One Last Chance Ch.20
A Day in Nerima
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and all it's characters were created by Rumiko Takahashi I in no way take credit for them, don't sue, this is just a story for the entertainment purposes of both myself and the readers of this story, and I am making no money off it in any way shape or form.
AN: Quick personal disclaimer, I am writing this for fun, I do not enjoy flames, I welcome constructive criticisms and thoughtful advice. I have a lot on my plate right now and work on this whenever possible which, unfortunately is not as much as I would like too. I apologize for the long wait between chapters.
Ranma and Akane died thanks to Happosai, rather than let them die they were sent back in time thanks to Ranma's wish for another chance. Both retain their memories and feelings they accumulated; now they have to survive. A martial arts challenge has been put forth from Ranma and Akane to Mikado and Azusa, which will determine the ownership of Akane's ring. The twist to this is that Ranma and Akane challenged the golden pair to a proper martial arts match and not a martial arts skating match. Knocked unconscious, the pair was then rushed to the dojo where Genma and Soun tried to get them married. Due to the timely intervention they were able to avoid the marriage attempt. The next day as Ranma escorted Hiroshi and Daisuke home he ran into Ryoga. Ryoga got into a fight with Ranma, which resulted in Ryoga sustained a serious injury as a result of Ranma's carelessness. Ranma rushed his rival to Dr. Tofu's clinic as quickly as he possibly could where Ryoga received treatment for his wound. Ryoga also inadvertently learned that Ranma was cursed to turn into a female and that the pigtailed martial artist also happened to be the one who pushed him into the spring of drowned pig. Ranma left the clinic shortly after, leaving Ryoga to recover. On his way back to the Tendo Dojo Ranma in his female form encountered Shampoo. Rather than attacking him, she glomped onto him, gave him the kiss of marriage, and then told him she loved him. Cologne then showed up and told Ranma that the matriarch knew that Ranma was a he and that Ranma was now married to Shampoo.
"All around me are familiar faces, familiar places.
Getting ready for the daily races. Going nowhere, going nowhere."
Song Mad World
By Gary Jules
-Streets of Nerima, Evening-
"How did you know," Ranma asked Cologne, trying to play dumb while ignoring the bouncy, well endowed Amazon who was rubbing up against him.
"How did we know what son-in-law," Cologne asked, also playing dumb, although she knew exactly what he meant.
"How did you know that I was a guy?" Ranma clarified to the Amazon matriarch while trying to maneuver out of Shampoo's grip without touching any of the more intimate areas.
"Well son-in-law, it is quite obvious, all one has to do is merely look at you to see that you are a male and quite a handsome one at that." Cologne fanes a swoon, "if only I was a couple of hundred years younger myself, I would give my great grand daughter a run for her money."
Ranma could not help but shiver as a cold chill goes down his spine at even the thought of being with Cologne.
Ranma tried to ignore the voluptuous Amazon rubbing herself bodily against him. This was made easier by the fact he was trying to stare down the girl's great great grandmother.
"I won't join your tribe." Ranma firmly stated, allowing his battle aura to come forth.
Shampoo jerked away from Ranma as if burnt and stared in shock at the glowing energy around the pigtailed boy. She had only ever seen the elders, or other females when a man did something perverted, put forth a battle aura.
'If she makes me fight I will destroy her.' Ranma told himself. 'I can't allow her to be an enemy, if it comes too a battle, I'll have to finish her off. She and her Great Granddaughter plagued me with their spells and potions for far too long, I refuse too allow her to wreck Akane and my happiness again.'
'But she taught us so much, almost as much as my father.' Ranma replied, 'Akane and I both know things are going to be much harder this time around, Loki told us so.'
'Yes he told us, and do you know what I already know what she taught me, if I kill her now it will take care of the problems she will create for Akane and I.' An evil glint came to Ranma's eyes as he considered the benefits of just getting rid of his enemies right off.
'If they're gone I'll lose the only friends I've had.' Ranma thought sadly, thinking of all the good times that he had with them.
'But I don't need them,' countered Ranma, 'I have Akane and she is all I need, as long as I have her no one else matters. I will destroy anybody I have too if that is what it takes.' Ranma turned his gaze towards Shampoo, 'Of course I'd need to get rid of her as well he thought, otherwise I'd have her entire tribe after me.'
'What am I thinking, killing is wrong, sure Cologne has done some bad stuff, but she has also been there for me during some bad times to help me.'
The internal debate raged on in the troubled martial artist as the two foreigners watched, waiting for the outcome.
Cologne stared intently at Ranma, she had become quite familiar with his aura over the two years she had known him in her previous life, and was able to tell instantly that there was something off with his aura this time around. Unfortunately she couldn't quite put her finger on it without carefully studying him. Something he was sure to refuse in his currently agitated state.
Missed from her observation the ring on Ranma's finger twinkled with an inner flame.
-Woods Somewhere in Europe-
"Where am I now?" Ryoga asked rather quietly.
Not that he'd ever admit it, but Ryoga was a little unnerved by the silence of the forest. Most woods he had camped in were usually bustling with activity; even at night there were sounds that let one know there were birds and animals nearby.
Except for the occasional wolf howling there was an eerie silence penetrating the very air of the woods.
"I'd rather be chased by that crazy girl than spend any more time in this wood." Ryoga quietly said. Remembering the nude woman in the woods who chased him while yelling in some strange language.
