2. Four’s a Crowd

Waking up to a new day in Tokyo, Tenchi is surprised to find he isn’t alone in bed- Ryoko is with him. Washu has stabilised the inter-dimensional tunnel so that one end is in Tenchi’s bed, enabling the girls to come to Tokyo whenever they want. And this morning, it isn’t just Ryoko who has come to visit- the rest of the girls have popped in to share breakfast with him.

After breakfast, Tenchi finally manages to get away to school, and the girls return home. Unfortunately, the house seems empty without Tenchi, and soon all of the girls are missing him. Fortunately, the inter-dimensional tunnel is almost ready for everyday use- all that is left is for Washu to stabilise the Masaki house end in one particular location.

Naturally, Ryoko and Ayeka are quick to suggest possible locations for the tunnel entrance- both girls want it in their room so they can have near-exclusive visiting rights. Soon, the two girls are arguing over the tunnel, and as they both pull at it, the entrance bounces all over the room, eventually stabilising on the ceiling. As relocating it would be too much trouble, Washu decides to leave it in place, which suits Ryoko fine- after all, unlike the others, she can fly. As Ryoko flies through the tunnel to take a look at Tenchi’s room, Ayeka quickly gets a ladder so that she can go as well.

Meanwhile, Tenchi has spent the morning in school, and at lunch he meets two of his new classmates- Umanosube Tsuchida, grandson of the shrine priest Tenchi is training with, and Kazuhiko Amagasake. Just as they sit down to eat, however, the trio are also joined by Sakuya Kumashiro, who seems to have taken an interest in Tenchi. The others are surprised by this; Sakuya is one of the most popular girls in school, and Tenchi seems too ordinary to warrant her attention. But little do any of them realise that someone else is watching- the blonde girl from the crystal palace.

Later, Sakuya even asks to walk home with Tenchi, but as the two make their way back to his apartment, Tenchi spots Ryoko and Ayeka on the balcony/ Desperate not to incur their wrath by letting them see him with another girl, Tenchi tries to hide behind Sakuya, but only succeeds in accidentally tripping her up- and when he goes to catch her, Ryoko and Ayeka are incensed to see him putting his arms around another woman.

Realising he needs to get away quickly, Tenchi makes a run for it, dragging Sakuya behind him. The two of them end up at an old shrine, and when Sakuya sees that it is the Shrine of the Love Knot Goddess, she becomes convinced that this was a slick romantic move on Tenchi’s part.

Moving into the shrine, Sakuya prays to the Love Knot Goddess that she and Tenchi will become boyfriend and girlfriend, and, to her surprise, the goddess actually appears, taking the form of an old matchmaker. As Ryoko and Ayeka catch up, the goddess whisks them off to a café, promising Sakuya that this is all part of the plan to make her and Tenchi fall in love.

As they enjoy a cup of tea at the café, the ever-attendant Love Knot Goddess tries to make good on her word- by using one of her red strings of fate to tie Tenchi and Sakuya together. Unfortunately for the goddess, Tenchi catches her, and she quickly changes her tactics, transporting the two to first a movie, then the karaoke bar, arcade, photo booth and park. As she does so, the goddess is ever watchful for a chance to tie the couple together, but somehow, they always manage to thwart her.

By this time, Sakuya is sure of her feelings for Tenchi, but with Tenchi still not reciprocating in the way she wants, the Love Knot Goddess decides to take them to her magical realm, where a kiss under the tree of fate will seal their relationship forever. Having only just met Sakuya, Tenchi is unwilling to declare his love for her, but when the Love Knot Goddess finally manages to tie them together with the thread of fate, it looks like matters may be moving out of his hands.

As she tugs on the thread of fate, the goddess drags the reluctant Tenchi closer to Sakuya, who is also beginning to have second thoughts about being forced into a kiss so soon. Taking control, the Love Knot Goddess hypnotises Sakuya into compliance, and tells Tenchi that his fate is now inevitable, thanks to the red thread she tied between them. But as the goddess examines the thread, she notices that there are many others tied to Tenchi, connecting him to all of his family and friends.

As the goddess tugs on these extra threads, she manages to pull Ryoko and Ayeka into the magical realm, and they are far from pleased to see someone interfering with Tenchi. The goddess is not happy to see them either, and quickly encases them in balls of magical thread, before tossing them away. A normal human would never be able to escape from this confinement, but Ryoko and Ayeka are easily able to break out.

As the two girls move to retaliate, the Love Knot Goddess throws more string at them, but Ayeka and Ryoko easily intercept it, and wind it into a huge ball. Once all of the string has run out, they hurl the ball right back at the goddess, knocking her into the sky.

With the Love Knot Goddess gone, Tenchi and Sakuya find themselves back at the shrine, where Tenchi is quick to convince Sakuya that the whole Love Knot Goddess incident was just a dream- although their afternoon together was real and enjoyable enough.

Back in Tenchi’s apartment, Ryoko and Ayeka are each sure that the red threads tying them to Tenchi are a sign that they are the only one meant to be with him. But where there were once two rivals for Tenchi’s love, it looks like there may now be a third- for even as they watch, Tenchi bids goodbye to Sakuya outside his apartment. Looking on, Ryoko and Ayeka are united in their resolve- Sakuya must be watched lest she try to sneak in and become Tenchi’s girlfriend.

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