Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 10 Shadowed Past ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
no rant with this chapter. Depressing things happened where I live after I posted ch 9 last night. I was lucky and came out unscathed

They say when your depressed you should do something you enjoy. I have enjoyed working on this story over the last few weeks more than I have enjoyed other things in years so here we go.

Chapter 10 - shadowed past

Nabiki had played the good girl for several days now. Now to get some answers to nagging questions. The whole operation was too easy. How could Noriko swing getting control over the dojo property and guardianship of her and her sisters.

Nabiki spent a few hours helping Kasumi setup her computer and walking her through the basics of use. They were both surprised when Nodoka knocked on Kasumi's open door.

Nodoka bowed to the girls,"Akane has asked to speak with a counselor about some of the things that have been bothering her. I am going with her to their office shortly. Is there anything you two might need?"

Nabiki and Kasumi share a look. Letting out a breath she did not realize she was holding, Nabiki sighs. "Maybe now she can get some help."

Kasumi looks at Nodoka. "I believe we should be fine here looking after the house Nodoka-san."

Nabiki calmly states, "I was planning to explore the town a bit today. Would that be alright?"

Nodoka smiles and nods affirmatively. "Let me give you some spending money for the public transport and food."

Nodoka gives Nabiki five thousand yen. Nabiki stares for a moment realizing this is the first time she has been given money by an adult without having to fleece them for it. She then realizes she kind of likes the feeling of not having to force things out of people. Shaking herself out of her reverie, she bows to the older woman.

Turning to Kasumi Nabiki asks, "Will you be alright by yourself Sis?"

Kasumi smiles and waves her hand at the laptop. "I should be able to keep myself entertained. I can also keep an eye on the grounds from my window."

Bowing to both the women Nabiki excuses herself from the room. Quickly getting a few things from her room across the hall, she heads downstairs. She is greeted by the site of Akane sitting by the table in the common room floor.

Akane looks a mess. All of the bluster of yesterday is gone and Akane seems to be curling in on herself. Nabiki sighs and walks quietly over to her sister and gently places a hand on her shoulder.

"Akane whatever else I have done in the past, I want you to know I love you and will be here to support you."

Akane puts her hand over her sisters but dose not look up to meet her eyes. "Thank you Nabiki, I love you too but I got a lot of things to work out."

Satisfied Akane is not in danger of complete breakdown Nabiki stands back up. "I am going out for a while myself, I will see you when you and Oba-san get back."

leaving the house, Nabiki changes her shoes on the veranda. Hurrying through the garden to the paved path she stops at the gate to the shrine. Having no one visit the shire since they arrived is just another strange thing to look into.

Nabiki hurries down the steps and to the nearby bus stop. Having looked up which buses to take to get to a large local library she finds herself there shortly. Nabiki came here for what she needed most, information and a computer she could feel certain Noriko was not monitoring.

Nabiki's first order of business was finding out about the Himura family history. After several hours work she had the basics. The family came from relative obscurity during the Meiji period in the late 1800's. The family was formally recognized when Kamiya Kaoru, heir of the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu sword style, married and had a child with Himura Kenshin. There is only records of the one child Himura Kenji. The father died before Kenji was in his teens. Kenji assumed status as the family head in his early twenties after his mother's reported death.

About the same time a cousin of Himura Kenshin, one Himura Noriko, became the grand-master of both the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu and Kenshin's style of Hiten-Mitsurugi Ryu the two sword styles were combined into one school using the Hiten-Mitsurugi Ryu name. The honor of the names history offset the normal bias against a woman grand-master. Several brutally defeated challengers sealed the level of respect given the new school. The title of grand-master has been handed down three times since then. All the new grand-masters were women and took the predecessors name as their own. Nabiki spent some time finding pictures but confirmed the women were similar in build from training but looked to be different people.

Back to investigation of the family registry. Himura Kenji had two daughters and one son. The girls were married off to respectable samurai families and held no interest to Nabiki.

The son, Himura Seijuro, had one son and a daughter. The daughter was what Nabiki was looking for, Himura Akiko married into the Tendo family and had one son, Tendo Soun while dying in childbirth. Nabiki was expecting to find this, she recalled the Himura name looking into the Tendo registry and had found that their dojo in Nerima ward was Akiko's dowery. This went very far in explaining how Noriko had claimed rights to the dojo, as the rest of the Tendo family was gone.

