The Imperial Servant.

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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby LunaInverse » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:51 pm

I was wondering is dabbler from grrl power?
edit: if you mentioned it i didnt see you mention it.
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby Dumbledork » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:04 am

Yes and yes. It was mentioned either here or at ff.net, and I looked it up afterwards since I'd never heard of that webcomic before.
And that's the bottom line 'cause Dumbledork said so.

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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby gsteemso » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:57 am

PCHeintz72 wrote:Oh... as a FYI, the spoiler tag does not work depending upon which forum theme you are using... so I get nothing when I click them unless I go to the trouble to switch themes, click it, read it, then switch themes back.


Wow! That particular defect has vexed me (read: thoroughly pissed me off) for years! Possibly the most obnoxious thing about it was how nothing I did ever made the least damn bit of difference, to the point where I was halfway convinced that the whole concept of a “spoiler tag” being offered to members was some kind of sadistic, trolling joke snuck in by the site admins… “Hee, they can write a spoiler in their post, but only they will ever be able to see it. Hah, they’ll never figure that one out! The flamings should be EPIC!”

Thank you most deeply for telling us how to work around the stupid thing!
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby PCHeintz72 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:24 am

Huh... the workaround for that has been known for years... I only mentioned it here because the guy was new to the forum and I figured that 'feature' would not be known.
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby Spica75 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:54 pm

PCHeintz72 wrote:Huh... the workaround for that has been known for years... I only mentioned it here because the guy was new to the forum and I figured that 'feature' would not be known.


First time i ever hear of it or see it mentioned.

Quite possible that it´s been KNOWN for a long time, that´s not the same as everyone having been told about it or knowing it.
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby PCHeintz72 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:32 pm

I just consider it a feature that should not be used, or if it is it is normally not worth the trouble to read. As I consider the switching of themes, navigating to the tag and reading it, then switching themes back, each time one is encountered, to be way more trouble than worth. So I generally do not bother reading spoiler tags.
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:36 pm

Hmm. I'm using the "prosilver" theme, and the spoiler tag works just fine when I'm reading posts. Never have used it when posting.
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby PCHeintz72 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:47 am

Ellen Kuhfeld wrote:Hmm. I'm using the "prosilver" theme, and the spoiler tag works just fine when I'm reading posts. Never have used it when posting.

That is because the problem is in the SubSilver2 theme... it works fine for those using ProSilver... At least is has for me when switching to it to read a spoiler tag... clicking a spoiler tag in SubSilver2 does nothing in any browser I've ever tried it in.

Over the years, for me that would be IE, FireFox, Opera, LunaScape in Gecko mode, and Avant in IE or Gecko mode
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Imperial Servant Chapter 4: Broken

Postby TattooTheDL » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:07 pm

Alright, this has been a long time coming and I blame a lot of factors....so let's get started!

-----

This one took a little longer getting out there, neh? I blame aliens.

Aliens in this case meaning, ‘Re-editing a story for a wider audience than just me, myself, and I.’ and ‘being perpetually distracted by my unicorn of a mega-crossover idea and writing almost 100 pages of a chapter on the Exalted setting’.

Yeah, long story short; I’m the kind of guy who likes reading the same stories over and over again if I really like them. (For example, This Bites!: Omatsuri Island by Xomniac) and I’m not immune to entertaining myself by reading the stuff I’ve written. I’m very strange like that.

As for Exalted, to those who know it, imagine someone telling The Ebon Dragon that he won the prestigious achievement of, “Bent himself over a coffee table and bit the pillow like a champ!. Yes. Someone's getting turned into a Soulsteel jockstrap if Eddy ever catches them.

And now for a chapter that ends in the biggest plot-tweeest since Bruce Willis was dead the whole time! (oops...spoiler warning?)

---

Imperial Servant: Chapter 4
Broken

OOOOOO

Carrie had leaned back from the display, wide-eye’d and staring in shock at the furiously shouting mob being shown through the connection as she quietly said, “I guess they do know him…”

“You THINK!?” Xuriel snapped, her hands twitching involuntarily as she suppressed the desire to sling out a few choice calming pacification spells, not entirely certain if they would have any effect on the lynch mob that was forming thanks to her friend’s information.

“I can't believe that old freak’s been feeding off of us!” Ukyo shuddered violently. “I thought he was bad, but that’s just sick!”

“No wonder he practically withers away if he goes too long without groping a girl or stealing their panties.” Nabiki stated in a cold tone that formed goosebumps on the arms of everyone nearby.

“Old man more disgusting than Shampoo thought!” The amazon spat. “I no think that possible!”

“Never underestimate the depravity that old lech is capable of.” Cologne grimly intoned. The old woman then turned her eyes back to the two wary demonesses and smirked at the pairs obvious intimidation. “Carrie-san, please continue? You said he bet you that he would resist your charms for a month?”

“Uh...yeah. Yeah he did.” Carrie nodded while looking apologetically among the crowd. “Look, I'm really sorry about showing him what I did, but summoning contracts and the deals from them are serious business.”

“So we’re aware.” Nabiki said dryly.

“How did he resist you, Carrie?” Xuriel asked as she gave her friend a quizzical look, hoping to distract the possibly insane group from further thoughts of of justified wrath. “You told me about the botched glamour and him resisting a charm kiss, along with not reacting to your magic fingers, but you passed out before you could explain the,” the succubus finger-quoted with all four hands. “Weird stuff, as you put it.”

“Umm…” Carrie shuffled nervously and lowered her eyes. “Well, once the month was up and he won the bet, the old man kinda...wanted to celebrate before I got down to teaching him…”

Looks of horror and appall broke out among the crowd while Cologne winced in sympathy and Xuriel sighed. “It's alright Carrie, sometimes the job can suck, and in an entirely different way than usual.”

“No...that's not it.”

One of Xuriel ear-tenna cocked along with her head while others around the succubus matched her confused expression, as Carrie’s face was hidden by her bangs while she quietly murmured, “Xury, the reason why I’ve never told anyone about what happened is because...after he won the bet...I don’t know what he did to resist me, but once it stopped…”

The green-haired succubus raised her eyes, an expression of supreme sorrow on her face with tears streaming down her cheeks as she mournfully wailed, “HE WAS SO FUCKING AWESOME!!!”

The ground quaked as everyone save Xuriel face-faulted, while Cologne twitched violently as she heard the succubus praise the sexual prowess of the biggest lech to ever blot the world with his existence, in a tone of voice usually reserved for describing trainwrecks or plane crashes.

“I swear to Lucy, it was like he was saving up EVERYTHING from that month of abstinence, cause he just wouldn’t stop! I used every trick I could think of and it still took 5 straight days before he finally had enough, and it was the greatest 5 days of my life!” Overcome with emotion, Carrie covered her face with her hands and sobbed brokenly. “I...I’ve never had it as good as I got from that damn raisin and I hate that he was the best lay I ever had!”

“Holy shit, Carrie…” Xuriel stared at her friend as the green-haired demoness cried like a baby. “I didn’t know you were carrying around that kinda weight...wait.” the purple-skinned demoness narrowed her eyes and asked suspiciously, “Was that the reason you suddenly got powerful enough to become Beelz’ Secretary!?”

Carrie raised her head, her eyes red and lip quivering as she nodded sadly.

“Son of a bitch, Carrie!” Xuriel stomped her hoof as she snapped at her shamefaced friend. “How could you keep something like that from me!? You KNOW I’ve been trying to get promoted for the last 20 years, and you’ve been sitting on something like this!?”

“I'm not sitting on anything, Xuriel!” Carrie moaned plaintively, forgetting to use her friend’s protective nom de guerre in her emotional state. “I don't know what Happosai did, and I don't want to go back to him for another boost! The first time was so bad...good...horri...amazing-”

“We get it!” Cologne snapped angrily at green-haired demon, who looked almost schizophrenic as her expression shifted from dismayed to blissful and back again. “Can you tell us anything else about your time with him-NOT about after he won the bet?”

After sniffling for a second, Carrie wiped her eyes and said, “There were some things that were kinda odd. He was supposed to be a big time martial artist, but he was really weak during the month when he was immune to my powers. And, after the month was up, he’d say something about ‘thank the emperors’ every now and then while we were-”

“Okay!” Xuriel waved off her friend with a grimace. “We don’t need to hear about that, Carrie.”

“Sorry…”

“Thank the emperors?…” Cologne repeated aloud before turning and looking at Ranma. After a moment, the old woman lowered her eyes and mused to herself. “No...it can’t be that…”

“Hiba-chan,” Shampoo stepped forward, looking hopefully at her near-ancestor as she asked, “You know something!?”

“Yeah, share it with the rest of the class.” Xuriel added with an expectant look. “So we can figure out how the stud got neutered.”

Ranma’s face reddened at the casual jab against his manliness, while Cologne answered Shampoo loudly enough for the group at large to hear her. “In ancient China, eunuchs were used in service to the government, and while some considered it an honorable calling; there were others who were made into eunuchs as a punishment. However, when the criminals were martial artists of great skill, different methods were researched.”

Her curiosity as an educator piqued, and amplified by her semi-childlike nature, Hinako listened with rapt attention as she asked, “What kind of methods?”

“What does being a martial artists have to do with it?” Xuriel prompted the old woman as well. “Just give him a date with a butcher-knife, same as everyone else.”

Many boys paled and took a step back from the suddenly much scarier succubus, as Cologne replied, “Taking a warriors manhood but not his skills would only anger him, and leave him with the desire to enact brutal revenge. Instead, a variation of the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion pressure point was developed, called ‘The Imperial Servant’.”

“Wait, what!?” Ranma stared at Cologne. “That stupid pressure-point the old freak hit me with last year!?”

“Yes, similar in nature to that, son-in-law.” Cologne affirmed with a nod. “Except the Imperial Servant suppresses the victim's sex drive to the point of non-existence as well as weakening them.” As she looked at the pigtailed boy, a twinge of sympathy colored the matriarch’s words. “And while you...something has happened to you, you are most certainly not weak.”

The back-handed praise only amplified the sting of Cologne’s undisguised pity, and Ranma’s teeth ground together as Xuriel asked, “Why not just cut their jimmies off and then use the weakness-moxi thing on em? Or vice versa?”

At that, the old woman smiled thinly. “The Imperial Servant was developed by the Joketsuzoku as a fitting punishment for males who would force themselves on the ‘fairer-sex’. It was considered a far crueler punishment because it would leave such men a constant reminder of their former ‘power’, in the form of the now-useless tool they used to show it.”

