Set page style to Cave Set page style to Fanfiction Set page style to Parchment
Chapter 39 Main Chapters Chapter 41

No Need For Incriminating Evidence

Ayeka bows to the audience and says, "Dragonwiles has asked me again to be your DJ for a chapter. The song I plan to play today is an Earth tune called 'Secret Agent Man.' Dragonwiles does not own this song, but he assures me that it has a long and storied tradition."

Dragonwiles mutters, "I said it was an 'oldie', but I guess it's about the same thing."

A figure in a large, black cloak strode along the street, then stopped in front of a restaurant with a cheerful sign. He turned his head to observe the boy who had ceased washing the windows to stare.

"The Juraian stench clings to you," the cloaked figure said contemptuously, its reptilian eye observing the child for a moment, then scrutinizing the establishment's exterior more closely.

The boy's grandmother bustled out of the restaurant and stood in front of him, shouting querulously, "If you're not here for food, be on your way, stranger!"

"If I were to harm something so weak as that brat," the figure said, turning its head away, "my brothers would hold me in contempt."

The figure continued moving down the street, out of town.

Aboard, Mimasaka, Gohgei told Tenchi and his companions, "Lord Ohsa's involved in something shady. Most everyone knows it. That's why he's started hiring goons - to keep people from finding out what exactly is going on. You met some in the restaurant."

"Gohgei, you haven't been doing anything dangerous, have you?" Asahi asked, alarmed.

He shook his head and said reassuringly, "No, it's only come to physical conflict once, in the course of duty. I was on patrol at the mines when I found those goons behind one of the ore warehouses, beating up a townsperson who had stood up to them. The goons tried bribes and threats on me, but I managed to disperse them without permanent injury on either side."

Ayeka thought a moment, then said, "We need some sort of evidence to convict Lord Ohsa of a crime."

Sasami added, "And we need to link him to Tatetsuki, so people will realize they're both bad and Asahi's father was wrongfully accused!"

"That should be easy," Ryoko commented. "Let's get to doctoring some evidence then!"

"Of course I want true evidence, Ryoko!" Ayeka snapped. "I am not in the business of promoting injustice throughout the empire!"

"You could be more clear," Ryoko teased.

Washu put in, "Have you noticed anything suspicious at the mines, Gohgei?"

Gohgei put a finger to his chin for a moment, then said, "Asahi, one of your father's other friends here at the mines noticed that during Tatetsuki's most recent visits, some of the local hoodlums were surreptitiously loading something onto Tatetsuki's personal vessel. Perhaps there is ore smuggling occurring."

"Wait, is this Hielzen S ore illegal?" Tenchi asked.

"No," Kiyone clarified, "but since the planet is Juraian, it'd be illegal for Lord Ohsa to ship or sell Hielzen S without paying taxes to Jurai on it."

"If Lord Ohsa were doing that, then he probably forged his records to cover it up, right Ayeka?" Sasami asked.

Washu winked at Sasami, "Excellent idea. We don't have to gather incriminating evidence. I bet Lord Ohsa's probably got some for us already!"

"Huh?" Sasami asked, not sure how this followed.

"You reminded me," Washu explained. "It'd be hard for Lord Ohsa to keep track of his real mining operations with fake books. And he'd want to have something to offer the Juraian Royal Family if they ever did find out what he was up to. So I bet Ohsa's got real books and all sorts of other evidence against Tatetsuki somewhere in his palace. The real books would implicate Tatetsuki very strongly, so they'd be evidence enough for a good plea-bargain."

Mihoshi enthused, "That's brilliant, Washu! I wish we'd come up with that! Don't you, too, Kiyone?"

"Yes," Kiyone responded dully.

"Well, this oughta be really simple," Ryoko postulated. "Gohgei should be able to help us get into Ohsa's place. We knock out whatever guards he's got, grab the stuff, and leave."

"There is a problem with that," Gohgei noted.

