If we don’t stop Kurogasa’s murders, more people will suffer, Kenshin had said, when Sanosuke had asked why he would help guard Tani, a man who knew all too well who he had been. Including Kurogasa himself.
Honor the kill. Kaoru drew a shaky breath. She’d heard those words used to refer to hunting, but to human beings….
“Sessha disgusts you.” Red bangs hid his gaze. “One could be gone within the hour-”
“No!” Kaoru clamped down on his fingers, drawing a stifled yip. “You idiot! How far do you think you could get with Kerowyn on your trail? She knows swordsmen. She knows mages. And she wouldn’t just be after you for Valdemar; she’d be mad. You’re staying right here!”
I want him to stay right here, Kaoru realized, stunned. I want – I don’t understand!
:It’s your Gift, Chosen,: Megumi said privately. :It seems to have snuck right through his shields and made itself comfortable.:
:But I’m a Herald!: Kaoru almost wailed. :I shouldn’t-:
:He hasn’t done anything except defensive magic. Blood-mage or not, none of us can fault him for that.: Megumi’s tone softened. :And… you didn’t hear what I just overheard, from Gensai. Kenshin needs you, Kaoru. He needs someone to care about, or one of these days his own Gifts will kill him.:
Right; ‘Tousan had said something about that once. That samurai couldn’t stay ronin forever. That part of the reason he’d joined the Guard was to find fellow warriors he could trust, to balance him.
:Now that that’s settled,: Megumi spoke to both of them, too casually, :would somebody tell this big oaf to head back to the Field where he belongs?:
:Ah, c’mon, Megumi,: Sanosuke’s voice held a rough charm. :I don’t bite.: