Cats and Dogs: Inuyasha Nibunnoichi
By Bruce Cougar
Disclaimer: These characters, settings, and events are the works of Rumiko Takahashi, not me. I am merely borrowing them for this story so don't sue me please. Note: This is an AU story so events might be a little different, or really diferent, or not happen at all. If this makes you unhappy that this isn't like the anime or manga THEN READ OR WATCH RANMA 1/2 AND DON'T COMPLAIN! Thank you and I hope you enjoy my story.
'Indicates internal thought'
The Wandering Youth
How long has it been?
He wondered this to himself as walked down the dirt road. By his rough guess, he had been traveling for more than ten years. This made sense considering since he was six, he had been on his own. Well, more or less on his own. He gone from dojo to dojo, from temple to temple, learning what he could from the various masters and priests he had stayed with. When he was old enough, he set fourth into the world on a quest to become the best martial artist he could. He eagerly studied martial arts throughout his life, always wanting to improve upon his skills.
Why martial arts, of all things he could have been interested in?
Legato stopped for a moment to think back on his childhood, which brought up the painful memories, that had been his life early on. He had been a martial artist. The man who by name only was is father. He had never known his father, he had left shortly after getting his mom pregnant, taking off at the first sign of responsibility. This left his mother to raise him herself.
The task had not been easy, as the village people looked down upon her as an outcast for bearing an illegitimate son. This, of course, made Legato an outcast as well in many people's eyes. Even his mother's family refused to acknowledge the person that brought dishonor and shame upon the family name.
Despite all of this, Kirika managed to rear her son to be a nice boy. She taught him manners, to be polite and considerate, to help others, and most importantly, to take responsibly for his actions. This did not help win people over as they still considered Legato a shameful excuse, but Kirika could rest easy knowing that she had set her son on the right path.
When Kirika died of lung cancer when he was six, Legato was left all alone. His relatives were less than enthusiastic to accept him, and more than willing to pawn him off on anyone that wanted him. The teacher at the local dojo was the first of his surrogate parents. It was there that he began learning martial arts. The master was a little reluctant, knowing Legato's father had been a martial artist, but the boy showed interest and the man soon discovered the he had a lot of potential.
From there, Legato had traveled all over Japan, never staying in any place for very long. With his uncanny learning curve, he learned much faster than the other students. The longest stop on his journey was about a one week. The reason he remained at that particular spot was to learn a secret technique from a civil engineer.
This engineer discovered that by using one's depression as a medium and to fuel their chi, a person could then release chi attacks with devasting result. The man named this move after a lion who roars with despair as it falls down a cliff and loses it's own kingdom. It's name was the Lion's Roar Shot(Shi Shi Hokodan).
"With my past and all those bad memories, getting depressed itn't exactly something that's hard to do. I guess a walk down memory lane can really be usefull sometimes." Legato muttered to himself.
Legato thought back to when he had come across the tiny man. He was taking shelter in a abandoned mine one night when the ground had shifted, causing a cave-in. Legato tried for hours to clear the debris, but to no avail. He had all but given up hope when he was approached by a small man. The man said in order to get free, Legato would have to learn the Lion's Roar Shot.
He said that a martial artist like him would have no problem with this move. After taking him through the move step by step, the man said the most important thing was to have the right frame of mind. The key to making the move work was to have a heavy ki, for that you had to be thinking unhappy and depressing thoughts. That was something Legato wasn't in short supply of.
Together they blasted away the rubble with no problem. The engineer was impressed by the youth's power and offered to train the boy personaly. Of course Legato accept the man's offer after seeing firsthand what an amazing technique it was. He was given a scroll with instructions to the move on it to study and told meet at the mine everyday.
Legato spend the rest of the week working beside the man, clearing away rocks and other material. The more he practice, the more powerful he could make the Lion's Roar Shot become. Legato was shocked to read in the scroll that what he was doing wasn't the perfected form of the technique.
