Today was not exactly the best day in Ranma's life. No, in fact if you were to ask Ranma what the worst possible day in Ranma's life would be, this day would rank up there.
Both his parents were in the small hut, staring straight at him, completely mortified. With a groan Ranma looked down at himself to avoid their gaze.
Rather, Ranma looked down at herself.
"What has happened to my son!" Nodoka her mother shouted at the chinese man heating a kettle.
The man, who was a guide to this wretched place Ranma's father had dragged his family to, sighed. "I tried to warn guests! Those springs are cursed!"
Nodoka's mouth snapped shut, she glanced over at her husband. "Genma, dear, why didn't you say anything about a curse?"
As much as Genma could bluster, the withering stare of his wife reduced him to whimpering shell of a man. "Dear… the pamphlet didn't mention any curses…" He held up the pamphlet and Nodoka snatched it out of his hands.
Nodoka looked over the small booklet, her expression becoming more and more dour. "Husband?"
"You can not read Chinese, correct?"
"Err, that's right." Genma said.
"Then why, Genma…" Nodoka growled, "Did you use a pamphlet written in chinese as your guide!" She screamed, before beating her husband over the head with the Saotome Family Blade.
Thankfully she kept the sheathe on.
No. It was not a good day for Ranma at all. Here she was, following her parents to their next destination, for more training and hopefully... a cure.
Yes, a cure to this annoying curse. Ranma could not believe Genma! She knew her father could make some hair brained choices occasionally, but this was by far the dumbest! He had ignorantly dragged his family to a horrible cursed training ground, and then within five minutes had gotten his son cursed!
Niángnìquán, the "Spring of Drowned Girl." It was a "very tragic story" of some girl who drowned in the spring years ago. And now, whenever Ranma was hit with cold water, he was forced into another form. That of a girl. Either the form of the girl who had drowned, or what she herself would look like if she had been born female. Judging by how she still resembled her mother, Ranma figured it was the second.
Nǚjiézú, the "Tribe of Women Heroes." A village near Junsenkyo that had long isolated itself (sort of). Filled with powerful martial arts and mystic secrets, it had actually been Genma's next planned destination after the mystical training ground. But once the guide had mentioned that nobody knew more about the secrets of the springs then that (semi)reclusive tribe, Ranma had insisted they head there right away. So, with Nodoka now in charge of the map (She could read some Chinese), the Saotome family headed off to the mysterious village.
"Well, this looks like a lovely place." Nodoka said as they entered the town. There were cobblestone roads, children running around playing, and lots of people milling around. They could see a few girls doing what looked like some forms with boys watching and cheering.
"Leave this up to me." Genma stepped forward, approaching one of the villagers. "Excuse me, ma'am? I was wondering, me and my family just came back from Junsenkyo and-"
At the mention of the word "Jusenkyo" a sudden silence came over the village, as every pair of eyes stared at Genma.
Akane didn't know if this was the best day of her life, but it was ranking pretty high up there. She had been a student at Furinkan for a month thus far, and everything had been going great. She was doing well in classes, and had suddenly found herself quite popular.
The time between middle school and high school had lead Akane to blossom from an awkward teenage girl into a lovely young woman. And quite a young woman she was, she was not a slender frail waif. She had a strength in her stride and movements that came from years of practicing her family's school of Martial Arts. She had quickly grown popular among both girls and boys. The various martial arts clubs didn't even resent her not joining any! After all she had duties at home as the heir to her family's dojo.
Still, that didn't mean she didn't occasionally go help up some of the clubs if they asked. Like she was now doing, showing some of the Judo Club members how to do a tricky throw. Tossing the various members to demonstrate it, even several boys much bigger than her were easily thrown off.
She noticed that there was someone watching her who she didn't recognize as a member of the club. He had been leaning against the wall, watching her. His eyes met hers, and she was suddenly staring at him. Her mind searched for a name to match the face, "Ah…" Tatewaki Kuno, he was in the year ahead of her. The captain of the Kendo Club, Akane wondered what was he doing here. Was he here to ask for some help?
