Author's Note: I decided to finish this fic since I already finished one of my RK fics. This story was intended to be like an episode in the Anime, even though it's ten chapters long. I hope that you all enjoy this chapter!
Chapter 10: The Rage of the Sacred Forest
The sap of the trees shimmered on the ground of the Sacred Forest of the Demons like melted gold. Not a sound was heard as the honey colored liquid made its way through the roots of the towering trees to seep of the forest.
"What do you suppose that Naraku was planning to do with all of this sap?" the demon exterminator asked the monk as they watched the life force of the Sacred Trees stop flowing at the edge of the forest as if there were an invisible barrier there.
"I don't know, but I can feel a very powerful aura coming from it," said Miroku as he noticed that the sap was rising to the level of their knees around the cluster of trees.
"I wonder why the liquid doesn't flow outside of the forest," thought Sango out loud as she clutched her boomerang on her back tighter.
"That's because the golden water that you see rising was made from the trees that fed off of the power of previous youkai," answered the friend of a certain wolf demon.
Turning around, Sango and Miroku acknowledged the presences of Hakkaku and Ginta with a curt nod.
"Therefore the sap can only survive with the life force of demons, which is collected within those trees that you see before you. If the sap were to leave the Sacred Forest of the Demons, then it'll evaporate into nothing," added Hakkaku when the two reached the couple.
"It has a life of its own?" asked Sango incredulously as she turned to face the yellow substance again.
"It possesses the power of previous demons that have entered the forest, so yes; it does have a life of its own. The sap will take on youkai instincts and want to protect the trees from any further harm, which means that it'll take over the trees to do so. That's why the sap is going down again, because it's being absorbed by the trees' roots," explained Ginta.
"The moment that the sap left its rightful place within the trees, its demon nature to survive began to grow. This is the reason why all of the youkai wanted to stop Naraku from taking the sap, because once the sap takes over the trees, there will be no stopping its rage. Impulsively, the trees will begin to destroy anything and everything within the forest until there's nothing left," stated Hakkaku with a grim expression before Sango and Miroku could ask any further questions.
"Which means that not even demons can enter the sacred forest afterwards," said Ginta as he clenched his fists.
"Due to the fact that the forest itself cannot trust anyone else again because of the betrayal caused by Naraku," said Miroku as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
"The Sacred Forest of the Demons provided peace and relaxations to the demons in return for a bit of strength, and now that Naraku has unbalanced this tradition the forest is going to take it as an invitation to lock its territory to all demons!" Sango's hold on Hiraikotsu tightened as realization dawned on her.
"Aren't you two going to go in there and help Kouga-kun?" asked Miroku as he looked over at the two wolf demons.
The monk was a bit surprised when the pair shook their heads gloomily.
"Why not?" asked Sango confused; they had always been loyal to Kouga.
"If we go inside, our powers will be sucked out of us by the sap," reminded Hakkaku.
"The sap feeds on the life energy of demons…. Then that means that…" began Sango as she looked at Miroku with horror filled eyes.
"Inuyasha and the others will be sucked of their powers or worse," finished Miroku, his hands tightening on his staff; he couldn't help but feel guilty that he was powerless to help his traveling companions.
The four could only wait and pray for their friends to come out of the forest safely.
She couldn't breathe and all that she could hear was the gurgling of water rushing in her ears as her body was forced to follow the current that had caught her so unexpectedly. Had she known that her arrow would have destroyed the large black kettle as well, she wouldn't have shot the bastard who stood before it. But there was no way to turn back Time and stop her self from doing what she did; the deed was done.
Was she hearing things? Was someone really calling her name?
There it was again, but this time it sounded more desperate and almost pleading. Someone was trying to get her attention; but who?
"Kagome; where are you?" shouted the hanyou again as he walked around in the thigh deep river of gold, frantically trying to find his companion.
Soaked from head to toe in the sap, Inuyasha pushed away his silver hair that was sticking to his face. His senses were slowly fading away from him and he cursed at how useless he was becoming.
"Speak up!" cried out Inuyasha again, his amber orbs scanning the entire area for Kagome.
The only things visible to him were the ever looming trees around the clearing and the honey-like substance that he was standing in.
Blinking the sap from his eyesight, he rubbed his eyes to make sure that what he saw was real. He nearly smiled with relief as he recognized the bow; it meant that Kagome was nearby. Looking around, the hanyou spotted something red and white just a few meters from him.
Struggling against the flow of the sap, Inuyasha made his way over to Kagome's lifeless form and lifted her up. Mustering the last of his strength, the hanyou jumped up towards the closest tree branch before jumping up higher and higher.
