The Eyes That Invite Death
By: Drk Knght
He was known to all as Hitokiri Battousai…
As a manslayer Kenshin brought fear and trembling to the greatest of warriors and was responsible for a large number of key assassinations during the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate. And from his eyes, emanated a strong, powerful showing of desire that would invite death to any who would dare cross his path to try and stop him.
The streets of Kyoto were silent once more and the stillness of the night settled in to take the place of the death cries that had once permeated the air. There at the feet of the assassin lay the lifeless bodies of his latest victims whom he was ordered to kill. The blood poured from their bodies slowly filling up the alleyway with the viscous red liquid and filling the air with the smell of a fresh kill. The darkness of the midnight shrouded the life of the flesh of the victims that had been slain.
The assassin merely stared at the corpses with a look of a blank expression. He neither felt guilt nor remorse for the crime he had just committed. He had been told that these men deserved to die and his orders were to silence them. With their deaths would be another victory for the rebellion against and the upheaval of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
A sudden flicker of movement from the side caught the assassin's eyes and he turned to see a member of the most feared group of the Bakufu wearing the famous blue Haori uniform that was associated with the Shinsengumi.
There was a brief silence and a pause between both assassin and Shinsengumi member before the sounds of rapid foot treading filled the void. More members of the Shinsengumi joined the ranks of the first lone member and now the odds were in great favor of these Bakufu-hired Kyoto police soldiers.
The young man who had discovered the atrocity committed stepped forward keeping his hand near his blade. His voice echoed through the night air and boasted a great confidence.
"Assassin! We finally meet! You are under arrest for the crimes you have committed against the Tokugawa Shogunate and against the country of Japan!! Surrender at once or feel the wrath of the Bakufu!!" The young man pulled out his sword and held it threateningly at the assassin that they had been so desperate to find and eliminate.
The assassin glared at the boy and scoffed at impertinence of this brat and turned his gaze down to his sword which was still dripping from the fresh blood that had been split. He raised his sword up into the air and swiftly thrust it downward flinging off the blood from the razor sharp blade. He then crossed the sword across his body and slowly replaced the sword into its sheath.
"I don't have the time to be messing with the likes of you, that I don't. And if you value your life, you will leave now or forever lose it and join these men down in the bowels of hell," the assassin stated coldly as he sheathed his sword, shifting his eyes from the Shinsengumi members to the bodies of the grotesquely murdered bodies. The assassin turned his back on the foes and began to walk away casually as if nothing had happened.
"Turn around and face us, you coward!" the boy demanded. "Don't ever turn your back on your enemy during battle!!"
The assassin did not even bother to turn his whole body to address the combatants but rather he turned only his head and his yellowed, narrowed eyes gave them a cold, dark look that invited death and destruction to any who would dare approach. He looked them up and down with a slight move of his head and then turned away.
"You're not worth it," he retorted and began to walk away.
"I cannot allow you to escape!" With the quick motion of his hand, the young man ordered the other members to move in and engage the assassin.
The men unsheathed their swords and charged quickly towards the rear-facing opponent and cried out in a voice of war and of a thirst for blood. The first man that reached the assassin raised his sword into the air and then suddenly froze in mid-stroke. A shimmer glistened from the pale moonlight and was focused on an object that protruded from the man's back. The man fell backwards and a red liquid spurted from his back and chest as his hold onto his sword matched his hold onto life. He hit the ground with a thud and his body lay lifeless and still.
The overcast night was parted for only a brief second revealing the scene clearly and the face of the assassin. Laying on the dirt ground of that back alley was the fallen member of the Shinsengumi whose blood continued to slowly ooze its way from the confines of its former dwelling place. And standing over him was a man with reddish hair and a crossed-shaped scar on his left cheek and a blade stained with the blood of this newest victim.
One of the other members of the Shinsengumi saw his fallen comrade, his best friend, slaughtered before his very eyes and he just lost control.
"I'll make you pay!!" he screamed as he charged in blindly with his sword in the parallel-to-the-ground position, ready to thrust his sword into the heart of this murderous assassin. He thrust his blade forward into the assassin but hit nothing but air. He then suddenly felt his stomach being pierced with something very sharp and the pain of it overwhelmed his mind and he was cast down upon his friend in the same condition as his friend.
"Now! Lay down your weapons, or die!" the assassin cried out, his eyes showing no mercy or hesitation if they decided to defy him.
"We are trained in the arts…" one of the men began.
"You're all dead!!" the assassin interrupted as he moved in for the kill.
The members of the Shinsengumi were not prepared nor well trained to deal with the quickness and the efficiency of how this assassin moved. It was as if he phased out of view and then reappeared right in front of you giving you no time to react.
The first two members went down with ease from their lack of awareness and preparation but the next two men were ready and had their swords in a battle position ready to strike. One of the men raised his sword but was halted when the assassin's blade sliced into his throat and pulled out quickly, spilling his life out onto the ground. The second man followed right behind his fallen comrade determined to exact revenge for his fallen friends. But the assassin moved too quick and his blade too sharp to be stopped for this member of the Shinsengumi met an unfortunate end and was cleaved in two pieces from the top of his head downwards.
The final member and the last surviving member of the squad met his end as the assassin thrust his blade into the boy's throat and pushed him up against the nearby wall. He grabbed onto his Haori with a firm grip and slashed his sword right through the boy's jugular vein and his body became instantly limp, a sound never escaping his mouth.
It was over before it began; seven bodies all dressed in the garb of the light blue Haori lay strewn across the street their blood soaking in with the dirt creating a bloody mud. The members of the Shinsengumi were no more and the assassin stood over them victorious as a hunter would his prey.
The red-haired swordsman scoffed at their pitiful efforts to resist him and the technique they tried to use to defy his own, the Hiten Mitsurgui Style. His blade flashed once more and, as before, the blood flicked off the blade, landing on the ground with a gentle splash that was barely audible.
He sheathed his sword and found the motionless body of the original boy who had discovered him laying at his feet. "Tell your friends about me. Tell them that tonight, you met the blade and were defeated soundly by the man known as Hitokiri Battousai." With that, the assassin disappeared into the night waiting for his next assignment.