Author's Note: Did anyone notice the mystery "guardian" of the Great Log Ranma had warned his Genin about showed up near the end of the fight last chapter? I try to put in some small, subtle details like that in this story, then get disappointed and sad when nobody comments on it.
And about last chapter, although I didn't mention it – remember that Ranma stole a Konoha headband from the Academy? She was still wearing it all throughout the battle against the Hokage.
As for Ranma's training awakening Sasuke's Sharingan, that takes actual killing intent. As dangerously close to death as the training brings Team Seven, Ranma has no intent to kill them, and would rescue them when (not if) they are truly in mortal danger. It would take a real opponent who truly wishes to kill him to awaken Sasuke's Sharingan.
Finally, sorry that this chapter took so much longer than previous ones to finish. Really, it's just because I spent less time writing and more time reading. Expect irregular updates – but hopefully at least close to a chapter per week.
Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 and Naruto belong to their respective authors. I make no money from this, nor am I attempting or planning to.
Konoha was in chaos.
A weapon the size of the Hokage Tower had just shot down from the sky and made a large hole in the Hokage Monument in place of the future Fifth Hokage's face. The last living Hokage, Sarutobi Hiruzen, was nowhere to be found; a note left in his office informing people that he had urgently left and taken Maito Guy and Hatake Kakashi with him to confront what he suspected to be a dangerous foreign agent. Both Kakashi and Guy, two of the strongest Jonin in the service of Konohagure, and reportedly the Hokage's escorts, were also missing. The shockwave from the impact had caused very low causalities, as few were close enough to be hit by its full might, but varying injuries were highly numerous.
Of course, Ninja were sent to the location the Hokage had reportedly left to. There, they found only destruction.
The entire land for miles was torn apart as if by an angry god, ancient trees and rocks the size of houses scattered about the landscape, which even now still bore the unmistakable signs of a battle between very powerful Ninja. Concerned ANBU, looking for any signs of their Third Hokage, had found only widespread devastation piled upon more concentrated oblivion had prevailed everywhere they looked, suggesting that truly great and ever-escalating powers were called upon by the Ninja that were fighting here. Evidence of both burns and – surprisingly – frostbite, had colored the ruptured earth and broken forest, spread out among numerous deep craters made by powerful impacts.
Additionally, evidence hinted that the enormous storm that had passed over Konoha just before the great wooden spear lanced down from the sky was created here, rising into the sky through the forest, from which it rained the debris visible for miles. It was only fortune that the debris had all fallen down before the storm had reached Konoha.
The population was in turmoil.
Ninja and civilians alike were disorganized, lacking leadership, scared, and panicking about Heaven's Wrath and the End of the World. Everyone had tried coming up with reasoning for the gaping hole now visible where the stone face of the next Hokage was to watch over the village: some believing it to be an Act of Heaven signaling the end of Konoha; some believing it to be a declaration of war from a faction who seeks to completely erase Konoha's future; others believing it to be the spirits of their ancestors expressing their anger at the lack of a fifth Hokage; yet others bringing forth increasingly abstract interpretations for the unprecedented event.
Regardless, all Ninja could agree that the Hokage going missing at this time, right after attempting to confront an unknown foe alarming enough for the Hokage himself to go personally, could not be a coincidence.
And the thought of an unknown Ninja, one that had infiltrated the village an undetermined length of time ago, that can defeat the Hokage and two of his best Jonin simultaneously had terrified them all. If such a Ninja was to attack now, armed with knowledge of the inner workings of the entire village, Konoha may not be able to survive as it is.
So when Kurenai Yuhi had seen Guy crawling towards her from the forest, covered with blood and pulling himself forward with his hands, both Kakashi and the Third Hokage unconscious on his back, it was perfectly understandable that her first response was to immediately grab all three and run as far away from that area of the forest as she could. After relaxing at the realization that a Kage-slaying demonic Ninja killing-machine was in fact not chasing them, Kurenai immediately turned to looking the three downed Ninja over for injuries, while pleading with Guy to explain what was happening.
"Guy, I know now that you are safe you probably want to rest, but this is critical for the safety of Konoha. Can you please explain exactly what happened to you?"
Guy, eyes glazed with pain and smiling deliriously, looked even more disturbing then he normally did. And that was not counting the massive bloodloss he was even now suffering from his shattered legs.
Looked approximately at Kurenai, Guy attempted to answer. The result wasn't very clear.
"Falling... can't summon with hands full... giant pole... Monument dangerous... evacuate..."
