It didn't matter where the creature... monster... demon... came from. All Ranma cared about what the fact that his mother -- of all person -- was confronting it, and it would take several moments for him to reach her. The Saotome Family Sword was all that stood between the demon and Ranma's mother, the Tendos, the unconscious Kunos, Shampoo, and himself. For a split second, Ranma thought he was the family sword glow a faint greenish color... but that was impossible. He'd seen his mother practice her kendo and she was only an average kendoist. Nowhere near the level required to generate a battle aura. Ranma was only a moment away from his mother when the demon struck her and the blow sent her flying into Ranma. Both he and his mother were thrown back several meters. A quick examination of his mother told him that his mother was badly injuried, much more so that from a simply normal, human hit. He realized that touching the demon was not a good idea. So, he picked up the Saotome Family Sword in order to battle the demon. And the instance that Ranma touched it, he realized that the Saotome Family Sword was a "true weapon," which is to say that it was both enchanted and linked to his very soul. How the link was forged, he didn't wish to know, although, he did know that whatever the mechanics were, a piece of his very essence was tranfered into the sword has had a piece of every user before him, from his mother to the very first user, Raiju, who forged the blade out of his magic and steel. All those pieces were flooding through Ranma's mind casting him a drift. In that moment, Ranma was One with all the sword's previous owners and would have been lost in such a vast ocean of knowledge, personalities, and styles... if it was for the fact, that he had some experience of such mental turmol from the Neko-ken, which was created by Raiju, himself. In the same instant that Ranma touched the sword, he was washed with vast sea of knowledge, the accumilation of the previous owners, who were sorcerers, martial artists, priests, healers, and a few demons. And then, the very next instant, a 'door' opened in Ranma's mind. With the opening of the door, he entered a new world of sensations and understanding. A blue glow spend throughout Ranma's body. This glow was different from his battle aura that he manifested from time to time. Unlike his battle aura, which flicked and pulsed, this glow was steady and seemed to permenate his entire body evenly. If that wasn't wondrous enough, Ranma was also floating a few centimeters above the ground, although he didn't realize it. The only he cared about at the moment was the fact there was an unpunished demon who had attacked his mother. For which, he was determined to make the demon pay. And he wasn't going to accept credit... The demon's scream brought those still conscious back to reality, or what passed for reality where Ranma was glowing a steady blue and not touching the ground. It also brought Kodachi Kuno back to the land of the conscious. She looked around her noting Ranma's "condition" and the remains of the demon that appeared out of nowhere. Slowly, Kodachi got to her feet and walked toward Ranma. She stopped a meter from him and patiently awaited him to acknowldge her, as was proper. Ranma knew where everyone were and had a pretty good idea what they were doing. Everyone, expect Kodachi, was in shock, denoted by their open-mouth stares in his directions. Kodachi, for a change, was quiet and had a very determined look on her face. But that didn't matter to him. What did matter was his mother, who needed to be healed. Using his new knowledge, he used his chi and some magic, to do just that by placing his left palm against his mother's forehead. For a few moments, Nodoka's aura grew like Ranma or Ryouga's did when they started to perform one of their ki-attacks. Through the flicking and ulsing, everyone could see Nodoka's bruises and cuts clear and close themselves. After only a few moments, Nodoka was as good as new... or rather her body was. Her torn clothes were the only testament to her encounter with the now deceased demon. Once his mother was nolonger in danger, Ranma turned to Kodachi and simply acknowledged her with a glance. Kodachi swallowed and in her most formal voice she asked, "Ranma no Kami, please take this unworthy one as your servant." Exactly what service she wished to perform for Ranma, became obvious as Kodachi tried to show off her 'assests' while trying not to scare the new kami away with blatant sexuality that had disturbed him in the past. Of course, Akane realized what Kodachi was suggesting from the start, what surprised her and greatly angred her was the fact that Ranma was thinking it over. Thus with Akane's Righteous Fury (trademark pending), she raised her trusted "Mallet of Doom" to smit the Perverted One. She got within a meter of Ranma no Kami before a bolt of lightning stuck the wooden mallet setting it aflame. Undaunted by the fact that her mallet was going up like a matchstick, she continued... only to receive first-degree burns on her hands for stubbornly holding onto her mallet. Ranma was thinking it over. He knew if he dismissed Kodachi out right, she won't be able to live with herself. He knew, from his new knowledge which was still being integrated into him, that Koadachi believed that he was her only hope of salvation. And if he removed that hope... Of course, he didn't need a concubine... Although, if he used Kodachi to satify his 'needs' knowing that she was happy just to perform such a service for him, it would make dealing with his fiancees a lot easier.... Ranma paused a moment to search for the origin of such an alien thought. True, most of his 'girl' problems could be traced to three sources, one, Genma, two, the fact that he was a virgin, both sexually and seeming interacting with the opposite sex, and lastly, the fact that he didn't wish to cause unnecessarily pain in others. A thought surfaced that if he removed source two, it might enable him to deal with sources one and three better. Of ocurse, losing his virginity would be a problem in itself, as to, to whom to lose it to and the consequences of such an action. Still, the fact remained, if Ranma didn't accept Kodachi on some level for some service... Mentally signing, he answered her, "You can serve me... by taking your brother home." Kodachi glowed in happiness as she bowed to her Lord and Master and gently picked her brother up. Let the others waste their time looking to be brides. She knew that marriage was a sham, afterall, a marriage could only end one of two ways, a messy divorce or through death. She seen what marriage had done to her parents and other "couples." In the end, what was a wife, but a figure head, a meanless title... It was the mistresses and concubines that did all the imporant work... the fun work... The others could only watch Kodachi leave. Unlike her, they knew that Ranma hadn't fully accepted her, especially not in the 'position' she wanted, but, what they didn't understand was why didn't he reject her out right. They looked to him for an explanation, but got none. They were met with a neutral face. A staring match began between Ranma and the others until Nodoka stirred. Ranma meant to say 'Mother,' but with so many personalities going through his head, his mother's included, it came out as "Raicho." Upon hearing her nickname, Nodoka bolted up and looked around. her eyes stopped and stared at the glowing, floating Ranma. In a worried voice, she asked, "Ranma? Are you okay?" "Never better," Ranma replied. He helped his mother to stand. Once her was sure she could stand on her way, he took a step back. The two just looked into each other's eyes. In that moment, Ranma knew everything that Nodoka had gone through, her early childhood as a tomboy, hte death of her mother, the disappointment of her father that she was such a poor magical student, her love for the baka that was his father, the pain of being separated from him, and her happiness at being reunited. With a smile and a bow, Ranma handed back the Saotome Family Sword to Nodoka. Only when Nodoka tried to grab the handle, her hand pasted through it. After the second try, she said in a tear in her eyes, "It's chosen you... over me." Not knowning what to say, Ranma just shrugged and shealthed the sword onto his back, where it disappeared. With that, everyone headed to their respective home. Much later, Nodoka and Kasumi made supper. When everyone minus Ranma was ready for dinner, Kasumi asked Akane to get Ranma. Akane returned, without Ranma, in a few moments. Her eyes were wide open in surprise. "Where's Ranma?" Nodoka inquiried. In an absent-minded voice, Akane replied, "He's in the Dojo, practicing... He was still glowing, Auntie." Everyone except Nodoka gave a start at the report that Ranma was still glowing. Most had dimissed Ranma's glowing for his battle aura and had thought it would die down as he relaxed after such a tremdious fight. But the fight had been before breakfast and it was now supper time, a late supper time. Nodoka simply nodded at the report and then asked, "When's he coming to eat?" In a disbelieving voice, Akane answered, "He said, he wasn't hungry..." With that statement, everyone's