In the trees a pair of eyes followed Ryoga's movements through the woods.
Deciding to stop and get his bearing the fanged martial artist sat down beneath a tree and pulled out a map studying the path he'd have to take.
"Bende Nocte" A voice broke the silence of the woods, startling Ryoga who immediately jumped up into a fighting stance, letting the map of the Rio Grande fall to the earth forgotten.
"Where are you," Ryoga asked, looking around the area, but failing to see anybody.
"I don't speak whatever language your talking, would you happen to know English?" The voice asked.
"Yeah I know a little English," Ryoga replied guardedly.
"Excellent, well I said 'Good Evening'." The voice replied amusement hidden in the tone.
"Who are you," Ryoga asked, "and where are you?" Ryoga began turning around, trying to watch all sides at once.
"I am the count Vladimir Von Carstein and you have wandered into my domain." The voice replies.
"I'm just passing through." Ryoga replied flushing slightly.
"Oh and where are you passing through too?"
"I'm trying to get to Nerima."
"I have never heard of this Nerima, where might it be that you must pass through my territory."
"It's in Tokyo." Ryoga replied, embarrassed that he'd wandered into someone's backyard, although he hadn't seen a fence yet.
"Tokyo, as in the capitol of Japan?" The voice deadpanned.
"Yes." Ryoga replied in a rather quite voice, 'damn I must have wandered off track again.'
"You are a little off track young one."
"Really, where am I, Hokkaido, Okinawa, this does look a little like Honshu." Ryoga suggested hopefully, but fearing he was a little further off.
"Try Romania." The voice replied.
"Where's that?" Ryoga asked, cursing as he looked around for the map he dropped and wondering if he had another one.
"It is in Europe, but more importantly it is the last place you will ever visit." Replied the tall man stepping out of the very darkness itself.
The man was tall standing 5'10" he was very pale, but something seemed to burn within his eyes. He was dressed in an archaic nobleman's style, with expensive red and black velvets and silks. He didn't look very physically strong, but he seemed to put out an aura, which suggested a feral rage kept barely in control.
Ryoga picked up on none of this, merely hearing the obvious threat.
Well acquainted with threats himself, Ryoga shrugged off his traveling pack and cracked his knuckles, a fight welcome after walking around for so long.
Vladimir razes an eyebrow seeing prey, which didn't cower and beg for its life like most of the miserable peasants usually did. The nobleman smiled revealing a glistening set of pearly whites, with a pair of elongated incisors.
Ryoga smiled right back revealing his own set of elongated canines. At the sight of his opponents teeth the count faltered thinking he had made a mistake in choosing his prey. Seeing his opponent off balance Ryoga took advantage of the opening, charging forwards and delivering a punishing blow to the European's midsection.
The count was sent flying backwards, his back slamming into a tree. "Are you a child of the night?" The count asked having seen this individual move much faster and stronger than any other human he had ever seen.
"What are you talking about," Ryoga asked, moving in closer to keep pressure on this strange person who wanted to fight and now wanted to talk. He launched a quick kick at the individual's exposed flank.
Vladimir saw the incoming kick and deftly plucked the boy's foot out of the air, slamming him face first into the tree, which the count had just impacted.
"Impudent whelp." The Count growled, swinging the lost boy around and sending him flying back to where his pack was.
Ryoga stumbled back to his feet groaning, how did someone so small produce so much strength. Ryoga looked over as the European stalked towards him. The fangs were unusual, but they were only slightly longer than the ones he had. The fanged boy realized that this person wasn't using any actual martial arts; he was using speed and strength.
Smirking to himself Ryoga launched himself forwards feinting a blow to the Count's head and preparing to follow up with a powerful kick.
Vladimir prepared to block the punch that was coming, surprised when his prey pulled back at the last moment. A smile crept onto the European's face as he saw the kick coming. This mortal was quite a skilled fighter, were he one of the blooded he would be truly powerful.
Ryoga looked down at his leg, grasped firmly within the pale hand, he tried to pull back, but he was off balance and couldn't escape the iron grasp of the Count.
Spinning the upstart around in his grasp the count released Ryoga, knocking him right back into a tree.
"You are a few hundred years to young to deal with me." Vladimir told the boy, stalking over too him. This was such an enervating evening; this child had given him more amusement than any of his previous hunts a hundred years back.
Ryoga groaned, he must have hit his head when the European threw him. Lying on the ground, he tried to stand, but his head was still spinning and he just slid back down the tree.
The Count was almost disappointed when his prey slid back down to the ground. Obviously he had thrown the boy with a bit too much force, but all good things must come to an end, and the hunger was upon him.
The fanged boy watched his opponent stalk towards him, a hungry look in the European's eye. He tried to get up or at least to turn away, but something held him in place.
Vladimir allowed himself a smile as the boy's will struggled against his own, the child was powerful indeed, but he was weak from bashing his head most likely. Opening his mouth the count allowed his incisors to grow to their maximum length.
"Do not worry child, when you awaken the world will be your plaything." Vladimir stated, this Asian boy was worthy of the eternal night, which he and the other nobles shared. This young man would be an excellent heir, Yuri would be jealous.
Ryoga felt his consciousness slipping from him as he felt the Count's hands baring his neck.