When he asked the engineer, the man man said the move had two forms. The first was the way he had been doing it up until now. The other, the man said was something Legato had to learn on his own. Legato looked over the scroll several times before he figured it out. The scroll only had an arrow pointing down saying that this is what the move should look like perfected.
Legato was puzzled until he thought of the old saying 'what goes up must come down'. He thought back to the heavy ki that was required. Heavy things sink, but inorder to do that they have to be higher then what they were. That realization made the solution obvious: release the energy skyward to have it fall on the opponent.
When he related this revelation to the tiny engineer Legato was congrugulated, told he had figured out how to perform the Ultimate lion's Roar Shot, and was told his training was complete. The boy was then told to wait till his ki was at its heaviest.
That time came on the annivesary of his mother's death, a very difficult time for him every year. This time it had been especialy painful since it was the ten year anniversary. On that day, it was like someone had opened a locked door unleashing grief, depression, and bad memories.
When he thought he couldn't take it anymore, Legato released all the built up ki inside. the result was a massive chi pillar ascending directly above him. The energy ball hung in the air for a moment, as though it was suspended by some invisible hand, before violently crashing back down to earth.
all of this Legato was only somewhat aware of. He remebered releasing his chi, then everything became distant in his mind. when he came to his senses again, he was standing in the middle of a crater. He knew then and there he had perfected the Lion's Roar Shot. while this in no means relieved him of the grief this day had brought, it did to help raise his spirt by this acomplishment.
'To each his own I suppose.' Legato thought to himself as he continued down the direction to the training ground. He always prided himself about his quick learning skills that had allowed him to pick up any technique or fighting style in a matter of days or even hours.
Although his fighting skills were quite impressive, he was a little saddened by the fact the besides the Lion's Roar Shot, he had no other special attacks. He had strength well above most people, his speed was considerable, and his reflexes made very few people his equals or his betters.
He was way ahead of anyone else in his age group by a noticable amount. All of these things were the results of years of dedication, hardwork, and vigorous training. Legato wasn't given any of that on a silver platter. He had worked hard to achieve all of the good things in his life.
Legato stopped next to a small pond to gaze at his reflection, to look at the man he had become. He was tall, well muscled, lean, and fit. He had long black hair, brown eyes, and a face that most considered handsome. He smiled and started walking again.
He wasn't full of himself like some people tended to be about their looks or abilities, he just was proud of who he had become. His mother had taught him early on not to be cocky or a show-off because those people alienated others with their attitudes. She told what his so-called father had been like. He had been greedy, selfish, arrogant, and deceitful. His mother said that she never really loved him, it was more of a passion-of-the-moment that brought them together, but she said that she didn't regret it. Although all he left her with nothing more than his name, she ended up getting much more. After all, she had a wonderful son in her life and despite what others said about them, she loved him with all her heart.
Early on Legato had vowed to himself to become the opposite of how his father had been. He trained hard every single day and the journey had been a lonely one. He never really had any friends due to his constant traveling and had gotten use to being a loner.
Legato shrugged these thoughts off as he was nearing his destination. When the opportunity to travel to China relatively cheap arose, Legato was more that eager to take it. In exchange for work, he was given free passage over on a cargo ship.
True, he didn't know how to read or speak Chinese, but it was too good a chance to miss. The training and knowledge he picked while in China was invaluable to his journey. While on the road, he had managed to learn of an ancient Chinese training ground.
From what he heard the place was legendary and all the great martial artists had been there to train. When Legato arrived at his destination he was greeted by a large man.
"Welcome to Jusenkyo, place of cursed springs." The large man said in bad japanese.
"Is this the ancient training ground that martial artists used?" Legato asked with curiosity and hope.
"Yes sir, this is site where many martial artists train, even though it place of many tragic… Wait sir! Where you going! I haven't finished my story! It very bad if you fall in!" The guide found himself talking to air as Legato had long since set his pack down and leapt onto the closest pole.
