Chapter Five: The Dreamers MeetEdit
"The book of five millennia will be found, and the
dreamers shall gather. The demon will approach and
the servant shall be protected. The searcher will
begin his journey, and soon will be the last
sunrise." ~ Unknown
The night had long since invaded Tatewaki Kuno's bedchambers, but he had not slept. Whether it was the events concerning his sister earlier in the evening, or his discovery in the book not long afterwards. But, either way, he was awake.
The effects of the sleepless night had begun to seep into Tatewaki's eyes. In a futile attempt of wiping the effects out, he found himself becoming even more tired.
The book he was reading did not have a discernable title, but Tatewaki had found something far, far more interesting.
The book was an historical account of a battle of gods. A battle in which mortal and immortal alike fought against an evil so great, it could only be described as a demon.
The book would not specify his origin, or if it did, Tatewaki could not translate. But either way, the creature of which the book spoke of was no ordinary source of evil.
It was, in fact, far greater.
Tatewaki tried to rub more sleep out of his eyes as he continued to translate the best he could through his dictionary. There were words he could not make out, but for the most part, he could understand.
He had already translated several sections of the pages when he came across the illustration; a black and white drawing of a battle.
Then, unfortunately, Tatewaki could only stare.
Although the illustration was badly tattered, as would be expected from such an ancient text, there were some figures that were easily discernable.
A dragon in the skies, followed by scores of winged people. A maiden of light hand-in-hand with a man that floated on the air. A figure of pure black, backed by another figure, though just as black, it seemed to be far more menacing.
Tatewaki frowned. He knew the scene all too well. There were subtle differences, of course. The second figure of black had been conspicuously absent from his dreams, as had the dragon.
But the winged people struck his memory. He could also recall the maiden of light, and the man who floated on the air. The figure of black, he could remember as well; and the illustrations of the mortal warriors.
The picture also had another difference. The valley, which he could remember so clearly from his dreams, was not as it had been during the battle. But instead, the valley after the battle of his dreams; when the man who floated on the air took him to the winged ones. The valley of pools.
Was he looking at the past? A record of a battle long since fought--or was he staring into a window of the future?
Sighing, and finally giving into his sleep, he laid back in his bed. Reminding himself to continue his research after his next day of school, he began to drift off to sleep.
He stared down the road.
"What delightful advancements," he muttered aloud.
In truth, he had not expected humankind to advance that much over five thousand years. But then again, he didn't expect a six hundred pound pig to jump at him as he was about to feed.
Either way, he felt fed. He would be ready to resume his travel. He could feel that they weren't far. He had made contact with one of his servants as he was released to the world yet again, and the other certainly wouldn't be far.
And then there was the wise one, and the other. The wise one would be easily taken care of. He suspected much the same for the other, but it wouldn't matter. They were a minor threat. He knew his true plan, and would go forth to complete it as soon as he found his servants.
He smiled. The Goddess must have still been alive. If not, he could find another. Another that could allow him to reach his goal. The Darker must be allowed into this world. Five thousand years of wait could not have been for naught.
Sensing his servant's closeness, he decided to walk the rest of the way. He had all the time in the world.
The night passed quickly. The dreamers had dreamt, Feng Bo could feel it with every fiber of his being. Each of them had dreamt, and that would be the beginning.
Feng Bo rarely slept. He knew he would need it, but on the eve of such a big event, it was next to impossible. He smiled as he looked over to his student, who was snoring peacefully.
The room was blanketed in a thin layer of dust, which were worn away from the places most used by Tofu. Feng Bo could see various prints on the windows, as though it hadn't been cleaned in a long time.
He smiled. Tofu must work hard in the clinic. He has had no time to attend to his personal quarters. Perhaps it was time for Tofu to search for a bride.
He quickly hardened. There would be no time for that; perhaps afterwards.
He got up from his bed, his old bones cracking as he moved, and walked down the narrow flight of stairs that led into the clinic.
He could see the dawn's light was already beginning to shine through the many windows of the lower floor in the clinic. Feng Bo walked to the window and began to bathe himself in the light.
