Disclaimer: I don't own Ruroni Kenshin or the Tenchu games. *sob*
Well, this story is told from the first person of each character and I'll give you a note of when the POV (point of view) changes. Character's thoughts at that moment are in italics. This story is set directly after Kenshin returns from Kyoto (because I've never seen the third season) and after Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven (just pretend they are from the same era). So, that said, on with the story.
I sat on the back porch of the Kasshin dojo. All was quiet. It was odd that the Kasshin dojo was so quiet. I sighed. I couldn't even here the usual complaints and of Yahiko. This was a serious rarity at the Kasshin dojo. I couldn't help but wonder where everyone had gone. I suddenly heard a twig snap behind me, but I could recognize who was behind me. It was her. "Kenshin?" she asked.
"Yes Ms. Kaoru?" I asked back, not bothering to turn from my comfortable position.
"Would you like to help me with this afternoon's shopping?" she asked.
"Sure Ms. Kaoru" I responded, standing and turning to face her.
She smiled and said "I'll be right back with my money" as she turned and ran toward her room.
I yelled after her "I'll meet you at the entrance, that I will!" She flashed a smile back then kept on running.
I turned and walked through the house and to the gate. Yahiko and Sanosuke were no where to be found. That would explain why everything was so quiet. As I walked to the gate I thought of what they could be doing. Sano is probably gambling and Yahiko trying to help as many girls as he can. I smiled at my own thoughts and leaned against the entrance, Kaoru running up, smiling.
"So Ms. Kaoru, are you ready?" I asked. She nodded and we walked out the entrance, down the path, and soon arrived at the city.
I walked down the street, thinking of what Kenshin and Kaoru were doing with both me and Sano out of the house. They hadn't even spent a single intimate moment (that I knew of) together since after we left Kyoto. It was kind of sad. Kenshin is great with a sword, but otherwise, he's an idiot. The streets were almost empty as I walked down the market lain. It was odd. Where was everyone?
Up ahead I spotted a girl. She was just about my age. She dressed in as extremely fine silk Kimono and had an air of nobility around her. She was pretty. I smiled at my own thoughts until I spotted some men approaching her from behind. There were four of them, armed with wooden swords. She saw me, and I went to yell for her to run but before I could do anything they had knocked her to the ground.
"Hey little girl! Who are you? And why are you dressed in such fine of a Kimono? If we took that and sold it we could make a fortune!" he said, grinning like an idiot to his fellows. They laughed back.
"Yeah, if you're dressed so well, you must be nobility. You should just give us all your money and the nice Kimono right now!"
She screamed out something like help. "Help, Ayame, Rikimaru, Tesshu, somebody!?"
"Get away from her!" I yelled, pulling out my sword and cracked the one closest to the girl on top of the head, having already closed the distance between me and the brigands.
"Hey, who the hell do you think you are?!" one guy yelled as he swung his sword at me. I parried easily and swept his leg out from under him. He crashed to the ground, bringing another one down behind him.
"Hey, girl, get behind me!" I yelled. She nodded and pulled herself off the ground, hiding behind me. I leveled my sword in a defensive stance, ready to swing at the first person who stepped into my reach. The only bandit who hadn't hit the ground stepped forward, and went to strike me. I blocked and did a downward hit on his collar bone. He gasped and fell backwards. I think I broke it.
The first one I hit stood back up and waved the others to stay back. He then grabbed the end of his wood sword and pulled. It revealed a gleaming blade. I swore softly. You know, I really have to get a reverse-blade sword! I thought. "No better time to test this than now" I said, unsure of if this would work or not. I put my sword at my hip and took a low stance. It was a near perfect mimicry of Kenshin's batojutsu stance. I had practiced a hundred times and I actually pulled it off once. My target broke in half and so did my sword. I shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts.
"Look!" the bandit said mockingly, "the boy thinks he is a swordsman. A batojutsu stance no less. Well, prepare to die!" he said as he ran at me. I slid forward with perfect timing and swung. It was perfect. He had he sword held high for a downward strike, and I connected with his side, throwing him to the left. His sword fell and stuck into the earth. I smiled. I did it flawlessly. It was nothing compared to Kenshin's, but it was something.
"How...did you...?" he asked, gasping and he then fell unconscious. The others gawked at me, then grabbed their "leader" and dragged him away.
"That's right, get out of here!" I yelled.
"Yeah, go away!" the girl yelled, standing next to me and shaking her right hand at them. I stared at her and she suddenly realized what she was doing and blushed, bringing her hand back down. "So, who are you?" she asked.
