Chapter 208: Oibore: Man of Unknown Origins
Copyright© 2011 by Murasame
(An old man walks down the road, carrying a fishing pole; a small flock of songbirds surround him.)
Old Man (singing): Oh, well, what the hell. Oh, well, what the hell. Oh, well--mm?
(He sees Misao and Yahiko ahead of him, entering Rakuminmura.)
Old Man: A couple of young ones. Come to join us? Doesn't look that way...
(Misao and Yahiko reach the gate.)
Yahiko: All right! From here on out we can't afford to slip up! Give this all you got!
Misao: Let's charge 'em!
(A group of Rakuminmura inhabitants decend on them.)
Men: Hold it right there! Where'd you come from? Don't take another step! It'd disgrace our honorif we let outsiders in whenever they wanted!
Yahiko: What are you talking about? You don't have any honor to lose.
Misao: Yeah, you bunch of bums.
Men: We won't go easy on you cause you're kids! Kick 'em out!
Yahiko: Let's do it, Misao!
Misao: I said, let's charge 'em!
(The fight begins.)
Men: What is this? They're not bad!
Misao: We don't have time to waste with bums!
Yahiko: We're taking revenge for Kaoru! We're gonna see Kenshin!
(A wave of men jump them. When the smoke clears, Yahiko and Misao are buried underneath them.)
Man: How was that? One of the 48 outcast techniques, Fallen Lives!
Yahiko: What is this?!
Misao: That is not funny!
Man: Shut up, you smart-mouthed kid!
Old Man: Looks like fun.
Old Man: It's been three days since I saw y'all. I brought some shikemoku from town. Divide it up, now.
(The men swarm on the shikemoku, letting Yahiko and Misao up.)
Old Man: You all right, young'uns?
Yahiko: Who are you?
Old Man: It's been so long, I've forgotten my own name. Now they call me Oibore (old fool), the nicest old guy you'll ever meet.
Yahiko: The nicest old guy... ?
Misao: That sounds suspicious.
Oibore: Not at all! Look at this. (gestures at the birds around him) They say animals won't come near someone with a bad heart.
Yahiko & Misao: Plus, he's a little nuts.
Oibore: Now, young man, young lady, what brings you here?
Yahiko: We're here to see someone. Something wrong with that?
Oibore: To see someone? Not the one who just came in, the samurai with the chained-up sword?
Yahiko: Yeah, Kenshin. Thanks for your help. See ya around.
(They walk off; Oibore looks thoughtful.)
(Back at the Oguni Clinic.)
Megumi: And that's everything. Other than what I saw and heard myself, if you ask the others they'll tell you about the same.
Aoshi: It doesn't make sense.
Aoshi: Is there anything else? No evidence left behind?
Megumi: The evidence was all seized by the police. Oh--it's not really evidence, but that thing Sanosuke brought back is in the dojo storeroom.
Aoshi: I see ... Well, I'm in the way.
Megumi: If you're going back to the dojo I'll come too. You won't know where the key to the storeroom is.
Kenshin (thinking): No more. I'm tired. Just let me sleep...
(He finds himself sitting on a hill of bones.)
Kenshin (thinking): Here again...