Akane twisted the dial, and voices from her radio filled the room.

"...Public Affairs Radio, and I'm your host, Kinnosuke Cashew. Today's guests are a couple of students from Furinkan High School, Hiroshi Chapatsu and Daisuke Mifune."



"Guys, everybody's talking about this old man's underwear that was stolen. Now, you're friends with some of the people who live at that house, isn't that correct?"

"Can I just say here that this underwear theft was a terrible, vicious crime, and that the perpetrator should be caught and punished?"

"Oh, sure, you can say that, Hiroshi. What do you think, Daisuke?"

"I think that this underwear theft was a terrible, vicious crime, and that the perpetrator should be caught and punished."

"Hey, didn't I already say the same thing?"

"Um, I guess so. I figured it couldn't hurt to say it again."

"Now, boys, you two are very typical high school students, and certainly not the types who someone would slip five hundred yen to come on a radio show and say what she wanted you to say, am I right?"

"Oh, absolutely."

"Yeah, it was only four hundred."

"Shut up, dummy! Anyway, one thing that Daisuke and I do that isn't so typical is write fanfiction."

"Oh really? I wasn't aware of that."

"I guess it's another of those things that Takahashi forgot to mention."

Kinnosuke chuckled. It was a running gag for him to blame his research director, Abe Takahashi, for any piece of relevant information that he hadn't been briefed on before the show.

"Fanfiction is great. You write stories about characters that you take from anime or movies or somewhere like that, and you post them to the internet. When you write something really good, you get made a 'big name author' and then women everywhere are hot for you."

"Hiroshi's right. In fact, he and I have written a fic inspired by this underwear incident, which we've brought to read on your show."

"I'm sure our listeners would love to hear that. Go right ahead, guys."

"Righteous Rage, by Hiroshi and Daisuke. Ahem. Sailor Moon sat in her...."


"Oh yeah. Thanks, 'roshi. Disclaimer: We can't be bothered to give credit to the author whose character we're using. Nevertheless, please don't sue us."

"It's a joke. Ha ha."

"Anyway. Sailor Moon sat in her living room, reading the newspaper article about the old man whose underwear was stolen. 'This was a terrible, vicious crime,' she said, 'and that the perpetrator should be caught and punished.'"

"Er... that's it, is it?"

"I bet those women are lining up outside our doors right now."


Ranma 1/2 manga fanfiction
(with guest appearances from Oh My Goddess!
and Maison Ikkoku)
by Gary Kleppe

The characters and storylines of Ranma 1/2 and Maison Ikkoku are the creation of Rumiko Takahashi. The characters of Oh My Goddess! (Aa, Megamisama!) are the creation of Kosuke Fujishima. All uses of these characters in this story is without permission or legal right. Permission is granted to copy and distribute this story, provided that you maintain credit to the above authors and myself, you do not alter it substantially without permission, and it is not made available on an internet site which carries commercial advertising or otherwise used for profit.

Thanks to Chan Wei Lik and KaraOhki for prereading the earlier sections of this story, and to FFIRC Hour Challenge group 1 in which most of the later material was written. As always, all feedback is welcomed and

Akane flicked the radio knob to off. She briefly considered going to join the line of women that would no doubt be forming near Hiroshi and Daisuke's houses, then decided it wasn't worth the trouble and put the mallet down.

Someone knocked on her door.

"Come in!"

The familiar figure of her teacher pushed open the door, Ranma behind her. "Ms. Tendo! Hiiii!"

"Oh, hi, Ms. Hinako. It's so nice of you to come visit me!"

"Well, I couldn't very well forget my best student, could I?" Hinako smiled. "I just came by to bring you your homework. And Mr. Saotome's, since he missed class today as well."

"You didn't go to school today, Ranma?"

"Um, no. I had... um, sympathy pains! That's just the kind of nice guy I am. You get hurt, and I get hurt along with you."

Hinako rolled her eyes.

"Actually, Ranma does get sympathy pains, Ms. Hinako." Akane cracked her knuckles. "He'll probably be getting some pretty major ones right after you leave."

"Anyway," Hinako said, turning to hand Ranma a paper, "here's your composition assignment back from last week. Overall, a good job. However, please remember that an adjective should be accompanied by a noun which it modifies."

"Oh yeah." Ranma accepted the paper. "My bad."

"Actually, I know why Ranma didn't go to school today," Akane said. "His father's got him trying to develop a martial art based on train-spotting, and he can't admit it's a stupid idea."

"Sure I can. It is a stupid idea!"

"You're still trying to do it, though. I bet you spent the whole day watching the big diesel locomotives go by."

"I did not!" Ranma scowled. "And besides, they were electric, not diesel."

"Now, as to your homework, Ms. Tendo...." Hinako pulled a notebook from her handbag as Ranma slipped out of the room. "I thought that while you're out of school, instead of the regular assignments, you could do a special project. Research a topic and present it to me."

"All right," Akane said. "What topic?"

Hinako leaned in closer, and spoke in a conspiratorial whisper. "What do husbands and wives do alone together in the bedroom?"

"I'm not researching that!"

"Oh, please!"


"But I want to know!" Hinako pouted. "And you've even got a fiance already. They must have told you by now!"

Akane put a hand to her temple to nurse a sudden headache. She felt oddly sorry for Hinako, the eternal child who would never be treated as an adult. Akane slowly glanced from side to side, as if expecting someone to be watching. "They have relations," she muttered.


"Yes. You know what that means, don't you?"

"Of course I do. Brothers, cousins, uncles...."

Akane sighed. "You're sure you really want to know?"

Hinako nodded vigorously.

Akane sighed again.


Hinako's mind swam as she descended the stairs of the Tendo household. Oh, she said to herself, those relations.

"Yup, put me down for both of those dates on your show," Nabiki said into the telephone. "I'll mail you a check ASAP. Right. Bye." She hung up. "Oh, hello, Ms. Hinako. What brings you down here?"

"Just came to visit with Akane," Hinako said. "We had a discussion that was very... interesting. How are you?"

"I'm fine, thank you. Rather busy recently. I've picked up a little extra work. It's only temporary, but the money's quite good."

