Disclaimer : I don't own Love Hina...
Arthur's Notes : Yes it has been awhile since I visited this story, but in my effort to provide great stories and never ending twists, this particular chapter has been rewritten several times until I and my beta reader both agreed upon its content. Please enjoy and keep reviewing... Again I want to give thanks to Hawk and his story "Married to Princess" for giving me the inspiration for this one.
It's Good to be King
In-laws and Stomach Pumps
Keitaro was walking towards his suite with Tinda, when a general alarm sounded, followed by several of the P.R.T. running down the hallway until they saw Keitaro standing just as confused as them. "Your Prince, we were told that you were running around acting insane..." Keitaro looked at Shin with a puzzled expression on his face, "What do you mean insa...", at that moment a very nude look a like of the Prince they were talking to came around the corner.
"Lamba?" Was the only thing that Keitaro could say before the naked brother-in-law grabbed him and turned him in circles as he shouted most drunkenly, "Hey K...eit..ar...ooooo I need, some olives! Oh Hell! You don't have any... Oh hey... did you hear about my brother law... He got me some time off! And its now Ppaaarrttyyy tttiimmmeee!" He then left the dizzy and for the current pair, sane one alone as he continued down the hallway, in his quest for olives.
"Prince, sir... Should we..." One of the P.R.T. asked, motioning towards the naked Royalty running down the hall. Keitaro smiled and said, "Get some olives and lure him back to his room, and let him be. He needs to unwind." The members of the P.R.T. nodded and smiled back and then rushed away asking each other where they could find some olives, and if they could finally use that tear gas and stun batons they received.
Kitsune (A/N ok I will start using her nickname) was sitting down looking at her mother, who was currently dancing around the room listening to Tin Lizzy at a very loud volume, and singing along with the music changing the words as she went, "The Girls are back in town..." It was strange to see Kitsune acting like the parent when she tried to speak to her mother.
"Please Mom, turn down the music and talk to me." Her mother didn't stop dancing, but turned down the volume only a margin as she swept towards her daughter, "Oh come on Kits, we used to dance to this all the time, and it's a time for celebration!" Kitsune grabbed a hold of her mother and pulled her down to the couch next to her, the usual mischievous girl now had a look of desperation as she pleaded with her eyes to her mother.
Nanaka sensed her daughter's displeasure and her need for something other than a drunken party, she took her hand and held it tightly, "Oh my little fox, you really love him don't you?" Kitsune let a single tear fall down her cheek, that was stopped by her mother's finger, "Kitsune...", her mother's voice took a serious tone, "there was more reasons I called you that. You were always the clever one, finding your presents before your birthday, learning how to manipulate people to get what you wanted, but this dear child..", she waved her hand around the room, "you might have 'lucked' into, but now you must learn to lead with your heart and use it with your cleverness to keep what you love most." Kitsune's mother then wrapped her arms around her, giving her a big hug and whispering in her ear, "so really now... can you hook me up with someone already..."
Sam was tuned into the satellite watching the news reports and other shows via his uplink, his cameraman and producer were sitting next to him their faces in shock along with his. Every person in the world had an opinion about the news and some should remain quiet thought the three. There was an American minster calling it 'an abomination in the eyes of the Lord', while a historian talked about the history of the kingdom, and there was the typical man on the street interviews that ranged from 'F-ing A!' to 'he should burn in hell!'.
The one channel that seemed to be lost in the moment was the biography channel as they were scraping up video on each of the newlyweds not to mention the Royal family itself. Sam turned the channel to what one would call 'adult tv' as the Playboy channel was being unscrambled, it was Hugh himself saying, "And I thought that I had the market on beautiful women..." Even the Oxygen channel was showing promos for the next day's live Oprah show, about the dangers and foulness of bigamy.
Sam and the other two just sighed and collectively said, "Just leave the newlyweds alone."
Naru had her arm around Mei as her father left the room. "YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS, NARU!" Her mother yelled as the battle aura once again flared, " What have I always told you about men. You have to control them or they take everything!" Naru's mother was fuming around the main room of the suite. Mei tightened her hold on Naru as she returned the gesture. "I mean what were you thinking about? Letting him, go anywhere without you! Have we not been planning this since you came to me? Now look at you, you are just a number under his control!"
Naru's face was tear stained, as her mother continued her rant, Mei had never seen her mother in this light, especially yelling at Naru, who was always held highest in the household. Sakura's arms were waving wildly around as the verbal abuse flowed out of her mouth, "I can't understand... Are you wanting to be a laughing stock... Do you know what they are going to be saying about me at the club?" Her voice was starting to get hoarse, but her eyes told the story of pain and lots of it was coming towards her daughter.
Naru was completely numb as she walked out of the room, her mind was jello, her mother had always been the mistress of the house, and now she had failed her completely. How could she ever face her family again, she had done everything that she had been told and from that she had total control over Keitaro. Her head was bent down as she walked down the hallway, at the steps she noticed a familiar form sitting on the top step waiting on her.
