At Sakurada Gate in 1860, the shogun’s chief minister and his retinue of bodyguards are ambushed and annihilated. Bearing the responsibility and shame for this failure is Shimura Kingo, master swordsman and chief of the guard. Forbidden to take his own life in atonement, he is instead tasked with hunting down the remaining assassins; however, fate intervenes and now only one is left. Devoted to his late lord and his duty, he relentlessly pursues the sole remaining assassin for the next thirteen years. But times are changing in Japan and the way of the sword has become outlawed. What does this mean for Kingo?