Fighting Blind

The infamous Rumiko Takahashi created all Ranma and the gang.

There, I said it.

< >: Thoughts

Chapter 9

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

Amazon flowers!"

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."

"Weak?!" Kuno got up and brought out another bokken from

within his robes and charged at him again. "I SHALL HAVE YOUR HEAD



"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�

English class�

"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?'

Math class�

"Is there no one who can answer the question on the board?" Ms.

Sakara asked.

Just about everyone was dumbfounded by the tough algebraic

problem on the board. Not one raised their hand. That is, except for

the one.

"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.

"Correct� Saotome."

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.

Gym class�


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

blind opponent.

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

that day.

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

with confusion.

"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

all this?"

"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,

wouldn't it?"

"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

lose and�"

"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�

Author's Notes

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