Nabiki crept through the storage area of the Tendo Dojo. There were two things she knew with absolute certainty. One was that she was not supposed to be here. The other was that some of her mother's things were stored here. Nabiki did not know exactly what she wanted; just that she wanted something that had belonged to her mother. After all, Kasumi had her mother's cookbooks, and Akane had some old training manuals. Nabiki, however, had nothing and was feeling left out and lonely.

Something caught her attention from the corner of her eye. Turning to get a better look, Nabiki's breath caught. It was her mother old knickknack chest. The chest appeared to be constructed from a single piece of cedar. No seam showed, not even where the lid met the rest of the box. There were no hinges on the outside but Nabiki had seen her mother open it once or twice. The chest was about three feet long and about a foot wide and deep. The top inch or so of the front side had a strange design etched into the wood. It almost appeared that someone had wrote something in a strange flowing, Arabic like script. Nabiki gingerly moved over to the chest.

Griping the front edges of the top carefully, Nabiki failed to notice the strange script seem to glow briefly before changing slightly. Responding to Nabiki's gentle, almost reverential pressure, the chest's lid opened, revealing what it held. Nabiki stared, openmouthed, her mind reeling. She was looking at what her mind told her was impossible. The inside of the chest was deeper then the outside. It had a great deal more interior volume then the outside dimensions would indicate. Within the chest was an assortment of notebooks, books, knickknacks, odds & ends, and a small pack. On the very top of the pile was a sealed scroll with "Read Me First" written upon it. Picking up the scroll, Nabiki gently broke the seal and unrolled it. Tears began to fall softly and silently as she recognized her mother's handwriting.

Dear Daughter,

If you are reading this, then I am dead. Since I have failed to return from my last run in with the Lone Power, I have no more need for what this chest contains. As you were able to open it, I fear you will have need of them, thus the chest and all it contains is now yours.

I am sure you curious as to what I am talking about. The truth is I have kept a secret from you and your sisters. I was a wizard. It was my duty to fight against the creator of death and entropy, The Lone Power. To that end I used magic to slow the death of the universe, to heal, to help, and if need be to combat Him directly. It was during one of these interventions that I fell. I can only hope my death was not meaningless, that some good came from it. Your father never approved of my duty, so he would try to explain away my death somehow. I have no doubt that he will never tell you the truth.

This chest is enchanted so that only one of my line can open it. Further you will only have been able to do so if the spark of Wizardry has been awakened within you. The Powers That Be are offering you a chance to follow in my footsteps and become a wizard. The top book is my manual; having spelled it to return upon my death, within is instructions and information on magic. The Oath lies within as well. Take it only if you are absolutely sure that you understand the risks and exactly what you are undertaking. Magic will not live in an unwilling heart.

Do me proud daughter, see you in Timeheart.

Kimiko Tendo.

Searching thru the chest, Nabiki quickly found what she sought. It was a slim volume. For a moment Nabiki thought that it was too thin, that it could no hold all the secrets to magic. She quickly realized that it could be another one of those 'bigger then it looks' deals. Nabiki read thru the beginning of the manual. She read about what type of person made a good wizard, about the benefits and dangers of magic. She read everything.

When she came to the Oath, Nabiki momentarily baulked. She nearly quit right then. She almost closed the manual, placed it in the chest and walked away without looking back. Another time, another place, she might have done just that. Not this time, not this place. Nabiki read the Oath aloud. Despite the feeling that 'This Way Lies Dragons', Nabiki took the Oath of Wizardry. She vowed to follow in her mother's footsteps, to fight The Lone Power. With the Oath taken, Nabiki knew she had taken her first steps on the road to adventure.

With the chest safely hidden under her bed, Nabiki delved into her studies. The manual was indeed more then it appeared. A vast amount of information was at Nabiki's fingertips. No matter how many pages she turned, there was always another waiting. It took nearly an hour for Nabiki to find what she was looking for. As she read, tears once again silently fell.

