Arrival of the Tortured Soul
Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.
I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow my to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave. If you find any, let me know, and I will correct them and repost the chapters.
I find that if I let thinks sit for a while in my head; I can play them out farther. Plus by trying and keeping my chapters between 2500 and 3000 words, it helps keep me from making the story slide out of control, turning a diamond to a pile of shit.
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Entering along the main road, a pair could be seen. One was a fat man wearing a dirty white gi, his head covered by a bandana and his eyes obscured by his glasses, a large pack on his back. Besides him was someone of indeterminate sex or physical attributes, both hidden by the cloak that covered them, as well as the gloves covering their hands. The hood of the cloak obscured any possible view of their face, but judging that the pack they were carrying was easily twice that of the older man, many would assume he was a guy. A large red umbrella lay atop of his pack, a gift from a new friend whom he saved from being cursed at Jusenkyo.
"Damn it pops, how much further, you know how I hate traveling in the daytime, too many people can see me, and the last thing I need is to be called a monster by some dumb asshole?"
The older man simply turned towards his companion. "Son, we have to be there as soon as possible, daylight be damned. Now stop being so weak and keep moving, we have to be at the Tendo's before night falls."
The other companion stopped, turning quickly and grabbing the man by his gi, lifting him easily off the ground, a sound like a cougar growling could be heard from under the cloak. "You know, calling me a girl is one thing, a habit I am glad to have broken you out of. But calling me weak considering all you've put me though, I would be glad to 'help' you in seeing that as an error as well."
The older man stared down with fear at his son. "Now son, I was only kidding, you know how I tease you sometimes."
The son released his father, allowing him to land on his fat ass upon the ground. "Old man, one of these days, I will not simply stop your teases by lifting your fat ass off the ground, but by burying your fat ass in it, understood." Not waiting for an answer, he turned around, quickly grabbing his umbrella and opening it as a sudden downpour started.
A sudden slapping sound on the ground caused him to turn around, seeing that the rain had turned his father into a panda. The panda was holding a sign. "You could have warned me that is was about to rain."
"Why should I?" spat his son, turning around and resuming his journey, wishing to spend as little time in broad daylight as possible. "No one warned me about those damn springs." Or the hell that my life would be because of it.
"What is the meaning of this!" cried Soun Tendo, as a man in a bulky cloak and a panda walked into their dining room, following a startled Nabiki and Kasumi who had fled back after seeing the two.
(AN: If you don't know about the meeting to discuss the fiancée arrival of Ranma, then you really don't pay attention.)
"I'm sorry to bother you sir," said the man in the cloak. "My father said we were coming here. I apologize for our appearance, but if you could spare a cup of hot water, I do believe I can explain."
The panda merely held up a sign. "Sorry old friend. It's me, Genma." The panda then proceeded to flip his sign. "Please do as my boy says."
Kasumi ran into the kitchen to fetch a cup of water, her momentary fear that she had from seeing the panda at the door fading. She returned to see her father rush the boy with open arms, apparently trying to hug him. The boy simply jumped into the air, using his feet to push off the ceiling and towards a corner away from the man, never showing anything under the cloak, as it appeared to flow with him.
"Sorry Mr. Tendo, but I prefer not to be touched."
Kasumi offered the cup of water to the panda, which dumped it over himself, returning him to a man. "Sorry about this Tendo, allow me to explain. This all started during our training at Jusenkyo Springs. Me and the boy hopped onto some bamboo poles to spar, with the guide remaining silent. My boy then knocked me into the Spring of Drowned Panda, so I take that form whenever cold water hits me. Oh the shame, the boy never even waited until I was ready. I…"
Genma snapped out of his story when he heard Ranma growling again, his eyes widening as he slowly turned to face his son. "Maybe I should tell the story old man. I would hate for your poor memory to cause these people any confusion. The guide was trying to warn us about those damn springs, but you started the fight instead of listening, and I knocked you into the spring after fifteen seconds. Then you jumped up, and knocked me into the Spring of Drowned Girl. When I got out, you used a cheap shot and knocked me into another spring."
