Green-Eyed Wardrobe

By Dyne

     The excitement of Christmas filled the early-December air in the Nerima District of Tokyo and the smiles of a young, happy couple was no exception as Ikimono Kohei and Tendo Akane concluded their date. The two of them had spent an enjoyable afternoon at the skating rink and the evening with dinner, a movie, and a walk in the park. The cause for celebration wasn't the well-known Christian holiday, but rather the younger man's 20th birthday. All he had asked for was a day together with his fiancé.

     The afternoon had passed with minimal interference, until the Golden Pair showed up. Azusa wanted Kohei's thin ponytail for her collection and Sanzenin hadn't learned his lesson in not going after Akane's lips as, since his loss, he had sworn to not kiss another girl until he had kissed her. The fight that resulted was inevitable, but because of Kohei's superior speed and Akane's greatly improved skills since she and Ranma had fought them, it was no contest in their favor. Their dinner temporarily became a double date as Ukyo had offered to provide the meal at her restaurant and she had Ranma there as well. After the main meal, the surprise party that included the rest of Kohei's family and friends began and lasted until their movie began.

     Despite how late the time was when the film ended, the two walked slowly through the park and didn't say a thing, as they didn't need to. As she hugged his arm, Akane thought about how much she had changed since the two of them met. Up through the day he had suddenly arrived at Furinkan, she had been suffering from the heartbreak she had experienced when Ranma left her for Ukyo, even after he had said he loved her at Jusendo, for a full year. She never learned why his feelings turned to his childhood friend, but she began to blame herself for his choice because of the way she treated him more often than anyway else, violently. She didn't want to treat him that way anymore, so she vowed to never again hit him out of anger and become his friend. However, she still got angry and jealous at seeing Ranma and Ukyo together and not being able to do anything about it only made her more frustrated. By the end of that one year, she was depressed and isolating herself from her friends. Even though she was able to take her rage out on Kuno from time to time, she was still being torn apart from the inside out.

     That all changed when Kohei arrived and began to train her in using her anger as a weapon for her instead of against her and releasing it healthily. After defeating her blind rage and letting her past with Ranma go, she saw she had developed feelings for Kohei. And while she even called him a "baka" a few times in her mind, she was soon able to overcome that as well, knowing that she would start to believe it if she kept saying that. The day he proposed to her triggered a permanent change in Akane that brought out a tiny bit of femininity in her. True, she was still seen as a tomboy for her love of the Art and still didn't act like a girly-girl; she was no much more calm and trusting towards everyone who had earned her respect, even Ranma. For the most part, things had never been this peaceful in her life since she had found someone to love.

     "Aka-chan," his voice spoke softly, bringing her out of her thoughts, "we've returned."

     Akane opened her eyes and indeed saw that they had arrived at the gate of the Tendo household.

     "You're sure you don't want to come in for a minute?" she asked hopefully.

     "I'm sorry," he shook his head, "I wish that today would never end either, but we have tomorrow to look forward to."

     One thing that had really made their relationship work was that they respected each other’s independence. If she was working on something and he asked if she needed help, he would back off if she said no, but would still be willing if she ended up asking for assistance with the same task later. Another thing she had come to admire about him was his wisdom, especially for his age. When she asked how he knew so much, he simply answered that he knew only what he had been taught by both his parents and everything else came during his lifetime study of martial arts.

     "I've learned that all of the mental and physical skills that one needs to excel in life can be learned in studying the Art," he had said, "once that person has learned discipline and patience, he can do anything."

     "You've got a point," she smiled, hiding a sigh of slight disappointment in her mind, "I'll stop by to see you at work sometime tomorrow before our training session. Good night and happy birthday, Kohibito." She finished by giving him a light peck on the cheek.

     "Aka-chan..." he spoke soothingly as, for a brief moment, he slipped his arms around her waist and delivered a loving kiss to her lips, which she didn't resist at all.

     "Wo ai ni," he smiled as he let her go and walked off into the night. He always said "I love you" to her in Chinese rather than Japanese as that was always how he'd heard his mother say it to his father and had picked up that habit from her. Akane smiled again as her sigh changed into that of happiness as she watched him go.

     As soon as she stepped inside of the foyer, a stern voice said, "Young lady, do you have any idea how late it is?" causing her to sweatdrop. Before she could give a reason, she turned the light on and saw the last person she expected sitting on the stairs.

     "Ranma!" she exclaimed as she saw her former fiancé but current brother-in-law. "What are you doing here?"

     "Missed the last train," he answered as he took another bite of the apple that was obviously his snack. His mother lived at the very edge of Nerima, making it too long of a walk from the Tendo dojo, so it was much easier to take the train into the next district and backtrack the one kilometer.

     "Your dad is letting me stay the night," Ranma continued, "as thanks I'll help you guys clean the attic tomorrow morning."

     Where she wouldn't have listened to his story before, Akane now understood that his reason fit the events of the evening and didn't get angry.

     "And I know what you're thinking, 'Ranma offering to help around the house?' I may as well start making up for all the freeloading I did."

     Akane smiled, "Thank you, Ranma."

     "Huh?" he was actually surprised that she wasn't angry, even though she hadn't hit him out of rage for a long time.

     "I said, 'Thank you,'" she kept her smile and, as she passed him, withdrew a tiny mallet and gave him a light tap on the head that wouldn't have hurt a fly.

     "Hey!" he was slightly annoyed. "Are the sizes of those things directly linked to how angry you are?"

     "You finally figured it out," Akane giggled and headed upstairs for bed.

     A few blocks away, Kohei quietly stepped back into the Nekohanten where he was surprised to find his cousin-in-law sitting in one of the booths and cradling his sleeping daughter of slightly over a year in his arms.

     "[Mou Su,]" Kohei greeted. He had fallen into the habit of speaking to him and Shampoo in their native language when he was speaking with them privately. It was a good way to stay in practice and dissuade potential eavesdroppers.

     "[You look like you enjoyed your date,]" Mousse commented.

     "[I did,]" he replied as he took a seat, "[you and Xian Pu should take a day off to spend together.]"

     "[Not a bad idea,]" Mousse chuckled, "[that just reminded me of when I was doing anything I could to get her to date me while she was after Ranma.]"

     "[Tell me.]"

     "[I only succeeded once during that time. I found a relic from our people called the 'Invincible Glasses.' When I'd put them on, anyone I looked at would bow down and apologize for nothing. I decided to use them in a fight against Ranma so I could win Xian Pu from him. But I realized that it was too dishonorable and turned them on myself, apologizing to him. Xian Pu was touched by this and said she'd date me. My biggest mistake was not taking her to a romantic movie. I didn't know that then, but have since learned.]"

