The Second Installment
Nabiki was not really a morning person. In truth, she wasn't a person at all until late morning, or six cups of strong coffee. Whichever came first. So it was entirely unsurprising that the sensations didn't immediately wake her. It wasn't until her body went through a spasm that the youthful mercenary woke up. In it's wake she felt tired. An arm was wrapped around her waist. Another was between her legs. Strange hands were fondling her body in ways most pleasurable.
She could feel it building up again. Again? Yes, her body felt like this had been happening for a while. The damp sheets also attested to it. The sun wasn't even up, it was entirely too early for things to be happening. Who was playing with her body? Twin mounds could be felt pressing against her back. There was a girl in her bed. Oh right, Ranma. She'd insisted Ranma sleep in her room last night. Insisted on letting Ranma have the bed at that. Why?
It was hard to think. All Nabiki could focus on was the intense feeling surging through her. It felt good, too good. She'd been wanting this for a week. Hopefully it would never end. No, this was wrong. A part of her tried to resist the sensations. It wasn't something she'd agreed to, even though it felt incredible. That small part in time gave up.
By the time the sun had risen Nabiki was more exhausted then she could ever remember. Just moving was a chore. If I don't get up now, not sure if I'll be able to.
Pulling away from the lover's embrace was the hardest thing Nabiki had ever done. There had been an unnatural strength in those limbs. Combined with her bone weary exhaustion, she'd almost been unable to get out of bed. Unsteadily, she pulled on a robe. If that happens every night, I don't know what I'll do.
She was still staggering as Nabiki entered the dining room. With a grateful sigh she accepted a large mug of the bitter black brew she favored. Not that I need to wake up. Huh, I feel a little better already. Maybe another mug or two would be a good.
After polishing off six mugs of coffee she headed up to bath.
"You look better," Nabiki commented upon entering the bathroom.
Ranma blinked at her unexpected company. "Yeah, it's odd. I feel like I was feeding for hours."
"Can't have, I know for a fact you didn't let me sleep. You didn't have time to eat."
"I didn't... did I? It wasn't a dream then. Sorry bout that. I'm glad your all right though."
"Come on," Nabiki said. "I'll help scrub your back."May as well get use to his presence. After last night, I'll have to accept the engagement. I can't believe that happened. Hope no one heard me.
So thinking, Nabiki started to scrub the other girl's back. Soon they were both clean. Nabiki pulled Ranma into the furo, and grinned when the neo-girl encountered hot water. This wont be so bad after all. I like what I see.
Ranma's full body blush, and obvious arousal simply made her grin wider. Too bad there's no time for any fun.Elsewhere
In another part of Nerima a young man awoke. Upon standing, he held out his arms. One of his glorious station need not bother dressing them self after all. That was what servants were for. And a house as noble as the Kunos had many servants. He allowed the peasants to cloth him in his customary noble attire. He knew not why they were invisible. Clearly only the most skilled were employed by his household.
He knelt before the painting of his beloved. Truly the artist was a master. He could see not the brush strokes. It was so very life-like. Almost he could see her graceful movements. He knew not what master the broker Nabiki had contracted. All he had was a single name. This man, this Kodak could not be found. If his men could only find the master artist then he, the Blue Thunder, Kuno Takawaki would gladly pay triple her offer to secure the man's services. But master Kodak's place of residence continued to elude.
"No matter the cost, I, the blue thunder of Furiken shall find thee, noble Kodak. The wretched peasant called Nabiki shall relinquish her hold on thee. Then with thy masterful brush strokes shall I prove to the fierce Akane her love doth be returned in full." Many things could be said about the youth. That he retained sanity was not usually among them.Tendo Dojo
As her alarm went off, Akane groaned. She'd barely gotten any sleep the previous night. And the reason was simple. That freak of nature had been doing perverted things to her sister for most of it. At first the noises from her sister's room hadn't been noticeable. By midnight however Akane had found sleep impossible. Between the loud moans and occasional screams it had been driving her crazy.
Her only consolation was that Nabiki looked worse then she did. Obviously the freak had forced himself upon her sister. It was the only thing that made any sense. That freak had to have done something to her sister. This conclusion was only reinforced when next she saw Nabiki. Somehow her sister was looking two hundred percent better just after drinking coffee. Did no one else see what was going on? Did no one realize the evil staying in the house? Clearly it was up to her to save Nabiki. No one else even was trying.
So distracted was she, that Akane didn't notice the occupied sign on the bathroom door. I'll bath now. Too tired for a run. Her pajamas joined the pile already in the basket. Without paying attention, Akane opened the sliding door to the bathing area. Then she froze. There, in front of her was that abomination! That monster was forcing it's self on her sister! Without thinking she pulled the sink out of the wall. Striding forward, Akane brought it down with all her might on Ranma's head.
"GET AWAY FROM MY SISTER, MONSTER!"
She grabbed Nabiki's arm and started to drag her sister away from that creature. It could drown for all she cared. In fact, she hoped that would happen. Then the family would be safe. This act of defiant protection felt good. It felt like she did something important. Then Nabiki's hand struck Akane in the cheek. The impact was surprisingly hard. Hard enough to send Akane into the wall.
"If you ever attack my fiance again you will regret it."
Akane blinked, dazed from being struck. "But last night that freak
forced it's self on,"
"No," Nabiki interjected. "I invited Ranma into my room. It was my choice."
"The freak barged in and took adva,"
"No," Nabiki interrupted. "I walked in on Ranma. I offered to help my
fiance wash up."
"That freak's a monster," Akane said with full conviction.
"Oh really? Ranma's done nothing so far that I haven't wanted to do as well. You however have twice attacked him without reason. Destroying first the table, and now the bathroom sink. You do know you're paying for both right?" Despite her casual smirk, Nabiki was clearly angry.XxXxX
Ranma had been apprehensive about Nabiki entering the furo with her. Having someone else wash her back however had felt really good. So good in fact that the neo-girl hadn't noticed Nabiki removing her bracers. With the magic bracers removed, Ranma's wings immediately sprang into existence. Having someone wash her wings had been simply amazing. That hadn't happened in a while. Not since that first night with Shampoo. Gotta check on her later.
As they entered the furo it's self, Ranma felt embarrassed. The girl however didn't seem to mind. The embarrassment grew when Nabiki reached around his waste to grab at his manhood. It felt funny. He didn't know what to think of the sensation. It was good to be a guy again though. So that alone made it tolerable.
"GET AWAY FROM MY SISTER, MONSTER!"
Something heavy struck Ranma in the head. Hard. He felt dizzy. Knowing that being dizy and in water was Bad, he staggered to his feet, then fell over the side of the furo. Eyes slid closed, and the outside world ceased to exist.Ranma came to in a lavish bedroom. The four poster bed had silk curtains, and red silk sheets. It was shaped like a heart. Laying on the bed was a woman who he couldn't help but recognize. She was older, but otherwise he could see that figure every time he looked in a mirror while in his cursed form. The woman patted the bed and motioned him to join her."What gives?" Ranma asked her. "We agreed that if I won our spar you'd let me control my urges. She could have died last night.""I did, didn't I?" The woman said with a smile. "But you didn't win on your own. Did you? You needed help last time, and that wasn't part of our deal. Remember the rest of it?"Ranma frowned at this. He didn't like where it was going. "Yes, yes I do. You said that if I lost I would be your servant, unable to challenge you again for six months."The woman's smile became almost predatory. This caused Ranma to swallow, hard. The direction her words had gone did indeed sit ill with him. It had been a better deal then what she'd originally wanted. She'd wanted a fight to the death for who had control. Instead he'd managed to talk her into contests of skill every six months for who had control. Now however it sounded like she was going to use the fact someone else interfered to entrap him."I didn't ask anyone to help. So if you're gonna hold it against me, then disregard the previous spar. Fight me now to determine who has control."The demonic woman didn't move from the bed. In the pit of his stomach Ranma knew what her answer was going to be. He dreaded it in fact. Whoever or whatever had helped him a week ago hadn't done him any favors. He knew that now. At first he'd thought this woman would abide by his win. But that had been a foolish idea. She was a demon, and demons loved to trick mortals."No," she said with a tone of finality. "Come here, now. You belong to me until you can defeat me in a challenge fairly."It wasn't right, but it was fair. Ranma supposed the accusation of him cheating was valid. Which if correct, meant he'd forfeited the challenge. At her command he disrobed, joining her in the bed. This was going to be a long six months. Hopefully she would live up to her end of the bargain when it was time."Be thankful I gave you a week," She taunted. And then the demon woman claimed her prize.
Unnoticed by the two girls, Ranma's eyes opened. Without drawing their attention, he poured some cold water on his head. With this act a familiar change overtook his body. Now a demoness once more, she put on her mystic armbands while retaining her wings. The wings unfurled, casting a shadow over both Nabiki and Akane.
