Fighting Blind

I know that there's a disclaimer somewhere in this.

<>: Thoughts

Chapter 8

Akane and Her Sisters Part 1

(No, we're not talking about THAT episode!)

"When I was five, Genma had taken me away from my mother for a

training trip. Life was very harsh as my father subjected me to what

he thought would make me into a great martial artist. However, Genma

has all the intelligence of a tree stump!" Ranma said the last part with

some anger, his voice had no indication of any respect for his father.

"Now that's not very nice to speak of your father like that."

Kasumi interjected. "I'm certain that he had all your best interests

and welfare in mind."

Ranma snorted. "Hmpf! It was more like he had only HIS best

interests and welfare in mind. To him, I was just his meal ticket!"

"What do you mean?"

"I can assume that Genma hasn't really told you anything except

that fairy tale about me being kidnapped by the Amazons and being

brainwashed by them?"

Kasumi gave a 'mmm-hmm.'

"Well me tell you, I am thinking quite clearly. If it wasn't for a

gentle Amazon healer, I would have never have lived past my ninth


"What happened?"

"After a series of so-called training exercises, which included

stealing, lying and cheating, my father came across a manual that

described a technique called the Neko Ken or Cat Fist. He thought it

would turn me into an unbeatable fighter and the training was

deceptively simple. He wrapped me up in fish sausage and threw me

into a pit of starving cats."

"Oh dear. That's�" Kasumi couldn't think of anything to describe

it. Who would do such a thing to a child? When she imagined an

image of Genma throwing a young boy into a pit of howling and

starving felines, she tried very hard to keep that tea she drank from

coming back up.

"Let me tell you, it was something that I never want to experience

again. However, I was subjected to that training process several

times, when I didn't learn the technique on the first try. And every

time that he subjected me to that, I felt a small part of my very sanity

being eaten away. Kami-sama only knows what would have

happened to me if I had been thrown in that pit one too many times.

Mind you, he didn't just use fish sausage. He threw me in with

sardines, fish cakes, smelt and even bathed me in fish oil." Ranma's

tone became sarcastic. "Yeah. Like that's going to make a difference!

However, around the tenth attempt, my father had thought that he

was using too much bait and not enough cats. So he threw me down

into the pit with twice as many cats and only half the food. That

proved to be the worst decision he could ever make." Ranma paused

and then said in a low and sad voice. "The cats became more

maddened with hunger with so little food and they attacked me with

even more ferocity. The last thing I saw was a set of claws as they

ripped my eyes apart." Ranma tapped the right side of his face near

the temple, indicating the scars.

Kasumi was rendered speechless.

Ranma's senses detected the emotions coming from Kasumi. He

felt her shock and horror. He nodded and continued on. "Despite the

hospital's best efforts, my eyesight was permanently gone. Some

structural surgery corrected most of the superficial damage, but my

eyes were rendered useless because of the training. After all this

however, Genma had learned absolutely nothing from the experience.

A day after I had gotten out of surgery, he broke into the hospital he

stole me from the intensive care ward to continue the training. For

two years, he dragged me all over Japan and China while beating me

senseless. Genma did nothing for my handicap and expected me to

adapt as he continued the training. I couldn't even defend myself as

my health deteriorated. My father wasn't very much when it came to

childcare and it wasn't long before I was just barely getting by on

what little food that I could get from him. Then, when I just turned

eight, he got wind of some legendary healing spring in the Quinghai

province in China. He took me there and almost drowned me several

times, hoping that the waters would restore my sight. As it turned

out, the healing spring was just a myth and the place was actually the

water supply of the Amazon village."

"So� that's how you became part of the Amazons?"

Ranma nodded. "A kind healer by the name of Jasmine rescued me

from Genma and helped me heal both physically and mentally. She

gave me a proper diet, made certain I had my vaccinations and cared

for me as if she was my own mother. In fact, she was about the

closest thing to a mother that I ever had. Genma had never let me

contact my real mother or even know where she lived. After all I had

been put through, you can probably guess why. Although Jasmine

couldn't do anything for my eyesight, she was acquainted with a

master of a fighting style called the Unseen Light. He was the one

who helped me overcome my disability. He and Jasmine raised me like

the parents that I never had."

"I� see." Kasumi said quietly. Her heart went out toward this

young man. He was showing a vulnerability that appealed to her,

which made her mothering instinct come to the surface. She was also

impressed with the way he was handling his disability. He displayed

a kind of strength and maturity that she had not expected from

someone younger than she was. He was tall, handsome and was very

sure of his abilities. He also had a gentle side to him and it was very

easy for her to take a liking to him. He wasn't like the 'perverted jerk'

that Akane had labeled him as when she came home from school that


Ranma continued with his narrative. "In any case, My father had

already proven that he couldn't make a good call in judgment if his

life depended on it." Ranma said as some of the anger came back into

his voice. "I want nothing more to do with him and I certainly won't

uphold any bargains that he made on my behalf. Knowing him, he

probably made that pledge when he was drunk. Either that or he was

trading me off for some food."

"What do you mean?" Kasumi asked, still in a state of disbelief

over what he had told her so far. There was more?

"He hasn't told anyone about those OTHER little details, now has

he?" Ranma took Kasumi's silence as an affirmative. "Well, even

though he wasn't raising me any more, he still considered me as a

bargaining chip to feed his fat stomach. About a year ago, some guy

came to the village with his daughter and claimed that Genma had

agreed to engage me to the girl in exchange for some rice, pickles and

a fish."

Kasumi was a little more than shocked at that revelation. "Now,

you must be joking." A look at Ranma's stern expression told her that

he wasn't. "But� the pledge to our family�"

Ranma shrugged. "Must have slipped his mind. And that wasn't

the only time he's pulled that stunt. Including the promise he made to

your family, by my count, I figure that Genma had engaged me to no

less than fifteen girls. One of those times, he engaged me to triplets.

That stupid panda doesn't know what restraint is, much less a vow of

honor. Nearly all those families had come to the village looking to

claim me. Of course, that doesn't include all the restaurants and

businesses that Genma had cheated out of the bill and USED ME for


"He� did that?!" Kasumi mind reeled and it was apparent that she

was reaching her threshold on reality. This was father's 'dear old


Ranma nodded again. "Whenever my father would eat or take

something in China, he would always say, 'Send the bill to the

Joketsuzoku, care of Ranma Saotome.' Since he would always get

away without paying, the businesses had no choice but to look up

the village and demand payment. Kami-sama!" Ranma huffed in

annoyance. "That happened so many times that the Amazons had to

give out death threats to several dozen restaurant owners and

business people before they got the hint to leave us alone! That was

one reason why I left the village. I didn't want them to be bothered

any further by Genma's stupidity!" Ranma's voice went up a few

notches as his temper began to simmer. Using his senses, he

detected the disbelief and shock in Kasumi, then calmed down a bit.

"If you still don't believe it, then find out for yourself. Next time you

see that fat panda, mention the name Daijkoku, Li Zang or Kirachi and

watch his reaction. I'll bet that he'll either sweat a lot or try to avoid

the subject. If there's one thing that my father was good at, it's

dodging the consequences of his actions."

