Dual Destinies
Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma 1/2 series is what inspired this series. 
All other stuff belongs to their respective owners. I think that says 
it all.
                                  Chapter 27
                      Ranma and Ranma… to the Nth Power
     Ranma Red and his brother watched from the sidelines of the 
Challenge area as Ukyo slammed her battle spatula on top of the 
head of her Amazon opponent. The warrior woman went down as 
Ukyo smiled triumphantly and held her weapon aloft. She waved 
to her new husband Ranma Blue, who was applauding her victory.
     "She's still got it." Ranma Blue replied as he watched his new 
bride jump off the Challenge log.
     "No doubt about that." Ranma Red replied as he watched Ukyo 
     "Way to go Ucchan!" Ranma Blue swept up his wife and 
swung her around, giving her a deep kiss.
     "No problem Ran-chan!" Ukyo said as her feet touched ground 
once more. Ukyo had shed her wedding dress and was now in her 
normal okonomiyaki outfit. "I really didn't want to fight on my 
wedding day, but…"
     "Yeah I know. These Amazon customs are kind of off the wall, 
but you did have to prove that you're good enough to be part of the 
     "Speaking of being part of the tribe, Cologne told me where to 
find that Elemental Hammer."
     "Oh?" Ranma Blue replied as Ukyo leaned forward and 
whispered something in his ear. His eyes widened and then he took 
on a bemused smile. "THAT'S where it is?! Well I'll be damned!"
     Ranma Red was about to ask when he saw his wife approach 
them. Like Ukyo, Shampoo had changed from her wedding gown 
to her normal attire, which in her case, consisted of a short pink 
dress and sandals. Leaping forward, she promptly glomped onto 
her husband and gave him a passionate kiss.
     "Wode Airen! Shampoo have news for you!"
     Ranma Red smiled as he said, "Great-grandmother told you 
where the Mystic Sword is?"
     Shampoo nodded as she whispered into his ear. Ranma Red 
nodded as he took in the information. He then kissed his wife again.
     The newlyweds decided afterwards that they all needed some 
time alone. The two couples left the scene as the great celebration 
Some time later…
     Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane were delighted at the entertaining 
displays before them as they sat at the banquet tables. Fireworks lit 
the night sky in bright colors and sparks. In the center of the ring, a 
huge bonfire was lit as sides of pork and beef were roasted over 
the flames. Many Amazons displayed their agility and skills in 
acrobatic demonstrations. Some of the tribe members put on some 
circus acts, juggling flaming torches and sharp knives as easily as if 
they were toys. There were displays of martial arts on the 
Challenge Log after Ukyo had completed her initiation into the 
tribe. Akane had wanted to join in on the impromptu tournament, 
eager to show off her improved fighting skills, which the twins had 
instructed her in.
     Akane's sisters had begun to get nervous at her desire to fight 
the warrior women, fearing that she would again receive the Kiss 
of Death, should she defeat one of them. Cologne however had 
come to the rescue.
Some time ago…
     "They're good." Nabiki remarked as she watched two Amazons 
battle it out on the Challenge Log.
     "I guess they are." Akane admitted. "Wonder if I could get into 
this demonstration. I'd like to see how much I've improved, since 
the twins started to train me."
     "I'm not so sure that's a good idea." Nabiki said slowly.
     "Why? I mean, I've gotten a lot better since then."
     "Nabiki may have a point." Kasumi said as she walked up to 
the two. "We don't want…"
     "Want what?" Akane asked.
     "I think they are referring to that law about the Kiss of Death." 
Cologne said as she also approached the Challenge Log. Both 
sisters nodded as Akane started to get annoyed. The elder noted 
this and said, "Do not worry. Since Nodoka has adopted you, you 
are technically part of son-in-law's family. That makes you related 
to the tribe. However, I would advise that you do not try your 
skills against these girls. They have a far greater skill and power 
level than you do, Akane."
     "I've gotten better!" Akane protested.
     "True, son-in-law has informed me that he and his brother had 
been training you, but you are still below level of these girls. Mind 
you, I can sense that you have gained enough experience and 
potential for me to start instructing you."
     "W-what?" Akane stammered. She couldn't believe what she 
was hearing. "Y-you want to teach me?"
     Cologne nodded. "The twins will have their hands full when the 
Contract Renewal begins. Ranma Red had asked me to continue 
your training. I think that with the proper guidance, you'd make a 
fine Amazon."
     "Y-you mean it? You'll teach me how to be as good as a fighter 
as the twins?"
     "Well, I'm afraid that their skill level far exceeds my own. 
There's nothing that I could teach them that would compare to 
what they've already learned. However, the twins want you to 
achieve your full potential and they wish for me to teach you. I 
have always liked your spirit and you do certainly need the training. 
So how about it?"
     Akane thought back to all the times that Cologne had schemed 
to get Ranma. In many cases, she had seen Akane as an obstacle. 
However, she seemed sincere about what she was offering now. 
Akane then thought back to all the times she had trained Ranma 
and how much better he had become. She then smiled at the 
thought of finally being able to show Ukyo and Shampoo that she 
was a force to be reckoned with, despite the fact that they were 
now married to both Ranmas. Looking down at the diminutive 
Amazon, she nodded and said, "I can't wait to get started!"
