Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.10 now]

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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [Ch.2 out

Postby Cheb » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:30 am

:oops: Thank you, corrected it in the master version.

I Wonder what happens if he gets purified.

You are not the first one to ask me that. Sadly, it won't happen (at least, not in the 8 chapters that are planned ahead in detail). The plot is, while still obvious, a kind of a curve-ball.
Canon-wise he'd probably die peacefully (according to that one filler anime episode).

:lol: :mrgreen:

:roll: I try my best

I'll try translating the next chapter for the next holidays.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [Ch.2 out

Postby Cheb » Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:04 am

Chapter 3
Everyone got to plot.

“Stop! Don't” exclaimed Akane when Shantae aimed to suck in the humongous boar in the pond.

“Why?” Shantae was taken aback.

“Why, it's P-chan!” Akane explained like it was something obvious.

“Who, as we just witnessed, is a yokai,” Nabiki injected smoothly. Then she turned around to face Akane with one hand on her hip. “Little sis, I have long since noticed that this piglet you're doting over is unnaturally tough and fast.”

“So what?” Akane bristled, ready to defend. Just as planned.

“Suit yourself.” Nabiki turned around pointedly. She then demonstrated the guys the smile of a sated shark and departed for the living room.

Both gulped, feeling sharply the very essence of the `eternal debt` term.

“So what do we do wit this... pee-tyan?” Shantae reminded them, holding the lamp carefully spout up.

Ranma approached the monstrous hulk to poke it in the snout with his foot. But the body suddenly exploded into a gust of dark wind mixed with depressive ki. A faint plop sounded from the billowing dark cloud. Catapulted away, Ranma tumbled to land graciously on his feet. Shantae hastily sucked the dissipating cloud in.

“It can't be!” Akane cried out pitifully. Coupled with her tenderized state it came out as too soul-jarring.

“Your P-chan is all right,” Ranma interrupted her with deliberate rudeness. “There he is, splashing around.”

True to his words, there was a small black piglet in a dotted bandana struggling in the center of the almost emptied pond. Ryouga let out a heavy sigh. Then, after a brief internal struggle that only Ranma noticed, he stepped into the water, fished the piglet out by the bandana and carried it to Akane.

“P-chan!” she greeted with joy as she accepted the freshly born magical creature into her arms.

“Do you think it's a good idea,” Ranma whispered into Ryouga's ear, “to leave her alone with a beast no one really knows?”

“I'll watch it,” he promised, still out of it after what just happened.

P-chan, however, behaved indistinguishable from how Ryouga used to behave in his pig form.

“I'm so glad... that you...” Smiling sweetly, Akane began collapsing. Ranma and Ryouga were beside her in a flash, lowering her to the ground carefully. They were so worried they even forgot to snipe at each other.

“Ah! Akane is wounded!” Shantae exclaimed in alarm.

“I'm... fine...” the downed girl tried assuring them in optimistic voice despite her eyes being visibly crossed and her inability to stand.

P-chan oinked sadly, uncomprehendingly, nudging her hand with his moist snout.

“Here.” Crouching beside her, Shantae shook a heavy crystal flask with red liquid inside before offering it to Akane. “No more than two gulps, got it?”

What is this?” Ranma inquired politely. Their guest's penchant for omitting details obvious to her was becoming rather obvious.

“But healing potion, of course!” Shantae replied, surprised. “Just—”

Akane took the flask in her unsteady hand.

“Just...?” Ranma invited the half-Genie girl to continue as he tried to smell the potion unobtrusively. The flask practically reeked aromatic oils and ginger.

“It, uh... got ginger in there,” she replied sheepishly. “I can't stand the taste of fish oil so... I add ginger to overpower it... Lots of.”

Akane squinted at the flask inquiringly with her single eye not swollen shut. Then she upended it into her mouth. The flask throat was thin so it took her a couple moments to make a gulp. It wasn't that bad at first. Then... the burning began.

Ranma was watching with worry as the swelling around her eye faded, her bruises disappearing without a trace and even her torn clothing knitting back together! There were tears rolling from Akane's eyes and her face wore indescribable expression.

“It's spicy, yeah,” Shantae admitted sheepishly. “But you have to make a second gulp to finish healing.”

Akane glanced at the flask. Her eyes lit with determination and she took a second gulp with the look of someone diving from a cliff.

This time she was surrounded by a perceptible aura, very... spicy for the lack of a better word. Any damage on her body and clothing just vanished. Ranma noticed that all bruises on his hand he was supporting the uncute one with stopped aching as well.

Akane was breathing slowly through her mouth, tears rolling freely.

“I'm sorry, I must have really overdid it,” Shantae said in a guilty voice as she took the vial to hide it in her subspace pocket.

Akane made a `victory` sign with two fingers, unable to speak yet.

“She's like that,” Ranma commented. “She can jump around on a broken leg while telling everyone she's fine.”

He got elbowed in the ribs for that.

“Here, Akane-san, maybe tea would help,” Ryouga offered her a mug.

Akane downed it in one gulp, letting out a long breath. Then she began thanking the pointy-eared girl profusely.

Shantae began denying the praise, telling it wasn't a big deal, pointing out that they fought together and so on and so forth.

This duet of theirs coud have went for a long time if not for P-chan nuzzling Akane's leg.

“Let's go wash you,” Akane said lifting him up. “You got silt all over you... I am not much cleaner as well”

The potion had no effect on the dirt stuck to her after plowing the lawn with her head. Well, if one disregarded clean spots on her clothing where holes once been.

“Can I join you?” Shantae immediately invited herself.

“Of course!” exclaimed Akane and the girls departed in the direction of the bathroom all the while chatting haphazardly about everything at once.

The last the guys heard before the unexpected BFFs disappeared beyond the corner was lengthy “so they dilute it with fish oil about twenty to one, so that you can take it in combat without a dropper. But I can't stand fish oil!”

Ryouga let out a dramatically whistful sigh as he prepared to depart.

“No, no.” Ranma caught him by his sleeve. “You stay here to watch over your little youkai.”

“My?!” he was taken aback.

“What's so surprising?” Ranma exclaimed in a exaggeratedly naïve voice. “The pig often appears when you're around, that's one. The bandana it sports is clearly yours, that's two. Anyone would figure it out he's your piglet!”

“Why are you so kind, all of sudden?” Ryouga frowned suspiciously. If you have paranoia it doesn't mean Ranma isn't plotting to pull one on you.

“Weeell, I have a selfish motive, honestly,” the pigtailed martial artist admitted.

“Knew it!”

“Well, you've met Shantae.”

“That sorceress with a long ponytail, right?”

“That's her. So, she has a martial style of her own beside her magic... Nothing impressive, she tangled with Shampoo and would've lost if not for her magic.”

“What do I have to do with that?” Ryouga was puzzled.

“Well, that style, in short, she whips her hair.”


“Not at all, she has instinctive ki-strengtening. She was deflecting maces easily, even chipped some paint from them. But there's a problem, you see. Shantae says she's from a different world. They don't have martial arts masters there. Nobody ever heard of ki. She called it `human magic`, imagine that.”

“Well, all right. Still how does that concern me?”

“Do you know anyone else around practicing Iron Cloth style?”

“Oooh, you want me to teach her my secrets—”

“Screw secrets, help her with the basics! I told you, she knows nothing. What she can use, it's probably her Genie magic that taught her how.”

“Sounds like a tall story, don't you think?”

“How else you'd call a martial artist who is weaker than Akane in pure kempo but uses hidden weapons technique so well Mousse'd eat his sleeves from envy? She was pulling various junk simply from thin air, with no strain. And she carries a hefty chunk of copper around seemingly because she just forgot about it! You understand the implications, do you? It means weight isn't transferred at all and it doesn't fall out when she sleeps. It's a master level, no less. While magic explains everything so well.”

“Weeeell...” Ryouga scratched his head.

“Just tell her what ki-strenghtening is. Practice with a ribbon for a while. I guarantee she'd be overjoyed. Then Akane will get overjoyed that her friend found what she craved!”

“Oooh!” Ryouga got it. “You're like home-grown Machiavelli, man!”

“So, will you help tomorrow?” Ranma asked in a voice full of hope, his face open and honest.

“There's no choice, isn't there?” Ryouga sighed. “Does this house have a spare closet?”

This was when Kasumi returned and gasped: the yard was all dug up, all the fishes were on the grass, not even flopping, just opening their mouths slowly, her father was out cold... She froze, unable to decide where to start.

“Ranma, collect the fish,” Genma commanded from where was sitting beside Souun. “Kasumi-san will be saddened if she finds them lifeless.”

“I hope they won't suffocate in this murk,” the younger Saotiome replied as he was quickly collecting the nigh comatose carps, releasing them carefully into the much shallower now pond.

That was how Cologne found him: ankle-deep in muddy water, with his trousers rolled up to his knees.

“So fascinating,” the old lady cackled as she surveyed the battle damage. “Son-in-Law, you just can't help be full of surprises!” She put on a smile of adoration as she stared at the guy Ranma standing in water.

“Shampoo was here already,” Ranma grumbled jumping out to collect the last couple carps.

“And what an amazing story she told!” Cologne continued. Then she turned serious instantly. “But enough pleasantries. Where is Happousai?”

“Did Shampoo already tell you about, uhh, the lamp?” Ranma asked as he released the last fish. Hiding details from the inquisitive hag was probably pointless.

“That she did. Now to tell truth from fisherman's tales... But even that isn't important. Where is he?”

“Got sucked in,” the pigtailed martial artist replied reluctantly. “Altogether, whole. So he turned out not to be a human. But who is he exactly, a yokai, a genie or something? Who knows.”

“Veeeery interesting,” Cologne drawled. “And for how long is this sudden happiness? Forever or is there a limt?”

“Shantae says it cannot be forever, something about having to purify and release the magic. So both Happi and my curse will return someday. But all the whys and hows? I'd have to ask her the right questions but all this magic is mumbo-jumbo to me.” Wiping his bare feet on the grass he headed towards the living room.

Cologne hopped after him, tsking disapprovingly at the ground cut and upturned as if by a huge cutter, at the cuts and nicks in the plaster and roof tiles of the fence. “How did you let it devolve to this? Is everyone all right, at least?”

“They are,” Ranma replied thinking it wasn't his best day. “Lighting the loot up was my idea. The plan... It was a wonderful plan. We lot only had to delay and distract while Shantae turned into a mouse to search the old freak's room and hide the lamp in her hidden weapons technique. That should've been it, the victory.”

“But he had the lamp on himself,” Cologne finished for him.

“On him,” Ranma confirmed. “After that it went downhill...” He shuddered. “All this upturned earth? It was the hell-panda trying to gut Pops. He was returning with... I don't know what technique was that, but it was powerful. Me... I killed the girl. Akane helped, really, well and she went for a killing blow...”

Cologne exploded with a long tirade in Chinese - it was abundantly clear she wanted to grab certain someone's head by the ears and unscrew it.

“Uh... I know I'm a moron,” Ranma began cautiously. “I put Akane in d—”

“You? No,” Co logne interrupted him with venom. “But one air-headed heir who didn't even think to use your telephone?”

Ranma cussed as he realized the weight of consequences stemming from such a seemingly minor detail. Had Cologne come right away and not after the beaten Shampoo limped home, she'd help immensely by neutralizing the old ero-freak. Or, even better, she'd shot his, Ranma's, moronic plan down.

But he tried defending Shampoo anyway: “Well, she was still out of it after being trampled by an elephant...”

“So that part is true?” Cologne grew interested.

“Well, when you can transform into a mouse or an elephant and know a sliding technique on top of that? It would be stupid not to use it. There is a hole in the fence over there.” He pointed left. “They basically butted heads!”

“Ke-ke-ke, such an interesting genie girl,” Cologne cackled. “I hope I have what could be of interest to her.” The old lady zipped for the roof, beelining towards the bathroom on the other side of the house.

`This won't end well,` Ranma thought as he jumped after her. Just in case.

[center]* * *[/center]

“Wow, I didn't know your house has a bath!” Shantae said in amazement. “I thought we'd go to a public bathhouse.”

“Well, when our gas heater breaks we do,” Akane demurred while disrobing in the laundry room. The blue school dress smeared with earth went into the dirty laundry bin.

