The Man Who Makes Sakaba... Arai Shatku's Masterpiece!
Kenshin and Misao arrive at the Aoiya restaurant in Kyoto. Misao's Jiya (grandpa) greets Misao and invites "Himura Battousai" into the Aoiya to talk. The old man is a Kishiwazaki ninja, Oniwabanshuu, called Okina. Kenshin tells him the story of the Oniwabanshuu at Kanryu's mansion. Okina agrees that it would be best not to tell Misao. He knows about Shishio and tells Kenshin that he, Okina, will be Kenshin's number one supporter, and that Kenshin must stay at the Aoiya while is in Kyoto.
Kenshin asks Okina to find two people for him: Arai Shatku and Hiko Seijuro. The next morning Okina tells Kenshin that the swordmaker Arai Shatku is dead, but his son, Arai Seikuu, is still in the business and has supposedly inherited his father's skill. Kenshin, Okina, and Misao pay the swordmaker a visit. They are greeted by a small boy, Iori, and Iori's mother Asuza. Kenshin tests a kitchen knife made by Arai Seikuu, and then asks Seikuu to make him a sword. Seikuu refuses; he has a son and a wife and does not want to spend his life making instruments intended for killing. Kenshin understands and leaves.
Meanwhile, at Shishio's headquarters, Shishio is checking in with Hoji, the Hyaku Shiki. Shishio tells Hoji that he has called together the Juppongatana and as soon as they all are gathered, they will begin their kuni-tori (national domination). Shishio tells Hoji that in celebration of kuni-tori, the Juppongatana will kill Himura Battousai. Katanagari (sword-lover) Cho arrives while Hoji is telling Shishio about Kenshin's visit to Arai Seikuu. Hoji tells Shishio that Arai Shatku's last sword was not given to Kenshin. Cho gets excited when he hears that a dead famous swordmaker has an unclaimed last sword, and goes to visit Shatku's son.
Cho arrives at the swordmakers house, and Seikuu asks him what he wants. Cho says he want Arai Shatku's last sword. Seikuu says he does not have the sword there. Cho picks up baby Iori with the tip of his sword and throws him into the air, then catches him with the sword tip. Seikuu's wife tells Cho that her father-in-law's last sword was dedicated to the Haku-San Shinto Shrine. Cho goes to check it out, taking Iori with him, swinging on the point of his sword. Misao arrives on the scene, hears the story, and notifies Okina via carrier pigeon. Kenshin is at the Aoiya when the pigeon arrives. He rushes out of the restaurant to go to the Shrine. When Cho arrives at the Haku-San Shinto Shrine, Iori over his shoulder, and finds Kenshin already waiting for him...