I do not own Inuyasha or Beast Wars. They belong to their respective creators and not me. If anyone has any doubts then they can talk to my rabid lawyer.
By Ten-Faced Paladin
Chapter 7: Enter Clawjaw, the Guardian from the Sea
It was a tense night that was with the group as they watched over the two Maximals. Earlier in the night Sesshomaru appeared and challenged the two of them to a fight. He did some serous damage before Growlor had managed to activate his own power that the Jewel Shards granted him and bringing out a copy of the Tetsusaiga and using a copy of the Wind Scar to get rid of him. After which Growlor collapsed while Wolfang was already out cold. Currently, Kagaome and Shippo were watching over them while Inuyasha, Miroku, and Sango were either resting or tending to the fire.
"Humph," Inuyasha snorted. "I can't believe those two idiots thought they could take on Sesshomaru."
"Still," Miroku sighed. "They were the only ones up and I doubt they would have recognized him as a threat until he attacked. It was by pure luck that they went to him."
"They're still idiots for not asking for help," Inuyasha pressed.
"Would you have asked for help?" Miroku asked, knowing the upcoming answer.
"Like hell I would!" Inuyasha snapped. "I can take care of him by myself!"
Miroku shook his head. Inuyasha's streak of pride was one of legendary size. He looked over to Sango who was still out of arms reach and walking over to talk to Kagome. Sango looked down on the Maximals and felt rather awful for just sleeping while they were getting hurt. Their armor that would catch the light was now dirty and dented. The fur sections were dirty as well. Their eyes were dark and cold while they still remained still. The sword that Growlor had used was laying on his right side while Wolfang was on the left. In all, they had seen better days.
"Do you think they can get better?" Shippo asked Kagome.
"If they were flesh and blood then probably," Kagome frowned. "But these guys are machines. I don't know the first thing about mechanics."
"Maybe there's something in your world that could help," suggested Sango.
"I hate to break it to you, Sango, but these guys are to my world what my world is to you," Kagome sighed. "I doubt even experts in my world could do much of anything without hurting them. Besides, how would we get them or someone who can help through the well?"
Shippo frowned sadly as he looked down at his friends, but he gasped when he saw their eyes brighten again, "Wolfang! Growlor!"
Everyone's attention was turned to the two Maximals as they sat up from their position. They seemed a little unsteady, but very much alive.
"Ugh," Wolfang moaned. "Did anyone get the I.D. code of that tanker ship that hit me?"
"I feel like all the energy has been sucked from my spark," Growlor moaned.
"I'm so glad you guys are okay!" Kagome cried while capturing the two in a hug, but quickly withdrew when they both groaned in pain. Inuyasha on the other hand had no such restraint as he stepped up behind the two Maximals and socked them over the head.
"You idiots!" he snapped. "What the hell made you two think that you could take on Sesshomaru, huh!? Don't you have any idea just how strong he is!?"
"Inuyasha, sit!" Soon Inuyasha was eating dirt again when Kagome called those words.
"Inuyasha has a point though," commented Sango. "Why didn't you two wake us up?"
"We didn't know it was him," Growlor sighed while reaching to his sword. The group watched in fascination as he opened up his leg and slid the sword inside, somehow managing to get it all inside before closing the compartment. "I may know his name but I didn't know his face or his scent."
"Don't look at me," Wolfang grimaced. "Koga never met the guy so how would I even have a chance of knowing who he is?"
"Well the important thing now is that you two are still alive," Miroku commented. "Which begs the question now of how to tend to your wounds. None of us save for Sango have any kind of metalworking skills and she is only experienced in forging weapons from demon bones."
"No need to worry about that," Wolfang smiled before reverting to Beast Mode as Growlor followed him. "While in Beast Mode our bodies repair themselves. We'll be fine in a while as long as the damage isn't too severe anyway."
There was a united sigh of relief at hearing this. Well, everyone but Inuyasha anyway. Kagome then took a moment to speak up again, "Next time could you please tell us when something like this is happening? I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we don't want to see you like this again."
"Maximal's honor Kagome," Growlor smiled.
"By Primus," Wolfang nodded.