     "[Ranma's told me that Xian Pu used to think of you as nothing more than a spineless weakling.]"

     "[I was. I practically worshipped the ground she walked on and was always like, 'Yes, Xian Pu. Anything you say, Xian Pu.' The day she renounced her Amazon heritage was the greatest change. From what I could tell, she was genuinely afraid of her great-grandmother at that moment. If there was anything I was good at, it was hating the old mummy. So to spite her and make sure Xian Pu wouldn't be alone, I left the clan too. As we spent the next year on the road together, she finally saw the real me. I would only act like that sniveling idiot when she was around. But as she treated me with respect, I found it easier to act normally around her. I'm still not sure if she said she loved me as an escape then, but I know she says it and means it now.]"

     "[You allowed your trials to make you strong, Mou Su, and you used that strength to help Xian Pu in her time of trial and weakness.]" As he turned his head, Kohei saw Shampoo coming down the stairs.

     "I can't sleep, Mousse," she yawned, not seeing Kohei, "I'll watch the baby and you can go back to bed."

     Mousse shook his head, "That's easier said than done. Look." He released his hold on his daughter to show that she was clinging so tightly to his robes that he could have stood up and she wouldn't have fallen. "She takes after you."

     "That looks comfy," Shampoo purred as she climbed into his lap, leaned her head on his shoulder, and closed her eyes.

     "I'll let you be alone," Kohei smiled, switching back to Japanese, "good night, Mou Su." He knew that his cousin-in-law was too content to hear him as he headed for his room in the attic for a good-night's sleep.

     The next morning, Akane wasn't sure exactly what it was that awoke her. It was either the shouts of sparring outside or the delicious aroma coming from downstairs. Ranma and Uncle Saotome are probably at it, she thought as she remembered that her brother-in-law had stayed the night, and that smell can only mean one thing: Kasumi-onee-chan brought Makoto to see his grandpa. Since there was no school, she threw on some old clothes and prepared for the chore ahead that day.

     Once she was dressed, she opened the window in time to see Ranma knock his father into the pond. Genma was the only one who lived in Nerima who still had his Jusenkyo curse, and rightly so. There were still times when Akane wanted to sell him to a zoo to pay back for all of the freeloading he'd done.

     "You're gettin' old, oyaji!" Ranma taunted as the panda leapt out of the water and attempted another attack, only to eat a counter-attack that sent him back into the koi pond.

     "He's no challenge anymore," Ranma dusted his hands.

     ""That's because he never trains anymore while you work as hard as ever," Akane commented from her viewpoint.

     "Hey, mornin' Akane. Want to go at it for a few rounds?"

     "Maybe later if you're still here during my regular workout," she was anxious to go downstairs and see her sister.

     Sure enough, Kasumi was downstairs cooking breakfast and her and Dr. Tofu's son Makoto was being bounced on Soun's knee.

     "Onee-chan!" Akane exclaimed as she hugged her. Fortunately, the older Tendo wasn't handling any cookware at the moment.

     "Akane, good morning," she returned the embrace and noticed, "you're in a good mood."

     "Kohei and I went out last night to celebrate his birthday," she explained.

     "My, you two certainly do spend a lot of time together. But it's only natural for young people."

     "Onee-chan, you're only three years older then me. Just because you're a mother doesn't make you old."

     "Yes, you're right," Kasumi smiled her ever-present smile.

     I didn't notice this until now, Akane thought, but Kasumi-onee-chan and Aremi-chan would get along perfectly. They're both always smiling.

     After breakfast and Kasumi had left, Ranma and Akane began their work in cleaning the attic.

     "Dad just wants me to throw out some old junk that I don't want anymore," Akane instructed.

     "Wasn't he going to help you too?" Ranma asked.

     "He and Uncle Saotome are playing Shogi again. Don't expect to see them for awhile," she hefted a few boxes from their piles. "Well, let's get to work."

     One full hour passed before Akane found a certain box, buried near the bottom of the enormous pile.

     "What's this?" she blew the thin layer of dust from the box, untied the heavy string that bound it shut, and opened it to find a Chinese-style battle suit inside.

     "Do-chan!" Akane shouted gleefully as she hugged the suit and, not surprisingly to her, it hugged her back.

     Do-chan! the name sent a chill down Ranma's spine as he recognized Akane's nickname for the legendary suit.

     "I thought Dad sold you to a second-hand store," she continued, "but it looks like you've been in here the whole time."

     Ranma swallowed hard as he turned around and laid eyes on the enchanted outfit that allowed its master to fight at his/her full potential. He would never live the humiliation of having to destroy that thing down. Not only was it bad enough losing to Akane back then, but he spent several minutes sitting on a bench that had recently been painted, the paint still being wet. But it had been worth it to destroy it, only to have Kasumi sew it back together because she thought it was cute, making his effort for naught. The suit apparently noticed him as it leapt to whack him on the head with its sleeve.

     "Stop it, Do-chan," Akane rebuked, "Ranma and I aren't engaged anymore. He's just helping me out today."

     The suit halted its attack and extended its sleeve to Ranma. As he shook its "hand" to solidify the truce, he gave it a look of, "Don't even think of trying to peep on Akane in the bath anymore." He had to warn Kohei about this one, because once it knew that he was her current fiancé, that would only bring trouble.

     "Ranma," the youngest Tendo smirked, "did you still want to spar?" causing him to sweatdrop.

     "Let me take that back!" Soun begged as he saw how his bad move could be used to Genma's advantage.

     As always, the panda held up a sign on which "No" was written.

     Soun was about to distract him and switch the board when an enormous crash shook the house.

     "What was that?" Soun exclaimed as he looked outside to see a dot flying towards the horizon.

     "Dad, guess what," Akane called from upstairs as she practically leapt down to the ground floor, "I found Do-chan!" and appeared, wearing the legendary suit, causing him and Genma to recoil in horror.

     A few blocks away, Ukyo was warming up the grill as she got ready to open up for a full day of business when she heard something fall through the roof of her building and the ceiling of the first floor. Utilizing her martial arts instincts and reflexes, she drew her battle spatula and caught whatever it was before it could damage the grill. When the dust settled and she saw what had fallen inside, she couldn't believe it.

     "Ranchan," she exclaimed, "what happened to you!"

     The pig-tailed martial artist, balanced on the weapon on his head, stammered as he answered, "A-Akane... legendary s-s-suit... f-full potential..."

