Love Hina – For the Love of Swords!!!
Sequel to "Love Hina – Forgotten"
Fanfic by Steven Biggs
Chapter Two – Arrival
Aoyama walks to the foot of the stone steps and looks at Haruka's tea shop.
"Spirits! What has happened here? This appears to be Hinata-sou, but, but that cannot be!"
Tsuruko, followed by the others, walks down the steps. She stops in front of her mother and bows.
"Forgive me, mother, I know not exactly how this occurred, only that it was caused in part by the power of the Hina Sword."
Aoyama looks over at Motoko upon hearing the name of that dreaded blade.
"Are you well, Motoko-chan?"
"Yes mother, however I, uh, that is, Tsuruko-san, ah . . ."
"Somehow, the resting place of the sword was discovered and Kaolla-san incorporated it into some type of device. Naru-san drew the weapon and, after we released her from its grasp, Motoko-chan sealed its power away and claimed that blade as her own. She is now the Master of the Hina Sword."
Her mother tilts her heads and notices the look in Motoko's eyes.
"You lost to Tsuruko-chan, did you not?"
Motoko hangs her head.
"And now you will prepare to become the Master of Shinmei-ryu?"
Aoyama looks over at Keitaro.
"And you will share that responsibility with Urashima-san as your husband?"
"Uh, yes mother."
Keitaro bows formally to Aoyama.
"I'm sorry about this, Aoyama-sama. It must be a real disappointment to you for Motoko-chan to end up with someone like me that can't even make it into Toudai."
"Please, Keitaro-san. There is no need to be quite so formal."
He stands and looks at her.
"Sorry, Aoyama-sama, uh, I mean Aoyama-san."
She moves next to Keitaro and gracefully slips her right arm around his left.
"You are a charming young man. Walk with me, Keitaro. There is much that needs be discussed. In light of my experience, I shall assume the burden of personally overseeing your orientation in the traditions and customs of Shinmei-ryu."
Tsuruko reaches out and grabs her mother's left wrist with a grip like iron.
"Mother, do you remember what we discussed a few days ago after I agreed to offer Motoko-chan another opportunity to defeat me?"
"Yes, I recall our conversation about their possible future if she lost quite clearly. Why do you ask?"
Tsuruko's left eye twitches and she whispers in Aoyama's ear.
"Release Urashima-san this instant, or I shall inform Motoko-chan that you keep one of the photographs of him, which she sent in her letters home. under your pillow."
"Y-you would not dare perpetrate such a traitorous act against your own mother, would you?"
"You yourself taught me to never utter idle threats, mother dear."
Aoyama looks at Keitaro.
"Perhaps, now is not the best time to begin your, ah, training. We must allow everyone to recover from the astonishing events of the day."
"If you say so, Aoyama-san. I am at your disposal."
She hugs his arm tightly, squeezing it between her breasts.
"You are so charming! And you have a darling face! You will be most welcome as part of our family Kei-kun!"
Aoyama kisses him quickly on the cheek, blushes, and releases his arm. She then narrows her eyes slightly and smiles.
"Very charming indeed."
Kitsune pokes Tsuruko with her elbow and whispers.
"I don't mean to be rude, but is there something wrong with her? I thought that ya'll folk from this school were full of discipline."
Tsuruko remains silent and shakes her head. Su taps Shinobu on the shoulder and smiles from ear to ear.
"The cougar strikes!"
Aoyama claps her hands together to get everyone's attention.
"It appears that this inn will be remaining here on the grounds of Shinmei-ryu. Normally, that would make it the property of this school. However, since Kei-kun will soon become part of our family, I shall raise no claim upon it and I will allow him to continue managing it as he sees fit."
She turns and faces Haruka.
"You must be Urashima Haruka-san. It is most fortunate that your tea shop was brought along also. After a hard day of training, it is most bothersome to travel into town for relaxation. I am sure that you will have a great number of steady customers here."
Haruka considers her words for a moment and then smiles.
