Dual Destinies
The characters of Ranma ½ are the property of Rumiko Takahashi. 
Belldandy, Skuld and Urd are the main characters of Oh My Goddess. 
The rest are all figments of my imagination.
<>: Thoughts
{" "}: Telepathic communication
                                  Chapter 20
     Ranma Red and Ranma Blue popped into existence in the reality 
known as the Kami Plane. As they looked around, they found 
themselves at the edge of the vortex, which led to the Realm of 
Oblivion. Both looked at each other with apprehension as they prepared 
to enter into a place they'd sooner forget.
     "Here we go again Red." Ranma Blue declared.
     "Yeah. This time, we've got eight hours to fight those monsters and 
we've gotten a whole lot better."
     "I'm not sure that it'll be enough though. Soren and Taron did say that 
we're only at about forty-five percent of our total potential. Those 
demons are expecting us to go all out. They won't pulling any of their 
     "I know. They want us to use that power. That's the trap."
     "Like I said before, damned if we do and damned if we don't! We 
don't save Akane and her soul gets destroyed while the Dark World 
invades the Earth. We try to save her, and we run the risk of making the 
invasion go a lot quicker!"
     "Nothing like a little double jeopardy! You sure that plan we made up 
is going to work?" Ranma Red asked.
     "It's got to! We haven't got another choice! Ready to go?"
     "Let's do it!"
     Both astral forms of the Ranma twins took a deep breath and charged 
into the swirling mass of black clouds.
     The twins reappeared inside the Realm of Oblivion at the same 
location that they had been previously. Looking around, they saw that 
neither the demons they fought before or Akane's soul energy was 
anywhere in their immediate vicinity.
     "Hey Blue! You still got that computer that Skuld gave you?"
     "Yeah! I think it's still able to track Akane's soul energy." Taking out 
the small device, Ranma Blue looked down at the screen. After a 
minute, he gestured to his identical sibling in the direction that the 
instrument was pointing. They floated off toward the place where they 
hoped to find the rest of Akane's soul.
     An hour later, they finally came to what appeared to be a huge stone 
platform, which floated in a huge expanse of the gray void. The 
structure was the size of Shea Stadium. In its center was a large, 
transparent sphere that seemed to be made of crystal. Inside it was the 
transparent figure of Akane Tendo. She looked as if she asleep with her 
eyes closed and her head bowed down. However, she was floating in a 
standing position within her crystal prison. The twins looked around for 
any sign of the demons and saw no one.
     "Is that it?" Ranma Red asked.
     "Yeah." The other Ranma replied as he looked down at the mini-
guide's screen. "According to this, that's her all right. My senses also 
tell me that it's her! We've found her! That's the rest of Akane's soul!"
     "But why is it out in the open like that?" Ranma Red inquired. "It's 
too easy! I wonder where those demons are?"
     Ranma Blue nodded as he and his sibling floated toward the edge of 
the platform. They were about one hundred and fifty yards from the 
center in which Akane's soul was located. It seemed so simple to just 
head toward the crystal, grab hold of it and teleport back to the Realm 
of Infinity. Something was up.
     "Well, it's not like we have any choice. We have to go in there." 
Ranma Red said after a minute.
     "Right. Just keep a look out for anything funny."
     Both brothers cautiously flew toward the sphere, while using their 
senses to probe the area around them. Little did they know that danger 
lurked nearby.
Earth Realm…
     Shampoo was extremely worried. She had used up the last of her 
Formula 110 shampoo on Akane that morning with almost no effect. 
There was no more to be had in all of Japan. Not that it would have 
mattered. Akane convulsions and outbursts were the worst she had ever 
seen, and she had built up enough immunity to render the shampoo 
useless. The episodes were so intense, that Shampoo had been forced 
to use drastic measures to keep Akane from injuring herself as she 
thrashed about. Using secret pressure points that she had learned from 
her great-grandmother, she had caused the Tendo girl lapse into a near-
comatose state, slowing down her body functions to barest minimum 
needed for survival. 
