Happosai muttered as he dumped a bag of his prized treasures on the floor of his room. Muttering about uppity youngsters in general and Ranma in particular, he dug through his treasures, looking for something that would teach the little snot a lesson. He pulled out a steel girdle and bra set, and examined it briefly before tossing it over his shoulder. "Bah... Stupid Valkyries..." Crash! Another item joined the rapidly growing pile as the old letch continued his search. He kept muttering, "no... no... no...." as he examined items one by one before discarding them.
Finally, after about an hour of search, Happosai raised his fist in triumph as he clutched a scroll in his hands. "HA! This will teach him!"
Ranma was currently strolling atop the fence as he walked back to the temple, lost in thought. Nabiki had just informed him that she might have found his mother. The possibility was mind boggling. Ranma ran over to the Tendo dojo. Kicking off his shoes in the entrance hall, he didn't bother to arrange them as he ran towards the tea room, where Nabiki was waiting. "Yo, Saotome."
"Where is she?" Ranma asked quickly.
Nabiki slid a piece of paper across the table. "A word of caution, Saotome. We have no way of knowing if indeed this is your mother, so I suggest you send a letter before running over there. It might take a few days to confirm, but I think it might be worth it."
Ranma looked at the address, quickly memorizing it before reaching into his pocket to pull out a wallet. He quickly stuffed the slip of paper inside, and made to pocket the billfold.
"By the way, here is the bill for my work." Nabiki slid a second piece of paper his way. Ranma briefly glanced at it. Seeing nothing amiss, he simply opened his wallet and placed the required sum on the table.
"One more request, Nabiki?"
"Help me write the letter?"
After the two decided what to say, Ranma requested some paper and a brush set. He wrote a draft, and then handed it to Nabiki to check. Seeing her nod in approval, Ranma wrote one more copy, paying careful attention to the calligraphy. When he was finished, Ranma got up from the table, only to find Happosai standing in front of him.
"Well, isn't that good news, Ranma. Feel like celebrating?" Something about the tone in Happosai's voice set Ranma on edge.
The celebration turned out to be a very brutal sparring match. Happosai wasn't pulling his punches. Ranma hadn't been slacking for two weeks, but he was alone and hard pressed to keep up with the pervert. Happosai landed another blow. Ranma rolled with the strike to help minimize the damage. With a growl, Ranma leapt to his feet and back into the battle.
The tide of the battle was slowly turning to favor Ranma. For what ever reason, Happosai began to steadily give ground as holes opened up in his defenses. Ranma was wary, but tried to capitalize on as many of the openings as possible. Ranma saw another opening and went for it. What he didn't expect was for Happosai to pull out a squirt gun.
Happosai grinned as Ranma blinked at the sudden change. It was all the opening Happosai needed. He pulled out his pipe and delivered a savage blow that stunned the girl. Happosai took his time and lit his pipe, taking a few good draws before walking over to the downed girl. He kicked her once in the ribs to flip her onto her belly. He reached into his gi to pull out a slip of paper. After a brief consultation, nodded and methodically pulled her shirt up to expose her lower back. With a deft motion, he plucked the pipe from his mouth and deposited a glowing hot ember on the exposed spot.
Ranma screamed as a searing pain expanded from her lower back. She lashed out, catching Happosai in the chin and sending him skywards. Ranma rolled onto her back, squirming and grinding her body into the dirt to try and quell the pain.
Happosai frowned. That wasn't supposed to happen. He checked his scroll one last time verifying the moxibustion he had used. He blanched. "Oops."
Happosai came barreling into the house, followed closely by an extremely pissed Ranma. Happosai had a look of absolute terror on his face as he dodged lightning fast blows from the enraged martial artists. Nabiki watched with a stunned expression as Happosai crumpled from a vicious blow. The diminutive master bounded out of the way of a follow up blow, and tossed a scroll to Nabiki.
"Nabiki! Show this to Tofu! Get Kasumi and Akane out of her NOW!!! RUN!!!" Ranma used the distraction to catch Happosai across the back, four parallel lashes exploded in a spray of crimson. "RUNN!!!!!!"
The three girls frantically piled out the door as Happosai's screams echoed across the compound. Nabiki's hackles rose when the screams died abruptly. Akane was nervously biting her nails while Kasumi just seemed a little dazed.
