Disclaimer: Do I really need to do this? All right, Tattoon Master and Ranma 1/2 don't belong to me, but I'm using the characters to tell a story. Happy now?
< >: Thoughts
Don't Preach What You Don't Practice
Cologne knew that she had to find her foolish great-granddaughter, before she did something that they would regret for the rest of their lives. And if Shampoo were planning to do what Cologne believed, then their lives would be very short indeed. She had been searching desperately for several hours since her encounter with Balla's sister.
Just as she was about twenty blocks away from the hotel that they were staying at, she suddenly felt an intense stabbing pain in her head. The mark of the Spirit Curse glowed brightly on her forehead and she knew that Shampoo must have been attacking the Tattoon Priestess. Biting down on the pain, she made her way to the source of her agony.
Shampoo had thought she could eliminate her rival by ambushing her. She had reasoned that if she could catch her unawares, then Balla would not be able to use her powers and the Spirit Curse against her. After leaving the hotel, she had begun hunting for Balla. She had caught sight of her when Balla had left an apartment complex that was near the school where they had clashed. Shampoo guessed correctly that that was the place where her Airen was, and intended to go claim him after she had dispatched her target.
The Amazon trailed the Tattoon girl for a while, using all the stealth techniques she had learned during her training. She wanted to wait for the most opportune moment to strike, when Balla's defenses were at their lowest levels. When the Tattoon priestess emerged from a store with her arms full of groceries, the purple-haired girl knew that this was her chance.
Balla had already known that she was being followed the moment she had left the apartment to shop for supplies. Her Tattoon senses had picked up the telltale essence of Shampoo's Spirit Curse. Apparently, the Amazon was planning to ambush her. Balla wasn't too worried since the hex would automatically activate the moment Shampoo started to attack. However, she had kept her powers on alert, just in case.
After coming out of the store with bags of groceries, she decided that the sooner she dealt with Shampoo, the better off everyone would be. She then opted to take a shortcut through a deserted alley, providing her stalker with the perfect scenario to attack. Shampoo snapped at the bait.
Cologne's pain increased geometrically as she neared the place where Shampoo was attempting to end the Tattoon girl's life. She was almost put into a comatose state when a huge surge of agony ripped through her very being. She staggered into the alley, where she beheld Shampoo once again screaming and writhing in utter torture. Balla was standing over her would-be assassin with bags in her arms and a look of disdain on her face. She glanced over to the where the Elder was and the tattoo on her forehead glowed even more brightly.
Cologne winced as she held up her hand. "N-N-N-No more! Please!"
Balla let the painful reminder of the Amazons' folly linger for several moments before relenting and letting Shampoo slip into unconsciousness. Once again, she was all business as she addressed the matriarch. "Despite the dangers of the Spirit Curse, your descendant seems bound and determined to end my life and take my husband! I should let the hex continue to its conclusion!"
Cologne shuddered a bit. It was one thing to die in glorious battle, but it was quite another to meet one's end without being able to fight back. However, she had long since admitted that it had been HER fault that her great-granddaughter was in such a predicament.
The old matriarch found herself doing something rare, which was eating crow. "I... apologize for my descendant's actions. I recognize your claim to be valid and therefore, the Kiss of Marriage is hereby null and void."
Balla snorted a bit. "Your Amazon Laws mean nothing to me, and you have no one to blame but yourself for what has happened!"
"Yes... I know that. However, you have left us in quite a fix. Shampoo cannot return home in disgrace a second time, for failing to fulfill our tribal laws."
Balla thought for a moment, recalling what Eric had told her about Amazon laws. Then she nodded as she found a way out for Shampoo. "Then simply have her return home after fulfilling the Kiss of Death."
"From what Eric had told me, your great-granddaughter originally came after him when she believed that he was a girl, correct?"
"Yes. However, that law was nullified when she discovered that he was really a male."
"Yes, but if the man she was to marry was dead, then the Kiss of Death would be reinstated would it not?"
Cologne gave the Tattoon priestess a puzzled look. "What are you getting at?"
"Simple." Balla replied. "The person you knew as male Ranma is dead. My husband is Eric Kobayashi. Therefore, the Kiss of Marriage no longer applies. As for the female Ranma, she too no longer exists for the Jusenkyo curse had been removed, when I gave Eric the Mark of Bonding. In a way, she had been 'killed.' Therefore, the Kiss of Death has been satisfied. Shampoo may return home without any loss of honor."
