Luna: I am back! With another chapter! W00t!
Veron: I seriously think you misled the readers with the last chapter title.
Luna: Eh heh...well I really couldn't think of anything else. Naraku was mentioned so...
Veron: Mm, whatever. Oh I think-((Stops and sighs poking Rin and jerking her head over to the right)) They're making out again.
Luna: Yes, tell me that just to kick me out of my writing mood why don't you? FRED YOU HORNY BASTARD! ((Chucks lamps and smiles as she hears a curse and a thud)) Okay, I can go back to writing now. ((Skips away))
Veron: ((Waves)) Hi Miko! Sorry we stole Fred for a bit. ((Sweatdrops and runs as Warrior stomps in, face red and looking for Luna)) Gotta run! Enjoy everyone! ((Runs))
Luna: On another note...I'm putting this on hiatus. Because I have been staring at chapter 12 for weeks now. And I've only gotten to page 12. Inuyasha is losing it's interest for me, but I'm trying my best to finish this story. Really I am, it's just...boring. But I will finish it! Maybe years from now, but I will!
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. I do own Himawari, Reiko, and Hiroshi. Along with all the character's I mention in my author's notes that no one probably reads. Except for Fred, he's Miko-baca's.
Chapter 11: All I have left
Surprisingly, Kagome had few injuries considering she was the target in the first place. All she had was a cut across her right cheek and her arm was sore from unleashing so many arrows. She winced as she cracked her shoulder, it still hurt and she was exhausted. But she had her human friends to tend to. Sango had her shoulder bitten and Miroku was worried sick over her, though he tried not to show it. The demon lords and ladies were fine, Hiroshi was still nowhere to be found.
Kikyo was also missing; she'd been missing since the battle had been won. Kagome swallowed and shifted nervously from foot to foot as she pulled another full bucket of water from the well. Was Kikyo hurt? It was possible...she had not seen any glowing orbs since that night back in the Sakura province. Kagome muttered a curse under her breath as she lugged the bucket to her patient, none of the demon servants cared to help her, regardless of her false royal blood since she was still just a human, a filthy pathetic weak human. She snorted and rolled her eyes heavenward, a human who had saved their butts on more then one occasion when one would become to cocky or angry and lose sight of their goal. With a sigh, she entered Sango's room and smiled.
" Here. Drink this." She handed a ladle full of water to her friend and tilted it for her to drink. " Are you feeling any better?"
" Hai...thank you Kagome-Chan."
Kagome nodded, her worry over Kikyo still in the back of her mind before she paused and looked around.
" Where's Kirara?"
" Kikyo-Onee-Sama!" Kikyo slid off of the demon slayer's pet and ran to her injured sister, her eyes burning into her elderly sibling.
" What has happened?"
Kikyo's arm slid around Kaede's waist and pulled her arm over her own shoulders before standing. Kikyo hid her wince at hearing the woman's joints creak with the sudden movement.
" A hoard of demons attacked this village to take Inuyasha's half of the jewel. My barriers were not strong enough." With this, Kikyo gazed around and sorrow echoed in her eyes. The village was completely destroyed, the forest surrounding it was smoky and charred, some parts of the debris still burning. Her home was gone.
A small kitsune dashed out of the forest, his eyes full of fear, and another batch of demons following closely behind. Shippo pounced on Kirara's back and buried his face into her fur as the demon's growls became loud and wracked his small shivering form.
Kikyo gently let her sister back onto the earth and began to peg the group of demons with her arrows, her senses telling her that there was no sign of life in the remains of her birthplace. Her eyes hardened with vengeance and the aura surrounding her arrows grew brighter with each passing moment.
Kaede watched her sister with a tired expression, her aged hand clutching at the wound in her shoulder, blood seeping through her fingers and staining the white of her blouse. Her gaze focused on Kirara, it was apparent that Sango and Miroku had met up with her elder sister. But did this mean that they had found Kagome as well? The woman's eyes widened as a trio of demons began their descent upon Kikyo from her left, but she now out of arrows and seemed exhausted.
Kikyo turned, gasping for breath as she turned, pushing her palms up to meet their scaled flesh to purify them into oblivion when a snake demon sunk its fangs into her shoulder and tugged, a large section of her clay body being ripped out. She gasped as the bright orbs of souls flew out of her body and she flinched, the trio approaching her more quickly now knowing that she was injured.
"KAEDE!" Shippo's voice squeaked.
She would never know if they ever found Kagome or not, the woman had gone in front of her elder sister, purifying their bodies as they bit their way into hers.
It was now nightfall...and Kikyo was still nowhere to be found. Kagome had asked servants and either got an answer of " I don't know." or simply a sneer as they sashayed away. Sango had long fallen asleep, Miroku demanding that he stay in her room with her, for some reason Kagome had been wary of this request but didn't know why...yet she obliged anyway from the sheer sadness and desperation in the monk's eyes.
