Sesshoumaru – The Path to Destiny

Please read this Introduction

Important things to note on how to Follow the Story.

Hey!

This is my first fan-fic. Never written a story this big before, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Sesshoumaru is definitely my favorite character in the series. Being a guy, I loved to see that he had so much power and an attitude to go with it. But I always felt that there was another side to him, a side that most of us fans know; the side in which he actually has the ability to care and probably even love. In fact strong evidence of one if not both of these have been shown in quite a few episodes –but only for Rin and perhaps a little for Inuyasha.

Now what I understood was that, only people who are very, very special, could cause him to feel, anything. Rin is definitely special; a little girl, with a heart of gold and overflowing innocence. She undoubtedly affected Sesshoumaru in certain ways, though this is visible only through his actions. That is another thing I found hard to do when writing this story. Most, if not all, of Sesshoumaru's personality and character is reflected through his actions. Very rarely can we find out anything about him when he speaks. So naturally when putting the character of Sesshoumaru into words, I knew it was not going to be easy.

I felt it quite logical to choose Kikyo as the heroine. We don't really know much about Kikyo and her personality, as she appears only sometimes, and also she does have the cold persona thing going. But hey, she is the undead. But even in the series, other than being absolutely beautiful, she also shows herself to be mature, and calm, and knowledgeable. We are free to assume that her personality may have been quite different before her life changed because of the jewel and its consequences.

The first person that hit me when I thought of a girl for Sesshoumaru was Kikyo. I thought about this way before, Kagura's small scene and before the series ended. It was one of those 'Two Lost Lonely Souls' things. They are portrayed in quite a similar manner; aloof and mysterious. They are both strong in mind and confident in their own abilities, and have a talent for judging people and events, and figuring out and understanding hidden meanings and signs. They both have the passion to stop at nothing in order to do what they have to do. 'One driven by Honor and the other by Duty…' Sure not all the things about them are good, but hey it isn't black and white either.

I think it is pretty obvious that Sesshoumaru will have a major role to play, in the end of the manga story, especially with Tenseiga now re-forged into a weapon. Another thing that impressed me a lot about him was the fact that he considers Honor, and things like struggling to earn power, a code to live by. It shows that he has a highly sophisticated mind and has no ordinary personality. Also that he respected his Father the most -perhaps the only person he respects at all, and his father's sword secondly. Well I can't say more, it might ruin the story.

But remember this, Kikyo is portrayed as an extremely special person, which she is on her own, but for the sake of the story it has been raised a few levels more, to be able to affect Sesshoumaru. Sometimes it may seem out of character, when it seems as if he talks more than he normally would, but it would usually be with Kikyo that he does this. Also, in some instances it may seem like I am repeating certain things, when actually there are small differences that give a broader perspective. This is true when I describe places or events. I am merely trying to show you how big and different things are, but when put together they form quite a nice picture, if I do say so myself. Remember I am a guy who lives on imagination, and my story would be best enjoyed if you are able to form a picture in your mind of the events and characters as the story goes along. Occasionally you might find a sentence where it might appear that no character said it. Those are my ways of pointing out something to you, the readers. As I said it may not always be obvious and is usually written as part of the story itself. You are free to think that one of the characters noted or made that statement, provided it makes sense.

I took the chance of using a lot of words to describe intimate scenes, so that they may provide a clear picture of how warmly and closely the couple(s) is/are actually interacting. Also I believe that beauty is very important in any story. So I also take a lot of time to describe the surroundings and how the characters especially, Sesshoumaru and Kikyo, look in it.

DISCLAIMER

The Characters in Inuyasha that I have used in this story do not belong to me in any way or respect. This is only a piece of Fan Fiction.

Claimer

The characters that are not of the original series or manga do belong to me and so does this weird plot – now only if I could make some money off of them… : )

Point to Note

There are definite sexual references and adult situations. Expect bloodshed and gore. You have been WARNED.

On a personal note,

I might not be able to submit chapters in a regular period of time every time, but I will finish the story, one way or another. And bear with me on this one. I look forward to your reviews. You are more than welcome to makes points and suggestions, but please don't tell me to change the way I write. I love constructive criticism. If you feel it isn't up to your standard, you are free to stop reading. Also although I may have used strong language in the story, I am sincerely asking or rather insisting that you do not use crude language in your reviews. If you do think that I should know how you feel about something that you found displeasing, please say it in a non-offensive manner or say nothing at all.

