Three

A Ranma ½ fanfic by jimra

All Ranma ½ characters, places, and things in general are the property of Takahashi Rumiko-sama. All hail the great Takahashi!

Chapter One

--

Splash

"Oh, too bad. You fall in Nyannichuan, Spring of Drown Girl. There, very tragic story of young girl what drown there one thousand five hundred year ago. Is very, very tragic story, Mr. Customer."

--

A young, red-haired girl sat in a small pool, near the edge, with a very dazed look on her face. In fact, since falling into the spring, the child hadn't made a move or sound. That was a sharp contrast to the actual scene taking place around her, and a strange scene it was.

A large panda, still dripping from its own dunking, was chasing a fat Chinese man wearing a military uniform around the girl's spring. The Chinese man, who was moving at a surprising speed for his bulk, was shouting at the panda, though the panda didn't seem to care.

"Please, sir!" pleaded the man. "Is very bad you kill Guide! I show you how change back!"

Either the panda wasn't listening, or he didn't believe the Guide, because the chase didn't end. In fact, the panda seemed to grow faster at the fat man's yammering. Screaming, the strange chase left the girl and pool behind, and the two moved into the surrounding mountains. Through all of this, the girl didn't move.

--

Night was falling on the small village of warrior women when a strange display wove its way into their peaceful evening. Women of exotic hair color and more exotic weaponry gaped openly at the Jusenkyo Guide, who was, at that moment, being chased by a very large panda. The chase expanded in scope once the Amazons shook free of their shock, and soon a great number of the warriors had entered the race. After all, even if they couldn't save the unfortunate Guide, they might be able to get a nice new panda rug for one of their houses.

Just as the group approached the village square, a small creature that seemed to be made entirely of wrinkles leapt at the panda. The creature deftly smacked its five-foot staff onto the back of the animal's skull and brought the chase, at last, to an end. Several of the warriors who had been trying to get themselves a new rug began to unsheathe their knives in anticipation of their prize.

Unfortunately for all those who like panda rugs, the Guide was not the kind of man to allow a customer of Jusenkyo to be slaughtered while under his care.

"Wait!" yelled the fat man in the Jusendo dialect of Mandarin Chinese. "He was just angry because of his curse!" Turning to the withered old creature who had ended the chase, he said, "Honored Elder, please do not have him killed. You know how Jusenkyo affects those who fall into its springs."

After a moment, the wrinkled one replied in a gravelly voice, "Of course, Guide."

Turning to the other warriors, she said, "I'm afraid that this one is human. Let us put him into one of the guesthouses and give him some hot water. Perhaps he will calm down if he awakens human."

Though there were a few grumbles from the crowd of Amazons, everyone knew not to argue with an Elder. Three women quickly complied with the ancient Elder's request, and Saotome Genma became a man once more.

--

While the chase was concluding in the village, the girl still sat in the waters of the Nyannichuan. Her eyes had been glazed since she surfaced, and she still hadn't moved a muscle. The rays of the setting sun caught her copper-red hair and pale skin in a pristine beauty, a beauty that a nearby boy couldn't help but notice…and stare.

The boy, whose eyes had become as large as saucers, watched the beautiful creature from the cover of a small bush. He wore a yellow and black bandana in his unruly black hair and was carrying a huge, travel-stained backpack with a red, bamboo umbrella strapped to the top.

After about ten minutes of staring, the boy finally snapped himself out of his stupor. 'The girl hasn't moved,' he thought. 'I should try to help her.'

Keeping his gaze solidly on the girl, the boy crept forward slowly.

"Miss?" he said in a tentative voice. "Are you alright?"

The girl didn't move, and the boy started to worry.

"Please, Miss. Say something." Still, the girl made no move or sound.

The bandana-clad boy began to walk faster, worrying more with every step. When he was standing right behind her, he leaned forward to look at her face. He gasped; his worry increased ten fold when he saw the vacant, glazed look in her beautiful, but stormy, grey-blue eyes. He also noted that her hands were very wrinkled, as though she had been sitting in the water for a long time.

