Here is the story of the mysterious scientific genius, Washu Hakubi, the woman who is one of the keys of the Tenchi universe. She was called the greatest scientist and professor of the Galaxy Academy, and is now lost in wonder. Numerous legends were left behind after she disappeared several thousands years ago. When she entered the academy, which was called the Imperial Academy then, she was an 18 year old girl. Washu was already famous as a genius, but the facts of her birth were unknown and no one comprehended the three gems she possessed when she was first found. In the academy she met her best friend, Naja Akara, and fellow student Clay, and Mikamo Niwase who become her husband. This story relates the days of her life in the academy, a past that only a few now know.
- Prologue -
The Memory of the Snow
One day, Sasami and Ryo-oki were setting the day's received mail in order. It was now Ryo-oki's job to deliver these letters to each person in her carrot pouch. This time, Sasami found one letter that was for Washu. It was rare for her to receive a letter and Sasami decided to pass it to Washu herself.
Washu was working in one of her laboratories located far from Earth connected by a subspace tunnel. Looking at the letter, Washu was puzzled, as she had no idea who would send such a letter to her in Earth style.
After Sasami left the room, she opened it and found that the letter was from Taro's mother, Masaki Kasumi. She thanked Washu for taking care of Taro when she was sick in bed. The letter was polite, but was in a simple style concerned only with ordinary matters. Then Washu realized that the letters format was like one of the Galaxy Academys reports. At the end of the letter, Kasumi asked Washu to keep this a secret from Tenchi. After folding the letter, Washu thought back of Taro, the little baby, and another baby with gold hair and green eyes.
lunch, Washu changed into her work clothes and headed for the front
door. Tenchi saw her as she was about to step outside.
"Are you going out to collect some samples?" Tenchi asked, coming down the stairs from the second floor.
"Er, yes," Washu replied, pretending to be calm. Though she was working hard not to blush, in her heart she was remembering the letter and photo she had received that morning, the parting with Taro and the words she had tried to tell Tenchi.
"Is something wrong?"
"Oh, no. It's nothing." Hurriedly, Washu opened the door. Although it was spring, chilly air rushed into the house.
"It's like winter is back again, isn't it, Washu-san," Tenchi commented.
Taro left, Tenchi sometimes called Washu with '-san' instead of
'-chan'. Her adult form and the tears Washu shed then made him say
so. Washu didn't say anything about it now. Now Tenchi was not a past
but a present to her.
"Are you all right with such clothes?" he asked.
"No problem. I'll come back soon anyway," she reassured him.
To another, it might have appeared like an elder brother worrying about his younger sister. But the tone of Washu was that of a mother who was comforting her uneasy son with love.
"Oh." Tenchi must have felt so, too, and slightly blushed and turned away from Washu.
"All right then, I'll go now. Tenchi-dono," she called to Tenchi in a gentle voice. Washu left the house and walked toward the mountains.
Tenchi watched her back for a while, then shivered and looked up to the sky. A cold and white flake fell on his warm cheek and melted into a twinkle.
Tenchi watched the snow grow heavy, and turned to where Washu had headed.
"Washu-san, its beginning to snow," he called, but Washu wasn't there. It was just as if she had melted into the falling flakes. A while later, the snow covered the outside.
Everyone was in the living room talking about the snow and Washu. Then the topic changed to the word "the lady of the snow", (which is one of the tales in Japan.), and this reminded Mihoshi of her great-grandmother's story. Sasami and Tenchi asked her to tell that story to them. Surrounding a candle, which Ryoko brought for staging, Mihoshi began to speak.
the planet Seniwa, where I was born, snow covers the land for more
than half the year," began Mihoshi in a low tone. "My
great-grandmother had a brother-in-law when her parents married. When
she grew up she married him and then my grandmother was born,
"All right, idiot! I'm not interested in your family business. Just start the story of the snow lady!" cried Ryoko, who was already drunk.
"Oh, I'm sorry," replied Mihoshi, "Er, and so the story, which I'm going to tell you, is the story of when my great-grandfather was five years old and my great-grandmother was four."
As Mihoshi started again, Tenchi and the others listened to her in silence. The snow continued to fall outside.
It was a room of antique fashion, just like a gorgeous mansion. The interior was heavily weighted and simple, but if one knew of what it was made, they would have been surprised. The furnishings were grandly styled but the size of the shoes, clothes and the toys told that it was a childs room.
little girl, who was the owner, was sleeping in a large bed standing
in the middle of the room. She was a cute girl with brown skin,
golden hair and blue eyes. She seemed to be sick and coughed sorely.
Beside her was a woman, sitting in a chair and doing her knitting.
There came a polite rapping on the door.
To the modest knock, the woman looked and called,
To her voice, the thick wooden door slowly opened.
There, peering in, stood a boy, pale with green eyes.
"Oh, what is it?"
"Mother, how is Miyuki?" It was obvious from their appearance that this woman and the boy who called her mother were actually not related. If there was a point in that they were similar, it was their bright golden hair.
"She is all right. Her fever is gone and she will be fine in a few days," said his mother, kindly looking at the boy.
The girl looked at him with yearning, and the boy tried to come near to her, but his mother stopped him with her hand.
"No! You might catch a cold. Then you won't be able to play for a while."
Watching the boy sinking, his mother smiled and admonished him.
"It is late. You should go to bed now."
"Yes. Goodnight, mother. Get well soon, Miyuki," said the boy and tried to shut the door when he suddenly felt something and looked at the window.
Outside the window, momentarily, he saw a figure.
"What is it?" asked his mother.
"I thought I saw someone outside the window."
Hearing the boy's words, his mother rushed to the window he pointed at. Not to make the children scared, she didn't move as she could have, but her movements were obviously of one who was trained. She looked out from the shadow of the window, and also checked the security system. This house was one of the highest ranked familys and had dozens of stringent guard systems. Without any alarm now, no one could have intruded onto the grounds, but their mother was evidently watching out for something. Checking that there was nothing shown in the security system, their mother turned back to the boy.
"It is all right. There is no one. I guess it was the snow elves. They must have come here looking for you, as you two haven't gone out for a while. So you must get well."
To her warm words, the boy felt eased and answered, "Yes, you are right. Good night, Miyuki. Good night, mother."
Watching the boy bow and leave the room, their mother moved back to the girl's side and sat again. The girl was lonely because the boy had left.
"If you get well, you can play with him again," she comforted the youngster.
To her mother's words, the girl nodded almost breaking into tears.
"Oh, so you love your brother so much?" she asked the girl in a teasing tone, just like asking her friend.
"You see, I... I want to marry him when I grow up," said the girl pulling the sheets to her face in shame, and then covered all her face.
"I see. Yes, I hope so too," answered her mother in a small voice. She looked rather sad and watched the snow fall outside the window. The snow kept falling, on and on, until it covered everything in white.
The next day, unusual for this season, the snow stopped. Having the sunlight reflecting and dancing on the covering snow, the scene was wonderful. In her bed, the girl was watching the sight through the window. As she went to bed early last night, she got up early that morning and was bored. She felt better and sat on the bed. Watching, she saw a figure running in the white snow world. It was the boy throwing snowballs alone.
"Oh, brother, that's not fair." She wanted to play with him and got off the bed, then thought of her mother's troubled face and stopped. She watched the boy in silence. Miyuki could clearly see from far away that the boy was enjoying himself.
course, it had been a long time since he could go out, but also
playing with the girl was hampering. He was not able to run as much
as he could and now he was lost in chasing the snowballs. He could
kick the ball further and could run faster.
Watching the boy getting far away, the girl was disturbed by something. It seemed that he would go away. It seemed that he would just disappear in the snow. The boy ran chasing after the snowball flying high in the blue sky.
Suddenly a wind blew, and the snow swirled up from the ground. It caught the boy and he stopped. The wind wrapped him in white and the boy was at a loss. A few seconds later the swirl passed and the boy opened his eyes. The ball, which had been in the air, was now beside him on the ground. He tried to pick it up when he realized a lady was standing beside it.