When Tatewaki noticed that Akane was looking at him, he stood straight and began walking towards her. Akane noticed that the judo club scattered away from her. Some girls giggling as he approached her. "Good afternoon Upperclassman."
"Akane Tendo." Tatewaki gave her a smile, "Its a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance."
Akane felt her face heat up a little, that smile was a new one. Quite a few boys had been looking at her and some of them had even tried to talk to her. Yet there was something about the way he was approaching her that made her feel a bit strange. He was definitely interested in her, was he going to ask her out? Give her flowers? The romantic in her went into overdrive. "W-what do you need, Upperclassman?" She gave him her best smile.
"Since you joined our fair school, Ms. Tendo, I have been admiring your ability. Your strength and skill is beyond compare, I doubt any in this school can match you." He looked off into the distance, "Truly your power will carry you to the halls of legend."
"Oh, you don't have to be like that Upperclassman." Akane said with a blush, "You can just call me Akane…"
"Then you may call me by my given name." Tatewaki said, smiling confidently. "I wish to test my skills against yours, to see if I can stand against you."
Well this was a new way of flirting, and yet it felt exciting to Akane. Her smile grew broad, "Well then, Tatewaki, let's do a bit of sparring…" An idea came to her, "Oh, I know… how about a little wager? If you win, I'll let you take me out on a date."
Tatewaki's smile grew broader, "And if you are victorious then, I shall permit you to date me."
The three Saotomes were shuffled into a small house off in the corner of the village. A girl about Ranma's age was gawking at them as the one of the men who had lead them there was talking rapidly to an old woman in some dialect of Chinese that Ranma didn't recognize. (Genma, oddly enough, did. It was Shaozhou Tuhua. Why Genma knew Tuhua and not other more mainstream dialects of Chinese is a story for another day.) She sized up the family, approaching them as the rest of the villagers left.
"You may call me Cologne." The old woman said, glancing at the three. " And yes, I know what my name sounds like. The gods have a sense of humor in that sense. I am a teacher here in this village." She grinned, "I guess you could also call me a shaman or something like that. If there's trouble with magic or some other trickery, I'm the one you want."
"We're honored to be guests here." Nodoka said politely, being the one member of the family with social graces.
"No problem at all Madam." Cologne said, "So, tell me, which one of you three is an unfortunate victim of the Cursed Springs?"
A moment of uncomfortable silence followed, before Ranma lifted up her hand.
"Ah. I see." Cologne nodded, "So tell me, young lady, which spring did you fall into?"
Ranma blushed, taking a deep breath, she gathered her courage before speaking. "The… the Spring of Drowned Girl."
Cologne stared at Ranma, looking her over for a minute. "I see. So… young man then?"
Cologne burst out laughing.
"Hey. This is serious! My son's a daughter now!" Genma said.
Cologne finished cackling, "Forgive me. But it is amusing, a bit. And truly, there are many worse curses you could have young man. Imagine if you had fallen into the Spring of Drowned Piglet? Or the Spring of Drowned Frog? Or the Spring of Drowned Fish? Yes. A fish did drown there. Magic, don't ask."
Ranma's eyes widened in horror, before nodding. "I guess it could be worse… still sucks though."
"It's karma, my boy." Cologne said, and noticing the three's confused expression continued. "Life will forever throw curveballs at us. Things happen by chance and luck. You gain good karma by taking fate's twists and turning it into something better. You gain bad karma by letting it hurt you or tear you down." She pulled out a pipe from somewhere, beginning to smoke from it. "Still, I'm guessing your current goal is a cure, correct?"
Ranma nodded, "I don't wanna be a girl. Err, no offence to you guys. I guess you're like, Amazons or something, girls aren't bad but-"
Cologne cut her off with a laugh. "I'm not offended boy."
"So, is there a cure?" Genma said.
