Sins of the Father
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Ryoga was ecstatic. After months of searching through the great deserts of Hokkaido, after crawling over the tall mountains of Tokyo and nearly impaling himself on some flag that said "Mt. Everest", he had found a potion that would allow him to defeat Ranma Saotome.
It was rather a simple potion. Whoever he used it on would forever be his slave. They would never harm Ryoga, and seek to help him in any way, protecting him.
With it, he would order Ranma to leave forever, leave Akane to him, and atone for all the dishonorable things that Ryoga had been chasing him for. No more would Ranma stand in his way of professing his love to Akane, no more would Ranma tease him; lead him away until he got lost. Once he gave the potion to Ranma, he would never raise a hand to stop Ryoga ever again. Hell, maybe he could get Ranma to help him confess to Akane and accept the blame for P-chan as well. After all, if he controlled Ranma, then his life would have to get better.
He was finally happy with his directional curse. Without it, he would never have met that dark skinned man in Juuban outside those huge pyramids. He was lucky he understood the man's language, but had no idea how a guy who could only speak Arabic was doing in Japan.
"Life is all about control. With this, you will gain control over those that impede your desires."
Ryoga enjoyed those thoughts. With control over Ranma, his life would be perfect. He would have the final victory over Saotome.
"At last Ranma, I will defeat you!" he screamed in the forest.
"No, you won't."
Ryoga turned around and saw a rather beautiful girl sitting on a rock outcropping. She had red hair done in a spiky fashion and wore a black outfit that almost resembled what Ranma wore. If it wasn't for her hair, he would almost swear it was Ranma. "Who the hell are you?"
"My name is Kaede." She hopped off the rock and began walking towards him, her eyes never leaving his. "I know what you're planning on doing, and I won't let you."
"What the hell are you talking about? I don't have time for some weak girl to try and get in my way."
She answered with a smile, before she blurred.
The next thing Ryoga knew, his world was awash in pain. Looking down, he found the source: her fist was buried in his gut.
She bent over his shoulder, whispering into his ear. "You will not run from your sins anymore, Ryoga. I am here to stop you...permanently."
Ryoga backed away, holding his gut as he tried to force air back into his lungs. Even with the Bakusai Tenketsu training, it had hurt harder than anything Ranma had ever done. "Why are you after me? Damn it! It's all Ranma's fault!"
Kaede began to giggle, before erupting into a loud laugh that rang throughout the forest. After a few moments, she got herself back under control. "Ryoga Hibiki, I suppose that just this once, you may be partially correct. Ranma Saotome is indirectly responsible for this." Her eyes grew cold as the laughter stopped, drilling a hole into Ryoga. "But in every way that actually means anything, this is all your fault."
She began walking towards him, making the Lost Boy back up, until his back was against a large tree. He knew that this girl was serious.
And for once, the Lost Boy was truly afraid.
"Let me tell you a little story, Ryoga." She paused in her movement, staring at him, no emotion playing across her face. "My father was the worst bastard in the world. He was a pure hypocrite, a blight upon the heart of mankind. He was as dishonorable as they came, blaming others for his own failures, seeking to ruin lives because they weren't his own.
"Then one day, he met my mother, and was determined to ruin her life. So he found a potion, and used it on her, making her his eternal servant. My mother was a kind soul, but soon after, the bastard was using her for his pleasure, seeing it as ultimate proof he had defeated the woman who had scoffed at him for so long.
"I was the only product of their unions, the only joy that was ever in my real mother's life. But even that wasn't enough for him. He took away anything that would give her meaning and an existence away from him with the exception of me, made it so she was lonely, with only each other for company. I heard about him all the time, saying how much he enjoyed owning my mother's body, her will enslaved to him.
"But one day, I came home from school, and found my mother dying on the floor. You see, the spell that bonded her to him was weakening. The enslaving personality knew what my mother would do to my father when it was free, so it fatally wounded the body.
"I had to hold my mother as she lay dying, my father gone again to see whatever whores he had. I got to see my only glimpse of my real mother that day. She held my cheek in her shaky hand, saying how proud she was of me, before death claimed her." A few tears fell down her face.
"But what's that got to do with me?" asked Ryoga, the breath in him finally, and the ribs beginning to ease in pain from her first assault.
She ignored him, focusing on the story, enjoying the looks he gave her that showed his fear. "My father never even cared my mother was dead. He just said she deserved it for being weak, for not respecting him as she should have done." Her gaze once again became frozen, her eyes as intense as ever. "He left me after the funeral, once again boasting about his supposed greatness.
"So I swore my revenge that day. I swore I would make him pay with his life for what he did to my mother. It took me ten years, but eventually I was ready to face him."
She began to laugh slightly. "Imagine my surprise when my father turned out to be a weak coward. You see, with my mother gone, he had no reason to pursue the Art anymore. He became fat and weak, a worthless illusion of his supposed former glory. I greatly enjoyed taking him apart, him screaming for mercy while blaming my mother, saying she deserved everything that had happened to her."
She steeled her look again. "But then I was determined to erase all trace of his worthless life. So I have but one more life to take, and then I will have peace." She began walking to him again. "I have but to erase Ryoga Hibiki from this life."
"But I don't even know you!" Ryoga was now fully filled with fear. This woman was a monster. She had just admitted to killing her own father and was now after him. He was hoping to disappear quickly. After all, he had to deal with Ranma, and maybe he could play off his pigtailed nemesis's ego to get him to face her; at best getting them to kill each other, at worst, making her weak enough for him to finish the job. Better yet, maybe he could use that potion on this girl—she could really make Ranma suffer.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I forgot a few things. My name is Kaede, just Kaede. I would never take my father's last name, as it held no honor, and his actions stripped my mother of hers. But you see, Ryoga, I am from the future, and I will ensure that it doesn't exist. I may cease to exist, but I'm willing to take that chance."
She stopped walking, and performed a mocking bow. "My mother's name was Ranma Saotome. My father's name was Ryoga Hibiki." She stood back up fully, falling into a fighter's stance. "And I will not allow you to hurt my mother...ever...again."
Ryoga barely managed to avoid her incoming punch and saw the tree he had been standing against reduced to splinters. He was about to retort how it must have been Ranma's fault and that he was completely innocent.
But she wouldn't let up on her story.
"You know, you banned Mother from ever practicing the Art. You got off on the fact you had stripped the Great Ranma Saotome of what made her great, but you weren't smart enough to ban her from teaching me everything she knew." She turned her head slightly to catch Ryoga. "That included all the Amazon tricks she'd amassed. From the Splitting Hairs, to the Bakusai Tenketsu, Kachü Tenshin Amaguriken to the complete versions of the Hiryü Shöten Ha, I know them all. I knew everything she did by the time I was five, by the time the spell began to fade."
As she went after him again, Ryoga was able to see she was yet to go all out like she had done on the first attack. She wanted to drag it out, make him know everything he had supposedly done to make her life a living Hell. "I ain't like that! I ain't him!" He was hoping she would stop. It didn't make sense to blame him for what he might do. His eyes scanned the field, hoping to catch sight of his pack, hoping he would have enough time to use the potion to stop her.
But she was prepared for his pleas. "You got the potion; you planned to use it on her. You were guilty from the moment you started to look for her." She began to pick up speed. "Hell, I bet you are even considering using it on me, and then sending me after Mother.
"You blame him for missing the duel, when by the code of Bushido, you were the one who was dishonorable. You blame him for your inability to confess to Akane, but you are the coward unable to admit your feelings." She caught him with a snap kick, sending him hurtling into the trees, smashing through several before he became embedded within one. She walked towards him, slowly. Part of her wanted to enjoy this, enjoy making him suffer.
