It’s done, Kenshin told himself bluntly now, head low so his red bangs would hide any stray gleam of amber in his gaze. Curling the tips of his fingers in and under, as had become his habit these past two years; Gensai-isha didn’t mind, surely, but the local gaijin tended to have… irrational reactions to hanyou. Almost as bad as their response to hitokiri. You can’t return the energies to the earth now, Gensai would notice. And if he didn’t – I don’t know exactly what Companions are, but they live and breathe magic. Sanosuke couldn’t miss it.
Not to mention that every reflex his shishou had hammered into his head through years of training cringed at the very thought of relinquishing one spark of magic under these conditions. He was alone. Wounded. With no backup, and an unknown number of hostiles likely to soon be closing on his position….
Heralds. Heralds who know magic. One of them must have ki-sense. Focus, you baka!
One breath. Another. Kenshin pictured the movements of a slow kata, finding the stillness that was his lifeline. Center. Ground. Store the energy. Don’t let it rule you.
With a mental crack like a stiff neck easing, the blood-magic flowed into its proper place.
Che’, I’m out of practice. Kenshin winced at the slow glow of warmth from within, as empty reserves filled with the glittering strength of death. Shishou would give me five hundred swings, then pound me through a few rocks for good measure.
He’d wanted to get out of practice. He hadn’t wanted to touch death ever again….
“Well, nothing seems to be too wrong here.” Gensai touched a hand to his shoulder just above the wound, feeling at the prominent collarbone under pale skin. “Tch. Weeks here and you still need feeding up. You really weren’t eating well, were you?”
Kenshin gave him an abbreviated shrug. “Sessha had been wandering a while.”
“And the local diet made just about everyone sick when we first Jumped here,” Gensai said matter-of-factly. “Heavy meat, heavy breads, hardly a familiar green in sight. Not to mention this cheese Valdemarans like so much. It looks like tofu, you’d think it’d stay down like tofu….”