The Insanity Continues
Volume 0 - Ever Changing World
Chapter 1 - Voyage of Thoughts
By: Lord Archive
Characters are own Rumiko Takahashi and Shogakukan and are used without permission. All rights reserved.
This series was originally written in 1997, long before ffnet existed. This is one of my first fanfictions. Some edits have been made to improve readability, but it remains as an example of early Ranma 1/2 fanfiction. When this was being written, elements of this story weren't cliched, it was creating the cliches. While this remains as one of my more popular Ranma 1/2 series, it is not without it's faults as I was new to writing stories and a complete translation of Ranma 1/2 manga had yet to appear in America when this was originally written more than fifteen years ago.
The entire section starting and ending with *Manga 38* is direct from volume 38 with no additions (a couple deletions, but no additions.)
Ranma looked over the railing as the land slowly disappeared from the slow boat from China he was on. He had lost his chance to get a cure. Jusenkyo had flooded as a result of his battle with Saffron, and it may take months, if ever, before the pools would be usable again.
Ranma sighed. He had lost his chance to be a full man for Akane. He wished she didn't think he was lying when he said he only wanted the cure for her. He nearly died for her. He killed for her.
Ranma looked at his hands. He had killed Saffron. It didn't matter that his essence was reborn into an infant. He didn't know that when he destroyed Saffron's adult body, and he's not really going to be the same person. So, he was a murderer. Saffron stood in his way from saving Akane, so he killed him. Was it right for him to do that? Was it right for him to feel Akane's life was worth more than Saffron's? If her life was threatened again, would he hesitate to kill?
Ranma hugged himself. No. He wouldn't. If he was put in the same damn situation, he would not hesitate to kill. Because he killed Saffron, will that mean it would be easier for him to kill next time? Willing to go all out against opponents that he could have just subdue? He hope not. Oh gods, he hope not.
Akane woke below decks in a hammock. She saw Ryoga sitting off to the side. "Hi, Ryoga. You didn't have to watch over me."
Ryoga smiled at her. "You're still weak from your ordeals. I just wanted to make sure you're all right."
Akane shook her head. "You don't have to worry about me."
"You're my friend. Of course I'm going to worry about you," Ryoga insisted.
Akane sighed. "Where's Ranma?"
Ryoga looked away. "Probably still on deck watching China disappear."
"Why isn't he here? If you're worried about me, why isn't he?" Akane huffed.
"He asked me to watch over you," Ryoga admitted sadly. "He has a lot to think about right now."
"What is he thinking about?" Akane asked. She thought that he might be thinking about what he said to her while she appeared to be dead.
"Akane, do you know what happened around you while you were dehydrated?" Ryoga asked.
"Not really. I was aware of things, but it's like trying to remember a dream," Akane answered.
Ryoga let out a long sigh. "Well, Ranma did some things during this trip he must sort out. I think it'd be better if he tells you."
"I see. I'd like some time alone to think about some things myself." Akane rolled over.
"I understand," Ryoga sadly got up and left the room. He knew he had truly lost her. She cared about if Ranma was worried about her or not, but she didn't want him to be worried. She nearly died for him, and he nearly died trying to save her.
Ryoga sighed. Should he be surprised? She may fight him, but... but Ranma was the one she loves. He may not like it and she may not admit it, but she does. Her actions, her jealously, all speak of her love. The tenderness she shows Ryoga was while he was P-Chan was for a pet. She may be kinder to her friends than she usually is to Ranma, but that's because she loves him. She wanted him to correct his faults, so she harps on him whenever she thinks he had done something wrong. It's because she loves him that it hurts her so much when he insults her.
Ryoga made his way on deck and looked at Ranma. She also didn't want to be forced to marry someone, so she took it out on him. She didn't want to love him, but she does.
Ryoga walked towards the front of the boat. He didn't want to lose Akane, but she was lost to him. He still had Akari, and he did lo-lo-like her. He just had to move on with his life.
Akane was resting in a hammock, staring at the ceiling. Was Ranma thinking about her? Was he thinking about what he said when she had almost died? Did he really love her?
Akane shut her eyes. If yes, then why? Why does he insult her? Why does he hang around with the other girls? Why would he do those things if he loved her?