"Hey, we're on the good guys' side here!" Ryoko huffed. "I don't see what's so wrong with the plan!"

"The moral aspects are problematic," Gohgei concurred with a smile, "but the real problem is that I'm a guard at Lord Ohsa's mines. I don't have any way of entering his palace."

Ayeka allowed herself only a small smile at the sight of Ryoko simmering with irritation and embarrassment, before saying primly, "We shall of course conduct this operation in an entirely legal way. As a member of the Juraian Royal Family, I am entirely authorized to conduct a surprise inspection into the conduct of noblemen's business affairs. What any guards we may encounter should choose to do in response is their responsibility."

Sasami leapt up and put her hands in the air, cheeing, "No disguises!" Ryo-ohki cavorted around her, simply because she liked cavorting.

"Now that's more like it," Ryoko grinned, already thinking through what her responses to the guards' responses would be.

Kiyone thought to herself that this sort of royal power lent itself to abuse, and had many times before in galactic history, if she recalled her lessons correctly. On the other hand, from what she'd seen on the planet, Lord Ohsa's patronage was allowing the goons to develop full-fledged organized crime. She couldn't stand to see that happening. Hopefully, removing Lord Ohsa and instating a new ruler would nip this threat in the bud.

About a half-hour later, as Earthlings reckon time, Washu had used Mimasaka's sensors to determine a blueprint of Lord Ohsa's palace, and several guesses as to where he would keep valuable items. Washu volunteered herself, Mihsoshi, and Sasami to remain aboard Mimasaka to guard Lady Asahi, much to everyone's relief.

The palace had a standard anti-teleportation field, so Mimasaka teleported Tenchi, Ayeka, Ryoko, Kiyone, and Gohgei, to just outside the garden entrance.

The two guards on duty in this area quickly stood up and rushed out of the shade of the tree where they had been resting. Ayeka looked them in the eye and declared, "I am Princess Ayeka Masaki Jurai, here to conduct a surprise investigation of Lord Ohsa. Open the door to his palace at once."

The guards looked at each other a moment, then one said disbelievingly, "Yeah, right."

"I can prove it-" Ayeka began to say, but neither appeared interested. One drew a weapon while the other raised a mouthpiece.

Before they could raise an alarm, Kiyone flicked her arm out. Her yo-yo bashed one guard in the head, and another flick of Kiyone's forearm slammed it into the other guard's skull. They collapsed, concussed, to the ground.

"Was that a yo-yo?" Tenchi asked, stupefied.

"Yes," Kiyone replied as she handcuffed the guards and dragged them behind some decorative bushes, out of sight.

"Wow," Tenchi commented, for lack of anything else to say.

Ayeka considered the palace's garden door. "Is there any way to get in without alerting a security system?" she wondered aloud.

"I'm afraid I don't know," Gohgei admitted.

"Oh, let's just get going already!" Ryoko said exasperatedly, ripping the door off its hinges and throwing it to the ground at her feet.

"Wow," Tenchi commented.

A voice on an intercom began to announce, "Intruder alert, intruder alert."

"Wonderful!" Ayeka said sarcastically, glaring at Ryoko.

"Are we going or not?" Ryoko demanded, stepping briskly into the palace.

Not to be outdone, Ayeka marched in and took up a position at Ryoko's side. Tenchi and Gohgei followed, while Kiyone took the rear, alert to everything behind their group.

As they moved into another hallway, they spotted several guards running towards them. The guards saw them and drew blasters. Ayeka's network of shield logs created a vertical plane to block any potential attack against the companions while Ayeka shouted, "Halt! I am Princess Ayeka of Jurai! Lower your weapons!"

The guards, unheeding, took aim and were about to fire despite the shield when Ryoko teleported behind them and swiftly knocked them unconscious.

"They don't seem to believe you're a princess," Ryoko commented. "I thought it'd be obvious, seeing as you are so stuck-up."

