Disclaimer: I don't own Negima! Magister Negi Magi or Ranma ½
Rise of Prodigies
Chapter One: Origins: Ranma I - Jusenkyo
The Jusenkyo valley was a legendary training ground of "cursed" springs, located in the Bayankala Mountain range, south of Mount Kensei, in Qinghai Province, China. Many sad stories had supposedly happened in Jusenkyo. Many were the tales of people and animals drowning in the various pools hundreds or thousands of years ago. Legend has it that when something died in one of these pools, the pool becomes cursed, and anyone falling into that pool thereafter will become whatever first drowned there.
None of that mattered to the 10 years old Ranma Saotome and his father, Genma, beyond it being a legendary training ground.
As such, they had tuned out the repeated warnings from their guide about cursed springs and magic as so much nonsense. Honestly for someone dressed in a Mao suit and sporting a cap emblazoned with the communist star, the bald man was strangely superstitious.
If Ranma had been more inclined, he might have wondered why but as it was he was too hyped up about trying out the training grounds to care.
After all, he was going to be the best martial artist ever!
All that superstitious nonsense? Seriously, how lame! Even if it was true, he'd just beat the curse like he'd overcome every other challenge that his Pops had given him on this training trip so far.
That's why even as the guide continued to warn them of the dangers in his broken Japanese, Ranma followed his Pops' lead and jumped up onto one of the many bamboo poles sticking out of the various pools that dotted the valley.
"Please sirs, you listen? Pools very cursed! You fall mean very bad for you!" The guide pleaded, much to Ranma's distraction though he reasoned ignoring it was part of the training.
Ranma turned to the man, to shout at him to shut up, but his father took the opening this presented to strike.
"You're distracted!" The deceptively chubby man shouted as he lashed out with a high kick.
Ranma gracefully leapt out of the way of the attack and landed safely on another of the poles. His toes tightening around the top of it as he shifted his body weight to stay balanced.
"By the way, Pops, what's so special about this place anyways? Fighting on poles like this ain't anything new." Ranma pointed out as he leapt into the air to avoid a shoulder rush from his father.
Timing his airtime just right, he came level with his father just as he got his footing on Ranma's previous foothold. Smirking, the boy used his distracted father's back as a convenient springboard to jump away.
This both allowed him to avoid his father's clumsy reactionary defensive swipe while also knocking the man off balance and send him tumbling into one of the springs below.
Or it would have if Genma hadn't hooked his legs around the bamboo pole and spun himself around with more agility than a expert gymnast and threw himself at Ranma.
The boy did his best to twist out of the way, shifting his body weight in a desperate bid to alter the course of his fall but it was futile and Genma managed to return the favour from earlier and use him as a springboard to safety on top of another bamboo pole while sending his son hurtling into one of the pools.
As Ranma struck the water, he felt a strange tingle rush over his skin but brushed it off in favour of continuing the fight. Pushing his head out the water, red locks covered his eyes. Maybe it was a weird pool plant?
"Oh no! Poor young master, you fall into Pool of Drowned Little Girl." The guide declared mournfully. His hands on his cheeks as he gaped in horror.
Ranma scoffed at this and resumed his battle with his father.
"Little Girl!?" Pops shouted, sounding furious. "I thought you said that was the Pool of Drowned Man?"
Pops buys into this garbage? Really?
"That's over there," the guide said pointing to a spring just behind the one Ranma was treading water in.
"Shit, I missed," Pops cursed. "No matter! I'll just dunk Ranma in that one too!"
"Honoured tourist, that be bad i-"
The guide never got the chance to finish his sentence because Ranma had finally made it to firm footing on the pool's edge and immediately used it as a launching pad to leap at his distracted father.
"Wake up, ya old geezer!" Ranma shouted as he kicked his father hard in the chest. Pops was so distracted that he didn't even put up a guard and took the full force of the blow head on which sent him flying into a pool just behind the one he'd been standing over.
