Floating high above the fight below, the God Razu watched with both pride and regret as Ladon was slain. In a perfect world he would have dealt with the Dragon long ago, but direct interference in Mortal affairs was heavily frowned upon by both sides. So he worked passively to support the cities population, providing comfort where he could. However there was always a way to bend the rules, and the young Tiefling had directly asked for his assistance so it was acceptable for him to help. Since she was so inexperienced he decided to give her some invaluable insight she would have missed otherwise.
As the volcano collapsed down around his head, he kept himself incorporeal, allowing the mountain to pass through him. Keeping an eye on his charge, he noticed a Demon attempting to block the girl's path by collapsing the path out. 'Your champion lost.' He thought with contempt at the petty act. The game was over and the pieces had to fall where they may.
Examining the tunnel structure, he smiled and strengthened a new path for the girl to take, knowing that the Demon would not risk open conflict with him over a Tiefling's life. After watching the girl reach safety, he bit back the urge to do more, and forced himself to return to Lutansk. It would be dawn soon and he had to keep watch over the citizens and his humble temple.
"Wow." Ranma wheezed out a breath, her jaw refusing to close at the sight that greeted her.
The room was at least thirty meters in diameter with magical lights placed halfway up and around the room. Small and large piles of gold coins and bars sat at the foot of a literal mountain of gold in the center of the room. Brightly colored gemstones sparkled amidst the soft golden glow and ancient artifacts peaked out from their partially buried homes.
Reaching out her free hand in a daze, she hesitantly picked up a nearby coin. The inscription was from a country she had never heard of and a date printed on it showed it to be nearly five hundred years old. Her blue eyes slowly traced upwards to the largest pile, unable to stop herself from laughing deliriously. There was more wealth here in just the gemstones than anyone could spend in a lifetime.
Struggling up to her feet, her hooves slipped momentarily on some of the gold she had been laying on before she was vertical. If she had pockets she would have been filling them well past the brim. Hundreds, thousands of years of Ladon's ill gotten gains lay spread before her. It was overwhelming and she had no clue what to do. Shifting Saffron slightly, the baby squirmed at her sudden movement, but remained quiet.
Coughing and hacking, she slipped, and collapsed onto her knees. Covering her mouth with her hand she struggled to get her breathing back under control. Feeling light headed she slowly pulled her left hand away from her mouth and saw that it was covered in a coating of blood. The baby in her arms made a plaintive whine and tried to grab onto her better.
"Where's that jerk doctor when I need him?" She coughed again, struggling to get back to her feet while desperately looked for an exit. Ladon's hoard could wait, she needed to get back to Lutansk. She needed to get help.
Two Days Later
Ranma's eyes snapped open and she shot up into a sitting position, her large wings briefly flaring before tucking in close to wrap around her body. Eyes wide and unfocused, she breathed in and out rapidly through her nose. A shiver ran up her body and finally she was awake enough to notice her surroundings, the nightmare she had been already dissolved into a distant memory.
Immediately she became aware of Saffron preparing himself to start crying. Quickly gathering him up from where he lay to her right, she made soft shushing sounds at him, and gently rocked him until he quieted down. 'Safe!' She mentally cheered, having avoided the head splitting cry of the Phoenix child.
"Are you alright?" Pepa asked quietly, floating over from a nearby table where a small pillow was serving as her bed. The fairies large concerned eyes shifted down to the baby.
"I'm fine." Ranma answered, her voice was hoarse and barely louder than the tiny fairy.
"Okay." Pepa nodded and traveled down to the foot of the bed to sit down to watch Ranma attentively.
'Thanks to you.' She added to herself, feeling uncomfortable with vocalizing the sentiment to the spell creature. The events were hazy, but she had collapsed a little over halfway back to Lutansk. Pepa had noticed her distress somehow and had got the attention of Favian to go search for her.
Ranma's breath caught and she fought down another coughing fit. Waving off a concerned question from Pepa, Ranma delicately placed Saffron back down to her right. Swinging her large wings around, she twisted to lay on her side with the baby almost touching her stomach.
Staring out the window, she must have missed Kasumi once again because the sky was black, and the room was lit by several candles. It had hurt that neither Kasumi or Favian had visited up until Pepa had informed her that they had visited several times but she had been asleep. Ranma's former fiance had been kind enough to leave off a couple of her male sized tunics to sleep in rather than the scratchy hospital clothing made from super cheap fabric.
She hadn't expected to be staying in the hospital but the toxic fumes she had inhaled nearly killed her. Only her rapid healing and quick exit had saved her. Unfortunately without the barrier to suppress her infernal side, no Mortal doctor could perform any healing spells on her. While Ranma had gained a great amount of control, her passive presence alone overwhelmed any attempts. So she would have to recover without assistance, a limitation she would have to remember going forward.
Seeing the face of one of her Phoenix guards peeking in from outside the door, she rolled her eyes. The Phoenix were not leaving her alone, having been alerted quite quickly that the baby Saffron was with her. So now she had a pair of guards at all times that had quickly learned she hated them being in the same room watching her like hawks.
Her big problem was that none of the Phoenix could take Saffron off her hands. Apparently when he hatched from his egg, he imprinted on her, and would cry without end if taken away. There was a way to change that but they were holding off on deciding who would get to experience this particular honor until Kiima regained consciousness. She didn't see why they were waiting. Kiima wasn't going to want to do it and there were several female Phoenix who were more than capable of stepping up.
Yawning, she just wanted to go back to sleep. Remembering the child, she made sure he was under the thin blanket as well. "Don't wake me up." She mumbled to the infant drowsily.
The Next Day
"And now take a deep breath." A female doctor named Liana instructed, sitting on the bed to her side, with a cold metal stethoscope pressed against Ranma's back. The doctor was younger than the others Ranma had dealt with, looking around thirty years old with short black hair, and her bangs pulled to the left side by a silver barrette.
Wheezing in a deep breath to the point where she coughed lightly, Ranma breathed out, and waited impatiently for this inspection to be over. Kasumi had arrived midway through the physical and was forced to wait outside while the doctor finished. Pepa was busy keeping Saffron occupied, the baby happily giggling at the glowing fairy dancing around him.
"Your condition is noticeably better than yesterday." The woman noted, pulling the stethoscope away from Ranma's back. "I wish there was more I could do."
"It's alright— I'll live." She shrugged, feeling a little overwhelmed by the generally positive attitude the Mortal inhabitants had gained towards her. Ranma had noticed that multiple doctors were fighting just to check on her and the nurses were far more attentive. News had filtered up to her through the nurses that there were many high profile figures trying to pay her a visit.
