Author's note – Here is yet another fanfic that I haven't updated in over a year. This fanfic though, is honestly one of the harder ones to write, and I honestly don't feel I am getting it as close to what I want.

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Ukon was placed back into his box and Sakon continued looking for information and asking questions about the area, using the fact that he looked to be a traveling merchant, or in truth… a traveling performer to his advantage. He moved about slowly, asking a question here, asking it there, moving on if said question didn't garner any answers.

"Ukon honestly wonders why I have to solve this mystery without him telling me the answers, however, the thing is… I am not sure if this is the way we are to get home, me finding out the answer to the whole thing or not. Or will myself being involved actually change the whole future?"

At this, he paused, then shook his head. "There was a reason I became involved the last time. I will do what I feel like I need to do."

At that, he approached one shop keeper rather nervously. "I was wondering about the local dojos in the area."

At that, the shopkeeper glanced up. "You don't look to be someone who would wish to challenge a dojo for its honors. You look to be a traveling sales man."

"Actually… I am a traveling puppeteer." Sakon let out a small laugh, then glanced down at the wares. "I am trying to familiarize myself with the area."

"Well, I don't know much about the local schools in the area, I am a merchant after all and not of the fallen samurai class. There are two schools that have come across as having reputations though that even the likes of my self will have interest in. I suggest staying well clear of them though."

"I take it that the reputations aren't good?" The green haired male asked, watching the man as he spoke up.

"Well, one of them… the Kamiya Kasshin Ryu style happens to be the school that the batosai comes from. The other happens to be turned into a gambling hall."

"That is such a shame, turning a place into a gambling hall of all things." Sakon shook his head.

"Well, the samurai are dishonored, so I don't see why anyone should care about that." The man shook his head at Sakon. "I am more worried about the fact that the local area has one more slum place that leads to more people of the destitute showing up. Two months and I swear I have more people swiping goods from my shop."

"I was thinking, yes… the day of the samurai is passed, but the use of the sword can still be seen as an art form, as is the making and collecting of swords. The art of swords craftsmanship is one of our countries finest achievements."

"You do have a point. I've heard that the people in the West like to collect such things. But while the sword smith still has a place in our society, those who carry on the style of swords fighting, it has no point. It simply isn't sellable. You can't make money off of it. That is why that one dojo got turned into a gambling hall."

At that point, Sakon bowed his head, thanking the man for his help and continued on his way, looking around for various spots to look for information. He could hear various mumblings about the killings that had occurred, and could only shake his head at the fact that it was obviously something deeper.

The basic information that everyone knew was that the killings had been going on for an entire two months. Ten had been killed as of last night, something that caused ones stomach to twist. It seemed as if this so called batosai had no feelings about killing children and women, not to mention the elderly.

Sakon's mind went to the fact that the other dojo that everyone had been talking about had also been turned into a gambling hall around the same time. He couldn't help but feel that these things were connected. Well, truth of the matter was, if it had been a more modern time frame, where more businesses cropped up in a smaller area, he would have doubts.

But the thing was, this in fact wasn't the case. This particular case was taking place during a different time era and the fact was, new businesses didn't just suddenly appear over night A person got a job where they could and they turned their luck to making a good life of things. Few were yet privileged to make their own means and run their own business.

"They fought for freedom, but true freedom is yet to come," Sakon thought to himself as he walked down the street. His eyes glanced up suddenly as he heard a commotion coming from some armed cops and he turned to see two figured being harassed by the cops. "Another way that freedom is taken away. The abuse of power."

One of the figures was a small female and she argued about the fact that her dojo was innocent, or at least her tone kept up that argument. A face was placed now as to who the daughter of the former dojo leader was. However, he found himself more intrigued by the person near her.

The man next to her was a man with hair a vivid red color. Upon his cheeks was a cross like scar and his eyes came across as childish. The man carried a sword at his hip, which seemed to be what the officers were arguing about. It clicked with Sakon that the man had to have been someone great at one time, but who he was remained a mystery.

This man reminded him of Ukon and he also felt as if the man had more then one personality. Like Sakon, he had the one that he showed normally, a childish persona so to speak. The green haired youth also gleaned the fact that the man's personality changed with the lifting of a sword, just as his personality changed with the lifting of a puppet.

"He has the freedom to be who he wants to be, but at what cost?" Sakon thought to himself, before moving on. He stopped at another spot and sat down under a tree, pulling out Ukon as he did so.

"Are you sure you don't want me to tell you the answer to this one?" Ukon piped up, only to have Sakon shake his head at the puppet.

"I am guessing that someone wants revenge on the one school." The teenager commented.

"Revenge?" The puppet shook his head. "There are two people involved."

"You mean that man who was following the two of them at a distance with his grey hair?" Sakon spoke up suddenly. "The one that is now leaving?"

"Well… yes…" The puppet blinked a couple of times.

"It is out of revenge that this is going on. But it is more then that, truth be told. Someone has figured that they will make some sort of money out of taking revenge." Sakon let out a deep sigh. "I am going to go to the dojo that the batosai claims to be a part of and ask some questions."