He turned towards the girls, but none could see his eyes, and both were curious as to how he growled like he did. "What was the other spring?" asked Nabiki.
"It was a spring that has haunted me to this day. You see, when you fall into one spring, you take that form whenever you are hit with cold water. But if you are still wet from that spring when you hit another, that new curse mixes with you, both sides of you, becoming permanent; there is no cure for that. I still change genders when I am hit with hot or cold water, but the new curse mixed with both forms. Thanks to my damn father and his stupidity, I'm not even human anymore. Being caught between being a guy or a girl I could handle, but that damn spring turned me into something his idiotic Nekoken training made me afraid of."
Ranma lowered his hood, drawing some gasps from the girls and causing Mr. Tendo to pass out. Ranma's hair fell into a braided pig-tail, but was surrounded by what appeared to be fur, and his ears now rested on top of his head. "The idiot tossed me into the spring of drowned cat."
Everyone was sitting at the table drinking the tea Kasumi had prepared. No one was surprised whe Ranma had asked for some milk in his tea, quickly saying that he preferred it that way even before he became part cat.
"It was the guide who saved my life, the stress from both curses would have made me drown, turning the Spring of Drowned Cat into the Spring of Drowned Aqua-Transsexual Cat-Person. It was the guide who had to explain everything to me, who held me as I cried for the entire night. My worthless father ran off, afraid I would have killed him. I still might."
The girls stared at Ranma, who had since removed his cloak, showing them his tail, as well as the slight pads on his hands and feet. His body was nearly covered with a light fur, except for the area around his face, chest, and stomach.
"If you don't know, the Nekoken requires you take a young child, bind them, wrap them in fish, and throw them into a pit of starving cats. Repeat until the subject learns the Nekoken or dies. If you survive, you are left with a complete fear of cats." Ranma took a calming breath, trying to continue the story and not break down crying. "So you can imagine my reaction to find out I was now a cat-man, or cat-girl at the time."
He turned back towards his father, hiding behind the now revived Soun Tendo. "I had to spend three days tracking him, which was rather easy thanks to my enhanced senses. I ended up chasing him to an Amazon village, but I ended up interrupting their contest for a village fighting champion. I was almost killed by them; I guess they thought I was a demon or something. I tried to explain what had happened, and luckily a few of them spoke Japanese, since my idiot father never deemed it necessary to learn Mandarin for our trip to CHINA!" He watched as his father cringed at those words, smiling a little. "There village elders took me in and trained me in several techniques, as well as meditations to control my new animal instincts. I guess they felt sorry for me, and I was thankful for their kindness. A young girl named Shampoo became my friend, helping her great-grandmother in my training. They even kept pops in their jail so that I could learn in peace. But he said we had to come back here, though he never said why. And it better be a damn good reason pops, or so help me you are going to know what a scratching post feels like."
Soun decided to speak up, not really to save his friend, but hoping to get Ranma to notice he was there and hopefully avoid hitting him. "These are my daughters, Kasumi who is 19, Nabiki who is 17, and Akane who is 16. Before any of you were born, your father and I swore that the schools would be joined by the marriage of our children. You were supposed to arrive and chose your bride."
The girls were still speechless when Ranma began to speak. "BRIDE!" growled Ranma. "You better not be thinking of keeping that agreement you honor-less panda. I will not force them to marry me. Who would want to be married to a freak of nature like me? You think any of them want someone like me as a fiancée, as a husband, as a lover? You think I would do something like that to them? Do you?!"
"Now Ranma," Genma chimed in, hoping to take control of the situation, "it is a matter of honor. The schools must be joined."
Ranma's growl became deeper, his tail standing straight into the air, its fur standing in all directions as well. "Honor!? HONOR!? Did honor keep you from throwing me into a pit of cats, did honor prevent you from putting me through that hell you called training, from stealing my food while you got fatter, from stealing from everyone we met because a job would distract you from my training?! What would you know about honor? A damn stranger showed me more compassion than my own father. A damn stranger saved me from drowning while you ran off; you didn't even care for my life, only saving your own. And you expect me to honor an agreement YOU MADE!?"
