Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or the characters of the series. However, this doesn't seem to stop me form doing whatever I please with them anyway... Also, please don't bother giving me a hard time about the lack of "anime" references or whatever. I know you guys can be pretty picky and I'm working on getting the whole Japanese thing up to speed. Just read the story for the sake of reading it, please. Thanks!
Chapter 1: Captured!
During Episode 111 of the anime, Inuyasha and the Shichinintai do battle but were interrupted by Naraku's Saimyosho telling Bankotsu he must leave immediately...
In the heat of battle, it's difficult for most people, unless they are very experienced, to think on their feet. The combination of fear and blood rage often conspire against a combatant. When Bankotsu had pulled his halberd Banryu from the ground and glared at his opponent Inuyasha, all the while hearing the incessant buzz of the Saimyosho above his head, this had become more and more clear. Do what they aren't expecting you to do.
And that was why he'd taken the young girl. Plucked her from the smoke and falling rocks, in fact, before Inuyasha could get to her. Obviously, there was something important about her, and Bankotsu was determined to find out what it was.
After the Band made their getaway, Bankotsu brooded, watching the black sack that he'd ordered Renkotsu to toss her in. He would bet anything that Renkotsu already knew waht was so important about her. After all, his tactician brother Renkotsu had been so focused on killing the young girl.
And, why was Renkotsu so nervous now?
Kagome shivered in terror, but remained very still inside her sack. She could feel that Renkotsu hovering over her, and the horrid contraption Ginkotsu rolling down a dirt road underneath her. Renkotsu would kill her as soon as he got the chance, she thought with despair. He must somehow know about her ability to see Shikon jewel shards! And he was hiding two of them on his person.
There was no doubt that Naraku was behind the Shichinintai's resurrection. But why didn't he just get his usual minions, like Kagura and Kanna, to defend him while he rebuilt his strength (for there was no question that Naraku was doing exactly that)? What was so special about this group of mercenaries? Sure, she'd heard of their reputation that had earned them the fear and loathing of nearly everyone in these parts. But still, Naraku had gone through a lot of trouble to bring them back from the dead to do his bidding. Each one required a jewel shard to keep him alive! And then there were those two that Renkotsu stole from her. And she had seen Bankotsu's three shards in his neck. Did he get them from his fallen brothers? All those shards put together would make a rather nice sized chunk of the jewel.
Kagome shuddered and began to cry. All she knew was that these men had already put her, and Inuyasha, through a lot of grief. Renkotsu had tried to burn her alive already. And before that, there was that freakish Mukotsu, and what he'd tried to do to her... Of course now she was among all the remaining brothers. Weren't they all as mad as he was? Wouldn't they all do to her what he had wanted to do to her?
She suddenly felt a pressing-down sensation on her shoulder, and a nasty whisper in her ear, saying, "You keep that damned mouth of yours shut, bitch, or I'll burn the flesh off your bones." She didn't need to guess who was speaking to her, or what he was talking about.
The rolling sensation stopped. Keeping very silent, Kagome could sense another jewel shard, besides the ones from the Shichinintai. It wasn't Naraku, of course, but most likely poor Kohaku...Yes, she could hear his voice, introducing Kanna (who gave off no demonic aura, so naturally Kagome didn't sense her) to Bankotsu. She strained to listen more. Soon, she didn't have to strain to hear anything, because Bankotsu, the one who had caught her in midair, was soon yelling at Kohaku.
"Don't even tell me that you called us all the way over here just to tell us that," he boomed. Kagome nearly laughed. Apparently this Bankotsu was a bit inexperienced with dealing with Naraku...
"If you had stayed any longer, you would have been killed. Your Banryu is no match for Tetsusaiga," she heard Kanna say in that eerie quiet voice of hers."
Bankotsu grunted. "My Banryu is scarred now!"
Kanna replied, "There is a way to strengthen Banryu..."
Kagome knew what she meant; a jewel shard. She felt a deeper pressing against her. Renkotsu was very nervous all of a sudden. But then, Kagome felt the press lift off altogether. She heard Bankotsu say, "Right. I see what you mean. Thanks for the tip, Kanna."
Kagome wondered what he meant. But she didn't have much time to do so, since she sensed Kohaku departing with Kanna. And then, she realized something. Bankotsu never told Kanna or Kohaku that he'd captured her! Why? What was he up to?
"Can we get out of here? I hate this place," Kagome heard Jakotsu whine. This was not the first time the eccentric brother had complained since Kagome had been taken captive. Apparently, this sacred barrier was sickening even to them. Kagome had no doubt it was because of the jewel shards in their necks.
"Gesssh. If I had a stomach, I'd be heaving it by now," the mechanized brother right under her rumbled.
Without even thinking, Kagome asked, "How can you be alive and have no stomach?"
"I believe I hear a little mouse squeaking," Renkotsu sneered over her. "Perhaps, Ginkotsu, you'd like to eat her?"
"Renkotsu, keep her quiet until we set camp for the night. I agree; we need to get off this mountain. Since we've got a few of our captive's friends trying to find her, we'll have to take the long way off the mountain," Bankotsu announced.
"That's just as well..." Suikotsu mumbled mysteriously.
"Oh, that'll take us right past..." Jakotsu broke off.
"The Killing Field?" Renkotsu ventured.
"Hey, we can visit our own tomb," Bankotsu pointed out with a false cheeriness. Kagome found it disturbing in the extreme.
In sullen silence, they rolled down the mountainside. The trip was uneventful, thankfully, as Kagome kept her tongue still and her ears keenly aware of every sound. Soon, Bankotsu could be heard saying, "That's where we'll camp tonight!"
"Good, it's easy to defend, and it's indoors, no less," Renkotsu pointed out.
