Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 9 Learning Curve ( Chapter 9 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
quick note I forgot at the end of the last chapter

mundus magicus - magical world. world that exists in an alternate dimension to the mundane world. The current story arc of Negima is taking place in this world.

As for the power-ups received by the amazons. If you know the series I received inspiration from you would know the power has a price. Not saying it is life threatening though.

I was surprised no one picked up on the series, but I realize it is fairly below most peoples radar. I only ran across it by chance myself. Shameless plugging to come, but the series is one of the only magical girl series I watched out of more than curiosity and found myself enjoying

series name: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha

Mahou Shojo specs:
Lead character with bubbly personality.....check(begins life as near carbon copy of Card Captor's Sakura)
cute talking animal mascot...check (shape-shifting dimension hoping researcher and mage)
pedobait age girls worrying about relationships.....no where in sight
original story-line and good character development.....YES!!!!

The age and relationship thing is my only complaint I have with card captors. Sakura is only a ten year old kid. that's way to young for concerns like that. Life will catch up quick enough, why push.

Geneon has had the english rights to half the series for more than a year and it is currently on hold. There are excellent fansubs out there though. I recommend these until they stop sitting on this one.

anyway on with the story your here to see :)

single quotes ' ' designate thoughts

Chapter 9 - learning curve

The Nekohanten crew packed up some necessities and scheduled movers for the next week. They returned to their new facility the morning after meeting Noriko there. The teenagers were anxious to test out their new toys. Ku Lon decided it was not worth trying to stop them and simply erected a barrier in the warehouse to prevent them being detected (and minimize property damage). Mu Se spent a lot of his time as a falcon testing out his new wings, and enjoying the clear vision. Xian Pu was gleefully bouncing from support pillar to wall to support pillar to another support pillar.....testing out aerial acrobatics and attacks she had watched Ranma do but could previously never manage the hang-time for herself.

Ku Lon other than maintaining the barrier spends her time working with a case of what look like sealed shot gun shells. She would hold one in her hand for a time, it would glow and she would place it in another case. After twenty shells had seen this process and more than an hour had passed she sends a mental call through Jingu and doesn't bother containing her laughter when the two teenagers fall to the floor in shock.

Wiping away a tear Ku Lon thinks only to herself, 'This is far more satisfying than shouting'. Repeating the missive through Jingu of 'Please attend me children', Ku Lon is rewarded by having a very confused Xian Pu and Mu Se approach where she is sitting.

"How Great-grandmother do that?" comes from Xian Pu. A stunned Mu Se nods his head in agreement with the question.

Rather than speaking she sends through Jingu again. 'This would be a form of telepathy children. You can commune with your partners through thought. They can communicate with each other. Simply give the thought you want your partner to send and to who and this is the result.'

Mu Se catches this idea quickly, 'I see so this is a way we can coordinate between our groups while hunting demons. Is there a delay? can this be blocked or intercepted?"

Ku Lon responds, 'From what Jingu has told me all of the partners are linked on a sub-dimensional basis. the transfer is instantaneous and could only be blocked if you are trapped in a field that prevents dimensional travel. As to interception Jingu does not know of any method but that can not guarantee impossibility.'

Xian Pu smiles, 'This is very good. Now we don't have to worry about people overhearing us or not being about to receive an important message.'

Bowing to Mu Se and Ku Lon, Xian Pu continues, 'And perhaps those with better language skills can have mercy for others in their teams and translate words they don't understand'.

Ku Lon smiles at this small sign of maturity from her great-grandaughter. 'Yes I believe that would be a good idea. If you have played enough I believe it is time to practice your basic powered attacks. If you have not already try communing with your partners to find the attacks nature and names.'

Mu Se smiles and looks to where training dummies had been setup to one side of the warehouse. With the calm call of "Shadow Waltz" the area around the dummies is obscured by shifting shadows. The shadows disappear and all of the dummies are tightly restrained by Mu Se's Flying Bind chain.

Ku Lon nods her head in congratulations to Mu Se. After a moment the chains disappear as well. Xian Pu looks on and for once is slightly impressed with Mu Se.