'I should get her out of the water,' he thought, and then he put thought to action. Gently slipping a hand under each of the red head's arms, he easily lifted the small girl from the water and set her on the bank, a little ways from the spring. After checking to be sure she was breathing, the boy stretched her out on the ground. Unfortunately for him, the girl's once-white gi chose that moment to fall open, displaying her considerable assets to the world. The boy reacted to his sight in a predictably Japanese way: he had a nosebleed and fainted.

--

Saotome Ranma, all of thirteen years old, sat in a small crevasse, shivering with his face streaked with tearstains. His opponent had hurt him badly, and the barren wasteland held few places to hide. The boy was naked, with cuts and scrapes covering his bruised body. Not only was there the insane girl, but the Cat was out there too. Of course, the Cat hadn't differentiated between him and the naked redhead, but Ranma didn't take much solace in that.

He'd first found himself in the twilight of this place when the panda his father had become knocked him into the spring. When the young martial artist hit the water, he suddenly found himself lying, naked, on the cracked ground of this place.

Even before he had managed to pull himself off of the ground, the girl had attacked. Her red hair, pulled into a pigtail identical to his, streamed behind her as her fist slammed into the ground where his head had been only a moment before, and another crater formed in the cracked earth as he threw himself away from the girl's attack.

The fight that ensued had been all consuming. The girl was too good for him to hold back, so he had to ignore his usual prohibition against fighting girls. She proved to be even faster than Ranma, striking with blinding speed, then quickly retreating to avoid his own strikes. Unbelievably, the girl even displayed an equivocal level of skill in the Saotome-style Musabetsu Kakuto Ryu. Not a word was said as the young man fought for his life against an opponent he had never seen before, and worst of all, she seemed to be winning, ever so slowly. Even though what strikes he could land on the crazed redhead seemed to affect her more than those she landed on him, she dodged the majority of his attacks, and her superior speed allowed more of her attacks to connect.

That was when the two combatants heard the blood-curdling war cry of the beast, and a moment later, the Cat attacked. Ranma shivered at the memory of the giant black creature. It had slammed into him from behind, knocking him from his feet. The mauling he received from the beast was the cause of most of his injuries, and the girl just smiled and backed off during the attack.

However, when Ranma slipped briefly into unconsciousness, the Cat must have turned on the girl, because when he came to, he heard the girl screaming. The creature had pounced on her and was doing much the same thing it had done to Ranma only a few moments before.

Knowing that he was no match for the beast and having no love of the insane redhead, Ranma performed the Saotome Final Attack to gain a little breathing room; much as he loathed what he considered a cowardly maneuver, sometimes it was necessary.

Pulling himself from his reverie, Ranma assessed his actual condition. He had bruises covering most of his body from the fight with the girl and probably near a thousand cuts and scrapes from the mauling. However, he was not seriously bleeding, and none of his bones were broken. In fact, he felt remarkably well for all he had gone through. 'Guess I'm still healing fast,' he thought with a slight grin. The boy quickly rubbed his face to remove the evidence that he'd been crying.

After a moment more of catching his breath and collecting his thoughts, Ranma was ready to return to the battle. Just as he stood, he felt a tap on his shoulder. Ranma jumped two meters into the air and came back down in a combat stance; the girl stood before him once more. However, after a tense moment, he relaxed. The girl sagged against the wall of the crevasse bonelessly, looking worse off than Ranma did. She looked up at him for a moment and burst into tears.

Ranma, never one to see a girl cry, even one who had tried, and maybe still was trying, to kill him, spoke in a flustered tone. "D—don't cry."

The girl looked up for a moment, hope in her eyes, and then, she jumped up and threw her arms around Ranma's neck. To say that the boy was surprised would be an understatement as he was borne to the ground, the redhead on top of him. He was acutely aware that there was now a crying, naked, and highly attractive girl lying on top of his prone form, but despite his discomfort, he slipped his arms around the girl's back, trying to soothe her.

"I—it's all right now," he said. "The C—C—Cat is gone."

The girl only cried harder as the young man held her, her grip around his neck tightening and her face pressing harder against his chest; Ranma stroked her hair and back, but the action only seemed to make the girl more upset as she sobbed. He could feel the warm wetness of her tears falling onto his skin, and after a short time, the young martial artist relaxed, rocking the red-haired girl as she poured out her pain.

Ranma figured that about thirty minutes passed as he tried to calm the girl when his efforts finally succeeded, the girl's sobbing quieting. She lay against him in silence for a short time, seeming to drink in comfort from his arms around her. After another fifteen minutes or so, the girl pulled herself from his embrace and sat next to him, her back against the rough stone wall of the crevice. She sighed deeply, and Ranma was shocked to see what looked like defeat and depression in her stormy, blue-grey eyes.

Seating himself close and sliding an arm around his former enemy's shoulders, Ranma quietly asked, "Who are you?"

She looked at him quizzically for a moment before bursting out laughing. Though Ranma was a bit miffed at being laughed at by the girl he'd just spent over half an hour comforting, he couldn't help but find the sound melodious. Even if she had been trying to kill him, he couldn't help but feel like her laughter, after all that had happened since he'd arrived in this strange place of twilight and death, was one of the most marvelous things he'd ever heard. Something he wanted to, and should, hear more often.

After a moment, the girl calmed herself and looked at him strangely, blinking her eyes quizzically. "You really don't know, do you?" she said, her voice sounding almost incredulous. "I'm you! Or, at least, I'm your feminine side."

To say Ranma was shocked would be a vast understatement, and the boy removed his arm from around her shoulders as he drew back from her. Immediately, the arrogance and chauvinism instilled by his father kicked in, even overwhelming his earlier pleasure at hearing her laughter, and he almost shouted his protest at her statement, his voice cracking in denial. "I ain't got no feminine side! Oyaji said he'd make me a man among men, and that's what I am!"

"Oh please," the girl retorted, slightly annoyed. "If nothing else, I'm living proof that it exists! And I'm not too happy about being completely suppressed by that idiot of a father we have!"

Seeing the girl begin to get angry, Ranma actually managed to avoid the old 'Saotome foot in mouth' syndrome, but only by saying nothing. However, his eyes stayed hard, almost bitter, at the girl's pronouncement. If his father was to be believed, his feminine side made him weak, and he couldn't be weak, not if he was to continue the Saotome-style Musabetsu Kakuto Ryu. The redhead must have decided to ignore his eyes because her face immediately softened once he stopped arguing.

"That's better," said the girl with a slight smile. After a moment, though, she became serious once more, her eyes hardening and a tiny, cute frown curling at the corners of her lips. "I guess I should tell you what is going on, and why I was attacking you."

"Yeah," said Ranma in a slightly sullen voice, still a bit upset at having a feminine side at all. "That would be a good start."

"Well," the girl began, "when a person falls in a spring of Jusenkyo, the part of them that reflects the spring is awakened. A battle for dominance ensues, and which ever wins has nominal control over the body after that."

"Wait a sec'!" said Ranma, anger and shock seeping into his voice. "You were trying to take over my body?!"

"Damn it," replied the girl hotly, her eyes narrowing in annoyance and anger. "I already told you! I am you! Will you just listen to me?!"

Both youths took a moment to cool down after their outbursts, not looking at each other as they took deep, calming breaths, and then the girl continued. "As I was saying," she said in a much calmer voice. "Normally the battle is fought on a subconscious level in an instant, but this one is very different."

The girl began to sound frightened again, so Ranma put an arm around her shoulders once more, hoping he could avoid another round of crying. She looked up at him, a bit shocked at his action, but all the response she received was a nod to continue. Taking a deep breath, she did so, her voice a bit less confident but bit stronger.

