Chapter 120: The First Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki
Copyright© 2011 by Murasame
Soujirou: Which do you think will win?
Shishio: Hard to say ... They're perfectly matched.
Houji: Logically, they should destroy each other. That would save us some trouble.
Soujirou: I want Mr. Himura to win. Then, we could settle what we started on the Rengoku. But, if Mr. Shinomori wins, what are you going to do, Mr. Shishio?
Shishio (smiling): Then, if I killed Shinomori Aoshi, I'd be the strongest.
(In the library, Aoshi and Kenshin square off for the attack.)
Sanosuke (thinking): This is it, Kenshin and Aoshi's final match! Aoshi's holding the kodachis backhanded, he's going for the Kaiten Kenbu Rokuren. Six deadly-swift attacks beginning from either the left or the right. Left or right ... Kenshin's already taken two cuts to the neck. A moment of indecision would cost him his life. In response he's taking a battou-jutsu stance ... Since he said he's using his full strength, he's probably going to use his new techniques. If Aoshi jumps blind into an unknown attack, he's sure to lose ... Whatever happens, neither of them can counterattack. It's a perfect deadlock...
Aoshi (thinking): I'm sorry ... Beshimi, Hyottoko, Shikijou, Hanya. In the end, as Battousai said, for your sake my soul was lost in a blind alley. Maybe I was a fool, saying it was all because of you ... But win or lose, it ends here. No ... I'll finish this with a victory for your sake!
(They are motionless, watching each other.)
Sanosuke (thinking): This is taking forever ... It's been ten minutes, but it feels like hours ... There's gotta be a clock around here.
(He goes looking for one, and finds Yumi with her hand poised on the telegraph machine.)
Sanosuke: Watch out, Kenshin! Shishio knows all about the fight! Don't use your techniques!
(The tension breaks, and Aoshi strikes.)
Aoshi (thinking): First attack--I'll strike left! Targeting the opposite of the battou-jutsu's base point. The back of the neck! Kaiten Kenbu Rokuren!