Soon, the sun would rise above the horizon, and Feng Bo wanted to see it.
He sat in one of the seats in the waiting room, doing just that. Waiting.
As he waited patiently, he allowed his mind to wander on the events that had brought him to where he was now. Feng Bo had met Tofu twenty-three years earlier. He had known Tofu's parents for quite some time before that, but during Tofu's twenty-four years of life, Feng Bo had served as his second father. Especially after Tofu's father had died.
Fortunately, Feng Bo had been there for him. On Tofu's eighth birthday, he had given him all he could. He became Tofu's sensei.
From that time on, Tofu learned the art. Eventually, as Tofu became better, Feng Bo had modified his training to include the healing arts, something Feng Bo had learned during his youth.
Since the Ono family had moved to China, Feng Bo had become the family friend. When Tofu's father died, he helped to run the clinic until Tofu's eighteenth birthday. That was when Tofu had decided he should open a clinic of his own; in Japan.
That was the last time Feng Bo had seen him.
Through letters and various other forms of communication, he learned of his arrival in Nerima. Fate works in mysterious ways.
Feng Bo rose from his seat to once again peer out the window. He had no doubt in his mind that the sunrise he was now watching, was the last he would be able to enjoy for a long, long time.
"What do you wish of me, Jiao?" The voice, his voice, emanated from the deep brush. The figure below him jumped in surprise.
"Kage, must you always do that?"
He lowered himself down from the tree branch. "I do as I see fit, Jiao. We have long since been enemies. Why have you summoned me?"
Jiao sighed. "Kage, I... I ask a favour of you."
He scoffed. "How can you even dare to ask a favour of me, Jiao?"
Jiao knelt down before Kage. "I know not what I've done to you, Kage. But for whatever it may have been, I apologize."
Kage narrowed his eyes. "This is not like you, Jiao. You are far too headstrong for apologies."
Jiao closed his eyes. "That should give you an idea of how serious this is."
Kage stood silent for a few moments. "Speak, Jiao."
Kage's eyes widened in surprise. "The demon? You face the demon?"
Jiao shook his head. "He's no mere demon, Kage. He's much, much more."
"You must be affected in the head, Jiao. No mortal can even hope to face him. Even Midara has said that."
"We have a goddess."
Kage narrowed his eyes. "What?"
"Amaterasu Ohmikami has joined our cause."
Kage shrugged. "I hold no allegiance to her."
"I do not expect you to help with only my words, Kage," he sighed, "but where is Hachiman no Kami during this time?"
Kage stood in silence. "I... I have not heard from Hachiman no Kami for years now."
"I do not believe he simply abandoned us, Kage. But either way, we must fight against Rogi, before he leaves the isles."
Kage looked at him. "And if he does?"
"Midara knows of a warrior tribe to the west. It is their duty to protect a place of great importance. If Rogi leaves, that will be his destination."
"Will this warrior tribe help us?"
Jiao nodded. "Undoubtedly."
Kage sighed. "Very well, you can rely on the help of me and my men."
"Thank you, Kage."
Kage looked into Jiao's eyes. "But this does not mean I accept your apology, Jiao. We are allies against Rogi, but none else."
"I expected no less."
Somehow, Kage's vision began to fade and swirl.
"After Rogi, we are once again enemies."
"Rivals, Kage," he smiled. "Konatsu."
Kage perked up. "What?"
"Wake up, Konatsu," he said, an entirely female voice.
Suddenly, his vision furthered itself into darkness, and then a bright light shone above him.
Konatsu sat up slowly. "Miss Ukyou?" He blinked.
"About time, 'Natsu," Ukyou said. "It's almost time for me to head to school. I'm amazed I woke up in time."
Konatsu blinked again. "I'm sorry, Miss Ukyou. I must have overslept. I'll have the restaurant spotless for when you return."
Ukyou shook her head. "Don't worry about it, I'm thinking of keeping the restaurant closed until I get back anyway." She smiled. "Why don't you go out and do something? I'll meet you at the gates after school, then we can go shopping."
