Kimagure Orange College - Episode 17
by Stephen Tsai
 
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stsai@netcom.com (Stephen Tsai)

Kimagure Orange College

[Writer's foreword:  This is the seventeenth episode of a fan-fict 
series based on the characters in Kimagure Orange Road.  They are 
intended to take place after the movie, "I Want to Return to that 
Day", and follow the characters Kasuga Kyosuke and Ayukawa Madoka 
as they start the next phase of their lives in college.
	If you missed the previous episodes, notes about the new 
characters, and previous events are listed after the ending 
credits.  In addition, previous episodes are available at the 
wpi.wpi.edu ftp site.
	One thing I would like to say up front:  Although I have 
graduated from college, my experience is in the American college 
system and culture.  The span of my experience in the Japanese 
advanced education system is limited with what I can pick up 
watching anime, reading manga, and consulting with friends, pen 
pals and anime clubs.  Any mistakes, inconsistencies, etc. are 
neither intentional nor are they meant to show disrespect for the 
Japanese education system.  In fact, I would appreciate any 
constructive criticisms, corrections, and insight any readers 
might offer me.  Mail all such letters, praises or flames to 
stsai@netcom.com.]

Episode 17 - Samurai Kyosuke; Madoka of the past!

[Cut to the Butsumetsu University History building. In the
main lecture hall, Fukui-sensei begins his lecture as the
class settles in.]

Fukui-sensei:  [With enthusiasm.]  Ohayou mina-san*!  I'm sure
you all enjoyed your summer break.  Not too many hangovers I
trust?  [Grins broadly as the students groan.]  We will begin  
by reviewing where we left off before summer break with the 
Muromachi period around the late 14th century.  The third 
Ashikaga Shogun, Yoshimitsu, succeeded his father in 1368, but 
he spent most of his first years in office consolidating his power.  
Not until 1383 was he able to defeat his enemies in Kyushu, and 
yet he still had to deal with the Yamana family, who as masters 
of eleven provinces in western Japan, controlled one-sixth of the 
provinces in the country.  At this point, the imperial house was 
still divided into the northern faction at Kyoto**, and the 
southern faction in Yoshino.  Both sides were constantly fighting 
in the civil war.  In 1373 Go-Kameyana succeeded as Emperor of 
the Southern Court, and in 1383 Go-Komatsu was installed in Kyoto...
*Good morning, everyone
**Kyoto was also the seat of the Ashikaga Shogunate

Kasuga Narration:  It was the first week of the fall
semester.  As we got reacquainted with the daily routine of
classes, I found myself looking forward to meeting Ayukawa
for shopping tomorrow afternoon...just the two of us.
Because of this, I found it very difficult to concentrate in
some of my classes.  Even with an offbeat instructor like
Fukui-sensei, history always struck me as just words on dry,
dusty pages.  However, what I didn't realize then was just
how powerful some of those pages really were.

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Che*...why can't history be more
exciting?  Like that samurai movie I saw yesterday...
*Mild Japanese expression of disappointment/irritation

[Fades into daydreams.]

Ayukawa:  [Pleading for mercy, dressed in an old-styled
kimono.]  Please...leave us something!  The winter will
be harsh and we will all starve!

Man1:  [With force as he is about to ride away with the
family's money.]  Get out of my way woman, or I'll leave you
with my horse's hoof prints!

Kasuga:  [With a commanding presence and two swords by his
side.]  Stop!

Ayukawa:  [Eyes light up with relief and joy.]  K...Kasuga-
sama!

Man1:  TEME*...[Charges forward with his sword drawn, but
is casually and easily deflected and disarmed by Kasuga with
a quick drawn katana.]  AAAIIIEEE!!!  [Clutches his hand in
pain as the sword goes flying away.  Realizing his helpless
situation, he drops to the ground and grovels for mercy.]
D...don't hurt me!   Please...!
*<Netiquette violator>

Ayukawa:  Kasuga-sama!  [Comes closer and closer to Kasuga
in a romantic manner.]

Kasuga:  Madoka...[About to kiss Ayukawa, when a sudden
sensation of pain interrupts him from his reverie.]
ITE...!*
*Ouch

[Snaps back to reality.]

Both Miyasatos in unison:  [With each one painfully holding
one of Kasuga's ears.]  Be quiet!

Kasuga:  [Turns around.]  Miyasato-san...and N...Nakamura-
san?!  You're in this class too?!?

Nakamura:  [Smiles.]  Hi, Kasuga-san!  Fancy meeting you
here!  I didn't know you were taking history.

Kasuga:  [Puts his hand behind his head and sweats.]  Well,
er, it's good to see you too...[Hears knuckles cracking and
looks to his left.]...Yeee...!

Yoko:  [With deadly calm.]  Care to keep it down, Kasuga?

Yuko:  [Scowls.]  Of all the nerve...don't you already have
enough girlfriends?

Nakamura:  ...

Kasuga:  Heheh, ah, hai...[Turns back to the lecture.]