Akane opened her eyes. Ranma has all those fiancees... which he doesn't really want. But he hugs Shampoo and the others... actually they hug him. He insults her... and she insults him.
Akane sighed. Why doesn't he do anything about the other fiancees if he loved her? If he loved her, what was stopping him from just saying it? Could it be her? Could it be because he doesn't truly know how she felt about him? But how can he not know? Sure, she had never said the words, but she was learning to cook for him, she got jealous when he was with another girl, and she had done so much for him. How could he not know?
Akane looked around the room. If he had been missing signs that she love him, was she missing his? When someone suggested he was in love, he does instantly assume they're talking about her. He denied he loved her to the point of overkill, but if someone asked if he loved Ukyou or the others, he just says he doesn't and says little more. He has risked his life to save her numerous times. He had always comes back to her. He has done so much for her.
Akane sat up in the hammock, and silently vowed, "Ranma, if you love me, you should know I love you. I'm not going to tell you until you realize that."
Ranma continued to stare towards China despite that it had long since disappeared over the horizon. He was lost in thought, thinking about Akane, Saffron, life, death, and the murder he believed he committed.
"Ranma?" asked Akane, nervously, as she approached him.
"Akane, you should be resting," Ranma said.
"You don't have to worry. I'm fine," Akane insisted.
Ranma opened his mouth to deny he was worried, but it died in his throat. "Just take it easy. You shouldn't be up."
"What have you been doing all day?" Akane wondered.
"Thinkin'," Ranma answered simply.
"Thinking about what?" Akane asked.
Ranma shrugged. "Lots of things."
"Care to tell me about it?" Akane asked.
"No," Ranma replied curtly.
"Will you tell me?" Akane almost pleaded.
"Maybe later," Ranma failed to promise.
Akane sighed. "It might help if you talk to me."
"Doubt it." Ranma looked away. "Can you leave me alone for a while? I need to think."
Akane heard the pain in his voice and wanted to say no. She decided to do as he wished and nodded. She turned around and walked towards Mousse, who was standing at the railing, midway down the port side. "Hi, Mousse."
"Hi," Mousse returned her greeting.
"Can you tell me what Ranma's thinking about?" Akane questioned.
Mousse looked toward Ranma. "I'd say he's probably thinking about how he was forced to kill Saffron to save you."
"What?" Akane shouted, shocked. "Saffron was reborn as infant, he didn't die."
"He may not have died, but he should have. Ranma didn't know Saffron's phoenix-like powers extended to that point. Saffron stood between Ranma and the means to save your life, so he attacked him all out. Ranma attacked him, willing to kill to save your life, and the fact Saffron was reborn is of little comfort for him," Mousse explained.
Akane stared at Mousse blankly. "He was driven to the point of killing someone... just to save me?"
"Yes. Do you know why?" Mousse shot at her.
Akane remained silent.
"You may not notice it, but he loves you," Mousse told her. "When we found out Kiima had your body as a cursed form, he was deathly afraid they drowned and killed you. To keep his hopes, up I suggested they used their knowledge of Jusenkyo curses to assume your form and that you were still safe at home. When he thought you died, when you got dehydrated, he died inside too. He didn't move on his own until we discovered you were still alive. After he cured you and you appeared to be dead he..."
Akane interrupted, "He said he regretted the things he's said and said..." She was now blushing.
"And when he screamed your name..." Mousse shivered.
"It was loud enough to wake the dead, literally." Akane shuddered. "He really does love me, doesn't he?"
Mousse nodded. "A while ago I realized he didn't see Shampoo as anything more than a friend. I'm not too sure about Ukyou, but he would throw a party if Kodachi was out of his life."
Akane forced a smiled. "I'd be partying along with him."
"Do you love him?" Mousse asked in a low voice, praying she would finally give an answer.
Akane looked around, making sure no one was eavesdropping. "Yes," she whispered.
"When are you going to tell him?" Mousse asked almost desperately.
"I want him to say it first," Akane stated firmly.
Mousse shook his head. "Do try to make it easy for him to say it."
"Do you know why he doesn't do something about the other girls?" Akane questioned.
