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Fireflies in the Grass

by Conspirator ::: 02.Nov.2002

It was a beautiful, clear spring day, the kind with skies as blue as cornflowers and the sun shining like gold. It was the kind of day that made you glad to be a horse grazing the grass. I glanced around and noticed fireflies circling lazily nearby. Granted it was daytime, and during daytime fireflies just look like ugly boxelder bugs, but fireflies they were nonetheless. Ah, the bliss of the equine life...

Suddenly, my reverie was broken by the force of an immensely powerful sword ki. "My God," I thought, "I haven't sensed something like that since I trained that arrogant horse's ass years ago." Hmmm, maybe that's why, when my student dispatched me to the afterlife during our last training match, I ended up being reincarnated as a horse. What a fate to befall the exalted 12th master of the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu--not the reincarnation, mind you, but the bitter pill of having that twit take over as the 13th Hiko Seijuro!

It was clear that I, the reincarnated 12th Hiko Seijuro, could not ignore that battle cry. Galloping at full speed, I rushed to the source of the ki that had rendered nearly bare an entire forest of newly-leaved trees, only to find--what?! A pint-sized, red-headed girl with a sword and really intimidating eyes?

"Horse, I require your services," a low voice commanded. The figure in front of me grabbed my halter and swung onto my back. Now, I've had experience with females before. They giggle a lot, pretend to be total ditzes, then proceed to humiliate me with all sorts of cooing and sweet talk. This was no female!! Not only did he dig that blasted sword hard into my side, but I could tell from the anatomy of his seat that this was a man! Damned if I was going to do anything for him!

"Horse," he demanded again, "I require your services. If you don't comply, I will be forced to use the feared Hiten Mitsurugi techniques on you, that I will."

Aha, now I knew who I was dealing with. You see, on occasion I would wander up the mountains near Kyoto to annoy the current Hiko Seijuro, and I knew he had trained a little red-headed pipsqueak many years ago. He never had another pupil--this kid was the only one stupid enough to stick with the guy, even coming back at one point for more abuse just to learn the ultimate succession technique. Talk about masochism!

Well, if this pipsqueak was going to threaten *me* with Hiten Mitsurugi, then the least I could do was show off my own prowess. "Do Ryu Sen!!" I neighed, and with god-like lightening speed, I shot off, the poor sucker clinging for dear life. "Oh dear," I chuckled to myself, "did dear old Hiko neglect to teach you horsemanship? Too bad!"

In the space of 10 minutes, the idiot and I had covered nearly 10 miles (gad, I must be getting old--that should only have taken 5 minutes!) and overtaken one of those noisy, foul-smelling locomotives that have been polluting Japan's skies for the past few years. I was ready to keep pouring on the speed just for fun, when what does this baka do but point to some boats out in the canal and yell, "Jump!"

"Crap," I'm thinking, "he expects me to actually exert myself for him?" Well, what the hell, it's been awhile, and I'm sure this will positively throw him-- Ryu Kan Sen!!--and I rise on my hind legs like a true dragon taking flight. Damn, he's strong, he's managed to stay on. Oh, well, maybe this will do the trick--Ryu Tsui Sen!! I make a super-godlike leap spanning at least five horse lengths to land on a boat. Ah, the immense feeling of satisfaction I get when I feel the pipsqueak's body leave my back. Ah, the immense feeling of disappointment when I feel him crash back on. Oh well, maybe I'll get another chance to show him who's boss.

He's yelling at the train and urging me on, but do I hear even one word of appreciation for that magnificent leap (not to mention my previously displayed superhuman speed)? Sheesh, such ingratitude. Instead, he wants me to somehow get enough momentum to jump from this tub to another rickety boat. Maybe I should just buck him off my back.... hmm, that would be enjoyable! But then I remember, technically he *is* one of my successors, so perhaps I should at least humor him again with another unbelievable display of Hiten Mitsurugi horse strength. I take another flying leap--Ryu Shou Sen!!--and again land in high style. This time he gets the hint and flies off my back, but then he decides he has to show me that his leaps are better than mine as he takes his own flying leap off the boat and onto the train.

Well, thanks a lot, mister, for leaving me here alone with a band of water- logged yakuza and not even a sake-coated sugar cube as thanks. I'm so annoyed I decide to take out every human in sight--Kuzu Ryu Sen!! Let that pipsqueak have his train, I have this pirate ship all to myself! And not a bad decision, either, for I've found a keg of sake and a sack of sugar. And it's all mine!!! Now the only question is how to eventually catch up with that pipsqueak to leave my calling card--and you can guess how fragrant that will be!

Co-conspirator's note: Well that was.....interesting. If you didn't already know, this is based off of episode 22 in the first series, which was one of the most incomprehensible fluff episodes ever! Kenshin on a horse? Give me a break! Plus that whole thing with the pirates and the logs and blah blah blah blah blah etc..... So what would you think of a sequel? No? Better tell us before we come up with another hair-brained scheme! Of course, if you liked it, we would still love to here from you, so please send us your COMMENTS and CRITICISMS!!
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