A/N: Definition of FanFic: FICTION (a non realistic story) made by a FAN (an ardent follower and admirer) of another person's work, using that person's ideas to make an original story. As such, the only thing that the FAN owns is their respective original story and original characters; NOT the object(s) of their FANdom.
This has not yet been Beta Read.
"Alright, look..." Ramna rubbed her temples to placate the headache that was coming on, added to in no small part by the grinning pink haired girl sitting on the bed next to her, "Sacchan, why don't we start from the beginning. I know that you were the one who turned me into a girl; I remember hearing your voice when I was fighting Saffron. So, what's going on?"
"My my, Usana!" Princess Usagi Small Lady Serenity, more commonly known as Chibiusa and less commonly known as Sacchan, placed her hand over her mouth in shock, "So young and yet already getting migraines!" Her eyes however revealed the laughter within them.
"It's your fault I'm like this in the first place." Ranma replied flatly, the barest hint of heat in her voice. Much like Ukyo, Ranma couldn't actually get mad at her, but she could certainly get annoyed.
"That's a half-truth," Chibiusa retorted, "While I'm certainly responsible for your transformation, for the most part all I did was remove the curses that were placed on you and release the locks on your magic. If you want to blame somebody, take it up with whoever or whatever cursed you to become a boy in the first place, because you were born a girl! Trust me; I know better than anyone."
"Because you're from the future, right?"
Ranma rolled her eyes at Chibiusa's dumbfounded look, "I've known for a while now, since I was around ten. You let it slip a couple of times whenever you were teaching me stuff. I'm just guessing, but something must've happened for you to come back in time and meet me, right? After dealing with that damn mirror I know it's no joke to mess around with time. That, and I don't see Miss Pluto just letting anyone go back and change time, she is the Time Guardian, after all..." The last part was spoken more to herself, but it was still heard.
Saving the fact that Ranma had encountered Sailor Pluto at some point for later, Chibiusa nodded. "That's right. I came back in time to stop the destruction of the world, and more importantly..." Taking Ranma's hands into her own she held them close to her, "I came back in time to stop you from dying again."
The stillness in the room was stifling as both Ranma and Cologne, who was standing near the door took in what was said, until Ranma finally broke the silence. "I...I died..?"
Chibiusa couldn't look Ranma in the eyes, "...In the future there was a great evil that attacked the Earth. It gathered many followers using its dark powers and the defenders of the Earth, the Sailor Senshi fought against it. The darkness prevailed in the end, and everything was lost. There was almost nothing left of the world. I came back in time to change things, as well as to fulfill your la-, your wish."
"My...wish..?" Chibiusa's eyes steeled over as memories began to creep back up, memories that she had pushed to the back of her mind, never wanting to recall...
"Damn it. This is...how it ends..? Everything was just...lies and trick-*Cough*"
"Don't die! Hold on, we can heal you!"
"Save your energy...it's justa waste ta use it on me. Instead-*Cough* Get the bastard who was...using me..."
"Usana-chan, please hang in there!"
"Usana huh..? Yeah...I 'member...that was my name...was it..? Heh... Just wish...I just wish... that I could start over...a life not being used...with people who...cared. Damn it... Sorry... Sacchan... *Cough* *Cough*..."
It was a different sight, Cologne thought as she stood on her staff near the doorway, to see her former son-in-law comforting a crying girl. She was once again surprised to see how the pink haired Moon Princess bypassed all of the former male's aversion to females with no effort. If Shampoo had been even half as capable, she would have been married to the then boy years ago! 'Or perhaps, the lifting of her curse affects her more mentally than I thought.'
It took a long while for Chibiusa to realize she was sobbing in Ranma's arms, and an even longer time for her sobs to subside. The entire time Ranma simply stroked her hair soothingly, not saying a word, simply letting her gather herself. 'Just like the first time we met. Although, she was a 'he' then.'
"Your wish...," She pulled away to sit beside her friend again, the steel returning to her eyes, "Was to start over; for a chance of a life with people who cared about you and weren't just using or manipulating you."
"A chance to start over... I know my life's been pretty much hell, but what could have happened for me to make that wish..? Did I...did I at least go out fighting against that darkness? I mean, a Martial Artist's duty is to protect those who can't protect themselves. I wanna think I would help those guys who were fighting..."
"..." Chibiusa avoided looking directly into Ranma's eyes, her hands tightening their hold on the concerned girls', "What ever it was that attacked made you a priority target, and got to you first before moving on to the palace. You fought hard against them, and managed to severely cripple the enemy forces before you were defeated."
Seeing Ranma's tense nod, she continued on, "When I came back in time, I searched all over to find you. It was hard, because the curse that turned you into a boy also made it difficult for me to sense you, especially since you were still small. When I first found you back when you were four, I tried to break the curse, after ditching your dead-beat father,of course."
"He's not that bad," Ranma defended, "He just doesn't always think things through!" However she faltered at the heated glare that Chibiusa shot at him.
"He sold you for a bowl of rice!" Cologne managed to keep a straight face as Chibiusa's tirade began, "Do you have any idea how annoying it was for me to get rid of all the crimes that he committed in your name!?"
"Wait, that was you!?" Ranma gasped, shocked, "Nabiki said she was the one who did it! She made me pay her for that!"
"Of course she would pull something like that," Chibiusa muttered darkly, for the briefest of moments before recovering, "Anyway, as I was saying, back then my powers weren't strong enough to break the curse on you, and at the time you were too young for me to try to release the locks on your powers. If I had, it might have been able to override the curse, but the strain would have been way too much for your body to handle." Both Ranma and Cologne shuddered at the thought of what could have happened.
"Why didn't you do it when I was old enough, then?" Ranma questioned, only to receive a half-lidded stare.
"Because you went and got cursed at Jusenkyo. When that happened, it compounded on the others, and made it even harder to fix without making any major mistakes. Mistakes that could have been fatal."
Ranma gulped, "Thanks for not rushing it. Then, what changed? Why did you wait until my fight with Saffron?"
"Originally, my plan was to wait until after your battle, assisting you if you needed extra help. I was going to ask someone to help me. Then, in the middle of the battle, you ended up helping me yourself!"
"I/She did?" Ranma and Cologne asked in unison, surprised.
Chibiusa nodded, "Yes! During the battle, you managed to call upon just the tiniest bit of your Moon powers, even while you were cursed, to keep yourself from losing! It gave me just the chance I needed to fully unlock your power and undo the curses. However, even then, I couldn't do it without you agreeing first. If I had, you might have tried to fight the change, and that would have been...bad."
"I see," Cologne nodded to herself, "Indeed, many magics and techniques can be countered by the human will. It would make sense that Lady Usana would resist such a major change on instinct."
"But," Ranma spoke up, "Why didn't you just tell me it was you during the battle? If you had said that it was important, then I probably would've went along with it without any questions, Sacchan." Chibiusa smiled while Cologne was inwardly surprised by the admittance.
"I know. That's exactly why. I wanted you to make the choice on your own. I knew if you were aware it was me asking, you would have accepted just from that fact alone especially in the heat of battle. But, it was a choice that you had to make on your own." 'Of course, had you actually said no, I would have just changed you after the battle anyway.' "Anyway, in the end, I managed to cure you of all your curses and afflictions."
Ranma nodded to herself in understanding; Sacchan's answer left a warm feeling in her heart. It wasn't often that someone cared enough to actually give her a choice.
...Although, she was pretty sure that she would have eventually done it anyway.
"Thanks, Sacchan. Though, I've been wondering about something ever since I saw myself in the mirror earlier-"
"About how utterly pretty you are?" Chibiusa inquired innocently.
"-Exactly!" Ranma fumed, "I'm breathtakingly pretty, not smoking hot! I'm a child!"
"But you're so pretty! Like a Porcelain Doll!" She waved away the glare she received, "That was actually your doing. Or, at least, your magic's doing. I don't know why; this is the first time I've seen this happen, but if you'd like I can take a guess."
"You say it was Lady Usana's own magic that caused her to revert to that of a child?" While Ranma's brow twitched slightly at the constant name, Chibiusa nodded and Cologne continued, "We Joketsuzoku have experience with magic, as we are the descendants of Venus. We are still capable of manipulating the magic within out bodies, although over time it has become more Earth based magic than Venusian magic. More importantly, is that our magic within us protects us, and always works in our benefit. It can even be used subconsciously, depending on the person's heart. It is very likely that your magic changed you into a child due to something deep inside you wishing for such a change. It is difficult to know why someone else's magic works the way it does in cases such as this."
"She's right," Chibiusa agreed, "Even in my time we still don't know everything about how our magic works, although we've made great progress. Most of the time the person finds out eventually on their own."
Ranma sighed but nodded in acceptance, then gained a pensive look, "...So, what happens now? I still can't accept all of this..." Upon seeing Chibiusa's hurt expression she quickly continued, "Not that I don't believe you! It's just, I can't accept it all, not yet. I have to go talk to Mom and Pops first. Have to find out if this is all some huge misunderstanding, an accident, or..."
Now Chibiusa sighed, and Cologne idly noted the similarity between the two as the pink haired Moon Princess shook her head, "I understand, but you should know that I'll be going with you. If worst comes worst in Nerima, I've already prepared everything for us."
"What do you have planned, Sacchan? I know you've got a lot more information than I do about what's going on, even if you won't say anything about it, and I know that you've got plans that involve me. I don't mind, 'cuz I trust you more than anyone. I don't know how Mom or the fiancées will react to me being a girl permanently, or everything else that's happened, but... If things go bad...if Mom..."
Ranma didn't finish, and Chibiusa gave her a warm hug and warmer smile. "Regardless of what happens, I have a place that we can live at in Juuban, or rather, just outside of it. It's big enough for many people, as I'm sure many of the Joketsuzoku will want to accompany you, 'Little Princess'." Her banter managed to get a smile from Ranma and she tightened the hug, "Besides that, there's still loads of things I have to tell you about, and people who will definitely want to meet you, including a godmother! But we can talk more about that later. Right now you need to recover your strength. In case you hadn't noticed, your body's very weak right now."
"Nah, right now I need to go exercise and train. I can tell that my body's not fit for martial arts right now, and there's no way we're heading anywhere until I've gotten fit enough to protect ya from the Wrecking Crew. That, and I still need to be the best, and training myself now that I'm what, eleven, is going to be even more difficult, because I can't do a lot of the same things that I could when I was older due to body differences."
"We will help you with that," Cologne spoke as she moved closer from the doorway, "As you know, we specialize in training young women to strengthen their bodies. We have many ways to get you into a warrior's form. Also, I insist that you become a full warrior of the Joketsuzoku, child. As our Little Princess and the Child Goddess, it will not do for you not to know the techniques of the warriors."
"Become a part of the tribe?" Ranma asked, with apprehension, "I don't think it is, but I gotta ask, this isn't some trick to marry Shampoo or Mousse, is it?"
"No, child. As one of our princesses, we are your tribe. However, I feel that if you had been properly trained in our ways back during the SM, then it is very likely that you would have prevailed against Beryl with ease. Becoming a warrior is symbol as well; while our people have great respect for your defeat of Saffron, they would gain much more so if you were to train along with our students. I am also sure that Lady Usagi is planning on training you in the use of your magic, as well. Eventually, once you have regained your skills, and evolved them to an even higher plateau, we would humbly ask that you would take on students from the tribe, teaching them in whichever ways that you choose to use to train in."
"Me, a teacher..? But, I'm not certified to teach..."
"You will be, in time," Chibiusa reassured her, "Besides, even if you're not certified, you have your first student and disciple right here!"
"But, Sacchan, being my student. I'm not ready to-"
Chibiusa shook her head, "You may not realize it yet, Usana, but you're a very special girl, in many ways. That, and even though you've been hiding behind that macho guise that you made to handle your father and the others, I know just how much of a kind hearted, wonderful person you are. I truly believe that you will become an even more amazing person in the future, and I'm completely confident that you will be a great teacher."
Ranma sat stunned for the longest of moments before turning away not blushing. "Geez, Sacchan... You always say stuff like that... When did you become so amazing, yourself? ...And, wait, when did you suddenly get older? When we met a few months ago, you were just as old as I am now!"
"Time traveler!" Said time traveler poked Ranma on the forehead, "Besides, I finally started growing after a lot of different things happened and I made this truly my own." She held out her hands and a glowing pink light revealed a beautiful pink crystal that seemed to hum with power as she cradled it. "This is-"
"The Ginzuishou!" Ranma burst out, eyes wide with shock, then confusion, "Wait, how did I know that?"
"You must have started to regain bits of your past memories," Chibiusa stated, with a bit of happiness, "But, yes, this is the Ginzuishou, or rather now it's the Pink Moon Crystal. It is one of the most powerful possessions of the SM, and an heirloom of the Serenity Line. In my time it was passed down to me from my mama, as the next in line to the throne. However, this was before we realized that you had been...hidden...away from us. I don't know too much about the SM, as I wasn't born back then, but I do know that eventually the Ginzuishou was supposed to have been passed down to you eventually, as second in line to the throne. She held the crystal out to Ranma, who after a moment took it into her hands.
The moment she did so, an enormous burst of magical energy swept forth, a pink glow encompassing Ranma as a warm, hot feeling spread throughout her body, filling her with a familiar energy. 'It feels like Sacchan's hugging me' Ranma thought as the power continued to swirl around her, the twin crescent moon on her forehead blazing. The power also enveloped Chibiusa and Cologne, causing Chibiusa's crescent moon to shine on her forehead as well, while Cologne disappeared in the pink light.
Finally the torrent of energy calmed, apparently having done what it intended just as the pink light disappeared. Chibiusa hadn't been affected at all, and seemed to be absorbing the remaining energy that was still filling the room. Cologne, however...
"Whoa! Old Ghoul! You-you ain't an old ghoul anymore!" Ranma gasped. And indeed she was not. As she stared at herself in the mirror with awe and amazement, Cologne could no longer be called anything near elderly. With a tall figure, slim body and beautiful hair and skin, the Amazon Elder was every much as young and healthy as she was when she was eighteen.
"I'm..young again? But, how can this be!?" Cologne was beyond shocked. Such magic was...
"That's because of Usana's magic, and your own heart's desire." As if her words were a sign Chibiusa caught Ranma in her arms as the swayed and fell into her, magically exhausted once again, but thankfully conscious.
"Wha' happened, Sacchan..?" Ranma slurred as she tried to sit up, only for Chibiusa to lay the tired girl's head on her lap, gently stroking her hair.
"Something that is my fault for forgetting about. When you touched the crystal, your power flowed into it as it connected to you on a soul level, acknowledging you as it's rightful owner. When it happens for the first time, the Ginzuishou grants the wish of its owner, depending on what it is. Did you notice anything, or have anything that you really wanted?"
Ranma thought for the barest of moments before replying with certainty. "Comfort. When I touched it I was still worried about going back to Nerima. Then, the power flowed into me and it was as if... It was like you were hugging me. It... It felt...warm..."
Chibiusa nodded with a smile, "In your heart, you wanted to feel comforted. However, since the wish itself didn't much energy, the power overflowed, and granted inner wish of Cologne, as well. You can think of it as a blessing, Elder, as it wouldn't have been granted unless it was truly heartfelt, and pure."
Still admiring her youth in the mirror, Cologne nodded, "I see... That explanation makes sense. I had indeed wished I was younger of late. Truth be told, my body was finally beginning to run out of energy, and not even my ki was unable to sustain me as it used to. I only had perhaps half a year left before I would move on to the spirit world."
"How can you say that so calmly!?" Ranma sat up, shocked, "Why didn't you try to find a way to save yourself!?"
Cologne simply smiled, her eyes, her expression showing wisdom beyond her physical years, "When you are as old as I am, young goddess, you will find that death is no longer something to be feared. Of course, no one wants to die, but it slowly becomes something more of an accepted fact that it will happen eventually. To most people, at least. That said," Surprisingly, Cologne got on her knees and bowed low, "As Lady Usagi stated, I have indeed been blessed by you, Princess. I cannot express my thanks for the favor you have shown me, and humbly reaffirm my vow to serve you as a protector, as an Amazon Warrior, and advisor if you would allow one such as I to."
