A Midsummer Night's Beauty, Part II: Queen of Extreme
by rkOujirou

Author's note: This story is a continuation on the Ranma 1/2 anime, including the OVA's and movies. Therefore, keep in mind that anything exclusive to the manga hasn't happened in this story.

Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 is not my idea, it was created by a very talented manga artist named Rumiko Takahashi. The only characters I'll claim are my own original characters that I've added into this story. Just so you know.


Chapter 6

On a tree-covered mountain range near Tokyo, Ranma Saotome carefully strolled through the thick forest with his eyes peeled, staying alert to every slight movement and sound around him. He kept looking from side to side cautiously, but hadn't seen nor heard anything out of the ordinary as of yet.

He knew there was an enemy out there, though. His enemy was quick. His enemy was dangerous. His enemy could conceal herself well. And his enemy was about to go on the attack.

From out of the corner of his eye, Ranma caught sight of a mace approaching from his right side and swung his leg upward, knocking the steel weapon out of the air and embedding it into a nearby tree. It was merely a distraction though, and he knew it. Looking upward, he spotted his lavender-haired opponent falling down toward him with her other mace raised above her head.

Relying on his quick reflexes, Ranma jumped back out of range just in time as Shampoo slammed her mace down into the ground, causing a sizable crater to expand outward from the point of impact. With Shampoo now out of hiding, Ranma wasted no time going on the offensive as he tried to sweep her legs out from under her. The nimble Amazon girl proved to be too quick for the move though, pushing herself up off the ground and planting both of her feet in Ranma's face as his leg brushed against the earth beneath her.

The pigtailed martial artist reeled backward from the double stomp, allowing Shampoo to flip back to where her other mace had landed and yank it out of the tree. From there, she took off after Ranma again, engaging him in direct combat with her twin weapons. Ranma ducked and dodged, blocked and countered, avoiding being hit with Shampoo's relentless high-speed attacks. But he soon felt his back strike something. He'd backed up into a large tree.

Seizing the opportunity, Shampoo jabbed her mace forward, but struck only wood as Ranma quickly crouched down. The opportunity was now his. With Shampoo's lower body open, he used his leg to sweep her off her feet again, this time with success.

Shampoo braced herself as she fell flat against the ground, readying to get back to a less vulnerable position as fast as possible, but Ranma was already positioned perfectly. Before the young Amazon girl could react, her companion's fist was already stopped an inch from the tip of her nose.

It was obvious from Ranma's expression just how much he was enjoying their little game, and that brought a sparkle to Shampoo's face as well.

"Look like Ranma win that one," she smiled up at him. "What score now?"

"It's uhh...huh...I lost count," he admitted, giving an indifferent shrug. "Whatever, it don't matter..."

"Yes it matter! One that lose have to clean dishes," Shampoo reminded him of their wager.

"Alright, alright," Ranma grabbed her hand, pulling her to her feet. "Next round's winner take all!"

*growwwl...*

Shampoo tried to keep herself from laughing as Ranma hunched over a bit, placing his hands over his growling stomach.

"Aww man," he groaned, glancing up at his girlfriend. "Y'know, on second thought..."

"Is time for dinner?" the amused Amazon girl giggled.

Ranma emphatically nodded his head. "Ya mind?"

"No really. We call game draw, both wash dishes this time," she proposed. "Deal?"

"Deal," Ranma quickly agreed, eager to get a meal in his stomach. "I'll go grab some firewood."

"Shampoo get water then. No take long."

Shampoo headed back to their camp to grab some bottles and then began making her way down to a stream not far away. They'd only set up camp a matter of hours ago, but so far things were going well. Both she and Ranma had enjoyed some training courtesy of their game, and now Shampoo would get the chance to make him even happier with some of her cooking.

"Best way to man's heart is through stomach," she reminded herself. "All go according to plan. First train with Ranma, then cook dinner, and then when sky get dark..."

Blushing, the teenage martial artist cupped her hands over her cheeks. "Shampoo get you tonight, Ranma!"

