Okita Souji

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I've been entertaining the idea of writing something set in 16th century Japan and trying something sad so when I came across Okita I was inspired to write this story.

Submitted: October 21, 2009

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Submitted: October 21, 2009

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Okita Souji

On January 27 1886, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, last shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate grew dissatisfied with the proclaimed restoration of Imperial rule to Japan.  He wished to deliver a letter warning the young Emperor of his advisers and protesting his unfair treatment.  Based at Osaka castle, south of Kyoto, He moved his troops north to march on the imperial city through two main roads.  One being the Toba road and the other the Fushimi road. Altogether about 13,000 troops were moving forward, although they were widely spread out, leaving about 8,500 for the action at Toba-Fushimi…

The sun sat low in the western horizon.  Soft white clouds drifted lazily across a clear blue sky as a gentle breeze blew softly through the tall grass that lined the road.  
“Such peaceful scenery, one wouldn’t expect it to soon be dyed red.”  Said a young man.
He stood at the forefront of a large group of men.  They wore a light blue haori over their kimono with a white cord crossed over their chest and tied in the back.  The haori was trimed at the bottom and sleeves with white mountain strips.  The young man was tall and dark skinned with a thin yet powerful frame.  His light brown eyes looked out at the assembled army of soldiers as he and his companions approached.
“It appears we got here in time.”  He said with a light smile.
“You shouldn’t be here at all Okita.”  Came a firm voice as a large man walked up beside him.
The young man took in the man with a displeased look.  He was taller then Okita and much broader than him with a square jaw and low brow.  His wolf like eyes glanced over at the younger man momentarily.
“Saito Hajime, are you suggesting I am not qualified?”  The young man asked with a narrow look.  “I am Okita Souji, captain of the first squad of the Shinsengumi.”
“I know who you are, but you are in no condition to be here.  At the most you‘ll only be a liability.”
Okita’s anger flared.
“I have sworn allegiance to lord Yoshinobu, and not forgot the tenants of lord Hijikata.  I am a Shinsengumi for life, no matter how brief that may be.”
Okita felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around to a short, stout man with narrow eyes and slicked back hair.
“Lord Hijikata!”  Okita exclaimed with surprise.
“This is not the time for infighting.  Souji, you should not speak in such a way.  Do you not wish to return to Miss Megumi?”
Okita cast his eyes at the ground.
“It does not matter what I want.  I do not have much time left, at least if I fall here my death will be worth something.”  He said somberly.  “Besides I believe I have taken far to many lives by the sword not to follow suit.”
Saito nodded and walked off as Hijikata looked sadly at the young man.  Okita Souji, he had been a genius swordsman.  By the age of eight-teen he had mastered the Tennen Rishin Ryu style of swordsmanship and was licensed to teach.  But he fell ill soon after.  Even though his sword was still feared and he was without doubt one of the best fighters in the Shinsengumi along with Saito Hajime, his health was deteriorating fast.  As Hijikata walked off, Souji found his mind wondering.
“Miss Megumi…”  He whispered lightly.
In truth it was because of her that he came here to fight.  He met he after his first, “coughing attack.”  He was carried into the hospital nearly unconscious.
He had a high fever and even now everything that happened was kind of a blur.  But he remembers seeing her face.  She was so beautiful.  The daughter of a doctor, her long, raven black hair tied at the back with a light red ribbon, that very ribbon he now wore around his left arm under his kimono.  Her light brown eyes were almost gold, like a dragon he had told her.  Each night she would visit him in his bed. They would sat and talk so Souji wouldn‘t have to be alone.  It wasn’t long before Souji had completely fell for the young women.  At first the doctor had thought he was wounded internally because he had coughed up blood, after all it was after a brutal fight that he had collapsed.  But that‘s when the truth came out.  Tuberculosis… The consumption they had called it.  It was a death sentence with no cure, a disease that would slowly eat away at the young swordsman.  Miss Megumi was with him when the doctor gave him the news.  Souji was surprised to see her cry, shedding tears for him of all people, a man who killed for a living.  He was touched beyond words.  After that she still came to see him every night even after he left the hospital.  Often he would lie in her lap as the two of them talked well into the night.  Their love grew but Souji knew he could never really be close with her because of the disease.  Never could he kiss her lips or hold her in a close embrace. Despite all this he was satisfied with just being near her.  Her kind spirit and gentle heart seemed to ease the turmoil within him and he decided he wanted nothing more than to live out the rest of his days with her.  But the disease slowly caught up to them.  Souji took another, “coughing attack.”  To his surprise it seemed to hurt her even more than it did him.  Seeing him in such pain made her weep and worry.  He realized then that he was being selfish asking her to stay with him.  To be with her was to deny her happiness.  She would be forced to watch him slowly die and then to bare the pain of that loss.  How could he have been so blind?  He could not, would not do that to her.  So when the Shogun ordered the Shinsengumi to join the force to march on Kyoto he had jumped at the chance.  Hijikata had strongly suggested, just short of ordering him to stay behind because of his illness.  But Souji had justified it out of, “His duty to the Shinsengumi” and finally was able to convince the others to allow him to come.  In truth though he left to spare Megumi the pain of seeing him die.  He knew what it was like for love ones to die before your eyes, Yamanami Keisuke, a close personal friend of his had committed seppuku two years earlier with Souji as his second.  Keisuke was like a brother to him and that event was forever engraved in his memory.  He could not ask Megumi to endure such pain.