Fukui-sensei:  In 1392, Yoshimitsu had negotiated an end to
the civil war.  However, he was assassinated before the
treaty was formalized.  In an interesting side note,
Yoshimitsu was killed by a female warrior named Fujiwara
Masako.  Her immediate family was so shamed that they killed
themselves over the dishonor.  Upon his death, the Northern
Court and the Ashikaga Shogunate joined forces in a bloody
conflict that was to last 5 years, culminating in the defeat
of the southern imperial faction in 1397.  To digress a bit,
Yoshimitsu was an interesting historical character...naturally 
endowed with personality and tact, he was a great patron of the 
arts.  In 1378 he built his beautiful residence, the Hana no 
Gosho*, in the Muromachi quarter of Kyoto...
*Palace of Flowers

[Cut to an hour later.  Kasuga is leaving the lecture hall
along with everyone else.  He pauses to take a drink at a water 
fountain by the stairway, then looks at his watch.]

Kasuga:  Got another hour before math.  [Leans back
against the wall, but slips on a wet spot on the floor.]
Whaa-whaa...[Falls backwards down the stairs.  His bookbag 
flies away.]  WHAAAAAAA...

[Cut to the mathematics building.  Kimura is waiting just
outside the lecture hall.]

Kimura:  [Looking at her watch.]  Kyo-chan sure is late.

Saito:  [Stepping out from the lecture hall.]  He's still
not here yet?

Kimura:  [Shakes her head dolefully.]  Kyo-chan is usually
so reliable.

Saito:  Ahh...[Decides not to shatter her image.]...yeah
right.  Oinuma-sensei is starting his lecture.  Don't worry,
wherever Kasuga-san is, I'm sure he's not going to lose his 
head or anything.

Kimura:  But...

[Cut to a dark, heavily wooded forest.  The morning sun peeks
intermittently through the canopy, and a winding dirt road
meanders through the trees.  The wind whistles by, swirling
red and yellow leaves.]

Kasuga:  ...AAAAAA...<*whump*>  [Lands on his back underneath
a large maple tree.]  Ite!  Ow, my head...[Slowly stands up
and feels his head.]  What happened?  Sorta dizzy...
wh...where am I?

[Cut to Kasuga walking down the dirt road, hands in his
pockets.]

Kasuga Narration:  At that point I had no idea what had
happened or what I was about to go through.  I found a road,
and was walking down it in hopes of meeting someone...but I
got more than I bargained for.

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  I've never been in these woods
before...somehow, I must have used my power to get
here...I...I hope I didn't travel far...

Voice:  [From behind the trees.]  Now!

[Before Kasuga can react, he is surrounded by 5 men.  Each
is armed with a katana* or yari**, and wears a metal
plated corselet and conical helmet, with baggy knee
breeches.  A sixth man emerges from the forest.  Obviously
the leader, he wears two swords*** and is armed with a
daikyu**** and quiver.  He walks up to Kasuga.]

*Japanese samurai sword
**Japanese straight spear
***Carrying two swords was the mark of a samurai
****Japanese longbow

Kasuga:  Ehhhh?!  Wh...what's going on here? <*Slap!*> Umph!

Leader:  I do not think I gave you permission to speak,
traveler.  Judging by your clothes and accent, I would
say you have come from far away.  What is your name?

Kasuga:  Name?  [To himself.]  This looks like medieval
Japan...Err...[Straightens his back.]...the name is
Miyamoto...Miyamoto Musashi!*
*Japan's most famous feudal-age samurai swordsman, born in
1584

Leader:  I have never heard of you.

Kasuga:  [Deflates rapidly.]  ...

Leader:  Let me explain; this section of the Yamato-do* is
mine.  I require a tax to pass it.  [Smiles sardonically.]
Hand over your coin purse.
*Yamato road

Kasuga:  [Fearfully.]  But...but I don't have any money!
[Retreats until he feels a spear up against his back.] 
Yikes!  Ahhh...[To himself.]  What in the world
is happening?  This can't be real...!

Leader:  No money, you say?  Pity...I will have to add your
head to my collection.  [Gestures to one of his men.]  Kill
him!

Man1:  [Draws his sword.]  And so dies Miyamoto Musashi...

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  This is it!  I've got to use my
power!  [Concentrates.]  Mmm...mmm...Pah!...n...nothing
happened!  It's no use!  [Covers his head as the man
advances.]  S-sayonara*, Ayukawa...
*Goodbye

Voice:  Stop!

[Just then, a new form emerges from the woods.  Completely 
armored, the helmet visor shadows his face, partially
obscuring his features.  He carries a naginata* in his right
hand, and wears two swords.  However, the complete lack of
markings on his armor make it immediately apparent that he
is a ronin**.]
*Japanese pole arm
**A masterless samurai

Leader:  What have we here?  [Smirks.]  A beardless youth?!
His armor looks quite valuable.  [Gestures to two of his
men.]  Retrieve it for me!

Man1:  [Charges with his yari.]  Die without honor, ronin!