"I guess your mother is done with you, or did she have an aneurism?" Naru's father said as his daughter approached. She sat down next to her father putting her head on his shoulder. "Now, now my angel is that anyway to act during your honeymoon?" The question ripped her deep into the heart. "Dad? You know that I failed, how can you be so nice to me, I'm such a failure.", she started to cry against him. He pulled her into his chest, "Let me ask you, do you love him?"
Natsumi Otohine was gushing over her daughter while her other children was berating her with questions about being a princess. Mutsumi was sitting on the floor with her two youngest siblings sitting in her lap, and the others spread around her, as she told tales about Keitaro being the dashing Prince from several fairy tales. Chu and Nabiki were spell bound by the tales both looking up at their older sister with awe, as the oldest Suika was huffed up with her arms crossed about her chest.
"Now children, I think that you have bothered your dear sister long enough. We have things to talk about, so go get ready for bed." Natsumi said to her children, and a puzzled Mutsumi looked up at her mother. The children argued for about five minutes before they ran off to the bedroom. Mutsumi who hadn't let go of her gaze to her mother opened her mouth, "Mother, what is wrong?"
"Oh my sweet child," Natsumi sat down next to her daughter and held her dearly, "Why we must talk about when I'm going to see my first grandchild of course. And I need to tell you about the Otohine family's heritage." Mutsumi's eyes grew large at the mention of babies, where she had always hoped for Keitaro to be hers, she had never really thought past the physical relationship. Natsumi grinned at her shock, and pushed her teasingly, "So what did you think? That I wasn't going to want some 'grand babies'?" She chuckled internally as her daughter's face was frozen in shock.
Sam had been called back to the television by his producer, about something that CNN was about to go live with. The two men sat down and watched as the CNN special report flashed across the screen. "This is Peter Jenkins, good morning to you. We are continuing our coverage of the Molmol Wedding Scandal..." Sam looked at his producer and said, "Scandal?", the producer looked as confused as he did, and only shrugged.
"We have gotten Insider reports of the events of the Union of Keitaro Urashima and his wives, this information isn't confirmed as of yet, but the information is creditable,", Peter was saying, "It seems that an elaborate plan was launched to entrap these victims in what some are calling 'ancient and barbaric laws'..." Sam jumped up and grabbed his cell phone, "I only know of one source inside the Palace, and she only sends me information," he was telling his producer, "and I doubt that Peter even knows what a source is, hell we had to apologize to the Governor Schwarzenegger after he referred to Paul Hogan being a fellow citizen from his home nation."
Kanako opened the door to the suite provided to her family, she was beside herself, she always thought about this moment and what would happen. It was no secret that she had feelings for her husband, when he was still considered her brother, and that was one reason that they were separated at young children. Granny had taken her on her travels to further the distance between them, and now the fact was she was married to him. No longer could she hide her feelings from them, this was the bitter side of her dream. She swallowed and entered into the room.
"Kanako dear come sit down here." Granny Hina said as she noticed the now timid girl entering the room. Kanako walked forward with her head down cast, stepping slowly as if she was navigating a mine field. Her mother and father were already sitting on a facing couch, and Granny Hina was sitting in a chair between them. She sat down and raised her head slowly to peek at her parents. The scene wasn't what she was expected, her father was holding her mother who looked like she had been crying for the better part of the day, but they both had a hopeful look on their faces.
"Kanako, there are things that we need to talk about, this mainly concerns your adoption and your real family." Granny Hina said as she produced a leather bound folder. Kanako's face was filled with shock and unbelieving as she had always thought that there was no information of her 'real' parents. Granny Hina pulled the ribbon from the notebook and opened its aged cover. Kasumi and Kenjo had rosen and sat down on either side of her holding her lovingly, Kenjo whispered into her ear, "We will always love you and consider you our little girl." Kanako's tears began to fall down her face.
The local bar had turned into a battlefield of sorts as on one side of the room were several men wearing t-shirts with the picture of Keitaro screen printed on the front, and on the other side of the room were several females wearing similar shirts but with a circle and cross covering the same face. As it happened the two groups after a brief protest and anti-protest had decided to quench their thirst at the same bar.
"Hey if you don't like it go somewhere else, you bunch of man haters!", one of the men said. His statement was answered by an empty bottle of beer being tossed at him, though falling very short of the target. Two girls stepped forward, both wearing the Kendo garb of the local high school, with banners on their back "Save Motoko-san!" As some of the local inhabitants knew them to be from the 'fan club' of the swordswoman. Both girls held their bokkens in a ready offensive position, as they eyed the mass of men who were now backing up.
"Hey Haitani! It's the girls from the bridge!", a pleasantly plumb and short male said. The taller one wearing glasses peered from the crowd and pushed his shorter friend out into the open area and followed him. "Hey girls, you know there's no need for violence here. Lets just do some karakoe and make peace." The two females looked at each other, then back to the two men and raised their bokkens, "FEMALE FREEDOM LEAGUE... SECRET ATTACK.."
The twins wished Keitaro goodnight as they left him at the door, and they smiled as they traveled down the corridor, both thinking that this was a good day, but still the easy day was always yesterday. Keitaro opened his door and stepped inside to find his 'danger sense' ringing bells right before he was floored by a kick to the head.