"Why, how nice! What sort of job is it?"

"Oh, just a little public relations that Master Happosai is paying me for."


"Are you all right?"

"Er, yes. I think I'd better be going. Bye, now!" Hinako hurried out the door, closed it behind her, and then shuddered. Several times.

In public?

For money?

With Happosai?!

Maybe she didn't want to know after all.


Ranma came down the stairs in time to see his father and Mr. Tendo enter. "Yo! Old freak! They're back!"

"Hello, Father," Kasumi said. "Hello, Mr. Saotome. How was your expedition?"

Happosai bounded out from behind Ranma, setting down yet another pile of women's underwear, and stood in front of the two fathers like a general inspecting his troops. "What do you have to report?"

"Nothing, Master," Soun said. "We questioned a lot of people. When asked 'are you the underwear thief,' all of them said no."

Happosai rolled his eyes. "Did you by any chance happen to think of asking them where you might find the underwear thief?"

"Yes, we did, Master," Genma said.


"They sent us here."

"Idiots!" Happosai whapped them on the forehead with his pipe. "But I suppose it doesn't matter. I've now had time to consider this myself, and there's really only one person it could be."

"Who's that, Master?" Soun asked.

"My dear old flame. Cologne." Happosai's eyes narrowed. "She's Chinese, you know."

"We did know that, yeah," Ranma snorted.

"Chinese people are, you know, a little strange." He pointed to his head. "Up here. I still remember the first time I met that dear girl...."

"Oh, Happy. How can I ever thank you? You not only single-handedly routed the invading armies, but also gave me multiple orgasms that I'll remember as long as I... oh, I just shudder to think of it."

"Thanks are unnecessary. I merely do what duty dictates for a simple, humble warrior such as myself." He bowed, his long mane of burgundy hair billowing behind him. "If you've had a chance to review my seventy-eight-page guide to effective local government, I believe you'll find some principles which..."

"Hey, weren't you a blonde the last time you told this story?"

"Quiet, boy!"

"Oh, Happy. How can I ever thank you? You not only, um, whatever it was I said the last time."

"Thanks are unnecessary." He bowed. "But now, I must depart."

"Wait! Oh, you must take our village's treasures with you! For the services you've given us — and especially me — it is the very least repayment we can offer."

"I cannot." He turned to go.

"You must!" She ran in front of him, holding up a large trunk bulging with jewels. "Either you take this treasure, or I'm dumping it in the river. Think of what that would do to the fishes."

"Very well. If it means that much to you, I shall accept your valuables."

"Thank you! Thank you!"

Hefting the huge trunk onto one of his broad shoulders, he began to walk.

"Oh, I should warn you of one thing. Being Chinese, I'm subject to completely irrational fits of violence. When we meet again, I might attack you, perhaps claiming that you stole all of the loot that I just gave you. It's nothing I can help, you understand."

He nodded. "Farewell, good lady."

"Hey, wasn't that the time you first saw the Hiryu Shoten Ha? So that by the time I learned it, you already knew about it?"

Happosai scratched his head. "Oh yeah."

"Being Chinese, I'm subject to completely irrational fits of violence. In fact, I'm having one RIGHT NOW!" She raised her hands. "HIRYU SHOTEN HA!"


"My, what an interesting story!" Kasumi said.

"Right, boys." Happosai rubbed his hands together as he addressed Soun and Genma. "Time to get to work. I want you to go back out there to investigate. Find out that Cologne is responsible for stealing my underwear."

"Er, Master," Soun said, "don't you mean that we should find out whether Cologne—"

Happosai glared proverbial daggers back at him.

"The master knows what he means, Tendo." Genma took Soun by the arm, and the two sprinted off. With a self-satisfied smile, Happosai sauntered off behind them.

Kasumi eyed the pile of undergarments strewn across the floor. "Oh, I'd better get started on washing all of Master Happosai's things."

"Kasumi," Ranma said, "don't you realize that these aren't his? That he stole all of those undies?"

"I—" Her voice wavered. "I know Master Happosai isn't perfect." She gestured, indicating the demolished wall. "But I just hope that he can catch the person who did this. With someone like this on the loose, shouldn't we all stick together?"

"Kasumi, the old freak is the reason why whoever this is is after us in the first place. And he doesn't have a clue about who really did it. All he's doing by stealing all these undies is making us a whole slew of new enemies who might come crashing through our wall next year, or next week.He's the one we need to be fighting against. Don't you see that?"

"I— I'm not a martial artist, Ranma. Fighting isn't any of my business." Laundry in hand, she quickly slipped out of the room.

Damn it, Ranma thought. He liked Kasumi, and not just because she was his meal ticket. She was probably the family member least likely to get him into trouble, and least likely to bug him about stuff he didn't want to be bugged about. But sometimes it seemed to him that she desperately needed to have a certain above-the-neck appendage forcibly removed from a certain orifice. Fighting isn't any of my business. Tell that to the next person who comes here looking for revenge. If he doesn't kill you before you get the chance.


Nabiki listened as Kinnosuke's voice came over the radio speaker. "Is the caller there?"


"Hello, madam. You're on the air."

"Really? Oh, wow. Um, I just wanted to say that I'm, y'know, appalled by what these Chinese people did. It's obvious to me that they hate honor and virtue and stuff like that. They're jealous of us because we're like, so totally good."

Nabiki rolled her eyes. This was just too easy. It seemed like these people would believe anything as long as you made them out to be the heroes and somebody else to be the bad guys. Was there any limit to how gullible they were?


Inside the Cat Cafe, Shampoo's bicycle skidded to a stop. "I home, Great-grandmother!" she called as she stepped off it.

"Oh, Shampoo!" Mousse lunged forward, grabbing the target of his affection in a forceful embrace. "I'm so glad you're safe!"

She smacked the back of his head. "Stop hugging bicycle. Of course I safe. Why I not be safe?"

"Be— because there's an angry mob surrounding our restaurant!"

An angry mob? She glanced outside, noting the path of flattened bodies that now led to where she had entered. Hmm. So there is.

