Disclaimer: I don't own Ranma 1/2 or any of the characters from the manga/anime. Any of the other characters in the story came directly from the strange world of my imagination.

I recently got a review that gave me a more accurate translation into German than what I had for "The World's Strongest". So I decided to update the story with the more appropriate phrase. And I made the format more pleasing to the eye. (11/11/2009)


The World's Strongest

-1962-

Cologne glared at her opponent, standing about thirty feet away from her. They had been locked in combat for a long time now and Cologne could feel her age catching up to her. She hadn't faced an opponent this good in nearly sixty years.

'I must end this soon,' she thought, breathing hard in the break in the fighting, 'but how? The fighter I face appears to be superior in strength and stamina and is at least my equal in skill.' Deciding on a new attack pattern, she launched herself at her enemy.

Her opponent lazily evaded her attacks, sometimes blocking them, other times just sidestepping them with ease. Slowly, it became clear to Cologne that this fighter was beyond her ability to defeat. But this was not acceptable: her foe was MALE! He should be weaker than her. Men were the inferior gender!

'How is it that this man is beating me so effortlessly?' Cologne mused to herself. Drawing on all her reserves, Cologne prepared herself for one last assault.

But it was in vain. Before she could even finish her preparations the man was suddenly directly behind her, delivering a blow to her neck that caused her to collapse.

"It's over," he said, "I've won. You cannot continue this fight. You are already on your final reserves of strength and I have yet to begin to feel the strain of battle. You lose no honor in admitting that your opponent is greater than you when your life is not at stake. Stop fighting while you still have the strength to return home." With that he turned and began to walk away.

"Just who are you?" Cologne called after him, "I've been trained to be an Amazonian warrior my entire life, which has been considerably long, and you defeated me as easily as I would one of my pupils. How long have you been fighting and who is your master?"

She had managed to rise to her feet by the end of her questions. 'Damn,' she thought, 'He struck a pressure point that makes me weak. I'll have to have someone determine which one and counter it later.' Cologne had originally thought to rebuke the man by attacking him while he thought she was too weak to continue, showing him that she was stronger than he was giving her credit for, but it appeared that he had planned on her doing that.

"My name is not important," the man casually said, "I am here to show you that men are not as inferior as you believe them to be, and before you ask; no I do not believe women to be inferior. My wife is my training partner, though right now she feels that there is no need to try and prove that women are not inferior to men. I am also here to tell you that the tradition of isolation the Amazons have is a weakness. In the outside world things have changed. While men still dominate society for the most part, women are not just the people who stay at home and raise the children. You have fallen behind the times."

"Are you saying that three thousand years of tradition are to be cast aside?" Cologne asked angrily.

"No," the man calmly said, "the old traditions of the world teaches discipline and honor to the next generation. But many of the old ways of thinking no longer hold value in the new age. To grow stronger, you must be able to continue to grow through the ages."

He turned to walk away again.

"You haven't answered my questions yet!" Cologne yelled at him.

"Which ones'," the man asked, "I have had many masters through the ages. While I am not as old as you are I am much older than I appear. Over the years I have faced many people devoted to the art and have rarely lost. In recent years an old fighter witnessed me fight in Baghdad and gave me a title in his native German language: der Staerkste der Welt. In rough translation it means "worlds' strongest" and to this day no fighter, man or woman, has been able to take that title from me."

"'Worlds' Strongest'!" scoffed Cologne, "the Amazons are the most elite warriors in the world…"

"Are they?" the man asked, turning back to Cologne, "if they were the strongest than you, one of the elders of your village and sensei to the younglings should have had no difficulty defeating me. Yet, here we are with me victorious: beating you as if I were a Master disciplining his unruly pupil."

Cologne opened her mouth to send back another retort, but closed it. The man was right. While she no longer competed in the ranking tournament to determine the village champion, she could beat any Amazon in the village, and she had been beaten without having her opponent breaking a sweat.

"How does one achieve your level of ability?" she asked, admitting that she had indeed been beaten.

"There is no one way of going about one's training that will ensure that you attain my level," the man said simply, "but opening your mind to the broad view of the world and not limiting yourself to a simple narrow view of existence is the first step of the path. Keep in mind that no two fighters are the same: each fighter must walk their path their own way."

"Now if you'll excuse me," the man said turning to leave again, "my wife is expecting dinner in about an hour and it's my turn to make it so I must leave now."

"Wait…" Cologne started, but the man was already gone, leaving so quickly it seemed like he had only been a shadow. Cologne turned to head back to the village. How was she going to be able to face the rest of the elders and the village? She, Cologne, Matriarch of the village had been defeated by a man. A MAN! Men were supposed to be weak in comparison to women, yet she had been defeated.

Cologne stopped short. What was the saying? The first few steps are the most difficult for you must take the first steps to commit yourself to the path? Something like that. That man had shown her the path that leads to his strength in his monologue after his victory. She knew what she had to do. But would the rest of the village be ready to make such a change? For three thousand years, the Amazonian village had remained isolated. The traditions, clothing, and general way of life had changed very little in those three thousand years. Perhaps it was time to end that. Cologne started back to the village as fast as her weary body could manage.

She had a lot of work ahead of her.


Authors note: So how was it? Lots of corny lines? A brilliant master piece? Let me know, please review.