The old crone considered the High Priestess for a long time, while carefully measuring the weight of her suggestion. Finally, she nodded as she went to collect her still unconscious relative. "We shall return to China and... I give you my word that we will never again trouble you or son-in... I mean, your husband."
"For both your sakes, you'd better hope that our paths never cross again." Balla said as a final warning.
The Elder nodded again and, after putting Shampoo across her shoulder, she turned and hopped toward a roof. A few moments later and they were gone forever.
"So that was it?" Eric asked after Balla had told him of the details when she arrived home. Kneeling beside his futon was Lisa. "Man! I wish I'd thought of that!"
Balla nodded. She and Eric had one less thing to worry about.
Of course, there were a few MORE things to worry about. Case in point...
"So you say that I can destroy Ranma, using these... Dark Shadows?" A fully healed Ryoga asked.
Kandor nodded. It had taken some doing to sneak the Lost Boy out of the hospital and heal his extensive injuries, but after bringing him back to full health, Balla's sister found it very easy to manipulate this dimwit. His thirst for vengeance made him obsessive and it seemed that the so-called martial artist honor had been thrown out of the window. Consequences were also not high on his priority list. He was as single-minded as ever and was only focused on one goal, Ranma Saotome's utter destruction.
"Yes." Kandor replied. "Though you have been restored to your full power, you DON'T stand a chance against your hated enemy, as you are currently. However, if you were to learn these techniques, then I can guarantee that there will be NOTHING that could stop you from having your revenge."
After seeing how easily Kandor had healed him and the power she had displayed, Ryoga was more than willing to learn whatever could give him the edge against Ranma. His last encounter with his former rival had ended disastrously; as Ranma had displayed a kind of power that had made a mockery of his own skills and nearly killed him. Now, it was payback time and consequences be damned!
"Let's get started!"
Kandor smiled. Oh yes, the magic of the Dark Shadows would make Ryoga formidable, but unlike Cologne, who was wary of accepting such promises of power, the directionally-inept martial artist did not consider that there would be a price. The lessons she was about to teach him would be instrumental in her revenge against her sister, and Ryoga was considered... expendable.
In another hotel, we have yet another thing to worry about...
"I warn you, DEAR sister. Harm not a single hair on the pigtailed girl's head, lest you wish to bring the wrath of the Blue Thunder down upon thee!" Kuno glared at his sibling as he prepared to go in search of the foul demon Saotome, whom he believed, was holding his beloved pigtailed girl prisoner. He had not seen her since Ranma had abandoned Nerima, and therefore, he must have kidnapped her! That was the only LOGICAL explanation for her not to be with her beloved Tatewaki! "I shall smite the sorcerer Saotome and rescue her from his clutches!"
However, Kodachi was of a different mind. She believed that Ranma had abandoned his one true love, (herself of course), because the pigtailed sorceress had placed him under a spell and spirited him away. "If you do so much as make the slightest scratch on Ranma-darling's person, then I shall personally make you EAT that bokken! If anyone needs a smiting, then it is that pigtailed witch who had stolen my beloved by foul magic!"
"Hold thy tongue and speak not unkindly of my true love!"
"True love? Hah! You cannot even decide on a true love! You and your pining for that red-haired bitch and the equally abominable Akane Tendo!"
"I shall not hear any more of your slander, sister! The beauteous Akane and the pigtailed girl are purer than the finest orchids! They are the most dearest to this warrior's heart and I shall not have them remain one moment longer in the company of that fiend, that knave, that wretch, that... excuse for a man, Ranma Saotome!"
"Now you hold YOUR tongue, brother dear! You speak of the man that I love! My darling Ranma!"
"Nay! I speak only of the truth!"
"Take that back!"
"I will not!"
(Okay, I think we've heard enough from the Krazy Kunos. Has there ever been a SANE member in that family?)
Two weeks later...
Eric slowly exhaled as he worked the kinks out of his system. After two weeks of being bedridden, he was finally well enough to resume his martial arts and Tattoon training. Currently, he was standing in a deserted part of the park beside Balla. He was following her movements as she led him through one of her tribal katas, which would help him focus his energies. The katas were similar to those used in Yoga and other Hindu disciplines. Each movement was slow, precise and required a focused mind.
"Breathe slowly, Eric. Let the power of your tattoos flow through your body and become one with nature." Balla instructed as she stood in a wide-legged stance with her palms together and held out in front of her. She was dressed in her usual tribal wear as her tattoos glowed quietly.