“Umm...” Shantae drawled unsurely behind her.

Akane turned around. The guest was already in only her panties resembling bikini bottom with ties at the sides, only a bit wider and more comfortable. With her purple hair down, the mane was almost reaching her heels. How does she remove the hair hub remained a mystery.

“Something is wrong?” Akane's hands, lifting unthinkingly to undo her bra, suddenly froze. `Please, please, don't let her be a boy!` she prayed, `I won't survive a second one!`

“Weeeell, I just remembered that all my spare clothing is back home,” Shantae replied awkwardly.

“Just that?” Akane said with relief as she got rid of her underwear. “You can walk to my room in a bathrobe, then we'll borrow from someone. Mine, or... No, not from Big Sis Nabiki. Ranma should have something similar to your outfit.”

“Ranma?” Shantae asked in puzzlement.

“He has this curse of his for a year and a half now, he accumulated a wardrobe for his female half,” Akane explained while opening the sliding doors of the bathroom proper. “He only opposes it vehemently in words, he transforms to have fun without a thought. He also can only swim as a girl now.”

“Got it,” Shantae replied entering after her. “Uhh, erm, you don't have flowing water?”

“Flowing?” Akane was confused. She made sure the `occupied` sign was in place and slid the door closed. “The taps are over there!”

“Umm...” Shantae crouched next to a tap which was placed low, to be used while sitting. She twiddled the shower head in her hands. Then put it down. She pushed at the faucet cautiously. Pushed it harder. Pulled at it.

Akane watched her actions in a state of mild stupefaction.

“Aha!” Shantae exclaimed victoriously turning the faucet on its axis. She immediately shrieked as the shower head under her feet came to life showering her with icy water.

“Red one is hot!” Akane explained rushing to close the tap: the hose was writhing like a snake making Shantae back away from icy splashes. “And this little lever her switches between tap and shower... You don't have such things, right?”

“Such awesome tech?” Shantae said as she sat down next to the tap and tried turning the faucet with great caution. “I dunno. maybe the Sultana has it, or Techno Baron. In the bathhouse they have warm water always flowing in a small waterfall — I think there is special magic for that. But in the houses? A washstand with a thingie below the bucket you push to make water flow is advanced stuff. I don't have one, I only use a jug.”

“That is similar to how we had it a hundred years ago or more,” Akane noted. “How have people ever lived without any conveniences...? The horror!” She pushed a plastic seat towards her guest. “Here, you sit on this and lather up. Then you was it off with cold water and you're ready to go into the bassin.”

“Just like our bathhouse,” Shantae said. She then whined: “Is it necessary, to use cold water?”

“Well... No, but it's better for your health.”

“How so?”

“It makes your body focus, mobilize...”

“Ooh, training...! But I don't have a source of cold water back at home. The bathhouse doesn't have it and it's far to the nearest well.”

“Here, take this,” Akane handed her a washbasin with assorted bathing implements. “This one is shampoo. And this one is for your hair.”

Shantae twirled the small plastic bottle in her hands, doubt evident on her face. “I have... lots of hair.”

“Aw, don't worry about such trifle. We can always buy more.”

“Your world is so rich...”

Akane harrumphed. “I think it's the other way around. I read it somewhere that before modern conveniences appeared many things we take for granted were much more expensive, only available to the rich. Maybe, such things are simply very expensive in your world?”

Shantae didn't have a reply to that, she just let out a long sound of vague thoughtfulness.

For a while the girls were lathering up in silence until it was turn for the hair.

“Let me help you,” Akane offered, not fancying waiting wet and cold until Shantae finishes her nigh endless mane. “I help Big Sis Kasumi wash her hair...”

In four hands they finished it faster. Then was time for rinsing. Shantae unflinchingly turned the faucet to the coldest, then she was bravely filling the bathroom with almost ultrasonic shrieks. But she never even thought to make the water warmer.

Then it was time to soak, finally. They had to make support for Shantae's hair first, by putting together two washing stools just outside the basin: so much wet hair was too uncomfortably heavy to simply wrap it in a towel around the head.

Akane laid down in opposite direction, her back to the window. She was going to ask the guest about her home world...

“That's it!” the half-Genie exclaimed suddenly, snapping her fingers. “I saw such `taps` — and I think the shower too — on that tub Risky trapped me in!”

“Trapped...? Tub...?”

“I, err, would tell you later,” Shantae promised, embarrassed. “That was one of the moments you look back at and cannot believe you could've been such a careless day-dreamer.”

“You don't have to,” Akane began reassuring her.

The matted glass window slid open revealing a blank wall just a couple meters beyond it and a...

“Another shriveled gnome!” Shantae shrieked covering herself with her left arm and right knee but throwing her right arm up, palm facing forward.

Cologne displayed well honed reflexes as she dove behind the window edge much faster than simply gravitational pull would allow. “I just want to talk!”

“It's not a shriveled gnome,” Akane explained. “It's Shampoo's great-grandmother. She has a custom of popping out suddenly like that.”

“Ah!” Shantae lowered her arm. “I won't apologize, that was very... unexpected.”

“Hey are you... Gack!” Ranma's voice reached from the roof above the blank wall.

Shantae shrieked covering herself again and throwing her right arm up.

“R-r-r-ranma!” Akane growled like a wild sabertooth. She haven't bothered moving, though.

“I saw nothing!” the invisible fiance shouted. “Ack!” And he tumbled with clatter somewhere to the left.

“As always sneaking on girls in the bath?” an invisible Nabiki asked with sarcasm. Her voice was accompanied by the sound of a door opening close by to the left.

He began protesting vehemently.

Cologne on her stick jumped back onto the window edge - there was no window still, only rails for the frames.

“To what do we owe your visit?” Akane inquired politely.

“Ke-ke-ke...” the old lady cackled. “I heard you got a Genie prowling your house.”

“That's me,” Shantae said continuing to cover herself — just in case — but letting her right arm drop. “But I'm a half-Genie and I am soaking, not prowling.”

It felt like some sort of pun fell valiantly in the way of translation.

“Well, anyway, I have an offer for you,” Cologne said. “I'd like to hire you for a job that requires you specialty.”

“My specialty?” Shantae sounded doubtful. “But what is my speciality...? A guardian Genie? I'm afraid Ranma and Genma fight better than me even I use my magic in full.”

“No, no,” Cologne said. “Crushing and smashing we can do on our own. There is something that only Genies can do. Your magic of wish fulfillment, to be exact.”

“Wait a minute!” Akane injected indignantly. “If—”

“Shampoo can work on her own happiness,” Cologne interrupted her. “No, I have one serious task that only Genie magic can achieve.”

“Serious task?” Akane pouted.

“Let's just say I was waiting for two hundred years for an opportunity,” Cologne clarified. “And I'm ready to provide compensation for the work, in limits of my ability. Be it teaching ki techniques, minor magical items or precious gems.”

Akane fell silent. She have never seen Cologne so serious and business-like. The old lady rather had a habit of playing the most serious of situations for giggles.

Shantae harrumphed doubtfully. Then, after some, thought, she replied: “I'm open to discussion, but I am very inexperienced in this and there are limitations. The wish must come from the depth of your heart and it must be bright. So you cannot wish harm to someone.”

“Ooh, there won't be any problems with that. For a very long time, from the depth of my heart, I wish to destroy one very evil and very dangerous magical thing. One... foolish girl of our tribe had suffered from it.”

“Suffered?” Akane asked cautiously. “How exactly?”

“That artifact tore her soul out of the body,” Cologne said in a deliberately casual voice, “and imprisoned it.”

Shantae gasped. “I'll do it without any compensation! Many of my friends suffered from sorcerous items, these are all around the place like junk. Though, dragging a huge statue of unknown nature as a gift for your daughter is just plain wrong.”

“That got me thinking,” Ranma injected suddenly from beyond his corner, “why waiting so long? Couldn't you have, I dunno, throw that thing in a volcano or something?”

“That's an interesting question, Saotome-kun,” Nabiki echoed.

“The artifact is of recurring nature,” Cologne explained. “Destroying it, while not easy, is possible. But it's useless: it will eventually appear somewhere as if it was never destroyed. Usually in bad hands, too. So, will you do it?”

“Of course yes!” Shantae agreed without a shadow of doubt. “Such a dangerous thing must be eliminated!”

“Great!” Cologne perked up. “I'll send Shampoo tomorrow to agree on a time.”

“By the way, won't she get to that evil thing?” Ranma asked worriedly. “Or, even worse, Mousse...? I know how careless you are in keeping magical junk around.”

“No,” Cologne replied. “Because I haven't taken that vile thing out of my hidden weapons technique for the last two centuries.”

At these words Ranma's apprehension grew, flooding with power. A serious, cautious Cologne...? Something big had died in the woods, the end was nigh.

Shantae and Akane, though, were left satisfied that a good deed will be done. After that they toweled themselves, donned bathrobes and trudged, yawning, upstairs to Akane's room. This day was exhausting. There was one last obstacle: Akane was trying to cede her bed to Shantae and sleep on a futon: she kept enough self-criticism to not forget she was turning in her sleep like a propeller. It was a good thing P-chan was durable — she now even knew, why.

Shantae, though, was objecting that she never slept on such a soft thing and would be content sleeping on arug if her home's floor was not made of stone.

Having no energy to argue any further, they donned Akane's pyjamas and were out like lights, Akane on her bed and Shantae on a futon.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.3 n

Postby Dumbledork » Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:06 pm

Well done. The story is really well constructed and makes you wish for more. The pacing is very good.
And that's the bottom line 'cause Dumbledork said so.

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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.3 n

Postby Cheb » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:53 am

I'm really focusing on characters this time, not on technicalities.
Also, trying to follow the spirit. Which is *not* natural for me as I am affine with hard sci-fi and complex plots full of technicalities and bland characters

Chapter 4 at fufunet: ... nce-Rumble

Because I rushed it into publishing in a futile attempt to keep the 1 chapter per week schedule. I'm already failing it as Ch. 6 in Russian is still missing large chunks, the sunday is closing to an end and I'm worn out. :x

The pacing is very good.

Too many authors commit the grave mistake of trying to describe everything as it happens, with no skips and generalization. So far, it only worked for Taylor Varga. Mainly because its author is a madman made of steel for whom a million words is nothing :lol:

<b>Chapter 4
Runaway Friendship</b>

The saturday morning proclaimed dawn with birds tweeting and muffled clattering from the direction of the yesterday hole in the fence. Akane stretched good, entertaining a thought if she should try seeing the team of ninja builders. She finally decided trying would be useless. That part of the fence was in the shadow of the house. Besides, they'd manage to finish while she'd be opening her window and she'd only see a finished fence. Of course it was their training, but why making it harder for them? Better let them finish without hurry.

Scratching P-chan behind his ear — he oinked with content — and stretching good one more time she jumped off her bed... To yelp as she suddenly stumbled into someone.

Shantae, who had been snoozing peacefully on her futon, tumbled away in a rolling dodge to jump up into a combat stance, her eyes wild. Her mane was cascading around her in a haphazard shroud covering her down to her ankles.

P-chan displayed amazing acrobatics as he rebounded off the wall to dive under the bed.

“I'm sorry!” Akane began apologizing right away.

“Oh!” the half-Genie relaxed as she realized where she was, then yawned. “Don't sweat it! I just had a weird dream, of a burning sky falling towards me... Sometimes, I have to sleep in places where you either wake up quick, or won't wake up at all.” Sitting down on the edge of the bed she pulled a big comb out of nowhere and began combing her hair methodically.”

“So you are... like Ranma?” Akane suggested with either relief of envy.

“Like Ranma?” the guest asked. Dressed in Akane's pyjamas, she looked amazingly homely, only her ears and hair distignuishing her from your average girl.

A resounding splash broke the morning silence, then barely audible Kasumi's voice berated: “Uncle Saotome, Ranma-kun, the carps haven't recovered yet from yesterdays ordeal!” and chorused “I'm very sorry, Kasumi-san!” of the father and son.

“He is training Ranma from early age to defend from attacks in his sleep,” Akane explained. “That's why he often wakes Ranma by throwing him out of the window and into the pond.”

“An excellent idea!” the purple haired girl approved as she kept combing.

