Disclaimer: Ranma ½ is owned by Rumiko Takahashi-sama, and no matter how hard I try I shall never own it. A shame, I know, but not much a poor college student like me can do about it, right? In the same respect, One Piece is owned by Eiichiro Oda-sama. Both Nabiki and Nami are shrewd negotiators, so it may take me a while to own them both, but for now they still belong to their creators… though any original characters are mine and mine alone.
Wind Falcon Productions presents…
To someone whom is cursed by the springs of Jusenkyo, where a simple splash of cold water can strip away one's humanity and sense of self, the ocean is a fearsome thought. A simple thing like a visit to the beach can turn into something as harsh as being branded a freak or monster by those who see the transformation. Only those with a complete understanding of their curse, those who accept that part of themselves, would ever be able to keep their sanity on or near the ocean.
But then… why would someone with a Jusenkyo curse even wish to be on the ocean? Recreational swimming tends to be a bad idea most of the time, and casual sailing brings many dangers… but then… many times, people are forced to do things they don't wish to.
Take one Saotome Ranma for example. Unlike many who are cursed by Jusenkyo, Ranma was cursed by the waters of Nyannichuan, which turns this black haired young man into a red haired young woman whenever splashed with cold water. Currently, Ranma was in his cursed form and cursing his father, Saotome Genma, for being too cheap to buy ship tickets and forcing them to swim from mainland China all the way back to the main island of Japan.
After a day of swimming, the mainland had vanished over the horizon, and in order not to get lost, Ranma decided to wait till nightfall so he, now she, could guide herself by the stars. Lying back in the water, basking in the sun with her eyes closed while saving her strength, she enjoyed the sudden breeze that blew over her body… which is why she never noticed the dark clouds that suddenly formed nearby, moving towards her. It wasn't until the miniature storm hit that she opened her eyes. The sea suddenly became fierce, and by the time she righted herself and began swimming hard, it was too late. Something pulled her under water… and for a moment, all she knew was a feeling of vertigo, as if the surface of the water was moving beneath her, her sense of direction suddenly getting scrambled.
When she could take no more, she began to swim hard, spotting movement off to her right and heading right towards it. By the time she broke the surface, the clouds were gone, and the sun was shining once again… Gulping in deep breaths of air, Ranma looked around wildly... unable to spot anymore dark clouds… though she did feel eyes looking at her. Turning around, she saw what appeared to be three pirates, giving her the oddest look. She could think of only one thing to ask them. "Um... are you guys swimming to Japan too?"
Wild Sea Horse
By Jorick Soriano
To those who sail the seas in the Great Age of Pirates, the mark of the skull and crossbones is one usually to be feared and respected, many far more than others. Amongst those, the skull and crossbones marked with the red nose is one of the most feared, for it belonged to a vicious pirate known as Buggy the Clown. Emblazoned on a black sail, a small ship carrying a three of Buggy's crew sailed peacefully on the water, all three pirates admiring some ill-gotten gains that they could present their leader.
Or at least... that was the plan until a young red-haired girl tricked them out of their ship and treasure and sailing off with both, leaving them in a stranded ship with a fake treasure chest for all of two minutes… before a dark cloud from the south drifted towards them, growing into a large rain storm, and causing the wind and sea to turn against the small ship, forcing it to capsize. The rainstorm lasted all of several minutes before drifting away, leaving only the three pirates floating in the water, cursing their luck.
Just as they were thinking they would die out in the water, someone else surfaced nearby. At first, all they saw was a head of red hair tied with a pigtail… and as the person turned around, they saw it was a young woman with brilliant blue eyes, dressed in a white gi. The girl, looking confused and disoriented, looked about worriedly. "Um… are you guys swimming to Japan too?"
Musabetsu Kakuto Saotome Ryu!
The Heir of Indiscriminant Grappling
Meets the Next Pirate King!
