Hey guys! I'm back with another Ranma fic!

I got this idea while doing research on Ness. He's been in the Super Smash Bros games, so I wanted to know what game he's from. That's when I started doing research on Earthbound. I thought the gameplay seemed kinda cool. A kid with psychic powers goes out on a quest and meets several other talented kids that join him.

You may be wondering, 'what the heck does this have to do with Ranma?' Not much really. This idea just kinda came to me while thinking about Earthbound. If you can see how this is similar to Ness's game in anyway whatsoever, give yourself a pat on the back.

So here I am! Inspired by the Earthbound game!

Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma or it's characters. Just my OCs.

Children of the Art

Chapter One: Attack on the Musk

(Musk City, China)

Herb, the prince of the Musk dynasty and one of the few people who could stand a chance in a fight with a certain pig-tailed martial artist, was currently in a state of meditation. He was sitting on a rock that he had placed under a waterfall. The water crashed down on his currently female body. It was all the better for training, since her cursed form was physically weaker than her male form.

But she wasn't training her body at the moment. She was training her mind.

She had been training like this ever since she had lost to Ranma Saotome in Japan. She found a secluded, peaceful area that only she and her father, the Musk King, knew about. She had been sitting there for hours, trying to train her mind. During her battle with Ranma at Horaisan, she lost her temper. Herb had gotten enraged by Ranma's girl body and lost.

It wasn't just because of Ranma's body though. Herb had to admit that Ranma was an excellent fighter who used his skill to outmatch the Dragon Prince, rather than power.

And of course, Herb had heard the news about Ranma defeating Saffron the Phoenix King. They battled using the sacred weapons, the Gekkaja and the Kinjaken. Herb was sure that when it came down to firepower, Saffron probably outmatched her. She also knew that when it came down to skill, Saffron was like a pebble standing next to a mountain against Ranma.

Although the Phoenix was very powerful, he grew up with no training. All he could do in a fight was throw fire around. Of course, that fire was hot enough to melt solid stone.

There were only two reasons for why Ranma had beaten her; his skill, and Herb's lack of mental discipline for the opposite gender. The Musk Prince planned on changing that.

So here she was, training her mind. Being a girl herself at the moment helped with the training greatly.

"Lord Herb! Lord Herb!" She opened her eyes to look at who interrupted her training. It was one of the palace guards. He looked like he was in his late thirties or early forties. 'That's probably why he's not ogling my girl body.' She thought. Once a member of the Musk tribe reaches a certain age, they get introduced to the world of women. Herb's bodyguards, Lime and Mint, do not fall into this category, which is why they're obsessed with the opposite gender.

"What is it? Why have you interrupted my training?" Herb asked in a slightly annoyed voice.

"An outsider has assaulted the palace!" He replied in a panicky voice.

"What?!" Herb replied with wide eyes. She immediately jumped off of the rock and ran over to a tree she had left her royal robes by. While she meditated, she just wore a simpe T-Shirt and shorts, so as not to get her royal garb wet. She dried herself off with a pulse off Ki and put on her robes as fast as she could.

Once that was done, she used her Ki to fly towards the palace, the guard running as fast as he could to follow her.

When she arrived at the Musk city, she saw a large amount of bodies lying on the ground. They seemed to have been scorched, as if by fire or lightning. Herb could still feel their Ki signatures, which indicated that they weren't dead. The wives of the men were already at their sides, healing any wounds they had. Seeing that they were alright, Herb flew over them all and headed straight for the Musk palace.

When she arrived at the palace that she, the rest of the royal family, and their bodyguards lived at, she found the large front doors were wide open. The guards that were stationed there were knocked out and were currently being treated by their wives. One of the girls looked up at Herb.

"Lord Herb! The King…that man…they…they…" She stuttered nervously.

"It's okay. Just tell me where they are."

She pointed inside. "To the throne room."

"Right." With that information, the Musk prince rushed inside. He passed through several halls before he finally arrived at her father's throne room. What she saw there shocked her.

There was a man fighting with two other men that Herb recognized as the king's personal bodyguards, Mao and Shiniu.