"Come on, we need to get to Tofu's."
"Why Kasumi! Imagin..." Tofu never finished his statement as Akane's slap caught laid him full out.
"Not now doctor! Something terrible has happened to Ranma!!" Nabiki thrust the scroll into Tofu's hands. The doctor stood up, the hand print vividly red against his skin. He started reading for a bit before he blanched. He began to sweat.
"Oh ye gods in heaven above have mercy on us all!"
"I take it Ranma didn't win the lottery, then?"
Tofu's face was grim as he laid out the scroll on the table before the assembled group. Konatsu and Herb were there, as where the three Tendo sisters. Tofu cleared his throat.
"According to the girls, Happosai put a hot ember on Ranma's back before the girl went crazy. After examining this scroll, I think I know what happened." He pointed to the scroll, which showed a human figure and a map of the various pressure point on the body. "It looks like Happosai meant to trigger this spot here, know as the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion. The character meant 'poor,' but could also be interpreted as feeble. It is designed to rob the victim of all strength, making them as weak as a new born baby."
Everyone frowned at the news. Herb began to crack his knuckles while muttering about dismembering the old letch.
"But doctor, if that was true, how could Ranma attack Happosai like that?"
"Good question, Akane. That is what I was going to explain. I think Happosai missed."
Everyone face faulted. "MISSED?"
Tofu adjusted his glasses as he thought carefully about how to phrase his next statement. "If you look at the map, you can see two points very close to each other. One is the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion, and the other is the one I believe Happosai triggered."
"What's it called, Doctor?"
"The Ultimate Freakness Moxibustion."
"The Ultimate Freakness Moxibustion? What's that do?" Akane wasn't the only one puzzled by the doctor's statement.
"It has a terrible, terrible effect on the recipient. It makes them indulge in their baser passions without inhibition, imparting incredible stamina and endurance."
"What happens, Doctor?"
"Basically, it makes the targets their hormones rage uncontrollably. If Ranma gets... aroused, then he will be able to concentrate on nothing else. Ever. If he gets angry, like he did with Happosai, then..." Tofu paused. For some reason, he didn't like the calculating looks that had crossed the girls' faces. And why did Kasumi of all people look relieved?
"Is there a cure, Doctor?" Akane was fidgeting as she asked.
The doctor coughed. "Short of having the moxibustion reversed, the effect could be countered if Ranam... cough wear himself out, sexually. That should reverse the effect."
Akane brightened considerably. "Oh, then that's not too bad, then!"
Tofu shook his head. "You don't understand, Akane! This point is going to impart super human abilities to Ranma! If he gets angry with you, you won't survive!"
Akane smirked. "I don't intend to get him angry." She looked around. "Where do you two think your going?" Kasumi and Nabiki stopped short of the door. They chuckled nervously as a large sweat drop trickled appeared.
"He's my fiancée, remember?" Akane started to glow.
"He heh he..."
"Oh my. I'm sorry, Akane-chan..."
Konatsu passed the popcorn to Herb. Grabbing a handful, the two sat down on an examination couch to watch as Akane started to chew out her sisters.
Ranma was hungry. Beating up Happosai had worked up quite an appetite. He pulled various leftovers from the fridge and started to assemble a Dagwood, throwing a little bit of everything between several slices of bread. When he was done, the sandwich towered almost a foot high, pieces of fish, chicken, beef, and a various vegetables stacke on with out rhyme or reason. Satisfied, he took his monstrous creating to the living room.
Happosai whimpered as Ranma came into the room. The sound drew the boy's attention, who simply growled at the old man before sitting down to eat. The sandwich disappeared rapidly as the boy took gigantic bites. When it was done, he patted his belly and took a sip of tea.
"Ah... that hit the spot!" At that moment, he heard the front door open. Curious, he got up and walked to the foyer, only to see Akane struggling to shut the door on her sisters, preventing them from entering.
Ranma watched for a couple of seconds until Akane finally succeeded. "Yo, Akane. What's up?" To his amazement, the girl just kicked off her shoes and grabbed his hand, pulling him down the hall.
"Come on, pervert! We don't have a lot of time till they get in." Akane ran up the stairs, Ranma haplessly pulled along behind her.