Kiyone said tersely, "We should keep moving."

They did so, but two more guards ran up behind them. Kiyone used her yo-yo to knock them out. The guards were still shocked that anyone had actually breached the palace, and so frightened that they were firing their blasters randomly as they came around the corner.

"So reckless," Ayeka muttered disapprovingly at the guards' still forms, and Kiyone nodded before they all moved on.

"Here's the first likely location for him to keep it," Kiyone said a few moments later as she double-checked the blueprint Washu had given them, with notes on the probable location of the data they needed to recover. Their present location was a secure vault in one of the more fortified areas of the palace.

Ryoko summoned her energy saber and melted a hole around the vault door's deadbolt. The door, large enough for a person to enter, swung out with no resistance when she pulled on it.

The vault was about ten meters square, crammed with jewels, precious artwork, cash, bank notes, and stock certificates.

After a quick but thorough search, everyone groaned.

"This is just his money!" Ryoko said for everyone as she slammed the door shut in disgust. Without its deadbolt, it would no longer stay closed, so it rebounded slightly. Ayeka pushed it to a complete stop, flush with the jamb.

"Let's just go to the room Washu marked in the middle of the palace," Tenchi suggested. "That'd be a pretty secure location."

"A wise suggestion, Lord Tenchi," Ayeka agreed, and the group headed towards the center of the palace.

On their way, they stumbled upon some disorganized and scattered guards, who were quickly rendered unconscious.

In this manner they reached the central room of the palace. Guarding the door were a pair of giant sentrybots, who menacingly unfolded themselves to stand three-and-a-half meters tall, and trained four guns each on the companions.

"Uh-oh," Tenchi commented.

Almost before he was done saying it, Ayeka had used her Juraian abilities to fly forward at one of the robots and chop off all of its guns, and Ryoko had fired an energy quarrel from her palm to destroy the other robot's processing units and memory.

"No energy shields on those guardbots," Gohgei commented, stroking his chin. "I don't know robots, but even I know that's odd."

"Someone cheated this Lord Ohsa," Kiyone theorized.

Ryoko said, "I'm betting he wanted to say, 'Hey, I'm not a bumpkin from nowhere! Look at my sophisticated, overpriced guardbots!'" Then she shot a look at Ayeka and said, "And you could give me more warning next time. I was going to take out the other robot too! You're lucky I saw you move in time and didn't fire at the other bot!"

"I am more than capable of handling opponents such as these," Ayeka sniffed.

"Let's just look in the room," Tenchi pleaded.

Ryoko was about to melt around the lock on this door when she noticed something about the door. She whispered to the others, with a puzzled glance, "Someone's in there!"

Kiyone held her blaster at the ready while Tenchi and Ryoko did the same with their swords. Ayeka summoned her logs about herself and took firm hold of her hilt. Gohgei watched the door ahead of them calmly but attentively.

Ryoko flung open the unlocked door. Inside they could see computer screens and data equipment. Several cases of data records had been torn open by some sort of sharp claws, and shattered data records and computer media littered the floor. A cloaked figure was surveying the damage when it heard the noise of the door and began to speak.

The figure turned to face them and asked sharply, "What?" It was hard to read the expression of the masked face, especially since only a reptilian eye showed through, but the voice had indicated surprise. Then it remarked, "Ah, I thought I hadn't been so clumsy as to activate the security system here."

Ayeka looked prim while Ryoko glared at the caped intruder. Tenchi asked, "Who are you? And what have you been doing in there?"

"My mission is nearly complete, and I don't really care about you if you don't get in my way," the figure informed him. "So stand aside, that I may fulfill my last task and depart."

A multitude of footsteps came their way. Among the first in the party was a tall man in ostentatious robes, carrying a long staff that had an odd, metallic sheen to it. He had pointed ears, dark orange skin, and long black hair and eyebrows. Upon seeing the wreckage done by the cloaked figure, he began to curse and exclaimed, "What did I hire guards for!"

