Rurouni Kenshin: Runaway Swordsman By Ten Faced Paladin Chapter 1: History Repeats
During the Bakumatsu era of Japan, there were tales of a great warrior. One whose skills dropped men where they stood. His skills were unrivaled as he slashed open the age called Meji. In the eleventh year of Meji, it is said this warrior returned as a rurouni. A wanderer with no destination. He was said that he battled to protect a new family and had finally found peace of mind and heart. With the passage of time, his legend was still known and he faded into history. His battles over, his spirit finally at rest.
Of course, a warrior's spirit can never remain at rest forever. Not when battles are still needed to be fought.
The streets were quiet in the residential district. Only a stray cat was seen through the quiet of the night. Usually a person or two could be seen wandering around, but that hadn't happened for a while. Almost everyone was afraid to go out at night. With the fog rolling in, that fear had only increased. Only the stray animals were the ones who had nothing to fear of the fear that rolled around in the night.
The silence was broken by the sounds of footsteps that echoed through the night. As they grew louder, a figure could be seen cutting through the fog. The person seemd of light build, but in reasonably good shape. He had a red shirt on with a pair of jeans. He was holding a backpack on his shoulder and a long slender package wrapped in a white cloth. He had gentle blue eyes and long red hair that he had tied back. A real noticable feature was the cross-shaped birthmark on the left side of his face.
He stopped at a crossroads and looked in all four directions. He looked in all four directsions to see which would be the best direction to go in.
"Oro," he sighed. "This fog makes this one unable to see anything."
As he looked at his options, he began to hear footsteps coming towards him at a very fast pace. He merely diregarded it as someone running late. He shrugged off his backpack and began searching for one of the maps he picked up along the way. He didn't notice the footsteps stopping.
"Hitokiri Battosai!" an angry voice shouted.
The red-haired traveller turned quickly to see someone standing in the middle of the crossroads. The person was actually a girl. She had long black hair which she had tied back. She was weaaring a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. She also had very nice green eyes. Of course, the travellers eyes were trained on the wooden sword which was pointed at him.
"At last I've found you," she spoke with anger in her voice. "For two months you've killed and now I'll stop you!"
"Oro!" the traveller gasped.
The young woman charged at the traveller with speed befitting of a swordsman and with a ferocity of a samurai. The traveller tensed and gripped his belongings as she approached.
"Hah!" the young woman cried as she lunged at the traveller with her sword.
She only hit the air as the traveller leaped out of the way. As she turned, she saw him sail through the air and land on the ground again. He only ended up slipping on a piece of trash and crashing into a pile of trash cans. The young woman cringed as she watched him crash.
"Ororororororo," the traveller groaned as he regained his senses.
"This can't be the descendant of Hitokiri Battosai," the young woman spoke with a tone of disbelief.
"You'd be right," the traveller groaned. "This one is but a wanderer. A mondern-day rurouni. This one had just arrived in town. How can a murder be my fault?"
The young woman then got angry again, "Don't play cute with me! A person claiming to be Hitokiri Battosai's descendant has been ruthlessly killing people every night with a sword! Swords are illegal to carry out in the open so why do you have one?"
The young woman then gripped the thin package and unwrapped it. Inside was a well made sword. She instantly drew it, but gasped at what she saw. The blade of the sword was on the wrong side.
"What the-?" the young woman breathed. "A sakabato?
"Not many can be killed by this," the traveller smiled. "It may be old, but it does not show any recent use."
"So then you really are a rurouni," the young woman spoke.
"Yes," the traveller smiled.
"But, why carry a sword like this?" the young woman asked. "And why be a rurouni in this day and age?"
The traveller was about to answer when police sirens began to echo in the night. The young woman gasped while the traveller snapped to attention.
"The police!" she gasped. "Maybe it's him!"
The young woman threw the sakabato into the air, causing the traveller to dance around wildly to catch it. As the young woman vanished into the fog, the traveller caught the sword in his sheathe, allowing it to slide in like a hand into a glove. The traveller looked in the direction the young woman had left.
"Perhaps," the traveller spoke to himself. "there is something interesting here after all."
The police had managed to corner a suspect in the middle of a narrow street. He stood tall at over six feet. He was wearing a black mask and a black shirt and pants. He also had a bloody sword which he had used to kill the two police officers that lay at his feet. He stood in a battle stance.
"Weaklings!" the tall man growled. "You are all a bunch of weaklings!"
There was only about one officer left who stood with his gun, but he was trembling.