"Um...Why are we going to your room?" Akane flung the door open and pulled Ranma inside. She threw Ranma on the bed before quickly closing the door and locking it. She climbed on top the stunned Ranma and kissed him.
It didn't take long for his instincts to take over.
"Drat!" Nabiki snapped her fingers as Akane's moans began to carry through out the house. Kasumi just shook her head, clearing disappointed.
Two weeks later
At first it had seemed like a good idea. Akane had thought she could handle Ranma's endurance and stamina. After all, wasn't she a martial artist, too? But then, that first night had stretched into two, then three. Finally, the poor girl couldn't take it anymore, and had cried out for help.
Her sisters sacrificed themselves to for the sake of the family.
Akane staggered out of the room and high-fived Nabiki. "Tag!" Nabiki nodded and resolutely marched into the room. They'd been spelling each other off for days now, hoping to satisfy Ranma's incredible lust. The sex never stopped for Ranma – he just ate as he pounded, pumped, and thrust his way through each day. He hadn't paused to sleep, and used the restroom only when necessary. Baths were taken with a partner, of course.
Akane stumbled downstairs to join Kasumi and Nodoka for tea. Kasumi looked just as disheveled and tired as Akane, while Nodoka was positively meaning. Akane sat down gingerly before flopping backwards to lie down on the floor.
"You're next, Kasumi. Nabiki said to rescue her in a few hours. I'm going to take a nap, okay?" The older girl nodded and smiled. Even still, the exhaustion that threatened to claim them all was just barely held at bay.
All three women looked to the ceiling as Nabiki's screams started to come through the floor. A rhythmic pounding could be heard as the pitch and volume began to rapidly grow louder. Kasumi frowned.
"Ranma-kun is certainly giving it to her very hard, isn't he?"
"Yeah... The sacrifices we Tendo's have to make."
"Do you think he'll have some of that left for me when I get up there?"
"Definitely." The two girls shared a grin.
Nodoka couldn't contain herself anymore. "Oh, my son is so manly! He's too much for three women, let alone one!"
That set Akane to thinking. "Hey Kasumi. Do you think we should call some friends?"
Kasumi looked at her in shock. "And waste this opportunity? I refuse to give up so easily! We'll break him yet, Akane!"
Ranma and Shinran sat playing a game of go, idly chatting.
"Do you have any nuggets of wisdom for me today, Shinran?" Ranma placed a stone, waiting for the reply.
"Hmm... Did I tell you the story about the story of the Vietnamese monk who was of fairly high rank within the Buddhist hierarchy?"
"You mean the one whose shortcoming was pride and conceit?" Ranma place another stone.
"Heard that one, huh?"
"Only about thirty times."
"Okay, what about the one with monk with the eight year old acolyte?"
"Which one? The one where the monk saw the boy was going to die or the one about the chickens?"
"Heard both of those?" Shinran place a stone, frowning as he racked his brain for some new stories. "Okay, I have one. How about..."
"Okay, then how about the one where...."
"Only every day, Shinran. Face it, you need some new stories." Ranma was bored. He place yet another stone, trying to capture a large portion of the board.
Shiran drew sat up straight, drawing himself to his fullest height possible from the floor. "Ranma," he said seriously, "I think you may be ready for my final teaching."
Suddenly Ranma looked interested. The game was forgotten as Shinran tucked his hands inside his sleeves, as he always did when talking about something of importance.
"Let me tell you about a collection of sayings by a very wise sage, a man by the name of Kandel. Very little is known about him, but his reflections and essays on various topics of human nature are vital to understanding the Way. Collectively the sayings are know as the Proverbs for our Times. Are you ready?"
Ranma nodded. "I'm ready, Shinran."
"First we will talk about the importance of Diligence. First, never put off 'til tomorrow what you can avoid altogether. Second, He who puts his nose to the grindstone is a bloody fool."
Shinran continued. "Next we talk about Integrity. He who never passes the buck is a miser. He who spurns the wanton wench is queer." The monk paused to take a breath. "The sage also said, 'I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to tell such lies. Do you understand so far, Ranma?"
"I think so, but..."
Shinran held up a hand to forestall him. "A few words of wisdom about Chastity: Chaste makes Waste. A little yearning is a dangerous thing. The devil finds work in idle gland."
"That makes sense, in a way... What does he say about friendship?"