Akane let out a noisy breath looking so frustrated that Shantae's comb froze: “What? Am I wrong...?”

“After... Since Mom is gone, Father is treating me like I'm made of glass,” Akane complained. “But how could I progress without full-contact sparring...? I tried berating him, I tried shaming him, he even tried from time to time. But every single time he just couldn't find it in himself to hit me...”

“Ouch,” Shantae sounded symphatetic. “That's... frustrating. But isn't there anyone else you could spar with?”

“I was growing stronger too fast,” Akane admitted. “Until I outgrew everyone of my age around. Until Ranma came with his.. harem, I was the strongest martial artist. After that... It's just unfair!”

“Umm... What's wrong with Ranma?” Shantae asked cautiously.

“He is not taking me seriously!” Akane flared with habitual irritation. “You saw him fight, right?”

The other girl grunted in awed agreement.

“Well, I'm simply unable too hit him!” Akane complained. “I could just go swipe my arms through the air to the same effect. But even that is just minor annoyance, really. What really riles is his refusal to help me with my defense!

“In other words, he refuses to hit you,” Shantae said.

“Well, it may not be his fault,” Akane admitted in a bout of honesty. “If he hits me, first father would be... a bit angry at him. Second, I would be bedridden for a week. Third, if I'm down for a week, father's wrath would be terrible... Right. I sorta can understand him. But you won't believe how frustrating it is when they handle you carefully like a rotten egg!”

“Is there no one to go to?” Shantae was surprised. “What about these... Many masters Ranma was talking about? What about Shampoo?”

“Ask other dojo?” Akane smiled lopsidedly. “Yeah, that would be wonderful stain on our school's reputation. I'm not just some pupil, I'm the heir!”

“Ah, it's like noble families, right? Clan honor and stuff?”

“Well... There are many things in common. But Shampoo... Or Ukyou... We may get along, but sparring? They'd be tempted to off me by `accident`.”

“Off you?” Shantae was shocked.

“It's a long story,” Akane demurred. “The three fiancees of Ranma and all that. I'll tell you later.”

“What about using monsters?” Shantae continued. “If nothing else helps? I know, it's dangerous, but—”

“Hard to find them nowadays.” Akane sighed. “Only far out of the city, in most secluded places. Best case it's a three hour long train ride followed by hiking through mountains. I tried, once, to answer a call for a monster hunter instead of Father. It ended in a total fiasco. Not only beasts there were so big only Ranma could kick them but also one... childhood friend of mine was... The entire trip was just fraying my nerves for naught. All training I got was jumping across that eight headed dragon while others were distracting him.”

“So... You cannot become stronger because you don't have anyone to train with?” Shantae guessed.

Akane nodded in return with a depressed “Un.”

“Hmmm... If you can find a long strip of cloth, to wrap my hair, I can spar with you as Ranma advised yesterday. I too, have no one to test my ways to fight with my arms and legs on.”

“Really?!!” Akane beamed like a little sun.

“Well, this may not work,” the half-Genie warned. “Bt we won't know until we try!”

After that Shantae had to comb her hair fast: Akane held still out of politeness, keeping herself from just dragging Shantae to search for a ribbon with sheer willpower. But she was still vibrating in impatience.

Finally Shantae finished and barely had time to put the comb away when she felt herself carried away as if by a hurricane.

There was an oink from under the bed, P-chan's curious snout poking out. The pigled then trotted to scout around, squeezing through door not closed properly.

Kasumi had to lean against a wall, she felt like she had been lifted and spun around by a tornado. And what was she doing next to a linen closet...? Gasping, the eldest sister hurried back to the kitchen while the breakfast haven't burned yet.

“Ranmawebrowurgi, all right?”

“Take anything you need!” the wet pigtailed martial artist shouted back, keeping his eyes firmly on his old man. Who decided, after what had happened yesterday, to up the training. “I don't have a female form now anyw— Gack!” And wrapped around the fist of his progenitor who displayed uncharacteristic swiftness.

Shantae barely finished wrapping a big turban of bed-sheet layered with hair when she was swept up and dragged again by hurricane Akane. Through a roofed passage to a separate big house... Which turned to be one big hall inside. The wooden floor was so clean it shone and the ceiling was lined with these wondrous tech-lanterns of theirs.

“Here!” Akane threw her a bundle of very coarse white fabric, more akin to felt, as she began stripping of her pyjamas in haste.

“What... Is this?” the half-Genie asked dazedly, unwrapping the bundle that turned out to be rough pants and a... jacket? To think of it, that was how Genma dressed.

“Well, you can't spar in everyday clothing, right?” Akane replied swiftly donning a similar outfit, but slightly yellowish-green and tying it with a red belt.

“Special clothing for training...?” Shantae was amazed. “You take it seriously!” She stripped of her pyjamas as well to don the unfamiliar garb. Which prickled something horrible!

“Wait...” Akane stopped her. “The belt!” She hurried to run somewhere.

“The belt?” Shantae asked holding the long strip of black fabric up. “What's wrong with it...?”

“It's Ranmas, black one!” Akane `explained` disappearing in the storage room hidden behind the side wall through an opening in the end of the hall. “Wait, I'll get you a white one.”

“Umm, and yours is red?” Shantae stated, puzzled. What the belt color meant? She tried sensing magic in it. Zilch.

“Brown!” Akane corrected her although her belt was obviously and undeniably red. “It means I'm still far away from black...! She stopped clattering with supplies and leaned out from behind the wall. “Wait, you are using magic and transformations against monsters, right?”

“Yes!” Shantae agreed. “Also, my hair!” She scratched at the turban. Her head was beginning to feel hot under it.

“So we can say yoau are a black belt of Genie arts!” Akane concluded, returning. “While kempo is just a school unfamiliar to you.”

“I'm a black belt...? What— Oooh! Got it, colors mean rank! Like the monster knights: red ones are strong, blue ones are very strong.” She tied the belt and made several stretches testing if this clothing was restricting her movements. It was, but tolerably little, especially as a trade-off allowing to not be shy with throws and falls. Taking an another look around she asked, curiosity getting better of her: “What this hall is for, usually?”

“But for practicing the Art!” Akane replied, sounding offended. “Does the word `dojo` tell you anything?”

“Erm... Umm...” Shantae frowned. The word — no, a whole concept laden with meaning — felt like getting jammed in her head at her attempts to think it. “The wish, probably, fulfilled incompletely or the language is that different?”

Akane blinked. was she forgetting this language wasn't native for her new friend?

“It's what our family specializes in,” she explained. “To teach the Art. Would Father... Never mind, that's temporary. Let us begin?”

“I'm ret-to-go!” the half-Genie agreed gladly, taking a combat stance. Akane took her own, much more precise and measured, formal even. Then she made the first move by crossing the distance with a series of curious steps, it looked like she was flowing from foot to foot. Shantae was so interested in her footwork she forgot to watch the opponent's hands and the punch that slammed into her solar plexus came completely out of the blue.

“Are you all right?” Akane asked her worriedly.

“Yes!” Shantae replied impatiently, forcing herself to uncurl. “Please do that again, I'm curious how you did it!”

Akane walked back to her initial position and repeated. This time Shantae saw her motion in its entirety and even tried deflecting. The habit to parry with her hair was slowing her down making her movements unsure, but that was the whole point of this exercise. She only managed do deflect one strike, two more hit her in her side and at the torso, sneaking through her protective arm waving. Even though Akane was moving noticeably slower than Shampoo.

“It's like poetry of motion!” Shantae gushed as she forced herself to uncurl by sheer will power. “Now I understand why you call it Art!”

“Your turn now,” Akane said shifting into a different stance.

Shantae performed a probing series of strikes with her hands and feet. Akane blocked them all, invincible like Lady Scorpion. Even your extremities rang in a similar manner from striking at her. Shantae pushed harder, speeding up. Akane wasn't counterattacking, she only defended by blocking or deflecting blows. An excited smile began blooming on the youngest Tendou's face. Shantae kept increasing speed. It was becoming clear that Akane was weaker than Shampoo, but her moves! Her defense felt invulnerable, her arms and legs appearing right there to deflect or block. It's a mastery of predicting her opponent's moves, the half-Genie concluded. I'm an open book for her, my advantage in speed is useless.

She tried moving chaotically. It didn't help. She tried to concentrate on Akane's rhythms, to read the girl in turn. To Shantae's surprise, it worked. The poetry of motion turned out stiff, without a living spark, like chains of pieces learned by rote. So this is what happens when you have no one to train with? Feeling a fleeting sympathy, Shantae tried to fix the situation by finding chinks between the combinations. It wasn't easy: her opponent was still good at building the puzzle of defense from the pieces of moves. But it was doable: yet another kick reached its target sweeping the girl off her feet to send her tumbling head over heels. Oops...?

“I knew my defense is full of holes!” Akane declared with joy as she stood up rubbing at her side. “But now I finally feel where they are!”

They exchanged roles. Shantae was beginning to doubt if she had a defense at all. Dodging was barely working. As was blocking and deflecting blows. Without the usual bracers, her arms were ringing with bruises. Deciding she needed an edge badly she started using her backwards sliding dodge. Akane's features flashed with envy, then determination. The number of mutual hits equalized.

They switched to attacking and defending at the same time - in other words, to a full-contact brawl. Each was receiving her share of hits but they weren't paying them any attention. This was so interesting! Everything, every little detail!

Yet another pause came when Akane failed to defend from a frontal kick and only stopped rolling when she hit the wall. Jumping to ther feet, she was going to rush back into the melee but Shantae stopped her: “Wait, wait! Let's hold back some, or we won't last long!”

“Yes, of course!” Akane agreed. “We should be careful, or else we'll wear our before breakfast.”

They went at it again. Their own decision was forgotten in about five minutes into the thrill of sparring. Caught in it, the girls were beating stuffing out of each other with great enthusiasm.

<center>* * *</center>

“Ranma-kun! Uncle! Breakfast!” Kasumi called.

Souun was already at the table, his newspaper set aside.

“Where's Akane?” Ranma asked rubbing at fresh lumps. Pops was in rare form today.

“So you go and bring her here, son!” the elder Saotome commanded as he sat at the table. “Are you her fiance, or chopped liver?”

Ranma wasn't even going to argue. Pops stopped pretending today that he was still in his prime. Namely, he stopped conserving his energy allowing Ranma to see the limit of his endurance. He couldn't last very long at his full power, but his fighting ability, while going all out, evoked only respect. Ranma was glad, mostly, even as he was hurting all over. Harder training promised new horizons of self-improvement.

He met Nabiki heading in other direction, as always friendly and cheerful before her morning coffee like a freshly unearthed zombie.

Ranma was going to jog upstairs when he recalled that Akane, maybe, already woke up today...? He went to check the dojo but stopped in his tracks half-way there at the sight of Akane and Shantae, both in gi while the latter also sported a big turban, half-limping, half-stumbling down the roofed passage. They stayed upright only thanks to leaning on each other. Both faces sported happy smiles and similar shiners around their right eyes.

“Oh! Ranma!” Akane greeted him cheerfully. “You see? Your yesterday idea of us sparring with each—”

“Don't mention it!” Paling rapidly, the pigtailed martial artist haven't even noticed as he fell to his knees, his forehead meeting the wooden floor. “I beg you, don't tell anyone it was my idea! The old man Tendou, he—”

“Ah!” Akane got it instantly. “No, no, you are mistaken! It was my idea, yeah! Right, Shantae?”

“What is this about?” the other girl asked, puzzled.

“Well, the idea for us to spar,” Akane explained. “It was my idea, remember that! Because if it was Ranma who suggested it, and Father saw me... slightly bruised, then Father would be very angry at Ranma!”

“Ummm, all right,” Shantae agreed. “But are you sure we shouldn't just take healing potion? A gulp for each would be enough and I still have enough.”

“Mmm, I don't remember it in detail, but the teachings say it somewhere that pain helps retention of what you learned or something like that. Let's take it after the breakfast, all right?”

“I'll go tell them you two are... limping.” Ranma retreated.

Inside he met Ryouga who have just walked out the closet to the left and was standing there glaring at P-chan peeking cautiously from behind the corner to the left ahead.

“Hey, why so gloomy, P— Aw, bugger. Can't poke at that now.”