Feeling his message was delivered, and his comrades and himself were now safe, Guy collapsed.
Kurenai was trying to analyze the information supplied by Guy, while running to get the three unconscious Ninja medical attention. Kakashi looked particularly bad, every visible inch of his body bleeding and bruised.
'Guy was trying to warn us about that Spear that hit the Monument. That much is fairly obvious. Less clearly, he probably needed to summon while falling to help control and soften the landing, but his hands were full of something and for some reason he couldn't drop it to free them to save himself.'
Trying to imagine what might warrant such importance to the youth-obsessed Jonin, Kurenai had finally decided that, as if it was important enough to make Guy allow himself to break his legs to protect it, he had to be carrying it with him right now, which only left that he was carrying his fallen fellow leaf Ninja at the time of his fall.
'Well, that explains the broken legs. Even Guy can't take a drop from high enough to have seen that spear before it fell while carrying and protecting two people. However he got that high in the first place. Even Guy can't just jump that high.'
Having finally reached the Konoha hospital, Kurenai grabbed the nearest Medic-Nin, and explained what she wanted. Loudly enough to be heard by curious Ninja coming and going to and from the hospital.
"I found the Hokage, and his escorts. They need medical attention. Get a medic team ready, and follow me. Now!"
Of course, when the panicking Medic-Nin had managed to bring back a full medical team, they had an escort made up of a good half of Konoha's Ninja forces following them. Annoyed at the tail she had picked, Kurenai snapped at the gathered Ninja.
"Don't all of you have anything better to do?"
To her surprise, most answered with a conclusive "No."
Naturally, with the Hokage missing, there were no orders coming from the top, and chaos had broken out as Ninja couldn't decide what needed to be done. Of course they would all want the Hokage to settle that problem and issue their orders when he was found.
So, leading the medic team, followed by a mob of curious Ninja, Kurenai headed back to the Third Hokage.
He would soon wish that he had stayed unconscious.
When Naruto woke up, he was convinced that their sensei had succeeded and they had all died from that last fall when he was supporting all of them, and this was the afterlife.
His new surroundings did nothing to cause him to disbelieve this notion.
Trying to get up to see more than a sky made of flowing blue light above him, Naruto decided that this must be Hell, as everything hurt. Even his Chakra felt in pain.
Dropping back down, Naruto could see his fellow teammates, and now murder victims, waking up to see what their afterlife looks like. They looked to be in just as much pain as Naruto himself felt.
After all three Genin took some time to recover from their attempt to move, Sasuke laughed, a hollow and hysterical sounding laugh. His eyes were glinting with malevolence and madness, completely unlike what his teammates knew the stoic Uchiha to act like.
"So our sociopath of a sensei won after all, didn't she? I died before you, even after everything, huh, Itachi? Well, you know what? I'm dead now, but I'm not going to stay here in the afterlife. I'm going to come back and haunt you for the rest of time, forever reminding you of your crimes! You will never have a moment of peace! I will always be there, whispering in your ear, causing you misfortune when it is most likely to kill you! I will not allow you to rest even in death, and will follow you back here to forever remind you of what you have done! Even in death, I will have my revenge!"
Sasuke erupted into another bout of demented laughter. Then Naruto punched him in the face.
"You know, you bastard, I don't know who this Itachi is or what he did to have you hate him this much, but I sure as hell won't let you ruin your afterlife just to have him suffer!"
Naruto looked furious at Sasuke's casual disregard of his own happiness, working through the searing pain he was feeling over every inch of his body, just so he can stand up and punch him.
Sasuke, responding in kind to Naruto's outrage, shakily stood up and charged Naruto, shouting his conviction at him while attacking.
"Shut up! You don't know what its like! I lost my happiness years ago when my own brother slaughtered our entire clan, and only left me alive because he didn't see me as worth killing! What did Itachi do to me? He betrayed me, my clan, and killed everyone I ever knew!"
Naruto's shock had allowed Sasuke to land a full-power uppercut straight at his chin, throwing him down.
"Yes, you never had any parents, but as bad as that might be you never had to see what you're missing – I got a taste of how it is to have a family, grew up with it, then had it torn away from me! I had parents, but my own brother betrayed me and took it all away! I can never be happy now, all because of Itachi! And that is why I will return the favor, and destroy his happiness!"
Sakura, forgotten by the two wrestling boys, listened to Sasuke's drive and purpose in life in growing horror until she couldn't take it anymore. 'This is the very antithesis of love! Sasuke couldn't possibly mean this...'
