Chapter 5

Ryoga slowly walked though the streets, he was tired and had been traveling non stop since this morning. His clothing had obviously seen better days and now it looked well worn from travel. Pausing, the boy glanced around to get his bearing s and muttered, "It has been a while since I've been to Honshu. I think I need to find a place to eat and then maybe I can catch a bus to Nerima." Unfortunately, he had no idea that he was already in Nerima at the moment and it was doubly unfortunate that he had no idea of the danger that was stalking the streets at this time of night. Scratching his cheek absently, he turned around to make his way towards the restaurant that he had noticed when he had first glanced around. But, before he had taken ten steps, he became drenched as the skies opened up and thunder rumbled in earnest. As the cold water hit him, he screamed in anger, and in midst of the human sounding scream, it slowly turned into that of a squealing black piglet, who became buried in his clothes.

Pausing for a moment, Ryoga panted as the weight of his pack threatened to crush him. Slowly he slipped out from under it, but he knew he still had the problem of getting out of his soaked clothes, which for him was hard since they were drenched and had become saturated with water.

Suddenly, something nudged him while he was still trapped inside his clothes and he instinctively froze. He could feel the creatures hot breath upon him as it panted above him and thought, "Oh Kami, I hope its not a dog! They like to eat pigs……or it could be a tiger……OH NO, please..oh please don't let it be a tiger. Kami, anything but a tiger!" Slowly, he lifted his front hoof and nudged his clothes out of the way, just enough for him to get a glimpse of what it was he would be facing. When he was finally able to see it clearly, the blood in his veins froze as the sight of a wolf, the size of a large tiger stood staring at him from above. Ryoga let his gaze travel from the body of the wolf towards its face and almost died on the spot from terror as he noticed the blood covering the wolf's upper body. It was almost as if this animal had bathed in it. He was so afraid that he began to shake imperceptibly. Unfortunately for him, that was a huge mistake because the wolf lunged for him with its jaws wide open!

Slowly, he left the yard of the Tendo home, his belly sated; he now crept cautiously towards where his instincts lead him. He could barely smell the forest over the foul stench of rotting garbage and exhaust fumes. But, he knew that it was there that he had to go. Suddenly, he froze as a sound reached his sensitive ears. Taking a deep breath, he smelled something so he decided to investigate the strange odor. Turning left, he padded quietly through a dark alleyway towards where the noise and scent originated from. As he reached the end of the alley, he peered around the building, but saw nothing except a pile of clothes that the two legers wore. Creeping closer, he cocked his head to the left before taking a deep breath in order to identify the scent.

Suddenly, the pile of two legger's clothes moved! Narrowing his eyes, Ranma-Wolf waited patiently for it to move again. Slowly a corner of the pile moved just enough for him to see a small eye peering up at him, before the scent of terror hit his nose. Growling happily to himself, he watched as what appeared to be a black piglet, look him over until it locked eyes with him. One thing ran through Ranma-Wolf's mind and it was not food since he had eaten his fill earlier. "Prey! But, it looks like a toy." He cocked his head to the right as he suddenly came to a decision, "No! Not a toy, its prey!" Then, he lunged at the piglet with jaws agape, ready to rend and tear it to pieces.

Squealing in abject terror, and with tears leaking from his eyes, Ryoga acted upon instinct and just barely managed to get out of the way in time, before bolting down the street. He didn't have to look over his shoulder to know that the wolf was chasing him; he could hear its claws as they struck the ground and he could almost feel its breath upon his back as it gained upon him. Quickly, he spun about and careened around a corner in a different direction. "God, help me!" He screamed, but unfortunately for him, all that humans could hear was the squealing of a frightened piglet as it ran from a predator.

Suddenly, he could no longer hear the wolf behind him, which in Ryoga's past experience, signaled bad news. Quickly, he changed course and ran down another street; it was a good thing that he did, because just as he jumped off in another direction, a pair of razor sharp teeth clamped together upon empty air as the prey managed to escape the predator in the nick of time.

Growling in anger, the wolf watched as the prey managed to escape again! Narrowing his eyes, the wolf decided that this little piglet was a worthy opponent. And all the while, in the back of his mind, Ranma watched the events unfold, trapped in a world of darkness deep within his mind. No matter how hard he struggled to break free, he had become trapped within his own body while something else had taken control. No matter how hard he tried, he could not get the being to listen to him, but that didn't mean that he would give up. Sensing a disturbance in the beasts' emotions Ranma screamed at it again, "No! Don't kill him! Don't Kill Ryoga! He's my friend!" Seeing that he was not getting through, Ranma turned his focus upon his friend/rival for Akane's hand and screamed, "Ryoga Run!!!!"

The presence within Ranma's mind, growled at the interruption of its human half. It knew that once his human side became stronger, he would be in full control, but it would not be an easy battle as with all animals, the instinct to survive is strong. So it would be a battle of wills until one of them won and it had every intention of winning. Slowly, the animal instinct within the werewolf began pushing Ranma's consciousness back, and after a brief struggle, it succeeded. Eyes flashing, the werewolf gave chase once more, and after a brief time of tracking his prey, he finally caught the sound of squealing coming from the left. Rounding the corner, he spotted a black piglet and without a second thought, lunged for it; catching it between his jaws, he crunched down upon the animal as hard as he could.

For a brief moment, the piglet squealed in agony before it finally gave up as its life's blood left him in a bloody rush upon the wolf's tongue. Dropping his prey to the ground, the werewolf lifted its head and gave a triumphant howl tow the heavens. Once the howl died down, he picked up his hard won prey and ran out of the city and into the forest where his mate waited for him.