"Good, now let's get some rest. We have to be on the road again soon and it won't do us much good to be exhausted," Kagome said before they all headed back to camp. Shippo rode on Wolfang the whole way.
The next day, the group were on their way again. After a hearty breakfast they continued their journey and then found their way into a fishing village. It didn't look good as dead bodies littered the ground while the survivors prepared them for burial. Kagome and Sango looked sympathetic as Miroku let out a prayer.
"What happened here?" Wolfang questioned, horrified by the sight.
"Reminds me of one of those massacres during the Great War we learnt back on Cybertron," Growlor replied. He then froze. "Wait a click."
"What?" Inuyasha asked. He was used to massacres so the scene didn't bother him.
"My sensors are detecting a Cybertronian energy signature. And it's definitely a Maximal one."
This got all the others reacting.
"There's another Maximal here?" Kagome asked. That would mean a new friend.
"Great…" Inuyasha said while rolling his eyes. As if two weren't enough already.
"Is it a stasis pod?" Shippo asked. He was hoping that this time the next Maximal would derive its form from him.
"No, already online," Wolfang confirmed. "And it's close."
Suddenly, several tentacles, VERY LARGE tentacles, burst out of the water. The group was ready to draw their weapons, thinking it could be another demon and the one responsible for the massacre. The tentacles came onto land and began pulling what seemed to be an incredibly large squid onto the dry land. Inuyasha reacted first.
"You're mine, demon!" he roared before unsheathing the Tetsusaiga and racing towards the source of the tentacles.
Thus was about when the others began to notice that something was wrong. The villagers who were witnessing the event were crying out, but not in fear, but to get Inuyasha to actually stop. Not in a cowardly way some villagers did when they were afraid to anger a demon, but in a way that revealed that they cared about it. Wolfang and Growlor also seemed reluctant to begin advancing.
Inuyasha didn't notice this as he continued towards his target. He smirked when he saw the top of what seemed to be a squid coming out of the water. Thinking that he had this in the bag he prepared to unleash a horizontal slash that would cut a good portion of the things head off. He missed fighting Sesshomaru so he was boiling for a good fight.
"Got you!" Inuyasha shouted as he unleashed the strike.
Inuyasha's eyes widened when he saw the squid's red, arrow-like head split right down the middle and separate like someone doing the splits. The Tetsusaiga flew right over its target causing an opening in Inuyasha's attack. The squid then seemed to flip upside down before the portion of its body did a ninety degree twist that made the beak-like mouth point outward like it was on someone's chest. The two largest red tentacles flipped over to a position not unlike a pair of normal arms while the other orange ones seemingly like they were on panels, shifted to a position that could be considered a cape. Finally, a red head folded up into position with bright yellow eyes. It had no nose but the mouth was two panels creating a horizontal line. Suction-cup like markers ran down from the top of his head, beside the eyes and to his chin. The mouth was also in a deep frown. Whoever this was, he was not happy.
The group was slightly surprised to see this, but Inuyasha was right in the thick of it. He tried to bring back his Tetsusaiga but the transformer had already brought back a curled up fist and slugged Inuyasha straight in the face. The hapless hanyou was sent skidding through the sand and came to a stop right on the grass.
"Stupid demons," the transformer growled. "First bandits and now this."
"Wait!" Kagome cried before she and the others dashed forward to meet Inuyasha, who just started mumbling.
"Look at the pretty birdies," he mumbled, obviously dazed from the hit. If the punch was strong enough to do that then he was going to have a headache for a while.
The villagers gave whispers of suspicion while commenting about an 'ocean guardian'. Wolfang and Growlor stepped ahead of the others and faced this new Maximal. The villagers just seemed tense for a moment. It was like they were afraid that the Maximal was going to be attacked again.
The villagers' whispers immediately became excited when they saw the transformations. Apparently they were no strangers to it but they found it amazing just the same.
"I take it you're the Maximal signature that we picked up," Wolfang grinned.
"Most likely," the Maximal replied. "Name's Clawjaw. I take it that jerk I punched out is with you?"
"Sadly," Growlor nodded. "My name's Growlor. My friend here is Wolfang."
