The infamous Rumiko Takahashi created all Ranma and the gang.
There, I said it.
< >: Thoughts
Taking the First Steps
Ranma Saotome took in a deep breath as he and his sister
Amazons exited Pepper's Place and headed toward Furinkan High.
Lilac, Shampoo and Perfume all gave their best warrior smiles of
reassurance. Though Ranma could not see the smiles, he could feel
their emotions behind the gestures all the same. Despite the ugly
events that had transpired in the last couple of days, the disciple of
Koga was more than willing to pick up the pieces and move forward
in his life. He knew that the next few days were going to be hard, but
that was to be expected.
At the Tendo dojo, two others were preparing to leave for class.
Nabiki was in a speculative mood as she considered what do in case
she met up with the blind martial artist from China, which was very
likely. Akane of course, had no idea just how much she had hurt
Ranma with her unintentional revelation of his condition. She and her
sister were concerned for Kasumi though. For some unexplained
reason, the eldest daughter of the clan had become despondent for
the last day or so. Neither her father nor her sisters could get her to
explain why she was feeling so depressed. She would still do her
household duties with same efficiency as always, but the serenity
and cheerfulness that she had displayed before was subdued and
made her look like a faint shell of her former self.
Akane was pretty much in the dark as to why her sibling was like
this, but Nabiki had a suspicion that it had something to do with
Ranma. She knew that Akane's unthinking actions from the day
before had not been one of her better plans, She was aware of how
jealous she was of his superior abilities, despite the fact that he
was� visually challenged. In fact, after that scene, Ranma had been
all but ignoring her, which didn't set very well with her. Despite the
fact that he had saved her life, Akane had begun to fall back into her
old habits and considered his indifference to her to be an insult.
<Just what were you thinking Akane? Trying to get him to teach
you his secrets? I'll admit that I'm curious at what he does, but that
was the wrong way of doing it. He certainly didn't need your help in
dealing with Kuno. Heck, he could probably handle him in his sleep!
You really should have known better! Question now is, what's
Ranma going to do?>
Nabiki tabled these thoughts for later as she and her sister
approached the school.
As Ranma and the Amazons got the main gate, the Unseen Light
fighter began extending his senses to the crowds around them. As he
had expected, there were various impressions of curiosity, some
jealousy, fear in few and some cases, outright dislike. He felt the
greatest emotions of pity coming from the female students as his
group walked by. His enhanced hearing also picked up the hushed
whispers as the students gossiped among themselves. All of these
feelings were directed at him of course, and the blind martial artist
took a deep breath and prepared himself for the worst.
The worst came to him in the form of a pompous jackass who
carried a bokken. Kuno immediately spotted his nemesis and his three
Amazon flowers and started to strut toward them. He came to a stop
in front of Ranma's group and blocked their path to the school
Ranma frowned as he motioned for the girls to wait as he stepped
forward. "What do you want Kuno?"
"You will address me as upperclassman, foul sorcerer that lives in
darkness." The insane kendoist said as he held out his weapon. "I am
here to at last free my three Amazon beauties from your disgusting
presence so that they could finally shower their hidden love for a true
warrior and a real man. Their passions are not for the likes of you,
since you are not even a full man, sightless one."
Ranma's brow furrowed a bit as he crossed his arms and replied,
"And since when is the lack of one's sight a measure of one's
manhood? You know what? I'm really glad I'm blind right now, since
I'm spared the sight of seeing your stupid face."
"Do not try to mock your better Saotome, lest I rightly smite you
for your insolence! And do not think that your dark sorcery will save
you this time!"
"My better?" Ranma snorted. "What kind of crazy world are you
living in? I've been knocking the stuffing out of you ever since I got
here. As far as I'm concerned, you're nothing more than a nuisance
and no challenge whatsoever. And what the heck is this dark sorcery
that you're talking about?"
"Only black magic could explain how a mighty warrior such as I
could fall to a blind and pathetic peasant such as yourself! Enough! I
shall not tolerate any more of this mockery, dark one! Release my
Kuno struck forward with his bokken, but Ranma was already
countering his attack. The sixth sense had warned him and his
seventh sense tracked the path of the wooden blade. In less than a
heartbeat, Ranma was already within his defense and Kuno found
himself being slammed backward as he was struck in the chest by an
open-palm strike. He lost his grip on his bokken as the air was forced
out of his chest. Kuno landed on his posterior. When the maddened
Tatewaki looked up, he saw that Ranma was twirling his bokken
casually in one hand.
