16. No Need for Hiding!

According to the legends, Yosho was a brave and compassionate Juraian prince who mysteriously disappeared years ago before he was due to ascend to the throne. Now, a man claiming to be Yosho has returned to claim the Juraian throne, and branded Ayeka and her companions as traitors and wanted criminals. The only way to exonerate themselves is to travel to Jurai in Kiyone’s shuttle Yagami.

Thanks to Washu, the compressed Masaki house has been returned to its original size (along with the compressed Azaka and Kamidake), and fortunately it fits nicely inside Yagami’s cargo bay. Now, everyone can enjoy all the comforts of home, and aside from Tenchi’s concern about seeing the stars go by outside his window, they all seem to be settling in well.

Whilst the others relax in the house, it is up to Kiyone to fly Yagami, but as she checks her readouts, she realises all is not well. Kiyone tries to call the others to the bridge, but despite her best efforts, no one responds. They are all too busy playing with their latest purchase- a brand new karaoke machine.

Finally, Kiyone goes down to the house and manages to snap everyone out of their karaoke session in order to give them some bad news. Not only are they out of fuel, but they are also out of money- Ryoko spent the last of it on the karaoke machine.

If they want to continue on to planet Jurai, the group will need cash- and that means that they will have earn money on the way. To that end, they make a stop on the planet Concor, where Ayeka sets up a cocktail bar. Azaka and Kamidake are set to work the doors and force any poor passer-by to stop and have a drink. Inside, Katsuhito takes on the role of bartender, with Ayeka, Washu, Mihoshi and Ryoko as hostesses and Tenchi and Nobuyuki as waiters. Poor Sasami and Kiyone are landed with the least glamorous job- washing dishes.

Business is soon going well, but what the group don’t realise that reports of them being on planet Concor have already made the news, piquing the interest of a certain bounty hunter named Nagi. Nagi decides to head to Concor in search of Ryoko, and ironically enough, it is Azaka and Kamidake’s enthusiastic sales pitch that has her stopping off at the bar.

When Tenchi and Ayeka realise who their latest guest is, they move quickly to hide Ryoko, who is almost ready to pass out from all the drink she has consumed. Walking up to the bar, Nagi asks for the house special, and is suitably impressed by both the drink and Katsuhito’s skilful preparation of it- right up until the moment when she gets the outrageously expensive bill. Fuming, Nagi storms out of the bar, swearing never to return. In a way, it is something of a lucky escape for the team.

After closing time, the team count their profits, and Ayeka cannot help but sigh- this isn’t the kind of work a royal princess should be doing. Her first trip off-world was a far cry from this- she saw the sights and sounds of a whole other galaxy, and even got to stay in the royal suite of a fancy hotel. Unfortunately, the stay wasn’t quite as idyllic as she hoped- thanks to their disruptive and heavy-drinking maid Ryoko.

Waking up from her drink-induced stupor, Ryoko is quick to dispute Ayeka’s story. She was working as a maid at the hotel, but far from being lazy and drunk, Ayeka had her working hard night and day to cater to her every whim- even tormenting poor Ryoko when she went in her boat out for some quiet fishing.

As always, the two girls argue over whose story is closest to the truth, but fortunately, everyone is too tired for a full-blown fight to break out. As they head back to Yagami, Washu wonders if they remembered to switch the gas off, but Mihoshi assures everyone that she took care of it. Unfortunately, Mihoshi is still just as incompetent as ever, and within seconds the whole bar is destroyed thanks to a huge gas explosion.

The authorities quickly respond to the explosion, and once again, the team find themselves on the run. Taking off in Yagami, they attempt to make a rapid escape, only to find themselves caught between a Galaxy Police fleet and a Juraian battleship.

Just as things look their worst, another ship shows up- Nagi’s Ken-Ohki. Nagi wants to take Ryoko herself, and to that end she begins attacking the Galaxy and the Juraians- no one is going to get in her way. Seeing all their enemies distracted, Yagami makes a quick escape, leaving the frustrated and annoyed Nagi stuck in the middle of battle.

As they continue on their way, Tenchi and Kiyone watch the latest news reports, labelling them as terrorist bombers in addition to their all their other crimes. As Tenchi and Kiyone speculate over Yosho, the man who seems to be framing them behind the scenes, the others relax and kick back with a little more karaoke. No matter what else this trip brings, it looks like there will be plenty of singing.

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