After a nudging and nod from Chibiusa, Ranma nodded as well, "Of...of course I accept, Cologne," Then, in a more confident voice, "I would be glad to have you as a guardian and advisor. There are still many things I need to know, and your wisdom will be very valuable, as it always has. Um...ya can rise now...the bowing's making me a bit nervous."
Giggling, giggling, Cologne got back to her feet, just as several Amazon Warriors burst into the room, weapons ready. Upon seeing the two Moon Princess sitting on the bed, with an unknown woman approaching them, the women quickly moved to apprehend the unknown woman in amazon garbs in a fine display of Amazon skill.
They were subsequently crushed in an even finer display of amazon defensive retaliation.
For Ranma and Chibiusa, it was the best display of martial arts that they had ever seen, and they were barely able to see it with how fast Cologne moved. It was literally over in less than three seconds, and when it ended every combatant save Cologne was on the floor, their weapons stacked in a corner near the two princesses who were literally speechless at the display. Ranma especially; ever since she had awoken she could feel the imbalance of her body due to being regressed to that of a child. For Cologne to move like that when she had been moments ago literally, in every sense of the phrase, an old woman..!
Grinning mischievously, Cologne actually winked at the two gaping princesses as she stretched her arms, "As I thought, it seems that I will have to retrain my body alongside you, Princess. That wasn't anywhere near as swift or skillful as it was back when I was a young lass. Do not be so shocked, Princesses; especially you, Lady Usana. I was the one who taught you a number of the techniques that you make use of now, and have lived for over three hundred years, training nonstop. You are certainly one of the more skilled people child; I would even go so far as to say that before your battle with Saffron you were in the top twenty percent of the world. However; there are still many levels that you have yet to reach, levels that I have reached during my life, and levels that even I have yet to reach. The levels of the truest of warriors from back during the SM. The fighters and warriors of today cannot even compare to the warriors of the ancient times. And that level of martial arts and skill, Princesses, is our goal."
Still speechless, they could only watch as Cologne turned back to the group of women who were not getting to their feet and glaring at her as she began to dress them down in Chinese; and inwardly Ranma was surprised that she could understand what was being said just fine. "That was disgraceful! You have shamed the Joketsuzoku in front of our princess, the Child Goddess, with such a terrible display of skill. If I had been an outsider intent on harming the princess, none of you would have been able to stop me, and you all would have failed to protect her! Add to that the fact that you attacked the Amazon High Elder! Such a thing should be regarded as treason against the Amazon Tribe!"
It took a moment for the shock on the women's faces to turn to anger as they moved back into offensive stances. "You are lying. High Elder Cologne is powerful, yet elderly, and much smaller than you. We will not fall for such trickery! We do not recognize you." From the doorway, Ranma and Chibiusa just barely caught sight of a blur as it struck at Cologne, only to be repelled by said woman and her staff, which Ranma idly noted was now long and thin; a Bo staff. How in the world did her magic do that?
The blur landed on the ground between the Moon Princesses and Cologne, revealing to be another woman, a small one as elderly as Cologne had been not ten minutes ago, and this one seemed to recognize the High Elder, "Who dares to-? COLOGNE!? What in the name of Venus happened? What the hell kind of skill did you find to let you become young again!? You haven't made a contract with demons or youma, have you?" Upon seeing the elderly woman lower her stance, as well as the fact that she had called referred to the unknown woman as Cologne, the other women lowered their stances as well, watching and listening intently.
"Of course not, Perfume." Scoffed Cologne, "My body has been rejuvenated, regressed back to how I looked and felt like when I was eighteen. I was blessed with this youth by our princess, the Child Goddess, during a magical ritual between her and her fellow Moon Princess, Princess Usagi of the Serenity line. The ritual involved a transference of power, and has not yet been completed due to the interference."
Upon hearing her explanation, the Amazon women turned to the two princesses who were watching them with curiosity and interest, and upon seeing the crescent moons on their foreheads as well as Ranma's still slightly glowing form, the women immediately got on their knees and bowed; quick to recognize Ranma from the ancient images that they had of Usana from the SM that prevailed over the course of time. "Forgive our intrusion, your highnesses!" Perfume spoke, "We did not recognize the feel of your magic, and thought that someone had invaded the village to do you harm. We apologize for invading your privacy as well as interrupting the ritual, and hope that we have not caused anything to prevent your success in your endeavors."
Unsure of how to reply, Ranma looked to Chibiusa who nodded before turning to the array of women, "Your intrusion is forgiven, as you were performing your duties as proud Amazon Warriors should and acted swiftly on my sister princess's behalf. The ritual can be continued without any problems."
"Thank you for your words, Lady Usagi. We shall be about the village ensuring that your ritual is not interrupted further, and preparing for tonight's celebration. Feel free to call upon any of us if you or Lady Usana should have any need." With a nod from both Ranma and Chibiusa Perfume led the Amazon women out of the room.
"Thanks, Sacchan, I had no idea what to say." Ranma admitted, bringing the Pink Moon Crystal back out from where she had hidden it when the warriors entered.
"Don't worry, Usana. It's something that I will teach you. Besides, I have over Nine-hundred years of experience as a princess; I'd like to think I've got it down by now."
"Wait, you over nine-hundred!?" Ranma nearly fell over, "How!? You barely look sixteen!"