As Keitaro found himself of the floor and the world around him came back into focus, he could hear the voice of a familiar girl saying, "and that's what you get for being a dork!" He opened his eyes to see Sara standing over him with Seta and Haruka both kneeling next to him. "So former part-timer letting your guard down these days I see." Haruka helped up Keitaro into a standing position and then led him to a chair.
"So what brings you guys here?", Keitaro asked. Haruka smacked him in the back of the head without the fan, "Well last time we saw each other you were still single, but it seems that it has changed, would you prefer to see your mother at the moment?" Keitaro shuttered at the thought of seeing his mother right now, her attitude towards marriage was one of great legend, as she would talk and dream out loud about his and his sister's weddings. Another thought hit him, 'I'm sure she never figured that it would be the same wedding', all of a sudden his stomach jumped as his thoughts changed, 'im gonna die..she is going to say hello son, then kill me where I stand... maybe I could get Shin and the twins to be there... Maybe get Lamba to lend me the entire military... still won't matter, I'm dead.'
Kanako was walking towards her quarters, but her mind was still in limbo from what she heard, 'how could that be true? And Keitaro is... how can this be?' She continued her trek in her quasi dream state until she turned the corner and ran into Kitsune walking with a tear stained Naru. In an uncharacteristic move Kanako actually looked concerned for her fellow wife and rival to Keitaro's affections, as she walked over to the two. "Naru? Is everything ok?"
Kitsune was nearly shocked to death at the showing of concern from the usual withdrawn Kanako, but in this instance she decided not to question the show of care. "She had a bad time with her parents," is all that Kitsune would say, as the smaller and usually dark girl took up position besides Naru and put her arm around her. "I think we all have had a strange day in general. How about I buy you a drink... I'm sure Kitsune has some sake hidden by now." She looked at Kitsune, and the older girl shrugged and mentally surrendered her stash for her friend.
It was late at the airport, and while it had been a long day, it was uneventful. Everyone had said that these people were going to test his skills and push the limits of his sanity, but really they had all seemed to be normal for the most part. There was still one more flight that he was waiting for and only three more passengers to arrive, he thought, 'Well I should be home by midnight', but like all things in the universe all good things must end.
The lights in the reception room went from the warm white light to revolving red, as Ran leapt to his feet and looked around. One of the military security personal was rushing by when Ran grabbed him and asked what was going on, he was startled to hear that there was an 'incident' aboard the royal jet and they were coming in with a possible threat. Ran let go of the man and followed him towards the tarmac, thoughts of a possible terrorist attack were in the back of his head, but the whole thing was too fast for it be organized. In his head he had visions of disaster and more important thoughts of him failing in what should have been a simple job.
As the jet came within visual range of those around, they all gasped as one whole section of the craft was torn away as if someone had detonated a grenade inside the cabin. To the pilot's skill and determination he landed the craft perfectly, and taxied to an open area away from the main terminal. As the plane slowed to a stop, several jeeps were already driving to it, and filled with men from the military that were preparing their weapons. The door opened on the 737 and the step truck raced up towards it with men already on the steps. The utility truck made contact with the airplane and the men rushed inside, Ran was on edge, he wanted to be there with them back in the role that was more him.
Time seemed to stop for everyone outside of the aircraft, each heart beat took hours. Breaths were held as a possible passenger was taken off the plane, and soon another followed her. Ran looked at his watched, what only took two minutes from point of entry to the first people leaving seemed to be an hour to him. He quickly ran down the tarmac with four other officers to the two passengers. He reached the pair and was relived to see Kagero the mother of Shinobu and who could only be Tsuruko the sister of Motoko, he was breathing hard but still asked their names. He looked around and asked about Takeu, Princess Shinobu's father who was suppose to be on the flight as well. The tall and beautiful woman smiled and looked back to the jet as the soldiers were taking a person off, that was wrapped up much like Dr. Lector from the silence of the lambs.
"Oh Mr. Maehara seems to be coming now." The tall woman said pointing the heavily restrained man. Ran's eyes went wide as the implication wasn't lost on him. "What the heck happened up there?", he said out loud, and to nobody in particular, but it was the samurai woman that answered.
"Well it would be that Mr. Maehara is upset over the particulars of his daughter's marriage, and while on the plane he showed Kagero-san here the instrument to which he was going to remove my brother-in-law's manhood. I had to forcibly remove it from him, and in the process I think I damaged your plane." Tsuruko said in her melodic voice. Takeu's escort was wheeling him past the three, and Ran could hear the man mumble something about his honor and chaffing, but he only shook it off and offered his arm to the ladies to escort them towards their waiting transportation.
The sun still hadn't crested the horizon, but deep in the Royal kitchen stood a proud samurai warrior facing her toughest challenge as of yet... breakfast. Gone were the days when she couldn't cook, or at least gone were the days when her meals lacked the flavor of anything, still though this was a challenge like no other she had faced in recent years. 'What must I cook?', she wondered to herself, 'I no longer can hide my feelings for Keitaro, but to lower myself to this competition seems below me... But if I don't succeed, I will never be able to...', a blush colored her face as she quickly removed the thought from her mind.
