No Pedigree Save Chaos [R/MLP]

Lawra

Well-Known Member
#1
Well might as well shove this in here, this is just the first chapter, more has been posted elsewhere that I'll get around to later. Did finally find a reason to do Saffron/Ranma fight after all this time.

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Bayankala Mountain Range, Qinghai Province, China

Released from the unbearably hot updraft of the tornado he had created, Ranma Saotome fell for what seemed like an eternity before he painfully hit the steep slope outside of Mount Phoenix. Still clutched in his hands, the Gekkaja staff’s cooling magic kept him from being roasted alive from the heat. Cursing as he tumbled uncontrollably, crashing through small trees and bouncing off hard stone, he recovered enough to lash out with the staffs crescent moon head into the closet rock and came to a bone jarring halt.

“Please stop spinning world,” he begged squeezing his eyes closed and clutching the ancient weapon for dear life as he dangled. ‘I’m going to throw up.”

His black hair, usually tied back in a pigtail had come undone somehow whipped upwards from the winds to get in his eyes and mouth. “Bleh,” he let go with one of his hands to brush it away only for it to get right back in his way.

Hearing the very disconcerting sound of heavy rain, he held his hair away from his face long enough to see that the tornado created by his Hiryu Shoten Ha technique was growing in size, chewing up and destroying more of the mountain peak. While most of the debris was immediately sucked up into the funnel to pummel his opponent, a great deal of the extra was flung out randomly and was coming to visit him. Seeing a large boulder dropping straight for him, he planted his feet against the rock and pulled the Gekkaja free to drop just in time as his previous perch was destroyed by the impact.

Feeling his precious cargo shift inside his Chinese style red button up shirt, he reached up to keep it closed, and landed on an outcropping briefly before launching himself away to another further down to avoid head sized stones pelting his previous location. “Whatever Saffron is up to in there, I don’t care, I need to get back inside so I can save Akane.”

Starting to make his way down the perilously steep side of Mount Phoenix and avoiding being crushed, he stopped his descent when the winds picked up and nearly tossed him away from the side. Up above, the king of the phoenix people, Saffron screamed out in rage so loudly that Ranma heard it above the tornadoes roar. Flames began to erupt in violent wild spurts from the funnel, the high winds dramatically increasing in intensity, a bright orange sphere appearing midway up the tornadoes height.

‘Another fireball? That’ll just make it worse you moron,’ He shook his head and knocked away a large stone. With the added source of warm air, the funnel grew dramatically in size.

Clutching the closest outcrop to avoid being blown away, the winds grew so intense they started to tear away the trees and soil around him. Ranma squeezed his eyes closed tightly from a bright flash of light the preceded an explosion rocking the mountain. The rock he held onto slipped suddenly but then stopped just as quickly making his heart skip a beat at the thought of being caught in a landslide.

The roar of the wind dropped into a momentary stillness broken just as suddenly as everything lifted up by the tornado, now came crashing back to the earth.

“Uh oh,” Ranma’s blue eyes grew big at the literal tsunami of debris rushing down the mountain.

Without thinking, he launched himself head first down the nearly vertical mountainside, bouncing and running, desperately searching for anyplace he could hide from the wall of death. It was on him before he could find safety, choosing the only path that might keep him from being buried alive, he jumped as high as he could away from the ground out into the open air.

‘This is going to hurt a lot,’ Ranma grimaced, trying to gauge where he was going to land in the sparse forest below. Unfondly remembering being bedridden for a month the last time he had dropped from this height.

His thoughts on how best to avoid severe injury from a fall were interrupted by the high pitched screech of the circular Kinjakan blade screaming towards him. Twisting in mid air he lashed out with the Gekkaja and deflected the projectile away.

The phoenix lord Saffron followed right behind it, his formerly pristine white clothing shredded, red chest armor battered and cracked, body covered in so much dirt it was the only thing keeping his modesty. Saffron’s golden eyes burned with fury as he approached, taloned clawed hand pulled back preparing to slash forward.

Ranma couldn’t recover from his swing to respond, Saffron’s hand flashing forward to catch him across the chest. Saffron’s claws barely grazed him but sent him spinning out of control, cutting through his clothing, and leaving four painful gashes from the center of his chest to shoulder.