"That rather hurt. Now then, I suppose it's time for a little snack. And you two will do nicely. Follow me."
Her eyes had a soft golden glow as Ranma spoke. Not expecting it, both Akane and Nabiki looked into her eyes. Moments later they fell in behind Ranma. The three entered the middle Tendo sister's room. As the door closed a female laugh could be heard. The sounds coming from the room brought smiles to both Genma and Soun as they passed.
An hour later it was an extremely satisfied Ranma who emerged from the room. Leaning against her was a tired, but smiling Nabiki. They made their way down to the dining room, and Nabiki slumped into a chair. It's like Ranma's a different person from last night,
Nabiki thought to herself. When Kasumi brought out breakfast, the neo-girl declined, citing that she'd already eaten. This caused Nabiki to blush furiously.
"Oh my, where is Akane?" Kasumi asked.
"I believe she was feeling tired," Ranma said with a smirk. "I guess breaking the sink wore her out."Elsewhere
Takawaki strode confidently towards the palace. These hours meeting with his advisers were tiresome. He did not see why they required his presence so often. Did they not see he, the Blue Thunder had more important duties? Before the meetings however he had to supervise the auxiliaries. They did not understand his proclamation, it seemed. So he would once more supervise their futile attempts to win the fierce Akane. Such a flower could be plucked not by common soldiers, but by a noble prince such as he. Arriving at the palace, he took his customary station to await his one true love.Tendo Dojo
"Why are you still a girl?" Genma demanded. "Go change, and get ready for school."
Ranma cocked her head to the side in thought. "Sure, why not go to this 'school'. I could use some more information about this century. Where is it located?"
Thinking quickly, Nabiki spoke up. "I'll show you the way." She tastes familiar. I'll have to thank her for butting into the challenge last week. Nabiki blinked as the thought entered her mind. It was just like the previous night. "You don't have a school uniform yet so... Never mind."
The nightgown that Ranma had been wearing had disappeared. In it's place was a tight fitting copy of Nabiki's school uniform. When she thought about it, Nabiki wasn't sure when Ranma had put on the night gown either. It wasn't one of hers, and they had left the night cloths in the bathroom. Yet another mystery. One of many surrounding Ranma it seemed.
The two started to walk to the school. After about six blocks Nabiki looked up. "Why are you walking on the fence?"
"The panda taught Ranma to do so for balance training. It's actually a good idea. Speaking of which..." Ranma turned around and threw a ball of fire down the street. It impacted with a panda racing down the fence holding a tea kettle. The still burning panda held up a sign which read/"Ouch"/
"What," Nabiki asked, "Do you mean he taught Ranma? Aren't you Ranma?"
"No I am, or was anyway, Amnara Nightbane. Me and Ranma have an... agreement. And thanks to you, my pet, he serves me for the next six months. At least. Don't worry, I might let him play now and then."
Nabiki choked upon hearing the proclamation."P-pet?"
"Yes, pet. You so willingly gave yourself to me, and I've learned the hard way not to trust humans too much. That little mark I gave you means you belong to me, body and soul. Hmm, I'll have to bond to my other pets too I suppose. We're almost there, so a few ground rules. You may not tell anyone about me. Not friends, not family, and especially not someone trying to buy the information. To everyone else, I am 'Saotome Ranma'. Oh, do try to relax. I'll only have to punish you if you misbehave. Behave, and life can be very very good."
On a nearby rooftop three women and a child stood watching the couple below. One of the women had a dark tan, and platinum blond hair groaned. "Please Skuld, please tell me you didn't pick her to be the new goddess of the paranatural. Please tell me it isn't THE Tendo Nabiki."
The child, for all appearances twelve years old looked sheepish. "Sorry! She wasn't suppose to be a goddess, I swear! All I was trying to do was give her the needed gifts. It's not my fault, Bell interrupted me while editing her file."
The blond demoness scowled, already she was getting a serious headache. "Don't tell me, you let Skuld handle the paperwork on this..."
Belldandy sighed, even her serenity being tested. "Would someone explain who had the bright idea to have Ranma be the vessel? You both know it's impossible to predict what will happen around him. He wasn't suppose to make a deal with her yet. Let alone that deal. What went wrong?"
Mara groaned and started banging her head against a chimney. "Why me?"XxXxX
The noble Takawaki looked on the field of battle in confusion. His love had not shown. But she always came. The merchant Nabiki had shown up, as was her usual wont. A stranger with fiery red hair had also come. But not the fierce Akane. The common soldiers had already filed off to their garrisons. But soft, who was this newcomer to his palace?