Cologne took a long puff from her pipe. "I must confess something. The reason you were taken to me is because a week ago I informed the village that when a woman, her seeming daughter, and a man came to speak of Jusenkyo that they should be brought to me." She paused, letting the surprise sink in. "I have many talents, and one of those is a gift for prophecy. Now, let me tell you seeing the future is not like what you may have seen on TV. The future is not fixed, and is constantly changed by the actions of mankind and chance. What I see is how to make a future that is desirable to me. I can see what I need to do to get the result I want."
"Soo.. what?" Ranma asked.
"The three of you shall live here, work here, for the next two years. You will be part of the community. I shall train your son in Martial Arts and you," she pointed to Genma, "Shall train my great-granddaughter. In return, I shall help you by finding a way so that your curse troubles you no more." She took one last puff of her pipe, "So tell me, Saotome Family." Their eyes widened, for they had not spoken of their names to anybody in the village, "Do we have a deal?""
Ranma had to admit, the two following years had been fun.
After some talk, Genma and Nodoka had agreed to Cologne's terms. Ranma went along with it. It's not like they had any other leads. He had trained under Cologne, eventually becoming friends with her granddaughter Shampoo and that odd nearsighted suitor Mousse. He had learned a lot of crazy techniques and his martial arts skills and jumped up leaps and bounds since that day. And the fights! Ranma had fought, and defeated, some truly impressive and dangerous opponents. The twelve year long "Training journey" was finally coming to an end though. Genma and Nodoka had both expressed interest in returning home once Ranma found his cure. Apparently stable village life had finally made them homesick enough.
Still, that was for later, right now Cologne had dragged him out into a shed with nothing but a single fire pit in the center.
"So, Ranma." Cologne said, "It's been two years."
"Yup. Been pretty fun Granny."
"Which means it's time to fulfill my terms of our deal."
"You have the cure!" Ranma said, his voice getting an excited edge.
"I don't have it. These curses are given for a reason, it's all Karma my boy." Cologne ignored him rolling his eyes, "What I do have, however, is a way to foresee how you can solve the problem on your own."
"Oh. So you'll see where my cure is and I'll go get it?"
"Something like that." Cologne said, lighting the fire pit up with some trick. In a few short moments there was a large blaze cheerfully crackling. "The fire will allow me to show you the necessary information of my prophecy. You should see an image pertaining to it once it's ready."
"Oh. Like that fire in Sailor Moon." Ranma said.
Cologne gave him a strange look.
"What?" Ranma protested, "Shampoo only orders Shoujo manga. Come on."
"Kids these days." Cologne said with a shake of her head. "Anyways. Focus on the fire. Eventually images should form in it."
"So, like, I don't need to take or smoke anything? I thought those were needed for these sorts of things."
Cologne rolled her eyes, "No Ranma. I'm not trying to get you high. I'm showing you a real vision, no mind altering drugs needed."
"OK. Got it. Just focus on the fire." Ranma gazed into the flame, watching it burn and flare. He stared at it, stared at it, and stared at it some more. Meanwhile Cologne had sat on the opposite side of the fire, entering some kind of meditative state.
One might think that one would get bored, but this was Ranma Saotome. He had learned the "Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire" speed technique while under the influence of the Full Body Cat Tongue! He could easily develop a laser like focus on something. And if staring at this fire would help him get cured then he would stare at it all day!
Fortunately, it didn't take that long. After around five minutes, an image started to appear in the flame. It wasn't even a vague flickering of the fire that reminded him of something. It was like somebody had projected an image directly onto it! It was a young woman, about his age from the looks of it. Short dark hair, wearing a yellow gi. She was performing a martial arts form, smiling as her limbs snapped through the movements. She was quite fast and skilled from what Ranma could discern. "I see someone…" He said.
"Good. You see the girl?"
"Yeah." Ranma said. "Who is she?"