"I'm glad you asked. The sage says several things, and I will repeat but a few; He who always finds fault with his friends has faulty friends. A man's best friend is his dogma. Forget not that a friend in need is a pest indeed. Finally, he who steps on others to reach the top has good balance.
"Yeah, that's true. I have Ku Lon to thank for that. Is there more?"
"I can go on to talk about the sage's views of Knowledge, Love, Thift, Honesty, Lust, Discretion, Foresight, Brotherhood, Marriage, Opportunity, Wealth, Courage, Achievement, Beauty, Fate, Sincerity, Tolerance, and Happiness, if you wish."
"Wow... I don't know if the author wants to continue trying to come up with a half-hearted scenario to try and work all those in. Why don't you just list them out?"
Shinran nodded. "Good point, Ranma. Anyway, here goes the rest of the list. The Power of positive pessimism!"
The pen is mightier than the pencil.
Genius is ten percent inspiration and fifty percent
He who trains his tounge to quote the learned sages
will be know, far and wide, as a smart-ass.
Confucius say too much!
All the world loves a four letter word.
In the spring, a fancy young man lightly turns his
All's fear in love and war.
Love is a many gendered thing.
Two is company, three is an orgy.
A penny saved is ridiculous.
It's not the money, it's the principal and interest.
Two can live as cheaply as one, for half as long.
What ye shall owe so ye shall keep.
He who steals my purse steals cash.
What fools these morals be!
He who always plows a straight furrow is in a rut.
The bigger they are, the harder they maul.
Let him who is stoned cast the first sin.
You can't judge a book by its author.
The early bird catches the early worm.
A smart man knows on which side his broad is better.
He us uses bad language is an ignorant schmuck.
Expedience is the best teacher.
Children should be obscene and not heard.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls and you will pay only the station-to-station rate.
Do unto others before they do unto you.
A house divided against itself is a split level.
If you can't say something nice about a person, say something nasty.
If you can't say it to his face, say it behind his back.
It takes two to tangle.
A man must do something to relieve the monogamy.
'Tis better to have loved and lust.
A man's house is his hassle.
Give a man enough hope and he'll hang himself.
Where there's a will, there's an inheritance tax.
He who hesitates is constipated.
He who inherits riches shall never know the joy of toiling endlessly for his daily bread.
Money is the root of all evil and a man needs roots.
The best things in life are for a fee.
Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahea...
Underneath every successful man there's a woman.
Necessity is a mother.
Ther is no rest for the wary.
Beneath a rough exterior often beats a harlot of gold.
Turn them upside down and they all look alike.
All's well that ends well and vice-versa.
He who is flogged by fate and laughs the louder is a masochist.
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time but you can make a fool of yourself anytime.
Always be sincere, even when you don't mean it.
An honest man's word is as good as his blonde's.
Squaw who speaks with forked tongue can teach young brave many new tricks.
Let us remember that ours is a nations of lawyers and order.
Everyone has a right to my own opinion.
People who live in stone houses shouldn't throw glasses.
Happiness can't buy money.
Laugh, and the whole world thinks you're an idiot.
He who findeth sensuous splendor in the hot pink bodies of luscious damsels is not righteous.
He who laughs last doesn't get the joke.
When Shinran had finished reading down the list, Ranma simply said, "That was lame." The two turned back to the game.
"Yes, but you have to admit you hadn't heard it before."
"Well, yeah, but it really has nothing to do with this story." Ranma place another stone.
"Hey, don't criticize me. Blame the author. He's the one who can't write humor."
"Yeah, and what the & was that, in the previous scene? The Ultimate Freakness Moxibustion? I mean, COME ON! But, I did get to bang all three Tendos..."
Shinran shot him an evil glare. "You lucky dog. Who was the best?"
"Hmm... believe it or not, I'd have to go with Kasumi. I mean, all three are truly freaknasty, but Akane is... a little too enthusiastic, and has some hang ups. I mean, she almost protested to going down on my girl side. Can you believe that?"
Shinran just shook his head. "Disgusting. What kind of children are we bringing up in today's society?"
Ranma agreed. "Seriously! It's not like she doesn't eat fish practically every day anyway! Anyway, Nabiki is waaay too controlling. Not that I don't like a little role play and light bondage, but she has a wardrobe to make Kodachi jealous. Kasumi, however, is good, giving, and game for just about anything."
