A Ranma ½ / Oh! My Goddess crossover story
Disclaimer: Okay, li'l keiki, you know the drill… Ranma ½ and its
characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz
Video, which certainly isn't me. I'm just using them shamelessly. Other characters
and situations that may appear in the series are inspired or borrowed from Jim
Bader, Nicole Manders, DB Summers, and many others that I haven't yet mentioned…
Chapter 5: Nabiki Holmes and Dr. Kasumi, I presume?
Nabiki and Kasumi Play Detective, and Ukyo Plans a Trip…
Nerima. Ranma Saotome. The Official Fiancée Brigade. The Tendo Household.
Peace and quiet. Now there's an equation that just doesn't add up. And
yet, in the Tendo residence, that's just what was occurring, despite the presence
of such formerly volatile elements as Ukyo Kuonji, Shampoo, and Akane Tendo.
Of course, when I say "peace and quiet", I mean that in the relative
sense. This is Ranma Saotome we are talking about, after all.
And yet, it was a peaceful morning in Nerima… a slight wisp of fog
lent a certain air of mystery to the town, yet the day held the promise of being
bright and sunny. The local birds were chirping merrily away, thankful that
the local cats were all well-fed and content, and the housewives were out doing
their morning shopping in the little grocerie stores, to make sure their breakfasts
were of the freshest foods.
There was at least one person who had already done the morning shopping, and
had, with the help of three others, already prepared her family's breakfast.
Her name was Kasumi Tendo, and this morning's meal at the Tendo residence went
something like this:
"Ranma, you can at least try it!" Akane growled as she offered
her erstwhile fiancé something that at least resembled rice. Despite
the boy's refusals to sample the substance, or passing such comments like, "Man,
Akane, I don't think rice is supposed to move under its own power…" the
middle Tendo daughter wasn't getting as mad as she might have. No mallets were
mysteriously appearing, for one thing. And this was a very strange thing, for
there was also Ukyo and Shampoo, and Ranma wasn't having any trouble accepting
their food. The Akane of old would be seething at this point.
But this wasn't the Akane of old. She could still remember, as could Ranma
and Ukyo, the image of Shampoo's broken body lying on the pavement after she
had saved Ukyo from a suicide attempt. The idea that Shampoo could be so self-sacrificing
was a shock and a surprise to Akane, and the thought of coming close to losing
Ukyo, and the very real likelihood of losing Shampoo forever… well, there
were a lot of times when Akane had wished deeply that Shampoo and Ukyo both
would just go away, but now she realized just how important they both were to
her. When the doctors told her, Ranma, and Ukyo there was no possible way for
the Amazon to recover from such massive injuries, their mutual grief was profound.
It was to everyone's amazement that Shampoo, regardless of her physicians' dire
predictions, made a full and very speedy recovery.
Shampoo, of course, had no such memories of this terrible incident that had
brought them all closer together. Not because the trauma of the situation purged
her mind of it, but because, quite simply, it never happened! The aforementioned
terrible memory was simply a contrivance of a certain live-in Goddess of Love
that Shampoo had somehow summoned, and she had never been able to figure out
just how dialing the wrong number of a noodle shop would have got her in touch
with a divinity capable and willing to grant her fondest wish, that of Ranma
loving her. That she'd have to put up with Akane and Ukyo as part of the bargain
was beginning to seem like less of an annoyance than she thought it would. The
purple-haired Amazon was actually beginning to find qualities in her now-former
rivals that she could admire… Akane's stubbornness and persistence, for example
(when directed properly, that is), and Ukyo's easy-going manner.
As for Ukyo, well, anything that got her closer to Ranma was fine by her. But
she, too, was operating under the assumptions caused by the dynamics of Shampoo's
little wish tinkering with their memory, and every time she looked at Shampoo,
she saw, in her mind, that broken doll all smashed on the pavement. She was
feeling a tremendous burden of debt toward Shampoo, and while it didn't bother
her that she owed so much to the Amazon, as such, the existence of such an obligation
had to be dealt with. The Kuonji always paid off their debts of honor, after
all. She had a plan, had Ukyo, and she intended to talk to Cologne about it
later in the day… but for now, it was time to simply appreciate being alive,
and being with those she loved.
"So, Ranma… how's school going?" Nabiki inquired.