"I do not know her name." Cologne said, "However, I can now see what you must do Ranma Saotome. In order for your curse to trouble you no longer you must travel to your mother and fathers birthplace. Once there you must receive a kiss, willingly given unprompted, from her-"
The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.
Part 1: Boys and Girls
Akane got of the train, doing her best not to look excited as she wandered down to the college's campus. She knew his schedule, he was off classes now.
Oh was he going to be surprised to see her! Their two year anniversary had popped up just last week, and it had been quite an occasion. She smiled as she remembered the date they had enjoyed. But she wanted to spend more time with him, ever since he had left school they hadn't seen each other near as much as they were used to. Sure, he often talked about how he missed her, but that just encouraged her more!
She brushed adjusted her dress, and checked to see if her hair was still in place after the train ride, and headed down to check if maybe he was at one of the small cafes on campus catering to students.
Akane couldn't wait to finish High School and come here herself.
"Hmm?" Something caught her eye, "Ah!" There he was! He was at one of those little cafes. He was sitting at one of the outdoor tables. She ran over to him, her smile growing. "Hey! Tatewaki!" She called out… before suddenly stopping. Akane's eyes took in what she saw. Everything that was there.
And she screamed.
"It feels nice to be in our homeland again, I will admit." Nodoka said.
Once Cologne had delivered her prophecy, the Saotomes had started the process of moving back to Japan. It had taken about a month to pack up, say good-bye to the friends they had made (which had ended up being a big going away party by the end), and get back to Japan.
To Ranma's great surprise, his family actually owned a home in Nerima, the "birthplace" of his parents. It was an old and dusty house by now. The first week had been spent getting the building suitable for human habitation. Once the cleaning and setting of furniture was done, they finally had a chance to settle in and talk about their new goal.
"You know, I still have to wonder if that old bat is pulling our leg." Genma said, "A kiss, really?"
"It's rather romantic, wouldn't you think dear?" Nodoka said, "A kiss to break the curse! It's an old fairy tale!" She let out a fluttering sigh, "My dear manly son, finding true love and freeing himself with a kiss!"
Genma snorted, "Come on now. All he has to do is find the girl, kiss her, and the curse is gone!"
"Err, I don't think that'll work Pop. Granny said that it has to be given 'willingly' and 'unprompted.'" Ranma said. "From the sounds of it, I have to get the chick to kiss me without telling her."
"See Genma! It has to be romantic… oh my son is going to be a prince sweeping a princess of her feet!" Nodoka swooned, blushing and giggling like a schoolgirl.
Genma decided it was time to ignore his wife until she stopped giggling. "So boy, any idea where this magic girl is? A name maybe?"
Ranma shook his head, "Just what she looks like Pop." Of course, he hadn't told his parents the title that this little magic quest had given her.
It was odd, while Ranma could easily see that she was attractive, he didn't think she could be described as "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World". She was more… cute. Yes, that was how he'd describe her. She was cute, a girl just barely becoming a woman. A tomboy who had taken on some feminine traits, but would never give up the fiery parts of her that had earned her the title.
So why had Colonge described her in such a fashion?
"Well, either way, I think it might be best to finish your last year of education." Genma said. Sure, Ranma had studied at the local school at Nǚjiézú, but there was still one year left of high school. "Got to get a good college for a teaching degree if you want to follow in your old mans footsteps!" With a laugh Genma slapped Ranma on the back.
Ranma muttered something about foolish old men.
"Oh yes. I agree with Genma." Nodoka snapped out of her romantic reverie. "No son of mine isn't going to get a good degree."
"Of course Mom." Ranma said with a groan. He never had been able to say "No" to Nodoka. In the years the Saotomes had been wanderers, she had been a constant presence in his life. She kept Genma in check, and it was clear which of his parents he respected more. If Nodoka said education was important, then it was.
"I'll look around to see if there are any schools nearby that are good." Nodoka said, patting her son on the shoulder. "You should study for the entrance exam."
Ranma sighed, "Yes Mom."