Xian Pu realizes she had simply been enjoying the basic powers her partner is capable of. Looking within herself she finds the feel of her partner Voulge. Humbly asking his forgiveness, she senses what would seem a smile to her and feels an assurance that he was reveling in her exuberance as well. She is rewarded with the true form and name of her first attack.

With an evil grin Xian Pu prepares to swing Voulge at the same training dummies. With a call of "Vorpal edge" the shimmering trail of energy left in the swings wake flies and slices through several of the dummies.

Smiling her approval for both youngsters now Ku Lon sends. 'Excellent work both of you. Remember the powered attacks require more energy so you must be cautious with them and not exceed your limits. There is one other skill you need to learn but it is even more taxing than the energy attacks.'

Seeing the look of expectation from both children Ku Lon revels in the chance to show off. To Mu Se the old woman glow and disappear before his eyes, not even the small amount of dust beneath her feat was disturbed. Both of the spectators hear a shrill whistle from the other end of the warehouse and see Ku Lon standing in exactly the same stance she had previously. 'This is teleportation children. As long as you know where you wish to be the distance does not matter. The greater the distance the more concentration it requires and therefore prep time. In a battle for this would likely be the limit of a safe distance to attempt. If your concentration is off you could find yourself inside a solid object or other obstruction.'

Mu Se looks inside to find the swirling form of Flying Bind. Flying Bind seems to shrug and Mu Se finds the idea of visualizing yourself and where you wish to be. After firming the image of where you wish to be simply visualize yourself in that scene. Mu Se does this and is rewarded by standing to the side of Ku Lon, the drain on his energy brings him to his knees. Xian Pu has a similar experience and barely maintains her feet leaning on Voulge's shaft for support.

Ku Lon nods. 'I believe this technique should be saved for a last resort until you gain more strength. Let's rest and have some lunch. Afterwards, I would like the both of you to spare with your materialized weapons. No energy attacks or teleporting, we need to get a feel for the relative durability of your weapons. The strength should improve as you do but there is no excuse for exceeding a limit because you don't know it is there.'

Xian Pu nods agreement for the both of them and helps Mu Se get to his feet. They all power down and Ku Lon brings out the lunch they had packed. After resting for an a little more than an hour, the two teenagers nod to each other and walk to the far side of warehouse. Ku Lon raises her shield again and watches them practice. Xian Pu is using Voulge's standard form, while Mu Se has manifested a long chain with clawed ends floating in the air around his body. Mu Se uses a length of the links between his hands to block while the clawed ends lash out to strike or parry. Mu Se is succeeding in holding his own against the normally more powerful Xian Pu.

After twenty minutes or so of this Mu Se is smiling at not being bowled over for once. Xian Pu is also smiling at the challenge of this workout. For once finding respect for Mu Se and his quick adaptation to this new style of combat.

This fun is interrupted by a mental warning blasted from all of the partners. A new demon is forcing its way through the dimensional barriers nearby.

Ku Lon raps Jingu on the floor. 'Practice is fine but is no substitute for battle. Come we will keep our promise to the lady to protect the lives of innocents." With that all three activate their disguise fields and head for the origin of the distortion.

-----------------------------

Mizuno Ami has been having a bad day and a bad week for that matter. Previously when she and the other Senshi faced enemies there was some coherent grouping, some objective, and more importantly a leader who could be stopped.

The last few months had seen an end to who they thought would be their last enemy, at least according to Pluto. Things were peaceful for a while but now demons are appearing at random and becoming more frequent. The enemies follow no leadership and often fight each other. This has been the only saving grace for the Senshi.

Ami was giving her all to studying for upcoming finals. Ami almost felt like sobbing when the mercury computer beeped, signaling yet another attack. Opening the palmtop sized system, she finds the manifestation is closest to her. She contacts the other Senshi on her communicator, and sets out to face this new threat.

Finding a secluded corner she swiftly changes into Sailor Mercury. and dashes to the source. Rounding a street corner she finds a blue winged woman attacking the nearby people. Summoning The Mercury Harp she calls out "Mercury Aqua Rhapsody" the beam of water hits the creature but dose not faze it. If anything the creature looks stronger. With an inhuman shriek of glee, the creature charges Sailor Mercury. Mercury has no chance to dodge and tries to brace for the impact.