That didn’t hurt nearly as much as the tree that broke his fall.

“Think I would have prefered the landslide,” he groaned, he fumbled with pushing a thick branch laying across his stomach off himself. Wincing, he dug into his shirt to make sure he hadn’t lost her, hands closing around the dehydrated form of his fiance, Akane Tendo. “Still with me?” he asked without expecting a response as he pulled her doll like body out.

She was his entire reason for fighting the phoenix people at this point. To get her back to the water at the heart of their mountain so she could be saved. When her eyes closed, she would be dead, and right now they were three fourths of the way closed.

“Still alive, peasant?” Saffron taunted sadistically, lowering himself down to hover several meters above the ground. In his right hand was the Kinjaken with its deadly circular throwing blade that would always return to the staff perched on one end.

Tucking Akane safely back into his shirt, he struggled to his feet and steadied himself on the remains of the tree trunk. Something was probably broken but he didn’t have the time to care.

“Not for long if I have to look at you much longer,” he joked, trying to pick out where the Gekkaja had landed. “Can’t you put some clothes on? You look like a burnt chicken,” he added, catching sight of the silver staff among some leaves.

“Poor choice of last words,” Saffron sneered and raised his left hand, a bright red ball of fire gathering in his palm.

“Is that the third or fourth time you’ve said something dumb like that? I hit my head a bit and forgot,” he rolled to the side, Saffron’s ball of fire impacting the ground behind him and sending out arcs of plasma from the explosion.

Grabbing hold of the Gekkaja, Ranma brought it up to catch Saffron’s downward swing with his staff creating a clang that echoed around them. “I thought those were my last words?” he taunted, driven to one knee while Saffron floated just off the ground.

An inarticulate snarl was his answer, Saffron backing away enough to swing his staff forward to release the circular blade harmlessly off to the left. Ranma’s eyes couldn’t help but track the swing, missing as the staff was brought back to catch him in the temple. Staggering, he deflected another swing and retaliated with his own attack out of instinct that took off Saffron’s left hand.

“Fool, it’s useless, I am the immortal phoenix!” Saffron bellowed, recoiling away to allow his body to regenerate the lost hand, and pointing his staff directly at him.

“I bet that doesn’t make it hurt any less,” he stood up a little straighter just in time for the Kinjaken’s blade to make its return and slash him across the back.

Falling face first into the dirt, he writhed in pain kicking at the ground. That pain was immediately eclipsed by Saffron dropping onto his left leg and deeply burying the six massive talons on his feet into the flesh of his thigh and calf. Ranma opened his mouth in a silent scream of agony, Saffron flapping his powerful wings and jerking them up into the air. Barely able to keep hold of the Gekkaja, he dangled helplessly, every moment a new feeling of misery.

“This all started because of Jusenkyo, isn’t that right landling peasant? You wanted to cure a curse, that one that turns you into a girl,” Saffron laughed cruelly, violently jerking with each flap of his golden wings in the direction of the cursed training ground. “You’re so close, let me help you get to your destination.”

Crying out, Ranma rolled up and grabbed one of Saffron’s ankles with his free hand. Head dropping back limply, beginning to feel dizzy from blood loss and unrelenting pain. Saffron bounced upwards suddenly and released his talons, only to drive them in again. Ranma didn’t even try to scream, his body going limp to dangle underneath the phoenix, the Gekkaja dangling by a finger tip.

“Oh but look at what you did to the pools. They’re all mixed together. I look forward to seeing what sort of monstrosity you’ll turn into when I drop you in,” Saffron taunted but he could only dimly hear him.

His eyes struggled open to see the lake beneath him where the pools of Jusenkyo should have been. Bamboo poles sticking up alongside taller spouts of water, backfeeding uncontrollably from Phoenix Mountain with the water taps destroyed. But there were still a couple spots of land in the middle that hadn’t been overwhelmed yet.

‘That’ll have to do,’ he gathered the last of his strength and gripped the Gekkaja with both hands and swung it up to drive the crescent moon blade deep into Saffron’s back, the pointed ends exiting out the front of Saffron’s chest. The phoenix released his leg and they both dropped like a stone to land on the last dwindling strip of land in the middle of Jusenkyo.

