Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from InuYasha.

I have combined the first three chapters into one and gone through the whole story for editing purposes, as it is I also removed author comments to previous reviews I received, so if it looks different that is why.

I do not know how many know the term otouto, most of you will probably recognize niisan to be older brother, otouto is younger brother. If you know I have used either grammatically wrong, please tell me so I can fix them. I spell Sesshoumaru's horse/creature's name as Ahun, I have also seen it as AhUn, as well as Ah and Un. It is just my preference to use Ahun, I do not know for sure if it is the correct spelling. Also the story takes place roughly 10 years after InuYasha the series.

Note: This chapter does contain a torture and rape scene. It is the only one of the story.


True Companion

Her body cried out in pain and every breath felt like daggers tearing across her lungs. The woman's right arm shook, while her left hung limply at her side, twisted into an unnatural angle. Blood flowed down her cold, exposed skin as the demon standing above her ran a dagger across her cheek pressing just hard enough to pierce the flesh.

"Bitch, you shouldn't have run away. We were going to keep you alive until your precious Lord and Master came. Niisan wanted to have you die in front of his eyes, but since you ran away no one is here to stop me from killing you…right…now." The demon grabbed her already destroyed left arm and twisted it even further causing her to scream in agony. "Come now, if you drop to your knees and beg me I will do as Niisan ordered and bring you back alive, of course, either way you will die eventually. So, beg me, beg for your meaningless life."

The woman's body wanted to comply and fall to the ground, not to beg him, but simply to rest; however, she refused to give the demon the pleasure of seeing her fall. She looked up, stared into his blood red eyes, and spat in his face. "You will die. He will kill you."

"Bitch!" The demon punched her in the stomach forcing her to double over in pain. "I am sick of hearing that! You still think he is going to come and rescue you? Perhaps I'll kill you now, just so I can see your face as you realize your precious Sesshoumaru didn't come to save you."

"Sesshoumaru-sama will kill you for insulting him, not to save me."

"So you ran to try and save your pathetic life. Rin, here I thought you were loyal to him."

"You cannot take my life." Rin coughed and blood drained from her mouth. "No one can take my life, except Sesshoumaru-sama."

The demon's anger was rising to the highest she had ever seen. He lifted her up by her haphazardly cut hair and placed the dagger at her throat. "If I shove this in your neck right now, I'm sure you'll die."

Despite every emotion that was running through her body Rin showed none and spoke calmly. "I may die, but when Sesshoumaru-sama comes he has the choice to restore my life. So you see only Sesshoumaru-sama can truly take my life." She let a pained smile form. "And if he chooses this to be my death, I shall embrace it."

The demon's anger could go no further and he pulled back the dagger and thrust it, not into her neck, but her stomach. "I'll let you embrace it! Slowly, die very slowly and painfully! Let's see what your Sesshoumaru does." He pulled out his dagger and began walking back to him camp, dragging Rin behind him.

Rin was surprised to find her new wound did not hurt that much more than her others. She had been beaten so much all the pain felt the same, it was impossible to tell what hurt most, it all did. But as the demon dragged her along the rough path and the last of her strength flowed from the wound in her stomach Rin began wondering why all this had to happen. It had been just like any other time Sesshoumaru left her alone, so why did it come to this?


Sesshoumaru and Jaken had gone off to take care of something. Rin never asked what it was, Sesshoumaru was a powerful demon and she understood that he didn't want her to know or see some of what he did. He had done that ever since she was a child, and that was fine with Rin. They left Ahun with her, in case she needed anything, and the two of them were near a river, Rin catching some fish for her dinner and Ahun resting along the bank watching her. After she caught enough to satisfy herself she brought them over to where Ahun was lying and went to find some firewood.

She was almost finished when she heard a horrifying roar and bright lights appearing near where Ahun rested. Rin dropped the wood and ran back to see what was going on but stopped when she saw Ahun, body split in two and heads tossed aside like bad pieces of meat. Two men stood over the demon's carcass, and by their appearance they were obviously demons. One held a bladed staff dripping with blood and the other a sword sheathed at his waist. The one that had killed Ahun had a cold expression in his eyes, which were as black as the moonless night. The other was smiling, obviously reveling in the kill made by the other. His eyes burned red with excitement.

