recognized the scent of the person in the lake.


The undine smiled as she surfaced and swam toward the dock. With a graceful leap, she exited the water and alighted onto the wooden pier. She gave the three a wave as they approached her. She gave the transformed Nabiki a once-over and nodded.

“So that’s your true form. It’s been a while since I saw a female werewolf.”

“Well, technically speaking, I’m not a true werewolf.” Nabiki corrected, while slightly blushing. She noted that Kalesse was wearing an ornamental belt, as well as her bikini top. “You see… I wasn’t born this way and I can‘t transform on my own.”

“Hmm, so that means that you were bitten by a werewolf, weren’t you? You’ve got Secondary Lycanthropy then, right?” Kaleese then addressed the two Talbains. “So which one of you bit her?”

Matthew sighed while raising a hand. “Guilty.”

Kaleese giggled a bit. “Heh. Well, this is a surprise! I was wondering when you’d finally get serious and start looking for a mate!”

“Kalesse!” Jon’s son said with indignation, while his father chuckled slightly. Nabiki’s blushed an even a deeper shade of red. “That’s not the reason why I bit her! She was dying and it was the only way to save her!”

“He’s right!” Matthew’s girlfriend said quickly. “My body was crushed, but after Matt bit me, it restored itself. I was just lucky that I was one of the few that kept her humanity. But since I’m stuck in hybrid form, I’ve been traveling with the Talbains so I could…”

The water maiden waved Nabiki off and smiled. “It’s all right. I was just kidding and you don’t have to explain anything. Here at Castle Talbain, we non-humans are given a home and purpose. And this is one of the very few places where we live in peace with humankind. It is our Lords’ dream that the people of Earth accept all those who inhabit the planet, even those who came from the Makai.”

“Well said Kalesse.” Jon agreed as he took over the explanations. “The Talbain Family has been gathering members of the Makai and other beings for centuries. We help them adapt to human society and give them a sense of belonging. The ones you’ve met at the castle represent only a small fraction of those we have helped over the ages.”

“Really?” Nabiki asked with interest. “So how many are living at here?”

Matthew began counting on his fingers. “Well, let’s see… you’ve met up with Grom, Shinko, Kalesse and Arana. There’s the Grimbard Sisters down near the museum…”

“Who are they?”

Jon’s offspring shrugged. “They’re from Salem, Massachusetts in the United States. You may have heard about their ancestors during the late 17th century or so.”

The female lycanthrope thought for a moment, then gasped in realization. “They’re witches?”

Matthew nonchalantly waved off her surprised expressions. “Like I said before, don’t believe all those ancient legends and fairy tales. They’re just figments of imagination and ignorance. The Grimbards happen to be Castle Talbain’s resident magic experts and they’re ones who are responsible for the protective barrier around these lands to ensure our privacy. Even satellite surveillance is fooled by their illusions.”

“That’s right son.” Jon agreed. “And of course, let’s not forget Turk the Gnome in the Wine Cellar, Clea, Sante, and the Mira the Wood Nymphs in the Botanical Gardens, and Bob.”

“Who’s Bob?” Soun’s daughter inquired.

As if on cue, a huge wave erupted from the center of the lake as a monstrous form surfaced. It had a huge, serpentine neck, large slitted eyes and a slender head with a fin on top. It let off a huge roar, before diving back down into the water.

Nabiki stood in shock as her boyfriend pointed to where the beast disappeared.

“That was Bob.”

She swallowed hard before asking in a shaky voice. “W-W-Was that the ….?”

“Loch Ness Monster? Yep. Although, right now it‘s more accurate to call him the Lake Talbain Monster.”

“B-But what’s he doing here? Isn’t he supposed to be in Scotland?”

Jon chuckled slightly. “Well Loch Ness got too polluted with all the trash and gunk people had been throwing into the waters, so we had him moved here about twenty years ago. We left some decoys and fake remains in Loch Ness to throw off any would-be monster hunters and fanatics.”

“And the Loch Ness Monster’s name is Bob?!”

“Well, actually his real name can’t be pronounced in human language, so my granddad Martin Talbain settled on calling him Bob, since he met him while ‘bobbing’ up and down on Loch Ness. For some reason, Bob didn’t like to be called Nessie, and he’d always throw a fit. Thanks to the Grimbards and their teleportation spells, it was relatively simple to transport him into the Makai, then bring him here to Lake Talbain.”

Nabiki could only shake her head while smiling. Just when she thought she had seen and heard it all. Was there no end to the surprises and wonders of this place?


Speaking of places…

<Where on EARTH am I NOW?!> A little black piglet thought.

