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
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.”
“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-”
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.”
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.
Last edited by TattooTheDL
on Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.