RUNE SOLDIER RANMA
Disclaimer: Here we go again. Ranma 1/2 and Rune Soldier belong to their own creators, but I’m using them anyway.
< >: Thoughts
It’s Against My Will!
Nerima, the day after Ranma disappeared...
Soun was blubbering so hard that he made Niagara Falls look like a leaky sink. He and Genma had been all set to unite the schools of the Anything Goes. Despite Ranma and Akane’s protests, they had secretly called for a priest and had intended to tie up Ranma, so he wouldn’t be able to fight back or escape, while the ceremony was being performed. However, when they came to Tendo guestroom with the plan to jump him in his sleep, the heir to the Anything Goes was nowhere in sight.
At first, Genma had thought that his son had run off, but his backpack and all of his other possessions were still there. His sudden disappearance had made the fat Panda-Man cry out to heavens at what a dishonorable son he had been saddled with.
As for a certain Uncute Tomboy, (you know who I’m talking about), she was outraged for several reasons. One, at her father and Ranma’s father for trying to have her married to that sex-changing pervert. Two, thinking that Ranma was with that Amazon bimbo, psychotic gymnast or transvestite okonomiyaki chef. Three, planning to pound said fiancé into goo when she caught up to him, for his so-called infidelity.
<Ooh, that Ranma! I’ll bet he’s cavorting with one of those hussies right now! Either that or he’s with some other girl!>
In another world...
As a matter of fact, Ranma was with three girls at the moment. However one would not say that he was cavorting with them.
The martial arts mage jumped high to avoid several globins as they charged at him. His Rune Cat matched his leap with one of its own. As he and his familiar came down, Akane’s former fiancé stepped on the faces of several of his assailants, jumping from one ugly mug to another. Several went down from the impacts, as Ranma swung his staff about in graceful arcs. Shin scratched out the faces of several goblins as he also darted about.
When Ranma and Shin finally landed on the cavern floor, the goblins decided to surround the newcomers, thereby forgetting Melissa and her friends. The three stared in total disbelief as Ranma took on seemingly overwhelming odds with just a staff and a cat.
Ranma nimbly dodged claws, fangs and whatever primitive weapons the globins wielded, which were clubs, and crudely-made swords and hammers. To the girls, it seemed as if he were performing a dance, as he swerved and leapt about, delivering quick strikes with his staff and feet. It was a good thing that the near-brainless goblins were attacking him in a disorganized mob. Many of them got in each other’s way, stumbling and tripping over each other. Ranma took full advantage of the situation. He began to have some flashbacks of a certain Uncute Tomboy who went through this kind of thing every day before he met her.
<I guess I couldn’t blame Akane for getting mad at those idiots at Furinken.> The magician-mage mused as he continued to smack down his opponents. <Then again, those dopes only wanted to date her. These things want to kill me!> As he flipped over another attacker (rapping on the noggin with the tip of his weapon), he landed in a low crouch between two more. Then he wondered. <Hmmm, I wonder if goblins have any...>
Both monsters roared out in pain as Ranma thrust the ends of his staff into the spots between their legs, causing them to double over.
<I guess they do!>
Shin darted about like a streak of reddish-brown lightning, clawing and scratching at the faces of the goblins, causing even more pain and confusion, and keeping the pressure off his master.
Ranma shrugged as he soon realized that his foes were uncoordinated and didn’t have much in terms of battle skills. In fact, they were no challenge at all and he decided that he didn’t even need his staff.
When a goblin gabbed hold of his weapon and pulled hard, Ranma simply let go of it, then he ducked under a swipe to the head by another assailant. He quickly grabbed hold of the extended arm. Locking it in a viselike grip, he sent a palm strike to the goblin’s nose, breaking it and making a sickening sound of cracking bone. He then swung the goblin about, slamming into another group and making them topple like dominoes. (1)
The monsters soon found out that an unarmed Ranma was no less dangerous.
As Ranma and his feline whittled down their opponents, the trio of adventurers could only stare in total disbelief at their first demonstration of the Anything Goes Martial Arts.
“I thought that he was supposed to good with battle magic. Why isn’t he using it?” Melissa said as she watched the brutal display. She became horrified at how Ranma twisted joints, shattered ribs and hit in places that were absolutely un-gentlemanly. He was hitting below the belt! He wasn’t fighting fairly! He was using his fists and legs like some uncouth brawler. He was so crude and boorish, using such violent tactics! The more she watched, the more sickening it was to her. Ranma was totally the opposite to what a REAL man was supposed to be!
