Disclaimer: Tenchi Muyo is the property of AIC and distributed by Pioneer. I make no profit in writing this and only hope to contribute to the world of anime.

Shogun Muyo-Chapter 1:Seeds of Destiny

The sun shone through several small gatherings of clouds, shooting down bright streaks of light that warmed the ground. The breeze convinced the grass to sway in an earthly rhythm, all part of natures orchestra. A little girl gazed into the beauty that lay in front of her. Momentarily losing her focus, she pondered how this planet could match the beauty of her home world.

She often dreamt of how things could be, if she wasn't royalty. Surely, her parents would laugh at her for even suggesting frolicking among "common people." But, here she was, preparing breakfast for her friends, on a distant planet called Earth.

She was brought back to reality by the gnaws of her pet cabbit.

"Hey Ryo-Ohki. Breakfast is over there." She said pointing her index finger towards a corner of the kitchen.

"Meow-meow" chirped the young cabbit/spaceship before she skipped, albeit slower than usual, to the direction pointed by her friend. Sasami smiled and thanked the kami's above for giving her this life, filled with people that she loved and knew who loved her back. Not just for her crown, like Ayeka had warned her about in the past, but for herself. She freed herself from her distractions and resumed her daily task.

"Now lets see...Tenchi's vegetables are just about ready...the rice needs a little time though....I don't think I need to worry about Washu, she's always in that lab...Noboyuki should be on his business trip by now...and grandpa already had his share..so now that just leaves Ryoko..."

Such was the routine of Jurai's second crown princess. Carefully preparing her families breakfast. And that's what they considered each other. One big and sometimes troublesome family.

If only her blood relatives saw her now. Slaving over a hot stove, cooking for a bunch of primitives. They would immediately send for her and her sister. They would then proceed to destroy this backwater planet. Such an insult couldn't and wouldn't be tolerated.

But she didn't see through those eyes.

Feeling pride well up inside her gut, she finished the final preparations.

"Well, everything seems ready. All I have to do now is make Ryoko's..." her attention was diverted back to her small friend. The cabbits ears hung low, her movement somehow unnatural, as if she had just sampled Ryoko's personal favorite sake.

"Are you ok Ryo-Ohki?", with a slow stagger the cabbit replied,

"Mi..ya"

"What's wrong?", said a concerned Sasami. "Did you have a bad carrot? I know Tenchi picked those yesterday...."

*Maybe I should ask Washu?*, she thought, *Nah, she's been in her room all week, working on something big, and I know she'd hate to be interrupted.....*

"Come on, let's go find Tenchi."

Carefully lifting the cabbit and placing it on her head, Sasami headed out the door and through the fields, in search for the reliable Tenchi Masaki. She had paid so much attention to her friend, however, that she forgot to cover a plate that belonged to a certain other Jurai princess. The smell carried itself around the room. Whenever her sister gave her a request for this particular Earth dish, Sasami always seemed to reply with "Huh? You want me to make you pancakes??"

The smell coming from the syrup soaked dish was rich enough to wake the dead. She knew exactly how her sister liked it, made with blueberries, topped with whipped cream, strawberries on the side, and lots of syrup. A plate fit for the empress of Jurai herself.

Only in this case, it wasn't the dead that awoke, but something far worse. It effortlessly phased through the wall.

"Well now, what's this? Good ol' Sasami. Gotta hand it to her this time. Well, I don't think Ayeka would mind if I had a bite or two."

Ryoko. The devil caller. The demon of destruction. Over the centuries of her existence, she has acquired many names. Most of them given to her by the handful of survivors of civilizations she so easily destroyed. Of course, these acts were not done willingly, but that didn't soothe the families of her victims. Still, that was the past, or so she told herself many many times.

Those were memories of times she wished she could forget. On more than one occasion she had found herself in Washu's lab, practically pleading to have those memories erased, only to be turned down while her mother blabbered something about how memories, whether pleasant or not, helped define character.

Regardless of what others thought of her, she was more than fully capable of showing emotions and sensations felt by normal people. It just so happens that one of her strongest urges that morning seemed to be a little too playful.

*********************************************************************

Inside of her lab, Washu was busy researching and analyzing yet another exhaustive string of data. To even the best scientists on Earth this data might as well have been written in an ancient alien language. Codes and inscriptions danced across the screen, lighting up the lab. To the greatest mind in the universe, it was another day at the office.

*Almost finished...c'mon baby, with you, my name will ring throughout the entire universe as Washu the super genius!* she thought to herself.

"But wait, why just this universe?? With this creation I'll be known in ALL universes!!" A powerful laugh echoed throughout her lab. She submerged herself in absolute victory, nothing could stop her now.

