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Ranma's second chance

Chapter 4

The arrival of Ryouga

During lunch the next day Ranma he wanted to be alone, even though that morning Akane seemed to have opened up to him. He did not want to be with anyone but his thoughts, so leaving his traditional spot under the tree he headed to the school gate.

Upon reaching there he saw a familiar figure.

"You where is Furinken High?" a boy about Ranma's age wearing a striped yellow and black bandanna and shirt with black pants, was currently questioning one of the uninjured boys in school.

The student pointed to the sign in front of the bandanna clad boy, which said

"FURINKEN HIGH SCHOOL"

"Oh....where can I find Ranma Saotome"

Before the frightened student could reply Ranma walked silently up to Ryouga and tapped him on the

shoulder.

Ryouga jumped in surprise that anyone could come so close to him and not be noticed.

"What????, Ranma" he spat

"I've found you at last"

"hi Ryouga" he replied casually

"Now you die for making my life a living hell" as he charged towards still motionless Ranma.

Ranma put up both his hands shouting out,

"LOOK Ryouga don't you think we should take this fight somewhere else"

"I've followed you for too long to let you have a chance to get away now" throwing a punch to Ranma's head which went through it?

Ryouga turned around confused at how he could have missed, to see Ranma running off.

"HA you coward Ranma you won't get away" said Ryouga as he gave chase.

Ranko and Akane began to chase after them, but by that time they were already dots in the horizon.

"Damn...puff... their....puff.. fast" coughed Akane.

Ranko was similarly exhausted but only breathing heavily.

*I wonder why he didn't take him out* thinking back a few moments to Ranma's encounter with

Ryouga, even she had seen enough openings in Ryouga's attack to have disabled him before the fight would start*

---In a clearing in the middle of a forest outside Nerima---

Ranma stopped and waited for his rival to appear, he could already sense the lost boy's anger as he approached his position.

*Damn he's more angry than I anticipated this could be difficult*

Ryouga appeared through the bushes into the clearing, he was breathing slightly heavily.

"Do you think you can run from me like you did your last fight"

"Look Ryouga the main reason I led you here was to stop any chance there was of someone in school finding out about your curse" immediately thinking of Nabiki.

"And a chance for us to talk, before we fight"

"I've waited long enough for this we fight now!" the lost boy shouted charging Ranma with his umbrella.

Ranma dodged making it seem as if it was a difficult attack to dodge, *the only way to talk to him is to calm him down and humiliating him is not the way*

Ranma would have to lose the fight on purpose, even though he hated to throw a fight, to get back a lost friendship it would be worth it. Thinking back to his previous life where due to his ego he would be manipulated by the old ghoul or someone else.

Ranma held back enough that many of Ryouga's punches connected, although he was capable of cracking boulders, Ranma with his breaking point training and increased abilities due to the learning of magic. Barely felt the attacks but pretended that they were doing major damage.

Ryouga was happy here his hated rival of so many months was at his mercy, although something in the back of his head told him something was not right he was too caught up in defeating his enemy to notice it.

Ranma was bleeding from several cuts caused by thrown bandannas, he had a look of defeat on his face.

*I hope he's finished cause I'm getting bored*

Ryouga threw one final punch with all his remaining strength, which connected with Ranma's stomach throwing him into a tree which promptly gave way afterwards.

Ryouga thinking his opponent defeated and unconscious satisfied with his revenge, calmly picked up his backpack and began to leave. No longer the depressed person he had been for the past couple of months even with his curse.

He heard a sound turned swiftly around seeing that Ranma was no where to be seen, thinking he had run away, it did not matter to the lost boy his quest of revenge was over and his need satisfied.

Turning back to the path, he gasped and stepped back in surprise. In front of him barely a meter away

was Ranma, although he had several cuts on his face besides that and the scruffled clothing he looked fine.

*How can that be possible he shouldn't even be able to stand* thinking back to how he had pummeled Ranma.

"Ryouga no matter how it seemed in the past I've always considered you a friend"

This stopped Ryouga as he was about to attack again although had barely any strength left

"Anyway I'm sorry"

Ryouga was shocked yet again as his most hated rival had apologized to him something he had never known Ranma to do.

"What about my curse Ranma it's all your fault"

Ranma had known that it would come down to the curse, Ranma knew that this time he was not responsible for Ryouga's curse.

