Ascension of Chaos [working title]
Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma 1/2 or Campione, which is a pity because I have a few dreams that require more than a bit of dough.
AN: Hey all, this is your favourite author calling out to you. This story is an idea that has been banging around in my head for the last month, distracting me from my current work 'On Steel Wings'. It is a crossover of Ranma and Campione, that I am surprised has not yet been done, to the best of my knowledge.
The two universes may have a little difficulty blending to together but I think it is possible. Not to mention the sheer entertainment value of visualising Ranma meeting Luo Hao. Clash of egos anyone?
I am not at as familiar with the Ranma franchise as I want to be, and am confused about when some of the events have taken place. I have also not seen the anime or the movies so I am not sure if I will be able to include them. So please be forgiving if I stuff it up somewhat.
That said, this takes place during the 'New Year's Cat Spirit' mini-arc, just after Ranma has achieved his Mouko Takabisha and is now attempting to save Shampoo, with the aid of Akane the brat and Mousse the blind duck, from the clutches of a returned Mao Mo Lin.
A word of warning to those who like Akane, I think she is an absolute brat, and that is being kind, with no control over her temper and will be treated with disdain in my writings. I am not overly fond of the Tendos and Genma (The worst parent. Ever. Period) either, with the exception of Kasumi (so nice, so gentle, it has to hide something about her. I refuse to believe someone can be that oblivious) and maybe Nabiki (cunning and callous, but considering the way Soun 'raised' her, if that could be applied to the human waterfall, necessary for the survival of the household. Thats not to say that she doesn't cross the line a few times for her own gain. Its just human nature to be selfish). I think Ryouga should be be served as Suckling Pig in Hong Kong, Mousse as Peking Duck in Beijing and don't even get me started on the Kuno's. They're lunatics.
I think Shampoo and Ukyo are a pit pushy and opinionated, and am undecided if I should make either of them Ranma's interest, but I think that their characters are salvageable, especially Shampoo with what I have planned with Ranma becoming a Campione and the laws of the Joketsuzoku that cover them. I also plan to have a little twist with the Amazons, in particular the origins of the tribe and who formed them.
I also plan to have a little twist in the tale in regards to Nodoka. And I may not make Ranma stay in Japan as a Campione and have him 'set up shop' elsewhere. If I make him stay, Godou may not come into existence, if I make him leave, Godou will definitely become a Campione.
Feel free to review and send in suggestions for which Heretic Gods or other monsters like Divine Ancestors or just straight out Mystical Beasts(who will threaten his claimed home or he will just run across it, but are not Heretic Gods and thus will not grant Ranma an Authority) Ranma will face and what path he may take.
P.S. I don't think other mystical beings, like fairies, elves, vampires or others, that inhabit the real world, as opposed to different dimensions, and are not Heretical Beings, have been shown in Campione much, if at all, even if they are definitely there. A suggestion on how to include them in my story would be greatly appreciated.
I hope you enjoy the show!
Ranma Saotome was in trouble.
While this wasn't a surprise to those who knew him, his chaotic life leading him into situations defying logic and the laws of reality almost hourly, this time it was a trifle more serious
This normally brash and (over) confident young man, a martial artist par excellence, was laying on the cold stones of the run-down cat temple's courtyard, almost catatonic in fear and sheer terror, something that many would believe was completely alien to young warrior. His body quaked and shivered as he looked at the white cat crawling towards him, the devilish eyes piercing his soul in concert with the deep tones of the temple bell.
"107! Nya!" a deep voice yowled, it's owner, a bakeneko named Mao Mo Lin, as it heaved the striker back into position for the last blow, the 108th strike, that would bind the cat as his wife.
Why he wanted to, Ranma had no idea, but then his mind wasn't really with him at the moment, the venomous fear and terrors of his past scratching at the edge of his consciousness.
"Noooo! My Shampoo!" wailed a certain visually challenged weapons user as he raced toward the large spiritual cat, desperately attempting to stop the last tone from sounding so as to allow his Shampoo, currently a little white cat, to - here the Chinese young man shuddered in horror and disgust - kiss the foul Saotome, whom she professed foolishly to love, before the last chime and escape being locked into a feline form and bound in marriage to the damned bakeneko, forevermore.
"Hurry up, Ranma no Baka!" screeched Akane, a (self-proclaimed) martial artist of note and fiancee to the pig-tailed, ailurophobic young man, as she also moved towards the weak cat spirit as well to prevent the 'floozy pussycat', as she referred to Shampoo, from becoming merely a 'pussycat'.
Now doubt her gorilla-like strength will be of some use.
Mao Mo Lin raised back the striker for the final tone, eager to claim the former human girl as his bride. A voice, almost lost in the sands of time and memory, urging him on, as it had for the last three thousand years. A remnant of the his past and, hopefully, his future.
"Strike it." the voice whispered, a silky croon mixed with a purr, "strike it, and let the West rise again."
Mao Mo Lin heeded the advice and thrust the striker as hard as his weak body, in comparison to the almost inhuman martial artists that inhabited the ward, could.
Mousse could only watch in horror as the striker swung the bell that would doom his love. He had nothing in his arsenal that could be deployed fast enough, or with enough power, to avert this disaster.
Akane kept moving, along with the fear-filled duck boy, but knew she wouldn't be fast enough.
Shampoo, in her feline cursed form, leapt for her, still petrified with feline fear, Airen, her feline lips reaching for his pale human ones, racing the bell striker to determine her fate and destiny.
Time seemed to slow as the striker and cat reached for their targets, the future in the balance.
Closer and closer they came, the striker to the bell and the cat to the boy.
In another world, the cat had reached the boy, and kissed him, before the final sound of the temple bell, and returned to her voluptuous human form, allowing her to continue to pursue the aquatranssexual martial artist as a husband, thus continuing the boy's chaotic life.
This was not that world.
By some cruel twist of fate, destiny or chance, the boy, his thoughts wild in fear, even as his body was frozen in terror, saw the demonic critter fly at him, and flinched. Violently.
That flinch, as ill-timed as could be, moved his head, just so, enough to prevent the cursed cat's lips from meeting his own, letting them only graze his cheek instead.
The 108th tolling of the bell sounded like a death knell to the cursed female Amazon.
Before Shampoo's mind could comprehend the dire consequences of the action, everything went to Hell.
As the final sound of the bell rang out, martial artists within the Nerima ward, those sensitive to Ki and Chi in particular, felt a wave of power ripple through them, like a pond disturbed by a falling stone. It was potent and powerful, unimaginably so, frightening more than a few, a certain panda and waterfall duo included.
But it was not just the power that wave carried. It also carried the emotions of its owner.
What frightened them all out of their minds, was the types of emotions that filled the wave.
A desire for blood, verging on a need to slaughter and kill. A cruel sadistic amusement, as if amused by the pains and despair of the insects below it. A deep ravening hunger that could never be filled. A drive to conquer, to destroy, to fight.
It was inhuman.
Among the populace of the ward, only three could tell what that wave truly was, what it truly meant.
Elder Cologne, a Matriarch of the Joketsuzoku, paled white as she felt the emergence of a power she had encountered only once before in her three centuries of life, when she was at the height of her strength. It was also the time when she felt the most helpless, like a new-born puppy facing a tiger in it's prime.
Knowing it was helpless to interfere, but also knowing her great-granddaughter was in danger, she frantically began hopping toward the source of the disturbance, her staff and shriveled form a veritable blur as she moved along the rooftops, a series of pleas and prayers spilling through her mind like a river to the unfeeling gods above, hoping desperately that they would listen.
Atop a roof that overlooked an onsen currently filled with nubile female forms, Happousai froze in astonishment and fear. He knew that type of power, and it scared the living shit out of him. Martial artists, angry women, monsters, cursed beings and many more, each of these he could fight, to one degree or another, and win easily, if he took them seriously.
This, he didn't have a hope of facing and coming out alive, or even doing damage to it. He could only pray that someone would be able to contact one of the Kings before too much damage was done.
Sato Homura was an average salary man.
At least, that was what he was seen as.
A construction worker within the Nerima district of Tokyo, his foreman had no real complaints about the man. He was diligent in his work, always willing to help his colleagues if something was wrong and knew when to laugh and when to be serious amongst the rest of the workers.
He didn't really socialize amongst the rest of the men, despite repeated invitations, saying he had prior commitments, something his fellow hard working Japanese people were appreciative and understanding of.
But it was New Year's Eve and Homura had decided a change of pace was in order and had decided to go to one of the local bars, ready to ring in the new year.