Man2:  [Charges with a drawn katana.]  You will feast with
your ancestors today!

[The samurai deftly parries the yari with his naginata,
neatly beheading the first man.  Using the butt end, he
turns and thrusts it into the abdomen of the second man,
who doubles over, dropping his katana.  A slash from 
the blade end, and a second head rolls on the dirt road.
Kasuga stares with a stunned look on his face as the 
second head rolls to a stop at his feet.]

Leader:  Damn you!  [Draws his daikyu and fires.]  

[Expertly twirling the naginata, the samurai cuts the arrow
in two, causing the barbed head to fall harmlessly short.]

Man3:  [With a trembling voice.]  O...only one ronin I know
could do that!  It is Fujiwara!  Let us retreat with our
lives!

Fujiwara:  [Drops the naginata and walks forward.]  You do
not deserve to live.

Leader:  [Angrily.]  Fools!  Your ancestors would call you
cowards and strike you down for shaming your family's name!
[Steps forward, drawing his sword.]  There are four of us
and only one of h-  [Cut off by a fast-drawn katana to
his throat.]  Urk...!

Kasuga:  [Freezes with shock at the lethal response.]  ...

Man4:  KISAMA*...[Gestures back to Man5.]...let us attack!
*<Netiquette violator>

[The two men run forward, one behind the other.  Fujiwara
turns, sidestepping the first man's charge; with a lightning 
quick double cut, both men lie disemboweled in the dirt.]

Man3:  [Drops his katana and kneels.]  Please, spare me! I
have a family, I beg you...

Fujiwara:  [With calm disdain.]  Spoken like a true coward.
As I said before, you do not deserve to live.  [Slashes and a
third head rolls on the road, the severed neck spewing
blood.]  Fools...[Removes his helmet, revealing long flowing
black hair.  As the samurai's features are revealed, Kasuga
finds himself looking at a stunningly familiar face.]

Kasuga:  [Goes white.]  Ma...masaka...!*  A...Ayukawa?
*Can't be

Fujiwara:  [With a commanding presence.]  How dare you speak
to me in such an informal manner!  I know of no one by that
name!  [Points her katana, dripping with blood at Kasuga's
face.]  Apologize at once!

Kasuga:  [Drops to his knees with abject terror and bows his
face to the ground.]  Douka oyurushi o!  Douka oyurushi o!*
*Please forgive me

Kasuga Narration:  At that moment, for the second time in ten
minutes, I thought I was going to die.  The sheer irony of
dying so long before I was born almost seemed to overshadow
the fear that dominated every instinct...and to think that I
would die at the hands of someone resembling...

Fujiwara:  [Gestures with her katana.]  Get up.  Who are you?

Kasuga:  Err...[Thinks to himself.]...so much for the
movies...might as well tell the truth.  [To Fujiwara.]  My 
name is Kasuga...*
*Amataresu's retainer and the legendary founder of the
Fujiwara clan.

Fujiwara:  [Bringing up her sword threateningly.]  Don't you
dare sully my ancestral deity's name with your lies!  Would
you like a fourth head on the road before us?  For the last
time, who are you and what are you doing here?

Kasuga:  [Drops to his knees and kowtows again, quivering in
terror.]  My...my sincere apologies, my lady!  M...my name is
Miyamoto M...Mu...Musashi!  [Thinks furiously.]  I...I am a
retainer for my lord, er, Lord Tokugawa from Sendai.  I was
on my way to Kyoto for supplies, but I lost everything due
to bandits...and now these bandits were threatening to take
my life as well!

Fujiwara:  [Grabbing Kasuga's shirt and pulling him up.]
What kind of material is this?  [Wipes the blood off her
katana with his shirt.]  I have never seen the like.

Kasuga:  [Swallows a big lump in his throat and tries to
think fast.]  Ah...ah, it's from China!  We...we trade 
our hand crafted weapons with China!

Fujiwara:  [With suspicion.]  And your speech?  It is a very
strange dialect.

Kasuga:  Ah...my...my grandfather was Ainu*!  I guess I've
been hanging around...I mean, I suppose I have been
associating too closely with those barbarians.  [To himself.]
Shoot!  Now I wish I paid more attention to Fukui-sensei's
lectures!  [To Fujiwara.]  Could you...could you please tell
me the date?
*Indigenous Japanese, parallel to the Native American of the
United States
 
Fujiwara:  It is the 8th month of the 9th year of the reign
of his Imperial Majesty, Go-Komatsu.  [Even more suspicious.]
Why is Tokugawa's retainer so ignorant?

Kasuga:  [Doing the conversion in his head.]  9th year of Go-
Komatsu?  That's...that's...1392?!?  Masaka...sonna bakana*...
[To Fujiwara.]  Er, I've been hit on the head...I am still 
somewhat dizzy.  May I have the honor of knowing your name, 
my lady, and can you please tell me where we are?
*No way...can't be

Fujiwara:  [Steps back and observes Kasuga with narrow eyes.]  
I am Masako of clan Fujiwara.  We are about 3 days ride from 
Kyoto along the Yamato-do.  There is a village, Mikkaichi, a 
few hours ride down the road.  That is where I am going.  
It is in the direction of Kyoto.

