❯ New Destiny Reloaded – Book I: Roads to Succession – Prologue ( Prologue )
New Destiny Reloaded: Book I � Roads to Succession
Cell sat alone in the darkness of his room at the Mega Mansion, his eyes red from crying. In his hand, he still clutched a black pigtail; Ranma’s pigtail. He had cut it off just moments after the young Saotome had drawn his final breath earlier that night. It was all he had left of the boy he had grown to love as his own son.
He quietly said, « Activate personal audio journal, entry number 41144-B. » There was a small beep from across the room, and a tiny red light appeared. It was recording, but where to begin? « Ranma Saotome… died tonight saving the life of his cousin, TK. » There was more to it than that, he knew, much more. But there would be another day to tell it all. The pain was getting worse, and he was choking back the latest in an onslaught of tears. « He did it willingly, not just to save the boy, but because� because he wanted to die. His former fiancée, Akane Tendo, rejected him, and it shattered him beyond repair. » He paused, recollecting from earlier that night when Ranma came to return his identicard. [There was such sadness and defeat etched in his face. Of all the losses he had over the years, this one was his worst.]
He resumed the journal entry. « I don’t know what I will do now. Ranma… was like a son to me. My heart goes out to his family for their loss. Akane… will never know how much he truly loved her. » Looking out the window at the stars, he finished, « Maybe it is all for the best. Still… I shall miss him. » There was a long pause, and then the machine shut itself down.
Cell lifted his head to stare at a picture of the recent roster of Mega Avengers. Both he and Ranma were in one corner, smiling. TK was on Ranma’s shoulders, laughing. It had been a joyous day, back then. Rob had decided to bend the rules a bit and give Ranma full membership status. Cell turned the picture face down on the desk and returned his gaze to the stars. « Ranma, if you can hear me from the beyond… Your thoughts must comfort TK and the others this night. They will still wait… yet you will never return. »
Cell pulled out a small box and placed the cut pigtail in it, and then slowly closed it. « Goodbye… My son… »
There was no feeling at all within ten-year-old Takeru �TK� Takaishi. His body was numb, and his ears heard nothing, not even the priest�s words as he, his family, and several friends stood there on the grass ready to place Ranma�s coffin into the ground. Nor could he hear the rumbling of thunder as dark clouds gathered over the cemetery, or feel the cold stinging of the rain. Only his eyes seemed to be working. They were fixed on the coffin, staring at the black casing and the numerous flowers laid upon the lid.
A hand lightly gripped his shoulder, and he heard his mother whisper that it was time to go. �Give me a minute,� he asked. �Please?� As the rain started to come down faster, TK took a step forward; his hand moving to rest on the coffin.
Ranma had been taken from him. Despite persuading him to live long enough to train TK in the ways of martial arts, Ranma had been murdered. And, thanks to Akane and Ryoga, using the Dragon Balls to resurrect him would be pointless. Now, TK was alone in his mission to earn his succession to the Saotome School of Martial Arts.
�I�ll surpass you, Ranma,� he said, hoping somewhere in the afterlife Ranma could hear him. �I swear it.
��And I will avenge you.�
Only the Beginning