"Well, history's okay… and I don't mind Classical Japanese, met some
guys on a training journey that actually talked like that… but that math stuff?
Man, I just don't get that at all…" the boy confessed.
"Well, try. After all, if you're going to be marrying my sister, the least
you could do is get good marks in school…" Nabiki stated.
"Yeah, but… what good is it to me if I can "prove"
some crazy geometry thing? I'm gonna be running a dojo, not go into physics…"
"Now, Ranma… it’s supposed to encourage and develop logical patterns
of thinking," Kasumi pointed out.
"But that's just it, Kasumi… my whole life's been spent building
up intuition… that's what a martial artist needs, not logic. Ya gotta listen
to what's in your own heart and act on your feelings!"
Everyone bravely resisted the urge to pass a comment on that.
"Ranma-honey? I'm pretty good with math… business math, anyway… have
to be, after all. Maybe I could help you, tutor you a bit?" Ukyo offered.
"Maybe Nabiki might even help, since she brought it up in the first place…"
Nabiki sighed. "Well… not to boast or anything, but I am pretty
good at what Ranma calls "that stuff"… and I have nothing better
to do, I suppose… might as well, help… for a small fee, of course."
Ukyo smiled to herself. Nabiki, she thought, you're not fooling anyone but
yourself. You want to be seen as this "ice queen", but underneath,
you really do care about Ranma, don't you? I'm just glad I don't have
you as a rival…
Akane decided to herself that while she trusted Nabiki to keep things honest
if she and Ukyo were both tutoring Ranma. Whenever Ukyo was scheduled to be
alone with the boy, there was to be a chaperone in the room -- namely, herself.
Things were far better between the Official Fiancée Brigade, but Akane
wanted to make sure it was only math that would be taught, not biology.
The okonomiyaki chef turned her attention to Shampoo. "What about you,
sugar? When are you going to get into school? You're missing a lot, you know…"
The Amazon nodded. "Shampoo know this. But Great-grandmother no want Shampoo
go to Japanese school, say it… it…" And here the girl's eyes crossed
slightly as she tried to remember the words. "…she say it 'stifle development
of the individual and discourage healthy pursuit of… of post-education knowledge.'
Shampoo not know what all that mean, but Great-grandmother teach Shampoo many
things, and new friend, Freya? She know lot about history. She know lot about
many things…" And the Amazon blushed as she remembered last night's
lesson. The blush did not go unnoticed by Nabiki, who couldn't help thinking
to herself, Yeah, I'll bet!
"But what Shampoo want to know is what big sister Kasumi learn when go
into college. She very smart, after all…"
"Big sister?" Kasumi asked, smiling.
"Well, you is like big sister. Always make Shampoo feel welcome,
always say nice things, do nice things. Shampoo think Kasumi not do enough
"You go that right, Sugar… you need to take some time for yourself,
"Perhaps you're right," Kasumi conceded, although to herself she
was afraid that things would fall apart the moment she left. Everyone was getting
along so nicely, it would be a shame if anything happened to ruin the good feelings
everyone seemed to be sharing. In the very recent past, she thought, things
would have degenerated into an all-out catfight between Shampoo and Ukyo, and
Akane would have sent Ranma through the roof again. This new and unfamiliar
thing… what was it called again? Oh, yes, peace and quiet… it was much
"I really haven't given too much thought about college, to be honest.
What would I study? There's so much… I could study Eastern Philosophy…
or there's medicine… perhaps even archeology…"
"Archeology? What, digging up dusty old bones, broken pots, that sort
of thing?" Ranma asked.
"Oh, but its ever so much more than that!" Kasumi chided. "It's
learning about how people lived, what they did, how they thought, from so long
ago. It's making a lost time and world come back to life again!"
"Yeah, well, whatever…" Ranma shrugged.