Both succubi paused to consider that, while most of the female students nodding appraisingly and several boys went whey-faced. “Whoever came up with that is an evil, evil genius!” Nabiki declared with a delighted gleam in her eyes, ignoring Kuno as he casually took a long side-step away from her.

“No kidding...wait, Joketsuzoku? The Chinese Amazons?” Carrie blinked and refocused her attention Shampoo, and her earlier dismay faded as she smiled in recognition. “Oh, that’s where I remember you from! You look like the glamour I used on Happosai after the month was up!”

Cologne and Shampoo both did a double-take and let out nearly simultaneous shrieks of, “WHAT!?!” while the duck on Shampoo’s shoulder gave an outraged quack.

“Yeah! Obviously it wasn’t you, but he must have met an ancestor of yours at some point! Here, I’ll show you!” Carrie chirped before suddenly turning into a green-eye’d girl with hair that was a light-blue rather than Shampoo’s lilac coloration. At the sight, Shampoo froze solid and Cologne’s jaw hit the floor as the teenaged form of the current Amazon Matriarch said cheerfully, “I was still gunshy about using my glamour after the weirdness with him shutting it off, but I took the risk on day four and once I looked like this, I finally got the old freak to stay down! He must have had it bad for whoever-”

“Carrie. Shut up.” Xuriel cut off her friend with swipe of her hand across her neck and a fearful look at the green-faced girl, the strangely glowing old woman...and for some reason a duck that was covering it’s beak with it’s wings and looked like it was snickering. At the sight, Carrie swallowed nervously and immediately dropped the illusion.

“Right...well, if you guy’s know Happosai, maybe he used the Imperial Servant on the poor guy?” the green-haired succubus gave the scowling pigtailed boy a sorrowful look as she added, “He’s so cute, it’d be a shame if he couldn’t show a girl a good time.”

Ranma’s temper was spiking, anger rolling through him on a level he’d never experienced before. He’d endured degradations, humiliations, pain and insults for most of his life; and even moreso from the day he’d arrived in Nerima, but this...helpfulness was absolutely maddening. He wanted-he wished someone would blame him for what was going on, return life to the status quo rather than acting like there was something wrong with him. But everyone was talking about him like he wasn’t there, acting like he couldn’t hear them call him unmanly, treating him like he was crippled when he was as normal as ever, and it was driving him crazy.

As a dim battle aura formed around the scowling pig-tailed boy, and the tripping bluenette hanging onto him wondered why it suddenly suddenly felt warmer outside, Nabiki sighed and said, “As much as I would love to have an excuse to get rid of that old freak once and for all, daddy and Saotome-san sealed Happosai in a cave 15 years ago and he didn’t break out until about a month or so after Ranma showed up.”

There are times to destroy hated foes, and there are times where men must unite in the face of a common threat or lose their rights to call themselves a good person, and Kuno knew this was one of those times as he intoned, “Could he not have inflicted his grievous hex on the sorceror as some perceived retribution before then? Or perhaps in secret?”

Akane blinked and looked curiously at her fiancé/crutch as Ranma’s body trembled against hers. While she was without a clue as to the pigtailed boy’s thought processes, which wasn’t THAT dissimilar to her normal frame of mind, the un-charmed Hammer Queen would have understood and even approved of the unyielding rage swelling within Ranma as he internally swore a bluestreak.

(Kuno...Kuno is actually talking...he’s talking like there’s something wrong with me too!?! He’s come at me with bokken, real swords, magic swords, tigers, and even a freaking pheonix, and he’s gonna act like he feels sorry for me now?!?)

“Ranma would have been two-years old, Kuno-chan.” Nabiki said dryly. “What could a baby do to a master martial artist that would have been worth being turned into a eunuch?”

Akane swore she could hear a snapping sound from off in the distance as Ranma’s trembling grew worse. She slowly slid her arm from around his shoulders, and stood on her rather wobbly feet as some very muted instinct told her to back away slowly from him. It said something about the bluenette’s survival instincts that the frenzied screaming of ‘GET TO THE BOMB SHELTER!!’ managed to break through the fog of a magically induced afterglow.

“As for doing it in secret…” Nabiki frowned, recalling what she overheard her charm-addled sister say a moment ago. “If he didn’t react to Akane when she walked in on him in the furo, then he must have had it on before then…”

“It’s a place to start.” Cologne nodded grimly, before turning towards Ranma and asking, “Son-in-law, do you have any-eeEEGGHH!!”

The sound of the Matriarch’s question ending in a choked gurgle, like a toad that had been used as a stressball, brought Ryoga Hibiki back to the land of the living. The Lost Boy shook his head as he sat up, feeling the dried blood on his upper-lip and moaned, “Did...I take a wrong turn in Okinawa and end up in Sydney again?” Before looking around.

And immediately wished that he was still unconscious.

Ranma Saotome, his hated enemy, eternal rival, and bane of his existence was putting off a battle-aura of a scale that Ryoga had never seen before. The leaves in nearby trees were browning and wrinkling, steam rising from the withering greenery as a low thrum of killing intent sent minute waves of dirt particles radiating out from the pigtailed boy’s feet. The absolute, unadulterated rage had eclipsed anything Akane had ever produced, and apparently the bluenette agreed with the Lost Boy’s sentiment as she was backing away from her fiancé with shaky steps. Strangely though, her expression looked ‘mildly concerned’ rather truly afraid of the martial artist who was going into a critical meltdown.

However, it seemed Akane was alone in that feeling as every member of the Nerima Wrecking Crew, save the psychotic principal with a pineapple fixation who was snoring blissfully on the ground, were backing away from Ranma with matching expressions of stark terror. Ryoga had to do a double-take at the sight of a four-armed, purple-skinned woman who was standing next to a weird blackhole with a green-haired lady’s face inside it, but as both of them were gaping in shock at his rival, he could only assume they were passerby of a truly unusual variety and not the cause of his rival’s anger. Putting the pieces together as quickly as he could, most of which were slotted into the ever-present chip on his shoulder labeled ‘Ranma’s fault’, Ryoga fell back on his tried-and-true method of problem solving by getting to his feet and brandishing his umbrella at his rival with an angry shout of, “Ranma, what the hell did you do this time!?”

To the assembled students, martial artist, and demons, all of whom turned and stared at the irate lost boy like he’d shouted ‘all hail the flying spaghetti monster’, it looked like Ryoga Hibiki had chosen to sacrifice himself for the sake of distracting the outraged boy away from the innocent bystanders. Or he realized they were all doomed and chose to jump in front of the oncoming train in an effort to make his end as quick and painless as possible.

Neither assumptions were correct. And in fact, without meaning to, Ryoga effectively saved every person assembled on Furinkan High’s soccer field from an ass-whupping that would have gone down in legend. Not that he or anyone else would ever realize it, unfortunately.

As Xuriel gaped in horror at the boy who was seconds away from becoming a Darwin Award grand prize winner, she hissed fearfully to Cologne, “What the hell is bandana-boy doing!?!”

Fear-laced adrenaline sped up Colognes thought processes like premium oil in a high-end sports car, and she realized the SNAFU in a split-second. “Hibiki-san hates son-in-law, and he passed out when you demonstrated your glamour the first time!” the ancient amazon replied quickly. “He didn’t hear anything of what happened to Ranma! Use that silence spell before he says something else-”

“What am I doing?”

Cologne’s mouth snapped shut when Ranma spoke. The pigtailed boy’s eyes were lowered almost as much as his voice, though despite the lacking volume, his words managed to carry all the way to the back of the mob as his lips twisted into something that resembled a smile. Though his smile carried all the warmth and amusement of an SS Officer in Siberia. “What does it look like I’m doing, Ryoga?” Ranma asked, lilting his rival’s name in a teasing way that screamed, ‘please give me an excuse to hurt you’ as he pointed to his retreating fiancé. “Does it look like I’m attacking Akane? That’s why you usually come after me isn’t it? Because you think I did something to hurt her feelings?”

While Akane blinked at the unexpected address, Ryoga faltered slightly as he looked worriedly between her and Ranma. “Umm...kinda? I mean, it doesn’t look like you hurt her feelings, but-”

At the admission, those assembled held their collective breath as Ranma’s back shook, and a series of humorless chuckles escaped his throat. “Oh, I’m not hurting her. Just like I’ve never hurt her all the times you assumed I did and attacked me!”

The pigtailed boy’s aura dimmed fractionally, and he raised his eyes, meeting Ryoga’s gaze with an ugly scowl. “Ryoga, I have never been happier to have you around, because you’re the only one here who’s still acting normal.”

Ryoga’s umbrella lowered slightly as he stared at Ranma. “N-Normal?”

“Yeah. Normal.” Ranma not-quite-spat the word out. “You’re not actin’ like I’m a freak of nature, or diseased, or some kinda sideshow exhibit; unlike every other person here!

The last few words came out as a shout, which was directed towards the crowd at large and sent clothes ruffling as a burst of uncomfortably warm air rolled through them. Realizing the source of the current circumstance was a simple case of wounded pride, Cologne summoned up some of her considerable Ki reserves to resist the effects of Ranma’s battle aura and hopped forward, catching the pigtailed boy’s eye as she said, “Son-in-law, how can you say that after everything you’ve heard? There is something seriously wro-”

“There is nothing wrong with me!” Ranma shouted at the Amazon Matriarch, inadvertently channeling the Yamasenken and freezing the old woman in place as he hollered furiously. “Did any of you think there might be a good reason I ain’t fallin’ for her stupid tricks!?” He gestured to Xuriel, who wisely swallowed her pride rather than correct his appraisal of her skills. “I spent my entire life with my old man! On the road, with no girls around because they would just be distractions from the Art! Maybe I don’t act like other guys do towards girls ‘cause I never knew any before we came here!”

Ukyo’s gaped in shock, hurt deeply by her fiancé’s statement as she stepped forward and said insistently, “R-Ranchan, that isn’t true! We played together all the time-”

“I THOUGHT YOU WERE A BOY!”

Ranma’s uncontrolled Ki-shout knocked the chef onto her ass, forcing her to stare at the pigtailed teen as his aura strained against the iron bars of his willpower like a rhino in a doggy-carrier. “You talked like a boy! You acted like a boy! You were learning the goddamned Art, and from day one My old man told me girls are too weak to learn martial arts! I didn’t know you were a girl until your stupid top ripped open during our duel!!”

