Disclaimer: Help! I've started writing and I can't stop!
At the archery range of Ranma's school, Lisa Fujimatsu was practicing with her longbow. As she quietly notched another one of her arrows, and took aim at the center target, her thoughts went back to her last encounter with Eric and that blonde floozy who claimed to be his wife.
Balla: You mess with him, and then you'll mess with me!
End of flashback...
Lisa frowned as her arrow hit the outer ring of the target. Definitely not her best. She sighed as she then lined up another arrow and drew back the bowstring. Just as she took aim and was about to release...
Lisa was frantically waving her bow as Balla had suddenly appeared before her. The Tattoon girl was now standing on one leg with her head thrown back with an arrow protruding from her forehead. Balla's right hand was clutching the shaft near its point. Lisa had never actually killed anyone with her arrows before and thought that this was the end, when Balla then straightened up and showed that she had just barely caught the arrow before it had hit her in the head.
"Whew! That was close!" Balla said in relief. She then looked down at Lisa, who was lying on the ground with one leg raised and bent haphazardly. (You know, like Ranma used to do).
Balla smiled down at the Fujimatsu girl and smiled. "Let's be friends."
Lisa angrily sat up and glared at the High Priestess. "What are you doing here? TRAITOR!"
Nerima, three months after Ranma left...
Nabiki growled as she looked at the latest figures that her flunky had handed to her. Blackmail was down. Betting pools were down. Extortion was down by eighty-five percent, especially with the Computer Club! Who would've thought that those techno-geeks would develop backbones after Ranma had departed?
Furthermore, Shibana and his crew were not just protecting themselves from the Ice Queen's reach. They had somehow gotten a hold of the computer and hardcopy files that the middle Tendo daughter had on the other students at Furinken. What she didn't know was that Shibana's Cyber-Snake virus had copied all of her files and downloaded the information to his own computer before destroying the records in her PC. This included the locations of all the hard copy files of her other 'clients,' as well as her information sources. Now a large number of students and even some of the teaching staff were breaking free of her control. They knew who worked for her and what kind of dirt she had on them. Without those files, Nabiki couldn't force them to do her bidding anymore.
The baseball, soccer, and basketball teams were now refusing to throw games to fix the odds for her betting pools. The chemistry and other science clubs had banded with Shibana's, cutting off her supplies to technology, chemicals and other such equipment. The journalist and video clubs denied her access to the microphones, cameras and camcorders. The school newspaper wasn't letting her anywhere near the printing press. The writing clubs were not going to forge or falsify any notes, letters and documents for her. With her main support in Ranma gone, Nabiki's empire had slowly but surely, begun to crumble.
Present time, Hiroshima...
A bulls eye this time.
"What the heck do you see in a jerk like Eric anyway?" Lisa asked as she notched another arrow. Balla was kneeling on the ground to her left.
Balla shrugged a bit while still smiling as she replied. "I know that Ra... I mean, Eric can come off as a bit abrasive..."
"A bit abrasive?" Lisa stressed as she drew back her bowstring and took aim.
"All right, a lot abrasive." Balla amended. "But you should hear the nice and tender things he said about you."
The arrow struck more than five inches to the right of the target's edge. Lisa frowned as she notched another arrow and took aim.
"Eric really does have a sensitive side and he just doesn't want people to know that he really has some affection for you."
Lisa sweatdropped as she saw that her arrow had missed the target completely and struck the wall a good two feet above it.
Balla then grinned as she said, "Oh I get it. You LIKE him too!"
"I DO NOT!" Lisa said as she began frantically waving her arms in denial. "How can you suggest that I like a jerk like him?"
"But... it's so obvious." Balla said, her innocence and naiveté being apparent.
Lisa's anger began to skyrocket, as she couldn't believe that any girl would hold Ranma up in so high a regard, despite the emotions that he invoked in her and all the other girls that had approached him. "Listen here Balla! Eric has broken the hearts of way too many girls at my school! If you're going to defend him, then we're just going to have to settle this another way!"
Evening, Ranma's apartment...
