(Warning: Spoilers from the main story!)
First of all, time to send billions of thanks to Kuwabara-sensei for writing this amazing story! It seems that this was the last novel of Mirage. She did absolutely fantastic and amazing job during these 26 years. Thank you so much!!
So, yesterday I got the last volume of Shouwa prequels, and I couldn't resist myself of reading some parts of it already. :') Oh my gosh! I made a short summary and also translated the last scene for the fans that can't read Japanese.
This scene is after the last battle. Kagetora has slept in the darkness for many years before Kenshin wakes him up. Kenshin tells to Kagetora that Kagekatsu will born back to the Earth soon and that Kagetora needs to protect him since Kagekatsu is Miroku, and there will be bad people like Nobunaga who would like to use Bodhisattva's power. Kagetora hesitates to perform kanshou again because he feels that he just hurts everyone and doesn't deserve right to live. Kenshin shows a vision of young Tachibana Yoshiaki looking for Kagetora desperately. Kagetora's heart hurts seeing Naoe crying his name and trying to find him. It's painful since Naoe doesn't know the truth about Kagetora's true feelings.
Starting from p. 293:
I want to heal his sorrow. Like Minako did to me.
I'm the only one who can do it.
In this world, I'm the only one.
I can't let him to suffer eternally. That's why.
I need to go to him.
One more time to that world.
I want to start it over.
Resetting everything back to zero.
If we can't move forward in our relationship because of me, I'm ready to remove all my memories and even change myself.
If he can forgive me, I would like to, one more time, with completely new myself, find the way to the future we could have had with Naoe without this tragedy. If it's the only thing I can do now, then I do so.
But I have one request Lord Kenshin.
I ask you to remove all my memories.
Please, wipe away my memories of these 400 years and send me back to the Earth.
But don't remove all. Leave a hint so that I can carry out this task. Imprint this hint into my soul so that I can protect Kagekatsu.
I promise to carry out this task, Lord Kenshin.
So please, give me one last opportunity to make it work with him.
Reset me back to zero and entrust the future to me.
The tangled knot we couldn't untie and the place we couldn't reach, too.
Entrust everything to new me.
I'm not going to abandon everything. Instead, this new change will lead me to the correct way. I won't give in despair. I bend my knee to hope, surrendering to it in order to step into new path. Once more.
Once more I'll return to my friends' side.
Once more I'll return to his side.
I won't have any memories of us, but please, find me.
I'm sure you can do it.
You will definitely find my soul in the crowd of people.
And when you find me, let's start it over again. Once more.
This time we surely can reach it. You and me.
Our own ideal way to be together.
Kenshin, who accepted Kagetora's wish, leaded him.
A ray of light appeared into the darkness when Kenshin pointed his finger.
The path you have chosen is good. It's a path without regrets.
My beloved son, the follower of northern guardian (Bishamonten), I show how you can leave this place. It's time to go. Follow the light.
Kagetora started to walk.
He lifted his chin, clenched his teeth and kept his gaze forward.
A small life was waiting for him.
It was still dozing at it's mother's womb.
Kagetora closed his eyes as his soul started to melt into the light.
He remembered the pure white snow field in Aso.
And in the light he saw the smile he would never forget.
"...I'll look after you two from the Heaven...."
After this there is a scene from vol. 1 when Naoe and Takaya meet for the first time in front of Yuzuru's home. The volume ends with words "The story begins now".
Oh my gosh, I totally melted. ;;__;; This was so romantic.