Suddenly, the red eyed demon stopped smiling and sniffed at the air. He closed his eyes and started laughing such an evil laugh Rin's blood went cold in her veins.

"Otouto," the black eyed demon said, "do you smell our prey?"

The red eyed demon laughed again. "Why yes, Niisan, and her scent is intoxicating." He opened his eyes and looked directly at Rin. "It is making me so very hungry."

Rin turned and ran back into the trees weaving and turning to try and throw off any pursuit by the demons. But no matter how far she ran she heard no footsteps but her own. Rin didn't stop though, she kept running hoping to find her way to a village they had passed a short while before Sesshoumaru had left. Suddenly, she heard the sound of leaves rustling above her, but no wind was blowing. By the time she looked up it was too late, the red eyed demon jumped from the branches to block her path. Rin turned to run but the demon grabbed her left arm and yanked her back, breaking the bones he held onto in the process.

He lifted her off the ground by her throbbing arm and leaned in close to her face, breathing in her scent. "Simply intoxicating." He smiled and opened his mouth, showing off a pair of fangs, before leaning down to her shoulder.

"Otouto," the elder demon's voice caused the one holding Rin to stop in mid motion. "Otouto, I want her alive for now."

This statement obviously infuriated the younger and she heard a deep growl coming from him. "Sesshoumaru won't know we've killed her, he'll come either way."

Rin heard the elder demon walk up behind her, and an arm wrapped around her waist. "Otouto, give me the woman. You will not kill her till Sesshoumaru arrives to watch her die."

The younger demon growled again but released Rin. She drew her arm to her body and cradled it against her. She couldn't remember the last time she had felt such pain. "Woman, what is your name?" Rin didn't answer. "Woman, if you do not answer my questions I shall let him do as he pleases." He began to give her back to his brother who looked ready to eat her.

"Rin. My name is Rin."

He pulled her away from his brother again. "Good. Now, Rin, when is Sesshoumaru to return?"

"I don't know."

"Rin, you really shouldn't lie to me." He began pushing her forward again.

"I swear! Sesshoumaru-sama leaves and I wait for him to return. Sometimes it is a few days, others it can be weeks, but I never know when he leaves." This was of course a lie, but one that was definitely plausible. Sesshoumaru had told her he would be gone for three days, and this was only the first, but no matter what, she did not want them preparing a trap for him.

The elder was quiet for a moment, deciding whether or not to believe her story. Finally, he lifted Rin up and held her over his shoulder. "Then you should hope it is short this time. Otouto, let's go." The younger brother looked frustrated that he could not play with his prey but did as he was told.

Rin was carried out of the trees and down along the river. As they passed the area Ahun's corpse lay, tears fell from Rin's eyes, and she prayed Sesshoumaru would bring him back to life. The younger demon saw her crying and laughed his cold, dark laugh. "If the death of one beast makes you cry, then I will enjoy our time together."

His words terrified Rin. She forced herself to stop crying and focused on the pain her arm was in, so as to stop thinking about what he meant. She was beginning to realize if she was going to live till Sesshoumaru arrived she would have to stop showing weakness. Rin wasn't sure how far down river she was taken, but soon they entered a forest so thick the light could not penetrate through the treetops. Soon Rin heard voices, some laughing, some screaming, and she could see light ahead of them.

They headed for the light and entered a clearing occupied by what appeared to be human bandits and a number of women who looked as terrified as Rin felt. When they reached the center of the camp the demon threw Rin to the ground, right onto her already broken arm. Pain once again encompassed her entire arm and she had to use all her will not to scream out.

One of the bandits approached them, but smiling at Rin. "Looks like your hunt went well, Boss. We haven't had one this pretty in a long time."

"This woman is off limits," the elder said without even looking at the bandit.

The bandit looked disappointed and Rin could hear a number of the other men whispering angrily. "Come on Boss, you never do anything with them anyway, let us have her."

The demon turned to the bandit, his black eyes showing no emotion but causing the human become unbelievably frightened. "Do not question my orders."

"Never, Boss. I…I'm sorry."

