Chapter Ten: CasualtiesEdit

"Secrets will be revealed on the day of the coming.
Secrets that shed doubt onto each of the dreamers. The elder
will become cursed. The leader will challenge the gatherer,
and, with the taking of two, the dark will finally find his
first servant." ~Unknown

Ryouga stood in the back yard of the Tendo home. He was fairly certain Ranma wouldn't mind using his training equipment, and the day was too nice to work inside.

That, and Ryouga had no idea where to find the Dojo after eating breakfast.

"You sure you wanna leave after Ranma and Akane get back, Ryouga?" Akari asked, sitting on the porch, letting the brim of her hand dip just so the sun wouldn't harm her soft face.

Ryouga merely threw a punch at the post, and turned back, nodding. He had wanted to leave earlier, but Akari felt it would be too rude to leave before their hosts returned.

That, and Shinnosuke would be bored stiff. As it was, Shinnosuke spent some time examining the koi pond, and what it contained within.

"Look at the size of these fish," he exclaimed, his jaw agape.

"I'm amazed there even ARE fish in there," Ryouga joked. "After all of Ranma's little trips."

Shinnosuke just shook his head. "They're so SMALL!"

Akari took a moment to walk over and pay some attention to the fish.

"Those are pretty big, actually," she mentioned.

"I had no idea they got THIS small outside of the forest," Shinnosuke said, still amazed.

Akari, for once, was confused. Rather than confront Shinnosuke on the subject, she walked back to her spot on the porch and simply watched Ryouga.

Ryouga just smirked and kept punching the post.

A moment later, he paused. He could... feel something.

He spun around to look for the source, suddenly realizing whatever it was, was sensed by Shinnosuke as well. He had raised himself from the pond and was looking around just as seriously.

"Do you... feel that?" Ryouga asked.

Shinnosuke shook his head. "No, I... hear it."

"You've been naughty, Hiroki!" the voices trailed after Happosai.

"You've made my existence hell! It's your fault!"

Happosai could only run. He didn't know what was happening. Not a clue, but he knew he didn't like it.

The voices haunted Happosai's trail so much, that even he didn't notice the tears of fear escaping from his eyes at an alarming rate. The sobs choking forth from his throat were barely noticeable.

Happosai just wanted to get home. Where he would be safe. Where there would be people who could help him.

That's all he wanted. He ran down the street, the voices still trailing him, and leapt up on the outside wall of the Tendo compound.

As he jumped to the ground, he felt an intense weight fall atop him.

"What the HELL are you trying to do, old man?" Ryouga seethed.

"Ryouga! Let go! He's coming! Don't let him get me!"

Ryouga ground his teeth. "Nobody's coming, you old fool!" He reached down to pick him up by the collar. "Now what the HELL are you doing?"

Ryouga was steamed. Since the Nannichuan incident a few days earlier, at the wedding, he had blamed what had happened on the old man. Ryouga brought him up close, careful for any quick movements.

And then he saw them. Tears. Not fake tears, as many of the local population have gotten used to recently, but real, genuine tears.

Happosai was... crying?

The look on his face told him all he needed to know.

"What the hell?" he asked.

Shinnosuke looked down upon the old man. "I don't know you, but I can... hear it."

Happosai looked up at Shinnosuke and choked back some tears. "It's after me. You have to help me!"

Ryouga looked up. "I feel it, but... what is it?"

Shinnosuke placed his hands near Happosai's head. As he shrank back, in fear, Shinnosuke tried his best to calm him.

"Don't worry, elder," he said. "I'm a practitioner of the power of Reiki. I can help."

Happosai shook his head violently. "Healing arts aren't going to protect me from HIM! He's supposed to be DEAD!"

Ryouga narrowed his eyes. "Who's supposed to be dead, old man?"

Happosai shook his head. "It doesn't MATTER! We've got to get inside, before he comes!"

Ryouga was certain he could feel something. He was almost positive.

The despair hit. Ryouga couldn't explain it. The despair just showed up. Not so much that he felt compelled to throw a Shi Shi Hokodan, but he felt something.

He realized what it was. He felt what he thought was Happosai earlier. A form of darkness.

But what took him a moment to notice, is that the darkness didn't come from Happosai himself. It SURROUNDED him.

"Please, Elder. There is nothing to be frightened of. He will not hurt you," Shinnosuke moved closer.

Happosai backed away. "No! You're... you're going to help him! You're going to hurt me!"

Ryouga had enough. He grabbed the old man by the collar again, mindful of where he put his hands, giving the man no form of defence. He buried him into the ground and Shinnosuke placed his hands upon him.

"It's all right, Elder," he said as he tried to sooth him. "It's okay."

Shinnosuke could feel the energy slowing from out of his hands, over the old mans body. He felt his arms twitch as they pushed away whatever dark force surrounded him.

The dark force was persistent, but in the end, Shinnosuke succeeded, and turned Happosai over.

He was in a deep, dark sleep.

"Well," Ryouga said. "That was easy."

Shinnosuke rose into the air and looked at Ryouga. "I fear..." he brought his hands up. His palms were pure white, and Ryouga could see his state of being.

A moment later, Shinnosuke fell over, vomiting.

Kasumi hung up the phone and sighed. She'd have to bring everyone over to Doctor Tofu's.

It had been so long. She felt somewhat nervous at the prospect. She walked over towards the tea room, ready to call out for the others.

"Kasumi! Help us out here!" Akari yelled, frantically.

Kasumi ran out into the yard. Shinnosuke was dropped onto his hands and knees, vomiting, and Master Happosai was unconscious.

Ryouga, on the other hand was trying to help Shinnosuke up, while Akari tended to Happosai.

"Oh my," she said, running to help.

"I... I apologize," Shinnosuke said, trying to keep his posture, even as he lay down on the roll-out futon in the middle of the tea room.

"It's all right," Kasumi said, dabbing his forehead with a moist cloth.

Akari did the same to Happosai as Ryouga leaned against the wall, trying to make sense of the events of the past few minutes.

"What happened?"

"He... had something surrounding him. A curse, I believe. A strong one. I was barely able to break it," Shinnosuke said.

"I know. I felt it," Ryouga said, then looked at Shinnosuke. "I didn't know you could do Reiki."

Shinnosuke nodded. "Years ago. My grandfather was desperate to find any means possible to heal me. I learned the art from a master practitioner who had stayed in the forest for a period of time."

Ryouga sighed. "Must have been most of your life. It takes years to master Reiki like that."

Shinnosuke shook his head. "Actually, he was there for two months. It appears all I needed was a refresher course."

Ryouga almost lost his balance. "You learned THAT in TWO months? A refresher course?"

"Yes. He told me I have a natural talent for it. He even said perhaps I would surpass him."

"You just broke a curse. General Reiki Practitioners can't do that."

Shinnosuke smirked and nodded. "Looks like I've got a REALLY natural talent. But it was still too much for me afterwards. That curse was strong. I wouldn't say quite as strong as Ranma's curse, but I sense no malice in his curse," he coughed. "Or yours."

Ryouga went pale. "I... what?"

"Oh my," Kasumi said. "Ryouga has a curse?"

"I didn't believe it at first last night," Shinnosuke said. "But after I saw it, I began to recognize the lines of magic within him, and saw similar lines within you."

"How can you... SEE the curse?" Ryouga asked.

"Ryouga, is it true?" Kasumi asked.

Akari just stood in confusion. Didn't they know about Ryouga's curse?

"I don't know. It's hard to see, but the signs are there. There's something else, but it's so hard-coded into your blood, there's no way to get rid of it."

Ryouga blinked. "Hard-coded?"

Shinnosuke nodded. "Yes, it's as if it's been in your line for generations. Perhaps going back a LONG way. Thousands of years, even."

Nobody seemed to notice Kasumi's disappearance.