"Hold fair lady, what business doth bring thee to Furinkan? Thy beauty doth proclaim thy nobility. I, Kuno Takawaki, the Blue Thunder of Furinkan and captain of the royal guard do greet thee."
Ranma blinked, staring at the kendoist standing before her. Turning to Nabiki, she had to ask. "Who is this delicious looking morsel?"
Nabiki frowned at the phrasing. "This idiot? Just Kuno Takawaki, resident delusional moron. Thinks he's some noble samurai in the feudal era, or something like that."
"Ah, then not worth my time. Insanity isn't worth dealing with. I prefer sane, although unstable can be interesting. True insanity though? Such a bore."
Ranma continued walking, ignoring Kuno and his posturing. With a shrug Nabiki decided to follow. The other girl's complete dismissal continued what Akane's absence had begun. Boken still held aloft in what surely was a dramatic pose, he stood there in stunned silence. The noble lady, nay goddess for surely only a goddess could possess such sublime beauty, had ignored him. He, the great Blue Thunder had been ignored. It made no sense, surely the heavens would weep should such a tragedy take place.
As it began to rain Kuno spoke. "Very well my pig tailed goddess, I shall accept thy challenge. And if mine noble blade doth falter, I shall consent to date thee."
As she opened the school's front door Ranma said with much disdain "Who would ever want to date you?"
Suddenly pain erupted in Ranma's right shoulder. She could feel the collar bone break from the force of impact. With her left hand she grabbed hold of the boken, ripping it out of Kuno's grip. Eyes glowed a dark red Just before punching Kuno in the stomach she spoke.
"You really shouldn't have done that."
With the delusional kendoist laid low, the succubus calling herself Ranma collapsed in pain. Her eyes rolled back into her head. While Saotome Ranma was an incredibly skilled fighter, Amnara was rusty. Her reflexes had not been built up yet in this body. The difference between an astral fight, and physical one was vast.
The mark on Nabiki's chest burned. Turning, she saw the girl who claimed ownership over her laying on the ground, clearly hurt. Hope she suffers,
Nabiki thought. Sis might have been in the wrong, but no one treats me like a pet.
After taking two steps however the mercenary girl fell to her knees. Her face was a grimace of pain. Each step away from Ranma brought more pain.
"All right! I get the picture."
She was still wincing as Nabiki lifted Ranma. She carried the unconscious demoness to the nurse's office. What did she do to me?
A good feeling washed over Nabiki as she set down her 'owner'. A concept that didn't sit well with her. That hurt! Will it happen every time I try abandoning or disobeying her? And if that other feeling keeps happening, I don't know how long I can hold out. That's it, I'm heading to class. I'm AAAAGH! Ok, maybe I'll just stay here till I get permission to leave her side.Ranma's Mindscape
He laid on the heart shaped bed, exhausted. Ranma had lost track of how long he'd been here. In part that was because time had no real meaning. Minutes could feel like hours, or seconds. He felt it had easily been a couple years. But Ranma wasn't really sure about that. His hand went to his neck. The leather band there kept defying all his attempts to remove it.
That woman, Amnara, had told him it was proof that she owned him. At first Ranma hadn't believed her. The clasp had looked simple enough. After she'd placed the band around his neck the youth had tried to undo it. No amount of force had worked then. And now it still resisted everything he tried. The worst part was that once it was around Ranma's neck, he had discovered it impossible to disobey a direct order.
No, not quite impossible. Impractical was a better word. Amnara had told him to strip once the collar was on him. And when he refused pain had flooded his body. Each time he refused the pain increased in intensity. After Genma's teaching pain was a familiar companion. But not like that. It had felt like every nerve was on fire.
Obey her, and a wave of low intensity pleasure washed over him. Disobey, and pain. It was a very simple conditioning. One which Ranma understood all too well. And it was very effective. After that third time he'd been reluctant to try resisting again. Ranma was beginning to wonder if he would still have the will to challenge her in six months time. Assuming Amnara even honored the deal. Assuming it hadn't already been six months.
"At least she ain't mean."
After his mistress had left this time, Ranma had decided to explore this prison. At first he'd thought it was just the bed in an endless void. Instead there was a palace. The dining hall seemed to always have food ready for him. The baths were quite lavish. The most puzzling area however was a hall of statues. Some of the statues were darkened. Beneath one such statue was a plate which read 'husband'. Several statues of children, all darkened.