The other soldiers stood watching the men in light blue approach.  
“Who are they?”  One man asked another.
“What, don’t you recognize their uniforms?  They are the dreaded wolves of Mibu!”  The other replied excitedly.
“Not only do we have superior numbers but we have the demons of Kyoto as well!”  Another called from behind them.
“Victory is assured!”  Cried someone in the back.
The Shinsengumi were greeted with cheers as the met up with the other soldiers.
Hijikata made his way to the soldiers commander and after a moments talk came back to his men.
“Men, we outnumber the enemy three to one, but they are equipped with foreign weapons.”  He said sternly.
“Rifles and cannons no doubt?”  Said a tall dour faced man.
“A Gatling gun as well, Inoue.”  Hijikata replies to the dour man.
“Numbers will not count for much against such weapons.”  Saito added with a serious look.
“Then I, Inoue Genzaburo will gladly give my life in service to his lordship.”  The dour faced man replied.
“We may all have to.”  Saito said solemnly.
Souji stepped up beside him and patted his back.
“Don’t worry Hajime, I’ll protect you.”  He said with a smile.
Saito’s face grew cold.
“I never gave you permission to call me by my first name.”  He said angrily.
Souji waved him off as he walked away.  Suddenly a loud sound like thunder erupted in the distance.
“Cannons!”  Hijikata exclaimed.
The battle at Toba was underway.  The commander of the soldiers ordered the advance as far as Fushimi village to prepare for battle.  The Shinsengumi marched with them, ready for combat.  As they arrived they were met with imperialist soldiers.  The soldiers denied them entrance into the city and without warning opened fire.  Rifle fire like rain fell on the Shogunate forces cutting into the ranks of the Shinsengumi.
“Attack!”  Cried the Shogunate commander.
But the Shinsengumi had already dove into the thick of the fight.  Souji heard the wiz of the bullets as they flew past his ears.  But he welcomed the sound.  Waiting anxiously for to one that would end his tortured life.  Somehow he made it all the way to the enemy ranks.  Along with some other Shinsengumi,  he tore into the enemy with his blade.  With lightning speed he cut down one man even as he turned his rifle on him.  Another brought up his gun at Okita but the young swordsman was too fast.  With two quick swipes he cut the rifle in two and sunk his blade into the mans chest.  Gunfire was everywhere.  His ears rang as he cut down another man that tried to stab him with a bayonet.  Death cries began to fill the air as men fell all around him.  The smoke from the gunpowder stung his eyes and made it hard to see. A sharp pain erupted from his left thigh as a bullet grazed his leg but Souji paid it little mind as another soldier came at him with his bayonet.  Souji brought his katana down on the rifle as the man lunged at him.  His blade split the gun and in another instant Souji’s blade bite deep into the man’s neck sending crimson spray across his fellow riflemen.  The companions began to panic as Okita advanced on them.  They franticly tried to reload their rifles.  Then in a heartbeat he was on them.  One after another they fell as the enemy around him began to scatter.  Okita heard a familiar voice cry out in pain.  Turning he saw that it was Inoue Genzaburo.  The big man had a bayonet in his back but was still managing to fight.  Okita quickly began to make his way toward him.  Inoue jerked out the bayonet and hit a nearby imperialist with it.  Then another one was plunged into his left leg.  Okita broke into a run, cutting down any man foolish enough to stand in his way.  Inoue fell to his knees as another imperialist readied his bayonet to pierce the warrior’s heart.  With a flash of steel Okita caught the imperialist across the back, dropping him like a rock.  A flood of relief washed over the young man as he reached out to help up his companion.  But then a sudden gun shot rang out from behind Okita.  He could only watch as a large hole erupted in Inoue’s chest knocking him on his back, killed instantly.  Souji turned and saw a freighted man trying to reload his rifle.  Okita raised his sword and charged the man.  The imperialist finished loading just in time and brought the firearm to bare on the young swordsman.  For a moment Okita felt relief, this was going to be the end.  Bang!  The rifle went off.  Okita heard the bullet whiz by his ear.  He missed, the imperialist actually missed!  Souji stopped in front of the man, his sword raised high, poised to strike.  The gunman fell to his knees.  Maybe he was going to beg for his life but before he had a chance Okita brought his sword down into the man’s shoulder nearly taking off his arm.  Okita looked around.  The light was beginning to fad and he could see that the bodies of his companions were stacking up.  They were losing this fight.  Just then a horn sounded across the field.  The order to retreat had been given.  Okita hesitated as the men around him began to turn and flee.  He looked back at the enemy who where taking this time to reload their rifles.