The present time…
     Akane and her sisters continued celebrating with the other 
villagers. The feasting, the background music and the other 
displays were very entertaining, and helped keep the three of them 
occupied. Their minds were kept off the fact that their father, Soun 
Tendo, was also in the village. As of now, he was a having a 
conversation with Nodoka as he sat and ate at the table. 
     When the former friend of Genma Saotome had arrived, the 
girls had been put in shock. How had their father found them? 
Where had he been for the past week? What was he going to say 
now that their names had changed from Tendo to Masaki? What 
were they going to say?
     After the ceremony, Soun had greeted his daughters with a 
four-way hug and said that he loved them. The three sisters could 
not help, but cry their eyes out as they returned the embrace. 
Many words were said between them in a jumble, as they poured 
out their feelings toward their father and he to them. When the 
waterworks finally stopped, he broke away and told them that he 
needed to speak with Nodoka on matters of the utmost importance. 
The three sisters were confused and a bit more than nervous at this 
announcement. They were told that they should enjoy themselves 
and that they would speak in the morning.
     As of now, they had been sparing quick glances to where Soun 
had been conversing with their adopted mother for the past two 
hours. Every time one of the former Tendo daughters would come 
near them, Nodoka or Soun would simply stop talking and wait for 
her to leave. The three soon found out that whatever they were 
saying to each other would not be revealed to them until the 
following morning. 
     Near a small waterfall, on the outskirts of the village 
boundaries, Ranma Blue and his new bride sat on a cliff ledge that 
overlooked the village. They were closely holding each other as 
they gazed up at the stars.
     "It's so beautiful out tonight, Ran-chan."
     "It sure is." Ranma Blue agreed as he pulled Ukyo closer. He 
inhaled deeply, and then let off a sigh. His expression turned from 
a serene look to one of a serious nature as he lowered his gaze and 
looked off in another direction. His line of vision soon came across 
a small valley that was enveloped in the dark shadows of the 
mountains that surrounded it. 
     Ukyo noticed that her new husband had become quiet. "Ran-
chan? What's wrong? What are you looking at?"
     Ranma Blue raised an arm and pointed off in the direction of 
the valley. "In that direction is Jusenkyo, where it all started a year 
ago. I got knocked into the Spring of Drowned Girl and Ryoga 
got… knocked into the…"
     "Spring of Drowned Pig." Ukyo finished. She then became 
saddened as she remembered Ryoga and Mousse's tragic ends, 
three days ago. "You're still thinking about them aren't you?"
     "It was my fault that Ryoga got cursed in the first place! It was 
also because of my Sunfire Beam that Mousse and Ryoga were 
trapped as monsters! A day doesn't go by that I don't think about 
how I could have prevented that from happening. I am responsible 
for that…"
     "Ran-chan, if you don't stop talking like that, then you're 
sleeping on the couch tonight."
     "Huh?" Ranma Blue said in surprise as he turned to face his 
     "Ran-chan, what happened to Mousse and Ryoga was sad, but 
I don't want you to beat your head over it for the rest of your life! 
Especially now!"
     "But Ucchan…"
     "No Ran-chan! The way I see it, you did what you thought 
would solve your problems with Ryoga, just as Ranma Red tried to 
settle things with Mousse. You challenged Ryoga to a duel, and so 
did your brother with Mousse. You both won. It wasn't your fault 
that those two would be sore losers and wouldn't uphold the terms 
of the duels. When they attacked, you and your brother tried not to 
hurt them, but they had no problems with hurting you. They were 
about to kill the both of you and you did what you had to do to 
defend yourselves."
     "But they were being controlled by those demons!" Ranma 
Blue said.
     "That may be right, but they had made the decision to accept 
the Demon Mark. They had decided to commit suicide. They just 
couldn't let go of what had happened. We all make our own 
decisions Ranma, and we must deal with the consequences of our 
actions. The fact that you haven't forgotten about them, shows that 
you do care and honor their memory. No one could ask any more 
from anyone."
     Ranma Blue looked intensely at his wife. After a long moment, 
he gave her a small smile and said, "Ucchan, I could always count 
on you to say the right thing."
     "Hey, what are wives for?" Ukyo said as she drew ever closer.
     "Well…" Ranma Blue said with a mischievous grin. "How about 
this?" He leaned forward and kissed her full on the lips. Ukyo 
deepened the kiss as her tongue met with his. After a long while, they 
simply enjoyed each other's lips. Then Ukyo took the initiative.
     Reaching forward she placed her right palm on Ranma Blue's 
chest and then pulled up the shirt out of the waistband of his pants. 
Before he had a chance to say anything, Ukyo began undoing the 
tie that held his pants. Before she untied the knot, he placed a hand 
over hers and stopped her. Gazing into her eyes, Ranma Blue saw 
the passion and need in her green depths.
     Ukyo was silent for a long while, then she nodded as she said, 
"I thought I could wait, but…"
     Ranma Blue nodded as he asked, "Are you… sure?"