The boy armed himself, as was natural when a lady appeared out of nowhere in the middle of a vast field of snow.
"I must get away," the boy thought by instinct.
His family possessed all of this area and no stranger should be here without any guards. It was natural for him, as one of the families of power, to be trained to know that there were persons who would approach him with some purpose, especially mischief. The young boy knew what to do in such cases.
"Activate the Guardian System and... and...," he thought, but didn't move. He only looked at the ladys eyes. In black clothes, the lady had an aspect of red hair and fabulous beauty. But what attracted the boy were her eyes; just the same as his green eyes. He didn't feel fear.
What's more, she even was familiar to him.
"I know -- I know her..." He didn't know why, but the boy felt it to be so.
Picking up the ball, the lady moved closer to him.
"This is yours, isn't it?"
He didn't know why, but he felt tears in his eyes. The lady's voice had such a luminous tone, that it shook his heart. If he moved, he might have wept. The boy could not take a step till the lady came near. With a gentle smile on her face, the lady handed the ball to him and the boy took it, staring at her eyes.
"Thank you -- very much," he said with difficulty, but then the attention which restrained him
It might be because they touched each other when she gave him the
white ball. In the boy's face, surprise was still showing, but there
was no alarm left.
From the bushes nearby, eyes were watching the boy and the lady staring at each other. It was the young girl who had come outside. She couldn't call for them when she saw the boy and the stranger. Her mother treated the boy and her just as same, but the young girl felt something in the relationship of the two. However, the boy and the lady stood there very naturally. It was as if they used to be one.
"That lady must be the Lady of the Snow."
The unearthly mood of the woman reminded the girl of the tale of the snow lady. It was the story of a mother who disappeared into the snowy mountains in grief of losing her child. She lost her body and only her soul was left searching for her lost son. When a child was playing alone, she thought him her child and would take him away. A sad story of a lonely lady.
The girl could not catch what they were talking about, but she could hear that they were talking happily. The girl could only watch.
Suddenly the girl felt the air change. No sound of the wind and trees could be heard now. Silence covered the area. The lady slowly stretched her hand toward the boy. The boy didn't feel any resistance. He didn't even remember what they were talking about. He just felt a strong urge in his heart to hold her hand. And the boy naturally stretched out his own.
"He is going to go away! The Lady of the Snow is going to take him away."
girl sensed it. She tried to call out to him, but her voice didn't
come. It was as if the time around the two had stopped.
"He is going to go away."
But in spite of her haste, she couldn't move even one of her fingers. Tears appeared in her eyes with sadness.
"She is going to take him away. Far away."
Just when the hands of the lady and the boy were about to touch each other, warm tears fell along her cheeks.
At that moment, the frozen time moved.
To the girl's voice, the boy returned to himself. His desire to hold the lady's hand disappeared and he turned back. In front of him stood a girl in nightgown and shawl.
"Miyuki!" cried the boy in surprise and he rushed to her.
"You should be in bed. Didn't your mother tell you so?" said the boy, putting his cloak on her.
Trying not to let him go, the girl grabbed onto the boy and turned to the lady with a strong will in her eyes.
"Go --!" she started, but at that moment, the girl noticed a deep grief in the lady's eyes. They looked so sad that the great anger burning in her heart completely vanished. In the girl's heart, guilt rose.
"Sorry. I'm so.. So... Sorr..."
tried to apologize but she could not say a word.
Guards, who perhaps came out to look for Miyuki, ran to them and pointed guns at the lady to protect the children. However, the lady calmly watched the boy and the girl. Hanging on to the boy, the girl could not look away from the lady's eyes.
"I'm sorry." In tears, the girl whispered to the lady. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Scarcely had she said so, Miyuki looked away from the lady's eyes and sank her face into the boys shoulder, apologizing again and again.
"I'm not angry at you," said the boy, thinking she was apologizing to him. He held onto her
gently patted her on the head.
"I'm sorry." The girl didn't want to look at the lady's eyes anymore. She was scared to do so. She was sure that she wouldn't be able to stop the boy going with the lady if she looked at her. When the
tried to grab and conduct the lady away, a sudden swirl of snow arose
and covered them. In that moment, everything became white, and maybe
the minds of those who where there, too.
"Good-bye, my boy."
In the fierce windstorm, the girl clearly heard the lady's voice. In shock, the girl looked up, and she saw the lady smiling at her; the green eyes the same as her brothers; the red hair winging up in the wind. The lady disappeared as if she had melted in the snow swirl.
With her brother, the girl was brought back to their house by the guards. As she expected, she was scolded by her mother and because her cold got worse, she had to be in bed for another whole week. Moreover, her brother also caught a cold and was resting in the bed just beside the girl. The girl took her brother's hand, who was breathing roughly.
"Brother. Brother. Brother."
Her feelings toward her brother filled her heart. The warmness of the boy's hand reminded her of the lady. That lady... no, she was a Lady of the Snow. Kind, but sad. The beautiful fairy of the snow with red hair, who returned her brother back.
"Oh, what happened with this snow lady, Mihoshi one-chan?" asked Sasami with an innocent
"No one has seen her since then."
"Oh, I see."
'Huh! You don't know that. Maybe she is still around you -- all the time," said Ryoko in a low voice to frighten Mihoshi.
"Wha...! Oh, please don't scare me."
"Oh no. She really is close to you. Like -- just behind you, Mihoshi!"
The moment Ryoko said so, the patio door slid open and a snowstorm blew in. A shadow of red hair waving in the wind came in and made for Mihoshi.
"It's it's the snow lady!" cried Tenchi.
To this and to the scream of Mihoshi, all the others jumped up.
It was Washu.
She said that she was almost lost in the blizzard and had a really hard time getting through it. She grabbed Mihoshi and asked her exactly what she had done when she entered Washu's lab at noontime. Mihoshi began to explain things one by one. She had an extremely good memory and actually it took 2 hours till Washu got the information she wanted. Finding the problem, Washu smiled, grabbed Mihoshi and threw her out through the window door into the garden full of snow. She then locked the door and started to type on her control panel.
"Oh great!" she muttered. "Shes overloaded the weather controller. And what is clever of her is that she made it locally effective -- just this valley."
knocked on the window, crying out, 'Washu-san, I'm sorry! Please open
But Washu ignored her and just went on with her work. The others looked at her and at Mihoshi in pity, but no one was brave enough to open the window.
"By the way," said Washu to Tenchi, continuing to type on her key panel. "You called me a Snow Lady just now. What were you doing in here with all the curtains closed?" Sasami simply explained the story that Mihoshi told them.
"Hmmm. I see," replied Washu simply, and worked on the controller.
Sometime later, Aeka diffidently called Washu and pointed to Mihoshi, who was almost crying outside the window.
But Washu ignored her too, so Aeka couldn't say anything more, but only watched Washus terse face and kept silent. So were Tenchi and Sasami.
"All right so far. This will do!"
Finishing her work, Washu closed her terminal and stretched back. Then at last she looked out where Mihoshi was.
"I'm so-rry. I'm so-rry," cried Mihoshi from outside, having her nose all red with cold and sticking to the window.
"I'm so-rry. I'm so-rry."
For a while, Washu just stared at Mihoshi.
"I'm so-rry. I'm so-rry. I'm so-rry."
Tenchi and Sasami noticed that Washu was shaking herself.
And then, watching Mihoshi's dumb face, Washu slowly began to laugh out.
Finally she laughed loudly and opened the window and hugged Mihoshi.
"Oh, what? Aiieeee!" Mihoshi cried.
It was all very sudden. Mihoshi wasn't able to hold on and tumbled over with Washu together into the snow.
"Oh, you are so cute, cute, cute! Oh you!"
Washu kept holding Mihoshi and rolled over the snow. The others stood watching this strange
"Maybe her brain is frozen," said Ryoko, whose face was all white a moment later as a
thrown by Washu hit her.
