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Seconds for seconds, chestnut for chestnut, a small screamed accompanied those Ranma failed to catch. He was determined, though, he was getting faster and faster, his palms though spoke otherwise. A numb but intense sting spread throughout his hands, fingers trembling as though they were the ground quaking from a tremor. He tightened his lips and closed his eyes, forcing himself to clench his fists and retract them from the fire.

"Damn it!" Ranma shouted, panting and feeling a cold sweat run down his face, now feeling another stinging sensation, sweat obscured the vision of one his eyes, his gaze landing on the three chestnuts that he was unfortunate enough not to catch. He leaned his head into shoulder and tried as best as he could to clear his face, finding it worked to some extent he reached for the bucket nearby, throwing his arms out as he caught the rim, losing balance on his knees and slipped forward, causing it to tip in Ranma's direction, dousing him and changing him into his redhead girl form.

She looked up at the grass beneath her then to the fire, seeing that the water she had spilled missed the fire, the chestnuts now slowly roasting over an open fire. Ranma looked around and with all she had left, she threw the bucket, a small reservoir of water still within as it split onto the fire, killing the flames. The dry sizzling sound emitted from the wood as some the pieces of lumber crackled and popped, the sound echoed as Ranma stared at the white smoking clouds rising from the ashes. Ranma sighed and flopped herself onto her back, her hand onto her forehead as she quickly came to retract her hand, as even the back of her palm felt sore and stung all over.

She gently maneuvered her arms around to rest them on the back of her palms atop the green grass blades, flinching but soon coming to relax as her fingers curled inward. Her eyes closed as her mind kept flashing back to that kiss Ryoga gave her, not to mention that very vivid dream she had involving the fang-toothed boy. The feeling that stirred bothered her, she groaned inwardly.

"I can't think, dammit! Ryoga!" Ranma exclaimed, sighing and sitting up. She looked towards the house and sighed, this was all she ever did, stay there and train. When Ryoga was around they'd occasionally go to the nearby village. Why not go, though? Not like she had much else to do, she furrowed her brow and nodded her head, although felt an anime sweatdrop form on her head.

Ranma sighed and fell on her back, 'I'll go after this burning feeling stops...' Ranma thought, eyes wide and mouth slightly agape, a strained and nervous look on her face as her eyes appeared as though they were just blue marbles plastered on her face.


Ryoga

Ryoga toiled away, repeatedly bashing his face and most of his body into a boulder like a human soccer ball being kicked by a giant stone knee. Ryoga finally stopped, his finger embedded in the stone. Several attempts had been taken on it, some holes even connecting with the others. Ryoga gritted his teeth and held back the tears in his eyes, unable to reach past this obstacle. It pained him to admit that maybe he was unable to overcome his inner weakness. How was he supposed to see the breaking point? He narrowed his eyes and felt the world around him go dark, his vision focusing on the tip of his finger and the boulder before him, adrenaline began to pump through Ryoga's system. His eyes widened as he began to look for the breaking point, he thought he saw something sparkle for a moment, it began to clear as he came closer and closer to the boulder hurtling towards him, 'T-that has to be it!' Ryoga thought, however, a transparent image of Ranma from his recent dream flashed over his eyes, catching him off guard as his finger collided with the boulder. He pierced the stone and slammed into it, there was a moment's pause as the stone beneath him began to crumble, only slightly popping.

There was no time to celebrate as Ryoga had become too exhausted and dizzy from all the repeated head trauma. There was no more counter balance for him, under normal circumstances he'd simply land but without the energy to do so, his body began to fall, as though times pace slowed to a crawl, his eyes catching the sun's rays as they blinded him momentarily, causing him to close his eyes, looking as though he had accepted his trip to the ground below.

From beneath him, a small blurry figure leaped into the air, jumping off a few trees trunks and branches before grabbing him by the side of his torso.

Chingensai landed gracefully, kneeling as he gently put Ryoga onto his side. The wooly master looked to Ryoga and smirked, as best as he could given that his face resembled the front of a Hungarian puli. 'Hoho... seems like this kid's got more spirit than the rest...' he thought.

A soft but hoarse breath escaped Ryoga's mouth, easing Chingensai's worries as he could hear it. Like a deflating balloon the old man sighed. He looked into the distance, hand covering his eyes as to clear his vision, which obviously shouldn't have helped. "Happy! The boy needs some attention! Do you got this for awhile?" Chingensai shouted, hand to the side of his mouth as he called out to his elderly companion.

