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Dark 2

The large man and his freakish twin bowed.

"Exactly as planned, your ladyship." Daisho rumbled to woman kneeling at the shrine. "Battousai s wife came to him."

A sinister chuckle. "Of course she did. It was the only thing she could do. And you encouraged Battousai to stay out of our way?"

"Hai." Daisho grinned. "We did .He didn t take our advice, though. I have some interesting news for you as well."


"The Ninja is here. Along with the brat and that weirdo that smiles too much."


Then she laughed. An unpleasant, skin crawling laugh.

"How kind of him to save us the trouble of luring him here. I thought the brat would be useful, although the smiling one may be a nuisance .Go to phase two of the plan, my dear Daisho."

"At once, my ladyship." He vanished.

The woman smiled to herself.

"Hitokiri Battousai ..Himura Kenshin ."

The candles around the shrine began to light by themselves ..

"Jubei Kimagami ."

Bathing her in an unholy glow that danced across her white hair and pitiless green eyes.

A sweep of her hand .the death shrine collapsing into four neatly cut pieces.

One piece read: Himeno Gemma.

"Don t disappoint me now .."

Premium Spirit Productions Presents...

A Rurouni Kenshin/Ninja Scroll Crossover

Darkness before Dawn.

By Sentora

Rurouni Kenshin and all it s characters belong to Nobuhiro Watsuki, The great guys at Sony and Jump magazine, I m just borrowing them for this crazy fic. The new ones, however, belong to me So ask nicely if you want to use them, Kay? ^_^

Chapter 2: Bad things ..

At the same time, by the river .

"I thought someone would have killed you by now, Jubei."

"Nice to see you too, Battousai." Jubei sneered. "Glad to see old age hasn t slowed you down."

And you re still an egotistical jerk, Kenshin thought smugly. Nothing s changed.

"Want to see how much I ve slowed down, Jubby?" Kenshin added the nickname with a sneer. He couldn t help it the bastard always rubbed him the wrong way. "I promise not to spank you too hard .."

"You re welcome ." He untied the straw hat drew his sword ."To TRY ."


Kenshin turned to stare at an angry, brown-haired (Girl? Boy? He wondered.) and ."Soujirou?"

Who else is gonna drop by? Saitou and Cho?

"I so HATE to interrupt your male bonding or whatever," Shuriken s voice dripped with sarcasm. (Ok, girl. Kenshin realized So hard to tell .)

"But could you not kill our host, Jubei?"

"Lucky the nag showed up, Battousai." Jubei sheathed his sword.

"For you, you mean." Kenshin replied as he did the same. "We can finish later."

"Count on it."

Kenshin turned to Soujirou and Shuriken. "Don t tell me you re with this Baka too, Soujirou."

He shrugged, still smiling, of course. "It s a long story ."

"Well, I guess you and miss ."

"Miko." Shuriken interrupted. "Miko Marie Jamison. But you can call me Shuriken."

"Or nag, brat, tomboy ." Jubei muttered under his breath.

"Well, I can offer a place for the night .." Kenshin continued. "If you won t tell anyone about what happened. Deal?"

Jubei looked at him funny. "Don t you think that s stupid with that guy running loose ."

"You heard me." Kenshin cut him off, an edge in his voice. "Not a word."

Any further argument was cut off by the demonic glare Shuriken eyed him with. "Fine." Jubei said. "It s your problem, not mine."

I just hope it stays that way .Kenshin thought as they walked to the Dojo, looking back toward the river.



"Good morning, My best student! Did we sleep well?"

Yahiko stopped on his trip to the bathroom long enough to glare sleepily at her. "Ugh. It s too early to see your ugly face ."

Karou s huge smile didn t fade, which was starting to scare Yahiko. "Flatterer ." She winked, and practically skipped down the hall humming to herself. Yahiko sighed.

"That s it, I m outta here when those two get hitched ."

Karou felt like she would just burst, she was so happy. Everything was perfect: I m gonna marry the man I love, The Dojo s doing great,

There s strangers in my kitchen .

Wait a minute.