Seijuro's son was named Kenjiro and had two daughters of his own. Nodoka was the oldest. The youngest was Himura Kari and was just now nineteen years old. Five years ago Kenjiro had surrendered position of clan head to Noriko. Nabiki fully assumed that Noriko had forced him to do this. She found the fact that the men in the family line looked very similar to be more than a little unsettling.

Hoping to find out more about her mother she investigated records on the shrine and dojo complex. To make it easier to find her way home she had learned previously the place was called Hinode Shrine. Looking up records on the shrine. She found it was owned by the Himura family but was reserved as the personal home of the family school's grand-master. With the presence of Noriko and her ward Sano Takara, the shrine was regularly used for festivals and offering accommodations to visiting martial artists.

Nabiki ran across a picture of her mother when she was her age, dressed for a festival at the shrine. She was reminded how much her mother looked like Kasumi but had her hair color. She noted with some shock that the picture showed her mother holding a fully inebriated Happosai under one arm and smiling.

The last note she found was that after Takara left, Noriko also went on an extended sabbatical and the shrine was officially closed. Gathering her information together she noted she could just return to the shrine in time for dinner.

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

Saotome Haruna, Paru to her friends, had a short train trip to travel from Mahora Academy to visit her mother at their family home in Yokohama. She had called ahead and mother was expecting her for lunch.

Saotome Atsuko was surprised to learn her daughter was making a trip home to visit with finals being as close as they were. When Haruna arrived at the door and presented her mother with a long bundle wrapped in cloth, she became concerned. When she opened it to find the family honor blade she nearly fainted.

"Where did you get this Haruna-chan?"

Paru replies, "I had occasion to meet someone concerned for cousin Ranma's safety around four years ago at school. I did not have much information for her but when I told her our honor blade had been stolen she promised to return it should she catch up with the thief. We met again at school yesterday and she returned it along with information about the man who stole it."

"I thought it would be best if you were to look at these documents as soon as possible, and hoped we could go through them together." Said while holding up the file folder.

Atsuko was slightly worried now, "Is Ranma safe? I hold no love for his father but a child should not be made to suffer for their parents mistakes."

Paru nods, "I was told he is now safe but it seems he has already suffered quite a bit."

Atsuko and Paru got through the thick pile of documents together. Paru having heard the tale before is unsurprised when her mother's anger reaches a peak.

Through clenched teeth Atsuko asks, "Where is he?"

Paru decides to deflect her mothers anger. "He is still in a coma under police supervision. I have already been promised the opportunity to be part of making him suffer if he decides to try to escape from the police. Your an artist mother not a fighter. He was the black sheep enthralled by combat that the rest of the family left behind remember."

Atsuko asks, "Who is Ranma with? Will they let us see him? After reading this I want to make sure he knows not all of his fathers family is like that."

Paru replies, "I understand that Ranma will be attending Mahora Academy when the new term starts as well. I can ask if we can try seeing him before then but there is something you need to know first."

"Do you believe in Magic Oka-san."
--------------------

The sun had just set and evening light was beginning to turn to night when Nabiki arrived at the shrine. Nabiki discovers Nodoka and Akane have yet to return. Finding Kasumi working in the kitchen she offers to help with dinner.

Quietly while working on preparing food Nabiki asks, "Kasumi are you aware that father and Nodoka oba-san are related?"

Kasumi says, "Yes I am, They are cousins if I remember things correctly."

Nabiki blinks, "And you never told Akane or me about being related to Ranma"

Kasumi shrugs, "It never came up and you never asked. It is not unusual for second cousins to marry"

Nabiki narrows her eyes, "I think there might be more to the story then that though."

Kasumi puts her hand to her mouth and gives an obviously feigned expression of shock. "Oh my, it is a good thing Akane and Ranma are no longer engaged then."

Nabiki realizes she can gain no more ground talking to Kasumi. She lapses into silence while they finish fixing dinner.

Nodoka and Akane return shortly after full dark. Akane now only looks sad and not ready to crumble.

Kasumi gives her youngest sister a kiss on the cheek and receives a hug in return. "How are you feeling Akane-chan? Did talking to someone help?"

Akane nods her head, "I feel better but the counselor wants to see me a couple times a week from now on, and recommends you and Nabiki should see someone as well."