"Hand over the underwear!" one person shouted.

"Go back to your own country!" yelled another.

"They showed up early this afternoon," Cologne said, entering the room. "None of them have actually attacked anyone... so far. But they have had a big impact on business."

"Aiya!" Shampoo said. "Sales is down?"

"No, up." She pointed a thumb at the people outside. "Being part of a lynch mob is hungry work."

Shampoo nodded. "Mousse and I go cook, then."

"Just a minute." Cologne's face hardened into a serious expression. "These are hard times we face ahead, young ones. Enduring them will take all of our resolve and require us to make difficult choices. Above all, we must remember that we are all in this together. All for one, and one for all."

"Absolutely!" Mousse cheered.

"So, Mousse, you're fired."


"If Happy and his cronies manage to convince people to boycott us, there won't be much money coming in. I can't risk any chance of not being able to afford that vacation package I've got my eye on."

"I... see. I'll go pack up my things, then." Mousse looked over at Shampoo, as if searching for sympathy. Finding none, he sulked out of the room.

"You look surprised by this, Great-Granddaughter," Cologne said.

Shampoo nodded. "I not realize we paying him in first place." She smirked. "But is his tough luck."

"Absolutely. Oh, and one other thing. With him gone, you'll have to do the work he used to do, plus your own."

Uttering a non-committal grunt, Shampoo plodded out of the room.


Seeing no one had even come to say goodbye, Mousse drew a heavy sigh, and stepped out into the late-evening gloom.

"Hey, boy."

Mousse looked up. A trio of beefy men stood before him, their faces glowering menacingly.

"Let's have it." The man in the middle reached out a hand. "Right now, and there won't be any trouble."

"Er... have what?"

"Don't play dumb, China boy." The man moved closer. "We know you've got the underwear."

"I have?"

The man nodded. "Hand it over, and nobody'll have to get hurt."

"All right." Mousse reached inside his robes and pulled out an item. "Here you go."

"What do you take us for, China boy?" The man took the item, which was a roll of paper towels, and threw it to where it unrolled across the sidewalk. "The underwear. Now."

"Oh. Sorry." Mousse's hand dug into the other side of his robes. "How about this, then?"

The man shook his head slowly. "That's a trombone."

"Okay, wait a minute. I think it's this one."

"Nope. That's a copy of the dictionary."

"Hm. Then how about...."


The saleslady raised an eyebrow. "That will be twenty-three thousand eight hundred ninety-eight yen, madam."

Setting the clothes she was buying on the counter, Nabiki casually pulled a wad of bills from her purse and peeled off the asked-for amount. While she'd been less than thrilled about the idea of working for Happosai, it was certainly nice to be able to buy whatever she wanted without having to worry about the price.

"Thank you, madam."

Scooping up her purchases, Nabiki strolled toward the exit. So, she thought, what now? She'd set aside the evening to enjoy herself, to get away from obligations for a little while. After all, money was worthless if it didn't get spent.

Perhaps dinner at Hiyo's next. It would be a refreshing change to go there without having to con some boyfriend-wannabe into taking her. Though when it came down to it, what she was doing wasn't all that different from her usual schtick. In a sense, she had a whole neighborhood full of suitors to take advantage of, for as long as they were gullible enough to put up with it.

Just how gullible are these people? she wondered. Enough to...

No. She tried to push the mental image out of her mind. There was nobody who could possibly be dumb enough to buy into that.

Or was there?


"It seems that our citizens have come up with a new way of showing solidarity with the victims of the still-at-large underwear thief," Kinnosuke announced. "Groups of men have been spotted wearing their underwear on the outside of their clothes. The management of this station applauds these spontaneous outbursts of grass-roots support, and wishes it to be known that all of our personnel will be wearing our underwear on the outside until the criminal is brought to justice."

Nabiki put a hand to her mouth. It wouldn't do to laugh, not while sitting in the control room from which the show was being broadcast live. She had to give Kinnosuke credit, though. While the "grass-roots support," of course, was entirely phony, at least the man practiced what he preached, as evidenced by the pair of red-and-green plaid boxers that she was trying very hard not to stare at.

"With me in the studio now is Master Happosai, the old gentleman who was the primary victim of this crime," Kinnosuke continued. "Sir, I understand that you have evidence that suggests who the guilty parties might be."

Happosai plopped himself onto the desk. "That I do. While I'm not in a position to name any definite names at the moment, let me just say that if I were investigating this — which I am — I might start by visiting a certain Chinese restaurant in Nerima."

"Mmm, the Cat Cafe. What leads you to believe that those people are involved?"

"Oh, a few things." He pulled a magazine out of his shirt. "I happened to find this at the scene of the crime."

"'Sino-Decagenarian Monthly?' That's rather rare, isn't it?"

"Very much so. I had to send all the way to Beijing to get this copy."

Kinnosuke's eyes rolled. "The copy that you obtained in order to check it against the copy found at the scene and make sure that it was the same thing?"

"Er... yes. That copy."

Nabiki could almost hear the old-style cash register going off inside Kinnosuke's head. Chhk-Chinnng! Every time he had to rescue Happosai from a gaffe, it would cost her money. Oh well. Expenses had to be met, and there wasn't much she could do about it. Besides, there was still plenty left over for her to spend.

"I also found this at the scene." Happosai produced a sheet of paper, which he handed to Kinnosuke.

"'I've gat'... er, 'I've got your undress'... this is almost impossible to make out."

"Oh come on!" Happosai snatched the note. "My handwriting is not that bad!"

There was a moment of awkward silence.

"Er... I mean my handwriting is not as bad as this handwriting, which, um, is pretty bad. Anyway, it says 'I've got your undies and you'll never get them back! Nya ha ha! Sincerely, Ke Lun.'"

"Let's go to the phones," Kinnosuke said. "And remember, we welcome opposing viewpoints. Critics get moved to the top of the line. Is the first caller there?"


Shampoo came into the back room to find Cologne on the telephone. "Who calling, Great-grandmother?"

Cologne looked up. "I'm trying to call into that radio show that Happosai is doing, to give our side of the story. But I can't get through. I told the call screener what I wanted to say and he just put me on hold."