He was sitting at the bar, chatting to one of the patrons, a pale skinned beauty of a woman with lustrous, long, flowing black hair, mischievous almond shape hazel eyes and a talented tongue (in more ways than one if what she did with that cherry stem was any indication), when the Wave hit.
Homura froze in shock and terror, a half finished word clogging in his throat, as he felt it. He watched blankly as the rest of the bar seemed to freeze in confusion, no doubt feeling the inexplicably terrifying emotions and not sure of the source or how to react.
'No!' he mentally tried to futilely deny, 'it can't be! Not here! Not now!'
But he was too well trained, too worldly, too well educated and experienced, to deny what he had felt.
Trembling slightly, he managed to slip away from the gorgeous woman, mentally cursing the timing of the source of the damned power, and reached for his cellphone, as he reached the doors to the establishment, practically running out of them and sprinting towards the source of the power, and swiftly called a number he knew by heart, his feet moving him forward and pounding the footpaths anxiously in time to his terrified heartbeat as it rang through.
Finally it was picked up.
He didn't wait for a greeting, "Sato Homura," he blurted out to the operator, "Ame ni no makezu, kaze ni no makezu."
"Code confirmed." the operator responded, after a moments silence in surprise.
"Code Black. I repeat, Code Black." Homura rushed out, speaking the code that informed his real company, who had placed him in Nerima ward due to the various strange events that were taking place during the last year, on the current state of affairs as he ran.
A sharp intake of breath was heard across the line, "is this confirmed?" there was a wistful plea of hope that he was mistaken.
Before he could respond caustically, a sudden burst of wind and power roared, sounding like a thousand angry tigers, tearing down the street, shattering the windows in his sight, knocking down trashcans and signs, rocking vehicles violently and almost deafening him had it not been for an almost instinctual move to cover his ears, clamping his cell to one and a hand to the other. Homura stared at the destruction wrought by the hurricane force wind from where he had crouched, hands over his ears, behind a small car.
A moment passed before he spoke again, "It is confirmed."
He watched the shell shocked people on the street slowly rise back to their feet from where they had been tossed like ragdolls upon the ground.
"A Heretic God has emerged."
He watched a car, that had been almost thrown on its side from the howling gale, creak and wobbled before slamming back down on it's tyres, the lone unbroken side window breaking from the violent drop.
"Heavens help us all." he whispered.
Mousse watched as his beloved Shampoo missed kissing the accursed Saotome, even as the bell rang out for the last time. A curious mix of despair and relief covered him in equal measure, relief that his beloved Shamppo was not defiled by the lips of the worlds enemy of women and despair that his love was forever chained in the form of a furry animal.
His life wasn't worth living without the voluptuous and toned human form of his beloved.
As he quietly prepared to take his own life in sorrow of the loss of his human love, he was halted by the next series of events.
To his unbelieving glass framed eyes, he saw his Shampoo glow a blinding white, like a flare of flame from a furnace. His senses reeled as he felt the power of it, too strong to just be Shampoo's Ki.
The force of the erupting power also threw the vile Saotome away from her, making him land in a heap near the male Amazon and Akane, much to his vindictive pleasure.
"Gaaah!" cried the brutish, in Mousse's mind, Tendo, "What's happening?!"
Mousse didn't get a chance to reply as, at the same time as Shampoo began imitating a light house, the bakeneko also began to ripple and glow with power, much more than he had shown before, then releasing it a wave that staggered the still standing martial artists to their knees, and simultaneously made them nauseous and sick as the feelings buried within it made them feel like they were wading through a sewer filled with the rotten blood and bones of the dead.
His head spinning, Mousse could only watch as the burning light around his beloved rose above her limp feline form. The light, burning brightly, slowly began to shape itself into the silhouette of a woman. If he was not so worried about his Shampoo or had felt that miasmic wave from the bakeneko, he would have been awed at its beauty, proof that his darling love was truly beautiful, even in spirit.
The light woman hovered briefly, before shooting towards the bakeneko, its paws open in welcome.
Some inner klaxon of warning went off, violently, in the Amazon's mind, causing him perform to a well known Amazon manoeuvre. The Swallow Returns to the Nest.
Otherwise known as 'Duck and Cover, you Idiot.'
The streak of light struck the cat spirit, a clash of light and darkness. Power erupted from the union, the cat holding the now formless cloud of energy in its embrace, before the cat also lost cohesion, becoming a ball of black power, filled to the brim with malice and death, and began mixing with the womanly aura of light.
A blink of time and a flash of brighter light that staggered the Amazon from where he lay with his face in the ground and made the Tendo girl cry out, falling backward as the foolish girl's eyes screamed in pain from the light flash, blinding them both. The flash had also managed to stir the vile Saotome from his feline induced stupor.
Scrubbing the sore and watering eyes beneath his lenses, his other senses alert, Mousse began to bring himself to his feet as fast as he could. Some sense, some internal instinct, told him that 'something wicked this way comes', to quote that Western Bard.
"My, my" a cheerful female voice spoke, the tones washing over the Amazon like water over stone, drawing him to the origin of it, "such unsightly youths."
Slowly the Amazon's eyes fixed themselves from the sudden glare that injured them, allowing him, and his companions to look upon the source.
It was all Mousse could do not to gasp in awe at the sight of the beauty before him.
Long black hair, seemingly drinking in the silver light of the moon, reaching to the waist. It would have been longer had it not been pulled up into an elegant bun, the two sticks holding it together made of purest gold. Atop that, sat a jade tiara, seeming to glow a dim green light. Her face, pale as porcelain, was perfect from what he could see, despite her mouth and lower face hidden by the ornamental hand fan decorated with frolicking animals of myth, like a nine-tailed fox and a three legged crow, surrounded by what seemed to insects with jade wings. Heterochromatic eyes were her most striking feature, green and gold respectively, the golden one slit like a predator and the green jade aglow with an inhuman majesty.
Her figure was hidden by the colourful robes she wore, red and white and gold mixing and twisting within its voluminous depths and scattered with depictions of peaches.
All in all, she was a striking beauty that many a man would fall over themselves to obtain. Something that Mousse was far from immune to, but she also gave off a feeling that belied the beautiful visage. A feeling of terrifying menace, inhuman power, hungry bloodlust and sadistic amusement, like a predator eying their cornered prey.
Like a cat playing with a mouse.
The back of his mind screamed at him to run away and never look back or, failing that, walk on eggshells thinner than paper around this being, for the beauty before him could scarcely be considered human, even his Shampoo didn't have such perfection and overwhelming power.
Ignoring the Beauty, he looked at the fallen form of his feline beloved, still as death, and his heart froze in fear, not wanting her dead, before her chest slowly moved up and down, giving some slight relief that she was still amongst the living.
Of course, that moment of inattention let the most hot-headed and brutish female he had ever met open her loud mouth.
"Who are you?!" Akane barked, a voice to match her personality, as she settled into a fighting stance as she got back to her feet, an angered scowl on her face, "what do you want!? Where is that damned spirit and what happened to the Chinese floozy?!"
Mousse moaned in annoyance inwardly. Why did she have to open her damned mouth? She has all the tact of a frypan to the face and situational awareness of a dead cow. She always barked louder than her fangs could bite, often leading to dramas and shenanigans. And he was currently up his waist in it with her!
She really needed to develop some survival instincts if she acted as aggressive as she does to a being that clearly outclassed her so much it wasn't funny. He also had a feeling that this Beauty was not one to take ill manners lightly.
The weapons user frowned slightly as he had yet to here anything from the foul Saotome, the gender-changing martial artist generally one to also fire off a quick comment without heeding the possible consequences. A subtle shift of his head let him look at the now standing Ranma whilst also keeping an eye on the now visibly angry woman.
Whatever feline fear the Saotome had exhibited was now gone, thanks to the emergence of this Beauty, seeming disappearance of the cat spirit and the, Mousse gritted his teeth, comatose state of his beloved Shampoo, replaced by a wary eying of the Beauty, seeing her as a possible threat, his body posture deceptively relaxed and his tongue uncharacteristically silent.
Good. That meant the enemy of women was taking things seriously for once.
"No need to raise your voice at me, young lady," the Beauty, so captivating and alluring, spoke in annoyance, her lips still hidden behind the fan, and her robes seeming to rustle in anger, a warning that to anger her further would invite consequences.
Sadly, Akane didn't seem to get the memo.
"Akane..." Mousse and Ranma, in a rare moment of agreement, tried to warn her, only to be ignored as she unleashed her annoyance of having to save that Chinese floozy that night upon an unsuspecting, and increasingly angered, being of power.