"GGG? Wow. Who would have thought?"
"Yeah. Only problem is she doesn't have the stamina her youngest sister does. But, her heart's in the right place."
"How did we get on this conversation, anyway?"
"Oh, I don't know? The author was bored, and didn't want to start the next life consuming project yet?"
"Tell me about it."
Silence reigned for a few minutes as the pair concentrated on the game. Finally, Shinran had to ask.
"So, um... Kasumi. Is she really that GGG?"
"Totally, dude. Hell, she'll hold her ankles for you and smile the whole time. It's pretty freaking awesome."
"Is she... um... seeing anyone right now?"
"I mean... I'm a monk, and it's been a long time..."
"Hey, I'm only human. It's not like I've achieved enlightenment or anything yet!"
"No, I just mean you should call Nabiki first. She gets off on corrupting people."
Shinran paused. "Oh, you don't mind?"
Ranma just waved a hand. "No, why should I? Come on – I'm already dead according to the main arc of this story. Why should I mind if some of my pals get some ass before it ends?"
Shinran began to tear up. "Ranma, you're the best! Sorry about you dying and all, though."
"Naw, it's cool. It isn't really a sad thing – I mean in the end I am all enlightened and stuff. It's pretty groovy to be one with the cosmos and all."
"Is it as good as they say?"
"Not really. You just end up not caring about anything anymore."
"Tell me about it." Ranma placed his last stone. "So, who won this game?"
"You, if you give me Nabiki's number."
Ranma quickly pulled out a piece of paper with the girl's number on it. "Here it is. You might want to call her after about 11, because she works at the local S&M club on weeknights."
Shinran whipped out a huge bong from nowhere. "Feel like smoking a bowl?"
"No thanks. I've got my own." Ranma finished tying off as he flicked the tip of the needle.
Notes and comments –
First, I'd like to thank all the readers and reviewers who took part in this story. I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Just because the stories over doesn't mean the comments and questions have to end! I'll answer any questions I can.
MWUHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AHAHA HAHAHA hahah aha ahaa ...
Now that I got that off my chest, I can get on with the rest of this. First, I'd like to thank a few sources that I utilized to write this work.
First and foremost,
Damien Keown's most excellent quick refrence book, Buddhism; A Very Short Introduction. Only 125 pages long, it is a work of genius, spanning the most of the breadth of the subject, addressing most major points, being highly readable and thoroughly enjoyable.
I also utilized volumes 1-38 of the Manga quite a lot in the course of writing this. Some other sources that were used but not as useful include
Sources of Japanese Tradition
Sources of Japanese Buddhism (Volumes I and II).
Some web resources #N1, which Is a fun site about the issue of , a collection of , and excellent work about the nature of the Buddha's enlightenment.
I would peruse all three if you have an interest.
Now, about how this story got started – one day I had the thought, 'I wonder what Ranma would be like as a monk?' That got me to thinking if I had ever read a fanfic story like that. No? Well, why not write one? This was only my second attempt ever, my first being "Warmed Milk" way back in time. That decided upon, I needed a way to remove Ranma from his father's influence. Cat fist? Perfect. In retrospect, I wish I hadn't done that, because it became a major stumbling block for the writing and ended up hurting more than helping.
Next, in order for Ranma to improve when not with his father, he needed to be around people as strong or stronger than he was. I didn't want to use any major characters. That left Konatsu and Herb. One or the other... Hey, why not both? Plus, Herb has a curse... cool!
Next, Ranma needed to be tempted by the ways of the world, so that meant love interest. For all those haters out there, this was not a Ranma/Akane fic, but rather a RANMA fic, as I had always claimed. But, if he didn't know desire/lust/love, he would never be able to overcome it. What would you rather I have him do? Bang some super hot chick like shampoo and dump her, or fall in love with a mildly violent person who could understand him (and survive when the relationship ended.)
I at first intended for Ranma to be a monk, but someone had guessed my intention way back in the first couple of reviews...(cough abbadon cough). I was surprised it was guessed so easily, so after that point I tried to be a little more... mysterious in my foreshadowing. I don't know if it worked or not, but I hope it did. If the ending caught you by surprise, then I did my job.
