Tenchi Muyo: Ryoko's Love... Prologue Chapter 1:Introducing, Yui! By Long T. Tran Completed 2/16/98 Revised by Navaash
The characters you are about read are characters created by AIC/Pioneer. Don't sue me.
This is the revised and hopefully corrected version of chapter one, you might notice some added changes and different rearrangements. And for those who read the original draft of this chapter a few weeks or days ago, prepare to be surprised a little bit.
What you are about to read is a Tenchi FF set in the OVA universe, but it will start 20 years in to the future. As this series progresses the story will be taken on the present day and it will also take place in other different various time periods. I won't be including Kiyone or Mayuka in this FF, sorry fans. I'm going to introduce new characters in this series, Yui, Onimaru and many others. So, without further a do, let the series begin...
April 24, 2018
It was another typical day for the students at Okayama High School. Everybody sat in their desks, bored and struggling to stay awake while trying to take in Sensei's stale lecture about the Tokugawa Shogunate. One such student, Yui,
sat in the second of four rows, a 17-year old girl full of life. Standing at 5'7 with yellow yet human eyes, she was possessed of athletic prowess hidden within the frame of a perfect lady. Her long, soft, cyan hair was tied up in a beautiful ponytail. She stared blankly out the window, watching a beautiful day pass by, envying the birds flying around of their own free will. Lost in her thoughts and daydreams, she hated to waste beautiful days like this at school.
I wish I was out there. I bet it feels nice, she thought.
"Miss Masaki! Will you please turn around and pay attention!" shouted Sensei.
"Oh! Uh...Y-Yes, sir," she said, her face turning red. "Sorry."
Sensei sighed. "Just like your father, it clearly runs in the family."
Yui's classmates started laughing.
"Class! Quiet down!" Sensei shouted again. The students immediately quieted down. The old educator calmed down a little. "Ok, now where were we? Ah yes...the Tokugawa government later took control after the war..."
I can't wait until school's over, Yui thought to herself.
Two hours later, school finally ended and Yui was at her locker trying to open it. The door was jammed. She had always had trouble opening her locker. Mainly because of one reason...
"Stupid locker! I hate it when this happens!" she said, struggling with the locker door. She finally forced the locker to open, and a tidal wave of love/
secret admirer letters, small gifts, and even a few crushed flowers came pouring out. Burying her knee-deep in to the pile. Yui's best friend, Misato Matsumiya, walked by and stopped in front of Yui.
"Looks like the love magnet has her hands full again," Misato joked.
"Oh shut up, Misato!" Yui barked.
"What are you going to do with all that? Read them or...the usual?" said the silky black-haired girl, with cheerful eyes and a warm smile.
"The usual." Yui growled at her predicament, picking up the letters, gifts, and flowers and throwing them in to a nearby trash can. As the letters fell into the trashcan Yui could hear hearts being shattered; athletes, nerds, and even some senseis could be heard crying in the background.
"Don't you have any time for love, Yui?" Misato asked.
"Nope. Not interested right now." Yui began to make her way towards the main doors.
Misato watched Yui walking off, then looked down and noticed a letter on the floor that Yui dropped while putting the rest in the trash. Picking it up, she realized the letter belonged to the biggest jerk in the whole school: the Student Council president, Katsuhiko Jinnai. Misato smiled deviously.
"I'm going to have fun with this letter!" Misato laughed, putting the letter into her book bag.
After passing through the doors, the next routine was the part that Yui hated the most. She had to try to make her way to the gate without making contact with any of the guys. Nevertheless, her hopes were usually in vain; a freckled boy with lazy eyes, and bad green teeth, walked up to her.
"Uh... hello, Yui. Can I walk you home?" he said, nervously.
"No," she replied bluntly.
The boy became shattered and turned pale; he stood as still as a statue as Yui kept on walking. She was halfway towards the gate when a handsome stud of a jock walked up to her. He had perfect gleaming teeth, nicely combed hair, and a strong athletic build.
"Say pretty, you look tired," he said confidently.
"Tired from what?" she asked, not looking at him.
"Tired from running around in my mind all day." He smiled, and a sparkle shined across his perfect set of teeth.
"Why don't you go away and bench-press yourself to death?" she said cruelly. "That is the lamest pick up line I've ever heard!"
"B-but...b-but..." The jock all of sudden looked very small. He started to grind his teeth.
"Frogs make better sounding mating calls than that!"
"I...I..." The jock struggled with his words. "BUT I LOVE YOU!" he shouted with tears streaming down his cheeks. The jock ran off crying like a little boy.
Yui sighed in exasperation. Why must I go through with this EVERY single day? Yui finally reached her bus stop. She waited a few minutes and a bus stopped in front of her. As the doors to the bus opened, she heard a low rumbling, turned around and saw a mob of all the boys in her school running, trying to catch her before she got on the bus. All were shouting for her. "YUI! WE LOVE YOU! WE WANT TO DATE WITH YOU!"
"Oh no! Don't they ever give up?" she shouted.
Yui hurriedly stepped onto the bus, the driver perturbed to see the mob running towards it.
"Jeez...Hurry up, get in! Why must you put me through this every day?" the driver said angrily. Yui quickly took haven within the bus.
"Floor it!" she shouted. The driver quickly put the bus in gear and burned rubber, speeding away from the school grounds. The boys all simultaneously waved good bye.
The bus rumbled along through the late afternoon, going towards the country-
side, things finally calming down. Yui looked out the window, gazing at the countryside. Yui always wondered why her father didn't want to move out to the city; it could've been more convenient for her, not having to spend so much money on bus passes. On the other hand, she started to think about the countryside's natural beauty throughout the seasons. Serene orange-red autumn days, snowy winter wonderlands, hot green summer days, and of course, her favorite spring time cherry blossoms.
Oh well, the countryside was always beautiful year round. It would be crazy to try to move somewhere else, Yui sighed.
Yui began to think about today's special occasion. Aunt Sasami, Aeka and Mihoshi are all coming back home to visit.
It was always fun having them coming by and visit, especially Aunt Sasami. Yui loved her aunt's cooking and even though Sasami was grown up, Yui always had fun being around her. Aunt Sasami always came by to visit at least 3 times a month, staying at her house for days at a time. Her aunt always had a cheerful attitude to keep things going; that was one of the reasons why Yui loved being around her. Sasami had another name she also went by...Tsunami, but she preferred to be called Sasami by her friends and family. Yui has always admired her aunt's tremendous beauty; after all, she was a goddess just like Yui's grandmother Washu. She looked so elegant with her long blue hair, pink colored eyes that always emitted a delightful aura of joy, strong cheerful laugh with healing power, and not to mention she also possessed the universe's most powerful energy!
Aeka, however, was a different story. Aeka didn't visit as much as Sasami, mainly because of her duties as the Empress of Jurai. Before her ascension to the throne 17 years ago, her great-great grandparents Azusa, Funaho, and Lady Misaki decided to retire from the throne, leaving it empty to Yosho, Aeka, and her father. Yosho obviously didn't want the throne because he still felt strongly attached to the Earth; he was very adamant about dying on Earth. Although it would take thousands of years before he actually died...
I guess he just doesn't want to get involved with the politics, Yui thought to herself.
Her father was also considered to take the throne, but Azusa was very adamant about keeping her father away from there. The king of Jurai had a tremendous prejudice against her father, the reason being he was an earthling. What pissed her off the most was the way Azusa always looked down at him, as if he were some lowlife commoner. Yui always hated being around Azusa; to her, he was always pouting about something.
As if my father actually cared about taking the stupid throne in the first place! she thought angrily. At that time, mother was pregnant with me!
Naturally, Aunt Aeka became the new ruler of the Jurai Empire. When Aeka's husband temporarily stepped in to rule the empire, Aeka would come by to visit about once every 3 months, staying at the house for 2 or 3 days before she had to return home to perform her duties. During those 3 days, Aeka would always teach Yui about the importance of being her own individual, maintaining respect, and teaching responsibility. To Yui, Aeka was the perfect example of being a lady. Aeka was always elegant in every aspect; although Aeka was the Empress of Jurai, she also knew how to have fun. Every time Aeka came by to visit, she would always challenge her to a singing contest on the karaoke machine. She was good at singing and always told Yui that she was a lot like her mother.
"You have a good singing voice, Yui!" her aunt always said. "Always remember that this is one of your talents and you have to keep refining your talents in order to insure a full and joyous life."
Mihoshi was also expected to visit, but Yui doubted that Mihoshi would be able to, considering the fact that she was always busy at the Galaxy Police Headquarters with her new job as Deputy Commander. Mihoshi was like a big sister to Yui, even though she was a little airheaded. Mihoshi was always there for Yui, especially during her times going through that certain phase called puberty. Her father was at a loss when it came to 'female' growth and development; when Sasami or Aeka weren't around, Mihoshi would be the one to take care of her, making sure that Yui would come out a perfect young lady.
When neither Aeka, Mihoshi, or Sasami were around, her grandmother Washu took care of her. In all of Yui's life, Washu had been protecting her since she turned the tender age of 4. Since Yui's mother died, her mother's mother was the perfect choice. It was somewhat strange that her grandmother insisted that she be called little Washu... but Yui didn't mind having a grandmother who looked a lot younger than her. She loved Washu dearly and that was that.
Whenever Yui asked a question, Washu was always straightforward with an answer. She never avoided a question. Washu always said that Yui was very much like Ryoko, full of spirit and always strong willed. The only questions that Washu didn't answer concerned how her mother died... and that bothered her. Every time Yui asked, Washu simply replied by telling her that her father would answer that question in due time; what was even more disturbing was the fact that she couldn't recall any memories from her childhood, missing memories from ages 4 to 5. She only remembered bits and pieces.
Yui looked at her watch. It won't be another 10 minutes until I reach home
She closed her eyes, relaxing her mind and trying to regain one of her early childhood memories.
In her mind, it was pitch black, but the only thing that kept it from being lonely were voices and sounds from her early past. Gradually, the pitch darkness lifted away and she found herself in the fields of the countryside near her house. Little Yui had mid-length hair; there was a lot of tall grass around her and she was looking at a pink flower with a little yellow butterfly on it. Behind her a woman stood, wearing a pink dress that only a mother could wear, her spiky hair tied back and yellow gentle eyes watching over her like a guardian angel.
"What do you think it is, Yui?" asked the soothing voice of her mother, Ryoko.
"That's right Yui! But it's called, But-ter-fly." She kneeled down next to Yui, holding her child close to herself and pointing things out.
"Yes, butterfly," Ryoko said warmly. "Just like you, a butterfly. Always beautiful and always flying."
"Oh, Mommy!" Yui blushed and giggled, hugging her kneeling mother.
"Mommy will always be with you." She hugged Yui and laughed a healthy laugh.
Then the memory faded away and Yui found herself back on the bus. Wish you were here, Mom. Yui looked down and gave out a small sad sigh.
The bus finally reached Yui's stop. She left with a mute expression on her face, hating the commute between home and school.
The commute always takes too damn long! she thought to herself, making her way up through the hill.
After a minute or so of walking, a thought struck her; she realized that tomorrow would mark the 13th year since her mother's death. She decided to pick up several yellow flowers along her path; after picking up enough yellow flowers, she made her way towards the gravestone. The gravestone was located near the shore of the lake, behind her house.
Ryoko Masaki Died 25th of April in the year of 2005
Yui put the bundle of flowers in front of the gravestone and put her hands together, praying for her mother's spiritual well-being. After a minute of silent prayer, she stopped and tried not to shed a tear.
It has been 13 years since you left, Mother. I hope you like the flowers I picked for you. These flowers were our favorite, she thought to herself. She wiped a tear from her eye and headed back home.
She went through the doorway and took off her shoes.
"I'm home!" she called out. The house was quiet.
"Miya!" Ryo-ohki cried out running down the stairs.
"Hello, Ryo-ohki!" Yui said joyfully, letting Ryo-ohki jump on to her shoulder to nestle her cheek. Yui smiled. "And how are you doing today?"
"Miya! Miya!" the cabbit answered back.
Ryo-ohki was usually a cabbit half the time; the other half she would spend in humanoid form. As a humanoid Ryo-ohki would help Yui with chores around the house; being helpful was in Ryo-ohki's nature, not to mention her overactive playfulness. Ryo-ohki and Yui were the perfect pair when it came to playing games. Usually they played 'chase the cabbit', where Yui and Ryo-ohki would play a game of tag with Ryo-ohki in cabbit form. Whenever the cabbit was in humanoid form, they would dance, play video games, or dress up. Every so often,
though, Yui would get the opportunity to pilot Ryo-ohki the spaceship. The fact that Washu insisted on watching her every time she did this was a pain, but a minor one at that. Yui could remember the first time she took Ryo-ohki out for a spin like it was just yesterday, and Washu's compliments about how well she could handle the starship.
"I wonder what time it is?" Yui looked over to the wall clock. It read 4:30pm.
That's odd. Where is everybody? Shouldn't they be here by now?
"Oh Yui!" a voice shouted out from the kitchen. It was her grandfather Nobuyuki.
"Yes grandfather?" She walked into the kitchen to find him cooking up some food. Nobuyuki had already developed a set of gray hair, but still had that thin mustache. She loved being around her adorable grandfather - even though he was a little nosy at times. Her father, Tenchi, told her that he was much worse when he was young, always getting a camera at a moment's notice hoping to catch her father in some sexual situation. Fortunately for Yui, Nobuyuki had toned down a lot.
"Ah Yui! How's my favorite granddaughter doing today?" he said cheerfully.
"I'm doing fine grandpa." Yui stepped towards the fridge and opened the door,
retrieving a bowl of carrots for Ryo-ohki.
"And how's school?" he asked. Yui sat down on a stool at the counter, watching Nobuyuki cook.
"Oh the usual, straight A's and all. Where's Washu?" Yui asked, looking around.
"Oh she's in the lab, doing her usual research," Nobuyuki replied.
"Oh. I see...," Yui said. Throughout most of Yui's life, whenever Washu wasn't taking care of her, she would spend most of the daytime in her laboratory. Yui had never stepped foot in to that dimensional lab, mainly because Washu forbid it. Once in a while, Yui would try to break in to the lab herself but instead of finding the dimensional lab, she would open the door under the stairs and find a closet instead. Just what was it that Washu was hiding from her?
"Miya! Miya!" Ryo-ohki jumped off her shoulders and onto the counter to eat the carrots.
"So...you talked to any boys lately?" Nobuyuki asked deviously. "Your father tells me that you get thousands and thousands of secret admirer letters everyday."
"Oh grandpa!" She said embarrassingly.
"Oh what's there to be shy about? All I want to know is how well my granddaughter is doing in her sexu --- uh, life development."
Yui pretended to not hear Nobuyuki's last remark. "Well, you know how they are these days."
"No, how are they?"
"You know...immature and always wanting some weird commitment. The main reason why they want to know me is that they want to get laid."
"Oh, I see. That's understandable," he said, cutting up some vegetables then putting them in a frying pan.
"So, grandpa..." began Yui, deciding to change the subject.
"Yes, Yui?" he asked.
"How was your day at the office?"
"Oh, you know. Those young architects I just hired were really talented; I'm having a hard time trying to decide which one of their blueprints to approve for the contractors."
"Yeah... and I had to fire an employee today, as well."
"Oh really? Did you finally fire that lazy bum you were talking about for the past 2 weeks?"
"Yeah, I finally fired that idiot, Kaji. He was really wasting my company's time," he said with satisfaction. "That'll teach him a lesson about eating up the Masaki Firm's finances!"
"Isn't it great to be your own boss?" she said with a smile.
"Yes indeed!" he exclaimed, while stir-frying some noodles in the frying pan.
Yui looked around and frowns a little.
"Have my aunts arrived yet?" she asked.
"Oh! Forgive me!" he said loudly, "I've been meaning to tell you."
"Tell me what?"
"They won't be coming until tomorrow, Saturday."
"What? Why?" She was clearly disappointed.
"A formal meeting came up on the planet Jurai and it required presence of both Aeka and Sasami."
"Gee, I hope it's nothing like a crisis or anything serious"
"Nah, it's just one of those budget meetings." He said, adding some soy sauce to the noodles.
"Oh, well that's good." Yui was relieved.
Then her great grandfather Yosho walked in to the kitchen. Throughout Yui's life Yosho always looked old - but oddly enough hadn't aged a bit either, having the same appearance for most of her (relatively short) life.
"I see that you've arrived home, Yui." He sat down at the table across from her. "How's your day?"
"Just another fine and beautiful day wasted at school," Yui replied, getting up to fetch the teapot for Yosho.
"I see...very interesting." Yosho smiled. "Don't worry, Yui. You'll be spending the rest of what's left of daylight outside."
"What do you mean by that, grandpa Yosho?" She asked, getting a teacup from a cabinet.
"Your father has graciously asked me to call for you." He watched Yui set the teapot and teacup in front of him.
"Call for me?" she said quizzically. "Call for me for what?" She poured a cup of tea for Yosho.
"For practice. He decided that he wanted to practice with you." Yosho sipped his tea.
"What! Now!" Yui asked and Yosho nodded. "But I'm so beat!"
"He's waiting for you at the training ground. He's expecting you over there by 5 o'clock."
"What! That only gives me 10 minutes to get ready and run up there!"
"Then I guess you'd better go." he said, sipping his tea.
"Great! I hate it when he does things like this!" Yui stormed out of the kitchen at lightning speed to her room upstairs.
Nobuyuki watched in amazement at how swiftly Yui flew out of the kitchen. He walked over to the table where Yosho was sitting and served him a plate of noodles.
"Goodness! She's fast! I can barely see her run!" Nobuyuki said in awe.
"Indeed." Yosho picked up his chopsticks and set the plate of noodles in front of him. "Very much like her mother."
Meanwhile, out in the training ground, Tenchi sat on a large, smooth boulder patiently waiting for Yui to come out for practice. With the bokken resting on his right shoulder, he watched the cherry blossoms bloom, noting its resemblance to pink snow falling to the ground. He grinned, never tired of the countryside's natural beauty. Tenchi was in his mid-thirties; though he looked 21, he still had the same short spiky hairdo. Basically he hadn't changed much in years due to the root of his ability to form Light Hawk Wings at will and his connection to the cosmic space trees.
Nowadays, he'd taken over his grandfather's duties as a Shinto shrine priest, going by a modest salary. He wasn't worried about paying off the bills because of his father's architectural firm; it was bringing in more than enough money to last another 80+ years. Life was good.
"I wonder what's taking her so long?" Tenchi said, looking at his watch. It read 4:59 p.m.; if she didn't make it in time, he was going to have to double her chores, just as he had promised. He stood up from the boulder and stretched.
"DAMMIT DAD! I HATE IT WHEN YOU DO THIS TO ME!" Yui yelled out. She appeared in front of Tenchi in a blurry flash, wearing her practice outfit and holding her bokken in her right hand.
"Jeez! Don't do that! You almost gave me a heart attack!" Tenchi said, trying to regain his composure. Uh oh, she's pissed at me. Better give her THE SMILE, he thought. Then he smiled. "Yui! I knew you would make it in time!"
"I know it's important to practice and all, but you just gotta give me more notice!" Yui noticed her dad's smile and began to calm down. There was just that thing about him every time he smiled.
How does he do that? Yui found herself completely depleted of anger.
"As much as I want to, Yui. I couldn't," he said. "But this is the only way I can train you to expect the unexpected." Admiring his daughter's honesty, it reminded him of all his time spent with Ryoko nearly 14 years ago. Yui acted so much like her mother that it was one of the driving forces that kept him alive and happy.
"Yes, I know," she said, beginning to smile.
"Besides, the bright side to this is the fact that you don't have to do any chores today!" Tenchi put his hand on her shoulder.
"I guess." Even though I'll do them later on, anyways, she thought to herself.
"Shall we begin our practice?"
"Hai!" she said.
"Ok, then. We'll start with a normal exercise and after that we'll spar. We're just having a short practice today."
"Ok. Which exercise are we going to do?"
"I'm going to test your speed and reflexes. I'll test them by throwing this pebble at you." He held up a small pebble. "This is how your grandfather Yosho taught me how to keen my senses and reflexes."
"Ok. How are we going to begin?" she asked.
"We'll try it stationary, then we'll go on from there. I want to see how much you've learned so far."
As far as Yui could remember, she had been practicing sword fighting for most of her life since she was 6. As she practiced with her father throughout her life, she gradually discovered her hidden abilities, abilities that most normal humans would never be able to do: being able to levitate herself from one foot to 20 feet off the ground; moving at speeds faster than a sprinting cheetah;
literally flying; being three times stronger than the world's strongest weightlifter; and quick reflexes that rivaled that of a cat. Most of her abilities were inherited from her mother.
Yui placed herself in her Jurian battle-ready stance.
"Ok...ready?" Tenchi asked. Holding up the pebble, he prepared to throw it at her.
She nodded yes.
"Here it comes!" he yelled, immediately throwing the pebble. The rock sped its way towards Yui, who deflected it easily.
"How's that?" she said confidently.
"Very good," he said. "Not bad for your first time, but can you handle 3?"
He suddenly threw 3 more rocks at her, each successfully deflected off Yui's bokken.
"Excellent, Yui! Now let's move it up one level."
"Alright." She began to float 5 feet off the ground, grasping her bokken in both hands.
"Ok, now start flying around me, and at the same time try to deflect these rocks as they come to you."
She began to fly around him in a wide circle, exceeding speeds of 25 MPH.
"Ok, I'm ready!" she said in mid-flight.
"Here they come!" He threw 2 rocks at her, each successfully deflected.
Yui smiled, obviously pleased with her progress.
"Don't think I'm done yet, Yui." Tenchi grinned and instantly threw a volley of rocks at her.
Yui saw the barrage of rocks flying at her, noting that it resembled a swarm of bees. WHOA! DAMN! She quickly dodged a good number of rocks and proceeded to deflect the rest. As soon as she'd batted away the last rock, a second barrage came flying at her. Focusing her attention on each rock, she started to swing her bokken, knocking the rocks away. She was becoming pleased with her abilities. She felt a surge of adrenaline coursing through her body. These were the feelings she lived for, the rush and the exhilaration!
Tenchi was amazed to see his daughter doing very well. He got many feelings of satisfaction, watching the way she skillfully deflected his barrage of rocks. Watching her bokken cut through the air, swiftly and surely, he realized that he was running out of pebbles to throw at her, so he decided to do the next best thing. Without warning, he charged at her with his bokken, ready to do battle.
As soon as she'd stopped the last rock from the last wave, Yui realized that the barrage had stopped and quickly spotted her father running straight towards her. She immediately blocked his bokken before it could even touch her. They were bokken-to-bokken to each other, struggling at each other's strength and trying to maintain their balance.
"So dad, I see that you have ran out of rocks to throw at me," Yui said with a grin. She jumped back away from him and went on the defensive.
"Not really... I was tired of watching you play with rocks, so I decided to go straight to the spar," Tenchi said. He lunged at her and she blocked him with her bokken.
She's very quick. If she keeps this up, she'll be able to beat me and possibly even grandpa, Tenchi thought to himself. Tenchi was finding it harder to break through her defenses; she was quick enough that he had to try to find a way to outsmart her.
Yui was pleased by her ability to block her father's attacks, but he was still quite strong and just as fast as she was. She tried not to think ahead of herself.
"You're becoming more and more like your mother, Yui. Strong and quick," said Tenchi as he threw blows and swings at Yui. Although Tenchi had never really practiced sword fighting with Ryoko, there was that one time...
"Thanks, it runs in the family," she replied, blocking and deflecting her father's attacks.
She found herself bokken-to-bokken again with her father. Trying to maintain her stand against her father's strength, she was surprised at how strong her father was. He's pretty strong for a man of his frame, she thought.
Tenchi was feeling the same way about his daughter. She was definitely strong, he thought, barely able to hold up against her. If she were as strong as her mother, his bokken would have splintered by now.
Through the rush of the sparring, Yui was struggling against her father's bokken, then she suddenly felt a surge of energy coursing through her body, pulsating up into her left arm. This was something new, a sensation that she had never felt before. She felt the energy coursing through the veins of her left arm, gradually focusing on to one point, her palm, despite the fact she still held a tight grip on her bokken.
"Uhh...Dad! Something's happening to my left arm!" she said nervously to her father, pulling away from him to end the spar.
"What?" Tenchi noticed his daughter's sudden withdrawal and stepped back.
"What's wrong, Yui?"
"I don't know," Yui replied. She dropped her bokken and looked at her left palm to the point where the energy was concentrating. With no warning, an energy ball materialized on her left palm. Yui was awestruck. "Dad, what's going on? What is this thing doing on my palm?"
"I'm not sure." He came in for a closer look. "Yui, don't do a thing. Let me see what it is..."
He held up her left arm and gazed at the wad of energy. He carefully examined the ball; then with a pop, it disappeared.
"What do you think it was, dad?" asked Yui.
"I'm not sure but I do have an idea," he said, thinking hard. That energy ball resembled an energy discharge, he thought. Is Yui finally regaining her powers?
"Dad? What are you thinking about?" Yui asked again.
"Yui, could you by any chance try to recreate that energy ball?" Tenchi asked.
"I'm not sure, but I'll try," Yui said. Then with so much as a tiny thought,
the energy ball rematerialized. That time it came as a nervous impulse.
Tenchi looked at the energy ball again and smiled.
"Ah! Looks like Yui finally developed her very own energy discharge!" rang the voice of Washu, who was walking towards Tenchi and Yui. Ryo-ohki followed Washu as well in her humanoid form. Ryo-ohki was carrying a tray holding 2 cups and a pitcher of water. Ryo-ohki sat down on the boulder and set the tray down next to Washu.
"Good afternoon, Washu!" Tenchi greeted.
"Hello, Tenchi." Washu looked at the energy ball, studying it intensely. "OK, Yui, I'm going to teach you your first lesson about using an energy discharge."
"Um...ok," she said.
"Tenchi, why don't you go over there and sit with Ryo-ohki? You're done with your lessons with her for today," said Washu.
"Sure, ok. Since you're the only person qualified enough to teach her," he said with a smile. Washu's out of her lab, she finally decided to step out, Tenchi thought. He hadn't stepped into the lab for the past 13 years. Ever since the death of Ryoko, Washu had been in that lab almost every time she had free time. She's hiding something. But he figured that he'd find out eventually.
Tenchi sat down next to Ryo-ohki, who proceeded to pour him a cup of water. "Thank you Ryo-ohki!"
"Miya!" said the smiling humanoid. She turned her attention to Washu and Yui.
Tenchi watched Yui and Washu intensely; this was bringing back happy memories and buried memories. It's almost time to reveal to Yui her concealed memories
he thought with some worry.
"Okay, Yui! Now that you have the energy discharge on your palm, try throwing it like a baseball." Washu looked for and found a suitable target, pointing at a nearby rock. "Throw it in that direction."
"Ok...like this?" Yui hurled the blue discharge at the rock. BOOM!
"Just like your mother, Yui," Washu said proudly.
"Wow! That is cool!" Yui's eyes were bulging out of their sockets. "I'm doing that again!" She threw out another energy discharge, this time aiming it at the lake. A huge pillar of water exploded into the sky.
Washu clearly saw that Yui was already aware that she had inherited her mother's abilities, but how far was her potential? Now that she had finally regained most of her powers - and some new ones - Washu felt the inevitability of having to break the news of Yui's past to her.
"Alright Yui! Next and finally, I'm going to teach you how to materialize your own energy sword."
"You mean, like my mother's?"
"Yes, like your mother's."
Yui brought out another energy discharge out of her hand before Washu could say a word.
"I'm ready, Washu!"
"All you have to do to bring out your sword is close your hand on the discharge," instructed Washu.
"You mean like this?" Yui closed her hand on the energy discharge and a blue energy sword forming from the compression. "Wow! Just like a light saber straight out of Star Wars!"
"Star -- what?" Washu asked.
"Never mind," Yui said, remembering that Washu didn't really watch American movies that much - if at all.
"Now that you have your very own sword, why don't you test it? See how it works!"
"Ok!" Yui said excitedly. She ran over to a nearby tree and began to swing at it. Before she could take another swing, the trunk sliced into two, sliding off and falling on the ground.
Tenchi and Ryo-ohki both clapped their hands, impressed. Tenchi used it as a distraction to give a quick glance to Washu. Washu picked up on the eye contact.
"Ok, Yui. Time to call it quits," Washu said, smiling.
"What? You mean I'm done already?" Yui asked.
"That's all? Isn't there more to learn?" Yui asked, hoping for more surprises.
"Nope, you have graduated. You've learned all that you needed to learn. The only thing that's left is..."
"Is what?" Yui asked excitedly.
"...is to practice and master those abilities"
Yui was disappointed. "...Alright." She walked over to Ryo-ohki and her father,
Ryo-ohki pouring a drink for Yui. "Thank you, Ryo-ohki."
"You'd better head back to the house with Ryo-ohki, Yui," Tenchi directed. "I need to speak with Washu alone."
"Yes, I understand." She picked up her bokken and left with the cabbit.
Tenchi waited until Yui and Ryo-ohki were out of earshot, then turned to Washu. Washu was standing there, thinking to herself.
"Well, she finally regained all her powers -- and some new ones," he said. "What do you think will happen next?"
"Tomorrow I will be permitting you and the others in to the lab," said Washu.
"Your lab?" he said curiously, not expecting this turn of events. "You're finally giving us access to your lab?"
"Yes." She then silently walked off.
Man, what's with her anyways? Tenchi thought, trying to figure out why Washu had been acting so reclusive for the past 2 weeks. Oh well, I'm going to go find out tomorrow, if not sooner or later...
It was late in the evening, almost everybody curled up in bed. The exception was Washu, typing intently on her keyboard in her dimensional laboratory,
monitoring the progress of the operation in front of her. There was a gigantic cylinder casing standing in the center, with all manner of monitors and com-
puters connected to it. Though the cylinder itself was made of glass, a large black shroud hung over it, concealing what was inside.
For the past 13 years, Washu had struggled and despaired in trying to stop the deterioration of the specimen within. Up until 2 weeks ago, she had found no concrete way to stop the rapid degeneration -- but now, there was none. Only time stood in the way of the complete regeneration of the contents within, a process which she monitored closely. And after the process was complete, there was still one thing left to do. Ryo-ohki was the only one aware of the process;
on Washu's mind was how everybody else was going to react to the revelation.
She shot a glance at the regeneration monitor. Tears began to well up in her eyes. Finally, after all these years...
The monitor read:
Regeneration at 85. Estimated time of full regeneration: 48 hours.
Yui lied on her bed in her father's former room, looking up through the skylight, watching the stars glimmer and twinkle. The clock right next to her read 1:30am. She couldn't sleep; not after all that excitement she'd been through today, she couldn't! Now that she'd learned most of her father's sword techniques and gained most of her mother's abilities, she thought about the only abilities she hadn't gained from her mother yet: teleportation and passing through walls. But she knew she would gain them eventually, and when she did...
I'm going to be the world's greatest fighter! Yui smiled. She closed her eyes and her mind wandered off into dreams...
In the second master bedroom, Tenchi slept soundly in his king-size bed. The second bedroom had been added to the house after his wedding with Ryoko; it was built as a wedding present from his father. The bed was also from his father too, meant for two. Unfortunately the bed hadn't been shared by anyone else in 13 years. Tenchi missed being close to his late wife. He missed her warmth, her touch, and the feeling of being whole. Now for 14 years, he slept... alone.
In his dresser, the Tenchi-ken's hilt containing the 3 gems that once belonged to Ryoko was reacting to a familiar energy source. The gems were giving out a faint glow...
The Lonely Moon (tragedy)
I am lonely like the moon You are faraway as the earth Now you say I light your thoughts Night After night Soon you forget
We are drifting in this dance I can feel you circle my thoughts Keeping such a graceful distance So close but somehow apart
Sometimes I cry for you Knowing you don't want me to Sometimes I whisper to the stars up in the sky
That I want to find the way to your soul Kiss in the sun when morning comes you don't seem to count the hours When we are not together I've seen a tender fire in your eyes Yet when I'm gone you carry on I float in this emptiness Till at last love returns With the night and the lonely moon
End of Pt.1 Chapter 1!
I hope you liked it! Send me your C&C! I'm dying to know what you think! And stay tuned for Pt.1 Chapter 2 !
Author's second note:
Some of you might object to this, but I decided to put this song in this FF because I liked the mood of the song. This song always gives that edge of sincerity and lovingness. This is one of the elements I hope to write in this FF series. That's my reason for putting the song on here.
I would like to give special thanks to Navaash, Random and Lord Talon. Who were gracious enough to give some of their time and energy to help me edit this FF.
Tenchi Muyo: Ryoko's Love.
Prologue Chapter 2: Nightmare, Memory, and Revelation By Long T. Tran Revised By Navaash
I don't own these characters, AIC/Pioneer owns them. I'm just writing this because I have no life and I have a huge ego problem. I don't intend to make money off this because I don't want to get a lawsuit. I'm too poor for that. Ask my friends if you don't believe me.
Late April 2005
Yui awoke to find herself lying on her stomach. Barely conscious, all she could hear were loud explosions. She opened her eyes, only to be greeted by hazed vision; all she could feel was smoldering heat and the vibrations of a violently moving floor. She wanted to stand and find out what was happening, but the rest of her body only responded with pain. In time, her vision returned to her, and she could see.
There were two combatants ahead, engaged in mortal combat as they leapt at and charged at each other. One of them was in a magnificent red-and-black striped bodysuit and appeared to be projecting Light Hawk Wings; Yui finally recognized this to be her mother when she noticed the red gems, one in each wrist and one in the base of her neck. As her vision cleared, she saw that the wings befitted an angel; her mother was also wielding an incredibly wicked-looking red lightning bolt.
Satisfied, Yui glanced at the other combatant and was instantly intimidated by her appearance. This woman wore a peculiar black-and-white battlesuit, had short mid-trimmed red hair, bright green eyes, and wielded an unmistakably dark energy sword in her hands. She shot a glance at Yui, and a surge of pain wracked the young one's body.
Too much hurt! Too much to bear! Yui thought... then she screamed.
"Yui!" yelled Ryoko, looking over at her screaming four year-old daughter while trying to fend off her enemy's blade. Horrified at seeing Yui being tortured by high-voltage electricity, Ryoko became gravely worried about her daughter's health.
"Onimaru!" Ryoko screamed at her foe, face to face, sword to sword. "You'll pay for what you've done to my daughter! Why? Why Yui and not me! Yui didn't deserve that! I'm going to kill you, Onimaru!" Tears welled up in her eyes.
"Not until you pay YOUR price from our last battle, Ryoko!" scowled the green-
eyed woman. "Your bearing of this child is to my advantage and will be the contributing factor to your own death!"
"Shut up, you bitch!" Ryoko swung her sword in pure rage at Onimaru, scoring a direct hit on Onimaru's arm. Onimaru stepped back in pain -- then suddenly, to Ryoko's surprise, she proceeded to regenerate the wound there, wiping it from existence in little more than a few seconds. Onimaru then threw out a dark energy wave from her sword at Ryoko; Ryoko put up her Light Hawk Wings just in time to shield herself from the blast.
Yui could only guess what was going on; she was confused through the pain.
Suddenly, she was lifted off the ground; somebody was picking her up! She looked up and saw her father, Tenchi. He was using his Light Hawk Wings, shining brightly in all his splendor. A sense of profound relief swept over Yui.
"D-daddy?" She felt her father's healing aura, her pain beginning to subside a little.
"I'm here, Yui," he said soothingly, holding the fragile girl in his arms.
"D-daddy...I want t-to g-go home," Yui said, resisting the urge to shiver lest she lose more blood. blood. "I'm s-scared."
"Don't worry, your mommy and I will get you home." Tenchi held Yui closer, trying to keep her from shivering, keeping her warm and secure. He looked up to see Ryoko locked in battle with Onimaru. From an initial glance, Ryoko was holding out well, but she was obviously injured; a stream of blood poured from her forehead. The sudden sound of footsteps from behind caused Tenchi to instinctively turn; it was Aeka, wearing her full Jurian battle suit.
