(Re-Posted January 11th 2007)
Disclaimer; This fanfiction uses existing ideas, characters and or worlds, but is an independent work of art. I own nothing, hence the reason for publishing my writings here instead of in real books where I could make some money.
It was a normal day in the somewhat crazed district of Nerima.
This part of Tokyo has some very wild urban legends about super-powered Martial Artists, Demons, Gods, and other miscellaneous creatures that fight day and night in insane and stupid forms of Martial Arts battles.
After all, a boy that killed a God with little more than his fists could only be a myth, right?
This same boy couldn't possibly have a steadily increasing number of suitors and rivals chasing him all day, right?
And he certainly couldn't have a gender-changing curse triggered by water of different temperatures, right?
Wrong. Every myth and legend about Nerima holds a large grain of truth to them.
However, the centre of these events was missing from his usual haunts.
Ranma Saotome was missing from the roof of the Tendo Dojo. He was not present in any of the eateries owned and run by a myriad of his fiancées. He was not hiding under a bridge or even on a training trip. All of these locations had been searched time and again by said fiancées and the rivals he had for those girls. It was tearing them apart … and they in turn were tearing the area apart in their search.
Where would we find out missing hero, you ask? Why, in the very last place any of them would think to look for him … in school.
This is why we would move our sights to Furinkan High, the scene for many insane statements, battles and courting rituals. It was after school hours, which meant that only the school's clubs and custodial staff were present.
We would not find our hero in the Kendo Club, which was more or less a poetry club where everyone were dressed in clothing that was all the rage for off-duty or training samurai three hundred years ago. Occasionally there was some idiot who got the idea that they would actually practice, and dared lift his bokken, but he was always swatted back to the ground for another poetry recital by their beloved –gag- captain, Tatewaki Kuno, the rising star of the world of Kendo, the Blue Thunder.
We would not find Ranma in the Gymnastics Club, where limber girls were occupying their time doing things that will not be mentioned specifically in this fiction at this time, as it will distract from the story … let it be said that their limbs would be very flexible when they were done. Even their tongues got a workout. And the less said about their tools the better … but they had better clean them properly before the next Gymnastics Tournament … provided they dared bring them for such an official event.
We did not find the missing Martial Artist in the Drama Club, where the director was busy rewriting that infamous Scottish Play, that must not be mentioned by title for fear of grave misfortune, to suit the insane mood of their audience. Had Shakespeare been alive, he would most likely have taken his own life by means of a hot poker through the ear if he saw the end result of this rewrite. To make this scene more interesting, the actors and stage hands were playing poker, while dressed as their favourite character, regardless of species and gender. Godzilla once again beat Pinocchio and the Little Mermaid into the dust and stood up, impersonating King Kong while proclaiming his greatness. A shoe bouncing off his head was a sign that the director had just lost his concentration due to these antics.
Ranma wasn't even in the Chess Club, where the President once more trounced every one of his members simultaneously, while proclaiming his sovereignty of the game.
Ranma was certainly not to be found in the Fashion Club, where the girls were looking into next Autumn's style for cat-girls. The reasons for this were beyond even the sanest person, so we wouldn't want to think more about it for fear of infection of the brain. –Shudder- Fashion cooties! You'll never be the same if you ever catch them …
The members of the Art Club were certainly getting an eyeful of Ranko, but neither Ranma nor Ranko were physically present. The club was doing anatomy studies at the time, using some rather revealing shots of Ranko as reference, courtesy of Nabiki Inc. Some of the fainter of heart had to take five minute breathers every now and again, to keep their brushes steady. This had become one of the better ways of earning money for arts supplies, as Tatewaki Kuno always bought any image, sculpture, painting or photograph or even sketches of his Pigtailed Goddess unseen. For some reason, hardly any of the members had the stomach to paint Akane's nude portrait … the theory was that she simply wasn't as appealing after having been exposed to hours upon hours of staring at Ranko's "talents". This theory was very well acknowledged among the members, and was constantly referred to whenever new members joined. And for some mysterious but very annoying reason, their reference photographs kept disappearing, forcing them to go to Nabiki for more.
Neither would Ranma be found in the Cheerleading Squad, even though they had begged Ranko repeatedly about joining them after the Anything Goes Cheerleading Battle was fought.
The Baseball Club, while more than happy to have had him, were not hosting Ranma either. They were practicing their swings … on life-sized dummies with either a pigtail at the base of the neck, a bokken at the waits, a blue wig of short hair, or a tiger-striped bandana around the head and an umbrella on its back.
