Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 39 - of Power ( Chapter 39 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
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Chapter 39 - of Power

Noriko relaxed on the deck leading to the sand garden from the house enjoying the late evening view of the sky, and nursed a cup of sake. The house was quiet the "children" having exhausted themselves earlier.

'Such an odd life this has been' She mused. In another life, world, or time, multidimensional thought was always so interesting to try rationalizing for those constrained to only four dimensions, she would have become part of the universe her younger sister governed, and lived as an immortal and highly eccentric scientist. 'The suffering I caused others always seemed so distant.'

She could still sense that many universes were happening just that way. In this universe she had acted to cause one of her older sister's gifts to land in this system with a highly creative and curious race, instead of on a barren world in which the inhabitants would only worship it like an Idol.

Predictably the people had not been hesitant to find a way to open the giant and discovered its power core. None of them bonded to it, but over centuries it had affected the entire planet. This gave rise to the native inhabitants gaining almost magical abilities.

Having watched the system for millennia, she had become annoyed when the people of the time had been satisfied to live in harmony with their planet. Rarely did they build anything lasting. She decided to try adding to her experiment and found a highly technologically advanced culture that was fated to die out when they would realize too late that their own system was to be destroyed, as Tokimi had decided the star should explode.

She inspired the ruler of the system to know to look for the event, and devise a way to power a ship to leave the system and hopefully save more lives. Encouraging them to come to the Sol system had been simple compared to that.

Arranging for her avatar to join their group as a scientist after once again failing to get past Jurian noble prejudice had been even easier. She, as Hakubi Washu, had been dumbfounded to find the system all but abandoned when the colony ship arrived. 'The sages the rest of the magi listened to showed more foresight then they could ever imagine. The power of the Ginzuisho was truly a double edged sword. Power gained without effort is never treated with the proper respect.'

In this universe, as in others, her older sister became soul bonded with a young girl of peerless caring and compassion. 'Perhaps some things are just meant to be.' Noriko mused as she sipped her drink. For the first time she, the matron of chaos, had been given a full view of what it was truly feel the weight of suffering experienced by those she had only viewed clinically before. Pandra had become a wandering spirit after the fall, only to find her.

When the fiend hybrid had tried to take over her mind it had broken the seals on her power. For a moment the great Washu-no-kami had considered simply crushing the flea that dared interfere with her plans, but her curiosity had gotten the better of her.

Looking into the spirit had proven her undoing, awash in the pain and suffering of Pandra's memories she could no longer look at this place with detachment. Absorbing the spirit and reforming her avatar modeled on Pandra had been simple, dealing with a new perspective had been harder. Pandra had certainly done something terrible out of ignorance, but she herself had done much much worse. That a simple five dimensional being could learn remorse, when she felt nothing, was humbling.

It had taken her several millennia, but she finally found a way to separate the spirit that had been Pandra, before bonding with the fiend, from herself. In all her experience she had rarely encountered a soul like Pandra. Even after being offered the chance to be freed from the weight of guilt and being returned to the time stream to be reborn, Pandra had insisted on serving the lonely exile Serenity had handed down as a sentence.

'May you find a better life to come back to.' Noriko smiled sadly and saluted the stars with her cup, before draining it. 'If even someone who sought to become a fiend can seek redemption, perhaps there can even be forgiveness for a heartless goddess like me.' Noriko set her glass down and curled her legs in to bury her face in her knees while she sobbed quietly.

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Kazumi had found it more than a bit odd that Kaede had supported Haruna's plan for the three of them to share a room with Ranma. She had found it funny that the boy had taken the suggestion of it being a slumber party to heart and Ranko had been the one to stay in the room. The reporter had quietly fallen asleep while the others had still been talking.

She was not overly surprised when the kunoichi gently shook her awake, and motioned both her and Sayo to silence. Quietly Kaede tilted her head towards the room's door and began to leave. Kazumi followed silently after her.