"I don't know," Mousse said, while thinking, that Ranma was a womanizer who enjoyed having girls flock around him.
The trip continued with rarely anyone talking. Ryoga wanted to avoid Akane. Akane was lost in thought, thinking about her realization of how Ranma felt about her. Mousse ended up flying back to Japan after approaching Shampoo midway through the trip. Genma played shogi with the captain of the ship for most of the trip. Everyone avoided Ranma except Akane, but neither of them rarely said anything. Shampoo didn't want to socialize with anyone but Ranma, but he was being extremely anti-social to everyone.
Akane was happy to get home. She hoped Ranma would come out of it and rejoin the rest of the world. While he did start talking, he still wasn't acting like himself.
Akane was starting to get desperate a couple days after they returned. He hadn't paid attention to anything. There had to be something she could do to help. She thought her father might know something about what Ranma's going through.
Akane made her way through the house searching for her father. She couldn't find him, and she didn't see Genma and Nodoka either. She then heard voices from Happosai's room, but it couldn't be him, since he was on a panty raid. She approached to investigate.
Pressing her ear to the door, Akane heard Nodoka's voice, "... to the altar, how do can we convince them to say 'I do?' They may not feel they're ready."
"I overheard Akane admitting she loves Ranma and there is plenty of evidence that he loves her," Genma answered.
"I also got a plan that will insure they will agree," Soun added.
Akane flung the door open violently. "Just what do you think you're doing?!" she screamed.
The three scheming parents started to sweat nervously.
"Now Akane, Dear," Soun began. He stood up and exited the room, shutting the door behind him. "We are planning your wedding with Ranma."
"Aren't I suppose to at least have some say in this?" she snarled.
"This is for the betterment of our clans that you two marry. And, to stop all the troubles Ranma has concerning fiancees and such. We felt it would be best to get you two married," Soun insisted.
"How about how I feel?" Akane demanded.
"Akane, you can't hide from me that you love him. And if you want assurances that he'll marry you..." Soun then whispers into her ear, "...my present to you two is a case of Nannichaun the Jusenkyo guide has sent. He'll only get it once you two are married."
Akane stood there fuming. How dare he try and manipulate her? She didn't care if she wanted to marry Ranma, he shouldn't force her to... But, this might solve Ranma's problems with the girls and he would get cured. If nothing else, this might get him to stop thinking about Jusendo and Saffron.
Akane closed her eyes tightly. "Fine. I'll marry him," she said angrily. She stomped off.
Nabiki had overheard Akane. She wondered how her father got her to agree.
Ranma walked into his room and felt a large blunt instrument impact his skull.
Ranma awoke to a shock. "Wh... what the!" He was wearing a white suit.
"Well, Akane approved the marriage," Soun said.
"Huh?" Ranma uttered.
"We swear it's the truth," Genma added.
"You look so handsome, Ranma," Nodoka cried with joy.
Ranma ran into Akane's room. "Hey, Akane!"
"Ranma," Akane said, looking more beautiful than Ranma ever thought she could, wearing a flowing white western wedding dress.
Ranma stared at her in shock. "Ah... um..." He started shaking.
"Maybe a Japanese dress was better," Akane said, wondering at his reaction.
"N... no. I think in either... you're... cute," Ranma said blushing.
Akane blushed a little. "Really? Thank you."
"A wedding invitation? Hm..." Ryoga sighed sadly.
"Akane, I'm going on a journey now." He looked up to the sky. "I will pray for you to be happy."
Ryoga started to wander away. "I'm sorry, Akari. My gifts for you have passed their expiration date." He pictured how Akari looked like in his mind.
Neither Ranma nor Akane could think of something to say. They were both extremely nervous. After a long moment, they knelt on the floor as their legs grew tired.
Ranma broke the silence as he stammered, "Uh... um..."
"Why did you... all of a sudden want to marry me?" Ranma asked.
"Well... Ranma... you love me," Akane answered.
"Huh?" Ranma uttered, shocked. "Wh... what are you talking about?"
Akane was a little shocked at his reaction. "But while you were crying at Jusendo..."