Ami is saved when it feels like cold metal wraps around her and pulls her from the beasts path. She hears a strong male voice call out "Shadow Waltz", and her view of the creature is obscured by dancing shadows. Ami finds herself caught in a man's arms and gently set on her feat. She looks at the man dressed in black robes with blue trim. Long black hair frames a face she can not make out even in the bright daylight. The man says to her, "Please stay here miss." With that she sees the shadows dissolve and the creature is held fast with multiple chains wrapped around the creature. She then sees a young woman wearing a grayish blue tight fitting suit leap at the beast wielding a short pole arm. With a call of "Vorpal Edge" a shining trail left in the slashing weapons path flies at the creature and cleanly removes its head. The head and body disappear almost instantly.

The chains that were holding Sailor Mercury had vanished even before she landed in the man's arms. Looking to her rescuer she says "I am Sailor Mercury, may I ask who you are?"

Mu Se sensing his first opportunity to play the rescuing hero decides to play the mysterious stranger to the hilt. taking her right hand he says, "I am just a man who was offered the power to fight demons and accepted the responsibility." Finishing with giving a light kiss to the fingers of her hand.

Ami looks into her rescuers face and can sense his smile and has the feeling of looking into beautiful eyes. Without letting go of her hand the air around him begins to glow and he vanishes.

Ku Lon and Xian Pu are let to know that he transported back to the warehouse. They do similarly. Xian Pu is prepared for the drain this time and remains standing. She looks over to find Ku Lon examining an unconscious Mu Se. Ku Lon soon gives confirmation that the boy will be fine.

With a rueful chuckle she says, "Stupid Mousse."

The two women break into uncontrolled laughter but both agree they could not hope for a much better introduction to the Senshi.

--------------------------------------------------

Sailor Mercury slowly recovers from her shock by the time the other inner Senshi arrive. The others marvel at the limited amount of damage from the attack.

Ami leads the others away and they all power-down. She begins to tell the others what happened and only then realized she had not set the Mercury computer to record any of the details.

Fortunately no one noticed the lapse. Minako, Makoto, and Rei spaced out to various degrees when she mentioned the charming boy.

Usagi in a show of composure comments, "If there are other demon hunters out there we can definitely use the help. I hope they turn out to just desire to protect others."

With this sobering thought the inners disperse back to what they were doing.

-------------------------------------------------

Unsure of how long her charge would sleep, Noriko simply cleaned herself up in the shower and put on fresh clothes. Returning to the sitting room she turns the sound system back on and settles comfortably into a couch to meditate and sleep.

She is awoken by a flame haired blur rushing around the room asking all sorts of questions. Rather than trying to chase after her charge, Noriko floats into the air and waits for the blur's circuit to come across her path again. Deftly she grabs ahold of the girls shoulders and lifts her feet from the ground.

Ranma grins up at Noriko with a smile that would have food vendors dishing out food for free, just because the million watt glow would pull in customers for miles. Only now the girls eyes scream that there is no acting behind the smile. "Ohayo Obaa-san"

Noriko turns in the air and pulls Ranma into a hug, "Ohayo Ranma-chan you seem to have lots of energy today."

Ranma nods her head, "I woke up feeling better than ever. Does this have to do with the extra changes you made? Didyoumodifymeaswelllikealivingspaceship? CanIfly? CanIgointospace?"

Noriko floats them gently down to the couch. "Lets see if I can parse those question together. Yes the extra energy is due to a modification I made. Eventually you will be able to fly and I will teach you. And yes you can survive in space, just please don't put it to the test anytime soon."

Some what calmer, Ranma asks, "Okay so what do I need the extra energy for?"

Noriko replies, "You remember that you would sleep for a long time after going cat, right?"

Ranma nods her head affirmatively, "I don't remember all of it, but I know everyone tells me that's the case. Unless I was splashed with water and changed genders."