Ryouga smirked in return. Then he addressed P-chan: “Well, pork? Let's go have breakfast?” He then headed forward down the corridor.

“Leaving already?” Ranma couldn't help quipping. “There is only the exit in that direction. Chowder is there.” He turned right to the corridor passing by the kitchen and the living room.

Ryouga grumbled but followed him. P-chan trotted after them, sniffing at the air.

“The girls will be here shortly,” Ranma declared in an airy tone as he sat down beside his father. “Well, it could take them a while to limp here,” he began preparing the ground.

Souun frowned suspiciously.

“Who would’ve thought,” Ranma was continuing in an exaggeratedly-clueless naïve voice, “that these two would find sparring partners in each other! They were so eager to train they snuck into the dojo before the breakfast!” He added approval in his voice. “I knew Akane liked training, but I had no idea, how much! They must have started whaling at each other even before me'n Pops did!”

Souun began catching on. Dense storm clouds obscured the ceiling.

“Well, both their defenses suck,” Ranma kept pushing on. “But I never saw someone so black and blue and happy at the same time!”

The clouds darkened. A rumble of thunder rolled.

“Here they are, by the way,” Ranma announced as two girls entered, leaning on each other.

Souun was going to frown but Akane interrupted him: “Morning!” she greeted everyone happily. Her shiner was surely impressive.

“Good morning!” Shantae greeted no less cheerfully. Her shiner was smaller, but Ranma noticed her favoring one side in a way that told of her ribs being at least bruised.

Unable, as always, to stay angry in the face of Akane's enthusiasm, Souun deflated, mumbling something about how was the sparring.

Akane began replying in detail but was interrupted by Shantae: “Er, um, why are you all sitting on the floor and why is your table so low?”

They had to explain it to her while the girls were limping towards the table to collapse at it. Shantae complained her head was hot and pulled at the end of her turban making it un wind and her hair spill pooling around her on the floor like a big puddle.

Kasumi was putting food on the table quickly. Finally, everyone was ready to eat. They broke their chopsticks. Aaand... Their guest frose in mild stupefaction, staring at what they were eating with.

“Big Sis Kasumi,” Akane asked in apologetic voice. “Could you please get a fork for Shantae-chan?”

“Oh, no, please no, don't use these, how you call them, honorifics,” the half-genie begged. “I have double hearing because of them... I may have lerned the language but speaking it feels so... Strange and alien at times.”

“Ranma pointed out that French is strange and alien too. From that point the conversation somehow steered towards physics and other sciencies. Shantae pointed it was her uncle's forte while she wasn't that kind of Genie and knew no miracles except smashing things. Nabiki reminded her about her wish-fulfilling powers.

“Right!” Shantae snapped her fingers in the air. “I'm now— Owww...” She curled to one side. “Wish fulfillment is so new to me I sometimes forget I can do that!”

Ranma hastily provoked the girls into drinking the potion right now by arguing that broken ribs were Serious Business. The girls knocked back — no other word fit, with such a Jumbo concentration of ginger. They healed in about thirty seconds.

Souun, who missed the yesterdays demonstration by being out of it, was amazed. They weren't going to tell him Akane had been saved in this way from being almost ended by Happousai.

Nabiki, naturally, got curious about the prices. Shantae told them it was 35 <i>jewels</i> per flask, time and a half more if bought on tap. The knowledge of language proved was not helping any to figure what `jewel` was so they tried using the deductive method. They learned that the town was paying the half-Genie 125 per month, of which 45 went to housing rent leaving her with net funds of 80. Nabiki had her suspicion as soon as he heard the magityde of these numbers.

Akane grew horrified that a potion costs almost half her friend's monthly salary while she already drank almost half of it. Shantae told her airily to not worry about such trivialities since money runs out too fast anyways making it necessary to take side jobs. She sometimes burned through as much as three hundred in one month.

They went calculating. Tried comparing the price of gold - which both Nabiki and Shantae turned out to be knowing precisely. But they got stumped by weight units: their guest's world not only had everything non-metric but various units were also organized into a system more convoluted than French writing rules. They tried comparing prices of common things next. It turned out that Shantae's world was really backwards, from “what is mains power” to “well, kerosene, to fill lamps”. They had to settle on the fresh fish and involve Kasumi as the family's acquisition expert.

After a long and complicated process Nabiki declared that one `jewel` was about 1700 yen. So the price of a potion flask was — ta-daaam — a bit less than sixty thousand.

Akane choked almost strangling P-chan by accident.

While slapping her on the back Shantae commented off-handedly that that was nothing, a jar of silky crème cost all three hundred but was really worth it because it allowed her to whip faster, her hair feeling nigh weightless. Too bad it ran out in a week.

Nabiki voiced calmly: about five hundred thousand yen or five thousand US dollars.

Now it was everyone's turn to choke leaving Shantae very puzzled: it was normal, what's the matter?

After the breakfast the two fans of training were going to repeat the experience. Ranma stopped them reasoning that full contact sparring is good and all but they'd run out of healing potion in one day.

Genma added that until one reached the black belt, such duels should be done with an instructor, with stopping after each series and reviewing what went wrong. While what they did was inefficient buhurt. Then he nudged his friend with his elbow.

Gathering himself together, Souun agreed wholeheartedly. He then proclaimed he was ready to bestow on them the honor of being their referee. Not forgetting also to mention father's duty.

Soon the entire family was gathered in the dojo. They dragged Ryouga with them as well. Shantae in a freshly remade turban versus Akane. They took turns attacking while Souun was correcting them. It soon became clear that he was an excellent teacher when he stopped wallowing in self-pithy and got to business. He was also marking Shantae down simply because he couldn’t understand her style. Genma had to get involved: the half-Genie's pure hand-t-hand style turned out to be a barbaric mix of everything and a kitchen sink, as expected from a girl with no formal education who invented it all by herself face to face with real enemy. The back-sliding technique she mastered from a scroll she bought in the shop was practically the key element of her defense. They decided to rectify that first. Working together, Souun and Genma sicced Akane to negate this advantage using rapid dashes and rolls. The girls spent three fun-filled hours after which both pupils were soaked in sweat while Shantae improved her defense considerably. But not in the way the fathers intended: she now could slide back twice farther and sharper than before, Akane's rapid pounces weren't reaching her anymore. Akane, on her part, was growing accustomed to avoiding non-textbook strikes.

Finally Souun declared that the dojo will be still there the next day while Akane wasn't used to training so many hours a day. The girls trudged to wash up before lunch but fell asleep in the basin missing the lunch altogether. Shaken awake by Kasumi they crawled upstairs to Akan'e room to emerge for diner in pyjamas, fighting valiantly against their eyes' tendency to close without prompting.

During the diner Shampoo came, proud like an eagle on a stick. She was moving smoothly, regally. Stiff muscles? Naw, never heard of these. Shantae warned her with all honesty she wasn't ready for the rematch after the exhausting sparring with Akane. Shampoo tried to feed Ranma some tiny treat just on general principle. He withstood the temptation valiantly and she strode away filled with naïve confidence in her new rival not being as tough as she first thought.

The TV was a huge success. Shantae got glued to it. Akane wasn't bad at that either. Ranma tried sitting with them for a while, but... Girls. How could they watch this boring stuff! Yeech. He dragged Ryouga away to train - just a little, carefully, not to have to repair the dojo tomorrow.

Midnight came. Akane and Shantae took root in front of the TV and weren't going anywhere. The half-Genie was combing her hair without realizing she was doing it.

Souun let out a sigh but ultimately left them alone, only demanding they turned volume down.

They passed out closer to the morning, only because most of the sane channels turned into gray static.
Last edited by Cheb on Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.3 n

Postby Cheb » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:49 pm

What to say? I'm finally through the Writer's block (more like life block :x ) I finished playing Pirate Queen's Quest DLC (awesome! :roll: ), there are *two* chapters ahead that only have to be translated, I have solid feeling of Chapter 8 (10% in material, though) and know now exactly how to weave Chapter 9 joining Shantae's and Risky's stories plus my headcanon into one solid whole.

Already published this one @ fufunet: ... nce-Rumble

Chapter 5
There Aint No such Thing As Too Much Training

The noise of Saotomes' morning spar haven't awakened the girls snoring, huddled together, beside the living room table. The TV was babbling some cheery nonsense for a while now.

Kasumi came, cast a disapproving look, turned the TV off and went away to hang freshly washed laundry.

Ranma and Genma finished their sparring, looked at the peacefully snoozing couple of friends and went upstairs to their room.

Souun came with a newspaper, sighed heavily, then sat down on the veranda-corridor platform, hanging his feet down to the garden.

For a while everything was quiet, with only sparrows chirping and the patriarch rustling his newspaper. Then a provisionally awake Nabiki trudged in, dressed in pyjamas, with a toothbrush sticking out of her mouth. She stood there for about a minute, blinking slowly at the idyllic picture, then trudged back with renewed rustling of her toothbrush.

Everything was silent again. Akane turned over for an umpteenth time, wrapping herself in Shantae's mane.

Sounds of breakfast being prepared began reaching from the kitchen. Nabiki returned, dressed and almost awake, to sit down at the table opposite the all-nighters and stare at them contemplatively, with her hands propping her chin and her elbows on the table.

The sparrows got tired of chirping and scrammed. Someone's tiny dog yapped.

Akane turned over again, wrapping herself in hair even more thoroughly.

Kasumi came with a tray to serve the table. Sighing, she put the tray down on the floor and began shaking Akane.

The youngest Tendou mumbled incoherently, then stretched good, her fist hitting Shantae in the ear.

The half-Genie girl jumped up with a loud yell, her eyes wild. Wrapped in her hair, Akane got thrown up and spun around. Squawking, she landed on the floor and rolled away under Kasumi who jumped nimbly.

“With you, Little Sis, there is no need for circus,” Nabiki noted flatly, her elbows never leaving the table.

The patriarch cleared his throat.

“I'm sorry!” Shantae began apologizing. “I suddenly had that dream again, where burning sky is falling towards me...”

Akane was blinking in confusion, looking at everyone upside down as her legs ended propped up the wall.

“It's time for breakfast,” Kasumi said in a tone of disapproval.

“Gah!” Akane tubmled to her feet. “I'mverysorrywellgetbacksoon!” Grabbing Shantae by the hand she stampeded upstairs, a trailing mane of purple hair whipping around the corner.

“Please call Ranma and—” the eldest sister began, but the youngest was already gone. She turned to Nabiki: “Please call Ranma and—”

“No need to, we're here!” Ranma hastily stopped her as he came from the stairs, his sixth sense warning him somehow of this danger.

Kasumi was finishing when the victims of television emerged again, yawning and not yet fully awake. Akane was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, Shaantae wore Ranma's black pants and a black sleeveless sports shirt with English “happy” in white letters so weathered it read more like “harpy”. The letters were powerless to mask the fact that the girl didn't have a bra on.

“I tried,” Akane said tersely when she noticed where Ranma's eyes have wandered.

Kasumi's face suddenly showed such reproaching expression that everyone at the table began fidgeting nervously... until they noticed her customary red, pointy shoes on Shantae's feet.

“We don't wear shoes in the house!” Akane explained hastily.

The pointy-eared girl slid the shoes off her feet to replace them in her hidden weapons technique. Without bending down! Ranma barely held himself from boggling.

“Haven't we forgotten someone?” Genma asked innocently as he broke his chopsticks.

“Ryouga!” Ranma jumped to his feet, about to run, but then returned and handed his plate to Akane with a short “hold onto it”.

“You are growing up, my son!” Genma got emotional after losing his chance for a freebie.

They were almost done with their breakfast when Ranma dragged the eternally lost one in, still trying to inquire how he got in the shed. Ryouga was talking back lazily.

After the breakfast everyone gathered in the dojo. Ranma steered Ryouga there manually. Shantae stayed in her black outfit, more practical and comfortable for practicing her style.

The fathers and sisters sat along the wall. Ranma, Ryouga and Shantae stood in the center.

“The beatdown dummy is ready.” Ranma demonstrated a thick, processed log half his height long.

“It would be prudent to go over the basics,” Souun noted. “Istinctive Ki usage is half the work done, but without conscious understanding the progress would be very slow and inefficient.”