That is, until the screen she was working with suddenly appeared to have huge letters, flashing on and off and conveniently coming together to spell, "ERROR."

"What? What? No....Dammit all. There goes another weeks worth of effort...sigh...oh well...back to the drawing board."

******************************************************************

The student and teacher stood facing each other. Poised for battle. It soon became a competition of patience as each stood their ground, seemingly attempting to will their opponent to make the first move. Experience won over youth, as Tenchi ran towards his grandfather with a battle cry.

Tenchi uncharacteristically pressed his attacks, swinging his bokken left, then into an overhead right, followed by a thrusting blow aimed toward his grandfather's stomach. His opponent, however, was one with years of experience and discipline, avoiding every blow with a swift ease that defied his age.

"Come on Tenchi, you can do better.", he said ducking one strike and blocking another.

Tenchi jumped straight up and brought his bokken down with ferocity, only to have it blocked.

It was true that Tenchi could do better, but a leering felling at the pit of his stomach took away most of his concentration. He couldn't pinpoint it, but he definitely knew something was amiss at the house. Momentarily shrugging it off, he swung upward, hoping to land a blow that would disarm his grandfather.

"You're placing too much emphasis on power and not enough on technique. You have to balance the two forces in order to fully take advantage of them. Here, I'll demonstrate."

It was Tenchi's turn to feel an upfront assault. He tried his best to parry the upcoming blows, but was caught off balance by his grandfather's deceptive agility. He regained his composure, and with precise timing, seemed to be gaining the upper hand. The small sound of a window shattering made it's way to his ears. It was due to this small distraction that Katsuhito was able to trip Tenchi, simultaneously pointing his weapon directly at Tenchi's neck. Before Tenchi could retaliate, he realized his bokken was out of his hand and laid a few inches from him.

"Tsk, tsk. You must learn to be like water Tenchi, not a fish. Water changes form according to its current situation, and fish merely follow wherever the water leads."

While on the ground, Tenchi gave his own sweep that was avoided by a backflip. This momentary distraction was all Tenchi needed to roll over a deftly regain possession of his weapon. He stood up and regained his battle stance. "You mean like that grandpa?"

Katsuhito bore a sly smile before acknowledging his pupils skills. "Well, well, it looks as if my lessons aren't completely useless after all."

"Tenchi! There you are Tenchi!", interrupted the voice of Sasami, running towards the duo. She carried Ryo-Ohkie in her hands. Tenchi was surprised that she was up so early. "I thought you'd be in the carrot fields, but when you weren't there I didn't know where to look."

"Oh, sorry Sasami. Grandpa wanted to get some good training today, although I really can't figure out why he'd want to this early." He looked over to his grandfather.

"I wanted to see you because I think Ryo-Ohki's sick, and I'm not sure what to do."

"Well, let's take a look at her." He picked up the cabbit and examined her features to find that Sasami had not over exaggerated. The cabbit's ears still hung low, and her eyes were closed. She felt almost limp in his hands, but she looked more fatigued than sickly.

Katsuhito generally didn't like Tenchi's training to be interrupted, but gave his grandson a few moments reprieve.

"Tenchi, we haven't finished yet.", came his hardened voice.

"Oh, right. Hey wait for me at the house, I'll be right over ok Sasami?"

Sasami gently cuddled Ryo-Ohkie in her arms. She looked genuinely worried, but figured that it wasn't polite to interrupt Tenchi and grandfather while they were sparring. "Well, ok but try to hurry." She said, dejectedly. She hesitantly headed back to the house.

He watched her go and made sure he hadn't disappointed her too much. After all, she was one of the girls that didn't actually make him feel like a worm on a hook, waiting to be swallowed. He didn't like saying no to those big, pink eyes, but he had to respect his grandfather's wishes to continue. He laughed at himself for what might happen if he didn't. *Oh hey you know what grampa? I'm tired, forget training today, I'm staying in bed.*

"All right, I'm ready when you are."

He assumed the stance that became almost instinctual in the time spent training. He remembered how his teacher had told him that the correct posture had to become almost a reflex itself. When he looked over at said teacher though, standing unguarded, head low, a wave of uneasiness, flowed through his body. At first he thought that this might just be a new trick to test his awareness, but further inspection indicated otherwise.

"Is everything all right?"

A long pause.

"That was a good session Tenchi. Your skills have improved very much."

Silence.

"Uh, grandpa? You didn't bring me out here so early to find that out, did you?"

"Heh heh. Very perceptive. Well, the reason I wanted to spend this time with you, is to see how well you would fare without me around. You see Tenchi, I'm leaving."

"What!?"

