The battle between Kenshin and Saito continues after Kenshin is stabbed by Saito's Gatotsu Sanshiki. Kaoru is frightened to see Kenshin's Battousai persona begin to emerge and begins to lose hope that she will ever see the gentle Rurouni again. However, one of Saito's superiors appears and stops the fight just as it is reaching a climax and Kenshin returns to normal after punching himself in the face. Okubo explains to Kenshin that Shishio Makoto, the man who took over Kenshin's position as the Shadow Hitokiri for the Ishinshishi survived being burned alive and has begun gathering an army to overthrow the government, and hopes that Kenshin can defeat him, with the threat of Megumi being turned in for opium manufacture unless he complies. Megumi states she would rather die that be used as a pawn against Kenshin, and he is given a deadline upon which to decide.