Path (道, Michi) is the 574th chapter of the Gintama series. The Four Heavenly Kings had their silly moments before they get down to business.
As they are surrounded by the Harusame and the Naraku, Takasugi is amused at the irony that the two people (Katsura and Gintoki) who fought against him to save the country are now being targeted by the very country they are saving. The two men beg to differ, and told Takasugi to treasure his spared life as they will still go after him after all this. In Sakamoto's intepretation, it simply meant that the two men didn't want Takasugi to die yet. But the Kaientai leader also added that they should let bygones be bygones and be friends again, earning the wrath of Katsura, Gintoki, and even Takasugi.
While turning to look at their enemies, Takasugi is again amused by the fact that the students of Shouka Sonjuku have become traitors to the country, but Gintoki corrects him: they were simply going against one person. At the same time, Utsuro feels the phantom feelings of Shouyou within him as he sees Shouyou's gathered disciples. He proceeds to send out the walking tanks, known as Moguras, in an attempt to kill the disciples.
To Katsura's surprise, Takasugi reveals that he had some idea about Shouyou being Utsuro. He states that the one truly responsible for Shouyou's arrest was in fact the thing inside him which he has been fighting against. Unfortunately, their beloved teacher lost the battle and was consumed, and that thing that remained was the cause of the world's "decay". Because of this, he has resolved himself to resist and destroy the rotten world that Utsuro created.
At Utsuro's orders, the Moguras fire at the Four Heavenly Kings and hit the target. But the quartet rush out of the smoke unscathed and attack the assassins, with their respective factions ordered to hold off the Naraku while the quartet proceed to destroy the tanks.
While working together to destroy the Moguras, Katsura thinks back to after Shouyou's execution. Within the graves of their comrades and Shouyou, a part of Takasugi, Gintoki and Katsura died as well, and the three went on their separate ways, supposedly never to see each other again. They still adhered to their teacher's teachings while struggling and surviving to find their own brand of samurai, eventually meeting one another again. The person who rejoined their separate paths was, Katsura believed, Shouyou. Even if their team-up is temporary or coincidental, Katsura hoped that for this moment they return to being friends again.
- Shouyou: (To a young Takasugi) You too, drifted here after getting lost on your path, didn't you? I am the same. I'm still lost. That's okay. Worry and wander. You just need to become your own idea of a samurai.
Characters EditCharacters in order of appearance
- As Gintoki and Katsura are bashing Sakamoto in one of the panels, Katsura mentions Toda Natsuko (戸田 奈津子), a renowned subtitle translator of foreign films in Japan. She also serves as an interpreter for foreign stars visiting Japan for publicity.