Dual Destinies
All usual disclaimers are still in effect. Dual Destinies is my story, 
and all the characters in it are either made up or belong to their 
<>: Thoughts 
                                  Chapter 31
                                 Loose Ends
     "And so it begins again. For ten millennia, we have attempted to 
bring chaos and destruction to this reality and all other dimensions 
as well. But the Chosen Twins have always thwarted our efforts! 
Now is our final chance to win! We need only have a single victory 
against them to win the Contract, yet we have failed to do so for a 
hundred centuries! From what I have seen, these newest champions 
are the most powerful ever trained! They may have access to powers 
that would rival even my own!" 
     Makana was a little more than edgy as she and her sister Katoka 
knelt in front of their master. Sharoka sat with a brooding look 
about him. To a casual observer, the ruler of the Dark World 
seemed to be human. He was tall, nearly seven feet in height. He had 
a heavily muscled frame and his skin was colored bronze. His tight-
fitting black tunic clearly defined his pectorals and upper torso. On 
each shoulder was an armored epaulet. His arms were thickly 
corded and he had large hands that looked as if they were capable of 
crushing a man's skull with no effort (and he can do that!) The rest 
of his body was just as threatening. He wore matching black 
leggings and thick leather boots with metal-shod soles. His hair was 
the darkest ebony and on his back was a flowing, blood red cape. On 
his forehead, he wore the crown, which was nothing more than a 
dull, gray circlet of metal. The crown was adorned with engraved 
fangs of some beast and miniature human skulls. His face seemed to 
have been chiseled out of granite and had a hard look about him. 
However, it was his eyes that were the most striking feature. They 
were the color of purest crimson and the pupils were slitted like a 
lizard's. Their gaze made any observer feel like a helpless bird, just 
as it was about to be eaten by a snake. 
     The demon sisters were not immune as Sharoka turned his stare 
upon them. They knew that he was not pleased with the recent 
failures. Right now, they were wishing they were with Arcodos and 
Zuruka. At least they did not have to worry about facing the master's 
     "Master!" Makana said. "We have done what you have commanded 
of us! The orb is now ready!" She gestured to the crystal sphere, 
which had grown to ten times its original size and was pulsating with 
dark energies. 
     "Yes Master! We are ready to carry out… the plan!" Katoka 
     Sharoka gazed at the two sisters with a malevalent grin. The smile 
displayed a horrifying set of fangs. "You have done well! Far better 
than the fools you have replaced! Little do the Chosen Twins know 
that even if they win the Contract, the final victory will be 
Sharoka's!" He let loose a low chuckle, which rumbled like distant 
     "Which one of us will be the first to face the Twins?" Makana 
     Sharoka smiled as he replied, "Barada." 
     "Barada? Are you certain, Master?" Katoka inquired. 
     Sharoka chuckled again, this time much louder. 
On the Earth Realm, another person was really wishing he were 
somewhere else. 
     "But Akane…" 
     Ryoga reeled as Akane's hand left a stinging imprint on his right 
cheek. The youngest daughter of Soun Tendo glared at the newly 
restored lost boy with a look that could burn through lead. "THAT 
was for lying to me for a whole year!"
     "But you don't…"
     The Hibiki boy then had a matching red mark on his other cheek.
     "THAT was for all the times I defended you when I should have 
listened to Ranma!"
     "But Ranma…"
     Ryoga found himself flat on his back after being the recipient of 
a hard right cross to the chin.
     Ryoga was a little dazed as he tried to focus in on the angry girl. 
"But Akane… Ranma was…"
     "Don't give me any of your stupid excuses Ryoga!" Akane's voice 
was low and deadly. "I know the whole story. The way I see it, you 
have nobody but yourself to blame for your problems! Even though 
Ranma did knock you into that cursed spring, it was an accident! 
Nobody forced you to follow Ranma to China!"
     "Ranma ran out on our duel of honor!" Ryoga protested.