No, our hero would be found hidden in a dark corner of the basement, along with the Science Club.
This might seem a tad out of character for the normally dense boy, but there is a perfectly logical explanation.
About four months ago, three weeks after the failed wedding between Ranma and Akane immediately following the infamous battle of Jusendo, the President of the Science Club was under attack by some thugs that had just moved to the neighbourhood and dismissed the rumours about how the peace was kept, and decided to rob the President of the money he was about to upgrade the Club's equipment with. Mere seconds away from a brutal and painful beating, President Kashima Iwo was saved by the Martial Artist formally addressed as Saotome Ranma. The details of the fight was not necessary to describe, but let it be noted that the three thugs would not be bothering anyone in the area again … nor would they be able to chew their own food until they saw a dentist … after they had set their broken bones, and the doctor could confirm or refute their ability to procreate.
The President was very grateful for Ranma's services, and insisted on repaying him by helping Ranma improve his grades in school. Ranma saw no need for this kind of book-smarts, and declined, saying that it was his duty as a Martial Artist to help those weaker than himself.
However, President Iwo was not deterred, and haunted Ranma's every step for the following three days, until he offered a challenge to Ranma, on his honour.
Ranma, being unable to resist any challenge of honour accepted without a second thought, and was therefore given the task of constructing an engine for a child's go-cart from scratch, without using means that would harm the environment, in only one week, and without the aid of any member of the Science Club. If the go-cart worked, Ranma would win the challenge and receive an unnamed prize. If it didn't work, Ranma was to learn at President Iwo's proverbial feet for a year, studying his Art.
Ranma, knowing the answer would not come to him just by sitting there with no knowledge of anything within this field, visited the library to locate the root of this Art. Ranma knew that to truly learn a school of Martial Arts, he would have to know how it came to be, how it had changed over the years, and how he could use it. Certainly this rule must hold true for this task as well.
His search eventually led to one famous name; Leonardo DaVinci.
This man had designed the tank nearly three hundred years before it was made for World War 1. He designed the helicopter, hang glider, the parachute, cluster bombs and even the bicycle and many other things that could not and would not be constructed for a very long time. This was the man that held the answers to Ranma's quest, as he was the first man to design an engine that was essentially made up of two or more springs going in opposing directions. This was an engine that could theoretically run forever, as one set of springs would wind up the other set while slackening, powering some cogs to produce the propulsion needed for any ground or water based vehicle, or even, if enough springs were involved, aircrafts could use them as well.
For the first time to his recollection, Ranma copied something not even close to being related to Martial Arts from a book, compared it to several others, then decided which held the best solution to his specific task. He also, for the first time, cross-referenced these plans he had found with books on metal working and engineering.
Had any of Ranma's rivals or suitors seen this, they would have fainted. The very idea that Ranma Saotome, Martial Artist, dummy, and as anti-scholastic as they come, was reading multiple books per hour, while jotting down notes and diagrams, as he kept out of sight by balancing on the Library chandelier would be too much to handle.
With four days to go, Ranma secluded himself from his usual mess and actually managed to make the engine and fit it completely into the small go-cart by the final day. The mess created with his life because of this seclusion is best left to the reader's imagination.
President Iwo was impressed that Ranma had actually managed to do this. Not necessarily because of Ranma's infamously obtuse wit for everything outside of fighting, but because Ranma's days were more or less Chaos. This meaning; fiancées coming and going, rivals out for his blood, an idiotic father complaining about how dishonourable his son is, and many other distractions. He was further impressed when he learned that Ranma had made the engine from scratch, including making new springs, cogs and rods from metal garbage, smelted down and moulded or hammered into shape.
It puzzled President Iwo how Ranma had done this without any tools, but, not wanting that headache, as the answer to his question would most likely be crazy and in blatant defiance of logic and laws of nature.
When he had brought up the challenge, President Iwo had thought that Ranma would try something more along the lines of a solar powered electric engine in the best case. In the most mundane case, he had expected Ranma to mount a mast and sail on the go-cart, or even rip off the pedals, gears and chains of a bicycle and make an attempt at integrating them into the thing. Something as simple, yet ingenious as large springs and cogs was not even close to what he had thought. It really bothered him that he had not seen this possible solution sooner. After all, some toy cars got wound up by pulling them back a bit then letting them go, and they were powered by springs … then why not do something similar for a practical transportation?