Then, she broke down and screamed at him.
"But why? Now that we are dead, why won't you go back to your family? It's obvious that you love them, so why would you keep away from them, let them suffer from your absence? I don't understand! If you always want to avenge the suffering your brother caused, how is it that you can't see going that far to do so will also hurt the very same people you want to avenge? In that case, wouldn't finding your own happiness after all be the best revenge you could get, showing him that despite everything he did, he is the only one left miserable and alone?"
For a moment, everything was quiet, Sakura shocked at her outburst in a lapse of control, scared at the response of her crush to her antagonizing him; while Sasuke and Naruto had both stopped fighting in order to integrate something that insightful coming from Sakura into their worldview, and what it actually meant for them.
Then Sakura was hit by a fireball.
Really, this came out of nowhere. There was no way to expect this.
She was hit in the back, from no visible source, throwing her down to the bleak ground with a scream of pain and surprise, smoke rising from the newly made wound at her back.
Naruto shouted in horror. "Sakura-chan!"
Sasuke, coming to his own conclusions about the situation, realized with a sinking feeling that only one person could be responsible for this. Really, it shouldn't be that surprising for them after everything they went through.
"Naruto, Sakura, we talk about all of this later. Right now we need to make sure sensei doesn't kill us. Again. Because nobody else could or would possibly start throwing fireballs randomly into the afterlife in some twisted attempt to cause us eternal pain and suffering until our souls finally give in and are destroyed."
All pain now ignored in favor of new and important instincts to survive that surface whenever their Jonin Sensei is mentioned or in any way involved, the three Genin did not trust that being already dead would hinder their sensei's efforts to kill them again by much. So when the next fireball appeared to strike Sasuke, he was prepared and had managed to stumble away in time to avoid being scorched. But the fireballs had come in increasing frequency and power, and they weren't showing any signs of stopping.
The three Genin had quickly resorted to diving behind and around the larger of the rocks that were the only features of their strangely silent and lifeless surroundings, the only life being in themselves, the multiplying flames, and the strange sky above them. The problem with that strategy was that the fireballs were now strong enough to shatter the rocks they were using to hide, and they were running out of shelter as fireballs materialized randomly all around them, sometimes dangerously close to one of them.
As they tired Genin scrambled around in search of a way to survive the onslaught of fire, they realized to their growing despair that their bodies, having not yet recovered from the training that had eventually killed them and sent them here, were slowing down. They were breaking apart from the inside out. And the fire was everywhere. Out of options, the Genin threw themselves together in a pile on the ground, enduring what few fireballs passed by, and played dead in hopes that they would be spared.
"You know, I'm starting to appreciate my continued existence a lot more." Sasuke admitted as a large fireball looked as if it would surely kill them all, until it was hit by another fireball coming from above it, causing both to explode.
"It shouldn't take nearly this much to show someone life is precious," – Naruto replied calmly, as he was tired of being scared by now – "we were all killed once already, and now that we are about to die again – and we have nothing to do about it – only now you can tell? Seriously? Usually it only takes the mere threat of a single death of someone you like to teach that to somebody. Dimwit."
Sasuke didn't have the energy to find a retort to that, so he just smiled at Naruto's persistence at staying the same even in the face of certain, and probably slow and painful, death by fire.
Sakura was trying to come up with a cool speech to impress Sasuke that would serve as her final words, when the fire abruptly stopped.
None of the Genin dared to move or speak in the sudden silence, the sound and heat of flames absent for the first time in what felt like hours. Then Sakura asked, awed by the surprise at still being alive – 'well, at least in the afterlife' – whispered, as if afraid her words would summon the flames back to attack them again.
"Does she think we are dead again?"
Naruto replied, his hesitant tone showing his clear shock at their continued existence. "I think so. We actually did it this time. We lived through her attempt to kill us..."
Sasuke, having regained some of his regular attitude, added to that. "Unless she is just giving us false hope as she is preparing the final blow."
Sakura watched, relieved, as the other two members of Team Seven started a friendly argument, their previous fight completely forgotten in the face of lots of fire. Maybe they would be fine after all.
That optimism didn't last long, as after what was probably about a half hour, the sky suddenly dimmed.
And as they were arguing about what that could mean for a few minutes, the argument was abruptly stopped when parts of the sky just winked out, everything beneath those parts to disintegrate, turning into light in order to support the failing sky.
