[FFML] [R1/2] Hearts of Ice, 26/26

Chester Castañeda chester.castaneda at gmail.com
Tue Jun 16 08:46:55 PDT 2009


Hello. Abdiel here, and here's my usual copy-pasta:

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Hell yeah. Here we go. (Spoiler Space taken from Joseph Palmer's earlier post)

On Mon, Jun 1, 2009 at 2:22 PM, Krista Fisk <kristaperry at comcast.net> wrote:
> Well, here's hoping this part doesn't suffer from the weird formatting
> the last part suffered from. C&C is welcome and appreciated.

(SPOILER SPACE)
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I'm wondering how you'll handle the Ranma death scene thing
altogether. I can't wait to read through the entire thing. It's
been... a decade or so in the making, I'd bet! ^_^

> The characters of the Ranma 1/2 universe are the creation and possession
> of the brilliant Rumiko Takahashi.
>
> --------------------------------
> Hearts of Ice
> Part 26: Phoenix, Part III
> by Krista Fisk
> --------------------------------

(rubs hands with glee) I know I should be rereading the first parts of
Hearts of Ice before reviewing this part, but truth be told, I've
reread it so many times already that I don't see the point. The only
parts that are really blurry to me (but the fic immediately reminded
me of) were the ones involving how Akane got her dagger and something
about Ryoga giving Nekoken-trapped female Ranma some steak (I think
you even have fanart of that). Aside from that, everything is crystal
clear. The "Everyone has forgotten about Akane except Ranma care of
the Kami spell" trick was a nice touch from way back when, btw. :)

Also, I gather that's the reason why there are many more people who
haven't reviewed this part of the fic yet--rereading the past HoI
chapters, I mean. Sure, you've already gotten a ton of reviews for the
chapter that preceded this and this chapter as well, but as soon as
people get on their butts and reread your masterpiece, you'll probably
get more (as if you don't get enough already :P)

Anyways, onto the (surprisingly short) fic!

> Ranma was in Hell. And he felt pretty good about it.

It's the end of the world as we know it but I feel fine?

> Admittedly, the only reason he felt good about it was because he had no
> intention of staying. It wasn't exactly the kind of place he wanted to
> spend more than, say, twenty minutes in. Half an hour tops. And not
> because he was scared. Nope. Wasn't scared. Not a bit.

Ranma: Everything's too cliche for me to be scared! I mean, blood or
river? Legions of undead? What is this, the Theme Park version of
Hell?

> Okay, so the river that brought him here, before forcefully expelling
> him onto the river bank in a violent scarlet geyser, flowed with thick,
> clotting blood rather than water.

Phlegeton FTW?

> He'd managed to wipe most of it from
> his face and wring it from his hair and sluice it from his clothes, but
> he still felt pretty gross, and on top of that, the smell was
> nauseating.

Inuyasha (after killing several civilians, concurs about the nasty
stench of blood)

> As for the rest of the scenery, the sky was a starless void
> from which emanated a faint but constant screaming. The bank of the
> river was choked with gnarled, thorny briars and leafless black trees.
> And just beyond the trees, an endless stretch of wasteland.

That must be the realm that lies beyond the void of ficAkane's
cooking. :P As a certain Mike Loader fic featured:

Ranma: Soup, Akane. How did you manage to burn soup? You'd better hope
the EPA never finds out about you...

Akane: You could have at least tried it!

Ranma: Tried it? It was on fire! The bowl was melting! And I didn't
like the look of that portal the fumes were forming...

Akane: It was only a tiny portal. And the chanting wasn't that ominous...

Ranma: Damnit, Akane, good cooking isn't supposed to break the laws of reality!

> Then, of course, there were all the dead people.

(insert Haley Joel Osment joke here that stopped being funny a decade
ago but hey, it's still the first thing that sticks to a person's mind
when dead people are mentioned)

> river by black meter-long chains emerging from their wrists and feet.