     "What are you talking about?" she lifted him over a stool and turned her weapon to dump him onto it. "What's this about Akane and a legendary suit?"

     After Ranma had recovered, he told her the account of when he and their parents had bought the suit, how it had chosen Akane as its master, and the chaos the ensued.

     "No wonder you don't like it," his fiancé remarked, "you do hate to lose."

     "That thing had it in for me from the start," he fumed, "and after all I went through to destroy it..."

     "How did you?"

     "There are two ways: Make it consume itself in jealousy or undo the latch behind the belt."

     "Let me guess, you failed the first way and had no choice but to undo the latch." From his expression, Ukyo knew that she was right.

     I missed doing this, Akane took a deep breath as she felt the win rush through her hair while she leapt along the rooftops, and with Do-chan I can finally convince Kohei to go all-out on me.

     Part of Akane's training was working with Kohei on various levels of skill. When she would improve a little, he would increase the level of severity of his attacks and defenses until she had learned to defeat him at that level. However, she had never gotten him to the point of using his full abilities against her. She knew that they would eventually reach that level, but for now there was a nice shortcut.

     He was the one who saw my hidden potential, she thought again, he'll be glad to see what it looks like.

     Akane arrived at the Nekohanten and, even though it hadn't opened for business yet, the front door was unlocked. Only one person was in the front room sweeping the floor.

     "Akane-onee-chan!" Miki greeted happily upon seeing her, "what brings you here this-" she noticed her outfit. "Where did you get that suit? It makes you look like you were born in our village."

     "Thanks, Miki-chan. It's a battle suit my Dad bought a while ago and only fits me. It was put up in the attic and I found it just a few minutes ago."

     "It does look good on you," the half-Amazon complimented, "did you want to show it to big brother?"

     "Yes," her sneaky grin could have easily rivaled Shampoo's whenever she would plot something.

     "Okay, I'll go get him," the tall girl ran into the kitchen and soon returned with her brother.

     "Aka-chan, good morning," Kohei greeted, "where did you find that battle outfit?"

     "I told her that it makes her look like she was born and raised in Ryuchiezu," Miki remarked before the short-haired girl could answer.

     "It does," he turned back to Akane. "Do you feel more confident in your skills when you wear it?"

     "I do," Akane wanted to test him before she told him about the enchantment. "Want to test me?"

     "I'd be glad to," he could sense her confidence as he escorted her to the small lot behind the Nekohanten with Miki following behind to watch.

     "Kohibito I want you to start with everything you've got," she entered her battle stance.

     "As you requested, Aka-chan," was all he said before he began his offensive using his blinding speed. He feinted a blow to her stomach, but executed a low kick to knock her feet from the ground. With her abilities enhanced because of the suit, she saw the fake-out, leapt over his attack, and landed on her hands behind him and. As he turned around, but before he could react, Akane grabbed around his neck with her ankles, flipped forward, and slammed him into the ground with such force that his body left a shallow crater in the dirt. The resulting shaking of the ground nearly caused Miki to lose her balance.

     "Now!" a voice inside of Akane's head shouted. A grim smile appeared on her face as she threw a downward punch, using all of her power and weight, into his stomach, causing him to lose wind and even cough up a spurt of blood.

     From her point on the sideline, Miki stood with eyes widened as she couldn't believe what had happened. She couldn't tell what was more surprising: the fact that Kohei had been beaten so easily or the way Akane had acted. She'd never seen her big sister act in such a manner.

     "Akane-onee-chan..." she managed to speak after a few seconds, "what did you just do?"

     The short-haired girl blinked a couple of times before she looked down and realized exactly what she had done.

     "Kohibito!" she exclaimed as she fell to her knees next to him. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to go that far!"

     "He's unconscious," Miki informed her as she hefted his arm around her shoulders.

     "Let me help you,' Akane grabbed his other arm and shared in carrying the weight.

     "He's going to be fine," Miki assured both of them, "he's wearing his weighted clothes so they helped to protect him. Let's get him inside."

     When the two re-entered the Nekohanten, they found Aremi sweeping up some shards of broken bowls that were on the floor.

     "Are-chan," Miki asked, "what happened?"

     "That earthquake just now knocked a few bowls from the shelf," the blue-haired girl explained. "Didn't you feel-" she asked as she turned her head and dropped her broom upon seeing what had happened, "Ko-chan!"

     "I got carried away in our spar," Akane admitted.

     "Quickly, get him to the back room. There's a cot there." Aremi directed as she opened the door for them.

     All three of the girls sat by Kohei for the next twenty minutes as they waited for him to awaken. During this time, Ranma and Ukyo arrived.

     "Ah, crap, we're too late!" he observed.

     "You really let him have it, Akane," Ukyo commented.

     "I-I didn't mean to," she stammered, "i-it was the suit."

     "What is so special about that suit?" Miki asked.

     "It's enchanted so that whoever wears it will always fight at full potential and power," Ranma explained, "and it chose Akane as its master."

     "I just wanted to test Kohei and see what his reaction would be," Akane explained again, "I didn't mean to hurt him."

     "He's had worse," Aremi assured them.

     "So the legend is true..." Kohei suddenly spoke weakly as everyone leaned in.

     "Big brother!" Miki was the first to speak.

     "Don't you remember, Miki?" he asked between breaths, "Our parents told us the story of an enchanted suit when we were children. They had also claimed to have gone on a journey to find it before I was born. Who knew that it was still in Japan?"

     "Kohibito, I'm sorry," Akane apologized again.

     "You're forgiven," he still hadn't opened his eyes, "but I wish to speak with you alone, Aka-chan."

     Once the next few seconds in which everyone left passed, Kohei did open his eyes slowly and looked at his fiancé's face.

     "That was the most enjoyable spar I've had in a long time," he smiled, "seeing you fight at the potential I first saw in you, even under the influence of a magical suit, was satisfying."

     "I still didn't mean to hurt you," she said quietly, looking away from him.

     "Don't worry," he raised his hand and placed it on hers, "but I'd like to ask you something."

     "What's that?" her gaze turned to meet his.

     "I hope to not sound selfish, but I'd like to ask you if you'll wear the suit every other day during our training sessions. I only get to spar with Ranma once or twice a month, and unless I constantly practice with those whose skills exceed mine, I could never hope to improve beyond my current level."

     Akane was taken aback. Here she's just beaten him into unconsciousness and he asked that he train with her while she still had the skills to do that. After thinking for a few seconds, she answered, "Okay, but if I hurt you like this even one more time, I'm never going to wear this suit again."

     As she heard Kohei's, "Thank you, I look forward to it," she could have sworn that she also heard a scream of agony from somewhere.

