Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Ranma 1/2 Fan Fiction / Mahou Sensei Negima! Fan Fiction ❯ In the Shadow of the Moon ❯ Chapter 43 - Wisdom ( Chapter 43 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
I want to thank everyone again for reading my story.

I especially want to thank Dumbledork for regularly giving me hints about things I am doing right, and Kamen Rider Den-O who thanks to foolishly letting me have his instant messenger address has gamely played along at, or been drafted into, being a sounding board for ideas while I am writing.

Comments, and suggestions are always welcome.

single quotes (' ') denote thoughts or telepathy
forward slashes (/ /) denote translated speech

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the series mentioned in this story. This story is created solely for entertainment and no intention of profit.

Chapter 43 - Wisdom

A sea breeze blows northeast from Tokyo bay bringing the ocean scent to a modest two story home which rings with the sound of a telephone. A petite girl, but generously developed, with pink hair quickly makes her way from the kitchen to answer it. "Moshi Moshi" The girl pauses listening to the person on the other end. "Yes this is the Sasaki residence." The girl nods and responds to the callers next question. "May I ask who is calling?" The young woman finally asks for a moment and covers the phone receiver before calling out. "Yukinari-san the telephone is for you. A man named Al is calling."

The girl blinks as this brings a boy only slightly taller then herself rushing down the stairs from the second floor. "Arigato Miharu." the boy says hastily bowing and taking the phone. "Oji-san how have you been."

"Good afternoon kiddo, I have been fine." The man on the other end responds. "Sorry I have not been around more. I was hopping to see you and your cousin this weekend when I get back to Japan. I know it could be a hassle, but do you think you could come up to her school for the weekend?"

Yukinari scratches his head. "Well actually that is a coincidence. Some friends of mine have an appointment to keep at Mahora this Saturday and I thought I would tag along to visit with Makie."

"Really that is great. I still have my condo there with extra rooms if you have not made other arrangements already." The two youngsters hear from the man.

"That would be helpful" Yukinari Admits. "We will see you Saturday then Oji-san."

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"Go!!!!"

Ranma and Kaede were off like a shot when the pennant dropped. They actually had been able to get to some planning done before meeting with his mom. Granted it amounted to agreeing that if it came to running Ranma would carry his mom and Kaede would carry Kazumi piggy back. Nodoka had readily agreed with the sensibility of this.

Hearing a surprised squeal Ranma glanced to the side to see Asuna running along with the other two girls on her team tucked under her arms with Negi following close behind. Seeing Honya blush he smirked. 'Guess they did not discuss this beforehand.'

Following after their tight foot race was Inhoshi and her team. Ranma had to snicker at Sayo being pulled through the air by the running Inhoshi. 'Fast as they are going I could almost believe Sayo was not levitating, but I can hardly blame her for doing something that comes naturally to her.'

A similar thought was running through Asuna's mind after she had to read Negi the riot act that since his magic enhanced speed was instinctive for him it was not cheating, and that others were not going to neglect using the less flashy abilities that come to them as naturally as breathing.

Kotaro likely could have outrun the rest of his group even carrying Chizuru, but given his size that task had to fall to Konatsu, with him following to help should the older boy run into difficulty. Which is why they were currently behind the girls in blue. What really surprised him at the moment is the three adults with Ku Fei were almost keeping pace behind them.

Ku Fei was even more surprised then Kotaro could be. The young martial artist was almost having difficulty keeping up with her smiling grandmother. Even with her helping Happosai give Shizuna-sensei a shoulder lift down the stairs. The girl found herself giddily anticipating the enhancement process Mitoto-baa-san told her about, but her mother insisted she wait until she was older for.

Natsuki ran panting along beside Konoka. Midori and Setsuna stayed close in case either girl needed assistance. They were quickly loosing ground to the purple team in front of them, but the end was coming in sight. 'At least we are better off then them.' She thought as she glanced back at the pink team less then a third of the way down the stairs after having to double back to help the girl with silver hair, who had tripped even before crossing the plaza.

Ranma and Kaede reached the table with the clue envelopes before the Red team but it was only by heartbeats. Opening the clue while the others gathered around he read aloud. "A staple of the Mahora festival is out early and on the move. Find it and test your team's intestinal fortitude against the latest experiment."

Kaede grinned as Kazumi spoke her thoughts. "Chao Bao Z! Satsuki must have it out on the trolley tracks."

"They likely brought it out after school." Kaede observes loudly. "Which way to the trolley barn?" She says as she turns to Kazumi.

Perspective shifts to show Haruna hanging onto the brass rail on the side of an old style red trolley car while it slowly rolled back to show smoke stacks coming from the top. "The teams must now find where on the Mahora light rail system the popular restaurant known as Chao Bao Z, operated during Mahorafest and the preparation week before, is currently running. Once they arrive here they must each eat one of the super spicy meat buns that the resident chef Yotsuba Satsuki has prepared for this event"

Kaede grins as the blue team having overheard her statement dash off in the direction Kazumi had indicated as soon as they read their clue. Nodding to Ranma, she follows as he then leads them off following the rails in the other direction.

Honya blinks at this and turns to Yue in confusion. The other girl sighs and calmly explains for her team. "We are near the half way point for the trolley line here at Mahora central. It is unlikely they left the trolley at the barn until after school, but by intentionally giving others that impression they can buy themselves more time. I suggest we follow a similar course." With that they move off in the same direction as Ranma's group.
When Konatsu and the green team open their clue, Chizuru is the one to remember the restaurant. Kotaro on the other hand having eaten there before simply takes a deep breath and grins. "I never forget the smell of good food or the place that cooks it." He then leads them away from the rail directly towards where the wind is carrying the smell to him from.

The Purple team arrives next. After reading the clue Ku Fei grins. "They need large area in case all people show up at same time, Aru. If they not here on main street I think I know which street they use." She then guides Happosai and the rest of her team over in a similar direction to the green team.

The white team arrives next and read their clue. Setsuna and Konoka know what they are looking for, while the others start discussing which way to look Konoka kneels down and puts her hand gently on the rail itself and the repeats the action again several feet away in both directions. "The regular trolleys stop an hour after school is out." She explained with a smile for the other girls, as she repeats the process on the second set of rails going on the other side of the street. "So any vibration would be from the one trolley running." She points in the direction Ranma's team has gone. "The vibrations are stronger that way."

Meanwhile Kotaro and the rest of the green team had successfully followed his nose and find the slowly moving trolley car first. The Hanyo cringes as his watering eyes remind him of where he smelled something similar to the meat buns, Chachamaru was holding out for them to take. Seeing the boys distress she tries to give him her best reassuring smile. "Satsuki informed me where she received inspiration from, but she assured me it is safe for consumption."

