By Bree R.
Thanks to Lawra/Lawohki for this idea and for proofreading this story and for helping to make it a lot better than it should have been at many points. Can't tell you how much I appreciate it Lawra!
Also thanks to Blackcat101, Crescent Pulsar, Dumbledork, Khammel, and Spica75 for their comments on the Fukufics forum.
Two white feathered birds with black accents fussed over their nest above the dense forest canopy of mainland China. Getting it just so and ready for them to move into. Both though took flight into the air in a loud chittering panic when the silence of the forest was shattered with a loud bellow from below, "You want to go WHAT direction?"
"Don't be so loud Son!" Genma proclaimed arms crossed over his chest. "You're making that Amazon's job all too easy."
"Fine." Ranma grumbled kicking himself that his Father was right. "But South?" Ranma said more calmly this time. "Why don't we just head East? That's the direction of the port we came in at." Ranma finished with a slight whine while waving his hand repeatedly to the East.
"We could." Genma said seriously before turning his own glare on his son. "But it wasn't me who pissed off some crazy Amazon who's now out for our blood is it?"
"That's because you and your fat stomach just had to eat their stupid tournament prize." Ranma said flatly.
"Show some respect towards your Father boy!" Genma proclaimed angrily swatting Ranma over the head with a weathered hand to which Ranma barely reacted. You were getting a mouthful too!" Genma intoned causing Ranma to wince. "Anyway going South is a brilliant plan. She'll expect us to just head East. Going South? How could she possibly guess we'd do that?" Genma said proudly.
"I'd think being able to talk to the farmers and townsfolk we pass and asking them if they saw a red-haired girl and a panda would kind of put her on our trail." Ranma said grumpily.
"That is true." Genma said gravely a look of deep contemplation crossing his face. Ranma simply rolled his eyes knowing that was his Father's 'plotting' face. "I've got it!" Genma proclaimed a few seconds later.
"You actually came up with a better plan then heading for Tibet or something?" Ranma asked genuinely interested.
"We simply won't get splashed with cold water!" Genma said proudly as if he had come to some deep realization about life before Ranma interrupted his moment with a savage kick to his face.
"Oh that's a great idea!" Ranma intoned dropping into a ready stance staring at his already recovered father who dropped into a stance of his own.
"There's nothing wrong with it!" Genma said in a lecturing tone. "We are martial artists. Think of it as a training exercise in self awareness. Water cannot be everywhere. So we'll simply learn where it most commonly is and avoid-" Genma's explanation cut off as Ranma bent over and picked up a pebble from the ground and threw it above his head. The stone unerringly caught a large water laden leaf causing the water within to rain down directly on his father's head causing him to change instantly into a panda.
"Yep! Truly a master of self awareness." Ranma said angrily. Turning back to the crossroads and beginning to head to the East. "Now let's-" Ranma wasn't prepared for another leaf this time above his now her head to receive the same treatment causing her to change into a red haired girl. "Why would you do that?" Ranma yelped out shocked. Turning to her father seeing him beginning to run up the Southerly path. "Get back here!" She screamed following. Her desire to head East quickly forgotten for the far more pressing need of punishing her idiotic father.
High up in the air overlooking the Jusenkyo valley a Phoenix child smiled as he looked down on the cursed Springs below. Flapping his expansive golden wings faster for a moment a wide joyful smile crossed his face as he whooped in joy as he caught another up-draft the young red and golden haired Phoenix let out a loud whoop as he soared higher into the air. High enough now to touch some low lying clouds caught coming off the mountain side. Reaching out with a taloned hand he imagined himself cutting through the clouds and causing them to disperse and rain thanks to his amazing cosmic powers. This of course didn't happen, but his childish mind enjoyed the fantasy. His musings were cut short when he imagined his personal servant and tutor in his head telling him how he had to, 'Act more appropriately for his position.' 'Learn more you must be a sterling example of our race!' And of course, 'You'll be ascending soon. You shouldn't have such silly childish fantasies.'