“Magic may complicate things,” Nabiki added. “How much do magic and Ki differ? Wouldn't one get in the way of sensing the other?”

“An interesting question,” Genma said. “We wouldn't know until we try. Ranma?”

The younger Saotome coughed, putting the log in front of himself and placing his hands on it like a viking looking from on high leaning on his sword.

“So, Ki,” he began in lecturing voice. “It is manifestation of Chi energy that flows through everything that is, but is especially plentiful in living things. Martial arts training lets one touch this unlimited potential bringing it out in the form of martial spirit. As to: spirit of toughness that makes you tougher, spirit of strength lets you lift much more than muscles alone allow and jump much higher. The spirit of aggression, also known as battle aura, is the basis for many techniques. Killing intent allows some masters to paralyze their opponent like a snake staring a rabbit down. But it also lets anyone with modest training sense an attack from their blind zone. Even Akane could do that! While concealing your killing intent is a whole tricky school on its own.”

“So I gather some natiral energy inside me,” Shantae clarified, “to shape it with my willpower into specific spirit, then shape that spirit into a specific form?”

“That's simplifying things, but yes. The real trick, though, are the techniques.”

“That's exactly as one describes magic and spells!” Shantae proclaimed.

“But Ki and magic are different thing,” Nabiki noted. “Besides you admitting it yourself, the lamp had not a slightest effect on Ryoga's Lion Roar Blast.”

“Let's try a simplest meditation,” Genma decided.

Shantae sat down cross-legged as he walked her through a basic exercise for beginners to feel one's own Ki for the first time.

Se was doing well — too well. Barely a minute has passed when the girl trying to meditate was surrounded by an aura of white light.

“Hey, it's just my magic!” Shantae exclaimed with disappointment as she opened her eyes. “No wonder this exercise felt familiar.”

“Not surprising,” Souun said. “The difference is only in the energy source. Humans have Ki, youkai have yoki, half-bloods have unique problem how to tell these apart.

“Youkai?” Ranma asked.

“There are humans and there are magical creatures, Ranma-kun,” the mustachoed middle-aged man explained. “These two types are who inhabits our world and who you have a chance to meet. There are different names for the same thing in different lands, but that doesn't change their essence. If there are other types beside these two, meeting them should be so rare it's unheard of. Any mentions of demond from hell, for example, turn out to be either poetic exaggeration or allegory of brutality.”

“So you haven't really seen Hell, huh?” Ranma needled Ryouga. “It's a poetic exaggeration, turns out?”

“Shaddap,” the other guy grumbled. “It's allegory of brutality of the suffering you subjected me to.”

“Tendo-kun got it right,” Genma said. “By rumors, many higher youkai who posess a human form have pointy ears.”

“Hmm,” Shantae pulled at her ear toughtfully. “So I should take `youkai` as `magical creature` in general...? Then Genies fit. Do you know any half-bloods?”

“Unfortunately, no,” Genma admitted. “I only met one in the last fifteen years, but it was long ago, in the very beginning of our training journey when Ranma was a little kid. And that half-blood had disappeared a couple years later. Ran away with the daughter of the shrine's head priest or something like that. I wasn't prying into their affairs.”

“Maybe we can find him?” Shantae asked, hopeful. “Well, we can ask that head priest. It couldn't be that his daughter never passed him any messages, right?”

Ranma noted to self how get-up-and-go the half-Genie girl was, suggesting going on a lengthy quest for such a vague clue without second thought.

“We shouldn't.” Genma cleared his throat. “We don't have.. best relationship with the Higurashi shrine.”

“You've probably stolen their scrolls,” Ranma inquired nicely. “With techniques.”

“Nothing the like!” Genma straightened his glasses in indignation. “No scrolls! Only that manual for the Neko-k— Anyway! I suggest we go back to our previous plan and tackle the problem from the practical side. Ryouga-kun?”

“If you fear for your secrets of the cutting Ki,” Ranma `reassured` the lost boy, “then keep in mind that Pop got something similar already. A flying air blade or something.”

“That's a forbidden technique!” the elder Saotome rebutted preemptively. “Don't even ask teaching it to you!”

Ranma lifted the log up holding it in front of him vertically by its ends.

“Before we begin,” Shantae said as she stood up. “There is a possible clue. If you can figure out how this stuff works...” She pulled a white plastic bottle from her subspace pocket, its side adorned with a label depicning an open toothy maw. “It helped me many times to get out of really tight spots. I hit three times stronger but it fills me with such rage... Brrr.” She unscrewed the cap. “So I thought: does it act through my Ki or is it just another form of magic?”

“We will... try discerning it,” Genma worded cautiously, all attention.

“All right!” Shantae nodded, uncharacteristically serious. “I begin!” She mage a big gulp from the bottle, only to scrunch her face up in disgust: “Yeech! It went sour again! It won't probab—”

Rage mixed with killing intent exdploded from the half-Genie girl, so powerful even Nabiki felt it. Ranma twitched: his reflexes were screaming at him to take a defensive stance right now instead of standing there wide open holding the log.

“Die, you parasitic piece of wood!” Shantae yelled attacking the log, her power really tripled. Ranma was being pushed back. “Hiyah! Take that! Hhha!” Her strikes weren't coming any faster but each hit with consuderable force. The Ki of aggression overflowing the girl began seeping out as aura of bluish-red glow visible to the naked eye.

This induced rage stopped sharply and unexpectedly.

“So when sour it works for a very short while,” Shantae concluded as she studied deep dents in the wood with displeasure. “But the rage wasn't any weaker... What you say? I'm awfully curious.”

“That was definitely, unmistakably, an emotion-based Ki-strenghtening,” Genma declared. “How exactly this... potion causes such a state, I have no idea, but the strenghtening itself works because of the emotion. There are definite parallels with Ryouga-kun's technique and the technique that Ranma created from it.”

“So I can learn to enter such rage on my own,” Shantae clarified, “if I train properly?”

“Hypothetically, yes,” Genma replied evasively.

“Only, Grandma Cologne warned about the dangers of such easy ways,” Nabiki injected. “Right, ranma-kun?”

“Well, rage is not the emotion I would want to get used to,” he said putting the log down. “I, personally, use a positive emotion, self-confidence. But even this one has its pitfalls. But negative emotions — like Ryouga's depression or the rage you really shouldn't learn — they are like a snake biting its own tail. Lose control once and it goes downhill fast.”

Rouga just snorted derisively at these concerns for worrywart weaklings.

“Here.” Akane walked up to him to hand him a gymnastic ribbon from the dojo stores.

Ryouga took the sports implement by its handle and... The ribbon came lo life dancing in the air in elegant loops and spirals. In the end he slashed it sharply a couple times like a whip, producing loud snaps.

Shantae grew quite interested. Ryouga handed the ribbon to her.

“Interesting techniques!” Shantae tugged at the ribbon testing how much it stretched. “And interesting fabric. I'm not sure you can find such in our land.”

“Take it if you want,” Akane immediately replied from the row of spectators. “As my gift to you.”

“Thank you!” Shantae said, grateful.

“So, ribbon.” Ryouga said attracting her attention. Taking the ribbon back he whirled it in the air in a spiral. “There are three main uses. You can grab things by wrapping it around them, then tugging sharply like you strike a fish.” He demonstrated on the log tugging at it off-hand which made the log lift into the air together with the log bearer, accompanied with Ranma's indignant “Hey!” as he barely got his fingers away. “You can transfer the energy of your strike.” He slashed at the log making Ranma skid back half a meter, his bare feet squeaking across the polished floor. “And you can cut. This wasn't in the rhythmic gymnastics, I added it myself.” He slashed again, seemingly in the same motion but this time Ranma didn't even show reaction while a curl of shaved off wood flew off the log.

“Now you try it.” He handed the ribbon to Shantae.

She tried waving it around this way and that, getting accustomed to it. Very soon she was confidently imitating her hair whip technique. She then tried whipping the log. Her aim was true, but the effect was like it should be from a strip of fabric, namely none.

“Feel the ribbon like an extension of your body,” Ranma adviced. “It's the same as techniques where you channel your Ki through a weapon. Take Kunou-sempai, for example. Smart like an oak but cuts stone walls with his wooden sword none the less.”

“Aha,” Shantae said and began trying in that direction.

Twenty minutes of grunting and whipping later there was still no result. Not Genma's hints, not Ranma's taunts nor Akane's “we believe in you” helped.

“Extension of my body, extension of my body...” Shantae grumbled staring at the ribbon in her hands. “Oh! I got an idea!” letting the ribbon drop she dug her hands into her hair to pull one single hair out, pulling it through the hub with effort.

“Want to wrap it around the ribbon?” Ranma guessed.

Shantae grunted in agreement, busy with her task: the hub was hugging her hair very snugly. The mystery of how does she put this thing on was itching with unsatisfied curiosity.

Finally, almost one and a half meters later, the single hair was pulled out completely. Shanae tried ripping it out this way and that, and by wrapping it around her finger, but she only succeeded in cutting her fingers. They had to get the first aid kit and bandage her hands as the girl herself thought of this as minor scratch not worth wasting healing potion.

“Let me bring scissors,” Ranma suggested.

“No need to,” Shantae replied. “I figured what to do.”

Lifting her left arm to her head she wrapped the hair around the bracer, wound it tight, pulled with all her strength... And failed.

“That's some durability.” Ranma was amazed. “You could be lifted by a single hair!”

Shantae emitted an irritated sound as she brought her second arm to bear, pushing at the bracer with all her might. Finally the hair tore out. By the root, judging by the tiny drop of blood at its end.

“Ow.” Shantae rubbed her head. “I always knew my hair is hard to rip out, but I had no idea how much!” Putting the end of the hair to the ribbon handle she slid her hand along the ribbon. The hair stuck along as if it was electrized. “Let's try it now.”

The ribbon was truly alive now, obeying, it seemed, Shantae's very thought. The half-Genie girl began whipping at speeds barely perceptible to the trained eye: moving one's hand with an almost weightless ribbon is quite different from moving one's entire body.

The effect on the log, though, remained zilch. It took five more minutes of advices, lectures and friendly encouraging before Ranma reported: “I felt it! It shook!”

Her enthusiasm blazing, the half-Genie girl renewed her assault on the log with twice the energy, trying for now to just mimic the effect of her hair whip. She even whipped it a couple times with her hair to feel the difference.

After half an hour of effort she learned to turn the ribbon into pale imitation of her main weapon. The striking power was several times weaker, but the speed was much higher.

But the power of her hair whip haven't increased at all.

“No surprise here,” Shantae said. “I learned to whip my hair when I was eight and trained almost every day since. I haven't grown stronger since I was twelve, I think. Either this is my limit or some non-trivial trick is needed to break through. No matter, that can wait! I want to learn a new technique!”

And so the grabbing practice began: first with the ribbon, then with the hair. With the ribbon again, with the hair again.

Ryouga was sitting at the wall feeling useless. Nabiki got bored of simply sitting there and began doing stretching exercises, making Ryouga uncomfortable. Akane followed her example and took up dumbbells. Kasumi excused herself and left to take care of the house. The fathers watched for a while and decided their advices weren't needed here. Shantae proved to be a true master of her own school and was now creating a new technique methodically and carefully, they would only get in her way. Exchanging glances, Souun and Genma went to take care of the dug up lawn: this state was becoming embarrassing.

They also dragged with them anyone who could help in the hard task of landscaping.

Ranma was busy being a training dummy. They did not risk asking Ryouga lest he reaches the other side of the yard in a month, bringing souvenirs from Hokkaido. They didn't even dare thinking about Nabiki, apprehensive of how much such help would cost. So `anyone who could help` consisted of Akane.

Leaving the training hall with great reluctance — because her best friend just performed a throw of Ranma, the log included, over her head — the youngest Tendou went on a shopping trip to buy seeds. Blissfully unaware this was the fathers' ploy to keep her away from earthwork, wary of her handiwork record. Alas, they were sure she'd break the lawn if they let her.

Finding grass seeds on Sunday was a whole quest. Akane had to zig-zag half across the town, even riding trains a couple times, before she found what she was searching for and returned home. That had been hour and half of running, no less!

“Have you already—” Akane began peeking into the dojo in cheery anticipation.

