Chapter One: Cursed Training Grounds, Take Two
By Qaddafi the Ripper
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ belongs to Takahashi Rumiko, despite my wishes otherwise, so please don't sue me! And Tenchi Muyo! belongs to Pioneer (?)
Somewhere in the more remote regions of China, in the Byanchala Range, there was a small group of pools. In the distant past, someone had decided that this place would make an excellent ground for training in martial arts. So out of each pool were numerous bamboo poles on which to balance. If you haven't yet figured out that I'm talking about Jusenkyou, you haven't seen much Ranma ½.
A short ways from the springs was a small hut, in front of which sat a panda. Most of the time, this sort of sight would have been very peculiar, especially since this panda was drinking tea. However, this was Jusenkyo, so stranger sights had graced its precincts. Though not many could tell, this panda was greatly disturbed. Genma, like you couldn't guess that, was concerned about the whereabouts of his son, whom he hadn't seen in a few hours.
He needn't have worried much. Soon, a young redheaded girl wearing a worn gi walked into view. The panda perked up, and pulled a sign out of nowhere. <Where have you been?> it read.
The girl shrugged. "Nowhere much. We ready to go now?"
Genma-panda frowned; there was something not quite right about his son, but he couldn't place his finger on what it might be. Oh well, he'd know soon enough. He headed back into the hut, where he and the girl collected heavy backpacks. <We'll be leaving now,> he told the pudgy man sitting in front of a teakettle.
The Guide looked up. "Oh no, sirs, not leave yet? Where you go?"
<Off to find more martial arts techniques. I hear there are some Amazons who have a lot of skill.>
"Amazons? Oh no, not Nieuchiesu! No sirs, you not want go there! Amazon womans very fierce, much pride! Not teach secrets to outsiders!"
Genma-panda stubbornly refused to listen, and headed out with his offspring. The walk would take about half of the day, but he was determined to reach their destination as soon as possible. He glanced behind him, making sure Ranma was still there. With a panda's equivalent of a frown, he pulled out yet another sign. <What's wrong, boy? You're not usually so quite.>
"Nothing really, Oyaji. Don't worry about it." The panda stared at the girl a moment longer, than decided to let the subject drop.
Soon midday was well on its way. Genma-panda trudged wearily along, wondering when he'd last eaten. Just as he began to feel faint with hunger, he saw smoke gently circling into the sky, identifying the village's location. He hurried in to the rustic town, his well-trained senses instantly finding food. There was a whole stack of it just left out. He plopped himself down, and promptly began scarfing it down.
Onna-Ranma frowned. "I don't think you should be eating that food, Oyaji. They might get mad." She motioned to the women, and a few men, who were gathered to watch a fighting contest on a raised log. Genma roundly ignored the warning, intent only on stuffing himself.
He didn't have a chance to eat for long. A round, colorfully patterned mace crashed down. He barely dodged it in time. Genma-panda fleetingly recognized the girl holding it as one of the fighters on the log. The girl had long purple/blue hair, a perfectly proportioned body (from what he could tell), and a cute face. He promptly rolled over on his back, produced a beach ball, and began turning it between his paws, adopting his "I'm just a cute li'l panda" routine.
The girl didn't buy it, and angrily asked him something in Chinese. "Stupid panda, why have you eaten my prize?" Genma hadn't a clue what she'd just said.
Surprisingly, it was Onna-Ranma who answered. "He didn't mean to, but we're both really hungry. Could we make it up to you somehow?"
Shampoo frowned, considering the offer. She hadn't expected this polite proposal. She'd been ready for a challenge. Apparently, the girl knew better than to fight an Amazon. She smiled, feeling generous. "You and the panda may come and work for me, to pay off the dept. My name is Xian Pu."
"I'm Saotome Ranma, and this is my father Genma. We're honored to meet you."
Shampoo's smile grew. This was an excellent day. First she won the annual tournament, then she acquired servants, however temporary. Great-grandmother would be pleased. Then she blinked and stared at the panda. "Father?"
The girl looked sheepish. "It's kind of a long story."
"Then you may explain later. Come." Shampoo led the travelers to her house, one of the finest in the village, since her great-grandmother was one of the tribal leaders. She took them to a smaller room in the back, where they would stay till the dept was paid off. They left their packs there, then followed Shampoo into the main room, where an incredibly old woman sat.
<It's a monster!>
Cologne whacked Genma-panda over the head. "At least I have the sense to stay away from Jusenkyo," she retorted, in perfect Japanese. "Xian Pu, go fetch some hot water."
<How'd you know about Jusenkyo? Where'd you learn Japanese?>
She snorted. "This old girl's not been around for a hundred years for nothing, boy. Now, I am Khu Lon, but you may call me Cologne. Who might you be?"
Shampoo return with the hot water, which Genma gratefully dumped over his head, reverting to his normal mode: pudgy, bald martial artist with glasses. Shampoo seemed shocked, but Cologne remained unconcerned. "I am Saotome Genma, and this is Ranma." He noticed the kettle was now empty. "Sorry," he apologized. Onna-Ranma shrugged, unconcerned.
"I suppose you went to Jusenkyo on some foolish equivalent of martial arts training," Cologne remarked cynically.
Genma looked annoyed. "A true martial artist should be able to overcome any obstacle, no matter how great. That is the way of the Musabetsu Kakuto Ryuu."
The old woman laughed, a dry grating sound. "You're just another idiot who doesn't listen when people warn you about something. Now get to work; I don't want my great-granddaughter to be put to shame."
Genma grumbled, not liking the idea of having to work, but Ranma went along without complaint.
Somewhere in another country (Japan, to be exact), in a quaint little house near a shrine, in a huge laboratory that fit in a closest, a small woman with wild pink hair looked up from her computer, worried. It was an unusual expression for her, and disturbing. "Could it really be him?" she whispered.
"Yes, it is Fushicho Ryu. He has returned," another voice spoke.
Washu turned to see the celestial form of Tsunami. "You sound happy about it," the universe's greatest scientific genius observed.
Tsunami smiled. "I am. It has been far too long since I saw him last. Would you like to meet him?" Washu's eyes lit up with a manic glow. "I'll take that for a yes. You're lucky I want Tenchi and Sasami to meet him too." And with that, she disappeared.
Washu was silent for a moment, then return to her work with greater vigor.
Three weeks later, Nerima district, Tokyo, the Tendo Dojo
A middle-aged man with long black hair and a mustache sat on the back porch in his house and sighed, looking up at the clear blue sky. A young woman in a dress with an apron over it joined him, carrying two cups of tea. "What's the matter, Otousan?" she asked, concerned.
Soun sighed, excepting the cup Kasumi held out to him. "It's been over three weeks now. Maybe they're not coming after all." He turned to her, concerned. "What do you think, Kasumi?"
"I don't know, Otousan. Maybe they just got delayed."
"I hope so. I don't you girls to have to wait forever for your fiancé to return from China."
End of Chapter One ^_^
Author's Notes: Well, so far it's not too different from the normal series, but it'll chance soon enough, I promise you! So what's the deal with Ranma, you may ask. He's not normally so polite, after all. Don't worry; it'll all be explained, in good time. I use the amazon's real names when they speak in Chinese, but usually just refer to them by Shampoo/Cologne/Mousse.
Onna: girl, female
Oyaji: pop, very rude way of addressing one's father or other old men
Onto Chapter One, Part Two
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