"He has to be," he trembled. "Only Battosai's descendant could be this strong."
The police officer took a step back before the young woman from before leaped past him with a slash of her wooden sword. Battosai saw her coming and slashed at her and the two of them squared off. The young woman panted as she felt blood trickle down her arm. Battosai laughed as he lunged at her again with a vicious smirk appearing slightly from behind his mask.
In the next moment, the young woman felt someone pick her up in their arms just as the Battosai slashed downward at her. She looked to see who saved her and she found the red-haired traveller from before was holding her.
"It's you!" she gasped.
The traveller carried the young woman away from the Battosai and gently put her down. The young woman actually noticed his narrowed eyes before she turned her attention back to Battosai. He smirked before more police vehicles began coming closer.
"I am Hitokiri Battosai the Fifth!" he announced loudly. "I am the true master of Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu!"
He dashed into the night and none of the police officers were brave enough to follow him.
"Wait!" the young woman shouted angrily. She tried to run, but she found herself stopped by someone tugging her ponytail.
"This one thinks not," the traveller spoke. "We should really leave before the police decide to question us. Besides, since he said his sword style, we should be able to track him down."
"Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu is my style!" the young woman shrieked. "He's killing in my family's name!"
"Well, we won't catch him tonight," the traveller smiled, taking her hand. "Let's leave before the police decide to question us."
With that said, the traveller quickly ran into the night with the young woman in tow.
Much later, the two had found shelter at what seemed to be a kendo dojo. It seemed to have seen many years and and many battles. The traveller couldn't help but peer at the list of names that were on the wall.
"Kamiya Kaoru," he read off the wall. "Instuctor. Is that you?"
"Yes," Kaoru nodded. "Our dojo is well-known, and we had plenty of students, but when that Battosai came, they all left. They fear his name!"
"Even in today's age, years past his time. The name Hitokiri Battosai still instils fear," the traveller sighed.
"It's happening all over again!" Kaoru frowned with tears in her eyes. "Only I doubt the real Bottosai's descendant will come to save me."
"Oro?" the traveller asked. "What do you mean?"
"It was a story my mother always told me," Kaoru sighed. "Back when my great great grandmother was about the same age I am, something like this happened to her. A pair of men who wanted this property tried to discredit my family by killing as Battosai in our name."
"Really?" the traveller asked, his curiosity captured.
"Yes," Kaoru nodded. "Then, when the brothers decided to finish her off, the real Battosai came and rescued her. The brothers were defeated and my family grounds were saved. When I was small I actually believed that when I was in a time of need a great warrior would save me."
"Quite a romantic story," the traveller smiled.
"Hmm," Kaoru smiled. "My mother used to tell me the stories about my great great grandmother and the real Hitokiri Battosai. I can't believe that, that, murderer is Battosai's descendant! He was a kind and gentle man who never harmed another individual unless it was to defend another person."
The traveller smiled at Kaoru's belief in her mother's stories.
"He sounds like quite an honorable fellow," the traveller smiled.
"Yes," Kaoru smiled. "He saved our family legacy and I will not let the gift he and my family gave me go to waste now!"
The traveller smiled as he turned to Kaour with a gentle look in his eyes.
"Still, that man is very skilled," The traveller spoke. "I am sure your family would not appreciate you dying over this. The best you can do is live. There is nothing stronger than the will to live."
"I don't care!" Kaoru shouted. "This dojo means everything to me! I will defend it no matter what!"
The traveller nodded, showing a sense of understanding. He could feel the passion inside this girl's heart and soul. He couldn't help but smile.
"Even so," he spoke. "That wound on your arm says no patrols for a while."
Kaoru sighed as she applied some bandages to the wound, "I know, but it makes me so upset to know that this pretender is out there killing innocent people."
"Don't worry about that now," the traveller smiled. "Just concentrate on getting better."
Kaoru looked downcast at the ground. She knew that the traveller was right, but she just didn't like being down and out like this. She looked back up to the traveller who was walking towards the exit.
"Um...Rurouni?" she asked. The traveller turned around with a curious look in his eyes. "You..you don't have a place to stay yet do you?"
"Well, no." the traveller replied with a sheepish grin. "This one hoped to find a cheap hotel to stay at for the time being."
"Then why don't you stay here?" Kaoru asked. "I have plenty of room here. It wouldn't be a problem."
"You don't even know my name," the traveller replied. "What about your parents?"
