Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma 1/2, the characters in this story are fictional, similarity to any real persons, places, or event is coincidental and unintentional.

A Dragon Named Ranma II
Prologue
A Kingdom Born of Fire

Note: For those of you who didn't read A Dragon Named Ranma, the past versions of the Ranma ½ cast look identical to the future versions, but have slightly different personalities. Also they aren't cursed, though Ranma did get turned into a two headed dragon, and Cologne (The Great Grand Monster) was a giant.

The streets of Bubblybub were thriving, merchants and shoppers filled the market place, children ran through the streets busy at play, and wagon drivers shouted horrific obscenities as they swerved and crashed into each other trying to avoid the playing children. It was a beautiful sight.
Only a year after the war that had resulted in the slaughter of most of it's people the kingdom of Rubadub was back to it's normal, vibrant self, even more so now that they had made an alliance with Dirt, pilgrims from both lands migrated back and forth as the two cultures merged together at record speed.
Sounthur chuckled at the sight, and turned to his former First Knight Genmalot, "Beautiful, is it not?"
"It is encouraging, m'lord." Genmalot nodded.
Sounthur smiled, Genmalot had been his First Knight until the kingdom came under siege and rather than defending the walls with the other soldiers, the veteran fighter had instead opted to flee with Sounthur's ex-queen Nodokavere, the real betrayal was that Genmalot and Nodokavere used most of the good horses to carry away the palace treasures, so there was no horse for Sounthur to escape on.
However the two had reconciled, especially since Sounthur had a great need for knights after the crisis with the dragon who was now his son-in-law had depleted his once grand elite force of holy knights. Sounthur simply knew better than to rely on Genmalot in times of crisis.
But he felt a swell of enthusiasm in his chest, knew that such a time would never again come in his days. He let out a loud laugh, which caused Genmalot's helm to make a squeaking noise as he lifted the visor to raise a questioning eyebrow at his king.
"I know I am no more than the king of Rubadub, but I feel like the king of the world right now." Sounthur explained. "Everything is going my way, my city is repaired and filled with people, and as a added bonus because most of the men were killed in the war, the female population is six to one, finding a new Queen will be a snap! I might even amend the laws so I can have two!"
"Good luck with that." Genmalot shrugged. He was the reason Sounthur needed a new queen, and so far Sounthur was having problems meeting a girl who wouldn't start batting her eyelashes at the new First Knight, Ukygowain whenever she thought he wasn't looking. Yes Ukygo was also woman, but she dressed in manly cloths which made it hard to tell at times, her fair face made her the image of a very handsome, almost princely young man.
"I'll find one. Or two, just in case. And when I do I can finally settle down . . . again, and live out the remainder of my days in luxury." The king's smiled widened. "Better still, Princess Kasumian has married the royal chiropractor whose name I cannot recall–"
"You see this as a good thing?" Genmalot asked with concern, but Sounthur just continued.
"The wedding gifts alone refurnished the castle! My second daughter, Nabiatrix will be choosing one of her suitors this very night, which means more wedding gifts, I can furnish the vacation keep, and Arkane has written to me from the castle Sand, everything goes well between her and Prince Ranmorgan, they plan now for a child even. My kingdom thrives, and my seed thrives, and soon I shall see the next generation, how can a man not feel joy at this time?"
Genmalot shrugged. "You must understand sir, the truth is that our kingdom is quite weak right now, our order of holy knights numbers a mere three, our army is made of up conscripts, with myself and the few dozen veterans the only people in the city with real battle experience we could be invaded by our weakest neighbor and still be hard pressed to repel them."
"That is what we are here fore." An attractive young man adorned in crimson robes rode up next to them, catching Sounthur by surprise.
It was the Red Knight of Dirt, Sir. Kaneosuke. "So long as my Red Legion guards your lands, no force, foreign or domestic can threaten your kingdom."
"The friendship of Prince Ranmorgan of Dirt is indeed lucrative." Sounthur said honestly.
