Prices of Power

ch I

to be paid...

isdh

Four 'Gods' stood around the waist high table-pool.

"Okay, we accept your theory that 'Power' comes at a 'Price'." the golden skinned female spoke, "But what does this all prove?"

The twisted Dwarf grinned. "We pick a hero who chooses the price over the power, a dark hero who chooses the power, no matter the cost, a villain who takes the power, while trying to avoid the cost..."

The tall dark male touches the pool. figures of humans rise up from the surface. "Saotome Ranma, Tendo Nabiki, Uzumaki Naruto, Uchiha Sasuke." as he names them, they look like themselves. "Four of the basic archetypes of the Hero. One who fights for the glory, to be the best. One who plays by her own shaded codex of honor. one who places his body, mind and soul in harms way to protect his loved ones. One who is willing to sell his soul for the power he thinks he needs."

The dwarf bobs his head, "Good choices, and if we place them in the Village of the Leaf..." reaching into trail his fingers in the pool causing twenty new figures to rise up, not as clear as the four heroes, but if this a limit of the dwarf's power or a planed effect, none of the others can tell. "We have the basics for the villains, One who seeks power without price, one who seeks power, price be damned, one who passes the price off to others..."

The silver haired female steps forward, peering down into the water, "Where shall we place them? When? from When?"

The Dwarf smiled his twisted smile. "I will take care of that." with a snap of his fingers he was gone.

12321

Nabiki was leading Ranma down the street. She had awoken from her pre-coffee haze to a find a scroll on the table before her, offering a minor six figure if she were to bring Ranma to a small tea shop at the edge of the ward. it did state that if anyone else were to show, she would lose her commission. Ranma had grumbled but was quick to follow her.

Akane had huffed and puffed about being excluded, until it was hinted that it was a surprise for her that Ranma and Nabiki were going out for, so Akane decided to 'cook' something for Ranma.

He moved even faster...

As they entered a small tea shop, Ranma frowned. Something was not right, it tickled the back of her mind too.

A young lady in flowered kimono bowed and showed them to a table in the center of the room. between one breath and the next they were not alone; a dwarf was sitting in a throne like chair. "Ah, Tendo Nabiki, you have completed the branch of the mission perfectly. " he paused as the hostess returned with a pot and four cups. "Ah, Ko-chan, just what the mage ordered." taking the cup handed to him, he sipped, sighed happily, "I have a Challenge if you will. It will require the three of you partake in a series of Adventures. everything you learn and earn will be awarded to you should you win..." the dwarf glared at Ranma as the youth took a sip of his tea, "or lose."

Ranma choked on his tea, but did not further answer the baiting.

The dwarf dropped three over sized headbands on the table. making sure to push the golden plate towards Nabiki. "these mark you as members of a 'hidden' village. The Village Hidden in the Ryu, a small merc village, and you three are its best. best in unarmed combat, best in ninjutsu, and best in the art of the village; brokering the deal. It is accepted that you are all limited, but strong. the Test you are going for will take over two months, but the time you spend here, will be less then an hour as those you left behind perceive time. the Village you are going to is five miles that way" pointed over Ranma's shoulder, "but the road is that way, about half a mile." he passed four scrolls and a small backpack/purse to nabiki, "your needed paperwork. I will see you when all is done. There should be enough to pay for three months lodging, food(even for Ranma) and a bit left over for other supplies. A reminder, Tendo-san, those of the Ryu never pass up an opportunity to barter."

then he was gone...

they were alone in small clearing

"What did you get us into this time, Saotome?"

it was then that they noticed that they were about the age of fourteen.