Kasumi smiles saying, "I think that is a good idea too." and leads Akane to the table. Nodoka following behind.

Nodoka asks, "So did you enjoy your exploration today Nabiki-chan?"

Nabiki replies simply, "Hai Oba-san, I found it very educational. Could I speak with you privately after dinner?"

Nodoka smiles and says, "Certainly child."

The ladies all sit down and quietly eat their food. No one feels like talking. Akane finishes her food and takes her dishes to the kitchen and rinses them. returning to the table she quietly asks Nabiki, "I know you wanted to talk with Oba-san, but could you help me setup the laptop in my room?"

Nabiki seeing her sisters eyes decides her conversation can wait. "I would be happy to Akane-chan. Just let me take care of my dishes."

Kasumi interjects, "I will take care of them for you Nabiki-chan."

Nodding gratefully to Kasumi. Nabiki walks with Akane to her room. Repeating a process similar to what she did with Kasumi that morning. It is several hours later before she is convinced Akane is comfortable with the computer.

Leaving Akane working with some diligence on the study materials. Nabiki sets out to find Nodoka.

Nodoka is waiting in her room when Nabiki knocks on the door. With a soft invitation to enter, Nabiki enters the room, closing the door behind her.

Nodoka smiles, "Kasumi tells me you have some interesting questions for me."

Holding out pictures of the men of the Himura clan,Nabiki asks, "How old is your father really? What is your real relationship to us and Noriko."

Nodoka sighs, "I guess, I lose that bet."

Seeing Nabiki's shock, Nodoka laughs. "Noriko, Kasumi, and I had a bet between us about how long it would take you to dig up information on 'our' family. I thought it would be at least a week, Kasumi was betting by the first of the week, and Noriko knew you would not last through the weekend."

Inviting Nabiki to have a seat on the bed with a gesture. Nodoka waits until she is seated before answering her question. "My father whose real name is Himura Kenji is slightly more than one hundred twenty years old. As you can probably guess your grandmother was my older half-sister and Noriko is my grandmother meaning she is your great great grandmother."

Nabiki had suspicions but is still glad she was sitting down. "How" is all she asks.

Nodoka sits next to Nabiki, "I knew since I was a child that my family was very long lived. My oldest half-sisters are still alive today and don't look much older than me. I was reasonably assured that I could live to be several centuries old. I recently found out that Noriko is older than I could previously have imagined. My father could live for a thousand years, That is if Obaa-san does not kill him first."

Nabiki blinks in confusion. Nodoka continues her story. "I promised to tell the story of why I was married so young earlier, now seems to be a good time. After your mother was married and Obaa-san had left to study abroad, my father arranged a marriage for me to a man old enough to be my father. I was not happy with the situation, but I considered going through with it for the sake of honor. I used some of my allowance to hire a investigator to find out what this man was like. I was terrified to discover that he had been married twice before and both wives had passed away under strange circumstances. The investigator uncovered charges of abuse and violence that had been buried. He also found that the marriage agreement carried a heavy sum being paid to my father. Terrified, I fled and went to live with your parents for a time. Takara sent the information I had discovered to Obaa-san, but she was hard to locate at the time. "

Eyes filling with tears, "I was a very frightened sixteen year old girl at the time. I had money Obaa-san had given me control of to support myself with but I was scarred of my father coming to take me back. Then I met Genma, he seemed to be everything I had been told a man should be. He promised to protect me from anyone, and like a fool I believed he was my hero and champion. Even Happosai, in his own way, tried to warn me away from him. Genma could be persuasive and charming when it suited his purpose."

Shuddering now Nodoka continues, "I wanted to believe he was being honest. I let him seduce me. I discovered I was pregnant with Ranma and we were married. My father found out about this and disowned me from the family. I used most of the money I had left to buy the house there in Nerima. I went to work for a seamstress to support our small family. Genma kept his act up until Ranma was old enough to be taken on the training trip. I was a hundred times a fool for letting him take Ranma, but he used the term I most wanted to hear in order to get back in my father's good graces. He promised to make Ranma a 'man among men' fit to win my fathers respect or they would both commit sepku. I was thinking only of myself and not my baby then and for that I will forever be ashamed. I only pray since Ranma has offered me another chance to be his mother that I can do it properly this time. I would also hope that you girls can forgive me for ignoring your situation when your mother died."