The one who had replaced Matthew as the Heir to the Saotome Anything Goes did not recognize his surroundings in the least. After losing his way to the bathroom at the Tendo home, he had wandered into the airport at Tokyo. He then got splashed with cold water after passing by a maintenance crew that was cleaning one of the airliner jets. Through a series of unlucky mishaps, ‘Ranma’ the Piglet had gotten loaded onto a plane bound for Iceland. Unfortunately, the loading crews had been negligent, and had not secured the cargo hatch completely. While flying over England, the hatch fell open and the Jusenkyo-cursed porker tumbled out and found himself falling some 60,000 feet above the ground.

It was only by pure chance that ‘Ranma’ had been stowed away with a shipment of exports, including a cargo of bamboo umbrellas. He managed to latch onto one of the rain-deflecting devices and used it as a makeshift parachute. He barely survived the impact when he landed in the middle of the forest near Castle Talbain sometime earlier that day. So far, he had been unable to find a source of hot water and had been roaming about the woods.

Now that it was nightfall, the fake Saotome had been hearing some mighty strange noises coming from this place. Not wanting to find out who or what those noises belonged to, he made a beeline toward what he thought was the edge of the wooded area. However, he instead came across a clearing with a campfire at its center. His eyes widened with hope as he saw a large pot of water was boiling in the fire.


Just as he was about to sprint toward the pot and dive into it, the ground shook underneath his pig feet. Then his view of the pot was blocked by a huge, green-skinned foot. Gulping, he looked up and saw a hideous, emerald, warty, face with tusks sticking out from the lower lip. Its body was massively built and was clothed in what appeared to be deerskin toga. In one clawed hand, was a huge, wooden club. The beady eyes shined in the moonlight, as the creature smiled in delight.

“Mmmmm! Appetizer!”

The behemoth then reached down toward his intended snack.


In the blink of an eye, Genme’s fake son ran like a bat out of Hell. His pursuer however, proved to be persistent as he began to give chase, knocking down several trees in the process.


Nabiki and the others turned in confusion at the sudden commotion.

“I don’t need to have wolf ears to have heard THAT! What’s going on?!”

Matthew checked the prevailing winds and caught a familiar scent. He then turned to his father. “Dad? It sounds and smells like Cruk!”

Jon confirmed it with his own senses and nodded. “Yes. It looks like he’s after something.”

Kalesse shrugged her shoulders. “He’s probably chasing one the wild boars that live in the forest. You know how much he likes pork.”

“Who’s Cruk?” Nabiki asked.

“Ever saw Lord of the Rings?”

The Secondary Lycanthrope nodded. She had also enjoyed the books when she was younger.

The undine smiled and replied, “Well Cruk isn’t a bad sort, though he doesn’t have much upstairs. He’s an Orc.”

“An Orc?!”

“That’s right. He’s a bit brutish and severely needs lessons in table manners, but his heart’s in the right place.”

“His heart is in the right place,” Jon amended, “but even he knows not to make such a ruckus in the forest, especially if he goes beyond the illusion spell of the Grimbards. The paparazzi have gotten a lot more curious about Castle Talbain’s inhabitants lately. The last thing I need is to see Cruk’s mug plastered all over the tabloids. Come on!”

Matthew and Nabiki followed Jon into the forest to head off the Orc and his prey.


Back in Japan…


Anderson’s head nearly snapped off its neck from a point-blank blast from Alucard’s gun, but the spirit-possessed Paladin shrugged off the damage and continued to attack, while his regenerative powers dealt with the injury.

The vampire in the red trench coat frowned as this cycle of damage and repair was getting boring. He then decided to switch tactics and began to release the seals on his hands. Believing that level three would not be sufficient, he decided upgrade to level two.

His dark aura emerged, giving off a shadowy, blood-red hue. His fangs became even more pronounced as his eyes glowed red.

Seras gasped as she recognized how serious her master was in destroying his foe. She signaled to any of the surviving Hellsing soldiers to back off and let their supernatural ally deal with Anderson.

Even the murderous ghost of Bishamon paused as it sensed the buildup of dark energy. The power that was radiating form the vampire made Dimitri Maximoff seem trifling. Anderson tensed and prepared to engage.

However, that was when the first rays of sunlight began to appear over the horizon. Japan was several hours ahead of England and therefore, the sunrise happened much sooner.

“Blast.” Alucard muttered as he knew he had to get under cover. Powering down his aura, he gave his adversary a glare and said, “Another time Anderson.”