"My parents live in another part of the city," Kaoru smiled. "They let me live here. As for your life, well, I figure you must have a good reason for being a wanderer. I figure you'll tell me a bit about yourself when you're ready to."
"Why thank you Kaoru-dono," the traveller smiled. "That would be much appreciated."
"You're very welcome," Kaoru smiled as she stood up. "Besides, you look way too cheap to stay at an hotel anyway."
The traveller sighed as he sweatdropped, 'Is it really that obvious?'
The dawn had approached and everyone in the city had woken up again. Kaoru was the first to awake, or so she thought. As she made her way to the main courtyard of the dojo, she saw the traveller out and about doing her laundry.
"Huh?" she gaped.
"Ah, good morning Kaoru-dono," the traveller smiled. "I was just getting the laundry on the line for you."
"Ah..yeah, thanks." Kaoru nodded.
"It is the least this one can do," the traveller nodded.
Kaoru continued back to her room and quickly donned her school uniform. She had to get ready or else she was going to end up being late again. As she moved to the front gates, she found that there was a simple meal on the table. Without even thinking twice, she quickly gulped it up. As she took about her fifth bite, she suddenly found the taste.
"Oh no way!" she gasped. "He...he's a better cook than me?"
Kaoru looked back to the clock on the wall and she gasped. If she didn't boot it now she was going to be late again. Her sleep scedule had been really messed up since she started hunting for the fake Battosai. Her marks probably weren't faring as well either.
"I'll see you later Rurouni!" she called into the halls of her home, hoping he heard her.
Inside, he heard her clearly. After placing the last of Kaoru's shirts on the clothes line, he picked up his thin package and headed for the door.
'Some shopping is needed to be done or Kaoru-dono is going to starve soon.' he thought to himself. 'It may also allow this one to see if any clues were left behind.'
Kaoru had just managed to get to school on time before the gates were going to be closed. Her uniform was not in the best of shape for a high school student like her. It was wrinkled and obviously hadn't been throughly cleaned. More just like soaked to get the worst of the dirt out of it.
"Sheesh," Kaoru sighed. "Why can't school start at more reasonable hours? Like noon or something?"
"Kaoru!" someone called.
Kaoru turned and saw two of her friends waving to her. The first was a bit taller than her. She had long black hair that she kept untied. She was a year older than Kaoru and was a grade higher than her. The other was much younger then Kaoru. She was a freshman at her school. She had short hair and was usually very shy, but when she around her friends she was a very bright person.
"Megumi! Tsubame!" Kaoru smiled. "Hi!"
Megumi and Tsubame both came up to Kaoru with looks of worry on their faces.
"We heard there was another attack last night," Tsubame spoke. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Kaoru smiled. "Just a cut on my arm, nothing more."
"Oh yeah?" Megumi smirked. "I heard from my father that a stranger with red hair rescued you."
"Oh, him?" Kaoru frowned. "Yeah, he helped out. He's staying at my dojo right now."
"Oh?" Megumi smiled. "Is he cute? I'm sure you could think of plenty of ways to thank him for saving you."
"Megumi!" Kaoru scolded, her face turning red. "It's not like that!"
Megumi laughed while even Tsubame couldn't help but giggle as well. Kaoru just stood silently, her face turning a brillant shade of red.
"Come on guys," Kaoru whined. "We should get to class."
The traveller stood at the area where the Battosai had been last night. His eyes were narrowed and examining everything. His eyes landed on the gash in the wall that the Battosai had left behind the previous night, the one he left after killing one of the policemen. The wind whistled from behind and he stood stright.
"What do you want Saito?" he asked out loud.
At first nothing moved, and then someone walked into view from the shadows. He wore a policeman's uniform and had a cigarette in his mouth. His hair was slicked back except for four hairs that strayed in front of his face. His eyes weare narrowed and he had a smirk on his face.
"Such hostility," Saito smirked. "And it's Officer Fujita out here, remember?"
"You'll always be Saito to this one," the traveller replied coldly. "Now what do you want?"
"I'm just investigating the killings," Saito replied. 'Police business. You?"
"Personal reasons," the traveller replied. "Any suspects?"
"Yes, but no proof," Saito replied. "A group of land developers who are moving in on the area. Your girlfriend's dojo is the cheapest piece out there. She refused to sell. A stubborn one."
"A name?" the traveller asked sternly.
"The name Hiruma comes up," Saito replied. "Sound familiar?"
