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himura kenshin

Student of the Sword

Himura Shinta is born into a peasant class family on June 20.

An epidemic sweeping through Shinta's village causes his parents to die of cholera. After his parents' death, a group of slave traders somehow gain custody of Shinta. The slave traders who have custody of Shinta are murdered by a group of bandits with whom they had crossed paths while on journey with a shipment of slaves to an unknown destination. Luckily for Shinta, a swordsman passing by the scene of the murders, defeat the bandits before they could kill Shinta too. The swordsman's name is Hiko Seijuro, the thirteenth inheritor of the Hiten Mitsurugi school of kenjustu. Before leaving, Hiko instructs the Shinta to go to the next village to receive help and report the murders of whom Hiko thought to be the boy's parents. He continues to tell Shinta that tragedies similar to his are happening all over Japan due to the war. He should just be happy that he is still alive. Shinta does not look at or respond to Hiko. He simply remains kneeling on the ground looking at the dead bodies which lay before him. Several days pass and Hiko inquires at a sake shop whether a boy has come to the village. The store owner tells Hiko that no one has come to the village. Hiko leaves the store and arrives to a clearing where he sees a field of hand crafted wooden crosses. In midst of the crosses, the young boy is standing in front of three graves marked with stones. Hiko asks Shinta if he dug graves for the bandits that murdered his parents too. Shinta tells him that they were not his parents but slave traders. However, there is no difference who you were once you die, therefore he dug the graves for them. Hiko asks him who the three headstones belong to. Shinta tells Hiko that those headstones belong to Akane-san, Sakura-san and Kasumi-san, three sisters who were sold to pay off their family debt. Even if it would have costed him his life, he wanted to protect them because he was the only boy amongst them. Admiring the boy's integrity, Hiko decides to take Shinta into his care, declaring Shinta to be his pupil and successor. Since the name Shinta was too "sweet" for a swordsman, he changes Shinta's name to Kenshin (ken = sword; shin = heart), which was much more fitting for a warrior. From that day forth, Kenshin would begin his training of the Hiten Mitsurugi school. Kenshin seeks permission from his master Hiko Seijuro to let him leave and use the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu he has learned to protect the innocent people suffering from the chaos of war. Hiko tells him no, saying that Kenshin's training should be his only priority and that outside affairs are not to be his concern. However, Kenshin remains firm to his belief and he can not understand his master's reasoning for not letting him leave. The two get into a heated dispute which is left unresolved as Kenshin decides to leave his master to pursue his own destiny. Not too long after his departure, Kenshin is discovered by Katsura Kogoro and Takasugi Shinsaku during the recruitment activities to form an anti-shogunate group of warriors called The Kiheitai. After witnessing the power of Kenshin's "Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu - So Ryu Sen", Kogoro orders Shinsaku to bring the boy back to Kyoto with them. That very night, the two men arrange to meet with Kenshin. Kogoro asks Kenshin if he has ever killed a human using Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu. Kenshin replies that he has never killed before. Kogoro continues to ask him if he could kill a person. Kenshin responds by saying that if a new era could be born which will allow the people to live in peace in return for him taking lives that may fall victim to his blood-stained sword then he would do so. Kogoro decides to designate Kenshin as a hitokiri for the Ishinshishi. However, Shinsaku warns Kogoro that using such a young boy to fulfill the cruel duties of an assassin will surely destroy the boy's life. Thus at the tender age of fourteen, that night marked the birth of Choshu Ishinshishi, Himura Battousai!

Chapter 1: Hitokiri

The complete chronological biography of Himura Battousai continues as we come into the 1st year of the Genji Period (1864). This is the year that will change Battousai's life forever!

Battousai receives an order to assassinate Kyoto administrator Shigekura Jubee. Among the victims that night was a young Tokugawa Shogunate samurai named Akira Kiyosato, who was serving as a bodyguard for Shigekura. Although Kiyosato was not a very skilled warrior, his will to live was strengthened by his desire to return to his fiancee. The stubborness to live enables him to give Battousai a sword slash along his left cheek running parallel to the jaw line in his final attack. As the dying Kiyosato lies on the ground using his final breath to speak his fiancee's name, Battousai gives him a fatal stab through the heart. Looking at the lifeless Kiyosato, Battousai could only wish him happiness in the next life before leaving the scene of carnage.