"Fiend! Sightless demon! You dare to once again employ your
black magic upon me?!"
Ranma's mouth tightened into a straight line. "There you go again.
Making excuses for your inferior skills. The only thing that you are
doing is showing your stupidity and ignorance. Then again, I guess
name-calling is the only weapon you have against me, since you're
too WEAK to challenge me any other way."
Shampoo nodded as she said, "Ranma is right. You are too stupid
to see that you are no match for him. Even a BLIND MAN could see that."
"Amazons will date strong man, not weakling like stupid stick
boy!" Lilac added.
"Ranma is one thousand times more man than stick boy." Perfume
Ranma shrugged as he said, "I guess it's unanimous. You are
"Weak?!" Kuno got up and brought out another bokken from
within his robes and charged at him again. "I SHALL HAVE YOUR HEAD
FOR THAT INSULT! NOW TASTE THE�"
WHAM! SMACK! WHAP! WHAP!
"Come on. Let's get to class." Ranma motioned for the others to
follow. On the ground behind them, Kuno was lying down on the
pavement, obviously unconscious and a broken bokken over his
head, along with several large bumps. In less than a second, Ranma
had given the kendoist a taste of what it was like to be on the
receiving end of his own weapon.
Later on that morning, Ranma was called to the front office to
discuss his condition with the vice-principal and some of the higher
members of the school staff. Cologne was also called to the meeting,
as she was the one who filled out Ranma's registration forms.
"Ranma Saotome. It has come to our attention that you did not
inform us of your condition before you enrolled here, specifically you
being clinically blind." Mr. Shinoka, the vice-principal who was
acting in the absence of Principal Kuno, looked at the student and
the aged woman standing before the conference table. The other
teachers and counselors nodded as well. "I would think that a detail
as important as that would be reported on your registration forms."
Cologne stepped forward as hopping on a cane would make a bad
impression. "Excuse me, but I would like to speak to you about that."
"And you are?"
"I am Elder Cologne of the Joketsuzoku. I am one of Ranma's
guardians and it was I who filled out the registration forms on his
behalf. As per his request, I did not report on Ranma's condition
since he felt that it was of no consequence and would not, in any
way, hinder his performance at this school."
"I cannot understand why you would do such a thing. A handicap
as serious as blindness would make attending this school at best
difficult. I'm afraid that Ranma will have to be transferred over to a
school for the blind as Furinkan is not equipped to facilitate the
needs of a sightless student."
"With all due respect and no intended insult to you or the other
members of the staff, but for someone who can still see, you have
become blind to the events of the past weeks. Ranma has performed
quite well in his schoolwork and I have seen his grades. Despite his
inability to see as you do, he has so far completed all of his
assignments and had achieved high marks."
"Is this true?" Shinoka turned to one of his staff, who handed him
Ranma's files and current grade averages. He flipped through the
folder and noted that Ranma had been getting B's and A's on all of
his assignments as well as scoring an average of 95% on his first
exams. He looked up at Ranma and said, "How can this be? If he's
blind, then he shouldn't be able to read the textbook, much less write
down his answers."
Ranma shrugged as he said, "I have been trained in a martial art
that has given me certain� abilities, which more than compensates
for my lack of eyesight."
"Oh? What kind of abilities?"
"Well�" Ranma thought about how to go about demonstrating
his skills without having to reveal too much of the Unseen Light's
secrets. "I can read books and other printed material by using my
fingertips. I'm pretty fast in terms of reading speed."
"Write something down and let Ranma read it to you." Cologne
Mr. Shinoka reached over to one side for a pen and a small
notebook. He quickly scribbled something on the first page, ripped it
out and showed the page to the other teachers before leaning over
the table to hand it to Cologne.
Cologne took the message and then, instead of handing it to
Ranma, she deftly tossed the piece of paper into the air in front of him
and to his right.
Ranma's seventh sense caught the falling sheet as it drifted down.
With a sure and precise movement, his right arm shot out and he
neatly caught the paper between his index and middle fingers. He
brought it up to the level of his chest and ran the index finger of his
left hand over the page. The movement was no more than a casual
brush and it looked like he barely touched the paper at all.
"It says I don't believe you." Ranma replied as he flicked his right
wrist and sent the page sailing back to the table. The sheet did a
couple of flips before landing softly in front of Mr. Shinoka and
ironically, it had settled down on top of the same notepad that he had
used to write the message.
