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A Life Once Lived/12

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Chapter Twelve: Windows of the Soul Edit

Angela perched herself on the edge of the rooftop of the building she had just jumped on to. The Hellspawn was here. She could sense the necroplasm, even if it was faint.

Why the Hellspawn had moved from Japan to San Francisco, she had no idea. Nor did she care. Her only job was to terminate it. Send it in to purgatory. Anything to prevent it from becoming another of hells generals.

She sniffed the air lightly, allowing all of her angelic senses to analyze it as much as possible. The spawn was there, all right. In fact, he was a lot closer than she had thought.

Mere blocks.

She smelled the air again, trying to get a bearing on the Hellspawn's location. Instead of his location, another smell permeated her senses.

Blood.

Suddenly, her ribbon began to writhe back and forth. It too could sense the blood. The death.

Something big was happening, and Angela knew she had to find it.

Jumping from the rooftop to a fire escape below, she made her way to street level.

Two blocks over, one block up. The Hellspawn was there.


Kenoru narrowed his eyes. There he was. He remembered him quite well as one of his more challenging opponents. Him and the Japanese boy. Both had been satisfying kills. He had thought he had thrown the Chinese girl from a cliff, but she turned up alive, and now this boy?

He furrowed his brow. Could this mean that the other boy was living as well? He had burned him beyond recognition, nearly to a crisp.

But this boy stood before him, angered and scarred.

Kenoru smiled. Scarred badly.

"So," he taunted. "You are alive. Surprising, I must say. I had thought I had killed all three of you."

Mousse sneered at Kenoru. "You thought wrong."

"Oh well," Kenoru smirked. "I suppose you'd like to fight me, then?"

Mousse stood back a few feet from Kenoru. "I'm not afraid of death any more, Kenoru."

Kenoru laughed. "No, I suppose you wouldn't. Would you, now?"

Mousse surveyed what was going on. The melee below was raging out of control. There were far too many fighters for Shampoo and the other to fight off. The others were still behind. He didn't have the time to waste on Kenoru.

Suddenly, his eyes picked up something it hadn't before. A large shape moving through the crowd. A large brown shape. A single swipe of the arm had taken out four opponents, but not by much. They all got right back up to fight more. They were climbing on to the things back.

Mousse's jaw almost dropped open. It would have, if he hadn't been trying to keep a poker face in Kenoru's presence.

He smiled inwardly. This Kei person wasn't actually Kei. It was Tarou.

Mousse had to make a quick decision. Help Tarou and Shampoo, or stay and fight Kenoru.

Mousse sighed. Ranma deserved that honour.

"This isn't over, Kenoru. I'll spit on your grave yet," he said, running towards the melee, jumping from table to table and extending chains from his sleeves to bind a few fighters.

Kenoru watched him leave. Perhaps this would be amusing.

Kenoru's enhanced senses picked something up. It was... something.

He spun around as quickly as his feet would take him. And looked.

Nothing. Nothing visible to his eye, anyway.

He closed them for a second, trying to feel the new arrival.

Nothing.

Frustrated, he backed away from the entrance. There had to be someone there. Either that, or he was imagining things.

He sat down in a wooden chair and stared at the door, awaiting an entrance.


"Ranma!" Ryouga called, trying to keep up. "Wait!"

Ranma turned around for a moment. Mousse was already inside. "No time," he replied. He then looked up, and began to scale the side of the brick wall.

Ryouga paused in confusion. Why was he...?

Behind him, the mass of Neriman martial artists had closed in.

"Where's he going?" Ukyou asked.

Akane looked up at the ascending form of Ranma. "He's going to drop in on him."

Genma nodded. "That's probably the best course of action. As far as we know, that doorway," he said, gesturing towards the entrance at the end of the alley. "Is the only street level entrance. From up there, he might find a window or something."

"So it's probably safe to bet that this Kenoru guy is gonna be waiting right by that doorway?" Kinami asked, poking her head into the circle.

Genma looked over. He nodded. "Most likely."

"Well, then," Ryouga said, cracking his knuckles. "We'll just have to find another entrance."

Kinami backed away as Ryouga moved towards the wall.

"Make sure you don't knock down any structural supports, son," Soun said. "We wouldn't want the place falling down on our heads."


Ranma dug his claws into the brick, making foot and hand holds with each step. It wasn't long before he reached the top.

Looking down, he noticed that the others were using a similar tack. Ryouga was approaching the side wall very menacingly.

Finally, as he reached the top, he looked around.

Bingo. A skylight. The perfect entrance.

Hearing the loud blast from below, he bided his time. If things went well, Kenoru would still be reeling from the shock of having a dozen or so martial artists break in through his wall.

If he timed it right, he could shock the hell out of him by dropping down.

He walked over to the skylight and looked down. The battle was raging. He could barely hear the yells and shouts of the people below.

Yes. He could jump in right now and take Kenoru by surprise. He could easily--

"Hello, Hellspawn," a voice interrupted his train of thought. A FEMALE voice.

Ranma looked up in surprise.

There was a woman standing on the side of the roof. She was a red haired American, by the looks of her.

But what she was wearing was what sent him into confusion.

She wore a strange black mask on her face, with a strange tiara that bore... wings?

Her clothing was rather questionable. Like a metallic golden bikini of sorts.

In one hand she held a staff... No, more like a trident with a single arrow-like point, but it had what appeared to be a colourful ribbon attached to it.

A ribbon that floated in the wind, yet there was none.

Ranma narrowed his eyes as they fell upon the most disturbing things about her. Her earrings.

The crest on her earrings resembled... Resembled his own mask.

Suddenly, his cloak and chains began to rage out of control.

Ranma tried his best to control it, not understanding fully what was happening.

"Who the hell are you?" Ranma asked.

The woman smiled as she stepped closer. "I surprised your mentor hasn't told you about us yet, Hellspawn."

"Mentor?"

"One of the phlebiac brothers, I'd imagine. More than likely Violator."

Ranma narrowed his eyes. "That creature is hardly a mentor."

The woman shrugged. "Very well, I'll have to tell you myself. My name is Angela," she said. "And I'm here to kill you."

Ranma looked her over for a moment. "You're here to kill me?" he asked. After a moment of silence, he closed his eyes. "Fine."

Angela smirked. "So glad you see it my way, Hellspawn."

"After I'm done, you can kill me as much as you want," he said. "But only after I'm done. There's someone down there who would kill me, who would kill all those who I love, and I've got to get to him first."

Ranma began to move towards the skylight.

Almost in a flash, the woman moved toward him and placed her staff at his chest. "You think I would let you do that, Hellspawn?"

Ranma started to grind his teeth. "Don't call me that. I never wanted to be like this. I never wanted to be a Hellspawn."

Angela laughed. "Is THAT why you made the deal with Malebolgia, then?"

Ranma narrowed his eye. "I didn't know."

"No, your kind never do, do you?"

Ranma grabbed her staff and pushed it out of his way. "Leave me alone, I've got to do this."

Ranma once again began to move towards the skylight. This time, he felt an intense pain hit him in the chest. He flew back across the rooftop to land on his back. Angela moved towards him menacingly and held her staff at his throat.

"I don't think you heard me, Hellspawn. I said I CAN'T let you add to the army of hell."


Kenoru sat with his back to the action. He knew he was missing most of the fun, but if he was right, whatever was about to come through the door would be loads more fun.

Of course, by some insane twist of fate, nobody came through the door.

Kenoru watched with mild interest as the side wall of the restaurant was blasted away in one shot.

He smiled widely as several people began to pile in. Several young martial artists, and a couple old ones.

Ahh, even the old man who was trying to recruit the Ryukaze.

Standing up, he smiled. This WOULD be fun.

"Welcome to my restaurant," he said. "Do you have a reservation?"


"What do we do?" Ryouga asked, looking at the form standing about twenty feet away from the group. "Is that Kenoru?"

Happosai nodded. "That's him. That's the devil."

"I think it might be better if we help out over there," Kinami mentioned. "Ranma's going to want to take him out..."

Akane nodded and looked towards the melee. "Is that Tarou?"

Almost everyone in the group looked over at the mention of his name.

"You guys go fight," Tofu muttered. "I'll distract Kenoru for now, until Ranma gets down here."


Shampoo grunted as one of the fighters got a good shot to her stomach. She was used to the pain, but she still couldn't hold all of it off.

Even with Kei there as a big help, the two of them couldn't even hope to take on that many people. She looked up for a moment, seeing Kei fall to the ground under the weight of at least a dozen of the Ryukaze.

