Don't own Inuyasha... cries .o.o.
Chapter is RAW... it's late and I want to sleep so I will clean it later.
Inu hated visiting day, they didn't happen often but when they did by the end he was left both tired and annoyed. And what is visiting day might you ask, it is the day that happens maybe once a month, sometimes twice a month, where the females of his father's pack and allies come together to catch up on what has been happening in each others lives.
Now that's all well and good mind you since his mother did need to spend time with other females, she always seemed more relaxed and happier when she was with them, but with his mother's friends meant their children came with them... all their 'female' children. Seven girls, eight if Anna was included in the bunch, all wanting his attention and fighting about it... but seven girls... really! He had no help, not one spec of male testosterone could be seen in the this mass of screaming mess.
"Inu-kun, what's wrong, you look bored sitting in here... why don't you go outside and play with the girls."
Inu turned to look at the older female wolf like she was crazy, that very suggestion was what he wasn't going to do. Being around the twins was no big deal, he could handle that, but add the five wolf demon princesses to the mix was like poking a bee hive and not expecting to get stung. Being the center of attention for all seven of them wasn't fun and he had no one on his side, several times already today Inu has glanced over to the sleeping infant in his aunt's arms and wished the boy was a little older. But sadly humans don't grow as fast as demons and half demons so it would still be a few years before the two could play together.
"Kagome... is something wrong with him?" Ayame was concerned for the boy, having no siblings of her own she grew to see the two human women as sisters and their children as members of her distant clan.
"I just think he is a little intimidated by so many little girls... plus he's a little mad he couldn't go with Inuyasha earlier," the boy's mother answered with a weary smile.
Inu's shoulders slumped just thinking about how his father took off earlier with Miroku-ojisan and Koga and left him here to suffer the wrath of the girls; and what was worse was that the men weren't even that far away. Inu could smell them about a mile away in the woods but there was no chance his mother would let him go off alone to track them down.
"Oh yeah, Sayuri can be quite intimidating at times... she gets that from Koga," Ayame brushed one of her pigtails over her shoulder completely missing the look the other two women gave to each other in regards to her comment.
Kagome did agree with the first half of her statement though, Sayuri has become rather aggressive these last few visits but the wolf mother said that was natural in their species and nothing to worry about. Being the oldest of five and the next clan leader, should they not have a son, Sayuri had to assert her dominance over her sisters to show who was in charge.
However having two girls with that type of personality together never was a good combination... and the main reason Inu was still in the hut. Because you see over the past two visits for some reason Sayuri has developed this attachment to Inu and wants all his attention on her, well that hasn't gone over well with Takara who was only used to fighting her sister for his attention. The two quickly developed a rivalry that would have come to blows had Inu not stepped in with his powers to stop them. He knew no matter how tough Takara was she was no match for the five year old wolf cub; and Sayuri has never dealt with humans so she wouldn't know how to hold back her strength. All the human adults were worried about the situation, while those with demon blood didn't see much of a problem.
"It's just a little rivalry... no one will get hurt."
"You don't know that Inuyasha, Sayuri-chan can do a lot of damage to a human child," Kagome had wanted to say more but she wouldn't speak badly about her friends' choices in parenting skills.
It's been about seven months since Anna was born and the terrifying ordeal that went with it, now being early fall the small family of four was just starting to settle down into their old family routines. Kagome was doing much better than before, she was coming back to her old self though there were times Inuyasha would still catch her looking at their daughter with this haunted expression that worried him. He spoke with Kaede and she explained that his mate could be having flash backs of the events but with more time they would fade as well. On a good note she had started referring to Anna by her name and so Inuyasha was convinced that as long as their daughter was happy and healthy Kagome would recover over time.
"Ayame and the wolf breath have been around humans long enough to know not to allow their pup to harm one." Inuyasha was leaning against the wall in the sitting room while watching his woman cook dinner, Inu was playing with his wood carvings and Anna was asleep in her basket in the bedroom.
"Have you forgotten that only a few years ago they stopped eating humans," Kagome whispered the last part but Inuyasha knew his pup heard every word. "I just... I understand it's instinct, living with you for five years I know there are times when it's hard to control, I just don't want anyone to get hurt."
Inuyasha knew that was her way of asking him to talk to their demon friends and so the next morning he had taken a quick trip up north to speak with them. The next visit day Sayuri was a little more calm but Inu discovered when he wasn't there to be fought over the girls were very civil towards each other... so the present day he was staying in the house.
