A1969: hm...it's also been ages since we updated this one! I'm sorry if it's taking so long—life's being cruel at the moment.
Inuyasha: and you think you have problems.
A1969: and what problems would you have Inuyasha?
Inuyasha: you for one thing, Sesshoumaru for another.
A1969: aw...I thought you loved your brother? –grins-
A1969: anyway, thanks to those who read and reviewed!

Chapter Six:

:-The Companions-:


Sesshoumaru had grown taller to say the least, but then again I cannot remember when I didn't have to look up at him. His emotions were still hidden behind a mask, and I sniffed slightly. His scent had changed. There was a familiar scent on him, very faint, but it was there. Why was his scent mixed with that of humans? Big brother despised humans. And this particular human...? But I pushed that question aside for later as another thought came to mind.

Once again he had to come to my rescue; once again I probably just looked like a pathetic pup in his eyes. I never wanted him to see me like that again.

I swiftly retrieved the Inazuma-Katana from the ground, dodging a wave of flame from Kyoura in the process. I pointed Inazuma-Katana at Kyoura, but before I could summon an attack, Kyoura wrapped himself in a cyclone of his own flames. Hot air greeted me full in the face as I stopped in my tracks, sword clutched tightly in my grasp.

"Not that this wasn't fun, but I don't have time to waste playing with dogs." Kyoura smirked, his eyes fixed on Big Brother. "I have business to attend to, I'm afraid." To my surprise, he grinned at Big Brother before vanishing amidst a wave of flame.

There was silence.

I sighed and sheathed my blade, looking over at Sesshoumaru.

Big Brother only glared at me with disapproval and turned on his heel to leave me. "Big Brother...don't leave..."

"I have no interest in staying."

I suddenly had no words left to say to him. It had been such a long time since I had seen him, but nothing seemed to have changed. His mask of cold indifference was still on...it was even tighter. There were so many things I wanted to say to him, to ask him, but there was one prominent question I wanted to ask, the question that had propelled me to look for him in the first place.

"Brother, someone attacked my territories! Shouldn't that concern you, considering they are so close to your own?" I asked, and he glanced back at me.

"Your territories," he pointed out. "Not mine."

He had a point. Still, I didn't want him to leave just yet—I'd only seen him again. But he wasn't the type to hang around and chat, I'm afraid. I suddenly remembered the very faint scent on him. This scent...it belonged to that human girl...Murasaki?

"There was a human with lavender eyes staying with that Inuyasha and his friends. She travels with you now doesn't she?" I asked, wondering why she was with him. "It's very faint, but her scent is on you, as is the scent of another human. Queer, that you would have a soft side for them."

Big Brother raised an eyebrow at me. "I have no soft side for these...humans."

"Really? You seem to be more like Papa than you realize, Sesshy."

He glared at me for the name calling. There were times when that glare would have sent me cowering, but not this time.

"Though I am like Father in power, I am not saddened to say that I did not inherit his compassion," he replied.

I only shook my head—he was lying. I knew that despite Big Brother's harsh, cold, indifferent, intimidating outer facade, deep down (very, very, very deep down) he was actually a nice person.

"Alright, Big Brother." I let the last two words slip—he hated it when I called him that.

He glared at me again, before turning to leave. "Do you still think of me as weak, Big Brother?"

He stopped in his tracks, and glanced at me from over his shoulder. "Weak? All half-breeds are weak."

"But I am not a half-breed...you know this."

I could've sworn he almost smirked. "And?"

"I am not weak then..." I felt like a pup again, talking to him like this.

I smiled at him, and realized how much I missed him.


"Father, look!"

Whose voice was this? So childish, so innocent and carefree...

I didn't know where I was...I was...standing near a lake, peering into the water. Huh? Something was not right. The image in the rippling mirror was far too...young, far too child-like to be me...

But what told me that it was indeed me as a child and that the voice belonged to me, were the eyes that stared back at me. Lavender.


"Father, come quick!" It seemed that I did not have any control over my actions or words...

"Murasaki, stay away from the lake!" Father called, running towards me.

Before I could reply, he scooped me into his arms. "You pesky girl! You're always having us worry about you!" He was saying this as he held me close...me...giggling in his arms...