Nabiki found herself holding the sobbing older woman. she finally found words. "So you really are our Oba-san then."

Nodoka finds a smile through her tears and says, "Yes child, If you and your sisters will have me."

Nabiki asks, "So why did Obaa-san not come to help you or us until now?"

Nodoka sighs, "My father intercepted the letter and she did not learn any of this until she learned of your mother's death more than a year after the fact. She told me she literally beat the information out of my father and his mouth was wired shut for three months afterward, not to mention a full body cast. She judged Ranma to be in the greatest danger and focused her energies on locating him. She did not realize the desperate situation you girls were in until Kasumi contacted her several years later. She offered Kasumi all the support she could, but was loathe to interfere with your family."

For the first time in a very long time Nabiki breaks down in tears, realizing the existence of family out there that actually cares about her and her sisters.

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

The last several weeks had passed like a dream for Ranma. Actually being able to sleep soundly, no one trying to hurt him. even the experience meeting his cat spirit was not as dangerous as he expected.

With Noriko's Guidance he found the spirit after an exhaustive search of his subconscious. He found what looked like a small orange and black tiger trapped trying to climb out of the pit from is memories. The price for joining fully with this other part of his spirit was reliving the whole experience from the the cats perspective.

Ranma experienced the hunger, pain, and fear they had suffered through. He felt their slow creeping dread at feeling they were close to death. He also felt their shame. When they instinctively attacked a helpless child covered in their favorite foods and visited pain upon his body.

Ranma had an advantage to keep his sanity. He knew it would eventually come to an end and accepted it all. He discovered that aside from random emotion there were at least three cats who had died in that pit that were now part of him. complete with memories. He stamped down firmly on the urge to eat mice though.

Ranma discovered his eyes in either form now had a slightly silted look in either form and his ears came to points. His eyes also tended to reflect any light in a darkened room. He could survive without them but he did appreciate the sunglasses Noriko had given him.

Aside from great low light vision and an enhanced sense of smell he did not notice any other major changes. He had a more reserved form of the energy claws now that he could summon. He also no longer felt the overabundance of energy that drove him to race around the room previously.

Noriko also taught him how to summon his beast form, where he would actually sprout a tail, fur, and the ears would move to the top of his head. If he was in his female form the fur would be bright red with black stripes. In male form the red would darken to auburn just like his own hair. He had the more powerful claws in this form but it all consumed a much greater amount of energy.

The last week had been spent practicing, and good to her word Noriko taught him to fly. There was just no other experience like it. Ranma had even become quite good at flying between the tightly packed buildings at high speeds.

Ranma was thinking about all this in his bed when all of a sudden he is racked by so much pain it feels like he is turning inside out. Something in his mind tells him he needs to change to his female form and does so. She feels something flowing between her legs and smell the coppery scent of blood. The pain subsides to near nothing but that is only by comparison. The female cat that is now part of his soul thinks this is perfectly normal.

Ranma looks up and sees Noriko standing in the doorway to her room. Drawn by the scream she hand not realized had escaped her lips.

Noriko kneels by Ranma's bed. Gently brushing Ranma's red hair back Noriko says,"Come on lets get you cleaned up."

Ranma accepts her hand and allows herself to be led to the bathroom.

Ranma ventures, "You knew this would happen."

Noriko shrugs, "I did warn you you would need to spend at least some time in your female form. The Jusenkyo energies gave you a mature female form but due to other health factors and what your father had done. You simply never menstruated before now."

Fighting through a small wave of nausea Ranma asks, "Why did it hurt so much before I changed?"

Noriko smiles while helping Ranma out of her clothes and making sure she washes herself properly.

Sighing Noriko responds, "Both of your bodies are real and connected. as long as it is only something internal that both bodies possess there will be no issues. In this case there are organs that females have and males do not. The process began in your female form and it tried to become real in your male form. Your not locked per say but trying to become male again for the time being will only cause the same pain or worse."

Ranma nods her head at this and watches closely as Noriko retrieves sanitary napkins from the same cabinet fresh clothes are normally in. Noriko calmly explains their use and Ranma gets dressed. As they head into the sitting room again, a thought finally dawns on Ranma.

"This was the whole reason you wanted to be here for so long!" Ranma hotly accuses.

