Ranma ½ is the property and invention of Rumiko Takahashi. The following story is not produced for any monetary or personal gain.
Keep in mind the journey is almost always more interesting than the destination.
Authors Note: Sorry for how long it took to get this out. My wife had twins and taking care of them is an adventure by itself. I have also been working on a completely independent project. The first book in my series has recently been (self)published on Amazon Kindle. If you like my stories, it just may be possible that you would enjoy my books since they have a lot of the same humor. The worlds they are set include Fantasy and Science Fiction though the concepts are universal enough not to step on anyone's specific intellectual property. Stop by and read "A Prison of Worlds" book one of "The Chained Worlds Chronicles".
Note 2: Someone mentioned that the section breaks were removed. I know it's a bit jarring but I put in a placeholder until I can figure out a better way of marking them.
Part Three: Tea With Splynncryth
Ranma stood in the small private arena his manager had provided him. Shampoo stood across from with sweat glistening on her brow. "Okay Shampoo. Use the modification of the Breaking Point I showed you and line it up to me?"
"I can't believe you invented a new technique just to counter the technique you think Ryouga is going to use on you."
"I don't think he is going to use it. I know he is. Right now he's having fun with his unnatural strength, but when we face one another he's not going to be able to hit me unless he has another surprise in place."
"But why do you think he can transmit a Breaking Point through solid matter?"
"I know you have a low opinion of him but he's not an idiot," Ranma paused for a second to rethink his words. "Let me re-phrase that. He is an idiot. Despite that, he is the only martial artist that has ever given me a challenge. This is the obvious evolution of his main attack. There is no doubt he is going to have it mastered."
Shampoo sighed and then squinted her eyes in concentration. Seeing the breaking points in the rock below her she lined them up and then forced chi into the ground and through the line of nodes she had identified. Plumes of shattered rock and dust raced from her finger as the stone before her exploded in a series of shocks that raced toward Ranma.
Ranma stuck his own finger into the ground as the somewhat anemic burst lead towards him. On the one hand he was grateful Shampoo was helping him practice his counter to the techniques Ryouga was bound to throw at him. On the other hand, while she was talented she was simply not in the same league and himself and pigboy. It was taking hours for her to learn the technique and it was just pathetically weak. Still it was enough to practice with.
Pulsing his energy into his counter measure he matched the incoming pulse with his own, splitting it into two more pulses which in turn raced off at right angles. Trenches were formed and two bowling pins he had set up on opposite sides of the arena were engulfed in the aftermath.
"So you plan to reflect his Breaking Point back at him. If he is as good as you think he is, won't he just cancel it or reflect it again?"
"He may," the pig tailed martial artist nodded in agreement. "But I tend to think more about counters than he does. I think I can get at least one good hit in before he figures it out. I'll need everything I can get. His stamina and strength are ridiculous. I can't match that."
His fiancée snorted, "You're not the best because you can lift the most. By the way, where is Akane? I expected her to be hovering over us, getting in our way."
"I have it covered. She's going on a nice tour of the city." One that avoids all the nasty places.
"Who is taking her?" Shampoo asked.
"I am, of course," Ranma replied with a tiny smile.
-Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break-
Akane pulled Ranma out of the training area and out on the street. It was nice to finally get out and see the new city. Ranma had been remarkably tight lipped regarding it and all she really knew about it is that it had a lot of non-human inhabitants and there was an event in the arena in which she was taking part. And take part she did. She glowed with pride at winning the previous event. It had been close but with a little help from her very own little holy weapon she had pulled through with a win. It had been a while since she had pulled her own weight in a fight. Ranma had gathered people around him that had dwarfed her own skills and abilities but she finally wasn't the one being kidnapped.
"Geez, Ranma! Put a little more effort into it" Akane called back over her shoulder. "You look like you're half asleep!"
The pig tailed martial artist did indeed look tired. His shoulders slouched, eyes drooped and she could swear he almost shuffled like an old man. "Hold your horses, the shops will still be there when we get there." He looked around the plaza just outside the training area and noted that the hovering Eye of Eyelor had started following him again. Through his haze of concentration he also noted a robed woman sitting at one of the tables watching him go by. Ah, this was going to be difficult to coordinate, but good practice.
"Good lord! Did you actually get slower?" Akane called out in frustration.
-Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break-
White Raven sat at the dining table and sipped water with a lemon in it. In truth, it was the only thing in this plaza that she could stomach. She had traveled for decades but admittedly had stayed within the mostly humanoid inhabited planets. Her idea of a meal did not include that which was still crawling. She watched as Ranma exited the building across the street accompanying the girl that had been identified as the third of their team members. She has seen the recordings of her fight. It had been a good fight. Perhaps a little more brute force than was ideal but it was a still a good match. She sighed as the couple left the plaza, trailing Splynncryth's spying eye. Maybe she would find a way to send a message. It seemed almost impossible to get a moment alone with the martial artist in question.
"Good to see you again," greeted Ranma-chan as she plopped down in the seat opposite her.
"What? Do you have a twin?" the brunette returned in startlement.
"Close, but no," Ranma-chan drawled. She looked spent and almost draped herself on the chair. This was completely opposite the normal behavior she had demonstrated in the past.
"Are you sick?" the rebel leader asked in concern.
"Nah. Just expending a lot of energy right now. I'll be good in a few minutes. What brings you here?"
"I wanted to find out if you had finished your affairs. You mentioned that you might be able to help us once you were done. I am running very shorthanded since my Atlanteans all ran off to deal with their own affairs." She waved her hand, "Not that it didn't need to be done but the movement is very much hurting right now."
"Hmm." The red head rubbed her chin in contemplation. "I am almost done in Atlantis. But I may have to leave it, to finalize everything. Not sure."
"So you can't help?" the raven tressed woman replied dejectedly.
"Not with manpower," Ranma-chan said slowly. "But I think I can help you in other ways. Do you need a safe place to take the humans you rescued?"
"Getting people off this continent is difficult, not many places can take hundreds of refuges at a time."
"I have some contacts on this planet and another dimension that should be able to take thousands, as long as they have a little bit of warning. And of course a battalion doesn't follow them through the gate. They have enough demon issues, they don't need more."
"We could definitely use that. Though without more help we can't really do anything big anyway."
Ranma-chan nodded slowly. "What if I had a force multiplier?"
White Raven looked at him flatly. "That's a bit vague. You'll have to be more specific."
"If you could give me a list of locations, and I could guarantee that those locations would cease to exist during the final match in this year's combat."
The woman looked at Ranma-chan in shock. "What do you mean 'cease to exist'?"
"Let's say fall into a giant crevasse, or a Volcano pops up. Somehow, it will be gone."
"We could do something big, if the cities defenses were removed. Anyplace?"
Ranma-chan nodded tiredly, "Anyplace. Mark it on a map and hand it to me and consider it gone."
"That would change everything," White Raven said dazedly.
"Get me a map and I'll get you your moment and a safe... well, safer place to go."
"I will get you the information by tomorrow. If you can come through there will be thousands of humans that will thank you."
Ranma-chan smiled. If things went well, Splyncryth himself would thank him.
-Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break-
Kasumi smiled as she directed her animated brushes and mops through the house on her last sweep of the day. Nabiki's business venture did tend to track the mud into the house, however these days cleaning only took minutes so it was hard to get too worried about it.
"Nabiki did you learn anything interesting from your new book?" Kasumi asked her younger sister as she passed her on the way to the neighbors from the circle room.
"Nah, it's just boring stuff, like various rituals. I've met Thoth and I can tell you he is far too busy thinking about the bigger picture to care about such things."
"Are you sure there isn't any benefits to reading more? What if the gods granted wondrous powers to their dedicated priests?" Kasumi prodded her sister a tiny bit.
"I have all the power I need in that circle room. Thoth isn't going to give something for nothing," Nabiki shrugged. Kasumi seemed a bit insistent on mentioning the book lately. Maybe she was missing out on the interesting things her sisters were doing. Perhaps she should set aside a fund to allow her sister to go to college. She had enough money to hire support staff. Her business partners may look down on an establishment with only one person as the cleaning staff.
"Oh, well have a nice day visiting your clients," Kasumi returned. She was a bit disappointed in her sister's tunnel vision. She had read the book further than Nabiki and the gods freely granted such powers as spall like abilities, healing, removal of curses and even resurrection. While sensei Grayson's teachings regarding elemental were fascinating she was sad that her sister disregarded such marvels out of hand.
Oh well, a few minutes meditating in the garden would cheer her up. Watching the elemental essences frolic in their gardens almost made her heart feel as carefree as her elemental brothers and sisters.
She got as far as the entrance before her senses alerted her to a stranger in the complex. Someone quiet powerful was using a lot of energy to create something. It felt like a positive process, that was enhancing the wa of her sanctuary. So rather than alert one of many people adept at destruction, she simply followed her senses to the source.
It was that reason she found herself in the warmer area where a bubbling magma pond housed a playful elemental. Today she found it housed another guest. Standing knee deep in the lava was a seemingly young stocky man of some mix of Asian and Indian origin. He seemed to be coaxing a young tree from the molten rock as the fire elemental looked on curiously.