And where was Freya, pray tell, as the gang enjoyed their delightful morning
repast and each other's company? Oh, there she is, sprawled out on her futon,
snoring loudly, with a half-empty bottle of mead by her side. Oh dear, whacked
It was evident that the Nordic Goddess of Love was not a morning person, as
she got up, looked around blearily, and smacked her lips to get rid of that
nasty taste in her mouth. Despite the amount of honey brew she had put away,
she was not hung over (Nordic goddesses do not suffer that particular
ailment, although some of the more demure female deities of other pantheons
might…), but she was clearly not at her best as she peered into a mirror,
screamed at the sight, and immediately stated fussing with her hopelessly snaggled
It was times like this she wished Goddesses weren't required to have the most
elaborately luxurious lengths of tresses (well, do you know of any goddesses
with short hair? It's practically in the Job Description). She regretted
Shampoo's absence as she ran a brush through her locks… ah, Shampoo… so
sweet… and so willing. She had detected a bit of a submissive streak
in the girl… might be fun to explore that sometime. Then again, it might be
better to leave that for the Amazon and her mates to find out for themselves,
once they started "going at" each other, which was bound to happen
sooner or later. And if Freya had any say in the matter, it would definitely
Hair finally tamed and groomed to perfection, she looked through Shampoo's
wardrobe to find an inspiration for her clothing. Having found something to
her liking, she manipulated the molecules around her, and was enrobed by a Chinese
cheongsam that was so close-fitting it looked as if it had been spray-painted
over her skin. She then emerged from the bedroom in search of breakfast.
Cologne was startled to see the Goddess in something that even Shampoo might
hesitate to wear. Her surprise increased when she saw the amount of food Freya
considered adequate for a morning meal.
"I take it your date with Kuno went as well as you expected?" Cologne
asked. The old woman was wise enough not to mention the goings-on of last night,
although she was considering investing in a good pair of ear plugs.
Freya nodded around a mouthful of food.
"Frankly, I don't know what you see in the boy," the ancient Amazon
went on. "You do know that Kuno is a selfish, arrogant, untalented
blowhard with delusions of grandeur…"
Freya nodded again and swallowed. "Why of course he's conceited and arrogant.
That's what attracted me in the first place. He reminds me of a lot of the heroes
from back home. But it’s not entirely true he's untalented… he is good
with that bokken, and with the proper inspiration, he has it in himself to become
"And I suppose you'll be providing the inspiration?" Cologne
"I think I could manage it… after all, while I'm fixing Shampoo up,
why shouldn't I get a little something for myself? True, our two styles of swordplay
are quite different… we don't even share the same attitudes toward swords.
back home, we have a saying, 'Praise no sword until it is broken', of course,
we also say 'Praise no woman until she is burnt', and you can imagine what I
think about that one… but I am a Goddess of Battle, after all.
And even if I can't teach him a thing or two… well, about swords, at
least… I know I can teach him more than a few things
about… something else… I might be able to call in a favor or two and
find some god or goddess that can help tutor him. In fact, there's a
certain goddess I happen to know that might be just right." The
goddess smirked as she thought about how Kuno would react to being face to face
"Still," Freya continued, "There is one thing I noticed
in Kuno… for all his boast and bluster, there's a darkness deep in him…
it's almost as if there's something small and helpless in him, calling out for
"I couldn't tell you what that might be, but I do know someone
who just might. Nabiki Tendo's known the Kuno boy for some time, from what I
understand, so you might want to consider asking her about him. Just make sure
you can afford her prices…" Cologne advised.
"How's that?" the goddess asked.
"The middle Tendo daughter tends to charge for information. She has a
reputation of being an "Ice Queen", something I suspect she built
up to insulate her from the pains of the world… their mother died when all
the daughters were very young, and the loss affected each of them deeply, as
thus: Kasumi tries to be her mother, Akane's angry at the world for taking her
mother away, and Nabiki… well, in my estimation, she uses money to protect
herself, since money can't hurt you… and she built up her reputation as a…
you'll excuse me, I'm sure… bitch to keep people distant. If you don't let
them close, they can't hurt you… that's how her thinking goes, I'm sure."
With that to consider, Freya busied herself helping the ancient Amazon in putting
the Cat Cafe in order, aided by Shampoo who came back after Ukyo, the Tendos,
and Ranma went off to school. The goddess cornered Shampoo for a moment in setting
up the restaurant.
"Say, Shampoo… what time do they do lunch at Furinkan High?"
"Usually at noon… Shampoo goes often to feed Airen, school food not
being fit for human consumption. You think you'll maybe pay Kuno a little visit?"
"Yeah, I just might give him a little surprise, but I also want to talk
to Nabiki about something."
"Aiyah! Talking to Nabiki costs much money! She's a very mercenary girl
and thinks more of cash than people…" Shampoo warned.