She was about to turn around and double check when Kenshin stepped out and scooped her into his arms, kissing her.

"Ohayo, Koibuto." Kenshin whispered.

What was I thinking about? Oh yeah.

She pulled him down for another kiss. "Ohayo .Anata."

Kenshin s eyes darkened briefly at that, but it was gone before she noticed. "Sleep well?"

She blushed, remembering the naughty dreams she had. "Hai "

"Hey Himura!" Jubei called out. "Where s the soy sauce?"

Damn you, Jubei ..

Karou wasn t blushing anymore.

"Who. Is. That." She snarled.

"Oh, well " He managed. "I went out for a walk last night and bumped into some old friends who needed to stay the night. Sorry I didn t ask first." Mou, Himura, Lying to your fianc饠already .

"Oh." She suddenly smiled again, making him nervous. "I don t mind Because I love you and trust you."

"Karou .." Women. Just when he thought he couldn t feel guiltier.

Karou kissed him again. I know you re hiding something, Kenshin, she thought .But it can wait .

"Oh, and Karou?"


"If I try to kill the tall one .Don t stop me."



Outside of Tokyo .

The cave was well known to the local kids, often where they played hide and seek or whatever.

Today, Something else was using it .

"What is that?"

The little kids stood around the huge white mass, which pulsed and throbbed as if alive. "It looks like a butterfly cocoon." The oldest said as he poked at it.

"Ewww, It s all slimy!" One little girl recoiled, her hands sticky with webbing.

The oldest looked around the cave. It looked like someone spent the night in the cave .An old blue Kimono and some other clothes stretched out to dry .


The oldest turned to see one of the kids trying to pull itself free from the cocoon.

Or rather The slimy human hand reaching out of it .

The hand suddenly let go, slipping back in as the Kids ran away screaming .The oldest swearing he heard a female voice sighing someone s name .

Someone named Kenshin ..


What a crew.

It was the only way Karou could think to describe her guests . The tall one called Jubei, was something out of the old bedtime stories her father would tell her. He was nice, at least to her. Kenshin on the other hand, the two almost came to blows several times in the last five minutes. She d never seen Kenshin so annoyed by someone before, and this was a friend?

The girl, Miko Jamison .Or Shuriken, as she insisted to be called, was the interesting one. It turned out she was an American, Her mother an immigrant from Kyoto and her father from someplace she called New York . She had never been to Japan since she was born in America, so she was now sightseeing and Jubei and Soujirou were her bodyguards. (An experience, Jubei had commented, was NOT worth the money. He got knocked upside the head for that.) She was an even bigger tomboy, Karou thought ruefully, than she was .

As for Soujirou, a former enemy who ranked with Kenshin s greatest foes, who just sat there smiling and rarely said a word, She had no idea what to think of him. "So um, How did you and Kenshin meet, Jubei?"

"We met during the Bakamatsu," Kenshin interrupted. "When he was hired to kidnap .."

"Hey! You know I was tricked! I thought you kidnapped her!"

"Kidnap The daughter of a high ranking Ishingumi we were escorting home." Kenshin finished as if Jubei hadn t spoken. "I was sent to rescue her, learning it was a trap set by the men who hired this idiot." Jubei growled in his throat, Kenshin smirking. "We ended up having to join forces to get out alive, and settle the score later. Unfortunately, every time we met after that he was ether hired by the Ishingumi or something

would interfere."

"Or you would hide behind a woman like the last two times ." Jubei retorted. Kenshin gave him a warning look while sweatdrops appeared on everybody else.

"Don t go there."

"Make me."

Fortunately, Karou jumped in before war broke out. "You can play later, you two after we go shopping with Megumi and Sano."


"We have a wedding to plan, silly!" She chirped. "There s the clothes, the food ." She rambled on as she stood up and started to walk out the door, Kenshin chuckling to himself. "And you can t get out of it so don t bother to try."

"Planned all of this before I even came back, eh?" Kenshin asked teasingly. She grinned. "Just give me a moment to clean up, Ok?"

The moment she left, Jubei smirked at him. "And that makes it three."