"My name is Yahiko Myojin. I'm an apprentice swordsman"
"Apprentice? From the way you handled them, I'd say you were a master swordsman!" Master swordsman?!
"I'm not that good. You should see my friend. He's unreal. By the way, what's your name?" I asked.
"My name is Kiku Gohda" she answered. "Thank you for saving me Yahiko (she didn't call me little!). Truthfully I am not supposed to be out here. I snuck away from the group" she finished in a quiet whisper, almost as if there was someone listening.
"You're welcome Kiku. I need no thanks. But I want to make sure that you don't get into anymore trouble so I'll either take you back to who you were with or, if you wish, I could stay with you a little longer" I stated.
She smiled. "I'm not ready to go back yet. Can I check out the area a little longer?" she asked as if it was up to me.
"If you want to" I answered smiling. She's really cute. Hey! I barely know her! Ah, never mind! She nodded and then grabbed my wrist, dragging me around the area. What have I done?
I walked down the near empty road to the Akabeko. I was currently wondering what the others were doing, but I sped up when I saw the Akabeko some into view. I saw my friends waiting for me. "Hey, Sanosuke? Hurry it up!" he yelled at me.
"Ready to go?" I asked.
"Yep!" was their only reply as we headed for his house to, as usual, gamble!
* * * * * * * * * * *
We were walking down the street, talking about the things going on, the streets uncrowded. A man was strolling down the street, the look of a crooked merchant on his face. Suddenly, a needle flew out of nowhere, striking the man in the side of the neck. He crumpled to the ground into a heap. I looked at the source, finding a man perched on the stone wall. He looked down at me, noticing that he had been spotted. He dropped to the other side of the fence and I leapt up after him, leaving my friends standing confused.
He was about to take off when I jumped at him, tackling him to the ground. He was strong...really strong. I was faster though and I was going to use it to my advantage. I leapt back as he threw a needle, which would have hit me if I hadn't moved at the last second.
"Who are you?!" I yelled.
He smiled. "Not that it will mater in a moment" he said slowly, circling me. "My name is Tesshu. Tesshu Fujioka. How about you? To leap that wall you have to be good" he said. I recognized the name from back when I was in on the underground. He was a killer for hire that only accepted missions that upheld justice. A virtuous killer for hire; yeah right. A killer is still a killer.
"My name is Sanosuke Sagara, but a man like you would probably know me better as Zanza" I said, a touch of anger with the last word. I hated my old name. It reminded me of how I used to kill people, for money no less. He shrugged for a moment then his eyes widened. He looked surprised.
"You're Zanza?" he asked.
"No, Zanza died a while ago. My name is Sanosuke. Sano to my friends" I answered.
"Huh" he sighed. "You quit. Didn't think a cold-blooded killer like Zanza would change" he said. I flinched. Cold blooded killer. That was exactly what I was. No, had been. I wasn't anymore.
"So, you going to try and kill me?" I asked, not afraid. He wasn't as strong as Kenshin. Kenshin is the only man I feared. Saitou didn't qualify as fear. I just hated him.
"No, besides, there's no reason to. No profit and you have no reason to fight me. That man I was hired to kill ran an underground slave trade. I made sure the slaves would be treated a little bit better." He smiled. He actually smiled after having killed someone.
"You like to gamble?" I asked.
"You do? I didn't know anybody gambled in this day and age. Let's go...if that's all right I mean." I smiled, just having gained a new possibility for some money making. I nodded, and soon we were on our way to my small fortune!
I looked around me. Great, why did Princess Kiku have to disappear? Lord Gohda will kill us if we lose her. "Rikimaru?" asked a voice from behind me. I had almost forgotten about her.
"Yes Ayame?" I asked. Her face was so filled with worry that that was all I saw. Nothing about her suggested of her usual energy and joy. "Do you think she'll be ok?" I looked at her. She stared back. I hugged her in a brotherly gesture. This is all she'll accept me as, right? She seemed no less worried.
"She'll be ok until we find her Ayame. Don't worry." I pulled away. She looked slightly less worried. "Thank you Rikimaru. Now we must hurry. Let's go" she said, running of in a direction. I sighed. Ayame, if only you knew. I ran after her.
Well, there it is. All reviews will be accepted, but that doesn't mean they won't make me mad. Tick me off at your own risk! So, tell me what you thought and if you like it I'll continue. And there will be more action in the next chapter. See ya!