Konatsu decides simply to lead by example and eats his in only a couple of bites. He does hastily reach for the water bottles the gynoid held on a tray in her other hand. Kotaro sighs and prepares to bite into his own.

The Pink team makes it to the bottom of the stairs and after reading the clue Takane announces what they should be looking for. Tessa blinks and raises her hand. "This is a converted trolley car?" At Takane's questioning gaze she points in the direction the most of the other teams had gone. "I saw a trolley car moving slowly several streets over. I thought it was strange that it stayed between buildings for so long."

Following Ku Fei's guidance allowed the Purple team to arrive at almost the same time the Gold team did. This allowed them to see Ukyo being the last on her team to make it through her manju. Konatsu bowed to Chachamaru as she handed him the clue envelope and walked off to return to the trolley. Ripping open the envelope he takes out two cards.

Haruna grins as she walks along the street. "Having completed this test the teams must now choose between two possible tasks Examine or Execute."
Switching to a voice over the scene shifts to a smiling brown haired girl with her hair in buns waving to the camera inside a building. "In Examine teams must make their way to the museum where Fumika will give them a picture of an exhibit they must find and get the name of the donor from the plaque. When they return and correctly identify the donor Fumika will give them their next clue. Not a hard task, but for those inexperienced with the museum it could be time consuming."

The scene shifts again to a field near the university, where an almost identical looking girl with her hair in short pony tails grins. "In Execute teams make their way to the obstacle course the University Military Science department uses for training. Once all members get through the course in under two minutes Fuka will give them their next clue, once they reach the end the can only reenter through the beginning of the course together, if they don't make it under the time limit. The course is not long and strong players should be able to finish this quickly."

Looking at the other members of his team Konatsu asks questioningly. "Shall we go with Execute Ukyo-sama?" The girl smiles and nods befiore their group takes off.

Inhoshi and the blue team had made their way along the tracks all the way to the barn. "I think we went the wrong way." Sayo says sadly. Inhoshi shrugs and takes off by the most direct path back to Mahora central, the other two girls sigh at their giggling leader.

Ranma looked nearly as apprehensive as Kotaro before bitting into his Manju. Happosai and the green team were already finished and opening their clue. Looking at Shizuna the man asks quietly. "I assume you know the campus museum well Shizuna-chan?" Seeing the woman smile they quickly take off.

Still blinking watering eyes, Ranma hands off the envelope to his mother. After reading the clues aloud she turns to the girls. "I assume you girls would be able to assist me if we go for the obstacle course." The girls nod and Ranma recovers after drinking several bottles of water to lead them off to the university, as the Red team came up.

Blue team passing through Mahora main street.

Asuna and Negi quickly eat their manju and Yue and Honya do their best to catch up quickly, as the white team is greeted by Chachamaru. Satsuki smiles as she sees the girls finish their food. The plump young chef hands Negi the clue, which he reads aloud for his team. "We should play to our strengths." Negi observes calmly while holding up the Examine card.

Inhoshi grins at the camera and goes "Meep Meep" with Sayo clinging onto her shoulders, legs hardly touching the red head's back. Inhoshi's hands are locked to the forearms of the girls trailing to each side of her, their feet hardly even touch the cobblestone street, Sakurako waves her free arm wildly while cheering the other girl on. The camera pans further back to show the actual dust cloud Inhoshi raises as she runs.

-----------

Kurz Weber falls backwards laughing at the feed coming across the screen on his laptop. Still chuckling he finds Kosame staring through her binoculars over the edge of the roof they are on with a slight scowl. "Yo I am beginning to see what you like about this Ranko girl. She is just a blast to watch."

"Our job is to keep track of the Captain and miss Chidori." The slender woman changes to looking at the video feed on her laptop showing the pink team arriving at the restaurant.

He sits back up and tries to work a kink out of his neck. "Whoa what turned you off the red headed cutie so fast?" Kurz looks at his partner for this stakeout curiously.

"I don't know who the cheerleader is, but she is not Ranko-sama." Kosame glares at the man. "I can find Ranko-sama going to school or during classes, but after school and at those morning practices this look alike replaces her, and I am going to find out why."

Shaking his head the blond turns back to his laptop. "So she acts different in her free time, that is not so unusual." Kurz winces a something smacks the back of his head. Turning to look he finds a hard rubber hockey puck rolling across the roof, and Kosame muttering about stupid insensitive males. "Yup definitely related to Mao."

-----------

"This is not bad compared to that devil's curry I made." Konoka observes.

"Please promise me you won't try that again Konoka-chan." Midori pleads. "It took forever to straighten up the hall."

Natsuki looks over her shoulder a bit worriedly when Konoka starts giggling and apologizing, turning back she bows as Chachamaru hands her the clue envelope. Opening and reading it, she turns to the others. "Lets go to the university."

Happosai and his team greet Fumika warmly upon finding her at the marble covered entrance to the museum. She hands them a picture of a vase. Grinning Shizuna leads them into the museum.

Konatsu and his group arrive at the obstacle course. Working together the two boys help the girls over the barriers and wait patiently as Chizuru makes her way through the crawl area. Reaching the end Fuka clicks her stopwatch and grins as she hands them the clue.

Opening the clue envelope, Konatsu reads out loud. "The Checkpoint for this leg is in sight. Make your way to the reference desk on Library Island. Remember the last team to arrive will be eliminated."

Haruna stands behind a mat with Mahora's crest on it. A lanky brown haired man wearing oval shaped glasses stands next to her. "When the teams arrive here they will be checked in by our own Kinomoto Fujitaka-sensei, head of the archeology department and advisor to the Library Exploration Club." The man bows politely before the camera cuts away.
The pink team is handed their clue just as a dust cloud appears at the end of the street. Announcing the options Akane quickly declares, "We will go through the obstacle course." The four girls quickly run off as a group.
Inhoshi stops with a grin as the dust cloud overtakes them.

Ranma and the gold team finish getting over the last barrier and receive their clue.

Negi and the three girls arrive at the library as Happosai is handed his team's final clue.

Inhoshi gleefully gobbles down a manju from each hand as the rest of her team eats theirs. Satsuki hands the clue to Inhoshi who opens the envelope and Madoka helpfully grabs the card to read it. "I know the museum really well." Sayo offers quietly after the choices are read.

The four ladies in white clear the obstacle course and are handed their clue with a cheer from Fuka.

The camera zooms in to show the approach through the library and the green team arrives first to the mat. Fujitaka smiles ruefully and says. "Welcome to Library Island."