"Again? Boy sure is persistent!" Happosai laughed as he landed, "How's his trainin' goin'?" he shouted as he clearing some more mountain range with his breaking point, speaking only after he's ignited the stone explosives.

"He's doin' great! A little unconscious but he can walk it off... soon as he comes to," Chingensai chuckled.


Genma & Nodoka

The mother of the Saotome's and employee to the nekohaten prepared various ingredients and packing them away in several vase-like containers, adding a cork to seal the top she then moved it to the side and proceeded to do the same to the next one. Shampoo and Mousse were running around, back and forth. She hadn't even bothered to notice some of the comically huge vegetables being carried by either Shampoo or Mousse behind her. Nodoka couldn't help but think back to their earlier argument, she didn't want to be upset with her husband but she really wished he'd put aside his differences and see Ryoga as more than just some pet or something to consider eating when times are hard. The very notion sickened her, especially now that they had gotten to know the cursed piglet. Now she was certain she'd never eat anything she's gotten to know, no matter what kind of animal.

"Where is stupid panda!?" Shampoo exclaimed, "Great-grandmother ask for mascot!"

"Isn't it weird that a place like this has a mascot that's a panda, despite it being the nekohaten?" Mousse asked.

"Is point..." Shampoo replied, holding a bag full of lemon sole fish.

"Wouldn't it make more sense to make Shampoo the mascot cause..." Mousse tried to continue until bashed over the head with the bag Shampoo was holding. Her expression being that of someone who clearly wasn't amused. "Shampoo need to keep changing clothes, Mousse also dirty pervert..."

From the back door, a creaking noise was heard, a large panda stepping through as it was writing on his sign, his marker hurriedly finishing as he mumbled in Panda. "Wait! I can explain!" his sign said, holding it up and leaning back a little as Shampoo shot him a glare.

The flipped his sign to the other side, it read as follows, "Sorry I was stuck working this other job! I couldn't find where I left my ball..." Genma looked to the side as if his eyes were coordinated with Shampoo's eyes as she read.

"Where is big ball?" Shampoo asked, furrowing her brow and look to him. Genma appeared panicked briefly before pointing to the door it came from.

"Good! Now helping get ready for fair!" she exclaimed and went for her own apron, wearing her casual Chinese silk shirt and pants.

"Shampoo! That's not how you say it... it's... Help. Us. Get. Ready. For. The. Fair!"

"Shampoo know!" She exclaimed, throwing the bag from earlier at Mousse, who, throughout his correcting of Shampoo's poor Japanese grammar, was piling together everything they'd need to set up their stand, bit-by-bit. Mousse emitted a loud yelping sound, immediately after he fell forward, face first, Shampoo storming off in a huff, walking past Mousse and plucking the bag she threw at him, going on her merry way.

"Shampoo need do something!" the purple haired girl announced.

Genma began to look around and quickly gathered as many things as they'd need, finding that 'All' they'd need were within speaking range of Nodoka. He gulped after their last discussion since Nodoka had refused to speak to him after he had demanded something, that reminded her of her little piglet. It was as if Genma could sense this and begrudgingly moved over to where she was standing, starting to pick up a few crates stacked near the Japanese housewife. He quickly began with a huge stack of crates, mumbling as if he were speaking in a language Nodoka could understand.

Nodoka watched this little display and sighed, noticing how manly it was for him to dodge his issues, which wasn't really manly at all. He continued this little act for a bit, moving quickly each time so that Nodoka wouldn't have the chance to talk to him. Nodoka sighed and just allowed him to work, making up for her lost time by speeding through her task, her hand unusually fast.


Cologne & Matsu

The construction worker was ushered inside by the amazonian elder, her place was one of intrigue as various decorations littered the room they entered, ranging from festive to traditional garbs, weapons, medals and even some stuffed animals. The furniture matched the theme of the room, exotic and somewhat eccentric looking. Matsu stared in wide-eyed wonder as he saw this.

"Ah... I see you're impressed by my little collection, I'll mind you not to touch any of it..." Cologne commented as she made her way to an archway in the room, leading to the kitchen from what little Matsu could see.