The cloaked man replied with relish, "Ah, Lord Ohsa, you arrive at last. Your precious recordings are already destroyed."

"Who put you up to this? What do you want?" Lord Ohsa demanded angrily.

"Tatetsuki gave me a message for you," the cloaked figure exulted. "He said he did not appreciate you recording his conversations with you. In his generosity, Tatetsuki will continue to buy your Hielzen S. But the next time you contemplate betrayal, contemplate how easily I was able to infiltrate your palace. And how easily a life can be ended, at any time my master should wish it."

Lord Ohsa's expression reflected his conflicting emotions of fear and anger, and his skin began to turn purple.

Ryoko swore, "Now what do we do! Our evidence is destroyed!"

"Lord Ohsa!" Ayeka said sharply, and then turned to the cloaked figure, "And you, sir!" She said to both of them, "I am the Princess Ayeka Masaki Jurai. I expect an answer to the questions I am about to bring you."

"The missing princess?" Lord Ohsa scoffed. "With no other Juraians in your party? You're an imposter, a criminal in his gang!"

The cloaked figure uttered, "You do stink like a Juraian. But these persons are not my companions. And now it is time for me to depart, so I would advise all to leave me be." His visible eye glared at everyone in the room.

Lord Ohsa's anger rippled in his voice as he chuckled, "Oh no. You see, the local mobsters that have unfortunately sprung up on this planet will take care of all of you. Perhaps Tatetsuki will treat me with more respect after that."

He turned and walked out of the room, ignoring Ayeka's commands to stop. She considered calling in Azaka and Kamadaki, but if more enemies attacked, she wanted the robots to remain with those aboard Mimasaka.

Tenchi recognized some of the thugs in the room as being those who had tried to enforce a protection racket upon the restaurant. The leader of that gang recognized them too, as he sneered at Gohgei and said, "I told you I had friends."

"Yes, but are they friends worth having?" Gohgei asked seriously.

The cloaked figure began to run forward, then, as it reached the front of the crowd of thugs, pivoted in place and slew all within reach with giant, metallic claws. The mobsters, not having expected such stiff resistance, screamed and fell back, clearing a path for him. The cloaked thing began to run towards the door.

Ryoko flew to just in front of the door, saying, "We still need some answers from you." The cloaked figure barely dodged Ryoko's saber by pivoting its body, then lashed out at her with its claws. Ryoko, however, brought her arm up sharply and caught the thing under its wrist, sweeping its claws harmlessly upwards. This did not appear to disturb the thing overmuch - as its arm was raised up, the cloak fell back a bit, revealing a curious mixture of mechanical components and natural muscles.

"No need to waste your talents here," Gohgei told her, having suddenly appeared beside her. Tenchi and the others were easily dispersing the remaining mobsters as Gohgei continued, "Why don't you locate Lord Ohsa while I deal with this one?"

Ryoko shrugged and flew away, while the cloaked thing turned away from Gohgei and made to run out the door. Gohgei calmly punched it across its mask, sending it reeling into the hall. Tenchi and Ayeka ran past, but the thing did not seem to notice them. Instead, it turned its face towards Gohgei.

"A Gagutian," the cloaked thing rasped as it regained its balance. "At last."

Gohgei frowned, a rare occurrence. "How did you know?"

"We are built to know what hits us," the cloaked thing explained vaguely. "I have trained my whole life to be able to fight your kind. Reveal your true strength, and your name. I shall tell you my name, and strive to make this a combat worthy of you."

Gohgei paused, then nodded.

"I am Mushima, of the Shima brothers," the cloaked thing said proudly.

"And I am Gohgei, the Gagutian," Gohgei replied as he began to metamorphose.

Ryoko flew throughout the palace, trying to pick up the trail of the fleeing lord. Tenchi and Ayeka were running, trying to do the same.

