3. Hello Ryo-Ohki!

Now stranded on Earth, Ayeka’s dreams are filled with memories of her time with Yosho on Jurai, but the dreams inevitably turn to the fateful appearance of the demon Ryoko, and Yosho’s departure to battle her. As the dream turns to a nightmare, Ayeka awakens to a present where Yosho is long gone, and all she has left of him is the sword that Tenchi returned to her.

The next morning, Ryoko heads over to the lake and dives down to the wreck of her Ryo-Ohki spaceship. In the middle of the wrecked ship, she finds what she is looking for- a large black egg. Meanwhile, back at the house, Sasami is trying to convince Ayeka to leave their bedroom- she has been stuck there for a week, and her behaviour is reflecting badly on Juraian manners. With a little inducement, Ayeka is finally persuaded to come downstairs, although she nearly loses her nerve when she sees that Ryoko is down there, whilst Tenchi is nowhere in sight.

Tenchi soon returns, however, and whilst Ayeka apologises for her earlier behaviour, Sasami is more interested in Ryoko’s egg. Keen to rile Ayeka, Ryoko leads everyone to believe that the egg is hers- and that Tenchi is the father!

To Ayeka’s disgust and Tenchi’s confusion, Ryoko shoves the egg of their supposed child into his hands, where it promptly begins to hatch. The creature within turns out to be a cabbit (cat-rabbit), and when Ryoko addresses it as Ryo-Ohki, everyone finally realises the truth- it is the offspring of Ryoko’s crashed spaceship.

Thinking that Tenchi was in on Ryoko’s joke, an angry and upset Ayeka decides that she cannot take any more, and storms out. Whilst Sasami plays with the new-born Ryo-Ohki, Tenchi berates Ryoko for her lack of conscience, which she takes as a cue to begin cuddling up to him. Ryoko’s ulterior motive is, of course, to get the sword back, but to her horror, Tenchi tells her that he gave it back to Ayeka. Now Ryoko’s gems are in the hands of the Juraian princess.

Meanwhile, Ayeka herself has gone outside to be alone with her thoughts. As Ayeka starts crying, Ryo-Ohki arrives to comfort her- which is one of the last things the princess wants. Despite her best efforts, Ryo-Ohki will not leave Ayeka alone, and so the princess decides that if the cabbit won’t leave, then she will. Giving Ryo-Ohki strict orders to stay put, Ayeka walks away.

As Ayeka wanders through the woods near the shrine, she realises that Ryo-Ohki is still following her, but when she turns around to scold the cabbit, her eye is drawn to a particular flower- a royal teardrop. The plant is native to Jurai, and a young Ayeka once gave one to Yosho. Seeing the flower again reawakens those memories, and Ayeka cannot help but start crying. Despite Ayeka’s insistence that she wants to be alone, Ryo-Ohki is determined to cheer her up, and brings the princess a red Earth flower. Seeing the flower, Ayeka cannot help but smile, and even begins to stroke the cabbit.

Back at the house, Ryoko is busy searching through Ayeka’s belongings, only to be interrupted by Sasami. Whilst Ryoko makes a quick getaway via teleportation, Ayeka is still out in the woods, petting Ryo-Ohki and wondering what to do next. With no ship, she is stuck on Earth, with the Tenchi sword as her only clue to finding her brother. Listening to her, Ryo-Ohki decides that there is something Ayeka needs to see, and runs off into the woods.

Ayeka follows, and soon finds herself wandering through the woods, until finally she stumbles upon Tenchi and Katsuhito training together. Watching them, Ayeka realises that Katsuhito is teaching Tenchi the same swordplay routines used by the Juraian royal family, and wonders if this is a clue as to her brother’s whereabouts. Energised by this thought, Ayeka calls out to Tenchi, but her attempt to get his attention ends in disaster when she falls down the slope she was standing on.

Tenchi and Katsuhito quickly rush over to see what is going on, and discover Ayeka, who fell and sprained her ankle during the fall. Ayeka tries to ask Katsuhito about the swordplay routines, but he pretends not to notice, and instead says that he is going home. And, as Ayeka probably shouldn’t walk on her bad leg, Tenchi can carry her back to the house.

Whilst Ryoko unhappily learns from Sasami that Ayeka always carries the sword with her, Tenchi and Ayeka find themselves caught in a rainstorm. Tenchi takes them to a small hut where they can shelter until the storm is over. After stripping off his wet shirt, Tenchi lights a fire, before standing outside under the eaves so that Ayeka can take off her wet outer clothes without him watching.

Stripping down to her under-robe, Ayeka begins towelling herself off, but soon becomes spooked when she realises that there is something else in the shed with her. When the unknown creature jumps on her chest, Ayeka screams in fear, and as Tenchi comes inside to investigate, she runs into his arms.

As the two realise that the creature is only Ryo-Ohki, relief turns to embarrassment as they realise how close they are. Tenchi offers to go back outside, but Ayeka tells him it isn’t necessary- after all, it must be cold outside.

As they sit together by the fire, both Tenchi and Ayeka have apologies to make; Ayeka is sorry that she misjudged Tenchi, whilst Tenchi acknowledges that the whole situation is his fault- he was the one who released Ryoko. It was because of that that Ayeka ended up stuck on Earth, and now that she is here there is only one thing for her to do- attempt to locate her brother. Tenchi offers his help and support- they are distant relatives, after all, so she is welcome to stay with the Masakis for as long as she wants.

After the rain clears up, Tenchi and Ayeka continue on their way home. Tenchi wonders if Ayeka would like to search for clues about Yosho at Ryoko’s shrine, but something else has caught Ayeka’s eye- the holy tree of the Masaki shrine. There are many legends surrounding the tree, and Ayeka decides that she would like to see it for herself.

Once they reach the tree, Ayeka inspects it, and soon confirms that is Funaho, the tree that forms the brain and heart of her brother’s spaceship. Funaho has taken root, and can no longer become a spaceship, but the fact that it is still alive means that Yosho must be alive as well!

Using the ‘master key’ sword, Ayeka activates the tree’s memory banks, and Tenchi and Ayeka are surrounded by a recording of the ship’s last mission. Funaho chased Ryo-Ohki down to the surface and caused it to crash into the Earth, forming the crater that later filled with water to become the lake. Meanwhile, Yosho and Ryoko fought their own battle on the surface of the planet, until Yosho stabbed Ryoko in the throat and used his sword to draw out the three gems.

As the recording ends, Ayeka is filled with renewed hope that her brother is still alive. Returning the sword to Tenchi, she asks that he become the protector of the Juraian royal family until Yosho is found. As Tenchi accepts the sword, Sasami, Ryo-Ohki and Ryoko arrive. Sasami was worried about her sister’s whereabouts, whilst Ryoko was more concerned with finding the sword! She is pleased to see that Tenchi has the sword back, but can’t quite believe that Ayeka gave it to him of her own free will. As Ryoko teleports off in a huff, Ayeka leads her new protector away. This could be the start of a great rivalry…

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