     "You should have seen her, Are-chan," Miki conversed with her best friend as the two of them, plus Akane and Ukyo, sat on the stools in the public baths and were all soaping up. "Akane-onee-chan was even faster than big brother." As luck would have it, the baths at all four girls' homes were out of order. The Nekohanten had simply burst a pipe. The Tendo's was broken when Genma, in panda form, slipped on a bar of soap and landed directly on the faucet, breaking it and nearby pipes. And the water heater at the Ucchan was damaged when Ranma fell through her roof that morning. Three of them had come together after their evening training session and had met up with Ukyo halfway. Now all four of them were sharing some girl-talk as they washed.

     "It would have been interesting to see Akane-sempai in action like that," Aremi commented. The blue-haired girl was a rare sight as her hair was, at the moment, completely undone. This now revealed that when she fully stood up, it reached all the way down to the ground and the ends still laid a good half-meter behind her feet. Needless to say, it took a while for Aremi to wash.

     "There was one thing that surprised me though," Akane mused, "actually I see it a lot but it still surprises me. Kohei never seems to have any trouble losing a fight. Shouldn't it affect his male pride a little?"

     "Haven't you heard what we were taught," Miki asked. "Our parents taught us that we should always enter a battle with a great determination to win, but expect to lose just as much."

     "That sounds pretty defeatist," the youngest Tendo remarked.

     "You're comparing his attitude to Ranchan's," Ukyo stated, "while the two are a lot alike they're also very different."

     "But he wants to train with me whenever I wear Do-chan, and he knows he'll lose."

     "Maybe, maybe not," Miki shrugged, "big brother's favorite thing to do is improve himself for that battles that truly count. But winning all of the time doesn't lead to improvement and he knows that. Remember when he still had his curse? He would only use it to fight if it was absolutely necessary."

     "Ranchan's the same way," the chestnut-haired girl commented, "but when he loses he becomes so obsessed with revenge that it becomes the reason behind his determination."

     "Oh, Mi-chan," Aremi didn't mean to change the subject, but she'd noticed something, "I'll scrub your back if you're ready for it."

     "But Are-chan," the tall girl countered, "you're not done washing your hair."

     "I'll wash your back, Miki-chan," Akane volunteered.

     "Go ahead if you want to, Akane-sempai."

     "I grew my hair out longer than my sister's once," she smiled, "and it did take a while to wash."

     As Akane moved over behind the youngest of their group, she watched as Miki gathered her hair that draped down her back and over her shoulders into one bundle to lay over her right shoulder. However, during the second while Miki's shoulder was briefly exposed, Akane saw something about her "little sister" that made her gasp in surprise.

     "Akane-onee-chan?" Miki asked.

     "Miki-chan, what's that on your shoulder?" Akane pointed at what she'd seen, even though Miki's hair was again covering it.

     "Oh, you've finally noticed it," Miki sighed and moved her hair over to her left shoulder, revealing a deep scar that ran along the right.

     "Miki-chan," Ukyo had seen it now too, "what happened?"

     The green-haired girl looked at the floor, "It's not something I'm proud of."

     "That's the reason why she doesn't fight with weapons that have blades," Aremi explained.

     "Oh, I'm sorry," Akane apologized, "you don't have to tell us if you don't want to."

     "No," Miki shook her head then took a deep breath, "I would have had to tell it to the two of you sooner or later. It was the result of an accident with a sword when I was a little girl. I had seen how skilled Mother and Are-chan were with a blade, and I wanted to be that good too. One night, I borrowed Mother's sword and attempted to only swing it, but it was too heavy and I ended up giving myself this." She reached back and traced along the scar with her hand, "It was a deep cut that nearly severed the muscle, I fainted and nearly died from blood loss. The reason you haven't seen it before is because I always keep it covered, but even Xian Pu still doesn't know about it."

     "Poor girl," Akane began washing her back, "you've had so much happen to you."

     "That's because I'm so accident prone," Miki genuinely laughed as she began to cheer up. "And just because I don't use blades doesn't mean I'm no good with any other weapon."

     "And that also doesn't mean that neither Ko-chan nor I have done foolish things," Aremi defended her friend.

     "You mean Kohei's done stupid things?" Akane asked.

     "Of course," the Amazon girl smiled, "we all do when we're children."

     "Oh," Miki realized and asked, "are you talking about big brother's incident with the Amaguriken?"

     "There's nothing better to use as his example."

     "What happened?" Akane and Ukyo asked simultaneously.

     "For someone who always talks about letting nothing distract you," Aremi was giggling, "Ko-chan made a big mistake in that while training with the Kachuu Tenshin Amaguriken. His mother called out to him and he ended up leaving his hands in the fire. They were bandaged for half of a month."

     After the laughter subsided, Ukyo spoke, "That reminds me of when I first tried to teach Ranchan how to cook an okonomiyaki when we were kids."

     "You knew Ranma-onii-sama as a child?" Miki asked.

     "Yep," Akane answered for her, "Ukyo is his only childhood friend."

     "And you two are getting married soon?" Aremi asked. "That's so sweet to spend your entire life with your oldest and best friend."

     "I tried to teach him how to cook one," Ukyo related the story, "but he didn't use any spatulas! Not only that, he tried to flip it over too early. So the hot batter got stuck to his fingers!"

     As the four girls finished washing and made their way over to the soaking pool they spent the next hour sharing stories about and laughing as they discussed the two men they all admired and loved.

     Later that night, long after Akane had gone to bed, a dark presence was observing her in her sleep. Never before had this presence found a more fitting girl as its host. However, there was one obstacle that prevented its establishing complete control over her mind and body. She wanted to be strong, the greatest martial artist ever and she was willing to do anything to achieve that goal. The presence fixed its gaze upon Akane's face as she rolled onto her side. She was obviously dreaming.

     "Kohibito..." she spoke softly.

     If it had had a face, Do-chan would have scowled. While it could not have completely overtaken her right away, the control it would have now would be enough as her conscious mind was asleep. It made a decision and moved to put itself on her body.

     Downstairs, Soun was enjoying a late night cup of tea. As he held the cup in his hands, he heard a loud SNAP as it suddenly developed a large crack, then shattered completely.

     It's an omen! the Tendo patriarch thought as his surprise caused him to ignore the pain of the hot liquid on his palms. Could the Master have returned? Or... The sound of shattering glass from upstairs answered the question he hadn't asked.

     "Akane!" he shouted as he dashed upstairs and threw the door to his youngest daughter's room open. Indeed, her window had been broken through and a figure wrapped in a crimson aura was leaping across the rooftops in the district.