     "He was there for your stupid duel! He waited three whole days 
for you! Heck! A normal person would have left after one day! It 
wasn't his fault that you couldn't find that lot behind your own 
house! Go out the back door and take twenty steps! How hard could 
that be?!"
     "Shut up!" Akane paused to gather her next thoughts then said in a 
slightly less hostile tone. "You are the most pathetic person I have 
ever met! All the times that I had called Ranma a pervert, I should 
have been calling you that!"
     "Ranma is a pervert! The way he hangs around with other girls and 
cheats on you…"
     "No buts! All those times you and Ranma were fighting, I should 
have tried to find out the reason behind those fights! But no! I 
always assumed it was Ranma's fault! Every time Ranma got angry 
at P-chan, I always thought he was just picking on him! I was such a 
blockhead not to have realized the connection!"
     "But Akane! Ranma's a jerk! He doesn't deserve someone like 
     "And you think that you do?! Think again! Now all those times 
that you interfered when Ranma was fighting for my honor makes 
sense! The Rhythmic Gymnastics, the Martial Arts Figure Skating, 
The Tunnel of Lost Love! You wanted us to break up didn't you?"
     "Shut up! It was because of your blaming Ranma for all your 
troubles, which got you into this mess! All those times I felt sorry 
for you, I should have felt sorry for Ranma! All those times when 
Ranma covered for you, he shouldn't have! Ranma wanted to tell me 
about you and P-chan, but because of the promise he made to you, 
he couldn't! It was because of that vow, he had suffer! Well, now I 
know! I know everything! I thought I could count on you as a friend! 
But you are nothing but a liar! You say you love me, but if you really 
did, then you should have told me right from the start!"
     "But Akane, if you'd just listen…"
     "No you listen! The twins had to do a lot to bring you and Mousse 
back since they felt that you deserved that much! Don't make them 
regret doing it! I for one am glad that they were able to do it, but 
that's only because I felt sorry for you! That doesn't mean that I 
forgive you for what you did to me for the past year! You've got no 
one but yourself to blame for not telling me and for lying to me!"
     "She's right."
     Akane and Ryoga looked to the door as it opened and Ranma 
Blue entered the room. 
     "Ranma! This is all your fault!" Ryoga angrily started to get to his 
     Ranma Blue was very cross as he raised a hand an initiated an 
elemental attack. Suddenly, Ryoga found himself pinned to the 
ground as the gravity around where he was suddenly increased. He 
struggled for a few minutes, but eventually gave up when he realized 
that he was helpless against Ranma Blue's technique.
     "Don't even think about it." Ranma Blue said in a quiet, yet firm 
tone. "It was my idea to bring you and Mousse back, and my brother 
was very reluctant to help me. Now listen up. As of now, my brother 
and I wash our hands clean of the both of you! We are not going to 
take any further responsibility for anything that happens in the 
future to either of you! We brought you back. That's the end of it! 
It's time you two started to learn to take responsibility for what 
happens to your own lives! We are not going to take any more 
blame whenever something goes wrong! We've got more important 
things to worry about than your petty vendettas and your imagined 
slights to your honor! You made this situation by not telling Akane! 
You used your position as P-chan to cause me trouble! Now if you 
are not prepared to face the consequences of your actions, then too 
     "Curse you Ranma! I'll…"
     "Don't bother to threaten me Ryoga. Right now, there's no way 
you could ever beat me."
     "And if you do attack Ranma, I swear… I will kill you." Akane's 
voice dripped with venom.
     Ryoga's face turned white as he heard these words. He couldn't 
believe that Akane would say such a thing. "A-A-Akane? You don't 
     "Oh yes I do! I'm glad that you're back but that does not mean I 
want you anywhere near me or the twins! Get out of my sight 
Ryoga! You disgust me!" Akane then turned and left the room.
     Ranma Blue then made a slight hand gesture and then also headed 
toward the door. Before exiting, he then glanced back at the still 
frozen lost boy. "The gravity around you will return to normal in 
fifteen minutes. Afterwards, I expect you to be gone by the end of 
today. I'm also warning you. If you try to do something stupid like 
attacking me or my brother, I promise that you will regret it!"