     Ukyo kissed him again in reply as she continued undoing his 
pants. Ranma Blue was overwhelmed by her desire and was soon 
aiding her in removing her clothes.
     "WO AI NI!!!"
     In a secluded little cave that was behind the waterfall, Shampoo 
cried out as her third orgasm ripped through her body. She 
collapsed atop her husband's muscled chest and held him tightly. 
She never wanted to let go.
     Ranma Red moaned as he spilled his seed into her. Shampoo 
had wasted no time in getting their marriage off to a good start. No 
sooner had she led him into this secret place, then she literally 
jumped him and had him on his back. They were both divested of 
clothes in an instant and Ranma could do nothing but the ride the 
wave of passion that was his wife.
     Now, after a full hour of nonstop pleasure, she was breathing 
heavily as she lay across her mate with her head snuggled under his 
chin. She sighed as she lazily traced one of Ranma Red's pectorals 
with an index finger. Her husband's training with Soren and his 
brother had caused him to gain more muscle mass, and his body 
had become sharply defined. There was not an ounce of fat on 
     Ranma Red's breathing had slowed down during this respite as 
his arms embraced his passionate Amazon. He absently began 
stroking her long purple hair as he stared at the ceiling of the cave. 
Although the scent of their lovemaking still lingered in the air, his 
thoughts were a million miles away.
     The magic-using Masaki looked down at his bride and gave her 
a small smile. "Sorry darling, I was just thinking about something…"
     "What you thinking about?"
     "About…" Ranma Red began.
     "About Mousse and Ryoga, yes?" Shampoo said, her 
expression becoming serious.
     Her husband was about to deny it, but then sighed. "I guess 
there's no point in hiding it. Yeah, I've been thinking about them. 
How did you guess?"
     "Great-grandmother told Shampoo about meeting with Aloe, 
Mousse's mother."
     The student of Soren nodded as he sighed. "I'm sorry to be 
such a wet blanket, especially today of all days."
     "Is okay Airen. Want to talk about it?" Shampoo sat up and 
faced her husband who also sat up.
     "Man, I thought I had this all behind me." Ranma Red began. "I 
managed to talk to you about Mousse's death not being your fault, 
but I can't seem to convince myself of the same thing! After 
meeting with Aloe, I.…"
     "Shhhh. Shampoo understand." The Amazon placed a finger on 
his lips. "Shampoo saw how sad Airen looked before wedding. 
Great-grandmother told Shampoo what happened. Shampoo 
thought that making love to Airen help him forget pain. It no 
work." Shampoo blushed a little at this confession, and also 
became saddened.
     Ranma Red noted his wife's downcast expression and then 
placed a finger under her chin. He gently lifted her head and gazed 
into her eyes, which was misted with tears. He gave her a small 
smile, then proceeded to kiss her tears away. At the same time he 
pushed her onto her back.
     "Airen… no have to do this if no feel like it."
     "But I do feel like it." Ranma assured as he began kissing her 
neck. "I appreciate your efforts to cheer me up. This is something 
that I have to deal with on my own, but I am glad that you're here 
with me."
     "Shampoo will always be with you. Wo ai ni."
     "I love you Shampoo."
     The two were soon merged and letting the mating ritual take 
     The morning sun cast a bright glow over the village as morning 
came. However, due to the activities of the previous night, nearly 
three-quarters of the Amazons were still asleep. There were a few 
     Akane was up bright and early as she went through a few katas 
as Cologne watched her. Every now and then, she would correct 
Akane's stance and inform her of some improvements that were to 
be made. Akane would nod each time the aged matriarch gave her 
     In the guest house, Nodoka and Akane's sisters were still sound 
asleep, but Soun was already awake and was watching his 
youngest daughter train under Cologne's tutelage. He gave a long 
and wistful sigh as his memories of happier days came to mind. He 
could recall a ten-year old Akane following his movements as she 
learned how to use the Anything Goes Martial Arts. He could see 
his dear departed wife Kimiko standing at the doorway to the dojo, 
smiling as she watched her family. 
     Soun's expression then saddened as he remembered the pain of 
losing Akane's mother to cancer, and how his girls had retreated 
into their own private worlds. Kasumi had replaced their mother as 
the family caretaker. Nabiki had become the breadwinner and 
Akane did not just train in the Art, she had become the Art. And 
was he all this time? He had isolated himself from the outside 
world and without even realizing it, he had also isolated himself 
from his family.
     It was the vow to unite the schools of the Anything Goes 
Martial Arts that had kept him going for the past six years since 
Kimiko's death. <A foolish dream!> Soun thought. <I should have 
been more involved with my family than trying to force something 
like that on them! They were right. I was… obsessive about it. I 
was so intent on joining the schools that I never even saw the 
troubles the engagement caused. It was so obvious. Why didn't I 
see it? I was able to see the troubles about as well as Akane could 
see that Ryoga was P-chan! My shortsightedness had caused 
everyone so much pain! Well no more! From what Nodoka has 
told me, my girls have a chance for a better life. Far be it from me 
to stop something like that.>
     With that thought in mind, Soun made a decision, just as his 
other two daughters began to stir from their beds.