A statue labeled 'Father' glowed with a menacing red light. Still others had a light pink glow which radiated both warmth and hate. The only statue with a pure white glow was of Nabiki. Ranma knew not what it meant. The statue was nude, and he could see what looked like a tattoo engraved between the statue's breasts. Touching the engraving, he staggered. He felt fear, resigned acceptance, and... love? Ranma studied the engraving, memorizing it's details. This was important. He knew it.
Since she was still leaving him alone, Ranma decided to train. If, when he could challenge Amnara again he wanted to be ready. One of the empty rooms would be ideal for his use. The first kata started out slow. It was a warmup and stretching kata. From there he pushed harder and harder. How long he was lost in the graceful movements Ranma didn't know. Eventually he grew tired again though.
In the bathing chamber the boy soaked for a while. In this place cold water did nothing to him. One of the few benefits of being trapped here. Finally sore muscles had stopped complaining. That was as good a sign as any that he was done bathing. Wish I had some cloths. But nooo, she had to burn my only outfit. Least I can do is fix my hair.
Ranma moved over to a large mirror. The string binding his pigtail was pulled out. Using one of the brushes he worked the knots and tangles out of his long hair. As Ranma worked on this goal he noticed the symbol on his collar. It was identical to the one on Nabiki's glowing statue. "With this I mark you as my pet. Loyal pets have a very pleasant life. Disobedient ones however, well you don't want to disobey me."
"So that's what it means. She'll pay for doing that to Nabs!"
"Who will pay, for what?" A sultry voice said from behind Ranma.
He didn't want to look, but already knew who it would be. Eyes shifted, and the pit of his stomach churned. He'd been right. Amnara was back. And she did not look happy. The scowl on her face was almost painful to see. Ranma's anger flared, and almost he denounced her. Remembered pain stopped him. Very effective conditioning.
"Whoever angered you, m-mistress."
He almost choked on that last word. But Amnara had ordered that he refer to her as 'mistress'. In the seeming eternity he'd been trapped here, the conditioning of his collar had already become strong. In his own thoughts he had begun referring to her not by name, but as his mistress. Not all the time, but it had begun. What does she want this time?
"Teach me your art. All of it." Amnara said, almost as if she could read minds.
"All of it, m-mistress?" Ranma asked, again choking on the title.
"I didn't stutter, all of it. Every move, every technique. You will teach me. I'll not be helpless again."
Ranma started to worry at this statement. He was going to be forced to disobey, and knew it was going to hurt a lot. "I, er, can't teach everything. Even if I could, I wont train anyone in the neko-ken."
Amnara scowled. That was a term she'd not heard in ages. It had been whispered of before by her father. Something so horrible, even her own people had been disgusted. This boy had been subjected to that horror, and survived. It was most impressive. How it was he survived with his soul intact was a complete mystery. She wouldn't punish him for refusing. This time at least.
"That is fine." No, it wasn't fine. Not by a long shot. "Now, tell me who subjected you to that ritual? Who was trying to raise a demon using you as sacrifice. Even Father disapproved of it's only recorded use."
There was no pain. He'd said no, and there was no pain. This minor miracle almost overshadowed everything else. Almost, however a few incongruities in her story managed to come to his attention. It didn't sound like she was referring to that idiotic panda as 'father'. Things were not adding up here. He'd assumed Amnara was just the 'sexual predator' instincts given form by his meditation that night. But what if he was wrong about that? What if this wasn't a curse, but a possession? He would fight that with all his might.
"No," He said with more conviction then Ranma felt.
"No?" Amnara asked, an eyebrow raising.
"I refuse to teach ya anything. Torture me if you want, but I'll not help a monster ta become stronger. Ya ain't part o me. If ya were, ya'd already know everything I do." If this is all in my mind, I have control over my body.
He thought to himself. And that means...
With a look of intense concentration, Ranma was suddenly clothed in his usual red Chinese shirt and black kung-fu pants. Intense pain wracked his body. Amnara had flat out ordered him to remain unclothed as long as he served her.
Since the dawn of man the idea has existed. The concept of some force guiding each and every person's actions. Call it fate, destiny, karma, anything you like. The simple fact was that it wasn't exactly a shapeless force. Some cultures came close to the truth. The Greeks called them The Fates, spinners of the tapestry of life. In Iceland they had been called the Norns, and were viewed as evil witches. Cultures who had a glimmer of the truth said they were thee old ladies. And in a sense, they were old beyond mortal ken.