Ranma had won the challenge, and as his prize, he got a membership to the Science Club and a complete set of tools for any job, which had taken a lot of funds out of the Club Treasury. It looked like they would have to sell their services to the local industry again, or in the worst case hold a –shudder- bake-sale. (Holding a car wash was out of the question. Firstly, hardly any of them had any noteworthy physique. Second, there were very few female members in the club, and they fell under the first category. Thirdly, there were very few people that actually drove a car in this area due to the poor condition the roads were from the high level Martial Arts battles that took place almost daily. Fourthly, every time they had tried to hold a car wash in the past, the Fashion Club, Cheerleading Squad or Gymnastics Club had somehow found out about it and held their own car wash on the same day, robbing any potential customers from them with a few skimpy outfits that were not designed to be exposed to water while worn and with exaggerated movements, stretches and bends to emphasise that they had very attractive bodies.)
Anyway, after his first taste of victory in a challenge where he didn't use any form of known Martial Arts, Ranma began thirsting for more challenges, even if they were made by himself, so after a week of trying to deny that he wanted this, he took full advantage of the Science Club membership, and used its gloomy locale as a refuge from the insanity that was his life.
There, hidden in the dark basement of Furinkan High, Ranma found a strange sort of happiness every time he was successful in making something work. Anything from plumbing, engineering and robotics to metal working and computer programming was subject to experimentation. His fellow members were his closest friends, his secret friends that knew not to make any public greetings to reveal their familiarity with him and thus his secret pastime, friends that complimented his work when he succeeded and gave tips and suggestions when he was stumped, while not demanding anything in return. But he did what he could to assist them when he was able, though he had to be cautious in not revealing himself if he ever did help in public.
But his secret studies showed their results in Ranma's grades, as they climbed upwards steadily.
It took all of Ranma's persuasive powers to get all his teachers not to let anyone know of his improvements, even going as far as to telling them how his father would react and what would be expected of him.
Marrying Akane would be, and always had been, at the top of the prioritised list of obligations, something Ranma was not about to do. That girl had, not a week after their failed wedding, lost all trust in Ranma, and as impossible as it seems, her skills in everything seemed to be deteriorating apart from her temper which seemed to increase, and her control was going into the negative. Any little thing, even something like breathing too loudly was interpreted as an insult to her skills or an act of perversion, and punishment was swiftly dealt regardless of proof to the contrary. Now, if he was to actually show any real and significant improvement surpassing her in school, the only field where Akane had ever been able to top Ranma … well, the results would not be pretty.
Ranma's teachers did not want this to happen to the student that was rapidly rising towards the top of his class, and if the pace continued, above the next class levels in a short time, and agreed to keep the news of his improvements from the Board of Education, Principle Kuno , and Ranma's parents until he graduated.
However, during an unscheduled teachers' conference with Ranma's teachers, the group as a whole filed charges for child abuse, child neglect, child labour and slavery against Genma Saotome, provided the government would be able to keep their identities confidential until a trial where they had to testify. This meant that in a year's time, depending on the cooperation of the bureaucracy, custody of one Ranma Saotome would either be handed to his mother, to Child Welfare, or as he was nearing an adult age, he would be emancipated. No matter the result, Genma Saotome would no longer have any say in his son's life, including but not limited to whom he was to marry.
This all leads to where we left off before the little history lesson. Ranma was at that time giving himself a challenge by trying to create a very simple Artificial Intelligence system. The desk he used was littered with tools and parts, ranging from soldering irons, circuit boards and loose LCD screens to batteries and a portable computer, the last of which he had put together, and then written the software for himself. Our hero had his tongue between his teeth as he carefully connected various parts and added connections to another circuit board.
Ranma was indeed a lucky individual, having made so many connections over the two years he had lived in the area.
The electronics parts he was working with were a result of the broken parts he was able to acquire from an electronics shop that specialised in computers and computer accessories. The owner had been spared from the collateral damage caused by Ranma's fights so many times that he allowed Ranma to take anything he wanted from the warehouse where he keeps broken or misused parts people have returned to him. It was because of this that Ranma was able to save the Science Club a great deal of funds, as he arranged for the privilege to be applied to the Club instead of him, allowing them to once a week go to this warehouse and pick what they might need. The owner was very happy, as the parts were virtually impossible to get rid of in a satisfactory manner … after all, most of the parts were perfectly restorable, and he didn't have the heart to throw any of them out, causing them to build up in volume. So Ranma's protecting his shop from damage combined with the Science Club helping him save space through recycling broken parts made Takagi Yamato one happy shop owner.
