The Story Begins is the first chapter of the Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration manga.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
During the Bakumatsu Era, the Tokugawa Shogunate Forces and the Ishin Shishi battled each other for this country. In Kyoto, where the battle was the fiercest, was a Shishi known Hitokiri Battosai.
As Kenshin is attacked by multiple member of the Shinsengumi, Kenshin defeats them with his Ryukansen technique. As a member comments about how strong Kenshin is, which Udo uses his him to block Kenshin's view of his incoming attack. Kenshin stabs through the corpse and stabs Udo's hands. As Kenshin backs away, Udo comments about how he liked this sensation. Saito shows up and tells Udo to step aside since Kenshin is his prey. Kenshin looks at the blood on the ground, which Saito asks if the blood bothers him and they can change location if he wants. Kenshin says no and that the here will be fine since the bakumatsu will be a bloodbath.
The era of upheaval came to a close and a new adventure now begins in the 11th year of the Meiji Era.
Kenshin arrives in Tokyo and comments about how its his first time here along with how its awfully different from Edo. Suddenly Yahiko arrives and attacks Kenshin while saying that he was looking all over for him. Yahiko drags Kenshin with him while telling him to stop wandering around with a sword since this is not the countryside and he will be arrested. Yahiko says that he will be the one in trouble, which Kenshin says that he doesn't understand but if Yahiko is in trouble when he will lend him a hand.
Elsewhere, the great merchant Takeda Kanryu hosts the daytime program of the sword fighting performance. The announcers announces that on the west side they have the legendary battosai who slashed open the Meiji period as if he was carnage itself. As Kenshin hears this and tries to comments about it, which Yahiko doesn't listen and forces Kenshin to the stage while comments that he knows that Kenshin is an impostor. Yahiko also says that was paid in advance and tells him to do his job. The announcer announces that on their east side, they the beautiful swordswoman, Kamiya Kaoru.
As everyone cheers for Kaoru to take off her clothes, Kenshin comments about she is quite popular which Kaoru thanks him, she guesses. Kaoru says that Kenshin must be quite skilled since he claims to be the battosai, but it doesn't matter who Takeda Kanryu pit against her since she will not lose because he is going to protect her dojo. The announcer says that its a one point match and tells them to begin. Kaoru easily lands a blows to Kenshin head, which Kenshin falls to the ground. Kaoru apologize and wonders why he didn't draw his sword, which Kenshin replies that their is no reason to fight and that he wishes to not draw his sword if its not necessary. Kenshin tells the announcer that the match is over, which the announcer announces that Kaoru is the winner.
As the audience is angry about the match and say that they want their money back, which Kenshin notices that this whole thing was about gambling. Kanryu calms everyone down, and says that he understand their frustration. Kanryu says that he will refund everyone's bets with a 50 percent on top as a token of his apology, and explains that unlike the samurai, money is no object to him. As everyone cheers for Kanryu, Kanryu introduces the man that proclaims to be the real Hitokiri Battosai. Kenshin and Yahiko are shocked by this, which Yahiko says that he messed up. Kanryu proclaims that he can appreciate Kaoru wisdom for recruiting a weak impostor to earn a victory. Kenshin steps in and says that he had just wandered in on his own since he thought it was a festival being held. Kenshin apologizes for appearing to cause everybody trouble, which Kanryu wonders if Kenshin could get himself a free drink or something. Kanryu then says that a victory is a victory, and that only one match remains on their promise and that he is looking forward to it.
Later at the Kamiya dojo, Kenshin notices the school's name which Kaoru explains that it is a school that was developed by her late father. Kaoru starts to heal Kenshin's head, and explains why they don't have many students. As Kenshin comments about why Kaoru is participating in the gambling performances, which Kenshin slaps his head and says that that is not the reason that she is going it. Kaoru explains how she is doing it to save her dojo, since Kanryu has purchased the land the dojo is on and increased the rent. Kenshin comments about how Kanryu is after this shabby dojo that is on the outskirt of town, which Kaoru rubs some more ointment on Kenshin's head. Kaoru says that she couldn't afford the payment, so she accepted Kanryu's proposal to get the dead to the land by earning ten victories in the performances that he hosts. Kaoru says that she only learned that it was for gambling after she stepped on the stage and that Kanryu had made a fool of her.
Kaoru says that she only needs one more victory, which Yahiko says that Kanryu will stop her from winning and have her start all over since Kaoru is his star and cash cow for his production. Yahiko says that Kanryu will never let Kaoru go, not until Kaoru is no longer any use to him. Kaoru says that Yahiko is Kanryu's gofer, which Yahiko replies that he ain't no gofer but to keep watch for Kanryu and introduces himself. Kenshin notices the wound on Yahiko face, which Yahiko says that its Kenshin's falt and to stop carrying a sword around if he is so weak. Kaoru says that Yahiko was beating because they found out of his mess up and offers to treat Yahiko with her family's special ointment. Yahiko says that he is fine, which Kaoru tells Kenshin to grab him. Kenshin restrained Yahiko, which Kaoru applies the ointment. As Kaoru treats Yahiko, Kaoru says that Yahiko can't keep working for Kanryu since nothing good will come of it. Yahiko tells her to shut up, since she knows nothing about him or his past. Kaoru says that Yahiko is right since she is not nosy. Kaoru explains that everybody has a thing or two in their past they'd rather not talk about, but what's important is how they living in the present and how they move forward towards the future. Kaoru says that Yahiko is a child of the Meiji Era, and finishes the treatment.