Matsu felt that it was only good manners that he accept her hospitality and made his way over to one of the bits of furniture, getting on what he was sure was a couch. He noticed something, there was a thick layer of plastic over what he was sitting on. This made Matsu chuckle a little, 'She definitely shows her age...' he thought.

Cologne returned with a tray, two tea cups on it and one teapot in the middle, a coffee table between herself and Matsu, the two in relative silence reached for their cups and proceeded to drink. "I have to say, you seem to understand respect quite well..." Cologne smirked, opening her eyes as she had finished drinking from her cup.

"Thank you... I have to say, you have a really interesting home," Matsu complimented, looking over his shoulder but holding his tea cup saucer beneath his cup as he drank, "Are these made from biju?" Matsu asked.

"Yes... you seem quite versed in tea, have you dabbled in Martial Arts Tea Ceremony?" Cologne asked, blowing gently on her tea as steam rose from the cup in a slow hazy manner.

"I might have..." Matsu chuckled as he followed Cologne's example and drank as well, once he finished he sighed. "But we're not here to talk about that... I'm actually here to ask you something important..."

Cologne quirked a brow and looked up from her cup, "I'm aware... you had this whole thing arranged in advance, I take it our new settlement will be able to expand our territory for the rental property we have in the works?"

"Yeah, we've got most of the foundation set and we're currently finishing some huts... we're a little ahead of schedule and I have heard you can be a little generous..." Matsu stated, watching Cologne's expression slowly turn into a quizzical one.

"Hm... depends on how much progress you've made, I'd need to see for myself, prepare for an inspection sometime soon... if you're indeed as far ahead as you think, I will agree to increase your pay."

"Well... it's an hour back... I guess this does make this whole thing faster," Matsu commented looking up to the ceiling, sipping his tea, "I really should get back then..." paused as he whiffed the aroma of the tea, "After this cup..."


Ryoga

For once Ryoga felt relieved that once he had come to, he didn't have a dream like the last one, that it was very likely that he just couldn't remember whatever dream he might have had. He awoke and gasped for breath, nothing that his injuries were less substantial than they had been before, 'Wait... where are the casts and bandages... is this real...?' Ryoga thought, looking to his palms, fearing that this maybe his dreams again.

"Whoa... what's wrong there Ryoga? Surprised you're not covered from head to toe?" Chingensai asked, chuckling as he sat on a tree branch nearby. Behind him was a boulder with a rope tied around a branch.

"Am I dreaming...?" Ryoga asked, sitting up and looking at his hands again.

"If you're dreaming, try hurting yourself..." Chingensai gave a second's pause before leaping to the ground, "Here let me help!" he exclaimed reaching for the ground, throwing a rock towards the fang-toothed boy, who screamed and attempted to cover his face, the rock came at him and slipped off as if it were a paper ball, although instead of the bounce accompanying crumpled paper, this one sank like the ship it was made of.

"I felt that... but only... kinda'... why? How much were you holding back?" Ryoga asked, looking to Chingensai.

"Catch on? You're not really in a dream... you're just more durable than the average man, that was even the case even when we started, we're not sure if it's cause of yer curse or if your body is just like that," Chingensai confessed, looking to him. "Heck, Happy thinks it's your undying will power... lotta' phooey I say to that," Chingensai continued speaking until he heard some rustling nearby.

Ryoga felt a worried panic rising in him, his breathing catching short to that point he swore that it hurt a quite a bit. The surreal nature of his body didn't help his need to feel normal and someone that could be with Ranma, the look in his eyes expressed this fear as his lower lip was wobbling just a tad.

What sounded like a small thudding sound echoed close by, eventually turning up to be Happosai running up to them.

Chingensai raised his hand, stopping the old man from running any further, "Ryoga! Calm down lad... I can sense your aura and it's really getting dark boy-o..."

"So, I'm guessing he's figured out how much tougher he's gotten?" Happosai asked, smiling with his eyes closed as he looked to Ryoga. "How's it feel boy? Think you can stand?"

Ryoga closed his eyes and sat up, still dressed in his usual attire. He placed his hand on his head and wondered if maybe it was only the head trauma that knocked him out. Now that he thought about it, he had been bashing against it like an insect colliding against a car grill, only surviving it multiple times, "Yeah... I think so... I just..." he sighed, closing his eyes and attempting to stand up.

"Happy... you can go, Ryoga, stay right there..." Chingensai commanded, pointing to where Ryoga was sitting. The young student obeyed one of his masters and awaited instruction.

Happosai's eyes widened as he realized what was going on and cleared his throat, muttering something about eating before dashing away.

"You can't master the breaking point unless you have enough concentration to see the breaking point... what's wrong? Something's clogging the works and we need to get it fixed..." Chingensai said, reaching into his gi and pulling out a smoking pipe, retrieving a lighter from his gi as well, "So... what's this about? Is it about that redheaded cursed boy, you like so much?" the wooly sage asked, lighting his pipe before taking a puff, the smoke coming out from his mouth looked like rings to Ryoga.

"I guess... it's kinda' a lot of things..." Ryoga began, trailing off as he wanted to avoid eye to brow contact with the elderly martial artist master.

"Hm... anything you want to get off your chest? It could help..." Chingensai said as he needed Ryoga's mind to be a bit clearer.

"Ever since I've known about how long I have..." Ryoga began, adjusting to sit in a more honor position, he got on his knees and sat on heels, "I've been having dreams sometimes, where I keep hearing this voice, sometimes it looks like Ranma..." the cursed boy found his voice quake from the nervous tone building up in him, sounding as though he were on the verge of a mental breakdown.

"It's alright! It's alright!" Chingensai reassured Ryoga, holding his one free hand up, hoping Ryoga's aura would disperse before it became too intense, "You're not makin' any sense, take a breather... what does that voice tell you?" Chingensai really hoped this wasn't something like multiple personality disorder. He knew that sometimes the messages we try and give ourselves, may often be expressed in people's dreams, sometimes through friends or relatives, so, the part of Ranma's girl side also factoring into this, didn't surprise master Chingensai.

"Once when I drained myself of all my ki, I was stopped by Cologne... I almost passed out... I stayed awake... long enough to figure out how long I have..." Ryoga blushed and looked to the side, squinting his eyes and wiping them of any dirt or tears that got on his face, "Cursed animals only live as long as their original body..."

Chingensai knew how much this person meant to Ryoga but now that he gave it some more thought, something became much more clear to him. Was all this all, right? He turned to Ryoga who appeared to be struggling but was he supposed to do? He, much like the others, were fond of the boy now and to think that he'd waste his remaining years on a possibly pointless endeavor.

"Look Ryoga... it makes sense why you'd think all these things..." Chingensai said, a sigh following shortly after as what he was about to say next, even he didn't want to hear, "Maybe it's unfair for this Ranma fellow to be in love with you, Ryoga..." Chingensai started, meeting Ryoga's eyes as they shot to face him, shock and pain apparent in his eyes. "Before you start the waterworks, stop and think!" the master exclaimed, pointing his pipe to Ryoga as if it were a sword.

"You win him over... then what? Wait out your fourteen years and die knowing you're leaving your loved one behind? As an animal maybe you don't get how much that means to us, humans..." Chingensai lowered his head, he knew that truth was never an easy thing, often why they hid from it. Too bad Ryoga was far too fragile to go on with a troubled mind.

Ryoga said nothing as he adjusted his position on the ground and used his legs to shift his position, facing away from Chingensai. The master simply bowed his head and vanished, leaving Ryoga to his thoughts.


Ranma

The redheaded girl sat in the room that used to belong to her and her brother-like companion, undoing the bandages to her hand, 'Thank goodness for burn cream...' Ranma thought, a stern look on her face as she inspected her hand for a moment, rotating her wrist before balling it into a fist, she nodded, humming once to herself. She ran to her closet and opened it, revealing her red Chinese silk shirt and dark blue pants. She wondered if that would make her stand out too much, so she then turned to Ryoga's Jusenkyo guide outfit, she averted her eyes as well as her head, now facing the opposite side of the closet, she noticed her green outfit.

"Wonder if mom got this so we'd match..." Ranma pondered as she took the outfit out from the rack, it was very similar to the Jusenkyo guide outfit but rather it had black knots to button the shirt, her hat had a red star on it, whereas his was gold, additionally the shirt pockets the Jusenkyo guide's had on it, although from the corner of her eye she noticed something protruding from within one of the shirt pockets of the guide outfit, curiosity getting the best of her.