But she was still human, after all, despite what her father was. She'd taken great joy in torturing and killing her father, making him feel pain like he had made her mother feel.
This Ryoga...he was not her father.
But...he was close enough.
"It's all Ranma's fault! He got me cursed! He keeps treating Akane bad! He keeps cheating on her with those other girls! He makes fun of her! He—"
"SHUT YOUR WORTHLESS MOUTH!" She was before him before he could blink, her hand around his throat, and lifting him into the air. "You will never use your pathetic existence to ever mention that name again. You defile it with your lies. Ranma never forced you to chase after him because of your own dishonor; Ranma never forced Akane to act like an immature brat; Ranma never forced those girls to be linked to him with their honor hanging in the balance."
She brought his face closer to hers, their eyes now less than a few inches apart. "Ranma didn't use his cursed for to learn a girl's secrets and use them against her arranged fiancé. Ranma never endangered innocents with his fights. Those are your present sins." She quickly threw him to her left, listening as he snapped through more trees.
She turned and began walking towards him, her appearance now more of a beast moving in for the kill. "You are truly pathetic. You can't accept your own faults, so you find someone, anyone, to blame. You stole my childhood, and my Mother's choice. You forced Ranma Saotome to betray himself. You forced him to watch as you made his life truly hell."
She sneered at that. It was exactly how her father had said it when she was winning against him. It also signaled the end of their game. "Yeah, and like when my Father said it, I know you don't mean it."
She cupped her hands to her side, a small ball of red chi forming, growing as her aura formed. "NOW DIE, FATHER! DAIMA TATEGAMI KEN! (War Stallion's Mane Blast!)"
Ryoga saw the face of evil itself as a raging stream of dark red chi slammed into him.
His screams never escaped those of the chi displacing the air.
When she ended the attack, a small ravine had been formed that was nearly a kilometer wide.
Ryoga was gone.
Her vengeance was complete.
She cast her eyes towards the heavens. "Mother, I have avenged you completely. If you still exist in the afterlife, may your spirit find some peace from this.
With that, sweet darkness consumed her.
As thunder rolled along the skies, a lone figure was making its way out of the forest, dirt along its body, its hair matted from the rain and the trek through the wilderness.
She was Kaede, the last remnant of a future that was no more. She had no idea why she still existed. She was positive this was her home reality, her past. With Ryoga dead, she no longer had a future, since the dishonorable swine had been her father.
But she existed.
She would continue.
No matter why she remained, no matter what paradox or flaw in the design of the universe that allowed her existence, she would seize it.
Slowly, she made her way to Nerima. She still had one family member left that she cared about, that she could still help.
With Ryoga gone, that still left her Mother and new Father—not that she would ever call Ryoga by that title, it felt more appropriate to call Ranma both, as he/she had been both to her—would still have troubles lying heavy upon him.
She was prepared to help—a lesson taught to her by her true parent. She had planned for this. The locker she was headed to was registered to Ranma Saotome, and the contents would be shipped to him, and only him. It contained a large amount of cash, as well as several letters detailing ways to increase the money and certain people to either avoid or kill outright; usually a rival or suitor yet to appear.
She smiled as she grabbed the contents of the locker, heading towards a small motel room to shower and change. Since she still existed, maybe she could deliver them herself. Her story was about to change yet again, instead of ending as natural laws should have dictated. She let the shower wash the dirt and grime off her, crying a little at the fact that for some unknown reason, she still existed.
It was a truly strange feeling for her. Ryoga was gone, the potion destroyed by a ki blast, his belongings burned in the same ravine that he was killed in. Her Mother...her Father—neither one seemed complete enough for what she felt Ranma Saotome was to her—would never need to fear being enslaved to the pig.
So why was she still alive? By all rights and known laws, the universe should have erased her existence the moment Ryoga died. She had a purpose and design in this world until that moment, and with it gone, the universe should have had no more reason to allow her to exist. It should have displaced her to a realm where all things go or come from.