Ranma sensed that Kasumi was still in a state of disbelief and

decided that she needed some time to think about what he had just

told her. Placing some yen coins on the table to pay for his tea, he

got up and nodded his head to Kasumi. "It has been a pleasure

talking to you Miss Tendo. It was good to get some of that off my

chest. But remember that I have nothing against you or your family,

other than the fact that your father is determined to force me into a

marriage with Akane. However, since this is due to one of Genma's

promises, then I will refuse it. Furthermore, and please forgive the

crude remark, but I have no intention of wedding an ill-mannered


Kasumi was about to protest to the description of her younger

sister but Ranma held up a hand. "I'm sure that you consider Akane

as a good person, and underneath all that hostility, she might be.

However, you have to agree that she needs to improve on her

treatment of others, especially toward the opposite gender. She also

requires a serious attitude adjustment and has to realize that the

world is not there just to suit her. She tends to judge people by her

own narrow-minded standards and I find that reprehensible. I cannot

understand why no one has taught her better manners. If she is not

shown that her behavior is unacceptable, she'll go right on thinking

that it is. Sooner or later, someone else BESIDES ME is going to put

his foot down and SHE'S going to be UNDER it!"

Kasumi couldn't help but nod at that assessment. Akane was a bit

self-absorbed and the elder sister had despaired when her sibling

couldn't control her temper and lashed out at people in anger. She

had to admit, Akane's temper tantrums were unbecoming and

showed that she was slow in maturing. She gasped a bit when Ranma

gently placed his fingers on her face, then relaxed as she realized that

this was how a blind individual could see another person's face. She

let this little lapse in proper manners go as she closed her eyes and

let him run his fingertips across her cheeks, nose and mouth. She

shivered slightly as his warmth passed over her. Then he withdrew

his touch and sat up.

"I'm very surprised that you are related to Akane and her father.

You're very different from your sister and Mr. Tendo. From what my

fingers have just told me, you have a face which matches the beauty

of your soul." Kasumi blushed at the comment. Ranma then quietly

walked toward the entrance, pausing at the door to say something

else to Kasumi. Without turning around, Ranma said, "Oh, and by the

way Miss Tendo. I would prefer that the knowledge of my�

condition, remain between the two of us. It's not that I have anything

to hide, but I'd rather not be an object for anyone's pity." With these

words, the Unseen Light martial artist left the shop and headed for


The eldest Tendo daughter sat in her booth and was deep in

thought. This Ranma Saotome showed great insight despite his

inability to see. He was mature and quite refined, considering that he

had lived in a simple and isolated environment for most of his life. He

had endured incredible hardships, which had only made him stronger.

Kasumi did not feel any pity for Ranma. Rather, she was in awe at

how he had overcome his disability. He had suffered much at the

hands of his father, and the promise between the Saotomes and the

Tendos would only subject him to more pressure and pain, especially

since both fathers were determined to have Akane marry him. With

the youngest sister's violent tendencies, Kasumi couldn't help but

feel sorry for Ranma.

There was no doubt in Kasumi's mind. Ranma Saotome was a

special person. He was the sort of person that Kasumi could become

very fond of, and perhaps, someone she could love.

Meanwhile, Ranma walked along the streets deep in thought.

<Why the heck did I tell her all that?>

The blind boy couldn't understand it. One moment he was just

sitting down and having a cup of tea. The next moment he was

relating his life's story to her. He couldn't help it. Something about

her personality and aura just made him want to open up. She

reminded him so much of Jasmine and he felt� comfortable talking to

her. From what he read of her aura, Kasumi was a gentle soul. She

was caring, polite and would make any man who married her look

forward to coming home every night. If it weren't for that stupid

pledge, Ranma might have let himself fall for someone like her. She

wasn't a fighter, but she had an inner strength that easily rivaled any

warrior in the village.

<What am I thinking? I can't get involved with her! She's a Tendo

and I swore that I would never uphold the promise that idiot Genma

made! No sir! Not in a billion years!> He then chuckled a bit. Besides,

I don't want to have a lot of jealous Amazons after me. Back in China,

Ranma had quite a few female warriors whose goal was to capture his


The very next day, Nabiki and her factors were gathered in front of

a large tree in the school yard. After handing a large wad of yen

notes to an excited student, she turned to her crew to assess the


"All right girls, just where do we stand?"

One subordinate with long brown hair looked down at a printout

and read out the results. "We were really lucky Nabiki. Most of those

bettors already had money owed to us and their winnings canceled

out their debts. We only ended up paying off eleven thousand yen


Another girl nodded. "Yeah, but we can't take another loss like

that. Boss, I think that it would be best not to have odds put on

Saotome again. He's just too good!"

Nabiki nodded as she gave out new instructions to her crew.

"Keep tailing that new guy and find out all that you can about him. I

know its been tough trying to keep tabs on him, but something's

bound to slip out sooner or later. I'll do the same. There's something

about Ranma Saotome that doesn't feel right and I aim to find out

what. I have a feeling that he may yet be profitable. And with any

future fights, have the bets made on Ranma based on how fast he

wins, how many hits he takes or something along those lines."

After her lackeys left, Nabiki was deep in thought as she

considered her options. She thought of the events of the previous

day and had to agree with her flunky. Ranma had shown

extraordinary ability and it wasn't good for business if she had to

keep on paying off wagers made on him. If he continued to win, then

Nabiki would have to declare bankruptcy before she graduated. The

loss she suffered today was sizable but manageable. The dojo's

budget was going to be tight this month though. However, this was

not a favorable condition. She had lost her hold on a number of

students since their debts were canceled out. Furthermore, she also

had her family to think about.

Soun Tendo may own a dojo, but he didn't teach any classes.

Soun had proven too emotional to be a sensei and Akane was his

only student. His tended to let his emotions out at full blast and this

was seen as a lack of discipline, driving away any potential pupils.

Also, since he didn't have any regular source of income, it had fallen

to Nabiki to support the family and pay the bills. Kasumi was already

overburdened with the household duties and Akane was too busy

with Kuno and the other boys to be of any help. Unfortunately, since

the school board did not normally allow students to hold jobs, Nabiki

had been forced to find other means of generating income.

It was her reputation as a mercenary, which had earned her the

nickname of the Ice Queen. As much as she liked the control it gave

her over the other students, she found that it also had its drawbacks.

Just about all the boys in school were afraid of her for fear of being

blackmailed or charged for services. Getting a date was hard enough

and after Kuno had made that stupid decree with defeating Akane,

Nabiki was forced to spend her weekends alone. This was one of the

things that she resented about her younger sister. Akane's vanity

had gotten a big boost and although she constantly denied it, Nabiki

knew that the little princess enjoyed the attention she received.

<Spoiled brat.>

Thinking of Akane made Nabiki think of Ranma again. He was a

mystery. He was handsome, tall and showed considerable skills in the

martial arts and music. He had shown great respect toward the

opposite gender. His actions so far had been the main topic of the

school. The martial arts clubs wanted to sign him on. The music

teacher had been having wild dreams of crushing the competition of

the other schools if she could get that flute player. Apparently,

Takariko Shinsho had taken it personally with regards to Furinkan's

poor music performance for the last three years. Lastly, nearly all of

the eligible girls, herself included, had been captivated by his good

looks and charm. Here was someone who would not bow and scrape

to Akane and wasn't afraid to give her a piece of his mind.