Cautiously she reached down, digging her hand in his shirt pocket until retrieving something, which appeared to be a folded note. She paused and pondered what this could be, without much thought, she opened it, finding her name written in a very elegant manner. Ranma found herself blushing, eyes widening out of pure shock, swearing she could feel her pigtail standing up, she slowly put it right back where she found it.

For an instant, a transparent image of Ryoga flashed over her mind's eye, Ranma began to disrobe before getting dressed, as she saw that it was getting a bit late, 'Just looking at that thing...' she thought, sighing before tipping her head down and reaching for her hat, tugging the brim down enough cover her eyes.


Matsu

Once the aged martial artist got back he had hoped that Ryoga would be there to greet him, that was not the case. He landed at the construction sight and turned in the direction of Ryoga's training equipment. He was surprised to see that there was no yellow-clad boy bashing himself against the boulder they had set out for him. Or rather what he thought it was the boulder from before.

"Chingensai! Happy! Ryooooga!" he shouted, raising his shoulder a little to straighten the bag slung over, clearly picking some things up on his way back. He was greeted by Chingensai who appeared before him, as if he had just used his 'Now you see me, now you don't' technique, "Hey there, Matsu!" the aged looking dwarf with a mop over his head greeted him. (I like Chingensai, just trying to make entertaining narrative, lolz)

"Where's Happy and Ryoga?" the middle aged construction worker inquired.

"Happy had some errands to go run in the village..." Chingensai cleared his throat and looked to the side, more disappointed that he didn't go with him this time.

Matsu stared and sighed, 'At least he's a master... I wonder how long he can put off talking to Cologne...' Matsu thought, then turned to the direction of Ryoga's training equipment, it was then that his eyes softened and his expression became sad and timid looking.

"You can feel it... can't you? There was something I had to bring up to him... it looks like it's gettin' in the way of his training..." the sage-like master stroked his beard, "I don't know much about cursed animals but knowing that he's got so little time..." Chingensai sighed deeply, "I had to say something about him and that cursed person he likes... even then, the boy should be with his family for his remaining years...cause as far as I see it... he's just as old as us..."

Matsu shook his head and closed his eyes, putting the bag down in front of him, "I should go! He needs someone to-"

A hand reached out and stopped him from aiding Ryoga, he looked over his shoulder to the bushy-faced man and lowered his head. He knew what the case was, he just couldn't bear to see the boy so downtrodden.

"This is something only he can understand... trust him," Chingensai pleaded.


Ryoga

Time appeared to be at a standstill for Ryoga, as he couldn't fathom the feelings he might cause Ranma. The feeling of losing someone she loved deeply... the thought lingered in his mind, feeling like a poison that kept him from becoming at ease. Ever since Chingensai told him of this, his strength, his will, his heart... his purpose. Only seemed to remind him of this emptiness inside him. If his purpose was to be with Ranma until his final days, what of Ranma? 'What if we Ranma does love me... what happens after fourteen years... Ranma by then would be middle aged and left with whatever I'd leave...' Ryoga thought, his tears gathering at the corner of his eyes as they swelled to the point they finally streamed down the side of his face, moving at a crawling pace until falling.

Unable to bear his thoughts he stood up and walked away from the construction site, he took to walking and tried to an ease his mind. He was unable to enjoy this as he had no idea what to do about all these things, it had been in the back of his mind but being confronted by Chingensai and putting it in such a broad way, struck a cord in him. As if he needed this too, now coping with his existence as well causing Ranma harm.

"Should I still do this...? Is it right...?" he asked himself, unaware of the direction he was heading in.


Ranma

Ranma made her way to the village, knowing that she might spot Genma and Nodoka there, maybe she could bum some money off them and get something to eat. There was a reason to be there, she had gone to this things before but never did she realize how lonely she truly was. Her hands were in her pockets as she heard everyone speaking in their native tongue, while she remained completely unaware of what the people around her were saying. Her eyes darted from right to left, checking out all the displays. Pretty much most of the stands displayed either food or games, not to mention cheap novelty trinkets.

"Who would buy this junk?" Ranma thought, looking to the novelty items that she nor anyone else for that matter should want, yet, people were buying it. Ranma shrugged, how people choose to spend their money was their own business.

"Ranma?" a questioning female voice called out, suddenly pausing before speaking back up, "Ranma dear!" Nodoka ushered him over while working noodles and nearby taking order was Mousse. The one who had attempted to kill him, along with Ryoga.

