“With you in my power, Battousai will be enraged,” a madman’s voice echoed in Kaoru’s mind. “Rage will turn him back into the hitokiri he used to be. The demon of Kyoto, the killer whose name froze the blood of men… uhu-hu-hu. It will be the best killing.”
No. Not Kenshin. He’s not like you. He’s not a killer!
Unbidden, amber eyes glowed in her memory.
:Gwena, tell your Chosen Himura had to pick the best of bad options,: Megumi said tiredly. :Jin-e would have sensed any Guard within half a mile. And any Herald who could Mindspeak at all would have wound up just like we did, unless they could summon enough mental force to break the compulsion.: She nosed Kaoru’s shoulder. :Good work.:
Kaoru blushed. :I had to, Megumi. He wanted peace so much-:
:And you love seeing him move.: Megumi sent her a private, giggly image of a Companion with kitsune-ears, snatched right out of a recent Yamato children’s book. :Can’t blame you; I want to know how he Fetches like that, too.:
:It’s probably because youkai were mage-crafted,: Kaoru shrugged. :Like gryphons.:
:Gryphons don’t breed with humans, Chosen,: Megumi pointed out yet again, worrying at one fact that had bothered her ever since they’d found out hanyou weren’t stories at all.
:‘Tousan said they were “born of magic”. What else could they be?:
:Nothing else I know of,: Megumi acknowledged. :And I suppose if the Star-Eyed can make it so every Hawkbrother is born with at least a little Mage-Gift, making their “children” compatible with humans wouldn’t have been an insurmountable problem for Yamato gods….:
Kaoru shrugged. Let Megumi worry about the Healer-type details. They had more immediate problems. :If Kenshin used his Gifts to kill…: She swallowed, mouth gone dry. :The Circle would lock them down. Permanently. It would kill him!:
Comfort reached back to her. :Just hold on, Chosen. And don’t tell any Herald-Mages anything you don’t have to. Sanosuke says he has an idea.:
Don’t tell the Herald-Mages? Sanosuke had an idea? Kaoru fought the urge to beat her head against a handy tree trunk. We’re doomed.