Only to choke on her own words.

There were no Ranma, no Ryouga, no log anymore. Instead, there was Nabiki, dressed in Ranma's other pair of silk pants and a bikini top, studiously swaying her hips under Shantae's tutelage.

“No, no, smoother,” the pointy-eared girl commanded while clacking the rhythm with a couple of wooden sandals. “Keep your back straighter... Good. Now, sharper finish.”

Nabiki, uncharacteristically for her, obeyed without complaint, frowning in concentration.

“No,” Shantae corrected her. “Lighter... I mean, more cheerful. Feelings are important! You cannot frown: you'd become too stiff and it won't go smoothly!”

Nabiki tried to relax, a smile blooming on her face... A very charming one, for those who didn't know her closely.

“This feels a bit too predatory.” Shantae managed to see through it. “Never mind. You can go that way, too. Now smoother. More. Keep your back straight.”

“What...” Akane squeaked trying to overcome her stupefaction. “What are you...”

“Learning how to dance,” the middle sister replied innocently. “Isn't that obvious?”

“Your arms,” the half-Genie corrected her instantly. “Smoother, like rolling waves. You keep slipping to a wounded seagull.”

“Bugger,” Nabiki replied frowning in concentration as she tried to watch all her body parts at once.

“Cheer up!” Shantae reminded her, never stopping to clack the rhythm. “Don't frown, be weightless!”

Akane retreated quietly, fearing for her sanity.

Outside she found Ranma leaning against the wall. He wasn't there a minute ago! Did he just come or had he been so well hidden...? Try tell.

“I'd join too,” the pigtailed martial artist admitted, “If I had the girl form now.”

“I thought you can't stand it?” Akane inquired with sarcasm. “Your curse?”

“Well...” her fiance replied sheepishly. “It's bad where I have it, it's bad when I don't have it.”

“Aha! You admitted it, pervert girl,” Akane needled him half-heartedly.

Ranma just snorted thinking how lack of attention aimed at him — both from the fathers and other fiancees — turns the uncute one from a trained attack shrew into a normal human being you can even have a conversation with.

But maybe it wasn't that she was a violent maniac, just her life was that stressful? Ranma wasn't sure he could survive without a normal sparring partner for months and not start banging his head against the wall.

They stood there for a while in silence. Not one full of tension and apprehension of someone going to hit someone, but calm one, reflective even. Akane was squinting at the clouds drifting in the bright sky.

Then she said, just to make small talk, while still looking at the clouds: “She is amazing, isn't she? Shantae. I've never met a girl who takes training so seriously.”

“Well... She's too weak for a protector of entire town,” Ranma shared his observations. “Especially for someone training so hard.”

“What...?” Akane pouted looking at him sharply.

“I mean,” Ranma hastily corrected himself, “it's clear she started training that hard just recently... I mean, there are not enough results for her inventiveness coupled with such fervor. I'd give half a year, tops.”

“Really?” Akane grew so curious she even forgot to pout. “Why so?”

“Well, she got potential,” Ranma continued with caution as he stepped onto the usual minefield. “I can... feel it. If she trained that hard since childhood she'd make me work up sweat, not just Shampoo. And if she was that good with her magic there'd be a chance for her to bring Happi down one-on-one... So, it means she trains so hard only for the last months. Also, the monsters where she lives are weak but come in hordes. You'd feel there at home, after your last year's training with the morning horde, heh-heh.”

Akane launched a half-hearted slap at the back of his head. He evaded it with a laugh. Then he added, in more serious tone: “Something had happened there. Something that makes one want to become stronger desperately.”

“Probably,” Akane agreed with a sigh. “I won't pry. I'm just glad she is with us.”

At this moment their slacking off was noticed by the fathers — who themselves were digging and raking with all the energy of a man meditating at a rock garden. Ranma was volunteered to plant seeds. Rake the earth, sprinkle it with seeds, shoo the pigeons away, pat it down carefully to avoid leaving loose ground, shoo the pigeons away, repeat in another place. Shooing the pigeons away.

Kasumi was walking around applying the watering-can. Akane was shooing the pigeons away with mighty swings of her broom. She even launched a couple feathered rats to low Earth orbit thanks to direct hits. The ninja builders had repaired the fence wall, but the lawn was threatening to stay a problem for the next week if not longer, until the grass sprouts and takes root.

Souun, in the end, excused himself saying it was their genius plan, so they had to deal with its fallout while he had an unread newspaper was unread and stuff. Ranma and Genma climbed up to the roof, to replace a few tiles that were too badly damaged.

The lawn was done and Akane was standing in a relaxed pose, her hand on the broom, ready to smack any free-peckers. Shantae walked out of the dojo accompanied by Nabiki toweling herself off.

“It had been a long time since you trained so... seriously,” Akane noted: although her sister was breathing evenly, she held her shoulders unnaturally stiff. Her gait was a bit unnatural as well. Her short brown hair was matted with sweat, a frazzled mop instead of her usual immaculate bob-cut. “Have you covered much?”

“Much?” the other girl replied sarcastically as she carefully flexed her shoulders. “I'm just at the foothills of the first kata.”

“Master this move, then seven more,” Shantae said, “then you could be called a beginner dancer.”

“Exactly,” Nabiki agreed. “I have mountains of work ahead of me, every day, until my arms and legs refuse to obey.”

“You always told us you have no talent for the Art!” Akane was indignant.

“For the family one, true,” Nabiki replied, nonplussed. “But this one, I feel it calling to me.”

“The dance of a little shark,” Shantae quiped.

“Ouch, sensei!” Nabiki stumbled away in mock shock. “You are as always very insightful!”

“Why?” Akane couldn't understand. “What is in it for you? Learning a whole school?”

“Why? It's fun!” Nabiki smirked, flexing her shoulders, then winced. “And for the profit, of course. Ouch.”

“You were always afraid of pain,” Akane said, much quieter.

“You misunderstood something, Little Sis,” Nabiki replied seriously, looking her in the eyes. “It's not question of aversion, it's the principle of things. My credo is `if you feel pain it means you either played dumb somewhere of slacked in your training to dodge`.”

“Or you were unlucky to get in the way of an invading horde,” Shantae corrected. “Though, in my case this is more true for the hordes themselves.”

“I wish I could see your world,” Nabiki said dreamily, overtaken by unhealthy curiosity. She then asked a question no one had thought to ask till now, by some reason: “By the way, how did you end in our world?”

“Mmmm...” The pointy-eared girl fell silent, deep in thought for a considerable while. She was emitting occasional grunts. Finally she admitted in a too casual voice: “I can't remember.”

“You can't?” Akane was shocked.

“Well, what do you remember then?” Nabiki wasn't giving up, her curiosity piqued. “You were chasing Happousai, right? What was before that?”

“Mmm... I was chasing happousai who snatched the lamp... How did he do that? It should be on the bottom of the sea, no one knows exactly where, and the sea is big.”

“On the bottom of the sea?” Akane asked.

“Well, we had threw it into the sea,” Shantae explained like it was obvious. “But that was a long time ago, half a year or more.”

“All right,” Nabiki continued. “Here you are, chasing Happousai who has the lamp which isn't on the sea floor somehow. And before that...? What do you remember before the chase?”

The half-Genie fell silent again, deep in thought. Finally she said: “Before that, there's a hole. Like when you go to sleep, then wake up. You can remember yourself going to sleep, then remember yourself awake. But the moment of falling asleep itself... It's similar here. Before that... I brought Uncle the iron slab. He spent half day forging the wheel while I was cleaning the fields of monsters who had encroached since last time. Then we all got together, put the hamster in the finished dynamo, Dooky began running, all this machinery began spinning... Mmm... Then I was chasing Happousai knowing somehow he had the lamp.”

Nabiki was going to ask more probing questions, but discussing such serious topics as suspiciously selective amnesia...? In this house...?

“My belowed Shampoo!” Mousse proclaimed as he squished Shantae in a strong hug. She let out an indignant squawk.

“Hey, Mousse, you kinda grabbed the wrong gal,” Ranma gave friendly advice from the roof.

Shantae made a tricky squirming motion pulling free to immediately put her foot against the blind guy's jaw, thus preventing any further grabbing: “Keep your hands to yourself!”

“What a dexterous move to free yourself,” Nabiki buttered up. “Mousse, I would advice you to return your glasses to your nose.”

“Ah, just a skill of my trade,” the half-Genie demurred.

Mousse followed the advice, squinted at Shantae, then declared accusingly: “You are not Shampoo!”

“Eeh?” She was taken aback.

“Meet Mousse,” Nabiki introduced him. “Shampoo's suitor who couldn't tell his love from a phone booth without his glasses but stubbornly keeps them on his forehead.”

“What did you do to Shampoo!” the white-robed guy demanded. “Where is she?”

“Um, I have no idea?” the dancer supplied, puzzled. “She promised to come for a rematch, but never showed up.”

“Hold your horses, water-fowl!” Ranma added. “She hadn't been here today! Go find her yourself!”

“Just you wait!” Mousse promised menacingly. “If you did something to her!” He then left by leaping over the fence.

“A huge jerk, I warned ya,” Ranma added from the roof.

“What have you meant by `skill of your trade`?” Nabiki asked, curious. “A Guardian Genie technique?”

“Naw, naw,” Shantae corrected. “I'm taking occasional side jobs dancing at the night club. You wouldn't believe how many fans get irretention of hands after a good dance!”

“Oooh, I see.” Nabiki said, her eyes half-lidded.

Akane shivered remembering the morning hordes of the last year, before Ranma appeared and chased them away. If anyone had irretention of hands, it was them for sure.

At this moment Kasumi called everyone to supper. Somehow, the half-Genie's mysterious past never came up after that.

After the supper it was the fathers' turn to be volunteered, their plans for a quiet evening on the veranda dashed. Akane bursting with enthusiasm proved to be irresistible force.

Shantae changed into gi but left her hair in the combat do. Kasumi achieved the impossible by convincing her that gi and without a bra were mutually exclusive.

They continued like yesterday, taking turns. Shantae was attacking exactly as she did yesterday, Akane was growing accustomed to her moves. But the defense of the half-Genie girl was based today on her newly invented technique of grabbing and throwing with her hair. For Akane this sparring turned into an endless row of desperate dodges and landings from forced tumble. But she was simply glad of being pounded at her weak spot: her defense!

Akane wasn't trying to vary her moves, concentrating on performing them faster and incorporating dodges smoother. She was becoming not half bad at rolling and tumbling.

They had this fun for several hours until the two girls could barely stand. They limped out of the dojo hurting all over but very satisfied. After returning from the bath, both accreted in front of the TV, Shantae wearing her now usual black garb while Akane was dressed in blouse and shorts.

Shampoo came after the diner to observe thoroughly exhausted Shantae with sceptical eye.

The dark skinned girl apologized for not being able and stuff.

“Great-grandmother says,” the Chinese girl dictated, “If she trains herself into the ground again, tell her to come tomorrow before sunrise.”

“Errr, all right,” Shantae agreed. “I am beginning to look undependable, what with promising to come myself. That was two days ago. Tell her I will definitely come!”

Nodding in agreement Shampoo left peacefully.

The Sunday come to an end.

“Would we be training tomorrow?” Shantae asked looking into sunset sky, her eyes refusing to stay open.

“No, it's a school day tomorrow,” Akane disappointed her.

“You are going to school...? Working there?”

“We are studying there!”

“How studying?” Shantae was surprised. “But you are... Until what age are you people learning here?”

“Well, we have a year and a bit more left, til we turn eighteen.”

“Wow! You can learn a lot of things! So, every one of you is a scholar?”

“Scholar...?” Akane began counting on her fingers. “Calculus, physics, chemistry, literature, home economics, English, history—”

“Wait,” Shantae interrupted her. “That one... repeat it please, `eng-lish`?”

“English,” Akane repeated, puzzled.

“I got double hearing,” Shantae explained squeezing her eyes shut and massaging her temples. “I hear both `eigo` and `old world language` at the same time.”

“Old world? Did your people come to your world from another one?”