Konatsu smiled. "Yes, Miss Ukyou. I'll do that."
Ukyou shook her head. "Can we cut out that 'Miss Ukyou' stuff?"
She smiled. "That's better. I'd better head to school. Meet you later!" She ran out of the room at high speed, and was soon out the door.
Konatsu was left with his thoughts, and his freedom for the day.
Kasumi could only watch in amusement. The scene that had unfolded itself before her had nearly caused her to break out in a fit of laughter.
Laying on the Dojo floor, each oblivious to the other, five people slept soundly. Whether Ranma and Akane knew the position they were sleeping in didn't matter. It was far too humorous.
Ryouga and Akari had fallen asleep in a rather modest position. Only their hands had been touching, even though they slept on the same bedroll.
Shinnosuke had fallen asleep without a bedroll. He laid back against the wall near the door and snored lightly.
The sleeping forms of Ranma and Akane, cuddled together as though they were two lovers, however, was what Kasumi was laughing at. Apparently, it was also what Nabiki, who had appeared next to her had snapped a picture of.
"Will ya look at those two," Nabiki smirked. "I figured it would be a good week."
Kasumi smiled. "They do make a cute couple. I don't think that's what they were thinking about when they fell asleep though, Nabiki. It just wouldn't be proper."
"I think each of them know how they fell asleep," a third voice said, "but none want the other to know."
Kasumi, startled, looked over to Shinnosuke, who was perfectly still, with his eyes still closed.
"Who's he?" Nabiki asked.
Shinnosuke shot his eyes open. "I do not believe we've met. My name is Shinnosuke."
Nabiki gave him a look of appraisal. "Nabiki Tendo."
Shinnosuke smirked. "Then you are the third sister."
"Catches on quick, doesn't he?" Nabiki quipped.
Kasumi smiled. "I'd better go and fix breakfast. Nabiki, would you wake them up? It's nearly time for school."
"Sure thing," she said as she stepped into the Dojo. "How late were they up, anyway?" She asked Shinnosuke.
"Quite late. I'm not sure of the time, but it wasn't too long before the dawn arose."
"When did Akari get here?"
"Around two, I believe. We then moved into the Dojo, and spoke in here."
"I see that," she sighed. "Well, I'd better wake them up."
"Must they be awakened?" Shinnosuke asked. "They seem very peaceful at the moment."
Nabiki smiled. "Well, they've got to get to school. I don't think another absence will look good for them. Especially after China."
"What is of so much importance in attending school?" Shinnosuke asked. "I was taught by my grandfather, and if I missed a day of lectures every now and then, it did no harm."
Nabiki smiled. "Well, the teachers in Ryugenzawa may be lax, but around here, they're strict. Especially Miss Hinako."
Shinnosuke blinked. "You know where I'm from?"
Nabiki laughed. "Trust me, I heard all about you from these two." She gestured towards Ranma and Akane.
"They seem to speak a lot of me," he said.
Nabiki could only nod. "Well, we only got sick of the Orochi moss story after the eighth time we heard it... Which did a lot better than Ranma's Herb story."
"Herb story? Did he have some trouble with vegetation?"
A short chuckle came from another sleeping form. Ryouga sat up and yawned. "That's not exactly what she's talking about."
"Yeah, remind me to tell you about it some time," Ranma said, eyes still closed.
Akari only mumbled something, and Akane was still fast asleep.
Ranma opened his eyes slowly and looked down at Akane, who was cuddled up against his chest. He made the most of his agility and moved away from her, trying his best not to wake her.
Unfortunately, he failed. Akane groggily opened her eyes, looked around at everyone, and then noticed her position. She shot up like a bullet and blushed deeply.
Ranma too blushed, but not as deep. "You guys talk too loud," he said, trying to change the subject.
Nabiki smirked. "You two had better get ready for school."
"Will there be any more this morning, Master Kuno?" the servant asked.
