A special Note to readers: I WRITE COLOSAL stories and this is only the first chapter!
Arrival Of A New Kind Of Adversary
Radiant and powerful rays of the sun reflected from Inuyasha's graceful and rugged blade the Tessaiga. Both the heat and the vivid light that rebounded from his adored sword made him squint his keen yellow eyes. With his left hand he ran a piece of cloth over the tip of his sword. He stroked his blade effortlessly like the way a lover caresses their intimate and beloved. Usually he was on the clumsy side and had a tendency to be a bit rough with things that required precision and moderation. After swabbing his blade a few times carefully he noticed the film of dirt that caked the edge of his sword was no longer visible to even his sharp eyesight.
"I think I've done a job well for once," he said to himself with a tranquil sigh. The wind blew gently across his face, and filtered through the dark green canopy that loomed above him.
He had been sitting on the top of a big green hill, at the edge of a forest for close to an hour now. Kagome had told him that she would not be late. She told Inuyasha that all the time and ironically she was always late! "Noon, yeah right, and I'm the husband of a frickin tengu bitch," he muttered gazing up at the sapphire sky. Clouds began to circle around him and curled in thick threads and spiraled in the blue awning. Something though, didn't feel right. The wind didn't have its usual taste, and it seemed to be increasing somewhat in speed. He rolled his eyes and passed off his odd emotion as nothing and thought that it was just an irritating side effect of being overly concerned. He collected a heap of his long brilliant white hair and looked at it intimately. "Maybe that's why it runs in my father's family," he spoke. He often did suffer from anxiety when it was probably totally unnecessary.
"Hey! Inuyasha!" a voice called up from the foot of the large hill. Almost instantly he broke his continual glaring and gazed down at the bottom of the hill. A smile brightened his grim face when he saw the dark white and green figure waving to him. It was Kagome alright and for once she was almost on time. He could see the outline of her pink bicycle and her basket full of some kind of goodies from her world.
"I'll be down in a sec!" he called down to her sheathing his sword. The hanyo leaped high into the air from where he had been working diligently on his Tessaiga. Like a graceful cat he landed on his left foot and pushed off on his right sending himself through the air again. He landed not so gracefully in front of Kagome with his back hunched like an elderly peasent. Kagome smiled warmly and batted her pretty choclate eyes, she always felt more content when ever she was in his presence.
"How are you today?" she asked with a serene and cheerful voice. She had a slender build and rich dark hair. A green short skirt hugged her waist, and she also wore her usual white longsleve collared shirt.
"I'm fine, but where the hell were you?!"
Kagome had to kick herself inside to keep even a forced smile. The hanyo boy was correct, she said that they would meet around twelve, but instead she was there almost a half hour late.
"Okey, so I'm, like, around twenty minutes late, but you don't want to know how bad things were in Tokyo today."
Inuyasha stood still like a statue cast in iron with his arms folded across his chest. It was getting harder for him to listen to the same stories over and over again.
"Remember what your grand dad said?" Inuyasha stated vacantly.
"Um, no," Kagome answered.
"You shot me this line once. I think it went like good is good but, damn it! That's not how it sounded." Inuyasha scratched one of his canine ears. "Things are better when their whole, heh?, oh hell no! Not like that either." Kagome raised a very apprehensive eyebrow; she was as lost as he was in his awkward search for the correct lexis. "Wait! I've got it now, when you speak people will listen, but when you move, they will follow."
Kagome put a finger to her lower lip and thought for a minute. Her eyes glared aimlessly into the sleepy and placid blue sky. Inuysaha waited patiently for her to remark on his wise words, he held a smug look on his stern face.
"Oh yeah I remember him saying something like that." Inuyasha nodded with an arrogant smirk. "Uh, what was that suppose to be about?" Inuyasha's patients took another toll.
Is she just out of it today? He questioned. The riddle he threw out at her pretty much spoke for it's self. Actions speak louder than words moron! I wonder if she's just feelin weird or if she really does enjoy playing idiot!
"Weelllll. I'm here now and that's what's important. Right?" she said in a perky voice.
"I guess so," he replied looking at the ground.
