Author's Notes: This story is a feeble attempt to rid myself of a most horrific writer's block. I hope it works. Yeah… this first little part is really short.

Strong And Strike

Prelude: Getting There…

By S. Hitarumonwa

Gosunkugi Hikaru, age 16, sat in the darkness that the tool shed provided and laughed. It wasn't that great of a laugh either, in fact it was quite a stereotypical villain laugh, no uniqueness about it. In his hands lay the culmination of four weeks of hard work, research, and sleepless nights. "Finally!" he proclaimed to the dusty shovels, hedge clippers, and other old metallic items scattered about the shed. "I have in my hands what will prove to be the downfall of that devil Saotome!" To this the tools remained silent, their collective dust not in the least bit disturbed.

To be more exact, there were two items in his hands. One item was a large book, leather bound, and with no title on the cover. It appeared quite beaten up, and a large gash ran from corner to opposite corner upon its front, though not hindering the readability whatsoever of the wordless brown surface. The other item was an old parchment scroll, appearing old enough that a strong wind may cause it to fall apart. However frail physically, the scroll gave off a magnificent air of power, and just touching it made the hair on Gosunkugi's arms stand on end. Three symbols adorned the scroll, proclaiming a lost meaning in gleaming scarlet letters. It was exactly 32 days ago when the mage-in-training had discovered the scroll tucked away in a library book. The book was a memoir of an old warlock, although interesting to Hikaru it was sheer luck that he happened upon it, but that's another story.

Three weeks after that, and after countless hours on the Internet and buried in books he deciphered the meaning of the scroll, at least in part. The symbols that decorated the parchment meant dimension, marked, and gateway. Naturally, Gosunkugi immediately though of using the spell to banish the devil Saotome so he could claim the maiden Akane Tendo for himself. After all, without Ranma to stop her, Akane would be free to proclaim her love for him, right?

Yelling began to arise outside and Hikaru stood up, grabbing his backpack and leaving the shed. Showtime, he thought to himself.

Ranma Saotome was bored, really bored. Every day for the past three months, excluding weekends and the odd quest, he had journeyed to school, fought on and off against inept opponents all day, and slept during class. There was simply nothing exciting for him to do. Even tormenting his so-called fiancée had proven tiring after the first week or two. Keep in mind, this is only talking about the three months that have passed after the fight with the self-proclaimed god Saffron.

"Thou honor-less cur, how dare ye… uh… wait, I said that yesterday. Damn! Doth thou evil sinketh so low that thou robbeth me of original reasons for which I should smite ye" Tatewaki Kuno, the self-knighted 'Blue Thunder of Furinken High' yelled as he charged forwards, bokken raised to attack. "Have at ye!"

The pig-tailed martial artist sighed and sidestepped the attack, only to bump into Gosunkugi Hikaru, causing the weak boy to fall over, landing face first in a pile of mud. That's the last straw, Gosunkugi decided, and he blindly picked up the parchment and book that he dropped before climbing clumsily to his feet.

"Devil Saotome!" He cried, holding aloft both of his prized objects. "You have wronged me for the last time! Be gone, foul demon!" Hikaru wrapped the scroll around the book like a sealing ward, causing the symbols to glow a shade brighter, and threw it as hard as he possibly could at Ranma, who proceeded to pluck it out of the air in a lazy curiosity.

"What is it thi—" Ranma began to say, dodging another feeble strike from one Tatewaki Kuno. His thought was never completed, at least those around him didn't hear it. The world's best martial artist disappeared mid-sentence in a flash of light, the book and spent spell falling quite unceremoniously to the ground.

Author's Notes: See? I told ya it was short! Yeah… well, I shall now work on an actual chapter.