Disclaimer: I do not own any of the IPs involved in this work of FAN fiction.
AN: Well here it is, this is one of three stories I am putting up due to a tied vote (a blind one no less...still can't get over the three way tie on a 4 option poll...poor dragonhalf crossover never stood a chance.). I posted these all at the same time to give them all a fair chance. When I post the next chapter of Hyperdimension Ranma (which will be after I post the dragonhalf one-shot), I will decide the winner for what will be my secondary story for whenever I need a break from HDR or when I have writer's block. Don't worry, I will be doing all of these stories eventually. It may just be a while.
As for this story... While the research was not painful, I did have a bit of trouble putting this together. Sadly, I spent the entire chapter setting up. To be honest, this is more of a prologue than a first chapter. Because of that and some other troubles involved that I will not speak of... This one probably has the weakest hook. I was a bit all over the place trying to write this. This was the last of the three written. I will admit I might have rushed it to meet a deadline since I do not want to delay HDR by too much. Hopefully you'll find the idea of the setup interesting as I do have fun plans for this one, but I was more focused on getting Ranma from point A to point B and setting certain details into motion.
Ranma Saotome has been through a lot recently. He had journeyed to China, deal with Akane being kidnapped, fought Phoenix King Saffron, Akane's life, and had a failure of a wedding that was forced upon him when he returned after everything else. The wedding had weighed upon him heavily as he and Akane made their way to school. It had only been yesterday that the fiasco went down. Everything from the guest list that he could thank Nabiki for to watching the cask of Nannichuan be guzzled down by the old freak had been a total disaster. The Tendo household had even suffered severe damages this time and Ranma had even been told he was being stuck with the bill for it. Where Nabiki got off with adding that to his debt, Ranma would never know. There had been one interesting detail. His mother was taking the failed wedding better than anyone else. She had a contemplative look on her face after it was all said and done. Ranma had yet to have a chance to talk to her, but she had said that she would be coming in later today to address something. Ranma had no idea what it could be, but he would have to wait until after school to find out.
As he approached the school, a familiar annoyance made himself known as he stood within the gate with a steel katana in hand. It was none other than the True Blunder Tatewaki Kuno. He seemed in unusually high spirits today as he watched the approach of Ranma and "the tigress".
"Hark for the heavens truly doth smile upon me this day!" Kuno declared," For it is the end of your vile sorcery upon this land and the freedom of fair maidens that is at hand!" He went on as he leveled his blade and pointed it to Ranma," For thou hath been banished from it and shall walk the path of true ignorance for all-"
Kuno had been cut off as Ranma took advantage of Kuno's usual speech making to lodge his foot deeply and firmly into the poetry spouting, sword wielding maniac's abdomen. Kuno crumpled forward unconscious and lost his grip on the blade as Ranma made a retort," Only 'walking the path of true ignorance' is you Kuno."
Ranma had to admit. It felt good when things went his way. Watching Kuno drop like that after his part in the wedding yesterday was like a form of stress relief. Then Akane walked up to him and spoke," Well, I can't say he didn't deserve it, but usually let him fight before doing that."
Ranma shrugged casually before responding," Just wanted to get to class on time."
"Why? Are you finally taking your studies seriously?" Akane asked in mock surprise. Ranma let loose a snort at this.
"Nah, just got woken up earlier than usual by pops this mornin' and looking forward to a good nap," Ranma answered as he cradled the back of his head with both hands and began walking again.
"Of course," Akane deadpanned before sighing at Ranma's usual antics and behavior. It was as Ranma was about to set foot into the school building that several explosions went off and forced him to leap back. As the smoke cleared, the legendary Hawaiian nut job came into view with shears in each hand.
"No you don't Ranma keiki, da big kahuna will not be lettin' ya past today o' evah!" Principal Kuno declared. Ranma took up a fighting stance and Akane stepped in front of him.
"Principal Kuno, why are you doing this, we just got back today!" Akane demanded.
"No point in talkin' to him Akane. He's nuts," Ranma stated from behind her. The principal smiled at the exchange.
"Da big big kahuna is sorry ta be sayin' dis," The elderly Kuno sad with tears in his as he exchanged a shear for a handkerchief," But da rules are da rules. Now git to class little wahine, da big kahuna has to share bad news wit' da keiki."
Akane was a little confused by this and was about to refuse. Ranma, however, placed a hand on her shoulder and shook his head. She stopped for a moment to consider staying anyways, but decided to leave it to Ranma. He usually manages to sort things out one way or another. It was just a matter of how much property damage would be involved. She then walked into the school.