"Kagome," whispered Inuyasha as he sat down on the branch so that he could cradle her head in his right arm and her body on his lap.
Golden eyes widened in horror when the half demon realized that the miko wasn't breathing.
Quickly brushing away her now semi-black hair from her face, Inuyasha captured her slowly bluing lips and began to breathe into her mouth. Unconsciously, his free arm wrapped itself around Kagome's sticky waist to keep her from slipping out his hold.
Pulling away only to catch his own breath and gather more air, Inuyasha again allowed their lips to meet as he gave her what her body longed for. Just as he was about to part again, Kagome's brown eyes snapped open in shock. Her coughing fit told her savior that she was breathing again.
"Are you alright?" asked Inuyasha as Kagome turned her head to the side to rid her body of the sap that had entered her earlier on when she was swept away.
"I-I'm f-fine…n-now," gasped out Kagome when she slowly turned to face Inuyasha again, her face tinged with a nice shade of pink.
Inuyasha smiled, but suddenly frowned when he got a better look at her.
"What?" demanded Kagome once she got her much needed oxygen back.
"The sap of the sacred trees managed to get to your demon life force," stated Inuyasha as his eyes fell on her face and then at his now humanly nailed hands.
Kagome's eyes widened as she finally realized that Inuyasha had become human and smiled when she noticed that she too had become human again. Touching her face and toying with her now black hair to make sure that she wasn't dreaming, Kagome squealed with delight before throwing her hands around Inuyasha's neck.
"Oh thank you Inuyasha! You saved my life! And I'm human again!" Kagome spoke, her voice full of delight and happiness that she wouldn't have to wait so long to become human again. She could now face her friends without worry.
Inuyasha only rolled his eyes at her actions as he tried desperately not to blush from the position that they were in. He forced himself to bite back a groan at how well her body fit against his own when she hugged him, and being soaked in the sap allowed him to notice just how perfectly her curves fit with his own. His eyes nearly rolled back in pleasure as the scent that was distinctively her intoxicated his senses; they were just a bit too close for just a bit too long.
"Wait! What happened to Naraku?" asked Kagome as she remembered what had happened before she almost drowned.
The question snapped the once half demon back to reality as he suddenly stood up, nearly causing the miko to fall off the branch from surprise.
"I almost forgot about him!" confessed Inuyasha as he scanned the area and muttered curses about how human eyesight wasn't reliable.
"You could have warned me before you got up!" yelled Kagome as she stood up angrily.
"This is no time to argue! We have to find the bastard Naraku before he finds us like this. In our current stages, we can't very well protect ourselves, can we?" snapped Inuyasha as the two locked gazes.
Kagome bit her bottom lip when common sense decided to return to her; they really were in danger if Naraku caught hem as they were now.
"Chotto matte yo! How can we still be in the Sacred Forest of the Demons if we're human?" asked Kagome when the comprehension of their state dawned on her.
Inuyasha fell silent at that.... Humans couldn't enter the forest, so how in the world were they still inside and alive? Kagome's sudden latch onto his arm snapped him out of his reverie, staring down at her in confusion he finally figured out what she was so afraid of.
There at the bottom of the tree in which they stood was Naraku and Kanna; both seemed unaffected by the sap. Moving his gaze to what they were looking at, Inuyasha's eyes widened when he noticed that the roots of the trees around the area had rose from the ground and were pointing dangerously at the two. He took note that all of the sap had disappeared while he tried to figure out how Naraku had escaped being changed into a human, because he too was only a half breed.
"Inuyasha," whispered Kagome, but fell silent when she felt Inuyasha wrap an arm around her abdomen and move a finger to her lips to keep her quiet.
Getting the hint, Kagome allowed Inuyasha to hold her as the couple looked onward at the scene before them.
"Kirara; do you see Inuyasha anywhere?" asked Shippo as he rode on Kirara who had flown to the sky the moment that they saw the sap headed their way.
"Lord Inuyasha's blood has changed! He must have been caught in the wave of the golden energy," acknowledge the flea demon as he jumped up and down on Kirara's back.
"Does that mean that the Forest is going to kick him out because he doesn't have any demon blood anymore?" asked Shippo as he looked at Myouga worriedly.
Myouga stopped jumping as he brushed his hand through his beard.
"Lord Inuyasha still has demon blood in him, but it's just lying dormant for the time being because all of his demon life force was sucked out of him, not blood. Watch out Kirara!" Myouga warned as a tree branch attacked them.