It has been nearly six months since he obtained the scar on his left cheek, and during this time period Battousai has assassinated so many Shogunate members that the scent of blood can not be erased from his senses. He begins to realize that all this bloodshed has gotten neither him nor the era anywhere closer to the peace he so desires.

Kogoro arrives at the Ishinshishi headquarters in Kyoto in order to attend a secret meeting that evening. He invites Battousai to attend the meeting as a participant rather than acting as his guard. Battousai refuses, stating that a "killer" must always remain in the shadows until the bitter end. He has no interest in leaving his name in the books of history nor honor...the arrival of a peaceful era is all he desires.

Later that evening Battousai is in a tavern drinking sake, thinking to himself that all he can taste is blood in whatever he drinks. A beautiful young lady enters the tavern and sits at a table behind Battousai, ordering a cup of cold sake. She attracts the attention of two drunkards who demand her to join them for a drink. Battousai comes to the defense of the girl and ends the disturbance. He pays his bill and leaves the tavern, while the young lady remains silent at her table, staring straight ahead.

Battousai is ambushed by a Shogunate assassin while returning to headquarters. The battle between the two ends with Battousai as the victor, standing in a pool of blood. The sound of wooden sandals can be heard, as the girl from the tavern approaches the battleground. She is covered with the fresh red blood that had just been shed. The girl speaks and says that she came here to thank him for his assistance in the tavern but only to learn that he is the one who is causing the bloodshed. Battousai can only stare at the girl, not knowing what to say nor to do, since the existence of Battousai is not to be known. The girl faints, and, unable to leave an eye-witness at the scene of the battle, Battousai has no choice but to bring her back to headquarters at Kohagi Inn.

Although Battousai attempts to be discreet upon returning to headquarters, he is surprised to see the inn owner Okami was still awake. Battousai attempts to explain that she got involved in his business and that she fainted. However, all Okami could smell was the scent of sake from the girl. Okami tells Battousai that a fresh change of clothes and a bath should be prepared for the drunken lady. As Battousai walks off, an Ishinshishi named Iiduka is shocked to discover that Battousai returned with a girl!

When Battousai awakens the next morning he discovers that the girl from the night before is missing. In a panic he rushes downstairs only to find her helping Okami to prepare breakfast. The girl tells Battousai that her name is Tomoe. He requests to speak with Tomoe privately but she responds by saying that their talk would have to wait until her chores are finished. As breakfast is being served, it is apparent that rumors about Battousai's relationship with Tomoe have already surfaced. Iiduka teases Battousai about what he believes really happened last night with Tomoe...but he should have known better than to have joked with a hitokiri! ^.~

After all the fuss about Battousai and Tomoe had subdued, a private meeting between Kogoro and Battousai was held. Battousai tells Kogoro about the shogunate assassin who was waiting to ambush him. The existence of "Battousai" has been leaked out, which could only mean one thing - there was a traitor among the Ishinshishi. Battousai thinks to himself that if they do no discover who the traitor is now, then disaster would be headed towards their clan.

As Tomoe sits eating, Battousai finally has the opportunity to speak to her. He asks Tomoe to swear that she will forget about the incident she witnessed the night before and that she should leave immediately to return to her family. Tomoe tells him that if she had a family to return to she would not have been out alone at night getting drunk on sake. Unable to let his feelings sway, Battousai tells her that he does not know what her predicament is but he is not capable of taking care of her in his condition. Tomoe looks at Battousai and asks him if this means that he will deal with her like the dark samurai he was last night. He tells her that she may think whatever she wishes but the reason for his killing is to usher in a new era where the people may live in peace. He does not kill people undiscriminately or for the sake of bloodshed. He will only fight the armed shogunate members who stand in the way of the new era. He would never kill an unarmed person. Tomoe asks him if she were to have a sword in her hand now, would he...there was a moment of silence as Tomoe does not finish her sentence. She breaks the silence by picking up her bento box to leave the room, finishing her statement by saying that if he can someday find the answer she will be waiting to hear it, implying that she has no intention of leaving beforehand.