"Well, there's my direction, but only my parents and I have that problem. My grandparents have never--" he began.

"Excuse me, Ryouga?" Kasumi asked, standing behind him.

Ryouga turned just in time to catch Kasumi's gaze. He didn't, however, last long enough to avoid the glass of water she threw on him.

As Ryouga instantaneously turned into P-Chan, Kasumi smiled.

"Oh my," Shinnosuke said.

"Are all of you Musk fast enough to keep up with me?" Kima asked, looking down at the speeding form of Herb below her.

Herb shrugged. "It's killer on my Ki, but I wouldn't be surprised. How long 'till we arrive?"

"We should be there by this evening. Can your Ki hold out that long?"

Herb nodded. "I don't foresee a big problem with it."

Kima smiled. "Good, because Saffron believes we don't have time to waste."

"What about you?"


"Do you believe we have time to waste?"

Kima sighed. "I... I'm not sure. All I know is the prophecy. The winds blow through the halls of the mountain. The Musk and Phoenix join forces. It's... difficult to imagine, but I do as my king asks, and I trust in his judgment."

"I would imagine so," Herb said, smiling. "You would die for your king, wouldn't you?"

Without missing a beat, Kima replied. "Of course."

"Would he ask you to do so?"

That, however, caught Kima off guard. "I... I..."

"You don't know?"

Kima looked towards the ground. "No, I do know. He... Mere days ago, I would have thought yes. I thought that he would order me to my death simply to keep himself amused."

"And yet, you still followed him?" Herb asked, eyes wide open.

"I had no choice. We are the Phoenix tribe. There are none others like us anywhere in the world. If I would not die for my king, I would not have anywhere to go. I would be killed by humans hands, most surely."

Herb sighed. He couldn't discount her claim. He knew exactly what would happen if she set down on Musk lands.

"Now, however. I... I believe he only would if it meant the future. If it meant the world, human and Phoenix. He's... changed a lot, you see."

Herb blinked in confusion. "Sounds like quite a change in such a short time."

"There's good reason for it," Kima said, then looked down at Herb. "He'd gaining his old memories."

"Huh?" Herb said. "What do you mean?"

"What do you know of the Phoenix tribe, Herb of the Musk?" Kima asked.

Herb sighed. "Just what was passed down in legend. There exists a spring atop Mount Phoenix that contains the same magic of Jusenkyo. You were all once men, but after repeated use of the spring, grew wings and talons."

Kima smiled. "I once believed that, as well, Herb."

"So," Herb began. "It's not true, then?"

"Allow me to explain in full detail our origins," Kima said, and then looked down to Herb.

And then she began.

"Ukyou?" Ranma asked, walking towards his friend, hand outstretched. "What... what do you remember?"

Ukyou let the tears run down the side of her face. "I... I just--"


"--I'm not--"

(You won't remember.)

"--sure... It's as if--"

(Kuonji Ohmikami.)

"--I was awake, but not in control. I can't--"

(We shall have a rematch, Goddess.)

"--remember... I--"

(Ukyou Kuonji Ohmikami.)

"--I... Ohmikami?" she said to herself, rubbing her forehead. "Oh, Ranma... What's happening to me?"

Ranma sighed, and looked back towards Cologne. "Something is up, old ghoul. I don't like this."

Cologne shook her head. "Nor do I. There are forces at work here that even I can't imagine, although I do know how we can find out what we need to know..." she looked menacingly towards Feng Bo.

Feng Bo merely sighed. "I'd thank you not to look at me with such malice, Cologne, or have you forgotten what that look had cost you last time?"

"That was long ago, Feng Bo. I was young and inexperienced, and if I recall correctly, I did manage to land a good kick to your nether regions."

Feng Bo flinched. "Cologne, I would... thank you not to bring that up again."

"It would appear that the two elders know each other better than they would let on," Kuno announced, leaning against the wall. Nabiki just nodded in agreement, the blush on her face beginning to die down after being discovered.

