During a small visit to the Akabeko, Sanosuke kindly accepts an errand for Tae and Tsubame, to get them the latest popular nishiki-e prints during their busy workday. But, seeing prints of his late mentor Sagara Sōzō along with two young members of the ill fated Sekihō Army, and having heard stories that they have been left behind at the scenes of a string of murders and robberies, Sano decides to pay that very artist a visit. As fate comes to bring him back to his old friend, so will it guide them to an old enemy- the man responsible for framing and murdering their mentor and comrades, is once again bringing ruin upon the name of the Sekihō Army!
Ten years ago, during the fringes of the Bakumatsu Revolution and the establishment of the Meiji, Shindō Tatewaki arrives on horseback to rendezvous with Sagara of the Sekihotai. Soon fulfilling their mission, Tatewaki applauds them for their mission well done- And rewards them with execution by firing squad. Amongst them on that night of treachery, alongside his leader and mentor, a young Sanosuke watches in horror as his comrades are murdered before him.
In a dim room, an elderly gentleman grins. Before him, in uniform, a squad of warriors await his next move. Dropping a picture of Sagara onto the floor, the man drives his sword into it- It is now time for the Sekihotai to arise again, after ten long years.
After a sukiyaki lunch with two of his friends at the Akabeko, Sanosuke is approached by his friend Tae for a small and simple errand, and accepts to take on the offer. Much to his friend's surprise and astonishment at Tae asking Sanosuke of all people to run an errand for her, he settles down their teasing and gets up; he is well, much to his friend's observation. Surprised at his offer of generosity, even though Tae is placing many tabs due to him not paying the bill (even the meal they eat now is not on the house) and reminds him that it will all come with interest, Sano continues and asks her what she would like from the stands: a nishiki-e print of one of the Bakumatsu's handsomest samurai of the Bakufu, Iba Hachiro. Even from a shy Tsubame, Sanosuke continues, and makes it two prints, for the both of them.
Noticing his relaxed and more easy going disposition, everyone reminisces and is reminded of Sanosuke's past self, wondering what has gotten into their friend since he stopped being Zanza.