"I speak how I wish," the teenage girl snapped out, making the Beauty's eyes narrow in anger and the fan come to a complete halt, a glint promising pain to the Tendo girl alight in her mismatched eyes, "now tell us..."
The words, issuing from the Beauty's unseen mouth as her tiara glowed dazzlingly for a moment, twisted and distorted the air, like they were a living thing, and seemed to strike the Tendo with a hammer blow, the teenager's mouth snapping shut.
The two males eyes widened slightly, feeling the amount of power that was in those words, like they were a command that could not be disobeyed. The funny thing to Mousse, was that it didn't feel like Ki in the words, it was powerful certainly, but it wasn't the force of life.
If it wasn't Ki, then that left...
"Great," Ranma whispered tightly, his form tightening up, ready to rumble at a moments notice as he came to the same conclusion as Mousse, "Magic."
The word was practically spat out, bitterness, anger and tired annoyance mixing with a dawning apprehension. Ranma's experiences with this otherworldly power were far from positive, even from the most minor of spells, charms and artefacts, most often due to either his own ignorance or his father's stupidity and greed. This lead to an, to Ranma, obviously healthy distrust and distaste for anything magical in nature.
Mousse had a feeling this encounter, with an obviously magical being, would only reinforce that mentality.
If they survived the Beauty's ire that is, something Mousse was coming to doubt due to Akane's goading.
"Your disrespect is noted, wench," the Beauty practically hissed, even as Akane tried, and failed, to speak again. The obvious spell cast by the Beauty seeming to have done something to the girl's voice box, "I have not been myself for a very long time, but not even the worst of the worst, amongst men or God, have dared to speak to me in such a manner, save for the uncultured Ape" the fan fluttered away from her mouth, exposing the ruby lips and, surprisingly, the prominent tiger like fangs protruding from her maw.
"This will be addressed."
With these ominous words, Mousse felt a gathering of immense power, staggering him at the enormity of it. His instincts screamed at him to move. He followed that advice, leaping away from the suddenly even more terrifying Beauty.
He watched as Ranma blurred into action, his own danger senses warning him as well, grabbing the silently protesting, and oblivious, Tendo, hoisting her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, before freezing a moment in indecision, and then blurring toward the feline form of Shampoo, who was possibly in the line of fire, his eyes closed tightly shut in a possible attempt not to fall into madness.
Mousse idly wondered, his mind slowing down, as if lost in a fog, why the foul Saotome had even done so, even as the practitioner of Anything Goes managed to scoop her up and move away, his movements suddenly jerky and halting as he fought the overwhelming fear, it was not like the female Amazon was even in the same league as the Beauty, wonderful and alluring, powerful and graceful, a sure prize even if he knew not her name.
Still in the air, Mousse watched in adoration as the Beauty, so strong, so powerful, opened her delicate mouth, her white fangs glittering in the moonlight, and roared.
It was a sound that could never have been produced from a human throat, nor any animals despite the primality of it. It was rage and anger, blood and war, death and destruction, all tied in with a voice of a thousand angry tigers. The very air churned and thrashed before it's indomitable might.
So powerful was it, the courtyard seemed to almost tear itself apart before it, tossing large paving stones, crushing and tossing around wooden posts like they were mere toys. The noise alone seemed to almost his crush head to make his ears meet each other.
Then it got worse.
A wind - no, a small hurricane - came in the wake of the rage filled cry, further throwing around the loose debris, uprooted trees and airborne martial artists as it roared out of the temple gates and into the city proper, leaving nought but destruction in its wake.
Mousse felt himself like he was grasped by a giant hand and thrown away, losing control of his airborne manoeuvring, tumbling and spinning in protest, before he struck the stone wall that surrounded the temple.
Mousse felt his ears ring and head throb madly from the collision, his experiences with Shampoo's bonbori giving him enough endurance to, just slightly, maintain consciousness. After all, it wouldn't do to let this Beloved Beauty see him weak.
Mousse slipped into unconsciousness, much like the stone that had fallen upon his head.
"Move it! Move it!" a voice roared in the communal assembly area of the History Compilation Committee's building, heard clearly even over the bustling forms of it's equivalents to the Knights amongst the European association.
These 'mage knights', as it were, were the militaristic arm of the Committee, mainly from the Seishuuin family and its wide branches but others were also included if they had the skill, power and influence to back them up. They were the sword, the mailed fist, the weapon bearers, the warriors in peace and war that served the families and protected them.
And many of them currently felt that they were going to their deaths.
Heretic Gods were terrors to the normal mage, to any mage in fact, indestructible beings able to take your best strike, with weapon or spell, brush it off like it was a speck of dust and then strike you down with their own, simple and single, attack of their powers beyond mortal ken.
Like the one that caused the 1923 Kanto Plain Earthquake.
Even their best could not defeat them, even if they all worked together, acting in concert. As a rule, only another Heretic God or a Campione, could defeat or kill one. There were exceptions, but they were just that, exceptions, not the norm.
And the Committee currently lacked either the exceptional or a Campione to call upon.
Nonetheless, they had a job to do. Protect the citizens of Japan from the supernatural and hide all evidence of it. Generally this meant destroying the threat with judicious use of spells of destruction, physical mop up, a shit load of paperwork and then hitting the local bars to relax and celebrate.
Now though, faced with an enemy that they could delay, at best, it involved throwing their lives away while the rest of the Association scrambled to contact one of the Devil Kings. The last reports they received, as they rode their choppers to the Nerima Ward, was that the closest Campione they were trying to get a hold of, the Black Prince Alec, was sadly in a technological dead zone, out of reach of any phone. Mystical means of contact was also out, due to a Campione's resistance to magic that prevented a message being sent directly to him and was not at a fixed address where they could send one and was not accompanied by anyone who could receive a message in his place and give it to the Prince.
In short, Japan was currently dead in the water and could only start bailing their buckets until help could arrive.
It was a grim way to start the New Year for the Japanese, and it didn't look like it would get any better.
All they could do... was Hope.
Ranma was not having a good day.
Having to do deal with his, unwanted, Chinese fiancee being turned into one of those f-furry little demons, permanently, by a massive, ghostly f-furry d-devil unless she kissed him within the confines of the kami-damned temple, of all things, devoted to the little demons she was trapped in, with the tomboy and the duck along for the ride?
Par for the course, even if it was ludicrous, irritating and scary as all hell.
Facing down an inhumanly beautiful and not-so-human woman, that practically breathed power, so many orders of magnitude above even the Old Letch or the Ghoul it wasn't funny, that the the weak male spiritual d-devil that had become, capable of magic, strong too if he/she managed to shut up the Tomboy in full on ranting gorilla mode, and tearing up the temple like it was going out of style with a simple deep roar, that had no business coming from the lips of the woman?
...Eh, he had seen weirder. Tarou was a perfect example.
But, weirder or not, this was more serious than any fight he had had before. That last attack, he shivered slightly as he (semi)gracefully landed in a corner of the courtyard, close to the outer wall, his training in aerial martial arts allowing him to recover easily from the buffeting winds, dumped Akane to the ground and quickly tossed the devilish Shampoo to her, he may not have seen it but he could feel and hear the damage being done by it.
That attack, whatever it was, was aimed to maim and kill.
"Get out of here, Tomboy," he spoke to the still mute and furious teenage woman, her anger making her ignore the rampant damage. Contrary to his usual laid back manner of speech, this voice held the inflection of steel, of command. He needed room to fight at his best against this adversary, the Tomboy and Shampoo being here limited her moves as she would have to protect them instead of focusing on fighting the woman. Something that would prove deadly against her, he was sure of that.
Typically, Akane refused to listen, dumping the comatose form of the little critter that was Shampoo into the corner, away from the field of combat, and charged the woman with a voiceless roar of rage, a glowing red mallet suddenly appearing in her hands as she did so.
"Akane!" yelled Ranma, blurring towards her in an attempt to stop her foolish head-on charge, something no martial artist worth their salt would do against an obviously powerful and unknown foe.
That twisted voice rose again from the woman's throat, a predatory smile on her face visible as she did so, like an animal enjoying its preys futile struggles.
Futile being the operative word.
Ranma watched in a strange sort of disbelief as he saw Akane seem to trip over herself mid-run, falling to her knees and planting her face into the broken stones. He knew she was clumsy at times (read: all the time, except when ice-skating) but she wasn't that clumsy.
More evidence of magic at work, damn it.
"Don't bother struggling, girl," the poisonous cultured tones of the not-woman spoke, treading lightly toward the prostrate Tendo, her bare feet bringing her toward the struggling girl, "I, who rules over all that is feminine, will not permit your eyes to ever see the sky once more."