"Well, it's nice to see a fellow Maximal I guess," Clawjaw shrugged before he reached into the water next to him and pulled out a large sack. It was plain to see that it was filled with fish and various other edible sea creatures. "I think I got enough fish, Yamamoto-san! There's should be enough for everyone."
Wolfang and Growlor watched as Clawjaw walked over to one of the houses that were still intact and set them down by the door. An older woman stepped out and smiled brightly as she saw the haul.
"Oh this is more then enough," she smiled brightly. "We're so lucky to have you, Hogosha no Umi-sama."
"Oh, come on now," Clawjaw laughed. "You know my name."
"Oh, just humor an old woman," the lady giggled before dragging the fish into her house.
The group blinked and stared at one another. Growlor just asked, "Um…how long have you been online exactly, Clawjaw?"
"Not too long," Clawjaw said. "Sorry about your friend but he was asking for it by attacking me."
"He does that sometimes. Acts first without thinking."
"Why don't you come with me so we can talk, okay?" Clawjaw invited.
The others easily accepted the invitation before Miroku and Sango hefted Inuyasha to his feet and dragged him into the house that Clawjaw was leading them to. It seemed to be intact and there was even a small girl inside playing with a ball by herself. She seemed very young with dark hair that was tied back. When she saw Clawjaw she broke out in a huge smile which revealed a missing front tooth.
"Clawjaw-sama!" she squealed before trapping on of the Maximal's legs in a tight hug. Sango and Kagome thought the scene was adorable.
"Hello to you too, Sakura," Clawjaw smiled as he lifted the small girl up into his arms. As he stepped deeper inside a woman came into the room to see what the commotion was. Beside her was a teenage girl that looked to be around nineteen or so. Miroku got a speculative gleam in his eyes before a sharp glare from Sango made him sweat-drop.
"Oh my!" the woman gasped as she saw Clawjaw's guests. "Are these friends of yours?"
"Yes, Mizuki-san," Clawjaw nodded. "We just needed a place to sit and talk. Is that all right?"
"Oh it's perfectly alright with me, Hogosha no Umi-sama," the woman giggled. "Oh, a few of the villagers stopped by while you were out. They left some food for you."
"Again?" Clawjaw blinked. "That's the fifth time today. Where do they get it all?"
Wolfang felt a slight sense of deja vu upon hearing this. It reminded him of his time at the village that they had saved from that crow demon with the jewel shards. He stepped up to Clawjaw and patted him on the shoulder.
"Cheer up, man," he snickered. "At least they aren't offering their daughters for you to marry."
At the mention of that, the teenage girl who had yet to say a word blushed a deep crimson before leaving the room hurriedly. Only Kagome and Sango seemed to notice this. Clawjaw sighed and just hung his head.
"Actually, three families offered to let me marry their daughters so I would stay," he explained. "You should have seen how happy they were when I said that I was going to stay regardless."
"Just how long have you been online anyway?" Growlor gaped.
"I repeat, not long. Just a couple of days," Clawjaw replied while taking a seat. Sakura just made herself comfortable on his lap. "Actually, the day I came online is the day I met Sakura here."
"Yup!" Sakura nodded. "You saved my life!"
"What happened?" Kagome asked, interested in the story.
"I think Sakura can tell you all you need to know up until my activation," Clawjaw said while ruffling the child's hair affectionately.
Sakura was innocently walking along the beach while her mother was busy at home with her older sister. Since Sakura's father had died earlier in the year, her family didn't bring in a lot of fish like some of the other families did but they helped out in preparing them for stock and such. Anyone who helped was allowed to have shares. Sakura wanted to help too so she was trying to find some fish that may have washed up on shore. All she really found though was the odd dead squid. It didn't really put her down though. She thought she was helping. As she got further away from her village, she noticed something odd.
There seemed to be a new rock formation that she hadn't noticed before. It was half buried in sand and it was a black color. There was a wired flat part on it with all sorts of colored squares and a little ball on the side. Sakura was naturally curious so she did what a lot of people her age would do. She went to explore. Picking up a stick, she stepped closer to the odd object, wanting to find out what it was. As she got closer, she didn't notice the black tentacles slowly snaking their way out of the water making no noise whatsoever.