Kasuga:  Did...did you say Fujiwara Masako?  [To himself.]
She's the one who assassinated the Shogun!  M...masaka...this
can't be happening!

Fujiwara:  Did that hit on the head damage your ears as
well?  [Sniffs the air.]  What is that smell?  [Walks up to
Kasuga and looks down.  A damp stain begins near his right
pants pocket and extends downward.]

Kasuga:  [Turns red, puts his hand behind his head.]  I...I
*thought* it was a bit cold.

Fujiwara:  [With a slight smirk.]  Hrumph!  [Sheaths her
sword.]  Your story is the most preposterous tale I have
ever heard.  Still, I have never been that far north, so I
will give you the benefit of the doubt.  It appears you are
harmless enough.  Since you seemed to be so helpless, you 
may accompany me as my servant for now.  I will protect you 
in exchange for your service.  Come, my horses are tethered 
around the bend. 

Kasuga:  [Bows.]  It is an honor...[To himself.]  Looks like I
have no choice...[Glances back at the six bodies lying on the 
road, and pales; the full impact of what he has seen begins 
to affect him.  He clamps one hand over his mouth.]...I...I think
I'm going to be sick...

[Fujiwara turns and quickly draws a dagger.  Kasuga freezes,
then swallows noisily.]

Fujiwara:  [Quietly.]  There may be danger on the path ahead.
[Hands the dagger and its sheath to a surprised Kasuga, who 
handles them gingerly.]  Take this just in case.

Kasuga:  [Staring at the blade and turning it over.]  It...it
seems quite sharp...um...[Attempts to sheath the dagger*, 
but inserts it upside down.  The dagger jams and does not
budge.]...ah...
*Japanese blades were mostly single edged and as such
were not symmetrical
  
Fujiwara:  [Incredulously.]  Are you real?  [Grabs the dagger
and sheaths it properly.]  On second thought, perhaps I should
keep this.  [Shakes her head.]  Didn't Lord Tokugawa teach you
how to handle weapons properly?!  Honestly, you are no better
than some of those incompetents at Court...[Her voice trails
away; she pauses, then abruptly turns and walks away.]

Kasuga:  ...

[Cut to a few hours later.  Fujiwara and Kasuga have
dismounted; leading their horses, they are trying to ford 
a stream.  Kasuga has changed to medieval clothing, wearing a 
short jacket with baggy breeches, but conspicuously still 
wears his tennis shoes.]

Kasuga Narration:  After she loaned me clothes and her pack
horse, we headed for the nearest village, Mikkaichi.  About
an hour later, Fujiwara insisted on taking a shortcut through
the forest, to avoid a particularly bandit-ridden stretch of
road.  I didn't think she'd be the type to avoid confrontation,
but she seemed to be in a hurry to reach her destination...
unfortunately for me, that meant riding through the wilderness.

Kasuga:  [Staring at the swift current and slick rocks.]  ...

Fujiwara:  [Looking back.]  Well?  Are you waiting for the
water to stop?

Kasuga:  [Hand behind head.]  Ah, n...no.

[Kasuga tentatively steps on a rock over which not much
water is flowing.  His shoes and socks are soaked anyway; 
deciding he's not going to stay dry, he blithely sets foot 
on another rock, slips, and promptly falls on his behind.]

Kasuga:  Ite!

[The horse Kasuga was leading nods its head, almost as though 
it were laughing.  Fujiwara looks on with exasperation and 
shakes her head.]

Fujiwara:  I am glad we are not trying to cross a river...I
would probably be forced to throw you across.  [Sarcastically.]
I suppose you need someone to hold your hand?

[Fujiwara steps into the stream, and stretches out her hand.
When Kasuga takes hold of it, she pulls hard, and he sails 
onto shore.  She then leads Kasuga's horse as well as her 
own across the stream towards him.]

Fujiwara:  Come...I do not think there are any more puddles
for you to fall into.

Kasuga:  [Sheepishly.]  H...hai, my lady...

[Cut to half an hour later.  Fujiwara and Kasuga are seated
near the stream's bank; the early afternoon sun reflects 
brilliantly off the water's surface.  The unsaddled and 
groomed horses stand tethered to trees in the background.
While Fujiwara sits on a light, folding camp stool, Kasuga 
sits beside her on the ground.]

Kasuga Narration:  After traveling a bit downstream, Fujiwara
decided to make camp in order to rest the horses.  Commanding 
me to just stay out of the way, she insisted on handling the 
horses herself, which was a relief since I didn't know the 
first thing about it...the gentle way she stroked and groomed 
them was a stark contrast to the Fujiwara I saw earlier...a 
contrast I couldn't understand.  Fortunately I did know how to 
unpack supplies.  Fujiwara must be used to traveling alone...she
rarely spoke except to give me orders.

Kasuga:  [Tries to start a conversation.]  You have beautiful
horses, my lady...you take very good care of them...

