Chapter 1: Jusenkyo
Author's note: I do not own any of these characters. They are the property of the great Rumiko Takahashi.
( ) –indicates thought
Ranma Saotome was dead tired from all the walking he had done with his idiotic father all across China looking for places to train and getting barely anywhere useful. Fearing that they had finally gotten lost this time due to their lack of ability to read the words printed on their Chinese map that they had brought with them for this journey. The reason for their troubles was that the map was written in Mandarin and neither one of them could read or speak a single word not in Japanese. Ranma's frustration finally reached its climax forcing him to yell in his anger, "Yo pops are we even close yet? It's been three weeks since we got supplies from our last stop and we're almost out of food."
That last comment got his father Genma's attention because both he and his son had bottomless pits for stomachs that must be fed at constant intervals least they become weak with starvation.
"Boy it's just over this hill in the valley below so quit your whining. You sound like a girl…"
Wham. In the blink of an eye, Ranma's fist was in Genma's face. As he was slowly pulled it back, Genma's face had a large welt in the impact site that was growing larger the further away Ranma's fist was. Had He hit any harder Ranma might have broken Genma's jaw bone. Ranma slowly regained his composure and continued to walk towards their destination. (Well I guess I earned that one so I'll let it slide this time. Damn that hurts I think he's going to actually surpass my skills soon if I don't watch out) thought Genma. He followed his son's example and continued walking towards their destination as well.
Ten minutes passed as the two men continued in silence neither wanted to speak but instead focus on the rigorous training that they were about to undergo. Once on top of the hill they could see the legendary mist filled valley full of a random pattern of springs and bamboo poles sticking out of the ground all over the place as far as they could see.
(Huh the old man was right for once) thought Ranma. "Hurry up old man we finally made it so let's get training."
And with that they took off running down the hill until they found a jolly man dressed in the traditional Chinese military uniform complete with a hat that had a star embroidered on the front sitting in front of a small cabin that had various signs posted in the lawn, each written in a different language. Ranma couldn't tell what they said till he spotted the one in Japanese that read 'Jusenkyo Guide'.
"Hello honored guests and welcome to training ground of cursed springs Jusenkyo. It is legendary training ground now follow me as I tell tragic story of this place… Sirs that's dangerous I haven't finished tragic story yet."
Ranma and his father didn't feel like listening to the tragic stories of the guide all they wanted to do was start training. Their typical sparing match broke out on top of the bamboo poles with each combatant trading small blows with one another in order to test the others defenses before going in for a real strike.
"Please sirs very bad you fall in spring!" (Why nobody listen to guide. It's always the same thing and they'll end up blaming me for not warning them the idiots.)
The two men continued to ignore the guide's pleas to listen to his warnings. The sparring proceeded as usual matches go between the Saotomes where the two traded kicks and punches but still able to regain their footing on another pole after they met each other in mid-air combat. After all the Saotome school of Anything Goes Martial Arts had mid-air combat as one of its specialties making this sparing match a battle for mastery of mid-air fighting. As the battle raged on Ranma began to notice that his father was developing a weak spot in his defenses most likely due to fatigue and it wasn't long before Ranma took advantage of this new development and delivered a powerful kick that sent Genma flying straight down into one of the springs.
"Aw too bad he fall in Shonmaoniichuan, Spring of Drowned Panda, whoever fall in spring take on body of panda." Yelled the guide but it was too late of a warning for Ranma as he was struck by his father as he jumped out of the spring for a counter attack. A surprised Ranma had little time to comprehend that the large panda before him was really his father before he was sent flying into another spring.
(I bet he falls in Nyannichuan) thought the guide, and sure enough that's exactly what happened to Ranma.
About 5 minutes passed as the Saotomes tried but failed to figure out what had just happened which involved lots of screaming from Ranma as he had discovered his or should I saw her new bust before Ranma finally asked the guide what was going on.
"What Happened to us."
"You fall in cursed spring now you have curse. Not bad though curse not permanent."
"What do you mean… hey that's hot. Wait I'm a guy again yes."
"Curse triggered by water, hot water change you back till cold water hit you again which will happen a lot due to curse."
"Well this sucks. Is there a cure?"
"Maybe but it be best to ask the Joketsuzoku. They have 3,000 years of records on Jusenkyo and the curses so they'd probably know better than I."
'Don't forget me' signed Genma as he was handed the hot water to change back with.
"Honored guests we need to go so that we can find cure there. Closest town is a full day's walk from here and we leave in morning so rest up."
Meanwhile in Nyuuchezu
Shampoo was anxious for the tournament to begin so that she could prove that she really was the strongest warrior of the Joketsuzoku and not just a spoiled Great-Granddaughter of the matriarch. Unfortunately for her the tournament did not start until tomorrow and every passing moment was spent in restless anticipation for the festivities to begin. In order to pass the time she read through one of the Tribe's historic texts. The book she had been given to read by her Great-Grandmother for her grooming as the future matriarch dealt with the Cursed Springs of Jusenkyo and described in great detail the tragic tale of the place but also noted that the tribe's information was incomplete on each springs history and that the guide had better information on each spring in the valley's history.
The book included that the springs could be divided up into three different categories: animal curses, human curses and special curses. The book also listed that each and every curse worked the same, the curse is activated by cold water and the temporary cure is activated by hot water and cold water would trigger the curse again in a never ending cycle. In some rare cases the cursed victim managed to obtain a permanent cure by plunging into their respected spring of drowned girl/boy. At the end of the book was a list of Jusenkyo guides and each had a picture next to their years of service. Shampoo studied only the picture of the current guide because there was no need in her opinion to study the looks of past guides, besides she never knew when she might meet the guide due to their close vicinity.