"You... you'll pay for that!" yelled Ryoko, wiping the snow off. Easily provoked, Ryoko jumped outside.
"Yeah! Me, too!" cried Sasami in delight.
"Myaan!" Sasami and Ryo-oki went after her.
"Wait, Sasami! Ah!" Aeka tried to stop them, but a snowball, which Ryoko threw, hit her
"Ryo -- Ryoko-san!"
Shaking in anger, Aeka also jumped into the garden. A ball also hit Tenchi's face. Now no one knew who was after who and everyone was joining the snowball fight.
Washu leered at Mihoshi throwing a ball.
"I'm sorry she said. Teehee! You look very like her little girl."
A ball from Ryoko hit Washu and she sank into the snow. But she was still laughing.
She thought, "Yes, it has been 20,000 years since then."
hundred and some odd thousands of years ago in Earth time, the
nations of the galaxy were different and there was no strong
organization like the Galaxy Federation. There were only small
alliances of planets and star systems numbering in the tens of
thousands. Related to the undeveloped techniques of driving ships
from one star system to another, war between nations did not mean
much in these ages. There were several local conflicts between those
who faced each other, but most of the nations turned their views to
unclaimed areas of space. It was the time of the pioneer.
Many nations were founded, developed and ruined. The domain of intelligent life forms spread through the galaxy and, at the last, two large powers appeared ; one was the Federation, "Jurai" and the other was the Alliance, "Seniwa". They had high technology for space drives and if they had joined together it is possible that they could have been the core for the birth of a galaxy federation. However, these two nations waged a cold war for a long time, and though they were large, compared to the size and number of all the federations spread across the galaxy, neither had the power to found a galaxy federation alone. Though there was one more reason that prevented the connection between the nations the space pirates.
Washu was found in such days. The planet where she was found was named Kanemitsu. It was located at the far end of Jurain territory and, as it had fertile soil, it provided food from agriculture and fishing. On the other hand, this made it a target of the pirates and other nations. As Kanemitsu became more important as a supply planet, a third generation Royal tree was stationed there to protect it from others.
Washu was floating in the air with three gems when the rector and others saw her in front of the abbey.
"It was just after the rain stopped and the sunshine through the clouds covered you. You were like an angel," said the lady
She thought that Washu's parents still might be around and collected information through the network of the town, but none could she find. Furthermore, she couldn't even find a person who saw Washu on her way to the house. They tried their best to find where Washu came from for years but it ended in vain. Washu and the three gems were checked before she was allowed to stay with others in the abbey. Though she was flying when she was discovered, there were no answers from the supernatural power tests. As for the gems, they were judged to be just some crystals.
Several years later, they happened to find that Washu had the ability to change her body age. And she had her second check for supernatural powers, which raised her rank to Class "C". Because of this, they didn't pay much attention to her powers, but were more interested in her intelligence.
She cleared by 4 years the basic course, which usually took 10 years for others. By the time
she was 15 years old, she had mastered all the basic studies of the Academy and received a special scholarship to enter the Jurai Imperial Academy without taking the entrance examination. What is more, from the suitability test, she was recommended for the Department of Philosophy, which was the top of the Academy. However, regardless of her mental aptitude, she was told to wait till she was 18 years old to actually enter the Academy.
Washu, the final topic of interest was the three gems. They were held
to be only some simple crystals, but she knew that the others just
didn't have the ability to figure out what they were. Washu herself
found that she had more power than a Class "C". She had a
bottle in her room with tiny lights drifting in it. Each of those
lights was a universe. Not a hologram, but real ones. She was able to
generate them based on her basic studies. Finding her real powers,
she also noticed that the three gems also had more secret powers.
However, at that time she was unable to find out what they were
"Yes, I don't know from my present knowledge, but..."
She knew that she would be able to figure out what they were if she were to release her inner capability, and also to know who she really was.
But she didn't. Something inside her told her not to do so.
"If you do so, it would be a repeat again."
The high officials sent her off when she left planet Kanemitsu. She was treated as a VIP and the journey went quite well. However, during her trip to the Academy, her ship was attacked. It was the space pirates, specifically the Shank guild. An intruder in the ship tried to kill Washu, but before she was slain, a Jurai warrior from one of the imperial families managed to help her. They had guessed such a situation might occur and had mounted two center cores of imperial ships in the ship, which Washu was boarding. Finding this, the intruder self-destructed in order to murder both of them. However, three light hawk wings protected them from the explosion. The warrior was surprised at this, as his ship's light hawk wings were set outside to protect the ship from the pirates' attack and he had no idea from where they appeared. So too was Washu surprised. They didn't notice, then, the three gems glowing in Washu's pocket.
The ship was then safely sent to the Academy, while the Shank guild was assaulted by the Jurai force. However, an accident happened during this attack, which Washu discovered several years later.
Washu, arriving at the Jurai Imperial Academy, was hiding behind a pillar. The person who was to receive her was a lady three years older than Washu and was called Akara Naja. But she was not alone.
There were thousands of flags on which were written Welcome! Ms. Hakubi Washu. And a brass band, student police in formal uniforms, young children waving flags, etc. were waiting for her. It was just as if they were receiving a top ranked ambassador. Of course, she had a gorgeous farewell party when she left Kanemitsu, but what was completely different between them was that this welcome party was an anachronism here. A lot of people were surrounding this party from afar, and the party was a scene.
"Get knocked! How can I go out there?" said Washu peeping out from behind the pillar and
if she could just buy a ticket and return to Kanemitsu.
One of the students who was watching with the others from a distance made up his mind and approached the lady who was called Naja.
Naja, welcoming a new student?"
"Yeah. You know, the new student this time is a genius, the best ever found in this Academy. But she is really late. What is she doing?"
"You see Naja. I wanted to tell you before, but..."
"Oh there she is!"
found Washu trying to escape from the pillar and ran after
"Hey! Why are you running away?" Naja ran after her carrying one of the flags with her. "No wonder..." muttered the student.
All of students who were there couldn't help thinking so.
"Wait! What are you all doing! Get her!"
The chase ended and Washu lost. She had more stamina, but Naja knew the area better. What is more, Naja was a student of the Department of Philosophy. Not using her super powers, Washu had no chance to win against that number of
Naja seemed to be quite famous in the academy and every one pointed at her wherever they went. The great chase at the airport was already printed in the student newspaper, which Washu got in the bus heading to the Department of Philosophy. Thanks to this, Washu instantly became one of the famous persons in the academy.
"Ms. Naja, you see..."
"Hahaha, you can just call me Naja. No doubt that you are called the greatest genius in the academy! Every one is looking at you," said Naja, patting Washu's shoulder.
"All thanks to you."
"I've done nothing. Everyone is just interested in Ms.
"She didn't even notice the wisecrack," Washu thought.
had no strength to say anything more.
"By the way, 33min and 35sec to get you... Hmmm, you really are a genius. I was planning to capture you at exactly 33min and 33 seconds. Yeah, really a genius."
the newspaper, Naja nodded in admiration.
"What? I was seriously trying to get away from her," she thought.
looked at Naja in surprise. Naja's words were a shock to her.
"By the way, Ms. Genius..."
"Calling me a "genius" because of two seconds? Please stop calling me that. I have my..."
"Ok then. I can call you Washu-chan, can't I?"
"Er, suddenly that way..."
just ignored her and asked, "Hey, Washu-chan, do you have a boy
"What? Er, you see..."
"You don't have one, do you? Tell me, Washu-chan. Come on. Come on."
To her consternation, Washu wasn't able to evade the question.
"No there isn't." That was all she could say in a sigh.
"I see! You don't have one," Naja said with a smile.
"You look very pleased."
"Oh? That's because I don't have one either. We are the same, aren't we, Washu-chan?"
At this time, it was settled that Washu was to be called Washu-chan.
"I'm sure we will be good friends. Nice to meet you. Washu-chan, the academy is like a home to me and if you have any questions, then feel free to ask."