“Okita, do you have a death wish?  Come on!”  Hijikata cried as he ran up to the young man.
Okita snapped out of it and ran with him after the retreating army as rifle fire again bit into their ranks.  Okita ran with his companions as the last of the light faded from the sky.  At least the enemy couldn’t aim at them in the darkness.  Then he noticed a faint glow in the distance.
“Fire! The fools have started fires!”  He yelled out of frustration.
The fleeing Shogunate forces sat fire to nearby buildings in an attempt to get revenge on the imperial forces.  But in the end all it done was make them visible in the firelight.  Gunfire erupted again as the flash of gunshots broke through the darkness in the distance.  
The shogun's forces had not been expecting an attack so late in the day and had not brought up all their best men and artillery.  Finally they fell back as far as Yodo castle, trying desperately to fortify their position.  As Okita entered the castle gates he suddenly felt sluggish and realized he was having trouble breathing.  He saw Hijikata in the crowd and tried to make his way to him but suddenly his legs went weak.  Okita fell to his knees with a thud.  Saito saw him fall and ran over.
“You’ve pushed yourself to hard, Okita!  I told you this would happen!”  He said kneeling by him.
Hijikata saw the two and rushed over.
“Souji!”  Hijikata called out as he knelt by the young swordsman.
Okita began to cough fiercely, spattering spots of crimson on the ground.  Some of the nearby men covered their mouths and backed away.
“Captain Harada!”  Hijikata called to a nearby member of the Shinsengumi.  The man was average height with a light build.  His head was shaven clean and slightly caught the torch light.  He ran over and knelt with the rest of the men, laying the large spear he was carrying on the ground beside him.
“Yes Sir!”  He said respectfully.
“Please take Souji and find him a bed, I’ll fetch a doctor.”  Hijikata ordered with just as much respect.
Harada nodded and helped Okita to his feet.  Saito shook his head slowly as he turned away.  Harada led Souji to a make shift hospital in the corner of the castle and found him a bed.  Okita laid down, still breathing raggedly.
“So you’re the trusted Harada Sanosuke.”  He said with a light cough.
Harada nodded.
“And you’re the infamous Okita Souji, I’ve seen some of your practice bouts, you’re quit a skilled swordsman.”  He said respectfully.
Okita laughed a little in spite of himself.
“I wish I could say the same, but I’ve never saw you with a sword before.”  He said lightly.
“Don’t use one.”  Harada replied lifting up his spear.
“I guess that explains it…”  Souji said as he weakly closed his eyes.  
The next day Souji Opened his eyes to find most of the soldiers gone.  He sat up quickly and noticed Harada leaning against a nearby wall.
“Harada, have the troops already moved out?”  He asked shocked.
Harada nodded and made his way toward Okita.  
Okita began to get up but Harada stopped him.
“Calm down, Vice Commander Hijikata ordered us to stay here until you are able to fight.”  Harada said with a stern look.
“Then let us go now, I am ready to fight!”  Okita announced with fervor.
Harada shook his head.
“Why do you wish to die here, Okita?”
Souji looked at him for a moment.
“I know what it’s like to see people you care about die.”  He said quietly.
“In this day and age, don’t we all?”  Was Harada’s simple reply.
Souji was quiet for a moment.
“I guess that is true but-”  Souji started.