"Uhhh� correct, Saotome."
"It landed on the same notepad, didn't it?"
"Uhhh� yes� it did." The teachers had become a bit uneasy at
how casually Ranma was after displaying his skills. The blind boy
clasped his hands behind his back and turned away from them. He
started to walk toward the door, then stopped before it, his back still
to the vice-principal and his staff. Suddenly, Cologne threw a few
objects at Ranma's unguarded back.
With a smooth motion, Ranma pivoted on one foot, turned back
toward the teachers and swung his right arm back and forth. His arm
moved at a speed that made it appear to be a blur and the objects that
Cologne had thrown disappeared before they could reach him. Ranma
then held up an arm and displayed a fist. Wedged between the
clenched fingers and thumb, was four small, but very sharp, metallic
throwing daggers. Each was held in place by the flat of its blade and
not a single drop of blood had been spilled.
The staff was more than amazed at the display.
"H-H-How did� y-you do that?"
Ranma smiled as he carefully handed Cologne back her throwing
weapons. "I have an ability not only to detect people, but also
objects. I can sense my entire environment around me in all
directions, and it is very useful in judging distances. For example, I
know that I happen to be exactly two meters, seventy-five
centimeters from where you are sitting, Mr. Shinoka. Can your
eyesight judge distances that accurately?"
Shinoka and the others could only shake their heads.
Cologne continued to speak, "I'm sure that you have already
witnessed Ranma in battle. It is virtually impossible to sneak up on
Ranma, as I believe that a student named Kuno has already
discovered. With this ability, Ranma doesn't stumble about or require
to be led by someone else. He may not be able to read distant signs,
but he doesn't bump into anyone or anything either."
Ranma and Cologne gave the staff and the vice-principal a few
more demonstrations of the Unseen Light fighter's techniques. After
giving them a remarkable show, Cologne decided to summarize what
they had just been shown. "As you can plainly see, Ranma's abilities
are more than adequate to allow him to continue with his academic
studies here at Furinkan. When you all thought that he had his sight,
Ranma performance was exceptional, don't you think? Just because
you now know the truth, it does not mean that Ranma is to be
treatedany differently. If he has done so well, then I say let him
continue to do so. Please pardon the pun, but I do not SEE why he is
to be prevented from attending Furinkan when it is obvious to all that
it makes no difference whether he has sight or not."
Shinoka had to reluctantly nod his head at that statement. "You
pose a� strong argument. I must admit, even I was impressed with
Saotome's skills. Although, I am still uneasy with letting a blind
student attend Furinkan. The very fact that everyone in the school
knows about it may cause� difficulties among the students. "
"By what I've heard, there have been several difficulties at this
school before Ranma had arrived." Cologne countered.
Shinoka had to nod to that. With the daily fights to date Akane
and the idiocy of the principal's son, Furinkan had to become looser
with its rules on conduct.
"I'll make deal with you." Cologne said, pausing to choose her
words with care. "Let Ranma continue to attend class as he always
has. Give him time to prove himself. If his grades have declined
significantly or the students do not accept him, in say� two weeks,
then we shall honor your request to have Ranma transferred to a
school for the blind. Mind you, the student who has been constantly
annoying him and his sister Amazons does not count. Ranma does
have a right to defend himself and protect the honor of my great-
granddaughter and her friends. To put it mildly, this Tatewaki Kuno
doesn't seem to be in his right mind."
To say that Kuno was a few bricks shy of a load was an
understatement. Shinoka slowly nodded and said, "Very well, that
seems fair enough. If Ranma can keep his grades up and can fit in
here at Furinkan, then we will not press for him to be transferred."
Cologne turned to Ranma and said, "Do you agree to this?"
Ranma nodded and said, "I shall live up to your expectations
Elder Cologne, and thank you."
Cologne smiled as she felt the confidence in Ranma rising.
In the next few days, Ranma strove to prove himself�
"Ranma Saotome, would you please read the second passage on
page three hundred and forty-four in this text?"
Ranma's English teacher, Mr. Konoda, handed him a book that was
titled Shakespeare's Works: Braille Edition. Ranma held up the book
and seemed to consider it for a moment, before handing it back to the
teacher without opening it. He then reached over and brought out the
regular textbook, turned to correct page and then brushed his
fingertips once across the page before reciting. "To be, or not to be.