"I've arrived, Lord Tenchi!" Aeka yelled out. She noticed Yui in Tenchi's arms,
then looked across the chamber to see Ryoko fighting Onimaru. Aeka watched the battle with great concern for Ryoko's safety, unable to help due to the unstable energy in the air.
"Aeka! Take Yui back to Mihoshi's shuttle!" Tenchi said, carefully handing Yui over to the Juraian queen. "And head back to Earth as soon as possible! That's your priority!"
"I will Tenchi, but what are you going to do?" Aeka asked.
"I have to help Ryoko. But don't worry about us -- get Yui off this godforsaken ship!"
"I understand, Tenchi. Good luck," she said, holding on to Yui with care.
"Daddy? Where are you going?" Yui asked, scared at what she felt was about to occur.
"I'm going to go help your mother. We'll meet you back home, I promise." He kissed Yui on her forehead, turned, and charged into the battle.
Aeka dashed back towards Mihoshi's shuttle, carrying Yui in her arms. As they made their way out, Yui watched the struggle over Aeka's shoulders, her father trying to get to the heated battle between Ryoko and Onimaru.
Tenchi ran as fast as he could, trying to reach Ryoko in time to head off the collapse of her Light Hawk Wings. A few moments passed -- it seemed they were miles away -- and he saw that Ryoko was now clearly losing her focus on holding her wings; they seemed to flicker on and off as if a dying light bulb.
Oh no, I'm too late! Tenchi thought in horror.
Onimaru, confident that she held the advantage, threw out another energy wave at Ryoko, pushing the Light Hawk Wings aside and enveloping Ryoko within. Grasping her dark blade, she charged into the envelope, poised to strike.
"I have you now, Avatar." Onimaru said with evil confidence. "Prepare to die!"
"AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!" A horrifying, bloodcurdling scream came from inside the energy envelope. It was Ryoko's voice.
"Ryoko!" Tenchi screamed, hoping to hear any response from her. Nothing. Suddenly his instincts kicked in as he turned and shielded himself from an attacker from behind. He turned and found himself facing Onimaru's shadow.
"You won't kill me that easily!" Tenchi yelled at the shadow. I must get to Ryoko before Onimaru overpowers her!
Then with a loud hiss, the energy envelope fluctuated and dissipated. Ryoko was still alive, her face showing immense pain as she held on to Onimaru's dark blade, holding it inches from her abdomen. Her hands began to bleed from the searing darkness... then her gems began to glow with an angelic brightness.
She channeled the energy of the gems, generating an energy discharge to attempt to nullify the dark blade.
Ryoko let out a battle cry -- Onimaru's blade started to react to Ryoko's energy discharge -- then a huge explosion occurred.
The force of the explosion sent a piece of shrapnel into Aeka's side, causing her to fall over with Yui in her arms, Aeka yelping in pain. As Aeka tried to regain her bearings, Yui painfully crept out of Aeka's arms and back to the battlefield. Having heard her mother's scream before the explosion, she did not want to leave her parents behind.
"Yui! Come back!" Aeka yelled out, struggling to stand up, doing her best to ignore the intense pain. "You can't go back there! You must come home with me!"
Yui ignored Aeka; she didn't want to run away while her parents were in danger. She finally reached the doorway to the chamber; the first thing she saw was Tenchi fighting Onimaru's shadow.
Tenchi turned around to find Yui standing in the doorway; an expression of horror went across his face. "Yui! What are you doing here? I told you to go back home! It's too dangerous!"
Yui didn't respond. Tenchi continued to fight the shadow with his Light Hawk Sword.
Suddenly, an unmistakably evil voice rang out. "So, the 'Miracle Child' has returned to witness her mother's death!"
Yui looked over to where the true Onimaru stood. She could only watch in horror as her mother was being beaten down to the floor, pummeled into the ground by Onimaru's fists and stomped on by the green-eyed woman's boots. Ryoko con-
tinued to endure the beating unwilling to give up. She tried to stand, but was knocked back down by a punch to the face; she vomited blood from the gag reflex and collapsed backwards. As Ryoko struggled to get up from her position,
Onimaru bended down and picked her up by the neck.
"This time you've lost, Ryoko!" Onimaru said proudly. "How does it feel to be the one receiving all the damage?"
"I've had worse," Ryoko replied, her voice struggling from the pain.
Ryoko was held up in the air like a twisted trophy; her suit was torn, she was cut and blemished, and there were bloodstains everywhere. She futilely tried to free herself from the red-haired woman's grasp.
Not wanting to look into her enemy's face any longer, Ryoko turned her head,
only to see something worse: her daughter standing in the far doorway. The look of unadulterated terror on Yui's face caused Ryoko to break into tears.
Why must Yui see this happen to me? WHY?
"Yui..." Ryoko begged, her voice giving out. "Please...don't watch..."
Yui stood paralyzed, not knowing what to do.
"You should've listened to your mother, little girl." Onimaru said, hefting Ryoko into the air as far as she could go with a triumphant smile.
"Please don't kill her!" Yui begged from afar, watching helplessly as Onimaru materialized a sword in her free hand. The dark sword was shining fresh and glorious, darker than the depths of night. She pulled it back, preparing to strike...
Yui forced herself to wake up; she was sweating hard, eyes wide open, trying to forget the re-occurring nightmare. And she hyperventilated, she tried to forget the memory that haunted her for most of her life. Why did it keep reoccurring? Why must she have this same nightmare? She knew that it was a memory - but couldn't remember anything beyond that.
She finally calmed down and looked over at the clock. 10:30 AM. Time for breakfast. She got up from bed, and changed out of her pajamas into her casual wear, a pair of black close-fitting shorts and a short-sleeved shirt that said 'hello'. She tied her long cyan hair back into a ponytail, then looked over to a picture attached to the wall mirror she was looking into.
It was a picture of her mother. In the picture, her mother was wearing a light blue colored dress with a black bow tie; it was one of her favorite casual outfits, according to her father. Yui stared at the picture for a while, focusing on her mother's smile; her mother was a very beautiful woman. She then looked at herself in the mirror and studied her resemblance to Ryoko.
Meanwhile, Aeka and Sasami had already arrived downstairs; they'd been at the house since dawn. Tenchi was also already awake, sitting in the living room on the couch across from Aeka. Sasami was in the kitchen, happily cooking up some breakfast with Ryo-ohki on her usual spot on the top of Sasami's head. Aeka sipped her tea, enjoying her conversation with Tenchi.
"So that's all that happened at the meeting?" Tenchi asked.
"Yes; the representatives were all happy about passing the bill." Aeka said. "In fact, they were so happy that they all decided to proclaim a new holiday."
"What? Another new holiday!" Tenchi exclaimed.
"Yes. It's called, 'Hooray, We Finally Passed the Bill Day!' Shoji named the holiday himself."
"Only Shoji would have the sense of humor and charisma to give a name like that to a new holiday."
"Yes, he would," Aeka replied.
"Very interesting. I guess I can't blame him for being so happy; after all, the bill took at least two years of deliberation," Tenchi noted.
"Yes, 2 very LONG years." She smiled.
"So, how's the Empress of Jurai business been coming along?" he asked. "And how's Shoji? How long has it been now, 17 years?"
"Yes, 17 years..." she replied, "...since I took his hand in marriage."
"My, how time flies."
18 years have passed since you married Ryoko as well, thought Aeka to herself.
She felt a little depressed, naturally; it was supposed to have been HER who would marry Tenchi, not Ryoko...
How selfish of me to even think of that! she thought, getting upset at her own thoughts. She greatly admired the display of love the Masaki men showed for their deceased wives: Yosho and his wife; Nobuyuki and Achika; and, of course, Tenchi and Ryoko.
Aeka started thinking about how naïve she used to be, hoping to win Tenchi's love in the old days; it took her a while after the wedding to finally accept the reality that she was never going to have him. Ever since Shoji came along,
though, winning Tenchi's heart didn't matter all that much to Aeka anymore; she was still fond of Tenchi, but not as much as before. For 17 years now, she had been happily married.
Another thought flew across Aeka's mind. She started thinking about the state of the family since Ryoko's death; Aeka felt fortunate that she had been able to help Tenchi raise his daughter. After the funeral, Yui didn't speak to anybody for 11 months. What would've happened if she hadn't ever been there to help? It was her duty -- and her right -- to help Tenchi. Now, 14 years later, instead of being Tenchi's 2nd wife, she was something else...something a little better. She was Yui's godmother, and still a close friend to Tenchi. Aeka felt more like a guardian angel than a friend or family member, watching over the two throughout the years with a protective eye. She smiled at the thought.
Tenchi looked over at the wall clock. 11:00 AM.
"Well, it's time to visit Ryoko," he said, getting up from the sofa and heading out the back door.
"Let me accompany you, Tenchi," Aeka said, standing and following Tenchi out towards the lake.
"By all means," Tenchi replied.
Sasami stepped out of the kitchen, clad in cooking apron and cabbit on her head.
"Breakfast is ready!" She looked around and realized she was alone. Where are Tenchi and Aeka? ...Right. They must be out at the lake visiting Ryoko's grave.
Washu emerged from her lab, stretching her arms and yawning. She looked very tired from working the whole night.
"Good morning, sister Washu," greeted Sasami.
"Oh, good morning, Tsunami." Washu took great care to seal the lab door shut.
Sasami groaned a little bit at the sound of her other name. She didn't hate the name Tsunami; she was just too used to the name Sasami.
"It's ok, Washu," Sasami smiled. Her smile was quickly replaced by a serious expression. "I know that you were up all last night working on her."
"So you know about Ryoko," replied Washu.
"Yes. I've known about everything for quite some time now," Sasami said. Ever since Sasami had fully assimilated with Tsunami 8 years ago, her perspective on the universe had increased exponentially. She was able to see different dimensions, different time periods, and different lives, all intermingling with each other in one unified continuity. Sasami would sometimes get headaches from looking at so many things all at once; fortunately for her she could turn her high-dimensional perspective on and off at will.
"Really?" said Washu.
"Yes. Really," Sasami replied.
"How long has it been since I got your attention?" Washu asked. "I'm assuming 2 weeks ago..."
"Yes, that's right. Of course, I have no objections of her coming back," Sasami said with a smile, "even though you're breaking that cardinal rule of life and death." The dormancy of the gems could be attributed to Ryoko's death; now,
though, Sasami could feel the gems' active algorithms.
"I knew you wouldn't object, Sasami. ...And I'm not breaking that cardinal rule at all," Washu said with a grin. "It's more like cleaning Ryoko up and putting her back together again. Only at a very atomic level-" Washu frowned. "-and I don't plan to do that ever again."
"Well, if that's how it really is, then I won't think about it any further," Sasami said. "By the way, when is she going to be reunited with us? ...Her family?"
"Well, the regeneration process has already been underway for quite some time now; it won't be finished until tomorrow. That's the easy part!"
"What's the hard part?"
"The hard part... is getting her memory back intact."
"I see." Sasami's smile faltered.
"Which is a no big deal for a genius scientist like myself. That is, unless..." Washu began, dropping a hint.
"...unless I help?"
"Yes. To help speed things up a little bit," she said, trying to maintain her proud façade.
Sasami paused and thought about Washu's offer, then smiled.
"I'll be more than happy to help you out, sister Washu."
"Thank you, Sasami."
"Don't even thank me. I'm just returning the favor."
"Thanks anyways," Washu said gratuitously.
"Ryoko did save the universe on two separate occasions. Otherwise, Tokimi would've taken over..."
"Yes, she did." Washu beamed with maternal pride. "The universe and the fate of all life that exists in it fell to her, and she performed well."
"When do we start?"
"First thing tomorrow morning. I just need to get the basic schematics down before we can start anything."
"Alright. Does this mean you'll be using the bridge of the Tsunami?"
"Yes. The bridge is an absolutely essential element in restoring Ryoko back her memories." Washu started back into the lab, but before she could fully step through the door, Sasami called out her name.
"Aren't you going to have breakfast? The food is still fresh and warm!" she said, smiling the way only she could smile.
"Looks like I'm going to have to pass on your offer. Sorry... I'll wait until lunch." Washu walked back in to the lab, the door closing tight behind her.
"I'd better go get Yui before the food starts to get cold." Sasami began to make her way upstairs.
Meanwhile, Tenchi and Aeka stood in front of Ryoko's gravestone at the shore of the lake. Aeka was already deep in the middle of her silent prayer; Tenchi was about to start his when he noticed a bundle of yellow flowers lying at the base of the grave. Tenchi smiled softly; he instantly knew that Yui had placed them there, being her favorite flower. The very sight of them brought back an old memory.
It was another beautiful day at the Masaki household; the sun was out and the weather was nice and warm. Tenchi was out in the carrot fields, plowing the ground, when suddenly he felt a rush of air beat up against his legs. THOOP
Startled a bit, Tenchi realized that something had latched onto his legs.
Looking down, he saw his 4 year-old daughter, Yui, hugging him and giving him a big smile.
"Hello, daddy!" Yui said.
"What's daddy's little miracle trying to do? Give him a heart attack?" he said, laughing and picking up Yui and holding her in his arms.
"No, silly daddy!" laughed Yui in return. "I just want to say hi! ...Hello dad!" Yui hugged her father tighter, putting her head on his shoulders.
"Well, I'm touched," Tenchi said, his smile shining. "Hello to you, too," he whispered in her ears, holding Yui tightly in his arms.
Then Yui held her head up, looking into her father's eyes. "Oh!"
"What is it, Yui?" he asked.
"I want to give you something." She reached into her pocket.
"What? You want to give daddy a gift?"
"Uh huh!" she said affirmatively. "Hold out your hand and close your eyes."
"Alright," he said, following his daughter's instructions.
"No cheating OK?" Yui said, reaching into her pocket.
"Don't worry, I won't," Tenchi reassured her, waiting patiently.
"OK! Open your eyes."
Tenchi complied, and saw a yellow flower in Yui's hand.
"This is for you, dad," Yui said, trying to place the flower onto her father's earlobe.
"Thank you, Yui." Tenchi leaned his head over to make it easier for Yui to place the flower onto his ear, and she did so.
"Don't thank me," she said.
"What?" Tenchi asked, a little surprised. "Why not?"
"Because it's mommy's gift to you."
"Oh really?" he said, smiling.
"Uh huh. And she has a message for you."
"What message?" Tenchi asked curiously.
"Um...let me see..." Yui was thinking hard, trying to remember the set of instructions her mother had given her.
Tenchi waited patiently for a few minutes.
"OH! I remember!" Yui exclaimed. "Mommy wants me to tell you to scream out her name out loud. Then mom will tell you the message."
"OK," Tenchi said. "You want to help daddy?"
"On three, OK?"
"OK." Yui said, beaming with enthusiasm.
"One... two... three!" he counted.
"MOMMY!" "RYOKO!" they yelled at the same time.
Tenchi and Yui waited a few moments. Tenchi then felt a breeze of air behind him; he turned around to sees Ryoko standing there smiling at himself and his daughter. Ryoko walked up to Tenchi and Yui, putting her mouth close to Tenchi's right ear and whispering, "I love you, my Tenchi."
Tenchi smiled and faced Ryoko. Ryoko turned and looked at him, then gave him a small but sensual kiss on his lips. Tenchi was still holding Yui in his arms; she was staring at them kissing.
"Ooh!" Yui said teasingly. "Shame! Shame! Shame!"
"Oh, you little tease!" Ryoko said, smiling and patting her daughter's head.
All three of them began to laugh... then everything disappeared but the flowers.
"Tenchi, are you alright?" Aeka asked, noticing Tenchi's flower-induced hypnotic trance.
"Huh?" Tenchi said dumbly, realizing he was back in the present day. "Oh! Uhh...sorry," he said with a tinge of embarrassment.
"It's alright. No need to apologize," Aeka assured him.
Tenchi and Aeka were silent. A few minutes passed by before Aeka decided to speak up.
"It's been 13 years since she died."
"Yes... it has," he said with sadness, trying to repress the memory of the last few painful moments he had spent with Ryoko.
Aeka noticed Tenchi's expression. Great, now I made him sad. I really put my foot in my mouth this time. Aeka decided to leave him alone for a moment,
looking down at the engraved gravestone:
Ryoko Masaki Died on the 25th of April in the year 2005
She began thinking about the irony of it all, to see the gravestone placed here at the shore of the lake. This had been the very location where Ryoko had taken Tenchi's hand in marriage; several years later, she'd died in his arms here.
Tenchi picked up the yellow flowers and sniffed them, taking in their aroma. His sad expression disappeared, replaced with a soft smile. After a minute, he began to pray with the flowers clasped in his hands.
Aeka stood there, watching him pray; she admired his devotion for Ryoko.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Yui was still staring at herself in the mirror, finding many ways to compare her resemblance to her mother. She was also thinking about how she resembled her father as well.
I have the color of her eyes, except they look more human than feline; I have my father's ears, my mother's nose; hmm...I also have her hair color, Yui thought to herself and smiled.
"Admiring yourself, Yui?" Sasami asked jokingly, walking into Yui's room.
"Aunt Sasami! I didn't know you were here!" Yui said, turning and running over to Sasami. She gave the blue-haired goddess a big hug.
"Hello, Yui," Sasami said, returning Yui's affection and smiling warmly.
"Why didn't you wake me up when you arrived?" Yui asked.
"I was about to, but decided against it," Sasami answered. "Besides, you were sleeping so peacefully."
"Thank you for your consideration," Yui said, her mood changing. "Although I can't say much about the way I woke up." She looked to the floor.
Sasami was puzzled at the last remark, before intuitively figuring out what Yui was talking about.
"Oh... I see," Sasami said. "You had that nightmare again, didn't you?"
Yui nodded yes, still looking down in depression. Sasami decided to give Yui another hug, her warmth lifting Yui's spirits. She smiled, glad that Aunt Sasami was here to make her feel better. What would Yui ever do without her?
"OK, let's go have breakfast!" said Sasami. "You know how much I hate it when the food gets cold."
"Sure," Yui said. "I hate it when I see you frown. ...Makes you look older," she added fiendishly.
"Oh, is that it?" Sasami said loudly. "Well, let's see if you can beat me in a race downstairs!"
"OK! Fine, you're on!" Yui said with excitement. I've never raced her before, hmm... she does run a little slow... I'll beat her like it was nothing!
"Are you ready?" asked Sasami.
"Ready when you are!"
"On your mark..."
Yui knelt down.
Yui was preparing herself mentally.
"Yes?" Yui asked.
"Don't hesitate to use your abilities."
"Are you sure?" Yui asked, making sure Sasami wasn't going crazy on her.
Oh man! I'm really going to beat her in no time flat! Yui thought, giddy.
"Alright..." Sasami finished her countdown. "GO!"
Yui stormed out of her bedroom at lightning speed, zipping through the hallways and growing overconfident as she got to the stairway. Using her flying abilities up to this point, she didn't dare plant her feet on the ground, lest the friction slow her down. In a snap she was down the stairs, mere feet from the dining room where Sasami's delicious food was waiting, when suddenly she came to a dead stop.
"Huh? What the...?" Yui's surprise was natural, she couldn't move an inch. Suspended in mid-air, she could feel a forcefield of some sort around her. "Hey!
I can't move!"
Of course! How could I be so forgetful! she angrily thought to herself. Yui turned her head and saw Sasami floating down the steps; she realized that Sasami was using her goddess powers.
"Hey, not fair! You're using your omnipotent abilities!"
Sasami giggled, floating down beside Yui and touching down on the floor of the dining room. She looks back at Yui and happily said, "I win!"
The force field around Yui disappeared, setting her free. She looked at Sasami and frowned.
"Ah, look! Now who's the one who's frowning and looking out?" Sasami said,
pointing a finger at Yui and trying her best to keep from busting her gut.
Yui's frown disappeared as she realized that her Aunt Sasami, the goddess, had just played a practical joke on her. I can't believe I fell for it!
Sasami couldn't hold it in any longer, bursting out into laughter; the unreadable look on Yui's face was just too hilarious to her.
Yui watched Sasami laughing and rolling on the floor; it was a funny sight for her to see, a grown-up laughing like a frolicking hyena. Yui started to laugh with Sasami; soon enough, the only sound heard in the house was the two of them laughing.
Ryo-ohki walked into the room from the kitchen, finding Sasami and Yui rolling on the floor laughing at each other. The two of them suddenly stopped upon noticing Ryo-ohki, moments later, they started to laugh at her.
"Miya?" said Ryo-ohki, wondering what had gotten into them. A bead of sweat formed on her humanoid head.
Tenchi finished his prayer, placing the yellow flowers back at the base of the gravestone. Aeka smiled, placing her hand on Tenchi's shoulder. He looked over to Aeka and softly smiled.
"Thank you for being here, Aeka."
"No need to thank me, Tenchi. I do what I do."
Tenchi grinned at her remark. "Come on, let's go eat; I'm starving."
As they proceeded to walk back towards the house, Tenchi decided to chatter a bit with his once-pursuer.
"So, Aeka..." he began.
"Yes, Tenchi?" she asked.
"When is Shoji coming over?"
"Hopefully he'll be here by next Monday."
"Really!" Tenchi said, excited to see him again.
"Yes," Aeka confirmed.
"Great! I can't wait! Yui will love to hear this, as soon I can tell her," he said joyously. "She just adores being around him."
"By the way, Tenchi, I've been meaning to tell you some good news."
"Really? What is it?"
Aeka blushed a little bit.
"What? What is it?" Tenchi asked, his curiosity overwhelming him.
"What! Really! Wow!" Tenchi exclaimed. "Congratulations, Aeka!"
"Thank you, Tenchi."
"So how long have you been pregnant?" he asked.
"About a month and a half now. I wanted tell you personally, but Shoji wanted me to wait until he arrived. He wanted to be here to share in on the celebration."
"Don't worry; your secret is safe with me," he assured her.
"Thank you, Tenchi."
"I knew you were putting on a little bit of weight," he added mischievously.
"What! Am I already getting large?" she exclaimed, checking her figure.
"Just kidding," Tenchi said, smiling. Aeka returned the same.
Tenchi and Aeka eventually reached the house; Yui noticed Aeka walking through the doorway.
"Aunt Aeka!" greeted Yui, walking over to Aeka and hugging her.
"How are you doing, Yui?" asked Aeka.
"I'm doing fine," Yui said, "and yourself?"
"I'm fit and healthy."
"Come on! Let's eat!" Yui said with excitement, walking over to the table. Sasami was already eating her bowl of rice; Ryo-ohki was eating her carrots in humanoid form. Aeka sat down next to Yui; Tenchi sat down next to Ryo-ohki.
"Your father tells me that you were doing very well at practice yesterday," said Aeka.
"Oh... he did, did he?" Yui said, smiling at her father.
"He also said that you almost got the upper hand over him."
"Well..." Yui said, trying to be modest. "I didn't exactly - you know he still has the advantage..." Yui was cut off by her father.
"On the contrary, Yui," Tenchi said with pride. "I think you've learned almost everything you need to learn. Now all you have to do is master your techniques!"
"But, dad!" Yui began, trying to head off her father's next statement. I better think of something to say, before he makes his speech; I better stop him before... Yui was too late. "Oh no," she whispered to herself.
"Ever since she was 6, I've trained her to be the best sword fighter! She learned things faster than I ever did, when I was young!" Tenchi said, standing up and curling his fist into a ball. Tears of joy streamed down his cheeks. "Now, 11 years later, she almost bested me! She's grown quicker and stronger! Nobody will ever be able to beat her now! You're going to be the greatest and bravest sword fighter of all time! I'm so proud of you, Yui! SO PROOUD!" he finished with a yell.
Tenchi exhaled and looked at everybody sitting at the table. Yui held her face in her hands, extremely embarrassed. Everybody else had stopped eating,
staring at Tenchi wide-eyed; beads of sweat loomed on their heads.
"What?" he asked. "Why's everybody looking at me like that?" Tenchi heard Yui sigh in the background; he cleared his throat and decided to change the subject. "By the way, your uncle Shoji is going to come by and visit."
"Really! Uncle Shoji? When?" Yui replied, looking up at her father with great enthusiasm.
"I think he'll arrive on Monday."
"Alright!" Yui exclaimed. "I can't wait! It's been 2 years since the last time he came by to visit. I wonder if he's interested in seeing me practice? He'll be so amazed to see my new abilities!"
"Abilities? What new abilities?" Aeka asked Yui, bemused.
"You mean Dad didn't tell you?" Yui said to Aeka, giving Tenchi a curious look.
Aeka nodded no.
"Well, I was thinking that it would be better if you told your aunt first." Tenchi said to Yui.
"Oh," Yui said, understanding what her father meant. She looked over to Aeka and the group around the table, outstretching her hand in a showy way. "Well, here it is!" She formed a blue energy ball on her hands, then turned it into an energy sword.
"Oh my! You can form your own energy sword!" Aeka said with amazement. "That's really interesting... like mother, like daughter."
"You really think so?" asked Yui.
"Well, why not? I guess I really am turning out like mother!" Yui said happily. "Maybe you can ask Shoji to practice with you," suggested Aeka.
"Gee, you think he'll be willing enough to volunteer?" Yui asked with a glint in her eye.
"I'm sure he's willing, Yui," replied Aeka with a smile. "After all, Shoji used to serve as a Juraian Royal Knight."
"I'll ask him as soon as he arrives," Yui said, proceeding to eat up her rice bowl.
Washu walked out of her lab, tightly closing the door for the last time, and sat down next to Sasami. The blue-haired goddess looked to Washu and smiled.
"Changed your mind?" Sasami asked.
"Yep," Washu said, picking up her bowl of rice and tearing into it. "I realized that I haven't eaten a thing in 2 weeks!"
"You have got to be kidding!" Yui said with concern. "What have you been doing in that lab?"
"Yes, Washu. Please tell us," Tenchi continued. "What have you been doing in there for the past 13 years?"
"Let me finish eating, will ya!" Washu barked out between bites . "I'll tell all of you as soon as I stop starving!"
"Does this mean that we'll be finally be able to go in to your lab?" Yui asked Washu, trepidation and excitement mixed in her voice.
Washu nodded yes, continuing to demolish her rice bowl. She was quiet and had a slight looked of concern on her face.
"Oh, wow! This is going to be interesting!" exclaimed Yui. "I've never stepped into your lab before!" Yui smiled, her anticipation growing. "I wonder what's inside it?"
Tenchi observed his daughter's growing anticipation. Yui's desire to enter Washu's lab brought back memories of himself exploring Ryoko's cave when he was younger. Like her father, Yui was forbidden from stepping inside the lab; like her father, she was curious.
Like father, like daughter, Tenchi thought to himself, sipping his tea.
While Yui continued to grow excited, Sasami and Ryo-ohki observed her with great concern.
Half an hour later, after Washu had finished eating, everybody gathered in front of the once-closet door. Washu opened the door carefully, allowing the group to walk in. Being her first time in here, Yui was amazed to see the huge open spaces of Washu's lab. How can something so big possibly fit in a space so small? Yui wandered off to explore the lab, Aeka close in tow.
"It's so amazing! What do you think of it, Aunt Aeka?"
"It's amazing, although it's not the first time I've been in here."
"That's right!" Yui said in realization. "I was so excited to be here that I almost forgot that you used to come here before I was even born!" Yui looked at a huge tank to her side; a giant alien whale swam inside it. Aeka looked over across the room to sees Tenchi walking towards a black cylinder.
To Tenchi, the lab still looked the same 13 years after he'd last set foot in it. The lab still had its aquariums, its creatures, and its glass tubes; there was really only one difference: a black glass cylinder in the center of the lab.
It had several computers and monitoring systems attached to it, the contents hidden due to the glass being black, obscuring its contents. He didn't remember it, and was compelled to get closer to it for some reason he couldn't explain. As he strained to get a glimpse at its contents, Washu and Sasami walked up behind him.
"Washu, what's in this cylinder? A new invention?" asked Tenchi.
"Not exactly," said Washu. She pushed a sequence of buttons on the cylinder's control board.
Yui was still looking at the alien whale, baffled to see something so huge kept inside a small tank yet remain so happy. Aeka was still by Yui's side; however,
the Juraian empress was monitoring the activity across the room. I wonder why they're all gathered around that black tube? Sensing the need to be there, she tugged at Yui's arm.
"What is it, Aunt Aeka?" Yui asked, turning to face her.
"Let's go over there; we need to see why they're all gathered around that tube."
"Alright," Yui said. They began walking towards the black cylinder where Tenchi, Washu, Sasami, and Ryo-ohki were standing.
Washu was entering some more commands into the control panel when she noticed that Yui and Aeka were coming to the scene. She stopped and turned to Tenchi.
"Tenchi, what I'm about to show you is very important. I'm only expecting 2 types of reactions from you. Positive... or negative."
"What? What is it, Washu?" Tenchi asked, now really wanting to know what was within.
Washu pushed a button; the black glass on the tube became transparent.
Everybody except Sasami and Ryo-ohki gasped.
A familiar woman floated in the tube, wearing a blue spandex suit in equally blue water; she was in suspended animation, not twitching in the slightest.
"M-mother?" Yui's shock was the greatest; never in her life had she ever expected to see her mother Ryoko again! She stepped up to the glass tube,
placing her hand on the glass; that action released a flood of buried memories to her consciousness unbidden. As tears began to well up in her eyes, she could say nothing as she simply stared at her mother. Sasami, feeling the need to act, walked up to Yui and put her hand on the youth's shoulder.
Tenchi and I were at Ryoko's grave today... If Ryoko's here... then who's in the grave? thought Aeka. She hesitantly looked over to Tenchi.
Tenchi just stared at Ryoko, having no idea how to react. Could he be overjoyed that he was looking upon his wife's beautiful visage once more... and still be upset with Washu?
"Is this the real Ryoko?" he asked after an uneasy pause. "...Or is she a clone?"
"She's the real Ryoko; the genuine article," answered Washu as neutrally as she could.
Tenchi's voice turned serious. "Washu... how long have you had Ryoko here?"
"Since the day she died."
Those words caused Tenchi's temper to break. "You mean to tell me that you've been working on her for the past 13 years, and didn't bother to tell me or anybody else! Not to mention the fact that we performed a sacred funeral for her and her body wasn't even present!"
Hearing her father's yelling, Yui took her attention from the glass tube's contents and looked to her father and Washu, listening to her father's words.
This was the boldest thing Washu'd ever done that Yui was aware of; she now needed to hear a good reason from the scientist to justify her actions. Why all the secrecy, and why was her mother here now? Those two questions took up all of Yui's mind as she listened.
"Let me explain myself to you clearly, Tenchi; it won't do either of us any good if you scold me further," interrupted Washu.
"Fine... go ahead. This had better be good." Tenchi was visibly strained in his effort to keep himself calm.
Washu's voice was assuring yet stern. "I always have my reasons, Tenchi. I rarely make my decisions out of pure emotion. ...The very moment that Ryoko died, I had to switch her body with a double and instantaneously place her here in the this unit."
"Because of the residual energy that was left by Onimaru's sword. If she was ever buried here on Earth, without my intervention, there could've been a worldwide catastrophe." Washu's expression turned intensely grim for a moment.
"The dark matter radiation left on Ryoko's wounds was concentrated enough to burst into massive fallout."
"Then why wasn't I affected by this radiation? I was the closest person to her. In fact, she was in my arms!" Tenchi retorted, his anger bubbling for a moment.
"Because at that time, she was still alive."
"You mean she was turned into a time bomb?" he asked.
"In a manner of speaking, yes, she was. Ryoko was used by Onimaru as her last- ditch effort to inflict some kind of damage to this universe. If she'd died before I'd done something... every biological organism on this planet would be dead right now."
"OK, OK, we get what you're saying!" Yui interjected, deciding to resolve one of her questions. "Then why the big secret? Why did it take you so long to finally tell this to us?"
" 'Why the big secret'? Allow me to explain. I wanted absolutely no risks at all that would hinder Ryoko's regeneration. The moment I teleported Ryoko into this unit, her body exploded."
"E-exploded?" Yui shivered, not liking the mental picture of that description.
"I'm sorry to frighten you, Yui. I'm laying down the facts to you straight."
"It's alright, Washu." Yui said, clearing her mind. "I understand; I should've expected an answer like that sooner. Please continue."
"When Ryoko's body exploded, it was reduced to atomic particles," continued Washu without a break. "I could've regenerated her body within 2 weeks, if not for the problem of the dark matter radiation. So for the past 13 years, I had to tediously examine and pick off any radioactive particles attached to Ryoko's bio-atomic matter. It required a lot of patience and a lot of peace and quiet."
"But Washu, why weren't we allowed into the lab?" said Yui, satisfied that her first question had been answered.
"This unit's parts are so delicate that even a few decibels of sound waves can cause it to malfunction. I'm the only one here with enough physical discipline to slow my heart and breathing rate to the lowest possible working conditions.
That is why I had to lock everybody out of the lab and why I've kept silent for the last 13 years. If I told anyone, you probably would have tried to get into the lab... and potentially cause the unit to malfunction, which would have"
Washu paused. "...lost Ryoko at an atomic level.
"Only 2 weeks ago, the machine was able to expel the last of the dark matter radiation from Ryoko's atoms. It was at that time that I began the regenerative process. Now that she's almost fully put together again, I deemed it safe for you all to step inside."
"What is Ryoko's status right now?" Tenchi asked, calm and collected now that he had heard Washu's response.
"She's 97 fully restored."
"What happens after she's fully restored?"
"W-ell, even though she will be restored, she isn't quite FULLY restored yet."
"What do you mean?" Yui asked.
As Yui and Washu spoke, Tenchi took a quiet step backwards, attempting to remain unnoticed.
"She will be completely restored in every way except one: her memory."
"She's going to forget who we are?" Aeka said in surprise.
"Yes, but don't worry," Sasami assured the group. "Washu and I are thinking of a solution. We'll start on her as soon as her regeneration is complete."
Washu stepped in front of Yui, placing her hands on her granddaughter's shoulders and looking at her with sincerity. "We'll all be reunited with your mother soon, Yui. We can forget the past 13 years now."
Yui looked away from Washu's eyes, not knowing how to react. Things were happening too quickly right now... a few minutes ago, her mother was dead; now she was here in the lab, floating in stasis.
Suddenly, the women heard the lab door slam shut behind them. They all knew the same thing: Tenchi had deliberately left them.
"I'll go talk to him," Aeka volunteered, stepping towards the door. Yui quickly tugged at Aeka's sleeve, motioning her to stop.
"Wait, let me talk to him. It'll be better if I go and speak to him myself."
"I understand, Yui," Aeka said, stepping aside. "Only you and your father could truly discuss this matter."
"Thank you, Aunt Aeka!" Yui hugged her aunt, then ran out of the lab.
Sasami watched Yui fly out of the lab; Washu signaled for Ryo-ohki to quietly follow suit. The humanoid nodded, turning into a cabbit in a poof before departing the lab. Aeka stepped to Washu's side in silence, not knowing how to react to this sudden turn of events.
"Why are you sending Ryo-ohki after them?" she asked.
"I'm sending her because I'm very concerned for Tenchi. He was angry that one minute, then all of a sudden he was very quiet the next."
"What did you expect, Washu?" said Sasami in a uncharacteristically accusatory tone. "After all, you did keep his wife a secret for the past 13 years, betraying him to believe that Ryoko was dead-"
"I know that, Sasami!" Washu barked in frustration. "I didn't do this on a whim,
you know... you thought that I would do this without consideration for Tenchi's feelings? I'm not that cold-hearted! I was absolutely prepared to bring Ryoko back but I wasn't prepared to know how Tenchi would react. I don't expect him to forgive me right off the bat; but knowing Tenchi, I'm sure he'll find a way to re-evaluate and adjust to this revelation... like he always does."
Sasami was stern. "Let's just hope you're right, Washu, because if he doesn't.
the one person who you should worry about more is Yui."
