The Onikami Files

Chapter 5

First Awakening

Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.

I would like to first personally thank all of those reviewing my stories. I enjoy reading your comments, and try to correct the grammatical errors I miss with my final read-through as well as my spell checkers. The suggestions you all make will help make this story better for everyone to enjoy, as well as allow my to fix some plot holes I may unintentionally leave. If you find any, let me know, and I will correct them and repost the chapters.

"Old Man," grumbled Ranma, glaring with all three of his eyes at the diminutive form sitting across from him, "the depth of my hatred for you knows no limits."

"Good to see you put some use to your rather limited education," grumbled Rouou, who in turn was glaring at a smiling Phoenix King who also sported three eyes. "So an explosion just wasn't good enough for you, Old Friend; you had to go for a damned near full rebirth of your race."

"I am rather proud my accident turned out this way," said the smirking Saffron. "And while I am in no hurry to check and confirm whether or not my restored status will follow my rebirth cycle, I do enjoy the good fortune that is smiling upon me."

Ranma just growled. It was so tempting to just kill them now… "I went through that hell, that pain, that torture, to advance and gain control over my powers. And you end up making a mistake that changes everyone on this damned mountain into a Sanjiyan Unkara!" Ranma yelled, slamming his hands on the table, and causing its legs to give out.

Rouou looked over to the boy across the destroyed table. "I'm not happy about this either, Child," he said, pulling out a pipe. "Some of us enjoyed mortality quite well before this happened."

"You didn't have to pass some damned test to get it either, did you Old Man?" snorted Ranma. "And by the way, how come you asses didn't warn me about my ancestor testing me too?"

The others momentarily forgot their anger and happiness to stare at Ranma. "Excuse me," said Saffron. "But you met your ancestor?"

Ranma just narrowed his eyes, nodding slightly. "Yeah, some copy she left behind in her descendants or something," he muttered.

Rouou turned back to his old friend. "Well?"

"There were records made by my first incarnation of copying minds," he mused, standing up and beginning to pace. "Usually it was used for low level foot soldier creation, demons and such that you needed but didn't want to waste the time and effort training them.

"However," he said, pausing in his path, "I think it was also used by several high level mages after they died, as a sort of check for their apprentices. It was used to guide them, provide them spells and knowledge they hadn't either the time or the resources to learn on their own.

"Fascinating," he murmured, looking at Ranma. "Can you describe her?"

"She looked like my girl side and my Mom," he said, feeling slightly confused. "You mean you guys didn't know she was in here?" he asked, tapping the side of his head.

"I thought you knew me better than that, Child," said Rouou. "I told you everything up front. You know damn well that I would have mentioned that to you." He then turned to his friend. "I also told you most of what this feather duster did blew up; glad to see he didn't surprise me. Now, you ever heard of that?" he asked.

Saffron shook his head. "The books never said, but I was under the impression each copy could only last that one generation. The most I ever heard about their dangers or their length was to either the main individual either absorbing the knowledge and skill or the copy being erased by a magical nullification field."

"So … avoid this nullifying stuff until I learn everything," said Ranma.

"I don't think that will be an issue for you, Ranma," said Saffron. "If it stayed within your bloodline this long, then it may be hardwired into your blood. If so, she will be with you even if you learn all she has to teach, she will even be passed along to any children you have."

Ranma's eyes went wide at that. "Great, even voices in my head are telling me what to do now."

"So how bad's the damage?" asked Rouou, turning back to Saffron.

"It appears Saotome was correct when he stated that all those on Phoenix Mountain have been changed," said the Phoenix Sanjiyan Unkara. "I'm not sure how far out it affected it stretched. For all I know, the Jusenkyo Guide, the Amazons, and the Musk are all now Sanjiyan Unkara."

"Oh, that'll go over good," muttered Ranma. With his luck, a certain infamous Lost Boy was caught up in it too. Any moment now, Ryoga would open that door and ask what happened to Tokyo Disney or something like that.

Ranma tried not to think a single thought as he watched the door, waiting for a neo-three-eyed rival to appear. The last thing he wanted was to tempt the Gods further.

"You'll need to send some scouts out," said Rouou. "Contact the other tribes and find out how far that pulse went. If it hit Jusenkyo, I shudder to think what that kind of magic would have done to the cursed springs."

Ranma stayed silent, staring at the door. Any moment now…

"I agree," said Saffron. "I also want to start checking my people, see how stable this transformation is. I would prefer not to have any loss of life because the surge was too weak to make their transformations stable."