Sitting by the window in his room, Battousai is deep in thought as he remembers the question that Tomoe is still awaiting the answer for...if she were to have a sword in her hand would he...it has been two weeks since then. The door to the room slides open and Tomoe stands at the entrance with a broom in her hand. She asks Battousai to leave the room so that she may finish the house cleaning that Okami-san had requested her to do. Battousai leaves the room and as he is walking down the corridor he meets Iidzuka. A black envelope is given to Battousai from Iiduzka with the instruction that he is to take care of the matter tonight. Each time a black envelope arrives, blood will be showered on the same night in Kyoto.

The next day, Kogoro and Iiduka sit at a tea shop speculating about Tomoe's background. They reason that she must be a descendant of a samurai family since she is able to read and write. Her cooking is not how someone from Kyoto would cook but they are not sure where she is from. Since she has little contact with anyone from the outside world, they believe that it is highly unlikely that she is a Shogunate spy. However, her presence has definitely shown some influence towards Battousai.

That same evening, Kogoro speaks with Tomoe privately while Battousai is sent to complete another "job". Kogoro tells Tomoe that by throwing the Tokugawa Shogunate into disorder, the era shall be overthrown and a new one will be constructed. And in midst of the chaos, Himura was chosen to fulfill the cruelest role of all, to serve as a guard for the code of disorder, the disorder needed to overturn a dynasty that has reigned for 300 years.

As Tomoe finishes her chores the next day, she thinks about her conversation with Kogoro the night before. She walks into the room only to see that Battousai has fallen asleep while sitting by the window. She remembers Kogoro's words, "a guard for the code of disorder". But looking at his sleeping face she could only see a teenage boy sitting before her. She approaches Battousai to cover him with her shawl, but with a killer's instinct, Battousai awakens at once to defend himself from a supposed attacker. He grabs the collar of Tomoe's kimono and draws his katana to her neck. Rage is written over his face and terror over hers.

Once he realizes that it is Tomoe he quickly releases her. He grips the forearm of the hand which still holds his katana. His breathing becomes heavy and he breaks out into a cold sweat as he tries to regain his composure from the act he had almost committed. He apologizes to Tomoe, stating that although he once told her that he would never use his sword against an unarmed person he does so now. He warns her to leave him now or else he may someday harm her. The expression of shock is replaced with one of concern as Tomoe realizes the wrath of the rage is enclosing on him. She picks up her shawl and lays it over his lap, telling him that he needs a sheath to suppress the madness so he should let her stay with him for now. There is a moment of silence as Battousai is surprised by her words. As he holds on to the shawl laying over him he gives Tomoe the reply to the question she had asked him two weeks ago. He would not kill her if she had a sword in her hand. Under no circumstance would he ever kill her...not her...ever!

It is June 5th, the day of the Gion Festival. Battousai is asleep while Tomoe is quietly sewing. However, the tranquility is shattered with news of disaster! While conducting a secret meeting at Ikeda Inn, the Ishinshishi are attacked by the man they call "Mibu's Wolf" and the Shinsengumi. One of the bodyguards named Katagai were among the few that could escaped. He rushes back to Kohagi Inn to report the news to Battousai and Iidzuka. He tells them that mostly everyone is dead and that Master Katsura Kogoro barely managed to escape but his whereabouts is unknown at the moment. There is definitely a traitor among them who is leaking out their plans! Overcoming with rage, Battousai starts to head out but Iidzuka holds him back. Trying to calm Battousai down, he tells him that is already too late and 3000 Shogunate soldiers have already been deployed. Rushing out there would only make the Ishin's position much worse than it already has become.

Later in the same night, there are crowds of civilians along the streets as they watch the Shinsengumi procession of warriors. Among the crowd, Battousai is carefully watching the group of men that have become the Ishinshishi's greatest obstacle. A man in the procession senses Battousai's presence and turns to meet the icy stare. Saito Hajime and Battousai get their first glimpse of each other...two warriors destined to meet again on the battlefield!

