Disclaimer: Rumiko Takahashi is the greatest, but then again so is <whoever did SM>. All Ranma ½ and Sailor Moon characters… and the occasional Devil Hunter, as well as any other character that belongs to someone else belong to someone else, not me. I ain’t that good. Jiejie and Tian Huan are my own creations, as are Inago, Kaji, Sansai, and Fusei.

C&C: C&C is both welcome and desired greatly at dancingimp@yahoo.com. This is my first fanfiction work to make it past Chapter Half. Also, though I have certain things set in mind, I am willing to modify the story as it continues if it becomes necessary. If this story is located elsewhere, the original can be found at http://www.geocities.com/dancingimp. Thankies!

Big Thanks: To my prereaders/editors/mallet-wielders, James Thomas <who has written one of the best Dragonball Z/Ranma Half crossovers, http://www.provalue.net/users/heed452/fanfic>, and Greg Beauchamp. Thanks for the mallets to the head and red ink to the paper.

What Went Before: Ranma, Akane, and Ukyo were at college in Juuban. Happosai found a scroll that he used to try summoning a demon. The sacrifice for the ritual was supposed to be Ranma, but Akane interfered and vanished. Now the ‘demon’ appears to be a fifteen hundred year old Amazon with a mild attitude problem.  With Cologne’s help, Ranma is trying to find some way of getting back Akane. They ran afoul of a wizard or demon, which sent his minions to attack them, and now the Sailor Senshi appear to be rather miffed, believing Jiejie to be a demon and Ranma and company her servants. Jiejie has also managed to upset Ryoko, who is still sealed in the cave. The group has been informed about magical gems that may have the power to solve their problem. However, the first gem is in Egypt. Thank heaven for Kuno… They managed to acquire the gem after dealing with the guardians of the tomb, but a prison break by a demon/wizard put a damper on the situation.  The group managed to return to the Masaki shrine and have located the next gem. However, Ryoga got lost and Kuno has been kidnapped. Ryoko is a little too supportive of Jiejie now. Togenkoyo is the location of the next gem, but it doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to. While Shampoo goes to get help from the Masakis, Ranma and Jiejie have a little discussion that ends up with Akane reawakening. Akane also ends up asking a rather loaded question. Jiejie uses a magical spell to send Akane’s spirit back into the past to watch the events that led to Jiejie becoming a half-demon. Armed with a greater understanding of her companion, and a bit of advice for dealing with Ranma, Akane tries to regain control of her body.

 

 

Chapter 8

“Island Voyage”

 

 

Kiematsu Rei, Negaverse

 

            Kaji Bachiatari finished affixing the strange blob to the back of the stewardess that he and his brother, Inago, had kidnapped from the plane. Her eyes flew open as vein-like tentacles emerged from the blob. The pulsing veins wrapped themselves around her torso and limbs as her pupils shrank to pinpoints. Her skin turned reddish-black as it hardened into a leathery substance. Her limbs extended beyond their normal length. Kaji watched as the middle finger on her hands merged with the two fingers beside it and her fingernails stretched and warped into blades. Her toes melted into one, then split into an even pair with a razor sharp talon emerging from each. Kaji covered her torso with a breastplate that looked vaguely like a conquistador’s. The tentacles seized onto object and merged with it like they had the poor woman’s body. Metal plates were placed on her forearms and lower legs. Just as before, the tentacles grabbed the armor and fused with it. Just before some of the smaller veins could reach her face, Kaji slid a simple mask over it. As the final touch, Kaji used a brush to paint tears under the eyes of the mask. Stepping back, he took a moment to admire his work.

 

            “What happens when she has to scratch her nose,” Inago asked his distorted voice.

 

            Kaji grated his rotting teeth together. “I never have, and never will appreciate your humor, brother. You have your minions, and I have my soldiers. And the sooner we free our brother, the sooner he can add his own forces to ours. Then we can look to taking our revenge on our enemies.”

 

            “Yes, yes, I know. But I have not been able to find Sansai yet. A great power is obviously shielding him from my sight.”