"Then let's be on our way," she said with a smile, and then with a small kick with her left foot locked her bike's kick stand back into place. Inuyasha rolled his eyes and walked along side of her as she peddled down the sand and dirt path. She remembered both things terribly well; she remembered what her grandfather had told her even though she didn't fully understand his quote. She also recalled the fact that she also promised Inuyasha that she would be a hundred percent on time today for once.
For almost a mile they said nothing to each other as they walked down the slender path. Kagome glanced over at the hanyo boy; he had the usual face that looked like it had been situated in firm stone. The radiant and glistening sun warmed her face and made her bicycle gleam. I wonder what's on his mind. She thought. Then she decided it was time for her to begin another conversation, the beginning of their ride had already taken off to a shaky start.
"My, it's a stunning day today." Inuyasha didn't respond. His stubborn silence actually started to piss her off. I know something that would breach this quiet displeasure. She reached into her basket and pulled out a piece of strucla. He heard her thumbing through her small basket but didn't look over to see what she had pulled out until he caught the sent of the sweetened European bread. Grinning, he thanked her and attempted to pull it from her hands. At the last minute she snapped it away from him, almost losing her balance on her bike.
"Damn Kagome. First your late now teasing, what's next?!"
"Hey I apologized. I also think you take me for granted," she said almost arrogantly running a delicate pale hand through her rich hair.
"Okay! Okay! I'll admit it already; maybe I could have been a little less harsh when you arrived in today," Inuyasha confessed reluctantly. "And I never take you for granted…" Just then she threw the piece of bread into the air.
"Close enough," she answered with a laugh watching Inuyasha dive like a major league first base men. She looked ahead down the road and continued to get lost in her thoughts about the day ahead. One thing she did love about traveling to this world was the docile beautiful days where only true solace seemed to prevail inside her. There were no huge buildings, gigantic and hectic crowds generating pandemonium, air pollution, the latest pop star trying to blow every other artist out of the water, or just the people that she could do with out. "Sometimes I would love to just leave that other life of mine," she said to herself shifting into a lower gear. She was approaching a large hill that was riddled with small dusty stones. As she cautiously applied her rear breaks she looked over her left shoulder to see if Inuyasha was keeping up with her. He was at least twenty feet from her, not to far from where he caught that treat she threw for him. Like a sentry shielding a battle-determining check point he stood with his shoulders back and his head held high. "Something wrong," she called out to him. He nodded silently. Kagome knew that he had a sixth sense for danger, and these were the times she did not ignore him. With a twist from her lean wrists she turned her bicycle around and kept it in its current gear so she would get more torque from her wheels.
When she arrived at his side he was glaring at his right palm and was moving his fingers in a strange pattern, like the way a sea anemone waves its tendrils gracefully. Something very urgent must have been on his mind. If something was ever to command his complete attention, then it was something very, very imperative and needed consideration instantaneously.
"What. What is it?" she asked in a low and fretful voice.
"Blood," his voice was unyielding.
"Was a village attacked? Was their a battle? Or was it a single individual had suffered a fateful injury?" her questions were relentless and alarmed. "Was there demons involved?"
"I can smell it all too well, my god it's repulsive essence is everywhere," he said in a colder voice. He still hadn't answered any of her pressing questions. There was no trace of a jewel shard near by; she would have felt it in her blood.
"You know, I can feel the hint of the presence of some minor demonic activity, but not much at all though." Inuyasha began to think it was the work of humans. Damn! They really went at it, who would have had the numbers and tactics to rack up that many kills?
"You think it was a band of ronins that went on a rampage?" Kagome asked.
"Well, if that was the case there would have to be a whole lot of'em, and they must have been armed to the teeth." His voice seemed to get sterner as he spoke. "I heard there were these people called Mongols, and that they have caused a lot of chaos and trouble for people in other countries. I also heard that some managed to get to our homeland somehow." Kagome gulped at his words. "There was a large village not to far from here; I'm starting to wonder if I'm sensing the after math of their handing work. It wouldn't surprise me." It didn't surprise Kagome either at that thought.
"Do you know the quickest way to that village?" Kagome asked hanyo boy looked at her with chary eyes. "There might be some injured that haven't passed away yet. I also have my first aid kit."
"What about Songo and that Miroku." Inuyasha often forgot things too but he hadn't forgotten that Songo and Miroku were supposed to meet back with them today. They would be meeting them very soon and not to far away from where they were on the dirt path, also the fact that they were both alone too.