"It'll be my pleasure to serve the people of your school. Tell me, are your rules very strict when it comes to alcohol? Even though the sign says this is a tea shop, I like to try to cater to as many tastes as I can."
"That would not be a problem at all, except for the trainees that are not yet of age of course. I personally would enjoy talking with you over a glass of sake."
"I must say that you seem to be taking the appearance of our inn here very well"
"You forget whom you address. We of Shinmei-ryu have seen a multitude of situations that would be considered beyond the realm of the ordinary citizen's experience."
Haruka lights a cigarette and blows out a square smoke ring.
"Then Hinata-sou should fit in here quite nicely."
Keitaro clears his throat to get their attention.
"What about electricity, cable, telephone service and fresh water? I'm sure that the hookups were severed when Hinata-sou was transported here."
Su jumps over and lands on Keitaro's shoulders.
"I can fix up something from my lab that'll power the lights, Keitaro! In fact, it's been running my lab for the past year already and there's plenty of juices to spare!"
Tsuruko waves her hand at the ground.
"We have an ample supply of fresh water from underground aquifers. It should be no problem to run some plumbing into Hinata-sou. We can also have telephone lines installed. You should have both of those utilities restored by Thursday. I am afraid that cable service may be difficult, as we have no lines that come this far into the mountains."
Keitaro taps his cheek and continues.
"I suppose that I can order satellite service. Since we use kerosene to heat the boiler, it shouldn't be a problem to arrange delivery service for that too. The only other problem I can think of at the moment is the hot spring. I should be able to run pipes to pump some of the aquifer water into it and I can use the boiler to heat it up; but it won't be as good as the natural hot water we had before. Also, unless I can think of a way to filter and re-circulate it, I'm going to have to drain and clean the whole thing at least once a week. Darn, I feel tired already."
All of the girls become despondent at his news. Naru shakes her head.
"That just won't be the same. It would be like soaking in a plain old tub."
Motoko studies the area where Hinata-sou now rests. A smile forms on her lips as an idea blossoms.
"There may be a way to provide a proper supply of water for the hot spring. Mother, I shall require the assistance of three trainees. If I am correct, we can use Shinmei-ryu techniques to open a fissure through the water table and deep enough to allow that water to reach heated rock. With the blessing of the spirits, we may be successful and find a new source for the hot spring."
Tsuruko frowns at the idea.
"That is quite an effort to provide a hot bath for so few. If we fail, we would end up just cutting a useless thing."
Keitaro quickly intercedes.
"If it works, you and the other members of this school would be welcome to use the hot spring. The residents of Hinata-sou will be allowed to make those arrangements, of course, since it is their bath."
Tsuruko jumps behind Motoko and pushes her towards the school complex.
"What are you waiting for Motoko-chan? Go gather the trainees!"
Aoyama smiles at Keitaro.
"You are quite an adept manager, Kei-kun. I would be honored if you would allow me to serve you sake while we enjoy the renewal of the hot spring."
Keitaro blushes as he returns her smile and shakes his head.
"I'm sorry, Aoyama-san, but I'm not allowed in the hot spring. This is an all girl dormitory after all, and I have to respect the residents wishes."
Kitsune snickers and whispers.
"That aint never stopped ya'll before."
"What was that, Kitsune-san? I didn't catch it."
"Uh, ah, nothing!"
Keitaro blinks at her.
"Never mind the details, Keitaro-san! Ya'll did forget one small thing."
"What are ya'll gonna do about schooling for the younger girls? Not to mention Prep school for you. Naru, and Motoko."
Aoyama places her hands on Shinobu and Su's shoulders.
"They are most welcome to continue their studies here. We maintain accredited instructors for all grade levels from middle school through high school. I am sure that Maehara-chan and Su-kun will adapt quite quickly as the girls here are always eager to make new friends. Also, there is a satisfactory educational center in the nearby town that hosts preparatory classes."
Sara looks up at her,
"What about me?"
Aoyama's eyes widen as she places a hand to her lips.
"Spirits, I did not see you standing there."