A white glow around an outstretched hand and a small bronze blade appeared in it, thin and less than a foot long, but holding a subtle majesty about it, as if it were a king's crown, albeit a crown of war. Ranma could feel the power of it even as he stood surprised again, before horrified understanding graced his features, making him blur into action.
"At least, not until your head has parted from your shoulders," these last silky tones graced the still night air as the sword, or rather throwing sword, shot from her hand, faster than anything Ranma had seen from mortal men, simply by the woman letting go of the blade.
It's aim? The soft neck of Akane Tendo.
Thankfully, Ranma was already moving, and closer to Akane than the not-woman, and managed to grab Akane roughly and leap back as the sword impaled the ground where she had been.
"What the hell?" he began yelling at the being, as he knew no proper name to describe her, before him as he landed, beyond irate at her callous actions, "there was-!" he interrupted his yells as he moved again, leaping high with a limp Akane in his arms, some instinct telling him, screaming at him, that there was danger. His eyes locked on to the ground as it cracked and splintered around where the sword had struck and, to his disbelief, the glowing sword leapt from the stones, seemingly of it's own accord, and soared at break neck speeds towards the airborne duo. Ranma's experienced eyes could pick out the, impossibly, altering trajectory of it. Changing course in tune to his and Akane's own movements, as if to keep itself square on it's target, Akane's limp and soft and, more importantly, vulnerable throat.
If it was a mundane martial artist that had leapt...
If it was normal fighter moving in the air...
If it was a common warrior that was burdened by the dead weight of the teenage woman...
If it was the average man that faced the speeding projectile...
Then Akane's life would have been forfeit, then and there.
But, if if there was anything that Ranma Saotome couldn't be called, it was normal.
"Ha!" Ranma cried loudly, expelling the breath from his airborne, and burdened, body, twisting his body into shapes almost incomprehensible to mortal man, drawing the vulnerable, awake, and yet unresponsive, form of the Tomboy behind him, as his deceptively powerful leg shot out, just so, striking the flat of the soaring blade with his battle hardened shin, sending it pinwheeling to the side, losing it's movement towards it's target from the blow. For the moment.
Ranma landed gingerly on a, thankfully, unbroken part of the open court, with his fiancee on his back, and keeping an eye on the amused and irritated woman and the magical sword. He grimaced slightly as his right leg throbbed from the pain it had endured. The sword was more than just magical, in his opinion, and maybe not even truly a sword. Even a magical sword, in his experience, was still a sword and could be countered like one, such as warping the metal it was made of with a powerful blow, thus ruining the balance and disabling some of the more precise techniques he had seen from swordsmasters in the past. It all came back to that it still just a weapon, something created and forged.
And it was easier to destroy than to create.
But that weapon... it had endured a strike that contained a hell of a lot of his own strength, enough to break metal if he was of a mind to. Instead of breaking, like it should have by all rights, it was merely flung off course and gave him what he suspected was a deeply bruised, or maybe cracked, tibia, thereby limiting his precious mobility, to an extent.
And the flying blade, eager for the blood that it's mistress desired, was now chasing them down again.
"Kuso!" he swore harshly, looking for a possible solution as the sword whistled toward him, aiming for the throat of the Tomboy, even if it had to pass through him first.
It was the thing he had noticed as a possible weakness. It aimed for it's target directly, no matter the obstacles before it that may block it, like an arrow shot from a bow or a bullet from a gun. Ranma thought it wasn't consciously directed by the woman, only let go with a target in mind, like an eager hunting dog chasing down a fox.
And, with the way he held the Tendo girl, her head hanging upside down facing his back, it would have to go through him first.
He knew taking to the air again, as he generally did, would be a mistake. He needed to able to move on a dime, ducking, dodging and weaving, in order to avoid that hungry blade and thus needed the friction and grasp of the earth.
Striking it away, like he had done before, would, at best, only be a delaying tactic. It required the majority of his strength just to knock it off course and, even then, had caused him more damage than he had expected, for only a few brief moments of respite. He would have to turn himself into a walking bruise, injuring himself with each successful strike, to defend but would be unable to gain an advantage on the battlefield, thus leading to an inevitable defeat through attrition.
He needed a plan, one that didn't involve turning himself into paste, something that could allow him to overcome this obstacle...
Ranma was hit by a brainwave. A plan, an idea, a thought so foolish, so insane, that even contemplating it was sheer madness.
But, considering the current events taking place, he didn't really have any other option.
Instead of positioning himself to leap, to move, to run. Ranma Saotome squared his shoulders and fell into the Horse stance.
Readying himself to the take the blow, head-on.
The [Lady of the Golden Tortoise] watched with her mismatched eyes widening in surprise.
Instead of readying himself to move, the foolish man-child was willing to take the blow head-on.
Perhaps he thought that he could halt the blade if he grabbed it? Foolishness. The only hands that could touch it were her own. As a symbol of her royal power, proven by contest, the blade would always reach it's target, not stopping until it achieved it's commanded goal.
It was commendable of the boy for even managing to get the insolent wench away from the first strike, and even more so that he was actually able to strike it away from the second advance, something she had never encountered before.
But she doubted he would, or even could, do that again. One of her Authorities was easily able to pick out the general health of her opponent, all the better to know which plague could do the most damage to them, and was able to see the cracked tibia.
He would not be as fast as before, nor as easily able to evade her swift flying sword.
She watched in anticipation as it approached, swift and darting, almost invisible to the naked eye of mortals, aiming for the soft throat of the wench.
Which was hidden behind the stout, and foolish, heart of the boy.
It was almost upon them, a swift death in motion, when she felt a stirring in the air, a tinge of power, similar to a spell being cast.
She looked harder at the man-child, burdened by the weight of the slovenly mortal wench, as he extended his hands forward, as if he was going to try and grasp the blade, and glowing a soft blue-white light.
She giggled softly to herself. Fool! Idiot! Imbecile! Using a spell to fight an Authority?! Truly the boy was doomed, especially as it was nowhere near the power to even slightly combat it.
The bronze sword glinted beneath the moon as it reached for the young man's heart, which stood in the way of the girl's throat.
A blinding flash lit up the world a stark white as the boy, futilely, reached for the her \[Sovereign Sword\], the glowing hands seeming to touch the blade, even as his face was lined with determination. She felt something, like a breeze across her face, dance within the core of her power, an invisible hand reaching for her heart.
Then, her sword vanished.
The [Lady of the West] blinked in astonishment and complete disbelief, staring at the suddenly kneeling, quaking and convulsing boy.
She couldn't feel her sword.
She couldn't sense it.
Her Authority was gone.
Her [Sword] was gone. Her [Sword] was gone.
A slowly rising anger, nay an all consuming RAGE, one that had been slowly building since the insolent, blue-haired whore had spoken, since she had been saved by the boy, since the boy had dared to strike her right to rule, which had been hidden by her apparent amusement at the futility of their actions...
"Youuuuu!" she hissed blackly at the still convulsing martial artist that had dared to touch, dared to steal, her [Sword], "You dare!" She roared loudly, her body tense and willing to spring upon her foe and destroy them utterly, her previous noblewoman's demeanour abandoned utterly in the face of such a slight to her pride, at the thought of a mere thief avoiding her giving out justified punishment, much like that damnable Ape.
In her anger, her eyes flashed brightly with power, incandescent and harmful to look at directly with mortal eyes, her fangs got longer as her face became a visage of rage, of a beast. She slowly began to glow a bright white, loosing her current form as she did so, and began to lose cohesion, to expand.
Her shapely two legs became four, bestial, massive and solid with muscle and the great claws already unsheathed, ready to rend and tear. Her beautifully shaped torso, a perfect hourglass, fell forward and broadened, muscles bulging and rippling as a wash of white striped fur ran over it. A long feline tail, previously hidden by the billowing and many-layered robes, came into sight, a counter balance for the solid body allowing it agility many had never seen, let alone achieved.
But it was the face that was most disturbing.
Gone was the porcelain visage of unearthly beauty, replaced black-striped blinding white fur, a short muzzle with teeth the size of daggers bared and small, tufted round ears erect and pointing. Devilish golden eyes looked down at it's prey from where stood, it's ears easily would have touched the ceiling of a two storey home had it been beneath a roof and easily took up a large portion of the courtyard
Raising it's head toward the stars high above, it let out an earth shaking roar into the night, a second windstorm for the night erupting as it did so.
The [White Tiger] had awakened, and it was far from happy.
Homura was scared shitless at the sight of the absolutely massive [White Tiger] from where he stood upon a roof of a building overlooking the temple yard.
He had got to the scene of the Emergence a small time ago, and wasn't foolish enough to dare enter the battle ground.