The manual contained within its pages complete, detailed accounts of all wizards past assignments. It was the account of her mother's final assignment that caused Nabiki's tears to fall. Kimiko Tendo had willingly sacrificed her life to stop the Lone Power. She had written in the letter that she hoped her death was not meaningless. It was not. With Kimiko's sacrifice, The Lone Power's plans were thwarted. Once again It was sealed away, guarded by a group of monks at a remote temple. The monks had delivered Kimiko's body to her husband, who then tried to explain away her death to their daughters. Due to the damage her body had sustained in battle, Kimiko's death could not have been caused by illness. Soun blamed it on a drunk driver and hid all evidence of her wizardry. He would have burned it but he could not bear to part with anything she owned.

Now that she knew the truth, Nabiki was of course furious with her father. She knew that he would never approve of her new profession and would probably forbid her from doing it. Thus she promised herself that she would keep it secret and hidden from her family for as long as she could. This meant that she had to practice outside of her home. For in that house (for the most part) secrets were not kept for long. It never took long for either herself or Kasumi to figure it out. Once Kasumi knew, it would no be long before their father knew as well. Or so Nabiki thought. All her assumptions were about to be thrown out the window.

"Your going to be a wizard Nabiki? How wonderful, mother would be so proud!" Came a familiar voice from behind, startling Nabiki.

"What? How? Kasumi?" The shock had completely derailed Nabiki's thought processes, causing Kasumi to laugh.

In order to quiet Nabiki, Kasumi quietly began to explain. She had been visiting Auntie Saotome when the sun had gone out. Mrs. Saotome had been strangely calm. Instead pf panicing as Nabiki remembered her and her friends nearly had, the regal woman had simply gone and gotten a strange book to thumb through. In response to Kasumi's inquiries, Nodoka had explained about wizards and the history of the Tendo matriarch. The conversation lasted till well after the sun had come back on, both loosing track of time while visiting the past. Kasumi was also warned that her father never approved of his wife's vocation and would be furious that she knew the truth. Thus Kasumi promised to keep it a secret.

A quick check of the local listing of wizards revealed Saotome Nodoka's name. The listing below it for one Saotome Ranma intrigued Kasumi and she vowed to ask Auntie Saotome about it. Especially since he was listed as 'On Ordeal, No Calls'. Neither knew that Nabiki's listing would change to read the same that very afternoon.

Kasumi quickly promised to keep Nabiki's secret and helped her pack up the small pack from the chest. Kasumi recommended that Nabiki go to the forest where they had picnicked when their mother was still alive to train and prepare for her Ordeal. Both knew that there was a chance that Nabiki would not return and wanted to give her the best chance of succeeding. Thus with Kasumi's assurance that she would cover for her absence, Nabiki made her way to the shopping district. She had not been there long and had yet to find what she sought when a gang of boys began to follow her.

"Hey girlie, wanna have some fun?" One of the perverts asked, causing Nabiki to pick up her pace. The boys picked up theirs as well and quickly cornered her in an alley. Quickly muttering the shield spell she had learned that very morning, Nabiki dropped her pack and stood her ground. Though she had not actively been a practitioner of Anything Goes for some time, Nabiki still practiced the Art for self defense purposes. Therefore combined with the shield spell she was able to prevent any of the boys from laying a hand upon her. She kept it up for several minutes, then a voice cut through the air from the entrance to the alley. Quickly glancing at the source, Nabiki was presented with a boy slightly younger then herself. Unruly black hair was tied in a ponytail and the most piercing icy blue eyes Nabiki had ever seen took in the entire scene at a glance. The dirty white gi he wore told her that he was a traveling martial artist. The very words he spoke told her he was here to help as well.

"It ain't right to harass a girl. Besides, it don't look like she wants any part of whatever it is you want."


Seems I wrote this awhile back and forgot to post it, well here it is. Sorry for the delay.