Chapter 7: Take Care of the Body in All Areas

Rule #5: In order to be a great warrior, the body must be in good condition

Kagome yawned. It had to be around four in the morning, but Kagome didn't know for sure. She was down at the water's edge filling her bucket with the water supply she needed for the day. She was still exhausted, but she wouldn't go back to sleep, not after the nightmare she just had. It was like this every night. And she ended up only getting maybe a good five hours of sleep. So she never felt recharged, always drained, always ragged. From the moment she woke up until she laid her head on the pillow at night.

She knew it was going to catch up to her sooner or later. But right now all she could think about was not wanting to see the images of her dreams anymore.

Once her buckets were full Kagome set off to the hut. The climb was easier. She had been undergoing extensive physical training for about week, putting her training time with Sesshoumaru just over two weeks. And now the climb of the stairs was nothing compared to the stuff she did while training. The climb was the easiest. Reaching the top, Kagome got to work.

Cooking herself breakfast and quickly eating it, Kagome was done before the sun rose. So she set to work cleaning. She cleaned the area they both shared and then worked her way back into her room. Her eyelids were heavy and she was exhausted, but she kept moving. Knowing full well that if she stopped, she would fall down asleep.

Finally the sun rose, and Kagome ran outside to start her warm up. First were the pull-ups. She ran to the bar and began to do them with ease. After she reached the number set in her mind, Kagome jumped down and ran to do stairs. She ran past Sesshoumaru who had entered sometime between her pull ups. "Good morning." She said quickly and then ran down the stairs.

Sesshoumaru, of course, said nothing back but just watched her go up and down. Kagome was running as fast as possible but she could feel her feet dragging. She was just so tired. But she pushed the thought aside and continued to run. When she was done with that, Kagome ran to the tree she always climbed and made her way up. She was fast at that now, knowing which branch to use and which to avoid.

When she reached the top, Kagome jumped down to Sesshoumaru waiting for her at the bottom.

Immediately he began his attack. Kagome blocked him and then they were off. Kagome was sweating, but she wasn't out of breath, she wasn't about to die. She was use to it. It was the same warm-up everyday, and she was getting it down to perfection. Her muscles were growing, her stamina as well. Everyday she surprised herself with the more that she could do.

After awhile, Sesshoumaru stopped and the let the dust clear. Kagome stopped as well and wiped the sweat of out her eyes. Now that the warm-up was over the actual training would begin. "Your general fitness has grown but now we work on selective areas."

He turned around and began walking, and Kagome followed him. He said nothing more after that, but just kept walking. Kagome picked up her feet slowly. They walked down the steps to the waterfall. He stopped and then turned around; Kagome gave him a curious look. "Stamina, endurance, longevity. All meaning the same thing. You want your strength to last."

Kagome nodded. He walked to the edge and Kagome followed. Near the shore were two lead weights, and strings tied to each of them. "Tie them to your wrist." Kagome looked at him with confusion but did what he said. With a weight tied to each wrist Sesshoumaru gave his next direction. "Stand on the rock, under the waterfall and extend your arms horizontal holding up the weights. Do not drop your arms until I say."

"This is like the tree thing isn't it?" Kagome questioned and Sesshoumaru shot a glare. "Right, sorry, I mean yes Sensei, whatever you say." Under her breath Kagome muttered as she walked to the water. "You and your crazy tactics." She waded in the water until she reached the rock and then climbed on. It was hard with the weights and she slipped a few times but she did manage to get on.

Slowly she stood up as the waterfall pounded on her body. She lost balance and almost fell but regained it quickly and stood up again. Extending her arms out slowly Kagome stood like Sesshoumaru had told her. The water poured all over her, making her vision blurry. With her arms extended holding weight, Kagome felt off balance. The slightest shift could make her fall. And fall she did.

The weights made her hit the bottom fast but she got on her feet and jumped to the surface. She got up and stood on the rock again. This time she stood up longer before she fell. She ended up falling two more times before Sesshoumaru said something.

"You are off balance." He said when she broke the surface of the water after falling.

"You think?" Kagome snapped.

"The body can be perfectly divided." Kagome waded in the water as Sesshoumaru spoke. "Two legs, two arms, two ears, two eyes. To find your balance, you must find your center."

"Easier said than done." Kagome muttered. "Find my center." She turned around to the slippery rock. The lead weights are her arms were getting awfully heavy. And she had rope burn on her wrists from where they were pulling down. She scampered up the rock and then paused. Concentrating, Kagome focused on her feet placement and were it aligned with her hips perfectly that could make her steady herself. Shifting her feet slightly, Kagome found it.

