Hitokiri, Okami, and Meokami
By Daimyo Shi [e-mail author here.]
Disclaimer: All rights and privileges to Rurouni Kenshin belong to Nobuhiro
Watsuki, Shuiesha, Sony Music Entertainment, and associated parties. The
characters of this series are used without his permission for the purpose of
entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
This is my first attempt at the art of fanfiction. Please be gentle. Comments are greatly appreciated!!!
Chapter One. The new wolf in town.
I awake in a forest. I don't remember how I got here or why I am here in fact the last thing I remember is going to bed. I get up and begin to brush of my clothes of leaves and the like, it is at this point I realize that I am wearing a kimono, hakama, tabi and sandals. I begin to walk with my hand touching the handle of my Katana. I wonder to myself is it mine? I have both a Katana and a Wakazashi, a matching Daisho set of extremely fine craftsmanship. The Tsubu on both Nihonto are finely carved entwining Dragons. At the end of my handle of my Katana is an embossed kanji for the Word Honour and my Wakazashi has an embossed kanji for Valour. The Handles have braided black silk and my saya are a rich black colour and I quickly noticed made of metal. I draw my Katana looking first at my saya. My saya seems to have a metal covering over a slightly small wood saya. I then look at my Katana, it shines in the bright moonlight that piecing the trees. I carefully look at it, there is a groove that runs most of the length of the Katana. The Katana also has a beautiful edge. I take a swing with it and it hums while cutting through the air with a eerie song. I sheath my Katana carefully back into my Saya.
It strikes me that I don't even know what the kanji for honour and valour are but I could read them. I begin to wander away looking for a road or a home. I sighed, I wonder where in Japan I was or more importantly when I was. After travelling for a bit in the for a bit I came to a wide road. I say to myself "right or left? Right!" I tried to smile "Like I know where I am going."
It wasn't long before the signs of a city began to appear before me. A very impressive and regal city at that. The awe of the moment was shattered when I heard the sounds of sword play. I drew my Katana and charged toward the sound. I came across eight men fighting five of them were wearing Kimonos and hakama with a jagged blue and white pattern running along the sleeves and cuffs, the pattern of the Shinsengumi. The other three are dressed in navy blue Kimonos with matching Hakama. Seemingly without thought I dashed forward, slashing the closest Shinsengumi member to me. It had to be the clumsiest slash ever performed with a Katana but coupled with in unexpectness it hit him in the chest causing a deep wound. He crumpled to ground with a look of pain and surprise on his face. A second Shinsengumi Member turned towards me. I drew my Wakazashi and reversed my grip so to allow the blade to run down my forearm. The Shinsengumi member slashed towards my chest, I caught the attack with my Wakazash,it misses my chest but it still cuts my left shoulder a bit, it is painful but not a deep wound. I slashed towards his left shoulder, his Katana occupied by my Wakazashi I cut in to his left shoulder, the wound was not deep as he sprung back from me. He re-grips his Katana as far back as he can go and crouches a little bit with is left hand stretched out to near the sharp tip of the Katana. Gatotsu Stance Number one, "shit!" I mutter under my breath in Japanese, if I don't block this I am dead. I move my Wakazashi to my right so the blade is across my chest. A slight smile forms on my lips as I say "come". He charges, I begin to move my Wakazashi and somehow I managed to parry the Gatotsu strike with the force of the parry and his charge my Katana follows through and bites deep into his neck. He falls down into a heap near his fellow member. I twist to see the rest of the fight. All of the men in the blue kimonos are wounded. The eldest, who looks about fifty is actually the least wounded and seems to have fought off the Shinsengumi members the best only has a slight wound to his left forearm, the second member has his left arm just hanging limp do to a large wound in his left upper arm. The third and most wound was on the ground the other two people protecting him, his left leg had a deep slash in it as did his right shoulder. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another man, no a boy, in a navy blue kimono with a x shaped scar on his left cheek. I turned to face him, he was a boy about 15, he was slight of build and nearly looked more like a woman than a man, but there were his eyes, they were serous and yellow in colour, they nearly said by themselves he was a hitokiri.