"They can find us, and they can protect each other," Kagome answered. "Please Inuyasha. Please."
He often didn't like interfering with affairs that were only centered on humans. He was a half-bread, but still he only felt like his intervention was only necessary when demons had attacked human settlements, and killed them. Nevertheless; he did sense a small hint of demonic activity, also Kagome was human and to her it meant tremendously.
"Alright, the quickest way to the village is if we cut through this leg of the forest he said pointing across the emerald green fields and towards the outskirts of a dense forest. She nodded and hopped off her bike and walked it towards their new destination.
Inside the forest was dark. The canopy was thick and loomed high over the two travelers. Kagome wheeled her bicycle over to a large tree that had toppled over with its roots hideously sticking and twisting out in all directions. She crouched down and placed her bike up against it carefully. With the gentle wipe of her left wrist she wiped away several beads of sweat that were trailing down her forehead. Even in the shaded woodland it was still a hot day, and now it was becoming a frightful day as well. She heard someone's footsteps behind her; she could hear twigs and branches snapping under foot. She whirled around but smiled when she saw her friend clothed in red holding an arm full of ferns.
"You know that things gonna need camouflage too," he said with a smirk. Kogame took the ferns from him and planted them in the dirt so they would resemble those flourishing still in the soil. When she was done she stood up and tapped Inuyasha on the shoulder, he was once again tending to his sword.
"Can you put this in my backpack." She handed him a large metal bottle of aid-spray for disinfecting open wounds.
"Sure." Kagome turned around and he opened up the main pocket of the innovative bag. Shuffling through it he recognized medical tools like bandages and the intricate double blades called scissors. He found a small sleeve inside the corner of the bag and slipped it into it. "All set."
"Thank you," Kagome thanked bending over to get her quiver of arrows. Inuyasha admired her figure from this view point.
After an hour trumping through the vast and green woodlands they came to the end of the forest. There was a small dirt path that ran from the forest and down a steep sloping hill. Inuyasha pointed out towards the path.
"Down that hill, it's probably not much more than about a mile."
Kagome starred ahead stepping over a damp and dark log. She was happy to be leaving the forest. She liked nature but the bugs and strange echoes from the animals weren't something up her alley. Suddenly, she saw something up ahead. Initially, it looked like a small dark object bobbing up and down, it was the head of an individual walking up the sandy path way. Soon the figure began to rise and rise over the sloping hill until they could see the individual completely. Kagome could tell that it was a man by the way he was built and how he moved. It appeared that he was limping or favoring his right foot.
"See that?" Kagome said in a low voice.
"Yeah I see'em. He's gettin close and I don't like it," Inuyasha's hand began to tighten around the hilt of his Tessaiga. If he wasn't sure of someone or didn't know who they were he always had a very negative or defensive reaction towards their presence. The figure continued to come over the hill and now he was down the path.
Kagome crept behind the hanyo boy and held an arrow in her right hand. She wasn't sure yet what to make of this oncoming individual. Was he a fleeing villager? Or was he an injured Mongol retreating. Her gut told her that it was probably the first one. Inuyasha's breathing began to pick up and it also grew heavy. Her breath also grew thick. She could feel her blood starting to pulse through her body, and her heart started to beat with vigorous speed. Then to their revelation, the invader fell to one knee on the path. Kagome skulked around Inuyasha with caution. She could now literally make out the features of the stranger.
He was wearing odd clothing that looked something like the garments of an American Indian, and a sword sheathed in a scabbard was attached to his waist. He was wearing some kind of helmet that resembled a thick caviler helmet worn by modern infantry. He was panting heavy and looked to be on his last few breaths. Kagome stood up tall and looked at him even closer. Now she noticed there was a dark pool growing around his knee that was pressed to the ground. He started to sway on his wounded knee, and then he fell forwards. He braced his hands against the sand to prevent his upper body from hitting the path. She now noticed his hands were also bloody. Kagome bit her lip in frustration; she wanted to go running out in the open and try and aid him. She knew that it was dangerous and Inuyasha would go berserk at her naïve nature.
"I don't think he's a Mongol invader," she said softly.
"Well if not that then what? And how would you know how they look?" Inuyasha protested.