“Weeell, it seems our world was rich like yours long time ago,” the half-Genie girl explained with some doubt. “And then it went kaput, somehow. So now everything new is thoroughly forgotten old that relic hunters scrounge from ancient ruins. And Eng..lish was the language of that old world. There are lots of words and ever whole sayings left from it, take my spells for example, but the language itself is dead. If they find an ancient text written in it, oooh. The scholars would dechipher it for three years, squabbling and tearing at each other's beards!”

“Let me wish for you to know it!” Akane suggested.

“Won't work,” Shantae declined sharply. “Fulfilling wishes doesn't work for yourself, it worked that time only because you sister was worrying from the depth of her heart for you all while I knew how dangerous the lamp was. Well, also because I am half-human.”

“Can't cheat?” Akane asked already knowing the answer.

“Can't cheat. It simply is that way. I can feel that.”

“What do we do.” Akane was sincerely chagrined.

“I can live knowing two,” Shantae reassured her.

“I know!” Akane got an idea. “We'll sneak you into the school! We just have to disguise you.”

Shantae found the idea of disguise fascinating. After that the two BFFs dragged themselves to the bath while still able to keep their ayes open. Naturally, they fell asleep in the bath until Kasumi pulled them out by their ears. What else could she do, they weren't waking up.
Last edited by Cheb on Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.5 n

Postby Cheb » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:17 pm

Thanks to Dumbledork, I replaced "manual incontinentia" with "irretention of hands".

Is annoying :evil:

In Russian most medical terms are formed by giving common words specially styled endings so even an illiterate redneck would understand about 60% of them. In English... Argh. Why does it have to be Latin. I tried my best, but... Made-up terms are hard to construct. One of the best examples I remember was a cartoon calling Wile E. Coyote's species "eaticus birdius". But I am not that good :(
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.3 n

Postby Spica75 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:31 am

Cheb wrote:I'm really focusing on characters this time, not on technicalities.
Also, trying to follow the spirit. Which is *not* natural for me as I am affine with hard sci-fi and complex plots full of technicalities and bland characters

Yeah, it's often a mistake to get too technical, focusing on the storyline and the characters is usually what makes a story decent or good.

Cheb wrote:Because I rushed it into publishing in a futile attempt to keep the 1 chapter per week schedule. I'm already failing it as Ch. 6 in Russian is still missing large chunks, the sunday is closing to an end and I'm worn out. :x

The pacing is very good.
Too many authors commit the grave mistake of trying to describe everything as it happens, with no skips and generalization. So far, it only worked for Taylor Varga. Mainly because its author is a madman made of steel for whom a million words is nothing :lol:


Taylor Varga is FUN.

If you want another writer like that, check out Diane Castle at tth, a chapter pops out every week like clockwork, and her "The secret return of Alex Mack" has now spawned several dozen fanfics of it's own, which isn't really surprising as, although its "just" one in a series, it's over 1M words, crossovers with lots of old cult classics and B-movies in ways that suddenly makes ridiculous films appear reasonable and spins it all together in an amazing story.

In Russian most medical terms are formed by giving common words specially styled endings so even an illiterate redneck would understand about 60% of them. In English... Argh. Why does it have to be Latin. I tried my best, but... Made-up terms are hard to construct. One of the best examples I remember was a cartoon calling Wile E. Coyote's species "eaticus birdius". But I am not that good

:mrgreen: :P

Different language group, makes it MUCH more difficult.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.5 n

Postby Cheb » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:58 pm

Taylor Varga is FUN.

Definitely and undeniably so.

check out Diane Castle at tth[...]

What have you done...

Anyway, here's Ch.6. Such a tiny chapter, I translated it in 3 days. Will post it at ffnet this Sunday.

Be forewarned that my Russian readers titled me "level 317 troll" for this one... Maybe I overdid it with red herrings...?

<b>Chapter 6
Lively Monday Morning is Just Plain Wrong</b>

The sky was growing lighter.

Early dawn silence was pierced by annoying trill of an alarm clock. Then a dull clatter of falling alarm clock. Then there was silence again.

Ranma who slept lightly had already finished dressing when a scream of terror sounded from a nearby room. The pig-tailed martial artist was going to fling open the door with the duck plate with Latin “AKANE” on it when he heard hushed voices. Discering half-Genie's “..eamt again that burning sky was falling towards me..” he trudged downstairs to the exit. Whatever suspicious stuff was happening with their guest, with recurring nightmares and selective amnesia, now was not the time to barge in. He just hoped her “friends”, rivals and whoever else she gathered along the road of life won't start popping out of woodworks.

A couple minutes later two yawning girls skipped down the stairs. Akane was dressed for morning jog, in short shorts and sleeveless sports shirt. Shantae wore the same ensemble of Ranma's black pants and black sleeveless sports shirt with white “harpy” on the chest. Well, at least someone succeeded in convincing her to wear bras.

“Morning!” Akane greeted him. “What are <i>you</i> doing here? Decided to tail us, m?”

“First, I'm curious too,” the pig-tailed martial artist started counting. “Second, if a rumble starts, with you there and me not, the old man Tendou would eat me alive. There is a beast wakening in him!”

“You mean, a protective father?” Akane quiped.

“Same thing.” Ranma waved dismissively making Akane snort with suppressed laugh.

“So this is where you keep your shoes!” Shantae realized seeing Akane don running shoes in the rectangle of lowered floor at the doors. She put her pointy shoes on as well, dropping them out of her subspace pocket. Red shoes were clashing with her black clothing.

“How do you think, would we make it back for breakfast?” Ranma inquired, donning his kung-fu slippers as well.

“Mmm... Probably! There'is not much to do, figure things out then snap my fingers!”

“Heh, so simple to the outside observer.” He smirked.

“Would you help me again with the log?” Shantae asked with some degree of hope.

“No, we go to school right after the breakfast. You'll stay here with Kasumi and the fathers.”

“She comes with us!” Akane surprised him. “Yesterday we figured a way for Shantae to get into the school with us, using my spare uniform as disguise!”

“I'm so curious!” the half-Genie girl added.

“Have she warned you about the principal?” Ranma asked.

“The principal?” Shantae echoed.

“Oops.” Akane squinted, shrinking in realization. “Oops!”

“I bet he'd have another relapse,” Ranma continued, “as soon as you show up.”

“Relapse?” the pointy eared girl asked warily.

“He's a harmless psycho usually,” Ranma explained, “but one of his quirks is trying to give all students the same standard haircut. A buzz-cut for boys while the girls—”

“Better a buzz-cut than such a horror!” Akane injected.

“Eep.” Shantae brought her ponytail over her shoulder to hug it protectively with both arms.

“His main weapon are hand shears,” Ranma continued, mimicing the moves with his hands. “He dual-wields them with such swiftness that one lapse in attention and you're done for. For distraction he throws exploding pineapples or sicks something wild from the jungle, like trained attack lobsters.”

“It's like hoplobster magic, right?” Shantae asked. “Well, when a magical kinda-lobster is flying up from a hole in the ground time and again, and when they forget to remove it, it keeps flying long after the castle itself had crumbled into ruin, right?”

“Uh, no, we meant living ones,” Akane corrected her.

“That's not the point!” Ranma exclaimed. “What's important, he'll get overexcited as soon as he sees Shantae! He will jump her to cut her hair! Unexpectedly, without any warning!”

“Eep.” Shantae hugged her ponytail tighter.

“That was a.. bad idea,” Akane said in meek, self-recriminating voice as she realized the depth of pit trap she almost led her best friend to, due to pure inattention.

“Hmm...” Shantae drawled. “Or a very good one, as hard awareness training. I... decided long ago that if... something happens to my hair, that won't stop me. If devious enemies shave me, or I just get unlucky to catch an incendiary pot with my head... I won't even stop. I'll take the <i>basaluk</i> to continue fighting as a human!” She pulled a big spiky ball on a chain from her subspace pocket and dangled it from side to side with determined look.

“You... So far...?” Akane gasped. “I can't...” She fell into shocked silence.

“What sort of enemy was there,” Ranma thought, “that made her want to be stronger so desperately? It's obvious that this is not her. She is... Airy, flighty and cheerful. But training that hard, like breaking a wall with your head, it more suits Ryouga... Those nightmares too... Pity I wasn't there to... talk with whoever he was.”

Akane, judging by her expression, was thinking along similar lines.

“Come on, why are you so gloomy all of a sudden?” Shantae tried cheering them up as she put the iron ball away. “Let's go already.”

Nabiki descended the stairs, also dressed for morning jog. Uncharacteristically awake as she was swallowing something from a mug, her face stony. Unsurprising: yesterdays cold coffee is quite disgusting stuff.

“I hope,” Akane bristled, “you aren't going to tag along as well?”

“Why, can't I just jog together with my Little Sis?” the mercenary girl said in mock surprise.

“We won't wait for you!” the youngest sister replied combatively but then P-chan popped from somewhere and she mellowed immediately. The piglet was taken with them.

Four people jogged out of the house. Beyond the first turn they stumbled into Ryouga who should, in theory, have been still sleeping in the storage closet.

Akane said “I'll show you the way!” as she dashed full speed ahead.

The guys shrugged and followed her.

Nabiki pushed herself, going all out to keep even with her sister. Ranma suspected the mercenary girl sometimes subconsciously used Ki-reinforcement. Spirit of curiosity in this particular case. Not to mention she simply liked running.

Although, the not particularly handy piglet probably served as a good handicap.

Against all expectations it was Shantae who began falling behind. Her running speed proved quite unremarkable for someone so good at jumping. A quick belly dance corrected that, the monkey caught up with Akane quickly. Despite her short paws she was running faster than the human form. Probably because her gait was a cross between small leaps and springy gallop.

“Hey, you got a prehensile tail!” Ranma noticed for the first time.

The monkey chirped inquiringly looking at him. She held her tail curled up and forward in a half-spiral. The last third of it was pink, hairless.

“Well, its end is bald - it's for grabbing better, right?”

She chirped something cheerfully affirmative as she flexed her tail in some abstract zigzag during her next leap.

“And it is so long,” Akane added, so curious she forgot her intention of outrunning her sister.

“It's a... New... World... primate...” Nabiki caught up with them, huffing.

The monkey let out a puzzled squeak looking up at her.

“The species, similar to... your monkey form... live only on the other... side of the planet,” Nabiki explained.

“Yeah, our monkeys got short tails,” Ranma agreed. “Wait, you mastered grabbing with your hair so fast because you're used to grabbing with your tail...? Why haven't you invented that technique by yourself?”

The monkey replied with a short, frustrated “Ki!”. It seems she was asking that question herself and not finding an answer.

They then crossed paths with a yawning Ukyou carrying a box of cabbage. She immediately ran after them on general principle despite the box being unwieldy and well over thirty kilograms.

Akane snorted increasing her pace.

Ranma was expecting Mousse to pops out of somewhere any moment sparking a brawl as merciless as it would be meaningless. But they reached their destination without further interruptions.

Shantae transformed back into herself piquing Ukyou's curiosity somehow fierce.

“As one should have expected,” Cologne said flatly as she observed the crowd of people who invited themselves along the half-Genie. “Well, you can come in. Just sit quietly and don't interfere.”

Mousse was still nowhere in sight, either sleeping or away on some errand to safeguard the event from his blind stupidity. Shampoo slid the doors shut and locked them after the company entered. She was already in her waitress uniform: a colorful knee-length dress with a white apron.

“So, everyone sat down?” Cologne began commanding. “Now stand up and sit further away... No, even further, at the walls. And try not to look at the cursed item too intently. Watch it from a corner of your eye if you can. It shouldn't affect you at this distance but the vile thing is <i>attractive</i>. Believe me, there are magical items yo'd better treat like a live cobra.”

“That's <i>rich</i> from someone who played with a lifelong pill of love at the first sight!” Ranma couldn't help quiping.

“Huh?” the old lady said in mock surprise. “You meant the week-long one...?” She cackled archly. “Lifelong, ka-ka-ka... You should have seen your faces!”

“What pill?” Shantae asked in puzzlement.

“It's youkai-baba's way of having fun,” Ranma explained. “She lets her granddaughter see some sorcerous trinket or other, waits for the girl or Mousse to snatch it then watches us shoveling at the pile of resulting problems. Like a free circus show, yeah.”

“Ka-ka-ka. But that way is more fun than reading boring lectures about the dangers of magical items, no?”