It so happened that Tenchi and Ayeka came upon him first, lounging in a comfortable chair with two thugs keeping watch behind him, apparently convinced that all was taken care of. When he saw them, his skin turned a darker shade of ochre, as he asked wonderingly, "How did you escape all of them?"

Ayeka exclaimed, "I am the Princess-"

The Lord leapt to his feet and picked up his staff, which had been leaning against his chair. "No matter," he grunted while flourishing his staff, "this has been tempered with Hielzen S. Your imitation energy swords can't cut it, and when it hits you-"

Tenchi seethed. Suddenly he saw the old woman being terrorized in her own restaurant, by thugs this man introduced to the planet for his own gain. Tenchi ran forward and swung with his sword at Lord Ohsa. The lord brought his staff up to counter his blow. Tenchi could feel his sword cut cleanly through Lord Ohsa's staff. The next thing he knew, he was falling backwards, and there was a green shield between himself and the rest of the room. Beyond the shield, there was a huge explosion, then silence. Tenchi stepped back quickly and blinked, his ears ringing. Ayeka's shielding network of tiny logs hung in the air, forming a curtain between the side of the room he and Ayeka were on, and the side of the room Lord Ohsa and the thugs were on. The shields disappeared after a moment.

There was an enormous scorch mark on the opposite wall. Lord Ohsa, badly burned, was sprawled on his back on top of his overturned chair, which was on fire. The two thugs had also been terribly burned, one crumpled behind the chair, the other slumped against the wall.

Ayeka kicked Ohsa out of the smoldering chair to prevent further harm, then looked at Tenchi and said, "I apologize, Lord Tenchi. Unfortunately, even a Juraian network has some delay between detection of an event and its activation. Also, I am afraid your hearing may suffer temporarily; my shield network is programmed to block radiating energy transfer at the expense of sonic energy transfer. Are you well?"

"Uh, I'm fine, I guess," Tenchi replied. "What just happened?"

"What just happened?" Ryoko demanded as she flew into the room.

"Apparently Hielzen S explodes when you cut it," Tenchi surmised.

Ryoko shrieked, "It what!" She flew towards Tenchi and began examining him carefully.

"Hey, Ayeka had her shield network up, I'm fine!" Tenchi tried to reassure her. Ryoko pursed her lips while Ayeka announced primly, "They should all survive, to some extent, given rapid medical attention. We'll take Lord Ohsa to Mimasaka, where he can be restrained for attempting to kidnap members of the Royal Family." Having said this, she nonchalantly slung Lord Ohsa, then another thug, over her shoulders.

Tenchi, catching himself staring at this display of strength, said, "I wonder how Kiyone and Gohgei are doing. Let's go check on them."

After he left the room, Ayeka started to head towards the third thug. Ryoko flew over and picked him up.

"Why thank you, Ryo-" Ayeka began to say, then broke off as Ryoko tossed the thug onto Ayeka's head and flew off. The other thug, unbalanced on the pile of bodies, fell to the floor. "Thank you very much, indeed, monster woman," Ayeka grumbled as she picked up the other thug herself, encumbered by the other bodies she was carrying.

Kiyone had been stepping over and around the dead mobsters, and slapping restraints on the unconscious and incapacitated mobsters, muttering their rights out of habit, when she heard Mushima introduce himself. Slapping the last restraint on a prisoner, she looked out the door just in time to see Gohgei add at least half a meter to his already great height. Straight black hair cascaded off his previous bald head till it reached the small of his back. His skin darkened, and his eyes and pointed ears grew to about twice their normal size. Knobs formed on his shoulders, and sharp slashing blades of bone grew off his elbows.

She watched the ensuing melee in astonishment for several minutes, until she heard the pounding of feet, then Tenchi's voice as he said in amazement, "Who is that? And where's Gohgei?"

Kiyone shouted into the hall, "That is Gohgei!"