"That's what you get for being distracted." Ranma declared triumphantly as he looked down at the cluster of air bubbles on the surface of the pool his father had fallen into.
"Ah, another victim! Honored tourist has fallen in Pool of Drowned Panda!"
"Okay, now you gotta be joking me!" Ranma snapped at the annoying man for his side commentary.
"No joke. All true, young master. Just look." The guide insisted, pointing back at the pool where his father had just floated back to the surface unconscious. Except instead of the a stocky, middle aged man what floated up was undeniably a panda.
"What the hell!?"
A couple hours later found the father-son duo in the meeting hut of a village of Chinese amazons, as the guide had introduced them, adjacent to the cursed valley of Jusenkyo. If you'd asked Ranma just hours ago if he'd believed the guide when he called these strange warrior women amazons, Ranma would have laughed in your face. But after their experiences in Jusenkyo…
He was going to take the guide at his word.
Especially since he'd been nice enough to bring them there, carrying the unconscious panda that his Pops had become, in the hopes of them getting looked after.
"Stupid old panda jerk." Ranma grumbled as the village elders finished their examination of him and his father and stepped back.
Everyone of the elders looked like shriveled up dwarfs but Ranma could clearly see from every move they made, with their economy of movement, that they were expert martial artists.
A particularly old looking ghoul of a woman shuffled before both Ranma and his father, her beady eyes going from one to the other before sighing.
"My name, young one, is Kě Lún." The old ghoul said, sounding like she needed a truckload of lozenges but in perfect Japanese. "I trust you've realized by now the nature of the springs you have fallen into and the curse that it has left on you and your father."
"Yeah," Ranma said piteously. "I've been cursed to be a girl forever."
"Not quite," the Elder said before unceremoniously throwing a cup of warm tea in the redhead's face.
Ranma was too stunned about the whole thing to even consider dodging and the warm water hit him square in the face.
He was about to fly into a rage at the uncalled for action when a lock of his hair that had been dislodged by the tea fell into his view and he noted how it had become his natural raven black again. The young boy gasped in shock at this.
"The curse works such that when stuck by warm water you will be reverted to your base form while exposure to all other water will transform you into your cursed form."
"I-I don't understand? What do you mean?" Ranma's head spun, trying to process what just happened.
In lieu of explaining further, the old woman just tossed another cup of tea at Ranma. As it splashed on his face, Ranma noted that it was lukewarm. Catching on to the old ghoul's intentions, he hastily pulled down his hair to discover that it had turned red again.
"So avoid water if it isn't warm? Got it." Ranma muttered to herself.
"You can try, young one," Kě Lún said with a patronising smile. "But the curse will not be easily thwarted. You shall find that you've become quite the water magnet."
"Then you don't know me lady. I'm Ranma Saotome! I'm the best. If I say I'll avoid water then I will."
The Elder smothered a laugh and just nodded.
"Is that so? Well, I suppose it will be amusing to see you try." The old woman said, making Ranma bristle. "But enough of that for now. There is more to explain."
"What is it?"
"You see you've been cursed by one of the more problematic curses."
"In what way?"
"You have the Curse of the Drowned Little Girl which means you'll be cursed to forever transform into a little girl."
"I don't see the problem," Ranma said, blinking in confusion.
Kě Lún sighed and muttered something probably exasperated in Mandarin before continuing. "It means, young one, that your cursed form will never age pass that of the original girl who fell into the cursed spring, which by our estimate is ten years old."
"Wait, what! I don't want to be a little girl forever! I need to be the manliest man!" Ranma shouted hysterically. Being the manliest man he could be and the greatest martial artist ever had been the ideals that his father had pounded into his head the whole time he was on this training trip, which was as far back as Ranma could remember! This, this... Curse would ruin that!
Contrary to his expectations, Kě Lún didn't look sympathetic. Instead, she just looked confused.
"Manliest man? What are you talking about? You're a girl."
Ranma blinked, "Huh? Come on? What the heck are ya talking about, you old hag? I'm a guy!"