"That's right, I forgot to mention. Well, for the first part, it's because of my wish when I first took hold of the Ginzuishou. It was still in my mama's possession at the time. When I was still a child I had seen how busy my mama and papa were, and how they never had time for me or anything besides being a Queen and king. I had also heard that the Ginzuishou could grant wishes. So one day I snuck into Mama's room and took it, wishing that I would never have to grow up. The crystal stopped the time on my body at that point, and I remained a ten year old for over nine-hundred years, until a few years ago."
"That's pretty rough. I can't imagine being a child for that long..." For some reason, the way Chibiusa's eyes lit up with laughter sent a chill down her spine, but regardless she continued, "Still, how have you lived for that long?"
"That is because, each royal family of a celestial body in this Solar System, is a descendant of that celestial body's goddess. As such, we never actually grow old, and unless we are actually killed, we won't die."
While Cologne simply nodded, already aware of this, Ranma flopped back on the bed, subconsciously onto Chibiusa's lap, "This is too much to take in. You're telling me that gods and goddesses exist? And that we are their descendants?"
Chibiusa nodded as she began playing with Ranma's hair, "That's right. Goddesses exist; or, at least they did. Technically, they can die physically, but they're just reborn again from what I've learned. Anyway, eventually the gods and goddesses disappeared some time during the SM. No one knows where they went or why they left. I know for a fact that the Serenity line is descended from the goddess Selene. It's said that she's the one that gave us the Ginzuishou in the first place."
"That's pretty huge... So this is a gift from a goddess..." Ranma noticed the sad look that flashed through Chibiusa's eyes as she played with the Pink Crystal, and it only solidified her decision. Taking Chibiusa's hands in her own, Ranma placed the Pink Moon Crystal in them, and gently closed Chibiusa's hands around it. The crystal began to glow softly in her hands while Chibiusa looked at her in confusion.
"No, this is your rightful inheritance, Usana. It belongs to you." She tried to give it back, but Ranma simply kept her from opening her hands to do so.
"Nah, it's yours, Sacchan. It was given to you by your mom, so I know it means a lot to you. And that's what's important."
"You don't understand," Chibiusa insisted, "It is yours by birthright. As the next in line for the throne after my mama."
"And, that's why I'm giving it back to you. Your mom passed it down to you. Doesn't matter if she didn't know about me or anything. And, if you still have a problem with that then think of it this way: as the second in line for the throne, I'm passing it down to you. So, that's that."
"But... that's..." Usagi just shook her head and wiped the unshed tears from her eyes as she smiled a beautiful, warm smile, "You never change. And that's why you're so wonderful. Thank you." Leaning forward, she kissed Ranma on the cheek, said girl blushing as she looked away.
"Don't have to thank me. Just giving you back what's yours." Cologne watched the interaction between the two Moon Princesses with a hidden smile. Yes, she could tell that their relationship was going to keep her amused for quite a while, and she now had all the time in the world to watch.
"That was quite the noble thing to do, Ranma. You've grown quite well, despite being raised by your idiot father."
It was only millennia of experience as a Senshi that allowed Sailor Pluto to avoid the mass of chestnut-fist strikes by teleporting to the other side of the room. Additionally, she was saved from the follow up by twin frantic screams of "Wait!"
Inwardly sighing in relief Pluto relaxed slightly, "Your senses have not dulled, Elder Cologne. And youth does you well, once again."
Cologne relaxed as well and bowed slightly, "Thank you, Lady Pluto; you should know not to sneak up on an Amazon Warrior. It has been a long time, almost two-hundred years since you have appeared before us, has it not?"
"Yes, it has been a while. This time however, I am not here to assist you in battle, as there is no need. Rather, I've come to have a long chat with the two princesses here. How are you faring, Ranma, or rather, Princess Usana? And, Small Lady, perhaps you should go deal with the others. Right now, they are getting ready to gear up to find out what that burst of powerful magical energy was. I believe Venus and Moon are especially adamant. You don't want them to interfere with your plans beforehand, do you?"
Chibiusa paled slightly at the fact that Pluto apparently already figured out her plans, then jumped to her feet in horror, "Crap! I've gotta stop them!" In a burst of pink light the teenage princess disappeared, leaving a slightly worried younger princess behind.
"Miss Pluto, will she be okay? I don't know what just happened, but..."
Pluto smiled slightly as she sat down next to Ranma, "Yes, she will be fine. She just went to deal with some people who she wants you to meet at a much later time, once you've had more time to learn and settle into your new position. How are you handling it?"
Cologne looked at them with trademark intrigue, "It seems that you are acquainted with many people, Lady Usana. How did you manage to meet Lady Pluto?"
"It was after the Nanban Mirror incident, when it broke." Ranma replied, "Miss Pluto saved me after getting smashed by 'Kane, and introduced herself as the Guardian of Time. She came to make sure that I wasn't purposely trying to mess around with the past, and we talked about what had happened. She's a really nice lady, she even took me out to lunch! After that, we met every once in a while, just to talk about how life's been treating us. Turns out, she's been keeping an eye on me from when I was... born... This ain't just a social call, is it? Sacchan's not in trouble, is she? She only came back and changed the past 'cuz the world was pretty much destroyed in her time!"
Pluto smiled even more at how quick Ranma was to defend her best friend, "No, Small Lady isn't in any major trouble, although she will certainly be spoken with for not informing me of her plan before hand. In actuality, she managed to do me a large favor. She managed to find a huge oversight, one that I am shamed to admit I didn't realize."
"She did?" Both Ranma and Cologne inquired. Pluto nodded.
