A/N: Apologies for the wait! Thank you for your patience!

- Demon's Eternity -
- Chapter 7 -

Sweat trickled down Kagome's brow as she sat silently in the carriage. The air was becoming noticeably colder—from hot gusts of desert winds to the icy cold breath of the mountains.

"Here." She felt a soft, warm material being draped over her shoulders. "You'll get sick if you don't warm up. I've heard sudden changes in temperature can make humans quite ill," said Ryota, his turquoise eyes sparkling majestically.

"I'll be fine," Kagome replied softly, turning away to stare out the side of the carriage. In truth, her lungs already felt heavy, and her sweat, now turned cold, was causing her muscles to ache and shiver.

She wondered how Rin was doing, and if she had managed to escape. After all, the younger girl would have no choice but to search for Sesshoumaru—something Kagome knew she would want to do.

Shesshoumaru…

It was then that thoughts of a half demon began to stray into Kagome's mind. Where was he? What was he doing? Was he finally getting along with Sesshoumaru? Did he finally find his place in the world?

Sighing, Kagome draped an arm out the window, resting her chin on the inside of her elbow. Perhaps it was fate?

"Show respect to Ryota-sama!" shrieked Michi, the little cat-like creature accompanying the demon lord. Her fur looked chaotic and stood on end as she bared her teeth at Kagome.

Staring flatly at the small feline, Kagome reached her hand out, patting Michi on the head. "Just like Jaken," she muttered under her breath. "Only cuter…"

"I se you've taken a liking toward Michi… despite her rudeness," Ryota commented, earning a look of disbelief from his servant. "You'll have to forgive her," he continued, "she's quite overprotective but I promise you'll grow on her once she begins to see you are a good person."

Kagome blinked, and then looked back at the small feline creature. "I believe you," she said honestly. It was only then that she really began to catch on to the cold, snapping her out of her daze. Shivering, Kagome hugged herself in an attempt to warm her body, which was gradually dropping temperature.

"We're almost there," Ryota said, noticing the young woman's shivering. "I apologize for having to force you through desert and now cold, but this is my Kingdom… The Northern Lands, high up in the snowy depths of the mountains. I assure you it is beautiful, despite the rather… chilly climate."

Kagome nodded. She wasn't quite sure how to handle his sincerity and kindness. At least he appeared to be sincere and kind, from what she has seen of him so far.

"Look, there it is my lord!" Michi exclaimed in her high-pitched voice, pointing a furry paw out the window. Following the direction in which the feline had pointed, Kagome began to notice the tips of something that appeared to be a large upside down icicle. As the carriage moved further up in altitude, more of the structure became seeable, until finally, a large fortress made of ice was revealed to the traveling group.

"A-amazing!" Kagome stammered, her eyes widening at the sight of the gigantic structure. It truly was magnificent—even if it was made of ice.

"This is my home," Ryota said modestly. "I know it may seem cold and hard, but it's more comfortable than it looks."

"No complaints here!" Kagome exclaimed cheerfully, surprising herself. After being sold like some kind of object, she wasn't expecting to get along so well with her buyer, or be in such a good mood.

"I promise to make your stay as enjoyable as possible," the demon Lord spoke again. "After all, this is your new home now."

At those words, Kagome's mood sank a little again. She didn't intend to make this snowy mountain her new home. Sure, it may be a fun stay—but she had a home, a family, and friends she wanted, and needed to be with. Especially now that she was back in the feudal era, she felt an exceptional need to find the man who had been such a substantial part of her life for so long. The need was already beginning to chip away at her patience and sanity. But how could she ask for such a thing? Especially since this Ryota demon was being so kind to her. A normal demon lord would have her tossed around like a toy!

Still, there had to be away. Kagome wracked her brain for things to say—reasons to give for her escape. But why was she even reasoning? She was sold—captured, and taken from her home against he own will. What reason did she have to find excuses to leave? It was in her right to go where she pleased. Wasn't it?

xXxXxxxXxXxxxXx

Rin's eyebrow twitched as she watched the man before her. He was gracelessly leaned against a tree, legs crossed and eyes closed as his head bobbed forward, light snores escaping his slightly parted lips.