Indoors! Kagome, as bad as her situation was, found herself glad when she heard that happy news.
"Hmm... it's abandoned. Do you think we ever did a job for this daimyo?" Suikotsu wondered aloud.
"We've worked with virtually every daimyo with gold in his pocket in this entire region. I'm sure he was also there when we were killed," Bankotsu snarled.
"Yes, but why was it abandoned?" Ginkotsu asked.
"Demons," Kagome answered automatically.
As she had expected, the sack was finally pulled off her, and she could see that twilight was upon them. A huge castle up on the hillside was what they had all been talking about. She glanced to her side, to see the few features left of Ginkotsu who had once been a complete human being and was now a machine, for all intents and purposes. Then, she eyed Suikotsu, Jakotsu, and Renkotsu, who made her shiver slightly. Then she noticed that their leader, the one who had captured her, was giving her a very keen look. "You think they got killed by demons? Why, do you sense any there?"
"No, not right now, but otherwise why would it be abandoned?" Kagome answered with her own question.
"Don't worry, wench. If there are demons still there, I can destroy them," Bankotsu boasted, patting his halberd's blade affectionately. "Now, Jakotsu, Renkotsu, I want you two to scout ahead and make sure it's as abandoned as it looks."
Renkotsu snapped, "Why do we have to go scout ahead?"
"Why, are you suddenly unable to do as I tell you, Renkotsu?" Bankotsu asked quietly. With a huff, Renkotsu left with Jakotsu.
"What are you going to do with me?" Kagome asked.
"We're going to turn you over to Naraku...once he recovers. I'm hoping that he'll reward us with another jewel shard. Then, we'll have ten. I can distribute two to each of us, and we'll all be equal," Bankotsu explained.
"Wait a minute. How do you figure ten?" Ginkotsu asked.
"It's simple. Regrettably, it will require me to call out Renkotsu; he's got three shards right now. I've got three shards, and each of the others has one apiece."
"How'd he get three shards?" Ginkotsu rumbled.
"He stole two from Kagome. Surprised that I know?" Bankotsu gave Kagome a very charming grin, then added, "I know my brothers very, very well. It would be just like Renkotsu to try and slip past me that he's got more than one jewel shard. After all, both Kyukotsu and Mukotsu succumbed to the same desire for more jewel shards. It led to their unfortunate ends. Renkotsu would at least have to try something like this, just once. Just to see if I'm still at the top of my game, or if I've been dead too long and I've lost my edge."
Suikotsu made a hissing sound when he heard about his two fallen brothers. He gave Bankotsu a glare. "Well, you didn't seem too upset when you heard they were gone. 'Couldn't be helped,' that's what you said!"
In one instant, Bankotsu was in the other brother's face. "What are you trying to say?"
"Well, you have their jewel shards! Maybe, if you figure I'm expendible, you'll just take my jewel shard, and say to the others, 'oops, coudn't be...'" Suikotsu was cut off by a blow to the stomach from Bankotsu.
"Don't you ever say something like that ever again!" Bankotsu growled, shaking with rage.
"We've stood by you up until the very end, Bankotsu! We all deserve better than this, but especially Jakotsu, he's been with you for years!" Suikotsu persisted, though he was on his hands and knees and panting as he spoke.
"I know that! Why do you think I revived you all in the first place? What has gotten into you, Suikotsu?"
"His jewel shard has turned black!" Kagome gasped.
In shock, Bankotsu spun and glared at her. "You can see the shards? I thought you were only able to sense them, not actually see them! Well, I know now why I captured you! Just make sure you stay useful, and I'll...take my time delivering you to Naraku. Understand?" With her eyes goggling, Kagome could only nod. "Good. Now, what's his shard doing?"
"Wait, it's clearing up..." she breathed. Sure enough, Suikotsu's expression began to change somewhat. He was still angry, but his eyes were not those dangerous pinpoints they had been mere seconds earlier. She recalled when Suikotsu had been collected back into the Band a couple of days ago. One minute, he'd been the kindest, gentlest person, then the next, he was ready to strangle a little child with his bare hands.
"Hey, you guys, it's all clear! What happened to you?" Jakotsu asked Suikotsu when he arrived.
"I..I'm so sorry! I..I mean he just took over, and," Suikotsu stammered.
Jakotsu let out a loud sigh. "What a crappy day! First I didn't get to cut up my lovely Inuyasha--thanks a lot Stingy (as Jakotsu yanked Bankotsu's long braid)--and now I've got to deal with the good doctor for the rest of the night! I feel a migraine commencing here..."
"Oh, Jakotsu, stop being such a damned princess! It could be a lot worse!" Bankotsu snapped (as he pulled Jakotsu's haircomb out).
"I'm just going to hide over here, Ginkotsu. Along with you. It would seem that you're still alive. Why is that?" Renkotsu asked Kagome.
"He's...I'm getting turned over to Naraku," Kagome answered in a small voice. This was terrible. Since Bankotsu already knew that Renkotsu had extra jewel shards, Renkotsu was bound to think she'd told him!
It was tense while they settled into the castle. Each brother had something to do. Collect firewood. Start cooking. Haul in some bath water. Kagome watched from the corner of the room as Bankotsu and Renkotsu prepared the rice and strips of dried meat they would be having for dinner. Every so often, Renkotsu would glance up at her, while Bankotsu would deliberately pretend not to notice. Kagome tried her very best not to gulp. In her opinion, Renkotsu ought to stop being an idiot and give the shards over. Bankotsu seemed to be giving him every opportunity before he called him on it. Kagome didn't really want to be around for that blow-up.
Especially if, by some odd chance, Renkotsu ended as the victor of that contest...
This is my first Inuyasha fanfic. Please let me know what you think so far. Thanks!