He watched as the Heretic Goddess, easily identified by the sheer amount of power he could sense, was about to cut down the blue-haired young woman, with a flying sword of all things, in reparation for the stupid girl's comments and attempted attacks.
Homura was more approving of the boy who, if he wasn't mistaken, was the local chaos magnet himself, Ranma Saotome, thereby making the hot-tempered idiot of a girl child, the infamous Akane 'Man-hater' Tendo. He had held back, not attempting to attack, until he was able to get more information on his opponent. Smart thinking if this was an average situation, but against a Heretic God, it was the very height of stupidity to even think about fighting or attacking.
He had been shocked when the lad had managed to grab the girl in time and get her out of the line of fire, his speed was not something he had seen before, easily outstripping some of the more accomplished warriors amongst the Committee.
His mouth dropped open as the boy managed to fend off, even if it was just temporarily, the force of the Heretic's Authority with a mere kick, even if he had injured himself in the process if the way he landed was any indication.
He almost screamed at the boy's stupidity as the young man took a solid stance, as if to take the incoming sword of death in the chest.
He choked as he felt the force of the boy's power as he summoned it to his hands, wordlessly and a degree of strength he had not expected.
He practically stumbled over his own jaw as he saw the boy somehow, impossibly, overpower the Goddess's Authority when the flying sword came into contact with the boy's hands and visible power, and vanished.
That should not have been possible. Only the strongest of mortal magic, used by the pinnacle of magi, could have been able to affect a Divine Authority, which that glow about the boy, even if it was admittedly powerful, was most certainly not.
And yet, he had.
Not without consequence certainly, given the boy had almost immediately fallen to the ground, thrashing and convulsing, with the limp form of Akane Tendo roughly tossed aside. Homura suspected the reason for such violent reactions may have been due to the boy's own, not inconsiderable, power clashing with a Heretic's own Authority, that the foolish boy had, maybe, stored within his own body, despite the impossibility of it all. A struggle of power as it were, like a human's body rejecting an incompatible replacement organ.
Only a Campione could hope to contain Divine power within their own body without the consent of the deity, or the gift to do so like Lady Ena Seishuuin with her Divine Possession.
Though he wondered how exactly the boy had done to do so, most of his thoughts were taken up by the Goddess's enraged reaction.
A blaze of light, almost blinding him, and the next moment, in the inhumanly Goddess's place, was an immense [White Tiger] roaring it's challenge to the sky, the top of it's head on equal grounds with the roofs of the temple, before turning it's large feline head toward the it's prey, a hungry glint in the golden eyes.
Homura was glad that a Heretic God couldn't be seen by a normal human, due to the Divine Space that they exude, contorting reality to their will, or they would have had a Devil of a time explaining the existence of a white tiger, multiple stories tall, attacking Tokyo.
All they needed was a big-ass lizard, or better yet, a dragon, and they could make their own Godzilla movie.
"Fuck me!" Homura breathed harshly, sweating heavily in fear, frantically looking at the skies, trying to spot any of the Committee's forces that were supposedly enroute.
Unsurprisingly, he couldn't spot them, it would take time for them to arrive, this warning going out only minutes earlier and, despite the destruction, and the boy fighting this Divine Being, not enough time had passed for them get here.
Leaving him powerless to help.
All he could do, was watch, powerlessly, as the \[White Tiger\] prowled forward, eyes alight with rage and hunger, towards the helpless martial artists.
Ranma was in pain.
Pain beyond imagining. More than a beating at the hands of his Pops or his rivals, than the Tomboy's cooking.
Even more than the Pit.
All because of the damn Sword.
When he had seen the approach of the Sword, aiming for his heart, and consequently Akane's throat, he had been reminded of Mousse and his Hidden Weapons technique.
Ranma had seen the move enough, felt the fluctuations in Ki enough, that he could make a guess on how the technique worked.
Contrary to belief, it was not just storing items cleverly within his robes, otherwise he would not have been able to perform it as a duck. It involved engulfing the item to be stored and the immediate atmosphere around with their Ki and then taking the space it would be stored, saturating with their Ki and metaphysically expanding it, and then creating a line of power between the atmosphere around the object and the metaphysical space as it expanded. This then created a vacuum-like effect that drew the object into the meta-space, thus storing it away.
All of this happening so fast, as to be almost simultaneous.
Retrieval of items was just as simple, but in reverse, saturating empty air where the item would appear and expanding the space, while linking with the meta-space which held the object, and the object itself, and compressing the meta-space, making the object forced through the 'Ki-tube' and back into existence in real space.
When Ranma had figured out how Mousse had done that, he couldn't help but be impressed. A little.
The amount of Ki, Ki-control and experience needed to pull it off fast enough and skilfully enough in a battle situation, and still keep an eye out and be able to react to battle stimuli was almost out of this world.
If Mousse wasn't such a blatant idiot, he would have been a lot more dangerous than he already was with that technique.
There were drawbacks, of course, just like everything else. The first being the amount of Ki required. The Hidden Weapons technique required a constant upkeep of Ki to keep the meta-space in existence. If they lost the link, completely, even for just a moment, their access to that meta-space would forever be closed, thus losing any weapons they had stored within it and permanently losing access to the portion of their Ki that made up the meta-space, as the meta-space still existed but was unable to accessed, creating a loop in their Ki which would stay with them forever, unless there was a secret way to reopen it, something that Ranma doubted Mousse knew or the Old Ghoul would be willing to part with, not without a hefty price. Ranma suspected part of the training was somehow forming a way to unconsciously emit Ki in a certain way, even while sleeping, in order to keep the meta-space in existence.
Furthermore, a two-fold problem was also there. The amount of Ki needed for the meta-space was proportional to the amount and type of items within it. A living being can be stored, explaining that damn exploding egg laying chicken, but required more Ki to store in comparison to a kitchen knife or a dagger, Magical items too, he suspected, but he had yet to see Mousse do so, either because he lacked access to one or, and this was more likely considering how the Joketszoku worked in his experience, the Ki required would be outrageous.
The second part of that, and just as nasty, was that all of that Ki, the upkeep, the summoning and what-have-you, was locked up in using the Hidden Weapons style, leaving little other Ki for more mundane purposes like physical enhancement and other, more basic, techniques.
Ranma had been, secretly, practising the move, hoping to find out it's secrets and weaknesses, so he could end the fights with Duck-boy faster. He wouldn't dare use it against anyone, not until it was perfected, to his standards, otherwise the Joketsuzoku, with Mousse leading the way, may just come down on his head for, in effect, 'stealing' their Arts. Hopefully he could mitigate by offering something in return and he wasn't one to steal the Arts of another, despite what happened with Ryouga.
He, technically, didn't steal the idea, which wasn't his own in the first place, but instead adapted the idea and created his own technique.
Either way, he normally he wouldn't have used Hidden Weapons in a fight. But this wasn't a fight, this wasn't a spar.
This was a battle, where the only one who won, was the one still alive.
If he wanted to survive, to keep Akane amongst the living, he would have to use it, even if it was imperfect.
And hope to heaven above that it worked.
Waiting for the right moment, his hands glowing brightly with power, he snapped out grasping the sword blade briefly, leaving a set of two parallel cuts from the extremely sharp blade on his palms, and pushed an immense amount of Ki into it, linking it to a meta-space just large enough to hold it and letting it flow into it, small sigh or relief escaping, and then letting go of the link.
It was about then that everything went to Hell for him.
When he let go of the link, he was instantly bombarded with pain, like his veins were suddenly filled with acid, burning him away from the inside out, even worse than what the Tomboy's cooking could do. This cause him to be thrown to the ground, his body thrashing and twisting in an effort to dull the pain.
He could no longer view the outside world, his world consisting only of pain and agony as he writhed on the broken ground.
He could dimly feel a foreign energy, alien and old, as it forced it's way through his arm's Ki channels, seeming to tear them apart as it moved through him, aiming for his heart.
Even wracked with pain, he realised what had happened, and cursed magic vehemently.
The Sword he had stored away, was still attempting to achieve it's original goal, Akane's death, and since he was in the way, it was passing through him in order to achieve it. In addition, the damned magic that made up the blade, which was beyond potent and powerful, was clashing with his Ki, literally tearing his soul apart as it passed through.
In his haste to save Akane, he had effectually doomed himself, as it required him to somehow reopen the meta-space, loosing the dangerous sword on it's mission once more, for this to stop affecting him. Something that he lacked the knowledge to do.
All he could do was convulse and thrash as the pain went up another dozen notches, as the magic burrowed it's way through his soul like a malignant worm devouring him from the inside out.