"Yes, that's right. I'm going to America for a little while. I have to take care of some personal business with an old friend."

"America? Well, how long will you stay? And when are you leaving?"

"Well, my plane leaves early tomorrow morning, around 3."

"What? So soon?"

"My bags have already been packed. And as for how long I'm going to stay, well I'm not sure. It may take a day, or it may take a few weeks. In any case, I'm sure I can leave the duties of the shrine to be taken care of by you, right?"

"Yes of course. Well then...I hope you have a safe trip grandpa."

"Thank you Tenchi. Now, let's go over your basic form, shall we?"

***************************************************

"What's come over you so suddenly Ryo-Ohkie? Well, I think all you need is some rest." Sasami walked, holding her friend close, towards the house. She passed by the blooming flower fields that she liked to sit and smell every now and then. She made her way past a small hilltop that covered her view of the house. It wasn't until she heard the first explosion that she looked up and saw there barely was a house to come home to.

*What's going on?!* She thought. Her question seemingly heard as another explosion rocked the ground where she stood. She saw Ryoko fly high into the air, followed by Ayeka on foot. "What?! Ayeka? Ryoko? Are they fighting again?" A third and even louder explosion seemed only a few feet away from her, when it was clearly a field's length away. "I think it's serious this time Ryo-Ohki."

It wasn't a rare occurrence to see the princess of Jurai go toe to toe with the most feared name in the galaxy. Their rivalry went back to the days even before they knew Tenchi. After all, it was by Ryoko's hand that hundreds of years ago Ayeka was separated from her then beloved Yosho. She'd die before she let something like that happen again. Combined with their obvious feelings towards Tenchi, they added up to an atomic bomb of hatred towards one another.

Perhaps it was fate that determined that their feud continued. Somehow, they'd managed to share the same roof without killing each other though. Not that they haven't tried numerous times. But today seemed that they were more determined than usual to see their rivalry end.

"How dare you say such a thing you demon-whore!"

"You're the whore you stuck up priss!!"

Ryoko flew high above Ayeka and charged a ball of energy in her hand. She flung it towards Ayeka at a speed that broke the sound barrier. She managed to easily block it with her shields. This angered Ryoko to the point that she sent a barrage of death balls into Ayeka's path, which were again blocked, but not without depleting her own energy.

The cluster of energy bounced off her shield and was sent scattered, destroying parts of Ryo-Ohki's prized carrot fields. One whizzed past Sasami's head.

"Azaka!! Kamidake!!" yelled out the princess. "Yes ma'am", they said, appearing in unison.

"Destroy that woman!!"

"Yes ma'am."

The two guardians flew towards Ryoko, blasting away at her with powerful beams of energy from their lenses. She zig-zagged her way in between them, and avoided the shots. "So you think you can take me huh? Bring it on!" boasted Ryoko.

She sidestepped, or sideflew, most of their attacks, leading them into a chase through the air. All the while, Ayeka looked on, yelling encouragement to her logs. "Get her!! Faster, fly faster!!" Ryoko gracefully navigated her way in the air, dodging the attacks directed her way. The missed energy waves sliced their way through the air and anything else the came into contact with. The chase exhilarated Ryoko, it all seemed like a game to her. The blasts that were launched at her however, were meant to be anything but playful. She finally grew bored of this game, turned in mid air, and launched a huge sphere of energy from her palms that caught both of the guardians head on, hurling them into the ground with a massive thud.

Sasami just stood there, too shocked to form words. Here, right in front of her eyes, her two best friends were at war. The two were so intent on killing each other that they hardly noticed her presence.

Angrily, Ayeka thought of her next tactic. Like a light-bulb going off in her head, it came to her. "Azaka, Kamidake, form the Jurai Super Supreme Total Annihilation Beam!" With a "Yes ma'am.", they opened up to reveal dozens upon dozens of laser lenses pointed directly at Ryoko.

*The Jurai WHAT?!* Ryoko thought to herself.

She hesitated in the air for the briefest of seconds, considering her options. Maybe she can dodge it, but if she didn't she knew she'd be in a whole new world of hurt. *So, she's pulling out her trump card already huh? I know this trick. I wont give them the time they need to charge up for it.*

Sasami finally managed to find the nerve to speak, realizing Ayeka's next move. "Stop it you two!", she cried out, "Why are you fighting in the first place?!"

Ryoko charged toward Ayeka at an amazing speed, energy blade in hand. Ayeka, fully aware of the situation, waited carefully for just the right moment. A snake's venom, though powerful, was also limited. It was imperative that its strike be precise. She waited.