“Forgive me but I’d like to tell you something.  I have a wife and little daughter waiting for me at home.  I want to see them again no matter what, even if I’m dying.  I can think of no better way to leave this world than surrounded by those you love.  It may be hard on them when I go, but if my wife were dying I’d want to be there with her until the end.”  Harada said with a understanding expression.
Okita didn’t answer he just looked at the ground quietly.  How could he have been so selfish again?  He had never thought of it like that.  Was Miss Megumi worried for him?  Was she afraid she would never see him again?  Trying to spare her pain he had only hurt he more.  Harada sighed and continued.
“I don’t know who you left behind but I’m sure you care for them, and I’m sure they must feel the same.  You should be spending your last days with those who love you, not here in this hell.”  He said sweeping his hand around the filled beds of the hospital.
“I can not leave now, it would be desertion.  And I can still fight!”  Okita points out.
“You almost died last night, to push your luck any farther would be foolish.”  Harada retorted.
“You would have me dishonor myself with desertion then?”  Okita snapped.
“The most important things in this world are Faith, Love and Honor in that order.  Don’t get the order confused!”  Harada answered just as sharply.
“Lord Harada, I thank you for your thoughts but I cannot leave yet.  I will try to return to those who love me before the end though.”  Souji said somberly.
“I only hope you have the chance young Okita.”  Harada replied.
“Call me Souji.”  Okita said with a oddly placed smile.
The second day of fighting was more or less a stalemate with the fighting raging up and down the roads on the banks of the Katsura and Uji rivers until both armies withdrew to make preparations for the next day.  That night Okita sat alone on the battlements of the castle his mind wondering once again to the things he left behind..  
“My sisters, Mitsu and Rin.  Their little ones.  Miss Megumi…  Will I ever see any of them again?  He thought out loud.
He looked down at the katana he held in his hand.  It was a Kiyomitsu, very rare and priceless.  He drew it partially from its sheath.  The blade was a mirror sheen with a slight bluish tint.  It caught the moonlight and shimmered beautifully in spite of all the lives it had taken.  
“I wonder though, if Miss Megumi knew me as well as this blade does would she still feel the same way?”  He softly asked himself.
As powerful as his blade was, in the end it didn’t even matter.  He was still powerless against the disease that ravaged his chest, he was still going to die. “But not before I see Megumi again.”  He swore to himself.
“Are you ok, Souji?”  A voice called from behind him.
Hijikata sat down beside the troubled young man.  
“I do want to return to Miss Megumi…”  Okita said as the Vice Commander settled himself.
Hijikata nodded quietly.
“Then do.”  He said plainly.
Okita looked at him with confusion.
“I don’t know if I can, the battle tomorrow.”  He said with a sigh.
“I won’t lie to you, this is a losing battle.”  Hijikata said solemnly.
Okita nodded slowly.
“They’ve brought out their cannons now as well.”  Hijikata added sadly.
“Why do we still fight then?”  Okita asked without thinking.
“The Edo period is over after three-hundred years, I’d be a shame if no one went down with it.”  The vice commander said half smiling.
Okita laughed.
“I will fight until the end if you give the word.”  Okita said with a light smile.
Hijikata suddenly grew serious.
“I know Souji…”  He said as his smile disappeared.  “I believe the time for men like us is drawing to a close.
Souji looked as him inquisitively.
“Sir, surely you don’t believe that!”
Hijikata only nodded in silent assent.
Souji turned back and looked out from the battlements once more.  Praying his loved ones somehow knew what he was feeling.
The next day Souji was up early.  He was ready for this battle.  
“”I will make it back!”  He said as he practiced his sword strokes in the courtyard.  
Then out of nowhere he began to cough.  He brought up his hand to cover his mouth and as he drew it away saw the small specks of blood in his palm.  Souji wiped it on his haori and went back to his practice.  
As the sun rose high in the sky, the Shogunate commander gave the order to move out.  Hijikata rallied his men and they marched in the front lines.
“Today will be a bloody day…”  Hijikata said to Souji as they trudged along the road.
“I hear the enemy captured a vital strategic point yesterday.”  Souji replied understanding the situation.
“They have taken Bungobashi bridge, it will not be easy to get it back.”  Saito said matter-of-factly.
“They’ve no doubt fortified their position with cannons by now and I hear they’ve acquired a Gatling gun.”  Harada said with disgust for the foreign weapons.  
“Then we’ll just have to take it quick!”  Souji said full of determination.