I know that these are a lot of demands, and may seem unreasonable to some, especially with me being a first time writer and all. Heck you may find that my story sucks. Every story has truth, fact and imagination -how the reader interprets it is what makes it special or not so special to him or her. But remember to imagine, let your mind wander, and keep in mind that this story is about the beauty found in power, love, and life. I hope you enjoy.


(-) "Sesshoumaru" – 'The Path to Destiny' (-)

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Chapter 1: The Call, of the Cloud Tree

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The night air was infused with a chill, as was expected at the beginning of every spring season. A slow but steady breeze blew across the lands, touching the long green blades of grass and the rich greenery that held onto the trees, prodding them gently to sway and dance to nature's beautiful rhythm. The deep blue skies were clear and the countless number of stars sparkled brightly, only outshined by the translucent blue light from the half moon. Bluish-white clouds that were far and wide apart, gave the illusion of fantastically small mystic islands floating across the sky.

The quiet of the night was interrupted when, suddenly, a blazing maroon-pink light streaked through the woods, illuminating the trees and thereby casting eerie shadows against a dark backdrop. The intensity and the brightness of the light was to be noted for its underlying power.

The blazing streak traveled a long way, leaving behind it a trail of the magnificent light, before it made a sudden impact and radiated energy before dying out -like a star losing its glow. Slowly, the figure of a woman became apparent, a she approached the point of contact from the direction in which the light had originated.

Cold blue eyes stared at the ground and at what were, undoubtedly, the ashy remains of the demon that she had just disposed of with her arrow. The beast had been a large one, with tough skin and bony armor that had covered most of its body.

Dressed in her usual Miko garbs, which were a white top and red bottom, that hid most of her curves, she stood still, eyes remaining downcast, as yet again the memories came crashing down on her. She felt as though she was constantly drowning in a sea of sorrow.

It had been almost a month since she and the Inutachi had finally defeated the vile Naraku. The battle had been hard and long, especially since the Hanyou's power had increased tremendously when he had become a full demon. Somehow, she and Kagome had managed to purify the completed Shikon jewel with a combined effort, before Naraku could make any further use of it. She had then finally been able to send him to hell and rescue the jewel.

Her expressionless face remained unchanged as she replayed the events that had taken place after Naraku's demise for the umpteenth time. She vividly remembered the Shikon jewel start to glow as she had held it in the palm of her hand…

~) Kagome, who was kneeling of exhaustion a few feet away, had an expression of fear, as did the rest of the members of her group. They all stood still, a good distance away from the two of them. The jewel glowed, covering first her and then Kagome, in its brilliant pink aura. She felt a warmth course through her, surprising her, for her clay and bone body was incapable of feeling anything at all. The glow covered the both of them completely before it died out and disappeared, taking the jewel with it.

"Are you alright?!" Inuyasha called out loudly, leaping to where his past love and present love remained motionless with their eyes closed. He shook Kagome forcefully, repeating the question.

While she could hear Inuyasha worry over what must obviously be Kagome, she opened her eyes slowly, feeling some difference within her. She didn't move until she was sure she heard it, felt it, again. (Thump) Yes, there it was; a steady beat sounding from her chest! She gently placed her right hand on her chest, blinking, to make sure that she was not imagining things. She wasn't. She could feel it, hear it echoing throughout her. It was a heartbeat, and she could almost feel the blood that didn't exist before now, coursing through every tissue and organ in her body. She slowly inhaled, and realized, she was actually breathing. Her chest was heaving up and down.

Having recovered, Kagome and the others, watched in shock at what she was experiencing.

She looked up to find the small blue spheres that contained the souls she needed to survive escape her body. After the last one had left, she still remained standing. Her body did not collapse like it usually would have due to a lack of souls. That was when it dawned on her. She had somehow received her complete soul back without Kagome having to die for it. She was now a complete human being again… mind, body and soul. It was all there. Her knees became weak and she slumped to the cold cave floor as the realization struck her that she was now truly alive once again.