"Have you been here long?" asked Washu.
"I was born here," Naja replied..
One whole planet wasn't all for the school. There were the services for the people on the planet and there were the places where those who were working and the families of the students, professors and staff lived. Though we could also call them all part of the academy. Most of the students lived near the department buildings, but some built a house on an island and used the network for net-classes, while a few lived in an RV or boat and took their class while they traveled around.
Though, of course not all the students were so rich. Some students slept in their sleeping bags in the department buildings and some were working for their fee at the school. It being quite the case for war between the departments, which were against each other, there was a group having representatives from each department to solve these matters called the student committee. It wasn't too much to say that the academy had all the problems that one planet has, but most of the people worked for the research of knowledge. This was the largest and the only difference with other planets.
"OK, we're there."
After a five minute walk from the bus stop, Washu and Naja stopped in front of a huge house. The house was very large and could be called a mansion. It seemed that the area was for expensive habitation and luxury houses were standing all over, but the one if front of them was especially gorgeous.
"Wow, it's great. Is this your house, Ms. Naja?" asked Washu
Naja didn't reply and looked back at Washu with an unemotional face.
"Er, Ms. Naja?"
"Okay, okay. A nice reply (boke)," said Naja with an odd look, tapping Washu's shoulder. "I don't think there is a person who suddenly invites a new student to her house."
"Are you telling me that this is the school?"
"So that's what comes next!"
When Naja cried out in joy, the huge gate of the house gravely opened. Beyond the gate stood one elderly man with many maids in a line on both sides of the road to the house.
"Welcome, Ms Hakubi Washu. We were waiting for you," said the man, bowing politely with the beautiful garden lit up behind him.
is my house?" Washu thought.
Showing her question on her face, Washu looked at Naja pointing to the house, and Naja just nodded to her.
"All right then. It is late today, so we can start the office papers tomorrow. I guess you are surprised and tired now."
"See you. I'll come here tomorrow at eight o'clock in the morning. Goooooood night!"
Bright in the face, Naja waved her hand to Washu and walked away, ignoring Washu who tried to call her back.
next morning, Washu was awakened by Mikoto. (Mikoto was a young girl
working as a maid in Washu's house. Washu and Mikoto became good
friends. All of the maids came to like Washu by dinner time.) She
then finished her breakfast with all the other maids and staff, which
she decided last night. When she finished changing her clothes, it
was the time that Naja had promised the day before, but Naja still
didn't appear after 8 o'clock.
"She is very busy and is famous for being difficult to catch. And after she had decided to take care of you, many persons started to call her before your arrival," said one of the maids.
"Oh, I see," answered Washu who was drinking a cup of tea on her terrace. And then she looked up at the sky and squinted her eyes in the warm sunshine.
"Okay, Ive made up my mind."
"For what?" asked the maid.
"I heard that it is only 20 minutes from here to school. I'll just walk there for some exercise."
"But what about Ms. Naja?"
"If she comes, just tell her so," replied Washu and putting on her shoes, started to walk down the road, not listening to the maid's plea for her to stop.
The area where the Department of Philosophy stood was a place where they had four seasons, and it was just in the middle of spring then. It was just the opposite with Kanemitsu, which was autumn at that time. The weather of spring was full of life and it made Washu feel pleasant, and she stopped by some places before entering the department. 30 minutes later, Washu was hiding behind a tree just near the Department of Philosophy. One kilometer from there was one building, located in a tree-line, which continued for dozens of kilometers.
"Oh, no," sighed Washu. "What the hell is that?"
Near a large tree, which stood instead of gates, two large robots were standing with a huge flag in each of their hands. On the flag it was written Welcome! Washu-chan.
The name was now Washu-chan. At the feet of the robots, a band of several hundred members, elementary students with flags in their hands, and a crowd with media surrounding them were clustered. It was much larger then the last one and was very odd.
"I won't be found this time," thought Washu, and started to calculate all of the people's movements and tried to find out the exact moment and way to pass through. But a child accidentally found her. A genius couldn't win against a natural.
"Please! Forgive me, please!" Washu begged them. And they kindly let her go, as they knew how she felt. Washu ran as fast as she could to the building.
Having a rest behind the building, Washu was surprised at the scene. Beyond the building a plain spread with flowers and buildings in a formal style standing alike continued far away to the seaside. On the roof of each building, flowers in all kinds of colors bloomed, showing a great contrast with the white flowers. The Jurai had a wonderful sense of design for such things.
While Washu was looking around, a fellow came up and called her.
"Hey, you! Only participants are allowed to enter here, you know."
The guy who was striding up to her was short, heavy and looked snooty. Washu first thought he might be one of the professors, but he had the badge of a student of the philosophy department. She thought that he was the type who had attended the party in Kanemitsu, a person who thinks it is natural to look down on people. But she also thought that it might be true that they couldn't help themselves, having an elite mind, when she considered the way all the others treated her.
"Excuse me," Washu asked. "Would you tell me where the office is?"
"Yes. I want to proceed for my entrance to the academy and..."
Hearing this, the guy began to laugh.
"Hahaha. So you are a freshman? Do you know where here is? It is a place where only the top elite of elites, who are selected from the entire galaxy, are allowed to enter. A child like you can't come in here. I guess you came by the wrong road. You were trying to go to the Department of Ancient Literature, which is in the city just beside," said the guy, making fun of Washu. It seemed that he hadnt looked at yesterday's news.
"Oh! Be careful!"
Suddenly, a cry was heard and the guy who was standing in front of Washu was kicked aside by the lady of the voice. Crying out like a squashed frog, the guy fell into the bushes.
"Don't you like me, Washu-chan?"
In front of Washu stood Naja. She looked at Washu with eyes like a ghost in spite. She didn't even check what happened to the guy she kicked, which meant that she did it with conviction.
"What?" Washu blurted.
"I planned all the things, you know. I worked on all of it. I worked all night to prepare it for the first day of Washu-chan to school!" Naja complained to Washu with tears in her eyes. "But..."
"It's a bother to me," Washu replied simply.
This counter of Washu's got Naja, and she froze at that point.
"If I don't say so, I'm not sure what she will do from now on," thought Washu, and looked
in the eyes with a strong will. If she showed weakness, she would
"Oh, you are a catty girl, Washu-chan," sighed Naja.
It seemed that Washu had won this bout. At that time, the guy who was bashed into the bushes crawled out.
"What the hell is going on? What do you think... No, it's you, Naja! Er..Ms. Naja."
The guy who added Ms in reluctance had scratches all over him and was red in the face with anger.
In spite of her words, Naja glowered at the guy, who she called Clay. She just transferred her sadness at having her reception party rejected by Washu into anger. We can call it as taking it out on him, but her first blow was strong enough to stop Clay's impetus.
"Oh, s...so she is your friend. But it is a trouble, you know. There are many places around here where not all are allowed to enter."
It seemed that he thought fighting with Naja wasn't right, so he turned his anger to Washu.
"Okay, let's go Washu-chan!" called Naja and tried to move on, ignoring Clay.
"You! Didn't you listen to what I said?" Clay uttered
is it?" Naja exclaimed impatiently.
"Er, well, you see. Er, you can't take her to the Department of Philosophy and..."
Naja's boldness, Clay's voice became smaller and smaller.
"If you are a man, talk out clearly!"
"Well, the matter is, you see..." His face twitched in mortification.
"Oh, Naja. What this all about?" a voice called.
At that moment, Professor Ikuma, who was one of the top officials of the department, happened to walk by and called to them. From aside, they just looked like they were quarreling with each other, and there was no doubt that he would stop to see what was the matter.
"You are..." Seeing Washu standing beside Naja, Ikuma said in wonder.
"Oh, yes, Professor. You see, I was just telling Naja about her. I wonder what she is thinking bringing a stranger around here."
Having Ikuma in front of him, Clays attitude rapidly changed and he spoke to the Professor in a polite way. "You are Washu," the professor said.