"What do mean that you're going to fight a duel?!" Ranma gasped after Balla had told him of what had happened that afternoon. At the moment, he was busy preparing dinner. "Didn't I tell you not to pick any fights with that girl?!"
"I remember." Balla said quietly.
"But you're going to fight her anyway, aren't you?"
"But you must understand. Once the honor of the Tattoon Tribe has been challenged, then it can only be settled with a battle to the absolute death."
"Christ, it's the Joketsuzoku all over again!" Ranma muttered.
"Never mind!" Ranma breathed out a sigh of frustration. "What about those weird magic powers of yours? Does she know about them?"
"I showed them to her. And how."
Balla's hand tattoo appeared as she made her energy blade form. As the weapon glowed like golden fire, she then took on a serious expression.
"This is the power of my people. Still want to fight?"
Lisa gasped at the sight, then steeled herself. "I don't care! I'll see you tomorrow morning in front of the schoolyard!"
End of flashback...
"See?" Balla said.
Ranma pinched the bridge of his nose and shook his head. <Damn! No matter where I go, these damned girl problems just keep coming up!> He then glared at Balla, who still looked at him with her innocent eyes. He felt his insides become torn at the thought of this girl coming to any harm. What was it about Balla that he found so... Arrrgh! I should just let Lisa and Balla kill each other and... aw, shoot!
"Balla... I can't believe I'm saying this, but... as your husband, I forbid you to meet Lisa tomorrow! Got that?"
Balla's eyes widened as she heard Ranma actually refer to himself as 'her husband.' Her heart leapt in joy and she was about to go over to embrace him, but then saw Ranma turn away to continue chopping vegetables. The way he was clenching the knife gave her pause. She could see the anger and frustration building in his eyes and decided to keep her peace for now.
During that night, Lisa had decided to get some lessons from a master of the Fujimatsu School of Short-Range Archery. To that end, she dragged the futon, which had her grandfather still sleeping on it, to the training area of her home. The girl then knelt at the side of her snoring relative and bowed her head to him.
"Grandfather... I need you to teach me... how to shoot at a living target."
The elderly man suddenly stopped in his snoring and then sat up, his eyes opened and his expression stern. "Do you realize what you are asking?" He said in a commanding tone.
"Yes sir." Lisa replied solemnly.
The old man then stood up and looked down at his granddaughter. "In my long, military career, I shot my arrows into the living. It is not something that can be done with a faint heart. When you have done it once, you will never be the same! Are you ready for that change?"
Lisa nodded. "Yes sir."
The old man crossed his arms and gave his granddaughter an approving nod. "Good girl." He then gave Lisa a sly look and asked in a teasing tone. "Is little Lisa having boy troubles?"
The girl's cheeks reddened a bit as she tried not to look into her relative's eyes. "Something like that."
Lisa's grandfather grinned as he turned his back to her, put one hand on his hip while placing the index finger of his other hand on the side of his tilted head. "Well, imagine that! And all this time, I thought you were gay! Heh, heh, heh!"
Lisa then came up in a huff and started pounding on the man's back. "Ooooooh! Just show me how to shoot and kill that little blonde floozy! I wanna learn now!"
Lisa's grandfather continued to guffaw.
Back in Nerima...
"M-M-Master! You're... back early!" Soun and Genma cried out as they saw Happosai in the usual attire that he wears during his panty raids.
The ancient lecher sighed as he laid down his sack of women's unmentionables. "Hello Soun... Genma..."
"Is... something wrong, Master?" Soun asked, though part of him was glad that the old pervert had cut his nightly activities short. The less time he was out stealing underwear, the less chance the authorities would have of finding out who he was and where he was hiding. The reputation of the Tendo Dojo would be ruined if it was known that the infamous Underwear Thief lived there.
"No... yes, something is wrong." Happosai let off another tired sigh. "The novelty of being able to steal freely has worn off. The fun has gone out of it. The challenge is gone. Where's the excitement? It's just too easy! Usually, I'd have Genma's boy dogging me, trying to keep me from all these pretties!" He pointed to the sack. "It was always so much fun to put Ranma through his paces and challenge that boy." (In other words, torment him and make his life a living Hell). "How else was I supposed to train my heir?"