The light from the jewel -it must have done this to her, granted an undead Miko named Kikyo, life! )~

Kikyo frowned as she recalled the events that followed. Inuyasha said that he was happy for her, before turning around and leaving with her reincarnation. She had just stared at the group that was leaving without uttering a word, as waves of emotion swept across her. She knew that Inuyasha now loved Kagome, and she had come to accept that without much deliberation, for the thoughts and wants of the undead should never be forced onto those of the living. It did not matter how she felt about it. But now when she had been restored, him walking away somehow seemed wrong to her. It felt unfair. It hurt. Shouldn't this change something between them? She was overjoyed at the chance of real life, but crushed when she realized that this still would not mean that Inuyasha would love her as he once had.

The somewhat colder personality that she bore after having been brought back to life into a body made of clay and soil returned, as if the joy she had felt only moments before never happened. She was strong in mind, and knew that the new circumstance that she was in now should not affect her understanding that Inuyasha no longer loved her as he once had. She lost him more than fifty years ago, never to have him back, in a body of clay or a body of flesh. Perhaps he was never hers to begin with, nor she his…

Her Miko powers were increasing slowly but steadily, she noted to herself. Was this another effect of the jewel? The particular demon she had purified would normally have required about two or three of her purification arrows, but she had had to use only one, and she wasn't the least bit drained of energy. Would her powers increase any further, and if it did, then up to what extent?

She pondered on all possible reasons for the increase in her power as she replaced her bow across her right shoulder and resumed her trek through the peaceful and quiet woods that watched her in silence.

~)~

It was under the same night sky, far away from the Miko's path, that a tall, lean figure, stood by a gently flowing river. His sharp amber eyes stared into the skies, never blinking. Even a human, if wise enough, would have been able to tell that this dignitary embodied great power, commanded respect and was meant to be utterly feared. The posture of this silent specter boasted of arrogance, but not without reason. He was perfection at its finest.

His long silver white hair hung back almost up to his knees, and along with the short locks that fell over his forehead and eyes, they swayed gently, as if in perfect rhythm to the flow of the wind. His eyes, the golden color of the rising sun, were darker now –under the light of the moon. His upper eyelids were the color of maroon-ish pink clouds when they dared to block the sun. Two magenta stripes flashed across his cheeks on either side of his face, and a Prussian blue crescent moon adorned the center of his forehead. It was almost as if a being from the heavens had come down to the earth. But this Youkai, Taiyoukai, was no angel. He was absolutely deadly and a force that not even the bravest and the strongest of beings, Youkai, human or otherwise, dared to go against. This ethereal being walked the path of Conquest, and none would stand in his way.

Sesshoumaru, the Taiyoukai Lord of the Western Lands, and first born son of the mighty 'Inu No Taisho', kept his gaze firmly directed at the stars, and remained unmoving, as if frozen in place, in time. The empty left sleeve of his silk kimono and the cream fur pelt that hung down from his right shoulder joined lazily in the dance of the wind, each with their own stories and their own places in time.

The quiet of the night was yet again interrupted, when, with a monstrous roar, a demon landed several feet further down the bank of the river. Its most notable features were the heavy bone armor and the single horn on its forehead. Its two clawed hands were spread apart as its tail swung behind its massive body that towered above the trees.

"Ah, fresh meat!" The demon spat out cynically, eyeing the figure that stood before it. "Small, but you will do fine for an early snack!" The demon's gravelly laughter echoed through the night air. However it stopped abruptly when it noticed no change in the man's posture, or sensed any fear emanate from him. This was unusual. Most creatures would usually be on their knees by now, begging for mercy and life, both of which he would deny them of.

Sesshoumaru paid little attention to the threats of the demon. This was what happened when he kept his aura concealed so that he could be left without notice; those that did manage to find him by luck, attacked foolishly, and paid for it with their lives. This was beginning to irritate him. How unfortunate for the Youkai who dared to interrupt his peace.

The demon, still surprised by the lack of reaction from his prey, charged at the little man that apparently sought to ignore him completely.

When the demon was almost upon him, Sesshoumaru glanced at the approaching beast out of the corner of his eye. At the last possible second, with gentle grace, but blinding speed, he leapt towards the demon that barreled down on him.

The enormous Youkai's eyes went wide with shock when the man, seemingly, appeared right under his arms. And then all he saw was a white blur with sharp glowing green lights following.

Green claw marks appeared on the Youkai's body like a fresh tattoo, before he was ripped from his torso up and through his head, shattering his horn in the process. It was all over within the blink of an eye. The demon had no comprehension of what had just happened.

