Author's Notes: Welcome back to my writer's block crappiness! This part is a lot longer than the first bit, and I hope it's good. Oh well, read, comment, and whatever.
Strong And Strike
Chapter One: Awaken
By S. Hitarumonwa
A bird chirped noisily overhead, happily oblivious, or perhaps uncaring, of the wretched state of the teenage man passed out below. His entire body was covered with mild burns, and only rag-like sections of his clothing remained intact. To look at him one would surmise that he was caught in a nasty fire, barely escaping with his life. Of course, there hadn't been a fire in that region of the land for several years, so that was completely out of the question. The bird passed out of hearing range and silence once more returned to the forest clearing that housed the scorched teenager.
Silence reigned for a minute, and then another. Not even the rustling of leaves as the wind blew them dared to make a noise and break the deathly stillness. Then, after what seemed an eternity, by chance two men walked through the clearing, spotted the teenage boy as they passed. "What do we have here?" the first man said, kneeling at the boy's side and examining him in detail. The man in question looked almost serpentine and his skin was grayish in color. The air hung around him heavily, almost as if nature itself was depressed of his existence.
The second man then copied the movements of the first and held his hand over the teenager's heart. "He appears to be a ninja of some sort, judging by his build. The burns are almost all superficial. He'll be fine, with or without medical assistance. As far as energy, he's—" The second man stopped and his eyes widened, becoming more closely the size of his large round glasses. It's not possible, his mind told him, but his reading proved true when he took it again. "This man has the largest amount of dormant energy I have ever scene, excluding the kyuubi kid of course."
At this the first man took his own reading and appeared shocked, though not nearly as much as the second man had. "Set up camp Kabuto, this deserves further investigation. I must know how this man has achieved such a large chakra level." Kabuto nodded and faded from sight in a burst of wind as he proceeded to check to perimeter of the clearing.
Gosunkugi was in pain, lots of pain. He didn't understand why either, he had gotten rid of that devil Saotome hadn't he? So why had all those people, mostly girls, collaborated to hospitalize him? Even Akane helped… he sighed, wincing in pain as he did so. He was annoyed for other reasons to. An example of that being his plan, although it had succeeded in getting rid of the fiend, not quite working as planned. Yes, he had banished Saotome into a book as the spell worked. It wasn't the nearly-empty brown tome he had hoped though. Instead, he had sent the martial artist into a manga, one of Hikaru's favorites actually. That freak'll probably like where he was sent, he thought before passing out again from his numerous injuries.
A green haired woman sat upon the roof of the school in thought, having watched the morning's events quite carefully. "His mistake will change things, though not dramatically I would think. I'm only worried that he may find a way back from that place. Had Ranma gone into the brown tome he would've simply faded away like the ink on its pages, but the manga… oh well, the Gates should reopen tonight, and then I can see if anything major has changed." She disappeared with a flash, and the old woman watching her in the shadows revealed herself.
"So the Guardian of Time is involved in this? Now it makes sense. There's no other way that that child could come across such powerful magic of his own accord. It doesn't matter. I think son-in-law will find that particular universe quite interesting. And when he returns he shall make an even better husband for Shampoo." With that, the Amazon elder hopped away on her staff.
Ranma awoke, coming to his senses quite quickly after consciousness returned to him. He flipped to his feet and instantly took up a battle stance, looking around at his environment and blinking. This isn't Tokyo, he thought to himself, surveying a campground in the middle of a clearing in a forest. The sky looks different too… it seems brighter, less polluted. I can't be near a major city. Just how long was I out? There were two people in the immediate vicinity he noted, one about five meters into the woods at the opposite side of the clearing, and the other one behind him. He turned around and scanned the person, a black-haired man with grey skin and with two purple marks on his face, one on each side of his nose. His eyes were a putrid yellow and didn't appear to be human in nature.
"Relax," the man said in a somewhat raspy voice, beckoning for Ranma to sit with his hand. "I don't wish to fight you. Me and my colleague found you unconscious and covered in burns, so we decided to stop and see if we could help. My name is Orochimaru." Upon not detecting an emotional response in the boy he elaborated. "You see, we are travelers who wish to help people… mainly those who wish to seek power. My companion's name is Kabuto" As he finished speaking he extended a water bottle towards the martial artist in offering.
Ranma gratefully took the bottle and quickly finished the contents, sitting down afterwards and focusing his gaze on the man before him. "I'm Ranma Saotome, master of the Anything Goes School of martial arts, and overall best in the world." At least, that's what I like to think. I have defeated a god and all, which I'm guessing puts me above pretty much every other person there is. "So, where exactly am I? And can you tell me how to get to Tokyo?"
Talk about arrogant. He reminds me of Naruto in a way. "Tokyo you say?" Orochimaru paused for a moment, before shaking his head. "I've never heard of such a place. Right now we are about ten miles from the Hidden Leaf Village. We were passing harmlessly by when we were attacked by a group of their ninja, which normally wouldn't be a problem. However, right now I am not in a condition to fight."