When she was close enough, she started poking the black stone with her stick. Just for fun she started pressing the colored squares that were on the side. She thought it was funny that every time she would press one it would light up. She was about to start poking the wired ball when she felt something slimy wrap around her ankles. Looking down, she screamed when she saw black tentacles clasping onto her. With a hard pull, the tentacles tripped Sakura so that she was face first on the ground and started dragging her through the sand towards the water.
"Mommy!" she cried "Big Sister!"
It didn't seem that her cries or tears were heard by human ears though. When she was close enough to the water, she was lifted up to see the visage of a black pointed head with yellow slit eyes and a ring of sharp teeth for a mouth rising from the waves.
"Heh," the demon smirked. "One juicy human morsel all alone out here? This must be my lucky day."
"Ahhhhhhhhh!" Sakura cried in fear.
"STASIS POD ACTIVATED. BEGINNING SCAN," an emotionless male voice suddenly spoke.
The demon stopped it's cackling to look over where the strange object was. It could see a little ball being lifted into the air by a rod. It then started spinning before a large yellow field expanded out of it and began sweeping the area. The field passed over the grass, the sand, over water, and even over Sakura and the demon. The demon in question was too curious to even notice that it had a sobbing little girl in its clutches. After a moment, the field returned to the orb before the box started speaking again.
"SUITABLE DNA LOCATED. BEGINNING RECONSTRUCTION."
The box began to hum and the demon began to become tense. He wasn't sure just what was going on but he wasn't about to become distracted by the human in his arms only to be cut down by whatever was inside the box. The humming quickly died down before the box started talking again.
"BEAST MODE SELECTED. BEGINNING REPLICATION."
A few moments after that, the lid of the strange box began to open and steam escaped from it. The girl and the demon watched as something began to come out of it. It looked like a tentacle followed by another one before a large red squid came out and revealed itself. It took one look at the scene in front of it before its eyes narrowed in anger.
"Let her go!" the new squid roared before whipping it's own tentacles out and managing to hit the tentacles holding Sakura up and dropping her into the water near the shore. Coughing and sputtering, the small human raced towards dry land before hiding herself behind another rock formation.
"Why you!" the demon growled. "That was my lunch! I guess I'll just slaughter you before I eat her!"
The red squid didn't seem to want to wait for his opponent to try and attack. Instead, it pulled itself out of the box and onto the sandy beach. It took one last look at the demon before speaking again.
Sakura and the demon's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates as they saw the body of the squid shift and change until it looked like a humanoid man made out of metal. It glared at the demon unflinchingly while the demon wasn't sure what it was looking at. After a moment, it decided that there was no way that this new creature was stronger than it and launched it's tentacles to pierce it through the middle. Sakura watched in amazement as the metal man leaped out of the way and began dashing towards the demon's head. It unleashed one more tentacle to attack but the metal man saw this one coming and dodged it again before using a karate chop and cutting off the tentacle! The demon roared in pain and was now distracted. The metal man dashed the rest of the distance before he leaped at the demon's head. Sakura could only see his arms move before the demon slowly came to a halt. Everything was still but then the demon's head came apart in three sections and fell into the water that was made cloudy with demon blood.
Sakura was amazed at seeing the metal man kill the demon so easily. She watched it step out of the water and heave a big sigh before taking a seat in the sand. She wondered what it was going to do before it gazed in her direction. With a small squeak of fear, she hid behind the large rock.
"Hey, now," the metal man smiled. "There's no need to be afraid of me. I'm not going to hurt you. I got no reason to."
Sakura stuck her head out from behind the rock and gazed at the metal man, "Promise?"
"I promise," the metal man replied with a nod.
Sakura timidly stepped out from behind the rock and slowly walked towards the metal man. She trembled slightly but soon stopped walking when she was just outside arms reach.
"What's your name, little one?" the metal man asked her.
"Sakura," the small girl replied in a low voice.
"Hello, Sakura," the metal man smiled. "My name is Clawjaw."
"That's pretty much how I came online and Sakura and I met," Clawjaw spoke.
"He was so brave!" Sakura said excitedly.
"So, how did the villagers come to worship you?" Miroku asked.
"Well, after that…" Clawjaw began.
Clawjaw had more or less accepted his new home. He had to admit that it was alright as far as things went. He had nice company, he had no real responsibilities, lots of food, and a good friend. Sakura had been visiting him everyday since he had come online and she just loved to ask him questions. At first she had thought he was a demon but when Clawjaw explained that he didn't know what a demon was she instantly thought he was a spirit. He tried to convince her otherwise but saying he came from another world seemed to cement her views. Eventually he just gave up.
Currently, he was laying in the slightly deeper waters of the beach trying to get some sleep. There was just something that was at the back of his mind telling him something was wrong though. He had learned early to trust his instincts but he had no idea what his instincts were trying to tell him. He soon got his answer though.
"Clawjaw-sama!" the young and terrified voice of Sakura cut through both air and sea. The sea-going Maximal's eyes snapped open and he broke the surface of the water. Looking ahead, he saw Sakura laying on the ground breathing heavily with tears of pain running down her face. What was worse, was the blood staining her clothes and the arrow jutting from her shoulder.
"Sakura!" Clawjaw cried before pulling himself from the water and right up to shore. "Sakura! What happened?"
"Bad men," the little girl trembled. "They rode into the village with swords and arrows. They wanted all the food we saved and anything else they thought they might like. When we said no they started breaking things and killing people. My mommy and big sister are still there. Please help them Clawjaw-sama!"
Clawjaw was trembling with rage right now. Hurting a child was something that no Cybertronian did. Only the most deranged Predacons purposely harmed any kind of youth. After making sure that Sakura was in a safe spot for the time being, Clawjaw returned to the water and began swimming towards the village. Running would have only taxed his servos and he had a feeling that he was going to need all the advantages that he could get.
What he saw was something that would only be in place during the Great War. Several wooden houses were on fire and there were bodies of men littering the ground. Some were alive and just wounded while others were undoubtedly dead. Men in dark armor were running from house to house only staying inside to herd out anyone inside and taking whatever they liked before setting the houses on fire. Near the beach the women and children were all being collected by a number of the men. The looks the women were receiving were none too friendly. This just got Clawjaw's oil boiling and almost igniting. He finally snapped when he saw one of the guards reaching to grab a woman, aiming to drag her off somewhere.
With a huge crash, he broke through the water, his tentacles flying though the air towards the bandit guards and their captives. Cries of demon and pleas to the gods cut through the air but it was hard to tell who was screaming more. The women and children or the bandits. Clawjaw grabbed as many bandits as he could before slamming them into various surfaces and throwing them into the forest or dropping them in the water. When there were no more guards, he began to pull himself closer to shore. The women just began to tremble more while attempting to hide their children from his view. Of course, the screaming of the guards managed to catch the attention of the ones who were actually doing the pillaging. They were all witnessing Clawjaw coming ashore.
"What the hell is that?" grunted one.
"What do you think stupid?" shouted another. "A giant squid!"
One large bandit, presumably the leader since he had a lot more muscles than the others, pushed through the ranks and looked at Clawjaw appraisingly.
"Heh," he grinned. "A squid that size could keep us fed for a good while men. Get him!"
The bandits gave a collective warcry as they charged at Clawjaw with their weapons and torches raised. Clawjaw just narrowed his eyes as he turned to face the coming mob.
The bandits were stunned as they witnessed their latest meal ticket transform into a metal man who was looking none too pleased with them at the moment. The villagers and bandits were both stunned to witness the change. Whispers of 'demon' rippled though them and no one dared to move. That is, until the bandit leader decided to open his big mouth again.
"What are you guys waiting for?" he snapped. "We can take one demon!"
With their spirits renewed, the mob of bandits began their charge again towards their target. Clawjaw frowned and raced towards his opponents. When he was close enough he leaped straight over them and landed on one of the guys in the back, knocking him out when his head hit the ground. The bandits tried to turn around but Clawjaw managed an upper roundhouse which made impact against the heads of three of them. The bandits just continued to swarm in an unorganized fashion. Since they were getting in each other's way, Clawjaw had a somewhat easier time taking care of them. His reflexes and agility helped him avoid strikes of those who did manage to get close enough to him. Eventually, the bandits realized that there was no way they could beat him, so with lots of bruises and by carrying some of their comrades (those who felt loyal anyway) they started running for their lives.