Frowning now he sighed. His servants always wanted him to stay at home they just couldn't understand how stifling it was to be kept locked up inside a dreary mountain fortress every day. All he wanted to do was go out flying and then end the day in a nice relaxing hot spring. Was that too much to ask? He could always throw a tantrum of course and that always got him what he wanted. But the last time he had done that it had only taken almost a week to organize a 'safe' place for him to fly over as well as well as a relatively comfortable hot spring for him to soak in for only a few short hours, before his guards had gotten ancy at the large number of landlings in the area and made him leave suddenly.
Besides a week was too long to wait! He wanted to go out now! He had alerted his seneschal that he wanted to go out again and he had told him that he'd make the arrangements for flying. But a spring was too risky right now. Tears, threats, and demands hadn't made the old bird budge. Still the old guys vision wasn't as good as it used to be and it was easy to tell him he was going to study the incredibly boring diaries he had supposedly written in his last incarnation. Then it had been a simple matter of waiting for his retainer to fall asleep and sneaking out onto the cliffside of the lightly guarded royal library. Then a few flaps of his wings and he was free. For now.
While he knew he only had a short time till his 'harrowing death defying' escape was discovered he still would have time to bathe in that hot spring he had been eyeing from the air the last time he had went out which his guards had refused to allow him to land at.
After another few minutes of flight he was nearing the limit of his underdeveloped wing muscles and was getting worried that he wouldn't make it. A smile rapidly replaced the worried expression on his face as he finally saw them through a small fog bank just slightly to the West of his current course. Adjusting the pitch of his wings he slowly spiraled in ever lower landing in a small cultivated field near to where the hot springs were located. If he had more confidence in his flying he would've landed directly at the nice sulfury pool, but there were too many trees there. And after crashing into a large tree once before he wasn't really anxious to repeat that experience. On his second lazy spiral downwards he began to hear alarmed shouts from the silly landlings on the ground. "The winged ones are back! Quick hide the children!" Likely they were simply frightened of his superior nature compared to their pathetic grounded existence.
Finally placing his booted feet upon the ground caused a whole new shout to raise up amongst the villagers but he paid them no mind and simply flexed his wings tiredly before finding a landling bench to sit on a minute to catch his breath. Closing his eyes for a second to rest and idly rubbing his aching wing muscle he was shocked back into awareness by a poke to his chest. His golden eyes snapped back open to see snarling villagers surrounding him. Sticks with metal bits on the end that he had seen being used in fields like the one he was resting in before and some sort of mostly black and silverish slightly rectangular stick that he had never seen before.
"Stop touching me at once!" He proclaimed angrily pushing back against the stick that had poked at his chest.
"Where is my husband!" A older plain looking woman in the audience screamed out at him. "Your kind took him away ago years ago! I need him back! His son needs him back!" She screamed tears streaming down her face.
"What?" The little godling asked cocking his head to the side bewildered.
"And where's my wife!" A man screamed this one being one of the few men holding the weird black and silver sticks that Saffron had never seen before. "I finally get leave and when I return home I hear she's been taken by winged beasts. Where is she?" He screamed pointing the odd stick at Saffron in what seemed to be a threatening manner.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." The small Phoenix said honestly and matter of factly standing with as much royal presence as he could. "I can ask when I return home." He offered graciously. Before his tone and body language shifted, "But I just want to use your hot springs." He said in a whining tone regality rapidly forgotten.
"And I want my daughter back!" Another man yelled this one hitting him in the chest with an open fist knocking him to the ground with a muffled thud. This caused Saffron to experience something he had never experienced anyone purposely causing him before in this life. Pain.
"OW!" He yelped in a extremely high pitched voice causing the assembled villagers to take a step back thinking he was about to attack. They were unprepared however for the Lord of Phoenix Mountain and Immortal Phoenix to fold himself into a ball his wings spasming in an exaggerated fashion as he began crying loudly.
Ranma continued the extremely fast paced run after her father. Blinking some sweat out of her eyes she almost didn't see her Father coming to a stop looking off towards a village just beyond the road. Jumping into the air to slow her momentum she came to a soft landing right next to her father.
"You don't want to go in there do you?" Ranma asked irritated.
"Growf!" The panda proclaimed angrily pointing towards a nearby chimney and the smell of cooking meat coming from what looked like some sort of large house near the outskirts of the village.
"I don't care if you're hungry!" Ranma said beyond irritated. "You just said you wanted to throw that Amazon off our trail! Walking in as a panda and a girl isn't going to do that!"