*Almost... a little more...*

"FIRE!", she commanded, her scream masked by the sounds of hundreds of independent blasts covering the morning sky. Ryoko, underestimating the speed of the attack, was quickly engulfed. She's felt the princesses' attacks on plenty of occasions, and had written them off as hurtful as bee stings. Today though, she felt as if she had been stung by the biggest bee this side of the galaxy.

She was sent backwards, crashing through trees and numerous boulders before finally indenting her back on the pavement. Scorched ground covered the path in which she was sent back. Her fall was broken only by sharp rocks and tree bark. Ayeka, fully enjoying her victory, smiled a deep smile. She had finally put that woman in her place. "It is done."

She turned and was slightly startled as she looked down at her younger sister. The tears that trickled down Sasami's cheeks almost brought her to do the same.

"Why Ayeka?..."

"Sasami..." she tried to think of a comforting word to say, but feared that anything that left her mouth at this point would only serve to make her little sister hate her. She decided to try to embrace her instead, hoping this would comfort her at least a little.

There was a massive release of energy roughly three football fields length from where they stood. Inside of the crater it created, a ball of yellow light illuminated the surroundings. Had a miniature version of the sun crashed to Earth? Standing inside this small star was Ryoko. She stood with clenched fist's, grinding her teeth. A vein seemed to jump out of her forehead. To think that she had been damaged by a princess that probably never had a real fight in her life sent her mind into limbo. "Oh, no princess...this isn't over yet!!"

She bolted towards the direction of her enemy, there would be no stopping her now. Ayeka diverted her attention away from her sister and back to the fight at hand. True, her only real opponent had been Ryoko, while Ryoko has had experience battling bounty hunters, galaxy police, and the occasional universal threat along with herself and Tenchi. But in her veins coursed the heritage of possibly the strongest force in the universe, the colossal Jurai Power. Guided by her guardians, she flew off into Ryoko's direction as well.

"Please stop it!!"

They either didn't hear her cries in all the confusion, or chose to merely ignore her. When the two forces met, the impact sent shockwaves over the land. For a while, the two stood with fists clenched against each other. Both struggled to establish dominance over the other. Energy cackled and danced around their heads, searing some of their clothes. They stared into each other's eyes, baring teeth as wolves did to establish the dominant male.

"You'll...never have him...Ayeka!"

"I'd die before I let you taint his soul!!"

"That can be arranged!!"

The two opposing forces were too much as they neutralized each other, but not without a final burst of power. The two were flung backwards, and landed several yards away from each other. Like boxers during the final round, they'd exhausted all their resources. Slowly standing after several minutes, they prepared for another go at it.

In the rubble of the aftermath, the beaten down warriors stood weary, giving each other glances that could melt steel. Out of the corner of their eyes, their peripheral vision allowed them to see an unconscious body laying face first on the ground, her light blue pigtails laying lifeless.

"S...S-sasami..."

"Oh, no...kid....."

**************************************************************************** **** *

"Something isn't right.", Tenchi kept repeating to himself, running home. Ayeka and Ryoko were usually the ones to blame for unexpected light shows, but today seemed not like the familiar fisticuffs these two usually partook in.

Ryo-Ohki pointed Tenchi in the right direction as he ran inside towards Washu's lab. He didn't have the time to be amazed at Washu's many inventions, nor did he feel any of the hesitation he usually felt. He associated Washu's lab with her never-ending quest for his sperm. Right now, he knew one of his family members were hurt, and finding out how to help was worth the risk that a certain scientist might once again try to get his own personal "sample."

Inside, he saw his two would be brides standing over an unconscious Sasami while Washu scanned her for injuries.

"I have good news people. According to the data, she's relatively fine. Just got a little shook up and fainted." said Washu. The relief that shone through the faces of Ryoko and Ayeka was much like the relief Tenchi gets when he finds out he passed his hardest test.

"What happened exactly?" inquired Tenchi.

"Ask these two.", said Washu in a level tone. In a way, he knew he had the answer already.

"Lord Tenchi, Sasami was nearly caught in the crossfire while I was defending myself against this scoundrel Ryoko." she said in her highpitched voice.

"Give me a beak!" retaliated Ryoko. "You attacked me!"

"Only after your devilish tongue said one word too many!"

"Stop it."

"Screw you Ayeka, it's your fault this happened, not mine."

"It's your fault that my sister is laying unconscious!"

"I said stop it."

Ryoko pushed Ayeka in frustration, forcing her to regain her balance on one of Washu's machines. Ayeka's miniature logs appeared out of thin air.

"STOP IT NOW!" roared Tenchi".

"Don't you see that your fighting only hurts others! It solves nothing!"