"You're not having fun in here are you?" Inu didn't have to vocally answer his mother because the look he gave her explained it all. "And I know you don't want to play with the girls," Kagome couldn't help but giggle at the look of annoyance that came across his face and how it was identical to the one his father gives when he doesn't want to do something. "Do you want to go spend time with daddy?"
Inu's whole body perked up at the mention of his father, his little elfin ears were straining to hear every word she said, "Can you sense him; are your uncles and he close by?" Inu nodded his head causing his bangs to bounce and smack against his face, his father was still in the same spot as the last time he checked and about a mile from where they were in the hut. "Alright... you may teleport to him okay, but any signs of danger and you come straight back am I clear." The little boy nodded again before jumping up and hugging her, then disappearing in a dark cloud of smoke before that faded away too.
"K-Kagome!? What just happened... where did Inu go!?"
The young woman turned to look at the shocked expressions of her two guests and quickly waived off their worry. "It's alright it's just a little trick he discovered a few weeks back that he can do and Inuyasha has been training him to control it." Kagome tried to hide her blush coming up to her cheeks when she thought back to the night they discovered their son could teleport through objects and over distances; she hoped neither woman noticed her embarrassment but Ayame was quick to point it out.
"Kagome, why is your face so red?"
"N-no no reason, it's nothing."
"Your scent changed too... you were thinking of something naughty weren't you," a big smile came to the wolf's face causing her top fangs to hang over her bottom lip making her look more dangerous than she actually was.
"Ayame!" Kagome's blush deepened and Sango rolled her eyes while checking to make sure none of the girls were about to walk into the hut with the conversation she knew was going to start.
"What... oh come on we're not all cubs anymore and we've all had our fair share of mating judging by the ten cubs we have in total... females can talk about this type of thing."
"Not so freely they do Ayame or in such public places where others can walk in," Sango glared at the wolf demon, now she was no prude by any means, but she still didn't feel comfortable talking about their private time with their husbands with children so close by.
"Oh come on, you don't think the guys are talking about that stuff right now? I know Koga brags to the other males in the clan, that he has fathered more cubs than any other since Naraku's death." Both human women were very glad their husbands had more honor, and brain cells, than that to know not to go spouting to the village of their success at fatherhood. "Though there are times I know he's very proud of the girls I still see the longing in his eyes for a male heir," Ayame's shoulders slumped a little at a recent memory she brought up, the look her mate had on his face when another male from their clan announced the birth of a son nearly broke the she wolf's heart.
Kagome sensed a change in her friend and immediately tried to cheer her up, "Don't give up on that Ayame, you'll give Koga a son."
"But what if I can't, what if all I can bare are female cubs, to get an heir he might have to find a second mate... he'll leave me and the girls."
"No he won't, everything will be okay," Kagome had complete faith that a son was in their future, she remembered Maru talking adamantly about a wolf cub named Kou, it might just be a few more years down the line. Ayame couldn't be as positive as Kagome was, after all her friend had already given her mate an heir. "You know where I'm from women have just as much power as men, and look at you Ayame-chan, you're no push over; I'm certain Koga wouldn't mind promoting one of you daughters as clan leader... he never has followed the rules much so why start now?"
Both women had a good laugh thinking about all the rules the male wolf has broken and the near heart attacks he's given the clan elders since he has begun his reign as leader, "Yeah... he is a bit unusual in the political world in regards to the clans... I'm pretty sure my grandfather is having seconds thoughts about giving him the title."
"What the hell wolf!? That's like the sixth time you've sneezed in the last ten minutes."
"Already told you mutt face your stench is offensive to my nose, when you bathe last!?"
"Keh, I bet it's closer than the last time you did you flea bag!"
Koga smirked from the rock he was sitting on, "Yeah cause I bet Kagome don't even let you in your den if you don't."
"Oi, don't talk about my mate like that... leave her out of this."
"Gentlemen please, I have two toddlers at home that fight less than you do; if I wanted to watch that I would have stayed home," Miroku was slightly annoyed that their break time from their families was turning out to be less relaxing than he hoped. He was also rather crabby because the girls weren't sleeping much at night and as a result they were waking their brother up disturbing his sleep and keeping the whole hut awake.
"You only have three cubs monk, try dealing with five at a time," Koga wasn't impressed with the humans plight.
"Yeah well three human children is like ten demons ones."
Inuyasha didn't way in on this conversation grateful that his pups, even Anna with being so little, slept through the night and didn't bother them... well except Inu now with his new ability. The dog's mood soured once again just thinking about his son's new powers and the restrictions Kagome put in place till they figured out how to control this. But he couldn't complain much, not with his mate getting better everyday from her illness.
