26. No Need for a Conclusion!

Thanks to Tenchi, Kagato has finally been vanquished, and with his defeat, everyone’s innocence can finally be proved. Amidst a wealth of publicity, the charges against Ayeka and the others are officially dropped, and the Juraian princesses are finally able to return home.

There are plenty of loose ends to tie up from their adventures, however. Whilst Katushito recuperates from his injuries (happy to be waited upon by a bunch of beautiful young women), Washu enlists Kiyone and Mihoshi’s help in a new project- resurrecting the Jurai guardians. A simple energy transfer soon has Guardian Azaka and Kamidake up and running again. The original knights are also still very much alive and enjoying themselves back on Jurai; Azaka in particular has discovered a passion for video games, and spends all his time training with his ‘master’ Sasami.

Meanwhile, Washu comes into some good fortune when she is elected honorary president of the Universal Science Academy; however, despite an acceptance speech in which she promises to only use her inventions for peace, only a month later she is kicked out for creating a weapon capable of destroying the universe!

Mihoshi and Kiyone also fared well, with Kiyone finally getting her long-awaited promotion to sergeant, complete with some poetic justice in that she now outranks former classmate Mitsuki, who has to make tea for her new superior. Mihoshi somehow managed to get a promotion as well, although she prefers to hang out with Kiyone rather than attend to her new duties.

However, whilst all the other girls are doing well, there is one person whose current status Tenchi knows nothing about- Ryoko. Nothing has been seen or heard of her since the journey to Jurai, and even Nagi has found it impossible to turn up any information on the space pirate.

After staying a while on Jurai, Tenchi knows that it is finally time for him to go home, much to Sasami and Ayeka’s disappointment. As she tearfully says her goodbyes, Ayeka wonders why Tenchi would forsake the throne of Jurai and the power he could have as emperor. But Tenchi knows that that life is not for him- like Katsuhito, he prefers the freedom of Earth, as opposed to the restricted life of a royal family member. Ayeka, however, is used to quite the opposite, and now she must remain on Jurai as first princess whilst Tenchi returns to Earth.

Back on Earth, life for Tenchi has returned to the quiet existence he knew before he met Ryoko and the others. Fully recovered, Katsuhito has returned to his duties as shrine priest, his life as Yosho once again deeply buried. Nobuyuki is back to work (and still hitting on his female assistant), whilst Tenchi has returned to school. But although this is the peaceful life he sometimes wished for when the girls were around, it just doesn’t seem enough for Tenchi anymore. Life just isn’t as interesting now that Kiyone and Mihoshi’s apartment is unoccupied and boarded up, whilst back home the rooms are empty and the store cupboard is a plain old cupboard.

Walking to school one day, Tenchi can’t help recalling a time when Ryoko accompanied him down the shrine steps- the time she told him how she hoped those happy days would last forever. Only they didn’t last forever, and now Tenchi is alone, and the meowing he hears isn’t from Ryo-Ohki- just a plain old black cat. The crazy carnival that was his life has come to an end…

…or has it? For, as Tenchi walks on further, he hears someone call his name, and as he turns around, it seems as if Ryoko is standing a little way behind him. She soon disappears, but as Tenchi turns away and walks on, she re-materialises again on a rock in front of him. This is no illusion, as Tenchi soon discovers when Ryoko jumps off the rock and hugs him. The space pirate has returned, and she has plans to defeat Ayeka in a fair fight, and finally win Tenchi’s heart.

And it soon becomes clear that Ryoko isn’t the only one to have been drawn back to Earth. On Jurai, Ayeka has run away, leaving only a note behind, and when Sasami realises where she must have gone, she decides to go too, with both knights and guardians trailing after her. And whilst a flashing light in the store cupboard indicates that another dimension might be connecting up once again, outside an old, boarded-up apartment, two familiar faces are also about to make an appearance. After all, as Ryoko reminds Tenchi, the carnival always comes back to town eventually- and just because one set of adventures is over doesn’t mean that another journey isn’t about to begin.

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