 

            “Or else you’ve gone blind during all these years.”

 

            “And which of us was able to break free of their prison by themselves, brother?”

 

            Kaji fell silent.

 

            “Thought so. How goes your pet project, that Kuno boy?”

 

            “He will be ready for release soon. His spirit was already heavily tainted with delusions of grandeur. The sword I have given him will have no problems in bringing him completely under my power, and then I will train him into a suitable avatar.”

 

            “Good, because your rotting corpse is starting to-“ Inago stopped suddenly. “I have to go, brother, my bait has just been snapped up.” With that, Inago exploded into a swarm of locusts as he teleported away.

 

 

 

On board Ryo-Ohki, somewhere over the Sea of Japan

 

            “Three?” Ranma asked in confusion, running her hand through her red hair.

 

            “Three what?” The small, mostly-black-haired girl in her arms responded.

 

            “You just said three? Are you all right, Gigi?”

 

            The redhead never saw the slap coming. “It’s Jiejie, not Gigi, Ranma. Get it right. Do you realize how much that irritates her?”

 

            “Akane? I thought Gig-, uh, Jiejie was back.”

 

            “She almost was, but she managed to let me take control again so that your face wouldn’t scare her.”

 

            “What’s up with that, anyways? I mean, just because I look like a demon she knew a long time ago is no reason to scream like a little gir-“ Both of Ranma’s cheeks now sported red hand-shaped marks.

 

            “She IS a little girl, Ranma! Can’t you understand that? What that demon did to her is almost as bad as the Neko-Ken you went through. So unless you want me to make fun of you every time a cat meows, then shut up and leave her alone.”

 

            Ranma glowered at her, considering taking the argument further. She finally just threw up her hands with a whatever, the stomped her way over to a view screen. “How long till we get there?”

 

            Tenchi shrugged and looked at Ryoko. The former space pirate shrugged back. “Until we know exactly where it is, I can’t tell you how long it will take.”

 

            Ranma shivered, her nerves still frayed by the fact that she was in a ship that meowed like a cat. Suddenly, an island formed on the view screen. “That’s it!” Ranma cried. Ryoko checked her readings and frowned. “According to the sensors, there isn’t an island there.”

 

            “That’s ‘cuz it’s people are masters of illusion. You can only see it if you use your own eyes.” ‘At least, I figure that’s probably it,’ Ranma thought to herself. Ryoko pointed out the fact that the view screen was not ‘her own eyes’, so how could she see the island with it. The argument started to get out of hand until Tenchi pointed out a relatively clear part of the jungle-covered island.

 

            Ryo-Ohki headed for the clearing and landed safely. Once everyone had been beamed off, the spaceship returned to its half-cat/half-rabbit form. Looking around, they saw that the island looked rather devastated. Trees were uprooted and the ground was torn up. Ranma and Akane led the others to the main building, only to find it in ruins.

 

            The doors were completely off their hinges and the walls were cracked. Ranma stepped carefully inside. “Anyone home? Yo! Toma! You in here? Monkey-man? Dog-Boy?”

 

            Akane walked up behind Ranma and smacked the back of her head. “Those are not their names, Ranma.”

 

            Ranma rubbed where Akane had hit her. “Yeah, I know, but I can’t remember their names… look how long it took me to remember Ryoga’s.”

 

            “Yes, but I seem to recall that you were able to remember Ukyo’s name rather easily.”

 

            “Geez, Akane… would you just drop it? I can’t help it that Ukyo is my best friend.”

 

            “Akane?” A young voice echoed through the hall. “Is it really you?”

 

            Everyone turned to see a young man, surrounded by guards, walking down the corridor towards them.

 

            “Toma!” Akane ran down the hall towards the prince.

 

            Toma took a step back as the strange, small girl ran towards him. His guards stepped to intercept her and Akane got a confused look on her face. “Who are you?” The prince asked.

 

            “Toma, it’s me, Akane.”

 

            “That’s impossible. Akane was taller, older, and did not have a scar on her neck. She also did not have red hair or gray eyes.”