     In another house, Shampoo Masaki awoke to find Ranma Red 
was gone. During the night, they had eventually returned to the 
village and had retired to the house where Shampoo had grown up 
in, since her mother had died. That is, they had retired after 
another five hours of intense lovemaking. Her husband had used 
his spell of silence to keep the sounds of passion from being heard 
from beyond the walls. When they had finished, Shampoo fell into 
a deep sleep, totally spent from their late-night activities.
     Shampoo looked around for her absent mate and soon found a 
small note on the kitchen table. She smiled as she read the Chinese 
        Gone to the cave to get the Mystic Sword. Be back soon       
        as I can. Love you.
        Ranma Red
     In another guesthouse, Ukyo Masaki also awoke to find her 
husband missing. She sat up from her bed and saw the note on a 
nearby dresser drawer. She walked over to it and read it.
        Gone to Jusenkyo to get the Elemental Hammer. Be back 
        as soon as I can. Love you.
        Ranma Blue
     Ukyo smiled as she held the note close to her chest. She then 
went to prepare for the day.
     Somewhere in the Bayankala mountain range, Ranma Red flew 
upwards, searching for the place where the weapon of power was 
hidden. There were thousands of caves that littered the landscape. 
One could spend his whole life searching, and would not even 
come close to exploring half of the caves. However, Ranma Red 
Masaki knew what he was looking for and where it was located.
     As he came toward the center of the mountains, he noticed a 
solid rock wall that was in the shadow of one of the mountains. His 
enhanced senses were scanning the area, trying to detect even the 
slightest emanation of magic, which would indicate the sword's 
position. A minute later, his expression brightened as he felt a 
strong source of mystical energy calling to him. It was coming from 
the bare rock wall.
     In the valley of Jusenkyo, the Guide yawned as he made his 
daily rounds among the cursed pools. He looked up to see the sun 
make its usual climb from the horizon and then blinked. His 
expression turned to shock as he saw a familiar figure float down 
toward him. His eyes became the size of saucers as he recognized 
the individual.
     "Oh sir! I know you! You fall in Spring of Drowned Girl a year 
ago! How you fly in air like that?"
     "Hello again!" Ranma Blue greeted as he landed beside the 
Guide. "Yes, it's me, but I'm not cursed anymore. That flying 
power is a new… technique I learned."
     "Oh sir! You find cure?"
     "Yes I did. But that's not the reason why I'm here."
     "Tell me… where is the Naniichuan?"
In the Bayankala Mountains…
     Ranma Red landed in front of the rock wall and ran a hand 
across it. It seemed solid enough, but with his knowledge of magic, 
he knew that things were not always what they appeared to be. He 
then focused his senses toward the wall. Sure enough, he could 
detect something beyond the wall. He backed away from the wall 
and began focusing his power. If there were not an opening to be 
found, then he would make one.
     Ranma Red stopped focusing his ki when he reconsidered his 
actions. A blast of chi energy would have absolutely zero effect on 
anything magical. Whatever was protecting the sword was magical 
in nature and his usual chi attack would do nothing, but cause an 
avalanche. With his increased ki ability, Ranma Red's normal chi 
attack would have the same effect as a perfect Shi Shi Hokodan. 
He didn't want to go devastating the landscape if he didn't have to. 
This required some thought.
     In the village, Soun Tendo had gathered with Nodoka and his 
daughters in the guesthouse. The time had come. They all sat 
around the dining table. Akane and her sisters wore extremely 
nervous expressions as they waited for Nodoka or Soun to speak. 
Finally, after a long stretch of silence, Soun cleared his voice.
     "Girls, I have an announcement to make."
     "Oh so sorry sir! No can tell you where Naniichuan is. Guides 
of Jusenkyo take oath never to tell anyone which spring is which. 
That is, until unlucky customer fall into it. Not know why you 
want it now. You cured!"
     "I see. So I have to guess which one it is?" Ranma Blue said 
with disappointment.
     "That way it is." The Guide replied.
     Ranma Blue sighed as he looked over the many pools. He 
began thinking back to that day when he and his father Genma first 
arrived at Jusenkyo. Thanks to Taron's meditation techniques, the 
elemental Masaki saw the image in his mind with crystal clarity. He 
then looked over to one of the pools and pointed. "That was the 
one I kicked my father into, so that has to be Shon Mon niichuan, 
     "Yes sir." The guide answered.
     Ranma Blue's eyes then looked over and pointed to a pool that 
was directly left to the first pool. "I fell into that one, so that has to 
be the Nyaniichuan. Correct?"
     "That right."
     The Masaki twin then focused his concentration harder, trying 
to recall every detail. He saw himself chasing after his father after 
receiving his curse. He had felt something strike his outstretched 
knee, but had paid no mind to it at the time. Looking up, he saw a 
cliff that was overhanging above a section of pools. <That must 
have been where I knocked Ryoga into the Spring of Drowned 
Pig.> He then pointed to a pool that seemed to be closest to where 
Ryoga would have fallen from the angle of the ledge, and the 
trajectory he would have taken. "Would that one be the 
Heitoniichuan? The one that turned a guy into a pig?"