The door of the basement room creaked open, and suddenly all traces of Ranma were gone. Not a scrap of evidence that anyone had ever occupied the table was to be found.
The Science Club had long since gotten used to this, having witnessed it enough times over the past months.
A female member of the club entered, having been out to powder her nose, and closed the door behind her … after making sure no one were waiting outside.
Once the latch on the door clicked, Ranma suddenly reappeared exactly where he had been before, all the items on his table looking like they had never moved.
This was a trick Ranma had picked up very quickly, among other techniques.
Ranma himself had never gone anywhere, nor did any of his things. He had merely made an illusion that showed something else. This was a very useful trick and looked very real, but could easily be revealed if one were to throw something at it. Or in this case, if one were to walk through already occupied space.
Ranma never told anyone where he had picked up his new techniques, but President Iwo had discovered a folder in his computer trashcan, containing over one hundred gigabytes of collected manga and anime of Naruto and other ninja and fighting series, leading him to the conclusion that Ranma had been inspired by techniques he had observed through them, then disposed of the evidence.
Ranma was thriving in this club, pulling off creating simple yet useful things. Sometimes, he even based his projects on techniques or technology he had seen somewhere, as in movies, manga and anime.
There was one simply stunning invention the President was trying to get patented on Ranma's behalf. The Stuff-Space generator. A small chip running on minute amounts of bio-energy radiation that could be installed in the opening of a pocket or a bag, any container forming a loop with an extendable wire from the chip, and generated a fold in space within the container, allowing as much as twenty times normal holding capacity. Ranma was still working on upgrades, but in a very unhealthy move on his financial part, he was only doing this for the fun of it.
If this invention was ever to be sold Ranma stood to become obscenely wealthy on royalties alone, and any major industry and government would be fighting each other for the privilege of employing him, even as a freelance worker. In short, thanks to President Iwo, Ranma now had the possibility of becoming richer than even Bill Gates. Of course, Ranma knew nothing of what was in the works around him, and neither did his family. If they had, then Nabiki would be doing her utmost to woo Ranma into marriage, then divorce him when he got the money so she was entitled to more than half, and Genma would try to steal it all for his early retirement while bemoaning how his son was becoming a weak and dishonourable girl to rely on brains instead of brawn.
Ranma wiped his forehead clean of sweat and walked through the gaps between desks headed for the portable cooler set up as far away from any electronics or electricity as possibly to avoid any accidents from spillage, and fished a generic pop from the small pool of half-melted ice, triggering the curse.
The curse no longer bothered Ranma, but still, it was better to keep up appearances rather than having everyone harp on about how perverted and sick it was.
Ranma huffed and grabbed a paper towel to wipe off the water from her hand before tapping the seal of the can and bringing the sweet beverage to her lips. The only complaint Ranma now had about the curse was that it struck at the most inconvenient times, and it was not pleasant to walk about soaked to the bone.
Ranma had long since discovered the level of discomfort a set of boxers could cause during that time of the month, and the only reason she hadn't switched to panties, apart from feeling too girly, was that water was attracted to her no matter what form, and changing from female to male while wearing panties was a completely different sort of discomfort. As a compromise, she wore briefs with panty liners stuck to the inside where her female gender would be during a week of the month.
She remembered how tricky it had been to explain why she didn't change form the last time she had tried tampons and was splashed with hot water.
It was this incident that led Ranma to the discovery she'd rather not have; the curse was not evil, and did not want to hurt its victims. If the victim was within an enclosed space that would be too small in cursed form, then it would not activate, or the reverse, if the space was much too small for normal form, it would not change. And if there was a foreign body in a location one form did not have, the curse would not activate until the foreign body was gone. This meant that if she ever (Kami-Sama forbid) had sex with a guy, she would not be able to change back until the guy's fluids had been cleaned out, or in the worst case scenario until a baby had been born from her. This revelation had caused her to become nearly catatonic for a week.
After she drained the can of its liquids, Ranma crushed it with two fingers and tossed it across the room into the club's private recycling bin, which in this case meant they could recycle the content themselves and possibly use it as something more useful than what the recycling centres would. After all, aluminium had a relatively low smelting point, but could be very useful in their little projects, especially as casing for some insulated wiring and electronics.
