Episode 23 - Time to keep a promise.
Sanosuke reminds Kenshin that they don't have time to settle scores. They need to go back to Aoiya as soon as possible. Kenshin knows that but he has to keep his promise to Aoishi and Misao. He enters the library.
Kenshin senses the change in Aoishi. He isn't the same Aoishi that he had fought before or the man that he had promised to fight. He wants to bring back the real Aoishi. Aoishi doesn't seem to care at all. Ayumi runs up to the second level of the library and finds a Morse code machine. Hoji reports to Shishio about Kenshin's battle with Aoishi. Shishio smokes calmly. The fight will be a long one since both men are of equal strength. Stamina and quick thinking will decide the winner.
Aoishi forces Kenshin to defend himself and actually defend himself from one of the Hiten Mitsurugi techniques. Kenshin is slashed on the shoulder. Aoishi throws his twin swords. Kenshin barely miss but gets a punch in the stomach. A long tear from Aoishi's shirt, revealing a lot of scars. Meanwhile, Kenshin is slashed on his neck
The Oniwabashi attacks. Iwanbo's fat skin is so thick that the weapons can't penetrate through it. Misao wants to help them but Kamatari has her sight on her. Kaoru and Yahiko face Henya.
Aoishi is not happy with Kenshin's performance. He wants Kenshin to use the sharp edge of the Sakabatou. He wants a proper fight. A fight that he desires. The fight that will settle who is the strongest. He wants Battousai after giving up all morals, all codes of honour, everything. He wants to achieve his goal at all costs. Somebody will have to die in this fight.
Kenshin replies that he will fight with Aoishi as Kenshin Himura. Battousai no longer exists. Aoishi has lost control of himself. . His mind is getting weaker although his skills have improved. However, it is Kenshin who decides the winner. He fights to live unlike Aoishi who fights out of despair. Although Kenshin has taken many lives, he must live on. Aoishi wants to kill Kenshin to honour his comrades' death (Shikijo, Hyottoko, Beshimi and Hannya) but is he? He is using their deaths as an excuse to kill!
Aoishi seems to be affected by the words.
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