While Ukyo’s lip quivered, tears forming in the corners of her eyes as she fought down the urge to cry at Ranma’s harsh words, Xuriel and Carrie both gave the cross-dressed chef appraising looks, with the latter whistling, “Damn. She’s good!” and the former nodding in agreement.

Sensing an opportunity to one-up her rival, and more than a bit angered by Genma’s sexist beliefs, Shampoo called hesitantly, “Airen, this not you papa fault! You hurt too-too bad, and-”

“No, it’s not my old man’s fault!” Ranma’s loud agreement brought no pleasure to Shampoo as he snarled angrily at her, “It’s EVERYTHING’S fault! I went from knowin’ nothing about girls, to learning more than I ever wanted to about girls, and you think I’m damaged!? Did ANY of you think that I’m used to seein’ a naked girl!? All I need is cold water, a mirror, and I’ve got a free goddamn show!”

The demon’s blinked in confusion and Kuno’s brow furrowed as he tried to puzzle that over, while everyone else winced at the somewhat valid point of Ranma’s over-familiarity with the female form. “That...true,” Shampoo hedged with a touch of desperation. “But, you no like demon ladies kiss-”

“SO WHAT!?” Ranma shot back. “The first girl who kissed me spent the next three months trying to kill me! So obviously I ain’t gonna be too happy when it happens again!!”

Shampoo flinched, grimacing as her past actions against her beloved were thrown in her face, while it was only Mousses’ worry that Ranma’s aura might instantly cook him that kept the duck from flying to his beloved’s defense.

Ryoga, having gotten something of a clue from his front-row seat at a cross between a political debate and a heavy metal concert, called out to his rival worriedly. “Ranma? What’s going on? What are they talking about?”

“They think I’m freaking crippled is what’s going on!” Ranma addressed Ryoga with an angry shout, his outrage having seized control of his personal volume control and refusing to let go as the pigtailed boy raved like a fire and brimstone preacher. “They think just because I don’t act like the perverts around here, that there’s something wrong with me! Is that what you people want!?” He directed his question towards the group, all of whom took a hasty step back. “Do you want me to go around stealin’ panties and grabbing girl’s chests for no damn reason!?”

“Son-in-law,” Cologne desperately tried to salvage the situation and ground Ranma before he went out of control. “You can’t base normal behavior off of Happi!”

“Then who the hell SHOULD I act like!?” Ranma yelled derisively and gestured towards the students, or more specifically, the sword-wielding upperclassman. “Should I go around challenging girls to fights ‘cause if I beat them, I’ll ‘earn the right’ to go out with them!?”

Kuno’s eye twitched, but otherwise his impassive facade didn’t break. Though the fact that his bokken shook in his grip like a spring doorstop made it all the more obvious that his stoic expression was a mask covering his fear.

“Should I act like the other jackasses around here!?” Ranma went on, lost in memories of overheard conversations and unwanted commentary behind closed doors as he hollered, “Who can’t go five minutes without askin’ me if Akane and Shampoo’s hair-color is natural!? Or if they can watch me do this-and-that will all my fiancé’s at the same time!? As girls!?

While the demons had gone from perplexed to completely lost by that comment, Ukyo and Shampoo’s sorrow was evaporating in their growing outrage. It said something about the potency of Xuriel’s charmed kiss that Akane merely frowned at the information regarding the perversions of the male student body at Furinkan High, rather than erupt like an estrogen Krakatoa as was warranted.

“Do you want me to start followin’ their advice!?” the pigtailed boy, who showed no signs of slowing down as he expunged more than a fair bit of silently endured frustrations thanks to this crack in the dam of his restraint, ranted onward. “Huh?! Would things be better if I tried to seduce Nabiki and Kasumi and turn them into my pleasure slaves!?!

Nabiki’s jaw dropped along with her Ice Queen facade, utterly shocked by the ‘tips’ her brother-in-law had been getting regarding his romantic entanglements. As that bit of information made laps inside Nabiki’s mind, the Ice Queen ascended to Frozen Empress, her brown eyes hardening into chips of permafrost as she thought, (Someone at school looked at Kasumi and thought ‘pleasure slave’...Fucker’s gonna die.)

Ranma’s voice was finally starting to peter out. He was still shouting, but without the amplification of a raging Ki aura bolstering his voice to inhuman levels as pigtailed boy fired his last bullet at the aggravating debate regarding his mental and physical well-being. “Why would I want to be anything like the normal guys around here, who constantly splash me with cold water in the locker room and tell me how much they love to see me ‘getting wet’?! That's when they ain't tellin’ me I should be givin’ them free shows ‘cause I gotta understand, ‘a man’s needs’! At least Hiroshi and Daisuke are honest about being perverts, and they don’t act like it makes them better than me!!!”

And with that last outcry, the wisps of Ranma’s battle aura faded away, leaving behind a panting pigtailed boy who glared at the crowd arrayed in front of him. While it sank into the student population that Ranma’s unofficial title of ‘school pervert’ had been grossly misapplied, and had been the case long before the discovery of his malfunctioning equipment, they all waited with bated breath to see if the newly crowned ‘IED’ of campus would explode again. With a hesitant step forward, Xuriel moved closer to Ranma and winced as the boy turned his irritated gaze on her, but spread her hands in a placating gesture and said apologetically, “Listen, kid; I’m sorry we were bad-mouthing you like that, but you gotta understand that the stuff we’re talking about isn't something you can just brush off as willpower. It's all instinctual, basic biology!”

“Screw biology!” Ranma snapped at a far more reasonable volume than before, which seemed to leech a lot of the tension out of the surrounding people’s postures as he denied the succubus’ assertion. “I’ve had to deal with more stupid crap involving girls than anyone else ever has before! You’re saying that wouldn’t have done anything to me!?”

There are moments where a person makes good decisions.

There are times when a person makes a bad decision.

Then there are the ‘Custers last stand’, ‘Gallipoli’, ‘One Hundred Sidereal’, and ‘Hey y’all, watch this!’ scale bad decisions where the first and most of the time last thought through the receiver's mind is, (I fucked up)

Such was the case with Xuriel as she offered in a conciliatory, helpful tone. “Actually, that would have given you some kind of complex, but that wouldn’t have broken your man-tackle completely like it-”

“I!”

“AM!”

“NOT!!”

BROKEN!!!


Xuriel let out a yipe as she was knocked down, not by a physical strike, but by a sudden wave of heat that all but slapped her in the face. When she opened her eyes, the succubus immediately regretted her recent life choices as the boy whose life she’d been summoned to ruin was emanating a bright flame of spiritual power that would make a Balrog turn green with envy, or whimper like a kicked puppy. As she watched black whorls of ash rise into the air from the grass that was charring around Ranma’s feet, the succubus wondered if praying would do any good, or if she’d be better served by hardcore blasphemy in the hopes that some divine figure would smite her before she was incinerated.

Turns out, neither options were necessary as the racist witch who’d been raking her over the coals almost from the moment she arrived was suddenly between Xuriel and the walking bonfire, acting as a barrier between them as she snapped, “Stand down, son-in-law! Dabbler has been trying to help you!”

“SHE’S TALKING OUT HER ASS!! The pigtailed boy fired back in the matriarch’s face, each word from his lips coming with a blast of ki like someone was repeatedly opening and closing the door to a blast furnace. “MY MANHOOD ISN’T BROKEN! I’VE HAD BETTER WILLPOWER SINCE I WAS TWELVE THEN ANYONE ELSE THIS ENTIRE FUCKING CITY!!”

Through the fear and worry, the very specific timeframe gleamed in Cologne’s mind, like catching sight of a diamond in an avalanche. “Twelve?” the Matriarch asked quickly. “What do you mean, twelve!?”

“THAT'S THE LAST TIME I REACTED TO A GIRL, LIKE YOU PEOPLE THINK I SHOULD BE DOING EVERY 5 MINUTES!”

Dropped jaws and wide-eye’s followed that statement, and through the haze of righteous indignation, Ranma took a grim satisfaction in the loss in composure from Cologne. That more than anything else managed to dial back his anger to a low-simmer, leaving a flickering outline across his body as he locked eyes with Xuriel and coldly stated, “I. Am not. Broken. I can control myself. And it’s a damn good thing I do,” His eyes flicked across the Wrecking Crew, scowl deepening as he ground out, “Cause if I didn’t; me and whoever I wanted to be with would be dishonored, dead, or both.”

His word given and the law laid down, Ranma cast his eyes among the crowd once more before shaking his head, turning around and walking away. While the heir to the Anything Goes school liked to think that his fiancé’s, rivals, and everyone else were suitably impressed with his restraint, as they should have been before assuming he was damaged goods; the truth was very different, as the last prideful statement regarding his willpower was in fact the largest piece of evidence that something was truly wrong with the heir to Anything Goes Martial Arts.

By the time Ranma’s words and the surprise of not being flambéd sunk in, the pigtailed boy was long gone and Xuriel shakily got to her feet, or rather hooves. Looking towards where the no-way-in-hell-lothario had jumped over a 12 foot high chainlink fence separating school property from the rest of the city, the succubus said aloud, “Twelve? He...he hasn’t gotten hard since he was twelve?”

“That's not willpower.” Carrie stated with quiet horror, even the trans-dimensional observation of Ranma’s tirade had shaken the green-haired demoness. “I don't know what the hell that is, but there's no way in hell a little kid can stop himself like that! A good breeze can get a 12-year-old sprung, for Lucy’s sake!”

Carrie’s statement was agreed with by all present, but none more poignantly than those of the male gender. Despite all odds, self-delusions, and thoughts of vengeance; Ranma’s statement had sunk into his rival’s heads and were waging war with each of the three boy’s deeply ingrained beliefs and swiftly gaining ground.

Kuno tried, lord help him, he tried to justify his stance that the foul sorcerer had ensnared Tendo Akane and his beloved Osagi-no-Onna into satisfying his base lusts. But every belief was swiftly countered by one of the pieces of evidence he’d perceived with his own eyes. Chief among those was his personal vision of true beauty that had been granted unto him by the not-evil demon, and how Saotome’s deepest desires hadn’t beheld either of the two girls the kendoist held dear to his heart.

While Kuno’s musings took him deeper down self-reflective neural pathways, long dusty from underuse, Mousse wondered how he could contact the Elders back in China with this new information as soon as possible. If Shampoo’s supposed husband couldn’t add new blood to the tribe, than she would be free for him to woo unimpeded once more without having to fight his way past the aquatransexual martial artist.