"Shut up, Bakayarou." Kenshin snarled. "I m not letting her out of my sight today. In case that wasn t an illusion last night."

"Wise choice, Ken-san." Soujirou said as he sipped his tea. "Your new enemy isn t one to underestimate."

Kenshin stared at him. "You know him?"

"You wouldn t believe the people Shishio-sama was associated with .people that even he was .nervous about but needed their help." a hint of sarcasm crept into his smile and eyes now. "Freaks of nature that make Enishi s crew and myself seem normal. Daisho was one of them, a member of some group calling themselves the devils or something." Jubei raised an eyebrow at that. "Watch yourself, Ken-san."

Nothing else, not even an insult, was said after that.


"You Moron!"

"Now what?"

Shopping had turned out to be an experience, to say the least, for Shuriken that she wouldn t forget.

"Only a chickenhead idiot like you would pick something like that for a wedding!"

"As if that lacy thing you picked out was better Foxy!"

She was starting to regret wanting to come along with Kenshin after meeting the rest of the crew. Yahiko was a total brat she almost got into a brawl with for calling her a boy and then Chibi no Gaijin.(Calling her a Runt! The nerve!) And now these two idiots named Sanosuke and Megumi were driving her nuts with their arguing over everything. How could Kenshin and Karou put up with this?

"Maa, Maa, No need to "

"STAY OUT OF THIS!" Megumi and Sano snapped at Kenshin.

"Oro .."

Sano folded his arms and glared at Megumi, who was glaring back. "Fine, tell me what s wrong with it?"

"People do NOT get married in bright yellow! It s usually white!"

Sano gave her a wicked grin. "I guess you re an exception to this, eh?"

"And what was that supposed mean .."

WILL YOU TWO SHUT UP?" Shuriken snapped. "You re not the ones getting married!"

"Stay out of it, Chibi ."

"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A RUNT!" Shuriken lunged at Yahiko, being held back by Jubei pulling her collar.

Kenshin looked at Karou with a grin. "I can t believe I missed this."

Arguing aside, Kenshin was actually enjoying himself. Most importantly, it got his mind off last night .


"Oro?" He blinked, finding everyone staring at him. "Did you say something?"

Sano smirked. "Mind tearing your eyes away from Jou-chan long enough," He drawled, the couple blushing. "To tell us what you think?"

"Gomen, Sano. What was the question?"

Sano rolled his eyes. "What color do you want for your wedding outfit? Fox says white but that s boring as hell "

Whatever Megumi s rebuttal was, it was lost as someone in a cloak bumped into Kenshin from behind, almost knocking him down. "Hey!" Karou yelled at the person s back. "You can at least apologize!"

The person turned around, pitiless green eyes glinting like a cat s from under white bangs. "Gomensai. I m so clumsy ." She chuckled nastily as she walked on, Karou growling a few choice words about the woman under her breath before noticing the flicker of gold in Kenshin s eyes.

"What s wrong?"

Kenshin just smiled at her, his eyes back to normal. "I m fine." He kissed her on the forehead. "Excuse me ." Kenshin walked out before anyone could say anything, waiting until he was outside and out of view before opening the letter that woman slipped into his pocket.

"See how easily we can get to you or your loved ones, Battousai? Is it worth hiding Tomoe? Think about it."

Kenshin crumpled the letter in his fist with a growl.


That night.

Dinner was the usual affair at the Dojo: Noisy, but fun. Sano and Megumi had stayed as well, Shuriken getting to know the two better and changing her earlier opinion .at least about Megumi. (She was smart and sophisticated, like herself .And Sano was still a bum, like most of

the male population .) Even Jubei seemed impressed with her, if the way he kept staring at her at time to time, was any indication.

Still .Do those two need to argue so much?

"A WHAT?!!"

"No need to get all bent out of shape, Fox ."

If looks could kill, Sano would be a plate of Extra Crispy. Karou and Yahiko was clueless as ever to the whole thing, wondering what could possibly be so wrong with this Bachelor party Sano mentioned

."B-Bent out of ." Megumi took a deep breath and let it out to calm herself.