For Genie, she silently scoffed at Ranma’s unarmed fighting style. For her, a true warrior used a sword, not one’s fists and brute force. It didn’t make sense to fight without a weapon, especially against such odds. She was unimpressed. This wasn’t a real battle, like the ones she had fought as a soldier. She didn‘t know how Ranma was actually holding his own without a weapon, but she supposed that it was just dumb luck. No one can actually beat a horde of monsters with just his bare hands, right? (2)
As for Merrill, she was still angry after finding out that Ranma had been to these ruins before and had taken all the treasure. He didn’t even tell them, the arrogant jerk! The only reasons why she wasn’t bashing in his brains at the moment, was because she and her friends were battered and injured from their trek into the ruins, and that the mage and his cat were the only things between them and the goblins.
All three girls agreed that Ranma was NOT what they wanted for a fourth member of their group.
At this point, Ranma decided to end the fight as his Rune Cat used its psychic link to inform him that more goblins were heading their way through the tunnels that led to the temple. He nodded as he began focusing his ki, while he and Shin began herding the creatures into a certain area. It was then that he thrust out his palms upwards.
A blue sphere of confidence-fueled ki flew upward and blasted the ceiling of the cavern, causing tons of limestone to fall upon the goblins. Most were crushed underneath, and the rest scattered back into the tunnels.
The martial-arts mage and his cat made their way toward the girls. Along the way, he swept up his staff, which had been dropped to the floor when the roof started to cave in. As they got close, Ranma called out to his partner.
“Let’s go, Shin!”
In a flash of bright, purple light, the group disappeared from sight.
At the entrance to the ruins, the quartet of adventurers and a Rune Cat appeared. Ranma smiled at his feline as he leapt up to perch on his right shoulder.
“Good work Shin.” He then gave the girls a smug look. “And I guess thanks are in order, since we did save your butts down there. No big deal. All in a day‘s work for the heroes.”
However, gratitude was the LAST thing on their minds as they all glared at him. Melissa was extremely perturbed, Genie was out-and-out outraged, and Merrill just wanted to kill him!
“HERO?! HERO?!” Melissa exclaimed. “YOU ARE MOST CERTAINLY NOT A HERO!”
“You couldn’t be any further from what TRUE hero should be!” (3)
“Oh really? And what are you, Ohfun’s leading ‘hero’ expert?” Ranma said with a smirk. “As far as I can tell, Shin and I risked our lives to save you three. Nobody asked us to do it, but we did it anyway. The very least you can say is thank you.”
“THANK YOU?! THANK YOU?! Merrill cried out in a total rage. “You bastard! You’re the reason why we got into trouble in the first place!”
“And how do you figure that?” Ranma asked simply, though he knew what her response would be.
“You KNEW there was no treasure down there! You knew about the globins!”
Ranma shrugged again. “Well of COURSE I knew. I raided these ruins three years ago. There wasn’t much of a haul. Heck, it only lasted for three months. And I‘m the one who sealed up the ruins in the first place.”
“YOU JERK! WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL US!?”
“Well, I DO remember trying to tell you girls something important before you went down there, but I also recall being told to shut up by three ‘expert’ adventurers. I guess you didn’t want to hear what a ‘rookie’ had to say. As far as I‘m concern, the blame is yours, not mine.” He directed his gaze to the red-haired Genie, who was now fuming at his sarcastic tone.
Ranma sighed as he turned his back to them and walked a few steps away from them. Without looking back, he spoke. “You know, I had hoped that this would be the start of something good, but now I’m having second thoughts. We’re supposed to be working together, right? But how are we supposed to do that if nobody wants to listen to me, when I’m trying to say something important? You’re all making it sound that it’s MY fault. Damn, I hate it when people just can’t admit when they’re wrong and try to blame it on me...”
“That’s because it IS YOUR FAULT!” Genie shouted as she charged at him, intent on splitting his head open with the remnants of her sword. The slime devils had reduced her blade to a corroded length of metal, but she still had enough of an edge to cut him in half!
However, Ranma already expected her to attack and her reckless actions were easy to detect. With a simple sidestep to the left, he deftly avoided the her downswing by mere millimeters. Pivoting on his left foot, he spun about and slammed a fist to her solar plexus, causing her to double over and lose her grip on her weapon.