The demon looked to Rin. "This woman has a very special purpose." Rin wasn't whether she should be relieved or not, but the demon's next statement told her she should not. "This woman must be made to know the most suffering a person can before they die. Otouto, you can play, but don't kill."

The demon's red eyes seemed to glow with excitement. He walked up to Rin and took her face in his hand. "Do you have anything to say before we start playing? Beg for mercy, perhaps."

Rin's fear was stopping her from thinking straight, she wanted to tell him she wasn't afraid of him, that he was a bastard, but she was afraid, too afraid to even say that. Finally, she managed think of the only thing she truly believed. So with a strong, confident voice Rin said, "Sesshoumaru-sama will kill you all."

The whole camp started laughing except for the demon still staring at her. "Then I will make sure he has a reason to." He dug his claws into her skin. "But not tonight."

The boss eyed his brother curiously. "Otouto?"

The demon threw Rin aside and walked to the nearest woman. "That bitch made me want to kill someone, so I will play with her tomorrow." Rin saw the woman's face fill with fear as the demon picked her up and took her to a nearby tent.

"Tie her up and keep a watch on her at all times," the boss ordered as he headed for a tent on the other side of the camp.

The bandits obeyed their orders, doing nothing more than tying her to a stake in the ground. Throughout the night Rin heard screaming coming from the tent the younger demon had taken the woman to. With each scream Rin's fear grew until the screams stopped with one blood-curdling shriek of pain and terror. A moment later, the demon came out completely covered in blood and headed straight for Rin, a smile of pleasure on his face.

He held a blood soaked hand to her nose. "Do you like the smell? I love the smell of blood, especially of human women. There is just something about it that makes me crave it more and more once I catch the scent. You had best get used to the smell." He wiped the blood across her face and walked away laughing.

Rin received no sleep that night and had little more to do than imagine what would happen when the demon came for her. Her fear filled every part of her being, but she knew she could not show it. When she was a child she had gone mute from watching bandits kill her family; even when she was beaten by the village she never made a sound, she could do it again. She had to. The pain in her left arm was excruciating and the fact that she had been tied with her arms behind her only made it worse. She used that pain to teach herself how to keep a calm appearance regardless of torture, for she knew more was to come.

Just before sunrise, when the rest of the camp was asleep and Rin's own body was wearing down from exhaustion, a woman carrying a small bucket approached her. She knelt down in front of Rin and lifted a ladle full of water from the bucket. Until she saw the water Rin had managed to forget how thirsty she was, but now she could barely stand the feeling. The woman brought the ladle to Rin's mouth and let her drink. She did this several times, taking care that not a drop was wasted.

"If they find out I did this they will kill me," the woman said as she carefully wiped Rin's face clean of any evidence.

"Why are you helping me then?"

"You aren't the first to suffer like this. I remember what is it like to be thirsty and have no water in sight. Once Akki-sama takes you I will not be able to help you at all. I at least wanted to help you for now."

"Thank you." Rin hesitated a moment and just as she was about to speak the woman stopped her.

"Please, you don't want to know before it happens. All I can tell you is if you don't scream he will lose interest much faster. That's how I survived, he knocked me unconscious, but I didn't die from it. He enjoys hearing the scream more than anything else." The woman stood up and quietly returned to one of the small tents.

Don't scream . . .everyone has their limits. How long will I last?

Rin slowly drifted into an uneasy sleep only to be awakened by numbingly cold water being dumped over her body. She shivered as the water soaked her kimono making the freezing cloth cling to her body. Above her Akki stood with a hungry expression on his face.

"Are you thirsty yet?" He tossed away the now empty bucket and took another from one of the bandits. "You haven't had anything to eat or drink since yesterday, you must be very thirsty by now."

Rin failed to stop her body from shaking, so she just stared at him as calmly as she could. "Sesshoumaru-sama will kill you."

Akki's brow narrowed. "I see I will have plenty of fun breaking you. But before we begin," he kneeled down and grabbed her jaw, opening her mouth and tilting her head back, "how about a drink?"

He tipped the bucket over her face and water streamed into her mouth. She couldn't breathe as the liquid rushed down her throat choking her, and no matter how much she twisted her head she couldn't get away from the flow. Just as she thought she was going to drown the water stopped coming and Akki released her from his grip.

