Disclaimer: Inuyasha and its characters are created by Rumiko Takahashi, not me, but the new plots and the original characters (Akiyama, Moriko, Kajimaru, Eiko, Shoichi, Katsuo and Natsumi) are mine. This fanfiction had been written for entertainment purposes only and without intention of infringing upon any copyright.
A Latent Destiny by elle6778 – Chapter 9
The subtle rustle of leaves in the rising wind was enough to stir Sesshoumaru from unconsciousness, causing his eyes to snap open in an instant. As his long hair whipped around him, his gaze shifted around to find himself in a small clearing surrounded by large trees.
He made a move to get up and then promptly winced as a burning pain shot through his entire body. Biting back a groan, he looked down at himself. To his puzzlement, he found his white clothes completely soaked in blood.
His eyes narrowed at the rare, and yet unmistakable scent.
He was obviously injured. But how? Who was strong enough to wound him in such a manner? What could have caused this abnormality?
Then it hit him.
It began as a trickle. His father's tomb and the fight within, a flash of laughing brown eyes, the imagery of him seated by a campfire with the miko and his hanyou brother, a smirking Inuyasha's fist descending upon his head and the fights with all manner of demons.
Sesshoumaru remained stock still as the memories continued to flood his mind until he reached his so-called death, his body burning at the recollection of the pain he had suffered from protecting a human wench.
Then he reacted.
Snarling in outrage, he staggered weakly to his feet only to collapse back down in a painful heap. Grimacing in distaste at the display of weakness, he flared his youki to assess the damage done to his body. It was clear that the injuries he had sustained in his other body had transferred to his adult self. And yet, the sort of injuries which could, and had, killed his younger self would not do the same to his adult body. But it was enough to render him helpless.
Grudgingly leaning back against the tree trunk, Sesshoumaru tried to calm his blinding rage. Anger affected judgment and he needed to be able to think objectively.
Unfortunately, his mind refused to cooperate. Growling in frustration, he closed his eyes an attempt to organize his thoughts into some semblance of order.
At the moment, in the state he was in, he had no other option but to remain there until he recovered. As much as the notion displeased him, Sesshoumaru knew that it was the only way to restore his body.
He did not know how long he had rested before the sound of snapping twigs brought him to full alertness. Tensing, he cursed his weakened state. If his enemies saw him now, they would no doubt attempt to relieve him of his life.
The sound became louder, telling him that the intruder was coming closer.
Then he saw her.
The human child's eyes were large with curiosity as she stared at him. To Sesshoumaru's consternation, her expression displayed no fear. Did he appear so weak that even a mere human child did not fear him? The notion was preposterous, and he refused to believe it.
Knowing that the child posed him no danger, he turned away from her, willing her to leave. A moment later, a shuffling sound reached him, growing softer and softer.
Good. She left, he thought darkly.
Kagome sighed dejectedly for what seemed like the hundredth time in the last one day. Yes, it had just been one day since Sesshoumaru had disappeared in a flash of light and she had no idea if he was still alive or not.
When youkai died, they did not disappear in a flash of light, right? But this was Sesshoumaru, a taiyoukai. He was practically an immortal. What if it was different for him? What if she had really messed things up this time? Should she go back to the well and reset time? But it would not help anything if he was still alive, right? If she went back now, she would be undoing everything that had happened over the last two months. It was a long time to live through again.
She missed Sesshoumaru badly and there was nothing more she wanted to do than to scour the entire countryside to look for him, but she did not know where to start.
Inuyasha's gruff voice jolted out of her contemplations. "Oi!"
Pausing in her steps, Kagome glanced at her traveling companion. Inuyasha was scowling at her, his arms crossed over his chest. He looked almost as unhappy as she was.
"What?" she muttered.
"Wipe that look off your face, will you?" Inuyasha snapped.
Kagome immediately bristled. "What look?" she retorted heatedly.
His eyes flashed momentarily, and then he averted his gaze. When he next spoke, his voice was lower. "Look, let's just get on with the things we have to do, alright? Sesshoumaru is probably still alive somewhere. And maybe the spell wore off."
Kagome inhaled slowly and then released her breath. Sometimes she forgot that Inuyasha was just as worried about Sesshoumaru as she was. This was not the same Inuyasha that she had met three years ago. This one actually got to know Sesshoumaru in a completely different way and obviously, it was enough to change his views about his brother. This Inuyasha was just as distraught as she was over Sesshoumaru's disappearance, albeit being a little more restrained about it.