Suddenly, three of them had surrounded her. Shampoo was ready to fight them off, but then she was struck from behind.

Reeling to the floor, she tried to avoid getting herself into a position where she would get attacked where she was vulnerable. She rolled herself up into a ball, ready to push her legs out and leap to her feet on a moments notice.

Unfortunately, they had surrounded her. Keeping her down on the ground, they planted kick after kick to her side and head. A moment later, she dropped her bonbori.

Clawing out the best she could, she tried to damage them in any way she could, instead, only hearing the laughs.

And then, she heard a grunt. A slink of... chains?

Then the kicking stopped. She got up, looking out of her swollen eyes. The three Ryukaze were on the ground, moaning.

She looked over. Kei was still bound to the ground. How...?

She turned around to see the man standing behind her, holding another man by the throat. With one great push, he threw the man across the room.

Shampoo gasped.

"M... Mousse?"

Mousse looked down and nodded. "We can talk later. Right now, we need to defend ourselves."

Shampoo looked around. Mousse was right, there were still far too many people fighting. Even the three of them would have a hard time, especially with Shampoo's injuries.

Still, she could protect herself.


Kei grunted under the weight of Kenoru's lackeys. There must have been twenty of them all around him, each one beating him with fists, chairs, tables. He could feel blood dripping down his side, so it was probable that they were using blades.

He tried to brace himself up with his hefty arms, but each time he tried, they were forced out from under him, forcing him back down.

Kei was trapped.

He briefly wondered how Shampoo was faring. She couldn't have been doing well. Especially is Kei was trapped down in his cursed form.

Suddenly, he had a thought.

What if he could get the drop on them?

Quickly, he reached for his belt. He kept a thermos there, ready for spilling. No time to twist the cap off.

Bringing it as close as he could to himself, he thought.

He would have to make it quick. They would only be disoriented for a second.

He closed his eyes and squeezed the thermos as hard as he could. It popped open and spread hot water all over his body.

As the change occurred, several people fell to the floor. Kei worked as quickly as he could to get to his feet, flipping over several people and landing on a nearby table.

He reached once again for his belt, hoping he had thought to pack another bottle of water.

"Dammit!" he swore. He hadn't.

Suddenly, he felt a wetness on his back. He looked down on himself. The change had occurred.

He smirked and swiped several of Kenoru's lackeys away from him.

Turning back, he looked to see who had caused his change.

"Don't worry about it, Hon," the girl said. "That's on the house!"

Kei blinked. It was... the girl he worked with at Nabiki Tendo's restaurant in Nerima?

No time to worry about it now. He had to get back into the action.

Choosing his next target, he realized the battle was a lot more crowded than before. He recognized several people. That Hibiki guy. The Tendo's pop. Even that girl, Akane. The one he had kidnapped.

Kei smiled. He didn't know what had brought them there, but for once, he was glad someone was helping.


"Ahh," Kenoru smirked. "What have we here?"

Tofu narrowed his eyes, and stared at the man. Could it...?

"Are we having a staring contest?" Kenoru laughed. "Because that's the only way you would win, weakling."

"Kenoru," Tofu said. "It is you."

Kenoru looked at Tofu appraisingly. "Do I know you?" he asked. "Oh yes, you must have been friends with that boy I killed, just like everyone else."

"No," Tofu replied. "You are Kenoru Ono, right?"

Kenoru dropped his smirk. He suddenly narrowed his eyes. "Who are you?"

Tofu's eyes popped open. It was true.

Kenoru crossed the distance between them in a mere instant, and held Tofu by the throat.

"I said WHO ARE YOU?"

Tofu gasped under the pressure of Kenoru's grip. "I'm... Tofu!"

Kenoru's eyes betrayed no emotion. "And how do you know my name, Tofu?" he asked. "Tell me!" he added as he squeezed harder.

"I'm... your brother," Tofu gasped.

Kenoru almost laughed. Almost. "Brother? You think I would be that stupid?"

"Kenoru, please," Tofu said. "Listen. You were born in Okinawa twenty-four years ago. You.. went missing on a trip to Beijing twenty years ago! Please, you've got to believe me!"

Kenoru's eyes began to shimmer. "I was raised in Beijing," he said. "But that doesn't make your story true."

The blood began to clot up in Tofu's head. "Please," he pleaded. "On your right leg, there's a scar. A burn mark. You got it when you were two, from some hot coals."

Kenoru's eyes opened wider. "I'm listening," he said, loosening his grip.

"Don't you remember? The time at the temple in Kyoto? You fell in the water.. You were soaking wet, we had to spend the rest of the trip in the hotel because you had a fever."

Kenoru's eyes shimmered with remembrance. Suddenly, he dropped Tofu to the ground.

Tofu gasped for air and allowed his blood pressure to return to normal before standing again. "You... remember?"

Kenoru looked at Tofu. Suddenly, he smiled. "So... It seems I do have family after all."

Tofu swallowed. "Ken--"

"It changes nothing. It's what I once was. But no longer what I am."

Tofu's heart jumped. "Kenoru, please--"

"Because you were once my brother, I shall grant you this," Kenoru smirked, then looked into his eyes.

Tofu began to back away.

"A quick death," he said, and then kicked Tofu in the guy, sending his flying against the wall.


"Well," one of the fighters smirked. "We've got newcomers."

Akane narrowed her eyes. "You don't want to fight us," she said.

"Oh, but I think I do," the woman replied. "Ken-sama wouldn't be happy if I didn't."

Akane brought herself into a defensive position. "Fine," she replied. "But don't expect to win."

And they were gone. Akane led with a kick to the girls side, while the girl returned with an easily blocked punch to the side of Akane's head. Akane jumped up and tried to kick the girls side, but she ducked before it could connect, and landed an uppercut to Akane's stomach.

The two of them fell to the ground.

"You're good," Akane said.

The girl sneered at Akane. "I know I am."

And they fought again.


Ukyou swung her spatula in a wide arc. It had been a while since she could use it so effectively, but it was coming back to her almost as quickly as she could remember it.

Clang! One down.

Whack! Another one. Upside the head this time. This was getting to be a lot of fun.

Slam!

Ukyou jumped up onto a table and examined her damage. Three down. One had to have gotten a serious concussion. The others were just unconscious.

Smirking, she jumped further into the battle, finding herself next to Kinami.

"Hey, Hon," Ukyou said. "Having any trouble?"

Kinami nodded. "There's too many. One at a time I'd have no problem with, but-*oof*-... Hey, you ASSHOLE!"

Ukyou watched as Kinami trailed off an went ballistic on someone who had managed to get a punch in on her.

Boy, did it bring back memories.

"Hey," Ryouga said, hopping down beside her. "Where the hell is Ranma?"

"Indeed," Tatewaki said, finding himself next to her. "The good doctor seems to be in trouble."

Ukyou shrugged. "I thought he was going to drop in on us."

"He wouldn't have... skipped out on us, would he?"

Tatewaki shook his head. "I refuse to believe that."

"Well, if we don't do something soon, Kenoru's gonna kill Tofu!"

"Allow me to take care of that, boys," a fourth voice called from overhead. The three of them watched Kodachi leap overhead and find her way to Kenoru's location.

"Hey, is she--" Ryouga began.

"Boys?" Ukyou asked.

"This does not fare well," Tatewaki finished.


Ranma was starting to get pissed. "Look, if I don't get down there NOW, my friends are gonna DIE!"

"As if you really care, Hellspawn," Angela replied.

Ranma grabbed the tip of her staff and threw it away from him. Although it never left her grip, it allowed him enough time to get to his feet.

"So, is this a challenge now, Hellspawn?"

Ranma levelled his glare. "I've told you before, don't call me that. My name is Ranma."

"No, Hellspawn. Your name WAS Ranma."

Ranma growled and reached toward Angela, trying to rip the staff from her hands.

He failed miserably. The ribbons flared to life and gripped around his arm, sending him flying several feet into the air.

"I see you've met my ribbons, Spawn."

Ranma groaned as he stood up.

"Listen," he said. "I don't care what your motive is. I don't care if you've got a personal vendetta against me, I don't give a crap if you were one of my fiancees, or even if you've just got a killer case of PMS. All I want is to get down there and protect my friends. I've got no beef with you. If you wanna settle this, fine. We'll settle it afterwards. Right now, what's going on down there is a HELL of a lot more important than what's going on up here."

Angela smirked. "My, how noble. Wanting to help your mortal friends by killing another."