Genie gasped in shock and pain as she had never been hit THAT hard before. Her intended target couldn’t be as strong as she is, so how could he hurt her with just one blow? Her sword clattered to the ground as she stumbled backward and fell down in a hunched-over position. She let off a series of groans as she clutched at her abdomen.
Merrill and Melissa immediately went to their comrade’s side. The priestess glared back up at Ranma with shock and disgust.
Ranma shrugged. “What? She attacked me first. Am I not allowed to defend myself, just because I’m a guy and she’s a girl? Tch, oh please!”
“You... monster! How could you have hit her? That’s not the way of a gentleman!”
“Hmpf! And I suppose I should have just let her kill me? Oh, that makes PERFECT sense.”
“You... brute! You uncouth, ill-mannered, rude, arrogant, conceited, egotistical, stupid... MAN! How could you have struck her?”
Ranma continued to be indifferent as he recognized this scene all too well. No matter what he did, people always expected him to just take their abuse and like it, thereby denying his rights. All he did was simply defend himself, but Melissa, with her stupid notions of chivalry, was addressing him as if he was the villain. He used to follow that stupid code of no hitting girls, and look where that got him. Now this know-nothing-know-it-all priestess is trying to lecture him on etiquette, when Genie was clearly in the wrong. Typical!
“I must have been out of mind to have ever thought you could be a part of our group! I want you out of our lives, right now!”
“Yeah, you’re fired, you stupid man!” Merrill agreed whole-heartedly.
Ranma let off a long, tired sigh as he simply went over to where his pack lay and slung it easily over his left shoulder. “So let me get this straight... you’re throwing me out because one, I tried to warn you about the dangers of the ruins, but you told me to shut up... two, Shin and I went down to save your lives... and three, because I don’t fit your idea of a team member, since I’m not a girl, I don’t take your abuse and I stand up for myself. Man, that’s story of my life, or should I say old life?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I don’t care! I NEVER want to see you again!”
“Feeling’s mutual, you pompous, over-bearing, know-nothing-know-it-all. Have a nice walk back to Ohfun.” Ranma nodded to his Rune Cat, who gave Melissa and the girls a hiss before he activated his teleportation spell. In a flash of purple light, they were gone.
Ila was currently reading a book at the Laughing Swan Pub when she noticed a sudden purple flash occurring near the front window. When the front door opened, she smiled and waved to Ranma as he entered. The magician and hand-to-hand combatant nodded and went over to her table. He sat down opposite to her while setting his pack down. Shin leapt down from his shoulder and landed lightly on the table. The cat stretched out and yawned, then curled up to take a nap. He began purring contentedly as Ila reached out and stroked his back.
“So how did it go?” Ila asked.
Ranma shook his head while letting off another sigh. “Total failure from the start. I only went as a favor to you, Ila-chan.” He then began telling her of what had happened. After a few minutes, he concluded his tale and then asked for the bartender to bring him a mug of ale. He had acquired a taste for it during his four-year adventure.
“That was so unfair!” Ila exclaimed as her friend finished recounting his experience. “You did nothing wrong and it was their fault for not listening to you.”
“Thanks Ila-chan. It’s good to have a friend who really listens.”
“You know it, Ranma.” Ila said as she leaned forward and tried to catch his attention over how much she had changed in the last four-years. She had been hoping that he’d noticed how she had filled out and had become more womanly. She barely had any figure to speak of when he had left the Magic Academy, but now she had a body that turned the heads of many men. However, Ranma seemed quite content to just being friends, which drove her crazy sometimes.
“In any case, now that I think about it, I guess I shouldn't have left them like that.” Ranma reflected as he took another slug of his ale.
“I’m surprised that you didn’t leave them right away.” His childhood friend stated. “I only wish they would get what’s coming to them for treating you so poorly.”
Her friend grinned. “Well, actually that may happen sooner than you think.”
“What do you mean?”
Ranma then held up his pack. “I still got their supplies.”
At the ruins...
Melissa began fretting as she realized her error in sending Ranma away. The injuries she and her companions had suffered were taxing her magical healing abilities to their limits and she needed the herbs that she had purchased... which were still in Ranma’s pack.
Then there was another problem...
“Oh yeah, and there’s also the fact about that door I unsealed.”