Revise: black meter-long --> black, meter-long (missing comma)

Grammar Rule #21: Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary.
Parenthetical words, however, should be enclosed in commas.
> Okay, he thought. So maybe that was a *little* unnerving. What did a guy
> do in life to end up like *that*?

He was one of Johann Liebert's henchmen? Or perhaps he was a character
from Berserk? An Urotsukidoji minion, perhaps? Or one of those
infamous jerkasses in badly written hentai? Er, so I've heard...

Ranma's Seiyuu, Kappei Yamaguchi: Hey, I've done hentai, once!

O_o Er, good to know...?

Kappei: It was with Motoko's seiyuu! You know, the one from Love Hina?
It was fun. ^_^

^^; Ah.

> But when it came down to it, Ranma wasn't the kind of guy who got all
> shook up over creepy landscapes and moaning ghosts. He'd played video
> games that were scarier than this place.

Sliding timescale, huh? Hmmm. Since your fic was written way back in
(checks in the FFML Index Search) 1996, it makes sense that Ranma has
already seen a video game advanced enough to feature "hell". He
probably saw Resident Evil or House of the Dead.

> And he'd *been* a nasty-looking
> ghost himself just a little while ago, and quite frankly, he put quite a
> few of these other guys to shame.

Ranma's ego? Check. Forget the Feline persona, it's the ego that's
really melded into the core of Ranma's soul.

> The ghost turned toward him, and he was irritated to see that the
> ghost's face was hidden by long, tangled black hair.

Ranma: (irritated) How dare you have long, tangled black hair over
your face, ghost! That's just rude!

> But at least he
> seemed to have its attention. "I'm kinda new here," he said, plowing on
> in spite of the surreal absurdity of the situation. In Hell, talking to
> a ghost, asking for directions. "I'm looking for Emma-O, and I'm in
> hurry. Can you, uh, tell me which way I should go or something?"

Ghost: Why?

Ranma: I want to get resurrected.

Ghost: Would you rather talk to his pacifier-sucking brat of a son?
Junior is big on resurrections.

> The ghost raised its head -- Ranma still couldn't tell if it was a guy
> or a girl -- and the hair parted to reveal one bulging eye. Its mouth
> opened and a long, pointed purple tongue unfurled and fell to the
> ghost's waist. "Gnaaaaaaaah..." it said.

Apparently, that old Japanese myths book of yours covers the now
ubiquitous Sadako ghost, huh?

> problem. If so, this was going to suck. He didn't want to head out into
> Hell's wilderness without knowing how to get to the big guy in charge
> and end up going in the wrong direction. He didn't have time to waste

After all, he ain't Ryoga.

....

Ryoga getting lost in Hell. And he's not dead. That's a plot bunny
right there, I'm sure.

> getting lost. He needed to find Emma-O and convince the god to bring him
> back to life so he could get back to Akane as soon as possible.

Never a master of forethought, it has never quite occurred to Ranma
that maybe this has happened before in Hell. Or perhaps it's even a
common occurrence--the "Please give me back my life! I don't want to
die! It's too soon!" type of thing. Well, of course, most of those
ghosts that don't feel like they should have died tend to end up as
earthbound spirits anyway, but still, I thought Ranma would be more
genre savvier than this.

> wishing he knew if this ghost was a guy or a girl. If it was a guy, it
> was about to get pounded to a pulp. "Knock it off. You don't want to

(scratches head) Hmmm. Ranma discriminates on who he pounds? Well, I
guess, if we're going on Tsubasa Kurenai standards, but he didn't
really have any problem punting Shampoo or battling Ukyo. Oh, right,
he didn't know Ukyo was a girl back then, and Shampoo was done with
when he was in girl form. Okay, fic. You win. :P

> tell me, fine, but don't pull any of this spooky gonna-get-you crap or
> I'll have to kick your ass."

Ranma: Don't you dare kill me... again. Or else I'll... kill you too.
Again. Ah, headache. >_<

> that he could see the kid's face. Unlike the other ghosts, the kid was
> minus the bulging crazy eyes, though they were still deep and completely
> black, like a bird's, which was a little bit unnerving in and of itself.