"Indeed. You see, as the Guardian of Time, I am also the Senshi of Pluto, the Princess of Pluto. I have lived from the time of the SM until now. One of my jobs was to watch over the reincarnations of the other princesses that Queen Serenity sent into the future, and guide them towards their destiny, aiding them as they regained their powers and help them to fight against the enemies that would try to bring harm to us, the Earth, and the galaxy."
"That's a pretty heavy load to carry," Ranma said, her respect for Pluto rising a bit, "But, how did you know who the princesses were? And... what happened with me?"
"Each princess, and in fact every magical being has their own energy signature that is unique to them. While it may be similar to a relatives, it still has their own individual feel. Even when reincarnated, that person's magical signature doesn't change. Thus, I could keep track of when each person was born, and where. And it was the very first princess to be reborn, you, that I failed to notice something very significant. I failed to notice the curse that had been placed upon you, turning you into a male.
"After I felt your magical signature enter the world, it took me perhaps thirty minutes to appear at the hospital. Believe it or not, I am a certified doctor. At any rate, when I found you, I found that you were a male, and that your magical signature had almost all but disappeared. That in itself was a surprise, but not a major one. In the Serenity line, and in fact most of the royal lines of the Solar System, family magic is passed down through the females of the family, so if you were truly a male, it wouldn't have been unusual that your magical signature would fade shortly after birth. It never occured that something would have happened to you within the first thirty minutes of your birth, and I didn't see a need to look back in time to check. If I had known that you were actually a cursed girl, believe me, I would have taken a much more active stance in your life, and you would have at the very least grown up in a familial environment as I searched for a cure for the curse. For this lapse on my part, I apologize, princess."
Awkwardly, Ranma waved her off, "You don't have to apologize, you weren't the one who cursed me, so you're not a fault for anything. Besides, I have a feeling that you helped me out a lot throughout my life, anyway."
"Perhaps," Pluto said mysteriously, "At any rate, how are you adjusting to your change? When I felt your power a few months ago, I came to check up on you, only to find that you were a girl, and unconscious."
" I..I've gotta talk to Mom and Pops first off, before I come to terms with anything. Have to find out what's really going on, and what they know about all of this. Do you know if Mom and Pop... if I really am a princess that was reincarnated, is Mom and Pop my real parents even? Were they reincarnated as well?"
Pluto shook her head, "As far as I know, Nodoka Saotome and the Panda are not from the SM. As for them being your real parents, that is up for you to decide. While as far as I know Nodoka did give birth to you, you will find that your DNA and blood type are completely different from both her and the panda just like the other princesses and their Earth parents. More importantly though, is the question: do you feel like they are your parents? Have they actually acted as a mother and father should have? Think on that for a while. If you still wish to know about your parents from the SM, I will be happy to inform you of them, as well as other important information that you should know, if not now than eventually. You are a very special child, after all."
"I'm not a child," Ranma muttered, before speaking up, "Both you and Sacchan have said that I'm special. But, why am I special?"
"That's something that you will learn eventually; unfortunately it's not the right time for you to learn of that reason, especially since you are still unsure of yourself at the moment. However, I can tell you that the darkness that destroyed the future exists in this time as well, and from what the Sailor Senshi was able to find, will come after you, for reasons that we don't know yet. Small Lady no doubt is aware of this, and is trying to keep you safe, especially if she plans to move to Juuban with you. That is where the Senshi, the other princesses are based, after all. Your godmother, being one of them."
My godmother... but, I don't remember any of them. Don't want to meet her and hurt her feelings by not knowing her. Already got a lot of enemies and people who don't like me as it is."
"I may be able to help you with that," Pluto stated, getting to her feet, "As you know, Small Lady is in the possession of the Pink Moon Crystal from her time. In our time, Sailor Moon is the owner of it, being passed down to her from the queen. It was good of you to return the Pink Moon Crystal to Small Lady, as she will need its power to protect herself and others in the times ahead. You however, were not left empty handed. There is an artifact that has been left to you as well, an artifact that in fact predates the Ginzuishou, and that only you can harness the powers of."
"Really? It's not just some free power up, is it?" Ranma was not a fan of free power ups.
"I wouldn't call it that. It was something created by one of your relatives, and many battles were fought and lives lost to protect it from those who tried to steal it from them. And you will need to train with Small Lady to use its powers safely and effectively, so it's not something that just gives you instant usable power. After the fall of the SM, as the last Senshi of this galaxy, I sealed it away in time/space, where only I could access it, along with the other ancient weapons of the time. The last thing we needed was for some wannabe evil lord trying to use its power."
"Yeah, I can agree with you on that. That would be Saffron all over again, only on a bigger scale. Still... are you sure I'm not ripping Sacchan off or anything?"
"No, this is something that is just for you, and no one else can use. Most importantly, thought, is that when you accept it, it will also unlock all of your past memories, emotions and impressions. In essence, you will become who you were in your previous life, but will retain the memories that you currently have."
"...So, you're saying that I won't be me anymore. I'll be 'Usana'."
"It's up to you to decide who you are. No one is going to take over your body or anything, if that's what you are thinking. Besides, you already knew that you couldn't be 'Ranma Saotome' anymore when you accepted Small Lady's offer to unlock the truth, did you not?"
"How do you know about that? I didn't see you there..."
Pluto shrugged, "After the time line settled down from the massive changes Small Lady made, I was able to go back and look into what she had done, all the way back until when I first encountered you as an infant boy. For some reason your birth itself is lost to me."
