Okay. Think. If I were Kenshin, where would I be?
Out of sight of the dojo gates, Yahiko slowed, blending into the crowd as he got his breath back. Haven’s Guards weren’t that different from the Edo police, and the first rule of both was, look for the obvious suspect. And you couldn’t get much more obvious than running.
Besides, no matter how busu panicked, he didn’t have to hurry. This wasn’t just some gutter townsman the Guard was trying to lay hands on. This was Kenshin.
They’d have better luck trying to manacle the wind! Yahiko grinned and skipped a step, then sobered. But… Kaoru said if they found him, they’d try to take his sword.
Impossible. Insane. Take a hanyou’s weapon? Even Edo police knew better than that! They might wrap a hanyou in torinawa until he looked like he’d been attacked by rabid silkworms, and bind the blade to its sheath with holy barriers, but they would not take a sealing sword beyond its owner’s reach.
But… she wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t true!
Which would mean the Guard had a really big hole in what they knew about hanyou. The way Kaoru seemed to have holes in everything she thought she knew about the Isles, from ki sense to face to just how much Choshu and Satsuma didn’t have in common, despite both being outside domains.
Maybe he’d better hurry after all.
So where do I look? Yahiko slowed in the eddy of traffic around a noodle-vendor’s booth, ducking a waft of steam as he thought. I don’t think he went shopping, Kaoru would have said.
“Did you hear?” A book-lender slurped down fish-flavored strands, one foot on the handle of her cart of texts. “Some of the nobles’ sons they call Blues have been hunting a rumor of a Changechild all through our quarter. And now the Guard is helping them!”
“Some drunk idiot probably passed out in the middle of a kabuki play. You should have seen the audience stampede, the first time Valdemarans saw an actor properly made up!” The vendor snorted. “Next they’ll be saying Change-Beasts escaped their Herald-Mages and are living among us to murder us in our beds.”