Fighting Blind

<" "> Chinese Language

<>: Thoughts

Chapter 4

Settling In

Ranma Saotome was sitting under the shade of a large tree near

the baseball diamond and was currently enjoying his lunch. It had

been a busy morning during his first day at school. He had been

attacked twice by Tatewaki Kuno, who was still after him for the

message he had inscribed on the kendoist's forehead. The blind

martial artist had easily defeated him both times. The first time was by

slam-dunking him into one of the basketball hoops at the gym. The

second time, Kuno was foolish enough to charge at him at the same

place he had been at earlier. The insane Blue Thunder ended up in

the pool again.

Akane Tendo had also been bothering him throughout the

morning. Rumors had been spreading around the school that Ranma

was better martial artist than she was and she took it very personally.

She prided herself that no one was better and she was determined to

prove it. He didn't like the way she was calling him a pervert and all

those other nasty names, just because he was a boy. To him, Akane

was nothing more than a spoiled, self-centered brat that couldn't face

up to the truth that the universe wasn't centered on her. It didn't help

matters as all the attention she usually got from the student

population had begun to decline as the interest was shifted toward

him and his sister Amazons. The boys were practically drooling over

Shampoo, Lilac and Perfume. The girl population had become fixated

on him and Ranma had some difficulty trying to find a quiet spot to

eat. They all wanted to share their lunches with him and though he

was flattered, he politely turned them down. This did not go

unnoticed by Akane as she saw his innocence as an act of some

perverted womanizer.

As he was finishing up his lunch, his enhanced senses detected

three familiar ki energies approaching him and smiled as the warrior

females sat down beside him.

<"Hey cousin! How was class?">

Shampoo frowned a bit at the word 'cousin.' Even after eight

years, Ranma still only considered her as a close family member and

she had become a little frustrated that he didn't think of her as

anything more. Like many other girls in the village, she had dreamed

of snaring the handsome and talented young master of the Unseen

Light as her husband. She had reminded him many times that there

wasn't any true blood relation between them. With a small sigh, she

put on a smile and replied in Japanese. "Class was okay. We all made

some new friends and many girls have been asking about you."

The blind Saotome blushed, and said in a slightly nervous voice.

"Uhhhh� yeah. I� noticed."

"Ranma is very popular!" Lilac added while she gazed longingly at

the finely detailed muscles of his chest. The school uniform was just

tight enough.

"Everyone want to know about Ranma!" Perfume said as her eyes

also began undressing him.

The sole heir to Koga's legacy could feel the emotions of his three

friends and began to get a little more uncomfortable. He had been

picking up the same signals by virtually every girl who had

approached him. Although his mother Jasmine had already educated

him on the 'facts of life,' he was still a bit embarrassed about the

whole thing. He decided that a little music would help him calm down

and took out his flute from his schoolbag.

"Oh! You play for us, yes?" Perfume asked in an excited voice as

she clapped her hands. The other two Amazons smiled in

anticipation. They too enjoyed the wonderful music that Ranma

could produce.

Ranma nodded as he held up the instrument to his mouth. The

new flute had been a gift from his old buddy Razor, the weaponsmith.

After helping him in the forge so many times, the blade-maker had

decided to reward him by fashioning a new instrument. The flute was

about eighteen inches in length and was made of the purest silver. Its

simple, straightforward design reflected the blind boy's personality.

With this new flute, Ranma could create tunes and melodies that put

him on a par with Beethoven, Bach, Strauss and other great


The silver flute reflected the light of the noonday sun, which

caught the eyes of Akane and two of her friends, Sayuri and Yuka,

who happened to be sitting at a nearby lunch table. The Tendo girl

was somewhat annoyed that her two companions had been ogling at

the new boy from afar. Boys were nothing but perverts after all. She

had been steadily been building up steam ever since Ranma and the

Amazons had arrived. The girls would go on about how strong and

handsome he was, while the boys would fawn over the three Chinese

females. As a result, Akane had been given less and less attention

and was almost forgotten. Not that she would admit it, but she had

been enjoying the fact that she was the most popular girl in school.

Why else would those mobs of boys chase her and try to defeat her

for a date?

"Honestly you two!" Akane said angrily. "He's not that great!"

"What do you mean Akane?" Yuka asked, not taking her eyes off

Ranma. "He's cute, he's strong and he's so dreamy!"

"Uh huh!" Sayuri agreed with enthusiasm. "He's so polite and

he's a lot better than that mob you always face every morning. He

can fight and he doesn't go on and on like upperclassman Kuno.