The three pirates continued to look at Ranma as if she were crazy. Of course, before any of them could actually answer her, a small ship came into view, frantically rowing towards them at breakneck speed. One of the pirates raised his arms and began flailing them about. "Hey! Please stop!" he cried, trying to catch the rower's attention. "You on the boat, stop!" Apparently, it had worked, since Ranma could hear the rower muttering before he shouted out "I'm not stopping the boat, just jump on!"
Considering this a challenge, since the rower's speed was quick and the wrong timing could mean you were left behind or pulled under the boat, Ranma prepared herself. All at once, two on each side, they all grabbed on to the boat and pulled themselves up.
Chuckling to himself, the rower grinned. "So you actually made it." He said with his head sideways so he could continue watching where he was going and keep an eye on the castaways. The three pirates all screamed at once. "Are you trying to kill us!"
Sitting as far back as she could, Ranma sighed and began shaking herself dry. "Geez… you guys are rude, aren't ya? This guy just saved our lives, least you can do is show some gratitude…"
The pirate who got the rower's attention grinned and drew his sword. "I'll show gratitude alright…" Pointing his sword at the rower, the other two pirates with him sneered. "Stop this boat. We're the crew of Buggy the Clown. We're taking over this ship."
Frowning, Ranma slowly stood up, looking like she was about to do something, but the rower acted first. Glaring at the three, the rower stopped rowing and, before the pirates could react, beat the ungrateful pirates black and blue. Ranma then chuckled a bit as she saw the beaten pirates taking the rower's place, moving aside so the rower could sit near the back as well.
"Who would've thought you were the famous pirate hunter, Zoro!" The leader said, kissing up to the intimidating young man. All of them at once intoned "Please forgive us!" Turning to the one called Zoro, Ranma looked him over. Short, green hair that was spiked, a white shirt with all the buttons undone for comfort and a black scarf tied tightly around the left arm, a green waistband that went from mid stomach to just below the waist, and a pair of black pants and shoes. He didn't look very intimidating, but the way he laid the three katanas, two black, one white, against his shoulder showed he knew how to use them.
"Because of you, I lost sight of my nakama." He said plainly, looking slightly agitated. "Anyways, just keep rowing straight." The pirates gave an excited "Okay" in agreement and Zoro looked up to the sky. "That Luffy should be able to take care of himself if he gets on land."
Blinking, Ranma looked around, scanning the sees for some sign of a boat or something. Before she could ask what he was looking for, the pirates began to grumble to themselves pitifully. "But… what should we do now?" One pirate asked the others.
One of the rowers heaved a sigh. "Right, we can't let Captain Buggy know that a girl took our boat and treasure." The others nod, but were soon interrupted from their self pity by the sounds of laughter.
Ranma couldn't help herself. Holding her sides, she began laughing and pointing at the three pirates. "You guys must be damned idiots, getting conned out of treasure and your boat by one girl!" she said teasingly, causing the pirate to blush embarrassedly and stew in anger.
"Hey…" Zoro says mildly, glancing to the three curiously. "Who is this Buggy you keep talking about?" The pirates look up, shocked at the question. Of course… by the way Zoro's mouth was curled up at the sides, it looked as though he was holding back from laughing along with the girl.
"You don't know anything about Buggy the Clown!" one of the pirates asked incredulously. Looking to Ranma, who looked to be calming down, the pirate who wasn't rowing pointed at her. "W-what about you? Surely you know about Pirate Captain Buggy the Clown!"
Zoro and Ranma looked at each other questioningly, before shaking their heads. "Nope, never heard of him."
The pirate's face turned serious as he looked at the two. "He's the captain of our pirate gang. With the strength of the Devil's Fruit, he is one of a kind." Taking a moment to let dramatic tension seep in, he frowned and gave a frightened shiver. "In any case, he is a very fearsome man."
Ranma tilted her head to the side a bit as she digested this information. "I wonder why they call him Buggy the Clown… does he go around with big floppy shoes and a big red nose? I can see how that could be scary…" she said with an all too serious face for all of ten seconds, before cracking up into more laughter.