     Nodoka had become alarmed to hear of what the Amazon had done, 
but Cologne assured her that it was the only way to keep Soun's daughter 
from killing herself. She had also informed the mother of the Ranma 
twins that her sons were now in the Kami Plane, looking for a way to 
destroy the source of Akane's torment. All they could do now was wait.
Realm of Oblivion…
     Both Ranmas approached the floating sphere with no trouble, which 
worried them. If the demons were going to make a move against them, 
now would be the time. Ranma Red began powering up his ki energy to 
invoke his teleportation spell, while his brother prepared to shatter the 
crystal to release Akane's soul.
     It was then that all hell broke loose. 
     There was a deafening and inhuman roar as Arcodos appeared out of 
nowhere and charged at Ranma Red from behind. Her moved with 
incredible swiftness as he swiped at the red-shirted Ranma with a huge 
claw. Ranma Blue's brother had no time to defend himself as he was 
starting to invoke the spell. He managed to roll with the blow to lessen the 
impact, but the attack still sent him flying to the edge of the platform.
     At the same time that Arcodos attacked, his compatriot Zuruka also 
appeared to deal with Ranma Blue. Before the startled eyes of the twin, 
the demon came into view before him and grabbed the pigtailed martial 
artist by the neck. Ranma Blue desperately used his augmented strength 
to pry those massive fingers apart, but as soon as he got free of them, 
the servant of the Dark World sent a savage kick to the midsection and 
sent him flying toward his brother. Both demons chortled with glee as 
they began advancing on the champions of Soren and Taron. 
     "Welcome back to the Realm of Oblivion!" Zuruka taunted.
     "You didn't think that we were just going to let you take that girl's 
soul so easily, did you?" Arcodos added.
     "After we went through the trouble of creating that doppleganger, 
we're going to get our investment back! With interest!"
     "Your very souls… and every other soul on Earth!"
     "Come now boys! Let's see if you've gotten any better!"
     Both Ranmas scrambled to their feet as they prepared to face their 
foes. As they took their respective stances, they used their telepathic 
skills to relay their battle plans to each other.
     {"This is it Blue! Stick to the plan! Keep your power levels down! 
Don't let them force you to go all out!"}
     Ranma Blue powered up some chi energy in his fist and then sent his 
arm in an arc toward Zuruka.
     Once again, the demon used his arm to deflect the crescent-shaped 
     "Oh come on now! That didn't work the first time!"
     Ranma Red was shooting bolt after bolt against Arcodos with no 
effect. His foe was simply deflecting the chi and magical energy with 
ease as he continued to advance on the magic-using twin.
     "I thought you had improved Ranma Red! Are you afraid to use your 
full power against me? Perhaps we should raise the stakes!" Arcodos 
turned to the crystal sphere and sent a withering blast of red energy into 
it. The soul of Akane screamed out as it began to lose its integrity.
Earth Realm…
     Akane suddenly screamed in agony, startling all those present. She 
began thrashing about with wild abandon. Cologne and Shampoo tried to 
hold down the girl, but they soon discovered that whatever was causing 
her distress was also giving her a maniacal strength. Nabiki and Kasumi 
ran into the room as soon as they heard their sister cry out. They were 
horrified as they saw their younger sibling being manhandled by the two 
Amazons. They then noticed that she was being handled roughly only 
because she was struggling against their attempts to keep her down. 
They could do nothing but stare in shock, as Akane's screams became 
even more piercing.
The Realm of Oblivion…
     "How I love the screams of pure agony!" Arcodos cackled as he sent 
another blast at Akane's soul.
     "Leave her alone!" Ranma Red screamed as he sent another blast of 
energy at Akane's tormentor. Arcodos did not even bother to deflect the 
next barrage and absorbed the attacks. 
     He then turned to his opponent and said, "Make me."