"I am not sure if Prince Ranmorgan is interested in men . . ." Kaneosuke said apologetically.
"Lucrative means profitable." Sounthur explained.
"Ah, I see . . . are you sure? Well in that case, so is a friendship with King Sounthur of Rubadub." Kaneosuke said. "M'lord, I was wondering if perhaps the princess Nabiatrix had left you with any hints as to whom her choice will be?"
Sounthur chuckled. "She's spoken not a word to me on the matter, but she agreed to make the decision tonight readily enough. I wish you luck Sir Kaneosuke, but my daughter is quite . . . capricious, there's no telling whom she'll choose."
Kaneosuke let out a hearty laugh. "That is a quality that I love, she is in every way the sort of woman I have dreamt of marrying all my life. Uh . . . if you will excuse me m'lord, I must be going," Kaneosuke said, turning his horse down an alleyway, which caused Sounthur to tilt his head to the side in wonder.
"I do not like him." Genmalot grunted quietly.
"Then be glad that it is Nabiatrix, and not yourself that will wed him." Sounthur chuckled.
"Sire . . . how can you trust this man?"
"Should I not?" Sounthur asked, confused. "Ranmorgan trusts him."
"And can you trust Ranmorgan?" Genmalot asked.
Sounthur laughed. "He is my son-in-law, of course I can trust him. It is not as if he's done anything to lose my trust, it is not as if he has stolen my wife, or abandoned my kingdom in it's time of need."
Genmalot lowered his gaze and shook his head, but Sounthur decided to ignore it, and continue to enjoy his ride through the market place, completely forgetting about the alley Kaneosuke had gone into.

As evening fell over the kingdom, Princess Nabiatrix examined herself closely in the mirror, searching for even the tiniest flaw in her clothing. Her elder sister, Kasumian was with her, giving her opinion on various outfits.
Nabiatrix wanted to look perfect. After a year, she had to look perfect.
Kasumian had assured her that wearing nothing was not an option, though Nabiatrix was fairly certain it would please every man in the room far more than any dress she could ever wear.
She was not at all thrilled with her father's pressuring her to marry, especially since she'd decided that the road to success would be to remain unwedded. That he had all but demanded she announce her decision tonight had left her in a rage for several hours, however having no choice in the matter, she had already made her decision, and she was certain it was the best one she could have made.
She smiled into the mirror, indeed, it was the best choice she could have hoped to make, though a part of her regretted the necessity of it. Perhaps she was just being selfish. And yet it was shameful for her, the most attractive of her sisters to remain unmarried, was it not?
"I believe you have found the perfect garment for tonight." Kasumian said.
Nabiatrix looked into the mirror, the dress she now wore was indeed beautiful, it was orange, red and gold, when she moved the colors seemed to dance together like flames. 'Fitting.' She thought to herself. "I agree." She said aloud to her sister.
"I cannot tell you how proud I am of you," Kasumian said, "if our mother were still alive, I am certain that she would feel the same."
Nabiatrix smiled. "I am glad you feel that way." She said.
"Is there any chance you'll tell me whom it is you've chosen to be your husband?" Kasumian asked.
Nabiatrix laughed. "I want that to be a surprise, dear sister."
"The options are nothing but good, the head of Ranmorgan's Crimson Army, the son of the Principal Regent."
"And yet you are content with a landless chiropractor." Nabiatrix sighed. "I wonder which of us is truly the fortunate one."
In the mirror Nabiatrix could see Kasumian was about to say something, likely to comfort her after such a slip of words, but just then a guard knocked on her door, she sighed and bade him to come in.
"A thousand pardons m'lady, but first kni–uh Sir. Genmalot the Axe is here to see you."
"Send him in." Nabiatrix sighed.
Genmalot entered, his armor squeaking terribly. "Princess . . ." He said. "I hate to trouble you on this, your most precious of days–"
"Get to the point, or be gone." Nabiatrix said crossly.
