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note: Some of these translations are off. Use your imagination... ^^;; But most of them should be okay. Also, "Oibore" means "old fart"... ^^;; they don't give this guy a real name, though, so I'll just call him that.

"In this interval of the battle, one of the four captured men is acting violently."

Scene: Yahiko is flattened against the ground by a giant hand, blood seeping out in all directions.

"Now, the perpetrator who invaded the streets and Yahiko are fighting."

"However, even after ten minutes, no injury has been inflicted... the gap between the military and his strength is too much..."

Tsubame is crying. "Ken... shin-san..."

Rurouni Kenshin Chapter 224: Truth

Tsubame faces Kenshin in the outcasts' village. "I beg of you... please save Yahiko-kun..." Kenshin doesn't respond. One of the outcasts says to Tsubame, his hand on her shoulder: "So... we knew this already. Now... your task is completed. Go home." Tsubame falls to her knees. "I'm begging you... so please... one more time... stand up once again... I beg of you... I beg of you... I beg of you... please... save... Yahiko-kun..."

Oibore puts his hand on her shoulder. "That's enough, ojou-chan." The first outcast calls to him. "Oibore!" Oibore looks up. "Kuma-san... it's finished. Try to get this child back outside, please." Kuma-san leads Tsubame out, yelling at the other outcasts. "Hey, get outta here! Get outta here!" Tsubame whispers, "I beg of you..."

Kenshin and Oibore sit in their usual spots. It shoots to Kenshin's face. "Yahiko-kun... help him... Help him... Help him..."

Oibore asks, "So... why didn't you?" Kenshin's hand is shaking as he grips his sakabatou. "..... it should be enough... I should be allowed to rest..." His hands shake even more. "Should... be..."

Oibore continues. ".... this place... is a place of people called outcasts. Right and wrong, and criminals, and those rejected by society. However, the ones that become true residents of this place are those who have abandoned everything. Losing something is impossible... unless you abandon and cut away from everyone. (???) That which you do not abandon and cut away from is in your hands. To get up once more and leave here... for you, too... is impossible... because you haven't found it yet."

Kenshin stares at the sakabatou in his hands with a harsh look on his face. (He uses "ore") "The crimes I comitted... to atone for Battousai's crimes... I can't find anything for that."

There is a pause. Oibore says, "Is that so..." Kenshin looks startled. Oibore continues. "Even with the weaknesses and conflicts in your heart... your hand is still strongly gripping and will not let go. Parting with things precious to you... tires out your body and your heart the most... but even with that, there are things that your thoughts cannot abandon." Kenshin looks at his sakabatou, startled. Oibore goes on. "No matter what anyone says, that is your only truth."

Kenshin starts flashing back again. Over the scenes in big letters it reads "the only truth". (The flashback scenes are Kenshin saying various things to various people and I need to hurry so I'm not translating them. It's just stuff about the people in his life.) Kenshin clutches his sword and starts pulling at the chains.

Oibore: "Well, then... gradually, to return to long ago in ten minutes... (?)" It flashes to Yahiko pinned under the giant hand. Then shows scenes are all the people in Kenshin's life... Tsubame, Megumi, Misao, Saitou, Aoshi, and Yahiko straining under the hand... Overlaid words read: "Now... and also in the past... there are still people who believe in you------" The chains break. "---who are waiting for your return!!!"

Minutes later, Kuma walks to Oibore, who is sitting alone. Kuma: "...he left, huh...?" Oibore: "Mmhmm. He left." Kuma sits down with a thunk. "The real you is too nice." Oibore says lightly, "Are you flattering me?"

There is a slight pause. "But, that samurai also truly stood up. When the time for him to conquer the enemy with his chicken-headed young man (Sano) and the good, lively young boy (Yahiko) came, he didn't even budge. Because 'to fight the enemy' is not his truth. The only voice that could call to him was the one assigned to his heart. No matter how small it was, the voice that called him to help was certainly from his heart. Because that is his truth, he responded to that voice and stood."

Shoot to the chains lying broken on the ground. "Whatever the curse may be, he will most certainly stand up."

THE END
cue corny "We are the Champions" music