Ranko , Part 17:
"Akane, Korosu!"


<RUMBLERUMBLERUMBLE BANG!>

The door of the Fuurinkan High cafeteria slams open, and pupils pour in, eager to get seats. Akane and Ranko sit down at a table, and Ranko immediately begins to dig into her lunch. Akane shakes her head at this and slowly unpacks her own food.

<THOOOOM!>

Everybody's heads turn, as a muted explosion resounds through the building.

<THOOOOM!>

Boy: That sounded closer!

Girl: What is it?

<K-KRATHOOOM!>

The wall of the cafeteria bulges inward, explodes and crumbles to the ground, leaving a big hole. A beautiful girl in Chinese clothes, carrying two big bonbori, stands in the hole. She steps through and looks around.

Chinese Girl: Where Ranma?

For a second everything is silent, as the pupils look around and at one another. Then a buzz of whispered talking arises. Akane looks at Ranko and is astonished to find her shaking frightened in her seat. A Student speaks up.

Boy: Ranma is not here. Nobody has seen him since recess.

The Chinese girl frowns.

Chinese Girl: Bad!

She leaves through the hole she created. All the students stare after her, except for Akane, who stares at Ranko. Ranko slumps into her chair, visibly relieved. She shivers once and moans.

Ranko: Shampoo! How did she get to Japan?

Akane: [whispers] Ranko! Who was that and what did she want you for?

Ranko: [jerks back to the present] Huh?! Err, her name is Shampoo. She... Ah, I don't know why she followed me from China.

Akane: [thinks] She's lying.

~*~

On their way home, Ranko is running along the fence hurriedly, with Akane walking parallel on the ground, watching her carefully.

Ranko: [thinks] Damn! I thought I had lost her. What a luck that I got splashed during recess, or she would have found me right there. [sweats]

Akane: [thinks] She's very worried. Is that girl dangerous? Probably - considering the way she came in.

~*~

The Tendou family and their guests are gathered around the dinner table. Everybody is eating healthily; Only Akane seems to notice that Ranko is eating less than normal. Soon Ranko stands up.

Ranko: Sorry. I gotta go train now. It was delicious Kasumi.

She runs off to the practice hall, before anyone can ask her questions, and soon the sound of smashing bricks and shrapnel hitting the walls can be heard.

Nabiki: Ranko finishing dinner early??

~*~

Kasumi, Nabiki and Akane are sitting in Akane's room. Akane is sitting at the head end of her bed with her knees pulled up, Nabiki is lying relaxed on the bed and Kasumi is sitting on Akane's chair.

Nabiki: And this girl frightened Ranko?

Akane: I'm sure. She was shaking and has been jumpy ever since. She's still training in the hall. I would call that worried at least.

Kasumi: Can you describe the girl?

Akane: Well, she was kinda cute-looking - doll-faced. She had her hair tied into two big knots on the sides of her head and the rest of it flowing down her back. Her clothes were Chinese: baggy trousers, tied at the ankle; Two little clasps at the cuffs of her sleeves; Sequins or pearls sewn to the lower part of her shirt; The chest of the shirt was made out of a black, silky material and there were two swirly white ornaments on it. That's about all details I can remember.

Kasumi: That sounds like one of the Amazons from Joketsuzoku.

Akane and Nabiki stare at her. Kasumi smiles back at them.

Nabiki: What do you know about the Amazons of Joku...

Kasumi: Joketsuzoku. I've read about them in a book. It was a book about Amazon cultures and female warriors all over the world, throughout history. I found it very interesting.

Nabiki and Akane look at each other in disbelief. Finally Akane speaks up.

Akane: Err, what did it say about these Amazons?

Kasumi: Oh, I don't remember everything, but I think they had this strange law about fighting outsiders. If the outsider wins, they have to hound them to the end of earth and kill them. [smiles]

Akane looks at Nabiki again. They sweat.

~*~

The next morning, Ranma and Akane are on their way to school. Suddenly Akane sees the shadow of a bonbori fall on the ground before a street corner. Within the fraction of a second, she jumps up and pushes Ranma from the fence into the canal. Shampoo comes around the corner.

Shampoo: Girl see Ranma?

Akane: Uh, yes! He went that way. [points away from the school]

Shampoo: Good!

Just as Shampoo bounces out of sight, Ranma crawls out of the canal. He looks at Akane accusingly.

Akane: Sorry, Ranma. I just wanted to test if your were on guard.

~*~

As the day progresses, several scenes like this take place:

Akane stuffing Ranma into a cupboard and sending Shampoo to look somewhere else.

Akane pouring hot water over Ranma, seconds before Shampoo looks in their direction.

Akane attracting Shampoo's attention and talking with her while Ranma walks past behind their backs, unaware.

Akane leaning against the door of a broom closet, while Shampoo comes down the corridor. There is the end of a pigtail sticking out between door and frame, but Akane is concealing it with her shadow.

~*~

Nabiki and Akane are sitting in the Tendou living room, after dinner.

Nabiki: Why did Ranma look at you that way, all through dinner?

Akane: Uh, well... I hid him from Shampoo a few times today. I think I got a little rough sometimes.

<THOOOM!>

Nabiki: What's that?!

<THOOOM!>

Akane: Oh no!

<KA-THOOOOM!>

Shampoo: Akane, Korosu!

Akane: Uh... Shampoo.

Shampoo is standing in a big hole in the wall - and she looks angry.

Shampoo: Akane! You hide Ranma! You say "Ranma go there", but Ranma no there. You say "Ranma no here", but other people all say he there. Shampoo ask people where Ranma live. People say "He live with Tendou Akane!"

Akane: Look, Shampoo. What do you want Ranma for?

Shampoo: You no keep Shampoo talking. You hide Ranma - You obstacle! Obstacle is for breaking.

Shampoo lunges at Akane with her bonbori. Akane throws herself back to avoid the weapon, but in that moment a foot intercepts the descending ball.

Ranma: No playing ball in the house!

The handle breaks and the metal sphere flies up into the air. It falls right onto Shampoo's head, knocking her out.

Ranma goes into shock position.

Ranma: Oh no! I defeated her again.

Nabiki: So you did that once already?

Ranma: Err... [turns red]

Shampoo moans and begins to stir. She sits up and sees Ranma. immediately she jumps to her feet.

Shampoo: Ranma! Finally Shampoo get you.

Ranma: [retreating] Uh, Shampoo. Look, don't...

Akane: [thinks] She's going to attack!

Shampoo jumps at Ranma. Akane and Nabiki gasp in shock, when the Chinese girl embraces him, pulls his head down to hers and kisses him passionately.

-- End of part 17.


Part 18: "He Shampoo's husband"


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