Dual Destinies
Rumiko Takahashi started this by creating Ranma ½. What more 
needs to be said?
{""}: Telepathic communication
<>: Thoughts
                                  Chapter 32
               First Trial: Barada the Vampire King
     Ranma Red and Ranma Blue were doing better than Mach 2, as 
they approached the castle of the Vampire King, Barada. When they 
were about a mile from the home of the undead ruler, they decided 
to land think up their strategy on how to defeat their adversary.
     "So how do you think we should go about doing it?" Ranma Blue 
     "Well, since Barada has been selected to be our first opponent, 
then there's no point in trying to sneak up on him. He knows we're 
coming." The magic-using Masaki brother took out the Light Star 
Blade and began focusing his ki. He closed his eyes and meditated 
for a moment. When he opened his eyes, he said to his sibling, "The 
Light Star Blade has no information on Barada. The only thing it 
told me was the usual stuff about vampires. How about Storm 
     Ranma Blue looked at the hammer that was tied to his belt and 
concentrated. A moment later, he shook his head and replied, 
"Nothing about Barada either. So now what?"
     "Hmmm, let's see. Vampires are supposed to be vulnerable to 
sunlight, wooden stakes through the heart, garlic, silver, holy water, 
crosses, and must drink the blood of their victims to sustain 
     "Yeah, but just remember what Soren and Taron told us. Barada 
isn't your regular variety of bloodsucker. We can't know for sure if 
any of that stuff would work on him."
     "This going to need a bit of thought."
     On Earth, a small group of people was fixated on the viewing 
portal that Soren and Taron had created to observe the twins in the 
Dark World.
     "They stopped. What are they doing?" Akane asked.
     "Unlike the old Ranma, these two are using their heads, instead 
of just charging in. They're trying to plan for their battle with the 
vampire." Soren explained.
     "Why don't they just cut up some wooden stakes and stab him 
through the heart?" Nabiki asked.
     "You do remember that we told the brothers that Barada isn't 
your common type of undead being." Taron replied. "The Dark 
World is a place that contains huge amounts of evil energy. Barada 
is a being of that realm and is therefore a recipient of those 
energies. His powers are augmented to the point in which he may be 
invulnerable to the normal weapons against vampires. As you can 
clearly see, the Dark World is eternally covered in dense clouds, 
thereby permitting no sunlight. The only light that you can see is 
coming from the many active volcanoes, geysers and mystic energy 
sources of that world."
     "So if they can't stab him through the heart or use sunlight, then 
how can they defeat Barada?" 
     Taron and Soren said nothing as they watched the viewing portal. 
Near the front of the group, Shampoo and Ukyo were silently 
thinking the same thoughts as they observed their husbands take off 
and continue their journey toward the castle.
     <Be careful my darling!>
     Ranma Blue gestured to his brother at the castle below them as 
they prepared to make their descent. It was then that they saw some 
lights suddenly appear from the ramparts. The lights were crimson 
in color and were streaking toward them at high velocity. It didn't 
take a genius to realize that they were being fired upon.
     "Look out!" Ranma Blue shouted as a flaming meteor the size of 
a wrecking ball came hurtling at them. He gripped Storm Striker 
with both hands and swung mightily. The heavy weapon smashed into 
the projectile and reduced it to tiny glowing fragments. Suddenly, a 
dozen more fiery rocks were speeding up toward the twins.
     Ranma Red ignited the Light Star Blade and sliced through six of 
the fire rocks, while his twin brother whacked away at the others 
with the elemental hammer. Not wanting to present their attackers 
with a stationary target, the Masaki twins sped down toward the 
castle like a pair of World War II dive-bombers. As they began 
accelerating toward their objective, they got a glimpse of just who 
was firing on them. They were very surprised to see that their 
adversaries were not firing things at them. They were THROWING 
at them!
     The monsters looked like wax figures that had been under a heat 
lamp for too long. Their bodies seemed to be composed entirely 
out of molten lava, but somehow, they were able to maintain a 
bipedal form. Large red-orange flames burned from various areas of 
their bodies and they emitted incredible amounts of heat. Their 
heads were nothing more than featureless masses with two large 
flames burning where their eyes were supposed to be. Each time 
they reared back an arm and threw it forward, a large mass of lava 
was released and would solidify into a chunk of superheated rock. 
Somehow, the sweltering heat the creatures were generating was not 
damaging the stone castle walls and other structures. As soon as the 
twins landed in the main courtyard of the castle, more than a 
hundred of the lava demons quickly began converging on them. 
     Ranma Red ducked under the grasping arms of one of the 
monsters and swung his sword in an upward arc. The energy blade 
sliced clean through its arms, leaving two stumps. The Masaki twin 
had to jump back to avoid being burned from the severed limbs. 