Noriko grins, "Correct. The spirit involved in the Neko-ken consumes a large amount of spiritual energy. You would sleep for almost an hour after spending only a few minutes in that state while your body was trying to regenerate the spent spirit energy. When you changed forms it disrupted the spirit possession and the elemental energies involved in the change could be tapped to restore your spirit energies."

Ranma is able to understand this reasoning and simply nods her head.

"I used your genetic link to me through your mother to be able to alter your body to more efficiently produce Ki and spirit energy. Once we make the cat spirit part of you the spirit energy overload should be reduced because of the active consumption by the spirit." Noriko continues. "Would you like to know the nature of this spirit?"

"Hai Obaa-san" Ranma responds.

Noriko shudders, "The true nature of the Neko-ken is not much short of an abomination and perversion of the souls of both humans and cats. By starving the cats to the point they were near death the creators brought out their feral aggression and desire to survive. By throwing a helpless impressionable child into the dark pit covered in food, the cats hunger would drive them into a frenzy and their fear and desire would combine with the child's fear creating a pseudo greater fiend that would latch onto the child's soul. Many cats were likely to die in that pit and would become part of the fiend. It's creators considered it the perfect weapon of terror. They would capture children of their enemy and use this technique to turn them into monsters. They would then use techniques to suppress the demon and cause the child to appear simply unconscious. The parents of the children would then be allowed to find them or they would be returned. When the children were taken into the homes and awoke the cat fiend would go berserk and destroy everything around it. This would continue until the child was destroyed or the fiend consumed them from the inside out and the body died."

Ranma finds herself thankful that Noriko was still holding her close as it keeps her from shaking with fear.
Quietly she asks, "How did I survive Obaa-san?"

Noriko smiles, "If I had all the answers I would be a god and the world would be infinitely dull. We could call it luck, strength of will, your mother's love could have reached across space to protect you. I prefer to leave some questions unanswered as then I can still believe in miracles. You accomplished something never before seen in a victim of the Neko-ken in that the cat fiend was not completely berserk attacking only direct threats, and you were able to regain a lucid state of mind"

Settling Ranma on the couch beside her, Noriko continues. "I believe cats are drawn to you because they sense a compatriot in the cat spirit bonded to you. This is another odd thing because normally cats would be the first to flee in terror from even an unconscious victim of the Neko-ken. Similarly your fear of cats comes from them attracting the cat spirit forward from your subconscious. I am certain we can bring this spirit to bond with you amicably. It will involve some time and effort exploring your minds-cape but we will be able to do it."

Calmed by the older woman's certainty Ranma relaxes.

Winking at Ranma, Noriko says,"That is for another day though. Today I was planning to tell you about your mother's family. Why don't you go get cleaned up and get something to eat. We can start this story afterwards."

Noriko goes to get some food from the cabinet. Ranma makes her way to the bathroom and shower.

While cleaning up Ranma notices the pleasant sensations the running water and her hands cause but dose not feel the desperate need for more. Deciding she can accept this, she simply enjoys the warmth of the water while finishing cleaning up. Exiting the shower and drying off Ranma finds more clean clothes on the shelf and drops her old clothes in a chute underneath the cabinet.

Pulling on a fresh set of underclothes, Ranma finds the Tunic is green today with dark maroon slacks, slippers, and sash.

Walking back into the sitting room, she finds Noriko sitting on the same couch eating some of the stuffed bread. Sitting down on the couch she notices something that had slipped her mind until now. Holding her hand to her forehead she slowly moves it towards noriko trying to keep it at the same level. She notices her hand comes up to Noriko's eye level. She was certain Noriko was nearly as tall as her male form when he had seen her the night they arrived.

Noriko losses her struggle to contain her mirth. Nearly giggling, "I was wondering how long it would take you to notice. When I reinforced your maternal genetic traits I also made adjustments for if you had proper nutrition growing up. I suspect your male form will have similar modifications. Do you feel comfortable finding out now?"

Ranma nods her head, "I think I can handle it."

Noriko's smile grows to match Ranma's earlier one, "Then let me teach you how to make the change yourself."