"What's going on?" asked Shippo frightened as Kirara barely dodged the other tree branches that were suddenly trying to hit them.
"The trees must have gotten a mind of their own once the sap returned to them! They want revenge!" spoke Myouga as Kirara growled when one of her tails were hit.
"Then they should be after Naraku, not us!" complained Shippo as he grabbed a few leaves from inside his vest and threw them at the branches in front of them, the leaves turning into bombs.
"Yeah!" shouted Shippo as the branches retreated when the bombs exploded and did minimal damage to the tree branches but enough to allow them to fly away.
"The trees can't tell who it was that attacked them, all that they know is that some demon attacked them so therefore they're going after each and every one until there are no more demon life forces inside here," explained Myouga as Kirara began to fly towards an opening.
"Wait, Kirara! Over there in one of the branches, it's Inuyasha! Oh no, he really is human…is that Kagome?" asked Shippo incredulously as he spotted the couple just a few dozen meters from.
"Shippo, look!" interrupted Myouga as he pointed at the base of the tree that Inuyasha and Kagome were at, "Naraku is there with that Kanna demon, and he's about to get attacked."
"That's what he gets!" stated Shippo as he snarled at the sight of the man in the baboon suit.
The sight of hundreds of tree roots pointing directly at Naraku was quite the sight, and seeing that the half demon was doing nothing to stop them got the three curious.
"Why isn't the tree with Kagome and Inuyasha on it attacking Naraku? I thought that all of the trees would be attack him," said Shippo as he noticed the little detail.
"I don't understand either…. Kirara, fly down towards Lord Inuyasha and Lady Kagome; we have to get out of here," ordered Myouga, the flying demon growling in response as she descended towards the tree.
"Kagome, Inuyasha, are you two okay?" asked Shippo the moment that they got close enough, ignoring the fact that Naraku and Kanna had looked up towards them.
"Shippo; what are you doing in here?" asked Kagome instead as she stared at them.
"I'm surprised that you're here you cowardly flea," said Inuyasha as he noticed Myouga who could only stutter for an answer.
"No time to talk, get on," said Shippo as Kirara stayed afloat beside the branch that the two were on.
Inuyasha helped Kagome up before he too jumped on.
"I'll get you next time Inuyasha," spoke a cold and dark voice from below them.
Five sets of eyes stared down as they watched in fascination as all the roots of the trees attacked Naraku's form at once. The dust rose from the ground from the impact of the tree roots so that no one could see what had happened to the two that were just down below them.
"Another puppet; I knew it. Naraku had taken the full blow of the sap when Kagome released it from its prison right behind him; there was no way he could have kept all of his demon life force," growled Inuyasha angrily when the dust cleared and revealed that the only thing that got destroyed was the baboon costume.
"Kagome…how did you manage to get into the Sacred Forest of the Demons?" asked Shippo after Kirara ascended above the canopy of trees that were viciously moving around trying to kill off something else.
"Uh…" Kagome swallowed hard as she tried to think of an excuse and looked back at Inuyasha for help.
"What happened to you and Lord Inuyasha after you were attacked by the spider youkai, Lady Kagome?" asked Myouga when she didn't answer.
"Well…. We….eh…." started Kagome but began to fidget with her fingers when she couldn't put together her words.
"We went to get Kagome's wounds healed in a secluded area where her rest wouldn't get interrupted. I dragged her here and her miko powers protected her from being sensed at all by the sacred trees," Inuyasha lied calmly with his eyes closed and hands stuffed into his sleeves.
Kirara roared before the kitsune or flea demon could question the pair again.
Raising their heads towards what it was that Kirara was roaring at, the group spotted Ah-Un staying adrift in front of them with Jaken as well as the little girl seated on their backs.
"What are they doing here? I almost forgot; Sesshoumaru and Kouga are still inside the Forest! Do you think that they were drained of their power too?" asked Kagome as she turned around to see Inuyasha's grim expression.
As if on cue, a flash of purple sparks appeared right below them and a crashing sound signaled that a few trees had been hacked down. A white blur appeared where the trees had once been standing and Rin's delighted voice alerted the group that Lord of the Western Lands had made it out of the Sacred Forest of the Demons unscathed.
"Lord Sesshoumaru!" beamed Rin as Sesshoumaru sheathed Toukijin from his standing position on Ah-Un's back.
"I see that you both have changed," noted Sesshoumaru as he stared at the blushing Kagome and scowling Inuyasha.
"Lord Sesshoumaru! Did you get that deceiving Naraku character?" asked Jaken before Inuyasha could make a cold remark back.