I woke up.

I glanced around me. I had fallen asleep next to Rin.

A dream...

It was just a...dream.

I bit my lip, and stood up with some difficulty, thanks to my ankle. There seemed to be no sign of Sesshoumaru yet.


Why? Why have you suddenly turned away from me? Why have you shunned me? I walked a little away from Rin and Jaken. It was difficult, what with my throbbing ankle, but I wanted to be alone to think...

I strayed a little way into the forest, hobbling on my sprained ankle. Before, I would have been frightened at the prospect of straying alone into a forest, but I had seen worse things.

I sighed, and leaned against the trunk of a tree, letting my eyes stare through the leafy canopy. Ribbons of moonlight filtered through the gaps in the leaves and onto the forest floor. The night was cold, and I drew my cloak tighter around me.

I let my thoughts stray back to the night mother had told me to escape...

Why did Father want me...dead? It was so hard to believe that he would...kill me.

Why? What did I have that he needed in order to...win? Truth be told, it wasn't as though I was out of the ordinary. The only kind of fighting I knew was with the naginata, but it wasn't like I was even that good at it...

Why, Father? Would you be looking for me now? And...another question...what did that demon Kyoura want with me?

It was all so confusing! The questions, the problems! Why did this have to happen to me, of all people?! It was hard to imagine that several days ago, I was laughing with my Father, playing Go...

"You look troubled," a voice commented.

My eyes widened and I looked up. My heart sped as a pair of red eyes stared at me from the darkness.

"You!" The demon Kyoura materialized right in front of me. He held his war fan in both his fists, a smile on his face.

I did not like that smile.

"Well, well, well," he said pleasantly. "Isn't this convenient? You, all alone, in a forest, and no Lord Sesshoumaru to hamper me. My, my—it seems too good to be true."

I took a step back, but my ankle still throbbed. One thing became all too clear...

I couldn't run, and even if I did...I don't think I could've outrun Kyoura...

What should I do? Kyoura smiled as he took a step towards me. And then another, and another.

"Stay back!" I snapped. He took slow deliberate steps towards me, his smile growing more malicious.

"You know," he said. He was only a meter away now. "I cannot figure out why Naraku would want someone like you. You, who are practically useless."

I glared at him as my heart beat faster. He suddenly held out a hand towards me...

I turned and ran. My ankle screamed in protest, blazing pain searing through my ankle and through my leg. I ran towards the row of trees that separated me from Jaken and Kyoura. Please let me reach it, please let me reach it!

No! Before I could reach the camp, my overused ankle gave way and I fell to the forest floor in a heap, scratching my hands as I instinctively held them out. Shoot.

My ankle throbbed as though it were on fire. "Tsk, tsk, tsk." I glanced over my shoulder to see Kyoura coming towards me, a smile on his face. He was taking slow, deliberate steps, hoping to induce fear into me. And I had to admit—it was working. "I didn't even bother chasing after you. It would be quite obvious that you would fall, couldn't you see that, Murasaki? Couldn't you see that there is no escape?"

I struggled to get to my feet, but it was useless. Suddenly, two arms shot of nowhere and scooped me off the ground. Fear raced through me.

"Put me down!" I cried, struggling in Kyoura's arms.

Kyoura looked down at me, smirking. "You're not that bad, actually," he said, a malicious glint in his eye.


"And nothing is more tempting than a woman struggling," he remarked.

Two things registered in my mind—first, this effeminate demon wasn't actually fond of men? And the second, fear. No way...he wasn't going to...

He suddenly laughed. "Don't presume that I would go for the likes of you, though," he said.

"Then put me down!" I snapped.

He only grinned as both his wings beat on either side of him and, a second later, we were both airborne. I was surprised when I screamed the one name I didn't think I would ever find reason to scream.



I gazed up at the night sky, through the canopy. Stars were dancing across it like diamonds. Brother hadn't left yet. He too was looking at the sky. If there was anything I learned from living with him, it was that this part was the only true bonding moment we had.

