"Kanna. Come. It is time once again." Naraku's silky, cultured voice beckoned Kanna forward, and the silent girl held up her mirror toward Naraku.

In a move that would have seemed utterly bizarre to anyone else, Naraku knelt deeply, bowing his head until his forehead brushed the wooden floor.

At once, a voice spoke out from the mirror. "Naraku. What is your report?" Naraku never bothered to remember the exact tone or pitch of the voice- it always changed, the creature always hiding the sound of its true voice.

"Master, the Shikon no Tama is almost complete." Naraku replied, careful to keep his tone controlled and polite. Though he hated bowing to another, his master's power was too great.

"Commendable, Naraku. But why have you not eliminated Inuyasha or his group yet? I can understand the survival of a taiyoukai such as Sesshomaru, but a hanyou and a few mortals should be easy prey!" the master's voice was cold and clipped, like short stabs of an icy knife.

"They have the devil's own luck, master." Naraku gritted out, feeling a light hint of sweat on his neck. Curse this unnatural creature and its awesome power! "If you would lend me some aid…"

"I will not!" the creature's voice had risen to a thunderous cry, and Naraku instinctively bowed lower. "Do not presume to question me!"

Naraku cursed under his breath. "Forgive me, master." He said breathlessly.

If only he had not met this creature after Kikyo's death fifty years ago! If only he had managed to keep out of the mysterious plans that this… thing plotted!

"Be thankful you are still useful to me, Naraku." The mastermind snarled, and the hanyou could feel the malice in that voice. "I will be in touch again. Until that time, remember who you serve."

The connection faded.

Naraku panted harshly, feeling the tension leaving his body. One day he would overthrow that mysterious creature… one day…


In another place, the master growled irritably, striking the ground with its foot. "That fool! He places all my schemes in jeopardy!" the creature's voice was laced with angry irritation.

Closing its eyes, the creature calmed itself down. "Do not fret. No one has discovered you, not even Naraku. Soon enough, you will reveal yourself and crush them all beneath your heel."

It laughed, a harsh, cold sound that rang throughout the forest.

Suddenly, it stiffened, hearing its true name being called on the winds. It made a brief exhale, and allowed a mask of civil stupidity to fall over its cunning features. Soon enough…


Sesshomaru glared as his retainer stumbled out of the woods clumsily. "Jaken." He said coldly.

"Yes milord?" the toad creature said cautiously, keeping his head low.

There was a brief, vicious crunch of boot to the head.

Rin giggled nearby. "Jaken's in trouble!" she sang, brushing the scales of Ah-Un playfully.

Sesshomaru turned, and began to walk away. "Rin. Let's go."

"Yes milord!" Rin chimed, clambering onto the back of the two headed dragon as it turned, starting to follow its master.

And in the dirt, Jaken raised his head, a malicious look on his face. "Soon enough…" he promised himself.


"Yes Sesshomaru-sama!"