"Hey, mom!" Ranma called out, walking over to the two and placing her hands in her pockets.

"I notice you're a girl?" Nodoka blinked, surprised that Ranma had actually bothered to come there instead of just continuing to train like an addict, which she was personally happy about, she only wished that she could get her someone to speak to Ranma in their native tongue; Japanese.

"Yeah... got burned while practicing dat technique the pops showed me, dropped the bucket on myself didn't feel like changing back either so..." Ranma took one of her hands out from her pants and placed it on her chin, "Huh... speaking of pops."

"Your father... you see..." Nodoka paused and looked away, as from a distance the sounds of a grunting bear echoed lightly in the area. The two looked over to Genma as they saw him balancing on a circus ball, juggling three green balls. Ranma blinked and placed her hand over her mouth, she noticed Genma dodging rotten fruits and vegetables the whole time; mostly by children.

Ranma snickered and placed her hand over her mouth before laughing out loud, especially since one of the kids got him in the eye, causing him to flail occasionally in annoyance, feeling as though little white puffy clouds of annoyance were radiating from his form. Nodoka for her part just allowed this, giving a very flat look, her eyes resembling thick black lines, her mouth nearly the same flatline look, she turned to Ranma and with her eyes closed she tilted her head to one side and felt somewhat nervous, feeling as though a large anime sweatdrop were coming from her head, "I don't have much and Cologne doesn't give us a discount, ever since Shampoo abused it... besides your father used most of my money on some of his favorite snacks before you got here," she said, looking to the side then reached into her dress and retrieved some Yaun pieces, holding them out to drop in Ranma's hand.

Ranma sighed reluctantly, knowing that her father probably didn't leave her much, at some point, Ranma began leaning on the side of the noodle stand , arms crossed, then looked over her shoulder and extended her arm, her palm open as Nodoka dropped some change into her hand. Seeing that all she was about seventy in yaun pieces, Ranma turned to Genma and felt her eye twitching.

"Haven't we been makin' more money?" Ranma asked, shooting her head to Nodoka then swiftly back to the coins, her mouth slightly ajar.

"Yes, I just didn't want your father breaking his diet... so I left the rest at home, I honestly didn't expect you to come out here Ranma but maybe you can try making the most of it..." Nodoka immediately went back to work.


Ryoga

Ryoga knew that he'd stayed back at the construction site he'd probably have to continue to talk about his feelings on this subject, he just needed some time to organize his thoughts. He looked to the ground as he walked , looking both perplexed and annoyed as his head and his eyes shifted from right to left, each one of his thoughts projecting his worries and fears, eventually getting to him just closing his eyes and gritting his teeth.

He shook his head, finding that he needed to do something, anything... he just didn't know what to do, all he could think was that he needed to clear his head. He absent-mindedly began to think back to the day he saw Ranma, how he'd cling to him whenever something new and uncertain came before them. How he had bitten Genma once, the good times he had with Nodoka, sometimes patting his head, congratulating him. The various fights him and Ranma had, sometimes the two would go toe-to-toe and that's when he felt so alive, 'Guess there's something I love almost as much as Ranma...' Ryoga thought with a sad whisper to his voice. His thoughts wandering almost as much as he was, he loved to see Ranma's girl face.

"But he's not a girl..." He whispered, repeating the echo of his human mother's voice. "Why does it have to be this way...? I shouldn't force my love but... do I even have a chance? I'm sure now... Ranma doesn't like men..." Ryoga placed his hand on his cheek and dug his nails, thinking life would have been better had he fallen into the same spring as Ranma did.

"How would things have turned out then...?" Ryoga muttered to himself.


Ranma

Ranma's hand retracted from being in front of her face to out in front of her and now holding a stick, wiping her face with the small napkin she had bought from a stand, with a flick of her wrist she threw her stick, along with the napkin in a trashcan. She looked around but found herself uninterested in whatever it is that everyone was doing. There were only so few people that spoke Japanese there and most of the time, it was broken Japanese, like Shampoo's. Cologne and Mousse being an exception.

She then heard what were the sounds of women grunting in a frustrated way, she turned to said source and found herself looking at some women gathered around in a circle as two women stood in the center of the group.