"Konatsu, Ukyo, Kotaro, Chizuru you are the first team to arrive." Haruna grins and winks at Kotaro. "I understand that following your nose helped get your team into the lead." At the boy's blush she pauses. "Well your your team's prize is one you will have to be careful of your hearing with." She brings around a tray from behind her back. "For winning this leg each of you get one of these portable MP3 players. Which you can enjoy now." Ukyo tries desperately not to giggle at the younger girl's serious expression while delivering these lines.

The purple team arrives at the mat next and is informed that they are the second team to arrive.

Akane, Kaname, and Takane take off through the obstacle course at their best possible speed. Tessa follows behind

Ranma and the gold team are welcomed as the third team.

A banner with currently in fourth appears at the bottom of the screen as Negi and Asuna are reading the checkpoint notice as the blue team dash into the room. Inhoshi takes the picture clue, with a statue, and shows it to Sayo as a ticking clock is heard in the background.

Akane cheers as she clears the obstacle course just ahead of Kaname. The blond head of Takane appears over the barrier moments later. Akane looks expectantly for Tessa to join them only to hear Kaname screech "Oh no!" The camera shifts to where Tessa has her legs tied up in the cargo net bridge with a "Wah wah wah" sound effect.

Akane and Kaname prepare to jump over the barrier to go back for her when Fuka calls out stopping them. "I am sorry but since you three have completed the course you can not go back in. She will have to make it out on her own, once she is able to get here you may retry the course together."

The red team arrives and they all grin as they are welcomed as team number five.

A disheveled looking Tessa climbs over the last barrier and the other girls all but carry her back to the begining to restart.

Sayo happily leads the group back to the museum entrance and reads off the name she had written down.

The Pink team gets their clue from Fuka and run off, still nearly carrying Tessa.

The camera dashes madly around the library before settling on Haruna and a smiling Fujitaka. Enter the blue team. Paru keeps her face neutral as the teacher welcomes the team. "Ranko, Sayo, Madoka, and Sakurako......." The manga-ka's grin breaks like the dawn. "You are the sixth team to arrive and will be going on to the next leg." The girls prove they still have energy to spare as they happily hug the teacher and the host. The camera moves back to show Nodoka and the Gold team walking up. Inhoshi happily hugs Nodoka and Ranma.

The pink team arrives with the silver haired girl still looking worse for wear. Haruna keeps her eyes closed while Fujitaka welcomes the tired looking girls. "Akane, Takane, Kaname, and Tessa." Haruna says while looking each girl in the eyes. "I am sorry to inform you that you are the last team to arrive and have been eliminated from the race." A sound like a gavel striking a table comes from the background with this announcement.

--------

Inhoshi eagerly bounced up to her younger sister in the club room. 'Kitsune-chan were you able to get the good stuff?'

'I did but there is a slight issue.' Glancing at the members of the blue and gold teams following after, minus Nodoka. "So we on for Karaoke tonight then?"

At their eager cheers, Kitsune turns to lead them into the retreat. 'I did go ahead and tell Kari-nee about what we planned. She insisted it was no problem for her to give us the supplies' She pauses as they pass through the gate.

'She said we could not have anything too hard, so no Everclear or other firebreathers.' Kitsune sends with a hint of disappointment.

'Where is the fun in having a little sister who looks old enough to buy hard liquor?' Inhoshi pouts. 'Its not fair, we were not going to try and get anyone else drunk, and we should not be able to be affected by alcohol.'

'You have a partner that wanted a little sister to protect. I ended up with three partners who, even if they all would deny it, wanted an older sister to look after them at times.' Kitsune snorts, not really put off by the appearance comment. 'Besides I remember from Kaede that you seemed to act fairly tipsy with just hard cider.' Maybe a little put off after all, Kitsune winks while Inhoshi blushes. 'We have sake and plum wine for the others, and a nice supply of Bacardi rum for us to share.'

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Sailor Moon stared at the shadows at the far end of the alley, still trying to calm her racing pulse. Did the shadows look darker or lighter than just a few moments before? 'Even when the amazons sliced the demons, or we blasted them apart, I have never heard them wail in abject terror before.' Even the presence of other senshi and their new demon hunter friend could not drive away the chill she felt after having watched shadows reach out, and simply consume the demons they had been fighting.

"Yes Serenity-hime the wail of souls lost is most impressive isn't it." A male voice almost slithered from behind her. The reincarnated princess turns and her voice catches in her throat. "When you let the future Pluto guarded die many souls were left in limbo. I will see to it they are well fed."

"Prince Demand" The senshi of Mars hissed out, while Mercury looked at the tall young man, appropriately, like she was seeing a ghost. "You died. How can you be here?"

"That future has died, and I have returned to gain vengeance." Loki smirked at Usagi. "I will feed these worthless demons to the orphaned souls of the future you abandoned false queen, until they grow strong enough for us to come back and take your precious crystal from you."

He paused to casually deflect the energy whip Ayako had shot at him with his arm. "I would ask to be introduced to the new lovely, but it seems she is not taken by my charms." Stepping back he wraps his cape around himself and melts into the shadows. The girls hear a whisper on the air. "Until I return to keep my promise then," Driving one last dagger in. "I will be sure to treat your dear Usa-chan well."

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Ranma felt comfortable and warm. A feeling he was definitely begining to enjoy. Now if only other needs did not disturb this pleasant repose. Finding himself weighted down lying with his back pressed into a futon, he carefully opens his eyes. He finds that Kazumi is curled up in his left arm. Turning his head slightly he discovered Madoka found her way inside the circle of his right arm. Laying lightly on top of him he found the opalescent hair of Sayo. He was relieved to see they were all wearing pajamas.

"That's right Inhoshi and all the girls wanted to celebrate making it trough to the next leg, and to apologize for the cheap trick Kaede volunteered the use of her artifact for a private karaoke/slumber party inside the retreat." Ranma pauses to lick his lips. "How many days ago was that?"

His mumbling caused what, or apparently who, his head had been pillowed on to shift. "Good Morning Ranma-dono." Kaede grins at the boy who had been lying his head on her stomach and reached up to gently run her fingers through his hair. "I trust you slept well."

"Umm sorry if I made it tough for you to sleep Kaede-chan." Ranma would have been polite and moved off, but for the extra weight.