Sesshoumaru landed softly a few feet behind the demon, as blood spurted upwards and the demon slumped to the ground, dead and covered in its own blood. It had been ripped in two. Its severed heart stopped beating but chunks of its flesh continued to rain down around it.

Sesshoumaru flexed the clawed fingers of his only arm, "Impudent insect."

It was at this point that his thoughts turned to his little ward Rin, whom he had left behind with his trusted vassal Jaken and the two headed dragon. Concern for her safety came unbidden to his mind. She had been asleep when he had left, after exerting herself from the games she had played the whole day. But, he soon decided, no one would dare attack creatures that were under his protection. Moreover, Ah-Un was there, and if anything did happen, he wasn't too far away.

At the end of this mental deliberation, he casually glanced ahead, and saw the river curve towards the right and disappear in front of a hill that slowly rose above the ground in a constant angle of elevation, starting from a short distance of the forest to his right. The thickness of the trees did not seem to lessen, but from his point of view it was as if the forest came to a complete and sudden halt well before the semi-circular edge at the very top of the hill.

And in the center of the clear grassy ground, between the edge of the hill and where the forest trees ended, a single giant tree grew, easily fifty times taller than the rest in the forest, which stood at probably fifty feet or so. It was a giant tree to put it lightly, and its bark was several meters thick. What was rather different about this tree was that its' big branches started only a few meters above the ground. The long thick limbs grew in all directions before splitting into smaller braches, forming something like an open palm. On the palm the greenery grew thick and strong. The branches closest to the ground were not that long, but they gradually extended more and more as they went up the length of the tree –with the biggest ones at the very top.

It gave him the impression of a tree that had green clouds at the end of the branches. In fact, that was exactly what it looked like; a tree on which clouds grew. It was not exceptionally interesting, but the thought that he had never seen this tree, or any other like it, did deem it worthy enough of closer inspection. Perhaps it was mere curiosity or perhaps it was something else. But there was something about the tree that just called out to him.

It looked rather serene and out of place, he thought before walking in its direction. His gently and perfectly spaced steps seemed purposely conceited even to the shrewdest of eyes, but it was fitting for this Lord of the Western Lands. Where his usual two swords were placed, only one was found -the Tenseiga. Toukijin had been destroyed in a battle with Mouryamaru. It was later that Totosai, the sword maker, had found him and informed him that the Sword of Life, the Tenseiga, which could only heal and neither cut nor kill, had called out to him. The time had come for it to be re-forged into a weapon, which he did not think was possible, as it had felt a slight change in his heart when he had felt sympathy and anger for the sake of another, namely Kagura and wished to save her with it.

After reclaiming the re-forged Tenseiga, he had gained the ability to open the gate to the world of the dead, and send his enemy straight to the next world. Now he was more than a bringer of death; he was death itself!

The pleased mood that he had been in had been somewhat ruined when he happened to hear that his idiot, younger half-brother and his group, along with that undead Miko, had put an end to Naraku before he had a chance to. But he had exacted his revenge on Mouryamaru by killing him easily. It was not a completely satisfying conclusion as far as he was concerned, but it would have to do.

As for the Tenseiga, it could now take lives, as well as restore it. The balance had been found, but it and its master were only one part of the equation…

~)~

On the other side of the valley, Kikyo too noticed the strange tree that seemed to have dropped out of the sky and taken root on earth. It seemed warm and safe; a perfect place to spend the night under. It had been a long time since she had felt the warmth of anything or anyone, and this thought suddenly made her feel a little colder.

The lower hanging cloud like branches and leaves of the tree would easily shelter her from any possible rain, and still give her an unhindered view of the grassy fields and eventual forest that stretched down in the valley below. But the climb to the top of the mountain, she noticed, was rather steep. A problem easily overcome, she thought to herself, before summoning her soul stealers, that used to bring souls, but now served her no purpose, except to keep her company and to give her the occasional lift by curling themselves around her and carrying her into the skies, which they proceeded to do.

The creatures gently set her down on the mountain, a little below the almost flat plane at the top, where the giant tree grew. When the serpents disappeared, she slowly began her ascent. She noticed the bark of the giant tree, and the several thick roots that had risen to be visible above the ground around it, before they disappeared back into the earth.