"I don't see how it is any business of yours, children," Feng Bo said. "However--"

He paused, and seemed to freeze in time.

"Oh dear," he said.

The first was nearby. He could FEEL it. He could feel her.

Nekkyo. The first of his servants.

Rogi stepped up to the massive grounds of the building before him and looked about. He could feel his power shimmering in the presence of his first servant, but kept it under control.

He was already angry that the old man had managed, somehow, to shake off the curse. No matter, he remembered the last point. After gathering his servant, he would visit the location and take care of the old man and whatever companions he may have.

Rogi examined the grounds and smiled. Many young virgin souls. Hundreds upon hundreds of them. Such a place would feed his... hunger for days to come.

But now was not the time. He had other tasks to complete first.

He stepped towards the gate of the grounds and took in a breath of air.

The sweetness of the air. The innocence. The very THOUGHT of being able to take so much... It sent shivers up Rogi's spine.

And he could have them all. Whenever, and wherever he wished.

The thoughts began to overtake him. Surely he could... feed upon one or two now, and then take the rest after he had completed his task.

Rogi's twisted smile grew as he spotted his victims. Two sweet young things walking not twenty feet away from him. He could take them and be out again in time to gain his first servant.

The evil, twisted smirk remained on his face as he entered the grounds for Saint Hebereke's school for girls.

"What's the matter?" Akari asked. "You act as if you're surprised."

Shinnosuke pointed. "He's a piglet."

Kasumi nodded. "He's P-chan."

Akari looked at the two of them as if they were crazy. "You can't tell me Ryouga never told you about his curse!"

Kasumi shook her head. "Why, no. He never told us anything about it."

Shinnosuke, although weakened, tried to stifle back a laugh. P-Chan just squealed angrily.

Kasumi staggered back as if something hit her. "Oh my! I almost forgot! We've all got to go to doctor Tofu's!"

P-Chan looked up and squealed questioningly. Akari and Shinnosuke, on the other hand, had no idea what she was talking about.

As Kasumi walked off with P-Chan, she left them wondering. A slight yell later, and Ryouga was back in the room, fetching his clothes.

"Tofu, he's this guy who lives down the road," Ryouga said. "Why do we have to go there, Kasumi?"

"Well, I'm afraid everyone else is there. Should we bring Master Happosai? I'm afraid I wouldn't feel right about leaving him here alone."

Ryouga looked over towards the sleeping form of the old man and sighed.

"Oh, hell."

"What's the matter?" Cologne asked. "I sense nothing out of place, Feng Bo."

Feng Bo shook his head. "He draws nearer to his goal. He's almost upon her."

"Who is?" Ranma asked. "Who is almost upon who?"

Feng Bo looked directly at Ranma. "Rogi upon Nekkyo."

Several gasps resounded throughout the room.

Cologne was the first to speak. "So it is true, then, is it?"

Feng Bo sighed. "We will only have little time before it starts. I suggest--"

"I suggest you tell us what the HELL is going on," Ranma clenched his fist. "And somethin' tells me you know a bit more than what you're letting on!"

"Indeed. Both these names hold significance to me, and I'd imagine several others."

Feng Bo nodded. "You would. There are some missing, however."

"Who?" Akane asked. "Who is missing?"

"The shadow warrior, for one," he said. "A few others. The calm one. The other elder. One of the warrior tribe. They are the only other ones of significance."

"Wait... Who?" Ranma asked.

"Midara, Kage and Heisei. They still have not arrived."

Ranma clenched his fist again. "Look, you. I don't care WHO's supposed to be here right now, but you'd better start explaining, before--"

"Don't threaten me, boy. I can do more to you in seconds than you could ever hope to do to me."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that," Ranma replied, the sneer deep on his face. "What's going on? Tell us!"

"Shampoo want to know too. How you know about dreams?"

"Are you having them too?" Akane asked.

"No," Nabiki said. "He knows too much just to be having the dreams with us."

