Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 40 - Speed ( Chapter 40 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
was considering having Ranma challenge Kotaro to an eating contest, but as Dreaming Fox showed recently that one would be tough to call. So I decided to get a bit more inventive.

single quotes (' ') denote thoughts or telepathy
forward slashes (/ /) denote translated speech

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the series mentioned in this story. This story is created solely for entertainment and no intention of profit.

Chapter 40 - Speed

Ranma was happily dozing as the train pulled into Tokyo station for the group to switch the the lower speed, and more cramped, subway. As the subway moved to Mahora he could not quite explain how he ended up between Kazumi and Kaede, but could not find a real reason to complain.

Asking Inhoshi to pretend to be Ranko, to gain him some extra space when they switched to the the Mahora local light rail, had resulted in the cabbit only smiling and mentally replying that she was tired and curling up next to Kitsune, she was still on Ranma's shoulder it just happened that the other cabbit curled up on the shoulder Kaede had leaned against him.

Arriving at the dorm he was finally able to separate himself from the girls, but was stopped from heading off to bed by Kazumi.

"Would you or Happosai-sensei mind if I joined you in your morning lessons?" She asked quietly.

Ranma shrugged sleepily. "I don' think sensei will mind. Another begining student will jus' give me more practice as a teacher. Ya' do need to get to sleep soon if your gonna be up in time, we both need ta." The last came out followed by a jaw creaking yawn. Kazumi gave him a quick hug, which he barely had the energy to react to, before moving quickly away to her own room.

Kaede waved as Kari and Akiri gently guided the boy into their room, and turned down the hall to find her own. She idly scratched at Kitsune's ears as she walked into the common room, and discovered a puzzling sight.

The twins and Ku Fei sitting on the couch she had expected. The Tall blond haired woman hugging the Wu Shu stylist was a bit of a surprise. Kaede coughed politely to get the groups attention. Ku Fei extracted herself, Obiru remained happily on the woman's shoulder, and bowed to the older woman. "Obaa-san this is room mate Nagase Kaede." Turning to grin and bow to the confused kunoichi, Ku Fei completed introductions. "Kaede this is father's mother Kuramitsu Mitoto. She staying with us for a few days."
Kaede bowed to Mitoto. "While I have no problems with that, Tomoyo-dono, the dorm manager, would have to approve."

Kaede opened her eyes wider to look at the group when they started laughing. "I appreciate your concern, but we spoke to her earlier." Answered the soprano voice of their guest. "She and her girls had a distraction at the time, but she offered to find me a place to stay here in the dorms, so I could be close to Ku Fei-chan, If I agreed to help her with cleaning the building. So I am only staying here until then."

Kaede grinned and nodded her acceptance. "May I ask what was distracting her?"

Between giggles Fuka was able to get out. "Mana was apparently getting some special training ..... they found her collapsed on the couch looking like a huge bruise and were trying to heal her."

"They thought she would be alright." Fumika paused for another set of giggles. "I heard her mumble something about getting even with 'katy', before Tomoyo-san started laughing."

Kaede shook her head. While she did not wish the exorcist pain, it was still hard not to laugh at her sometimes rival's predicament.

At the same time Asuna and Negi were walking into their suite to see the scene. Mana looked functional at least, but an incredibly tired looking Setsuna had to ask for Asuna to help her get the taller girl into her bed, before falling asleep herself.

"Are they going to be alright Tomoyo-sensei?" Negi asked with a hint of worry.

"They just had a tiring day training under new teachers Negi-kun." The enchantress replied, looking with a small amount of concern at the now closed door. "I will have to have a talk with Mana's teacher though."

Ranma meanwhile was blissfully asleep. Inhoshi curled up against him was trying not to giggle and disturb him, while mentally catching up on events with Shugo and Obiru.

The next morning dawned peacefully with the sun waking Ranma before his alarm could do the job. Inhoshi gave him a kiss on the cheek before running off to help Akiri wake up Kari, since it was her turn to make breakfast. Ranma went to the suite's restroom and briefly took a cold shower to help him be fully awake for the morning training.

Coming out dressed in something like his old silk pants and shirt, Ranma heard the bustling in the kitchenette and chuckled at Kari looking around in confusion as the cabbits were setting things up for a slow cook. Hearing this Kari turned to face him.