Foreshadowing, I see. Of course, the first time I read this, I was so
imagining the kid from the Grudge.

> "Because," Ranma said with all the authority he could muster, "he's
> going to bring me back to life."

As a cat, probably.

> curse, and now he realized... he could *smell* something. Down, deep
> under the choking smell of the blood river and the blood that still
> partially coated him, this ghost kid standing in front of him...
> smelled. More than that, he smelled *familiar*.

Ew, the kid smells like a chicken coop.

Kid: I do not!

> But he couldn't put his finger on why. He wasn't used to having that
> particular sense be so, well, sensitive. He was about to ask the kid
> just who in the hell he was when the kid waved his ghostly arms,
> gesturing at the pale ghosts around them. "See these people? Do you know
> why we're here? Not because of any wrong we did in life, but because we
> died violent deaths. Because of the way we died, we're tied to the
> mortal realm, and we go there, and we haunt. We haunt because that's all
> we can do unless some clever mortal figures out how to release our souls
> from this curse, and if we're released, we can finally leave this place
> and join our ancestors. But do you know how often that happens?" He
> glared up at Ranma. Ranma just blinked and shook his head. "Hardly
> ever!" the kid continued. "No, rather than trying to figure out why a
> ghost is haunting their house or inn or hot spring or mountain path,
> they hire a priest, and the priest slaps a god name on our foreheads
> which exorcises us and sends us back here. Look."

Man, look at that block of text above. I'd suggest breaking them down
to smaller blocks for easier reading. Just a suggestion, I assure.

On that note, in regards to the kid's rant, various ghost-themed anime
and manga (not to mention Western-type supernatural series) seem to
indicate otherwise. Granted, it doesn't happen enough, but it does
happen a lot... saving souls so that they can go to Soul Society or
wherever, I mean.

> The kid nodded, seeming satisfied. "So like I said. You'd be better off

Suggest: seeming satisfied --> seemingly satisfied (correct me if I'm wrong)

Also: So like I said. You'd --> So like I said, you'd

> The ghost kid stared after him in stunned amazement. Then he clenched
> his fists and rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Ranma," he shouted, "you

Huh. How does an all-black animal eye roll without eye whites anyway?

> After the bleakness of the bloody river and the wasteland, Emma-O's home
> was a surprise. Ranma wasn't quite sure what he was expecting -- maybe
> something with a skeleton motif, or maybe torture chamber-style
> decorations.

Yakumo (villain from the first Yuyu Hakusho movie): Hey, good idea!
While we're at it, let's add chains. Yeah, I like chains!

> Not this shimmering jewel-encrusted palace, perched on a
> grassy island surrounded by a lake of water that glowed with soft golden
> light.

Kirin (first Ranma movie): I for one approve of Emma-O's decorations.

> Ranma looked it over critically. For a god who was supposed to be
> lord of the dead, the guy sure seemed to like his earthly riches.

I vaguely remember Hades being a Lord of Earthly Ores or something as
well, what with Hell traditionally thought of as underneath the Earth
and all. I could be wrong, though.

> A wide scarlet bridge spanned the lake, leading directly to the large
> golden doors of the palace. The doors were open, as if in invitation.
> Come on in, enjoy the glitzy decor and impressive architecture before
> you get sent to writhe in eternal agony. What had that kid said? Molten
> metal?

Botan (Yuyu Hakusho): There are many kinds of hell. Some hells are
exactly as you would expect. Other hells make for great hot springs.

> Ranma looked behind him, back across the wasteland. In the distance, he

Suggest: him, back --> him, his back

> could see two of the bloody puppet guys that he had quickly passed once
> he caught sight of the palace. They were far away, and lurching along
> slowly enough that it would be a while before they made it to the gate.

Puppet guys: We're not exactly in a hurry. Eternity and all that.