The middle daughter had been surprised when she learned that her

father had promised to engage him to one of his daughters. Lately

though, Soun and his freeloading friend were absolutely determined

that Akane marry him. Nabiki wondered why that was. After all, the

pledge did not specify which daughter he had to marry. But after

returning from their latest attempt to retrieve Ranma, the two

conspirators were goading Akane to defeat Ranma. Something that

Nabiki seriously doubted that Akane would do anytime soon if ever.

That got her to thinking. If they were so determined that Ranma marry

Akane, then why the big deal over her defeating him?

Ranma was a mystery, and if there was one thing that made

money, it was finding out the secret to that mystery. Nabiki made a

mental note to find out just what that secret was as she saw Ranma

and the Amazons approach the school.

For the rest of the school day, Nabiki watched Ranma from afar.

As usual, Ranma was confronted several times by Kuno in his quest

to free Akane and his Amazon beauties. Of course, Ranma paid no

heed as he took out the poetry-spouting kendoist with no more effort

than was necessary each time they clashed. She made careful

observations to his behavior and tried not to get too close. It was at

that time that she noticed a few things.

At about lunch, Ranma was playing that silver flute of his when

Kuno appeared to attack him.

At noon�

"Ranma Saotome! Prepare for your final reckoning!"

Ranma's seventh sense was already tracking Kuno's wooden

sword as it came down on top of him. A moment later, it made a deep

gash in the tree that the blind martial artist had been sitting against.

Ranma was already out of harm's way as he moved over to the side

and used a sweep kick to knock the kendoist off his feet. He was still

playing a lively tune on his instrument as he waited for Kuno to rise.

Kuno became even more enraged as his opponent didn't seem to

be taking him seriously. He charged at him and swung at him several

times, but Ranma simply danced out of the way.

"Fiend! You dare to mock the great Blue Thunder?"

The blind martial artist made a casual flip over Kuno's head,

pausing in his playing to rap his opponent on the noggin with his


"How dare you! Arrrrgh!" Kuno launched another attack, only to

have it turned aside by a roundhouse kick. Another slash was

evaded, then another and another. By this time Kuno became really

steamed. "You continue to mock the great warrior Tatewaki Kuno?"

Ranma stopped in his playing as he landed a dozen feet from his

antagonist. "Warrior? Oh please! You're not a warrior. You don't

have any clue to that concept."


Ranma's sixth sense picked up the increase in ki as he weaved

back and forth to dodge the sudden barrage of thrusts that the

kendoist directed at him. Nabiki saw that the statue behind Ranma

was beginning to crumble as Kuno continued his assault Ranma.

"Whoa. Just by the air pressure alone!" <Kuno's never done this

against Akane. Then again, I've always suspected that he holds back

against her.>

Ranma however, wasn't too impressed as he continued to play, his

melody picking up the tempo in time with the sword thrusts. <Cute,

but it's nowhere near as fast as the Amaguriken technique. Oh well.>

After a few more of the attacks, Ranma could sense that his opponent

was tiring. His breathing was getting heavier and he was starting to

sweat a bit. <Time to end this.> As the last thrust went by, Ranma

stopped in his playing and used his flute in a twisting motion to

disarm Kuno.

The kendoist was shocked that this upstart was winning as he saw

his weapon go flying off.But this time, he came prepared. Reaching

into his robes, he withdrew a second bokken and charged.

His slash however was parried as Ranma focused his ki into his

flute, strengthening the metal until it was as strong as steel. Before

Kuno could react, Ranma sent a rabbit punch to his gut, then

followed through with a seven-hit combo to his face and chest with

the flute. Kuno staggered back as Ranma took a stance with the flute

held high.

"Listen up Kuno. Here's some ancient Chinese Amazon advice. A

true warrior looks to the eyes and SEES with the mind and heart."

Ranma then used his senses to determine where the sun's rays were

directed, then used his flute to reflect the sunlight into Kuno's eyes.

"Aaaaaaaah!" Kuno winced as he got an eyeful of brightness. He

closed his eyes and had one arm held up. He then felt something slam

into his gut. The kendoist reeled back from the force of Ranma's kick

and slammed into a wall causing concrete to crumble. He slumped to

the ground and lost his grip on his bokken. The wooden sword

clattered to the ground as Kuno was on the ground dazed.

Ranma then said, "An idiot such as yourself is content to stare at

his opponent's weapon." Ranma then calmly walked toward the

school, resuming his melody on the flute.

Nabiki was impressed at how Ranma handled Kuno so easily, but

then she got to thinking. Ranma's eyes did not shut themselves

when he reflected that light. They didn't even blink and he got the

same brightness as Kuno did. As she thought about that little

exchange, she also realized that Ranma hadn't even looked in Kuno's

direction once. A couple of other times when Kuno attacked him,

Ranma had left his back wide open, and yet would always counter the

kendoist with casual ease. It was almost as if he had some kind of

built-in radar. She went to follow him some more.

As the day wore on, Nabiki made several more observations on

Ranma. Unknown to her, the subject in question had long since been

aware of the middle Tendo sister tailing him. Either it was her or one

of her flunkies. Not that Ranma cared about it. He knew that his

actions were causing many people to wonder about him, but so long

as it wasn't used against him, then he would let them wonder. In any

case, he had wanted to get some more information on Nabiki. After

meeting Kasumi, he had been wondering just what the rest of the

Tendo family was like. What better way to find out than to study

Nabiki as she was studying him?

Nabiki kept out of sight and would usually put a distance of thirty

feet or so between them. By using the telescopic lens of her camera,

she would snap pictures of him as he went about his business.

However, as she was observing him, he was studying her.

Ranma's seventh sense was unlike any other sensory ability as it

gave him a three-dimensional view of his surroundings. It had a

normal range of fifty yards in all directions, and could detect things

as small as a beetle. With increased concentration, Ranma could

extend that range to one hundred and fifty yards or use it to probe

beneath the surface of an object. This ability served him well back in

the village as a healer as it allowed him to assess a physical injury

without the use of x-ray machines or sonograms. He could easily

locate Nabiki no matter where she hid. His sixth sense had an even

greater range and was finely tuned. As of now he was picking up the

Tendo girl's aura as she was hiding behind a tree, at a distance of

twenty-five feet, nine inches from where he was standing. He began

focusing his senses on her and smiled a bit at her attempts at trying

to remain hidden. Making a bit of a display in trying to look casual,

he began reading into her aura.

He detected a strong will and a keen intelligence. It was like

Kasumi's but it was more cunning. He also sensed a bit of a self-

imposed barrier as well, similar to what he found in the elder sister.

Ranma assumed that she had shared the same tragedy as her sibling.

It was directed a little differently however. Instead of feigning

ignorance and indifference to the outside world, Nabiki's aura

showed a commanding nature to it. Unlike Kasumi, who tended to

discount the bad characteristics about people and things, her

younger sister's personality was read as one who takes control of her

environment and the people in it. She dealt with her pain by taking

charge and giving orders. Ranma also discovered a curious side to

her as well as a hidden sensitive side that was suppressed. In a way,

she was the middle sister in the metaphysical sense. Kasumi was the

serenity and the calm while Akane was the fury and high emotions.