But she lived. Was it destiny? Had some Kami taken an interest and decided to let her live? She knew beyond any doubt she was in her own past. Was Ryoga not her father?
No, blood tests proved that she was the child of Ranma and Ryoga.
She left the shower and dried herself off. Thinking of such things was not good. The simple truth that she was alive was all she needed. She had a second chance to know her true family, and not the sham the slave persona and Ryoga had offered.
She rearranged her backpack, leaving out things she wouldn't need anymore. Food stuffs were eaten in the style fitting her Saotome heritage: quicker than one could breathe. She quickly revised a letter to Ranma and placed it in the backpack, wondering what things would await her as she did one part of the mission she had never actually planned. After all, this was an idea that shouldn't even have been possible.
She decided to play her final role, and made ready to face this world anew.
Ranma Saotome was walking home from school with his angry fiancée and her sister. Akane was once again upset that he had staunchly refused to eat the lunch she had prepared for him, never minding the fact it had leapt out of the lunch box and attacked Kuno.
As she was yelling at him, he stopped as he spotted a little girl carrying a large backpack looking around, picture in hand.
Akane began to fume. Now while she was currently enraged due to her fight with Ranma, her mind took one look at the child and mentally conjured up the thought that she was Ranma's kid since the young girl could almost pass for a younger version of Ranma's female form, despite the fact he would have had to have her at ten. As the mental conclusion worthy of a Kuno began to cycle through her mind, her aura began to grow.
Ranma ignored Akane as he went up to the child, finding himself wanting to protect her, feeling a faint thought that her appearance did seem...familiar. "Um, hello. Are ya looking for something?"
The girl turned to see him, a large smile growing on her face. "Are you Mr. Ranma Saotome? I ain't a fiancée or anything." She added the last part, seeing Akane begin to glow red.
Nabiki, however, decided to poke fun at her sister's hasty conclusion. "Gee, Akane, getting mad at Ranma just because a small child asks him a question. You would think you were upset someone might try and take him away."
"I DON'T LOVE THE JERK! HE'S ALWAYS—OW!" Akane was hopping on one foot as her shin had just been kicked by the little girl.
"Meanie! My momma always said people like you are always mean!"
The little girl just smiled. "Momma taught me to see auras, and yours says you are a big meanie!" She turned back to Ranma. "Are you Mr. Ranma?"
Ranma merely nodded, not knowing what to make of what was going on.
The little girl handed him a letter, which Akane tried to take away; however, the little girl swiped it back and kicked her in the other shin. "You ain't Mr. Ranma, so it ain't yours."
Before Akane could start complaining, Nabiki shushed her as Ranma opened the letter and began reading it.
Slowly, his face fell as he finished it, handing the letter over to Nabiki, before bending over and taking the little girl in a hug. "Don't worry; I'll do what she asked."
Akane looked over Nabiki's shoulders as she read the letter out loud.
Dear Mr. Ranma Saotome,
I won't bother you with my name, as it is unimportant and you would not know me anyway. Just know that I have followed your life for a while, and am impressed with how you have handled yourself over the years. Despite everything your father has done, despite all the trials you have faced, you have tried and succeeded in maintaining a pure heart.
Do not be too quick to pat yourself on the back. I also have known how you have twisted your honor. You have not broken it, but I know for a fact you have come very close to it. I will not go into details, but I know that you know what events and actions I am referring to. And no, despite whatever claims you will make, you cannot deny that you skate the rim between honor and dishonor too often for good tastes.
But enough of those matters. What I ask of you is too important.
My daughter stands before you, the last of her line, as by now I have passed on. I have raised her as best as I could, and even with your faults, I would still have rather her been your daughter through me than through...him.
But let us not talk about the worthlessness of my husband, as death has taken him to his dishonorable grave.