"Help!" Pepa called out, interrupting their discussion.
Ranma twisted around to find that the fairy had been caught by Saffron who was happily squeezing and shaking his hands. As soon as she reached out to pry Pepa away from the Phoenix, the spell creature was forcibly shoved into his mouth head first. Her eyes widened and before Saffron could move another muscle she had plucked Pepa from his grasp.
"You good?" She asked the fairy who's blue hair was matted down by saliva.
Pepa looked shaken but nodded her head rapidly, wiping some of the spit from her eyes. "I'm sticky."
"Yea, you are." Ranma released Pepa and used her tail to distract the child, trying to turn the game of keep away into training for her extra appendage.
"Why don't you use the wash basin in the corner to get clean?" The Doctor suggested helpfully.
"Good idea." Pepa answered as though it was a great realization.
'Still not much with common sense.' Ranma mentally sighed.
"It seems like you have your hands full." The Doctor smiled warmly at her. "Taking care of an infant is never easy— even when expecting it."
"He should be taken by one of the Phoenix soon enough." She flicked her tail a short distance from Saffron, making him crawl in order to follow.
"Then you should enjoy the brief practice for when you have your own."
"I'll pass on that." Ranma answered that suggestion with a derisive snort and the woman just laughed at her response.
"Be that as it may, if you need to talk about anything at all, I'll be available. You have been through a great ordeal, it's normal to have emotional distress on top of physical injuries." Liana patted her on the shoulder before rising to her feet. "Is there a time you would prefer me to visit you for checkups over the next week?"
She wanted to protest that she didn't need to be smothered by some doctor but it would be smart to at least keep track of how fast she healed. "Anytime in the morning I guess." She answered meekly.
"I should be able to work in quick check ups at nine." Liana rapidly scribbled down a note on a small piece of parchment she was carrying.
"Alright." Ranma nodded, accepting the frivolous doctor visits.
"Then I will be seeing you tomorrow at nine o'clock sharp." The woman paused before inclining her head towards Ranma. "And thank you."
"For what?" She asked glancing backwards when she noticed Saffron's tiny clawed hands grabbing at her tail. Refocusing her efforts at keeping it just out of reach, she made a note that his little claws were sharp.
"Because you saved my life and my family. Haven't you realized it yet? You're the hero of the city." Liana nodded towards her again. "I'll send your friend in."
Ranma watched the woman travel the short distance to exit the room. "Oh my." She gasped.
Kasumi hid her irritation at the Phoenix guards stationed outside of Ranma's door. Everytime she had come to visit they had tried to prevent her access to the room, and one would always follow her in to keep watch on everything she did. She understood their hatred of Dragons but their blanket assumption that she would be anything like Ladon's children was heavily grating on her patience.
Thanking the doctor on her way out, Kasumi ignored the two Phoenix, and closed the door behind her. Ranma was sitting up on her hospital bed, the baby Saffron happily playing with her tail, and Pepa drying herself off next to a washbasin in the corner. Her red haired companion was staring mutely forward and didn't acknowledge her presence. Kasumi found it strange that Ranma's wings were their full size considering that the other Tiefling didn't like them that big.
"Hi Kasumi!" Pepa greeted enthusiastically. "Saffron tried to eat me so I was all sticky."
Kasumi took a second to register Pepa's explanation and couldn't help but give a brief chuckle. "Be careful, he doesn't understand that he can hurt you."
"I will." The fairy nodded.
Turning her attention back to her former fiance, she found that she was still being ignored. "Ranma?" She asked nervously, stepping forward to be an arms length away.
According to Favian, Ranma had indeed been subject to Ladon's spell to completely alter her to his whims. Other than some shock over the recent events, none of the doctors or nurses had noticed anything out of place. But they didn't know Ranma and aside from the still comatose Kiima no one else knew the redhead personally.
"Ranma?" She asked a bit more forcibly, gently laying a hand on Ranma's shoulder. The other Tiefling's vacant eyes slowly focused and turned to look up at her with a relieved smile.
"I kept my promise." Ranma's voice came out in a whisper, a remnant of her damaged lungs, her blue eyes quivering with emotion. The redhead looked so small and frail to Kasumi, it was hard to imagine the immense magical power, and physical strength that Ranma wielded.
"You did." Sitting down next to the smaller girl, she thought that Ranma pointing out something she had said before was a good sign.
"I did." Ranma reaffirmed to herself.
Kasumi couldn't hold back anymore and gathered the smaller Tiefling up into a hug. "Don't ever run off and scare me like that again." She whispered, feeling no resistance from the cursed teen at being embraced. "I want that promise from you."
"You don't have to worry about that anymore." Ranma answered into her dress.
The redhead gave a quiet yelp and leapt from her arms and out of the bed before Kasumi could ask about the strange wording. "Don't bite that." Ranma chastised Saffron, inspecting her tail for damage.
Glancing back, Kasumi found Pepa giggling madly and the baby Saffron clumsily clapping his hands against his thighs with a big smile on his face that showed off his mouthful of baby teeth. Demurely covering her mouth to also laugh at Ranma's tail being bitten, she was thankful that her own was armor plated. Which made doorways far less terrifying growing up.
"He caught you too!" Pepa guffawed, nearly falling from her place hovering over the bed.
"I'm not too sure about a Phoenix as a roommate, even one as cute as you." She joked, picking up the baby who squirmed in her arms so he could keep Ranma within his field of view. "Do you know what they are going to do about him?"
"They are discussing who is going to get him." Ranma answered sarcastically with a roll of her eyes, her breath caught leading to a small coughing fit.
"Are you sure you're feeling up to leaving?" She asked, concerned that Ranma was more interested in being out of the hospital than her health.
"Just a cough." The red head waved off her concern. "Lemme get dressed, I want to visit Kiima first."
"Okay." Looking away to give Ranma some privacy in the small room, it was ultimately a futile gesture because the other Tiefling simply put on a pair of pants. "Ranma, is there a reason you have your wings that size?" She asked, finally deciding to ask about the oddity.
"I'm not sure." Ranma answered, pulling her left wing forward to grip lightly between her hands. "I used a lot of Infernal magic and they just grew out." The red head squeezed her eyes shut tightly in concentration and after a brief moment of no result, her wings haltingly shrunk down to their normal medium size. As soon as she relented they rapidly grew back out. "And that happens if I try to shrink them."