     Ranma Blue was becoming desperate as began using his more 
powerful techniques against Zuruka. So far, he had done nothing more 
than amuse his foe with his attacks. Furthermore, he had been taking a 
severe beating from his opponent. Zuruka continued to pummel him 
with crushing blows that would have killed a normal person in a 
     Ranma Blue slammed his fist to the ground and let loose a wave of 
fiery energy that caused a massive tremor as it sped along toward the 
demon. The blast crashed against the demon like a tidal wave, causing 
him to slightly step back from the impact. Zuruka smiled briefly as he 
simply stood and waited for the wave to dissipate.
     "Not bad! I ALMOST felt that!"
     Ranma Red was becoming even more frustrated as he decided to use 
one of his stronger spells to stop Arcodos from feeding more energy 
into Akane's soul. Raising his fists above his head, he charged up a 
massive amount of energy and shouted out his attack.
     A huge beam of blue-white energy shot upward from his arms. 
Ranma Red then swung his arms downward, and the beam came down on 
Arcodos like a gigantic blade. The stone surface of the platform was 
cleaved like a hot knife going through butter, and more than a third of 
the battle area was cut away. However, when the smoke cleared, 
Arcodos was still there. He had a few nicks on his armor and much of 
the metal had become dull from the intense heat of the attack. 
Otherwise, he was unharmed.
     "Very good! I was SLIGHTLY impressed!"
     Ranma Red then sent a message to his brother. {"Blue! I think its 
time to put our plan into action! We have to start getting serious!"}
     {"Okay! They seem to be cocky enough! Do it!"} Ranma Blue 
responded as he began maneuvering his fight closer to his brother's.
     Ranma Red nodded as began charging up his ki for another attack. 
Raising his arms above him, he prepared for another Skyfire Sword.
     Arcodos laughed in contempt as he stood in a neutral pose and began 
focusing his power. His body glowed with a black light, which suddenly 
formed a circular field around him like a barrier, just as Ranma Red let 
loose his attack.
     The beam of mystical energy came crashing down on the demon, 
only to be deflected at an obtuse angle back at his opponent. Ranma 
Red had just managed to teleport out of the way as the sizzling beam 
shot past him and toward the area, where Zuruka and Ranma Blue were 
     Ranma Blue had just started to power up his ki for another elemental 
attack when he suddenly got a telepathic warning from his brother. He 
charged at Zuruka and at the last instant, dove under the blow that 
Zuruka threw at him and ducked beneath his legs. Zuruka looked down 
in surprise and that's when it hit him.
     Ranma Red's Skyfire Sword plowed into him and his body flared 
immense pain, as he was unprepared for the blast of magical energy. 
The explosion threw him back and nearly caught Ranma Blue in its wake 
as he rolled to the side. Getting up quickly, the elemental Ranma pressed 
his advantage and sent another one of his special techniques at his foe.
     Cupping his hands before him, the son of Nodoka let loose a torrent 
of flames which took the form of a cone and rammed into the chest of 
Zuruka. The demon howled in pain as the attack penetrated his armor 
and burned deep into his flesh. The attack left a gaping and charred 
wound in the demon's upper torso. Hoping to finish off his opponent, 
Ranma Blue charged in and delivered another elemental attack.
     Ranma Blue threw his fist forward, which became wrapped in an 
electrical aura. The blow connected solidly with the open wound of 
Zuruka, causing a massive discharge of electricity to occur and 
wreaking more damage to the Dark World servant. Zuruka howled in 
agony and surprise, as he could not believe that his foe could be 
inflicting such pain to him.
     On the other side of the battle area, Arcodos was very irritated that 
Ranma Blue was getting the upper hand over his counterpart, due to the 
fact, that he had indirectly caused it. Furthermore, Ranma Red had also 
proven to be a tougher antagonist than he believed. In the past several 
minutes, the mortal had managed to evade all of his attacks by using that 
teleport technique. Not only that, but Ranma Red was also using this 
method to strategically land a few blows on him, while at the same time 
keeping just out of his reach.
