A Ranma ½ / Sailor Moon Crossover fanfic by jimra
If you want to sue me for royalties, I'll be happy to give you 100% of my profits from this project.
Two were running from fifty. The pair of fugitives, one clad in a once-white gi and the other in only fur, fled before a mob of women in rural Chinese dress, all brandishing some manner of wicked-looking weapon and most also wearing exotic, Chinese armor made of bamboo and metal. Occasionally, an arrow or javelin would fly from the mob, narrowly missing fleeing duo. At the head of the mob, a warrior with deep violet hair raised her bonbori and shouted an undulating war cry in Mandarin, and the mob increased in speed at her savage call, slowly gaining on their enemy.
Above all of this, a single man watched.
Clad in a grey, uniform-like suit, the man gently brushed a lock of long, curly brown hair from his face. He floated a good hundred meters above the chase, and no one had noticed his presence, so high above the pandemonium of the mobile combat. His pale bishonen face twisted into a grimace as another javelin was launched at the fleeing pair. The anger increased as the red-haired, gi-clad girl had to jump to avoid the barbed blade.
The floating man had watched this episode from the beginning, and his fury toward the pursuing mob was fueled even more by the way this whole thing started, completely nonsensical in his opinion. Thinking back, he sifted through his memories of the beginning of the chase.
"I realize that you have been imprisoned for quite a while," intoned the queen, her alabaster face curling into a smile that would have been beautiful had one not seen the cruelty in it. "All of you: go see how Terra has fared since we were last there."
"Yes, my queen," the four kneeling figures before the red-haired queen answered simultaneously, and each moved to explore.
White hair twirling around him as he stood, the tallest figure of the four vanished in a flash of dark power followed shortly by a second very bishonen figure with blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail, his illusory sakura petals swirling briefly through the air. The third individual, with his chiseled features and short blonde hair, simply walked away into the darkness of the throne room. Finally, a man with long, curly brown hair bowed his head for a moment, considering where he would go.
"You have a question?" asked the queen.
"No, my queen," the figure answered. "I was only considering where I could go to learn the most in the shortest time."
"Do not concern yourself with time," replied the red-haired queen. "I believe that we will require some time to muster our forces before we can begin our conquest once again."
The grey-clad man nodded to his queen before bowing and vanishing in a wave of dark power. Having been sealed away so long, the man had no drained lifeforce to combine with negaforce to fuel his powers, so he felt the sweet agony of sacrificing some of his own lifeforce to transport himself to a random location on Terra through nul-space and the now-broken seal.
The dark general knelt for a moment, allowing the damage from his sacrifice to heal before taking stock of his location. He was in a mountainous, but forested, region full of life. 'Too bad these creatures have so little lifeforce,' he thought ruefully, glancing about the area. 'I can't use them to recharge. I'll have to find some humans.'
Before moving on, the negawarrior checked the small, nearly indestructible mirror he used to draw negaforce from the Negaverse. Even though the small, silver shard was probably harder to destroy than he himself was due to the myriad constructs ensuring its safety, checking it was a habit he was unwilling and unable to break. Seeing it intact yet again, the long-haired man set off on foot.
The forest was very beautiful; indeed, it was a testament to the beauty of Terra. However, this was all but lost on him. For reasons not fully understood even during the Silver Millennium, the lifeforce of any creature, no matter how large, was almost nil unless it was sentient, and the ambient lifeforce of a planet was very similar. Unless there was will, spirit, driving that lifeforce, neither a negawarrior nor a sorcerer could use it to fuel their respective powers because, like a flame deprived of oxygen, the lifeforce was a weak, flickering thing. He was searching for intelligent life, and before long, the dark general found it.
"...chei-wha? What kind of food is that?" asked a low soprano voice.
The brown-haired man ducked into some bushes as the source of the voice came into view; she was a short redhead wearing a martial arts gi. Next to her, a panda and a fat, green-uniformed man walked. From her movement, the negawarrior could tell that she carried herself like a warrior, but it was obvious that she hadn't had anything to eat in some time, and it was apparent from the pack on her back and the travel stains on her white, robe-like clothing that they had come quite a distance.
"Sir," answered the fat man in a heavily accented voice, and the dark general wondered why the man addressed the obviously female redhead as a man. "Is village of amazon womans: Joketsuzoku."
Briefly invoking a sensory construct and feeling the pain of siphoning off more of his own lifeforce for fuel, the negawarrior scanned the trio, and he almost lost the construct in surprise at what he saw. The green-clad man was as expected: a normal lifeforce, but the redhead was another matter. To his construct-enhanced eyes, the girl flared with the same amount of lifeforce that at least four people would have, and the panda, to his intense astonishment, looked to have the same. At this unlikely turn of events, the grey-uniformed man decided to follow the strange threesome rather than drain them; maybe they would lead him to a village where he could acquire a renewable source of lifeforce to fuel his powers, and that would be better than a quick refill of his reserves. Cutting the flow of power to the sensory construct, he followed at a discreet distance, making sure to keep out of sight, the fat man in his green uniform leading his two known guests and one unknown shadow down gullies and small trails through the rugged mountains.
