“You did it!” Yahiko pounced on the man currently dropping chopped vegetables into the evening’s soup, grinning. “I knew you could do it! Baka Guards….”
“Maa, maa, Yahiko-kun.” Kenshin surreptitiously latched onto the boy enough to keep them both from pitching off the edge of the engawa into simmering fish stock. “They’re not so unskilled as you might think, that they are not. They are swordsmen, they can sense ki as much as any gaijin can, picking out threats from simple folk about their business. They are simply unprepared for one whose ki can appear harmless as anyone… carrying a bundle of laundry.” He felt his smile flicker as he looked past Yahiko’s teacher to the red-streaked sky. Soon. Very soon now. “Kaoru-dono. Megumi-dono. Welcome home.”
“We’re home,” Kaoru replied, a trace of pink in her cheeks before she glanced away. “Selenay says the Council’s going to be arguing all night, and she’d better let them, or they’ll never figure out hanyou are just as much people as gryphons. So Healer Gensai and the girls are staying at the Palace.”
“But someone else is not.” Kenshin blinked, sensing another familiar ki at the gate. “Sanosuke?”
:Yeah, well, hanyou’s out of the bag, right? I might as well get back to working with the Guard. Beats hanging out in Companion’s Field watching the next coat of whitewash dry on the stables.: Sano trotted inside, caught the rope tie Kaoru had installed for Megumi, and pulled the gate to. :Besides, Kaoru’s going to need a witness besides Megumi when she takes your testimony under Truth Spell, Chief Tostig’s going to be testifying in front of the Council half the night while the lords yell at Yamagata, and I figured you’d rather have somebody you know….: White ears came forward. Blue eyes studied the redhead. :Yeah, you’d better have someone you know. Or am I wrong?:
So Sano can sense it. Kenshin wasn’t surprised. Some of the stronger youkai could detect the shift before it happened; no doubt the guardian spirits of these lands could as well.