In the 11th year of Meiji, on the day marked in the Western calendar as May 14th, time once again begins to flow. The shocking midday murder of Department of Internal Affairs Chief oikubo a fait accompli, Kenshin leaves for Kyoto, scene of chaos and bloodshed--against the wishes of nearly everyone who knows him as the gentle "rurouni." Awaiting him there is Shishio Makoto, the hitokiri who replaced the cold-eyed assassin Himura Battosai who forswore further killing and took up the reversed-blade sakabato. But does Kenshin go to Kyoto for a duel...or for a death-match?!