Summary: The two religions, Sanctus and Diablos, have never been at peace. Meet Kamiya Kaoru of Sanctus, Oracle of Shinzuru, and Himura Kenshin of Diablos, Prophet of Kurayami. Chaos is set free when all find out that the Oracle and the Prophet are engaged. B/K.

Pairings: Battousai/Kaoru

Disclaimer: I don't own Rurouni Kenshin, at all. All the characters belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki-sensei. The only thing in this story that is mine will be the OCs and the plot itself.

Cryptic Faith
Chapter Four – The Visit

Gray eyes widened as he was lifted off the ground. Another hand had a firm grasp on the scruffy cloth of his clothes as his blind eyes looked down below him. He could see no figure but he could feel the coldness of a blade touch his neck as his attacker spoke a threat to him. "Your money or your life, old man," hissed the thief as he pressed the blade of the dagger deeper into the skin of the old man. An incision opened as blood started to pour down slowly, trickling and trailing the silver of the dagger. The blind man pleaded with his assailant that the only things he had to offer were the clothes on his back and nothing more. "I don't believe you! This is the last time I'm going to ask, your money or your life old man!" hissed the thief with more danger in his voice.

"He chooses neither," said a voice simply as soft sounds reverberated in the alley way. The thief looked at the direction where the voice came and grunted. An amused expression found its way to the newcomer's face as he realized that the thief did not know who he was. He must have been one of those rare few who followed neither religion. Stopping, the newcomer flashed a slight smile as he pointed upwards. The thief looked up, his grip still firm on the blind man's clothes. A feminine looking figure with a large scythe, a chain draped around the wooden pole waved slightly a happy look on the figure's face. Opposite was a male donning blue with the usual smile on its face. "Still don't know me?" said the newcomer with a grin as he waited for the thief to respond.

"Who cares if you're the Prophet or the Oracle? You're going to die because you're trying to interrupt me! All of you are," growled the thief as he dropped the old man down on the dirt path as he charged his way towards the red haired male. The amused expression remained on the red head's face as he skillfully evaded every graceless slash the thief sent out to him. The red haired male stopped momentarily, going into a stance familiar to his companion's. It was the Battou Jutsu stance, the very reason he was nicknamed Battousai. Drawing out his sword, the red head slashed the body of the thief. The blind man's assailant's eyes widened as he felt his blood gush out endlessly, as his life started to slip away from his body.

"Maybe you'd care," spoke the red haired male as he methodically wiped the blood away from his katana. "After all, I heard the Prophet was an excellent swordsman, belonging to the Three Shinigami, after all," expressed the red head thoughtfully as he sheathed his katana, the weapon swinging at his side. The thief's eyes looked up at the male, his vision blurring. Stretching out his hand, he motioned for either one of his two companions to assist the blind man and see if he needed anything. "And I am the Prophet," said the red head as he drew out his katana once more, in the blink of an eye, stabbing the thief to death. The robber had no time to react as he felt his life be ripped away from his body at a lightning fast speed.

"Ojii-san, are you alright?" asked Soujiro with a smile on his face, assisting the blind man. The beggar nodded slowly as his unseeing eyes were focused on Kenshin's form. "Good, we can take you to Tae-san, if she doesn't mind," suggested Soujiro to the blind man, suggesting it to his companions as well. Kamatari shrugged as he looked at Kenshin, the giant scythe still glimmering. Kenshin nodded as he turned around, walking out of the alley. "Don't worry, Ojii-san, I'm sure Tae-san can nurse your wounds," said Soujiro comfortingly as he helped the blind man walk. The beggar motioned for Soujiro to stop, a confused look appearing on the Tenken's face.

"Ah, it's alright," spoke the blind man softly, causing Kenshin and Kamatari to stop as well, "I wouldn't last long. Just leave me here, I'm dying anyway. I'm just grateful to have met the Prophet and his two companions before I left this world." Glimmers of color appeared in the man's unseeing gray eyes. Soujiro shook his head as he continued smiling, continuing to walk on even if he had to walk for the man as well. A sigh escaped the man's lips as he felt his heart weakening. "I thank you for caring for such an old man like me, it's more than I could ask for," whispered the man. In a few seconds, his heart beat its last, the old man growing limp against Soujiro, a smile on his face.