Fujiwara:  [Looks up at him, her eyes reflecting the
glittering stream.]  Yes...I do my best.  I do not allow just 
anyone to handle them...a good horse is like a good friend, 
as my riding instructor once said...[Drifts into silence 
and stares at the water.]

[The bubbling stream and an occasional bird cry lend a
peaceful tranquillity to the scene.  Sparkling motes of
light dance upon the stream's surface.]

Fujiwara:  [Softly.]  Musashi?

Kasuga:  [Looks up, startled at her voice.]  Y...yes, my lady?

Fujiwara:  Do you ever stop to consider...what will become of
us?

Kasuga:  [Confused.]  Er...

Fujiwara:  This stream, and the forest, have been here for 
hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.  They will continue to 
flourish, long after we are nothing but dust...they care not what 
happens around them.  In your own little corner of the world...
in Sendai, do you ever think of how future generations will 
remember us, if at all?  [Looks up at the sky.]  They may 
remember our Emperors and our battles...but will they remember 
our emotions...our triumphs...our tragedies...our loves...our lives?  
I think not...I barely remember my grandparents, and my great-
grandparents not at all...

Kasuga:  [After long pause.]  I...I am sure that someone,
somewhere will remember, my lady...[As the camera pulls back
we see that Kasuga has unconsciously moved closer to
Fujiwara.  He reaches for her shoulder.]

Fujiwara:  Eh?  [Looks back down, and her face hardens.]  What
are you doing?!  [Pulls back her hand.  We see speed lines
etched in the background.]

<*SLAP!*>

Kasuga:  [Falls flat on his back.]  ...!!

Fujiwara:  [Angrily.]  Such manners...do not approach me like
that again, unless you wish to be struck by blade instead of
by hand!  Hmph...[Walks up to Kasuga, who is slowly rising
while holding his face.  We see a red outline of a palm on
his left cheek.]...are you all right?

Kasuga:  [Bows.]  H...hai, my lady...I am terribly sorry...

Fujiwara:  [Stares at the palm print.  Her face loses some of
its hardened edge.]  I suggest we move on, then.  I wish to
reach Mikkaichi before nightfall.  [Turns away.]  Let
us depart, Musashi.

Kasuga:  Hai, my lady...[To himself.]  I'm glad I didn't lose
any teeth...what was I thinking of doing?

COMMERCIAL BREAK

[Scenes of the bustling metropolis of MegaTokyo.]

Voice-over:  The World-Class city of MegaTokyo, where the
night action is superb and the ladies are hot!  A shopper's
paradise, but no trip is complete without a visit to Silky
Doll Lingerie, where the high tech of today meets satin and
lace...

[Cut to the interior of Silky Doll.  Sylia rings up a
purchase while Priss and Linna check out the latest designs.
There's a scream, and Mackie flies out the changing room
door, followed by yells of "Hentai!".]

Voice-over:  Whether you're looking to treat yourself or
getting that special gift, Silky Doll is the place to go!
But if you go, bring your pet boomer, hardsuit and your Visa
card, for at Silky Doll, the fashions are sleek and sexy...

Nene:  [Pops up smiling from under the counter and flashes a
"V".]...but we don't take American Express!

Voice-over:  Visa, it's everywhere you want to be!

[Writer's note:  Standard disclaimer.]

END COMMERCIAL BREAK

[Cut to early evening.  Fujiwara and Kasuga are slowly
riding through the outskirts of a small village.]

Kasuga Narration:  We had been riding for several hours.
I was still shocked by all the violence I had seen...even
though they were bandits, those were real men who had died.
As I looked at Fujiwara, though, I couldn't help but admire
her deadly beauty.  There was something noble, yet very sad,
about her countenance...I couldn't figure out why, but I began
to doubt that she was the assassin that killed the Shogun
like Fukui-sensei had said...

[Fade to earlier that afternoon.  Fujiwara and Kasuga are
back on the road, riding side by side through a lighter
forest. The beautiful autumn foliage rustles with the wind,
and leaves swirl in the air.]

Kasuga:  [Remembers something he'd been meaning to say.]  I
have not yet thanked you, my lady, for saving my life.

Fujiwara:  It was nothing...[Looks away, and almost to
herself.]  Besides, you remind me of someone I know...

[Fade to four years ago.  The edges of the screen turn opaque,
and the voices echo as if coming from far away.  A fifteen
year old Masako, wearing a beautiful red and gold kimono, is
being chased down the hallway of a large, opulent home by a
soaking wet young man wearing a traditional blue-grey kimono
and winged jacket.  The camera is behind the man, and we do
not see his face.]

Man:  Come back here, Masako!  I will have my revenge!

Fujiwara:  [Laughing while looking back.]  Catch me if you
can, Kiyomori!  Hahaha...

Kiyomori:  [Steps in a wooden bucket and falls on his face.]
Aaaa...<*thump*>...ite!...[Holds his head.]

