Disclaimer – I do not own Rurouni Kenshin or Ayatsuri Sakon. This is a crossover between the two.

The Bottosai

Sakon was walking through the streets of Tokyo, having just one through a puppeteering routine with his good friend Ukon. It was late and he was headed to the bus stop so that he and his wooden puppet could get home within a timeframe that his mother would not overly worry about him, though she did tend to worry about him traveling at night, but with Ukon, Sakon really didn't worry about these things.

The air of the night had a staleness to it that had a sight mystery to it, not to mention an air of magic one might say. Sakon could feel running through his veins a feeling that was both dreading something that was to come, yet excited that it was coming to. Sakon had come to pay attention to these feelings having solved quite a few murder mysteries himself.

A car rumbled past him, suddenly splashing up water from the street in front of him. This caused Sakon to close his eyes tight and then open them to look at the vanishing car, but what he saw was not a car at all, but an old fashioned carriage being pulled by horses. Some of the buildings had taken on a newer look to them, while others were completely different from the buildings that had been there before.

"Not again," Sakon murmured to himself, remembering the time before that he had time traveled. He felt behind him and sighed with relief. This time Ukon was actually with him, the time before the puppet had not been able to travel with him, for obvious reasons. Sakon suddenly slipped and fell into the wall of the building and winced in pain. Lights came on and someone came out.

"It's just a boy," a man muttered under his breath lifting Sakon up off his feat.

"Doesn't he know that there is a serial killer on the lose," a woman also stated. "They say that it is the Battosai… the Hitokiri Battosai of the Bakamatsu Era."

"Which just means that the police will never catch him," the man stated with menace in his voice. He helped Sakon into the place and the teenager glanced around. The place could be called a restaurant during his time period. It had tables low to the ground.

"What kind of service to you provide during the day?" the boy asked, surprising them. "And there really is a killer on the lose?"

"This is a beef-pot shop. My name is Tae and this is my brother," the woman smiled at him kindly.

"You must be hungry?" the man asked.

"No… I am not," Sakon waved of what the man had said in his nervous way. His eyes then narrowed and he pulled out his puppet.

"Ah! The boy is a puppeteer!" the woman smiled. "What a beautiful child's puppet. As lower class we tend to not see things like that!"

"You possibly arrived in town late tonight and are a traveling puppeteer," the man sighed. "It is no wonder that you have not heard the news about the Battosai.

"I do know that the man was a great warrior during the Bakamatsu Era and fought in the war that brought about the Meji Era," Ukon stuck his thumb into the air.

"Koi!" Tae squealed with delight. "The puppet is a cute as the puppeteer."

If Sakon had been without Ukon on his hand, he would have winced right then and their. He saw that Tae's brother wasn't exactly happy with the situation. Sakon nodded his head at him. "I do Ukon's voice by a trick called ventriloquism. It takes practice, but here…"

Sakon carefully changed his voice to that of Tae's brothers. "One can find one like you to have some suspicion, unless fully explained."

Her brother's jaw dropped all of a sudden but Tae nodded her head. "A great demonstration. It sounded just like him. He is rather stuck up."

"And Ukon can be rude at times, so I have to be careful with him… he has… a different personality then me," Sakon stated, though he knew that was only half of it. "I do not wish to intrude… but what year of the Meji is it… I tend to be scatterbrained about dates… it would help greatly."

"This is the eleventh year of the Meji boy," the man stated suddenly indicating one of the places with the tables. "Feel free to spend the night there. It would be inhospitable for us to refuse to let you stay there… everything is locked up tight, so we do not fear you stealing with us."

"Aniki, shame," Tae san commented. She then turned to Sakon. "You do not look to be a thief, seriously, but just a weary traveler. With the serial killer on the lose, we are obliged to let you stay."

"I have no money," Sakon stated. "So I can not pay you for it."