Kaede grinned, lifting herself easily she rolled out from under Ranma while still supporting his head with her hand. "I slept quite peacefully myself, so you need not be concerned degozaru." She says as she finishes her movement with gracefully sliding her actual pillow under Ranma's head. She opens her eyes a bit wider as she examines Ranma's current predicament. leaning forward on her hands and knees over him she kisses him gently on the lips. "Sakurako-dono and the cabbits are already awake and went to fix breakfast. I believe I will go help them."

"Kaede-chan I kinda need to get up." Ranma quietly pleads.

Stifling a giggle Kaede proceeds to pick up Kazumi gently and free Ranma's arm. Setting the shorter girl down a bit further away on the futon and similarly picking up Sayo allows Ranma to extract himself. Kaede sets Sayo down next to Kazumi, and smiles when the ghost girl hugs the reporter close.

Ranma takes a moment to pull the light covers back over the girls, before standing up himself. "I appreciate the help Kaede."

Kaede gently wraps her arms around him and lays her head on his chest. "Allowing me to wash your back in the baths later will be thanks enough." Looking up at his slight blush she grins wider."Without the trunks"

------------

After everyone had eaten breakfast Ranma decided it was imperative to go get some practice in with his ministra. The reason for this being that Madoka and Sakurako had asked him to help them practice with their new weapons.

The weapons were very elegant and functional naginata, but Ranma did not need to ask who had made them the artifacts after watching their battle dresses appear. The light show that made it seem like glowing serpents snaked across the girl's arms and down their torsos threw Ranma for a bit, but seeing the sexy cute outfits that made up their battle garb left his guess fairly clear.

The blue silk tunics with a yin yang symbol made from gold and silver serpents were not exactly racy, even though they were tight and had the sides slit to above the girl's hips for movement. It even trailed modestly down to a V shaped taper mid thigh. The sides of the girl's legs were then covered by loose silver silk leggings connected to a belt of woven gold wire around their waists, and held tight to calves by golden lacings coming up from their tan leather sandals.

What turned the corner from just cute to sexy for Ranma was both girl's apparent determination to show off to him that under the skirt the leggings in no way covered the smooth golden silk garments that were a somewhere between panties and buruma and completely seamless. Sakurako made this last thing completely clear to him when she did a flying pirouette to land while giving him a hug, seemingly in gratitude for his approving remarks over how she held the pole arm in her hands.

Madoka had been blushingly appreciative of him offering to walk her through several basic practice forms, Sakurako on the other hand seemed determined to make up for not cuddling up to him while they were asleep by rubbing back against him when he stood behind her to step her through a form. He gave up using his hands to correct her form when he figured out the young woman was intentionally moving certain areas of her body out of place.

Ranma was grateful when Sayo and Kazumi rescued him, while Kaede took over teaching. Inhoshi, who had changed her clothes to match the other cheerleaders, just stood back grinning. 'I swear I did not put them up to any of this.' Inhoshi protested over mental giggles. Still looking at her choice of outfit, Ranma raises an eyebrow. 'What, this outfit really is comfortable.' His cabbit responds mentally while giving him a grin.

After Kaede had set the girls to working on basic forms in the field between the workshop and the house, Ranma gratefully took her and Kazumi's offer to go practice on their own for a while.

Entering the temperate forest Ranma is impressed to find it already occupied. Inhoshi grins and sits down on a fallen log and pulls out a bag of popcorn from somewhere. After a few moments of staring at the spectacle she absentmindedly offers some to the others.

What had caught their attention was the trio of Negi, Asuna, and Kotaro going at an all out spar, overhead and on the ground, with Chachamaru and a trio of her younger forms.

After several minutes the combatants break apart. "Yo Negi-sensei" Ranma calls out. "Would you mind practicing with us for a while? Kaede, Kazumi and I need to work on our team combat skills."

Asuna looks over at Inhoshi and Sayo both happily munching, on carmel corn now, with Kitsune joining them with a bottle of Sake. "What about them?"

"Inhoshi's techniques are identical to mine, Kitsune and Sayo, well I honestly don't know all of their skills yet." Ranma shakes his head. "Besides three on three sounds fairer for the moment even if that is unlikely to happen in reality."

Kotaro cracks his knuckles and grins at Negi. "What do you say we give it a go?"

Kazumi quickly shifts into her knight's armor and holding her card calls out. "Occulus Corvinus duo satellit Omni Occulus Adeat." While Kotaro is staring at the two satellites flying up overhead, Kazumi drives forward using Flash Move to send a punch at his stomach, he barely manages to dodge at the last moment. Kotaro blinks in confusion when she dodges his responding Air Fang attack without even turning around as she quickly moves past and out of melee distance.

Asuna has just enough warning, seeing Ranma gather power in his hands, to call up her giant sword and block Ranma's kanka charged wings from slicing through her middle. "When did you learn to call up pure Ki properly." She gets out through gritted teeth. The pigtailed boy just smirks, and laughs when surprisingly strong girl throws him back with a swing of her sword.
Negi prepared to move in to assist Asuna, but is cut off by a barrage of glowing silver kunai. "I will be your opponent Negi-sensei." Kaede says with a grin at the boy, as she flashes towards him at high speed.

"If our services are no longer required, I will let my sisters return to other duties." Chachamaru says quietly. The other gynoids leave and she takes a seat next to Kitsune.

Kazumi grins as she dodges around the child Hanyo's attacks. 'I am glad I realized Flash Move compresses time around me otherwise Kotaro would have flattened me already.' Feeling playful, she reaches deeper into the technique to get behind Kotaro and lean over his shoulder to give him a kiss on the cheek. Springing back she grins at the shocked boy. "Ranko-chan may have promised never to do that again, but I think sweet boys should be rewarded when they play nice."

Kazumi holds off cheering when her shields meet and stop Kotaro's Howling Burst Knuckle, and she hears Kurator's deep voice in the back of her mind 'Analyzing.'

"Impressive degozaru." Kaede says to Negi after he successfully dodged her exploding spheres in mid air. "Why are you holding back Negi-sensei? Inhoshi and Kitsune are both very good healers." Negi looked to be ready to protest. "if I get hurt it will be my own fault not yours."

Negi nods and is suddenly surrounded by glowing black lightning. Kaede grins broadly as silver flames spread out from her body like wings. The two fighters clash with a rumble like thunder.

"Oh everyone looks to be having so much fun here." Sayo jumps in surprise at hearing a woman's voice behind them.

"Yo Tomoyo-nee-san" Kitsune calls out, while Inhoshi waves. "What are you up too?"

"Oh because the girls are having fun with the race, I asked Kari-chan if Setsuna and her new Sensei could make use of her retreat to catch up on practice." I volunteered to take over looking after everyone in the resort while they are here, and I thought I would look in on everyone."