     Not that his blows were hurting him much, despite his increased 
strength, but the Dark Worlder was getting very annoyed at being hit 
and not being able to hit back. He began powering up a massive amount 
of Dark World energy and then released it all in one massive burst. The 
energy surged outward in all directions in a hemisphere of black energy 
with a yellow outline. No matter where Ranma Red would teleport to, 
the blast would catch him.
     Ranma Red had been expecting something like this and had come 
prepared. Just as the demon had powered up his energies, he invoked 
another one of his newer spells. With an intricate motion of his hands, 
he threw his arms upward in a crane position and released a bright blue 
blast of energy. The magical power shaped itself into a two-
dimensional rectangle that was about ten feet tall and three feet wide. It 
was translucent and shimmered like polished silver.
     Arcodos was a little more than shocked as he saw his attack 
absorbed into the energy mirror. The rectangle seemed to become alive 
as its surface swirled and sparked with the Dark World energy. It then 
turned on its vertical axis until it was facing toward the place where 
Zuruka and Ranma Blue were fighting. Ranma Red then threw an arm 
forward and shouted, "POWER RETURN!"
     The power contained within the mirror flared before bursting forth 
in a huge beam of black light. Just as it had released that beam, the 
mirror shattered into smaller fragments before disappearing. The attack 
stabbed forth and smashed into Zuruka's back, just as he smashed down 
his opponent and was about to deliver a crushing blow. The demon 
roared in pain and surprise as he felt his armor and flesh being pierced 
and torn apart. 
     As he was shortly distracted, Ranma Blue again pressed his 
advantage. Quickly rolling to one side, he cupped his hands forward and 
launched a chi attack from the ground at the new wound in Zuruka.
     The stream of yellow fireballs blasted into the demon's dorsal side 
at an extreme angle, but enough of the chi energy hit his wound to be 
effective. The blue armored monster howled again in rage and pain. 
Looking behind him, he saw Ranma Blue scramble to his feet and 
invoke another elemental skill.
     Swirls of arctic winds erupted forth from Ranma Blue and blanketed 
the entire area in a freezing, thick and dense fog. At the same time this 
was occurring, Ranma Red had also decided to add to the confusion. 
Concentrating his ki, he invoked his duplicity technique.
     A dozen shadowy figures of himself suddenly appeared and began 
running around randomly around the platform. With the dark shadows 
of the Realm of Infinity added to the fog and the illusions, it was near 
to impossible to tell where the real twins were. Both demons growled 
in rage as they began firing in random directions, hoping to hit one of 
their opponents.
     It was at this point that the Ranma twins fully understood the 
importance of their telepathic skills. With their minds linked, each was 
able to tell where his sibling was and coordinate their attacks. Zuruka 
was firing in vain, as he tried to find where Ranma Blue was. He did not 
know that the blue-shirted martial artist was also using his camouflage 
skills to remain out of sight. When he saw a shadowy figure run across 
his line of vision, he let loose a massive blast. The figure was blasted 
apart and a scream was heard. Zuruka smiled as he thought he had 
finally hit Ranma Blue. His smile became a frown as he realized that 
the scream was not human.
     Ranma Red grinned. He had purposely put one of his illusions in 
front of Arcodos and Zuruka had taken the bait. His attack was an 
especially savage one as he had sheared off his counterpart's arm. The 
demon looked down at the charred and bleeding stump that was his right 
arm. Smoke was still rising from the wound as Arcodos flailed about 
with his good arm.
     By sheer luck, he had slammed against Ranma Blue, knocking him to 
the ground and causing him to become visible again. Grasping the 
former Saotome by the throat, he lifted him seven feet off the ground 
and gritted out, "You die now!"
     To his surprise, Ranma Blue grinned as he replied, "I don't think so."
     Arcodos felt a searing pain in his back as he was blasted by a massive 
bolt from behind. He recognized the energy as not Ranma Red's, but 
Zuruka's. Ranma Red had placed another one of his illusions in front of 
Zuruka, and had gotten the same results as before. As the red armored 
demon howled in pain, Ranma Blue decided to dish out some of his own. 