The Elder frowned, even as a look of epiphany began to shine in her eyes.
"I see," the old ghoul hissed under her breath menacingly. "So that's what that man was trying to do."
The way the amazon said the word "man" sent a shiver down Ranma's spine and she was honestly worried for her father's safety.
"What do you mean?"
"That's not important now," Kě Lún insisted. "Instead, why don't I prove to you that you've always been a girl. Look inside your pants and see if your genitals have changed."
"What!? You can't seriously-"
"Do it!" Kě Lún insisted, her frame enshrouded with a fear inducing aura.
Gulping nervously, Ranma compiled and pulled her pants and briefs out to take a look.
"Huh? You're right, nothing's changed." The young martial artist admitted.
"But Pops said this was a boy's bits. So this proves nothing." Ranma insisted. "Maybe you people are wrong and I fell into the Pool of Drowned Boy?"
Kě Lún sighed at this and shook her head sadly, before an idea seemed to occur to her. She quickly gestured to one of the other elders and whispered something to her in Mandarin, before sending the presumably junior elder running out of the meeting hall.
She returned a little later with a buxom young woman and a meek looking young man.
"Now child, tell me do you recognize these two as a man and a woman?" Kě Lún asked Ranma while gesturing at the two.
"Yeah," Ranma said nervously, not liking where things might be going.
"Good, then let me show you the real difference between a man and a woman." With that Kě Lún spun around and barked an order to the two new arrivals.
They both blushed, but promptly began stripping their clothes off.
Ranma found himself blushing, "Um, can we not do that?"
"No, we must so you can face the truth, young one."
Ranma looked between the two nude people before him and felt his heart leap into his throat.
The man's bits was nothing like his. Instead of the slit in between his legs, this man had something hanging there and a pair of balls on either side of the hanging thing. And the woman... She had the breasts that Ranma knew all women eventually grew, but, but, in between her legs… She had the same slit that Ranma had!
Shakily, her finger pointed to the woman. He, her? Ranma was confused, his, no, her whole world has, had changed.
Her Pops had always said that girls were weak, but Ranma was a girl and she wasn't weak. Did that mean she was? No, it couldn't be! She beat her Pops eight times out of ten when they sparred nowadays. That meant she was stronger than him, right? And he was a man, right? He didn't have breasts so he had to be, right? But then…
"Argh!" Ranma cried out in anguish as her whole world collapsed around her and she crumpled to the floor. Hot tears ran down her face as her head spun in absolute confusion.
A couple hours later, found a still shellshocked Ranma standing in the village square as the Joketsuzoku, as he -She, Ranma reminded herself while fighting back tears- had learned the amazons called themselves, gathered to take part in their annual martial arts tournament.
After Ranma had calmed down from his -No, it's her damnit!- initial freak out, Kě Lún had tried rather insistently to entice her to stay and join her tribe.
Ranma refused, he -She!- just wanted to fight not become a warrior woman living in the Chinese backcountry. Just be Ranma Saotome. At least that couldn't be taken away, right?
He -No, accept it already!- wasn't ungrateful to the amazons though. Not when they had not only helped her -How could this have happened?- understand her curse but also revealed to her the lie that her Pops had told her. It had hurt, but it had been necessary. At least Ranma hoped it would be.
So she'd decided to join the tournament that the village was holding. She had nothing to pay them back with after all, but if he -No, no! She! I'm a she!- won the tournament she could pay them back by gifting the prize back to the village.
That and she really wanted a good fight right now. One of those always did manage to help her clear her head and that was something she desperately needed right now.
Not that it was helping as much as she had hoped. He'd -Ugh, why was this so hard?- jumped up on the wide log that served as the stage for the tournament hoping to find opponents in this village of warrior women who could challenge her and make her get so involved in thinking up ways to win that she'd forget her troubles for a moment. But… They were all so very weak. So much so that Ranma had to barely put any effort into knocking them off the log and defeating them via ring out.
Or at least that had been the case until now.
