Comes the Cold Dragon
Most of the characters in this piece and the setting for it, were conceived of by Rumiko Takahashi for her Ranma1/2 series of Manga. All such characters and the setting are the property of Takahashi-san and her licensees. All other characters in the piece are purely fictional and any resemblances to actual persons living or dead, are purely coincidental.
The first weak rays of dawn on Tuesday morning lit a forlorn looking Genma Saotome sitting upon the tall rock on the north end of Soun Tendo's koi pond. He had gotten up because it had become an irresistible habit. The trouble was, his son was not around for him to spar with. Ranma had been gone before of course, but this was different. Something had changed. Something Genma Saotome was having a hard time getting a grip on. His hopes of understanding were obliterated by the shrieking attack of someone twice Ranma's size and age. It was Soun Tendo. Genma countered effectively, but lost his balance, fell from his perch and onto the wet grass of Tendo's lawn.
"Caught you napping, eh Saotome?"
"More like preoccupied, Tendo," Genma replied with a grin, then went after his old friend as though the two of them were still in their twenties. Both men laughed. Neither was a pushover and both knew the other quite well. The surprises were over. Well, not quite over. After twenty minutes or so, Kasumi called them to breakfast. The two men were so engrossed in their drill that Kasumi's call caused them to miss their timing and fall as a single great mass into the pond.
"Damn, that's cold!" Soun groused.
"Rrrr!" Genma agreed.
After breakfast they engaged in something a bit more sensible for two men their age, shogi. For a long time, nothing but the clacking of tiles could be heard from either man until Genma finally broke their relative silence.
"We have a problem, Tendo-kun."
"Think so, Saotome?"
"Mmm, Kasumi is right about Ranma, you know....