"Okay, Sasuke, you were right. She was evil enough to just give us false hope. Now how do we make sure we are nowhere near places where the sky turns off and everything dies?" Naruto admitted his perceived error, once more forgoing his normal impulsive and stubborn nature in favor of quick action and better chances to survive.
There was nothing to fight or dodge they could see here. Either the sky ate them, or it didn't.
Sasuke's reply was simple, and confirmed what both other Genin were thinking. "We run and pray."
Ranma was in a lot of pain.
That was a good thing, because after a fall like that, she considered simple survival to be a very fortunate thing; and that much pain told her she was not only alive, but also going to stay that way for a while longer.
Looking around from her impact crater as much as she could, Ranma could see many broken trees around a deep furrow in a straight path leading down from a nearby mountain.
'Ah, so that's why I'm still alive. I didn't have to absorb the impact all at once with minimal Ki reserves, I could do it gradually while sliding down that mountain. Of course, I still made an impact crater at the bottom, but it's much smaller then it would have been from a full-force fall from that height. After all the times Akane hit me, I know that much. Now to get some food, then figure out where I am.'
Primary objective decided, Ranma had slowly tested her body, working her way through the pain to make sure she could get up and move. Finishing with a grimace, Ranma staggered away into the woods in search of something she could eat. Food would give her energy, and that would make everything better.
Looking for food, it quickly became obvious to Ranma that this would be a lot more difficult then expected.
Wherever this Land of Fire was, plants here were not the same as she knew from her travels during the training trip that concluded at Jusenkyo. Not a big difference, but enough to possibly be poisonous. The last thing she needed now was a constant drain on her still-recovering Ki reserves in an attempt to purge her body of poison.
So, with plant life out, Ranma resorted to hunting. Of course, with the sort of impact she made getting here, any animals living in the area had certainly escaped by now. That meant the search would be long.
Fortunately, while searching for any animals who didn't run far, Ranma heard a river. Following the sound promising fresh fish, she soon had a few dozen fish cooking over a campfire, and a kettle heating up over a smaller fire to the side.
'I was a girl for way too long to be anywhere near comfortable by now. If I have to be in lots of pain, I can at least get to do it as a guy. Of course, food comes first.'
And at that, Ranma had made short work of the fish.
Shortly later, Ranma, now male no longer as hungry as before, proceeded to his original objective.
'Now, I couldn't have been knocked too far from Konoha, so if I just follow this river to the nearest human settlement, I should be able to just ask for directions, then come back to finish teaching the mini-Ninja and get the hell away and back home. Well, I will probably still have random challenges in between, but that shouldn't be too much trouble.'
Then, proving he really was Genma's son, Ranma immediately brightened at a sudden insight.
'That's right! Now I have students to do that sort of thing for me! Why would I have to suffer challenges from random Ninja when I can always just use them as training for my students? Being a teacher is great! I should probably find some new students in Nerima once I get back...'
That particular insight was followed by a far less comfortable one, as Ranma had suddenly remembered where his students were. 'Crap. Well, I hope they didn't freak out and start killing each other or something...'
With a resigned sigh, Ranma tapped his no-longer-critical Ki reserves to open a gateway, out of which tumbled three feral Genin, all looking exhausted, delirious, and on full alert. An instant after having stumbled out, all three Genin, a hint of madness in their eyes, had ignored their new and drastically different surroundings in favor of backing up against each other in an attempt to cover any openings one of them might individually present.
Sakura was facing Ranma, so she was the first to notice him, warily eying the unknown. Then, with a groan, Ranma had noted with distaste that his Curse chose that particular moment to be overwhelmed by the Chakra Naruto was somehow still throwing around, although he should be completely exhausted
Then the pink haired Genin erupted in complete panic. She could recognize that ridiculously crazy redhead anywhere. And this was their worst-possible case scenario. Their sensei decided to finish them herself.
"Dammit, sensei's nearby! I don't want to die again! Not now that I can finally talk with Sasuke-kun!"
Ranma blinked in surprise.
"Wait, why would you think me being here means you would die? And again?"
The question mark above her head was almost visible.
Wary, Naruto asked slowly, as if expecting to be attacked at any moment.
"So you don't want to kill us again? How can we trust you?"
This only confused Ranma further.
"Wait, what the hell? What do you all mean by again? Of course you're still alive you idiotic brats!"
The Genin didn't look very convinced, but Sasuke decided to keep talking, as the longer they talked, the longer they had to recover from the waking nightmare they had just went through. Their sensei looked like she was just in a really rough fight. Maybe she was tired and injured enough for them to be able to escape if they were better. Maybe.