Ranma returned to her table, looked over her progress and decided to call it a day.
"Hey, Iwo!" she called across the room, gaining the attention of the aforementioned boy. "I'm headin' home! Take care!"
With that said, as it was all she needed to say, Ranma packed up all her things and stowed them away in her personal stuff-space, one not generated by technology but her own aura, which allowed for an unknown amount to be stored.
As she was leaving the room, she was bid farewell with a collective "Good bye, Ranma-chan!" which really grated on her nerves, and she had told them time and again to stop calling her that, but they kept doing it out of friendly spite.
Before leaving the school grounds, Ranma stopped by the boys' locker room and splashed herself with warm water from the sink, reverting to his normal gender.
However, because Ranma had had a relatively quiet day, the various deities of Chaos demanded the chaos that normally followed him around catch up with him, and add more madness to a normally strange situation.
"RANMA! YOU WILL RESPECT YOUR MASTER!"
Ranma stepped aside just in time to avoid to avoid being splashed by a bucket of water. This in itself made him blink. He usually never managed to avoid water when it was flying right at him. How did that happen? He thought.
Not wanting to try his luck, Ranma turned around to see a bruised and battered Happosai as he fumed on the street not twenty feet away. A visible aura had manifested itself around the diminutive old pervert.
Ranma knew there was a perfectly good reason for the Grandmaster of the Anything Goes Martial Arts being cross with him.
That morning on the way to school, Ranma had stopped by the police station with Happosai's horde of feminine panties, thongs, pantyhose, bras and garter belts, with a note about whom the felon was and the most likely victims of his crimes. Not long after, he had come across the aforementioned felon on his raid, wearing his usual disguise of a handkerchief tied around his face like his nose was in a sling, carrying his treasure, which was comprised of feminine articles, being chased by the attractive, young and unreasonable women that had been victims of his pilfering and groping.
Being the sole conscientious practitioner of the Arts in the area, Ranma had stepped in and placed a clever trap in the old man's path.
Panties worked nearly all the time as a means of distraction for the old fool, and this was no different. The old pervert halted his flight to stare in moved awe at the revealing article of underwear that was hardly enough strings to cover anything of importance. This resulted in the women catching up with him and beating him within an inch of his life, powered by Righteous Womanly Fury.
Ranma had been doing this every now and again for the past few months, so this could have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
Whatever the cause, Happosai was standing before him, glowing in anger, something that only served to make his injuries stand out more, holding a wand-like stick of gold in one hand, a crumbling scroll in the other, a bucket between them and a black bra on the ground at Happosai's feet. The last was most likely what the old man had intended to put on Ranma once the water had hit him.
"What 'd you want this time, old man?" Ranma asks, playing ignorant, something he had become quite proficient at, but the performance was not enough to fool someone who could read auras.
"YOU STOLE MY PRETTIES! YOU STOMPED ON AN OLD MAN'S INNOCENT PLEASURES! THIS HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH, AND IT IS WELL PAST TIME FOR PUNISHMENT! PREPARE TO FACE YOUR WORST FEARS!"
Ranma was on the verge of growing bored with the whole scene. Every time Happosai had been angry with him in the past after the failed wedding, he had dug out some ancient magical artefact from somewhere and tried to punish him with it. Usually the items didn't react or they blew up in the man's face, so Ranma didn't bother to mount a defence as Happosai unrolled the scroll and aimed the end of the stick at him.
"Give it yer best shot, old man!" Ranma laughed, spreading his arms wide to present a bigger target. "You haven't managed to punish me yet, and you keep comin' back for more!"
However, as soon as the old pervert starts muttering the written incantation, Ranma knew something was different, and his laughter died a horrible death. To make matters worse, he wasn't able to move, no matter how much he willed his body to do so.
Energies started gathering in the immediate area surrounding the two, causing water to boil, grass to burn, and flaring with light that made the world seem white to the outside. The swirling masses of colourful energy funnelled rapidly towards the stick, creating a small cloud of colours to appear at the end of the stick pointed at Ranma. The heat caused the scroll to catch fire and Happosai finished his incantation with an indignant squawk as his sleeves caught fire.
This was obviously not the right thing to do, and the clouds changed colours for a brief instant before shooting at Ranma, hitting him directly in the chest and bathing his form in blinding light. With the spell finished, the wand vanished, and the scroll, which had burnt to ashes by now, was scattered by the cool winds rushing in now that the source of the extreme heat had gone.