Legato shrugged off what the man had said. He wasn't here to here stories, he was here to train. 'Places like this have always got a story, easier to sell souvenirs that way.' Thought Legato as he began his balancing practice. 'This place doesn't seem that bad, wonder what that guy was worried about...' He put these thoughts aside as he immersed himself in his movements. He performed flips through the air and landing with the grace of a cat on each pole.
"Please sir, I haven't finished my story, each spring hold terrible curse! I say it very bad you fall in. Please listen!"
Legato increased his speed as he moved form one pole to another. He became a moving blur while performing increasingly difficult aerial moves. 'If I land on each of these polls without falling once, than all my training will have paid off!' He smiled as continued his exercise. About ten minutes later Legato was satisfied with himself. 'Just a few more and I'll be done.' He had made it a goal to land on each and every pole before leaving.
"He might be first one in long time not to… oh, spoke to soon." The guide said to himself as he watched the boy.
Legato had landed a pole to catch his breath for a second when tragedy struck. That particular pole had badly been in need of repair; of course no one was stupid enough to risk fixing it, in fear of falling in. So it was no surprise (except to Legato of course) that the top of it gave under the boy's weight.
Legato's eyes widened in horror as he found that he was no longer standing, but instead falling towards a pool below him.
The guide hurried up to the pool to wait for the newly cursed person to emerge. "Too bad, he fall in spring, now he cursed rest of life." Said the guide. For a few seconds, there was no sign of life, and then bubbles appeared on the water.
Slowly, a hand broke through the water's surface and reached for the bank. When it felt solid ground, the head, along with the rest of the body appeared. Legato trudged out of the spring, soaking wet, with a crossed look on his face.
"I messed up, damn, now I'll have to start all over again." He then looked over at the guide, who was just staring at him. "What?" Legato asked as shook excess water from his body.
The Jusenkyo guide had the benefit of working at the training ground all his life. Anyone else would have taken one look at the newly transformed youth and run away. However, it was his job to explain the curses to people and comfort them.
When Legato finished shaking, he pulled away some hair that was in his eyes. It was at that moment that he realized something was wrong; the hair he was holding was not his usual long black hair, but long strands of silvery-white hair.
"That's weird; my hair's all white…" He looked at the guide with a look of confusion on his face.
"I try to warn, you no listen to me, no one ever listen, you fall in cursed spring." The man said matter-of-factly.
Legato laughed nervously as he scratched the back of his head. "Yeah well… I guess I should've paid attention to you now I have… Ow! What the..." He pulled his hand away as he felt something dig into his skin. When he looked at his hand received his second shock of the day. His fingernails were longer, and from what he just felt, were sharper then usual.
'Did I forget to trim these?' He looked at his other hand and saw that it too sported long and sharp nails.
'I thought I trimmed them yesterday unless…' He looked back at the guide holding his hands up for him to see.
"Tell me, is this… I mean are these because of… you know that spring I fell in?" Legato said.
The guide nodded. "Yes sir they like that because you now cursed." He then began searching through his coat for a sign with the proper name of the spring on it.
"Cursed!" Legato exclaimed as he grabbed one of the two manes of hair that he usually draped over his shoulders and looked quickly between it and his free hand.
There was a long silence as he just stood there pondering these shocking turn of events. To say that this was unusual would have been an understatement. Legato took some deep breathes to calm himself and look at the situation more logically. 'My hair's white and I have long nails, well I guess this isn't that bad… I mean, I could have it much worse than this.'
Legato sighed "I can always dye my hair back." He then wiggled his fingers in front of the guide. "And as for these, I'll just file my nails down to their right size." He smiled confidently thinking he solved his problems and everything was back to normal.
However, fate would not allow this to be dealt with so easily.
The guide could stare in disbelief as the boy smiled, totally oblivious to the reality of the situation. "Uh sir? They no nails sir. They claws." The guide said quietly.
He found himself speechless; nails were one thing, but claws? The guide decided that this was as good a time as any. "Sir, maybe you should get a good look at yourself." Legato turned around to see his reflection in the pool he had fallen in.
