Chapter One – Money Problems
Himura Kenshin, once known as Hitokiri Battòsai was a legendary manslayer during the Bakumatsu. Those who gazed into the teenaged boy's amber eyes were immediately frozen with fear. With blood red hair and a cross shape scar, the Battòsai was untouchable in skill and emotion, shunning everyone from himself, everyone, except her. Tomoe. The girl with raven black hair and a terrible secret. Falling in love with the stray cat Tomoe, Battòsai is finally put to rest and Kenshin learns there is more to life then the sword.
However, Battòsai emerges when Tomoe's secret is released. He was the one who had killed her fiancée. Heart in turmoil, Kenshin goes in search of Tomoe only to find those who wish to kill him. Battered and bruised from fights, Kenshin emerges, near death, to face down one more opponent. Weak and injured Kenshin was fighting a losing battle. Too save Tomoe Kenshin puts all his heart and soul into his next attack knowing that doing so would be running right into his attacker's attack and ending his life. Monetarily blinded by his loved one's ribbon Kenshin strikes, but when the ribbon blows away from his eyes revealing that he had struck the one he held dear, his Tomoe, who had stepped in front of Kenshin's attacker to save him. As Tomoe slowly fades away in Kenshin's arms he vows that when the Bakumatsu is over, he will never kill again.
10th year of the Meiji; Thirteen years later
"This is terrible!" A young swordsman cried out, Dressed in a dark green gi and a shinai strapped to his back. "What were you thinking Sanosuke!" He shouted at a tall, spiky haired ex-gangster.
Sanosuke sighed, like he could really care less. "I was really lucky so I bet all our money." He said to Yahiko, the swordsman.
Kaoru, a young women of sixteen seemed a lot older as she glared Sanosuke. "That was our traveling money! How are we supposed to get home now?" Kaoru yelled flipping her midnight black hair out of her face.
"Wait a minute!" Sanosuke cried putting up his hands in self defense against Kaoru's and Yahiko's raging anger. "What if I can promise to get all the money- and then some back?"
Both Kaoru and Yahiko lowered their fists and shinai. "What are you thinking now Sano?" Kaoru said still annoyed.
A wide, wry smile came across the tall man's lips. "First we have to find Kenshin."
Himura Kenshin, once known as Hitokiri Battòsai. He is now a lowly wonderer in the Meiji era. His scarlet hair and cross shape scar the only things that remained the same from the bloody years of the Bakumatsu. Not even the sword at his side is the same. This sword cannot kill for it is a Sakabato. His eyes no longer the menacing amber he once had, now replaced with a pair of soft, caring lavender orbs. Living with Kaoru and the others who call themselves the Kenshin-gumi over the past few months has filled the Rurouni with joy. Now the group of friends were making their way home to Tokyo, after spending time in Kyoto visiting Misao. Kenshin stood peering at his reflection in the wavy water thinking back to his visit with his friends.
"Hey Kenshin!" Sanosuke yelled to him wanting to be far from Yahiko and Kaoru who were still mad at him. Not getting a response from the spaced out Kenshin he tried again. "Kenshin!"
"Oro?" Kenshin stammered with a startled jump at being suddenly pulled from his thoughts.
"Kenshin!" Kaoru whined to the Rurouni. "Sanosuke gambled away all of our traveling money!"
Kenshin's surprised looked turned to shock. "Sanosuke… we needed that money to get home, that we did."
"I know, I know." The lanky man put his hand near his forehead and bowed. "I'm sorry but I know a way to get all the money and then some back! But I need a little help" He said with a guilty smile.
Kenshin felt nervous as he wondered what meaning was hidden behind the man's smile. "Help? From this one?"
Sanosuke's smile turned a bit evil as he started to spring his trap. "Yes I need some help from you. You don't want to make Jo-chan have to sleep in the dirt do you?"
Kenshin sighed. He knew he wouldn't enjoy whatever Sano had in mind if he was trying to use Kaoru to get him to do whatever it was he wanted. "How can this one help?"
Now his smile spread. "There is this sword contest; an underground sword contest."
Kenshin sighed again. "This one doesn't fight for profit, only to help others."
"Kenshin, but we need help! We need money, remember!" Sano said pleading. "Unless Kaoru doesn't mind, NOT eating or sleeping in a bed until we get back to Tokyo."
Kaoru gasped. "No! Yahiko and I can enter instead."
"This is an underground contest meaning real swords will be used and people could die." Sano said bluntly. "What do you say Kenshin?" Sanosuke said cheerfully.
"Next contestant… Himshin, Kenura!"
Kenshin stepped into the ring. "Damn you Sano. You'll pay for this one day... andwas that the only name you could come up with?" Kenshin thought bitterly.