He woke up just as a spout of cold water sent enough spray in his direction to activate his Jusenkyo curse. A new symphony of agony made him scream as the magic forcibly changed him into a girl. Rolling over and away from the water, she breathed out rapidly trying not to pass out from the pain of her injured flesh settling in a new configuration.

Hearing Saffron whine in pain, she twisted her head and looked past her now red bangs to see him lying face down, desperately trying to dig the Gekkaja free from where it was still lodged in his back.

“Told ya, still hurts,” she spat, shifting so she could tear off the right sleeve of her shirt, she stopped to breath heavily through gritted teeth. Rolling onto her back, eliciting new spikes of misery as she jostled her butchered limb about. Gathering her torn off sleeve, she quickly used it to hastily tourniquet her shredded leg around her upper thigh. Dimly she noticed how torn up her flesh was and the amount of blood that stained the muddy ground but didn’t want to consider the implications of it.

“I’ll-- kill-- you--,” he choked out, giving up reaching for the weapon to slash at her with his taloned hand. The Gekkaja’s magic powers freezing him faster than he could generate heat, Ice starting to spread further and further over his body from where he was impaled.

‘Well you may have,’ she conceded, no longer able to feel her legs, and with no way to get out of the pools in sight she’d probably pass out and drown before anyone else got here. Rolling onto her back she looked back at Phoenix mountain and taking in the scale of the destruction she had unleashed.

“Please be safe everyone,” she breathed out, patting her chest to verify that Akane’s dried up form was still with her. “We’re not.”

Turning away from the destruction of the phoenix’s home, she saw Saffron’s clawed hand locked in place reaching out to her, his body now one solid block of ice.

Tenderly taking out the doll sized body of her fiance from her shirt, she took a haggard breath. “I’m sorry Akane, I couldn’t get you to the water in time.” The dolls eyes were still partially open but there was no time for her to get back to the mountain even if she still had two good legs.

As was her luck, one of the spouts of water spraying water uncontrollably straight from the source decided to change it’s angle enough to cover her with water. Akane, still in her hands, was suddenly her real size again and crushing her. “Chunky tomboy,” she wheezed and started to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Here she was going to die of blood loss and Akane was going to live but become some hideous amalgam of all the creatures that had ever drowned in the springs.

Gasping with sudden realization, she slid out from underneath Akane. Stripping out of the remains of her red shirt, she draped it over Akane, realizing that she was naked.

‘The Gekkaja! I can freeze it all! I can save us!’ Dragging herself past Saffron’s claw, she broke the staff free causing a spiderweb if cracks to spread over his body. “Cool enough for you, your highness,” she pushed his rock solid body into the water, immediately feeling the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end as a warm red glow pulsed then spread over the water. Too tired to care, she tossed in the staff and dropping lifelessly onto her back. The only thing left to do was wait for it’s magic to freeze the lake solid.

Zx

“Ranma-- please wake up.”

She dimly heard Akane plead with her, drawing her back from blissful unconsciousness. Ranma had expected to be surrounded by a lake of ice by this point not a mix of colorful pudding, hardwood floors, snow, chocolate milk, and asphalt. All the bamboo poles had been replaced with candy canes, palm trees, or light poles.

“You’re alive,” Akane sobbed and crushed her in a hug.

“Am I?” she asked in a tiny whisper, having trouble believing that what she was seeing was real. The spouts of water that had been everywhere were now doing things like spitting up feathers, bubbles, or turning into twisty straw like shapes that stayed in place even though water was clearly flowing through them.

Her eyes tracked upward feeling that she was being watched. Hovering in the air was what looked like a small dragon, it’s long serpent body with limbs that were all from different creatures, twisted and coiling as it observed her. It made a noise like a car horn before vanishing with a confusingly loud twig snapping noise and then reappearing with the sound of popcorn popping near her leg.

“Akane, what is that?” She weakly struggled against Akane who was still crying over her.

The little dragon creature was difficult to look at, like her eyes refused to focus or even accept its existence. Details about its form kept shifting like she was seeing multiple random creatures all overlapping each other at the same time. It did a quick little somersault with the sound of snapping fingers and all feeling suddenly returned to her leg and her weakness from blood loss vanished.

“What the hell happened to my leg?!” Ranma screamed, pushing the distracted Akane away so she would finally snap out of it. Her mangled leg was still covered in blood but had been replaced by one covered in red fur and ending in a hoof of similar color.

“I fix!” the creature cheered repeatedly in a high pitched voice and zoomed around them in a circle in excitement.

“This is not fixing!” She screeched at the small creature, reaching down to confirm that she wasn’t actually going crazy from blood loss.

“What is that thing?” Akane reached out to grab the creature as it made its next pass around them. Her hand passed through its body as though it was made of smoke, its tiny legs, arms, and wings lagged behind the body before it snapped back together like a toy being reassembled. “Uh--,” she stared at her hands.

“You want play too?” It asked excitedly and a small platform popped up with a giant spring to fling a screaming Akane out into the chaotic mess of the pools.

“Akane!” She called out in alarm, her fiancé coming down to land in one of the few sections still water. Except there was no great splash but her bouncing back upwards like she had landed on a trampoline.

Akane gave her a similarly confused look that the water was now no longer acting like a liquid. “Ranma, what’s going on?” she asked nervously.

“Ranma?” The small creature asked itself, her name echoing repeatedly even though it had only said it once. “Wild Horsey!” It happily cheered and started laughing.

The entire world started to spin around her while she remained fixed. The creatures laughter causing random splashes of color splatter against the world that now reacted like a flat painting. It finally seemed to pay attention to what was happening to the surrounding area which made it laugh like piano keys being randomly struck by a toddler.

Ranma snapped her hands up to cover her ears and squeezed her eyes shut tight as the world around her became an impossible to understand cacophony of chaos. She felt like she was weightless, tumbling through a cold empty void one moment and the next she was crushed by the force of gravity in a sweltering sauna. Opening her eyes only briefly time slowed to an immeasurable crawl as she struggled to close them once again to shut out the impossible structures that danced around her. The creatures laughter solidified like it was concrete yet it poured into her ears like liquid.

And then it stopped, depositing her unceremoniously face first into a field of soft grass.

Groaning she pushed herself up to her hands and knee, her horse-like leg not allowing the movement. Feeling a wave of nausea from trying to stand she tried to throw up but a flock of butterflies erupted out of her mouth. Whimpering at the assault on her senses and mind, she rolled over into a sitting position. The nice open field or the pleasant sunshine and temperature barely registered after being put through whatever blender she had just experienced.

“OOOOOoooooh!” The dragon creatures voice sounded like it had found something it really liked. “I fix?” It asked, jumping in front of her face.

“Fix whatever, just please leave me alone,” she cried, falling over onto her side as another wave of chaos washed over her like electricity dancing over her skin, making various portions of her body feel light and others heavy, finishing with a burp that let one last butterfly escape her.

“Fixed!” It exclaimed happily doing a little dance that made it look like it had twenty legs and arms. “Bye bye my Wild Horsey!” It waved it’s whole body like a hand and then folded in on itself like a piece of paper being crumpled up before vanishing into a small dot.

“Today can’t get any worse” She whimpered and tried to bury her head further into the grass.

Zx

A gentle nudge tried to drag Ranma back from the brief comforting embrace of pain free unconsciousness. “Go way Pop-- tired,” she tried to dismissively wave her hand but the movement didn’t feel right.

Not that she cared, she had saved Akane and defeated Saffron, then survived a trip through what she honestly thought might have been hell. There would be a lot of work to fix wherever she had ended up. But for now, she was relaxing on a perfect patch of the most wonderful sweet smelling grass and enjoying a beautiful day. ‘Do your worst panda, I’ve already won.’

She did begin paying slightly more attention when two feminine voices began animatedly discussing something with each other. Flicking an ear in annoyance that she may have ended up in someone’s yard, her eyes snapped open in alarm because she did not have ears capable of flicking.

Ranma’s evaluation of her ears stalled out at the sight of two colorful equines of some sort watching her with great interest. Both were quite large with the white coated one standing taller than the dark blue one. The white one had a colorful striped mane and tail of blue, green, purple, and pink that drifted ethearely while the other had a brighter shade of blue than her fur that twinkled in the sunlight like stars. Both wore some sort of armor wrapping around their chests, gold for the white one, black for the blue, with small matching crowns peaking up behind their horns.