I narrowed my amber eyes, as a flame shot across my vision, but there was something else. Whatever was being taken away by this flame was screaming brother's name with pure fear. I glanced at him just in time to see an orb forming around him. He was going after her? When did Sesshoumaru play hero?

"Wait! Where are you going?" I demanded and he glanced back at me.

"That is none of your concern, Yamie," was his bored-toned reply. There was a flash of light, and he was gone .

I turned toward the direction of where Big Brother's scent had been heading. I was not going to follow his orders like a pup. What kind of sister would I be if I left him to fight Kyoura alone? I rushed off, gripping the handle of the Inazuma-Katana.

I darted into the air, following closely behind Sesshoumaru. He glanced back at me, his eyes narrowed in warning, but I paid him no heed. He ignored me, drew out his blade and sent a powerful Dragon Strike at the fleeing Kyoura, who dodged it by rising into the air.

Murasaki was behind Kyoura surrounded by his flaming birds. Sesshoumaru's sword and Kyoura's war fan clashed, the sound of metal pitted against metal echoing across the clear night sky. Time to intervene.

Electricity sparked from my blade as I sent Shockwave at Kyoura, watching as he staggered back in shock, giving brother the opening he needed.

"Dragon Strike!" Brother's wave of power seared towards Kyoura, whose eyes widened in shock. He growled as he was forced to fly higher in order to avoid the attack.

"My, oh my," Kyoura said, pleasantly, looking down at us. "So nice to see siblings working together—it brings tears to my eyes."

"Put me down, you creep!" Murasaki snapped. Kyoura held onto her tightly with one arm, the other held his war fan.

"Now, now," Kyoura reprimanded her. "Where in the world would I put you down? On the ground?" Murasaki blinked, then looked down. Her eyes widened in shock.

"No, don't put me down!" she said, clutching to him. Idiot.

What would Big Brother want with her? Surely she wasn't of any importance. Especially not to him.

The lightning from my blade was far too dangerous to try to attack Kyoura with, for lighting was a difficult element to control in the first place, and I did not wish to hit Murasaki, even if she was just a pathetic human.

I sheathed my blade, and whipped out duel fans that had been tucked inside the red obi around my waist. I positioned my fans one above the other, and could feel my spiritual powers beginning to channel from my hands to the metal that surround the fan. I flicked one fan toward the sky, and the other toward the ground, watching as both waves surrounded Kyoura before he could stop them, burning him harshly. He cried out something crude, and disappeared in a swirl of flames, leaving Murasaki to plummet toward the ground.

Damn it!

I would not have been fast enough to catch her, but I watched in amazement as Sesshoumaru did. He effortlessly caught her in his arms where she lay like a rag doll. Was he really getting a soft side for the humans he despised? I tucked my fans away, flew to the ground and approached him.

"Is she alright?" I questioned, not believing the words that came from my mouth.

"She is only unconscious, Yamie," he answered. He was silent for a moment, and then he walked through the trees, obviously heading towards a camp."You disobeyed the orders, I gave you."

"Only to come to your aid. Would you really have been able to defeat Kyoura without my help? Surely, if I wasn't there, your precious human would have died." I growled, and Big Brother glared at me coldly.

"I did not need your so-called help, Yamie," he said. We had reached his camp by now. I glanced around. There was a dying fire in the center of the camp and lying near the flames was a two-headed. Ah-Un, I recalled.

I stared at the figure huddled around the dragon. A little human girl.


Sesshoumaru hanging out with humans...what was the world coming to?

Sesshoumaru's gaze fell on the human child—making sure he was unharmed, I realized. Heh, he didn't even spare the demon toad a glance. He pulled his gaze away from the little girl, and lay Murasaki near a tree. Things were starting to get strange.

"You say my help is unnecessary," I said, feeling angry. "You say you don't need me...But do you need the two humans with you?" He narrowed his eyes dangerously at me. It was a look that would have sent demons scampering, and I honestly felt like doing just that. I sighed. "Decades go by, Sesshoumaru, and you're still as cold as ever...No, you're even colder than before." I turned to leave. There was no point in staying here. Heh, maybe I'd have to be human before I could stay with him.

I suddenly felt a tug on my kimono sleeve. I looked down to see the human child, looking at me with pleading eyes. Had my voice been loud enough to wake her? I didn't care. "What do you want?" I questioned, feeling irked.

"Do you think you could fix Muraski-san's ankle? It isn't getting any better," the little girl said, still holding onto my sleeve. Hm. She had woken up just to ask me that?

"And why would you think I would be able to do anything about it?" I asked, looking at her with a raised eyebrow.

"You have herbs sticking out of your obi; you must know some healing," she said. Damn, clever child.

"Alright, I will try." I finally gave in—there was something in this child that just made you want to do her bidding. Heh, a tiny tyrant. I knelt down beside the unconscious girl with the odd-colored eyes, and began to untie the sloppily tied bandages that were around her ankle.


I watched silently as Yamie knelt beside the unconscious girl. If anything, Murasaki appeared paler. I only just noted that the lids of her eyes were pale lavender, as though she were exhausted. Hn. I have never seen a human this fragile before.

I seated myself opposite Yamie and Rin, and watched as Yamie knelt beside the unconscious girl. Yamie took one look at the girl, and then her eyes darted to mine. "By any chance," she began. "Was it because of you that her ankle is sprained?"

I raised an eyebrow at her. "I'll take that as a no," she muttered, her tone indicating that she was still displeased with me.

As if I cared.

I turned my gaze away as she deftly rolled the hem of Murasaki's kimono all the way to her knee to expose her swollen ankle. How bothersome. Humans were so weak, so defenseless. It was miraculous that they had lived for so long. Perhaps their versatility made up for their frailty? In any case, they were weak...Especially the girl whom Yamie was treating.

There was silence as Yamie tended to the girl, a silence that was punctured only by Jaken's snores. I should hit him, annoying as he was.

"Big Brother," she began hesitantly. "Why is it that this girl is with you?"

Why indeed? "She had her uses," I said dismissively.

She glanced at me from over her shoulder. "Had?" she asked.

I did not look at her. Far be it for me to tell her that I needed Murasaki in order to find her.

Yamie was silent, and she did not pursue her question—instead, she asked another one. "Now that she is of no use to you anymore...will you dispose of her?"

Rin gasped, and my gaze fell on her. She was looking at Yamie with wide, shocked eyes. Yamie was always tactless.

"Lord Sesshoumaru...what does she mean?" Rin asked, her wide eyes already beseeching me. "You're not going to...make her go away, are you?"

I kept my silence. I admit—she had an uncanny knack for getting what she wanted.

"You can't, Lord Sesshoumaru!" she exclaimed. "Murasaki-san's very nice! And she sings to me, too! And she's very pretty!"

Pretty...useless. And as to her singing—I'd never heard her. "She's useless, Rin!" a newly awake Jaken interjected, before I could say anything else.

"She's not useless!" Rin snapped, glaring at Jaken.

"Is too!"

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

"She is not!"

"She is!"

"The toad is right."

We all turned to the source of the voice. Murasaki was sitting up against the tree, her lavender eyes fixed intently on Jaken, her head tilted to the side. Hn, she was awake.

"I really should be going," she said. "But thank you for putting up with me." Her gaze was directed at me.

I looked away from her.

"But Murasaki-san, you're not better at all!" Rin complained.

"I think I can walk," Murasaki said, sighing.

"You can leave in the morning!" Jaken offered. "OW! Quit it, Rin!"

"Girl," Yamie said. "Where are you going?"

I let my gaze fall on Murasaki. True—where was she headed?

Murasaki blinked, her eyes widening. "Um...Mount Ozura," she said, somewhat hesitantly.

"On your own?" Yamie raised an eyebrow at her. "The path to that mountain is treacherous, filled with demons. And you"—she appraised Murasaki's delicate countenance—"I doubt you are a fighter."

Murasaki blushed and bent her head. True—this girl was the farthest thing from a fighter.

"I can try," Murasaki muttered. She looked up Yamie, her eyes determined. "There is something I very much want at Mount Ozura—and I will do anything to get it."

Hn...For once, she was showing signs of assertiveness, something I had not expected to see.

Yamie tilted her head. "And what is it that you want?"