Tatewaki shook his head. He wasn't even sure he would be able to eat the breakfast he already had in time for school. "That will be all," he answered.
The servants bowed and left the room, conceivably to prepare breakfast for his sister.
Tatewaki looked up for a moment. His sister had not yet arrived at the breakfast table, which was strange. She was usually the first person there. But it didn't matter, Tatewaki preferred not to be in her company at that time.
He stood up and picked his book bag from the table, and began to walk towards the front door.
As he walked, he was brutally interrupted by a scream. A feral scream, coming from Kodachi's bedroom.
He dropped his book bag and ran towards his sisters bedroom.
She had thought she was dead. She had thought the Chinese bitch had actually managed to run her through from behind.
But, as Kodachi soon discovered, it was merely a dream. Nevertheless, she shot up, screaming. It wasn't long before the scream was answered. Tatewaki ran into the room, brandishing not his bokken, but one of the family katana's that had been placed upon a mount in the hallway.
"What is it?" he asked frantically.
Kodachi shook her head. "It was merely a dream, brother. Rather interesting, really."
Tatewaki let his guard drop. "Nothing more than that, sister?"
She shook her head. "No."
"Then I will be on my way--"
"Wait!" Kodachi reached out for him. "What kind of brother are you, to leave his sister in such a state?"
Tatewaki turned around. "Such is the state you are always in, sister."
Kodachi narrowed her eyes. "You would still leave me?"
"I must prepare for school, sister."
She smirked. "Brother, I do not think they would mind you a little late." She patted the spot on her bed next to her. "Come."
Tatewaki clenched his eyes shut. "I will not," he replied.
Kodachi scowled. "You would abandon your dear old sister? You are no better than--"
She never got another word in. Tatewaki wore a face of utter rage. "Speak not his name, sister! I have nothing to do with that... monster!"
"Then you will stay?" She eyed him hopefully.
Tatewaki sighed. "I will not." He walked out of the room. "School beckons, sister. I will not see you afterwards."
Kodachi narrowed her eyes. It was not an statement, but a warning. She clenched her fists in anger, and then unclenched them calmly. She stood up, letting the blankets which were draped over her slip off and expose her nakedness.
"Very well, brother," she smiled. Then, she began to laugh.
"Wake up, boy." Cologne knocked the sleeping form with her staff. He only mumbled a reply and turned over.
"Shampoo help?" Shampoo asked, hopefully.
"No, child. I will take care of this," she replied, while lowering herself from her staff. She then poked Mousse in the neck.
Mousse was up in a flash--he opened his eyes and jumped to his feet, ready to attack whatever was around. when he saw nobody but Cologne and Shampoo, he calmed.
"What happened?" he asked, still excited about something he couldn't place.
"You were having trouble waking up," Cologne replied. "I hit an adrenaline point."
Mousse waited another moment to calm down. He then remembered what he had to do that morning.
"Who should I talk to first?"
"Speak with son-in-law first," she began. Mousse flinched at the use of the term 'son-in-law'. "But speak with the other girls as well."
"Why ask Ranma?" Shampoo asked. "Ranma no girl. He man."
"Yes, but he is a girl half the time, and could have dreamt himself as a girl."
Mousse sighed. Saotome wasn't really the person he most wanted to see at the time, especially after the nannichuan incident. But he had to go nonetheless.
"They should be at school around now," she said, "head to Furinkan, if none of the girls there are who we're looking for, talk to the Kuno girl."
"What do I do when I find the one?"
Cologne knocked her staff over his head. "Bring her here, fool!"
Mousse rubbed the newly formed bump on his head. He then nodded to both Cologne and Shampoo, and then walked to the front door of the restaurant.
Hikaru Gosunkugi was dead tired. He had been awake the whole night; even after his father had left, he continued to study the books.
He had gone from several books of magic to books of martial arts mystics, and still had not come up with an answer. It could be said that Hikaru Gosunkugi was confused.
So confused, and tired, in fact, that he didn't notice who he walked into.
He looked up. "Uhh... Upperclassman Kuno..." he stammered. "I... uhh... I'm sorry, I didn't see you."
Kuno looked down on Hikaru thoughtfully. He waved his hand. "Worry yourself not with it, Hikaru Gosunkugi. I am not in a vengeful mood this morning."
Hikaru blinked. He remembered his name?
The schoolyard was already full of students, some of them hurrying to class, others loitering around speaking, and a few, four in particular walking towards Hikaru.
Hikaru swallowed hard. It was the four bullies. Ignoring Kuno, who leaned against the tree nearby, they walked up to him.
"So, if it isn't magic trick Gosunkugi," one taunted. "That was a nice trick yesterday. Almost had us believing you could poof us away with magic."
Gosunkugi swallowed again. "What do you want?"
"It ain't money we're after this time," another said, smiling, "but it would be a nice bonus after we beat your hide."
"You will do no such thing in my presence," the figure by the tree warned.
One of the bullies looked towards him. "Kuno?"
Tatewaki scowled. "You will address me as Upperclassman Kuno."
The bully laughed. "I'll address you however the hell I like!"
"Hey, what the hell are you doing?" another bully asked. "That's KUNO!"
"I know. Hey, that Saotome guy beats him to a pulp every day. If he can do it alone, the four of us can take him down easily!"
"I would not rely on that source of information, cretin," Kuno said, stepping towards the group. "But if you wish to try my patience, prepare thyselves."
"You think all this poetry makes you seem so big and tough?" the bully laughed, "All it does is make you seem more like an idiot!"
Kuno smirked and brought his bokken to a ready position. "Idiocy is in the eye of the beholder."
The fight began.
Unfortunately for the bullies, they had not realized Kuno would be so skilled. They had seen him fight Saotome on many occasions; which made it seem so easy.
Truthfully, they found themselves amazingly outnumbered.
The first was struck by the bokken and knocked halfway across the schoolyard, only to land between two conversing girls who had turned their attention to the fight.
The second was slammed against the tree, which caused the wind to be knocked out of him. He slumped to the ground.
The third wasn't even struck by the bokken, but instead hit in the side of the head. The last thing he heard before falling unconscious was someone crying, "I hate bullies!"
The fourth only stood, stared, and then ran for his life.
Gosunkugi looked on in disbelief. It had been enough that Kuno had come to his rescue, but someone else had jumped over the wall and knocked another out.
"Saotome?" he asked.
Kuno was surprised as well, but managed to ready his bokken. "Saotome," he began, "what purpose does it serve you to intrude upon my battle?"
Ranma shook his head. "None, Kuno. I just hate bullies. They prey too much on the weak."
Gosunkugi flinched a little at the use of the word 'weak', but remained thankful nonetheless. He stood up.
He bowed over and thanked them. Kuno received it with a smile, and Ranma crossed his arms.
"I would suggest, Hikaru, that from this point onward, you avoid those four at all costs. I may not be around to help you the next time," Kuno warned.
"Yeah, same goes for me," Saotome said. "You should learn to take care of yourself, Gosunkugi."
Hikaru nodded, and then walked off to class.
It wasn't long before his mind registered what the two fighters had said. Gosunkugi narrowed his eyes and clenched his fist. An odd tingling sensation soon passed over him.
"So, Kuno. I see you've downgraded to a bokken," Ranma said, motioning towards the weapon in Kuno's hands.
"I brought that katana for the sole purpose of averting a disaster," he replied.
"More like causing one," Ranma scowled, "you and your loony sister were just two of the things that went wrong the other day."
"Better that, than having a sorcerer such as yourself married to Akane Tendo," he said. "Have you no shame? Imprisoning the pig-tailed girl, and robbing the heart of Akane Tendo?"
Ranma growled. "Look, Kuno. I don't know what kind of twisted fantasies you have, but leave them both out of it. Akane and the 'pig-tailed girl' are in no such way or form, in love with you!"
"You speak in tongues, Saotome."
"Look, Kuno. This has gone on for long enough. You want to know who your 'pig-tailed girl' really is?"