And once he was sure Shampoo wasn’t engaged anymore, then Mousse would help the pigtailed boy in his darkest hour. Enemies they may be, but he couldn’t call himself a man if he let another man suffer like this.

Ryoga’s mind was a million miles away, matching Xuriel’s gaze to where Ranma had vanished from sight, while the causes of most of his fights with Ranma flashed through his mind. Every time Ranma insulted Akane’s cooking and disrespected her, listening to the bluenette angrily rant or somberly wonder about fiancé’s true feelings to her beloved pet, or when the lost boy saw Ranma with another girl and assumed he was stepping out on Akane. As he slowly lowered his arm, keeping a half-hearted grip on his weapon of choice, the Lost Boy quietly asked, “What...the hell did I miss…”

“Dabbler-san trying, and failing, to seduce my son-in-law, because his sex drive has been shut off since he was a child.” Cologne answered Ryoga’s question grimly, calling upon her years of experience to cover up just how badly shaken she was. Looking over her shoulder at the succubus, the Amazon Matriarch dryly observed, “That explains why his resistance affected you more than your friend.”

“Right?” Xuriel nodded in agreement. Then she blinked as a thought occurred to her and tapped her chin thoughtfully. “Wow...if a withered up old man was backed up enough to give Carrie the ride of her life after a month, what’s he going to be like after…5 years, give or take?”

Rosy cheeks blossomed among most of the assembled women as they each considered the implications of a half-decades worth of repressed hormones, with the reddest faces belonging to Ukyo and Shampoo. Cologne was one of three women weren’t blushing tomato red at the mental images of an unshackled Saotome Ranma, as she was smirking in amusement at the too-easily embarrassed reactions from the younger generation.

Akane was the second girl who wasn’t imagining (or fantasizing) about her fiancé’s prowess in bed, but only because she thought the four-armed, purple demoness was far more attractive at the moment. That didn’t stop her from forming an opinion on the subject however, and she cheerfully sang out, “And that's how every woman in Tokyo got pregn~~a~~~nt!” She subsequently ignored the shocked looks and whispers from the other students on whether this Akane was preferable to the old one, and instead turned towards her sibling and giggled, “Neh, onee-san?”

Then Akane blinked. And the blood drained from everyone’s assembled cheeks when they noticed the third and final member of the ‘not thinking about Ranma’ club was living up to her nom de guerre.

Nabiki Tendo did not burn hot when she lost her temper. She kept herself cold, cool and in control, which made her all the more threatening to anyone with more than two braincells to clack together. While Akane would impulsively snap and do things that she would later apologize for, her older sister took the same approach to anger that she did to everything else; analyze the scenario rationally and do whatever she knew she would look back on later, and never feel sorry.

For that reason, when Nabiki Tendo got angry enough to put out a battle-aura, despite her lack of martial training, breaths’ grew cloudy and rime frost formed at the edges of people’s glasses as waves of frigid air radiated out from the Ice Queen. As those closest to the literally chilling girl backed away with fearful and uncomfortable grimaces, Xuriel’s eye twitched in disbelief and she muttered, “Okay, what the hell is in the water around here!? Every time I turn around, someone’s freaking out and glowing for no reason!”

Feeling like it was her duty, or at least her responsibility to see to the safety of a student, Hinako sensei called worriedly, “Tendo-san, what’s wrong?”

The Ice Queen’s eyes slowly moved down and regarded the pintsize teacher coldly, before moving away from Hinako and settling on Cologne. “Happy didn’t use the Imperial Servant on Ranma.” Nabiki’s hard, chilling tone sent shivers down people’s spines. “Because he hasn’t reacted to girls since he was twelve...when the only person he was around wanted Ranma focused on the Art, and thought girls were ‘a distraction’.”

Cologne caught the page-cut brunette’s train of thought as easily as she could snatch an arrow out of the air and her jaw dropped. The old woman’s open mouth quickly closed again as her leathery face cracked in a snarl, “That...wretch, who doesn’t have the brain’s of an inbred ape-

“-with the impulse control of a drunken marmoset-”

“-and foresight of a concussed goldfish!”

Years later, scientists would debate the unexplained hurricane which struck the south-western tip of Alaska, bringing a level of hail and snow that even the frozen north could barely withstand.

They would never imagine that the root of the once-in-a-lifetime event was from an accidental Hiryu-Shoten-Ha which formed in the upper-atmosphere over Nerima Tokyo, as the contrasting temperatures of Nabiki Tendo and Cologne’s outrage blended together, culminating in the storm of a century as both ancient crone and teenaged girl intoned 4 words in perfect unison.

“THAT. FAT. PANDA. BASTARD.”

-AN-

For those curious, 100 Sidereal (Sid-ear-ee-all) is an Exalted reference. I’ve started looking at it since reading Glorious Shotgun Princess.
(Mass Effect crossover, go read it now!) Sidereal’s are ninja’s who can control fate itself in ludicrous ways. (I’m gonna punch that guy into a duck and then kick the cancer out of the other guy.) Buuuuut Sidereal intelligence suffers from the Conservation of Ninjutsu Principle when you get them together and working on a plan. (In Exalted, the only plan where all 100 Sidereals got together to fix a problem resulted in 2 apocalypses, 90% of humanity dying, over half the world being destroyed...and they STILL didn’t fix the original problem.)

As for the bait-and-switch regarding Happosai being swapped out for Genma, I DID say I wouldn’t be running through the usual stereotype with stories that put forth this idea, didn’t I?

Whether that’s an excuse or a hint of coming event’s, I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Have faith...
Last edited by TattooTheDL on Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby Dumbledork » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:30 pm

Sorry for bursting your bubble but Genma has turned off Ranma's sex drive in fanfics more often than Happosai has.

That said the new chapter was enjoyable and funny.
And that's the bottom line 'cause Dumbledork said so.

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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby TattooTheDL » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:19 pm

Dumbledork wrote:Sorry for bursting your bubble but Genma has turned off Ranma's sex drive in fanfics more often than Happosai has.

That said the new chapter was enjoyable and funny.

I'm aware. <_< >_> :wink:
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby ckosacranoid » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:50 pm

rather amusing update. some of the crew thinking...thats weird....
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby TattooTheDL » Tue May 02, 2017 7:10 pm

Sorry for the delay, people. IRL issues insisted that what free time I had to write would immediately be taken over by other, significantly energy-draining duties.

All that said, let's get this show on the road, and find out what happens when Nerima plays a collective "Will! It! BLEND!?" experiment on a member of an endangered species.

Well...maybe…anyway, here's the story!

Imperial Servant: Chapter 5
The Truth

OOOOOO

Genma Saotome was not having a good day.

First, he and his oldest friend's brainstorming session regarding how to bring their two engaged children closer together had been a waste of time.

Second, he'd lost 4 out of the last 7 games of shogi he'd played against Soun, and since that meant the Tendo patriarch had cheated better than him, it was making the older Saotome slightly jealous.

Third, his wife was visiting, and despite accepting that Ranma was in fact manly in spite of his curse, she still carried that damn katana everywhere she went.

And the most current reason why he should have called today a wash and stayed in bed, was the dulled length of wood jammed into his stomach and a large, black, double-edged sword being held to his throat.

As Genma looked at the Chinese witch who'd taught his child some fancy tricks and an unknown but pretty highschool girl with brown hair, both of whom were looking at him with a disgust reserved for dung beetles and other creatures that make people wonder if their one useful function was really worth keeping them around, he considered his options carefully.

And immediately took his favored standby of the easiest, least subtle path to a solution by shouting, "What the hell is going on here?!"

~20 minutes ago~

"Panda?" Xuriel asked quietly as her eyes ran across the crowd of very angry people and wondered if there really was something in the water, because they seemed to fly off the handle at any given opportunity. "What panda?"

"I think they're talking about the kid's dad, Xury." Carrie offered helpfully, while also looking at her friend worriedly, as the purple succubus was at ground zero for what sounded like the run-up to a lynching.

"Well, yeah. But between that and the girl comments, I feel like I'm missing something."

The succubus' discussion was...not ignored per se, but rather put on the collective back-burner for the residents of Nerima Tokyo as they debated the theory proffered by the two most intelligent people in a 10 mile radius.

"That bastard!" Ukyo snarled, her knuckles whitening as she tightened her grip on the haft of her spatula-naginata. "He'd...he'd castrate Ranma just to keep him focused on the Art!?"

"Panda-man. Hurt Shampoo airen." Shampoo intoned in a emotionally dead voice, taking a page out of Akane's recent playbook and stockpiling all her fury for later, when she could unleash it on her future ex father-in-law. "Shampoo hurt him. Shampoo hurt him into pieces."

In an event that warranted a front-page article in the Nerima Gazette, Kuno was silent, as he had been since his enemy of the last year or so had uncorked a verbal bottle of whoop-ass on him and many others. However he was no longer thinking about Ranma, but rather looking down at his unconscious father with an unreadable expression on his face, considering the differences between his and Saotome's upbringing in a new light.

Mousse was making a simple edit to the mental note in his mind labeling Ranma Saotome as an 'enemy of all women'; wherein the RA of his enemy's name was swapped for GE, and the WO of women was crossed out entirely.

Akane was frowning as something niggled at the back of her mind, a stray thought that was taking an unwarranted amount of detours through the pink mist shrouding portions of her mental landscape, even as the same notion cheered at not being held back by the red wall of anger that almost perpetually blocked off portions of the bluenette's psyche.

Nabiki however, kept her head in the game and her eyes on the prize. And while there was a definite bonus in making a certain species of stupid bear more endangered, (or less so, if she could get ahold of that locking bucket) the end goal was more important as she turned to Cologne and addressed her politely. "Oba-san, can you take the Imperial Servant pressure point off of Ranma?"

The swift influx of hopeful looks disappeared just as quickly when the amazon matriarch lowered her eyes and sadly shook her head. "That scroll is one of many which is held under lock and key back in our village, and I have never read it." the old woman briefly gritted her teeth. "But considering that Happi knows it, he probably stole it along with everything else he took from our tribe decades ago."

"Then let's find that old freak and make him take it off of Ranchan!" Ukyo proclaimed, ready to lead the charge to save her friend and fiancé.