     "Yes sir! Very good guess! Almost made very bad mistake that 
day. Almost make boy into sweet and sour pork!"
     Ranma Blue became a bit green at the thought, then tried to 
remember more about the springs. He then thought about Mousse's 
story and how he fell into the Spring of Drowned Duck on the very 
first step. Looking toward the valley, he noticed another pathway, 
which was in the direction of the Amazon village. Assuming that 
the path was the one that Mousse would have taken after returning 
from his first defeat, Ranma Blue then asked the guide. "That 
spring that's nearest to that path over there." He pointed at the 
pool. "That's the Yazniichan, right?"
     "Very good guess! Yes, that is Spring of Drowned Duck! Still 
no can believe last person to fall in that one! Took one step 
forward and fell in!"
     Ranma Blue nodded. <Well, I've eliminated four springs, but 
without any more clues, I can't logically locate the one I'm looking 
for! All the magic and elemental power emanating from the pools is 
hiding the hammer's presence.>
Bayankala Mountains… 
     Ranma Red's expression became brighter as he figured that the 
best way to enter the cave was to simply walk through the wall. 
Taking a deep breath and clearing his mind of any doubt, he closed 
his eyes and took a step forward, then another and then another. 
After taking several more steps, he decided to open his eyes.
     He found himself inside a huge cavern that had a series of 
burned-out torches mounted on the sides of the wall. Waving his 
hands he sent out a small flame, which danced and floated above 
each torch, illuminating it. When the entire cavern was lit up, 
Ranma Red looked back to where he had been. Sure enough there 
was an entrance and he could clearly see the outside.
     The brother of Ranma Blue smiled. He had guessed right. The 
illusion that had made the entrance seem to be a solid wall, had not 
only fooled his eyes, but his other senses as well. Somehow, the 
spell had made his sense of touch believe that it was touching rock, 
rather than open air, causing doubt. It was also a kind of force field 
that pushed back, whenever he pushed forward. It made sense that 
the spell would keep out any hostile intruders and repel any force 
used against it. However, if the intruder were someone, who had 
no doubts and had entered with the knowledge of such a spell, then 
the person would be seen as one of the Chosen Twins. Simple 
     Ranma Red noticed that the pathway of torches led toward a 
tunnel and began following the lights.
     Ranma Blue was getting frustrated. He did not know where to 
begin. He had walked over to the place where he had been cursed, 
hoping to sense anything that could be connected with the Spring 
of Drowned Man. However, this proved to be futile. The springs 
were emanating too much energy at once and their signals were 
intermeshed. There was just too much 'static' to sort through. 
Looking back over the guide, he decided to try a different approach.
     "Tell me about the legend of the Spring of Drowned Man."
     The Guide looked at him for a moment, then shrugged. "Very 
tragic legend of young man who drown here 2600 year ago. Now 
whoever fall in spring take body of young man."
     <Okay… now I know how old it is.> He started scanning each 
pool, mentally ticking off his list when the pool's energy emanations 
were gauged as too young or too old. By the time he was finished 
half the pools had been identified as over or less than 2600 years of 
age. However, that still left more than fifty pools that were still 
The Cavern…
     Back at the cave, Ranma Red had run into a little difficulty. 
Specifically, he had run into a ghost. The specter had almost 
caught him off guard, but he had managed to get a defensive shield 
up. Now the ghost was pounding at his shield with mystical blasts 
of energy. After a minute, Ranma Red prepared to counterattack. 
It was then that he noticed dust and small pieces of rock dropping 
from the ceiling. Looking up, he saw that the stalactites were 
quivering and some were starting to fall apart.
     <Uh oh! Not good! Those stalactites are already starting to 
weaken from all those energy blasts! If I try to fight back, I might 
cause the whole place to cave in. There has to be another way out 
of this!>
     Ranma Red looked at his opponent. The wraith was streaking 
around the area like a dancing shadow. He was unable to get a 
good look at what he was battling. All he could discern was that it 
was humanoid and looked female, from its curves. It had long 
silver hair and moved with grace as it made several passes at him 
and fired blue bolts of light at him. It made no sounds, other than a 
whooshing sound as it darted about.
     <Shampoo never told me about this! Wait a minute! Could it 
be?> Ranma Red decided to gamble. Putting down his shield he 
took a neutral stance and waited.
     The ghost immediately began to dive at him when the shield 
disappeared. As it glowed and was about to fire off another blast, 
Ranma Red shouted out, his voice echoing in the vastness of the 
     Suddenly, the ghost stopped its attack and hovered in midair, as 
if confused. It then floated upright toward Ranma Red and landed 
in front of him. It gave off a soft white glow and the magic-using 
martial artist got a good look at his attacker. His eyes widened as 
he saw the resemblance. She had her eyes and the same thoughtful 
look that the aged matriarch had whenever she was contemplating. 
Her height was the same as Ranma Red's and he gauged her age to 
be about around ninety or so when she had died. He then reached 
out with his senses and smiled. The ghost emanated an aura, which 
was very similar to the present-day Cologne's. Definitely related.
     <"Who are you? How do you know my name?"> The ghost 
asked in a soft tone.
