A Saiyan Tail

Part 26

The Spirit of the Dragon


Ranma floated opposite Herb with a smirk on his face as he stared the man down.

"So, at last I find the man, who destroyed the sacred springs," said Herb casually as he eyed his opponent for a moment.

"That place was evil," said Ranma coolly.

"Indeed it was, but I'm afraid it is important to the memory of my people," said Herb as he took up a combat stance.

Ranma merely nodded and took up one of his own in reply. Thunder crashed in the darkening sky above for a moment.

Herb vanished and appeared in front of Ranma, punching the boy in his face. He gasped in surprise when his fist passed through the boy, without any resistance.

"Ha!" cried Ranma as he appeared beside the dragon man and kicked him in his chest. Herb was thrown back several hundred feet and stopped his movement in the air.

"You're strong indeed, I expected nothing less!" cried Herb as he righted himself and saw the boy floating in front of him calmly. Ranma was merely waiting for him.

"You're not strong enough to fight me," said Ranma with his scowl growing slightly.

"You haven't seen half of my power yet," snarled Herb viciously.

"I'm not at full strength either," said Ranma in reply.

Herb ground his teeth for a moment. "We'll see who is the strongest!" He put up his hands and blasted a huge beam of energy at Ranma. The boy didn't even bother to dodge; he merely swatted the blast aside with a casual wave of his hand.

"If you don't go all out, you'll lose," said Ranma calmly.

"Bastard! I'll show you what power is!" screamed Herb as he shot forward. His entire body glowed with a golden energy as he shot forward and slammed into Ranma. The pair locked, both of their aura's flaring for a moment.

Ranma was slowly pushed back by the force of the attack and Herb grinned. "I am descended from the dragons themselves! You cannot hope to match my power!"

"Ha!" cried Ranma as his aura burned a little brighter, his muscles strained and grew larger, and he pushed Herb back slowly.

"Damn you!" snarled Herb as he shoved a bit more, locking them in the air again.

Ranma shifted slightly, breaking the contest of strength. Herb was already in motion when Ranma faced him again. The Dragon man sent a flurry of attacks at the boy, all of which were blocked or parried without much effort.

Finally, Herb stopped and glared at Ranma for a moment. "You're fast."

"You're a strong fighter too," said Ranma with a nod of acknowledgement.

"You're the strongest I have ever faced, but my power is superior!" said Herb as he readied another blast of energy.

Ranma said nothing and prepared a blast of his own to respond.

"Dragon's breath!" cried Herb as a golden column of flames erupted from his hands.

"Kamehameha!" said Ranma in response.

The two beams collided, creating an explosive reaction as they fought for dominance with each other. A sphere of energy formed where the beams met at the halfway point between them.

"Impossible!" screamed Herb as he fought to keep his beam of power up. "There is no chi energy that I cannot overpower!" He pushed himself harder and Ranma's beam was pushed back slightly.

The pigtailed boy grunted with effort as he pushed against the oncoming wave of power a little harder. "He's stronger than I expected."

"Your beam will fail! I will be victorious!" snarled Herb as he increased his power output a little more. Ranma's beam was forced back a little more, the sphere of power where the two attacks met was coming dangerously close to overcoming the pigtailed boy.

"I'm gonna have to go all out," thought Ranma as he pushed his power level up. The beam was forced back, edging its way towards Herb.

"No! It isn't possible!" thought the dragon man as he stopped his beam and moved aside. The massive wave of energy passed by him a few feet away. He clenched his fist and growled angrily. "So, you are the one."

Ranma stood, unable to hear the man as he simply watched and waited for his next move. "What are you up too?"

Herb chuckled to himself and called out to Ranma. "You are as strong as I'd hoped. I knew you would have to be strong, after what you did to the springs, but this. This surpasses my greatest expectations." He reared his head back and laughed out loud.

Ranma shook his head and sighed. "Well?"

"A moment if you will," said Herb with his smirk fading slightly. "I have never had the opportunity to use my final attack in such a battle. Allow me to relish it."

Ranma frowned. That didn't sound good.

"True Spirit of the Dragon's Horn!" roared Herb as he put his palm forward. A huge spike of energy shot forward, larger than the one he had used on Akane by at least three times.