Eric nodded as he copied her stance and let his own marks appear. Over the past fourteen days, new Secondary Tattoos had begun to emerge. Unlike the others, which had caused him pain when he had forced them to appear, the latest marks had been gradually worked out and were synchronized with those that were already in place.
"How do you feel?" Balla asked as they moved in tandem.
"I'm... starting to feel more relaxed." Eric admitted. "In fact, I can't remember the last time I felt this stress-free since I left Tokyo."
"Good." The blonde girl smiled as she went through another series of motions with her arms, which he mimicked. "The power of the Tattoon Tribe stems from nature. With a clear mind and open spirit, your tattoos will allow you to draw upon nature's power. Open your senses and feel its glory."
The x-scarred teen nodded as he let his enhanced senses run free. He frowned a bit as he detected some familiar essences that were hiding behind some trees a hundred yards away. "You do know that we're being watched, right?"
The girl nodded. "Yes. I sensed them too. Are they who I think they are?"
"Mmmm-hmmm. Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-Dope."
"That's not a very nice thing to say about your father, Eric."
"Hmpf! Actually I'm giving all the idiots in the world a bad name by calling him a moron."
"No. I figured that sooner or later I'd have to confront them, and I'm feeling well enough."
"Just... don't go overboard like you did with Ryoga and Mousse." Balla warned. "And you're still not totally recovered."
"I'll try, but I can't make any promises."
"Are you sure that's him, Saotome?" Soun asked as he and Genma spied on the couple.
"Positive." The panda man said as he recognized his wayward child. He was irritated that son had not yet detected them. Apparently, the boy had grown soft and hadn't been training, probably from spending time with that gaijin girl and not with his true fiancée. Well he'd soon fix that when Ranma was returned to the dojo. In fact, the two had planned to hold the wedding as soon as the future of their retirement was dragged back to Nerima.
"Well, let's go get him!" Akane's father said as he began rushing toward the boy, followed by his cohort.
"Here they come." Balla remarked as she finished with the kata.
"And here they go." Eric added as he also finished with the exercise. His Primary Mark glowed as he turned to face two of his former headaches.
"RANMA! YOU WILL MARRY..." Both shouted, but they were suddenly blown backward, when a huge gust of wind appeared from out of nowhere and swept them off their feet and high into the air. The two landed some forty feet away. Both groaned as they looked up to see a very angry Eric Kobayashi.
<OW! Since when did Ranma learn the Master's Bean Jam Blowout technique? > Genma thought as he and his friend painfully rose to their feet.
Eric had nothing but hatred and contempt directed at his father and his friend. He crossed his arms and glared at the two. "I don't know who you are or why you suddenly attacked me. Aggravated assault is against the law, you know."
However, this statement didn't register at all with the pea-sized brain of Genma or the slightly larger one of Soun's. The fat martial artist pointed at his son and shouted, "Ranma! How dare you dishonor the Saotome name?!"
Eric shrugged his shoulders in seeming puzzlement. "Ranma? Saotome? Never heard of him. I don't know why you think I'm this Ranma person."
"Stop this nonsense at once!" Soun said with blind obsession in his eyes. It seemed that he was bound and determined to see the pledge fulfilled. "You will do the right thing and return with us to marry Akane!"
Eric shrugged his shoulders again. "Now I don't know what you two are babbling about, but it's clear to me that both of you think I'm somebody else."
Genma, already tired with his son's total lack of respect, decided that it would just be best to simply take him back to Tokyo. He therefore voiced out his ultimatum. "Ranma, either you come back to the dojo willingly, or I will DRAG you back!"
At that point, Eric took on a mock introspective look. "Ranma Saotome... where have I heard that name before?" Then he swore-snapped his fingers. "Oh yes! Now I remember. He's that dope from Nerima who couldn't decide for himself. He was a good fighter, but he just let everyone else blame him for everything that went wrong, regardless of whether he had anything to do with it or not. I've heard of him. What a weenie."
Both Soun and Genma looked at each other in confusion. What was Ranma talking about?
Eric continued on criticizing his old self. "From what I heard, he was engaged to the so-called best martial artist in Nerima, and heir to the Tendo Anything Goes, against his will, and wasn't given any choice in the matter. Best martial artist in Nerima? Hah! That's a laugh! From what I heard, she was nothing only good with breaking things that didn't fight back. As far as I know, there wasn't any suitable heir to the Tendo School, since she was not even taught the basics of the Anything Goes. Then again, that was her father's fault." (1)
"HOW DARE YOU?!" Soun shouted as the first vestiges of the Demon Head began to emerge.