In that one night, hopes for a new era are severely restrained. The report on the tragedy at the Ikeda Inn was filled with pretensions and falsified information. As if chaos could have no boundaries, the Ishinshishi pulled the trigger and deployed 3000 troops to Kyoto. However, considering that the Shogunate army is 20,000 men strong, the outcome of this hopeless battle could already be predetermined

July 18, Genji 1st year, the Kimon Incident.

Although Battousai and his many comrades fought a bold and courgeous battle, the outcome of the battle could not be reversed. In one day, the Choshu Ishinshishi army suffered the lose of nearly 400 soldiers while the Shogunates lose only 60. The fires of war devoured 28,000 civilian homes, leaving many victims stranded with no refuge from the chaos.

Battousai and Tomoe stand on a bridge, while Korogo seats beneath. Kogoro's appearance is extremely tattered and unkept. He leaves his last instructions to Battousai before he goes into hiding. He tells Battousai since Kohagi Inn has burned to the ground he has prepared a peasant's house on the outskirts of Kyoto for him to live in. Until he can decide on the next plan of action, Battousai is to remain hidden in the countryside and Iidzuka will be sent to contact him when the time is appropriate. Kogoro asks Tomoe to stay with Battousai if she has no where else to go. A young married couple won't be as suspicious as a young single male. Even if it is only for cover-up, he would like for her to take care of Himura for him. With that being said Kogoro leaves and the two stand in a moment of silence.

Tomoe looks over at Battousai and asks him what she should do. She has no where else to go. In response Battousai states that it's not that you have absolutely no where to go, if money is needed for her journey it can be prepared. Silence hits again but is broken by Battousai letting out a sigh. He tells her that leaving the answer up to him is very clever of her and it seems that they will live together. Looking over at Tomoe with heartfelt eyes, he continues to say that given the circumstances he does not know to what extent the relationship will become...but if it is possible...he does not wish for it to be a cover-up only...the two of them, "until death do us apart".

It is late summer and the year is 1864. Battousai is fifteen years old. Tomoe is eighteen years old. In the midst of many violent revelations, the two are married and will begin a new life together. As the sunsets in the distance, the silhoulette of Battousai and Tomoe will remain as an everlasting picture.

Chapter 2: Serenity

It has been five months since the Kinmon incident. As winter approaches and the month changes to December, the year will soon come to an end. During these last five months, Battousai has been living in tranquillity with Tomoe, as the countryside is not consumed with the wrath of war that is engulfing Kyoto. Living a simple life as a young herbalist, these last couple of months have enlightened him tremendously. The colour of his eyes have changed as the rage of the hitokiri has been suppressed with a blanket of serenity.

Iidzuka travels to the outskirts to give Battousai a report on the lastest events in Kyoto. Kogoro's whereabouts remain unknown and on the 15th of December, Takasugi will be leading The Kiheitai to initiate another comeback. Kyoto has become Shinsengumi territory now and he warns Battousai to be careful. However, Battousai is not concerned with the Shinsengumi finding him since their primary responsibility is to ensure peace and order in Kyoto. His greatest enemies are the undercover Shogunate spies. The traitor who leaked the Ikeda Inn meeting information was never found and the Shogunate could be deploying more agents to target him as they speak. Disturbed by the direction that the conversation is taking, Iidzuka prepares to return to Kyoto. Before leaving Iidzuka tells Battousai that he had thought that he would have become bored living a serene life away from being a hitokiri. Battousai tells Iidzuka that he is wrong. Although he enjoys practicing sword arts, he has never enjoyed killing people.