The three pirates paled when they heard this and sat up, stiff as boards. "H-H-HEY! GIRL!" the leader shouted, pointing at Ranma shakily. "W-W-Who do you think you are, talking like that about Captain Buggy when you don't know anything about him?" The pirate was obviously spooked about something, and the seriousness of the three pirates sobered Ranma a bit so that the raucous laughter died down to soft chortles.
"Who'm I?" Ranma asked after calming down. "The name's Saotome Ranma, Heir to the Musabetsu Kakuto Saotome Ryu!" she stated proudly, pointing to her chest with her thumb. "And I'm gonna be one of the strongest martial artists in the world!" Looking over to Zoro, Ranma gives him a cocky grin. "And who are you man? And what's up with all those katanas?"
Zoro sat up and returned Ranma's cocky grin, admiring her spirit. "I'm Roronoa Zoro, practitioner of Santoryu and ex-Pirate Hunter. I'm going to be the greatest swordsman in the world." Zoro said this with a soft intensity. Both Ranma and Zoro matched gazes and began chuckling a bit, admiring each other's goals and letting an unsaid invitation go between them… that the two would spar seriously as soon as possible.
Ranma lies back against the edge of the boat as she turned away from her future opponent. "So… Zoro…" she said casually, wanting to kill time till they got to wherever it is the boat was going, "Where is this boat headed? You seem in an awfully big hurry."
Letting out a sigh, Zoro closes his eyes and shakes his head a bit. "My Captain got his dumbass self caught by a giant seagull and was carried off in this direction. He'll be fine if he's over land, then he can drop down. At least… as long as he doesn't accidentally get dropped in the water."
Ranma blinked and looked around wildly up in the sky. "Giant… Seagull?" she asked, swallowing a bit. "Wow… I didn't see any of those when I swam to China…" Ranma said softly. "Avoided some sharks and saw a whale, but never any giant seagulls."
The rest of the trip was spent in silence until they finally reached an island. Upon seeing the town's dock, Ranma stuck her tongue out in a disgusted manner as she spotted the largest ship in port, one that bared the flag of Buggy the Clown. "Geez… whoever this Clown guy is, he musta escaped from a circus or something… cause that ship looks like it came out the wrong end of a rainbow." Ranma said just as they docked, cinching her gi's belt tightly around her as she jumped onto the dock. Ranma's comment caused Zoro to laugh heartily.
Of course, the laughter ceased when a loud explosion shook the area, taking down many of the town's buildings. Zoro's look suddenly turned serious as he stared in the direction of the blast. "What was that explosion?" he asked calmly, his three katana resting at his right side, ready to be drawn at a moment's notice.
All three pirates were looking on in fright as the dust settled from the explosion. "It's Buggy-sama's Buggy Bomb!" he answered. As the dust settled, Ranma could easily see the trail of destruction the bomb left in its wake.
"Buggy Bomb?" both Zoro and Ranma asked, interested. Looking towards Ranma, Zoro nodded. "I'm heading towards the source… knowing my dumbass Captain, he's probably there in some sort of trouble." And without looking back, Zoro ran off, leaving Ranma behind.
Thinking to herself, Ranma looked around… before shrugging. "Might as well…" she sighed before taking off after Zoro, tensing her legs for a moment before leaping up to the nearest rooftop, using the sides of buildings to bounce up there. From there, she leapt straight as the crow flies to the source.
By the time she got there, she saw that some ruckus was already under way, as a large group of dangerous circus folk seemed to all be attacking a girl. "Hmph... all of them seem to be reliant on swords and knives… nothing but a bunch of thugs." They all seemed to be following the orders of a clown in a captain's hat. From the looks of things, the girl stopped a cannon's fuse from being lit with her bare hands, and had left herself open for attack… but at that moment, Zoro stepped in, using two sheathed katanas to stop the group of circus folk attacking her. She couldn't quite hear what was being said, but from the way that cannon was pointed at some guy in a cage, she got the gist of what was going on. Course… when the guy in the cage shouted out Zoro's name, Ranma had to sweat a bit and look at the swordsman incredulously. THAT was his captain? 'Well… guess you can't win them all.' She thought to herself.