Murasaki was quiet as she looked up at the sky. "Answers." She looked at Yamie. "There are answers there—and I want them."

Yamie narrowed her eyes. "Answers to what?"

Murasaki shook her head. "I'm sure to demons such as yourselves, mortal matters are inconsequential."

How true.

"But to me, those answers are vital," she went on, looking down at her hands.

Vitally inconsequential—how contradictory.

"Answers," I said. Surprised, they all turned their gaze to me. "You have a question to answer yourself."

Murasaki's eyes narrowed. "What question...?"

"What are you to the War Gods?" I asked.

She sighed. "I don't know them."

I narrowed my eyes at her, and she cringed. I looked into her eyes, but I could find no trace of deceit—she spoke the truth. I was—admittedly—mystified. For what purpose would the War Gods desire this defenseless and delicate girl?

"That's why I'm going," she went on, her eyes fixed on her hands. "Because I want to know. What those demons want with me, why my father suddenly wants me dead...all of it."

"You look sad, Murasaki-san," Rin said, seating herself next to the girl. "Do you miss your father, too?"

Murasaki's eyes widened slightly as she looked at Rin. "I don't really know..." her voice trailed off. This girl's father was obviously a lord of some sort. Only the daughter of a nobleman would sit erect, and don a kimono of pure silk.

Perhaps it had something to do with her lineage? "From what clan are you?" I asked indolently.

She looked startled for a moment. "Clan? I..." She blinked, and looked down at her hands again. "I do not come from any clan..."

Ah. "Do not presume to lie, girl," I warned.

She looked up at me, surprise in her wide eyes. "Lie...?"

My gaze turned cold. "You are the daughter of a lord—from which clan?"

"How dare you try to lie to Lord Sesshoumaru?!" Jaken screeched, leaping in front of the girl, the Staff of Heads held threateningly at her. She cringed.

"Master Jaken!" Rin snapped. "Leave Murasaki-san alone!"

"I'm sorry," Murasaki said, her expressive eyes apologetic. "It's just that...my father is probably looking for me, and I'd rather he didn't find me."

"That doesn't answer my question."

She blushed and bowed her head. "Subarashii," she said at last, her voice low. "I am from the Subarashii clan."

"I have never heard of that clan," I said dismissively.

"And neither have I." Yamie suddenly spoke up. Everyone, except me, turned their surprised gaze to her. "So, Murasaki, isn't it? You come from this clan. Hm. Don't you think it odd that your father is searching for you, as are the War Gods?"

I immediately saw her point. "I don't know," Murasaki muttered. "I'm confused. That's why, like I said earlier, I'm going to Mount Ozura...I want answers."

"Alone?" Yamie asked, incredulous.

Murasaki bit her lip. "Yes, alone."

"Well, good luck," Yamie said sarcastically, rolling her eyes. "Travelling on your own, towards an esoteric mountain...Heh, you do not look like a fighter in the least."

Murasaki blushed again. Hm...was Yamie concerned about this girl? But then again, there was something about the human that compelled one to worry about her wellbeing; such was the result of her delicate countenance.

"I can manage." Murasaki did not look sure.


The humans and the toad were finally asleep.

I stared at them, my gaze flitting from one form to the next. The human girl, Murasaki, was sleeping next to the human child, Rin, while the toad slept on Ah-Un. He snored loudly, and it was annoying. I wanted to wake him, but there was something else that I wanted to do.

Big Brother.

I looked at him. He was still sitting underneath his tree, his gaze fixed on the starry heavens. There was no sign of fatigue about him. Heh, actually, I had never—not once in my life—seen Big Brother close his eyes to sleep. I doubt he even needed it.

"What do you want?" Big Brother's voice was low, but cold.

"Your help," I said. In truth, it killed me to have to ask for anyone's aid. But I did not mind asking Sesshoumaru. "Someone attacked my territories. I want to know who."

"Then find out."

Hm. Another way for saying, "Do it yourself."

"I don't know why," I said. "But I have a feeling this person called Naraku is involved...as are the War Gods. But I'm not sure."

"Jumping to conclusions."

My look turned icy. He was being obnoxious. "You are refusing."