That blasted Zura… He seems like nothing more than a bum! Some hunter…

"Hunter-sama," she ground out, jaw clenched and teeth grinding together. It was becoming difficult to call him that in her fake ditzy brothel-girl voice. However, she knew it would be necessary. A good amount of deception would be crucial for this mission in particular—especially with a man like that.

Rin felt a stress vein pop out of her temple when he didn't respond. Inhaling deeply and closing her eyes, the girl attempted to calm herself before turning to plan B.

"HUNTER-SAMA!! HELP! THERE'S A SNAKE!!" she shrieked at the top of her lungs, flailing her arms for dramatic effect.

As if on cue, the hunter known as Zura jumped ten feet into the air, drawing out various knives as if ready to defend himself from the devil.

"W-what?! Where?!" he exclaimed frantically, visibly frazzled by the girl's sudden outburst.

"Umm… over there!" Rin pointed randomly.

The hunter ran over, searching the grass. "There's… nothing here," he said slowly, truth dawning on him. He sighed. "Next time you wanna wake me up, just give me a shake or two!"

Rin cringed, her plan foiled. "Sorry," she muttered under her breath, averting her eyes.

"Don't worry about it!" Zura called, waving his hand dismissively. "Won't be enough to get me mad. I'm not much of a grouch," he said grinning, winking at his new companion.

Rin furrowed her eyebrows. He may have been good looking, despite his gruffness, but she definitely didn't appreciate the ridiculous attempts to be flirtatious. It just didn't suit him. "Anyway," she began. "Let's get going… if we don't hurry the sun will begin to set. We've barely managed to get anywhere."

Zura quirked an eyebrow. "What's the hurry?" He asked innocently.

Rin froze. Of course, she was in a hurry. The sooner she found what she was looking for the better—however, she had to appear as though she had absolutely no ulterior motives. "Um… it's nothing…" she trailed off. "I just don't like the dark is all…"

'Lying, lying, through your teeth,' Rin scolded herself. She would have never been able to lie so smoothly as a child.

The hunter grinned a second time. "Don't worry, little flower. I'll protect you from the snakes," he joked callously, winking again.

Rin felt herself shiver this time. The smile and the twinkle in his eye was the same—but something about his voice—the way he said those words—it made him sound dangerous. "Let's get going then…" she said slowly, her mind screaming at her to be cautious with this new stranger. After all, he was out to kill Sesshoumary—possibly the strongest demon alive. Either he was completely crazy to even think he could stand a chance, or he really was a very dangerous man.

The two hiked off, heading west towards the demon hunter's base, and all the closer to Lord Sesshoumaru.

XXxXxXxXxXxXxXxxxXxx

"Lord Sesshoumaru!" an advisor yelled as he scurried across the floor towards the demon lord.

Sesshoumaru rubbed his temples. He was ready to slaughter them all. How the heck was this supposed to relieve stress again? He wasn't sure, but apparently that's what someone had told him once—rubbing the temples that is.

"Lord Sesshoumaru!" the advisor shrieked again.

"What is it?!" he barked, baring his teeth slightly. It was unusual for him to get so irritable, but all this political business was really starting to get under his skin. He was a warrior, not some pansy political crook like these pathetic human warlords and businessmen.

"Our spy has returned with the layouts of the Northern Lands. I believe this will be sufficient to construct a battle plan!"

Sesshoumaru eyed the blueprints. "Tell Inuyasha. He'll be leading this mission, so he'll be the one to look at these and do as he sees fit. I don't have the patience right now," he ordered, calm in his voice again.

"Y-yes sir!" the advisor stammered before scurrying off again. He wasn't sure who frightened him more—Sesshoumaru, or Inuyasha. Sesshoumaru was cold and calculating, but often remained calm, despite his deadly potential to be an absolutely ruthless and bloodthirsty demon. Inuyasha on the other hand was far more short-tempered and was more likely to show outbursts of unwarranted anger. Either way it was a lose-lose situation. Sighing, the advisor went off to advise his next abuser. Any orders from Sesshoumaru were unwelcome around Inuyasha, who always took it out on the messenger.

