Rumiko Takahashi owns Ranma 1/2. I made Dual Destinies. Please
don't sue me!
In a small bar on the south side of Nerima, a lone martial artist was
drowning his sorrows in his third bottle of sake of the day. His clothes
were disheveled and it looked like he hadn't washed in several days. His
hair was unkempt and his expression was fixed in a state of absolute
despair and depression. He had been drinking himself into a stupor
every day for the past week, and had been kicked out of several bars
whenever he passed out from the booze or was unable to pay his tab.
Usually; it was because of the latter. Not that it mattered. For all he
cared, the world had long since abandoned Soun Tendo, formally of the
Anything Goes Martial Arts.
It had been more than a week since he had lost his family. Correction,
he did not really lose his family. In a fit of anger, he had disowned his
children. In short, he had thrown them away. All for the sake of honor.
<Honor. Now there's something to laugh at!> Soun thought bemused
as he drained his glass and refilled it. <This whole mess was supposed
to have been a pledge of honor! What a joke!>
The bartender watched Soun drink the sake with a vengeance. The man
had been drinking steadily for the past two hours and it didn't seem that
he was going to stop for anything. Already, the bartender could see that
Soun was already way past his limit. Shaking his head, he walked over to
where Soun was sitting and firmly took the bottle from his hands.
Soun looked up in irritation at the man and slurred, "Eeeeeey!
Whatchu doing? Give mey back muy bottle!" He then tried to stand up
to get into a fighting stance, but all the booze that he had drunk had shot
his reflexes and coordination to hell. He shakily rose from his seat,
then toppled forward to the floor. His face made a dull thud as Soun
passed out for what was the umpteenth time.
Looking down at the fallen form, the bartender sighed and bent down
to pick up the drunken martial artist.
Soun woke up the next morning with an intense pounding in his head.
As he shook his head, he looked around his surroundings. He found
himself lying on a cot in a small room in the back of the bar. There was
a window on the opposite wall, where the sun's morning light shone
through. There was a couple of shelves mounted on the wall to his right
and a mirror to his left. Behind him, the door opened to reveal the same
bartender, holding a small tray. There was cup of black coffee and a
small bottle of aspirin on the tray as he moved forward and set it down
"Hey pal! You took a nasty spill there last night! Here! This should
help." He pushed the tray forward.
Soun looked at the bartender with a dubious eye. The man was
around his mid- fifties and had some streaks of gray in his hair. He had
a bit of a paunch and had a barrel chest. Still, his eyes and expression
radiated warmth and understanding. With a nod of thanks, Soun took the
cup of coffee and the aspirin.
"By the way, the name's Akira Sotaro."
"Soun Tendo. Thanks for your help." Soun drained the coffee in one
gulp and then tried to get up. His head began increasing in its throbbing
and he suddenly found himself dizzy. The nausea started to take over as
he lurched to one side.
"Hey! Take it easy!" Akira said as he stood up to steady Soun, then
set him back down on the cot. "With all the booze you had last night,
you're definitely in no shape to start running off."
"I can take care of myself!" Soun insisted he tried to get up again.
Akira held him down with a firm hand. He was surprisingly strong
and Soun found his grip to be very impressive. "I tell you, you're in no
condition to leave! And I'm sure that you don't want to be picked up by
the cops for being publicly intoxicated!"
Soun struggled for a few minutes more, then relented. Sitting back
down on the cot, he sighed and then bent over to put his face into his
hands and began to cry.
"My life is over!"
The bartender looked at the man with sadness. Shaking his head, he
quietly left the room and closed the door. Soun needed some time alone.
An hour later, Soun was sober enough to walk. As he left the room
and entered the bar, he saw Akira behind the counter and wiping a glass.
"Hey there, Soun!" Akira cheerfully said as he saw Soun emerge
from the back room and sit down on one of the barstools in front of the
counter. "Feeling any better?"
"Much better. Thank you." Soun answered as he approached the
counter. He reached into a pocket and pulled out a wallet. "So how
much do I owe you for last night?"
Akira looked at the thin wallet and guessed at its contents. "We'll
discuss that later." He then changed the subject. "So… do you want to
talk about it?"