"Whoa!" said Ranma as he shot back away, the blast was too strong and he could not escape. A ball of blue energy formed in his hands as he moved away, the beam closing faster and faster. "Kamehameha!" He blasted the beam to the side, deliberately away from the attack.

"What?" said Herb in shock as Ranma blasted away from his attack from the force of his energy wave. It sailed by the pigtailed boy, missing him by a hair's length. "Most impressive," commented Herb with a small nod.

Ranma was breathing hard and watching the attack sail away into the distance behind him for a moment. Part of his shirt was burned away, he huffed and turned to face Herb again. "That was impressive."

"Thank you, tell me do you know the true meaning of fear now that you know how you'll die?" Herb chuckled to himself and raised his hands over his head.

"Hoooooo!" said Ranma as he cupped his hands at his sides.

"Prepare for death! A valiant warrior such as yourself deserves such an honor!" called Herb as the golden power began to form in his hands.

"Ka...Me..." Ranma focused his energy and waited patiently.

"Your efforts are in vain! That puny blast will never strike me down!" roared Herb defiantly.

"Ha...me..." continued Ranma, he could see that his opponent was almost ready as well.

"Taste oblivion! Your loved ones shall meet you in the afterlife!" snarled Herb bitterly. "True Spirit of the Dragon's Horn!"

"HAAAA!!!!" snapped Ranma as he let loose his built up power.

Herb's blast was easily as large as the one before it, but it was still dwarfed by the awesome power of Ranma's attack. "It can't be!" cried Herb as he desperately attempted to push through the oncoming wave with his own blast. It was a vain attempt though, and his projectile was swallowed up easily. The dragon man crossed his arms in front of his face and grit his teeth, waiting for the blast to come to him. An instant later he was swallowed up by Ranma's power.

Ranma watched as the beam sailed away, his breath ragged and harsh as he hung in midair for a moment. "Is it over?" He waited and listened to the silence for a long moment, searching for any sign of his opponent. "No. Not yet."

Herb appeared in front of him, his clothes smoking and his body tanned slightly from the energy. He punched Ranma dead in the face, sending him plummeting to the ground below. The pigtailed boy managed to halt his decent just above the ground. Herb landed just beside him and scowled angrily.

"I didn't think it was possible," said the Dragon man angrily. "You are more powerful than I."

"Thanks, glad you think so," muttered Ranma as he landed on the ground and rested for a moment.

"Fool, this is far from over," said Herb with a vicious looking snarl. "We aren't done yet."

"Huh? But you just said..." started Ranma.

"You are stronger than I am now, but with this..." Herb pulled out a white object that looked somewhat like an albino candy corn. He crushed it in his grasp, sending a shower of debris and powder to the ground. "I will become ten times stronger than I am now."

"Huh?" said Ranma dumbly. "But, you just broke it..."

"Heh," chuckled Herb. He bent forward and cried out in pain as something began to happen to him.

Ranma rose to his feet, staggering back in shock as an aura of golden energy surrounded the screaming form of the Musk Prince. "No way!"


"What do you mean?" said Akane as she stared at Tofu dumbly for a moment.

"I mean that boy you brought in here, he isn't human," repeated Tofu in a whispered tone.

"What is he then?" said Akane as she glanced over the man's shoulder and peered into the room curiously.

"I'm not sure, I've never seen anything like him before," said the doctor with a slight nod.

Akane sucked in a sharp breath as something came too her. Ryoga's words on the day he blasted his way into her life. The wish he made, to become stronger than her fiancee. In order to do that, the dragon made Ryoga like him. "That means...Ranma..." she swallowed and looked up at Tofu's face for a moment. He was excited, almost shaking with anticipation.

"Akane, we have to tell someone, he could be dangerous. We have no idea what he is, and I'm not sure I can do anything for him."

"No!" said the girl sharply as she glared at the man for a moment. "He's human! I know he is!" snapped Akane.

"Akane, I'm positive he isn't. He's a lot like a man, but he isn't one," insisted Tofu.

Akane began to glow and Tofu finally realized that something was wrong. She reached up and grabbed him by his collar. "No, you don't seem to be getting me. That boy in there..."

"He's human," said Tofu with a slightly numb looking nod. "Akane, why are you?"