-Rooftops of Nerima-
Cologne watched the young man before her, knowing that he might fight her; she could see that it would only take a slight push for him to attack her, at his current level of development he wouldn't be a true danger for another year and a half at least. It wouldn't be long though; last time he was almost her equal when he defeated Herb and his two servants. She hadn't realized how far the boy had risen until he beat Saffron.
"Would you seek to fight me then," Cologne asked, gripping her staff as she faced off with the irritated pigtailed boy in front of her.
Inside Cologne's mind, she knew this was a very pivotal moment; should Ranma choose to fight she would have to fight him.
'And that's where my choice must come.' Cologne didn't want Ranma as an enemy too the tribe, it was not something she could afford.
'He would become too powerful too quickly, and should he some day come back and wish to harm us, I fear for the future of the Amazons. If I can't be assured that there is some chance to make him trust us at least partially, then tonight he will die.' Cologne thought too herself, her face hardening as she prepared herself for a task she had no wish to carry out. Unbeknownst to her the Ranma she faced was much more than she thought.
"Not unless you force me too." Ranma replied, causing the Matriarch to release a breath she hadn't even known she was holding.
"I have no wish too fight you old ghoul," The pigtailed boy continued his aura fading, while earning a sharp look from Cologne, too which he was oblivious.
The tense moment having passed, both relaxed, both understanding that something had passed between them, but neither knowing what it was.
-Kuno estate, Nerima Ward, Tokyo, Japan, Asia, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way-
"Ho Ho Ho, brother dearest, why are you so perturbed tonight," Kodachi asked her brother.
Kuno narrowed his eyes, if his twisted sister was asking after his health, he knew it was from anything, but familial concern.
"Why nothing at all sister mine, whatever could have driven you too ask such an inane question of my noble self?"
"OH brother dear, you know I have a great interest in your health, whatever would I do if something happened to you?" Kodachi asked, 'besides throw a party.' She silently added.
'Besides celebrate,' Kuno silently replied, but allowed he said. "Weep I am sure, but do not trouble thyself, tis nothing the master of house Kuno can't deal with." Kuno was growing impatient with his sister's meaningless prattle, usually she didn't bother him unless there was something she wanted.
"Ahh, but you are not master of this house, not as long as our beloved father still lives." Kodachi shot back, unable to resist aggravating further her sibling.
"He has not been master of this house since the cur abandoned us," Kuno shouted back standing, violently shoving the desk he sat behind away, scattering the papers all over the floor.
Kodachi reeled back momentarily from her brother, he often yelled, but rarely did he put so much emotion into his words, usually he merely spouted poetic nonsense.
"He has not been master of this house." Kuno repeated adding, "Not since that night." Kuno's voice grew heavy with emotion, losing volume, "not since that night."
Kodachi felt tears forming in her eyes, she knew what he was talking about, but her pride wouldn't let her back down. "I don't remember you doing anything that night brother mine, what did you do to help our family?"
Kuno recoiled as if struck. "How dare you!" Kuno yelled back, moving closer to his twisted sister, fire shining in his eyes. "How dare you say that, there was nothing I could have done. There was nothing either of us could do, nothing…nothing." Kuno's voice trailed off.
"Excuse me," Kodachi quietly responded, fleeing her brother's room, she ran back to her room as fast as she could, blitzing past the odd servant whom would silently avert their eyes.
Kuno stood, silently watching where his sister had been standing. He stepped forwards, shutting his door and dropping a thick bar into place, sealing out the world. Flipping a switch several iron plates dropped down sealing off the windows. Alone and secure Kuno walked over to his bed. Flipping another switch all the pictures of Akane, which surrounded his walls, were covered.
Still without having spoken the Eldest Kuno sibling opened his bedside table, dodging the knife that was shot out at him from the spring trap. He reached in and pulled out a small rectangular picture frame.
Reverently stroking the picture frame, Kuno stared at the image, slightly faded with time. The picture showed a loving family of four people all together.
The picture showed a father standing just off center, his hand resting on the shoulder of a beautiful woman in a kimono. On the woman's lap was a young girl with beautiful long black hair bounced happily dressed in a white leotard, a shining smile on the daughter's face. The man's other hand rested in front of him upon the shoulder of a young boy in a hakama, the boy clutched a small boken in his little hands while trying to look mature.
"Mother," Kuno breathed out almost inaudibly, a lone tear sliding down his face.
-Elsewhere in the Kuno Mansion-
Quickly disabling the traps at her door Kodachi ran into her bedroom, bolting her door and rearming the traps before proceeding. She hurled herself onto her bed, weeping into a pillow.
"Why mommy, why did you leave us?"
Why, why did she and her brother have to fight? Why did she have to take pleasure in tormenting her brother, as she knew he took pleasure in tormenting her?
Nothing had ever been the same since that night. She couldn't remember everything, but she knew it took her mother away from the family, and nothing had ever been the same since.
They had all tried to escape it, each in their own way. Her father, once considered to be an eccentric, but well respected member of the community had turned into an individual who terrorized his school's populace, both student and teacher. Eventually he retreated to Hawaii for a sabbatical, escaping even the small responsibility
Her brother, while not the best student, he was a good kendoist. After that night, Tatewaki had thrown himself into Kendo with an almost fanatical devotion. He rose from being a talented student of the art too mastering it and surpassing all his teachers. He had suffered too, retreating into his own little fantasy world of feudal times, seeing the world with jaded eyes.
