Phoenix Ash

Chapter 12 – The Wishing Tree

Note: the rest of the chapter is here. Chapter 12 is officially complete. Scroll down to the bold for where you last left off.

He clashed at the water. His heart was racing, beating without end. Without his awareness, he had taken off his haori and thrown it on the side before diving head first into the pond. He could see her thrashing, clawing at the water forcefully. She was sinking by the second.

He wiped away the water from his face to keep his vision from blurring. She was about eight yards away. Only eight yards, but…

He cursed the water for slowing him down. Every muscle was burning, sore from the stress—yet he was completely numb. A crowd had gathered, watching from the courtyards. The Higurashi queen and little prince were watching worriedly from the courtyard. There was a loud commotion among the servants as they exchanged horrors, but he could hear none of them. Five more yards. He would reach her in five more yards…

Her thrashing was slowing down. His heart skipped a beat as her thrashing stopped completely the next second. The water had begun to pull her down towards the depths of the pond. He took a deep breath of air and dove down deep. It was hard to see with the water rushing against his eyes but he was able to make out her lifeless but graceful form.

He reached out and grabbed a tight hold of one of her arms and pulled her forcefully to him. He was running out of breath. Clasping an arm around her waist, he heaved her up, closer and closer to the surface. Breaking the tranquility of the pond's surface, he came up and was greeted with the sweetness of air. Breathing heavily, he pulled her limp body over to the bridge. As he did so, he felt her coughing violently as she returned the water she had swallowed.

"Kagome!" Queen Higurashi yelled out, quickly making her way over to the bridge. "Kagome! Is she alright?"

A few of the servants took hold of her and drew her onto the bridge. He drew himself from the heavy water and a second later, was next to her, looking down at her face intensely as she, unconscious, slowly regained her regular breath.

"Inuyasha-sama!" came Toki's shrill plea. "It was horrible! It was an unfortunate accident!"

"Toki! What's going on here?" It was Kikyou. The loud commotion near the bridge had sent her to investigate. At once, the din quieted. Kikyou caught a glimpse of the maid Kagome and Inuyasha bending above her. "Inuyasha, is she alright?" She received no answer.

It was so loud. Yet, her eyes were as heavy as lead. She was cold and her clothes were wet. She wondered why they were so, not remembering what had happened. She struggled to open them but it was difficult. After a fourth try, she was able to slowly open her eyes partly. As her vision came to focus, she found the Tama prince staring into her eyes. His own first conveyed fear but a second later transformed into relief.

Here eyelids were becoming heavy again and so she closed them. She whispered his name softly before the darkness pulled her into unconsciousness.

"Kikyou-sama, it was just an accident!" Toki ran over to her lady and clung onto her arm. "I knew someone would fall someday over this bridge. We were both crossing and she lost her footing. I tried to catch her, but I was too far away! Kikyou-sama! Is she alright?"

"That's what I'd like to know, too," Kikyou replied to her maid. She placed a compassionate hand over her maid's to reassure the girl that everything would hopefully be alright.

"I am so sorry!" Toki continued. "I—"

"She's alright. I'm taking her back to my chamber since she's my maid. You three—" Inuyasha beckoned to three of the nearby maids. "Come with me."

"Please take care of her," Queen Higurashi relayed to him. "I'll be coming by later to see her. Come, Souta." The little prince reluctantly followed his mother, giving one last glance at the sleeping girl's form.

Inuyasha reached for his haori and gently picked up his maid. He nodded to the queen and flicked a piercingly cold stare at Toki before carrying his maid back to the royal chambers.

"She's inside my room. Change her into dry clothes and prepare some hot soup for her," Inuyasha ordered the maids.

"What about you, Inuyasha-sama? You are wet as well and it is cold. You will fall ill!"

"Stop your inquiries and do as you're told!" he yelled at them. "When you have finish changing her, tell me."

"Yes, Inuyasha-sama," they all complied. Inuyasha sneezed twice as he watched the maids infiltrate his chamber and close the door. It was cold indeed but he felt strangely reassured. She was going to be ok. 'Of course, she had better be ok,' he thought to himself. 'I can't let her die like that! I haven't gotten my kicks out of her yet! How can she die before my revenge?' For this very reason, he certainly couldn't let her die. Certainly not!