"Don't worry Master! I'm sure that my son will return and..."
"That's what you said FOUR months ago!" Happosai said. "And we haven't seen breast nor behind of her, I mean him!" The old pervert really missed his Ranma-chan and the pleasure of nuzzling in her ample bosom. "I'm going to bed."
"Master? What about these?" Soun asked as he held up the sack of underwear.
Happosai shrugged as he replied. "If I can't fight to steal them, then I don't want them. In any case, it looks like I may have to choose one of you idiots to train as an heir." With that, he trudged up the stairs.
Both men winced as they realized that they just HAD to get Ranma back. Without an heir to train to keep the Master happy, then one of them would have to take his place. Considering what they had endured with the lecher during their training journey, they had no wish to become Ranma's replacement. Ranma was the future of the Anything Goes, so he should be the one to suffer, not them!
Hiroshima, present time...
Ranma awoke with a feeling of foreboding. He decided to check up on Balla and gave off a sigh of resignation as he saw that her room was empty.
Ranma then went to get dressed and hurried out the door.
At the front of the schoolyard, Lisa kneeled at the entrance to the school with her bow and quiver laid out beside her. She was wearing an outfit that looked like Kuno's samurai robes and sported a white headband with her hair tied back. She then felt a wind suddenly turn up and looked up to see Balla materialize on a nearby rooftop. The Tattoon girl was dressed in her ceremonial outfit, (the green bikini), and gently hopped down to the ground to face off against her opponent.
"The challenge is met." Lisa said as she got up with her bow and quiver at the ready.
"But only one will walk away." Balla replied.
"I will!" Lisa shot back as drew out her first arrow.
"No mere mortal can defame the honor of the Tattoon Tribe."
"We'll see about that!" Lisa said as she quickly notched the arrow and then launched it at Balla's head.
The High Priestess quickly raised both hands and clapped the arrow between them. However, the arrow still kept on going toward her face.
Balla found herself leaning backward to avoid being hit by the point and landed hard on her derriere. She then looked up at Lisa who had a smug look on her face.
"Not so easy to catch this time, are they? I learned a few tricks last night as well. Prepare to die!"
Balla knew that her Tattoon powers gave her a huge edge and had come seeking a peaceful solution. However, she was forced to duck for cover as Lisa let loose with a rapid barrage of arrows. Balla then headed toward the school building as more of the deadly projectiles came flying at her.
Meanwhile. Ranma was busy running across rooftops toward the school.
<Damn it all! I thought I was finally away from things like this, but here I am, running to stop two girls from killing each other, all because of me! I should just let those two tear each other up, but damn it! DAMN IT! DAMN IT! DAMN IT! GIRLS ARE NOTHING BUT TROUBLE!>
Back at the school, Balla was still refraining from using her Tattoon powers as she continued to dodge Lisa's arrows. She soon found herself backed into a corner as the bow-wielding girl took out another arrow and prepared to fire.
"Not a very good move Balla. If you knew this school better, you wouldn't have trapped yourself! If you knew me better, then we wouldn't be fighting at all! The way you fawn over a jerk like Eric. How can you even call yourself a woman?" She launched another fast barrage of arrows, which narrowly missed her target and broke a couple of windows behind Balla as she dodged.
"Stop it!" Balla said. "I just realized that this entire thing is pointless! We shouldn't be fighting each other. We both love the same man!"
"I DON'T LOVE HIM!" Lisa denied as she notched another arrow. "Now fight me!"
Balla raised a hand and began forming a ball of mystical energy. However, she then let it disperse with a gesture. "This is silly." She muttered as she then jumped out a window. Lisa quickly headed downstairs to head her off.
At that moment, Ranma landed on the front schoolyard and began looking for the two combatants. When he heard a noise of breaking glass, he headed toward the commotion.
On the ground, Balla was mentally berating herself for getting into this fight out of sheer pride
<How could I have been so foolish?>
It was then that Lisa rounded the corner.
"Nowhere left to run Balla!"
"Lisa! Stop this! There's no need for..."
"SILENCE!" Lisa shouted as she shot off two arrows.
