A/N. So sorry for the late update! Iono, I've been having less enthusasiam to continue this story...;-; Perhaps it's because of the lack of reviews...or maybe the lack of inspiration. X.X
Anyways, yes, some quotes were taken from the anime/manga. And there still will be quotes taken from the anime/manga. x3 Hope you liked this chapter, and remember to review! x333
Chapter 13 - Her Life is His
He scoffed to himself, watching the two embracing couple with a sickening disgust in his heart. What had gone wrong?
He had planned it out so perfectly and carefully. He was supposed to turn them against each other and make the half-demon's death come by the priestess's own hand.
But what happened? The pathetic half-demon was supposed to be dead, while the priestess was supposed to use the Jewel to revive herself, and thus, taint the Jewel even more. But here they were, well and alive, exchanging foolishly loving words and embracing as though nothing else mattered.
What went wrong? he demanded angrily to himself, even though his heart sank with dread as the answer flickered through his mind. Could it be...that their love and trust was too strong to break? Had he underestimated their feelings for each other?
He narrowed his eyes in anger, trying to force himself to calm down. No matter. He would think of another plan.
But why? he asked himself. Why didn't he just steal the Jewel away, without going through the trouble of playing with them?
Because, he reassured himself calmly, he needed the Jewel to be tainted even more with hatred and malice. The Jewel would become stronger and more powerful. He desired that power.
No, that isn't the truth, another voice within him spoke. You wanted that half-demon out of the way, and you wanted Kikyo to revive herself...so the tainted Jewel and Kikyo could be yours...
Anger burned within him as the voice once again spoke to him. How dare this human say such foolish things?
What do you know, foolish human? he shot back at the human soul within himself, narrowing his blood-red eyes with irritation and anger. I only desire the Jewel, and nothing else. The hatred in Kikyo's heart would make the Jewel more powerful. That is what I desire.
That is only a mere excuse. Hasn't it ever occured to you...that if you simply touched the Jewel, it would become tainted? the voice pointed out cockily. The figure in the babboon cloak clenched his fists tightly in rage. Admit it, demon, you desire Kikyo as well.
The voice within him laughed for the first time, with a confidence so calm that his heart sank a bit with horror and dread. Had he doubted this pathetic human's strength?
This human...he was just an ordinary human. Pathetic, helpless, weak. But how...?
How was he slipping away?
How was this human growing more powerful?
Do not deny it, demon...the voice continued smugly. What you feel is what I feel. We are connected, you see. My love for Kikyo prevents you from harming her. You may be able to take over my body, but you can't control my heart!
He gritted his teeth, trying to force the irritating soul back into subconscious.
Silence, human! he ordered angrily. You have already lost your soul, so there's no use trying to fight against my power. Succumb to my power!
He didn't want to admit it, but the human's determination to win back his body was overpowering him. Using all of the strength he posessed, he tried to deny the soul access to his body.
It is you who shall succumb, demon! Return my body back to me so I can claim what is rightfully mine!
Never! he shouted back fiercely, trying to gather the strength to push back the soul that was attempting to spread over his body and take control.
The voice laughed again. Foolish demon.
Everything seemed to whirl around him, and before he knew it, everything was becoming dark. The darkness broke, triggered by the fierce struggle of the two souls. The thick darkness swallowed everything, overpowering him with its overwhelming strength. A hoarse scream of anguish echoed, and just as the darkness had come, it faded away.
He opened his eyes, revealing pools of malice that glinted with an evil glow, and a satisfied smirk crept along his lips.
That fool didn't win like he thought he would...
He was in control now.
His smirk grew wider before he turned to stare at the couple, who were just parting from their embrace. Seeing the love in their eyes made his heart ache with hatred.
No, not hatred...
It was envy.
"If it was not you who attacked me...who was?" Kikyo narrowed her eyes slightly, studying his face as though the answer could be read in his eyes.
Inuyasha sighed inwardly, wishing he knew. "I don't know. But whoever it was will pay." He clenched his fist tightly, his amber eyes narrowing in anger.
Calming himself down a bit, he added slowly, "But he was a demon. I could tell by his scent..." Inuyasha stared at Kikyo, who was staring off into the distance solemnly.
Kikyo remained silent, pondering thoughtfully. A demon. That explained it all. The demon probably had the power to shapeshift into whoever he chose. But what reason could he possibly have to tear them both apart?
A single question troubled her greatly. Where would he strike next?
Kikyo closed her eyes, sighing inwardly. It didn't matter now. What mattered was that the one responsible for this didn't succeed, and no one was hurt.
Then she remembered Kaede and the other villagers. Didn't she tell Kaede she would die soon? What would Kaede do when her older sister, thought to be dead, turned up at the village, well and alive?
What would the villagers say when she explained the whole situation to them? How could she explain it?
She sighed inwardly again. She'd have to be more cautious and careful, even in her own village. She supposed she would try to track him down somehow, one way or another.
"I shall be heading back to the village," Kikyo declared finally, opening her eyes to meet Inuyasha's amber ones. "I alone will search for traces of the one responsible for this. You and my village...even my own sister may be targeted. I can not allow any more harm to be done."
After the words escaped from her lips, a horrible realization dawned on her. Where would Inuyasha stay, now that he was a target? He couldn't possibly stay out in the wilderness. He could take care of himself, Kikyo was certain, but how could he deal with a demon who had power that surpassed their own?
But he couldn't stay in the village. What if he endangered her village?
As much as she loved Inuyasha, she didn't think she could allow him to endanger her village. They would both be targeted if they remained in the same area. Kikyo could never forgive herself if she lost both Inuyasha and her village. Things were looking bad.
