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A Rurouni Kenshin / Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon story
by Elsa Bibat

A story set in "A Dance Set to the Music of Time" sequence

Disclaimer: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon belongs to Takeuchi Naoko, Koudansha, TV Asahi, and Toei Douga, and DIC. Rurouni Kenshin is owned by Nobuhiro Watsuki. This is used without permission.

This disclaimer also applies to several intellectual properties referred to in the text. Please be guided accordingly.


"From now on Enishi will also atone, consulting not with death, but with life. If he doesn't, Tomoe won't smile… If he himself doesn't smile, the Tomoe within him will never smile…"

— Kenshin Himura referring to Yukishiro Enishi, from Professor Nobuhiro Watsuki's historical novel series "Meiji Kenkaku Romantan", based on his research on the history of the Kamiya Kasshin Ryu Dojo.

1997:

It was a temple just outside of Kyoto. A simple place tended alone by one man.

Standing tall, the temple priest still managed to radiate an aura of majesty for someone who was sweeping leaves from temple steps. White hair, tied back in a ponytail, fell to his mid-back. A simple pair of glasses adorned his handsome, well-worn face. A few wrinkles around the eyes and the mouth told of time's passing. Callused hands held the broom with a steady grip as the holy man did battle with his dry and dead invaders. The crispy sound of dead leaves on stone, along with the rasp of broom against the hard temple steps accompanied by the light whistling breeze, created a natural symphony that would lull anyone into peace.

The idyllic scene was shattered when the hands that held the broom suddenly changed grip and the air whistled with the speed of wood clawing through air. The old man had shifted his stance and sent the broom into a strike at a place several feet up and behind him on the temple steps.

The meaty thwack of wood against flesh and the jarring vibration of solid contact made the priest turn around.

"Getting better at this, aren't you?" A dainty-looking hand held the broom shaft a few inches from an enigmatically beautiful face, framed by sinfully long hair that played in the breeze. "If I were a normal person, that would have shattered my hand and still had enough momentum to break my jaw, if not totally demolish my face."

"That was the intent, Lao Xiaojie."

"That was a long time ago, Yukishiro Enishi. In this age and place, it is Mei'ou Setsuna."

The old man just grunted and pulled the broom back and changed his grip again, returning it to his side. "The name is Tomoe Enishi now. As if you didn't know."

"Yes. In atonement and in forgiveness."

Silence reigned as the two stared at each other. Then, with a snort, Tomoe Enishi, shrine priest, turned his back on the most irritating person he had ever met and started sweeping again.

"Looking good for a person past the hundred year mark, Enishi."

The priest ignored the backhanded compliment. "Is this another one of those times when you send me out to battle a random demon or Elder monster, Lao? Maybe it's another one of those ancient artifacts again?"

He could almost feel the Old One smile at his back before she responded. "Your time is long past, Enishi. Others do what you once did. Besides, your line has produced quite a few interesting individuals that I use well enough."

"Yes, I know. I received a visit from my cousin a while back. A good person for someone who has to suck blood."

"Miyu is the last to hold the office and the name, Enishi. Your ancestress had two children; both are blessed in their own ways, and have been quite useful in their time. But she is not the reason I have come here."

"Then what brings you here, Old One?"

"How is your son doing?"

At this the old man stiffened and turned to look at his uninvited guest. His piercing stare would have made a mortal make peace with his god and ready himself to die.

Pity that he wasn't talking to someone mortal.

"What has my son got to do with this?" The question was delivered in a tone as cold as the Arctic winds.

"Because he is about to visit, and he brings with him your granddaughter."

The shock on his face was so evident that the Old One was tempted into saying the obvious. "Surprised?"

"I have a granddaughter?!"

"By the name of Hotaru. Nice girl. A bit delicate. Reminds me of your sister. Which is one of the reasons she's coming here."

Enishi's eyes narrowed. "This is all part of some convoluted plan of yours, isn't it?"

A smile and twinkle in her eye came with her answer. "Not just a plan. It is The Plan, Tomoe Enishi. Something that has been waiting well-nigh twenty millennia to complete. And it requires that you train your granddaughter in the Art."

"And you're dragging my kin into it?!"

"Not dragging. Hotaru was born for it. And you will do what I tell you, Tomoe Enishi, for it is both your obligation and your debt to me and mine." She gazed the old priest with a look that said that told him that she would not take 'no' for an answer.

Enishi was silent as the Old One looked at him. He was trembling with controlled fury, and it seemed that he was on the verge of attacking his guest.

Then he sighed in surrender, shoulders slumping in defeat.

"Do not worry, Enishi. She will only be in as much danger as necessary."

"And that is supposed to comfort me?"

"No. But she has warrior's blood in her, and she has the steel will all of your family seem to possess. Take comfort in the fact that she will survive the trials she shall face and more. For that to happen, however, she needs a bit of training in the arts of war."

"You are sure of this?"

"Yes, quite sure."

Silence reigned as the two regarded each other. It was Enishi who first spoke again.

"Then I will train her. But I do not make any promises on her skill."

"You might be pleasantly surprised at your granddaughter. By the way, you should have her visit her aunt. Hotaru is quite talented in a way that might help her."

Enishi barked a short laugh. "Her aunt has been in a coma for two decades. AEGIS sent their best, and none could break it. I doubt that the child would be able to help."

The Old One just smiled. "I should say it again, Enishi. You might be pleasantly surprised at your granddaughter."

"We shall see, Lao. We shall see." With that the old priest returned to his sweeping of dried leaves.

A silent breeze kicked up once again and he knew he was alone once again.

 


Author's notes: Another vignette for the Dance sequence. Short and a bit rough I know. The obvious references are to Rurouni Kenshin, Vampire Princess Miyu and Gatekeepers. The ancient ancestress of the Yukishiro clan is from Shinsuke Kurihashi's Nocturne, albeit a modified version to fit into the history of the sequence.

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