Chapter 1-Here's Ranma
Rain poured upon the streets of a small hot spring village. Amidst this downpour, a panda and a girl fought in vicious combat. Small crowds watched on as the panda defied physics, and the girl repelling him.
"Look! It's a wild panda!"
"It's attacking that girl!"
"Somebody help that girl!"
"I don't think that girl needs help...."
The red headed pigtailed girl flipped over the panda's swiping claw and landed with a grace that portrayed years of practice. The panda glared at the girl, and assumed stance once more.
"I don't like this one bit!" The girl dodged some lightning quick punches by the panda, catching one when he over extended, and tossed him a good distance onto the hard street.
"Picking a inazuke for me without even asking!" The girl assumed a stance with on leg forward and hands in arched high and low behind her. The panda got back up and wiped its chin. It still had a sneer on its face. The girl flipped through the air to land a kick right in the jaw of the panda, and used it's head as a spring board to flip back, facing away. The young girl picked up her pack.
(A/N Inazuke: pronounced "Inazke", the u is silent.)
"I'm goin' back to China. This is no time for inazuke." The girl turned away indignantly, "Suck on that, old man."
The crowd witnessed the panda reacquire it's footing, and removing a stop sign from the street.
The last thing the girl remembered was a sharp pain in the back of her head, then the sweet void of unconsciousness.
"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" Screamed a tall light brown-haired Naru.
"But I didn't know the hotel became a woman's dorm!" Keitaro, a young man of 20 with black hair and glasses, responded.
"I said NO!"
"But my grandmother owns it...," Keitaro began.
"That has NOTHING to do with this!"
"Please...just let me stay for a little while."
"This is a GIRLS DORM, we can't let some PERVERT like you stay!"
At this point, a shorter girl, average height, with dark brown hair and eternally foxy expression, was the only thing keeping her from creaming Keitaro. The girl held Naru back from exerting her full vengeance. This girl's name was Mitsune Konno, otherwise known as Kitsune (Fox). Naru started jabbing Keitaro in the chest with her index finger, naming off his crimes.
"You saw us naked, grabbed our breasts, stole our underwear, and all other sorts of perverted things!"
She added, "You even showed your poor thing to Shinobu, and she's only in the seventh grade! She could be traumatized!"
Shinobu mumbled in response. "I'm fine...," she said as she twiddled her fingers, "it really was too small for me to see anyway."
Keitaro cried silent tears with that statement.
Keitaro then asked Haruka, his aunt with short black hair and a build like a whip, about his grandmother. Haruka always had either an amused grin or cool facade on. She also seemed to have a cigarette forever glued to her mouth. Haruka replied that his grandmother was out on a trip around the world. Keitaro felt his world crashing down around him. He had promised his parents that he wouldn't come home until he got into Tokyo University. It has only been 1 day, 3 hours and 26 minutes, and he has already failed. He was used to failing. He was a second year ronin (a person who failed to get into college). Keitaro stood to address the dorm.
"I understand. I can't ask you to let me stay in a girl's dorm. I'm sorry to have bothered you." Keitaro bowed to his aunt, and started walking towards the door.
"I'm sorry Keitaro," said Haruka, "I know you would have saved on rent here...." Haruka's facade turned into a smirk. "Say, Keitaro, don't you go to Tokyo U now?"
Keitaro turned and intelligently replied, "Huh?"
"You should be a sophomore by now, right?"
Keitaro attempted to correct her, " No, Tokyo U is what I've spent two years...."
"TOKYO U!?!?!" The whole dorm of girls pounced upon him. They complimented him. Kitsune mentioned, "They say you shouldn't judge by appearances." He kept answering their questions with the knowledge he knew about Tokyo U, and they assumed that he knew from being a student, not a ronin. The lie continued. The consensus was that a Tokyo U student could be trusted. So he could stay. Naru put up one last defense.
"You can't change the fact that this is a GIRLS DORM!"
Kitsune spoke up. "You'd kick out this poor young man!"
"Don't be mean," said Shinobu, a short 7th grade girl, with short black hair.