"Most people aren't even aware that the battle takes place, but I'm almost certain that which ever of us gets final dominance will remember. Also, there's the Cat. I don't even want to think about what would happen if it managed to win!" As she said that last, her voice lost the extra strength Ranma-kun's gesture had lent her, and her tone became weak and frightened once again.

Ranma-kun and Ranma-chan both shuddered at that thought, Ranma-kun tightened his arm around her shoulders to lend a bit more comfort to his sister personality, and then they looked at each other strangely. Finally, Ranma-kun broke the awkward moment.

"Is there any way we could…ya know…not fight?" he asked his girl half. "I just know I don't wanna to fight you any more."

Ranma-chan slipped her arm around her boy side and rested her head on his shoulder, her beautiful, bright smile almost hidden from his view. "I don't want to fight you anymore, either."

Both sighed as Ranma-kun pulled the girl into a warm hug. When they finally returned to their original sitting positions, Ranma-kun began to look puzzled. The masculine side of Ranma narrowed his eyes in deep thought, and after a moment he said, "Wait a sec'. If you're me, how do ya know all this stuff about Jusenkyo an' all?"

Ranma-chan thought for a bit before replying, and she sighed before she spoke. "When the spring separated our personalities, the spirit of the Nyannichuan merged with me to give me form. I was so suppressed and weak that the spirit had to do it, but it will leave once the battle is done. So at the moment, I guess I've got pretty much every bit of knowledge there is about Jusenkyo."

After her explanation, both personalities sat in quiet contemplation for some time, but eventually Ranma-chan broke the silence. "I think that, maybe, we should work together to fight the Cat."

"Hmm…yeah!" replied Ranma-kun as he began to show some excitement. Anything to do with fighting tended to cheer up the martial personality, especially if it involved defeating a hated enemy. "You're as skilled as I am, and faster."

His female side smiled at the complement and her brother personality's excitement. Since Ranma was so martial arts centered, she felt excited as well, even if it wasn't very feminine. 'Oh well,' she thought. 'Being a boy's feminine side, especially someone like Ranma, was bound to make me a tomboy.' Out loud she said, "Uh huh, and you're stronger. We might be able to get him!"

Smiling brightly, the two personalities began to lay plans for the Cat's ultimate demise, their voices carrying more happiness than either had felt in a long, long time.

--

Night passed slowly in Jusendo, but all was quiet. In the cursed training ground of Jusenkyo, a black-haired boy wearing a bandana lay unconscious next to a redhead. The redhead's eyes were open, though vacant, and by all appearances, she was in a coma. A little ways from the accursed springs, in a village of the Joketsuzoku Amazons, a fat man slept soundly in a guesthouse while an ancient old woman reviewed some of the lore of her village by candle light. And in another guesthouse, the Jusenkyo Guide slept deeply after the ordeal of the previous day. Finally, a little ways from Jusenkyo in the opposite direction from the Nyuucheizu village, an encampment of soldiers with strangely animalistic features bedded down for the night.

--

Still smiling happily, Ranma-kun and Ranma-chan finally finished their battle plan against the beast, each nearly overflowing with excitement and eagerness to defeat the beast that had plagued them for so long. Just as the two were rising from the rocky crevasse to begin their hunt and turn the tables on the former hunter, Ranma-kun asked, "What are we gonna do after we kill that thing?"

Ranma-chan looked at her male side and shrugged, a blank look on her face. "Let's just concentrate on killing it for now. We can figure something out about us afterward."

After Ranma-kun nodded, the two set off, their direction chosen at random. The wasteland battlefield was permanently shrouded in twilight, and there was no vegetation to cover the coppery clay and multicolored rocks of the ground. Crevasses, like the one from which the two personalities had emerged, dotted the landscape, and mesas and boulders jutted toward the dark sky where black clouds raced from horizon to horizon.

