Disclaimer: AliceSoft made Sengoku Rance and I'm not trying to bite to their cake.

Themes are taken from the original 30 Kisses list I saw in the livejournal group.


30 Kisses from the Warring States

Theme #16: Invincible

With Your Kiss…


This is the umpteenth time Ran has to put up with Rance's crazy antics. He charged a group of two thousand massed ogres in an effort to prove his theory regarding the absence of hell-holes in Owari right. Granted, Rance did have command over more than a thousand men in his unit (no women, for good reason), but in doing so he lost more than three hundred soldiers. Oh Kami, he does that so many times it's not even funny anymore… Ran thought as the behemoth body of Motonari Mouri's ghost charged headlong into a flanking ogre swarm, lust for battle getting the better of the ancient man.

"Nanjou-sama! I've spotted the Hell-hole!" Edge's shout snapped Ran out of her stupor. "Over there, just under the overhang!"

"Good! Relay the word to Nogiku-san's squad to cover us!" Ran commanded, looking back to her own unit to check for their preparations. "Suzume-san! Can you provide some diversion?"

"Leave it to me~" Suzume agreed before lapsing to cast one of her many jutsu. "Let's do this people! Kagebunshin no Jutsu, nin-nin~!"

As if on cue, Suzume's squad of several hundred ninjas quickly swelled in ranks with an addition of many carbon-copy imitations of themselves. Quickly the diversion provided successful, as the ogres guarding the overhang quickly lashed at Suzume's decoys. Meanwhile, Nogiku's squad of ashigaru[1] had arrived to Ran's position, ready to back them up.

"Let's move in now, Nanjou-san!" Nogiku the cyclopean ashigaru commander sans volunteer teacher urged. Suzume's squad has lured the ogres further away, making the path to the ogre-spewing Hell-hole is clear of hostiles.

"Come on, let us seize the day!" Ran shouted.

"What are you, invincible?" Ran angrily shrieked.

"What is this about?" Rance wearily asked back. His head is bandaged in a few spots, and his undershirt is nicked open in places. Obviously, he had seen better days.

"Your charge of the light infantry, you blathering idiot!" Ran snapped back. "You almost get yourself killed, for god's sake! Sill is sick, so your usual healing support is absent! Please consider at least that factor!"

"But you sealed the Hell-hole, didn't you?" Rance calmly replied, putting a bandaged finger to Ran's lips. "We did the job, so a little cuts and bruises won't matter much."

"At least let me protect you with guard shikigami the next time around…" Ran grunted with a tender tone while looking the other way.

"Sorry for interrupting your tender moment, Rance," Suzume snickered as she materialized a few feet away from the duo. "News just came. Masako-sama's group has neutralized the hell-hole in Mamushi and is now heading towards Mazo."

"Good. Tell them that we'll regroup in Kai before heading to other locations further north. Tell Nogiku and the others that we'll be sealing the Hell-hole in Shinano as we move to Kai," Rance said with his trademark grin. "Rapist ogre bastards won't last before my holy army, heheheheheh…"

"I am still confusing which 'rapist ogre bastard' you refer to in that sentence," Ran snarked one last time as Suzume nodded, acknowledging the command from Oda forces' commander.

Without further incident, the two groups safely regrouped in Kai. There were losses from both groups, but they are not very severe. In a former Takeda fortress, all the commanders of the Oda forces mustered to take care of the Hell-hole problem in northeastern JAPAN gathered.

"So Tourin, any news?" Rance asked the former strategist of Takeda as soon as the meeting commenced.

"Not much," The Sanada patriarch replied, poring over a sheaf of paper. "Oshuu and Ezo still managed to hold on thanks to the tenacity of Masamune-dono and Omachi-dono, but we need to relieve them fast. The ogres are also starting to spill out of Kazusa, but so far we have yet to pinpoint where the Hell-hole is."

"Damn, that's bad," Rance grunted. "Now we have to split our forces more… and with more than a third of the commanders left to guard Owari, things get complicated…"

"We can use tebasaki as logistical units," Tourin suggested. "Mokko has reported that she can provide a thousand tebasaki, and another five hundred if we can wait another month. We can use tebasaki-equipped troops to relieve Oshuu and Ezo while the rest of the forces curb the ogre problem in Kazusa and Toukaidou."