Speaking of the ending, that &ing epilogue was hard to write. I really struggled over the scene with Ranma, as well as to the question of whether or not to kill off all the heroes. I decided to allow Konatsu to live, but I was going to cripple him. Ranma had to go, or else I think he would have been too honor bound to leave Akane. Herb I couldn't die, I think – he outmatched his opponents too greatly.
I'm sorry if the readers thought the ending was sad – it was not intended to be that way. Of course it's too bad Akane was left alone, but the whole point of this was Ranma. By the end of the story he had achieved his dream. The impact didn't kill him, he simply knew he was no longer needed.
About the omake – I'm sorry, I really do apologize. I just felt like writing them, and as I said, I didn't want to start on the next project. My plan was to do a Ranma/wheel of time crossover (which has the making of a disaster about to happen), but didn't want to do it until I have a clearer plan of what I expect to accomplish. I know how I'm going to do the cross over, but not much more besides that. If I truly finish it, it will be massive – so I'm trying to find some way of cutting it down to finish in fewer than 100,000 words, and not the 500,000 it could conceivable become. There is no way I could finish a work that mammoth and make it be any good.
By the way, it just occurred to me that this is the second fic I ever wrote. Wow.
Well, that's about it, I think. Now, to answer questions and comments, including recent ones:
"Interesting Read, i thought that it had a lot of good points, i just started reading it today, but have actually been waiting for time to read the whole thing in one sitting like i did. I really enjoyed it but i was really hoping you weren't going to do what you did do. I was expecting it from the chapter where he decided to leave like that. Very good fic, keep writing. If you want a beta reader, just e-mail me and let me know. I am working on my own fic but i would still be happy to do a beta read on yours. Good story and keep writing!"
Thank you for the support. I will keep your offer in mind.
Ryan T Nelson writes:
"ok. First and foremost I have to say I think this story, in it's entirety, has got to be one of the most incredible pieces of fiction I have come across. You are a very talented, incredible writer and I consider myself lucky to have come across this little gem. I enjoyed every chapter immensely. I especially loved the ending. It wasn't a happy ending. But that's a good thing sometimes. People tend to lose sight of the fact that in the real world there are very rarely happy endings.
I know I'm ranting a bit but please bear with me as I have one more thing to say.
I have taken a habit of encouraging any good writer I come across to continue writing. You are by far one of the best I've seen. I would like to offer my advice for you to consider writing something original. I think you might honestly have a very good chance at making a living as a novelist.
Good luck to you in your pursuits and I look forwards to reading anything else you may decide to craft."
Wow. I am really stunned by the response this story has originated. I am thinking of either updating/re-writing "Short and Sweet" next, or perhaps a fusion of a short web film I saw and Ranma. Thank you for your encouragement, and I will keep writing. It simply takes a good idea to get it to happen.
A very interesting and if you will pardon the pun 'enlightening' chapter.
A tradegy with Shampoo and fulfilment with Ranma. Shampoo was able to go out like true Amazon, one whose name will live on in the tribe, what more could she really ask?
Ranma didn't die because of the fall, he simply left his body behind because he no longer needed it. Now he has all the time there is to wait for the others to join him, eventually. This was a twist I do not ever recall reading.
Normally I am saddened when Ranma dies in a fic, yet with yours there is no saddness. Nor is there rejoying, for even though Ranma has moved on, he has left everyone else behind, so I find myself feeling only acceptance of what is in this tale. Perhaps that is as it should be, perhaps not.
The commencing of the redemption of Nabiki was a very interesting twist too. What else can it be when she decides to become a police detective?
As I said in my earlier review, for which I humbled to learn encouraged you to continue to write, this is one that deserves to be read twice, so that a person can be sure to follow all that is going on. I thank you for your kind comments concerning my to few reviews.
As some have already said this is a classic. I expect I will be revisiting this tale repeatedly as the years go by. I thank you again for a most excellent read.
I like you! I've run out of things to say, but I am happy that the implied intent of my story came across. Please, recommend this to your friends!
Jonny G writes:
"Hey, no need to be stunned by my review. I just call them like I see them, and I meant every word. I must say, the ending to this story certainly did not disappoint. While I don't mind the "everyone lives happily ever after" stories, they do tend to get a little old. Having a sad ending is not bad, especially when it's laced with hope for the characters left behind, as this one was (which I think is something sorely missing in the Chrno Crusade anime if you've watched it). Of course, you even managed to throw in a great twist with the adoption. That was truly an inspired idea.