Ignoring Clay's words, Prof. Ikuma walked up to Washu.
"Nice to meet you, professor," Washu offered politely.
"This is the first time we have met directly. Oh, you are much more beautiful than your
"Oh, no. Thank you very much for preparing such a wonderful house for me."
"Hahaha. Don't think about it. That house is a part of the patent of our collaboration. You have the right to it.'
"Collaboration? Pro -- Professor, do you know her?"
a surprised face, Clay thrust into their conversation. It was
natural, for it was rare not just for a student but also for other
professors to join Prof. Ikuma in his work. It was an honor for a
student to just help his research work.
"Oh, you are here, too. Well, I'll introduce her to you just in case. Her name is Hakubi Washu. She is going to enter this department. She will be 18 years old this year. I guess she has equaled the record of Naja, becoming the youngest to enter this department at her age."
"Professor," corrected Naja. "She had already taken the requirement 4 years ago. And it was after she finished all her basic programs."
"Fo -- four years ago?"
To Naja's words, Clay's face twitched more.
"Oh, yes. As you know, Clay, you can't enter the academy till you are 18 years old. Well, it seems that the official record has came an end."
Watching Clay freeze and twitch his mouth, Naja seemed to be pleased.
"I hope it was good medicine for him," whispered Ikuma to Naja, who replied with a V sign.
"We would like to go now, Professor. She has some papers to fill out."
Changing her expression to a good student of the department, Naja bowed to Ikuma and moved on with Washu.
"Oh yes, Washu. I'm sure they will tell you at the office, but you were selected by the examination to get into Class 6, which is the same as Naja," said Ikuma to Washu and then walked in the opposite direction of Washu and Naja.
Clay, left behind, sank down on the ground. Clay was in Class 9.
18 year old girl, who has just entered the academy, is now in a class
three levels higher than I? I can't believe it!"
It took 3 hours for Clay to recover his composure.
This was the first meeting between Clay and Washu.
A Sunny Day
had several favorite places on the campus. A small space only for
her. There she would make a simple force-field and allow no one to
enter. But one day, there was an intrusion into her small world.
Long branches were bowing down from the tree, scratching the ground, and the tree looked just like an umbrella about 10 meters around. Under the tree, Washu was revolving in her thoughts when suddenly a young man came in though the branches.
Washu said in surprise.
"Oh. I'm sorry!"
The young man seemed more surprised than Washu, apologized and tried to run away.
"Wait! Not that way!" Knowing that there was a cliff in the direction he was headed, Washu cried out.
It wasn't an answer from the guy, but his scream, which was heard as he fell over the cliff edge. With Washu's help, he managed to scramble up.
"Phew, I thought I was dead."
"You are so clumsy, Niwase Mikamo-kun."
"Wh-, why do you know my name? Er, er..."
man called Mikamo looked at Washu in surprise. Eyes with strong
resolution, red hair of passion, attractive proportions -- all looked
so beautiful. If he had ever met her face to face, he would never
have forgotten her.
"The sun is hot there. Come." Washu smiled at him and walked beneath the tree shade.
"Er..." Not knowing what to do, Mikamo stood outside the tree.
"What is it?" asked Washu.
"I am terribly sorry for interrupting you. I was just walking around thinking I didn't notice where I was going. I should not have walked into a ladies room without knocking."
Listening to this quietly, Washu laughed.
"Well, particularly, it isn't my room. Come in."
"Yes, but..." balked Mikamo.
"You don't want to spend time with me?" simpered Washu.
"Of course I do!"
Washu laughed again.
Teasing Mikamo, Washu liked his politeness and chastity.
"By the way, how did you ever manage to get inside? I set a simple field around this tree, you know. Perhaps it's broken?"
"Er, er, I think it's not broken. I... you see, when I am walking around thinking of something, I often end up in places where usually others can't enter. Professor Ikuma told me that I have a great deviation in probability."
It seemed that he had made lots of mistakes like this before, and he looked down with shame.
"I see. Looks like a favorite topic for Professor Ikuma. Be careful not to be dissected by him,
"Er, please forgive me, but how do you know my name? I believe that this is the first time we have met, isn't it?"
"There was a student in the first class I taught, you know. This guy kept on sleeping from the beginning to the end in a nice sunny warm seat. His name was Niwase Mikamo," said Washu wryly and with a large smile on her face.
At last Mikamo realized who she was.
"Er, are you then Dr. Washu?"
Watching Washu nod, Mikamo came to attention and bowed again and again.
"Oh, please forgive me, pardon me! Well, at that lecture... You see..."
"That seat is very comfortable, especially during this season. The sun shines the longest there, you know. I love that seat, too," said Washu, smiling at Mikamo.
Mikamo smiled back with shame. Then the clock rang telling them that the lunch break was over. Washu got up, picking up her things and looked at Mikamo.
"But take care! If you sleep again, I'll dissect you myself."
At this pronouncement, Mikamo froze. Washu winked at him with a smile and walked away.
Since then, Mikamo stayed awake in her lectures.
This was their first meeting. Even now, Washu laughs recalling the way Mikamo flustered that day.
hundreds kilometers away from the main campus stood the old campus of
several thousand years before. Because the whole planet was occupied
by the academy, it wasn't unusual for one department to organize one
whole continent. Actually, the Department of Philosophy had a
continent the size of Africa, and if there was one place a single
student or professor was using, no matter how old the building was,
it might be repaired, but it would never be taken down. This old
school house was given to Washu from Prof. Ikuma, guessing that she
would like such a place. It was built of wood, having some special
coating to endure the wind and rain. This was a favorite and secret
place for Washu.
The reason why Washu loved it so much was because there was a library preserving old books in it. Whenever she had time, she came there to read the books, as she was doing that day.
was decrypting an old tome in the library when suddenly she heard the
noise of the floor squeaking.
"Who is it?"
No one should be here, she thought.
"Who is it?" she asked again.
It was Mikamo who appeared from behind the bookshelves.
"You? What are you doing here?" asked Washu in surprise.
"I came here to read some books. What are you doing here, Dr. Washu?"
"To read a book also. Haha."
At this clumsy conversation, Washu had to laugh.
"Of course we are here to read books. It is a library. Well, I didn't mean to ask that, but it's all right. I won't ask how you came here. But this is my private place."
"Oh, is it? Pardon me. I didn't know that. I will leave at once."
"We meet together in special places, don't we? It's okay. I'll allow you to stay here, particularly," said Washu, stopping him. "But I'm surprised to hear that you read books."
In that age, books meant almost the same as stone carvings and wall paintings do on present Earth. Reading was rather more like archaeology than gaining knowledge. Mikamo realized what she was asking and replied.
"Well, to tell the truth, I had this kind of room in my home. It was my favorite place when I was a child and, well I don't know why, I felt comfortable when I stayed there. And, you see, feeling the weight of the book, the sound of turning the pages, the letters and figures like wall paintings, they are soothing, aren't they?" said Mikamo closing his eyes and patting the book with his hands.
Washu went on after him. "Yes. I like them because you can see the information directly, not by numbers. Glorious! It's like something is dwelling inside them. And..."
When Washu was going to say the next words, Mikamo also opened his mouth as if he recalled it just then,
"I like the smell of the old books."
"I love the smell of the old books."
Their voices made a complete harmony.
Washu and Mikamo looked at each other and at the next moment, they started to laugh.
"Ha,ha! You are so nice, Mikamo-kun. I admit you as the first member of the book lovers club and allow you to enter this place."
"Thank you very much. Er..."
"What is it?" asked Washu.
"Well, if I'm the first, then Dr. Washu is...?"
"I'm the advisor," smiled Washu, winking at him.
It was not clear if there was a new tie between the two, but at that moment, there was a space for Mikamo in Washu's heart.
was not long before Naja noticed the difference in Washu's attitude.
It was easy for her to guess the reason.
"Welcome home, Washu. Did something good happen today?" asked Naja.