=====Flashback to Jusenkyo=========

Ranko is running away from Ranma after hearing about her past, she approaches a familiar cliff face, she is so busy just running from a pursuing Ranma that she fails to notice a boy in front of her on the cliff.

Seeing the bandanna boy at the last moment she narrowly avoids crashing into him but does bush past him with enough momentum that he begins to lose his balance and fall off the cliff down to one of the cursed springs.

"Huh What??????" was all Ryouga could say as he began to fall.

Suddenly a hand flashes out and grabs one of the lost boy's arms.

"What?? who??" looking up Ryouga sees his rival.

"Jeez Ryouga drop the backpack will you, it weighs a ton"

"RANMA I've found you at last now I'll make you suffer"

"Look Ryouga I'm gonna pull you up but without your backpack it's too heavy"

Ryouga not listening to Ranma as he is blinded by his rage at the pigtailed martial artist, subconsciously begins to tense.

Since Ranma has yet to begin training in his special techniques is no match for Ryouga's brute strength.

"Arrghh Ryouga your crushing my hand" feeling bones pop in his hand

"Ranma you will payyyyyyyy"

Was all Ryouga could say before Ranma was forced to release him, as he fell towards a cursed spring.

"Damn" was Ranma's last comment

 

=====end flashback======

Ryouga for once too tired to actually fight thinks clearly about that incident, looks at Ranma to see if he can read any deception present. To his surprise he saw none, seeing Ranma's hand outstretched in a friendly manner he grasped it.

"Friends Ryouga?"

Ryouga hesitates but has to admit that Ranma was indeed his one true friend, remembering all the times Ranma would come to show him the way to and from school. And after what he had just done to him he still wanted to be his friend.

"..... you would treat me as a friend after I almost killed you? "

"Aww c'mom Ryouga we used to fight like this during those lunch time brawls back in school"

The two stood there grinning.

"ya know Ryouga you didn't have to hit me so hard you know"

"Yeah well I was kinda angry" he said with a sheepish grin.

The two laughed remembering back in school about their unique friendship.

"Anyway Ranma now that I've had my revenge I'm gonna go home"

"You sure you don't want me to take you?" Ranma asked with a smug look on his face, he just couldn't resist that last comment.

"Grr.. I let that one pass, anyway I gonna go now so I can get back home soon"

"Yeah I gotta get home too everyone will be wondering what happen to me when I ran off from school today"

Before Ryouga walked off into the forest he turned towards Ranma

"Ranma you know I'm glad we're still friends"

"Me too, although we've gotta have a rematch"

"Your on Ranma"

Then he simply left.

*That went better than expected, at least now he won't be able to perform any shishi

hoko-dan's*

"Well I probably won't see him for some time"

Touching the bruises and cuts on parts of his body he winced slightly in pain,

*Ryouga sure as hell wasn't holding back*

Ranma knew that if he went back home looking like how he did, there would be and endless stream of

questions.

*Well might as well practice that spell*

He sat on the ground crossed leg, hands relaxed on his knees. His face was calm even though he was deep in concentration.

Ranma allowed ki to flow through him, calming and healing his body. It was a tedious process as depending on how badly you were injured was how long the spell would last.

The bruises began to disappear and the cuts on his face heal.

After half an hour besides his rumpled up clothing he looked no different, then he was that morning.

*Wow that was a strange feeling* he thought to himself. Since it was only the second time he had tried that spell he was quite tired, he remembered how Ranko had cast this spell on herself when she broke her leg. It healed within minutes and Ranko did not look the least bit tired.

She had told him that all that was needed was practice, some people were said to have maintained the spell even through a battle.

Ranma seeing that he had been gone for close to two hours now, hastily made his way back to the Tendo dojo, as school would have already finished.

After Ranma had gone an old woman hopping down from a tree landing skillfully on her walking stick.

"Interesting" she said before she hopped off in the opposite direction which Ranma had taken.

It took Ranma an hour to find his way back to the Tendo dojo, as while running away from Ryouga he did not pay too much attention to his surroundings.

He was greeted at the gate by a Akane and Ranko, both had worried looks on their faces.

"RANMA where were you? you didn't come back to school!" Akane asked first.

"That's right Ranma we tried to follow you but you and that new kid had already run off" stated the

redhead.

"Calm down, I was only getting away so I could talk to a friend"

"WHAT!!!!!!" both girls yelled in unison

Akane stormed off before Ranma could continue, muttering under her breath just like all the other boys.

"So Ranma I'm waiting for an explanation and it better be good, for leaving me behind"

"Well..ok.." Ranma then briefly recounted the events of the past three hours leaving out the parts where he allowed Ryouga to beat him.

"So this guy Ryouga, he's an old friend of yours"

"yep although a few hours ago he wanted to kill me"

"You know Ranma you've got some strange friends"

"I'll introduce you to them some time" he said smiling

Ranko suddenly grabbed him and looked straight into him,

"But next you pull a stunt like that you better warn me beforehand, I was kinda worried about a baka like you hurting yourself"

"Heh heh, you know me Ranko things happen that I can't control, but if it'll make you feel better I give you a warning next time"

"You'd better"

With that said the pair headed in for the dinner that Kasumi was now serving.

School the next day went relatively smoothly as Kuno and many other male students had yet to recover from his injuries, although by now everyone had heard about Ranma and Akane's engagement, they were reluctant to do anything to Ranma after witnesses the display the day before yesterday, where he had taken out nearly all the boys of Furinken without even getting scratched.

Ranma noticed that Akane was beginning to warm up to him, it felt strange not being pounded three times a day. Also he noted was that Nabiki had also shown an increased interest in him, whether it was affection or for monetary reasons he could not tell. Although he had to admit that all the Tendo girls were very attractive.

He was in the dojo with Ranko after his encounter with Mikado some king of ice skating, Ranma had several bruises all over his body and a ice skate dent in the middle of his face.

"You know Ranma we've only just got here, and your already beating the crap out of everyone,

I mean 639 punches is a bit much" Ranko said as she applied some antiseptic to the cuts on his face.

Ranma mumbled under his breath "well he kissed you, what else am I suppose to do"

Ranko had heard him and was blushing,

"Ranma it not like I wanted him to kiss me, I was about to beat the hell out of him before you

jumped in"

Ranma just mumbled under his breath again.

Ranko finishing patching Ranma up got up and walked past the still mumbling Ranma bent down behind him and whispered into his ear.

"Thank you for your help"

Before she walked out the dojo

That night Ranma was awoken by a battle cry, remembering the night Kodachi visited he rushed

towards Akane's room, although Ranko was already there. The room was covered in roses and the window smashed.

"Akane what's the matter?" asked Ranko

"Some crazy girl just tried to kill me" she answered.

"Hey Akane you ok?" asked Ranma

Soon the whole household was up.

Ranma was glad that the differences between him and Ryouga were settled, remembering that Kodachi had fallen in love with him because he had saved her after accidentally knocking her out with the kettle.

"Who was it Akane?" asked Nabiki

"Some girl named Kodachi"

"hey isn't she your opponent in that rhymic gymnastic tournament tomorrow?" comment Ranko

"I think your right" answered Akane

The group soon dispersed due to the lateness of the hour and after having forced Ranma to practically scout out the whole neighborhood for any signs of the deranged gymnast.

The next day Ranko was forced to volunteer to fight in Akane's place, as Akane had damaged her ankle during training.

Ranma was glad that Ranko was not injured during the match as Kodachi was using every dirty trick in the book like usual to win. He was even more relieved that Kodachi had not fallen in love with him.

On their way home from school, ( after the match with Kodachi ) Ranma was busy thinking again about what to do when certain people showed up.

Ranma was in so deep thought that he hadn't noticed the familiar purple haired Chinese girl charge up to Ranko and start attacking her.

"RANKO I KILL" was all Shampoo said before beginning her assault.

Since Ranko was ahead of him talking with Akane about the rhymic gymnastics match, he would not get there in time to prevent the assault. Fortunately Ranko dodged out of the way, but Shampoo was on her in a blink swinging and thrusting with her bonbari.

Ranma noticed that Akane had already been taken out in Shampoo's first charge and was now recovering with Nabiki there to help her.

*Hmm she's better than the first time I met her in that first life*

He noticed that although Ranko was indeed holding her own, she was on the defensive, not yet willing

to cast use her magic with so many witnesses but was preparing to as a last resort.

Ranma was about to charge in and attack Shampoo but somehow knew that was what the old ghoul wanted, he could sense the crone watching from one of the opposite buildings invisible from view.

*Where's Ranma when you need him* Ranko spied Ranma out of the corner of her eye, he seemed to be studying the match.

