Two silhouettes walked down a well-lit street.
The moon was hidden behind heavy clouds, yet there was no sign of rain
in the air. The neighbourhood voluntary patrol looked at the two
figures, smiled and waved at them then went on their way.
"You and your stupid shortcuts," muttered Iikiba Hibiki. "I should have known better."
Kanaeda Saotome stared in disbelief at his friend. "Who the hell are you to talk, Ga-chan?!? You're commenting on MY sense of direction? Ain't that a little bit um, stupid? At least we're in Nerima. If I kept following you, we might not have made it back home until next week!"
"You didn't have to follow me, you know. I am perfectly fine travelling on my own."
"You mean getting lost on your own. I mean, c'mon 'Kiba-kun! You're not your dad, so it's not like you to deny your inability of getting anywhere without getting lost."
Both boys stopped walking. Kanaeda stared at his friend, and Iikiba stared back. Finally the Lost Boy shrugged and sighed.
"You're right, Kan-kun... It's just that I'm not used to travelling with anyone except for Tousan. It's just a bit odd for me to be with someone who can actually tell the difference from North and South."
"Or the difference between Left and Right for that matter," grinned Kanaeda.
"Yeah, so rub it in, why don't you..?"
Kanaeda blinked in mock confusion. "But I am, can't you tell?"
"Jackass." Iikiba shoved his elbow into his buddy's stomach.
"Pig." Kanaeda grunted as the elbow made contact.
The boys continued on. Neither was talking, both intent to make their way to the okonomiyaki restaurant. Neither really noticed the cloaked figure in front of them until they were almost upon him.
"Are you the son of Saotome Ranma?" asked the cloaked figure in a low hiss.
Kanaeda mentally cursed at himself. He hated being caught unaware like this. His father would berate him if he knew. He figure that he would beat this guy up and forget that this little slip up ever happened.
"Yeah, I am! Who wants to know?!?"
Kanaeda figured that the guy would lunge at him or at least explain his reason for just being there. But he didn't expect the deluge of cold water that came from out of the alleyway that they were standing beside.
Iikiba's belongings fell to the ground and Ga-chan was already struggling to get out of the wet clothes. Kanaeda took a quite look at his friend, relieved that he was all right. But that was all the distraction that was needed.
Huge hands grabbed Kanaeda and dragged him into the alley. He was humiliated to be caught unawares again and this time he was actually grabbed. He rolled upward and drove his knees into the person who was holding him. The figure grunted in surprise, then let go. Kanaeda twisted around and landed on his feet.
"What the hell is going on?!?" he demanded. He wanted to take a quick look for Ga-chan, but he knew that he could not be distracted again like before. He secretly hoped that the piglet was taking care of himself. His attackers were now keeping their distance, and Kanaeda took the moment to assess the situation, and realised that his opponents weren't attacking. "C'mon! Bring it on! You won't catch me unawares again!"
Another figure, a more slender one, came forward, but not too close. She blew a handful of powder into the young martial artist's face. Kanaeda sneezed and became groggy. His body became leaden.
"What do you want with me?!?" he asked the cloak figures in a slurred voice.
The first cloaked figure walked up to him while strapping on a rubber glove.
"I want revenge," he said as he dragged the boy towards a tub of water. Kanaeda would have struggled if he were able too. Already, his body was trying to fight off the powder, but it wasn't fast enough. The cloaked man thrust Kanaeda's head into the water, and held it down. The boy tried to hold his breath as long as he could under the circumstances, but finally he took in a lung-full of water. Before he blacked out, Kanaeda was certain that he saw feathers underneath the black cloak.
Ga-chan was fighting for his life. As soon
as the thug pulled Kanaeda into the alley, the cloaked figure reached for
him. Wisely Ga-chan backed away.
"Are you the son of Hibiki Ryouga?" asked the stranger. Ga-chan glared, then nodded curtly.
The stranger sighed. "Then it is too late to take my revenge on him. The piglet had no clue to what the man was talking about. Then the man turned at the sounds of struggling and walked into the alleyway. Ga-chan followed quietly, ready to help his friend if he needed to. He rounded the corner just as the cloaked stranger shoved Kanaeda's head into a wooden tub of water. He launched an attack on the man, knocking him away from the tub. The man tried to grab the piglet, but Ga-chan was too fast for the stranger. Bouncing off the walls and the men's foreheads, he held his own for a while. The men were getting tired, and they were starting to stumble.
It started to rain. It came lightly for the first few seconds, than it came down heavily. The men were surprised from the sudden downpour.
"Grab the pig, and Saotome's offspring," commanded the leader. "We're done here." The men surrounded Ga-chan once more. Lightning flashed off the walls of the alley. The piglet looked around, and saw the silhouette of a wolf at the entrance of the alleyway. Light glinted off of the pair of glasses that it was wearing.
There was a howl that echoed with the thunder that came shortly after. Then the wolf charged at the cloaked men, biting each one in the shins. Ga-chan took the moment to go help out his friend. He tugged on Kanaeda's shirt and pulled the young martial artist out of the tub, and managed to prop his friend against the wall. The unconcious figure was too quiet for the piglet's taste. He was worried about whether or not Kanaeda was still alive, but the martial artist started to cough and hack. No longer worried, the piglet went to help out the wolf which was still tearing after the cloaked figures.
"That's enough," called out the leader. "We're done here. Let's go." He strode away, and his henchmen went after him. The wolf growled after them then turned its attentions to the unconcious figure against the wall. Ga-chan couldn't see much in the dark, but he could tell that the wolf saw something was amiss. Lightning flashed again, illuminating the entire alleyway. The wolf stood absolutely still, its expression hidden by its glasses. Ga-chan followed the wolf's gaze and looked towards the spot where his friend was resting.
A young woman was sitting where Kanaeda Saotome was supposed to be.