"That is great actually." Kitsune says with a nod, idly looking up at the battles overhead. "We actually wanted you to take a look at Sayo's artifact. It is a sword, and we were hoping Setsuna might be able to teach her how to use it."

Sayo blinks at the enchantress' easy smile, and hesitates a moment before pulling out her pactio card. Nervously the girl holds up the card with a picture her wearing a black kimono and holding a katana. Tomoyo's eyes show recognition even before the ghost says "Adeat."

Tomoyo walks over to the nervous ghost, now wearing the black kimono and hakuma pants, and holds out her hands to the girl. Sayo stares in confusion for a moment before hastily pulling the sheathed Katana from the sash at her waist.

Holding the weapon lightly, Tomoyo grins as she examines it. 'I can't wait to for her to learn this beauty's name.' She thinks with barely suppressed eagerness. The sword is a katana slightly shorter than normal, but appropriate for the girl's smaller size. The sheath is made of honey colored wood and hand guard is made of green colored metal looking like thorny stems worked into an intricate knot. "May I?" The woman asks, and waits patiently for the girl to realize what she meant. Sayo nods hastily when she realizes Tomoyo was asking permission to draw the blade.
Gently pulling the blade from the sheath, Tomoyo finds it is covered in delicate scrollwork depicting roses in full bloom. "I think I recognize what this is." She says confidently while returning the blade to the scabbard. "I can tell you truthfully that Set-chan, while an excellent swordswoman, would not be able to help you with this." Seeing the former ghost's shoulders slump, she places her hand on the girl's shoulder. "I do however know some people who would make excellent teachers for you, and they owe me favors." She smiles at the girl's returned look of hopeful excitement. "Wait until after this race is settled and I will introduce you to them."

Ranma would have been more concerned for the girls, Kazumi especially and even Kaede after Negi opened up with this new technique. If it weren't for Kazumi sending out mental notices of battlefield conditions in a business like manner. Instead he turned his full attention to his fight with Asuna. 'Ah now this is more like a rivalry I am used to.' He snickers mentally as he deflects a series of high speed sword slashes from the girl.

Kaede grinned as she spared with Negi. Her speed and skills were once above Negi's, but since returning from the magical world his advantage in raw power had far exceeded her advantage in skill. Now she watched him dodge wave after wave of Kunai flying out from her wings as she kicked to turn the orbs of Swallow Flyer into burning missiles for the child teacher to dodge around, never succeeding in closing with her. 'Now I can still help Negi-sensei improve.' The kunoichi thought happily.

Kazumi grinned as she turned to face Kotaro preparing to strike at her again with his spirit powered punch. Instead of raising her shields she swung her arm forward with a call of "Flare Knuckle". Shadow hounds were met by golden wolves, the hanyo's eyes opened wide in shock as the wolves overpowered his inugami, and blasted into him, launching him back towards the ground. Kazumi could only look on in shock at the dust cloud rising from the crater she had just driven the boy into.

"Kotaro-kun!!!" Ranma heard Kazumi's terrified wail and looked over to see what was happening. The distraction cost him as Asuna's blade came through his defense, narrowly missing his left shoulder.

Asuna's shriek and a flash of light brought Ranma's attention back to his current situation. Only to find his left arm missing below the elbow. Ranma suddenly was not sure if he was seeing things clearly due to shock as, instead of blood, red fire seeped from the wound and reformed his arm whole and untouched.

These two events had succeeded in drawing the last pair of fighters to a halt. Inhoshi and Kitsune had both quickly gone over to check on Kotaro. The boy's eyes fluttered open to find Inhoshi's face only inches from his own, she had been trying to feel his breath, but he did not know that. Moments later Kotaro is standing next to Sayo and Tomoyo, making warding gestures with his hands, repeating over and over again in a near panic. "No more kisses from crazy red heads."

Tomoyo gently wraps the boy in a hug and sings quietly until he calms down. By the time he seems coherent the others had gathered.

"Hey Kotaro-kun." Ranma says with a grin, while pointing through the trees to where the dust cloud is still settling. "How did you get all the way over here?"

The boy blinks for a few seconds, and then cheers. A heartbeat later it is Kazumi's turn to be surprised as the boy just appears from a golden glow in front of her, lifting her with a hug around her waist and jumping around in excitement.

"Okay we can see Kotaro-kun is alright." Asuna says with a hint of exasperation, before turning to the other hanyo in their midst. "So how do you explain your arm?"

Ranma sweat drops and nervously scratches the base of his pig tail with his right hand. "I have no idea actually." He winced as Asuna and Negi virtually created craters themselves falling to the ground.

------------

"I can't say I know who the impostor was Usagi-chan, but I know that he was lying." Noriko tries her best to calm the sobbing girl on the other end of the phone. "Even if he is who he claims to be, he could not be holding the soul of someone who has not been born yet hostage." The elders had spent most of the night trying to calm the girl down before calling her as a last resort. "If you feel you need to see him, I will contact some friends in america to arrange for him to come home." This finally works to calm the young woman down. "I will ask them to have him call you once arrangements are made." Noriko sighs as she sets the phone down and quickly makes notes on her computer. 'Request Mamoru Chiba be excused to return home and complete his courses as distance learning due to family emergency.'

She stands and stretches in relief when she hears a knock at her door. It is unusual to get visitors this early in the morning, but at the moment it is a welcome distraction. Opening the door to her modest home she grins at the teenage girl there. "Ohayo Kaede-chan. What can I help you with this morning?"

Kaede bowed politely and held out and document envelope for the older woman to take. "Noriko-sama, I just received the letters you requested from my family."

Noriko invites the kunoichi inside and walks with her down the hallway to the small office inside the dojo. sitting down at her desk she carefully opens the envelope and examines the three documents within. The first one was approval from the girl's parents to become an official retainer of the Himura family, specifically a bodyguard for one Himura Ranma. After verifying the provisions on providing for the girl's education and other living expenses, Noriko quickly signed this and sealed it with her hanko.

The next document was authorization from Kaede's grandfather to use her family style in the execution of her new position, and also giving permission to teach some of the schools basic techniques to other retainers. This was treated similarly. Noriko paused to shake her head at the last document. "Kaede-chan are you absolutely certain about this. I know Nodoka will be overjoyed, but once I sign this as head of the clan, it will be a binding."

Kaede nods and if anything her grin grows wider. "I am certain this is what I want."

"There is no legal statute allowing for official concubines in Japan Kaede-chan." Noriko says quietly. "A legal document affirming that unless there is a situation far beyond your control any child you have will be Ranma's, and as such should be made members of the Himura family, comes very close.
"
"If this offends you I apologize Noriko-sama." Kaede says quietly.