At the Tendo's, Nabiki shakily crawled towards the phone and dialed, briefly she waited for someone to pick up, she couldn't seem to stop shaking nor could she stop the tears that ran down her face. Sniffling, Nabiki waited. She was rewarded when Ku-Lon answered the phone.

"Hello, this is the Neko-hanten how may I help you?" Ku-Lon paused briefly to wait for an answer, but when none came, she became irritated. "Look, if you want to order something please answer, if not then, stop wasting my time. I'm very busy right now so either order or get off the phone!"

Nabiki finally managed to get herself under control and croaked out, "K-Ku-Lon its Nabiki," before she broke down into tears once more.

Startled at the broken tone in the middle Tendo's voice, the Amazon elder became alarmed, "What is it child, what's happened! Did Akane turn?"

Nabiki sniffled briefly, and nodded before she realized that the old woman couldn't see her. "Y-yes. Bu-but its w-worse than that!" she replied.

Now fully becoming alarmed, Ku-Lon's lips thinned as she pressed them together. Mustering herself, she asked, "Are you the only one left alive? Did she bite you too?"

Eyes widening in alarm, Nabiki shouted, "NO! She didn't bite me nor did she touch my father, Mr. Saotome or Kasumi! It's worse than that! She bit Ranma and HE ATTACKED THE EMT'S AND ATE THEM!!!!!!" As those words died upon Nabiki's lips, she began sobbing once more. It wasn't long before the elder Amazon got the rest of the story out of her. Once she had all the information, she quietly informed the Tendo girl to take a sedative and stay near her family to wait for her to arrive.

Slowly, Ku-Lon hung up the phone, and before the receiver lay in its cradle, she began rubbing her temples while mumbling, "And so, it has begun." Sighing, she mentally counted to ten before turning towards the front door and flipping the sign so that it read, closed. Then she took a deep breath and screamed in Mandarin, "Shan-Pu! Mu-Tsu! Get your asses down here this instant!

Ku-Lon smiled when she heard the sweet sound of something heavy falling out of bed, before two sets of feet pounding upon the stairs reached her ears. Not more than a second later, two Amazon warriors stood before her. Both appeared to be dressed in their bed clothes at the moment, but that was trivial compared to what she had to say to them. Glaring that both of them, Ku-Lon stifled any verbal protest that were forthcoming and began her speech, "It is time we went hunting. The blood moon is upon us once again and as Amazons it's our duty to rid the world of the threat. Unfortunately, we will not only be hunting Akane, but Ranma as well."

"WHAT!" Shan-Pu shouted. "What do you mean we will be hunting my husband as well? I thought it was Akane we would be getting rid of, not Ranma!" Shan-Pu protested.

"Enough!" the Amazon elder growled. "I just received a disturbing phone call from Nabiki Tendo. It seems that when Akane turned, she was startled enough to bite Ranma. You know damn well that if a cursed Jusenkyo person gets bitten, they turn immediately. And the only way I know to cure a person is to find the original werewolf who bit you in the first place! But! We have no idea where it is! That leaves us only one course of action….."

Mu-Tsu sighed quietly, before murmuring, "I understand, elder. Your will, will be done." Before he slowly turned and trudged up the stairs, with Shan-Pu not far behind.

Not more than ten minutes later, Shan Pu came down the stairs, dressed in full battle regalia and glanced around, "Where's Mu-Tsu?"

"Don't worry child. He will be here soon. It will take him a bit longer," Ku-Lon replied mysteriously. Not more than two seconds after she had replied to her granddaughter, the sound of footsteps upon the stairs reached their ears and caused Shan-Pu to glance towards the sound.

As her eyes spotted Mu-Tsu, Shan-Pu's jaw dropped in shock. Blinking a moment, she tried to determine if she was seeing things. But, after a moment she realized that it was no illusion. Breathing out in a whisper of air, Shan-Pu murmured his name as she ran her eyes over his body, "M-Mu-Tsu?"

No longer was he wearing his long white robes. They had been replaced with a form fitting Amazonian battle suite. The suite itself was covered in a fine, yet amazingly strong chain mail which was light enough that it was almost as if it the warrior was not wearing armor. No. That was not the thing at which made Shan-Pu stunned. It wasn't even the fact that his hair was tied in a topknot, and his glasses were no longer upon his face. The thing that gave her pause and caused her heart to skip a beat was his expression. It was so serious and grim. This, this was the face of an Amazon warrior ready for battle.

"I am ready, elder," Mu-Tsu's voice rumbled out of his chest, a full octave lower than his usual one. Swiftly, he reached backwards and pulled out a long bladed sword and rumbled, "Let's go."

"Wha?" Shan-Pu mumbled. Turning towards her grandmother, she asked, "What's wrong with him? Why is he acting this way?"

Smiling, Ku-Lon replied, "In what way is he acting? He has always been this way and yet you never noticed nor cared to see through his disguise. Mu-Tsu wanted to win your heart through his own efforts and not through battle, but as you well know, things didn't work out that way since the Saotome boy came to our village. Shaking her head, Ku-Lon muttered, "Enough of this, we will talk later, for now, we hunt!" Turning, they swiftly left by way of the back door and unknowingly passed by the shaking form of a little black piglet with a yellow bandana around his neck.

"Oh, my pain!

Oh my sorrow, why must I kill?

Death between my jaws and hunger clawing at my belly,

I have slaughtered and eaten the innocent!

Cursed with this bloodlust, I we are damed!

Oh my love I want to be free!

We are trapped within, yet we can be free,

Struggle we must, and pray to Kami,



Help us….free us…,

"AN: HA! You though I had killed off Ryoga didn't you? NOPE! I fooled you!