Chapter 3: Enter the Pig

Ryoga Hibiki was, of course, once again lost. Thanks to his inherited abysmal sense of direction, he hadn't managed to find his way home at the same time as either of his parents in nearly two years.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the kicker to his miserable existence had happened two months ago in China. Six months ago he had accidentally stumbled aboard a freighter headed to that God-forsaken country. Instead of immediately trying to find a way home, he had foolishly decided to stay and train in the only pursuit that had never failed him: martial arts.

At first things had gone well, but things kept getting worse as he gradually made his way west. First, he had been assaulted by a flying bull (although maybe he shouldn't have made fun of that guy wearing pantyhose he had met shortly beforehand). Then, there was the angry ashura when he had found and tried to return her stick-on magnets. Then, he had been poisoned and then cured by a pair of teenage twin girls with a plant fetish. Next, a group of little bald guys had tried to shake him down for clues on the whereabouts of a dragon's whisker off all things. After that, he had to run away from a group of amazon warriors who had taken exception to his dismissal of their skills due to their gender (which he later learned was actually a stroke of luck after hearing about the "Kiss of Marriage"). A woman with wings had tried to turn him into a human pincushion. A guy in pelts had beaten him in a contest of strength (which really hurt his pride). Then he reached the worst place of all: Jusenkyo.

He had asked the guide to the place for directions to the nearest town that wasn't inhabited by amazons or superhuman tribes. The guide told him what he needed to know in broken Japanese while warning him to stay away from the pools of water, or something terrible would happen to him. Ryoga had thanked him and headed in the direction he thought the guide had pointed, but of course with his sense of direction (or lack thereof) he had started walking in the opposite direction, directly towards the Jusenkyo springs. He was just wondering why the guide was frantically calling for him to come back when it happened. SPLASH! That one word of onomatopoeia had changed his life forever. Now one splash of cold water was all it took to transform him into a helpless little black piglet.

Depressed and frustrated, Ryoga returned home to Japan, it never having crossed his mind that there might also be a Jusenkyo spring that could cure him. Occasionally, he would find his way home (although never at the same time as either of his parents) to drop off souvenirs and check on his dog Checkers, but most of the time he spent wandering across Japan doing the only thing that kept him cheerful enough to avoid committing suicide: challenging fighters to friendly duels. It was a good way to work through his stress, keep up his skills, and improve his self-esteem (since he hardly ever lost).

Currently, Ryoga found himself in front of the gates to a high school in the Nerima Ward of Tokyo just as school was about to let out for the day. He smiled at his luck. High schools were his favorite places to challenge after dojos. "Furinkan High School, huh?" he read to himself. "I hope the fighters here are more of a challenge than whom they had at Seisyun High. Did that Mariko chick really think she could beat me with Martial Arts Cheerleading of all things? What's next, Martial Arts Tea Ceremony?"

Just then the bell rang, and a minute later students started walking out the front doors. "Well, that's my cue," Ryoga said to himself. He marched forward a few steps and loudly announced his challenge with his umbrella thrust out in front of him: "Attention everyone! My name is Ryoga Hibiki. I am a wandering martial artist always on the lookout for a good challenge. I hereby challenge this school's three best fighters to face me one at a time from 3rd best to the best. Weapons are permitted, but try to avoid permanent damage."

The students started whispering amongst each other at this unusual turn of events. Nabiki and her "friends" ran around collecting bets on the upcoming fights. One student called out, "Our three best, huh? That means Kuno and the Fury Twins. Where's Kuno? He's up first."

To his dismay, Kuno was pushed roughly through the crowd until he was in front of the challenger. "Did you peasants not hear this man?" he complained. "He wants to save the best for last, and that can be no other than Tatewaki Kuno, age 17, captain of the kendo team and the Blue Thunder of Furinkan High!"