Nabiki was smack dab in the middle. She had control, yet she could

let out strong emanations that were just as powerful as any kick or

punch. Nabiki could fight back. It was just that she did it in a different

way. Instead of using her fists and feet, she used her mind. Ranma

had learned early on in the Amazon village that not all battles could

be won by physical means alone.

Ranma continued to let Nabiki tail him as he went through the day.

He went up against with Kuno a few more times and would give him

several lessons in proper manners as he thrashed him. Nabiki made

more observations and compiled them with the reports of her other

associates. After the final bell had rung, Ranma left the school with

his sister Amazons as Nabiki set up a small meeting with two of her

lieutenants to compare notes.

"All right girls, just what have learned about Saotome?"

Minaka, a pretty girl with brown hair did up in a ponytail, began

reading her report. "Well, Ranma has already gone up against Kuno

ten times today. As per your orders, we began taking bets on how

fast Ranma could defeat him. We made a profit of seven thousand

yen total."

"Not bad." Nabiki nodded to the other girl. "How about you

Sayako? Anything unusual about Saotome?"

The girl had short black hair cut in a mannish style. She looked

down at her notepad and read over what she had written down. After

a moment, she said, "Well, I haven't exactly seen anything totally

bizarre or anything, but I did notice a few things."

"Like what?"

"Well, I've got him in my history class. Mr. Shinako asked him to

read a passage from our text. When he started reading�"

"Well, what is it?"

"He didn't seem to look at the book he was reading. His eyes

weren't moving and he ran his fingers along the page. He bent over a

bit toward the book."

"Well� that's interesting. It could be that he's near-sighted."

"No way!" Minaka protested. "After what I saw in gym class, he

can't be near-sighted!"

"What do you mean?" Nabiki asked with interest.

"I saw him practice archery at the target range and he hit a perfect

bull's eye every time! And he did it from a distance of a hundred

yards! He even split his arrows like in that foreign movie Robin Hood.

Later on, I saw him secretly shoot some baskets in the old court

behind the school. He did it all from beyond the three point line.

Seventy-five consecutive baskets, and nothing but net! Coach

Nagera has been pestering him to sign up for the basketball and

archery teams. Now you can't tell me that he's near-sighted when he

can do all that."

Nabiki nodded as she turned to Sayako. "Well, that scratches that


"Then again," Minaka continued. "If you want to know any

strange things about him, I did see a few things that were peculiar."

"What kind of things?"

"Well, remember those seventy-five consecutive baskets? Well

get this. He did make thirty of those baskets while he had his back

turned to the hoop."

"Say what?" Sayako said in surprise.

"No, I mean it. I have the videotape. It looked like he was just

playing around. He made some fancy rebound and hook shots, but

every throw went through the basket dead on. It was like he knew

where the basket was. That guy must be psychic or have eyes in the

back of his head."

"That could just be pure luck." Sayako suggested.

"No, I don't think so." Nabiki interjected. "Thirty consecutive

baskets without even seeing the hoop? You girls know that I pride

myself on math and what Minaka has described was impossible. The

odds of doing what Ranma did are astronomical." She looked back at

Minaka. "What else can you tell me about what you saw about him?"

"Well, seeing him fight Kuno all those times got me to thinking.

Have you ever noticed that Ranma almost never starts an attack?

Except for that fight against that Ryoga guy, he always seems to let

his opponent make the first move, and then he turns it against him.

It's as if he's always waiting for the other guy to make a move before

doing something."

"Yeah, I noticed it too." Sayako nodded as she thought back to

Ranma's previous fights. "Come to think of it, I don't remember him

actually FACE an opponent."

"What do you mean?" Nabiki inquired.

"Well, have you actually seen Ranma make eye contact with

whoever he's fighting? I mean, Kuno has tried to get him from behind

a lot, but Ranma never seems to turn in his direction. He'd just use

some kind of fancy move while still having his back to him and Kuno

would be sucking dirt. It's like� I don't know, his body's got some

kind of early-warning system and that he reacts on reflex when

someone tries to blind side him."

The middle sister of the Tendo clan thought back to all the times

Ranma had fought against Kuno, Akane, and Ryoga. She had to

admit. Her flunkies were right. It seemed that Ranma possessed a

sense of awareness of his surroundings that was way better than

anyone else she knew did. Her father had once spoken about a

martial artist's heightened sense of his environment, but what Ranma

was capable of went far beyond anyone's perception of the concept.

Just how was Ranma able to accomplish this?

Nabiki shook her head in weariness. There were just too many

variables for her to sort out at the moment. She decided to end the

meeting and head for home. After dismissing her flunkies for the day,

she made her way to the Tendo compound. As she entered the

house, she noted that her father and his friend were not out on the

back porch playing their usual game of shogi. It had become a habit

for those two to partake in a few games before and after dinner. Of

course, Soun and Genma were more skilled at cheating than at

actually playing.

"Hello Nabiki, welcome home."

The middle daughter nodded to her elder sibling. "Hi Kasumi.

Where's Daddy and that friend of his?" Nabiki's eyes slightly

narrowed as she saw the tiny, almost imperceptible irritation in

Kasumi's expression when she mentioned Genma.

Kasumi quickly smothered her newfound disgust of Genma as she

replied, "Father and Mr. Saotome went out. They told me that they

had a little business to take care of."

Unknown to Nabiki, Kasumi had confronted Genma with his past

actions. She had approached the fat martial artist while he was

playing a game of shogi with Soun. She was holding some mail at the

time. When her father had asked if there were something for him,

Kasumi had decided to test out Ranma's claims of Genma's

dishonorable conduct.

An hour ago�

Kasumi rifled through the mail. Most of it was junk mail with

advertisements for some restaurant. She began reading out aloud,

"I'm afraid it's all just more junk mail, father. There's a flyer for the

opening of a new restaurant that belongs to a family named�


"Gulp!" Genma flinched a bit the sound of the name.

"Saotome? Is there something wrong?"

"Oh no! Nothing's wrong Tendo!" Genma began laughing

nervously as he instinctively edged away a bit.

Kasumi continued reading the flyer. "It seems they're advertising

a sale at their grand opening. The first hundred customers get a free

appetizer of fish, rice and pickles."

Genma paled a bit as he edged away a little more. Kasumi could

see the first beads of sweat forming near that cloth he wore on his

bald head.


"Isn't it a bit warm tonight?"

"Well, I suppose so Saotome."

Kasumi maintained her gentle appearance as she looked at the

flyer. "Oh my, here's a picture of the owner. Oh what big ears he has!

And this must be his daughter beside him. She's very lovely. She'd

make a beautiful bride"

"Let me see that Kasumi." Soun said as he reached out for the


It was then that Genma went into a state of panic. Grabbing his

friend by the shoulder, he quickly said, "Hey Tendo! Why don't we

go out and hit that new bar that opened up? We can grab a couple of

drinks while we plan to get Akane with Ranma!"

"Now? It's a little early for that."