She, well she had done that same thing. Rhythmic Gymnastics and botany had been two small hobbies her mother had introduced her too. Afterwards her hobbies had dominated her life. Warping to fit her needs, she had sworn to be the best and never lose a match in her chosen field, just like her big brother.
When she was twelve, during a rhythmic gymnastics match, her opponent's team member had splashed water on her side of the ring, causing her to slip. From that moment on the black rose had been born. It had started out small, weighting a baton, removing a support here and there, but it had continued to escalate.
Now her opponents never even showed up too matches, those who would not be cowed would be rendered incapable of even competing. In her mind though she always justified it as doing it for her family. Her reasoning had built a prison around her.
"Is this really worth it?" Kodachi asked herself, reaching out to stroke a picture of her mother that sat beside her bed.
"Yes child it is," a sensuous voice spoke to her. Instantly snapping out a baton and pulling her spare ribbon she twirled, pushing herself off of her bed and landing in the center of her room.
"Who dares invade my domicile?" Asked Kodachi, furious at the intrusion. She would make them pay for this offence.
Stepping out of the shadows an individual came forwards, "I do my beautiful child." The individual replied in a husky yet silky voice. "I have come to assist you in getting what you want."
Kodachi looked closely at the intruder. It was hard to tell whether this individual was a man or a woman, unable to tell from even the voice. The stranger had long flowing black hair down the back, an effeminate, but strangely masculine face. From the loose fitting black robes the person wore, she couldn't even tell if there was an Adam's apple or what the person's body looked like.
"Why should I listen too you, how could you even know what it is I desire, I have all I need." Kodachi shot back, extremely unnerved by this strange intruder who had somehow gotten into her room.
"I know your desires my dear," the stranger glided forwards, reaching out and stroking her face.
Kodachi was unable to stop this person as they stepped forwards and stroked her cheek. "Who are you?" she was able to get out. Desire flooded through her, and a need she hadn't even realized before.
"I am Khalmeel," the stranger drew the young girl into an embrace, cradling her as one would their own child. "I know you desire love, I know you desire companionship, I know you desire one who can protect you. I can offer you that."
"You?" Kodachi quietly asked, staring at Khalmeel, 'Can he really protect me, can this man be everything I desire?' Silently asked Kodachi too herself, hope and fear was plainly displayed across her face.
"No child not I," The stranger stated, Kodachi's face fell, "but I know the man for you. He is a noble and skilled individual, he is handsome, strong, kind, and he can be yours."
Kodachi was uncertain, but Khalmeel started massaging her back, whispering quietly into her ear, "He is yours for the taking and he will love you, and you will love him." Promised the angel sent by the gods themselves to assist her.
'He must be an angel, he was made so perfect, coming to me in my hour of need.' Kodachi decided.
"What must I do?" asked Kodachi, resting her head on the angel's shoulder. Unseen by her Khalmeel smiled evilly, displaying a row of razor sharp teeth.
"You must merely win him from one who doesn't truly deserve him, one who abuses him, one who he can't escape from alone. He is bound to her by their family in a relationship he doesn't wish." Khalmeel responded in his silky voice.
"Who is this wondrous man?" asked a breathless Kodachi.
"His name is Ranma Saotome." Replied Khalmeel, laying Kodachi back onto her bed, having picked her up and moved her like she was nothing more than a child.
"Ranma Saotome." Kodachi murmured, lying back in her head with unfocused eyes, looking towards the ceiling.
"Soon child soon." The angel said, heading towards the shadows and the waiting portal, which would take it back too the safety of the warp.
"Ranma," Khalmeel heard Kodachi murmur one final time before stepping through the portal, leaving behind the girl and her room.
The warp portal closed behind the departing form, unseen by Kodachi as she watched the ceiling.
"Ranma-sama." Kodachi breathed out before falling into blissful slumber.
A picture of a woman lay discarded on the floor beside the bed, forgotten about.
-Eye of Terror, The warp-
Back within the arguable safety of the warp Khalmeel's head elongated, a second pair of arms sprouting from below the first. The creature's body started growing until it was twelve feet tall. The robes disappearing as the body expanded, the skin growing extremely pale. Horns extended from the back of the head, while two of the hands expanded into large lobster like claws. It was impossible to determine the creature's gender, yet it appeared to be both. Despite its hideous appearance it exuded sexuality.
Looking into the raging warp the creature by the name of Khalmeel spoke.
"She is yours master Slaanesh."
And within the raging storm of chaotic energy, which makes up the warp, a dark god smiled.
- Rooftops of Nerima -
Unaware of the internal debate going on within her husband, Shampoo watched on with interest. When he stared at her with a strange look in her eyes, a chill went through her spine, and she backed up a step, but then the look passed and a softer, almost fond expression
Shampoo was unable to understand the words of the conversation, but she could read the expressions and body language of both parties. As she watched, she saw her husband get into a fighting stance, as did her great grandmother. They exchanged a few words in that barbaric language of her husband.
'I'll just make sure he learns Mandarin when we return to the village, Rin Shi will be jealous when she sees what a handsome and obviously skilled man she had retrieved. Cute butt too.' Shampoo thought to herself, and seeing her husband's aura fade and an almost content look come to his face.
'He's cute, strong, and skilled. He's perfect.' Shampoo thought too herself. Throwing herself at him again she glomped onto his body, rubbing her own against his. She marveled in the sculpted body beneath her, it was marvelous, almost as if someone had carved him from stone.
