Knots of Fate

Sequel to Twist of Fate

By: Sky

Chapter One: The First Steps

Yasha sat at the side of the cave, Sango sitting across from where he sat. Her gaze was still unbelieving as she looked from the locket to Yasha, and then back again.

"Will you stop doing that," Yasha growled, as Sango looked back up at him for the umpteenth time.

"I just can't believe it. But now that I look at you and her, you do resemble her. I don't know why I didn't see it before."

"Alright. You didn't see it. Now will you stop staring at me. It's getting annoying."

"I don't understand what's going on," commented Miroku, looking between Sango and Yasha.

"Apparently Yasha here is the daughter of one of Sango's Aunts, making him her cousin," commented Aveatre, catching on quickly to the situation. Miroku gave her a curious look, and then looked back at Sango.

"So you two are related?"

"It looks like it," commented Sango with a still-shocked expression. She was trying to process the information that she had just learned.

"I'm guessing that neither of you knew this."

"No wonder you were so good at training," commented Sango seemingly to herself as she looked back up at Yasha. "You already had the blood lines for it. You were a natural because you are a born and breed Exterminator."

"Whatever," commented Yasha, looking away and into the forest. He was uncomfortable with all the looks that everyone was giving him. He never was one who liked a lot of attention, and now he seemed to be the center of it. Clansman roamed around and passed by the small group many times, but they took no notice of it. Nor did the Clansman stop by to see what was going on. Each group was paying attention to their own business.

"So, this is a new and interesting development," commented Miroku to Haruki, and he nodded in agreement. Yasha finally had enough. He stood up with a growl, drawing everyone's attention, and glared at them.

"Alright. So we're related. Big deal. Get over it. Now are we going to leave already, or are you all just going to sit around and gab. If you wanna do that, it's fine. I'll go by myself." He turned around, and stalked towards the cave and the bag that he had half-packed.

"Touchy isn't he?" commented Kagome, and Sango nodded.

"I don't know much about his family, but I don't think he's had a good time with it. I don't think he wants to be related to anyone else. It's just another excuse to get hurt." The others brooded in silence, mulling over the information, before Haruki looked towards the cave, his gaze still on it as he cleared his throat.

"I think he really does have every intention of leaving us behind. So, shall we get ready to go?" His attention turned back to the others, who nodded and rose from their places, each heading to gather their respective bags and supplies. Yasha didn't notice when they all dispersed, and went about their various duties, trying to pack. He was still in shock; discovering that he had family outside of his mother, and his long-absent father. But why had they not come for him when his mother had died? Why did they leave him to the horrible life that he had had to lead when there was no one left to protect him? Apparently, from the sound of it, his mother had been forced to leave, and that they hadn't been able to find her. But he'd seen Sango find something when she put her mind to it. Most Exterminators had that trait, as even the elder Exterminator Hashba showed the talent. They must not have really been looking for her, and that made him even angrier. And some of his anger was aimed at Sango, though he knew that she didn't have anything to do with it. But she was still one of them; and he had become one of them as well.

Yasha angrily threw another set of clothing into his pack, before tying it off with a vengeance. He didn't care anymore if the others came with him. Naraku was his problem, for going after Kagome. And that jerk Sesshomaru made it seem like it was all his idea. He would let them do what they would. He would take on this journey, and come back to face everyone after he had defeated the demon that was causing them all grief. But his plans were to be once more thwarted as he stepped outside of the cavern, and found everyone else standing there with traveling packs. Kirara was in her small form, and curled up on Sango's shoulder, giving him a happy greeting mewl as he stepped into the light. Aveatre had her son once more in the back sling, so that he was comfortably tucked, while Haruki had the supplies in a pack on his back. Even the Monk appeared ready, and that irked Yasha even more, for some reason.