"We don't have another month," Ran interrupted. "If the ogres overrun Saitama, we'll lose the Onmyou Academy. We'll be greatly hampered and the replenishment of fallen soldiers will be disturbed."

"If that's the case, we can send Nogiku's troops equipped with a thousand tebasaki right away as a relief force, while Ran's forces head to Kazusa to stop the ogres there," Naoe Ai suggested.

"Right. That means me, Ran, Suzume, and Sleeping Beauty will head to Kazusa, while Hojo-san, Kabukijo, Isoroku, Tanukigawa, Ai, and old man Mouri will head to Toukaidou," Rance commanded. "Orime, Nogiku, Kenshin, and Komatsu can form the relief force. Tourin can help with the preparations here in Kai."

"The others are just fine by me," Naoe commented. "But aren't the forces you would lead a little underpowered here? Take Mouri-san with you, he'll be delighted since there will be more bloodshed in Kazusa."

"Heh, who do you think I am?" Rance snickered. "I'm plenty enough to clear ogres from my women's path..."

"Then let me accompany him in this, Naoe-dono," Tourin interjected. "Mokko should be plenty capable of organizing things here in Kai. I'll arrange to send Sakai-dono here to oversee things and run the communications network, if you're not confident enough."

"Okay, okay…" Rance grunted. "Don't make passes at my women, okay?"

"Ahhh…" Naoe facepalmed. Rance was clearly not taking any chances.

After a few days' journey, the Rance-led party arrived at the border of Kazusa, a province which had been totally overrun by ogres. The former Hojo domain was quickly blocked off by the border guards when it was apparent that the ogres were too much to handle with the resident security forces, with the promise of the central forces deploying there as soon as the ogre infestation in the southern provinces taken care of. The promised forces now stood before a valley literally crawling with ogres.

"Daaaamn," Rance commented succinctly. "Weren't expecting that many…"

"By the name of Amaterasu…" Ran whispered.

"I suggest a tactical retreat," Tourin suggested, awed by the sheer scale of the adversary.

"Hmm, I do see a rainbow-coloured hole in the middle of the valley, though…" Suzume, perched on a tree branch a few meters above them, intoned carefully.

"Hey, you're right!" Rance replied, his eye squinted to get a better look. "I'd say we break this encirclement."

"You're nuts!" Ran shrieked. She was the one who recovered from the initial shock the fastest. "We can't break a defense that thick!"

"I'm invincible, my woman! This defense shall crumble before my righteous fury!" Rance proudly exclaimed. "Ain't it right, my buddy Chaos?"

"He lost it," Chaos snarked. The other commanders threw Rance a similar look, except from one sleeping Yasumasa Sakakibara.

"Not you too!" Rance shot back, in disbelief of his own sword's words.

In the heat of the argument, suddenly Ran kissed Rance full-force for a little over twenty seconds. If the earlier debacle had not shocked the commanders under Rance's command, this event certainly does the job.

"There! I've protected your so-called 'invincibility', blockhead!" Ran grunted, her face beet-red. "Now go there and die!"

"That's my woman," Rance replied with his trademark half-cocky, half-slasher smile. "Now who wants to accompany me to clear a hell-hole?"

"Funny guy, nin-nin~" sighed Suzume, while flashing the hand-signs she would use to invoke Kagebunshin no Jutsu.

The other commanders, incensed by Rance's boldness, prepared themselves for the fight of their life. They will close this Hell-hole today. After all, their leader is invincible and covered by guardian shinigami.


Glossary:

[1]: Ashigaru can be translated as foot soldier. They carry spears to battle, much like western pikemen.


A/N: Well, there you are, the first proper fic in Rance fandom. First time I'm doing 30 kisses, too... I'm exploring Rance/Ran in the challenge, because they consists of fine materials to be explored here, mainly due to Ran's tsundere tendencies and a little hostility between the two, as opposed to the mainly subservient dynamics of Rance/Kenshin, Rance/Isoroku, and Rance/Sill.