"You really think the spell wore off?" she asked quietly.
Inuyasha shrugged. "Maybe."
"Where do you think he is?"
He frowned thoughtfully, looking into the distance. "I don't know."
"I wish we could find him."
This time, Inuyasha sighed. "Look, wench. Let's just find this monk you've been going on about, alright? Maybe we'll find Sesshoumaru on the way."
Kagome was not convinced. Her previous travels in the Feudal Era had told her that the place was vast when one was on foot and it would be almost impossible to find a single person, or youkai. Let alone when they did not even know the general area he might have reappeared in.
"I really hope he's okay."
"Enough about Sesshoumaru already! If the spell wore off, he's more than able to take care of himself."
Kagome bristled. "But what if it didn't? What if he's still a child? He's all alone out there, Inuyasha!"
The hanyou scowled. His tone was gruff when he finally spoke, "I've seen him fight over the last few weeks. He can handle most common enemies. So don't worry."
Closing her eyes, she sighed heavily. Maybe she was overreacting to this. After all, Inuyasha was right, that the child Sesshoumaru could take care of himself against most youkai. She glanced sideways at the hanyou, noting the expression in his eyes. Ever since Sesshoumaru had left them, the golden sparkle in Inuyasha's eyes had been dulled. It was not fair for her to take out her frustration on the hanyou.
Placing a hand on his shoulder, she said quietly, "I'm sorry, Inuyasha. I didn't mean to take it out on you."
He cast her a look of surprise, then promptly turned away. "Keh! I don't know what you're talking about!"
A genuine smile crossed her lips then. Inuyasha was still Inuyasha and that little fact reassured her greatly. Maybe, like he said, they would find Sesshoumaru on the way. It did not matter if Sesshoumaru had turned adult as long as she knew that he was safe.
That was what she had to tell herself for now.
The human girl was there again.
Irked by her presence, Sesshoumaru simply pinned a stern look on her, willing her to leave. She had been there just yesterday, and he had thought that she understood his wish to be left alone. But it was obvious that she had not taken his words to heart.
Tentatively, she approached him with something in her hands. He watched curiously as she bent down and placed a bamboo container and a leaf full of something which smelled like fish.
Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed, his nose twitching at the pungent smell of the fish. Was the human child trying to help him? Was that why she brought him human food?
"Go away," he said flatly, speaking to her for the first time.
She just stared at him.
Feeling a little unnerved by her perusal, he continued pointedly, "I don't eat human food."
She merely tilted her head to the side, giving him a questioning look.
"Human, I'm a youkai. Do not waste your efforts on me."
She gazed at him thoughtfully. And then, she seemed to glow with resolution. With a quick nod at him, she rushed off, grinning.
Sesshoumaru's brows furrowed. This human child was even odder than the miko.
The thought of the miko immediately brought forth a spark of anger.
However, as his mind replayed the events of his time with her and his hanyou brother, the anger slowly dissipated, leaving only confusion.
How could his younger self be so accepting of the situation? To travel with a human miko and a hanyou, no less.
And from what he could remember, those days had not been unpleasant. The hanyou had of course, taunted him and mocked him, but never once did Inuyasha take advantage of the situation. It was surprising, for Sesshoumaru did not expect Inuyasha to possess such sense of honor. What was more surprising was Inuyasha's willingness in the later weeks to engage in the supposed 'training' sessions.
Perhaps it was simply due to the instinct from his inuyoukai half. That instinct would urge Inuyasha to protect the younger members of his pack in any way he could. Thinking back, even though his methods was unrefined, the hanyou had not done too badly.
A smirk crossed Sesshoumaru's lips when he recalled just who was the true alpha of the pack. Whatever Inuyasha might think, it was clear that the miko was the dominant one. He had not been able to discern it fully then, but she had been rather manipulative in gaining their cooperation. It was an admirable trait as a leader of the pack, to lead them so subtly that they were not even aware of it.
Of course if he, Sesshoumaru, had been himself, then the dominant position would naturally fall to him.
The notion brought him up short, and Sesshoumaru immediately frowned in displeasure. Why was he musing upon such nonsense? Let alone wasting time thinking about the hanyou and the miko? The time was better spent recalling what else he had encountered over that two months period and what implications would it have on his adult self.
His brows furrowed as he recalled the encounter with the water elemental. Now that he possessed all his memories, he recalled what Jaken had told him about the water elemental who had been sealed for his refusal to honor an arranged mating. It was highly possible that the one he had met just weeks ago was the same elemental, for water elementals were practically extinct. But who had released him?
