Chapter 67: The Budding of Violence

Copyright© 2011 by Murasame

Misao (thinking): This cop ... he knows Himura?

(they hear screams from the village)

Misao: Oh yeah--Himura!

(Kenshin breaks a spear with his sword and knocks down the last of the soldiers.)

(Misao: He's not even out of breath ... Wow... )

Saitou (to Kenshin): Hey. What are you wasting your time here for?

Kenshin: What are you doing here?

Saitou: My job. One of my men informed me that Shishio was here. Since I still had some time before the subjugation forces reached Kyoto, I decided to come on foot. However, I didn't know the man's present whereabouts.

Kenshin: You mean the boy's brother was a police spy...

Saitou: Boy?

(Eiji steps forward.)

Saitou: I see. Mishima Eiichirou was originally from Shingetsu. That's why I sent him, so he could infiltrate the village without raising suspicions. Probably he was discovered, and tried only to protect his family ... Idiot. He should have waited for my arrival.

Misao: How can you talk like that about one of your own dead men!

Saitou: Hey, who is this-- (quick: if Megumi = fox, and Kaoru = tanuki, then she must be a--) weasel girl?

Misao: I'll kill you! Kill! (Take this, Kansatsu... )

Kenshin: That's just how he is. If you get angry at everything he says you'll be here forever.

Saitou: Feh.

Kenshin: More importantly, we should take them down quickly and mourn for them.

Misao: You're right.

Villager: Wait! (the men of the village have gathered before them.) You can't cut them down. If you do Senkaku will be angry. We are helpless before him. Until we get Senkaku's permission, we will leave them as they are.

Misao: What are you saying? They were from your village! You're still going to obey Senkaku after this?!

Villager: If we defy Senkaku, it means death ... obeying him means life. In order not to make things worse for the village, you outsiders and the Mishimas should leave. Eiji, you understand.

Saitou (placing a hand on Misao's head): Don't be angry. There aren't many people who are brave enough to place their life on the line to defend their honor and dignity as a human being. Just surviving, like an animal, you don't need honor and dignity.

Villagers: That's easy to say. What does an outsider know. You police are no help. That's right.

First Villager: Anyway, we cannot permit you to take down the bodies. Leave us now.

(Kenshin steps forward.)

Misao: Himura!

(He slashes the ropes.)

Saitou: The condition of this village will be the fate of Japan in Shishio's new era. People will be controlled with terror and violence. They will seek only to survive, losing all honor and dignity.

(The crowd filters away.)

Villagers: If the village is destroyed it will be your fault! That killer!

Kenshin: Saitou ... did the government abandon this village?

Saitou: Not just this one. More than ten have been abandoned to Shishio. The police trying to recover them are already in retreat.

Misao: I don't really know what's going on here, but if the police can't do it why don't you use the army?

Saitou: Idiot. It's only been half a year since the Southwest War. If the army is mobilized again it will show our unrest to the foreign powers.

Misao: How can you think of that at a time like this!

Saitou: Even so, we wouldn't get permission to use the army in the first place. No one wants to share Governor Okubo's fate.

There is more of this chapter...

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