The three were in truth goddesses. Past, present, and future were their domains. Goddess of fate, weavers of destiny. It was their job to make sure important events happened the correct way. They couldn't dictate everything. No, that would have made everything easier. In some ways however, they wielded more power then Kami-Sama. Or at least, they did once. They would again too, but not for a few more years.
The problem was Skuld, goddess of the future and amateur inventor. Immortality, as both Kami-Sama and Hild had discovered, was a curse for most. Without occasionally allowing themselves to be reborn, the gods and demons tended to lose their sanity. It was for this reason that Skuld was currently twelve years old. This current rebirth had left her unable to foresee tampering with the three sister's long range plans. Tampering which only now was coming to light as they read files so heavily encrypted only they had access.
"Urd, were you drunk on that day? I thought we agreed the neko-ken was out of the question. I remember it being your job to ensure that fool never got the manual."
The goddess Urd thought about the question. Usually she would have been upset. This time however she was worried. The three sisters had access to records from previous times through Creation. It had shocked Skuld to learn of two beings who survived each cycle. The first was a being known as Nox. Nether goddess nor demon, the few things Skuld knew about this Nox scared her.
The second was a human, of all things. A human fated to die and be reborn again and again without change. Fated to keep watch over one of Skuld's greatest mistakes for all eternity. Currently the file on one Kino Makoto was in a window of Skuld's Yggdrasil interface. And it was an extremely long file. Far longer then any other file in the records. One of the latest updates however was alarming.
"Sisters, you do realize that the Kino woman is Ranma's mother this time around, right?"
Urd visibly blanched. When last she'd encountered the time addled guardian of the gates it had been the eighth century, England. It had been rather frightening. While Urd clearly was more powerful, the ageless guardian of time had proved that her skill was a huge equalizer. Having an unbroken eternity to master both her powers, and martial skills had made Kino extremely dangerous.
For centuries afterwords Urd had nightmares of the fight. It was the whole reason she'd decided to be reborn forty years ago. And now that lunatic was somehow Ranma's mother? "How's that possible? She should have been stuck at the gates about that time."
Belldandy shook her head sadly. "She was. Tea anyone?"
"Yes, sister. I'd love some." Skuld said. "Says here she found Ranma right after the cat pit while on vacation. Is she even allowed vacations? Back on topic, he was part of the neko-ken ritual. How is Ranma still alive, and why didn't the demon come? It's not like this is the same as previous versions. This one doesn't create a berserker. It actually summons the demon."
Belldandy sipped her tea as she reviewed another file. "Oh dear, this wasn't suppose to happen."
"What else is new?" Urd asked, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "the 'guild' wasn't suppose to go rogue. Then Nightbane's little rebellion was suppose to work, not get ruthlessly crushed. She wasn't suppose to be killed by amazons either, let alone curse the tribe. Making sure she got reincarnated was hard enough. The Nabiki girl was only suppose to be given psionics. When during any of this has anything gone according to plan? But tell me, what went wrong this time?"
Belldandy gave one of her rare frowns before answering. "We copied a soul. I think. Oh my, Ranma got bonded to Nightbane."
Skuld blinked. "But, that's impossible. Ranma is Nightbane. Isn't he? Her soul was removed from that pool before reincarnating it."
"Not according to this update. He challenged her for dominance last week, and forfeited." Belldandy shook her head in wonder. "We should have Mara intervene before things get out of control. Again."
Skuld looked at her sisters, wide eyed. "I still wanna know how it was decided he should end up as her reincarnation to begin with. Anyone else would have worked fine, but no. It had to be mister difficult to track nexus of raw chaos himself. The man's been known to kill demi-gods and demons with his bare hands in previous cycles. Multiple times. And that's as a human. I get headaches reading the files for cycles where he ascended to godhood or became a demon. I've reincarnated eight times since then, and I still have nightmares about the time Hild made that boy her heir after he fought us. (1)"XxXxX
The school nurse's office had few beds to begin with. With two students already injured and unconscious Miss Hibiki(2) was concerned. The Tendo girl had just collapsed, twitching in pain after being sent to class as well. That was three beds now occupied. And it didn't look like any of them were going anywhere.
"Get lost," A woman said from behind Hibiki.
