Ha well look who updated! Dodges rotten tomatoes. Sorry! I have a difficult period in life, but won't talk about it since I got some anonymous reviews with such bad words, that I was shocked and mostly hurt. Real life is important, enough said.
Also I have to apologize for my grammar. I am aware its not perfect and I have problems with tenses and commas so please don't judge me too harsh, I am trying!
Belated Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy New year! Best wishes for everyone! Enjoy!
p.s. I don't know when I will be able to update but I won't abandon the fic. also I got inspired for the code of honour for the inu youkai from some fic, but can't remember the name, but I claim no ownership. if someone recognize it, let me know and I will give credit.
p.p.s please tell me what you think, your opinion is very important and I appreciate every word!
Chapter 29: Shattering Confessions.
Kagome's heart increased its beat. Thud thud. The sound was defeating, echoing in her head, blood pounding in her temples. Her vision blurred and she was scared she would lose her connection with reality. After everything that she'd been through, now this again? The damn jewel just kept complicating her life even after it was gone! Someone started raising an army and wanted to recreate the jewel, using her soul? Well she will make sure they won't succeed! She was tired of being a damsel in distress. She was tired of someone trying to reap her soul out of her and she was tired of anyone thinking that they could use her to complete their agenda.
The memory of the time inside the jewel played before her eyes, cold dread enveloping her senses. No! The jewel was gone! She told herself and shaking her head took a deep breath to stabilize her heartbeat. It will stay gone, she will make sure of it! Calming her nerves a little, she looked the older demon in the eye.
"Please explain," she asked the eldest demon in the room, her voice steady and breathing controlled. Only her fingers trembled so she fisted them in an attempt to surpass her weakness.
"My spies don't know the leader's identity or his whereabouts, but the fact is that he is gathering quite a few powerful youkai across the continent and even distant lands," explained the elder dog and Inuyasha snorted and asked in a mocking tone:
"So you don't know who he is and where he is? What good are those spies of yours then?"
"You fool!" intoned the old dog in a cold voice and Kagome shook at the force in his words. "You would be wise to not disregard an enemy that is so crafty at hiding his identity or plans, that neither I can find him. Only by infiltrating his faction did my spies found information, only to then be destroyed trying to impart said information," continued Shiroheki and Kagome saw a hint of regret in his eyes.
"I fought those kinds of enemies before..." started Inuyasha only to be cut by Kagome.
"If you mean Naraku I quite well remember his craftiness and the effort it took to read his numerous schemes, so don't you dare imply it was easy."
"Keh. Whatever. We took him down after all!" smirked Inuyasha crossing his hands on his chest and Kagome sighed in exasperation. She also saw the solemn face of the Western heir with the corner of her eye and realized he too looked at his brother with disdain.
"Inuyasha, should I spell it out for you?" Kagome asked pinching the bridge of her nose. Said hanyou looked at her and snorted as pointing: enlighten me!
"We had an apparent advantage, as well as a common goal," she continued and seeing as the half-human didn't get it, she continued.
"Naraku was gathering the jewel shards which I could feel and see."
A long pause continued and Inuyasha still didn't admit defeat. How shocked Kagome was when Sesshoumaru stepped in to continue her trail of reasoning.
"The miko is correct. Naraku was gathering the shards of an already existing jewel. Where a shard was, a trail of his often remained in form of laid traps and chaos, but still a trail. In this case, we do not know the agenda of said demon or how and when he will decide to act."
"Correct," nodded Kagome looking at the demon lord. It was the longest sentence she heard him speaking. Ever! Sesshoumaru slightly inclined his head at her. The miko turned toward the elder dog and asked if he knew something else.
"The rumour started, that a strong youkai was gathering strong allies to create a powerful front, to level out humans and other weak youkai. My spy approached one of those contacts and was recruited."
Everyone looked at him and the dog continued in a serious voice. "It was only when I met with my contact that I realized the seriousness of the situation."
Kagome knew she won't like his next words on an instinctive level. Something was bad, very bad and her intuition rarely was wrong.
"He started telling me that the recruits were strong youkai, often with humanoid forms. Elementals, dragons, spirit youkais and some unknown to him, from the main land, when he started to choke," Shiroheki stated, and the miko saw him clenching and unclenching his fists.