Kaede led her into the lounge area, after scanning the area to make sure no one was awake to listen in she turned to Kazumi. "Have you thought about my offer?"

"If you mean about sharing Ranma?" Kazumi replied quietly, while studying the other girl. "Yes I have, but I want to know why?"

Kaede glanced towards the window, as if trying to determine the source of a sound. Satisfied there was nothing of concern she smiled. "I noticed how you watched Ranma today. You were honest when I asked your intentions. I want to know if your motivations are similar to mine." She finished as she sat down in one of the chairs.

"You were not there when Asuna and a few others of us looked into Negi's past, but you heard about it." Kazumi sat down in a chair facing her, and waited to receive a nod in response. "He went through a lot, but just hearing Noriko's description of what happened in Ranma's life I would guess he suffered almost as badly and over a much longer time."

Sighing she continued. "Negi and Ranma are both driven, but somehow Ranma seems to have less of a heading set. I kind of like the idea that I might be able to help him find a course. Also I talked with Paru about why she made a pactio with Kari, and I can't say I see a much better chance for myself." she finishes with a slight chuckle.

"So your saying your drawn to the the idea of being near to the tragic knight that is to distant from others to offer the comfort he needs, and helping him." Kaede states with a wry grin. "I saw a novel Kari-dono had in her workshop with a character like that this morning."

This catches Kazumi's interest. "Why were you in her workshop?"

"She apparently witnessed Ranma-dono and I making a pactio."Kaede brings out two nearly identical bracers from somewhere, and sets them on her lap. "Kari-dono offered me these as a way to have the power to protect Ranma-dono as his Ministra."

"I fear though that power alone will not be sufficient for us to protect him." Kaede looks intently at the other girl, smiling when the meaning of her phrasing struck home. "You would desire to protect Ranma, wether he took a more physical interest or not, correct? Kari-dono made a reference to her book calling these her swords of night and day. The swords in the book were possessed by demons that lent their wielder power, with other things. Kari-dono said that if I could master the power of these I could nearly match Ranma-dono, but I don't think power alone will be sufficient."

"You have much better information gathering and judgement skills than I do." Kaede handed Kazumi the one with the golden sphere. "She called this one Kurator Sonne, and hinted that its powers were defensive. I would offer this to you in exchange for becoming my Ministra, until we can convince Ranma-dono to agree to be your Magister as well."

Of all the things she had expected Kaede to say this did not even make the list. Kazumi nearly dropped the bracer in surprise. "How could you be a Magister?"

"I have been thinking about this for a while." Kaede says quietly. "Not all Magister have to have the same power level as Negi, Konoka, or Ranma. Takane-dono obviously does not, but it was apparent she has one Ministra with Mei-dono."

Seeing the skeptical reporter was not convinced she continued. "It would also seem that Noriko-dono was also only offering cabbits to those who could support a Ministra as evidenced by the pactio cards." Kaede let this settle for a moment. "Between sharing these bracers and a cabbit, we should have sufficient ability with our combined skills to actually be able to protect Ranma-dono."

Kazumi takes the bracer and slides it onto her right forearm. For a moment the golden sphere flashed, and she would have sworn she almost felt a rumble of contentment? in the back of her mind. Shaking her head to clear it, Kazumi looks at Kaede. "So how do we go about getting a cabbit? I think Sayo-chan could use another playmate." She had to suppress a giggle when the ghost somehow made the doll's eyes seem to sparkle with happiness at this statement.

Kaede did the same with the bracer having the silver sphere. She seemed to listen for a moment before motioning for Kazumi to follow her down the stairs. Once they arrived in the common room she addressed the lone occupant of the veranda quietly. "Please forgive our intrusion Noriko-dono."

The young appearing woman just gave a soft smile and waved for the two girls to follow her to the shrine.

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The next morning the group assembled in the open field between the house and shrine. Ukyo, appearing like a red headed twelve year old wearing a modest jumper, tried her best not to glower at the four other girls with her. "I can understand how everyone would decide to get some payback on you four for the the embarrassing things you talked them into, but how did I get dragged into this?"