With all the other boys after you, it's been pretty hard for the rest of

us girls to get any dates!"

Akane snorted. "Who needs boys? They're nothing but stupid

perverts! This guy's no different than the rest of them!"

"Sounds to me like you're jealous of the new guy and those

Amazons." Yuka said in a slightly smug tone.

"What's that supposed to mean?!"

"Oh come on now Akane." Sayuri said. "We've seen you get mad

every time one of the other girls mentions Ranma's name. We also

saw you get angry whenever the boys start talking about the

Amazons. Admit it Akane. You're jealous because you're not the

center of attention anymore and that these new people might be

better than you in the martial arts."

"I am not!" Akane denied. "Just wait and see! Things will be back

to normal in a few days and�" The rest of her sentence was left

unfinished as she heard a sound unlike anything she had heard


When a musician puts his heart and soul into his work, it is said

that the music takes on special qualities. However, with Ranma, that

old saying is taken to a new level. Ranma's training in the Unseen

Light had also made him into an empathic individual, in which he

could actually transmit the mood he was feeling. Using the music as a

medium, he could actually cause joy, sadness and a whole range of

emotions in others without them even realizing it. Ranma's senses

have been enhanced to a point in which they operated far beyond the

physical realm. His abilities utilized his ki in ways undreamed of. As

he began playing his flute, his senses focused his inner energies into

each and every note, making them sound in their purest forms. By

extending his senses outward, the sounds began riding the waves of

ki, radiating in all directions and was absorbed by every living thing

around him.

It wasn't long before the entire school began to feel the effects of

the haunting music. Students stopped in their daily routines to listen

in on the melody. They could actually feel their spirits being lifted

from the boredom of the class and their tired bodies seemed to

become invigorated with new energies. Frustrations evaporated and

everything seemed to be right with the world. Headaches and

migraines were instantly relieved. The teachers were given a

welcomed respite from the daily tension of their jobs. They could

actually feel their stress levels decline as they listened in. It seemed

as if the music was saturating every cell of their being and re-

energizing them. Despite the fact that some people were behind thick

walls or far from the baseball diamond, the music was still being heard

by all in Furinkan High.

Ranma's playing was also having some interesting effects on

certain things as well. Dr. Resuka, the botany teacher, was about to

throw away a dying fern in the small greenhouse behind the school.

Just as he began hearing the music, he saw with shock that the plant

began to sway gently. Seeing that there was no wind blowing, he

wondered what was causing it to move. His eyes took on the size of

dinner plates as he saw it move in time with the melody and then

suddenly straighten up. Its browning leaves became green and

healthy. It began growing new shoots and gained several inches in

height as if it had been given a super fertilizer. The sight made the

teacher almost drop the plant on his foot. He then noticed that many

of his other plants were also beginning to thrive. New seedlings that

he had just planted were already sprouting!

As a master of the Unseen Light, Ranma was far more capable than

other martial artists were when it came to being aware of his

environment. He could feel nature around him like a second skin. He

let his music and ki flow into everything around him. The tree that he

had been sitting under had been stricken with disease and was

scheduled to be cut down. Ranma's music however, was starting to

have an effect on it. The bark became less brittle. The leaves that

were just barely staying on their branches became fuller and new

buds began to appear. Branches that were withering away were

miraculously strengthened and no longer sagged. The Amazons

smiled as they watched the tree heal itself under Ranma's playing.

They weren't the least bit surprised as they had already seen this

kind of phenomena back in their village. The blind martial artist's

music had certain qualities that made him become one with nature.

The crops in their village had flourished since Ranma had begun

practicing music.

Akane and her friends were stunned as they witnessed the tree

become healthy and strong. They were also amazed at how the simple

song that Ranma was playing was having such a profound effect on

them. They just couldn't do anything else but listen to the impromptu

concert. The music played on for another five minutes and was the

only thing that could be heard in the school. Then, the spell was

ended as Ranma finished his piece and took a deep breath. He waited

and then heard the applause of three pairs of hands.

"Aiya! That very beautiful song!" Lilac said happily.

"Very beautiful!" Perfume repeated. Shampoo also nodded in


Ranma smiled as he put away his flute then was surprised as he

heard more applause coming from all sides. The floors of the main

building were crammed with students and teachers as they had exited

their classes and were gathered near the windows to listen in on

Ranma's playing. Crowds of students had formed around the area.

They too agreed that the blind boy deserved a standing ovation. Just

about every girl in school had fallen for the unseeing martial artist

and musician. They made it a goal in their lives to get a date with him.