“What about it?” Ila asked.
“I didn’t close it back up when they gave me the boot. I‘m pretty sure those goblins are really ticked off by now.”
Melissa, Merrill and Genie were running like mad as a horde of goblins chased them through the forest. With no weapons or any other means to defend themselves, (their spare arms were also in Ranma’s pack), they had no choice but to use their version of the Saotome Anything Goes Martial Arts Final Attack, Run Away.
“WAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!” Merrill cried out as she began setting a new land speed record.
The Laughing Swan...
“I hope they like eating roots and berries, since I got all their food too.”
The three were totally exhausted, after finally eluding their goblin pursuers, and were about to fall flat on their faces. It was then that Merrill’s stomach rumbled, which was followed by Genie’s, then Melissa’s.
“Do either of you have any food?” The thief asked.
The other two females took on looks of depression that would have made the Lost Boy proud. Both had purchased some dried meats and fruits at the markets before the journey... and had made Ranma carry them in his backpack.
“Now don’t get me wrong, Ila.” Ranma said as he finished off his ale. “I’m sure they can get by. This is a good growing season and there’s plenty of fruit and berries in the forests. I should know. I’ve had plenty of experience in living off the wild. Of course, they should not try to eat any kind or purple-colored berries with four green leaves with a silver star pattern on them.”
“Well, I read about them in the Academy’s library. They’re a rare breed of berries that can cause unending... flatulence for 24 hours.”
“Melissa! Get away from me!” Merrill scrunched up her nose and scooted away from her friend.
“You’re one to talk!” Melissa said as she heard that sound from the thief.
BRAP! BRAP! BRAP!
Both moved away from Genie, who had eaten most of the berries they had collected.
“And I suppose that if they’re still in that forest after nightfall, then they’re going to have to sleep in the trees. They're a lot of wolves that roam those woods.”
All three girls clung to the branches of a large oak tree as a pack of wolves circled about the trunk. The wolves were not at all bothered by the smell that each was giving off, as they were very hungry. Melissa was too tired from healing and running to cast any defensive spell. Though she had nowhere near as much training in the mystic arts as Ranma, she did know quite a few spells for healing and defense. The three adventurers found themselves in a tight spot and as the sun began to set, they all thought of one thing. As they prepared to spend the night, they screamed out into the heavens...
“RANMA, YOU JERK!”
“Bless you Ranma.”
At that point, Shin awoke from his catnap, then made his way onto Ranma’s shoulder again. The two magicians got up, paid their tab, and headed out to the Magic Academy.
The next day, at the Temple of Mylee...
Head Priestess Jenny smiled as she reread the letter she had received a few days ago. She couldn’t wait to see her favorite pupil after all this time.
Dear Aunt Jenny;
By the time you receive this letter, I’ll be within two days or so of Ohfun. I should be seeing you and Pops by the end of the week. It’ll be good to see you both and Ila-chan too.
The head of the Church of Mylee nodded as she folded up the message and put it away in a pocket within her robes. It would indeed be good to see him again and she wondered just what he had learned since his last visit. The youth had begun to grow up into a fine young man. Jenny admitted that he was still rough around the edges and had a problem with proper manners, but his heart had always been in the right place, and like Master Carwess, she had long since detected the great potential within him. Her thoughts went back to happier times, when she had started to teach a rambunctious and carefree lad the art of swordplay and archery.
What a rascal he was! Always incurring Master Foltess’ anger by skipping out on his classes and making mischief among his fellow apprentices. However, he never once neglected his studies when he needed to. Jenny was thankful that Ila and Carwess were around to keep him on track. Though Carwess wanted Ranma to finish his magical training, Jenny had seen that the boy was too free a spirit to be cooped up inside the Academy forever. And so, she had agreed to teach him all of the combat skills that she knew of.
Ranma was most certainly a quick study. He seemed to soak up techniques like a sponge absorbing water. Within a fortnight, he had mastered all of the basic forms of swordsmanship and archery. He had even made up a few maneuvers of his own, often surprising her. By the time he had left Ohfun four years ago, Jenny was certain that he could hold his own against any other. He even had the potential of beating the masters of the blade.
Jenny had never married nor had any children, but Ranma was like a son to her. Just as all of the priestesses of the temple were like her daughters. One in particular had great promise. Her thoughts then changed toward a certain girl who had come to the temple to escape an arranged marriage that had been set up by her father.
It was at that moment that Melissa entered the temple with a...
Melissa sighed in contentment as she relaxed in the temple’s hot spring. After cleaning up and waiting for the effect of those berries to finally wear off, she had decided to take a long, soak in the soothing waters and forget all about the torment she had been forced to endure. However, one image remained in her mind, no matter how hard she tried to banish it from her mind. In her head, she could hear his accusing voice...
Ranma: Oh really? And what are you, Ohfun’s leading ‘hero’ expert? As far as I can tell, Shin and I risked our lives to save you three. Nobody asked us to do it, but we did it anyway. The very least you can say is thank you.
<Hmpf! He doesn’t know what he’s talking about!> Melissa’s expression tightened. <Anyone can plainly see that he’s no hero!>
Then she heard his voice again.
Ranma: What? She attacked me first. Am I not allowed to defend myself, just because I’m a guy and she’s a girl? Tch, oh please!
<No! Ranma had no right to hit Genie like that! It was all his fault!>
Then she saw herself and him as they parted company.
Melissa: I must have been out of mind to have ever thought you could be a part of our group! I want you out of our lives, right now!
Ranma: So let me get this straight... you’re throwing me out because one, I tried to warn you about the dangers of the ruins, but you told me to shut up... two, Shin and I went down to save your lives... and three, because I don’t fit your idea of a team member, since I’m not a girl, I don’t take your abuse and I stand up for myself. Man, that’s story of my life, or should I say old life?
Melissa: I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I don’t care! I NEVER want to see you again!
Ranma: Feeling’s mutual, you pompous, over-bearing, know-nothing-know-it-all. Have a nice walk back to Ohfun.
<Hmpf! As if he knows more than I do! I’m the lead priestess of Mylee! I should know what a true hero is and he’s most definitely not...>
The blonde girl was brought out of her reverie at the sound of Jenny’s voice. She looked over to where the Head Priestess was standing and bowed her head to her. “Mistress Jenny!”
Jenny nodded to her disciple as she stood in the doorway to the baths. “When you are finished and dressed, please report to my chambers immediately. There is an important matter that I must discuss with you.”
“Ah, Melissa. Please sit down.” Jenny motioned for her disciple to enter when she came to her cambers.
The young priestess nodded as she sat down in front of Jenny’s desk. “There is something that you wish to speak with me, Mistress Jenny?”
“Yes I do.” Jenny took on a more motherly expression as she continued to address her. “But first of all, I would like know how your adventures have been going so far. Any luck in finding fortune and spreading the word of Mylee?”
“It hasn’t been going as well as I had hoped... but I’m certain that things will pick up eventually.” Melissa replied.
“Ah, do not let such things bring you down.” Jenny said tenderly. “Setbacks are to be expected. But one must remember that life is full of trials and tribulations, in which we must all overcome.”
“Yes, Mistress Jenny.”
“Now then, Melissa, do you know the real reason why I allow my disciples to participate in such activities like treasure-hunting and battle?”
“To prepare us for the conflicts of the future and to learn the best way to serve our War God Mylee. To experience that which challenges us, in order to grow stronger.”
“Very good Melissa. You’ve memorized our texts well. However, that is only part of the reason. The main idea is to prepare you for when you must serve a chosen one of Mylee.”
Melissa’s eye brightened up when she realized what Jenny was referring to. She had dreamt of this moment all of her life, and it was the main reason why she joined the Church of Mylee. “You mean... it is my time?”
“Yes, Melissa. You have achieved the highest rank ever for a disciple of Mylee. You shall be given a hero by our god himself.”
Melissa felt as if she was in Heaven. At last, her fondest desire would be fulfilled. She could just see herself at the side of the paragon of righteousness and chivalry. Her knight in shining armor would be the greatest hero in all of Ohfun! All the stories that had enraptured and kept her in awe would come true! It was the perfect way to permanently erase the memory of that crude, barbaric and conceited lout Ranma, once and for all. She couldn’t wait for the ceremony! (4)
Back on Ranma’s world...
“Saotome! What are we going to do about the ceremony with no groom?!” Soun wailed.
“Now, now Tendo. I’m sure we’ll be able to find Ranma... somewhere.”
In actuality, Ranma’s disappearance had the Panda-Man sweating bullets. With no heir, he had no real reason to continue mooching off his friend’s hospitality. He just had to find that boy and soon, otherwise he may just find himself out on the street.