> Hopefully that would give him the time he needed to talk to Emma-O

Revise: Hopefully that --> Hopefully, that (introductory adverbial
clauses should have commas after them)

> grouchy. He rather hoped it did, because he didn't know if he liked the
> idea of trying to make a deal with a guy who enjoyed that depth of human
> suffering, even if it was well deserved.

Emma-O: (doubles as Dick Cheney on business days)

> He passed through the entrance and found himself in a vast hall. Torch
> light flickered on walls that seemed to be encrusted with diamonds.
> Pearls the size of his fist lined arches overhead, from which hung
> silken purple and scarlet drapes that fell to floor.

So they had clams the size of chairs there, huh?

Emma-O: My brother from another mythology Neptune gave me those
pearls. Or was he Poseidon? Can't keep track of his name. You know,
sea god and all that...

> Ranma couldn't help
> wondering who the hell this guy was trying to impress. As he walked
> silently down the hall, navigating between the falls of silk, he
> wondered if he would meet any resistance from guards or servants, but so
> far the place seemed deserted.

Krista Fisk: (typing furiously while she skims her fanfic outline)
Let's move things along, people! I have children to take care of, a
husband to support, and a life to lead. No more needless segues or
filler fights, let's bring Ranma back from the dead ASAP!

...I kid, I kid.

> Or maybe not. Up ahead, where the glow of torch light grew brighter, he
> could hear voices. He strained to listen. One voice was faint, pleading,
> and a bit whiney.

Whiny or whiney?

> The other was deep, commanding, and aggravated. Ranma
> was betting the second voice was Emma-O.

Koenma: ...I want a horsy!

King Emma: No. Act your age.

Koenam: Let me look a lot older than five years old and then we'll
talk. Right now, HORSY!

> Just great. Was someone already there ahead of him, putting the god in a
> bad mood? Not what he needed. Quickly, silently, but carefully so as not
> to stir the drapes with his movements, he made his way closer until
> finally he started catching glimpses through the silk of a tall man

Suggest: "finally, he" or "he finally"

> "Please, I beg you, listen to me!" the voice pleaded, and there was a
> strange quality to the voice, a thinness, that Ranma recognized. He had

Suggest: voice, a thinness, ---> voice -- a thinness --

> "How can I be silent when you ignore this injustice that has befallen
> me? That you yourself have brought upon me? I tell you, I am not
> Susa-no-o! How many times do I have to explain? I am Hoso-no-kami, and
> Susa-no-o has tricked you, tricked the entire council! You must let me out!"

Hoso-no-Kami: Give me back my dominion over small pox, or so help me,
I'll... (thinks) Oh the other, never mind.

> Ranma grimaced. Apparently he had just walked in on an argument between

Revise: Apparently, he (same reason as before)

> Emma-O's response brought on a new deluge of near-frantic pleading and
> begging from the being who was apparently either Susa-no-o, or
> Hoso-no-kami, whoever the hell they were. Either way, it wasn't good for

Revise: Susa-no-o, --> Susa-no-o

> failed!" Emma-O stood and raised his fist, glaring downward, presumably
> toward whatever dimension the other voice was trapped in. "Your foolish
> attempts at deception WILL NOT ANNOY ME!"

Heh.

> Ranma couldn't help it. He snorted, wondering what Emma-O was like when
> he was actually annoyed.

...Something akin to Captain Genocide's actions from Bleach, who, um,
genocides whatever race or group he deems most extinction worthy?

> *Well, this is it,* Ranma thought, straightening and thinking of Akane.
> *Remember... be diplomatic.* With that thought, he stepped forward into
> Emma-O's court.

The audacity of Ranma thinking that he could be brought back to life
by merely asking Emma-O to do so has shades of... Haruhi Suzumiya
arrogance to it, almost.

> The god's eyes widened slightly in surprise as he saw him, then he
> glared. "You don't belong here, boy. What do you want? Why have you not
> joined your ancestors?"

Ranma: I'm the protagonist, and people like me usually get resurrected
even if the author intended me to be dead? There are those who even
made a chart about it.