Kasumi's brow furrowed in concern, trying to analyze the flows of magic around the smaller girl. Ranma wasn't projecting a very strong infernal aura like she did before learning control, but her body itself seemed flooded by it. "Maybe you just have to get used to not having the barrier around." She hypothesized, without the barrier constantly rejecting their infernal presence she had noticed that it was harder to control that part of her aura as well.
Ranma nodded. "It was a crutch." The red head pulled the furred cloak Favian had given her from a hook on the wall and affixed it around her neck to let it fall between her wings. "I relied on it to keep my infernal side under control. As Pop would say, boy!" Ranma paused to take a deep breath, trying to deepen her voice. "You'll have to be trained again from the ground up!" She tried to announce grandly but her voice stayed as a strained whisper.
Kasumi giggled demurely at Ranma's proclamation. "We can do that together? Can't we? When we get back home?" She asked hopefully. As soon as they returned Ranma would be under no compulsion to remain other than their strained friendship.
"Of course." Ranma's hooves made soft tapping noises on floor as she came over to take Saffron from her arms.
"I can carry him if you want." She offered.
"Nah, he'll stay quiet if I have him." The other Tiefling sighed. "It'll be nice when they finally decide what to do with him." She added half heartedly, brushing some of his brightly colored hair from his face.
The door opened suddenly and the two Phoenix guards stepped in to bow to Ranma. "Are you prepared to go my lady?" One of them asked politely.
"I am, but why don't you two make yourselves useful and tell me where Kiima is." Ranma asked dismissively.
Michiko felt that something was amiss with the Tendo home. She was visiting Kasumi's younger sister Akane and after inviting herself in the front door, she got the distinct impression that something was wrong. The condition of the house had noticeably deteriorated since her last visit. Floors needed to be swept and washed for a start. Somehow many of the doors and windows had become tilted off their hinges or left ajar, letting in a cool draft.
While she was expected she had decided to sneak in for a bit of fun. Hearing an old man's voice cackling in laughter from the living room. She peaked around the corner and blinked her eyes several times upon seeing a gnome visiting.
"Hello." She greeted, stepping out to give a friendly wave, and mostly ignoring the other occupants of the room. Up until she noticed the horrified looks on Akane, Soun, and her father's faces. "Something wrong?" She asked.
"Hello to you too, cute stuff." The small gnome hopped up on the low table with surprising speed. His big round eyes devouring her body with his gaze and actually making her feel uncomfortable.
"Master she's too young!" Genma appeared between her and the gnome. Michiko missed the movement that sent her father face first into the floor and how the small mortal came to be sitting on his back.
"You remind me of someone, but who?" The old Mortal asked curiously, tapping a long pipe on Genma's back before lighting it with a small flame spell.
"Master please." Genma groaned from his spot, earning a much harder tap to the back of his head.
"Would you stop hitting him?" She requested as politely as she could to a man. "He is my father." She shrugged.
"Genma's daughter eh?" Bouncing up to his feet, the small man's eyes looked at her with a far more calculating gaze. "What's your name?"
"I'm Michiko." She introduced herself, feeling vaguely threatened by the tiny man's presence.
"Ya know Genma, I saw you making eyes at that Succubus I kept as a pet but I would have expected your kid to be a lot older. Wasn't expecting that trull to keep her legs together long enough for my body to get cold."
"Jealous you could never satisfy her?" She asked, angry at the pet remark.
"You're so mean!" The gnome wailed, wiping at tears that rapidly sprang from his eyes. "Let me cry my sorrow out into your bosom!" Leaping towards her faster than she could move, she squeezed her eyes shut waiting for him to hit her.
When nothing came, she slowly opened up one eye, and found that the gnome was sitting calmly at the table sipping at a cup of tea. "What? Couldn't get it up to give me a good grope?" She demanded, not wanting to have those tiny hands at her developing breasts but feeling slighted that he would use that as a joke.
"Nothing to grope." He answered.
'How dare this creature say that to me!' Her body stiffened and she forced her wings not to shake with rage. This was not the first time her looks had been insulted but she had never been treated with such outright dismissal by any man. Something she had no intention of making a regular occurrence.
"Hurry, while he's distracted." Genma tried to pull her back through the doorway but she pulled herself out of his grasp.
"You think to insult me, male?" She stomped her right foot and squared her shoulders. "And to insult my mother? I'll give you one chance to apologize and beg for my forgiveness." She demanded. Receiving no response other than the Tendos and her father all trying to tell her to stop she crossed her arms.
"Very well." She relaxed her stance, standing with all the dignity that her station required, Michiko began to speak in halting unpracticed infernal. "Zeg wgejvnjv hwe dmpvrhlgi ez repil Ageha N spgil oep rljsl, je weamji fedo wnbb oep hepsr, je dnigliwlszpbb wegd wnbb glmsr mj lmg, je beec oep vnwl wnbb njiwngl zlmg." (1)
Completely drained from her spell, she collapsed towards the floor, but was caught by her father before her knees could touch the wood. The target of her curse hadn't reacted in the slightest, continuing to sip tea as though nothing had happened.
"What did you do?" Genma was able to drag her from the room without resistance.
"Oh nothing much." She smiled cruelly. "I just cursed him so he can't touch, insult, or ogle any woman." Michiko explained, remembering that to get this curse on her home plane was akin to dying for any man.
"You have to get rid of it, right now!" He lifted her completely off the ground to carry back towards the living room.
"I will most certainly not." Gathering her remaining energy, she flew out of his arms to land unsteadily on the wooden floor. "After what he did to my mother and how he just insulted me?" She scoffed.
"Daughter, you do not understand. You just took away the Master's purpose in life. Without girls for him to grope, ogle, and steal their underwear, who knows what he'll do?" Genma explained frantically as though the world was going to end.
"It's perfect then." She could imagine how happy this turn of events would make her mother.
"I think it's great." Akane interrupted, glancing back nervously after following them out into the hall. "Lasts forever I hope?"
"Until it gets removed." She answered, proud that she had been able to cast the complex spell on such short notice.
"Daughter please remove it." Genma pleaded, getting down on his hands and knees. "This will only bring disaster!"
"No." She responded simply before turning to Akane. "Are you ready to get started?"
Akane nodded shyly. "Yes, I got the ingredients you said from the market yesterday."
"Daughter you can't do anything other than cure the Master right now." Genma demanded of her. "Wait— what are you two doing?"
"I was going to help Akane with her cooking." She smiled brightly at the chance to show off her culinary skills since back home their men were responsible for all of the food preparation .