Nabiki shot down the chef's attempt at rabble-rousing with a cold, "Considering the only reason Ranma doesn't have the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion anymore is because he grabbed the scroll to remove it before Happosai burned it as 'useless junk', I wouldn't lay odds on him still having the Imperial Servant scroll."

While Ukyo processed that with one indignantly twitching eye, Hinako-chan took advantage of the calm to remind the students of their current location and her role in it, straightening up as she declared imperiously, "Alright. Extenuating circumstances aside, everyone needs to get back in class, because school is still in session." With a glance at Nabiki and a slightly swaying Akane, she added solemnly, "Nabiki and Akane Tendo are both permitted a leave of absence along with Saotome Ranma."

Both girls nodded, one more languidly than the other, and Kuno asked seriously, "Sensei, if you don't mind, may I be excused as well?" He looked down at the insensate principal and frowned thoughtfully. "I need to look after my father...and contemplate recent developments."

"What about me!?" Ukyo asked with a distraught, pleading look at her homeroom teacher. "Ranchan is my fiancé!"

"That's not exactly an exclusive club, Kuonji."

Ukyo rounded on Nabiki at the older girl's dry statement, and stopped cold when she realized dry ice was a more appropriate descriptor of the page-cut brunette's comment as the Ice Queen was in full-swing once more. Giving the chef a beatific smile that made the martial artist suppress a shiver of fear, Nabiki added in a voice as sweet as a sugar-laced razorblade, "And you're going to be doing me a personal favor if you stay here."

Ukyo swallowed heavily, but managed to narrow her eyes defiantly as she asked, "What favor?"

"Why, helping my friends and the other girls find out who exactly was giving Ranma such helpful advice regarding his curse, his fiancé's," Nabiki's eyes gleamed with an unholy light. "And my sister."

Ukyo blinked. Then a slow, supremely sadistic smile spread across her face, which was matched by every other female student within earshot of Furinkan high's mercenary queen. The nearby male students however, either grimaced sympathetically, adopted the slightly smug grins of those who knew they had nothing to fear and had no compunctions narcing on the hormone-addled jackasses of campus, or held very very still and ignored the cold chills running down their spines as they estimated their chances of surviving to the end of the day.

Most of them wouldn't make it to the end of next period.

The ones who lasted beyond that were those who heard the screaming of their fellow hormonally-corrupted comrades, and ran like hell.

Those who weren't caught before escaping school grounds would suffer a much, much crueler fate later that night…

Before that however, Kuno called for his ever-present and hidden retainer Sasuke, and was soon leaving campus with his insensate father slung over the diminutive shinobi's shoulders in a fireman's carry. At the other end of the spectrum, Hinako-sensei was ushering the majority of the student body back into the school, which was already buzzing with rumors and speculation about what had occurred; as well as theoretical punishments for the school's more loosely moral males, which tested the bladder-control of the future deadmen who overheard those same ideas.

In the end, three Amazons, two sisters, and a perpetually lost boy were left on the slightly charred soccer field with one and a half succubi, the 'one' of which gave Nabiki an appraising look and said, "Damn...if it wasn't for the fact that I think you'd be my boss, I'd offer you a job."

Nabiki smiled thinly at Dabbler's not-quite compliment. "I've got no intention of ending up in hell, though if I do head that way, I'm making sure the seat reserved for me is a throne."

Xuriel watched the brunette nervously while Carrie offered in a mollifying tone, "I'll put through the paperwork now just in case...oh, speaking on that," He looked at the remaining people curiously. "What was all that about, 'being used to a girls body'?"

Cologne gave the two curious demons a thoughtful look. "You seem to be knowledgeable about mysticism and sorcery. Do you know anything about Jusenkyo?"

What the matriarch expected was looks of understanding and comprehension, or maybe more confusion.

Instead, both of the succubi seized up and slowly turned their heads to share a look of mutual horror before turning back to Cologne. "Why in Lucy's name did he go there?!" Dabbler hissed fearfully.

Nabiki cocked an eyebrow curiously at the succubi as she offered, "Ranma's sperm-donor found a travel guide to a legendary training ground, which was in a language he couldn't read, and went to Jusenkyo the second he had the chance."

In unison, the two demonesses eyes twitched, and Carrie stated coolly, "If anything would make me believe someone was dumb enough to castrate their own child for training-"

"-it would be the same person who would drag his kid to that Sidhe-made hellhole." Xuriel finished with a scowl.

Again, something poked Akane in the back of the head, and her frown deepened as she got a clearer image of idea making it's way to her higher brain functions. While she attempted to decipher the hieroglyphs within her brain, Cologne stared at Dabbler and said, "Eh? Jusenkyo was made by the Sidhe?"

"Tainting an underground reservoir so the water from it turns people into other things, then sitting back and applauding everytime some poor schmuck get's turned into a tasty critter and eaten? Who else would be responsible for that?" Carrie asked rhetorically with a grimace, not noticing that Shampoo, Ryoga, and Mousse all paled at her statement. "One of many reasons the standing orders for Sidhe are 'run away, use extreme caution, and if you get the chance, shoot to kill'."

"What about asking for mercy?"

Both succubi gave the Ryoga a flat look, and he reddened in embarrassment as he remembered the purple one's grim description earlier. "Right...so, what happens now?"

"Me and my sister go home so she doesn't embarrass herself anymore." Nabiki said with a slight smirk at the bluenette who was lazily blinking one eye at a time. "And get answers from that fat bastard, one way or another."

"I'm coming with you." Cologne stated grimly.

"Shampoo too!" the Amazon hefted her bonbori. "Shampoo make panda-man into rug for hurting Airen!"

"No, Shampoo." Cologne denied her great granddaughter with a shake of her head. "You and Mr. Part-timer go back to the cafe and wait until I return."

Shampoo sputtered indignantly. "Hiba-chan, why!? Shampoo want to hurt stupid panda-"

The lilac-haired girl squawked in pain due to the matriarch's staff bonking her on the head, and she rubbed the small lump with a petulant whine. "You can have your revenge, after we find out what he did, how to fix it, and make sure he doesn't leave out any details in a misguided attempt to bargain for leniency or through sheer idiocy! And more importantly…"

The old woman hopped closer to her descendent and whispered, "Do you want to risk letting the part-timer and lost boy out of your sight and sabotage any attempt to help son-in-law?"

Shampoo's eyes widened in understanding and she surreptitiously looking over her shoulder at Ryoga and the duck standing on the ground next to him. "I understand, hiba-chan."

"Good. Now," Cologne returned to her normal volume quickly. "Go to the cafe and wait until I return." Narrowing her eyes for extra emphasis, the Matriarch added, "That's an order, Shampoo."

Shampoo flinched, but nodded and said, "Hai, hiba-chan." while taking the stern warning as a cover to keep Ranma's rivals from suspecting her purpose was to keep a very close eye on them.

As the violet-haired Amazon grabbed Ryoga's arm and dragged him away while the duck took flight and followed them, Xuriel cocked an eyebrow and made a mental note before turning to the old woman and saying, "I assume you want my help too?"

Cologne narrowed her eyes at the succubus. "That's not a problem, is it?"

"The whole reason I got involved in this is 'cause I thought I was doing a good deed." Xuriel's lip curled in disgust. "And tearing a piece out of a jackass who'd neuter his own kid definitely fits the bill."

The translation of Akane's idea to coherence had mostly been completed, and she frowned despite the pleasant buzz of Dabbler's charm spell.

"Xury, normally I'd say you're too nice for your own good." Carrie offered. "This time? I'll set up an appointment between the boss and that kid's old man right now, just to save time." Turning slightly to look out of the edge of her portal, the green-haired succubus asked, "What's his name?"

"Genma Saotome." Nabiki stated grimly, before looking at Xuriel and cocking an eyebrow. "Shouldn't you be giving your friend a name too?"

Xuriel blinked and then thunked her forehead with the heel of her upper right hand. "Crap, thanks for reminding me!" She said gratefully before turning to the small portal. "Carrie, tell Beelz he needs to blacklist some Japanese kid named Hikaru Gosunkugi."

"Who's that?"

"My summoner, who somehow knew my true name, despite not even knowing banishing anchors existed until I told him to send me back."

The green-haired succubus paled. "Xury, tell me this is a joke."

"I couldn't make this up if I tried, Carrie." Xuriel's eye-twitched in remembered outrage. "He used his own blood and house paint for the sigil, thank Lucy it was only a few drops. He didn't bind his life to mine or my voice-"

"Done, done!" Carrie waved off her friends itemizing of Gosunkugi's screw-ups and shuddered violently. "Sweet Lucy on a tricycle, he's so lucky he called you!"

"No kidding." Xuriel nodded in agreement before lifting her upper-left hand and reaching for the display. "I'll call you after I finish up here, alright?"

"Alright." The green-haired succubus nodded, and then smiled lecherously at Dabbler. "And I'm gonna want details on what happens when you uncork the stud!"

With a small chuckle of "Of course!", Xuriel dispelled the lesser portal, the void and Carries face disappearing as the sextet of runic stones floated into her outstretched hand, where they quickly vanished back into the ether. A gesture and a soft whisper returned the 6-foot demoness to the illusion of an ordinary school-girl, and she looked expectantly at the Tendo sisters and Cologne. "Well? Lead the way."

OOOOOO

The quartet neared the dojo's front gate, with Akane bringing up the rear. While it was assumed her slower pace was due to being slightly jelly-legged, there was an added factor in that the bluenette's brain was finally finishing it's decryption of her opinion on the latest upheaval in her and her iinazuke's life. Just before Nabiki could announce their presence, Akane called out, "Nee-san?"

Cologne, Nabiki, and the disguised Xuriel turned to look at the frowning girl with curious expressions, with the middle Tendo sister asking, "What is it, Akane?"

"I...I don't think Genma put the Imperial Servant on Ranma…"

Nabiki blinked in surprise along with Cologne, while Xuriel cocked an eyebrow at her supernaturally charmed 'victim'. "What makes you say that? If he's dumb enough to get his kid cursed at Jusenkyo, this sounds like a gimme-putt."

"Ranma's dad is dumb...sometimes." Akane admitted, her brow furrowed thoughtfully. "Well, most of the time. But he really really wants me and Ranma to get married as soon as possible. If Ranma doesn't like me-" the bluenette blinked rapidly as there was a sudden burning sensation from her eyes, which she rubbed away quickly. "-then he and daddy won't have an heir to Anything Goes."