King Emma: And what makes you think I'll make an exception for you?

Ranma: Oh, lot of reasons. Getting a happy ending. I haven't gotten a
"really dead" montage. Resurrection isn't exactly a novel idea
anymore. Even common folk like that Lazarus guy gets resurrected.
Elvis isn't really dead. Jesus just can't be kept down for more than
three days. Buddha reached a higher plane or something. Neo
resurrected. Chrono from Chrono Trigger was resurrected through
time-related hi-jinks. Yusuke Urameshi... just Yusuke Urameshi. Son
Goku has his dragon balls... ew. Superman also has resurrection as
another superpower. Some woman named Phoenix has been resurrected once
and people think resurrection is her shtick. Ichigo from Bleach can't
die. Sherlock Holmes can't die either because of popularity power.
Disney loves this trope, so I think I also have a Disney death. Edward
and Alfonse Elric was supposed to learn from the lesson that they
can't tamper with nature, only to undo what they've done in the most
contrived and unnatural way possible involving World War II-era Earth.
Ripley was supposed to die, but was cloned. Spock was supposed to die,
but after a string of movies, he's the only one left from his original
continuity, go figure. Oh, did I miss anything?

King Emma: ...Only your documentation. There's a really long line at
the reception's desk, and it'll probably take three days to eternity
to process your request. Lots of people want to avail of the
resurrection lottery, er, application. Yeah, application. Chop, chop,
go to that department, and don't bother me with your problems, boy.

Ranma: (screaming to the hellish heavens) ...CURSE YOU, RED TAPE!

> Ranma bowed deeply before Emma-O. "Because, oh your most high, uh,
> eminence." He winced, wondering exactly how you were supposed to address
> the god of the dead, but continued. "I want to be restored to life."

(shrugs) Shouldn't that be "God of the Dead", since it's Emma-O's
official title and all?

> There was silence. Then, Emma-O said, "Really."

Heh.

Emma-O: I haven't heard that one before.

> Ranma and Emma-O both stared as the pale ghost kid rushed into the court
> in a most unghostly manner, silks billowing in his wake, grabbed Ranma
> by the arm, and began pulling him out of the room with a supernatural
> strength that took Ranma completely by surprise.

The "silks billowing in his wake" stands out like a sore thumb amidst
your list of actions for the pale ghost kid (Casper?).

Suggest: manner, silks billowing in his wake, --> manner -- silks
billowing in his wake -- (to clarify that it's an aside that's not
part of the list of actions pale ghost kid was doing)

> "Hey!" Ranma protested, and planted his feet, stopping their progress

Suggest: protested, and --> protested and

Also, suggest: and planted his feet --> and planted his feet firm on the ground

> A tengu that, he realized with a shock, he recognized.
>
> And apparently so did Emma-O. "Masakazu!" he bellowed.

Hello and welcome back to the story, chicken man. The Great Martial
Arts Master Tengu has returned.

Mr. Karate: ...Hmmm?

> He sat on his throne and contemplated. So this mortal whelp was one of
> the humans who had stirred up so much trouble with the Kami realm. He

"With the Kami realm" or "In the Kami realm"?

> A loud rushing sound roared outside the palace, and moments later the

Revise: later the --> later, the

> Tensei-kaze bowed in obedience and flew out of the palace in search of
> Ranma Saotome.

On one hand, I agree with the reviewers who said that this part was
rushed. But if you integrate this part with all the other parts
leading up to this conclusion, it's paced quite evenly. It's better
read as part of the HoI ending chapters whole than as a standalone
chapter, no doubt.

> Masakazu snorted a laugh. "That does make me feel better, actually."

Shadowcat: So much for your non-killing vow.

Ranma: I made no such vow. I ain't Batman. Now shut up and remain
luncheon meat, you're definitely an exception to that rule.

> The tengu sighed. "I know... I know. If I had realized exactly what had
> happened to you, and if I had known about your promise to Akane, I never
> would have wasted time trying to convince you to go."

Ah, Akane. Always the center of Ranma's troubles. Or is it the other
way around? Hmmm. The Ranma and Akane whirlwind does leave victims,
whether it's intentional or not.

> Ranma blinked. "Wait, how do you know about that?"
>
> Masakazu's eyes glinted. "I did what I should have done in the first
> place, instead of trying to be your unobtrusive guide in the afterlife.
> I peeked while we were running away from Emma-O."

Ranma: Well, **** you very much! At least Professor Xavier has the
courtesy to actually ask for permission before invading people's
minds!

> Ranma really didn't like the idea of this tengu, friend or not, poking
> around inside his head.

Ranma: Bad Polly! No cracker! You're breaking my rights to privacy, chicken man!

> "He is," said Masakazu, "but I have an idea."

Ranma: I need to take care of an egg/Chrono Trigger so that I can
resurrect myself later on after my heroic self sacrifice?

Masakazu: No.

> "Ah," Ranma said, glancing back over his shoulder at the expanse of
> wasteland. He didn't see anything, but that didn't necessarily mean
> there wasn't something there. "Why didn't you say so in the first place?
> Let's go."

Ranma: So my body will be put into a cave with herbs and spices on
them, until after three days, I...

Masakazu: Nope.

> The tengu wore a long cloak of woven leaves and pine boughs, which was
> far from comfortable, but Ranma didn't complain. The tengu leaped into
> the air with Ranma clinging piggy-back, and they flew up and over the
> river, heading upstream.

Ranma: After I die, three clones of mine will take my place until my
body has healed enough for me to return, and...!

Masakazu: Uh-uh.

> "Can't you go any faster?" Ranma asked. They weren't going slow by any
> means, but they had run faster than the tengu was flying.

Ranma: How about I'll turn myself in, become a henchman of this Spirit
World in exchange for my life and fight monsters from the Demon realm
until I eventually learn that I myself am also a monster and resurrect
for a second time?

Masakazu: What the hell are you even talking about?

> "I know because you told me yourself. You asked me, 'Where does that
> middle fork go?'" That took me by surprise because humans can't see that
> middle fork. It doesn't even really exist for humans, because it leads
> to the realm of the souls of beasts and all creatures of the earth,
> where they await reincarnation."

So dogs do go to heaven? Or is there a hell for beasts?

> Ranma processed that silently, absorbing the implications of what the
> tengu was saying. It was the Nekoken, of course. The part of him that
> was apparently irretrievably feline. He had been able to see the middle
> fork because his soul was part beast.

Good to see that the whole Nekoken plot point remains a factor even
after Ranma has died.

> "Exactly. And I'll be honest, Ranma, I would still prefer that you join
> your ancestors, but I already know you won't simply because you gave
> your promise to Akane.

Hmmm. If Japanese folklore is to be believed, then Ranma's attitude
would have turned him into an earthbound ghost that's forever chasing
and watching over aging Akane if it weren't for his Nekoken curse and
his being in cahoots with the influential Masakazu.

> So that leaves us with my idea. What we're about
> to do... it's very risky. I don't even know if it will work."

Hindsight tells me it will. When I first read this fic, I was
wondering more if there will be Full Metal Alchemist-like consequences
to Ranma's actions. It turned out that Ranma already fulfilled the
necessary requirements for his equivalent exchange in the form of the
crap storm he went through just to get Akane back from the Kami plane.
I'm still not sure if I like this development or not even after
letting that concept simmer into my mind for a couple of weeks.

> "You *might* be restored to life," Masakazu said firmly. "Or you might
> give yourself a really bad burn. You're not a phoenix, Ranma. It could
> work, but no one has ever done anything like this before."

Shadowcat: So what's the lesson here? For the sake of your happy
ending, the universe has to bow out against the laws of nature in
order to accommodate your selfish whims while everyone else is subject
to these laws? How is that fair?

Ranma: brb, getting resurrected.