It was weird when you think about it, Inuyasha understood what she went through was horrific, he hadn't witnessed what happened in the hut like Kagome had but just knowing his pup was dead caused him to lose his mind... the pain she was in was far worse than that. The weird part was the symptoms she was displaying after they got back to the village, Kaede explained that he would have to keep a close eye on the pup as this illness tended to make women abandon their children; she suggested they have a wet nurse available just in case. Inuyasha didn't like the suggestion because strangers were never allowed near new born pups, not to mention the nutrition Anna would need couldn't be provided by a common whelping woman. Luckily it didn't come to this though because it seemed instead of pushing the baby away Kagome rarely went anywhere without her. Her body was providing enough milk and when Anna was hungry she barely got a cry out before her mother presented her a meal. Inuyasha was still caution she could relapse but now seven moons after the attack everything was nearly back to normal.
"So Inuyasha, has there been any updates on Masanori if he's dead or alive," Miroku decided to bring up the reason they were out in the woods to begin with. Contrary to what their women believed the men do in fact like spending time with the whole group when the wolves came to visit. For both Inuyasha and Koga it was a calming reassurance that their packs will survive future years to come seeing all the small children running around... even if they were short on male heirs; Inuyasha knew at least two more male children would be arriving in a few short years but after that it was really anyone's guess.
But the true reason they were away from the pack was to discuss any new updates on their new enemy. Inuyasha thought it best not to bring up the topic in front of his mate in her condition, plus he didn't know if the man was alive or dead from the battle so he didn't want to worry her if he was truly gone... but knowing Naraku was part of him now the dog demon was certain they haven't seen the last of him.
"No nothing, I sent a few of Sesshomaru's scouts out but they haven't caught a scent of him."
"I sent men from all three clans but nothing has been returned to me either," Koga's fur ruffled just thinking about the fact that a part of Naraku is still alive somewhere and using the body of a man that helped to kill his southern brothers.
"Do you think he went back to the continent like last time?" Miroku looked between the two demons who were filtering information through their minds.
"No, I had scouts at the southern shores and they would have noticed something other than humans crossing the sea. No he would want to stay close by now," Inuyasha growled thinking about the reason the man would do so.
"What do you mean he has a reason to hang around... not a very smart demon to stay close to his enemy."
"I doubt he has a choice, the human that was Masanori was in love with Kagome; that is only adding to the obsessions of both Naraku and Takemaru... his whole world revolves around her and wants to be the center of hers as well," the longer Miroku talked the more angry Inuyasha became.
"I'll send every one of those damn demons back to hell before they ever touch Kagome again!" Inuyasha's eyes flashed red for a brief moment before his rage quickly disappeared when he sensed a small fluctuation of power enter the clearing they were standing in. He turned to quickly scan the area and spotted the beginnings of black smoke appearing not far from where he was standing.
"What is it Dog-turd, you sense something," Koga jumped off the rock he was sitting on when he too felt something brush up against his aura.
Inuyasha didn't answer the wolf just waited for the smoke to clear and reveal the tiny toddler he knew it belong to. "Oi, what are you doing out here pup, does your momma know you left the hut?" He frowned at the child when the smoke faded, he was proud the boy was learning more control over his new ability, but he didn't want it to be at the cost of his mate's panicked hysteria over the toddler missing.
Inu adamantly nodded his head at his father's question, "Momma know."
"Keh, really... and she let you come all the way out here alone?" One of Inuyasha's thick eyebrows raised slightly in challenge as if daring the child to lie.
"Why did she say okay?"
"... Gurls," at this Inu folded his arms over his chest and frowned, pretty much mimicking his father's stance at the moment.
Hearing his son's reason for being here caused Inuyasha to roll his eyes and relax his stance, he could sympathize with the child, being around Kagome and Anna was peaceful... but add the twins and small wolf pack and he would want to escape too. Koga's words from when Inu was born came back to him for a moment and Inuyasha felt guilty for the boy; thankfully Miroku had a son but it would be still a few years before the two could play together and by then Maru should be born; so until that time Inu would just have to hang around with the adults and hide from the girls.
"How did your cub get here, I don't smell the females," Koga looked around trying to spot his mate or one of his daughters but no sign of them.
"No they ain't here, pup found a new ability he has and has been using it a lot lately," Inuyasha glared over his shoulder at the snickering monk, he regrets telling the pervert the lock down Kagome put on him because of Inu's new power.