Even Kirara was still missing and it made Sango in only worse condition, she even tried to stand to go and look for her beloved demon pet. It took quite a bit of convincing to make her lie back down and rest; she certainly couldn't do a search party in her condition.
But then again...maybe I should do a search party of my own.
Rin was dressed for bed and sat in her room, playing with a few dolls that Jaken had found and given her one day, most likely under her lord's orders. They were charred and smelled of an odd stench at first but soon faded away with the passing days in her possession. In retrospect, the demons most likely came upon a destroyed village and salvaged them for her.
A knock at the door made her smile and she bounded to her sliding door and opened it, to see Kagome. She had met her once before when Souunga had been released. Rin felt comforted by her presence before she stared into her eyes. Something was up and Rin had to think she had something to do with it.
The toad demon turned with a nervous and panicked stutter of his answer.
" Yes Milord?"
" Where is Rin?"
The toad demon swallowed under Sesshomaru's intense stare and swallowed.
" We haven't seen her since yesterday evening Lord Sesshomaru."
Sango awoke to hearing panicked murmurs and Miroku gently shaking her awake. Her eyes opened and stared blearily at the ceiling for a moment before turning to face her fiancée'.
" What's wrong Houshi-Sama?" Her voice was hoarse and groggy with sleep. His face was so concerned and panicked at the same time.
" Kagome is missing, as is Rin and the two headed dragon that the young child rides upon."
She sat up with a jolt as she processed what he had actually said. She gasped, her face now pale.
Sango now was glaring murderously at the monk before her, who stood a few yards away from Inuyasha's older half brother and his demon servant.
" Both Kagome and Kirara are missing and you won't let me go with you to find them?" Rage burned in her magenta orbs and Miroku put his hands before him in a calming manner.
" Sango, you are still injured. You are in no place to look for anyone. Which is most likely the reason why Kagome has left and enlisted the help of Rin and Ah-Uhn. She did it for you, do not make her help useless by coming along and injuring yourself further."
Her anger now became a low simmer and she scowled, crossing her arms with some difficulty.
" Fine. But bring them all back in one piece."
Miroku smiled and nodded, inwardly grinning at how she tilted her head away to hide her blush. He turned serious and gazed at Sesshomaru and nodded.
How Miroku had actually managed to get Sesshomaru to allow him to accompany him was beyond Sango. But if she thought about it, if he had said that it would be easier to go around largely populated placed with him in tow to ease the people's fears. Which still made no sense seeing as how Sesshomaru wanted humans to fear him anyway. Maybe...he was too worried about Rin to care.
But how was she to know?
Kagome sat behind Rin on Ah-Un, her arms wrapped about the young child's waist as they flew through the sky. She sighed, the wind flowing through their hair. The sensation felt familiar to her as if she had flown through the sky once before. She shook her head, knowing that if she thought to hard about such a trivial thing, she might just faint right off of the demon!
" Kagome-nii-san...where are we going?" Rin turned and gazed at her passenger inquisitively.
To be completely honest...Kagome had no idea. But she had this feeling that she knew when she would reach her destination.
Kagome only smiled and winked, placing her finger over her lips.
" Shh...It's a surprise."
Rin giggled and tugged on the reins, calling for her ride to quicken its pace and Kagome thanked the gods that she could lie so well.
Sesshomaru, Miroku and Jaken had been walking in complete silence for miles now, now having been traveling for over a week. The only sound being the jingle of Miroku's staff. The monk gazed around the landscape, suddenly feeling nostalgic. He knew this area, and it meant that Inuyasha's sealed body was close by.
Sesshomaru suddenly ceased to walk and gazed up at the sky, in time to see the one's they were seeking fly overhead with great haste. He started running and would have been surprised that the monk could keep up had he not been so overcome with the smell of death and smoke. The wind rushed in their ears, neither hearing Jaken's cries for them to wait for him.
"KIKYO!" Kagome screamed as the trio landed, Ah-Uhn alert at all the demon carcasses and human corpses surrounding the charred and burning houses. Rin stared at the carnage and instinctively stayed with her demon friend, her arms wrapped around both their necks and burying her head into them to stave off her tears, the liquid sliding down her cheek and cleaning off the stain of peach nectar from her mouth, since they had been scavenging for food all week.
Shippo almost cried for joy before wanting to cry from hurt as his surrogate mother ran right past him and hugged the injured Kikyo, who had been purifying the blood soaked mud to bandage her injury after burying her younger sister. The soul stealers floated about the two girls, giving them an ethereal look before Shippo's nose twitched.