Her current and final opponent was Shān Pú, who was apparently the old ghoul Kě Lún's great-granddaughter and widely regarded as the village's strongest young warrior. Dressed in a light colored long-sleeved blouse and pants with the addition of a dark breastplate and a pair of metal arm-guards, she certainly looked the part.
Though a number of Ranma's previous opponents had as well. What truly set her apart from the nobodies she smacked down earlier was that she actually had the skill to back up her looks.
The moment the match had started, the purple haired girl had dashed in close and engaged Ranma in a furious exchange of punches and kicks. It was so fast that the redhead, yes Ranma hadn't gotten around to changing himself -Herself!- back to normal yet, had little time to think of anything else besides where to block, parry or otherwise defend herself while trying to strike at her opponent when the opportunities presented themselves. Those were few and far between though as despite her furious assault, the amazon managed to maintain a formidable guard.
This isn't working. Ranma realized as the exchange dragged on. I need to change tactics.
Using the acrobatic skill honed by years of harsh training by her father, Ranma leapt back to create distance from her opponent who predictably smelt victory in the water and moved to close once more but was surprised when the redhead proceeded to somersault over her instead.
In mid-air, Ranma lashed out with a kick at the purple haired girl's head which caught her flat footed. Her blow thus struck true, sending Shān Pú into a dizzy stagger as Ranman landed on all fours behind her. Without giving the amazon a chance to recover, the redhead lashed out with another kick that swept Shān Pú's legs right out from under her and sent her flying off the log.
"Argh! You good!" The amazon said in broken Japanese as she surfaced from the relatively shallow pool of water under the log.
"Uh, thanks." Ranma replied with a smile. "You were pretty good too."
"You deserve prize. But also the Kiss of Death." The purple haired girl said as she leapt out of the water and lunged towards Ranma.
Ranma was stunned as her face was grabbed by Shān Pú who had her- Nonononono- lips puckered and aiming for Ranma's own.
Only the kiss never happened as a bandana wearing Panda suddenly bull rushed onto the field.
Alarmed by the new arrival, Ranma jerked away just as Shān Pú's lips were about to meet her own. The attempted kiss however had proven distracting enough that the Panda that must have been her father managed to shoulder chuck her and send her flying into the pool below the log.
Ranma was so surprised by the sudden attack that he- Gah! Stop this! It's making my head hurt?!- didn't manage to fully brace herself for the fall. As a result, she crashed into the water and the poolbed hard. Hard enough to knock her unconscious.
As Genma Saotome woke up in a out of the way hut in the amazon village and staggered to his feet, the Panda's mind was consumed by thoughts of his failure.
He couldn't believe everything that had happened.
All his planning, all his scheming and that blasted contract he made with his wife had all gone down the drain!
All because the damned cursed pools weren't properly labelled! He whined to himself as he made it to the center of whatever boondocks village that he had found himself in where his pissant daughter was apparently sparring with one of the locals.
Seeing the fight, Genma was suddenly hit by inspiration.
That's it! I can still salvage this! If I dunk the brat into the Pool of Drowned Man then this could still work!
Yes! That's it! He would capture that ungrateful waste of space that was his useless daughter and then drag her back to the cursed springs and dunk her into the right pool!
That had to work right? That hack of a tour guide didn't know what he was talking about. Especially when he had asked to be by the Pool of the Drowned MAN!
Without putting much more thought to his actions, he was never much of a thinker anyways, he leapt forward onto the attack.
His stupid daughter located, he ran with his new panda legs like a mad bull. Pushing aside the crowd of surprised locals who had been too busy spectating the pathetic match, Genma barreled through them to the pool's edge before leaping up at the log on which his idiot daughter was about to let her opponent kiss her.
So she's a lesbian now? Ugh, like she can't become more of a degenerate! Genma spat in his mind as he slammed his shoulder into Ranma and sent her flying into the pool below.
The useless girl hadn't even been able to manage to adjust her fall properly and got herself knocked out by the impact with some rocks. How pathetic!