     <"I am Ranma Red Masaki. I know of you, because your 
descendant is the great-grandmother of my wife, Shampoo, also 
one of your descendants.">
     <"I see. Why are you here?">
     <"I have come to retrieve the weapon that was once held in 
your hands during the Ninth Contract Renewal with the Dark 
World. Soren had told me that he had given it to you.">
     <"You know of Soren?">
     <"He is my teacher, and yours I believe.">
     <"Then you are one of the Chosen Twins?">
     <"I am.">
     <"Then you must forgive my attacks on you. It was my duty 
that I guard the Light Star Blade until the time of the Final Contract 
Renewal. As I see the auras of my descendants about you, I know 
that you telling me the truth. With your arrival, I can at last rest 
with my ancestors. Go now.">
     The wraith Cologne gestured to a wall, which then faded away, 
revealing another passageway. Before Ranma Red had a chance to 
thank the spirit, it disappeared into the shadows. With a final look 
at where the ancestor of Shampoo and Cologne had been, he 
pressed onward. 
     As Ranma Blue had been zeroing in on the right pool by 
process of elimination, he had begun to glow with a soft blue aura. 
His senses were being pushed to the limits as he began walking in 
the general direction of the Naniichuan. He then smacked himself 
on the forehead as he realized something. <You dope! The Spring 
of Drowned Man is a human curse!> So that eliminates all animal 
curses! Refining his senses so that he would only detect pools that 
had people drown in them, he systematically crossed off thirty 
more pools. He smiled as he also began to feel the emanations of 
something else.
The Cavern…
     Ranma Red wiped his brow. He had been feeling increased 
amounts of heat as the tunnel steadily sloped downward. Pausing 
for a moment he held his hands up as if praying.
     Instantly, Ranma Red's body was surrounded by eerie mists, 
which swirled briefly around him. Immediately, his body 
temperature and the surrounding air around him cooled down to 
comfortable levels. He then continued onward. Within another five 
minutes, he entered a large cavern that was the size of a football 
field. He increased the glow of his aura to dispel the shadows. That 
was when he saw it.
     A huge monolith of black onyx rock was situated in the center 
of the space. Atop the fifty-foot stone was a large pedestal of pure 
quartz. The pedestal had something sticking out of it, which glinted 
in the dim light. Ranma Red could feel the immense magical power 
that was coming from the object. Powering up his flight abilities, 
Ranma Red floated up toward the boulder, landing lightly on top of 
the monolith. With wide eyes, Ranma Red stared at the object that 
was partially embedded in the quartz.
     The object looked like the hilt of a medieval, two-handled 
sword. The handgrip was about eight inches in length and had a 
circular pommel at its end. The crossbars were richly engraved and 
each arced from the midline of the blade into graceful curves. The 
blade itself was about halfway imbedded into the quartz and was 
about as long as the handgrip. It was shaped like a narrow triangle 
and had a double-edge to it.
     <Is this it? Pretty short blade for a sword. Looks more like a 
big dagger than a sword. Oh well…> Ranma Red closed his eyes 
and focused his senses on the blade. The sword seemed to beckon 
to him. He began hearing faint voices and he felt urged toward it. 
Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes, he reached out and 
grabbed hold of the hilt.
     Instantly, he felt his body flare with power as his ki energies 
literally flooded the cavern. With a firm pull, he wrenched the 
sword free of its quartz prison. The Light Star Blade glowed with 
an intense white light, which further dispelled the shadows. Ranma 
Red opened his eyes and saw that the blade suddenly began to 
glow with a blue-white light. Suddenly, the blade let off a bright 
flare and shot forth a beam of light. The light then tapered off into 
a point and narrowed down to a width of about two and a half 
inches. In an instant, the light had formed a double-edged energy 
blade that was two and a half feet in length. Its blue-white energy 
pulsated and shimmered like a living thing.
     Ranma Red stared in awe at what he held in his hands. The 
Light Star Blade reminded him of that foreign movie he once saw. 
<What was the name of that movie again? Oh yeah! Star Wars!> 
He then began to hear those same voices as before. Urging him. 
With unconscious grace and skill, the magical twin began swinging 
the sword in graceful arcs and cuts. The blade emitted a quiet hum, 
which changed its pitch, each time it was moved in a different 
direction. He moved the blade in gentle intricate motions that 
would have taken a master swordsman years to perfect. 
     He began to swing the sword faster, marveling at its balance. 
The energy blade felt as if was made of metal, but it did not have 
the clumsy weight of a broadsword. Instead, Ranma Red felt as if 
he was wielding a katana. He then suddenly stopped as he thought 
of something. <Wait a minute! I've never handled a sword in my 
life! But when I hold this sword, I know how to use it as if it was 
instinctive. Heck, I'm handling this sword better than Kuno could 
ever hope to do! And these voices in my head.> They seem to be 
telling me things. Giving me information. Ranma Red closed his 
eyes and began reaching out with his senses, focusing on the 
source of the voices. The Light Star Blade. 
     All of a sudden, a flood of images began pouring into his mind. 