 

            Akane’s face became sad, but Ranma came to her defense. “Toma, this really is Akane. It’s a long story, but this is her... sorta… look, we need your help, but it looks like you ain’t doin’ so good. What’s up around here?”

 

            Toma looked deep into Akane’s eyes, and finally smiled. “It is you, Akane. I apologize for my rudeness before. It is good to see you again.” He turned to Ranma. “We have been attacked, and now Togenkyo is no longer floating freely.”

 

            “Attacked? What the heck did this kind of damage? Pantyhose Taro?” Tenchi and Ayeka walked up to join them. Ryoko was examining the broken doors.

 

            “By any chance, would it be a really ugly, squid-like thing with huge tentacles?” Ryoko asked from the main entrance.

 

            Toma looked a bit surprised at the cyan-haired woman. “Yes, it is. How did you know?”

 

            “Because it’s looking at me, and it doesn’t look happy.” Ryoko calmly levitated into the air just as an enormous tentacle barreled through where she had been standing.

 

            “Everyone, to the main room! Hurry, it’s one of the only places the creature hasn’t penetrated yet.” Ranma and he others followed Toma and his people to safety.

 

            The large chamber was crowded. One thing that Tenchi noticed immediately was the fact that there were almost no females present. “Where are your women?” he asked worriedly.

 

            “These are all the women who have chosen to stay on our island. You see, there is, or was until Ranma blew it up, a spring whose water can turn any living creature into a man. Unfortunately, it also makes all the children born on this island male.”

 

            “Ouch. Why don’t you just leave the island?”

 

            “Because it is our home, and has been for generations. We love our island and will not leave it willingly.”

 

            “You may not have a choice,” Ranma pointed out. “If that squid’s strong enough to hold the island in place, it’d be a pain in the ass to fight.”

 

            Ryoko made a rude noise. “Oh, please… Ryo-Ohki or I could take that thing out easy.”

 

            Akane and Toma stared in disbelief at the cyan-haired woman. “Really?”

 

            Ryoko shrugged. “Sure, why not? If it’ll get this over with quicker, I’ll take care of your fish problem.” The space pirate floated into the air and through the wall, much to almost everyone’s surprise.

 

            The demoness flew across the island, tracing the rampaging tentacle back to its source. “Okay, I’ve seen some big critters in my time, but this is a bit ridiculous,” she muttered as she followed the tentacle a hundred yards to the waters edge. “Well, time to get squid-boy’s attention.” Ryoko held out her hand and a red energy sword formed. A casual swipe cut the tentacle almost in half. Ryoko’s smirk died as the tentacle halves reformed back into a single appendage, and the blood from the wound began eating away at the ground around her.

 

            “Shit!” The newly reformed tentacle nearly managed to grab her. She sent a barrage of energy blasts that blew the tentacle into hundreds of pieces, but the appendage reformed itself and came after her again. The battleground was quickly becoming dangerous as the blood eroded the edge of the island. She dodge another swipe just a second too slow and the tentacle wrapped itself around her. She tried forcing it open, but was forced to phase through the appendage instead. Abandoning the fight, she retreated back to the palace.

 

            “Is it dead yet?” Ranma called out when she entered.

 

            “Nah, the damn thing regenerated.”

 

            “As I tried to warn you, the creature can regrow any limbs that it loses. It also has highly acidic blood, which makes fighting it very dangerous, and it appears to be immune to my illusions. That is why we have been unable to do anything about the creature.”

 

            Everyone was forced to grab onto something for support as suddenly the entire room shook. Most of the warriors ran out of the room and to the main entrance to see what was going on. To everyone’s surprise, it looked as if the squid was pulling itself out of the sea. Water cascaded from its body as it finally revealed itself. Ranma may not have been paying much attention in biology class, but she was pretty sure that normal squids didn’t have acid for blood, three hundred foot long tentacles, two-dozen crablike legs, or an armored carapace that looked like it belonged on a Red Lobster menu.