Mao was fairly short and young. He was only fifteen, yet still one of the best fighters the Musk had to offer. He had short snow-white hair. His light blue eyes had a feral look in them. He was, after all, a descendent of a white leopard. His clothes were similar to Ranma's usual Chinese clothes, except they were all white.

Shiniu was like the exact opposite of his friend. He was tall and muscular. He had black hair and brown eyes. He wore armor that consisted of a black chest-plate and gray shoulder protection. He was also wearing a pair of plain black pants. He was wielding a battle-ax that looked like it must weigh a ton. He had the blood of a rhino.

The man they were attacking was wearing a black, wizard-like robe. He looked to be in his thirties or forties. His long, gray hair reached down to his back. He had moonstone eyes and had a confident smirk on his face.

Mao struck out swiftly with claws that he created out of Ki. Shiniu swung his large ax at the strange man. But however hard the two tried, they couldn't land a hit on him.

Lime and Mint were lying on the ground to the sides, unconscious.

What really surprised Herb though, was the person in the back of the room. In front of her father's throne, there was a pyramid that looked like it was made out of glass, but at the same time, looked like it break no matter what. Inside the glass, was the king of the Musk himself.

Like Herb, he had white hair with some blue mixed in, but instead of being held up in a ponytail, it hung down his back. His royal clothes were identical to his son/daughter. He was sitting in a lotus position with his eyes closed. He seemed to have a sad look on his face.

The gray haired man reached into his robes and pulled out a katana sword. It had a mysterious yellow glow coming from it. He swung the sword towards the two fighters, but didn't cut them. Instead, an electrical wave hit them. The electricity struck them and kept electrocuting them until they both passed out.

The man put his sword away and chuckled to himself. "Such a weak bunch. Still, they could come in handy later." He grabbed both of them with one hand each and held them both up effortlessly. A purple glow surrounded the Musk bodyguards and then they just disappeared.

Herb gasped. "What have you done to them?! And what have you done with my father!?"

The man ignored her. He simply walked to the left side of the room, where Lime was laying on the ground. He picked him up and repeated the process. He walked over to the right side. He was about to pick up Mint, when Herb fired a Ki blast at him. He was forced to step back away from the wolf hybrid.

"Answer me! Who are you?!"

The man finally decided to pay attention to the Musk prince. "My name is Akunin. You should have just let me go about my business. I was simply going to transport him back to my fortress, but now, I think I'll just drain him and take you instead."

"What do mean 'drain him'?" Herb asked.

The man smirked. "I mean this." He grabbed Mint and a green glow surrounded him instead of a purple one. The green glow seemed to be absorbed into Akunin's hand. As it did, Mint's body began to shrink. When he let go, Mint looked like a seven-year-old.

"You turned him into a child!?" Herb half asked, half stated.

"I drained his energy. Turning him into a child was merely a side-affect of the spell." He stated. "Now, if you would be so kind as to come with me."

Herb growled angrily. "No way! You've trespassed on our land, broke into my house, and kidnapped the bodyguards of I and my father. You won't leave this place!"

She got into a ready stance. Akunin seemed unimpressed. "Do you really think you can beat me? Ask your father. He'll tell you that it's impossible." He waved a hand to the Musk king, who was still sitting inside the pyramid.

"Grr. I'll get you!" She raised her hand and fired a blue Ki blast at the wizard. He easily stepped to the side and avoided it. "I won't give up!" She fired Ki blast after Ki blast at the man, but he just stepped out of the way every time. Herb cuffed her hands to her side and started charging a blast that was three times the size of the others. She fired it at him.

This time, Akunin didn't move out of the way. He just held out his hand and let the Ki blast hit. The energy blast didn't get past the hand. It impacted, but the man just stood there, unfazed. The Ki blast faded away after a few seconds.

Herb's eyes widened in shock. "No way! He stop it with just his hand!" Akunin started walking towards Herb. "Let's see if you can block this! Hito Ryu-Zan Ha!" She gathered Ki into her hand and swung it like a sword at the wizard. A Ki knife was fired from it and headed straight for him.

Akunin simply took out his katana and blocked the Ki blade with it. Herb fired more Ki blades at him, which he effortlessly block with his sword. Once he got within four feet of the prince, Herb created another Ki blade. This one outstretched from her hand instead of firing at Akunin. She swung her Ki blade down on the wizard furiously.