The deluge of information was staggering and he almost passed out 
from the sensory overload. However, he gritted his teeth and took 
it all. After a full minute of mentally swimming through the tidal 
wave of information, the voices became silent. It was then, that the 
magical half of the Chosen Twins opened his eyes and smiled. He 
then looked at his weapon and gave it a silent mental command.
     The energy blade silently faded away to nothingness as he 
released his grip on the sword. However, the mystic weapon did 
not clatter to the floor of the cavern. Instead it hung in midair, then 
flew toward his right hip. It then stopped and turned its blade 
downward and pressed itself against his body. It then flared with a 
bright white light and when it faded, Ranma Red noted that the 
sword now rested in a small blue scabbard that was attached to a 
leather belt across his waist.
     Ranma Red stood as he replayed everything that had just been 
implanted into his mind. The secrets of long-forgotten spells were 
now available to him. New chi techniques and battle skills were his 
to command. He now knew martial arts that were so powerful, 
they made the Anything Goes Style and Amazonian Kung Fu seem 
like child's play. His previous abilities had also made a huge jump 
in power levels. He could feel his body almost exploding with 
energy. <What the hell happened?> He thought for a moment, then 
realized what had just occurred.
     The experiences of the past champions of Earth must have 
transferred to him. Everything that they had learned in the past ten 
millennia, was now his. All the knowledge, all their powers and 
their memories were now a part of him. He also understood that 
the sword was some kind of magical key, which granted him 
access to spells that were not only created on Earth, but on other 
worlds as well. Ranma Red had achieved a level that was near 
     At this time, Ranma was so enthralled at what he had become, 
that he didn't notice a huge shadow that moved toward the 
entrance to the cavern. A moment later, a thunderous roar was 
heard. The ground began to tremble as huge footsteps echoed, 
signaling the approach of something big. Ranma Red turned around 
and his eyes widened as he saw what just entered. <So that's 
where all that heat was coming from!>
     The dragon was huge! Its length measured more than 250 feet 
from the tip of its snout to its tail. Its green scaly body took up 
more than half the space in the cave. It had large bat wings folded 
across its back. Its huge, green eyes narrowed as it caught sight of 
the Masaki brother. Apparently, the cavern was its den and it did 
not take kindly to intruders. Drawing back its head, in began to 
deeply inhale.
     Ranma Red was pretty certain he knew what was going to 
happen and prepared to teleport out of the cavern. However, 
before he was able to invoke his spell, the dragon let loose a huge 
gout of flame from his mouth. The magic user had no choice, but 
to use a defensive spell.
     The magical mirror sprang forth and began absorbing the mystic 
flame. However, it was like trying to stop a raging river with a 
small piece of sheet metal. The reflector buckled under the strain 
of the incendiary blast and shattered into fragments, which then 
faded away. Luckily, it had deflected enough of the fire to keep 
Ranma Red from being roasted into a cinder. He tried again to 
invoke his teleport spell, but was caught off guard when the dragon 
suddenly flapped his wings at him. The hurricane winds caused by 
the sudden motion swept him up, slamming him against a cavern 
wall. Ranma Red moaned in pain as the dragon began to advance 
on him. The hit had greatly injured him. It was like being hit by a 
bullet train that was going at 100mph. His back howled in pain and 
he dropped down t o the ground.
     Forcing himself painfully back on his feet, Ranma Red knew 
that even if he were to escape from the cavern, this monster would 
still be after him. He had to stop this dragon cold, and that required 
something special. Reaching into his newfound knowledge, he 
searched for the right way to stop his attacker. A second later, he 
took a stance and began his spell, just as the dragon was preparing 
to let loose another fiery blast.
     Ranma formed a small ball of orange energy in front of him 
with his hands cupped. He chanted the first part of the spell. 
     The dragon's eyes took on an evil gleam as it opened its mouth.
ball began to glow more intensely as it doubled in size.
     Air was sucked into the dragon's maw as smoke rose from its 
YOUR POWER GROWS!" He raised his hands a little, letting the 
energy begin to swirl.
     The dragon's mouth opened wider and one could see the fire 
build up down its throat.
STAND…" Ranma Red began pulling his hands back.
     The dragon's eyes began to glow as it sucked the last of its 
UNWORTHY HANDS!" Ranma Red couldn't hold it in any 
     The dragon then exhaled, letting loose enough firepower to burn 
down all the forests in Japan.
     Ranma Red thrust out his hands and released the spell. 
     The orange ball of light shot forward as a beam of light, which 
impacted with the stream of flame. For a moment, the two 
opposing forces looked like they were going to cancel each other 
out. Then the flames were pushed back as the energy beam blasted 
forward and struck the dragon in the head. Then the entire 
mountain was engulfed in a huge explosion. 
     Ranma Blue smiled as he stood at the edge of a pool. After 
focusing on just human-cursed pools, he had also sensed the 
presence of the Elemental Hammer. Now he had found it. After 
confirming the identity of the pool from the Guide, he gazed at the 
cursed spring with a whimsical smile.
     <Kind of ironic. I spent almost a year searching for this spring 
to cure my curse. After Taron and Soren cured me, I thought that 
I'd never need to come back to Jusenkyo. Now here I am again. 