Eric disregarded Soun's outrage. "Then again, what can anyone expect from a man who leaves his children to fend for themselves when they needed him the most? He was nothing but a big crybaby. Who'd want to learn from someone who spends most of his time crying over his departed wife than focus on teaching or raising his family? His oldest daughter has to sacrifice her own future and become the surrogate mother, because her father is too busy whining and shirking his responsibility as head of the household."
"WHY YOU!!!!" Soun went into his full Demon Head. However, in his anger, he had forgotten that Ranma, or rather Eric was no longer affected in the slightest by it. In fact, he snorted and gestured to it with a thumb while addressing Balla.
"And when things don't go his way, he goes into this ridiculous Demon Head to try and intimidate others, especially that weenie Ranma. It's really pathetic if you ask me. Still, it's not as pathetic as that pledge to unite the schools. Sorry, I meant, take OVER the schools. The way I see it, that's how he and Ranma's father had planned."
"What?" Genma exclaimed.
Eric continued to ignore his father and Soun's presence as he continued to speak with Balla. "I mean, it's really convenient, right? From what I heard, these two did nothing but sit on their asses, play shogi, stuff their faces and let poor Ranma take all the lumps, all challengers and be a target for that uncute fiancée temper tantrums."
"How awful." Balla agreed.
"Yes it was. And that wasn't the half of it. Did you know that Genma Saotome was moronic enough to engage Ranma to more than one girl, just to fill his fat stomach? I heard that one time, he sold out his son for one measly fish, a bowl of rice and two pickles."
"No one can be THAT idiotic." Balla said with a smile.
"Don't bet on it. When it comes to being stupid, Genma Saotome is the master."
"HOW DARE YOU SHOW DISRESPECT TO YOUR FATHER?!" Genma shouted in outrage, but his son continued to ignore him.
"Genma Saotome hasn't DONE anything to deserve any respect. He's also very good at ducking responsibility for his actions, especially when he could just simply let his son take the blame. Did you know that he actually stole a girl's dowry and blamed it all on his son, despite the fact that he was too young to know any better?"
"Do tell." Balla urged him to go on.
"Yeah. He came up with some bullshit excuse about his son choosing food over his best friend, and that poor little fool didn't even know why he was asking that question. He then just took the dowry and his son, while leaving the poor girl on the side of the road."
It was then that Eric finally addressed the two idiots. "However, there WAS one good thing that came out of Genma Saotome. He did engage his son to another girl when Ranma was a year old. Of course, it was to save his hide for attempting to steal from a tribe in Tibet."
At this statement, Genma forgot his outrage and trembled as an old memory came back to him. Soun also turned his Demon Head on his friend.
"Saotome... not again!"
"Er... ahhh, I don't know what he's talking about Tendo! He's gone temporarily insane!"
"Really?" Balla said in a singsong voice as she produced the contract. "I seem to recall that as well and here's Genma's signature and the boy's handprint. This contract hereby nullifies any previous engagements that he had arranged. It promises the boy, whose handprint is on this document, to the future High Priestess of the Tattoon Tribe."
Soun immediately rushed up, snatched the piece of paper and tore it into little, tiny pieces. However, Balla was not concerned as the shredded document simply restored itself. The Tendo patriarch began shredding it again and again, but each time he did so, the evidence reassembled itself. He then got desperate and produced a lighter, setting the thing on fire. He smiled triumphantly as the contract was reduced to ashes. However, the feeling was short-lived as the charred remnants, merged back together and the parchment became like new again. The contract disappeared from his hands and reappeared in Balla's.
"Oh, did I mention that Genma signed a MAGICAL contract?" The Tattoon High Priestess calmly put the contract away then glared at the two morons. "Any attempt to destroy it, is considered a beach of an agreement and can result in SERIOUS punishment." She emphasized her point by making her tattoos appear, giving off an aura of power.
Eric however, waved her to power down. "Ah, it doesn't really matter Balla. They're just a couple of idiots, who don't realize that their so-called pledge of honor is just a load of crap, and that it will NEVER, EVER be fulfilled."
At that point, both men could no longer stand Eric's utter defiance and charged at him. They couldn't believe that the boy had grown a backbone and was openly refusing their plans that they had set up before he was born. Genma intended to teach his insolent son a lesson that he wouldn't forget.