"I try?"

Cologne handed over the phone. Shampoo pushed the button to disconnect the call, then hit redial.

"Hello? This Kinnosuke's show? Oooooooooh!! I such big fan! He so absolutely right about everything! I want have his baby!"

She passed back the telephone as another voice answered. "Is the caller there? This is Kinnosuke, and you're on the air."

"You have a real talent, young lady," Cologne said. "Hello, Happy."

"Aaaa!" Happosai's voice came over the phone. "It's her! The underwear thief herself!"

"I don't really know what you're talking about."

"Oh, you don't, do you. For all of you folks at home, this is Cologne. If we could search her restaurant, the Cat Cafe, the hunt for the missing underwear would be over. But she'll never agree to that."

"Search the Cat Cafe? If you insist."

"Never in a million years would she possibly give us permission to...."

"I just did, Happy."

For a moment, no one spoke.

"See you tonight, then?"

"Er. Ah. All right, then. But don't think that you can get away with...."

"While we're on the subject, perhaps there are other places we ought to look for stolen underwear. Maybe... oh, maybe someplace like the one where you—"

"Hello?!" Kinnosuke interrupted. "Hello, caller? Caller? It seems we've been cut off."


Ranma leaned back against the wall of his bedroom and sighed. The trigonometry problems in his textbook had dissolved into a dull blur under the weight of his stare; all he could concentrate on was how pissed off he was about the whole Happosai business.

He wondered if Happosai had known that somebody was going to attack that night. Was it more than just a coincidence that he'd left the house for the evening? Since when had he been interested in ballet, anyway? Maybe... maybe he'd even arranged the whole thing himself. That would be a new low, even for him. But the way he'd turned it so completely to his advantage made Ranma have to wonder.

Quiet footsteps at the doorway to the room attracted Ranma's attention. He looked up in time to see a shadowy, diminutive figure skulk into the room. "Get lost, you old piece of—" The figure stood into view. "Huh? You?"


Ranma poured the hot water, and the small child morphed into an equally small old man. "What are you doing here?" Ranma asked cautiously.

Lukkosai grinned. "Now, is that any way to talk to the only person who can solve your problems?"

Ranma grunted non-committally.

"As long as Happosai's the master of the Anything Goes School, he'll get his way. You know that, don't you?"

"Yeah, so?"

"So this." Lukkosai pulled out a yellowed scroll and unrolled it.

Ranma took the scroll, scanned up and down, and handed it back. "I can't make out a word of this."

"It's a document, signed by Happosai fifty years ago. It states that if I can get a majority of the school's members to vote in favor of it, then he'll step down and I will become master of the school."

"You're kiddin'." Ranma glanced at the scroll again, which was still illegible. "Why did he agree to somethin' like that?"

"You must understand, back then, his status as master of the school was precarious at best. Many of our members would have simply left if they felt they weren't being given any say in the way it was run. So he gave them a choice."

Ranma shook his head. "I don't get any of this. But if that's my choices, you got my vote. Not like you could be any worse than him."

"I appreciate that." Lukkosai shook his hand, and Ranma wondered if that last statement wouldn't go in the record books under dumbest things ever said. "But I need more than that."


"Ranma, the only way I can win this is if you help me convince other people to think the same way you do."

Ranma snorted. "Fat chance. I got better things to do."

"As you wish." Lukkosai slipped out of the room.

Ranma grumbled to himself. As if he was going to go around trying to convince people that one pervert was better than another pervert. What a total waste of time.

And yet, it was true what Lukkosai had said. Happosai would get his way as long as he was in charge of the school. Pop and Mr. Tendo certainly weren't about to stand up to him.

Ranma sighed.


A knock sounded, and Akane opened her bedroom door. "No, Ranma, you may not copy my math homework."

"That is so completely not what I came to ask you, Akane."

"Then what is it?"

Ranma stepped inside. "Akane, you don't think it's a good thing that the head of our school is an old pervert, do you?"

"Of course I don't," she answered.

"Yeah. Neither do I. So—" Out of the corner of his eye, Ranma saw Lukkosai zip through the door into the room, heading directly for Akane's underwear drawer. "Whoa!" Ranma pointed behind her away from Lukkosai.

She looked back. "Huh?"

Ranma leaned over and flattened Lukkosai with his elbow. "Oh. Nothin'. I thought I saw a cockroach, but it was just a smudge."

"Oh." She turned around. "Why are you hunched like that?"

"It's a new exercise. Anyway, like I was sayin'... We don't want the Anything Goes school in the hands of a pervert who steals underwear." His elbow pushed into Lukkosai's skull. "Do we?"

"No, we don't." Akane handed him a pencil. "As long as you're here, would you please sharpen this?"

"Oh. Sure." Ranma reached behind him to insert the pencil in the sharpener. "But back to what I was saying, the completely last person in the world we should want as the head of our school would be an old pervert who steals panties, right?"

"Right. And it was just as right the first two times," Akane said.

Lukkosai twisted free of Ranma's grasp, making a beeline for the underwear drawer. Ranma's foot quickly came down on top of his head, pummeling him into the ground.

"What was that for?"

"Um, looks like it was a cockroach after all. I'll clean it up for you before I go."


"So, anyway, we certainly wouldn't want... um... what I'm trying to say is... I mean, what I really want to ask you is..."


"Could I copy your math homework?"


"Wait, I think I've got it. Here."

"Nope. That's a toaster, China Boy."

"Oh. Then how about...."


"For those of you just joining us," Kinnosuke narrated into his portable microphone, "we're broadcasting live from the apartments above the Cat Cafe, where the search for the missing underwear is in progress. So far nothing's been turned up, but it's widely believed that it's only a matter of time."

"There." Happosai pointed toward an opened window. "An underwear thief would be able to make good use of that, to get in or out."

"You think they may have used it the night your underwear was stolen?" Kinnosuke asked.

"Oh, no. Just something I felt was noteworthy."

"You look every place you want," Shampoo said. "We nothing to hide."

Happosai looked her over. "You probably wear a silk bikini-cut panty, am I right?"

