Episode 28 - Soujirou's past


Sanosuke and Kenshin are both wondering the same thing. Why do Soujirou smile all the time?

Soujirou was born as an illegitimate child of a rice merchant. He was ill-treated by the family after the death of the rice merchant. Late at night, after Soujirou has carried rice sacks into the barn, he heard a bloodcurdling scream. He followed the scream and witnessed a mummified man slaughtering some policemen. Taking a few steps back, he stepped onto a twig. The cracking sound caught the mummified man's attentions. He was almost to kill Soujirou when he saw him smiling. The smile intrigued the mummified guy. He would let Soujirou live if he could bring him to a place where he could hide.

Inside the rice barn, Soujirou brought him bandages and rice balls to eat. The mummified man introduced himself as Shishio Makoto. The Meiji government wants him dead. But as long as Soujirou keeps his mouth shut, Shishio will let him live.

Some days later, Soujirou was bullied and beaten up by the family members. Shishio becomes interested in Shishio. Why does he keep on smiling? Soujirou explained that he used to cry whenever he was beaten. Then, one night, the family members looked so stupid that he started to laugh and smile. Since then, he always smiles whenever he feels frightened. He doesn't mind since he is born as bastard.

Shishio told him that Soujirou's thinking was wrong. The circumstances of his birth were not important. They bullied him because he was weak. The survival of the fittest. The strong will live since the weak perish. Shishio gave him his sword. Afterwards, Soujirou thought over what Shishio had said to him.

At night, the family members discovered that bandages were missing. Soujirou wouldn't need that much. Then, they thought of the mummified man that was on the wanted list of the policeman...

A storm was coming, Soujirou decides to return the sword to Shishio. He heard the family members yelling for him. He ran back to the house. To his horror, they crowded around him and beat him up. Soujirou vomited blood. Then, they decided to carry out a very cruel plan that will benefit them a lot - kill Soujirou and find the mummified man since he must be hidden somewhere within their premises. Let the mummified man take the blame for Soujirou's death. Something snapped inside Soujirou. He ran and screamed for help. The family members chased after him.

Soujirou hid himself under a barn. He trembled with fear as he held Shishio's sword. One of the family members found him. The rest of the family members waited for the 'good' news but screamed at the sight of a dead body. Soujirou came back of his hiding place. His clothes stained with blood. Immediately, Soujirou proceeded to kill them. Shishio overheard the screams while he calmly eats a fruit. Shishio stepped out of the bran and saw Soujirou standing in the midst of the dead bodies. His hand holding the bloody sword. Is he crying? Soujirou turned and smiled at him. Shishio also smiled. He then took Soujirou in as his pupil.

Back to the present, Soujirou finished with his shoelace. His face fixed. He wants Kenshin dead because his presence irritates him. Ayumi reminds him to be focus.

Kenshin remembers Soujirou mentioning about the survival of the fittest. Most likely, Shishio has taught him that. It is unfortunate that Soujirou has met the wrong teacher. If he had met someone like Hiko like he did, his life would be different.

Both fighters attack. Soujirou's anger is released. He was once weak. He cried out for help and no one helped him. Nobody protected him. If Kenshin really believes in protecting the weak, why didn't he protect him?

Why didn't Kenshin protect him?