"Give the man a proper burial; Soujiro, a bit a way away from the Temple," spoke Kenshin as he continued walking, "It's the least we can do. Meet us in the Shirobeko, at our usual seats." The Tenken nodded as he lifted the man's body, dashing off to bury him. A faint smile found its way to Kenshin's face as he adjusted his straw hat slightly; making sure it covered his face. He didn't really want to draw such a crowd to him, considering what he had set out to do. Kamatari wasn't as known as he was out in the streets seeing as he usually confined himself within the Temple. Soujiro wasn't usually beside him, lingering either ahead of him or behind him so as not to draw attention to himself.

"Kenshin-sama, do you feel bad for the old man?" asked Kamatari, an inquisitive tone to his voice. He had no worry about calling the Prophet his first name as only very few people knew of it anyway. The man's red hair swung gently behind him, the red locks evident against the black of his gi. "Kenshin-sama?" asked Kamatari once more, not minding the glances and the glares the crowd were throwing at him and the giant scythe beside him. The Prophet nodded slowly, the action referring to everything he had meant to say. "Alright then, I was just curious," replied Kamatari as he said no more about the old man. The elders never got to see the true side of Kenshin. They were too choked up with the power they received to notice the real Kenshin. He never let the Battousai within him show unless he was truly for justice. That was the Kenshin he and Soujiro respected, the very reason the three of them became the Three Shinigami.

At the Shirobeko

"Mou, Kenshin, you shouldn't starve yourself," reprimanded one of the two owners of the Shirobeko, Sekihara Tae. The red head laughed slightly as he apologized, his two swords leaning against the wall. "Well, since you're here and that's a rare treat, I'll serve you the Breakfast Set," said Tae with a slight smile. Kenshin had known Tae ever since his parents had died and had a fondness for the restaurant owner. She, like Kamatari and Soujiro, was a follower of Diablos and could call Kenshin by his first name. He treated her like an older sister that he never had. "Anyway, the usual three sets plus two pots of green tea? I know how you three love the tea here," clucked Tae as she cleaned out the table.

"Tae-san, have I ever told you that you're the best?" said Kamatari with a grin as he leaned back slightly. Tae shot him a look that told him she knew he was trying to butter her up. "Fine, I'm sorry I managed to ruin your kitchen with my scythe," mumbled Kamatari as he sunk down, his chin resting on the table in front of them, "At least it was paid for, right?" Tae waved it off as she stood up. Opening the shoji door, she told them breakfast would be served in thirty minutes, at the longest. With another smile, she closed the door and began walking back to the kitchen. "I wish Sae-san were here. At least she wasn't like Tae-san," mumbled Kamatari as he idly drew circles on the wooden surface.

"Sae-san and Tae-san are twin sisters, what would you expect? Just because Sae-san fawns over your unnaturally feminine features doesn't mean she'll be nicer towards you, Kamatari," said Kenshin with a wry grin. Kamatari shot the Prophet a look as he avoided Kenshin's gaze. The world was against him! "Don't worry. Tae-san and Sae-san both forgive you. I mean, they let you inside the Shirobeko," said Kenshin good-naturedly as he played with the chopsticks. Kamatari laughed bitterly as he continued to sulk. The shoji door slid open, causing the Prophet to raise his head. It was Soujiro with that smile still on his face. "I see you're done, Soujiro. Tae-san decided to bring us a Breakfast Set each and two pots of green tea," said Kenshin as he motioned for the Tenken to sit down.

"Are you really sure you want to go there, Kenshin-san?" asked Soujiro, avoiding the topic of the burial of the old man. Kenshin nodded slowly as he drummed his fingers against the table top. Soujiro looked up, deciding to not press on the topic further. After all, they were headed into dangerous territory but because they were who they were, the danger levels dropped immensely. "Why is Kamatari sulking?" asked Soujiro as he noticed their companion's broody attitude. Kenshin didn't speak, pointing to their surroundings. The Tenken's eyes widened in realization as he remembered what had happened in the Shirobeko only two months ago. "It's that, isn't it?" said Soujiro wryly as he looked at Kamatari. The feminine looking male sulked even more. He didn't need Soujiro to be against him too! Just as he was about to speak, the shoji door slid open, revealing three females, two of which looked strikingly like each other.