Fujiwara:  [Turns around to face the camera, chuckling.]
Really, Kiyomori, you are the clumsiest and most incompetent
person I know!  [Helps him up.]  But...I love you just the
same.

Kiyomori:  M...Masako...

[Fade back.  The camera focuses on Kasuga's confused face.]

Kasuga:  [Not sure if he heard correctly.]  ...  [Then after a
long pause.]  May...may I ask what your business is in
Mikkaichi?

Fujiwara:  I suppose there is no harm in telling you.  I am
tracking a man called Akumu*.  He is an assassin of no small
skill.  Two years ago, he killed my father.  [Clenches her
fist.]  I swore I would kill him...I will never allow him to
kill again.  So far, I have foiled his other assassination
attempts...but he himself yet eludes me.  I have reason to
believe that his next target may be in Mikkaichi.
*nightmare

Kasuga:  I see, but...

Fujiwara:  Enough questions, Musashi.  Come, let us ride
faster.  [Urges her white mount into a trot.]

Kasuga:  W...wait!  [His bay mount begins to trot, but his
foot slips out of the stirrup.]  WAAaaaaaa...[He falls,
hitting his head on the dirt road.]  ITE!

Fujiwara:  [Turns her horse around and trots it back to the
prone Kasuga.]  Are you all right?  [In an irritated tone.]
Hmph, let me guess.  Lord Tokugawa didn't bother to train you
to ride horses either?

Kasuga:  Ahh...[Hand behind head.]  M...my head still hurts...

Fujiwara:  Well, if you keep on falling like that you could
be dizzy for the rest of your life.

Kasuga:  H...hai, my lady...[To himself.]  I should have time-
slipped when I hit my head...what's going on with my power?

[Fade back to the present evening.  Fujiwara and Kasuga have 
reached an inn.  Mikkaichi is a small village, comprised of 
fewer than two dozen small structures.  The largest buildings 
are the inn and the magistrate's home.  The buildings are made
mainly of wood, with wooden walls and wood and paper doors.
The streets are deserted and dark except for the light from
a few paper lanterns and the internal lights of the buildings.]

Fujiwara:  I will find us a room and a hot meal.  You handle
the horses.  [Tosses the reins to a surprised Kasuga and
dismounts.]

Kasuga:  Er, hai...[To himself.]  Shoot...now what am I
supposed to do?  [Hears Fujiwara enter the inn, talking with
someone.]  Err...

Fujiwara:  [Exits the inn and is surprised to see Kasuga
still in the saddle holding the reins.]  What are you still
doing there!?  Are you not familiar with the care of horses?
They need to be unsaddled and fed and...[Pauses in
frustration.]  Musashi, you are most incompetent and
unreliable person I have ever...[Pauses as her face softens
for an instant, then hardens again.]  Never mind.  I have
secured rooms and a meal.  Let the inn's servants handle the
horses and baggage.  They at least know what they are doing.
Come with me.

[As Kasuga dismounts, three men rush out of the inn to tend
to the horses.]

Kasuga:  H...hai...[Walks through the door and removes
his shoes.]

Fujiwara:  It is unfortunate I did not have a spare set of
shoes.  I suppose those strange Chinese shoes of yours will
have to do.

Kasuga:  Yes, my lady.  [To himself.]  Chinese shoes my foot!
These Nikes were made in Korea and they cost me a fortune...

[Cut to an hour later.  Fujiwara and Kasuga are seated in a
small tatami-floored room, eating.  The room is bordered on
all four sides by plain shoji*, and a small, low table sits 
between the two.  On the table are dishes of fish, pickled 
vegetables, and rice.  Fujiwara has changed into a plain grey 
kimono, with two swords thrust in her sash.]
*Wood and paper wall divider used in a traditional Japanese 
house or room.

Kasuga Narration:  It was then that I figured out what had
happened to my power.  I must have exhausted all of it in this
colossal time-slip...after a good meal and some quiet rest, I
figured my power should return.  Unfortunately, it didn't seem
like I was going to get any of both...

Kasuga:  [Poking at the brown, gritty rice suspiciously.]
Ah, Lady Fujiwara, this...this seems to be a fine inn.
[Notices Fujiwara doesn't have much of an appetite.]

Fujiwara:  [Looks up at him.]  Inns like this are rare, but
they are becoming more and more numerous.  We are fortunate
that this road is well used and that we are so close to
Kyoto.  I am familiar with this road through traveling it
with my father...[Trails off into silence.]

[Fade to two years ago.  Fujiwara, wearing a violet and white
kimono, walks through a traditional garden.  The cherry
blossoms are blooming, and we hear the gentle murmur of a
stream.  She carries an open fan, depicting cranes* flying
above a silver sea, with the golden sun in the background.
She walks to the house, and opens the shoji.  A scream pierces
the tranquil air.  In slow motion, the fan drops out of her
hand, falling into a pool of blood next to her father's
decapitated body.  The red liquid spreads across the fan, 
blotting out the cranes and staining the sun.  A knife with a 
note attached is thrust into the tatami floor.  As the wind 
whistles through the room, the note flutters and we see a red 
mark imprinted on it...the kanji for Akumu.]
*Motif-the cranes represent her innocence and gentle nature

[Fade back to the present.]