Ranma had a feeling that something funny was going on the moment the principal had shown up at all. He had to wonder what the nut job's angle was this time. Somehow he had a bad feeling about this.
"Now dat da wahine is outta da way da big kahuna can get ta business with you keiki!" Principal Kuno exclaimed," It was a hard decision ta be makin' but da rules are da rules keiki."
"What are ya yammerin' on about this time?" Ranma asked as he considered options for dealing with the principal. It wasn't like it was going to be a hard fight. That is if it were a straight up one. The problem with Principal Kuno was that he had a tendency to come up with hair brained schemes that forced Ranma and others to run around on a wild goose hunt. The man may be crazy, but when he put his mind to it, he could put together some really troublesome schemes.
"'Dere be no need for fightin' taday keiki. Da big kahuna tried ta stop it, but da bigger Kaunas be sayin' 'dat ya is expelled!" Principal Kuno said sadly as he dabbed at his tears with the handkerchief now.
"What!? What do ya mean expelled!?" Ranma demanded angrily. Ranma had been against his education at first, but he had been convinced to reconsider by Dr. Tofu. The problem had always been finding time to study. With all the things that went on in a normal day, he rarely had time for it. Not only that, but the school was actually something of a reprieve from the usual stuff on most days. True, there had been sometimes it spilled over into the school, but the worst of those had to do with the principal and Hinako usually helped keep him in line these days. Speaking of, why wasn't she here?
"'Dere be a rule dat says ya can't be missing too many days keiki. Da big kahuna had been doin' 'is best ta make exception to da rule fer ya, but da bigger kahunas in da suits. 'Dey say yous miss too many days wit' out proper excuse," the principal explained with a sniff before taking a moment to blow his nose," Now big kahuna have no choice but ta be sendin' ya out. Ya may been messin' me plans up but ya 'lways be makin' da trouble wort' it. 'Dis place'll be less fun wit' out ya keiki," with that said, the now blubbering Principal Kuno turned to leave while pulling out a ukulele and playing some sad sounding tune. As he left the stunned Ranma outside, another figure stepped out past the receding form of the Kuno patriarch. It was the adult Hinako carrying a stack of papers. She walked up to Ranma and sighed.
"You know Ranma, he's not lying. He really did put up a fight against the board of education," She said as she came to a stop a little bit away from him," He even left a number of them bald…"
This actually brought Ranma out of his shock and he even chuckled at the thought. He took a moment to think as collected his thoughts and pieced together what he had heard. He then spoke in a thoughtful manner," So this is it. 'Guess ya failed after all."
He said this with his usual bravado and smirk before turning around and making the slow trek home. Hinako stood there with a smirk of her own. She had a spotless record of handling delinquents. Ranma was still considered one. That one delinquent was now expelled. By all accounts, she had failed to turn Ranma into an upstanding student. She clutched the papers in her arms more tightly as she spoke her next words to herself," You'd like to think that, wouldn't you?"
Ranma was making his way home when a nearby wall exploded. He sighed at the usual antics. It figures that as soon as he leaves the school that one of his rivals would come across him. Not only that, but it had to be Ryoga of all people. He looked around sheepishly to try and get his bearings when he saw Ranma standing nearby with a scowl. Now he grew angry and the usual, almost formulaic one might say, flow of events came about.
"Ranma Saotome, prepare to die!" He cried out as he tossed his belongings to the side to charge Ranma at full speed. Ranma easily dodged and weaved his slower opponent's attacks.
"Gotta hand it to ya pork breath, I think you might be getting' a sense of direction!" He declared before barely dodging and leaping away from a punch that quickly turned into a bakusai tenketsu that sent debris flying in every which way while Ryoga twisted about to try and grab hold of Ranma with his other arm.
"Shut up and die already!" Ryoga screamed and fury. Unfortunately while it was a good strategy, Ranma had dealt with this from Ryoga before. As such he spun around the appendage while grabbing hold of it himself to give him more leverage as he delivered a powerful kick to his rival's side right below the ribs. It sent the eternally lost boy stumbling away. Normally, Ranma would back off at this point and give Ryoga a chance to recover to prolong the fight. Unfortunately for Ryoga, Ranma was not in the mood to fight to begin with. This point was made very clear when Ranma held his own grip on his foe's arm to pull himself closer and unleash a full barrage of the kachu tenshin amiguriken along Ryoga's side and especially where he had just kicked. Ryoga ended up falling down from the pain this caused. He was at least able to pull himself into a sitting position against a nearby wall all the while panting. It sunk in that Ranma really had become much stronger than him. Ranma stood his ground and waited.