One girl however, did not share their views. Akane had shook off

the effects of Ranma's music and her old temper had returned with a

vengeance. It was bad enough that the entire school was beginning

to ignore her in favor of the newcomers, but now her two friends were

adding to the fire.

"Oooooh! That song was so romantic!" Yuka commented, little

hearts floating about her.

"Strong, cute, a great fighter and a musician too! I'm in love!"

Sayuri sighed happily.

"Will you two quit acting like that!" Akane said. "So he can play a

flute. Big deal! He's still just a stupid boy!"

"Akane, I can't believe that you still think he's not a hunk!" Sayuri


"Are you made of stone?" Yuka asked.


On the other side of the field, Nabiki smiled as she and two of her

flunkies watched the Amazons walk off to class. Akane's sister made

a mental note to have some recording devices set up, should Ranma

play his flute again. She could just see herself signing him up to a

recording contract and raking in the revenue his music would

generate. The fact that he also possessed a solid silver flute also did

not go unnoticed.

Nabiki then turned to listen to the report from the girl that she

assigned to observe Ranma. The girl's information was rather

sketchy as she informed Nabiki that the new boy was a Japanese

citizen, but had been living in China for more than half of his life. The

girl also made several references to a mysterious Amazon tribe and

the rumors concerning that little-known region of the Quinghai

province. The mystery just made Nabiki even more determine to

unlock its secrets.

Meanwhile, in the home of the Tendo family, another scene of

great importance was taking place. At the time, only Soun Tendo was

in the house. His eldest daughter Kasumi had left to go shopping and

his other two daughters were still at school. Just after he had finished

reading the postcard, which informed him of his friend's imminent

arrival, he heard a knock at the door.

"Soatome! My old friend!"

Soun Tendo rushed to the front door, eager to greet his old

training buddy. He was also looking forward to meeting with the boy

with whom one of his daughters would marry, thereby sealing the

pact to unite the schools of the Anything Goes Martial Arts.

However, he was to be very disappointed as a huge panda came

through the door.

After a brief episode of screaming and fainting on Soun's part,

Genma began explaining the circumstances in which he was without

his son. Of course, he left out a few teensy, weensy, be it ever so

crucial, little tiny details. Details such as the fact that Ranma was

blind and that his father was the one who had caused his blindness.

In fact, the conversation went something like this�

After Soun regained consciousness�

"Oh Saotome! How I weep for you! Your son being held a prisoner

of those terrible warrior women for eight long years! Brainwashed

into thinking that he is one of them and forsaking his own loving

father! Oh the tragedy!"

"Alas, my poor son! For eight years, I have been trying to rescue

Ranma from their evil clutches but to my greatest sorrow, I had

failed!" Genma blubbered alongside his overemotional friend, playing

the charade for all it was worth.

"Saotome! We must rescue your son and bring him here to the

dojo! The light of justice will carry us through as we spirit him away

from those evil warrior women! Come Saotome! There will be a

reckoning as those Amazons will face off against not one, but two

masters of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts!"

Genma nodded as he began leading the way to where the

Amazons were staying. He had gotten information about the elder

Cologne's whereabouts after she had finished her business with the

registration office at the school. He figured that with Soun's help,

getting Ranma back would be much simpler now that they weren't in

China. The Amazons weren't in their village and there were only three

girls and one extremely aged woman. Surely, they wouldn't be that

hard to beat, would they? Of course, with Ranma being blind, he

wouldn't offer much resistance either, right?

If Genma had known that Cologne was actually the equal if not the

better of their old, evil and perverted master Happosai, then he

wouldn't have been as confident. He was also unaware that

Shampoo, Lilac and Perfume represented the best of their tribe's

warriors and that Ranma had become Koga's better in the Unseen

Light Martial Arts. As such, that not only made him the village's top

male fighter, but that also made him the best fighter of his generation


The school day ended without fanfare as the students began

pouring out of the main building and head for home. The Amazons

led Ranma to an address that Cologne had given them before she left

the school. It was a two-story building that was run by a woman from

their tribe named Pepper. Ever since the Amazons had begun letting

some of their members attend school in Tokyo they had established a

place in which they could reside and get acclimated to the customs of

the outside world as they learned about it. The lower floor had been

converted into a large restaurant in which to generate income, while

the upper floor contained several living quarters. Pepper's culinary

ability was extraordinary and she also had a knack for business

affairs. Within a year since it opened, Pepper's Place had become a

popular spot to eat.