Fujiwara:  [Snaps her chopsticks in two, then stands
abruptly.]  Come Musashi, let us step outside.

Kasuga:  Huh?  I mean, er, why, my lady?

Fujiwara:  I always check on my horses before turning
in...and next time  [Grabs Kasuga's jacket.]  do not question
my orders!  [Pushes him away and slides open the door.]

Kasuga:  H...hai, Lady Fujiwara!

[Cut to outside.  The full moon casts an eerie, cold light
on the buildings.  All is still and quiet.  Fujiwara and
Kasuga make their way to the stables.  Suddenly, an arrow
whistles by and embeds itself in the stable wall, missing
Fujiwara's head by a foot.]

Fujiwara:  [Twirls into a crouch, hand on her katana.]  Get
down!

Kasuga:  [Fearfully.]  An arrow!  Someone's trying to kill
us!

Fujiwara:  [Gets up slowly.]  No...whoever it was, if they
wanted us dead, they could have killed us just now.  [She
pulls the wickedly barbed arrow out of the wall.  Attached
to it is a small rolled piece of paper.  She carefully
unwraps and reads the note.]

Kasuga:  Wh-what does it say?

[The camera pans over her shoulder.  At the bottom of the
note is a familiar red mark.  She turns, with an expression
of grim determination.]

Fujiwara:  [Coldly as she crumbles the note in her hand.]
It's him...Akumu...

Kasuga:  [Gulps loudly, the cool wind rustling his hair.]  ...

[Cut to a few minutes later.  Fujiwara slides open the door
to her room and steps in, with Kasuga trailing behind.  Their
meal has been cleared away, and a futon lies on the floor.]

Kasuga:  Please, Lady Fujiwara, what did the note say?
Will...will he attack us tonight?

Fujiwara:  No.  Do not worry yourself, Musashi.  Akumu is my
concern, not yours.  I suggest we turn in for the night.  I
for one will need the rest to face tomorrow.  You may sleep
over there.  [Gestures to a smaller room behind a shoji
wall.]  Good night, Musashi.

Kasuga:  G...good night, Lady Fujiwara.  [To himself as he
slides the shoji closed and leans against it.]  Geez, what a
day!  First I nearly get killed by bandits, then Ayu-, I
mean, Fujiwara almost kills me twice, I wet my pants for the
first time since kindergarten, and now we're about to battle
an assassin!  [Sighs.]  I hate to admit it, but I'd take a
boring history lecture anyday compared to this!
[Sits on his futon and begins to undress in the dark.]  Why
can't...eh?  [Stares across to the other room.  Fujiwara has
lit a lantern and is beginning to undress.  Her form paints
an exquisite silhouette on the shoji.]  Ehehehe...[Stares a
bit, then guiltily looks away.]  Well, things can't be all
that bad if I'm almost sharing a room with a beautiful
lady...

[Cut to later in the night.  Fujiwara twists and turns in her
futon, obviously in the clutches of a dream.  Fade out.]

[Fade in to a funeral scene on the grounds of a Buddhist temple.  
Fujiwara, clad in a white kimono and headdress, lights the wood 
beneath her father's pyre.  She steps back, and as the flames 
jump higher, a single tear streaks down her face.]

[Cut to later that day.  Fujiwara, still clad in white, looks 
out towards the family garden.  A samurai wearing a light blue 
kimono and winged jacket walks up to her from behind.  She does 
not turn to greet him.  From his voice, we know that the samurai 
is Kiyomori.]

Kiyomori:  [Anxiously.]  Masako, we are to be wed next month!
My father desperately needs the Fujiwara clan's support for
his plans.  Our union will solidify the bond between our two
families.  [Pauses.]  I know how hard the loss of your father
is for you.  He...he was a good man...a kind man.  I know how
desperately you wish to avenge his death, but killing Akumu
will not bring your father back!  Masako...

Fujiwara:  [Monotone.]  Go away.

Kiyomori:  Listen to me, please!  My father has made it
clear...I can not have you tramping around the countryside as
a ronin...and a female ronin at that!  What will the people at
Court say?  Our family will be the laughingstock of Kyoto.
Please, Masako...don't do this.  Your father lies dead...is
our love destined to die with him?  [Offers his hand.]
Masako, I am sorry, but I must ask you this.  Choose your
path...your mission for a dead man, or return with me to my
family's estate.

Fujiwara:  [Doesn't turn back.]  ...

Kiyomori:  [Drops his offered hand, and sighs.]  I see...you
have already made your choice.  H...[His voice catches.]...
have a long and prosperous life, Masako...although I doubt 
you will have either.  Farewell...

[Fade back to the present.  Fujiwara awakens with a start.]

Fujiwara:  [To herself.]  I am truly sorry, Kiyomori...I hope
that wherever you are, you can forgive me...but it was a
decision I had to make...