"Well," Ryoga gasped out as he clutched his side," I take it I came at a bad time."
"You got that right. So," Ranma said while holding a baleful glare at his opponent before dropping it all with a smirk," Pick this up next time?"
Ryoga snorted at this before nodding with a smile," Sure, though I think it might be a while. You really left me behind, ya know?"
"Well, it comes with being the best!" Ranma proclaimed in a fairly cocky manner.
"I'll make you eat those words next time Ranma!" Ryoga called out as Ranma turned to leave.
"Sure, you can try! Don't mean it's gonna happen!" Ranma retorted. Both of the rivals were smiling. Ryoga had moved on from Akane for a while now. Now all they had to fight over was their own rivalry. That didn't mean they were going to act like friends or anything.
Sometime later, Ranma made it back to the Tendo home. Ranma was annoyed, a little worse for wear from several other encounters that were less than noteworthy, and female thanks to the ladle lady who lives nearby. Ranma still didn't know how the ladle managed to get her every time. When Ranma walked into the main house, Kasumi stopped cleaning for a moment to turn and greet Ranma," Welcome to- Oh my Ranma, what are doing home so early? It's not even lunchtime yet."
"Hey Kasumi, yeah, school ain't out. Turns out I've been expelled," Ranma answered as he remaoved his shoes at the entrance. It was then that the fathers decided to get involved. They had been playing a game of shogi and letting the event pass as being a part of the usual madness around Nerima. Ranma's expulsion, however, what not part of the acceptable norm.
"What is this I hear about you being thrown out of school!" Genma bellowed as he stood up and stomped angrily to his son turned daughter. Soun followed after with a complaint of his own.
"How could you betray my daughter like that!" He yelled as he came to his old friend's side. The truth was that they could honestly care less about Ranma's education at this point. The only reason they had pushed for Ranma going to school in the first place had been to try and push Ranma and Akane together hoping that a happy school life together might help their plans to marry them off. Though in Soun's defense, the reason he didn't care about the boy's education was that he felt that was Genma's responsibility and figured his old friend would do what was best for his own son. It had nothing to do with the fact that he had no ground to stand on in an argument with his stout friend as he had been something of a dead weight to his daughters since the passing of his wife.
"Look, it's not my fault! I got told I was thrown out back of my absences!" Ranma yelled back.
"And how is your truancy not your fault?" Soun asked with a glare and Ranma could sense the demon head was coming any second.
"Well, I dunnno. It couldn't have anything to do with the journey to China me and pops went on!" Ranma shot back trying to shift the blame of this one.
"Now listen here, boy! You made that choice on your own! Quit whining like a girl and act like a man!" Genma ordered angrily as he tried to redirect Soun's one effective incoming technique back to his son. However the technique never came as the room suddenly felt a little chilly for some reason.
"Oh no, has my son truly become unmanly?" Asked the last person anyone wanted to hear those words out of. Standing at the doorway was Ranma's mother carrying a stack of papers and still wearing the worrisome bundle over her shoulder. Kasumi had already left to go make tea and snacks for Aunty Saotome. Everyone else froze for a second in terror before jumping into action. Soun retreated back to the shogi board to leave his friend to handle his wife.
"Of course not dear! I telling him…er…uh?" Genma tried to think of something while glancing to Ranma as both of their necks were on the line.
"He just watched some show about these kids that get into big robots to fight off some monsters that would destroy humanity of they reached some place. He was just telling me about his opinion of the main character. Weren't ya pops!" Ranma quickly stepped in and explained, finishing with a sharp elbow to her old man's ribs. It was a good thing that she had paid attention to some of the anime Hinako had watched over the time she had known her.
"Ara, I think I've heard of that one. I would have to agree with that. Had Genma raised you to be like that boy, I'd hate to think what would happen," Nodoka said thoughtfully as she had been keeping up with some of the trends over the years so show might be better able to connect with her son. She had quite a bit of free time during all of that after all. She never saw the whole thing as it gave her nightmares about her son," Anyways, seeing as you are here son. I take it you found out about what happened with your school?"
"Wait, you knew!?" Ranma blurted out. Nodoka nodded at this.
"I thought it would be nice to let you have some more time here and a chance to say good bye to your friends at school," Nodoka answered thoughtfully as she looked through the pile of papers she had brought with her.
"No-chan! Why didn't you tell me!?" Genma asked in a hurt tone.