The traveller looked at the gash in the wall. An image of a man in a magenta gi and white hakama carrying a black-haired woman out of the path of a giant's sword came to mind.
"Vaguely," he replied. "It seems history does repeat sometimes."
Saito took a drag from his cigarette, "Perhaps. I'll go see what I can dig up. You can do whatever it is you do."
Saito turned and left the scene. The traveller sighed and headed away from the alley. It felt like deja vu for some reason.
Kaoru stepped into her dojo with Megumi and Tsubame close behind. The two guests seemed to be looking everywhere for Kaoru's mystery guest.
"Rurouni!" Kaoru called. "Are you here?"
Silence echoed through the entire hall. Not even a cricket chirped a reply.
"Is he gone?" Tsubame asked in slight disappointment.
"I..I guess," Kaoru sighed, sadness in her eyes. "I wish I at least got his name."
"Well that's a dsappointment," Megumi sighed. "I wanted to meet your little guardian angel."
Kaoru sighed as she looked at thee ground. She actually enjoyed his company for the brief time she had it. It did get kind of lonely in the big dojo now that there weren't any students. At least she had Megumi and Tsubame to keep her company for a while.
"Well, since we're all here, can I get you anything?" Kaoru smiled.
"Got any soda?" Tsubame smiled.
"I'd like some tea if you have it," Megumi requested.
Kaoru nodded and she went to get something for her guests. She walked over to the kitchen and began getting her drinks together. At some point, she heard the door open again. She suddenly felt hope that the traveller had returned. The hope broke when she heard her two friends screamed. Kaoru bolted from the kitchen and back to the main dojo and she gasped.
Meguni and Tsubame were being held a gunpoint by several men in black suits. Standing at the door were two men. One was small and older while the other was younger and huge. The bigger one had a long beard and was holding a large wooden sword.
"Ahh, there you are," the smaller man smiled. "We've come to discus the sale of this property again."
"I told you before I won't sell!" Kaoru shouted. "Now let my friends go!"
"Too bad," The bigger one smiled. "I guess it's time for my way."
He walked over to Kaoru and pointed his sword at Kaoru.
"Since you won't give us the land then I guess we have to take it!" he smirked.
he raised the sword and prepared to bring it down on Kaoru's head. Kaoru quickly stepped back and grabbed a wooden sword from the wall and struck at the large man. He let go of his sword and caught the attack with one arm.
"You think you can beat Gohei Hiruma with toys like this?" he smirked.
"With Kihei Hiruma at the reins then we are invincible," the smaller one smirked. "I'll tell you what though, if you can fend off all of our men with your wooden sword against theirs then we'll leave you alone."
Kaoru looked and saw Tsubame and Megumi huddled in the corner. Each of the men each drew a metal sword. Kaoru felt fear fill her heart as she stepped back and readied her weapon.
"You've alrady lost," Gohei laughed. "Your style wants to save lives eh? Swords are meant to kill little girl. Just try to stay alive when we use swords the way they're meant to be used."
Kaoru gulped and felt fear reaching even deeper into her heart again. Gohei was about to yell charge when the door opened again and someone stepped in. It was another guy in a suit who had sunglasses and a toothpick in his mouth.
"What is it Nishiwaki!" Kihei hissed.
The goon was silent for a moment, "He..he's strong."
The goon then fell to the ground. He was knocked out. Behind him was none other than the traveller himself.
"Rurouni!" Kaoru gasped.
Megumi and Tsubame looked to the red-haired man standing at the door. A spark of hope igniting.
"Let the girls go," he said warnigly.
"Who are you?" Gohei laughed. "Another idiot preaching about swords that give life?"
"No," the traveller replied. "No matter how you look at them, swords are tools that kill. Swordsmanship is the art of learning how to kill. What Kaoru-dono says is that of one who has never spilt blood before."
"R-Rurouni," Kaoru sputtered.
"However," the traveller smiled. "This one holds a hope that one day Kaoru-dono's words might become the truth of us all."
Kihei growled in annoyance, "little brother, just kill him. No witnesses."
"Gotcha, big brother," Gohei smiled. "All right guys. Practice on this guy before you kill the girl."
The goons all began to grin as they all readied their blades. Kaoru looked at the traveller feeling like she was going to be responsible for his death. Megumi and Tsubame both watched in terror at what they thought was going to unfold.
The traveller sighed as he gripped his sword and placed his thumb to the hilt.
