The days had shifted to weeks, and every village that they had visited was torn to shreds; either by fire, or unnatural winds. The torched villages were worse, evidence of human remains made their journey difficult to stomach. The 'ghost towns' were the work of Miroku, or so Kagome concluded. She also believed that the burned villages were the work of Shippo, Kirara, or a combination of the two. At least the ghost towns had no one to pray over, no one to send away. Kagome could try to pretend that the village was simply deserted, but she knew that it wasn't the case. The crops were fresh, and the footprints were relatively new. She could try though, and each time she tried, she would fail. Day by day, village by village, her optimism dwindled in a downward spiral.

Seshoumaru had been determined to keep up her spirits, but without an encounter of their opponents, or even an indication of a true pattern, he could only offer condolences and a shoulder for her to cry upon.

The terrors that Kagome witnessed were not just effecting her mentally, but physically as well. Her sleep cycles were disrupted, and she only managed to sleep for two hours, at best. Her clothes were also much looser, but this was an understatement. She was borderline anorexic now. Her cheekbones looked hollow, as did her eyes. The beauty that once sparked in her dark mahogany eyes had been dulled. No matter how frequently Sesshoumaru prompted her to eat, she would simply refuse or claim that she wasn't hungry. It wasn't a lie. She had no appetite at all, and worse, it was also affecting them as well.

Sesshoumaru was terrified of her in such a frail state. He always had to air on the side of caution before because of his superior strength, but now...he felt as if he was holding a dried twig within his hands. No, this was not his Kagome. Something had to be done.

As night fell upon the pair, they settled in one of the 'ghost towns' that Kagome loathed so much. Sesshoumaru took the first watch, hoping that Kagome would at least try to rest. An hour into his guarding duties, he was upon his feet and within the abandoned home. He shook Kagome gently, and sighed when he realized that she was not asleep. "Something is outside.." he uttered.

Kagome tensed instantly, its aura was sinister. When Sessoumaru witnessed Kagome reaching for her quiver and arrows, he knew to be alert. "Dark?" he mused in a mere whisper. She simply nodded and hurried outside.

It was just like many of her nightmares, but this time it was so very real. Unlike her dreams, she would have never imagined that she would be bearing witness to the one infront of her. His eyes were sinister, and his claws were extended. At first she thought he was displeased by Sesshoumaru's company, but that evil aura spiked once again. It seemed that Naraku had managed to sink his filthy fingers into Kouga as well.

There was no verbal exchange, or any form of formalities. Within just one blink, Kouga was powering towards her. Sesshoumaru intercepted him at the pass and struck him firmly with his poisoned whip. The sound of sizzling skin could even be heard by Kagome's ears, and it was a sickening one to endure. For most, this little attack would deter an it was cockiness on Sesshoumaru's behalf for the next occurance, he turned his back upon his enemy. Kouga leapt past the interference and clasped Kagome by the shoulders. His force was so powerful that she could not elevate her weapon, and her body was far too weak to fend him off in any other way. It was such all in a haze, but she felt something sharp and painful plunge into her right shoulder, followed by a burning sensation.

Blood flowed freely from her large opened wound, but strangely the pain wasn't registering anymore. Everything moved at a glacial pace as she reached down and reclaimed her weapon. Sesshoumaru was moving over to her, perhaps to stop her, but it was hopeless. With her last bit of strength she took an arrow in hand and strung it firmly. Her aim was not at the tainted jewel shard, but for the demon's heart.

"Stop!" Sesshoumaru bellowed, but it was far too late. All he could do was watch with wide eyes as the arrow flew elegantly though the air and embedded itself into its target. An eerie pink glow then devoured Kouga before he dissapated into nothing, the jewel shards falling onto the ground as the only reminder of his existance.

As she slipped into a lapse of unconsciousness, Kagome knew one thing: Naraku had won.


Blood, and so much of it. Sesshoumaru felt rage build within him, but he crushed it quickly. Kagome was now clutched closely to his chest as he surveyed his surroundings. There was no evidence of a further threat, but he knew something had to be done. As he brought his face level to her gaping injury, he snarled in disgust. It reeked of poison. Without thought or hesitation, he placed his lips upon her seeping injury and began to suck quickly. He would pause when his mouth was filled only to spit and begin again. It was five minutes before her blood tasted clean, it seemed that the poison had traveled quickly.

There was so much blood, in fact, too much. No doctor could possibly assist with her type of wound, it was beyond their ability. As he began to quickly assess the options he finally settled upon one and headed north.

His legs thundered against the cool wet grass and the limp priestess bounced in his grip. He did not even consider slowing down until he came within mere feet of his destination. Her bleeding had slowed, but only because he kept a firm grip against it. His beautiful white haori was now stained with her blood, but he could have cared less. There he stood at the well and began to shake the sleeping priestess. When she did not awaken he encircled the exterior of the well before becoming bold and standing upon its ledge. When nothing happened, he finally leapt downwards, and just when he was sure to hit the bottom, he continued onwards.

"She wasn't lying..." Sesshoumaru mused with a hint of amusement. Perhaps they could help her in her homeland. It was worth the attempt. He refused to let the woman die then give it up to chance with the Tenseiga. The blade was a last resort.