Then again so was the little purple haired girl child that was trying to attack him. Snorting derisively at how insignificant she was, he swatted her aside in a single blow that sent her flying into the still shocked crowd below.
Unlike the slow fools, Genma was already moving and leapt into the water. Without facing any resistance, he scooped his insensate daughter out of the water and took off running towards the Jusenkyo springs.
No one would stop his plan! It was fool proof! Sure he thought it up in ten minutes, but it was all he had left!
The idiot women of this village tried, but the were weak! Honestly, where were their menfolk? Were they so spineless that they let their pathetic women do the fighting for them?
He dismissed the thought as not worth considering though as he batted yet another wouldbe warrior woman into a nearby forest where her body splintered a good dozen trees before finally coming to a stop after impacting the mountain side.
The idiot women were at least smart enough to stop chasing him once he made it into the springs proper but much to Genma's frustration, once there he was confronted by another bunch of buffoons standing in his way. This time they were a bunch of cosplayers dressed up like it was still the Tang Dynasty and carrying a bunch of animals that they were dunking into a particular pool.
The animals were all coming out as confused looking women, so Genma easily figured the spring in question must be the Pool of Drowned Confused Women or some such.
The women were all being splashed with water from some pail the cosplayers were treating with some reverence. It must have some religious purpose or perhaps it was magic. Whatever, Genma didn't care.
Though the cosplayers certainly did. The moment they spotted him, they shouted at him angrily in Mandarin and moved to intercept him
Genma didn't care though, as if some freaks in robes were going to stop him escaping the fate of his hot yet crazy wife gutting him!
Despite his bravado though, Genma was no fool and recognized that these cosplayers were strong. He couldn't fight them while holding onto his deadweight daughter. So tossing her aside, he engaged the freaks.
What followed was an insane and thrilling blur to Genma as ki blasts and various high level martial arts techniques flew in every direction, especially when the wannabe warrior women decided they wanted a piece of the action too.
As if one group of cosplayers weren't enough, the fight was interrupted again by a bunch of LARPers dressed up like Western mages! Or that's what he thought until they actually started shooting spells around.
Oh shit! They are actual mages! Shit! Fuck! Shit!
Genma knew the consequences he would likely face if he got caught by the mages, it wouldn't be pretty, and so he did what he always did when faced with a problem he couldn't solve: he ran!
"Anything Goes Ougi! Run Away!" Genma shouted, or tried to. He was still a panda after all so all that came out were a series of unintelligible grunts, even as he fled with all his power.
Can't forget the girl. The panda thought as he sprinted towards where he had discarded his useless offspring. Jusenkyo might be a bust but there are other places I can go to fix this!
He just needed to research how to fix this whole issue.
Genma found the girl next to one of the cosplayers who had been hiding form the insane melee that the fight had become. Said cosplayer was holding onto the pail that he and his friends seemed to find so important, and cowered away from Genma as he neared.
The panda just ignored him and pushed him aside, causing the water in the pail to spill onto Ranma where she lay still unconscious on the ground.
Genma cursed, he hoped that pail and its water wasn't magical 'cause if it was then fixing this mess would likely be even more difficult and the martial artist hated when things got difficult!
Setting that concern aside for later, he picked up the girl like a sack of potatoes and began running out of the valley.
He didn't make it more than ten feet when a spell hit him in the back and he collapsed to the ground, tossing Ranma to the ground some distance away from him in the process. Genma's vision was darkening from whatever stunning effect the spell must have had but as he fought it, he saw the mages and the warrior women suddenly surrounding him and the girl.
They were looking at him with hateful eyes, which was nothing new. He got that reaction from a lot of idiots who didn't appreciate how great he was. But gallingly, they were swarming around his worthless daughter with concerned looks.
Why bother worrying about the failure? Genma thought to himself as he lost his fight with the spell and fell unconscious.