"You think they might die if they were too far from the origin?"

"Very possible," said Saffron. "To be honest, something like this has never been conceived of before, or at the very least, not within my records."

Any moment now…

"Quit staring at that door, Boy," ordered Rouou.

Ranma shook his head. He couldn't possibly be that lucky. Ryoga was always there, always popping up at the worst and best of times. But if the Lost Boy wasn't going to show up now…

His eyes went wide. Oh Gods, he's going to get injured and I'll have to make him my Wu! I'll be stuck with the Lost Boy forever!

"Any idea why he just suddenly turned pale?" asked Saffron.

Rouou just shrugged. "Kids these days, who knows what horrors go on inside their heads. Just have the guards escort him to his room and sleep it off. We can get back to his education tomorrow. For now, let's get those messengers on their way and start checking your people."

Saffron nodded as he stood up, motioning to Kiima to follow those orders. "We might have to be very gentle with approaching the Amazons though."

"Ah yes, the boy did mention something about giant mind-altering eggs," commented Rouou with a glare. "I thought you had those things destroyed before I left the last time."

Saffron chuckled lightly as he scratched the back of his neck. "Funny story that…"

After the guards had dragged Ranma out of the room and shut the door, the door opened once more, revealing a fanged individual with a backpack, bamboo umbrella, and a spotted bandana. "Wow," said figure murmured, "they've really changed Tokyo Tower."

Looking around and seeing no exit to the room, he shut the door, turned around, and spotted a lush jungle before him, the handle of the door now replaced with a snake.

"Oh come on!" yelled Ryoga. "There aren't any jungles in Tokyo!"

It was a calm day at Jusenkyo. The flood had receded, there were just enough clouds not to reflect off the pools and blind some visitor if one had been there, and the Guide had just finished making the new signs to put into the now visible pools.

Well … he planned on doing that after the representatives from Jusenkyo Ltd. To gather some of the water to test with converting it first to Instant Jusenkyo and seeing what it produced. No sense in waiting for some visitor to show up and discover what was in each pond. At least he didn't have to worry about the Phoenix Tribe being upset with him for putting labels on that side of the valley now.

"Jusenkyo Guide!" came a call … from above.

"This one is too old for this…" he mumbled as he stood up from his seat by his hut. "Good evening, kind sir! What can this one do for you?" he asked.

The Phoenix Tribe member drifted to the ground, their white wings interspersed with black feathers, before bowing to the Guide. The only odd thing about the tribe member's appearance was a bandana covering their forehead.

"A magical accident occurred within the halls of Jusendo," said the birdman. "I was sent by our Lord to discover if it has affected you or Jusenkyo from this far away.

The Guide blinked. "This one has not noticed anything strange."

"Have those who make the Instant Curses conducted their survey yet?" asked the Tribe member.

The Guide nodded his head. "They are to be finished with gathering the samples tonight."

"Have them take several samples of the waters filling springs they have already gathered water from," the birdman stated. "We are not certain if the very waters of Jusendo themselves are contaminated.

"And where is your family, Guide?"

The man gulped. "They have gone to Xinging to shop for supplies not available in the valley."

The Phoenix Tribe member nodded. "Then they will have faced no harm from the accident.

"Should you or those who make the powders notice anything new, let us know. We seek to ensure the least amount of harm was done." With that, the man launched himself back into the sky, flapping his wings to gain height before daring to risk flying over the springs.

The Guide merely shook his head, before releasing a breath. "Was much easier on this one when Guide had no visitors. Now this one always gets visitors, telling this one to do this and that.

"The life of a Jusenkyo Guide is fraught with bossy company," he murmured, before heading inside to contact the water gathers with the radio they left behind. "This one knows they'll just yell as well.

"Lucky this one can simply pull out the batteries to their device."

"An accident, you say."

"Yes, Prince Herb," said the Phoenix warrior before him. "Lord Saffron wishes to ensure only Jusendo was affected by the unexpected magical accident."

"And what does this 'accident' do?" asked Herb. "For that matter, I thought your Lord was but a mere child now, thanks in part to the human Saotome."

"Lord Saffron has fully ascended thanks to a legacy the former Council thought to keep from him."

"And the accident?"

The tribesman looked somewhat nervous. "That information is something I have not been allowed to disseminate."

"I see," said Herb quietly. It was obvious to the prince that something very important had occurred at Jusendo, something to worry the apparently restored Phoenix Lord and have him send messengers to those of Jusenkyo Valley to check to see if they were affected as well.

