Chapter 15: A Runaway Beauty

Copyright© 2011 by Murasame

Kaoru: Kenshin--!! (checking the well) Where are you? (his room) Are you here? (knocking on the bathroom door) Kenshin!! That's strange. What could have happened? He isn't anywhere. (thinking) He couldn't have...

Yahiko: Kenshin just went out somewhere with Sanosuke.

Kaoru: Really.

Yahiko: (You don't believe me!) Do I look like I'm lying?

Kaoru (breathing a sigh of relief): This time I thought he really had gone off wandering for good. I'm so glad.

Yahiko: I thought of that too, but you're worrying too much. You should get Kenshin a collar or something.

Kaoru (picturing The Master and her pet kenshin): Ewww.

Yahiko: Whadduya mean, eww? (You didn't have to take me seriously!)

Kaoru: But where did they go?

Yahiko: The Shuueiya. It used to be a restaurant, but it's more of a gambling hall now.


(In the Shuueiya. Men place their bets as the dice are thrown.)

Sanosuke: Okay, which is it?

Kenshin (wearily): Five-six split.

Dice-thrower: A five and a six!

Sanosuke: Leave it to the Hiten Mitsurugi School. Its readings are fantastic!

Kenshin: You said it was important, so I came, but ... Sano, gambling halls are illegal.

Sanosuke: What're you talking about, that reverse blade of yours is illegal too.

Kenshin: That's true, but...

Sanosuke: Don't worry about it. Everyone here is a friend of mine. No one cheats, no one makes or loses a fortune. In the group it's just fun and games. You can't take everything so seriously. You should relax. Your whole life won't be any fun at all. (a significant look) I had to drag you here, so give in and have some fun. Make today your last day for gloomy thoughts.

Kenshin: ... Did Miss Kaoru tell you about Jin'eh's end?

Sanosuke: Don't know a thing about it. More importantly, what's the next one?

Kenshin: Snake eyes.


Man with beard: Wait!! Wait, woman!!

(He chases her down the street. Another man jumps out in front of her.)

Man 2: Too bad. End of the road!

(She stops, trapped.)

Beard: You've given us a lot of trouble!

Man 2: Think you could escape by yourself?

(She darts through the Shuueiya doors.)

Man 2: She's still trying to run!

Beard: Follow her! She's not getting away!

Man 2: Wait, Megumi!

Dice-thrower: Snake eyes again!

Sanosuke: All right, all right, all right!

Gambler 1: Today's your day, eh, Sano?

Gambler: It's been a while. Maybe you should let up a little.

Sanosuke: You're joking. Prepare to lose your shirt!

(Whatever he said, he's having the most fun.)

Kenshin: Sano...

Sanosuke (tossing the blocks around): So where's Yoita from the candy shop? That gambling fool hasn't been here today.

Gambler 1: You didn't know, Sano? Yoita died earlier this month.

Sanosuke: What! He died--was he sick? Or did he get in an accident?

Gambler 1: It was opium. It was a mistake. He smoked a lot once, and...

Opium--the oldest drug, made from the dried juice distilled from part of the poppy flower. Similar to morphine, it causes terrible withdrawal symptoms. At the time, it was a forbidden throughout the country as a strong drug that could destroy a country. Sanosuke: That idiot ... getting mixed up in something like opium.

Kenshin: But that's strange. Opium is a costly drug. An ordinary person shouldn't be able to buy a lot of it at once...

(Megumi bursts into the room.)

Sanosuke: What do you want?

Kenshin: Oro.

(She catches sight of Kenshin's sword and throws herself into his arms.)

Megumi: Save me!

Kenshin: ORO?

Megumi: Some terrible men are chasing me. Please save me!

Kenshin: Um ... if you say so...

(Her pursuers dash in after her.)

Beard: Megumi, you--

Knife: You can't run anymore!

Sanosuke: One thing after another. What do you want?

Beard: Shut up! Stay out of this! Just hand over the girl, or else--... ?

(Sanosuke punches him.)

Sanosuke: I'm in a bad mood right now, so watch who you're talking to.

There is more of this chapter...

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