As Ranma and his sister Amazons came to the establishment,

Cologne and a middle-aged woman with long black hair greeted them.

Pepper was part American and her skin was a little paler than the rest

of the tribe. Her grandmother had met and married a United States

soldier in Manchuria during World War II. Her personality was a bit

more light-hearted and she was very easy to get along with. Her

figure was lithe and she wore a green silk dress that resembled a

kimono. Her movements were deft and quick and she radiated a

vitality that made her seem younger than she actually was. As soon

as Ranma's senses reached out, he found himself smiling, as he liked

what he detected. The woman had a good heart and reminded him of

his mother Jasmine.

"Oh Cologne! You told me that Jasmine's boy was handsome, but I

had no idea that he was absolutely gorgeous! I can see why that the

girls want him so much!"

Ranma's cheeks reddened at the compliment as he held out his

hand. <"I'm pleased to meet with you� er?">

"I am Pepper. And you may speak Japanese with me for I am very

fluent in the language. So you are Jasmine's son Ranma, are you


"Yes ma'am."

"Do not be so nervous young one. I do not bite. Your mother

happens to be a good friend of mine and she sent me many letters,

telling me about you."

"So� you know about�?"

"That you are blind? Yes, I know of it but I was also told that you

had studied under Koga and that you have become a master of the

Unseen Light."

"That is right..." Ranma paused as his sixth and seventh sense

picked up something off to his right. One of Pepper's waitresses had

tripped over a small fold in the carpet and the heavy tray she had

been balancing tipped over. The six bowls of ramen began to fall

toward the floor. For a brief moment, it seemed that there was going

to be an awful mess splattered on the carpet.

Ranma reacted in a heartbeat. Taking out his new battle staff, he

pointed one end of the metal rod at the falling bowls.


The cylinder instantly elongated to a length of twelve feet and

shot across the room. Ranma directed the end of the pole to catch the

bowl closest to the floor. With a casual flick of the wrist, he sent the

bowl flying straight up and then went to the next falling entr�e. His

staff blurred as each bowl was intercepted and sent flying upward.

The tray, which almost hit the floor was also picked up and balanced

on the end of the staff. With the tray perfectly balanced, the blind

boy caught the bowls of ramen as they made their descent. When all

six had been retrieved, Ranma settled the tray onto a nearby table.

The waitress stared in amazement at the tray for not one drop had

been spilled.

Pepper smiled after witnessing the feat, then looked back at

Ranma, who was already putting away his staff. "Very impressive

young one. You were indeed a student of Koga's. We shall talk more

on this later. For now, let me show you to your rooms."

The three girls and Ranma were all settled in as the sun was just

starting its evening decent toward the horizon. By the time it was 6:30

pm, Lilac, Perfume, Shampoo and Ranma had finished their homework

and were helping in the restaurant. Pepper's regular staff had been

working overtime and she decided to give them the night off. True to

the Amazon way of life, the simple and ordinary tasks were made into

training exercises. The customers were not only given service with a

smile, but they were also entertained as the warriors displayed their

skills in agility, coordination and speed.

Cologne and Pepper prepared each order with amazing speed and

unorthodox methods. They would toss up vegetables and chop them

up in midair, letting them land in perfect arrangements on their

respective plates. Noodles were handled like miniature lariats and

moved as if they were alive. Tossing them through clouds of spices

in perfect proportions meats were seasoned. When they had

completed an order, the plate or bowl would be launched toward one

of the girls or Ranma to be served.

Shampoo would catch bowls of ramen on one finger or by tossing

a tray to intercept the incoming meal. The tray and bowl would land

gently on the intended table without so much a single drop wasted.

Lilac would do elaborate flips over the heads of the patrons as she

caught plates of chow mien. Perfume would catch teriyaki platters

and bowls of rice by balancing them on the tips of chopsticks.

However, the main focus was on Ranma.

Pepper was very interested in Ranma's skills and threw a large

number of meals at him. Ranma would either use his hands, feet or

battle staff to catch the plates and bowls and deliver them to the

customers. Even if she would throw something at him when his back

was turned, the blind martial artist would still catch it in some manner

and deliver it to the right person. His extending battle staff was

extremely useful in this situation. Pepper would sometimes throw a

meal in a direction opposite to the intended customer on purpose.