"The man that killed me. The man that almost killed my friends."

Angela levelled her staff at Ranma. "I don't have the time for this, Hellspawn."

"Neither do I," Ranma replied. "And as much as I'd like to fight you right now, this is more important."

Angela sneered at Ranma. "Fine," she said. "We'll settle this NOW!"

She ran at him, her staff in front of her.

Ranma managed to dodge enough so that the staff did not hit him. Angela, however, did, which sent the two of them flying down into the skylight.


Kenoru approached Tofu. So he was his brother. Rather amusing, really.

Either way, he would die.

Kenoru looked up for a moment. He could sense another approaching.

As the ribbon attached itself to his arm, Kenoru looked up in time to see one of the other fighters descend on him. She was about to kick him.

Kenoru simply put his hand up and flashed a kit shield around him. The attacker was sent flying backwards at an intense speed.

Kenoru smirked. There was no way any of them stood a chance against him.

Menacingly, he moved towards the fallen form of his brother once again.


The girl attacked Akane again, this time catching her in the ribs. She smiled happily as she felt the bones crack underneath. Akane reeled back to the floor and swore.

"So," the girl taunted. "What do you think about that?"

Akane narrowed her eyes. "Not much," she bluffed.

Enraged, the girl attacked yet again. Akane braced herself for the attack

But she was not prepared for what happened before the attack could meet her.

The attacker fell to the floor in an unconscious heap. Akane blinked in confusion for a second before she saw the second form.

"Shampoo no like her very much," she said, and then looked down at Akane. "You is okay?"

Akane smiled and nodded. Shampoo reached over to help her up, gripping her hand.

"Is surprise to see all you here," she said. The battle was wearing quite thin. Most of the others were unconscious. There were now only two people for each of them.

Very thin, indeed.

"Shampoo think we should help doctor," she said. "Kenoru going to kill."

Akane spun around to Kenoru's location. Kodachi was lying unconscious a few feet away, and Tofu was trying to get to his feet while Kenoru approached him.

The two of them started to run towards them when they were interrupted by a spray of glass from above.

Akane looked up to see two separate forms fall to the floor, landing on a table.

It was Ranma and... A girl?


The crash of glass came as a surprise to Kenoru. One of the more pleasant ones of the evening. IT was just full of surprises.

But as he stretched his aura to include the two newcomers, he realized with great interest what the two newcomers actually were.

An Angel and a Demon.

Now THIS was far more interesting than the battle.

He moved himself over to where the two of them had fallen and smiled.


Ranma sprinted away from Angela as fast as he could, before she could recover and stick him with her staff. Rolling away, he stood up.

Looking about, he took in the area. Tofu was lying on the ground, trying to get up. Kodachi lay unconscious just a few feet away. Everyone else was conscious, however, and either fighting, or watching him.

Ranma then looked at the man who was standing over Angela.

He narrowed his eyes. Kenoru.

"Well," he smiled. "Isn't it grand that our little scuffle should attract the attention of not only a hunter angel..." he looked up. "But a Hellspawn as well?"

Ranma narrowed his eyes.

Kenoru touched Angela's side, and a strange dark field surrounded her.

"I will deal with her afterwards," he said. "Now, now, now... A Hellspawn." Kenoru walked towards Ranma.

He just stood there and trained his eyes on Kenoru.

"How fortunate. I was not aware there was a Hellspawn around in this day and age."

"There wasn't," Ranma replied.

Suddenly, Kenoru's expressions changed.

"I SEE!" he cried. "So THAT'S it. That's why all of these people are here."

Ranma stood there.

"You're that boy I killed in China, aren't you?"

Ranma began to growl.

"Of course. Why else would all these people be here," he smiled. "You should thank me, you know. If I had not killed you, you would not have all these glorious powers."

"Screw the powers," Ranma said. "I never asked for them. All I want is your head." He pointed a stretched out claw towards him.

Kenoru sighed. "I had so hoped you would be on my side. Imagine the powers the two of us could use. You, with the power of Hell, and me, with the power of my line."

Ranma brought up a defensive stance. "Are you going to fight, or what?"

Kenoru smiled. "How rude of me. Of course I will. This will be rather evenly matched, if I do say so myself."

As the two of them stood there, a small crowd appeared around them.


