Chapter 216: Loosed into Madness

Copyright© 2011 by Murasame

(A sunny day. Misao yawns and stretches.)

Misao: Mm--! I slept well.

Yahiko: You slept too much. It's already past noon!

Misao: Heh heh heh. Sorry. I was up till morning waiting for Lord Aoshi. Well, let's get going.

Yahiko: It's too late to start out now. We're gonna have to take the day off.

Misao: Oh, cool! I can spend the day with Lord Aoshi!

Yahiko: You and your one-track mind.

Misao: Where is he?

Yahiko: Dunno. He never came back.

Misao: Nooo... (I missed him again... ) But that's strange. He's always home by noon...

(Yahiko resumes practicing.)

Yahiko: 999 ... one thousand. That's training for today. Now what? (thinking) Things have been so crazy, there really hasn't been any time to spare until now...

Don't worry. No one's going to die. We're all going to live and we're all going to see you again. Yahiko: Well, I guess there's that to do...


(The birds that hover around Kenshin fly off towards Oibore as he enters the village.)

Oibore: I'm back. Glad to see you all looking well. (as he approaches) Kuma.

Kuma: Hey ... Well, as you can see, he hasn't changed. He's not like most of the guys who come here. I know that bothers a nice guy like you.

Oibore: But you end up here when you have no where else to go. Worrying won't get us anywhere.

Men: Forget him, Oibore--what'd you bring us? Yeah, what'd you bring?

Oibore: Don't fuss now, I've got something. This week's happy embarrassing surprising exciting present--

(He holds up a tiny bottle filled with liquid.)

Men: ... What is it?

Oibore: What do you mean, what is it. It took all the money I had to buy this.

(He uncorks the bottle.)

Men: Man, it stinks! What is that, perfume? What's the point of that?

Oibore: You fools think it stinks? They first used perfume to hide body odor. Perfect for us, right?

Kenshin (faintly): --it away. That scent ... please take it away...

Oibore: White plum scent always brings back memories. So it reminds you of something too? (He sets the uncorked bottle beside him.) They say white plum has the power to soothe the heart. Why don't you try to put up with it for a while.

the Akabeko (temporary location)

Tae: Tsubame, can you run an errand for me?

Tsubame (coming out of a daze): ... Yes? What is it?

Tae: ... Maybe you'd better take a break.

Tsubame: N-no, I'm okay. You're working so hard, I can't just...

Yahiko: This can't be fun. You reopened and hardly anyone's coming in.

Tae: Yahiko.

Yahiko: Sorry, Tae, can I borrow Tsubame for a little?

Tsubame: But ... I'm working...

Tae: That's fine. I was just about to send her on an errand. You don't have to be back until evening.

(Yahiko and Tsubame walk together through the busy streets.)

Yahiko (thinking): I'd better tell her about Kaoru.

There is more of this chapter...

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