From the looks of things, everyone was shocked to see Zoro… and unable to help herself, she moved closer to watch the crowd of circus freaks as Zoro turned their back to them and made his way to the cage. Some more dialogue was being passed between the group, especially between the big nosed clown captain and Zoro. Suddenly, the atmosphere changed a bit as the clown pulled out many knives, holding them between his gloved fingers in his left hand, while a large dagger was held in his right. "This should be interesting.." Ranma thought to herself. When the two faced off, Ranma could barely hold back her surprise when the hilt of the white katana Zoro carried was placed in his mouth, blade outwards, while the other two katana he carried were drawn and held in each hand. "THAT'S how he holds the third one!" she asked no one in particular.
The crowd of circus freaks began to chant "Buggy" over and over again. Tensing a bit, Ranma watched with anticipation, eager to see what level of skill these two held. When the wind blew Buggy's jacket up, Zoro took on a ready stance, head low and both hands crossing the katana in a V formation in front of him. Buggy rushed towards Zoro, laughing madly. "Time for you to die!" Buggy exclaimed as he leapt towards the swordsman. Ranma instantly saw the weakness of this and widened her eyes. Was that clown captain suicidal!
"Wait! Don't!" she cried out, horrified as she saw the three clean slices, one through the waist, arm and leg. She watched in grim fascination as the body parts fell apart, inwardly glad she hadn't had anything to eat recently. "Why the hell did he charge Zoro like that? Hell… a novice coulda seen through that attack." Just as she was slowly shook herself from being thoroughly horrified and disgusted at the swordsman, she noticed something… odd. The way Zoro flicked his sword before sheathing them was standard for anyone who used a sword… but something was missing. It wasn't till Zoro sheathed all but one of the swords that she noticed it. No blood… the body didn't have any blood, and neither did the swords. The way the crowd of circus freaks was laughing tipped her off as well. That's when she saw the upper body of Buggy float upwards. "ZORO! LOOK OUT!" she screamed… but it was too late, the arm that Zoro cut off stabbed at Zoro's back, luckily off to the side… but still making it all the way through. She watched, unable to turn away as Zoro fell to his knees, blood staining his waistband.
The guy in the cage and the girl Zoro saved watched as well, as the hand holding the dagger flew back to the floating torso, followed by the sliced lower body and the leg, all of them taking their rightful places and reconnecting to Buggy like jigsaw pieces. "The Bara Bara Fruit…" Buggy said simply, grinning evilly at Zoro's shock. "That's the name of the Devil's Fruit that I ate." When he finally pulled himself back together, he began to shout triumphantly. "I can't be killed by a sword! I'm a Bara Bara Man!" Ranma watched, stupefied, at the demonic powers the clown displayed.
"His body went back together!" said the unknown red haired girl in shock. "I thought the Devil's Fruit was just a myth!" From what Ranma could see, this Devil's Fruit business was some bad magic.
"Bara Bara man" said the guy in the cage. "Is he a monster?"
Buggy finally stopped that annoying laugh of his, smiling triumphantly at the fallen Zoro as he spoke. "Although it's not critical, the wound is still pretty serious. This fight is over." He said with absolute confidence. The group of pirates watching the spectacle all began chanting Buggy's name again, though much louder this time.
'If they stay there for much longer…' Ranma thought as she clenched her fists, 'those guys are gonna die! I gotta do something!' Ranma tensed her legs and prepared to leap… until the guy in the cage began to shout.
"Attacking from behind is cowardly, big red nose!" he cried out. Ranma was shocked at this and looked right at the cage. When the chanting suddenly stopped, Ranma turned to the rest of the crowd… seeing everyone's shocked expressions. 'Hmm… this guy must be quick ta anger when ya mention his nose…' When Buggy turned around, Ranma instantly knew he was pissed. 'Yup… that nose is definitely a bad thing ta mention.'
