RYOGA 1/2

Chapter Three

As Ryoko stands there in front of Ranma, the pouring of the rain instigates a bodily change. Her full breasts flatten into pecks while the valley between her legs develops a large appendage. Her long, light brown hair shortens and darkens a little while her shoulders broaden as arms and legs become bigger.

"I hate these bloody changes!" Ryoga screams. Then he makes an about face and starts walking away.

"Ryoga, where are you going?"

"I'm going back to Jusenkyo. Maybe if I jump into the Spring of Drowned Girl I can get me normal body back."

"Hmm. That's not a bad idea. It's worth a try," Ranko responds, turning around and following after the bloke.

"Wait, Ranma! We need to get back to Japan. There are people waiting for us there, and we've kept them waiting long enough!" Genma yells after his son-turned-daughter.

"It's alright, Pop. The guide's house is only a stone's throw away. What would it hurt to ask him if we can get ourselves cured?"

"I've already talked to him about that, Ranma."

"That's Ranko when I look like this, Pop." The lass walks away from her father with an obvious switch of her derriere much Genma's consternation.

"Ranmaa! Quit acting like a girl!"

"Can't help what I am at the moment, Pop. But don't worry. If the cure works you won't have to worry about it."

Genma then runs up to his current daughter, attempting to slap her in the back of the head and missing when she ducks the attack she senses coming at her. "Listen, boy! When you were off parading your feminine wiles, I was talking with the Jusenkyo guide. He told me that the curses mix. Unless a total cure materializes itself miraculously, you and Ryoko are stuck."

"Ranko stops short, turns around, and looks her father in the eyes. "Are you sure about that, Pop?"

"Yes, Ranma. You think I want you to be a girl most of the time after I spent so much effort making you a man among men?"

"I guess not. Oh, well. I'll just have to make the best of it then. Let's wait for Ryoga to come back. He'll probably…"

"No! We can't wait for that she man! We have to leave now. If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were sweet on the bloke," Genma states, looking at his daughter with intent rage.

"No, not really, even if I do rather like the chap. I just thought it would be easier to have another traveling companion. I also thought this guy could give me some pointers on how to be a girl. From what I've heard girls are different from blokes…"

"Silence, Ranma! You'll simply have to learn how to withstand hot, boiling water all the time. There's no way I'm going to let you traipse around like some princess."

"Cold water happens, Pop. Being a girl is something I'm going to have to deal with. Besides, you were the one who brought me here in the first place."

"Don't blame me, lad. If you were simply paying more attention to our last fight, you wouldn't even be in this mess," the old gent answers harshly.

"You're the one who brought us here! You should have paid more attention to where we were going, Pop. This is your entire fault! Blaming me for everything isn't going to change a bloody thing!"

"Listen, boy!"

"I'm not a boy right now, Pop! You know what? I'm going to back to Japan without you. I hate it when you mess me up and then blame me for the results. All the times you've pilfered our hosts and left me there to take responsibility for what you've done have me steamed. Then I had to either work off your debt or beg for forgiveness for what you've done. And as soon as I managed to mollify the people you've offended, you showed up and took me away to start the whole bloody process all over again! You've been doing me like this for as long as I remember and I've had it!"

"Oh, yeah? The life of a martial artist is full of peril. Weren't you willing to give up your life for your martial arts?" Genma states harshly.

"I was, but I didn't think my manhood would be on the line. But since that's the case, I'm willing to roll with it."

"Roll with it?! I've investigated too much time and effort into making you a great martial artist, Ranma."

"That's nice, Pop. Who says I can't be the best whether I'm man or woman? Besides, this allows me to enter all women based tournaments and win the prize money. Then I can enter a man's…"

"It's not going to work!" Ryoga interjects upon returning to them.

"Hmm? What are you talking about, Luv?"

"The curses mix. Taking a bath in another spring would just make us hermaphrodites!" Ryoga sobs with a shudder. "We're bloody stuck!"

Ranko looks upon the bloke with a sense of sympathy, walking over to him and drying his tears with part of the shirt she's wearing. "It'll be alright, luv. Let's make the best of it. Enough with the tears. You're a man now. Come on."

"I don't want to be a man! I wasn't born this way!" Ryoga cries out, looking to the sky and shaking his balled up fist at it.

"Come now, Ryoga. If I can handle being a lass, you can handle being a chap. You're a big, strong bloke with gorgeous muscles. You want to be a great martial artist, don't you?"

"Yes." Ryoga begins to calm down as Ranko looks up and smiles at him.

"There's a lad. Now let's get back to Japan."

"You think I want that she…"

"Zip it, Pop! It's bad enough you insult me, but you'll not insult Ryoga like that."

"How dare you talk to your father this way?!" Genma screams in response.

"Be grateful, I'm talking to you at all. Now are we going or not?"

Genma glares at the girl, mumbling under his breath. "I'll play your game for now, Ranma. But sooner or later, I'm going to ditch your new boyfriend before something happens that I won't like."

"Well?" Ranko asks again, getting impatient. "You know what? I bet Ryoga and I can find our way back without any help from you. When I get back to Japan, I'll find a job doing something."

