Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma ½. Some of the concepts in this story are purely mine, however. Use them anyway though.
My Chinese Ghost
Chapter 12: Testing One's Limits
Setamaka Jusenkyo looked down the hillside at the small military base. It wasn't Chinese. He'd taken the effort to research the modern world before moving from the cave, once he'd eaten his fill, and had realized instantly that, as powerful as he was, he wasn't as comparably all powerful as he'd been in times past.
However, in this modern time even his weakest of minions now had so much more potential. If he could acquire the weapons they would need.
So Him, and a few handpicked followers had made a long journey across China, and into one of it's most frequently discussed neighbors, one known for its overabundance of military forces and lack of meaningful value in any other way. North Korea.
"They have guards on watch." Su-udz reported calmly.
"With their national leadership the way it is, they wouldn't dare not too for fear of the punishments involved." Setamaka observed. "I do have to respect their ability to instill fear in their servants, if not their talents in any other regard."
"Yes My Lord."
"Are the other's in place?"
"Awaiting simply your sign, my Lord."
Setamaka nodded, then started walking towards the small base. Su-udz seemed to fade from view, her own targets already chosen and authorized by the demon.
The guards didn't notice him quickly. It was a foggy day, and he was just one man. When they did, they still didn't respond immediately since a peasant on foot was hardly worth their notice. They finally started paying meaningful attention when he came within 10 meters of the fence. Then weapons were aimed and a gate guard stepped forward to confront him.
Setamaka smiled, the guards "Stop where you are." As clear to him as any Chinese dialect. All those souls, still trapped as part of his own, and so many of them were Korean. The Language was just one of a thousand he knew.
Not that he bothered to respond with his voice. Setamaka Jusenkyo's fist struck out, his stance shifting to a perfect example of Tae Kwon Do. It seemed appropriate to use their own fighting style against them.
The man stumbled back, his trachea crushed. The other guards yelled obscenities, and then began firing. The first spray of shots missed as the demon surged forward.
Jusenkyo called upon his perverted Ki, forming a hardened field of air around himself. By the time the soldiers adjusted for his speed, and even then only a handful had the talent to do so, the bullet's couldn't reach his skin. They, the strong, were the last to die, each one held in the demons grip, their Ki and Souls absorbed to make him stronger.
He dropped the last body, and frowned. A loud rumbling was growing closer and he stepped around the guards shack to find out what it was. The tank already had it's gun pointed and loaded, and the gunner didn't hesitate to fire. The explosion destroyed the shack and the gate it guarded.
When the dust cleared Setamaka stood, unharmed and laughing. That's when his own soldiers began to flood through the gates, attacking other infantry men while their lord approached the lone piece of working armor the boarder base had at hand.
"Buksai Tenketsu." He said calmly, as his finger touched it's hull. The second, larger explosion did no more harm to him than the first, and he walked from the hulk of the now dead vehicle calmly, calling out to his followers. "Grab only what you can carry. Our spies report a more well equipped base further to the south. Hurry up, and leave none of these fools alive."
Mei woke up with a yawn, and stretched out. She was amazed that only a day had passed since she'd been given back a body and found the normal morning aches and pains to be as beautiful and life affirming as any lovers caress.
Then her stomach rumbled, and she grimaced. "Well, not everything in life is good, but it's still better than the alternative."
By the time she'd come out of the bathroom, wearing one of Ranma's Chinese outfits 'Properly sized' for Ranko Tendo, she'd discovered that Ranma and Shampoo had left with Laun who thought she'd "felt" Ryoga close. Genma had gone with them, apparently hoping to avoid Nadoka who had been angry at him for some reason that wasn't totally clear to the Chinese girl.
Getting up, and performing morning ablutions she hadn't done in literally centuries… and had never done with some of the items in the bathroom since they had been invented since her death… she stepped out into the Tendo Dojo dining room to find Soun and Kasumi talking. "Oh, did I oversleep?"
"Now now, none of that." Soun chuckled. "Being brought back from the dead is exhausting, or so Akane says, and we thought it best to let you sleep. How are you feeling, child?"
"Alive." Mei replied, then blushed. Soun only chuckled.
"Would you like something to eat?"
Before she could speak, her stomach growled, causing Kasumi to giggle and Soun to laugh heartily. "Oh gods… I hope I didn't inherit Ranma's stomach." Mei replied
"If you did, I must insist you find a job." Nabiki commented from nearby, going through her books. "Granted, unlike others, you tried to pull your weight recently, but if you eat like Ranma…" Nabiki grimaced.
"I'll talk to Elder Cologne. Perhaps she'd have use for me at the restaurant?"
Nabiki blinked, opened her mouth, and then was silent. Kasumi giggled.
"What's so funny." Mei asked.
"She expected you to bluster." Kasumi answered. "She hasn't talked to you as much as the others have."
"This will be interesting." The middle Tendo daughter observed. "Better eat up. Cologne is planning on visiting you soon."
"Who knows. Most likely some arcane Amazon thing."
Mei nodded, and smiled as Kasumi handed her a plate and some rice. She managed to not eat too unseemly fast, something that seemed to fascinate all three Tendo's, but was done by the time Cologne and the two younger Amazon women arrived. "You're looking well." The old woman observed.
"Feeling alive." Mei commented, satisfied by the first meal she had had, in her own body, in so very long.