"'Blue Thunder,' have you heard that?" asked a girl. "News to me," answered Nabiki as she stepped forward. "Listen, Kuno-baby," she addressed the arrogant kendoist, "have you ever beaten either of your so-called 'goddesses?'" she asked.

"Well, no," admitted Kuno.

"Then doesn't that make you 3rd best at Furinkan?" concluded Nabiki.

"I detest you," Kuno growled.

"I'm so glad," replied Nabiki sarcastically.

Soon enough Ryoga was facing off against Kuno, man-to-man, paraguas a espada de madera. Kuno charged with a vicious horizontal cut only for Ryoga to easily parry the blow with his umbrella. Kuno tried again with an overhand blow only for Ryoga to sidestep the attempt, causing Kuno to partially crumble the outside wall with the power of his bokuto. "Is that all ya got?" taunted Ryoga.

Kuno snarled and launched his best technique, thrusting over and over with incredible speed. "Now feel the true power of the Blue Thunder!" he proclaimed.

"However, Ryoga was not fazed. While a few of the strikes were able to get past his defenses, he just shrugged them off like they were nothing and either dodged or blocked the rest. Finally, Ryoga grabbed the wooden blade one handed and easily used it to toss the kendoist over his shoulder in an impressive feat of strength. Ryoga grinned as broke the captured weapon into several pieces and tossed them to the ground.

Kuno was dazed but otherwise unhurt, and he was able to quickly scramble back to his feet. However, now that he was disarmed he had a serious problem. As much as he would like to pretend otherwise, Kuno was not actually a martial artist. Pactically all his combat strength lay in his swordsmanship, which meant that he was no better than the average teenage male in hand-to-hand combat. Still, he would not give in to this uncultured barbarian. He would perservere and impress the fair Akane Tendo with his manly strength. It was with this in mind that Kuno charged Ryoga and found himself flying across the schoolyard after one thrust from Ryoga's umbrella. "That hurt, you know," said Kuno just before losing consciousness after he hit the ground.

"Is he really one of the best you've got?! I didn't even break a sweat!" mocked Ryoga in triumph. "Tell you what. I'll take on both of these so called Fury Twins at once, just to make it interesting," he proclaimed with a ruthless grin."

Immediately, the crowd broke out into several surprised comments. "He actually wants to fight them both at the same time?! Is he crazy?!" "It's your funeral." "Not even Kuno is stupid enough to fight them together!"

Ryoga wasn't fazed by these comments. These city kids may think their champions are tough, but there was no way they could compare to someone like him, forced to train to absurd levels to survive nearly constantly lost in the real world.

Of course, even with these thoughts in mind, he never expected what he saw when his opponents appeared. His jaw dropped and he stared in shock at the two beautiful girls that stepped forward, each dressed in the blouse and dress that was this school's uniform for girls. One was of average height and build for a high school girl with long dark blue hair. The other was even smaller yet quite buxom with bright red hair braided in a medium-length pigtail. There was no way either of these girls even weighed 50 kilos, and neither of them held a single weapon! How could they be the best fighters in this school?! While that Kuno guy had certainly been disappointing by his standards, he still had a good amount of talent, and there were surely other male athletes who could put up a decent fight. What was going on here?!

The redhead gave off a cocky grin. "So Kuno, you're 'Blue Thunder' now, huh? I guess that makes me 'Blue Lightning,' since lightning is much faster than thunder."

The bluenette smacked her palm on the back of her "twin's" head. "Save the joking for later, Ranma. We've got a challenge to fight," she said."

"Right, Akane," Ranma replied. "Let's go with 'Opening Combo Alpha.'"

The three opponents faced each other in combat stances, and soon the battle began:

Ranma raced straight for Ryoga and went straight into a jump kick aimed at his chest. Ryoga was caught offguard by her incredible speed and only barely managed to position his umbrella in time to block the kick. However, Akane had charged in directly behind Ranma and landed a heavy punch to his stomach. Ryoga stumbled backwards as the air was forced from his lungs, only to feel a massive blow to his face, as Ranma had pushed off the umbrella and performed an aerial roundhouse kick.

