Posted at Kitsune-onna 19's asking.
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Disclaimer: Samurai X does not belong to me, it belongs to Noubihiro Watsuki, and will always belong to Noubihiro Watsuki, unless he sells it.
Into the Night
"Kyoto," the word slipped out of a lone man's mouth in a whisper as he traveled beneath the forsaken shadows of the vacant, dusty, town. The very ground seemed to be stained a permanent color of a deep, scarlet shade of red, and the air constantly filled with the smell, feel and taste of the thick vile liquid. The midnight sky seemed to be cloaked with the thickest darkness, while the faded moon light seemed to shine with sorrow and pain upon the tainted grounds. None would walk amongst these shadows save for the very cruel, or very dangerous. For, it was in this city of Kyoto that hundreds upon thousands of people had lost their precious lives by the hands of revolutionaries, assassins, and rebel government groups alike. It was a cursed, bloodstained land wherein, the spirits of those killed constantly paced searching for their killers. And it was in this land that the murderous Battousai became a legend.
He was cold, cool, calm, and ruthless, with eyes that shone as a demon's, and red hair said to be dyed by the blood he spilled. The man did not feel, he did not think, he merely accepted and completed his path of chaos and death. He had been the executioner, the prized assassin for the government officials, and night after night he had roamed these streets, searching for the victims his master had identified. He was like a machine, the perfect killing machine with lightning fast attacks, superbly sensitive senses, and speed so fast it that it could be compared to that of a dragon from the underworld. Now he was hunting again. Not because of an assignment, but because his compatriots had been attacked. That was not to be forgiven, and so he went searching, following the killing chi of a few of his enemies who had been foolish enough to enter his territory. What he would do when he found them, he wasn't sure, but he would come up with that when the time arrived.
After much searching the man had finally sensed his enemy chi. There were 12 of them, no 13, but the thirteenth was young, weak in comparison, and filled with fear and apprehension.
'Was that a child,' he thought to himself.
He got his answer soon enough, as a harsh smacking sound was heard, and a young cry. The intensity of the child's fear went up ten fold, but in its fear, something akin to defiance was found. The man was curious about that reaction, and disturbed, not because he was afraid, for he was never afraid, not truly, but because the enemies had a hostage, a child no less, a witness to the small man's actions. The young man heard another smacking noise, and smelled the stench of freshly spilt blood. His steely blue-violet eyes turned the color of molten gold and he gripped the handle of his katana tightly, killing instincts effectively in place. He found the group of heavyset Shogun ate soldiers he had sensed and a small form on the ground, trying to get up, but having great difficulty. One of the Shogun ate hit the form, and it fell to the ground in a heap.
"Why don't we just kill her leader?" he saw one of his enemies state with a blood thirsty look in his eyes, "Her father hasn't yet arrived in accordance to our letter, and my blade seeks out fresh blood."
The golden eyed man gripped his sword as he heard this, and readied himself to slice the man in half. To pick on those who could not defend themselves, especially young children disgusted him. He saw the leader give his consent to kill the child, and the man gleefully accepted. However, before the Shogunate could succeed, the red haired man took his chance and stabbed his blade through the man's chest. The figure fell to the ground in a bloody pool.
"Whose there?" the leftover men pulled out their own weapons at the sound of the low thud. They scanned the area for anything unusual. All seemed normal in the dead of the night, and they growled before lowering their weapons. Amongst the 11 men, stood one with higher senses, and he sneered as he saw a silhouette in the darkest shadows of the ground.
He took out his sword. "Do you plan to challenge us stranger?" He stated curiously, before placing his sword at the child's neck. The red haired man narrowed his eyes, and said nothing.
"Well then," the leader stated mockingly as he took in the slight form. It was not easy to see the details of his face, but the leader looked at one of the men of his group as if to signal an attack and the figure advanced. The small man easily blocked the first attack.
"I don't want to kill you." the small man said nonchalantly.
The figure that had advanced laughed. "I doubt that will be too much of a problem." The larger figure charged again, and the smaller one lowered his head, covering his golden eyes with his blood red mane.