"Trust me; I've scene drawings and representations of Genghis Kahn and other Mongols from the Feudal Era." Each passing second it got harder and harder for her to watch this man suffer in twinge. He abruptly started to cough, blood sprayed on the ground in small dark droplets. "Oh my God," she gasped placing a hand over her mouth. Inuyasha glanced down at her. He knew it would be dishonorable to let this man die with such despair and agony. He didn't want to endanger her or his life, but on the other hand he wanted to know who this person was. He glimpsed at the bed of pine needles at his feet. He saw a rock not much bigger than his fist. There was always the possibility that what they saw was a trap! Some demons that lived in the mountains where his father once lived would save one villager from a village they attacked and used the injured person to lure out their enemies. Humans were also notorious for using injured villagers as bait, and then several lurking archers would ambush them violently. Maybe a flying rock would startle them and cause them to fire prematurely. It was a sure possibility if they had already knocked arrows to their bows and were restraining them in place.With a grunt the demon boy flung the rock through the overlooking canopy and landed a few feet from the panting stranger. Nothing followed that could have been passed off as an attack. The stranger didn't even look up from where he was coughing. Damn! Maybe this guy is for real.
Kagome jumped up from where she had been squatting on the forest floor and darted towards the wounded alien.
"What the hell are you doing?! Kagome!" He clinched his sharp teeth with frustration. That girl is gonna be the freakin death of me he thought angrily.
Kagome trotted down the path with her composite red bow. She was now close enough to catch the sent of the stranger's blood and could see the man's injuries in far greater detail. He didn't even look up to notice that she was only a few feet from him. She got down on her hands and knees and looked at him with sweet eyes of pity. He coughed again this time more violent; with his left hand he began to clutch his stomach with intensity. Kagome took a deep breath with confidence; she started to lean towards him and placed a fragile thin hand on his shoulder. Heat from the wounds on his arm caused her whole hand to warm up like a furnace.
"It's okay," she said in a soothing voice. "Just take it easy." Then he looked up at her. Now she realized who he was, he was an Ainu. She had never seen an Ainu person before, especially not in person. Suddenly he stopped coughing, however; his intense wheezing continued. Gradually, he lifted his head upwards to make eye contact with Kagome. Now she certainly knew he was an Ainu man. His features were very different from hers and were quite rugged; he also had a small beard that looked like it was starting to fill in. She knew that Ainu men never cut their beards when they started to fill out. Unexpectedly, his rocky and tough face formed a bright smile that could light up all of Tokyo.
"Well what do ya know, it looks like there is hope after all," he spoke positively. Kagome was speechless.
"What happened to you?" she asked with eyes wide with shock.
"I thought you'd never ask. Not to far from here there is or should I say was a very large village of rice farmers and fishermen."
"Were they attacked by the invaders?"
"Yep," he answered her in a slightly less affirmative voice. "They were attacked by these foreign barbarians called Mongols. They were originally employed by the Shogunate to clear out the northern forests. Where my people dwell," he began to speak in a darker more solemn tone that chilled Kagome to the pit of her soul. She knew all too well how some of her ancestors bigoted the Ainu tribes. "Still, we fought off many, but now that the law banning aliens is temporarily lifted, all kinds of thieves and other savages from the mainland have poured into this country. Many of the Mongols fight under the command of Sheejin Khan and his mad shaman Temoochin." Kagome brought her whirling mind of questions to a halt for a moment and thought about what he was saying.
The government must have hired them to take care of his people, but now I'm assuming that they have gone on killing spree
"The real conflict at hand right now is that the strong Samurai clans are at war with each other, so pushing these monsters out will be that much harder." He coughed again, and again each passing cough was more sadistic than the previous. "I am someone of the Xumar."
"Who are they?"
"We are an omnibus of warriors that answer to no lord and only fight for ourselves, and for the protection of others." Kagome did not recognize the name of his organization, but if he was telling her the truth then they sounded something like a Feudal Japanese version of the Jedi Knights. She started to stray from looking into his face and noticed all the damages he had taken. His thick checkered shirt was covered with blood, and so were his trousers. It hurt Kagome to know how much blood he must have lost. Looking past his upper body she saw several small pegs of wood protruding out of his hamstring and calf muscles. Those were shattered arrow shafts! She could tell by their shape and circumference, and the painted rings that ran up and down them. One of them however looked more like a half splintered stick with its light interior wood exposed.