Genma simply shrugged beginning to casually walk into the village.
"You idiot!" Ranma said. "Well I'm not going!" She proclaimed to her retreating Father. Feeling her own stomach grumble she sighed and pulled her pack off. Looking through it she looked for her own trail food but found the reserve empty. "Damn it." She said defeated and stood up and began to follow after her Father into the town knowing that if she waited too long any food would be long gone.
The town looked pretty normal for a village in this part of China. Very rural and very poor mostly centered around farming and raising livestock. What did begin to scare her a bit was that the entire village looked like it had suddenly been abandoned. Doors were ajar, windows were open, but there was no one around. She thought she saw some movement in one of the houses when she passed by it but when she looked again she saw nothing. Feeling a bit creeped out she picked up the pace and entered the house she had seen her father disappear into.
Inside a full meal was set out at which she saw her surprisingly human father quickly consuming. "Where'd you get the hot water?" Ranma asked anxiously.
"There was some water set aside for tea." Genma said pointing to a overturned kettle at his feet. Picking up the kettle Ranma turned it over her head and expected a flow of water to come at any moment but after a few seconds of nothing happening she quickly realized that the kettle was empty. Throwing it at her Father who simply took the blow but was stunned for a second which gave Ranma a brief window to catch up with all the food he had already consumed.
Their larcenous feast was interrupted by the loud high pitched scream of a child stopping both of them mid-bite.
"Come on boy!" Genma proclaimed standing dramatically all the while shoveling food from the table into his pack haphazardly. "It is our duty as martial artists to make sure whoever that was is alright!" Genma said dramatically.
"And because it means the people who own this house might be coming back to right?" Ranma deadpanned copying her father's actions.
"That too." Genma said rushing out the door in the direction he had heard the scream, Ranma sighed but began to follow dutifully behind her father.
The two martial artists picked up the pace and rapidly began to see quite a few villagers towards the center of town. Both Ranma and Genma stopped a short distance away from the seemingly quite angry villagers. Ranma blinked in irritation at the smattering of what he vaguely recognized as machine guns in the hands of a few men who were wearing PLA fatigues. Genma suddenly jumped up onto a nearby roof and Ranma followed suit. With the higher vantage point Ranma could see a child at the center of the gathering. The child seemed quite emotional and was down on the ground grasping his chest and wailing loudly. At first Ranma had thought maybe the child had been injured and the villagers were after whatever attacked the kid. But when the child tried to crawl away the guns changed position and followed the kid, and the villagers reformed their circle around him.
Ranma was about to jump down to try and help the kid when Genma put both hands on her shoulders. "Don't be foolish boy. As fast as we are those guns will fire faster." Genma said seriously frowning.
"We can't let them just shoot some kid and do nothing!" Ranma said struggling to extricate herself from Genma's grasp.
"Look closer boy!" Genma said turning his eyes away from his son and back down towards the commotion. "They aren't going to shoot the brat. Or they would have done it by now." Genma said.
Ranma frowned but the moment of utter seriousness on Genma's part had shaken her enough that she followed his directions and watched the crowds tension beginning to slightly dissolve. A group of men strode forward and with some rope began to tie the child up. When the kid had felt both mens grip on him he had stood up and to Ranma and Genma's shock two wings became far more easily visible on his back as he began to flex them to try and take to the air. He had gotten a few feet into the air before the handle of a shovel had crashed into his back causing him to crumple back to the ground and another louder wail punctured the air. "What the hell? The kid has wings?" Ranma said bewildered and also angry at what she was witnessing. "We can't just sit here!" Ranma hissed angrily.
"Ranma." Genma said sternly. "Calm down."
"You always go on and on about how it's our duty as a martial artist to protect…"
"Quiet boy! Protecting the weak is our goal. But we are not some idiot Samurai who will sacrifice their lives for honor." Genma said interrupting Ranma. "They're taking the kid prisoner. We'll wait for most of them to take him wherever they are taking him then we'll strike. Getting shot if you can avoid it is stupid." Genma said gravely.
"So what? We're just going to sit up here?" Ranma asked in a resigned tone.
"We wait for things to settle down then-" Genma began only to be cut off as the crowd below began to scream in fright and many making it up began to run for their houses. Both martial artists turned away from each other and took a closer look at those who hadn't run off. Seeing that they were pointing upwards they turned their attention in that direction. In the sky they saw two large winged shapes slowly making their way towards the ground.
