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Chapter 7 (isn't it?)

Yizume Roka was not a man who believed in lying.

He had been raised a priest, groomed to take hold of the magical treasures the world had to offer. Starting, of course, with a mystical sword that would grant the user three wishes. His death had begun the day Tatewaki Kuno, only seventeen years old, had taken the sword from the shrine where it was kept. He'd been there, he'd seen the arrogance on the man's face.

Kuno had been given the world—the world HE, Yizume Roka, was supposed to be given. And he squandered it. He was given power after power, and all of these he squandered, lost. Enchanted eggs, magical swords, everything. And after years of searching for the other artifacts, Roka had come to a shocking realization.

Everything Kuno did not take, his compatriots took. A group of CHILDREN living in a suburb of Tokyo had, nearly twenty years ago, almost drained the Eastern Hemisphere of its magic. Togenkyo, Jusendo, Jusenkyo, and all the treasures and artifacts to be found therein—they even got to the Amazons.

Of course, they were no longer children. They were old now, almost as old as him, and they had children of their own. And he knew, from experience, that the best way to strike at someone is to strike at their children. It had happened to him once, years before, when the shrine where he was living was attacked by bandits.

If he had possessed the magic at that point that he would have naturally accumulated, without the interference of the Nerimans, he could have saved them.

His search was almost over, he'd infiltrated the Kuno residence, he'd convinced the idiotic Tatewaki that he was in fact an old friend of Kodachi's. Now all that was required was patience. His chance would come. Soon. Very soon.

(Nerima Wrecking Crew)

"Koemi-chan, open wide!" Makoto smiled, holding out a bite of okonomiyaki to her. Her nose wrinkled up, and she stared at his outstretched hand with it's stained chopsticks in distaste.

"I have to. . . um . . . go to the bathroom," she muttered, and fled. Makoto watched her leave, his eyes completely vacant of any thought.

Ryouga and Ukyou exchanged a knowing glance. She gestured toward the table where the blue-haired young man was sitting. Resigned, Ryouga sighed and slid in next to Makoto.

"Hey there, Romeo," he said. Makoto blinked at him, obviously unaware that he'd sat down at the booth.

"Ryouga-san. When did you get to Ucchan's?" he asked. Ryouga decided not to comment. It was no fair to tease a man so obviously gone over a girl. Had he ever been so young?

"Listen, Makoto, you obviously like this Koemi girl a lot," Ryouga started. Makoto sighed, dreamily.

"Yeah. Isn't she just great?" he asked. Ryouga resisted the impulse to beat Makoto's head into a wall until the infatuation bled out of him.

"Yeah, a real peach of a girl. Listen, you're going to make her retch if you keep that up. In fact, I think you already have. I know you've made the rest of us here in the restaurant sick to our stomachs."

"What are you trying to say?"

"I'm saying, ease up. Stop trying to feed her. Just. . . talk to her and stuff, okay? You're making the rest of us lose our appetites," Ryouga sighed, getting up. He cleared the booth just before Koemi came back.

"You okay?" Makoto asked, his eyes full of actual awareness again. Thank goodness for small miracles. Koemi nodded, and looked relieved when he began talking to her about school, and plans for the summer.

"Say, Ryouga," Ukyou said, watching her former compatriot out of the corner of her eye. He gave her a fanged smile. "I seem to recall you being the most clueless boy ever born, when it came to dates. Since when does your brain work?"

"I was NOT clueless," Ryouga insisted, leaning on her counter. She flipped the okonomiyaki she'd been working on.

"Reeeeally. I seem to recall a certain young man wearing a yellow bandanna sitting in that very same seat, eating a cup because he was so nervous about his date."

"When was that?" Ryouga asked, genuine puzzlement on his face. Ukyou rolled her eyes.

"Let me paint the picture for you. You sat there, Akane sat next to you, all decked out in her martial arts gi—honestly, what you boys saw in her, I'll never understandand you began crushing one of your cups and eating it. And saying it was the most delicious thing you'd ever tasted."

"Come to think of it. . . wow, and I thought you'd just burned the okonomiyaki to a crisp," he said, thoughtfully. Quite suddenly, he found his brains being forcibly rearranged in his head, courtesy of Ukyou's giant spatula.

"I do NOT burn food," she grated. He rubbed the lump growing on his head, and grimaced.

"Okay, okay. Sheesh. I can't believe you still carry that thing. It's been, what, eighteen years? Twenty?"

"I can't believe you still insult me while I'm holding it. You'd think after a few decades even the most lost of boys would find some sense."

(Nerima Wrecking Crew, eating candy)

Takeo didn't go into the house when he first got home. He'd had a really, really bad day—math test—and he wanted to work out in the dojo before facing his mother's questions about school. So, as quietly as possible, he snuck around back and into the dojo.

But when he got there, it wasn't empty.