"Oh, how wonderful," Kasumi gashed, surprising the stranger. "What kind of tree will it be?"
Looking back to the girl observing him, he responded, "Orange tree. Whenever I see a nice warm spot like this, I try to leave something nice."
"That will look fantastic in my garden. You look familiar, do I know you from somewhere?"
"I was around here a few weeks ago looking for my grandson."
"I remember that! I'm afraid I haven't seen him for a few weeks. I think I heard he was in Atlantis playing with his friend, Ranma."
"He's got a friend? Good to hear! I met his girlfriend and some stalker automatron but I don't know too much about him otherwise."
"They are both martial artists so they tend to be a little rambunctious, but they always enjoy one another's company. A rivalry is strongly encouraged in our culture to bring out the best of both people."
"It's good to see he is getting into the culture. Young people these days seem to only care about the newest things. I can see you care about tradition too. These are the same type of gardens I have seen on some of the elemental planes."
"It's so good of you to notice. Most people look at the sand and the lava and see only destruction. They ignore the potential for peace and growth," Kasumi commiserated with the visitor. "Would you like to eat something with me? We can have a little picnic under this lovely tree you grew for us."
"Thank you, I've been traveling around a bit lately trying to find my grandson," he said as he waved his hand, forming a soft lawn of grass at their feet. Kasumi in turn had a friendly air essence fragment bring some food from the kitchen. When it came back with some supplies she used the magma to heat the food while her air fragment provided a cool breeze. Together, they chatted the afternoon away. The god promised to come back later to plant some more of his special trees in the garden later.
-Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break Scene Break-
Ryouga stood on the arena floor waiting for his opponent. He was somewhat dubious about it, nonetheless in order to defeat Ranma and end his nefarious plans it was an unfortunate necessity to go through some poor innocent woman. Above him he could see Akane waving to him. Shampoo simply stared at him in disdain. She seemed colder and less bubbly since these games started. Ryouga didn't care, the Amazons hadn't done anything for him since Cologne taught him the Breaking Point. Even then it was obvious he was only tolerated. Next to Shampoo was Ranma, looking at him expressionlessly. Ranma had shown his true colors and it was his duty as a martial artist to punish him. It was hard to imagine that they had once been friends but even then his treachery poisoned the relationship.
The background sound of the crowd burst into loud raucous cheers as his opponent stepped into the arena. At first he wondered why the woman surrounded herself with children, however in a moment of realization, he saw that she was almost thirty feet tall and the people at her feet were actually normal sized. She was a statuesque woman with blond hair and blue eyes, wearing jet black metal armor with an intricate design. A long handled hammer was in one hand and in the other was what appeared to be a short sword. As he assessed her tactically, he realized that it was actually over seven feet long.
"Prepare to die, little worm. I will step over your body as I plan to have my vengeance on Rhada and her filthy little pet," she pointed to the stadiums side where a tiger headed humanoid and a silver haired woman sat. They too seemed overly large compared to the creatures around them.
"That seems a bit much," protested Ryouga. This trash talk from a pretty lady was disturbing. Then he noticed that her finger had moved and was now pointing to Ranma. It was shaking in rage, however Ranma simply nodded and gave a casual waive to the infuriated Dyval Lord. "Unless of course you're talking about Ranma. He completely deserves everything that is coming to him."
"You two can commiserate together as I hang you by your entrails," screamed an enthusiastic thirty foot tall woman as she raised her hammer over her head and threw it at Ryouga. He frowned as he parried it off to the side. The Warhammer flew through the air with an unearthly scream. Although unhurt he shook his head slightly to get rid of the ringing in his ears.
"Ow. Noisy weapon," the lost warrior commented as he parried the hammer again as it returned from where he had flung it. The third time he simply caught in in his free hand. "I see this thing has to go or it's going to irritate me all night." Stomping his foot, he unleashed his chi. "Breaking Point Revised, Bottomless Hole!" Sure enough a gaping crevasse formed at his feet, causing the entire arena to tremble. As he forcefully threw the hammer into the pit he stomped his foot again to start the counter technique to close it.
Hands on his hips he stood proudly before a now silent arena. His eyes roved the crowd and although most weren't human he saw that just that opening move had awed them.
"What a moron. 'Bottomless Hole'. I'm embarrassed even knowing him!" The statement from his rival confused him as he whirled around to see a fifty foot tall hologram of Ranma projected in the air. His eyes were downcast and he was shaking his head in disappointment. "I wait weeks to see what he can do, and all he has is a big hole? Wait, am I on camera?"