"Why do I think the three of you are planning something." Kari stated with a wry grin. "And why am I not sure I will like it."

"Well Master Happosai wanted me to start coaching anyone willing in a morning exercise session." Ranma smirked. "We even talked Haruna into joining us and she suggested you should join as well."

"What if I say no?" Kari groaned as suddenly Akiri, Inhoshi, and Ranko gave her the new advanced version, developed with the twins help, of the puppy eyes of doom. "Alright you win, but what should I wear?"

Ranma grinned. "Your normal slacks and blouse seem free enough to move in for what Ku Fei and I were planning, and you can clean up in the baths once we are done."

Kari let out a labored sigh, and allowed the smiling Akiri, dressed in a tunic and pants, to playfully pull her along after a similarly dressed Inhoshi.

The group found their way to a small grass field near the dorms. Ranma was surprised to find all of the Tendo sisters already there, even if Nabiki looked to still be trying to wake up. He shared a smile with his mother and Noriko when they joined him. Kenji happily hugging Akiri.

He sighed when someone leaned against his back. Turning slightly he had trouble deciding what his reaction should be, slight annoyance was loosing ground rapidly to a warm feeling, Kazumi was leaning against him basically asleep where she stood. Considering she was dressed in a very becoming sleeveless t-shirt and bike shorts, Ranma was reasonably certain she had assistance getting there, the prime suspect, his ministra, was standing several feet away from them looking elsewhere. The second of the usual suspects, Inhoshi, had wandered over to the other cheerleaders, so for once she might be in the clear on this one, when she smiled back at Ranma he had to wonder about that though.

"I appreciate all of you being willing to join us this morning." The quiet hum of conversation pervading the group was silenced as Happosai called everyone to attention. Ranma stepped to the side and gently put his arm around Kazumi's shoulders to steady her while patting her cheek to see if he could bring her to wakefulness. "Seeing how we have quite a few relative beginners this morning, I thought we would do simple Tai Chi exercises and break in time for the high school students," Nodding to Negi and Shizuna. "and faculty to finish breakfast and clean up before having to rush to beat the first bell." This last statement was greeted by appreciative murmurs.
Happosai proceeded to split them up into smaller groups with himself, Ku Fei, Ranma, Nodoka, Noriko after some small protests, and Kasumi as group leaders. Ranma's group of course included Kazumi, since she was not quite awake yet, as well as Kaede, Inhoshi, and Madoka who had joined them when Inhoshi returned.

Since time was limited a halt was called after only a half hour. On the way to the baths, Ranko was able to get together with Kari, Akiri and Paru. "I need to ask the two of you for a favor." The other girls' matching grins kept getting wider as Ranko told them her idea while they began washing up. Inhoshi just miyahed happily as Ranko washed her fur.

Kari offered to wash the other redhead's back for her as the conversation continued. "I know you promised Konatsu a rematch of some sort Ran-chan, but what gave you this idea?"

"I just was trying to think of things that neither of us were likely to have done before, so no advantage would come from it," The shorter girl sighed as Kari's fingers found a knotted group of muscles and worked some of the tension out. "and if it is a team effort more people can have fun, with hopefully less chance of trouble."

Paru paused in helping Akiri wash. "Well if you want the Exploration club and Strolling club to work together on this, who should we ask to represent the strolling club?" She mused thoughtfully before her grin turned slightly evil. "The twins! they would have a blast helping with the setup."

Quickly finishing cleanup and rinsing off, the group skipped soaking in favor of returning to Kari and Ranko's room to get something to eat and continue their plans, and for Paru to press her case to play host.

Akiri waved to the two girls as they left the room to head to the high school together. "Kari-mama who else do you plan to ask for help?"

"We first need to talk to Konoe-sensei to get permission." Kari looked thoughtful for a moment. "Then I think I will ask Winry-sensei and Hakase-san if they have more of those camera drones. That might be the limiting factor on the number of teams."

Akiri looked puzzled for a second. "What about asking Kazumi to use her artifact Occulus Corvinus?"

"While we could probably pass the spy satellites off as a new type of camera drone." Kari winks at her little girl. "I don't think we could pry her away from being in a team with Ran-chan." Akiri giggles in response." Kari finishes cleaning up the breakfast dishes, and wonders if she could fabricate more camera drones by the next day. 'I just need the plans and to gather the materials. A week in my new workshop should be more than enough time.'