He just blocked every blow with his sword. 'Why aren't my blows hitting him?' Thought Herb.

Akunin deflected another one of the Musk prince's strikes and then swung his sword at her. Just like with Mao and Shiniu, A wave of lighting came out and electrocuted Herb. She tried to ignore the pain to try and strike with her Ki blade again, but the pain overtook her and she passed out.

The wizard put his sword away and walked up to Herb's unconscious body. He picked her up one handed and surrounded her with the purple glow. When Herb was successfully transported, Akunin turned around and faced the Musk king. "Well now, Ryu Gao, I think it's time we left."

Ryu Gao, the Musk king looked at Akunin calmly. "You won't get away with what you've done. I knew that you would come someday. The Musk prophecy predicted your arrival centuries ago."

The wizard laughed at him. "Don't bore me with your prophecy nonsense! Even if your ancestors knew I was coming, there's nothing you or your generation can do about it."

"We will see." With that, both Akunin and Ryu Gao disappeared in a purple flash of light.

(Later)

Mint was slowly drifting into consciousness. 'What happened?' he thought. 'The last thing I remember was being hit by that gray haired guy.' His eyes shot open and he quickly sat up. "Lord Herb! Where is he?!" He put his hands over his mouth after he realized that it slightly more high pitched than it should have been. He looked down at himself to find that he was also much shorter than he should have been.

"I'm afraid the prince is in another castle, Mint." He heard an elderly voice say.

Now that he was awake, Mint decided to take a look at his surroundings. He recognized the building he was in as the Musk infirmary. He was currently sitting on a bed. Most patients are placed in futons, rather than beds, but since Mint was the bodyguard of a member of the royal family, he received more comfortable treatment.

He was wearing a children-sized version of his usual outfit. He was still wearing his furry, wolf-eared hat that covered most of his blue hair. There was an old man sitting next to Mint's bed. He recognized the old man as one of the Musk elders. The blood of an owl, if Mint remembered right.

"What happened to me? And where's Lord Herb!?" The wolf-boy asked.

"You were attacked by an evil wizard, known as Akunin. He drained your power and reverted you to the form of a child. He defeated Lord Herb and the King. He kidnapped them, along with the king's bodyguards and your friend Lime." The elder explained.

"What?! He even defeated the king!? And he took Lime and Herb? What are we going to do?" He asked.

There was a long pause before the elder spoke. "Mint. Do you know about the Musk prophecy?"

Mint blinked. "Of course. When the master of darkness comes forth, four children of exceptional skill shall rise up to vanquish it. One boy, one girl, and two of in-between, will collect the four mystical spirits of the elements and defeat the forces of evil."

"Our king has been preparing for this event. He told me that he foresaw this in his dreams. He entrusted a special item to me." He held up an amulet. It looked like two dragons, one blue, one red, swirling around the other and forming a spiral. "This artifact unlocks the animal spirits of strong fighters.. I used this on you to restore your powers and memories."

"My memories?" Mint asked curiously.

"The side-affects of that wizard's spell reverted you to the form of a child. If I hadn't used the item on you, you would have woke up with the mind of a child." He explained.

"What does this have to do with the prophecy?"

"In the king's dreams, he had a vision of one of the four chosen children. That child was you, Mint. I suspect that the other three will also be fighters that have been de-aged by Akunin.. You must find them and then, search for the spirits. They will make you powerful enough to stop the evil."

The information was still sinking into Mint's head. "I think I understand. But where do I start?"

The Musk elder seemed to be in deep thought. "Hmmm…I believe the part of the prophecy about 'two of in-between' means someone with a gender changing Jusenkyo curse. I suspected that Prince Herb was one of them, but I'm not sure of the other."

Mint snapped his fingers. "Ranma! He turns into a girl! And he was tough enough to beat Lord Herb. I bet he's one of them!"

The elder nodded his head. "Very well. You must travel to Japan and find him. Are you well enough for a trip?"

The wolf-boy jumped out of bed. "Of course! What do I do once I find him?"

"Find the other two. Then come back here to get directions to the four spirits."

"Alright!"