"Wait!" the leader shouted. "Come back here you cowards!"
Seeing that his men were not coming back, the leader turned his gaze to Clawjaw only to find his face making impact against said Maximal's foot. He was thrown back by the force and hit a tree. Blood was trickling from his nose as he struggled to his feet. With a final growl of anger, he raced after his men. Clawjaw released his battle stance and turned back to the villagers who were watching the battle. They were stunned beyond belief.
"Well?" he asked. "There are burning houses still here! Let's put them out!"
"The fires were pretty much out before I went back to collect Sakura," Clawjaw explained. "We managed to fix her up at least. Luckily it seems that the arrow miss anything important so she doesn't even need to keep her arm in a sling. By the time I got back they were out and people were beginning to mourn for the dead. That's when they started calling me that name."
"Hogosha no Umi," Sango spoke. "Ocean guardian."
"Yeah," Clawjaw nodded. "They've been leaving me what Mizuki-san called offerings of thanks for helping them in their time of need. They don't really have to give me anything and I did tell them that, but they insist."
"Well you shouldn't let such generosity go to waste," Miroku commented. None who knew him could be sure if it was his monk side or his con-artist side talking at the moment. If they had to take bets thought, they would have put money on the latter.
"I'm a Maximal warrior," Clawjaw replied with crossed arms. "We do good because we are. Not because we want something."
"He's right," Growlor nodded. "We Maximals have made it our duty to protect those who can't protect themselves."
"We ensure that the people are safe no matter where we go," Wolfang agreed.
A heartfelt sigh could be heard and everyone turned to see Sakura's older sister peeking into the room with a faint blush on her cheeks. Noticing that she was busted, her face turned crimson before she immediately vacated the room.
"What's with her?" asked Wolfang.
"I dunno," Clawjaw shrugged. "Ever since Mizuki-san allowed me to live here, Hotaru can't seem to speak two words to me without turning red."
"Do you think she's sick?" pondered Growlor.
"Primus, I hope not," Clawjaw frowned. "That would mean I'm probably the cause. I'd hate to leave."
Kagome, Miroku, Sango, and even Shippo all sweatdropped when they heard this. It didn't seem possible but the Maximals seemed just as thick on matters of love as Inuyasha was. The again, they had an excuse to be. They were from a completely different world. Inuyasha on the other hand was a moron so he didn't have that kind of advantage.
"Big Sister's so silly!" Sakura giggled.
"So what brings you people here anyway?" Clawjaw asked his guests.
"We were actually passing by and saw what happened," Kagoem replied. "We're actually on a quest."
"A quest? What sort of quest?" asked Clawjaw.
"Well," Kagome began. "We are looking for..."
A scream interrupted her which caused Inuyasha to stand stright up, "What the hell was that?"
Everyone quickly moved outside to see what was going on. What they saw was more bandits coming. This time it was double the number that Clawjaw fought.
"What do you morons want?" Clawjaw sighed.
"This is payback for what you did to us, demon!" the leader barked on horseback. "There's no way that you can beat our full forces!"
"Uh...I thought there was only one metal demon," a bandit quivered. "I count three."
Murmurs began to ripple through the bandits as they realized this little fact. They didn't even seem to notice that there was a half-demon standing right next to the three Maximals.
"These are the fierce bandits you fought?" asked Wolfang.
"They seemed so much more competent last night," Clawjaw sighed. "They must be sharing a brain cell and causing it to overload."
Inuyasha stepped forward and began smirking. Some of the bandits who were closer didn't really like the look on his face, "Heh, I've been looking for a reason to bust some skulls. Looks like you guys get to be my personal punching bags."
The bandits became really nervous at this announcement and the sadistic grins that the three Maximals were giving were not helping their courage. The leader just growled before he started barking at his men.
"Are you men cowards?!" he shouted. "There's more than enough of us to handle them! Kill them!"
The bandit then charged, but some of them were a little reluctant. The villagers started to flee while Kagome and Shippo followed with Kilala on their trail. Inuyasha, Miroku, Sango, and the Maximals stayed behind to deal with the clueless wonders who thought they could take the village.