When she was within reach, she placed a soft hand on the bark which amazingly didn't feel as hard as she thought it would for such a strong looking tree. She gently dragged the palm of her hand along its base, moving towards the front and the view of the valley below. She stepped over another giant root before she froze in place.

A short distance away, near the edge of the grassy mountain, stood a tall figure. Firm and still, he was staring into the skies above. It was Sesshoumaru! There was no mistaking him. He was on the other side of the tree but further ahead, engrossed in watching the stars, or so she presumed.

How could she not have felt his Youki, she berated herself. She should have been able to feel it some distance away. Reflexively, she concentrated her power and in a short while she felt his powerful Youkai energy. She didn't dare take her eyes off him.

Surely, he must have sensed her approach, and yet, he did not seem to care. Did he think that she was of no threat to him, because he was Taiyoukai? Kikyo's eyes narrowed. She had no idea where this sudden rush of anger came from. But she would show him!

She immediately notched an arrow to her bow and was about to shoot, when she remembered the incident that had taken place at Mount Hakurei. He had been protecting a little girl, a little human girl, when she had encountered him the first time. He had been inside a barrier that diminished a fair amount of his Youkai power, yet he had fought a jewel infused member of the 'Band of Seven' to protect that little girl.

She remembered having noticed him, as she had destroyed another member of the 'Band of Seven' before he could kill the child. She had not taken care to notice anything about his features, and she had talked only to the little girl when she had expressed gratitude for helping her. But she had heard from many about the feared and powerful Taiyoukai, even before she had met Inuyasha more than fifty years ago.

There were stories and legends about this Taiyoukai that her people used to tell. The stories told of his power, his heritage, his ruthlessness, and the fact that he would not think twice about killing anything that stood against him. And of course they told of his eternal hatred of humans. But that child, she was a human. What had happened there? What was he doing with a human child?

She strained on her bow, keeping it aimed directly at the side of his neck.

~)~

He smelt the pine like scent of the trees around him, but the giant tree behind him gave off a much stronger, yet sweeter smell. It was then that he sensed approaching demons. They were not powerful and were still quite a distance away. He had gotten the same scent off that undead Miko when she had appeared and killed one of the two fools that had dared to kidnap Rin. Then he realized that he could not smell the bones and clay like last time. Instead he inhaled an absolutely sweet aroma, like the scent of the sweetest rose, after a short shower of rain, together with a slight but clear scent of apple.

He then heard the padding of feet on the grass, approaching the tree from the other side. He inhaled her scent deeply. It had to be her, since he had smelt those demons of hers. But how was it that he could smell flesh and human blood from her? She must have been transformed somehow. Perhaps the power of that damned jewel. He could not be certain, but, she her scent did not offend him, considering it was human.

She had destroyed Naraku before he could and stolen his prey from him but she had helped to save Rin. For that he would not kill her, this time.

He then heard her stop, and in an instant, her bow stretch under the pressure of a notched arrow. He felt her Miko powers charge up, probably on that same arrow. If he ignored her, then perhaps she would go away. But if she insisted on trying to shoot him with those arrows of hers, he would have no choice but to end her life.

Rin would be upset, he supposed, if she found out. He slightly raised an eyebrow at the thought. She would get over it, he told himself, before he felt the Miko's power charge up some more. It pleased him to know that she had realized he would not be as easy to take down. She had realized he was powerful –more powerful than probably anyone else that she had pointed her arrow at before.

~)~

Kikyo kept increasing the charge on her arrow, which now glowed in a pink and maroon aura. But the Taiyoukai still had not made a move. She wondered why. Was he not concerned even in the least? Regardless, she had only one shot should she need to take it, and she could not afford to miss.

She moved forward slowly, so that she was to his right. She then noticed him study her out of the corner of one eye without turning his head even slightly, and look away as if he saw nothing there. Either that or because there was nothing that interested him at least. She frowned and her right eyebrow rose up. Surely he must have sensed her purification power, yet he continued to stand there, completely ignoring her presence. His complete disregard for her only further incensed her. She was a powerful Miko, and he had to respect that, and if not, then she would make him.

Her concentration at her full, she slowly ran her eyes down his figure, taking in every surprisingly beautiful detail. She saw only a little more than his right side. She did notice that the dark magenta stripes were also present on his fore-arm, when the wind pushed his kimono's sleeve back ever so slightly. This was the first time she had been able and in the mindset to study his features this closely.