That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer, the
slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or to take arms against a
sea of troubles. And by opposing, end them."
Mr. Konoda stared at Ranma for a long while, then turned to the
same page of his own textbook. His eyes widened as he read the
passage, which was exactly what Ranma had just recited, in perfect
English as well. He did a couple of double takes before saying,
"Very� good, Saotome."
This was not lost on the other students as they too had expected
Ranma to read from the Braille book. There was some whispering
among the teens and Ranma's exceptional hearing picked up several
of the conversations. One of the most frequent comments was 'are
you sure he's blind?'
"Is there no one who can answer the question on the board?" Ms.
Just about everyone was dumbfounded by the tough algebraic
problem on the board. Not one raised their hand. That is, except for
"I know the answer." Ranma said as he raised his arm.
"Mr. Saotome?" The teacher was quite surprised. She had just
written that question straight out of the textbook without saying a
word. If Ranma were blind, he wouldn't be able to see it, especially
when he was sitting near the back of the class. So how would he
know the answer when he didn't hear the question? The teacher
decided to humor him and said, "Very well. Would you please step
up and show us on the board?" She walked forward and then offered
her hand to him so that he may be led to the front of the class.
Ranma nodded, but did not take her hand. Instead, he placed both
hands on his desk and used it to spring forward. He made a neat
forward flip over the heads of his classmates and landed perfectly in
front of the chalkboard. Without pausing, he took up the chalk and
then scribbled out his work below the question. One minute later, he
placed the chalk down and casually walked back to his desk without
tripping or stumbling once as he maneuvered down the rows of
desks. He smiled at his teacher as he sat down.
The math teacher looked up at his work then flipped through to
the back of her text for the answer. Ranma had come up with the
correct formula and answer.
Ranma silently thanked his old master Koga for teaching him
about mental imagery and how to fine-tune his seventh sense. By
focusing on the chalkboard, Ranma could make out the impressions
the chalk had made when the teacher had written out the question,
without having to brush his fingers across it. It also helped that Ms.
Sakara wrote in large letters and numbers.
The opposing team just couldn't believe this guy. He had already
made twelve consecutive baskets from beyond the three-point line. It
also didn't help their side as Ranma continued to steal the ball away
from their players, despite their attempts to get by him.
The opposing team members all groaned as Ranma made another
three-pointer. So far, the blind boy had scored fifty points. Ten
points were made from fancy slam-dunks, one was an assist and the
rest were heaved from the other side of the court! Every one of
Ranma's shots was dead-on, and his team soon realized that all they
had to do was feed him the ball. By the end of the game, Ranma's
team had won
75 to 0.
Other sports proved to be child's play to the blind Amazon. Dodge
ball was nothing to Ranma as his sixth and seventh sense kept him
from getting hit. Volleyball was dangerous to the other students
when playing against Ranma. His power serves and spikes sent the
ball shooting toward them as if they were fired from a cannon. In
baseball, Ranma was never struck out, no matter what kind of throw
the pitcher would try. Fast balls, curve balls, slow balls and others
were all struck and sent over the wall. Ranma also proved to be a
good catcher and outfielder. In archery class, the students were very
nervous at seeing a blind boy with a bow, but when they saw Ranma
hit a bullseye each time and even shoot an apple off Shampoo's head,
they soon began to think that the rumors of Ranma being blind were
The girls of Furinkan High had become even more interested in
Ranma as time went on. He continued to amaze them with every new
challenge, especially during gym class. It also helped that he had a
well-muscled body that made many females experience a rise in
hormones. The way the sweat glistened off those firm muscles as he
gracefully moved through intricate gymnastic routines. The power he
displayed whenever he lifted heavy weights. The way his ponytail
waved in breeze as he outstripped his nearest opponent in the one
hundred, two hundred, and four hundred-meter dash. Jasmine's
upbringing of the Unseen Light fighter was paying off with interest
as nearly all the girls in the school developed an attraction to the
handsome, unseeing martial artist. Ranma's sensitive side was quite
charming and he didn't act like those other jerks that pursued Akane
and followed Kuno's rules. They absolutely loved his music and
many would ask him to play for them. Slowly but surely, Ranma
began to win some people over.