"Sae-san!" said Kamatari all too chirpily as he tried to redeem himself. The other twin flashed him a slight, forced smile before setting down the two pots of green tea. Helping her sister, Sae set down the three ceramic cups and three of the breakfast sets. The third female had begun to set down the three bowls of miso soup. Kenshin had grilled salted mackerel with his rice. Soujiro had tamagoyaki with his. Kamatari had his favorite natto. The third female had left as soon as she had set down the miso, Tae telling her that she and Sae would be enough for now. Picking up his chopsticks, Kamatari plucked out some natto and popped it in his mouth, chewing the beans thoughtfully.

"Tae tells me the three of you have been starving yourselves as of late," began Sae as she threw a reprimanding look at the three men. Kenshin cringed slightly. Ah how he hated these lectures coming from the twins he considered his older sisters but he loved the food in Shirobeko. And it wasn't like he was forcing himself to starve. It was simply a matter of forgetting that he had to have dinner. Being Prophet required many things of him. "Kenshin, you should know better! The Shirobeko is always open for you three, even if it's midnight! All you have to do is to wake us up and we'd gladly prepare a meal for you three," came Sae's voice as she looked at the Prophet, "Give me a reason as to why you haven't eaten as much as you should have!"

"I've been busy, Sae-san, very busy," said Kenshin after sipping from his tea. "You should know how it is for me, I've been Prophet for twelve years and I've managed to live with this lifestyle," he commented as he looked up at the sisters straight in the eye. The twins shifted uncomfortably as they remained standing. They both believed in Kenshin's ability as the Prophet but they knew he had to take better care of his body by feeding it more. They never doubted but they knew that one day, the Prophet might fall down ought of exhaustion from the lack of food. "But thanks for your concern about me," he added as he picked up his chopsticks again and tore a bit of the fish meat and popped it into his mouth.

Their breakfast had gone uneventful afterwards, the sisters seating themselves as they continued to talk. The last time that the Three Shinigami were in Shirobeko was two months ago when they were attacked. They always passed through the back route as the people who went to Shirobeko were all from Diablos, able to recognize the Prophet easily. A special room for the three of them was built so they could at least eat in peace. Somehow, a bunch of rogue Diablos believers had found out about them and decided to attack. They respected Kurayami but they couldn't believe that he would pick Kenshin as the Prophet for the past twelve years. They were outraged since they came from a special group that believed that when the Prophet before Kenshin died, one of them would be chosen to lead in their faith. Kamatari had gone psycho that day and had slain them all for he, like Soujiro was totally devoted to their Prophet. Soon enough, breakfast was done and as Kenshin set down the money, the sisters were aghast. It was their treat this time because they hadn't seen the three in such a long while.

"Well, we'll see you next time, Sae-san, Tae-san," said Kenshin as they began walking out of the room. The sisters nodded as they escorted the three through the kitchen, making sure none of the workers would approach and stall Kenshin and his companions any longer. It seemed like they were in such a rush to go to wherever they had planned to. The stop in Shirobeko was probably a side trip as they were headed that way. The twins tried to figure out where they were going but none of the three would divulge their destination. It was probably official business as Prophet anyway so they decided not to press any further. "Thank you for the breakfast," said Kenshin as he turned to look at Sae and Tae, "We'll try to visit more often, if our schedule allows us to." With that, the three swordsmen called the Three Shinigami turned and left.