"He started telling me about the plan to recreate the jewel with the Shikon Miko and the name of the leader, when blood and dark fume-poison started to pour from his mouth. It was over in seconds. I couldn't save him, not even his blood remained."
Kagome stopped cold, her blood freezing in her veins.
"The same happened with the next two. Every time they wanted to tell me about their main base and plans or the identity of anyone inside, they died instantly. All I could gather was that this individual knows exactly how to recreate the jewel, or is very confident in his own abilities. Either way, the hunt for the Shikon Miko started three days ago," He finished and Kagome flinched.
"Don't worry Kagome, we took down Naraku we'll take this one too, even if I will have to save your hide at each step," Inuyasha stated arrogantly not seeing how said miko flinched at his words.
"I admit that I am not all powerful, but I am not weak either." Kagome whispered almost inaudibly. Inuyasha turned around and measured her with a look.
"What?" he asked and Kagome trembled with fury.
"I AM NOT WEAK!" She intoned chin pointed up and eyes blazing with indignation. "Yes, I am not Kikyo as you pointed out multiple times, but I won't stand for you berating me any more Inuyasha! Enough is enough! I can take care of myself, thank you very much." She ended her tirade with a pained look on her visage.
"Keh, either way I will protect you, you can't take a step without being hurt, abducted or something else," He said and crossed his hands over his chest again.
"I see. No matter what I will do, I will never be good enough. I was young and untrained, I admit it but no more." Turning toward Sesshoumaru and then his grandfather, Kagome nodded her head. She intended to leave the room to stir in her emotions by herself, but she was interrupted by the lady of the castle.
"Hnm…why do you call her weak, son of my mate? Wasn't she the one who purified Naraku?" Asuna asked. Inuyasha squinted his eyes at her in agitation. "Surely it was not as dangerous as you paint it then..." She started only to be interrupted by a 'keh' by Inuyasha who puffed out his chest.
"We took him down, the bastard was crafty, but we won." Inuyasha responded filled with pride.
"How did you do it?" The youkai noble female turned and addressed the miko.
Kagome fidgeted in her seat. "I... I..." she started only to again be interrupted by Inuyasha.
"Kagome purified him to kingdom come. Her powers are amazing when unleashed." Inuyasha boasted for once in the conversation, praising Kagome for her heroism, which earned her attention. She had to wonder why he suddenly started praising her after just berating her until now. She squinted her eyes at him, but remained silent. She wasn't sure where his sudden shift in thought regarding her contribution to the battle came from, but it sounded weird. She looked at him and he met her eyes with his own. He had a soft look in his eyes, his shoulders were slightly slumped as if with guilt. He opened his mouth to say something, long seconds passed but he remained quiet. He took a deep breath, preparing to speak, but suddenly snapped his jaws shut and shook his head, dismissing whatever he intended to say forever.
Kagome saw the hanyou's expression and mumbled: "We did it together."
"Yes we did it, considering you were not even trained," the half-youkai commented and Kagome flinched at his jab. She couldn't tell why he changed so. When she returned after three years of absence he was sweet, attentive even if awkward. They got along pretty well. They went on dates, held hands and even kissed a few times, so that Kagome believed that she could hear the so called wedding bells. Then suddenly he changed. It seemed that he become the same rude aggressive hanyou he was a long time ago.
"Wait," snapped Shiroheki and measured Inuyasha with a calculating look, snapping Kagome from her reverie and her musings stepped on second plan. "What do you mean not trained? Isn't she a priestess?"
"Well I didn't know I had these powers until I was fifteen years old, so I received no training." Kagome explained. "I haven't even seen a demon until then. The Shikon no Tama was ripped from my chest and my powers activated." the miko continued and Inuyasha nodded in agreement.
"Yes, then she shattered the jewel and we started the quest for capturing all the jewel shards." Inuyasha chuckled at her.
"It wasn't my fault Inuyasha. I tried to take it from that crow youkai you know. You were there after all. I didn't see you doing a better job at it!" Kagome pointed her finger at him.
"Yes…But it was you who missed Kagome!" Inuyasha spat.
"Well I never fired an arrow till then, so forgive me for missing! I did better later, despite not being able to train. Since you were always in a hurry like as if we were late for the afternoon tea!" She snapped at him.
The silence in the room was defeating when the eldest youkai's chest rumbled. Kagome thought it felt more like a Doberman's enraged voice before a battle.
"You want to say Inuyasha that you dragged, a pack mate, an untrained female across the country and never deemed it prudent to arrange for an instructor?" asked Shiroheki in a chilling voice.
Inuyasha's ears flattened to his skull.
"You also did not give her time to practice?" He continued and the hanyou's shoulders slumped further.
"Did you at least provide shelter and food?" He asked and silenced Kagome with a glare when she wanted to interrupt him.
"I hunted..." Started Inuyasha then added additional commentary that came out in a low murmur. "Sometimes... and I always found shelter."
Sesshoumaru scoffed. "If by shelter you mean sleeping under the stars more often than not. And the miko was the one who provided food, comfort, and guidance."
"Hey Sesshoumaru you're not being fair! We slept under the stars when it was comfortable to do so. Inuyasha always took care of us and found shelter when needed." Kagome defended. She saw how the royal Daiyoukai slowly narrowed his gaze at her in disagreement and disapproval.
"Enough!" Started the elder and everyone went silent, only the youkai female aristocrat continued sipping at her tea and pretending not to be interested, when everyone knew it was far from the truth. "Seshoumaru." He addressed his eldest grandson. "Bring the Inuyoukai's Code of Honor." He commanded and Sesshomaru nodded.
Five minutes later Sesshoumaru returned with an old parchment and handed it to his grandfather.
"No, give it to Inuyasha," He told him, shaking his head and Sesshoumaru reluctantly did so. "Inuyasha I am going to address you with some questions and you better answer honestly because I will know if you are lying." Shiroheki said and Inuyasha nodded somehow unwillingly. He placed his fingers before him in thought before speaking. "Am I to assume that this miko here saved you from imprisonment, accepted you in her heart, shared her family with you, made possible for you to have a pack, and be accepted despite being a hanyou in these trying times?"
Kagome tensed, shocked beyond comparison. Sesshoumaru stood silent sipping on his tea. Inuyasha finally nodded after five minutes of silence.
"She also cared for you, took care of all of your needs as well treated your wounds and cooked for you?" the old Alpha continued and Kagome felt a shiver at the tone of his voice. It was too calm. "Could you also tell me what you did in return for her?"
"Keh I protected her!" Inuyasha answered, this time without pause.
"Hm…protected her? Physically?" He clarified. Inuyasha nodded.
"How about her emotional and spiritual health?" He further investigated.
The hanyou looked down in shame for reasons he couldn't understand himself. It was then that Kagome understood that Inuyasha probably wasn't even aware of his transgressions and only felt pressured by his grandfather.
"It's all right…I forgave him long ago. Despite being gruff, crass, and running his mouth before thinking, Inuyasha has a heart of gold. He genuinely cares for his friends." Kagome smiled at Inuyasha and patted his hand. She knew the truth, he wasn't taught to see these things, so maybe that's why he didn't understand some things that others considered norm. He raised his eyes at her and the corner of his mouth twitched into resembling something of a smile.
Kagome sweat dropped and her brow twitched in annoyance at his response to her beautiful accolade, bringing them right back to square one. "My name is Kagome you jerk! Not wench!"
"Hn, all is well that ends well." Spoke a melodious voice and Kagome turned her attention toward Asuna. "Once again this one sees how lucky you are Inuyasha. Not only did you have the love of your parents, you also got lucky to meet the only untrained miko with a heart of gold who freed you and gave you everything." She said and delicately put the cup on the table with an almost inaudible clang.
"Keh, she is Kikyo's reincarnation. I assumed she should have control over her powers." Inuyasha pointed.
"Well lucky for you, she didn't." Spoke Asuna and Inuyasha looked at her dumbly. "Tell me Inuyasha, what does a trained miko normally do when meeting one with demon blood?"
Understanding dawned on him. Kagome realized the truth as well, while trying not to ponder at the comparison to Kikyo. Again. A trained miko would purify a demon on sight. Kagome was different, but where was the warranty that she wouldn't have been changed if trained?