No other event in his life, with the exception of his mother's death, could prepare him or even come close to the shock of what he saw.
Gone was the black-haired martial artist that he should've seen, instead, was a bewildered stranger staring back at him. This stranger had the white hair and claws that Legato had recently acquired, and he had on the clothes identical to what he wore. Even the face was for the most part the same. It was the differences that made this boy a stranger to Legato.
For one thing, he had in his mouth what looked like fangs. He slowly checked with his tongue to make sure, and they proved to be very much so. Another thing was that this stranger's eyes were not brown like his, but golden-yellow eyes that seemed to look into his very soul. But the most shocking feature on this stranger, the one that caused Legato's hope of a normal life to shatter before his very eyes, sat on top of his head.
This stranger didn't have ears on the sides of his head, like any human would, but in place of them were a pair of dog ears that were on his head. Legato slowly reached a hand to touch one, hoping and praying with all his heart that it was just an illusion of the water. His hopes turned to despair as he felt the furry thing was very much real and very much belong to him.
'What happened to me?' Legato thought to himself as he took hold of his other ear with his free hand and gave both gentle tugs to make sure. Unfortunately, he felt the tugs and could not deny they were his. He sank to his knees and stare at his reflection in the spring.
"You fall in Spring of Drowned Dog Demon, very tragic story of dog demon who drown there five hundred years ago, it very cursed spring." The guide said as he showed him the sign.
"All of this because I fell into a stupid pool!"
The demon boy angrily said as stood and confronted the Chinese man.
"Correct sir, whoever fall in is cursed to take body of dog demon when they get wet."
"But I can't stay like this! Look at me, I am a monster!" Legato exclaimed
"Calm down sir, hot water will change you back to old self." The guide went to the house to fetch some hot water.
"It will?" Legato said eagerly as he followed the man.
'A little hot water and I am cured.' He thought to himself as they reached the house. His hopes soared with the thought of being cured just after he was cursed.
"Cure only temporary though, next time you get hit with cold water you change again." He came back out with a kettle.
"Temporary?" Repeated Legato as his hopes came crashing back down almost to what they were before.
'I get splashed with some water and I change back into
this.' A look of disgust spread across his face as he made a quick glance at his transformed claws.
"Here you go sir." With that, the guide began pouring the contents over his head. Legato closed his eyes as he silently prayed for him to be returned to his former self. When he opened his eyes again he found guide with a nervous look on his face. When he looked at his hands he found that nothing had changed.
"That funny, it no do that before." The guide scratched him forehead in wonder.
"Maybe you didn't use enough." Legato quickly said as he took the kettle and dumped all of water over him. When the kettle was empty he looked again to his hands and much to his disappointment, his claws were still there.
"What the hell! I thought you said that hot water changes me back!" Legato's temper was now on the rise and the guide now was worried.
"Hot water should change back, that way it always works."
"If hot water doesn't work than maybe it's the other way around. Maybe cold water does it."
"It worth a try." The guide disappeared into the house. A moment later he returned with a bucket filled with the liquid in question.
"This had better work." Legato's patience was understandably thin.
He took the bucket and upended it over his head. He then patted his head only to discover that he still had dog ears.
"Hey." He said quietly as set the bucket down slowly and got right in the Chinese man's face. He then proceeded to grab the man by his collar and lift him one-handed off his feet.
"I couldn't help noticing that I am not changing back." Legato said, barely keeping his voice in check. Legato was somewhat surprised of easily he lifted the heavy man using not even close to half his strength.
"Please sir; I don't know why you don't change. They always in past change with hot water." The man was now almost certain he wouldn't live to see the sunset.
"You're the guide here; you're supposed to know these things!" Legato angrily shook the man wanting an answer to his demands.
"I tell you not to go, you no listen, no one to blame but yourself."
That was definitely the wrong thing to say in a delicate situation like this and the Chinese man regretted it immediately.
"What did you just say?" Legato narrowed his eyes and pulled back his free hand and made it into a fist.