Tenchi, Ryoko, and eventually Ayeka watched in amazement as Gohgei and Mushima battled. At first it seemed that Mushima would have the edge in maneuverability, but Tenchi watched in astonishment as Gohgei rapidly sidestepped one of Mushima's swipes, then the next, and even avoided Mushima's sudden third swipe. Gohgei then launched a fist with incredible speed at the cloaked figure's face, punching so hard that Mushima was flung into a wall. Just after Mushima impacted, Gohgei was before him again, punching again and again. Mushima clawed at Gohgei's arms, and Gohgei gave some ground, allowing Mushima to pry himself out of the wall and strike again. Gohgei shoved these new attacks aside and delivered a punishing blow to Mushima's midsection. It was unclear what happened through the cloak, but there was a sound like crystal shattering in addition to Mushima's grunt of pain.

Mushima collapsed to the floor and rasped, "I yield. Clearly I have not yet trained enough to equal a Gagutian. Nevertheless, I thank you for this opportunity."

Gohgei's voice, several tones deeper, responded, "You may go. I bear no grudge against you. But as long as you work for Tatetsuki, foe of my friend Lord Nomori Takebe, we shall be enemies."

"So Lady Asahi Takebe did find help," rasped Mushima. "I never thought she'd find this much."

Ayeka commanded Mushima, "Tell Tatetsuki that we, Princess Ayeka Masaki Jurai, are coming soon to investigate his charges against Lord Nomori - and that we are very displeased already with Tatetuski's conduct, in sending you on a mission of destruction to one of our planets."

"The message will be delivered," Mushima acknowledged as he limped away.

Once he was out of sight, Gohgei relaxed and began slowly to return to normal, though his sudden profusion of hair remained.

Ryoko asked, "So, just what are you, Gohgei?"

"A Gagutian," he replied with a smile, "a species shunned or feared. Would you please do me two favors? First, would you please not tell Lady Asahi about this?"

"Of course," Ayeka agreed immediately.

"And what else?" Kiyone inquired.

"Would someone please give me a haircut before we get back to Mimasaka?" Gohgei asked. "The hair remains, you see."

A few hours later, Gohgei, Asahi, Tenchi, Ayeka, Ryoko, Sasami, Washu, Kiyone, Mihoshi, and Ryo-ohki, in no disguises whatsoever, walked through the doors of the restaurant they had first entered that morning. There was a silence as everyone stared at them.

The old woman left her chopping block, came around the counter, and said in a quavering voice, "You're the ones who stood up to Lord Ohsa, aren't you?"

Tenchi looked around the restaurant, finding it hard to tell what anyone thought about it. Finally, he simply said, "Yes, we did."

"Your dinners tonight are my gift to you!" the old woman exclaimed jubilantly, and every patron in the restaurant began cheering and leaping to their feet in excitement.

After the first two courses, Tenchi found himself pleasantly stuffed, as did most of the others, though Gohgei and Mihoshi were still enjoying their meals. Nearly all the patrons had thanked them profusely three or four times, and many were still gathered around just to stare at the amazing offworlders. Though unnerving at first, their generous natures reminded Tenchi of his neighbors out in the country on Earth, and he soon felt completely at ease.

"So, what's the plan now?" Washu asked the table at large. "I doubt all the evidence linking Tatetsuki and Ohsa is destroyed. A good prosecutor and investigative team could come up with plenty."

Ayeka shook her head, "We should proceed to Ryuten at once. I do not like the thought of Tatetsuki putting these Shima brothers, whatever they are, up to mischief there."

Sasami noted, "I hadn't realized you were knowledgeable about legal matters, too, Little Washu!"

"Oh, that was ages ago, lots has probably changed," Washu said, modest for a change. "I had to learn fast, when I was put on trial."

Tenchi blinked, but before he had a chance to say anything, Mihoshi asked Asahi, "So, how did you and Gohgei know each other?"