     Why didn't I burn that suit when I had the chance? Soun cursed in his mind as he leapt though the whole before he could lose the trail.

     A few blocks away, in the attic of the Nekohanten, Kohei was deep in meditation after the busy day. He had been unable to fall asleep and decided to calm himself spiritually before trying again. His martial arts senses triggered and he rolled out of the way in time to avoid a downward punch aimed at his head that ended up putting a hole in the floor.

     Xian Pu isn't going to be happy about that, he thought as he spoke, "Who's there?"

     A soft giggle was his answer as he saw Akane, who was wearing her enchanted suit and bathed in her battle aura, step forward.

     "Aka-chan, what are you doing so late at night?"

     Her soft laughter became slightly louder as she walked closer to him.

     "Kohibito," she spoke seductively, "come with me," then began to step backwards towards the window.

     "Aka-chan, is something wrong?"

     "Come with me," she continued to beckon as she approached the edge.

     "What happened in here!" Shampoo suddenly burst through the door to see what had caused the hole to appear in her ceiling.

     "Xian Pu," Kohei didn't turn his head, "something is happening to Aka-chan."

     "Aiyah! It's that legendary suit again!" She had obviously been informed about the incident that morning and maybe about the first episode with that suit.

     "Kohibito," Akane spoke again, ignoring Shampoo, "come with me." The short-haired girl had reached the edge. She then spread her arms and fell backwards from the window.

     "Aka-chan!" Kohei shouted and, without hesitation, leapt out of the building to catch her before she hit the ground, "what's happening to you?"

     The older girl only giggled again, but this time at a much lower pitch as she wrapped her arms around his neck and asked, "Do you love me?"

     This question had caught him by surprise, but he didn't hesitate to answer, "Of course. You know that I love you, Aka-chan."

     "Come with me," she beckoned again as she leapt from his arms and took to the rooftops.

     "Xian Pu!" Kohei called up to his cousin, "I'm going after her!"

     "Wait!" the purple-headed one also leapt from the window to join him. "I'm going with you. I have a bad feeling about this."

     "Thank you," he nodded and the two of them followed after the other girl.

     "I knew this was going to happen," Ranma lowered his binoculars as he saw the flash of light depart from the Nekohanten. "Why do these things always happen to Akane?"

     "You've answered that question before, Ranchan," Ukyo was standing next to him on the roof of her restaurant, "you once told me you thought she was cursed to attract trouble like this."

     "After all we've been though, I don't doubt it anymore, Ucchan," he saw where the battle aura-covered Akane had stopped. "Let's go."

     The long-haired girl nodded and the two of them jumped from the roof together to follow after their friend.

     When Kohei and Shampoo finished tracking Akane, her trail had led them to the vacant lot where she was sitting on an old pipe.

     "Wait here," Kohei instructed, "if she sees you then anything could happen." He walked into the open lot and stood a few meters in front of his fiancé.

     "Sit with me, Kohibito," she cooed, "sit with me."

     "Aka-chan," his vocal tone was one of seriousness, "now isn't the time for this. Go back home and rest."

     "But you said you love me. If you did you would sit with me."

     "We sit together every day at school. You're starting to worry me with the way you're acting."

     "Sit with me now," Akane purred, "I want you to sit with me now."

     "If I sit with you, will you go back home?" he asked, trying to reach a compromise.

     "Yes," she answered.

     Kohei didn't want to appear distrusting, so he approached her without hesitation and sat next to her.

     "Now I know that you love me," she smiled as she leaned up against him and slowly slipped her arms around his chest.

     "Aka-chan..." a red tinge appeared on his face.

     "It's too bad that because of that love you have to die now," she said to finish her previous sentence and began to squeeze with enough force that would have made Ryoga's strength seem infantile.

     Kohei gritted his teeth and did all he could not to cry out in pain as he felt his ribs being crushed, "Aka-chan! Wake up!"

     "Can't you see that I'm already awake, baka?" she grinned evilly as she squeezed harder, causing him to not be able to breathe.

     "Put him down!" Shampoo shouted as she leapt over the wall and charged towards the other girl.

     "You followed us!" Akane accused as she dropped Kohei, who fell in a crumpled heap on the ground from his air loss and began coughing heavily.

     Shampoo had now produced her bonbori, "You're not Akane!"

     "You're correct," she replied, "but her body is perfect for me."

     What do I do? Shampoo asked herself in her mind, still watching for an opening, If I attack I'll hurt her, not what's possessing her. She then suddenly recalled Ranma's story about the first incident with this suit.

     "There was a latch behind the belt that, when it was undone, destroyed the suit," he had said.

     Shampoo heeded the memory and ran in to reach for the mentioned latch. She utilized her full speed, hoping to catch Akane off guard and have enough time to reach behind the belt. However, she was the one taken by surprise as Akane kneed her in the stomach and executed a series of kicks to her chest, knocking her all the way back against the wall with the final one. Akane simply laughed as she grabbed Shampoo by the throat before she could fall over and held her in the air.

     "You're an obstacle between me and my goal," she mocked, "and as your people say, 'Obstacles are for killing.' Not like you ever had the guts to really kill anyone. Me on the other hand..." She didn't even get the chance to begin to squeeze as a mini-spatula came tearing through the air and cut across her arm, causing her to drop the Amazon.

     "|Thank you,|" Ranma, who had now arrived, stated in English as he caught Shampoo and leapt out of the way.

     "You again!" Akane growled. "Don't think you can stop me this time! All I have to do is destroy-" she turned back towards Kohei, only to stop in mid-sentence.

     "My little girl would never do such a thing to her fiancé," Soun declared as he had hefted the half-Amazon man onto his back and began to retreat.

     "Ojii-san, did you already forget when I was engaged to her?" Ranma asked. "That's all she did to me!"

     "Fools!" Akane ran to attack her host's father to break though to Kohei's open body, but had to begin dancing to avoid another volley of Ukyo's attacks.

     "Have a wheat flour bomb!" the okonomiyaki chef shouted as she threw the packet into Akane's face while she was distracted by looking over at her. The resulting smokescreen gave all of them enough time to withdraw.

     "This didn't happen last time," Ranma leaned against the wall in the alley they had hidden in. "Who'd've thought that suit had the power to possess its master? but Ojii-san, thanks for your help. You can stay composed when-" he turned towards Soun.

     "Oh my poor baby!" he was bawling and flooding the sidewalk and street with his tears.

     "Never mind," Ranma sulked.