Kari chuckled. "Well Konatsu was such a sport yesterday, agreeing to take some of the more embarrassing male roles, we thought it was only fair to let him have the last really dashing male role."

Kazumi appearing like an eight year old with blond hair in a bob cut picked up the explanation. "Where would the fun be in that if his favorite lady did not get the female lead." Ukyo had to keep from grinding her teeth hearing Akane laughing from the sidelines at this.

Ukyo pointed at Nabiki and Paru, both looking about the same age as her, one with dark blue hair in buns and the other with dark green hair in a style similar to Kaede's normal except the long tail was in a braid. "Who is going to take the pictures if all four of the people who really know how to use a camera are in front of it?"

Kazumi takes out her pactio card. "Don't worry Sayo-chan and Kitsune have it handled." In a flash of light Sayo's focus is mounted on what looks like a hybrid between a satellite and Darth Maul's speeder bike. If this was not enough there was second one one ridden by a silver grey furred cabbit, with brown ear fur, waving at her with an impish grin.

Showing a little desperation to get out of what was coming, Ukyo tried one last argument. "This whole thing makes no sense. If endangered animals really had special abilities to protect the planet they would not be endangered in the first place."

Ukyo's last hope was shot down, buried, and covered in concrete when Konatsu finally spoke up. "Well Ukyo-sama as you said to Kotaro-kun a few days ago 'not everything has to make sense." As the now slightly taller boy with short brown hair laid his hand on Ukyo's shoulder, she trailed her eyes up the black slacks and white button down shirt he was wearing. She seriously considered smacking the slight smirk of his face, but finally sighed in defeat.

Nabiki chuckled. "Well if we want to keep the the order right your the first to start." Ukyo really tried not to glare at her smirk.
Finally deciding to get it over with Ukyo put on her best "for the customer" smile, and held out a locket Kari had given her. "Mew Mew Strawberry.....Metamorphosis."

After being enveloped in bright red light Ukyo stood with her feet and hands cocked to the side, wearing a extremely pouffy pink dress and pink hair. "Mew Ichigo here to help, Nyah." 'I can't kill them for the cat ears and tail,' was the litany endlessly being repeated through her head.
Nabiki was having difficulty not laughing but succeeded in kissing her locket before being enveloped in blue light. "Mew Mew Mint....Metamorphosis."

Ukyo and the others started laughing when Nabiki reappeared in a ballet dancer's pose wearing a short green dress, and a seriously overdone look of open mouthed excitement.

Paru recovered first and held her locket in front of her and was surrounded by green light and sparkling bubbles. "Mew Mew Lettuce Metamorphosis." She said in a soft sigh.

She reappeared wearing a green dress leaving her legs bare and posed as ready to start a flamenco. Laughter redoubled when she smirked in a far less than innocent manner.

Not to be outdone Kazumi jumped up wearing an expression of childlike enjoyment. After kissing her locket she held it in front of her heart with both hands. As she disappeared into a golden light the others heard, "Mew Mew Pudding...Metamorphosis."

A monkey tailed girl reappeared wearing a yellow pantsuit, ribbon bound leg coverings ending at the knee, and an expression of excitement showing from under where her right arm was held over her head, only slightly less overdone than Nabiki's had been.

Kari having waited patiently for her turn kissed her locket and then held it in her hands above her head. "Mew Mew Zakuro Metamorphosis" With a grin she leaned to the side almost making a crescent shape as her form was obscured by red flames. When Kari reappeared dressed in a dark indigo halter top, shorts and knee high boots it was accompanied by an image of roses and a crescent moon.