At this time, Washu was living in a house with a small observatory. She had found the place earlier and moved there, living with an old lady who used to be the owner. The others, the maids, the butler and Naja came with her.
"Something good? Oh, no. Nothing much," replied Washu. But the smile on her face told that there was something special that day.
"Oooh, I see," said Naja and peered at Washu questioningly.
"What is it?" Washu asked. Washu herself didn't know why she was in a good mood.
Naja could answer, one of the maids called them for dinner
"Oh, Dr. Washu. Dinner is ready.".
"Thank you. We're coming," said Washu and headed to her room with a light step. Watching her, Naja's eye blinked.
"That attitude. I sense this is related to a man," exclaimed Naja, rising from her chair.
"Oooh, really? Has Dr. Washu got a boyfriend?" the maid asked excitedly.
In no time, the maids surrounded Naja.
"Is it true? She looks normal to me."
"I think so too."
"Ha. Not good enough! It's obvious if youre sharp and know what to look for," said Naja.
"Wow!" praised the maids.
"Ha! You can't fool me, Washu-chan," to the maids words, proudly pronounced Naja.
"Oh, I envy her," whispered Mei, one of the maids. And to her words, all others, including Naja who had no boyfriend for years, lost their voices.
Mikamo. Wasn't that his name?"
To Naja's words, Washu almost spilled the soup from her mouth. Pretending to be calm, Washu wiped her mouth with her napkin and looked back at Naja. Naja was looking at her significantly. She had already obtained the profile of Mikamo, which even Washu didn't know.
"Niwase Mikamo. A special student. Born on the planet Shitori. 27 years old. His family is one of the best of Shitori, and he is the third son. His purpose was for rapprochement, but it seems that he entered this department by his own achievement. I see, and now that he is getting a private lesson with Associate Professor Washu, it is clear that his score and evaluation will be
"What do you mean, a private lesson?" Washu cried out, striking the desk.
"I'm just describing the objective facts," said Naja in a cool voice looking away from Washu.
"There's nothing between him and I. He just came to my library and..."
not to be taken into Naja's tread, Washu sat down gripping her
"I see. So you called him to your library."
"Don't note that! You are even perverting the story. Do you really belong to the Department of Philosophy?'"
"I'm just conjecturing the truth."
"Yo, yo-, you--"
stood up when she noticed the maids listening to them from behind the
"Congratulations, Dr. Washu-u!" they cried out.
"We knew this day would come, but we didn't expect it so early!"
"Wait! What are you talking about?" Washu puzzled.
"I really envy you."
"I'm so happy, but somewhat perplexed."
The maids looked at Washu in blessing and envy.
"I -- I have nothing to do with him," Washu protested.
"Him! She called Mikamo-san, him! Wooo---ow!"
Now Washu was dragged into a situation that she couldn't control. Washu was surrounded by the maids who blessed her. But she didn't notice that Naja was peering at them and making a list in her mind of Washu and Mikamo's future Washu's lover is disclosed - a date - H - engagement - marriage - childbirth.
'Ahaaa! Really there's nothing between us!" Washu objected.
No matter how much Washu denied it, the maids and Naja didn't believe her. Washu felt some defeat in her heart. In a philosophical sense, she had lost an information flak battle. But it was also true that this atmosphere also pushed her a bit.
the days passed, Washu and Mikamo's relationship became deeper.
Still, there was one problem for Mikamo in accepting their feelings.
It was about his birth. One day, he happened to talk to her about it
(overcoming the obstruction of Clay, first). Of course, Clay was
kicked into the fountain by Naja after this.
They were in the library.
"Dr. Washu. I was born in Seniwa," said Mikamo.
Washu's face slightly vacillated. With these short words, Washu understood everything.The meaning of Mikamo's and Naja's words.
Seniwa was a huge territory, having 943 large and small unions. It also belonged to the Galaxy Union, which was then in a cold war with Jurai. Seniwa was one of the most rigorous countries for immigration and emigration, and was nearly in seclusion. Why was a man from such a state here in the center of its largest opponent? It was certain that he was not a spy. If Naja knew about his birth and secret, why didn't Jurai? If he was a spy, they wouldn't let him stay. Sometimes Mikamo had a cold attitude, but that must be the result of the education of killing his emotions that he took.
Mikamo spoke again, looking at Washu.
"I was born in Seniwa."
"So." whispered Washu.
"So what does that mean?"
Whatever the reason was, Mikamo was here. That was all Washu needed. They kissed each other. They needed no words now, only feeling the other's body and heart.
"Don't forget. We are on your side," said Naja seeing them return in the morning.
a party in the academy, Mikamo proposed to Washu. He told her that
his grand father, who was the head of the family, would allow their
wedding. Though at the moment she was a bride candidate and they had
to wait till Seniwa officially announced the opening of their
But this didn't mean much to the students. Naja especially didn't care much about this, and the party turned out to be a wedding party that went on till next morning, and now all in the academy knew about their marriage.
When they returned to the farm next morning with a terrible headache after the party, Prof. Ikuma and an agent from Jurai were waiting for them. They told Washu and Naja about the relationship between Jurai and Seniwa, with a strict admonition.
It was true that Seniwa was in seclusion, though it was a different story for the private class. For the Seniwa royal family it was a status symbol to study in the Jurai Imperial Academy, and for Jurai and other countries also; they wanted a connection with Seniwa of any kind. However, there were those who didn't like such a relationship. Because of this, they decided to use a subterfuge -- to use the name and profile the Jurai side prepared and to send the students to the academy. Actually, this effort had come to fruition and in Seniwa the clique for opening their nation was gaining more power. Under the guidance of the head of government, Mr. Kuramitsu, they had worked hard to ease restrictions, and now several secret meetings were being held between Seniwa and Jurai to talk on the topic of this opening and of Seniwa's affiliation to the
"Now I get it. So, Washu and Mikamo can be used as propaganda on a private level for easing their barriers," spoke Naja, leering at Ikuma.
"Er, well don't blame us so frankly. In a way, we happen to also be involved in this matter," said Prof. Ikuma.
"Dr. Hakubi Washu. Please, for Seniwa and for Jurai," requested the agent from Jurai bowing to her.
"Er, well, if we can be with each other, then, in that case...," answered Washu.
"I never thought that the intelligence agents of Jurai would do things like in a cheap magazine," sneered Naja. "What ever it is, if it is related to information, it is our work," grinned the agent at Naja's words.
"Oo-oh, I see. Well, good for you, Washu. It seems that from now on Jurai will supply all the money for you two."
"To make sure, I'll tell you there is none for you," said the agent to Naja.
"Tut, you misers."
Watching Naja puffing out her cheeks, Ikuma laughed and told her some good news.
"Well, well. Don't get so angry, Naja. From today, you are to be a special scholar."
"Ohoooooo-----oh! Really, Professor?"
Letting Naja frisk around, the agent turned to Washu and said,
"From today, you will be kept under surveillance. But we will take care not to disturb you. So I hope you will accept it."
Washu knew that they had already kept an eye on them, but so far it didn't bother her much and at this moment it didn't mean anything to her. However, Washu didn't notice the real reason why the agent was here, and the true reason why Naja took company with them.
At that time, the voice for opening their country was strong in Seniwa. This was because the largest power, Mr. Kuramitsu, was proposing the change. Still, they were conducting a very dangerous balancing act, and actually Kuramitsus son was frowning at this opening of their country. If something happened to Mr. Kuramitsu, the situation could easily change. But such matters didn't mean much to Washu. Only happiness filled her. The only thing that disappointed her was that she was not allowed to inform her foster-mother in Kanemitsu about Mikamo.
A month later, Washu became pregnant.
"Now you have to make it plain, Washu-chan," said Naja with a big smile. It was clear what she wanted to do.
To Washu's strong request, the wedding was to be held in the farm with only her best friends.
"What are you talking about? I won't do such an unromantic thing," said Naja. Though Naja was smiling, Washu didn't miss that her fist was trembling.