"I've heard about that, yes. I think I can afford her prices."
"It's your wallet." Shampoo shrugged.
And so it was that Freya, having obtained directions to Furinkan High School
from the Amazon beauty (a good thing it wasn't Ryoga from which she acquired
directions… and our favorite fanged wanderer will make his appearance in this
story, ye may rely on that!), found herself in front of the school, just as
the lunch bell rang. Shampoo had given a quick primer of school lunch routines
to the goddess, since she had so often delivered various treats to her airen
at that time. Many of the kids were exiting the building to eat their meals
outdoors, since it was, after all, a gloriously fine day, certainly not one
to be wasted inside a school.
Kuno, being the poetical type, was already out, declaiming on the beauty of
the day and comparing it to the pigtailed goddess and the beauteous Akane Tendo.
In fact, he could see his two goddesses dining with their mercenary sister (a
very uncharitable thought from Kuno, considering Nabiki's his major source for
his Akane/Pigtailed Goddess fix…), and was just about to go over to
grace them with the benefit of his presence when a sultry voice husked in his
"You are going to include me in your poem, aren't you, darlin'?"
Kuno drew up short and gulped as he saw the celestial beauty before him, and
before he could respond with an even vaguely intelligent comment (lets be honest…
while Akane and the luscious redheaded pigtailed girl carbonate Kuno's hormones
severely, his new discovery, the sword-bearing goddess, fries his brains…
and as has been noted, he really doesn't have much to spare), Freya fried his
brain with a deep kiss and very close embrace. Since this procedure
was observed by anyone who happened to be around, and any students that might
have been looking out their classroom windows, the local school rumor mill began
to swing into operation, mainly based on speculation as to just who the
woman was, and why such an absolute stunner should be kissing
Kuno, of all people.
"Just wanted to thank you for the date, Darlin'… we'll have to do it
again sometime!" Freya explained to the swordsman, thus feeding the rumor
mill yet more among those who heard her.
Having spotted Nabiki Tendo sitting over by a tree, she patted a frozen Kuno's
cheek fondly (that is to say, Kuno was "frozen" in the sense that
he wasn't moving… those little wisps of steam coming from under his collar
indicated that he wasn't cold…) and proceeded to the middle Tendo girl.
Nabiki had been watching the entire proceedings between Freya and Kuno with
some amusement… after all, it wasn't often that a woman could render the would-be
samurai silent… well, Kodachi did it frequently, but that's only with the
aid of paralysis powder. Then the shorthaired girl noticed just where Freya
was heading. Nabiki (who was now alone since both Ranma and Akane, having a
finely-honed sense of danger about such things, had noticed Kuno's attention
and decided to be elsewhere…) still hadn't made up her mind just how she felt
about Shampoo's new friend… she was an unknown quantity, and Nabiki hated
not knowing… so this might be a chance to observe and learn something
about the mysterious visitor from the North.
"Hello, Nabiki, mind if I join you?" Freya asked.
"Feel free…" the Tendo girl shrugged carelessly in response, and
patted the ground. The Nordic beauty sat… carefully. She didn't want grass
stains on her dress… even if she could summon it up from air molecules.
Freya, being a Nordic goddess, didn't have too firm a grasp of the word "tact".
So she came to her point with a directness that would have been shocking for
ordinary Japanese… but then, Nabiki Tendo was hardly an ordinary girl, and
"Its about Kuno… I gotta admit, I kinda like the big lug, but there's
something about him that bothers me. Now, I got ways I can find things out that
you wouldn't believe, but… well, I really don't want to use them unless I
absolutely have to… professional ethics, understand? Cologne told me you know
something about Tatewaki and his family…"
Nabiki didn't know what "ways" Freya was talking about, let alone
her reference to "professional ethics" (not that Nabiki didn't possess
her own set of ethics), but she was asking for information, and… "That
sort of info doesn't come free, you know… and I've got expenses…"
"I don't have any of the local currency", Freya stated (and the phrasing
struck Nabiki as a bit… odd… "local currency"?), "But would
And Freya placed into Nabiki's waiting palm a couple of apparently gold coins.