     In another room of the Masaki house, Mousse was also given an 
ultimatum by Ranma Red and Shampoo.
     "You're married?! No! It can't be! I won't allow it! Die Ranma!" 
The near-blind martial artist charged at the magic-using twin.
     Ranma Red threw out a hand in a mystic counter.
     Mousse fell flat on his face as the magic rings of energy bound 
his arms and legs to the side of his body. The Masaki twin then 
walked up and couched down at the prone master of Hidden 
Weapons. "I was against bringing you and Ryoga back, but my 
brother convinced me that this was the right thing to do! Don't make 
me regret it! Listen up bonehead! Shampoo is my wife! I married 
her four days ago! You can ask anyone in the village! They were 
there for the ceremony. She's mine now! I love her and she loves 
     "He's right Mousse. He's my husband now."
     Mousse looked up when he heard Shampoo's voice. "Shampoo 
my love! I… hey, when did your Japanese get better?"
     "My husband helped me. I am glad that you are back, but that 
doesn't mean that I'm going to leave Ranma Red for you! It's over 
Mousse. Accept it and get on with your life."
     "Have you learned nothing from all this?! You were turned into a 
demon! You committed suicide! My husband and his brother went 
through a lot of trouble to bring you back! After all that and the fact 
that I'm married now, you are still under that stupid delusion of 
yours?! This is insane! What you're talking about isn't love, it's an 
obsession! I am not going to take this anymore! For the LAST TIME 
MOUSSE, GET LOST!" Shampoo turned in a huff and stomped out 
of the room.
     "Sh-Sh-Shampoo!" Mousse began sobbing as he watched the 
object of his affection leave.
     Ranma Red shook his head as he released his former rival from 
his magical bonds. Mousse rose to a crouched position and 
continued to weep.< Geez! How pathetic!> Ranma Red then walked 
toward the door and before leaving the room, turned back toward 
him. "Mousse, sometime today, we'll be heading back to the village. 
You're… welcome to come with us since I'm sure that your mother 
Aloe would be glad to see you again."
     Mousse's head went up at the mention of that name. "Mother?"
     Ranma Red nodded. "Yes. She was pretty upset when she learned 
that you died. I'm sure that she'll be overjoyed to see you again. 
However, I must warn you that the Elders are very displeased that 
you violated the terms of our Honor Duel. If you do return to the 
village, you may have to face them as well."
     Without another word, Ranma Red exited the room.
     Late in the afternoon, the Ranma twins and their group were 
bidding Tenchi and his group farewell as they prepared to leave for 
the Amazon village. A short time later, three streaks of light were 
hurtling across the sky on a beeline toward China.
     In the Amazon village, Soun was sitting in one of the 
guesthouses, sipping on a cup of tea, when he heard a commotion. 
Setting down the teacup, the father of Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane 
rushed outside to see what was the matter. Cologne also emerged 
from her home to check on the disturbance joined him. Both of 
their expressions became sour as they saw just who it was at the 
front gate.
     "Tendo! At last I've found you!"
     Genma Saotome broke free of the guards and rushed to embrace 
his old friend. However, Soun would have none of it, as he reached 
behind his back and pulled out a huge mallet. He slammed it hard on 
top of Genma's bald head, causing the fat martial artist to drop like 
a sack of potatoes.
      "Ow! What was that for Tendo, my old friend?"
     Soun held the hammer aloft, as if preparing to deliver another 
blow. "I am not you friend! Not any more!"
     "B-B-But Tendo! I came here to tell you that we could join the 
schools now! I've seen to it that the twins can't marry Ukyo and 
     "What are you talking about?" Cologne asked.
     Genma wore a smug grin as he said, "Those ungrateful sons of 
mine can't marry a couple of men, now can they?"
     "What nonsense is this?"
     "Yes Saotome, explain yourself."