“So who was talking?” she pushed herself up into a sitting position, finding that there was nobody else but here in sight. Both of the horses responded with the same series of sounds as if they were trying to greet her.

‘They were?’ She felt her ears move again, twisting forward, and quickly reached up to try and feel what was going on causing her to lose her balance and fall forward until she planted her hooves back down. Ranma’s eyes grew big, staring down at her transformed body covered in deep reddish brown fur with a lighter underside.

“How is this fixing it?!” she screamed and stomped her front legs down, completely forgetting about the two odd horses. “Get back here you little-- whatever you are and turn me back into a human!” she shouted, shakily attempted to get up before stumbling to one side then the other. Quickly finding her balance even if her legs refused to stop wobbling. “You hear me?!” she turned and felt new limbs respond, wings spreading with an audible clap of feathers against the air throwing her off balance to trip sideways into a soft cushion.

Gently lifted back to her feet, the cushion was revealed to be a cloud of yellow magic that matched the color glowing around the white horses horn. Opening majestically from the white horses back were large wings. Ranma spared a glance at her back where new wings were spread in a much less grand display.

“Oh great I’m a talking horse with wings,” she snorted and unconsciously stamped her hooves in frustration.

Her actions only seemed to amuse the two equines, the dark one snickering like a human before the white one said something in a tone that sounded like an admonishment.

“So who are you two supposed to be? The welcoming committee?” she asked rhetorically, not recognizing a word the two had spoken or expecting them to understand her in the slightest.

Zx

“Sorry sister, we shouldn’t laugh at this poor creatures misfortune, but she is simply too cute. Look at her stamping her little hooves and pouting,” Luna apologized with little sincerity.

They had witnessed the young creature arrive in an explosion of wood chips that evaporated upwards into smoke. Briefly, she had been in the form of a furless biped wearing wet and torn up clothing but a small magical being of incredible power had changed her into an alicorn before their very eyes and then it had left, leaving a wake of powerful chaotic magic that they would have felt clear across the Everfree forest.

“Adorable visual aside, she is obviously confused and scared,” Celestia took a long breath, deep in thought.

“What should we do if we cannot communicate?” she had never heard the girl’s language before in all her travels. “We can’t abandon her here, she is no foal but she is clearly helpless.”

“I think I may know of a way-- at least to break the ice. Would you keep an eye on her while I return to the castle and prepare a spell?” Celestia asked, the former biped growing tired of them speaking over her and had started wandering off on shaky legs that were very quickly growing steady.

“I can handle one little pony,” she flippantly responded. The former biped couldn’t even walk straight, what could she possibly have to worry about?

“I’ll return as quickly as I can,” Celestia flapped her wings and took over into the air in the direction of their castle, leaving her alone with the false alicorn.

Her quarry had put quite a distance between them while she was distracted, and seemed to be testing the full range of motion of her legs, making big circles with each limb. In no hurry, Luna leisurely closed the distance, noticing how intently two blue eyes watched her. ‘Is there something behind me?’ she looked behind but saw nothing that would inspire such focus.

Sitting down a reasonable distance away, whatever interesting thing the transformed biped had saw in her was gone. Which was just as well, she didn’t know how to really respond. Celestia and her were the only alicorns, that was something she had accepted as a given for almost a hundred years. So seeing two become three, even if the creature was just visually the same due to magic, was still unnerving.

She was also unused to being up at this time of day, yawning, she pulled an apple from her saddlebag with magic, intending to eat it. ‘Sister’s daytime walks through the forest are a welcome distractions but I wish she would want to do them later.’ Yawning again, she jumped upon finding the false alicorn sitting directly in front of her staring at her treat. ‘When did she move?’

“You have apples from your place of origin?” she asked, lightly teasing the creature by waving the apple side to side. “Here, we have more,” she extended it towards the filly who reached out with her front legs to take it from her magic. The apple popped out and was caught in her mouth before it could start to fall.

‘Quick little thing,’ she raised an eyebrow, having barely been able to track the movement.

The false alicorn brute forced her jaw to close enclosing the entire apple in her mouth making her cheeks bulge humorously before chewing rapidly and swallowing.

“That was gross,” she summoned up another apple from her pack after watching the mannerless creature swallow the entire thing. Once again the filly’s blue eyes were fixed firmly on her apple.