 

            In unison, almost everyone said, “What the?” Ryoko fired off an energy blast that surprised most of the people around her. The ball struck a part of the carapace and detonated, shattering a section of the armor. The creature’s tentacles writhed in pain for a moment before the hole closed itself again. An angry tentacle headed straight for the onlookers, but it was deflected at the last moment by an energy barrier. Ayeka’s face showed some signs of strain as she reinforced the shield.

 

            “Ryoko, you brainless cretin! You’ll get these people hurt if you keep that up!” She yelled at the space pirate.

 

            “What? You’re doing a fine job, Princess. Just leave the blue plate special to me.”

 

            Toma waved his guards back into the building before turning to stand beside Ranma and Akane. “My friends, do you have any idea how to fight this creature?”

 

            Akane shook her head slowly. “I wish Shinnosuke were here. He’s used to fighting giant animals.”

 

            Ranma huffed. “What am I, chopped liver?”

 

            Akane started to retort, but bit back on it. “Ranma, I wasn’t insulting you. I was just saying that his experience with giant animals would be helpful right now.”

 

            Ranma let it go. Instead, he watched as Ryoko, now joined by Azaka and Kamidake, blew holes repeatedly in the giant creature. “Yer not doin’ any good!” He yelled at her.

 

            “I know that, femboy. I just figured I’d let out my aggression for a bit.” She merrily blew a few more holes in the monster.

 

Tenchi groaned. “At least it’s not the school getting it this time.”

 

            “Azaka, Kamidake! Stop attacking that thing and protect the others!” Ayeka ordered. The two logs retreated to the front gates and erected a force field around them.

 

            Akane felt a sudden chill run through her. She glanced around quickly and saw an odd shimmer appearing above the creature. “Ryoko! Look out!” She yelled. Thanks to the warning, the space pirate managed to dodge a stream of acid that erupted from the shimmer. The glimmering effect disappeared, revealing a familiar figure.

 

            “I see you’ve made some friends while I was away,” Inago commented. “Has my new pet been keeping them properly entertained? Now, tell me, my friends, just what you are doing out here on this… wretched island.”

 

            Toma stepped forward before anyone could stop him. “Who are you and why are you attacking my island?”

 

            “Don’t you mean MY island, little prince?” With that, Inago pointed a ghoulish finger at the young man.

 

            Tenchi tackled Toma out of the way as a stream of bubbling acid passed through Ayeka’s barrier. A few drops hit Tenchi’s back and he cried out in pain.

 

            “Tenchi!” Ryoko yelled. Her vision went red as she unleashed an enormous energy bolt at the demon/wizard. Inago held up his hand, creating a barrier in front of him. The blast struck the shimmering field and was mostly disrupted, but part of the energy blew through and sent the gaunt man staggering back in midair. Cursing loudly and holding the stump where one hand used to be, Inago dove for Ryoko, a ball of green energy forming around his other hand. Ryoko swung her energy sword at him, but he caught it easily, the green and red energies sparking madly as they made contact. Inago swept his foot around at her head, forcing her to duck and fall back. Inago started to follow up, but suddenly a wave of flames burned its way straight for him. He dove back and glanced over, seeing Toma standing there. Inago cursed at himself for falling for the illusion and started to send an energy blast at the young prince when he found his arm cut off at the elbow. Crying out in pain, he looked at his attacker and saw Tenchi standing there with a blue energy sword.

 

            For the first time since he had met him, Ranma saw real fear enter the wizard’s eyes. “N-no… it can’t be!” Ryoko started to come in for another attack, but Inago launched a spin kick that sent her flying into a wall. Hovering high in the air, Inago moved away from his enemies. “You… none of you will live! I’ll see you all destroyed! KILL THEM!!!” The wizard vanished. In his place, dozens of terrifying creatures appeared. Looking like some kind of cross between a giant rabbit and a mantis, the four foot tall monsters landed heavily before bouncing towards the heroes. Toma’s personal guards, Wonton, Sarutoru, and Torristan ran to defend their prince against the monstrous onslaught. Ayeka pushed her shield to its limits to keep the tentacled horror at bay. Ranma managed to knock down a few of the critters, but they stood up again quickly. Toma tried his illusion attack again, but to no effect. Ryoko took down a couple of the monsters, slamming them together with steel-shattering force. Tenchi’s glowing sword carved the scythe-like claws off of one of the creatures before being forced to parry another’s attack.