However, to Ranma Red's shock, the monster simply stood and 
waited. It held out its stumps and some more lava emerged from 
them to reform its missing arms. It then advanced on its prey again.
     Ranma Blue was just as surprised to see the monster he had 
struck its head off regenerate a new noggin. He struck again and 
again with Storm Striker at several more lava demons, but he had the 
same results. The monsters would either reform their shattered 
body parts or they would simply shrug off the hammer's crushing 
blows. They started to march en masse toward Ranma Blue and his 
brother. More and more of the demons emerged from various 
secret doors until the entire castle was alit like a huge volcano.
     Ranma Red decided that a higher altitude would better suit him 
and activated his flight abilities. He got another shock as soon as he 
lifted off. He suddenly felt pain in his body, as if some thing was 
drawing energy out of him. When he got to a height of forty feet 
above the castle, his head hit something solid and the pain increased 
a hundred-fold, causing him to plummet like a stone.
     Ranma Blue felt his brother's anguish and looked up to see him 
fall toward the ground. He activated his own flight powers and felt 
the same searing pain. Forcing himself to ignore the throbbing 
headache and unpleasant body sensations, he floated up and caught 
his sibling with one arm. The two of them hovered twenty-five feet 
in the air.
     "Red! What's the matter? Are you okay?"
     "Ow! Pain! I haven't felt pain like this since that last time we 
fought Ryoga and Mousse in that Leech Dome!"
     At the mention of the Leech Dome, Ranma Blue turned his gaze 
skyward. His eyes widened as he saw what was above them. About 
fifteen feet above them was a kind of glassy surface that extended 
itself around the castle. Ranma Red also looked up and realized with 
his brother what had happened.
     "So that's why we're feeling pain! We're under a Leech Dome!" 
Ranma Red cried out.
     "It can't be! We entered the castle easy enough!"
     "Barada must have set it up just after we got in and… LOOK 
     Ranma Red's warning came out one nanosecond before the 
monsters below began hurling another barrage of fiery rocks at 
them. The mystic barely managed to generate a barrier for defense.
     The red-hot projectiles slammed into the plane of energy and 
drove the twins back into the Leech Dome. Both brothers screamed 
out in agony as the energy walls began to drain their massive 
reserves of magical and elemental power. Even with the weapons of 
power augmenting their abilities, the two were unable to stop 
themselves from falling back down toward the ground. Both 
managed to right themselves and land on their feet. 
     However, they found themselves among a horde of the lava 
demons that continued their advance. The demons began forcing the 
twins back as they continued to hurl fire rocks at them. They soon 
encircled the Champions of Earth in a fiery ring. As the twins found 
themselves back to back, their opponents prepared for a final 
     On the Earth Realm…
     "Oh no! They're trapped!" Shampoo exclaimed.
     "Ran-chan!" Ukyo cried out.
     In the deepest chambers of the castle, a lone figure sat on an 
elaborate throne and watched as a crystal ball depicted the scene 
that was occurring in the main courtyard. Barada smiled, displaying 
a set of wicked-looking canines. In one hand, he held a wineglass 
that was filled with a crimson liquid that looked like red wine, but 
was in actuality, fresh blood from one of the human servants that he 
kept like cattle. He grinned even further as the lava demons 
prepared for a final, all-out assault.
     <Soon! Very soon! I can hardly wait to sink my teeth into those 
     In the courtyard, Ranma Blue and Ranma Red stood back to back 
as they waited for their enemies to charge. They were severely 
weakened from their impact with the Leech Dome. Despite their 
boosted abilities, it was apparent that this dome was far more 
powerful than the one used by Katoka and Makana. Furthermore, the 
lava demons far outnumbered the twins by a thousand to one. Things 
didn't look good.
     {"Blue! We have to finish this and fast! That Leech Dome is 
sucking away our power faster than the other one did!"}
     {"What can we do? Those demons aren't letting up and the longer 
we fight them, the more power we use up. Even if we do manage to 
beat them, we won't have enough energy left for when we go up 
against Barada!"}
     Ranma Red wiped his brow. {"Damn it's hot and… wait a second! 
That's it!"}
     {"What…? I get it!"} Ranma Blue smiled as he got the same idea 
as his brother.
     {"You ready?"}
     {"Let's do it!"}
     The lava demons could no longer wait as they each gave a loud 
roar and charged. Both brothers took a stance and began focusing 
their ki energies. Both became enveloped in a bright white light as 
their auras spread out and intensified. Ranma Blue raised Storm 
Striker above his head and called forth his technique, which was 
amplified by the elemental weapon.
     The entire area was blanketed in an ice-cold fog that took the lava 
demons by surprise. Just as their fiery bodies came into contact 
with the energies of the twins, both shouted out their final attack 
     "HIRYU… SHOTEN… HA!!!"