The three remaining Shinsengumi members mutter "Hitokiri Battousai." two of them face Battousai assuming the Gatotsu First Stance. The third one turns towards making me divert my attention from Battousai. He charges at me his Katana raised, I slash mine at his. The blades crash together and with a resounding crack, his blade breaks in two sections. The tip flies and lands point first in the ground to the left. He looks at the blade in his hands and the now jagged half sword in his hand.
"Go, leave here, I won't stab you in the back." I say in perfect Japanese, it is so wierd to be speaking Japanese so easily.
He looks around and sees that his two fellow members now lay on the ground dead, victims of the blade of Battousai. One more look to me and he took of running away from the battle. Battousai broke the silence first.
"Taka-san, Hinoko-san, Shinata-sama, are you alright?"
"Yes, Himura-sama" said the one Battousai addressed as Shinata-sama.
"You there, why did you let him go?" yelled the most wounded who Battousai had called Taka.
"Because he was defeated. His Katana was broken." I said
"Baka, He could come back and kill you tomorrow!" said Taka
"The he will kill me!" I snapped back at Taka
"Thank you, Himura-sama." interjected Shinata.
"Hey, you what is your name?"questioned Taka
"I looked at Taka and then to Battousai for a moment and said "Shiba, Shiba Kenshin." Battousai looked at me with surprise. "Shiba-sama then I also thank you since if you had not been here it likely that Battousai would have only been able to avenge us."
"Your technique is terrible! It was only luck that allowed you to best those Shinsengumi members." said Taka
"Taka, enough" shouted Shinata.
"That was a Kenpo block was it not?" asked a calm Battousai.
"Yes, it was." I replied with a slight smile.
"An interesting technique to block a Gatotsu strike." replied Battousai "why did you help us?"
"Because I must protect the weak and the disadvantaged, no matter how terrible my technique is." I replied.
"we didn't need your help!" shouted Taka
"I said be quite!" shouted Shinata at Taka "Or I will bind you mouth shut." As Shinata had begun to bind Taka's wounds.
"Taka, without Shiba-sama's help you would not be here right now." said Battousai, he turned towards me again "You have made enemies of the Shinsengumi you need to come with us, Shinata? Can he come with me?"
"Yes of course." said Shinata.
"Thank you Shinata-sama, Battousai-sama." I said as I bowed deep to each of them.
"My name is Himura, Himura Kenshin. Said Battousai
"Sorry, Thank you Himura-sama" I smiled as a bowed as low as I could.
Himura helps to dress my wound and then the five of use walk towards the centre of Kyoto. Himura and I escorted Shinata, Taka, and Hinoko to their resident. Then we stared out towards where Himura was staying.
"Himura-sama?" I asked
"huh? Shiba-sama, what?"
"Why do you want to help me? I know I have no where else to stay here, it is very nice for you to help me." I continued.
"You helped members of the Ishin shishi and doing so you made enemies of the Shinsengumi, which will trouble you when you are in Kyoto and may else where in Japan."
We walked a little further and came to an Inn we entered and took of our sandals at the door. A middle aged woman greeted us "Come in, Himura-sama you brought a new guest? Well the both of you need a bath I see and your clothes washed."
"Yes, Shinata-sama has said it would be alright Onako."
"He did now? Well that nice now go, you will find the bath nice and warm right now." said Onako
"Thank you, Onako-sama." I said.
Both Himura and I washed and rinsed ourselves after taking our clothes off. Then we sat in the big tub of warm water. This was a large tub at least 20 people could sit in it.
"Shiba-sama, you are not trained in Kenjutsu are you? I mean I not trying to be rude." asked Himura.
