By Aka Ketsueki
Mandatory Disclaimer: I do not own Rurouni Kenshin ©.
Summary: Death was his Life, Blood his Sanity, Lust his Addiction, Power his Obsession, and Love his immortal and tempting Enemy. After 175 years of isolation, Battousai walks among the Living once more, intent on reclaiming his Enemy. BxK
Chapter One: Death's Mission
Drenched from midnight locks to ebony polished boots, Kamiya Kaoru stood firm from her position on the ledge of one of Tokyo, Japan's tallest buildings. Despite the rain and lightning that engulfed her from every direction, the cobalt-eyed beauty remained emotionless as she stared out at the gloomy city from her unreachable perch. Not even the wind, with all its strength, stirred her from her position among the clouds.
Nature's symphony and Tokyo's orchestra of noise beneath her were effectively forgotten upon the ringing in her left ear.
Taking her left hand out of her trench coat, Kaoru touched the slightly vibrating earpiece, answering calmly and clearly to the person on the other end in spite the storm's interference, "Kamiya, here."
"The Ishin Shishi and Shinsengumi have dispatched according to their agreement," answered a stoic voice.
"Another meaningless slaughter," scowled Kaoru disgustedly, her eyes narrowing into slits as she looked down in vain at the identical black dots below.
"You are to do as you were assigned last night and nothing more, Kaoru. Do not disappoint me," ordered the masculine voice.
"As you wish, Okashira." With those words, the 27-year-old once again touched her earpiece, cutting off her connection with her leader.
Taking one last glance at the dark and bittersweet performance around her, Kaoru closed her eyes and took in the grand finale before making her exit in the depths of the ever present and consuming shadows.
The process was simple: get in, get out, get paid. Kaoru had never ever had trouble doing her job as a professional assassin for the Oniwanbanshuu Group until tonight of all nights. Out of all the days she had to have extraordinary good luck, it had to be the night she was going to be remunerated for a job well done with a raise and possibly an early retirement.
'The gods must hate me,' decided Kaoru inwardly as her cerulean eyes scanned the dead bodies on the ground, her face impassive as she kept her senses alert.
She had always wished for someone to do her job for her while she took the credit and the reward, but the way the person had executed her victims without a trace bothered her.
There were absolutely no noticeable wounds whatsoever on the decapitated targets, and from experience, Kaoru knew that whoever took her assignment had been skilled in swordsmanship. The important government officials that lay at her feet had been killed with strokes so precise that even Kaoru was becoming envious of the person responsible. She was more than certain that they had died long before their corpses reached the blood-soaked floor.
The swordsman who had taken her assignment obviously knew what he was doing; had evidently done such missions multiple times before.
'Amazing,' thought Kaoru, her eyes once again on the motionless bodies, 'he managed to cut their heads off without touching any other part of their bodies with his weapon.'
Itbecame clear to the female assassin that her opponent was not only powerful, but fast as well. His speed couldn't have been any less than lightning fast, for he would have nicked at least one of the men had he been off by even a second. The men had been too close together for the swordsman to fix his error before the damage was done.
Ears picking up the sound of sirens, Kaoru turned away from Death's playground and once again walked up the stairs of the basement meeting in Tokyo's most famous club. She was not going to take credit for doing something she had no part in.
Kamiya Kaoru was nothing, if not a person of honor and her word.
'I will not take your reward, hitokiri, but one day I shall find you, and I will make sure you claim what is yours.'
"Honestly! Will you stop glaring at your mail and open it already, Kaoru?" reprimanded a black-haired beauty as she sat down beside her roommate, a mug of coffee in her hands.
Rolling her eyes, Kaoru placed the black envelope on the coffee table in front of her and pulled her knees to her chest, her arms wrapping around her legs.
"Why don't you just open it and see what's inside?" asked the rosy lipped 28-year-old as she carefully sipped her steaming coffee. "You've been staring at it for hours and those other letters from the past month or so need to be opened as well."
"I'll open them when I feel like it, Megumi," said Kaoru, placing her forehead on her knees.
Placing her coffee down, Megumi smoothed out her violet suit as she flipped her silky hair to the side with a "Hmpf".
"I don't know how you've become so popular, Tanuki, but you've got to answer those letters sooner or later. Trying to tear them to shreds with yours eyes is not going to get rid of them, so you can either throw them away or read them," said Megumi, before adding threateningly, "or I'll decide for you."
"Why do you even care?" asked Kaoru, lifting her head to look at her friend with raised brows.
Megumi grinned and Kaoru could have sworn that she saw fox ears appear on top of the older woman's head.
"Because if you don't open them, you'll end up sulking around the apartment until you do and I need you out of the apartment by seven tonight," answered Megumi.
"You should have just said so," said Kaoru as she got up and snatched the envelope off of the table.
Walking down the hallway toward her room, Kaoru locked the door behind her when she heard Megumi begin to dial their expected guest's number on the apartment phone.
Looking at the black envelope in her hands once more, Kamiya Kaoru slowly turned it around and ripped the top flap open, already knowing what was inside.
Her blue eyes remained emotionless as she stared at the red check that held an ungodly amount of money, all made out to her.
Throwing the check down on her desk, on top of a pile of unopened black envelopes, Kaoru moved to her walk-in closet.
Grabbing a pair of black jeans and a matching turtleneck, Kaoru quickly changed. She had just placed on her belt and her first boot when she heard Megumi's hollering from the kitchen.
"You need to be out in five minutes, Kaoru!" reminded Megumi.
Putting on her last boot, Kaoru took her Guess purse and keys from on top of her navy blue, circular bed and walked out of her room without so much as a glance at the three checks she had opened over the last month.
Locking her room from the outside, Kaoru pocketed her keys and was halfway toward the door when she noticed a folded green note underneath it.
Bending down, Kaoru picked up the note and was barely skimming it when Megumi came out from the bathroom they shared and literally pushed her out of the apartment.
Flinching when Megumi slammed the door behind her, Kaoru shook her head and narrowed her eyes as she reread the note.
Great work last night! Congratulations on your promotion!
Kaoru crumpled the green note, throwing it away in the nearest trash can on her way toward the elevator.