Rin threw her head down and coughed up all she could get out of her lungs. She had never felt what it was like to drown before, and she didn't want to again. She kept her head down till she was sure all of the terror was out of her face, then looked up at Akki with the coldest eyes she could manage.

Akki just laughed as she stared at him, then without warning his eye lit up and his laughter reached an unbelievable pitch. "Untie her! I thought of the perfect thing to do!" The bandits barely had time to cut the ropes binding Rin to the stake before Akki lifted her by her kimono and dragged her into the tent he had taken the woman to the night before.

Nothing had prepared Rin for what she saw inside that tent. The cloth was stained red from blood and the woman's body had been butchered, pieces lay scattered about the edges of the tent. Bones littered the ground and Akki walked over then as if they were nothing more than twigs in his way. The smell was what affected Rin the most; the smell of blood and death infected her and clung to every inch of her clothing. There was no part of the small tent that didn't reek of decay, and despite all her efforts the odor was more than Rin could bear. Her body heaved as it tried to expel what Rin didn't have in her, only acid burned her throat.

Akki laughed and threw her to the ground waiting for her to stop convulsing, which to Rin's annoyance took several minutes. She hated that she already showed such weakness, but it had been far too many years since she had been exposed to such a brutal scene as this. She remained on the ground a moment more to regain her composure.

"How are you feeling, my dear? A little sick to your stomach? Poor, poor child, you had better get used to the smell, you will be spending a lot of time in here."

Two days, just two more days and Sesshoumaru-sama will return. I have to survive two days.

Akki walked over to where she kneeled and forced her to look him in the face. His red eyes burned with anticipation. "I have been trying to think of the perfect way to start our time together, and I finally decided."

Akki pulled her kimono open revealing her shoulders and upper chest. His smile broadened, showing his fangs, as he looked down at her bare flesh. He lowered his mouth to the area where her neck met her shoulder and Rin heard a low growl just before he bit into her. Had he been able to see her face Akki would have been pleased by her reaction. Though she managed not to scream Rin had not fully prepared herself and her face gave away all the pain and fear she felt. As her muscles tensed Akki pressed harder into her shin causing blood to overflow her shoulder and pelt her fallen kimono, but Rin held what little control she still had and refused to scream.

Rin could hear a growl growing deep in Akki's throat. He pulled his head up sharply, his teeth ripping through Rin's flesh, still she remained silent. His face was twisted in anger and Rin's blood dripped from his mouth onto her pale skin. "You will scream for me!" Akki ripped her kimono the rest of the way off, his claws tearing at her body in the process. He reached up to just below her collarbone and sliced at her chest, but Rin remained silent and she was beginning to gain more control over her facial reactions. The less emotion Rin showed the more anger Akki did.

"Scream, bitch!" He tore his claws across any part of her body not already covered in blood. Rin's breath quickened as she used all her will not to react, but she was almost at her breaking point. Never before had she experienced so much pain, even before she met Sesshoumaru. Akki saw the change in her face and reveled in it. He slid his claws down her sides and dug them into her hips. She cringed but still controlled her voice.

Suddenly, Akki began laughing. He laughed and laughed the sound was beginning to drive Rin mad. He ripped his claws down her legs still laughing. Finally, Rin couldn't stand his laugh anymore and she threw he arm up slapping him across the face. Silence immediately consumed the tent. All emotion left his face and an icy cold expression replaced them. "No one," he paused for a moment and let a low growl escape his throat, "no one has ever struck me and lived."

Rin smiled as best she could considering the pain. "You can't kill me. Your dear Niisan won't let you." A part of her knew she shouldn't mock him, but the rest of her knew it didn't matter, either way she would suffer.

Akki stood up and slowly began to remove his clothing. Rin backed away from him looking around the room trying to find some way of defending herself. The only things she found were bones so she took a rather large one and held it in front of her like a sword. When Akki had finished undressing he walked towards her, with each step he crushed bones like the one she was holding.

"I was going to wait, till I heard you scream, but you have forced this on yourself." He dropped to his knees, straddling her, and pushing the bone she held against her own body knocking the wind out of her. He rammed her head against the ground and pushed one knee between her legs. She shook beneath him and the smile reappeared. "Perhaps I can get you to scream in pleasure, if you won't scream in pain."

