Chapter 95: Even If I Throw Away My Life...
Copyright© 2011 by Murasame
Kenshin (thinking): Surely charging with divine speed and striking all nine points at once, there can be no defense or evasion. (aloud) This is the succession technique...
Hiko: Now quit standing there admiring it and give it a try.
Kenshin: Just--just like that!
Hiko: What are you talking about. You can't learn this technique by studying footwork. It's when you've felt its force and you're on your hands and knees that you learn. It's the way I always trained you.
Kenshin (remembering all the beatings he took as a kid): Oh yeah ... I was lucky I survived.
Hiko: Well, it's all thanks to my cleverly giving you just as much as you could take. If you get it, come on and try it. Full strength.
(Kenshin draws his own sword.)
Kenshin (thinking): I couldn't move a muscle. But that doesn't mean I couldn't see. Nine points of attack. I saw them all...
Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu Kuzuryuusen
Kenshin (thinking): I did it...
(Hiko smiles ... and returns the attack. They meet again and again, until Hiko finally knocks Kenshin to the ground.)
Kenshin (thinking): It was the same Kuzuryuusen, but ... I was beaten ... My Kuzuryuusen ... wasn't perfect?
Hiko: No, it was perfect. But even with the same Hiten Mitsurugi and the same technique, if the fighters differ, the force will be different too. In wild-attack techniques, it's the strength of your arms that counts; in charging techniques, it's your weight. In both respects, you're overwhelmingly my inferior. In other words, before my Kuzuryuusen, your Kuzuryuusen is, of course, as useless as any other technique.
Kenshin (thinking): So I can't use the Kuzuryuusen...
Hiko: If you're going to defeat my Kuzuryuusen, there's only one technique that can do it. The greatest secret of the Hiten Mitsurugi school, the Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki. What are you looking so shocked for? I never said that the Kuzuryuusen was the ultimate technique.
Kenshin (thinking): He did that on purpose.
Hiko: The Kuzuryuusen wasn't created in real combat or in training. It was made as a step in the passing down of the techniques, as a test. To learn the succession technique, first you begin with the Kuzuryuusen. If you can defeat the Kuzuryuusen of the previous master, the initiation in the secrets of the school is complete.
Hiko: Think hard about the Kuzuryuusen you just learned. If you do you'll get a general idea of the Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki.
Kenshin: About the Kuzuryuusen...
(He sheathes his sword.)
Kenshin: (thinking) The Kuzuryuusen is a technique which allows no possibility of defense or flight. Nothing but battou-jutsu could strike quickly enough to defeat it!
Hiko: Well done. That's right. Surpassing divine speed is the greater divine speed of battou-jutsu. This is the true nature of the secret technique Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki. But the problem is that the reverse blade will handicap the battou-jutsu. Can you still surpass divine speed?
(Kenshin comes out of battou-jutsu stance, standing square at Hiko.)
Hiko: In formless stance with your sword put away ... you intend to use Haisui no Jin? That's foolish.
Haisui no Jin--one who prepares to exhaust all his strength, who cannot recover if he fails. Formless stance--see vol 5 part 36
Kenshin: I know. But even so ... Even if I throw away my life, I must master the succession technique.
Hiko (lowering his sword): Then you are a stupid pupil.
Hiko (turning away): You haven't learned anything at all.