"Figures. Nothing is simple when it comes to my life... I'll think on that later, after I go back home to Nerima... Cologne, is there a place where I can take a bath?"
"Yes, follow me, Princess. Will you be staying a while, Lady Pluto?" Cologne asked as Ranma gingerly got to her feet, still weak from the change and long sleep.
"If it is alright with you and your people. I still need to speak with Small Lady, and then I will be taking my leave. However, I would like to accompany you when you return to Nerima. I want to have words with that idiot panda."
"Hey, Pops isn't that bad!" Ranma defended, "He just doesn't always think things through!"
"He sold you for a bowl of rice!" Pluto glared at the stunned girl.
"...Does EVERYONE know about that!?"
Several minutes after Cologne and Ranma exited the room, Chibiusa returned in her burst of pink light, only to meet with Pluto's unamused expression. "In my defense," She backed away slowly, "It was to save the world. Mostly."
"Mostly, indeed. Do you realize what has happened? Due to your changing the past, your original time line is completely gone. This current time line has branched itself off from almost all others, and I can no longer see anymore than a few months into the future now. This time line is now unstable, and events are now uncertain. You can no longer return to your future, Small Lady, and Crystal Tokyo is now likely not to come into being; or at the very least not the Crystal Tokyo we know of."
There was a long silence as the solemnity of the situation made itself felt. Pluto could see the different emotions flashing through the pink girl's eyes before they cleared and shone with strength and determination, surprising the older woman. While she had seen a similar look once before from Usagi the senior, the look that Chibiusa had right now was the very image of her grandmother, Queen Serenity when she had to make a decision that would affect the entire Moon Alliance.
"It doesn't matter." Chibiusa replied, her voice full of conviction, even as her fists were balled so tightly that her nails were cutting into her skin, "While that Crystal Tokyo may have been your future, it was my present. And it was destroyed, everyone important to me dead because someone wanted to use our power to take over everything. I don't care how many time lines I destroy; I am well aware that I will never see mama and papa, or anyone else again, but I can deal with that. So long as I can protect Usana from whatever it is that's after us, I'll erase my time line as many times as it takes. Even if I have to keep going back and redoing everything for all eternity, I swear in the name of the Moon and by the goddess Selene that I won't let the darkness win, and I'll never let them take away Usana from me again! This I promise by my right as a Moon Princess!"
Hearing her words, Princess Usagi Small Lady Serenity's magic swirled around her, signifying the acceptance of her vow and its will to help her keep it.
Sailor Pluto nodded her head after a moment, "Very well. I am glad to see that you have the resolve to follow through with you decision until the end, and didn't make it without thinking things through. You will still have to explain to everyone what has happened, but there is no need for you to rush. Even though my powers to see the future are limited, I can see that you will have plenty of time to settle down and take things one at a time. Of course, I am going to be helping you in every way I can, and I'm sure the others will as well, once they find out. That said, I believe that you have taken up a quest that is larger in scope than you realize. Are you aware of Princess Usana's lineage?"
"Only in relation to the Serenity line," Chibiusa replied, sitting down on the bed where Ranma had previously occupied, "Almost everything about her was blacked out in the files that survived from the SM. I couldn't get more than that, and I only managed that much because of my security clearance as Moon Princess and trying to hack in with this." Out of nowhere Chibiusa revealed a teal electronic device with a distinctive symbol on it. It was also noticeably cracked on the frame.
"A 3DS..? No wait, that's the Mercury Computer. How did you manage to get that? Mercury never goes anywhere without it."
"I gathered a number of different things before I came back for the final time," Chibiusa replied, pulling out Venus' Holy Blade. "Minako-san's sword was a gift, to be given to Usana. All the other stuff... their owners no longer have a need of them."
"I see," Pluto mused, taking the unsaid meaning in stride, "At any rate, the only person who would have been able to access that information, after numerous security checks would have been Neo-Queen Serenity. Minako would have likely known, but under the situation would have kept quiet about it. At any rate, Princess Usana's role in the galaxy, her destiny is much more than you are aware. Only Queen Serenity, your mother, Minako's family and myself, along with Artemis and Luna knew the exact details, but during the SM she was known throughout Venus and the Moon by many titles. I won't tell you what her secret is; that's something that should be revealed to her first. However be prepared Small Lady, if you want to protect her you will need to become much stronger than you are now, for when her secrets are revealed she will be in even more danger than ever."
Ranma sighed to herself as she relaxed in the hot water. Cologne had led her to a hot spring that she said was just for her. Ranma was unsure why they already had a hot spring prepared for her, but nonetheless was grateful for the chance to relax in privacy.
As she took solace in the warmth of the water, she absently began playing with strands of her hair, noting the beautiful color of it. 'Usana, huh... Not 'Ranma' anymore...being a princess, being a girl... being unconscious for three months..! Even the fact that I was cursed to become a boy when I was born! If it weren't Sacchan and Miss Pluto saying that everything was true, I'd hardly believe it.' Even so, she still wasn't ready to believe it in her heart until she went back home. Still...
'A Martial Artist's life is fraught with peril.' One of the few absolute truths that Ranma believed in, having experienced its truth many times in past and apparently future. Chibiusa had in fact come from said future to prevent such peril from happening, a peril that not only managed to overcome him but the world itself. Ranma didn't doubt for a second anything Chibiusa said. They never lied to each other. And that meant that she owed Chibiusa a debt of honor. That on top of all the times she had already pulled Ranma's behind out of the fire from behind the scenes, or the times that she had healed her when she was struck by Akane's hammer, or for more or less being the one to give her an education while training with Pops, or...
