5. Kagato Attacks!

Winter is coming, but whilst poor Tenchi is out in the fields pulling up carrots for Ryo-Ohki, Ayeka and Ryoko are enjoying a somewhat more leisurely soak in the covered baths. Naturally, the talk soon turns to Tenchi, and despite the fact that he and Ayeka are related by blood, Ryoko argues that she is actually closer to him. Throughout his life, Tenchi often passed by the shrine, and Ryoko enjoyed watching him. Unfortunately, now that she actually has a chance to interact with him, he treats her like a monster. As far as Ayeka is concerned, however, this is no surprise, and she soon has Ryoko in tears by reminding her of her age. At around a thousand years old, Ryoko is a wrinkly old woman- no wonder Tenchi isn’t interested.

Their leisurely bath is soon interrupted, however, first by Mihoshi, who comes to have a drink and ramble about Tenchi, and then by Sasami to criticise them for bathing so long. These disturbances pale in comparison to the final visitor, however- Kagato has finally tracked them down. And before the girls can do anything about it, he captures Ryoko, and teleports away with her.

Using Mihoshi’s Galaxy Police watch, Tenchi and the others track Kagato to Funaho, where he and an unconscious Ryoko are waiting for them. Ever eager to do her duty, Mihoshi attempts to arrest the space pirate, but he easily deflects her energy gun blasts, leaving her powerless to stop him. Next, Tenchi attempts an attack with his sword, only to find himself powerless when Kagato attacks him with a wind blast.

Kagato wants the sword for himself, but even as he reaches out for it, Ryoko reawakens and pushes Tenchi to safety. This is only a small setback for Kagato, however, who uses his power to resonate with the gem on Ryoko’s wrist. Ryoko immediately falls under Kagato’s control, and turns on Tenchi, immobilising and strangling him.

Fortunately, Tenchi’s luck hasn’t quite run out, and as Ryoko tightens her grip on Tenchi’s neck, Ryo-Ohki runs over and bites Kagato, causing his control to falter. Finally able to escape from Ryoko, Tenchi launches an attack on Kagato. Kagato dodges the full force of the blow, but the sword still grazes his cheek. Annoyed, Kagato creates a green energy sword of his own, and decides to test the extent of Tenchi’s skill in a one-on-one duel.

Tenchi bravely defends himself against Kagato’s attacks, but his energy is soon drained, and as the blade vanishes, Kagato reaches out and telekinetically takes the sword away, only to have it teleported away by someone else- Katsuhito.

Kagato recognises Katushito as the First Royal Prince of Jurai, and immediately asks him to reveal the powerful secrets of the universe that Kagato has spent so many years searching for. When Katsuhito replies that there are no such secrets, Kagato angrily fires energy attacks at the old man. Easily dodging, Kagato activates the Tenchi sword, and goes on the attack.

The two men duel, but when Kagato realises that Katsuhito is easily a match for him, he calls Ryoko into the battle. As Kagato steps back, Katsuhito finds himself fighting Ryoko. Heedful of Tenchi’s request to help rather than hurt her, Katsuhito aims for Ryoko’s wrist, and uses a sword stroke to sever her hand, thus releasing the gem that Kagato was using to control her.

As Ryoko drops into the lake, Kagato once more goes on the attack, only to watch as Katsuhito throws the sword so that it embeds itself into Funaho’s trunk. Kagato immediately breaks off and goes to claim his prize, only to find himself unable to touch the sword without being electrified by waves of blue energy.

Kagato may have been denied one prize, but he still manages to walk away with another. After rendering Ryoko unconscious, he picks her up and teleports away, challenging Tenchi to come and find them once he has improved his skills.

The battle is over for now, but there are still many consequences to consider. As Ayeka realises, if Katsuhito is a prince of Jurai, then he must be her long-lost brother, Yosho. Katsuhito admits the truth, and tells her that it was his plan al along to stay on Earth. His Earthling mother made him a target of much prejudice on Jurai, and going after Ryoko was a perfect excuse to leave. Now this planet is his home, and even though it means giving up access to the life prolonging trees and water on Jurai, he plans to stay on Earth.

Katsuhito’s adventures may be over, but Tenchi knows that his own journey is only beginning- for now he must go after Kagato and attempt to rescue Ryoko. Despite Tenchi’s doubts, Kagato offers to give him the sword, telling Tenchi that he must have faith in himself, and the power that sleeps inside of him.

Inspired by his grandfather’s words, Tenchi braves the electricity to pull the sword from Funaho. He still cannot control it reliably, but nonetheless, he must go and rescue Ryoko, and Sasami and Mihoshi are willing to go with him. Now, all they need is a mode of transport, and Ryo-Ohki is happy to oblige. Running to the lake, the cabbit summons the remnants of Ryu-oh. As the Ryu-oh pieces rise out of the lake, Ryo-Ohki transforms and fuses with them, creating a new spaceship.

Tenchi, Mihoshi and the previously reluctant Ayeka, boards the new Ryo-Ohki, and the ship heads for Kagato, who is in space aboard his own craft, the Souja. After amusing himself by taunting the now imprisoned Ryoko, Kagato decides to give Tenchi and the others a warm welcome by attacking their ship.

Unfortunately, the girls haven’t quite got figured out how to fully operate the ship, and so evasion and counterattack seem quite out of the question. Matters only seem worse when Mihoshi starts feeding Ryo-Ohki sake, although the ship’s drunken movements do end up making it harder to hit.

With Ryo-Ohki itself only of limited use, Tenchi suggests making use of the attached Ryu-oh, and despite the danger of boarding the incomplete Ryu-oh module, Tenchi volunteers to teleport aboard. Under Ayeka’s direction, Tenchi activates the ship’s Light Hawk wings, three wings that spin like fan blades to intercept and absorb incoming attacks. As Kagato prepares an attack that should overwhelm the Light Hawk wings, Tenchi uses his sword to switch the wings from defensive to offensive mode. Now they will be able to attack, but in exchange their own ship will be vulnerable.

As the Souja builds energy for its attack, Tenchi uses the Light Hawk wings to fire a counterattack, and the two energy attacks collide. Although most of the Souja’s blast is absorbed by the Light Hawk attack, a significant portion still gets through, scoring a direct hit on Tenchi’s ship.

Ryo-Ohki emerges unharmed, but the fused Ryu-oh is not so lucky. Having taken the brunt of the blast, the Ryu-oh module has been blown to pieces- whilst Tenchi was still inside. Seeing the floating debris, an enraged Ryoko breaks free of her confinement and teleports over to search for Tenchi, who is nowhere to be seen. Scanning the wreckage, she finally finds Tenchi’s bandanna- floating free and covered in blood. As she clutches the banner in anger and despair, Ryoko gains a new resolve; Tenchi must be avenged- and she will be the one to make Kagato pay for what he has done.