 

            Akane found herself in a relatively safe zone, with Ranma and the others keeping the creatures at bay. Akane wished for some way to help, but when she tried to attack a monster that got too close, she found that the massive changes in her body threw her skills off drastically. She could tell that the smaller creatures would soon be handled, but that the squid would continue to be a threat. ‘What can I do?’ she asked herself.

 

            *Kill it,* Jiejie responded.

 

            ‘How?’ Akane asked the girl who shared her mind.

 

            *Do exactly as I tell you. I’m not sure this will work, but we’ll have to try if we want to save your friends. But before you do this, would you sacrifice everything for Ranma?* Akane nodded slowly and closed her eyes. Words and pictures flooded into her mind, and in moments she knew what to do.

 

            “<Flame beyond crimson,>”

 

            Ranma stopped in mid-punch, sensing something building in the air.

 

            “<Heat beyond the sun that shines,>”

 

            Akane’s hair turned red and began to wave in a hot wind that blew in unexpectedly.

 

            “<Hidden in all that exists,>”

 

            Akane’s skin paled to the color of snow as her whole body began to glow. Ranma looked at her in shock as she held her hands up, palms to the sky.

 

            “<Destroyer of Life, Creator of Life,>”

 

            Ranma called out to Akane as burning, elemental energy poured into a ball above her hands. Toma, Tenchi, and Ryoko looked over as the wind became hotter and more violent. One of the smaller creatures used the distraction to leap for Akane, but it burst into flame and became a whirlwind of ash around her.

 

            “<By your eternal power, let all who dare to oppose me,>”

 

            Akane’s eyes snapped open and a violent blast of hot air exploded from around her, toppling the few remaining monsters. Ranma barely managed to stay on her feet, as she screamed out Akane’s name again. Akane’s eyes were as black as ebony as she pointed both of her palms towards the squid-abomination.

 

            “<Be consumed by our righteous fury,>”

 

            “<Phoenix Rising!>”

 

            The energy erupted from Akane’s hands with the soul-wrenching cry of an enormous bird. The mystic energy seemed to take on the form of the legendary Phoenix as it blasted into the abomination. The power infused every part of its body as it glowed for a moment before suddenly exploding in a violent blast. All of the pieces burned furiously as every last bit of the creature turned to ash, as did a good section of the island where it had crawled.

 

            After recovering from the bright flash and the heat, all eyes turned to Akane. She had an odd smile on her face as her features returned to normal. Suddenly, she collapsed. Ranma caught her before she hit the ground. The warriors managed to quickly finish off the remaining creatures, and, as usual, the bodies of the creatures dissolved after their death. Toma, Tenchi, Ayeka, and Ryoko formed a circle around Akane and Ranma.

 

            Ranma was freaking out badly. She couldn’t figure out what Akane had just done or how she had done it. Akane’s breathing was extremely shallow and her pulse was very weak. Slowly, though, her life signs became stronger. She started to open her eyes, but suddenly screwed them shut again. “Ranma, go away.”

 

            Ranma was crushed. “What? Akane, I-“

 

            “No Akane. Go away.”

 

            Ranma finally understood and she moved away as Jiejie slowly opened her eyes.

 

            “What the hell was that, girly?” Ryoko asked rudely.

 

            “Phoenix Rising. It elemental spell. Calls Phoenix.”

 

            “How did Akane do it?” Ranma asked from outside her field of view.

 

            Jiejie continued lying on the ground as she spoke. “Jiejie show her how do it.”

 

            “Is she all right?”

 

            “She sleep for long time. Jiejie need to too. Phoenix Rising very hard spell. Jiejie not move for while.” With that, Jiejie’s eyes closed again and she slipped into unconsciousness.