"Then I might as well have told Ranma myself," Nodoka as she now walked over to the nearby table while everyone else was floored quite literally by this revelation. They soon recovered from the floor and followed Nodoka to the table. Soun joined them as well after finishing swapping the pieces on the board around to his advantage. As soon as everyone was at the table, Kasumi showed up with tea and snacks for everyone before taking a seat herself.
"I was contacted about this a few days ago by the board of education. They informed me that my child had not been truant and that he was to be expelled. Since I refuse to have my son go uneducated, I have been looking for a school since then," Nodoka paused to take a sip of the tea before continuing," As it would turn out, Furinkan High School was not the most reputable educational facility and my son had managed to build a reputation. As it stood, I was running out of options as I was turned down by a number of schools. Finally, I made my decision on the matter yesterday when I bore witness to the event…"
When Nodoka finished, she went about handing out some of the paperwork to her husband and son. Genma immediately paled at what he was looking at," W-what is the meaning of this!?"
"That dear, is your responsibility to this family if you wish for any of the agreements to be upheld as it is your fault that my son is in this situation," Nodoka stated coldly to her husband.
"But No-" Genma began to plead but was cut off as Nodoka reached for the Saotome honor blade.
"You had better hurry, you don't want to be late dear," Nodoka suggested rather sternly. Genma looked to the blade and to the approved work application one more time before running out the door. Once Genma was out, Nodoka turned to Soun," As this is a family matter and my son has yet to wed, I must ask you give us some privacy, Ranma and I need to talk. Ranma, please come with me."
Ranma nodded as she finished looking at her Furinkan school record. She had not been as interested in it as her pop's papers, but she had taken a glance and had been curious about her improvement. It had been better than before, but she was a long ways from being where she needed to be. Before she got up, she took what was left of the still hot tea in her cup and poured it on her head while being careful not to get any on the papers. He quickly followed his mother out of the house and around the dojo then out the back way. As it turned out, his mother did not want anyone knowing what was going on. He had to hand it to her. She could be sneaky when she wanted to be. It made him wonder if this was really the first time she had been clever like this and he just didn't know. Like when she had accidently given him a letter whose envelope had been recycled from the Umisenken scroll. It was rather strange how she sent him the front page that gave him the most vital key to figuring it all out if she really had been recycling them that whole time. It was a rather interesting thought, but Ranma decided to let it pass. No use wondering about "what if's" until you have proof anyways. She eventually led him to a small café in a rather out of the way spot. They sat down and his mother took care of the orders before getting down to business.
"Seeing as no son of mine is going to go without a proper education, I have put in the effort and found a place that can take you in. The problem was the arrangements. You'll have to leave Tokyo to continue your education. There were also some other… complications. Since your old school added a note about your curse, I had to answer some questions about it. They wish for a demonstration of course, but they made a rather troubling demand. They don't want something like that being flaunted in public. They would rather you kept it a secret. As such, they requested that you attend as a girl since the academy used to be an all girls one and it would make it easier to hide since."
Ranma waited for his mother to finish. He was not about to interrupt her considering how things had been going so far. However, he was not pleased with the fact that he was being told that he would have to attend the next couple years of school as a girl. He even voiced his opinion strongly against this, but in the end, his mother was not moving on the matter. Ranma Saotome, man among men, was going to be known as Ranko Saotome for a while. The only good news that he got out of the ordeal was that he was going to be living alone and his pops was going to be paying for it all. He had asked about how she intended to hide him away from the others.
"Oh that? I already have that taken care of dear," Nodoka said happily. Her calm smile was the last thing he saw before he blacked out.
Nodoka felt bad about doing this to her son, but she had seen no other way to handle it. It just so happened she had a friend that operated a delivery truck. When she had talked to him about it last night after finalizing everything else, he offered to handle delivering her son to Kuoh. The people who worked at the cafe helped her in putting her son into a properly ventilated crate with some padding. She also put the rest of the papers into her sleeping son's arms. The reason as to why they were helping was that they were a café operated by a lesser branch of the school of martial arts tea ceremony. They had heard of Ranma and knew his reputation like everyone else. When the mother dropped by this morning to ask for their help, they happily agreed.
"We need to hurry, my friend should be here any moment, I wouldn't want Ranma to be late to the interview in a few hours," Nodoka pleaded much to the shock of the others.
"Why didn't you say he needed to be up and about in a matter of hours? The stuff we drugged him with will have him out for a whole day at least!" One of the staff members shrieked.
"Oh, that shouldn't be a problem," Nodoka said with a calm smile.