"It would seem that my sister has trouble deciding a menu.", a feminine voice sounded behind Motoko. She froze in her thoughts as a chill ran down her spine, she turned slowly pasting on a smile, "Good morning, honored sister.", Motoko said. Tsuruko glided over to her sister and embraced her into a warm hug whispering into her ear, "So is Urashima the man that I thought he would be?" Motoko turned a darker shade of red as she mumbled out, "W.. Well that hasn't come up yet." Tsuruko only giggled a bit at the unintentional pun and nodded stating she had heard about the contests and wanted to come down and speak with her while she was completing her wifely duties.
(((000))) - A/N trying a few new page breaks
Keitaro was starting to awaken to the morning as a little song bird had landed on a branch outside of the deck and started to sing a most beautiful toon, however a squawk and a sudden silence woke him up completely. Looking out in the direction of the song bird, he saw only blue feathers floating around, what he could only guess was the remains of the bird. A groan to his right made his head move, "Sorry about that, Keitaro, but those damn birds just sing too loud for me." Keitaro's eyes grew large at the sight of his brother-in-law sporting a very large handgun with an even larger silencer on it. "Errrr Lamba what are you doing in here?"
Lamba painfully turned to Keitaro, "Well Amalla kicked me out of the room last night and I needed to get some sleep, so I decided to crash here with you. Besides I figured you wouldn't mind, since you are still unable to sleep with any of your wives." Lamba stated as he crawled out of the other side of Keitaro's bed fully naked. "Besides were family now right?", Lamba winked at him as he said that. Keitaro felt a very uncomfortable feeling coming over him at the thought of sharing a bed with his brother-in-law... a naked one to boot.
Keitaro watched as Lamba moved to the bar in the room and started to mix up a drink for himself, and downed the reddish concoction in one swallow. Lamba then removed the ice trays and emptied them into a towel and sat down on the couch, placing the ice pack on his head. "Tell me Keitaro", he asked, "How do you keep it all together, I mean look at you, there's not one stress line on your face at all?" Keitaro mulled over the question for about a minute or two then something profound came across his face. "I'm human Lamba. I know it sounds funny, but I just don't things get to me is all, and I keep my goals simple and stay focus on them." Through the fog of a hangover the words seeped into Lamba's mind and somehow made sense, "I guess you are wiser than you let on eh brother."
The twins had walked in to deliver the days schedule to Keitaro, seeing the other Prince sacked out on the couch holding an ice pack to his head, they went over the 'light' schedule completely. "First of course is breakfast, prepared by Princess Motoko, after that we have arranged for you some time to watch an interview being broadcasted on Tokyo television this morning, during which you will also receive your daily briefing.", Tanda was saying. Keitaro was semi-paying attention to him, but it was when Tinda started his part that he listened more. "After that you will have your meeting with your parents, followed by lunch prepared by Princess Shinobu." Tanda cleared his throat and continued, "The rest of the afternoon will be meetings with your in-laws in general..." Keitaro interrupted the comments by saying, "IN-LAWS!" and flatly fainted on the spot. Both of the twins just looked at their passed out Prince and Tinda nudged Tanda, who promptly placed a twenty in his hand, "I told you to wait on that piece of news brother."
Once the two Princes were seated at the table, Motoko came out of the kitchen with her meal for her husband. She stopped suddenly noticing that another had joined the illustrious trio, she worried if she had made enough for four people, 'Well nothing I can do now about it, face the battle that you are engaged in, and worry about the other when you are done.', the thought coming from her training. She placed the first part of the meal made of fried rice with eggs, bacon, and seaweed onto the table. Followed soon after by a traditional miso soup flavored with oysters. The next two dishes were brought out with an ear to ear grin from Motoko as she presented them, "Honored husband these I present to you, as I remember these are your favorite Sunday morning treats." She placed a box of coco-buffs on the table along with some freshly toasted blueberry poptarts.
Keitaro started to laugh, "Oh Motoko! You have no idea how much I was hoping to get something normal." He got up and rounded the table and hugged her deeply picking her up off the floor at the same time. The stoic emotional mask was shattered immediately as her blush turned her a deep red, he put her down and suddenly remembered who he had up in the air. "Ummm Motoko, thank you.", he said blushing himself, and bowing deeply to her. She lowered her head to hide her redness, "I am glad husband that you approve. If you will allow me, I need to get to my training." Keitaro only nodded and wished her a good time, as she turned and left the room.
Just on the other side of the door to the dinning room, Motoko grabbed her chest and leaned against the wall, 'Oh my!', is all she could think as she tried to calm her now racing heart. Taking several deep breaths before traveling onward down the hallway, she couldn't help the images of what had happened, and the idea for a new chapter in her book.