"Boy… that puppeteering you did for us is enough to pay for staying the night, and if you ever are in need of a good meal, come perform for our customers one day and we shall oblige you," the man stated. "Come Tae, it is time to go to bed."

The two disappeared upstairs and Sakon leaned back. Ukon whispered to him. "Sakon… they are rather trusting… but then in the Manga… Tae was rather trusting."

"The Manga…" Sakon's eyes narrowed.

"The Rurouni Kenshin Manga that Auntie got me… she got you the Detective Conan one, though I ended up reading both. I'll tell you, the serial killer isn't…" Ukon started.

"Don't tell me Ukon… I wish to solve this mystery on my own," Sakon stated. "This is unexpected, but quite interesting."

Ukon raised an eyebrow of his then turned away in a huff. "Great… of all the times to turn creepy detective on me… I don't like this… knowing the truth of the matter and all."

Sakon awoke the next morning just as Tae was getting up with her brother. He did them a favor and found what could be equated as a broom and swept the ledges that contained the tables off. Tae and her brother were both grateful, though her brother was still wary of everything. News that came later did not help things at all.

A customer came in and instantly gasped out the news, in front of a few others coming in. "The Battosai killed his tenth victim last night!"

"Oh… this doesn't fare well for Kaoru," Tae muttered to herself. "Things have just been getting worse and worse for her dojo."

"Why so?" Sakon asked.

"Well… you defiantly have a different personality when you have that puppet on you, don't you," Tae's brother muttered. Kamiya Kaoru is the… was the daughter of the one who taught the school Kamiya Kasshin Ryu. The Battosai is using this style to kill people."

"When was the style created," Sakon suddenly asked, fishing Ukon out.

"What… what do you mean?" Tae's brother became started.

"He means, when the style was first brought about…" Ukon asked.

"It… it was after the Meji period, why?" the woman stammered out.

"Then one can come to these conclusions. First, whoever is doing the killing can not be the Battosai from the time era before as he is using a style that was created after he was about and doing his thing in the war. Thus one can come to the second conclusion… someone is possibly trying to frame Ms. Kamiya Kaoru," the boy stated, a glint in his eye.

"The serial killer isn't the Battosai. He must be kidding me… the man ran around killing his victims! Surely this is not possible for the… you can't be right," the man stated.

"I am right and I know it," the boy commented. "I highly doubt that a great swordsman would suddenly change his style."

"What about if the person changed his style to get revenge on the school?" Tae muttered.

"Who do you know might happen to have a grudge on the school?" Sakon asked simply. "Or perhaps it isn't a grudge, but someone wants something else from her… there are people that greedy."

"What kind of psychopath are you?" Tae's brother asked. "Saying these things about a good friend of ours?"

"I apologize," Sakon commented.

"And you said I say the wrong things at the wrong times," Ukon suddenly piped up, annoyance in his voice.

"I do not have a great deal of physical strength, so I have to go with my knowledge. I happen to like deducting what one might call… puzzles of this sort," the boy stated. "If you don't mind, I will try to find out more about this… and I promise I won't bring it down on your heads."

"Only if you promise that you'll do your best to remain safe!" the man commented. "Otherwise the answer is no."

"Understood," Sakon bowed his head and left the restaurant.

"Sakon… I could tell you all the answers to this one," Ukon commented.

"Where is the fun in that Ukon?" the boy smiled.

"Oro…" Ukon stated, causing Sakon to raise an eyebrow at his friend, wondering where that one came from.

Author's note – First, the idea came from the fact that Ukon and Kenshin look so much alike. I heard that the two creators of this series actually worked together in their younger days before they became known. Their actual styles are similar, but have differences in them. It is rather interesting to compare the two.

Some things to point out, first… the story will run very similar to the series, however… there are going to be more then enough differences. I am planning to combine both the Manga and the Anime together also. Another note… I don't think that when the number of killings is mentioned that they take into consideration the ones that happen the night that Kenshin and Kaoru meet.