"I am not offended." Noriko sighs. "I do have to ask how much you told your family, since there is also a clause in here that you and your grandfather ask permission to teach any of Ranma's willing children your family style."

"To win the grand master's support I did inform him of Ranma-dono's special ability." Kaede admits quietly. "Oji-sama was quite eager to find out if the ability to shape shift was an inheritable trait, and in general to gain allies with such a useful ability."

"I think it would be safer for me just to speak with him about making the Nagase clan retainers to the Himura family." Noriko rubs her temples. "I know you and Inhoshi have been working on ... making Ranma more comfortable. Is there a chance this will be needed for you or any of the other girls in the near future?"

"Required no Noriko-sama." Kaede answers with a slight grin. "Desired would be a better description for Kazumi and Sayo."

"Whatever happened to to just getting married?" Noriko says with a sigh as she finishes signing the last document.

"I could hardly serve as his Ministra Magi properly with my skills if I had to stand beside him at all times, and..." Kaede's grin takes on a greater air of mischief "I like the other girls, I would not want to leave them out. As you stated there is no other legal way for us to share him."

"You would be surprised what can or can not be allowed." Noriko slides what looks like a large cell phone across the table to Kaede. "I have been around quite a long time Kaede-chan, and Earth is not the first place I have called home. If you and Kazumi are determined to stay with Ranma, then this should be helpful to all of you once Kitsune and Inhoshi are developed enough to exist as spaceships for a significant amount of time."

"I hope to convince Ranma to wait until all of you have a chance to gain a college education, but if wanderlust strikes before then, this is the small inheritance I have setup for Ranma, and Ranko, Himura Hakubi." Noriko pauses watching the kunoichi's eyes widen as she reads what is on the display. "I will see to filing the proper paperwork for you girls as necessary, but as citizens of the Jurian empire there is a great deal of leeway in what is allowed. Their genetic technology is advanced enough that brothers and sisters can marry without concern of defects."

----------

Walking into the giant throne room a purple haired young woman wearing violet robes sneezes.

"Are you feeling well Ayeka?" The tall black haired man sitting on the throne asks.

"I am well Yosho-sama." The young woman looks up, revealing the single red dot on her forehead. "I was trying to find Sasami. Have you seen her?"

"I can not say that I have seen our younger sister." Yosho says idly as he suddenly grins at the holographic computer interface next to his throne. "Since Princess Seto has just arrived at the spaceport I doubt we will seeing her for a while." Hearing a laugh beside him he turns to the green haired woman woman next to him with two red dots on her forehead. "How many years was it she disappeared for last time Airi?"

"Several." The woman shakes her head. "Every time Seto finds her another suitor she disappears. I still have not quite figured out how the last one she was actually introduced to managed to fall twenty five meters off a veranda and into a fertilizer bin. He claimed he never touched her."

Yosho waves his hands to placate his half-sister and wife. "I am sure Sasami will be fine Ayeka."

--------

Akane had been too shocked to say much when her team had been eliminated the night before, but walking into her class room she saw something that made her feel truly ashamed.

Takane and to a lesser extent Kaname were quietly berating an already depressed Tessa, who was sitting dejectedly at her desk seemingly trying to shrink into herself.

"Stop it both of you." Akane said quietly as she walked up to the desk. Looking at the silver haired girl Akane surprised the others by bowing low. "Please forgive me Tessa. You warned me that you were not good at athletics when I asked you to be on my team. I was irresponsible and let you be left behind not once but twice, even after it was you who discovered the way we should go to have a chance to make up time. I allowed myself to get caught up in trying to be the best on my team, and you were almost injured because of it." Akane did not look up to see the other two girls on her team look down in shame as well. "I should have let you be captain instead, I obviously was not prepared for the responsibility."

"it's all right Akane-chan." Akane looked up through tear filled eyes to find Tessa smiling slightly."If you really want to make it up to me, could you maybe help me train to get stronger?"

----------

The race had caused quite a stir the day before, but the actual result had been hidden from everyone by simply clearing everyone not involved in the race from the reception area. This meant Ranko and other players had to politely deflect questions the whole day at school. The end of school came as a relief, and Ranma politely waved to girls as he waited for Kaede and Kazumi outside the changing rooms.

His relief evaporated when he suddenly discovered something he had not known before. The golden cloth that was part of the cheerleaders battle dress was actually a surprisingly warm seamless bodysuit. Inhoshi grinned widely as she lead all of the girls on her team out of the changing room in matching outfits, somehow she had been able to hide the symbol on the other two cheerleaders tunics. He sighed and accepted with good grace when the girls all gave him hugs for good luck.

Kaede and Kazumi simply waited their turn with grins as they came out wearing almost identical outfits except their tunics were golden. 'I have no intention of asking, but I am certain I will find out eventually.' This was the only thing Ranma thought, when he wondered what color their bodysuits were.

All teams had been instructed to meet on Library Island after classes ended. They could use available study rooms for strategy meetings before the start of the next leg of the race. Somehow Ranma felt both relieved and disappointed about this.

He pushed all of this to the back of his mind as he gave his mother a hug and they all went to a study alcove. There was not really much to plan this time, but he happily made use of this time spent with his mother. Nodoka thought the girl's outfits were adorable.

They were surprised when Kari rolled a large screen, somehow Ranma thought 80 centimeter diagonal, LCD television into the room. "We are going to mix things up a bit on this leg of the Race." The young woman said with a wink as she left the room.

The television comes to life showing Haruna's grinning face. "Welcome teams to the second leg of the race. Tonight we will have a new test that will decide your starting position in this leg, and count as your first challenge. Before we begin, your captains must choose one member to face this test of knowledge, and send them to the reference desk.

Ranma turns to his team. "Kazumi you have the best grades of any of us. Do you want to take this exam?" The reporter gives a thumbs up and makes her way from the room.

In the room with the purple team, a discussion is going on. "It really would be best to have a student take this challenge." Happosai says quietly, while looking at the embarrassed girl who is the only student on their team..

Mitoto stands up and addresses the television. "Would there be an allowance for one of our members to take the test but have another translate for them?" She puts a hand gently on Ku Fei's shoulder. "Ku Fei is really a very bright girl, but thanks to dear Mikaro delaying in teaching her Japanese she has difficulty understanding the questions."

Paru looks off to the side, nodding she turns back to the camera and smiles. "We can not allow for two players, but we can have the questions reliably translated into Mandarin." Ku Fei happily bounces up and dashes out of the room.