"Róngyù!" one girl screamed as she fell to her knees, her index finger being tugged at by another woman's finger.

Ranma couldn't help but quirk a brow as she watched this, she noticed a banner but she couldn't really make anything out on it, all she was sure about was that this was a contest of sorts. Ranma watched and swore she knew what they were doing.

"Honor? I've heard of that!" Ranma exclaimed and then putting two and two together she looked around for what could possibly be the prize, which turned out to be a basket with prize money, the banner read 'Jiǎng', on it. She realized that she may have had a bad reputation among these women and might only be ignored, or worse, bring Shampoo over, which she was glad to see wasn't a problem so far, 'Forgot these guys got everything backwards here when it comes to guys and girls...' Ranma thought, she then looked to the entry fee, which was near the banner.

"How am I...?" Ranma paused as she placed her hand on her chin and then looked to noticed some Chinese girl with blonde hair walking by, she quirked a brow as she saw this woman take off her wig off and tossed it in the trash, Ranma was pretty sure the woman was forced to wear that for some sort of contest involving a costume or something, more than likely some sort of special event, regardless the wig was curly and not really Ranma's style but it was enough for a formulate an oh-so-clever plan, slowly her smile grew to an all out grin, a devious twinkle in her eye, so bright it was as blinding as a star in the night sky.


Ryoga

Ryoga strolled onto the scene but his demeanor was anything but a brisk pace, his movements seemed slow and wooden, his torso slouched over as a dark aura radiated around him, lost in the despair that was his current mindset, "What am I...? Is there any point...? My strength... does it mean anything?...R-Ranma?" he mumbled to himself as he wandered aimlessly, his mind slipping deeper and deeper.

"Ryoga!?" Ranma gasped as she looked over her shoulder to see the cursed boy walking by, while she was currently engaged in the Chinese version of arm wrestling. She looked to her opponent and knew that losing meant she'd forfeit the money, 'To hell with the money!' she thought, quickly reaching a conclusion she shouted, "Róngyù!"

The girl who had been playing against Ranma sighed deeply and placed her free hand on her chest, even going as far as falling on her butt. Unable to continue from the strain Ranma brought onto her, her eyes appearing to swirl. The girls watched her leave and wondered who she even was, given the perplexed look on their faces. All they knew was that she was stronger than the average.

"Xǐ fǎ jì xūyào zhīdào..."


Ranma & Ryoga

There was no light in Ryoga's world, yet, something faintly echoed in the back of his mind as he contemplated so many things. He didn't take notice of it, but then it became more pronounced, then finally it reached the point that it was clear.

"Ryoga!" Ranma shouted, dashing over to him with a handout, waving to him.

Ryoga looked to his side and saw what had been calling his name, his eyes appearing lifeless and devoid of any feelings. His pupils looking as though they were extremely faint outlines. Green orbs met blue again.

"Ranma!" Ryoga exclaimed, smiling brightly and holding his arms out. Snapping back to reality when recognizing those beautiful blue eyes. His face suddenly changed into that of shock, realizing this wasn't him lost in his own world anymore, this was him in the real world. "R-Ranma!?" Ryoga stuttered, backing away as she got closer.

Ranma's eyes widened as she saw him make a run for it, trying to dash back in the direction he came from, she saw this and shook her head. She wasn't going to lose him again, out of all the dumb luck in the world, this was by far one of the best for her lately. She continued to chase him as she noticed she was closing the gap, this didn't go unnoticed by Ryoga as much like a hyper-aware animal hearing leafs rustling he turned around and focused on the sorrow from earlier, firing a red beam towards Ranma. She evaded it by leaping to the side, eyes widening as she knew he was only doing that to slow her down. A fierce fire brewed inside her, she was tired of waiting to see him. After his attack she leaped towards him, he didn't notice the log right in front of him, causing the back of his knees to collide with it, falling backward, he noticed Ranma leaping towards him.

After his attack she leaped towards him, he didn't notice the log right behind him, causing him to trip from the back of his knees, he saw Ranma leaping towards him during his fall. His expression softened as time felt as though it were moving slowly, Ryoga became timid as he saw the sorrow on the girl's face, even swearing he small tears at the corners of her stunning blue eyes, shimmering in the night.

"Ryoga!" Ranma exclaimed as she embraced the cursed boy, holding him tightly.

"Ranma..."

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DaFox

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