Happosai managed to put out his sleeves by submerging them in a barrel of old rainwater that stood conveniently nearby, only to pull his arms back out, howling bloody murder. The water had been boiling already, thanks to the energies gathered by the spell, and already burned hands dipped into something boiling cannot be a pleasant experience no matter who you are.
While Happosai was doing a bizarre dance, bemoaning his bad luck and insolent students, the residents of the immediate area returned from their shelters to witness the amount of destruction that had been caused this time.
Fire engines were heard in the distance, and people were starting to emerge with tubs and buckets of water to cool down the glowing hot ground or put out the burning gardens. Still, the sight of what had happened to Ranma managed to halt more than a few in their tasks.
Where Ranma had been standing now stood a significantly shorter form. (Barely clearing five feet.) A burnt hole the size of a basketball could be seen clearly on the chest of his shirt, a smouldering wound beneath it. But what really drew attention was that the muscles that Ranma had worked for over a decade to earn had been reduced to a third of their former size. Though the definition of muscles were still visible, they no longer seemed as impressive. But this was far from the weirdest part. Covering the entirety of Ranma's body was a thick, but short coat of black fur, and sticking from a torn hole just below the waistline of his pants was a long and slender tail that immediately had wrapped itself around his right leg like a snake. The length of Ranma's hair had vanished, apart from a tuft of hair along his forehead where his hangs had been, making him nearly as bald as a fresh recruit in the army … bar the fur, of course. And peeking from his gaping mouth was a pair of elongated canines, twice the length they are supposed to be.
The women who were watching him started feeling faint, hot and bothered, but not because of the smouldering surroundings.
Even as everyone was watching, the smoking wound on Ranma's chest sealed itself and a fresh patch of fur grew in.
Still feeling unable to move, stunned from the sudden chain of events, Ranma stared at his hands which were now covered in fur, and had thin pads of leathery skin on the palms.
His ears twitched, letting him know that they too had changed. Their shape was now soft triangles only slightly smaller than his collected fingers set in a salute position.
He was well aware of what he now looked like … the gleaming window across the street was kind enough to show him.
He had been afraid of those creatures most of his life.
Their presence could cause him to cringe and cower in fear, and finally snap into a berserker state that could easily be distracted by a ball of yarn or catnip, and could easily think to make a chew-toy out of a fifteen foot shark.
He was a cat.
Yet he was still a man.
He was both and scared, not of himself, but because he no longer felt the incapacitating terror he usually felt whenever he thought or saw a feline of any kind.
The fear was gone … and it scared him stiff.
"I'm an even bigger freak now …"
The words came forward. He wasn't sure if he had spoken them or thought them, but it was true. If he was a freak before when he changed gender what would he be now that he clearly wasn't even human anymore?
Thoughts of having to live in shadows, hiding from the world, eating out of the garbage and freezing to death one winter only to end up as a specimen in some lab, ran unbidden through his head, clouding his awareness of his surroundings, which made it very understandable that he didn't pick up on the arrival of one who could only make matters worse.
"Behold, for the vile sorcerer Saotome has finally revealed his true form before the might of the Blessed House of Kuno!"
Three guesses whom now graced the scene with his presence, and the first two are invalidated due to how obvious the answer is.
"Yes, today is the day that I, Tatewaki Kuno, the Blue Thunder-" Cra-ack Boooom! "-slay the demon, and release the cursed hold on my Fierce Tigress and the Treeborne Kettle Girl so that they might bask in the warmth of my presence, and return the love you deny them to give me freely!"
Kuno reached into his hakama and pulled out a scroll that was in much the same state as Happosai's previous one. He unrolls it regally and with grand, exaggerated gestures.
"I banish thee, foul daemon, to the Hell where your kind truly belongs!" with this declaration, the scroll was thrown at Ranma. While in the air, and without losing momentum or direction, the scroll rolled itself back up.
Ranma managed to catch the scroll out of reflex, and was about to throw it back when the feeling of being pulled into a single spot in his hand overcame him. It felt like he was water being sucked down the drain of a sink.
"This just isn't my day …" he muttered in resignation.
In a colourful flash, Ranma no longer remained.
Kuno gloated as he stared at the empty spot. He had finally destroyed the monster that kept his true loves from leaping into his arms and shower him with their affection.