As Battousai returns home form his meeting with Iiduka, the children playing outside of his house are estatic to see him return home. A little girl tells him that Tomoe is no fun to play with since she seems to be in her own dreamland all the time. Smiling sweetly, Battousai tells the children that they may come by to play tomorrow since he will home. Happy to hear the news the children head home. Tomoe apologizes to Battousai for her "coldness". Although she likes children, it is hard for her to smile but she has noticed that he has been smiling a lot lately. He notices that he has been too. Before he moved to the countryside, there was never an exchange of smiles during conversations with others. Being disciplined by the ideals taught by Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, he fights and even kills to help dawn a new era that will realise people's happiness. But the truth is, he had never knew nor experienced what happiness was. He smiles at Tomoe and continues to tell her that whatever he had fought for in the past, and what he will continue to fight for now...living with her in the countryside for the last five months has cleary showed him. Tomoe blushes at his words.

In Kyoto that same night, Katagai spots Iidzuka among the people walking along the street. He thinks to himself that Iidzuka had said he was going to spend the night at Himura's place. Why has he returned to Kyoto already? Becoming suspicious of Iidzuka, Katagi follows him to a secluded run-down shack. As he peers through an opening he sees Iidzuka sitting before a Tokugawa ninja clan known as The Yaminobu! Iidzuka tells them that Katsura has escaped, but Battousai is still within their grasp. The wrath of the hitokiri is no longer reflected in the glimmer of his eyes, making this the perfect opportunity to kill him. Katagai realizes that Iiduka is the traitor that they have been looking for. Knowing that without Battousai the revival of the Choshu would be impossible, Katagai turns to find Battousai immediately. Unfortunately, he is discovered by the men inside the shack. A dart is shot from one of the ninjas, and Katagai dies instantly as the dart pierces through his throat. The leader of the clan speaks. They cannot stop until Battousai is dead. He reveals to them his secret back up plan. A boy named Enishi enters the room. He is Tomoe's younger brother!

Battousai is swordplaying with the children in the a field in front of his house, but they soon notice a spectator watching them from a distance. It is Enishi. From the door of the house, Tomoe is shocked to see her little brother. Inside, Tomoe introduces Battousai to her little brother but Enishi just glares at Battousai with hatred. Leaving the two alone so that they may have time to catch up, Battousai returns outside to where the children are playing. Tomoe never mentioned to him that she had a brother. And how did Enishi know that he and Tomoe were hiding here, since only Kogoro and Iidzuka know the location of the hideout.

Inside the house Tomoe tells Enishi that he gave her quite a surprise, but she is glad to see him. She asks him if their father is well. Enishi tells her that he has no idea how their father is because he came here one year ago immediately after Tomoe had left for Kyoto. Surprised by her brother's response, Tomoe asks him how he found her, since she never disclosed her whereabouts to anyone. Enishi tells Tomoe that he was assigned to "contact" her and that she should be overjoyed to learn that the time to punish that devil Battousai has finally arrived!

Tomoe remembers the day she met the clan leader of The Yaminobu. Her mission was to get close to Battousai and seek out his weakness. Once she did her revenge and The Yaminobu's victory will be guaranteed. Instead, she tells Enishi to leave and return home. She will not allow the male successor of the Yukishiro family to commit such a dirty act. Enishi refusing to leave tells Tomoe that all he wants is to help his sister complete her revenge. Again, Tomoe orders him to return home. Tears start to fall down Enishi's cheeks as he demands to know the reason why Tomoe is defending Battousai. Why is she defending her enemy, the one who had caused all of her unhappiness!

As Battousai returns home, he sees Enishi leaving. Enraged, Enishi confronts him, telling him that he wished he had never appeared from the start, before running away. Confused, Battousai just watches Enishi run off. Tomoe begins a diary entry as Battousai enters the house. Startled by his entrance, she quickly closes the diary. He asks her where Enishi is going. Tomoe tells him that he is going back to Edo. She realises that the two of them have never discussed her past before and suggests that perhaps now would be a good time for them to talk.