"Yes . . . well I grow very concerned with the state of our fair city, nay kingdom."
"This from the man who abandoned us in the face of almost certain doom?"
Genmalot scowled. "M'lady, your father is blinded to the truth, I thought that you, who has always had a sharper wit, would have noticed, or would at least be willing to hear my words."
"Then speak them." Nabiatrix said cooly.
Genmalot took a deep breathe. "I do not trust Sir. Kaneosuke."
"Did Kunobir send you to influence my decision? Tell Tatewa-Kay that my mind has been made up." Nabiatrix said with a dismissing wave.
"Madam, when Ranmorgan and Arkane were married it meant that upon your father's retirement the two kingdoms would be merged. After the battle with the dwarves he ordered his Crimson Legion to remain in Rubadub, along with other elements of his forces, our people were too weak not to be grateful."
"Ranmorgan wanted to ensure that he and my sister would have a kingdom left to inherit." Nabiatrix reasoned.
"Yes, that seems reasonable. But I have conducted an investigation. The Crimson Legion has begun recruiting young and able bodied men from the populace, and the families of the old legionnaires have been migrating along with other Dirt refugees, unnoticed until now. These men are here to stay, and they are establishing themselves in various strategically important positions."
"So Ranmorgan seeks to ensure that my father hands the kingdom over to him, by force if necessary." Nabiatrix feigned realization.
"This is what I fear." Genmalot said. "Worse, while our men were nearly slaughtered on the walls defending this castle and this city, the Legion arrived late and merely finished off the enemy, and they are seen as invulnerable heroes, the young men would rather flock to their banner than to ours m'lady, still your father refuses to conscript soldiers from the populace, if Kaneosuke were to mount an insurrection . . ."
"Why do you tell me this?" Nabiatrix asked. "You expect me to wed Kaneosuke and turn him against Ranmorgan?" She turned to give Genmalot a look that suggested how ludicrous the idea seemed to her.
"No . . . I ask that you speak with your father, find some way to convince him to send Kaneosuke and his legions away, leave the defense of the kingdom's borders to Lady Ukygo and myself." Genmalot said.
"Did it ever occur to you that Ranmorgan's men are growing more comfortable here because in another ten years or so the two kingdoms will be one? Perhaps it is well that our people grow accustomed to the sight of these crimson soldiers." Nabiatrix said.
"The thought had occurred to me my lady, but I do not believe we should take such a risk, we must at least gauge Ranmorgan's reaction should he be asked to remove the troops."
"I see . . ." Nabiatrix said, imagining various painful deaths for Genmalot. "I will speak to my father, I assure you. I will die before I see Ranmorgan steal this kingdom from under my father's nose." She said firmly, Kasumian gave her a concerned look, so she continued, "To inherit the kingdom is one thing, to subtly threaten us into handing it over is an entirely different matter, it cannot be allowed."
Genmalot looked content, and took his leave, Nabiatrix decided to further comfort Kasumian, "The man speaks madness, he seeks a way to prove himself after the betrayal, I do not doubt that he would say anything to create a rift between father and Ranmorgan."
"His concerns should still be brought before father." Kasumian said.
"And when the time is right, I will tell him." Nabiatrix assured her sister. "I'll not get him worked up over nothing, sister dear."
"I suppose you are correct." Kasumian said softly.
"As I always am." Nabiatrix said, looking back into the mirror. 'I am always correct.'
"Tonight Nabiatrix, you'll be taking that step into true adulthood." Kasumian said with a sigh.
"I took that step when I was fifteen." Nabiatrix pointed out.
"Uh . . . I didn't mean that." Kasumian said, shifting uncomfortably at the unnecessary information.
"Mean what?" Nabiatrix asked innocently.
"Uh . . . look, what I mean to say is tonight your life will change, hopefully for the better." Kasumian said.
Nabiatrix laughed. "Sister, tonight everything changes. And it will be for the better, I promise."
Kasumian smiled, not realizing the true meaning of her younger sister's words . . .