     The combined cold chi energies, added with the freezing 
temperature of the fog collided with the searing bodies of the 
demons. The largest temperature imbalance ever created by the 
Rising Dragon Ascension Wave exploded upward and smashed 
against the barrier. A tornado erupted and swept up the entire army 
of monsters and tossed them like rag dolls into the Leech Dome. 
The demons howled in anguish as their bodies cooled into hardened, 
igneous rock. They were then shattered into fragments the moment 
their forms hit the energy barrier. The Leech Dome shuddered and 
strained as it was continually pelted by the demons propelled by the 
gale force winds. The winds also ripped apart pieces of the castle 
walls and other structures and smashed them against the dome as 
well. Finally, it was no longer able to contain the chaos within it and 
broke down. The energy contained within the barrier blasted 
outward into a spectacular fountain of light that went on for several 
minutes. Finally, it began to die down and dissipate into 
nothingness. The debris began to settle down and all became quiet.
     Both Masaki brothers slumped down to their knees in the center 
of all the devastation. They were breathing heavily after such a 
demanding technique as they rested and tried to regenerate some of 
their lost energies. It was then that they heard something, which 
sounded like some one… applauding?
     The twins looked in the direction of the sound and they saw a 
lone figure standing near the main entrance that lead to the 
drawbridge. The figure was about 6'1" and was dressed in a 
nobleman's attire. He wore a blood-red cape and had on black, 
leather boots. He wore a velvet-colored vest with a ruffled, dress 
shirt underneath. He also had on matching breeches. His frame was 
lean, yet well muscled. His hair was cropped short and was the color 
of ebony. His skin was pale, even more so than an albino's. His 
hands had pointed nails on each finger. When he smiled at the twins, 
he displayed a set of pointed canines that were stained a light 
crimson. There was no doubt in the Chosen Twins' minds as to who 
it was.
     "Barada the Vampire King I presume?" Ranma Blue said as he and 
his brother got to their feet and took a stance. The Light Star Blade 
glowed with its blue-white blade while Storm Striker was held at the 
     "I am." Barada responded. "I must say, I was very impressed with 
the way you handled that situation. Do you realize just how many of 
my human servants I had to sacrifice to create that dome? More than 
ten thousand souls! It was even more powerful than the one you 
faced before! I am very impressed indeed!"
     "You destroyed ten thousand people, just for that?!" Ranma Red 
said incredulously.
     Barada made a dismissive gesture with a hand and said, "A mere 
trifle. The human wretches that populate the Dark World are nothing 
more than cattle for the lords of this realm. They live and die to suit 
our purposes. To me, they are nothing more than meals that I 
consume daily. However, lately they have been lacking the spark 
that I so enjoy as I drain them of their life's blood." He then smiled 
evilly at the twins. "You two however, may provide me with a very 
tasty repast. Your battle with my lava demons have gotten your 
blood boiling and there's nothing more that I like than a hot meal!"
     Ranma Blue snarled as he began invoking his gravity powers on a 
nearby fallen timber. He noted that one end had a jagged point to it. 
The huge wooden stake floated free of the debris and hovered. "If 
you're hungry, then chew on this!" He then sent the log hurtling 
toward the chest of the undead ruler.
     Barada kept on smiling, as he made no move to evade the 
projectile. The pointed end of the timber pierced through his torso 
and sent blood gushing everywhere as Barada was driven back and 
smashed into the wall behind him. The bricks and mortar collapsed 
on top of the vampire, burying him underneath several tons of 
rubble. When the dust settled down, there seemed to be nothing left 
of Barada, except for the other end of the timber that jutted out 
from the wreckage. For a long moment, there was silence.
     Then incredibly, the timber began to move, shifting the rubble 
aside. The twins stepped back as their widened at the impossible 
sight. Barada rose from the debris without any effort, the huge stake 
still embedded in his chest. He smiled as he placed on hand on top 
of the log. "Thank you very much Ranma Blue, but I prefer my stake 
well done." Dark energies began to be emitted from his hand and 
flowed though the log. The wood suddenly burst into green flames 
and was reduced to ashes in a nanosecond. When it fell to the 
ground in a pile of carbon, the twins were stunned to see the gaping 
hole in his chest actually seal itself up, not even leaving a blood 
     "No way!" Both twins exclaimed.
     "Surprised Chosen Ones? I haven't existed for more than twelve 
centuries without learning how to deal with the vulnerabilities of 
vampires! The Dark World energies have made my body 
invulnerable to wood, silver, garlic, holy water and all the rest! You 
don't stand a chance against me! Now that I've had my appetizer, it's 
time for the main course!"
     Barada suddenly disappeared from sight and reappeared twenty 
feet behind them. He raised a hand and fired a massive fireball at 
them. Both twins barely managed to dodge it as they leapt to either 
side and turned to face their adversary. Ranma Red charged at the 
vampire and slashed with the Light Star Blade. Unfortunately, 
Barada turned his body into mist an instant before the sword could 
cut him and it passed harmlessly through it. The mist then solidified 
above him and Barada reformed. Floating over the magic-user, 
Barada laced his hands together and delivered a double-fisted blow 
to the back of his opponent's head. Ranma Red went down.