"Let's go," was Sesshoumaru's only reply as Ah-Un obliged and left the area.
Shippo sighed relieved as he spoke, "That was a close one, I was certain that Sesshoumaru would have taken care of Inuyasha because he was in his human state."
"I could have taken care of him," said Inuyasha arrogantly as he hit Shippo on the head when the small youkai shook his head.
"Sango, Miroku!" cried out Kagome when she looked ahead and noticed that the pair were staring at the forest intently.
"Lady Kagome, Inuyasha! You're both alright," said Miroku with a smile on his face as he waved at them with his staff.
"Lady Kagome, did you see Kouga in there?" asked Ginta as the two wolf demons raced over towards Kirara the moment that she landed on the ground.
"He hasn't come out yet? When Inuyasha and I went up against Naraku, we didn't see him anywhere," said Kagome as Inuyasha helped her off of Kirara.
"Inuyasha; you're human!" gasped Sango shocked as she stared at the man who was once a hanyou.
"State the obvious why don't you?" snapped Inuyasha a bit darkly; he had always hated being in his human form.
"We have to go in after him!" cried Hakkaku when the information sunk in that their leader was probably still in the forest.
"You can't; you both will get killed by the trees! They attacked Naraku, well his puppet anyways, and he had to retreat. I don't think that Kouga would want you two to risk your lives for him," said Kagome seriously.
"So you were the hanyou that Inuyasha was hiding behind him earlier; why didn't you tell us that you were transformed Lady Kagome?" asked Miroku, snapping everyone else out of their previous thoughts.
"H-how did you know?" asked Kagome in shock as she stared at the monk who was grinning.
"I had suspected something when you and Inuyasha made an appearance by the well and when I noticed your holy powers before you left to fight Naraku, it confirmed my suspicions," said Miroku, raising his index his finger to give himself an air of importance.
"So that's why you were able to enter the forest before, because then you had a demon life force within your body!" said Shippo, clinging to Kagome's shoulder as realization dawned on him.
"Inuyasha had to give me some of his blood since I had lost so much of it before, and also it was the only way to help me get rid of the poison that the spider youkai had injected into me. We were going to wait to return to you during the time that Inuyasha's demon blood slept so that my miko powers could easily purify his blood and turn me back to a human," explained Kagome as she flashed the others an apologetic smile.
"I see…. Now things are slowly making sense. I have also determined why the trees hadn't attacked Lord Inuyasha and Lady Kagome. They were humans and the trees had no intentions of hurting them because someone of demon powers had attacked them, not human. So therefore they ruled them out as the ones that killed their fellow companions," said Myouga as he nodded at his own clarification of what had happened.
"Poor Kouga, he's probably already been flattened out or poked to death by those trees; they nearly cut off our heads when we were looking for you two!" said Shippo.
"I guess that we can now enter the forest without fear of being killed," said Sango as she looked at Miroku who nodded.
"We'll just have to go in there and find him," said Kagome as she began to walk back towards the wall of trees, but was stopped by a hand firmly held onto her right wrist.
Turning around, Kagome stared into her rescuer's stern dark violet eyes that almost seemed black.
"If Sesshoumaru managed to get away, then so did Kouga. The two were right behind us when you attacked Naraku and set the sap loose. They were probably both looking on from the branches and waiting for a time to attack; I sensed them," said Inuyasha as his hold on her hand tightened; he didn't want her to leave his side and risk almost losing her again.
"You know that Kouga isn't as powerful as Sesshoumaru…" started Kagome but was cut of by Inuyasha.
"But he's just as fast with the aid of the shards of the Shikon no Tama," added Inuyasha.
Kagome bit her lower lip as she looked at the forest before returning her gaze to Inuyasha's and sighing.
"Hey, you mangy mutt, you were just going to let me almost get killed in there?" cursed the ruff voice of a certain Wolf Prince as he raced out of the forest with dust trailing after him.
Inuyasha growled back at the wolf demon that only had so many scars on his arms from the tree branches. Pushing Kagome behind him, Inuyasha stood in front of her protectively.
"You're pathetic if you got caught by that oozing gold stuff," mocked Kouga as he smirked in triumph that he had managed to get on the hanyou's nerves. His eyes narrowed as he recognized the red and white kimono that belonged to the other hanyou that had followed Inuyasha inside. "So is that other half breed behind you your bitch now?" growled out Kouga when his men raced to his side.
"Uh Kouga…that's…." started Ginta but was cut off when Inuyasha laughed and grinned at Kouga.