Five girls, his age and older, were going through a kata in perfect unison. They all had the same purple hair, the same coke-bottle glasses, and the same long, flowing white robes. As one, they turned to look at him, breaking out of their kata.

"What the hell is this, Children of the Corn?" he asked. As one, they all narrowed their dark green eyes at him. He took a half-step backward.

"You're the son of Ranma Saotome?" the biggest one asked. He nodded. "Then get in here and fight me, we've got a score to settle before our meddling parents interfere."

(Nerima Wrecking Crew, did you know they have green tea candy in Japan? Gross)

"Wow. So you guys are Amazons, huh?" Goro asked, taking a sip of green tea. Both Shampoo and Mousse nodded, mutely. "And your daughter is married to one of the twins, because he beat her in combat?"

"The last time we were in Japan visiting," Mousse smiled. "It was so sweet, the kids all fighting in the yard. As I remember, little Ayame was quite the firecracker back then. She was only six, but she had a temper even worse than her mother's."

"Which is big, big statement," Shampoo giggled. Goro eyed her suspiciously. She wasn't. . . no WAY that woman gave birth to five kids. No way. No chance in hell.

"The twins didn't really want to fight our girls, because they were so much younger. Li Wei, the oldest, was only four or so at the time. But Makoto beat her, fair and square," Mousse said, with a grudging sort of respect that Goro, not knowing the history of the two people in front of him, did not quite understand.

"So Makoto is engaged to Li Wei?" Goro asked, thinking back on what he'd been told thus far. Shampoo shook her head.

"No, is married. Is sacred Amazon law."

Before Goro could question that further, the door opened and three laughing people trekked through the door.

"So he never figured out that your girl side is you? Unbelievable!" Ayame's voice rang out. Shampoo and Mousse grinned at each other.

"Wo juen tamen meimei hen piaoliang," Shampoo murmured. Mousse smiled softly at herthe kind of smile that made Goro feel like an intruder onto the scene.

"Ni tai piaoliang, Shampoo," he whispered. Shampoo blushed.

"Wo ai ni," she whispered, and they both stood to go greet the Saotome's.

(Nerima Wrecking Crew, can you imagine eating a freaking green tea lollypop? And yes, that was Chinese. So ha.)

"Mocchio, will you please make sure Yori gets home? She has her father's sense of direction," Dr. Tofu smiled, patting his nephew on the shoulder. Mocchio nodded, sullenly. Kasumi gave Yori a big hug before turning her in the direction of the door.

"All right now, Yori-chan, you come back tomorrow and we'll have some more cooking lessons, all right?" she said. Yori nodded happily. Kasumi turned her angelic smile on Mocchio, "And you'll bring her back tomorrow, won't you, nephew? I'd love to see more of you this summer."

"If you want, Aunt Kasumi," the defeated martial artist said, softly. He turned to go. "Come on, Goliath, we'd better get started home."

"Now, Mocchio, you can be civil. Go on ahead, I'd like to talk to Yori for a minute," Dr. Tofu scolded, before Yori could even open her mouth to reply. Mocchio glowered at his uncle, but he went. As soon as the blue-haired boy was out of earshot, Dr. Tofu turned to Yori.

"I know he's cruel now, but he's not always like that," he offered, in apology. "He's just scared."

"And he should be. I can whip his butt six ways from Sunday," Yori grinned. Dr. Tofu shook his head.

"Not that kind of scared. Give him a bit of a chance, and he'll come around," he said, tapping her on the lower back before showing her to the door.

"Tofu, darling, I don't think that will work," Kasumi whispered to her husband, as they watched the two children bicker all the way down the sidewalk. "What if he leaves her behind when she can't walk?"

"I ought to have known you'd see that," Tofu smiled, a little sheepishly. "You're too smart for me, darling."

"What if he leaves her behind?" she pressed. He shook his head.

"He won't. As soon as that pressure point goes into effect and she's helpless, he'll start showing his true colors. Trust me. It worked on your sister and Ranma."

"When did you use it on them, dear?" Kasumi asked, obviously not convinced.

"Why, just a few weeks after Ranma arrived," Dr. Tofu answered.

"And when did they finally come to an understanding?"

"I think I see your point."

(Nerima Wrecking Crew)

I'm so sorry it took so long, I have been extremely busy. In fact, in order to get this out, I have been neglecting several important tasks. But, I thought it was time. The Amazon girls will have normal Chinese names—I'm sorry about that, but it just didn't feel right the other way. So. And Yizume Roka. . . you thought I forgot about him, didn't you? It was tempting to pretend I'd never let him into the picture, but I figured I'd written him in already, and I might as well. . . stay tuned for the beautiful WAFF that is to come!

Oh, by the way, the Chinese meant : I bet their little sister is pretty.

You're too pretty, Shampoo.

I love you.

Isn't college wonderful?