     Ranma Blue seeing that his brother was in trouble, reared back 
with a free hand and focused his elemental abilities. His hand 
glowed with a blue-white light as he threw the attack forward.
     Barada saw the lance of freezing energy shoot toward him and he 
held up a hand to counter.
     Crimson energy suddenly erupted from his hand and formed a 
circular barrier that stopped Ranma Blue's attack and caused it to 
rebound back at the elemental Masaki. Ranma Blue leapt high to 
avoid his own technique.
     "I told you before, I like my meals hot! I'm in no mood for 
frozen foods!"
     "Okay, so how about some barbecue?"
     Barada looked down and saw that Ranma Red had already 
recovered and was now on his back and cupping his hands and had an 
orange-red globe of energy in front of them. His eyes widened as he 
realized what spell he was using. <No! He can't have been able to 
summon up that spell so quick…>
     Ranma Red had learned from his earlier mistake and was now 
able to focus the Dragon Slave spell into a small, tight beam with 
still the same destructive power. He had also learned from the Light 
Star Blade how to call it up faster. The results were impressive as 
the beam plowed into Barada and drove him out of the castle. The 
beam traveled for miles and finally exploded against a nearby 
mountain, causing a huge avalanche.
     Ranma Blue went to his brother's side and helped him to his feet. 
However, just as they got up, they heard a loud, angry roar, followed 
by a gust of wind. They looked up and saw with disbelief that Barada 
had returned, and boy was he ticked off! His clothes were tattered 
and his body was smoking. Other than that, he was not affected by 
the most powerful attack of that style of magic.
     "Damn! He took a full power Dragon Slave!" Ranma Red said in 
     Barada snarled as he said, "That wasn't very nice boys! It seems 
that I'll have to tenderize the both of you before I can dine!" He then 
suddenly disappeared, then reappeared between the two brothers. 
Moving with unbelievable speed, he backhanded Ranma Blue away, 
causing him to smash against a nearby statue, crumbling it.
     He then turned his attention towards Ranma Red. The Masaki 
twin tried to bring up the Light Star Blade, but Barada was too close. 
He slashed at his opponent with his long talons. Ranma Red just 
barely managed to twist out of the way, avoiding a fatal cut. 
However, he wasn't able to get away completely as Barada's long 
fingernails sliced through his side. 
     Ranma Blue's brother began to feel nausea as he staggered away 
from the undead being. He looked down at the wound and saw that it 
even though it was a minor cut; he was already starting to burn up 
with a fever. <His fingernails must be poisoned!> Ranma silently 
began invoking a healing spell to drive out the venom.
     Barada stood and licked the crimson liquid that was on his nails. 
"Mmmm. Delicious! I will take great pleasure from consuming 
every last drop from your bodies." He turned around and saw that 
Ranma Blue was just pulling free from the remains of the statue. 
     Ranma Blue held out Storm Striker and began focusing his 
power. He then slammed the hammer into the ground and caused a 
huge shockwave to erupt toward his opponent. 
     However, his foe disappeared once again and Ranma Red was 
almost caught in the path of the attack. He was just able to avoid it 
by levitating away. The entire West Side of the castle behind him 
was instantly pulverized into powder. It was then that disaster 
     Ranma Blue was frantically looking for Barada when the vampire 
appeared behind him and grabbed him by the throat. With inhuman 
strength, he hefted the Masaki brother off the ground, and with a 
quick motion he clamped down with his fangs onto the juncture 
between his left shoulder and neck. Blood began to spurt out as 
undead ruler began to drain him.
     On the Earth Realm, Ukyo screamed out as she saw her husband 
being drained. Akane and Shampoo had to hold her back as she tried 
to dive into the viewing portal. Soren rushed up, placed a hand on 
her shoulder and said, "Calm."
     Back in the Dark World, Ranma Red was just as horrified at the 
sight and he dashed to the aid of his sibling. However, without 
taking his fangs off his victim, Barada freed one of his hands and 
released a massive blast of energy at him, forcing Ranma Red to 
erect a mystic shield for defense. Barada needed only thirty 
seconds more to totally drain Ranma Blue and gain his power.
     Unfortunately for Barada, Ranma Blue wasn't going to give him a 
second more. Feeling cold, clammy and nauseated, the elemental 
twin began generating his ki energy. With supreme effort, he 
released his technique.
     The skies above them suddenly thundered as Ranma Blue began 
manipulating the forces of nature. The clouds then let loose a 
gigantic bolt of lightning that came down with a vengeance. The 
huge blast of electrical energy struck both Ranma Blue and Barada. 