The others nodded their assent and the group fell silent.  No talking or battle cries could be heard as they made their way to the battlefield.  Every man was full aware of the cost they would pay to retake the bridge.  As the Imperial troops came into view Souji felt an odd sensation.  Fear, he didn’t want to die.  For the first time in his life he felt the fear of death.  To die with honor had been all he hoped from this battle.  But now he felt only one burning desire.  To live, to return to those he loved, to see Miss Megumi again.  He felt If he could lay in her lap one last time he could die happy.  He had always thought that true strength came from the will to give your life, to die for your beliefs.  As he looked out over the enemy formation he found a new strength however.  The desire to live, to survive and maybe that was the greatest strength of all.  His fighting spirit burned in a way it had never before.  He would live, he would survive.  He would lie once more in the lap of the women he loved!
A huge blast of sound erupted as the Imperial forces opened fire with their cannons.  The Shogunate commander issued his order to attack and the battle began.  The Shinsengumi rushed toward the enemy lines.
“Remember men!  Take the bridge quickly at all costs!”  Hijikata yelled out as they came into firing range of the Imperial rifles.The bursts of gunfire resounded across the battlefield as the riflemen let lose.  A large number of Shinsengumi and Shogunate soldiers fell almost instantaneously.  Hijikata was hit in his right shoulder and went down.  Saito tried to make his way to him but was caught off guard as a cannonball crashed down behind him sending bits of debris flying through the air.  Hijikata stood back up and called out to his men.
“At all costs!”  He yelled as he turned charging back at the enemy.  Souji reached the enemy lines and with a lightning fast thrust caught one of the riflemen of guard bringing him down.  Another man charged him from behind the fallen man.  Okita parried his bayonet and with a fierce swipe caught the imperialist across the torso.  The sound of the cannons drowned out even the gunfire as the battlefield erupted around him in flaming debris.
Okita fought on.  Breaking through the front lines he charged what looked like an officer dressed in a foreign uniform.  The man brought out a saber just in time to catch Okita’s fierce slash.  Their blades met with a spark as Souji tried to overpower the man.  Then out of nowhere Souji’s chest pained.  His strength failed and the man knocked him backwards on the ground.  Souji rose again with effort.  The man advanced on him.  His saber came down hard.  Souji caught it with his blade but the force made him stumble back.  He began coughing, tasting blood in his mouth.  The officer came at him again, thrusting his saber at the young swordsman.  Okita weakly parried the blade only to be racked by more coughing.  
“I have to live!”  He cried out surprising the officer.
Okita lunged forward quickly  giving three powerful trusts.  The officer jumped back dodging the first one.  Okita’s second thrust was barley parried but the third one struck home.  The blade plunged into the man’s right shoulder causing him to drop his saber.  Then everything went white.  A cannon ball exploded behind him throwing the young warrior through the air.  Okita landed  some ways off.  The officer was nowhere in site as the battle raged around him.  Okita still had his sword and was relatively unhurt.  So trying not to lose focus he engaged the man nearest him.  The imperialist had just fired his rifle and was trying to reload when he saw Souji.  He tossed the ramrod he was holding at the approaching warrior.  Okita stepped out of the way as it landed harmlessly on the ground beside him.  The man brought up his bayonet and thrust at the young swordsman.  Okita dodged to the left and brought about his sword ready to claim the man’s life.  Then he had another sudden, “coughing attack.”  This one was harsh and caused Okita to stumble to his side a bit.  The rifleman quickly thrust again and caught the weakened warrior just below his right ribcage.  Okita felt the searing pain as the blade went in.  He fell to his knees with a cry of pain.  Gripping the rifle with one hand he brought his blade down hard with the other, letting it bite into the imperialists head.  The rifleman slumped to the ground leaving the bayonet sticking in Okita’s side.  The young swordsman jerked it out spraying blood across the ground.  His coughing grew worst causing him to double over spitting crimson in the dirt.
“Miss Megumi…  Mitsu…  I’m sorry.”  He whispered weakly as he slumped down on his left side.
The sounds of the battle faded as if it were far away.  Souji rolled on his back looking into the sky.  No one bothered him, leaving him to die.  He gazed up into the clear sky.  
“Mitsu, my sister, take care of the little ones, tell them I love them as I do you.  Let them grow up strong and wise but keep them far from war.  This is no life for them, it is no life for anyone.  I’m tired of fighting, tired of killing.  I just want to come home to see you all again.  Megumi my love, I treasured my time with you more than anything in this world.  To see you again, to hear you laugh I would give anything.  I just want to lay once more in your lap.  You always smelt like wildflowers.  To smell that again…”
Souji’s hand wondered to his right arm, under his kimono.  He felt the ribbon still tied tight there.  With a weak jerk he managed to free it and brought it up to his nose.  But the smell was long gone.  Replaced with the stench of the battlefield.  He rubbed the ribbon on his cheek gently as tears began to stream down his face.
