<" "> Chinese Language
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
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
"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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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�
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