News of Ranma’s absence had spread like wildfire, with Nabiki helping it along (for a hefty fee of course). Before the sun had reached its highest peak, the Tendo Dojo became crowded with the pigtailed boy’s many fiancées and rivals. This of course, made a certain, short-tempered daughter of Soun Tendo extremely infuriated as she confronted three girls in particular.
“OUT WITH IT, YOU CHINESE BIMBO! YOU KNOW WHERE RANMA IS!”
“Who you call bimbo, Too-Too-Violent Girl? Shampoo not know where Airen is!”
“That’s right, Sugar.” Ukyo said as she too received an accusing glare from Akane. “We haven’t seen him since yesterday.”
“Oh ho ho ho ho ho! We know that YOU must have done something to have driven Ranma-darling away. Most likely due to that horrendous slop that you call cooking.” Kodachi taunted.
“WHat are you talking about, you crazy psycho?!”
At that time, the Kuno and Mousse showed up. Each were eager to claim the girl of their dreams, now that the main obstacle was gone.
“Ah, my fair tigress Akane Tendo! Come to mine arms!”
“Shampoo! Let’s get married right away!”
Though Mousse was disappointed after losing the magic pendant, his spirits lifted right back up when he learned that Ranma had disappeared, apparently for good. Though he did suspect that the pendant may have had something to do with it, he decided to just take advantage of this sudden good fortune.
“Let go of me!” Genma cried out as the near-sighted Hidden Weapons Master grabbed him in a crushing embrace.
Mousse was of course confused as he noticed something different about his beloeved. “Shampoo, when did you get so fat? And what happened to all of your beautiful hair?”
As for Kuno...
As for a certain Lost Boy, well he WAS trying to find the Tendo Dojo. However, he was currently in Hokkaido, thinking that it was still Tokyo.
As the bickering went on, Kasumi stood by in the kitchen and thought back to when she had last seen Ranma. He had been in a very dejected mood and wondered if he had truly run off. Though Ranma sometimes did state that he wanted to get away from all his problems, the eldest Tendo girl had never known him to be a coward.
<Oh Ranma, just where did you go?>
The other world...
“Hey Ranma, where are you going?” Ila asked as she saw her friend heading toward the front gate of the Magic Academy. After meeting up with Master Carwess again, Ranma had managed to get his old room back, in which to stay during his time in Ohfun.
“Hey Ila-chan. I’m just heading out to the Temple of Mylee to say hi to Aunt Jenny.”
“She might be busy today. I hear that one of her top disciples is going to undertake some special ceremony.”
Ranma shrugged as he hefted his pack over his left shoulder. On his right shoulder was Shin. “I won’t take up too much of her time. Besides, I just want to leave all of this excess baggage at the temple, so it can be returned to the owners.”
“Excess baggage? You mean all of that stuff from those three adventurers? I don’t see why you’re even bothering after the way they treated you yesterday. You should keep it or throw it away. Or better yet, you could sell it all. They lost all rights to it when they threw you away.”
“Yeah, I could do that, but it wouldn’t feel right. Besides, I can’t use most of this stuff and it’s just weighing me down. I thought about it last night, and I decided to let them have it. They didn’t look like they had very much. Since that girl Melissa was a priestess of Mylee, I figure that Aunt Jenny can get it back to her and those other two. Well, I’ll see you later Ila-chan. I don‘t anything else to happen today.”
The gates outside of the temple...
“Damn that jerk!” Merrill growled as she and Genie waited for their friend to complete the ritual. “It’s all his fault that we’re so deep in debt now!”
“That bastard!” Genie wholeheartedly agreed as she looked down at the new sword on her hip. She had to dip into her savings to buy the new blade, and right now, she didn’t have two bronze coins to her name. “All those supplies we bought was on credit, and those shopkeepers have been banging on my door a lot.”
“Well at least you’re not on the tax collectors’ Most Wanted List.” The young thief griped. “I have to keep a really low profile, now that I’m so far in the hole.”
“Well, I hope that Melissa has better luck after this ceremony of hers.” Genie commented as she leaned against the wall and crossed her arms over her chest.
“She seemed really excited about this ‘Chosen Hero’ ritual.”
“Well, you know how she gets over virtue and her Dream Champion. Personally, I can’t really see how she could be so excited about some fantasy.”