"Good " the red haired man said as his challenger took another swing, speed and catlike grace the red haired man drew his sword and sliced through him like paper.
"Take that as a warning and release the girl." Battousai whispered hauntingly.
The ten men left were stunned, but they stubbornly shook there head and took out their weapons. The easy defeat of their two comrades was an insult to the pride that all samurai held, and they could not be left the victim, unless they themselves were killed. All attacked the man, but in two or three sweeping moments, they were down.
The leader looked amused for once, and took out his weapon.
"I guess one can't always be judged by their size," he stated simply, "but I will not fall so easily as the other's. Shall we begin?"
The smaller man lowered his katana slightly.
"I do not wish to fight you if I can help it," he said with an icy tone, "now let the girl go."
The leader looked at the smaller man in curiosity, "You take down all of my men, and then say you do not want to fight if you can help it? You are a strange one indeed. But you are foolish to think I would let you go after you killed them AND showed such skill. So now..." The man lifted up his katana and walked into the dim light that the oil lamps provided. He was a tall, well built man, with chiseled cheek bones, and dark wavy hair. A long, deep scar was drawn from the right side of his temple, to the bottom of his well shaped chin, and a look of blood thirst and amusement glowed in his dark eyes "...we fight."
The smaller man nodded regretfully and returned to fighting stance, his monotone voice cut through the night air." Then you shall die."
The two fighter's charged at one another, and the clanging of their swords echoed amongst the silent night, as the moon shined hauntingly upon the scene. Swing, after swing had been blocked, until finally the challenger reached a speed that could be compared to the gods and stabbed through the man's defenses using his katana and another hidden weapon. The red haired man barely managed to block the attack, and looked stunned. Before one could blink, the crimson haired man disappeared and his katana protruded from his challenger's lung. The challenger fell into the pile of his lifeless comrades with a shocked look on his face. Purposely, the red haired man stepped into the dim light of the oil lamp and looked down at his newest victim. The leader laughed like a madman as he took in the red hair, stance, and cross shaped scar on the left side of the small man's face.
"Battou-sai..." His whispered, just as he breathed his last breath, and then he was gone, eyes opened and glossy just like the rest. Battousai glanced at the gruesome sight nonchalantly, and flicked off the blood on his blade. His eyes glowed in a murderous and empty amber tone, and his lips thinned out in a hard line. There was no seeming remorse in his eyes, or compassion for the child before him. For how could a soulless fiend have any emotion other then emptiness and despair? Battousai cruelly began to step away from his victims and the girl. Yet, he can not go more then half a meter before his heart compelled him to turn back and take a good look at the scene that had just played out.
There was so much blood, that Battousai could surely drown in it. 12 bodies with open, glossy eyes lie in thick pools of blood, and the dingy gray walls were covered with a brilliant blanket of scarlet red. Battousai's once blue kimono and gray hakama pants seemed to be drenched in the thick, sticky, scarlet liquid of his victim's life force. Battousai stepped forward and closed the eyes of his enemies; all the while his memory played back their last words. "They should have turned away when they had a chance," he muttered, but because they hadn't, their bodies now lie in pools of death. Looking away from the dead bodies, Battousai saw the small child with blood dripping from her cuts, and various bruises from her captors. There was no honor in leaving a helpless child behind, only disgrace, and so Battousai approached the small form. She was covered with blotches of blood, her blue kimono, had violet stains where the blood had hit her, and her breaths seemed to come out in shallow gasps. She looked rather pathetic with her ripped kimono, and black hair plastered to her pale face, but vulnerable as well. How could such a tiny thing have such defiance, Battousai thought, but there was no time for such thought. She was wounded badly, and her breaths seemed to grow weaker as the seconds past.
"Girl," he said in a cool tone when he got within a two foot radius from the child, but there was no response from her tiny figure.