She was still working on her game plan when she reached the stream. Kneeling down, she dipped one of the plastic bottles in the water carefully to avoid getting splashed.

"Wonder what should wear?" she thought aloud. She'd brought along several "suggestive" garments for the occasion, and she planned on putting them to good use.

Shampoo looked down at the stream to see how full her bottle was, but it was then that something else suddenly caught her eye. There was a reflection in the water. She stared at it for several seconds thinking she may have been mistaken, but it was no mistake. According to the reflection, someone was standing directly behind her.

And that someone was Akane Tendo.

"Akane?" Shampoo jumped up, spinning around to confront her old rival.

Much to the Amazon girl's confusion, however, there was nobody there. She looked back and forth to try to see where Akane had gone, but there was no sign of her anywhere. It was as though she was never really there in the first place.

"What going on...?"

Shampoo was clearly perplexed, but the reflection in the water appeared to be nothing more than her imagination.

Shaking her head, she grabbed the other bottle that she'd brought along and dipped it into the stream as well. Then her eyes widened as she saw it again. It was the same reflection of Akane, only this time it was moving. Akane reached back, her eyes filled with intense rage and looking as though she were about to attack, and that was when Shampoo reacted.

The Cat Café's owner planted her hand on the ground and thrust her leg up in the air behind her to counter Akane's move. She was baffled to find, however, that there was nothing but air to strike. Falling down onto her back with a thud, she hurriedly sat up and scoured the area for signs of life.

Just like before, Akane wasn't there.

Becoming irritated, Shampoo quickly looked down into the stream again to see the reflection. The only reflection she saw this time was her own, though. The image of Akane was gone.

Flopping back down to the ground, she took a deep breath to calm herself and began rubbing her forehead.

"Maybe Shampoo need get more sleep..."


Over on the east coast of China, Ryoga and Meilin were presently preparing to leave a large military compound near Shanghai, where they'd been flown to after their latest assignment.

News of the encounter between Jukai, Commander of the Special Operations Unit's Viper Team, and a person that he believed to be the resurrected Sorceress Jusenkyo had spread like wildfire throughout the entirety of the Chinese military. High-ranking officials weren't ready to assume that the unknown entity was indeed Jusenkyo, but, based on information given by Jukai after his battle, they were going with the assumption that this person was the same one responsible for the deaths at the Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo. Regardless of the person's identity, they now had proof that someone dangerous was out there, and that proof was going to significantly affect their plans.

As Ryoga and Meilin had found out during a meeting earlier in the day, a large number of additional soldiers were now being assigned to either seek out the dangerous entity or stand guard in towns and cities in the direction of where they were believed to be headed. The person's physical description, which had been provided by Jukai, was also disclosed at the meeting, but that information created some confusion amongst the two unofficial Commanders of the Special Operations Unit's Orange Team. The entity in question was described as wearing a black cloak exactly the same as the ones worn by the deceased men found at the Cursed Springs. They were also said to be wielding a large scythe with one hand. The use of a scythe coincided with the characteristics of Sorceress Jusenkyo, but Jukai hadn't seen the entity use it in ways that Li had reportedly been using it, nor did he ever see the scythe's blade turn black, making it seem unlikely that it was the cursed scythe, Yanlou. That idea was only further supported by the fact that Ranma was still alive, and therefore was still Yanlou's master. Other than these two items, Jukai wasn't able to discern any other physical characteristics about the person.

Information about the entity's attacks had also been provided, but it was the physical description that was on the mind of Ryoga and Meilin. Judging from the scene at the Cursed Springs, including the two sets of footprints leading away from the area, they had believed that perhaps one of the cult members had run from the scene and been pursued by the entity. But this new information raised the question of whether or not the entity was actually one of the cult members themselves. It was also possible that they had killed the cult member that escaped and stolen their cloak, but what actually happened was something that would need to be determined later.

For now, Ryoga and Meilin were going to be airlifted back to the scene of the battle between Jukai and the unknown person to resume their search.