"Talk about what?"
"Talk about why you think your life is over."
"No… I don't want to talk about it."
"Hey, I won't pressure you! If you don't want to talk about it, that's
okay. But last night, you looked so sad that if got any more depressed,
and I would have driven MYSELF to get drunk! You looked like
someone who had been betrayed and lost his most prized possession."
The former father of Akane, Nabiki and Kasumi looked at Akira with
a suspicious eye, then sighed. He was only trying to help. What was the
harm in telling him?
"You could say that I do feel betrayed. And losing my family could
be the same thing as losing my most valuable possession."
"You lost your family?"
"It's a long story."
"I'm not going anywhere."
"As a matter of fact, neither am I." Soun replied as he began his tale.
He first started off with his training trip and when he met his fellow
student, Genma Saotome. The training sessions with Happosai were
described in detail and Akira became alarmed at his 'teaching techniques.'
"HE made you do THAT?!" Akira said incredulously. "What kind of
perverted master IS he?!"
Soun had to grin a bit. "Calling him a pervert would be complimenting
him. He's the greatest evil in all of Japan! Although, one can't deny that
he's also one of the greatest martial artists in the world!"
"I'll believe that when I see it!" Akira paused, then bid Soun to
continue. Soun then went on and told him about his agreement with
Genma to unite the Schools of the Anything Goes, and have their
offspring run the dojo.
Akira frowned at hearing this. "Not that I'm judging you or anything,
but don't you think arranged marriages are a little… oh, I don't know,
"It is for the SAKE OF HONOR!" Soun exploded.
"Hey! Take it easy! I didn't mean anything by it! Calm down!" Akira
waved his hands and waited for Soun to relax. After a minute, he said,
"I'm sure you were only looking out for your children's welfare, right?"
Soun settled down at this, "Yes. And to unite the Schools of the
Anything Goes! It was imperative that our legacy continue!"
"Well that may be all and good, but didn't you even consider that
your kids and Genma's would have other ideas about it?"
"What are you saying?"
"Well… you must realize that these are modern times, and choosing
a fiancée for your child before he or she was even born doesn't sound
very appealing. Most kids have their own ideas of leading their own
lives and making their own decisions."
"My plan to unite the schools would have assured them of their
"Are you certain of that?" Akira asked. "Marriage is much more than
joining two people. You have to consider that once a person ties the
knot, he or she will be living with that other person for the rest of his or
her life! With an arranged marriage, the kids don't even get the option
of divorce, if their relationship doesn't work! By the way, did your child
get along with his or her fiancée?"
"Of course she did!" Soun insisted.
Akira gave Soun a penetrating stare, which made him flinch. "Don't
lie to me, Soun! I've had a lot of experience with talking to people and I
can tell when someone's telling me an untruth! I'm asking you again.
Did your child get along with her fiancée?"
Soun hedged a bit before answering, "Well… they did have some…
Akira frowned as he said. "In other words, they were at each other's
throats a lot."
Son sadly and reluctantly nodded.
"How often did that happen?"
"A… few times."
"Translation; just about every day! And how often did they stop
fighting long enough to actually try to talk things out?"
"Translation; very seldom. Am I getting things right so far?"
Soun again nodded reluctantly.
"It seems to me that it was a very unlikely match! Those two sound
like they were the perfect enemies instead of the perfect couple! Did
you ever try to talk to your little girl and ask how she felt about the
"I… have talked to her about it." Soun said uneasily.
"Translation; you pushed her toward the engagement and very
seldom, if ever, considered her feelings about it. Her fiancée's father
also pushed him."
"Who are you to judge!" Soun asked angrily.
"Am I wrong?" Akira replied in a firm voice while staring at Soun with
that same penetrating stare. Soun wilted after a moment. "I thought so."
"You make good guesses." Soun commented.
"I have my moments. So… you knew that your daughter was
suffering, but you made no attempt to try and help her relationship with
"That's not true! I tried to help them get together!" Soun responded.
"I'm sure you did!" Akira agreed. "I suppose that you tried to set them
up on dates without their approval, always reminded them that they must
marry for the sake of honor, and kept on saying that their fights were
only a phase that they were going through."
<Is he psychic?> Soun thought.
Akira looked at Soun's confused expression and smiled. "No Soun.
I'm not psychic. I've seen this kind of thing happen lots of times. What
your daughter and her fiancée went through have happened before with
other children who have been put into an arranged marriage by their
parents for the sake of honor. More often than not, one or both children
end up miserable. Many times, it was due to their parents and their
Soun winced at that statement, but he couldn't deny it. There were
countless times that he and Genma had tried to make things work
between Ranma and Akane, despite their objections to their interference.
<Still, it was for the good of the school and their welfare, right?>
Akira then continued, "I've seen a lot of arranged marriages go down
the sewer, because the parents just don't understand that love doesn't
come eventually to all people! They have these silly notions that after
the marriage, love will come later! Let me tell you, that's all a crock!"
Soun's expression became hardened as he said sharply, "Now wait
just a minute! I'm sure that Ranma cared about my Akane and she had
some feelings for him too! They were just too stubborn to admit it!"
"Oh I'm not saying whether they had some feelings for each other or
not. However, I'm willing to bet that you and your friend constantly
tried to get them to admit their feelings, and did everything you could
to keep them together, despite the fact that they were too busy being
angry at each other to ever come to a consensus."
"Now I wouldn't say that!"
"And what would you say?"
"They were just going through a… phase!"
"Uh huh. And didn't I just say something about you thinking in those
terms? I think that is one of the problems. You were so intent on getting
them married that you made up excuses to explain their difficulties,
instead of actually finding out what the problem was and correcting it!"
"Now see here! It wasn't MY fault that those two didn't get along very
well! There were a lot of other things which screwed it up!"
"And those things were…?" Akira asked.
"My former best friend was idiotic enough to engage his son to
several other girls, despite the fact he made the vow to me first! My
pledge had the right of seniority!"
"Say what? Your daughter's fiancée had other girls engaged to him?"
"At least four others! He had sold his son off to their families in
exchange for food!" Soun fumed a bit as he thought of Genma.
"I see." Akira said thoughtfully. "And exactly what did you do when
you found out about it?"
"Well, naturally I still held to my claim! The schools were to be
united of course!"
"You mean to say, that despite the fact that after your friend had
violated his honor and your trust, by engaging his son several times, you
still intended to go on with the promise he made to you?"
"Why not? I have just as much right, if not more to having my vow
with Genma be fulfilled!"
"Not to be insulting, but it appears you have a very narrow field of
thinking. To me, the honor of the agreement had been completely
destroyed when Genma started using his a son as a means to get
something without earning it. In fact, I'd wager that he made that deal
with you in order to get something for nothing."
"What are you talking about? He made the vow for the sake of
uniting the schools!"
"There you go again! Making excuses! Tell me Soun, when Genma
and his son arrived, did they end up living with you?"
"Well… yes! After all, Ranma was engaged to my daughter and had
to be with her!"
"I thought so! And did they did they pay for anything? Did they help
with the chores or pay for the food they ate? How about the bills? Did
they do anything to make your life and the lives of your children any
easier while they were staying there?"
"Well, Genma did keep me company and we played many games of
"Oh that'll help!" Akira said sarcastically. "Looks to me that Genma
and his son were nothing but a couple of freeloaders. They were just
using that vow to take advantage of you."
"That's not true! When all those girls came by to stake their claims
on Ranma, Genma stood by his promise to me!"
"If he truly wanted to keep his promise to you, he wouldn't have
made all those other agreements in the first place! The way I see it, he
wanted to keep the vow to you, because it was the one in which he could
profit the most from!"
"What are you saying?"
"Think of it! What would have happened if Akane and Ranma ever did
get married? That would have meant that Genma would have been set
for life, living off the dojo! Come to think of it, you would also reap
the same benefits! You could retire early and live a life of leisure. Now
don't tell me that thought hadn't crossed your mind!"
"Are you accusing me of arranging a marriage for my children, just
so I could selfishly retire early?"
