By Daimyo Shi
A Rurouni Kenshin Fanfiction
Web Posting 16/12/01
This story was inspired by Ashfae On Two Feet
The dojo was quite now, it was only mid-morning but Kaoru now founder herself alone in her family dojo. Sano had come by with a fishing rod in hand and nearly dragged Kenshin with him. he had said he bring home some fish of supper. Yahiko was off to Akabeko.Yahiko might make some money by washing dishes and the like. And given that if he worked he would get lunch Keepinghim away from Kaoru's cooking. So she wasn't a great cook, ok she was a rotten cook. Kaoru sighed to herself. It is not like her father had been much better. But he tried to teach me to cook, At least he managed to teach her Kamiya Kashin Ryu budo. Even Suzame and Ayame were not around since Dr. Genzai had taken them to Yokahama for the day, which meant that Megumi was managing the clinic.
Kaoru walked around the dojo looking around. Yahiko had cleaned it very well the day before. She looked around and walled over to one of the Bokken racks, the very special one. When she had students they would call it the teacher rack because it where Kaoru stored her bokken. Like all the others, it can hold five katana or bokken but this one only held four, the first was her father's Katana, it blade was nearly 300 years old, it was made in Ogimachi 15. Making it a blade of the Sengoku era. The time of strife and war, much like the civil wars that Kenshin fought in. Kaoru begins to remember her father telling her about this history of her family and the history of his Katana, a Katana that hadn't been used to draw blood in five generations. Her father said a katana was a soul of a samurai. She was a woman, though her soul was supposed to be a mirror, she didn't have a mirror like that. Kaoru stood there staring at her father's katana, I know why I not a good cook, my soul is in my katana. She chuckled to herself. The Katana the last thing her father had given her, soon after she had recieved it, her father was gone. Tears formed in her eyes remembering about being told by young policeman that her father had been killed and wasn't coming home. She cried for a little bit, "Kaoru get hold of yourself, that in the past." she told herself. She then looked at the rest of the rack, there was her father's bokken then her two favourite bokken, and in the final spot normally left empty was Kenshin's Sakabato.
"What?" she said to herself , "so that was what was missing when he left. I though something was different this morning when he left." She picked it up in her hands. It felt slightly weird in her hands, not that she never touched it before, but never quite in this way, without Kenshin around. She held it the reverse of how you normal hold a katana to draw it, and carefully drew it along it front so she wouldn't dull the edge. She carefully dropped the says to the ground. She took a few swings with the Sakabato, it was different than her bokken, it would take a little practice to get use to. "So this is Kenshin's soul?" she said to herself. She carefully re-sheathed Kenshin's Sakabato into its saya. She hugged the Sakabato, "Oh, Kenshin why can't you see that I love you." Kaoru, held the Sakabato, remember the times that Kenshin had saved her, and the pleasant times they had together. After all he was the only man she had ever loved, she didn't want to lose him. The echo of "I might leave at anytime" still was present in her mind, even though it was said in what seemed to be life time ago. "Well At least I know he come back today. After all I have his Sakabato." She looked at the Sakabato again, the cord was stained, and there still was some blood dried on the cord from the last time Kenshin had been injured fighting. She carefully drew it correctly again and looked at the blade. "It well used, it needs to be cleaned. It is kind of hard to believe it doesn't need to be re-polished given what it goes through in the average month." Kaoru chuckled to herself. Kaoru hung up the Sakabato.
Kaoru went to her room, and into her closet to get her Sword cleaning kit. There she saw her Katana, her soul. Tears welled up in her eyes, at the reminder of her father giving her this katana. She pictured her father giving it to her. She could hear his voice saying "Here you are Kaoru-kun, just like all true samurai you need a katana."
She saw herself take it carefully in her hands. "Thank you father." she bow deeply, and then put the katana in her obi, which look ridiculous for two reasons, first she was in a woman's kimono at the time, and she was only thirteen and the katana was made for a man about her fathers height. Her father laughed at her. "Well Kaoru-kun I have to go, I going to help Daikiro-san with his house repairs. She watched him leave, "Remember to make dinner, Kaoru-kun." "No don't go father." whimpered Kaoru, but then she remember it was just a dream she couldn't change anything. She never saw him alive after that. She was told that he got into fight with some Yakuza that were taking advantage of a young woman and he had intervened, which had resulted it in him getting shot, no one knew where the yakuza punk had gotten the gun but he shot Kaoru's father six times before running away. The police caught and charged the yakuza members, the one who shot her father was sentenced to death. Kaoru picked up thr Katana in her closet and its stand. The Katana was still a little large for her. If she was four inches taller it be perfect. She took the kit, katana and stand out to the dojo. She set up her katana stand and placed her Katana on it the grabbed her father's katana, and Kenshin's Sakabato. "I might as well clean them all." she when to the dojo alter shelf and removed her father's Wakazashi from its stand there.
She stared to clean her fathers's Katana first. She untied the knot that kept the katana in its saya so it couldn't be drawn against someone with in the dojo. She carefully removed mekugiana taping it with the mallet from her sword cleaning kit. She tapped firmly on the Tsuka releasing the toshin from the tsuka, she carefully removed the seppa and tsuba. She then removed the habaki, leaving the blade naked. She looks at it carefully, "It probably should be polished soon, I think it was last polished before Grandfather was married". She cleaned and oiled the blade wiping the oil of with a clean lint free paper. Statisfied with her cleaning job she re-assemble her father's Katana. She griped it an carefully re-sheathed it. "I hope you are proud of me, father, I done all I could to keep the dojo, and whiles it hard sometimes, well most of the time. I wouldn't trade it for anything else. I have one student and my friends, they look after me. I wonder if you would like Kenshin, he does cook better than either of us, father." Kaoru gets up and place the Katana on the sword rack above her father's Bokken. "And he does the laundry, so I don't have too. I told you I only love a man thatwould do my laundry." Kaoru repeats the clean process with her father's Wakazashi then returning it to the Shrine shelf. She picks up her katana and carefully unsheathes it. She looks at the sides of the blade, the one side has her name engraved on it and the other says my Samurai daughter. Karou eyes tear up again, "he always believed in me, even if everyone else didn't. He left me the Dojo know that I would carry it on." She looked at her Katana again. "This is my soul, so why can Kenshin grab hold of it so easily and make it nearly shatter like glass."Kaoru remembered when Kenshin had left for Kyoto, and how she felt afterwards. She was a walking corpse she barely could do anything. She made everyone worry about her. She couldn't function and then Megumi came and opened her eyes, and Kaoru had left for Kyoto too. She again looked at her katana. "Well I should just clean this and be done with it." Kaoru disassembled, cleaned and oiled her Katana. "There it is done." She sheathed her katana in is cherry coloured saya and placed it back on its stand. She picked up Kenshin's Sakabato she drew it, she carefully inspected the blade and found that despite the stress that it had gone through to find it perfect shape. She disassembled, cleaned and oiled Kenshin's Sakabato. She carefully sheathed in it says and held it by it saya.
"Kenshin, I love you, don't you know that?" she said to the Sakabato as if it was Kenshin. She smiled through the tears that formed after all it was his soul she was talking to. Maybe it would help. "You love me right? I mean that is why you have gone to so much trouble for me right?" she stared at the Sakabato, almost expecting it to answer her. "There are times I am convinced of it, why would you just say it!" Kaoru though about that for a moment, "why should he I can't seem to tell him how I feel, maybe it the same thing?" Kaoru looked out at the sunny day. "Kenshin, I love you." as she embraced Kenshin Sakabato and nodded off to sleep.
"Kaoru-dono? Kaoru-dono?" said Kenshin shaking Kaoru. "Are you all right?"
"Kenshin don't go." said a still sleeping Kaoru.
go where? Kenshin though, "I am not going anywhere."
Kaoru awoke "Kenshin?"
"Kenshin, I . . . cleaned you Sakabato." Kaoru said as she handed Kenshin his Sakabato. [you chicken out again] though Kaoru. She looked a Sano who was looking at her funny.
" Did you catch anything Kenshin, Sano?"asked Kaoru.
"Hai." said Sano holding up six carp.
"Well I should get started on supper, Kaoru-dono." he took his Sakabato and put it back on the rack that he had it on earlier.
"Jo-chan, where is that Katana from?" asked Sano pointing at the Katana in the sword stand.
"It is mine Sanosuke." replied Kaoru looking suprised.
"Yours?" remarked Sano
"Kaoru-dono, You have a Katana? Why?" asked Kenshin.
"Because I am the Instructor of Kamiya Kashin Ryu! I am a Budo master. Why wouldn't I have a Katana?" said Kaoru rather abruptly she turns slightly away from Kenshin, after snapping at him.
"oh." said Kenshin, he smiled "well I start on dinner."
Kenshin walked away to start dinner. Kaoru watched him walk away before turning and seeing Sano doing his best not to laugh.
"What with you rooster-head?" snapped Kaoru "What do you find so funny."
"Nothing, not at thing." as Sano waves his hand in front of himself. "So Jo-chan how was your day."
Kaoru look soften, "not bad, just cleaned all the Swords. It was weird having no one around."
"Well I better give these fish to Kenshin." said Sano.
Kaoru watched him walked away and then looked at her Katana. "So this is my soul, I won't be hiding it any more.
Saya = Sheath made of wood.
Mekugiana is the peg that keeps the toshin attached to the handle, the peg goes through tang.
Toshin is the Blade
Tsuka is the Japanese term for the hilt
Seppa is the retaining piece in front of the tsuba
Tsuba the pattern hand guard though in Kenshin's Sakabato it is very plain.
Habaki the piece of metal that keeps the Toshin from hang lose in the saya.
Note Polishing a Japanese Sword is much different than one might polish a western sword, since it a sharping process as well. It is a complicated process involving lengthy use of stones and other tools. Blade not used often need it far less than ones that are actual in use. Hence the many years of Karou's father's blade has had between polishings.
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