"Alright, Ranma."

"That's Ranko! If I'm going to have to walk around as a girl I might as well have a girl's name."

Genma bristles at this but says nothing more on the topic. "This is the way back. Come then."

The old gent starts walking away from Jusenkyo with Ranko following along taking Ryoga by the hand.

"Hey, Customers!" the guide calls out, running over to them. "So sorry about you falling into springs. But I can help you get back to nearest port safely. This area of country can be dangerous."

"Alright, Guide. Lead the way!"

After a few days of traveling, the group arrives at what looks like a festival with all kinds of sumptuous Chinese food arrayed on over a dozen wooden tables. Upon closer inspection, there were countless women watching a martial arts tournament with warriors of various capabilities.

"Food," Genma thinks to himself as he regards the spread. Walking over to the grub with a hungry look in his eyes while Ranko is watching the fight with her undivided attention, Ryoga stops him in his tracks.

"Hold it. I've been through this territory before. It would be all but unforgivable for you to start eating any of this food before the winner of the tournament's declared."

"Let go of me this instant, you girlie man! I haven't eaten in three days and I need nourishment."

The conversation having gotten hold of her attention, Ranko turns towards the two blokes. "What's up?"

"Your father is about to commit a serious crime. The last thing he wants to do is offend these women."

"Oh, I see your point. These women are plenty strong alright."

"You don't know the half of it, Ranko. A few of these women would have no problem wiping the floor with either of us despite my newly acquired strength."

"Let go, I say!"

"Shut up, Pop. I'm willing to bet Ryoga knows what he's talking about. But I was wondering about something, Ryoga."

"What's that?"

"You seem to know a whole lot about these women. Did any of them train you in their martial arts?"

"Yes. One of them was on the run from the Musk."

"The Musk?" Ranko interjects with raised eyebrows.

"That's another group that sometimes wages war against the Amazons. I'll get to them later. A few members of the Musk had captured this Amazon girl after ambushing her family and killing them. They had intended to take her back and make her a captive. Asking for directions, I had showed up right inside of the cage in which the Amazon child was locked while the Musk men went off hunting. She immediately demanded that I free her."

"Did you?" Ranko asks with interest.

"Yes. She was impressed when I ripped their metal bonds off of her." Ranko looks upon Ryoga with a sense of incredulity.

"I don't have to be a bloke to be strong, Ranko."

"Oh, yes. Alright. Go on."

"Then we left the area for her village in Joketsuzoku which is right here. Her grandmother was so grateful to me for rescuing her only descendent that she taught me the Bakutsuzai Tenketsu."

"What's that?" Ranko asks with enthusiasm for a new technique.

"It allows someone to not only shatter rocks and stones, but it also makes the participant highly resistant to most attacks. You see I was ready to beat you, Ranko."

"I see. So that's why you know these people so well," Ranko replies.

"Yes, but I don't know everything about the Amazons."

At that moment, there's much cheering which gets Ranko to turn back and see a buxom girl with purple hair have her hands raised in victory.

"You there!" the purple haired girl shouts out to them in Chinese, pointing at them with one of the mace like weapons in her hands.

The guide quickly translates the girl's speech.

"Hello there. My name is Ranko and this is Ryoga. You can ignore the bald guy here. Sorry about him, he has such bad manners." Genma finally escapes the bloke's hold only to have Ranko get in his way of the food.

"Out of the way, lad."

"Quite, Pop."

"Greetings, I'm Shampoo!" the lass answers abruptly. "What are you doing so close to my prize?!"

"We're sorry about that," Ryoga answers in fluent Chinese. "We haven't eaten in days and would appreciate being allowed to eat."

The harsh look on the Amazon's face softens upon viewing Ryoga's likeness. It gets to the point she stares at the boy's naked pecks, shoulders, and stomach muscles for a bit as she jumps off the log on which she has just won her fight with acrobatic grace. "Hmm. You have such nice manners and you speak our Chinese dialect well. Have you been here in Joketsuzoku before?"

"Yes. Your home is a very beautiful place. We thank you for allowing us to visit you," Ryoga answers, showing good breeding.

Shampoo gets closer to the bloke, standing a couple of centimetres from him and smiling lustfully. "You're a handsome one, and strong too." She takes hold of shoulders, feeling him up, down, and over.

"Hey!" Ryoga giggles a little as his muscular chest and stomach are gently caressed as the Amazon girl moans slightly.

"Enjoying yourself, sweetie?" Ranko asks with a sly look in her eyes. Shampoo notices this and gives her a slight glare.

"Oh, yes. Anyway, we normally don't take kindly to strangers, but since I won the contest and you've acquired my favor with your good manners, you and your friends may take part in the feast."

"Thank you, Shampoo," Ryoga answers respectfully. Genma quickly goes around Ranko, blitzing over to the nearest table and gorging himself on the food.

"Pop! Can't you show some manners?" Ranko says with a little bit of embarrassment as she sits down along with most everybody there. She finds herself a little bit perturbed as many of the amazons overtly ogle Ryoga and his chest, stomach, and shoulder muscles.