"Inuyasha-sama, we're done!" the maids chirped from inside the room. They exited and took with them Kagome's wet clothes. When they were clear of sight, Inuyasha rushed into the room to escape the cold. He stole one glimpse of her peaceful form on his bed before gathering some clean robes from his closet. Walking over to Miroku's room next door, he changed into his dry garments and called a servant to retrieve his wet ones.

Returning to his room, he yawned and stretched out his sore arms. What was numb before was aching terribly. Seating himself on the ground next to the bed, he scoffed at the maid who was sleeping. What a troublesome maid she was. Was he ever going to have any peace? He mumbled to himself what an idiot she was and closed his eyes, accepting the invitation to sleep.


Kagura found herself once again in a teahouse. She was in the Shikon Capitol and had investigated the area thoroughly. She was completely exhausted and her appearance indicated so. Her hair was disorderly and dark markings were appearing under her eyes. A waiter came by and asked for Kagura's order.

Kagura decided on a dish of meat buns and hot chrysanthemum tea—she had too little money to hope for something extravagant. The waiter scribbled down the order and bowed to thank her customer before disappearing into the kitchen.

As she waited, Kagura sighed tiredly. The burden of finding the Higurashi princess had become nothing but heavier, and she was running out of time. It had already been four months, yet she had acquired not even a clue as to where the princess could be. There was only two months left—what was she to accomplish in this vast world when she did not even know which direction to take? A hopeless feeling overpowered Kagura. Surely, she must report to Naraku soon and will have to present him with nothing. "Bastard," she mumbled as his image appeared in her mind.

"Please enjoy your meal!" a voice broke through her thoughts. Kagura looked up to meet the waiter who had taken her order. After setting the tea and meat buns on the table, the waiter bowed as she did before and excused herself. Kagura lifted the kettle and poured the hot liquid into a small and dainty cup. As she drank, she resolved to check the capitol one more time before reporting back to Naraku.

"Please drink this, Kagome-sama." Kagome took a look at the bowl that one of the lower maids was holding out to her. The liquid was murky brown and had an odor that she could not say was very captivating. She felt her complexion sour.

"Must I?" she inquired pleadingly.

"Lord Inuyasha desires it so. If you do not drink it, I will get into trouble, Kagome-sama." The maid returned the pleading look, ushering the bowl to Kagome.

Kagome sighed. What was this, poison? It must certainly be so, if Lord Inuyasha wants her to drink it. She wanted nothing to do with the remedy—heck, she didn't even know what it was—but felt sorry for the maid. "Put it on the table and I'll drink it later," she told the maid.

"But—Lord Inuyasha has ordered that I see to it that you drink it, Kagome-sama! If he asks about it later, I won't know how to respond!"

Kagome grinded her teeth. How bothersome! That Inuyasha! Was he not content until he saw her corpse? She took the bowl and held her breath as to not breathe the unpleasant scent. Boldly, she raised the bowl to her lips and let a few droplets in. Surprisingly, it was not so bad. A sweet sensation filled her and she took a greater sip.

Upon waking up, Kagome had found herself in the Tama Prince's chamber—the said character nowhere in sight. She had heard his voice earlier in her unconsciousness, muttering something about stupidity, but the room was empty when she scanned it. More surprisingly, she was well-situated on his bed, her clothes dry and clean. When she was conscious last, all was hazy and she was overwhelmed by the sinking weight of her wet uniform.

The maid watched as Kagome finished drinking. When she was done, she handed the empty bowl back to the maid and wiped her lips with her sleeve. How refreshed she felt!

"Are you feeling better, Kagome-sama?" the maid asked.

"Yes, very much!" replied the girl.

"Ah, I am glad. Lord Inuyasha will be as well to hear of your quick recovery."

Kagome scoffed as the maid said this. Not in a million years! If the Tama Prince was such a kind person, then hell would have frozen over long ago.

"Really," emphasized the maid as she saw Kagome's skeptic expression. "He dove into the pond and pulled you up with this expression – I can't explain it very well, but I've never seen someone so frantic before! When he heard that you had awoken awhile ago, he looked very relieved."

"The one who saved me…was him?" Kagome could hardly believe her ears.

"Yes, Kagome-sama. And he carried you back here as well. We were all so very surprised that a prince would personally—"

The maid was broken off as Inuyasha's voice was heard approaching. The maid looked at the door and then back at Kagome. "Please excuse me, Kagome-sama. I hope you get well soon." She gave Kagome a sincere smile and headed for the door.