Akane blinked. "Nabiki?"

Nabiki smiled and shrugged. "Trust me, it's as much of a surprise to me as well as you. The name is Senkyo, nice to meet you."

Tatewaki almost lost his balance.

"All here are involved in this. There are yet more. Some closer, some farther, but in the end, all will come together."

"Master," Tofu began. "I... I'm not having any dreams. I'm not sure that--"

"You too have your purpose, Tofu. It will come soon enough."

Tofu remained silent.

"Look, ya old freak," Ranma said, glaring at Feng Bo. "You're stalling. I suggest you tell us right NOW what's happening, before we get REALLY impatient."

Feng Bo sighed. "Very well, then. Listen to me, and listen well, because I'll only explain this once."

Feng Bo sat down, and began to explain.

o/~I've become impossible o/~

Ariko was frightened.

o/~Holding on to when o/~

Ariko was extremely frightened. She'd heard stories of things like this happening. Two girls, walking down a lonely street at night, and then a gang of men would take them into a dark building, and have their way. It had been one of her worst fears.

o/~When everything seemed to matter more o/~

But there was something wrong with what was happening to her and her friend right now.

o/~The two of us o/~

First thing was that it was the middle of the day.

o/~All used and beaten up o/~

Second thing was that she was on her own school grounds.

o/~Watching fate as it flows down the path we have chose o/~

Third thing... The building their assailant was using was none other than her own school.

Now, Ariko was VERY frightened.

o/~You and me o/~

She was blinded and tied up. Her clothes were torn and tattered, and she could hear the pathetic grunts of helplessness her friend tried to utter. She wanted to cry out. To warn anyone and everyone of what was happening. Of what was GOING to happen.

o/~We're in this together now o/~

Ariko cursed herself. Now of all times, she had to have her Walkman on. She could hear it, still running, still blaring music from the ground several feet away.

o/~None of them can stop us now o/~

Ariko was cold. She couldn't explain why, it was extremely hot out, but she was cold. And the presence she felt was almost numb.

o/~We will make it through somehow o/~

She heard her friend cry helplessly. It made Ariko want to cry. She had to. If she was going to--

Wait. She could HEAR something. Something else. Not her Walkman. Not the... atrocity that was occurring not five feet away from her. Something... someone else.

o/~You and me o/~

"Step out from the shadows," the man called out. "Or share their fate."

o/~If the world should break in two o/~

Ariko's heart jumped. It meant someone else was there. Someone who could help. Someone who could at least SEND for help. She wanted to yell out. To tell her to run away.

o/~Until the very end of me o/~

But she couldn't utter a word.

o/~Until the very end of you o/~

"I was merely curious. I heard the music from outside and thought one of my... classmates had come into a place they have been forbidden to enter."

o/~Awake to the sound o/~

It was Kodachi. Her pompous way of speech was unmistakable. Ariko felt her heart lift. Surely she would help. She had to. And Kodachi was the best fighter in the school. This guy would pay.

"I believe I've been looking for you," the man said. Ariko could tell the amusement in his voice.

o/~As they peel apart the skin o/~

"Is that so?"

Ariko frowned. Kodachi sounded almost... seductive.

A moment later, she heard her friend scream under her gag.

o/~They pick and they pull o/~

The fleshy sounds continued, and she heard Kodachi gasp. Her friends screams become muffled. The man had put his hand over her mouth.

"Silence," he said.

o/~Trying to get their fingers in o/~

The pulling continued, and she heard Kodachi gagged. She had to know. She needed to know what was happening. Why wasn't Kodachi helping?

o/~Well they've got to kill what we've found o/~

"Allow me to take care of this one, servant. You have found me. I suppose I could let you have the other."

Ariko gasped. Was Kodachi actually working WITH this person?

o/~Well they've got to hate what they fear o/~

Ariko's heart pounded. What were they doing. She had to know.