He stormed past everyone, letting them catch up, if they decided to. Kagome was the first to turn and follow, then Aveatre and Haruki; leaving the two Exterminators to bring up the rear. For a moment, some of the Clansman paused to watch the odd procession, before continuing along with their tasks. Surely someone knew that Kagome looked as though she was going with the Exterminator boy. Though, it was more likely that she would just be leading them for a short while, and then turn back to go home. Kagome had done that many times when she was younger; leading a delegation from the palace, or leading her father to some meeting or another. But none ever expected Kagome to actually plan on going on this journey. It never crossed their minds.

Nor did it cross the mind of the journeyers, as they continued to trek on. As they walked, Yasha's mood seemed to lighten a bit, especially when Kagome walked beside him in companionable silence. The animated discussion that Haruki and Aveatre were having also seemed to lighten his mood a bit, as they argued about edible vegetation, best hunting locations, and camping locations. Miroku and Sango didn't add anything to the conversation, and just smiled as one side or the other became heated with the defense of their knowledge. Most of the day continued in this similar thread, until a loud clearing of a throat caught everyone's attention.

Above the path, not 30 feet ahead, stood the human form of Guthrow. His multi-colored hair and eyes seemed to blend surprisingly well with the forest, so he seemed almost to melt away from the tree that he had been standing against.

"And where do you all think you are going?" he asked, looking from one to the other; his eyes boring into theirs. All members of the party looked him back fully into his strange eyes.

"We're going after Naraku," stated Haruki. Guthrow arched an eyebrow at them all.

"Even Kagome?"

"I'm old enough to decide my own path," replied Kagome; crossing her arms across her chest. "I don't need the approval of my brother or of my father."

"Ah, so I was right. He doesn't know." Kagome fidgeted a bit, a little nervous as Guthrow did not remove his eyes from hers.

"No, he doesn't know. But there needs to be a representative of the Taisho clan," Kagome added quickly before Guthrow could speak again. "He has caused nearly irreparable damage to the family because of the actions he has taken." Kagome bore her wrist to him; showing the scar that she had received from her first encounter with the altered velkir. It was a scar that made Yasha flinch every time he saw it. It was a reminder that he couldn't protect her. And it would always be.

Guthrow also flinched as he saw the scar, for demons didn't scar easily. Kagome had to have nearly lost her hand to have obtained it. And the fact that she had dared been attacked on her family's soil, let alone near the palace, was a grave insult to the family. One that would have to be rectified. And now, he having a link to the South made him many times more the desired catch. Even if it wasn't said aloud, there was a bounty on his head now. Any demon who sought favor with the Taisho clan, or was a friend, would be hunting him down. The poor creature didn't stand a chance.

"And since Sesshomaru isn't here, that leaves me. Father of course cannot leave the palace unattended, and I don't have the training yet to take over for any leave of absence that he takes." Guthrow couldn't help but smile at Kagome's reasoning.

"You really have thought this thing out haven't you?" Kagome replied with a half-shrug that he had seen Yasha do countless times, and hid his smile again. She really was learning too much from the boy.

"It's nothing but the truth. Sesshomaru has headed off on his own quest…"

"With my damn sword," mumbled Yasha, with everyone trying to hid their grins at the glum way he said it.

"… to do who knows what, and that leaves me the only representative left."

"As I heard it Kagome, Sesshomaru was also leaving to find Naraku." He arched an eyebrow at her, but she didn't look impressed. She shrugged her shoulders again, before turning to look at the group behind her.

"They're on an official journey to find this man who's been messing around with the velkir and plainly making Yasha and my life hell. I think there needs to be a representative here. And who knows, Sesshomaru may get to him first, but he's going to have to keep a quick step if he wants to stay ahead of us." Kagome nodded her head as she finished her sentence, as if that was all that was needed. Her ears were tilted in a defiant cant, which Guthrow knew meant that she wasn't going to budge. Kagome had made up her mind, and not even the dog-lord himself would be able to sway her decision. Guthrow couldn't help but give a light-hearted sigh, and shook his head.