Standing up against the waterfall pounding down on her, Kagome was careful not to shift her weight. Then she extended her arms horizontal at the same time. With her feet firmly planted, Kagome stood like a statue. The waterfall added more weight pulling down her arms, but she didn't waver.

After an eternity, Sesshoumaru flicked his yellow whip at Kagome's ankles and she went down. Rising to the surface she met the gaze of an arrogant smirking youkai. "Was that necessary?" Kagome asked as she went to the edge. "I mean really." She started to take the lead weights off but Sesshoumaru stopped her.

"Leave those on." He ordered. "Now that you have the concept of balance, we'll begin the training."

"What do you call that?" Kagome asked.

"Introduction." Sesshoumaru and Kagome signed.

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Black pools of hatred described Naraku's eyes. He intently watched through Kanna's mirror the Inu-tachi. They had been dormant for a little over two weeks at the village Kikyou use to live. Kagome was no where in sight. The group seemed listless and the hanyou seemed restless. Something was eating away at him, although he did not know what. He presumed it had something to do with Kagome and her ways.

"Kagura quit lurking in the shadows and tell me what you have learned." His voice was deep and had a sadistic edge to it.

Kagura stepped from the shadows, her ruby red eyes glaring daggers at the hanyou before her. She flicked her fan in front of her face as she walked over and stood before Naraku. "Kagome isn't here. She is no where to be found." Her eyes narrowed at him, daring him to challenge what she reported.

"She is here, I feel her presence." Naraku looked out the window.

Kagura snickered. "I've searched high and low for the miko and she is no where to be found. However," Kagura closed her fan as she rose a perfectly manicure eyebrow. "The presence you might be feeling is that of Kikyou. For I have learned she is on her way here."

"How did she find me?" Naraku snapped his head and glared at the wind sorceress.

She let out a high pitch laugh. "Because I told her where to go. After all, she is the one who gave you the almost completed shikon no tama, I figured she was on our side." Kagura challenged him, knowing full well that Kikyou was on no one's side but her own. "And I thought she could help with your plan of kidnapping Kagome. After all, the hanyou is wrapped around her pinky."

"Eavesdropping is not becoming of women." Naraku warned, for that would have been the only way Kagura would have found out about his kidnapping plan.

"Ah yes, but it is becoming of a man?" She gestured towards the mirror Kanna held of the Inu-tachi. Naraku's lips twitched. "Remember, dearest Naraku, I am spawned from none other than you. And all the traits you hate in me are the ones you have the most of." And with that, Kagura left Naraku's dark chambers.

"Bitch." He muttered to himself. He should just kill her, but truth be told, her skills were needed in his upcoming plan. Naraku stared out the window once more. Kikyou was coming to his castle. He wondered whatever for. The last time he met her, she had given him the shards of the shikon no tama that Kagome had. But he was no fool. The wench wanted vengeance on him just as much as she wanted the hanyou to return to hell with her. For return she must, her body of clay would not last forever.

In order to beat her, he needed to be two steps ahead of her. Luckily for Naraku, cunning was something he was good at.

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Sesshoumaru and Kagome stood in front of a wooden post. It was tall, slender and went straight up as high as the tree tops. It was the first in a line of wooden posts planted five feet away from each other. The first post in the line had wooden pegs sticking out of the side that went all the way up to the top. One look at those pegs told Kagome that she would be climbing that post.

Still soaking wet, Kagome's arms grew heavy as they stood there. She had both weights tied to her wrists and the ropes were beginning to make welts around her wrists. "Okay, Sensei, I'm guessing I climb up this post with these weights and stand at the top to balance myself." She smiled proudly at Sesshoumaru for figuring out what she needed to do before he explained it to her.

"Never speak unless you are positive, guessing out loud just shows your ignorance." Sesshoumaru scolded.

"UGH." Kagome sighed. "Well what am I doing?"

Sesshoumaru raised an eyebrow at her and then turned so that he was standing in front of her. "You will climb this post, yes, and stand at the top but then you must jump from post to post without falling."

Kagome's swallowed hard. Her eyes traveled up the post and then skipped to the top of the post standing next to it. "But they are so thin." She said with doubt. Her eyes flickered back to Sesshoumaru. "Why do I need be able to balance up there? If I fall I can just put a barrier around myself so I don't get hurt."

Sesshoumaru's golden eyes glared at Kagome with annoyance. "The key to winning a battle is not wasting your energy on meaningless things such as barriers that are use to protect yourself from your own incompetence."

"Right." Kagome muttered and then began to climb up the post. Suddenly she heard the crack of a whip and felt the stinging of its impact on the back of her leg. She let out a scream of pain and then turned to looked down at Sesshoumaru pulling back his yellow whip for another strike. The look he was giving her was telling her to hurry. He flicked the whip again and she scrambled up the post.

