22. No Need for Knights!

Tenchi and the others have made it past the checkpoint, but the Juraian fleet is determined not to let them get any further. A warship is sent out after Yagami, and with Mihoshi asleep (as usual), it isn’t until Kiyone comes on duty that the team discovers anything is wrong.

With their pursuers right behind them, Yagami is unable to shake the warship- at least until Katsuhito speaks up with a suggestion. He tells Kiyone to head for a nearby cluster of stars- a cluster that does not appear to show up on the star charts. Initially sceptical, Kiyone and Ayeka suddenly realise that Katsuhito must have given them the location of the hidden and legendary Juraian Sacred Place.

Without permission, the warship cannot follow Yagami into the Sacred Place, giving them a little respite. Under Katsuhito’s direction, Kiyone adjusts course, and soon they are headed for a nearby planet. Tenchi, for one, is curious to know how his grandfather could know about the Sacred Place and the planet, but Katsuhito evades his questions, claiming to be too tired to talk. Leaving the bridge, Katsuhito goes to talk to Azaka and Kamidake. He tells them that their suspicions about him are correct, and that very shortly he will be need them to put their lives in his hands.

Catching up with his grandfather, Tenchi is determined to find out the truth. Katsuhito is not quite ready to explain everything just yet, but tells Tenchi that he will find out everything soon enough- it is part of a destiny Katsuhito now realises Tenchi must face up to.

As they approach the planet, Ayeka recalls another Juraian legend- the story of two knights who once aided the king of Jurai. Their power was almost invincible, and after their battles were over, they sealed themselves away to await a time when they would be reawakened and called to battle once more.

Landing on the planet, Tenchi and the others follow Katsuhito as he leads them down through a series of underground chambers to an open area filled with oversized tree stumps. Katsuhito explains that they find vital help here, and takes them to a tree flanked by two wooden sarcophagi marked with the same symbols as Azaka and Kamidake.

As Azaka and Kamidake take their places on platforms between the tree and the sarcophagi, Katsuhito steps forward, and begins summoning a force that Ayeka recognises as Jurai power. The power electrifies Azaka and Kamidake, transferring their life force to the sarcophagi, which open to reveal two desiccated bodies. As more energy gets transferred, the two bodies regenerate, transforming into two knights. They are the knights from the legends, and the namesakes of Ayeka’s guardians- the original Azaka and Kamidake.

Stepping forward, Azaka and Kamidake bow to Katsuhito- as the one who awakened them, he must be a king of Jurai. Finally, Katsuhito is forced to reveal his true identity- he is the legendary warrior Yosho, who gave up his claim to the throne and left many years ago. His wanderings brought him to Earth, a peaceful planet that healed the wounds in his soul. Later, he married into the Masaki family, taking on the name Katsuhito along with the duties of shrine priest. And, although he couldn’t exactly say anything at the time, he immediately realised that it was Washu who was trapped in the shrine.

Washu congratulates Katsuhito on managing to keep his Juraian heritage a secret form even her, although she suspects that even now there are secrets he has yet to disclose- such as the true identity of their enemy. Before she can probe any further, however, the team are interrupted. Having finally received permission to enter the Sacred Place, the Juraian warship has tracked them down, and it soon comes crashing through the ceiling with guns at the ready.

In order to counterattack, Ryoko has Ryo-Ohki transform into a spaceship, but before the cabbit can complete the transformation, the Juraian ship traps her in a force field. With Ryo-Ohki contain, the others are cornered and vulnerable, but they have an unexpected advantage in the form of their two newest allies- the knights Azaka and Kamidake.

Launching into battle, the two knights are easily able to not only withstand the warship’s energy blasts, but send them right back. Critically damaged by the blast, the warship plummets to the ground, and Ryo-Ohki is released. Thanks to Azaka and Kamidake, everyone is unharmed.

But there are two who have already given their lives this day- the guardians Azaka and Kamidake. Having sacrificed all of their life force so that the knights can be resurrected, their long vigil of protection is over- and now it is time for the original knights to take over that duty.

Listening to the reports back on Jurai, the fake Yosho realises the significance of Azaka and Kamidake’s awakening. His old adversary, the real Yosho, has returned, and this fake Yosho, for one, is looking forward to their inevitable confrontation.

And that confrontation may not be too far off, for every minute brings the gang closer to Jurai. And whilst Sasami teaches Azaka the finer points of video gaming, more serious thoughts occupy Ayeka and Tenchi’s minds. Tenchi finally knows the truth about his Juraian heritage, but what he doesn’t know is what awaits him. Katsuhito spoke of destiny, but what exactly does the future hold for Tenchi?