 

            Ranma picked her up carefully and Toma led the way to his personal chambers. The redhead carefully laid the small girl on the bed and pulled the covers over her.

 

            “Ranma, what is wrong with Akane?” Toma asked quietly. Ranma gave him the abbreviated version of the situation. “Then my island and its resources are at your disposal. Akane taught me the real meaning of love and friendship, it is the least I can do.”

 

            Ranma thanked him. “Hey, you ever find a wife?”

 

            Toma sighed and shook his head. “No. I find that I’ve been comparing every woman I meet to Akane, and none have been able to compare to her. But, let us speak outside. We must let her rest.”

 

            Once he quietly closed the door to his bedroom, Toma turned to Ranma. “That wizard seemed to know you. Tell me, what is his name?”

 

            Ranma struggled to remember. “Inago something-with-an-M, why?”

 

            Toma frowned and began walking down the hall. “There is an old legend that I must look up again. Please join me in my library.”

 

 

            Akane awoke to darkness. She tried opening her eyes, but everything was still black. She reached out, trying to find out where she was, but her arms wouldn’t move. She began to panic, but slowly came to realize that she was only dreaming. She felt Jiejie’s presence and greeted the girl.

 

            *That was incredible! The rush of power, the feeling having so much energy at my command!*

 

            ‘Yes. It is very powerful and very dangerous. You can only safely use it once a year or so, or the drain will kill you.’

 

            *Is that what magic feels like?*

 

            ‘Yes. If you want, I can teach you more.’

 

            *That’s incredible! Can anyone do that sort of thing?*

 

            ‘No, Akane… magic of that level can only be done by one touched by the Great Powers.’

 

            *Who are the-* Jiejie cut Akane off.

 

            ‘Do not ask that now, I cannot tell you. All I will say on the matter is that, because of your contact with me, you can do many of the things I can as well.’

 

            *Are you one of the Great Powers, Atsui?*

 

            ‘No, Akane.’ There was a certain finality to her answer.

 

            *Why did you ask me if I was willing to sacrifice everything for Ranma?*

 

            ‘The spell might have consumed your soul if something had gone wrong. I wanted to make sure you understood the consequences.’ Akane could sense Jiejie hesitating about something.

 

            *What are you not telling me?*

 

            ‘Nothing (many things).’ Jiejie cursed at the level of honesty their shared mind forced her into. ‘Do not ask me why, but there is something you must do. Never allow Ranma to fight a demon in his girl-form. The results could be catastrophic for you both if he did.’ Akane started to ask why, but Jiejie cut her off. ‘Just do it, if you really love him.’

 

            *All right then. I promise. Now, what was that about teaching me more?*

 

 

 

Juuban district, Ucchan’s Restaurant, late afternoon

 

            Mamoru ate the okonomiyaki in a half-hearted way. “Ukyo, have you… heard from Ranma or Akane lately?”

 

            The okonomiyaki chef/martial artist looked at her friend miserably. “Sure haven’t, Sugar. Have you?” Mamoru hesitated, which Ukyo noticed instantly. “Have you?”

 

            “I don’t know… you know about the recent monster attacks in town, don’t you?” When she nodded, he continued. “Well, I saw one of them. The Senshi were fighting this small girl-like youma or witch or something. I saw Ranma helping her.”

 

            Ukyo couldn’t believe it. “You mean, he was helping the Senshi?”

 

            “No, the bad guy. At least, it looked that way. He attacked Sailor Uranus and knocked her weapon out of her hand. I think the witch or whatever was attacking Shampoo too. I saw this girl with long purple hair being dragged away by the witch’s minions.”

 

            Ukyo had never really liked Shampoo, but to hear she had been the victim of a witch and that Ranma might be one as well made her very upset. “Was the witch controlling him?”

 

            Mamoru shook his head. “I don’t know. I would have to say yes. I just can’t imagine Ranma helping her otherwise.”

 

            Ukyo nodded. “I agree. Ranma-honey has to be under that witch’s spell. Is there anything I can do?”

