Already In Shadow
Beginnings are not always what they seem.

It's dark—even the moon hides his face.

The wagon bounced roughly in the warm summer night, the young boy huddled in its rear among the crowd of sake barrels, following the stern instructions. Why the middle of the night, like a fugitive?

The wagon moved slowly. The fire in his breast seethed and surged, urging haste. I could walk faster than this.

Two new masters in as many weeks—the times were finally moving. No matter—soon, soon! my sword will fulfill its true purpose.

He shut away memories of his shishou—and the warnings at their bitter parting.

Review Responses: Lolo, that's just what I was after: here Kenshin is all eager to be "at it", and we all know that he's just at the top of a desperately slippery slope to something he can't even imagine. Omasu, I'm so glad that his voice sounded like his age here. I'm usually writing about him at least 10 years later, so I'd hoped that he would sound true here. IKnowNot, I know, the dashes are a problem, but sometimes I find myself sort of pushed into using them. You liked the "moving/moving" thing--how great you caught it! Sort of a "conceptural alliteration" kind of thing :D. And I'm so glad you liked the "soon! my sword" phrase. Even as I wrote it, I could feel his impatience and brashness.

More Responses: Skenshingumi, Do NOT apologize for that excellent phrase. I am quite fond of that which others might term "overwrought", and found your phrase powerful and evocative—you should use it in a fic sometime! Wow, I LOVED "the young dragon"—just sends chills up my spine. (Quick, use it before I do! grin). Yes, this "haste to doom" feeling was just was I was pursuing here--I'm so glad it worked for you! Terry-McElrath, yes, I imagine that, periodically, Kenshin looks back on the turning points in his life, and this would certainly be one of them, wouldn't it?