With those words, he disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

Seras had no choice but also pull back and get out of the approaching daylight. Another group of Hellsing operatives appeared and began collecting the dead and wounded.

Though the spirit of the deceased samurai had no such weakness against the sun, it too decided to withdraw. Though it enjoyed spilling blood, in essence it was a spirit that was born in a time of war. It thirsted for combat and challenge. With its strongest foe out of the picture, there was no reason to stay. Anderson leapt high into the air, and bounded over rooftops. In seconds, he was gone.


Back in England, still night time…

“AWWWW! But Cruk is hungry!”

Jon glared at the oversized Orc while holding the little black piglet by its bandana. Currently, ‘Ranma’ was unconscious. After a frantic chase through the forest, the cursed boy thought he was doomed to become some monster’s late-night snack when Cruk caught up to him. Then three more monsters appeared on the scene. This proved to be too much for him, causing him to faint dead away.

The head of the Talbain Family angrily gestured to the devastation around them. The Orc had knocked down an entire grove’s worth of trees and bushes, as well as leaving several large holes in the ground. “So you’re telling me that you caused all this damage, just because you were chasing a little piece of bacon like this?!” He held up the Jusenkyo-cursed martial artist for emphasis.

Cruk bowed down his head in shame. “Sorry.”

Matthew’s father shook his head tiredly, then reached behind his back and pulled out a cell phone. After pressing the autodial number, he paused for a moment, then spoke into the device.



Back at the castle, the Head Butler answered.

“Yes Master Jon? What was that? Really? Cruk did all that for one little piglet? I see. Yes, I will have Clea and the other Wood Nymphs take care of the landscape first thing tomorrow. Yes? Oh, so you want the Head Chef to prepare four whole-roasted boars for Cruk? I shall give him the order, though he will be somewhat perturbed over having to cook a meal this late at night. I would imagine that he would be abed right now. Yes, I will inform him that he will receive an extra bonus in his next paycheck. Will that be all, Sir? What was that? An intruder? How is that possible? The patrol groups reported nothing and the surveillance systems show everything normal at the perimeter. Oh? I see. So the cause of the commotion is that the intruder is a Jusenkyo-cursed victim that turns into the piglet that Cruk was chasing. My word! I see. Very well, I will also call for Mr. O’Shea. Very good, my Lord. Good evening to you.”


Jon nodded as he hung up on his cell phone, then addressed the Orc.

“Now listen up Cruk! You caused a lot of trouble tonight, but I know you didn’t mean it. For now, I want you to go to the servants’ entrance of the castle. Your dinner will be there for you. We’ll talk about this later. Understood?”

Cruk nodded as he shuffled off toward the Talbain Estate. Matthew’s father then turned to the teenage lycanthropes beside him, while gesturing to the still unconscious pig in his hand.

“So you two are saying that THIS is the imposter that is claiming to be Genma Saotome‘s… er, my son?”

Nabiki nodded. “That’s Ranma all right. I mean, that’s the guy who says that he’s Ranma… er, Matthew… uhm, well you what I mean. I still can’t believe that he got so lost that he ended up here in England. So what are you going to do with him?”

“Same thing we do to anyone who stumbles onto this property and learns one of its secrets.” Jon noted her apprehension and waved it off. “Now don’t worry. All we’re going to do is to make him forget this incident happened. If he ever remembers this, he’ll think that it was just a dream.”

“So you’re going to have those witches you told me about cast some kind of spell?”

“The Grimbard Sisters? No, I’m afraid that manipulating memories isn’t their forte. They specialize in illusions and charms. However, I do have an expert in the field from Ireland.”

“So what is he? A leprechaun?”

“How did ye guess?”

Nabiki backpedaled frantically when she heard the voice, then her eyes widened in surprise as a tiny person, dressed in emerald green outfit, appeared sitting on Jon’s right shoulder. The figure seemed to be no more than eight inches high, with curly, white hair and a small beard. He had a kind of chipper fellow, and in his right hand was a cane. He gave the surprised werewolf an apologetic smile, then stood up and tipped his hat to her.

“Top of the evenin’ to ye, Miss. Sure as I didna mean to give you da willies. Shamus O’Shea at ye service.” (8)

Matthew’s father chuckled a bit as he continued with the introductions. “Shamus’ clan, like many other supernatural races, happen to have a contract with the Talbains.”

“Aye, that we do Jon. Ye clan did help mine own out of a very sticky situation some nine hundred or so years ago.”

“What happened?” Matthew’s girlfriend asked.