As his mind teetered on the bridge of insanity, so similar to the Pit, from the pain, he thought he began to hallucinate.
His eyes no longer saw outside world, nor were they painted with crimson tinge of pain and agony. Instead he could only see a white field, was in the white field, the pain of foolish move lessened ever so slightly, empty of everything but three figures. Two of them battling each while the third sat off to side, watching them.
The watcher was easily recognisable, seeing her in the mirror after he was splashed by cold water. His female form sat quietly, indian-style, as she watched the other two fight. But there was a difference to her, seen even amidst the pain. The way see she sat, the way she cocked her head to keep an eye on the battle, and all the other little motions that made a person who they are, all screamed feminine, unlike his own that yelled, to everyone who was observant enough, that she was a male,
The two fighting figures were different.
One was, surprisingly, a blank suit of armour, similar to those worn by Chinese warriors during the Warring States Era, if he remembered correctly. It was moving and dodging the blows of it opponent, before slashing out with a long bronze sword, like an enlarged version of the one he had already stopped, in turn with great skill and precision.
But, it's most intriguing feature, was that it was empty. No figure, man or woman, was within it, making this 'toy-soldier' something to be wary of.
But that wariness paled in comparison to the last figure.
Ice blue slitted eyes glared a the 'toy', the owner of them lashing out with a large paw, claws extended, before twisting sideways before a sword stroke could do little more than ruffle the striped fur of it's neck and roared out a challenge and angry declaration at the 'toy'.
It was great white tiger.
Some dim part of him wanted to curl up and cower or run in fear, but this fear buried beneath the ungodly pain and the surreality of the entire situation.
He gazed upon the tiger, for the first time seeing the majesty and strength of them, so like his own, instead of feeling terror. It's coat was matted with blood, obviously injured by the bronze blade, but still it stood, still it fought.
It was a mirror of him, he realised. It was what he could be, what he was in the core of his being, despite what he Pops had accomplished with the Nekoken.
He needed no other thoughts, his body, his spiritual body, that was still wracked with pain, leapt to the assistance of the tiger on instinct alone.
Working in perfect sync, as if they had done this hundreds of times before, tiger and man drove back the armour and sword. When Ranma attacked it front on, hammering away with hundreds of blows and dodging the counters, the tiger went for it's flanks, his, and he was most definitely a he, fangs tearing some of the steely flesh from it. When it turned to the tiger, Ranma cracked the armour further, before it returned attention to him.
As they put the armour through the blender of attacks, changes began to manifest on the bodies of the tiger and man. The man became a tiger and the tiger, a man. They flickered between each form, both glowing the same incandescent light blue. Eventually, the armour was thrown down, the sword flying from it's grip as Ranma slammed his clawed fist straight through the breastplate where heart would have been and the tiger managing to clamp his powerful jaws around the metallic throat and tore the helm from the shoulders, ending the fight as the armour went limp.
The white tiger, bloodied, tired but unbeaten, let out a roar of victory as the human form of Ranma panted heavily, with a slight grin on his face, and his knuckles bloodied from the force he had to use to break through the armour. To his surprise, despite his tired and injured state, he could feel the pain caused by the damnable sword seem to lessen, but not disappear.
A moment passed as the two victors stared each other in the eyes over the body of their slain foe. Blue slits meet piercing sapphire blue. Ranma could see the heart of this magnificent being, the very core of its make up. There was a desire for challenge, to fight, to win, to be ever victorious, to know, within their heart of hearts, that they were truly 'the best'. There was a feeling of nobility, of honour, of sincerity, of keeping an oath no matter how hard the struggle, until their dying breath and beyond. There was a desire for freedom, to be unchained, unfettered by the trappings of man and society, a wandering warrior.
Deeper within, he could see the sorrow, the rage, the sheer unadulterated anger, directed toward someone that was not himself. He could feel the pain, the fear, the hunger, the madness that it had gone through, within a deep pit.
He was the Tiger, the Tiger was Him. Through a mirror darkly, he peered upon himself.
These two beings both came out of their respective trances, each of them knowing the other better than they knew themselves. They knew what this fight represented and knew that, outside of this dream within a dream, danger, powerful and formidable, awaited, stronger than either of them currently were.
They understood, that their life, their very survival, depended on the other. With this understanding, with their knowledge on the very heart of the other, despite their pride, they knew what they had to do.
Ranma grinned slightly, extending a still blood covered hand. The Tiger rumbled deeply, eager for action, and met the hand with his own head.
The red-haired girl, who had only sat and watched this series of events, smiled slightly as the other two figures became alight in a blue flame, burning away the wrecked armour and leaving only a sword quelled by the twin powers, which then began swirl around them, a firestorm of azure flame that engulfed and hid them from her view, before it exploded.
The white space, empty save for three figures and a sword, was consumed by the expanding flame, somehow avoiding the unmoving female, who giggled slightly as it passed, seeming to caress her gently, not causing harm.
The girl watched as a figure, bathed in the azure light of power, glanced at her with bright blue eyes, grinning slightly and winking before it faded from her view, returning to the world of Man.
Leaving only an outright laughing girl child and a floating bronze sword with a white expanse.
"Good luck," the girl whispered to empty air, a grin on her face, before she lay down next to the floating blade, returning to her rest, until the time was right.
Until the Lord of Chaos rose.
The[White Tiger] prowled towards it's prey.
The mongrel that had dared to take an Authority that belonged to it, much like those pathetic Godslayers. It may not be able to vanquish one of them at present, as it seemed that they were too cowardly to approach it's magnificence. But, after it had dealt with these filthy mortals, it would make sure to hunt them down, one by one, and make them endure agonies the exceeded even the [Five Punishments].
But first, she needed to rid this world of someone who had attempted to become one of those ... Abominations... without the aid of the Witch. He was too dangerous to live.
Oh, and the insolent wench as well.
Her muzzle glared down at the still quivering form. A pity, he would have made a handsome consort in her opinion.
Her massive paw rose back, ready to crush the forms of the mortal bugs beneath her, and then she slammed it down.
The earth shook beneath the force of her strength, crushing the great stones that made up the floor of temple, and the insignificant forms of the mortal worms with it.
The Tiger growled in satisfaction, having crushed the troublesome mortals, before turning away and approaching the walls of the compound. Perhaps wreaking some havoc would draw out those power thieves?
The Tiger had only taken a couple of steps before it felt a blinding pain run up the back of it's right hind leg, causing it to roar in pain and rage. Angrily it turned to the source, only to feel a deep slash tear at it's front left leg.
From there, the [White Tiger] could only feel pain. Slash after slash, cut after cut appeared on it's body. The assailant was never seen by the immense Divine being, obviously too small and too fast for the Beast to catch even a glimpse of.
The [White Tiger] could do nothing but endure this death by a thousand cuts, waiting for the right moment to retaliate to appear.
At least, that was the assailant thought, only to be rudely disabused of the notion as, with a thundering roar, immense slicing winds, capable of stripping any average man's flesh from their bones, erupted from the feline body, blowing the warrior away, tumbling and twisting, into the wall of the courtyard opposite the Divinity.
The [White Tiger] snarled hatefully as it turned again to face the one who had dared to injure it, to mar it's flesh, to make it bleed. The feline's golden eyes narrowed in surprise and rage at the form of it's attacker.
It was that damned boy-thief again. Somehow he had managed to survive daring to violate it's Authority and evade the punishing blow from it's paw.
He felt different though. His body was still injured and hunched over in pain and tiredness, large wounds on the boy's arms in particular, making them look like they had been frozen and then used as practice for novice warriors with live blades, that still bled heavily and the tibia was now fractured, possibly from the muscle spasms. His energy levels, from what the massive predator could sense, had also taken a dive, probably spending it like water in order to even attempt to fight it's magnificence before now.
But the biggest difference was the mortal's eyes.
Those piercing sapphire eyes were not filled wariness or a disguised fear. Nor were they filled with a desire to protect the weak bitch of a girl.
They were filled with a determined light, a desire, a need, to fight. His eyes burned with azure flames with a lust for battle. A mocking smirk graced his handsome face as he peered up at the [White Tiger], enraging the beast.
How dare the mortal mock it's power! The boy is on the verge of death, and even now stand challengingly before me, even now laughs at me soundlessly?!
A thunderous growl erupted from it's immense throat, a threat, a promise, a declaration of it's bloodthirsty intentions.
This boy would die!
The [White Tiger] crouched, preparing to strike.
The boy slid into a stance, ready to move.
A moment passed wordlessly, golden murderous orbs meeting determined sapphire jewels.
As one, they leapt into action.
Ranma quickly, and barely, dodged the immense paw strike, it's speed belied by it's size, with a leap to the side and slashed out his hand. Wicked glowing claws extending from it carving lines of blood in the flesh of his target, before he blurred away as the immense predator roared again.
His feet and Ki carried him at speeds he had never experienced before as he ran beneath the large body of the beast. Not that he could remember anyway.
An odd sound, like stirring grass, met his ears for a moment and swiftly made him shoot away, a ball of destructive wind hitting him where he had been from the fur that covered the belly of the beast
Ranma had never felt this alive before, not even when he had first managed to consciously use his Ki.
"Ha!" he yelled as he slashed at one one the back legs with the claws adorning his hands, hoping to reach the hamstrings or the tendons of the beast.
Blood flew, the tiger roared and lashed out with it's large tail, blindly attempting to strike the pest that had injured it again and again.
Ranma merely rolled under it and burst for the wall of one the few still intact buildings as the large, large, large feline whirled around, knocking down and crushing more walls as it did.
His senses, speed and reflexes were through the roof, his body acting almost before he could register incoming threats or moves to perform. His strength was increased as well, he could feel that, but wasn't quite as useful in this battle, save for longer and higher leaps.
But it was his Ki that would have made him wonder, if he wasn't in a life-or-death battle.
It was still at a low level, thanks to his use of it on the flying sword, but it seemed more wild, to him, as compared to the solid dependable strength of his previous Ki. It was now more potent, stronger, eagerly leaping to his command and humming with unbridled power, wanting nothing more than to break out.
Like a wild horse running free. Like a fierce tiger in battle.
These -he couldn't really call them emotions- urges, maybe even instincts, drove him in battle against the immense white feline, making him strike to injure, to maim.
Of course, that was easier said than done. The Tiger's size, alone, made it difficult to make a major injury to it. It's solid flesh, feeling more like a slab of steel, not helping matters. Add in it's swift reactions and the ability throw winds strong and sharp enough to cleave through the compound's walls and strip his flesh from his bones if he hadn't reinforced his body with his new Ki...
This was going to be one HELL of a fight.
Since he didn't think his strength was enough, not with the injuries he had, that he tried to ignore, he tried to go with speed.
A death by a thousand cuts was his strategy. One of the slashes was not even an inconvenience to the devilish beast, but, as the cuts mounted up, the Tiger, would get slower, weaker, letting Ranma have a shot at ending this with a slash at the well protected throat as his instincts clamoured for him to do.
But, as they say, 'no plan survives contact with the enemy'.
If Ranma wasn't already injured and tired. It would have been a good strategy, despite the endless gulf of power between the two adversaries.
But Ranma knew he couldn't hold out, not for long. Even with the boost, even with his skill, even with his experience. He knew he was losing, and would even lose completely in a battle of attrition. Heck, he was already running his Ki on the verge of the red-zone, the place where his basic KI, the life-force put aside just to keep his body functioning, dwelled.
Even if he enjoyed, was ecstatic in fact, the battle, the struggle, this contest of strength, power and might, he had to end it soon, somehow.
He wasn't willing to greet his ancestors yet.
His feet met the wall first, making him use his momentum to burst of it, like rubber ball, avoiding the sharp stream of air as it struck his previous spot.
Ranma was now facing the Tiger head on, the last move of the beast managing to catch a glimpse of him for it to home in on.
It was do or die now.
Ranma hit the ground and leapt forward, faster than he ever could have before, towards the seemingly smirking Tiger, making warning bells ring in the pig-tailed boys head.
The massive bestial chest expanded as it drew a breath, before opening it's massive jaws and ROARING.
The sheer sound hit the martial artist like a physical blow, knocking him backward and forcing him to dig in his heels in order to stay standing under the assault of audible bestial rage.
But it was the follow up that sent his alarm bells ringing so hard that he couldn't hear anything else.
As the beast roared mightily, a massive orb of glowing power began to build inside it's open jaws, growing steadily larger as the roar went on. Ranma's Ki senses reeled back in disbelief at the power contained inside it.
"Great Kami," he thought, unbelievingly, "there is enough power in that to level several city blocks!"
Any thoughts he had of possibly dodging that orb were almost non-existent. Not only was it almost impossible for him to move in the face of the roar, but it was unlikely he would be able to get out of that monstrous technique's range. Not to mention that, with his back to the Temple's gate, if he did dodge it, the many shops, stores and homes outside of the Temple would be destroyed, as well as the Temple itself.
And the occupants with them.
His mind scrambled. desperately for an idea, the high of a good fight leaving him as the possibility of huge casualties dawned on him. He couldn't but be thankful that the confrontation, so far, had been contained to the temple, for the most part. He was also just as grateful he had been able to put the Chinese duo and the Tomboy in a safe place, away from the battle.
Though that safe place would be one any longer if the Tiger managed to fire off that damned nuke of an attack.
'Come on, Ranma, old boy, think!!' he growled mentally to himself as he crossed his arms in front of his face, shielding it from the ungodly howling roar, 'it's like a massive Ki blast, bigger than any Pig-boy or I could pull off, but seems to have a spiralling motion to it, making it stronger, more stable. Something I should try out with my own... if I survive that is.
'I don't have the raw power to stop it, not even if I was at the top of my game with the boost from the Neko-ken, and definitely not now, not if it leaves the jaws. That means I have to stop before it's released!
'Meaning I have to somehow get through the buffeting winds that could tear me apart, get within range of it's claws, which can tear me apart, destroy the ball of annihilation, that would tear me apart, and kill the over-sized flea bag, WHICH WILL TEAR ME APART!!'
"Fuck my life," he sighed as he watched the 'Ball of Power' increase even more, to the size of a small home, in trepidation, "this is like the Ulti- mate Moxi- bustion..." Ranma's voice trailed off as he remembered.
'Weakness... Spiral... Power... Wind...'
For the second time that night, a brain wave hit him. It was stupid, it was ludicrous, it was mad beyond all reasoning.
But it was the only shot he had.
So, even as the heavy winds tore at his clothes and flesh, somehow remaining standing in the face of it all...
Ranma's soul turned to Ice.
The [White Tiger] could taste victory in it's grasp.
The boy's power was waning, despite the showing he had done in injuring him, they were minor, if painful, wounds. They would not hinder it's reign of destruction and would heal in time.
The [White Tiger] had seen his type before, noble, self-sacrificing. Always willing to put their bodies on the line for those that could not fight.
Foolishness! Stupidity! If one cannot protect themselves, then one does not deserve protection. The strong live, the weak die or serve. That is the way of things. This Tiger had yet to see one of these fools ever truly prevail, often seeing them fall at the first hurdle.
This foolish male one will be no different.
Though, the Tiger was willing to help it along, concentrating the destructive power of the wind and the sheer strength of Steel within it's maw, even as it roared, it began to create sheer [Force], spinning clockwise as to maintain it's integrity.
It was held together it's boat of clay so many years ago. It was what made it able to fight long and hard, crushing it's opponents before it. It was a symbol of it's power. It's will to destroy, to crush, to conquer made manifest.
This mere stripling of a boy, no matter his own power, considerable as it was by mortal standards, would not be able to defy it, not without letting the mortals in their city below pay the ultimate price.
The boy was trapped, between duty and self-preservation.
The Tiger, experienced against this breed of warrior, knew which path the boy would choose. The thought of the boy's death made it's blood run hot, with his death, it's power could be reclaimed from the cooling corpse, once it was devoured
The Tiger suddenly lifted a mental eyebrow as the boy, with his dimly blue glowing arms, suddenly began, of all things, to dance.
It was not like any the Tiger had seen before, wild spinning gyrations, the blue glows of his arms trailing him like ephemeral ghosts. Perhaps the boy had gone mad from the realisation of his imminent defeat? It would not be the first time, the Tiger had seen it happen on numerous occasions, particularly amongst the most prideful of warriors.
The wild gyrations got faster and faster, the body seemed to blur becoming nothing more than a twister of red and black, trailed by lines of burning blue, as he stuck to one spot.
To the Beast's surprise, it could feel a slight chill, barely noticeable beneath the heat of his anger and power, but still present. It's golden eyes narrowed in slight suspicion. Obviously the boy was doing something, but for the life of it, the [Lord of the West] was unable to fathom the reason. Cold air would do nothing to it, the dance would do nothing.
It was confusing.
It peered deeper at the boy, still roaring, still gathering power, and was shocked.
The boy, who had barely been able to stand against his mighty roar, was now, by some dint of a miracle, advancing toward it.