Rin pushed and fought against him but since he was a demon, and she only had one working arm, there was no way she could get out of his grasp. He ran fingers gently down her face and neck, across her shoulders and along her breasts. There his gentle touch turned painful as he thrust his claws into her and squeezed. Rin clenched her teeth stopping her scream, but closing her eyes did not stop the tears from coming. Then her eyes shot open when she felt him force himself into her.

What has he done? What is this? It hurts. It hurts so much. Sesshoumaru-sama, please help me! I can't take anymore! It hurts! Please stop! It hurts!

"Stop!" Rin screamed with all her strength. "No! Stop! Help!" She knew this is what he wanted. She knew it as he laughed and she continued to scream. She had to scream for this wasn't just physical pain she suffered from. Never before had she experienced this, and never had she thought it would be like this, pinned to the ground by a bloodthirsty demon. She screamed until her throat was raw and cried till her eyes were red, but Akki did not stop till Rin collapsed unable to shout or weep or think. Both her body and mind were beyond pain and understanding, they just existed in a surreal state.

Akki got up and dressed keeping an eye on Rin's broken body lying on the ground. When he was finished he grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out of the tent. Though she was still naked her blood covered her body and gave a slight illusion of clothing. Akki threw her up against the stake and pulled her arms back tying them tightly, but he received no reaction from her.

The bandits watched as Akki tied Rin up but few were able to look at Rin, most kept their eyes on Akki. The boss came out and approached Akki. He took a good look at the glazed expression on Rin's face before turning his attention to his brother.

"Otouto, I see you enjoyed yourself, though I was surprised you were so quiet with her."

Akki laughed. "Niisan, she refused to scream. I must say I've never met a woman who could hold out so long against me, but in the end they all break. You just have to find the right persuasion."

The boss turned away and headed back to his tent. "Otouto, do not toy with her anymore today. Remember, I want her alive when Sesshoumaru gets here."

"Niisan, I haven't finished playing yet, I still have mor…"

"I said, leave her be tonight," the boss interrupted with a cold tone.

"Yes, Niisan." The boss began walking but Akki spoke up again making him stop. "But I want to do one more thing."

"I said…"

Akki interrupted this time, "Cut her hair."


"Her hair is still so pretty, it doesn't fit her new appearance. Let me do that, and I will entertain myself with another woman for the rest of the day." The brother nodded and left.

Akki took out a small dagger and pushed Rin's head forward like a doll's. One fistful at a time he mutilated her once beautiful long, black hair. Pieces laid about her head at all lengths, making her look far closer to death than she had before. Still, Rin did not move, nor speak, nor resist in anyway. Rin was just there.


Rin stared at the ground unable to comprehend everything that had happened. She had expected abuse, she had been prepared for pain, but she had not even thought of him forcing himself on her. That was her mistake, she had been protected for so long she never even considered the idea that he would rape her, even though that was an obvious outcome. She should have prepared herself, but how do you prepare yourself for something you have never experienced.

As the evening turned to night, Rin slowly began to bring herself together. She looked around the camp still slightly in a daze. No one was looking at her, not even the man who had approached her when she was first brought. If someone did look they quickly averted their gaze, but Rin knew it wasn't fear of the demons that made them do so, she was simply too butchered to stand looking upon. Rin lowered her head and tried to relax her pained body with little success. Suddenly a woman and a bandit came rushing out of a tent both laughing and the bandit looked very drunk. The woman clumsily walked backwards and fell to the ground near Rin.

The bandit took hold of the woman's hand and tried to lift her up but the woman simply pulled away. "Please, I am exhausted. Let me rest a moment, you are simply too much for a woman to take." Rin could hear both her and the bandit laughing behind her.

"I'm going to get a drink then you better be ready," the bandit said stumbling off.

Rin felt herself getting nauseous. How could the woman do something like that and laugh?

"You do anything you can to survive in this place," the woman said as if knowing Rin's question. Rin slowly lifted her head. "Do not acknowledge my presence here."

"Water, you brought the water," Rin said recognizing the woman's voice.

"Listen to me, this camp, it is all about survival," The woman said, her voice deadly serious. "Haku-sama, the eldest demon, lives to challenge great demons to fight to the death. Akki-sama lives to please himself, but he must obey Haku-sama to survive. The bandits must obey the demons to survive, and the women must submit to everyone if they want to survive. Your death is certain when your Sesshoumaru-sama comes, but until then you must survive. We will give you your chance."


"I have survived here the longest, so I try my best to make sure all the women live. This will be your only chance."

Rin could barely believe what the woman had said. The drunken bandit stumbled back to the woman and lifted her up with surprising ease. "Let's go, I am far from done for the night." They both walked away laughing.

Survive. A simple word, but in this place, it is beyond anything I can do. How do you survive in this place? How can a person be willing to do anything to survive? Why should I survive when all it means is pain and disgrace? What will Sesshoumaru-sama think when he smells that demon on me? How can I ever look at him again?

Rin leaned her aching head against the stake and closed her eyes. A part of her never wanted Sesshoumaru-sama to come for her and when she realized that, the part that never wanted to leave him wept. Her tears stained the ground red with the blood they carried from her cheeks and sitting there, cold, weak, and scared Rin cried herself to sleep.

She awoke to a terrible sensation surrounding her legs. Her eyes widened in horror as she frantically kicked and dragged her legs across the ground trying to suppress the flames that were lapping at her skin. Akki picked up the torch she had kicked away and threw it back onto her bare skin. Rin scrambled and flung her body to rid her flesh of the scorching creature of flames crawling over her. She forced her legs to lift her from the ground. As she stood her arms scrapped against the wood tearing at what little skin was still in tact and twisting her broken arm in several directions at once.

Rin was in unbearable pain and all she could do was stand there, struggling for each breath. Akki once again picked up the torch but this time he walked up and held Rin against the stake. Slowly, he brought the flames to Rin's side causing the dried blood to smolder and her body to turn black. As hard as she tried to stop them, screams leapt from her mouth only to be caught by Akki's ears.

A perverse smile formed on his face and he leaned in close breathing in her scent. "The smell of fear and the sound of pain, nothing is more perfect together."

The agony swelled in her body as the flames danced into her wounds and up her side. All she could think was how she wanted to move away from the flames, away from the pain, but Akki's grip was firm and his body strong. Rin squirmed beneath him and Akki pushed her even harder against the stake, lifting her from the ground. Even though her mind yelled at her to just hold out and wait for him to move the torch her body moved on its own and thrust her knee as far up as she could.

Both torch and demon moved away from her, and Rin could sense everyone in the camp turning to watch them. Akki's eyes were filled with hatred, obviously he had never been struck twice by the same person. He rushed Rin, imbedding pieces of wood into her back, and lifted the entire stake from the ground, tossing it and Rin to the side. Once on the ground Rin struggled and slid the rope tying her arms together to the bottom of the stake and out, giving her a small amount of freedom. She struggled to stand and remain standing as Akki moved towards her. Blood rushed down her back and seeped into the ground below her.

For the first time since Rin was taken, Akki unsheathed his sword and held it before him. Rin felt her death approaching with each step he made, yet she wasn't afraid, not of death. A part of her knew that it didn't matter if he killer her for Sesshoumaru-sama could restore her, but another, the part that had caused her to kick Akki, wanted her death to come, so that the pain would stop.

Before Akki was in striking distance of Rin, the woman that had helped her came up behind Akki, sword in hand; because of the direction of the wind and his attention on Rin, Akki never sensed her approach. In one swift motion the woman thrust the sword into his back as far as she could, but with her level of strength it did not even pierce all the way through. Akki's face showed pain and he just stood there a moment, motionless from shock.

Akki may have been still but the rest of the camp went into a riot. The women took any weapon they could find and started to attack the bandits. Two women ran to Rin, cut her bindings, and half led, half dragged her into the woods. Just before Rin lost sight of the camp she saw Akki turning to the woman who had attacked him. The two women had got her far into the woods before Rin was able to fully comprehend everything that was happening, but she still did not understand why.

"Why…are you…doing this?" Rin asked, struggling to breathe with the running and her wounds.

"Because…" one woman said but Rin slipped and she stopped speaking to help her.