It was also something the grand bird wanted to keep quiet and that made it something very interesting to the Dragon Prince. "We have not noticed any changes to our lands, but we shall be on the lookout for such.

"However, if I may ask: what allowed your Master to rediscover what his Council sought to keep hidden?"

"A friend from before his last rebirth is all I am allowed to say."

Herb thought for a moment. The Phoenix Lord's last rebirth before Saotome was nearly a decade ago. And the only friend he could recall from that era who had not been dealt with by the Council had been…

"Rouou," Herb growled. "That annoying troll is back!"

But no answers came, as the messenger had already fled.

The throne creaked as Herb gripped it tightly, trying to reign control back over his temper. If Rouou was back, then he had a chance for vengeance against the lowly human who humiliated him so all those years ago. Sure Ranma had defeated him as well, but they faced each other in battle.

The troll all but deigned Herb not important enough to face, deflecting his attacks and merely pushing the young prince away, saying he 'didn't have time to fight suck weak babes'.

But now… "Mint, Lime! To me, now!"

His two retainers quickly entered the throne room bowing before their Lord. "Yes, Prince Herb!" they chimed together.

"Prepare for a trip, I wish to visit our neighbors at Jusendo," he said, trying to appear pleasant. The last thing he wanted was rumors going out seeing him angry and assuming he was off to challenge Saffron himself.

"Um, Prince Herb," said Lime, "were we not to stay put until your father regains his health?"

Herb paused for a bit. It was true his father had been rendered unfit to rule for a time due to some incident. He never learned what the incident was, but the most credible rumor said it had to do with his own mother, a reference to acquiring Shuanshontsūnīchuan water, and an arranged marriage with a strong warrior from the West.

At that point Herb could only shiver, be thankful for at least one parent who loved him, and assume the whole thing had nothing to do with him what so ever, in order to be able to sleep at night. Yes, that was the right decision.

And so was this. "He has had three months to heal from whatever my mother did to him. Send word that I am heading to Jusendo to … offer assistance to the Phoenix Tribe in their time of need."

"Yes, Lord Herb," the duo said as they vanished.

Herb gave a light chuckle. Soon, yes soon he would have his vengeance.

The Amazon blinked as the Phoenix Warrior simply dropped a letter to her, remaining too high in the air for them to catch. Said individual wondered what it was about, but sighed. She'd just have one of the messengers on her patrol send it back to the Elders. "At least the stupid bird-male is smart enough to stay away after what Elder Cologne reported."

One of the other Amazons blinked. "The Elder did send word that the male Ranma Saotome might be in the area training. Perhaps this is what it is about."

The first warrior blinked. "Has not Shampoo claimed him yet?"

The second shrugged. "Not what I've heard."

"Are you speaking of those rumors that Pink and Link spread? They hate Shampoo enough to spread any lies to make her look weak."

"No, I'm talking about the rumors I heard from Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung," said the second.

"Now that would be credible news," said the first, as she held the letter out to a messenger. "Take this to the Matriarchs at once."

"Now then," the first said as the messenger took off towards the village, "what were these rumors?"

High above, the Phoenix Warrior sighed. The only thing that spent more time on rumors than the former Council—before Lord Saffron reduced them to infants, praise be to him—were Amazon warriors waiting for a reply. "At least it's a nice day," he murmured, as he looked down, quite thankful for the Hawk heritage in his bloodline.

Amazons on patrol never wore tight clothes, thus allowing a refined eye to glimpse downward into heaven. Never let it be said landlings didn't have their good qualities.

And never let it be said that perverts don't come in all shapes and colors.

Saffron looked about as the most recent Phoenix Tribe member left his lab, a scan complete and revealing that that person, the one both farthest from Saotome's ascension and yet still within the mountain had been affected as well, their body showing no signs of said transformation being unstable. Reports had already returned from Jusenkyo and the Musk. While test on the waters were still ongoing—including his own tests on the waters from the Seichi Spring—it appeared the radius of the blast had not gone beyond the mountain.

"Perhaps there is something within the mountain itself which shielded the outside world," he said, pondering. It would explain why his ancient incarnation had chosen this spot among the world.

Then again for all he knew, the rock had simply absorbed the spell, changing the entire mountain into a realm where all who entered would be slowly or quickly changed into Sanjiyan Unkara. He'd just have to wait until someone uninvited showed up on his doorstep. He already had several groups popping by once a year or so, usually testing out the defenses of his domain to see if the balance of power could be shifted within the valley.