The two warriors looked down, letting the truth of his words sink in. "I wish you two would grow up. Act more like descent houseguests, instead of fighting all the time!" He calmed himself slightly, and continued with a sigh. "I'm going for a walk, I wont be back until later." He headed for the doorway.

"Lord Tenchi, wait....", said Ayeka. She was off after him within minutes, leaving Ryoko alone with Washu.

"Ryoko?"

"Yeah?...." she faced her creator.

"Why exactly were you two fighting in the first place?"

Ryoko took her time to find the right answer. In retrospect, the reason was indeed silly, and now she felt childish for letting it escalate as high as it did.

"Do you really need to ask?"

"I see." Washu replied. Ryoko only phased out of the room.

Unknown to any of them, during the final exchange of words between Ryoko and Ayeka, an activation switch for a device earlier labeled as a failure was turned on, it's engine hummed slightly....

***********************************************************

Outside, Tenchi had already made it down the stairs and towards the hills. Seeking escape from his reality, he lost himself in thought.

* I don't believe those two. They fight every single day...and for what?...Me?*

*And you love them for that.* Said a voice in his head.

*I.....guess I do.*

*So? What's the problem?*

*That they almost killed Sasami today! That's the problem!*

*But they didn't. You know that was an accident.*

*Oh really? So what's going to happen the next time they have an accident?*

Ayeka caught up to him in mid-thought. "Please wait Lord Tenchi."

* Look at her man, don't just stand there! *

"I apologize for my childish actions Lord Tenchi. It has been a long morning, filled with stress. I didn't mean for all this to happen." Tenchi considered his own advice, and thought maybe it would be best to hear her side.

Tenchi Sighed. "Join me in my walk Ayeka."

A bit surprised, she hesitated briefly before accepting.

It was a beautiful day despite all the events. Today marked the end of the Japanese school year, and Tenchi vowed to make the best of his vacation. Too many have gone by while all he did was stay at home and maintain the family shrine. He thought he should pay just a little more attention to the girls. Maybe then they wouldn't have to fight so much.

"Lady Ayeka", he started after walking in silence, " this really bothers me, why must you two constantly go after each others throats like that?"

"Well...." she thought for a second, much like Ryoko, she couldn't really find an answer herself. "Is it not obvious Tenchi? To prove which one of us is truly suited for...."

" For what? A coliseum? Is that how you think you can win my heart? With your fists?"

"No lord Tenchi. That's not what I meant..."

"Listen Ayeka. I feel the same for both of you. I feel the same for all the girls."

*Liar.*

"Just being a part of your lives is enough for me."

"Your very sweet Lord Tenchi... I cannot thank you enough for your hospitality and graciousness..."

Inside her own mind, Ayeka was also struggling to either listen to her heart or her mind.

*Just tell him already!!*

*No...its not...proper.*

*Don't give me that! Are you really going to let him slip away because it's not proper!!"

*But....I shouldn't force him....*

*You're not forcing anything on anyone! Don't you see, he's the only one that cares about you for YOU, and not because of the crown you wear or the power you possess.*

*......*

*Fine...it's your own fault that you'll never really be happy. Ryoko would say it in a heartbeat if she had this opportunity...*

"Tenchi?"

"Yes?"

She struggled to get the words out. All this time of keeping her true feelings in check were finally catching up to her. Now was the perfect time. Walking together. Alone, with him. This sort of chance doesn't present itself everyday, Ayeka realized. To finally be alone with Tenchi, to have a mere moment with him without having to worry about Ryoko, she knew this could have been her last chance. If only the words would come out.

"Tenchi....I...."

"Yes? What is it?"

"I love you, Tenchi."

"Is that it? Well I love you two Ayeka."

"No, no, Lord Tenchi. Not that way...I mean I truly and deeply lov..."

Before her sentence completed it's journey out of her mouth, a huge blue sphere of intense energy instantly circled itself around them. Nearly blinded by the light, they hardly had any chance to react. By reflex alone, Ayeka pushed Tenchi out of harms way.

"Tenchi look out!!"

"Ayeka nooooo!!!!"

Tenchi reached out and grabbed a hold of Ayeka's hand. The pulling sensation was remarkable, and he thought his shoulder would rip itself from its socket at any time. Then, just as fast as it came, it disappeared. Tenchi was left adjusting his vision. Being partially blind didn't help the situation any.

When he recovered from his dazed state, he looked desperately for his friend, but she was gone. He looked down and in her place lay a battered figure. He realized that this figure belonged to a young man, maybe a year or two older than himself. With a groan, the figure looked up at Tenchi and spoke before completely passing out.

"I'll...kill.....you."

Next: Royal Tears and a Strange One Appears