However, not everyone at Furinkan was as open-minded. Some
boys were quite jealous at how Ranma could outperform them and
tried to pick fights with him. Others lashed out due to prejudice over
his blindness and his Chinese background. Kuno was the worst of
them all as he continually assaulted Ranma at every opportunity,
much to no avail as his skills were still well below the level of his
There was also another who had come to dislike Ranma all over
again. Akane had been trying to get close to him, but the blind boy
had purposely been ignoring her. Though the youngest Tendo did
realize that her slip had made him mad, she just didn't understand
why he would still hold a grudge against her. With him constantly
giving her the cold shoulder, it wasn't long before she started
thinking that he was an insensitive jerk.
A couple of days after Akane had blurted out Ranma's secret�
Akane came home in a bit of a huff as she slammed the door.
Nabiki looked up from where she was sitting and saw her sister as
she came into the living room.
"That jerk! He's nothing but a insensitive, arrogant jerk!"
"I take it you're talking about Ranma, right?"
"Of course I am!" Akane exploded. "Here I am, trying to be nice to
him, and what does he do? He tells me to get lost or just ignores me! I
don't understand what those other girls see in him."
Nabiki shrugged as she said, "Oh I don't know. Could it be that
he's handsome, tall, built, is a great musician and is the one guy in
school who doesn't go chasing after you? Or is it because he treats
the other girls better than you?"
"What THAT supposed to mean?" Akane glared at her sibling.
"Well, you tell me Akane. I mean, I can't think of any reason why
he would be angry with you. Oh yes, that's right. I believe that it was
you who interfered with his fight with Kuno that day and blabbed out
that he was blind."
Akane stiffened at the memory, then said, "So? What's that got to
do with it? I mean, it's not like he could keep something like that a
secret for long. That's still no reason for him to be acting like a jerk!"
Nabiki shook her head as she retorted. "No reason? Akane, you
just don't get it do you? Ranma DIDN'T want anyone to know about
it. I think it's because he didn't want anyone's pity. He just wants to
be treated the same as everyone else, but because you didn't think
about your actions, he's going to be always treated differently. Now a
lot of the boys at school are treating him like an outcast and Ranma
has to prove to himself to everyone. That wouldn't have happened if
you had kept quiet about it."
"You're making it sound like it's all my fault."
"Well maybe because a big part of it is!" Nabiki said with a bit of
sarcasm. "I mean, you had no reason to tell anyone else that Ranma
was blind. Especially after all he did for you. He saved you from that
gang, nursed you back to health and didn't ask for one thing in
return. And then you repaid him by blurting out his secret. Oh yeah,
that was really good of you Akane."
Akane's eyes furrowed as she glare at her sister, then turned
around and stomped up to her room.
Nabiki shook her head at her sister's insensitivity. The little
princess just couldn't take the truth, even when it was shoved into
her face. Akane just didn't understand that Ranma was very sensitive
about his handicap and had taken it personally when she had
interfered with his fight with Kuno and blurted out his condition.
Nabiki however, was far more observant and had noticed how Ranma
reacted whenever someone pitied him and thought he was helpless. It
was clear to her that Ranma despised being pitied and she could
admire how someone could overcome such a disability and even fool
her for so long.
Ranma was unique, and Nabiki liked that in a guy. He was good-
looking. He didn't bow down to her violent maniac of a sister. He was
sensitive, but also displayed a strong will. He was confident in his
abilities, but not arrogant and showed respect toward girls. He was
very intelligent and displayed several amazing skills that could prove
to be very profitable. All in all, he was a good catch. Although she
was called the Ice Queen, the middle daughter had started to realize
that money was a very poor substitute for companionship. Before
that stupid declaration of Kuno's, she had gotten a few date
prospects. Afterwards, she had been forced to spend her weekends
alone. Despite everything that had been said about her, she was
human and didn't want to spend the rest of her life alone.
Kasumi and Akane had blown their chances with Ranma. Nabiki
then decided that it was her turn up to bat. There was a bit of a
problem though. After Kasumi and Akane's mistakes, not to mention
her father's attempts to kidnap him, Ranma had become very
distrustful of the Tendo clan in general. He had even been avoiding
her, even though he had nothing against her personally. Nabiki
decided that gaining Ranma's trust would be the first obstacle to
In the kitchen, Kasumi was busy preparing the evening meal. On
the outside, there seemed to be nothing wrong with her. On the
inside however, her heart was heavy with guilt as she recalled the last
time she had spoken with Ranma. <I gave you my trust and you
betrayed it!> That one phrase had repeated itself over and over in her
mind. She now knew that telling Akane about Ranma's blindness had
been a horrible mistake. She had thought that if Akane knew of his
blindness, she would be more understanding toward him, but her
good intentions had backfired. She should have realized that Akane
would have not been able to keep it to herself and now, Ranma hated
her and her sister for it.