Washu didn't flinch at Sasami's words, though realizing that Yui would be even more hurt if Tenchi didn't find a way to adjust to this sudden situation. Right now, the only thing Washu could do was to watch the events unfold through Ryo-ohki, and hope for the best... while preparing for the worst.
Yui floated out of the lab, hovering around the house in search of her father without success. Then as she doubled back through the hallway, she heard a peculiar thumping sound coming from outside, near the lake. Yui flew out of a nearby window and landed close to her father in stunned silence.
Tenchi had pulled out a sledgehammer from the tool shed; with it, he was destroying the monument representing the biggest lie of his life. In the most poignant thing Yui had ever seen him do, he was destroying and renewing his perspective on life. With each jolting sensation of the hammer's impact to its target, a piece of his soul burned away and resurrected itself at once. This gut reaction was the only way he could purge away a lie that he was led to believe for the past 13 years.
THOOMP! THOOMP! THOOMP! was the sound after each time he swung, more rock falling away.
"Father, stop!" Yui cried out. It was painful to watch him do this, but her sentiments were exactly like his. She was concerned for her father more than the marker; he looked so angry yet so liberated with each swing.
THOOMP! THOOMP! THOOMP!
"Father, please stop!" Yui yelled out, tears welling up in her eyes.
No response; he kept banging away at the marker.
THOOMP! THOOMP! THOOMP!
Yui couldn't take it anymore; she ran over to Tenchi and held him, preventing him from swinging any further.
"Father! It's gone now! It's destroyed! There's no need to smash it any further!" said Yui, crying on her father's shoulder and hugging him tight.
"I'm sorry you had to see that, Yui. It was the only way I could free myself," he said to her quietly. "I mean, the both of us... I'm sorry..." He silently wept with Yui. Holding her tighter, both fell to their knees and catharitically let it all out. Tenchi dropped the sledgehammer, the implement of destruction landing next to the shattered remnants of Ryoko's gravestone. A few yards away from the rubble, the bundle of yellow flowers that had been picked by Yui the previous day laid in the sun unharmed.
To be continued...
The Lonely Moon (tragedy)
I am lonely like the moon You are faraway as the earth Now you say I light your thoughts Night After night Soon you forget
We are drifting in this dance I can feel you circle my thoughts Keeping such a graceful distance So close but somehow apart
Sometimes I cry for you Knowing you don't want me to Sometimes I whisper to the stars up in the sky
That I want to find the way to your soul Kiss in the sun when morning comes you don't seem to count the hours When we are not together I've seen a tender fire in your eyes Yet when I'm gone you carry on I float in this emptiness Till at last love returns With the night and the lonely moon
End of Pt.1 Chapter 2
Phew! There you have it! Chapter 2! Hope you liked it! Send me your C&C and tell me what you think! Stay tuned for chapter 3! It's currently underway.
I would also like to give special thanks to my pre-readers, Navaash, Random and Lord Talon. We went through many trials together (especially deciding the ending!) but hey, we pulled it off!
Tenchi Muyo: Ryoko's Love.
Prologue Chapter 3: Ryoko Returns Part 1 By Long T. Tran Revised By Navaash
I don't own these characters, AIC/Pioneer owns them. I don't intend to make money off this because I don't want to get a lawsuit. I'm too poor for that. But this is my story, so don't plagiarize!
April 25, 2018, 12:00 PM
Tenchi lifted his daughter Yui up from her knees with him, drained from the destruction of his wife's false gravestone and its aftermath.
"Father... I'll be in my room."
Tenchi nodded, watching Yui until she was out of his sight. He then walked a few steps to the rubble, and began to throw the marker into the lake, hurling as much stone and concrete as he could hold into the crystal-clear depths. With each toss, he slowly completed the process of coming to grips with everything that had happened in the past few hours.
As more and more rocks submerged into the crystal-clear waters, Washu approached Tenchi from behind.
"I'm sorry you had to do that to Ryoko's grave."
"Correction, Washu. WAS Ryoko's grave," Tenchi said sternly to Washu; the red-
haired scientist didn't flinch. "Who's buried beneath here?"
"Just a celluloid mannequin," Washu replied. "Look, I'm not here to be scolded again. I've come here to apologize for my actions. I didn't realize I offended you and your daughter as deeply as I did."
"Don't worry about apologizing, Washu. You already apologized in the lab; giving me a straightforward explanation about why you kept Ryoko's existence a secret was good enough for me."
"What do you mean, Tenchi?" Washu was puzzled, a rarity for her.
"What I did to Ryoko's grave was just my way of alleviating my anger towards you. There's no reason to be sorry now." Not looking at Washu, he channeled all his negative energy into the last remaining rocks in his hands. With a silent roar, he threw the rocks into the water with all his might. "It's all behind us now. It's in the past... time to move on." Tenchi turned to face Washu as the last of the rocks impacted on the water's surface.
"I see," Washu said, admiring Tenchi's uncanny ability of being able to adjust his perspective on life at a moment's notice. "I would still like to apologize to you properly." She knelt down in a traditional manner, placing her hands on the ground and her head on her hands. "Gomen nasai."
"If it makes things easier, I accept your apology," Tenchi said, still maintaining a serious tone. "Now please apologize to Yui."
"I will. Don't you worry about it," Washu said, standing back up and starting to make her way back to the house. "By the way, I'm gonna start on restoring Ryoko's memory tonight."
"You are?" Tenchi asked, his negative funk lifting with that remark. "What can I do to help?"
"Just bring yourself and Ryoko's gems to the lab tonight at midnight. You're going to be playing a very crucial role in bringing her back."
"Alright, tonight at midnight," repeated Tenchi, confirming Washu's directions. "I'll see you then." Tenchi walked off to the shrine, ready to perform his daily duties with Yosho.
Washu stopped to watch Tenchi walk away, then continued to the Masaki residence,
heading straight for Yui's room. Hoping that Yui would be as understanding as her father, she stepped up to the door, took a deep breath, and knocked.
"Yui? Are you there?"
"Grandmother Washu?" asked Yui with a hint of anger and confusion.
"Yes, it's me. May I come in?"
"Sure. Come in," Yui said through the door. Washu opened it and entered; she found her granddaughter lying on her bed, listening to music through her headphones. It was apparent to Washu that Yui was lost in her own thoughts.
"What are you listening to?" Washu asked, trying to improve Yui's state of mind.
"'The Joshua Tree' by U2; it's an old American album. I find that this music.
is in sync with my emotions right now." Yui stopped the CD player and took off her headphones. "So what brings you here?"
"I wanted to talk to you about your mother," Washu replied without missing a beat. "Your mother... means everything to me. I love her very much...so much that I had to cheat her own death. I knew that I would pay a terrible price in the long run... in order to insure your mother's safe return, I had to lie to you and to your father. I regret having to put you and your father through that for the past 13 years..." Washu repeated the same motions she had used with Tenchi. "Gome-"
"It's alright... I understand," Yui interrupted. "You did what you had to do and you did it because your motherly instincts told you to"
"Indeed," Washu said, relief starting to relax her as she stood. "Would you like to come down to the lab with me to visit your mother?"
The room suddenly became silent.
"No, I'd like to stay up here for now. I appreciate the fact that you asked me...but right now I need to be alone."
"Alright. I'll be in the lab tending to your mother when you're ready. But are you really sure you don't want to come down to the lab with me?"
Yui considered Washu's offer for a moment, but nodded no in refusal.
"I understand, Yui," Washu said with disappointment She began to make her way out of the room. "By the way, your mother will be ready to see you first thing tomorrow morning... but the door to the lab will always be open if you choose to see her beforehand."
"OK. Maybe I'll see you... maybe not. But I'll be there at midnight." Yui laid herself back down on her bed, donning her headphones once more.
Washu looked at Yui; with a smile, she continued out the door.
As soon as the door closed, Yui gave out a small tired sigh and switched her music back on. Underneath the spell of the soothing, soul-searching music, Yui closed her eyes, considering all the possibilities that her mother's resurrection could bring.
Don't think of it any more, she thought to herself after a minute. Just go with the flow for now
As the clock ticked closer to midnight, Yui was sprawled out on her bed in pitch darkness, listening to U2 and gazing up intently at the twinkling stars through the skylight window. Ryo-ohki, who had wandered into the room after Washu had departed, slept snugly in cabbit form on Yui's stomach, the teenager gently petting her soft brown fur. Still lost in her thoughts, Yui didn't know what to think: should she be happy? sad? betrayed? or something else?
Several minutes later, Yui looked at her wall clock. Midnight.
Hmm... already Sunday. Time has passed by quickly today, she thought to herself. This weekend has been one long roller-coaster ride; what else can happen? Dad was so fumed over Washu keeping mother a secret. However... we're going to be reunited with mom and that's the only thing that really matters. I wonder how Washu is going to bring mother back without losing any of mother's memories?
The loud knocking on Yui's bedroom door somehow cut through the music in her ears. The door slid open before she could motion otherwise, the light from the hallway stinging her eyes. The silhouette of her father stood in the doorway;
despite the fuzzy brightness, she could see he was holding something in his right hand. Instinctively, she turned off the CD player.
"Father? What is it?" asked Yui, rubbing her eyes in a semi-futile attempt to clear her vision.
"Yui, how are you feeling? Are you OK?" Tenchi asked, concerned.
"I'm feeling better... how 'bout you?" Yui asked in return.
"No different from you," he replied. "I've come to show you something. Is it alright if I come in?"
"Sure, come right on in," said Yui, sitting up and trying not to awaken Ryo-
ohki. Yui wanted to talk to her father about the reaction he displayed towards the gravestone this afternoon; she carefully moved Ryo-ohki onto her lap to allow her father to sit down next to her.
She looked down at what he was grasping; it was Tenchi-ken, the master key. It looked no different from the last tie she had seen it... except, to her sur-
prise, the gems radiated with a soft glow.
"...They're glowing," she whispered.
"Yes, Yui. This means that your mother's body is almost completely regenerated"
said Tenchi. As he held up the sword, the gems were starting to glow even more brilliantly. "These gems are linked to your mother; they will play a crucial role in restoring her memories."
Tenchi then put the master key into his pocket. Yui began to think back to the events that occurred the previous day. She looked over at her father; his face was calm and reserved, a striking contrast to the distilled rage she had seen at the lake. When he had demolished the gravestone and the falsehood that went with it, despite stopping him in the end she completely agreed with his actions. After all, how else could one rid oneself of a 13 year-old lie?
At least right now, she saw that her father was in his usual calm mood.
"Father, about mother's gravestone..." Yui said, struggling to find the right way to express her thoughts.
"I know. What I did to your mother's gravestone was uncalled for..."
"Actually, dad," she interrupted, "I wasn't going to shun you for destroying mother's grave."
Tenchi was baffled. "You weren't?"
Yui nodded to her father in affirmation. "I would've done the same thing that you did. By destroying it, you destroyed the lie. Now we don't have to think about it anymore. Really, I'm glad you did what you did... you had to."
"I'm sorry you had to see that, Yui," Tenchi said with a sigh. "But you and I have been given a chance to live our lives with your mother again."
"We have..." Yui trailed off, thinking.
"As I swung the sledgehammer at the marker, several thoughts went through my mind," said Tenchi with a pause, organizing his thoughts. "I wanted to do three things: find a way to forgive Washu for deceiving us all, purge from myself the lie that told me for 13 years that I would never see Ryoko again, and rid myself of all the anger and disbelief surrounding your mother's reappearance.
After I did all that, I had to find a glimmer of hope so that I could accept the possibility of starting a new life with your mother.
"Mmmm." Yui completely empathized with her father; she knew that she would have had similar, if not identical, goals. We're so alike...
"As I started to hit the gravestone, in that first split second, I realized that I was reliving the cycle of the phoenix. With each strike of the hammer, my old self, which believed that your mother was dead, burned away. Afterwards,
I felt reborn, prepared to begin anew.
"One more thing. Remember the flowers you placed at the gravestone?"
"I moved them away; they were safely away from me, never hurt."
"Hmm..." Thinking back to that afternoon, Yui clearly remembered that she had not seen the flowers anywhere near the debris. "I remember. The flowers weren't near the gravestone... by relocating them, you were forgetting about the past,
but looking towards the future... right?"
"Yes, Yui. That's absolutely right," Tenchi said, smiling about his daughter's natural intuition. "The part of me you once knew, the part of me that loathed myself for not being able to save your mother, the part of myself that was filled with grief and sorrow... is now gone. We've been given another chance to live life with your mother again, and that's all that matters."
"I'm happy that we've been given another chance, but..." Yui said doubtfully.
"But what, Yui?" Tenchi asked.
"What are we going to do if mom doesn't recover all her memories?"
The remarks hit home for Tenchi. What would happen if she didn't recover her memories? It took a second for him to think, but the conclusion was painfully obvious: it would be no different than letting her remain 'dead'. Then he remembered the object in his pocket, the look of concern on his face going away. He wrapped his arm around Yui and hugged her. "Don't worry. Washu and Sasami have already thought of the answer."
"Really, father? What is it?"
"The answer is in these gems," he said assurringly, taking the Tenchi-ken out of his pocket and holding it up. "Washu told me that they have all her memories and past experiences stored in here. No need to worry."
"Yeah... you're right. After all, Washu is the universe's greatest scientist and Aunt Sasami is - well - a goddess," she said with affirmation, purging away all of her doubts. Yui began to smile in the warmth of her father's hug; it felt as if the night sky had wrapped itself around her.
Tenchi looked down at his daughter, a goofy grin developing on his face. "So, now the student teaches the teacher! You are daddy's little Miracle Child!" He began to ruffle his daughter's cyan hair; she pushed him away with anger, just as embarrassed as she had been at dinner last night. "DAAAAAAD! Stop messing up my hair! And I hate it when you call me that!"
"I'm sorry, Yui," Tenchi said, his grin turning into a soft smile. "I just wanted to lift your spirits a little bit."
"You're always the optimist, aren't you, dad?" Yui grunted.
"Well, I try to be," Tenchi replied, trying to defuse his daughter's anger. "I'm sorry again, Yui." With fatherly care, Tenchi gave Yui an even gentler hug. The cyan-haired youth's anger subsided as she thought about the last remark.
"I'm sorry to have burst out on you like that, father," Yui said apologetically.
"It's alright, Yui." Tenchi comforted his daughter a little more. "I just want you to get some sleep, rest, and recover after what you've been through today."
A few silent moments passed; Yui's tension began to subside. She finally felt warm, relaxed, and secure, after this emotional roller-coaster of a day. She closed her eyes, her mind slowly drifting into a relaxed state.
Tenchi held Yui close until she began to snore. Once he felt her body relax, he smiled, carefully tucking Yui into her bed. As Tenchi moved his sleeping daughter around, Ryo-ohki woke up, groggy from being nudged to consciousness.
"Shhhh," Tenchi said quietly, putting his finger on Ryo-ohki's little lip. "Yui's asleep."
"Sleep well, Yui. While you dream away, I'll be bringing your mother back to us," he whispered, kissing his daughter's forehead. Ryo-ohki quickly hopped on to Tenchi's head; together, they stepped out of Yui's room. As he closed the door behind him, he glanced up at the cabbit.
"Thank you for being there for Yui, Ryo-ohki," he said, petting the little cabbit. "Would you be willing to watch over Yui tonight while I'm with Ryoko?"
"Miya! Miya!" Ryo-ohki chirped happily. The cabbit hopped back down, phasing through Yui's doorway.
Tenchi watched the cabbit re-enter his daughter's room, then looked at his watch. Time to be in Washu's lab. He walked through the hallway, down the stairs, and towards the closet door, where destiny awaited.
The screen on Washu's computer read:
Regeneration status: 100 complete.
"OK, Sasami; put her through the Epidermal Filtering System."
"Right," confirmed Sasami, typing a sequence into her keyboard.
As Washu and Sasami worked away on the computers connected to the tank that suspended Ryoko, Aeka stood a short distance away, watching her once-rival float in the blue crystal liquid. The red-haired scientist typed a sequence into the keyboard with precise yet speedy keystrokes; a huge rectangular device materialized, connecting itself to the master cylinder. Aeka observed that the device took up approximately half of the chamber they stood in; it was composed of three different tanks.
The first tank included a small class tube which had already attached itself to the master cylinder; it held a thick white liquid within. The second tank, connected to the first tank, had clear non-conductive liquid in its confines.
The third tank was unusual in comparison to the other two; it was empty.
Ryoko's body, freed of the spandex outfit, drifted through the glass tube and into the first tank. Washu, eye-strain starting to get the best of her, typed a command into the computer.
"AUDITORY STATUS MODE ACTIVATED," boomed a loudspeaker which had just emerged from the machine. Wincing with the others, Washu punched in another instruction:
turn down the volume.
"Subject transferred to phase-1 tank. Initiating poly-dermal graft."
Within the first tank, Ryoko's body was completely immersed within the white liquid, hiding her from plain view. Aeka walked up to the tank, peering inside and wondering what was happening.
"Washu, what is a poly-dermal graft?" she asked, not well-versed in science due to her sheltered upbringing.
"This first step is absolutely crucial to bring Ryoko back. What we're doing is basically adjusting Ryoko's skin to adapt to the outside air."
"Why? What's the point?"
"Remember, Ryoko's body has been immersed inside that liquid for 13 years now.
If her skin was exposed to air without being properly processed, it'd melt off!"
"Oh... I see." Disgust was readily apparent in Aeka's voice.
"Poly-dermal graft completed. Subject transferred to phase-2 tank. Initiating epidermal scan and transition," the computer reported.
Ryoko's body slowly drifted into the center of second tank, coated in white from all angles. Tenchi arrived in the lab, standing next to Aeka and watching his wife's body suspend itself in the fluid. The Juraian empress looked at him, a bit concerned.
"How is Yui doing, Tenchi?" she asked.
"So far, so good," he replied. "She's feeling better; I just tucked her in."
"Poor girl," Aeka said, thinking about Yui. "She's been in her room for 12 hours now."
"I wouldn't worry about it any further, Aeka. She's feeling a lot better now," Tenchi said to Aeka reassuringly. For a brief, unexpected moment, he was silent. "I am really proud of her."
"Understandably so," Aeka agreed.
"Yui's very strong willed and very mature. I'm quite relieved that she's been able to hold herself together after everything she's been through in the past two days," Tenchi said, watching Ryoko's body being scanned by thin beams of light. "I mean, look. Yui has regained her powers 13 years after mother died,
only to discover she's still alive."
"It is a lot for any normal person to take in over a span of just 2 days," Aeka agreed. "I hope she doesn't hold anything against Washu."
"Apparently, she seems to be sharing the same sentiments that I have."
"Yui and myself are both willing to put Washu's actions behind us and just move on in our lives. We're going to focus on life with Ryoko. Right now, we both agree that this is more important than being upset at Washu."
"It's fortunate that a rift in the relationship between you and Washu didn't open up. Otherwise, things could've been much worse..."
"I know," Tenchi said solemnly, noticing that the white substance covering Ryoko's body was starting to crumble in the presence of the laser light. As the white layers deteriorated, Ryoko's beautiful skin was visible once more.
Afterwards, Ryoko floated to the third and final tank.
"Epidermal scan and transition complete. Skin condition: ready. Initiating final phase," the computer reported.
In the third tank, Ryoko's body was engulfed by a huge pillar of light coming from the tank's emitters. Washu explained over the noise of the machinery that this would re-adapt Ryoko's skin to adjust to any atmosphere.
After being bathed by the pillar of light, Ryoko's unconscious body started to ascend to the top of the tank, now filled with water as part of the cleaning process.
"Final phase completed. Skin condition: normal. Initiating subject removal."
"OK, you two, it's your turn," Aeka said, the Guardians of Jurai appearing right behind her on schedule. "Carry out the order as planned."
"Yes, ma'am!" The logs vanished.
Azaka and Kamidake rematerialized at the top of the tank. As Ryoko floated up to the top of the container, the guardians immediately placed their forcefield around her, slowly and carefully lifting Ryoko out of the water and drying her off with the electrical energies of their forcefield shell. They awaited their final order: teleport Ryoko to the main bridge of the Tsunami.
Washu walked towards Tenchi, having just completed another round of computations on her computer. "Alright Tenchi, Ryoko's almost ready. Do you have the gems?"
"Yes, I have them," he said, holding out his Tenchi-ken. The gems on the hilt were shining even more brightly then he had ever seen them. "What's next?"
"I'm going up to the bridge of the Tsunami to finish up the final adjustments. Sasami will brief you," Washu told Tenchi. "I want you to listen to her instructions very carefully."
"Don't worry, I will," Tenchi replied assuredly.
"OK, then. I'll see you later." Washu suddenly teleported to her destination,
Azaka and Kamadake closely in tow.
Tenchi and Aeka stood next to each other, knowing that they were just minutes away from reuniting with Ryoko. Sasami walked up to Tenchi.
"Tenchi, how are you feeling?" she asked.
"I'm just a little nervous, but I'm feeling fine otherwise," Tenchi said. "OK Sasami, I'm ready. What do you want me to do?"
"OK, Tenchi; before I give you the plan, let me explain to Aeka how this works,
because you know this already." She turned to the Juraian empress. "The reason that we need to use Ryoko's gems is because they've been with her most of her life, especially the gem on her left wrist."
"I see," Aeka said in fascination, recalling the hint her sister had given to her earlier. "The gems record history as seen by Ryoko as well..."
"That's right. We will use the gems to transplant Ryoko's memories into the regenerated body." Sasami turned to Tenchi. "OK, Tenchi, here's the plan." She produced a pair of black shorts, made of very thin cloth.
"Uhh... what do you want me to do with these shorts?" he asked, nervously eyeing the black cloth.
"I want you to take off all your clothes and put these on."
"What! All my clothes?"
"Yes, all of them. What we're about to do must be free of static electricity or otherwise. Any disruptive energy can tamper with the memory transfer."
"I understand," Tenchi said, walking behind a huge computer to change out of sight of the women. He changed into the shorts as quickly as he could. "Are you coming along too, Aeka?"
"Yes, I am. I hope you don't mind."
"I don't mind, Aeka. I guess it wouldn't hurt anybody." Tenchi walked towards Sasami. "Now tell me the rest of the plan, Sasami."
"We're going up to bridge of the Tsunami. Once we're there, you'll see that Ryoko is being held above the water of the pool. Once you're in the pool, I want you to hold Ryoko above the water line; after she's in your arms, give her back all three gems. After that, wait for any further instructions that Washu might give you."
"Alright, that sounds simple enough."
"Are you ready, Tenchi?" Sasami asked.
Tenchi cleared his mind, taking in a deep breath. "Yes."
"Alright. Here we go!" Sasami held up her hands, a bright light illuminating the entire lab. As a sense of dislocation began to overtake Tenchi, he could feel the emblem representing his power materialize on his forehead.
Inside the bridge of the ship Tsunami, the guardians of Jurai were already in place, holding Ryoko steadily over the luminescent pool as they waited for further orders from Washu.
"Careful, you two. Tenchi should be here any minute now," Washu said, glancing about her surroundings.
Just standing in the bridge of the tree-ship Tsunami was enough to fascinate Washu; for some reason, it was interesting for her to observe that the only light sources were the other space trees within. It was dark and illuminating at once, a peaceful environment which prompted the scientist to think, Maybe I should remodel my lab to be like this.
Nearby, a bright envelope of light appeared in front of the main space tree, unfolding itself to reveal Aeka, Sasami, and Tenchi. The first thing Washu noticed was Tenchi's clothing -- or general lack thereof.
"Ooooh! Nice butt, Tenchi!" Washu said fiendishly. "And you used to ask why girls always took a liking to you?"
"Um... can we get started?" Tenchi said, a sweatdrop forming on his head. "I kinda want to focus on Ryoko right now."
"Sure, OK. Whatever you want, Tenchi." Washu grinned. "Tsunami, take it from here."
"Right," Sasami said in compliance. Will you PLEASE call me Sasami, Washu!
Tenchi began to feel himself being levitated off the ground by Sasami's powers. He slowly descended in to the luminescent pool, holding onto the Tenchi-ken tightly; he expected a cold sensation the moment his feet touched the water, but instead of a cold chill he felt a warm sensation of soothing energy coursing through his body as his feet entered. Eventually they touched bottom as he found himself waist-deep in the waters.
"OK, Azaka and Kamidake. Bring Ryoko into the water," Washu ordered.
The pair of logs slowly lowered Ryoko towards the water, right above Tenchi.
"Tenchi, I want you to place the Tenchi-ken on to the bottom of the pool; catch Ryoko after that. Once you have her in your arms, slowly submerge her into the pool until the only part of her above the water line is her face."
"I understand," acknowledged Tenchi. With a flick of his wrist he sent the Tenchi-ken towards the bottom of the pool, catching it underneath his foot.
The next second, he stretched his arms out, his wife lying quietly in the force field barely an inch above. Nearby, Aeka and Sasami stood besides each other in attention.
"Are you ready, sir?" Kamidake asked Tenchi.
"Yes, I'm ready," Tenchi said, anticipating catching Ryoko's body. "Drop her."
Azaka and Kamidake dispelled the forcefield, sending Ryoko into Tenchi's arms.
As he caught her, he was surprised at her weight; she was lighter than the last time he'd carried her. Nevertheless, he smiled when he could hear her soft,
rhythmic breathing; he could almost feel her heartbeat as well.
Tenchi proceeded to follow Washu's instructions, lowering Ryoko's body into the water until only her face was visible.
"Alright, Tenchi," said Washu. "Just wait for the gems to react now."
At the base of the pool, the gems embedded in the hilt of the Tenchi-ken began to feel the presence of Ryoko. Reacting to her newly-reawakened energy, they began to shine brighter than the most brilliant daylight. The waters of the Tsunami's pool began to shine with the light of the gems, eventually reaching the same luminescence. As a result of the energy reaction, the emblem on Tenchi's forehead began to glow.
Ryoko's impulsive twitching brought Tenchi to attention; he had been observing the glow of the water up to that moment. Things were looking up; her breathing was becoming more active, her muscles were slowly contracting, and her closed eyes were struggling to open. Excitement was clearly visible in his eyes.
"It looks like Ryoko's coming to," Sasami said to Aeka.
"Yes, indeed. I hope her memory will be intact," Aeka replied. Azaka and Kamidake phased in beside Aeka, taking up their usual posts as guardians.
"She's waking up!" Tenchi yelled with joy.
"Keep in mind, Tenchi, that Ryoko has not received any of her memories yet! Please be ready to receive a negative reaction," advised Washu.
Tenchi looked down at Ryoko; as her eyes opened, they met her husband's for the first time in 13 years. Tenchi's only thoughts were about the beauty in Ryoko's yellow felinoid eyes; it had been so long since he'd seen them...
For what seemed like an eternity, Ryoko looked silently into Tenchi's eyes.
Then, without warning, she began to thrash about in the water, unable to react any other way to this stranger looking at her. The panic in her eyes was so evident that Tenchi was genuinely surprised; he was more surprised, though,
that the pool's waters were dimming.
"Washu! What's going on!" he yelled.
"The brightness of the pool's light is a direct reflection of Ryoko's mood"
Washu explained, having already realized the problem. "And we need it to be as bright as possible, because as long as it's dim, she's in a very distressed state, and that'll only hinder the memory transfer! If she's calm, the pool will glow its brightest..."
Sasami picked up where Washu trailed off. "She hasn't recovered any of her memories yet. Try to get her to relax; she must be calm enough to allow the memory transfer to begin."
Tenchi looked down at his wife. Her panic had transformed into fright; like a terrified child, she looked terribly sad, a stream of tears flowing down her cheeks and into the rapidly-dimming pond.
She's as vulnerable as a lost child... Tenchi thought to himself, looking at his reflection on the pool's surface; only now did he notice the glowing emblem on his forehead. That's it! Actions speak louder than words! He knew what he had to do now; a plan began to form in his mind.
The only feeling coursing through Ryoko, who as far as she could tell had just been born, was high anxiety; she didn't know any of these strangers looking at her, and she didn't know what was going to happen, so she was scared. All of the fear within her, though, was coming from the stranger holding her in his arms.
Again she thrashed about, unable to talk because she had no concept of speech.
Then something caught her eye. The glowing emblem on the stranger's forehead.
Then it was the stranger's gentle eyes. Then it was the warm, comforting energy emanating from him. A strange, but welcoming, voice entered her mind.
Don't be afraid... we're here to help you. We are your friends and loved ones; please let us help. You will not be harmed in any way.
Ryoko realized that the voice was coming from the stranger cradling her in his arms. She didn't understand the stranger's words for a second, but she did understand the feelings and intentions within the message. She relaxed and decided put her trust in to this stranger, waiting for another sign.
Tenchi had figured out a way to communicate with Ryoko; since Ryoko's gems were on the hilt of the Tenchi-ken, he instinctively felt a connection to them. As the gems were connected to the same energy powering the Light Hawk Wings,
he was connected to Ryoko. As he projected his mental images outward, he hoped that the gems would relay them to his wife.
Washu, Aeka, and Sasami looked on; Ryoko's panicking suddenly subsided, the light from the pool gradually shining brighter.
Thank goodness. Things are finally starting to looking up, Aeka thought.
Ryoko relaxed in the stranger's arms, waiting for his voice to speak again.
After several seconds, it came.
Relax. All you have to do is relax. It'll all come back to you.
Starting to understand the meaning of the words, she followed the voice's directions, noticing that her surroundings were gradually becoming brighter -
and warmer. The soothing currents of heat relaxed her even further.
Now close you eyes and wait.
Ryoko slowly closed her eyes, allowing the darkness to enter her mind. For several tense minutes, there was nothing else. Then the flood began. A cascade of images, hundreds upon hundreds, millions upon millions. She was stunned by the sudden rush of information, sensations, and memories; memories from different moments in her life began to fill in the void of her past.
The memories flashed through her mind at an alarming rate.
She saw her first memories, taking her first flight with Ryo-ohki and gems being handed her.
She found herself sharpening her skills and superhuman abilities under Kagato's cruel and ruthless supervision.
For a period of time, she discovered that she had looted and plundered the galaxy under Kagato's control.
And then she saw herself invading Planet Jurai. After the attack, she had been pursued by Yosho throughout space until the battle reached Earth.
With a sword through her neck, she was defeated, stripped of her gems, and imprisoned in a cave.
For almost 700 years, she felt alone in a dark and cold captivity, not having any contact with anybody or anything for what seemed like an eternity.
Near the end of those 700 years, she saw Tenchi Masaki for the first time. From her cave, she watched him grew up into a handsome young man.
Finally, she was inadvertently released from her imprisonment by Tenchi.
Names and faces of people and places flashed through her mind, their signifi-
cance in her life becoming clearer and clearer with each passing second. Kagato... Dr. Clay... Tokimi... D3... Onimaru... Seriyou... Azusa... Funaho.
Misaki... Zero... Yosho... Shoji... Nobuyuki... Mihoshi... Aeka... Sasami... Washu, her mother... Ryo-ohki... Tenchi... and Yui...
Washu, Sasami and Aeka silently looked on as Tenchi cradled Ryoko in his arms in the brightly-lit pool.
"Washu, what is Ryoko going through right now?" Aeka asked.
"Ryoko is basically reliving her entire life, although it may seem like only seconds to us," Washu replied. "The memory transplant will seem like a lifetime to her."
"I'm going to check on Ryoko's progress." said Sasami, activating the Tsunami's view screen. On it, an image of Ryoko sitting in the warm spring of the floating onsen was visible.
"Where is Ryoko now?" Washu asked, turning to view the screen with Aeka.
"Let me see," Sasami said, searching through the gems' database. "We are exactly 18 years prior to the present date."
"That's interesting," Aeka said, smiling. "A lot of things happened during that year... 18 years ago."
"Indeed, Aeka," Washu replied. "The year 2000 was a year that we will never,
Tenchi overheard Washu's remark; he smiled softly at Ryoko. "Do you remember that year, Ryoko?" Tenchi's voice was gentle towards his wife. "That's the year when I stopped running away from you... and finally opened my heart to you"
"H...heart..." Ryoko whispered softly. She again closed her eyes as the pool's warm water comforted her like a blanket. She found herself reliving the events of the year 2000...
... a year which, as Washu had said, would never be forgotten...
To be continued...as Ryoko's Love Alpha! The Main Storyline Ch.1A
The Lonely Moon (tragedy)
I am lonely like the moon You are faraway as the earth Now you say I light your thoughts Night After night Soon you forget
We are drifting in this dance I can feel you circle my thoughts Keeping such a graceful distance So close but somehow apart
Sometimes I cry for you Knowing you don't want me to Sometimes I whisper to the stars up in the sky
That I want to find the way to your soul Kiss in the sun when morning comes you don't seem to count the hours When we are not together I've seen a tender fire in your eyes Yet when I'm gone you carry on I float in this emptiness Till at last love returns With the night and the lonely moon
There it's finally done! I've just finished writing this long introduction. Yep, you read this right. The first 3 chapters you read were just the intro! Now we'll start on the real story line, really soon! So stay tuned. HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
BTW, Yui's going to take a small vacation from this series. The main storyline will not be needing her until very late in to Part 2. Sorry, Yui fans.
2nd BTW, I have just completed my very own web site! The web site will be home base for my Tenchi fanfics, please come by and take look at it!
Here's the Address:
http/members. Muyo: Ryoko's Love Alpha!
Chapter 1A: A Friendly Wager By Long T. Tran 3/21/98
I don't own these characters, AIC/Pioneer owns them. I don't intend to make money off this because I don't want to get a lawsuit. I'm too poor for that. But this is my story, so don't plagiarize!
We are going retro a few years! This chapter will start a year or two before Yui's birth. From this chapter on, we will see as events unfold and gradually shape the time line that'll head the Tenchi cast into Ryoko's Return Pt.2 . IN other words, let's not worry about the year 2018, and just enjoy brand new series of stories. (A prequel series to Ryoko's Love Prologue.)
It's another beautiful day at the Okayama countryside, after a hard day's work in the fields, Tenchi was on his way going up to his grandfather's shrine. Tired, miffed, and exhausted, he walked up to the shrine's office door and knocked.
"Yes, who is it?" Yosho asked through the door.
"Grandpa, I've finished working on the fields." Tenchi said through the closed door.
"Very good, Tenchi."
"Is there anything else you want me to do?"
"No, that will be all for now. Why don't you go and wash up."
"Alright." Tenchi replied. Tenchi walks the way back to the Masaki House.
As Tenchi walked away from the shrine, Yosho was making sure that the coast was clear. Ryoko was sitting across the table sipping her saucer of sake as quietly as possible. Yosho turned to her and grinned.
"I think it's safe for us to talk now, Ryoko." Yosho said, sipping his cup of tea.
"Thanks, Yosho, for taking the time to chat."
"My pleasure, Miss Ryoko. Please continue what you're saying."
"Well, you know how much I'm attracted to your grandson."
"Yes, I'm aware. Are you going to ask for another blessing to marry Tenchi?"
"Oh no! Uhh,...I was wondering, could you play a game of chess with me?" Ryoko asked.
"Chess?" Yosho said, astonished.
"Yep!" Ryoko said happily. She reached into her blue gossamer dress and pulled out a wooden chess board. Having placed the board on the table in front of Yosho, she waited for his response.
"Why do you want to play a game of chess with me?" he asked curiously.
"Well, I've only played this game once in my entire lifetime." Ryoko said. "I just wanted to see how well I play up against you, you know, a challenge."
Hmm, I wonder...this could turn out very interesting. Yosho thought to himself. Yosho looked at the board and then faced Ryoko and smiled. Does she realize who she's up against?
"Very well, let us begin."
"Oh yes! Great! Thank you Yosho!" Ryoko exclaimed.
A half hour later...
Ryoko looked up at Yosho with growing frustration. Things didn't turn out the way she expected it to be. Yosho was in his usual calm obviously focused on his next move.
I wanted a 'little' challenge but this is too much. Ryoko thought to herself frowning.
Yosho made his move and slid his chess piece. "Your move, Ryoko." He said.
