Disclaimer: The Characters and Places within this story are not mine, and remain the property of their respected owners. As such, I do not own them, nor am I making any money off them. So sad, honored reader, this very tragic tale of penniless author that fell into the spring of drowned …
The characters in this story will likely not act the same as in canon (written or video), so do not flame me about this. Some will have grown up with different influences on them leading them to react in different ways. Advice is always welcome.
AN: It is likely that some of you reader's will realize what is happening to Ranma earlier than others, but I hope you enjoy the somewhat slow start none-the-less.
It has been too long since I last posted and I hope you will forgive me for this has it has been a very difficult semester of study. Well on with the story.
Chapter 3: Dark Waters
When Liriel finally caught up to her father, she found him yelling and grunting at Guide about the state of his new blended curse. Thinking about her father's new appearance for a second she quipped, "Damn-it pop's why didn't you wait for me to finish what I was trying to tell you before you went running off. We'll be lucky if the this is the least of your problems now, what if you're stuck this way. Not that it is not an improvement over your regular look. But, look at the bright side at least now you have a full head of hair, even if it did come with a full body of hair to go with it."
"Shut up boy, we have to get you cured and then back to Japan,' Genma groused. It was a full minute before the entirely of what his new daughter said hit him and he went running off to the guide's hut in search of hot water to find out if he was trapped in his cursed form like his son.
After her father was out of hearing distance, Liriel turned to Guide and smiled before saying, "Honored Guide, will you be able to lead my father and me to the Amazon village? I feel that it would be better to arrive with someone that they are familiar with than to show up unannounced."
"I can lead honored customer part way, but it would be best if I do not take you all the way to the Amazon village, the Elders would wish to question me about you and I would not be able to keep your secrets from them. But, if I only lead you part of the way they will detect our approach well before our arrival and know that I directed you towards them. They will still wish to know more of customer, but will have to question you to know more. I warn you again that the Amazons are not ones to make enemies of and it would be best if you were the one in charge when dealing with them."
"I am well aware of how best to handle the Amazons. In many ways, they may well be the least of my worries. It is my father that I am unsure of how to handle, I am sure that he has done something already or soon will that complicate things," Liriel said in a somewhat distracted way as she contemplated her luck in fathers.
After a few moments, Liriel's attention seemed to refocus and she turned to Guide with a slight smile, "I think that it is about time that we retrieved my father and got on our way again, my problems will not go away just from wishful thinking."
When Liriel and Guide reached the guide's home, they found her father already changed back into his normal form and both of their packs next to the door ready for them to leave. Liriel suspected that her father had already looked through her pack, a suspicion that was soon confirmed when he thrust a few items that she had placed their just for this purpose in her direction and demanded, "What are these and what are they doing in your pack?"
"Why father, where else would I keep them? I am sure that you must have seen my intimates before at sometime during the months that I have been traveling with you and my soul mate Ranma." Liriel asked her father with a tone of voice and facial expression that one would use with a child that has repeatedly asked a particularly foolish question that they should already knew the answer to, just before snatching her clothing back from his hand. "Are you feeling alright, father? You have been acting most strange since acquiring your curse; it has almost been as if you don't recognize your own daughter-in-law?"
"Ranma, I don't know what your trying to play, but you are my son not some girl claiming to be my daughter-in-law," Genma barked back at her.
"Now father, you know my name is Liriel. Ranma married me right after you bargained your son in marriage to my family for an all-you-could-eat dinner and a bag of rice. I'm just glad that I was able to catch up with you and Ranma when you broke camp so early the next morning. It was almost like you were trying to lose me," Liriel explained to Genma as if this was a familiar argument after covertly casting a spell to modify Genma's memory.
For a moment, Genma's eyes seemed to glaze over for a second before snapping back into focus. "Uh, where is the boy then? We need to leave."
"Father, Ranma left yesterday morning before you started to work with me on balance training. The two of you got into an argument while sparring and he left saying he would be meeting us after arranging a boat for our return to Japan." Liriel said before looking at him closely.
"Are you feeling alright," Genma heard Liriel ask with what he thought was real concern in her voice. "I'm fine, let's leave we need to catch up to the boy."
"Father, the first thing that we are going to do is see about talking to someone about your curse, before we try to catch up to Ranma. And, before you say anything else, you know we need to get more supplies or do you wish to be eating just what we can catch on the way back. Going to the Amazon village will only take us a day out of the way and will more than make up for the lost time in the savings we will make in not having to hunt for food everyday," Liriel explained, knowing that she had him when she brought up the issue of food.
Genma just grunted and picked up his pack before leaving Liriel and Guide in the hut. Turning to their slightly confused host Liriel said, "I will wait for you outside and we will be ready to travel as soon as you are ready to leave," before following Genma outside.
Before they had waited ten minutes, the Jusenkyo Guide stepped out of his home with a small pack on his back and pulling the door shut behind him. "Honored customers I will lead you to the trail that you will need to follow to reach the Amazon village. The elders there are very knowledgeable about Jusenkyo and will be able to answer what questions you may have better than I, their people have lived near here for thousands of years," he said while grabbing a walking stick and beginning to hike towards the north of the valley.
Ryouga was pissed, that once again the coward Ranma had evaded his righteous revenge and given him the slip. He had almost had them, he could feel that he was getting closer to his goal of destroying Ranma's happiness and then he had lost all connection to him. Ryouga refused to believe that Ranma was dead; he had just found some cowardly way to hide from him, after-all Ranma could not die before he held Ranma's limp body in his hands and laughed in his face.