The blink-and-you'd-miss-it emotional response was caught by Nabiki, but filed away for later as she ran her sister's idea through her own devious mind and scowled. "That's a good point, though it's possible he could have slapped it on and forgot about it. If that's the case then we'll have an entirely different problem on our hands."

"Eh?" Xuriel gave the chilling brunette a curious look. "What's that?"

"If he thinks the Imperial Servant is why Akane and Ranma haven't been fooling around like teenagers, and that Ranma will 'make up for lost time', we'll have to restrain the moron to keep him from unlocking Ranma before we've figured out all the angles and prepare for whatever happens next." Nabiki side-eye'd her sister. "I don't think the panda cares if Ranma and Akane end up having a shotgun wedding, but if Ranma is forced to make an honest woman out of every girl in Tokyo, that's going to be a major problem."

"The more I hear about this guy, the less and less I like him." Xuriel stated with a frown.

Cologne showed the wisdom of the ages by not commenting on that, mostly because her great-granddaughter's machinations regarding Ranma weren't that dissimilar from the Genma's, which was another reason the younger Amazon wasn't present. Instead, the old woman pogoed forward and said, "No point in speculating now. Let's find out exactly what's wrong with my son-in-law." before reaching out and opening the Tendo compound's front gates.

Kasumi sighed contentedly as she enjoyed the company of her future mother-in-law, Nodoka Saotome. The older woman had stopped by to visit, gossip, and swap cooking recipes while Genma and Soun played shogi on the veranda. The 19-year-old domestic buddha of Nerima savored the peaceful atmosphere, until the sound of the front gate opening and closing brought a curious look to her face. Getting to her feet, Kasumi said apologetically, "Sumimasen, auntie-Nodoka, but I believe we have visitors."

"Go ahead dear," Nodoka smiled kindly at the younger woman. "Show your guests the proper hospitality."

Kasumi nodded before making her exit, calling out, "I'm coming!" As she walked to the front door of the household proper. When she arrived and opened door, the brunette blinked rapidly at the sight of her younger sisters, Cologne, and a very strange person who looked blurry to the older girl's eyes, like a cross between a TV screen that needed to be fixed and a mirage. It was a brunette, though the only reason Kasumi knew that much was from the blob of brown sitting on top of the haze obscuring many of the finer details of their face as well as their body. Hazarding a guess from the pre-dominantly blue coloration of what she assumed was a Furinkan girls uniform, Kasumi assumed the figure was a girl before turning to Nabiki and asking, "Imouto, why are you home?"

"We got a leave of absence from school." Nabiki replied coolly.

Noting how Akane was having trouble maintaining her balance, Kasumi bit her lip worriedly and asked, "Akane-chan, are you sick?"

"No…" The bluenette droned lightly, her eyes pointed at her older sister, but her attention clearly focused somewhere beyond the older girl as she added, "Actually, I feel really good...but I'm also kind of sad, cause Ranma doesn't like me…"

Kasumi's eyes widened. "N-nani!?"

"Long story, nee-san." Nabiki sighed as she waved off further questions. "We need to talk to Genma. Where is he?"

"He's with father…" While her instincts said such rude behavior was improper, Kasumi deigned to open the door before addressing the graphical error in front of her and asked hesitantly, "Imouto, who is your...friend?"

"My nAme's mAI," a feminine, though slightly warped cheery voice came from the figure. "NICE to MeeT yOu."

"Nice to meet you too…" Kasumi replied slowly, earning her curious looks from both siblings and Cologne, which made her blush. "Sumimasen, Mai-san...but...If you don't mind my asking, why are you...fuzzy?"

Xuriel blinked and stared at the pony-tailed brunette who'd answered the door. "Pardon? Fuzzy?"

"I don't understand why, and I hope I'm not coming down with something serious," Kasumi explained apologetically. "But your body looks indistinct to me, like some sort of mirage."

Xuriel's jaw dropped while Cologne, Nabiki, and Akane looked at her, with the buzzed bluenette asking, "Is that normal, Dabbler-chan?"

"No!" The demon sputtered as she turned to look at her companions with shock. "She's looking through my glamour! I mean, she almost is, but-"

"Pardon?" Kasumi blinked. "Glamour?"

"Nee-san," Nabiki facepalmed. "It's a very long story. Short version, she's a demon using an illusion, but she's nice-"

"And a really good kisser."

Nabiki sighed and internally cursed as her older sister promptly gawped at their little sister's goofy grin with wide eyes. "Nee-san, I'll explain in a bit, but she's here to help us."

Kasumi pulled her eyes away from her youngest sister with some difficulty, the idea that the romantically challenged bluenette had kissed another girl (let alone a demon) having been put on a shelf in a far corner of her mind before it made her react in an unladylike and very uncomposed manner. "Alright, imouto...she can come in."

"Good." Cologne's lips twisted in a snarl. "Now, where's the panda?"

OOOOOO

Soun blinked at the shogi piece which was spinning like a top on the game board, wondering why his old friend had disappeared and decided to perform a trick for his next move rather than simply setting the wooden token down normally.

Before the piece could fall and determine Genma's latest strategy, his indignant roar brought Soun's attention to the far wall of the living room where Cologne and a teenage girl had his oldest friend at staff and sword point. Recalling the sudden blur a half-second before bulky man had vanished, Soun got to his feet and shouted, "What's going on here!?" as all three of his daughters rushed into the living room.

Upon entering, Kasumi gasped, "Oh my!" while Nabiki fixed Genma with a calculating stare that sent chills down her father's spine. Akane however, seemed to be regarding the older man with a mixture of worry and irritation, which was rather mild as far as the reactions his youngest child would normally have and earned a fair bit of Soun's attention from where his oldest friend was being threatened.

"I would like to know that as well." Nodoka said in a 'polite' tone as she stood up. Polite in this instance meaning she was willing to give the very old woman and young girl with a sword a chance to correct their behavior before she did it for them.

Xuriel ignored the array of questions and smiled thinly at the larger man as she chuckled, "Oh, I can smell the asshole on this one! How much you wanna bet he tries to haggle his way out of this?"

Kasumi's shock evaporated, and she narrowed her eyes slightly at the blurry 'demon'.

"No bet." Cologne replied in a low, murderous tone, pushing harder into the layer of blubber covering a deceptively muscular stomach. Turning her head, the Amazon Matriarch said, "Pardon us, everyone, we just have business with this worthless sack of flesh."

"Which there'll be less of, once we get done claiming a few pounds of it." Xuriel licked her lips in a way that would have forced Genma to answer some very awkward questions from his wife, had he not been terrified out of his mind.

"What the hell are you all talking about!?" The burly martial artist shouted, sweating from the heat he could feel emanating from the sword at his neck. "Who are you?!"

"Allow me to introduce myself." Xuriel purred in a manner that was more feral than sexual. "My name is Dabbler, and I'm a succubus who's had a very strange day." At the 3 parents confused looks, her smile widened. "Oh, where are my manners?"

Xuriel dropped her glamour, a thrill of vindictive glee coming from the sight of Genma's ruddy face turning pale, while a series of shocked cries came from behind her. Locking eyes with the rotund man, the succubus smiled widely and exposed a mouthful of too-sharp teeth, which made her victim hold very very still and give a quiet whimper as she hissed, "Nice to meet you, meat."

"Down, girl." Cologne said sternly, though on the inside she was stifling the urge to cackle delightedly.

"Aww," Xuriel made a show of pouting at the old woman. "Can't I bite one of his ears off?"

"Maybe later," Cologne conceded before giving Genma a smile that frightened him even more than the demon's had. "Depending on how honest this sexist tub of lard decides to be."

"Fair enough, though I'm hoping he'll lie a little bit." Xuriel ran her tongue across her fangs for emphasis. "I hate missing out on a free meal, even if it's a fat piece of shi-"

The succubus froze as a sudden pressure bore down on her, nearly making her drop to her knees as a steady disapproving voice from behind her declared seriously, "No swearing in my home."

"Got it! Got it!" Xuriel gasped, her breaths easing as the pressure abated, and she sent a haunted look at the brunette who was frowning in disapproval at her. "Jeez, you're freaking terrifying, you know that?"

"Nobody messes with Kasumi." Nabiki smiled proudly.

"Clearly...although," one of Xuriel's eyebrow/eartenna rose and she smirked wickedly. "She just gave me a way to solve our little problem with this miserable-"

The succubus stopped at Kasumi's slight narrowing of the eyes, cold sweat running down the back of her neck while Cologne looked at her curiously. "What's that?"

Xuriel shook her head and turned her attention back to the older woman. "A magic spell called 'Zone of Truth'. I've got a scroll for it in my personal collection, and if we use it first, this schmuck couldn't bullsh-lie to us even if he wanted to."

Cologne regarded the succubus with a surprised and impressed look. "I've heard of that spell, but it's supposedly divine magic. Can you really use it?"

"Even as a scroll, no." Xuriel tilted her head towards Kasumi. "But I'll bet she can."

"Nani!?" Kasumi's cheeks blushed cherry red as she found herself under the eyes of everyone in the room save for the succubus who'd called attention to her in the first place. "M-magic? Holy magic!? But, I'm not a priest, and I don't go to temple that often-"

"Not to cast aspersions on her abilities," Cologne mused as she eye'd the embarrassed brunette up and down, not sensing anything inherently magical or divine in her chi pathways or aura with a quick-and-dirty passive scan. "But why not have me read it?"

"You're gonna help me keep this schmuck from running away," Xuriel replied simply. "And there's still a chance the scroll could be a dud if you used it."

Cologne blinked and regarded the demoness anew. "Why?"

"Tricky little by-law get's put in divine magic when somebody puts it in a scroll to keep just anyone from using it, kinda like how only really devout priests or demigods can perform holy miracles directly." Xuriel gave the matronly girl a cheeky grin. "There's always a chance a holy spell could misfire...unless the one using it is a pure-hearted, genuinely good person, which trumps any magical experience."

Kasumi's blush deepened by a factor of five and she lowered her eyes. "Oh no, no no no, I couldn't use something like that-"

"Oh, that'll be easy for her!"

"Yeah, that's legit."

"Well, obviously."

"No doubt."

With the words of confident praise from her sisters, father, and mother-in-law, Kasumi's cheeks reddened until she resembled a brunette stoplight. Cologne considered what she knew of the eldest Tendo and agreed with the sentiment, but it was better to be cautious if this was truly a one-shot opportunity. "What makes you so sure?"