Ryoko slammed her piece and looked up at him. "Checkmate!" Ryoko yelled.
"I don't understand this!" Yosho said with disbelief.
"Yosho," Ryoko gasped with a veiled hint of concern. "That's the three straight games you've lost in just a half hour. Are you sure you've played this game before?"
"Yes. I've been playing this game all my life." Yosho replied. "But,...I'm not clear on one thing. You said, you only played once?"
"Yes, I swear! I've only played this game one time."
"Then I have to admit, Ryoko. You're a most superior player."
"Ok, thanks, I guess that's proof enough." Ryoko smiled.
A few minutes later, at the Masaki house. Aeka and Sasami were in the living room watching a TV show when Ryoko suddenly materialized in front of Aeka's view.
"Ryoko!" Aeka yelled angrily. "Would you please get out of the way! I'm trying to watch a soap opera!"
"Sorry to rain on your parade there, Princess." Ryoko grinned. "But I have something that might interest you."
"What can you possibly have that would interest me?"
"Well, this!" Ryoko smiled and brought out the chess board from her blue dress.
"A chess board?" The princess paused momentarily and then frowned at Ryoko with suspicion. "What are you up to, this time?"
"Ohh...nothing really." She smirked. "Actually, I just wanted to find out if you knew how to play chess."
"I didn't know you play chess, Ryoko." Sasami interrupted.
"I sure do, Sasami. Do you know how to play?"
"No not really, but I'm willing to learn." Said the little princess. Then Sasami looked at her watch. "Well, it's time for me to go cook. I'll talk to you later."
Ryoko watched as Sasami left the living room and disappeared into the kitchen then she turned to Aeka. "Well, princess. Do you know how to play or don't you?"
"I know how to play chess. But I wouldn't play it against a monster woman like you."
"Oh, is that right!" Ryoko growled.
"Yes, that's right!"
Ryoko quickly buried her anger towards Aeka and focused back to her original objective and smiled.
"Ok, fine. What if I were to offer you a small friendly wager?"
"What could you possibly offer? I doubt that you have anything to wager on except for your stupid dress tails."
"Even if it didn't involve Tenchi?" Ryoko grinned deviously.
"What did you say?" Aeka stunned and turned to Ryoko and gave her a threatening gaze. "I'm warning you Ryoko, you better not be planning anything."
"What's the matter, little girl? Scared? Frightened that I will get to Tenchi before you can?"
"I'm not intimidated by you, demon." Aeka spoke undaunted.
"You are too much, Aeka!" Ryoko laughed mockingly.
"What are you laughing about? What's so funny?"
"You thought that I was going to get Tenchi by stealing him away from you?"
"Isn't that why you're here? Isn't that what you have always been doing?"
"Of course, that's why I'm here. But to make things a little different and interesting. I'm going to try to get to him fair and square."
"You're joking right? You? Playing fair? I find that very hard to believe."
"Well believe it, sister. I won't be using any parlor tricks."
"I still doubt it. Why the sudden change?"
"That's a good question in which I'll be more than happy to answer."
An hour later, Tenchi contentedly arrived at the house after a needed bathing in the floating onsen. He smiled and thought contently about washing away all his soreness from work; now, the only thing that bothered him was his hunger.
As Tenchi walked through the back door he immediately spotted Ryoko and Aeka sitting around the living room table, their attention locked onto the chess board. Miraculously, the girls didn't notice his arrival. Usually they would greet him at the door and latch on to him, and when they grabbed him, a fight between them would usually occur. Whenever Ryoko and Aeka fought, Tenchi would usually be the one stuck with the bill to repair the damages.
Not wanting to ruin a perfect day, he decided not to disturb the girls. Heading straight towards the kitchen to see what little Sasami was cooking up, he discreetly walked through the kitchen door and savored the mouth watering aroma of Sasami's fried noodles.
"Oh! Hello Tenchi!" Sasami said, smiling happily while she fried a pan of noodles. The little toddler Ryo-ohki was at the kitchen counter helping sort the vegetables on to a platter. Ryo-ohki turned around and greeted Tenchi.
"Hello, Ryo-ohki." Tenchi waved and then noticed that Mihoshi wasn't around to help Sasami prepare the food. "Where's Mihoshi? I thought today was her day off." Tenchi asked Sasami.
"The Galaxy Police Headquarters called her in for an emergency meeting, she'll be back in a few days." Sasami answered.
"Oh, I see." Tenchi replied and thought about Ryoko and Aeka. "Hey, Sasami?"
"How long has it been since Ryoko and Aeka started playing chess?" Tenchi inquired.
"I think about an hour. They've played about two games now. Ryoko has beaten Aeka in both matches."
"Who challenged whom?"
"Ryoko challenged Aeka."
"Why would Ryoko do that?" Tenchi asked with even more curiosity.
"I think because she's bored. At first Aeka refused to play when Ryoko offered.
"What changed her mind?"
"Ryoko made an offer Aeka couldn't refuse. Actually, not an offer, something more like a bet."
"Which is what?"
"If Aeka wins three out of five games of chess, Ryoko will take on all the chores for a month."
"Ryoko wagered to do ALL the chores!" Tenchi exclaimed with shock and disbelief.
"That's right." Sasami replied as she poured the pan of noodles on to Ryo-
ohki's vegetable platter.
"For a whole entire month! What happens if Ryoko wins?"
"If Ryoko wins, she'll get one chance to play a game of chess with you."
"Oh Tenchi!" Ryoko yelled out from the living room. "Come on into the living room, Tenchi!
"Uh oh. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" Tenchi sighed. "I'm going to go check and see what's up. I'll see you later at dinner time."
"Alright, Tenchi. Good luck. I'm almost done with cooking, I'll be out shortly."
Tenchi walked out of kitchen and found Aeka walking up to her room looking very defeated. While Ryoko was resetting the chess pieces, Tenchi turned to Aeka with concern.
"Are you feeling alright, Aeka?"
"I'm fine, Tenchi. Go and talk to Ryoko," Aeka said, gloomily and continued on her way. "Call me whenever dinner's ready. In the meantime, I'll be in my room."
"Oh don't worry about her, Tenchi." Ryoko interrupted. "She'll get over her defeat."
"Ryoko, you should be more considerate about Aeka's feelings."
"I WAS being considerate, Tenchi!" She whined playfully.
"In what way?"
"I allowed Aeka to go up to her room instead of forcing her to listen to me gloat about my victory."
"Oh jeez, Ryoko." He exasperated.
"Ok, Tenchi! Come on over to the table!" Ryoko said excitedly, setting the chess board towards Tenchi.
Tenchi sits down across from Ryoko and looks down at the chess board.
"I didn't know you play chess."
"To tell you the truth. I don't really play chess all that much." She admitted. "Ok let's begin."
"Uhh,...I hope you don't mind me asking but, why are we playing?"
"You really want to know, Tenchi?" Ryoko asked, smiling childishly.
"I'm just trying to get one honest date out of you."
"W-What do you mean?" He asked nervously.
"Don't worry about it. Let's just play chess. Trust me. Ok?"
"Uh, sure. Okay."
"But before we do, care to make a friendly wager?"
Tenchi suddenly straightened up with alarm. "Friendly wager?"
Meanwhile, Aeka was in her room worried about the sudden change in events. She replayed her conversation with Ryoko.
"Well? What do you say princess?" Ryoko asked grinning.
"Very well, Ryoko. I'll play chess but under one condition."
"Okay, name it."
"If you somehow manage to win, and if you do win that date with Tenchi. You must not in any circumstances try to seduce him."
"Whoa. Wait a minute there, princess. Now that's asking too much."
"You said you were going to try to get to him fair and square, didn't you? Well it's now or never." Aeka retorted, tried to lay a desperate trap to find any of Ryoko's hidden agendas. "Which one will it be?"
There was a long silence between the two girls. Aeka waited patiently as Ryoko considered her condition.
Hmm. I don't like it, that's going to be a hard compromise alright. I guess people will do anything for love. Ryoko thought. She faced Aeka and smiled.
"Alright princess, I'll play at your level. I won't like it but I'll do it."
"Good, then it's decided."
Back to the present time.
I hope I'm not making a big mistake. She thought to herself and sighed. I can't believe I lost to that monster woman. Of all the people who could've beaten me, she had to be the one to do it.
At the same time, downstairs in the living room. Tenchi and Ryoko have yet to start their game of chess.
"Well, Tenchi? Are you up to it? Are you willing to bet?"
"Hmm. Sounds fair enough. Let me review the agreement, one more time."
"Fine." Ryoko sighed impatiently.
"If I win, you will do ALL the chores of the house. Right?"
"For a whole month?"
"And if you win, I have to take you out on a date to any location in Japan of your choosing?"
"That about sums it. And remember, just you and I."
Tenchi thought about the agreement for the fifth time.
"Oh come on Tenchi! Let's just play! You're stalling!" Ryoko demanded.
"Ok! Alright! Let's begin."
"Sheesh, finally." She frowned and regained her smile.
Tenchi and Ryoko turned their attentions towards the chess board.
"So who gets the first move?" Tenchi asked.
"Sure you don't want to start first?"
"I don't know..."
"TENCHIII!" Ryoko cried out in frustration. "Will you please start?"
"Okay. Okay. I was just kidding."
Tenchi turned his attention onto the first chess piece. He concentrated and slid his pawn to the middle of the board. Ryoko copied his move. Tenchi moved his knight next to Ryoko's pawn. Ryoko places her bishop next to Tenchi's knight.
"What! Already?" Tenchi started. His mind being thrown out of concentration.
Tenchi moved his queen to protect his king. Ryoko took the queen away with her knight. Tenchi's eyes bulged out of their sockets.
How can this be! She's already taken away my queen! he thought.
"Check again." She stated.
Tenchi slide his rook to protect his king and neutralized Ryoko's check.
"How's that?" He boasted confidently. "Try that on for size."
Ryoko used her queen and got rid of Tenchi's knight.
"Huh? How can this be!" Tenchi baffled out. He desperately tried to regain his concentration. He advanced his bishop and took Ryoko's queen. In response, Ryoko slid her rook and cleared Tenchi's bishop.
"Check and check mate."
"This is unheard of!" Tenchi was perplexed. He looked at the chess board and found that Ryoko had strategically placed all her chess pieces. No matter what move he made, Ryoko would always come out the victor.
"Ryoko, how in the universe did you learn how to play like this?"
"You want to know a secret, Tenchi?"
"Sure, tell me."
"All I did was set up my chess pieces. After I've finished setting up, I go in for the kill."
"I see. That was very interesting. You've gotta tell me some more secrets. I'm sure you have lots in stored."
"Are you trying to weasel out on our deal?" Ryoko asked suspiciously.
"Me? Uhh,...No." He said nervously.
"Good." Ryoko smiled. "Because you're taking me out to the perfect dating spot."
"Where am I taking you? I hope it's no where expensive."
"Oh no. Not at all. In fact, it's going to be totally free. So you don't have to worry about the finances. Except for, of course, the bus fare."
"Okay, sounds good. Where exactly, are we going?"
"We're going to Naroda beach!" Ryoko exclaimed happily.
"Naroda beach! But it's going to take us at least an hour and a half to get there."
"I don't like long trips."
"Why? Because it's just you and I?" Ryoko said as her smile disappeared, it was obvious her feelings had been hurt.
Tenchi realized that he had his foot in his mouth. Great, now I've done it. Tenchi you idiot! You've hurt her feelings! He thought angrily to himself.
"Ryoko,...that's not what I meant."
"Oh? What did you really mean, Tenchi? It sounded like you didn't want to go on a date with me at all."
"It's not like that at all. I would love to take you out to Naroda."
"You would?" Ryoko's face lit up. "Then why are you having second thoughts?"
"It's just the fact that we're going to be cooped up inside a bus for at least an hour and a half. I just hate those kind of long trips."
"Oh, I see. Don't worry, Tenchi. I'll think of something that'll help occupy our time."
"Okay. When are we leaving?"
"First thing tomorrow morning. I also have a little surprise installed for you."
"Umm,...yeah." Tenchi said nervously. I hope she won't try to seduce me.
"Dinner's ready!" Sasami called to everybody in the house.
"Oh boy! I'm starving!" Tenchi exclaimed. Then he paused and remembered Aeka.
"What is it, Tenchi?" The little princess asked.
"I gotta go get your sister. Don't wait up on me." He said and ran up the stairs.
"Ok, Tenchi." Sasami spoke. When she turned around she saw Ryoko float towards Washu's lab.
"Where are you going Ryoko?"
"I'm going to fetch Washu for dinner. I'll be back shortly." Ryoko answered.
"Please hurry. You know how much I hate it when the food to gets cold."
"Boy, do I." Ryoko joked and happily patted Sasami's head as she floated towards Washu's lab.
Washu was busy typing away on her keyboard, trying to figure out why hot dogs are always packaged at ten a piece and hot dog buns are packaged in only eight.
Behind the busy scientist, Ryoko walked into the lab.
"Who is it? Go away. I'm busy right now." Washu said.
Ryoko cleared her throat loudly to catch Washu's attention. Washu turned around and her face lit up.
"Ah! What can I do for you Little Ryoko?"
"Mom, can you stop calling me that?" Ryoko muttered, obviously annoyed by Washu's babying tone.
"Sure, little Ryoko. What can mommy do for you?"
Ryoko grumbled a bit but quickly calmed down.
"Well,...uh, mom. I managed to finally get a date with Tenchi."
"Oh you did!" Washu exclaimed. "I'm so proud of you! My little girl finally did it!"
"Mom, please! You're making me sick!"
"How did you do it? Did you control his mind?"
"Did you slip a photon neuralizer in his drink?"
"Did you tap in to his cerebral cortex and plant subliminal commands?"
"No!" Ryoko screamed in annoyance. "Mom! Will you listen! I played chess against him and won."
"Not bad, Ryoko. Not as complex as planting subliminal messages but still, not bad at all. It's crude yet effective. So where's your date going to be?"
"We're going to Naroda Beach."
"That's a very nice resort beach. Good choice, Ryoko."
"I know." Ryoko agreed and smiled wildly. "There's going to be a lot of people there and well,..."
"Can you do me a favor?"
"Sure, what is it?"
Ryoko reached in to her back pocket and pulled out one of Washu's computer discs. She hands it to Washu and Washu looks at it curiously.
"What is this, Ryoko?"
"Take a look at it on your computer." Ryoko instructed. "I'll see you tomorrow morning." Ryoko runs out of the lab.
"Alright." Washu replied. She placed the disc in to her computer and logs into it's files. The screen displayed Ryoko's request. Washu smiled with overwhelming joy and excitement. "This could turn out to be very interesting."
Tenchi walked up to Aeka's door and knocked.
"Yes? Who is it?" Aeka asked through the door.
"It's me, Aeka." Tenchi answered. "I've come to tell you that it's time for dinner."
A few moments later Aeka appeared at the doorway.
"Let's go eat." She said.
They both walked down the hallway, not saying a word to each other. Aeka decided to break the silence.
"How did you do on the chess game against Ryoko?"
"I did poorly. I thought I was a pretty good chess player but Ryoko really proved me wrong."
The one answer that Aeka had been dreading since she was in her room.
"And?" she asked apprehensively.
"What can I say. I'm going to go on a date with her tomorrow morning."
"Where are you going?"
"We're going to Naroda beach, it's a resort area."
Aeka didn't step any further, she tugged on Tenchi's elbow and stopped him from walking any further.
"Tenchi, there's something I wish to tell you."
"What. What is it, Aeka?"
Aeka struggled, she wanted to tell Tenchi how she felt about him. "Please be careful out there. Anything can happen, don't hurt yourself." She spoke instead of 'Tenchi, I love you'.
"Don't worry, Aeka. I'll be safe just as long as Ryoko is around. You know how powerful she is."
"Yes." Aeka said, disheartened.
"Let's go eat. I'm starving.!"
Aeka nodded in response and followed Tenchi down to the dining table. Ryo-
ohki was in her humanoid form, eating her carrots and Sasami sat right beside her. Ryoko was already at the dining table happily eating her food until she looked up and waved at Tenchi. Tenchi looked around and noticed that Washu wasn't around.
"Where's Washu?" Tenchi asked.
"She's in her lab, working on some experiment." Ryoko answered.
"Oh? What is she working on?"
"You'll find out soon enough." Ryoko hinted. "Let's forget about her and just eat!"
"Uhh,...right." He tensed.
"It better not be anything sexual, Ryoko." Aeka threatened suddenly.
"Hey, don't worry princess. I haven't forgotten about our agreement."
"You better not forget, Ryoko. Or else. If you hurt Tenchi in any-"
"If I hurt Tenchi?" Ryoko barked. "Why you silly little girl! Where you do get off saying that I will hurt Tenchi?"
"I can say anything I like! I don't think you're very trustworthy."
"Oh. We'll see about that."
"I doubt that we will."
"You'll see. First thing tomorrow morning, your doubts will be no more." Ryoko assured.
Aeka didn't respond to Ryoko's assurance, she still doubted Ryoko.
Ryoko was silent, she continued on eating. She finally finished up her meal and stood up to go to Washu's lab. She turned and faced Tenchi. "Tenchi, I'll see you tomorrow morning."
"Is there anything you want me to bring for tomorrow?" Ryoko asked.
"Umm, I think we'll need some food to bring along, suntan oil, towels, bathing suits, and an extra pair of clothes to change into."
"Ok. Done. I'll see you later." Ryoko said and opened the door to Washu's lab.
After Ryoko disappeared in to Washu's lab, Aeka turned to Tenchi.
"Are you still willing to go with her?"
"Yes, Aeka. I have to."
"But are you willing to go?"
"What do you mean, Aeka?"
"You don't have to go unless you want to. Right?"
"You know I can't do that."
"Why not, Tenchi?"
"Because it's not right. I've already set up an agreement with Ryoko. I'm not going to be the one to back out."
"But she's a space pirate! You certainly don't have to carry out an agreement with her!" Aeka yelled out desperately.
What's wrong with her? Why is she acting like this? Tenchi was surprised to see Aeka using that tone of voice.
"I don't like hurting either of you. I'm sorry Aeka, a promise is a promise. I always keep my word." Tenchi retorted.
"I, I understand." She said feeling defeated.
During the late twilight hours, barely wearing anything to keep herself warm, Ryoko had been strapped against the wall by Washu's restraining device.
"How long is this going to take?" Ryoko asked impatiently.
"Just a few more minutes." Washu responded while typing away on her keyboard.
"Well, hurry up! I hate being cooped up in this contraption of yours! I haven't quite forgiven you for that last time, you know."
"Oh calm down, Ryoko. I won't do anything like that again. At least, not for a while."
"You left me hanging up here alone in the cold dark! Just how do you expect me to calm down?"
Washu ignored her and decided to change the subject.
"So why didn't you ask me yourself?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean, Ryoko. Why didn't you ask me in person? It's sounds a lot better than just asking via computer disc."
"Oh. Uh,...I don't know. It's a pride thing I guess."
"Pride, huh? Oh it's so sad that a daughter can't talk to her mother." Washu wailed playfully. "Oh poor little me! My daughter's afraid to speak to me!"
"OK! Alright! I get the point." Ryoko cried out and decided to change the subject. "So, Washu. How long will this last?"
"So, Ryoko. How long do you want your little request to last?"
"Just give me a day."
"Be more specific."
"From sun up to midnight, I guess."
"Ah,...so you're doing the Cinderella bit aren't you?"
"Well, if that's what they call it on this planet. Yes."
"Very interesting, Ryoko." Washu complimented.
Ryoko looked away from Washu, she struggled to gather her thoughts to find the right words.
"Thank you." Ryoko said barely.
"What did you say, Ryoko?" Washu inquired honestly.
"Thank you for helping me. Mother." Ryoko smiled softly.
"My pleasure. Anything to help my little daughter on her first date." Washu returned. Feeling great happiness, Washu typed in the last few commands on to her keyboard and released Ryoko.
Ryoko stepped down onto the floor.
"You better get some sleep, Ryoko. Otherwise, you'll disappoint Tenchi."
"Don't worry, I will. Good night." Ryoko expressed. Ryoko left the lab and heads towards her room, happily anticipating the next morning.
Meanwhile, a few billion miles away, on the planet Jurai, Shoji was on his way towards the throne room. Shoji isn't your traditional type of Jurian, instead of having long graceful hair that went down his back, he had a mid length tail that only reached the base of his neck. He is a Jurian noble and even more unusual, a knight of the royal guard. One of the most powerful and capable, he's considered highly among his peers and colleagues maybe because of his honesty, his humor and his non-royal attitude. He finally arrived at the emperor's throne room.
"You summoned me, my liege?" Shoji asked while kneeling.
"Yes, Shoji. I have."
"What can I do for you, sire?"
"I've looked at your record and because of your valuable service to this royal family, I've decided to reassign you."
"And what's my reassignment, sir?"
"From this point on, you're going to be Princess Aeka's bodyguard."
"Her bodyguard!" Shoji looked up in surprise.
Isn't it good enough that Azaka and Kamadake are her bodyguards? He thought curiously.
"Is there something wrong, Shoji?" Azusa questioned.
"Uh, no sire. But I was wondering..."
"Pardon me for asking, my liege. Aren't the Guardians of Jurai, proven to be adequate bodyguards for her?"
Azusa flinched a little. Uh oh, he's on to me. Better throw him a quick one.
"Why yes. But I've decided that you're the best of the best and I want the first crown princess of Jurai to be well protected. You can't blame a father for being protective, right"
Shoji noticed that the king of Jurai had a bead of sweat on his head. And decided not to think about the reassignment any further. "Of course. I'm sorry to have questioned you."
"That's quite alright."
"When do I depart?"
"As soon as possible. I'll contact Prince Yosho as soon you're on the way."
"Yes, my lord. I'll start packing." Shoji bows and leaves the room.
Azusa watched as the knight left. He restrained hard to keep in his laugh.
So, Tenchi. You think that you're going to be the next king of Jurai by getting to my Aeka? Think again. I'll show you."
"MWAHAHAHAHAHA" He laughed out loudly.
Lady Funaho and Lady Misaki walked into the room and found Azusa laughing hysterically. They looked at each with beads of sweat looming on their heads.
"What's gotten into him?" asked Misaki.
"I'm not sure. He's really happy about something. Let's not bother him. We'll just come back another time."
They both immediately turned around and headed back out the door.
The morning light illuminated the Okayama landscape. Tenchi was already outside in front of the house waiting for Ryoko. He was getting impatient. Aeka stood right next to him. She had been silent since morning light. Tenchi looked at his watch, 7:30am.
"Ryoko! Where are you? It's time to go!" Tenchi yelled out. Tenchi is wearing his black and red swimming shorts, sandals, white tank top shirt, and wearing his backpack over his shoulders. "What's taking her so long? It'll take us at least 2 hours to get to Naroda."
"I knew she would be late, even for her own date. She's probably drunk and passed out somewhere."
"Oh Aeka, don't say that."
"Well it's true. You know how drunk she can get!" Aeka retorted.
"She's not the only who gets drunk around here." He said while putting on his shades.
"What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean, Aeka. You're not exactly alcohol-free. I've seen you put away sake like there's no tomorrow."
"Well, I uh..." Aeka said, obviously embarrassed by Tenchi's observation.
The front door opened and Ryoko walked out to meet Tenchi and Aeka.
"Well it's about time Ryoko!"
"I'm sorry Tenchi, Sasami was putting food in to my travel bag. She packed alot for us to eat."
"That's ok, Ryoko. The bus to Naroda beach will arrive any minute now and-," he suddenly cut himself off and realized that something was different about Ryoko.
"What's wrong Tenchi?" Ryoko asked.
Tenchi stepped up, pulled up his shades, and looked at Ryoko up close. She was wearing a red tank top, blue jean shorts, and a black backpack, overall, she still looked the same.
"There's something different about you Ryoko. I'm not quite sure what it is but you've changed somehow." He paused. "Oh well. We better get going or else we'll be late for the bus."
"Ok, Tenchi." Ryoko concurred. "I'm ready if you're ready."
"Ok! Great! Then let's go." Tenchi suggested. He stands there and waits.
A few minutes silently passed. Aeka stood there and watched curiously.
What is going on? Why are they just standing there looking at each other? Shouldn't they leave by now? Aeka thought.
"Uh, Tenchi?" Ryoko asked.
"What are you waiting for?"
"I'm waiting on you to teleport us to the bus stop."
"Right. About that..."
"Ryoko, what's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, it's just that I can't do that right now."
"What do you mean, you can't do that right now?" Tenchi asked. "Are you sick?"
"Is there something bothering you?"
"No, not really."
"You don't want to go?"
"Oh no!" Ryoko answered loudly. "Nothing like that, I assure you."
"Well, didn't you notice the way I came out here?"
"Yes. You used the door."
"That's right. I USED the door."
"So? What's so different about that?"
"Tenchi, you're not getting what I'm trying to say. Can you remember the last time I used the door to go in and out of the house?"
Tenchi thinks and tries to remember the last time he saw Ryoko using the front door.
"Come to think of it, Ryoko. I don't think you ever used the front door."
"That's right. I never USED the door." Ryoko stressed.
Tenchi thought about Ryoko's last remark carefully and realized what she really meant. His eyes bulged out in pure shock. He was speechless.
"Are you telling us that you can't use any of your powers?" Aeka spoke loudly.
Ryoko nodded happily.
"See Aeka! Now you don't have to worry about me seducing Tenchi in any way. Now, I'm as human as he is."
"How should that matter? Why did you lose your powers?" Aeka asked wildly. "And how did-"
"I'm sure it's interesting to find out why, but who cares! We're going to be late!" Tenchi interrupted Aeka, he straightened up his shades and grabbed Ryoko's arm. "Come on, Ryoko! Let's go! If we don't catch this bus, the next one won't arrive until noon!"
"Uh, right. See ya Aeka! And don't worry! I won't do any thing to Tenchi!" Ryoko shouted.
"You better not Ryoko! Or else I'll send Azaka and Kamadake to check on you!" Aeka shouted back.
Ryoko stuck her tongue and pulled her bottom right eyelid at Aeka as she hustled off with Tenchi to catch the bus.
"We'll be home tomorrow morning. See you later." Tenchi said as he waved back to Aeka.
Aeka watched as Tenchi and Ryoko ran off towards the bus stop. She sighed in frustration.
"Aeka." Said a voice from behind.
Aeka turned around and found Yosho.
"I have a message for you from father." Yosho said as he handed Aeka a subspace telegram.
"Thank you, Yosho."
Aeka read her father's message and a few moments later, she was in absolute anger.
"What! I don't believe this! Father's assigning me a new bodyguard!"
"That's what it looks like."
"And what is going to happen to Azaka and Kamadake?"
"They are currently being reassigned to another person."
"What? To who?"
"Good morning, Aeka!"
Aeka turned around and found Little Sasami riding on top of Azaka.
"Sasami?" Aeka questioned.
"Guess what father did today!" Sasami exclaimed happily.
To be continued...
The Lonely Moon (tragedy)
Sometimes I cry for you Knowing you don't want me to Sometimes I whisper to the stars up in the sky
Author's Notes: Phew! I'm finally finished! Tell me what you think! BTW! Did you see any improvement in my grammar! Please tell me I've improved! Please! Please! Please!
Special thanks go to Minset, Random, Ryoko MR, Lord Talon, Cman1701 and my Sister. For taking the time to pre-read and giving me good pre feedback, I couldn't have done it without you all!
Visit my FanFic's website: http/members. Muyo: Ryoko's Love...Alpha!
Chapter 2A: Naroda Beach Pt. 1 By Long T. Tran
I don't own these characters, AIC/Pioneer owns them. I don't intend to make money off this because I don't want to get a lawsuit. I'm too poor for that. But this is my original story concept, so don't plagiarize!
Naroda beach is a fictitious place, just wanted to let ya know before you start reading. As you read, you may notice that I've added a new literary feature to my FF, subchapter titles.
Washu's Wonderful Toys
After having caught up with the bus in time, both Tenchi and Ryoko were nearly out of breath. They walked down the middle aisle of the bus and Ryoko took her seat right next to a window, Tenchi sitting down next to her. Tenchi looked around the bus through his shades and only saw two other people inside the bus; the driver and an old gray bearded man. Tenchi was no longer out of breath and decided to break the silence.
"So, you volunteered to lose your powers?" Tenchi questioned.
"Yes. For only a day." Ryoko confirmed.
"How does it feel right now? You know, to not be able to use your powers."
"It's kinda hard to describe. Actually, it feels weird. In a way, I feel small."
"Hmm. I think I understand what you're getting at. Maybe because you're not used to not having your powers."
"Which brings another question to mind."
"What's up? Ask away."
"Why did you decide to turn off your powers for just today?"
"You know that's a funny question."
"I don't know..."
"You don't?" Tenchi said, perplexed. "You're very weird, Ryoko."
"I know." She sighed happily. "I'll tell you later on, ok?"
"Uh, sure. Okay."
"What time do you think we'll arrive at Naroda Beach?" Ryoko asked.
Tenchi looked at his watch and estimated the time. "Hmm, right now my watch reads 7:50... I think we'll arrive at around 9:30 or 10. It's going to be a long ride."
Tenchi sighed unhappily and sank in his seat.
"I think I can fix that by cutting this trip by ninety-nine percent."
"Oh really, Ryoko. And how are you going to do that?" Tenchi asked skeptically.
Ryoko reached over her shoulder and dug into her black backpack. Tenchi looked at Ryoko curiously as she pulled out a palm-sized, rectangular-shaped, silver box. She handed the device to Tenchi.
"Uh, what is this Ryoko?" he asked apprehensively.
"Something that'll help speed our trip a little. Why don't you put that nice little toy right there next to your left foot."
Tenchi did as Ryoko directed without giving it much thought.
"Ok, now what?"
"All we have to do now is wait 5 seconds." Ryoko replied.
"Sounds simple enough." Tenchi said. Then a horrifying thought finally dawned on him. "Wait a minute! You didn't get this from Washu, did you?"
"Yes, I did as a matter of fact. And that means you should hold on tight!"
Tenchi did not hesitate to follow Ryoko's advice. He quickly grabbed and tightly held onto a seat that was in front of him. Instead of a seat, Ryoko clutched onto Tenchi's waist. Suddenly, Tenchi heard a low whistling sound coming from Washu's device.
"Uh oh. I don't like the sound of that."
"Oh don't worry about it, Tenchi! Here comes the really fun part!" Ryoko exclaimed.
The fat bus driver was happily minding his own business when suddenly he heard a low pitch whistling that sounded like it was coming from behind. Then the steering wheel started to go crazy in his hands, as if the wheel was driving the bus for him.
"What's going on here? I can't control the bus! " the driver screamed.
"OH MY GOD! WE'RE DEAD AND WE'RE ON THE EXPRESS BUS THAT'S HEADED STRAIGHT TO HELL!" ranted the old man, sitting two seats behind Tenchi and Ryoko.
The surroundings of the bus were suddenly immersed in a blanket of brilliant color and light. The bus's rumbling quickly subsided into a floating ride.
"What's going on, Ryoko?" Tenchi asked fearfully.
"We're just travelling at the speed of light. Well, the same concept at the least." At that very instant, the bus dropped out of warp and Ryoko untangled herself from Tenchi's waist, looking out the bus's glass window. This was the first time she ever saw the crystal blue waters of Naroda beach. Tenchi was tense, quickly looked up and grabbed Washu's warp device from the floor, wiped the sweat from his brow.
"Ok, we're here! Let's go before the driver decides to ask any questions." Tenchi said, shooting up from his seat. He grabbed Ryoko's arm and rushed towards the bus's exit/entranceway.
As they stepped down from the bus, Ryoko looked at the bewildered bus driver and smiled.
"Thank you for the ride, kind sir!" Ryoko said sweetly, waving at the driver.
The driver didn't exactly respond to Ryoko's gratitude; he simply closed the exit door and sped off down the road at an incredible speed. Tenchi couldn't help but sigh in exasperation. Tenchi and Ryoko were both on the sidewalk pavement that bordered the highway and Naroda beach.
"Well, at least we're here. Although, a bit earlier than expected..." Tenchi said and smiled as he viewed the beautiful sandy white beach that lay before him. He reached into his backpack and pulled out his father's photo camera. Tenchi turned to Ryoko and aimed his camera at her, stepping in front of her to make sure that she was in the foreground while the resort beach was in the background.
"Taking the first photograph of the day, Tenchi?"
"Yes I am, Ryoko. Smile."
Ryoko smiled brightly showing her perfect row of teeth and held up her right hand to show a peace sign. The camera gave out two snapping sounds, indicating that two pictures were taken.
"I didn't know you liked to take pictures, Tenchi."
"I've always wanted to, but never came around to actually trying it. Besides, I figure today would be a good day to start. It's not everyday I get to go to a nice resort beach. I just know those pictures are going to turn out perfect." Tenchi said and placed the camera back into his backpack. He looked at his watch. "Hmm. Eight o'clock. Not even the shops are open."
Ryoko didn't hear a word of what Tenchi had just said. She looked around and saw that the beach was surrounded by little shops and stands. There was an elevated pier, one hundred fifty to three hundred yards away from the beach's waterline that supported the seaside hotel. The water was clear and crystal blue and Ryoko could actually see the fish swimming beneath the water's surface. The eight o' clock sun shone brightly in her golden-yellow eyes. Ryoko closed her eye-lids and welcomed the gusts of the ocean's cool winds blown against her face. She inhaled the aroma of the ocean breeze and relaxed.
I'm know I'm going to love this place. she thought contentedly.
She opened her eyes and found that the beach was deserted.
"Where's everybody? Isn't there supposed to be a lot of people at this beach?"
"Well, that's the thing, Ryoko. They haven't started their arrival yet. Not even the shops are open. What do you suggest we do now?"
"Not to worry, we can start looking for a spot to set up our little base camp." Ryoko assured him.
"Base camp? But we didn't even bring any tents or camping utilities..."
"Not to worry. I have it all covered," Ryoko assured as she scanned the beach for an ideal spot to set up camp. Tenchi stood there next to her and waited patiently. After a few moments of surveying, Ryoko spotted the perfect area.
"Eureka! I've found it!" Ryoko exclaimed. She grabbed Tenchi's arm and stepped off from the sidewalk and onto the beach's white sands. They walked along near the waterline for about three minutes, turned right and arrived in front of a bare concrete foundation that once supported an elevated beach house. Ryoko examined the barren concrete slab and estimated it's length and width.
"What are we doing here, Ryoko?" Tenchi inquired curiously.
"I'm just setting up our little camp" Ryoko replied, as she reached into her travel bag.
"But don't we need tents?"
"I said don't worry, Tenchi" Ryoko pointed out as she revealed to Tenchi another silver box. This time the box looked more square than rectangular and it had a red button.
"Oh I get it! That little box is containing our tents, right?"
"Well, not exactly our tents..."
Tenchi tensed at the remark. Ryoko simply placed the silver box onto the concrete foundation and pressed the red button. The box suddenly opened up, rapidly unfolded, and quickly transformed into a beach house. The structure was elevated by wooden supports and resembled the Masaki residence, except it was a smaller version, just large enough to fit the concrete foundation. It was only a single story house, the front end faced the mainland while the back faced the ocean. The back had a nice balcony patio that overlooked the sea.
"It's more like a temporary residence, courtesy of Washu." Ryoko finished off.
"Wow! Thank you, Washu!" Tenchi exclaimed in awe. At least I found one experiment of yours that I can actually start to appreciate
Tenchi and Ryoko walked up the stairway and opened the front door. Both stepped through the door and were amazed to find that the furniture had been provided as well. Not only that, the interior was identical to the home back in Okayama.
"I'm going into the kitchen to put up all of Sasami's food away," Ryoko announced. She opened the door to the kitchen and walked through. "Go ahead and take a look around."