"Oh—." Her father's eyes darted between the living room and Akane. "Alright, save Akane first then the cure. Did you have some kind of spell to make her food edible?" Michiko winced as her father was once again flattened to the floor, this time by Akane.
'Why are Mortals so violent?' She grimaced.
Ranma had been disappointed that Kiima hadn't been awake for her visit but magical healing was often described as a traumatic process. Forcing flesh and bone to heal at such a rapid speed could easily be worse than doing nothing. In the hands of an unskilled practitioner it would drastically shorten lives. So she could understand why Kiima was being kept from further stress until fully recovered.
However, she didn't understand why there was a small crowd of people waiting outside the door leading up to her apartment. She could see that many of them had various sized packages held in their hands. Kasumi seemed less troubled than her by the crowd, like this was now a common thing.
"Do you know what's up?" She whispered to her roommate.
"Gifts for you." Kasumi answered with false enthusiasm. "Glares for me."
Ranma was shocked by the reverence being given to her. She was being presented with gifts of various sizes and most kept their heads down after bowing to her, refusing to meet her eye. They did spend a great deal of time introducing themselves as though she would remember them in the future. Without knowing how to respond, she nervously thanked them, and used her two Phoenix guards as pack mules for all the gifts.
She thought some semblance of normalcy would return after the door to her apartment was closed but that hope was dashed by the pile of gifts taking up much of the floor. "We might need a bigger place." She remarked, finding the kneeling cushion Kasumi had made for her, and placed a drowsy Saffron on it. The baby tried to keep hold of her hand for a moment before laying still.
"Favian said he was going to bring us several bags of holding." Kasumi answered, offering the two Phoenix guards something to drink but they refused and returned to guarding the door from the outside. "I didn't feel right sorting through it." The other Tiefling fretted.
"You think I do?" Being showered with gifts and gratitude was throwing her for a loop. Picking up a nice looking deep green tunic with delicate golden edging, Ranma guessed she could get used to free stuff. Throwing the garment over her shoulder, she found herself face to face with a large white weasel that was perched on a roll of green fabric.
"Did someone give us this?" She pointed to the creature.
"Huh? No." Kasumi answered worriedly. "Where do you think it came from?"
"Hello." The weasel spoke in a childish girl's voice and quirked its head to one side inquisitively.
"A talking weasel?" Ranma raised an eyebrow.
"My name is Hana and I was sent to deliver you a message." The white furred weasel introduced.
"Oh! You're a familiar aren't you." Kasumi announced happily and knelt down next to Ranma excitedly. "I read about them at the library." She explained after Ranma gave her a curious glance.
"I am— Michiko of house Ageha is my master." Hana politely bowed her head towards Ranma then Kasumi.
"I don't like it." Pepa interrupted, glaring at the familiar with her wings fluttering angrily. "It's up to something."
"Delivering a message." Hana answered the fairies accusation haughtily. "It's for my master's sister." She nodded her head towards Ranma.
"Well what did she want?" She asked, curious over the message and what other high forms of magic Michiko had been hiding from her. Hana's form lost consistency and she vanished into a puff of white smoke that reformed into a copy of Michiko the same size as her weasel form.
Michiko's copy waved happily. "Hi Ranma! How's my big sister doing?" There was a pause. "Or are you back to being my brother? Well either way, I've been trying to get a hold of you but nothings came back yet. I'm hoping it was just because I was using summoned creatures." Another pause. "Who I'm sure you know can be so unreliable. So I'm sending one last message with my familiar Hana. Me and mom are both well, she decided it'd be good for me to spend some more time here on the Mortal plane. It's been fun so far but I could really do without this cold. Brr." The copy hugged herself and shivered.
"Hopefully you'll get back before we head back home because it would be great if you'd come visit. See all the things you've been missing." The copy winked suggestively causing Ranma to blush briefly. "Just in case you don't know, if you want to send a message back, just tell Hana that you have a message for me, and she'll bring it right back. Well I look forward to hearing back from you." Michiko crossed her arms and glared angrily towards her. "And I know Hana will find you so you better respond."
Message apparently completed, the clone of Michiko dissolved back into smoke before forming into Hana again. "That was the message." The familiar concluded. "Would you like for me to return one?"
"I bet it's an evil plot of some kind!" Pepa proclaimed before Ranma could respond. "How can you trust that it's even from your demon sister?"
"Pepa, stop it." Kasumi chastised the fairy, who was for once not the only spell creature in the room.
"I don't really know what to say." Ranma answered Hana, scratching just behind one of her horns. "Let me think." It made her feel good that her sister had bothered to send not one but several messengers to try and communicate with her.
"There is no rush." Hana bowed her head respectfully. "I will wait as long as necessary."
The ermine approached to sit a close distance from her and stare up at her with big black eyes. Ranma blinked several times at the expectant look on the white familiars face. "Uh— are you hungry?" She asked, realizing that the familiar had traveled all the way from Nerima. Hana's head nodded before rapidly spinning in a circle.
"Do you have any eggs?" Hana asked in her childish voice.
"I'll go get you a couple." Kasumi offered and stood up to head for the icebox, Hana bounding after her happily.
"I don't trust her." Pepa whispered in her ear.
Ranma eyed the fairy, who hadn't acted like this in over a month. "Is it because she was sent by my sister?" She asked teasingly before taking a closer look at Pepa's aura without the barrier interfering and saw that it was no longer purely divine.
"Of course, she's a Tiefling." The blue haired fairy nodded her head rapidly.
"She's my sister." She scowled, angry that Pepa was slipping back into bad habits. "Quit trying to be a banishment spell." Ranma reached up and tugged lightly on the fairy's spade tail. "Sides, aren't you a little bit infernal now?"
"It's just a tail!" Pepa protested with a pout, hands futily going behind her back as though to hide the appendage. Rushing off to a small spot atop a shelf that she had claimed as her own tiny room, the fairy yelled back to her. "And you never get me eggs!"
'Weird.' Ranma rolled her eyes. Checking to make sure Saffron was still sleeping, she glanced at the kitchen area to see Kasumi serving Hana a bowl filled with several eggs. Everything seemed to have reached a point of normalcy so she returned to inspecting some of her gifts. Her mind preoccupied with what kind of message to send back to her sister.
Several hours later
Waiting patiently after knocking on the door, Favian glanced backwards at the Phoenix who were blocking the steps just before Kasumi answered his knock, and invited him in. Immediately he noticed the significant piles of gifts from well wishers that were being organized by Ranma. Kasumi was holding the infant Saffron who gave him a surprisingly suspicious look for a baby. Judging by the glow emanating from behind a small piece of cloth, Pepa had retreated to her small corner atop a bookshelf.
