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A "Quest" Side Story
Chronicled by Dro'gan NiteFlier

Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video.

Foreword: No Chobits were abused during the making of this fic. In fact, no Chobits even appear in this fic. Heck, it has so little to do with Chobits that I actually doubt it should even be in this section … wait … this is a Ranmafic? Oh. Err … carry on then. No worries.

The old woman sat at her desk, pausing in her writing as she looked over the letter. It explained, in couched terms, why she had not returned to her home after the reason for her being here had been gone for five years.

My friend,

I send this to you in reply to your repeated insistence for myself and my great-granddaughter return Home. Perhaps an account of the peoples that I have told you of here that were connected to the young man will satisfy you.

The first is my descendant. While she still hopes to see the young man someday, she has, surprisingly, moved on. Yes, that is right; she is ignoring the tradition and is seeking other attention now. She still bats your great-grandson up the wall whenever he gets too near, though. I can't really say that I blame her, for once her heart was set on the young man, she would not settle for less. I don't think that I would either. She has made herself into a very good cook and businesswoman, however, and has started hinting that she wants to take over the restaurant when I return Home. She is seeking out one that rivals the young man, and I wish her luck.

Your great-grandson is surprisingly tenacious when it comes to my great-granddaughter. He has not stopped in his crusade to win her heart, but as I said, I doubt that her standards will ever fall below godly. I hope that one day he will see (no pun intended) that she is simply not the one that he shall win.

Moving on to the others, I believe that I told you of another cook, a very strange girl at that. She still runs her restaurant in competition to mine, and despite several tries to run each other out of business, I have become good friends with her. She still has her own helper who pines after her, the effeminate shinobi, but as she has told me, the image in her eyes of the young man is unmatchable; much like it is for my great-granddaughter. Speaking of the two, they have become somewhat good friends, one teaching the other of Japanese, and the other teaching her of femininity. It was a curious sight to see my young business rival walking around town in a dress, as it was to see my own descendant finally failing to butcher the language that was forced upon her, even though she has grown to love the land.

Of the three sisters, the eldest was ill recently, causing the entire family to worry that she would fall to the same killer as her mother. Fortunately for all involved, the young lady has recovered for the most part, and is now spending her days persuing her dreams at college. I believe that you might be surprised by that last statement, because of what I told you before. Yes, the young lady was the foundation of her household, fulfilling the duties of the lady of the home, but that burden has shifted to another, for during her illness, her father worried so much about her that he had to be admitted into the hospital as well, and came out of it married once again. Of the three daughters, the eldest took it the best, partially because she had befriended the lady during her tenure at the hospital, and partially because it finally balanced her father out, something that he has desperately needed for quite some time now.

The middle sister was surprised at first, even though her mercenary exterior belied such. But a careful application love and care from both her elder sister and her new mother, and her icy façade failed. She now counts stocks at the Tokyo Exchange, and is on the rise in the corporate world. In a surprising twist of events, one of her former boyfriends met her there, and the two have hit it off again. I received an invitation to their wedding just yesterday, and will be pleased to go.

Now the hard one. The youngest of the sisters, another competitor for the heart of the young man, has recently been admitted to an institution. The shock of both her father and sister's marriages must have been too much for her already broken heart. A young kendoist of good repute proposed to her as well, despite having been rebuffed in kind since well before the young man came onto the scene. Perhaps the longing in her heart for the young man, coupled with the activities of her household in preparation for matrimony, caused a temporary insanity in her, but then again, maybe the young kendoist simply proposed one to many times. Fortunately, he is still alive, but not well, I am sorry to say. The girl was restrained for her own good, and put where perhaps she could recover from a great deal of stress.

The young kendoist has a sister who also fought for the heart of the young man. In counterpoint to the happenings of her brother's preferred wife, she has grown a great deal saner, and indeed, has made great friends with the eldest sister, who is attending the same foundation of learning as she. I told you before that the young gymnast was an herbalist, and I think that she was the one who slipped the eldest sister the cure to her ailment. But that is speculation, for I have never received confirmation from either of them.

That, I believe, rounds out all the suitors of the young man, so let me move on to his rivals, starting with the one that is cursed in the same manner, but not type, as the young man. This wandering man had a fixation on the youngest sister, but that has faded with time and the care of another. Unfortunately, his new girlfriend seemed more attached to the animal in her care than him, so he left her, vowing never to return. Surprisingly enough, given what I have told you of him before, he has never seen her again. His cursed sense of placement usually takes him to the place he wants to be least, but I wonder what my kitchen did to him? That's right, he spends his time (part-time, at least) helping at my restaurant, and practicing with my great-granddaughter. I think that that pairing is one of the least expected to work out, so I shall send you some pictures of the wedding when they finally tie themselves together.

Another rival of the young man is well known to you, the prince (or princess) of our neighboring kingdom. Yes, that is right, the dragon occasionally shows up now and again to see if the young man has returned, for in his words, "We're not done yet". I'm not sure whether to believe him or not that the young man is returning here, not after the mode of his disappearance so long ago.

The young man himself left behind his father and mother, and quite frankly, I'm surprised that the man's head is still connected to his shoulders for his part in the fiasco. Apparently, though no public justice was received, he did make private apologies to all involved, and has not been much trouble since. The young man's mother has taken it upon herself to prepare for his return, perhaps feeling the same as the dragon that one day he shall be among us again. Be that as it may, her home is always ready for him to return.

I believe that I have captured the major players in the little drama that played out so long ago here. I hope that you are well, my friend, and I will send you another letter soon. Now I must compose a missive to the Council, and explain to them why I am staying here.

With love, Blossom in Sunlight

The old woman smiled as she folded the letter and dabbed a bit of wax on it to seal it. She stood and walked to the fireplace, taking the letter and placing it among the flames. As she watched the letter burn, she smiled softly to her friend, "I hope this one gets to you quickly. I shall write again soon."

With that, the old woman turned and chuckled to herself, thinking of what ruses she might employ to keep the Council from demanding her return to the tiny village that their nation called home. As she looked out the window at the sky, she wondered if her friend could understand that she now called this crazy little town Home.

A final thought before getting out a new sheet of paper struck her:

Where did the young man now consider Home?

A much traveled man encircled his arms around a beautiful woman, drinking in the scent of her hair, and pleased at being merely in her company. He looked around their room, and sighed. The woman in his arms stirred, and looked up at him questioningly. "My love?"

He smiled at her and embraced her tightly.

"I'm Home."


Editor's notes: This is labeled a side story, but the story that it's based on is not yet available for reading. Dro'gan decided to release this first.

Quest, when gets going, will have a bit of an odd format. It will begin with a short called simply "Quest", and then the plan is to have a series of five stories separated by interludes. Quest is a Ranma crossover story using the game series Quest for Glory as the add-in element. Ranma is to be the hero of the tale, natch. The idea is to have one story per game, plus four interludes in between the stories. A bit of a task, but one he has high hopes of finishing.

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