“Ah, ye wouldna believed that an entire leprechaun clan did lose all of its gold to some stinkin’ ogres! Not a single pot left to me family. We woulda been doomed, were it not for Martin Talbain, Jon and Mathew‘s great-great-great and so forth grandfather! A good beastie man he was!”

“That’s right.” The older Talbain affirmed. “Leprechauns derive their magic from their pots of gold. That’s the main reason why they guard them so fiercely. Our ancestor, Martin Talbain, discovered that in one of our silver mines, there was also a very large deposit of gold. After restoring their treasure and their powers, Shamus‘ clan swore to aid the Talbains with their faerie magic. They‘re quite good at tricking human minds.” He then set ‘Ranma’ down on the ground and pointed to him. “Shamus, I’m afraid that he wandered into the forest and saw Cruk and us. I need his memory fogged up.”

The tiny man chuckled a bit. “Surely ye must be joking, Jon! Why would ye be worried about the shenanigans of a wee little piggy like…” He then stopped as he got a better look at the Lost Heir to the Saotome Anything Goes. “Ah! Now I be seein’ what ye mean! Been many a year since I laid eyes on some poor lad who got cursed from Jusenkyo! I didna think many would be daft enough to go there! Jus’ leave that wee little problem to me, why don’t cha?”

Jon nodded as he set the piglet down on the ground. Shamus hopped down beside ‘Ranma’ and began weaving a spell with his cane. Amazingly, a small cloud of fog began appear above the black porker. The sudden chill caused the cursed heir to the Anything Goes to begin awakening. However, Shamus quickly whacked him on the head with his cane, knocking ‘Ranma’ out again.

When Nabiki gave Shamus a concerned look, the leprechaun waved her off. “Now, now. No need to go fussin’ abou’ it. This cursed lad will only wake with but a wee bump on the noggin. The fog I be stirrin’ up will cloud his memories. To quote Shakespeare, to him it will be naught but a midsummer’s night dream!”


Much later…

“So you think ‘Ranma’ will remember anything?” The female werewolf asked as she followed the motions of the Talbains in their basic katas. The three of them were standing in another open clearing in the woods.

“Doubtful.” Matthew replied as he and his father threw several dozen punches, which Nabiki followed with ease. “When Shamus uses that mystic fog of his, any recent memories that fake had will be just that… a fog. When he comes to, he’ll be back in Japan. The Grimbard Sisters sent him through one of the portals in the Makai. Of course, with his sense of direction, I can’t guarantee that he’ll return to the Tendo home any time soon.”

“Are you sure that you want to leave things the way they are now? I mean, he’s using your name.”

“Yeah? So what? As far as I’m concerned, he can HAVE the name of Ranma Saotome. It’s given me nothing but grief and besides, I don’t want that stupid panda man bugging me about that pledge to unite the Anything Goes. No offense to you or your family, mind you.”

“None taken.” Nabiki assured, though a small part of her, liked the idea of being engaged to Matthew. She put those thoughts away as she continued to focus on her training. Though she didn’t realize it, her martial arts skills were steadily improving and her level was already above that of Akane’s, even without her Secondary Lycanthropy.


The next day, in Japan…

<Where am I? Ow! How did I bump my head?>

‘Ranma’ continued to rub the small welt on his head as he looked about. For the life of him, he couldn’t remember the events of the day before. He could have sworn that as a piglet, he had gotten on a plane at the airport, but nothing further than that. Now he was in his human form and…


The Lost Martial Artist then dove for cover as he realized that he was naked and standing near the public restrooms at the Tokyo Mall.


The day afterwards in London, England…

Nabiki smiled as she and the Talbains entered into the huge theatre, and sat down in their private balcony seats. After spending an entire day of sightseeing and shopping, she was looking forward to enjoying the performance of the world-renowned, cat-themed acrobatic and dance troupe. Though the general populace believed that Felicia and her cohorts were simply talented performers in feline costumes, in reality, they were from an ancient race of beast humanoids known as Catwomen.

At that moment, just as the crowds took their seats and the theatre was filled to capacity, the lights began to dim and a spotlight cast its beam down toward the center of the stage. The curtains parted to reveal Felicia in all of her feline glory. She gave the applauding crowds a bow and made the introductions.

{“Good evening everyone, and it’s great to be here in Merry Old England! I’m Felicia and we hope that you will enjoy our performance tonight! And now… on with the show!”}

On cue, music began to play in the background and flashing lights appeared as several Catwomen came from the sides and strated displaying their catlike agility and balance, achieving incredible feats of acrobatics that would have put the Chinese Circus to shame. There were several rounds of oohs and ahhs from the audience as the feline females showed them the Catwoman-version of River Dance. Some of them even broke out in songs, forming a chorus line. With their shapely curves and sexy demeanor, they made the Rockettes look like old maids.