*hmm I don't need that baka's help* with that Ranko began to counter-attack

Ranma knew that Shampoo at the moment had the greater skill in martial arts it would only be a

matter of time before Shampoo landed a hit.

Ranma slowly began to position himself with his back towards Cologne, for what he had planned it would not do for the old ghoul to see.

*Damn she's good* Ranko thought *I can't land a hit yet and I can't use my magic with

witnesses*

She did notice that Ranma was moving around a bit, he seemed to be positioning himself for

something. *About time too*

"Nabiki, can you get Akane away from here, take her to doctor Tofu's" He shouted

Nabiki just nodded in acknowledgement and began helping her dazed sister to walk.

*Now I can't let the Shampoo or the old ghoul see this, although the ghoul will probably figure it out

she'll still only be guessing*

Ranko was getting tired as none of her attacks could get through Shampoo's defense.

*alright I'm gonna cast a spell if Ranma doesn't hurry up and do something* thinking up a fire spell.

Ranma was nearly tearing his hair out, he badly wanted to jump into the fight and knockout Shampoo, but he held back for the right time knowing that if he did he would be back in the same position as he was in his first life.

*NOW* Ranma shouted to himself, using his chi he propelled a small towards a pressure point on Shampoo's leg. Hopefully the rock was too small to be seen by Cologne from that distance.

The pressure point momentarily paralyzed Shampoo's left leg throwing her off balance.

Ranko seeing her chance did not waste it as she pummeled the purpled haired girl into unconsciousness before she could compensate.

Ranma walked up the exhausted Ranko, who was kneeling on the floor catching her breath.

"you ok Ranko?" he asked as he heaved her up wrapping her arm around his shoulders giving

her support.

"Sure just a bit tired, she's improved a lot since we last saw her, what took you so......"

"UMMM That was a tough fight Ranko but you pulled through, but let's talk about it later"

he hoped maybe it would be enough to make the ghoul think less about the fight.

Ranko catching the drift of what Ranma was trying to do just played along.

"Yeah we'll talk about it later I'm damn tired from that fight"

The pair walked in silence back to the Tendo dojo, by than she was not as exhausted. So was walking without the support of Ranma.

Akane and Nabiki had already returned from doctor Tofu's clinic.

All ate dinner as they usually did. After dinner Nabiki was the first to speak up,

"So Ranma, Ranko you guys mind telling us what that attack was all about"

Ranko looked embarrassed, so Ranma decided to tell the story about their run-in with the Amazons

*this is all so similar* he thought.

=======Flashback=======

A month after Jusenkyo in China

Ranma, Ranko and Genma in Panda form are being led into the Amazon village,

"You very lucky sirs see last day of grand tournament" said the guide indicating to a ring in the

middle of the village where a purple haired girl and a black haired girl are fighting.

The purple haired girl is on the verge of winning.

*Shampoo's about the same as when I first saw her in this village* Ranma thought.

He had not noticed his father in Panda form and Ranko sit behind a table and munch down the food that was the first prize.

*Damn you pop you have to make things difficult don't you"

"POP you don't want to eat that, here" he said pointing to the sign "it says first prize"

"Yes young sir is right very bad idea" the guide commented.

Seeing that his father was too busy eating to hear him, he decided to save Ranko instead. So grabbed her and started dragging her away. *I'll come back and get pop's tonight*

"Hey come on Ranma I haven't eaten all day"

"Listen Ranko just trust me you don't wanna eat that food"

"Why your pops is"

Before he could continue Ranma dodged out of the way of a bonbari swung at his head.

"( you there boy and girl why you let your panda eat my prize )" Shampoo asked in Chinese

Ranma having learnt some Chinese began to reply

"( I'm sorry cannot control my pet )"

"your pet did you say young man, a moment ago you said he was you pops'" spoke an old woman in Japanese.

Ranma cursed under his breath he hadn't expected the old ghoul to be here, after all she wasn't here the first time.

"We'll pay for what he's eaten ok" saying the first thing he could think of.

"Ha Ha boy we have no need for money here, but if you can defeat Shampoo our village's champion I'll let all three of you go free"

Ranma hesitated, not because he thought he could not defeat Shampoo, but whether he want the Chinese girl to be chasing after him.

"I....err..."

"I accept the challenge" Ranko said stepping forward.