Inuyasha's voice was getting closer. Kagome quickly lowered herself onto the bed and pulled the blanket up. She closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep as the door creaked quietly open, letting his footsteps infiltrate the room. She felt incredibly awkward and exposed. Kagome couldn't help but partially lifted an eyelid to see what was going on.

She spied Inuyasha as he walked across the door behind him and as he walked stealthily over to the bed. "Troublesome girl!" she heard him mumble.

Under normal circumstances, Kagome would have jumped out of bed immediately and tackle the fool, made some witty response, or felt extremely offended and annoyed. However, she was surprised to feel none of the above but contrarily a sense of shame, even apologetic. Over what had happened, she certainly could not disagree.

She felt the back of Inuyasha's hand as he pressed it against her forehead. Very surprised, it took everything she had to not fidget and remain calm.

"Not so bad," she heard him whisper, in a tone different from before. "Hurry up and get better soon." This part was so soft that it was almost inaudible. Kagome was doubtful if she heard it right. Did he just wish her well? For the first time? And, even though she had created such a nuisance? She did not know what to feel – she never thought she would be confronted like this before.

"Inuyasha!" Miroku's voice called from outside.

"Yeah, I'm coming!" He stood up and took one last look at her. In the next moment, he had already headed off to join Miroku. After he left, Kagome opened her eyes to meet a wave of emotion. She could not name the feeling, but knew appreciation and gratefulness were somewhere embedded. Even so, she resolved never to tell him—for if she did, he would never give her peace.

Goshinki rose as his master beckoned to him.

"What news have you for me?" Naraku asked the servant. "How is Kagura doing?"

Goshinki bowed his head. "Sire, she's still searching."

"Don't tell me she still hasn't made any progress, that wench." Naraku scrunched his face and scowled. "She's only got two months left."

"Sire, has Kanna's mirror shown you anything?"

"Nothing. For the past four months, it has remained black , and it is my reflection that jumps back at me every time. What a despicable thing! Why does it not work?"

Goshinki remained silent as his lord vented. He waited to be dismissed quietly and kept his head down. Kagura was going to be in serious trouble if she does not advance soon—if the princess is not found.

Inuyasha let out a sneeze. He growled and wiped his nose with the sleeve of his haori. "It's all your freaking fault!" he yelled at Kagome, pointing an accusing finger at her. They were in the courtyard and Kagome was sweeping the fallen leaves from the walkways while the prince was just hanging about, having nothing better to do but taunt his maid.

Kagome turned her face away, apologetic but never admitting so. Just when she was starting to think that he wasn't such a bad character, he goes and reverses it!

"I didn't ask you to save me!" she cried back, not knowing what else to say. She didn't ask him to jump in and pull her out, now did she? But nevertheless, half of her was secretly thankful.

Inuyasha sniffed to keep the snot from concentrating in his nose. "I got sick because of you and I don't even get a thank you or whatever! What an ungrateful maid! I should have left you there to drown! That way, I'd never have to see you again! All my miseries would come to an end!"

"You wish!" Kagome yelled back. She swept to where he was standing in her way. She picked up the broom and hit it against his leg a couple of times. "I'd come back and haunt you for the rest of your life, so count on it! Now go away! I've got work to do and you are so in my way! Go find something to do or something!"

Inuyasha scowled. "What the heck?" he was tempted to kick the broom aside, but thought it too much a display in front of a girl. What an annoying maid! If she couldn't appreciate his presence, then "FINE!" Inuyasha, with a growl on his face, a slight headache, and a stuffy but runny nose, made his leave with irritation.

As he walked along the path the courtyard offered, he looked over the rails and into the pond underneath. When he was a good distance from her, Inuyasha stopped and leaned over the protection of the wooden bars of the rail. He studied the maple leaves as they swirled with the ripples. Inuyasha sighed and sniffed again, wiped his nose on his haori sleeve again.

He looked far off into the distance, absentmindedly, pondering what to do. How did life get so boring? he wondered. Grrrr. He sighed again and yawned.

Out in the corner of his eye, he caught a small sparkle in the water. This pond was not as deep as the one Kagome had drowned in. In fact, it was quite shallow. Inuyasha leaned further over the rail and turned his full attention to the sparkling object. Something shiny – and tiny – was covered by the sand. Unable to retain his curiosity, he jumped over the rail and into the pond.

