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It now has been two days since Himura Kenshin disappeared into that fateful night. Everyone is distraught, upset, and saddened by his unexpected departure, but Kaoru has taken his loss the worst, depressed and in longing. Sanosuke desires money for travel fare to Kyoto, but an old friend has that and much more for him in store. Both of them come to realizations by the end of the day; Kaoru realizes the truth of Kenshin's feelings and love to her by an upset Megumi, and Sanosuke must face the possible truth of lacking the strength needed in the battles ahead after a scuffle with Saito. With newfound resolve, both of them leave for the Imperial Millennium Castle City.
At the Kamiya Dojo, things are quiet and still. As Ayame and Suzume look for Uncle Kenshin all around the house, they realize that he nowhere to be found. As they cry soft tears, Gensai-sensei comforts both of them. Meanwhile, Kaoru remains still in bed. Having lost the will to do anything since his departure two days ago, she can only lay still and reminisce tearfully about that fateful moment they both embraced before he left into that night.
At the Akabeko, Sanosuke immediately grows angry upon learning of Kenshin's immediate disappearance between a conversation with him and Tae. Trashing a charcoal burner and a table upon the truth, Sanosuke is disappointed in his ally's fleetingness and vows to catch up with him, to Tae's approval to get him out before he causes anymore damage. Sanosuke asks for some travel money, but as the result of his actions, Tae glowers and orders him to get out of the Akabeko. Though the expulsion from the Akabeko isn't that bad, Sanosuke is embittered of Kenshin's promise broken between them and shuffles off, kicking at various things in a nasty mood.
While Tae and Tsubame watch Sano depart, noticing that he isn't doing well, with both muddled at Kenshin's disappearance to become a wanderer again, Yahiko dashes by and asks them of Sanosuke's whereabouts to catch up with him. Before he departs, Tae asks Yahiko of Kaoru's condition; she has not taken Kenshin's departure well, and lies in bed, heartbroken, having not eaten since, and asks them to cheer her up in any spare time they get. As Yahiko runs off, a certain police officer has been listening all this time.
At Tsunan's apartment, Sanosuke is lent a great deal of money from his friend. As Tsunan declines of the need to repay him, he also gives his friend a few but potent small bombs for the need of self defense, and warns him of the dangers ahead, having heard of the rise of Shishio through the underground. While Sanosuke also expresses concern for Tsunan of reporting such a threat through his newspaper, it is no big matter; none would come to believe such things anyhow. But before he leaves, Yahiko immediately bumps into him and asks for his assistance in helping Kaoru out of her depression. Before even touching the subject however, Sanosuke looks ahead and realizes someone has been following Yahiko this whole time: Hajime Saito.
Walking out of the shadows, Saito inquires Sanosuke of his intentions, to which he replies that he is going to Kyoto, the destination of Kenshin's mission. Hearing this, Saito immediately responds in declination and disapproval- Not only is Sanosuke a liability, with the enemy likely to pick him off any chance they get, he is also a weakness for Kenshin, lacking the strength against an unknown but powerful enemy, and with Kenshin currently not able to defend him if Sanosuke should see any grave situation. As Sanosuke concludes that Kenshin left him behind because he cannot possibly protect everyone in the danger he has embarked to confront, Saito further drives his point by stating that the one sided fight with Sanosuke earlier in the month was to be an example of the carnage ahead, and condescendingly tells Sanosuke to stay in Tokyo.
Having enough of Saito's talk and aggravated with the reasons given, Sano orders Saito to get out of his way, or will go through him to get to Kyoto, to which Saito provokes him in wanting to see him try. As Sano throws a right punch, Saito dodges to his right, and parries, immediately stepping forward and punches at Sano's bandaged wound; while aggravated in pain, Saito then throws Sano onto the ground, having lifted him over himself and slamming him backfirst onto the ground.
Disgusted at Saito's dirty tactics, Yahiko is visibly angered with Saito's means- To which he counters that he does not do it to be maliciously cruel, and that Kyoto is not a place for fair play, but of a battlefield where death is the only means for victory, and where attacking your opponent's weak spot is key, no matter how low it can seem to be. As Saito also tells Yahiko to run along home, Yahiko is ready to brandish his shinai, but Sano gets up and tells Yahiko to back down- He explains that this is his fight, and issues a fierce punch at Saito, driving him back even as he defends against it. Determined, and though his right shoulder bleeds in pain due to the punch given earlier to it, Sano retorts that it is nothing compared to Kenshin thinking of him as nothing but a weakness, and that he will show his fists will be the ones wanted in the battles of Kyoto. Amused at his words and veracity, Saito puts his katana aside and also engages in a fist fight with him. As Yahiko disparages Saito and tells Sano to be wary of possible dirty tricks, Saito reassures him, even if the young boy hates him, that he has nothing to fear, and if that "stupid chickenhead" fails at his own game, he will have nothing except to admit to his own faults and know where he stands in this world.
The fight begins with Sano throwing a barrage of punches. Knowing that Saito's tactics are to react in turn with an opponent's actions, and to act in the next steps of their moves, he lands clean hits on Saito's arms, but fails to even faze him, as he has blocked all of Sano's punches. Having seen through his tactics with ease, Saito blocks the next wave with his upper hands and counters through an opening with his own waves of punches, before sending Sanosuke flying with an upper hook.