Cologne eyed the girl than smirked "very well step into the ring the rules are simple,

knockout, exit of the ring area or death"

Ranko gulped at the death part but refused to back down.

"Fine"

"Ranko you don't know what your doing"

"Hmm Ranma I'm not as defenseless as you think"

With that she headed off towards the ring.

The match was relatively quick Ranko finding an opening kicked Shampoo out of the ring.

Ranma knew that although Ranko was good it was Shampoo's over confidence that had lost her

the match.

Ranko pleased that she had won so easily, did not notice until too late that Shampoo had approached her and given her a kiss on the cheek. Ranko was so shocked by this, was frozen.

Ranma seeing that everyone else was distracted ran and grabbed Ranko and ran from out the village grabbing his father as well on the way out.

Shampoo was about to pursue but was stopped by Cologne,

"(Child pack your and my bags this is going to be a long and interesting journey )"

====end flashback====

"And so I guess they followed us here to Japan"

"I don't understand it why would they want to kill you" queried Nabiki

Ranko was unable to answer but Ranma did

"Well it's to do with their laws apparently if an outsider female defeats a female warrior, that warrior

must give the outsider the kiss of death on the cheek"

"???????"

"Well this means that they must chase their victims wherever, hunting them down and to kill them"

"Your joking" Nabiki commented.

"Nope that's the truth"

"Oh my" was al Kasumi said

"That must be tough on you Ranko but don't worry we'll help you" Akane said

"Yes from now on you are under the protection of the Tendo home" Soun said evenly

"Thanks everyone, I really appreciate it but I'll handle it"

With that she went upstairs to her room,

Ranma followed soon after concern evident on his face.

Later that night Ranma decided to talk with Ranko, out of habit he knocked on her window as he hung from the roof.

Getting no immediate response he knocked a bit louder, even to call her name quietly

"pss Ranko it's me Ranma open your window"

He heard some movement from inside than the sound of the hatch on the window being undone.

"Ranma what is it?" she asked

"Well Ranko are you ok, you seemed a bit worried after dinner"

Ranko turned around and walked away from the window gesturing for Ranma to enter.

Ranma looked around for anymore listening devices seeing none followed Ranko in.

"So Ranko what's wrong" he spoke quietly not wanting anyone to hear lest they get the wrong idea

about why he was in Ranko's room at so late an hour

"Nothing Ranma I was just tired that's all" she said looking at the floor not wanting to make eye contact.

"Come on Ranko I know your lying, cause I can tell your nervous about something

"......."

"Look I like to think us really good friends right, so you can trust me" the redhead hesitated for a moment but decided that she really did need to tell someone what was bothering her.

"Well it's just that I thought we left all that trouble back in China"

Ranma felt slightly guilty, he had known that cologne and Shampoo would pursue them to Japan, but couldn't allow Ranko to know or his secret would've been blown. She was so happy to have reached Japan thinking all those problems would have stayed in China.

Ranma absent mindedly grabbed Ranko's hand making her look up at him,

"Ranko whatever happens remember I'll always be here to help so just ask!"

Ranko straighten to the touch of Ranma's hand.

"...What about today than why'd you take so long to help and even than you didn't actually

attack her!" Tearing her hands from Ranma's grasp and turning away from him.

"It's.. like this Ranko, you know that girl you were fighting she's an amazon right?"

"Yeah I do know if she weren't than I wouldn't be in this mess"

"Well you know about the law concerning an outsider female"

She turned and nodded

"Well it's the same for a male except that instead of the girl wanting to kill me they have to marry you instead"

Ranko started laughing slightly,

"I can just image how badly that girl would want you, after all she came all this way to kill me, I doubt nothing short of death would stop her from marrying you"

"hey it ain't funny ya know having some crazy chick after you all the time wanting to marry you!"

"Anyway Ranko I just wanted to explain why I did what I did today and...to see if you were ok"

he mumbled the last bit under his breath.

"T....Thanks Ranma it means a lot" She reached out to touch his hand, but Ranma suddenly pulled back.

"umm...well see ya tomorrow Ranko" before he hastily leapt out the window and back to his room.

Ranko stared at the spot where Ranma was a moment before, then closing her window went to bed.

Ranma entered his room his heart was racing, *why am I so nervous it's not as if I was talking to

Akane, I've only known her for a few months am I beginning to like her?* With that thought Ranma drifted into sleep, abeit a troubled sleep.

(To be continued….)

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