Ranma thought for a moment trying to remember if he did say it. "I didn't say that!" he shouted.
"You practically did!" Akane yelled back.
"What!? You wanna go at it!" Ranma said, wanting to start a fight to stop the wedding.
Akane calmly said, "Fine, you don't have to go through with this if you don't want to, but you'll regret it." She finished glaring at him.
"Huh?" Ranma emitted, shocked.
Nabiki saw her father hide what looked to be a case of sake. "Do you really need to hide that from Ranma?"
"Ha... the Jusenkyo guide sent enough Nannichaun for one, so until the two are married, I won't give Ranma the Nannichaun!" Soun elated.
"So that's how you convinced Akane," Nabiki said.
"Now Tendo... why did you hide it from me too?" Genma asked.
Life drained from Soun's face as he sensed trouble.
"Did you think I would take it? It's mine!" Genma ran off with the case of Nannichaun.
The case flew out of Genma's hands as the wall next to him exploded.
"Where am I?!" Ryoga shouted from the new doorway.
Hearing the commotion Mousse went to make sure nothing would go wrong. "Hey, Akane and Ranma! Hurry up and get married before you change your minds."
"Nannichaun!" Ryoga shouted seeing the flying case.
Upstairs Ranma ran out of Akane's room. "What?! There's Nannichaun! Why didn't you tell me, Stupid!" Ranma shouted.
Akane glared angrily at him as he left.
Ranma found his way blocked by Shampoo and Ukyou as they threw exploding food at him.
"Aiya! I was aiming for Akane!" Shampoo said angrily.
"I still have lots of special celebration Okonomiyaki for you!" Ukyou shouted, looking ready to kill.
"Darling, are you all right?" Kodachi asked, wearing a black wedding dress.
"Aiya! Kodachi!" Shampoo said.
"She's got some nerve!" Ukyou snarled.
Ranma quickly jumped from where he lay as Kuno attacked with a katana. "How dare you proceed with this wedding without Kuno Tatewaki's permission!?" Kuno wave a paper fan with 'reject' written on it. "I will not allow it!"
"You idiot! I don't have time for this." Ranma dodged Kuno's attacks. One of his dodges caused him to trip on a bucket filled with water, splashing him.
"Pig-tailed goddess! You must marry me this instant!" Kuno shouted.
Ranma replied by punching him in the face.
"Nabiki! You sent out all the wedding invitations, didn't you!" Akane shouted angrily.
"But look!" Nabiki held a large stack of envelopes.
"My! Look at all the celebration money!" Kasumi said.
Mousse, Ryoga and Genma continued to fight for the Nannichaun. It flew away from them as the seal broke. The Nannichaun threatened to spill all over the ground.
Ranma arrived in time to see it starting to fall. "Nannichaun!" she shouted.
"Ooh! Sake!" Happosai shouted as he downed the Nannichaun in one large gulp.
The cursed men looked at the sight in shock and horror.
"What the hell! It's just water!" Happosai smashed the empty case in anger.
"He drank it... all," Ranma said in disbelief.
The cursed men attacked Happosai, trying to get him to induce vomiting.
"Cough it up!" Ranma said angrily.
"Where is it!?" shouted Genma.
"Happo Dai Karin!" Happosai shouted, releasing his fire bomb attack.
The blast left Ranma unconscious, which Ukyou and Shampoo moved to try and help him.
Ryoga sat to the side, crying.
"Tendo Akane! We must be wed!" Kuno shouted earning Akane's foot into his face.
"Hehe! My young bride!" Happosai gleefully said, clutching onto Akane's wedding dress.
"Ranma-sama! Someday!" Kodachi shouted.
"My how busy!" Kasumi said.
With the Nannichaun gone, the groom unconscious, and several people violently opposed to the wedding present forced Soun to do something he really didn't want to. He called off the wedding.
Soun sat at the dinner table talking to Ranma and Akane. "Well, because of all this... we're putting off the wedding until we can get all of our affairs in order."
"You know if you just..." Akane said.
Ranma interrupted, "This is all your fault."
Ranma lay on the roof of the Tendo home, staring into the night sky. He didn't want to be reminded about his fiancee problems, and yet they came roaring into his face. He wanted to sort out his guilty conscious concerning his actions at Jusendo and they just wanted him.