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Ranko and Haruna both breathed a sigh of relief as they walked into their classroom well before the bell. The first week had been full of confusion as to where everyone would sit in the new room, but most everyone felt comfortable sitting with who that had for several terms now. This left Ranko a total of three choices. Taking over Sayo-chan's seat would have been rude, and while she really did not have a problem with Eva, the high daylight walker definitely seemed to like her space. Which meant Ranko took over Chao's old seat.

Normally this was not much of an issue and she was getting to know her seat mate Misora pretty well. This morning though, Ranko thought the girl looked as jumpy as if she had been chased by a half dozen ghost cats looking for a bride.

"Hey are you alright?" Ranko asked quietly.

"I will be." Misora nodded slowly, but looked no less nervous. "I had duty working in the chapel this weekend and got to know two new nuns in training."

"I take it the were not very friendly." The redhead says as she places a hand on the other girls shoulder.

Misora shakes her head. "They were not mean or rude, Miyu-san is just... well cold. Nao-san on the other hand is scary, she just gives off this bloodthirsty air that makes sister Shakti seem like a kitten." The brown haired girl shivered. "Then there is this little girl about Negi-sensei's age named Alyssa that always is around Miyu. She sings and looks like a little angel, but in her own way she is more frightening than Nao."

Ranko looks across the Isle where Paru and Fuka are talking around Kaede and Fumika's seats, and grins. "Well if they give you any outright trouble come tell me and I will help, but in the meantime let me tell you about an fun Idea I had." The other girl's mischievous grin grew wider by the second, and her nervousness was forgotten as Ranko gave out the details
All conversations ceased as the bell rang, and everyone hurried to their seats just in time for Ayaka to call everyone to attention as Negi walked into the room.

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

Nabiki laid contentedly on her bed watching a video on her laptop. She had gladly followed Kari's example in only sighing up for enough classes to be officially enrolled in the university. 'Becoming the ward of the head of a powerful family has its perks. I might as well take my time and enjoy not having to worry about money or rushing to start a career.'

The dark haired girl laughed when the heroine in the video sent the assassin she was fighting to the bottom of a waterfall with a playful smirk after she handcuffed him to the battle mech she had rigged to overheat.

Nabiki gently brushed the black gossamer wing on her angel that Tomoyo-san had helped her make. "We are no one's toy or doll are we."

She looked up to see the heroine steal a kiss from the, to Nabiki's mind, delicious looking hero. "Your a cold lady." The man's voice said.

The heroine smiled sadly "I am always cold."

As the credits rolled Nabiki finally stretched and began to get ready to head to class. She could never admit to anyone what she liked about this short series. No one would believe the "Ice Queen" sympathized with the cheeky girl who was not really given a choice about her purpose in life.

-----------

Ranko grinned at seeing her oldest friend for lunch. "Hey Ucchan you having fun."

Ukyo smiled at the other girl as she flipped a super sized okonomiyaki onto the plate in front of the young boy that her ninja had taken an interest in training with. "Depends Ranchan, are you going to challenge Konatsu to a rematch and make it a weekly event?" Glancing at how quickly the food was disappearing she snickered. "Though I think Kotaro-kun is in training to challenge you for your speed eating title."

Ranko gave the now choking boy a couple light smacks on the back, and suppressed a snicker of her own when he glowered at Ukyo. "I have a different idea in mind, but Kari-nee said she needed a couple of days to set it up."

"Oh what did you have in mind?" Konatsu asked ask he walked up from delivering an order.

Ranko puts on her most innocent look. "Telling would spoil the surprise Konatsu-chan."

Ukyo snorts. "Well sugar, if your going to play coy no special for you."

"Ah but Ucchan, I'm starving." Ranko tries her puppy eyes attack.

Only to have Ukyo be looking away and holding up her hand in a stop gesture. "No, no sugar, It's too late now."

All and all Konatsu and Kotaro thought it was a wonderful show before Ukyo finally gave in several minutes later.

---------

Kari had been overjoyed that the headmaster had agreed to see her shortly after lunch. She and Akiri were having a wonderful time listening to Toko tell stories about her boyfriend while they waited outside Konoe-sensei's office.