She knew that with her own body she would have him in no time, 'After all, males all think with their crotches, especially those her own age.' Shampoo knew this for a fact, having teased and led on many of the boys in the village, at least until that blind fool Mousse had taken a single comment too seriously and started chasing off any male who even looked at her.
She could feel her husband was very tense beneath her grasp; strangely enough he wasn't trying to hold her or do anything a male should try like grope her.
Well she'd just have to help this innocent male along with a little physical encouragement.
-Tokyo, Nerima Ward, park-
Within a poorly lit circle of trees in the park stood a cloaked figure; his body is shrouded in dark black robes. Within the center of the clearing burned a brazier. Charms and wards surrounded the clearing.
Before one tree stood the figure, candles burning on his headband.
"Oh Akane," The thin figured moaned as it sat within a dense circle of trees, "why can't you see I love you and I'm the best for you." He moaned as he drove a spike into the doll, which resembled someone with a long black ponytail and red shirt.
"Ranma can't possibly treat you right like I can." The figure wailed, hammering in another nail.
"Why don't you leave that poor tree alone Mister Hikaru Gosunkugi." Gosunkugi spun around, fearful that he was going to get fined for the open fire. "There are better ways to get that which you wish than torturing innocent trees."
The man was tall and skinny, looking much like Gosunkugi himself. The difference was the staff the man carried, the slitted yellow eyes, and the aura of power around the man that made the hairs on the back of Gosunkugi's neck stand on end.
"Who are you?" Gosunkugi fearfully asked, backing into the tree.
"I am Melcior," the stranger replied, bowing as one would too an equal. "And I am here to assist you in acquiring what you desire."
Gosunkugi's eyes widened, "You could help me get Akane too love me?" Gosunkugi asked hopefully.
"I can help you defeat Kuno and Ranma," Melcior smiled, knowing he had this pathetic excuse for a sorcerer hook, line, "and what's even better young one, I can get her too desire and serve you."
'What should I do,' Gosunkugi wondered, torn between the obvious power, but well aware of the dangers that this would involve.
Although Gosunkugi's spiritual strength was too low for him to actually use magic, that didn't mean that he was lacking in knowledge of the occult or metaphysical matters. He had read many books, most warned of accepting power from other worldly strangers.
"Why should I trust you," asked the thin boy in a hesitant tone, he really didn't want to anger this powerful being before him.
"If you would quit cowering," Melcior replied, narrowing his eyes, face drawing tight in obvious displeasure. The air around the man seemed to throb with barely controlled energy. "You do not need to trust me right now, I have been sent to assist you because our goals are the same and we see you as a valuable ally. If you will work with me trust will come in time. My masters are very generous and you show much promise."
"What is it you offer me?" Gosunkugi asked, stepping forwards and looking closer at the strange man.
"Power to allow you to defeat Ranma and Kuno," The strange man lifted his hand pointing it at the tree Gosunkugi had been hammering into. A moment later a sickly green ray rushed from his hand slamming into the tree. "Power to give you that which you desire."
Gosunkugi stared in fear at the tree as it shriveled up, the trunk rotting as the limbs twisted. Gosunkugi could have sworn he heard the tree crying in pain as red sap began to escape from the trunk itself.
"I can make you the most powerful person in Tokyo." Melkior declared, throwing his arms wide. The young boy could smell the ozone in the air as small lightning bolts crawled over the sorcerer's arms and body.
"Can I think about it for a while?" Asked the pale young man.
Melkior frowned, but nodded. "Very well, take what time you need, but do not take too long for offers such as this never come more than once to any one person."
Gosunkugi nodded as the stranger turned around and walked towards the tree line, a red and orange portal opened up as Melkior approached.
"When you decide, return to this spot and call for me. I shall give you a week before my generous offer expires." With that said, Melkior stepped through the glowing portal.
The shimmering rift stayed open for a few seconds before closing, leaving nothing more than the smell of ozone in the air.
Gosunkugi took this opportunity to finally realize that he had just faced down an individual more powerful than Kuno, practically said no and was still alive. As a way of congratulating himself for his bravery in the face of such destructive power, the young man fainted.
-Rooftops of Nerima-
Ranma sighed, tensing up as he felt Shampoo's arms closing around him. He had really hoped to avoid her this time around, or at least to escape her affections.
The pigtailed martial artist remained still as Shampoo's hand began to roam over his chest. The busty Amazon only took his non-response as incentive to continue.
Cologne could see Ranma was getting more and more irritated by her great granddaughter's physical invasion of his space. She internally sighed to herself while keeping a neutral expression.
She wished that she had made it clearer to Shampoo that Ranma wasn't like most other males. He didn't fall into the usual stereotypical category for men that most Amazons believed. If he had then one of the dozens of things, which they had tried, would have succeeded in ensnaring son-in-law.
"Shampoo, release him and cease these antics, they bring shame on our bloodline and to all Amazons seeing you throw yourself at this man." The matriarch criticized the young Amazon in Mandarin.
"Aiyah, Sorry Great-Grandmother, it was not my intention, but isn't this how a man is taken, by overwhelming his head with the emotion of lust?" Shampoo asked, releasing her grasp on the pigtailed boy, and moving to stand a more acceptable distance beside him.
"Well look at the time I've got to be getting home." Ranma stated, glancing at his wrist and the non-existent watch.