     "Ranchan," Ukyo called as she stood up from behind the pile of junk she and Shampoo had hidden behind while she applied salve to the enormous bruises on the Amazon woman's body, "how are we going to stop it?"

     "The only way is to undo that stupid latch," Ranma shook his head, "but that's almost impossible, especially since Akane's stomach stops anyone from getting behind the belt."

     "There is another way..." Kohei, who had finally begun to regain his breath, spoke.

     "If you're talking about making it overly jealous, I don't think Akane's going to have any say in what she's feeling towards anyone."

     "The suit's control over her isn't complete," Kohei continued, "I believe the reason why it's trying to kill me is to establish that complete control."

     "You told Miki that you knew about the legend of the suit," Ukyo remarked. "Is it any different from the one Ranchan knows?"

     "All I know is that is chooses its own master and lets her fight at her full potential," Ranma shrugged.

     "You don't know it's origin?" Kohei inquired.

     Ranma, Ukyo, and Shampoo all shook their heads.

     "The legend is written as follows: Several hundred years ago, a young man had shown considerable talent in all known styles of martial arts that existed at that time. He was unbeatable and very honorable. He was in love with a woman from his village whose father was the master of one of the schools or martial arts. However, despite the man's abilities and trustworthiness, he forbade their marriage unless she, not he, defeated him in combat. Knowing this and how cruel the demand was, especially since his love was not a disciple of the arts, he pleaded with the gods to make his wish come true; the wish that his abilities would be given to her. The gods granted his wish and presented him with the very same battle suit that Akane is wearing now. However, there was a hidden clause in their contract. To embed the suit with his abilities, his soul had to be placed inside of it, thus giving it its enchantment and making it complete. But without her love, she had no reason to wear the suit and soon consented to marry her arranged husband. The suit was soon sold and has traded owners many times since that day. But ever since then, every night, the trapped soul within cries for his love. With what's happened tonight, the enchantment has obviously now become a curse."

     "Hmm, I was told that it cried for its master," Ranma spoke thoughtfully.

     "The story could have changed over the years," Kohei added, "but the suit's chosen master could very well be one who looks like his lost love. Or the years of hate that formed inside of it could have created a lust for all women and simply wants one who will fit into it." The half-Amazon man got onto his feet.

     "Kohei?" Shampoo began.

     "What are you going to do?" Ukyo finished.

     Kohei began walking towards the street, "I'm going to remove the curse and destroy the suit by causing the man's soul inside to consume itself with jealousy."

     "Wait," Ranma called, "we'll go with you."

     The younger man stopped and only turned his head back, "Thank you, but I can't allow you this time. I must go alone now that we've confirmed that Aka-chan's body has indeed been possessed and that the suit only wants me. It could have killed Xian Pu and I don't want any of you placed in that kind of danger when I am the target." Despite the fact that he was at risk of having some cracked or broken ribs, he walked away from the group and nearly had to wade through the street that was still being flooded by Soun's tears.

     It didn't take long for Kohei to find Akane again as the amount of chi she was emitting from her battle aura acted as a lighthouse beacon for any trained martial artist to follow. She stood in the middle of the field behind Furinkan High School.

     "I knew you would come looking for me," Akane laughed, "it was only a matter of time."

     "Why are you doing this to Aka-chan?" Kohei asked.

     "Simple," she answered, "she is the only one in the past 100 years who fits me perfectly. It was painful to not experience the touch of any woman for so long. I've had many hosts that I could take control of and enjoy their touch until their deaths, but this one continues to resist."

     "Release her," Kohei demanded, "she is not your lost love!"

     "Silence!" Akane's battle aura flared with such intensity that it formed a small crater beneath her feet. "I was abandoned by her and from that day could no longer consider her as a lover! But this girl's body is mine! All that stands between me and complete control is your life!"

     This isn't good, Kohei thought, I have to find a way to break through to Aka-chan without hurting her or allowing it to use her body to kill me. I love her too much to bring harm- He cut himself off, That's the answer!

     "What are you going to attempt that will surely fail?" Akane taunted.

     "Wait and you will see," Kohei smirked as he rolled up his sleeves and removed the black bands along his wrists, 20 kilograms each. He then removed similar bands from his ankles, Also 20 kilograms each. Finally, he removed a large shirt that he wore beneath his uniform, 40 kilograms. Once he was finished, he entered the fighting stance of his mother's people, "If you wish to fight with me, I will fight you with all of my power and speed!"

     "As I have lost my love for all time so shall you!" Akane no longer sounded like the kind, compassionate, determined, albeit stubborn girl he had fallen in love with and had become the hate-filled soul of the cheated martial artist. With her body forced to fight against him, she charged. Kohei had no idea if she was actually aware of what she was doing, but he was intent on freeing her mind from the curse or perish in the attempt.

     "Shin Raimei Kyakugeri!"

     The soul within the suit was more than surprised to find each of its repeated flying kicks blocked as Kohei only had to step back as he parried each blow to stop the next one.

     "You weren't this fast before!" Akane shouted.

     "Exactly," Kohei's smirk returned, "those clothes and bands I removed are heavily weighted. My true speed is exemplified without them."

     "Hmph," she growled and renewed the assault of flurried kicks and punches only to have them dodged or blocked. "You may think that you're facing this girl's full potential, but in truth they are my own skills. They are more than enough to wear you down and destroy you!"

     "That will only happen should I allow you the opportunity," the young man told her as he turned to the offensive. As he expected, she could not easily keep up with his increased swiftness. He wasn't attacking to defeat, but to distract using his chi-based assaults that would knock a person back but not deliver any pain until he had the right opening.

     "Fool!" Akane yelled as she flipped onto her feet and punched into the ground, creating a large shock wave that would have caused Kohei to lose his balance and fall had he not leapt into the air and landed in front of her. She looked startled when she looked up and saw him standing there.

     "An opening!" he declared as he raised his fists, but switched tactics as he continued to lean his head forward and suddenly kissed Akane's cheek!

     "What are you doing?" Akane stammered as she stepped back a few paces in surprise.

     "You stated that I was the only obstacle between you and complete control of Aka-chan's body," Kohei informed her. "Do you wish to know why? It is because we are in love with each other. In only a few short months we'll be wed as husband and wife to spend the rest of our days together. While you may have temporary control of the mind at this moment, the body is still that of my beloved Aka-chan."

     Akane simply stood there for a moment and looked as if she was struggling to speak, "K... Kohi..." The voice suddenly changed again, "She is mine!" and attacked another time. This assault was very reckless and gave Kohei and easy opening to kiss her other cheek.