Ranma opened his mouth to reply, but none came. He was busy moving instead, rolling backwards onto his feet and leaping from the ground just in time to avoid a volley of ninja stars. "It looks like they caught up. Four marks, still ten meters into the woods. No wait, five… wait, seven. No, eight. … yeah, eight. Five of them seem to be nearly identical…" He was cut off by another simple row of ninja stars, which he jumped over quite lazily, landing next to Orochimaru. "I'll take these guys. Find your friend and leave." The martial artist finalized his decision by bringing forth his battle aura, surprising the ninjas in the area of just how easily he could manifest visible energy around his entire body.
"Byakugan!" the white eyed girl yelled quietly, charging her eyes with chakra and peering at the boy who was covering Orochimaru's escape. What she saw scared her. "Wh-what is that? It can't be a person!" Using her enhanced vision she could see the passageways of energy in people's bodies. Normally those pathways were quite thin as they laced around the body, carrying only a small amount of power with them. When she looked at the black-haired boy she could see nothing but power. After a minute of staring in silence she was finally able to distinguish the paths themselves, and although similar in structure to what she had first expected, they were at least three times wider.
"What is it Hinata?" one of her companions asked, a black haired boy wearing a grey coat with a high collar. This feeling of power is incredible. Orochimaru's new ally is powerful indeed. "Wait… where's Naruto?" He looked around, and spotted the orange haired boy running blindly forwards towards their glowing opponent. "This isn't good."
Ranma spotted one of the five with the similar energy signatures running straight towards him, the other four apparently trying to sneak around to his sides. Of course, they stand out quite easily when you can bathe an entire area in your aura and literally 'feel' for your enemies. The first one streaked into view, with golden spiky hair and wearing matching orange pants and a jacket. A blue band of cloth was strapped around his forehead with a silver plate of metal on the front, the plate having some weird symbol marked on it. "Rasengan!" he yelled as he streaked forwards, holding up a hand that contained a ball of chaotically swirling energy.
Not that large of an attack, but the damage potential is huge. The martial artist quickly calculated, analyzing the attack nearly the moment it was shown to him. Better take that guy down quick. Blue energy began to accumulate in his hand, forming a large solid ball nearly instantaneously. "Moko takabisha!" Light lanced out from his hand as he launched the attack, hitting gold hair square in the chest and knocking him back and into a tree. Ranma noticed the immediate stop of the four who were sneaking. Hmm… musta needed me to get hit by that. Too bad. He was about to press the attack to make sure the one was out when his danger sense flared and he jumped up in time to avoid a horizontal tornado of claws as one of the fighters flew past him. "Wow, he almost snuck up on me. They're better than I thought."
He landed and entered a neutral stance, and started to feel weak. What the hell? he thought. His aura was deserting him, almost as if Hinako was there using her special draining technique. Ranma looked down at his body and saw why. Tiny bugs were clustered on his left leg, and were quite literally eating his energy. Damnit, where did those come from! A quick flare of his aura and a lightning-quick spin later the bugs were gone, but so was a bit of his energy. "Not bad. Not bad at all."
"Fast." Shino commented, more of his bugs crawling out from his coat and towards the clearing. "His power is incredible to. I'm almost lead to wonder if this person is simply toying with us." He continued to watch as the four Naruto clones that had surrounded their opponent revealed themselves, and were easily dispatched as they moved to attack.
Sailor Pluto looked at the Gates of Time and cringed outwardly. "That's not possible." She repeated to herself, though the words did nothing to convince the Gates that they were wrong. The usually infinitely many paths that the timeline could follow were down to thirteen. One of those paths led to Crystal Tokyo, which was Pluto's ultimate goal, and that was the path that seemed least likely to be followed. Eleven of those paths would bring upon the complete and utter destruction of the known worlds. And as far as she could tell, every path was inexorably linked to the warrior who she had helped banish to another universe. A quick teleportation later and the Guardian of Time was in her apartment, the bathroom to be exact. She opened her medicine cabinet and withdrew a bottle of aspirin. Aspirin… yes, lots of aspirin. That's what I need.
About seventy Naruto clones, two rounds of hand-to-hand with Hinata, a rather quick duel with Kiba and his annoying pet dog, and a race to squash Shino's bugs before they squashed him, Ranma started to feel exhausted, extremely so. His four opponents, well, five counting the dog, had surrounded him, and were very slowly circling him. I can't lose to these people, he thought to himself, looking around at the three that were in his current range of vision. Hmm… golden boy is putting off a hot aura, strong one too. Perfect. He jumped out of their little circle around him, dodging a few hastily thrown ninja stars with a quick twist, and landed a distance away. The four ran at him, playing right into his hand, and he began to spiral backwards, blocking and dodging their attacks as he wound the spiral tighter.
Now. His aura turned ice cold, or perhaps colder, and compacted around his fist as he punched straight up into the air, spinning his fist in the process. "Hiryu shoten ha!" Ranma's freezing energy collided with the spiraled hot red energy and they mixed and exploded into a cyclone of compressed air and life force. His adversaries were caught completely off guard, and carried high into the sky with the swirling column of the attack.
"About time…" Ranma muttered. He looked up once more and started lazily making his way through the woods towards where he thought Orochimaru had left to.
Author's Notes: I had notes once. I didn't like them, so I threw them in the dumpster next to that green spot that smells funny and makes the cat puke. Now, comment!