Turning his face upwards towards the heavens Ryouga screamed, "I'll find you Ranma and then I'll kill you. No one makes a fool of Ryouga Hibiki and walks away from it." At that moment, something wet and slimy hit him in the side of his head as the sky was darkened by the mass of birds that had taken flight from Ryouga's scream.
Cleaning himself off, Ryouga fumed in anger and thought. If I can find Ranma's father, I'm sure to find Ranma. So, he tried to bring up a picture of the man in his mind to focus his anger on. Finding that he was just giving himself a headache, Ryouga started to focus his anger on the man, Genma had brought Ranma into his life and he had dragged the boy again from him. As Ryouga's anger towards the fat bastard grew, he could feel the connection start to grow, it was still weak, but now he had something to go on now. Genma was responsible for his pain. Genma was responsible for his pain; the mantra was beginning to form in Ryouga's mind as he trudged on in search of release of his anguish.
It took Ryouga another full day before he could feel the connection firm again he was gaining on the pair. Seeing a ridge ahead of him, Ryouga began to climb towards it, always keeping his eyes on it and never allowing him self to blink both of his eyes at the same time in fear of losing his way again. Finally, he made it to the top of the ridge and looked down across a valley dotted with what seemed like hundreds of tiny pools. The beauty of the scene almost made the eternally Lost Boy to lose his focus of anger. Refocusing his anger Ryouga stepped forward a few steps as he scanned the valley for his prey. There along the far side of the valley's rim he detected some movement, reaching back while keeping his eyes on them he grasped his binoculars. Bring the lens up to his eyes he began to adjust the focus of the lens, until the figures snapped into crystal clarity. It was the object of his rage, Genma and two others, a heavy man in an old green military uniform and a dark skinned woman. Thrusting his arms upwards into the air, Ryouga yelled to the heavens, "I've found you now, Genma Saotome, prepare to die!" It was at this point that the crumbling cliff edge that Ryouga had been inching towards gave way, sending Ryouga freefalling down the side of the mountain to the valley floor below.
Across the valley, three figures stop momentarily, each for slightly different reasons. One having the feeling of a dark cloud passing, the second the feeling of an obligation that has been temporarily postponed, and the third pausing with a feeling of intense localized pressure and then with the sound of breaking wind it passes. The moment gone the three refocus on current issues.
"Oh, my god, pop's what did you … No; on second thought don't tell me. Let's just get out of here before something else happens." Liriel snapped before sprinting ahead.
After half a day of traveling their guide stops, rising his hand saying, "Honored customers, we have entered the territory claimed by the village of Joketsuzoku, home of the Amazons. If you travel down this trail for another hour, you will find their village. I wish you good fortune with your future."
"Hey, were do you think you are going?" Genma exclaimed. "What will they think when we just show up and how will they know what we want?"
"Customer should be aware that we have been under the observation of their village for the last twenty minutes, and the Amazons will have others that can translate for you. I must return to the valley, it is not good for the pools to be unwatched for too long a time," Guide spoke before bowing and making ready to return to his home.
"Thank you Guide for your help on our journey, may the future only bring you good fortune," Liriel said before bowing back. Turning back around to Genma, "Come along father, I am sure that the Amazons will be able to offer us some useful consul and access to a warm meal." With those words, she started walking along the trail, knowing that her father would soon be hurrying to catch up with the thought of a meal ahead of him.
Liriel had barely walked ten steps before she heard Genma turn and begin to increase his stride to catch up with her. She had been thinking about what they would find when they reached the village that Guide had told her about the other night and along the way as they traveled. She was worried about the reaction that the two of them would produce when they reached the village. From what she had learned, the village is ruled by a matriarchal society of elder women who dominate the men totally, it left her was a slight feeling of mental disorientation as the two aspects of her being rolled the thought around her mind. Part of her felt that this was only the natural order of things, while the Ranma half felt that it was weird, even though it knew that Genma's teaching were wrong, it just left her with a odd feeling as they grew closer. One thing was for certain, she would have to do something about Genma while they were there or he would find some way to get into trouble. She felt a brief hesitation before she cast the Charm spell at Genma, wondering how a man that was so controlling of his son could have such a weak will.
"Father, I think it would be best if you allowed me to do the majority of the speaking while we are in the Amazons village. Could you do that for me?" Liriel asked while crossing her fingers in a sign of hope.
A warring look passed over her father's features for a second before he nodded his head in her direction and said, "That may be a good idea boy, uh daughter." Genma fumbled for a moment before continuing, "There is an old proverb that goes, the wisest course of speech a man can take when dealing with women is some times silence." When he finished, Liriel could swear that he was not really focusing on the present, but as if he was repeating words of wisdom that he had learned in a harsh way, but that now irritated her.
"Then it is agreed father, I will speak to the Amazons for the two of us, and I will seek your wisdom when it is needed." As Liriel finished these words, the village came into view ahead with the thinning of the trees.
If you, Liriel, or myself fully believe that this will keep Genma from doing something to cause trouble, think again.
I do not currently have a proofreader for my work, and English is not my major, so don't attack me to harshly about my grammar. I started writing fan fiction more as a learning aid to improve my skills and believe that I have made great gains from when I first started. With that said, I hope you are enjoying the story.