At the same time Keitaro and Lamba were feasting in the dinning room, another breakfast was happening in the formal dinning room. Seated around a horseshoe table was the Princess's and their families, (Motoko was not present for this meal), the first time that all had been given the chance to meet each other. Seated at the arch of the table was King Su with Koalla, next to him on his right was Keitaro's parents including Grandma Hina, followed by Tsuruko and Shinobu and her family, Tsuruko had been seated next to Takeu on purpose along with a few palace guards standing behind him. On the other side was Naru and her family, Kitsune and her mother, and Mutsumi and her rather large family. All seemed to be going well besides the obvious tension that could be cut with a knife, as looks were exchanged between parents and wives. The noise level in the room was a deafening silence, even the usual eating was subdued. King Ramba who kept sneaking looks at Kasumi, finally decided to break the ice, and he did so in his or shall we say in Su manner.
Looking over the guests he chose his target and open fired, "Well I have to say those are some mighty large melons you have there Ms. Otohime." Several of the more conservative guests let out a gasp and a few choking sounds were made, while eyes turned and grew wider. Nanaka and her daughter poked each other and adjusted theirs hoping for such a compliment. Sakura smacked her husband in the back of the head so he would not look around, to this Naru just rolled her eyes and Mei felt left out. Kenjo quickly recovered from almost chocking as Granny Hina slapped him on the back, and Kasumi just shock her head. "Why, they look quite firm as well.", Tsuruko added at the end. To this Natsumi held out her watermelon as if to show everyone, "Yes we do grow them quite large on our estate."
The twins lead Keitaro and Lamba into the media room, where a wall sized monitor was set up already tuned into the television station that he was to watch this morning, while they waited for the programing, the twins started on his briefing. It wasn't long before the screen showed the opening credits to the popular "Tokyo Morning" show. The two reporters started talking immediately about Keitaro, showing file pictures of him as they spoke. Both princes sat there watching and Lamba was making comments on the pictures, telling him that he should be more careful around cameras as one picture showed him walking towel clad through a shopping district of Hinta City.
The image changed and a male reporter was beginning to speak, "With all the insight of a Buddhist priest we again bring you an exclusive as we have a long time friend and confidant of the new Royal family, and live right now with him outside of his home." Keitaro sat up wondering who they got to interview, watching as the female reporter appeared on camera and then it was answered.
"We are live with Prince Keitaro's best friend, your name again was..." The camera panned to the right and a figure came into focus, "Just call me Kentaro, and yes I have been Keitaro's best friend for many years, not to mention I am also great friends with all of the new Princesses as well. Actually Naru, Motoko, and Shinobu once worked for me in the music industry, if you remember Naru was on the fast track as well as Sword and Flower before they decided to leave the entertainment industry. "And what happened that made them leave such wonderful careers? Could it be Prince Keitaro came into their lives at that time?", she asked. Kentaro who was at least smarter than he looked, smiled and answered, "I don't know if he was directly involved, but he did have some influence."
The female reporter mused over this revelation for a moment then asked, "So your saying that Prince Keitaro, was controlling their lives back then? Dictating what they could and could not do?" Kentaro sensing the trap tried his best to defuse it, "No no no, nothing like that. All the girls enjoyed his council and they made their minds up on their own. There was nobody controlling anybody." Thinking that he escaped the trap, relaxed a bit before she opened a new line of questions. "Your saying that they always sought his 'council' on everything? And then he controlled them from the shadows and through innuendo, or implied threat?" Kentaro's face went slack at the question, and he stumbled around for an answer.
The Urashima's were heading back to their suites when a Royal page came upon them, bowing deeply he passed a note to Grandma Hina and quickly departed. "What does it say?", asked Kenjo. "What we suspected, the King has requested that I and your wife meet him.", she stated in a matter of fact tone. Kenjo looked to his wife, and taking her in a loving hug, that she returned with her own as she whispered to him, "I love you now, and nothing will change that." Kenjo had a tear running down his face and kissed his wife's forehead and whispered back, "I only wish we had more time." She nodded and brushed a tear from his eye before leaving with Grandma Hina back down the hall. Kanako was standing in shock, looking at her father as he started to sob, "Father, what's wrong?", her voice showing concern. "Not here", he said between sobs, "Lets go back to the room and I will explain more of the Urashima secrets to you."
Shinobu sat in a small chair, her head down and hands folded in her lap, as both her mother and father continued to fight with each other about her. She sat there as the dutiful daughter listening to the same arguments that drove her to that first meeting with Keitaro. Her father blamed her mother for allowing her to stay at some Hentai Hotel, instead of letting her stay with him, and her mother bashing him for leaving them for some young skirt in Tokyo. It was becoming too much for her to handle, as her hands became fists and the knuckles white.
"STOP!", she yelled standing up and glaring at them both, "If you haven't noticed, I'm not a little girl anymore, in fact I am an adult!" Both parents froze on the spot and turned to look at Shinobu. "How dare you speak to me that way!", Takeu had said. He started to walk towards his daughter as if to slap her, but something strange happened instead.
"KKKEEEIIIIYYYAaaaaa!", was heard as Shinobu spun and placed a full round house kick to her father's mid section, sending him back a few feet and down to the floor. Before he could get up, she was standing over him, "Now that I have your attention father, I have a few things to say to both of you." Silence was heard from within the room for a few minutes, then the sounds of a rational adult conversation.