As Ryoko walked into the kitchen, Tenchi looked around the living room, clearly happy about the beach house. He placed his backpack onto the sofa and, noticing the television set, stepped over to the living room and turned it on. The TV flickered on and although there were less channels than in Okayama, they were working nominally. He decided to turn off the TV set and headed out towards the patio. Tenchi found that the patio had two body length patio chairs to lay on and an outdoor umbrella dining set for four. Tenchi laid down on one of the patio chairs, inclining the chair upright to view the morning beach. The beach waves rhythmically beat against the water's edge, the sun was warm, the clouds balanced out the heat and the wind was soothingly cool. He looked at his watch again; it read 8:10 am.
Good. There's plenty of time left to enjoy this outing. he thought.
"Ah, paradise!" Tenchi said happily.
"You can say that again, Tenchi" Ryoko agreed as she walked out and sat down onto the patio chair next to Tenchi's. She laid down but didn't incline her chair to sit up. "How do you like our date so far?"
"I'm really enjoying this trip, Ryoko. This is a great place to relax and have fun!"
"I knew you'd like it, Tenchi." Ryoko said, her voice soft and quiet.
"Tell me about it! I'm going to love this day to the very end. You have to be crazy not to! I mean, this day has been so full of surprises. Like that quick bus ride, your backpack full of gadgets, not to mention your..." Tenchi cut himself off, noticing that Ryoko was unusually quiet. He looked down beside him at her and discovered that she had quietly fallen asleep.
"Uh, Ryoko? Hello?"
Ryoko didn't respond; she was already deep in her slumber.
I guess she stayed up all last night trying to prepare for today. Poor thing. You really have lost your superpowers haven't you? he thought with a smile, while admiring Ryoko's peaceful features. Now that's a sight I don't see everyday. Hmm.
An idea popped into Tenchi's mind and he quickly walked back into the house. He dug into his backpack and grabbed the camera. He then silently stepped back out to the patio and carefully took Ryoko's pictures. After taking three snapshots, Tenchi paced back into the house, placing the camera back into his backpack, and walked back out again. He found himself staring at Ryoko's face as she slept quietly and noticed that she had started to sweat due to the sun's rays. He carefully grabbed the dining table's umbrella and placed it silently over Ryoko, giving her plenty of shade. Tenchi smiled at the sleeping girl again and sat back down in his chair, peacefully watching Naroda beach's ever changing waterline.
Meanwhile, halfway across the known universe at the Galaxy Police Headquarters, Mihoshi's shuttle prepared to depart for it's next assignment. The GP officer pulled off her formal gloves and jacket while making her way towards the cockpit.
Thank goodness, that meeting was really long! Mihoshi thought. She arrived at the cockpit and sat down in front of the shuttle control module.
"Oh, Yukinojo!" Mihoshi cheerfully called out.
"Yes? Miss Mihoshi?" the robot said, as it appeared from the cockpit ceiling.
"Set a course for the Orion system."
"Yes ma'am!" the robot complied.
The shuttle activated the maneuvering thrusters and started to slowly back away from its assigned port.
"What's our next mission, detective Mihoshi?"
"It's a really simple assignment. All we have to do is rendezvous with the Fourth Patrol Fleet and set course for a planet called Orion"
"Why are we heading out to such a remote planet?"
"To investigate why we've suddenly lost communication traffic from our outpost on Orion. We're ordered to find the problem and fix it. It's probably some glitch in their computer systems or something."
"Pardon me for asking, but..."
"Yes? What is it Yukinojo?"
"Don't you find it peculiar that HQ is sending out an ENTIRE patrol fleet, just to investigate a minor case?"
Mihoshi's jovial face suddenly turned serious and thought about the robot's point.
"It is kind of odd, isn't it?"
"Do you think its more than just a glitch?"
"Hmm. You might be onto something, Yukinojo. Oh well! Can't start worrying about it now!" Mihoshi said, reverting back to her cheerful carefree self. "I guess we're just going to have to go with the flow! Oh, Yukinojo!"
"Set a course for the Orion System! And when that mission's done and out of the way... Home!"
The shuttle pulled clear from its dock and sped off into the vast voidness of space.
A few hours had passed since Tenchi and Ryoko's departure to Naroda beach. Trying to distract herself from thinking about Tenchi and Ryoko's 'incidental' date, Aeka kept herself busy. The garden, which was placed inside the Masaki greenhouse, was elegantly decorated with a wide assortmment of soft and bold colored flowers, collected from planets Earth and Jurai. Aeka was wearing her gardener apron and gloves. She planted the latest flower in her botanical collection, a red rose. With precise and gentle care, Aeka nourished the blossoming earth flower with water. After watering the floral plant, Aeka sniffed its fragrance and smiled softly.
At least you don't have any worries she thought, gazing at the rose. I wonder why earth flora don't communicate? This planet possesses some of the most beautiful flowers in universal botany. It's a pity that they don't communicate like the space trees.
Aeka untied her apron and pulled her gloves off of her hands. She turned away from her garden and headed back to the house. Walking out of the greenhouse, she looked up and found Sasami happily riding on top of Kamadake, flying around in the open skies above. Aeka smiled as Sasami laughed out with all her energy and basically having the time of her life.
Well, at least Sasami's having fun without any worries. I wonder what Tenchi and Ryoko are doing right now? I've got to find a way get to Naroda! I can't stand the thought of Tenchi being around that woman! Aeka thought angrily. I've got to find someway to look in on her!
Aeka looked up at Sasami, who was still flying around and an idea came to her mind.
"Oh, Sasami!" Aeka called out.
"Hello Aeka!" Sasami greeted cheerfully. She ordered Kamadake to land right next to Aeka.
"I see that you are having fun with your new guardians."
"I sure am! Why did you call for me?"
"Well, I was wondering...could you do me a small favor?"
"Sure, Aeka! What is it?"
"Could you by chance, come with me on a little outing?"
"Outing?" Sasami said, puzzled. She paused for a moment, then frowned at Aeka. "Aeka, are you asking me to go with you to crash in on Tenchi and Ryoko?"
"Well, to be straightforward with you, yes I am."
"Forget it, Aeka! I'm not going!"
"Please, Sasami! It means a lot to me!" Aeka begged.
"It's not right! Let Tenchi and Ryoko enjoy their first date..."
"I won't allow that, Sasami! I just won't!" Aeka interrupted.
"I can't believe you just said that, Aeka! You were taught better than that! Of all the people to break promises! Didn't you expect this to happen when you first shook hands with Ryoko?" Sasami frowned. "Ryoko would never do a thing like that to you! Never!"
Aeka stood in stunned silence, shocked by Sasami's sudden outburst.
"Well? What do you have to say? Your newly assigned bodyguard is already on his way, he should arrive any minute now. You can either stay here and welcome him or go to Naroda and start up another fight with Ryoko and hurt Tenchi's feelings at the same time."
"You are right." Aeka said reluctantly. "How foolish of me to even think about breaking my word of honor. I am the crown princess of Jurai and I must keep my promises, no matter how hard it may be."
Sasami sighed in relief.
"I guess we should start preparations for a welcoming party in honor of my new guardian. By the way Sasami, would you happen to have any clue as to who my new bodyguard will be?"
"Not really, Aeka, but brother Yosho might know. Why don't you go ask him?"
"I just might do that, Sasami. Thank you for the suggestion. And thank you for setting me straight."
"Don't mention it, sis."
At around one o'clock, Ryoko finally came around. She opened her eyes, looked over to Tenchi and smiled. Tenchi, who was reading a book from grandfather's office, looked up from the book and smirked at her.
"So, you're finally awake."
"Whoops! How long was I asleep?"
"Not very long. Only about three to four hours."
"I'm sorry to have made you wait on me like that, Tenchi..."
"Oh, it's ok. I'm not mad. I actually spent the whole time sitting here enjoying the view, reading this book and watching the arrival of all those people." he said, pointing out towards the sands.
Ryoko raised her patio chair and found the beach alive and full of activity. Her face lit up with excitement.
"Oh wow! Will you look at the beach! It's so full of life!" Ryoko exclaimed.
There were two separate volleyball courts being played at the same time people playing and swimming in the crystal waters, a few sunbathers laying on the sand and other people sitting beneath huge umbrellas. There were people at small picnics were being held, lovers cuddling and walking along the shore, sand castles were being built, kids were flying kites, and three individuals were fishing.
"Come on, Tenchi! Let's go!"
"Wait. Not yet, Ryoko."
"What? Why not?"
"Since we're going to be out in the sun all day, we should wear some skin protection."
"Skin protection?" said Ryoko, perplexed.
"Yep. These days, it's not safe to be out in the sun without wearing any sun block. Long exposures to the sun's rays can cause skin cancer."
"Oh, I see. Okay then, you wait here while I go get the sunblock."
With enthusiasm, Ryoko jumped up from her chair and ran back into the house. She found her back pack, grabbed the bottle of sunblock, and made way her back towards the balcony.
"Do you have it Ryoko?"
"Yup! Sure do." Ryoko confirmed, as she handed the bottle to Tenchi. She sat down on her chair. "You first."
Ryoko watched as Tenchi pulled off his white tank top and opened the sunblock bottle. He applied the solution on to his chest, arms, stomach and lower back, not realizing that the sunblock made his slim-but-built-body look even more sweaty and muscular.
Oh my! I didn't realize he was THAT built! Ryoko thought to herself, pleasantly surprised.
As Tenchi applied the lotion, he looked up and noticed that Ryoko was staring at him intensely. He started to become nervous.
"Uh, Ryoko, why are you staring at me like that?"
"I wasn't staring..." Ryoko denied, though her face was clearly red. She paused for a moment and gathered her thoughts for a quick recovery.
"I was just enjoying the scenery." she muttered confidently.
"Can you do me a favor?"
"I know, I know. Turn around so I can stop staring at you" Ryoko sighed.
"No, no. Can you help me rub this sun block on my back? I'm having a hard time applying this."
"Sure!" Ryoko exclaimed, standing up. She walked over to Tenchi and placed herself next to him.
Tenchi handed the container over to Ryoko and turned his back towards her. Ryoko smiled and opened the bottle. She poured a small amount into her hands and applied the solution onto Tenchi's back. Ryoko frowned a little and cleared her throat. Tenchi's back felt unusually stiff.
"Tenchi, why are you so tense?" Ryoko inquired.
"What do you mean? I'm not nervous"
"I know that. What I meant was, why are your muscles so stiff?"
"I guess it's because I've been working out in the fields a lot for the past few days."
"Oh, I see."
Ryoko finally finished applying the sun block onto Tenchi's back but instead of pulling her hands away, she decided to give him a massage. She rubbed her fingers down his back in a circular motion, allowing more blood to flow into his back muscles. Then she moved her hands to his shoulders and pressed rhythmically.
"That feels very nice, Ryoko. Where did you learn how to do this?"
"I picked it up a few day ago, while watching a TV show. Do you really like the way I'm massaging you?"
"Yes! Of course, I like it!"
Ryoko beamed happily at Tenchi's compliment and as a result, unwillingly massaged his shoulders even harder. Her rough massaging caused a sharp sensation and Tenchi hissed out in pain.
"Whoops! I'm sorry about that Tenchi!"
"It's alright, Ryoko. I really needed that massage. Thanks." he assured her, gratefully. "Please don't stop."
"My pleasure!" Ryoko said, smiling widely. Ryoko massaged Tenchi for another five minutes before stopping. After she was through, Tenchi turned around and faced her.
"I guess it's your turn to put on the sun block."
"I guess it is!" Ryoko agreed, as she pulled off her red tank top to reveal her blue bikini top. Ryoko poured the lotion onto her palms and Tenchi watched as she applied the sun block to her skin, struggling to put the solution onto her back.
"You need help with that Ryoko?"
Ryoko was momentarily tempted by Tenchi but thought back to her agreement with Aeka.
"No, that's alright. I can handle it" she replied.
"Are you sure? Looks like you're having trouble putting that on."
"Yeah, I'm sure. Thanks for the offer."
That was pretty strange for her to refuse. Tenchi thought. Oh well.
Tenchi watched as Ryoko laid the rest of the sunblock and couldn't help but notice how her blue bikini enhanced her beauty.
Man! She looks great in that swimsuit! Ryoko has a good looking figure! Tenchi thought.
Her skin was covered in perspiration, making her curves stand out even more. Before Ryoko noticed him staring at her, Tenchi quickly looked away and buried his thoughts.
Ryoko wiped some sweat from her forehead and looked up at the sky. The sun was burning hot and the humid wind wasn't helping at all.
"Phew! Is it getting hot or what?" she commented.
Her cyan hair was matted to her head, damp from perspiration. She grabbed a nearby towel and dried her face off.
"So what's the first thing you want to do today, Ryoko?"
"Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is to go shopping for a good shady hat."
"Alright, sounds good to me. Then what?"
"Then we'll decide and just go with the flow for a while."
"Ok. Let's go, shall we?"
Ryoko grabbed her red tank top and pulled it over her bikini, following Tenchi into the house. Tenchi had his shades on and was already waiting at the front door, the camera slung over his shoulder. Watching Ryoko approach, he decided to be a gentleman and opened the door for her. Ryoko walked through the doorway and smiled at Tenchi gratefully. Together, they walked down the steps of the beach house and headed straight for the Naroda Beach Market Strip.
The Fortune Teller and The Sun Hat
Tenchi and Ryoko reached the beach accessories shop in the middle of the Marketplace. The strip was located along side the beach resort's beach walk and had ten separate stores in all. As they walked towards the accessories shop, Tenchi noticed an Arcade next to the shop. Ryoko walked into the shop first. Tenchi was about to follow her when something caught his attention. Passing by the arcade, he noticed a curious looking machine that stood next to the arcade's entranceway. The heart-shaped machine was completely crimson and stood on a black pedestal. A sign attached to the top of the machine read: "The Fortune Teller of Potential Love: For one yen piece, see if the one you have your sights on is your true love!".
"Oh yeah, right! That has got to be the hokiest claim I've ever read!" Tenchi said skeptically.
"Why are you putting down my machine like that!" a craggy old voice yelled out from behind Tenchi. "You kids these days have no faith in anything!"
"Oh! Sorry about that rude comment, sir." Tenchi said apologetically. He turned around and looked down to see an old bald man looking up at him with angry eyes.
The old dwarf's anger quickly faded and he ruffled his bushy white moustache with his finger.
"That's alright kid, you're not the first person to be skeptical of my machine."
"Really? You mean others have actually said the same thing?"
"Of course! They would voice their disbelief and then, just out curiosity, try it."
"And what would happen?"
"One of two things..." said the old man, holding up his two fingers. "One, they would remain as lovers. Or two, they would discontinue their relationship."
"Oh come on! Couples wouldn't break off their relationships because of a machine's opinion!"
"Yes, they would. You'd be surprised."
"Call it a twist of fate. One minute, a potential couple are looking at each other for possibilities of love and the next, they turn their backs and march on home, never setting sights on each other again. I've seen this happen thousands of times before. But on the good side, I've also seen relationships grow even stronger."
"Now, that's really pushing it. I find that even harder to believe. People just don't make decisions solely based on a gimmick's answer."
"Oh they don't, eh? Then why don't you try it out for yourself?" the old man smirked. "What do you have to lose besides one yen piece?"
Maybe this could be a way to finally find some clarity. Tenchi thought.
"Well, kid? You think you're up to it?" The old man asked.
"Okay, then. I'll try it."
Tenchi reached into the pocket of his shorts and took out five separate yen pieces. Each for Sasami, Aeka, Mihoshi, Washu, and Ryoko.
"Five yen pieces, eh? Very interesting! Planning to find out whether you can nab five girls, eh? I didn't know there was a sexual revolution going on right now. You kids are too much."
"Hey now! It's not what it looks like!" Tenchi said defensively. "I'm not like that at all!"
"Yeah, right." the old man doubted bluntly. "All I can say about you kids is that you're all pumped full of hormones."
Dirty old hentai. Tenchi thought.
"Well, anyways" Tenchi grumbled, changing the subject. "How do I work your little gimmick here?"
"It's quite simple, really. All you have to do is pop a coin into the slot and type in the name of the girl. After that, the fortune teller will print out your answer."
"Ok, sounds simple enough."
"Well kid, I would like to see what answer's in stored for you but I have to go run my arcade. See you around."
"Uh, yeah. Thanks."
Tenchi watched as the old man hobbled away and disappeared into the arcade. He then cautiously looked around to see if Ryoko was anywhere nearby. Having made sure, he focused his attention onto the machine. He popped in all five of his yen pieces into the machine's coin slot and awaited instructions. A short and simple command appeared on the machine's screen. The fonts were colored red and the background black.
PLEASE TYPE IN YOUR NAME.
Tenchi did as directed.
PLEASE ENTER THE NAME/NAMES OF YOUR HEART'S POTENTIAL OWNER.
Tenchi typed in the five names and then checked to see if his spelling was correct.
Washu Hakubi Sasami Jurai Aeka Jurai Mihoshi Kuramitsu Ryoko Hakubi
PLEASE WAIT WHILE THE FORTUNE TELLER OF POTENTIAL LOVE PROCESSES YOUR ANSWER.
Tenchi waited a few moments for the machine's response. He nervously glanced at his watch and discovered that five minutes had already passed by since he had left Ryoko alone.
Hurry up! You silly machine! I would hate for Ryoko to see me doing this. Getting advice from a machine. This is a new low for me!
The heart shaped Love tester started to print out its results onto a long receipt paper for Tenchi. The printing was taking a long time to complete and trying his patience. Finally, the machine stopped printing and Tenchi pulled out the sheet from the love tester.
Jeez! No wonder it took so long! Look at all this advertising!
He finally found the familiar names and noticed that next to each of the girls' names, there was a line or two of notes. He looked at the first name on the list:
Washu Hakubi: Such intelligence and wisdom are too difficult for you to handle..
"Wow! The old man wasn't kidding! This thing actually works!" Tenchi said, excitedly. "Though I think the answers are kind of on the blunt side."
Tenchi read the next name on the list.
Sasami Jurai: A sweet and mature child, but a child nevertheless.
He moved down to the third name on the list.
Mihoshi Kuramitsu: A darling woman who requires more patience than you could ever hope to possess..
Meanwhile, Ryoko had been browsing the beach accessories shop for about five or ten minutes, looking for the perfect hat to wear out in the hot sun. A round sun hat with a blue bow-tie ribbon sitting on top of a rack caught her eye and she decided to try it on. Ryoko looked at herself in the mirror and was happy to discover that the hat looked perfect on her.
"I think this hat looks pretty cute on me. What do you think, Tenchi?" Ryoko turned around and realized that Tenchi was nowhere to be seen.
He's gone. Where can he be? she thought and looked around the shop but couldn't find Tenchi. She looked through the shop windows and was relieved to spot him there. She placed the hat back onto the hat rack and headed outside.
Outside, Tenchi was nearly done reading the list. Now it was coming down to the two main contenders; Aeka and Ryoko. He took a look at Aeka's results first.
Aeka Jurai: Friendship is the best relationship to share with this elegant lady..
Well, that was kinda short and straight forward Tenchi thought, frowning. He turned his attention to the final name on the list, Ryoko.
Ryoko Hakubi: Cherish every precious moment you have with her...
Strange. It was the only word that came to Tenchi's mind.
"Tenchiii! So this is where you've been all this time!" Ryoko said as she walked towards him. "What are you doing out here?"
Tenchi was momentarily startled by Ryoko and quickly hid the paper in his pocket.
"R-Ryoko! I was just, uh, enjoying the weather!"
"Come with me, Tenchi! Tell me what you think of this hat I found." Ryoko said as she went over and took hold of Tenchi's hand, gently pulling him towards the shop. Tenchi noticed her warm expression and smiled.
They both walked into the shop and Ryoko led Tenchi straight towards the hat rack.
"I've found the perfect hat, Tenchi!" Ryoko said, happily.
"Yep it's over here on the hat rack..."
They reached the hat rack and to Ryoko's dismay, the hat was gone.
"Where's the hat, Ryoko?" Tenchi asked.
"I could've sworn it was here just a minute ago! I put it here myself! Help me look for it!" Ryoko said frantically.
"What does it look like?"
"It's a round sun hat with a blue bow-tie ribbon."
They split up and looked around the shop. Tenchi searched the front end of the store and to his surprise, saw the old man from the arcade at the register, in the process of buying Ryoko's hat. He ran over to the old man and the cashier just before the transaction was completed.
"Uh, hello, sir! Remember me!"
"Why hello there, young man! Did your fortune come out the way you wanted?"
"No, not exactly. But that's not why I'm here."
"Oh? Then why are you bugging me?"
"I wanted to ask you about that hat you're going to buy."
"Yeah? Well, forget it. I'm buying it for my granddaughter."
"Could you, by chance, hear me out first?"
"No! Absolutely not! I'm getting this for my granddaughter and that's final!"
"No buts!" the old man shouted. "Mmm, this rice cracker is so good..."
"What? Rice cracker?" Tenchi said, confused. "What are you talking about? You don't even have anything in your mouth!"
Meanwhile, back at the Masaki residence, Washu was munching on a rice cracker and interacting with Tenchi on her dimensional computer.
"Whoops! Kinda slipped there, Heh Heh. It looks like my new toy is working out well...maybe too well. Ryoko and Tenchi don't suspect a thing" Washu said, smiling. She typed in more commands to add different dialogue into the android's conversation with Tenchi.
Somewhere out in the nearby woods, Shoji Takasawa was looking for the Masaki residence. He had been wandering around the forest for about thirty minutes and he was about to lose patience.
"Oh man!" Shoji fumed. "Now, where am I? This is so embarrassing! I can't believe I'm lost on my first day of guard duty! Those directions Yosho gave me were really bad!"
Suddenly, he tripped over a stray branch and fell flat on his face.
"OOOUUCH! That smarts!" he complained out loud. He stood up clumsily and kicked the fallen branch off to the side.
Nearby at Funaho's tree, Aeka was alone, contemplating about Tenchi and Ryoko's date.
If something were to happen between those two, I would lose all hope of ever being able to express my heart to Tenchi. Aeka thought sadly.
Aeka's personal introspection was coldly interrupted by a pillar of water.
"Aaah! I am all wet!" Aeka screamed out. "Who is responsible for this?"
A human male in Jurian clothing, who was presently knee deep in the water of the moat surrounding the Holy Tree, answered the her question.
"I'm so sorry about that my lady! I slipped on a branch and fell into this blasted moat and..." Shoji froze in mid-sentence and gasped out in shock. "Please forgive me, Princess Aeka!"
Shoji humbly bowed to Aeka in the most earnest manner he could muster up. Aeka wrung her kimono sleeves, quickly regaining her composure.
"It is alright, it happens. I assume that you are the new bodyguard that sent here by my father."
"Yes, your highness. My name is Shoji Takazawa and I am a Knight of the Royal Guard."
"I am pleased to meet you but before we can continue with the introductions, I would like to go back to the house and change into drier and more suitable garments."
"Yes, indeed. I'm sorry."
Aeka and Shoji slowly headed back to the Masaki home, not saying a word to each other. Shoji couldn't help but notice the sad expression on the princess's face.
Hmm. I wonder why the princess looks so depressed? Shoji thought.
The Crazy Old Man
Back at Naroda beach, Tenchi was still struggling to persuade the old man before Ryoko found out.
"Come on!" Tenchi Begged.
"There's gotta be a way to cut a deal!"
"Absolutely no deal! By the way, who's it for?"
"It's for her." Tenchi said, pointing at Ryoko, who's still searching for the hat.
"Hmm. She's beautiful. Not bad. You have taste, kid." the old man observed.
"Then maybe there's still a chance?" Tenchi said, hopefully.
"What? Oh come on! Why not?"
"Because I'm having fun!"
"What! You can't be that cruel!"
"Oh yes I can."
"You're sick, you know that."
"Of course, I know that! That's why I'm having fun."
Ryo-ohki to the Rescue!
Back in the lab, Washu was typing up a storm, laughing out loud throughout the whole conversation.
"Oh man! I'm having too much fun!" Washu cackled.
Unbeknownst to Washu, toddler Ryo-ohki happened to be standing behind her. The little toddler watched curiously as Washu typed enthusiastically onto the dimensional keyboard.
"Meow?" Ryo-ohki said inquisitively. She frowned at Washu's meddling in Ryoko's date, and an idea popped into the little cabbit-humanoid's head.
Back at Naroda Beach, Tenchi was still persisting with the old man.
"Listen kid, I like you. I really like you but this is for my granddaughter."
"I know but Ryoko is just as important."
"Oh? How's she more important than my granddaughter?"
"I didn't say that! I said 'Ryoko is just AS important'." Tenchi retorted.
"Oh I see now! You're trying to be smart with me, eh? Well let me tell you something, mister. MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!"
"Meow!" Tenchi said, confused.
Back to the Lab.
"Ryo-Ohki! Get away from here! Can't you see I'm busy"
Washu yelled to the cabbit.
But the toddler intentionally ignores Washu and keeps on typing onto the keyboard. Ryo-ohki loves to help Tenchi in anyway possible.
"Oh great! Now look what you've done! The android won't stop acting like a cat! The commands are locked! AARRGH!" Washu screamed.
Back to Naroda Beach. The longer Tenchi stood there and watched the old man babble, the stranger things kept getting. The old man was on the floor licking his hand and scratching the back of his head with his leg.
"What are you doing?" Tenchi asked.
"Can't you see that-MEOW, I'm uhh-MEOW, Cleaning myself?"
"But you're acting like a cat!"
"Of course, I'm acting like a cat! Meow! Meow! It's much more efficient this way! Don't you think?"
Ryoko finally noticed the commotion. She looked to the front of the store and found Tenchi staring down at an old man.
"Where's all that cat noise coming from?" Ryoko inquired.
Back at the lab, Washu and Ryo-ohki were pushing and shoving each other, fighting over the keyboard and trying to regain control of the android.
"Ryo-ohki! Stop it! You're going to make Tenchi suspicious!"
"Meow! Meow!" The toddler-cabbit said angrily.
"Alright fine! Sheesh! You win! I'll stop toying with him!"
"MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!" the cabbit cheered victoriously.
Washu grumbled as she typed in her last commands for the android.
Back at Naroda, Ryoko walked to where Tenchi was standing and looked down at the old man, who was now crawling around the floor on all fours.
"What's wrong with him?" Ryoko asked.
"I don't know, this guy is really crazy. One minute he's acting normal, the next he's acting like a cat."
The old man suddenly jumped up and handed the sun hat to Tenchi.
"Uhh. You win! MEOW! Here you go! Here's the Hat! MEOW!"
"Thank you!" Tenchi gratefully.
"Well gotta go! MEOW! Bye-bye!" the old man said, as he quickly went out the door on his hands and knees.
"Uhh. Bye." Tenchi said wearily. He turned his attention towards the bewildered store clerk and bought the hat, then faced Ryoko and handed it to her. "Here you go, Ryoko. I think this is the hat you mentioned."
Ryoko let out a small gasp of surprise as she received the hat from Tenchi.
"Thank you, Tenchi! Here let me try it on. Tell me what you think."
Ryoko placed the sun hat on her head and turned towards him. Tenchi gazed at her and smiled, noticing how the hat brought out her golden eyes.
"That hat fits you perfectly, Ryoko. It makes you look even prettier."
Whoa, wait a minute. Did I just say that! Tenchi thought.
"Really? You mean it?" Ryoko asked, her eyes wide.
"Thank you, Tenchi!" Ryoko cried out happily, giving him a friendly hug.
"Don't mention it, Ryoko. Come on, let's go outside so I can take a picture of you in your new hat."
"Alright!" Ryoko complied cheerfully.
They both exited the store and searched for a place to take Ryoko's picture. As they looked for spot, Tenchi could not help thinking about the results the fortune teller had given him.
I wonder what that machine meant? I wanted clarity. The answer it gave me for Ryoko seemed so cryptic and vague Tenchi thought.
Cherish every precious moment you have with her... The words seemed to call out to Tenchi every time he thought about them.
You're Going to hate me for this, To Be Continued...
The Lonely Moon (tragedy)
Sometimes I cry for you Knowing you don't want me to Sometimes I whisper to the stars up in the sky
Author's Notes 2nd:
I know I know, this is a somewhat abrupt and cheesy way to get more readers. I'm doing this to keep my mind on track, so that way I won't screw up on the next chapter. Besides, the public demands more, so I gave them more. But not to worry, Naroda Beach Pt.2 is nearly halfway through. It'll focus even more on the date, Pt.1 was just to serve as a good set up. And I won't end my Fanfics like this ever again.
I would like to give very special thanks to Ryoko MR and Random for there help in my editing and proofreading. Without you two, the universe would be in total chaos.
Tenchi Muyo: Ryoko's Love...Alpha!
Chapter 3A: Naroda Beach Pt.2 By Long T. Tran
I don't own these characters, AIC/Pioneer owns them. I don't intend to make money off this because I don't want to get a lawsuit. I'm too poor for that. But this is my original story concept, so don't plagiarize!
I apologize for the long wait, as you can see, this is by far my biggest chapter. I hope it was worth the wait for you folks. Sorry for the suspense and metal torture I might've caused.
Naroda Beach; blanketed under the cover of the night sky, the beach house stood silent near the water's edge. Tenchi carried Ryoko in his arms from Washu's portable boat. Ryoko was barely conscious and Tenchi was still frantic from the traumatic experience that occurred.
How could this happen to her? The day went by too well to end up like this! He thought with agitation. Because of that stupid idea, she was nearly killed!
Conveying Ryoko up the flight of stairs of the elevated beach house, the events which led up to the incident returned to Tenchi...
"Good! Good! Do some more of those poses!" Tenchi directed excitedly.
The cool waters of Naroda beach flowed around Tenchi's feet as he took pictures of Ryoko in her newly owned sun hat. Ryoko joyfully struck her different poses at every click of the camera, having a lot of fun. She mimicked the moves of professional supermodels, sometimes, she would let loose and look silly intentionally, which made Tenchi lose control and laugh.
Meanwhile, a few hundred feet away, a small crowd of the beach's young women were gathered around an object of their fascination.
"Would you look at that hunk!" said a blonde.
"Yah! Look at those muscles! And that washboard muscles! Sigh!" A girl replied.
"What a body! What hunk! He's sooo cute!" Said a brunette.
The crowd of women parted allowing Naroda's beach hunk to get up from his posing positions. He stood up and grabbed a towel from a nearby bench press and wiped away all the sweat from his rippling chest. The women swooned and sighed in response. The Iron man obviously loved his status. As the ladies fainted, the hunk looked over to the water's edge and noticed a girl with cyan hair running along the beach doing some poses in front of a spiky-haired guy with a camera.
Who is that girl? She's so stunning! I gotta have her! The Herculean strongman thought excitedly.
After the half hour photo session, Ryoko and Tenchi sat down at the water's edge trying to figure what to do next. Tenchi placed the camera into his pocket.
"You really like taking pictures of me, don't you?" Ryoko asked.
"Uhh...,I guess you can say that. I'm really getting into this, it helps me relax."
"Well, that's nice to hear. So, what do you want to do next?"
"Hmm. I really don't know." Tenchi said. He looked across the sandy beach and noticed an ice cream stand. "The only thing that comes to mind is getting some ice cream to cool down a bit."
"I'm feeling a little warm, myself. Sounds good to me." Ryoko agreed.
"Besides, maybe some ice cream will help us decide on our next move. Food for thought."
"I couldn't agree more."
"Okay, then. You stay here while I go fetch some. What would you like?" Tenchi, asked.
"I just want a plain vanilla ice cream cone."
"Alright, I'll be back."
Tenchi stood up and walked off to go buy the ice cream. Ryoko watched as he walked away, as soon as Tenchi was gone, Ryoko smiled happily to herself.
Alright! Things are going so well! I am having so much fun with my Tenchi! Ryoko thought as she tipped her sun hat to make it more comfortable.
As Ryoko waited for Tenchi's return, she watched little children swam and played in the water. Suddenly, she was covered by another person's shadow.
"Excuse me." Said a strong voice.
"Yes?" Ryoko responded.
Ryoko looked up to find, possibly, Naroda beach's most muscular man. To Ryoko's awe, he had huge arms, a thick barrel neck, pecks that resembled concrete slabs, and legs that could support steel beams. The iron man had a full mane of black hair, his skin was fair bronze and his eyes were golden brown.
"I couldn't help but notice how natural you looked, acting like a supermodel a few minutes ago. You looked absolutely stunning."
"Thank you." Ryoko said in her most gracious manner, trying not let the stranger annoy her.
"And what is your name?"
"My name's Ryoko. Yours?"
"My name is Goro."
"Well, nice to meet you, Goro. I'd love to chat with you but I'm currently enjoying my date with somebody else." Ryoko said bluntly.
"Oh. You mean THAT little guy who's pointing his camera at you?" Goro asked while pointing at Tenchi.
"Yes. Him." Ryoko confirmed, frowning at Goro's insult of Tenchi.
Meanwhile, it was really hot and Tenchi anticipated the taste of the ice-cold-sweet-taste of vanilla ice cream.
Cherish every precious moment you have with her... those strange words just kept lingering in his mind every time he thought about the Fortune telling Machine.
It was finally Tenchi's turn to order. He walked up to the window and found that the clerk was one of his old school mates (from the currently undergoing reconstruction of Okayama High School). A schoolmate that he can never forget, the guy was fat, very thick lips, thick octangular glasses, and short dandruffy hair.
"Tenchi? Tenchi Masaki!"
"Amagasaki? Is that you?"
"It sure is! How are you?"
"I'm doing fine and you?"
"Just working and saving up some money. Say, I noticed that girl you're with. She looks pretty hot! Is she your girlfriend?"
"Well, no. Not exactly."
"Then what? Your sister?"
"No, no! She's uh,...just a friend."
"Oh, just a friend. Well then, in that case, could you introduce me to her?"
"What?" Tenchi started.
"You said she's just a friend, right? I find her very attractive." Amagasaki said, very interested.
Unaware of his facial expression, Tenchi frowned slightly at Amagasaki's request.
"I would really like to but I can't." Tenchi replied. "You see, she's not my girlfriend, family, or just a friend."
"Oh? What do you mean?"
"Well, um, she's my date. And I'm trying to get to know her a little better. You understand that, right?"
"Oh sure! I'm so sorry about that!"
"It's okay, it happens."
"What would you like to order?" Amagasaki said, changing the issue.
"Just two cones of vanilla ice cream."
"Coming right up!"
Amagasaki carried out Tenchi's order quickly and handed the ice cream cones to Tenchi.
"Wow! Thanks! How much?" Tenchi asked as he licked his ice cream.
"That'll be 200 yen."
Tenchi paid the clerk. Suddenly, something in the back of his mind brought back the words of the Fortune telling machine... "Cherish every precious moment you have with her". Tenchi looked over qt Ryoko's direction and noticed a huge, muscular man talking to her.
"Uh oh." Amagasaki said uneasily.
"Uh oh, what?" Tenchi asked.
"You better watch out, Tenchi. That guy's hitting on your date."
"You know him?"
"No but I've seen him work his charm. He would hit on some girl regardless, single or not, and then later on, he would break the poor girl's heart."
"Is that so..." Tenchi said, not having realized that he was frowning even more.
"So...,Ryoko." Goro addressed, showing off his muscles in different Iron-man poses.
"What." Ryoko replied, growing more annoyed of the strongman's presence.
"What do you see in that little runt?"
"You know, that little runt you're with. What's his name?"
"Tenchi." Ryoko said, growling.
"Oh right, Tenchi." Goro said smugly, rippling his pecks at Ryoko. Ryoko rolled her eyes and finally lost her patience.
"Look, Goro. I am really getting annoyed here. Why don't you Amscre', ok?"
"You're telling me? The 'Great Goro' to scram?"
"How can you say something like that? No girl can't resist this!" Goro said, pointing at his abs and muscular features.
"I can." Ryoko replied coldly. Ryoko looked over and noticed Tenchi returning.
Ryoko was relieved to see Tenchi, she smiled. She turned and looked up at Goro.
"Here comes my Tenchi." Ryoko warned.
"Oh he is, is he?" Goro said confidently and turned around.