"I think not. If I do, I may very well lose this job.(3)" The nurse said in complete seriousness. As the woman turned around, her expression darkened. "I'll have to ask you to leave. Demons aren't allowed to pester my patients.(4)"
Mara blinked in surprise. She'd not expected a human to know what she is. This woman's answer to being told 'get lost' was equally a surprise. Eyes narrowed as Mara examined this nurse. Then they flew wide open. "Hibiki Mina? What are you doing here, I thought you were staying at the Infernal? Wait, don't care. I have a job to do. I'll catch up with you later."
To Mara's demonic sight the mark of bonding was clearly visible through Nabiki's blouse. This was a power only succubi had. The ability to mark someone's immortal soul as the succubus's property. The bond she knew made it nearly impossible for the one marked to go against their owner. It would never work on one tied into the System. But that was the problem. This girl wasn't even suppose to be a goddess. The system had not been connected to her yet. Safeguards that should have existed, didn't. If Mara hadn't been shown the heavily redacted file, she'd have never known the truth about Tendo Nabiki: goddess of paranatural third class, second category, limited license.XxXxX
Hild sat in her office reading the latest reports. The current situation on Midgard was a unmitigated disaster. And yet, she could see a silver lining. An unprotected goddess bound in servitude to a demon. If I play this right, both could be mine. Let's see the file for this Saotome. Restricted access? What's so special about... Oh shit! That's a Destiny protocol seal! Even I'm not allowed full access to files beyond this cycle. Access... granted? Dear kami, this kid does
that routinely? Walking chaos nexus? Hmm, see file 'godslayer initiative'...
An hour later Hild's secretary found her staring blankly at her computer, all mental faculties shut down.Ranma's Mindscape
Amnara Nightbane was not happy. And because she wsn't happy, she made damn sure Ranma wasn't. Through the link she'd forced upon him the demoness flooded her formerly willing pet with raw pain. Enough pain to break the will of a lesser mortal. She felt confidant it would work. While Amnara respected Ranma, she couldn't afford him fighting against her.
Her surprise thus was immense when Ranma managed to stand. Sure, standing was clearly the extent of what this boy could do. His body was trembling, his balance unsteady at best. Amnara could tell it took everything he had just to do that much. The fact remained however that Saotome Ranma was standing when he should be twitching on the ground in pain. He was standing in defiance, when his will should have shattered.Could I have misjudged him? Did he win because of outside help, or was the help unneeded? I have to put a stop to this, now.
Her nails lengthened, becoming like razor blades. Since the normal punishment wasn't enough, something more was required. Newly formed talons flashed through the air towards Ranma's chest. How did he catch my wrist?
"I have... been... thrown from... cliffs. Packs... of... wolves... have... mauled... me. Frenzied... sharks... scare... me... not. The... pit... couldn't... break... me."
She watched as Ranma's features shifted. His ears moved up towards the top of his head. They changed shape, becoming triangular and covered with black fur. Ranma's face became slightly feline in cast, whiskers growing from his cheeks. His nose flattened and became cat-like. pupils became ovals From Ranma's ass emerged a black tail.XxXxX
It hurt. It hurt more then anything he'd ever experienced in his life. Not just physical pain, that he could deal with. No, this time it hurt deeper then that. A pain which could scar a person's very being. It could break a man, no matter how strong that man was. He refused to break. He refused to become nothing more then a toy to this creature. If this was a battle of wills, Ranma knew one thing. When it comes to all out battle he never lost. Not when it mattered most.
With supreme effort he forced himself first onto one knee, then upright. It was getting worse. His mind was threatening to crack from the experience. Not just his mind either, the very soul of Saotome Ranma was in pain. It was that self same pain that Ranma found his deliverance in. He'd felt soul rending pain once before. It had hurt so badly his mind had locked the experience away as best it could. Now in his moment of greatest need that barrier shattered.It hurts. The scary cats keep scratching and biting him. A new one appears, larger then the rest. It growls menacingly at him. The others are hungry and scared. He could almost forgive them. This one however doesn't go for the fish. It's claws rake across his stomach, leaving no visible injury. He feels something else tear open however. Another swipe, and he screams. This cat, this demon is going to kill him.Then he's not alone any longer. There are dozens with him, fighting for him. Caring for him. Joining him. The demon has torn him in ways that wont heal. They take the place of what was lost. Alone, he was weak. Together they are mighty.