Noriko agrees, "I thought this would be easier to deal with the first time away from the others who would add to the confusion."

Ranma can find no argument to this. Trying to distract herself for the sensations from her body Ranma asks, "So how do you know Happosai?"

Noriko leans back in the couch, "You remember me mentioning the Youkai."

Ranma nods in agreement.

"They often will mate with and have children with humans." Noriko explains."These children if powerful enough will also become youkai. If not they become Hanyo. All hanyo need to absorb life energy as they are part spirit creature. There are many ways this can be done. Some learn to manipulate elemental energies and can absorb spirit energy from the environment that way. Some Hanyo are combat types and absorb energy from the heat of a battle, or a really intense sparring session. The most frowned upon are those that must absorb directly from another living being. Happi falls into the last category. I first met Happi when I was traveling through northern japan in the late seventeenth century. I found by the side of the road a small sobbing child. I did not think they could be more than a few years old. Happi later told me he was around ten at the time. He was the same size then as when you first met him."

Noriko nearly snarls,"His mother was a vain and proud woman. His father had been a traveling musician that his mother found beautiful. He was apparently a youkai seducer of some form but I never found out with certainty. He had been abandoned by his mother. As he was small and deformed, he could not possibly be her child by the beautiful singer."

Noriko calms herself,"I took him as my ward for almost a decade. I let him absorb the energy he needed from me and I taught him martial arts to be able to defend himself. When we parted he promised he would develop the ultimate wuxia martial art and show me. I never saw him again on my travels until he one day appeared at the Hinode Shrine there in Fukui. He had succeeded in creating his art, but he never found another woman who would accept him. He had become the perverted letch you saw him as. He would steal women's underclothes because the cloth would pickup residual life energy from being that close to the skin, even after being washed. The groping, I believe was his way of acting out his anger over all the rejection he had faced."

Noriko smiles at the found memory. "He met Takara there and though she did not love him, she accepted him with all his flaws. This had a marvelous affect of mellowing him out significantly. I laughed for a entire day the first time she walked into his room and simply asked for her underwear back. He gave them all back to her in a neat stack and she thanked him. He agreed to make himself scarce anytime Nodoka came over so not to frighten the child. Takara was the one that convinced him to take Soun on as a student, of course we know Genma followed right along after. The behavior he exhibited when you first saw him was part of a caricature he created to test his students moral character. Would they find the will to try and stop him or at least refuse to take part. You should know all of the stealing was arranged beforehand and paid for or returned."

Noriko sighs, "After his students failed to show any form of character, he became worse to punish those he considered fools and taught them next to nothing. This resulted in them sealing him away and believing that made them masters of their art. Happi has always been pleased to see you try to stop those antics regardless of the personal risk. He calls you the only worth disciple he has found in his life."

Ranma perks up at this, "So he did all that stuff just to test me?"

Noriko shakes her head, "Not completely, Happi was satisfied with your strength of character quite quickly. I had freed him from the seal and asked him to act as my second set of eyes and ears in the household. If he started behaving differently the 'pieces of human trash' would have been suspicious. So he had to keep the act up. As part of the deal I promised to free him from the burden of how he absorbs life energy. I hope to be able to introduce you to the real Happosai in a few more days after we go back."

Ranma now very interested asks, "So when can we go back."

Noriko smiles, "As soon as you again have a choice about the form you want to be in to meet your mother."

Ranma blinks, "To help me think about this, Why do you generally remain female."

"You mean aside from not having to explain why a guy would disappear for 3 days a month or have a period." Noriko shrugs,"I had spent so much time in a female form and the female researcher whose memories I had absorbed had been alive for almost a thousand years. Eventually I just became more comfortable in this form."

Ranma acts a bit nervous, "Please don't be offended but do you like guys or girls."

Noriko replies with a grin, "If the objective is pleasure then it's whoever is attractive and equally willing. Yet to find someone who truly loves an accepts you in any world is precious enough gender does not mater."

notes:

Yokohama - special district of Tokyo on the east side farthest from Nerima on the west

Hinode - Japanese for sunrise

Wuxia - art or artist dedicated to the principle of Xia, the honorable rouge

Chapter 9
Chapter 11
« Other FanFics By This Author »
« Add Author to Favorites »

« Write Review »
« Read (1) Reviews »
« Add Fan Fiction to Favorites »
« Alert Webmaster »