 

            Mamoru shook his head. “Not that I can think of. I just wanted to see if you had heard from either Ranma or Akane since they disappeared.”

 

            “If you hear anything more, let me know. Please!” Ukyo asked him, and he nodded in response. She watched as Mamoru started to leave when suddenly the front door exploded inwards. Mamoru dove to knock a customer out of harm’s way. Ukyo reached for her battle spatula and ran outside to see what was going on.

 

            “Saturn, stay back! It’s another one of those bladewalkers!”

 

            Ukyo glanced around and saw that several of the Senshi were taking on a nightmarish creature. It looked like a person wearing old, metal armor, except that the arms and legs were overly long and ended in horrifying blades and blade-like claws. Its skin was black, the armor was gold, and it had a strange, deep red, organ-like blob on its back. A simple mask, painted with teardrops, covered its face. Ukyo could scarcely believe the speed and agility it displayed as it dodged the Senshi’s magical attacks.

 

            Ukyo watched in surprise as one of the Senshi, a tall blonde, tried to close with the creature and engage it with a glowing sword. She analyzed their fighting styles and realized that the woman didn’t stand any real chance against the monster. It was too skilled and had more weapons than she did. ‘Well, time to even up the odds, then,’ Ukyo thought to herself. Like her beloved Ranma, Ukyo believed that the duty of a martial artist was to protect those who could not protect themselves. She reached into her chef’s outfit and pulled out a small bag. She waited till the Senshi in red launched one of her fire attacks before tossing the bag at the creature’s back. The fire attack missed the creature, but ignited the bag. Moments later, the tempura flakes mixed with gunpowder exploded against the strange blob on the monster’s back. The creature arched its back in pain and fell to its knees. The Senshi wasted no time in hitting the bladewalker with everything they had.

 

            As the smoke cleared from the attacks, the blasted remains of the creature lay in the streets for a moment, and then burst into flame. Seconds later, nothing was left of it but ash. As the Senshi caught their breath, and Venus went to entertain her adoring public, the Senshi known as Moon approached Ukyo. “Thank you for your assistance, citizen. You have done a great service today.”

 

            “Hey, no problem. That creep damaged my shop.”

 

            Moon smiled at the chef and started to leave when Ukyo stopped her. “Hey, have you seen a cute looking guy, about so tall, black hair done in a pigtail, likes to where Chinese style clothes?”

 

            Moon took a step back in surprise. “Yes, how did you know?”

 

            “He’s my fiancée, but he disappeared a week or so ago. I heard from a friend that he was helping one of the bad guys fight you, is that true?” Ukyo hoped with all her heart that Moon would say no, that it was all just a misunderstanding.

 

            “Yes. He was helping a witch to fight us.”

 

            “Please, don’t hurt him! I’m sure he’s just under a spell or something! Don’t hurt him, I beg you!” Tears began to flow from her eyes.

 

            Moon was touched. “I… I can’t promise anything, but we will do everything we can to not hurt your fiancée. We’ll try to break whatever hold that… witch has on him.” The way Moon said witch gave Ukyo the indication that there was a lot of bad blood between them.

 

            “Thank you. Hey, if you ever need any help with these monsters, give me a call, okay?”

 

            Moon nodded and smiled, but had no intention of ever involving a civilian in their fight. She joined the other Senshi for a moment before they all took off.

 

            Plans were forming in Ukyo’s head. Starting that night, she was going to begin patrolling Juuban for Ranma or these new monsters. ‘Even if I only find the monsters, at least I can vent my frustration on them, and be performing my civic duty. After all, I am the cute, responsible fiancée.’ With that, Ukyo went back into the restaurant and closed shop, preparing for the night’s patrol. Konatsu, who hadn’t had time to come to his employer’s aid during the battle, recognized the look on her face. The ninja sighed to himself as he mentally went through his own preparations. It looked like there would be two martial artists patrolling that night.