Angela groaned. Falling through the window shouldn't have weakened her so much. IT should have--

She paused. Opening her eyes, she could feel something.

Dark ki. EXTREMELY dark ki. Dark enough to bind her to her position.

Angela's heart jumped. She couldn't move. That meant the Hellspawn could--

From her viewpoint, she could see several people around her. More importantly, she could see the Hellspawn.

And he was fighting a mortal.

Her eyes popped open. It was the mortal who had trapped her.

Watching the fight was all she could do. So she did.


The battle started quickly. The two of them throwing nearly invisible punches at the other, beating each other down as much as they could.

For all Ranma's newfound strength, he still found the battle hard.

Kenoru found himself challenged. But as the wide smile appeared on his face, he knew he would still win.

By a landslide.

The blows were exchanged back and forth at an immense speed. Kenoru was successfully gaining ground on Ranma, while he tried his best to block.

Finally, Ranma fell over.

"So, boy," Kenoru taunted. "Even as a Hellspawn, you still can't kill me?"

Ranma grit his teeth and stood up. That was impossible. There had to be some way....

Damn. No Cats available. No time to get Shampoo wet, either.

Ranma stood still for a moment as he considered his options. He had defeated Violator by using the Cat Fist. Angela... well, he hadn't really beaten her yet.

His mind drifted back to his other battles. His first meeting with Kuno after his return.

He had done something to Kuno that time that he never even remembered.

It was like his cape came to life and smacked him silly.

Ranma absently thought about it, almost considering it as nothing.

Until he noticed his cloak. It was fluttering around in the wind.

Only there was no wind.

Just like Angela's ribbon.

Then he recalled something she had said. She referred to her ribbons as one would a person.

Ranma closed his eyes for a moment, and tightened all of his muscles.

The effect was instant. His cloak and chains shot out as one.

Opening his eyes, Ranma realized something.

He was in control.

"Are you just going to stand there, boy, or are you going to fight?"

Ranma smiled. "I'm going to fight."

He then shot his chains out, striking Kenoru on the side. Kenoru fell back in shock, and dodged as best he could.

His cloak stretched out and held on to Kenoru's leg, hefting him up into the air.

Ranma smirked. He was in control now.

Kenoru's eyes glazed over. "Impressive, Hellspawn."

Ranma reached his hand forwards, and then felt a burning pain.

The pain intensified as his hand reached closer to Kenoru.

Finally, the pain reached its climax, and Kenoru shot a ki ball from his hands, sending Ranma sprawling across the floor.


Kenoru felt fear. REAL fear. The Hellspawn was stronger than he had thought. Stronger than what he had heard from his master.

The Hellspawn could do away with him in seconds. It was merely a lucky shot that had--

He looked around. He was surrounded by people.

He smiled. That was it. He had something the Hellspawn didn't have.

Potential hostages.

He crossed the distance between himself and one of the surrounding people in an instant. It was the girl he loved in life. The girl who's life he had saved in return for his own.

The girl squeaked as he placed his hand over her mouth and returned her to the center of the restaurant.

"Listen up, boy," Kenoru smiled. "Fight fairly, or I'll kill this lovely one!"

"Akane!" a boy from the crowd called.

Kenoru smirked. He loved causing problems like this.


Ranma groaned as he got up. It had been a lucky shot. He should have realized it when he did.

He looked up and realized Kenoru was holding Akane. He got up as quickly as he could.

"Don't try it boy. I'll cut her neck open."

Ranma paused. He examined the situation. He needed an option. He needed a way to fix things.

"Hellspawn," he heard a voice groan. He looked over. It was Angela.

"I don't have time--"

"I can help, Hellspawn. Let me out."

Ranma narrowed his eyes. "And have you kill me? Besides, you can't even move. How do you expect me to get you out?"

"Your power relies on the dark. You can suck up the shield easily. And I give you my word as an angel that I will not fight you until this one is taken care of."

Ranma weighed his options. People had started to distract Kenoru now. He was getting edgy.

He could release the angel without his noticing.

Quickly, he reached over, and touched the shield.


"Stay back," he warned everyone. "I'll break her neck!"

"Kenoru!" the Hellspawn called. "Let go of her!"

Kenoru looked towards him. "Do you agree to fight fairly?"

"And what do you call that?" he replied.

"I call it using every available option. You see, I'm allowed to cheat."