A koi leapt out of the pond, landing again with a quiet splash. A bird sang a lovely melody. The sun was shining brightly, a cool breeze wafted through the air. The few clouds in the sky were pure white and fluffy. Indeed, it could easily be said to be a perfect day at the Tendo household.
Soun Tendo was sitting on the quietly, his gaze out into the yard, watching the fish. He was enjoying this lovely, peaceful day. The past two years had lead him to relish these quiet moments. Ever since his youngest daughter, Akane, had started high school her life had been a whirlwind of adventure. Martial artists looking for challenges, monsters and ghosts coming out the woodwork. His old Master had been freed, and Akane had impressed him enough (beat him up hard enough for groping her and stealing her underwear) for him to take her own as a student! Her skill grew leaps and bounds as she became even Soun's superior in Anything Goes. But now, things were calming down. She had managed to seal the Master away once again (she used a lot more TNT then he had) and settled a lot of the old grudges and rivalries. Now, Akane was focused on finishing High School and getting into a good college. Which meant that Soun had been thinking about the future of his family.
More then anything else, Soun wanted his three daughters to be happy. They needed to have safe and secure futures. The eldest daughter, Kasumi, had married Tofu Ono, a family doctor. The two had been making eyes at each other for some time. So when the courtship finally happened things progressed at a swift pace. They now lived in Tofu's apartment, and Kasumi was now studying medicine herself. Nabiki was by far the most fiercely independant of his children. She was in college and would probably take the business world by storm. Soun knew that she would be fine.
That left Akane, his youngest daughter. The one who had inherited his love of Martial Arts, his passion, and his compassion. He knew that she would be the one to inherit the family dojo. She was set for a career and livelihood, which left the other half of a persons needs.
Once she had entered high school, she had started dating that Tatewaki boy. And Soun couldn't help but approve. He was not only extremely affectionate towards his daughter, but a perfect gentleman. He was not exactly an unskilled fighter, and his family was well off enough that Akane could spend her days running the dojo without a single thought about money. Tatewaki had recently begun making hints to Soun that he wanted to be a bit more then Akane's boyfriend. Akane seemed to be picking up those hints, and he could tell she approved. Yes, Soun had thought, his daughters would all soon be happy doing what they wanted. He could retire in peace, letting the younger generation take over.
Indeed, it was what he had thought.
Yesterday Akane had come home, her face ash white, and ran into her room. She had not come out since. A mere ten minutes before hearing that shout, Tatewaki had shown up. He had immediately ran up to Akane's room.
And now Akane was screaming.
With a loud thud Tatewaki was thrown down the stairs back to the first floor. Soun figured the boy was thrown because he had landed on his back. Also because Akane jumped down and landed next to him, delivering a powerful kick to his gut in the process, a moment later.
"A-Akane…" Tatewaki managed to gasp out, pulling himself off the ground. "Akane, my beloved-" he didn't get to finish that sentence because Akane hit him in the jaw with a powerful right hook. Tatewaki flew through the air, landing in a crumpled heap a short distance from Soun. He quickly stood back up. That boy could take a truly impressive amount of punishment.
"Don't you dare call me that you bastard!" Akane screamed, her face red with anger.
Tatewaki looked confused, "Akane… what inspired you to such rage? You know my love for you is an eternal beacon against the darkness-" He was interrupted by Akane charging forward and kicking him into the air. He flew into the wall surrounding the house, before falling into the koi pond.
Akane didn't say anything, she just picked up the table, holding it over her head. Glaring at the point and waiting for Tatewaki to come out. The sodden boy pulled himself out of the pond. He still looked so confused. Soun began to wonder if, perhaps, Akane had misinterpreted whatever had made her so angry. He could see that the thought had occurred to Akane as well. Her expression softened, she stared at her boyfriend with a desperate pleading look.
"Please… Tatewaki… tell me what that was about." She said, tears forming in her eyes, "Please tell me I misunderstood, that she's a cousin or a friend or something anything!"