"The Truth should never be rude, yes, I have never been trained in Kenjutsu . . ." I let my voice trail off. I think to myself, he must wonder where this Daisho came from if I don't know Kenjutsu or if was I even a samurai.
"Shiba-sama, you certainly have the right will to be a samurai. Perhaps, if you like I could teach you my style of Kenjutsu, Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu."
"MMMEEEEEEE?" I stammered. "You wish to teach me Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu?"
"Yes, you have heard of it? I found that few people have ever heard of it. It is used to protect the weak and disadvantaged. It is clear that you support this, since you came and helped the Ishin shishi without regard to yourself even though they were outnumbered and add yourself was not going to make the odds even. I am not a master of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu though and do to some time constraints I will not be able to grind you in to the ground with the character building of cooking and doing other tasks for me. However since I not a master, what I might teach you might kill you."
"I cannot prevent my own death. It will greet me when the time is right." I stated, I noted that Himura's eyes were purple his expression had also lost some of the edge it had earlier.
"As I have said I am not a master of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, So I can only teach you the basics, I hope that will be enough to keep you safe, since you seem to have quite the talent for Kenjutsu." said Himura.
"Well we can start tomorrow, perhaps you should see Onako about something to eat." said Himura getting out of the tub.
After our bath, I went to Onako. "Would you have something for a worn out traveller to eat?"
"Hai, Of course, let me get something, here this is the dinning room no one there now you are quite late to eat but I will see what I can do." replied Onako
I sat down in the room and waited for a while, and Onako brought me some rice and picked vegetables.
"Thank you, Onako-sama."
I ate alone, thinking about my new life. I was now member of the Ishin shishi and I was learning Kenjutsu from a legendary master, no matter what Himura said. Soon a young girl of about thirteen came into the room. "Shiba-sama your room is ready." she said in a voice that reminded me of tinkling bells.
"Thank you ... Uh ..."
"I am Minko. This way." she replied to my unstated question, she blushed while answering it.
"I followed Minko and she led me to a Classical Japanese Inn room. She quickly left, leaving me alone. I studied the room, there was one futon with a blanket and a pillow, a desk in the west corner and a small window with shutters to the north that was closed right now, and a Nihonto rack that can hold two Nihonto. I moved the Nihonto rack to my left and carefully placed my Daisho on it. Sleep claimed me shortly afterwards. I awoke to the sound of a knocking on the frame of the door. "Shiba-sama?"
"Hai, who is there?" I asked
"Shiba-sama, it is Minko, Himura-sama asked me to wake you."
"Thank you Minko-chan."
I dress in my clothes which have been cleaned during my bath. I adjusted my Daisho in my obi and left to meet with Himura in the court yard of the inn.
"Welcome to your first lesson." said Himura-sensei
I have listed here the meanings for all the Japanese words that I have used in my Drafts here so that you can understand them this should cover all the chapters.
Appendix: definitions in order of appearance
Kimono is a robe often made of silk or cotton it was the standard garment in Japan before the advent of western fashion. Japanese doesn't have plurals Like English so any Japanese word will not have a s after it if more than one in noted.
Hakama is a pleated divided skirt that keeps a man from tripping on his Kimono tails, part of the Garb of the Samurai, nearly every man in this fanfic is wearing a Hakama.
Samurai means retainer, or to serve. Samurai refers to the Warrior class that became largest section of the upper class in Japan. The samurai are supposed to follow Bushido, the way of the warrior.
Bushido is the Way of the Warrior, it is a code that Samurai function under ideally. Few follow all of it though since part of it was Jin=compassion.
Tabi are socks that have separate area for the big toe and the rest of the toes so that one can easily where sandals
Katana A Japanese long Sword that has a slightly curved blade, between 80cm and 90cm in Blade length. The sword and soul of a samurai.
Wakazashi A Japanese short Sword that also has a Slightly Curved blade, between 60 and 70 cm. A secondary sword for Samurai.
Tsubu is the hand guard between the handle of a sword and the blade, often these were pattered with creative designs.