"Why are you moving out?" asked Washu to Naja who was packing her things after the
"What are you saying? I can't stay here and break into the privacy of a newly married couple."
"You know how many people are living here, don't you?" Washu pointed out.
On the farm the maids and others from the house where Washu lived before had come with her, and there were more than a hundred people living together. It didn't matter much whether Naja stayed or went.
Speaking to Naja, Washu found out that she was grouching because she had wanted to make the wedding party a huge one, though it was also true that Naja didn't want to disturb their new life.
Washu hugged Naja from behind and whispered to her, kissing her on the cheek.
"Teehee! Naja, I want you to be a part of our lives, so please stay with us."
"Damn it! All right. I'll get in the way, youll see!"
"Yes." With Washu's words, Naja stayed on the farm with the others.
Unfortunately, as the state of affairs was unstable, they were not allowed to go back to
Nine months later, Washu's child was born. It was a boy, and he was named Mikumo.
As a family of three, this was the time when Washu was happiest.
It was seven months later after Mikumo was born that Mikamo started to acted strangely. Several weeks later, the news came that Kuramitsu, the representative of Seniwa, had announced their change in policy and would close their
"It is all right. At home, I'm treated as a refugee and I can get citizenship here if I want," said Mikamo.
"But your family..." answered Washu.
"I am worried about them. But, though it may not sound good, this kind of thing often happens in my country and I'm sure they know what to do."
Mikamo's words eased Washu's mind.
But one month later, Mikamo went out for a walk with Mikumo, and they disappeared.
It was a nice sunny day.
At that time, Washu was in the next city making a presentation, which Naja had requested, and she was not at home. When she came back that evening, they were not there. The butler told her that Mikamo had gone out for a walk with Mikumo just after Washu left for her presentation. He told her that Mikamo had given him a message near noon that he wanted to show Mikumo the sea and would come back that evening. That was his last contact.
"Phew, not again?" said Washu, grinning at the butler.
Mikamo often took Mikumo for a walk, so Washu didn't think much of it at that moment.
But when the sun began to sink and they still weren't back, Washu felt a disturbance in her heart and couldn't help rushing out to look for them. When she got out of the house, Naja was standing there as if she was waiting for Washu.
"Naja! He and Mikumo arent back yet. Will you help me..."
Naja took Washu's arm, who was trying to run past.
Her face was unemotional, but something in Najas eyes showed through as she looked at
Washu picked up Naja's unease, and cried out, "You know something, don't you? Say something!"
She grabbed Naja and shook her.
"Where are they? Where is Mikamo and Mikumo?"
Again and again she shook Naja.
Naja turned away from Washu but answered in a clear voice.
"They won't come back."
Naja hugged Washu, who tried to run.
"Let me go! Let me go!" "It's too late..."
"No!" screamed Washu and pushed Naja away.
"Washu!" cried Naja.
But Washu looked up into the sky and thought, "If I use my own powers, I can fly."
The powers she never used before... No... The powers she had even forgotten till then.
"I must use them. I must use them to get him and Mikumo back!"
However, the instant Washu tried to use her powers, something stopped her.
Then it will repeat again.
Then it will repeat again.
Then it will repeat again.
Then it will repeat again.
Washu's eyes opened widely in surprise. She couldn't resist those inner words of her heart. No grief or emotion could release her from the chain of the words. And she fell down on the ground as if she had lost all of her strength.
"Why? Why is it?" Washu whispered to no one.
Naja, who was pushed away, stood up and said, "Niwase Mikamo's real name is Kuramitsu
With shock, Washu looked back at Naja.
"Yes. He is the grandson of Mr. Kuramitsu, the chairman of the high council of Seniwa. One month ago, Mr. Kuramitsu died. The one who is there is a double. As you know well, Mr. Kuramitsu was eager to open their country, and he pushed through on it... to make it take shape while he was alive. But his son, Misaka, who was post-representative has the power now, and he -- and he is Mikamo's father, was against this hasty policy. For those who are against this opening, the truth that his son Mikamo was staying in the academy was not acceptable. Misaka himself was worried about his son, and told Mikamo to come back with your child, Washu."
"He told me that he would stay here..."
"For Mikamo, Seniwa is his home and his family lives there."
"And me? I'm also..."
"Mikamo was saying at least he wanted to let Mikumo stay behind with you...," said Naja, dropping her eyes. "Both of you are in a world, whether you like it or not, where you can't make your own decisions, sometimes. Many people defected from Seniwa. Those who were for opening their country and those who lost the fight politically. What would happen if all of them come here for little Mikumo? From the discussions between Jurai and Seniwa, they have decided that Washu will be for Jurai, and Mikamo and Mikumo for Seniwa. I know it sounds stupid but those who have power are cowards with no exception."
When Naja looked back at Washu, she was already standing.
When Naja said this, Washu vanished without a trace.
Hurriedly, Naja activated the scan device on her wrist. She had put a transmitter on Washu when she hugged her. Finding a response from Washu's library, Naja breathed in relief, but her breathing got faster and faster. Naja's body trembled.
sorry Naja," called Ikuma, coming out from the shade.
Naja who was shaking over her entire body looked back. From her eyes, tears were pouring.
"Professor! What shall I do?"
Naja jumped into Ikuma's arms and he gently patted her.
"It's a problem. Those who are as clever as Washu can understand the situation, and because of that, she won't cry. Poor Washu. It's tough for me, too. She was like a daughter to me."
"Shouldn't you say, grand-daughter?" said Naja.
"Hey! Don't sniffle on my clothes!"
Ikuma slapped Naja on top of her head. Holding her head, Naja sank to the ground. If she didn't go on teasing, she couldn't stand the pressure of her guilt.
Understanding her feelings, Ikuma whispered to her, "We can only leave her be."
And he sent a sign to the maids and the butler who were hiding. That was all they could do for Washu then.
the library of the old building, Washu was staring at the place where
Mikamo used to sit.
"Yes, I am a liar..."
Washu remembered the words that he told her before. Now, she could understand what those words of his meant.
Jurai, Seniwa and the Academy.
Those that possessed the greatest power in the galaxy. Having these three preventing her, it was impossible for her not only to get into Seniwa, but also to get out of the Academy. Far away had Washu's most important treasures gone.
"With my present ability, I can't do anything."
She could understand that there was nothing that she could do. She crouched on the chair and watched the gems in her pendant at her breast. An impulse of tearing it and throwing it away arose in her, but before she did so her anger disappeared and she leaned back in the chair. The gems slipped down to the floor from her hands.
Some time passed.
The sun had already set and it was dark. Washu kept sitting without moving.
The old lady was standing in front of Washu. Washu looked at the old lady emptily as she sat down beside Washu.
"You silly girl. You must cry at this time."
From Washu's dollish face poured large teardrops.
"Hic, ahhhaaa, ahh, ahh..."
Washu held on to the old lady like a child, and cried for the first time since she was born.
She couldn't cry very well, but she cried on and on...
How long a time passed she did not know, but the sun came in on her face, and Washu woke up. It seemed that she had slept while she was crying. The lady had stayed beside her all night and now she was sleeping on the sofa. Washu awoke and using the blanket she had been covered in, lay it across the old woman.
"Thank you, grandma."
Then she noticed that her form was of a child. It seemed that she had transformed while she was crying, but she didn't feel like turning back to her original form. Then Washu found the gems on the floor and picked them up.
"Huh! I don't know what and who you are, but I won't lose you."
She couldn't dwell on it.
"I can't do anything now, but..."
In Washu's mind, there was a plan. Trying to run, Washu tumbled over her adult garments, which now hung loosely upon her frame.
"I forgot... my clothes."
that, Washu kept closed in her library. Naja couldn't sleep for two
nights. and she was sinking on a sofa in her laboratory when someone
covered her eyes.
"Who is it? Washu-chan?"
Looking back, Naja was shocked at Washu's form.
"Are you surprised? But you knew that I was a Talent, didn't you?"
"Well I did. But... Phew..."