"I would pay for that honour, Saotome." Kuno turned to look him in the eye.
Ranma sighed. "I've explained this before, but you don't listen."
"I have never heard of you speak of the origin of the pig-tailed girl."
"You are LOOKING at the pig-tailed girl, Kuno." Ranma said.
Kuno blinked. "Where?"
"The pig-tailed girl is me. I am the pig-tailed girl."
"Saotome, I now believe you are more misguided than my sister."
"Kuno, listen to me. About a year ago, in China, my dad took me to these training grounds. A training ground with cursed springs."
Kuno blinked. "Go on."
"Whoever falls into one of these springs is then cursed to take the FORM, but not mind, of the last person to drown there."
Kuno narrowed his eyes.
"Whenever I'm splashed by cold water, I turn into the pig-tailed girl!"
Kuno's eyes widened. "Another lie!" He growled. "Saotome, you foul sorcerer, why do you find it so difficult to speak the truth?!"
Ranma threw his arms into the air. "I don't know why I even bother.
"Hold, Saotome! I have had enough of your trickery," he shouted. "I will challenge you here and now for the rights to Akane Tendo and the pig-tailed girl!"
Ranma sneered. "Dammit, Kuno! Are you that dense? I told you there ain't no pig-tailed girl! There's just me! Jusenkyo did this to me!"
"Lies!" Kuno exclaimed. He didn't know why, but there was something familiar-- Wait. Something twinged in his memory.
"Fine, you wanna fight, then?" Ranma took a defensive stance. "We'll fight."
"Ju... Senkyo?" Kuno shook his head. "What do you know of that, Saotome?" he said, not dropping his stance.
Ranma blinked. He wasn't fighting?
"Answer me, Saotome, or I shall smite you where you stand."
"Whaddaya mean, what do I know of Jusenkyo?"
"It means what I say, Saotome. Tell me all you know of the place."
"I just told you! Cursed springs!"
Kuno widened his eyes. He dropped to his knees.
Ranma could only blink. "Kuno?"
"'I honour the memory of my friend, Amaterasu. I hereby bless this valley in her name. Each of those dead here shall become a spring. Each spring shall be blessed. Those who drown in each spring shall be remembered. Those who fall in springs in which a life has been taken shall take the form of those who died. So says I, Fei Liang. God of the Winds,'" he said, looking towards Ranma.
"Amaterasu? Fei Liang?" Ranma asked.
Kuno kept his eyes closed. "Jiao--Senkyo."
Ranma blinked. "What?"
"The name of the blessed springs were derived from two people of my dreams. Jiao, a mighty warrior, and--"
"--Senkyo, a beautiful strategist," Ranma continued.
Kuno opened his eyes. He stood. "How do you know of such a thing, Saotome?"
Ranma kept his eyes wide and shook his head. "Kuno, I've got no idea. But I've been having weird dreams lately."
"How do the dreams of a sorcerer pertain to mine?" He shrugged. "There is no comparison."
Ranma clenched his fist. "Dammit, Kuno! Listen to me! I'm Jiao!"
Kuno narrowed his eyes. "What?"
"In my dreams, a battle in a valley. It's not Jusenkyo, there are no springs--but I'm a person named Jiao!"
Kuno shook his head. "How could you be Jiao? Jiao was completely the opposite of yourself!"
Ranma narrowed his eyes. He was about to speak when the first bell rang, announcing that students had a limited amount of time to get to class.
"We shall continue this afterwards, Saotome." Kuno looked at him.
Ranma nodded. "Fine with me."
"Be prepared to discuss Jusenkyo."
Ranma blinked. He would have said something more, but Kuno had already run off to get changed for class. His kendo uniform was hardly the proper school attire.
"Hey, Ukyou," Akane greeted. "Feeling better today?"
Ukyou nodded. "Yeah, Akane. Thanks," she replied.
"Well, you look a lot better than yesterday."
Ukyou sat in silence in her desk for a few moments before looking around. "Where's Ranma?"
