Chapter 22: Assault on Kanryuu's Estate
Copyright© 2011 by Murasame
Kanryuu: You're ... you're joking ... how could we have made an enemy of the legendary Hitokiri?
Aoshi: Don't say that. We want this fight.
(As they walk towards the house, Kenshin stops.)
Yahiko: What's wrong, Kenshin?
Kenshin (looking up): Kanryuu!! Your time has come, Takeda Kanryuu. Come down with Miss Megumi.
(They stare at each other. Kanryuu begins to laugh wildly.)
Sanosuke: Has he gone crazy?
Kanryuu (clapping his hands): Wonderful! To have destroyed all fifty of my soldiers so quickly--truly the work of the legendary Hitokiri Himura Battousai!
Yahiko: Those jerks, Kenshin's past--
Sanosuke: The Oniwabanshuu must have looked into it.
Kanryuu: That's swordsmanship I like to see. If you joined the Oniwabanshuu under me we truly would be the strongest!! I'll pay you the price of fifty soldiers' wages. You'll be my bodyguard!!
Kenshin: You're coming down or you're not. Which is it?
Kanryuu: Well, one hundred then. Two hundred!!
Aoshi: You don't understand. You can't win him over with money. Himura Battousai doesn't act for profit.
Kanryuu (leaning out the window): I see. I've lost. I'll hand over Takani Megumi.
(They halt in surprise.)
Kanryuu: But give me an hour! There's some preparations that must be made. I'll send her down after an hour! Trust me! Just wait here!
Sanosuke: You think you can just start talking and we'll trust you?!
(Kenshin turns and begins to walk away.)
Yahiko: Kenshin! Wait! You can't be that trusting! Hey!!
Kanryuu (thinking): Good. After an hour Megumi will have coughed up the secret of the Spider's Web and we'll have no further use for her. She can't possibly hold out that long!
(Kenshin passes a lamppost with a cement base. He stops, and whips his sword from the sheath, cutting it from the base with one backhand blow. It smashes into the house to Kanryuu's right.)
Kenshin: I'll come up there within one hour! Wait with care, Kanryuu!!
Aoshi: Your makeshift plans only added fuel to the fire. This is practically a theatre.
Kanryuu: O ... Okashira, the Oniwabanshuu will--
Aoshi: Already taken care of. My right and left hands are deployed at the stairs at the back of the hallway leading from the entrance. I'll act as rear guard in the second-story ballroom.
Kanryuu: All right, but we can do without worthless trash like Beshimi and Hyottko! I won't stand for those who can't live up to their salaries!!