The girls arrive at the reception desk to find that the green team has sent Chizuru, the White team's representative is Konoka, Honya is the member from the red team, and a very nervous Sayo came from the blue team.

Once they are all lined up behind podiums with choice selectors, Haruna continues while their team mates watch on the televisions. "Now then this is a test of knowledge. Each team will be given bonus points based on their time before the last team to arrive. So the blue team will start with zero bonus points, Red having arrived twenty minutes before will have twenty bonus points, White will have thirty-five, Gold will have fifty, Purple will have sixty-two, and green will seventy-five. With six teams remaining at the end of this quiz based on points the team with the lowest score will start the next challenges one hour after the team with the highest score."
"Please allow me to introduce our special guest host for this challenge." Haruna steps back and grins as a blond haired woman wearing white armor walks into the room. "Angel Athena."

"I am Athena." The woman's eyes seem to sweep past all six girls even hidden behind her helmet. "Are all of you ready for my challenge? There will be ten questions worth fifteen points each so it is not impossible for even the team in last place now to better their position. You may press only one selection per question and will not have the option to change your answer, so choose carefully"

A large projected screen appears on the wall above the Angel's head.
Question 1: which of the following is not an island of Japan?
A) Hokkaido
B) Fukushima
C) Shikoku
D) Okinawa

The girls each press a button on the podium. Athena grins and the screen changes. "The correct answer is Fukushima." All of the podiums glow green signaling a correct answer, and the girls cheer.

Question 2: From which of the following cities can you see Mt. Fuji?
A) Sapporo
B) Kamakura
C) Aomori
D) Hiroshima

Again the girls select their answers. This time Athena nods. "The correct answer is Kamakura" Again all of the podiums light up green. The host smiles and waits for the girls to settle back down, before the screen changes again.

Question 3: The 1998 Olympic Winter Games were held in which area of Japan?
A)Nikko
B)Fukuoka
C)Nagano
D)Hokkaido

The girls lock in their choices quickly. With nod from Athena the screen changes again. "The correct answer is Nagano." This time Sayo's podium glows red while the others are all green. Sayo blushes as she hears her team mates still cheer her on in her mind.

Question 4: In 2002, What Japanese river was home of the famous Arctic bearded seal?
A) Shibata River
B) Kiso River
C) Tama River
D) Agano River

The girls lock in their answers again. Sayo quicker than anyone else. Athena calmly continues as the screen changes. "The correct answer is the Tama River." This time only three podiums are green: Sayo, Tomoyo, and Chizuru. The room is filled with a mixed chorus of groans and cheers.
Question 5: Where would you find the international airport of Narita?
A)Chiba
B)Saitama
C)Tokyo
D)Kanagawa

The girls lock in their answers quickly and Athena grins as the screen changes and all podiums are again green. "The correct answer is Chiba."

Somewhere in Massachusetts a young man often found running around in a tuxedo sneezes.

Question 6: On January 17, 1995, which Japanese city suffered a major natural disaster?
A)Sendai
B)Iwate
C)Kagoshima
D)Kobe

All of the girls shudder at the memory and quietly lock in their answers. Athena bows her head and solemnly announces the answer. "The answer is the Great Hanshin Earthquake occurred in Kobe." All of the girl's podiums light up green but no one cheers.

Question 7: What island chain is the focus of a territorial dispute between Japan and Russia?
A)Yamagata Islands
B)Kurile Islands
C)Tottori Islands
D)Adachi Islands

The answers are locked in with one light colored head looking a bit perplexed. The screen changes as Athena announces. "The correct answer is the Kurile Islands." This time Ku Fei's podium is in the red, but the other girls still cheer her on.

Question 8: What do Nara and Kyoto have in common?
A)They have sites designated as World Heritage Sites
B)They were capitals
C)They are on the island of Honshu
D)All of these

All of the girls giggle while locking in their answers for this question. Moments later Athena spreads her hands. "The answer is that they are all of these things." The girls break out in louder giggles as the podiums turn green.

Question 9: Where would you find the domestic airport, Haneda?
A)Yokohama
B)Ibaraki
C)Hakone
D)Tokyo Bay

All of the girls are caught by giggles once again as they lock in their answers. The Angel really struggles not to join them as she announces the answer. "Tokyo Bay is the correct choice."

Final Question: From what city does the Shinano River empty into the Sea of Japan?
A)Nagaoka
B)Niigata
C)Akita
D)Fukui

The girls are all smiles as the lock in their last answer. Athena smirks. "The answer to this question is Fukui." Hearing gasps from the girls, Athena chuckles as the podiums all turn green. "Only joking children, the correct answer is Niigata."

Athena grins as the final scores are displayed on the screen.
225 Green
185 Gold, White
182 Purple
155 Red
135 Blue

"All of you did very well." The angel announces. "Because there is a tie for second place there will only be a fifty minute delay between the Green and Blue teams starting times, and the Gold and White teams will start at the same time." Turning to Chizuru she smiles. "Naba-san, you and your team have ten minutes to prepare to leave from the reference desk. Please rejoin your team and get ready to race." Turning to view everyone again. "For everyone participating there are refreshments available, but be cautious in how much you indulge."

Athena steps back into the shadows and Paru comes back out along with Kari, Akiri, Nabiki and the twins. The three taller girls each have a book cart with drinks or snacks. The other team members come out from the study rooms as the full room lights are turned on.

Ku Fei tries desperately to hide tears as she runs to Mitoto. "I sorry." the girl chokes out as the woman hugs her. "I lost us three places, Aru."
Happosai pats the girl gently on the back. "You did much better than I could have child. So don't worry about it."

Kazumi and Konoka are greeted with cheers from their teams. Sayo looked a little sad at her performance until Inhoshi picks her up and swings her around in a hug.

"We are still in last place though." The ghost girl says sadly before Madoka and Sakurako join in the hug as well.

Madoka grins. "You did your best and look at it this way, twenty five minutes have been shaved off the delay we would have faced without this."
A similar scene greets Honya, Asuna gives her a thumbs up as the girl blushes. Yue and Negi politely pat the girl on the back.

The green team gathers on the mat and open their clue. The two cards are named Scale and Search.

The perspective shifts to Haruna standing in front of the Library. "Now teams must choose one of two events." Switching to voice over the scene now shows giant book shelves with waterfalls cascading over them. At the top a young girl with pink hair wearing a red and white suit waves to the camera. "In Scale they go to the Northern Great Precipice and free climb, except for safety harnesses, to the top where Angel Hikaru will give them their next clue. Should any of them fall they must all return to the height of the walkway and start over." The camera cuts back to show Haruna's face. "This challenge is physically demanding, but can be completed quickly."

