Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, I make no claim upon them. If you enjoy this story, purchasing the Ranma ½ Graphic Novels by Rumiko Takahashi is an action you must take. Revised December 2003, fic-complete revision June 2004. This is the only instance of this disclaimer; it applies to the entire work.

Musubetsu Kakuto Ryuu ( trans: Unrestricted / Anything Goes Martial Arts)

Prologue – "A Day of Peace"

Evening arrived, and Saotome Ranma brooded inside the Tendo Dojo. The smooth wooden floor promised wisdom, and he shifted his weight. Staring at the ceiling gave no new insights.

Yesterday, his wedding failed.

He would be married, but the selfish motives of Akane's rivals stopped the ceremony. He did not realize her greatest rival was himself.

Ranma flipped upright, no longer meditating on his head, and went inside the house. Akane, still angry, relaxed on the Tendo couch, watching T.V.

Deliberately, he sat next to her.

She said nothing, minutely straightening her spine.

Tension mounted, as a panda and a man playing shogi strained to hear what passed. Sounds stopped from the kitchen; Nodoka and Kasumi were curious. Nabiki looked up from her romance manga across the room.

He returned her silence.

On television, a man asked a woman, "What if there were no tomorrow, what would you do?"

Suddenly Akane turned off the make-believe images, and gave Ranma a look piercing his soul, making his knees weaken.

Captured by her eyes, the stares of five people who would control his choices rolled off Ranma like ocean breakers against a bedrock cliff.

"Well, what about it Ranma?" She whispered. "Would you create the best possible day for those you love? Would you give comfort, and make a difference? If you knew you had one day to live?"

Akane was thinking about Jusendo, and what it meant to her. She blushed slightly from speaking the word 'love' out loud.

Ranma hesitantly spoke, stuttering out "I'd... I'd watch and know beauty. I'd live... and do what I could."

Akane didn't hear his unusually deep philosophy, or see the naked look on his face as he stared at her and spoke of beauty.

Instead she heard her father bemoan, "My baby is dying!" So she called Soun an idiot, hit him gently with an end table because she didn't want him to cry harder, and went to bed.

Ranma continued sitting, wondering what he would do, thinking of Jusendo and all it meant.

Happosai noticed his predicament, hidden under Nabiki's chair and fondling her (just stolen) undergarments. Nabiki flipped a page indifferently, and Nodoka pointed out Ranma's romantic gesture. Kasumi blushed as the older woman explained where romance led with detailed specifics.

When Ranma muttered, "Now is all I have, I should live like tomorrow might not come." Happosai heard his own philosophy.

Soon the household went to bed. The ancient founder of Musubetsu Kakuto Ryuu decided upon a great, impulsive sacrifice. If this didn't make a worthy heir, Kurumi might do.

He ground the magical shards of his Nanban mirror into dust, and careful infused them with a delicate, unpredictable technique. Knowing the enchantment of the mirror had almost faded beyond his ability to repair (the tape and superglue hadn't worked), Happosai considered it a small loss.

Silently sneaking into Ranma's room, the old master noticed his student's deep troubled sleep, and knew most conventional attacks would be foiled even now.

The ancient man spoke a Word, and powered the remains of the Nanban Mirror with magic and ki. He flung his double handful of powder, and was pleased as his student leapt, wide-awake, dodging.

The powder though, formed itself into a cloud, and penetrated Ranma's skin and eyes, drawing ten thousand pricks of blood from nearly invisible wounds. Wounds sealed as quickly as they were made.

In a stern voice, Happosai spoke, "Ranma m'boy live tomorrow until the present is perfect. Live the moment until you get it RIGHT!"

The grand master escaped unnoticed. Absently rubbing sand out of his eyes, Ranma Saotome dismissed his experience as a surreal nightmare. Nothing in the Tendo household could possibly awaken his danger sense from his unconscious mind's defenses. Ranma settled himself and slept.

A nearby panda continued snoring, after stealing Ranma's blanket.

--- end prologue ---

Setting, After Saffron, primarily manga for characterization/event reference.

Premise – the Reality Repetition Scenario. This scenario appears in the movie Groundhog Day, episodes of Xena, Warrior Princess, Star Trek (various series), and science fiction (1970's) I barely remember reading. It is unknown who developed it, but is not my original idea. If it attracts you, use with impunity.

Japlish annoys me. English is best when introducing/naming new techniques. If I use Japanese, it will have English translation nearby, or will have had one earlier in the story. EX: Musubetsu Kakuto Ryuu will always be used as the name of Ranma's Art.

Nekohaten – the Cat Café, where Shampoo is employed

Umi-sen-ken – Sea of One Thousand Fists, Genma's Forbidden Techniques (silent)

Yama-sen-ken – Mountain of One Thousand Fists, Genma's Forbidden Techniques (noisy)