Motoko had walked back into the rooms that they all shared, her sister waiting for her. Tsuruko was watching Koalla's screen with interest as it seemed that the chibi Motoko was now standing above Kanako's with a sweat dropped Kitsune and Mutsumi under her looking up. Motoko herself didn't notice this until her sister commented, "Well if your sword skills compare with your cooking skills..." The rest was lost in space as Motoko looked at the board and saw the score of one hundred. "H... Ho... How did you do that?", asked a mystified Naru, her jaw almost going slack. "I would say that the judges were insightful, and most fair about my abilities to please my husband at breakfast.", Motoko stated with an air of righteousness. Kitsune and her mom had both seen the points board and heard what Motoko had said, but it was Nanaka that stated what Kitsune was thinking, "What'd you do serve him naked?"
The King's private chambers looked more like a lobby from any five star hotel, a large open room with columns and couches. Beside the obvious decorations were pictures on the wall of many famous people posing with the King, including several political dignitaries, and pop culture icons. The two women were escorted into the room and left there alone with the message that the King would be there shortly. Grandma Hina and Kasumi walked around the room looking at the photos and other awards and trophies accumulated around the room.
"You will excuse the over kill of it all", King Ramba stated to two startled women, "but they think that people will be impressed by it all. Personally I would prefer a desk and a couch to rest on." He walked around the room himself, heading towards two couches in the middle of the room and motioning them both to sit. As they sat down he couldn't help but to look at Kasumi, 'damn, she hasn't changed much since we were teenagers.', he thought. Granny Hina was the first to break the silence since they sat down, "Your Majesty, I would like to know why we were requested to have an audience with you?"
King Ramba nodded his head and looked at the older wiser woman, thinking that she knew quite well why they had been asked here. "It is not everyday that I can see those that made such a difference in my life before I was crowned." Kasumi was shaken at the words made a difference as she remembered so much more. Ramba moved closer to the two women and tried to hold Kasumi's hand in reassurance only to find it slapped away and a very angry look coming over her eyes.
"Mother if you would please excuse us, I think that I need to speak to his Highness for a minute in private." Granny Hina only patted her daughters hand and nodded as she got up and started to walk from the room, "Your Highness, you will find that many changes have occured, don't expect all things to remain the same.", she said before she left the room.
As soon as the door closed, Kasumi stood up and punched the King as hard as she could, sending him up and over the couch and into a trophy case on the other side of the room. As the King shook out the daze that came over him, he squeaked in fear as Kasumi was now standing over him in a very dangerous pose. "Please let me explain, Kas-chan... Please...", as his hands came up and went into a defensive posture trying to protect himself.
Tsuruko had a serious look on her face when she addressed her sister, "We need to talk sister, I think some place private." Motoko understood this and lead her sister to her room, indicating the table in front of them, they sat on the pillows there. "Your marriage has brought up several interesting points sister." Tsuruko stated bringing up a few scrolls she had brought with her. Placing the first down she opened it and Motoko looking over the table at it, realized it was of course the family tree of the Aoyama's. "As you can see, you and I are the only true Aoyama's left in the family being direct descendants from the founders," she said while running a finger down the family line, "When I was married, I was not given a choice, I was instructed that you would inherit the dojo and the school, and that my duty was now to bear the next heirs." Motoko was shocked at this news, she never knew why she had left the school, or she had thought it had been her at her husband's insistance. This news was a revelation in short, but something that hadn't even crossed her mind before.
"Yes sister, I know that this must be a shock, but the council has reasons for this, but now we have a problem." Tsuruko seemed anxious to reveal the next part, her hands opening the next scroll, "There is a law in our clan that you know well of, you tried to use it once before when I came for you." Letting Motoko remember the instance when she and Urashima had to defeat her after she had spoke a falsehood about them being engaged. "With this marriage now there is a power vacuum in the clan, there are two splinter groups that have rights to seek control of the school and the dojo, but if they do it will change the clan for the worse we feel, however there is another law that is centuries old that was brought to my attention before leaving to come and see you." She picks up the last scroll and unfolds the ancient paper letting it spread out on the table, "It speaks of joining clans and schools, considering the recent events... ", she let the words fall. Motoko's mind was whirling to say the least, she had never considered not being the heir to the school that she loved so much, not to mention that others would take it from her. "Motoko, please I need your attention here," Tsuruko stated, "The Urashima's have their own school, even though it is based in darker arts, we have to merge the schools to save our school from ending up in the wrong hands." Motoko took a few seconds to let everything soak in, "I am sure that Keitaro will speak to his family and work towards that goal, so there should not be any problems." Tsuruko shook her head, "It is not that easy sister, In the laws the head of that school must defeat the current master of ours, and since you are now wed, this challenge must happen within the week before a new head of our school is appointed."
Shinobu felt at home in the kitchen, it didn't matter where it was, either at home in Hintasou or here, this was her element. The recent score that she was told of made her nervous, but she knew that if she tried her best that no matter what the score that her Semp... husband would love what she made. Whistling while she added a few spices to her feast, she thought about the time she spent with him in the little room by themselves, and the blush on her face grew redder and redder as she imagined what would happen when they weren't limited to fifteen minutes and she could show him how she felt. Placing the final touches on the feast that was to be known as lunch, she smiled to herself, wondering if Keitaro would praise her for her hard work.
