Ranko ½, Part 4:
"What a way to start school"

The sky above Fuurinkan Highschool is full of ominous clouds. Thunder rolls. The balconies of the building are teeming with pupils of all ages trying to catch a glimpse of what is going on in the yard.

Pupil: Hey, someone's fighting Kunou.

Student 2: Whoa! He must have a deathwish.

Kunou Tatewaki and his opponent Saotome Ranma face each other. Kunou's wooden Kendo sword is raised and he is assuming a fighting position. Ranma is unarmed, but nevertheless ready for battle.

Kunou: So, you dare hound Akane in her own home? [raises his sword above the head] Kunou Tatewaki shall bring you to justice.

Ranma: [touching his cheek in remembrance] "Hounding" is not exactly the word.

Akane: Sh... he's only staying with us, Kunou.

Kunou pays no attention to this. All his attention is fixed on the "offender".

Kunou: [to Ranma] Silence, Fool!

At this he charges Ranma with the speed of a express train. His enemy in his sights, he brings down the wooden sword with a force that splits the wall where Ranma was standing. But Ranma is already gone. When Kunou notices his miss and looks around he finds Ranma poised against the upper trunk of a tree, waiting to jump away again as soon as gravity notices that something is amiss.

Again, Kunou displays his mastery in handling his chosen weapon by slicing the tree in half at the point where Ranma was - just a moment ago. As the upper half of the massacred tree lands, so does Ranma, a few paces from Kunou. He is quite annoyed with Kunou's attitude.

Ranma: Now hold on, Kunou.

Suddenly he is standing right before Kunou; face to face.

Ranma: Let me make something clear...

Kunou: N...?! [thinks] This guy is good!

Akane: [astonished] Inconceivable! He was there before Kunou could blink!

Ranma: There is nothing going on between me and Akane. Right, Akane?

Akane: Nothing at all!

Akane's forcefulness in confirming this bothers Ranma a little, but he has no time to contemplate what it means, since Kunou swings at him again.

Kunou: So, you disdain sweet Akane, scoundrel?! Let this teach you respect.

He hits only empty air which throws him a little off-balance. Ranma has jumped right up into the air and is now descending upon the older boy with outstretched fingers aiming at his brow. Kunou brings his sword up again. Just as both fighters seem about to connect, Kunou is jerked violently to the side.

It is Akane, who jump-kicked him in the head snapping him out of Ranma's path as well as out of the realm of consciousness. She grabs Ranma's hand, as the first drops of rain begin to fall from the black clouds.

Akane: Come on. We don't want to be late and wet.

They leave Kunou flat on his face in the downpour. The last onlookers retreat into the building, talking.

Boy: She knocked him out again.

Boy 2: Yeah, just like every morning.


Later in the classroom of the first-year group F. Ranma is introduced to his new classmates.

Teacher: Ranma recently arrived back in Japan from China. Although not so recently as to excuse his tardiness in arriving here. You and Tendou Akane: Stand in the hall.


Ranma and Akane are standing in the Hall before their class holding buckets of water.

Akane: This is your fault!

Ranma: My fault? That was your fight.

Akane: I finish my fights every morning in time before class starts.

Ranma: [astonished] Every morning?! What kind of school is this?

Akane: It's because of Kunou. He told them that whoever wanted to date me would have to defeat me first.

Short flashback of Kunou looking dramatic

Kunou: I will permit no other terms!

End flashback

Ranma: [shaking his head] What a weirdo. And they all are after you?

Akane: [a little angry at his disbelief] You doubt it?

She shifts the grip on her buckets as if to threaten to splash him. Ranma takes a step back.

Ranma: Hey, I didn't mean it that way! But, come on... God knows you're cute, but isn't that a little over the top?

Akane slumps and sighs.

Akane: You are right. I think they are only in it because of the challenge. To "prove themselves", hah! Any boy who was really interested in me would have realized by now that I don't intend to date on that basis.

Ranma notices that Akane's mood has become pretty sad now. He sets one bucket on the floor and touches Akane's shoulder reassuringly.

Ranma: Hey, don't despair. I'm sure there'll be some boy who respects you in your own right.

Akane: Do you really think so, Ranko?

Her eyes glitter a little with the slightest hint of tears. Then she slumps again.

Akane: It's not as if a boy like that would have any chance to come up to me. Not as long Kunou upholds that stupid challenge.

Ranma: Really! Why would anybody listen to that buffoon?

Akane: He's the best fighter of the whole school.

Ranma: What, him? I could have nailed him anytime!