Cupping his hands forward, he let loose his chi attack at point blank range.
     The balls of chi energy smashed into Arcodos' forehead, causing 
him to release the twin and stagger back. The Dark Worlder bumped 
into his counterpart, who was very angered as to how the tables had 
turned. The twins were winning and they had yet to release their full 
power. If this kept up, they would be victorious.
     "It is time to get serious Arcodos!"
     "Yes, it is time to teach these whelps the true power of the Dark 
     Both monsters began focusing their energies on themselves. Their 
auras began to swell and intensify as they called upon their most 
deepest and darkest emotions. Suddenly, the power contained within 
them was released in one massive explosion.
     Ranma Red and his brother were a little confused as to what was 
happening. The demons had suddenly stopped in their attacks. They 
were just standing motionless on the other side of the battle area. They 
had started to glow with black auras and both twins knew that something 
was up. Then it happened. The two servants of Sharoka were enveloped 
in an explosion of black light. The force of the explosion had caused 
the fog and the illusions to be dispelled in an instant. Both twins were 
thrown backward and landed on their rears. A second later, they got to 
their feet and took their stances. What they saw before them made their 
blood run cold.
     Standing at an intimidating height of fifty feet was a gigantic version 
of Arcodos and Zuruka. Its armor was red with blue highlights and had 
six-foot fangs protruding from its lower lip. It held out its arms, in 
which its tremendous claws crackled with power. It took a step forward, 
making the stone platform to shudder as if it was experiencing a small 
earthquake. The surface trembled as it seemed as if the platform was 
about to give way. It was not a sight to instill confidence.
     {"Oh boy! Not good!"} Ranma Red remarked.
     {"I know! We can't use their powers against them like before when 
they're like that!"}
     The giant demon took another step forward, making the platform 
shake violently. Then it smiled down at the looks of apprehension on 
the twins. With a booming voice that was a combination of Arcodos and 
Zuruka, it spoke.
     The giant raised a clawed hand and formed an orange-red fireball that 
was the size of Nodoka's house. It lobbed the sphere at the twins, who 
barely got out of its way by using their flight powers. The blast plowed 
through the stone platform and caused a huge potion of it to be 
pulverized. When the dust settled, less than half the battle area was left.
     {"Damn! We don't have any choice! We have to go full out!"} Ranma 
Blue said.
     {"We can't do that! Soren and Taron warned us that the backlash 
would destroy Akane and break down the dimensional barrier!"} Ranma 
Red gestured over to the crystal, which contained the former Tendo 
girl's essence. Miraculously, it had remained relatively unscathed 
throughout the most part of the battle. {"Besides, that's what Arcoruka 
     {"Look out!"} Ranma Blue warned as he pushed his brother to one 
side and floated off to the other. Arcoruka had fired off a massive beam 
of energy at the twins that would have incinerated a city block. Another 
section of the stone structure was obliterated and less than twenty 
square yards was left. The area was where Akane's crystal prison stood. 
     The fused form of Arcodos and Zuruka stood over it and grinned 
wickedly. It then raised a claw above it and began to power up another 
blast. This time, it was being aimed at Akane.
     "NO!" Both Ranmas shouted as they began powering up their ki 
     Arcoruka smiled. It was as they expected. They could already feel 
the immense power surging from the twins. It was going to be glorious. 
They eagerly matched the energy that was building up in the Champions 
of Earth. Soon, it was going to be all over.
     As they pushed their battle auras to the limit, both twins knew that 
there was no turning back.
     {"They want us to blast them with everything we got! If we don't, 
they'll destroy Akane!"} Ranma Red stated.
     {"Looks like a no-win situation! What can we do?"} Ranma Blue 
asked as he powered up even further.
     {"Damn! There's too much riding on this, and Soren and Taron can't 
help us in the Realm of Infinity!"}
     {"That's it! That's the answer!"}
     {"Red! Do you think you're up to teleporting something big?"}
     Ranma Blue quickly began relaying his plan to his sibling. Ranma 
Red smiled as he instantly comprehended his brother's plan. It was a 
desperate gamble and it required a lot of power to implement it. 