The spinning kept getting faster and faster, one step forward became two, became five, became ten, each circuit making the boy move faster toward it.
The Tiger didn't know how, and didn't really care. It's own power would erase this speck of dirt from existence.
Only a few more moments, and it would erase this stain, this abomination that had dared to stand before the [West].
Ranma was getting dizzy, feeling like he had put on one of those tyre swings he had seen in the more rural villages he and Pops had seen on their journey, and spun around quickly and seemingly endlessly.
He hadn't done it himself, Pops not believing that anything outside of the Art was worth doing, but had seen it done and wanted to do it himself, if only so could maybe make some friends.
He revised his opinion as the world seemed to become an endless stream of colours, even as he advanced on the humungous feline, it's massive white figure not easy to miss.
If he hadn't had the Soul of Ice up and running, he would have been blowing chunks by now.
Right now, he was attempting something that he never had before. A revision of the Hiryu Shoten Ha. A horizontal version, no less.
In order to cut back the roaring winds, which were influenced by the Tiger's rage and swirling power, he spun in the opposite direction with the Soul of Ice, creating a degree of nullification of the roar, thus allowing him to move forward. With each step, he spun faster and faster, making it easier and easier to advance, thus making able to spin even faster.
It was feedback effect, making him faster as he advance and spun.
Right now, he was almost running, twisting, full tilt toward the Tiger. His Ki was dropping like a stone and his body was tiring fast, it was only his will, his drive to win, that was keeping him in the game as he delved deeply into his Base Ki.
Finally, after what seemed to an age of struggle, his battered and torn body, unable to completely escape the effects of the powerful winds, managed to get in close enough to launch a final attack. One that, without doubt, would kill him.
He didn't want to die, none but the most desperate and pained truly do, but he had to follow the Code, something he had almost lost sight of when he was fighting this Beast.
'A Martial Artist Protects The Weak.'
These were the words that were hammered into him from the first day, the first hour, the first moment of his training.
His Pops may pay lip service to those six words, only enough to make him seem to be a decent person (Ranma momentarily laughed mentally at his Pops being called decent.), but, for Ranma, those words were a goal, a true belief, the very words he would attempt to live by.
Sometimes, a lot of the time, he lost sight of that goal, and his actions mirrored that fall into selfishness, but he at least tried, he kept persevering, making his way along that hard road. He would stumble, more than once or twice, but he picked himself up, dusted off his clothes and just kept walking towards that ideal, chasing it endlessly. Until, one day, he would grasp that enlightened Ideal, and stand as pillar that will support all those who came after him in pursuit of that self same goal.
He grinned wryly to himself as he readied his last attack. He would not reach that goal, not now, but he could pass on, not happily granted, but with pride, knowing that he saved many lives, at the cost of his own.
"Neko-ken revised," he whispered harshly as he was now just in front of the Tiger's jaws, it's claws, to his surprise, not attacking him. Well, he wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
His legs, battered, slashed and barely holding him up, tensed tightly as his Ki, still cold and tranquil, skyrocketed as he grasped the last of his energy into one final move.
Powerful legs, on the edge of exhaustion, trained for aerial combat, exploded him upward, directly into the Ball of Power inside the Tiger's jaws. The hot winds, still swirling, caused by the Tiger's roar, attempted to swat him away fruitlessly. His own cone of cold power swirling around him like a protective cloak.
As Ranma Leapt upward, his body straightened out, like a human spear, his blue-white claws of Ki, gained from the tiger within himself, extended forwards as the point. Ranma was now a deadly missile aimed at the immense \[White Tiger\], poised to destroy.
Then he began to spin.
The spear became a flying drill, like a bullet spinning from the rifling within the muzzle of a gun. The penetrating power of the move increasing with the speed of the revolutions. A blue-white blade as the tip.
It was a suicidal move. It could only end in death form the user.
It was the only way to win.
When Ranma hit the Ball of Power, pain erupted along his body. His muscles and bones felt like they were turning into putty and his organs felt like they been crushed into a space smaller than a golf ball.
It was only for a moment. But, for Ranma, it felt like an eternity. Nonetheless, through inhuman determination, through sheer bloodymindedness, he managed to hold on, to keep his goal mind.
'Protect The Weak.'
That goal, that belief, allowed him to push through the pain, the Ball of Power, erupting out of the back of it.
And through the back of the Tiger's skull.
The claws, still spinning with their master, drilled through the skull of the massive 'King of Beasts', burning through flesh, blood and bone with equal ease, boosted by the potent Base Ki of Ranma 'Doesn't Lose' Saotome.
Ranma passed through the skull, erupting into open air, covered in the flesh and blood of his foe. His arms were now limp, as well as the rest of his body. Burnt and crushed almost beyond recognition by the [Force] of the [White Tiger].
"Panther's Piercing Fang," Ranma spoke silently, thickly, with a half burnt tongue, his last words naming the move that had slain a God.
Ranma couldn't feel anything but satisfaction. His Duty was done. His Victory was assured. Now, it was time to Rest.
As Ranma's eyes closed, as the darkness encroached, for a moment, he thought he saw a blinding flash of light.
Then he knew no more
**Excerpt from the Italian mage Alberto Ricardo's Book, Demon King, 19th Century**
...To those who accomplished this formidable feat, I grant them the title of Campione – Godslayer – .
Among all virtuous readers, some will probably believe that I over-exaggerate with that title and frown, maybe others will think that I am making undue fuss over it.
However, I want to emphasize it, once again.
Campione – Godslayer – is a supreme ruler.
Since he can kill a celestial being, he can therefore call on the highly divine powers held by the gods.
Campione – Godslayer – is a lord.
Since the power to kill a deity is in their hands, they can therefore dominate the mortals on Earth.
Campione – Godslayer – is a devil.
Therefore of the entire humanity living on earth, those who have the power to oppose them do not exist!
**Excerpt from Japanese Reports Concerning the Verification of the new Campione, Beginning of the 21st Century**
In Chinese Myth, Xi Wangmu, was a Goddess with many complex attributes.
Originally she was known as the Queen Mother of the West, in ancient times, which the Chinese linked with the colour white, death, the sunset. Thus she was seen as a Ruler of the dead and tied to the Earth, making her a Mother Earth Goddess. She also known as the 'Lady of the Golden Tortoise' whose shell was used in ancient Chinese bone oracles.
She was often depicted as a wild woman, living on a mountain, with a tiger's teeth and a leopard's tail. Both of which were fearsome beasts to the people of the time. She was also rumoured to sit on the mountain, surrounded by beasts, and was brought food and water by three green birds and was rumoured to be 'good at roaring', enabling her to command the winds. This linked her to a strong wild element, similar to a 'mistress of beasts' that Artemis of Greek Myth was.
She was also known to mete out the [Five Punishments] of Chinese origin and was able to bring forth plague.
Her image was softened when the Daoist movement rose. Instead of a wild woman, there was a cultured matron, wise in the arts, and a holder of the path of Immortality due to her peaches which grew upon her mountain, ones that the Monkey King had dared to steal and eat at a banquet when he was not invited.
In this image, she was vaunted as a creator god, linked to the Jade Emperor through family ties, whether sister, daughter or mother, depending on the myth. She was the Ultimate Yin Principle, ruling over all that was Yin/Female and had ties to silk-culture.
She still retained a vestige of her wild days, however, as she was still depicted as surrounded with animals. She was also known as a possible love interest to many of the mythical emperors of China.
However, it was when the Daoist instituted the Five Animals that her nature was twisted.
In the west of ancient china, there was a tribe called the Ba. There ancestor god, Lin Jun, was a remarkable warrior, whose soul was said to have turned into a White Tiger upon his death and was fed the blood of the enemies of the Ba to make him stronger, thus leading to the White Tiger being associated with war and bloodshed.
This hardly conflicted, completely, with Xi Wangmu's base nature and thus both White Tigers, Xi Wangmu and Lin Jun, were combined to create Baihu, the White Tiger of the West, associated with the West, White, Autumn and the element Metal. As the Tiger was also the 'King of Beasts' within Asia, this further reinforced Xi Wangmu's nature.
The Daoist movement spread across the Chinese Empire and surrounding countries. Baihu, Byakko, Baekho, Bach Ho, all of these names were attributed to it, along with all the other attributes of White, West, Metal/Wind, Autumn and various others.
Xi Wangmu of the oldest and most well known deities in Asia.
It is with her death, that Ranma Saotome became the newest Campione
Well folks, how did you like it?
I tried my best to make a good beginning. If you have any problems, please let me know.
I tried my best to make a good, firm, realistic link with the deity used so I hope you like it.
Please leave reviews.