"Who… has… a… BIG RED NOSE!" he screamed, throwing his hand with the single dagger in it right at the caged Captain. Ranma was shocked and was sure it was the end for the captive…
"LUFFY!" Zoro exclaimed worriedly. When Ranma looked at the captive Captain, her jaw dropped. The guy actually caught the blade in his MOUTH!
"Buggy!" Luffy said, grinning eagerly with the blade between his teeth. "I'm gonna kick the crap out of you!" he said, grinning wider and chuckling before biting through the dagger, shattering it with his teeth. 'Geez… he must eat a lot for that kind of mouth muscle…'
Buggy and his crew began laughing again. "You? Kick my ass? You're dreaming! All three of you are going to die today! Now how should I finish you guys off?" he asked no one in particular, laughing along with his crew once more.
Just when Ranma leapt in, Luffy began laughing loudly. Blinking, Ranma glanced at Luffy's cage as she landed. 'Does he have a plan?' "I'm not gonna die!" he said simply. Buggy and his crew stopped laughing and watched Luffy carefully. The caged captain suddenly leaned forward and shouted. "Run, Zoro!"
Zoro looked shocked at this while the girl looked absolutely stunned. "He's telling the guy who came to save him to run away? What about you?" she asked Luffy, thinking that he had given up. Luffy just sat there, smiling brightly.
As if receiving some unheard signal, Zoro's look of shock turned to a smug affirmation. "Roger" he said simply. The girl looked absolutely lost, same as Ranma.
Buggy then leapt at the fallen Zoro, screaming at the top of his lungs. "You can't escape!" When buggy slashed at Zoro with his daggers, Zoro quickly stood up and began parrying with a single katana, falling back towards the larger crowd of pirates. In the blink of an eye, Zoro drew the other two katana and slashed Buggy at his waist, running past him towards the cage.
Ranma suddenly understood the message Luffy conveyed to Zoro and grinned, moving closer to the cannon as Buggy started spouting off something about something having no effect. It wasn't till he finished his statement that Buggy noticed Zoro wasn't there to talk to, turning his head to scream at Zoro to listen to him.
Grinning at Zoro, Ranma motioned for him to go ahead to the cage as she stood in front of the cannon, ducking under it and concentrating her chi to push up under it. "Oi… who the hell is she?" one of the pirates asked, everyone watching curiously as Ranma struggled for a bit… before successfully flipping the cannon over so it faced the pirates. "WHAT! We're gonna die! The cannon is pointed towards us!" screamed Buggy.
Looking at the girl, Ranma grinned and pointed at the fuse. "Hey, you got a light?" she asked, looking towards Zoro as he moved near the cage Luffy was in. The girl looked too stunned to move, so Ranma grabbed her arm and pulled her close to the fuse. "Hurry up, light it!" The girl nodded and pulled out a matchbox.
"Ahhhh, wait, wait, wait, wait! The Buggy Bomb is still in there!" Buggy screamed as the girl lit the match, bringing the flame to the shortened fuse and lighting it. Luffy began to laugh and lean forward interestedly. "You lit it!" Buggy whimpered. "Wait! Hey, stop!" he screamed, hoping the fuse would listen. "Stop it! Stop it!" Ranma and the girl both held their hands to their ears as they awaited the blast.
And then the cannon fired…
TO BE CONTINUED!
Author's notes: What do you think? This is the first chapter of what will hopefully be a long running series. I hope you guys like it! Please give me any C&C you wish, I enjoy hearing them, and helpful ones will be adored. Flames shall be fed to my pet Sea King. In case any of you are wondering, I'm planning a whole new martial art for Ranma… hopefully it'll be decent
See you next time!
Edit: By the by, altered a few reactions thanks to some helpful C&C, and I hope it makes things flow a bit better. Mainly it was all Ranma reactions. As a side note, the story will continue to follow the same path as the Straw Hat crew, with some notable differences and some additional stopovers. Gaimon's Island shall have an especially interesting surprise for Ranma. Hope you look forward to it!