Inuyasha leapt right into the fray and started punching any bandit that was in arms reach. Miroku and Sango worked side by side as they beat down any bandit that go too close or past the united front. The Maximals had forgone weapons and used punches and kicks to get rid of the bandits. Only Clawjaw seemed to hold any real skill for it. Wolfanag and Growlor just employed a style to what Inuyasha often used. More and more bandits were clobbered which resulted in a sudden nap or lost teeth mixed with black eyes.
The leader, who had been watching, had started grinding his teeth as he saw his men being beaten down. He wanted this village's food stocks and he was going to get them! He reasoned that if there were no more villagers to protect, his enemies would have no more reason to fight and would just let him take what he wanted. With this thought in his mind, he urged his steed forward and began plowing through his own men and the defenders.
No one had really been expecting this sudden tactic so he the leader was more or less given no obstacles as he broke through the line and rode on into the village with his sword drawn and laughing arrogantly.
"Oh, no you don't!" Clawjaw growled before he dashed off after him.
The bandit leader just continued to ride through the half ruined village until he came to one of the houses that his men hadn't been able to burn down the previous night. He could tell that people were in it because he could hear them. Smirking, he got off his horse and began charging for the house, intent of killing everyone inside. It was safe to assume that his sanity was highly questionable at the moment. As he was bellowing his war cry with his sword raised, he felt a tentacle wrap around his torso before he was thrown several feet from the house.
Kagome heard the commotion and cautiously stepped outside to see what had happened and began bearing witness of Clawjaw staring down the bandit leader. You could actually feel the tension in the air.
"Get out of my way, demon, or I will kill you before the people and make off with the food," the leader growled.
"Do I look as dumb as you?" Clawjaw scoffed. "If I let you go you'll just kill them villagers before making off with the food anyway. Your men are being beaten as we speak so just give up and leave!"
"The spoils will be mine regardless!' the leader shouted before charging, "Diiiiiiiieeeeeeee!"
Clawjaw dashed forward to meet the man in combat. The man was proving to have heavy and strong blows that could possibly be able to cut into Clawjaw's armor if he hit the right places. Thankfully, Clawjaw was somewhat more flexible than your average fighter and he managed to dodge the blows. He took advantage of the wide swings to land multiple blows of his own on the leader, but it only served to make the man angrier.
"Graaaaaahhhh!" he bellowed before kicking up the sand into Clawjaws optics. Clawjaw grunted trying to get the sand out since it was obstructing his view but by the time he did he felt the weight of the leader slam into him.
Both were sent tumbling to the ground but Clawjaw felt his back hit the legs of someone before he heard Kagome's scream. A thump followed but something else caught Clawjaws attention. A small bottle with some purple crystals inside of it fell onto his face before rolling onto the floor. The crystals had flickered yellow for a brief moment but that was it.
"Now you die!" the leader cried as he brought his blade down to split Clawjaw in half.
A metallic ring echoed through the air and the villagers in the house dared to look at what happened. The leader himself was somewhat surprised at what was happening. Clawjaw had caught the blades between his hands. He glared at the leader harshly, his eyes starting to flare with yellow power.
"You know what I hate?" he growled as he slowly forced himself to his feet despite the leader trying to keep him down. "I really hate cowards like you who pick on the defenseless."
Yellow energy began to erupt from his joints as he forced the leader back step by step.
"Acting all tough and stealing just because you're too lazy to do any kind of hard work," Clawjaw continued.
The energy was enveloping his body as he continued to stare down the leader of the bandits.
"I only have one thing to say to you," Clawjaw growled. "SHIKON JEWEL POWER!"
Clawjaw's aura exploded, sending the leader back as it soared into the air. The villagers were astonished to see the sight as the light reached the heavens. Cries of amazement grew louder as a large yellow shard fell from the sky and imbedded itself just above Clawjaws shoulder blades. It was soon absorbed and Clawjaw's chest panel (the squid jaws) opened widely.
"Wrath of the Kraken Tribe!" Clawjaw announced in an angered voice. He aimed his chest cannon at the remaining bandits and fired. There was a powerful explosion that sent the bandits flying into the air. Clawjaw marched towards the leader who was crawling away from Clawjaw in fear. Clawjaw whipped one of his tentacles at the bandit and brought him close so that his face was near Clawjaw's chest.