Asahi explained, "Our parents were friends for a long time, so that's how we met."

Gohgei explained, "In fact, sometimes Lord Nomori asked me to babysit Asahi! But, that was obviously a while ago. Since then, Asahi has grown into the lovely young lady you see today."

"Thank you," Asahi said softly, looking down in shyness. After a few moments, her cheeks began to match the shade of the condiment she was steadily pouring on her food.

The boy waiter visibly gathered his courage, then walked over to Ryoko and Ryo-ohki and asked, "Miss, may I please pet him?"

"He's a she, but go ahead," Ryoko said kindly, simultaneously with Ryo-ohki leaping off the large table and into the boy's hands with a "Meow!". Tenchi smiled as the boy burbled thanks and stroked Ryo-ohki's dark brown fur.

"This is great!" the boy said after a few moments. "I bet the other one felt just like you," he said conversationally to Ryo-ohki.

Ryo-ohki turned her head and uttered a surprised "Meow!" while Ryoko asked anticipatorily, "What other one?"

The boy told them, "Oh, a while back, a lady with long silver hair, and a creature that looked just like her," he petted Ryo-ohki some more, "except white, came through here and left again."

"Meow? Meow!" Ryo-ohki said, looking significantly back at Ryoko.

"Nagi and Ken-ohki?" Tenchi breathed.

"I wonder what they were doing here," Kiyone wondered aloud, putting her fingers to her chin in thought.

Mihoshi suggested, "Buying a vacation home?"

The boy, seeing how interesting this story was for the offworlders, offered his last tidbit with as much flourish as he could, "She didn't say much, but I did hear her saying something. She said something, somethin' like this: "Well, that's the hundredth one.""

Ayeka murmured, "The hundred criminals I ordered Nagi to capture, as part of her sentence. She must have fulfilled it."

One of the locals said, "Hey, Gohgei! What exactly did happen in Lord Ohsa's palace?"

"It was an amazing adventure," Gohgei began, and the others settled in for what would surely be a lengthy tale.

Next Chapter

A self-satisfied man in elegant robes takes the stage and announces, "I am Tatetsuki, the much-maligned noble that Tenchi and his friends hope to subdue. But I'm much more experienced in politics than they, and I've still got the two other Shima brothers to help me! I'm confident I will win the day."

On cue, two more cloaked figures, the other Shima brothers, appeared in the shadows behind Tatetsuki.

"So, next time," Tatetsuki continues, "enjoy witnessing my mastery of the Hou School, in No Need For a Coroner!"

Continuity with Dragonwiles

Dragonwiles reposes in state in the library of his lair. Looking up from his book, he greets, "Welcome to this special segment, in which I give a few brief continuity notes.

"Well, this chapter also proceeds very differently from the action in the manga. In the manga, the action in Lord Ohsa's palace proceeds very differently from what I've described. Astute readers will notice that entire scenes have been left out - and also, because of the changes I've made to her, Minagi didn't appear. Minagi, unfortunately, won't be appearing for a while in my story, because in my story she is awaiting trial.

"Also, Gohgei and Mushima are supposed to face off on Mimasaka after Mushima boards her and knocks out Lady Asahi. I changed this because I felt like it, and it made slightly more sense to me to have Gohgei let Mushima go if Mushima hadn't hurt Lady Asahi.

"In the original manga, Hielzen S, was a sentient metal which glows red when Juraian energy flows through it. It also emitted deadly radiation when first mined, which meant that miners had to wait a day or so before working further around it. I've removed or altered both of those properties. Now it explodes when coming into physical contact with Juraian energy. As I mentioned before, in chapter 38, "No Need for Planning," it is unstable in the presence of large quantities of energy, and that is one of the consequences. Please refer to "No Need for Planning," for more information on the differences and similarities between my Hielzen S and the manga's Hielzen S. No, there won't be a quiz!"

Chapter 39 Main Chapters Chapter 41