Storm Striker began to glow as it amplified the power of the 
lightning a million times. Barada screamed as his body was wracked 
with more than 10.5 gigawatts. He was forced to let go of his victim 
and Ranma Blue took advantage of the momentary respite. He drove 
his elbow into the gut of the vampire at full strength, turned around 
and slammed Storm Striker into Barada's face. The elemental 
hammer was still charged with massive amounts of electricity, 
which only augmented the blow. Barada was sent reeling as he went 
flying through the air.
     Ranma Red also took advantage of the situation as he dove in 
with the Light Star Blade and slashed at the vampire's side as he 
went hurtling by. Barada screamed again as a large gash appeared on 
one side. He then plowed into the ground, digging a huge trench that 
was more than two hundred feet long.
     The magic-using twin rushed over to his brother, who was on his 
knees and looked as if he was about to pass out. He placed a hand on 
his brother's wound and invoked a spell, which would stop the curse 
of vampirism from spreading through his body. He also used his 
powers to speed up his brother's healing.
     "You all right bro?"
     "I… think so." Ranma Blue replied as he got to his feet, a little 
unsteadily. They both looked out to where Barada had landed and 
saw that the vampire was already recovering and was now charging 
toward him. He was very enraged that his meal was interrupted and 
he began emitting massive amounts of dark energies.
     {"Damn! Even after all that elemental and magic energies, he's 
still coming!"} Ranma Red communicated.
     {"We can't use wood or garlic against him. Our powers can hurt 
him, but after that fight with the lava demons and the Leech Dome, I 
don't think we have enough to beat him!"}
     {"I'd kill for a bright idea right now and… wait a minute! That's 
     Before Ranma Red could explain, Barada started hurling a huge 
barrage of energy bolts at the twins. Ranma Red threw his arm 
around Ranma Blue's shoulder and helped him dodge the blasts. As 
they darted around the space, Ranma Red began to outline his plan.
     {"Blue, do you think you can summon up another blast of 
     {"I… guess. What's the plan?"}
     {"Once I get close enough to Barada, let him have it!"}
     Ranma Blue nodded as he began focusing his ki energies.
     Barada was acting more on rage than anything else as he wildly 
shot at the darting pair. Just as the two got in close, he noticed that 
Ranma Blue began to build up power. Ranma Red then used his 
teleportation ability and the two vanished from sight. Barada began 
looking in all directions for any sign of his prey then felt some 
thing impact his back.
     Barada yelped as Ranma Blue and his brother suddenly appeared 
behind him. Ranma Blue's electrified punch wasn't quite as 
powerful as his previous technique but Barada was still smarting 
from that last attack. He turned around and began to shoot out 
energy blasts at a frantic rate. Walls were destroyed, holes were 
rent into the already wrecked floors and everything was being 
leveled. Everything, except the Ranma twins, who had just stopped 
evading the blasts and were standing still.
     Barada couldn't understand it. He was sure that he was shooting 
in the right direction, but he wasn't coming anywhere near the two. 
Whenever he fired off a blast, something would be destroyed, but 
the twins would remain untouched. After another few minutes of 
shots going wide, he stopped and said in a rage, "Curse you two! 
What did you do?"
     Ranma Red smiled as he said, "My brother's electric attack had 
one of my special spells added to it! When that electricity hit your 
nervous system, the spell went straight to the motor controls of 
your brain and messed them up! Right now, you have an even worse 
sense of direction than Ryoga!"
     "Why you little punks!"
     "Oh by the way Barada, here's something else for you!" Ranma 
Red cupped his hands and released a huge ball of light. "SUNBURST 
     Barada screamed in agony as the blast of mystical energy erupted 
into a blinding flash. As its name implied, it was similar to the 
effects of a solar flare. When the light faded away, Barada's skin 
had become flaky and dry as he shook his head to clear it.
     "I thought as much!" Ranma Red declared. "You may have adapted 
against wood and garlic, but living in the Dark World hasn't made 
you immune to sunlight, has it?"
     Barada growled as he began focusing his energies. "Very clever, 
but that little spell isn't enough to destroy me! It only simulates 
sunlight. It may give me pain, but it won't stop me! Now I tire of 
your little games! I don't need a sense of direction to destroy you!"
     Barada suddenly flared up and began releasing a huge hemisphere 
of energy that went out in all directions. Ranma Red however 
smiled. <Perfect!> He began focusing another ball of mystic light 
and when it was formed, he directed it at Barada's attack. The ball 
began to swell and grow brighter as it absorbed the dark energies 
into it. Barada screamed as the artificial sunlight began to burn into 
his body. He slumped down to his knees and looked up.
     Ranma Blue now held a ball of light that was as large as a small 
house as he then turned to his brother.