‘What happened to you?’ she wondered in concern, taking in the significant amount of blood dried to the ponies coat. Mostly on her rear left leg with a much smaller amount across her chest. But there wasn’t any visible reason for it, as if the transformation had healed her injuries.

“You seem alright physically, let us see how smart you are,” she put a hoof to her chest and spoke her name. The false alicorn cocked her head to the side without response so Luna repeated her name.

“Ru-- na,” the filly answered chewing over the world.

“Luna,” she again repeated, stressing the pronunciation.

“Loona” the reddish alicorn’s muzzle scrunched up, struggling with the pronunciation.

‘Progress, huzzah!’ she nodded her head and handed over her apple as a reward that was greedily gobbled up.

“Ranma,” the transformed creature copied Luna’s attempt at communication.

“Luanma.” She responded with her own attempt, believing that she had done a perfectly acceptable job using the first word in an unknown language. But judging by the facial expression of the filly, she may have not done as good a job as she had expected. So she tried again and received an affirmative nod.

“Sister will not have expected such progress!” she announced to herself and received a very confused look from the creature. Gathering the last of her apples, she held one up. “Let us see if we can communicate further.”

Zx

Celestia returned to the clearing where she had left her sister with the mysterious creature. Circling once overhead, she saw that the two were appearing to converse, sitting now in the shade of a tall tree. ‘This is quite an unexpected sight,’ she smiled at her usually standoffish sister actually getting along with the poor transformed creature. Landing gracefully, her saddlebags bounced heavily with the items she had brought.

“So do we share a common language after all?” she asked assuming that something had finally made sense between the two in the hour it had taken to return, noticing the reddish alicorn staring at her with wide eyes, especially her wings as they settled back into place along her back.

“Unfortunately we do not. However, Ranma is quite intelligent and we have been amusing ourselves by exchanging words,” Luna answered. “In her tongue, apple is ring-- o, how bizarre! Though I do not believe I pronounced that correctly, some of the sounds are difficult to emulate.”

“Fascinating,” she removed her saddlebag from her back, and started to unload her cargo. All the various items flew out and gathered on a small blanket in an orderly fashion. “I brought these,” she held up three simple necklaces ending in a small stone she had prepared to be enchanted.

“And these will let us converse freely?” Luna asked.

“Not yet, I’ll need to finish the enchantment. There is no one size fits all spell for the spoken word. The spell must be crafted and developed with ponies who know each language, so it can be shared between,” she explained, not giving too much attention to the new pony that she now knew was named Ranma, who had come to her side and inspecting her wings with a worrying amount of attention. “Did she do this with you as well?” she asked.

“I believe she is studying us. Her real body must function far different than our own,” Luna answered.

“I see,” she watched Ranma out of the corner of her eye as she opened up a spellbook to the page with the incantation she would need. Celestia stopped to pay more attention when the filly began bouncing around and flapping her wings attempting to fly. “Energetic little thing.”

“She should be, she ate all the apples I brought,” Luna grumbled. “And whatever the cause was for the blood appears to be have been healed by her transformation.”

“I barely noticed it mixing in with her coat color, but that is good to know. Do you think you can get her back here so I can finish the spell?”

“Easily,” Luna used her magic to lift up a pastry she had discretely brought in her saddlebags. “Ranma!” the pony of the night called out, catching the filly’s attention who upon landing from her latest jump moved with a shocking burst of speed back over to them. That speed didn’t translate into stopping power, the transformed creature slipping and tumbling into a large tree. Celestia would have went to help the poor child but she was back up to her hooves and over to them as if nothing had happened.

“She’s very food oriented,” Luna explained, taking an immense amount of joy in her reaction, while Ranma quickly gobbled down the cake her sister had offered.

“Yes-- right,” she lifted one of the necklaces to let it fall over her head to rest against her chest. Without thinking she quickly tried to place another over her sister’s head and Ranma’s. The reddish alicorn took exception to this and dodged out of the way to regard her cooly. “That was rude of me, you wouldn’t have happened to get to exchanging apologies?”