Noriko describes for Ranma reaching into his mind and finding a place where he can see both his forms sitting back to back. Their body positions identical to each other. Noriko has him imagine they are sitting on a turntable that can be rotated easily. Lastly to visualize his surroundings around his current form and imagine rotating the turntable so that his other form is now there. Doing all this Ranma is rewarded by feeling the change come over him, but now it feels familiar almost comfortable.

Opening his eyes he now notices Noriko's eyes barely reach his chin. quickly moving to the bathroom and looking in the mirror. He notices his face remains largely unchanged his eyes are a deeper blue and his hair has turned a dark reddish brown almost the same color of his mothers. He also has to be nearly as tall as Kuno now.

Walking back into the sitting room his stomach loudly protests. With an embarrassed shrug he retrieves food and drink from the cabinet and sits down across from Noriko.

Sighing at his sudden unwillingness for close contact, Noriko asks, "So how do you feel?"

Ranma stares at the bowl for a moment. Looking up he says, "I think I can keep things under control, but I think your right, I would have completely freaked if what happened yesterday was in this form."

Accepting this Noriko says, "So shall I tell you the story of how I became a member of the Himura family?"

Ranma mumbles his assent between bites and Noriko chuckles softly. "I was living abroad for the longest time in America. I left and returned to japan before the start of the civil war there. I came to Tokyo and decided it would be interesting to study kendo since it had finally opened up the samurai sword style to those not a member of the class. I started studying at the Kamiya family dojo and eventually the master there having no child or heir adopted me and taught me everything he knew."

"The Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu was an effective sword style, but in no way was it invincible," Noriko sadly states," The man who loved me like a daughter was called away to war and died there. I was left to run his family's dojo. If you think things are hard for women to live on their own now it's nothing compared to then. After it was learned that my father had died all of the students abandoned the school. They refused to be taught by a woman."

Shaking her head sadly, "I was about to give up when there were rumors going around of a 'Hitokiri Battosai' running around using the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu to murder people. I set out to find this killer and restore the schools honor. During this process I did find the real 'Hitokiri Battosai' but he was not the killer."

Ranma interjects, "You found the real one, The famous deadly killer."

Still looking sad but with a small smile now, "The man I found was Himura Kenshin. A gentle and caring man, lost and wandering. He had killed many and had the scars on his heart to show for it. I let him stay at the dojo and set out to find the real killer. I succeeded in finding the real killer and nearly became his next victim trying not to blow my cover. Kenshin rescued me. We had quite a few adventures together and eventually fell in love. Eventually I told him of my past. Not everything I told you but enough. He still accepted me. I truly feel sorry for him, my cooking of Japanese food at the time could rival Akane's work. I at least tasted it myself before forcing others to eat it."

Ranma snorts, "Is it really possible to be as bad as Akane."

Noriko rolls her eyes,"I was great a cooking steaks, flapjacks, camp stew, and lots of other things while I was in America. Unfortunately switching from beef and wheat to rice, fish, and tofu took some experimentation. I corrected my errors before our son Kenji was born. He would be your grandfather by the way. I fear I let him become an insufferable brat in some ways."

Ranma interrupts, "You said my girl forms hair was the same color as his."

Noriko chuckles, "I would actually say except for you being female you look almost identical. Even to the blue eyes. There is no way he could reasonably deny you being his grandchild, but back to the rest of the story."

Ranma nods expectantly.

With a sly grin Noriko resumes. "Kenshin had studied the powerful kendo style Hiten-Mitsurugi Ryu under his Master Hiko Seijuro XIII. Ah now there was a true man among men. He was handsome, honorable, strong, powerful, and caring. He was all those good things but he was also vain, twisted, brusque, cynical, and bad mannered. Worse he was a unrepentant womanizer and borderline letch."

Ranma chokes on his food at this. Taking a drink to clear his throat. "Letch? like Happosai."

Noriko smirks, "He was perverse in his own way but Happi is still the king. I fear that Kenji idolized Seijuro's power and assumed the rest was just part of being strong and he passed this belief on to Nodoka."

Ranma mumbles, "I wondered where she got her ideas from."