“On that note, I DO agree!”
Both girls were startled at the new voice and looked about. In the branches of a nearby tree, they saw a certain figure casually leaning against the trunk.
“YOU!” Both exclaimed in fury as they beheld Ranma.
The martial-arts mage smirked as he nimbly jumped down to the ground and faced the two in an easy, non-threatening stance. On his shoulder, Shin yawned lazily.
“Well, if it isn’t two-thirds of the Three Stooges. Fancy meeting you here.”
“Why you...!” Genie tensed up as he hand went to her sword. She didn’t know what his reference to three stooges meant, but the way he said made her blood come to a fast boil.
“You’re going to pay for what you did to us!” Merrill cried out as she prepared to hurl her daggers at him.
Ranma simply waved a hand at them, as if shooing away a couple of bothersome flies. “Ah, put those things away. I would have thought by now, you’d know that you don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of hurting me with those. Besides, I didn’t do anything to you girls. You did it all yourselves. Now if you had simply LISTENED to what I had to say, then you could avoided that mess. But NOOOOO, you just had to be stubborn and disregard anything that the MAN had to say. Now that is SO uncute!”
“ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!” Merrill immediately threw her knives at Ranma’s head. Her aim was true and it looked as if his noggin would become a pincushion.
However, her target decided not to cooperate and made his right hand blur in front of him. Before Merrill knew it...
THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! THUNK!
The young brunette found herself pinned to the wall by her own daggers. She continued to be in a state of shock as she watched Ranma avoid Genie’s attacks with ease. In fact, he looked somewhat bored by her friend’s attempts to cut him down.
“Damn you! Hold still!” Genie snarled as she tried to run him through with her sword. How could he move like this? He was weighed down with that heavy pack and there was cat on his shoulder. He shouldn't be able to swerve and reverse directions so quickly!
“Tsk, tsk, tsk!” Ranma clicked as he wagged an index finger at her, while simultaneously evading a vicious downswing. “You don’t REALLY expect me to just stand still and let you kill me, do you?” He then leapt over a swing to his abdomen. “How pathetic! And dishonorable in battle I might add.”
“You disappoint me, Genie. Attacking an unarmed man, just because he is merely stating the truth about your shortcomings. Just like a certain Blue Blunder I used to know. You’ve got a short fuse, and your attitude toward me and men in general sucks, but I at LEAST thought you were honorable in a fair fight.” Ranma taunted.
Genie growled as she backed off a bit. “Fine then! Draw your weapon!”
Ranma snorted with disdain. “Don’t need one. Especially against a ‘rookie’ like you. Greenhorn! Tenderfoot! Novice! Beginner! Still wet behind the ears!” Then Ranma decided to use Cologne’s favorite taunt. “You’re about a hundred years too early to beat me!”
“HOW DARE YOU?!” The redhead charged with new ferocity, with absolute murder in her eyes.
Ranma smirked as he watched her recklessly charge at him. And here he thought today was going to be boring.
Meanwhile, Merrill managed to free herself from her own weapons and decided to give Genie a hand. She figured that since they were fighting against this enemy of women, then it was all right to go two-against-one.
However, as she began charging in, Ranma simply swerved to evade her knife stab, then swung his right leg about in a roundhouse kick, knocking the thief into her partner. Both girls went sprawling as Ranma took out his magic wand and twirled it about his fingers. He then shrugged and decided.
“Nah, it would be WAY too easy if I used magic.” He then put it back into his belt and waited for his foes to get back to their feet. On his shoulder, Shin yawned and let off a small meow.
“No Shin. You cannot blow them up.”
Inside the temple’s innermost chamber. Melissa prayed before the idol of Mylee. She stood naked in hip-deep waters in the center of an elaborate pool and waited for her god to give her a sign of how she would recognize her Chosen Hero. In her mind danced thoughts of her beautiful, righteous, and always gentlemanly knight-in-shining-armor!
“Aw come on, girls! You can do better than this!”
On the roof of the temple, Ranma continued to taunt and tease his opponents as the fight/chase continued. Merrill and Genie had a lot of trouble trying to follow him up the walls and across the top of the temple. They had to resort to using a ladder while Ranma simply hopped great distances like a cricket on steroids.
“Geez! You guys really are pathetic! Not very good adventurers.” Ranma commented as he evaded a thrust to the gut from Genie, then a stab to his back by Merrill. “Nothing but losers!”