I inwardly sighed. Once he had made up his mind, there was no other way to convince him. "At least," I said. "Tell me what you know of this Naraku."

He frowned infinitesimally, his gaze still fixed on the stars. "Why must I divulge anything to you?"

"Because, Sesshoumaru, I am your sister," I said. "That and you swore to my mother that you would protect me."

"You." This time, his eyes were on me. "Not your scanty territories."

I flared. Scanty?! No one could match his arrogance. I was about to say something, but he beat me to it. "Yamie," he said. "If that is merely your reason for seeking me out, I suggest you leave."

I glared at him. "Fine," I hissed. I stood up and turned my back on him, and his camp. I did not look back at him as I left.


"Murasaki-san, must you go?"

I sighed as I looked down at Rin. It was morning now, and it was time for me to leave. Rin looked somewhat disappointed at my going. I suspect this was compounded by Nicada's unannounced flight in the night.

"I'm sorry," I said. I looked down at her, and then around. It was just Rin, myself, Jaken and Ah-Un. Sesshoumaru had, as was his custom, vanished. And I thought it was best to leave without him. "I have to go now. I'm sure my Father will have his men looking for me. I don't want to drag any of you into my mess."

Rin tilted her head. "But won't you be in danger, then? Stay with us! Lord Sesshoumaru will protect you!"

Jaken scoffed at the same time I raised my eyebrows. "No thanks, Rin," I said, smiling.

She blinked. "Why? You don't hate him, do you?"

My eyebrows rose even higher. "No, but…" I shook my head as I looked towards the row of trees of the forest. They seemed menacing. When I thought about the demons that just might lurk there…

But I really had to go now.

"I'll be fine," I said to the doubting Rin.

She pouted. "Will you?"

I smiled and nodded as I left, vanishing into the row of trees.

Although, I wasn't quite sure of the answer myself.


Damn it, I had truly hoped that Big Brother would be willing to help me. But then again he was selfish and only cared about himself. There were not any reasons for him to keep his promise to Mother about protecting me. She was dead after all, had been for years. I can hardly remember her.

But still my lands did involve me, involve protecting me, since I am the only heir left…if Grandmother died. Then again if I did die, I bet Sesshoumaru would be secretly very, very pleased about it. He would not have to come save me.

I stopped in the middle of the forest. Dawn had broken a while ago. I haven't even bothered to eat or sleep. Demons needed much of neither, unlike pathetic humans. But a fish would taste nice right about now. All I need to do is find a stream or a river.

I stood still to allow my senses to pick up the sound of flowing water. My ears twitched against the air, and though it was very faint, I could hear the trickle of water. My stomach nearly growled in joy.

I ran through the woods, the green vegetation rushing past me in a clear blur, and the wind whipping rather spitefully through my hair. The river was not as far as I expected, just a few miles into the woods. After eating, I would head home.

Home…not that there would be much left with what the horde of corrupted demons had done to it. Probably nothing left but ashes and lifeless corpses of my people. If Grandmother had made it out of the palace alive, then maybe there will be a chance for revival, and then maybe she can stop hounding suitors after me.

I stared at the crystal clear river, and then, without hesitation, I plunged in. The water was both cool and soothing, reaching up to my thighs, soaking my kimono. I stared intently into the water seeing, for a moment, my reflection…

A pair of hardened amber eyes stared at me through the water. Those eyes were so similar to Sesshoumaru's, except in expression. But no—these eyes were not at all similar to Sesshoumaru's…they were similar to our Father's…the Father who never knew me.


So unfair.

I shrugged it off—it was not like me to be reminiscing about someone I had never even met. Could that even be called reminiscing?

The eyes in the water suddenly wavered. A fish swam lazily beneath the surface. My claws darted into the water, and were wrapped around the fish in a second flat. Not as fast as Sesshoumaru, but still.

I jumped backwards, out of the river, wriggling fish in my grasp. Landing on the banks of the river, I contemplated in which style to eat my prey. Hm…boiled, roasted, or—

A sudden scream of fear pierced through the silence of the forest, alerting my senses, sending my ears twitching, and making me drop my fish. I automatically reached for the hilt of Inazuma-Katana, my eyes narrowed at the trees.