That particular elemental was not weak, for he had been able to sense the spell placed by his grandmother. Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed slightly when he recalled the challenging look in those blue eyes, the look which his younger self had failed to recognize. The elemental wished to test their strength against each other, something commonly done in their circle.
A smirk crossed his lips. Once he healed from his injuries, perhaps he should seek the elemental. Honor demanded that he accepted the challenge, after all.
The subtle shift in his surrounding alerted him to a foreign presence, and Sesshoumaru's senses instantly sharpened. Then his brows furrowed when the familiarity of the presence reached him. It was not long before the human girl was once again standing in front of him. And once again, her face was bright with a smile as she extended her latest offering.
Sesshoumaru could only stare disbelievingly at the squawking chicken in her arms. It was obvious that she had taken his words to heart about him not eating human food. What was unexpected was the fact that she had gone out of her way to procure a live bird for his consumption.
Taking another step forward, she thrust the chicken out at him, seemingly oblivious to the flying feathers and the indignant squawk from the bird. Faced with such an offering, Sesshoumaru found himself unable to react.
Instead, he just stared at her silently.
A moment passed before he saw her face crumple in disappointment. Somehow, her expression drew forth an unexpected feeling of guilt within him. He stiffened at the unfamiliar sensation. Why should he concern himself with a mere human child? Why was his instinct telling him that it was wrong to turn her away when his instinct was rarely wrong?
He supposed he should heed his instinct.
With an inward sigh of resignation, he reached out his hand. "You may approach."
Her face immediately brightened, giving him a toothy grin as she skipped towards him.
The chicken squawked in alarm.
The last two weeks of searching for both Miroku and Sesshoumaru had proven to be fruitless. As the days passed, Kagome grew more and more dejected.
She knew that Miroku was somewhere out there and was therefore not unduly worried about not finding him. After all, they were still ahead of schedule. Sesshoumaru, however, was another matter. She needed to know if he was alright but there was no way of finding out unless they saw him. What made things worse was the fact that they did not know Sesshoumaru well enough to guess where he could be at this moment.
She slanted a sideways glance towards the hanyou walking silently beside her on the well-worn forest path. Inuyasha was not taking it too well either. Whilst she grew increasingly dejected and frustrated, the hanyou had grown more withdrawn and silent, especially over the last one week. It was as if he was giving up all hope.
Her anxiety had not been helped by Inuyasha's refusal to speak about Sesshoumaru. She needed to talk about it! Unlike Inuyasha, she could not bottle it all up and the whole thing was driving her insane.
Slumping as she continued to walk, Kagome mulled over the idea that she had thought up a few days ago. The only person who would know Sesshoumaru's likely location was Sesshoumaru himself. Although she had no idea where the Sesshoumaru in this time could be, she knew exactly where to find the Sesshoumaru of the future.
Which led her to her predicament.
Would Sesshoumaru still be there when she went to the future? Sesshoumaru's theory evolved around the fact that the timeline between the future and the past was linked because the jewel had been in pieces in the Feudal Era. If she went back to the future now with the jewel intact within her, all she would succeed in doing was to reset the timeline.
In order NOT to reset the timeline, she had to take out the jewel from her body and break it, leaving a part of it in the past. A shudder coursed through her at the thought of losing shards of the jewel all over Feudal Japan again. That was the last thing she needed, considering the current mess.
But if she was very careful…
It only needed a small shard broken off, right? A tiny shard that she could leave with Inuyasha or something.
But what if something went wrong?
Kagome frowned thoughtfully. What could possibly go wrong? Knowing just how powerful it was, Inuyasha would guard that shard with everything he got. Not to mention she only needed to return to the future for a short while, like maybe a few hours. What could go wrong in a few hours?
Maybe she should try it. And even if it did not work, at least she could start all over again.
She glanced sideways at the hanyou.
Steps not faltering, the hanyou muttered, "What?"
Biting her lips, she wondered how she should approach this. That jewel was still inside her. She was sure as hell not going to stab herself with her own arrow, so someone else had to get it out. Inuyasha knew that she had it from the first day they had met in this version of the past but he had not brought the topic up since then. So, was he still after the jewel? Or maybe something had changed and he no longer wanted it.
More importantly, could she trust Inuyasha not to run off with it? Her brows furrowed slightly. If he did, she could easily subdue him with her miko powers, right? But somehow, she did not think that Inuyasha would do that. Somehow, somewhere along the line, the hanyou had convinced her that he was trustworthy.