"Ranma, be nice! I am sure Ryouga worked really hard on that technique," Akane's voice came from the side.
"Pig-boy, is an embarrassment to martial arts. Grandmother should have just cooked him," Shampoos voice could be heard.
Ryouga was shaking with rage. At the hour of his triumph his nemesis was still mocking him. Raising his umbrella over his head he was about to throw it at the projection when something impacted the highly chi reinforced surface. Looking slightly up he saw the thirty foot giantess standing over him attempting to cleave him in two with her 'short' sword.
"Hey! Attacking me when I am trying to kill Ranma is just rude," he exclaimed, as his feet sank up to his ankles in the arena floor. Turning away from huge image of Ranma he struck the sword hard enough that it swung wide, eliciting a surprised look from Leviathan. She obviously was not used to dealing with people as physically strong or stronger than she was. "I appreciate you want to kill Ranma, but I'm afraid that you really have no chance. Even if I let you win, he would just dance around you. Only I have the ability to make him pay. I'm sure you're a nice enough girl, and sure you're cute enough, but you should leave the fighting to me."
"How dare you mock me," screamed the giant dyval, swinging the sword two handed over and over at the tiny godling. Ryouga calmly parried each blow, not giving an inch.
"You're not going to push me back with sheer mass. Right now, I weigh more than you do."
"I see you're strong, but I still have the power of a Dyval Lord at my fingertips!" With that she took a step backwards and gestured at the ground under his feet. The earth rumbled as it opened up beneath him.
"Hey! You stole my technique! I don't care how cute you are, that's just going too far," Ryouga shouted at the infraction of martial arts etiquette. That's one of the reasons he hated Ranma. Leaping nimbly away from the opening, he stomped on the ground, forcing the gorge closed. Tapping the ground with his umbrella he then forced an explosion of rock under the feet of the giantess. This had little affect except to scuff her armor and cause her to fall to her knee as she lost her balance.
Growling in frustration the dyval gestured imperiously calling upon another power. Immediately a glowing ball five feet tall shimmered into being and started to roll towards the lost boy. Ryouga stood his ground and batted it aside, only to find that the energy sparked from his umbrella to him.
"Burn in the power of Leviathon," crowed the giantess in triumph.
"Hey now, it stings but it's not exactly a real final attack," Ryouga objected as he started to easily dodge the sphere. Leviathon grimaced and summoned two more, which were avoided just as easily. "Okay, I am going to have to end this miss. It's getting a bit repetitive."
After saying this, Ryouga leaped at the giantess and started to batter the ebony armor that surrounded her. Over and over she tried to swat him away but he easily moved around her to slam his umbrella into the armor. Once he made the mistake of hitting with his hand and received a shock from the enchanted protection. Used to pain he gritted his teeth and continued to slam the armor until black metal bits started falling off.
Meanwhile the orbs tried to make painful contact but were mostly worked around. Although nowhere as fast as Ranma he was easily faster than the giantess. Finally succumbing to pure rage the Dyval Lord screamed and repeatedly waived her hand forming swathes of lava throughout the arena. Attempting to get a reprieve from the tenacious godling she leaped into one, confident in her immunity to even magical fire.
Ryouga thought about the fight. He couldn't dive into the lava. He knew he was resistant to fire, especially in this new world, but he was not immune. With a frown, while still avoiding the glowing balls, he stomped on the ground and was rewarded with the bubbles erupting from the pools and the rapid lowering of the magma levels. Conscious of Ranma's mocking he didn't call out his new attacks name.
When the pits were finally drained he realized that the dyval was nowhere in sight. Puzzled he looked around, only when he sensed immediate danger did he dodge to the side, hearing a blade slice through the air above him.
"You're invisible? A cowardly tactic," Ryouga reproached the unseen giantess. Moving to an open area he placed his palm on the ground and forced a torrent of chi into the earth. "Fine, I guess I am forced to take you seriously. I can't risk not fighting Ranma."
With that, the entire surface of the arena erupted into exploding rocks, each fragment charged with chi to multiply its force. One area had a silhouette within the reign of stone shrapnel. With a thud the giantess slumped onto the area floor.
As before, the arena crowd was silent for a moment before breaking into cheering. As a mostly unnoticed side effect, Ryouga glowed a subtle shimmering blue. Higher powers watching the fight, such as Splyncryth, Rhada and Abdul-Ra would realize that thanks to the broadcast the godling had gathered enough worshipers that his godhead had kindled into true divinity. A small, but true god.
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