     "W-What are you doing?" Barada demanded, even though his 
body was felt like it was on fire. It was only because the energy 
wasn't true sunlight that his body had yet to crumble into dust.
     Ranma Red smiled as said. "This ball of mystic light may hurt 
you, but it still not enough to destroy you, since you are very 
powerful in the Dark World, and this is not true sunlight. 
However…" He then tossed the ball at his brother, who smiled as 
his body began to absorb it. "My brother happens to know of a 
technique that CAN destroy you."
     Ranma Blue felt his body being infused with new energy as he 
started concentrating the power within him. Storm Striker added its 
elemental power, causing him to glow with a white brilliance. 
Everywhere within a fifty-mile radius went from being covered with 
shadows to high-noon brilliance. The neck wound instantly healed 
itself and he felt a new strength surging through him. Barada 
screamed even louder as he felt his body being ravaged by a 
different kind of pain. It was a kind of pain in which he hadn't felt in 
over 1, 200 years. Ranma Blue then directed his attention to Barada 
and grinned. "Time for you to fry!"
     A huge beam of solar energy blasted forth from Ranma Blue's 
outstretched arms. Barada had no hope of dodging the attack and his 
body was enveloped in the blinding energies. It flared briefly like a 
match being tossed into a blast furnace before turning into tiny 
cinders. The beam was two miles wide and fifty miles long. It 
effortlessly obliterated the remainder of the castle and burned 
though mountains, causing a huge, blacked trench to be left in its 
wake. Fortunately for Ranma Red, he had the good sense to stand 
BEHIND his brother after infusing him with energy.
     When the energies finally died away and the Dark World went 
back to its state of eternal night, Ranma Blue slumped down and 
took series of deep, cleansing breaths. He was almost totally 
exhausted after expending so much energy at once, but he was 
feeling satisfied. He looked up at his sibling and smiled. "Good plan 
     "No problem Blue."
     It was then that they heard some sinister laughter from a high-
pitched voice. They both looked in the direction of where the voice 
was coming from. The area in front of them was still smoldering 
and huge clouds of smoke and dust were rising from the charred 
ground. Suddenly, something about the size of a small dog darted up 
from the clouds and hovered twenty feet above the ground in front 
of them. Their eyes widened as they saw the form flap its flap its 
wings and grin at them with sharp fangs. 
     "Surprise! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! You two don't get it do you?" Barada 
cackled. "A Dark World vampire is far more powerful than any on 
Earth! My body is nearly indestructible! You cannot destroy me! I 
will return and hunt the two of you down! Once I defeat the two of 
you, I shall drain you both of your blood and your lives! Not only 
will I win the Contract, but your powers shall also give me the 
means to destroy Sharoka himself! I shall rule over all! Ha!"
     Ranma Red gave Barada a disgusted snort as he turned to his 
brother and winked at him. {"Don't worry Blue. I got it covered."}
     The elemental Ranma was a bit puzzled at his brother's lack of 
concern, but nodded as he watched him take a few steps toward the 
bat, who happened to be still raving at them.
     "You are facing a nobleman! The king of all vampires! I'll enjoy 
draining every last drop of your… errrk!"
     Ranma Red was more than tired of hearing Barada's voice. As a 
bat, it had a higher pitch and sounded like the annoying buzz of a 
housefly. So he simply picked up a small rock and chucked it at the 
flying rodent. Barada went down and landed on his face.
     Before Barada could move, Ranma promptly stomped on him and 
pinned him to the ground with his foot. He then leaned over and 
addressed the so-called Vampire King. "So let me get this straight. 
Even if sunlight incinerates your body, you reform as a bat until you 
regain your full power. Right?"
     "RIGHT?" Ranma Red pressed down a little harder with his foot.
     "Yes." Barada squeaked.
     "You really should have escaped when you had the chance Barada. 
Your power level is so low that if we did use a stake against you this 
time, it WOULD work!"
     The bat's widened as the truth set in. Ranma Blue's attack had all 
but drained his power to almost zero. He wouldn't have the strength 
to fight off the effects of wood.
     "And since you are a vampire, you would need to drink the blood 
of your victims in order to rebuild your power, as well as sustain 
yourself. Right?" Ranma Red continued.
     "Yes… are you going to kill me?" Barada whimpered. He then 
winced as the magic-using twin reached down and pulled off a small 
piece of one of his bat wings. The wing regenerated the lost piece, 
but Ranma Red already had what he needed.
     "Don't worry Barada. The Contract only states that we need to 
defeat you. We really don't have to destroy you to win. So I'm going 
to let you choose whether you live or die." Ranma began chanting in 
a low, echoing voice as he invoked another spell, using the piece of 
bat wing as a medium. The wing piece began to glow, then caught 
fire as a blue flame suddenly ignited it.
HAVE MERCY!" Barada shrieked. He recognized what spell Ranma 
Red was invoking and began writhing, trying to get out from under 
his foot.