     Genma got up and dusted himself off. For the last week or so, he 
had become very filthy and lost quite a bit of weight. However, with 
the blubber he carried around, the poundage he lost was not very 
considerable. "I got a hold of some magical water that turns girls 
into men! Permanently! I splashed both Shampoo and Ukyo with it 
and now they're stuck as guys. The twins can't marry them now and 
so they'll have to marry your daughters!"
     Cologne and Soun looked at each other and then back at Genma 
with a strange expression. There was no doubt about it. The martial 
artist was ready for a long and extended stay in a padded cell. It was 
then that the twins and their party arrived in a flash of light. When 
the brothers, their wives, their mother and the three sisters caught 
sight of Saotome, their expressions became dark. When Genma 
turned to see what that flash of light was, he sputtered when he 
caught sight of Shampoo and Ukyo who were definitely female.
     "W-wait a minute! You can't be…"
     "Hello Genma." Nodoka said in a low and menacing voice.  "How 
very convenient that you're here. It saves me the trouble of hunting 
you down." She then unsheathed her sword. "Now my ex-husband, 
you have two choices. Either you leave and never darken our lives 
with your presence again or I will kill you here and now!"
     "N-N-Nodoka!" Genma turned pale as he backed away from the 
mother of the twins. He also noted that his sons were powering up 
their battle auras.
     "Oh by the way Genma," Ranma Red said as he gestured to Ukyo 
and Shampoo. "Meet our WIVES, Ukyo and Shampoo!"
     "Did we mention that we renounced the Saotome name?" Ranma 
Blue added.
     "We're their sisters now." Akane chimed in.
     "It can't be!"
     "I'm no longer your wife." Nodoka said as she took a step 
forward, her katana gleaming in the afternoon sun.
     "And I have cancelled the agreement to unite the schools of the 
Anything Goes Martial Arts!" Soun finished as he stopped Genma's 
retreat, brandishing his mallet.
     Cologne then gestured to the Amazons who were watching the 
scene. Understanding the matriarch's silent command, the warrior 
women unsheathed their weapons and surrounded Genma. The only 
holder of the Saotome name gulped as he took in the odds against 
him. He then looked behind him and saw the expression in Soun 
Tendo's eyes. He no longer saw him as the emotional; easy to sway 
friend that he could take advantage of. There was certain hardness 
that he told him that he would not find any help here. If he were to 
remain a moment longer, his life expectancy would be cut 
drastically short. And so, Genma Saotome could only do one thing.
     Genma was gone in a trail of dust, never to be seen again.
     Aloe did an impressive imitation of one of Soun's emotional 
explosions when she saw her son again. Mousse was also happy to 
see his mother again as he endured her crushing embrace and her 
flood of tears. Outside their house, the twins were discussing the 
terms of the Contract with their mentors, Soren and Taron.
     "There will be five trials in which you must win." Soren said. 
"They will all occur within the Dark World as you two will be facing 
off against the most powerful individuals of that realm. If you were 
to lose even one of these trials, then the Dark World wins. We have 
just received word from Kami-sama that you will first be going up 
against Barada, the Vampire King. Come morning tomorrow, we 
shall transport the two of you into the region of the Dark World that 
is Barada's domain."
     "A vampire huh? No problem!" Ranma Blue shrugged.
     "Don't get cocky Ranma Blue. There's a reason why he is called 
the Vampire King! He's far more powerful than your common 
variety and a lot more dangerous! Exercise extreme caution!"
     "All right." Ranma Red nodded. "So what else can you tell us 
about him?"
     "I'm sorry Ranma Red." Taron replied. "We can't tell you 
anything more than that. The Contract clearly states that the 
Champions of Earth must do this by themselves. We've already 
completed our part by training you so now, all we can do is to 
observe the trials."
     "I see…" Ranma Blue said, a little dejected.
     "Don't worry boys!" Soren assured. "You're the best we've ever 
trained and we know that you'll be able to handle it."
     "I hope so." Both twins said.