Ryoga went skipping across the ground before he managed to push off the ground one-handed to get back to his feet. 'What the heck just happened?' he thought. The redhead, Ranma, had moved faster than he had thought humanly possible and performed aerial manuvers that even professional acrobats would find difficult. Meanwhile, the other girl, Akane, who moved perfectly in-sync with her twin, packed some serious power judging from his bruised abdomen and was no slouch in the speed department herself. He looked back at his opponents to discover Ranma with an icy calm look of confidence on her face and in her blue eyes, while Akane's face and brown eyes held a look of heated passion, ironically in direct contrast to their hair colors.

'I could be in trouble, but I'm not giving up,' he thought. 'I need to distract Ranma in order to take on Akane directly. If I can land some good blows on her without the distraction of Ranma's speed, I might have a chance.'

Ryoga opened his umbrella and flung it like an aerial top at the two girls. As expected, they easily dodged to either side. Ryoga quickly stripped four bandanas from his forehead, stretched them out tight and threw them one after another like whirling blades in Ranma's direction. Ryoga knew Ranma would be able to dodge them, but doing so would give Ryoga the time he needed to go after her partner.

Ryoga turned to find Akane already on top of him. The two exchanged heavy blows for a few seconds. Ryoga was physically stronger, but Akane was both faster and more skilled. Akane either blocked or took only minimal damage by deflecting each of Ryoga's blows. Ryoga likewise blocked most of Akane's attacks, but a few managed to get through his defenses. First a kick to his left calf, then a palm strike to his right shoulder, and finally a powerful rolling kick to his right side that bruised his ribs and forced him back onto his injured left leg. He fell to his left knee as he gasped in pain, leaving him defenseless as his shirt was ripped and both his back and chest were shallowly lacerated with his own bandanas.

Ryoga looked over at the returning Ranma in shock. The iron cloth technique was designed to quickly dissipate upon contact with someone else (but not before cutting them), so not only had she apparantly plucked all four bandana blades out of midair without a single scratch, but she had somehow figured out how to duplicate his technique in just a few seconds after only seeing it once!

In desperation, Ryoga removed another bandana from his head with his left hand and the belt from his pants with his right hand. "Just how many bandanas are you wearing?" asked Ranma sarcastically. Snapping the belt out straight like a sword, Ryoga swung it at Ranma only for her to kick his wrist and send the belt sword spinning away in a safe direction from the crowd. Ryoga grinned as he wrapped Ranma's right wrist in half the bandana and held it closed over his own wrist as well, effectively trapping their wrists together. "Let's see how you do when you can't run and jump around," Ryoga taunted.

However, Ranma was up to the challenge. Ryoga grew frustrated as Ranma dodged punch after punch just leaning to the side or blocking with her one free hand. He tried an upwards kick only for Ranma to dodge it with a jump into the splits.

Meanwhile, Akane had run over to where Ryoga's umbrella had landed nearby after flying back like a boomerang. A couple of boys were trying to lift it off the ground without budging it an inch only to tremble in surprise (and a little fear) when Akane picked it up with one hand. She was momentarily surprised when she was forced to steady it with her other hand even after augnenting her strength with her ki. She wouldn't be able to swing it around one-handed like Ryoga, but it would still work almost as well as a two-handed weapon.

Seeing Ranma in a bit of trouble, Akane raced to Ryoga's left side and swung the umbrella down towards his arm. Ryoga was forced to release Ranma to dodge the attack only for Ranma to knock him back with a left cross to his cheek. He was then forced to give ground as Akane continued to swing and thrust his extremely heavy lead umbrella with the ease of a baseball bat. 'Who the h*** are these girls!' he thought.