Tomoe reveals to Battousai that she is a descendant of a Shogunate family. Her mother died when she gave birth to Enishi. From that point onwards, she raised him as her mother would have. For this reason, Enishi regards Tomoe more as a mother rather than an elder sister. She was also engaged to a childhood friend who was to be the next successor in another Shogunate family. However, Tomoe's inability to express her happiness with the engagement lead her fiance to believe that she was not content with him. To prove that he was a warrior worthy of her love, he decided to joing the Tokugawa sword patrol and left for a turbulent Kyoto, from where he would never return to Tomoe again. With the rumors that her fiance was supposedly dead, her happiness disappeared with him. However, she blames herself; blames her inabiltiy to reveal how she really felt...if she were to have cried to him to stay, she could have prevented him from leaving. As Tomoe begins to cry, Battousai takes her into his arms to console her. She does not hold back her tears and cries freely in the security of his embrace.

As the night wears on, Battousai reveals to Tomoe his inner feelings. He had gotten into an arguement with his master and decided to leave him, thinking that he was capable of ending the people's suffering. With this belief, he became Hitokiri Battousai. He believed the new era could be accomplished with the power wielded through the sword of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu. However, the reality was not so. No matter how much blood was shed, the succession of the new era did not get any closer. He was just killing...killing...killing..., until the scent of blood started to haunt his guilty conscience.

It was during that time whe he met Tomoe. Her questions turned the insanity into belief again. The smell of blood has been replaced with the fragrance of white plums. And living with her has shown him exactly what happiness means to the people he protects. He realises that no matter how powerful Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu may be, he cannot accomplish the great task of bringing forth a new era alone. Nor can he grant everyone's happiness, but he can protect people's happiness on an individual basis. However, until the day the new era is built, he will continue his duty as a hitokiri. It may be naive of him to think so, but when that day arrives he wants to find a way to protect people without killing. In the meantime, he will seek ways to atone for the sins he has committed to those who he had made unhappy. Battousai looks at Tomoe and tells her that for all the happiness she had lost in midst of the violence, from now on, he promises to protect it completely. In response to Battousai's pledge to her, Tomoe blushes and reveals a smile on her face for the first time.

Chapter 3: The Cross Scar

It has been five months since the Kinmon incident. As winter approaches and the month changes to December, the year will soon come to an end. During these last five months, Battousai has been living in tranquillity with Tomoe, as the countryside is not consumed with the wrath of war that is engulfing Kyoto. Living a simple life as a young herbalist, these last couple of months have enlightened him tremendously. The colour of his eyes have changed as the rage of the hitokiri has been suppressed with a blanket of serenity.

Iidzuka travels to the outskirts to give Battousai a report on the lastest events in Kyoto. Kogoro's whereabouts remain unknown and on the 15th of December, Takasugi will be leading The Kiheitai to initiate another comeback. Kyoto has become Shinsengumi territory now and he warns Battousai to be careful. However, Battousai is not concerned with the Shinsengumi finding him since their primary responsibility is to ensure peace and order in Kyoto. His greatest enemies are the undercover Shogunate spies. The traitor who leaked the Ikeda Inn meeting information was never found and the Shogunate could be deploying more agents to target him as they speak. Disturbed by the direction that the conversation is taking, Iidzuka prepares to return to Kyoto. Before leaving Iidzuka tells Battousai that he had thought that he would have become bored living a serene life away from being a hitokiri. Battousai tells Iidzuka that he is wrong. Although he enjoys practicing sword arts, he has never enjoyed killing people.

As Battousai returns home form his meeting with Iiduka, the children playing outside of his house are estatic to see him return home. A little girl tells him that Tomoe is no fun to play with since she seems to be in her own dreamland all the time. Smiling sweetly, Battousai tells the children that they may come by to play tomorrow since he will home. Happy to hear the news the children head home. Tomoe apologizes to Battousai for her "coldness". Although she likes children, it is hard for her to smile but she has noticed that he has been smiling a lot lately. He notices that he has been too. Before he moved to the countryside, there was never an exchange of smiles during conversations with others. Being disciplined by the ideals taught by Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, he fights and even kills to help dawn a new era that will realise people's happiness. But the truth is, he had never knew nor experienced what happiness was. He smiles at Tomoe and continues to tell her that whatever he had fought for in the past, and what he will continue to fight for now...living with her in the countryside for the last five months has cleary showed him. Tomoe blushes at his words.<