“Allow me to try and smooth over your diplomatic faux pas, big sister” Luna answered, waving a hoof to get Ranma’s attention. Gesturing towards the gem, then to her, then to Ranma, then made a show of talking to both of them. Ranma seemed to grasp that at least that she was not intending harm, and she attempted to reach for the stone with her front hooves, struggling to grip the small object between them.

Taking pity on the poor non-pony, she used her magic to lift it up so Ranma could stick her head through. Linking the three stones with her aura forming a thin yellow line between each, she began to recite the incantation. “A connection we seek, of the languages we speak. So that we may talk and listen, and share together our wisdom.”

Celestia’s stone pulsed yellow, Luna’s blue, and Ranma’s pink before they traveled out to bounce between each point and returning to their starting stone. “I believe it was successful,” she announced.

“I understood that!” Ranma exclaimed happily and pointed at her. “This solves so many problems, you talking horses are cool.”

“We are ponies, not horses,” Luna corrected.

“I’m sorry for not introducing myself sooner, I am Celestia, and you have already met my younger sister, Luna,” she greeted finally able to communicate freely with the transformed creature. “And your name is Ranma?”

“Saotome Ranma,” she answered with a small bow of her head towards the two of them. “If it’s not obvious I’m not really supposed to be-- this,” she gestured down at her body. “I’m also a little-- okay really badly lost. So-- where would be-- here?”

“This is Equestria, do you know how you got here? There was something with you, but we weren’t close enough to see what it was,” She asked, more or less already knowing what the reddish alicorn had said.

Ranma sighed and her shoulders slumped. “I’m here cause a bratty little kid turned out to be a completely pompous ass adult who tried to kill me and my friends, freeze dried my fiance, mangled my leg pretty badly. But I beat him finally and then this weird-- thing shows up and it’s all I fix, and it I guess made my leg like this,” she stuck out her back left leg and wiggled it.

“Then it gets all giggly so the world goes all crazy which I’d really rather not talk about cause it still hurts thinking about it. Next thing I know I’m here, my brain feels like scrambled eggs, and you’re waking me up.”

“Sister, are you sure the spell worked as intended?” Luna asked.

Celestia tried to digest the rambling and semi-incoherent answer to her question. “So you defeated an evil villain to save your betrothed. But suffered a serious injury and the creature we saw brought you here.”

“More or less. So have you ever heard of a human? We walk on two legs, have hands, and a lot less body hair. Most of us at least, I know this one guy who has a lot more but that’s more because of a curse.”

“There are no such thing as humans in Equestria, and no creatures that look like you did,” she answered without hesitation.

“Oh,” Ranma’s entire body seemed to deflate and her ears drooped to the side.

“Mayhaps we have something in the library that Star Swirl had developed? At least to find this creature and to get it to return her to where she belongs?” Luna asked without confidence.

“Checking the archives would be an excellent place to start,” Celestia offered.

“So what do you want for helping? Do you use money? Not that I have money or even money you might use,” the reddish alicorn began to mumble to herself. “I was wearing clothes, where did they go?”

“Relax, we don’t need or expect payment. We’re going to help you because it’s the right thing to do,” Celestia quickly cut Ranma off. ‘That this may bring us into contact with that dangerous magical creature who can transform others at will for further study is purely a bonus.’

“Really?” Ranma sniffled and her eyes started to tear up. “Just like that you’re going to help me?”

“If we turned away somepony in distress, what kind of ponies would we be?” Luna gently patted the filly on the back. “Is it not the same with your kind?”

“Some are, not usually the ones I meet. Thank you,” Ranma awkwardly wiped at her eyes. “Sorry-- it’s just been a really long day.”

“You have nothing to apologize for,” Celestia smiled reassuringly. “Our castle is not far from here, and as beautiful of a day as this is, I believe a tour would be better handled while we can still understand one another.”

“Huh? But this thing?” Ranma gestured to the stone.

She shook her head before answering. “Will only last a few hours at most before the spell will need to be refreshed.” The spell was a tool for diplomacy when no interpreter could be found, nothing more. ‘Something less-- temporary will need to be found if this is not a short term arrangement.’

Zx

Ranma blinked in astonishment, first at the heavy stone bridge crossing a ravine, and then at the massive castle that the road ran up to beyond. “You-- you made this?” she blurted out in confusion. Smart magical ponies were one thing but she hadn’t believed that they had an actual European style castle with a tall pitched roof keep surrounded by multiple towers. Beyond the castle up on a hill was a domed building that reminded her of an observatory but it was too far away to make out details.

