PROLOGUE : Never-ending
years ago, on a cool summer's night somewhere in a mountain range south
cool, lazy breeze blew through the trees, setting into motion the slightest
stirring of the many green leaves. Below the foliage of the trees, the
breeze caught itself in long, silken locks of ebony, gently causing the
hair to sway to the side of the young girl to whom it belonged to. The
girl tilted her head to the sky, closing her eyes and enjoying the slight
chill the wafting air held. It had been a long, long summer, and it was
wonderful to feel the calm wind, which told that autumn was fast approaching.
The young woman, despite the tattered clothing
she wore, was very attractive. For one who had spent so much time in the
wilderness, her slightly-tanned skin was exceptionally smooth; even her
palms and the soles of her feet were without callouses. Long ebony tresses
cascaded down, over her shoulders, giving her an unkempt, almost wild
look. Framed by those unruly satin strands were two lucid and very captivating
However, the girl looked tired; dark circles
under her eyes, and the way that her shoulders drooped slightly told that
the girl was exhausted. Perhaps she wished to be somewhere else, taking
a nice hot bath, or sleeping on a nice soft bed. Even so, she had chosen
to live like this, traveling almost endlessly for the past six years.
Why she chose to live like this, it was very unclear to those who saw
her as she passed them by. Perhaps, many thought, perhaps she was searching
for something. Was she?
girl sat up straight, hearing what seemed to be a battle cry coming from
a little ways up the mountainside. Curious, she sprang to her feet and
quietly stalked in the direction that the clamor had come from.
It took everything in the girl's being to keep from saying anything more
than that whispered word of shock. Hanging from a rope, arm extended and
finger pointing towards something that obviously no longer existed, was
a young man.
A young man the girl new very well. That
thick mop of black hair, that checkered yellow bandanna, those once-soft
brown eyes which were now hardened with hatred. Hatred for another young
man known as Saotome Ranma. Yes, there was no mistaking that he was the
one; he was Hibiki Ryouga, her childhood friend and playmate, and the
one that her parents had called..
Creeping back, still in shock, a sullen
murmur left her lips. Iinazuke..."
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Chapter 1 : If I Could Turn Back Time