As they walked, the dark general continued to listen to the entreats of the hungry redhead for food and the growfs of her strange pet panda, but somehow, he didn't find the sounds of complaint particularly offensive, and the man watched the pigtailed girl closely. From her walk, he knew her to be a fighter of some skill, even hungry as she was, and the panda moved in a very anthropomorphic manner, almost leading the dark general to believe it had once been human when added to its immense lifeforce. Though rare, there were some sorceries and mana-based magics in the Silver Millennium that had polymorphic effects, and while he doubted that anyone of this era would know of such forbidden powers, it was certainly possible that such was the case. Finally, as the trio and its unknown shadow crested a final rise, the village the fat one referred to came into view.
Small and ramshackle, the village of the amazons was nothing special to his warrior-trained eyes, but that was before he invoked the sensory constructs he'd used on the threesome. Eyes widening, the Dark Kingdom general saw more lifeforce in the small village than he'd seen in some of Terra's mid-sized cities during the Silver Millennium, and with a tremor that he could identify as either apprehension or excitement, the brown-haired negawarrior began to consider the possibility that most humans on Terra now had such lifeforces. That could be a boon to the invasion in harvesting, but if these people knew how to use that power, he had no doubt that the Dark Kingdom was in for a long, arduous, and bitter battle when it attacked. The dark general would have continued down that line of thinking, but the fat man's voice cut through his thoughts before he could continue pondering the enigma, for good or ill to his cause.
"Is very lucky, sirs," he said enthusiastically, smiling widely. "Today womans have tournament. Is very rare."
Sure enough, a crowd of people, mostly female, stood around a log, suspended in the air by four sturdy chains attached to great poles driven deep into the earth, and even as he watched, the negawarrior saw a young, purple-haired girl use a strange, multicolored mace to knock another woman from the log. Her lifeforce, like the redhead's and so many more of the village's inhabitants, was inordinately strong, and his thoughts returned to their invasion. If they were to attack this place and drain it, there would be more than enough lifeforce to secure Terra...assuming that the youma the Dark Kingdom could transport survived fighters of this caliber when they attacked. It certainly seemed that they knew ways of manipulating their lifeforces for attack and defense, and the dark general paled at the thought of all, or even the majority of, humans on Terra having this kind of power.
Considering his lack of reserves at that moment, the negawarrior crept away as the three he'd been following joined the crowd and sat down to watch the tournament. The brown-haired general walked into the village proper searching for prey, creeping from shadowed alley to sheltered corner to avoid detection, and soon he spotted a lone young woman carrying a basket of food toward the tournament grounds. Without warning, the dark general leapt at from behind a hut and brought his fist down on the back of the woman's neck, dropping her like a stone with negaforce-enhanced strength drawn from his own lifeforce. Thankfully, he did catch the amazon by surprise, and his assessment of her lifeforce and skill from his brief observation made it clear that it would have been quite a struggle if he hadn't managed to drop her with a single, unexpected blow.
Quickly, the negawarrior knelt beside his prey and placed his hands on her back, invoking the simplest of negaforce constructs, one intended to draw lifeforce from a victim into his reserves. After nearly five thousand years without, the feeling of lifeforce flowing into his reserves was almost enough to make him collapse. In fact, the woman had an astonishing amount of energy, even more than he'd expected from the sensory construct, and the dark general was amazed, as he replenished not quite a quarter of his reserves as he cut off the draining construct. He had forgotten how wonderful it felt to draw in the life, but as pleasurable as it was, he still managed to stop draining the woman before she was in any danger of dying.
Unlike two of his fellow generals and the queen, who thought nothing of killing to gain an extra boost of lifeforce from their victims, the brown-haired general refused to kill without good reason. Not even the general knew why, and Metallia knew that it caused him no end of trouble with the other generals. Only one of his fellow generals felt the same as he; it simply was something he would not do.
With his reserves somewhat replenished, the man decided to return to the tournament, and he arrived just in time to see that same girl with long, violet hair fly off the challenge log. It took him a moment to realize that she was launched into the air by an axe-kick from the girl he'd followed to the village, and a moment later, the referee of the tournament raised the redhead's arm to officially name her the victor.
The negawarrior smirked. He'd had a feeling that the girl was good, and this only affirmed that feeling. For some reason, the dark general had taken an instant liking to the cute, strangely clothed girl. Then, the dark general's smirk fell as the violet-haired girl walked up to the redhead and kissed her gently on the cheek. He noticed the fat man sneak away as the native girl drew another of her strange, multicolored maces and attacked.
The pigtailed girl parried the first strike and almost counterattacked when another woman from the village attacked with a spear, and then another with a strange, spiked polearm. It was all the girl could do to dodge all the attacks, and finally, she leapt high into the air, jumping over her attackers' heads. The redhead started running from her numerically superior foe, her panda following at her heels before the forming mob of women.