The water soaked his clothes up to his knees. Inuyasha rolled up his sleeves the best he could and looked in the direction of the object. Once again, the sparkle reflected by the sun guided him and he plunged his hand into the murky water. As he felt around the bottom layer, his hand came across something round and silky. Drawing it from the sand and water, he revealed, to his great surprise, the necklace he had given to Kikyou. "What the…heck is it dong here?" he wondered aloud, incredulous, after taking a good look at it.

He was not so much surprised that Kikyou had somehow lost it – or perhaps that she threw it away after he had given it to her, or any other reason. In fact, he was unfazed and the girl was not even on his mind. Inuyasha was stricken, though, to find the necklace again – was it fate? He lowered the necklace into the water and shook away the sand that was clinging onto the beautiful accessory.

"My god. What are you doing down there?"

Inuyasha jerked at the sound of her voice. Kagome was right above him. Apparently, she had finished sweeping the area earlier and was on her way back to the kitchen when she happened to see him in this condition.

"Mind your own business!" Inuyasha told her as he quickly placed the necklace into one of his inside pockets.

"Not like I care!" she responded back. Kagome stuck her tongue out at him and continued on her way.

Inuyasha ignored her and jumped up, back onto the main path, where Kagome previously stood. A voice in the back of his mind told him to keep this thing and to never lose sight of it again. With that last thought, he sneezed and was once reminded of his ill state.

By the next morning, the Tama prince had gotten so sick that he could not get up. He had attracted a high fever and Kagome felt the full pang of guilt. No matter how much she didn't like it, it was really her fault that he had gotten sick. She no longer hesitated to admit it.

"Hey, get me some water," Inuyasha commanded softly in a hoarse voice as he lay in bed, not bothering to open his eyes.

"Right away," Kagome assured him, urgently and sincerely for the first time. She quickly ran out of the room and to the kitchen, where she filled a jug and just as quickly and brought it back. She poured it out into a teacup from the set at the table.

"Help me up." Inuyasha gathered the little strength he had and inched up. He had always been triumphant in health, since he rarely got sick. And now, afflicted to the point where he couldn't move himself! Howe embarrassing! How damaging to his soul, to his manliness!

Kagome tried to help him up, but he was so heavy. With Inuyasha's effort and hers, they were able to prop him up to an acceptable sitting position. Kagome brought the water over and helped him support the cup as he drank, slowly. As he did, she looked at his pale face, unknowingly worried. His eyes were closed and so he could not see the expression on her face.

Kagome felt truly sorry. She had never seen him this powerless before—and because of her, too. She thought of how he might be reveling in her guilt right now, but it did not alleviate her feelings any.

"Kagome-san! The head maid is calling for you!" a beginner maid called out to Kagome from outside.

"Come in here and help me lay the prince back down," Kagome returned. The young maid, with Kagome's consent, allowed herself in and took her place at Inuyasha's side. "While I am out, please tend to him in my place."

"Yes, Kagome-san," the maid happily replied. With that, Kagome gave the prince one last look before exiting the room.

"You called for me, Maaya-san?" Kagome asked the old maid.

"Indeed." She took a look at Kagome's distraught figure and wrinkled her brows. "Some guests are coming over to the palace today, and we are short on maids. Even though you are assigned as Prince Inuyasha's personal maid, he is ill at the moment and so you will help us out."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"I need you to go to the market. Here is the list. Speed is key. Buy the freshest and come back quickly."

"Yes, Ma'am." Kagome took the sheet of ingredients and bowed low as the head maid turned away. She folded the paper and stuffed it into her uniform before heading off to the palace gate.

"Here you go," the vender said as he handed the mushrooms to Kagome. Kagome thanked him and arranged them neatly in her basket.

It was the last on the list, and now she was done. Maaya-san had said to hurry back, and so Kagome made haste to return. On her way, she saw the old Wishing Tree and all the red wishes and oranges hanging from it. A few people were gathered around the tree and were throwing their wishes up, hoping that that the tree would catch the wishes and turn them true.

The tree had the power to make whatever wish come true – that is, if the tree caught it. At a table at the base of the tree, a box of empty wishes sat waiting to be written and caught. Each wish was composed of a sturdy string and a small orange tightly tied to each end. Attached to the string also was a little red piece of paper where only one wish could be written on—any wish at all. Then, the wish is flung up to the tree, in hopes that a branch would catch it. If the tree caught the wish, then the wish would come true. If not, then the wish is impossible to fulfill. A wish not caught in the first try may be thrown up again as many times until it is finally caught or on a sadder note, until the wisher gives up.