The doors opened and as she entered the four men stood up and bowed towards her, giving her much respect as she proceeded further into the room. As each dish was placed on the table the eyes of Judge Puck would grow wider. As each dish was tasted first by the royal taster he would take several more 'tests' before allowing anyone else to touch the food. It wasn't until Wolfgang had tested her tempura shrimp that things got violent at the table, between him and the taster. Each slapping the hands of the other as they reached for plates, which turned even more aggressive after Wolfgang smacked the taster in the face over a comment about being a pig. Keitaro and Lamba moved down to the floor, each with their own bowls standing next to Shinobu. "Sem.. Keitaro? Did you find everything alright?", she said in a sheepish tone. Keitaro leaned into her whispering, "Never have I ever had anything more enjoyable than your cooking.", he followed it with a chaste kiss to her cheek. She giggled for a moment then her eyes rolled up and she passed out.
"Koalla dear can you come here please?", Amalla tone was sticky sweet, this made Koalla a bit nervous but she hopped over to her and sat next to her. "So what's up sis, she asked. Amalla's mind was churning with plans and counter plans, but she knew that her sweet innocent sister would eventually try for a power play against her and this she wasn't going to let happen. "My you must be pretty happy with all of the girls trying so hard to please Keitaro", she started. Kaolla nodded and gave a thumbs up to the comment, "Yeahs they trying hard to get second place," she laughed at the idea. "Well you know sister I was thinking, and first I wanted to apologize for my behavior, you know they look so alike and Lamba is always so busy...", she let it fall off, hoping that the younger girl would pick it up. "Well I can stays mad at you older sister", Kaolla hugged her and got up, and was walking away when Amalla spoke again.
"Sister? There is something I don't think you are seeing." Kaolla stopped and turned with a puzzled look on her face. "Your other wives are competing so hard for Keitaro, but what are you doing? I mean, if I was him, I would surely notice what they were doing and what you weren't doing." Kaolla's face twisted with a worried look for once in a long time, and the other sister smiled to herself claiming victory. "Whats should I dos?", asked the innocent Kaolla. "Well if it was me, I would enter into the contest on my own and compete as well. This would show him that you are willing to show him how much you love him as well as the others."
The phone rang in the small hotel room, and Sam picked it up. "Hello? Can I help you?"
"Yes I'm looking for Sam. Would he be there?" said the voice on the other end.
"And who would be calling for him?"
"Tell him it's Yenne. He should know my name."
"Well hello Yenne, Even though we have never spoken before it's me Sam. How can I help you?"
"I can't speak but for a few seconds and the other lines in the palace are being monitored now, but there is something going on behind the scenes here, all I can say is keep your eyes open at the ceremony tomorrow." and with that the phone went dead. Sam looked at the others in his room, "Well it seems we have a story happening guys."
Keitaro stood now outside the door of his parent's suite, Lamba left him to fend for himself when they both found out that this was on his schedule next. Never before had he felt the pit of his stomach ache so much. Was he a failure, or worse, the questions bounced inside his mind. What was he going to say to them, they had once kicked him out of the house when he failed to get into Todai once before. Remembering what Tinda had spoken to him before they left him alone outside this door, 'They are your parents, not the Spanish Inquisition.' He reached for his reserves of nerves and turned the handle.
"Mom? Dad? Granny? Are you here?", he timidly said, hoping that they were not there and he could postpone this meeting for say another ten years. "Kei-kun is that you?", a female voice inquired. He gulped and swallowed the lump in his throat as he entered the room fully. Once inside his mother came running at him and to his surprise embraced him tightly, he slowly placed his arms around her and gently squeezed back. Kasumi didn't want to let go of her son, she knew once she did that everything was going to change, and that is something she had tried hard to keep from happening.
Granny Hina came up and hugged the boy as well, still in his mother's embrace, this comforted him somewhat remembering the times when he was young and they would both hug on him. He looked up and spotted his father smiling at him and taking the mental picture of this moment, before he too joined in on the family hug.
"Now now, let the boy have some air", Kenjo had said pulling off his wife. Granny Hina took ahold of his hand and pulled him towards a western style sectional couch planting him in the corner, as the rest of them took seats on either side of him. "So tell me son," Kenjo inquired, "How does it feel to be world renowned archaeologist and a prince at the same time? It seems that your placement councilor is having fits at not guessing that one correct.", he started to laugh at the thought of some high school guidance councilor pulling out their hair over this one. Keitaro lowered his head and finding his center spoke up, "It's a bit more than I expected.", making the worlds biggest understatement. Granny Hina just patted the Keitaro's cheek and said, "I knew he was heading for bigger things than any of us could foresee."
