Chapter 107: Bright King
Copyright© 2011 by Murasame
Yumi: Lord Shishio, this might not be for me to say, but aren't you a little worried about Brother Anji fighting Sagara Sanosuke? The only one who could have taught that man the Futae no Kiwami is the priest himself ... Since he's gone so far already, could he hold back during the fight out of compassion... ?
Shishio: You don't have to say it. The possibility is there. Anji may be a fallen monk but he lives in accordance with Buddhism.
(In his chamber, Anji stares at a small statue of a Boddhisattva.)
Shishio: He has the most compassion of all the Ten Swords. Yet--
(Anji smashes it.)
Shishio: He acts far more out of divine wrath than compassion.
(Inside the statue is a small black tablet. Anji tucks it inside his shirt.)
Shishio: The Bright King Anji has no mercy for those who stand in the way of redeeming the world. Stop worrying about it, Yumi. There's something I want you to do.
(Kenshin, Sanosuke and Saitou walk through the gates to the main doors. A figure stands in front of them.)
Kenshin: Someone's ... there.
Yumi: Welcome. We've been expecting you. Inside, the depths become a labyrinth. So that you will not lose your way, I, the unworthy Komagata Yumi, shall be your guide.
Sanosuke: Using a woman to make us careless ... He's full of tricks. Be careful.
Saitou: Only you'd fall for such a weak trap.
Kenshin: Shishio's not so desperate.
Yumi: Please follow me.
(They cross a narrow bridge across an underground gorge.)
Kenshin: This is more of a maze than a cavern. A single misstep would probably plunge us into a storm of traps. It's a very elaborate system of defense.
Yumi (before she opens the door before them): Oh yes, I almost forgot. I have a message from Lord Shishio. Each battle must be man to man, to the end. One man waits in each room. Each time, you must choose one to fight him. The other two must do nothing to help.
Sanosuke: Great! A fight's gotta be man-to-man!
Saitou: I don't care, but having this all neatly arranged annoys me. Just give me my opponent.
Yumi: And you, Mr. Himura?
Kenshin: It's fine. But after the match, no matter who it is, I will not give the finishing stroke. I know this is a fight to the finish, but I will not take part in a duel to the death.
Yumi (giggling): You're so sweet. Well, then, the first match.
(The doors open onto a gigantic statue.)
Kenshin: Acala, the god of fire?
Saitou: How flashy. One of the Ten Swords is a monk?
Sanosuke: Yeah ... a fallen monk, who lost his footing on the way ... There's something I want to ask this guy. This one's mine.
(Sanosuke and Anji square off, staring each other down.)
Kenshin: Miss Komagata, who is he?
Yumi: The Bright King Anji. He's good.
Kenshin (thinking): Anji ... so he's the one that saved Miss Misao, third strongest of the Ten Swords ... I don't know how you met, but be careful, Sano. This is no ordinary man.