Kagome wanted to make a wish, but wondered if she had time for it. Maaya-san was waiting for her, after all. But, Kagome really wanted to make a wish—she had never wanted to so badly before. She decided that she would hurry and wish – then race home. She walked over to the table at the base of the tree and grabbed a wish.

"Excuse me," she asked an old man next to the table as she approached him. "Can you write my wish for me? I don't know how to write."

The old man smiled and Kagome could feel the warmth in his eyes. "Gladly, young lady! What is your wish?" He picked up the brush from the table and prepared to write.

Kagome looked around and was glad to find no one familiar. She turned back to the old man. "Please let Inuyasha get well soon."

Kagome watched as the man wrote down her wish on the red paper. When he was done, she thanked him and looked up, surveying the branches of the tree. Each branch was carrying many wishes and Kagome wondered if the tree would grant her this wish. It was simple, it was doable. The tree would, wouldn't it?

Kagome found a suitable spot and a fitting branch. She breathed in with all her heart and threw the wish up, towards the branch. "Catch it!" she whispered to herself, to the tree. "Please!" To her dismay, the wish missed the branch and came flying down. Kagome growled. She went over to where it landed and picked it up, resuming to her spot.

What? God won't grant her this wish? But it was so simple! Not yet disheartened, she threw it up again in high hopes. This time, the branch caught it. "Yes!" She looked over to the old man at the table to see him smiling at her. He had been watching her.

She nodded her thanks to him again and in a very happy mood, hurried home after admiring the wish for Inuyasha – hanging proudly from the wishing tree from the hard work of her heart's effort.

"Inuyasha, how are you feeling? Do you need anything?" Kikyou asked the sick prince. The Higurashi queen and little prince were there as well, in his chamber. They had heard of the intensity of his infirmity and felt a need to visit.

"I'm okay," Inuyasha replied, a little bothered. He didn't like that so many people were in his room.

"Toki, bring me some water."

"Yes, Kikyou-sama," the personal maid complied.

"No, I'm okay. Don't get it," Inuyasha reordered, closing his eyes. Indeed he was feeling a little better. That and he didn't like Toki too much—though he couldn't explain why. It was a biased dislike.

Toki glanced worriedly at her lady and back at the Tama prince, not knowing whose order to follow.

"Leave it be, Toki," Kikyou assured her maid. Toki backed away and behind Kikyou, keeping silent.

"Inuyasha, dear, where is Kagome?" asked the queen. Toki flinched as she noticed the familiarity with which the queen addressed her rival maid. "Why isn't she here?"

"I wonder also," Inuyasha responded, staring off in another direction.

"At any rate," the queen continued, "it's such a pity that you won't be able to join us for dinner tonight. A guest will dine with us today—a young general of your age! But that is alright. He will be staying with us for a week, so you two can be acquainted after you resume your health."

"Thank you, Your Highness," Inuyasha returned with little interest. He just wanted Kikyou and her maid to evacuate as quickly as possible. He made a show of yawning and covered his mouth.

"Then, we will leave you to rest, shan't we, Souta?" The queen smiled at Inuyasha and her son.

"Please rest well, Inuyasha," Kikyou meekly contributed. Toki bowed her goodbye to the prince and the two followed the queen out.

After they had left, Inuyasha sighed with relief. He had never had anything against Kikyou, really, but he felt somewhat an inexplicable dislike for her after finding the necklace buried in the pond. His thought was interrupted when he heard his door creak open to find his own maid enter.

"Where were you?!" he yelled at her.

Kagome made an apologetic face and smiled. "I was called away by Maaya-san to help prepare dinner for the palace guest."

"That and what else? You sure took your time!"

Kagome ignored his scoff and turned her back to him. "That and I made a wish."

Inuyasha woke up the next morning to find himself fully refreshed. It seemed that all the signs of his sickness had disappeared—no more fever, sneezes, runny and stuffy nose, sore throats—they were all miraculously gone. He had never heard of such a fast recovery. But whatever!

Inuyasha smiled. It just meant that he was, after all, invincible! To recuperate so fast, he had to be. Satisfied with his rationale, he went off to find his maid—to tell her of the great news.

"Here, let me carry that for you." Inuyasha took the basket of wet clothes from his maid and hefted it up onto h is shoulder, exuding peer manliness. He was in a grand mood today.

