Chapter 14: A Final Act Under the Moon

Copyright© 2011 by Murasame

(Battousai stands poised with the sword raised above Jin'eh. Jin'eh is kneeling, making no move to avoid the blow.)

Kaoru (still unable to breath): Kenshin...

Jin'eh: What's wrong, Battousai? Why do you hesitate? You have to kill me to release the girl. Spare me and she dies. Kill me and you save her. The choice is too simple. Don't hesitate. There's no time. Great Hitokiri of legend, assassin--send me to the netherworld with one stroke here (drawing a line across the top of his head)

Battousai: Yes. I have no desire to give you such a gift. But to protect Miss Kaoru, I will be the Hitokiri once again.

Jin'eh: That's it! Give me a taste of your assassin's blade!

Battousai: Die.

(The blade comes down.)

(Kaoru remembers Kenshin's words when he first came to the dojo--

A sword is a weapon. Kenjutsu is the art of killing. Whatever pretty words you use to speak of it, this is its true nature-- But, I like Miss Kaoru's idealism better than its true nature. I like it better. Kaoru: Ken ... shin ... Kenshin!!! NO--!!!!

(He freezes)

Kaoru (sweating and breathing hard): Don't go back to being the Hitokiri ... and using the killer's sword... (she collapses) ... no...

Kenshin: Miss Kaoru! (he dashes over and catches her before she hits the ground) Miss Kaoru, wake up! Are you all right?

(She opens her eyes, then smiles.)

Kaoru: I'm all right. Kenshin.

Kenshin: Oro?

Kaoru: You're talking ... like you usually do. I'm fine, now--

(Jin'eh stands behind them. He draws his short sword with his left hand.)

Jin'eh: I could understand the rooster-head doing it, but I would never have believed the girl could break out of the One-sided Heart. I must be getting soft too.

Kenshin: Stop, Jin'eh. You have no chance of victory with only a wakazashi in your left hand. You lost. It's all over. Accept it quietly.

Jin'eh: No. It's not over yet. There's still things to be settled.

(He plunges the wakazashi into his own chest.)

Jin'eh: Hmm. This feeling ... it's good.

(he falls backwards)

Jin'eh: Stop ... looking like you don't understand. I said it ... the things left to be settled. I ... I was alive, and caught ... if the investigation continues ... it will be sure to find the politician who commissioned these killings...

Kenshin: What...

There is more of this chapter...

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