"This one had made an oath that this blade will be drawn only when others are in need," The traveller frowned, his eyes narrowing. "It seems that time has come. Anyone who doesn't wish to be hurt leave now."
"No one's going to be hurt," a goon smirked. "Only one death!"
With a collective roar, all the goons charged with their weapons raised. The traveller pushed his sakabato out of it's sheathe with his thumb and drew it with his right hand. In the nexr moment, he charged forward with unbelievable speed. Before any of the goons could even register what had happened, the traveller swung his blade and sent four of them flying. Then he was moving to another position to deal with more goons.
Kaoru gaped at the travellers action as he quickly dealt with the goons. Even the ones who were holding Megumi and Tsubame at gunpoint. He finally stopped at where he began. He was looking at both the brothers with his sword leaning on his shoulder.
"On a minor note," he spoke. "Hitokiri Battosai and those of his line don't use Kamiya Kasshin-Ryu nor whatever kind of style you picked up."
The traveller pulled his sword from his shoulder and let the tip rest against the ground. His eyes were dangerously narrowed on the Hiruma brothers.
"They use Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu," he spoke. "A sword style from the Sengoku period which never fails to kill an oppenent. Well, unless you use a weapon like this one's of course."
Megumi and Tsubame were agape, but Kaoru gasped as she dropped her sword to cover her mouth. What was happening was like something out of her mother's stories.
"Then-Then you're Hitokiri Battosai's descendant?" she asked, feeling a sense of awe.
"It is a name this one has been called by," the traveller nodded.
Gohei smiled as he walked to face Kenishin, drawing a metal sword from a wooden one.
"I guess I should have killed you last night," he smiled. "I guess we'll see who is more worthy to be part of his line,"
The traveller gripped his blade while staring at the giant man, "It may have been wiser to take care of you earlier."
"Enough!" Gohei smiled as he reaised his blade. "Die Battosai!"
He looked at the spot where the traveller was, but found him gone.
"Over here," a voice spoke from above.
Gohei looked up to see the traveller above him with his sword ready for an attack.
"Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu," he spoke. "Ryutsuisen!"
The traveller brought down the dragon hammer strike on to Gohei's head. Slamming him into the ground with aloud crash, and smashing his head though the floor. The traveller stood up and looked around for Kihei. He was no where to be found.
"Those who send others to battle are usually cowards," the traveller sighed, his eyes returning to normal.
Kaoru returned to reality and she ran to her friends. They were both spellbound by the performance of swordsmanship. Kaoru looked bck to the traveller to see him sheathe his sword.
My apologies Kaoru-dono," the traveller sighed with a sad smile. "This one did not wish to hide the truth, but this is better left not to be known. I shall say farewell."
He turned away and headed for the door. Kaoru was spellbound for a moment before her voice returned.
"Wait a minute!" she shouted angrily.
"Oro?" the traveller remarked while turning around.
"You don't expect me to run this dojo myself do you?" she shouted. "The least you could do is help! I don't care who you used to be."
"But your dojo will continue to suffer if any link to the name Battosai is found here: the traveller argued.
"I'm not asking Battosai to stay," Kaoru argued. "I'm asking you to stay!"
She then blushed and looked down at the floor. Megumi and Tsubame slowly standing up so not to look pathetic in front of the master swordsman.
"If you really insist on leaving," Kaoru muttered. "could you a least tell us your name?"
"Please?" Tsubame added for effect. "We really would like to know the great warrior who saved us."
"Yes," Megumi added, "Surely we should know your name kind sir."
The traveller looked to the ground and then to the open road which sat outside the dojo. Kaoru heard the door close and felt her heart sink.
'I guess stories can only partially come true,' she thought sadly to herself.
"Kenshin Himura," the traveller spoke. "This one's name is Kenshin Himura."
Kaouru looked up and saw Kenshin leaning against closed doors. A large smile on his face.
"This one has grown weariy of wandering," he smiled. "Though not even this one knows when he shall start wandering again."
"That's okay, stay as long as you like," Kaoru smiled. "I'd be glad to have you here."
"We'll be glad to visit you so you won't feel lonely Ken-san," Megumi smiled. Tsubame quickly noded.
"That would be much appreciated," Kenshin smiled.
That was how Kenshin Himura returned to the Kamiya dojo, sparking an exciting new life for everyone around him.
To Be Continued
A/N: There we go. My first Rurouni Kenshin fic. This is only loosely based off the manga. Just for names and the situation for the chapter. I am taking huge creative liberties for this one. I hope you guys enjoy it.