"HUH?" Kagome couldn't believe her ears, less her eyes. "Give it back to me! What's wrong with you?"

"I don't know," the prince replied. "But don't cross me. I'm having a good day so far."

"And I'll have a better one as soon as you get out of my way," the maid muttered to herself. Though, she was sincerely glad that Inuyasha had gotten well. The Wishing Tree had granted her wish, after all—and so timely as well. "This is certainly the first that I've seen a lord help his maid out with her chores – especially when he personally ordered her," Kagome told him.

"Wet robes are heavy," he replied. "There'd be no torture afterwards if your arms break off from the weight. That'd be doing you a favor." Inuyasha smirked at her.

Kagome scoffed. "Whatever." She watched as he skipped over the boulders at the washing stream while balancing the basket. "I suppose I'll give you some credit," she mumbled reluctantly.

As Inuyasha walked before her, Kagome followed behind sheepishly, not knowing what to make of it. She was glad that they had not passed any maids or servants and prayed hard that they would not encounter any. If the Tama Prince was seen like this, she'd be scolded for sure—regardless of whose smart idea this was.

"Ka…gome?" a somewhat familiar voice hesitantly asked from behind. Inuyasha stopped in his steps at the foreign voice and turned to face the stranger.

Kagome spurred around. She had not heard any footsteps approaching. Unknowingly, she came face to face with the questioning expression of…

"Kouga?" Kagome stared speechlessly at her childhood friend. They had grown up together in Goshinboku – Kouga, Sango, and her. At fifteen, Kouga had left Goshinboku for the military, both of his parents having deceased the year earlier. When he left, Kagome had thought that she would never see him again—and here, no less! Was it coincidence or fate? She had no idea.

Kouga had on his uniform – that fit of a respected officer. He wore a surprised look, his figure still as rogue and strong as ever. Kagome noticed that he had gotten considerably taller.

"Hey," Inuyasha intervened, setting down the basket. "You wouldn't happen to be that general that got the palace so riled up yesterday would you?" He awaited the answer, staring at his maid's familiar friend.

Kouga lowered his eyes and laughed sheepishly. "Yes, I guess you can say that," he admitted.

Kagome gasped. "What? Kouga? Really? So—So—the guest of the palace—is you?"

"Yeah." Kouga blushed lightly at the honor.

"Kouga, I had no idea!" A bright smile lit up on Kagome's face. Not only did she encounter a precious childhood friend, but that he had gained such prestige and recognition!

Inuyasha turned his head away from the two and wrinkled his face. He felt uncomfortable and disliked his maid's excited expression, disliked the tone in which she talked to this Kouga guy. It was all too friendly. He felt his good mood coming to an end, his good day souring.

The said prince, in his annoyance, picked up the basket and directed to his maid, "I don't believe you're done with your work."

"Huh?" At the intervention, Kagome returned her attention to her lord. "What did you say?"

"I said, I don't believe you're done with your work!" Inuyasha repeated, somewhat harshly.

"Excuse me, we haven't been introduced yet," Kouga interrupted, kindly holding out his hand to Inuyasha. "I'm Kouga, as you probably already know. Kagome was so loud earlier." At this, the mentioned maid softly laughed. "You are?"

Inuyasha didn't want to introduce himself. He just wanted this guy to bug off. A moment of silence passed and Kagome nudged him.

"He's Inuyasha, the second Prince of Tama," Kagome introduced for him, glaring at him.

Kouga's smile lightened up. "The second Prince of Tama?" he repeated. Kouga bowed low with respect and returned to his position. "What an honor it is!"

"Sure," Inuyasha replied, uninterested. "Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got to get going. Come, Kagome."

"W-wait! Inuyasha!"

"No!" Greatly perturbed, the prince headed off to his chambers.

"Aw, I wish I had more time to talk to you! We have so much we need to catch up on!" Her expression was apologetic.

Kouga patted her shoulder gently. "I'll be here for a week, until I head off to suppress some bandits up north. Drop by when you are free and chat!"

"I will!" Kagome promised, and hurriedly turned back to run after the Prince, her lord. She didn't understand what had come over him just now. Just earlier, he was in a good mood. So suddenly, it had turned sour. Kagome sighed. He really was incomprehensible.

Note: Hope you guys enjoyed the chapter. I was doing this w/ the horrible hiccups. ) It's summer, so more will come soon. definitely. no more 5 month waits. hahahaahaha.