"Maybe they're the kids parents?" Ranma questioned as the two figures began to rapidly dive towards the ground.
"Probably. Well that's good! Looks like we won't need to get involved at all!" Genma said with a laugh before his expression turned more serious and his attention swung back to the soldiers on the ground. Though the soldiers had been initially shocked and one of the younger ones had run off that shock had rapidly worn off as they aimed their weapons into the air and began to fire their semi-automatic weapons into the air.
Ranma covered her ears for a second the sound louder then she had expected. When she looked up again she noticed one of the winged shapes in the sky now coming down in an obviously uncontrolled flight. The last she saw of it was some tree branches snapping in the distance as the bird person fell through them. The second Phoenix recognizing the threat tried to climb back into the air directly over the heads of the soldiers shooting at it but it too was hit and came crashing down heavily not far away from their leader. He was being led quickly away from the shooting by two farmers who were pulling on his bindings to hopefully make him move faster.
The Phoenix who had crashed to the ground though injured managed to regain his footing and pulled out a sword. With a quick dash the Phoenix was upon the two farmers who were trying to lead the younger one away and with his first quick slash disemboweled one of the humans holding the little Phoenix's bindings.
"Oh man." Ranma said gulping back her disgust. "I hope I never have to do anything like that." Ranma said queasily.
"Sometimes a fighter doesn't have the time to do anything else." Genma said sadly, carefully watching his sons reaction to the violence with a mixture of resignation and sadness. "Still looks like it has things in hand and we can get out of here." Genma said happy to not have to engage gun toting villagers.
Ranma nodded her head as she saw the surviving human run off in a panic at the sudden death of their fellow. The Phoenix simply watched the other human run before turning his attention to the smaller one of it's kind. Carefully but rapidly cutting the little Phoenix's bindings he yelled something at him in Chinese which Ranma simply didn't understand. This only resulted in the shake of a head from the younger Phoenix while it's eyes continued to stare at the dead body of the farmer who had just stopped moving. Another quick exchange followed and the older Phoenix picked up the younger and tried to take to the air.
Once they had just cleared the rooftops another set of gunshots rang out the two Phoenix came tumbling out of the sky and slammed into the ground hard, less than a hundred feet away from Ranma and Genma's vantage point. And this time the older Phoenix gave no sign of standing back up. Again the air was filled with the loud crying wail that Genma and Ranma had heard earlier that had caused them to find their current position. Turning her head away from the two bird people Ranma saw most of the large crowd that had before been near the center of town were now advancing on the downed Phoenix.
"We can't just sit here!" Ranma said angrily staring at her father and daring him to disagree. "Not after two of whatever they are died for that kid." Ranma said passionately.
Genma simply sighed and briefly looked at the villagers before turning back to his son turned temporary daughter. "I'll distract them. Go pick up the brat and make a run for it. I'll meet you back at where we camped yesterday. Got it?" Genma said in a rare serious tone for the older man.
"I…" Ranma said suddenly lost. "But I'm faster!" She proclaimed seriously. "I can knock them out before they even-."
"And that's why you're the one picking up the kid and running away. Besides some farmers and their guns couldn't even lay a finger on me." Genma said boastfully. "Now follow the plan! Just wait till I distract them." Genma said. And with that Genma walked to the roofs edge and began to jump from roof to roof towards the farmers that were coming down the dirt roadway.
Out of her element and a bit frightened by the rapid pace of events, not that she would ever admit to that, she waited for her father to jump into action. When she heard another commotion from the much smaller group of farmers and soldiers she took that as her queue and rapidly ran to the constantly howling youngster. Blinking at all the blood and the body surrounding the little winged kid she tried not to think about what she was doing and none to gently ripped the boy out of the grip of the dead Phoenix. She began to try and run towards the forest and back in the direction they had come from but the second she touched the child he began to wail all the harder and began to struggle.
"Stop it! I'm trying to get you out of here!" Ranma yelled at the child, though he continued to struggle. "Come on damn it!"
This caused the kid to open his eyes thankfully and stare at her for a second. "Riben?" The little winged kid asked her.