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?!” Both girls roared. No man had ever gotten them THIS steamed.
“Let me spell it out for you then...” Ranma said as he began dancing about their attacks... in a spiral.
“Merrill, you’re built like a stick!”
“WHAT?!” The petite girl was very sensitive about her figure.
“Genie, you’re a big macho chick!”
“MACHO CHICK?!” Genie became more outraged.
Then Ranma began to lead them into his trap.
“Merril, you’re face makes me sick!”
Ranma dodged another knife stab.
“Your thighs are too thick!”
Genie tried to decapitate him, but Ranma ducked under her swing and delivered a hard straight kick to her stomach.
“You can’t even kick and you’re dumb as a brick!”
“You’re going to...”
Merrill was caught off-guard by Ranma’s double-slap to her face.
“You talk like a hick, and your hair’s a cowlick!”
He then judo-tossed her toward Genie.
“And you BOTH itch like a tick! In other words...”
Here it comes.
“YOU ARE JUST SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO UNCUTE!”
Ranma smirked as he reached the center of the spiral and punched upward with a twisting motion.
“HIRYU SHOTEN HA!”
With the rage of both girls at its peak, Ranma let loose with the Rising Dragon Ascension Wave, sweeping both of them up into the air and into a raging whirlwind. As they were being sent into LEO, (a condition that Ranma was very familiar with), they each screamed out at him.
“YOU BASTARD!” Genie cried out as she lost hold of her sword and was sent skyward.
“YOU SAID YOU WEREN’T GOING TO USE ANY MAGIC, YOU ROTTEN, CHEATING MAGICIAN!” Merrill said as she too disappeared into the distance.
Ranma snorted as he watched them go then looked down at his Rune Cat. “Heh. And who said I used magic? Guess I showed them and...”
It was at that moment that he heard an ominous cracking sound. As he looked down at his feet, he saw that the roof of the temple had not been built to withstand the force of the Amazon technique. In fact, it had already been weakened from the three of them fighting and the Hiryu Shoten Ha had caused the support beams to break apart.
Shin had the sense to leap off Ranma’s shoulder as his master began falling through the hole that formed beneath him. The martial artist and magic-user had no chance to get away in time and could only prepare for the impact.
Melissa couldn't believe it! She had actually received a psychic message from Mylee himself, assuring her that the Chosen Hero would appear before her this moment!
That was when Ranma came splashing down.
In her chambers, Jenny waited for news of the outcome of Melissa’s ritual. Just then, she heard a certain scream.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! IT CANNOT BE! IT CAN’T BE YOU! THIS IS AGAINST MY WILL!”
On the roof, Shin looked down through the hole in confusion.
Cologne nodded as she picked up the remains of the magical pendant on top of the Tendo Dojo. After questioning Mousse of its whereabouts, (and systematically beating him to within an inch of his life), she started to piece together what had happened. She could detect trace amounts of Ranma’s ki signature and concluded that wherever he was, there wasn’t much hope of bringing him back.
The Amazon matriarch sighed as she decided that the cause was lost, and began hopping home on her cane.
To be continued...?
Well, that takes care of part 2 as this series truly begins. Ranma is now part of the group, whether he or the others disagree. As for whether or not I’ll continue this in the future is up in the air, but I had to at least write this part out. Well, how about it readers?
(1) Hey, if Akane can hold her own against the Horde of Hentai, then it shouldn’t be any problem for Ranma to go up against a disorganized mob. Besides, in Rune Soldier, Louie could blaze through an attacking group with brute force alone, and he wasn’t a martial artist.
(2) In the original series, Genie scoffed at Louie’s physical abilities. She’s set in her ways as a warrior, and that unarmed combat has little value to her. To her, knowing how to use a sword is what makes a fighter. Though not as delusional, her ideals are like Kuno’s. Well, she’s going to be getting a crash course from Ranma, (and I do mean CRASH), in how effective unarmed hand-to-hand combat can be.
(3) In the original Rune Soldier series, Melissa’s idea of what a true hero should be, is the perfect Lancelot, who could do no wrong, always follows the rules, is prim and proper, always chivalrous and is the penultimate ‘knight in shining armor.’ Yeesh!
(4) Excuse me, while I lose my lunch! Melissa should get her head out of those fairy tales! They’ll rot her brain!