“Do you not have castles on your world?” Celestia asked easily without seeming to take offense to her rude question disparaging their capabilities.

“They kind of stopped being made when we found ways to blow them up and I just wasn’t expecting anything as-- impressive as this,” she nervously laughed, hoping she hadn’t offended the nice talking ponies who were helping her out and only gateway for her to even communicate. “I mean, you look like the horses from where I’m from, and they are not very smart. No wings, no magic. But really strong so they used to be used a lot to haul heavy stuff or just ride from place to place. Not like you two at all. Cause you’re both pretty smart so I don’t even know why I brought it up, you’re nothing alike, forget I said anything, sorry,” she rambled.

“Keep up thy apologizing and we may find a way to take offense at your ignorance,” Luna responded with grave seriousness.

“Right,” Ranma nodded, willing to give a fair amount of deference considering the situation.

“My sister is teasing you,” Celestia whispered in her ear. “She comes across a bit strong because she is not well practiced with banter.”

“My banter is known throughout all of Equestria,” Luna declared haughtily.

“Yes, it is-- well known,” Celestia rolled her eyes skyward.

“Well received too! I know your game to besmirch my reputation with vagueness and implication,” Luna quickly added.

Ranma glanced to the side and discretely giggled to herself.

“Fine, let us ask Captain Lockheed if it’s true or not. He’s a reliable sort who wouldn’t lie,” Celestia challenged while a sea green pony with wings flew towards them from a small wall surrounding the castle.

“Let us not waste his time, sister,” Luna’s bluster sputtered out and she stepped back to let Celestia be the closest to the incoming pony.

Landing with the clank of metal and several hops to slow his speed, Lockheed quickly bowed deeply to the two sisters. Taller than she was by a head and thickly built, he was clad in gleaming silver armor, a heavier chest piece than what the two sisters wore, an ornate helmet with red plume of hair running front to back, and layered flank pieces that looked like feathers. Rising from his bow, he began speaking in the language Ranma couldn’t understand to Celestia.

‘So this spell really doesn’t help much, does it?’ she glowered at the limitation of it but curious how the sea green pony could fly when he should be far too heavy to get off the ground. He grabbed her attention as he suddenly turned in her direction and gave a deep bow to nearly touch his nose to the ground and greeting of some sort. “Um, what did he say and why is he bowing to me?” she quickly returned the gesture as best she could. “We do that too but this seems way more respectful than it needs to be.”

“He said that he is blessed to meet you. Thank you Captain, she is still in shock so please try to keep things contained with the rest of the staff,” Celestia answered and Lockheed nodded before taking to the sky once again back towards the castle.

Ranma looked dubiously at the white pony, not really disagreeing that she was still in shock over the swerve the day has thrown at her. “Blessed? Is that a common greeting?”

“Allow me sister,” Luna started. “Before your arrival today, in all of Equestria, we were the only two alicorns. Ponies gifted with power and responsibility above all others. By coincidence or destiny now there are three.”

“Um-- so what does that have to do with me?” she asked, sitting back on her haunches.

“Equestria has three tribes of Ponies. Pegasi have wings, unicorns have horns, and earth ponies have neither. Only Alicorns are gifted with the magical and physical qualities of all three,” Celestia answered.

‘I have a horn?’ Ranma went cross eyed but could only see her bangs, so she reached up with one leg and found that she did in fact have a short red horn jutting out from her forehead. “Guess I missed that.”

“Just to avoid causing any undue panic, we should get you cleaned of that blood as a start, and forgive me for saying but you have quite a different-- fragrance about you,” Celestia fumbled slightly for words.

“Your scent is alien and pungent,” Luna butted in with a less diplomatic approach.

“Is it that bad?” she raised a front leg to sniff at it. ‘Guess I do sorta smell like I’ve been out training with Pop for a week.’

“No need to be rude, sister,” Celestia lightly admonished. “And then you can take as much time as you wish to appraise your form.”

“Does that mean you have hot water?” she asked, equal parts hopeful and concerned over what that may reveal. Cold water was what turned her into a girl, perhaps hot water would return her to her real body.
 
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