"Now, now! No need to get hostile! Let me ask you this! As a martial
artist and owner of a dojo, you must be teaching some classes now,
Soun became silent at this.
Akira nodded and then asked, "Well, you must at least have a job! I
mean, it must get expensive to feed three daughters and two house
Soun remained silent.
"I thought as much!" Akira nodded. "You don't have any regular
income and you don't teach any classes. Yet you were still intent on
getting Akane married to Ranma. I think that answers my question! It
seems that there was another reason why you wanted the engagement.
Not only for your daughter's future, but for your own as well!"
"HOW DARE YOU!" Soun said as he threw a punch at Akira's face.
To his surprise, the bartender reacted with amazing speed. He simply
raised an open palm and stopped the fist with no effort. He then
clenched down on Soun's hand and applied pressure. This made Soun
wince as he felt his hand being slowly crushed.
"Ow! Let go of my hand!"
"Certainly!" Akira said evenly as he looked at the Tendo patriarch
with that same penetrating stare. "However, you should be more careful
with your anger! Looks to me that you and your family have a problem
with keeping your tempers in check!"
With these words, Soun froze up. He first thought back to all the
times that his youngest daughter had lost her patience with Ranma. Then
he remembered how angry he was during that last time he had seen his
family. That was when he made a startling realization.
"You're… right. Please forgive my behavior! This is not how a
martial artist should act!"
"That's better!" Akira replied as he released Soun's hand. As lowered
his hand, Akira's expression became softer. "I can see another problem
though! Judging from your reaction, and from what I have been hearing
from your story, controlling one's anger is not a strong point in your
household, is it?"
Soun frowned at his insinuations, but he really couldn't deny it.
Finally, he sighed and said, "I suppose that it's a skill that Akane had
failed to master. She was easily angered and Ranma's constant teasing
of her personality and domestic skills did not help matters! There were
also those other girls who had a claim to Ranma. They all had better
levels of skill in the martial arts and in the domestic areas than she did.
Akane would try so hard to improve, but every failure made her even
more frustrated and she did take out her anger on the nearest person. It
was usually Ranma."
"I thought as much!" Akira nodded as he continued. "And did you ever
help her improve her martial arts? And did she ever get someone to
teach her how to cook, sew or give her proper bridal training?"
"My eldest daughter Kasumi has tried on several occasions to teach
her how to be a proper wife. I have given her some training in the
"Aha! And did she get any better in either fields?"
Soun was silent as he thought back over the events of the past year.
He then said in quiet and sad voice, "No. Akane proved to be too
impatient to properly go through the correct procedures. The other
girls began to ridicule her lack of skill and this only made her more
"I see. So the fact that no one would take her seriously and take her
own feelings and thoughts into account, is what led to her bad
relationship with her fiancée."
Soun nodded as he added. "That's part of the reason. I'm afraid that I
too, added to the problem."
"Oh really? "
"I'm afraid that I had neglected to properly train her in the ways of
the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. I had trained her in the
basics, but when Ranma showed up, I had involved myself in helping
him train. I had begun to neglect my little girl."
Akira said nothing as he watched Soun's expression become sadder.
"And that's not the only thing I regret, now that I think about it. I did
not tell her about the secret of one of her admirers, hoping that Ranma
would become jealous. That plan really backfired when Akane somehow
found out about it."
"What was this secret?"
"I'd rather not say. Besides, it's too complicated to explain."
"Okay. So what else do you regret."
"Akane had been having some problems with the boys at school.
They would always attack her for dates."
"That's another complicated story, but suffice to say, she really didn't
have much respect for boys, because of that. In fact, she went so far as
to openly say she hated boys. She became very angry when I announced
"She didn't take it too well?"
"That's putting it mildly. That first encounter with Ranma was a
disaster, and ever since then, they had been constantly fighting. Neither
one of them wanted to admit any feelings for the other."
"You regret that your daughter had been subjected to all these
hardships, while you stood by and did nothing, but constantly remind
her of her obligations to fulfill the pact, right?"
Soun looked up and said, "You really do have good insight. It's taken
a week for me to realize that the engagement was one of the main
reasons why we were having all these problems."