How cruel! She thought forlornly. They must have shot at him while he was fleeing from the battle site.
"I and several other members were dispatched to go and try and collect the wounded villagers. When we arrived our very spirits were shaken when we saw the mountain of skulls and corpses strewn everywhere. It seemed at first they had slaughtered everyone, but a few children had cleverly hidden themselves beneath the boards of a large temple that was only slightly burned." He coughed again in agony. "However; our savage enemies were smarter than we thought. Many had been waiting on the outskirts of the village and hid themselves in buildings that hadn't been burned. They ambushed us, but we held our ground. Several of my men took the children to safety while I and a few of my best corporals held off the rest of those monsters. Our benevolence and bravery had come though with a great price as you can see," he said with a forced bruised grin. Even though he was badly injured it seemed like his will power and good spirit hadn't even been scratched. I was the only survivor of the ambush attack, or should I say the only one I know of."
"You're far away from that danger now," Kagome said softly tenderly rubbing his back. She tried her best to be consoling, even if she was getting his blood all over her hand. The man looked up at her and grinned again.
"I wish it was that easy. There is another whole brigade of them headed this way. I know there are several other small villages around here, and with so many of my warriors scattered around the country side it would be impossible to defend them, or warn them at the least. That is something you have to carry out for us." Kagome felt her stomach tighten and her heart skip hastily.
"That will be no burden for us, we will carry it out with pride," this time when she spoke she sounded a little bit more confident in her tone of voice. "But you-" she was cut off by his short unforeseen positive explanation.
"I know. It sucks. I'm still ready to go into another battle, and my spirit isn't working against me. To bad my heart just doesn't want to keep up," He spoke with a laugh. Kagome had never seen such a positivistic outlook in a man at the end of his breaths. "Do it for not just me, but do it for all of the people in this land. It is all me or my clan will ever ask of you," he broke his eye contact with Kagome and started to cough again. Each time the grazed warrior hacked Kagome felt her heart jump with sadness. His right hand that had been stabilizing his body slipped forward and his body hit the ground. She could tell by the way his shoulders were slightly moving up and down with his chest that he was still drawing breath, but now it was so weak it was reduced to a hiss.
Kagome wiped away a tear that traveled down her right cheek. Her sensitive heart jumped out to him with sympathy, it was a sad way to go for one who was so courageous and altruistic.
"Tell me. What is your name?" she asked running a soft hand down his damaged arm. His head shifted in the sand so he could see her bright chocolate eyes.
"Koshiminaro," he said in a weak but prideful voice.
"Then rest well Koshinminaro, you have done your best and have made many proud." She didn't know a lot about him or his accomplishments but in her book he was a victor in life. Deep down inside her heart she knew, she was positive, that he was legitimate, and his words valid. "May the spirits watch over you," she said clasping her hands together.
"Oh don't worry, they sure will." Kagome half turned and saw Inuyasha standing over her. The Hanyo boy had been standing there for almost the entire time she had been with the dying Ainu. His long sleeved red arms were crossed in his usual standing pose. "I'll admit I was dead wrong about that guy." The whole time Inuyasha had anticipated that he was an actor or a wounded fool being used as a decoy. Instead the Ainu was a true hero that Inuyasha admired greatly. Kagome got up from her knees and batted at her skirt and her knees, knocking away the sand and dirt from the trial. She looked over her shoulder at the dead member of the Xumar, she felt another stab of pity. Quietly she stepped over to Inuyasha and wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her chin on his shoulder. "Well now we've got a new responsibility for today's agenda," he said placing a comforting hand on her back. The least I could do for him is move his body out of the path. However; there was a positive side to taking on this troop of villains, it would give him a chance to try out his newly sharpened Tessaiga, and this would levitate some of the trouble finding Naraku. So many of these human conflicts crossed with demons terrorizing human settlements has always been a big fork in the road for Inuyasha and his comrades. Plus, it would feel great to avenge a human that was so strong and brave. "Okay. Lets do this," he said in her ear. She pulled away from him and picked up her red bow.