"Kasumi, why is there a ferret running around your apartment?" He asked, watching a white furred ermine shoot between positions, roll on the floor, then head off to another spot bouncing happily.
"Well—." Kasumi paused to glance at the ferret. "She's a familiar and seems a little overcharged from the ambient magic." The blonde explained while laughing nervously.
"A familiar?" He asked. Neither of the two females knew how to make their own familiar although they should be more than capable of it. If one of them had taken the initiative to research the process then he would be exceedingly proud at how far they had progressed in such a short time.
"My sister's." Ranma spoke up in a soft whisper as she finished sorting through a small wooden box. "Kasumi said you had some extra bags of holding." The Tiefling said without looking at him.
"I do." He answered, giving the familiar one last curious glance before depositing two bags of holding next to Ranma's hip. "I also bring an apology. The other night I forgot myself in the heat of the moment and said things I did not mean. I'm sorry— and I hope you will forgive me." He was trying to sound as apologetic as he could but it came out sounding hollow and rehearsed. When Ranma finally looked at him he bowed his head towards her.
Ranma's eyes bore into him before she snorted and shrugged. "Apology accepted— more than I ever got from either of my parents."
He didn't bother vocalizing another apology for Ranma's family and the choices they made. It was already a sore enough point in Ranma's life that he didn't want to draw anymore attention to it. Taking a subtle look at Ranma's aura, he discreetly checked to see if there were any lingering spells left to fester on her. Favian had already checked her at the hospital but he was still suspicious something maybe lurking. There was nothing he could see except the protection spell and nothing Ladon ever did was subtle enough to hide this long.
"I'll need some more." Ranma interrupted his thoughts and looked up at him without giving a thank you for the expensive items.
"For?" He raised an eyebrow and slowly knelt down next to the cursed teen, feeling his aging knees protest at the action. "You have more than enough room there to fit everything in this apartment in them."
"I just need them— I'll pay you back three times their worth in a few days." The Tiefling responded evasively.
"Not that I doubt your offer. But those are worth over forty gold a piece." He pointed out, fully expecting the bags of holding to be returned in time. "Where are you going to get that much money in such a short amount of time?" There was one place he could think of but found it hard to believe Ranma would be so quiet about finding Ladon's hoard but now was hardly the time to press for information.
"Do you trust me or not?" Ranma asked, looking up at him daring him to say no.
"I have two more you can use, you can pick them up when you come for dinner tonight." He offered, not wanting to take the bait. "I think a little celebration is in order."
"That sounds wonderful." Kasumi came over to kneel across from him and Ranma. "Should I bring anything?"
"Of course not." He chuckled, watching the familiar rush over to circle Kasumi once before finally stopping directly in front of him. "So you are Michiko's familiar." He summarized, the ermine looking up at him, and nodding its head so quickly it was a blur.
"I'm Hana! I'm Hana! I'm Hana!" She greeted excitedly without any pause in a little girls voice.
"Is she going to be alright?" Ranma asked worriedly. "Maybe it's not good for her to be around the ley line."
"She should be fine." He patted the creature on her head. "She just isn't used to having all the magic to feed off of. Do you mind telling me her purpose?"
"Just a message from my sister asking how I was." The redhead sighed. "I don't know what to send back, do you have any ideas?" She asked no one in particular.
"Why not just that you're alive and well?" Kasumi suggested and Ranma just shrugged in non-commital.
"I think something more personal is warranted." He added, not knowing all that much about Michiko but Ranma seemed to view her in a positive light.
"Hana, do you think you could send a message back for me as well?" Kasumi asked the familiar who nodded rapidly.
"I'm not sure." The ferret seemed to slow down for a moment. "Yup I can!" Hana agreed to Kasumi's request and happily bounced in place.
Favian caught a dark look cross Ranma's face at Kasumi, the smaller tiefling opening her mouth as to say something before she was overcome by a coughing fit. Ranma hacked violently into her hands, interrupted Kasumi delivering a message to Hana. The redhead curled up tightly as her chest heaved, her large wings flared with each cough, knocking over a donated antique oil lamp to spill its contents over the floor.
"Ranma!" Kasumi exclaimed in alarm sliding across the floor to hover helplessly for several seconds before Ranma's coughing fit ended. "Are you alright?" She asked tentatively as Ranma pulled her hands away from her mouth to reveal several specks of blood on her palms.
"Kasumi, please tend to the oil." He instructed, seeing that his relative was starting to panic. "I'll get Ranma back to the hospital."
"I'm fine." Ranma wheezed, finding a cheap looking piece of fabric to hastily wipe the blood off her hands. "Really." She tried to reassure at his dubious stare. "Not like they could do anything anyways."
"Unfortunately." He sighed, moving to the side to allow Kasumi access to clean up the lamp oil. "How embarrassing, my student being so inept at controlling herself." He lamented dramatically, trying to lighten the mood slightly.
"Don't talk like my Pop." Ranma's eyes fell and her wings slumped. "Sorry about the mess, Kasumi."
"It's alright, so long as you're fine, that's all that matters." The blonde answered, mopping up the thick liquid.
"I wish he was here." The redhead turned in place to put the piles of gifts behind her and pulled her knees up to her chest. "This is all his fault after all."
"Your current situation would be your fault." He reached out to put a hand on her shoulder to be reassuring but Ranma caught his wrist.
"I accepted your apology, I didn't say you could touch me." She warned softly before releasing him.
"Right." He nodded, realizing that his words from the other night had done more damage than intended. "I did want to ask you about your battle with Ladon."
"He's dead, isn't that enough?" Ranma snapped as best she could with her soft voice, shoulders jerking with a small cough.
"You know through experience that Ladon had spells for mind control, I just want to know you weren't exposed to any of them." He explained seriously.
"So what if he did try one? I obviously stopped them from working otherwise I wouldn't have shoved a void spear through his skull." She answered evenly like it had been an everyday event.
"Even a little bit is too much. Answer me seriously." Favian tried to make eye contact with her but Ranma kept looking away. "Did he cast such a spell on you?"
"No— he tried, but I killed him before he could use it." Ranma finally admitted, still not meeting his eye. "I don't want to talk about it anymore." She warned. "I don't understand why everyone is bugging me to talk about it. He's dead, his kids are dead, I won." The Tiefling finally looked him square in the eye with a hollow glare. "What else is there to talk about?"