I glanced at the flopping fish on the ground. Sighing, I rushed toward the cries of, "Leave me alone!" and "Get away from me!"

I sped past the trees as my senses reached ahead of me. My nose was telling me that the attackers were human, as was the victim. I should not even be wasting my time saving whoever it was from petty thieves. I sniffed again. The scent of the victim was familiar.

Too familiar…

The scent…

The human girl with lavender eyes.

Murasaki, the stupid girl who could not even wield a weapon. What the hell was she doing on her own?

I gathered speed, leaping into the nearest tree and onto the tallest branch to scope out the situation. Sitting in a crouched position, the situation before me was all too clear.

Murasaki was backed up against the very tree I was perched in. I could not see her face, but I could easily imagine the fear that would overshadow her countenance as she looked around the humans who cornered her.

Thirty or so human men, armed with weapons, swords and spears, surrounded the helpless girl. They wore blood red armor with gold lacing. Fierce human warriors, judging from the brutish and churlish looks on their faces. Formidable, deadly soldiers…

Heh. Too easy.

"Get away from me!" Murasaki snapped. I was amazed at the would-be fearless tone in her voice.

"My lady—your honorable Father wishes your return," one of the soldiers—a fierce looking thing—said. "We do not wish to do you harm, princess—please, come with us."

"And be killed?" Murasaki's voice shook as she spoke.

"Killed?" the soldier said, his tone not appropriately disguised. "No one would dare lay violent hands on you, princess."

"If, indeed, I am your lady," Murasaki said. "Then you will do as I say, and leave me alone!"

This time, I was genuinely surprised at the authoritative tone in her voice. "We have orders, my lady," the soldier said, as he stepped towards her. "And they are to bring you back."

Murasaki was silent. "No," she finally said. "Go back with your men—I shan't have anything to do with Father!"

Just as I thought that theses useless expostulations were getting boring, the soldier suddenly took several strides until he was near Murasaki. He grabbed her—somewhat roughly—round the arm, drawing her to him.

"No!" the girl shouted. Looking down from my perch, I could see her struggling fruitlessly against the soldier's strength. "I refuse! Unhand me this instant!"

I was now bored. Stifling a sigh, I jumped from my perch, landing behind Murasaki.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk," I said, shaking my head. "Is it really necessary for all of you men to handle one frail human girl?"

The soldiers automatically tensed, their weapons pointed at me. I was far too used to the enraged and astounded cries of surprised humans to pay them any heed.

Murasaki turned her head, her eyes widening the moment she saw me. "Wait, you're…Yamie." She sounded astounded.

I raised an eyebrow at her. How dare she call me a name that only Sesshoumaru was allowed to use? Her insolence would come later, for the soldier that held her suddenly pulled her towards him, and pushed her towards the other soldiers behind him.

"Take the princess and run!" the soldier—or was he their captain?—ordered. He drew his sword, beetle-black eyes fixed intensely on me.

I yawned. This was boring.

"Give me the girl," I said.

The human brute in front of me growled something about protecting his lady and his honor. Without further ado, he ran towards me, sword aimed at my heart. Were these humans actually that stupid?

I rushed towards him, black lightning sparking from my claws. My sword would only make things far too messy for the human girl to tolerate. I easily took out the captain with several jabs of sparking clawed fingers into the pressure points of his arms. I watched, amused, as his arms went limp and his spear clattered to the ground.

The captain cursed at me. "Watch your mouth," I hissed.

He turned to face me, but it was too late for him. I hit a pressure point between his neck and shoulder blade, as his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he fell to the ground, face first.

This, of course, alerted the other guards. They glared at me, as if they could easily take me down. Murasaki on the other hand, looked both frightened and relieved to see me coming to her rescue.

I took the stance of my clan's fighting style. I placed one foot in front of the other, bending one knee slightly, as the other leg went back, extended. Both palms facing outward, one extended, the other tucked near my ribcage. Black lightning still sparked from my claws, down to my knuckles now.

The human men raised their spears and swords and rushed toward me.