"She could see through my glamour, and her reaction to my naughty language felt like a divine geas." Xuriel chuckled. "Trust me, if there was anyone in this room who's got an aptitude for voodoo from upstairs, it's probably her."

Genma, noting that the pressure on his neck and stomach hadn't relented despite the two women's discussion, hesitantly interrupted, "Don't I get a say in this?"

"No!"
"No!"

He snapped his lips shut, and seriously regretted calling attention to himself again as Cologne and the purple-skinned, four-armed woman with scary teeth glared at him again. "You are the root cause for what has to be the weirdest summoning that any succubus has had to go through!" The four-armed demon snapped. "And I'm in no mood do deal with more cra-stuff!" Smiling thinly, she leaned in and captured Genma's stare with her merciless, heterochromatic eyes. "So here's what's gonna happen, schmuck. She's gonna use the spell, and you're gonna answer our questions. And while it's possible to dodge the effects by keeping quiet; if you try it, you're going to go on a radical weightloss plan."

Genma's eyes flicked down to the very sharp sword, then back up to the demoness and he whimpered in agreement.

"Good boy."

With a quick gesture, a faint popping sound and a quick gleam of light dropped a vellum scroll into Xuriel's lower right hand, as the both her lefts were holding her equalizer. She raised it towards Kasumi meaningfully, and the still crimson-cheeked girl hesitantly stepped forward to take it. As she picked up the rolled sheet, she blinked when the demoness said, "One second," before making a gesture and the brunette jerked in surprise when she was briefly surrounded by twinkling sparks.

"Read magic, basic cantrip." Xuriel offered by way of explanation. "Ready when you are, sweetie."

Kasumi nodded and slowly unrolled the sheet, looking at a strange, spidery-script which should have been incomprehensible gibberish to her, except the meaning and pronunciation of every syllable and inflection flowed through her mind as her eyes traced the page. After a few internal recitations, she swallowed nervously and spoke the words aloud. The instant she finished, the scroll flashed gold and she gasped sharply as she dropped it, only to find the paper disappeared before it hit the ground. At the same time, a strange rush of wind extended out from her and a subtle glow filled the air for a moment, leaving behind an odd desire for honesty from all present.

Xuriel grinned from ear-to-ear at the brunette who was covering her glowing cheeks with her hands, while Soun and Nodoka smiled proudly and Nabiki gave her sister a knowing smirk, and Akane giggled, "Called~ it~!"

"Very impressive." Cologne said softly, before turning back to Genma and pointedly digging her staff into his ribs, making the larger man grimace as she asked venomously. "Now, how do you remove the Imperial Servant pressure-point?"

Cologne was a woman who could think ahead. She could plan and anticipate many scenarios and outcomes for a given situation, as was needed when you were a leader for a very small tribe of warriors in the backwoods of China. For this situation, she'd prepared many responses for any denials or assertions that Genma would make regarding his innocence in crippling her son-in-law, although most of those plans could be tossed out thanks to the spell he was now under the effects of.

When Genma gave her an answer she hadn't anticipated, the Amazon Matriarch would have been rather put out, if she wasn't utterly thunderstruck by two deceptively simple words.

"The what?"

Xuriel, Cologne, and Nabiki all froze. Their eyes widened as they drank in the fearful and honestly confused expression on Genma's face as the middle Tendo daughter whispered, "No…"

"The Imperial Servant!" Cologne dug her staff deeper into Genma's body, making him groan in pain as she snapped, "The pressure-point you used on son-in-law!"

Nodoka cocked an eyebrow curiously at the older woman's insistence and her usage of the term son-in-law while her husband roared in near agony due to the length of wood jabbing him in the spleen. "What pressure-point!? I've never used a pressure-point on my son!"

"Y-you're lying!" Desperation and more than a bit of fear came to Cologne's voice as she insistently yelled, "You're lying to us! What did you do to-"

"Granny...stop…"

Xuriel's quiet, resigned tone drew Cologne's eyes to hers, and the demoness softly shook her head with a solemn expression. The Amazon stiffened and glared defiantly at the succubus for a few moments, before suddenly feeling the weight of her 300 years settle into her bones. She pulled her staff out of Genma's gut and sagged as Xuriel dissipated her sword with a gesture and a red gleam.

Freed from the threat on his life, Genma glared at the demon and the old woman, both of whom turned away from him with the latter sitting down on the floor and resting her staff on her shoulder. "What the hell are you two playing at!? What pressure point?! What's wrong with my son!?"

"Ranma's hurt."

Nabiki's soft answer brought Genma's attention to her, and his blood froze. The normally sarcastic and merciless teenage girl's eyes were lowered and glimmering with unshed tears. Soun and Kasumi's expressions of wide-eye'd shock told Genma that no, he wasn't hallucinating at the sight of the middle Tendo sister's break in her emotionless facade as she went on solemnly. "Ranma hasn't been attracted to Akane, or any girl since he was a kid, because of a pressure-point they used on rapists back in China."

The frozen blood reached Genma's heart, his world going grey at the edges as Nodoka whispered, "He...what?!" in complete horror.

"I was supposed to seduce him, and nothing worked." Dabbler picked up in a low tone, not wanting to be the bearer of bad news again, but needing to explain just the same. "At first I thought he was asexual; basically born celibate, like all the normal biological urges just...weren't put in."

"Masaka!" Kasumi breathed quietly while Nodoka swayed and nearly collapsed to the floor if Soun hadn't caught her. "I...I thought Ranma-kun was just a late-bloomer!"

"Imperial servant…" The grey film of shock disappeared as comprehension dawned, disappearing in a haze of red as Genma looked between Xuriel and Cologne again, fury purpling his cheeks as he snarled, "You thought I did it!? To my own son!?"

"Why not?" Nabiki snapped at the outraged martial artist, her voice tinged with something raw while she laid into Genma and ignored the wet streaks on her cheeks, somehow managing to keep her voice level. "You've pulled the stupidest plans to make Ranma a martial arts master, and girls would just distract him from the Art."

"I wouldn't rob my only child of his manhood!" Genma shouted furiously. "How could he be a man among men if he couldn't prove it by having children of his own!? I'd never cripple my own child!"

Akane sniffed, vision blurring as the gravity of the situation bore down on her even through the blissful haze. Her expression and voice like someone who'd been fed a 'major bummer', she said quietly. "That's what Ranma said…"

"What?" Genma focused his attention on his son's fiancé. "What do you mean by that?"

"When we figured out something was wrong, Ranma got angry and stormed off." Nabiki answered, tamping down on her loss of control quickly so she could plan out the next step to their solution, which seemed like it would be a one-in-a-million longshot that Happosai still had the scroll. "He didn't like that we kept talking about him like he was 'broken'."

"Son-in-law has been under the effects of the Imperial Servant for so long, he thinks he just has good willpower resisting the charms of the opposite sex." Cologne added tiredly, emotionally exhausted by the events of the day. "He thinks he is normal, while everyone else is-"

"Perverted." Akane finished, her lip quivering slightly as that over-used and hated word came out of her mouth, now disgusting her for a different reason than normal as the usual target for it wasn't present...and had apparently been unjustly labeled from the moment she'd first uttered it in his presence.

Genma's ire was starting to fade, the anger at being accused of violating his son giving way to the reality of the situation. Images swam through his mind of his child's interactions with girls, which he'd blanketed under the assumption that the boy's social awkwardness was from a lifetime dedicated to the art. The elder Saotome struggled to keep his bearings and quietly asked, "How...how long has he been like this?"

"We don't know for certain." Xuriel answered with a soft shake of her head and a dark look. "But it's been at least since he was 12."

Genma stopped.

A light pinged off of a memory somewhere in his mind as he repeated questioningly, "Twelve?"

"Yeah." Akane affirmed with a soft nod. "He was shouting at us before he left, and said he hasn't gotten hard around a girl since then."

While mildly embarrassed by the frank statement, Kasumi was far too horrified by the content of same as she gasped, "Oh no...Ranma-kun…"

"No…" Nodoka whimpered, the dreams of being a grandmother fading into nothingness before her eyes as she sobbed, "No no no, not my boy...my son…"

"The promise…" Soun intoned as he went into full water-slide mode with streams of saltwater flowing down his face. "Our vow to unite the schools…"

Xuriel clenched her fists, unable and unwilling to believe that today had bounced back and forth so much from fun to infuriating to amusing to horrifying and now finally settled on tragic. The succubus swore she'd never come back to this island again lest another horrorshow like today occurred, and turned to Genma so she could apologize to him.

And stopped.

Genma was also looking away from the group at large, but rather than shamefaced or haunted; the bald man's thoughts were clearly a million miles away. The expression on his face one of wide-eye'd concentration, akin to a gold-panner who'd just caught a glimpse of yellow in the sand of a shallow river and was frantically sifting for the nugget of good fortune.

Xuriel's eyes widened, and she almost called him out on the intense, hopeful expression on his face when Genma suddenly bolted, running to the Tendo stairs and taking them in one leap.

While she and most everyone else was caught off-guard by the speed of the rotund man, Cologne recovered far faster than the others and followed after him a half-second later. A swell of fury manifested and the matriarch made ready to run the coward down on the off-chance that the Zone of Truth spell had failed, when he ducked into a sideroom. Rounding the doorway, Cologne's preparation to strike down Genma before he escaped were pushed away when she saw him crouched down over a traveling pack, frantically pawing through it like a starving bear at an abandoned beehive.

"What are you doing?" She asked as she hopped into the room, hearing a ruckus from behind her that signaled the arrival of the rest of the Tendo family, plus the other two guests besides her.

Having found what he was looking for, Genma turned around and revealed a leather-bound book, stuffed with loose papers and notes which almost doubled the thickness of the weather-beaten tome. "My journal." He stated with a grim scowl. "The record I kept of me and my son's training journey. Every technique, every school we trained at, every master who assisted me in teaching him about the art."

"So you do know something about what happened to him." Cologne stated suspiciously.

"I have an idea!" Genma snapped at the matriarch. "But I don't remember the details, so if you'll excuse me," He yanked open the book and began thumbing through it with an ugly scowl. "I need to save my son…"

OOOOOO

At the Kuno estate, Tatewaki Kuno sat next to his father's bed, which held the man in question. As he watched his patriarch breathe steadily, he said quietly, "Sasuke."

"Sir?"