"I don t think Karou would agree to that, Sano."

"Oi, She could have one too, then." He grinned wickedly at her. "I bet you wouldn t mind that, huh?"

"Why you ."

Karou glanced over at her fianc饬 hiding her worry. He may be smiling and laughing now, but I can tell he s upset about something .Does he sense it too?

Ever since that woman bumped into Kenshin, She felt a sense of dread that chilled her to her bones.

A feeling she was being watched.

Like now.

Then as if he read her mind, he squeezed her hand under the table, giving her that don t worry

Smile of his.

Then all hell broke loose.

Luckily, Sano recognized the weird smell before the crude flash bombs went off outside, Screaming get down as he pulled Megumi down and thanked the gods that he learned something from Katsu s lectures. Everybody else reacted just in time as a storm of shurikens and throwing daggers ripped through the kitchen doors and windows machine gun style .tearing up the kitchen as they flattened themselves against the floor, Soujirou turning the table over as a shield to protect them further. Kenshin held Karou close to him, eyes glinting madly. Whoever you are, he thought, It didn t take you long, did it?

The attack suddenly ended as quickly as it began, followed by a booming, almost ringmaster like voice that would have been goofy if not so full of malice .

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! NINJAS OF ALL AGES! " Sweatdrops all around. "IT S FUNTIME AND HOPE YOU READY FOR MORE BECAUSE IT S ONLY BEGUN!" The night became alive with red eyed dark figures, everybody tensing for the coming fight as their howls rose.


The creatures howled as they charged the Dojo.


Back at the cave .the Cocoon started to hatch ..


"Everybody stick together. No fancy ." Kenshin s orders were cut short as everybody stared at Shuriken in shock .The small girl s eyes now white blue flames that glowed in tune with the pendant she pulled out her shirt.

"It s them ."

She suddenly leapt out the smashed doors as Jubei screamed at her, drawing and throwing her huge throwing star .the unusual weapon ripping through each creature as if alive before returning to her hand ..Shuriken watching them melt into a black mud like substance with a shrill cry. Two more leapt at her from behind, the girl pressing one of the hidden buttons on the weapon as she turned separating it into a chain like whip that snapped out and cut them down before they even got close. Shuriken pressed the button, retracting the chainlike weapon back into it s normal state.

The whole fight had taken a minute.

"Oro " Kenshin glanced at Jubei and Soujirou. "And she hired you for bodyguards?"

Shuriken stood out there alone, eyes fading back to their normal blue .an expression of utter rage on her face.


Silence .Then the voice from before cackled gleefully.


Daisho erupted from the floorboards below them with a roar, throwing everyone off their feet. Kenshin and Karou were thrown outside, Kenshin catching her and rolling to take the impact for her. Sano and Jubei slammed into the walls as Megumi tumbled over the table, Soujirou scooping up Yahiko before Daisho s Katana chopped him in two, not seeing the brother looping around behind him before he backhanded him and sent both tumbling down the hall ..The twin then setting it s sights on Megumi as she staggered to her feet, lunging claws first as she screamed .

Only striking sparks against Jubei s sword as he dashed in just in time, Sano not far behind and punching the twin square in the mouth with such force it bounced back into it s brother s chest and knocked him down. "Megumi!"

Before she could reply, something HUGE crashed through the roof .

Outside, Shuriken had turned just in time to see Kenshin and Karou fly out the Dojo, soon followed by the rest as they were thrown THROUGH the walls and landing in half conscious heaps.

"Oops." Daisho cackled as he stepped out. "Think we overdid it, Silk."

The one called Silk smashed the remainder of the wall down walking out to stand beside Daisho, Everybody s eyes popping out as they saw the woman .if that s what she really was. Silk dwarfed Daisho like Sano did Yahiko, seven and a half feet of pure muscle in a blue western style suit and Gloved hands the size of prize hams. The thick mane of blond hair heightened her catlike physique and features, barely controlled madness and glee bright in her hazel eyes as she continued in that ringmaster voice from before.