I blocked a spear with my arm, and slammed my flat palm into one of the guard's chest. He went flying backwards, lightning sparking on his chest, as he fell to the ground, unconscious.

The other guards charged towards me, shouting something barbaric. Stifling a yawn, I rushed at them, aiming for their pressure points. My fingers did not even reach the points on their body—rather, it was the lightning that jabbed at their pressure points. I watched, amused as the guards fell to the ground, one by one.

I glared as one of them, one of the last three, got behind me, sword raised. The careless human failed to notice as my foot stick out, tripping him. He fell to the ground, face first. There was a disgusting crunch as his nose broke, blood streaming down his face. He stood back up again, glaring at me, blood covering his chin. Heh…and humans said demons looked barbaric.

I turned to face him, my eyes nearly blood red, as the lightning from my palm makes contact with his chest, and he was sent flying, unconscious, into the last two. All three guards fell to the ground, unconscious.

Heh, that fight was short.

I glanced at Murasaki from the corner of my now amber eyes. She was standing at one end of the clearing, where the guards had left her. Her eyes were wide with both fear and gratitude. She opened her mouth to say something, but I interrupted her before she could even get a word out.

"You are pathetic. Can you not even run from measly human soldiers?" I questioned, nearly demanded.

Before she could answer, I started walking away. I needed to get home.

I needed answers.

And I was not going to be around to protect her again.

If she died, then so be it.

"Wait!" I didn't stop walking as she called out. I could hear her running up to me, trying to keep up with my stride.

"Go away," I said, looking straight ahead.

"But," she said. "I…well, I'm grateful to you—for saving my life."

I stopped in my tracks and looked at her. "Do not think I saved you," I said scornfully. "Your life is meaningless—I have no reason to save it."

She blinked. "But…you…"

"I was passing by." I resumed walking.


I didn't stop. She jogged up to me, hitching her kimono to allow her to run. "Please…Ya"—I glared—"Nicada," she amended. "But…you spoke of going to the Western Mountains before?"

"That," I said, quickening my stride, "is none of your business."

She was silent for a moment. Heh, for a human, she wasn't having any trouble catching up with me. Maybe she was tougher than I thought.

"I was wondering," she said quietly. "If…I could…if I could come with you."

To my chagrin, my surprise forced me to stop in my tracks. I looked at her, raising a surprised eyebrow. "And what makes you think I would allow that?" I said.

"Please," she said. "I only wish to get to Mount Ozura."

"So," I said contemptuously, "you expect me to protect you. Don't be so foolish." I started walking again.

"No, wait!" she called out. She caught up with me again, her cheeks flushed from trying to keep up. "Please, I need only to know the way—you needn't protect me. I only wish to know the way. Please."

I was silent for a moment. "Where is Lord Sesshoumaru?" I finally said. "Do you not travel with my Big Brother?"

"I…no," she said. "I do not travel with Sesshou"—I glared—"Lord Sesshoumaru. I only happened to come across him by pure chance. But please—take me with you."

I remained silent. Idiotic girl. If she had been a traveling companion of my Big Brother then, maybe, I might have agreed. After all—if I looked after his charge, then surely Sesshoumaru would help me with my territories? But this girl was useless.

"No," I said flatly, increasing my pace. "Girl, if I were you, I would return to your Father." Lucky fool—she had a Father, at least. Heh, to be bested in that particular area by a human…

Murasaki suddenly stopped in her tracks. I stopped, glancing back at her. She was giving me a funny look. "You saw those soldiers," she said quietly. "My Father—no, he isn't my Father. But he wants me dead. You may think me foolish, but I assure you, I am not asinine enough to return to a man who wants me dead."

What a bother.

"I do not stop for anything," I warned as I continued to walk.

She smiled at me. "Thank you."

A1969: wow, it's been months, hasn't it? O.o
Inuyasha: idiot. Always late.
A1969: feh! At least I update, idiot! And I haven't seen Kagome around?
Inuyasha: no idea.
A1969: yeesh—look for her, don't you? She could be in trouble, you know. Anyway, thanks for the reviews from last chapter. I'm sorry if I take ages to update. And no, I have no intention of abandoning any of my stories. So…sorry for the late updates! I hope you guys review!