Ryoga managed to dodge the attacks but couldn't find any openings to counter. He retreated over to where his belt lay and managed to sheer off the end of the umbrella by wrapping the belt around it before cutting it. His minor victory was shortlived when Ranma jumpkicked him from behind, forcing him to lose the belt again. He went flying towards Akane who grabbed his wrists and kicked him over her head while performing a backwards roll.

Slowly, Ryoga managed to get back up. "Man, this guy is tough," commented an impressed Ranma. "Let's finish him with 'Maneuver 7.'"

Akane grabbed Ranma by the wrist, spun around to build up momentum, and launched Ranma straight at Ryoga. As Ranma approached the target at high velocity, she extended her right leg in a flying kick while also inadvertantly giving Ryoga an excellent view of her panties. Ryoga's nose exploded in a fountain of blood before Ranma even touched him, and the shoe to the face only made the nosebleed worse. Ryoga went flying once again and was out like a light before he even hit the ground.

When Ryoga woke up a little while later, he discovered that most of the students, including Ranma and Akane, had already left. He went back over the match in his mind, marveling at what incredible martial artists the two girls were. He realized that if he had fought either of them one-on-one, there would've been a better than even chance that he still would've lost, especially against that wonderous redhead Ranma.

Akane was a very talented and beautiful girl as well, but she didn't interest him in the same way as {sigh} Ranma. Such speed! Such grace! Such calm and cool control! Such beauty with her gorgeous figure and bright red hair, not to mention what he had seen just before she knocked him out! He had to meet her again!

A boy named Hiroshi was walking by the spot where Ryoga lay to go home when Ryoga jumped up and grabbed him by the collar. "Those two girls who defeated me, where do they live?" asked Ryoga with a hint of desperation in his voice.

"Oh, you mean Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo?" replied Hiroshi. He quickly wrote down their address and gave verbal directions to their house after Ryoga released him, as he had once partnered with Akane on a school project.

Ryoga thanked him then paused as a question came to his mind: "If they're twins, why do they have different family names?" he asked.

Hiroshi answered, "Oh, they're not actually twins. Ranma's parents died when she was little, so the Tendos took her in. We call them twins, because not only are they best friends who live together, they were also born on the same day. As for the 'fury' part, it comes from the saying 'h*** hath no fury like a woman scorned.' Trust me, you do not want to make either of them mad at you."

Ryoga sighed. "Oh Ranma, how painful it must be. If you were together with me, we could comfort each other and never be lonely again. I will not rest until I find you again and am able to hold you in my arms."

As Ryoga walked off, Hiroshi's friend Daisuke walked up to him. "Do you think we should tell him that Ranma's a lesbian?" he asked.

"Nah, let him find out for himself. He'd have to be some kind of complete moron not to figure it out eventually," Hiroshi answered.

With his terrible sense of direction, it had taken Ryoga the rest of the day and half the night to find the address, but he was finally standing outside the gateway of the Tendo compound, which included their own dojo he noted. However, the time of night presented a problem. No doubt the household would not be happy if he merely broke in or even squatted on the grounds, and he might not be able to find his way back if he left for the night. He smiled as a solution came to his mind when he glanced at the koi pond in the side yard after he passed the gateway. It was ironic that the Jusenkyo curse he hated so much would actually come in handy for once.

He stripped out of his clothes (except for his bandanas) and placed them with his pack and umbrella by the side of the house. He had almost jumped into the koi pond when he realized that he had no way to get inside once in his cursed form. Therefore, he grabbed his stuff and snuck into the house.

After ten extremely nervous minutes of wandering around someone else's house completely naked in the middle of the night (and slightly opening each door he came across, as his cursed form wasn't capable of turning doorknobs), he managed to find his way to the bathroom. He stashed his stuff in a corner of the changing room and then sprayed cold water over himself in the inner bathroom. He almost immediately shrunk down into the form of a black piglet now wearing his bandanas as neckerchiefs.

