What the Heck was That?

Chapter 1.

Ranma's Change.


the DragonBard

It was a normal day for the Tendo household. Nabiki was sitting down in her room, listening to her music tapes, when there was a knock at her door.

"It's open.' Nabiki said absentmindedly.

Akane peeked her head around the door.

"Can I talk to you a minute?" She asked.

Nabiki waved her in.

"Sure, what's on your mind?" Nabiki replied.

Akane walked over to Nabiki's bed, and sat down.

"It's about Ranma," Akane muttered, ignoring Nabiki's smirk. "Ever since just after the Wedding, he's been up to something, and I can't figure out what it is."

"You think he's visiting the others on the sly?" Nabiki asked, frowning. Akane shook her head, grimacing.

"No. Not anymore. I ran to the Nekohaten and Ucchans, thinking that's where he was, but Shampoo hasn't seen him since the wedding, and Ukyou has only seen him at school."

"So, you want me to help you find out what's going on, is that it?" Nabiki asked, smirking. She had noticed Ranma's attitude over the past while, but hadn't seen any real point to actively trying to figure out what it was. Now, however, it might just prove interesting.

"Okay sis, I'll do it." *Might just get some good blackmail material on Ranma while I'm at it.* "For a small fee of course." Nabiki said with a smirk.

Akane grumbled a bit, but paid her sister the money. Nabiki quickly put it away, and assured Akane that she would find out what Ranma was up to soon.

"Probably won't take me more than a few days." Nabiki muttered to herself with a smirk.

* * *

"What? You've got to be kidding me!" Nabiki exclaimed.

"Sorry Nabiki, but it's the truth. The only thing Ranma's been doing, is talking to members of the Anime/Manga and Video Game Clubs, and going to their meetings." Gosungkei said.

Nabiki inwardly sighed, and waved Gosungkei away, while she tried to ponder what Ranma was doing.

*What's Ranma up too?* she wondered. *He's never shown any interest in that kind of stuff before. What's caused the change, and is there some way I can get something out of it?* After a few moments, Nabiki decided to keep this little titbit of information to herself, at least until she had a better idea of what was going on.

"This is getting more interesting by the second." Nabiki murmured to herself.

* * *

At that very moment, Ranma felt a cold chill run down his spine.

*Damn, I've got a very bad feeling.* He thought to himself as he again tried to perfect his latest attack.

The Spirit Gun was, so far, the most difficult of the new attacks he was developing from the anime, manga, and video games. Where the Hadoken was similar to his Hiryu Korin Dan, and the Kame Hame Ha simply focused the martial artist's energies into a single point, the Spirit Gun used an entirely different source of energy... spirit energy. Genma had been very skimpy on anything but practicals during their training, so the idea of somehow tapping into his spiritual energy was something Ranma was having difficulties performing.

It was pretty rare for Ranma to have such difficulties learning a new technique. Usually, as soon as he had a grasp of the basics behind it, he was halfway to mastering it. The Shishi Houkodan had taken so long, simply because Ranma hadn't realised the need for depression.

Ranma stood in the small clearing, pointing his finger at a small boulder, like a child with a make believe gun. Ranma's face creased in concentration as, slowly, a light began to form around his pointing finger. An incandescent point of golden light began to grow at the tip of his finger. Slowly growing, until... it extinguished.

"Dang it! I was almost there." Ranma muttered. "Well, the anime 'did' say that you needed to be spiritually aware to be able to use that kind of technique. sigh Guess I just need to get more in touch with my spirit before I can pull it off."

With the Spirit Gun not working, Ranma decided to see if he could adapt any of the training methods that were shown. Very few of the anime or manga really showed much of the actual training, preferring to get to the fights. However, there was the occasional exception, or flashback.

Ranma pointed a single finger, and began to focus his ki energy, much as he would for a Kame Hame Ha. He then did a one finger stand, and slowly began to project his ki, until he hovered an inch above the rock he had chosen. The goal was to be able to hold it for twelve hours, and was meant to improve endurance, ki control, and balance. And would probably do a heck of a job. If you could hold a ki blast, even the weakest one you could form, for twelve hours, you could hold out for a long time, even when pushing yourself to the limit.

It was an even harder task, since he was wearing special weighted clothing. He'd gotten the idea from the Dragon Ball, and Dragon Ball Z anime and manga. It had been difficult to get. He'd had to track down the people who made Ryouga's umbrella (Ranma had half expected that it was home-made. Some styles required you to make your own weapons.) The clothing probably weighed almost as much as he did, if not more, and would throw off his balance, and slow him down slightly, until he got used to it.