When she reached the top she stared at the circle of wood she had to somehow stand on. Its diameter was about six inches and Kagome had no idea how she was going to stand on this with lead weights tied to each arm.

She felt the stinging on the whip on her thigh. Kagome began to get frantic. What did he want her to do? She had each arm wrapped around the poll and her feet were secure on a wooden peg. Looking down, Kagome felt her stomach get queasy. It would be a long fall. She felt the whip hit her again. "How the hell am I suppose to do this?" She yelled down at Sesshoumaru.

Suddenly he was standing on top of the post in front of hers. "Let go."

"What?!" Kagome stared at him and held on to the poll tighter. "Sesshoumaru if I let go, I fall and the weights might drag me down faster than I can put a barrier around me." Sesshoumaru raised an eyebrow at her assumption and then flicked his whip at her arms.

She jerked away her arms before the whip hit them, but in doing so she lost her balance and fell. The weights were dragging her down faster than normal, but Kagome instantly put barrier around herself before she hit the ground. As she stood to her feet again, she caught the eye of Sesshoumaru, she saw his perfect eyebrow arch. She grunted in response and glared back at him.

"You didn't have to do that." She muttered.

Kagome turned from Sesshoumaru and let her eyes follow up the pole. She swallowed hard and suddenly was overcome with exhaustion. Her eyelids felt heavy and her body limbs felt like dead weight. Plus the extra weight tied to her wrists did not help matters.

She walked slowly to the pole and touched the wood. Sesshoumaru appeared in front of her. "You're done."

Kagome opened her mouth to protest, but Sesshoumaru was already walking away. Feeling like a failure, Kagome untied the weights and let them fall to the ground. She looked up at the pole and sighed, exhaustion was overcoming her quickly. She turned away and walked back up to the hut.

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After Kagome ate dinner, she went to her room to sulk. Today had not ended very well. All this week she had been on such a high note too. Today was a definite setback. Sitting on her futon, Kagome rested her head on her knees and stared out the window. She was exhausted to the point her mind was numb. She knew she needed sleep but the thought of dreaming really frightened her.

Then being frightened by her dreams made her feel angry. Why couldn't she get over these images?

"You're failure is a result of you not taking care of your body." Sesshoumaru's deep voice interrupted her thoughts.

"What?" Kagome snapped her head to look at the youkai standing in her doorway. "I take very good care of my body. I eat right, I exercise…obviously. I'm very healthy and fit." Kagome defended. Sesshoumaru's mouth was in a thin line of annoyance at her pathetic defense.

"You don't sleep." It was all he had to say for her heart shape lips to close together in silence. "In order for you to be successful in your training, you must take care of your body. All aspects of it. Therefore your training lesson will begin tonight. You will sleep. Do not wake up until you are ready to wake up."

"But what about tomorrow morning—"

"Sleep." Sesshoumaru's command interrupted her.

Then he left. Kagome sighed and slowly stretched her sore body across her futon. Sleep, he said. Sleeping was the training lesson for tomorrow. Sleep. It was the hardest thing to do right now. Kagome shut her eyes as she thought to herself… why… why did he have to make me sleep?

Instantly she was dragged down into her vivid nightmares.

Kagome was falling. It was black all around her. Finally she landed on the ground, everything was still black. Suddenly a spotlight was shone on her. The bright beams caused her the blink rapidly as she shielded her eyes. "Hello?" She called out meekly. "Is anyone there?" Suddenly voices from different directions began to speak.

"Who is the girl?"

"Why does she wear such funny clothes?"

"How did she get here?"

"She looks like Kikyou!"

"It is Kikyou!"

"No…" Kagome tried to look past her hand that was shielding her eyes from the bright light. "I am Kagome…" Her voice was weak as she spoke into the darkness that surrounded her. "I am not Kikyou."

"Oh look, oh look, she has Kikyou's soul." The monotone voice rang out.

"How can you…" Suddenly a piece of her soul flew out of her chest. "Hey wait!" She reached out a hand after it.

"Oh look, oh look, she also has a piece of Midoriko's soul." Another voice said.

Suddenly pieces of Kagome's soul began to fly out of her body everywhere. "Wait!" Kagome cried as she crossed her arms over her body in a pathetic attempt to hold them in. The glare of the spotlight forced Kagome to close her eyes as she screamed.

"Those don't belong to you." A voice said.

"Oh look, oh look, there is blood on her hands."

Now Kagome's eyes shot open. She pulled her hands close to her face and watched in horror as blood began to spew from her pores. Kagome screamed and began falling again. She landed in field, a field she knew all too well. Her friends were fighting Naraku. It was raining. It was dark. They were about to die.