The Hellspawn narrowed his eyes at him. Kenoru smirked. He had him now. He--

He felt the pressure grow around his neck until it was fully apparent. Someone was behind him. Someone he hadn't sensed.

The Angel. She was... Helping the Hellspawn?

He had to release the girl. There was no time to cut her throat and keep himself from choking to death.

"There you are, Hellspawn," the Angel said. "Do what you will with him."

The Hellspawn neared him, and looked directly into his eyes.

"You should die for what you've done. For what you would have done if we hadn't stopped you," he said.

The Hellspawn came closer, and brought his fist forward. Slowly, he reared it back.

Kenoru closed his eyes in anticipation at what was going to happen next.

Suddenly, he heard the fist move. Kenoru grit his teeth, hoping he would survive the impact, but knowing he wouldn't.

And then he felt the wind on his face. He opened his eyes, seeing the Hellspawns fist not two inches from his face.

"But I wouldn't give Malebolgia the pleasure," he said.

Kenoru smirked. He was bound by the Angel's ribbons, barely being able to keep himself from choking, but the Hellspawn couldn't kill him.

"I knew you couldn't do it, boy," Kenoru taunted.

"Shut up, spore," the Angel said, tightening her ribbons. "Hellspawn, I have a suggestion."

The Hellspawn looked up at him.


"A suggestion?" Ranma asked.

Angela nodded. "It will not kill him. But he will be bound for eternity. Neither Heaven or Hell would be able to reach his soul."

Ranma looked towards her. "How?"

"It will take some power from both of us, but we can bind him to purgatory. A neutral dimension. He can harm no one there, nor can he die." She looked at him. "Ever."

Ranma smirked. A perfect punishment. "How do we do it?"

Angela reached her hand out. "It will take both of us. Come."

Ranma walked over to her and reached his own hand out.

"All of you," Angela said, looking at the people. "Leave. This is not for mortal eyes."

Surprisingly, they all left without question.

As the last of them exited, Ranma stood there with Angela.

"Now what?" he asked.

"Now, we pray."

"Pray?"

"Pray to ourselves. Pray for the innermost powers of yin and yang to emerge."

Ranma sighed. "And how do I do that?"

Angela smirked. "Easily, Hellspawn. Merge your cloak with my ribbon."

Ranma nodded, and did so. His cloak was as reluctant as Angela's ribbon, but they met, and twisted into one.

Kenoru hovered between them, fully conscious but unable to do anything.

"Now, close your eyes. I shall speak."

Ranma did so.

"Powers of Yin and Yang. Light and Dark. Positive and Negative. Male and Female. Heaven and Hell. Heed our powers and grant this mortals punishment," she said. The glow began to surround both of them. Light on Angela's side and Dark on Ranma's side.

"Beyond the realms of Heaven, Hell and earth lies that of purgatory. Open the door and send this mortal to where we desire."

Each glow began to swirl, meeting in the center, between the two of them where Kenoru stood.

"Open the door," she chanted over and over. Ranma remained silent and lent his power.

A white hot rift formed between them, creating an entrance in mid-air. With a slight push from Angela and Ranma, Kenoru was pushed through.

Moments later, the rift closed, and Ranma's cloak retracted from Angela's ribbon in a flash. Both being fell to the floor.

"That was... different," Ranma said.

"He's bound. He can never return from there. He's gone for good now."

Ranma stood up to face the Angel. "I suppose you'll want to--"

"No, Ranma," Angela replied. "No."

Ranma narrowed his eyes. "You called me--"

"Never have I seen a Hellspawn do something like this. Hellspawns are known widely for being evil, for killing for no reason. Yet you refused to kill him, even after all the evils he's done."

Ranma stood silently.

Angela took her staff and placed it into the ground nearby.

"Return to your home, Ranma. This fight is over. We'll call it a stalemate."

Ranma began to speak, but was promptly interrupted.

"I will seek you out again some day, Ranma. Whether it is for reasons of peace, or war, is up to you."

Ranma looked towards the ground and nodded.

"Goodbye."

Ranma looked up to say his farewells, but as he did, he noticed something.

Angela was gone.

Sighing, and walking amongst the ruin of the old restaurant, he walked to the exit Ryouga had fashioned on his own, and made his way outside.

It was over. Time to go home.


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