Inuyasha threw the dead warrior of the Xumar over his shoulder and carried him over to the forest. With his powerful hands he unearthed enough dirt to make a small hole to burry him. Kagome placed a beautiful set of tulips on his burial grounds and said a few more words of endearment. It was all the time they had for a funeral. They both walked over to where the path formed a small slope and ran down the hill to the valley below.
"Alright now," Inuyasha spoke in a commanding voice. "I'll hit these bastards head on, while you go get to Miroku and Songo. You'll all have to do your best to get to the villages, they're all scattered a few miles apart from each other." Kagome nodded. "Koshinminaro will not die with out justice." Kagome smiled at his self-assured remark. He turned from her and started to walk down the path. Just then, he felt her grab his shoulder. With questioning a eyebrow raised he peered over it at her.
"Be careful," she said softly. Inuyasha said nothing. The only responding gesture she saw was a smug smirk that came across his face with delight. Inuyasha never walked into battle with fear in his heart. The only thing that slightly troubled him was the thought that one of those freaks that injured Koshinminaro would find her alone, and he wouldn't be there to protect her. The Inuyasha had faith in her, and he knew that it wouldn't shrivel just because they were going to be apart from each other. Don't worry Kagome, they will all fall to the Earth. Another thing that wasn't getting off his mind was the small hint of demonic energy he kept sensing. It was very odd because usually it was possible to sense where it was coming from. This time he seemed to notice that it was all around him in the air, but it didn't tackle his senses like it usually did. Inusyasha didn't like it.
When he got into the deep valley, the repugnant essence of blood and warfare was becoming ever so overwhelming. The hanyo boy never told anyone, not even Kagome, but sometimes the dark sent intoxicated him. Damn senses. Generally facing a strong opponent was a gift, but this time it had a haunting premise. Walking like a ghost through the high grass and small trees he heard something! Something was moving in one of the trees that dotted the vast landscape. The trees were spread apart quite a bit, so any scout or ninja would be a fool to use them as a way to maneuver around the area. Naturally he assumed it was a bird or some other minor creature. Right around the same time as the discomforting sound arose he felt a sharp tremor ripple through the Earth beneath his bare feet.
Spinning like a professional swordsmen he turned in all directions with his Tessaiga drawn. He didn't see anyone. Patiently the hanyo waited and waited for a few moments. Nothing emerged from anywhere! Good. Now I'm being tailed. Beneath his feet he felt another tremor, this one was feeble and instead of pounding at his sensitive feet they felt more like soft caresses. Another thing about them that was different was the fact that they were constant and flowed like a thriving river. If my senses aren't lying he placed a sensitive ear to the ground and listened carefully to the tremors. He was right! They were the sound and aggressive vibrations of horse hooves pounding away at the ground. Peered
"Damn. That's one hell of a pack coming my way." There were more, many more than the hanyo had expected. When Koshinminaro said that there were many, he really meant numerous. "Well at least this way I can really get some exercise today." Behind the demon boy an unknown figure cloaked in shadow gazed around one of the trees. A dark smile came upon its face and it then disappeared in the tall dark grass and weeds.
Inuyasha came to the end of the great forest, in front of him a gigantic river flowed robustly. There were rocks large and small that stood latent under the white rushing waters, and some protruded out like small mountains and cliffs. Above birds flew by and released vivid calls to each other.
"Those guys better leave," he said unsheathing his great sword glaring at the cobalt and cloudless sky. In the far distance he heard the noise of the barbarians and ronins crashing and marching through the woodlands. "This couldn't have come at a better time," Inuyasha said aiming his blade at the river. Across from where he stood and on the other side of the river there was a small beach with a few trees sprouting up from the ground. Past the beach the landscape became dense with trees and other plants again. The environment was perfect for the demon boy to blunt their assault.