He took another calming breath, quietly telling himself that he would need a long meditation if he didn't want to kill his father later on tonight. He turned to the girls. "I am sorry, none of you deserve this. But my honor, thanks to that asshole of a father, is all I really have. So I will propose this. Right now, you must decide if you wish to know me in any way, shape or form. After a year's time, we will decide if we wish to be friends, fiancées, or strangers. Whatever your decision, I will abide by, despite any protests from our fathers. If all three of you decide now that I am not worth your time, I will leave now. I'll await your decision in your dojo. I need to mediate or I might end up spilling my father's blood here, and I would prefer not to do such a thing if possible. Not because I don't think he deserves it, but I would hate to ruin your dining area."
With that, Ranma left to the dojo, while the girls slowly went to Kasumi's room to chat.
"So sis, what do you think?" Nabiki looked at her older sister, surprised to see that not only was Kasumi even thinking of being with Ranma, but had initially said she would like to get to know him before the door was even closed.
"Oh my. He seems like such a nice young man, and with such manners. It makes him seem so much older than he is." Kasumi stared off into the ceiling, her classic pose as she tried to figure something out. It had reminded everyone about her comments earlier about hoping Ranma was an older boy.
Akane was just fuming as she normally did. "That damn pervert. He just made that offer to stay here for a year. I bet as soon as we agree, he'll start coming after all of us. He is a cat, they aren't known for being faithful." Her face then became pale. "What happens if he thinks we're in heat?!"
Nabiki shook her head. Listening to the two of them was giving her a headache. Today had started out normal enough. Until her father announced they were getting a fiancée. She had even worn a nice kimono for him. But she had seen the anger in his eyes, an aftereffect she guessed of him being turned into his worst fear. Nabiki herself shivered, thinking of how she would feel if she woke up and looked and acted like Kuno. "I guess we should go down and ask him some questions."
She quickly turned towards Akane. "Kasumi and I will ask him. You need to keep your mouth shut. Your temper won't help us if he loses control. You saw how afraid of him his father was."
The three headed for the dojo, Akane quietly grumbling something about perverts, cats, and neutering.
Ranma had tried for several minutes to meditate and find his center again. He knew because of his new nature, a part of him was always seeking dominance of his new prides the part of his animal nature that cried out to be the alpha male. It had been the hardest part for him to adapt to, even more so than his female side's desire to find an alpha male, which was lucky it considered his male side to be just that so he didn't need to worry about a strong fighter tearing his mind apart.
Funny, the only thing keeping my girl half from going after strong males in the fact that it sees my male half as the best around. I'm sure some god or goddess is having quite a laugh at that predicament. If we ever separate, she'll pounce on me like…like a cat in heat.
Way to go hot shot. That was the best analogy you could come up with?
The guide had informed him that with the normal cursing, a person was endowed with the instinctual knowledge of how to survive and use their new form. But for Ranma, the part of the cat was now permanently ingrained in his psyche, ingrained in the psyche of both genders.
Deciding that for the moment, he would have to burn off some of his anger and extra energy, he flew into one of the katas he had made while in the Amazon village. He had spent several days working on it, finding a balance that would work with his new cat body and would work as well for his female cat side as well. It took over a day for him to perfect it, and soon he was even able to use his tail in both forms to lift light objects, though he learned the hard way that even in his girl form, the tail didn't have enough strength to hold him solely from a tree. Luckily he hadn't broken anything from the resulting falls. Though his tail hurt for a few days afterwards, but it gave Shampoo and Mousse a good laugh, them constantly reminding him he was part cat, not part monkey or opossum.