"Oh… Ah! Mariko, is she what has your heart set aflame?" Tatewaki said, "My dear Akane, you have naught to fear. You are forever in my heart and mind, my dear."
"S-s-so you weren't…" Hope dawned on Akane's face.
"My heart overflows with love. You are the fierce tigress, mighty and powerful. You stand by my side, dear Mariko she stands behind. Her strength supporting me. I can't not have bo-" He didn't get to finish the sentence, because Akane had thrown the table at him.
"You… you two-timing son of a bitch!" Akane screamed, her voice going hoarse. "Get out! Get out!" She fell to her knees, the tears she had held back until now finally coming out. "Out… out… get out…"
Soun could not believe how utterly clueless Tatewaki looked, his mouth was hanging open. He stared at Akane in complete disbelief. Did… did he really not understand why Akane was angry? Why he was now feeling angry? Soun had long known that Tatewaki would never be the smartest man the in world, but this spoke of a level of cluelessness that shocked him. "Mr. Tendo… could you help me explain things? I think dear Akane has some misunderstandings…"
"Son…" Soun shook his head, "No, Mr. Kuno, I suggest you leave now."
Tatewaki balked at Soun's cold words, "Mr… Mr. Tendo?"
"Did you not hear me? Leave! My daughter wants nothing more to do with you. Get off my property before I call the police!" Soun shouted, standing up. He was about ready to throw the boy out himself.
It seems that the while the threat of further physical violence from the Tendos didn't work, but the embarrassment of the police taking him away did. Tatewaki nodded quickly, marching past them towards the front door. "I… I shall return once Akane has calmed down."
"I don't think that will happen any time soon." Soun said, watching to make sure the two-timer kept his word and left. Once he confirmed that their house was free of him, Soun knelt down next his sobbing daughter. "Akane…" He said, patting her on the back.
"W-why Daddy… I thought he… I thought… why?"
"I don't know." He said. "I just don't know."
His daughter grabbed him, pulling him into a crushing hug. She sobbed and wailed, her words incoherent. Soun simply returned his daughter's embrace, letting her cry it all out.
Why did Nerima have so much water in it?
Ranma had, by sheer luck, managed to avoid getting drenched on no less than four occasions just far. Not to mention the canal which was just filled with liquid ready to drain his manhood away. Still, even with such trials he knew he needed to scope out the town he was living in now. It was best to get the lay of the land down before his mother found a school to enroll him into, so he didn't have to awkwardly wander around town like a clueless new guy if he ever went on social outing.
At the very least, he was hoping to find a place with good ice cream.
It was early in the morning and he had seen several people in school uniforms walk past. He hadn't paid much attention to them. Though more than a few had gawked at him, walking casually on the fence separating the sidewalk from the canal. His eyes lazily glanced over the area, he had stumbled into a residential part of town. So no ice cream here. He was about to jump down from the fence when he spotting something that made him stumble and nearly fall off the fence.
Her steps were heavy, her expression dark. It was as if she was ready and eager to explode at the world. She pointedly ignored everything and everyone around her. She hadn't spared the boy clinging to the fence a glance. She marched towards what looked like a school in the distance, her bag held tightly to her side. Even with that frustration, anger, and misery evident in her every move Ranma couldn't help but gawk at her. Because it was her. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.
He had found her.
Ranma jumped down from the fence. Trailing her from a short distance. For a moment he considered calling out to her. However, demeanor was not that of a person willing to talk. She was dressed in a school uniform, so obviously she was a high school student like himself. He supposed this answered the question of which high school he'd be going to. He followed her, the two approaching the school which Ranma now knew he'd be studying at.
The sounds of excited chatter filtered through the air. Growing steadily louder as Ranma and the young woman approached the school. Ranma wondered if there was some kind of school festival or sporting event going on. He jumped up onto a nearby streetlight to get a better look at the school grounds. Once he saw what was going on, his jaw dropped. "What the…?"