"Congratulations Kids! You ve earned your prize. A round of applause for your lovely host and the one responsible for tonight s glorious chaos ."

"These guys escape from a circus or something?" Sano muttered as he helped Megumi up.

" ..Ashura Himeno!" Silk swept her hands toward the roof, and as if on cue, a bolt of lightning shattering the dark to reveal the woman standing there.

*It s the woman from the market!* Karou snarled mentally.

"Himeno ." Jubei growled

Even from a distance, the woman was striking .her long white hair, a stark contrast to her dark, coffee colored skin, framing an almost unearthly cold beauty. The Jet-black Kimono she wore was more revealing than concealing from the seductive way it clung to her lithe body. But even though her appearance alone attracted second glances, it was her eyes that held you .bottomless green depths that seemed to suck the very life from you ..

"Jubei .Kenshin .." Her voice matched her well, soft and alluring but filled with malice. "You never visit, you never wrote .Don t tell me you ve forgotten little ol me, hmm?"

"I HAVE NT!" Shuriken leapt right at her .throwing the huge Shuriken as she slashed out with a throwing dagger .."DIE!"

Ashura barely seemed to move .both weapons spinning harmlessly away into the darkness as She held Shuriken by the throat .One handed .

"Not today, little girl." Before Shuriken s horrified eyes Ashura s arm transformed .the skin reptilian and leathery like that of an electric eel and the fingers claws .Arcs of energy coursing over both as the young girl was slowly electrocuted .

The next instant, she was free and cradled against Soujirou as he landed on the roof. Unconscious.

Ashura stared at the stump that used to be her hand.

"Next time ." He voice was cold as he turned to face her, the oddly wide and double edged Katana in his hand pointed at her. "It ll be your head."

Ashura just grinned.

Raised the stump to show it grow another reptilian hand and flex it as it shifted to human again.

"What the "

She suddenly spun .Soujirou barely deflecting the snakelike thing that shot of her sleeve .Ashura already dashing forward and pulling on it s tail ..

*That thing s a hilt!*

Soujirou threw himself off the roof .the slash just barely missing his throat Both landing by their comrades at the same time. Ashura chuckled, caressing the hilt slithering around her with her free hand.

"You re cute, kid." Soujirou ignored the jibe, worrying more about the sword she held .an unholy looking crossbreed of a Katana and a broadsword with a bloodred-black blade that pulsed as if alive with dark energy .Soujirou swearing he heard it growl. He also noticed that it glowed in tune with Shuriken s pendant.

"But business before pleasure, of course."

"Let me guess Revenge for your brother Gemma?" Jubei snorted. "Thought you d be happy."

She shrugged. "True, Gemma was a fool who couldn t find his ass in the dark without help, but he was still family .and it s bad for our reputation to let a snot nosed punk like you to go unpunished. However, Kenshin still has a chance to ."

"The answer s still no, Ashura." Kenshin interrupted. "Live with it."

Ashura s grin was frightening to behold.

"I ll live with it, Kenshin ." She glanced at Karou, who glared back despite the sudden chill she felt .."Can you?"

The trio suddenly hopped to the roof, Ashura blowing Kenshin a kiss. "Till next we meet .which I promise won t be long ."

Then they hopped off into the night .Karou screaming at them and shaking her Shinai. "YOU BET WE WILL! AND YOU RE GONNA PAY FOR THE REPAIRS, DAMNIT!"

Jubei glanced at Kenshin, smirking.

"I ve gotta stop hanging around you, Battousai .You re bad luck."


Anyone out that night Tokyo swore that an unusual wind swept through the town that night.

However, Nature had nothing to do with it.


"Keep still."

Jubei tried to do as he was told, he really did. But it was hard enough to keep from making an ass of himself as Megumi applied medicine to his badly bruised arm and back, much less keep still. Kenshin and the others had already been treated after they moved back inside.

"Gomen, Sensei." He said softly. Get a grip, Jubei he berated himself. So what if she reminds you of .Never mind.

Megumi tied the last bandage to his badly bruised back and arm. "There, all finished." She grinned flirtatiously. "Now you can go back to saving damsels in distress, Kimagami-San."