“Great-grandmother teach us that way?” Shampoo just got it.

“Why teach?” the old lady corrected her archly. “When you are more than capable of burning yourselves? Nothing beats hands-on experience!”

Waiting until the youngsters stopped grumbling, Cologne hopped to the center of the hall to address Shantae: “Are you ready?”

“Yes!” the girl replied decisively.

“Are you sure you don't want payment?”

“Yes.” Shantae paused, searching for the right words. “I do not know why, but taking payment for fulfilling a wish... It feels wrong. I make a living as Guardian Genie, but this is... different.”

“I understand,” Cologne reassured her. “It's always better to trust such feelings.”

“Right!” Shantae's confidence returned. “Pull it out, let's see what sort of evil it is.”

Cologne pulled an elaborate pendant on a fancy chain from her sleeve. Shantae gasped stumbling away as from a strong gust of wind. The other six young people shuddered.

The pendant was <i>entrancing</i>. It was glinting and glittering and attracting your eyes like a magnet dipped in honey. The central big jewel was twinkling promisingly — and yet, after averting your eyes you could not tell what sort of jewel it was or even what color.

Forewarned, they met this visual Siren's song with just shudders, averting their eyes forcibly.

“I... ungh... Put it away for now...” Shantae was feeling unwell.

Cologne put the ensorcering thing away and everyone sighed with relief.

“Such concentated evil!” Shantae said recovering from shock. “Even all twenty parts of dark magic were just a slight stench compared to this.”

“But can you make it cease to be?” Cologne asked.

“Mmm... Yes, I can!” the half-Genie girl said confidently. “There are only three things required: five minutes for me to concentrate, an empty space two fathoms wide and that someone wishes from the depth of their heart for the magic of this thing to... mmm... unravel reverting to the neutral natural form...?” She frowned looking like she was listening to something. “Yes, for it to scatter becoming a part of the world. It is kind of... wrong?” The girl fell silent failing to find words to describe the indescribable magical sense in limited human tongue.

“Unnaturally twisted?” Cologne sugested.

“Yeah, right!” Shantae snapped her fingers. “It feels like a part of nature twisted into a wrong, unnatural knot that shouldn't be! If you wish head-on for the thing, or the knot itself, to disappear, it would surely return someday. But if you wish for it to unravel...”

“Have one question,” Shampoo piped in. “How much are two fathoms?”

“Well...” Shantae was thrown off the loop with a sudden unfamiliar task. “It's from here,” she poined with her hand, then walked several steps maneuvering between the tables, “to about here.”

“Some four meters,” Ranma concluded. “We will move the tables, all right?”

“Go on,” Cologne approved.

They quickly moved the tables aside freeing a circle of floor.

Shantae walked out to its center, nodded in acceptance then sat down cross-legged.

“I'm ready!” she proclaimed in heavily accented English, for some reason. “Umm, and if you can hang that thing on something up, right about here...” She pointed with her hand in front of her face.

“All right.” Cologne jumped down from her stick, walked forward then pulled the cursed piece of jewelry out to hold it on the end of her stick stretched towards Shantae.

The pointy eared girl shuddered. Then she closed her eyes, concentrating.

The vile magical thing was still attracting. But it was swaying now, glittering in an entrancing rhythm like a snake hypnotizing its prey.

Nabiki's pupils shrank into dots.

Akane was glaring at the thing with stubborn anger.

Shampoo looked like she was having some terrifying epiphany.

“I want to puke,” Ukyou whispered shielding herself with her giant spatula.

“Be... free... of the pig?” Ryouga succumbed, his arm reaching forward.

And then Shantae snapped her fingers, loud as thunder.

A wave of white light washed the haze of compulsion away. The pendant grew dull in an instant, losing its treacherous shine, turning into a cheap piece of crudely fashioned jewelry. The chain tore with a quiet plink, the rounded trinket clanked on the floor, falling apart, losing fake glass jewels with lacquer flaking off them.

“Finally. It is d—” Cologne began with relief but she then saw Shantae still going strong. “Stop! Stop! Enough, girl, you already did—”

“I can't... leave it like this!” the half-Genie squeezed out without opening her eyes. “I know! I feel it! Aha, I see her!” She tensed, beginning to glow. Everyone present possessing even modicum of self-preservation dove for cover. Cologne rushed forward to stop her. “HAAAAAAAAAAH!!!” the walls trembled from Shantae's shout, her aura blazing like a snow-white bonfire. “Come ooooon...!” Ghostly contours of a female figure appeared in the air. Waves of white light were rolling off the cross-legged girl shaking the cafe and throwing Cologne away time and again. The white glow flowed around everyone present surrounding them with brilliant outlines easily visible through tables and, in Ukyou's case, through her giant spatula.

Then Genie's eyes flung open, shining pure white, and the world was consumed by light.

<center>* * *</center>

“Gung-ho youngsters at their finest,” Cologne concluded as she lifted herself off the floor to take a look around. There was no trace of her great-granddaughter, nor her husband — ha! — teasing whom with the title of “Son-in-Law” is so much fun. In fact none of their gang was around. On contrary, there was a lavender-haired amazon in traditional clothing lying out cold in the center of the empty hall: all tables were piled along the walls.

“That girl got muuuch more magical might than common sense...” The old lady jumped up to her stick. “I wonder where they got swept away to...? But that's their adventure, it is for them to deal with it. I will have my hands full with this... grabber of things she shouldn't. Who could have thought? Such a troublesome turn from such pure heart...”

The old lady hopped up to the prone girl to poke at her with her stick. While staying in the air.

“Hey, Shao Pu, wake up!”

“Huh? What? Where?” she jumped up. “Elder ummm...?”

“So here `ummm`,” Cologne grumbled good-naturedly as she dangled the battered pendant on broken chain in front of her. “Do you recognize this trinket? We snuck in there to get it despite Lao Hun having strictly forbidden us.”

“We?” the lavender-haired girl asked uncomprehendingly. “Huh?”

“Well, it took me <i>a while</i> to find a way of freeing you. Genies are hard to come by, you know, even such young and green ones with overabundance of heroic urges.”

“Genies...?” The girl could pose as a model for fish out of water. “A while...?”

“Have the Elder warned us that this thing can steal one's soul...? She have. Did we listen to her? Nooo, we were the smartest warriors around, we had already grew tits...! And I... ” She sniffed wiping a tear with a napkin. “And I brought flowers to your mound for almost three hundred years after.”

“What...” a dawning realization reflected on the girl's features.

“I don't know how she managed this, Genies have no power over life or death. Probably found a loophole in you not being technically dead as your soul was locked in this vile thing...” Cologne threw the pendant at the wall making it shatter. “I only asked her to free your soul so that it could continue the cycle of reincarnation. But she returned you alive. Stupid, boundless power of the youth...”

“My soul...?” the girl was beginning to get it. “Oh... Oh!”

“Right, you always were quick thinker, Sis. If only your danger sense was half as good!”

“K.. Khu Long...?” the girl gasped.

“What Khu Long?” the old woman cackled good-naturedly. “It's three hundred seventeen years as I am called Khu Long. Better help me restore my cafe to order. We have to open soon but the cute waitress is gone to parts unknown... Ah! How is your Japanese? I can't remember in my old age.”


“Why are you standing there with eyes like saucers. Yes, this is my cafe... Eatery, in other words, in a quiet corner of the Japanese capital. And no, this isn't Kyoto, it's a new one they built just a century ago.”


“What am I doing here? Airing my great-granddaughter. I mean, I was airing her until she got spirited away. I wonder when will she return? Or would she return at all...? Well, enough sitting around. We can talk while we work.”
Last edited by Cheb on Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.6 n

Postby Cheb » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:24 pm

Argh, a stray Cyrillic character made my story compiler drop an important paragraph:
Ranma who slept дшпредн had already finished dressing when a scream of terror sounded from a nearby room. The pig-tailed martial artist was going to fling open the door with the duck plate with Latin “AKANE” on it when he heard hushed voices. Discering half-Genie's “..eamt again that burning sky was falling towards me..” he trudged downstairs to the exit. Whatever suspicious stuff was happening цшер their guest, with recurring nightmares and selective amnesia, now was not the time to barge in. He just hoped her “friends”, rivals and whoever else she gathered along the road of life won't start popping out of woodworks.

Then there's "weak" instead of "week-long", "in my long age" instead of "in my old age" and so on... Ugh :x
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.6 n

Postby Cheb » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:19 pm

P.P.S. DISGUSTING! If I saw as many roaches as there were typos and misspellings I would've threw up :x
Corrected, re-uploaded.

P.S. A question: does "it seems" fall under that tense conversion thingy, forgot how it is called, that transforms speech to the tense of its context?
I mean, shouldn't I use "it seemed" instead as my narrative is in past tenses?

(also, see my homemade reference sheet -- I hope I got it right)

P.P.S. Also “Are you sure you don't want payment?” | “No.” Shantae paused,
“Are you sure you don't want payment?” | “Yes.” Shantae paused,
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.6 n

Postby Pata Hikari » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:44 am

"Even Shampoo adapted to your style quickly," Ranma reminded her. "You'll see it when she comes for the rematch, turning into an elephant will be useless."

"`Even`?" Shantae was surprised. "Isn't she very-very strong?"

Genma snorted dismissively. Ranma harrumphed cockily. Akane pouted.

This part really bugs me. Ranma and Genma are never dismissive of Shampoo's abilities in canon. Genma is downright impressed by them during Shampoo's introduction arc.

And Ranma's a better martial artist than Shampoo yes but he doesn't take her lightly when she's being serious.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.6 n

Postby Cheb » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:26 am

This part really bugs me. Ranma and Genma are never dismissive of Shampoo's abilities in canon.

Let's say it's their overreaction at seeing Shantae perceiving Shampoo as the strongest person there is.
Ranma's reaction is right, but I will think of what to replace "dismissively" with. Or not replace it at all, it's Genma's "You think that gal is the strongest? As if!"

And Ranma's a better martial artist than Shampoo yes but he doesn't take her lightly when she's being serious.

At first it was that way, then Ranma kept growing stronger while Shampoo... Is "plateaued" the right word?
As you could have glimpsed from hints here and there, this fic fits in the last third of the manga timeline, after Herb but before Ryu Kumon, Angry God Assauld Blast and the like, which would've been Ranma's last big power-up.

My interpretation is that Cologne doesn't let Shampoo grow stronger until the girl learns enough subtlety and restraint, just like you don't teach "cool jutsu" to fresh Genin right out of the academy.

But Shampoo is really badass. I even think that her use of maces is like a voluntary handicap combined with training weights as these heavy things make her slower and less flexible.

P.S. I decided: I will change "dismissively" to "as if she said something funny".
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.6 n

Postby Pata Hikari » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:30 pm

It's actually really hard to gauge Shampoo's skills over the course of the manga because she very rarely fights.

Like, most of the fighter characters in the manga show clear lines of improvement as they perform more impressive feats as the manga goes on, but Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi don't. All three hardly ever fight.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.6 n

Postby Spica75 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:22 am

Pata Hikari wrote:It's actually really hard to gauge Shampoo's skills over the course of the manga because she very rarely fights.

Like, most of the fighter characters in the manga show clear lines of improvement as they perform more impressive feats as the manga goes on, but Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kodachi don't. All three hardly ever fight.

And all three also show uneven abilities when they do(based more on the anime but i've seen the same in the manga).
Schampoo especially seems to flip back and forth anywhere from "superduper" to "meh".

Cheb wrote:P.S. A question: does "it seems" fall under that tense conversion thingy, forgot how it is called, that transforms speech to the tense of its context?
I mean, shouldn't I use "it seemed" instead as my narrative is in past tenses?

I checked all occurrences of "seem-something" in the last chapter and unless i missed something, you used it correctly.
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Re: Dance, Dance, Rumble (R.5 / Shantae crossover) [+ Ch.6 n

Postby Cheb » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:41 am

and unless i missed something, you used it correctly.

Thank you :)

And all three also show uneven abilities

I stick with "trumps Shantae with skill if the latter doesn't use magic", with everything else about these 2 girls being pretty equal.

The next chapter will be here in 1 or 2 days, I'm halfway through translating it. Then... a long pause again. I have to write most of Ch.8 and remaining half of Ch.9
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