Akane froze at the gates to Furinkan High. Around fifty to sixty boys had gathered a short distance from the entrance. She recognized boys from sport clubs, martial arts clubs… and the poetry club? What on earth were they doing here?
Each any every boy in the group suddenly perked up once they had noticed her coming onto the school grounds. The boys took a step forward, no different then a group of trained soldiers.
"Um, what's going on?" Akane asked, her speech breaking the dam. The boys charged as one, their battle cries unconventional yet still loud.
"I love you Akane!"
"Please go out with me!"
"You like strong guys! I'll show you how strong I am!"
"Hit me my love!"
Akane couldn't find words. Her mouth opened and closed. What were these boys… why were they rushing at her, weapons drawn? Screaming declarations of love with it! Did they seriously think that beating her up would-
"If you win, I'll let you take me out on a date."
Those words, her words, came back to her. What had been a fond memory until just two days ago came back to her. What had been a bit of flirting with a boy she had thought was cute… had come back to every horny boy in the school as an excuse to beat on her now that she was "available." How could anybody be so stupid? She didn't want to date any guy who beat her up! It had been a roundabout way to ask him out! Didn't they get that?
A horrible clarity came over Akane Tendo. Tatewaki had often liked telling that story… she sometimes thought he treated it more seriously than she did. Had he…? Had he, and by extension the male population of Furinkan, actually thought that he had "earned" the date by beating her? "Earned" the right to be her boyfriend?
He had. They did.
And now they were coming for her.
They were no different. All men were the same. Slobbering violent brutes, ruled by their hormones and lusts. They thought they could own her. They had no respect for any woman as a person. Just as a pretty accessory to brag about snagging to their buddies. Her rage boiled in her, her fists clenched tightly. She looked up to face the charging horde, her eyes burning with righteous rage. She tossed her bookbag aside. She wouldn't need it for now.
"You… you…. men…" Akane snarled, taking a step forward. "You worthless pathetic wastes…." Wastes of life. If they didn't treat her as an individual, then she would not either. Nothing but stupid, hormonal training dummies. She would break them.
"I hate men… I hate men… I HATE MEN!" She screamed, her own warcry canceling out pathetic hormonal cries of the boys. She took another step, and the ground cracked under her foot. The air was burning with the heat of her rage. They reached her, and Akane swung out her fist. It met the first boy, and he flew out of the crowd, sailed through the air, and crashed through the window into his homeroom. The next boy wasn't so lucky, she raised her leg up and kicked him down, embedding him into the ground up to his neck. The boy didn't care, he had gotten to see Akane's panties! The next boy she picked up, throwing him like a bowling ball he knocked over a dozen more. With that she screamed incoherently, cursing Tatewaki and the rest of the male flew in all directions, desperately jumping over her. Screaming cries of love and requests for a date, they didn't let up. For a moment it looked like they might overwhelm her from sheer numbers. Then a member of the kendo club made the mistake of attacking her. With a growl she ripped the shinai from his hands before kicking him in the testicles. Weapon in hand, she gained the advantage of reach and was able to much more effectively brutalize the boys.
The pile of testosterone exploded with a scream, boys flying into the air thanks to Akane's efforts. By now her body was encased in a glowing red battle aura, her shout having thrown all the remaining "suitors" into the air. Clutching the shinai like a baseball bat, she swung it at the boys as they came down. With a cry of "Men!" each impact sent a male flying, those unlucky enough to not hit a wall flew off into the distant horizon. Finally, there was silence.
Akane took a few breaths, letting the adrenaline finally die down. How dare those idiots bring up such painful memories! She should have hit them with the shinal harder…
Akane stared at the weapon she had grabbed and used expertly. She had never been the best with any sword forms, but the past two years she had gotten much better with them. After all she had been practicing… with…
"Arrrgghhh!" Akane screamed at the memories, memories of that traitor! "Stupid… worthless… men!" She slammed the shinai down onto the head of the boy she had embedded into the ground earlier, shattering the shinai and knocking him unconscious. Going back to pick up her bag, she stomped into schol. Cracks forming with each step, she then also accidentally tore the door to the school off. She threw it away, entering without any care about anything but her own frustration.