"It looks like the engagement was hurting the family, not helping it."
Soun's eyes widened slightly. "Funny you should say that. My
daughter Kasumi said the same thing when she and my other daughter
Nabiki refused to take Akane's place as the fiancée."
"And what did you say to that?"
Soun took a long and tired sigh as he replied, "That was when I made
the biggest mistake of my life. I was so consumed by anger and a
feeling of betrayal from my daughters' disobedience, that… I disowned
them." Soun crossed his arms over the counter and lowered his head on
top of them. He then began to cry.
"I'm… sorry to hear that. It must be terrible to have lost your family
Soun cried for a minute before raising his head. "The only thing that
had made me feel this bad was when their mother had died! Now… I'm
alone! I'm too ashamed to face them now and… I've lost all the respect
they had for me! I've lost the only thing that truly mattered to me! My
family is gone!"
"I don't know what to say. You have my sympathy."
"This past week has given me time to think though! I've thought long
and hard about the past year. My daughters accused me of being
obsessed with the pact and ignoring the real problems of the family.
They said that the thought of getting Akane married to Ranma was the
only thing that I was concerned about. After all that's happened, I have
to agree. They were right! I did let my… obsession get the better of
me! I was so intent on fulfilling the vow that I completely became blind
to the difficulties that my poor Akane was facing. Why didn't I help her
out more with the martial arts? Why couldn't I have been more
understanding of her feelings toward Ranma and the engagement?"
"I can't answer that for you Soun."
"I don't expect you to. I also should have been more compassionate
to the feelings of my other children as well. When Akane had declared
that she was not going to marry Ranma for any reason, not even for
honor, I simply tried to transfer the engagement to Kasumi and Nabiki.
I suppose I did appear cold and heartless. I never asked Akane whether
or not she wanted the engagement, and here I was trying to push that
burden onto my other children! What kind of father am I? I am not fit to
be in their presence!"
"Now don't say that." Akira said as he put a hand on Soun's shoulder.
"Being a parent is one of the greatest joys in life! We all make mistakes
during this time, since an instruction book was never provided for us to
deal with raising a child. You made some very bad errors in judgment,
but it seems you have learned a few lessons from them. You may have
learned them too late, but that is better than not learning them at all!
Now it's time for you to pick up the pieces and get on with your life!"
"Without my family, I don't see any reason to keep on living!"
"Well then! That's the first thing on the agenda! You must make your
peace with them! By making peace with them, you will be taking the
first steps in making peace with your inner self!"
"You're starting to sound like a fortune cookie!" Soun remarked, the
smile coming back to his face.
"Hey! I'm a bartender! We're supposed to be good listeners and give
out advice! You could call us countertop psychologists! Instead of
couches, we use barstools!"
Soun and Akira shared a good-natured laugh. The feeling in the room
became more lighter as Soun's attitude began to show new life. After
another minute or so, Soun made his decision and stood up to head
toward the door.
"Hey Soun! Where are you going?" Akira called back.
Before exiting the bar, Soun turned back to his friend and replied,
"I'm going home!"
Akira smiled as he watched Soun disappear down the streets.
Soun was about a block away when he realized that had not paid his
tab at the bar. Not wanting to incur any debts, he ran back the way he
came. When he got back to the spot where the bar was supposed to be,
he halted and stood there in open-mouthed shock.
There was nothing there but an empty lot. There was no trace of the
establishment anywhere. Soun puzzled for a few minutes.
<Where's the bar? Where's Akira? What happened?>
Soun could swear that he was sober when he spoke to Akira. His
hand was still a little sore from when the bartender had squeezed it. He
couldn't have dreamed it all, could he?
It was at that time, he remembered the advice that Akira had given
him. <You must make peace with them! By making peace with them,
you will be taking the first steps in making peace with your inner self!>
Those words rang in Soun's head like the tolling of a church bell. Soun
nodded and said to himself, "Thank you Akira! Wherever you are!
Whoever you are!" He then ran in the direction of the dojo.