Kasumi stood up after the suggestion that she should make some tea for them. Giving Kenjo the chance to ask his son some other questions, "So tell me son, seven wives... that's one a night, or any combination there of, you looking forward to your honeymoon?" This was answered by a wet tea bag landing with a lot of force on his cheek and Kasumi's comment of, "Baka!" There was several other questions posed by Kenjo that met similar results, as the tea service ended up, one piece at a time landing on him. Keitaro's mother had enough of the questions that Kenjo was asking as she stormed over and picked up her son, clutching him by the shirt, and shaking him without her not even knowing it as she exclaimed, "Kenjo! Don't you know that our son as better things to do with his time than to answer your hentai questions about his wives! And besides why is your mind in such a place? Are you considering trying to run off on me?" Being shaken by his mother while she was in a torrent was like being back at home, it made his heart grow warm, 'I guess they still love me.' is all he could think of.
Amalla walks into her suite where four others are waiting on her. "Well how did it go?", asked one of the girls. Amalla smirked, "It was easy to manipulate her, but we have precious little time to get the other plans moving, have we found any other allies?"
"I have found one in the in-laws, the father of the girl Maehara, his name is Takeu. He seems to object to the whole idea of his daughter in a cluster marriage, this could be used to our advantage if we play it up with him.", said Princess Victoria. "The one I found was Sakura Narusegawa, the mother of Naru, she has views on what her position in life should be, and her daughter in this marriage isn't what she wants.", states Princess Madeleine. The other two just shrug and state that they haven't found anyone yet but are still looking. Amalla lets out an evil laugh as the plans she has been working on starts to come together.
It was no surprise that Shinobu had gotten a perfect score on the meal she served to Keitaro, but from what she had heard was that the judges actually fought over it was beyond her and she figured it was nothing but rumor. Naru, once again checked the main course as it baked in the oven. 'That baka better like this', she thought, as her skills weren't on par with Shinobu's but she had rights to Keitaro before any of them did. This made her upset that after all the years of chasing and fighting, when they had finally matured and had gotten engaged that this would happen to her. She threw another wooden spoon at an innocent passer by, speaking out loud, "Baka!"
The conversation with her father and later with Kitsune and believe it or not Kanako had really helped her out a lot. She understood that the others were going to go all out for him, and even though it looked like she would never have him to herself, she would at least make sure she was first, given the announcement by Kaolla that she was entering the contest as well. 'He thinks he has lucked out... Well after I win, lets just see who is going to get him!'
The food itself was above her normal level as she had made baked sea bass with stuffed portobello mushrooms. The entire meal was very rich and set heavily on the pallet, but for a dinner meal it was perfect as it was a good time to settle the day and enjoy time with those around you. Naru was pleased with the response from the judges as they sampled the meal, but she was also shocked at the bandages they wore and the guard now positioned between them. She also found herself sitting next to Keitaro during the meal enjoying not only his company but her heart raced every time he complimented her on the meal.
At the end of the meal she was about to leave them, when very uncharacteristically of her, she turned and embraced Keitaro and gave him a kiss on the lips, then she skipped out of the room. He stood there shocked his eyes twice their normal size as he watched her leave.
Back in his room, Keitaro was relaxing and looking at the clothes placed out for him for tomorrow's coronation ceremony. He didn't know how things would work out in the end, but he was starting to think that everything was going to be ok, when fate started to laugh at him again. Unbeknownst to him, a predator had entered his room, it watched as he examined his clothes, and then as he walked into the bath changing room. Nor did he notice that while getting changed a pair of eyes followed his naked form as it slipped into the water, as he finally relaxed from the days events. His only saving grace was the hairs on the back of his head as they started to raise in warning.
"Heyas Husband!", Kaolla screamed as she cannon balled into the water next to him. Keitaro jumped up then immediately sat back down as he realized he was naked, as Kaolla feasted on what she saw. "Come ons Keitaro, I have ta feeds ya fast!", she said as she pulled the naked man from the bath and into the main room.
It had been an hour since is impromptu dinner from Kaolla, and now Keitaro was staggering in the hallway and clutching his stomach with one hand and feeling the wall with the other. His eyesight was blurred and he kept falling over as he walked, but he knew he had to make it to the twins room. Another rumbling sound deep in the bowels of his insides and a sudden urge to relieve himself came and went yet again as he was struggling.
Tsuruko who was being accompanied by both Tinda and Tanda, she was coming to tell him about the challenge that he would have to make soon, but they all stopped at the sight before them. The new prince looked like a crazed animal to them, hunched over and frothing at the mouth, clawing at the wall and floor at the same time. Tinda stepped in front of Tsuruko, while Tanda moved slightly forward to judge the condition of the man. "Prince? Are you ok?", he said, ready for anything that might happen. The reply was one that none of them expected in the least as gaseous emissions erupted from both possible exits, making the replay sound more like a strangled animals last choke for air. The three immediately rushed forward and helped him up, Tsuruko pinching her nose at the smell, but knowing he was in desire straights as he was as pale as the dead. Keitaro looked at his rescuers and tried to smile at them, but only got about half a smile to his face before passing out completely.
end of chapter...
Ok hope that helps you addicted ones with a long awaited chapter. In the next chapter "The Coronation" strange things are afoot and plans are revealed and challenges made. Another test for our girls, and some more wackiness and chaos reins as we get another step closer.