The morning of the first trial…
     Ranma Blue awoke and looked down at the beautiful girl who was 
sleeping beside him. They had spent most of the night making love, 
and he smiled, as he thought about their new life together. A slight 
chill came over him when the thought that he may not survive the 
Contract came before him, but he quickly smothered it. <We're 
going to win this! I swear to you Ucchan! I want to be with you 
forever! After all this is over with, we're going to make good on all 
those plans we made!>
     Ranma Red also awoke before his wife did, and he had been 
silently watching Shampoo as she slept. <Shampoo my darling, 
we'll win this Contract and once that's over with, we'll get started 
on that family you've always wanted. I feel kind of guilty about 
using that birth control spell on you but…>
     Ranma Red was stopped in his train of thought when his wife 
awakened. She reached up to place her hand against her husband's 
cheek and said, "Good morning Airen."
     The magic-using Masaki smiled as he bent down to kiss his wife. 
Another kiss followed and then another. Within five minutes, he was 
making slow, sweet love to her.
     At around eight or so in the morning, the time had come. Ranma 
Red and Ranma Blue were standing ready in the middle of the 
village as their wives and relatives waited behind them. Soren and 
Taron suddenly appeared before them in a flash of light.
     "Well boys… are you ready?" Taron asked.
     Shampoo and Ukyo came forward to embrace their husbands.
     "Gook Luck Arien!" The purple-haired girl gave Ranma Red a 
long and lingering kiss.
     Ukyo followed suit and planted a smooch on Ranma Blue's lips. 
"Go kick the butts of those Dark World jackasses!"
     The two girls then broke off their embraces and rejoined the 
group. Both twins then nodded to their immortal mentors as Ranma 
Red took out the Light Star Blade and ignited it. Ranma Blue held 
Storm Striker at the ready.
     "Then let the first of the Contract Trials begin!" Both immortals 
said as they used their powers and sent the Chosen Twins to the 
Dark World. Both Ranmas were engulfed in a bright flash of white 
light and were gone from this plane of existence.
     Taron and Soren then conjured up a viewing portal so the others 
could see what was happening in the Dark World.
     Ranma Red and Ranma Blue appeared in the middle of what 
appeared to be a desolate wasteland. There were rocky ridges that 
were scattered about the landscape and a few smoking geysers that 
let loose with ugly black smoke periodically. The skies were filled 
with black clouds and there was practically no sunlight whatsoever. 
The world seemed to be permanently into eternal night. Ranma Blue 
noted this immediately.
     "Hmmm…  no sunlight."
     "I guess that's why they call this place the Dark World." Ranma 
Red said as they each took a defensive stance.
     "Well, that kills my idea of using sunlight to defeat Barada. So 
where to?"
     Ranma Red looked around and noticed a large structure in the 
distance. As he focused in on it, he saw that it was a large castle that 
sat on top of a small mountain. He gestured toward it. "That way." 
The Masaki twins powered up their flight abilities and were soon on 
their way toward the home of Barada.
     Within the main throne room, the vampire in question was 
chuckling to himself, as he watched the approach of the twins by 
way of a crystal ball.
     <Soon, very soon! I shall not only defeat these upstarts and win 
the Contract for the Dark World, but I shall also have the means to 
challenge Sharoka himself! The blood of the Chosen Twins 
possesses much power and added to my own abilities, I shall 
become even more powerful than that pompous fool! Come to me 
my tasty twin tidbits. I look forward draining your life's blood!>
To be continued…
Author's Notes
     Sorry about this. I know that you were probably expecting a 
really big fight scene and such, but there were a few loose ends that 
were pointed out to me by my readers. Originally, I had planned to 
tie up the loose ends and have the first trial at the same time, but it 
turned out to be way too long to fit into one chapter. So I decided to 
split this into two separate chapters and rename the first one as 
Loose Ends. The second chapter will be called First Trial: Barada 
the Vampire King. For all of my readers, I thank you for your 
patience. After getting back to school, I have very limited time to 
write the rest of Dual Destinies and my other fanfics. In any case, 
stay tuned!