Band of Eight

By Anonymous Laughter

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters created by Rumiko Takahashi.

Chapter Two

Bankotsu scrutinized the girl who hummed happily at his side. How the heck was a little kid with a puppy so powerful she could turn a youkai into dust with one hand? He was hoping any partners he picked up would have killer instinct like him but this girl didn't have the gleam that showed she had killed any humans. Bug youkai were a different story. He had to make sure she wouldn't high tail it if he killed anyone on the way to "Tokyo."

"So, Kagome-san, what do you want to do for a living?"

Kagome shrugged and said, "My Grandpa wants me to be the next priestess in my family but my dad wanted me to be a doctor. My mom thinks I should be a vet instead."

"But I asked what do you want to do?"

Kagome walked in thought for a while and she finally said, "I don't know. I like writing stories. Maybe I can be a famous author or something."

"Wow, you can write? Not just tell stories but write them?" Bankotsu asked, impressed.

"Of course I know how to write. I first learned how when I was three. I can do math and know history and science as well."

"You must be from a wealthy family," Bankotsu said, scrutinizing the girl. She was wearing a short blue kimono (down to her knees) of a soft looking material and a white and gold shirt with gold colored buttons. Her shoes weren't cheap looking sandals like those that a villager would wear.

"Not really. There are lots of people who are richer than I am. We have our own home but that's because we've been taking care of our family shrine for many generations."

"Why are your cloths so fancy if you aren't rich then?"

Kagome rose her eyebrow, and compared their outfits. Bankotsu wore a woolen white haori and brown hakamas with brown sandals. "They aren't that fancy, they're made with cotton. I just wanted to dress nice this morning because it's my birthday."

"How old are you then?"

"Ten," she said with a proud smile, "How old are you?"

Bankotsu thought back to his earliest memory as he and his mother played in the falling snow. "It's hard to believe you're growing up so fast. Now you're three years old." Ever since then he could recall nine winters, so.

"I'm twelve. And you better not forget that."

"Oh! Look Bankotsu-kun, there's a baby deer over there," Kagome said as she excitedly pointed it out from behind the trees.

"So what? Deer live all over the place," Bankotsu said with a bored expression, "Does your family live behind a wall or something?"

"No, we live in a city," Kagome said, "Don't you know what a city is?"

"No, I've just seen villages and palaces in my life."

"Well, a city is a huge place where thousands or millions of people live. A city is a hundred times the size of a village." Kagome explained, "The buildings are a hundred levels high and there are at least twenty schools in my city."

"Wow," Bankotsu's eyes were wide when she finished explaining, "Uh, What's a level."

"Well there's a room and then above that room is another and another until all the way to the top. A level is just the number of rooms above the ground."

"You'd think I'd be able to see something that tall in my travels," Bankotsu said in shock, "I've never seen a place like you described before."

"I think when that centipede lady grabbed me she brought me far away from home," Kagome said with a frown, "Which is weird because she only had me for a few seconds."

"Maybe your powers brought you here," Bankotsu suggested.

"My…powers?" Kagome blinked, "Like that pink light?"

"Yeah. That's it. Maybe you just appeared here because it's where your powers think you need to be?"

"But…wha-what about my family? I have to get home or they'll be worried about me," Kagome said, feeling frightened.

"Maybe you have a mission your powers want you to accomplish and after you do you'll be transported home."

"Then my mission must be to kill all those gross bugs! Or at least the ones that try to eat people." Kagome said with a grin, "So what do you want to do for a living?"

"I'm going to be the leader of the greatest group of mercenaries that ever existed in history! And you're going to be the first member of my team," He said proudly.

"What's a mercenary?" Kagome asked and Bankotsu sweatdropped.

"You don't know what a mercenary is?"

"That's why I asked right?" Kagome said, exasperated, "If I knew what it was I wouldn't ask."

"A mercenary is a guy who will fight for whatever army pays him the most. Some mercenaries fight alone and I've done that for awhile but it gets boring when you fight alone so I'm going to form a team."

"You've fought in a battle before?" Kagome seemed shocked, "But in history class we learned that after the United States defeated Japan the standing army of Japan was forced to disband. There haven't been wars in Japan since the 1940's."

"You're talking crazy. There is no standing army of Japan and there certainly haven't been any wars between nations."

"You're the crazy one. I haven't seen anyone else wandering around a forest with a sword in traditional haori and hakamas."

"What's traditional about them?" Bankotsu asked, "A lot of men wear these. Your cloths are the weird ones. Those shoes look strange and your kimono is too short."

"This skirt is not too short. Lots of girls wear shorter cloths."

"Like whores maybe."

"Are you calling me a whore?"

"Of course not," Bankotsu said, "You're too ugly to be a whore."

"I'll show you ugly, topknot-boy!" she screeched and smacked him upside the head, "Hasn't anyone ever told you how rude you are?"

"Ow! Stop it you little brat! OW I'm OW stronger than you OW so show me some respect and OW STOP HITTING ME!"

"I'll show you respect when you stop being rude!"

"OW I'll kill you if you don't stOWp it!" he threatened menacingly

"Oh how brave you'd be, killing a defenseless girl in the woods just because she's annoying you!" Kagome growled.

He swiveled around to glare at her as he pulled his sword out and pointed it at her throat, "I'm a mercenary and I'm good at killing people. So stop hitting me or I'll lop your head off."

Kagome felt fear grip her heart but she glared at her 'friend' and said, "If you can't take a few hits from a girl then you won't be able to run a team. A team has many people with different histories and if you expect them to let you be the leader then you need to listen to them and take hits sometimes. Working alone is easy. A team takes work. Are you going to take the easy road and kill your team if they annoy you too much Bankotsu?"

Bankotsu glared at her for a few more moments before he rolled his eyes and sheathed his sword, "You're pretty smart Kagome-kun. You can be my second-in-command when we get more people. Just don't hit me whenever you feel like it, deal?"

Kagome smiled, "Deal. I'll be a mercenary with you but I won't kill anyone, understand?"

"You can't be a mercenary unless you kill someone," Bankotsu sighed, "Its part of being a mercenary. I'm not saying we'll go around killing whoever we want to, we'll just kill the people who we're hired to kill. Once you start killing people you'll see how fun it is."

Kagome just rolled her eyes. She was dealing with a boy with a sword for a toy. She hoped whoever they met next would be more sane than Bankotsu, the leader who can't take a hit from a girl.


W00T! Thank you for the reviews! They really inspire me to continue. (Most of the time anyway) I'll start working on the third chapter right away! REVIEW (again) PLEASE!