Episode 9 - End of the Tokugawa Era; Kenshin meets Shishio face to face
Soujirou greets Kenshin and Saitou. Kenshin immediately recognizes him as the assassin who killed Ohkubo. Soujirou denies by saying that a sword would be too heavy for him to carry. He gives a cold laughter. Then he becomes serious and invites them inside.
Outside the courtyard, Eiji plans to break in to have his revenge on Senkaku. Misao stops him because of the tight security and he might die. Thus, defeating the purpose of his revenge. However, Misao agrees to help him. She takes a stick and throws it at a tree. The leaves rustled. Instantly, the guards get distracted. Misao leads Eiji near the wall, grabs his hand and jumps, lands at the top of wall, slides down the tree nearest to them and runs past the still distracted guards. Meanwhile, Kenshin and Saitou enter a room where Shishio is waiting for them. While Shishio and Kenshin exchange 'words' with each other, Saitou remarks that Kenshin could kill Shishio now if he wants to. Soujirou rebuts him by saying that Kenshin is a man of honour who will not do a sneak attack when invited into an enemy's house unlike him. Saitou raises his eyebrow with amusement.
Kenshin asks why does Shishio want a small village when conquering Japan is his main plan. The answer is Hot Springs. Shishio claims that the mineral content of the springs help to smooth his burns. Kenshin shows signs of anger. Shishio laughs but stops when he sees the anger reflecting strongly in Kenshin's eyes. Misao sneezes. Luckily, the guard walks by. Eiji glares at her. Misao believes that if one sneezes, someone is talking about you. She hopes that that person is Aoshi.
Shishio explains that he needs the village for military purposes. The hot springs come as a bonus for him. Saitou steps in and confirms with Shishio's explanation that the village is to be used as a fortified base while Shishio takes on Japan. Shishio is disappointed with Saitou, a member of the Shinsen group, should at least understand him unlike Kenshin.
He went on, talking about his past life as the shadow assassin, with every assignment given, he knew more dirty secrets of the government. He says that he was loyal and obey every of their command. But the government betrays him - a flashback of Shishio being shot and burned alive. The only thing that kept him alive is his hatred and his desire for revenge. However, Shishio is thankful of this incident (surprising Kenshin and Saitou) because it has taught him very important lessons - if he trusts too much, he'll be betrayed. If he let down his guard, he'll be killed. As long as he takes the lives of others, he'll live.
He reflects on how bloody the Tokugawa era was the conflict between the people and the longing for peace and stability in Japan. By the time he recovered from his burns, the Meji government took over Japan. Yet the government is weak to rule Japan and that shouldn't be case. Breaking his pipe, he vowed to make Japan strong again by being its rightful ruler. Kenshin objects by mentioning that blood of the innocent is paying for his ambition.
"Survival of the fittest," says Shishio. If Japan is to be strong again, the weak will have to go.
Kenshin, knowing that all this talk will lead to nowhere, draws out his sword and challenges Shishio to fight. But Shishio declines and says that there is no need to do so. Tapping the floor, a cut appears on the floor. Out comes Senkaku, a big giant, holding 2 crescent-shaped weapons.
Kenshin moves away but Senkaku pins him to the wall. Soujirou says that he was hoping that Kenshin could last a bit longer. Senkaku claims that Kenshin is dead but is surprised to hear Kenshin's voice. Saitou gives a knowing grin while Soujirou gasps. Kenshin defended himself by using the sharp edge of his reversed-edged sword against Senkaku's weapon. He tells Senkaku that he promised Eiji that he'd get him and Shishio. Senkaku immediately boasts that he had killed 99 men and killing Kenshin will make a 100. Kenshin leaps away from Senkaku's attacks. Senkaku says that running away from him is useless as he has the same speed as Kenshin's and also he has strength and stamina. Yet, Kenshin continues to leap away...
Misao finds the security harder than she thought and tells Eiji not to worry. However along comes a big hairy spider, she freaks out. The guards come and demand that they surrender. Misao sighs, tells Eiji to stay still while she reveals herself. When they demand for her name, she says that she's Misao Makamichi and they would have to fight her to find out her name!
"Err... didn't she give her name?" says one of the guards, embarrassing Misao. When the guards say that she's a fool, she explodes and thrashes up the guards one by one. One of the guards tried to sound the alarm but Eiji kicks the whistle out of his mouth. When Misao is done with her payback, she finds Eiji threatening the guard (the one with the whistle) to lead them to Senkaku. The guard tries to talk his way out but Eiji would have killed him if Misao didn't step in. Frightened, the guard agrees.
Kenshin continues to avoid Senkaku's attacks, turning every now and then. Seijirou believes that Kenshin is trapped but Saitou points out Shishio looks a lot serious than he was before. Shishio is trying to understand Kenshin's fighting techniques and Kenshin knows that. That is why he's refusing to do any offense move so that he will not reveal anything. However, Shishio will understand in due time.
Kenshin turns again, Senkaku follows. But his muscles and ligaments snap the moment he turned his leg. Senkaku cries out in pain and falls to the ground, unable to move at all. He demands to know the reason why. Kenshin explains that Senkaku is over-built and when he uses maximum speed, the muscles and ligaments couldn't take the load and thus, they 'self-destruct'. Senkaku protests against the theory. Saitou further explains that the turning of his legs was the cause of it. Every time Kenshin turns and speeds up, he follows. Eventually, the ligaments at the leg will 'self-destruct'. Soujirou is fascinated by their theories.
Shishio warns Senkaku that if he doesn't force Kenshin to show any of his fighting techniques, he will die a slow and painful death. Desperate, Senkaku forces himself up and attacks. Kenshin finally uses a Hiten Mitsurugu style - Ryotsusen. He leaps and hits Senkaku's neck. Senkaku falls, choking for breath. Saitou criticizes Kenshin for showing his techniques and not finishing Senkaku off. Kenshin replies that he does not kill people.
Holding up his sword, Kenshin points it at Shishio....
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