Their battle plan was simple: find the Cat and make certain it couldn't attack both of them at once. The one who was being attacked would concentrate on dodging while the other would attack the creature, and as it became angry with the attacker, the two personalities would switch jobs. Certainly a simple plan, but simple was good. Both remembered their training in martial strategy, and they knew that any real plan wouldn't last beyond the first punch thrown. Besides, a simple plan could give direction, and that was what they would really need in their battle with the nightmare beast. However, they first had to find the creature, and there was really no way to do that than simply looking.

Searching this kind of terrain was tiring work, and soon the two dropped into one of the many crevasses that dotted the landscape to rest a bit. After all, it wouldn't do to enter into battle exhausted, and they certainly would be exhausted if they found the Cat after a few hours of leaping across cracks in the earth and climbing spires of stone to get a better look at the terrain.

As they sat on the hard, cool ground, Ranma-kun was surprised when Ranma-chan slipped an arm around him and laid her head on his shoulder. After their last talk, the action didn't fluster him, and it only took a moment before he placed his arm around her shoulders. They sat like that, both knowing that neither was truly confident in their plan; both knowing that they would need each other in the coming battle. A companionable silence was all that could be heard from the crevasse as the two personalities rested.

After nearly a quarter hour had passed, the two decided to resume their search, and they stood, a brief sigh the only sound escaping either's lips. Unfortunately for them, it seemed that the beast had found them before they could find it, and the daemonic, black form of the Cat slammed into Ranma-kun from behind once again.

Crying out in pain, Ranma-kun was slammed to the ground underneath the crushing weight of the creature, its claws raking lines of fire across his unprotected back. Squeezing his eyes shut against the pain and fear, he prepared himself for the mauling he was certain would be coming.

--

Ranma-chan saw her brother personality go down under the Cat's vicious pounce, and she reacted instantly. Leaping high into the air, she came down with a hard drop kick to the creature's lower spine. She smirked as the creature yowled in pain, but that was rapidly wiped from her face as the Cat, moving faster than she had thought possible, turned and swiped her out of the air.

'Owww,' was the only thought in her mind as she felt the creature's claws dig into her flesh leaving four parallel lines of fire across her breasts and stomach, but that was just the beginning of her pain. She crashed into one of the many stone pylons that dotted the mental landscape with enough force to break through and slam into the ground, sliding a good five meters. Her mind reeling from the many bruises and cuts inflicted upon her naked body by this blunt trauma, she was barely able to open her eyes in time to see the Cat flying through the air toward her. Involuntarily, Ranma-chan whimpered, and her eyes squeezed shut, a few tears of pain and fear managing to squeeze through and run down her dust covered cheeks.

The Cat landed on the girl personality with enough force to knock the wind out of her, and its claws and teeth tore at her skin almost before the nightmarish creature finished its landing, but the mauling was thankfully short. Just as the beast raised a clawed paw to open her throat, Ranma-kun was there. He hit the cat with a rapid series of side kicks, spin kicks, and roundhouses, knocking the creature away.

Ranma-chan stood unsteadily, bleeding from several new wounds and horribly sore from the battering she'd just endured, and the sibling personalities stood to face their mutual enemy. The black beast crouched low to face the two, seeming to know that now its prey had decided to work together. Remembering their battle plan, Ranma-chan began to separate from her boy side, circling right. Ranma-kun circled left, and they quickly moved to opposite sides of the creature.

Yowling with rage, the creature moved with lightning speed to attack the boy, but Ranma-chan immediately attacked the creature's exposed back with a punch and strike combination. While there was no perceptible damage, the creature howled and turned, and sticking to the plan, Ranma-kun was there, attacking its back once again. This time he used a very forceful and probably very painful knee to the groin combined with an elbow to the base of its tail.

Pain, frustration, and bloodlust were apparent in the Cat's eyes as it spun between the sibling personalities for a good ten minutes, but each time it turned a new attack struck its hindquarters sending another jolt of pain to its primitive, instinct-controlled mind.