Tenchi arrived holding to two ice cream cones in his hands, he walked passed Goro and stood in front of Ryoko.
"Here you go, Ryoko." Tenchi said, handing Ryoko her ice cream cone.
Ryoko happily received the cool treat and proceeded to lick off the vanilla.
Goro cleared his throat and tapped Tenchi's shoulders. "Excuse me."
Tenchi turned around and faced Goro. "Yes? Can I help you?"
"Yes, you can. By handing me over your pretty little date."
Ryoko sighed in an exasperated manner, she continued on with her ice cream.
"E-excuse me?" Tenchi said, nervously.
"Yeah, you heard me. I'm taking your date."
Tenchi glanced over to Ryoko with a confused looked, trying to figure out the muscle man's aggressive intentions. In response to Tenchi's silent question, Ryoko shrugged.
"Pardon me but, uh...I didn't catch your name."
"My name's Goro and I am THE hunk of this beach." Goro said with full bravado.
"Uh, right." Tenchi replied uneasily
Meanwhile, behind the ice cream stand, the funny old man from the Beach Accessories shop watched as events unfolded between Goro and Tenchi.
Washu watched through the eyes of her invention with full attentiveness. Ryo-
ohki stood behind her and watched. For nearly half an hour after the "Cat-Man" incident, both had been quiet to each other, having agreed not to intervene on Ryoko's date. The "Cat-Man" incident nearly exposed Washu's invention and things could've escalated. Fortunately for Washu, things didn't. But as Washu and Ryo-ohki were about to leave Tenchi and Ryoko alone, a huge man walked up to Ryoko. After another few minutes, the bigger man started to harass Tenchi. Washu and Ryo-ohki both frowned at the computer screen.
"Ryo-ohki, we've got to do something about that big lug. I don't know about you but I'm willing to bend the rules of our agreement."
"Miya." Ryo-ohki agreed.
"How should we take care of this big lug, hmm?"
The humanoid cabbit held her little chin and thought for a moment. After a long silent minute, an idea finally came to mind. Immediately, Ryo-ohki transferred her idea to Washu through their mental link.
"That's a cool idea! Why didn't I think of that?" Washu exclaimed. Washu typed onto her holocomputer at lightning speed. Changing the form, size and shape of the android.
Ryo-ohki shrugged and sent an insulting thought to Washu.
"Oh hush!" Washu barked. "Don't let it go to your head that you thought of it first!"
Ryo-ohki beamed happily as Washu continued on typing.
Aeka's New Bodyguard
Meanwhile, back to the blue-roofed Masaki home, Aeka and Shoji had just finished changing into much drier clothing. Both sat across from each other from the living room area, waiting on Sasami to bring out some tea.
All day long, the thought of Tenchi and Ryoko being together for one day worried Aeka deeply. As if things weren't enough, her father had to send in a new body guard to protect her. Aeka studied Shoji for a couple of long, silent minutes trying to figure out her father's motives on why he replaced her guardians with Shoji. Not wanting to make Shoji feel like a spy under an interrogating light, she decided to start a simple, friendly question and answer conversation.
"Pardon me for being cold to you a little bit earlier."
"No not at all, your highness. I deserved that treatment, after all, I did get you drenched and I apologize for that clumsy display."
"It is alright. It is in the past, no need for any further apologies." Aeka assured.
"As you wish." Shoji said with relief.
Aeka smiled softly. "I did not quite catch your full name, what was it again?"
"My name is Shoji Takazawa of the Juraian Royal Guard."
"Takazawa?" Aeka said inquisitively. The name seemed familiar to her somehow.
"Yes." Shoji replied.
"Hmm..." Aeka sounded as she thought through her memory.
As Aeka dug through her memories, Sasami walked out of the kitchen carrying a tray with tea and crackers, ready to serve.
"Here you go!" Said the cheerful blue-haired princess.
Shoji had an awe-struck look on his face. "Princess Sasami, you're serving tea and crackers?"
"Yes? Is there a problem?" Asked the young one.
"No, none at all. I just find it very interesting that a Juraian noble is serving and cooking."
"Oh! Well, I don't mind doing it. I find it a very fulfilling experience."
"Fulfilling? How so?" Shoji inquired curiously.
"I enjoy cooking mainly because it feels good. I don't know. It's just the fact that I'm just so darn good at it!"
"You think so?" Asked Sasami.
"Yes, of course it is! It's not everyday a Juraian noble decided to serve food just for the sheer joy of it. This shows very good character."
"Thanks Shoji!" Sasami blushed.
"My pleasure, your highness."
At that very moment, Yosho walked into the house. He stepped over to the living room area. Shoji stood up from the sofa and bowed his head to greet the old man.
"Greetings, Prince Yosho."
"No need for formalities, Shoji. You're on earth now and I don't want the locals seeing a young man, like yourself, bowing to a Shinto priest in such a formal manner."
"Indeed. As you wish."
"So how do you like your new assignment, Shoji?"
"As far as I know, I think it's very unusual."
Yosho lifted an eyebrow and smiled. "Oh? How so?"
"It's just so laid-back back on this planet."
"Do you find this unsettling?" Asked Yosho.
"Oh no!" Shoji replied immediately. "I find that the countryside here is very beautiful and it rivals that of Jurai's. And for the sheer fact of knowing that the presiding Juraian nobles are happy to be here."
"You are a very perceptive one, Shoji." Yosho complimented.
"Yeah, well, anyhow. That's basically my thoughts."
As the two Juraian males conversed, Aeka watched silently. She found herself distracted from thinking about Tenchi and started to focus her full attention onto Shoji.
There is this enigmatic quality about him. His hair color is black and shorter compared to most Juraian males; very uncharacteristic for a Juraian. I wonder if he has any roots on earth? Aeka thought. Even for a Juraian Knight, his mannerisms are so informal. Anyhow? Now that is an unusual phrase! Aeka smiled at the thought. And he doesn't seem to mind being on this planet. Unlike Seriyou. She shivered at the thought of Seriyou.
Sasami tugged at Aeka's sleeve. "Psst! Hey Aeka." Sasami whispered.
"What is it, Sasami?"
"Don't you think he's cute?"
"Sasami!" Aeka whispered back, loudly.
"What?" Sasami asked innocently.
"Do not ask me that sort of question! This is neither the time nor place!"
"Alright. Then I'll just ask you later."
Aeka sighed exasperatedly. Both girls focused their attentions on Yosho and Shoji.
"You are an interesting character, Shoji."
"Thank you. Your words are too kind."
"You're welcome." Yosho responded. Then he had an idea. "By the way, since I'm responsible for Aeka's safety, I have to make sure if you're qualified enough to protect her."
"I understand your concern for the crown princess's well-being. How do you propose to test my capabilities?"
"I want to see how well you hold out against me."
The trio were stunned by Yosho's proposal.
Shoji regained his composure. "You mean to tell me that you want to challenge me in a mock duel?"
"That is correct." Replied Yosho. "Meet me at the shrine in half an hour. I look forward in seeing what you're capable of."
"My sentiment's exact." Shoji said confidently.
Goro the Big Lug
"Listen, buddy, get it through your thick skull!" Ryoko yelled. "I don't want to go anywhere with you! So quit bugging us!"
"Don't sweat it babe. I'll liberate you from this little runt in no time." Said Goro.
"Who're you calling a RUNT!" Tenchi asked, finally losing patience, his fists clenched tightly.
"I don't see any other runt around here, do you?" Goro replied, poking his finger on Tenchi. "Or do you want to settle this in a man's way?" Goro grinned, cracking his knuckles.
"You leave Tenchi alone!" Ryoko barked, jumped and stood between Tenchi and Goro. "You're not laying a finger on him!"
"Stand aside, I'll release you of this burden!" Goro demanded.
"Burden?" Tenchi yelled, quizzically. "Why you, stuck up, arrogant, chauvenistic..." Tenchi's noticed his explosive remarks and realized his verbal mistake, too late.
"Oh good! Those sounded like fightin' words!" Goro said excitedly, flexing himself, warming up for a brawl. He steps closer to Tenchi but Ryoko pushes Goro back away.
"If you're going to hurt him! You're going to have to get through me first"
"Ryoko, let's not get into this any deeper than it should be. Let's just leave him." Tenchi said, calmly. He grabbed Ryoko's right arm and gently pulled her away from Goro.
"Oh no you don't!" Goro yelled out. He grabbed Ryoko's left arm and started pulling. "You're not getting her that easily!"
"Hey! Let go of me, you idiot!" Ryoko screamed. "Tenchi!"
"Let go of her! Can't you see that she doesn't want to go with you?" Tenchi said, pulling on Ryoko.
"She's mine, I tell you!" Goro replied as he tugged.
"I'm doing the best I can!"
"You two stop pulling on me! This is really getting painful!" Ryoko cringed.
"No way! I'm not giving up until I have her!" Goro affirmed.
"Let her go! You're hurting her!" Tenchi yelled, pulling on Ryoko.
"Ouch ouch ouch! Stop it, the both of you! You're tearing me apart!"
Throughout this ordeal, Ryoko realized something about Tenchi. This is what it feels like to be fought over. To have myself and Aeka pulling Tenchi, hoping to win his love. Ryoko thought and frowned.
The two continued pulling. Suddenly, a hypnotic, sexy female voice is heard.
"Boys, boys, no need to fight over one girl. I'm here."
Tenchi, Ryoko, and Goro suddenly stopped and turned their heads towards the mysterious voice. A tall, silky brunette, perfect tan skin, full red lips, perfect curvy-athletic figure, and last but not least the young lady was a white foreigner. Tenchi, Goro, and Ryoko stopped their bickering and were stunned by the beauty of the new girl. Ryoko was dropped to the sandy ground. The brunette swept her hair back and walked towards the Trio. Tenchi quickly swayed his attention from the girl and helped Ryoko to her feet.
"My name is Venus, Venus de Milo. Miya."
Goro straightened up and regained his composure. He brushed back his black mane of hair and cleared his throat.
"My name is Goro, uh, Goro de Marco." Goro said and showed off his sparkly row of teeth.
"Goro, eh?" Venus said with curious interest. She walked towards Goro.
Seizing the opportunity, Ryoko turned, faced Tenchi and pointed towards the ocean waters. Tenchi nodded back understanding Ryoko's gesture. Suddenly, both jumped to their feet and sprinted towards the waves.
Goro saw Tenchi and Ryoko ran off through the corner of his eye, he ignored the two and focused his full attention onto the more beautiful girl named Venus.
"So, Venus." Goro smirked. "Now that we're both alone. How should we better acquaint ourselves?"
"You want to know? Miya." Venus asked, seductively. She stepped closer to Goro and ran her fingers down his chest.
"Then I'll show you..." She said. Venus stepped away from Goro and walked towards a secluded back area of the seaside hotel. "Follow me." She blew a kiss at Goro.
Goro happily obliged Venus's enticing invitation. After a few minutes of following Venus, they finally reached the seclusion. The seclusion was perfect, it's away from any outside contact and they could do anything they wanted. Venus turned and faced Goro with yearning eyes.
"So, what now?" Goro asked sheepishly.
"What do you think, you fool! Kiss me! Miya!" Venus exclaimed and ran towards Goro's open arms. They embraced each other and kissed each other full force.
Goro closed his eyes letting all his senses focus on Venus's working lips. He held her tighter and kissed like he never kissed before. After a long sensual moment, he opened his eyes, his eyes bulged out of their sockets. The site he saw was absolutely shocking!
Instead of finding himself kissing a beautiful foreign girl in his embrace, he was lip-locking with an old man! An old, decrepit, short, and wrinkled up man was kissing him.
"AAAAAAAAAAHHHH!" Goro screamed, dropping the old man to the ground. Goro started to spit and gag all over the sands. "What the-! Where's Venus? What have you done to her?"
"Oh, Venus? Miya! She's gone. She wanted me to take care of you. Miya!"
"What? Where's Venus?" Goro asked again while gagging.
"Miya! Geez, you are thick-headed, aren't you? Miya! Oh well, makes it easier for me." Said, the old man. "Miya!"
"W-What do you mean?" Goro said nervously. "Miya? Why are you meowing like a cat?"
The old man did not answer, he suddenly turned into a mass of green gelatin and enveloped Goro. Goro struggled vainly for several minutes but finally gave out. The green gelatin flashed bright red and released Goro. The green gelatin reverted back to the form of an old man. The old man clapped and rubbed his hands together, content with the results.
"There! All finished! No more kitty-cat bugs in the system! I'm cured!" Said the old man. Looking down at Goro, who was now crawling around the sands on all fours like a cat.
"Miya! Miya! Miya!" Goro meowed.
"I am a genius!"
"Miya!" Goro replied. Then he stopped crawling, he sat on one spot, lifted his leg and started licking his underside.
"Well, looks like my work here is done. Switching off..."
Washu and Ryo-ohki
"Yes! Alright! We've succeeded, Ryo-ohki!" Washu said, giving the toddler a high five.
"Miya! Miya!" The cabbit toddler exclaimed.
"Okay, we've had enough fun for one day."
"Miya..." Ryo-ohki said disappointedly.
"I know I know. Let's just leave the two of them alone, alright? We've helped them enough, they're on their own from this point on."
"Miya! Miya?" Ryo-ohki asked with a hint of concern for Goro.
"Don't be silly! I'm not that cruel! Don't worry, the big lug will come out of that cat trance in a day or two."
Washu switched her holocomputer off and the screen disappeared. Washu stood up from her chair and stretched.
"Let's go see what the others are up to."
"Miya! Miya!" Ryo-ohki said happily. The toddler jumped up with a loud pop, and in mid-air, suddenly turned into a cabbit. The cabbit landed on top of Washu's head.
"Heh heh, Cute little furrball." Washu smiled, patted the cabbit, and made her way towards the exit door.
Shoji Vs. Yosho
Shoji, Sasami, and Aeka finally arrived at the front of the shrine. Yosho stood patiently, ready and waiting. Shoji stepped away from Aeka and Sasami and stood three yards in front of Yosho. Aeka and Sasami sat at the steps of the entrance of the Shrine.
"Are you ready, Shoji?" Asked, Yosho.
"Good, we'll duel with these." Yosho said, he threw a bokken over to Shoji. Shoji caught the bokken with his left hand and immediately postured into a Juraian ready stance.
"What are the rules?"
"The rule is: First one to successfully strike one blow to the other's chest, wins. No rematches, 'three out of fives', or anything likewise."
"Let's begin." Yosho said and stood ready for the duel.
Silence passed over, during this, Shoji knew exactly what Yosho was capable of as a Swordsman. Before Yosho left Jurai, seven hundred years ago, he was considered the best and greatest swordsman on Jurai. Shoji would hear stories about Yosho's powerful skills and how he would devoutly practice his techniques daily. Shoji respected Yosho as a swordsman and what he stood for, at the time of Ryoko's Attack on Jurai, Shoji was merely a young Royal Squire in his fourth year of training. In a way, Yosho was his role model and the pinnacle of all the values Shoji believed in. And now, he had the chance to see how well his skills will hold out against Yosho's, a chance to see how years of training and experience has shaped him as a swordsman.
As Yosho waited for Shoji's first strike, Yosho thought about the news that surrounded Aeka's new bodyguard. A few days ago, after having received the message from the king of Jurai that Shoji was to be Aeka's new Guardian, Yosho decided to do a little research on Shoji's past. Courtesy of Washu's hyper channel communicator that was installed into his room. Yosho was able to talk to one of his closest friends from childhood, Shoji's superior commander. The talk with his long-time friend, Naoju, proved to be most interesting. Shoji had served in the Royal Guard for the past several hundred years and had shown great potential as a swordsman. From what Naoju had told Yosho, Shoji had been through quite a lot in his service and has attained a great amount of experience. Yosho considered these points and decided to be extra cautious.
After a silent minute, Yosho and Shoji charged each other at a blinding speed.
Running and swinging his bokken, Shoji passed Yosho and missed. He immediately turned around and deflected Yosho's strike. Shoji back-flipped over Yosho's head and landed behind him and swung. Not fast enough, Shoji missed Yosho again, Yosho had leapt forward to avoid Shoji's strike.
As the two Juraian males fought on, Aeka and Sasami watched with great interest. Aeka watched as her older brother charged Shoji, she was grateful that the duel helped her distract her thoughts away from Tenchi. But then again, she thought about Tenchi anyways, for some odd reason she knew that things were going to change between Tenchi, Ryoko, and herself. Aeka felt extreme anxiety, not wanting to know on how things will turn out after their date.
If Tenchi chooses Ryoko to be his love, I will just simply go back home to Jurai, I will not look back and will not think about it any further. Why should I stay and watch Tenchi enjoy being around Ryoko? I will not be able to bare it! Aeka buried the frightening thought and continued on watching the duel to distract herself away from thinking about Tenchi and Ryoko. She refocused her attention back to the duel.
"So this is where you girls are." Washu said, sitting down next Aeka.
"Oh, hello Washu." Aeka greeted.
"Hi, Washu!" Sasami greeted happily. Ryo-ohki hopped from Washu's head and onto Sasami's. The little princess welcomed the cabbit with a giggle.
"Well! I'm going to go make some lunch!" Sasami jumped up from the steps and ran towards the house. "I'll be back with the food!" And ran off with Ryo-ohki enjoying her ride, atop the princess's head.
"See you later, Sasami!" Washu yelled out and looked over and noticed the duel between Yosho and a person she had never seen before.
"Hey, who's the new guy?" Washu, asked.
"He is my new guardian." Aeka answered.
"New guardian?" Washu inquired further. "Since when?"
"Since this morning, my father has reassigned Azaka and Kamadake to protect Sasami and they were replaced by Shoji."
"Hmm. Really..." Washu said curiously.
"I wonder why my father would do that in the first place. The two guardians did a sufficient job with my protection. Why would he suddenly replace them?"
"Gee, I wonder why, Aeka..." Washu said sarcastically.
Isn't it obvious to you that your father is trying to get you to see eye to eye? Are you THAT engrossed with Tenchi to not see the reasons? Washu thought for a second, she checked over to Aeka. No wait. Stupid question.
Washu looked over to Shoji and peered back to Aeka, the genius noticed that the princess was paying extra close attention to the fight.
But then again, Aeka does seem to be a bit curious about Shoji. Once Tenchi and Ryoko returns, I wonder how this will turn out. Washu thought and smiled deviously.
With a simple whim of her hand, she brought out her holocomputer and started to type away. Aeka noticed and faced Washu with a curious look.
"Washu, what are you doing?"
"Oh I'm just doing some miscellaneous study. I just wanted to collect some data on Juraian biological fighting mechanics, you know, the study of movement."
"Oh, I see." Aeka said with fascination. "You never seem to stop studying, do you?"
"I figure you would say that. You never-ending bookworm." Aeka teased and smiled.
Washu ignored Aeka and continued on studying the two fighters. The holocomputer lit up with a flurry of information. Washu beamed at the newly acquired data.
"Very interesting..." Washu said contently. Aeka sighed. "You are hopeless."
Oh! Hello, Dolphin!
After ditching Goro at the shore, Tenchi and Ryoko swam around in clear blue waters for a few minutes. Already putting Goro way back in the back of their thoughts, both laughed and enjoyed the cool refreshing ocean waters. They were about twenty five yards away from the shore, both stopped swimming and stood up. Ryoko stood next to Tenchi, to their surprise, the water was only chest-level. Ryoko still wore her red tank top and jean shorts over her bikini. Tenchi was just wearing his swimming trunks. Annoyed by the weight of her wet clothing, Ryoko took off her shorts and red tank top to expose her swim attire.
"Ah! Now that feels better!" Ryoko said with relief and threw her clothes aside into the water.
Tenchi noticed Ryoko's disregard for her clothing. "Uhh..., Ryoko. Won't you need to change into those after we finish swimming?"
"Nah, no need. I have another pair back at the beach house." Ryoko looked over to the shore of the beach and found that Goro wasn't there. "Phew! Thank god he's gone!" She exclaimed.
"Tell me about it. That was the first time anybody knew how to push my buttons. That guy was so full of himself." Tenchi said.
Ryoko nodded in agreement. Then, she heard a peculiar squeaking sound coming from behind, Ryoko turned around and was suddenly overtaken by excitement. She walked towards the source of the sound. Leaving Tenchi behind.
"Well, that's the end of him. I sure hope he doesn't bother us anymore. So what do you want to do now, Ryoko?" Tenchi asked. He turned to his left side to face Ryoko but she wasn't near. "Uh..., Ryoko?"
Tenchi scanned around for her in the surrounding waters. Ryoko was no where to be seen.
"Ryokooo! Where are youuu?" Tenchi inquired. Through the corner of his eye he briefly saw a blur pass beside him. "What the...?"
Suddenly, Tenchi was enveloped by a pillar of water. He found himself briefly underwater, Tenchi quickly jumped up and broke the water surface. He spat out the briny contents of the seawater and heard Ryoko's laughter.
"YIPPEEEE!" Ryoko cheered happily, as she held on to the dolphin's flipper, riding through the water.
"Look at me, Tenchi! I'm riding a shark!"
"That's not a shark!" Tenchi laughed as he watched the blue dolphin pulled Ryoko above the water's surface. Ryoko freed herself from the dolphin and swam towards Tenchi.
"Then what was that, I was riding on?"
"That's a dolphin. Blue-nosed, I think."
"Oh yeah, that's right. A shark's a little bit more dangerous, isn't it?"
"Are there any around these waters?"
"Nope not that I know of. I don't remember hearing about any news of shark attacks around the Naroda area."
"Oh ok, then I won't worry about it."
The little dolphin swam up to Tenchi.
"Uh..., hello!" Tenchi greeted to the porpoise.
The dolphin whistles and click in return.
"Looks like it likes you, Tenchi."
"You think so?" Tenchi asked and looked over to Ryoko.
Ryoko grinned and nodded to Tenchi.
"Ah! I guess I have my ways with animals." Tenchi said happily turned over to face the dolphin. "Cute little..." Suddenly, Tenchi was cut off mid-sentence by a huge spurt of water from the dolphin's mouth.
Ryoko hugged herself and laughed out loud at Tenchi's wet reception. As Ryoko chuckled jovially, Tenchi coughed hard spitting out the salty water from his mouth. The dolphin swam vertically atop the ocean's surface and moved backwards. Then it disappeared below the surface of the water.
"Hahaha!" Ryoko laughed.
"Quit laughing! That's not funny!"
"For you it wasn't, but for me on the other hand..." Ryoko cut herself off and continued on laughing.
"Oh yeah?" Tenchi said deviously. He immediately splashed the laughing Ryoko with a small wave of water.
Ryoko coughed and gave Tenchi a furious look.
"Now that's funny! HAHAHAHA!" Tenchi chuckled.
"Oh, is that right?" Ryoko challenged. "I am the water queen!" She immediately splashed water at Tenchi's direction but he ducked into the crystal clear water to avoid Ryoko's attack. Tenchi suddenly popped back up and splashed Ryoko even more.
"I've got you! Water queen!" Tenchi proclaimed gallantly, splashing Ryoko even further.
"AAH!" Ryoko yelled happily, shielding the incoming water with her arms. Ryoko gasped with a shocked look in her eyes. She pointed her finger at an object behind Tenchi. "Look! I can't believe it! There's Washu!"
Tenchi's laugh disappeared. "Huh? Where?"
"Sucker! Gotcha!" Ryoko exclaimed and splashed Tenchi.
"Oh! Being sneaky, eh?"
Both continued splashing water at each other, giggling. When suddenly, they here a strange rumbling-wavy sound coming from the open sea.
"uhh..., Ryoko? Do you hear that?"
Ryoko nodded. Tenchi and Ryoko turned around to see where the sound was emanating from.
"AAAAHHH!" Both screamed simultaneously as a whole pod of dolphins swam past by, causing a huge onslaught of water. After being drenched by the wave of sea water, Tenchi and Ryoko stood up and stared at the laughing porpoises.
Sasami returned to the shrine, carrying with her a tray full of lunch. The edibles were mostly comprised of finger foods and enough rice bowls to feed the group. Sasami sat down next to Aeka and Washu. Sasami reached into her pocket and grabbed an orange carrot. She held the carrot in hand and reached over her head and offered it to Ryo-ohki. The cabbit happily accepted.
Washu smiled slightly and switched off her holocomputer. She reached over to the food trey and grabbed a deep-fried vegetable. Aeka did likewise.
"Lunch is ready!" Sasami shouted to the dueling Juraians.
"Oh great! I'm starving!" Shoji exclaimed as he deflected one of Yosho's strike.
"Mmm..., likewise." Yosho added, as he dodged under Shoji's swing.
Both ran towards the steps of the shrine, swinging and striking at each other.
Seeing this, Aeka, Sasami, and Washu screamed and quickly moved out of harm's way.
"Yosho!" Aeka said angrily. "You are carrying this way out of hand!"
"Relax, Aeka. We're trained professionals, Shoji and I know what we're doing"
Yosho retorted as he dodged another Shoji's swings and quickly grabbed a rice bowl.
"You could have warned us that you were going to..."
"Let them have their fun, Aeka." Washu jumped in. "After all boys will be boys."
"Oh fine." Aeka said harshly.
Shoji immediately grabbed his rice bowl and jumped back to avoid Yosho's bokken.
Holding the rice bowl in his left hand, Yosho poured the contents of the bowl down his mouth and rapidly chewed. Shoji charged Yosho while putting the bowl back in it's place on Sasami's tray.
"Thanks, princess Sasami." He said as he passed the princess.
"My pleasure!" Sasami returned.
Shoji immediately jumped up again to avoid Yosho's bokken swipe. Yosho passed by Sasami and placed his bowl onto the tray.
"Thank you, Sasami." Yosho gratified the princess as he charged towards Shoji.
"Sure thing, Yosho!" Sasami said happily.
And so, Yosho and Shoji continued on with their battle...
Washu started her way back towards the house. "Well, girls I'm heading' back home. I've gathered more than enough data for my research and from what I can conclude. I can tell where this fight's going to head and it'll be a VERY long while until they reach the end. See you two later."
"Alright." Remarked, Aeka.
"See you later Washu!" Said, Sasami.
"Miya! Miya!" Followed the cabbit.
S. O. S.
Further away from the beach's shore, Tenchi and Ryoko laughed, played, and enjoyed the time of their lives with their new-found mammal friends. The water was already eight feet in depth and Tenchi stayed with the main pod. While Ryoko wanders off with her favorite dolphin, separating from the group. She happily named the dolphin 'Echo', mainly because of the deep sounds it made. With the memories of Goro far buried in her mind, Ryoko swam underwater along side with the young mid-sized dolphin. Due to her yellow-feral eyes, Ryoko's eyesight underwater was ten times keener compared to all humans. Ryoko swam close and grabbed onto the left flipper of the porpoise. The dolphin happily pulled Ryoko along the water. As the ceiling of water passed over her head, Ryoko noticed a little boy a few yards ahead.
What's a little kid doing all the way out here? Ryoko thought curiously. She signaled the dolphin to swim closer to investigate.
As they drew closer, Ryoko quickly realized that the little kid was clearly face down, bobbing up and down in the water. They broke the surface and finally reached the boy and Ryoko quickly examined him. His eyes were closed and he wasn't breathing.
Okay, Ryoko. Don't panic. Check for a pulse. Ryoko thought to herself. She did her best over the moving water to check his pulse, she examined the little one's neck. She concentrated for a moment. Oh thank god! She found a very faint but fading pulse.
Ryoko quickly signaled Echo to swim over. She held on to the boy tight and grabbed onto Echo's flipper. The dolphin sped towards the beach's shore.
Meanwhile, Tenchi popped up through the surface of the water, marveled at being around dolphins for the very first time in his life.
"I will never forget this day, Ryoko. How are you enjoying it so far?" Tenchi asked and waited a moment for Ryoko's reply. "Ryoko?"
Tenchi looked around for Ryoko, she wasn't nearby.
"Grrr! I hate it when she does that!" Tenchi growled. "Now where did she go?"
"Teenchiii!" Ryoko screamed.
Tenchi quickly looked around and spotted Ryoko.
"I've found a kid! He's not well, I'm going to help him!"
Tenchi found her riding towards the shore of the beach at a very rapid pace. He quickly signaled a dolphin over and he held onto it's dorsal fin. The dolphin clicked and squeaked, Tenchi patted it's head and the dolphin sped off towards the shore like a torpedo.
Ryoko had already carried the kid in her arms to the shore, the youngster had lost his pulse. She carefully placed him on a blanket that was laying nearby on the sand. A curious crowd started to gather around Ryoko.
"Okay, folks! I need some room!" Ryoko demanded. The crowd curiously watched and whispered to each other as Ryoko positioned the boy on his back. She placed his back and neck in an upward position to open up a clear airway. Ryoko opened his mouth and started to blew in air into his lungs.
Tenchi had reached the gathered crowd. He pushed his way through, he reached the center of the commotion and found Ryoko performing CPR to a young child. He watched as Ryoko tried to start up the boy's circulation by pumping his chest with her clasped hands. He quickly realized that his camera was still in his pocket from earlier. He quickly pulled out the camera and started to take pictures.
"Come on! Breathe!" Ryoko yelled out. She breathed into his lungs. After three breaths, she went back to pumping his heart.
Finally, after a minute of CPR, the boy quickly turned to his side. He started to convulse violently, he coughed and spat out water from his lungs. The surrounding crowd cheered and celebrated at Ryoko's quick life-saving actions. A girl stepped out from the crowd and wraps a blanket around the young boy. Several others gathered around Ryoko, they hugged, patted her on the shoulders and also shook hands with her.
Tenchi watched as the crowd congratulated Ryoko on a job well done. Tenchi smiled at Ryoko, very proud of her. Ryoko looked over to Tenchi and smiled at him.
Cherish every precious moment you have with her... The same words ran through his mind. He took the last two remaining pictures of Ryoko giving out a victory sign at the camera. After taking the pictures, he placed the camera back into his pocket. He walked through the talking crowd that surrounded Ryoko.
Tenchi finally reached her and hugged her. "Well done, Ryoko."
"Thank you, Tenchi." Ryoko said, hugging back.
"Excuse me, miss?" Said a young voice.
"Yes?" as she turned away from Tenchi and looked down to find that the little kid she saved was standing, wrapped in a blanket. A lifeguard stood next to him, holding him by the arm. "Thank you for saving my life."
"No need to thank me. Sorry I couldn't have been there any sooner."
"Better late than never." The boy retorted. He bowed his head to Ryoko. "I thank you again. By the way, my name's Haruo."
"My name's Ryoko and this is Tenchi."
Haruo turned to Tenchi and greeted him with a bow. "Hello, Tenchi."
"Hello, Haruo." Tenchi returned the boy's greeting.
"Is Ryoko you're girlfriend? You're a very lucky." Haruo winked.
"Well..." Tenchi said nervously. "She's more like a date."
Ryoko sighed under her breath. The crowd had begun to disperse.
"Oh, sorry if I said something wrong." Haruo apologized.
"No, not at all!" Tenchi said quickly.
"My father owns that seaside hotel, over there." Haruo pointed towards the hotel. "I would very much like to repay you back by inviting you to the Annual Naroda Beach dance."
"We'll be there, tonight." Said Ryoko and Tenchi.
"What time will it start?" Asked Tenchi.
"It'll start in an hour at eight o'clock."
"Eight o'clock?" Tenchi said a little startled. He looked at his sports watch and realized how much time has quickly passed. The time was seven o'clock. "Wow." Tenchi commented.
"Okay?" Asked, Haruo.
"Okay we'll see you then." Said, Ryoko.
"Alright!" Haruo exclaimed. He hugs Ryoko. "I'll see you later then! Bye!" Haruo runs off towards the seaside hotel.
"Sweet kid." Ryoko commented.
"Yeah." Tenchi agreed. He turned to Ryoko. "So..."
"So what?" Ryoko asked.
"What shall we do now until eight o'clock?"
"Let's just watch the sunset together, ok?" Ryoko suggested.
Tenchi and Ryoko sat down next to each other on the sand and peered out to the ocean horizon. The Sun is only a quarter of an hour away until it actually starts setting. Still proud of Ryoko's life saving actions, Tenchi decided to reach over and hold Ryoko's right hand.
Both decided not to ruin the beauty of the setting horizon, so they kept silent for the duration of what's left of daylight. Ryoko felt Tenchi's hand held her right hand. Not knowing what to think or say, Ryoko blushed instead and gazed onto the sea as the sun begun it's process to kiss it's horizon.
The Duel's Conclusion
The crimson sky had begun to sink over the Okayama countryside approaching the dark night. Yosho and Shoji had managed to move the fight over from the shrine, through the woods, and finally ending up at the lake. For four hours the duel carried on, neither one had any intention of losing but they were both getting really tired.
Aeka watched the duel from the house, she leaned against the frame of her bedroom window and found that the two Juraian males were on opposite sides of the lake. She watched as Yosho jumped up from his side of the lake, leaping several meters into the air. Aeka looked over and found Shoji doing likewise.
Both clashed and swung at each other in mid-air over the lake. Their bokkens collided with each other as they fell straight towards the water. Instead of falling straight through, they landed on the surface of the lake! Both ran across the top of the lake, as if on solid ground breaking the rules of physics.
Shoji and Yosho swung and struck at each other, as they neared the shore of the lake, suddenly, at the very last minute before reaching solid ground, Shoji slipped on a patch of mud. He fell face forward into the muddy shore of the lake. Yosho seized the opportunity and tagged Shoji's chest with his bokken. Shoji stood up and noticed that his clothes were completely covered in muck.
"Great." Shoji commented as he looked at the dark-brown muck on his clothing.
Then Shoji hears an elegant giggle emanating from the house. He immediately spotted Princess Aeka chuckling from a second-story window. Shoji blushed slightly.
Yosho walked over and placed his right hand on Shoji's shoulder.
"There there, no need to feel defeated. You held up very well against me. One of the longest duels I've ever had."
"Thank you, Prince Yosho."
"Please, just call me Yosho but I rather much prefer Katsuhito. I want to treat you as an equal, rather than a servant. Princess Aeka will treat you likewise and I expect you to treat us in the same manner."
"Understood. It'll take some getting use to but I'll try, nevertheless. Thank you, again."
"Your skills as a knight are exceptional. If you hadn't slipped, the duel would've lasted longer. But considering how well you held up against me, I consider you the same equivalent to my capabilities. I feel safe that you're Aeka's new guardian."
"You're too kind." Shoji said modestly. "I shall do my keenest to protect her with my life."
"I don't doubt it. Why don't you go and wash up." Yosho suggested.
Shoji nodded in agreement. He turned and bowed to Yosho, Yosho returned the gesture. Then, Shoji walked off to go change. Yosho watched as Shoji left.
"Eww..." Yosho commented as he looked at his right hand and watched as the slimy-smelly mud slipped through his fingers.
Dance Party at the Seaside Hotel
The seaside hotel's outdoor ballroom was filled with music and dancing couples. As expected the dress code was casual beach attire and the music was nice, soothing and romantic. Tenchi and Ryoko walked along the side of the wooden dance floor. Ryoko was still wearing her beach bikini and Tenchi was wearing a white T-shirt and his swimming trunks, both sat down at a nearby table. Haruo looked all over and finally spotted his special guests, he walked over to Tenchi and Ryoko.
"Hello Ryoko! Hello Tenchi! Welcome!"
"Hello Haruo!" Ryoko greeted back.
"Hi Haruo." Tenchi returned.
The ten year old blushed and struggled with his words. "Uhh..., Miss Ryoko? Um, uh, can you, uh..."
"What can I do for you, Haruo?"
"Well..., um since you saved my life and all...can you..." Haruo said fiddling with his fingers. "I know I'm just a kid and all but..."
"Haruo, spit it out." Ryoko demanded in a friendly way.
"Can you have this one dance with me?"
"C'mon, let's go tear up the rug." Ryoko stood up from her chair and held the little kid's hand.
"Yaay!" The boy exclaimed, following Ryoko to the wooden dance floor.