However, it was Eric who was going to be doing all the teaching today and the fat, cowardly husband of Nodoka was going to learn a VERY hard lesson. Motioning for Balla to back off, Eric faced off against the two disciples of Happosai. Soun was the first to try with a high-kick to the head, but that proved to be a failure from the start. Aerial attacks were not a specialty of the Tendo School, and with his degraded skill level and Eric's experience with such tactics, Soun was unprepared when his opponent countered. He winced in pain as the teen gripped his extended leg by the ankle and squeezed. Tendons and bone began to pop under the pressure as he was swung about, then slammed hard face-first on the ground.
Soun groaned as he stubbornly struggled to his knees. The Schools must be joined. That long-time dream was the only thing that had sustained him throughout the dreaded Master's training. It had kept him going when his beloved wife had passed on. It was his one, his only reason for living and he would see it fulfilled... at any cost!
As he tried to get up, his friend Genma tried to blindside his son from the rear, but received a hard elbow to the face, followed by a rabbit punch to the throat, making him gasp for air.
"Trying to get me when I'm not looking, eh?" Eric said contemptuously. "I thought as much. That's all you can do, since you can't face anything without pulling some stupid shit first."
Genma however, was a stubborn individual as he tried a high-punch combo. "Foolish boy! You WILL marry Akane and carry on the schools! It is a matter of HONOR... AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!"
Eric's voice became deadly as he held Genma's mangled right arm. "Here's some free advice for you Genma Saotome. Don't PREACH what you don't PRACTICE!"
Genma's gut was slammed into his spine.
"You've gotten soft old man." Eric remarked.
"Then again, all you've ever done is stuff your face and let your son take the heat for YOUR crimes!"
There goes a dozen teeth.
"Just how many times have you had to fight for your life?"
"How many times had you had to endure an uncute bitch's temper?"
WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!
"Just what have you done to improve? What kind of hardships have YOU had to take?"
"I've had to do all of that and much, much MORE!"
WHAM X 1000
Genma becomes Eric's high-speed punching bag.
"The Cat Fist!" (WHAM) "Starvation!" (WHAM) "The Dragon's Whisker!" (WHAM) "Swimming to China!" (WHAM) "Jusenkyo!" (WHAM) "The Amazons!" (WHAM) "Shampoo!" (WHAM) The Old Ghoul!" (WHAM) "That Little Freak!" (WHAM) "That nutjob Kuno!" (WHAM) "His nutjob sister Kodachi!" (WHAM) Their nutjob father!" (WHAM) "Ryoga!" (WHAM) "Mousse!" (WHAM) "Nabiki!" (WHAM) "AKANE!" (WHAM) "AND YOU WITH ALL OF YOUR SHIT!" (WHAM) "I survived all of them!" (WHAM) "I took everything they had!" (WHAM) "I have never stopped training!" (WHAM) "I've overcome everything!" (WHAM) "So what have you done?" (WHAM) "How hard have you suffered?" (WHAM) "JUST WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN BEAT ME NOW?!" (WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!)
The last series of hits sent the fat martial artist flying into a park bench, shattering it on impact.
Eric turned about and saw Soun was back on his feet, though he very unsteadily.
"Stay down, Tendo-San." He growled in a very deadly tone.
However, obsessive behavior is what shaped the Tendo partiarch's personality and made him blind to everything else.
"You... WILL marry Akane!" He gasped as he charged at Eric again.
Eric however, would have none of his idiocy. Knocking away Soun's pathetic attempts to hit him; he then delivered a series of fast punches that the older man had no hope of countering. Soun felt some of his ribs cracking from the impacts, then he was knocked back down to the ground by a hard right cross to the chin. At this point in time, Soun could no longer be considered as a martial artist or even a decent fighter. His skills had degraded from years of inactivity and hardly any training at all. It was clear that he had no hope of defeating an enraged Eric Koboyashi.
"I said... STAY DOWN, Tendo-San!" The X-scarred fighter warned again. "Keep this up and your daughters will be weeping over your own funeral!"
On the sidelines, Balla became concerned at those words. She hoped that Eric wouldn't cross the line and was ready to interfere if it came to that.
"You... will... marry..."
Soun was sent flying and landed hard on his back some fifteen feet away from Eric.
"I SAID... STAY DOWN!" Eric shouted as his battle aura flared. Thrusting his hands forward, he let loose with a blast of air. The symbol on his forehead flashed.
Akane's father was sent flying even further and impacted against a sign, which snapped in two. He fell flat on his face and was out like a light. At that time, Balla's significant other was satisfied that Soun was finally down for the count.
"ERIC! LOOK OUT!"