Then again, Saotome was reported to have defeated Cologne of the Amazons and Herb of the Musk. Considering Saffron's own last incarnation and the chilling end he met, Ranma was essentially a fourth power within the valley, more so with his new mental advisor.

Standing up, Saffron made his way towards one of the rare shelves stuffed only with scrolls and tablets, ancient writings from the first Saffron. He recalled at one point reading each of those tablets before using the process to create the blood serum he had used to become awakened.

"Where is it?" he murmured, looking for a specific tablet, one he had … borrowed from the stores of Kaiyanwang himself—may that bastard potato forever rot in the Abyss.

"Ah, here it is," he murmured, blowing some of the gathered dust off of it. "Man, I really need to see if there are some cleaning spells I can use," he muttered, as he gingerly sat the tablet down on the table.

The tablet was basically a footnote from the creation of one of the most powerful magical artifacts of the Sanjiyan Unkara, the Ningen no Zou. It didn't describe the crafting of it, but it did list something about its creation.

There were a group of mages, those who first controlled the tribes of Sanjiyan Unkara in both worlds. It mentioned how they held lore beyond all others, lore that was thought lost—unless the potato was hiding it as well. After all, none of them had undergone the humanization ritual, thus their knowledge would have been lost upon their deaths.

And perhaps only a member of that group was capable of creating the spell that resided in Ranma's blood right now. Hell, for all he knew, that one Sanjiyan Unkara had created a spell to recreate their race.

"The Sect of the Sun," Saffron murmured, hand gliding over the tablet.

"Well, Saotome did say she claimed to have faked her death. And since that damned statue was never duplicated or expanded upon, they may have either died or went and hid among the humans to protect that knowledge.

"That or she killed them all herself and decided to make her own safeguards," he said.

"Either way, Saotome's burden may have become a lot heavier," he said mournfully.

Ranma held the pen to the paper for the fifth time, his mind still trying to figure out how to best … inform his family and friends of his progress. Somehow, he didn't think telling them that he was now a Sanjiyan Unkara and thus had new depth perception, magical powers, and was near immortal would go over very well. In all likelihood, they'd grab their gear and head to find him, demanding he do likewise for them.

Oh yeah, he could just imagine a Sanjiyan Unkara Old Letch, or perhaps having to pay off Nabiki for eternity.

"Okay, not including that in the letter, aside from their continued safety," he murmured, lifting the pen again.

Well, he could always write about he was studying to control his curse now. Perhaps if he could figure that out, he could use it on Bacon Bits and get him off his case.

"Right," Ranma snorted. "It'd probably upset Akari or something and next thing I know, he's after me for making her cry."

So that idea was out as well. And by now, they were probably waiting on a time frame for his return to Nerima. It wasn't like he could stall them much longer. Hell, some of them were probably narrowing down his location as they spoke.

"I swear if someone stuck a satellite tracker up there again…"

Shaking his head, he released a long sigh. Ranma knew the basics of what he needed to say. He had reached a new level in his training, was undergoing the process of learning control over it, and planned to be home soon, most likely in a month or two, depending on how quickly he picked up the stuff and could find a secure place to practice in Nerima.

"That could work," he said. It wasn't like he could stay here forever, and eventually Saffron would need to focus on training his people for when the Kaiyanwang reappeared, not to mention Ranma did have a pretty reliable tutor in his head. Besides, if he was supposed to help that princess, he needed to find her first.

Well, he needed to be able to help her first. Apparently from what Rouou had told him, Kaiyanwang and his Wu were not pushovers, especially if they had had the power to wipe out nearly all who opposed them.

His free hand tightened as his mind replayed that small child's final message. Oh yes, this was not a battle he couldn't go into half-cocked. He didn't lose and this was one battle he might not get a rematch in. Hell, he might first have to pick someone to be a Wu for him.

Ranma snorted at that. That wasn't a short list at all, that wasn't even a list. Hell, in fighting skills, he didn't have an equal, not since his rivals had started teaming up to take him. And anyone he chose would need to be trained as a Wu.

"Whatever," he sighed. Maybe that voice in his head could help him with that. Maybe he had abilities that didn't even require a Wu. If his powers transferred to his new form, then spells that would put a lesser Sanjiyan Unkara to sleep for weeks probably wouldn't phase him.

If not … well that wasn't good enough then, he'd have to work that reserve hard and build it as high as his ki. He was the best martial artist, he would be the most powerful and skilled Sanjiyan Unkara as well.

"But first," he said, deflating slightly, "I gotta write Mom and them."