Another fifteen minutes later (and several wrong guesses as to the correct teenage girl's bedroom), Ryoga finally found and entered Ranma's room as designated by the sleeping redhead in the bed. Of course, he wouldn't have needed to check inside the room each time if he had simply looked up at the duck-shaped nameplates hanging from the door of each daughter's room, but that would be expecting too much of Ryoga.

Ryoga got a running start and leapt onto Ranma's bed. Ryoga tried to squeal in Ranma's ear to wake her up, but she kept shifting and turning while in the throes of a nightmare. Finally, with a shout of "Dad! Mom! NOOOO!" she sat up quickly as she woke up and inadvertantly swatted Ryoga across the room to bump his head on a wall.

Breathing heavily, Ranma was about to lie down and try to go back to sleep when she realized something was different. "Someone's here. Who's there? Come out!" She quickly looked around and spotted the intruder. 'A piglet. Where did you come from,' she thought. She got on her knees, and the extremely friendly piglet ran right to her and started licking her fingers while making cute little squeals of appreciation. "Ah, aren't you cute," she said as she picked it up. "What's this? A bump?" she asked as she carefully rubbed the minor head wound with her finger. 'Oh, so sweet and kind,' thought a blissful Ryoga.

Suddenly, the door opened, and Akane came in. "Ranma, is everything alright?" she asked sleepily. "What's with all the racket at 2 A.M.? First you wake me up when I hear you scream, then there's a loud bumping noise. What's going-" She then noticed what Ranma was holding. "What's with the pig?"

Ranma shrugged. "I found it in my room after I woke up from a nightmare about...that night. I think I accidentally caused it to hit its head." She held the piglet against her chest. "It's okay. Let's go downstairs, and I'll put some medicine on that bump."

Akane noticed something strange about how the pig was reacting. "What?! That thing's blushing!"

"Don't be silly," dismissed Ranma.

Akane grabbed the pig and checked between its legs. "Dirty-minded pig! I knew it, a male!"

"So it is," confirmed Ranma as she bent her head to take a look for herself.

The piglet started squealing and trying to escape from Akane's grasp, so Ranma took him back in her arms, and he calmed right down. "I guess he really wants me to hold him," Ranma concluded.

Ranma took the piglet downstairs to the tea room. Akane told Kasumi and Nabiki that everything was fine and they could go back to sleep, then she followed Ranma as she was still concerned about the piglet. She caught up to Ranma as she was rubbing medicine on the piglet's head from the first aid kit. "Ranma, don't you think this pig is kind of strange?" she asked.

"What do you mean?" replied Ranma as she once again allowed the piglet to snuggle up against her chest.

"Well, how did he manage to get into the house, and why is he so fond of you when that neckerchief implies that he already has an owner?" Akane explained. "Plus, there's something perverted about the way he's nuzzling your breasts."

"Akane, you think everything a male does is perverted," Ranma pointed out. "Relax, it's just a cute little pig. I don't really want him for a pet, anyway. If we can't find an owner, do you want him?"

Akane thought about it. He was really cute, and she liked the idea of having a pet like him, but something was still bothering her about the piglet. "Maybe," she finally answered as she took the piglet from Ranma. "We can figure it out in the morning. I'll give this little guy a hot bath, and then we can go back to bed."

The piglet had started to struggle as soon as Akane had taken him, but at these last words he became frantic and started squealing in fright. "KWEE KWEE KWWEEEE!"

"Oh, calm down you," chastised Akane as she took him to the bathroom. "Tell you what. I'll soak in the tub with you." Once in the changing room, Akane held the piglet down with one foot while she removed her pajamas and panties. Unfortunely, she didn't notice Ryoga's clothes and supplies that were still in one corner of the room.

In the inner bathroom, Akane quickly filled the bathtub with warm water. "In you go," she said as she casually tossed the piglet into the water. Imagine her surprise when instead of a black piglet a naked Ryoga emerged. "R-r-ryoga?! You're a p-p-pig?! A J-jusenkyo curse?!" Akane stuttered as she fell to her knees in shock.

