He woke slowly. He stretched out the kinks.
Then he stopped. He looked around him.
He was in a courtyard with houses that half sized at most. a Pillar with a funny looking crow on a perch overlooking everything as far as the eye could see. He had to shake his head to clear it, but that just triggered a headache.
"Ah, so you are awake. Good." a cultured voice behind him, but as he began to turn, "Please do not turn, just yet. I fear the sight would upset you, something fierce. It has to do with how Muto found you."
Ranma cupped his head in hands. then the flash-back hit...
Lunch at school; and three 'lovely' dishes were before him.
an American pizza; if you can call squid and olives American.
a stuffed poultry ; a game hen, stuffed with rice and peppers
and American southern fried chicken...
the food was placed before Ranma by three nervous guys. the three fiancées were standing off to the side, to see whose dish he would choose.
Ranma inhaled deeply, the smells were causing him drool. glancing at the smiling girls, he spoke to the girl standing behind him, "you are sure Akane cooked one of these dishes?"
"Yes, and she had help, sticking to the recipe." Nabiki answered. "okay, all bets have been gathered, dig in."
he took a slice of pizza, bit into the firm yet flaky crust...
he bit into a drum of SFC, crunching the crispy, yet juicy 'skin' ...
he reached for the small stuffed game bird...it got up and ran away, screaming in Spanish, "up up and away!"
Ranma looked over his shoulder, and snorted in chorus with Nabiki. "Okay," turning back to the food in front of him, "As I understand the rules, we are going for taste, style, and flair. The Pizza; great texture, good spicing of the sauce. cooked just right. the toppings are simple, yet refined." the rest of the large pizza disappeared. Ranma wiped his lips with a napkin. "but it was not American. They do not use squid. finial score; 7 out of 10!"
Ukyo frowned. she had worked hard on the pizza.
the crowd murmured .
"the Southern fried chicken." he took another piece, ripping into it, savoring the bite. "the crusting is perfect, the flesh juicy, the spicing tempting." he wiped his face with another napkin, he returned the uneaten piece to the plate. "But the cook needs to know which spice cabinet she is working from. score; 9 out of 10, with a 3 point penalty for drugging the judge. good try Shampoo, risking the competition in an attempt to snag me.
Shampoo grinned, her plan almost worked. had he eaten everything, according to plan, the spices would have made him sluggish, and everyone would have blamed it on Akane's cooking.
"Akane. I can honestly say that was your best non-curry dish I have ever had set before me." He stepped over to her. lifting her chin to look her in the eyes, "What I had of it, would have ranked it as a 8 out of 10."
the murmuring rose in pitch and volume.
"But with the dish running away. I am afraid you are disqualified." he kissed her on the check. "better luck next time."
as he turned away toward the other girls, Akane struck with a golf type swing with her mallet, knocking Ranma up and into the noon sky.
Nabiki turned to a girl on the roof, flashing hand signs...
it was later decided that Ranma had disappeared over the neighboring ward, but no clue as to where he landed.
when in truth; Ranma landed in abandoned house that feral cats were using. he never had a chance...
as the tom-cat, we know as Neko-Ranma-kun was wandering down the street, he came across a large white cat that just had to ask why a 'human' was acting like a cat.
the answer he got back in quite the cat fashion, was that this wondering tomcat was heading home, and was looking for an adventure on the way. Muto had decided that this was a job for Baron. and led him through the twisting back trail to the small cat-man.
"Seeing that you have something of a flashback, can I offer you some tea?" the rich voice spoke.
Ranma turned and spotted the small cat-man. looking closer he noticed the blending of cat and man, but there was no 'cat' about him other then his looks.
Looking about, he noticed that the sun had set, and it had been some time since he had eaten. "yes please."