At the sound of her voice, the former Saotome turned and saw Genma coming at him from above, with a glowing foot extended.
<Well, looks like Panda Man does know a few tricks!> At that moment, his aura flared even hotter as he raised both hands and caught Genma's foot as he came toward him.
Genma let off a yelp of pain as his son began squeezing, making the bones pop and the tendons snap. He was then hauled by that foot and slammed repeatedly into the ground. With his strength fading, Genma rolled away and got back to his feet. It was at that time that he realized that in order to beat his disobedient child; he would have to unseal his Forbidden Techniques.
"RANMA! YOU BREAK YOUR FATHER'S HEART! HOW COULD YOU BE SO DISHONORABLE?"
"SHUT UP! I TOLD YOU BEFORE, DON'T PREACH WHAT YOU DON'T PRACTICE! AND I'M TELLING YOU NOW, KEEP THIS UP AND I'LL BREAK A LOT MORE THAN JUST YOUR HEART!"
"Ranma... you force my hand. Now feel the true power of the Anything Goes!" With these words, he began focusing his ki... then disappeared.
Eric looked about in confusion as he tried to use all of his senses to detect that worthless excuse of a human being. Who would have thought that he would have a technique that was actually useful?
Hidden nearby, Genma smiled as he used his Umisenken Technique to maneuver close enough to get in a strike to end the fight. With the Art of the Silent Thief at his disposal, his son would soon be subdued and the schools would be joined! Nothing could detect him when he was like this!
However, Genma was wrong. Eric had some new powers at his disposal since leaving Nerima. The mark on his forehead flashed again as his Secondary Tattoos appeared, boosting his mystic senses to a level that COULD detect the invisible Panda Man. Once he zeroed in on him, Eric smirked, paused, then ducked.
Genma couldn't believe that he had missed as his intended punch to the back of Ranma's head sailed over him. Before he could recover, he felt a hard hit to his gut, followed by one knee... to the groin.
Genma let off a high-pitched howl as he clutched at his privates and became visible again. That was when Eric let him have it.
WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHMA! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! CRUNCH! SNAP! WHACK! CRACK! MANGLE!
Genma slumped off into a near comatose state as Eric lessened in hitting him. The injuries the Panda Man had sustained from his former son finally took their toll. He may be a lazy, greedy, good-for-nothing, but he was still a martial artist. Eric finally stopped when he realized that his former father wouldn't feel anything. Trembling with utter rage, he took several calming breaths and let the fat bastard slip out of his hands and fall to the ground.
He turned around and looked into Balla's concerned expression. He let off another tired sigh. "It felt great... but I still feel so... hollow. The pain... in my soul is still there."
"I know." The blonde girl said as she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "It's something that you needed to work out. I'm glad that you didn't kill them, though that father of yours did deserve it."
"Yeah, well I'm tired of having to always fight for my rights and pound that fact into these idiots. Why can't they just accept it? I deserve to make my own choices, don't I? I deserve to have my own life!"
"Yes, you do." Balla agreed. "So what now?" She gestured to the two on the ground.
Eric let off another tired sigh. "I guess we should call Detective Nagata and have these two morons picked up. With Genma's record, he'll be in prison for a long time. As for Soun Tendo, well I guess he'll be charged with harboring known felons and maybe assault. Frankly I'm not sure, nor do I really give a damn. As long as I never see either of them, then that will be good enough for me."
Balla nodded as she made certain that neither man would die from his injuries. Her beloved left to find the nearest payphone.
<I swear that I won't let anybody push me around any more! > Eric thought as he found a payphone, inserted some coins and began dialing.
Kandor was impressed as she watched Ryoga become attuned to the new tattoos that she had imprinted on him. It wouldn't be long now...
To be continued...
I hope the revisal has made this chapter a bit fuller.
The eventual confrontation between Eric and Ryoga was so long, that I decided to break chapter eleven into two parts. I'll admit that the Amazon problem was solved with very little blood spilled, but I decided that it would be best for Cologne and Shampoo to bow out more or less gracefully. I mean, what else could they do? As for Genma and Soun, well they weren't really any match for Eric as he is now, hence the short, somewhat anti-climatic massacre. However, I feel that Eric got his point across that no one's going to push him around. As for Kodachi and Tatewaki, how much would you like to bet on how long THAT match would last? In any case, part 2 will be a doozy as Ryoga and Eric have their FINAL fight, and I do mean final.
(1) I was inspired after reading Dark Present, No Regrets by Rippen Drakuzz.