"I don't know. He told me to go on ahead and meet him in class. I think he saw some people picking on someone and went to help or something."
Ukyou nodded. "He does that a lot, doesn't he?"
Akane shrugged. "I guess whenever he see's that kind of thing happening."
They were interrupted by Ranma entering the room and sitting at his desk. Right between Akane and Ukyou.
"So, where were you?" Ukyou asked.
Ranma looked at her for a second, seemed to stammer at first, then came out with a coherent sentence. "Hikaru was in trouble, I went to help."
"Hikaru Gosunkugi? You helped him?"
"Yeah, it ain't like I like the guy or nothing, but I just don't like to see that happen..." he paused. "But there was something else."
"Kuno. He knows about Jusenkyo."
Akane blinked. "What?!"
"He didn't know that I fell in it, but I got fed up with his 'pig-tailed girl' crap, that I told him."
"And he believed you?"
"Come on, this IS Kuno. But after I told him the name, he dropped to his knees and recited something. I think it was from a poem or something, but it sounded kinda like a description of Jusenkyo," he said. "Well, as long as you take away the blessed springs stuff. There's nothing blessed about Jusenkyo."
"How did he know about it?"
"He says he dreamt it."
Ukyou and Akane both blinked. "Dreamt it?"
"Ranma Saotome?" Miss Hinako called out.
Ranma looked up for a moment. "Yes?"
"You want to do something about your friend?"
Ranma narrowed his eyes in confusion. "What?"
Hinako Ninomiya pointed towards the window. As the entire class looked over, three distinct thumps were heard. Ukyou, Akane and Ranma fell out of their seats.
Hugged against the outside of the window, on the third floor of Furinkan High School, a Chinese amazon male was staring in.
"Mousse?!" Ranma called.
"You're lucky you didn't get drained for that, you know. A fall from that height could have hurt you," Ranma warned.
Mousse shrugged. "As it is, you guys only got to stand in the hall, right? Not such a big deal."
Akane frowned. "Not such a big deal to you, maybe."
"Yeah, well... I never had to go to school in Japan."
"Thank God," Ukyou muttered under her breath. "What are you doing here, anyway?"
"Well, Cologne sent me, actually."
"What does she want now?"
"Well, she had a dream yesterday that bothered her. I think it's crap, really, but I've never seen her this worried."
"Yeah. She wanted me to come here and see if any of you three had a dream about a demon, or some weird creature yesterday."
Ukyou coughed. "What?"
Mousse looked over at her. "You had a dream about a demon?"
Ukyou blinked. "Yeah, well... not really, but when I passed out yesterday, I do remember having a dream about something... demon-like."
Mousse clapped. "Good!"
"Good? What's good about it? It was a nightmare!"
"Exactly! Now I don't have to go find Kodachi!"
"Whoa, what's all this crap about dreams now?" Ranma asked. "First Kuno and me, now you guys?"
Mousse blinked. "What?"
Ranma shook his head. "Kuno knows about Jusenkyo."
"About time he figured it out."
"No, he dreamt about Jusenkyo."
Mousse blinked. "Dreamt?"
"Yeah, it's weird."
Akane chose that moment to speak up. "I've been having weird dreams lately, too. Not of Jusenkyo, but it's weird nonetheless."
Ranma looked over to her. "Not you too?"
Mousse sighed. "I think this may be a tad bigger than I thought."
"Akane?" Ukyou asked.
"The dream... was it of a fight?"
"Yeah, kinda. I died in it, I was a woman named--"
"Aiko?" Ranma finished.
Akane's heart jumped. "How did you know?"
Ranma looked towards Mousse. "I think the old ghoul has a lot of explaining to do."
Mousse narrowed his eyes. "You said Aiko, right?"
"Then... I've been dreaming too."
"What?" Ukyou asked.
"I've been dreaming too. I was a man named Taka," he replied.
Ranma shook his head. "This is nuts. Do you get what we're saying, here? We're dreaming the same things!"
"I think we'd better get Kuno. He's a part of this too," Akane mentioned. "And then we see Cologne."