     The brother of Ranma Blue ignored Barada's plea as he 
completed the spell. When the wing was totally consumed by the 
blue flame, he then caught it on top of the fingernail of his index 
finger. The flame died out, leaving a blue film on top of the nail. 
Ranma Red then jabbed the finger into the body of Barada. Barada 
screamed again as the blue substance moved like an amoeba, 
merged with his skin, and disappeared. The place where the Masaki 
twin had torn off the wing piece earlier suddenly turned blue.
     "Now listen very carefully Barada." Ranma Red said in a low 
tone. "What you just received was a modified version of the 
Accursed Spell! From this day forward, should you ever drink even a 
single drop of blood, then that blue fingernail will turn purple and 
gradually grow red, causing you immense pain! When that nail 
becomes purest crimson, then it will cause your body to explode 
from within! But you won't reform as a bat! No, my spell will turn 
into a slug! Forever!"
     "No! You can't mean it! Without blood to sustain me, not only 
will I lose my power, but I will starve!" Barada protested in a 
pathetic voice.
     "Way to go Red!" Ranma Blue cheered as he walked up toward 
his sibling. "I think that's a fitting punishment for that winged rat. 
Either get turned into a slug or starve to death."
     "You're forgetting something Blue! Vampires are already dead! 
He can't starve to death!"
     "Oh I get it! He's going to have go through an eternity of 
starvation! An endless existence of hunger and no way to feed it! 
Even better!"
     Ranma Red nodded as he turned back to Barada. "That's right 
Barada. The Dark World may enhance your vampire powers, but the 
main source of your abilities is the essences of others when you 
drain their blood! Without that source, you can't challenge us any 
more. We've won the first trial and the humans of this realm will no 
longer have to live in fear of you. Now get lost!"
     The mystic twin took his foot off the bat, then promptly booted 
Barada into the air like a NFL player going for a field goal. The 
defeated vampire went shrieking off as it frantically flapped his 
wings. As it flew off into the distance, Ranma Red shouted to it.
     On Earth, the group that was watching the viewing portal where 
cheering and jumping for joy at the twins' first victory. Ukyo and 
Shampoo were especially ecstatic as they intended to give their 
husbands a very enthusiastic welcome. 
     In the Dark World, Ranma Red was using his senses to check on 
his brother's condition. He smiled after completing his probe. "Your 
wounds have been healed and that infusion of power that I gave you 
had totally purged you of the vampire's curse. You don't have to 
worry about sprouting fangs or anything."
     "Thanks. By the way Red, where did get that idea with the 
navigational spell and the mystic light?"
     "When you said 'bright idea,' it got me thinking back to the time 
you used the Sunfire Beam on Ryoga and Mousse. I used that 
navigation disruption spell to buy us some time and to test my 
theory about Barada still being vulnerable to sunlight. My Sunburst 
Explosion was able to hurt him, but it wasn't enough to really do any 
real damage. We needed real sunlight and that's an elemental power. 
With the Dark World amplifying his vampire powers, we needed a 
lot of it to do the job. The Light Star Blade told me that Storm 
Striker had the ability to convert mystic energy into elemental 
power. So I had to get Barada mad enough to release enough energy 
for me to absorb into my light spell. I then redirected that power to 
you and… well, you know the rest."
     "Pretty sharp Red. Man. I never would have thought of that."
     "Thanks. In any case, we won!"
     "Indeed you have."
     Both brothers whirled around into defensive stances, their 
weapons held up and ready. They were shocked to see that someone 
had managed to sneak up on them. Standing a few meters away was a 
tall, heavily muscled man in black armor and wearing a red cape. His 
arms were crossed and he stood in a neutral stance. The twins could 
feel the overwhelming dark energies being radiated from this 
person. The power levels they sensed far outstripped that of 
Barada's former energies and he had an evil presence about him that 
threatened to smother the twins.
     "Who are you?" Both Masaki brothers said simultaneously. 
     The figure waited for a moment before answering. "I am… 
Sharoka, ruler of the Dark World.
     "Sharoka?!" Ranma Blue said with a hard edge. "You're the one 
Soren and Taron warned us about!"
     Sharoka nodded. "Put away your weapons, Chosen Twins. We are 
not to battle this day. However, we shall face each other soon 
enough. For now, I am here to fulfill one of my duties as stated in 
the Contract. Here."
     The dark lord tossed an object toward the feet of the twins. The 
two backed off when it landed on the ground. When they could 
detect no danger from it, the slowly approached it and leaned over 
to look at it.
     It was a silver medallion with an image of Barada's bat form 
engraved on it. The medallion glinted in the dim light of the small 
fires that still burned around the battle area. 