She looked them over… on the front were letters that spelled out something
like "Aelpvlch Eriaavc" and there was a woman's profile… nose a
bit too large, Nabiki noted. On the obverse side of both coins was a seated
winged figure, with the legend "Salvs Pvblicae", and just below the
figure was something that looked like "Conob". The coins had the feel
of antiquity, but looked absolutely new. She shrugged, nodded her acceptance
of them, but mentally promised to get them checked out at her earliest chance.
Sure had the weight of gold, but there was something… strange about
"Okay, here's what I know about Kuno… the family, what there is of it,
is loaded, of course… Oh, I should say there's Tatewaki… you know that,
of course, but there's his sister, Kodachi… she goes to a different school.
They've got guardians that see to their needs, and a whole staff of retainers,
including one little guy who thinks he's some sort of ninja…"
Freya interrupted. "What there is of the family? Now what does
that mean, darlin'?"
"Just what I said… there's only Tatewaki and his sister… their father
just up and vanished about six years ago, and their mother… ah yes, therein
hangs the tale…"
"What do you mean?" Freya prompted.
"Their mother… wasn't at all a nice person. She taught Kodachi gymnastics
with the intent of making her Olympic level, but she was too much of a perfectionist,
and when 'Dachi didn't do things as good as she was supposed to she'd… um…
get punished pretty bad. To be perfectly honest, Kuno Hitome was abusive, both
to her son and to Kodachi. She could go from being an almost smothering and
overprotective mother to… well, to being almost demonic. One day, something
snapped in her mind… She took a dagger… you know the type? Looks something
like our swords, but shorter? Well, Hitome was always big on Bushido concepts…
that's where Kuno gets it… and she…" here Nabiki hesitated a bit…
"She drove the knife into her own belly, deep, and cut across… Kuno-chan
found her like that… he tried to help her, but of course, he failed… I mean,
what did he know? It took Hitome a god-awful long time to die."
Freya was, quite naturally, shocked and aghast. Even horrified. "That's…",
and her voice trailed off. She didn't have any words to describe her feelings.
Unknown to Nabiki, she'd seen a vast about of suffering and tragedy in her time,
had, in fact, even helped to cause some of it, under orders, but this story
topped anything in her experience. And to be discovered so by her children…
"And what about Kodachi?" she asked. She'd have to make a point to
meet this sister of Kuno sometime.
"'Dachi found her mother and Kuno together, Kuno still trying to help…
Well, from what I've heard, Kodachi had been experimenting with some plants
of her father's and was able to create some sort of drug from some weird black
roses, and she's been dosing Kuno up pretty regular. Most likely to make him…
well, forget a bit. They fight… a lot… but deep down, Tatewaki and
Kodachi care a lot for each other.
"And I've been doing some reading on psychology, and I'd say that Kuno
has some sort of an disassociative personality disorder, a form of denial in
which he shuts out the reality that you and I take for granted in preference
of a version of reality in which he's a noble samurai from out of the Tokugawa
era. He's the hero of his fantasy world, a legend in his own mind, and if it
weren't for the fact that he's a superb athlete and above-average kendo student,
he'd be perfectly harmless. It's not like he's really as far out as a sociopath
or full-fledged schizophrenic. Something you might want to remember on your
next date with him… That is, if you're still inclined. All I can say is, while
I've had it rough in the 'mother' department, those two -- Kuno and Kodachi,
that is -- had all the bad and none of the good." Nabiki tried to keep
those memories from coming up, and Freya didn't help when she asked:
"Why? What happened to your mother?" The goddess asked quietly.
"Died. Cervical cancer." Nabiki kept her words deliberately short.
She just didn't want to remember.
Oh yes, that's right, Freya thought to herself, the old woman
did say something about these Tendo girls losing their mother
at an early age. But, jeez, really a shame about Kuno. She'd
have to think of something to do about that. But for now…
"I'm sorry to bring up painful memories, Nabiki. I shouldn't have said
"No, its okay… well, actually, its not, but there's no way around it.
You see, my mother and Kuno's died about the same time, and were buried at the
same time. That's how we met, by the way, at the cemetery… real romantic,
'Romantic'. Hearing that spoken by Nabiki about Kuno put Freya on her guard.
"Um… you… don't have any designs on him, do you?"
Nabiki snorted. "If you want him, he's yours! Yeah, I dated him
a couple times, but no big deal."
