Love Thy Enemy
It's a bit overdue and a bit shorter than other chapters, but I decided to cut this chapter short to give the climax of the scene the room it needs next chapter.
Night had fallen as Yuka stopped the jeep they'd been issued at the gates of the factory. Inuyasha stood up and looked over the area. It was a series of large, dark buildings, two were simple black, brick blocks. A second had a curved roof and two large doors, and the third was smaller with a staircase and balcony running alongside several small windows. Offices, likely.
"What do you think?" Inuyasha asked, looking at Yuka. Yuka scrunched her nose.
"I think it looks like an ambush waiting to happen," Yuka said, turning off the jeep and climbing out. High fences topped with barbed wire surrounded the entire complex. Yuka jumped up and cleared the fence by several feet, landing in a crouch inside. Inuyasha leapt and landed, clearing the fence by a smaller margin. He stumbled as he landed. Yuka rolled her eyes and looked over the complex.
"So," she said, drawing her katana from the scabbard on her back. "Now what?"
"I don't sense any youkai, or miko. You?" Inuyasha replied.
"Me neither, maybe we're early," Yuka said.
"Okay then, we do some recon, scope it out for when it's time," Inuyasha decided. "You take the west, I take the east. We circle around, check the buildings one by one, rendezvous at the northern fence. Move fast and silent, if we engage anyone, we call for help." Yuka gave him a sideways look, a small sliding across her lips. "What?" Inuyasha asked.
"Since when did you become such a cunning tactician?" she asked. Inuyasha drew the Tetsusaiga and balanced it on his shoulders before walking away.
"I had a good teacher," he called behind him. Yuka chuckled softly and turned, starting down the opposite direction as Inuyasha. Inuyasha began walking down the short end of one building, with a rounded roof. Two large sliding doors were at the end, and Inuyasha lifted a claw to finger a thick length of chain with a padlock binding the door handles together. He looked up to see the tops of the doors, and frowned. The chain and lock looked new…
- - - - - - - - - -
Yuka quietly turned the knob of the first door, and pushed it open. She snorted. Same as the last four – rows of storage crates. So far there was no sign of anyone else around the complex, or any signs that anyone had been there recently. Yuka sighed and looked up the stairs to the balcony running along the upper row of rooms. She trudged up it, her boots clanging on the metal, and looked down the balcony. Another long line of doors. From the higher vantage point, Yuka looked over the complex. There was no sign of Inuyasha, or anyone or anything else moving.
Yuka opened the first door. This one was different – an office. A really dull, bland, ordinary office. Two filing cabinets, a desk with a computer, three chairs and a corner table with a fax machine. Yuka moved on to the next door and pushed it open. Same as the first door, minus the table and fax machine. She moved on the third, and her ear twitched. Yuka's eyes darted down to the wood beneath her feet, and she thought for a moment. She sheathed her sword and back-flipped, her claws catching on the railing as she swung down to the first floor.
Her opponent spun and cried out as Yuka's boots slammed into her chest, sending her flying through the door behind her into a row of storage containers. Yuka let go of the railing and dropped down, drawing her sword again. She looked into the darkened room for any sign of movement. Surely, whoever it was, they couldn't be defeated so easily…
A crate few out the door, and Yuka jumped back at the unexpected attack. In the crate's wake, the enemy was on her feet and charging, sword in hand. Yuka stood and swung, catching the opponent's blade and deflecting it. The other hand came up, and Yuka ducked as a second blade whirled at her neck. She rolled away and leapt up as her opponent stepped back. The two blades in her hands clicked as she pressed the handles together. The combined dual-blade spun, and Yuka sniffed, a familiar burning smell coming from the woman.
"Miko," she hissed, twirling her sword and running forward. The miko spun around, blocking Yuka's strike with a backwards swing, then swinging forward and bringing up the other blade to attack. Yuka jumped back and immediately sprang forward, lifting her sword above her head. The miko rolled aside, and Yuka landed in a crouch. The miko flipped to her feet as Yuka charged her again, separating the dual-blades into two again. Yuka growled as her rapid attacks were blocked and deflected one by one. She swung, and the miko caught her sword between the twin blades.
"You fight well," she admitted, locking eyes with the miko.
"Well? I'm insulted," the miko shot back. The two pushed back, and the miko reconnected her blades before moving to strike again. Yuka drew back her arm and swung.
Katana and dual-blade rung out as they slammed into either side of the Tetsusaiga, the fang vibrating with the force. Inuyasha gritted his teeth and spun, pushing both women back.
"Inuyasha?" the miko asked, confused.
"What are you doing here Kagome?" Inuyasha asked, turning towards her.
"This is Kagome?" Yuka muttered, glaring at the woman in question.
"And who might you be?" Kagome shot back, returning the glare.
"I'm Yuka, his partner."
"Partner? Geez, you've really lowered your standards Inuyasha."
"Like I said, what are you doing here?" Inuyasha repeated. Kagome crossed her arms.
"That depends, why you here?"
"That's classified," Yuka said. Inuyasha rolled his eyes.
"We're here to intercept a transaction between the miko and the Order," he said. Yuka gave him a look of disbelief.
"Order of the Three?" Kagome asked.
"You know of them?" Yuka replied.
"Yeah, some big to-do with the Emperor's bloodline. Funny thing…I'm here to intercept a trade between them and some youkai. Getting a sense of déjà vu, Inu-chan?"
"Yeah…" Inuyasha muttered. "But we haven't sensed any youkai presences here, so-"
Inuyasha was cut off as the facility sprang to life. Lights around the complex glared on, bathing the yard in white light. Inuyasha, Kagome and Yuka looked around to see hundreds of lesser youkai loom from the shadows, from the building doors and over the roofs.
"Like I said," Yuka growled, bristling.
"An ambush waiting to happen," Inuyasha nodded. The three backed up against each other as the lesser youkai leapt down to circle them.
"So what's the plan?" Yuka asked.
"Take them down fast and hard, works for me," Kagome replied.
"I wasn't talking to you!" Yuka snapped.
"Ya know, maybe you two can save it until after we're done here," Inuyasha muttered.
"Fine with me," Kagome said. "Just keep her out of my way."
"Same here," Yuka growled. One of the youkai surrounding them, a long serpent with blue skin, leapt towards her. Yuka leapt up and sliced her katana through its mouth, cleaving it apart. Like a signal, the other youkai attacked.
Inuyasha snarled and swung out the Tetsusaiga, cleaving apart an ogre diving towards him. He rolled underneath an outstretched claw and flipped to his feet, spinning and slicing the air around him.
Yuka punched and back-flipped, kicking her opponent backwards. She landed and lashed out her katana, cutting down another youkai. She felt something bump her back and looked over her shoulder to see a clump of wavy dark hair.
"Too many for you?" Kagome asked, cutting down youkai with the twin blades of the Naginata.
"I'm fine. How about you?" Yuka shot back. "I don't know too many miko who can fight properly." Kagome's eyes lit up.
"Oh yeah?" she snapped, clicking the Naginata blades into their combined form. "What this." Yuka watched as Kagome spun the combined blade up to rest against her shoulder. Suddenly, the blades glowed pink, and Kagome whipped her hand back. The Naginata twirled about her fingertips, the glowing blades slicing the air, unleashing crescent-shaped waves of purity power. Yuka's mouth fell open as the waves tore apart rows of youkai, purifying them in an instant.
"That's a new trick," Inuyasha said, emerging from the torrent of youkai parts several feet away.
"Thanks. You got anything new?" Kagome replied, going back to the battle. Yuka regained her composure and reached up to her hair. She reached into her ponytail and withdrew a flower bud from the strange.
"Not bad," she said, holding up the flower. It glowed and suddenly bloomed into a red rose, before Yuka threw it into the air. The flower glowed brightly and burst in the air, sending a flurry of flaming rose petals raining down.
"Well don't I feel left out," Inuyasha snarled, snapping the Tetsusaiga out and decapitating two youkai. "Not like we need such fancy attacks anyway. These wimpy youkai are all bark and no bite!"
"Yeah, but something's wrong about that," Kagome said, separating the Naginata blades again. "We were all sent here because of the Order, you'd think there'd be one of them here." As Kagome finished, the ground suddenly shook, and the three stumbled. The youkai surround them let out a shriek, and shrank back.
"What the hell was that?" Yuka whispered, watching the youkai retreat. There was a loud, metallic clang, and three heads whirl around. Against the far, long building, the gigantic set of double doors had a huge dent in them. Suddenly, another dent appeared, the side of a person. Inuyasha backed up in line with Yuka and Kagome as there was a third dent, and with a loud creak, the doors suddenly came off their settings and fell forward onto the ground.
From the shadows of the building stepped a vaguely humanoid creature. It towered over the three, taller than the building itself as it hunched as it stepped from the doorway. Its torso was bare and muscular, and a kilt-like blue and purple cloth hanging to its knees covered its legs and hips. A large, spiked gray shell covered its right shoulder and upper arm, and it had shoulder length lavender hair and deep purple eyes.
"You were saying?" Inuyasha muttered. The creature looked down at him as it stood up to its full height.
"Are you the one called Inuyasha?" it growled.
"Yeah, that's me. And I'll bet your Rank Sixth, right?"
"Sixth?!" The creature roared and swung a massive hand down to grab Inuyasha, hauling him up to eye level. "You've dealt me an insult you can't understand, hanyou wretch," the creature said. "I am Moryomaru. And I'll have you know I am Rank Second within the sacred Order of the Three. Succeeded in power by none, save for Lord Magatsuhi himself!"
"Rank Second?" Inuyasha choked out from Moryomaru's grip.
"Great, we pissed them off," Yuka muttered.