"Arigato, Sensei."

"It s the least I can do since you saved my life, Jubei." Jubei swore he saw fox ears appear on her head as she patted his hand and winked.

"And it s Megumi ."

Jubei was about to comment when he felt a positively lethal stare from Sano s direction, and just nodded.

He did however, wink back at her as he put on his Gi.

"You re next, Chicken-head." Megumi called. "Promise to behave like Jubei?"

Sano didn t take the bait, but he did give Jubei a Back off glare while she worked on him.

Jubei smirked. Make me, his eyes read.

The glaring contest was broken by Shuriken finally coming to.

Soujirou hadn t left her side the whole time, no one able to tell what was going on in his head with that emotionless expression he wore the whole time. Now, that mask was starting to crack and he gave her a sarcastic grin. "Feeling better?" He remarked acidly, ignoring the glare she shot him. "Good. Because I think you owe us an explanation, Miko Jamison."

The fact that he didn t call her Miss Shuriken as usual wasn t lost on her. She bowed her head. "Gomensai, everyone. I haven t been completely honest with you. It s just that .that ." Her eyes started to glisten. "I was afraid " Before Soujirou knew it, she threw herself against his chest and cried her heart out. He stood there, completely numb and not knowing what to do.

So he just let her cry and tried again. "It s all right. No need to cry now, Ok?"

"You re (sniff) not mad?"

"No," he lied. "Just surprised. Stop crying."

She sniffed .and proceed to blow her nose loud and long on his shirt sleeve before she stopped herself, much to everyone s dismay.

"Gomensai again ." She said miserably as she got up.

"Forget about it," A pale Soujirou gritted out, daring anyone to laugh with a glare.

Now composed, She started to talk. "I only lied about being here for sightseeing. I came here to Japan to get revenge on that woman for attacking and injuring my father, and I was going to hire the best swordsmen I could find under the pretense of being my bodyguards. It was going to look like I accidentally stumbled into them and I would have help defeating her. Gomen for deceiving you, Jubei, Soujirou."

"Jubei was the best you could find?" Kenshin muttered, Karou elbowing him.

"Why did they attack your father?"

"They wanted this." She held out the pendant. It was a odd looking thing, a snake eye molded out of silver, a red jewel for it s pupil. "I m afraid she want to revive Bane."

"Nani?" Sano raised an eyebrow. "Who the hell is Bane?"

"Not who, Sano. What." She looked deadly serious. "Centuries ago, The entire world was threatened by a monster of incredible power .A huge dragon called Bane, the Stardemon. Humankind would have been enslaved or wiped out if it hadn t been for four men and women who challenged and finally defeated her, But Bane s power was so great that it s body refused to die despite the destruction of her mind .Still a

posing a threat to mankind ."

"So they dismembered the body and forged three swords from it s parts and remaining powers, since it needed to be whole to revive."

Everybody looked at Kenshin in surprise. "Father would tell me the story every night."

"Right. From it s scales and spiritual power was forged Excailber, the legendary sword of King Arthur that only the worthy can weld due to it s great holy power. Next, from the wings and it s control of the elements was forged Murasame, the Japanese sword of wind that granted the wielder such incredible speed it could cut through anything. The last sword was created from Bane s blood and the dark energies of it s soul,

known as the Satsugaiyoku, or Bloodwrath. It s is also called Excailber s dark twin, Excalibron. The Sword feeds on blood, it s blade so cold it burns. The hilt is also a weapon, able to infect a victim with a host of diseases. Finally, the great wisdom of the beast and it s remaining energies were trapped within Bane s eye, this pendant, so this knowledge would not be lost. Each of the four heroes were given the artifacts

and swore to keep them only within their bloodline and away from each other to prevent Bane s resurrection. Down to this day ."

She tucked the pendant back into her shirt. "There s a prophecy. I don t know all of it, but it warns that the swords and pendant can reunited by a descendant of the heroes. And Ashura definitely qualifies as a descendant since she has Bloodwrath. If she s successful ."

It was silent for awhile after that.