Tenchi watched as Ryoko walked off to the dance floor, he beamed at Ryoko's generosity. "Have fun dancing!" Tenchi said to Ryoko. "I'll just sit here and watch."
Ryoko turned around and gave Tenchi an evil grin. "You're not off the hook, that easily. You're next right after this."
"Uhh, ok." Tenchi returned nervously.
Ryoko winked back in response. Then an easing song started up in the speakers. She turned to Little Haruo and smiled softly.
"Okay kid, let's begin."
Haruo nodded and took Ryoko's right hand and placed his left hand on her lips. The uneven-looking couple began to dance waltz around the dance floor with Ryoko doing the lead.
Under soft roaming lights of the ballroom, Tenchi watched and admired Ryoko's fluent yet gentle movements, as she graced the dance floor.
I didn't know she learned how to dance. He thought. Tenchi looked at Haruo's face and noticed his innocent-boyish smile. Well, he's definitely happy about it.
Ryoko danced along the floor with Haruo through out the song.
"I'm curious. How did you end up so faraway from shore?"
"I was on my inflatable row boat when I ventured out. I kinda got carried away and ended up rowing out too far. So I decided to row back to shore but when I did, the float was leaking air! As you can see, the rest is history." Haruo beamed.
She gazed at the Haruo's young face and enjoyed the boy's warm handsome smile. Ryoko smiled back at him, proud of the fact that she saved his life. Knowing that she was the one that was responsible for giving him a chance at life, love, and happiness.
The song finally ended, and the dancing lights stopped moving. The dancers started to walk off the dance floor.
"Well, I have to go now. Thank you for dancing with me!" Haruo thanked as he gave Ryoko a big hug.
"You're welcome, kiddo. Anytime." Ryoko hugged back and patted Haruo's head.
Haruo laughed happily and walked off the dance floor, waving back at Ryoko as he left the Outdoor ballroom, she waved back. As soon as Haruo left, Ryoko looked over to Tenchi's direction, she found him sitting at the table looking at her. Ryoko held up her finger and pointed at him.
Tenchi saw that Ryoko was the only one left standing on the dance floor. He noticed that Ryoko pointed her finger at him. He looked around and pointed at himself and looked at her questioningly. "Me?" He asked silently.
Ryoko nodded affirmative.
Tenchi nervously stood up and walked over to Ryoko. As soon as he reached Ryoko, the music immediately started and the lights begun to dance slowly across the ballroom.
"Hello, Tenchi." Ryoko greeted.
"Ready to dance?"
"Uhh..., sure." Tenchi answered nervously.
Tenchi placed his right hand on Ryoko's hip and held Ryoko's right hand.
Ryoko noticed Tenchi's apprehensiveness. "What's wrong? Don't want to dance?"
"No, it's not that, it's just been awhile since I've danced."
"Oh. Well that's no problem just follow my lead and it'll all come back to you."
"Um..., okay." Tenchi complied.
Ryoko began to move Tenchi along with the romantic rhythm of the song.
As the crowd gathered onto the dance floor, Tenchi quickly recognized the song that was being played over the speakers. He knew the song was from an animated movie called X:1999, Forever My Love. He never liked the voice of the lead singer but he always loved the music went along with it. The elegant piano, the rhythmic hypnotic sound of the guitars and his absolute favorite: the sweeping violins. Overall, Tenchi adored the song. He gazed at Ryoko and did his best to keep up with her natural rhythm.
Ryoko smiled, she freed her hand from Tenchi's right, placed her arms around Tenchi's neck, and rested her head on his chest. Tenchi placed his right hand on her hips, he felt Ryoko's body press up against him, Tenchi blushed a little.
(Oh tell me why! Forever dream... As part of the song sung out.
"Tenchi..." Ryoko whispered into his ear in dreamy way. "This is so romantic..."
"Mmmm..." Tenchi sounded contently. Tenchi found that his arms embraced Ryoko from around her waist.
Will you stay with me...
Tenchi closed his eyes and found himself neck-to-neck with Ryoko. For once, he wasn't nervous around Ryoko and he loved the feeling of the close and secret intimacy being shared. This was a side of Ryoko he rarely ever saw, he had the general thought of her having the care-free-bad-girl persona, except for the time with the Zero incident. Maybe it's because of Zero that Ryoko's acting this way. Tenchi thought curiously. She has toned down a bit since then, except for the time with the king of Jurai. Oh well, whatever, Tenchi. Just enjoy the moment while it lasts. He told himself.
Ryoko was already floating with joy as she danced with the man she loved. The date had went by so well, with a few exceptions, overall, this is the best day of her life. She basked in the warm soothing energies that was emitted by Tenchi's soul. Letting every part of her being immerse itself into the surrounding music and to the person she is dancing with. She didn't realize until that very moment how good it felt to be assimilated with Zero. If it weren't for zero's tapped insight into her true feelings for Tenchi. Ryoko would've never been able to come up with the idea of taking Tenchi out to Naroda Beach. Because of Zero, Ryoko finally learned how to stay focused whenever she's around Tenchi.
As Tenchi and Ryoko danced on, they lost track of the dancers, the number of songs they danced to, and the time. The last song of the dance, "Fly Me to the Moon", finally ended.
"Tenchi?" Ryoko sounded.
"What time is it?"
Tenchi held up his wrist behind Ryoko's back and looked at his watch. "It's eleven o'clock."
"Really?" Ryoko said, facing Tenchi. "Already?"
"Hmm..., looks like the date's almost over. At midnight, my powers will return."
Ryoko nodded. "I have one last thing to show you, before we call it a night."
"What is it?" Tenchi asked.
"I'll tell you later, as soon as we get Washu's last invention."
"Uhh..., last invention?" Tenchi said nervously.
"You'll see. Trust me."
Ryoko took Tenchi's hand and led him out of the ballroom. They walked towards the beach house to retrieve Washu's last invention.
Night Time in Okayama
Aeka and Sasami were in their room preparing their futons for the night's rest.
Sasami tucked herself into her futon, she peered over and watched as Aeka prepared her futon.
As Aeka gracefully pulled the blanket aside, she looked through the window next to her and noticed that the fireflies were abundant. The summer night sky was filled with stars and full moon was out. Aeka observed the fireflies flying around in the fields at night, they resembled little orbs of dancing light. Then, Aeka spotted Shoji, he was walking along the shores of the lake, as if searching for something.
"Aeka, what are you looking at?" Asked the little princess.
"Shoji is outdoors, wandering about. It appears like he is searching for something."
"So Aeka, do you think he's cute?"
"Sasami!" Aeka snapped. "I told you not ask me that!"
"Come on, Aeka! He isn't exactly ugly."
"No, I have to admit. He is not publicly impaired."
Sasami gasped. "See! I knew you liked him in someway!" She exclaimed loudly, as she jumped up and down on her futon.
"Now that is not true! I am only simply stating that he is attractive. Any girl would say the same thing!" Aeka retorted.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. He's pretty handsome over all." Sasami looked over to her older sister and noticed a frowned look on Aeka. "Sorry about that Aeka, I guess I got carried away. I won't say another word about Shoji." Sasami apologized while laying down in her futon.
"Thank you for understanding, Sasami. My heart is still devoted to Tenchi. No one else." Aeka affirmed. She started to think about Tenchi and Ryoko all over again. Trying to bury her worries, she peered over through the window and stared at Shoji. After a moment of silent thinking, Aeka stood up and made her way towards the door.
"Where are you going, Aeka?" Sasami asked while sitting up in her futon.
"I am stepping outside to see what Shoji is looking for. I will return shortly."
Sasami giggled. "Oh really? I am so sure, Aeka." Sasami teased.
"Sasami..." Aeka said sternly.
"Okay, okay! I'll stop! Good night, Aeka!"
"Good night, Sasami. You little joker."
Sasami stuck her tongue out at Aeka. Aeka laughed softly and quietly stepped out of the room. As soon as Aeka left, Sasami hid herself under her covers continued on laughing.
Meanwhile, out at the lake, Shoji finally found the perfect spot to sit and bask in the moonlight. Even though his surroundings were quite alien, most planets he landed on had beautiful nights. He laid down on the ground and gazed up at the constellations. Fireflies flew across Shoji's view, he smiled serenely. Little stars... He thought.
"Good evening, Shoji." Greeted Aeka.
Shoji sat up to greet the Amethyst-haired princess. "Good evening, Princess Aeka."
"Would you like to join me?" Shoji said, offering Aeka a spot next to him.
"Sure, why not." Aeka accepted and sat down next to Shoji.
"What brings you here under the stars?" Asked Shoji.
"Actually, I was wondering about the same thing."
"I just wanted to enjoy my first night on Earth by sleeping out here."
"I see. Well, the nights here are very tranquil. By the way, your fight against Yosho was very impressive."
"Thank you for your kind words, Princess Aeka."
"My pleasure. If you had not slipped on that patch of mud..."
"On the contrary, I intentionally slipped."
"Oh?" Aeka asked with a startled look. "Why would you do a thing like that?"
"Because if I hadn't, the duel would've lasted longer. I figured that the mock duel was just for his practice, so I forfeited. Yosho knew, at that moment, that I slipped on purpose. We were both very tired and we needed an excuse to stop. So I volunteered to take the plunge."
"Very interesting. You are just as devious as my brother." Aeka joked openly.
"Well, I wouldn't put it in such harsh words..." Shoji said embarrassingly, rubbing the back of his head. "But yeah, I guess you can say that."
Aeka and Shoji both laughed quietly.
After a minute, the laughing gradually stopped and Shoji looked over to Aeka with an inquisitive look. "Princess Aeka, can I ask you a question?"
"Sure, go ahead. Speak your mind."
"Well, earlier today, as we walked towards the shrine. I've noticed that you were in deep thought. What seems to be troubling you?"
Aeka was taken aback by Shoji's question. "Well..., it is somewhat of a personal nature."
"I'm sorry to have asked. Please accept my deep apologies for nosing in on your personal life."
"No! No! It is alright. You are not here as a mere bodyguard but as an equal and a friend. Besides, I am rather glad that you asked."
Aeka nodded. "I needed to talk about this to someone, someway or another. Even though both you and I have just met. I know it is strange but I feel rather comfortable talking to you."
Shoji smiled. "I'm flattered. I have to admit. Even though you're the Crown Princess of Jurai, I feel as though you're not. You make me feel like an equal and I appreciate the welcoming feeling."
"You are very welcome, Shoji."
"So, now that we're friends. What has been troubling your thoughts, in the recent hours?"
"Well it is more of a WHO than a WHAT."
"Oh, I see..." Shoji said, immediately figuring out Aeka's predicament.
"Well, I have been quite attached to a boy named Tenchi Masaki."
"You mean, the next Crown Prince of Jurai?"
"Where is he? I looked forward in meeting him but he wasn't around."
"That is because he is on a date with Ryoko."
"You mean the space pirate?"
"Yes, her." Aeka said grudgingly.
Shoji was silent and listened on as Aeka told him about the chess game, how she lost, and Tenchi and Ryoko's date at Naroda Beach.
Aeka continued on, holding in her tears. "Ryoko and I have been competing for Tenchi's love for the past few years and now..." Aeka paused. "Things seem to be taking a turn."
"How would you know that?" Shoji inquired.
"I don't really know. I just have a feeling that things will be different after they return tomorrow. I just know that Tenchi will finally choose between Ryoko and myself within the next few days. And I am not sure if I am prepared to see Ryoko walk out as the victor. What should I do?"
"To be honest, I have no real advise as to help guide you in your situation."
"I understand..." Aeka said disappointedly.
"But!" Shoji added. "All I can say is that, there's no way to predict the oncoming events which are about to unfold for you. Especially, matters involving love. Instead of focusing on Tenchi's choice between you and Ryoko, try to focus on the possible outcomes."
"But why? What do you mean by that?"
"I mean. That way, if he chooses you, the joy will be much greater. If he doesn't choose you, at least the pain will be much less than unexpected."
"I understand. Thank you for the advice."
"I'm sorry if it's not what you're looking for but that's the best I can give you."
"Don't say that. Your advice is quite helpful. I didn't think about my situation on that angle. You sound like you have dealt with this matter before."
Shoji made a bitter-sweet smile on his face. "Yes, I have. I had my fair share of Love, just like anybody else."
"Really? How many times have you experienced this?" Aeka asked curiously.
"Very few and not often."
"When was the last time you ever fell in love?" Aeka asked. She looked over and noticed that Shoji had a hilt of a Juraian Energy sword attached to his belt. She peered in carefully and noticed that the hilt had a green jewel artificially melded into its wooden body.
"Last year. It was pure magic." Shoji reminisced with a smile on his face. Then his smile disappeared and was replaced by a slightly sad look. "but like all good things, it ended."
"I am sorry to hear that."
"No reason to apologize. That's how life is sometimes, harsh and yet soothing."
"That is most often true." Aeka agreed.
Both silently listened as the sounds of the night came from the countryside and watched as the yellow fireflies begun to gradually disappear.
After a while of listening, Aeka was finally getting tired, she stood up. "Well, it is getting late. I better leave. It was nice having that conversation with you."
"Same here, but before you leave..."
"Can I ask you a small favor?"
"Sure. Ask away."
"I know this may sound strange, but since this is my first assignment being a protective guardian for a crown princess, I'd prefer that you would think of me as your Guardian Angel, instead of a typical bodyguard. If you have any problems concerning personal matters, please don't hesitate to ask for my help."
Aeka smiled deeply at Shoji's warm sincerity.
"As you wish, Shoji. Even though you're going to be around for a very long while, I truly appreciate your intentions. From this point on, I will think of you as my very own guardian angel and nothing less."
"You're very welcome. Goodnight, Shoji."
"Sleep well, princess Aeka."
Shoji watched as Aeka walked off towards the Masaki home. As soon as she disappeared into the doorway, Shoji sat down and laid back onto the grass. He looked up into the starry moon-filled night and started to hum out a small tune from his past. He closed his eyes and drifted into a dream state.
Washu's Last Toy
After returning from the beach house, Tenchi and Ryoko stood at Naroda's shoreline looking out to sea enjoying the cool nautical breeze. The full moon was out and the night sky was filled with tiny glimmering beacons of light.
"What is it that you wanted to show me?" Tenchi asked.
"Tenchi, do you know why I chose Naroda Beach to be the place of our first date?"
"I am curious as to why or how."
"Well, to answer your curiosity, I was watching a small travelling program that showed on TV last weekend. I became so interested because of the beauty of this beach."
"You definitely have good taste on your locations."
"Thanks, Tenchi. But besides the obvious, there is also another reason why I decided on Naroda Beach."
"Oh? And what was that?" Tenchi inquired curiously.
"Well, the Travelers show mentioned that once every month or so, when the moon is full and the tide is right. With the assistance of colliding underwater currents, numerous glowing microscopic sea creatures would float up near the surface."
"Is it close to shore? Where would we find this occurrence?"
"About a half mile out to sea. You don't mind do you?"
"Hmm..., sounds interesting. How do we get there?" Tenchi asked.
"Not to worry, I have it figured out." Ryoko assured. "I knew this would come in handy some time." She reached into her pocket and pulled out another silver box. She placed the box into the water and the box automatically unfolded into a small boat. The boat was painted white and had thin red stripe that ran from bow to stern. On the left side of the boat, Tenchi noticed a small red crab icon that held up a small flag saying; "Little Washu's Yacht".
The boat was in the water. Tenchi and Ryoko stepped onto the deck of the boat and sat down in their seats at the front. Tenchi noticed that the boat did not have any type of steering mechanism or any other controls to help navigate the boat.
"How does this thing work?" Tenchi asked looking around.
"You'll see." Ryoko replied.
"Please state your destination." Asked the boat's computer. It had Washu's voice.
"Wow..." Tenchi said, dumbfounded.
Ryoko giggled at Tenchi's reaction and turned towards the integrated computer system. "Ok, computer. Take us approximately half a mile out to sea."
"Gotcha." Replied the computer.
The Florescent Sea Creatures The boat had arrived at the illuminated area of the ocean approximately half a mile from the shore. The full moon was up and the stars twinkled brightly in the azure sky. Tenchi and Ryoko were both fixated and amazed by the almost mystic quality of the luminescent sea plankton. "See what did I tell you! It's so nice to be out here"
"It sure is, very peaceful." Tenchi, agreed.
Ryoko sat down next to Tenchi and looked into his eyes, trying to read his soul, or perhaps even catch a glimpse of his heart. Feeling uncomfortable by her gaze, Tenchi looked away.
Ryoko lowered her face dejectedly as he broke eye contact.
I'm never going to get through to him, Ryoko thought sadly, a little discouraged.
Refusing to give up, Ryoko reached out and grasped Tenchi's hand. She used her other hand to tilt his face towards her.
"Tenchi... There's something I want to tell you"
"W-what is it, Ryoko?" He stuttered nervously, his warm brown eyes meeting Ryoko's gaze once more.
"I've really, really enjoyed being with you today"
"I-uh, have to admit, Ryoko..." Tenchi paused a bit. "Spending time with you felt..., really good"
"Really?" Ryoko asked, feeling her heart flutter with happiness.
Tenchi nodded slowly. Ryoko smiled, her gold eyes dancing.
"Would you like to swim with me, Tenchi? It's very nice out here, neh? You don't mind if you took another dip into the water. Do you"
"No, I don't mind. Let me get ready and I'll join you in a little bit"
"Alright!" Ryoko stood up Clad in her blue bikini, she jumped into the water while Tenchi remained onboard. Tenchi kicked off his sandals and started to get ready as well, when he remembered he still had his wallet and camera in his pants pocket. Not wanting to risk losing them, he reached into his pocket and closed his hand around it. As he pulled the wallet out, a piece of paper slipped out with it and floated to the floor. Tenchi stared at it for a moment before realizing it was from the fortune telling machine he had encountered back on the shopping strip. As he bent down to pick up the paper, the words written on it flashed in his mind before he even had a chance to read them. Cherish every precious moment you have with her
Tenchi glanced at the puzzling phrase one last time before tossing it aside and moving to the edge of the boat.
"Tenchi, hurry up and jump in! It's looks so cool out here"
Tenchi looked over at Ryoko, who was waiting patiently in the green flourescant water. She smiled at him, returning his gaze. He smiled back at her and pulled off his shirt. Ryoko wolf whistled teasingly as she viewed his bare chest, grinning widely.
"Woohoo! Look at that stud"
Tenchi blushed and jumped into the water. He swam over to Ryoko, smiling as she came into his view. He couldn't help but notice how beautiful she looked under the moonlight, her cyan locks damp around her face, her soft gold eyes smiling at him. After a minute or so of staring in silence at her, Tenchi couldn't control himself any longer. In a swift, surprising move, he swam up to Ryoko and did his best to embrace her in the water.
"Tenchi...? W-what are you...?" Ryoko gaped, feeling her cheeks grow warm. "It's my way of thanking you for a great day. I had a wonderful time, Ryoko. Most importantly, you saved Haruo's life"
"Don't mention it, Tenchi. I did what I had to do." Ryoko said softly, smiling at him. Her heart felt ready to burst with sheer joy; she could scarcely believe what had just happened.
"Sorry if I looked frightened up there on the boat." Tenchi added sheepishly.
Ryoko laughed quietly, returning the hug tenderly. "Hey, it's alright, Tenchi. I'm used to it."
"Used to it?" Tenchi frowned at the last remark. "Well, that's going to surely change."
"Oh? Change in what way?" Ryoko asked curiously with full intention of putting Tenchi on the spot.
Tenchi flinched. "Uhh, well, funny you should ask that, Ryoko. Uhh..."
"Why am I not surprised?" Ryoko joked.
They suddenly realized they were sinking, due to the weight of their embrace. As the water line reached their necks, they laughed and without further delay, separated from each other. Ryoko and Tenchi turned and gazed at each other for a moment. Ryoko blushed and bit her lip nervously, not wanting to tear her eyes away from him. Tenchi swallowed hard, vaguely wondering why there seemed to be a swarm of butterflies in his stomach as he stared into Ryoko's feline eyes.
About a half a mile away, a dog barked from somewhere down the shore. Upon hearing the noise, both Tenchi and Ryoko abruptly looked away from each other. Not wanting disappointment to stain the incredible moment she had just shared with Tenchi, Ryoko decided to distract herself by exploring the lovely surroundings. She drew in a deep breath and dove underwater. Hearing the quiet splash, Tenchi timidly glanced to the spot where Ryoko was and smiled. He sighed and told himself it was probably for the best, letting his thoughts drift to the fortune teller's advice.
Ryoko dove deeper, trying to catch a glimpse of other sea creatures which may be lurking in the blue ocean. Her thoughts drifted to her moments with Tenchi, she thought about the way he held her during the dance, the way he approached her to embrace in the water, she smiled. Ryoko closed her eyes and sighed blissfully. Suddenly, the ocean seemed to lurch and she felt herself violently hit by surge of water. Startled by the sudden disappearance of the sea creatures, Ryoko realized that a strong current had swept her to a deeper and darker location. I'm gonna run out of air! I better get to the top before I'm in really big trouble! She, thought frantically as she tried to swim towards the surface but the darkness of the water disoriented her and she lost all sense of direction. Her eyes began to sting and her lungs began to burn from exhaustion.
Ryoko felt herself frightened as she desperately tried to figure out a way out of the black, freezing water. The cold isolation started to resurface memories she preferred to have kept buried in the far depths of her mind. Memories of her long, torturous 700 year imprisonment in the Masaki cave. Unpleasant thoughts started to ruthlessly flood her mind. And worse, she was far away from Tenchi. The thought of not being able to be see Tenchi ever again filled her with terror and caused Ryoko to panic in the water. Meanwhile, Tenchi was still waiting for Ryoko to resurface. He looked at his sports watch and realized that he had already been waiting for nearly three minutes.
Tenchi frowned and decided to look for Ryoko. He dove underwater and swam around the vicinity, searching the waters for a few minutes. She was nowhere to be found. Tenchi resurfaced, hoping to find her on the surface. His throat tightened in fear upon seeing she wasn't.
"Ryoko! Can you hear me!" Tenchi called out frantically in every direction. No response.
"Not again. Where are you, Ryoko!"
Deep in the black ocean, Ryoko fought to keep the seawater from flooding into her mouth.
After a few moments of desperate struggle, the remaining air finally escaped her lungs and she took in a mouthful of liquid, she helplessly watched her surroundings began to blur and fade. She felt her thoughts drift into nothingness.
Feeling herself lose consciousness, Ryoko focused her last thought on Tenchi.
As Tenchi continued his search for Ryoko, underwater, he felt an alarm bell go off in his mind. He had felt this sensation twice before, once in the Souja, before his battle with Kagato, and once in Washu's lab, when the whole Zero business had begun. He heard Ryoko's voice calling out his name.
Acting more on instinct and feeling than on rational thought, Tenchi dove even deeper. As he reached a certain depth, he recognized the first signs of an existing undercurrent. The temperature shifted from warm to cold when suddenly, Tenchi felt a rush of water surround his body and rapidly carry him off into the abyss. After a few seconds of fighting the pressure, the current finally slowed down. Tenchi regained his composure, he continued his search, somehow feeling Ryoko's presence somewhere nearby. Off in the distance, Tenchi spotted a familiar light glowing dimly and realized that it was emitted from Ryoko's gem.
Tenchi quickly swam towards the beacon and to his horror, found Ryoko suspended in mid-water. She didn't appear to be conscious. Trying his best to keep panic from overwhelming him, Tenchi got a hold on Ryoko and slowly ascended back to the surface.
He finally broke the ocean surface and screamed for Washu's boat. The boat immediately rushed towards them. Tenchi tiredly climbed onto the boat and pulled Ryoko after him. Once inside the boat, Tenchi frantically checked Ryoko's vital signs and felt a cold fear in his stomach when he didn't find any. Without hesitating, he went to enact what he had learned in the health classes he had thought to be so boring in school.
Tenchi turned Ryoko over, laying her flat on her back and placed a hand on her forehead, tilting her head and clearing her airway. He leaned forward, closing her nose with one hand and pressed his mouth against hers, breathing deeply into her. He paused, watching her chest rise, then continued blowing in breath after breath of air into her mouth. "Come on! Breathe!" Tenchi yelled, his brown eyes filled with fear.
Tenchi put his hands together above Ryoko's mid-chest and started to rhythmically press her heart, trying to start up blood flow. "Don't you dare give up on me, Ryoko! I know you! Don't you dare leave me like this!" Tenchi cried out as he pumped. 'Cherish every precious moment you have with her..." The haunting words kept going through Tenchi's mind as he struggled to save Ryoko.
"You're stronger than this, Ryoko! Please, do something to let me know you're still here"
He blew in another deep breath into Ryoko's mouth. After each breath, Tenchi pumped her chest, and vice versa, alternating the actions with each movement. The ordeal seemed to last a lifetime, with no visible results. Tenchi bit his lip hard to keep from screaming in fear and frustration, but he refused to give up. As the minutes passed, he felt hope start to diminish. Pumping Ryoko's chest, Tenchi shut his eyes tightly and silently prayed.
Suddenly, his prayer seemed to be answered as Ryoko convulsed and spat out the seawater that had filled her lungs. She turned from side to side, coughing violently then stopped and laid still, gulping in air. Tenchi watched her in silence as his eyes welled up with tears of joy and relief. Ryoko lay quietly on the deck, catching her breath and adjusting to the atmosphere. After a moment of uneasy silence, Ryoko burst into tears. She tried to turn away, wanting to avoid Tenchi's concerned gaze, but her body felt weak and heavy, and she wouldn't respond. Tenchi bolted forward and pulled Ryoko into his arms, hugging her as tightly as he could.
"Don't you ever swim away from me like that ever again! I thought I'd lost you!" he whispered in her ear, his voice thick with tears. Ryoko barely managed a dazed nod and closed her eyes, leaning exhaustedly against him.
"Computer! Take us back to shore!" Tenchi commanded loudly at the boat.
"Gotcha." Said the computer.
Tenchi grabbed a wool blanket that lay nearby and wrapped it around Ryoko, then sat down and held her tightly against him, rubbing her arms occasionally. They sat in this position for the remainder of the boat ride, neither of them speaking. Ryoko was very still and quiet, tears slowly trickling down her cheeks. Worried by her silence, Tenchi glanced at her and saw her tears. He gently tried to wipe them away with the back of his hand. "It's alright, it's okay. You're safe now." he whispered in a soft, reassuring tone.
Ryoko remained silent, her mind still in shock from the experience she had endured.
Tenchi quickly opened the door to the beach house. He carried Ryoko through the hallway into the replica of his room. As he walked, he looked down at her to see how she was doing, he felt Ryoko shivering in his arms. He quickened the pace and finally reached the door to the room. Tenchi walked in and carefully placed Ryoko onto a nearby bed. Ryoko sat upright near the edge of the bed staring blankly at the floor, looking very vulnerable. Tenchi stared at her with great concern.
"Everything will be alright, Ryoko." Tenchi assured, putting a hand on her shoulders. "I'll look for something for you to wear." He quickly stepped over to a nearby closet, hoping to find any dry clothes. Tenchi opened the closet door and browsed through the selection of shirts and pajamas.
Tenchi chose a set of pajamas that consisted of white pants and button up shirt then walked over to Ryoko and noticed that she was too exhausted to change from her wet swimsuit. But before he can actually change her, he had to wash away all the salt water from her body. Tenchi noticed the faraway look on Ryoko's expression, he became even more concerned. He guided her into the shower room, Tenchi looked the other way as Ryoko took off her bikini. After Ryoko took her bikini off, Tenchi walked out of the bathroom and headed back towards the bedroom.
Throughout the four minute shower, the hot water cascaded her entire body, Ryoko tried to wash away her frustration. Suddenly, due to her fatigue, Ryoko's leg trembled, she slipped and fell onto the wet-tiled floor. She silently growled, slowly, she stood up and leaned against the walls of the shower. Ryoko tilted her head up, allowing her face to be bombarded by streaming warm water. With all the strength she had that remained, Ryoko punched the shower wall. Ryoko looked down and her body trembled. After a silent moment, tears of frustration mix in with the hot shower water. Tenchi waited in the bedroom while Ryoko did her final rinse off. Then she turned the faucet over. Ryoko stepped out from the shower, grabbed a nearby towel and dried off. After she dried off, Ryoko grabbed the pajamas Tenchi handed her and slipped into them. The white pajamas fitted snuggly and comfortably. Ryoko walked about clumsily, suddenly, her exhaustion overtook her and she collapsed onto the floor.
Hearing a loud thump emanating from the hallway, Tenchi walked out of the bedroom and found Ryoko lying on the floor, unconscious.
"Ryoko!" Tenchi yelled, full of worry, as he ran to her. He picked up Ryoko in his arms and carried her towards the bedroom.
He opened the door and placed Ryoko onto to a nearby bed. Tenchi pulled the sheets over to one side and gently tucked Ryoko in. He pulled the sheets over Ryoko to keep her warm. Tenchi stood up and stared at her with worried eyes.
Too consumed with anxiety to stay in Ryoko's presence, Tenchi walked out of the room and headed off to the balcony. On his way to the balcony, Tenchi grabbed a blanket and pillow from a closet to sleep with. Tenchi reached the balcony and seated himself down on the largest pull-back patio chair, planning to sleep silently under the stars. Tenchi sat down, positioned his pillow, he laid back and looked up at the peaceful starry twilight. He let out a long sigh.
What a day. He thought exhaustedly. Ryoko won't say a word to me. Can't say that I blame her. She was nearly killed today.
Meanwhile back in the bedroom, Ryoko opened her eyes and realized that she was in bed. She knew right away Tenchi had placed her there. She angrily pushed the blanket off and limped her way towards the patio.
Tenchi sighed and decided to go to sleep. He sat up and pulled off his watch from his wrist. Tenchi checked the time and the watch read five minutes before midnight. As Tenchi placed his wrist watch onto the patio table, he felt a presence.
"Tenchi?" Ryoko asked, leaning against the doorway.
"Ryoko!" Tenchi said, surprised. "What are you doing here? You should be in bed, getting some rest!"
"I know..." Ryoko said and looked away shamefully.
"Do you? Then why are you standing there? C'mon, let me help you get back to your bed."
Tenchi stood up and walked over to Ryoko. He gently took her arm and was about to guide Ryoko back to her but she forcefully pulled away.
"I don't want to go back to that room, Tenchi."
"Why not? You need your rest."
"No. I'm fine." Ryoko refused again. "I just don't want to be left alone. Not after what happened."
With all her strength, Ryoko stepped away from the doorway, but her legs started to falter. Tenchi immediately caught Ryoko between his arms. He guided her to the patio chair that Tenchi had used. They both sat down. Tenchi gazed at Ryoko with great concern but she looked away.
"Please Tenchi, don't look at me like that. Not while I'm looking like this"
Ryoko said, tears welling up in her eyes.
Tenchi was clearly startled by Ryoko's last statement.
"What do you mean by that, Ryoko?"
"Just take a look at me, Tenchi!" Ryoko yelled out. Tears going down her cheeks. "I'm weak! I can't believe that for a few short hours I was the Rescuer and now, I'm the Rescuee! I nearly drowned today!"
Ryoko cuts Tenchi off. "Me! Drowning! I don't believe this! Nearly all my life, I believed I was strong and almost nothing could take me down! Not even fate! I chose today to go without my powers and in return, fate played games with me!"
"That may be but..." Tenchi tried to jump in but failed.
"I was so foolish to go a day without my powers! I've never felt so weak and pitiful in all my life!" Ryoko yelled angrily, held her arms up clenching her fists.
"Ryoko..." Tenchi said but it was futile.
"I'll never play little miss weak again! Never! This is the last time I'm ever going to go without my powers! The things I do to win your love!"
As Ryoko screamed and cursed herself, Tenchi was at a loss. He couldn't think of a way to calm Ryoko's frustration. He stared at Ryoko's face and noticed the cascade of tears flowing from her pained golden eyes.
"You just don't realize how much hurt it's caused me! I thought I was back in the cave!" She said, her voice heavy and shaky. "I've never felt so alone, so cold, so weak, so...stupid!"
Tenchi's brow raised at Ryoko's last remark. He became more engrossed into her emotional babble.
Cherish every precious moment you have with her... Sparked through Tenchi's mind for the very last time.
"I am such an idiot to come here without my powers! No! Not an idiot, more of an imbecile"
At the spur of the moment, Tenchi immediately embraced Ryoko and muffled her babble with a carefully timed kiss. Shocked by Tenchi's unexpected move, Ryoko's grasp of her tough-girl-persona slipped, her arms relaxed, she unclenched her fists and relaxed in Tenchi's arms. She felt his caring energy flow from her lips which brought peace to her frantic soul. Ryoko felt her mind calm as she experienced Tenchi's lips kissing along her lips. This was her VERY first kiss, it felt like an invisible blanket had wrapped around her, keeping her warm and secure. A long, slow, warm tear rolled down her left cheek, she knew at that moment, that she was inside...
As Tenchi kissed Ryoko, he opened his eyes and found himself lip-locking with the cyan-haired beauty. His tact to calm Ryoko had worked. Slowly, Tenchi pulled away from Ryoko's lips, he gazed into her tearful golden eyes and hugged her tighter.
"Don't punish yourself like that! Going on without your powers is besides the point! Don't you realize that I've nearly lost you today! I never realized IT until to-!" He corrected himself. "Until now!"
"Please..." Tenchi said softly. "Don't say another word, you've said enough as of tonight. I know you don't want to be left alone, don't you worry, I'm here right now. I won't leave you alone. I know what you're going through, so please, just sleep it off. I'll be right here, right next to you, to keep your troubles away. "
Ryoko's sad look disappeared from her face, she nodded slightly. Both quietly laid back against the chair. Ryoko rested her head on Tenchi's chest and gathered the warmth of his gentle soul. Tenchi carefully placed his arms around her as if trying to wrap the night around her. Ryoko closed her eyes and immediately succumbed to her exhaustion. Tenchi watched as Ryoko fell into slumber, he felt her tense body finally relax. Then he pulled the blanket over Ryoko to keep her warm from the cool sea breeze. He looked at the sleeping Oni and felt the returning presence of Ryoko's powers. Tenchi looked under the blanket and saw Ryoko's gem emitting a bright brilliant light, he smiled. He looked up at the numerous constellations that decorated the night sky. The day was one hell of a roller coaster ride, emotionally. Tenchi sighed and gazed back at Ryoko. He held her tighter in his arms and felt the comforting warmth emanating from her. Tenchi rested his head against Ryoko's and closed his eyes.
As his mind drifted off, Tenchi knew that from that point on, he will do his best to cherish every precious moment with Ryoko...
Not just Ryoko.
To Be Continued...
Alright folks, choose a new ending song...
Fly Me to the Moon By CLAIRE
Fly me to the moon And let me play among the stars Let me see what spring is like On Jupiter and Mars
In other words,
Hold my hand In other words,
Darling kiss me.
Fill my heart with song And let me sing forever more You are all I long for All I worship and adore!
In other words,
Please be true!
In other words,
I love you...
Nobody Does It Better By Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager
Nobody does it better Makes me feel sad for the rest Nobody does it, half as good as you Baby, you're the best
I wasn't looking, but somehow you found me I tried to hide from your love by.
Like heaven above me, The Oni who loved me 'Cause keeping all my secrets safe tonight!
And, Nobody does it better Though sometimes I wish someone could.
Nobody does it.
Quite the way you do Why'd you have to be so good!
The way that you hold me Whenever you hold me There's some kind of magic inside of you That keeps me from running But just keep it coming!
How'd you learn to do the things you do
And, Nobody does it better Makes me feel sad for the rest Nobody does it, half as good as you Baby, baby! Darling you're the best!
Baby, you're the best!
Or whatever song you choose.
Well folks, there you have it! You have just read the most important chapter of the whole FF series! Tenchi had finally chosen! I have to admit, it was a great challenge of writing this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Tell me what you think!
Special Thanks goes out to Ryoko MR (especially), Random, Lord Talon, Cman1701, Laith and of course the Crazy Aussie man, Sir Bean.