“To see them again, please just one more time.”  He said through tears.  
He realized the pain from his wounds was gone and his body was feeling cold.  His eyes slowly closed and the world faded away.
The battle proved decisive with the Shogunate forces driven back by cannon and rifle fire to the gates of Yodo castle.  The defenders, vassals of the daimyo of Yodo saw the way the battle was going and effectively changed sides refusing entry to the tiring Shogunate troops. With no other choice they had to retreat towards Yawata and Hirakata.
On the fourth and last day of conflict the Imperial troops crossed the Kizu river in small boats to attack Yawata and were aided by the treachery of men from Tsu who by secret agreement had changed sides and fired on their former allies.  The Shogunate army pulled back in disarray to Hirakata and then on to Osaka. The old order had fallen.
Western interest in the unfolding and confusing events was keen. Two mounted French military observers were present at the scene of the hostilities in Yodo watching the progress of the Tokugawa forces they had helped to train.
Souji awoke to the soft glow of sunlight as it filtered into his room.  He looked around and realized he was in sisters guest house.
“Mitsu?”  He called out weakly.  
“I’m here little brother.”  She replied softly.
Okita turned to see her enter the room.  
“I’m in Edo?”  He asked confused.
“Lord Hijikata found you and brought you to doctor Matsumoto’s clinic.  You’ve been unconscious for about two months,  we just brought you home the other day.”
“The battle?”  He asked.
Mitsu shook her head slowly.
Souji forced a weak smile.  Hijikata was right all along.
“Where is Megumi?”
“She went to get more medicine from doctor Matsumoto, she has rarely left your side since you returned.”
Souji smiled contently.  Everything worked out after all.  He would see her again.  
Souji’s body was suddenly racked with coughs.  He sat up in bed covering his mouth.  Crimson liquid dripped onto the white sheet.
“Brother!  I’ll go get the doctor!”  Mitsu cried rising to her feet.  
“I’m dying Mitsu.”  He replied with a raspy voice.  
His sisters eyes widened with fear.
“Brother, hold on, I’ll bring the doctor she called back as she ran from the room.
Souji waited until the coughs died down a little and forced himself to his feet.
“Megumi…”  He said weakly.
Souji stumbled out of the room and left the house.  He headed toward the clinic.  Not for the doctor but for her.  He stumbled along weakly.  People passing by backed away and watched in horror as this man, now covered in his own blood struggled down the street.  Souji’s coughs grew worse and he lost his footing landing on his knees.  He doubled over as he struggled to breath.  
“Souji!”  Cried a feminine voice in shock.
Okita looked up and saw her.  
“Megumi…”  He said though his wheezing.  
She dropped a basket of goods and rushed over to him.  She knelt down and tried to help him up but Souji only shook his head.
“Just sat with me awhile.”  He said softly.
She sat down beside him.  Souji quietly laid his head in her lap as the coughing slowly stopped.
“I just wanted to see you again, before it was to late.”  He said with a tender voice.
She stroked his head gently.
“Souji please don’t talk like that.  You’re going to be alright.”  She said with her voice cracking.
“Souji, I’ve taken far to many lives under that name.  Soujirou  was my childhood name, could bury me under that name?”  He asked in a low voice.
Megumi reached into her kimono.
“Here, take this medicine I got from doctor Matsumoto.  You’ll be running around with the children again in no time and we’ll sat up late talking like we used to.  It’s going to be alright Souji.”
She pulled out the medicine.
“Here Souji, please.”  She said almost crying.
The young man didn’t respond.  Megumi retch down and stroked his pale cheek.  It had already grown cold to the touch.  She dropped the medicine and openly wept.
Okita Souji, Captain of the first squad of the Shinsengumi, died on May 30th 1868.  Later that night he was buried at his family temple in Edo, under his birth name.  He was only 25 years old.  Megumi disappeared into the annuls of history.  The Shinsengumi continued to fight for the Shogunate until the group was nearly wiped out, even after Yoshinobu fled to Edo and eventually surrendered.  Only a few key figures survived into the new Meiji era including Saito Hajime who changed his name to fujita Goro and became affiliated with the police force in Edo (Tokyo).

(Story is heavily based on historical events with liberties taken to create a good story.)


© Copyright 2020 Valenwolf. All rights reserved.

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