"Alright. I see I'm not going to get you to change your mind. But I suggest that you leave word with your father before you decide to head out on this endeavor. With your history, he may think that you've gotten into trouble again."

"I already left a scroll explaining the situation in Yasha's cave. The clansman will find it, I made sure, and take it to him. He will know what is going on, and the company I am keeping. He should not worry overly much about me." Kagome's tone was satisfactory as she told Guthrow about the letter. She had hoped that the clansman would find it before long and give it to her father, but she also hoped it would wait until nightfall. They wouldn't be out of range, but they would at least be far enough away by then that her father might not think about coming and getting her. It was a risk she had taken, and she hoped that her planning would work out as she had planned it, or she was never going to hear the end of how her father thought that she had been abducted again.

Guthrow shook his head again.

"You really have planned this all out haven't you, and in the short time you had to do it, I would say you've done pretty well. Alright, if you think you have your bases covered, then I suspect we might want to head out, so that we may get as far as we can before the light fades." Kagome gave him an odd expression as Guthrow changed back into his natural wolf-ish form.

"You mean, you're coming with us?" Multi-colored eyes turned and looked at her over his shoulder; looking at her as though she were some daft child that needed things to be slowly explained to her.

"Why, of course I am Kagome. Someone needs to keep an eye on you…. That isn't Yasha of course," he quickly amended as he saw the proverbial hackles of Yasha raise at the mention that he might not be able to protect her. "And I would rather risk your wrath then the combined forces of Karamina and InuTaisho combined. I like my pelt on my body, then hanging in their chambers." His gaze traveled to the rest of the rag-tag group, and he bowed to them. "So, the total is three Exterminators, and four demons traveling together…" A mewl from Sango's fur cuff, and the rise of a cream and black head with red eyes told him that there was another demon in the mix. "Forgive me, five demons…." And at that moment, little Shippo decided to start fussing in the sling at his mothers back. Sango couldn't help but smile as she watched the wolf-ish demon cross his eyes at the well-timed reminder. "… six demons, and three Exterminators. Is that the final tally?"

"Well, if you want to get technical…," started Haruki, only to get jabbed in the ribs by his nearby mate, to end his sentence with an undignified 'oof'.

"Yes, there are six demons and three Exterminators," finished Aveatre smoothly with a voice suppressed with mirth. Miroku smiled at her as she soothed Shippo back to sleep, and then turned to Sango with an even wider one. Sango knew the look, and raised a fist his direction.

"Don't even think about it buddy." As Miroku tried to look innocent and sound hurt, Sango stepped forward, prompting the rest of the group to start moving forward. Kagome and Yasha turned away from the others again, and led the precession; Yasha with one hand resting lightly for a moment on Guthrows shoulder before letting it fall back to it's normal rhythm at his side. And through the touch was brief, and through he would never say it, Guthrow knew that Yasha was glad he was coming along.

Guthrow knew the journey before them would be a long one, and they would face many dangers; many that the pups didn't even know of yet. But they were surrounded by those who knew the path, and had taken their own journeys. They were well protected, even if they didn't want to think of it like that. Maybe they would be lucky, with all of those around, to not come home with too many scars; scars that every journeyer gained.

Hey everyone! It's me! Welcome to the sequel of the Twists of Fate! You're in for another journey. I already have it planned and mapped, so it may go a little faster then the last story. There shouldn't be two or three-month gaps between chapters, as I am firmly in a job now, and mainly rooted to one place. I see this tendency for me to write short first chapters. Anyone else notice? XD Anyway, I'm hoping it will go much like the other; where it gets better as the story goes along. I may rewrite this chapter later, so who knows! The ending is already set, and I'm sure you all aren't going to like me very much again. is already running from her lynch mob But yeah, so here it is! I told you I was working on it! I hope you're ready for another ride, and another adventure!

And you all know the drill by now. xD PLEASE REVIEW!!