"Thanks, Nabiki, you've been very helpful. Given me a lot to think about,
though. And if you ever need to talk… about things, you know…? You know
where to find me. Suppose I should leave you to your lunch now…"
"Thanks for the offer, Freya" Nabiki said, even if she didn't have
any intention of taking the goddess up on it. "But my lunch?" She
sighed. "For some reason, I'm not really hungry right now."
Freya patted the girl's hand in an inadequate gesture of comfort, got up, and
walked away. Nabiki sighed again, closed her bento, and headed back for the
"Ah, Miss Kuonji! And to what do I owe the honor of this visit by Nerima's
best okonomiyaki chef?" Cologne greeted Ukyo as she came through the door.
The girl had left school a bit early; she had things to discuss with Shampoo's
great grandmother that were far more important than education. Especially in
a school run by a pineapple-headed nutcase of a principal.
"You mean Japan's best, don't you?" Ukyo countered. "And
what's with this 'Miss Kuonji' stuff, anyway? After all, with your great granddaughter
and I entering into an… arrangement, after all, you better get used to calling
That took Cologne a little unaware. "Hah? Arrangement?" Then her
voice trailed off as she remembered the effects and the provisions of the Wish
that Shampoo had made. "Ah yes… quite… then what is it that brings
you to my humble establishment, Ukyo?"
"Well, it's…" Ukyo began stumbling over her words. "Aw…
look, I'm no good at this, so I'm just gonna say it. I owe Shampoo big time.
I mean, she saved my life, and almost at the cost of her own. One thing for
sure, that's the last time ever I feel that sorry or myself. It just
led to too much pain and trouble."
Cologne listened politely and sipped some tea, mainly to cover any confusion
she might have shown.
"Anyway", Ukyo continued, "Like I said, I owe Shampoo, and we
Kuonji always repay our debts. Shampoo and I… well, we haven't agreed about
too much in the past, but that's all changed now."
Cologne nodded encouragingly, not really following Ukyo's train of thought.
"But I need help in paying off that debt. More to the point, I need your
help. You know all about Joketsuzoku and Jusenkyo… just how would I get there?"
Alarm bells started going off in Cologne's head. "Child… you can not
possibly be thinking of seeking out a cure for Shampoo?"
Ukyo nodded. "Can't think of a better way to fulfill my debt to her."
This put Cologne into something of a bind. After all, she knew the events Ukyo
were talking about, her own attempted suicide and Shampoo's rescue of her, were
simply falsified memories implanted into her mind, as well as Ranma's and Akane's
(not to mention the rest of the Saotomes and Tendos) by a certain resident goddess.
This was one of those things you just couldn't say to a person, let alone the
fact that the old woman had promised to Freya to preserve her secret. You don't
mess around with divinities, after all.
On the other hand, she had to do something to dissuade Ukyo from her
stated course. The matriarch of the Amazons could foresee nothing much good
coming of this little plan of Ukyo's, and there was much that could go wrong.
"Child, please reconsider your actions. Trust me; Shampoo believes there
is no debt or obligation standing between you and her. And it is a dangerous
journey that you are contemplating… there are places in China that yet remain
untamed, and our village can be very suspicious of strangers. And the springs
of Jusenkyo hold dangers for both the wary and the unwary, as I'm sure you know
"Um… yeah, kinda got that impression. but I can't believe Shampoo doesn't
think there's anything between us. Saving my life might not be important to
her, but it sure is to me!"
"Are you then so set on this?" Cologne asked.
"Sure am," Ukyo affirmed. "Shampoo and I are going to be sharing
a new life together, along with Ranma and Akane, so I might as well start it
"I still think you are making a grave mistake, one certain to have unfortunate
consequences, but if you are so determined, despite my warnings…" Cologne
sighed and rubbed her brows. "I shall give you maps, directions, safe-conduct
passes and letters of introduction. I'll also contact some people I know in
the government to help facilitate your journey. Would that serve?"
"It's all I could ask! And don't worry; I know what's at risk at those
springs, so I'll be extra careful!" Ukyo assured the old woman confidently
and left the restaurant.
Alas for the folly of youth… Cologne thought sadly to herself.
The principles of dramatic timing being what they are, it was just then that
Freya returned from her interview with Nabiki.
"Did you learn all you wanted?" queried Cologne.