The girl of the Tattoon Tribe gasped as the projectiles barely grazed her cheek. She drew blood!
Lisa smirked as she taunted her opponent. "In war, when you begin a battle, then you must finish it. That is what my grandfather taught me. Then, he bestowed upon me a very special gift. This will put an end to your running." Lisa took out an arrow that looked like it was made of several shafts tied together in a bundle.
"Lisa... please listen to me!"
"Balla... TRY TO CATCH THESE!"
Lisa launched the arrow at her, which suddenly exploded into a dozen streaks of light. Balla found herself thrown up against the wall behind her as she felt her skin being pinched in many places. As she looked down, she found that she was pinned to the wall by thin filaments that resembled piano wire.
Lisa then drew another arrow as she casually explained the Thousand-Neck Rending technique. "That was just the first part. The cables are there to hold you in place. The beheading arrow will rip you to shreds!"
"Stop this, Lisa! This is going too far!"
"No. It's all over." Lisa responded in a cold tone as she notched the lethal arrow. She then drew back the bowstring and took aim.
Balla winced, as she knew that she was going to have to use her powers. As she prepared to let loose with her Tattoon magic, someone suddenly appeared before her, just as Lisa released her arrow. The projectile then exploded into a swarm of needles as they sped toward them.
"KATCHU TENSHIN AMAGURIKEN!"
"ERIC!" Balla cried out happily.
"Eric?" Lisa said in surprise.
Ranma stood in front of Balla and glared at Lisa. In his upheld fists, neatly wedged between his fingers, were twenty, sharp, two-inch long needles. On the wall where Balla was pinned, several more of the needless were embedded into the concrete. Ranma had used his Chestnut technique to catch the ones that were certain to hit the Tattoon priestess and let the others hit the wall harmlessly. He relaxed his grip on the needles and let them drop to the ground. His red aura glowed sharply as he faced Balla's would-be executioner.
"ARE YOU CRAZY? WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!"
"Eric... I..." Lisa became flabbergasted as she gazed at the boy who stirred certain emotions within her. She then began reminiscing back...
Lisa was crouched down in front of her bike as Brody and Deiner watched from afar.
"Heh. Looks like Lisa is having bike problems." Deiner remarked.
"Yeah. Do you think we should help her?" Brody asked.
"Nah. She won't accept help from any BOY."
Lisa was close to tears at the barbs as she tried to get her bicycle chain back into its proper place. It was at that moment that she was roughly pushed to the side and Ranma was crouching beside her.
"Here, let me have a look at that." Ranma purposely didn't look at her and only focused on repairing the bicycle.
Lisa looked at Ranma in shock. "I... I... I didn't expect you to help me with..."
Ranma casually waved it off, keeping his emotions hidden as he said, "I'm full of surprises. DON'T make a big deal about it, okay?"
End of flashback...
"You... were so nice to me back then... now you just ignore me." Lisa said in a choking voice.
"Aw... Lisa." Ranma shook his head as he saw her eyes beginning to get moist.
Balla also huffed as she said, "This all so silly! It's obvious that you two have these feelings toward each other, yet you keep them bottled up inside. But..." Balla then took on a serious expression as she addressed Lisa. "You forget that he's MY husband!"
Her body then flared with power as the cables that restrained her disintegrated. Her body became alive with energy as her skin became imprinted with dozens of the mystical tattoos that she used to focus her magical abilities. She held up her hands and formed a bow and arrow that was made of pure mystical power. She aimed it directly at Lisa and said, "And if you think you're going to take him away from me, then you've got another thing coming baby. Ready to fight me now?"
"No! Stop it Balla!" Ranma shouted to her, then began rushing to Lisa's side.
The Priestess smiled and gave her beloved a wink. "Don't worry. I will."
Lisa bit back her tears as she armed her bow with another one of her beheading arrows and fired. I will fight for him. I...lo...
As soon as she launched her arrow, Balla fired off her own. The beheading arrow exploded into needles, but they disintegrated into nothingness when they collided with the Tattoon arrow. As the projectile streaked toward her, she let off a scream and prepared to die. Ranma, by some unknown miracle, managed to beat the blast and stood before Lisa. He hoped that his ki would be able to stop or at least blunt the effect of Balla's arrow. He began summoning up all of his rage for one massive counterblast in the instant before the arrow found its mark.