"Alright." He sighed, wishing he hadn't destroyed Ranma's trust because he knew that Ladon had cast such a spell but he could not know the result. "Then relax and enjoy your victory. I'll see you tonight." His knees protested as he rose back to a standing position. "Kasumi would you see me out?"
"Of course." His great granddaughter answered, sharing a look of concern with him that Ranma couldn't see.
When they were all the way down the steps and away from the Phoenix standing guard, he finally addressed Kasumi. "Are you up to helping Ranma get through this?" His hand picked doctor was going to be visiting to try and give Ranma a neutral person to confide in. But Kasumi lived with the cursed teen and was the closest to his other former student.
"I think so." Kasumi admitted tentatively. "Are you sure Ranma's alright?"
"I think Ranma has been forced to endure a traumatic event she was not truly ready for and needs support, even if it's just you continuing to be a friend." Favian cursed his brother and himself for creating such monstrous spells.
"I'll try my best, grandfather." Kasumi squared her shoulders confidently before glancing nervously back towards the steps. "Ranma's my friend and I won't let her down."
"I know you will." Favian allowed himself a moment to hope that everything would in fact work out for the best. "And don't forget to take care of yourself, Ranma's not the only one who's important."
"Thank you again." She bowed to him. "I look forward to tonight."
Later that day
Ranma didn't remember falling asleep but she had been very tired after the gift sorting had finished. She assumed Kasumi had shoved a pillow under her head and covered her with a blanket. What had woken her was a pair of high pitched voices arguing animatedly next to her head.
"What are you two fighting about now?" Ranma asked blearily and rubbed at her eyes, noticing that Saffron had been sleeping in a makeshift crib constructed of her pillow for kneeling and some boxes placed around it.
"Oh good you're up, I wanted to ask if you had a message yet?" Hana asked, hopping around Pepa who had been hovering between them.
"I told this demon— thing that you needed to sleep." Pepa protested and tried to shove Hana away.
"I don't have a message yet." Ranma answered the familiar and coughed lightly into her hand.
"See! See!" Pepa was finally able to push the much larger Hana slightly away. "She needs rest not you bothering her!"
"I'm not bothering her, you are!" Hana contorted around Pepa to run back and sit in front of Ranma.
"That's it!" Pepa exclaimed and raised both hands over her head, a glowing red mallet appearing within her grasp before swinging it down to impact with the top of Hana's head. "Demon be gone!" Hana vanished in a puff of smoke and Ranma's jaw dropped in shock.
Pepa blinked repeatedly at the spot where Hana had been sitting before dropping her little mallet. "I did it." A huge smile spread over the fairies face. "I did it!" She shouted and started to fly around the room screaming about how she had finally banished someone.
Saffron stirred in his crib at the fairy's exuberance, catching Ranma's attention. "Pepa, quiet down." She said in a loud whisper with a small cough, unable to raise her voice further.
"But I did it!" Pepa rushed over to flutter close to Ranma's face. "I banished that demon creature!"
Before Ranma could chastise Pepa for actually succeeding at her original purpose, there was a soft pop above the fairy, and with a puff of white smoke Hana reappeared. The weasel caught Pepa's head and shoulders in her mouth before falling to the floor. "Gah you!" Hana slurred proudly as Pepa struggled to pull herself free.
"That's enough." She snapped, glaring at her sister's familiar. "Let her go."
Hana wilted under Ranma's tone and opened her mouth enough for Pepa to wiggle free. "Sorry."
"I'm sticky again!" Pepa bemoaned, trying to wipe saliva off her face. This was the final straw to wake Saffron up who started to cry loudly and squirm around.
Ranma grabbed both of the spell creatures, Hana by the scruff of her neck, and Pepa by the legs to stomp over to the door. "B icker all you want out here." She released the two outside at the top of the steps and slammed the door in their faces.
"You're fine." She groaned and picked Saffron up to try her best at getting him to calm down again.
"Awww." Pepa kicked at an imaginary rock in midair. "You weren't really banished were you?" She asked the familiar.
"Nope nope." Hana chirped and sat down.
"Awww." She repeated, wishing she had something to wipe away Hana's saliva. Once again, the very thing she had been made to do, was the thing that she could not do. Maybe Ranma was right and she should stop trying to be a banishment spell, if she had ever really been. It had never endeared her to either Ranma or Kasumi.
"I can't get my message if I stay out here." Hana pouted.
'And if she gets that message then she'll leave.' Pepa realized, a plan to act friendly with the familiar quickly forming within her mind. "If we don't fight, Ranma won't throw us out again." She pointed out.
"I don't know, sometimes when they're with babies, Succubae can be mean." Hana responded doubtfully in a small voice.
"Then it's a good thing Ranma's only half!" She smiled brightly.
"That's true." The weasel gave her the equivalent of a smile and chittered happily.
"Now we just need to get in." She crossed her arms and scrunched up her face in thought.
"Oh that's easy." Hana smirked and ducked under the door. Squirming and struggling to get through the small space, the weasel's tail finally vanishing to the other side. Several seconds later, the doorknob turned, and swung open to reveal Hana perched on the handle. "Ta da!"
"Why didn't you just do that from the outside?" Pepa asked curiously, floating upwards to look Hana in the eye. "It wasn't locked."
"This was funner." The white furred weasel answered before dropping down from the door knob to run towards Ranma.
Ranma took several slow breaths as deeply as she could before she would begin coughing and pointedly ignored the two magical beings who were attempting to be perfectly quiet now that Saffron was once again asleep. Changing the size of her wings had been one of the earliest things she had ever learned about this body. Without the barrier, her expanded reserves of infernal magic made the process incredibly unwieldy. Like she was trying to balance a pin on a table while someone continually shook it.
"What are you trying to do?" Hana asked, interrupting her concentration and completely ruining the state she had been cultivating.
Sighing, she slowly looked towards her sister's familiar. "I am trying—." She paused in annoyance. "To shrink my wings."
"Michiko always uses all of her aura to do that." Hana didn't pick up on Ranma's irritation. "Are you doing it a new way?"
"Well— no." Ranma blinked several times. Up until becoming Favian's student she had never been able to tell what part of her aura she had used to accomplish body modifications. With the barrier in place, she had completely ignored it because her infernal side was being completely suppressed, and she had avoided any kind of changes.
It seemed too obvious, but after just a moment she was able to feel her wings shrink. She had to keep concentrating due to her overall lack of control of her aura now, but it was working. Experimentally spreading the extra appendages, she let them relax again before she lost her concentration. Maintaining this state would take some getting used to, it was like she was trying to flex her bicep and tricep at the same time, while still trying to move her arm.