The young enchantress was a little surprised at the woman leaving the office. The woman's dark blond hair was stood out less then Kari's own red hair, but what caught her attention was the uniform the woman was wearing. It was a simple dark blue blouse and black skirt, but the cut and style had a police or military feel to it. The only sort of badge the woman wore was shaped like a shield with a set of scales on it and an almost glowing pearl inset in the stem of the scales.

The woman gave Kari the briefest of nods and a smile as she stepped into the hall from the outer office. She pushed the mystery of the woman to the back of her mind as Toko directed her into the headmaster's office.

A few minutes after the door closed, Toko heard a deep laugh come from the headmaster. The Shinmei-ryu practitioner rubbed her temples, while it was good to hear that the man was enjoying himself, she had learned that it quite often meant that chaos was about to befall someone.

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

Even though she was struggling to catch her breath, Ranko was all grins as the last class of the day, gym, was ending. Turning to her newest rival, so far the only one that had not tried to kill her, she grinned at the other red head. "One of these... days I will... out run you on the track... Asuna-chan."

Even panting the other girl's grin reached her bicolor eyes. "Maybe... when pigs... fly Ran-chan."

Asuna looked up when the other girl was overcome with giggles. Ranko had to take a moment to recover again before she could answer the questioning gaze. "That... really might happen.. the next time Akane runs into Ryoga."

It only took Happosai producing a video of the other fighter changing between forms for her to believe it, and Ranma had been grateful for her anger management classes when Akane simply sadly stated that she was sorry she did not believe all of the hints he had tried to give her.

Ranko glanced up to see Ku Fei talking animatedly with Mao-sensei, at least whatever they were discussing seemed to set the woman at ease.

Heading into the locker room and directly to the showers Ranko sighed contentedly as the warm water eased the slight soreness from her legs. She almost felt sad about it when Inhoshi informed her that the coast was clear in the boy's locker room.

Several minutes later Ranma waved to Inhoshi as she went with the other cheerleaders off to practice. Ranma himself made his way to the field to see what was happening with the Strolling club and Chinese Martial Arts club. To his surprise he found the Strolling club's meeting was cancelled, as the twins were making secret plans for the challenge, and Ku Fei had politely requested that Happosai let her out of practice for the afternoon so she could spend time with her grandmother. Which left Ranma with the old master's full attention as Kaede nearly dragged away Kotaro and Konatsu to help her train her new student.

"So what do you have planned for today?" Ranma asked politely, somewhat unnerved by the man's grin.

"Today we practice Ki manipulation." The man said sagely. "It is well past time you learned to project Ki without using emotion as a crutch."

"But my Moko Takabisha is a great attack." Ranma protested.

"When it works it is fine." The man stated with a slight frown. "Should it fail, you have found yourself unable to repeat it, and when it works it is more likely for you to become overconfident and sloppy." Watching the boy deflate he decided to change tactics. "On the other hand it is a massive improvement on the original Shi Shi Hokodan, that boy Ryoga would be likely to simply kill himself before too much longer." The master grimaces and nearly snarls out. "I swear if I could ever find the imp that keeps giving those scrolls to people I would thrash him."

Ranma shivers at the expression on his teachers face. "Um, Ryoga said he received the scroll from a miner who was trapped in a cave in with him."
"Fairly convenient don't you think? Ryoga meeting a miner in an abandoned mine, after a cave in." Happosai says with a wry grin. "The being he encountered was a minor earth demon that feeds on human suffering and depression. Whatever the boy wants to believe, that technique will only bring him further pain."

"So ah, what do we need to do then Sensei?" Ranma asks quietly, fearing the worst.

"Well Ranma my boy, you are quite good at centering yourself and concentrating while in motion." Happosai almost chuckled at the boys expression. "Now we need to work on where your lacking, centering yourself in stillness. Whatever you believed, standing on your head and jabbering is not meditation." He finally did laugh at the boys groan.

-----------

Kari and Akiri arrived at Winry's workshop just in time to hear her finish a conversation with a light haired man wearing a coal black suit. "No Hayate, I have no issue with Lisa meeting with the boy if that is what Nagi wants, as long as they both remember by any country's laws he won't be old enough to marry for the better part of a decade."

"What about Kazuharu-sama, Winry-san?" The man quietly asks.