Daisho, literally Long and short, it is term that refers to the Katana and Wakazashi as paired, so that they match.
Nihonto means Japanese sword, I use the term anytime I need to use the word Sword.
Kanji is the Japanese Word for Chinese Characters used in Japanese Writing. I uses it anytime somebody is describing Japanese writing.
Saya is the sheath for a Nihonto, normally made of wood.
Shinsengumi Essentially, the Shinsengumi was a police troop, patrolling the streets of Kyoto and keeping the peace. They vowed to protect Kyoto with their swords. In the heat of the Ishin movements, Shishis flowed over to Kyoto to plot the downfall of the Shogunate. So if you cannot produce a satisfactory identity, i.e. your name and your han when questioned by the Shinsengumi members, chances are that you'd be cut down at once. This made the Shinsengumi feared by many indeed, especially Leader of the Shinsengumi Hijikata, for he was strict and merciless, both when it comes to punishments and cutting down suspicious persons.
Hitokiri I haven't been able to correctly translate this yet but it roughly means assassin.
Battousai I have been told means beheader, it is established Nickname of Himura Kenshin during the period of this story, Note this story is set after the OAV, those lead one to believe that Kenshin stops being a Hitokiri after the death of Tomoe but his clash with Saitou happens after her death which leads me to believe that he is still sort of functioned as a Hitokiri. Further since the main character's given name is Kenshin Himura Kenshin is always addressed as Himura
San is Mister or Miss, a polite way to address a inferior or an equal. Note that both this and sama are used with family name which in Japan come first
Sama is a polite way to address a superior.
Baka = Idiot
Ishin shishi One of the groups that fought for the westernization of Japan and reform with in the Bakufu government.
Bakufu is the term for the Military dictatorship of the Tokagawa Shogun
Kenjutsu is a generic term for Swordsmanship it literally means sword technique. The many forms of kenjutsu steam largely from the end of the Warring States period and the beginnings of the Tokagawa Bakufu. It is different from the kendo which is used as a sporting form that in common in Japan right now, Kenjutsu was meant to kill.
Sensei = teacher
Chan is the term for a young girl, it used with a given name. The male version is kun. Chan can also be used for children or as term of endearment between lovers
obi is a belt for a kimono.
Daimyo is roughly Lord. There were different levels of Daimyo in Tokagawa Japan and in other shogunates but in this story it simply used when ever a lord is present with no regard for their rank.
Sake is rice wine native to Japan.
Oro?= Huh? Particular to Himura Kenshin and Shiba Kenshin, who mimics it.
Fuji-sama is Mount Fuji outside of Tokyo.
Sai are weapon based on a Japanese hand plow, the have a single long shaft about 20 inches from the handle that sharpen to a point. The are to side pieces that curve out four inches or so that can be use to catch katana blades and disarm Samurai.
kama are Japanese sickle, a slightly curved blade attached at a 90 degree angle to a handle about two feet long.
Aku Soku Zan means Slay evil instantly or slay evil swiftly.
Hime = princess, and can be used as a title like sama
Miburo means Mibu's Wolf, it is nickname of Saitou Hajime.
Seito = student
Kodachi is a small sword simular to a Wakazashi but not worn with at katana. But by itself. These often are used in kenjutsu styles that have good defensive abilities.
no-dachi is a two hand large sword mean for fighting Calvary. It has a blade length greater than four feet can reach men on horse back.
Sakura means Charry blossoms, often a simplified form of five petals exists in Mon, art, and very rarely Tsubu
Mon are Japanese Samurai family crests much like a knights's coat of arms.
Haiku, a form of Japanese poetry it consists of one line of five syllables, then one line of seven syllables, and another of five syllables. What is not said in the poem is nearly or greater importance than what is said.
Waku, a form of Japanese poetry it first three lines are identical to that of a haiku but two more lines of seven syllables each finish the poem.
kake-Soba are buck wheat noodles in clear soup