As Sano lands on the ground, Saito further tells Sanosuke that he is not at the level which he and Kenshin have attained, lacking skill and experience, and that in his defeat, he is nothing but a mouthy amateur. To his surprise however, Sano gets back up on his feet again, and is not willing to take Saito's treatment of him lightly. As Sano stands however, he realizes his legs do not feel coordinated, as Saito has landed hits on him to weaken his central nervous system, and readies a suspicious stance. Yahiko, immediately recognizes it as the Gatotsu, and Saito dashes forward, landing a severe punch to Sano's face. In return, and undaunted, Sano slams his fists into Saito's extended arm, pincering them to harshly attack the bone.
Telling Saito that neither him nor Kenshin didn't get as good by birth, Sano further remarks that he should not underestimate the potential of amateurs either. Saito, done with this fight, lightly hooks at Sano's face in taunting, ending the duel. Picking up his sword, Saito tells him off that he has better things to do with his time, and that he can go to Kyoto for all he cares, getting himself possibly killed in that venture as well, making it known that fools who don't know the first thing about defense and overestimate their power will not make it out alive.
Rejoicing in victory that Sano has won this fight, Sano tells them to cut it out. But, looking back, Sano realizes Saito has been humoring him this whole time- Not once did Saito punch at Sano's wound. Though he leaves and declines of his friend's offer to treat his wounds, Sano tells Yahiko to make sure that he also gets Kaoru to Kyoto as well. As he walks off to Kyoto, Sano realizes that he must get stronger now, before the true battle begins.
At the Kamiya Residence, Tae and Tsubame open Kaoru's bedroom to greet her- But to their surprise, she has made it out of bed. In the main hall of the dojo, Kaoru stares at the open door, amidst the blue skies and where two butterflies flutter about. Still in longing, she remains lost in her mystery, of why she could not chase after Kenshin on that night. After a short period of searching, Tae and Tsubame find Kaoru and escort her back to her bedroom. Running back home, Yahiko knows now that his duty is to ensure Kaoru's spirits are well and to escort her to Kyoto to witness the oncoming battle. But long the way, Megumi also encounters him, surprised to know that he still is in Tokyo. At mention that Kaoru is about her home, moping and depressed, Megumi is shocked, and also makes her way to the Kamiya residence.
At home, Tsubame has made a meal for Kaoru to eat, but she quietly declines. Tae, worried for her, attempts to convince Kaoru to cheer up and eat for her health, and that what she is doing is not good for her well being, but Kaoru refuses to the point of being upset, and desires them to go home, despite their pleas. At that moment, Megumi opens the doors to her bedroom. Disparaging upon her arrival, Megumi makes it known of her disappointment in Kaoru in jest, but Kaoru levels things by noticing that Megumi is in just as pain as she is.
Megumi wishes to not be compared to a mopy girl, as Kaoru snaps back that she has no idea what she is going through, but Megumi asks her what is the thing that she wants most of in that moment- And that would be Kenshin. Kaoru doubts upon being told that she should chase after him, but Megumi notes of her fear of being treated by Kenshin should she chase after him. Pulling out a small lacquer article, she comments of her family's famous salve to heal wounds, that Kenshin expressed great praise upon its potency, and that she will give it to Yahiko to deliver to him. Upset in her gloating, Kaoru tells why she cannot just give it to him, but Megumi states that she has patients to look after and that free time is not a luxury available to her. With a sharp insult thrown that her patients are more valuable than Kenshin, Megumi throws a slap to Kaoru, which she parries and counters that she should not be taken lightly, and Megumi throws another slap, stopping short of Kaoru's open face.
Telling her that she too is to not be taken lightly, Megumi explains to her that it was Kenshin who inspired her to continue to help people as a doctor to make up for her past crimes, and this path would be the way she would show how she cares for him. Angry that Kaoru would dare to mock the way Megumi would honor Kenshin, and telling her off that she switches from anger to tears for the sake of attention, Kaoru grows upset and cries further that she has no idea of what it's like to have been told good bye to one that she loves, and can only watch him walk away, but Megumi complies, and tells her that she has no idea what it feels like to have been left without so much as a good bye.
At the gate of the Kamiya Residence, Yahiko waits for Megumi to finish her conversation. Passing by, and having said her words, Megumi gives him the medicine for Kenshin, and Yahiko reassures her that everything will be alright, that Kenshin will come back with them. As Megumi leaves quietly, she leaves with her eyes closed in tears, knowing that there is nothing that she can do for him from this point on.
As Yahiko enters Kaoru's bedroom, he orders her to quit moping and to ready for Kyoto. Before any of her objections, Yahiko tells her that Kenshin told her good bye because leaving her was the toughest thing he had to do. Because of this, her importance to him is so great, that she is the only one that can bring him back. Explaining now that Megumi would help watch the dojo, and in return, she must give Kenshin the medicine herself, Kaoru, to the ears of Yahiko, Tae, and Tsubame, will also go to Kyoto, and accepts the medicine to deliver to him. At the end of this day, it will be decided- Yahiko, Sano, and Kaoru, will go to help Kenshin, in the city of Kyoto.