Noriko's tone becomes somber. "The Hiten-Mitsurugi Ryu had a distinct flaw. I was created for use by men of a large and powerful stature. Kenshin was skilled but his physical stature was hardly larger then mine. I watched as the techniques he used slowly destroyed his body. Eventually he became unable to use the style anymore. I am still not sure if it was the loss of the art he loved or the total damage to his body, but he did not live until Kenji reached adulthood. After I lost him, I tracked down Seijuro and demanded he teach me the style so I could correct the flaw. He refused at first, so I took off the kid gloves and beat the snot out of him."

finishing her explanation, "I mastered Seijuro's art and modified it so anyone could use it. I then took the name Himura Noriko, supposedly a cousin of Kenshin's, ever since I have been using the habit of the style's grand-master and each new person to take the post has adopted the last one's name. It has made things easier over the last century. I just change my appearance slightly."

Ranma asks, "What did you look like back then?"

Noriko smiles, "I had black hair and deep blue eyes. Thats where you and your mom get that from."

Ranma finally sees a chance to ask a question from last night. "How have you avoided Pluto's notice for so long?"

Noriko replies, "Thats the easy part Mages, spirits and others who can manipulate life and elemental energies naturally distort time and space. Random variables of that sort can not be predicted within the normal flow of time. They are then invisible to the "Eternal Gate". Thats how Pluto never discovered my presence."

Ranma asks one last question. "So how long are we going to be here do you think?"

Noriko grins, "We have plenty of time. I promised Nodoka and the others I would have you back by Sunday evening. From our perspective here that is still a month away."

Ranma groans.

---------------------

The Kuno siblings have been running amuck in Nerima. Tatewaki is desperate to find where the foul sorcerer Saotome has taken the tigress Tendo Akane and the fair pig-tailed girl. Kodachi simply wants to find her Ranma-sama. The Kuno's can't buy the information from Nabiki and her underlings have no idea where she has disappeared to. In their desperation they storm the Nerima police station demanding the detectives start a full scale search. They are quickly subdued with the help of high powered stun guns and sent off to see if they are mentally fit to stand trial for multiple counts of assaulting a police officer.

---------------------

Tenou Haruka receives a letter from a detective agency she has been expecting for some time. Before opening it she thinks back to the day she was seven and discovered the body of her aunt who cared for her so often while her parents were out on business.

She found out much later, Aunt Sakura had been left penniless and abandoned by her worthless husband. The final straw coming when she found out Genma had a bastard child by another woman and claimed to have married her.

She swore she would make them pay and now maybe they have finally been found. Opening the package she finds report from the detective agency saying the man had been hospitalized and was in police custody. There was an invitation from the police to press charges against him.

Haruka breaks down. There is no way this is enough to make up for her aunt's suffering.

----------------------
Ryoga is completely lost Akari made him leave the farm until he settled things with Ranma and Akane and got out of his funk. He was certain he was halfway to Hokkiado by now. He screams "Where the hell am I now?" and punches at a wall. Surprisingly his hand is stopped by a firm grip on his wrist. A well built middle aged man with black hair and eyes looks at him mildly.

Certain the young man won't continue trying to destroy the one wall he determined did not need replaced the man releases the boy's wrist.

The man states, "You are currently outside the Tendo Dojo. I would appreciate you not trying to break the walls. The repair crews have their work cut out for them already."

Stepping back the man bows, "I am Sano Kentaro, if you are looking for the Tendo girls or Ranma-sama I am afraid they are no longer here."

Trying not to gape, Ryoga asks, "Can you tell me where they are?"

Kentaro returns, "I am afraid I can not. They are currently in Himura-sama's care and she would not like them to be found for the time being."

Ryoga says, "I see, I guess I will be going then."

As Ryoga turns to leave Kentaro calls out. "A word of advice for you Hibiki-san. It would be in your best interest to not try to find them for a few months. Himura-sama does not like your behavior with Ranma-sama or the youngest Tendo girl. I believe she said something about serving pork roast if she should happen to find you near them."

Ryoga blanches and quickly leaves.

notes:

nothing to define if I left anything out let me know

Chapter 8
Chapter 10
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