For no good reason the negawarrior could discern, the entire village was trying to kill the red-haired girl and her panda, and the girl could hardly hope to defeat fifty at once no matter how good she was. Coming to a decision after watching the chase for nearly ten minutes, the brown-haired man flew toward the scene. However, before he could reach the fleeing twosome, another arrow lanced from the pursuers at the pair. Unfortunately for them, this one was better aimed than most, and the panda fell forward with a grunt, the barbed arrow protruding from its back and blood spraying from the wound. As a long-time soldier, the dark general knew a severed artery as well as any field medic, even if it had been more than twenty millennia since he'd seen any wounded from the Universe, and he knew that there was little to no chance that the panda would survive without the healing magic so prolific during the Silver Millennium.
The girl screamed as she heard the animal grunt, and tears flowed from her eyes when she saw the downed panda. Obviously filled with pain and grief over the dying animal, she dropped into a combat stance and waited for the mob, a frenzied, nearly suicidal look coming to her eyes.
Sheer rage at both the approaching amazons and at the redhead's suicidal stand contorted the negawarrior's face as the mob reached the girl, and he launched a bolt of black energy into the mob, killing about ten in the dark explosion of power and tossing more into the air with the concussion. After that energy blast, he'd nearly depleted the lifeforce reserve he'd drained from the single woman in the village, but it did the trick. Funneling the last of his reserves into a menacing black aura around his form, obscuring his features in the process, he faced the surprised mob. Seeing what they obviously believed to be a daemon that could kill many with a single blast, most fled.
What few that remained were fighting the redhead, but if he looked like a daemon, she fought like one. With no regard for her own well-being, the pigtailed girl threw herself at her opponents, and one by one, they died at her hands. The whirling dance of death that was the redhead swept through the amazons, and some fell with their own weapons buried in their chests or necks and others from simple, straightforward bludgeoning. Despite the death and pain involved, the dark general was stunned by the beauty and grace the teenager displayed in her fight; few warriors the dark general had ever seen moved so smoothly in combat.
Finally, her last amazonian opponent dead, the girl turned toward the negawarrior, her teeth clenched in a snarl and a frenzied light in her eyes. For a moment, the dark general thought the girl would attack him, but after a moment, the feral look she'd had for the fight shattered as she fell to her knees, crying amongst the dead.
The brown-haired man stood quietly as the girl cried; there was nothing he could do to help when it came to emotional distress, as he'd learned so long ago. Finally, after nearly an hour in tears, the girl stood and walked to the panda. Kneeling next to the dead animal, she whispered what could only be a brief prayer for the animal, her murmuring voice sounding like pain itself, though he could not understand her words.
The red-haired girl knelt next to the body of her father, shock still predominating her mind as she said a short Shinto prayer for his spirit. The body of a panda seemed so wrong for her father's end, and it seemed strange to her that such thoughts would be the only thing that could penetrate her stunned mind. The martial artist knew that the wound was fatal when she saw her father fall, and she'd been ready to sacrifice her own life to avenge him. She was good, certainly, but the redhead knew that she wasn't good enough to beat fifty armed and skilled fighters, and she fully expected her facing the mob to be suicide. Of course, that brought her back to the stranger who'd helped her, and whether or not she wanted to live right now, she had to thank him for his help.
From the corner of her eye, the pigtailed teen could see the man waiting patiently for her to finish her last respects, and that meant a lot to the red-haired girl. Finally having recovered enough to speak, she stood from her place beside her father's body and approached the stranger.
"Thank you for your help," she said in a somewhat weak voice, the voice of one still in shock, she recognized dimly. "I would have died without it."
The man smiled slightly, a smile that said that he knew what she was going through and sympathized, and said, "Don't worry about it. My name is Nephrite."
"I'm Saotome Ranma," the girl replied.
Since this is a rewrite, I'm certain that many people will see some differences, but they are minor beyond moving certain events to a later part. The biggest change will be for Chapter One, as I will be adding a great deal more content and splitting it into two parts. This rewrite only covers from the Prologue to the end of Chapter 1 (for now), so don't worry about waiting forever on new stuff. I'll get Chapter 3 Part 5 out as soon as possible.
As always, I want to thank my prereaders for their excellent advice and proofreading skills. Later.
Second Rewrite Notes:
I've been getting a great deal of good advice from Larry F, the webmaster at the Lost Library of Florestica, since he agreed to give me a spot on his website, and that is what sparked this second rewrite. I hope everyone enjoys it.
Third Rewrite Notes:
It's been a long time since I've gotten to write anything, because I've been in school full time and working full time. It's a lot of work and doesn't leave me with much free time. However, I've realized that I've really missed writing, and this rewrite is also my way of refamiliarizing myself with the story so far. I hope to have something similar to regular updates now; I will finish writing Chapter 3 Part 6 as soon as I can. Later, all.