"Everything that happens, happens with a reason." Continued Asuna. "Now read Inuyasha." She said pointing to the document he held clutched in his hand and nearly forgotten.
Inuyasha curiously opened the old parchment and began scanning its contents. He started reading a random paragraph that looked like a list, unsure of the purpose behind this random activity bestowed onto him much to his ire. He read out loud:
"A worthy opponent will see through illusions but lies must never be spoken.
Power is to protect what is claimed and must be gained on its own.
Pack is most important of all relationships.
Destroying for the sake of destruction is for the weak.
If one battles, it must be for a worthy reason or against an equal or better opponent, not for the sake of destruction.
Control is of utmost importance to not shame lineage with a poor display of behaviour.
One must return loyalty or be dishonoured.
Duty and Responsibility must never be shirked."
Kagome listened attentively, almost leaning over to see for herself. From what she could tell, it was their ideology; a code of pack honour. Some notes she disagreed with. Some she embraced and accepted whole-heartedly. Most were considered norm for the Feudal Era in which she now lived. Was this the code Sesshoumaru lived? She peeked at him from under her lashes, considering this ground-breaking thought regarding Sesshomaru's personality, actions, and behaviour. She gazed at him, observing as he was sitting stoically in the seiza position with eyes forward on Inuyasha. His tea cup sat on the table, no longer in hand. In this moment he looked more like a porcelain statue than anything, making him quite difficult to dissect.
"Inuyasha you will study the code and I will question you on it in three days." Shiroheki ordered and Inuyasha paled at the amount to learn as he looked over the rest of the document. The hanyou was shocked but then he became enraged.
"Why now?" he asked, his fists trembling. "Why now, not when I was a pup, without no one in this world? You just prance in my life and demand I submit and learn some stupid laws that have nothing to do with me!" his voice shook with emotions and Kagome wanted to pat his shoulder, to reassure him that she was here but she refrained. This was too personal for him.
"Inuyasha..." she whispered with emotions coating her voice.
"I aitn't doing shit, so you can take this code and shove it.."
"That is enough!" boomed Shiroheki's voice. "No matter what, you still are an offspring of the Silver Ice Inu so behave like one! Now is not the time to dwell in past transgressions," he continued then closed his eyes in concentration. "I am aware of your troubles and we will talk about it, but not now when the crisis is at our doorstep."
The elder then turned toward Kagome and continued.
"We don't have much time. You will commence training with Sesshoumaru in the dojo immediately." He paused before clarifying. "Now to be more specific. Select a weapon of preference but I suggest making yourself familiar with other types as well. The more knowledge and versatility you have on weaponry, the better you will be as a skilled warrior and will no longer need to be so...dependent on others in crucial times of battle." Kagome wanted to protest, but he responded by pointing out that if she continued to be weak, she will be considered a target otherwise and thus a liability on the battlefield. Then he looked at his enraged eldest grandson and narrowed his eyes. "You will train your intended. It is late so we should continue tomorrow, after my spies have returned. The meeting is adjourned." He stated and rose from his seat quickly. He walked at a quick pace, already calling upon servants and instructing them on his wishes, with a smirking Asuna gracefully rising from her station and moving to follow him out.
Kagome looked at Sesshoumaru, whose face was stoned, yet the obvious anger was apparent in his aura. She wasn't sure if it was his grandfather's command that caused this clear dislike, or his continued reference to her being Sesshoumaru's "intended". Maybe it was a combination of them. Sesshoumaru's striking gaze diverted onto her petite form and she swore he could freeze over an exploding fiery volcano in the middle of an eruption. She realized then that his elder just gave them all once again, no choices on the matter. The desire to train had come and swelled inside of her, but she did not want anyone to be forced into this sudden novel duty. Certainly not Sesshoumaru of all demons. Kagome gulped at her predicament as well as how so much could have happened in such an enormously short period of time. Sesshoumaru's stare was unrelenting upon her. She closed her eyes gathering her courage, unsure of exactly what she was getting herself into. She bowed at him lowly, giving him proper respect that seemed to shock her hanyou companion, who could do nothing but gape. "Please take care of me." She intoned, knowing it was all she could of him at this point.
"Hn." He responded and quickly rose from the table and walked towards the door without further commentary, leaving behind a disgruntled hanyou and a perplexed miko.