<Well perhaps he doesn't hate me for it, but he does have the right
to be upset about it.> Kasumi let off a sad sigh as she remembered
the first time she met up with him. He seemed so warm and friendly
when they sat in that coffee shop. She remembered how gentle his
touch was when he used his fingers to probe her face. She felt totally
at ease when she was with him. She still blushed when she thought
about the comment he made about how her face matched the beauty
of her soul. With her full-time commitment to caring for her family, the
blind boy had allowed her to feel emotions that had been bottled up
inside of her since her mother died. Ranma made her feel truly special
She also remembered how horrified she was when she learned of
the Neko Ken training and how his father had sold him like a piece of
property. She had gotten very cold toward Genma since then. She
always served him last at dinnertime and gave him smaller portions.
She had also mentioned the names of certain other families in casual
conversation and noted the nervousness in the fat martial artist. She
just couldn't believe that her father was associated with such a
greedy man. Then she recalled to just how obsessive Soun was,
especially with the pledge to unite the families.
Ranma's angry words had stung her to the quick and Kasumi knew
that she had to make amends. Ranma's trust in her had been a very
special gift and she had lost it. The time had come for her to try and
regain that gift. And with that renewed gift, it may even become
something more. It wasn't hard for Kasumi to imagine her and Ranma
sharing something else besides each other's trust.
Meanwhile, Lilac and Shampoo were walking back to Pepper's
restaurant after making a delivery. As the sun began to set, they
talked quietly about the past few days.
"Ranma is making good progress at school, yes?"
Shampoo shrugged as she said, "Well, the teachers are starting to
accept that he doesn't need any special stuff or anything. The other
students are going to take more time though. He told me that what he
really needs to do is something big to prove that he's just as good as
everyone else. They would either pity him, hate him or are scared of
him because of what he can do. At least� the boys are. The girls are
having no problems." Both girls chuckled a bit. The same kind of
stuff happened to him in the village.
Lilac was about to comment about that when they both heard a
commotion coming from a nearby empty lot. They both decided to
In the lot, four girls wearing gym shorts and T-shirts were facing
off against one girl in a brown uniform. many of them were sporting
bruises and bandages. The young lady had her black hair tied up in
sideways ponytail and was sneering at her four would-be assailants.
"Well now. Have you all come to forfeit the upcoming gymnastics
meet? I would think that would be the wisest choice since you are no
match for me!"
"Don't hand us that!" One of the other girls said while holding up
a pair of gymnastics clubs. Her cohorts were also armed with similar
implements such as ribbons, hoops and whatnot.
"Yeah! We know it was you who attacked us last night! You're
trying to stop us from entering the tournament!"
"You think you can just take us out before the contest so you
would win by default!"
"Let's get her!"
The four girls charged at the haughty girl, but were suddenly
yelping in pain as they were disarmed in an instant. A streak of pink
flashed across their wrists, causing them to wince in pain and drop to
their knees. They continued to scream as they were whipped again
and again by what appeared to be a long ribbon. The holder of that
ribbon, the haughty girl, handled the seemingly fragile device like it
was a bullwhip.
"My, my, such rudeness! How fortunate it is for you that I was
raised up properly. Why I weren't a lady, I wouldn't be as gentle. How
fortunate you are that I'm�"
The girl stopped in her tirade as her ribbon was suddenly held
taught by someone who had come in between her and the other girls.
The interloper appeared to be about her age and had red hair tied in a
long braid that went down her back and had a gold ribbon at the end.
She frowned at the girl and said in a low voice, "You caught my
ribbon. No one has ever done that before."
Lilac returned the frown as she said, "You already made point.
Make no sense to keep on beating up when they down." She looked
over to where the girls were sprawled and watched as Shampoo
tended to their wounds. She then turned back to their tormentor and
then gave a firm jerk on the ribbon.
The haughty girl held fast to her end, but was very surprised
Lilac's audacity. "So, you think to interfere with my affairs?" She then
suddenly released her grip, made a couple of clubs appear from out of
nowhere and threw them at the Amazon.