Ranma regained consciousness with a sense of confusion. That her head felt like it was being hacked apart by a splitting headache did not help matters. Neither did the familiar way her body felt like lead from exhaustion.
What happened? The girl asked as she struggled into a sitting position and held her aching head. As she did, she noticed she appeared to be back in the Joketsuzoku village if the architecture of the building she had found herself in was anything to go by.
Rapid whispers tickled her ears as she turned to see a set of silhouettes through a thin paper screen door talking around what looked like a cooking fire.
"-mother is a no go. From what we found out, she's just as nuts as the father." An unfamiliar voice said in Mandarin. A language that unlike her Pops she had actually took the time to learn before coming to China.
They were considering sending her to her mother?
Ranma had no recollection of her mother beyond snippets of a beautiful redhead but if she was anything like her father, as the stranger implied she was, then she shuddered at the mere thought of meeting her.
"And I ask again why you can't just leave her here with us?" The familiar voice of Elder Kě Lún said, sounding frustrated.
"Like hell we're leaving a ten year to be corrupted by your man hating ways, old hag." Another unfamiliar voice said, presumably the other stranger.
"Hmph! Corrupted, how rude of you wand wavers."
"Can it, you little hobgoblin. While you may not have proper procedures, we do. The girl is going back to whatever family that we're sure will take good care of her. We've found some cousins that look like a good fit."
Ranma blinked in confusion. Taken care of? He -She!- was taken care of though, right?
"I have cousins?" Ranma gasped, shocked at the idea that she -Good! Keep it up!- had more family than just her parents. All her life, the only family she'd known was her father and some very dim memories of her mother. The prospect of more family suddenly both excited and terrified her.
What if they're like Pops? Ranma thought worriedly. The strangers, whoever they are, seem to think they're good people though so maybe they're okay?
"Ssh! Did you hear that?" The voice of the first stranger said suddenly.
"Yes, the girl's been awake for some time. Didn't you two great mages not notice?" Elder Kě Lún said snidely.
"Impossible," the second stranger gasped. "We put her under a sleeping spell that should have kept her knocked out for a full day. She's only been under for a few hours."
"Her magical potential must be pretty damned impressive then," the first stranger said as he pushed the screen door open, revealing himself to be a young Chinese man dressed, rather incongruous considering how far they were in the wilderness, in a suit.
Magical potential, me? Ranma thought incredulously.
"But budding mage or not, you've gotta sleep right now kid." The Chinese man said kindly. "You'll need it to heal."
Ranma opened his -Her damnit!- mouth to complain that she wasn't a kid and didn't need a nap when the man muttered an unintelligible word and she was suddenly hit by a bolt of light that immediately sent her back to dreamland.
Done and done, thanks to the team of Nameless as always!
Wow, just wow. A story that's not Naruto or HP related in a crossover. This a new and bold direction for me! XP Still, this little brain baby has been in the works since summer and exploded into something awesome. Hope you guys will enjoy it!
Nameless: So this our latest fic. The one which we spent the better part of a month to plan out and is probably the most well planned fic we've ever plotted out, so I'm very much looking forward to writing it. I hope that you all will enjoy it as much.
And yes, Ranma is a girl girl, not a boy girl cursed. It's very nice!
Nameless: So yeah, this is a fem!Ranma fic. You should know our penchant for genderbender fics, though I guess that's only half the case here huh? Also, as it says in the information about this fic this is a crossover with Negima. What do we have in mind? Well, you'll have to wait and see though you'll likely need to read the whole Origins arc to see what we intend. That said, it shouldn't be too hard to guess though we do intend to include some surprises eventually.
Oh, before I hand things over to E4E to finish signing off. I've got a current fic I'm publishing: Why Cute Witches Should Deal With Outsiders (And Their Lairs). It's a radical AU of Witch's House that's got plenty of other IPs making cameos so if that's your thing please do drop by to take a look. Now with that shameless plug outta the way, E4E take it away!
You know what to do! Smash that review button and tell us what you love! No flames and peace off my peeps!