"No fair." Ukyo groused. "How come yours is more detailed at the end?"
Kari chuckles and runs her fingers through her violet hair. "I put that in the end thinking it would help convince Natsuki-chan to play the part, she does look more like Zakuro then I do normally, but it did not work out."
Ukyo would have argued further, but was stalled as Konatsu reached forward and seemed to draw a crystal broad sword from thin air. At the same time he transformed into a lithe blond haired young man wearing a long blue victorian style coat over a grey coat and slacks. "I believe you are the most beautiful creature I have seen Koneko-chan." Ukyo stared up into his now blue eyes and could not find a voice to respond.

Nabiki smirks and studies the cute outfits they are all wearing. "Are you sure that whoever came up with this show's idea did not ask Tomoyo-sensei to design these costumes."

"Not to my knowledge." Kari looks at all the others with a secretive grin. "It would not surprise me in the least though."

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After convincing the girls to rest for a while and check with Shugotenshi that everything was fine at the dorms, the enchantress settled in next to Raiju to happily watch as they woke up and immediately started flying around the inside of Valhalla.

The peace was disturbed when a man's voice was heard from below her. "No love I will not ask for it to be painted black, and I really have no intention of painting my face with red and black lines." There was a softer reply that Tomoyo could not quite hear, before the man spoke up again. "I agree with Noriko-san that your suggestion to shape the hull like a Marauder Corvette is a fine one, but that does not mean I plan to start wearing black robes or carry a double ended energy sword."

Tomoyo could just visualize the pout this earned even if she could not see or hear it. Seeing her new guests arrive on the same platform as her, she called out. "Don't worry too much Ku Ri-san, you can still work on convincing him to accept my offer to make him a caster."

A woman who looked like an older version of Ku Fei with light brown hair and green eyes dashed up to her and wrapped her in an excited hug. "I am so happy to see you again Tomoyo-chan." The woman leaned back, a look of child like glee in her eyes at odds with her appearing about the same age as Tomoyo. "Are the girls here?"

"I was just about the set out breakfast for everyone." Tomoyo winked at the other woman. "That should hopefully bring my wandering doves back in so I can introduce you."

It took a few minutes and some prodding from their trees to get the girls to come back in. Setsuna landed in front of Konoka in a slightly guarded pose, having noticed four new arrivals. Even being on guard she was unprepared for when the brown haired woman dressed in a cream colored cheongsam dress suddenly appeared to her side and gathered both of them in an impressively strong hug.

"Oh both of you are so adorable." The woman enthused while letting up slightly on the dazed girls. "Tomoyo-chan and Ku Fei have told me so much about you."

Light laughter brought their attention back to their mother. "Girls I would like you to meet your godparents." Turning to the blond haired man standing next to her, "This fine gentleman is Kuramitsu Mikaro of the planet Seniwan." With a barely covered giggle she continues. "The lady with you is Ku Ri, former champion of the village of Joketsuzoku in China."

Konoka manages to recover first. "Your Ku Fei's parents."

Setsuna hits on a more important thing their mother had said. "What did you mean the planet Seniwan?"

"The planet Seniwan is part of the Jurian empire, and the home planet of the Kuramitsu family." Mikaro grins. "Through a lot of good business deals over the millennia starting with my great great great grandfather we actually own the entire system and a good part of the rest of the sector."

"Millennia?" Konoka asks while staring at the man. "Please forgive my rudeness, but how old are you sir?"

"No offense taken." Mikaro says with a shrug. "I am actually among the younger generation in my family, at just over fifty years old."
Ku Ri clears her throat. "Husband I believe you should make that earth years."

Mikaro bows to his lady with a wry grin. "Thank you for reminding me my love. I apologize girls, even after living here on earth for quite some time I forget most people are not familiar with galactic standard years." The man pauses and thinks for a moment. "I guess it would be more appropriate to say I just recently turned one hundred and twenty six years old."

Seeing the girls expressions he laughs heartily. "I would not be too impressed by that. My mother is over four hundred earth years old, and my grandfather is over ten thousand."