After Mint finished his chat with the elder, he went back to the palace to gather some things he might need. Once he felt he had enough supplies, he set off to the shore of China to find the other chosen ones.

(That night)

Mint was sitting next to a campfire that he had set up for the night. He was cooking a rabbit that he had caught earlier. He didn't have to bring his own food from the Musk city. The speed and hunting ability that his wolf blood gave him were more than enough to allow him to survive on his own. He could have eaten it raw like a wolf usually does, but his human blood told him that cooking it would be better.

Once he was done cooking it, he started eating hungrily. He ate it to the bone and threw the skeleton away. "That was good." He stated in satisfaction. He reached into his pocket and pulled out the amulet that the elder had used on him. He gave it to Mint before he left the village and told him that if the others are in the same condition that Mint was in, then he should put the artifact on their hearts and their powers and memories would be awakened.

"I sure hope I can find Ranma." He said to himself. Then his mind took a different train of thought. "I can't wait to get to Japan. There are lots of pretty girls there." He was still obsessed with the mysteries of the other sex. Luckily, Herb had managed to hit him and Lime on the head enough times to make their obsessions less perverted.

Mint's train of thought was cut as his animal instincts told him there was an enemy nearby. He jumped to his feet and took out his small combat sword that was almost as tall as he was. "Who's there? Show yourself!"

"Well now, you're ccccccccertainly a sharp one, aren't you." The wolf-boy turned in the direction of the voice to find a giant, shadowy black snake with glowing yellow eyes. His voice sounded like a gentlemen, rather than a giant snake.

"Who are you?"

The serpent slithered around Mint calmly. "I don't go by a name, but I sssssupposssse you can call me Snake."

"And why are you here, Snake?" The wolf-boy asked suspiciously.

"How to put thissss." He asked himself as he continued to slither around, Mint, being sure to keep a distance. "I'm here on order from Akunin to either kill you, or bring him back to hisss fortresssss."

"Not going to happen!" Mint shouted. He was about to leap at Snake to chop his head off, but something hit him from behind. The impact knocked him down and knocked the child-sized sword out of his hand. He turned around to see who had attacked him. "What the…?"

Snake had just hit him with his tail! 'That's why he was slithering around me. He was trying to keep my attention on his head so his tail could strike from behind!' Before Mint could react, Snake picked up the sword that he dropped with his tail.

"What will you do without your ssssword?" The monster asked, mockingly.

"This!" Mint jumped into the air and threw some throwing knives at him. Snake simply maneuvered his body so the knives would hit the ground harmlessly.

"A foolish attempt. Any projectile weaponssss you throw can eassssily be avoided. Now, let'sss sssee how you deal with thisss." He used his tail to swing Mint's sword at him. He was easily able to use his speed to avoid Snake's blows, but he almost got impaled by his fangs from behind.

"Grr, fighting him is like fighting two enemies. I have to get my sword back." The Musk child dodged more strikes from both sides. "He's good at attacking a person's blind spot. Let's see how he likes it. Wolf Fang Meteor Bullets!" He used his super speed to get behind Snake's tail. He moved so fast that the monster couldn't see him move. He threw a barrage of knives at the tail.

The attack caught Snake off guard, so he didn't have time to dodge. His tail got cut badly and he was forced to let go of the sword. Mint picked it up and then used his super speed to disappear from sight again.

Snake's yellow eyes widened in shock. He looked around desperately for his opponent. "What?! Where'd he go?"

"Right here!" The monster turned around just in time to see Mint slashing at him with his sword. Snake's head came off with one slash of his sword and fell to the ground.

"Damn…you." He muttered with his dying breath. His entire body slowly disintegrated until it was nothing.

"That's what you get for messing with a body guard of the royal Musk family." He sheathed his sword and walked away. "If all of Akunin's monsters are this weak, I should get Lord Herb back no problem. But…that guy said he was sent to kill me. That means Akunin must know what I'm planning on doing. Maybe I should keep walking until morning." He put out the campfire and started walking towards the shore again.

End of Chapter

So, how do you like it? Mint is one of my favorite characters in the Ranma manga and I wish there were more fanfic with him in them.

Well, that's it for this chapter. Next time: Mint arrives in Nerima.

Please review!