Fortunately, power was in great abundance at the time.
     Arcoruka decided that the time had come to end the conflict. 
Directing their claws toward the twins, the giant fired off a blast of 
power that would have leveled the lower half of Japan. At the same 
time, both twins thrust out their arms like tuning forks and released 
their strongest attacks.
     Both Ranmas let loose beams of power that would have reduced 
Mount Fugi into less than an anthill. The beams of elemental and mystic 
power pushed back Arcoruka's attack and all that resultant energy was 
absorbed into the enormous demon. The twins feel to their knees in 
exhaustion after releasing so much power. They could only look up at 
their opponent as it was now laughing its head off. It's body crackled 
and surged with unbelievable power as it tried to contain it. However, 
everyone present knew that was improbable.
WE WIN!!!"
     Both Ranmas gave the demon a smug look as Ranma Blue replied, 
"Yeah, but you're forgetting one thing!"
     "WHAT IS THAT?"
     "You need Akane's soul as a conduit in order to make that happen! 
But all that power don't mean squat if you're not here with her soul to 
use it!"
     Arcoruka laughed in contempt as he found Ranma Blue's words as 
those of one gone insane. They were here in the Realm of Oblivion. 
Akane's soul was here. Her doppleganger was in the Earth Realm and 
the connection between the two realities was secure. The energies 
within their body was ready to be released, and it was more than 
sufficient to do the job. Why shouldn't it work?
     It was then that they noticed something. Their body had taken on a 
lighter shade and their scales seemed to be translucent. Although their 
form was bursting with power, it seemed that they were… fading?! In an 
instant, Arcodos and Zuruka realized that they had been tricked. Roaring 
with frustration and rage, the fused form of the two demons rushed 
toward the twins, hoping to take them with it in its imminent destruction. 
     The Ranma twins were too exhausted from their last attacks to make 
any half-decent attempt to evade. However, they didn't have to. When 
Arcoruka got within twelve feet of them, the giant monster faded from 
view. There was nothing left to mark its passing, save for a small wisp 
of leftover magical and elemental energy that soon dissipated.
     Both Ranmas looked at each and smiled.
The Realm of Infinity…
     Soren and Taron were in their usual spot as they monitored the Kami 
Plane for any indication of their champions' progress in saving Akane. 
It was then that Taron sensed something big heading their way.
     "Incoming!" Taron shouted as Soren began erecting a protective 
barrier around the two of them. 
     A few hundred meters from their position, Arcoruka suddenly 
appeared in the void and was just about to unleash the combined 
magical and elemental power within it. Soren and Taron saw this and 
decided that they didn't want to be anywhere nearby when that 
happened. Using his power over gravity, Taron reversed the polarity of 
Arcoruka's body, making it the same as theirs. He also increased the 
force of gravitational power a million times over. Moreover, everyone 
knows that when two identical polarities come into contact, they repel 
each other. The monster was pushed back several thousand miles 
through the void. It was then that it exploded.
     The release of magical and elemental energies was staggering. The 
waves of power went randomly in all directions and the protective 
sphere that Soren had erected was bounced around like a beach ball 
caught in a tidal wave. The amount of destructive power that erupted 
from Arcoruka's destruction was greater than a thousand, 40-megaton 
thermonuclear warheads. It made the bomb that was dropped on 
Hiroshima seem like a pilot light. This kind of event would have 
reduced half of the Earth into rubble, but in the Realm of Infinity, it 
didn't really matter. There was not much to destroy.
     When the last of the explosion finally faded away into silence, Soren 
dropped his shield and looked around. There was no sign of the 
monster. Its remains had been totally atomized and nothing was left to 
prove that Arcodos and Zuruka ever existed. The only thing that 
remained was the errant chunks of stone that floated about, and the fact 
that the lights were now darting about more erratically. 
     "Remind me to teach Ranma Red about being more careful as to 
where he teleports things to."