But he flew into the kata, his mind focusing on the moves, allowing his mind to calm itself. As long as he was concentrating, he could rise above the animal instincts. He would be lying if he said it had been easy. When he first arrived in the Amazon village, the three day hunt for his father had nearly made him have tunnel-vision, looking for his father to give him some payback. It had taken a while before he no longer attacked anyone he considered a threat, something that carried over to his cat-girl side. The training had been great, as his speed and strength had increased a hundred-fold in the two weeks he stayed with them. His training also gave him deeper understanding and control over his animal side, taking the time to integrate it into himself. After all, he would prefer if he didn't go bounding after butterflies, or wake up in a field with his stomach full of uncooked mice and rabbits.
Three times was more than enough for his tastes. Though he found himself wondering how mice would taste in a nice beef broth.
He was so preoccupied with his kata; he never noticed when the Tendo girls arrived in the dojo. They didn't interrupt him, more to observe his kata than their fear of what he might do. Even Akane remained silent, watching him use his speed, his grace, punches and kicks moving at a near blinding speed while not throwing him off balance. While the elder girls were amazed at the speed the cat-man showed, Akane was hoping he would teach her those moves, hopefully without any perversions as payment.
When he appeared to have finished the kata, he was alerted to their presence by the sound of all of them clapping. He turned; blushing slightly as the fur not necessarily covered his entire face. He quickly bowed. "Sorry, I get into that one so much that I kind of lose connection to the real world."
Noticing how they all seemed to get a little nervous, he knew why they were down here. "Ok, before you say anything, let me answer the questions that I seem to get the most from people who see me and don't immediately try to kill me or perform some ritual to cleanse me of the cat demon. One, the first one of you to try and feed me cat food or have me drink liquids from a saucer gets smacked. It wasn't funny the first time, it won't be funny the millionth time. Two, I won't attack you like a tomcat if you are ovulating. That part I found out when I stayed at the Amazon village. How that relates to my girl half, I have no idea if I am on a monthly cycle or a bi-yearly one like a cat or if I even go into heat, which I can assure you I would enjoy it much less than you would. Three, I am a guy in mind, no matter what form, so don't think just because I may look like a cat-girl means I have a desire for guys. I may not be male 100 of the time in body, but I sure as hell am in mind. Four, if you agree to let me stay here for the year, I will do what I can to make myself as little a burden as possible, though it isn't likely I can find a job that will fit my 'different' lifestyle. Pops; however, will be getting a job as soon as possible, whether he likes it or not. Five, I will be happy to train any of you in what I have learned, assuming I believe you have the necessary control to keep from using it for the wrong reasons. Six, no I will not go around the dojo and piss on everything, marking my territory, nor do I use a litter box. I am still human enough to use a toilet. Seven, don't attack me because you misunderstand an action I make, because I might retaliate with more force than you can handle, and I would prefer not to hurt someone who doesn't deserve it. Eight, my personal space is very valuable to me, violate it without prior permission, and see answer seven for results. Nine, I do not want to here any comments such as 'here kitty kitty' or any thing involving me being anything less than human, even if my body says otherwise. And finally ten, please, treat me as any other boy living here with you; I have too many people treating me as a freak as it is. Now, are there any questions that I didn't answer?"
The girls each lowered their heads, with the exception of Kasumi who raised a hand to her face and stared at nothing, trying to each think of something that they could ask Ranma.
Akane was first. "Could you really train me to get better?"
Ranma walked over to her, his eyes scanning her arms, legs, but more importantly, her aura. "I could, but your aura says you have a hair-trigger temper. I can try to help you gain control of that first. If we succeed, then we can move onto other things."
Akane's battle aura flared into the visible spectrum. "DAMN IT! I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY TEMPER!"
Ranma hopped back. "Ok then, attack me, and I'll prove it."
Kasumi and Nabiki watched as Akane charged Ranma, throwing everything she had into her punches and kicks, while Ranma simply hopped over them or bent his body slightly to avoid them. "You see, my guy form is slower than my girl form, and you still can't lay a finger on me. Your movements are slow, I can see your punches coming a mile away, and your kicks barely even create a breeze. I thought you were going to show me your skill?"