"Nonsense! The sooner we can get her married to my son, the

sooner will the future of the schools of the Anything Goes Martial

Arts be assured! Besides, we could use a good drink right about


Soun looked at his friend with some confusion, then shrugged.

"All right. I guess we can do that." He looked up at Kasumi. "We'll

be out for a while so tell your sisters that we'll be taking care of

certain matters."

"All right father."

A few minutes later, the two schemers went out the door and were

long gone, leaving Kasumi alone with her thoughts. Her mind was

not at all filled with kind images as she realized that Ranma had been

correct. His father was a dishonorable pig. Looking down at the flyer,

she breathed out a sigh of relief. Fortunately for her, she had yet to

tell an untruth as she read the flyer out loud.

"Come to the grand opening of the Daijkoku Restaurant of Martial

Arts Takeout."

Uh oh!

The present time�

Nabiki arched an eyebrow when Kasumi had told her that their

father and his friend were out drinking and taking care of business.

<Either they're planning to jump Ranma again and try to drag him

into the dojo, or they've come up with some half-baked scheme to get

him and Akane together. I still don't get why they're so set on

hooking him up with her though.>

"Akane not home yet?"

"No, she told me that she was going out with some of her friends

to a movie. She'll be back later. In any case, I am glad that you're here

Nabiki." Kasumi paused for a moment while wringing the dish towel

she had in her hands. "I� need to talk to you about� Ranma."

"Oh? What do you mean?"

"Well, there's a few things that I have to tell you about Ranma.

You see� he and I have had a little discussion."

"You've met him? You talked to him?"

"Yes, I met him in a coffee shop yesterday, and he told me a few

things that Mr. Saotome had neglected to tell us."

"Really? Tell me all about it." Nabiki hadn't expected Kasumi to

have any information about the mysterious boy. Then again,

information was information, no matter where it came from.

"Well�" Kasumi wasn't sure if was right to reveal Ranma's

condition, but after hearing his tale, she felt that it was unfair that

Akane was so quick to judge him and that others wanted to use him

for their own greed. Then she remembered Ranma's request to keep it

a secret, as he had no wish to be pitied. But what Kasumi felt for him

was not pity, at least for his condition. She had a great deal of

admiration and respect for him being able to cope with such a

disability and besides, his maturity and gentle nature appealed to her.

After a long moment, she finally decided not to keep it bottled up any

longer. She had to tell someone. Since her mother was gone, Nabiki

was the most likely to understand. However, she knew of her sister's


"Nabiki, before I tell you anything, you must promise to me that

you will not use this information against Ranma."


"I mean it Nabiki. Ranma has gone through a lot of pain and

suffering. Far more than you would ever know. I will NOT stand for it

if you were to use this information to exploit or hurt him!"

Nabiki was about to protest but then saw the seriousness in her

eyes. She was very surprised and a little intimidated by it. She had

rarely seen her older sister get this worked up. The only other times

she would be this way is when their father would go into one of his

emotional outbursts or when Akane would throw one of her temper

tantrums. That was a Kasumi in which to be reckoned with. The fact

that she was showing an interest in a man was also cause for

concern. The sweet, innocent keeper of the Tendo home had yet to

show any attraction toward the opposite gender as she had kept

mostly to the house.

Kasumi's sister looked at her and saw that tiny spark in her eyes.

It was just a faint glimmer, but it was there all right. Nabiki had prided

herself on being a good judge of character and she could tell by the

signs. Big sister was attracted to Ranma. Whatever he said to her

yesterday must have had a big impact on her.

Kasumi was not a very easy person to get close to, since she had

taken over their mother's duties after she had passed away. She was

always ready to make any sacrifice to ensure that her family ate well,

lived in a clean home and wore clean clothes. She had become

isolated from the outside world and had given up on trying to find

her own personal happiness, in order to make her family happy.

Nabiki did occasionally forget the things that Kasumi had to

surrender in order to care for them. Now it seemed that she had a

good chance of actually finding love. If Nabiki were to hurt Ranma,

then she would be hurting Kasumi as well. With that thought in mind,

she decided that any information she got on Ranma would remain

between the two of them. Despite the loss of potential profit, Nabiki

decided that it was not worth losing the respect and love of her


"Okay sis. You got my word. I won't tell anyone who doesn't


Kasumi looked at her sibling for a while, before nodding. "Nabiki,

have you noticed his attitude toward Akane?"

The money-earner of the family smirked at that. "Who hasn't

noticed it? Ranma treats her like a five-year old and he doesn't stand

for any of her outbursts. He makes her look like an immature brat and

he's not afraid to give her a piece of his mind. He won't let her get

away with her little tirades." Nabiki smiled a bit more. "Not that I'm

putting Akane down, but I think it was about time that someone gave

her a lesson in humility."

"Yes, Ranma had mentioned to me about his dislike of Akane's

attitude toward boys and he's quite adamant about not marrying her.

However, I think I know the underlying reason as to why he doesn't

give Akane the benefit of the doubt."

"Why is that?"

Kasumi thought back to that first day when Akane came home

from school and labeled Ranma as a perverted jerk of a boy. "I think

Akane made a grave error in judgment when she first met Ranma. She

categorized him in the same class as all those other boys who

attacked her every morning. As soon as she saw that he was a boy,

she immediately decided that he was after her like all the others."

"Okay. So what does that have to do with anything?"

"To someone like Ranma, judging someone merely because of his

appearance is very insulting. Ranma can't help the fact that he's a

boy, but as soon as Akane saw him, she simply saw another boy to

pound on."

"Well, I can understand how something like that would make a

person feel offended, but that doesn't explain why he treats Akane

the way he does. And what do you mean by saying someone like


Kasumi took a deep breath, then dropped the bomb. "You know

the old saying that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover? Ranma

can NEVER make the mistake of judging a person on appearance

because� he is blind."

As soon as these words were uttered, Nabiki's lightning-quick

thought processes ground to a halt.

In another part of town, Akane was walking alone down the

streets. She and her two friends had gone to see the newest film, but

she had barely concentrated on the pictures on the screen. No, her

thoughts were a million miles away and they were all focused on one

thing. Defeating Ranma Saotome. After exiting the theater and

bidding her friends goodbye, she plodded along, not particularly

caring where she was heading.

Ever since she had witnessed Ranma's fight with Ryoga, she had

been training hard to try to increase her skills to finally show that

arrogant boy what a 'true' martial artist was capable of. It hadn't

helped matters that her father and that friend of his were goading her

on about getting her fianc�e. She had thought that they were

encouraging her to train, but they kept on making it look like some

ridiculous, misguided attempt to win his love. Hah! As if she would

ever marry that stupid jerk! She just wanted to show him and

everyone else that Akane Tendo was second to none, especially not

second to some boy!

But the problem was, just how was she going to do it? After

seeing the techniques that Ranma had used against his rival, the

youngest Tendo sister had been trying to duplicate those moves. So

far, she hadn't come close to even a tiny fraction of the ki techniques

she had witnessed. She had spent many hours last night trying to do

the Shi Shi Hokodan or the Spirit Seeker with no success.