"Girl." he repeated and shook the girl slightly. This time a groan was heard from her tiny form and the girl opened her big blue eyes dizzily. She stood staring up with a strange glaze in her eyes for a moment, but then blinked and stared at her savior. She backed up a little and felt the body beside her before looking towards it and beginning to scream. Her savior immediately covered her mouth and she blinked before backing up more and covering her head with her arms in fear. A twinge of sympathy for the child leaked into the man's heart as he he watched the tiny being before him. With skilled movements and medical indifference he took the child's wounded shoulder in one of his calloused hands. With his free hand he attempted to rip some pieces from his kimono and belt, and pulled out a canteen of water. The child flinched as he poured the cold liquid on her wounds, but did not scream as he carefully wiped them clean.
"This will not take long," he stated in his calm tone, and the girl removed her trembling arms from her head, and looked at the man in surprise. The man just glanced at her briefly, before putting his wet clean cloth to one of her deepest wounds. The girl cried out in protest, but the man held her arm tighter and continued his medical attention. The girl cried out again for being handled so roughly, and he softened his grip as he worked on her other wounds.
"Where do you belong?" he asked quietly as he treated the last of her wounds, and the girl shivered before putting her tiny arms around her body. She was silent for a bit, but then she seemed to choke on her tears as her small body began to tremble.
"I..." Noting this, the man felt some of his humanity return, and placed his hand on the girl's shoulder just as he had done when the village children who came to his and his wife's house were sad. The girl's nervous trembling had died a little and she looked at him with hesitant eyes before looking out to the darkness.
Battousai held out his hand for the girl, and she hesitantly took hold of it, before pulling to a little clearing to the left. A briefest twitch of a smile reached the man's face, and he walked towards the direction she had was a long silent walk, but eventually the red haired man felt the girl try and pull from his hand. He quickly let go and the girl did a quick bow before running into a well lighted inn.
"Papa!" he heard the girl cry, and a tall tired looking man with dark hair, a goatee, wounded shoulder, cut leg, and katana at his waist looked up and glanced towards the child. The man closed his eyes quickly as if in disbelief, and covered his eyes with his good arm to make sure he wasn't imagining things. When he realized it was no dream, he stood up and crossed the floor with as much dignity as he could muster with his wounds.
"My god." he whispered in semi rough tone, "I thought they would have killed you." The man took his daughter in a bruising hug before she shook her head and pointed towards the door.
"They tried but that red haired man..."
The dark haired man glanced towards the direction his daughter had pointed, and could have sworn he saw a flash of red, and a small man with a scarred face merge into the shadows. Was that Battousai?
The man tried to remember if he had seen his stoic compatriot at the base earlier, and frowned as he remembered the small man snaking out of the back a short while before Kaoru was discovered. Very little was known about Battousai, for he never seemed to talk unless it was business matters, and when it came to meetings, he was almost always the first to slip out at the conclusion. He was a loan wolf, a deadly, silent prowler in the night, and an 'invisible man' come day break. To be willing to go out of his way and save a small child without an order was hard to comprehend, and yet...
"Himura." the man stated in the lowest of whispers. The man looked at his child and led her to a trusted companion. "Stay here," he ordered, and without a thought the man zoomed out the door looking for his daughter's savior. "Himura!" He called again into the silent night, but other then a quick moment that could have easily been a rat beneath the shadows, the hitokiri was no where to be seen. Once again Battousai had melded into the shadows and disappeared into the night; never to be seen by innocents again.
AN: So I was finally able to add Kaoru's father's piece! And I have to say, I'm happy I did, even if it's not as good as this one. Thanks Omasuaniwabanshi, even though you'll probably never see this.
Now, email me and let me know what you think, or REVIEW. For all you who hate Kaoru being a random character. I did that because I knew that the Kenshin 'pilot' had Kaoru's father as Battousai's compatriot. Also, in the anime, it said that her father survived the end of the Baku Matsu era, and became a honored policeman of the Mejia era as soon as it began.
This is basically just a piece to go along with that, and an in-depth view to how Battousai's psyche really worked based on what I concluded from Watsuki's notes and the manga version of the OVA, rather then the way the most Battousai fics I used to read portrayed him. (Sex-crazy, impulsive, lover of killing and war) He's not like that! cries
Well people... REVIEW Okay?!