 

 

 

Kiematsu Rei, Negaverse

 

            Kaji was frowning as he watched a display screen in his recently restored workshop. On the screen it showed the battle between the bladewalker and the Senshi. He had been satisfied with the results of his experiment until someone interfered and his creation was lost. His thoughts were interrupted as he sensed his brother’s approach. He shut off the view screen and turned to face his fellow priest. Kaji’s eyes widened a bit when he noticed Inago’s rather diminished condition.

 

            “Both of our enemies are here,” Inago hissed.

 

            Kaji shook his head. “Impossible. I have not seen any evidence of Jurai in orbit around this planet, or even in this solar system.”

 

            Inago held up what was left of one arm and screamed, “THEN MY ARM WAS CUT OFF BY A PHANTOM!”

 

            Kaji examined the wound closely and his eyes narrowed. Indeed, the damage looked like it had been caused by the energy of the royal house of Jurai. “But there are no ships in orbit, there are no starbases on the planet, and the pathetic humans we’ve been killing are not of Jurai.”

 

            “I don’t know, brother, but we must move up our experiments. We must find Sansai and revive our lord Fusei before the full power of Jurai can be unleashed on us again and we suffer the fate of our brother Kain.”

 

            Kaji looked to the alcove where Tatewaki Kuno was still imprisoned. “Very well. I shall test my new pupil soon.”

 

 

 

Togenkyo Island, the next morning

 

            Ranma gathered everyone into the library at Toma’s request. The young prince looked like he hadn’t slept all night. He motioned for everyone to come closer and he pointed at the large tome on the table in front of him. “I believe I may know the identity of our enemy. This book is a record of the earliest settlers of Togenkyo Island. The details are a bit fuzzy, but apparently the great tree on this island was actually an experiment by an evil alchemist named Inago Muragaru. He and three of his brothers were part of some race called the T’kara Ri. Or that might have been there homeland. I’m afraid the records are unclear. This race waged war with all of the lands of the Earth and, according to the tome, also some kingdoms in space. They lost the war and were imprisoned in remote locations on Earth. Inago was kept here, apparently because of the very tree he had created. Something about the water made from its sap nullified Inago’s powers.”

 

            Ranma’s face fell. “And I blew up the spring.”

 

            Toma placed a hand on Ranma’s shoulder. “My friend, you could not have known what was kept here. Even I only had a vague clue about it.”

 

            Ranma cheered up a little bit. “Does that book say how to beat him?” Ranma slapped at a mosquito that buzzed his ear but missed.

 

            Toma shook his head. “It only said that the three priests of the T’kara Ri were defeated by the forces of Earth and two kingdoms from space.”

 

            Tenchi glanced over at Ryoko and Ayeka. Ayeka shook her head and Ryoko shrugged.

 

            Toma continued. “I wish to thank you all again for your help in setting our island free from that monster. If there is anything I can do to help any of you, you have but to ask.”

 

            “Hey, Toma… how long until you get to…” Ranma pulled out the map that Katsuhito had given him. “Uhm… this spot.”

 

            Toma looked at Ranma’s map, and then checked another map. “It will take about three weeks. Why do you ask?”

 

            “There’s somethin’ me and Akane need there.” Again, Ranma tried to slap the mosquito that buzzed around him.

 

            “But Ranma, there are no islands in that area.”

 

            “Yeah, Katsuhito said it was at the bottom of the sea.”

 

            Ryoko snickered. “Yo, femboy. How were ya gonna get to the bottom of the sea?”

 

            Ranma grumbled. He actually hadn’t planned that far in advance.

 

            “Well, tell ya what. Ryo-Ohki and I will help get you there.”

 

            “Why are you helping us so much?”

 

            “Ask Gigi sometime,” Ryoko snickered. Ryoko saw the mosquito that had been buzzing Ranma suddenly shimmer and disappear. Her eyes narrowed, but she didn’t mention it to anyone.

 

            Ranma grudgingly agreed to Ryoko’s help, despite the fact that he hated being on the meowing spaceship. After Jiejie woke up the next afternoon, the party bid farewell to Toma and his people before boarding Ryo-Ohki.