Akane, finally at an end of her patience, assuming such a thing ever existed in the first place, lashed out at him with one more kick. Ranma simply dodged it; wrapping his tail around her leg and pulling it up with enough force to have Akane fall down. She stayed down, rubbing her head as Ranma leaned over her. "One of the main tenants of Anything Goes Martial Arts is to insult your opponent until the get angry, which makes them fight sloppy. I don't do that, as I know how much a word can hurt. I simply critiqued your style. Instead of learning and adapting, you simply allowed your rage to have a better control. As you are now, if I taught you, you would be no better than a berserker. After dinner, we will try some meditation techniques to see if they can help. If they can calm the beast inside me, they should fix you up with no problem."
He cast his eyes to the others, showing them to be human eyes, not the slit eyes one would expect to see on a cat. "That is assuming either of you wish me to stay."
Story ideas are here again, as I will in all likelihood wrap up some stories, or add others to keep my mind unfocused.
Idea #1.) The What If Chronicles: The Ranma Editions: These will be stories of how things may have been different if certain things had happened, such as what if Ranma had arrived at the Amazon village, and waited to fight Shampoo until she had rested. Another one is what if Ranma had shown up to the Tendo Dojo as a guy. Or what if Ranma knew Ukyo was a girl, and promised to marry her.
Idea #2.) Ranma ½: Rise of the Children of the Phoenix: When Ranma defeated Saffron, he received the power of the Phoenix, but even with the help of the now freed personality of Ranko, he was unable to control it and was destroyed by it. Now returning to the point where he first received life, Ranma must grow up again and learn to control the power he now has, and fulfill the promise to give Ranko her freedom. This one will start out like The Two Sons of Genma, with a long story followed by scene jumps as Ranma adapts to the new world before him, and explore the relationship with Ranko, who was the only girl not to demand anything from him.
Idea #3.) Ranma ½: Shared Life: When a summoned demon attacks Ranma, Nabiki and Kasumi are caught in the fight and gravely injured. Cologne has Ranma used a forbidden technique to save them, but makes them dependent on him for their lives. The bond that forms allows them to share pain, happiness, and memories. But until their bodies can heal enough to restore their own life force, how will the two deal with the fact that they are now as close to Ranma as anyone could ever be, especially when their personality traits begin to show traits of each other and the bond pulls them towards each other. How will the fiancées react to this new wrinkle as if we don't know Akane's initial reaction?
Idea #4.) Ranma ½: What Could Have Been: While running from fiancées angry because Nabiki can't deliver Ranma to them, Ranma and Nabiki are knocked by Happosai into a parallel Earth, where the Nerima they know is a paradise. What changes will await them here, as the already find a happily married and non-perverted Happosai, Kimiko Tendo alive, and an uncursed Nerima Wrecking Crew. What more, how will they get home, and if they can, will they want to return when they see the paradise they could have had.
Idea #5.) Ranma ½: The Gemini Effect: Returning from defeating Herb, the Nerima Wrecking Crew return with one extra person. Ranko was freed when Ranma was splashed by the Gemini potion, a creation of Herb's that was supposed to both release his male half, as well as provide him with the perfect mate, his female half. How will the group's arrival be received, especially when they learn how strong the Gemini potion really is? How will Ranko be received, and how will she react to the way the others have been treating someone who she considers more than a brother to herself?
Vote on what you want during the reviews, and please do review as the more reviews I get, the more I want to add to the story (as seen by the fact that Take 2 has 11 chapters and all the others are barely updated first). Also, make suggestions for how you want this and other stories to evolve, whether you thing certain suggestions won't work, or whether you think certain characters are really wrong. This prevents writer's block, as well as keeps my mind flowing.
If I messed anything up, then let me know including typos.
Any suggestions on how I should continue the story or improve it would also be accepted.
Also, if you have any suggestions for how this should go, let me know. My own imagination, while vast, always enjoys a new thought. Also, catch me if you don't think I am making the characters true to form, or a way to make them better.
By the way, if you need any help with your stories or would like a fresh idea on what to write about for Ranma or Love Hina, let me know. I would be glad to help in any way I can.