Lilac was not caught off guard. After frequently sparring with
Ranma, who also knew of Hidden Weapon techniques, she simply
released her hold on the ribbon, made her tonfa appear and deflected
both clubs back at her foe. She followed through with a somersault
toward her opponent, lashing out with a sidekick.
The black-haired girl ducked the clubs the kick, then backflipped a
couple of meters. She then smiled as she made a black rose appear.
She nonchalantly tossed her head and said, "Well done. You are
certainly more of a challenge then those weaklings over there." She
then placed the rose's stem in her mouth and pulled out another
ribbon from the front of her blouse. "I'm Kodachi, the Black Rose.
You will remember that won't you?" She then began twirling her
ribbon about her and a huge storm of black rose petals appeared
around her. She then leapt into the air and bounded away while
saying, "We'll meet again! OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!!!!!"
Later that evening in Pepper's Place, Ranma had finished mending
the injuries of the four girls after Lilac and Shampoo had brought
them for healing. As he applied special herbs and wrapped their
wounds in bandages, the girls started telling Ranma and the
Amazons about their problems with Kodachi, the Black Rose.
"Huh? Women's Martial Arts Rhythmic Gymnastics?" Ranma said
"That new one to Lilac."
"Is it some kind of fighting tournament?" Shampoo asked.
One of the injured girls, a cute one with short brown hair, nodded
as she said, "The entire gymnastics team got attacked last night and
now we're in no shape for the tournament! Furinkan was supposed to
go up against St. Hebereke next week!"
"Also known as St. Baccus!" A black-haired girl with a ponytail
"That still no explain who girl was that Lilac fight today."
"That was Kodachi." A girl with long brown hair replied. "She's
the captain of the St. Hebereke gymnastics team. She's also called the
Black Rose. Her team has never lost because all the other teams had
to forfeit before the tournament. We know that Kodachi secretly
attacks her rivals and forces them out of the running. Now Furinkan
has no one to compete in next week's contest!"
"Well, I'm really sorry to hear that." Ranma said as he completed
wrapping up the last injury. "I wish there was something we can to
do to help."
The four girls looked at each other, then at Lilac, Shampoo and
Perfume. They nodded to each other and the girl with the short
brown hair said, "Maybe there is. We've seen you Amazons in action
and you're really good with gymnastics and martial arts."
"You want Amazons to fight in contest?" Perfume asked.
Ranma was a bit nervous as to where this was going. "Gee, I don't
"I think it's a splendid idea." Cologne said as she and Pepper
entered the room.
"You do?" Ranma asked as he and the others turned to look at the
matriarch. "But they don't know anything about this Martial Arts
Gymnastics thing. None of us do."
"Oh I'm certain that you'll be able to train my great-granddaughter
and the others in time for the tournament."
"Me?" Ranma pointed to himself as his eyebrows raised in
Cologne smiled warmly as she said, "Yes. As I recall, you happen
to be the best acrobat in the village, and the girls would be most
comfortable training with you."
"Aiya! Is right!"
"Ranma teach us, yes?"
"Ranma will help! We all help!"
The four injured girls of the gymnastics team cheered as one of
them said, "Then it's settled! We'll get you a copy of the rules
tomorrow! Oh thank you! Thank you!"
Later on, Cologne found Ranma sitting on the roof deep in
thought. She quietly sat down beside him.
"I'm not sure if this is such a good idea Elder."
"Please Ranma. I told you that you can call me Cologne."
"Sorry Elder� I mean, Cologne. Well, anyway, are you sure about
"Yes. I can't think of a better way to show the school that you are
just are good as anyone else by training the girls in this contest. You
did say that you needed something special to prove yourself to the
school. A team that was trained by a blind martial artist would count,
"So that's why you volunteered me to train Shampoo and the
others." Ranma became silent for a moment then said, "I've never
formally trained anyone. I'm not really sure if I'm up to it. Suppose we
"You will not lose." Cologne stated firmly. "Like Koga, I too had
detected the great potential in you, not only as a student but also as
a teacher. You will do fine. I have great faith in you."
Ranma couldn't help but smile at the compliment. Having the faith
of an Elder was a rare thing, and even rarer for a male amazon. Ranma
nodded as he silently vowed to make Cologne proud.
To be continued�
Well, you asked for her and you got her. Kodachi is now on the
scene and Ranma has a good chance of proving himself. This chapter
was also to expand on Kasumi and Nabiki as well as the initial steps
that Ranma has taken toward gaining acceptance from his peers at