"Ranma is out fighting someone very strong right now, strong enough to do this to that thing in there. I don't like Ryoga, but if you tell anyone about this, then that might lead them to Ranma."

"You mean...Ranma is?" said the doctor with a slight realization forming on his face.

Akane merely nodded in reply and released him.

"Oh my," said the doctor as he backed away from her in shock.

"If you say a word about this to anyone," said Akane sharply. She could feel the guilt building up inside her stomach from treating him this way already.

The man chuckled to himself and looked at her with a warm smile on his face. "Just answer me one question Akane."

The girl looked up at him in surprise and then moved her eyes to the floor. She blushed bright red and turned her back on him. "Because I..."

"What was that?" said Tofu as he looked up and adjusted his glasses.

Akane had stopped speaking as well, and was now staring at the door in horror. "What? Oh no! Ranma!"

Both of them whirled around in surprise as Ryoga staggered into the room, he was still clutching his side painfully. "That idiot is going to get himself killed before I get the chance to do it!"

"What are you doing up?" said Tofu as he rushed over to the boy's side.

"Heh, I've had worse than this scratch before. If you think I'm missing this fight, you're mistaken," said the boy as he shoved the man aside with his tail casually.

"What is this power?" said Akane as she looked over at the boy for a moment.

"Ranma's opponent is stronger than he seems, but..." Ryoga smirked and looked over at the girl for a moment. "You'll see." With that said, Ryoga stepped out of the door and floated into the sky.

"Wait! You jerk!" snapped Akane as she rushed out behind him.

Tofu simply stared at the door as he caught a glimpse of Akane rising into the air. He shook his head for a moment and sat down at the desk in the lobby and sighed. "I hope I don't remember all this when I wake up. This dream is getting too weird."


Cologne's head snapped up, quickly followed by Lime and Mint.

"Hey, what's up?" said Mint as he dropped the rag he was using to clean the tables off with and moved over too her side.

"Your master has used the Dragon's Tooth," said Cologne with a heavy sigh. "Too bad, that boy had such promise."

"Hey! That means we can go home soon!" said Lime cheerfully.

"Indeed," agreed Cologne. She frowned, Mousse and Shampoo had left an hour ago for their training. They probably wouldn't reach the spot until later that evening. Fortunately, they would be traveling in the opposite direction of the battle. Herb's power was indeed strong if she could feel it from this distance.


"Tendo," said Goku as he stood looking over the wall of the Tendo home towards the sky.

"I feel it too," said the man calmly as he walked up beside his old friend on the back porch of the home.

"This isn't good," said Goku with a small frown.

"Should we?" said Soun with a slightly worried frown on his face.

"No, I think we should be ready though," said Goku as he thought about it for a moment. "Ranma may need our help later, especially if one of them gets in the way."

"Akane?" said Soun in horror.

"Relax Tendo, it seems like they're just going to watch right now. She knows better than to charge into one of Ranma's fights. It's the other one I'm worried about."

"He has strong Ki," said Soun sagely.

"Yes, but I can feel he's hurt too," said Goku as he closed his eyes for a moment.


Herb continued to scream as Ranma was forced to back away from the growing sphere of golden energy that surrounded the dragon man. He raised his hands into the air again and then brought them to his sides abruptly. In an instant the sphere was gone.

"You've changed," said Ranma with a small nod.

"Heh," said Herb as he shifted his position slightly. "You have no idea." He had indeed transformed, aside from being slightly larger overall, his scales had also increased in number. The golden plates had spread across his chest and onto his face, stopping just below his eyes. His teeth were now sharp points as well, and his fingers ended in dangerous looking claws. The most dramatic change of all, was the three-inch long horn that now protruded from his forehead.

Ranma took up a combat stance and prepared himself once again.

Herb smiled and looked up at the sky for a moment. "It seems we have visitors."

"What? No!" said Ranma in shock as he turned his gaze upward. Two familiar figures were streaking towards a nearby mountain.

"Don't worry, I'll leave them be until we're finished," said the Dragon man with another evil chuckle. He vanished and appeared in front of Ranma, slamming his fist into the boy's gut.

Ranma was thrown into a nearby boulder, his feet dug deep gouges into the ground as he slid back from the force of the blow. He managed to stop himself, but he still struck the boulder, creating a small crater in the surface of the rock. He grit his teeth and growled at Herb angrily for a moment.

