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A Kaze Makase Tsukikage Ran short story
by Elsa Bibat

A story set in "A Dance Set to the Music of Time" sequence.

Disclaimer: Kaze Makase Tsukikage Ran is owned by Victor Entertainment. All licenses belong to the proper people. This is used without permission.

This disclaimer also applies to several intellectual properties referred to in the text. Please be guided accordingly.


I sigh a little as I enter the small town. Another small town, just like almost everyplace I have ever visited on this journey of mine, going where the wind brings me.

I walk in, slipping my arms out of my gi. The rough edges of my hakama sway in the slight wind that blew lightly with my entrance, kicking up a little dust. The main street was quite busy, merchants and townspeople going about their business.

Where the hell is Myao?

I look around a little and decide to settle myself in a simple restaurant open to the street.

"Oyaji, sake!" I loudly order, as I look up and down the street for my errant self-declared little sister. Though I sometimes wonder how the young girl managed to get so attached to me, she is quite a handy girl to have in a fight.

Nekotekken no Myao. My 'little sister'. Constant pain in the ass and a good friend.

The old man set a bottle of sake in front of me along with the little saucer cup that was used to drink sake. I nod thanks and pour myself a serving. I wheeze, as always, after I drink it, but everyone does that. And besides I haven't had sake in a day now. Have to catch up on my consumption.

Another cup and I look out the street once more.

Where the hell is Myao?

As I scan the main street, my eyes chance upon an amusing sight. A young couple were walking side by side, obviously newly married by the way the woman was making googly eyes at the young man, a samurai with his hair in the usual top-knot.

When was the last time you looked at a man like that, Ran?

The thought had come out of nowhere that it almost made me spill my sake.

Damn.

But, really, it's been a long time since I've dressed up in a pretty kimono, or tied up my hair, except for this ponytail. Or even took a bath, I think to myself in amusement, as I take another swig of sake. The white gi, the tattered blue hakama, the obi and, most of all, the katana that hung in its scabbard by my side, were all supposedly for men. I was supposed to be an orchid, like my name, a beauty that would bring honor to my family.

A husband. Children. A good household. Nowadays, I'm a kenshi wandering all over the country, trying her best to scrape money by being a dojo destroyer, a bodyguard, a sell-sword.

The last time I looked like that for a man was for Jun.

I was starting to get depressed. Another swig of sake should make it better.

AH. That hit the spot.

Hope Jun and that geisha of his live happy. The way I broke his arm, he'd probably be able to get back to being a sell-sword after a few months and that geisha of his was good. She'd probably get a few ryo for a performance of two.

I look out again on the street and I finally pick out Myao. That pink Chinese outfit of hers would make her rather distinctive, especially the way she moved. Moved like a cat. They didn't call her Nekotekken for nothing.

She skids to a halt in front of me, the kaiken she has stuck in her belt jangling a little.

"'Neesan, someone needs our help! Come on!" She practically pulls me to my feet as I throw a few coins to pay for the sake that I bought, along with the bottle. Can't just leave sake lying around, you know.

I take the bottle and transfer its contents into my metal traveling flask, as I start after Myao.

Another person in trouble. Why does Myao always drag me into these thing?

Though I have to admit we've done a large amount of good. Getting rid of bandits, reforming conmen, fighting for the yakuza, helping out poor families, hell, we're probably doing better work than the samurai who claim to serve the people. And I'm doing a lot more good than staying at home, married to some samurai.

Always, me an Myao manage to arrive at places where our help was needed. Always going where the wind brings us.

Maybe the kami of the wind are guiding us? I am amused by the thought. I am a disgrace to my family and clan. The only thing I have going for me is I can kill a lot more people than most samurai or kenshi can.

And the way things are going, the kami seem to want me doing their dirty work.

But hey, I'm having a lot more fun being a wandering kenshi.

Besides the sake's always good. And no one tells me what to do. Just me doing what I can and want to do.

Kazemakase.

I smile to myself at the thought of such a life. Of my motto as I started down this path. And I run after Myao, my 'little sister', a bit faster, living the life I wanted to lead.

Free and easy.

 


Glossary:

Kaiken: a long dagger, usually used by women to commit suicide when captured, though Myao uses it much better as an all-purpose field knife if anything else.

Kenshi: swordsman


Author's notes: Kaze Makase Tsukikage Ran, which can be translated as 'Free and Easy' Tsukikage Ran, is a new jidai-geki anime I have taking a liking to. It was shown on Wowow for some time, and I fell in love with the characters: the wandering swordswoman Tsukikage Ran (Ran as in Orchid by her name kanji) and her "little sister", the exuberant martial artist, Nekotekken no Myao, or just Myao. It just ended today.

The series is quite cool, a bit more episodic than normal anime, but the way Ran kicks ass with her sword is reminiscent of RK so much that I fell in love with it. She's kinda like a mix between Kasumi from R1/2, Misato from EVA and Himura from RK in the essence of that she's so peacefully Kasumi-like in one moment, a drunken lush the next and a deadly swordswoman that dislikes blood so much that she usually uses the flat of her blade or her meager hand-to-hand skills and killing only when its the last resort.

Nekotekken no Myao is another character I like since she uses a style of martial arts familiar to every Ranma fan. Yes, she uses a style that if I remember correctly is called by the show as Nekoken. And she is positively cat like in how she acts, both in and out of combat. I remember the episode where she scratched a local samurai who tried to kill her, ending up with him having distinct cat scratches on his face. ^_^

Anyway, I just loved the series and I wanted to write about it, though I missed half of the damn series because of RL troubles.

Thanks for reading.

Blood on the Road
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