In Kyoto that same night, Katagai spots Iidzuka among the people walking along the street. He thinks to himself that Iidzuka had said he was going to spend the night at Himura's place. Why has he returned to Kyoto already? Becoming suspicious of Iidzuka, Katagi follows him to a secluded run-down shack. As he peers through an opening he sees Iidzuka sitting before a Tokugawa ninja clan known as The Yaminobu! Iidzuka tells them that Katsura has escaped, but Battousai is still within their grasp. The wrath of the hitokiri is no longer reflected in the glimmer of his eyes, making this the perfect opportunity to kill him. Katagai realizes that Iiduka is the traitor that they have been looking for. Knowing that without Battousai the revival of the Choshu would be impossible, Katagai turns to find Battousai immediately. Unfortunately, he is discovered by the men inside the shack. A dart is shot from one of the ninjas, and Katagai dies instantly as the dart pierces through his throat. The leader of the clan speaks. They cannot stop until Battousai is dead. He reveals to them his secret back up plan. A boy named Enishi enters the room. He is Tomoe's younger brother!

Battousai is swordplaying with the children in the a field in front of his house, but they soon notice a spectator watching them from a distance. It is Enishi. From the door of the house, Tomoe is shocked to see her little brother. Inside, Tomoe introduces Battousai to her little brother but Enishi just glares at Battousai with hatred. Leaving the two alone so that they may have time to catch up, Battousai returns outside to where the children are playing. Tomoe never mentioned to him that she had a brother. And how did Enishi know that he and Tomoe were hiding here, since only Kogoro and Iidzuka know the location of the hideout.

Inside the house Tomoe tells Enishi that he gave her quite a surprise, but she is glad to see him. She asks him if their father is well. Enishi tells her that he has no idea how their father is because he came here one year ago immediately after Tomoe had left for Kyoto. Surprised by her brother's response, Tomoe asks him how he found her, since she never disclosed her whereabouts to anyone. Enishi tells Tomoe that he was assigned to "contact" her and that she should be overjoyed to learn that the time to punish that devil Battousai has finally arrived!

Tomoe remembers the day she met the clan leader of The Yaminobu. Her mission was to get close to Battousai and seek out his weakness. Once she did her revenge and The Yaminobu's victory will be guaranteed. Instead, she tells Enishi to leave and return home. She will not allow the male successor of the Yukishiro family to commit such a dirty act. Enishi refusing to leave tells Tomoe that all he wants is to help his sister complete her revenge. Again, Tomoe orders him to return home. Tears start to fall down Enishi's cheeks as he demands to know the reason why Tomoe is defending Battousai. Why is she defending her enemy, the one who had caused all of her unhappiness!

As Battousai returns home, he sees Enishi leaving. Enraged, Enishi confronts him, telling him that he wished he had never appeared from the start, before running away. Confused, Battousai just watches Enishi run off. Tomoe begins a diary entry as Battousai enters the house. Startled by his entrance, she quickly closes the diary. He asks her where Enishi is going. Tomoe tells him that he is going back to Edo. She realises that the two of them have never discussed her past before and suggests that perhaps now would be a good time for them to talk.

Tomoe reveals to Battousai that she is a descendant of a Shogunate family. Her mother died when she gave birth to Enishi. From that point onwards, she raised him as her mother would have. For this reason, Enishi regards Tomoe more as a mother rather than an elder sister. She was also engaged to a childhood friend who was to be the next successor in another Shogunate family. However, Tomoe's inability to express her happiness with the engagement lead her fiance to believe that she was not content with him. To prove that he was a warrior worthy of her love, he decided to joing the Tokugawa sword patrol and left for a turbulent Kyoto, from where he would never return to Tomoe again. With the rumors that her fiance was supposedly dead, her happiness disappeared with him. However, she blames herself; blames her inabiltiy to reveal how she really felt...if she were to have cried to him to stay, she could have prevented him from leaving. As Tomoe begins to cry, Battousai takes her into his arms to console her. She does not hold back her tears and cries freely in the security of his embrace.