"What's wrong? Lose the will to fight back already?" said Herb calmly as he strolled forward.

"This fight, hasn't even started yet," snapped Ranma.

Herb's eyes went wide as the boy blasted forward in a surge of power. He was bent forward as Ranma kicked him in the gut with a hard strike that threw him into the air, high above the ground. "Argh! That hurt!" He shot a ball of energy towards the ground that exploded on impact, seeming to consume Ranma where he stood on the ground. The blast spread out, evaporating any trees or foliage that had once been present.

Ranma appeared in the air, just behind his opponent and lashed out with another kick. Herb had been waiting for him though and shoved an energy ball into the boy's chest before he connected, sending him flying back for a moment before he could shove the blast upwards with his hands.

"Ouch," commented Ranma as he shook off the burning sensation the maneuver had left on his palms.

"You don't look worried," said Herb in mild surprise.

"Why would I be?" said Ranma as he smirked at the prince for a moment and took up another ready stance.

"I'm going to kill you, that would worry most people," said Herb in an amused tone.

"Well, I'm not most people," said Ranma cheerfully. "Come on, we're just getting warmed up."


Akane and Ryoga sat on the side of the mountain on a small cliff. Both watched the scene playing out before them with most of their attention. The ignored each other for the most part. Ryoga sat down on a boulder, carefully nursing his side, while Akane stood on the edge of the cliff with her arms crossed in front of her chest.

This went on for several moments, Ranma and Herb would flash in and out of existence and reappear either in locked combat, or opposite one another in the air.

"What's he doing?" said Akane angrily.

"Looks like they're talking," said Ryoga with a small nod.

"About what? Why doesn't he just beat him now?" said the girl irritably.

"Maybe he can't?" ventured Ryoga. Herb was putting off massive amounts of energy, Ranma was only putting out half as much. "Herb is stronger."

"What?" said Akane, she had felt both powers, but wasn't able to distinguish the two of them. "Ranma..." she muttered in a slightly worried tone as she turned back to the battle.


"What's the matter? Tired already?" snapped Herb as he floated across from Ranma.

The pigtailed boy was hanging in the air, his clothes torn to shreds. He didn't look to badly injured though, and his larger than normal body still filled out what was left of his shirt. "You're right, you are stronger than me."

"Let's end this foolishness then," said Herb with a small smirk.

"I didn't say you could beat me!" replied Ranma as he appeared in front of Herb, slamming his fist across the monster's jaw. The Dragon man reeled for a moment in the air and Ranma appeared behind him, slamming his knee into the thing's back.

"Insolent," snarled Herb as he righted himself after sailing upwards a few hundred feet from the blow.

Ranma appeared in front of him, with his arms crossed over his chest. A smug looking grin was plastered on his face.

Herb roared in anger and attacked, slashing with his claws at an amazing rate of speed. All he managed to do was shred more cloth off of his opponent's shirt and pants as Ranma seemed to fade away just as the blows connected.

"Heh, do you get it yet?" said Ranma coolly.

"I'll get you!" snarled Herb.

"I guess I'm gonna have to spell it out for ya then," said Ranma as he vanished from Herb's view and appeared behind him.

"Die!" snarled the beast as he lashed back with his foot. Ranma dodged easily and floated back a few yards.

"That body is stronger, but it's also too bulky for you to move like you used too. You're too slow to hit me now."

Herb froze in place, shocked horror forming on his features. He looked down at his hands and snarled. "It can't be."

"You can't win," said Ranma with his grin widening even more.

"I will destroy you!" roared Herb as he thrust his hands forward, blasting a thousand small energy blasts at Ranma. The pigtailed boy moved between them, a scowl forming on his face as he did so.

Herb gasped in shock as the boy appeared in front of him, slamming his fist into his face. He stumbled back in the air for a moment. "I'm losing power! This cannot be!" he thought desperately.

"Give up," said Ranma as he waited for the next attack.

"Take this!" snapped Herb. He thrust his hands forward and a beam of gold energy shout out towards Ranma.

The pigtailed boy shot upwards to avoid the blast, but it turned and followed him. Ranma was forced to make several sharp turns to avoid the blast.

Herb smiled as he watched the scene play out while controlling the beam. Three smaller spheres of energy formed around him. "I have you!"