"That none of your business," the Amazon replied indignantly.

"So much for having nothing to hide," Happosai grumbled.

Kinnosuke moved to the back of the group. "With me now is a young man who is bravely helping out on this expedition, Mr. Ryoga Hibiki."

"Uh, hello," Ryoga said into the microphone. "Am— am I really on the radio?"

"That you are."

"Oh, wow. I mean, er, I, um, that is to say...."

Happosai whispered to Nabiki, "Why is he here?"

"Security," she answered.

Happosai glanced back at Ryoga, beaming him a kind smile, then turned back to Nabiki. "You've got to be kidding."

"Look, if there's a battle here, someone's going to get clobbered. I'd really rather that not be me. It probably won't be you, considering how good you are at getting out of the way. If it's Kinnosuke, I won't care all that much, but for now we need him healthy. So I decided to hire someone who's an expert at getting clobbered."

"Ah, I see. Martial Arts Cannon Fodder."

"Exactly. Ranma might've been better, but he isn't exactly supporting your cause at the moment."

Happosai zipped to the back. "Can I just say here that young men like Mr. Higaisha here are truly the backbone of our martial arts school."

"Hibiki," Ryoga said.


"My name is Hibiki, sir."

"Oh, right. Anyway, the point is that we, unlike certain contrary cross-dressers who we could name, fully appreciate and support Mr. Hitsuji as he bravely defends the honor of his, or rather my, martial arts school." Happosai patted Ryoga on the back. "Good lad! Salt of the Earth!" He quickly slipped to the front of the group where Nabiki stood, and whispered, "Are we actually paying him for this?"

"Uh huh."

"How much?"

"Five hundred yen."

"That much?!" Happosai noticed something stuck to his foot. He bent down and retrieved a sheet of paper. "What's this?"

It was a photocopy of a map showing a section of Tokyo. A red X marked one particular spot on the map; an arrow, labeled with a word Nabiki couldn't quite make out, pointed to it. "It says... 'undead'?"

"Don't be silly. Why would someone give us a map to undead?" Happosai looked at it. "It obviously says... um... 'undress'! That's it! Some kind soul has sent us—"

A paper airplane sailed in through the window, looping in the air and landing across his forehead. He picked it up and unfolded it. It read in large block letters: It says "undies," you idiot!

"Ah, of course," Happosai said. "Undies would've been my second guess."

"I think I can guess whose undies," Nabiki said. "Assuming it isn't a trap, or just a wild goose chase."

"Does it really matter whose undies? Unless you think she's really old and—"

Nabiki drew a slow breath. "Just whose undies have we been looking for?"

Happosai's brows narrowed in thought. "Oh! You mean mine."


"At last! I'll fetch those two ingrate students of mine, and we'll visit that location tonight."

Concealed behind the trash cans below the window, Zhen Guairen resisted the urge to laugh.


"I'm Kinnosuke Cashew with a special report. With me is a young man known as Mousse."

"Uh, hi."

"I understand that until recently you worked as a busboy in the Cat Cafe, and also lived there."

"That's correct, yes."

"As our listeners know, earlier tonight a search of the Cat Cafe for the missing underwear came up empty, leading us to believe that it's been hidden elsewhere. As someone who's both lived and worked there, you are in a unique position to tell us: was there, at any time, men's underwear in the Cat Cafe?"

"There was."

"You're sure?"

"No doubt about it."

"Yes, folks, you heard it here first, from a person who would definitely know the truth. The stolen underwear belonging to Master Happosai was—"

"Oh, no."


"The underwear wasn't Master Happosai's. It was mine. I used to live there, you know. In fact, before they fired me I heard Cologne say that she had no idea where Happosai's underwear was or who had stolen it."

"Yes, as I said, you heard it from a person who is an obvious dupe and quite clearly doesn't know what he's talking about. We'll be right back after these messages."


Kasumi stepped into Nabiki's bedroom, carrying a basket of laundry. "Here's your clothes, Nabiki. Goodness, are you programming something on your computer?"

"Mmm hmm. You know how Master Happosai has agreed that Lukkosai can replace him as head of Anything Goes if a majority of the school agree to it?"

"Yes, I remember Ranma mentioning that."

"Well, I figured that having people vote openly on the question would be a bad idea. Since paper ballots and such are also prone to mistakes and abuse, I've set up my computer so that it will be able to record and count everyone's votes."

"How clever!"

"See, this window on the left lists the names of everyone eligible to vote. When each person votes, there'll be a green mark next to his name."

"I see that Ranma already has a red mark next to his?"

"Oh yes. You see, anyone who's been sanctioned by a controlling legal authority is considered to have dishonored the school, and hence doesn't get a vote. Ranma's got quite a few detentions on his record from school."

Kasumi set a pile of clothes onto the bed. "I really think it's clever that you can program something like this, Nabiki. You know, I took a course in computers back when I was in high school. Maybe I could look at your program? I'd really like to see how you've written it."

"No! I'm sorry, Kasumi, but I don't let anyone look at my source code."

"But I—"

"I know you wouldn't do anything wrong, but there are bad, bad people out there, Kasumi."

"Really?" She put a hand to her lip. "What kind of people?"

"You know, bad people." Nabiki paused as if to think. "International Nazi terrorist spies."


"Yes. They're out there, Kasumi. And they'd like nothing better than to sabotage the Anything Goes school. So you see, if nobody but me knows how this program works, then I don't need to worry about them hurting anyone else."

Nabiki began filing her laundry into various drawers.

"Oh, and this button here must display the results," Kasumi said, pointing the mouse and clicking.

"Um, I wouldn't—"

"Oh my. Isn't that odd? Master Happosai already has eighteen thousand, one hundred and eighty-one votes."

"Erm. Yes, well, the fact of the matter is...."

"That's really strange, don't you think? I mean, all that, before anyone has actually voted?"

"Well, Kasumi, you see...."


"The truth is... Master Happosai is really, really popular."

Kasumi stared back, eyes blinking. "I... see."

Nabiki slid the drawer shut on the last of her clothing. "Is there another load coming out? I'm missing all of my underwear."