Now… how to get it out. I suppose I could just jump into the 
spring and just get it, but I don't think I want to get my clothes wet. 
     Ranma Blue continued to gaze at the spring while considering 
the best way to tackle the problem. He began reaching out with his 
senses. Sure enough, he could feel high amounts of elemental 
power emanating from the bottom of the pool. Its location was 
determined to be at the pool's center and was buried beneath at 
least three feet of mud. He was then inspired to try something new.
     Kneeling down at the edge of the pool, he placed his palms on 
the ground and began focusing his power into the earth. Pinpricks 
of energy began to emerge around him. They floated about him, 
then descended into the ground. Ranma Blue glowed with an eerie 
white light as he continued to feed his ki into the spring before him. 
With each passing minute, his aura continued to grow in strength 
and brightness. 
     Suddenly, the waters of the Naniichuan began to glow and 
swirl. The Guide looked on with fascination as the waters began 
steaming. Then the Masaki twin did what only Moses was able to 
do. The waters of the Spring of Drowned Man parted and revealed 
dry earth. 
     Ranma Blue smiled as he then used his powers on the newly 
revealed ground. The surface began to tremble and crack. 
Suddenly, an object burst free and shot upward from the ground. 
The elemental twin looked up and released his hold on the spring. 
The waters simply poured themselves back into the depression and 
all was silent. He then slowly stood up and looked at the object 
hovering above the spring.
     The Elemental Hammer had a square head like a 
sledgehammer's and seemed to be made of gold. The head glinted 
in the sunlight and looked very heavy. The handle was about two 
feet in length and seemed to be made of metal. The end of the 
handle terminated in a leather thong. Ranma Blue stared in awe at 
the raw power that emanated from the weapon. He then reached 
out with his hand and grasped the handle.
     Instantly, clouds began to form above the valley of Jusenkyo. 
The Guide hurried into his hut, expecting rain. Ranma Blue 
however did not move. Like his brother, he too had been receiving 
voices in his head, as soon as he touched the hammer. His body 
froze up as thousands upon thousands of images began washing 
over his consciousness, threatening to drive him insane. After a 
moment, the images stopped and Ranma Blue collapsed to his 
knees. His head was bowed low as he tried to make sense of what 
had just occurred. He then felt his body begin to feel more power 
coursing it than ever before. His senses were alive as they took in 
every aspect of his surroundings. He felt stronger and more alive 
than he had ever felt before! Then he noticed an eerie light 
suddenly appear over the spring. Looking up, his eyes widened as 
he saw… her.
     She was floating perhaps a meter above the springs and looked 
identical to the wraith that attacked Ranma Red. Except she was 
glowing red instead of blue. She smiled down at the other half of 
the Chosen Twins then faded from view, her centuries-long watch 
at an end. 
     <Was that… Shampoo? The first one?> Ranma Blue thought 
as he looked down at the hammer. He then noticed something 
appearing on the face of the head. Looking closer he noticed that it 
was some kind of ancient language that he was not familiar with. 
However, the longer he stared at it, the more he began to 
understand it. He began reading it out loud.
     <You who hold the mighty Storm Striker have been deemed 
     As soon as he read the words, he smiled as he thought back to 
all those confusing images that he had received before. It all made 
sense now. Like his brother, Ranma Blue's abilities had been raised 
to the Nth power. He had gained all the knowledge and experiences 
of the previous champions. With a look of satisfaction and 
confident that he could face the Dark World, he turned to leave the 
Training Grounds of Cursed Springs for the final time. Out of a 
feeling of nostalgia and respect, he decided to visit the Springs of 
Drowned Pig and Duck. However, when he got to the edge of the 
Heitoniichuan, he stopped suddenly. His new enhanced senses had 
detected something within the pool. He crouched down and stared 
at the waters. Then his eyes snapped wide as he realized what he 
was sensing.
     "No way! It… can't be!" Ranma Blue double-checked his 
findings, then looked over to the Spring of Drowned Duck. He 
focused his senses on that pool and his expression became pale. <I 
don't believe it, but if what my senses are telling me are true, 
     Ranma Blue's train of thought was broken when he heard what 
sounded like a volcano erupting. Turning around, he looked toward 
a nearby mountain range and, saw one of the peaks suddenly 
become enveloped in a blast that looked like a nuclear bomb had 
been dropped on it. 
     Ranma Blue wasted no time. Silently making a note to return to 
Jusenkyo, he decided to use Storm Striker to get him to the site 
quickly instead of using his flight powers. He then leaned back and 
held the heavy hammer in his right hand. Dropping the hammer 
until he was holding it by the thong, he began spinning it around in 
a circle. Storm Striker began to pick up speed as it whirled about, 
making a high pitched noise. Then Ranma Blue threw it forward in 
the direction of the exploding mountain. However, he did not let go 
of the thong. Instead, the forward momentum pulled him upward 
and the Masaki brother was launched skyward.
To be continued…
Author's Notes
     Well, Chapter 27 is done! What did Ranma Blue discover in 
those pools? What did Soun Tendo decide? Is Ranma Red okay? 
Give me comments and stay tuned for Chapter 28!