The cell was just a few meters away. Keys clicking in her hand, Rin silently made her way to the bars. The sight inside horrified her. Manji was restrained by chains and a deranged doctor was talking to him, a glint of madness in his eyes. Blood covered the walls and the floor, blood Rin knew was Manji's. She opened the door and two gazes flew to her. Burando looked at her, a demented smile on his face.
"Who are you, young one? You can't be another guinea pig, your body doesn't match with that of this immortal. Although it would be interesting…" mused Burando.
During his speech, Rin, although disgusted slowly and deliberately moved forward.
"It's a pity the others aren't here, I'm sure they would have found it very interesting, too."
"Sensei, I wasn't sent to be a guinea pig," said Rin with the most seductive voice she could muster in the circumstances.
Manji observed the scene in silence. The girl was going to get herself killed. It was so annoying. Although it was quite impressive that she had managed to come this far.
"I was sent to refresh you. Be it your body or mind."
Kami, how was she able to say it in such a perverse way? She truly had changed much. Of course, it had been a long time since he had last seen her, but she had become strong and more mature than before.
"Good, good," said the doctor, licking his lips.
Burando took a few steps toward Rin and reached for her. In the pale light of the torches, a blade shone for a moment before it was absorbed by the flesh of the doctor. It was twisted in a sure pattern and then taken out of the doctor's torso, bringing his heart with it.
"Good going, Rin. Nice trick."
"Yeah, well, the girl I lived with until I came to rescue you had quite a few tricks up her sleeves. She was…extremely proficient in killing people. She loaned me this weapon, so I have to stay alive to give it back to her, you see?"
Oh yeah, she had surely changed. Although she did wrinkle her nose at the blood that splattered her, Rin didn't give Burando's body a second glance. Instead, she went to the wall on which was the switch responsible for Manji's current splayed state. However, before she could pull it down, she was sent reeling back into the operation table by a blow made, fortunately for her, by the flat side of a blade.
She fell to the floor, wheezing, while Habaki Kagimura loosened his hold on his katana.
"Who are you?"
"The name's Rin, but I suppose you wouldn't give a rat's ass, you who play with immortality," she snapped.
"Good going, Rin! Seems like absence taught you something, after all! You even begin to have an attitude and sound like me!" exclaimed Manji.
"You know each other?"
"Of course! Why else would I have come to this forsaken place?" snorted Rin.
"Yeah, you see, she needs me to achieve a certain revenge. Heh. Without me as her bodyguard, she could never do it."
"Oh, is that so?" pondered Kagimura. "Well, girl, give it all you've got."
Rin didn't waste time and charged toward him with a yell. It was in vain, however, for she was disarmed almost immediately by her opponent. The blade was flung away and rebounded on the floor with a clang.
"Was that all?" asked Kagimura.
Rin unravelled part of her obi to reveal Giichi's strange weapon.
"It was useless to him, so I took it and repaired it. He showed me how to use it, too."
Baka. There's no way you can beat him. In fact, there's no way you could have mastered that weapon yet. Baka, baka!
This time, it was Kagimura who attacked first. He swept at her with a swiftness she couldn't possibly compare to. The young woman threw the curved blade and went to protect herself with the chain, but she was too late and her opponent's blade cut a deep line in her flesh.
"You missed, woman," said Kagimura while taking back his katana from her stomach.
Rin began to laugh. Her teeth stained red, blood oozing from her wound and her lips, she fell to the ground, still holding one end of Giichi's weapon.
"No…It was a great victory."
Only then did Kagimura realize that she had thrown the curved blade at the switch and that, by falling, the chain had tensed and pulled the switch, thus freeing Manji who picked up Rin's first blade from where it laid near him on the ground.
"You…You had it all calculated from the beginning?" asked Kagimura, floored.
"Yeah… I knew I couldn't kill you, so I had… to be able to free… Manji and give him a… weapon."
"But why take such risks? Why would you sacrifice yourself for a bodyguard? He's replaceable!"
"He's more than just a bodyguard…He's the… one man I can't.. live without."
She curled up the corner of her mouth in a smile, buying time for Manji to escape from his bonds.
"Wha?" was the brilliant answer of the government official who approached the young woman a bit more to hear better her half-whispered answers.
"Don't touch my woman, you bastard!"
Kagimura barely had the time to defend himself when Manji, finally free from his chains and bonds, swung at him. Enraged, the immortal man hacked his arm, then plunged his weapon in Kagimura's gut. Evidently, he hadn't expected Manji to be this fast, but it seemed as though Rin's pain was giving him an otherworldly power.
"That's for taking me hostage and making people sever my limbs nearly every day since I've been here. Now…That's for making her bleed!"
Without wasting a moment, Manji used his blade to slice at Kagimura's body a number of times.
"If I had time, I would make chop suey out of you, but as it is, my woman needs me, so this will have to do!"
Pivoting on himself, his blade sliced the air in a perfect arc.
Kagimura's head fell to the floor and rolled away, soon followed on the ground by the rest of his mutilated body.
Manji did not pay any attention to it. His sole goal was to keep Rin alive. The woman was barely conscious, but she did manage a smile when the samurai, after bandaging her abdomen and grabbing her in his arms like a newlywed, stated in a softer voice than usual that she was really a "baka onna."
"Yeah?" he answered in a gruff voice, running while always ready to draw the blades Rin had carried to set him free.
"Let's go home, ne?"
Baka onna: stupid woman
Katana: Japanese sword
Chop suey: a Chinese type of food with sliced meat in it
Ok, so this is the first time I've written a Blade of the Immortal fic, which is currently my favourite manga. I mean, the art is awesome and the story is great too! Anyway, back to topic. I'd like some feedback on how I did with my first try. I tried not to make it too OOC and not too fluffy(like, sickeningly sweet wouldn't fit Rin and Manji). Tell me how I did, PLEASE!