15. Love Match

With the school festival coming up, and his relationship with Sakuya back on track, Tenchi decides that a normal, quiet life is just what he needs. Calling Washu one evening, he asks if she could close up the dimensional tunnel for him. Acquiescing to his wishes, Washu promises to have it done by the next morning.

The next day, Ayeka, Sasami, Mihoshi and Kiyone get up early to prepare Tenchi’s breakfast, only to discover that they can no longer pass through the dimensional tunnel. As the portal falls down from the ceiling, Washu explains that the tunnel is now closed as per Tenchi’s request. Distraught, the girls begins to imagine all of the terrible things that could happen to Tenchi while he is out of their reach. In fact, all of Ayeka’s fears for Tenchi’s physical safety turn out to be groundless; although doubtless she would still be less than happy to learn that he is actually sharing a quiet breakfast with Sakuya at the Tsuchida shrine.

Whilst Ryoko continues to slumber on upstairs, the other girls decide that they must go and see Tenchi for themselves, so that they can check up on him and find out just why he wanted the tunnel closed. Ayeka and the others still blame Nobuyuki for helping to get Tenchi back with Sakuya, and they quickly decide that there is only way he can atone for that- by providing them with enough money for a trip to Tokyo. Nobuyuki is quick to reply that he cannot afford that, but Washu has already done some bookkeeping, and she has calculated that he has just enough stashed away for them to purchase bus tickets to Tokyo, with enough left over for boxed lunches and spending money.

Whilst the search for Nobuyuki’s secret money stash begins, Tenchi and his class are busy preparing for the school festival. When Sakuya’s friend Sugano hears that Tenchi hasn’t yet confessed his loved for Sakuya, she tells him of an old school superstition. If two people admit their love for each other at the party after the festival, then they will be fated to live happily ever after.

Indeed, it seems as if Sakuya’s friends want nothing more than to see Sakuya and Tenchi become a proper couple, for as the group start setting up the festival’s crepe stand, the three girls manage to think up ways that they can get Tenchi and Sakuya to be alone together. And their plans would be working perfectly if it weren’t for Amagasaki, who keeps coming over to ask is Tenchi wants to watch the girls’ wrestling practice with him.

As it turns out, Sugano and the others aren’t the only ones who are annoyed by Amagasaki’s continued interference- Yugi wants him out of the way as well. Finally, she decides to create the perfect distraction, by using a discarded wrestling mask to summon up the spirit of a female pro-wrestler that only Amagasaki can interact with. Now, every time Amagasaki tries to get close to Tenchi and Sakuya, the wrestler pulls a move on him that sends him flying!

Back home, Ryoko has finally woken up, only to discover that the house looks like it has been ransacked. When she spots Nobuyuki bound and gagged on the floor, Ryoko wonders if this is the work of burglars, only to discover that the perpetrators are in fact the other girls. They have turned the whole house upside down in their search for Nobuyuki’s secret savings, but so far have come up with nothing. Ayeka suggests that Ryoko helps them out, but she isn’t interested- not only did her date with Tenchi give her faith in him, but if she really wanted to go to Tokyo then she could just fly there. The girls have no choice but to accept her decision, and instead turn to Washu’s latest invention for help- a robot dog that should be able to sniff out the cash.

As the preparations for the festival continue, Sugano and the others continue to find excuses to send Tenchi and Sakuya off alone together. By this time, the couple have realised what is going on, but Sakuya tells Tenchi that it doesn’t bother her to be alone with him, and Tenchi himself doesn’t seem to mind either.

Persistent against all the odds, Amagasaki continues to try to get close enough to talk to Tenchi, even though every time he approaches his friends, another wrestling move sends him flying. Somehow, the unusually resilient Amagasaki manages to weather the numerous moves thrown at him, even impressing his mysterious opponent. As she continues to keep him away from Tenchi, Amagasaki eventually gets wise to what is going on, and he returns from her latest throw with new determination.

Finally managing to intercept his opponent as she waits for him in the rooftop wrestling ring set up for the festival, Amagasaki and his opponent decide to go for the final showdown. Jumping in the ring, Amagasaki is ready to give it his all, only to get knocked down by his opponent’s first move. However, as he lies on the ground, Amagasaki imagines his friends and classmates cheering him onto victory, and his opponent throws him into the ropes once again, he bounces back with a counterattack of his own. As Amagasaki lands his hit, his opponent goes down, but far from being upset, she is happy to have finally met someone who gave her a true challenge.

With her soul finally at peace, the wrestler vanishes in an explosive flash of light that streaks past Tenchi and Sakuya. As Tenchi moves to protect Sakuya, they are thrown to the ground on top of each other, their lips almost touching. Watching as they embarrassedly get up, Amagasaki gets the wrong idea about what they were doing- and promises not to tell anyone else about it.

As he heads down from the roof, Amagasaki spots something else- the discarded wrestling mask which Yugi used to summon his opponent. Picking it up, Amagasaki recognises it as belonging to the famous pro-wrestler Ikarinu Sadako- could he have really beaten such a legendary person?

Back at the Masaki house, Nobuyuki is delighted to hear Ayeka report that the girls were unable to find his money. What he doesn’t know is that Ayeka was bluffing- Ayeka has already located the comic book where the savings were hidden, and the cash is now safely in her hands.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, both Tenchi and Sakuya are looking forward to the school festival, for not only is the memory of their recent near-kiss still in their minds, so is the superstition of finding happiness if they declare their love at the festival party. Watching from afar, Yugi is pleased to see their relationship progressing so well- for this may well be the decisive blow that severs the bond between Tenchi and the other girls.

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