"I'm Japanese yes. Err...Shi." Ranma said with a nod thankful that she at least recognized that phrase. The child seemed to grow more contemplative at that answer and with that Ranma finally managed to pick him up and began to run as her Father had directed. The whole exchange and extricating the kid from the dead body of his kin had taken precious moments however and an old man this one with an older weapon came from a house near where they were standing.
"Dangxin!" The little Phoenix yelled at Ranma. Ranma not familiar with the language but catching the meaning in the tone suddenly rolled, but the brief pause had been enough time for the elderly man to aim his weapon and get a shot off. The shot just managed to hit her in the side and she tumbled into the ground.
Blinking in horror the little winged child began to wail again pulling at her clothes asking her repeatedly in Chinese to get up. The elderly man making his way over to her unmoving body. Suddenly she jumped up and knocked the weapon away from him before hitting him with a closed fist in the side of the head knocking him out. Putting her hand on her side and feeling the blood there she winced. The little winged kid only looked at the blood on her hands with wide eyes while she picked him up with her free hand and began to run as fast as she could with the growing pain in her side messing up her stride ever so slightly.
Ranma staggered blood leaching out of her body with each pulse of her heart. Still she pushed herself forward keeping pressure over the wound in her side, the other occupied by the young odd winged boy she had rescued from murderous Chinese villagers. Blinking back tears not at the thought of what might have happened to her father she simply put one foot in front of another as she had been doing for at least the last thirty kilometers but at a increasingly slower pace. Feeling her body beginning to give out she slowly wobbled into the forest going as comfortable a distance as she could into the undergrowth. Coming to a rest she almost collapsed behind a large boulder nearby and took cover behind it hopefully out of sight from anyone walking by on the road just barely still in view thanks to the leafy trees obscuring their path.
While the damn Chinese peasants had at least a few guns she really hoped they didn't have a car or else they likely would have caught up with her now. Carefully placing the winged child down next to her she took off her shirt and inspected the wound in her side.
"Hao tong?" The little kid in her arms asked before gritting his teeth and asking again in another language when he saw his rescuer wasn't paying attention, "Does it hurt?" the winged kid next to her asked wide eyed.
"You speak Japanese?" Ranma asked shocked out of the silence that her and the kid had been running in for the last half an hour or so.
"Of course!" The child to her side said arrogantly, before his eyes fell back to the wound in Ranma's side. "Are you going to be alright?" He said with wide eyes as some blood spurted out while Ranma was manipulating the wound.
"Yeah. I'm going to be just fine." Ranma said with a wince before managing to summon a smile to attempt to calm the kid. "Just need ta rest a second ok?" Ranma said.
The little phoenix before her nodded. But then looked more contemplative. "But you were crying." The golden and red haired kid said concerned. Fear, loss, and sadness in his tone. Looking down at her injury his eyes widened. "That has to hurt. Can I help?" the Phoenix began reaching out to inspect Ranma's injury only for Ranma to lightly catch his hand.
"Sure." Ranma said. "Just let me take care of this ok?" Which only resulted in the Phoenix nodding. "Ok. Can you rip off a little bit of this?" Ranma said pulling off her gi to better inspect the wound.
"Ok." The Phoenix said with a nod.
Ranma smiled for the kids benefit before frowning when she noticed he was trying to figure out how to make her a small makeshift bandage. A little kid having to deal with this kind of stuff was pretty awful, especially having people dead all around him like that. Hell she had never seen that kind of thing till today either and she was sixteen. He looked to be barely a day over five or six. As to her injury from what little she knew of gun shots she knew that the bullet would have to come out, but damn if she was going to do that herself. Still it was simply bleeding, but the flow was slowing down. And while she was feeling a bit light-headed she thought if she saw a doctor soon she'd be alright after a couple days rest. And while she probably should be panicking a bit more about it wouldn't help her situation to do so now alone in the forest with a little kid who she was trying to keep safe. So she'd just treat it like a sword wound for now. And hope for the best. Still it hurt far worse and was much more debilitating than she'd have expected. Especially when she was moving around.
"What are those? The old man said I'd learn about them when I was older." The little boy said drawing Ranma's attention back to the child who had now changed focus and was staring innocently at her recently acquired bust which caused her to blush for a second.