The boy and girl sides of Ranma could only smile evilly as their plan succeeded, but their triumphant looks were short lived. When the Cat turned to Ranma-chan once again, the creature lashed out with its hind paws, catching her boy side in the chest and sending him sprawling on the ground, sliding into a growing pile of loose earth as he skidded to a halt. Ranma-chan could only stare in shock, faltering in her dodging for an instant as her brother personality created another long crater in the ground, and that was all the Cat needed. With lightning speed, the creature of nightmare pounced on the red-haired girl before she could raise an adequate defense from her lapse, and very soon, her screams of pain and fear echoed over the mindscape.

--

The Cat's hind paw had caught Ranma-kun full in the chest leaving four long, deep lacerations in his chest, but the pain of those wounds didn't enter his mind. That was entirely occupied with the screams of his girl side; the pain she felt consumed him entirely.

Picking himself up from the ground and ignoring the pain every movement caused in his battered and beaten body, Ranma-kun's battle aura sprang to life like a blue flame around his form. Panic and desperation pushed him beyond any speed or strength he had ever known, and he charged toward the creature mauling his sister personality, a cry of inhuman rage escaping his lips.

Hearing the boy, the cat spun to face him, but the beast was unprepared for the visage of a blue human torch, ki blazing around the masculine personality. Ranma-kun, showing just how far a person can be pushed when faced with the death of a loved one, attacked the cat head on with everything he had. He could vaguely feel the Cat's claws tearing his flesh, but at the time, he was more interested in forcing his hand deeper into the Cat's eye, feeling pleasure at its pained cries.

The battle was ferocious and extremely fast paced as Ranma threw everything he had at the black beast of darkest dreams, but the creature gave as good as it got. Where Ranma-kun managed to remove one of the creature's eyes and break one of its forelegs, he lost one of his own eyes and was bleeding badly from a slash down his side.

Finally, Ranma-kun leapt into the air and came down with a hammer fist on the creature's head, his ki pulsing brightly as the blow landed. The yowl of pain echoed several times, and the Cat finally turned away. Quickly as it could manage with its broken leg, the creature limped away. The male side of Ranma's personality would have followed, but the adrenaline had run out. Suddenly feeling the pain of all his injuries, the pigtailed boy's aura winked out, and he collapsed bonelessly to the ground, barely breathing.

--

Ranma-chan watched in awe as her brother personality attacked. She would have tried to help him, but she had already found that she couldn't even stand after her mauling. She could feel her blood oozing out of the innumerable cuts all over her badly beaten body, but her pain paled beside her amazement at Ranma-kun's vicious attack on the Cat. She watched her boy side fight the creature, praying to all the kami for his victory. His strength and speed were incredible, but she understood, perhaps due to being merged with the spirit of the Nyannichuan, that he was unconsciously using his ki and even his lifeforce to enhance his already adrenaline-filled body well beyond the normal limits of his fighting ability. He was pushing his body well past its breaking point, and she could almost see the ki working just as hard to hold his form together as it was enhancing his fighting prowess.

Finally, with a flying double-hammer fist to the beast's skull, the battle ended. Ranma-chan saw the creature move with surprising alacrity from the field of battle, but she turned back when her brother personality didn't follow.

'Oh, kami-sama no!' she thought when she saw Ranma-kun lying, unmoving, on the ground. Painfully, Ranma-chan pushed herself up with her arms and crawled, dragging her lower body along the ground, to her brother personality's side and shook him gently.

"Oniisan," she said, her voice choked with tears. "You have to pull through this. We can't both die. If we do, that thing will have dominance! We can't let that happen!"

Ranma-kun's eyes slowly opened, and he stared at her through the haze of blood loss. "What do you mean?" he asked slowly, finding it hard to form words with his oxygen-deprived brain. "You'll live."

"No!" she sobbed, leaning over to hug him. "I won't live. I'm bleeding internally, so you have to live!"

After her last statement, her battle aura flared green and she collapsed on his chest, her sobs so loud that they echoed. Ranma-kun's eyes widened and fresh adrenaline cleared the fog from his mind when he saw her aura begin to gutter, like a candle about to die, and on pure instinct, he flared his own blue ki to shore up her life. It was then that something he hadn't anticipated happened. The ki of the two personalities flowed into one another, mixing and combining in a way that shouldn't have happened. Ranma-chan opened her eyes and stared in wonder at what was happening, and an incredible peace settled over the sibling personalities.