The man flinched and covered his face. It was not uncommon for cursed visitor to take out their anger and frustration on the Jusenkyo guides, physical aggression more often then not.
"Please don't sir, beating me no solve problem."
The fat man made one last attempt to reason with the dog demon boy before closing his eyes and waiting for the pain.
But it never came.
"You're right." The boy said quietly. He stood like a statue deep in thought with the man still dangling. He hung his head with the realization that this was permanent and that there was no going back.
The dog-eared martial artist knew that hurting the man would do him no good and that it wasn't his fault he was now stuck like this. He waited till he was calm again before speaking.
"I can't change back can I?" His tone was a sad one as he already knew the answer.
"No you can't, so sorry sir, Jusenkyo work in weird ways."
Legato sighed. "Its okay you tried to warn me, you did the best you could, I am sorry I got angry, please forgive me." With that he put the man back on the ground.
"It okay sir, to tell you the truth most people react badly, very hazardous job sometime."
"Yeah I guess I did kinda overreact." Legato replied as he went to retrieve his backpack from where he left it.
"What will you do now sir?" Like many other victims of Jusenkyo, the boy now had an appearance that would undoubtedly cause fear and confuse among most people.
Legato had it even worse because he couldn't hide himself with a little hot water.
"Find myself." Legato said to no one in particular.
He smiled and turned to the man.
"I guess today is a new chapter in my life. That spring changed me in ways I haven't even begun to understand. I still don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing, but now I learn to adapt to this change."
"Where will you go?"
"Into the mountains I guess. After all, this is going to make socializing with people very interesting task even if I could speak Chinese. And besides, I need to be by myself for awhile."
That last part was very ironic because throughout his whole life he had been on his own. Now, he was going to have a hard time dealing with the people he encountered.
"Do you have a cloak I could use? Something with a hood to hide… well you know."
"Yes, I think I have just right size."
The guide went into the house and came out with a cloak that proved to be a good fit. Legato pulled the hood over his head and looked to the man for appraisal.
"How do I look?" Legato asked
"Cloak hide features well, no can tell you cursed,"
The guide replied.
"Then I'll be taking my leave." He put his backpack on and began to walk away.
"Take care sir."
The guide watched as the youth continued on his way. Meanwhile, Legato was pondering what he should do next. 'My body may have changed but it's still me on the inside. Maybe this isn't so bad after all.' He decided to reserve judgment on his new body until after properly testing it. He wasn't certain what life would be like from here on out, but one thing was certain; it was going to be interesting. The thought of that made him smile his first fanged smile, because if nothing else, Legato enjoyed a good challenge!
-END PART 1-
Coming Soon: Part 2, Legato spends some quality time getting to know himself and starts to discover that being a demon isn't so bad after all!
Author's notes: Part 1 is finally done. Writing the first chapter took more time then I thought. All chapters after this probably won't be so long. I decided to create a new character for this series. A character who is not out for revenge like some characters are in Ranma 1/2 but does have a bad past, emotional baggage, and has been wronged. A person trying to make up for his rough beginning. But don't make the mistake of thinking Legato is a goody-goody pushover, espically now as a demon. Also, try not to think of him as a Ranma clone. From reading this you probably thinking that this "Dog Demon" sounds familiar and you're right, it is Inuyasha. I know he's not in Ranma ½, but read the disclaimer again a little more carefully. Why the Shi Shi Hokodan? I don't think it's so horrible to have a special move at the beginning. Well take it from me, a not so good childhood and the death of someone you loved dearly is all you need to be depressed. Also Legato didn't do anything to make himself depressed like Ryoga making Akane say that she hated him, those bad memories were already there. That said, is it really that bad to use those memories to help him succeed? Think about that. More Ranma goodness on the way so sit tight. I would like to hear from the readers, about mispelled words and other errors I didn't catch, or simply what you thought of it. Constructed critism is welcome but just don't tell I am an idiot or my story sucks, that gets me nowhere.