Might as well get to the point then, she finally decided.
"Remember the Shikon-no-Tama?" she began.
Inuyasha instantly stilled, his ears flattening slightly. Then, slowly, he turned to face her. "That centipede youkai said you have it."
Kagome nodded. "I do."
For a long while, he only stared at her, his eyes flickering with some undefined emotion. Then he tore his gaze away. "Keh! So what about it?"
"I thought you wanted it," she ventured cautiously.
His ears twitched as he resumed walking. "No."
Kagome blinked it surprise. "No?" she echoed as she ran forward to catch up with his longer strides.
"Are you deaf, wench? I said no! What the hell do I need it for?"
Did she hear him right? "You don't want to become a full demon?" she persisted in asking.
The hanyou stopped abruptly and spun to face her. Crossing his arms over his chest, Inuyasha ground out, "I don't need to be a full demon to be strong."
Kagome could hardly believe her ears. Without considering what she was saying, she pointed out, "But this was not what you said before. You wanted to be a full demon before, didn't you?"
Inuyasha spun sharply towards her, frowning deeply. "Who told you that?"
Realizing her mistake, she froze. "Um…"
Glancing away quickly, Inuyasha muttered, "That brat must have told you."
That brat? Sesshoumaru? Inuyasha had spoken to Sesshoumaru about this? Kagome did not know what to think of it. Sesshoumaru must have somehow changed Inuyasha's mind about becoming a full demon.
Starting to walk again, Inuyasha declared, "I don't need to be a full-demon to be powerful." Then, almost as if he was speaking to himself, he added quietly, "I only need to harness my own strength."
Those sounded like words Sesshoumaru would say. The child Sesshoumaru's presence during their journey had changed things in ways she had not anticipated at all. Smiling wistfully, Kagome decided that she would not change this timeline if she could help it. Inuyasha had grown so much in such a short time compared to the other version of the past. And it was all because of that little mess she had made. Maybe the past was meant to be this way in the first place.
Then she realized that she has yet to talk to Inuyasha about the jewel.
Pausing again, this time to scowl at her, Inuyasha snapped impatiently, "What now, wench?!"
She took a deep breath. "I need a favor."
The humid breeze flowed past Sesshoumaru as he glided just under the clouds.
Staring down at the bare, almost lifeless forest, Sesshoumaru allowed himself to recall how it had been five hundred years ago. The forest had thrived then, its greenness almost blinding in its intensity. Food had been plentiful for humans and youkai alike then.
Somewhere along the line, something had gone wrong. The skies were no longer blue and the forest was no longer green. Those colors were now deformed, a sickly imitation of what they had been. The water which flowed along the rivers was now thick, darkened with soot and waste, unlike the crystal clear freshness it had exhibited five hundred years ago.
Too many things had happened since then to pinpoint the moment things had changed. Perhaps it was not one event but the accumulation of several which had caused this. Idly, he wondered if the miko's presence in the past would now change thing again and if it did, would he be there to observe it.
Considering the unpredictable nature of time-travel, Sesshoumaru doubted it.
A flare of youki caught his attention then, drawing him from his contemplation. He slanted a glance to the right to see the approach of a familiar nekomata. Keeping his cloud stationary, he waited for the white youkai to catch up with him.
When Kirara finally halted before him, Sesshoumaru raised a questioning brow.
Without words, the nekomata communicated that she sensed the arrival of the miko from the past. Surprised, Sesshoumaru glanced towards the east. Why was she back again? Had she succeeded in her task? Had something untoward occurred?
Nodding his acknowledgment to Kirara, Sesshoumaru turned around and transformed into his traveling orb. In a flash, he shot across the sky, heading straight for the miko's shrine. It did not take long for him to arrive and when he did, he dispelled the orb and landed on his feet. His senses told him that the miko was in the kitchen, talking to her mother.
Deciding to wait until she was finished, Sesshoumaru settled next to the building. Soon, the miko appeared, wearing the very same attire he had given her the first time they met in this era. At least she had the sense to remain dressed decently.
Impatient to find out what had brought her back, Sesshoumaru stepped out of the shadows.
Her eyes immediately widened when she saw him. To Sesshoumaru's consternation, she then launched herself towards him. He did not have the presence of mind to react to the unexpectedness and the next thing he knew, he was encircled tightly within her arms.
"You're here!" she exclaimed into his chest.
Sesshoumaru rather confused by her tears of relief. Why was the miko bawling? And why had she returned?
And how dare she assault his person without his consent?