Blowing a breath of relief, Naja hugged Washu.
sorry to have worried you," said Washu.
"I thought that you had started to hate me."
"It wasn't your fault. But, anyway... Wipe your nose, Naja."
"Oh, I'm sorry," she sniffed, and Naja stepped aside and wiped her nose.
Washu was eager to seek the two she loved the most, especially Mikumo. She was worried about what surroundings he was in. One day, she asked Naja to help her to visit Seniwa. Naja told her that because Seniwa was then in a policy of seclusion, it would be very hard for them to meet Mikamo and Mikumo. Still, Washu desired to visit them and Naja gave up trying to convince her otherwise.
In order to pass through the defense lines of Seniwa without being detected, they needed a very high-level of technology. It was possible for Washu and Naja to develop such a system by themselves, but it would have taken dozens of years to complete it. That would be too long. Accordingly, they decided to use the technology of the graduate course students of the Academy. These students had the highest capability in all of the major topics, which actually out-stripped the technology of Jurai and other military forces. If they applied their works, it would be much easier for Washu and Naja. However, the problem was that they would not simply offer their knowledge to them.
this, Washu and Naja decided to use the information and techniques of
a hacker in the Academy. These hackers just broke into other private
and official databases that some used for selling, and others for
their own use. Their techniques were very valuable. Washu and Naja
sought the best hacker in the Academy, and they ended up to a very
close person, Clay. Getting inside his house, they stole Clay's works
and started to make a new system of their own. (Of course, Washu and
Naja left a trick behind which made Clay furious.)
Several months later, they developed a system by which they could intrude into other departments and posts databanks, except for those that were controlled by the Royal Trees. Using the system and absorbing all the information, techniques and knowledge, Washu was now getting close to the level of Prof. Ikuma and the other Doctors whom were held to be the best in the Academy.
During these days, two discoveries happened.
One was a report that Washu found while she was searching through Jurais top secret files. The report had a familiar name to Washu on it.
"Reported by Tatsuki Nishia Jurai."
This was the report made by Nishia, one of the Imperial family, who had saved Washu's life from the space pirates on her way to the Academy.
"Do you know him?" asked Naja, looking into the monitor. "Nishia? Oh, the member of the Imperial family. The guy who protected you."
"Er.. yeah. ... Wha... What? The Jurai fleet which attacked the Shank Guild's base and its new battle ship Sheaplis was crushed?" cried out Washu in surprise.
"I see. So that's why the top people were unsettled," said Naja.
"Did you know about it?"
"Of course. I don't know much about it, but it is true that a request for an analysis was brought to Professor Ikuma in secret."
What was written in the report went like this.
The base of the Shank Guild discovered by the Jurai fleet had a scale almost on the level of a nation. Food, daily stuffs, and whats more, a planet-class battle ship were manufactured at that planet and it was easy to suspect that it was a very important way-station base. This might be the reason why they obstinately attacked planet Kanemitsu.
The Jurai fleet was defeating the Shanks. After they had destroyed almost half of the institution, a mega-sized battleship, a dozen times larger than the planet class ship Sheaplis appeared to power up. This ship seemed to be a very peculiar one and most of its structure was an energy generator. Enormous power equal to a whole star was laid inside and this energy was blasted into the Royal ship.
"But that's strange. Considering the power generated inside the ship, the output shouldnt be so small," marveled Washu reading the data which was measured.
This was true. The energy of the blaster was several thousand times smaller than that of the power generator. Even if all the energy was blasted toward the royal ship, it shouldnt be able to destroy it. This Royal ship was one of the third-generation ships and the blaster should not have been able to penetrate the light hawk wings.
"But the Royal ship was destroyed."
To Naja's words, Washu nodded. The report continued that having the Royal ship destroyed, the fleet received a counter-attack by the Shanks, but finally defeated the super battle ship and the base in exchange for losing 80 percent of their fleet.
"I see. So Professor Ikuma was asked to research this data," said Naja and reached over Washu and opened the data files of the destroyed Royal ship.
"Oh?" Washu noticed that there was strange line of energy in the picture taken of the moment when the energy blast reached the Royal ship.
"What? I can't see it," said Naja.
"That can't be true. Over here," said Washu and pointed to the lines of lights shown on the
"You say its so, but I can't see a thing."
"But, thats impossible."
Washu checked all the data, but indeed no data reported such a light.
"Washu-chan, can you really see it?" asked Naja.
"Yes, I do." Washu could only nod at Naja's words. It was a fact.
"Nothing shown in the data, but only you can see it. It is interesting that the light hawk wings have similar characteristics. No doubt that when the ship was attacked it was spreading the LHWs. However, it was destroyed."
"What happens when two LHWs hit each other?"
"There is no record of such an experiment... but probably the reason why the Royal ship was destroyed lies there."
But their discussion ended. It would be a large problem if what they were doing became known, and it was not allowed even for the students of philosophy to concern themselves with the top secret of Jurai, the Royal Trees.
The second event happened when Washu had carefully finished copying the data and returned to the top directory. Suddenly, she was able to access to the deepest level that was administered by the Royal tree. She had not been able to connect to this level before, however hard she had tried. She didn't know why, but it was not because her skill at hacking had increased.
"You're connecting to the lower level. Did you do something, Washu-chan?" asked Naja.
"No, nothing. What is this?"
There she found all the bio-data of the Imperial family from the first emperor of Jurai to the present.
"Gene, astral... assembly, bio-enforcement... what are these? What is all these about? ... This... What are they creating?"
It wasn't possible even for Washu and Naja to understand most of the data, except for some parts. It was well-known that the Imperial families were having some bio-enforcement, and bio-enforcement itself wasn't unique. Most of the intelligent life forms living in the galaxy were receiving it. But what was completely different was the fact that its technical level was incommensurably high.
"Do you remember the man of the Shank guild you met on your way to the academy? We now know from his cells, what few were left, for dozens of generations bio-enforcement had been made as a warrior. But...'
"He wasn't able to beat Nishia-dono at all," continued Washu.
"That's right. But if we are to believe this data, those who were adopted or married into an Imperial family also gain the power of the Imperial family by this bio-enforcement even if they are normal persons. This is impossible even if we gathered all of the technology of the Academy!" said Naja.
Washu and Naja looked at each other. They might be touching what they were not allowed to grasp. But as scientists, their pure interest overcame the fear. They tried to go deeper, struggling through the data, when suddenly the access was denied. "They got us?"
They thought so, but the counter-attack system for hackers didn't activate.
"An accident or ... by purpose..."
The two weren't able to make it clear.
"Well, we can't help it. It's too dangerous to go on now."
To Naja's opinion, Washu nodded.
what shall we do with this data? Heaven's sake!"
Among the data that they saved, only the ones from the deepest level were all cleanly erased even though all other data concerning the top secrets of Jurai was left behind.
was confused, but inside Washu an assumption was taking shape.
"You see, Naja. This is only a theory, but the bio-enhancement of Jurai may be some permutation of bio and mind based on some core data."
"You are right. We were able to understand nearly anything with that data. All we can say now
that this core is receiving feed back from the present Imperial
families even now... that's all."
"Yes. But, what are they trying to do with it?"
Washu had a strong feeling about this matter. Not only from her scientific interest, but from something deeper in her mind like an impulse.
"Washu-chan, you see, this data is very interesting to us, that's true. But it's not important for us so far," said Naja noticing Washu's thoughts. "It has no relationship with the problem we are handling now."
"Yes, you are right."
Washu closed her eyes and went back to her work.
The story connects with the one in the Prologue in the view point of Washu. As you know, Washu finally wasn't able to come back with Mikumo. She was eager to meet him and wanted to take him back because she was worried about how he might be treated in Seniwa. But finding him to be part of the family of Mikamo and his new wife, Washu left him there. Nothing is written in the novel what happened after this for Washu, Mikamo, Mikumo and Naja. Perhaps it is going to be revealed in the next novel or OAV 3.