Anyhow, thanks for plugging Aijou & Aitou to your readers, I'm glad you're enjoying it. One of the many things that your story has, that mine does not, is great action. Of course, that's mainly because mine focuses on drama and romance (and character interaction). However, my Irikara story will have a tremendous amount of action, and I just hope I can pull it off as well as you do. I hope you'll follow the story once I start releasing it (which I hope will be soon).
In parting, let me say once again that this is a truly excellent story, one that I will be putting in my Favorite Stories list with the hope that my readers will see it and give it a try. Also, I am really looking forward to seeing what you have in store for your next work. If you have any desire to bounce ideas around or simply chat about Ranma, anime, or writing, don't hesitate to contact me.
Thanks again for this story.
Again, thank you. Your words are too kind. I will probably take you up on that offer at some point, just to see what happens... I'm glad you enjoy it.
Alex Ultra writes:
"Although I am saddened by the fact that it's over, I feel honored to have been able to enjoy this fine piece of literature.
One of the ways by which I define a great work is memorability. A great story never dies, and will come up to recollection years from now, making you say to yourself, "Yeah, I remember that. It was great." It fills your heart with a warm feeling and puts a smile on your face. I can honestly say that I feel that this is a truly great work.
I am also happy to hear that you, the author, plan to grace us even more with yet another story. I have the utmost confidence that it, too, will be a great one in its own way.
So, in celebration of a great moment come and passed, Cheers! Clink!
Alex Ultra: Forever In Search of Greatness
Again, thank you very much. I had a lot of influences, and read lots of memorable stories that have stayed with me to this day. If I have managed to create something like that for others, than I am happy, and this story has served its purpose.
I raise my glass to all the readers out there. A toast to the readers, then, for without them no story would ever be written.
Jerry Unipeg writes:
"I LOVE THIS CHAPTER! I am sad to see it ending, but all good things have to end sooner or later. This is one of the best story I read.
Thank you for the story."
You're welcome. Thank you for the encouragement and support!
"wow... not the ending i had expected. Great story, I hope you write and submit more"
Thank you. I might not for a couple of months, but I will at some point.
"Great story, one of my recent favs. Shame about Ranma dieing, but then Buddism is supposed to be about life, death and rebirth after all.
I had to feel sorry for akane there at the end, a widow at 16! That has to suck.
Hope your future stories are as good as this one, it is one of the good ones."
Again, my intention was not to make people sad for Akane, but rather happy for Ranma.
"Well, what a strange and wonderful trip it's been. This has turned out to be one of the best Ranma stories that's came out this year. With the way that Ranma has moved on, I felt sorry for Akane, and glad that you left her that hope at the ending. Don't really know what else to say,(crap, now I hit another writers block:) except, this was a fine story, and I look forward to what comes next."
Thank you. It's funny how people have reacted to this story – the hope isn't for just Akane, the hope (or at least as I meant to portray it) is for all of humanity. According to Pureland Buddhist philosophy, the Buddha Amitabba made 48 vows that he would hold off his own enlightenment until he could save all of humanity. Because he is in fact a Buddha implies that he succeeded in his vows, meaning that all of humanity will eventually be saved. Also, this goes back to that old question of "does the dog have the Buddha nature?"
The answer, or course is Mu – it means that the question is invalid, therefore no answer is possible. All sentient beings have the Buddha nature, meaning that all beings who are sentient are capable of becoming the Buddha in time. The argument is that to the extent a dog is sentient it has the Buddha nature, and thus the question is invalid. (sorry, a very short explanation of a very complex question, or at least as I understand it. The more scholarly out there will be able to pick apart my statement easily, but please, be gentle.)
Back to the original point – the object is that Akane and her children will eventually find enlightenment on their own, be it ten years from now or ten million. At that point, the will join Ranma in nirvana, or the ultimate oblivion, breaking from the cycle of death and rebirth. This is the ultimate aim of all Buddhist practice, to finally free yourself from misery and suffering.
"Usually I like my fics to have happier endings... but this one was an example of a fic that i enjoyed reading all the way through, despite the not so happy ending. You are quite talented, and I very much hope that you will continue to write.