Diving into the water, she shook her head furiously, clearing her thoughts up a bit. Chibiusa came back to reveal the truth to her and to protect her from some seriously bad dudes. Normally Ranma would have scoffed at the idea of her needing protecting, but that was before. Ranma was more than aware that at the moment she was extremely vulnerable due to how weak she physically was, and how untrained she magically was. And even then, there was the biggest reason she didn't couldn't brush off Chibiusa's decision to protect her.
Those same bad guys had succeeded in killing her in the future that Chibiusa came from.
That fact honestly scared her. Out of her entire life, Ranma had only truly feared for her life once, and that was during the fight with Saffron. Yet even then, she was more scared for Akane's sake than her own, because if she had lost, Akane would have died as well. But this was completely different.
These guys had killed her, and then managed to kill off the other guardians, the Sailor Senshi. From what she had been told, the Sailor Senshi were her fellow princesses, and were apparently pretty badass. An enemy that could defeat all of them, that had killed all of them...
And, apparently, this same enemy was planning on coming after her in the present as well.
It was while she was thinking of such things that she instinctively spun around and unconsciously fired a small blast of energy at the rustling of some nearby bushes.
"Myaa! Please don't kill me!" A blur leapt out of the bushes onto the edge near the hot spring, revealing itself to be a c-c-ca-
"CAT!" Ranma hissed, moving far away from the kitten, to the other side of the hot spring.
"Wait! Don't go, Usana-sama!" The fact that it was a talking kitten that knew her (relatively new) name caused her to pause and turn back just in time to witness said kitten leap off the edge, towards her direction. Even though said attempt was sadly not nearly forceful enough to span the water between them, Ranma normally would have nonetheless, ran away in terror if not for-
"Ack! I can't swim!"
-that. Let it be known that Second Princess of the Moon, Princess Usana Soleili Athanasia Serenity, formerly Ranma Saotome was not one to let a person drown, whether said person be Akane...
...or said person be a cat.
Catching the kitten before it could hit the water Ranma made her way back to the edge of the hot spring, eyes closed and silently trying to persuade herself that she was not really holding a kitten, simply an object that happened to look like a kitten.
"Thank you, Usana-sama, you saved me again!" Against her will, Ranma looked down at the kitten, only to gasp in surprise as she gazed into vaguely familiar eyes as well as because of the absence of the familiar terror that normally engulfed her upon looking at a cat.
"Wait a second...I, I know you! And... I'm not scared..? No, I'm not scared of ya! What..?"
"I'm so happy, Usana-sama! Small Lady managed to cure your fear of cats after all! I can finally spend time with you again!" The kitten nuzzled itself into Ranma's chest and Ranma automatically began petting the small feline for a moment before realizing just what she was doing.
"Wait, you mean Sacchan cured my fear of...cats? But how did she-"
'Anyway, in the end, I managed to cure you of all your curses and afflictions.'
"She did it. She actually did it." At that moment, if Chibiusa had asked her to help take over the world, Ranma would have backed her up without question. And it was that moment, that perhaps made up her mind about several things.
Her fear of cats had been the bane of her life as Ranma Saotome. And what made it worst was that before the Neko-ken incident, she had loved cats, ever since Chibiusa had first introduced her to her kitten advisor-
"Diana!" The kitten mya'd happily and Ranma barely flinched, simply out of trained reflex, "It is you! I haven't seen you in years! Not since that one time! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to run away from you back then!"
"It's okay, Usana-sama! Small Lady explained what happened with your idiot father, (Hey!) so I know it isn't your fault. I'm just glad that you are over it, now. I missed you!"
"Yeah, I missed you being around as well." It was true, up until the Neko-ken, Diana would often travel around with Ranma and Genma as they journeyed. The kitten was smart enough to never speak around the older man, and also enough to stay relatively out of the way, as not to make Genma try to get rid of her. The two become close friends, Diana being a relatively positive influence on the child. It was a sad day when Ranma was subjected to the Neko-ken.
"Now that I think about it, even when I was a small boy, you always called me 'Usana-sama, didn't you, Diana? I always just thought it was because you couldn't pronounce my name."
"No, you've always been 'Usana-sama' to me. To be honest, it was a surprise to see you as a boy when Small Lady and I came back to the past the first time. How are you handling becoming a girl again?"
"Taking it one step at a time, Diana. One step at a time." And it was time for her to take her next step.
"Come on, let's get dried off. There's somewhere I've gotta go, and I don't feel like waiting any longer. There's just too much that has to be answered for."
Where are we going to go, Usana-sama?"
"The place where most of my problems are, where from what Sacchan's told me even youma won't enter. Not after that last one, anyway. Poor fool, wonder it it got away from Azusa yet?"
Diana shivered, "Usana-sama, where in the world are we going, if even youma are scared to go near? And why are we going to such a place?"
"Because it's one place where I can get most of the answers that I need." As she spoke, the winds began to blow, bringing a slight chill. Whether it was a sign of things to come was yet to be seen.
"We're going to Nerima."
A/N: And with this, we reach the part that everyone's been waiting for: the Nerima chapter! Look forward to it next time!
And before anyone says anything about the Ginzuishou granting wishes: it can be used to send souls to the future; it can revive the dead, it can purify people. You name it and have the magic to power it, and it can do it. I'm pretty damn sure it can grant a few wishes.
Next chapter- Return to Nerima: Wrecking Crew vs. Princess!?