Ranma felt embarrassed over having to take advice from a cute little familiar but she had been doing it wrong. "Thanks Hana." She finally decided to at least acknowledge the spell creatures contribution.
"Welcome." Hana gushed and received a brief jealous glare from Pepa. "You have a party tonight right? What are you going to wear? Huh? Huh?"
"I'm just going over to Favian's." She shrugged, having had other more important things on her mind.
"Shouldn't you look nice?" The weasel quirked her head to one side.
"Ranma always looks nice!" Pepa butted in too loudly before catching herself and glancing nervously at Saffron who remained asleep. "Right?" She asked quietly.
"Well I have time, maybe I can see if I got anything that fits." Her chest puffed up a bit in pride and she couldn't stop a small smile from spreading across her face. "Some of my stuff is getting pretty worn." She commented while picking at the well worn fabric of her male tunic, and walked over to the pile of clothing she had separated earlier.
Kasumi wasn't sure on how she should feel about the scene that greeted her upon returning to her apartment. The baby Saffron was happily giggling from his perch on a cushion as Hana and Pepa argued about whether or not Ranma should wear pants. Hana was winning this argument because she was running around with the article of clothing while Pepa chased her. Ranma herself was standing by holding a blue garment, looking thoroughly disgusted by the two magical creatures as they feuded.
Ranma was also naked as the day she was born, though that wasn't really the best phrase to describe the redhead. Blushing fiercely and averting her eyes from the cursed teen's form, she coughed into her hand. "Having fun?" She asked with a bit of amusement.
"Little bit." Ranma answered with a shrug, shifting her weight onto one hip. "My wings are— I guess as back to normal as having them at all gets." The redhead pointed out.
"That's good, but is there are reason you're naked?" Kasumi asked, uncomfortable with Ranma's casual nudity. Even if it was normal for her roommate to forget clothing around the home. "We'll need to leave for Favian's soon."
"Well I am trying to get dressed." Ranma answered and pointed at the magical beings. "But they keep getting in the way. And it's way too cold out to not to wear pants." She snatched a pair of black slacks from a disappointed Hana. "Thought I'd see if anything I got would fit since I had time."
"And they're helping?" She asked dubiously, glancing at Pepa who had moved to hover nearby and Hana who was sitting near Ranma's hooves.
"Live and learn." Ranma shrugged.
Ranma stopped to look upwards, her eyes tracing the line of destruction that arced down the side of a building to the ground where the spell had lost its consistency and exploded. When simple spells no longer had a will controlling them the power simply expended itself as quickly as possible. She had learned that the hard way by having many of her early spells explode in her face. Since no one else had been throwing around spells of this magnitude, that left either Raxus or herself as the originator.
"Something wrong?" Pepa asked from Ranma's left.
"Just thinking." She answered absently before turning away from the ruined building. Hana was trotting along near her hooves, occasionally vanishing to check out something that caught the familiar's eye. Kasumi volunteered to carry Saffron in case Ranma suffered anymore coughing fits. And because Ranma thought it threw off the Phoenix guards who were still suspicious of Kasumi.
In the heat of battle she had been throwing around spells bigger and smaller than the one that had caused this without a second thought. If anyone had been nearby they would have been killed. Control over her physical strength had been drilled into her head to the point where it was instinctual. This was unacceptable, the danger posed by magic was simply too great to be so frivolous with its use. A punch could only do so much, a fireball could kill dozens.
The elevator up to the Park area had been destroyed at some point, so they had to take the steps instead. There were an increased number of guards keeping watch over the access point. Before the attack they would hassle either her or Kasumi about going up into the school only area. This time they greeted her with muted gratitude and gave her a wide berth to pass. Not knowing how to respond, she just nodded her head towards each of them.
"It's almost as though nothing happened—." Kasumi commented as they were walking around the undamaged park towards Favian's home. "If you ignore the big toppled over tower that is."
"Yea." Ranma trailed off, glancing at the broken spire. The top portion had fallen in the opposite direction but she could still see some of it over the tree line. Most of the destruction was contained to the side of the city facing Ladon's volcano, but agents of the Dragon had been busy setting fires and causing destruction around the city before they could be stopped.
Strangely, it was Favian who met them at the door rather than any of his servants. "You're late." He teasingly chastised, stepping back to allow them entry.
"Ranma's turning into quite the clotheshorse." Kasumi's mouth quirked into a smile. "Wouldn't leave the house without just the right outfit."
"That's not true!" She protested as loudly as she could and glanced away evasively. 'Just hard to pick sometimes.' Ranma admitted to herself. "Anyone is a clotheshorse compared to you, you have like three dresses." She taunted back, trying to draw attention away from her vanity.
"Because I don't spend my time ruining them." Kasumi shifted Saffron in her arms after he started to squirm.
"I was joking." Favian gestured towards the interior. "You can return to your families." He commanded the two Phoenix.
"My Lord, we can't shun our duty." The Phoenix on the left, Ratha answered.
"Good luck with that." Ranma snorted. "I keep telling them to leave me alone but they aren't going to leave him."
"No harm will befall your Lord Saffron." Favian asserted. "And I will not have you hovering at my door or inside my home. Now leave and enjoy the evening because I will not repeat myself." He punctuated his command by closing the door roughly in their faces. "You're lucky to have such a dedicated people." The orange eyed man poked at a smug looking Saffron's stomach briefly before moving into his home.
"I feel bad for them." Kasumi glanced out a nearby window. "They're just going to go stand by the gate in the cold."
"Saffron is incredibly important to them." Favian commented. "He's hope for their future even if the path to rebuilding their people will be long and difficult."
"Then they should hurry up and decide who gets him." Ranma honestly didn't know why they were taking so long.
"Maybe they can't find anyone better?" The elderly man shrugged. "So they have made a decision and are just trying to figure out a way to tell you."
"They better not have!" She tried to shout , her voice falling off suddenly. "I can't be stuck with him!"
"It's a good thing you can still take a joke." Favian smirked, earning a very dark glare from her. "What? You're the hero of the city. Compared to you, all the Phoenix are lacking."
"I know I can do more than anyone else here." Ranma's eyes fell to the floor. "But if I hadn't been here, someone else would have done it. Something else would have come up." She wanted to add that if it wasn't for that woman removing her fear she would have been unable to do anything. But it would be admitting just how scared she had been of Raxus to accept such a deal. "I'm not the hero you're all making me out to be."