"This whole thing keeps getting more and more confusing," Meilin complained as she and her partner walked down one of the compound's corridors. "Some sorceress supposedly gets resurrected, lays low this entire time we've been looking for her, and then makes a huge scene by fighting Jukai? I don't get it. What's she trying to do?"

"They're digging through the historical archives trying to find that out, and we probably won't know until they do," Ryoga told her. "I'm just glad we know what we're looking for now. We have to find her and take her down before she hurts anyone else."

"That's true. We probably can't have as much fun now that we know someone's out there though," the white-haired woman let out a disappointed sigh.

Ryoga placed an arm over his girlfriend's shoulder to console her. "We just have to hurry up and find her then. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can relax."

Giving him a sly look, Meilin leaned in and nuzzled against Ryoga's cheek. "Now you're talking. Let's go catch us a sorceress, honey."

Their exit from the building would be delayed by a comrade of sorts, however, as they reached an intersection of two corridors.

"Watching you two makes me want to blow chunks! Have some goddamn decency!"

Looking to see who it was, the two prisoners found a familiar, blonde-haired man leaning back against the wall with his falcon perched atop his shoulder. Oddly wearing nothing but a dark green pair of boxers, he had bandages covering much of his body. But even in places not covered by bandages, his scars of past battles were plainly visible and made it seem like he'd been to hell and back.

"Jukai..." Ryoga acknowledged him.

Meilin gave the soldier an annoyed look as she noticed his wardrobe, or lack thereof. "You're walking around the compound half-naked, and you're calling us indecent?"

"It's a pain in the ass to keep putting on clothes and taking them off again so these doctors can change my bandages," Jukai defended his choice of attire. "They sending you scum out to look for Jusenkyo again?"

"Naturally," Meilin replied. "Unlike you, I think we'll be good competition for her."

Jukai had a furious glare in his eye after the insulting remark. "Don't give me that crap! I got caught off-guard by an unknown enemy with unknown power! If it were you out there you'd be dead right now, so don't get an attitude!"

"I'll try to keep my ego in check," Meilin sarcastically responded.

Next to her, Ryoga was having trouble looking away from Jukai's shoulder where his falcon was digging its claws into his skin.

"Doesn't that hurt?"

"What?"

"That thing's claws," Ryoga grimaced.

"Huh? Oh," the half-naked soldier looked over at his bird. "I'm used to it. Don't even feel it anymore, honestly. Wanna try?"

"No way! My shoulder feels fine and I'd like to keep it that way!"

"Don't be a pansy!" Jukai grinned deviously, turning to his falcon again. "Hey, buddy, go make friends with the pig."

"H-hey-!"

Ryoga backed away, but the bird left Jukai's shoulder and flew over to him with surprising quickness, perching itself atop the martial artist's shoulder and digging its claws into him.

"AHHH!" Ryoga cried out as the falcon's claws pierced his skin. "OKAY, THAT'S ENOUGH! GET...IT...OFF!"

Not liking Ryoga's attitude, the brown-feathered bird gave him a cross look and proceeded to pound its beak into the top of his head repeatedly.

"Oww! Oww! Augh! OWW!"

Dazed, Ryoga collapsed to the floor while the bird left his shoulder and returned to its thoroughly entertained master.

"Hahahahahaaah!"

"YOU-!" Ryoga snarled, getting back to his feet in a huff. "I'll kill you and that bird! Let's go!"

"You wanna try it, Pig?" Jukai stood pat, grinning from ear to ear.

The two emotionally-fueled men wouldn't get the chance to settle their differences, though, as Meilin interjected herself, grabbing her partner by the ear and dragging him away.

"Owowowow-!" Ryoga yelled as he was pulled along.

"You can fight him some other time, honey. We've got work to do," the white-haired warrior calmly told him.

"Hey!" Jukai called out to them.

Meilin stopped for a moment and looked back to see what he wanted.