<Arrgh! What were those moves? How did they do that? It's not

fair! I'm supposed to be the best in Nerima! It should be easy to do

what they did!>

Akane was so engrossed in trying to figure out how to beat

Ranma, that she failed to notice that she had entered a bad part of the

city. The neighborhoods were quite dirty and were frequented with

muggers, thieves and yakusa. One particular party had their eyes set

on the wandering Tendo girl.

They were part of a street gang and were quite amused that

someone like Akane would just wander into their part of town and

decided to have a little fun with her. They began following her.

Meanwhile, Ranma was leaping from rooftop to rooftop after

finishing his delivery for Pepper's Place. As soon as he came close to

within three blocks of where Akane was, his superior hearing picked

up the sound of a scream Ranma stopped suddenly when he heard

the noise, and listened for a moment. When her heard another

scream, he ran off in that direction to investigate.

Sometime earlier�

"Well, well, well, who do we have here?"

Akane broke her train of thought as she heard these words.

Looking up, she saw that a small group of boys were in front of her.

She immediately noticed where she was and she began to get on

edge. In her mind, she was chiding herself for not paying attention to

where she was going and for letting these hoodlums get close to her.

Taking a few steps back, she prepared for any violence as she said,

"Ah sorry. I took a wrong turn."

The leader of the gang gave her a smirk as he said, "Damn right

you took a wrong turn. This is our turf and we don't like people

passing through without paying the proper toll. So hand over all the

money that you got."

"I don't have any money." Akane didn't like this situation. The

group outnumbered her by twenty to one and she was backing into

an alley with no exit. She began assessing her opponents and saw

that these boys were a lot tougher opposition than the normal mob

she faced every morning. Nearly all of them were brandishing a blunt

or sharp weapon and it looked like they knew how to use them. Still,

she was Akane Tendo of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts!

She was contemptuous of anyone who relied on weapons and as her

father had taught her, the best weapons were the ones that she had

been born with. She slowly took a ready stance as she tried one final

time to reason her way out. "I really don't want to do this so if you'll

just step aside and let me pass, then you'll never have to see me


The leader of the band was a tall, heavily muscled boy with long

black hair. He wore a combination of a blue jeans and white shirt and

black boots. He also sported an open faced leather jacket with a tiger

imprinted on the back. He smirked down at her prey, which happened

to be a half a head shorter than she was.

"Well now. It seems that the little kitten thinks her claws are sharp

enough to go up against me, eh?"

Another one of the gang tapped her leader on the shoulder to get

her attention. "Hey! I think I recognize her. That's Akane Tendo."

"Akane Tendo?" The leader said, then gave Akane a sneer. "Ah

yes, now I remember. You're the little princess that beats up forty

boys every morning while going to Furinkan, right?" He didn't even

bother to wait for Akane to reply. "Well now, the tales of your little

exploits have reached us here and I'm HONORED to be facing

against such a worthy opponent." The leader said the last bit with

sarcasm. "So tell me Tendo, are you as good as people say you are?

Or are you just taking that martial arts stance for show?"

The last comment stung Akane's pride as she tensed up. No one

insults her skills as a martial artist. She had gotten quite enough of

that from Ranma's taunts.

"Why don't you step up and find out for yourself?"

The Tigress snickered as she took a step forward and said, "You

know, I think I will. In fact, a cute little girl like you should be able to

AMUSE us all after our little dance. If you don't have any money

then I think we can think of� OTHER ways that you pay. "

The rest of the gang gave off hoots and shouts of encouragement

as they made a circle around the two combatants. Wagers were made

among the gang members as to how long Akane would last against

the leader. Some of the wagers were not about fighting either.

Akane warily took a ready stance as she began assessing her

opponent and the situation she had gotten herself into. This was not

good. The other boys were cutting off her routes of escape and it

looked like the leader was no slouch when it came to close combat.

Even if Akane were to defeat their leader, the other members would

surely jump her. For the first time in her life, Akane knew true fear.

This was not like the daily fights against a horde of misguided suitors

and Kuno. The stakes were far direr. The prize to this fight was her

very life and perhaps something more. She didn't like the leering

glances these boys were giving her.

"Let's get started shall we?" The boy took a kickboxing stance.

"The sooner we finish this warm-up, the sooner we can get to the

REAL workout." The last part was said with a meaning that everyone

understood. There were several more hoots and shouts as Akane

began to feel the fear that made her fight so hard every day.

Akane took in a deep breath as her opponent charged at her with a

roundhouse kick. The Tendo girl barely managed to duck the blow as

she punched at her foe's midsection.

Unfortunately for her, the street fighter twisted to the side so that

her punch barely glanced off his flank. The force of her strike was

wasted as he twisted and delivered an elbow strike to Akane's face.

Akane brought her arms up to block, but the force behind the blow

was more than she counted on, as she was sent backward. She did a

tuck and roll, and came back to her feet.

"Not bad. But I could see that one coming a mile away." The gang

leader came at Akane with a triple punch, high-kick combination with

a speed that was greater than what Akane was used to. The Tendo

girl valiantly tried to dodge, but her reaction time was too slow. She

managed to fend off the punches, but the kick caught her in the chest

and her breath was driven out of he as she was sent sprawling


Akane recovered and charged at him again, trying for a two-hit

strike to the face. The first punch was evaded easily and the second

punch just grazed the gang leader's cheek. Akane then followed

through with another set of punches, but these too were easily

dodged or blocked. Akane continued to throw punch after punch,

but the gang leader dodged them. Though his speed was nowhere

near Ranma's, Akane's habit of telegraphing her moves was still

enough for him to see and counter.

"Oh come on now. I would have thought that the great Akane

Tendo was better than this." The arrogant boy then countered with a

fast strike to her solar plexus. Akane managed to block, but was

caught completely off guard as the street fighter spun around and

kicked her in the side with a reverse spin kick. At the same time, he

took out a small object from his coat pocket. Then a moment later,

Akane heard the hiss of metal and a flash of silver. She then felt a

sharp pain in her right arm. She backed off and looked down at her

forearm. Her eyes widened as she saw a crimson line across it. She

looked up and saw her opponent casually flipping a butterfly knife in

his right hand.

"Hey! No fair! You're not supposed to use weapons!" Akane said


"Hey, I didn't hear anyone say any rules." The boy shrugged as

he lunged at Akane with the knife. Akane had to side step, then grab

the extended wrist in her hands. She began applying pressure to get

him to release the knife and managed it. When the weapon dropped

from his grasp as he winced in pain, Akane pivoted and threw him

over his shoulder. The gang leader crashed into a set of trashcans,

causing garbage to scatter. He was a bit dazed as Akane charged to

finish him off.

Unfortunately for Akane, the gang leader grabbed hold of some

gooey material from the trash and flung it into her face while shouting

out, "You little bitch!"