The second one continued for her, "Because unlike us you have something to return to."

"What do you mean?"

"All of us have lost everything he had to those bandits. We have no families, no homes, and have suffered more than any of us wants to remember," the first woman said.

"But you, you have someone to go to, right? Someone who is going to come for you. We are happy to die saving you. It gives us the freedom only death can bring, but it will not be in vain, not if we can save you."

"No, you don't understand! Sesshoumaru-sama…he can…I won't die!"

"If Haku doesn't kill you, Akki will. But, if you are away when your demon lord comes, then he will kill them as you say, and then you can return to him."

"But you don't have to die!"

"Without anything to return to we don't want to live."

Rin was silent for a moment, she couldn't understand how they could so easily die for her. She did not deserve it. If they had something to return to they would, yet a part of her had not wanted to return to Sesshoumaru-sama. She did not deserve to be saved over them.

Suddenly, the women stopped and for the first time Rin looked at where they had taken her. The river, bathed in a dim light, was before them, and surrounded by the dark forest it looked like a haven to Rin. Both women took strong grips on Rin's arms and shoulders.

"Try and remain beneath the water as long as you can, let the current take you down the river," the first woman said.


"Akki and Haku track by scent, the water will wash it away if you can go far enough down. There is a village some ways away, but if you let the current take you far enough you might be able to make it to the outer hunting areas and find a villager to help you. Try to get as far as possible before leaving the river."

"What about you two? The other women?"

"We will stall Akki as much as we can." The first woman smiled.

"Even if it is only a few seconds it may give you the time you need."

"No, please, listen to me!" Rin's words barely escaped her mouth before the two women flung her into the river.

The current immediately stole Rin from the surface and it showed no resistance to the theft, only Rin struggled against its unbearable grasp. Beneath the surface Rin had no idea where she was going or how fast she was going there, all she wanted was another breath, which the water could not provide. She felt the river bottom at her side as she tumbled about and pushed against it hoping she was pushing herself up, and to her relief she found the surface. She tossed her head out of the water and drew in a more air than she thought her lungs could handle. The water crashed against her and forced her beneath it once again.

Over and over she and the river fought for control of her life, and for what felt like an eternity neither gave up. Then after a minute or an hour, Rin wasn't sure, she felt the earth beneath her body and her head above the water. She crawled up the bank and saw that the river had curved and thrust her upon the edge instead of pulling her around. She forced herself onto her feet and ran to whatever was in front of her, which happened to be the edge of the forest. Rin hoped that was far enough away from the camp.

As Rin ran, blood flowed from her wounds that the water had re-open and colored her pale body red. Her steps slowed the farther she went, as a mere human her wounds had to eventually bring her down. Quickly she began stumbling and soon tripped, crashing to the ground. The earth was soft and inviting beneath her. Her body wanted nothing more than to stop and rest, but Rin knew she had to get up again. She put as much strength as she could into her right arm and forced herself off the ground. Her legs wavered beneath her and she found she only had the power to stand as she was at that moment.

Suddenly, Rin heard the sound of footsteps in the woods, she tried to run but her legs wouldn't move at all. Akki stepped out of the woods. His clothes were covered in blood and Rin could see a large slash across his face, one that only Haku could have made.

"You are going to pay dearly for what you have done." Akki's voice was cold and harsh, not a single piece of amusement could be heard. He took out a small dagger and approached Rin. "They are all dead, you know. Niisan killed them all, the woman and the bandits, because you escaped." He pressed the blade to her cheek just hard enough to draw blood. "Bitch, you should not have run away…"


And now, she was dying. Even though all those women gave their lives to save her, so many died to help her, and she was dying. Her eyes struggled to stay open, though she wasn't sure why. Perhaps it was simply because she had to see what had happened to everyone, to see what happened because of her. Soon a horrible odor traveled in the wind. Rin knew the smell, she had smelled it just a short while before. It was the scent of burning flesh.

She turned as best she could, as light filled the area, to see the camp. A huge fire was blazing in the center of the camp, the bodies of the humans acted as fuel. Rin stared into the flames as they danced about the flesh. For some reason her pain began to fade and then the light left her eyes and nothing mattered anymore.


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