Yahiko tells Kaoru to mind his own business and to worry about herself before she worries about others. Yahiko says that he is going to bed, which Kaoru tells him to go to the bathroom first which Yahiko tells him to shut up. Kenshin says that Yahiko is not Kanryu's watcher, which Kaoru says that Yahiko is a reverse hostage and explains that Kanryu would beat Yahiko if she escapes or makes any suspicious moves. As Kenshin leaves, Kaoru thanks Kenshin for protecting Yahiko and her this afternoon and comments that Kenshin doesn't seem like a bad person.
The next day, Kaoru meets with Kanryu and is informed that she will be performing in the evening program and that she will be waiting in the dressing room until it is time. Yahiko hears this and is shocked, which Kanryu aks if there is a problem but Yahiko says that their isn't but it was just news to him. Yahiko remembers Kaoru's kindness, and tells her that she can't participate since he has hear that nobody comes back alive from the evening program. Kaoru says that it will be alright since she will not lose, no matter what the battle is. Kaoru thanks Yahiko for worrying about her and leaves the room. After Kaoru leaves, Kanryu smashes a vase over Yahiko's head. Kanryu asks what Yahiko is thinking and comments about how useless Yahiko is for his blunder with yesterday and now this. Kanryu says that he doesn't need him anymore and to toss him somewhere.
Elsewhere, the imposter is leaving a store which he is told to pay but the imposter doesn't while proclaims that he is the battosai. As the imposter comments about being the one that is letting them enjoy the new era, when Kenshin shows up and says that he would like to talk with him. The imposter says that he won't, not even with a fake battosai who can't even draw his sword. As the imposter draws his sword, Kenshin stops the imposter and proclaims that he just prefers to not draw his sword. Kenshin also says that if he would unsheath his sword, then he would turn into a slightly different person. Kenshin explains what he had learned of Kanryu and asks just who and what Kanryu is up to.
In an alley, Kenshin finds a wounded Yahiko and asks if he is in trouble. Yahiko says that he is, which Kenshin says that he will lend him a hand.
At the underground area that the evening program is to be held at, Kaoru and three other wonder about the place and where the spectators are at. Kanryu says that its the basement floor of the mansion and that there will be no spectators. Kanryu explains that the matech will be a winner take all format, and the participants are them four against Kanryu with a gatling gun. The Imposter reveals to Kenshin that Kanryu is really a arms dealer of death and explains the reason why he is after the dojos, and how the performances are just a hobby to him.
As two of the participants charge at Kanryu, Kanryu uses to gatling gun to kill them. Kaoru manages to get behind a blockade but the last participant is wounded. Kanryu tells them to show him their skills, and says that he never liked them since they have so little money to their names. Kanryu says that swordsman would strut around with such arrogance and praises equality. Kaoru calls out to Kanryu, which Kanryu tells her to call him lord Kanryu and destroys the blockade that she is hiding behind. Kanryu describes how pathetic and miserable Kaoru is. Kanryu says that year and hard work them warriors had dedicated to the sword is nothing short of extraordinary, but as long as he has money, he can acquire greater power them in the blink of an eye without making any sacrifices. Kanryu proclaims that money is truly the proof of power.
As Kanryu says that even the greatest Battosai is powerless against him, which Kenshin shows up and asks if that is all he has to say. Kenshin says that he is here at Yahiko's request and says that he is here to lend a hand. Kaoru thinks about how she didn't sense his presence at all and wonders when he got so close to her. Kanryu tells Kenshin that he won't waste a bullet on a lowlife like him and tells him to get out of here. Kenshin says that he can't do that and that Kanryu is right since their are no place for him in the new era, but its another matter if a blood puddle were to appear in it. Kenshin says that a pool of blood will appear at Kanryu's feet, which Kanryu tells Kenshin to call him Lord Kanryu. Kanryu proclaims that he will blow Kenshin off the face of the earth, and fires the gatling gun. Kenshin avoids the bullets by jumping in the air with Kaoru, and defeats Kanryu with his Ryutsuisen technique.
Kenshin explains that the hitokiri battosai's sword style is the ancient style based on extreme speed, Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu. Kenshin says that its a style the will kill without fail unless it is used with a sakabato. Kaoru, Yahiko, and Kanryu comments about how Kenshin is the real Hitokiri Battosai. Kenshin says taht he will no longer cut anybody down and that he swears on his sword that he would no longer create pools of blood. Kenshin says that he is just Himura Kenshin and that he is just a rurouni adript on a journey now.
Sometime later, Kanryu proclaims that Kenshin and Kaoru will pay. Saito says that he is surprised that Kanryu was released from the detention house and that he must have uses that famous power of money of his. Sano comments about how the Hitokiri Battosai is stronger than the power of money, which Kanryu tells him to shut up and says that he spent all of his money on them in the underworld to kill Kenshin.
It is explains that the adventure began in the 11th year of the Meiji Era of Tokyo, when an ex-assassin and a girl dedicated to the art of the sword met each other, and now a puddle of blood is fated to appear once again.