     Taron looked at the mess the explosion caused and then nodded.
The Realm of Oblivion…
     Both Ranmas crawled their way to the crystal, which contained the 
essence of their former love. As they both sat down against the sphere, 
Ranma Blue took out the mini-guide computer and asked in a tired 
voice, "Can you contact Urd or Belldandy?"
     "Affirmative." The device replied.
The Ultimate Force System…
     "Hey! That's weird!"
     "What is it Skuld?" Belldandy asked as she approached her sister at a 
     "I'm getting a distress signal coming from the Realm of Oblivion!"
     Belldandy frowned as she heard this. "We're not allowed to got 
there. That's demon territory. You know the rules."
     Some time ago, Kami-sama had decreed that certain areas of the 
continuum was to be designated specifically for demons and deities, in 
order to keep the two sides from slaughtering each other. Since then, 
both sides have followed these rules, since the penalty for breaking 
these laws was erasure from existence.
     "It's not demon territory anymore! The files have now just registered 
the deaths of Arcodos and Zuruka! The Realm of Oblivion has been 
named a free zone, until the next demon lays claim to it!"
     "Then we'd best get out whomever is in there!" Belldandy stated as 
she disappeared from view.
The Realm of Oblivion…
     Belldandy appeared before the twins with her usual smile and gentle 
     "Greetings, Champions of Earth! I did not expect to find you here 
again." She then looked at the crystal and saw Akane's soul floating in 
it. "Oh my!" She then closed her eyes and extended her senses into the 
spirit contained within the orb. She detected that a small portion of it 
was missing. She opened her eyes and turned her attention to the twins 
again. "A doppleganger?"
     Both Ranmas nodded, as they were too exhausted to speak. 
     "Well we can't have that, now can we?"
     The goddess began to glow with a soft white aura, and the group 
disappeared in a flash of light.
Earth Realm…
     Shampoo and her great-grandmother were puzzled. Akane had 
suddenly stopped in her thrashing and had resumed her near-comatose 
state. The other sisters looked on with worry, as Nodoka approached 
the bed and asked, "Is she…?"
     Before anything else was said, the mirror that was mounted on the 
hallway wall flared with a bright, white light. Looking back at the door, 
the group stared in confusion as a gentle-looking woman entered the 
room. At first glance, one would have mistaken her for Kasumi, if she 
herself were not already present.
     Belldandy gave them a formal bow and then gestured for someone to 
come inside. Both astral forms of the Ranma twins floated into the 
room, startling everyone for moment, before they remembered that 
they were like this, when they had left for the Kami Plane. Their 
physical forms were safely lying on the bed in their mother's room.
     Belldandy walked over to the still form of Akane, then waved a hand 
over her. The sweeping gesture had caused Akane's body to glow with a 
soft blue light. Then suddenly, wisps of black smoke rose from her as 
every trace of Dark World energy was purged from her. With the task 
completed, she then motioned to the spectral twins.
     Ranma Blue and his other half nodded as they made the crystal which 
contained the other portion of Akane's soul appear. The goddess waved 
her arm again and the crystal disappeared. Akane's essence glowed softly 
in the dimly lit room as it remained floating in place, standing straight 
and at peace. With another sweeping gesture, the goddess guided the lost 
soul back into its proper vessel and the process was finished. 
     Akane's body took on a warm afterglow as all tension disappeared. 
Her heartbeat and breathing rate returned to normal, and she seemed 
finally at peace.
An hour later…
     After the twins had returned to their physical forms and introductions 
were made between Belldandy and all those present, the two Ranmas 
began to explain how they had saved Akane. After a few more minutes, 
Belldandy bid them all farewell and left for the Kami Plane via the 
hallway mirror. Ukyo had come to the house at that time to check up on 
Akane. She too also listened in as the identical Ranmas related their 
incredible experience.
     "So Ran-chan, what exactly did you do to stop those demons?"