He turned to see Miroku standing behind him, watching the scene with guarded eyes as Sesshomaru stared impassively at the young girl that threw herself at his legs, squeezing tightly and crying about how scared she was of this place.
Kikyo ignored her reincarnation, still sorting through her sibling's last words to her as she continued her work on healing herself with the souls of the dead that littered this place. If she concentrated on those words, she would ignore the fact that purifying the mud wasn't working.
Kikyo's eyes widened as she saw her elder sister glow with a bright light as her body became bloodied and demon food. Kikyo caught her as she fell, the only demon around now being the young kitsune who was sobbing, the tears gliding down his chubby cheeks.
" I don't understand why I did that." Kaede rasped, blood oozing from her abdomen and chest, the same red poison flowing out of her mouth as she spoke and gasped for air, " Even though I know you are not my sister...there is some part of her inside of you. My sister...the one who cared and loved everyone and everything. She's still there...somewhere..."
Kaede died in her elder sister's cold arms.
Kikyo placed her fist over her would be heart, staring at where she had buried her sister with the help of the grieved kitsune. She paused, realizing that Kagome was no longer embracing her from behind. She seemed to be in a trance, staring at Inuyasha's forest.
" I know...that place. I know I do."
Everyone stared as Kagome stood, staring at the group of trees ahead of her. Tears falling down her face from her wide eyes, she didn't even seem to realize it.
" I know..." More tears spilled down her face before she started running, feeling there was something she had to do. Someone she had to find...someone she had to meet. Someone important to her.
Kikyo's sharp voice pulled her out of her reverie.
" No. You have no business here."
Kagome gasped and turned, now looking desperate and her body shaking for reasons she didn't understand. Her voice cracked as she spoke, the tears that glistened in her eyes falling faster now.
" I know I do! I recognize this place, this aura. Don't tell me I don't! I know I do!"
Kikyo glowered and stood, using her bow as a crutch. Her gray eyes steely, " No you do not. There is nothing there for you to see."
" Yes there is!"
" No, there is NOT!"
Kagome gasped as Kikyo pulled an arrow from the ground and aimed it at her. Her breathing was labored and her hair was no longer pulled back but falling out in long waves of ebony around her hard face. Her hands shook from the loss of souls as the mud simply fell away from her injured shoulder and the souls burst free from her body. The priestess's soul stealers rapidly began retrieving the souls and replacing them back inside her, but to no effect, they kept escaping. Her voice was still demanding and cold, but softer, as if she was trying to convince herself of what she was saying.
" You don't. You don't. Do you understand? If you take one step, I will not hesitate to kill you. You have no place in that forest."
The reincarnation stared at her before her eyes brightened with anger as she took a step towards the dead woman instead. Her hands fisted at her sides as she stalked up to the woman, the souls swirling around them both, Kikyo was finding it harder and harder to focus.
" You know what I'm looking for don't you? And you want it too...that's why you won't let me see it! What is it? Tell me! Why am I drawn to this place? Why do I know these people? Why do I hate the name Naraku so? Why was I inwardly disgusted and terrified, even jealous of you when I first laid eyes on you? Why does he," She pointed to Sesshomaru then. " Seem familiar to me? Why do I know the kitsune and feel as if I'm supposed to protect him? Why are you stopping me from finding it!"
" I own his life!" Kikyo glowered, shaking, the arrow making quiet clicks against the wood of the bow. " I will not let anyone take that from me," She suddenly grew stronger and pulled the arrow back, aiming directly at Kagome's frightened heart, " Not even myself."
Kagome stared, more questions now whirling in her mind.
Her breathing became gasps; her once strong standing now becoming shaky again and beads of sweat slid down her face.
" Because he's all I have left."
With that, Kikyo collapsed.
Kikyo was now lying on Kirara's back, Miroku before her, his staff positioned over Kagome's lap. Sesshomaru had long disappeared after the woman collapsed. Miroku sighed, glancing at the dying woman.
Miroku blinked in surprised at the curt reply he received. He raised a brow, " I didn't even say anything yet."
" Who is there Miroku-Sama? Who is...he?"
Miroku sighed, wondering when this would show up. He grew weary and rested his forehead against the crown of her head.
" It is very complicated Kagome-Sama. If I told you know, I do believe I would have two unconscious women on my hands."
" So it has to do with my memory doesn't it?"
" Why is she so desperate to have this person? And to keep him from me?"
" She loves him Kagome-Sama," Sensing Kagome's surprise from her rigid posture, his mouth quirked into a sad smile. " You forget Kagome-Sama, to be dead you must have been alive first."
Kagome didn't answer.
Luna: End of chapter 11! Woo!
Veron: And she still hasn't seen or remembered Inuyasha. Evil authoress.
Luna: Eh heh heh...((Sweatdrop))
Veron: Read and review!