"If we didn't die, then were did we just come from? That place sure didn't look like anywhere in the Elemental Countries. And we couldn't use any Chakra there. And the sky was made of blue light.
Even if that was not the afterlife, it's still obvious that you are trying to kill us. That's why you filled the entire damn area with fireballs until we had to give up and just lie down hoping a fireball doesn't hit us! And, as if that wasn't enough, then you destroyed half of the freaking world all around us! Of course you were trying to kill us!"
Ranma had to cringe at the descriptions of the things the Genin had to go through. She had a good idea at to what those things were.
'Okay, the fireballs were obviously the ones the old man was spitting at me, I completely forgot I put the brats in there when storing them – but destroying half the world? Wow, I was much closer to death then I thought if I was injured enough for my Ki-pocket to actually start collapsing. It takes almost nothing to maintain. That could have been really dangerous for them. I have no idea what being in another person's collapsing Ki-pocket would do to a person.'
'Well, I obviously can't tell them what actually happened – despite everything else he may have been, Genma was a really damn good teacher – and he made it very clear that the student may never doubt their teacher's power until they really are good enough to be a challenge to the teacher. And those brats are nowhere near good enough to last five minutes at their best.'
'Well, the final result of all this crap wasn't that far off from training, and actually made up for the heat resistance conditioning they missed when that giant training post was destroyed. Except for the Ki-pocket collapsing, of course. That was just dangerous. But they don't need to know how dangerous it was.'
Her decision made, Ranma replied, the Genin already sweating in fear while awaiting her response to their accusation that she was trying to kill them with dread.
"Well, I had to catch you when you fell at the end of the tree walking training, and then you were just slacking off resting. This was just punishment for that. It wasn't the afterlife, I just put you in my pocket for a while. As for not being able to use Chakra – of course you couldn't you idiots! You were all suffering from Chakra exhaustion since you fell from the training post!"
For a while, the Genin were just slack-jawed in shock at the response. She actually expected them to believe that?
And, even worse, was that it was really believable. That would be just like her. Sadistic and nearly fatal, yet not granting them the mercy of actual death – after all, that would stop the pain.
Then everything she said penetrated.
The Genin weren't sure who said this first, but all three of them were convinced they must have heard that wrong. There was just no way that could be right. It was completely impossible, in every way they could think of. A crime against reality itself.
"Yes. My pocket. Space that is somehow – I'm not quite clear exactly how – preserved by my power, where I can store pretty much anything. Where did you think everything I use in your training comes from?" Ranma casually answered, cementing the Genin's opinion that she was completely insane, and probably not even human.
Then, with much more satisfaction and happiness in her voice then could be appropriate, Ranma gave the Genin their next task..
"Well, now that you are finished playing in there, back to training. You are too exhausted for the normal training I use, so now you will do information gathering. We are not in Konoha. Figure out where we are and how to get back to Konoha within the day. You will also need to find your own food. Have fun!"
'Scratch that, definitely not human. She has to be some kind of demon that feeds of off our misery! This is completely ridiculous! This so called "training" never stops!'
Oblivious to her students' suffering, Ranma just leaned back and waited, wondering if they would notice the river and come to the same conclusions as her. It shouldn't take long. They weren't complete idiots.
As she had expected would happen, the Genin had soon noticed the river. However, to Ranma's pleasant surprise, Sakura hadn't only realized following it would lead to civilization, but that the fish in it are an easy and good source of food. Following that the Genin had, before going anywhere else, settled on the riverbank using her own previous camp arrangements.
The difficulty they had catching fish was hilarious.
"Dammit, Naruto, scare them this way! Just scaring them isn't the point! We need to eat now, and I don't want to know what our sensei would choose as punishment if we don't figure out the way back to Konoha today! That pocket thing was more than enough for me!"
All three shuddered at their memory of that particular incident. That just had to be a murder attempt.
"If you think it's that easy, come down here and try it yourself Sasuke, you bastard!"
Sasuke looked like he wanted to retort, but then thought better of it.
"You're right. I shouldn't have trusted you to not mess this up in the first place. You are about as subtle as a charging rhino."
And at that, Sasuke jumped in the river, methodically fencing fish into swimming into the net the Genin had set up beforehand. Naruto, sizzling in frustration at Sasuke's easy success at what he had been working to achieve fruitlessly, had quickly adapted to the situation and started copying Sasuke's actions. After all, if it worked, it was worth using.