"Believe me, you don't want to know what will happen if I choose to use this on you this close!" He dropped the bandit leader, "Now leave before I decide to slag you!"
The leader did not know what the term 'slag' meant but he wasn't going to stick around to find out. Screaming like a little girl, he ran out of the village followed by his still conscious men who were carrying the wounded.
"That's it?" Inuyasha huffed. "I was barely working up a sweat."
"Do you just live to fight?" asked Wolfang with a sigh.
"Hey, how else are ya going to survive?" Inuyasha snickered.
The impending philosophical argument was cut short by the villagers who had started cheering and were crowding around Clawjaw.
"A shard of heaven!"
"Truly he must have been sent by the gods!"
"Oh we have been blessed!"
Every able bodied villager was trying to ask Clawjaw what he had done. Wolfang snickered as he felt deja vu again from the last village the friends had been at. Now people really wanted to get to know him. Since most of the villagers were women, Miroku couldn't help but feel envious of the confused Maximal, but he displayed a rare form of restraint concerning a comment about it so Sango wouldn't deal him a grievous injury. Inuyasha just snickered at the sight, finding Clawjaw's plight amusing.
Looking frantically around, Clawjaw spied Kagome watching with a smile of her own, "A little help here please?"
"So that's the story," Kagome finished explaining.
The group was sitting in Mizuki's house again drinking some tea. Sakura had planted herself in Clawjaw's lap again while Hotaru would occasionally come into the room to refill cups and steal glancing blushes at Clawjaw before leaving without a word. The story concerning the Inu-gumi's quest was retold yet again so that Clawjaw was brought up to date.
"I can see how this is an important quest if this jewel is as powerful as you say," Clawjaw frowned.
"So you'll help us?" Shippo asked hopefully, wanting to trvel with another metal man.
"You gotta be kidding me!" Inuyasha snapped. "Two of these metal men are bad enough as it is. Besides, his animal form is useless!"
"It's not like I had any other choice," Clawjaw frowned at the irate hanyou. "But Inuyasha is right. My Beast Mode isn't exactly equipped for land travel and my Robot Mode can only last so long out in the open."
"I see," Miroku nodded. "So I take it you will be remaining here?"
"It's not like I have anywhere else to go," Clawjaw shrugged. "Besides, I still feel like I have to help out around here. There are still bodies to bury and homes to repair. Also the villagers are rather reluctant to see me go."
"Yeah," Growlor nodded reluctantly. "You have kind of made a place for yourself here haven't you?"
"I have," Clawjaw nodded. "But look on the bright side. At least you know that this is a village you'd be welcome at."
"Another valid point," Miroku nodded before he leaned in slightly closer. "Tell me though Clawjaw, Is Hotaru currently available? I wonder if she would like to be-"
He didn't get to finish before Sango's fist collided with the top of his head and Clawjaw's made contact with his face. The lecherous monk fell on his back with swirly eyes.
"Is he always like this?" asked Clawjaw.
"Too often," Inuyasha growled.
So it was with some small sadness that the group left the fishing village. They offered to try and stay to help but the villagers had declined. The women were rather experienced in home repair. Who else did it while the men were out fishing? Wolfang and Growlor made their goodbyes to their fellow Maximal before returning to everyone and hitting the road again.
"Aren't you two a little sad that Clawjaw didn't come with us?" asked Sango.
"Maybe," Wolfang shrugged in his Beast Mode. "But we really can't force him to do anything, really. He made his choice."
"Besides," added Growlor. "It's not like we'll never see him again."
Kagome smiled as she heard the Maximal's words. True, they could have used Clawjaw's help in getting more jewel shards but it was also pretty noble of him to stay behind to help the village. In the end they made a couple of new friends with Clawjaw and the people so that was just as good.
To Be Continued...
A/N: There. Chapter 8 is finished and I hope everyone enjoys it. My thanks to Zk Chromedragozoid for helping pre-read this and fixing errors. Well, another Maximal appears and he's become quite the village star. Will the others see him again? We'll see.