     Ranma Blue smiled as he replied, "When Red here mentioned the 
Realm of Infinity, I remembered what Soren and Taron told us about 
how those monsters were using Akane's soul as a conduit. I figured that 
if they weren't in the same reality that Akane was, when they released 
that energy, then the barrier would stay up and we'd have a chance to 
destroy them."
     "Right." Ranma Red agreed. "When we fed them the power they need 
to destroy the interdimensional barrier, I secretly added my 
teleportation spell as well. Usually, it's not powerful enough to 
transport anything other than myself and maybe a few others. Its range 
is still limited. However, all that power those demons had; in addition 
to whatever we gave them was enough to transport them away from 
Akane's soul before the backlash could affect her. Simple really."
     "So where you send them to?" Shampoo asked.
     "Well…" Ranma Red began. "We couldn't send them to Earth, and 
there wasn't anywhere else that I had been to other than…"
     {"The Realm of Infinity."} Soren replied as he and his brother 
popped into the room. 
     Kasumi and Nabiki were startled when the found the crowded room 
get even more crowded. Taron and his brother smiled at them and 
somehow, that had made the former Tendos relax a bit. After a short 
introduction, the immortals turned their attention on the two Ranmas.
     Both immortals looked at their pupils with a slightly irritated, yet 
friendly expression.
     "Do you realize the mess you made in the realm?" Taron asked.
     "I'm sorry Taron, but at the time…" Ranma Red started to say.
     "Don't worry about it." Soren said as his expression became softer. 
"The way I see it, you two found a way out of a no-win situation. You 
displayed excellent teamwork!"
     "We couldn't be more proud of you." Taron agreed.
     "By the way," Ranma Blue asked. "is that old lecher going to be all 
right?" The pigtailed martial artist was a bit surprised at hearing himself 
show concern for Happosai, despite his history with him.
     Taron nodded as he responded, "Don't worry. We had placed him in a 
very remote area of the realm, so he wasn't anywhere near the explosion."
     "In any case, we came here not only to congratulate you on your 
victory, but also to inform you on a few things." Soren added.
     "Like what?" Ranma Blue asked.
     "Well, first of all, Akane will most certainly recover, now that her 
complete soul is in one body. Without Zuruka and Arcodos continually 
torturing her, she will eventually stop having those episodes of terror."
     "Will she remember everything that happened?" Ranma Red inquired.
     "She'll remember everything that her doppleganger had experienced 
on Earth." Taron explained. "You see, her doppleganger and the rest of 
her soul were still connected. She had perceived only what her 
duplicate had sensed. Zuruka and Arcodos made certain that she would 
not detect the fact that she was still in the Realm of Oblivion, by 
blocking out her perceptions. She only felt what the copy felt. She will 
not remember ever being in the Realm of Oblivion, other than that first 
time. I think it would be best if we keep it that way."
     Everyone present nodded as they all agreed. Akane had been through 
a lot. There was no need to make it worse.
     "So what else did you want to tell us?" Ranma Blue queried.
     Both immortals took on serious expressions as Soren replied, "Even 
though you were successful in getting Akane back, the damage already 
done to the fabric of reality was substantial. As a result, we must rush 
the both of you through the last stages of your training, here in Japan. In 
four days… we'll be going to China."
     Both twins looked at their fiancées with concern. They knew what 
going to China meant. All of a sudden, they began hearing wedding bells 
in their minds.
To be continued…
Author's Notes
     Wow! I thought I'd never get through this chapter. Creating fight 
scenes are not my strong point. In any case, the problems with Akane's 
experience in the Kami Plane have now been put to rest. Akane is free 
to actually, start on her road to recovery, which still promises to be 
long and hard.(At least she doesn't have those demons torturing her 
     The Ranmas are now preparing to leave Japan and start on their quest 
to save the world. The training is almost complete and they will achieve 
their full potential when they get… (gasp) married! Akane and her 
sisters will be joining our heroes as well as their fiancées, Nodoka and 
Cologne. What does this mean for everyone else? The next chapter will 
go into that.