The goddess nodded, a bit sadly, remembering the tragedy of the tale she was
told. Then the Amazon matriarch informed Freya: "We have a problem with
"Problem? What sort of problem?" Freya asked.
"Ukyo thinks she owes Shampoo for saving her life, and is planning what
will most likely prove to be a considerably risky journey to Jusenkyo in search
of a cure. I fear what she might find there will not be a cure, but quite the
opposite… and all because she's operating under a mistaken assumption."
And she gave Freya a rather pointed look. She wasn't about to tell the
goddess it was all her fault, though. Much too dangerous!
"You didn't tell her about me?" Cologne shook her head. "Oh,
good… and hey, don't look at me like that, it's not my fault! You see, I'm
just a facilitator, so to speak. I channel and give Shampoo's wish power; through
me, it sped to the Higher Planes, where it was shaped and made real, and it
was in those Higher Planes that its nature was determined. What happens afterwards…
is Destiny. Maybe that's part of the reason Kami-sama wanted me to stay down
here to observe events as they unfold."
"Events as they unfold?" Cologne repeated.
"Yep. His words, actually. And believe me, you don't want to go against
His will or word… In fact, you can't, not really, not if you're a goddess."
"So are the involved parties here to remain ignorant of just who you are?
How long shall we maintain the fiction of you being a college exchange student?"
Freya took on a distant look, as if she were concentrating on something far
away. Then she smiled and chuckled, and her American Southern accent became
pronounced as she said, "I rather suspect we might not have to worry too
much about hiding my true nature from the… 'involved parties', as you say.
In fact, the bait has been taken and the game is afoot, so to speak…"
"Bait? What do you mean?" Cologne was puzzled.
"There's rules and regulations I must follow about concealing my divine
nature, but there's some… loopholes… around them. It's all just a matter
of a little nudge here, a prod there, and a hint in the right direction…"
Kasumi was absorbed deep in thought as she left the local library. As her sister
had pointed out, there were things about this Freya person that didn't add up
quite, and there was something odd about the arrangement her youngest sister
had made with her rivals in romance and with Ranma. Not that Kasumi objected
to the setup; things had become a bit more settled and orderly, which certainly
made her happy, and not having fiancée fights on a regular basis meant
the family could save on the extensive repair bills, too. She wasn't as concerned
as Nabiki seemed to be about the group arrangement, although even she hadn't
come around to calling it a group marriage yet (not that they were married,
not at the moment); after all, anything that promoted harmony and order in her
household suited her fine.
But Freya… Yes, Freya was a mystery. Especially after seeing how she dealt
with some of Japan's Finest (that's police officers and SWAT to you… See chapter
3). A further mystery was why no one else but her sister remembered seeing the
lightning quick fight. And that strangely hideous figure that stood watching
the fight, who or what was she?
So Kasumi had spent some time in the library doing a bit of research. The Internet
was such a wonderful tool, after all. She hadn't really found too much that
was useful, but she did learn the name of Shampoo's puzzling guest seemed
to be based on a Nordic goddess. She read over the papers she had printed out
as she walked.
In Norse mythology, Freya, or Freyja, was the goddess of beauty and love. A
beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed young woman, she was the sister of Frey and in
later traditions the wife of ODIN. Freya claimed half of the heroes slain in
battle, carrying them to her realm of Folkvang in ASGARD. Most of her myths
concern attempts by the giants to abduct her. In Teutonic mythology, she was
fused with the goddess FRIGG. Friday is named for her."
In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most
beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops
and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love.
She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies).
Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir.
She is the daughter of the god Njord, and the sister of Freyr. Later she married
the mysterious god Od (probably another form of Odin), who disappeared. When
she mourned for her lost husband, her tears changed into gold.
Her attributes are the precious necklace of the Brisings, which she obtained
by sleeping with four dwarfs, a cloak (or skin) of bird feathers, which allows
its wearer to change into a falcon, and a chariot pulled by two cats. She owns
Hildesvini ("battle boar") which is actually her human lover Ottar
in disguise. Her chambermaid is Fulla. Freya lives in the beautiful palace Folkvang
("field of folk"), a place where love songs are always played, and
her hall is Sessrumnir. She divides the slain warriors with Odin: one half goes
to her palace, while the other half goes to Valhalla. Women also go to her hall.