Why? Why? Why? Ranma wondered. Why did they have to force a wedding? Why was Akane willing to marry him? Could it really be just because she believes he loved her? Was she willing because of the Nannichaun? Or did she want to marry him because she loved him?
Ranma balled his hand into a fist. They could have at least asked him if he wanted to get married. He would've told them he wasn't ready. He was only seventeen and still in high school. He shouldn't even be engaged. Everyone wanted him to get married to one person or another. A year and a half ago he had never stayed anywhere long, and now they were fighting over where he would spend the rest of his life and they weren't asking him. He should have a say in this. He did have five choices.
Ranma counted on his fingers. Well, four choices. Kodachi wasn't a choice. He could choose Shampoo, which would leave him as a guy in a woman's society and he would have to deal with being related to the old ghoul. That's not a real good choice there. He could choose Ukyou, but she was more of a sister to him. He could choose as his parents wanted. Akane wasn't a bad choice, but he wished she would listen to him and trusted him more. She can get so angry at him while he had done nothing wrong. He could chose none of the above and just leave, but he didn't want to do that.
Akane did look cute in that wedding dress. Ranma sighed. Why did he deny he love her? He thought he did. He had done so many things for her and it hurt so much when he thought she was dead. He didn't think he could feel such pain over losing anyone. He should've just told her he loved her, but then he would probably be married now.
Ranma rolled over and looked towards where Akane should be. Did Akane love him? Her willing to marry me had to be more than just because she thought he loved her. If she loved him, why does she poison him, insult him, and hit him? Well, he guessed she was trying to learn how to cook, he insulted her too, and she hits him when he had gone too far or when she was jealous. If she acted jealous when the other girls showed affection to him, didn't that mean she loved him or at least wanted to show that kind of affection.
Akane sat in her bed curled up into a ball. She didn't know what to feel or who to be mad at. Today she almost got married, but everything went wrong and nothing went right.
Why wasn't she mad at Ranma? Akane wondered. He had denied he loved her when she knew he does. What happened at Jusendo was undeniable. The things he did and how he reacted were for someone he loved, and not just a friend. Yet, he tried to stop the wedding by starting a fight with her. Talk about cold feet.
Akane sighed. Maybe it was because she thought he was right. The wedding disaster was, in part, her fault for not telling him sooner about the Nannichaun. If she had, he might of found it and gotten cured. She, herself, had used his cure to bribe him into marrying her. Was she any better than Shampoo, now, because she had done that?
Akane cracked her knuckles. She would have to have a little talk with Nabiki about her part in the disaster. If her sister hadn't invited everyone in Nerima, she would be married now. Not to mention Uncle Saotome had his own part in this. He wants Ranma to marry her, but took the Nannichaun because he wanted the cure for himself. If that selfish idiot had half a brain, he'd have defended the Nannichaun to insure it could be used to bribe Ranma.
Akane's face took on a look of determination. There was one thing she could do, she could make sure that Ranma married her. She could find a way to remove his other fiancee's claims. And then Ranma will marry her!
Ukyou laid in her bed thinking over the day. Why did those jackasses plan a wedding? Ranchan doesn't want to marry Akane, and they should have realized that. He would never be truly happy with her.
Ukyou shut her eyes tightly. Was Konatsu right in saying she might have ruined friendship for attacking him? Why did she do that in the first place? Why did she attack Ranma and not those responsible? She should've just beaten up Genma. It had to be his plan after all.
But did she upset Ranma for attacking him? She didn't want to lose him. She was trying to save him from marrying a girl he didn't want. He should be thankful right? She'll just have to apologize and come up with a better plan if they try this again.
Why a volume 0? I already wrote a volume 1 of a story that occurs a month later, but some characterizations needed to be explained. Also Manga volume 38 caused a lot of changes in the Ranmaverse, shattering the status quo. Ryoga giving up on Akane and Akane believing Ranma is in love with her being the biggest changes.
The translation of the wedding scene is close to being accurate. I do own a copy of manga volume 38 so the action described is correct. (I really wish I could read Japanese.)