He couldn't have been positioned better. Where he was positioned the river was somewhat shallow so his adversaries could cross, up stream the rapids were to dangerous. When they would arrive at the beach they would spread out making them an easy target for some of Inuyasha's surprise attacks. The water was also a vital vantage point for Inuyasha. With the swing of his powerful Tessaiga he could create a force wave, which would knock those crossing in the river on their backs, and would drench and disorganize and muddle those on the beach. Inuyasha didn't know a great deal about these Mongol barbarians, but Miroku told him a few things about their battle strategy. On wide open plains and immense fields they were effective by carrying out hit and run raids. They would fire a barrage of arrows then withdraw quickly. Inuyasha found it to be a repugnant way to face off against an opponent. However; here their strategy would be ineffective. The dense forest did not provide them the room or terrain to maneuver their horses, they were almost better on foot so they could take to the trees for safety. The only alternative they had was to hold their position and fire, and against Inuyasha that would be a very large mistake. He was a master of close quarters combat, and he never lost when he got set on a sturdy location. His zealous eyes pierced the dark green landscape beyond where he stood. A beautiful and lethargic cloud of fog gradually drifted through the forest, adding a stunning and glooming silhouette to the forest. Suddenly the roar of what sounded like a thousand savage combatants ripped through out the forest floor to the dense canopy and straight throughout Inuyasha's ears. Inuyasha understood it to be their battle cry and warning to those who cross their paths.
"Bring it on," Inuyasha said in a low and confident voice. The hanyo boy was ready to clash blades with what ever was going to come charging out of the thick and murky forests that loomed in front of him. Vaguely he started to see something moving in the shadowy woodlands. Ferns and trees were shaking and what looked like heads bobbling up and down on the backs of horses. His breath got heavier each time he exhaled and inhaled. In moments a good portion of the Mongols, ronins, and other barbarians were now in clear sight as they emerged from the black forest and trumped onto the beach.
The majority of the Mongol warriors were mounted on the backs of rugged and dreadful looking small horses. They wore brown clothing made from animal furs. They held short and composite bows with a small quiver of arrows strapped to their shoulders, some even had a few extra quivers carrying more ammunition that were attached to their saddles by dark leather strips. On their heads they wore helms that resembled those of the samurai warriors. Except the Mongolian helms were smaller, and also not as stylistic as the samurai version. On foot walked the craggy ronins. Many of them were bald and had a single large pony tail that was protruding out of the backs of their scalps. Others had long locks of dark braided hair with beads and other jewelry. Many of them had rounded shields and carried swords or crude spears of ash. Many of them had scarred faces and wrecked teeth. All held the same sinister expressions in their haunting appearance. It looked as if their facial idioms had been carved from firm stone; they looked as if you could cut sheet metal on their hard features. There were other barbarians in the group Inuyasha did not recognize at all. They were the most primal and bizarre looking of the bunch. Their masks were made from skulls that resembled a deer or an antelope. Large horns protruded out of their masks, and were decorated with painted rings. Lots of them were carrying large bones that Inuyahsa assumed were a substitute for clubs or mattocks. They wore the less clothing and no armor at all. The only clothing they wore was a grass skirt or cleaved and scratched up shorts. Around their wrists they wore metal bracelets and golden amulets around their necks. In front of the gauntlet of warriors stood a short man, with his fists resting on his waist. He was dressed in black silk with fingerless gloves. A dark purple vale covered his face, with only an eye strip for the individual to see. The mystic figure reminded Inuyasha of some kind of ninja, like the ones he encountered once at Hiroshima castle. He looked closely at Inuyasha, and narrowed his slanted eyes until they were black slits. The red hanyo boy held his stance; he wasn't going to advance from his position until the timing was just right. With both hands he held his Tessaiga in its true form. The ninja looking warrior took note of its strange appearance. To him the blade looked like a giant fang, and fur dangled freely and fluently from its white hilt. The mystic combatant raised his right hand with all his fingers raised erectly. Astonishingly all the warriors stopped dead in their tracks. Inuyasha was amazed by their discipline and heightened reaction timing. The dark figure that had raised his hand took a few steps towards him. Then he spoke in a very sinister and raspy voice, this did not astound him.
"Are you another fool dispatched by the Xumar?"
"Does it matter?" Inuyasha inquired with clinched teeth.
"Because if you were; I would be thrilled to add you to my assortment." Inuyasha looked past the mystic and dreaded leader and almost lost his breath. Behind him there were two mounted Mongol warriors with long wooden staffs. On the ends of the wooden poles were the heads of who probably were servants of the Xumar. The Mongol on the right side had the head of what looked like a Shoalin monk, bold and expressionless. The one left to the mystifying leader had the head of a girl with long dark hair, probably not a whole lot older than Kagome. Several droplets of blood slithered down the pole like a stocking snake. There faces were dotted and smudged with dirt and mud.