"Didn't your parents teach you that it isn't polite to stare?" Ranma exclaimed animatedly before wincing as moving around so rapidly pulled at her wound.
"No one tells me no. Usually." The little kid said with a pompous air causing Ranma to roll her eyes and again wonder why she and her old man had risked their lives for such a little brat. "Did yours?"
"Actually no." Ranma said rubbing the back of her head with her left hand again wincing as she pulled at the wound in her side. "Learned that the hard way. Did you finish with the bandage?" Ranma said to the Phoenix's nod.
"Is this ok?" The phoenix said passing over a slightly ragged but still well cut bandage.
"Yeah this'll work. Thanks kid." Ranma said before carefully pressing it to her side.
"How?" The child asked seemingly interested now.
"How what?" Ranma said wincing in pain at putting pressure on her injury.
"How did you learn not to look at those things on your chest?"
"Oh that. Saw a girl naked at a clinic I had to go to after a training accident." Ranma said with a slight smile on her face. "First the chick lectured me. Didn't pay any attention at all to that." Ranma continued noticing the little bird-like kid seemed riveted. "Then I touched them because I wondered what they felt like." Ranma continued this time with a goofy smile on her face.
"What do they feel like?" The Phoenix said again staring.
"I told you to stop that!" Ranma said scowling at the kid causing him to back away. "Anyway then she slapped me." Ranma said before laughing audibly before wincing in pain at the pain that caused and gripping gingerly at her wound. "Guess I understand why she did that now." Ranma said mumbling to herself through a wince.
"Oh." the small Phoenix said looking at him suspiciously now before his eyes widened and he jumped up wings flexing like he was going to take off into the air. "You wouldn't do that to me would you!?" He exclaimed his head just peaking out of the rock behind which they were hiding.
"Get down! Do you want anyone walking by to see you!" Ranma said staring at him standing up to try and pull him down by grabbing onto one of his boots before she winced and fell back into the ground from the pain of her injury. Which caused the phoenix to land back on the ground and go over to her.
"Sorry." He said sheepishly. "I didn't mean to hurt you…" He said looking guilty now.
"It's fine. So what are you anyway? Do those wings really work?" She said wincing and asking the questions mostly to take her mind off the pain in her side.
"Of course they work! You don't recognize me?" The little bird winged child said flexing his wings irritatingly seemingly put out by his statement.
"Should I?" She questioned flatly.
"Of course! I'm a Phoenix. The L-" The phoenix child began only for Ranma to stick her hand over his mouth and pull him down.
"Quiet." Ranma said suddenly serious over the Phoenix childs angry vocalizations. "Someone's coming." Stashing the Phoenix child in the hollow underneath the rock they had been sitting behind she quietly muttered to him, "Stay here. And be quiet no matter what happens. I'll take care of this." Which only caused the little phoenix to nod cautiously suddenly frightened outrage forgotten.
Stealthily making her way from behind the rock she attempted to survey her pursuer. This would normally not be a problem for Ranma. As from the time she was a little boy one of her first lessons was how to go unseen from angry people chasing them for one reason or another. Carefully she peeked out from behind the rock hoping maybe it was her father that had caught up to them. But dangerously the sudden movements pulled at her wound and she saw black spots dance across her vision as she fell to the ground with a soft, but audible thump. Looking up she saw not an angry villager with a rifle, but instead an angry but smiling purple haired Amazon with scabbard on her back, her hand resting on the pommel of her sword.
"Shampoo?" Ranma said groaning and trying to stand but the pain her side prevented that for now.
"Ranma." Shampoo said drawing her sword slowly. "Hurt?" Shampoo said looking at the blood on the side of Ranma's gi.
Seeing the drawn sword Ranma rapidly attempted to force herself to regain her footing but the Amazon kicked her directly in the bullet wound propelling her with some force against a nearby tree. Causing it to make a loud groaning sound and splinter slightly around Ranma's body. Ranma simply slowly crumpled to the ground in a dazed sitting position. Ranma's head slumped to the side and she looked up and saw angry birds fluttering away from their damaged home.
"Good. Make easier." Shampoo said drawing Ranma's attention back to the crazed Amazon across from her who gave her a feral smile. "We fight yes?" Shampoo asked waiting for Ranma to stand back up. "Or you too too tired for that? Me just finish you?"