Which was quite interesting, because didn't the Freya she and her sister were
so puzzled by have a necklace she treasured? And her beauty and ready sensuality
(and here Kasumi blushed demurely) were quite apparent.
And then there was… "Norse mythology associates the aurora with the
beautiful goddess, Freya, daughter of Njord and the giantess Skadi. Freya was
the goddess of beauty and love as well as battle and death. Friday was named
after her. She is always pictured wearing a famous necklace, called a brisling,
given to her by dwarfs. Her brother was the Sun god Freyr."
Hmm… battle… Well, the Freya Kasumi knew was certainly good at that, too.
Could it be? Kasumi laughed at her own thoughts. It was foolish to assume that
the Freya living with Shampoo was a goddess! Of course, Nerima was
known for strange things, like gender and species changing martial artists,
panty-thieving dwarfs, Amazons visiting from China, so if a goddess did
visit merry old Earth, Nerima would be just the spot. Still, the very concept
was just too silly…
And that was when Kasumi bumped into someone. A certain female someone wearing
a dark gymnast's leotard emblazoned with a bright red rose.
"Oh! I'm terribly sorry… it’s entirely my fault, my mind was elsewhere
and I'm afraid I wasn't paying proper attention to where I was going…"
Kasumi offered by way of both explanation and apology.
Kodachi Kuno, reigning queen of the high school martial arts gymnastics world,
was about to lambaste the clumsy oaf that dared jostle her, when she
looked up and met the wide, gentle and guileless eyes of Kasumi Tendo. Her hostility
instantly melted away.
For Kodachi, looking into those eyes was like sinking into a well of unquestioning
love and acceptance. There was something devotedly… maternal about them, or
at least what the gymnast always thought of as being maternal, her own
mother being by far less than a perfect example of motherhood.
And Kasumi, looking into the black depths of Kodachi's eyes, she saw some of
the shadows of the girl's tormented soul, and she ached to reach out and comfort
The pair had, of course, encountered each other before, when Kodachi made her
forays into the Tendo house in some scheme to require the heart of her Ranma,
or some other organ of same. But this time, they were each alone, no other distractions
around them. Kodachi, who was just a moment ago quite ready to ribbon-lash the
unfortunate who had the presumption to bump into her, instead stammered her
own apology. "No, please, I must surely share some of the blame. My mind,
too, was elsewhere, and I was walking with my head in the clouds…" Her
thoughts filled with Ranma, of course.
"You are most kind to say so, but it is surely not so. You must let me
try to make up for my clumsiness. Would you like to stop by the house sometime
for dinner?" Kasumi offered.
Kodachi thought for a little. She had never had an actual invitation to the
Tendo house before, and there was something about the older girl before her
that was, in a gentle way (of course), compelling. There was a hint, just
a hint, that (please excuse the writer for this, but…) resistance was useless.
So, Kodachi agreed with all the proper graciousness of her centuries old samurai
background, a date was set, and the two young women parted.
And with that, Kasumi went on her way, her mind returning to the problem of
Freya. The more she thought about it, the more those curious little coincidences
between Freya the mythical goddess and Freya the Scandinavian visitor bothered
her. Well, there was someone that might be able to help. True, she hadn't
talked to her friend from high school for a couple of years… She, like Freya,
was an exchange student, and was also from the far north and expressed an interest
in the mythology of her region. Yes, the more Kasumi thought about it, the better
she liked the idea. In fact, she'd give Urd Odinsdottir a call as soon as she
To be continued.
Author's notes: Oh, dear. Who is Kasumi going to call? It can't be that
Urd, can it? Kasumi and Urd? Together? (And in the same high school, in fact?
Must be a story there…) And what's this about Ukyo wanting to play tourist
in China? Will she find what she's looking for, or will there be yet another
cursed martial artist in Nerima? And can this four-way relationship really work
out? And what about Nabiki and Kasumi playing detective? These questions and
more will be addressed in the soon-to-be worked on Chapter 6 of "Aiyah!
On the Matter of the Food Cliché: Yes, I know… been done before, and
very likely much better than I. Still, I wanted to show just how the dynamics
of Ranma and The Girls had changed, and I couldn't think of a better way of
doing that than over breakfast. Don't they say it's the most important meal
of the day?