The youngest Tendo girl staggered back when her eyes were

suddenly blinded. It was then that she felt something slam into her

gut and caused her lose her breath. She then felt a pair of fists plow

into her chest as the leader of the gang started hitting her at full

force. Pain like she never felt before was registered as she tried to

fight back. However, her fights with Kuno and the other boys at

school had never prepared her to take damage at this level. Kuno had

always held back and the other boys would try to take her down with

the least amount of force as possible. As a result, her endurance and

threshold to pain was relatively low. Her stamina was also lower than

her opponent's was. She couldn't even use her Stonebreaker Fist on

her attacker, as he wasn't letting up for a moment for her to get her


The gang leader was a more seasoned fighter than Akane. Living

on the streets had taught him the value of not letting his opponent

have a chance to fight back. He knew several different styles and was

able to pick up on Akane's kenpo training. He had found out early on

that Akane was strong, despite the fact that she was shorter and

younger than he was. Those near misses had shown him that getting

hit by her was not a good thing. Right now, he had Akane dazed and

off balance, so he continued to hit her with fast jabs and quick kicks,

aiming for her more sensitive areas. He also saw that anger made her

more reckless and taunted her at every opportunity.

After taking several hits to the ribs and abdomen, Akane fought

back with a hard right to his face. She felt a bit of satisfaction when

her fist connected with her opponent's nose. However, the strength

in which she put into the punch was less than effective as she had

already begun to tire from her exertions and injuries. Her previous

battles had also not given her much on stamina and she was

breathing hard.

The larger boy ignored the bloody nose and grabbed her still

extended arm in a viselike grip. He then shot one fist straight toward

her shoulder while twisting the arm with the other hand. When the

blow connected, Akane let out a scream as she felt her shoulder pop

and the arm bone wrench free from her socket. She then felt even

more pain as the gang leader swung her by the injured arm and

slammed her into one of the alley's walls.

Before Akane had a chance to get up, she was savagely kicked in

the side, and then she felt a tremendous blow to her temple. Akane's

vision swam as she blindly lashed out with a fist. Unfortunately, it

was with the dislocated arm. She fought back the urge to scream out

in pain as it moved forward. The blow was stopped as the street

fighter grabbed her wrist and hauled her up with one hand. Akane

cried out in pain as the gang leader mercilessly slammed a fist into her

gut then released his hold on her wrist. He whipped his leg around

and delivered a kick to her left side. Akane was sent back down as

she crashed into some more trashcans. She felt a sharp pain in one

leg as something cut into the skin. Focusing down at the ground, she

saw a gaping cut in her right leg and nearby, a broken bottle had

some red stains on the jagged edges.

Akane held back the urge to cry as she was on her knees and in

some serious pain. This was not at all like the fights at school. There

was no honor or formal challenges. Her opponent was relentless and

wasn't giving her a chance to fight back. Unlike Kuno and the boys

at school, the gang leader wasn't pulling any of her punches and had

cheated a couple of times. What few hits Akane had managed to land

on her were not as damaging as her own injuries. Now he was coming

to finish her off.

Akane knew that she had made a grave error in accepting his

challenge. Unlike her usual opponents, the gang leader was a far

more seasoned fighter and had no qualms in taking advantage of a

downed opponent or not sticking to the rules. His street-fighting

skills were more than a match for Akane's moderate combat abilities.

The youngest Tendo daughter had gotten so used to the daily

brawls at school that her martial arts ability had not improved

significantly since they started. Ranma's assessment of her skills had

proven to be correct. She had fallen into a pattern and had no

incentive to improve. As a result, her movements had become

predictable and easy to counter. Despite her brute strength and

aggressive behavior, it was no substitute for strategy. She had

fought blindly, hoping that her usual berserk tactics would work, but

the gang leader had broken through her awkward movements and

almost non-existent defense.

"Not bad Tendo. You actually managed to hit me a few times. But I

win." The boy spat up a little blood as he dusted herself off and then

walked over to where Akane was still on her hands and knees. "Well,

now that the preliminaries are over, let's get on with the main event!"

Akane's eyes snapped open at that comment as she looked up

and saw the evil smile he was giving her. There was no doubt in her

mind what would happen if she were to let him come any closer. With

a desperate strength she got to her feet and tried to rush past him.

However, the big boy proved to be too fast for her as he grabbed a

handful of her blouse and threw her back onto the ground. Her top

tore off, leaving the upper part of her body exposed except for her


"Well now, I'm in for a real treat." Her tormentor smiled as he

gazed on her breasts. He then lunged at her.

Akane tried to kick out at her attacker but the boy used his right

leg to block it. Akane screamed out as he landed on top of her. Then

she felt some hands grab hold of her wrists. She felt more pain in her

dislocated arm as it was pulled further from its usual place. She

looked up and saw that two members of the gang had grabbed hold

of her arms and were leering at her.

Akane's fear tripled as she realized that her worst nightmare was

about to come true. She stiffened as she felt the gang leader tear off

the remainder of her school dress, exposing her bare legs and panties.

She let off another scream, hoping that her cries would be answered,

but no one seemed to hear her calls.

"Man, I love it when they scream! Makes it better!"

"Save some of her for the rest of us boss!"

"Sorry guys, but she's just too cute to share!"

Akane's heart was beating hard as she realized that she was just

one step away from being raped. All of her training, all those years of

practice and those early morning fights had meant nothing. Despite

her hard work to prevent this from happening, her worst nightmare

was about to become reality. She writhed and struggled to free

herself, but with two toughs holding both her arms, one of which was

seriously damaged and the large boy pinning her down, it was no

use. When she felt the gang leader's cold hand brush against her

panties, she felt a nauseating sickness overwhelm her. Akane fainted

from the strain as her undergarment was ripped away.

Just as the leader was about to unzip his pants, something sharp

pierced the nape of his neck. It felt like a bee sting, but as soon as the

pain was registered, he experienced a feeling of dizziness. Suddenly,

he slumped over Akane like a rag doll, totally unconscious.

The two boys who had been holding Akane's arms wondered why

their leader would just drop off like that when they also felt

something sting into their necks. They raised their hands in reflex to

the sudden pain, but then collapsed to the ground like sacks of


The rest of the gang was in a state of confusion as to what was

going on when three others suddenly yelped in pain and then

dropped to the asphalt. Realizing that they were being attacked, the

remaining street toughs began taking stances and brought out their

weapons. It was then that they heard a bone-chilling Chinese war cry

as Ranma Saotome leapt down from the roof of a two-story building.

One minute later�

Ranma had made short work of the gang when he had come down

to Akane's rescue. Despite his inability to see, his martial arts

training in both the Unseen Light and Amazon Wu Shu was more

than enough to beat back the attackers. The gang members were

astounded at how easily he dodged their attacks. They couldn't

blind-side him, couldn't get him from behind. It was if he knew what

they were about to do before they did. One member thought that they

would have more of an advantage in the dark and used his throwing

stars to take out all the lights that were illuminating the alley. This

turned out to be a big mistake as Ranma's blindness gave him a major


After giving them all painful demonstrations of what he was

capable of, the street toughs got the message and left the scene.

They picked up their fallen comrades and made a fast departure from

the alley.

After making certain that his enemies were gone, Ranma rushed

over to the bruised and bloody form of Akane. He reached out with

his senses and gave a sigh of relief as he ascertained that Akane was

just unconscious from the head injury and the loss of blood. He then

set to work in tending to her injuries.

Using the Hidden Weapon techniques that he had learned from

his battles with Mousse, he began making his tools as a healer

appear. Although he didn't like the myopic martial artist, he had to

admit that his techniques were extremely useful in carrying his

medical supplies as well as weapons. Using his seventh sense and

enhanced sense of touch, he began probing Akane's body for the

extent of her injuries.