"Miko," he ground out, his tone displaying his displeasure. Firmly dislodging her arms from his body, he held her at arm's length before asking, "Why are you here? What had happened in the past?"
She shook her head quickly. "A lot of things changed from the last time, but nothing had been reset so far. I just needed to come back."
Sesshoumaru did not like the sound of it. If what she had said was true, then there could only be one thing which allowed her to return in this manner. And that one thing was possibly the worst thing she could have done in the Feudal Era.
"Where is the jewel?" he asked slowly.
Her eyes flickered and she began to fidget. "Well… I broke it."
Stiffening immediately, Sesshoumaru pinned a cold stare on her. "You shattered the jewel again?" he asked, keeping his voice even.
"No! I only chipped off a tiny shard. I left it in the past so that I can come back here and then return to the same time," she explained quickly. "It's safe."
Safe? "And where is this shard?" he asked flatly.
"Inuyasha is keeping it."
Sesshoumaru closed his eyes, willing himself to remain calm. If he was not mistaken, Inuyasha was hardly a responsible hanyou at that time. The miko should have known better. What had possessed her to do such a thing? When he opened his eyes again, he found the miko staring at him questioningly. Clearly, she had no inkling of his current displeasure.
"You left the shard with Inuyasha," he intoned flatly.
Her eyes flashed. "I didn't have any other choice, did I?"
"Why did you shatter the jewel, Miko? What is so important that you must return?"
Throwing her arms up in the air in a show of exasperation, the miko snapped, "I told you I didn't shatter the jewel! I broke one tiny shard off, that's all. And I put the rest back inside my body, complete with this new protection ward I suddenly remembered I knew!"
"You did not answer the question."
"Because I want to get back here to see you!" she declared loudly.
Taken aback, Sesshoumaru could only stare at her. Why was the miko so desperate to see him? They shared nothing in common but Inuyasha. What had happened in the past?
His expression must have betrayed his question because she began to explain, "Look, Sesshoumaru. Things are different back there now. There are too many things to explain but I came back to ask you something."
He waited for her to continue.
"I need to know the places you used to go to around that time."
His brows instantly furrowed. "Why?"
She averted her eyes then. "It's complicated," she hedged.
Something told him that the matter had to be severe for the miko to break the jewel simply to return to ask him such a question. And from what she had said, he deduced that it had something to do with him. What had she done to his past self?
"You will explain the reason behind your question, Miko," he bit out in an uncompromising tone.
She exhaled loudly. "Remember the tomb where I pulled Tetsusaiga out?"
"Things got a little… messy."
Growing increasingly impatient at the miko's reluctance to continue, Sesshoumaru bit out, "Miko. Tell me."
She fidgeted uncomfortably. "Your grandmother appeared. And she… Well, she turned you back into a child."
Sesshoumaru's eyes widened in astonishment. A pup, she meant. And why was his deceased grandmother present? What had the foolish miko done to the past? Deciding to find out more, he prompted, "A child?"
The miko nodded. "She appeared right after some blood was spilled on the stone. I think the blood must have activated something and the next thing I know, you're a kid."
This was preposterous. Expression darkening, Sesshoumaru asked tersely, "Why did she turn me into a pup?"
A weak laugh escaped the miko then. "Ah… You see… You kind of insisted on bullying Inuyasha."
Bullying? It appeared that things had changed more than he had anticipated. Recalling what else had happened in the tomb, Sesshoumaru asked, "My arm?"
The sigh she expelled was one of relief. "You got out with both arms intact, thankfully. I can't imagine what it would be like to have you as a child with one arm missing. And before you ask, no, I couldn't have left you alone then. You were too young. So I persuaded you to come along with me and Inuyasha."
Displeasure surged through him at the notion that he was traveling as a weak pup with the miko and his hanyou brother. Inuyasha had no doubt taken advantage of the situation.
"To cut a long story short, you got hurt in a battle. And then you disappeared."
The miko nodded. "There was a flash of light and then you were gone. That was a few days ago and we've been trying to find you ever since. Sesshoumaru…"
Her voice trembled and to Sesshoumaru's chagrin, her eyes began to water. Hardening his expression, he warned, "Do not bawl, Miko."
She sniffed, wiping the back of her hands across her eyes. "You were so badly hurt, Sesshoumaru. I'm worried… worried that you might not make it."
Disgruntled by her open display of emotions, he intoned, "You underestimate me."
"You don't understand!" she exclaimed in a louder voice. "You got hurt as a child, Sesshoumaru! You were not as strong as you are now!"
It was beginning to sound as if this miko had developed a certain affection towards his past self, albeit a much younger version of himself. She was clearly distraught at the notion that he had been badly injured. An odd feeling came over Sesshoumaru then, one which he thought he had forgotten. Rin was the one who had brought forth such feeling when she had tended to him so many years ago.
"Miko. Return to the past," he instructed.
Her eyes snapped up to meet his. "But-"
"Have you met Rin?"
"No. I haven't met Rin. I don't think you did, either."
"Then seek for me to the south of the wolf tribe's lair."
She blinked at him in astonishment. "Kouga's lair?"
"That was where I reappeared after the incident in the tomb," he elaborated.
"Oh. You think that will be where you reappear this time round?"
"It is likely. Rin should be there as well." After a pause, he said, "Make sure Rin is not killed by the wolves."
Her eyes rounded. "Was that was happened before?"
Sesshoumaru nodded. "I revived her using Tenseiga."
She gasped. "No! In that case, I'd better get back now."
"Retrieve the shard from Inuyasha. He's not yet able to protect it." Sesshoumaru raised a brow. "Unless he had mastered Tetsusaiga?"
She shook her head. "No. He got a handle on Kaze-no-Kizu and Bakuryuuha but nothing else."
Sesshoumaru's brows furrowed slightly. "It had not taken him as long this time."
"I know. But the situations were a little different this time round." Her eyes flickered. "I could have used my miko powers to help out in the battles, but I held back because I think Inuyasha needed those battles to improve. He was trying to protect both of us."
Sesshoumaru's eyes widened slightly as her words sank in. Both of them? Impossible. Why would Inuyasha seek to protect him? Even as a child, he would not have stood back and allowed himself to be protected like a helpless being.
"Inuyasha is really upset that you're gone," she murmured almost absently.
It was inconceivable that Inuyasha would be upset about his demise in those days. However, the sincerity in the miko's eyes told him that she had spoken nothing but the truth. Uncertain how he should respond, Sesshoumaru decided that it was best to end the conversation.
"Do not waste time. Go, Miko."
She nodded. "Thank you, Sesshoumaru. I'll try my best to fix things."
It was a short meeting but Kagome was glad she had made the trip.
Without Sesshoumaru's information, they would not have a clue where to start. But now, she could ask Inuyasha to lead them towards Kouga's lair. If she remembered correctly, it was in the east, so it should not take them long to reach their destination.
Kagome darted a backward glance towards her house as she pushed the door to the well house open. It had taken some convincing before her mother was satisfied that she had came back merely because their house was along the way of her travel route. Thankfully, her mother did not ask for further details when she declared that she had to leave again. Alternate future or not, she hated lying to her mother and would prefer not to do it.
Stepping into the dark well house, she quickly made her way to the well. Soon, she was enveloped by the familiar brilliant blue light as she descended. Climbing up the well when she arrived, she wondered idly if Inuyasha was still seated where she had left him. They had parted at the river which bisected Kaede's village. Pulling herself out of the well, she began to run towards the village.
"Inuyasha?" she called out as she reached the river.
"Wench," came the gruff response from behind her.
Kagome turned around to find Inuyasha sitting high on a tree branch, his arms crossed over his chest. He looked grumpy but she put it down to the fact that he had been waiting for her. Inuyasha never took well to waiting in all those years she had known him.
Impatient to share the news, she exclaimed, "I think I know where Sesshoumaru is."
Inuyasha immediately dropped down to land beside her. "How did you find out?"
She shrugged evasively. "It's a miko thing."
The hanyou gave her a skeptical look.
"Well, he's not far from the Eastern Wolf Tribe's lair. Do you know where that is?" she asked.
"Keh! Of course I do. You can smell the stink from everywhere."
Kagome almost groaned. If Inuyasha was thinking like this now, she was certain that there would be trouble when they met up with Kouga. But without the jewel, what would Kouga be like?
"So let's go, Inuyasha," she urged as she began to walk. "Sesshoumaru is still hurt, you know."
Inuyasha made a sound she could not quite decipher, but she ignored it. Then the rest of Sesshoumaru's words came back to her, prompting her to turn to the hanyou.
"Oh, where's the shard? I think it's safe to join them back together now."
Inuyasha averted his eyes.
His reaction instantly brought a feeling of trepidation upon her and her steps stilled.
"Inuyasha?" she prompted anxiously.
She blinked slowly. He could not have said what she thought he had said, could he? Because he just said…
"It's GONE?!" she bellowed furiously.