Kuno showed no reaction to the ninja's appearance, having expected no less from the loyal retainer. "Find my sister and tell her to come here, as I have found out something very distressing regarding the sorc-" Kuno paused and struggled with himself. "Saotome Ranma."

Noting the slip-up, Sasuke gulped and said, "Hai, Kuno-sama!" before disappearing again.

Sometime later, Kuno wasn't sure how long as he was lost in his own thoughts, the doors to his father's boudoir swung open and his sister walked in, either mid-training or simply clad in her most comfortable ensemble of her signature gymnastics leotard. Eyes narrowed in suspicion, Kodachi Kuno declared, "Brother dear, why have you summoned me as some common servant to our fathers quarters? I'll have you know that I am only humoring you by dint of finding out what information you have regarding my beloved."

"So I assumed, imouto." Tatewaki stood up and faced her with a solemn expression. "Though it doesn't change the seriousness of my plea, and I ask you prepare yourself, sister." The taller boy lowered his eyes. "What I have to say...will be hard for you to hear."

Kodachi's eyes widened and fear lanced her heart as her sibling referred to his most hated foe in a manner that belied the severity of his words. "Brother...what has happened to my darling?!"

"He is alive and whole, imouto." Kuno stepped forward and gently laid a hand on her shoulder, meeting her eyes as he declared, "But not undamaged. As myself and others discovered today, Saotome Ranma was wounded many years ago by the man who should have watched over him, as our father should have watched over us."

Looking over his shoulder to his insensate sire, Kuno mused, "Strange what can make you appreciate your own good fortune, even if you believed it to be something of a curse..."

The boy suddenly stiffened at the sudden surge of hostile intent and returned his attention to his sister, who wore an expression of unbridled rage as she snarled "Brother. What. Happened. To my darling?"

Kuno swallowed heavily to loosen his throat before answering, "Earlier today, the one known as Hikaru Gosunkugi, who fashions himself as some sort of practitioner of the sorcerous arts, successfully summoned a creature from the pit, with the intent of sending it against Saotome."

Kodachi's eye began twitching furiously.

"Rather than direct combat however, Gosunkugi summoned a succubus to tempt Saotome Ranma, and expose him as a womanizing cad before all and sundry." Kuno shook his head sadly. "The attempt failed...but not due to any error on those involved, but rather because Saotome could not be swayed by the creature's powers."

Kodachi's anger faded, and she began laughing in her own, unique way. "Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho! Of course my beloved would not be swayed by such a base creature! His virtuousness knows no limits, and-"

She stopped as Tatewaki grabbed both her shoulders, making her stare at him in shock as he stated grimly. "Not would not, Imouto! Saotome could not fall under the succubus' spells! He was incapable of being seduced, and apparently has been since he was a child!"

Kodachi froze, her eyes widening in understanding and thunderstruck horror as she whispered, "What?!"

Satisfied that the severity of his message had gotten through her perpetual lunacy, Kuno let go of her and went on in a more calm voice. "The creature could...sense the affections and desire's of those surrounding her, as her kind feed off of those feelings as a flower draws nourishment from sunlight." Kuno looked up to a portrait on the wall, and Kodachi followed his gaze to the image of their deceased mother. "From Saotome Ranma, she sensed naught but a blasé appreciation for the female form. As though every woman he saw was no more attainable or desirable than one formed of ink and paper."

Kodachi stared at the picture, recalling all the times her attempts to lure in her beloved with her physical charms had been for naught...as well as those occassions where she had punished him for seemingly falling for the charms of others. "He...does not desire women...at all?"

"No more than he would want to lie with a masterwork piece of art." Kuno affirmed with a gesture. He then grimaced and shuddered violently, which brought a confused look from Kodachi. "I saw our mother…"

"Nani!?"

"Not for real, Imouto. Saotome denied the succubus' claims, and it tested his assertion by using a magic which clad itself in the form of one's deepest desires and fantasies. She ensorcelled our father first as a demonstration…" Kuno trailed off and turned faintly green. "I believe I will be partaking heavily of the family's supply of saké to rid myself of the image of okaa-san portrayed in such a lewd state…"

"What...what of my darling Ranma?" Kodachi asked tremulously. "What did this demon become?"

"Nothing, dear sister." Kuno returned with a soft shake of his head. "Or rather, less than that, as she'd thought her illusion would have been completely unaffected by him and his lack of desires. Instead, her true form was exposed to us all as the image collapsed, and a subsequent casting drove her to her knees in terror, through no outward action on Saotome Ranma's part." As he went on, Kuno lowered his eyes from the painting and back to his sister. "However, she was able to discern the cause of Saotome Ranma's enfeeblement, which has lead me to my current vigil over otou-san."

"What happened to him?" Kodachi asked, her voice thickening with repressed sorrow and raw hate as she growled, "Who hurt my beloved Ranma-sama!?"

"As far as we were able to determine, his father used some manner of acupressure to suppress his sexual urges, as a way to ensure Saotome Ranma would be able to focus completely on his study of martial arts. But…" Kuno regarded his sister fully as he said, "I believe it would be best if you did not go to him."

"What?!" Kodachi snapped, forgetting her high-society upbringing for a moment as she got in her older brother's face. "Why not!? My beloved has been hurt by his bastard of a father, and I'll see him suffer for it!"

"True...or at least, that is what many have come to believe." Kuno admitted. "But you must ask yourself the same question I have, Imouto. If your beloved and my hated foe is incapable of physical pleasure, then why are we pursuing him?"

Kodachi stilled, her eyes narrowed menacingly as she hissed, "What did you say?"

"From the moment of Saotome Ranma's arrival, I hounded him for being too familiar with the fierce tigress, Akane Tendo." Kuno slowly walked away from his scowling sibling, across their father's bedroom to the open picture window as he went on. "When I heard they were engaged, I forbid their union, as I thought no other man deserved to bask in her presence, save for myself. Now, with the knowledge that Saotome was unable to lust after Tendo Akane in the way that I despised him for..."

Kuno stopped at the open window and looked outside, seeing the pond where his sister's pet crocodile was sunning itself as he sighed, "I ask myself, why was I hounding him? Why did I seek to avenge myself on a man who was not a threat to me in the way I'd considered him?"

Seeing a little of where her sibling was going on this new tact, Kodachi crossed her arms and coldly said, "Just because you have erred does not mean I will not make haste to my beloved's bedside and see justice done-"

"Forget about her, Kuno."

Kodachi paused, blinking in confusion as her brother imitated Ranma's rough, uncouth drawl. "If I have anything to say about it, you'll never see her again." The Blue Thunder looked over his shoulder to regard his sister with a solemn expression. "That is what Saotome Ranma said to me, when Nabiki Tendo first informed me that the best way to meet my beloved pig-tailed girl would be through him. Again, I foresaw deviancy's most foul and intended to protect the innocent creature he'd defiled."

The kendoist lowered his eyes. "Now...I realize the truth of what has occurred. Saotome Ranma's disrespectful behavior towards me was not as a threat to his women...but of personal disgust, and from that perspective, I find I...cannot fault him."

Kodachi's jaw dropped at the admission from her brother. "Onii-san...what are you saying?"

"Consider your own actions towards your beloved, imouto," Kuno declared as he spun on his heel and fixed his sibling with a stern look. "And the 'red-haired harlot' you sought to keep from him! Bereft of lust, why would the two of them be as familiar with each other as they appear!? Why would they risk life and limb, and show equal amounts of displeasure and disregard for us and our affections, if they are not lovers!? There is only one conclusion to be drawn from today and that is…"

Kuno struggled with himself for several moments, teeth clenched at the bitter taste in his throat. Despite that, he gave voice to the theory he'd come to believe more and more with each introspective passing hour. "They are siblings."

Kodachi paused, staring at her brother for a moment before quietly saying, "They're what?"

"They are brother and sister, imouto. There is no other reason for the two of them to be so similar to one another and risk so much for each other's well-being, except that they are kin." Kuno met Kodachi's eyes and intoned seriously. "Sister...you know as well as I do that our family is not the paragon of how those who are related by blood will behave towards each other. Look at everything you have done in pursuit of Saotome Ranma, both to him and the red-haired girl you despise so much...and consider your actions through the lens of two who are bound by familial affection, rather than romantic attraction."

Kodachi, while undoubtedly twisted, was not stupid. However, denial performed admirably to resist the truth of what Kuno was saying, throwing more and more unlikely scenario's in realities path, until the inevitable occurred and Kodachi realized that the man she loved was not only unswayed by her beauty...but had also seen her contempt and vicious hostility brought to bear on someone he loved unconditionally.

Kuno sighed as the last resistance in Kodachi's mind shattered and walked over to his kneeling, despondently sobbing sister, holding her close, and letting her grieve as he had for the love that was poisoned before it'd ever had the chance to flower.

-AN-

I promise, that was the last time I'll be jerking people around regarding the 'whodunnit' aspect of this story. From here on, no more sudden suspects popping out of the woodwork, because I already exhausted the most plausible instigators among the canon cast.

Which, if you haven't already guessed, was the entire point.

Ranma's sex drive shut off? Check.

Devoting more than a half-chapter (Or about 3 freaking paragraphs) to it's discovery? Check.

Ranma still being in Nerima, and the Wrecking Crew finding out about it? Check.

Somebody who grew up with no physical attraction to girls reacting in a way besides "Oh, I always knew there was something wrong! Time to go from 'dense harem protagonist' to 'ladies man'!"? Check.

And FINALLY, coming up with a culprit who wasn't freaking GENMA, and making it somewhat logical?

Well, here's hoping that last bit will be a check, but I think I dotted the 'I's and crossed the 'T's quite well.

As a small concession though, and a very mean teaser, Genma is the indirect cause of the Imperial Servant being put on Ranma. But to be fair, he was really, really drunk at the time.

No spoilers!

Besides that, the idea of Kasumi, 'accidentally a high leveled Favored Soul' was just too amusing for me to pass up on.

Next chapter out, hopefully sooner than this one was, but no promises as I'm having to make a severe re-write of the 'perspective' for it.

Have faith...
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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby Dumbledork » Wed May 03, 2017 8:11 am

Really liked it. Can't wait for more.
And that's the bottom line 'cause Dumbledork said so.

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Re: The Imperial Servant.

Postby ckosacranoid » Wed May 03, 2017 11:04 pm

The kunos getting a half a clue to the red hair and the evil sorcer....them being siblings...thats funny. Genma being not the one is amusing also. Nice update.
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