After a quick, small burst of fire breathed by Sasuke, they were cooking the fish over a fire made from the branches already collected for Ranma's own meal. They waited for the food to be ready in silence, each Genin thinking about how different being a Ninja turned out to be from what they imagined. Mortal danger was as present as they had expected, maybe even more so, but instead of from enemy Ninja and bandits, it came from their own Jonin Sensei!
Their meal finished, the Genin headed along the river, going downstream in hopes of finding a village. Ranma silently followed, happy that it looked like someone else was about to suffer from the weird adventures she normally had to go through herself, while she could just sit on the sidelines and watch.
Really, Ranma should have known better than that.
Her luck would never let her just watch chaos unfold from the sidelines. Being a "her" whenever around Naruto was proof enough of that.
'Of course, that means the Kami saw it fit to make Naruto an all-purpose chaos-generator I can never avoid exploding at me. I would just have to make sure to drag my students down with me.'
When they got to the town at first, things were going smoothly. Which really should have set off her alarms, but Ranma had been too careless in her belief that the suffering was reserved for her students here.
The Genin had decided to split up and ask different people for instructions to make sure they got the correct directions, as Sakura had suggested they do. A good idea, certainly. Then Naruto, in some bizarre stroke of genius, had moved on and tried questioning people about his teacher. 'Really, if he is that intelligent, why in the world doesn't he actually use his brain more often?'
"Hey, do you know anything about a new Konoha Jonin? She looks really young and short, and has red hair – oh, and she's also really strong and really, really evil. Anything you know would help. Please..."
Naruto was looking up at the man he was asking this from, eyes shining in silent pleading. He was good at this.
And the answer was far more surprising then anything Ranma or her team could have possibly expected. The man had leaned in towards Naruto, suddenly serious, as if imparting an important life lesson.
"Hey, kid, I know that people say she's evil for what she did, but that's not fair to judge her like that. The Angel of Storms was just warning us, trying to help Konoha see that they need a new Hokage now, before someone takes advantage of the Third's age to completely destroy the village, not just punch a giant hole in the Monument like she did. By putting a hole where the face of the Fifth would be, she said as clearly as possible that the position has been empty for too long."
Then, with a look of distaste at something he had just thought about, the man continued his speech, by now oblivious as to the shell-shocked Konoha Genin in front of him.
"I'm not telling you to go join one of those new cults worshiping her that started popping up after she made that hole, that would just be stupid – but don't you go calling her evil here. If she really was evil, she could have killed the Third and those Jonin he took with him, or throw that giant spear at the village instead of the mountain. Just the fact that they are all still alive and recovering as we speak, and that Konoha still stands, that's already enough to show everyone that the Angel really means well."
Satisfied with a good life lesson given, the man nodded to himself and walked away.
When he had moved out of sight, Naruto had recovered, and with a look of complete disbelief had started looking around rapidly in an attempt to locate his sensei so he could question her about the what the crazy person had just told him.
At that, Ranma herself had recovered from the shock, and grabbed Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke, ignoring their protests and running away from the village to explain things.
'Okay, crazy cults worshiping me is new. Now I just have to make sure Kuno doesn't hear about this. Ever.'
When safely away, Ranma had finally let her students go, the Genin disheveled from the whiplash of her rapid movements and confused about the whole situation.
"Okay, Naruto, I admit that trying to gather information about me was a good idea, but you also need to use the information you get. When you hear there are cults devoted to me forming around here, you do not draw attention to me. That is just blatant stupidity. We do not want cultists popping out from everywhere to start following us. That will not end well."
When Sasuke and Sakura realized they couldn't open their mouth to talk because it was already hanging wide open, they responded to the most disturbing piece of information they had heard.
"Ah ha! I knew it! You really are a demon!"
Sasuke's statement was made with an air of finality, as if it had been proven beyond all doubt.
"Sensei... You have cults devoted to you? Why?"
The misery consuming her in Sakura's question was clearly audible.
"Sensei... You actually went as far as blowing a giant hole through the Hokage Monument just to show people they need to make me the Fifth Hokage already? *sniff* I can't believe I actually thought you were a demon like that jerk Sasuke! I'm going to make the most awesome cult worshiping you! Believe it!"
Ranma couldn't suppress a miserable groan at how things were spiraling out of control.
'One of my students thinks I'm a demon, another is having a mental breakdown, and the third wants to form a Ninja-cult worshiping me. When I find whatever Kami is responsible for this, their pain will never end.'
This time, Ranma avoided thinking that this couldn't get worse. She knew it would.