"Ripping her apart would not please me as it does you. However, mere simple pleasures may..." she trailed on.

o/~Well they've got to make it go away o/~

"Very well, Nekkyo. Whatever would please you. We've got work to do and we should continue with it as soon as we finish here. Feel fortunate that I allow you that one."

Nekkyo? Ariko's heart was pounding outrageously. The fleshy sounds. Is that what they were?

She could hear her friends screams fading bit by bit. Was she... being ripped apart?

o/~Well they've got to make it disappear o/~

Screw fear. Screw everything. If that's what was happening, then she had to scream. To let SOMEONE know.

Ariko started screaming, then abruptly stopped.

It wasn't voluntary. Something was tied around her neck, choking her. Preventing her from screaming.

o/~The farther I fall I'm beside you o/~

Ariko fell to the ground, struggling. How could this be happening? Kodachi, a classmate.

"Silence girl, I don't wish to kill you, but I will if I have to."

o/~As lost as I get I will find you o/~

"You've lost your touch, Nekkyo. You don't wish to kill her?" the man asked.

"I know you not, but I go along with what you say. Why is that?"

o/~The deeper the wound I'm inside you o/~

"It's in your blood, Nekkyo."

"The girl from my dreams. You know of her."

o/~Forever and ever I am a part of-- o/~

"I suppose you wouldn't recognize me from the dreams, would you?"

Ariko tried to choke up a sob. Anything to let the world know she was alive. Anything to--

The blindfold was pulled off of her by the man.

Ariko stopped struggling as she let her eyes adjust to the light.

o/~--You and me o/~

Her friend.

o/~We're in this together now o/~

She was in pieces. Literally. The fleshy pulling sounds. The occasional pop. Her friend. Her best friend for life was in pieces across the ground in front of her.

The man smirked at her.

"Perhaps this will jar your memory."

o/~None of them can stop us now o/~

And he changed. The man CHANGED. His hands, if they were hands, grew into sharp, elongated claws.

o/~We will make it through somehow o/~

His head grew into his body. Two rows of razor sharp teeth were fully visible, and dangerous, reptilian eyes grew in his head. Barbs grew through his skin as it changed to a deep red.

o/~You and me o/~

And Ariko was certain she wasn't dreaming. The ribbon loosened around her neck as Kodachi stared with wide eyes.

o/~If the world should break in two o/~

"Master," she said, and then knelt in front of him. "So it's true then, the dreams?"

o/~Until the very end of me o/~

"Yes," the monster replied. It's voice had become darker, more rough.

o/~Until the very end of you o/~

It wasn't happening. It couldn't have been. Monsters didn't exist, did they?

o/~All that we were is gone we have to hold on o/~

"Do you wish your way with this one, Nekkyo?" it asked.

o/~All that we were is gone we have to hold on o/~

Kodachi looked up at the monster, with a tear in her eye. "I... My existence now is as Kodachi Kuno, Master. As for her..." She looked down towards Ariko.

o/~When all our hope is gone we have to hold on o/~

"You may have her," she said.

o/~All that we were is gone but we can hold on o/~

The monster smiled deeper and moved towards Ariko.

o/~You and me o/~

Kodachi couldn't have.

o/~We're in this together now o/~

The monster moved closer.

o/~None of them can stop us now o/~

She wouldn't. It was impossible. How could ANYTHING serve such a monster.

o/~We will make it through somehow o/~

The monster grabbed one of Ariko's legs and moved it with little trouble. Ariko tried to gain control over her own legs, but the strength of the monster was too much.

o/~You and me o/~

He positioned himself between her legs and let his smile grow more.

o/~Even after everything o/~

Ariko squirmed as the monster extended his tongue from its mouth, using it to lick her stomach and pull her dress up.

o/~You're the queen and I'm the king o/~

Her underwear was ripped off with minimal force, and the monster leered towards her.

"Don't worry, pretty," it said. "This will hurt only for one moment. One moment of searing, inexplicable pain."

The monster pushed itself upon her.

o/~Nothing else means anything o/~

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.