Ranma groaned and picked herself off the ground. Strongly doubting the crazed Amazon would let her ask for a raincheck Ranma dropped down into a quite guarded ready stance and Shampoo drew her sword. With a flash Shampoo moved forward. Ranma lashed out with a quick hit to Shampoo's hand causing her to drop her sword. Hoping to knock her to the ground Ranma then rotated around and made a leg sweep which would hopefully knock her opponent to the ground and end the fight quickly. However, her side was pulled taut in preparation for this maneuver and Ranma collapsed to the ground in pain. Giving the Amazon time enough to retreat and pick her sword back up.
Ranma again managed to drag herself to her feet but this time she could barely stand much less enter any stance. And Shampoo connected with her own sweep knocking Ranma to the ground. Stabbing down with her sword Ranma rolled out of the way at the last second Shampoo's sword scrapped along Ranma's uninjured side cutting through a few layers of skin but not doing any real damage. Still feeling pain from both sides of her chest Ranma dropped to the ground and crumpled into a ball and began to lightly wail.
Shampoo thinking victory was certain walked over to her defeated opponent and stared down at her readying a finishing blow. Though she hesitated a second and that hesitation was enough for Ranma to suddenly stop wailing and spring into the air pushing off with her hands to drive a blow hard into the unprepared Amazons midsection. Shampoo hit the ground hard and came to a rolling stop before coughing up a bit of blood likely from a punctured lung. Expecting a finishing blow any second Shampoo was amazed when it did not come. Instead she opened her eyes and found her adversary not moving on the ground only feet away from her groaning holding her side blood flowing freely from her previous wound. Shampoo laughed bitterly. She had gotten lucky. Struggling to her feet Shampoo retrieved her sword and again warily stood on top of Ranma.
"Goodbye." Shampoo said gravely. "You were good opponent." Shampoo proclaimed before slashing down with her sword and through Ranma's back into her stomach and out the other side into the ground. Blood splashing around the wound to Ranma's gasp and shock. The pain was intense and this time Ranma did well and truly blackout for a second before coming around a second later as Shampoo withdrew her sword causing her body to raise into the air for a second before crashing down into the dirt.
"Leave her alone!" A voice screamed out. Shampoo spun around looking for the person who had shouted but failed to see them. Shampoo knew stealth techniques existed and her great-grandmother had attacked her with ones before so maybe this new threat was using one of those? Before she could think further she felt herself being driven forward her attacker somehow coming in from above her in a forward arc. Her head and back exploding in pain. Turning around quickly sword in hand she lashed out with her sword and felt it connecting with a solid body. It wasn't till moments later that she got a good look at the object of her ire. A small child who had been almost cut in half if not for the tough backbone on which she could feel her sword resting. The childs wings futilely trying to get back into the air despite the body they were attached to being impaled on a solid object.
The combined effect caused Shampoo to blanch and drop her sword in shock which only caused more damage to the young Phoenix as he fell to the ground with the sword. "A child? Why did you do that?" Shampoo said hauntingly in her native Chinese watching the still moving corpse of the small phoenix at her feet gasp for air her sword sticking out of his mangled body. Forgetting all about Ranma, her trophy, and the child dying at her feet she hobbled off in a daze simply wanting to get away from the horrible scene she and her sword had created.
"Damn it." Ranma managed to groan out with a wet bloody cough. The little phoenix next to her only made a pathetic and sad mewling noise. "Sorry." Ranma said fatalistically before she began to close her eyes.
"Too short." The little Phoenix managed to mumble before his body began to glow an angry red before bursting into flames in a fireball encompassing the dying bodies of both Ranma and Saffron.
To be continued…
A/N: The genesis of this story came from some idle comments made while I was looking over a recent chapter of Lawra's Cliched Fantasy. In the end there was a Omake which became a story idea, which kind of became this story. Cliched Fantasy won't however be related to this story at all. Just wanted to give credit where credit is due.
Thanks very much for reading the first Chapter of what will likely be a Five chapter story. I'm hoping to put out a Chapter of around this size every other week or so. If you enjoyed this chapter, hated it, or thought it was meh please leave a review would love to hear your opinions! Thanks VERY much for reading and hope to see you again soon!