"No, this should be everything." Kasumi's eyes widened as if in shock. "Oh dear. The international Nazi terrorist spies must have gotten it!"

Nabiki's eyes rolled.


A cloud of smoke exploded in the Rusu living room.

"At last!" Zhen Guairen exclaimed. Did Happosai think that entering under the cover of a smoke bomb would impress anyone? Such a fool. Zhen quickly reached into his coat and threw out a small grenade. It hit the ground, and pale green smoke hissed out of it. Sleep well, hated one, he chortled to himself.

The smoke cleared to reveal two figures, one of which was a decidedly unamused-looking Mara.

"You're not Happosai," Zhen observed.

"You noticed."

"What are you doing here?" he challenged.

"I promised you a succubus whore, remember?" She glanced toward the figure on her right. A bright red Chinese-style dress hung loosely over a frame that was little more than a skeleton thinly coated in skin. Irregular patches of hair like wilted gray weeds protruded from its head. "Enjoy."

The succubus opened its mouth, and a sound not unlike a cat disgorging a hairball eaked out. "Hey there, ssstud."

"I have no time for such distractions," Zhen said.

"Well, you might want to get more sleep gas," Mara said. "Fortunately, that sort of thing doesn't work on me. We demons al buiaaaawww—" Her words slurred together into an elongated yawn, she stumbled backwards, slumped against the wall, and slid down to the ground, eyes shut.

"My hated enemy is near. I can feel it." Zhen's eyes scanned the room, trying to take in every small detail. Happosai was clever, and in order to not be taken by surprise Zhen would need to be completely in tune with his surroundings, aware of everything.

"Would this be the hated enemy whose underwear you stole from the Tendos' place?" said a voice behind him.

"Yes, of course," Zhen answered dismissively. This was yet another distraction that he had no time for. If he was to....

Wait a minute....

Zhen turned and found himself face-to-face with Happosai.

"You?!" both said simultaneously.


Fwee-oo-weet! Happosai's whistle sliced through the air. Genma and Soun, hearing the signal, sprinted toward its source, with Ranma right behind. They had persuaded him to join their expedition on the grounds that he might get a shot at fighting the person who'd injured Akane.

The three fighters advanced through the large hole in the wall to where Happosai stood facing a greasy little man with a pencil-thin moustache. "Is this the culprit, master?" Soun asked.

"Yes. No," Happosai stammered. "It couldn't... I mean, this is Zhen Guairen. My student. The best student I ever had. You can't imagine how superior he was to all the useless clods who followed him."

Genma cleared his throat noisily.

"Present company expected?" offered Ranma helpfully.

"Hm? Yes, of course." Happosai positioned himself directly in Soun's face. "I tell you, I gave that young man everything. You know that? It's only because of my training that he became the biggest and best pervert in all of China. And do you know how he repays me? Do you?!"

Soun opened his mouth to answer, but Happosai didn't give him time.

"By trying to steal my collection of women's undies, that's how! My collection!" Happosai zipped away from Soun over to address Genma. "I taught him everything I knew! I taught him to lie, to cheat, to take whatever he wanted. Where did I go wrong?!"

"Well, I—" Genma began.

"Naturally, I couldn't let that slide. So I gave him an Ultimate Moxibustion." A trace of sadness colored Happosai's voice. "Such a waste. Anyway, I dropped him off at a monastery in Tibet, where he could meditate on the folly of his ways. That was the last I saw him. Must've been at least twenty years ago."

"Indeed it was," Zhen said, his voice simmering with hatred. "Can you imagine what it was like? Twenty years surrounded by nothing but men. Twenty years without the sight or the smell or the touch of a woman. Can
you imagine?"

"Actually, it might be a nice change," Ranma said, and then jerked his head as if expecting to be clobbered.

Zhen ignored him and continued. "Finally, I've escaped from the prison to which you sent me. And I have returned to take my revenge."

"The only thing you'll take is a beating." Happosai threw back his arm, with one of his patented fire bombs in hand. "And we're going to take back my underwear."

"You wouldn't dare throw that," Zhen said. "I have a hostage!" The others noticed the small, emaciated figure in a Chinese dress standing next to him. Zhen quickly pulled the figure in front of him, produced a knife, and put it up to her throat. Genma, Soun, and Ranma instinctively stepped back.

"Oh, you have a hostage, do you?" Happosai snarled. "Well, do you know what I have?"


He threw the bomb. "A complete lack of scruples!" The bomb exploded, momentarily obscuring Zhen and his hostage in a cloud of fire.

"Damn it, you old—" Ranma tackled Happosai, shoving him down onto the floor. "You don't go around blowing up innocent people!"

"Ack!" Happosai rolled out from under Ranma, and stood. "Why do you hate your martial arts school so much?"

Genma glanced back at Zhen. His former hostage now had a grip on his arm, and twisted it, and the knife dropped out of his hand. A knee slammed into his groin, and Zhen fell back against the wall, his mouth hanging open in stunned shock.

"Nice goin', lady," Ranma said.

The erstwhile hostage slithered up next to him. "Buy me a drink, big boy?" it hissed. Ranma took a look at its face, and turned away, gagging.

At that moment, the wall above Zhen buckled inward and shattered. On the other side stood a bulky man.

"Momo... taru," Zhen gasped.

Ranma looked up. "Hey! You must be the guy who attacked Akane!"

Zhen picked himself up. "Attack the boy, Momotaru."

Momotaru lunged at Ranma, who dodged easily, then expertly somersaulted over the larger man's head and landing behind him. Before his opponent could turn, Ranma launched a series of rapid-fire punches to the abdomen. Momotaru merely grunted and launched another punch, which Ranma ducked.

"Let's take this outside," Ranma said, and then both combatants disappeared through the hole in the wall.

The other martial artists turned to face Zhen, only to see him dash out of the room. They followed in time to see him run through a doorway in the hall.

"It could be a trap, Master," Soun warned.

Happosai waved a hand dismissively. "Trap, schmap. He's got my undies!" He paused for a moment. "But just to be sure, you two go first."

"Er, yes, of course, Master." Genma's mind raced, but could see no way out of it. He pushed the door open to reveal walls of unfinished plywood. The garage? Was Zhen planning to drive away? But he didn't see any vehicle parked inside. Had he already....

"Over here, fools!" Zhen's voice called from inside the garage.

Genma didn't like this. "After you, Tendo."

"No, after you, Saotome."

"No, no, I insist."

A kick from Happosai sent them both tumbling forward. As they righted themselves, they looked around. The front door was still lowered, and Zhen stood before it. Nothing else was unusual, except for the French poodle sitting quietly in the middle of the floor.

"What's there?" Happosai called from the house.

"A poodle, Master," answered Genma.

"A what?" Happosai marched in, pushing Soun aside. "All right, you...."

The dog looked up. It tensed, and its mouth drew back into a snarl.

Happosai pushed Soun back in front of him.

The poodle suddenly sprang through the air like a bullet. Teeth like sharpened spikes bared as it lunged forward. The three men emitted a panicked, unintelligible yell as they fell backwards. "Yaaa-aaa-aaaa-aaaa!"

Seemingly swerving in mid-air, the dog landed squarely in the middle of Happosai's chest. Maybe, Genma thought, this was actually a lucky break. His honor as a member of the school required that he make at least a token effort to defend the old lecher against an outside threat, but he certainly wouldn't shed any tears if those efforts were ultimately fruitless. But once this Zhen fellow was through with Happosai, what then? The chances seemed pretty small that he would let Genma and Soun live; even if his vendetta against the Master didn't extend to his students, he might want them out of the way because they were witnesses.

Oh, gods, if there's anyone who can hear me, Genma screamed silently. Help?

The poodle's maw jerked open. It stood on hind legs, poised to sink its fangs into Happosai's throat, who seemed unable to move.

Suddenly, the dog's head reared back. Its eyes momentarily glazed over, almost seeming to spin in their sockets. Happosai blinked twice in surprise, then rolled out from under the animal.

"Oh, thank you!" Genma blurted out. "Thank you, whoever!" The thought occurred to him that since he hadn't prayed to anyone in particular, and in fact had no idea who had answered him — if it hadn't simply been coincidence — he wasn't obligated to do anything in return for the favor. But saying that out loud might not be such a good idea.


"Um... Mr. Yotsuya? What did I just do here?"

"Let me see, sir. Hm. You seem to have hit the Smite button."


"I believe so, sir."

"My gosh, would you believe it? Do you know how many times I've looked for that button? I can't count the number of times I've wanted to smite someone and ended up creating statues, or causing a flood, or...."

"Ah, yes, sir. But just the same.... perhaps we ought to figure out whom you've just smited."

"Well, whoever it is, he must've deserved it. I'm infallible, you know."

"There is that, sir. Just the same, though, you might perhaps wish to apply the Undo sequence here. That would still be fully consistent with infallibility, under the 'moves in mysterious ways' clause."

"Well, if you say so. Undo is control-shift-meta-quad-Z, right?"

"No, sir. Control-meta-tert-shift-Z."


"Not quite, sir."


Ranma bounded nimbly along the fence top as his opponent lumbered forward, his feet carving large divots in the pavement as bystanders dashed away to safety.

It was one of the most frustrating battles Ranma had been in. Sure, he had no trouble keeping well away from Momotaru's clumsy attacks. But he couldn't for the life of him come up with an effective counter-offensive; Momotaru seemed to be able to shrug off everything that hit him without batting an eyelash. Punching through a mountain would be easier. What would it take to put him down? Maybe being dropped from the top of Tokyo tower... but how to get him up there, without any innocent people being hurt?

Switching direction, Ranma sprinted down Detchiage Street, his opponent turning to follow. Damn it, he thought. He had no idea. He could just run, but then Momotaru would just go back home, and the others would have to deal with him. Besides, for what he'd done to Akane, Ranma wanted this guy to get flattened, and he wanted to be the one to do it. If he'd had any brains, he'd have spent the past few days working on some sort of counter-attack against someone strong enough to crash through walls. Instead, his idiot Pop had made him stuff his head with train schedules for the mother of all dumb ideas. Stupid Pop. And stupid me, for going along with it.

Then, he had an idea.


Slowly, deliberately, the Fenris Poodle raised its head. Its eyes narrowed, scanning its surroundings, and its mouth began to curve into a malevolent smile.

"So," its high-pitched voice boomed, "Once again I find myself on the mortal plane."

"Destroy Master Happosai!" Zhen said. "I command it!"

The dog shot him a withering glare. "Silence, fool! You address the Lord of Ultimate Terror!"

"You don't look all that terrifying," Soun said.

It looked down at itself. "Ah, yes, this body. I've worn far worse, you know. But no matter. Finally I find myself restored to full awareness." It glanced the room. "I also find myself surrounded by nothing but cretins, with nothing to stop me from carrying out my plan of ultimate destruction: cutting the universal superstring!"

"Huh?" Happosai said. "But you can't!"

The poodle grinned. "And who is to stop me, hm?"

"No, I mean you really can't! The superstring is a quantum field!"


"There isn't just one superstring. According to that theory, strings are continually being produced and absorbed by the vacuum."

"It doesn't matter!" the poodle snarled.

"Master," Soun said, "don't strings supposedly interact via the breaking and recombining of strings? Strings are being cut all the time in virtual quantum-mechanical processes."

"Shut up!"

"That's right, Tendo," Genma said. "And what's more, string theory is completely hypothetical anyway, with the inherent nonlocality of its interactions making it unlikely that the theory could possibly possess a stable vacuum at all, let alone one matching the observed universe."

Soun nodded at him approvingly. "The master's rigorous program of Martial Arts High Energy Theoretical Physics was a success, eh, Saotome?"



"No, sir."

"Well, then, here. You do it."

"Certainly, sir.


Ranma crouched on the pavement, smiling slightly. "Hey! Buddy! Over here!"

Momotaru advanced.

Ranma motioned, daring his opponent forward. His timing had to be exactly right; most likely, he wouldn't get a second chance.

Momotaru advanced.

Bells began to ring.

