Nighttime Shade: WTF! Where did my frigging keyboard go!

Spitfire: Hehehe……looks around, clinging to keyboard

Nighttime Shade:…..Spitfire!

Spitfire: Shit!runs, Nighttime Shade chasing after him Nya-Nya, you can't catch me!

Sesshomaru: sighs, pulling out extra keyboard Looks like I'm writing today. Hang tight, it's going to be a wild ride.

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Sesshomaru focused entirely on Katarina's scent the entire time at dinner. The smell of dirty, unwashed (or washed in the Nile) youkai was disgusting, and he could barely stand it. Also present was the scent of deceit, laid thick in the air, choking the polite atmosphere. He knew he had to get Katarina out of there before the deceit ever happened.

Katarina picked at her food, mistrustful of the eyes that watched her every time she took a bite. She steered clear of the grains and her drink, mainly focusing on what she felt couldn't be poisoned. Still, she even picked at that, earning Sesshomaru's surprise and worry.

Why aren't you eating?

I don't trust the food. Are you out of your mind! I'm not eating when they look at me every time I take a frigging bite, I'm not that stupid.

He let it go, trying to focus on what Lord Rasetuk said about the problems with mercenaries and bandits in the south. He was confused now. Mercenaries coming in with bandits, while people who could left? Was something happening in the Southern Kingdoms?

Katarina glared at Melissia when she walked in, dressed in a gold tunic and black breeches. Melissia glared coldly at her before sauntering to her father's side, whispering into her father's ear. Sesshomaru could see Katarina trying to hear what she tried to say, but could not make it out. He listened in, now.

"…prisoners. It's all set up and they can't escape. If they do, guards will grab them and put them away."

Lord Rasetuk nodded, and she left, not only earning a vicious glare from Katarina, but one from Sesshomaru as well. He knew of their plan to capture them, he just didn't know how. He was confident he could escape, though, and didn't look further into it.

At the end of the night, Katarina was changing out of her clothes, while Sesshomaru stayed behind to talk to Lord Rasetuk. She slipped into a night yukata and unraveled her long braids, sweeping her hair into a low ponytail. She pulled back the covers and attempted to lay down.

Sesshomaru heard her cry when him and Lord Rasetuk were walking back up to Sesshomaru's guest room. Sesshomaru dashed up the stairs and wrenched open the door. He froze, seeing Katarina curled around her arm and a snake youkai slithering away from her. He glided over to Katarina and had her hold out her arm. She shivered and held it out.

Her arm was badly bitten, the poison flowing through her veins strong and deadly. Sesshomaru could see the multiple bite wounds, suggesting more then one snake. The bites themselves were blackening around the wounds, showing that the skin was dying. He knew at that moment he had to leave Egypt.

Scooping her up, he jumped out the balcony window just as Lord Rasetuk and Melissia dashed in, hoping they were captured. Lord Rasetuk cursed, then walked out of the room, going to find followers in a War Against the West.

Sesshomaru had been flying for two straight hours, intent on getting Katarina help. Her eyes had glazed over, her breathing had become labored and somewhat shallow. Her arm was slowly turning black, and she had begun to shiver.

He stopped at a village in China, looking for a healer, when two boys and three females had jumped out of the brush, leading him to a gated community. When they entered the gates, they immediately led Sesshomaru into a healers room. The healer took one look at Katarina and shooed the boys and girls out. Including Sesshomaru.

He sat in the hall, dreading what would happen while he wasn't in there, when the youngest girl shook his sleeve.

"Who are you?" she asked, her twelve-year old voice shaking slightly.

"I am Sesshomaru." He said, not moving his head.

"How do you know Rina?" the girl asked.

At that, he turned to her."Who?"

"Rina!" he said, exasperated.

"Katarina Chaos," a boy of fifteen spoke up, "You were carrying her."

That's when Sesshomaru looked around. They were in some hind of training village. There were dojos everywhere, barracks on one side of the village, mess halls, counsel halls, and healers were scattere here and there. He looked up at the boy, forming the first question that came to mind.

"Where are we?"

"The Kun-chi Dojo." The boy said, showing him his eagle brand.

Sesshomaru froze. The one place Katarina had escaped from, and he had brought her right back.

Katarina woke to the smell of salves that she found extremely familiar. Her green eyes scanned the room, and she felt like she would faint. The healer's quarter at the Kun-chi dojo!

Sesshomaru saw her wake and walked over to her, stroking her hair to soothe her panic. She sighed and curled up into him, scared, shivering. He wrapped a blanket around her and rocked her to sleep. The boy, Chow-Men, and the little girl, Soon-Ji, walked in, intent on seeing Katarina, or Rina, as Soon-Ji called her. Seeing the two made them smile, although sadly. They had lost their nee-san.

Sesshomaru walked the two leave, before curling up next to her, watching her sleep, remembering how he thought he'd almost lost her two nights before.

He knew Egypt wanted to start a war, now. And he knew that Lord Rasetuk would pay.

Dearly.