Ranma would simply elongate his staff to intercept it. On other times,

he would throw his weapon in its baton form to stop the meal from

spilling and still make the delivery. One time, Pepper threw a bowl of

soup so far off course, that Ranma knew that he could not extend his

staff fast enough to reach it. There was also a customer in the way so

Ranma used his seventh sense to track the bowl's trajectory. When

he ascertained its landing point, he threw his baton at a nearby wall.

The weapon ricocheted off the wall and did a triple rebound off some

support pillars. The baton then arced toward the ground and

bounced upward to catch the bowl, just as it was coming down. The

soup was sent back up and was flying toward Ranma. The contents

started to spill out, but Ranma simply caught the bowl and used it to

catch every drop of the steamy liquid. He then laid the bowl gently in

front of the amazed patron and held out his other hand. His baton

had then rebounded back to its owner and was deftly snatched out of

midair. While twirling his weapon, Ranma smiled and said, "Enjoy

your order sir."

There was a very large round of applause from the crowds after

witnessing such a feat and Ranma couldn't help but to take a small


In the kitchen, Pepper was more than amazed by the boy's fast

reaction time, quick thinking and accuracy. "Now that was truly

extraordinary! It is very hard to believe that the lad is blind."

"Yes. Sometimes, I have a hard time believing it myself." Cologne

remarked. "Koga had taught him well. As of now, I would dare say

that he is the best fighter of his generation in the village. His skills

surpasses all of the young warriors and he even gives me a good


"You have sparred with him?"

"I have tested the boy on several occasions. Ranma is just as

good, if not better than Koga was. In some ways, his senses are even

greater than my own. Ironically, his blindness gives him a few

substantial advantages. Illusion and stealth techniques are virtually

useless against him. Sneaking up on him is not possible. Believe me,

I've tried. His ki attacks and martial arts are very strong and he uses

them with efficiency. He is very knowledgeable in Amazon special

fighting techniques, shiatsu pressure points and herbal medicine. He

has also shown considerable tracking skills, musical aptitude and a

talent for languages. He can speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese

and some passable English."


"He spent a lot of time with those groups that visited our village to

give immunization shots to the children. He's also used his ability to

read printed words with his fingers to learn new languages."

"Ranma seems to have a very well-rounded education."

"Yes. He is very skilled and knowledgeable in many fields. The

boy is like a sponge. Present him with something and he'll learn it

quickly. I'm still trying to get over the fact that he knows an

advanced form of the Breaking Point."

"The Backusai Tenketsu?"

"Yes. Koga had taught Ranma how to use his senses to find the

stress points and fracture areas of not just rock, but also other

materials as well. I've seen him break metal, wood, paper, cloth and

ceramics apart with one finger! The target doesn't explode but

instead crumbles away. Ranma's ki control is so precise that he can

actually direct the force however he wants it. A great improvement,

don't you agree? And of course, we may assume that Koga had

taught him other techniques that we are not yet aware of."

"Yes, I was wondering about that staff of his."

"Ranma's mastery in the Unseen Light has caught the attention of

the Council of Elders and jst about every young, unmarried Amazon

want him for a husband." Cologne chuckled a bit. "It is my wish that

Shampoo would be the one to catch him."

Both women shared a good-natured laugh.

When the business began to slow down at around eight o'clock,

Pepper had asked Ranma to accompany her as she prepared to make

a few deliveries. The young Saotome was happy to oblige and the

two were soon out the door with takeout boxes. As they made their

way down the street, a couple of shadows moved alongside a nearby

alley. Two heads peered around the corner and then nodded to each


Soun Tendo and Genma Saotome tensed in preparation. Grabbing

Ranma in front of all those crowds would not have been a good idea.

Besides, the five Amazons at the establishment presented them with

unfavorable odds. Now was the time for them to strike. Ranma only

had that woman with him and he was out in the open. The two

disciples of Happosai prepared to retrieve the future of the Anything

Goes Schools of Martial Arts. Nothing could stop them now!

To be continued�

Author's Notes

The Amazon Pepper was made up to be sort of like an adopted

aunt to Ranma. She's been helping visiting Amazons get accustomed

to the strange and different ways of the outside world for years. Her

personality is very open-minded and she does tend to take life in a

more laid-back manner. She does have a few eccentric ideals and

she's very expressive, but she's basically a strong and caring person.

How is she as a fighter? Well, Genma and Soun are going to find out

the hard way as they encounter the style in which she uses. And you

can bet that Ranma won't be coming along quietly either!

Ranma's ability to generate ki, as well as his enhanced senses has

given him a far better awareness of his environment. As such, Ranma

can use a medium, such as his music to focus his ki into what he