Ranma-kun sat up and looked into his girl side's eyes, and she stared back, each drowning in the blue-grey pools the other possessed. The light of their auras became blinding as they moved forward, and they kissed, lost in the brightness of aquamarine light.

--

In the valley of Jusenkyo, the form of a young girl with red hair suddenly flared with an aquamarine aura that lit the night sky. The nearest pool shined brightly with the same aura that obscured the redhead, like a pillar of light connecting earth to heaven, and the light illuminated Jusenkyo like a bonfire. After a few moments, the light of the pool guttered and died, but the girl's aura burned brighter. The blinding blaze of ki obscured the form of the girl for a few minutes more before dying back down, and all was as it had been.

--

The form of Ranma stood in the center of a massive aquamarine aura on the cracked plain, eyes burning with blinding light. He, as he was for the moment, smiled, and a single thought crossed his mind: 'I guess we were always meant to be just one person.'

Ranma was fully healed after his ordeal, and as such, he set out. The Cat could not be far, and it was the last contender for control of this mind. One thing was certain in this new Ranma's thoughts: the creature would fail. Where once three personalities inhabited the mind of the human known as Ranma, only one would remain, and the combination of Ranma-kun and Ranma-chan wasn't going to allow the Cat to join with him.

Following the blood trail, Ranma quickly caught up with the creature of nightmare. Ranma leapt at it with speed he could have scarcely imagined before the two halves of his personality had combined, and the Cat, for the first time in its eight-year life, felt fear.

The battle was short and decisive. Ki enhanced punches and kicks broke the creature's bones, and the purity of purpose that the new Ranma felt removed any hesitation or fear from his attacks. It was a short five minutes before the Cat lay, mewling in terror and pain, at his feet. However, for all the pain and terror the creature had caused, Ranma couldn't feel even the slightest amount of sympathy or pity for the daemonic beast.

In the end, Ranma decided to end the miserable creature's existence mercifully; even if he felt no sorrow for the beast, he still believed in a clean, quick death. Leaping a few meters away, he drew back his hands. Since his personalities had combined, Ranma had gained a new perspective on life, and this new balance of his yin and yang allowed him to understand ki to a far greater degree than he once had. So now, he directed his ki into a small sphere between his hands. A moment later, he thrust his hands forward to release his attack:

"Mouko Takabisha!" he cried as the ki blast left his hands. 'Fitting that I call it 'Pride of the Fierce Tiger',' he thought, smirking at his own play on words as the bright aquamarine sphere of ki shot toward the black beast. The Cat mewed pitifully once more before the ball of ki slammed into its prone form. A bright flash of light obscured all vision, and when it faded, the Cat was gone, replaced by a five-meter deep crater.

"YES!!" Ranma yelled, hands raised to the sky and tears of joy obscuring his vision. "I finally defeated the Nekoken! It's finally over!"

With that, the world faded from the new Ranma's view, and the darkness of natural sleep poured over the martial artist's mind.

--

Author's Notes (2/21/4)

This little rewrite came from my wish to continue this story. It's been long enough since I've written on it that I needed to at least reread what I'd written, so what better time to do a pretty sizeable rewrite. Besides, I now have a pre-reader for this story, and I bet Poly would like to start at the beginning. Later.

New Note (2/25/8)

Damn, it's been a while. This rewrite doesn't change much, but it confirms my wish to continue this story. I transferred its original intent to another story that could better express what I wanted, but the concept of this story is still something I want to expound on. It's too bad Poly dropped off the map; she was the original reason I wanted to keep this one alive. I know it's been forever since I posted a new chapter, and I know that most people want more Negawarrior, but the writer's block seems to have allowed me to update this one. I hope it's worth everyone's time. Later.