Akane: Is that so? Then what's that on your throat?

Ranma: Huh? [fingers the side of his neck] Ow, that's a bruise. [surprised] He did that without even touching me? Wow, he sure knows how to handle that sword.

Akane: An opponent to take serious, don't you think.

Ranma: Oh, I wouldn't be so sure.


Kunou is sitting in class next to Nabiki. On his brow there are shining red pressure marks spelling out "Bufoon". Nabiki and he are whispering to each other from the corner of their mouths, never moving their eyes from the Teacher.

Nabiki: And you say you didn't notice him touching you? That's amazing.

Kunou: Hmph! I thought, he was good, too... But he can't even spell! Everybody knows that it's spelled "B O O F U N".

Nabiki: Kunou... It's spelled "B U F F O O N".

Kunou: I detest you.

Nabiki: [unimpressed] My heart is broken.

Kunou: Nevertheless... He will not get away with his impertinent behavior towards Akane.

Nabiki: Well, I guess it's up to them to work that out. Them being fiancées and all.

With that Kunou jumps up. He is standing in the aisle with his fists raised.

Kunou: FIANCÉES?! Never! I forbid it!

Teacher: [without even looking] Kunou - stand in the hall.


Ranma and Akane are still holding their buckets.

Ranma: Um, and another thing... I'd prefer if you'd call me "Ranma" while I'm a boy.

Akane: Huh? Why that? You are still the same person, aren't you?

Ranma: Sure I am. I just learned that it helps to keep up the illusion that my male half is not the same person as my female half. People overhear all sorts of things - and I've found that you get away with it easier if you keep the masquerade consistent.

Akane: Well, okay, "Ranma", if that's how you intend to do it. [turns a bit away]

Ranma: Akane. What's wrong?

But Akane doesn't get to answer because Kunou comes storming down the hall with a bucket in each hand. He empties them into Ranma's direction but only succeeds in splashing the wall. Ranma is good at dodging water. :)

Kunou: Never, Saotome Ranma!

Ranma: What's it now, Kunou.

Akane: Kunou-sempai..?

Kunou: [screaming] I shall never accept your engagement to Akane!

A split second later suddenly all the windows to the classes along the hall shift open and pupils crowd out.

Boys: What engagement?!

Girls: Akane, how could you? You always said you hated men!

Ranma and Akane are frantically waving at the others denying everything.

Akane: We're not really...

Ranma: Only our parents want...

Kunou interrupts them by pulling his sword and attacking Ranma again, slicing a bucket in half in the process. Ranma bounds down the hall; Kunou follows.

Kunou: Stand your ground, Saotome!

Ranma: This is not the place for a fight! Follow me.

Kunou: I shall!

All the pupils are following the pair - Akane at the front.

Boy: Wow, this is great!

Girls: And the winner gets to go out with Akane!

Akane: [annoyed] Do you mind?!

The hall monitor spots the parade and calls out.

Hall monitor: Hey!! No running in the hall!

Akane: [without slowing down or looking] Yes, sir.

Ranma vaults through an open window.

Ranma: C'mon, let's take this outside.

Kunou: Fear not!

Hall monitor: [just as Kunou jumps out] Hey! This is the third floor!

Kunou: [eyes bugging] Ack!

Ranma: Don't worry, I'm... Ooops!

He has spied the large swimming pool below them. Then he relaxes remembering that he already is in cursed form. Akane notices this, runs to the window and shouts

Akane: Ranma! That pool is heated!

Ranma: Nani?!

Too late. with a loud splash the would-be combatants impact on the surface of the water. For a while the splashes and ripples obscure what goes on, but as the picture clears the onlookers see Kunou floating face down in the water.

Boy: There's Kunou! Why are his index finger and pinky extended?

Boy2: It means he's out of the picture. But where's Saotome?


Ranko is swimming underwater hoping to be hidden by the reflexes on the surface.

Ranko: [thinks] Gotta get away. Gotta get away.

She notices the unconscious Kunou floating above her and an idea forms. She lifts him a little out of the water, making sure to keep beneath him at all times, and slowly makes her way to the edge.

Ranko: [thinks] Whatta way to start school... What kind of principal keeps a heated pool behind his school? With... [blinks at what she sees] with palm trees around it?!

At that very moment Kunou blinks and moans. He is regaining consciousness. He feels the figure beneath him and instinctively grabs at it squishing Ranko's breasts.

Kunou: Saotome! I fight on!

Ranko: Gyaaaa!!

Akane: [still at the window] Now it is out!

-- End of part 4.

Part 5: "He is no man"

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