Rolling his eyes he sighs. "Alas my grandfather has not kept up with his physical training and was definitely begining to show his age when I last saw him, almost sixty years ago now." Mikaro grins. "I decided to take a lesson from the previous emperor Azusa and train my self extensively and set out to seek new martial arts to develop my own style. Azusa is easily as old as my grandfather but still appears to be a man in the prime of his youth. Though that might have to do with his space tree being a first generation."

He pauses to look past the girls to look at their seedling trees and the two older trees. "Though I don't think your trees being second generation really makes that much difference, Princess Seto, Azusa's mother in law, looks younger than he does and her Mikagami is a second generation tree. I believe we will have plenty of time."

The girls blink in confusion at this but Setsuna finds her voice first. "Time for what Mikaro-san?"

"It is rare for girls to learn the Jurian sword style, but I have been asked by Tomoyo-san with Eishun's approval to teach their eldest daughter the style." Mikaro bows to Setsuna deeply. "Even for a master it is a rare honor to be asked to instruct a member of the Jurian royal family."

Setsuna drops unceremoniously to the ground when she realizes he is referring to her personally. Tomoyo puts a hand on the man's shoulder to stall him from speaking further. Turning to the girls she kneels in front of them. "I should explain this too you, even though I only found out myself in the last few days. By the laws of the Jurian empire any who are chosen by the goddess Tsunami to have a bond with one of her trees are made members of the royal family. That would include both of you girls, myself, and your father once I have the chance to introduce him to his tree." Tomoyo helps the girl to her feet. "Eishun and I would appreciate it if you would agree to study with Mikaro Set-chan."

Setsuna nods quietly and walks off with Mikaro a short distance away. Konoka leads her mother a short distance in a different direction and whispers earnestly. "The Goddess Tsunami!!? You said you received the trees from a woman who considers you her niece." Tomoyo puts a finger over her lips motioning for silence and winks at her child. Stepping behind the girl and turning her to watch her sister and her new sensei. "For the time being just watch."

"I understand you have a magical artifact that would be of use for practicing this sword style." The tall man smiles down at the puzzled girl. "Would you allow me to see it?"

Setsuna brings out her pactio card that bears Konoka's name as well as her own, quietly saying "Adeat" she is nearly blinded by the resulting flash of light and Mikaro also has to blink spots from his eyes. Instead of the simple short sword she expected there is a long sword in her hand with a blade of purest energy. The wooden handle seemingly grown from the roots of a tree wrapped around two gems pulsing with inner light.

Tomoyo leans down to whisper to the girl who looks very much like a younger version of herself. "His expression of surprise is worth keeping that small secret, don't you think?"

Tomoyo sighs and takes a moment to think about what her apprentice might be up to. 'Midori-chan is a sweet girl. I hope Kari-chan does not corrupt her too much.'
--------------

"YAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!"

'A definite nails on chalkboard quality to that.' Kari prays that her hearing was not damaged by Midori's laugh. "Alright you win. No man in his right mind would stay near a girl with a laugh like that, regardless of how cute or desirable a short skirted maids outfit she is wearing might be." Kari tries to massage the ringing from her ears while shaking her head at her older niece.

Sighing she glances at the hentai maid's outfit the older girl volunteered to wear, accessorized with a medical eyepatch and several sets of handcuffs. "I can also see where that might be over the top for teasing your fiance with."

Midori smirks. "Do you think I could borrow your outfit for when Alphonse gets back?"

Kari looks down at her demure, by comparison, schoolgirl outfit and idly runs her fingers through her straight blond hair. Most schoolgirls would not wear a button down shirt and V neck sweater at least a size too small, or a matching brown skirt that would violate indecency laws in the slightest breeze. With the ringing in her ears gone she decides to get into character. "Oh Shimei-chan we go to the same school so of course you have an outfit like this."