"Kasumi, I think we're in luck." Favian looked like he wanted to reach out again and pat her on the back but refrained. "We'll be able to fit in the same room as Ranma's ego tonight."
'Ass.' Ranma simmered at her difficult confession being turned into a joke.
The Next Morning
Ranma was surprised to be woken up early by a group of eight Phoenix at her door. She recognized several of them but didn't know all of their names. There were three men and one woman dressed in full armor with various bladed weapons. The others were in casual clothing and one carried a small bag. Unsure of what the sudden visit meant, she invited them in.
"Did you really need to bring those?" She asked, eyes lingering on the weapons.
"While we cannot hope to repay your service in returning our Lord Saffron to us, we don't wish to impose upon you to protect him further." An elderly Phoenix with long feathers swept back from his head bowed respectfully to her while leaning on a cane. The pheasant man was the highest ranking Phoenix left, second only to Saffron, and kept his name secret.
"You're welcome." She tried to sound gracious for their praise but didn't know what was expected in this kind of situation. Truthfully she suspected they didn't either, so she would just wing it if they were.
"He's been no problem at all." Kasumi added while holding the infant Saffron.
"Still, he needs to be back among his own people."
"So how does that happen?" Ranma asked. "If I'm out of sight he won't stop crying."
"With one of these." The pheasant man carefully held up an egg. "Short of reverting him back to an egg once again, this is the only method to change who he is imprinted on."
"And who gets him?" She asked, wanting to know that he would be in good hands.
A female Phoenix in her early twenties that Ranma didn't recognize stepped forward and bowed to her. "I've been selected to care for Lord Saffron, my name is Cassia." Her wings, a mix of bright gold and black, shifted nervously as she waited for some unspoken judgement.
"I thought you were waiting for Kiima?" Ranma asked rudely. She didn't know this woman and would have prefered someone that she did.
"Lady Kiima is indisposed as you know and waiting will only make the process more difficult." The elderly Phoenix answered. "Is there a problem?"
"No, no problem." She answered uneasily, glancing at Saffron. "So what do we have to do?"
"We need only a small amount of space. The egg will be broken near him and it will form a new shell around him. When this is broken, he will imprint upon the first person he sees."
"Seems easy enough." She nodded, not feeling particularly positive about this. Saffron had accidentally imprinted upon her and would now be purposely given no choice. "Does it ever wear off?"
"No, the imprinting is forever." The pheasant man answered as he instructed the Phoenix to spread out except for Cassia before he addressed Kasumi. "My Lady, please place him in the open area between us."
"I'll do it." Ranma volunteered and took the infant from Kasumi. "It's only right— he locked on to me after all— right?" She added at Kasumi's curious stare.
Gently placing the baby in the center of the Phoenix, Ranma found it wasn't that easy as he clutched at her tunic, not wanting to leave her side. "All you have to do is sit here, so be good." Patting him on the head, she took several steps back. Saffron seemed to think it was a game because he crawled towards her while giggling happily and tiny wings fluttering.
"I don't think he's going to sit still." She laughed to herself and picked him up again.
"You'll just have to hold him." The elderly Phoenix instructed, placing the small egg down on the floor. "Step away as soon as I crush it or you'll be caught in the shell as well." He told her, tapping the floor with his cane.
"Alright." She nodded and knelt down to hold him in place. "Guess this is it." Ranma smiled down at the infant. Saffron's red orange eyes stared up at her in joy at being held by her. "Be good for Casio." She added, her voice catching.
"It's Cassia." The Phoenix corrected softly.
"Now would be the time to move away." The pheasant themed Phoenix said and brought his cane down to crush the egg he had placed on the floor.
Ranma's first instinct was to pull Saffron away from the gooey fibrous strings that exploded out of the egg to latch onto the baby. Seeing the look of terror in his eyes as he cried out while struggling to reach out to her, she immediately began to prepare a fire spell to burn away the strings and free him.
Two hands grabbed her by the shoulders and forcibly turned her away from Saffron being swallowed up as he screamed for help. Seeing that it was Kasumi stopping her, Ranma buried her face in the larger girl's chest, trying desperately to cover her ears to block out his cries.
"Do not fret." The elderly Phoenix man told her after Saffron's voice was abruptly cut off as the egg closed fully. "He won't remember this."
'I'd rather not as well.' She thought darkly and tried to bury the image of Saffron being swallowed by the egg. "This isn't hurting him, is it?" She had not carried him from Ladon's volcano just to have be hurt by his own people.
"He's already fast asleep, there's no physical pain. Cassia, break the shell and make sure you're the first one he sees." He ordered.
The woman nodded and knelt reverently at Saffron's egg. Running her claws along the surface delicately, she suddenly dug them in to break the shell. Scratching a circle into the egg, Cassia slowly pulled the material away to reveal Saffron sleeping within. Turning the egg so that he was facing her, the Phoenix woman pulled more of the egg away.
"My Lord, it's time to wake up." Cassia whispered reverently and places her clawed hands on either side of his head.
Ranma watched the infants eyes open as though he had been in a deep sleep, latching on to the first figure that he saw in Cassia. 'I don't want to watch this.' She realized and moved away, purposely ignoring what was going on. Kasumi followed and stood nearby in a show of emotional support.
She paid no mind to the Phoenix as they gathered up the discarded egg shell and began to file out of her apartment. Ranma couldn't help but watch as Cassia carried Saffron out, the infant giving her only a brief glance of recognition. The elderly Phoenix man nearly made her jump out of her skin as he patted her on the lower back.
"You have our eternal thanks." His eyes twinkled in amusement at her reaction. "The Phoenix are forever in your debt."
"Yea well you better raise him right." She scoffed, feeling sick over what the Phoenix could do with magic eggs.
"He is the light of our people, we do not take this lightly." He responded, offended at her insinuation.
"Sorry." Ranma knew from talking with Kiima how important Saffron was to them. It could be taken as a grave insult to insinuate that they would mistreat him. Even if Ranma thought that was what they had done with the egg.
"All is forgiven, we can't expect an outsider to understand." The pheasant man replied.
"Then did you need anything else?" She questioned with more force than she wanted, eager to be done with this matter, and for them to leave immediately.
"No— we could not possibly ask anymore of you."
1 - For wronging two daughters of house Ageha I curse you hence, no womans body will you touch, no disrespectful word will reach an ear, no look you give will inspire fear.
I apologize for the delay in getting this out, a couple other stores are always trying for my attention and this was supposed to be much longer and completely conclude the Lutansk portion. But I've decided to chop it into two rather than cut content as more and more scenes started to pile up.