"You know about Jusenkyo?" asked a surprised Ryoga.

"Yeah, Ranma's father had a curse that turned him into a panda," Akane explained. It's kind of funny that even though she's not cursed Ranma actually gets wets just as much as her father did. I guess part of the curse is genetic or some-"

She stopped as she realized that Ryoga had stopped listening and was looking down at her chest. Her very exposed chest, and was that blood dripping out of his nose? "PERVERT!" Akane shrieked as she slapped him with her right hand while covering her breasts with her left arm. With the shock of Ryoga's transformation, she hadn't realized that she was completely naked and kneeling in front of an equally naked boy. She quickly stood up and ran for the safety of the changing room. "Nice butt!" called Ryoga as she ran.

A few seconds later she came back in wearing a bathrobe. "What are you doing here, pervert?" she icily asked with a scowl.

"Relax, b****, it's not you I'm interested in," replied Ryoga. "I came here to see Ranma. You see, I have a lousy sense of direction, so I couldn't find my way to your house until now, and it might take me forever to get back if I had left and tried to come back during the day. So I thought I'd use my curse to, um, get to know Ranma better tonight, then in the morning I can change back and act like I just got here. I just know we'll become great friends with me there as a man to help comfort her over the loss of her parents, then we can start dating, and one day we'll get married. {sigh} She's so strong, talented, and confident but also kind and caring. I'm sure she won't mind my curse when I eventually explain it to her."

During the explanation, Akane started losing her temper but then found herself cracking up until she was full out laughing. "You and Ranma?! You think Ranma wants a man to comfort her?! Oh, that's so funny!" she managed to spit out between laughs.

Thinking it was a personal insult, Ryoga ignored her as he got out of the tub, grabbed the rinse nozzle, and prepared to spray himself with cold water...

Ranma was waiting back in the tea room when suddenly the piglet ran by being chased by an angry Akane in a bathrobe. "What's this racket about?" she wondered out loud. Her eyes went wide, and she had to stifle a nosebleed when the flapping bathrobe exposed the juncture of Akane's legs at one point.

"How dare you bite me! Get back here, you pervert!" shouted Akane as she threw and nailed the pig on the head with a washpan.

"Akane, stop! What're you doing?!" complained Ranma as the piglet ran to her side.

"Coward! Hiding behind your precious Ranma!" taunted Akane.

"Akane, he's just a pig. There's nothing to be jealous about," said Ranma.

"Jealous?! Why would I be jealous?!" denied Akane. "Fine, you can keep the little pervert for all I care!" She turned her back and crossed her arms.

Ranma sighed. "I don't know why you two can't get along. He's perfectly happy with me." She picked the piglet up and saw tears in his eyes. "Poor thing. Let's go to bed."

Akane stiffened. " a second! That pig is-"

"Ah, that's a good boy. Don't cry!" comforted Ranma. She then bent forward and kissed the pig's snout.

"Aaaa!" screeched Akane. "Ranma, you don't understand! That's Ryoga with a Jusenkyo curse!"

"Please, Akane, don't make things up. Jealousy doesn't suit you," responded Ranma as she carried the pig upstairs.

"Aarrgh!" groaned Akane in anger as she restrained herself from just rushing over and strangling the cursed pervert with her bare hands. "I need hot water," she realized as she rushed into the kitchen and started to heat a kettle as fast as she could. Thankfully, with her mother alive in this universe, Akane had already learned how to boil water. She knew it didn't need to be boiling, so she kept testing it with her finger until she was sure it was hot enough. She turned off the stove and rushed up to Ranma's room as fast as she could.

Unfortunately, she was too late, as the pig was already lying at Ranma's side in her bed, cozily nestled up against two large pillows. "Akane, what're you- AHHH!" shouted Ranma as Akane wasted no time splashing both her and the pig with the hot water. She then noticed that the pig had turned into a naked Ryoga with his face still pressed into her breasts and let out an ear-piercing scream.