And just outside the grounds, a young man on a streetlight had watched the entire thing, his jaw hanging low.
"Back already?" Genma asked. He had been lounging on the couch while Nodoka got lunch ready.
"Y-yeah." Ranma headed down to the kitchen to help his mother.
"Something happen?" Nodoka asked.
"Oh… yeah…" Ranma pulled out some vegetables and began chopping them. "I found her. The girl. That needs to kiss me."
"Good job boy!" Genma said, "So you got it right?"
Genma got out of his chair, "Well why not boy?"
"Because I didn't want to die?" Ranma said. "When I saw her she was brutalizing more guys than I could count screaming about how she hated men. Would you talk to a girl doing that Pops? Let alone try to kiss her?"
"Maybe she just had a bad break up?" Genma said.
"She kicked a guy into the concrete Pops." Ranma said as he finished up the vegetable chopping.
"So, she knocked him down?" Nodoka asked.
"No Mom. She kicked him into the concrete. As in, he was buried." Ranma said, "Like that one time Mousse hugged Shampoo every time she sneezed."
"Oh dear." Nodoka was frowning. "And she said she hated men?"
"Bad breakup. Really bad." Genma said.
Nodoka walked out of the kitchen, slapping Genma on the back of the head. "Please be serious Genma." Then Nodoka noticed that she had left the kitchen with her son in there. "Ranma! I was making lunch!"
Too late, "Oh don't worry Mom I got it." Ranma was already checking the rice cooker and pulling out pans.
Nodoka sighed, settling into the couch next to her snickering husband. "So… Ranma, do you have any plans for this?" She wanted a cure for her sons curse as much as the rest of the family.
"No idea Mom. Was planning to go to… Furinkan, I think that's the name of the school. How am I going to get her to kiss me though if she's like that?"
"Yes… the first part of any date is to get to know the girl… if her reaction to men is such violence…" Nodoka frowned. "How can you get to know her?"
"No idea Mom." Ranma said. "Maybe wait a while for her to calm down… if that happens…"
Nodoka noticed that Genma had a thoughtful look on his face. "Dear?"
"Oh… well… she's angry at men… right?" Genma's face split into a grin. It was a familar grin to the Saotome family. It meant that Genma had an Idea.
Ranma couldn't see his face, but could tell that the Idea had come to his father. "Pops… I don't know what you're thinking. But no. No. Let me repeat; Hell no."
"Genma, are you thinking of what I think you are?" Nodoka said incredulously. "Are you seriously suggesting…"
"Come now! When have I steered our family wrong?" Genma protested.
"Do you want the list Pop?" Ranma called out.
"If either of you have an idea that's better than mine I'll be glad to go along with it." Genma said.
Neither could find an answer.
"Stupid old man. Stupid. Stupid old man." Ranma muttered.
Passing the entrance exam hadn't been particularly difficult, Ranma was fairly bright when he pushed himself. With the cure for the curse dangling over his head there was no way he wouldn't pass it. So now he was a proud student of Furinkan High School. Of course, with Genma's plan in effect, his final year of high school had an "interesting" wrinkle.
Which was why he was currently walking to school as a she.
Wearing the school uniform, her hair tied up in a "cute" little ponytail. At least she had managed to get away without any makeup. How on earth did Genma have so many people in government positions owe him favors?
Genma's plan was simple to discribe. Get to know her as a girl. Once she had settled in, attempt to "introduce" her to Ranma. With the knowledge he had gained as a girl, sweep her off her feet and get the kiss and the cure. Simple, in theory.
In practice, Ranma wondered how long it would before everything exploded in her face. Still, it wasn't like she had any better plans.
With a long sigh, "Aiko Saotome" began her trek to her new school life.