Son Goku: (nods sagely) And you can die again to get some proper
martial arts training if you want, Ranma-kun!

> Masakazu snorted. "No other animal is crazy enough to want to return to
> the life they just departed. They are perfectly content to wait for
> reincarnation, and perhaps a better lot in the next life, but not the
> phoenix. Constantly burning herself up, being reborn, and burning
> herself up again. Just for fun. Absolutely bonkers, that bird."

No animal has ever had enough attachment to their former life? Really?
No mother deer wants to return to her orphaned kid with a girl's name
after being shot by a hunter? No

> "What?" Ranma said, baffled. "What's wrong?"

Suggest: said --> asked/queried/questioned

> As Masakazu dove toward the middle fork of the river, Ranma looked down
> the bloody river to Hell and saw the wind coming. It was close enough
> that he could see her, a near-transparent, faceless woman shape flying
> directly toward them with unnerving speed.

Flame of Recca's Kurenai, the "flame" of Kurei?

> of his mouth with his tongue, he was startled to discover that his teeth
> were thin and sharp. Looking at his arms, he saw that they now sported a
> fine covering of black fur. *What the hell?*

Oh noes. Ranma's a furry.

Ranma: A what?

You don't want to know. Oh well, at least you're not Otherkin. Or Animekin.

> "What the hell happened to me?" Ranma yelled back, forcing himself to
> relax his grip on the tengu slightly.

He turned into one of the VG Cats?

> Everywhere, animals. Ranma thought it looked like a zoo had exploded.
> Herds of animals, dotting the landscape. Flocks of birds in the sky.

And over to the left, Noah, lost in the many afterlife realms, has
ended up in the wrong afterlife and the wrong religion, and is
currently pairing up animals to take into his arc.

> They ran. Masakazu led him into a forest so thick with large trees that
> the sky was blotted out by the leafy canopy. The forest floor was
> springy under their step with layers of fallen leaves and grass. He
> could almost smell how ancient this place was.

Oh, I know! This is Narnia! Where's the Lion God guy?

> It looked at them, spread its wings and let out an earsplitting squawk.
> "Intruders!" it shrieked. "Demons! Man-beasts! Tengu and cat demon! You
> shall not touch my fire! It is mine! MINE! I will snap you up and eat
> you if you come close!"

Remind me of that Daffy Duck cartoon where he keeps shouting, "MINE!
MINE! MINE!" Intentional?

> "Just my luck to catch the crazy bird during her special time," Ranma
> groused.

Phoenix: Chauvinist! Chauvinist pig!

> shredding the feathers of one wildly beating wing. "Look, you dumb bird,
> I don't want to hurt you, but I got a promise to keep, and I will have
> to hurt you if you don't let me pass."

Ranma: You're my only ticket to getting my life back, and this is how
I'll repay you; by threatening you and stuff. I'm an honorable hero,
by the way.

> The phoenix groggily rose and glared at him hatefully. "Shadowcat!
> Hated, hated demon!" it hissed. "Nekoken! I know it when I see it!" She

So is the Phoenix an "it" or a "she"? Please be consistent, fic.

> "Who said anything about sharing?" Ranma said, throwing out his chest.
> "The Shadowcat is dead. I killed it. And I'm the sole master of the
> Nekoken!"

...Which makes me wonder if that will end up biting Ranma in the butt
as well. Hmmm.

> "You go ahead and touch the flame," the phoenix said, smoothing down her
> feathers while looking at him with gleeful, glinting eyes. "You kill
> Shadowcat, you touch the sacred flame all you like. You die again, you
> come back any time."

Oh great. A powerful half-man that can come back to life as will. Just
what Earth needs. No way is he going to abuse this gift, oh no.

Son Goku: Welcome to the club, pal! ^_^

> There was no sign of Ranma.
>
> The phoenix clucked a little, folding in her wings. "I like him," she
> said. "Maybe I will look for him Mortal side."