Ranma jerked back in surprise as the three balls of power rushed towards him, moving the same as the energy beam that still chased him. "Damn! Too many!" His face contorted in alarm as they closed in around him, effectively boxing him in. He crossed his arms in front of his face and pulled his legs in. "Take this!" he cried as he opened himself up suddenly, thrusting out his arms and legs, and sending a blast of power out in every direction.

Herb frowned, the three energy balls were deflected away, but Ranma took most of the beam in his back. Immediately after that, he had vanished again.

"Very clever, perhaps I underestimated you," said the dragon man as he glanced around.

"Ha!" cried Ranma as he descended from above, slamming his fist into Herb's face as he came down.

Herb snorted as he shook the blow off and returned the strike with a kick. Ranma backed out of range before it connected and vanished again. "He's trying to whittle away my power." Thought Herb as he realized the boy's plan. A dark smile formed on his lips as he turned and looked at the mountain. He raised his palms over his head and started to collect energy. "Perhaps your friends would like to join us?"

"No!" cried Ranma as he appeared between Herb and the mountain.

"Well, how convenient. I can rid myself of you now, if you move, your friends will die! Isn't that nice?"

Ranma's eyes went wide as he realized what the man was saying. "Damn." He glanced back over his shoulder at the mountain and then turned back towards Herb again. "I've got no choice."


"What's going on?" said Akane as she looked up at the sky in wonder. Two bright lights had appeared where Ranma and Herb had once been fighting. One blue, the other gold.

"They seem to be about ready to finish this," said Ryoga calmly.

Akane froze in place, a look of horror on her face. "Oh no!"

"What is it?" said Ryoga irritably.

"Look at where Ranma is!"

"What of it? I don..." Ryoga trailed off. "Damn, he's right between us and that bastard!"

"You think they know we're here?" said Akane nervously.

"I know they do," growled Ryoga angrily. "Come on, we're leaving." He pulled at her hand and forced her into the air.

"Ranma won't know we're gone though!" gasped Akane.

"It's too late to do anything about that now! It's sink or swim for him, and I'm not willing to find out what happens to this mountain if he loses!"

"I won't leave him!" snapped Akane as she pulled her hand away.

"Damn you woman! He'd want you to leave, and there's nothing we can do to help him right now!" snapped Ryoga as he grabbed her again and pulled her away.


"Well, what are you going to do? Die, or save your pathetic friends?" said Herb as the last of the energy began to form in his hands.

"I won't lose!" cried Ranma as the blue light became completely focused in his hands. "I won't let you hurt them!"

"So stop me! Super Spirit of the Dragon's Horn!" snarled Herb as he thrust his hands forward. A blast ten times larger than the one he had used earlier shot forward towards Ranma and the mountain.

"Akane!" gasped Ranma fearfully as he thrust his hands forward. "Kamehameha!"

There was a bright light and everyone for miles around would swear there were two suns in the sky that day.


"Saotome!" gasped Soun in shock.

"Come on son! You can do this!" said Goku as he stood up and looked at the light on the horizon.


"It is over," said Cologne as she hung her head.

"Wow! Great!" said Mint happily.

"I knew Lord Herb could do it!" agreed Lime.


Tofu sighed as his strange dream continued to play out despite repeated attempts to wake himself up. His hand was completely red from numerous attempts at pinching himself awake.

"Great, now we've been bombed by the Americans again," he said with a sigh as he looked up at the light in the sky. "This just keeps getting better."

"Oh, Hello Dr!" said a familiar voice from behind him.

"Oh, hi Kasumi," said the man calmly.

"Oh my! Are you feeling all right?" she said sweetly as she moved over to his side. She had a bag of groceries in her arm. Tofu noted that they were mostly phallic vegetables, like cucumbers and carrots.

"I'm fine, I'm just having a really weird dream is all," said the man with a small sigh.

"Oh, that's nice!" said the girl cheerfully. She was almost worried he wouldn't do something silly for a moment.

"Say, Kasumi?"

"Yes, Doctor?"

"Since I'm dreaming anyway, would you like to go out tomorrow night? You know, on a date?"

Kasumi froze in place and blushed. "I-I'd like that very much."

"Great, see ya," said the man as he continued his lazy stroll down the street.