Tenchi Muyo: Ryoko's Love Alpha! Chapter 4A: Aeka Canon By Long T. Tran
The Characters you're about to read are created and owned by AIC/ Pioneer. This fic written just for entertainment purposes and not for moneymaking.
The Aeka contents of this chapter were inspired by a baroque classical Piece called Pachebel's Canon. Listen to this classical piece to get the Feeling of this chapter. The music can be found on the Evangelion Death Soundtrack. Btw, sorry for the long wait!
Noon at the Bus Stop
Aeka was at the bus stop nervously waiting for Tenchi's return. Shoji stood next to Aeka like any guardian would. He looked forward into meeting the young Juraian prince that was responsible for the slaying of Kagato. Sasami was at the house cooking up some lunch to welcome home Tenchi and Ryoko. Washu was at her usual place in the lab doing her usual research on the collected data from yesterday's duel between Yosho and Shoji.
After minutes of agonizing anticipation, the bus finally arrived and stopped. As the door opened, Aeka took in a breath and watched as Tenchi stepped out of the bus.
"Welcome home, Lord Tenchi." Greeted Aeka.
"Thank you, Aeka." Tenchi said as he returned Aeka's greeting, Tenchi looked over and noticed a stranger dressed in royal Juraian clothing.
"Tenchi, while you were gone, the King of Jurai has made a major change concerning my safety." Aeka announced.
"Really? What change?" Tenchi inquired.
"This is my new guardian, Shoji Takazawa. He is a member of the Juraian Royal Guard."
Shoji stepped forward and bowed his head to Tenchi. "I've been looking forward in meeting you, Lord Tenchi."
"Uhh...Really? Thanks, nice meeting you too." Tenchi replied dumbly.
Aeka looked around and searched for Ryoko. "Where is Ryoko? Did she come home with you?"
"Yeah, she did. Ryoko was with me throughout the trip but as soon as the bus stopped, she just disappeared."
"I...see." Aeka replied.
"Well, I gotta go and unpack."
"Alright. I will talk to you later, there is something I wish to discuss with you...in private."
"Okay, that's fine. When?"
"Will it be alright if I see you in ten minutes?"
"Sure, I don't mind. I need to talk to you as well." Tenchi said, a little nervous. Tenchi turned away from Aeka and faced Shoji. "I would like talk to you more in hopes of bettering our acquaintance."
"Likewise." The Knight responded kindly and smiled.
Tenchi smirked in return and bowed his head to Shoji and walked off towards the house.
"I can see why you are fond of him." Shoji commented as he watched Tenchi Masaki heading home. "Now that he's finally home, what are you going to speak to him about?"
"I hope to accomplish one important thing."
"What is it that you hope to accomplish?"
"First and foremost, I hope to achieve resolution."
"Resolution?" Shoji inquired.
"I am taking your advice, I must consider all possibilities. Today all the fighting, all the quarrels will end, and all the pain will be taken away."
"Even if it opens the door to an even greater pain? Are you willing to go through it?"
Aeka looked away from Shoji hiding the pained facade. She regained her composure and looked at Shoji. "Yes."
"As simple as that? Just a yes?"
Aeka stood silent to Shoji's remark. "I will see you later." Aeka said as she started her way towards the Masaki home.
Aeka stopped and turned around somberly. "Yes?"
"Please don't hesitate to talk to me. I will be around if you need me."
Aeka peered at the knight and smiled. "Thank you."
Tenchi and Aeka
Tenchi unpacked his belongings from his back pack.
Why didn't I say a word to Ryoko on the way home from Naroda Beach? No wonder, that's why she just left me on the bus. She's upset. Why am I so nervous around her? I was the one who kissed her! I should be the one to talk, not her! Tenchi thought angrily.
"Lord Tenchi? May I come in?" Aeka asked through Tenchi's door.
Tenchi quickly straightened up. "Sure, Aeka. Please, come on in."
Aeka stepped through the doorway, walked over to Tenchi's bed and sat down. She watched silently and patiently as Tenchi placed the last of his belongings into the cabin drawer. Tenchi turned around and sat backwards on his desk chair, directly across from Aeka. Aeka read his face carefully and noticed the nervous expression Tenchi wore on his face.
"Tenchi, what seems to be bothering you?"
"Aeka..., I..." Tenchi trailed nervously.
"What is it, Tenchi?"
You love me? Is that what you're trying to say? Aeka thought, hopefully. No, Aeka, do not jump ahead of yourself.
"I guess the reason why you're here is to find out what happened between Ryoko and myself at Naroda Beach, right?"
Aeka was starting to get nervous but quickly shrugged it off. "Well, not really one of the reasons but I have to admit, yes, I am curious about your trip to Naroda. I am mainly here to talk about our relationship."
"Yes, our relationship. Well..."
Aeka noticed Tenchi's apprehensiveness and decided to move the conversation along. "Before you say anything about your outing with Ryoko let me state that you are very dear to me."
Tenchi silently listened as Aeka spoke.
"Tenchi, I am in love with you."
Tenchi froze at Aeka's confession. This is definitely not going to be easy. How am I going to tell her about my feelings towards Ryoko? Tenchi thought heavily with guilt. "Aeka, I..." Tenchi started to responded.
Aeka quickly but gracefully stood from Tenchi's bed and stepped over to Tenchi. She crouched down in front of Tenchi and immediately placed her right hand over Tenchi's mouth to prevent him from saying anything else.
"Tenchi, please do not say a word. I must tell you what I have contemplated over the last recent days. Can you hear me out before you say anything?"
After a moment of silent thought, Tenchi nodded his head under Aeka's hand. Aeka gave a slight bitter-sweet smile and removed her hand from Tenchi's mouth.
"What I am about to tell you will, hopefully, put your mind at ease. I will ask a simple question and in return, all I want is a simple answer."
Aeka stepped back and sat down at her place on Tenchi's bed. She gazed into Tenchi's nervous-but-caring eyes and carefully considered which words to speak.
"Tenchi, I have lived with you for nearly two years and we both have been through a lot. Do you remember the first time I arrived here on earth?"
"Yes, I remember very clearly. That'll be a day I'll never forget."
Aeka smiled nostalgically and nodded. "Indeed, at first, I was searching for Yosho because I was still in love with him. Even though our marriage was arranged and despite my feelings towards him, he did not share the same sentiments. Instead, he diverted my attention away from him and now, to you. At first, I was not sure about my feelings towards you but as the days and weeks passed by I gradually fell in love with you. Unfortunately, I was never able to tell you, until now."
Once again, Aeka stood up from where she sat and crouched in front of Tenchi, she gently held on to both of his hands and gazed into his brown eyes. Tenchi did not flinch at Aeka's sudden boldness he carefully listened on.
"Tenchi, ever since I met you my heart has grown to love you. I know that you were unable to tell me anything at all about your feelings towards me it was mainly due to the fact that Ryoko and myself are constantly fighting over you. It has been that way for the past two years and now..." Aeka was suddenly quiet, struggling to hold back any involuntary tears.
"And now, what? Aeka?" Tenchi asked.
I must not shed a tear, I must be strong. Aeka thought adamantly.
Aeka regained her composure. "And now, things will be different from this conversation and on. Ever since you were gone with Ryoko at Naroda beach, I knew that things will never be the same. I must ask you this question and my request."
"You will know soon enough."
Tenchi readied himself as Aeka contemplated.
How should I ask him? Tenchi, do you love me? Would you like to spend the rest of your life with me? Sharing a love that is truly special? Aeka introspected.
"Tenchi, do you love Ryoko?"
Tenchi was caught off guard by Aeka's question. "Aeka, I, I..." He studdered.
"Please, Tenchi, this is a yes or no question. Do you love her?"
Tenchi looked away from Aeka's gaze, for a long silent minute Tenchi did not say one word as he thought. As time rolled by, Aeka held her heart with a tight grip waiting for Tenchi's reply.
"T-Tenchi..." Aeka faltered a bit, without shedding a tear. She looked away from Tenchi.
"I'm, I'm sorry Aeka."
Aeka immediately gazed at Tenchi with bold amethyst eyes. "No! Do not ever say you are sorry! You did very well. I thank you for being honorable by staying honest and truthful."
"Being 'honorable' doesn't really excuse me for having to make you wait on me for nearly two years."
"Tenchi, a few minutes ago, I mentioned to you about a request."
Aeka was hesitant but regained her mindset. "Tenchi, you must keep this between us. Nobody must not know about it."
"Tenchi..., will you..." Aeka looked away, struggling to keep her tears from welling up.
"Will I, what? Aeka?"
"Will you kiss me?"
Tenchi did not respond. For a silent moment, he gazed at her. Aeka held Tenchi's hands grasping them tighter.
"I know, it is a very bold request but please, all I want is piece of you before I move on. Just to feel what it feels like to have your lips against mine. Your touch... Please, I need a little piece of heaven before reality takes over..."
Tenchi did not say a word. Instead, he stood up from his chair and wrapped his arms around Aeka. They held each other tight. Instead of tears of sorrow, Aeka cherished the moment she had longed for. She knew she didn't have time to be sad, finally, after a day and a half of lingering on a thread of anxiety. The loose thread has been tied. Tenchi looked at Aeka and ran his hands down her face. Aeka closed her eyes as she sensed his hands caressing her cheeks. Tenchi slowly placed his lips on Aeka's. Aeka felt warmth and wholesomeness through the shared contact.
Aeka hugged Tenchi even tighter and felt his soft lips. After five cherished-eternal minutes Aeka broke away from Tenchi's lips. She stepped away from him and walked towards the door. She placed her fingers along her lips and smiled in a bitter-sweet manner.
"Aeka..., what is to going to happen now? Are you going to leave earth?"
"No, not yet. I must make peace before doing so."
Tenchi understood and nodded.
Ryoko and Washu
Inside the warm environment of the floating Onsen, Ryoko walked around the different sets of bathing pools, she planned on adding a new feature. In her hands she held the blueprints to the onsen, ready to make some new modifications for the construction of the onsen's new feature, a Jacuzzi. Ryoko paused for a few moments and thought about all the events that occurred during her date with Tenchi. From rescuing a kid's life to nearly losing her own. Ryoko thought about the weird irony of being the Rescuer turned rescuee. And then, she thought about the one thing that really made the date worthwhile...
Tenchi kissed me... Ryoko initially thought. But did he do it out of sympathy or did he do it out of love? I was hoping that he would say something, anything about the kiss on the way home but he didn't. Maybe I shouldn't have left him on the bus. Ryoko tiredly sighed.
"Well, well, hello Little Ryoko." Said Washu, sitting in one of the warm pools.
Startled by a second presence, Ryoko quickly calmed down. "Oh, it's just you, Washu."
"Just me? What ever happened to hello?"
"Okay, fine. Hello."
Washu sighed. "Sarcasm, sarcasm. So..."
"How was your date with Tenchi? Or do I have to wring it out of you with a neural vice?"
Ryoko looked away painfully at Washu's question.
"I don't know...I just don't know."
"What do you mean by that? What happened out there?"
Ryoko quietly answered Washu's question through the mind-link. Through the long minutes of silence, Washu rode the memories of events which occurred during Naroda beach. Washu saw the images of the Beach hunk, the dolphins, the rescuing of a young boy, the dance with Tenchi, sensations of drowning, Tenchi rescuing and kissing Ryoko...
Washu pulled away from the mind-link and studied Ryoko for few moments.
While waiting for Washu's reaction, Ryoko decided to soak her feet into one of the nearby pools. As she sat down and dunked her feet into the warm waters.
"It looks like you had a really full day." Washu said, breaking the silence.
"Yeah, you can say that."
"So what happened after the kiss?"
"Nothing. Absolutely, nothing." Ryoko replied looking down.
"You mean, Tenchi didn't say a word of it?"
Ryoko nodded solemnly.
"Nothing at all? Did you say anything to him?"
Ryoko shook her head negatively.
"Why didn't you?"
"I don't know..., I figured I've been too aggressive with him lately and..."
"I don't know, I finally reached this far, and yet...I don't know what's next between Tenchi and myself. What do I do now?"
"Hmmm. That's a good question, Ryoko. What do you do now?"
"I don't know! I'm asking you, am I? Aren't you the number one genius scientist of the universe?" Ryoko yelled out.
"Let me ask you this, why are you so nervous? I've never seen you like this before."
"I'm not sure why I'm so nervous. Huh. Look at me, I'm actually trembling."
"What's the core of all your anxiety?"
Ryoko thought about Washu's question for a moment and looked down into the water. "Fear."
"Fear? Fear of what?"
"I'm afraid that, this is all too good to be true and somehow, everything will not turn out the way I originally I hoped for."
"Ooh, I see. I guess I can understand your anxiety abit."
"Oh really? Then tell me, genius. What do you know of my anxiety?"
Washu pulled her feet out from the water and stood up. "Well, since you asked, I might as well tell you. You were imprisoned in that cave for Seven hundred years."
Ryoko shuddered at the word 'cave'. "Please don't remind me."
"For all those years you had no way of contacting the outside world but the most you were able to achieve is being able to observe what's going on outside the cave. Correct?"
Ryoko shook her head affirmatively.
"Then, one day, you see a baby boy named Tenchi Masaki. Now, I wonder, what is it about him that had you interested in him in the first place?"
Ryoko smiled a bit , she closed her eyes and thought about Tenchi when she first laid eyes on him. "Even though people did pass by the cave, Tenchi was different, he was able to feel my presence. He was the only one who saw me. Ever since seeing that beautiful baby boy, I vowed to meet him and to love him."
"You watched Tenchi Masaki grow from a baby to a handsome young man and then you tried to find a way to escape from the cave. Through the years, as you searched for a way out, your body started to decay as a result of using all your energy. And then disaster struck, Tenchi was inside the cave, exploring."
"Please don't remind me! He wasn't even supposed to see me as a mummy!" Ryoko shouted covering her ears.
"okay, okay. I'll skip that part."
Ryoko lightened up. "Thank you."
"So finally, you meet Tenchi." Washu continued on. "Of course, I won't comment on your first approach. He thought you were going to kill him, which basically, made your chances even slimmer. To make things worse, you had rivals for Tenchi's love. Aeka comes along, Mihoshi, and maybe even Sasami. Your chances with Tenchi gets slimmer and slimmer. That's how it is, until yesterday, when he first kissed you."
"You make it sound so simple."
"Why should it be so difficult?"
"I see your point."
"So what now? What are you going to do about your relationship with Tenchi?"
Ryoko contemplated for few silent minutes. Finally she pulled her feet out of the water and faced Washu. "I think I better go talk to him, instead of me waiting on him."
"Sounds good to me. Try not to be too aggressive with him, ok?"
"Hey! You don't have to remind me! I think I'm a little mature since then." Ryoko snarled.
Washu was silent then the red-head smiled at her daughter.
"Anytime, Little Ryoko."
Ryoko ignored the title 'Little' and made her way towards the door of the onsen.
"Oh! By the way, Ryoko!"
Ryoko impatiently turned around. "Yes? What is it now?"
"I almost forgot to remind to you, can you drop by the lab later on today?"
"Sure, I guess. What time?"
"Sometime this evening, right after dinner."
"Alright, I'll be there. But don't try anything funny!"
Washu made an innocent face. "What? Little ol' me? I'm harmless!" "Yeah, right."
Ryoko stepped out of the onsen and she made her way towards the Masaki home. Ryoko finally reached the front door and proceeded to open the doorway but as she reached, Aeka stepped out. Both girls bumped into each other painfully. Aeka fell to the floor and Ryoko stumbled backwards. A bit of anger surged through Ryoko but she quickly extinguished the emotion, she walked over to Aeka and helped the princess to her feet. As Aeka stood up, Ryoko noticed the pained look on Aeka's face and was also startled by the fact that Aeka didn't yell at her. Ryoko gazed into Aeka's amethyst eyes and noticed hidden anger, sorrow, and pain buried within.
Aeka looked away from Ryoko and regained her composure. "Th-thank you." Aeka gratified softly and slowly walked off towards the Holy Tree.
Ryoko gazed with concern as Aeka gradually disappeared into the woods. Instead of going up into Tenchi's room, Ryoko carefully tailed after Aeka.
Under the bright sun, the Juraian tree; Funaho, provided shadow. Aeka hopped over a few stepping stones and reached the shady area of under the tree. She quietly sat down, closed her eyes, and tears welled up.
Why? She asked herself sadly. Why must I be kept from true happiness?
The thought of Tenchi and Yosho, the only men she loved in her life,
did not love her. This realization struck her the hardest, the reality of knowing that the two, especially Tenchi, were not interested in her heart's investment. First of all, she came to earth searching for her beloved fiance, only to find that Yosho had chosen to avoid the throne as well as marrying her. Secondly, Yosho attempted to start a relationship between her and Tenchi. Instead of a flowering relationship, she waited and fought for nearly two years only to have found that Ryoko earned her special place in Tenchi's heart.
Twice she had paid the painful price through hope, creating, and fighting. Investing her emotional commitment, her soul, and her chance to experience any real love. All of which hangs in the balance of the men who had made their decision. The only price that Yosho and Tenchi paid for their own happiness was Aeka's sacrifice of her dreams of being ever close to them.
Aeka began to cry, cursing fate under her anguished breath. Will it ever stop playing cruel games of her emotions? Is she forever condemned in such a cold cycle of hope and sorrow? Her tears streamed from her eyes even harder, turned pink from pain and frustration. After a while of silent tears and sorrow, Aeka laid down on her back and watched as the white clouds rolled across the serene the deep blue. As the calm summer wind blew across her face, Aeka took In a breath of fresh countryside air and closed her eyes.
As Aeka's mind slowly cleared and relaxed, she focused her thoughts on her first and last kiss from Tenchi. The only good that came from her sacrifice was the fact that Tenchi kissed her out of pure commitment instead of motivated through the sense of obligation. After two years of waiting, she finally received her kiss. Now, thanks to his kiss Aeka's heart is finally free. No more worries of what Tenchi thinks of her because he had already chosen. No longer will she worry about starting a committed relationship because Tenchi has already started one. No longer will she worry about winning or losing a place in Tenchi's heart because Ryoko was already there. She is free.
"Aeka?" Asked a familiar female voice.
Aeka quickly wiped away her sad facade. "Hello, Ryoko."
"Were you crying?"
"That is not important, right now. I have been wanting to talk you today, Ryoko."
Ryoko stood on one of the branches of Funaho, she descended next to Aeka on the ground. As she touched ground, Ryoko noticed the veiled look on Aeka's face and noticed her pinkish face.
Yep, she cried alright. Ok, Ryoko, try to be diplomatic. Ryoko thought to herself.
"Oh? What do you want to talk about?"
Aeka internally fought out the words. "Tenchi."
"Okay, what about him? Has something happened?"
"I will just put this simply to make it easier on me."
"Easier on you?" Ryoko asked curiously with concern.
"He has chosen to be with you."
Ryoko stood silent not knowing how to react to Aeka's statements.
"I asked him myself, he truly does love you." Aeka continued on. " I am proud to say that the fights and quarrels will no longer preside; it is truly over."
Ryoko couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Proud? Are you? After two years of struggling to be with Tenchi, you'll just simply take this lightly and just give up?"
"I am trying not to take it so hardly nor am I trying to take this lightly. I am just finally accepting my true destiny. I have been so foolish to let my emotions totally guide me, now, I must place myself back to my true reality."
"I, I, don't know what to say Aeka."
"No need to say anything, Ryoko. I just need you to promise me one thing."
"Promise me that you will take good care of Tenchi."
"Are you trying to tell me that you're leaving?"
Aeka suddenly shot an angry look at Ryoko. "Ryoko, that is not important! The matter that we are discussing; is. You must promise me that you will take good care of Tenchi!"
"At least tell me why you're giving up so easily! This is not like you , you always give a good fight whenever Tenchi's concerned!" Ryoko yelled back.
"Ryoko, please." Aeka begged weakly as she sat on the ground, her shoulders slumped. Tears began to roll down her cheeks.
Ryoko felt sympathy for Aeka, never had she ever seen Aeka in such a vulnerable state. Ryoko stood next to the sobbing princess and placed her hand on Aeka's shoulders. Aeka summoned up all her strength and held back the remaining tears.
Aeka struggled to speak under her pain. "If it makes you promise, I will tell you why I am giving up." The princess spoke, not looking up at Ryoko. "As I said before, I asked Tenchi who he loved. He told me he loved you. I love Tenchi."
Ryoko gently rubbed Aeka shoulder, doing her best to comfort Aeka in some way.
"I love Tenchi so much I do not want to burden him any further by fighting you. Don't you see, Ryoko? I am thinking for his well-
being. He chose you. With my all my heart, I wish happiness for the both of you."
"Aeka, I..." Ryoko struggled abit. "What about your happiness?"
Aeka interrupted. "Right now, I am not thinking of myself, I just want You to promise me that you will take good care of him."
Ryoko stood silent still rubbing Aeka's shoulder. "Aeka, I promise."
"Thank you, Ryoko."
Then the silence passed over again between the two girls.
"I need to be alone for awhile, I believe you were on your way to Tenchi's room when we bumped into each other a short while ago. You can go now, our talk here is finished."
"Are you sure about that Aeka? Do you still need somebody to talk to?"
"I am sure. Please go and talk to Tenchi."
"Aeka, please know that I'll always be your friend and that I don't want to fight with you anymore, not over anything.
"Ryoko, I trust that a new chapter has opened between you and I."
"You got that right, princess."
Aeka did her best to smile but only managed slightly.
"I'll see you around."
Ryoko turned from Aeka and disappeared into thin air.
As soon as Ryoko left, Aeka laid back down to the grass and closed her eyes.
Now that I have established peace with Ryoko, what do I do now? Aeka thought. What do I deserve out of all this sacrifice and pain?
For long while she looked for an answer within.
"I am so tired..."
Tenchi and Ryoko
Ryoko teleported into Tenchi's room and found Tenchi sitting on the side of his bed, his shoulders slumped, he wore a nervous expression.
Tenchi immediately looked up at the sound of Ryoko's voice. "Ryoko!
I'm sorry for not saying anything to you on the bus."
"It's ok, Tenchi. I understand." Ryoko assured. "Tenchi?"
"I just spoke with Aeka a few minutes ago."
"You did? What did you two talk about?"
"Aeka and myself have settled our differences, we won't be fighting over you anymore."
"I, I was hoping for that kind of change. Ryoko, about last night..."
Ryoko thought about the events that took place last night at the beach house and tried hard not to think about them.
"Tenchi, please don't mention last night."
"No, Ryoko. I have to tell you this. It's very important to me and to you."
"Ever since last night, I have never been so worried, I thought I that I would lose you. Ryoko...I..."
"You what? Tenchi?"
Tenchi fought for the words that harbored his true feelings for Ryoko.
"...I...um...I..." Tenchi said and faltered nervously.
After a minute or so, Tenchi regained his composure and cleared his throat.
"I love you. Ever since last night, I couldn't stop thinking about you. I also realized that I couldn't imagine my life without you and the Fact that I almost lost a chance of getting to really love you on a Much more Intimate level. I also want to apologize."
"Apologize? For what?" Ryoko asked.
"I had you and Aeka waiting on me for all these years. If I was honest from the beginning things could've been different."
"No, Tenchi. Don't apologize. If I weren't so aggressive and over protective, you wouldn't of felt so much pressure. It should be me who should be apologizing, not you."
"Ryoko, don't say such a thing it should be me who should apologize."
"No, no Tenchi. I should be apologizing."
"Ryoko, I should apologize."
"Tenchi, you're wrong, I should apologize."
"Don't be foolish Ryoko, I was the core of all the fights and all disappointments, so it should be me."
"What? Foolish! Is that what I'm being right now for being considerate?"
"No no! That's not what I meant! I was just saying that I should apologize! Not you!"
"This is going no where... we're both being way to considerate, so I'll settle this the usual way."
"What do you mean? The usual way? ERK!"
Ryoko drew her red energy sword and held it at Tenchi's throat.
"Now Tenchi darling, I apologize for apologizing to you in this threatening manner and I'm sorry for being to aggressive to you.
Well? Do you accept my apology?"
Tenchi nodded quickly. "Uh...Yes, Ryoko. I accept your apology."
Ryoko's sword disappeared with a pop. "Good! Then that's settled."
Tenchi sighed in relief and smiled. "You weren't really going to do such a thing, were you? Ow!"
Ryoko softly bopped Tenchi's head with her knuckle. "Of course not, silly! I wouldn't dare do a thing! Why would I hurt the love of my life? My most valued treasure."
"Oh, uh thanks. You still didn't have to hit me."
"I'm sorry..." Ryoko apologized and softly kissed Tenchi's head. "There! Feel better?"
Tenchi smiled sheepishly. "Um, much better. Thanks."
"Don't mention it."
Meanwhile at Funaho's tree, Aeka began to think about what could have been possible if Tenchi chosen her instead of Ryoko, suddenly Aeka's thoughts were distracted by the sounds of something emerging from the forest. Aeka quickly sat up and spotted Shoji.
"Princess Aeka, did I come here at a wrong time?"
"No, not really." Aeka replied, then she noticed a peculiar headgear currently held Shoji's hand. "I hope you do not mind me asking but..."
"Yes, princess Aeka?"
"What is that device you are holding in your left hand?"
"What? This? Here, let me hand this to you for your closer examination." Shoji held up his gear and walked towards Aeka. As soon as he reached Aeka, he sat down next to her and handed the device to her.
Aeka studied at the curious device. The gear resembled a baseball Cap except it had no bill, the material of the cap is combination Of different polymers and metals. The sides of the cap had small Ear flaps and on the front of the cap were attached goggles.
"What is this thing, Shoji?" Aeka asked.
"That device you're holding is a kind of virtual reality machine."
"Really? Where did you get it from?"
"It's a gift I received from a long time friend who used to be in the Galaxy Police."
"What does it do?"
"It's just like any other virtual reality machine but with one exception. Instead of participating in a game, you participate in musical recital. It's mainly a device that gives the wearer a since of participation of any musical engagement. Which also includes any music from any culture within the known universe."
"This is very interesting." Aeka said, despite her sadness as she quietly looked for any kind of peace.
"Of course, me being me. I only have one music program installed into this little device. Would you like to give this device a try?"
"I would love to."
"Here, let me help you get started." Shoji scooted closer next to Aeka. Aeka hands the VR music gear to Shoji. The knight places the The device onto Aeka's head, flipped the ear flaps over Aeka's ears And adjusts the viewing goggles to better comfort Aeka's eyes. Next,
Shoji reached into his pockets and brings out and extra pair of Goggles and ear plugs. He puts on the devices and plugs himself into the VR music gear.
"Shoji, I am ready."
"Me too. Ok, I am switching on the device."
Shoji presses the power button.
Aeka found herself in a cool air-conditioned concert chamber. She Immediately recognized that the architecture of the concert chamber Was Earth origin. As she looked around, Aeka noticed that she was Wearing a black concert dress, Sitting on a concert chair. Aeka also found herself sitting in the center of a huge circle composed of the Earth String Orchestra. She saw many individuals holding the same instrument of various sizes, mainly, the viola. The orchestra had nothing but string instruments, cellos and various violas. To her surprise, she saw Shoji sitting from across her, sitting at the harpsichord and wearing a black Tuxedo.
"What shall I do next, Shoji?"
"Just sit back, listen, and just let the music soothe you." Shoji said and turned towards the violinists. "Pachebel's Canon in D minor, String Orchestra."
In response to Shoji's commands, the entire string orchestra readied their instruments. Shoji begun the first notes of the score with slow welcoming notes then the strings started to play along with him.
Listen to Canon! And for those who are not into classical music just think of that one special music that makes you feel at ease whether it being rock, rap, country, or whatever. When reading this section think of that one special song that makes you relax despite whatever hell you went through.
Aeka closed her eyes. As the music piece continued its play, the calming and soothing quality alleviated Aeka of the stresses that plagued her.
"Come and get it! Dinner's ready!" Sasami yelled out throughout the house. In a brief moment, Tenchi ran down the stairs and sat down at his place at the table.
"Am I hungry!" Tenchi said drooling. "Here's one thing I missed while being at Naroda beach and that's your cooking Sasami!"
Sasami blushed and giggled. "Thank you, Tenchi!"
A minute later Ryoko materialized next to Tenchi, to her surprise Tenchi for once, didn't flinch.
He would usually become nervous but this time, he didn't. Looks like things are changing after all. Ryoko mentally noted.
A moment later Aeka walked into the dining area with Shoji following Close behind. Ryoko observed Aeka's mood and noticed that she looked More calm and content then looking downward. Tenchi noticed as well.
Aeka sat down next across the table from Tenchi instead of next to him And proceeded to eat her dinner.
As dinner progressed, Sasami broke the silence. "Guess what!"
"What's up Sasami?" Asked Ryoko.
"I have a great idea on what we can do next week! It's going to be fun!"
"What is it kiddo?" Ryoko asked again.
"Let's all go back to Planet Jurai! The Startica festival is going to start and I would sure hate to miss it this year!"
"You are right Sasami, let us all go back home to Jurai and celebrate the festivities." Aeka stated with a slight smile. "After all, it is the 10,000th Annual celebration of Startica."
"Why not? Let's try something different!" Tenchi Exclaimed. Then he caught Ryoko's nervous expression. "What's wrong, Ryoko?"
"Well, I would love to go to Jurai but there's just this one little detail. Wouldn't there be anybody who is still bound to carry some bad grudge against me? It's only been 700 years since I raided Jurai. I'm not sure if they would just simply forget about that little incident."
"Yeah but it wasn't your fault that you raided Jurai. You were under Kagato's control." Tenchi retorted.
"I know, still, those were done by my actions. I don't know."
"Ryoko, do not worry of such things."
"Why not Aeka?"
"Because, the Jurai royal family gave you a full pardon with the approval of the Juraian Council. The council is a Diplomatic government body. All decisions and laws are approved by not the will of the representatives but by the people of Jurai. So I would not worry about it."
"Okay, if you say so. Then I'll go along." Ryoko agreed apprehensively.
"YIPEE! We're all going to Jurai!" Sasami said happily.
"When do we depart for Jurai?" asked Tenchi.
"Within two days the Festival will start in five days and will last for a week."
And so, dinner passed by without incident with something to look forward to in two days.
Ryoko floated into the pseudo-lab and thought about Tenchi. She found Washu busy at the holocomputer-console. Washu ceased her typing and turned around to find Ryoko.
"Ah! You're here!"
"Of course, I'm here!" Ryoko said with a hint of annoyance. "You asked me to be here didn't you? so, what's up?"
"Oh nothing much, I need you to help me for on my little research."
"What are you working on?"
"I'm just testing out this new data-entry program for the holocomputer database."
Ryoko walked up behind Washu and curiously peered over her shoulder to take a peek at the new program. Washu sneaked a glance through the corner of her eye and beamed slightly. Unaware, Ryoko leaned forward To take a closer study.
"Hmm..." Ryoko commented softly as possible.
Ryoko was caught off guard a bit and straightened up. "No, of course not. Why should I be?"
"Why do you need me here?"
"I just need you to transfer a couple of files from the original database into the new one."
"And what are you doing while I'm conducting all this data-entry?"
"I need to go feed the lab specimens. Do as much as you can, I'll be back in a few minutes." Washu stated as she stood up from her floating chair.
"Um, alright." Ryoko said unexcited and frowned, she sat down on Washu's chair and started her data-entry.
Washu left Ryoko and walked around a corner, she grabbed her mini-
camcorder. Though the camcorder's viewer, Washu watched as Ryoko transferred data into the installed mock database which was actually a test program. Ryoko looked bored as ever as she tapped at the keyboard slowly with her right fore-finger. After a few minutes of recording Ryoko, Washu stepped out from behind the corner. Pretending to be exhausted, Washu let out a tired-like breath.
"Phew! Man, that was tiring! Those lab specimens can get really hungry these days."
"I'm sure they would, since you only feed them once a month. Can I go now?"
"Oh sure, Ryoko! Thanks for your help."
I wonder what Tenchi's doing? Ryoko thought curiously.
Ryoko stood up from her chair and headed toward the lab exit. "Yeah, ok. I'll see you around. OH!" Ryoko turned around nearly forgetting Sasami's favor.
"Just wanted to let you know, Planet Jurai is holding their annual Startica Festival. You should come along since the whole crew will be heading there. Well? Would you like to tag along?" "Sure! Why not! It's been awhile since I ever had any space travel.
Thanks for asking me!"
"No problem. Ok, I gotta go. See you around."
Washu watched as Ryoko exited the lab. After a moment of waiting, the coast is cleared, Washu beamed wildly and turned her attention towards the holo-computer display. She typed in a few commands and the screen flickered with the results of Ryoko's I.Q. Test.
"Very interesting..." Washu said contently. "looks like she's very well compatible."
Washu sits down in front of the computer and starts to tally up Ryoko's test results.
In the dark bedroom, Tenchi laid in bed for the past two hours, he tossed and turned fighting for a way to go to sleep. Next to him,
Ryoko slept peacefully, she still had the lingering effects of The drowning incident, mainly fatigue.
"Ugh., I can't sleep..."
Tenchi carefully removed himself out from bed, trying extra hard not to wake up Ryoko. As Tenchi stood up, Ryoko rolled to her side.
"Tenchi..." She whispered in her sleep.
Tenchi smiled and bent over to move her bangs aside, he kissed her forehead.
He headed towards the stairs for the kitchen. As he walked down the flight of stairs he noticed that the lights were On In the kitchen. As he stepped closer, he started to hear a person Humming a light tune.
Tenchi stepped through the kitchen doorway. "Aeka?"
"Lord Tenchi? What are you doing up so late?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing, I was down here hoping to grab maybe a midnight snack to help myself to sleep. And you?"
"I was also not able to sleep."
"Oh? What's been keeping you up?"
"Today was a very emotional day for me. I went through worry, sorrow, and anger."
Tenchi suddenly looked hurt and guilt-ridden. "I'm, I'm sorry to Put you through that Aeka."
"Let me finish, Tenchi. As of now, by miraculous circumstances, I feel as though that I have a new sense of optimism towards my own well being."
"You do seem happier than you were this afternoon."
"You think so?" Aeka asked.
Tenchi nodded. "What changed your mood?"
Aeka smiled and looked at Tenchi straight in the eye. "The thought Of returning home to Jurai for Startica and..."
"Canon? What do you mean by that?"
"Well, this afternoon, Shoji introduced me to one piece of Earth Classical music and I must say. It had quite an effect on me."
"Let me just say that you do not have to worry about me. I suggest you go back to bed and try to get some sleep." Aeka said with a warm smile.
"Well, Goodnight Aeka. I hope you get some night's sleep as well."
Tenchi Stepped over to Aeka and gives her the goodnight's hug.
Aeka separated from Tenchi. "Don't worry I will. Goodnight, Tenchi."
As Tenchi left the kitchen, Aeka's smile disappeared as quickly as it appeared.
To be continued...
Original Japanese Lyrics: Natsuko Karedo Composed & Arranged by Seikou Nagaoka Vocal: Ai Orikasa
Feel the wind... feel the sun And our new day has only begun On the sand... by the sea It's a peaceful oasis made for you and for me Take my hand...
This place was always waiting This beauty all around us The air intoxicating Just like the love that found us
Let's forget who we've been And give into the dream Maybe life is a song That's how it seems...
And forevermore we'll hear the music play Yes forevermore I'll take you in my arms this way And forevermore we'll know the melody We will sing forevermore, just like the peaceful sea
Past the clouds... past the sky We can only imagine what great mysteries lie Other moons... other stars Close your eyes and together we'll go wandering far Take my hand...
This miracle's undying It never will forsake us We'll always keep on flying Wherever love may take us
I would like to give special Thanks to Akodo X for providing the lyrics of Forevermore. VERY Special thanks goes out to my editor, my online editor Random. And to my Pre-readers, RyokoMR, Cman, and BGlanders.
This next chapter is more like a set of notes and teasers.