When Sesshomaru awoke, Katarina was gone. He jolted up, only to be pushed back down by a strong yet gentle hand. He grabbed the hand, and heard a welcomed laugh. Looking into beautiful silver-lined green eyes, he pulled his love on top of him and into a warming embrace. He smiled, hearing her laugh, and nuzzled her neck.

She helped him up and finished getting dressed into her loose tunic and breeches. Lacing up her sandals, she asked questions about what had happened. He looked her arms over, seeing no scars, and complimented the healer who worked on her.

"The only thing that we need to do now is get out of here," she said, worry evident in her voice.

"Why?"

"I escaped from here, and they'll want me back so they can turn me into a mindless killer. I left and I didn't want to come back."

Sesshomaru nodded, then began to get dressed. By the time he was dressed, she had packed what they had back up and set it by the door. They were about to depart when Soon-Ji came to the room with ten-odd guards waiting to take them to a counsel meeting. Sesshomaru glowered as Katarina mentally gulped. He looked to her, seeing if he should fight it, and watched as she slowly shook her head. He stood, astonished, as she obediently followed the guard out, her complete terror wafting around his nose, souring her beautiful scent.

Upon entering the counsel room, Katarina was immediately seized. She struggled against her captors, while Sesshomaru stormed in.

"What is the meaning of this?" he roared.

The guards quickly let her go, sensing the lord's youki rise in rage. The men sitting on the chairs in front of the room looked on, mildly amused, as the guards shook in fear at the tone of Sesshomaru's voice. When Katarina fled to her beloved, however, the spoke.

"We were just taking back what is ours, my lord." said the bear youkai, his voice a deep rumble.

"Ours?" Sesshomaru questioned, still seething at the manhandling on his mate.

"Yes, my lord," said the feline youkai two seats to the left of the bear, "ours."

"You see," began an elderly kitsune youkai in the middle, "We paid a hefty sum for that little sprite in your arms when her father sold her to us."

Katarina's shock hit Sesshomaru like a ton of bricks. She kept her outward composure, standing straight and tall, but inside, she wailed. Her own blood had sold her to murderers to train her to be one.

Sesshomaru wrapped a comforting arm around her waist, drawing her closer. He heard the constant why in her mind, and fought to control himself. But it was hard, since he was asking the same questions.

However, all of the youkai in the room turned when the door creaked open, and a young, handsome red wolf youkai walked in. He donned all black, and the dragon brand was burned into a spot on his neck below his ear. He had a scar racing from his hand all the way up to his shoulder, where it disappeared under his sleeve. His long, red hair was tied into a long braid, and his green eyes twinkled with a humor that Sesshomaru found infectious.

Katarina looked at him and tossed a confused smile at him. He bowed to the Western Lord and Lady, before taking his seat at the end of the table to the couple's left. Grinning wolfishly, he began to speak.

"Well, if it isn't my errant student!" he said, a note of humor in his tenor voice, "I was wondering if I would ever see our best swordsman again."

Katarina laughed at this, then turned her attention to the, now frowning, counsel. They turned to her and Sesshomaru, and all humor faded.

"Technically," the bear youkai started again, "despite your, er, relationship with Katarina, she is still our student. We paid more then enough, and we have the papers to prove it."

I really hate it when they talk as if I'm not there.

Sesshomaru heard this, and paid it no mind, although, inside, he was tempted to smile. He'd love to hear her sarcasm aimed at these counsel members, just to see what their reaction would be.

"Katarina was my student," spoke up the wolf that walked in earlier, "and I saw it fit to give her the dragon rank when I thought she was ready. I think it should be my place to decide what happens to her."

Katarina rolled her eyes, and inwardly laughed. If her sensei's idea succeded, he'd have her do laundry for a day, then be set free.

"It is not about student-teacher issues!" roared the bear, "It is about a hefty debt being paid off."

"Nobody has ever left the dojo before without our strict guidance," explained the feline, " By her doing this she broke the most important law here."

Oh, Kami, I broke a law! Oh, lock me up and throw away the key!

"But maybe it's time that we see what are students would be like on their own. Give 'em a little life experience!"

Yeah! Besides, look what happened with me! I made a happy marriage. My father would be proud, had he not sold me to you and, more recently, tried to kill me.

"Our students are sold to us to be our paid assassins, not sent back into the world to use their 'powers' for whatever purpose they might. This is an industry, and if we lose the students, we lose the profit."

Wow, I'm a profit, now. Geeze, I don't think I've ever felt this used since…well, since the last time they tried to use me!

"Profit besides the fact, who knows what havoc they could ensue. They are not trained for sociality."

.Dammit, no comeback!

"ENOUGH!"

Everyone stopped and stared at Sesshomaru. His eyes had slightly bled red, and he was losing his paience. His mate was not their possession!

There was a moment of silence, before the elderly kitsune spoke again.

"This meeting is adjourned. We will be back to discuss more in two days time."

Nighttime Shade: Well, there's your chapter. Look, see? It's kind of taking shape!

Sesshomaru: You are an imbecile. I wrote the damn thing, so I'm making this story make sense.

Nighttime Shade:Nuh-huh!

Spitfire: sneaks up behind Sesshomaru and steals his keyboard BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Sess & Night: rolls eyes Please review.