"Good! Now I'd like to see if you can stay that way." Cologne replied. She turned to Soun. "Is Akane and Ukyo in the training hall?"
"Yes, though why you wanted them there…"
"Shh now. Women are busy." Cologne commented, though she didn't have the edge she usually took with Genma. Secretly she rather liked Soun, and had a soft spot for a man who so obviously still missed his wife. "Come Along children. You may come too, Kasumi, if you wish. I'd like to hear your opinions on matters."
"Of course, Elder."
"Oh? I'm not invited?" Nabiki asked, sarcastically.
"I wasn't aware you ever required one." Cologne replied, just a sharply before bouncing off. Nabiki, of course, followed, as did the other girls.
They found Ukyo and Akane stretching. Cologne thought it was fascinating that the two rivals could work together so well. But when they noticed Shampoo, and their glares appeared, Cologne nearly groaned.
"Let's get something out of the way, right now." Cologne said, hopping between the potential combatants. "Shampoo violated some fairly serious traditions when she used the Battle Tea on Ukyo. Something she did without my approval or blessing."
Shampoo had the good sense to look embarrassed, and the sense of impending doom to make her look nervous.
"As such, she requires discipline and you will all witness that. As of this moment, both due to what she did to Ukyo and you Akane, and due to the simple fact that I cannot allow you're feuds to continue at their current pace, I am declaring all the women in this room friends of the Amazon People." Cologne turned to glare at Shampoo. "With all the rights and privileges which that implies."
Nabiki watched Shampoo wilt, and curse in Chinese under her breath, and raised her hand. "What does that mean, precisely."
Laun spoke up. "It means that they are not considered outsiders, by our laws. They aren't Amazon's, either so they can't vote on Amazon concerns or call upon laws which apply only to full Amazon Tribe members but they are immune to some things… both ways."
"Like a certain kiss of death?" Akane asked.
"Yes." Shampoo admitted. To her credit, she didn't attack Akane when the girl began to gloat.
Cologne only allowed it for one minute, before bonking Akane. "Behave. You've spent to much time around Son-in-law."
The Ghoul bounced to the center of the floor. "Now… I've focused on the men around here too long. I find I have a group of skilled female martial artists that I have completely ignored, except for Shampoo's training. These will no longer stand, since you're friends of the tribe." Cologne smiled at Mei, scaring the poor girl for a moment. "You, actually, are considered a member for reasons I'll explain later, but don't worry… we won't force you to obey all the laws just yet."
"Ukyo, I want you and Akane to pair up. The same with Mei and Shampoo. Laun, you pair with Nabiki."
Nabiki, for once in her life, was shocked. "What? Me?"
"Yes. You're trained in Tendo School Anything Goes, aren't you?"
"Well… yeah… .but…"
"Just because you didn't achieve the skills of either of your sisters, is no reason not to develop. Now go change into a gi."
"You can't tell me what to do…"
"Soun thought it a good idea… and do you REALLY want to push me on rather I can make you do something or not?"
Nabiki sputtered, but turned and stomped off. "I'll get my stupid gi."
The other girls began lightly warming up or sparing. Kasumi turned to Cologne. "How did you know I'd achieved a higher level than Nabiki?"
"I didn't." Cologne admitted. "But I've had my suspicions for some time.. However, I suspect it wasn't the Tendo School you excelled at?"
"No. My Mothers family school of Judo was more to my liking, though of course Father taught me his school as well. They integrated well, my mother said."
"That's Happosai's style for you. Rough around the edges, but that just makes it easier to fit something into." Cologne acknowledged. "We should practice Tai Chi together sometime. I think you'd be a natural. Now, tell me what you see with Akane and Ukyo."
"Akane's improved recently. You can tell just by how hard Ukyo's working. Sadly, I think Ukyo's become a bit too reliant on her spatula lately."
"Agreed." Cologne nodded. "The young Chef has used her weapons expertise to bootstrap her way up to everyone else's level. I had intended for her to work with Akane more, but I'm not sure it's in either of their best interests. Suggestions?"
"Really? I… I'm not an expert…"
"I suspect that's a lie." Cologne smirked. "Although one you likely believe. You are, however, an expert on not ruffling feathers. I need these girls to start thinking as if they might, one day be friends and you're the peacemaker. How do I help them match each other."
Kasumi frowned, and almost asked why, but realized that Cologne wasn't going to explain. At least, not right now. "If you don't mind my suggestion, Pair her with Laun, and make her use hand to hand. Laun can dodge Ranma, so she won't be upset she can't hit the rabbit, plus she'll blame her lack of a weapon for her lack of success. She'll be angry at you, but not any of the girls."
"And who should Akane work with?"
"Oh my… Well, if I had to suggest someone, I'd say Shampoo."
Cologne was taken aback. "Why?"
"Father once said, if you'll excuse the language, that "They need to beat the hell out of each other before they can get past everything." I think he meant everything they've said and done in regards to Ranma." Kasumi replied.
"That leaves Mei and Nabiki. I'm not sure that's entirely fair to Mei."
"Mei's the only one who doesn't owe Nabiki money."
"Fair point." Cologne laughed. "Fair point."
AN: Building a bit. Thought I'd get to more plot, but I'll try to do that here before too long. Once again, I apologize. I keep getting sucked into other projects. If you're curious me and a few friends are doing a Youtube Series (Look for Anubis and Fufu. We've a few episodes up now). I also have Twitter now, shadoe_fox if you want to follow me.