It wasn't that she doubted his power. But it was human nature to be concerned and worried.
"Kikyo..." Inuyasha narrowed his eyes slightly. Kikyo blinked, surprised at the rather upset look on his face. "Are you really planning to take down the one behind this all by yourself?"
Kikyo was the most powerful priestess in this era. He didn't doubt her strength, but it still concerned and angered him to know that Kikyo wanted to take down their attacker by herself.
Before she could reply, Inuyasha had closed the distance between them and grabbed her shoulders forcefully.
"What if you get killed?" he demanded. "He attacked you before! I could never forgive myself if something happened to you again, Kikyo! You almost died..." Inuyasha's angry voice lowered in sorrow and wistfulness. His golden orbs softened with a tender mist.
Kikyo's pools of hazel softened, but she forced herself to remain emotionless and calm. What if their attacker was watching at this moment, waiting for the perfect time to strike when they were most vunlerable?
"You know nothing of the one who attacked us, Inuyasha. What can you possibly do?" Kikyo questioned in a low tone. Inuyasha frowned. She seemed slightly irritated, as if she didn't like the idea of him protecting her. But he didn't care.
Inuyasha narrowed his eyes again. "That's obvious. I'll track him down and rip him apart. Then Kikyo...you won't have to fight anymore."
There would be no more bloodshed. Kikyo's blood would not be shed again. No more bloodshed, no more tears shed, no more pain.
Kikyo closed her eyes, turning away. "Even if you do track him down, perhaps your strength will not match to our attacker..." Kikyo paused to sternly look straight into his eyes.
"Inuyasha, if he had the wit and power to almost make us think we betrayed each other, how much more power does he posess? It is best if I am the one who destroys him, for I am a priestess with the power to purify that demon."
"It may not matter to you, Kikyo, but your life is mine! I won't allow the likes of that demon to take it away!"
Immediately, Kikyo's head whipped back and her eyes shot open to meet his, while her lips parted to exhale a soft gasp. Kikyo stared at him, dumbfounded and stunned. His orbs were now flaring with determination and devotion, something she hadn't seen in his eyes before.
"Even if you do have purifying powers, you still can't take him down by yourself!" Inuyasha shot back defiantly. "Who will protect you? I'm the only one who can, aren't I!"
She remained silent for a moment before whispering, "Inuyasha..." Her eyes lowered slightly, and a deep frown marred her beautiful face.
Was it true? Was he the only one who could protect her?
Despite herself, she felt weak. Did Inuyasha really think of her like that? A helpless, weak woman who depended on a man to protect her?
Since when had she become so weak-willed?
Apparantly, her hushed voice and her saddened eyes calmed him down. His amber eyes softened with tenderness. "Kikyo..."
"You're saying that from the heart, aren't you?" Kikyo asked quietly, her chocolate eyes lowering slightly.
"I can't take it any longer! You almost died! I couldn't bear it if...I lost you again, Kikyo."
Kikyo's expression didn't change. The empty silence was filled with the soft whisper of the wind as they remained motionless and silent. Finally, Kikyo broke the silence.
"I should be going." Kikyo slipped with ease out of his grasp, walking away slowly. Inuyasha watched her leave, gazing at her retreating back sadly.
"Inuyasha, it's also about time...you should return to your daily life and remain cautious," Kikyo warned. "Be on your guard, Inuyasha. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you."
She stopped abruptly in her tracks, her head hanging low as her hair fell down the sides of her face with a melancholy air. Her position seemed so small and sad that Inuyasha felt his heart ache with sorrow as he stared wistfully at her.
" Inuyasha, when I was dying and falling in the depths of darkness..." she whispered softly. Inuyasha said nothing, gazing somberly at her back as his heart ached just remembering how much she suffered.
"I wondered if, alone, it was over for me. But you..." Kikyo paused to turn back. Inuyasha was surprised and stunned to see her smile. It wasn't a truly happy one; traces of her sadness lingered, but a spark of bliss shimmered within her smile.
"You were there for me, Inuyasha," Kikyo murmured, her eyes glimmering with gratitude and joy. "I am so happy."
She looked so beautiful at that moment, smiling, smiling at him, smiling /for/ him. He wanted to see her beautiful like that every day.
But how could she be happy when this demon was still on the loose? Inuyasha promised himself that no matter what happened, no matter what it took...he'd tear that demon to pieces. Her smile would be his motivation. She would be the reason why he fought.
"Inuyasha, I am glad that you are always there for me when I need you."
Inuyasha gazed softly at her, meeting her hazel orbs tenderly. She smiled again, seeming sad yet happy at the same time. Kikyo turned again to walk away, but she stopped as Inuyasha called out, "Wait, Kikyo!"
Her hazel eyes widened slightly as she felt his warm, firm hand grab hers. Before she could whirl around to face him, he had turned her around himself to meet his embrace. She succumbed, her petite hands pressing into his broad chest, her cheek buried in his shoulder blade.
"Kikyo...if anything happens, call for me," Inuyasha whispered, his warm breath brushing against the top of her head. His arms gently hugged her petite body, feeling a tingling sensation surge through him just feeling the warmth radiate off her soft skin.
"It'll be all right, Inuyasha," Kikyo assured tenderly, wrapping her arms around his muscular figure. She closed her eyes, pressing her cheek closer against him for warmth. "I promise I won't come to any harm."
"I am the only one who can protect you...aren't I?" Kikyo's eyes slowly flew open, and she felt his grip on her tighten gently. She smiled softly, closing her eyes again, drowning in an endless ocean of his warmth.
"Inuyasha..." she murmured, pressing her cheek against his silver hair.
Inuyasha tenderly smiled. "Kikyo..."