"I don't know what's more delicious that man over there or the food here," an Amazon whispers to another.

"It's the man there. As soon as this meal is over, I'm going after him," an orange headed Amazon answers.

"That might not be a good idea right now. Shampoo's rather taken with the bloke."

"I don't care what Shampoo thinks. I'll snag that chap before she does. You take that to the bank."

While Ranko enjoys her meal a cackling voice hails her. "Well, you're a strong one."

"Uh?" Ranko turns to her left and notices a very wrinkled, old woman the size of a large doll regarding her. "Oh, hello."

"Greetings, Dearie, I'm Cologne, Matriarch of the Amazons. There's something unnatural about you and your muscled friend."

"Well…"

"I can tell by your aura and physique that you're more powerful than any amazon teenager here, Shampoo included."

"We've traveled all over the place, training in various martial arts," Ranko answers with a little bit of nervousness that doesn't go unnoticed by the old lady.

"I see. Be sure to enjoy our hospitality while you're here, but I suggest you get your father out of here as soon as he's through gorging himself. I get the feeling that he'll rob us the first chance he gets. And you don't want to know what we'll do to him as soon as we catch him," Cologne expresses with her eyes narrowed at the lass.

"Uh, yes. I'll make sure to keep an eye on me father. Won't let him stay long at that," Ranko answers nervously.

"I hope not, for your father's sake."

Ranko resumes her meal, but when she turns back to the old woman, she notices she's gone. "Blimey, where did she go?"

After the meal is finished, the four say cheerio and are about to leave when Cologne appears in front of them.

"We'd like to send you on your way with provisions, but there's something I'd like to know."

"What's that, Madam?" Ryoga answers respectfully.

"I would like you and Ranko to step forward a few feet from the others."

"Alright." Ryoga and Ranko comply, moving as much as ten metres away from Genma and the guide.

"What now?"

"This."

All of a sudden, the two get splashed with hot water.

"Blimey!"

"Hey!"

When nothing happens, the Elder snaps her fingers and the two get splashed with cold water. After wards, nothing else happens.

"What'd you do that for?!" Ranko screams in protest.

"Hmm. And here I thought the two of you might be Jusenkyo victims since the both of you have ideal physiques and appearances for your genders. Here are your provisions. Off with you then."

The four travelers take up the backpacks of provisions and make their way out of the area.

"Don't you think we should have told them about the specialness of our Jusenkyo curses?" Ranko asks, looking up at Ryoga who walks beside her.

"I don't know. It may have been best for us to get out of there as soon as possible. Last I remember they have ways of getting blokes trapped into marriages."

As the group leaves, the Amazon elder whispers to her great-granddaughter. "Follow them, Shampoo. I can't fathom a more powerful and handsome male ever showing up here."

"Yes, Great-Grandmother," the girl complies, following after them.

Unbeknownst to Shampoo, another Amazon sneaks off in the other direction, hoping to take a short cut and catch up to Ryoga before Shampoo does.

As the four travelers make their trek towards the east coast of China, both Ryoga and Ranko are wearing their new clothes. Ranko wears a red shirt and green pants that fit her nicely, holding her bustline comfortably in place while Ryoga wears a tan shirt and brown pants.

"You look nice in your new duds, Ryoga," Ranko compliments.

"Yeah, thanks." Ryoga still isn't thrilled with the idea of walking around as a bloke, but despite all that, he soldiers on.

"How much longer before we reach the nearest port that will take us to Japan?" Genma asks the Jusenkyo guide.

"It take us til next day to get the mountains. Once we there, I give you map so you can find way home."

The next day, the group show up at the bottom of a king sized mountain that's over eight kilometres in height and four kilometres in width. Along with that, the group can see other mountains that are smaller.

"This is nice." Ranko takes another breath of air. Then she turns towards the guide. "Guess it's time to see that map. How long will it take us to go through these mountains and get to a nice port?"

"It take you four days or so. Here is map. It nice seeing you, Buy, buy." The guide gives Ranko the map and does an about face, walking off at first then running as fast as his plump little body can go.

"Well, fellas. It looks like we're on our own." Then Ranko stops short.

"What's wrong, Ranko?" Ryoga asks, noticing the lass's apprehension.

"I could have sworn I sensed something." The ground begins to shake as a loud stomping sound gets closer and closer.

All of a sudden, Genma shakes with fear as a large shadow looms over them. "I'll see you guys later on. Gotta go!" Genma speeds off, disappearing in the crevice of a cave a couple of kilometres away.

"What are you two doing here?!" a giant four metres tall yells out to them. Upon closer inspection he appears to be a man with some elephantine features. His ears are unusually large and outward, looking sort of like cauliflower ears. His nose has larger than life nostrils while being very long. He doesn't have tusks, but he has large canine teeth that resemble tusks. The large, almost grey skinned warrior walks over to Ryoga and Ranko, glaring down on them.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Hope my dialect wasn't too much for you out there. Either way, send me some reviews.