     "You can purge him, Aka-chan," he supported, "everyone's waiting for you to return to normal. I'm waiting for you most of all."

     Again, she was taken aback at his action and looked like she was about to fall to her knees as she fought to awaken her mind and regain control of her body. She gripped her head as her internal raged on.

     "Get out of my body!" Akane shouted in her normal voice.

     "I can make you the strongest martial artist in the world!" her other voice shouted again.

     "I don't want to!"

     "You will be unbeatable and I will have what I've always wanted!"

     "That's not what I want!"

     "I can make you invincible!"

     "Do-chan no baka! I don't want to be invincible!"

     "What could you want that isn't supreme power?"

     "I want to live a happy, peaceful life with my family! I love Kohei and want to be with him!"

     This final statement was what the cursed soul had been dreading to hear. As both voices from Akane howled in pain, she became bathed in a white light that forced the blackness of the curse into the night sky.

     "Aka-chan!" Kohei quickly ran over to catch her as she did fall to her knees this time.

     "I’m okay," she breathed heavily, "but that spirit wasn't destroyed by his jealousy, only exiled from the suit."

     "She's correct!" a loud voice from above declared. "Now that I am free from that accursed suit, I can take my revenge on the gods!"

     Kohei looked up to see the true form of the spirit, that of a young man, indeed the same from the legend, who wore the same battle suit that he had cursed and that Akane still wore.

     "Don't allow your hatred to control your emotions!" Kohei warned, "Let your pain go and enter the next world peacefully!"

     "Shut up!" the spirit fired a seemingly invisible blast.

     "Look out!" Akane shouted as she tackled her fiancé and carried the two of them to safety as another hole appeared where Kohei had stood.

     "Thank you, Aka-chan," he whispered, then stood back up and declared, "I've met one like you before. His desires fueled by hatred and instilling fear into others became his downfall. But he was my opponent." He turned back to Akane, "This one is yours."

     "What?" the youngest Tendo was taken aback.

     "Her?" the spirit laughed, "She is nothing without my skills! She's never defeated anybody on her own ever since that pig-tailed man arrived and ruined her life!"

     "This is your battle, Aka-chan," he ignored the spirit and told her again, "this victory will forever conquer your desires to become strong without taking the time to properly train. Use what I've taught you to defeat him."

     Akane blinked at first, then nodded as her face returned to that of an expression of battle as she cupped her hands together at her side.

     "Are you going to attempt a ki-based attack on me?" the spirit taunted again, "Very well, I'll allow you one free shot!"

     "Focus your power and base it on your confidence, your determination, your love for your family," Kohei instructed. "Use any positive emotion and draw from the potential I've seen in you."

     Akane didn't have time to be surprised as a white sphere appeared in the palms of her hands as she was too busy staying focused.

     "At the final moment, just when you can feel those emotions and they're about to consume you, release them."

     The short-haired girl nodded and knew what to do. The moment came when she was prepared and unleashed her first, but very powerful-


     The white light of the blast engulfed the surprised spirit as it began to disintegrate within the blast of Akane's positive emotion.

     "I CAN GRANT YOUR WISH OF POWER!!!" it shouted in pain and as a last ditch effort to tempt her with strength, but could only continue it's mournful howl as the blast suddenly intensified.

     "It's not worth it to become a great fighter by selling your soul!" Akane retorted. "Do-chan no baka! I can only reach my full potential by hard work and intense training as I've always been taught!"

     Another moment passed before the full blast cleared and the vengeful spirit was completely eradicated. The young woman had drained so much of her ki that she no longer had the strength to stand. But as she fell back, Kohei was already there to catch her.

     "You did it, Aka-chan," he congratulated.

     "Kohibito, thank you," she smiled, "now I understand why you're always working so hard. That's the only real way to improve your skills and keep yourself."

     "Don't thank me for that victory," he laughed, "thank Ranma. He's the one who developed and taught me the Mouko Takabisha. I only passed the knowledge on to you."

     The short-haired girl began to laugh as well, but soon stopped as she slowly looked down at the formerly enchanted suit she still wore on her body, "This was my fault. My whole like I was used to being the best martial artist around, but when Ranma and everyone after him showed up, my jealousy overcame me. I was always telling them, 'I'm a martial artist too,' but they were always improving their skills while I stayed in one place. When the suit chose me, I got the greatest feeling when I finally had found a way to beat all of them, especially Ranma because of the way he treated me back then. Then the suit disappeared and I was back to where I was. I think that when I found it again, that desire to win at any cost surfaced with it, allowing the spirit to possess my body." She sighed.

     "We all make incorrect decisions, Aka-chan," he assured her, "but they are opportunities to give us experience and learn from them."

     "I'm sorry for the trouble I've caused because of this," she looked away from him and at the ground.

     "You're forgiven," he smiled, then asked, "what do you plan to do now?"

     "Continue my training, of course," she looked at him again, "that's the only way I'll ever reach that full potential you saw in me. It'll be long and hard, but that's how I want to reach it."

     "That's the path of a true martial artist, Aka-chan. No matter what anyone says about you, there is no crime in wishing to purify yourself by learning the Art." He looked at her again, "What do you plan to do with the suit?"

     "I don't know," she looked glanced down at it.

     "I think that you should keep it."


     "Look how light and durable it is," he observed, "it would be a waste to simply throw away a battle suit created by the gods."

     "You've got a point," Akane mused.

     "And," his voice softened as he slowly blushed, "it does look like it was made especially for you."

     She knew him well enough to know that his statement truly mean, "It looks very nice on you," and giggled. "Thank you, I will keep it."

     "Don't let my opinion influence your decision," he said hurriedly.

     "But you're right. It is light and comfortable and doesn't hinder my movements at all. And with the curse removed there's nothing to worry about, and nothing should happen if I undo the belt."

     "As long as you have no regrets," he smiled again.

     Akane simply nodded and began to get on her feet, but her legs gave out completely and she fell backwards, again prompting Kohei to catch her.

     "What's going on?" she asked as she suddenly yawned, "I feel so tired now."

     "You are tired," the green-haired man assured her, "fighting at your full potential before you've reached it must be exhausting, and that Mouko Takabisha must have taken whatever was left. Come, I'll take you home."

     "Thank you," she raised her head to give him another peck on the cheek, but her head fell onto his shoulder as her body shut down and she slept soundly as he carried her home.

     The next morning brought the signs of a peaceful day as Ranma and Ukyo ran towards school. The cold air of oncoming winter was definitely beginning to have an affect on the residents of the district as many of them were now wearing warmer clothes. But that didn't affect the two martial artists at all.