"Lord Inuyasha! Lord Sesshoumaru has ordered me to tell you that—"

"I don't give a shit what that stuck up dog-face said, ya hear me?!" Inuyasha barked out the door before the advisor could even finish his sentence.

"But sir! It's the blueprints of the Northern Lands… and you're leading this preemptive strike! Lord Sesshoumaru wants you to examine them and do as you see fit!" the advisor blabbered, praying to remain whole.

There was a pause on the other side of the door. "Lord Inuyasha?" he called out.

He heard the lock, and the door was slid open. Inuyasha stood in the doorway, his eyebrows furrowed in something akin to concentration. "Do as I see fit, eh?" he repeated.

"Y-yes sir," the small demon stammered, the blue prints snatched out of his hands by an evidently grumpy half-demon.

"Pre-emptive strike on the Northern Lands huh…" Inuyasha trailed off, talking to himself. "Looks like Sesshoumaru's had it with that Ryota bastard. What did the spies say?"

The advisor jumped in surprise at being addressed. "They said that Ryota had left his fortress on a journey, and was soon to return. They claim the defenses are weakened, since Ryota has been investing in an expansive army, and assassination training."

"Che… assassinate Sesshoumaru? You've got to be kidding me. He'd stab you in his sleep before you even got the chance to get near him!" Inuyasha exclaimed. "Alright… I guess I have no choice on this one. Besides… what kind of a sneaky bastard tries to steal another person's land like that. I don't like it. Yo, tell Sesshoumaru I'll need some fighters. And I don't want a whole army… just a few good demons that could take on masses of crappy ones," he commanded the advisor.

"Y-yes sir!"

xXxXxXxXxXxXxXx

"This is your new room, Kagome was it?" Michi said quietly as she lead Kagome into a large chamber, fancily decorated, as though for a royal guest.

"Wow, this is amazing!" Kagome gasped, almost breathless. "And yes, it is Kagome," she smiled at the feline.

"Well, Lord Ryota seems to really like you," the cat demon commented, "otherwise you wouldn't be getting such a nice room. I'm next to you on the left, if you need me. At least, that's what Lord Ryota asked me to tell you."

Kagome smiled pleasantly. "Thank you Michi."

Michi mumbled something inaudible under her breath before strutting to the door.

"Hey… Michi…" Kagome trailed off, a frown fixating itself on her lips. "Why did Ryota choose me? And why is he being so kind? I thought I was supposed to be some kind of slave or something."

Michi paused, looking back at the girl. She closed her eyes, a sudden grim atmosphere descending upon the room. "Lord Ryota plans to go to war… and he isn't intending on returning."

Kagome stared, confused.

Noticing the girl's confusion, the cat demon continued. "He isn't intending to return, because he doesn't think he'll survive his enemy's wrath. So, he needed someone to bare him an heir."

Kagome's eyes widened in disbelief. "WHAT?! But… I'm just a human… I can't… no way!"

Michi shook her head. "You don't understand. In the world of demons, there is nothing but competition! Lord Ryota won't sacrifice his integrity and his kingdom to some awful demon witch, just for the sake of keeping pure demon blood and pride. He's looking for someone who will uphold his values! Most demons don't care about the suffering they bring to their land, but Lord Ryota does! This is why he's willing to choose you, a mere human, to give birth to a half demon child who will one day rule both humans AND demons, for the betterment of this land. Lord Ryota believes you are good… so he chose you for that reason."

Kagome was speechless. What could she possibly say to such a thing? "But… who is he… going to war with?" she asked, curious who the fearsome enemy could be.

Michi lowered her gaze. "The demon lord of the Western Lands… Sesshoumaru… and his half-brother Inuyasha."

There was a pause.

"Goodnight, Miss Kagome," Michi concluded before stalking out of the bedroom and sliding the door shut.

An empty silence filled the room. Suddenly, it didn't seem so majestic. Rather, it was dreadful.

A/N: WOOHOO!! Done chapter 7. Please read and review!! Thank you!!