Mr. and Mrs. Tendo had so far managed to sleep through the night's events, but even they woke up when they heard Ranma's scream. Soun grabbed his naginata from the wall and together with his wife raced upstairs to defend their precious daughters. When they reached Ranma's room they pushed past Kasumi and Nabiki to find Ranma weeping in Akane's arms and a shell-shocked and naked young man sitting on the edge of Ranma's bed with a full erection between his legs.

They looked at Akane for an explanation, who pointed at Ryoga and said, "This is Ryoga Hibiki, the boy we fought at school today. He has a Jusenkyo curse that turns him into a pig, and he used it to sneak into Ranma's bed with her.

Soun immediately became extremely angry. He let loose his demon head technique and yelled at Ryoga, "How dare you defile my daughter! Stand still so I can cut off some body parts you don't deserve to have!"

Ryoga's face went white with fear, and he immediately ran to the window, opened it, and jumped out into the yard. Soun ran to the window and shouted, "If I ever catch you near any of my daughters again, I'll make sure I emasculate you!"

As Ryoga ran naked down the street he shouted out, "Akane Tendo, this is all your fault!"

Once everyone else had calmed down and left (and Akane had retrieved her clothes), Akane helped a still sniffling Ranma back into bed. "Akane, I'm sorry I didn't listen to you. Having a boy take advantage of me like that, it's one of my worst nightmares. And I kissed him; I can't believe at kissed him!"

"It's okay, Ranma," Akane said as she gave her sister a hug. "He's gone now. We'll all make sure he can't do anything else to you." She smiled and added, "At least it wasn't your first kiss."

Ranma returned the smile and said, "Thank goodness for that!" She paused then asked, "Akane, will you please stay here with me tonight?"

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" asked Akane in a concerned tone.

"I promise I won't do anything inappropriate. I just need the reassurance of having my sister beside me," explained Ranma.

"Of course, Ranma," replied Akane with another brilliant smile. She climbed into bed, and the two girls spent the rest of the night sleeping peacefully while holding each other tightly.

Author's Notes: Since I began this story, I've learned that "Ranma" is a name that can be used for either gender (a big reason Takahashi picked it), so all references to "Ranko" have been changed to "Ranma." Thank goodness for the "Find and Replace" function!

I've also learned and found independent corroborating evidence that "bokken" is merely the plural form of "bokuto." I'll be making corrections for it as I update my stories. There is still a mention of "bokken" in Chapter 2 of this story, because I mean for it to be plural in that case.

So here we have Ryoga's introuction in a universe where he has never previously met the other characters. With this in mind, I thought it would be amusing to switch up his relationships with Ranma and Akane while never figuring out Ranma's "preference," at least not until near the end of the story.

A note about power rankings: Ryoga and Kuno are assumed to have identital skills to their first appearances in the manga. Ranma didn't undergo Genma's crazy training methods for most of her life, so she's not quite at where her girl form was at this point in the manga. In addition, with her having always been a girl, she's focused her training more on her speed than her strength. Compared to Ryoga and Akane, this makes her the most skilled and by the fastest but with the least physical strength of the three. As for Akane, with her father and "sister" providing her with all the formal training she missed out on in the manga, she's already realized a large portion of the potential she showed with the enchanted battle armor. She's not quite as good as Ranma, but she'd be the favorite in a one-on-one match with Ryoga at this time. Of course, once Cologne starts training the three of them in the Amazon techniques, this will all go out the window.

By the way, I've decided on the secondary pairings for this story. I'm not going to spoil them for you here, but tell me if you want to know, and I'll tell you by PM.

For my updating plans in the near future, I'll be doing a couple chapters of "Leap Year," then a chapter of "Love Looketh...," and then I'll get back to "Rakanma One Half" with occasional additions to "Ranma and Akane: The One True Couple" and maybe a one shot whenever I can fit them in.