LEGAL JUNK

Ranma ½ and the right to produce derivative works there of, such as a fanfiction, belong to Rumiko Takahashi. This work is created without her permission, or endorsement and as such, violates Rumiko Takahashi's said rights. The characters, plot, and setting created here in, and not previously existing in any prior works, are however, mine. Any legal statements I make only apply to characters that are mine. Any legal dispute concerning other such intellectual property should be addressed to the true owner. As other works may be mentioned directly, or indirectly in this fan fiction, including other fan fictions, keep this in mind.

I, personally, have no problems with distribution of this work in any manner so desired. Be it: web postings, paper airplanes, psychological warfare, spoken by assassins before making the kill. However I, personally, suggest not committing major crimes to do so, like say selling this work. Any action taken by an individual that is not me, I claim no responsibility for. If you are unsure of the legality of your distribution method I suggest you don't do it.

Anyone wishing to sight, add, modify or derive another fanfiction, short story, or otherwise connect to this fanfiction, characters, or setting here in has my full permission. Of course, to do so legally, you still need Rumiko Takahashi's permission. As such, it is a mute point. Of course, you may be deriving an unauthorized work off of Rumiko Takahashi anyway, in which case legality isn't really that big of a concern, now is it?

Last Updated: July 29, 2005

Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy

Classification: Continuation, Crossover (only very late in the fanfiction)

Rating: PG-13 / T for Teen.

Matchups/(relation)Ships: None planned; Not Ranma/Akane

AN-General: Currently I am working heavily with obsidianfox on Eldritch Asylum. Given the vast superiority of Eldritch Asylum, the far too long separation from this one, and a desire to work on personal original fiction it is unlikely that this story will ever be updated. In fact, this edit only takes place as a gargantuan attempt to clean up my more technical aspects of writing via lots and lots of practice... you know... 150,000 words of it. So if anyone is still reviewing, for god knows what reason – I certainly don't – feel free to rip right into any consistent failures!

If you haven't read, and reviewed Eldritch Asylum please do so! Just click on either my Favorite Authors then obsidianfox, or my favorite stories and Eldritch Asylum! If you already have read and reviewed..., do it again!

One last thing, if you want to know what chapters have been edited simply check either my profile, or if their is a Last Updated tag on the chapter.

AN-Chapter: This is ironically enough, the only chapter where I should delve directly into Anito's mind. In the rewrite I'm going to my advantage, as it allows me to cover pieces of Anito's past that are otherwise untouchable. For those that have already read, some of the things in here were long since imagined... but never really included. This should help to make Anito deeper, and allow me to stick lots of small references to these things in future conversation.

Still, this chapter will probably be one of the least liked. As people don't seem to like an Original Character start.

-oOo-

AND SO IT BEGINS

Umbra Aureola

Created by

Xylix

Original World Created By

Rumiko Takahashi

PROLOGUE: THE RITUAL

"Fire which links to, destruction, and consumption...," a voice said from inside the craggy, rustic tower. The voice was quiet, a whisper barely heard above the fierce roar of the wind. The shutters rattled.

A particularly potent blast burst into the room. Warding off the cold breeze, Anito pulled his cloak tighter. Rotting, wooden structural beams squealed in protest. A loose rock fell free and bounced down crumbling steps. Clunk! Clunk. clunk...

Anito kept his focus, straining his eyes against the flickering candles. To him nothing existed but his masterpiece: A massive magical circle carved deeply into flawless stone.

With a frown Anito glanced at his wrist, scrutinizing the cheap quartz watch. There wasn't much time left, and it would be years before all things would be in the proper cycle to try again. Anxiously he shifted his eyes to a yellow plastic funnel. Quicksilver was draining through it, filling the circle until is threatened to spill free. "Tch! This will be cutting it close," he observed.

Restraining the urge to hurry, Anito walked over to the funnel. It would only be a few more minutes until it was done. Patience, he reminded himself. Somethings cannot be rushed.

While he waited Anito's eyes were once again helplessly drawn to the great circle. The carving was five meters in radius, and sliced five centimeters into stone. The design, a pentagram of utmost complexity. Layer after layer of runes were added for effect. Each practically jammed into it, stacked with one on top of the other. The whole resembled bramble more than anything else. The center though, stood free, clear of any carving. The effect made the entirety look vaguely like a donut.

Anito's stomach growled.

He grits his teeth and works on. Scanning the silvery surface Anito again carefully checked the core. "Life and death, still and breath. Day and night, dark and light." He nods. "It's all in order."

He stops the flow of quicksilver, and removes the funnel.

He lets loose a breath and stretches. There wasn't much time left now, and the thought filled him with apprehension. The moment he started the spell it would be only by his death that he could end it. If he failed he would die. If he succeeded..., he'd still probably die. Yet, if he missed this chance the it would years before he could make another attempt, if the council would even allow such a thing. Finally, the reward of true success...

Godlike power.

Oh yes. It was worth it.

"It cannot be done," Anito said to himself with a chuckle as he looked again for a flaw. "Such a spell is a known impossibility. Light and dark are mutually exclusive, and any spell with the dual presence results in a spectacularly painful explosion. At least, that is what all the books say and what every wizard with practical experience knows for fact."

Anito grinned widely. A thrill of excitement ran through him. To accomplish the impossible, to break and redefine the limits of magic, that was what this was really about. He could imagine the faces of his fellow wizards when they learned the results. Little pathetic Anito, the wizard that wasn't... now the greatest wizard in a thousand years.

Oh, the satisfaction of that alone would be worth it. To show them what true greatness was. No longer would they be able to declare the word of ancient texts absolute, and use it as refutation to his theories. No longer would they scoff at his mathematical models saying: wizardry is a practical art! No longer would others laugh and add: and you have practically none of it!

Most importantly, no longer would he need their charity in order to pursue his theories.

His of all of them, it was his own brother who was the worst of the lot. That bastard didn't waste a minute after his father's death to throw Anito out on the street. After all, Anito wasn't a true wizard or true family, just a freak.

Anito clenched his fists. No, he wouldn't think down that road. Those days would be over soon enough. He'd never have to put up with his brother again. Either success or failure would guarantee that much.

He had to thank the council though. They at least admitted he was brilliant. They also accepted that his perfect aura sight allowed him to see what others could not. Their funding and the honorary archmage status had done wonders for his research. However, to them this was just a long term investment. They had no real expectations from him in the next fifty years. In fact, all they expected was for him to fail.

And fail.

And fail.

Until someday out of a strange combination of eccentricity, luck, and brilliance he stumbled across something truly great.

Never mind that he'd already done such a thing. Nope, far too young. Such a thing was simply impossible. They didn't even need to look at it to know that.

Anito walked over and violently grabbed Kinjakan off the ground.

He closed his eyes and evened his breathing. This was not a time to let emotions to the fore. They would only disrupt his concentration.

Anito lowered Kinjakan's shaft into a thin deep hole near the giant circle. With a moment's hesitation he strode forward, carefully stepping into tiny blank spots in the circle. He made it to the center. He stopped.

He looked back at Kinjakan in contemplation. Even with his ties with the council and the archmage status getting his hands on that artifact had been difficult. Thankfully, his reputation with the Joketsukozu had done wonders. Still, if they had known what he was going to use it for, well they'd probably have killed him outright.

Hell, they'd still probably try to kill him.

Anito stared a moment longer at the Artifact. He almost felt bad for what he was going to do. However, Kinjakan was just a thing. It could be replaced with the proper tools and effort. Besides, it was the council that gave it to the phoenix people in the first place.

He looked at his watch. It was time.

Anito took in a deep breath. "That which lies in death, darkness I invoke thee. That which stills the breath, darkness I invoke thee. That which brings the night, darkness I invoke thee. That which hates the light, darkness I invoke thee. With thy name, darkness, I bind thee."

The circle crackled to life, dark lightning flared from the quicksilver trenches, sapping the light from the room with every burst. In it's resting place Kinjakan began to glow and a writhing serpent of red flame coiled down its length. A stream of power poured from the artifact into to the circle.

The dark lightning flared higher. The entire room filled with its twisted presence. Even the air tasted foul.

He continued.

"That which gives us breath, light I invoke thee. That which stills the death, light I invoke thee. Which brings the day, light I invoke thee. That finds the way, light I invoke thee. With they name, light, I bind thee."

The circle twisted as a stream of brilliant energy roared forth. It flowed, filling the half opposite the darkness. The room flashed with a strobe of competing energies.

As they swirled and whirled around the circle never once did darkness meet light. Each raged like chained beasts, snapping and clawing at the thin gap of air that separated them. Spiraling around and around the serpents of light and dark sought to meet, to make furious war. The circle contained them.

With each pass, the twin streams hurtled through rune, after rune. Eddies began to form throughout their lengths and their power began to change. Slowly the effects propagated, becoming larger and more pronounced as they spun again and again through the circle.

Kinjakan went dim, and fell into ash.

"With thy names I call thee! Darkness come! Light come! Let thy fearsome fury free and tear thy way into this forbidden world! Let not hold thee back, be he god or devil, for ye have no equal! Dance oh wondrous dragons of shadow and light! Dance and dance, higher and higher until thy power challenges heaven itself!" Anito exclaims.

The circle hissed and the tower rumbled. The flawless stone cracked, and power surged. The maleficent tempest exploded upwards growing into new forms. Fire and ice embraced each other, spiraling up in a tornado. Wind howled around the room with an unearthly roar. Earth joined it, giant rock floating as a feather in the hands of the growing gale.

It was a maelstorm of power.

Anito stood silently in the eye of the storm. Here nothing touched him. It gave the whole a strange felling of unreality, but Anito had little time to observe. With great concentration he gently brushed the spell with what little magic he had. A touch here, a touch there and flows smoothed. With great patience he brought the spell to perfection, holding himself against the terror. The circle was already cracking.

Anito allowed himself a moment of thought. He could finish it or die.

He chose the former.

"Let there be light!"