Cologne's eyes narrowed at the ring on Ranma's finger. "Of course son-in-law, do not fret we will be seeing you again, of that I am sure."
The matriarch began cackling, sending a shiver up both Shampoo and Ranma's spines.
Ranma leapt off the roof onto the ground, touching down lightly before leaping away again. Soon he was gone, hidden by buildings and the growing night.
-Woods somewhere in Europe-
"NOOOO," Ryoga cried, trying to sit up and fight the hands. He wasn't sure what this stranger was, but he had heard plenty from campfire tales through his troubles that he was pretty sure who this was.
"Do not struggle child, you will enjoy this." The man replied, unknowingly proving Ryoga's assumptions true. Ryoga felt the European's cool breath upon his neck.
"Don't touch me you pervert," the fanged boy cried, anger giving him strength to punch the count in the face. 'I knew he was a gay pedophile, who else would dress like that.' Ryoga thought, filling himself with righteous anger.
"Impudent wretch," Vladimir shouted, backhanding his prey.
Ryoga could feel his brain rolling around his skull. He could barely cling to consciousness, but refused to give in to this hideous beast, who knows what would happen to him if he passed out.
"Leave him alone," a deep growling voice echoed around them, causing Ryoga to look past the European pervert, and Vladimir to spin around.
'Who could have approached without me hearing it?' The count thought, he was in no mood to fight with a rival at this time.
Before the count stood an individual most would choose not to run into on a crowded street in the middle of the day let alone in a dark alley.
He easily stood six foot nine, with arms thicker than a large man's leg. His muscles ran along his body like steel ropes. From the waist up he was bare, revealing a much-scarred chest; below his waist he wore pants seemingly made from furs and hides of different animals. His face was unremarkable, neither handsome nor ugly, the man's black hair matted down with sweat against his skull.
The count marveled a second, he could tell that this man was not one of the kindred, his heart beat too loudly for even one drunk on blood. A magnificent spectacle, this one burnt with energy as bright as the young man lying on the ground.
"Leave this place bloodsucker," the big man's voice boomed out.
"Run," Ryoga said as loudly as he could, "he's stronger than he looks."
Vladimir laughed out loud hearing the young boy's words. "Yes run while you can and perhaps he will fill me enough that I won't come for you too." The count laughed, when he was done with the boy he would track this one down too. He would feed well tonight indeed.
"I am here for the boy, move or die." Stated the large man, almost as an after thought he added, "I would prefer you died personally, but it is up too you."
The count began too laugh, "This is the single best life of my unlife, I can't believe you know what I am, yet you still continue to threaten me. Priceless."
"Last chance," the man stated emotionlessly, flexing his muscles, making them ripple across his half naked body.
"What is your name stranger, you have amused me and I will see you properly buried." The vampire bowed graciously.
"I am Kellrak," stated the man, "and now you will die."
"I am Vladimir Vo…" the count was cut off as the large man charged him.
For such a large man he was even faster than the boy. Vladimir barely had time to dodge as a fist larger than the count's head passed by.
Stepping past Kellrak's fist, the count backhanded the large man with a goodly amount of his strength.
When the large man's head merely jerked backwards, rather than being torn off the count was so surprised, he didn't see the big man's fist coming for him.
Flying back into a tree one thought passed through the vampire's head, 'he's much stronger than I thought.' Slamming into the tree he groaned in pain, at least 3 of his ribs were broken and would take more than a day to heal.
Kellrak didn't give the bloodsucker a chance to recover, moving forwards towards the downed creature, cocking his fist back to deal another punch.
Vladimir charged forwards, using all his considerable strength, he tackled the giant with enough force to knock over a tree.
Moving backwards slightly Kellrak smiled down at the smaller man's back, his red eyes burning brightly.
"Fight little bloodsucker, fight for your life."
Reaching down to grab the vampire's waist, he lifted up the smaller man with ease before slamming the count into the ground.
Unable to fee himself from Kellrak's grip the count responded by raking his hands across the man's chest. Nails as hard as steel bit into flesh, taking out small strips as Vladimir frantically clawed at the larger man.
The large man ignored the count's frenzied clawing, lifting up the vampire, Kellrak slammed the creature into the ground again, creating a small crater around him. Grabbing the dazed vampire by his legs the large man began slamming Vladimir's face into a tree.
Vladimir felt his nose shatter against the tree trunk, through the ringing in his head he could hear the large man laughing like a maniac.
Throwing the vampire across the clearing Kellrak turned and stalked towards the little man.
"Fight me little bloodsucker, lay down and I will destroy you." The juggernaut of a man yelled. "Blood for the Blood god."
Looking at his opponent, the vampire felt real fear for the first time in a lifetime.
"You're not human." The vampire accused his opponent.
"Did I ever say I was?" Shot back Kellrak, reaching down and picking up the nobleman.
Gripping the nobleman's head with one hand and the count's body with the other he began pulling. The count began to scream as he felt the strain in his neck increasing, and grabbed Kellrak's arms with his hands, struggling in vain against the growing tension. The muscles in Kellrak's back flexed as he pulled the count's head off. A sickening pop sounded as the vampire's head popped off.
"Blood for the blood god, Skulls for Khorne." Kellrak stated, turning around and walking towards the boy.
"I am here to help you." The big man stated voice thick with emotion and a smile across his bloody face as he reached down and picked up the little Asian.