In this last chapter, I especially liked the reference to "Hero," that was very well done.
Thanks for writing, I look forward to reading your work in the future!"
Sorry for the shameless Hero plug, but that movie was a beautiful work of art, and I recommend it to all. If you like Ranma, you will like the movie. It is poignant, colorful, and thought provoking.
"Interesting chapter. Swap the names of Shampoo and Akane at the end and you'd double the entertainment value, though."
Thanks for the encouragement. Sorry you feel that way about Shampoo and Akane.
"Well, let's see. First of all, this story is quite original in my mind. There are too many things to count, but the way you handled things with Ranma, Konatsu, and Herb were both refreshing and entertaining. As far Akane goes, while I agree with some reviewers that others pairings may have been more fun, I certainly can't fault you for the choice that you made.
From a technical standpoint (grammar, spelling, and punctuation), your skills are superb. There were still mistakes scattered throughout, but that's normal. In addition to reading new chapters of Aijou & Aitou after I write them, and then giving them to three proofreaders, I still find errors when I revisit them months later. Ah well, it's the curse of writing I suppose.
Anyhow, I also wanted to say that your story-telling skills are also very good. You keep the story interesting and don't bog the reader down with too much information, or fly through things without giving enough. Along that same thought process, your ability to describe things (the characters, their surrounding, their feelings, etc.) is exceptional.
I look forward to the finale of this story. Please keep up the good work."
Wow. I'm stunned. Thank you for the wonderful review. I am actually amazed I didn't make more mistakes, considering how quickly this work was written. Had I taken a little more time, I'm sure it would have been a little more worthwhile. Thank you for the compliments. Allow me to take this time to recommend to readers JonnyG's Aijou and Aitou, and excellent work in progress.
"uber job , man(like alays :p) really fluid writing and what an evil cliffy here.cant wait for next chapter"
Well, the next chapter is up and the story is finished. I might write some afterthoughts, but I have an idea for a new story I'd like to work on next.
Xero Reflux writes:
"its a good story but 1. akane has had NO weapon training so that idea is out the window and 2. Ryoga would have tried to knock akane out anyway and get her away from the fight because he promised ranma."
Thank you for the compliments. On point 1, that Akane has no weapons training, I would have to say you're wrong. All marital artists have weapons training, even if they don't use them. And a maul is simply a large hammer – you wanna tell me she doesn't know how to use that thing? Point 2 – maybe, maybe not. He just agreed to keep her safe. But, it was useful for the plot, so why not? I'm sorry if you didn't like it, but...
"I believe that this is the first story where I've seen the Phoenix people as purely evil. It's a rather chilling thought. The way they acted made me think of the SS, basically souless killers. Very scary. Very well done.
Saffron, now there is a true case of evin incarnate. An immortal gone mad. His only wish is to die and if it takes the death of all humanity that is fine by him. That IS evil indeed. Br.
I'm guessing that the three heroes will be back together again, what with the litter and the body falling from the sky. I also suspect a long convolensence is in order too.
I was suprised that you killed Shampoo, and it appears possible Ryoga. That was not something I expected all.
An excellent chapter and true pleasure to read.
Thank you for sharing it."
Thank you again! I remember taxzombies review for very early on in the fic, and in fact it encouraged me to continue writing. So thanks! As for this review, thank you for the comments on the Phoenix. As for the heroes... well. You shall see. I didn't need to kill Shampoo, but the story needed a little tragedy, I thought....
"nice description of the battle, I'm impressed with how much detail you managed to put in within such a short space."
Thanks. I didn't want it to be to cumbersome. Watch lord of the rings if you want long drawn out battles. I prefer mine short and snappy, and looks like you do, too.
Jerry Unipeg writes:
"I LOVE THIS CHAPTER! The fight was GREAT also."
Ah, Jerry! Thanks again for the reviews. I just feel like my day isn't complete with out your review. ïﾁŠ
"Epic. As we all knew it would be. But I must say, you surpassed my expectations... can't wait for the conclusion!"
I wasn't trying for epic, but I'm glad that you managed to read through all 200 pages of this stuff an still be entertained. Thank you for reading. It was a pleasure to write. My next story now – that will be epic. ïﾁŠ