Story: Once Again (chapter 5)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 5


Love Hina: Once Again


"Eeeek!" Ema squealed as the young woman grabbed hold of the dashboard, her face pale. "Kitsune, please!" she whimpered.

Kitsune grinned from where she sat behind the wheel, her eyes narrowed intently. "Are we catching up to it?" she yelled to the passengers in back while they barreled down the road in the Hinata Inn's old van.

"Yes," Anthy answered, "we're getting close." The violet haired young woman seemed oddly composed, even with Kitsune's wild driving, the expression on her dusky face mostly serene.

"Ema, I sensed the beast was a demon when we first fought it," Motoko said, long black hair falling down her back as she held her sword at the ready, "can you narrow that down at all?"

Ema flipped open her laptop and went to work, running through her database on the supernatural. Part of why Kitsune had recruited Ema for this venture was because of that knowledge, the information that Ema had accumulated over the years studying such things. That, and how her skills as a hopeful librarian let her sort and access the information.

"I think it's some kind of water sprite," Ema said after a moment, her long brown hair falling into her face from the wild ride, "probably angry over the damming up of it's spring."

"That fits," Kitsune agreed, "the owners of the house started having trouble after they started draining the pond."

"But where is it running?" Anthy asked seriously.

"There's a fountain up ahead, I think," Motoko offered.

Kitsune whipped them around a corner, nearly sending the van over onto it's side. "Then let's figure on that," she said, "everyone ready?"

"No," Ema squeaked.

Anthy gave her a sympathetic look, "I can try to distract it."

"And I should be able to banish it using the God's Cry techniques," Motoko answered firmly.

They bounced over a hill and the fountain finally came into view... and they saw a pitched battle going on. The water sprite, a creature now swelled up to nearly six feet tall and covered with spotted green skin was striking out at a miko, a black haired young woman in the traditional red and white garb of her calling.

The van squealed to a stop and the doors slid open, Motoko drawing her sword and leaping forward as the young woman blocked a punch with a flaming spell scroll. With a flash of silver she swept it backward, the miko looking at her in surprise as the other companions moved into position.

A rose was in Anthy's hand then she tossed it with unearthly precision, driving it into the beast's shoulder like a knife. It went to strike a her, roaring with pain then the miko attacked, slapping a charm on it's back that exploded into flames. Weakened and staggering it tried to jump into the water, but Motoko was ready.

"Banishing evil, second form!" Motoko cried, lashing out with a wave of chi energy along with her sword strike, the combination wiping the creature out.

The miko frowned at them even as a blue haired woman rushed over to her side, looking her over worriedly. "Are you all right, Rei?" the blue haired woman asked.

"I'm fine, Ami," Rei reassured her. She looked at the four young woman walking towards them, "Wonder if the rose thrower knows Mamoru?"

Ami chuckled softly, "Maybe."

"Thank you for your help," Kitsune said once she reached them, studying the two young ladies thoughtfully.

"I take it you were trying to catch that thing?" Rei asked curiously.

"We drove it from the spring it was haunting and chased it here," Motoko agreed, "how did you get involved?"

"We were going to our new residence," Ami waved to the suitcases sitting nearby, "and stumbled across it by accident."

"New residence?" Anthy asked mildly, her casual dress swirling around her legs.

"Yes, the Hinata Inn," Rei agreed.

The four young woman looked at each other in surprise, clearly not knowing what to say. "Is there a problem?" Ami asked curiously.

"Would you like a ride?" Kitsune laughed softly, "We're heading back there ourselves."

"You're all residents there?" Rei blinked.

"Welcome to the Hinata Inn," Ema smiled shyly, clutching her laptop under her arm.

After a short detour where Ema showed their customers a webcam film of the defeat of the monster and Kitsune collected their pay they headed up to the Inn itself. Kanako greeted them at the door, the black clad young woman raising a single eyebrow at seeing Kitsune and the others escorting the new arrivals.

"Ami Mizuno, Rei Hino," Kanako bowing to both gravely, "welcome to the Hinata Inn. I understand you're going to be attending Tokyo U, Miss Mizuno?"

"Ami, please," she smiled, "yes, I'm pursuing my medical degree there." She reached out to take Rei's hand, "And Rei is training at a shrine in the area."

"Good luck to you both," Kanako said with her typical seriousness, "we've prepared a room as you requested. Now, you wanted to share a room, correct?"

"Yes, please," Rei answered, "we've bee close friends for a long time. Is that going to be any problem?"

"Not at all," Kanako said, "we can move two futons in or..."

"That would be fine," Ami smiled, the two women picking up their bags and heading inside behind Kanako.

"New arrivals?" Su asked curiously layer, the dusky skinned blonde bouncing eagerly. She, along with Mutsumi and Shinobu were being briefed on them as well as the four's successful battle with the water sprite.

"Yes, they're moving in to the large corner suite," Shinobu confirmed. She frowned, "I wonder why they want to share, though?"

"Splitting costs?" Kitsune asked reasonably.

"Maybe they're a couple?" Mutsumi clapped her hands cheerfully.

"Ehhh?" Ema blinked at her in surprise.

"People do that a lot where I come from," Su volunteered, "it's part of why I was thinking of keeping Motoko as my bodyguard and love slave."

"Su!" Motoko scolded, blushing red.

"I.. I.. I think you're jumping to conclusions," Shinobu stammered, blushing brightly.

"We could always find out," Kitsune offered impishly, "maybe sent one of Su's little robots in with a camera..."

"Don't even think about it," Motoko said firmly. She gave the rest of them a frown, "We don't even know them yet, it's not fair to speculate on their personal lives."

"Aww!" Su pouted, a half assembled Tama-robo with a built in spy-camera already sitting there at her feet.

"A-hem," Kanako cleared her throat loudly, giving everyone a thoughtful look. "Shinobu, would you mind starting diner soon? I'd like something special for our new residents."

"I'll get started," Shinobu smiled happily.

"As for the rest of you," Kanako continued, "don't you have better things to do?"

"We'll get going," Mutsumi smiled gently, "I know that Kitsune and I need to get the cafe open for the lunch crowd."

"Minds if I join you for dinner?" Kitsune grinned, "I'm still curious about the newcomers."

"As long as you're polite," Kanako agreed.

"Always," Kitsune reassured her.

To be continued...

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