The camera switches again to a shadowed corner of the library where a young woman with dark blue hair in a helmet cut, except for a large mass cascading from a high ponytail, smirks at the camera. Her short dark kimono and thigh high boots do a good job of fading into the shadows. "In Search teams get a tracking device they can use to locate Light Speed Suzuka." Haruna says in a voiceover. "She has promised not to use this great speed today, and to stay in well travelled areas of the library, but that is still a large area. Teams will find this task less strenuous but it could take some time to find their target to get their next clue."

Ukyo hangs her head and sighs. "Alright if the others agree we can go find the ninja girl." Chizuru giggles at seeing the look of eagerness on Kotaro's face as well.

Haruna shrugs and hands the tracking device to Konatsu's eager hand.
After the time delay The gold and white teams open their envelopes. Ranma grins "Kaede-chan feel like seeing who can move the quickest while carrying someone?" Paru shrugs and hands a map of the library to Ranma with directions to their destination.

After some debate, Natsuki affirms that her team will take Seek and is handed a tracking device.

Konatsu and his team move quickly between bookshelves watching a signal strength display on the device. Ranma and the gold team arrive at the precipice.

Happosai opens his clue after quickly reading the choices aloud, sighs in relief seeing both of the adult women in his group wearing slacks, but looks at Mitoto questioningly.

The blond woman just smiles. "Don't worry about me, I feel up to a good climb."

With that Happosai takes the map, and they are off.

Ranma and Kaede are at each end of the group while they have a rope running from Ranma to Nodoka, from Nodoka to Kazumi, and finally from Kazumi to Kaede as they begin to climb the bookshelf from a platform extended from the walkway.

The red team gets their clues and without any debate, and even a rare grin from Yue are off with their map.

The gold team is half-way to the top as the Purple team arrives.

The Green team and the White team are quickly shown working their way through the stacks.

The blue team open their clue and quickly are off with their map.

The Gold team reaches the top and the girls, including Nodoka can't resist hugging Hikaru after she hands Ranma the clue. Ranma roles his eyes but does not interfere since the angel is smiling at the attention. Opening the clue he cheers when the word Checkpoint appears at the top.

Scene cut to a sign saying Mahora University Mechanical Sciences building, panning left we zoom in on Haruna standing at the entrance with a smiling young blond woman dressed a smart business suit with a conservative skirt, and looking fairly uncomfortable in it by how stiffly she is standing. "Teams must now make their way on foot to the university mechanical science building where they will be checked in by professor Winry Rockbell."

The Gold team is shown to quickly make it to the entrance to Library Island. The camera shifts back to show the Purple team reaching the top as the Red team starts their ascent.

The Green and White teams still searching the isles of the library.

The Blue Team arrives to find the Red team half way to the top, also having taken the time to tie each of them together. Inhoshi`s smile grows to almost fill her face.

A scene cut later shows the Blue team, with Inhoshi having ropes tied to all three of the others has nearly caught up with the Red team. The Red team clears the top and receives their clue first.

We watch as Konatsu and Kotaro cheer upon finding Suzuka and receive their clue, a banner shows "currently in fourth place."

A crazy camera rush leads up to the science building and the Gold team is greeted as team number one. "Congratulations to you all." Haruna says with a broad grin, and seems to finish, eventually Ranma coughs loudly behind his hand and Paru snickers. "Oh yes I am sorry, how absent minded of me." She says with a barely contained giggle, while she brings out a tray with four cameras. "Your prize for this leg of the race are these Sony Cyber Shot three megapixel digital cameras." Grinning at Kazumi she finishes. "Don't get into too much trouble with them."

The cameras switch to the green team leaving the library lead by Chizuru, then cut to the white team receiving their clue from a smiling Suzuka.
The Purple team is the next to arrive, and everyone grins as Ku Fei cheers and gives hugs to everyone.

Negi leads the Red team up to the finish. Honya sighs in relief upon hearing they are in third place.

The camera rush happens again and it is the Blue team arriving at the mat next. After telling them they have made it into fourth place, Paru winces slightly as the cheerleaders, along with Sayo, live up to their calling. Winry had pulled industrial grade hearing protectors from somewhere and smirked at paru while returning Sayo's hug.

The Green team arrives in high spirits, but look slightly concerned when Haruna looks at them with an expressionless face. "Alright Paru let's hear it." Kotaro says quietly.

"Konatsu, Ukyo, Kotaro, Chizuru," Haruna says while looking at each person in turn. "I have to tell you that you are.." She pauses while her grin makes its appearance. "The fifth team to arrive, and still in the Race." The boys sigh and accept their mistake, while the girls console them.

Some time later we see the white team arrive. "Natsuki, Konoka, Setsuna, Midori," Haruna says quietly while again looking at each girl as she named them. "I am sorry to inform you that you are the last team to arrive, and have been eliminated."

Midori grins. "Well it has been fun." She reaches behind her to grab Natsuki's arm, who is attempting to quietly shuffle away. "Think of this Natsuki-chan, if the gold team wins your dad will probably want to go along and you can go with him." This gets a shrug and a small smile from the girl.

Of to the side Konoka whispers to Setsuna. "Let's cheer Negi-sensei on. I know if he wins grandfather will want me to go and I will insist you come too."

"Stay tuned after the break for scenes from the next episode of the Mahora Race." Haruna says in a final voiceover as the screen goes black

notes:
Oji - grandfather

Buruma - is a borrowed form of the western word bloomer. In the past it was used to refer to the loose pant like undergarment. In modern usage it refers to a legless athletic short commonly used in girl's gym classes in Japan. In Negima they show up as at least part of the Black Lilies volley ball team uniform in the first volume. In Ranma 1/2 they can easily be seen during the girl's gym class where Ranma is trying to use the pressure point technique against Hinako.

Ayeka - Ayeka Misaki Jurai, in Tenchi Muyo Ryo-ohki she is the crown princess. Here I have her as First Empress of the Jurian Empire

Sasami - Sasami Misaki Jurai, Ayeka's younger sister.

Seto - Seto Kamiki Jurai, aka Demon Princess Seto. in Ryo-ohiki and GXP she is the mother in law of emperor Azusa. Her greatest delight appears to be playing matchmaker.

Airi - Airi Masaki, in Tenchi Muyo Ryu-ohki she is Yosho/Katsuhito's common law wife and Tenchi's grandmother. I have her here as the Second Empress of the Jurian Empire

The questions on the quiz came from a Japan Geography quiz I found online.

Chapter 42
Chapter 44
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