When Akane gets the foolish idea that she could defend herself from future kidnappers, Ranma comes up with a cunning plan to show just how dangerous it could be to get abducted by an evil perverted...
Part 2: Birth of the Iron Mask
Who would be so stupid and build a secret lair in the middle of the business district? You went with exotic locations and if you had to build your secret lair in a big city like Tokyo, You went to the docks and got yourself and old warehouse. The sewers would have been acceptable too, but an office building was just totally wrong.
If Konatsu hadn't told Ranma about it when he had bumped into him a few days ago, he would never have known where to look and even Konatsu had only found out about them by accident.
Hiding their secret headquarters where nobody would look for it was a cowardly move of the would-be tomboy-nappers. Ranma already disliked them.
As he entered the building Ranma had to revise his opinion of the foreigners slightly. They did at least have style. What looked like a normal office building from the outside turned out to be far more exotic from the inside. Someone had removed all non load-bearing walls and floor-parts and created a big open space crisscrossed by girders and beams inside the building. In this space a small medieval looking castle had been erected — complete with a moat, turrets and several little flags on top. It looked very impressive even with the occasional column, girder, or fire escape stairway sticking out of it.
Ranma waisted only little time admiring the view as he soon found himself busy with other things like the castle guards who attacked him on sight. That saved Ranma the trouble of taunting them about their silly multi-colored jumpsuits to goad them into a fight.
The guards might look funny in their colorful uniforms ,which Ranma thought would look better on a court jester, but there was nothing funny whatsoever about the nasty pike weapons they carried. Or the way they used them. They were all well trained in using their halberds and also all extremely tall even for Europeans.
Europeans were a nice change of pace after all these mystical Chinese kingdoms that nobody had ever heard about. At least Ranma assumed they were Europeans. They could be Americans for all he knew even if they looked more like knights than cowboys. Did they have any tiny kingdoms in America?
Those question and others Ranma mused on as he slowly worked his way through the guards.
Ranma was starting to have doubts about this being the lair of a foreign noble with ambition to abduct himself a tomboy bride, when some of the commanders started giving orders and the guards retreaded. Ranma could not make out much of what they were saying, but it certainly sounded like they had recognized his superior strength and were now preparing to flee back to whatever micronation they had come from.
Ranma only made some token attacks as he allowed the remaining guards to collect their unconscious fellows and flee upwards. Through the glass ceiling of the office-building he could see them pile into an airship anchored to a spire at the top of the building. He watched them flee with satisfaction before he began to investigate the now empty castle.
Ranma soon found something that dispelled all his doubts about having hit the right target. In a briefing room there were plans of the Tendou compound and photos of its inhabitants pinned to a wall. They even managed to get some good shots of the failed wedding. It felt good to be proven right. Another threat defeated and Akane would never even know that he had saved her again!
The downside was, that Akane would never know that he had saved her again.
This would not be any help in convincing Akane to give in and stop her stupid act of claiming to be able to defend herself.
Ranma had been lucky this time finding out about the abductors in time. Next time he might not get them before they got to Akane and she would be end up getting hurt if she did not admit that she needed him to rescue her.
Ranma needed a way to convince Akane....
As he sat in the empty room in the empty castle an idea occurred to him. He picked up the shattered remains of one of the guards armor. Poking two holes into the bend metal plate with a broken pike he held the result in front of his face.
Ranma could show Akane how helpless she really was without endangering her or breaking his promise not to interfere in her fights.
He had a secret lair that nobody was using at the moment and all the other props he needed. A prince in an iron mask from some faraway country could easily abduct Akane to this castle and show her how helpless she was. Such things were known to happen. And once Akane realized that she could not get out of this herself she would scream for help and Ranma would come to her rescue.
Perfect! Nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan.