so, you're saving
the best for last?

      At the end of the Baragaki arc, we learn that 佐々木異三郎 (Sasaki Isaburo) had been secretly working together with Takasugi, plotting future plans to overthrow the government. It's unknown at this point what exactly they are plotting, but if the sense of foreboding gives us any indication, it's definitely something that's not good for the rest of Edo and the whole of its population. The two exchange a very brief conversation with various metaphors to get their points across, with Isaburo ending their meeting with the following:

I'm sure we'll meet again. Once we clear the rubble from this land, we get to see how the fish act of water.

(Isaburo, episode 247)

      It isn't until Keisei arc that we get in touch with Isaburo again, and much like their previous arc together, it isn't until after the whole ordeal that we see Takasugi. During this arc, Isaburo is stationed at the Shogun's castle as a guard, or more specifically, as one of the guards stationed close to Sadasada, the previous Shogun of Edo. Sada has his own personal guards stab Isaburo and frames the Mimiwarigumi as well as the Yorozuya for the crime, planting the impression that they had tried to assassinate the shogun. In a struggle for justice, we are introduced to the Yatagarasu, the "messengers of heaven" of the Tenshou school, Naraku and its leader, Oboro. The Tendou Sect is the group of Amanto who controls the bakufu from the shadows and is the ultimate authority over the Harusame. It is during the closing of this arc that we find the Tendoushuu are aware of Takasugi's movements, but in order to "reveal that demon, that doll is still needed" (chapter 398, page 10).

Lookin' good, Takasugi!      And reveal the demon, he does. With Sadasada's life as the price, that is. Takasugi takes the head of yet another government official. Not only do we finally see the shadowy workings of the Amanto, the corrupted government, more of the Joui patriots' past, and Takasugi's assassinations actually taking place, but we get to see (as an added bonus) Shouyou-sensei's beautiful face.
      So what does this all mean for the future of Edo? Since Takasugi's time of appearance, from the festival all the way into the Keisei arc, his goals of bringing down the world never changes. He's gotten so close, with every official he kills pushing him closer to his goals. Will he succeed? Considering his past, his involvement in Edo, he's lost everything and has nothing to gain. The only thing left for him is death and destruction.

No need for you to try and remember me... Because eventually, the Tendoushuu... and those foolish crows.. no, the heads of all of the world... I'll carry them down to hell. Give my regards to sensei for me.

(Takasugi, chapter 398)