"Help me with what?" Ryoga asked. He felt much better as soon the large man laid those huge hands upon him. The daze in his head began to fade and he began to think clearly again.
Ryoga felt anger welling within him, what right did this person have to come and interfere in his fight. How dare he.
Turning over the fanged boy punched the man carrying him in the face with as much force as he could.
Glancing down at the burden on his shoulder, seeming to have ignored the punch the big man smiled. "Little boy, my name is Kellrak and you aren't ready not yet, but you will be."
"Will be for what?" Ryoga asked, not realizing the man was now speaking to him in fluent Japanese.
"Revenge." The big man stated as he walked off into the wood leaving the clearing and body behind Ryoga over his shoulder with the young boy's pack in one hand.
"Ranma this is all your fault." Yelled Ryoga into the night, eliciting loud laughter to burst out from Kellrak after his statement.
-Tokyo, Nerima Ward, Park-
Gosunkugi woke up and looked around the clearing, his torches had burnt down to embers, thankfully they hadn't tipped over and started a fire.
The sickly looking boy sighed in relief, had a fire started he would have been facing serious jail time.
Japan, and even more so Tokyo, was a place where a large number of people had crammed into a very small space. Living very close to one another in building that were at one time and still in some places were nothing more than paper and wood. As such fear of fire was a very real thought on peoples minds. Fire regulations were very strict throughout Tokyo and an unattended fire that caused damage accidentally was a criminal offence.
Looking at his pocket watch, Gosunkugi realized it was beginning to get late. Picking up a shovel he had nearby he dug a small hole and poured the embers into it. Then he began putting dirt on the embers, not using water so as not to send up any telltale smoke that would have clued people in to his activities.
Gosunkugi went around the clearing gathering up his mystical supplies. All in all it was a good day, he performed some cleansing rituals, he didn't have school, he cursed Ranma Saotome and Tatewaki Kuno, he met with a daemon sent by a dark god promising power and most likely damnation, he didn't get caught by the police during his nap, he…
Gosunkugi froze, dropping all his supplies on the ground. 'I met with a demon sent by a dark god promising power and most likely power.' The thin boy repeated to himself several times, going even paler if that was possible.
He thought about what was offered too him. Kuno was a pompous ass that wouldn't allow any sign of greatness in anybody but himself. He had tortured Furninkan High and Nerima elementary for years.
Gosunkugi was a class below Kuno as such he didn't know the full story, but he had overheard it from another person in Kuno's grade. One day Kuno had just come to class with a boken. He had assaulted another student who had made fun of him over something. Shocked the teacher took Tatewaki to his father for discipline. The teacher had come back dressed in a suit of ceremonial Great Armour and began teaching the class the best way to serve the Emperor.
Kuno had only gotten worse from that point on. Gosunkugi had heard that the young boy's father was as much of a bully if not worse. Strangely enough, the day that Kuno's class started at Furinkan, principal Kuno had up and vanished to Hawaii.
The celebration had lasted for almost a week and had spanned every grade. Teachers and students standing side by side as the girls happily dawned the school's fuku, removing their kimonos and wooden sandals. The boys were even thankful for the boring black school uniform after the pieces of armour they had been wearing before hand. The teachers themselves threw off their Shinto robes and happily wore suits and ties.
Furinkan never really had complaints from the students about the uniform code afterwards. Violations of the uniform code were unheard of, at least until Ranma came along.
He had been in the school for a single day and already rumours and shockwaves had spread throughout the school. Somehow he had won Akane Tendo, the most desirable girl in school as a fiancée, he had beaten Kuno, and he disobeyed the dress code. Although all things considered the last was a relatively minor point.
Gosunkugi hadn't actually talked with or met Ranma yet, nor had he even really seen much of the martial artist as he had taken off with Akane after only a couple of days of school. The rumours and speculations ran overtime, from they ran way forever too they eloped too even wilder and crazier theories.
Gosunkugi didn't really have anything against Ranma beyond the fact he was with Akane, the only girl who had ever given him any kind words. He knew the only way to defeat Saotome would be to accept the daemon's offer.
One thing was for sure, accepting the offer would be a mistake. It's not that he doubted the daemon would keep its promise, far from it. The daemon would uphold its end of any bargain that was made too the letter, but not the intent of the contract.
Gosunkugi realized that now power came without its price. This was especially true with magic. The thin boy was tempted; extremely tempted to accept the offer, but he knew that as with all things in his life it would turn on him.
Hiding his supplies in a tree hollow, the sickly looking boy sighed and walked towards his house.
-Rooftops of Nerima-
'Where could he be?' Akane though worriedly, she had been searching for Ranma for what seemed like hours, yet she hadn't found him yet.
"Ranma where are you?" She asked no one in particular, leaping down to the street. She didn't know why she had come here, but it had just seemed right to her.
Akane just stood there for a moment, staring at an empty building. For a moment she just stared at it, not understanding what had brought her here. Looking at the street address something clicked in her mind. This was the place where the cat café would be when Cologne finally arrived.
Ranma had spent much of his time here and at Uchan's, two places that didn't exist yet, and depending on the course of events may never exist. So much rested on their actions.
"We could leave tomorrow and never look back. They'd never find us, Loki-sama would keep us safe, we could be together with none of them interfering." Akane spoke aloud, sharing her thoughts with the world.
"They'd never take you from me, never," fire entered her voice as Akane's ring burned brighter.
"I won't let anyone take you from me." She promised the world.