She reminds me of you, with her ability to adapt and grow, and I imagine would soon match you in the arts as the best female martial artist, if not the best overall, aside from you. She has a talent and hunger for the art that reminds me so much of you when you crossed my doorstep.
I know you still believe that bullshit your own worthless father tried to instill in you that girls are not fighters, despite the Amazons, your girl form, and your mother, whom the honorless panda fears perhaps more than his aged Master.
Do not use those principles with my child. Prove that you are a true man by not falling for such worthless and ancient sexism. My hope is that you will realize the truth either sex—while having talents unique in the aspect of the Art—is no better than the other in any way when all things are considered.
That is correct, Ranma. I am asking you to look after my child as if she was your own. In you, I believe she will find a parent, neither purely Mother nor Father, but one of true nature to raise a child. She is my hope...my everything, and I know of none better to raise her than you.
In her backpack, I leave several things to help you. There is a bag of money for you to give Nabiki Tendo, as I know she handles the finances of the house where you stay until your own home has been repaired. I have also included ways for her to increase said finances without depleting them, or harming the chance of my child from attending college. They will easily cover her stay and costs at both the Tendo Dojo and the Saotome home when rebuilt.
I also am including several scrolls of formerly lost techniques, which I wish you to master and teach my daughter as well. I have included some pure ki projection techniques, as I know how fond you are of your Möko Takabisha, but we both know how damaging emotional attacks can be to one's own body.
I have also done some research on the honorless legacy your father has made for you. Those notes are given as well, and with the help of Nabiki, I am certain you can clean up the mess your father has made. Just remember, he made these mistakes, and your mother should hold him accountable as such, if she values honor at all. I plead that you take care of these problems now, before they arrive and endanger my daughter.
Remember, Ranma, we each must ensure our path is the true one, and it is my hope that not only will my daughter learn the true path from you, but that she will help you learn it as well.
Do not think to look for me, as by now, I am already dead. I sent my daughter to you before the disease could take me, and she knows what has occurred. I hope she can find a stronger figure in you than the poor Tendo girls or your friend Ukyo found in their parents.
Take care of her, Ranma. She was everything to me.
Do your best, I have faith that you will succeed. Just have faith in yourself.
One more thing, don't be afraid to start hitting Akane back, as I will not be happy on the other side should her uncontrolled temper and ego allow my daughter harm. I swear; Akane is one lost thread of reality away from being an honorary Kuno.
Thank you, Ranma. I know you will do the right thing.
It is all you can ever do, when it truly matters.
A Hopeful Mother.
PS: Do remember to get her name from her. I must wonder how long it would have been before you bothered to ask her.
Nabiki looked towards Ranma, nearly crying at how the woman must have felt; giving her child to a man she watched from afar, hoping that he would be enough for her. He had to know it would be difficult, but who was he to turn down a final request. This woman had faith he could raise her right, sent her daughter to him, trusted him to do it, and even gave him extra incentive to.
Akane was mumbling about how the woman was wrong, but Nabiki paid her no mind, deciding Akane was still calming down and had yet to let the enormity of the situation hit her, especially if she would end up this kid's new mother.
Nabiki knew, when Ranma was ready, the two would have to head to the bank and deposit the girl's money, making sure both of them were required to sign off any withdrawals, which should keep the fathers from running off with it. Sure, she wasn't the sentimental type, but this kid had just lost her mother.
It reminded the middle Tendo too much of her own life.
Besides, this girl could cover her expenses, unlike a certain overweight panda
Ranma pulled back from the little girl. He was unsure if he was suited for doing it, but this child needed him, and if her mother trusted him, never having even met him, then who was he to insult her memory by refusing to try and honor her last request. "So, what's your name...daughter?"
The little girl smiled at him, a few tears running down her face as well. "My name's Kaede. I guess it is Kaede Saotome now."
This was a pure one-shot that I may expand later should the mood and time hit me. If you wish to take over, e-mail me and let me know so I can see how you take it.