The young American girl's eyebrows come together and she scrunches her nose.
"Don't you start out like this too. I get enough of it from that Melon-girl!"
Mutsumi, with Tama-chan on her shoulder, comes up behind Sara and rests her melons on the girl's head.
"Oh my! But you are such a convenient height, and I really appreciate you helping me carry my melons."
Sara starts to buckle under the added weight.
"I never volunteered to be your darned pack mule! I'm a foreigner for Pete's sake! Doesn't that give me any credit?"
Aoyama moves in front of Sara.
"You appear to be quite a sturdy young woman. I think that you might enjoy partaking in some of our practice sessions here at Shinmei-ryu."
Sara looks at her sideways.
"Would that mean that I can break stuff?"
"We have a multitude of practice targets and agility training courses. You would be limited in the weapons that you may use, however. Even official trainees are not allowed to practice with bladed weapons for their first year. Within those restrictions, you may utilize the facilities in any manner that suits your taste in polishing whatever skills you desire."
"Uh, is that a yes?"
"Woohoo! You can count me in! I've been dying for an opportunity to go all out against Loser! This is gonna be so cool!"
She watches as Sara grabs Su's hands. The two girls jump around together and then head towards the complex.
"Who is this 'loser' that she speaks of?"
Aoyama turns to Keitaro and pauses.
"Wh-where is Keitaro-san? He was here but a moment ago."
Shinobu points up the hill.
"Naru-sempai went up to the inn and took him with her. She said something about checking to see if there was any damage caused by the transportation."
Naru stands in the foyer waiting for Keitaro to retrieve some flashlights from the kitchen. As soon as he leaves the room, she leaps up the stairs and heads for her room. Once inside, she rummages through some boxes in the rear of her closet. After a few moments, she pulls out a green cape and hood.
"This should do nicely! No one has ever seen me wear this old middle school play costume. I'll need to do something about the rest of my clothes, though."
She goes to her dresser and removes a pink sweatshirt. Turning it inside out to hide the lettering, she slips it over her blouse. Kicking off her skirt, she pulls on a pair of yellow slacks. Tying the cloak around her neck, she opens the window for more light and stands in front of her mirror.
"This is good! Now no one will recognize me. But, what am I going to do about my hair?"
She concentrates and her eyes once more take on a dark purple hue. With a cunning smile on her lips, she runs her hands through her hair. As the strands slip through her fingers, her tresses turn bright red. Using the mirror, Naru ensures that her locks are completely transformed. Pulling the hood over her head, she spins around and nods with approval at her new look.
"This'll fool them! I'm not the top student at Prep School for nothing! Ha ha, I'm such a genius!"
She looks at the mirror again.
Keitaro walks back into the common room and shines one of the flashlights around.
"Sorry it took so long, Narusegawa. I had to put fresh batteries in these lights. Narusegawa?"
The manager spins around and points the beam at a strange figure with glowing purple eyes and red hair standing near the stairs.
"Wh-wh-wh-who are y-y-you? Wh-what do you want?"
"I have come for you, Urashima Keitaro!"
Keitaro screams, turns, and runs directly into one of the support beams. As he slides unconscious to the floor, Naru tilts her head.
"Well, that was easy. Come to mommy, Keitaro!"
She takes a few steps towards him when a voice calls out.
"Hold! We will not allow you to bring any harm to Urashima-san!"
Turning, Naru sees Tsuruko and Aoyama standing in the foyer. The women of Shinmei-ryu have their swords drawn, ready to spring into action. Tsuruko chants and chi flows along her blade, illuminating the room slightly. Her eyes widen as she looks upon Naru.
"By the spirits! What manner of being are you, and why are you here?"
"My purpose here is none of your darned business."
"What were you going to do to Urashima-san?"
"If I told you that, it wouldn't be a surprise anymore, would it?"
"Where is Narusegawa-san?"
"Wouldn't you like to know."
"I ask once more, what manner of being are you?"
"You're really nosey, aren't you?"