     "As proof of your victory, I give you this medallion. You will 
show this to those fools, Soren and Taron. In a way, I should be 
thanking you two. I was well aware of Barada's treachery and his 
plan to usurp my throne. You have saved me the trouble of 
destroying that fool. However, be warned Chosen Twins. When we 
at last meet on the battlefield, you shall truly know the meaning of 
fear and despair before I rip the two of you and your beloved world 
apart! Until then."
     With these worlds, Sharoka vanished from sight. The twins 
looked at each other and nodded as Ranma Blue picked up the 
medallion. A flash of light suddenly enveloped them and the two 
Ranmas were gone as they were transported back to the Earth 
     Sometime later, deep within the inner chambers of Sharoka's 
fortress, the dark lord was contemplating in silence as he sat on his 
throne. In one hand he had a goblet of what appeared to be red wine. 
Off to one side, the demon sisters, Katoka and Makana entered the 
throne room and bowed in front of their master.
     "The plan is going smoothly my lord." Katoka said.
     "Yes, the twins and Barada had unknowingly played into your 
hands." Makana added as she gestured to the pulsating orb beside 
Sharoka's throne. The orb was now a little brighter than before and 
seemed to throb like a beating heart.
     "What are your next orders?" Katoka asked.
     Sharoka smiled as he replied. "Send for Gaizera. He shall 
confront the Chosen Twins next."
     "As you wish Lord Sharoka." Both sisters responded as they left 
to do their master's bidding.
     After the sisters had left, Sharoka heard the telltale sound of 
wings being flapped. He gestured toward the front room and the 
main doors of the chambers opened up a crack. A familiar-looking 
bat flew into the room and made a beeline toward the throne. It 
stopped a few feet from the steps leading up to the throne and 
hovered in front of the ruler of the Dark World.
     "Master Sharoka! Please! Help me!"
     The dark lord gave the bat a smirk. "Ah Barada. I have been 
expecting you."
     "Please master! I have been put under the Accursed Spell! With 
your great power, you can easily remove it!"
     "Yes, I am quite aware of the effects of the spell that Ranma Red 
had placed upon you."
     "Then, you'll free me from this spell?" Barada said hopefully.
     "Oh I'll free you Barada." Sharoka's smile became even more 
sadistic. "In fact, you'll soon be free of all the burdens of your 
wretched existence!" With that, he threw the contents of the goblet 
at the bat, drenching it totally. Some of the liquid splashed into his 
mouth and Barada swallowed by reflex. It was then that he screamed 
in horror.
     "No master! T-T-That was…"
     "Blood." Sharoka said simply as he watched the bat fall to the 
ground and begin to writhe in pain. The part of the wing that was 
blue had begun to turn purple. It then slowly began to grow red. As it 
gradually grew crimson, Barada gasped out, his body glowing with a 
white light as it prepared to explode.
     "W-Why master?"
     Sharoka stood up and said in a dangerous tone. "Did you really 
think that I was unaware of your plans to usurp my position as 
Emperor? Please Barada, I am not stupid! I arranged for you to fight 
the Chosen Twins since I knew that you would not be able to resist 
the chance to absorb their powers. I also knew you would fail! Your 
ego made you underestimate those two! I was planning on casting 
the Accursed Spell on you, but Ranma Red beat me to it! And even 
if you had won against the twins, I had a special enchantment placed 
upon the clouds above the your domain. They would have 
automatically opened up and let the sunlight in. Even with the 
Chosen Twins power, you would have burned away because of your 
vampire nature. Once you had become a bat, I would have placed the 
Accursed Spell on you anyway."
     Barada gulped as he heard this revelation. He had been played for 
a sucker. He then looked at his wing and saw that the section was 
about to turn purest crimson. He then voiced out a final plea. 
"Please have mercy!"
     It was then that Barada's body suddenly flared with a bright light 
and exploded. When the light died down, Sharoka looked down at 
what remained of the once powerful vampire king. A tiny gray slug 
no more than an inch long looked up with its antennae at the dark 
lord. The last it saw was the bottom of Sharoka's boot.
     The emperor scuffed his foot against the stone tiles of the floor, 
smearing the remains of Barada. He then turned and walked toward 
the exit while saying, "Mercy is for losers."
     As he came out of the throne room, he gestured to a servant and 
said, "Have someone clean up the mess in the throne room. I would 
also like to have my boots cleaned and polished by tonight. I 
seemed to have stepped on something."
To be continued…
Author's Notes
     Well, how's that for the first trial? Isn't Sharoka one heck of a 
villain? The Ranma twins are in for the battle of their lives and that 
was just round one! I got the idea for the Accursed Spell after 
watching the OAV series of Bastard. Since Ranma Red has access to 
all magical knowledge, it would make sense for him to know that 
spell. Give me comments and ideas on what to do for the second 
trial. I already have it planned but I'm willing to make some changes 
if they're good. Things are really starting to get serious and there's 
no holding it back!