"Edward and I appreciate that you trained the boy to be able to survive a lot." Winry shakes her head. "It is past time for Edward to reign that boy in, I swear he must like pain with some of the stunts he pulls." Kari can see the man straining to contain a grin under his dark sunglasses. "Yes if he wants to come along let him. Hopefully he won't cause too much trouble." Before the man can turn she asks him a question. "Why is Nagi so dead set against them coming to school here anyway?"

"She attended a private academy where the environment was less than beneficial." Hayate gives a small shrug. "The school they attend now is reasonably well respected, and they get the chance to interact with students of different social status."

"Mahora is hardly exclusive Hayate-kun." Winry states mildly.

"I have never attempted to fully rationalize Ojo-sama's ideas." The lanky man grins. "Maria always said it was easier to avoid headaches that way."

Winry shakes her head ruefully and waves the man to go on. He bows politely to Kari on his way to the door. "What was all that about Winry-sensei?"

"Just something else Edward has been doing his best to avoid since he stopped using the name Fukuyama Eriol." Winry smiles at the girls. "So what can I help you with?"

"Do you have any of the spy drones Lingshen Chao and Hakase-chan created, or the plans for them?" Kari asks brightly.

This causes the machinist to raise an eyebrow. "Since they got into so much trouble with them, I have to ask what you are interested in them for?"

"I have a game in mind, and I already have the permission of the headmaster." Kari says with a wide eyed excited grin.

Winry listens patiently to the girl's plans, and has to chuckle at the possibilities. "I have the plans, but Hakase-chan would probably love to be involved in controlling them during this challenge of yours."

-----------

The wind blows across the bright sands feeling like it came straight from a blast furnace as Kazumi steps off the marble platform that brought her and three other girls. "So now that you and the other ninja have run me ragged for the last three days, what do you plan to do?" She continues a bit testily. "The only break I have had is when Nabiki showed up to ask you to help train her."

Kaede smiles and the silver orb on her bracer pulses, moments later she is dressed in her ninja garb with the addition of silver bracers and greaves, her pactio card glows and she is wearing a long tattered cloth as a scarf. "First we see the result of your training and go from there." Kaede jumps into the air, and remains there. She turns casually in midair to look down at where Kazumi is standing.

Kazumi sighs and watches words appear on the surface of the gold orb on her bracer. In the back of her mind she hears a deep male voice say "Knight Armor Setup." Her clothing shifts so that her crop top and jean shorts are complemented by a red, with golden trim, short jacket and open front skirt, gold gauntlets with guards to the elbow and scarlet knee high boots. One final flash with the mental broadcast 'Sword Form' and a golden glowing Katar appears over the gauntlet on her right arm.

holding her new pactio card out in front of her with her left hand Kazumi shouts "Occulus Corvinus una sattellit omni occulus Adeat" One of her normal satellites flies from the glow and when it fades Kazumi is wearing a gold tinged visor with a golden gem centered above her brows looking like a third eye. Internally she worked to get past seeing from her position and the satellite's.

The kunoichi smiled down at her. "Kurator gives you powerful shields, but you can never be certain of their limits. I think it would be best for you to get more comfortable with avoiding attacks so we don't have to find out."

The reporter felt a sense of dread as Kaede reached behind her with right hand and pulled her giant shuriken from her cloak. When kunai appeared in the girl's left hand and glowing metal orbs appeared in the air in front of her, Kazumi broke out in a cold sweat.

Kaede smiled serenely, as if she was not now prepped to destroy a small city. "We could spend years practicing forms and you would not be at my level of attack. instead I have one simple task for you" Kaede twirled into a roundhouse kick with her silver greaves impacting the floating spheres sending them streaking like meteors. "Dodge."

Nabiki standing on the platform clapped her hands and said a small prayer while watching Kaede chase the other girl across the desert. Even though she did not have any desire for the other girl to be hurt, her prayer at the moment was because after the Kunoichi found Kazumi's limits her, and her angel's, turn was next.

The tall girl with silver tinged light brown hair standing next to her, wearing a tight sweater and slacks, just gave a grin that looked a lot like Kaede's trademark.

notes:
Occulus Corvinus una sattellit omni occulus Adeat - Raven's Eye one satellite with all seeing eye appear.

Chapter 39
Chapter 41
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