"We all know him now, we can't refuse him. It'd be uncool, " Motoko, the kendo expert with long black hair and a hakama, added.
Naru gave in, "FINE! We'll let him stay for NOW."
Everyone, except Naru, welcomed him to the Hinata Sou. (Hinata Inn)
Knock, Knock, Knock
Everyone turned back towards the door.
"It better not be another pervert!" Naru charged towards the door.
"KYAAAAAA!!!" Naru came screaming back towards the group.
"There's a panda, and he's kidnapped a girl!"
"What!?!" Motoko replied. "I'll take care of this vicious animal!"
Motoko drew her sword as the panda and girl entered the room. The girl was kicking and hitting the panda that was holding her.
"Lemme go ya old man! You're scaring them spitless!!!"
The panda sat the girl down in front of the group. Motoko continued the eye the panda wearily.
"Hi, I'm Ranma Saotome," said the short pigtailed girl. "Sorry about this."
Everyone looked on questioningly.
"Could you direct me and my panda to the nearest bath?"
Naru answered, her pervert policing anger faded at the site of this cute young girl. "Uh, sure, I'll show you."
Naru walked the girl through the house and pointed out the hot springs bath.
"Thank you, " Ranma said.
Ranma and the panda walked in. Naru walked away to keep and eye on the pervert. Ranma began removing her clothes, and the panda rinsed off. Ranma soon followed. They went into the mist of the hot springs.
Motoko felt like she could finally have a soak in peace, without anyone interrupting. Earlier it was just a misunderstanding. A Tokyo U student wouldn't do the things that occurred on purpose. She walked at an even pace, with her bucket and bath utensils in her hands. Her towel was draped over her shoulder. A heavyset old man came her way. He was wearing a martial arts gi and a scarf over his bald head. She wondered why he was in here, but he did not seem to give off an aura of malevolence. She bowed a bit to show him respect. He returned it.
"Whose in charge here? I need to arrange a meeting with the residents of Hinata Sou."
"Oh, I suppose that would be Haruka-san. She is a few rooms down."
Motoko felt the old man size her up. It would have sent chilled through a normal girl, but she knew he was just weary of her obvious battle prowess. She was used to people doing this. No one, save the members of her school, knew the depths of her skill.
"Nice," said the old man as he walked away. When he walked pass her, Motoko turned a questioning gaze at his back, then shook her head. She continued on towards the bath.
Motoko took off her hakama(sort of a martial art's gi for kendo), folded it, and sat it by the entrance. Her chest bindings and plain panties soon followed. She walked into the bath and settle down in a corner. It was then she realized she wasn't alone.
Oh crap.Ranma thought. He was in the bath, and a girl had got in. He should have put some sort of sign on the door. Oh wait, they didn't have an occupied sign on the door. I wonder why that is...
Motoko brought her bokken from nowhere to bear. She made a vicious ark, where she heard water move. The mist parted and the water split. The rock at the end of the parting water, shattered.
Woah that was closeRanma thought. He landed on a rock on the opposite side of the hot springs. I wonder what kind of attack that was. It must be one of those "chi" attacks I heard of. She must have the ability to project it. I have to talk to her later about how to do that.
Where did the fiend go? He was there one moment, then not the next. No one is fast enough to evade my attacks. Maybe it was my imagination?
Ranma made a dash for his clothes. He was not paying attention to the location of the girl who has attacked him. It wouldn't matter if he got his clothes in time and got the heck out of there.
Motoko's eyes scanned the mist. She let her awareness rise. She detected someone, but faintly. That was most unusual. She believed that only those members of her school were that good at stealth and hiding their presence. She moved quickly, practically hovering across the water. She came across a shadow in the mist and swung. The shadow cleared the mist, but got hit by Motoko's attack, flying into the entrance door. Motoko saw it was a male. She debated what to do. She was not clothed. She decided the boy must be unconscious from such a blow. She went up to gather her clothes, and would wake the boy up to question him and to fix any broken bones, which he should obviously have from such an attack.
She picked up her clothes and turned back toward the male. He was rubbing his head.
"Ow, that's smarts."
Motoko blinked. He is conscious? He only has a headache? What is he? Motoko wrapped herself in her hakama. She didn't have time to put on the undergarments. But the boy noticed anyway, blushed, and looked away. Motoko felt her anger building, but he did seem to understand modesty, he did turn away.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Ranma Saotome. Sorry about this." Motoko blinked.
All the residents, new and old sat in the living room, the new being an old man and a young boy in Chinese clothes.
"So, you are really that girl from before?" Motoko gave him a look over. She did not believe a bit of it. She supposed she should let him try to explain his actions before his death. It's only fair.
"I am." Everyone sat in silence. Haruka leaned on a wall, looking on with one eye open and a cigarette in her mouth.
"Where to begin," mused the old man. Shinobu took that time to walk by with cold drinks. "How about here!" The old man, who introduced himself as Genma, tossed a random drink he picked up onto Ranma. Ranma attempted to duck, but it landed on his head, and everyone witnessed his hair change color. His face wasn't visible beneath his bangs. The boy shrunk, and his chess became bigger, huge actually. The boy then looked up, now a girl, and yelled in a high pitched, shrill voice, "What you do that for, ya old man!?"
Everyone did a collective blink, even Motoko. Haruka sat cool on the wall. She already knew what was going on, thanks to Genma's visit to her room. She still had a hard time believing it though.
"It all started a long time ago....., " Genma began.
"Welcome to training ground of accursed spring, Ju-sen-kyo!"
The group looked onto a valley filled with many different pools, with bamboo shoots stuck in them. The ground with its many holes, looked like a sponge.
Ranma mocked, as he threw off his pack, "This doesn't look to hard!"
"You are strange ones, no?" The guide spoke in broken Japanese.
"Come on Ranma!" Genma jumped and landed on a pool gracefully, his son shortly after on a pole across from him.
"No sir, what you doing! No go there!" The guide warned.
"Are you prepared Ranma? I won't go easy on you!"
"That's just the way a like it."
The boy and old man eyed each other for a moment. Then suddenly lighting fast attacks were traded in mid air as they landed on opposite poles.
"Hachachachoooo!" Yelled Genma as he leaped toward his son. Ranma smirked and met him in mid air. He sent his old man sprawling into a pool. His father did not surface at first.
"What, had enough all ready?"
Suddenly a panda flew from the pool, with glasses hanging off his ear, and a martial arts gi on it.
"Wha-Wha-What is that?!?"
"Oh no, sir! He fall in 'Spring of Drowned Panda.' There is legend that a panda drown there three thousand year ago. Now whoever fall in pool take body of panda!"
"What kind of a weird place is this anyhow?"
The inattentive boy got knocked off the pole by his father turned panda, and into another pool.
"Oh no, you fall in 'Spring of Drowned Girl.' There is legend girl drown there two thousand five hundred year ago. Now whoever fall in spring take the body of a girl!"
Ranma shuddered and took a deep breath. He then opened his Gi and looked down. He—She had breasts. Ranma shook with anger.
Ranma shook with anger. "What was the big idea of taking me to a place like that anyway huh?!"
"Ranma, were you not prepared to sacrifice you life for the sake of the art!" Motoko's eyebrow raised on that statement.
"My life yes, my manhood's another story!"
Ranma kicked the drink tray out of Shinobu's hands, and brought his other foot up in the same motion, kicking it towards his father.
There was now a panda, quite stuck in its chair.
Haruka spoke up, "Get some hot water."
Shinobu blinked, but decided not to question it, and ran into the kitchen. She returned shortly with a kettle in hand. It was the one she used to make the tea. She handed the kettle to Haruka. She got off the wall, and walked over to the girl beating the panda stuck in the chair. She poured it over the panda's head.
"OROROR-OW OW OW OW. It doesn't need to be THAT hot." Haruka then tried to pour it on Ranma, but he darted back, and the water hit the floor.
"I've brought Ranma here, to fulfill a promise made between me, and the Gods' Cry School."
Motoko suddenly became very interested in the conversation, and was immediately on the floor in front of the old man staring with rapt attention.
"The Gods' Cry School was to unite with the School of Anything Goes Martial Arts. The master elders of the school approved of a union of schools through Aoyama Motoko. Under normal circumstances, Marriage would void the heir to the school, but in this case it is to have children as master of both the weapon and the bare hand form of the Art."
Motoko blinked. Ranma blinked. Everyone, save Haruka, blinked.
Shinobu spoke up, "So Ranma is a Martial Artist?"
Genma spoke, "I raised him to be the best since he was 6, I took him on a ten year training trip, which just ended in China a little while ago, where we acquired these curses." Genma pushes his glasses up.
Finally Motoko spoke up, "MARRY!? I have no time for such trivialities, I am the heir to the God's Cry School. I am here to practice and sharpen my mind as well as my skills with the sword. Why would my school have any need to unite with a school of 'Indiscriminant Grappling'? It sounds barbaric. Besides, with a weapon, one has advantage over bear hands."
"My son is trained well enough to overcome that 'advantage.' Being trained without a weapon makes you capable of fighting at anytime, and keeps you from dependence on a thing as unreliable as a weapon. It may not always be there when you need it, where your fists are always with you."
Motoko's jaw dropped, and her mouth went agape. He had practically insulted the art of the sword.
"Fine! I challenge this Ranma, in honorable combat!"
Ranma stood across from Motoko on the top deck of the house. She drew her bokken.
"This battle is to prove there is no weakness in having a weapon, and insulting my way of life."
Ranma did not respond, but stood casually, waiting for the fight to begin. Ranma's lack of seriousness made Motoko angry. He barely seemed to be paying attention. Naru stood on the sidelines. She would announce the start of the match.
Motoko charged at Ranma, and Ranma stood waiting for her to reach him. Motoko stabbed her bokken at him, only to have him step to slightly to the side too fast for her to follow. She narrowed her eyes at that. Her shot was a feint, a test shot, still vicious enough for an average person to take seriously.
Naru and the other residents of Hinata Sou looked on. Kaolla Su cheered, and Naru watched carefully, she was once a martial artist, in hand to hand, but she also believed Motoko had the advantage with a weapon. Kitsune kept an amused grin, while Haruka was just standing, with all one could see was her calm exterior. Shinobu gaped in worry and awe.
"Hmph, seems you have some measure of skill."
Ranma cockiness decided to make a remark at this point, "Skill that not even you can measure." Motoko's nostrils flared and her eyes began to glow.
"Uh-oh," Ranma muttered as he watched her aura grow. A wind started blowing everything around her away, the residents fighting against the wind. The clothes with the clothesline blew away. Anything not nailed down flew. Motoko's hair hovered in the air.
She swung at Ranma from a distance and the chi rocketed towards him. He jumped over and landed right within bokken range of Motoko. She started wildly attacking him, and Ranma dodged with what appeared to be no effort. Ranma was surprised that she was actually sort of pushing him. Then she stepped up speed. Now she was pushing him. He finally got hit and flew towards where the residents were watching. They parted and he slammed into the railing on the deck. He got up a bit slowly.
Ouch. She hits hard. Maybe I should take her seriously. But...But I don't hit girls.Ranma thought. But right now she's demonic.
Ranma launched himself towards her off the rail and managed to dodge her chi attacks while never touching the ground. She dodged to the right, and Ranma landed right behind where she was. She swung mid-high, backwards toward Ranma. Ranma wasn't there, he was low, performing a leg sweep. Motoko flipped back with the fall, and landed on one hand, and pushed away from the ground with her hand into the air. Ranma leaped towards her. He did a few test swings, which she dodged or deflected with the bokken. They landed face to face.
"Hm...Not bad. I'm getting a workout," Ranma said. "A lot better than my lazy pops."
Motoko's face took on an icy stare. "Time to end this." She swung low at Ranma's feet, and he jumped over and delivered a kick while in the air, which Motoko barely got her bokken in front of for defense. She still moved back from the force of the blow, having not been able to firmly plant herself in the short time she had to block. Ranma spun from the kick he just did, and did a roundhouse, knocking the bokken from Motoko's hand. It flew to the far end of the deck. Ranma landed on his feet, and did a side roll to place himself between her and her bokken. Motoko gaped at her hands.
Fine. I'll do it the old fashion way.Motoko swung at him with a punch, of which he caught and flung her down on the deck lightly. He flipped with it, and landed on top of her in a pin. She struggled for a bit, but to no avail.
"How are you gonna get out of this then?"
She couldn't think of a way. She did not know many moves that could get her out of this, and all of them she tried as she struggled failed. She did not know basic hand to hand as well as weapon to weapon. She tried not to cry. She wouldn't cry, not in front of everyone. She would refuse to humiliate herself any further.
Ranma looked down at her face. She was quite beautiful. He brushed her hair out of her face, and she weakly tried to protest. A tear fell from her eye. Ranma then promptly got off of her and turned away.
Motoko gathered herself up, and gave an icy stare at his backside.
"I supposed you proved your point." Motoko then turned slowly, and tried to walk towards the door with what remained of her dignity. She felt all the eyes boring into her. She then took off running towards the door, and past Ranma.
All the residents, save Motoko, sat in the living room, sipping tea. An eerie silence filled the room.
"Ranma! It is your duty as her inazuke to go and apologize."
"I never asked for her as a inazuke in the first place."
Naru glared at him. Ranma withered a bit. "YOU hurt her pride and feelings. Maybe if you weren't such and insensitive jerk about winning, she wouldn't have ran off like that!"
The words stung at Ranma. He felt kind bad. But it wasn't his fault. Right?
Shinobu spoke, "Ranma, it would still be nice of you to go and talk to her, or she'll forever have a grudge against you."
Ranma went up to Motoko's room, and everyone stayed downstairs to give them some privacy. Ranma knocked on the door.
"Hello, Motoko...look. I want to talk."
There was no answer. Ranma checked the door to find it was unlocked. There, on the floor, in front of a samurai armor, sat Motoko, in tears. She was muttering.
"My whole way of life cannot be a lie, could it? The way of the sword is noble and true. It is the only way. That doesn't change just because I am one of the best swordsmen in the world and still got defeated by someone barehanded." She choked a bit on the last few words.
"Hey...Motoko." She turned her gaze towards him. What he saw was emptiness beyond those red puffy eyes.
"Ranma... I did not devote my life to nothing, have I? Is fighting with hands more efficient and noble than with a sword?" She suddenly latched onto him in a tight hug.
"I never said any such thing. That was my dumb ass father." He awkwardly wrapped his arms around her, which was hard to do when he was standing, and she was on the floor holding him. He slowly lowered himself onto the floor and she squeezed him tighter and closer. He could feel her chest against his. He started feeling warm. He may be used to being a female, but not to having one so close to him.
"Motoko. It's fine. You're still an awesome swordsmen. kay? That doesn't change with one stupid defeat."
She looked up at him with tears in her eyes. "You mean it?"
He gulped. She was so cute and beautiful right now. Those deep eyes staring into his. She was baring her soul to him.
Motoko continued to cry on Ranma, and he adjusted himself so she wouldn't notice any bodily reactions to her presence.
End Chapter 1
Mushy Mushy, I know, I know. And it seems "out of character" huh? Well for you manga readers, in volume 9, Motoko cries on Keitaro does she not? So it is quite possible for her to cry. So get off that. But it is kind a soon to be making her do that, I admit. I will now have to proofread and revise this...eventually. (It is now.) Hope you come back to read next time.
Ranma begins training Motoko into doing new feats. Does she accept the engagement? Motoko and Ranma arrive at school only to find all eyes on them. What's up with that? Girls grope and swoon as Ranma tries to avoid them. Little does he know he made enemies of all the jealous males. What new battle will occur in the future of Hina ½ ? The next chapter is only the beginning of a long and exciting adventure!
Ja, Mata Ne! (See ya again!)