Though one could say he appeared feminine in certain aspects, his masculinity radiated off him in waves. Without much thought, she compared Inuyasha's rough, wild features to his brother's beautiful, chiseled statue like appearance. His thin, long eyebrows were perfect for his thin, lean face and long sharp nose. His fury pelt swayed gently behind him, almost like a cape. He reminded her of the pictures that were drawn on the walls of the shrines in her town when she was young, telling tales of Princesses falling in love with handsome dashing Princes, though he was certainly more handsome than any of the Princes that had adorned those walls. Suddenly she berated herself for her line of thought. What was she thinking!? She could not get distracted by such deranged thoughts. She quickly focused the tip of her arrow at his head, and concentrated even harder in focusing her power into it.

~)~

Sesshoumaru felt her move forward from the tree till she was standing perpendicular to him on his right. He looked at her through the corner of his eye. This was the first time he was able to see what she looked like from the front. He had glanced at her, that day at the mountain, as she had made her way back to her horse, and had wondered whether this was actually the Miko that had sealed his Hanyou half-brother to a tree. He had only seen her back and the length of her hair as it had hung behind her and the short strands that fell at the sides. Now he had a clear view of her, for the first time.

Her hair had grown longer, probably because she had returned to flesh. It was still tied loosely with a red ribbon like that day. The two thick locks of hair that hung more loosely on either side of her face had also obviously grown, and they curved up, just a little above her breasts to meet the rest of her hair and the ribbon at the back. The features on her somewhat perfectly fair skinned face were beautiful by human standards he supposed. In fact she was probably one of the best looking human females he had come across, not that he really bothered to notice such things. He had no qualms about seeing things as they were. What looked beautiful to him was beautiful, and what was not was not. Of course he had had seen a few demon princesses who managed to just barely outshine the female figure that stood near him.

Her eyes, he noticed, were a deep blue that was darker than the moon on the clearest night, and they seemed deeper than any ocean. She had a small, perfectly sized nose, high cheek bones that rounded out her face quite well. And her lips

They were clearly not laced with any of the substances that females wore to redden and beautify them, yet still, were as pink as a young rose bud. They looked smooth and soft, whilst they shined and glistened under the moon light, much like his hair did with its silver-like glow. She had a body that was proportioned in an attractive manner. Her curves, to his keen eyesight, were quite visible even through the voluminous Miko garbs. She was, of course, young, surely twenty, and he was certain that her Miko powers would naturally keep her youth a long time.

For once he did not question why he suddenly bothered to have such detailed thoughts about a woman he had come across only for the second time. There was something about her that did not let him.

He remained stoic as he looked away from her and faced the stars.

The priestess, determined but with her own muddled thoughts, strained on her bow, as her eyes continued to behold the Taiyoukai in her line of vision.

They both remained perfectly still, captured in the moment. It was only the wind that played with their tresses and the length of their clothes, reminding them that time was still passing by.

The cold she had felt before seemed to increase, thanks in part to the stiff and strained muscles of her arm. The hair that fell across the front of her head moved to the left and right. Their ends gently rubbed against her eyebrows and cheeks.

It was the same with the Taiyoukai, and she caught glimpses of the crescent moon adorning his forehead when the breeze moved aside the sharp bangs of hair that fell at the front.

As silence and time passed between them, she eventually began to feel the muscles in her right shoulder start to hurt and then burn. A normal human, even a strong one, would have collapsed by now, unable to hold a bow extended for this long, but her Miko powers somehow gave her strength she needed. But even so, she could not carry on in this fashion for much longer. Soon they began to tremble and shake due to the pressure. But she could not to relax with someone as powerful as the Taiyoukai standing only a few feet away from her.

Suddenly a large, noisy bird whizzed out of one of the trees from the forest behind them. It startled her, breaking her concentration. Her right hand that held the butt of the glowing arrow, tensed ever so slightly and her arm jerked. But that was enough. The arrow, glowing with energy, left the bow in a 'swoosh' of energy and headed straight for the demon Lord's head.

Her eyes shimmered with fear, though she knew not of what, as the arrow left her bow without her will and headed for the Taiyoukai who continued to remain rooted to the spot!


~~.~~