[Cut to Kasuga.  He too, twists and turns.]

Kasuga:  [Mumbling in his sleep.]  Ayukawa...Ayukawa...

[Fade to black.  Ayukawa walks down a deserted, modern city
street at night.]

Ayukawa:  [Calls out.]  Kasuga-kun!  Kasuga-kun!  Where are
you?  I've been looking for you...Kasuga-kun!

[Kasuga appears down the block.  He calls to her, but she
does not seem to see or hear him.  Suddenly, a black clad
form appears, wearing a black hood and sunglasses.  He draws
his sword and attacks her.]

Ayukawa:  [Now clad in a kimono and looking like Fujiwara.]
KYAAAAA!

Kasuga:  [Now dressed in medieval clothes.]  Ayukawa!
AYUKAWAAAAAAA!

[He runs towards her, but she falls to the ground.  The scene
has shifted.  They are now in a tatami floored room.]

Black figure:  Another triumph.  She is dead, the Shogun is
dead, and when I frame her for his death her entire family
will suffer the consequences!

Kasuga:  KUSO!!!*
*<Netiquette violator>

Black figure:  [Notices Kasuga for the first time.]  Too late,
my friend.  You are too late.

[Fade back.  Kasuga wakes up in a cold sweat.]

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  Waaah!...Sheesh...what a weird dream!
[Lies back down, only to abruptly sit back up a second
later.]  But wait...if that was a precognitive dream...then
Fujiwara didn't kill the Shogun!  She was framed...I've got
to stop it...but how?  Ayukawa's looking for me...if I use my 
power to save Fujiwara, as Grandpa told me earlier I may never 
be able to return to my own time!  Shoot, what am I going to 
do?...Eh?

[Kasuga stares at the shoji partition.  In the faint
moonlight he sees a figure glide across Fujiwara's room.
Suddenly, the figure stops, lifting a long, thin object
above it's head...a sword!]

Kasuga:  [To himself.]  M...masaka!  Fujiwara was wrong...it's 
him!  He's going to kill her!  What am I going to do?!?  
[He stands, gap mouthed and knees shaking.]  F...F...[Yells.]  
LOOK OUT!

TO BE CONTINUED...

END CREDITS

Writer/Historical Researcher            Quincy S. Huoh
New Characters Designer/Co-writer       Stephen Tsai
Doujinshi Artwork                       Tony Jung
Pre-readers      		        Harold Ancell
                                        Robert Carragher
					Robert DeLoura
					Brian Edmonds
					Peter Van Overen
					Eric Shen                       
                                        Rika Takebe
Very special thanks to                  Hitoshi Doi

A tip of the hat and a deep bow to      Matsumoto Izumi for starting 
the whole thing

If I left anyone off, my apologies.  Any mistakes/embarrassing 
faux pas are entirely my own.  If there is anything here you must 
flame, aim them at me and me alone.

Thank you for taking the time to read this episode of my series.  
If you are interested, previous episodes should be available at 
the wpi.wpi.edu ftp site.  Assuming that I don't get flamed off 
the net, I've got the next episode in the works.  If you have any 
story ideas, or general ideas, please send them.  Any tidbits 
about the Japanese advanced education system will be especially 
looked at (see first writer's note).

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks again!

For the new readers:  I'll be doing character profiles, major 
location descriptions, and situation updates on a rotating basis 
for each episode.  If there is a particular character, place or 
event that you would like to know more about, and it is not being 
covered, don't hesitate to email me and I will send you either a 
note or a copy of the episode it is introduced.

Focus on Fujiwara Masako:  Although herself a fictional character, 
the Fujiwara clan does exist and during the Heian period (794-1184 
A.D.) exercised great authority as the power behind the throne.  
By the 14th century, however, imperial authority and with it the 
Fujiwara's power had declined significantly, and the real power 
was in the hands of the individual warlords and the Shogun.
	Although female warriors in medieval Japanese society were 
rare they did exist.  Many women in particular were skilled in the 
use of the naginata.  Probably the most famous female warrior in 
Japanese history was Tomoe Gozen; mentioned in the epic "Heike 
Monogatari", she fought beside her lover, the warlord Minamoto 
Yoshinaka.  Remarkable for her beauty and courage, when all was lost 
during a battle along the River Uji in 1184 she insisted on remaining, 
"I want to fight the last glorious fight with you."  Faced with a 
powerful enemy warrior, she flung herself upon him, dragged him off 
his horse and killed him.  Yoshinaka was slain in the battle, and 
although Tomoe's fate is uncertain she was generally believed to have 
retired to a convent, praying for the good of her departed lover's 
spirit.

-- 
Kimagure Productions| Ayukawa:  Ka-Kasuga-sama...
    --present--     |
 Orange College #16 | Kasuga: Madoka...ITE!
  Sailor Ranma #5   |
   *Coming Soon*    | Both Miyasatos in unison: Be quiet!
Stephen Tsai        |
stsai@netcom.com    | Kimagure Orange College #17

 

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