Momotaru advanced.

A gust of air whooshed over Ranma. A hundred tons of freight train slammed into Momotaru, knocking him into the air like a billiard ball; he skidded, landing with a thud on the other side of the train as its wheels clattered along the track.

Okay, so maybe it hadn't been such a dumb idea after all.


"Happy!" Mara smiled. "Haven't seen you in a long time! How've ya been?"

"Oh, I'm..." Happosai ducked, an instant before a fluffy paw would've taken his eyeball out. "I'm hanging in there."

Mara watched as Happosai sprinted around the room, the Fenris Poodle chasing inches behind. "I guess this is a bad time to talk, huh?"

"Master Happosai will soon be no more," Zhen gloated. "Sooner or later, he'll have to stop running. He'll run out of breath, first figuratively, and then literally. Ha ha ha!"

"Oh," Mara said. "Then it is a good time."

"Jealous ingrate," Happosai huffed. The poodle lunged for him. He caught it under the chin with his legs, and somersaulted, flinging it into a wall.

"You're dead, fool," Zhen said. "I gave up my *entire* collection of women's underwear just for the chance to watch you die. There is no escape!"

"You traded your collection of undies? To her?" Happosai pointed at Mara.

Zhen grunted.

"That's right," Mara said.

Happosai smiled. "My collection's bound to be at least twice as big as his."

"What do you mean..." Zhen shook a fist angrily. "No! You can't! I had a deal!"

The poodle turned. It and Happosai stared each other down like gunslingers waiting for each other to draw.

"Actually," Mara said, holding up a typed sheet of paper, "he can. Your deal was for one of the special doggy treats. There's nothing that says I can't sell him the other one."

The Fenris Poodle sprang into the air. Happosai screamed. No one could bring himself to look as fangs gnashed and bits of black gi flew across the room.

"Of course, he has to be able to sign the contract...."

Soun Tendo shook his head. "What a terrible way for the master to meet his end."

"Indeed, Tendo," Genma said. "This is a dark day for our martial arts school."

Soun nodded.

"So... go for a midnight snack?"

"Good idea. I know this great little cafe that's open twenty-four hours."

"Ha ha! I win!" Zhen Guairen shouted, slamming his fist triumphantly against a wall, then wincing in pain as he nursed the resulting bruise.

Mara shook her head slowly. Who would've believed that it could end this way? Japan's greatest pervert, ground into dog meat. She'd surely expected him to escape somehow. After nearly a hundred years of infamy, for it to just be over so abruptly just seemed—

A sharp, muted hiss sounded from behind. "The contract," a voice whispered.

Mara turned.

Happosai stood perched on a shelf.

Happosai, alive and well.

Happosai, in his full withered and wrinkled glory, without a stitch of clothing.

Mara clutched her stomach as it threatened to disgorge its contents.

"Quick! Give me the contract!" Happosai whispered.

Controlling her gag reflex, Mara teleported, and instantly returned with another copy of the contract. Whipping out a pen, she altered the name on the document to Happosai's, and handed it over, trying her best not to look.

Happosai scrawled an illegible mark, and returned the contract to Mara.

"All right, then. One special dog biscuit, as promised," she said, handing the item over, and then wondered whether speaking aloud was really a good idea.

Zhen whirled around. "You!"

"That's right!" Happosai grinned as he reared his arm back. The dog looked up, snarled, then heeled, eyeing the treat.

Abruptly, Zhen launched himself at Happosai in a flying tackle. The two martial artists collided on the ground, rolling back and forth on the ground faster than Mara's eyes could follow.

"Give me that!"

"Not a chance!"

Zhen's finger dug into Happosai's eye. Happosai's teeth sank into Zhen's wrist. Zhen's other hand pried at Happosai's fingers to dig the dog treat loose. And suddenly the treat flew into the air, and the dog sailed over to catch it in its mouth, swallowing it with a protracted gulp. But which one of them had thrown it? Which of them had control over the Fenris Poodle now?

The dog sat up on its hind legs, head bobbing slightly. Mara followed its gaze, which led to one very self-satisfied martial artist, one very happy Happy.

"Eeep," said Zhen Guairen, and within seconds he had sprinted out of the room, and out of the house.

Mara smiled as she disappeared from the room, contract in hand.


Soun Tendo peered cautiously into the room. "Master! You're alive!"

"I knew it," Genma said. "Did you see the way his opponent ran, Tendo? As if in fear for his very life. I just knew that it meant that the Master had survived, and indeed had triumphed."

"I don't suppose you bothered to chase that ingrate down and catch him, did you?" Happosai snapped.

"Um, nope." The two men shook their heads. "Sorry about that."

"Well, it doesn't matter! Because I've got something much better than you two to send after him!" Happosai turned to face the poodle. "Dog, I'm going to give you your command now."

The dog started nodding repeatedly.

"Dog," Happosai proclaimed, "I command you to hunt down and attack the underwear thief!"

Soun and Genma took a step away from their master.

The dog began to snarl.


Much later, the Tendos and Saotomes sat in their living room, listening to Kinnosuke's voice over the radio.

"...allegations of underwear theft against the owner of the Cat Cafe restaurant now appear to be unfounded. Probably."

"Think he's going to apologize for those allegations?" Akane asked.

"Fat chance," Nabiki said.

"Master Happosai of the Anything Goes School could not be reached for comment," Kinnosuke continued. "But according to information previously supplied, the responsibility for this inaccurate information lies with two members of the school who had been assigned to investigate the underwear theft: Genma Saotome and Soun Tendo."

Soun harumphed. Genma noisily munched on potato chips.

"Yeah, whatever," Ranma said. "Hey, what happened to that old freak, anyway?"

As if on cue, the wall of the Tendo living room crashed inwards.

"Hey!" Ranma protested. "I just finished nailing boards over that hole!"

"Sorry, can't talk now!" Happosai zipped through the entrance he had just created and across the room, making an equally big hole in the front door. A moment later, the Fenris Poodle followed along the same path, shedding small bits of white fur in its wake.

"Master Happosai?" Kasumi called after him. "I've washed your briefs. Don't you want them?"