140 years ago, beginning with the docking of the black ships in Japan, the Edo era came to an end and entered the Bakumatsu, a period marked by chaos and violence. During this upheaval, a man known as Hitokiri Battōsai emerged. As one of the most important hitokiris (man-slayers) of the time, his sword paved the way for the Meiji era. However, at the conclusion of the bloodshed, he disappeared. With the passing of time, he became a legend, known simply as "the strongest".
Now, in the eleventh year of the Meiji era in Tokyo, a young woman, Kamiya Kaoru, is seeking to end the atrocities committed in her dōjō's name by a man calling himself the Battōsai. To this end, she walks the streets of Tokyo, shinai in hand. That is when she meets a young man with a cross-shaped scar in his left cheek. Though she first suspects him of being the one who has committed murder in her dōjō's name, he turns out to be a harmless rurouni armed with a reverse-blade sword. Or so it seems...
- The first twenty-two pages were originally released in color.