With speed which surprised Ranma he caught her wrist before being struck. It was hard to speak through the mind numbing pain. "I have... been... thrown from... cliffs. Packs... of... wolves... have... mauled... me. Frenzied... sharks... scare... me... not. The... pit... couldn't... break... me." His voice strengthened. "Alone, you may defeat me. But I am not alone. We fought off the neko akuma. We will not break."XxXxX
This boy, this human could barely stand. Yet as impossible as it sounded, he'd stopped her attack. The change in appearance too was a distressing. She had vastly underestimated him. Still, his strength must be faltering. Yes, there it was. The trembling was back. She could feel his grip loosen as the hand twitched. She could see him wince as the punishment increased.
Amnara pulled free her hand. At the same time her other hand came slashing in. The boy managed to block her attack, but not the followup. Talons tore into his chest, shredding the shirt. Ranma hissed at her, ears laying down flat and tail twitching. The drawing of blood seemed to finally do the trick. He fell to the ground, body twitching uncontrollably. She allowed the punishment to continue for three minutes. Only then did she let up.
"Kiss me, now."
He'd felt the stick. From his slow movements the after affects were still lingering. Amnara could see the hate in his eyes. Didn't matter so long as he obeyed. And he did follow this order. Time for the carrot. As a reward, she used her link to flood him with pleasure the likes he'd probably never experienced. The swishing tail and purring were testament to how effective of a carrot it was.
The kiss, now that was the important thing. She could only do this with one bonded to her. A taste of the soul. She had to know more of this boy Amnara found herself a part of. The first real surprise of the kiss was that Amnara could feel herself feeding. An impossibility if the boy was an aspect of her. He tasted feline and human in equal measure. A strong confidence, almost arrogance. Skill and power. She tasted honor. The delectable texture of selfless nobility as well. He tasted of... herself?Have I made a mistake? No, I mustn't doubt. They will come for me eventually. I need to live, and I need his skills. Already I was betrayed by friends. Humans can't be trusted. So he'll teach me, or he'll suffer again. But is what I do right?
"No, it isn't."
It came from behind Amnara. She dropped Ranma and spun. "Ah, my other pet. I see you want more practice with me."
On the floor Ranma moaned loudly. It was doubtful he would try acting out of line again. This other human however. Nabiki's presence here was a bit surprising. She'd not displayed such a talent after the challenge. Perhaps she'd been practicing in secret. I'll have to put a stop to that,
Amnara thought. I need to know any tricks she might try pulling on me.
"Not really, I'm here for Ranma. Why would I be here for a bitch like
you?" PAIN! "Sorry! I'm sorry!"XxXxX
A blue light had engulfed Nabiki as she laid on the bed. In it's wake she found sudden knowledge. Knowledge of how to repeat the events of her dream a week ago. After centering herself, Nabiki tried to push her consciousness out. Slowly she rose from her body. Looking down, the teenage information broker noted her nudity. She didn't see that damnable mark on her astral chest though. Instead she now felt something around her neck. When she tried, the band of leather wouldn't come off.
No matter, she had a fiance to try saving. She dove into the mind of her fiance. What she expected to see was an empty field. Instead there was a heart shaped bed in a large room. Gravity it seemed also worked here, unlike after leaving her body. Everything felt real, even though she knew it wasn't. If I get hurt here, what happens to my body?
Nabiki spotted a door, and cautiously slipped through it. Up ahead she heard voices. Then a brief cry of pain. She crept forward to find out what was happening. She watched as Ranma tried, and failed to stand up to the demon woman. The collar on Ranma's neck gave her a bad feeling. And then Ranma obediently kissed the creature. "But is what I do right?"
She told off the bitch, then doubled over in abject pain. "Sorry! I'm sorry!"How do you fight someone who can cripple you at the first sign of resistance?
It was a sobering thought. It looked like they were right and truly screwed. "Why, why are you doing this to us?"Author Note
*1. Reference to Hell is a Martial Artist, among other fan fictions
involving Ranma and O!MG
*2. The Hibiki direction sense in some circles is near legendary. Passed from generation to generation, sometimes even those married into or adopted by the clan develop it. Miss Hibiki became a widower after her husband got lost looking for their bedroom. The next time she heard news, he'd been spotted floating just outside the international space station. To date no one has figured out how exactly he got there, or how his body survived explosive decompression unharmed. An autopsy had shown the man had died of asphyxiation.
*3. In order to retain her job as school nurse, the surviving Hibiki matron has taken to sleeping in her office and ordering takeout. Naturally, she hasn't seen her son in eight years. Since she herself got hopelessly lost walking to the bathroom, her son doesn't have the slightest clue where she is.
*4. Ryoga isn't the only Hibiki to have seen hell during his wanderings. Likely he wont be the last either.