"You shouldn't make declarations that are so hard to fulfill." A cold voice warned the young woman.
Akane spun around in a fighting stance, "who is there?" she asked, looking around the empty street.
Flattening her back to the wall, Akane looked up and down the street, but she couldn't see anyone. Akane took a few steps towards the middle of the street before leaping up onto the roof of a nearby building.
Surveying the area, Akane still couldn't see anybody, but she knew she had heard a voice.
Looking around one last time and still not catching sight of whomever it was speaking, the dark haired girl headed off towards the dojo. She was worried about Ranma, but knew he was ok and would come back to the dojo eventually.
Deep inside her Akane knew that should something ever happen to her pigtailed fiancé she would instinctively know.
Leaping back towards the dojo, Akane put the growing feeling of unease behind her. She trusted her fiancé and would continue to trust him; she wouldn't make the same mistake this life.
As she began running back towards the dojo, she thought about what Ranma might be doing. She trusted him not to be doing anything improper, but things always did tend to spiral out of control and even the laws of probability seemed to be bent by her once reluctant fiancé.
Without even knowing it Akane changed direction, heading away from the Tendo Dojo and towards the spot where Uchan's would someday be.
"Her own insecurities will prove to be her undoing." Stated the hooded figure, turning to face its partner.
"Some things are harder to unlearn than others, even death can't change that." The armoured figure smirked, "I know that better than most," The armoured figure turned its gaze towards its companion, "as should you."
"Death and rebirth are part of the cycle, it changes little." The armoured figure leaned back on its throne. "I would have expected you too be in a better mood. After all it would appear that Tzeencth's has been denied his chance. Who have expected that a sickly little boy like Gosunkugi who even tries his hand at magic would be the only one who refused."
"True, poor Kodachi, she doesn't know what she is getting herself into." The cloaked figure remarked, eliciting a glare from the figure's armoured companion.
"You're not going soft on me are you dear ally?" The question was asked in a jovial tone, but contained a very blatant underlying threat.
"Of course not," snapped the cloaked one, gliding fluidly over too the armoured figure's throne. "We're in this till the end now, there is no turning back now. I'm actually relieved that only two of the four are in the game."
"We will continue sticking to the plan as best we can. As long as we can continue unnoticed for just a while longer then everything will be alright."
-End of Chapter 20, TBC-
AN: Well that's another chapter, coming straight from my twisted mind, of the story done.
Well it's been almost a year since I updated, something I am not pleased about. Despite my best intentions I was unable to complete this chapter until now. Unfortunately I hit writer's block for part of the time and just didn't know where to go with the story. Other times I just had other things I had to do. My apologies, and while I can't promise it won't happen again, I will finish this story eventually.
I have now written 20 chapters and almost 100,000 words. The average novel is 80,000 words. When I started out I wanted to do a 20-chapter story that would last 100,000 words. To hit the goal I set for myself at the beginning I had to average 5,000 words a chapter, not easy when half your chapters are only 2,000 - 4,000 words long. To set myself a good point I will now be making my chapters about 5,000 words long as a general rule.
I never expected the story to be as long as it is going to be, but I really don't have much of a choice. One of the problems I have with stories is how short scenes are, all that happens is an action that relates to the plot, there are no details that help immerse you into the story.
This chapter is about 10,000 words long, and that is just a little tedious, it is much easier to do shorter chapters and tie several of them in together. One such thing I could have done was make a chapter for each of the chaos gods and their respective Ranma character. Perhaps I will go back after I finish the story and redo this, probably not.
The four gods of chaos are seen as extremely evil entities. Khorne is the blood god, lord of slaughter chose Ryoga. Slaanesh is the dark prince, prince of all dark and unholy pleasures she/he chose Kodachi, Tzeentch is known as the changer of the ways, master of dark magic and mutation, he chose Gosunkugi.
The Count is based off of the vampires in the Warhammer world also, I thought about what type of vampire I wished to insert, it came down too a choice between a Warhammer Vampire Count, or a Vampire from the World of Darkness, created by White Wolf. In the end I decided that I liked Warhammer's variety more than I did White Wolf.
As for Ryoga not knowing what the vampire really was, well keep in mind Ryoga, like Ranma has been on the road since he was young, as such he might not know quite the same cultural stories as a normal person. Also Ryoga has been known to jump to rather wild conclusions, much like the rest of the cast.
For an excellent story based around the Warhammer 40K universe, I would recommend the Ranma ½ fanfic, The Primarch Of Chaos, it is the best WH 40K fanfic I have found that relates to the Ranma ½ universe, if anyone knows of others I would love to read them.
The four gods of chaos and everything from the Warhammer universe are property of Games Workshop and I in no way claim ownership nor am I making any money off of this. On a side note I started up a Battle Fleet Gothic Necron fleet and am very happy with it so far. My only regret is that there aren't enough people who play the game for my tastes.
If anyone has any comments on the story I would love to hear about them, advice and compliments are also welcome. In case anyone wonders, I read all the reviews I get about the story and if requested I am more than willing to respond or communicate with anyone so interested. If you do send me an e-mail to me please put 'one last chance' or 'fan fiction' in the title if you want me to read it promptly otherwise I might accidentally skip over it.
I hope you enjoyed the chapter, if you want to contact me and have me respond, E-mail me at and I'll try to get back in touch with you as soon as possible. Thanks.