"They probably told ya already, but," the scarred-up soldier began to say, holding up his left hand, "...watch her hands real close. She used that scythe of hers with one hand the whole time and then damn near incinerated me with some kinda magic blast from her other hand that she was probably charging the whole time. If you let her charge that attack there won't be anything left of you, so watch your asses."

"Ohh? Giving advice to the prisoner scum?" Meilin shot him an amused look.

Jukai snorted and turned away. "You guys make good decoys for me. It'd be a waste if you got yourselves killed already."

"I've got your decoy right here!" Ryoga snapped at him. "And Jusenkyo or whoever it is won't be able to fight both of us one-handed, so we'll be fine!"

"He's right," Meilin agreed with her lover. "If she tries fighting us directly with one hand, she'll be dead again before she knows it. Whatever she used against you won't be an issue."

"Maybe. Don't underestimate her though," Jukai warned them. "And don't feel bad if you scum can't get the job done. If she's still around by the time I'm healed up, I'll come steal all the glory for myself."

The white-haired warrior flashed a confident smirk in response.

"Too bad. You won't get the chance."


Meanwhile, back in Japan, Ranma was trudging through the darkened forest with a stack of freshly cleaned dishes in his hands and a grumpy scowl on his face.

"I'd like to know how callin' it a draw and both washin' the dishes turned into her disappearin' while I do all the work..." he grumbled. "Where the heck did she run off to?"

With the light of the campfire guiding him back to camp, the pigtailed martial artist dumped the dishes on the ground and looked around for any sign of his girlfriend.

"Hey, Shampoo! Where are ya?"

"Shampoo right here~!" the young Amazon cooed.

Quirking an eyebrow, Ranma glanced over at he and Shampoo's sleeping quarters.

"You in the tent?"

"That right! Ranma come here!"

"Yeah, you bet I will," he fumed, still annoyed about the dishes.

Too preoccupied to even consider that anything might be odd about this situation, Ranma unzipped the door to the tent and glared inside, ready to give Shampoo a piece of his mind.

"You mind tellin' me wh-?"

Ranma went silent, his jaw dropping at the sight before him. Inside the tent, Shampoo was laying on her stomach dressed only in a hot pink lace babydoll and matching panties. The racy piece of lingerie was see-through in many areas and didn't leave much to the imagination, but there was just enough covered to grab a man's curiosity. The matching panties that she wore, which had white frills around the border, didn't hide much either as the lower half of Shampoo's bottom was clearly visible. It was an outfit perfectly designed to capture a man's attention.

With her head resting on one hand, the seductive Amazon girl slowly rubbed one of her legs against the other and winked at her man.

Feeling a stream of blood start to run down from his nose, the red-faced Ranma quickly cupped one of his hands over his face to stop it.

"Wh-wh-wh-wh-what the heck are you wearin'?" he stammered.

"Shampoo get this one just for Ranma," the lavender-haired girl purred. "You like what see?"

"I-I...uh...w-...I..." Ranma fumbled his speech, scrambling to find the right words.

Sensing she was getting the better of him, Shampoo slowly rolled onto her side so that Ranma got to take a look at the front of her body.

That sight was all Ranma could take. Overwhelmed, he turned around and looked away so he could think straight.

"Th-th-this is supposed to be a trainin' trip!" he said frantically. "And whatever happened to waitin' for this kinda thing?"

The heir to the Saotome School of Anything-Goes Martial Arts tensed up as he felt Shampoo press up against his back and wrap her arms loosely around his neck.

"Ranma...you love Shampoo?"

"Huh? C-c'mon, you know how I feel 'bout ya..."

Shampoo showed a hint of sadness as she rested her chin on his shoulder. "Ranma say that, but we stay together months and Ranma no seem interested in Shampoo..."

The initial tension Ranma felt started to ease as he picked up on the young woman's unusually serious tone.

"You want take things slow. Shampoo know that..." she said to him, "...but sometimes think Ranma just no want do couple thing with Shampoo. We always is busy at Cat Café, so think maybe it different if we go out on trip, but..."