When Soun reached the dojo, he was eager to embrace his children
and tell them that he loved them. He had also planned to tell them that
the engagement was off and that they were free to choose whomever
they wished to marry. He was so giddy at the thought of seeing them
again that he was unprepared for the shock.
He ran past the front gates of the compound and into the house
shouting, "GIRLS! I'M BACK! I LOVE…"
Soun stopped in mid-sentence as he noticed a foreboding silence
that smothered the house. Looking around he saw that there was no one
to greet him. The wall that Genma had smashed through while running
from him had not been repaired. The floors had not been swept in over a
week and a thin film of dust covered all the furniture.
Soun's mood quickly deteriorated from joy to fear as he began to
frantically search all the rooms. However, try as he might, he could not
find a single trace of his family. All their belongings were absent from
their bedrooms and it was clear that no one had been living at the dojo
in over a week. When he came to the den where he and Genma had played
Shogi every day, he noticed a small package with an envelope on top.
Looking closer to the package, he noticed that the envelope was
addressed to him. Picking up the note, he slowly opened it and began
To Soun Tendo,
If you are looking for your daughters, then you will not find
them here. Enclosed you will find a plane ticket and a set of
instructions on how to find them, when you reach your
destination. The box also contains several thousand yen for
travel expenses. Good luck!
P.S. Don't worry about your tab!
<Akira? How did he know I lived here?> Soun thought. <How does
he know where my family is and what does he have to do with all this?>
With his mind reeling with so many unanswered questions, Soun
decided to look inside the package. Sure enough, there was a round-trip
plane ticket to China, a page of instructions and a fortune in yen! Soun's
eyes widened as he counted it. The amount totaled five hundred
thousand-yen! He couldn't believe it! He began to suspect that this was
some kind of elaborate trap, but then he thought about his family. He
had no idea where they were or what had happened to them. This was
probably his best and only chance to reunite with his loved ones. With
that in mind, he ran up to his room to make preparations for the long
An hour later, Soun was boarding the plane that was bound for China.
As he was stepping onto the boarding ramp, he looked up and saw three
streaks of light flash overhead in the distance. One was colored blue,
the other was red and the third was white. For a moment, he pondered
what those lights were, then shrugged as he entered the plane. As he sat
down and waited for the plane to take off, he thought back to the
conversation he had with Akira. He owed a great debt to that bartender
and still pondered what connection he might have with Kasumi, Nabiki
< I have so many questions! Who was that man? What's his part in all
Try as he might, Soun could not think up an answer. As he recalled
everything he could about his conversation with Akira, he suddenly
remembered the name of the bar.
<Come to think of it, that was an unusual name for a bar! I've never
heard of a bar called the Infinite Realm!>
The Realm of Infinity…
Soren looked with satisfaction as he and Taron watched the viewing
portal as it depicted Soun's plane taking off.
"Well, I'm glad that worked!" Taron said to his brother.
"Yes! So what do you think? Should I try for Hollywood?" Soren
smiled as he was enveloped in a flash of light. When the light faded,
Akira Sotaro stood with a smile.
"Don't give up your day job!" Taron replied.
The Earth Realm…
At the airport terminal, another figure was watching Soun Tendo's
plane fly off into the distance. The person stayed in the shadows for a
while longer then stepped out into the open, heading toward the ticket
"Excuse me," The man asked the attendant. "Where was that last plane
"Its destination is Beijing, China. Would you like to book a flight
"Yes I would."
To be continued….
Now everyone knows where Soun has been for the last week. Did I
fool you? Did you guess right? Did this chapter answer all your questions?
Probably not, but I wanted to show people that even Soun could see
the pain that the engagement had caused, given the right circumstances.
The loss of his family had shocked him into thinking clearly for a
change. It's about time!
How do you think he's going to handle it when he learns that his
daughters no longer have the Tendo name? What will he do? What will
be the end result?
Although I have the remainder of the story already worked out and
on paper, I'm afraid that you're all going to have to wait. With finals
coming up and my clinical work, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to put
this story on hold for a while. Don't worry though. I expect to be back
on the word processor within the next month or so. If you have any
questions or comments, please contact me at Animeaddicton@hotmail.com.