<Hmmm, a few bruised ribs, several large bruises to her upper

body, mild concussion and a large gash on her right leg. Some other

cuts on her as well as a dislocated right arm. Fixable though.>

Ranma silently thanked his adopted mother Jasmine and his old

sensei Koga for training him as he set to work. He also gave a nod of

thanks to Razor, the weaponsmith. Like all the things that the young

blade maker made, the silver flute that he had crafted for Ranma had a

few hidden surprises in it. By activating a small switch, a thin sheet of

metal would cover the holes and activate a small, air-compression

mechanism. The instrument became a fully functional dart launcher

that shot out tiny, sharp projectiles that contained a special, fast-

acting knockout drug. This was what he used to take out five

members of the gang.

A few pressure points applied to the right spots brought Akane

back from a near comatose state to a dreamlike state of sleep. After

receiving a concussion, Ranma didn't want any complications with a

loss of consciousness. After minute, Akane's moaned and her eyes

flickered a bit. Satisfied that Akane would remain at least conscious,

the blind boy concentrated on her other injuries. With a quick

motion, he reset her arm back into her shoulder while using a

pressure point to deaden the pain. Her leg was expertly bandaged

and the secret herbal solution that he had applied to her wounds

would make certain that there would be no infections. In fact, the

solution would prevent scars from being formed as it accelerated the

damaged tissue's healing processes. Akane's head also had a

bandage wrapped around it. Utilizing certain pressure points, Ranma

relieved Akane's tired muscles and stimulated the bruises to heal

faster. Her bruised ribs were also checked and tended to with some

more pressure points. After ten minutes, Ranma completed his

ministrations on the fallen Tendo. Making a small blanket appear he

gently wrapped up her body

During his treatments, Akane's eyes had opened and she watched

with surprise as Ranmatended to her wounds with all the gentle care

that Dr. Tofu had given her in the past. She looked down and

observed with fascination as his skilled hands worked with precision

and speed. She felt absolutely no pain whatsoever as he removed the

tiny shards of glass from her leg. After striking a few pressure points

to deaden the nerves, Ranma used some kind of blurring motion with

his hands to take out each splinter and any other debris. Then he

applied some foul smelling lotion to her wounds and wrapped them

up with some bandages that he made appear out of nowhere. For the

longest time, Akane said nothing as she let Ranma do his work.

After the last wound had been tended to, Ranma made his healing

supplies disappear and picked up Akane in his arms. The Tendo girl

gave a surprised yelp as she felt herself being gathered up in his

muscular arms.

Ranma smiled as he bent his head toward Akane. "Oh good,

you're awake." Of course, he didn't tell her that he had already

sensed her regaining consciousness some time ago.

"What are you doing? Put me down you pervert!" Akane realized

she was all but naked underneath that blanket and she tried to swing

at Ranma, but he easily brushed off the weak attack.

Ranma sighed as he leapt to the top of a near by roof with Akane

still in his arms. Akane could do nothing in her condition as she was

being carried. "Sheesh. You'd think that a person would be a little

more grateful after someone saves her life."

"I didn't need your help then and I don't need it now! Put me


Ranma gave her an annoyed look and said in a calm voice, "You're

in no condition to get home on your own and I certainly won't leave

my patient in a place like that."

"I didn't need your�"

"Oh sure. I suppose that you had those boys right where you

wanted when they almost raped you. Just what were you thinking

back there? "

Akane became silent as she remembered that part. "Well� I would


"Would have what?" Ranma interrupted. "Tendo-san, you were

barely conscious when I found you. If I had gotten there one minute

later then you wouldn't be here arguing right now."

"Why you�" Akane's reply was cut short as he struck the Mute

pressure point on her vocal cords. Akane tried to say another nasty

remark but found that the muscles to her voicebox were frozen. She

became angry at being silenced but then Ranma's expression turned


"Your choice Tendo-san. You can either agree to keep quiet and

I'll unfreeze your larynx. Or you can a wait a week in silence for the

pressure point to wear off."

Akane fumed for a moment then realized that she was letting her

anger get the better of her again. It had not helped her in her fight

against those boys and she realized that Ranma was right. He had

saved her and tended to her injuries without taking advantage of her.

She looked into the depths of those blue eyes and saw that he was

genuinely concerned for her well being, just like Dr. Tofu did

whenever she went to his clinic. Right now, he was a little irritated

over her stubbornness and she had to admit that it wasn't doing her

any good.

After a long while, Akane nodded her assent not to argue and

Ranma tapped the release point to her vocal cords. Ranma shook his

head and mumbled, "Why do I always get the patients that give me

the most backtalk?"

Akane's eyes narrowed a bit at those words but said nothing.

Then, she got to thinking about what had happened in that alley. It

was true. With no thought to his own safety, Ranma had taken on a

band of merciless thugs to save her life. He had also given her

medical treatment that would have given Dr. Tofu a run for his

money. It was so confusing. They had been against each other like

cats and dogs ever since her father had announced the engagement.

She had seen no reason to try to understand this boy as she had

assumed that he was like all the others. He had certainly humiliated

her during that first challenge fight and had referred her as a 'brat'

ever since then. And yet, here he was, carrying her home after

beating off her attackers and binding her wounds. He had not done

anything to hurt her and he was caring for her like a doctor would his

patient. He had displayed remarkable healing skills and Akane

couldn't help but wonder how he did some of those things. His

personality had taken on a totally different appearance from the

arrogant, condescending person she knew as he had made certain

that she felt no pain during his treatments. For a brief moment, Akane

was reminded of the gentle chiropractor that she had a crush on.

<Maybe� I was wrong about him.> She gazed at the boy who had

saved her as they came near his home.

To be continued�

Author's Notes

Well, I hope this rewrite has made it a bit more smoother,

especially with that fight scene between Akane and that gang leader.

She did manage to get a few hits and the leader did have to cheat a

bit to win. However, I do think that maybe now Akane has gotten a

bit more humbled from this experience.

Let's face it, Akane IS an immature brat and before Ranma arrived,

she had been having it too easy. I mean, no one had corrected her

behavior or attitude toward boys. She had gotten a big ego from all

her fights and had pictured herself as a hotshot martial artist. She had

thought she was the most popular girl in school and had lived in her

own world with herself as the center of attention.

The reason why I wrote this chapter was to not only focus on the

aspects of the Tendo sisters, but also to give Akane a big slice of the

real world, heavily seasoned with its dangers and served with a side

of humility. In the original series, she was always the one being

rescued, the one that was always being chased for her looks and

almost never had to pay for whatever mistakes she made, get

seriously hurt or be held responsible for her childish temper tantrums.

And I found it quite unfair that her lashing out at Ranma never made

her suffer any repercussions. Well, not in this story or any other tale

that I write. She's going to have to take her lumps just like everyone

else, though I'll admit that this one lump was a doozy!

As for that little added scene with Kasumi confronting Genma, yes

it does mean that Ranma's other fianc�es have started to appear in

Nerima and that will mean more headaches for our blind martial artist.

Also take note that Kasumi's telling of Ranma's secret will have some

serious consequences and Ranma may just change his perceptions

about her because of it.