Takasugi and Katsura discuss the morality of seizing the day.
Disclaimer: I don't own Ruroken, any of canon characters, concepts or settings.

"He is everything you promised," Katsura says, his mind still on that extraordinary moment on the practice field: the young boy, and the lethal force of his sword. "But…how old is he?"

"Old enough," Takasugi replies. Katsura glances up at him, his old friend and companion. "He is set on it, Katsura. If not now, if not us, then he will find someone else."

The thought of that strength and conviction in someone else's hands is terrifying.

"Yes, the boy is an innocent," Takasugi continues, relentless. "But he is here, now, at this time of opportunity, and willing to join us in our madness. Can you really afford to refuse his offer?"

Katsura does not hesitate. "No." That much is truth, cold, hard and unpalatable. If he truly intends to continue down his demon path, he needs Himura's extraordinary blade, his innocent willingness to believe in an ideal future. He cannot afford to let such a gift from the gods go.

"Then do not regret what you must do. Do it, and count the cost on the other side."

Takasugi's eyes burn with fervid brightness, spots of unhealthy colour high on his cheekbones. It is the fever, his debilitating illness – the vital flame of his remaining life burning twice as high as any other man's. "What other choice do you have?"