Chapter Seventeen

"Sesshoumaru, wait!" He ignored the human and took off in flight. Kagome called to Kilala and they began to follow the demon lord. They reached a clearing in the trees and suddenly Sesshoumaru was hit with something. He quickly landed on the ground and Kagome followed.

"Why are you following me, human? You are lucky I have refrained from killing you thus far." She ignored his comments. "What just hit you?" Sesshoumaru looked to the sky trying to figure that out himself when he heard Kagome yell for him. Naraku was there smiling wickedly at the demon lord.

"Hello, lord Sesshoumaru. I've been waiting for you to arrive." Kagome watched as Naraku launched an attack on Sesshoumaru. Before he was harmed she threw a barrier around him. Both demons looked at her with death in their eyes. "Release me now, woman!" Sesshoumaru growled at her.

She stared at him and then glanced at Naraku. "I was sent here to protect you and that's what I'm going to do." His eyes flamed red and she was pretty sure she would be dead if he could get through her barrier. Naraku began to advance towards Kagome. She instinctively put a spell around the jewel shards she wore around her neck, much like the one Seiji had used. Naraku couldn't know she had them with her.

Naraku suspected the priestess would not be able to keep the barrier up if her concentration was broken. Kagome noted Naraku's movement and slowly moved towards Kilala. She kept herself focused on Sesshoumaru. All that mattered was he was kept in the barrier and Naraku not be given a chance to get the shinju. Kilala moved to protect Kagome from Naraku. He began talking to the cat in a soothing voice, which caught Kagome's attention. She quickly focused harder on the barrier. She could feel it weakening, as she had not yet mastered this technique.

Sesshoumaru continued to glare at Kagome and insisted she release the barrier. She looked into his eyes and saw raw hatred. She ignored him and thought about the vulnerable young child he had been. She had seen him in pain and held him while he cried. That was the person she was protecting.


InuYasha didn't know why Miroku had insisted they hurry but the three of them were running as fast as they could through the forest with Shippou holding desperately to InuYasha. Without Kilala to ride on they were unable to move as fast as they would have liked.

Miroku knew that Kagome would be in danger now, though he knew better than to point out that fact to InuYasha. Sesshoumaru would not be nearly as cooperative once he was again himself.

Even though Kilala was there Sesshoumaru was a very powerful demon and could easily kill them both. He also realized that Hitomi had not put up a real fight. She made only a feeble attempt to fight them off and then disappeared but did not die. Miroku feared they had arrived too late and Naraku already knew where the shinju was. Now it was important they save Kagome and find out what Sesshoumaru knows about the gem.


Kagome was losing her grip on the spirit barrier. She could feel her powers slipping away from her. She steadied herself and focused on Sesshoumaru's eyes. Though they still held hate, they were a powerful focal point for her. She heard a low growl coming from Kilala and then a terrible whimper. She couldn't turn to see what had happened but she no longer heard the cat.

Kagome continued her concentration and then suddenly her head was yanked backwards. Naraku had come up behind her and grabbed her hair roughly. He held her tightly against him, telling her to drop the barrier. She closed her eyes and willed her spirit to protect Sesshoumaru. Naraku was keeping a tight hold on her and she couldn't see if the barrier was holding or not. He continued to tell her to drop the barrier or she would regret it. Finally he pulled her roughly towards Sesshoumaru.

"Demon, give me the shinju or she will suffer the consequences." She looked at Sesshoumaru to see what he would do.

"Do you believe that I have some form of alliance with this human? I do not care what you do with her." Hurt flashed briefly over Kagome's face and she quickly checked her emotions and held the barrier.

Naraku gave an evil chuckle. "I have ways of making you care." Sesshoumaru saw a brief flash of fear pass over Kagome before she went emotionless. Naraku pulled her head back again, nearly ripping the girl's hair from her head. Sesshoumaru was hoping the human would drop the barrier so that he could take down this puppet. It was obvious to him that this was not a demon, and would not pose any real threat.

Though to his surprise her barrier stayed strong. He remembered how many times she had created weak barriers that were easy to break. Now her barrier seemed to be impenetrable. For a brief second he felt proud of her accomplishment but then became angry because he was on the inside.

"Very well Lord Sesshoumaru, I can be patient. Eventually you will be willing to give me the shinju; that I can guarantee you." He viciously pulled the young girl towards himself again and gave the demon lord an evil smile.

"Until that time comes I will keep your companion with me." Sesshoumaru stared Naraku down and then allowed himself to glance at the girl. She was staring at him but held no emotions in her eyes. Naraku disappeared into the sky with the human, leaving Sesshoumaru to stand and wait for her dimming barrier to wear off. He watched the giant cat struggle to its feet and follow them.

Naraku traveled quite a distance in a matter of moments; Kagome couldn't even tell where they were. When he stopped at a small castle she was surprised to see that it wasn't the one that had been in her dreams. He didn't speak to her; he only took her to a small room that held no furnishings. He dropped her on the floor and left, locking the door. She looked at the bare room. There was only one window which was very small and close to the ceiling. She sat on the floor near the wall for a moment then the door was pushed open again. She could instantly tell that this was not a puppet. Naraku entered the room holding a smile on his face.

"Stand up." He ordered. She continued to sit there glaring up at him. He stepped forward and pulled her up by her hair. He then rewarded her insolence by back handing her across the face.

"You will do as you're told. Do you understand, Priestess?" She stood there defiantly refusing to speak. He again grabbed a hand full of hair from the back of her head and pulled her roughly towards him, forcing her to stare into his eyes.

"I can do things that would make you wish you were dead. I suggest you reply when I ask you a question and do as I tell you to. Do you understand?" He stood there waiting for a reply. Finally Kagome uttered a weak "yes". He smiled and released her hair.

"Good, I would hate to have to harm such a pretty face." He turned from her. "I will return later and we will have a discussion about what I require from you." The door was again locked and she sat in silence.


It took Kagome's spirit barrier nearly ten minutes to fade enough for Sesshoumaru to break through it. He contemplated going after the puppet for a moment then decided to go to his castle. He had told the foolish human to release the barrier so that he could slay the puppet. He would not waste his time rescuing her.


This is the final chapter in Part One. Part two will be rated R for violence, abuse and some sexuality. I will do my best to stay within the bounds of the R rating. If at any time you feel I have overstepped those bounds, I would appreciate you sending me an e-mail and not reporting me. I will take into consideration any criticism and remove anything that is truly offensive. If you are easily offended, I suggest you don't read the next part. Part two will be titled:

Secrets of the Shinju: Tortured Soul

I suppose it will be under the catagories of: Angst/Naraku/Kagome