Happosai smiled at the girls and held his peace. He was having enough trouble trying to resist the urge to swirl his arms through the air to leave afterimages or attack imaginary targets shouting "Watata". 'Why do so many of these new series try reusing characters from the classics. Even in a school uniform Kenshiro is still Kenshiro.' Finally deciding it would be more fun to contemplate someone else's situation for a while, and looked to where Ranma was caught between two ladies.

Ranma had never enjoyed being short. Even being temporarily in the form of a school boy who looked like your average ninety pound weakling was an uncomfortable reminder of this. Kaede taking the form of a tall school girl wearing a very loose, and short, blue and white seifuku was not helping this feeling.

Granted she looked gorgeous with dark tanned skin and dark blue hair flowing loose to to be gathered by a bow below her knees. With her standing next to him with an arm draped over his shoulders he could see a nice expanse of tanned skin where the blouse did not quite reach the skirt top. 'If this kid I am playing was any more undersized it would not take much to look up and see if she was wearing a bra or not.' "So Kanu were you just planning on posing with me? or were you going to try for any action shots."
Kaede leaned into him, and suddenly he did not need sight to answer his earlier question. "Why when I am already with the only one I would want to have a free show?"

"I will protect you from this harlot Koukin-san" Ranma looked over to where Kazumi was standing in a slightly more modest school uniform. 'At least the silver haired girl is about the same height as the poor sap I let Kari-nee talk me into playing.' He really did not know if he should just sigh in defeat or give in and faint from blood loss when Kazumi pressed in on his other side.

Nabiki just smiled at his situation. Somehow she scored the role of a glasses wearing school girl with by far the least ecchi uniform. The skirt was still shorter then could possibly be allowed but the jacket she was wearing at least did not seem to be a size smaller than it should be. She smirked as she watched her youngest sister finally find a character to play that she liked and roll with it.

Akane felt like she was wearing a version of her old school jumper that has shrunk in the wash, the skirt more than a few times. She still grinned as she pointed her bracer clad arm at Kari, and let out an almost manic sounding screech. "Hakufu you cowardly little slut! let's finish our fight right here!, right now!"

Nabiki groaned, while her sister was playing the character perfectly she just knew Akane had been waiting to let off some steam. Fortunately she was saved from intervening by Kasumi gently taking their sister's shoulder and whispering in her ear.

Whatever Kasumi had said caused Akane to squeak and blush furiously. Granted the evil eye Akane gave her while she appraised the older girl's very short skirt and too tight jacket, sans shirt, only caused Kasumi to grin and turn on her heel to .... saunter over to where Tofu was standing, wearing a dress shirt and slacks. The older man succeeded, barely, in holding off a blush as she captured his arm with both of hers and leaned in to nuzzle his neck, barely even touching his rakishly windswept brown hair.
"Aren't I supposed to be the one to chase after you Ryofu-chan?" The man tried to ask, before Kasumi started nibbling on his ear.

Kasumi winked at him. "I intend to show you that estranged lovers can make up, and make wonderful things together."

Nabiki chuckled as her older sister lead her fiance into the house.

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Mana usually was very good at maintaining her composure, but every time she tried to catch the Katy woman, as she had come to call this so very annoying teacher, she would simply seem to disappear and then be standing next to the shop owner, making less than complimentary observations on Mana's skills

Finally after trying for who knows how long to so much as lay a hand on the woman, Mana shouted in frustration. "How exactly is trying to catch you supposed to help me learn Shunpo."

"It doesn't." The woman replied simply. Mana could not see the woman's smirk behind the mask, but she could hear it. She barely held in a scream as the woman continued. "This was simply a test to see what level of skill you had."

Mana stewed waiting for the woman to continue. After several minutes of continued silence mana fairly snarled. "Well?"

"While I compliment your choice in battle dress, now that you dropped the long coat. You are far too dependent on the range and rate of fire for your guns. Your hand to hand skills are pathetic." The infuriating woman simply shook her head sadly. "Before I could hope to to teach you shunpo I will have to teach you to move like at least a competent fighter and not an arthritic sailor with a peg leg made from lead."