"Damn you!" he said in a enraged voice.
"I suggest you move, we have much to do," the ninja leader snarled.
"I thought those eyes of yours could see." The masked individual growled with anger. "I'm not movin! Unless you guys think you can handle the task," the hanyo boy taunted. Just then about eight of the Mongolian cavalry arches lined up behind their leader. These barbarians had the largest of the composite bows, and were now knocking arrows to them.
"Oh. Were more than competent," the leader once again snarled raising his right hand again. As his hand ascended into the air the mounted archers started to apply resistance to their bow strings. For a few seconds his hand remained in the air, it seemed that he knew exactly how much pressure was required to fire a lethal and accurate shot. Sharply he brought down his hand and the archers fired almost instantaneously. The arrows whistled through the air at Inuyasha with great speed. With a smile and a swing of his powerful sword with a single hand he completely shut down their attack.
The arrow heads crashed on the edge and strong of his sword, and their shafts shattered like inferior twigs. The whole crowd looked on with devastation as the debris of the shattered arrow shafts rained in front of the hanyo boy.
"Hhu! What the hell was that?" Inuyasha questioned with an arrogant smile. Behind the vale of the leader his face grew tense with rage. "I hope that wasn't your idea of a ferocious volley, because that was sad." The mystic leader reached over his shoulder. From behind his back he drew a large shimmering sword. Elegantly, he pulled another sword from behind the one Inuyasha saw, revealing that it was two blades he had hidden behind his back. Eagerly the other warriors began to crowd around their leader. Good now I can bring down the majority with just one swing.
The ninja leader released a roar, which to Inuyasha sounded more like a shriek. With all their might they charged forwards, weapons drawn, spirits released. I see I haven't introduced them to my latest attack. This new attack he called the cascade compress, it was true to its name since it could only be used when a body of water subsisted in front of him. With both hands placed firmly on his swords hilt and with power from both his arms he swung his blade with an uppercut motion. The water formed a colossal curling wave and crashed on the opposing barbarians. The ashen hastening waters knocked them over like small rickety ships in the middle of a fierce typhoon. Confusion broke out across the beach as the after math of the force wave came crashing towards their proximity. The power from the force wave shook the earth like a violent earthquake. Some of the Mongols fell from their steeds while the ronins kneeled down behind their shields. One of the ronins peered past his shield. In the blinding luminosity of the sun he so a dark red figure come sailing at him through the sky. It was Inuyasha! He brought his huge blade down on the dazed ronin and shattered his shield like it was a slender sheet of ice on pavement.
"I'll take all of you grunts on," Inuyasha said raising his Tessaiga.
Else where, Kagome continued her journey to warn the other villages. These were the times when she had the most fear in her heart. She was alone, and she knew that conflicts were brewing everywhere. This time it didn't have anything to deal with the jewel shards or Naraku. However; she felt in her heart that it was possible that one of those elements could be the driving force behind this madness and warfare.
"Damn," she said swatting at a bug on her bare soft thigh. She rarely ever cursed; Inuyasha did a lot of that for both of them. Moving through the forest off of the main trail was no picnic and she certainly wasn't doing it by choice. Staying on the main path was too dangerous especially now that there were numerous miscreants sneaking about the country side. She parted a bush and stepped over a large log. However; in front of the log laid a giant dead horse. With both fear and awe she stumbled backwards and tripped up over the log she had stepped over. The sent of fresh blood always shot her heart rate through the roof. Resting back on her palms she looked past between her knees. The corpse was not old; it both looked and smelled fairly recent. It was looked very similar to the large horses that the samurai used for riding into battle. It had shurkens and ninja stars obtruding from crimson bloody wounds on the steed's neck and rib cage. "What could have done this?" she asked herself. Since the shots looked like they had been accurately thrown at the animal and had damaged it in keen spots on its body, she assumed it was the handy work of ninja.
She got up to her feet and walked around the reeking cadaver. She shivered with the thought of how the pour beast was shot to death wish those nasty looking ninja stars and knifelike weapons. The only thought she kept in her mind was the notion of getting to safety and warning the villagers and her companions. Not far from where she stepped over murky rocks and mushrooms, a dark figure watched silently from the shelter of a thick cluster of ferns.