When Ranma came to, he found himself in a dark and cramped place. He tried to remember how he got himself into this mess. The last thing he recalled was asking his mother how she planned to get him out of Nerima without anyone knowing. That must have been it, they must have been drugged by one of his enemies. That meant that they had his mother. He immediately went about figuring out where he had been locked. There was no room to stand and there didn't seem to be any way out. That left busting out. Since it seemed whoever had been his would be foe this time had failed to do their homework as they had used a wooden container. He quickly burst out of it to find himself in an unfamiliar room with only the bare necessities for living. He looked down to notice that there was a bundle of papers in his lap. He quickly checked the letter at the top:
I must apologize for the manner in which I got you here, but you must understand that it was with good intentions. I needed to get you away from the others for a time and hopefully by the time we meet again, I will have solved your father's mistakes. In the meantime, I expect you to take your education seriously. This means that I expect you to follow the rules and to bring your grades up so you can at least graduate high school. While I would love for you to go to college as well, I can not expect more from you thanks to your father's upbringing. Please make me proud!
Sincerely, your mother
P.S.: Do understand I would find failure in meeting my expectations in this regard unmanly. No true man would willing allow himself to become a fool. Also, you need to hurry, you have an appointment at Kuoh academy at 6pm. Check the bundle, there should be a map as well as everything else you should need to get started.
Ranma grimaced after reading the letter and then noticed the alarm clock set near the futon. He had 30 minutes to get to the appointment. Normally this wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact his mother had made an outline for acceptable behavior and it included not performing super human feats out in the open. It was going to make training a bit of a pain, but Ranma was confident he could find a place easily enough. Soon Ranma was out the door and doing a light jog that looked like an all out sprint to anyone looking. Ranma was very careful not to exceed what those eggheads insisted was the maximum human potential. Pfft, yeah right! Ranma smiled at the thought.
The lord of the house of Gremory looked out upon the school's courtyard as he waited for the new student to arrive. He looked forward to confirming if the curse were true or not. Like many who worked a job in this country's education system, he had heard the many rumors about Furinkan High and its less than stellar education as well as some of the more wild rumors about what goes on at that school. He recalled chuckling when it was said that the school no longer teaches physics since any such teacher that went there can now be found in an asylum. It wasn't that he didn't believe these rumors. No, it was that he knew the full truth as it so happens that the area in question is a known hot spot for all kinds of supernatural activities and especially for practitioners of the sage arts. He also knew about Ranma Saotome to a degree. That name had been tossed about in several circles by now. He seemed to be a decent person of sorts from what had been said. When his mother had called the other day about the possibility of transferring here, he decided to give the boy a chance. He was even happy when his mother called last night to confirm. He just hoped that Ranma can make do with his conditions. He watched as the boy pretended to be sprinting at still far too great a speed. The old devil could only smile at the display. He even entertained the idea of introducing him to his daughter. He chuckled at this before casting it aside. It would not do to meddle in his daughters affairs. She was to inherit the house of Gremory someday and she needed to do things on her own. Like trying to get out of that arrangement with Lord Rizer. He still regretted his decision on the matter, but he would not stop it. It was a matter for his children to solve after all. Speaking of matters to be solved, the knocking at the door must be the boy now.
"Let him in!" He called from behind his desk. Soon after, the doors of his office opened to admit the young man he just witnessed. He wasn't even breaking a sweat," I must commend you for trying to hold back, but you are going to need to try harder than that if you don't want to cause trouble here."
"I'll try, so what gave me away?" The brash young man asked.
"You just ran at a speed that top athletes dream of making and you haven't broken a sweat. You tell me," Lord Gremory deadpanned before smiling at the lad. He could already sense the curse on him. It was definitely going to catch attention. It seemed to have a form of deep rooted power within it. Whoever had made this curse was either a madman or a genius. He hoped it was the former. The boy scratched his pigtail nervously as he nodded in understanding," Well, I was going to make you show me the curse, but I think we can skip that and take your demonstrated capabilities as proof for now. Normally, I would be handing you a test and all of that, but I think we can skip that since I think we both know how you'd score," Ranma winced at this to which Administrator Gremory chuckle," No need to worry, I can be quite accommodating. You see, you have struck my interest. That is why I am going to allow you to try and fit in here. There's a few methods to go about this. Most you will have to find on your own. The simplest is to bring your grades up to be acceptable. It is for that reason that I am sorry to inform you that you will not be taking part in any physical education courses here as it may be detrimental to the health of others. Not only that, but because I do not want any accidents in the showers. During those times, you'll be receiving tutoring to help you get caught up."