Mana gritted her teeth refusing to give the woman the pleasure of rising to the bait and instead waited for her to continue. She had a slight bit of confusion when Katy took two slender rods from behind her back and tossed one to her. On closer inspection it appeared to be a guard-less sword handle just long enough for two hands.

"Consider this a gift." Mana heard the other woman say and blinked in shock when an energy blade came soundlessly from the one the sensei still held in her right hand. "There are several power settings these can use from stun to lethal. I will keep mine on stun for this exercise, as you have no chance to even touch me with it, feel free to set yours on whatever you like." The woman finished while taking a loose right foot forward sword stance

Mana concentrated on ignoring the smirk evident in Katy's voice and found the almost hidden selector switch. Choosing to only use stun as well, a dead teacher could not teach her anything, she tried to mimic the stance the sensei used.

Yoruichi was glad the mask hid her features so the girl would not be able to see the pain this situation caused her or the pride she felt for her child. Stealing herself she called out. "Shall we dance Neko-chan?"

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

"Bomb a Head! ....Your Party Time! (Party Time) Ah Yeah!(Yeah!)"

Ranma found himself going through a quick mental list of things Happosai could do that would have set of his weirdness radar not to long ago.

"Time to Party Time! (Party Time!)...Ah Yeah! (Yeah!)"

Cranking up the sound on a boom box, 'Nope not really.'

"Bomb a Head! Bomb a Head! moedasu youna atsuitamashii!"

Dressed as a Jamaican, complete with dreads, in baggy pants and T-shirt. 'Depends on what new scheme he was hatching.'

"Bomb a Head! Bomb a Head! muchashite shitta hondou no ore wo."

All of the above and mixing Capoeria with breakdancing! 'Yes we have a winner!'

"Everytime odoru yumega odoru kyou toiu RIZUMU de"
"Everytime sakebu kokoro sakebu asu wo misutenaito Let's Go!"

So why exactly did Ranma join in, well it just looked like the master was having a blast and he decided to have some fun too.

This is how Ranma later found himself wearing a long black coat as part of a male school uniform, and having a grinning Kazumi hugging him. 'At least she is wearing a more modest school uniform, even if the sweater was almost as long as the skirt.' He seriously wanted to know if Kaede taught her that disarming grin, or if she just came up with it on her own, either way he could not make himself ask her to let go.

Ranma watched as Konatsu was still trying to compete with Happosai, his character was a short haired guy wearing just a simple dress shirt and slacks. 'What is with asking me to play guys that are short today? This kid's blond hair has to stick up a good quarter meter to try and make up for it.'

Ranma took some solace is seeing Kaede playing an eight year old girl dressed in a long red kimono top and blue hakuma pants. He was curious how she managed not to trip over her long silver white hair and hold a full sized shinai while dancing.

Ranma watched as the latest song ended and Happosai was joined by Shizuna. 'She looks cute with her hair short like that, but by the kami, why did it take Kari and Paru both to convince her to wear a crop top under those coveralls.'

He decided it was best to think about something else for a while, and noticed chibi Kaede grinning at him. 'That can not possibly be legal' was all he could think when she pounced on him and grew to full height, without changing clothes, mid-flight.

Takamichi paused from enjoying his first good excuse to smoke in several days, even if he did have to make the hair on the sides of his head black to do so, and turned to Nabiki and Kari who who doing camera duty. "I trust whatever photos are taken, only ones that will not cause anyone to get into trouble will be kept in any manner." The girls caught on that this was more a command then a question, and readily agreed.

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The game center attached to the cafeteria on Mahora campus was relatively quiet on a sunday evening. Sergeant Sousuke Sagara was finding he could actually relax and offer the two ladies he was assigned to protect suggestions for movements to practice with their angels. 'I wonder if they will realize that I have been suggesting Krav Maga moves to add to their dance."

The young man shrugged and studied the surroundings again. The only other person in the area appeared to be a gaijin woman who was a member of the maintenance group studying something on her cell phone, and glancing curiously at the layer every once in a while.