"So, you're finally agreeing that Kagome belongs to me and not you?" asked Inuyasha, enjoying the shocked expression on Kouga's face as Kagome stepped out from behind him with narrowed eyes at the wolf demon.
"I tried to warn you," said Ginta as he shook his head at Kouga's reaction.
"Kagome? I-I…" Kouga stuttered as he stared at her in astonishment.
"I am not anyone's bitch!" snapped Kagome as she clenched her fists to her side angrily, causing the kitsune to jump from her shoulder to Inuyasha's in fear.
"Um… I think I hear the other wolf demons calling me back," Kouga lied as he quickly raced off, dragging his friends by the collars.
Inuyasha let out another laugh with the rest of the gang as they watched Kouga run away.
"I'll get him next time for calling me Inuyasha's.…" Kagome suddenly blushed as she realized just what that meant towards an inu youkai.
"Come on, let's get going. There's not much that we can do now," said Miroku as he moved to get on Kirara.
"There's not much room on Kirara and I think that I want to walk back to Kaede's village," said Kagome with a smile to the rest of the group.
"Then I'll walk back too," said Inuyasha in his arrogant manner; he wasn't about to let Kagome be alone after what happened to her before.
"That's a long walk, Kagome. I'll have Kirara come back for you and Inuyasha once the rest of us get there," said Sango as she got on Kirara as well.
"Have a safe trip you two!" cried out Shippo as he attached himself to Miroku's shoulder.
"Okay, you too!" shouted back Kagome as she waved them good bye as they flew away.
"We might as well get going," said Inuyasha when the others were out of view.
Kagome smiled at him before following.
After an hour of comfortable silence, Kagome decided to speak up, "Do you k now when you'll be able to change back into a hanyou?"
Inuyasha only shrugged as they walked along the grass and was glad that they had taken the path that wasn't littered with the bones of humans and weaker youkai that had been left behind by the stronger demons. It seemed like it would take a while before the path towards the Sacred Forest of the Demons would once again become beautiful and the forest itself become peaceful with demons again.
"I can feel my powers slowly purifying your blood," spoke Kagome after another long moment of silence.
Inuyasha moved a hand to the sheath of Tetsusaiga and absent-mindedly toyed with the hilt of it.
"About what I said earlier before we got to the forest; I didn't really mean it. I know that you're proud and I should have understood that the only reason why you're so guarded is because of your past. You didn't exactly live a wonderful life before," whispered Kagome as she looked up towards the darkening sky; tears brimming from the corner of her eyes.
Stopping, Inuyasha moved his hands on Kagome's shoulder and forced her to look at him.
"You shouldn't cry for me," said Inuyasha as he wiped away the tears that had fallen upon her cheeks.
"B-but…" Kagome kept quiet when he moved a finger to her lips and shook his head.
"I guess that I should have acted like a jerk to you all the time. There are many things that I wished I hadn't said or did to you, and I'm sorry if I ever hurt you," admitted Inuyasha as his eyes met her own.
"No! I shouldn't have expected you to change just because I wanted you to be different. I should have respected your privacy and wanting to be alone by pushing those that care for you away. I should have understood…" began Kagome again, but was hushed when warm lips touched her own.
Instinctively her arms snaked their way shyly around his neck and deepened the kiss. Her lips slowly parting as her head tilted to give her 'traveling companion' better access to her mouth.
"No more I should haves," said Inuyasha with a small smile on his face when their lips parted.
Kagome blushed and didn't say anything when his arms settled on her hips.
"Thank you," said Kagome as she laid her head on Inuyasha's chest.
"For what?" Inuyasha asked as he looked down at her confused.
"For just being you," answered Kagome as she closed her eyes and allowed herself the pleasure of hearing his calm heartbeat in her ears.
"Your welcome, and," said Inuyasha as he moved a hand through her ebony terraces, "thanks for being my reason to live and for keeping me sane."
Kagome moved her head from its place on his chest to look up at him with a smile on her lips that somehow got closer to his own.
A growl from beside them caused the couple to pull apart with a start, and blushed as they looked at Kirara who was smiling at them.
Exchanging contented smiled, the couple walked over to the awaiting demon and moved themselves on her back. Just as they were lifted into the air, the sun vanished and made way for the numerous stars in the sky as well as the glowing moon.
Kagome closed her eyes as she leaned against the man behind her, and half noticed the white locks that cascaded against her shoulders. Strong arms held her, as if never to let go, as the couple rode off into endless night.
A/N: I hope that you all enjoyed it, and please review telling me what you thought of the fic!