Not very long, though .Since Sano said what they were all thinking.


Shuriken glared at him. "I m not making this up!"

"Like you wasn t earlier?"

"Sano .." Soujirou warned.

"For once, he has a point." Megumi added. "It is a bit .unusual. And what does Ken-san have to do with this?"

Everybody looked at Kenshin.

"Kenshin ." He looked at Karou, wincing at worry and hurt in her eyes. "I can tell when you re hiding something from me. Whatever it is, you know we ll be here for you."

Kenshin sighed. She was right, as always.

"Ashura wants me to give Tomoe back to her."

With the exception of Soujirou and Shuriken, clueless to the whole thing, everybody freaked.

"Tomoe?!!" Jubei looked at him like he just grew an extra head. "But that s crazy! She s been dead for eleven years!" Then he saw the serious look in Kenshin s eyes. "Isn t she?"

"Eleven and a half, Jubei-san."

Once again, Lightning flashed as if on cue, this time revealing Tomoe, still clad in the raggedy Kimono and smiling tiredly.

"But things change."


Ashura lowered her hand from her temples. "Right on Schedule." She smirked.

They had retreated into the forest, not too far from the dojo. Daisho and Silk as usual, were confused and annoyed with her.

"You re such a tease, sister dear." In contradiction to her calm tone, she smashed an unoffending tree so hard it almost splintered in two.

"Promise me some fun and I couldn t even break an arm or anything ." She glared at Ashura. "I still say if you knew Tomoe was coming we should ve just splattered the fools and then grabbed her. Why all the sneaking around and shit?"

Ashura sighed. "For the umpteempth time, Silk .It s not that simple. I need her to assure Kenshin s presence is guaranteed. Without them both this is a waste of time. Besides " That feral grin returned. "It s much more entertaining this way and that brat will get them to do our work for us as a bonus. Understand?"

"Hell no . But mother says I gotta listen to you so I will." Her catlike eyes flashed. "For now."

Ashura laughed. "Patience, sister. You ll have your fun. Only leave Jubei and Kenshin to me."

Her eyes narrowed. "Tomoe will do her part, willing or not. She doesn t have a choice. Now let s go, we have a trip to prepare for ."

As they fled into the night, Ashura s thoughts were of a particular red-haired Rurouni and the girl that was his fianc饮 Not for long if I have anything to say about it, and I do Then it ll just be you and me, Battousai .


Mou, what a night. Kenshin thought.

Megumi was examining Tomoe in another room, demanding proof of what she claimed. Everybody else was lounging around, too tired or shaken to really speak. Even Soujirou looked uneasy.

Still, If it was any compensation for tonight, Jubei s expression when he saw Tomoe was priceless.

But it was Karou he was worried about. She looked so hurt and angry before, a silent accusation in her eyes that he couldn t face. Damnit, why couldn t things ever be simple .

"Kenshin." He looked miserably at her. The hurt still lingered there in her eyes, despite the cool tone of her voice. She walked over to him , sat down and half smiled. "This is what you ve been keeping from me all day?" He nodded, Karou sighing. "Mou, what am I going to do with you?

I thought we wasn t going to hide anymore from each other?"

Kenshin glanced at her skeptically.

"Karou," He said tiredly. "If I had woken you up in the middle of the night and said, Sorry to wake you, but my former wife has somehow come back to life and I was attacked by some freakish twins. How would you of reacted?"

She blinked in surprise Then scowled at him, crossing her arms and looking away. "No excuse." She said mock-sternly, Kenshin cheering up a little to know she wasn t really angry, just worried.

Megumi stepped out at that moment, looking particularly ill. Tomoe was right behind her, her expression unreadable, as always .But Kenshin swore something flickered in her eyes when she looked at him and Karou .

"By medical terms, she shouldn t be alive, much less standing here." Megumi made an effort to calm herself. "Her body temperature is much lower than normal and I can barely pick up a pulse. I guess she s telling the truth, hard to believe as it is..."

That didn t do much to cheer them up.

"How can that be?" Yahiko said. "Are you a ghost or something?"