Kasumi watched him go in silent wonder for a long moment and then smiled before continuing to go about her way, if a little lighter in step.


Herb watched as the beam collided with his blast. The explosion of light was quite spectacular indeed, the only problem was, and it wasn't getting any dimmer. "What?" he said in shock as he realized something.

Over the resounding boom of the explosion, Ranma Saotome was still screaming. The spike of power mere inches away from his palms. His clothes were slowly being burned away as he pushed with all his might at the energy blast.

"HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" His muscles strained to their limits as he pulled more and more power into his wave.

"It's not possible!" roared Herb as he looked on in horror.

"More!" grunted Ranma as he pushed harder, strain evident on every part of his body. "I gotta give it more!"

"You fool! You can't fight it!" snarled Herb as he pushed his hands up, and attempted to mentally shove the spike forward.

"I won't lose!" screamed Ranma as he finally managed to put everything he had into the blast. Every last ounce of power that was in his body shot from his hands at once. The spike slowly began to back away.

"Nooo!" roared Herb as he still attempted to regain control. It was too late though. The energy spike slowly moved back, and finally exploded, engulfing the dragon man in the blast.

"I did it!" said Ranma as he passed out and fell too the ground.


"Wake up," said Akane as she looked down at her fiancee for a long time. "Please wake up."

Ranma slowly opened his eyes and chuckled for a moment. "Hey," he managed barely.

"Oh thank you!" cried Akane as she threw her arms around his neck and cried into his bare chest. He was back to normal now, and looked like a normal sixteen-year-old boy once again.

"Herb?" muttered Ranma as he attempted to sit up.

"Over there," said Ryoga as he pointed towards the now detransformed Herb. He was lying on his back in the middle of a crater. It was obvious he was in worse shape than Ranma.

"Hey, you still alive?" said Ranma with a small laugh.

Herb groaned painfully as he realized that the comment was directed at him. "I am defeated?" he whispered.

"Yeah, sorry," said Ranma as he forced himself onto his elbows for a moment. Akane quickly rested his head across her lap as she glared at the dragon man angrily.

"I see," muttered Herb.

"Give me two years," said Ranma. "I can bring back the springs in two years."

"Two years?" said Herb in confusion.

"The dragonballs can bring back the springs. No problem," said Ranma with a small chuckle.

"I have heard of these balls, the summon Sheng Long, the great dragon god?" said Herb quietly.

"Yeah, but I can't use them to bring back the springs yet. I have something else to do first, then you can have back your spring."

Herb chuckled painfully to himself. "I see," he commented again.

"That was a great fight, maybe next time we won't have to be enemies?" said Ranma as he looked up at the sky for a moment.

"Perhaps, perhaps not," grumbled Herb irritably. "We shall see what fate brings us."

"Come on! We've got to get you to the doctor!" cried Akane as she lifted her fiancee up in her arms.

"Ryoga, do you think you can carry him back?" said Ranma as he stopped her from taking off just yet.

The boy looked down at the fallen man for a moment and merely nodded.

"Great, grab onto Akane's leg so you don't get lost," said Ranma just before he passed out.


"So, this dragon man got into a fight with Ranma, and lost?" said Tofu with his eyebrow arched slightly.

"Um, yeah," muttered Akane in embarrassment she still had her fiancee in her grip.

Ryoga rolled his eyes and put Herb into one of the chairs in the waiting room.

"Okay, just put them on the examination tables, and I'll see what I can do," said the doctor with a heavy sigh.

"No more late night Ramen," muttered Tofu as the girl did as she was instructed.


Cologne was speechless. "Both powers have been drained completely?" she muttered in horror. "Could it be they destroyed one another? No, it isn't possible for the son in law to be that strong!"

"What?" said Lime and Mint in unison.

"This cannot be!" said Cologne as she hopped outside the restaurant and looked up at the sky. "I let him slip through my fingers! I shall never forgive myself, especially if he was strong enough to take the Lord of the Musk with him!"

Lime and Mint were both standing in the doorway, their jaws hanging dumbly.

"Lord Herb is gone?" said Mint.

"So? Now what?" muttered Lime.

"We've got to find him!" said Mint.

"Yes child, we should," agreed Cologne. She started to hop in the direction of the battle.



Next time: Dream Date?