As the night wears on, Battousai reveals to Tomoe his inner feelings. He had gotten into an arguement with his master and decided to leave him, thinking that he was capable of ending the people's suffering. With this belief, he became Hitokiri Battousai. He believed the new era could be accomplished with the power wielded through the sword of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu. However, the reality was not so. No matter how much blood was shed, the succession of the new era did not get any closer. He was just killing...killing...killing..., until the scent of blood started to haunt his guilty conscience.

It was during that time whe he met Tomoe. Her questions turned the insanity into belief again. The smell of blood has been replaced with the fragrance of white plums. And living with her has shown him exactly what happiness means to the people he protects. He realises that no matter how powerful Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu may be, he cannot accomplish the great task of bringing forth a new era alone. Nor can he grant everyone's happiness, but he can protect people's happiness on an individual basis. However, until the day the new era is built, he will continue his duty as a hitokiri. It may be naive of him to think so, but when that day arrives he wants to find a way to protect people without killing. In the meantime, he will seek ways to atone for the sins he has committed to those who he had made unhappy. Battousai looks at Tomoe and tells her that for all the happiness she had lost in midst of the violence, from now on, he promises to protect it completely. In response to Battousai's pledge to her, Tomoe blushes and reveals a smile on her face for the first time.

Epilogue: And Then

Two weeks have passed since the tragic incident. It is January 15, 1865. Battousai sits depressed in the house where he and Tomoe once shared their happiness together. The pages of Tomoe's diary turn as a cool breeze blows inside. Battousai sees her diary and picks it up to read the first entry which is dated on April 4th. From the diary he discovers that Tomoe's fiance's name was Kiyosato Akira. The name is familiar to him. In a sudden recollection, he remembers that the name belongs to the young man whom he had killed in Kyoto and received the first half of the cross scar from. He realizes that Kiyosato was trying to speak Tomoe's name before he had stabbed him through the heart. Holding his hand to the scar on his cheek, Battousai is horrified to learn that HE was the one who murdered Tomoe's fiance. HE was the one who had caused her unhappiness from the beginning!

Kogoro appears at the entrance of Battousai's house. The traitor has been discovered and Shishio Makoto has already been ordered to assassinate him. Battousai hears Shishio's name for the first time. Kogoro continues to tell Battousai that Shishio will be taking over his role as hitokiri. Battousai is needed in Kyoto to protect the Ishinshishi members that are in prosecution by the Shinsengumi. The Ishinshishi need him on the front lines of battle to lead the "sword squad". Kogoro realizes that it is harsh to request this of him now but there is no one else he can rely on to fulfill the role. He asks Battousai to put aside the feelings in his heart for now, so he may use the sword of Hiten to fight. The neighbouring children gather at the door to invite Battousai to come out and play with them. Battousai stands to walk outside and tells Kogoro he will go to Kyoto. If he were to give up his sword now, then the lives of all the people he had taken before would be in vain. He learned from Tomoe the happiness which people pursue, so he will continue to fight to build a new era. However, when the new era arrives he never wants to kill again...ever! Kogoro remembers Shinsaku's warning to him from that day he decided to use Battousai as a hitokiri, "It will ruin the boy's life...". Kogoro realizes he is at fault. The sword of Hiten should have never been used to destroy the old era. Its rightful use should have been to protect the new one. He thinks to himself, "forgive me Himura". Outside, Battousai tell the children that he will play with them until the sun sets.

Later in Kyoto, the Shinsengumi trap an Ishinshishi in a dark alley way. From the shadows, Battousai steps out and warns the men to retreat and he will spare their lives. The Shinsengumi members see the cross scar and red hair. They realize that the man standing before them is Hitokiri Battousai! From behind them, Saito Hajime steps forth and draws his katana, preparing to meet Battousai's challenge. Gatostu versus Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu!

In midst of the turmoil during the demise of the Tokugawa Shogunate, there was a legendary patriot known as "Hitokiri Battousai". His sword shedded the blood of countless lives but at the end of the uprising he would vanish as quietly as he had came.

And the time passes to the 11th year of the Meiji Era.

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