Tomoe looked sadly at him.

"I don t know what I am, really. The last thing I remember saying goodbye to Kenshin that night I ." She stopped. "All I know is that now I m being chased by these people who want our family s treasure ..Murasame ."

"The plot thickens ." Jubei remarked.

Tomoe ignored him, her focus on Kenshin. "Gomen, ana " Noticing Karou, she paused. "I mean, Kenshin .The last thing I want to do is cause you more pain . But Ashura won t rest until she has me and the sword, and if she does I m afraid even you won t be able to stop her."

She touched his hand, Karou unable to stop the rush of anger that filled her at that little move. "You the only one who can defeat her now .."

"This is nuts!" Sano interrupted again. "Dragons, possessed swords and now people coming back to life?! How the hell ."

Shuriken had been quiet during all of this up till now. "If you don t believe the facts then trust your eyes, Moron! Didn t you see what Ashura did on the rooftop? That s only a sample of the power of the Tamashii no Shuukakusha! You have no idea what she s capable of!"

"Harvester of souls? What the hell is that?"

"It s the fighting technique of the Bloodwrath, known only to the descendants of the warrior that inherited the sword. A master of the art can absorb a victim s memories, skills and even take their form by shedding and consuming their blood, even just a drop of it. And since the sword already feeds on it, it s not hard to the master to do that. It can even take the blood of animals as well, making the master even more dangerous

with their natural skills, which was how Ashura was able to regenerate her hand like a lizard or shock me like the electric eel."

*A shapeshifter .* Jubei hid his nervousness. *And I thought Gemma was bad .*

"Anything ELSE you re planning on springing on us tonight, nag?"

"Other than she s smarter than you and psychotic," She sneered. "Nothing else."

Kenshin looked at Tomoe...Then Karou. Then sighed. That month was looking like such a damn waste of time .."I guess we don t have a choice but to find the swords before Ashura."

"We?" Sano raised an eyebrow. "I still think this is such a load of ."

"Ashura s isn t above hurting to one of you to get me or Jubei. I m NOT risking it. We ll talk about it tomorrow, so everybody get some sleep."

Sano rolled his eyes but kept quiet.

"Arigato, Kenshin." Shuriken said. "For believing me."

Tomoe only hugged him in reply, earning him a look of death from Karou. Tomoe must of felt the flames so she offered to help Karou get the blankets, much to the surprise of both.

On her way out though, she uncharacteristically winked at Kenshin when Karou wasn t looking.

Kenshin sighed. Perfect end to a perfect day.

Jubei opened his mouth to say something, but Kenshin glared at him, unsheathing the Sakaba enough to show the metal.

"Say it and die, Kimagami."

Jubei shut his mouth.


Late that night.

Yahiko couldn t sleep much that night, half because of the ungodly snoring from the living room where the guys slept. (If it weren t so cold because of the hole in the roof, he swore, SOMEBODY would find his socks stuffed down his throat.)

However, as he started to kitchen for water, he noticed Tomoe sneaking out her room.


He hid in the closet until she went by and out the destroyed door .Then followed as carefully as he could. *Where s she going .*

He followed her all the way to the river .getting more and more nervous and disturbed at Tomoe s changing behavior along the way .The way she seemed to be stalking something like a tiger .

She suddenly froze, Yahiko hiding behind a bush.

Then sprang up a tree like a huge cat.

What the hell ..

A young couple was sitting by river .kissing and giggling. Tomoe crouched, watching them .Yahiko feeling a chill go through him as her behavior got more and more savage by the minute .

Then the next thing he knew, she was right there behind him .picking him up by the throat as pulling him to stare in her now glowing eyes.

"You shouldn t go where you aren t invited, child." Her voice was cold and frightening. "You can get hurt that way .." Her eyes narrowed.


As much as Yahiko tried to fight it, the darkness sound enveloped him.

End of part two.

Author s notes.

An explanation for this insanity will have to wait until my fingers stop throbbing Thanks to jade 1 for pointing out something I missed and Rurouni-san for the translations!.

Seeya next chapter! (I Hope .)

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