The Sanctus Main Church

Everyone within Sanctus was panicking, especially those under or within the Sanada Ninjas. Kaoru had decided to go out and see the three with her own eyes, despite the Okashira's constant pleading to just let them handle it. However, the Oracle's decision stood firm. Misanagi would not let the Oracle out of her sight. The rest of the people clad in their white robes brushed past the presence of the Oracle and Misanagi as they continued walking out to the main entrance. It seemed that the Prophet and his company were merely standing there as there had been hardly any bloodshed, hardly any battle cries. Kaoru's heart thumped wildly against her rib cage. What was he doing here? Soon enough, the indignant Oracle approached the balcony where she could see the three of them, her sapphire eyes blazing with anger. "What do you want with me?" spat out Kaoru as she gripped the marble railings, her anger directed at the Prophet. All stood quiet as they watched the Oracle speak to the Prophet.

"Am I not allowed to see my future wife?" said Kenshin smoothly as he looked up, tipping his straw hat slightly, his amethyst gaze focused on Kaoru. Kaoru reddened slightly in self-consciousness as she refused to back down. "You really should tell your ninjas to back down, Misanagi," said the Prophet as he motioned to all the ninjas clad in black, all crouching with a dagger in their hand. The cinnamon brown eyes of Misanagi blazed slightly as she looked down at Kenshin. "You do know who I am and who are with me, right?" he said simply as he motioned to Soujiro and Kamatari. Soujiro was faster than Godspeed, rivaling only to Kenshin's own speed. Kamatari was ruthless with the scythe and showed absolutely no mercy. With a grunt, Misanagi called off the rest of the ninjas. It was for their safety, after all.

"What do you want with me?" repeated Kaoru once more as she gripped on even tighter to the marble railing. Kenshin wouldn't just come here for absolutely no reason. He wouldn't just come to the Church to just stare at her and be on his way back to the Main Temple. No, the Prophet was much more complex than that. His mannerisms, his behavioral patterns all screamed genius with his strategies and tactics. With his response to her earlier question, she had a feeling it had something to do with the fact that they were getting married. She abhorred the idea and would do absolutely anything to get out of the verbal bond formed thirteen years ago, a contract she didn't remember.

"To see you," said Kenshin simply, as he felt the wind blow against the bunched up red tresses. Everyone in Sanctus stared at the Prophet of Diablos, incredulous at what Kenshin had just stated. A ninja rose and charged at Kenshin, not minding Misanagi's shouts of disapproval. As he raised a knife to stab the Prophet, Kamatari appeared in front of him, wagging a finger. In the blink of an eye, he drew up his scythe and sent it crashing down on the ninja's body, carmine liquid staining the green of his kimono. His face frowned, much to his distaste, as he poked at the stained patches of his clothes. "I mean, it's not wrong, is it?" added the Prophet as an afterthought. Kaoru frowned as she sent icy glares towards the man who would be her husband sometime in the future.

"It is not allowed for anyone from Diablos to step inside this holy Church, the main one," said Kaoru, her voice strained as she pointed an accusing finger towards the red haired male, "Even the Prophet." A frown made its way to the faces of all three men, gripping their blades as they fell down into their stance. "Seize them," spoke the chilling voice of the Oracle. One cold look was shot towards the Prophet, his amethyst eyes flickering dark, molten gold as the Sanada Ninjas surrounded the Three Shinigami. Turning around, the fabric of her dark lilac kimono brushed against the marble floor, the sounds of katana clashing, bodies ripping open, human voices screaming and blood spewing echoing in the atrium before the actual Main Church. Misanagi followed soon after, a look of pure hatred on her face for the three men of Kurayami.


Whee. Chapter four is finally written.

Mind you, this takes place during the mid-to-late 1800s or the 19th century. They're all still wearing clothes from then and notice Kaoru took a carriage refer to chapter three back to Kyoto and not a car or anything. The camera was invented then so Kenshin could see pictures of Kaoru in the news.

Yes, Tae is still in Shirobeko and did not move to Kyoto to move to the Akabeko. Sae is her twin sister and I'm not making this up! It's in the Rurouni Kenshin manga, if you don't know. Kaoru stays in the Shirobeko instead of with Misao but that doesn't mean our favorite weasel girl doesn't see her.

With the looks of things, I'm probably not going to use Sano, Megumi and all the rest. Sorry to disappoint about that but it really wouldn't suit for them to be here, until, of course, I find a reason for them to be there.

Anyway, I hope you all like what I've written!

Please review, I know you want to!