jaw dropped open and even Nodoka studdered and questioned, "What?" Akane repeated, "He said, he wasn't hungry... and I think he was serious." The impossible had happened, Ranma wasn't interested in food... food cooked by Kasumi and his mother. The next morning, Kasumi got up as was her habit, and went down to make breakfast for everyone. As she passed the Dojo, she could hear sounds coming from it. Curious, she went over to investigate. She found Ranma practicing in the Dojo. She also noted that Ranma was still floating a few centimeters off the ground and still glowing like he did yesterday. In fact, she thought that he seemed to be glowing more brightly. She watched as Ranma jumped into the air... or more correctly, he flew through the air like that boy, Herb, did... At no time, did he touch the ground with his feet, or passed for breath. In fact, she wasn't sure Ranma knew she was there until he said without pausing in his kata, "Hi, Kasumi." "Ranma," Kasumi said as she gave a start as she realized that she had been staring at Ranma for a while now. "How long have you been in here?" His response was, "I don't know... since we got back..." Now, Kasumi really did stare. That meant that Ranma had been in the Dojo most of yesterday and all of last night... and he didn't work the least bit winded or uncomfortable. It also meant that he hadn't eaten anything since two nights ago, since yesterday's breakfast and lunch as interrupted by the demon. In a small voice, Kasumi asked, "Are you hungry?" Kasumi thought that Ranma didn't heard her so she was about to ask her question again, but Ranma paused and answered, "No, I'm not. I think I should be... but I'm not." Breakfast that morning went typically well for the Tendo household with the three Saotomes there was well. At on the surface, only Kasumi, Nodoka, and Akane noticed that Ranma wasn't actually eating. Instead he was giving his food away to Genma and Nabiki without them noticing. After breakfast, Nabiki, Akane, and Ranma walked to school. Although, in Ranma's case, it was more that he floated there since his feet still hadn't touched the ground. "You're going to be a big hit at school, Ranma" Nabiki joked. "No ones going to need a reading light with you around." Ranma opened his mouth to say something, but he closed. It was then that Ranma's greatest enemy landed her attack, the dreaded Laddle Lady had stuck again. "Watch where you're..." Ranma said as began to swipe away the excess water until *he* noticed that he was still male even though he was splashed with cold water. Both Tendo sisters could only stare. Akane become Ranma didn't change and Nabiki become he was dry. Ranma shrugged and said, "Just I'm water-proof now..." Amazingly, or not considered this dealt with Ranma, the students of Furnikan High School quickly got used to Ranma glowing all the time. Ranma and everyone else learned an interesting fact about the new Ranma when Miss Hinako Ninomiya tried to drain his battle aura, she couldn't. And she tried... lots of times... and didn't even get a drop or a flicker. Lunchtime was... intersting. All three of his fiancees tried to get Ranma to eat ttheir lucnhes that they made for him. To the surprise of everyone, he informed everyone that he wasn't hungry. Of course, Shampoo and Ukyou took blamed Akane for this, even as Ranma tried to xplain that wasn't the case. Three fiancees getting ready to fight when three ribbons came out of nowhere to tangle them up. A purple ribbon tangled up Shampoo, a blue one got Ukyou, and a red one got Akane. All three fiancees, Ranma, and everyone else turned to see who was able to tangle them up. To their surprise, it was Kodachi. Even more amazing was the fact that she was wearing a kimono, although, to Ranma at least, it was all she wore. He had to wondered how long she would continue to wear it. Flashes of Kodachi removing her kimono, keeling naked, and offering herself there and then went through Ranma's paniced mind. Instead, Kodachi quickly bowed deeply to Ranma, which allowed a fleeting glance of the tops of her breast to show, and the turned to address the three fiancees with, "Silly peasants. Ranma no Kami, like all kami, doesn't need to eat... or sleep..." Something clicked in Ranma's mind as he realized, yes, Kodachi's statement was true... kamis don't need to eat... or sleep... and that, for whatever reason, Ranma was a kami now... Kami of what, he didn't know. Although, he doubted he was lucky enough that it had to do with martial arts or anything he would like... Akane, Shampoo, and Ukyou could only stare at Kodachi. They couldn't and won't belief her.