Aoyama points the tip of her sword at Naru.
"What is your name?"
"I'm Na-, uh, ah, I am Nakayama Akane!"
Naru thinks to herself.
(Spit! I almost blew it there.)
(AN: Naru's name for her new identity is a play on words. Literally, Nakayama means 'between mountains' and Akane means 'red'; therefore, 'red between the mountains'. She was so flustered when Aoyama asked for her name that she blurted out what was on her mind. Keitaro, with his nosebleeds is the red, and you can guess what mountains Naru wants to place him between.)
Aoyama shakes her head.
"That is, without a doubt, the worst outfit that I have ever seen. Also, you are quite rude."
She looks at her daughter.
"Protect Kei-kun. I shall bring justice to this intruder."
Without hesitation, Aoyama launches herself at Naru.
"Shinmei-ryu no Shin Raikoken! God's Cry Attack of The True Lightning Sword!"
Naru leaps to the side and heads for the changing room as the blast tears the floor were she stood.
(Cripes! I didn't expect them to attack me! At least not right off the bat! I've gotta think of a better plan.)
She dashes through the changing room, out the back door and around the storage shed. Turning to the right, she follows the wall of the inn. As she nears the corner, Aoyama leaps out and bars her path. Naru skids to a stop inches away from the tip of the sword.
Aoyama advances, keeping the point of her blade pressed to Naru's chest. She backs her foe against the wall and smiles sternly.
"You will yield to me now, or I shall use my power to rend your soul."
Naru swallows a lump in her throat.
"Do I have any options? Maybe we can talk this over. I didn't do anything to him, I swear it! I'm innocent! You've got to believe me! I want my Liddo-kun!"
"Naru-chan? Is that you?"
Naru nods her head.
Aoyama lowers her blade.
"You were not planning to actually harm Keitaro-san in any way, were you?"
Naru shakes her head.
"Of course not! I was just going to kiss him and have a little fun."
Aoyama looks at her sternly.
"You were in contact with the Hina Sword, were you not?"
"Yes, but your daughters saved me. I know now that I wouldn't have live for very long with that much power. But, I still have a little bit inside me that I was able to snag just before Motoko-chan sealed it away. What is the Hina Sword anyway? Why was something like that allowed to be laying around?"
"I cannot reveal the entire history of that blade, as you would not believe the tale I would tell. Suffice to say that it was Motoko-chan's destiny to claim it as her own. She is now its master and no one can wrest that control from her. For your safety, will you allow me to examine you? The power that you retain may still be hazardous."
Naru nods her head, Aoyama places her palm to Naru's forehead and then her bosom. After a few moments, steps back and nods.
"This is well. You have an extremely small portion of that power, and your life is not in danger. If it is your wish, Motoko-chan should be able to exorcise what does remain."
Naru shakes her head.
"I want to keep this. It's my only chance."
Aoyama smiles sadly.
"I see. You love Keitaro-san and wish to contest his marriage to my daughter."
"No, that's not exactly correct. I do still want him, but for some reason, it seems that I would more enjoy stealing him away from Motoko-chan. Again and again. I was going to actually warn him of my intentions before the two of you showed up. But I don't stand a chance trying to fight any of you directly."
"What will you do?"
"I won't try to stop him from marrying Motoko-chan. I actually think they will be very happy together. It doesn't bother me, really. Something about this power makes me feel that she is more like a sister to me now. It's almost like I have a better understanding of her. I just want to have some fun and steal him away once in a while."
"Well, if that is your plan, you really need to work on your technique. Change back to your normal self and meet with me later. I think that together we can perfect your plan, if you will trust me."
Naru tilts her head.
"Why would you help me steal Keitaro away from your own daughter? Even if it's for just a little while?
Aoyama smiles mischievously.
"Because, my new partner, we both happen to have similar goals!"
The laughter of the two women echoes off the walls of Hinata-sou. Inside the inn, Keitaro sits up with the help of Tsuruko and shivers slightly.
"Am I coming down with a chill?"
End of Chapter Two.