*Once I get that Kaiohken technique perfected, I'm going to have to do this training again.* Ranma thought to himself. *It'll be even more effective. Maybe I can even adapt it to work with spirit energy*

The major problems with the Kaiohken, at least according to the anime that Ranma was basing it on, was that if you didn't prepare yourself for it first, you would run the risk of over loading from too much energy, and literally blowing up. Besides that, it caused you to exhaust yourself much faster. So, to use the technique, endurance training would be imperative. However, endurance training during the Kaiohken, would be even 'more' effective. In fact, the Kaiohken itself could be considered a form of endurance training, all by itself.

Doing a twelve hour one-fingered handstand, by itself, would be difficult, while performing even a low level ki blast, it would be a training method that could lead to greatness. However, one should not expect to be able to complete the training on their first try, even if they are extremely talented. Even if you are Ranma Saotome.

The technique Ranma was performing was rather difficult, and required great concentration. A mere five minutes into the training, Ranma lost focus, for just a second. It was enough, though, for him to loose his balance, and topple to the ground, falling on the stones.

"Ouch." He groaned. "Guess I'll need to work on that before I'm ready to really start showing anything."

Ranma had watched tons of anime, and read just as much manga. It was all so new to him! There were so many stories of martial artists fighting against their enemies, destroying monsters. Some of which could have destroyed Saffron and Herb with ease! He was certain he would have to rewatch several of the shows in order to figure out some of the techniques. However, Ranma Saotome 'never' gave up! He would watch them, and eventually, he would be just as good as they were! No, better!

Slowly getting up and brushing himself off, Ranma started considering other methods of training, and techniques. Running through kata he could perform, Ranma began to piece together ideas, muttering to himself.

"I can generate a soul of ice, might be able to use it to copy some of those freeze attacks that Sub-Zero guy has. Then, I just reverse it to create the fire blasts. Now how am I going to generate lightning? Have to think on that."

Ranma gathered his hands to his side, closed his eyes, and began to reach out to the surrounding area. Slowly, much too slowly for his liking, Ranma felt something flow through him, into the palms of his cupped hands. Then, when he felt the time was right, he thrust his hands foreward, calling out the name of the attack!


Ranma opened his eyes to see the brilliant blue ki blast rocket from his hands, to reduce a nearby tree to splinters. He grinned. The Shishi Houkodan had been developed as a mining technique, and it showed. It was powerful, but it's might was like that of a battering ram, pushing through whatever was in its path. The Hadoken, however, was meant specifically for fighting, and more closely resembled a cannonball or a bullet than a battering ram. Also, the Hadoken could be improved upon, and adapted to create 'other' techniques; the Shinku Hadoken, the Hado-beam, or even the Shoryuken/Ascending Dragon Fist, Shoryureppa/Ascending Dragon Repeat, and Shinryuken/Divine Dragon Fist.

However, his joy at performing the technique soon turned to irritation. "Damn it! That took too long. If I was fighting someone, I'ld be creamed before I could come close to throwing one of those things!" Ranma complained to himself, as he once again started to reach out for the power necesary to perform a Hadoken.

Ranma knew that being able to perform the technique, by itself, was nothing. He would have to be able to use it at a moment's notice, no matter the conditions, no matter whom he was fighting at the time. And so, Ranma settled in for what would prove to be a long session of practices.


Author's Notes: Partial credit for this goes to Phil Chan, who independently came up with an idea much similar to this. We corresponded on this a bit, after I found his idea on the Studio Aesir website, and I wanted to make sure to acknowledge him.

I'm going to try and limit my use of Japanese in this fic, to techniques from anime and manga. Any techniques which are my original creations will be in English only. Also, if I'm relatively certain about the meaning of a techniques name, I will try to include a translation the first couple of times I use it.

One thing that people seem to dislike about these 'Ranma training to get better' fics, is that he gets too dang powerful, too fast. They don't see any effort put into it on his part. Well, I'm going to 'try' not to do that in this fic. Ranma will make mistakes with his techniques, and the training methods won't all be easy for him (as you can tell from this chapter)

Also, it will be some time before Ranma can throw even a KHH of decent strength. At present, most of Ranma's ki blasts will need something more, before they are have any decent strength. Emotional energy, external energies, an extremely tight focus, whatever. No worries of Ranma suddenly being in the same class as a Saiyan warrior, throwing off ki blasts as easily as breathing.