However, both the martial artist and the archer were shocked when Balla's energy suddenly split into two and then reformed behind them, digging a wide trench behind them before fading away into nothingness. At the same time, Ranma felt a weird sucking sensation as his anger-enhanced aura suddenly winked out. He then looked up and saw Balla smiling at him and began patiently walking up to him and Lisa.
It was at that time that Lisa took a step back and found herself falling into the trench. She flailed about and grabbed the back of Ranma's shirt, causing him to be pulled down into the hole as well. The two of them landed hard on their butts as Balla giggled at their fall.
"OW! What the HELL was that?" Ranma asked as he looked up at the Tattoon girl. He noticed that the tattoos that had appeared on her body were not visible again.
Balla crouched down at the edge of the hole and replied. "I just turned all the feelings of hate and anger between the three of us into pure energy and threw them away."
"Uh, if you say so." Ranma then thought about his battle aura. <Was that what happened to my battle aura? Did she drain that too?>
Balla gave the two an endearing look. "When people love each other, there's no room for hatred or anger."
Ranma winced and then glared at her with an angry expression. "Haven't you been listening? I've TOLD you a HUNDRED TIMES that I DON'T LOVE YOU!"
Balla snorted a bit while still smiling. "Hah. Your words don't agree with your actions."
At this point, Lisa took on a thoughtful look as she considered Balla's words. "Eric... maybe Balla's on to something... You think?"
It was at that moment that Balla jumped down into the trench and got between the two with fire in her eyes. "HEY! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?"
Lisa's anger also rose as she glared back at the Tattoon priestess. "HE DOESN'T BELONG TO YOU!"
"ACCORDING TO TRIBAL LAW, WE'RE MARRIED!"
"HE'S NOT ONE OF YOUR TRIBE!"
"WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE?!"
"WHY DON'T YOU JUST SHUT UP?"
Ranma shook his head in disgust and remembered why he hated the opposite sex. "LEAVE ME OUT OF THIS!"
Balla then promptly glomped onto Ranma as he turned his back to leave. "Eric, sweety!"
Lisa grabbed her leg and tried to pull her off.
The citizens of the city of Hiroshima all stopped in their daily lives as they heard a shout of anguish from one boy who just couldn't get a break.
"LET GO OF MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!"
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the city, another voice of anguish and despair rang out.
"WHERE ON EARTH AM I NOOOOOOOW?!"
Nerima, five months after Ranma had left...
Nabiki was definitely not happy. The last of her Ranko photos had sold for a ridiculously high sum by Kuno, which would just barely cover the losses she had suffered. When Ranma was there, she had always come through each month with a very tidy profit, but this time, she had broken even... minus a couple thousand yen. No, this would not do at all. Her other ventures only made a fraction of what she usually got out of that sex-changing jock. Now that he was gone, she was just managing to eke out enough to pay for household bills and groceries.
There were only a couple of good things that came about from Ranma's disappearance. With him gone, there were no rivals attacking the Tendo home in their bid to kill him. Also, there was no one for Akane to vent her anger on. That meant huge savings on repair bills. Furthermore, with only one Saotome left, (namely Genma), that also saved a bit on the food bills, though Ranma's father still ate like a herd of elephants. Neither Genma nor Nabiki's father were any help. Day in and day out, they would moan and groan at how the schools would never be joined and play Shogi.
Nabiki wasn't about to quit. She OWNED Ranma and she wasn't about to let him get away that easily. She had used what little profit she had made in a desperate gamble. She had bought some low-grade surveillance equipment and had the Computer Club secretly bugged. She knew in her gut that they had at least an inkling of where Ranma was. Sooner or later, they would slip up and Nabiki would know exactly where her moneymaker was. All she could do now was wait.
To be continued...
This rewrite wasn't much as I added just a few extra scenes. I promise that in chapter 4, there's going to be some MAJOR additions and it will make the old version seem tame. Until then!