"Everyone!" Kagome screamed, but her voice was silent. Then she realized she was nothing but an empty shell. No soul, no voice. She couldn't move, she couldn't help. Naraku began to kill her friends one by one. Blood spewed everywhere, burning her clay skin when it touched her. She cried silently, pleading for it all to end.

Suddenly the image froze. Kagome looked around in questioned suddenly felt the presence of a strong youkai behind her. Their arm stretched out in front of her holding a white ball of light. "This is Kagome's soul." The youkai said in a deep voice. He pushed the soul inside Kagome and she felt herself become alive again.

"My friends." Kagome cried.

"Are fine." The image of battle blurred away at the youkai's words.

They stood in a different clearing. The sun was shinning and the grass was bright green, instead of red, drenched in blood. Kagome felt comforted by the scenery and turned around to see who the youkai was that saved her. But no one was there.

Suddenly she took her fighters stance, the scenery changed to her training area. She could feel youkai energy somewhere in the forest around her and she knew it was her Sensei. He sprang from the forest and she blocked his attack effortlessly. His cold mouth smirked.

"You completed your training today."

Kagome awoke. Sunlight beamed into her tiny room. She felt recharged, she felt rested, and she felt as if the nightmares were over. It was time to get her head out of the past and becoming stronger to face the future, to change the future. It was time to climb a damn wooden pole. She rose from her futon, and smiled in the mid-morning sun.

"Let's do it."

Without waiting for Sesshoumaru, Kagome went to the training area where the line of wooden post stood. She retied the weights she had on yesterday and began climbing the post. She reached the point where she faltered the day before and hesitated. Taking a deep breath she listened to Sesshoumaru's voice inside her head.

"Find my center."

She brought her feet to the last pegs and slowly straightened her hunched over back. She wobbled at first but soon she stood straight, her arms tightly by her side. She closed her eyes and used her mind to focus her energy to the very core of her being. Then she lifted one foot and stepped onto the post. She brought her other leg at an angel, her knee bent to her side while her foot rested on her ankle. She folded her arms and pressed her hands together.

Opening her eyes Kagome saw herself standing on the pole in a perfect balance. Feeling triumph, Kagome looked at the post a few feet away from her; she focused her energy and then jumped. She landed gracefully, keeping her balance as she jumped from post to post. Kagome felt herself bubble with happiness at her accomplishment. When she reached the end of the line she turned around and went back to the first post.

Looking down she saw Sesshoumaru. When she reached first post Kagome jumped down in front of him, using her barrier to break the fall. She smiled, "Did you see that Sesshoumaru-sensei? I did it."

"Yes, you accomplished yesterday's task today." He said unenthused.

"Better late then never." Kagome beamed, his comment didn't falter her sense of pride.

Sesshoumaru pivoted and began to walk away. "Now that you slept the entire day away, maybe you should do something productive and clean the hut. It smells like human disgrace."

Kagome only smiled at his retreated figure. She won two battles today. She won the battle of her dreams. Now she can sleep peacefully without fear of painful memories haunting her. And she won the battle of the balance. The day ended with her feeling victorious.

So it was with a sense of accomplishment that she untied her weights today, and scrambled after Sesshoumaru.

End of Chapter

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Moonchild: *cough*

Inuyasha: MC… you bitch… you have some explaining to do to ME, to the READERS, to EVERYONE. WHAT THE F-

Kagome: Sit.

Inuyasha: (thump) I hate you…

Sesshoumaru: *glowers at MC* Speak.

Moonchild: Eh... heh... heh…

Kagome: MC we missed you, what happened?

Inuyasha: Yeah you wench! It's been TWO YEARS SINCE YOUR LAST UPDATE!

Moonchild: Technically one year and three hundred and sixty three days. My last update was on the 29th of June 2007, today is indeed the 28th---

Sesshoumaru: *growls*

Moonchild: Okay okay, look here's the deal. I went MIA. I got into school and then dropped out of school because I thought working full time as an office admin assistant would be a bright idea. Yeah I know. I lost my way. I stopped writing. Hell, I've stopped reading. I became someone I'm not and pursued something I didn't love.

Inuyasha: And how did that work out for you genius?

Moonchild: Totally SUCKED. So I quit my job and I'm returning to school to pursue what I want. I'm going to do what makes me happy again. Starting off with WRITING THIS FIC!

Kagome: WHOO!!!

Moonchild: A big shout-out to all the readers who constantly sent me reviews over these past two years. I love you. Thanks for helping me. Thanks for bringing me back. Now just wait, MC is back, she ready to kick this fic up a notch. Stay tuned, here comes the reason why you love my fics so damn much.

I'm back baby.