And Ranma's now best friends with one of the four great gods of
Eastern Mythology and a creature whose race invented martial arts.
What, are there aliens living inside gigantic baseballs about to
attack the earth or something? He has very powerful connections now.

> Masakazu suppressed the urge to gloat -- he certainly didn't want to
> draw attention to himself at that moment, and as far as he knew,

Yeah. He could be resurrected into a sparrow. Or a crazy old man with
a long-nosed mask who calls himself Mr. Karate. Better for him to stay
in that realm.

> What he failed to take into account, he realized later, was that
> Tensei-kaze was even more swift when she wasn't searching for fugitives

more swift --> swifter

Grammar Rule #84: When comparing a one-syllable adjective, add "-er"
or "-est" to the end of it. Do not use "more" or "most", which is
reserved for two-syllable adjectives.

> who didn't want to be found, and Emma-O... well, he could be anywhere in
> his domain.
>
> As he emerged from the realm of the souls of beasts, he found himself
> looking up at a very irritated Emma-O.
>
> "Masakazu," the god growled.
>
> Masakazu only had one relevant thought.
>
> *Uh-oh.*

Oh well. On the bright side, he'll probably not be reincarnated as Go Hibiki.

> ~*~
>
>
>
> At the foot of the Ancient One's mountain, the growing pale light of
> dawn was obliterating the stars from the sky when Akane, exhausted and
> nearly dozing, felt Ranma’s frozen, dead hand begin to grow warm in hers.
>
> At first she thought she was dreaming... but then his hand grew even
> warmer, and her eyes flew open. "Ranma," she said, and she looked over
> at Yuki-onna, who was staring at Ranma in amazement, even as she stood
> and slowly backed away.

Well, since we're in the subject of Japanese folktales, I can't help
but remember the tragic tale of Izanami (Goddess of Creation and
Death) and Izanagi (The All-Father of the Japanese deities,
particularly of Tsukoyomi, Amaterasu, and the ever-popular Susano-o).
He failed in bringing Izanami back from the dead, at the time. And
here comes Ranma, actually successful in reviving himself in a way
that even Susano-o's father couldn't to his own wife. What the heck
made Ranma successful in something that event kami weren't able to?
Circumstances stacked to his favor by off-chance and luck?

Ranma: Shut up, we're special. This world's god is on our side.

> "Akane-chan," the Snow Woman said, smiling, "I cannot stay for this. I
> must say goodbye for now." And before Akane could protest, Yuki-onna
> faded from sight. But she didn't have time to wonder at Yuki-onna's words.

In the end, it was a good decision on your part to take off the
"Yuki-onna" part in "Yuki-Onna: Hearts of Ice" title. The fic
eventually made her into a subplot a la Susano-o than the focus of the
story. Then again, it does beg the question... whose hearts were
frozen? Ranma and Akane's? In what way where they "on ice" anyway?

> Ranma was glowing. Bright light seemed to emanate from under the surface
> of his skin. The ice and frost that encased him was melting quickly,
> even evaporating in steam, and his hand was growing warmer to the point
> where it was hot and burning her hand and she was forced to drop it
> against her will.

Ranma: (his body lifts up and then changes to whatever Beast changed
into in the ending parts of "Beauty and the Beast")

> Then Ranma burst into white hot flame.
>
> "Ranma!" Akane cried, and she had to back up because the heat was so
> intense.

Then Ranma disappeared.

The End?

> engulfed in flame. His clothes turned to ash in moments, and for a
> terrifying moment Akane thought that Ranma's body would follow suit...

Revise: moment Akane --> moment, Akane

> Akane had never felt more joy than she did in that moment. Ranma sat up
> and reached for her, and she went to him, and then his strong, warm arms
> were around her and she buried her face into his shoulder and wept. She
> carefully placed her hand against the bare skin of his chest, and could
> feel his heart beating, strong and alive. "You did it," she whispered.
> "You came back."

Ranma nodded. "And now I want the world to feel the new sensations
I've felt as I got resurrected."

Akane balked as she looked at Ranma weirdly. "What...?"



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