He was about to share his joy with the world when the people watching overcame their fears of expressing themselves, and ganged up on the two that were the cause of the apparent death of their protector, the one that fought crime in their area, put the clogs in the machinery of Happosai's raids, and held most fights under some measure of control to keep from injuring the innocent.
Shortly after, the other Martial Artists of the area gathered in this place, looking for answers about what had happened, and blamed it all on Ranma.
When Ranma's other rivals discovered what had happened, they immediately started attacking Kuno for robbing them of the honour of killing Ranma, but after fighting for half an hour, realised that this meant that their loves were free of whatever hold Ranma held over them.
The fiancées and suitors of Ranma started blaming each other for Ranma's death, and would have started fighting each other, had their unwanted suitors not arrived under the impression that they were now ready for the taking. Blame was immediately shifted to the rivals of the deceased Ranma, and started what would hence be known as the Beat-down of Righteous Womanly Fury. The rivals of Ranma blamed him for still having the girls under a spell even in death and vowed that they would make his afterlife Hell when they eventually got there. And as luck would have it, they heard each other swearing the same thing, though in different wordings, and started fighting each other for the honour of doing as they vowed.
Should they continue like they were at that time, they would have entered the afterlife much sooner than anticipated.
Saotome Genma, once he heard of his son's apparent death, started bemoaning how much of a weak girl he had been to get killed so easily, then went on to cry about how the Schools would never be joined. Soun Tendo shared in his grief and caused a great deal of water damage to his house from excessive crying.
Saotome Nodoka felt like her world had been ripped apart. Sure she had been formal with her son at best … and given disapproving glances when he stayed in his cursed form for too long … and encouraged him to both peek at and take advantage of as many women as possible because it was "Manly" … and acted like she was seriously considering the Seppuku Contract if her son wasn't manly enough. But all of that was an act! She had to be the perfect wife, never complain about her life, never doubt her husband's decisions even if told otherwise and even sacrifice her best years alone because her husband wanted her only child to be raised differently than she was able to. Kami-Sama knows she had done her best to keep track of them, she even tried to coincidentally bump into them now and again, but Genma always managed to get away before she got there. And when she finally met up with her son again, she wasn't able to express her true feelings on the matter because of her duties as a traditional Japanese wife.
Now it was too late. Her son was gone. She was in shock for days before her emotions pushed through the thick wall she had erected around them over the years, sending her into a fit of tears, which drove her into the only sympathetic arms she could find, namely those of Tendo Kasumi. The two cried for the longest of times, and when they calmed down some, they shared stories they had of Ranma's crazy life. After a week of mourning the two went on with their lives, but a little seed of hope had been planted by the retelling of Ranma's previous adventures … maybe Ranma wasn't dead … maybe the rumours had been exaggerated, and at any moment Ranma would return to them as cocky as ever without a scratch on him, like so many times before.
Another week went by before Nodoka received word from the courts, informing her of the charges filed against her husband. She could take no more, and filed for divorce, family honour be damned! She could not remain related to that fat oaf any more! She moved out of the Saotome home and into an apartment in another part of Tokyo, where only Kasumi was allowed to visit.
Cologne, however, one of the Matriarchs of the Juketuzoku Amazon tribe did not look as upset about the news as others. She mulled the information over, felt the energies of the scene of the biggest event of Nerima, and started contacting her fellow Matriarchs. It might be time to resume contact with the rest of the Amazons …
Mere days after the disappearance of their protector, the inhabitants of Nerima started taking affairs into their own hands, walking the streets in groups to patrol the area, and each group having radio contact with the police to report on any crimes going on or to report when they had made a civilian's arrest. Nerima soon became one of the best kept areas of Japan, a place where everyone were friends with everyone, and if any crime ever happened, pity be to the criminal, because the wrath of the citizens would be short and accurate.
Needless to say, the Yakuza never saw any reason to establish a foothold there, as they wouldn't be able to do any business with all the concerned and selfless citizens living there, acting as vigilantes with government backing.
Meanwhile in some dark, unknown corner of the world, a woman sat upright in shock as a vision assaulted her. A werecat had entered the picture, and he held such power that their Clan could be in danger. He would have to be taken care of.
The wererat Seer was about to get up when the vision returned to her, supplementing the information she already had.
The werecat was the only one of his kind … he held power and skill unmatched, and would not be easy to bring down. His location was undetermined, but when he did reveal himself he was going to get a reception the likes of which the wererats gave Iceron in parting.