     "So what do you think happened last night, Ranchan?" Ukyo asked.

     "No idea," he responded as he rested his head on his hands, "but something did." The two of them and Shampoo had seen the pillar of white light from the field behind Furinkan. But when they arrived, no one was there. Questions were immediately asked: What happened to Akane and Kohei? Was he able to destroy the suit or did she kill him? Where did they go? None of them were answered.

     The three spent another hour searching for the two of them, but still found nothing. However, as they turned the corner in front of the gate, they saw Akane, who was all smiles, walking in from the opposite corner.

     "Hey, you two," she greeted upon seeing them.

     "Akane, are you all right?" they both asked.

     "Sure, why wouldn't I be? I never slept so well in my whole life last night."

     Ranma and Ukyo blinked at each other before the pig-tailed man said, "Don't you remember anything? The-"

     His cute fiancé quickly cut him off, "The two of us noticed that you're looking a little pale. Are you getting sick?"

     "No," the youngest Tendo responded, "but thanks. I want to talk to Yuka and Sayuri before school so I'll see you two later." She passed by the two of them and stepped into the building.

     Ranma scratched his head, "What's up with her?"

     "She doesn't remember anything about the incident," came Kohei's voice from atop the wall where he had stood, awaiting their arrival.

     "What happened last night?" Ukyo was the first to ask the question.

     "I managed to remove the curse on the suit," the half-Chinese/half-Japanese warrior explained as he leapt down, "she was able to destroy the soul of the man who gave the suit its enchantment. But the drain on her energy was so severe that she lost all memory of it. Though the energy she expended last night was still nothing compared to how much she lost when shielding me from Hashin's Shishi Hokodan."

     "What about the suit?" Ranma asked.

     "I thought that by causing it to be consumed with jealousy would destroy it, but that was what expelled the warrior's soul. I showed it to her before school, but because of her memory loss she thought it was a gift from me. She does remember everything about yesterday that has nothing to do with the suit, but what's odd is that she also doesn't remember the first incident with it."

     "It's control over her probably began from the first time she wore it," Ranma thought aloud. "Her memory loud probably has nothin' to do with how much energy she used to fight."

     "What is she going to do with it?" Ukyo questioned again.

     "Without the essence of the martial artist inside of it, it's simply another battle suit. But it was made by the gods, making it one of the most dependable battle suits on earth. She decided to keep it last night before she fainted, and of course kept it when she thought it was a gift. But please do not mention anything about the enchantment from now on. I've already made this request from my family, Tendo-san, and your father, Ranma." He began to walk towards the building, but stopped and looked at the older man, "Also, Ranma, she has mastered the Mouko Takabisha. That may be the one thing from the incident of last night she didn't lose." He said nothing more as his feet carried him towards his class.

     "That was my trademark move, Ucchan," Ranma sulked.

     "Aww, cheer up," she gave him a hug as the two followed their friend.

     Later that evening, at the Tendo dojo, Kohei was working with Miki for the moment while Akane sparred with Aremi. The blue-haired girl was unarmed so the match was much more even.

     Akane loved the new battle suit that Kohei had given her that morning; it was unbelievably light and at the same time repelled attacks. She didn't know why, but she felt that this suit was meant to be worn by her. What had really made her feel like a true warrior was how the other two girls had commented that she looked like she had been born in their village and how natural she looked with Kohei when they stood together. True, she still thought she looked like a martial artist in her normal gi, but it still felt nice to fit in.

     "Hya!" her opponent shouted as she unleashed a heavy punch. The knowledge and instincts in Akane's mind triggered and, rather than dodge the attack, she was able to catch Aremi's arm and use her momentum to flip her over and onto the ground. As the saw the younger, but more experienced girl on the floor, Akane couldn't believe what she'd done.

     "I... won?" she asked. She'd never beaten any of the three of Kohei, Miki, or Aremi from the time she started training with them.

     "You did," Aremi smiled as she stood up and brushed the dust from her combat dress. "You saw the opening and countered."

     "But how?" she was still in disbelief.

     "It's the result of your training with Ko-chan. Didn't you think that you'd never be able to defeat us?"

     "But all of you have been training your whole lives. I didn't start learning martial arts until my mom died."

     "That doesn't mean you could never defeat us. You have a lot of potential, Akane-sempai, and Ko-chan expects you to one day beat him just as he does Mi-chan and me."

     "Kohibito..." she spoke his nickname softly as she turned to look at him and listen to him remind his sister that relying entirely on kicking would only be a disadvantage to her.

     I remember someone once saying that when the student is ready, the master will appear, Akane thought as she recalled the day of her first meeting with the man who later became her current fiancé and how he'd offered to train her before that day was over. There was also one about how the training is complete when the student surpasses the master. A serious look appeared on her face. If that's what you want, Kohibito, then I'm not going to give up!

     "I saw your victory against Are-chan," Kohei told Akane later that evening after the other two girls had left. "You're beginning to realize your full potential, Aka-chan, and I'm pleased with your progress, especially with mastering the Mouko Takabisha."

     "I know why you worked me so hard before you taught me any ki attacks," she smiled, "I was so tired last night after using it that I slept like a rock."

     Kohei returned her smile as he thought, I don't know if I'm worthy to be your master or your future husband. But the day you, my sister, and Are-chan defeat me in combat will be the most fulfilling of my life.

     "And thank you for teaching me," she looked at the ring on her finger then up at him, "I never would have been able to get this far without you." Akane slowly slipped her arms around his neck and pulled his head forward. Had he been able to speak the words that came to his mind as their lips met, she wouldn't have been able to understand as they were in Chinese. But she would have had a pretty good idea.


Author's Notes:

     -Once again, if you haven't read my fanfic, Results, this story won't make much sense.

     -I've been told that my three characters can easily be described in terms of the other Ranma 1/2 characters: Kohei as a respectful, both-parent raised version of Ranma. Miki as a soft-hearted and impatient Shampoo. And Aremi as a non-dense, fighting Kasumi.

     -The story of the enchanted suit choosing Akane as its master is in volume 32 of the manga. She also wears it in Ranma 1/2: Battle Renaissance for PS1.

     -No origin of the suit is given in the official series, so the story that Kohei tells is my idea.

     -Kohei wears the weighted clothes to improve his speed more than his strength, and btw, one kilogram is about 4.2 pounds.

     -The Raimei Kyakugeri is simply one of Akane's special moves in Battle Renaissance, it's simply a move that sends her flying forward with both a left and right kick. The Shin Raimei Kyakugeri is a more powerful version with more kicks.