Sousuke observed calmly as girl younger then Chidori or Tessa walked by on the way from the cafeteria. 'Southern asian maybe, but not with that hair color.' He wondered Idly. The lady seemed to perk up at seeing the girl and turned so the phone was pointed in that direction. 'Perhaps she it taking a photo?' He wondered idly. He proceeded to watch the girl leave the area and when he looked back... Sousuke sprang to his feet in surprise, The woman was no where to be seen.

Regaining his composure, he quickly scanned the area for threats and used his cell phone to call Sgt. Kurz. The other man reported that the arm slave's sensors had not picked up anything and the outside perimeter was secure. Sousuke advised to make a note to watch out for the woman in the future and gave a full description of her and the girl.

Twenty minutes later Kurz called him back. "Hey Sagara you are not going to believe this."

"What did you find?" he asked quietly so not to disturb the girls.

"I have tracked that girl you mentioned running all over campus." He heard from the receiver. "She will stop someplace for a minute and then go tearing off in another direction. A couple of times I had a visual of where she stopped and the nice looking lady you described will walk up to her and try to talk before the girl starts running again."

"Possible threat?" The soldier ask quietly.

"No she does not look like a fighter and when she was close enough I ran a quick scan and did not find any weapons." The man's voice pauses. "But when I mean she just walked up to the girl, I mean she just comes from around a corner to walk up, no sign of having rushed to get there and some of the locations have been at least half a kilometer apart. I am fast enough to pass the fitness test myself, but I could not keep up with this kid and not be short of breath."

"Keep an eye on the situation and contact Urzu-2." Sousuke replies. "Ask her to decide if campus security needs to be contacted, and prepare a report for the client."

The young man closes his phone and turns back to the girls, who had been enjoying themselves to much to notice.

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

The Narutaki twins had also been engrossed in playing with their angels on one of the layers in the clubroom, when Ku Fei came running into the room out of breath and in a state of near panic.

"Help..need hide." The girl managed to gasp out.

Fumika was the first to respond. "Ku Fei-nee what's wrong? You look like you have seen a ghost."

"No weird lady...out of nowhere... hug me, Aru" Ku Fei is near tears at this point. "I run, but every time..turn 'round she there."

Fuka tries to calm their roommate. "Did she say anything or try to hurt you."

Ku Fei shakes her head and starts to calm down. "No, I hear squeal, and she move fast to grab me, Aru."

"So she has been chasing you all over campus?" Fumika asks.

"I not see follow, but I stop she there." Ku Fei starts to get her breathing under control. "She even in our room a minute ago after I locked the door behind me."

Fuka scratches her head. "You know somehow this sounds like that american cartoon where the duck was trying to get away from the little man with glasses." Ku Fei had calmed down enough to join the twins in giggling. Only to hear a high pitched female voice behind her

"Now I wouldn't say that..." Whatever else she might have said was cut off by a chorus of shrieks from the girls. The only thing that stopped them from bolting was she was between them and the door.

Having tried everything else to get the girl to stop and talk to her for the last half hour she finally tries what most likely she should have done first. Kneeling on the floor, she bows deeply. "Sumimasen desu" She says softly before looking up at the girls, still seeing wariness in their eyes she tries to make herself less of a stranger. "I did not mean to startle you, and I was over eager. Please allow me to introduce myself, I am Kuramitsu Mitoto."

The woman's blue eyes focus on Ku Fei. "I believe you are very familiar with my son Mikaro."

notes:

Kenshiro -(if you don't know, then shame on you :P, just kidding) - is the main character in Hokuto no Ken or Fist of the North Star.

Sumimasen desu - please excuse/forgive me

For the Negima fans out there, I wanted to point out that Aquastar has released the fansub of the first Ala Alba OAD.

Hope everyone has had a great new year so far, and thanks for reading.

Chapter 38
Chapter 40
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