Throughout the show, Matthew kept a brave front, as he didn’t want anyone to see how uncomfortable he was in the presence of so many cats. Though he didn’t fear them, they still brought back bad memories. The sudden appearance of the false Ranma only strengthened his contempt for his former father, Genma Saotome.


After the main performance and three encores…

“Jon! It’s great to see you again!” Felicia said as they entered her dressing room. The Catwoman happily bounced toward Matthew’s father and gave him an affectionate hug. The younger werewolves stood behind them.

“It’s good to see you too, Felicia. An impressive show, as always.”

After nuzzling his cheek, she then noticed the two teens behind him. She smiled as she released her embrace and walked over to them. “Matthew! Great to see you too!”

“Uh… yeah... great…” He said with hesitation. It had taken a LOT of self-control and restraint after having to walk through the main dressing room of the Catwoman troupe in order to get to Felicia’s private section. Several of the younger Catwomen had been giving him a look that was all-too-familiar. After all, he got the same looks from Shampoo and several Amazons back near Jusenkyo. Human girls he could handle, but getting lustful stares from catgirls was a different story altogether.

Felicia noted his apprehension then addressed his father. “Jon?”

The elder Talbain shrugged his shoulders at her unspoken question. “I’m still working on it. However, my son isn’t the reason why we’ve come to see you.”

“Oh right. You told me over the phone that you wanted to downgrade a person’s Secondary Lycanthropy to tertiary levels, so she would only transform during a full moon.” The feline performer looked back at the youngsters and addressed the girl beside Matthew. “I’m guessing that’s you, right?” She sniffed the air around Nabiki and nodded. “Yep. You definitely got quite a bit of werewolf in you, Miss… ?”

“I’m Nabiki Tendo. Pleased to meet you, Felicia.” She held out here hand in which the feline star shook. As she was face-to-face with her, the middle Tendo girl could clearly see that her ‘costume’ was actually sparse patches of white fur, which covered her body like a skimpy bikini.

Felicia nodded in response to her greeting, then addressed Jon again. “I’m sorry Jon, but I’m afraid that I don’t have the means to reduce her lycanthropy. In any case, trying to lower her werewolf traits now would be dangerous. She’s already been infected with Secondary Lycanthropy for too long now. Her body would reject any attempts to lessen her werewolf powers.”

Matthew’s father nodded in understanding. “Hmmm. I was afraid of that. I suppose our little trip to China took too long. But you did say on the phone that you had something that could allow Miss Tendo to have better control over her transformations.”

“That’s right. I did.” She then sat down and reached toward an ornamental box on her dresser-drawer. She opened the lid, and pulled out what looked like a medallion, or at least a part of a medallion on a chain. The fragment had a partial image of a wolf.

“What’s that?” Matthew inquired.

“It’s part of an ancient medallion that was broken into several pieces and scattered all over the Earth. My ancestors came across this fragment a few centuries back and it’s been in the family since then. It was supposedly forged by some ancient spell caster, who was said to have been among the first of the werewolves. According to legend, if a human wears this, then he/she shall become a werewolf, without being bitten.”

“So what you’re saying is…” Nabiki said as she caught on to Felicia’s train of thought.

“What I’m saying is that since we can’t downgrade your lycanthropy, then the only other option is to upgrade it, to Primary Lycanthropy. If you were to collect the other pieces of this medallion, then it is possible for you to become… a TRUE WEREWOLF!”

To be continued…

Author’s Notes

Wow! That was a long chapter, but now that it’s done, we are now going to begin a MAJOR story arc as our favorite werewolves will begin their world tour with plenty of Darkstalkers and guest stars. We’ll also see the conclusion of the fight between Alucard and Alexander, plus the ominous approach of a major opponent. Stay tuned!



(1) In this story, Nabiki learned early on about Akane’s lack of cooking ability.

(2) Grom the Gargoyle. His family forged Jacob Talbain’s swords. Thanks Alex for the idea.

(3) Shinko the Kappa. Matthew’s ancestor brought over a family of Kappas during the early 1800’s, several years before Admiral Perry forced Japan to open up to the world.

(4) Kalesse the Undine. An idea from Alex. She helps in training members of the Talbain family in underwater fighting. When dry, her fish-half becomes human.

(5) One of the most hilarious special moves of Vampire Savior.

(6) The legendary spider-woman of Japan. Ever saw Wicked City?

(7) Witches from Salem Thanks Rictor.

(8) Shamus O’Shea the Leprechaun