Sensing his girlfriend's uneasiness, Ranma turned around and looked into her eyes, placing his hands on her shoulders.

"You really think I don't feel that way about ya?" he asked her.

Shampoo averted her eyes from his, silently affirming her worries.

"Well I do, okay? Maybe I ain't the best at showin' it, but I do. I mean it," he told her sincerely.

Encouraged, the lavender-haired girl looked up at him again.

"Then you show Shampoo?"

The returning nervousness evident in his expression, Ranma turned away from her again and began scratching his head.

"Look, we...uh..." he stuttered, briefly glancing over at some nearby bushes, "we can't do that kinda stuff out here."

The reply again had Shampoo feeling like Ranma was disinterested.

"Why? Why we no can do that?" she cried.

Patiently, Ranma walked over to the campfire and flipped one of the burning pieces of wood into the air with his shoe.

"'Cause I don't feel like puttin' on a SHOW FOR SOMEONE!"

Shampoo blinked in confusion as Ranma booted the fiery chunk of wood into the bushes.

"OWW!"

Grabbing his head, a man in a white karate gi and bandana, which was now on fire thanks to Ranma's burning projectile, jumped out from the bushes.

"Owowowowowoww! HOT!" he frantically patted down the bandana to put out the flames. "What was that for, Ranma?"

The pigtailed boy folded his arms and shot his father a disappointed look. "I know I shouldn't be surprised at anything you do anymore, but really, Pop? Spyin' on us way out here?"

Smoke began rising from Genma's bandana as the fire on his head was finally put out.

"I didn't come here to spy, boy! I was-"

*whack!*

Interrupted in violent fashion, Genma fell backward and crashed to the ground after one of Shampoo's maces hit him square in the side of his face.

"You stop talking right now!" Shampoo demanded, covering up her chest with one of her arms. "It no matter why you is here! Training trip for Ranma and Shampoo, and that it! Now you go!"

Genma let out a pained groan as he pried the mace away from his reddened cheek. "J-Just hear me out-!"

"Shampoo no listen~!"

"But...but I just needed a break, so I came out h-"

"Still no listen~!"

"Nodoka keeps telling me to get a job, and I don't want to g-"

"You is deaf? Shampoo no care! Go home! Shoo!"

Practically in tears, Genma turned to his son for help. "Ranma, you talk to her! Help me out here!"

Seemingly not as bothered by his father's presence as Shampoo was, Ranma walked over to where Genma was and placed a hand on his shoulder as he knelt down next to him.

"I owe ya one, Pop. You're the perfect excuse," he graciously thanked him, making sure Shampoo didn't hear.

Genma batted his eyes curiously. He wasn't expecting his son to be anywhere near this welcoming.

Smiling with relief, Ranma threw his hands up in the air and looked back at Shampoo. "Well, we can't just leave him to fend for himself. 'Sides, he can hang around and help us train."

"Th-that's right! I can help!" Genma said excitedly.

Shampoo looked at Ranma as though he were out of his mind. "What you talking?"

"C'mon, it's fine, ain't it? We can even make him do the dishes," Ranma suggested, drawing a scowl from his father.

In reality, Ranma didn't really want his father to be hanging around for this training trip. He was, however, a great way to get out of this whole conversation that Ranma didn't want to have with Shampoo right now.

"...Ranma really want that?" Shampoo lowered her head.

"Yup! It's definitely for the best," Ranma patted his father on the back. "So, whadya say we-"

*whack!*

"Aaaagh..."

Shampoo's other mace caved in the side of Ranma's face, causing him to collapse to the ground twitching in pain.

Visibly angry, the Amazon girl climbed back into the tent and zipped herself inside.

"Ranma sleep on ground tonight!"

Folding his arms, Genma took a seat next to his fallen offspring and nodded his head knowingly.

"Ranma, my boy, women can be truly terrifying. Don't ever forget that."


End of Chapter 6