Koga caught on quickly to what the other demon meant and a smirk came to his lips, "Oh so that explains why you're extra grumpy today dog brain... not being able to rut your mate huh?"
Miroku made a face at wolf's choice of words, he knew the wolf demons were very close to their animal counter parts and were only together with females when it was time to reproduce so to Koga the intimate side of being with women meant nothing to him. But as a human and one very appreciative of the female body, his wife's the best of course, Miroku never liked how the others spoke about the act of love making... it was truly sad.
"I'm not grumpy... Kagome just doesn't want him to see anything, he interrupted us once and she doesn't want that happening again," Inuyasha approached the toddler and scooped him up bringing him over to where the others were standing.
"Feh, that ain't nothing, the cubs have seen plenty of mating pairs... that's how they learn."
"Yeah well Kagome isn't from here and in her time parents talk to their pups when they're older about mating... some how insects and aviary is involved in these talks but I can't figure out how," the concept of this talk his mate spoke of still confused Inuyasha so when the pups were old enough she would be handling it.
"She is from a very weird village, doesn't she know cubs learn better by watching?"
"Keh," Inuyasha wasn't going to argue with the wolf since he too agreed, it was logical to anyone with basic instincts, but humans were different and Inuyasha wouldn't push Kagome into anything she was uncomfortable with.
"Why is the cub out here anyway, it's dangerous for them to wonder in the forest alone." Koga's question caused Inuyasha to roll his eyes, there was no demon within a hundred miles of this village that would dare attack his pup; not to mention there was probably nothing alive that could hurt him anyway. "Feh, he's out here to get away from your mini pack of wolves."
"Oi, don't call my princesses that!"
"I'm afraid we're getting a bit off topic, we come out here to discuss certain business away from our wives and I am certain they will be expecting us back shortly," Miroku already been out here for a few hours and he knew Sango would want him back soon as the girls would be getting restless in a short while.
"There's not much else we can do at the moment monk, once Kagome is better I will make a trip to Sesshomaru's castle and warn him, maybe he can spare more scouts to search."
"I've received word from a village to the west about an infestation of rat demons bothering their crops with the harvest in a few weeks there's no time to waste," Miroku had hoped Inuyasha would be able to join him, it was a few days walk, but with Kagome still fighting her illness and the possible threat of Masanori showing up the monk knew his friend wouldn't leave for longer than a few hours.
Inuyasha did feel guilty about not accompanying the monk, he knew with another mouth to feed the man would need to find more business to help his family come winter. He didn't need to worry about providing for his family when the snow arrived, there was plenty of game in the forest and chopping wood was easy for a demon; and if there were items that Kagome need that he couldn't find Inuyasha had plenty of money left over from old exterminations that he could use at the market. "Maybe you should take Kohaku, he hasn't left in a few months."
"Ah yes he has been quite bored milling around the village, other than that lost kitsune a few moons back he hasn't had much work either."
Inuyasha nodded his head liking that idea better than pulling him away from his family, because even though he was very confident he greatly injured Masanori he was slowly losing faith that he had killed him even so many months after his attack.
Back at the hut Ayame was trying to rein all her daughters together and prepare for the trip back to the den. The other mothers were sitting on the veranda enjoying the afternoon breeze and trying to not laugh at their friend. "Can you imagine Kagome-chan, having to handle five little ones at once," Sango shook her head in amazement while gently rocking her son.
"Well we are close to it, if memory serves correctly I think my twins were two years young than Anna... and we don't know how many children are in your future," Kagome giggled when her friend made a face.
"Oh no we're good for now, Miroku has already been warned to stay away from me," Sango's words held no threat to them because Kagome knew how in love they were and with now Miroku was there is no way the other woman would keep him away.
Both women couldn't stop the fit of giggles that emerged when they saw how beat red the third member of their sitting group now was. Usagi had stopped by not long ago to see if her sister-in-law needed help getting home; Sango hadn't be ready to leave so the older women invited the younger to stay. Usagi was still very uncomfortable talking or even hearing about private matters even if it was her own family; even if what they were talking about wasn't in detailed as what she overheard her brother-in-law tell her husband, she still couldn't keep her blush hidden. Sango and Kagome were certain if she had been there earlier when Ayame was speaking the poor girl would have surely fainted which caused another bout of laughter from the women to come forth.
"Might I ask what is so funny that you are cackling like witches?" A snarky demanding voice from below where the women were sitting drew their attention.
"Natsumi-san, what brings you here?" Sango blared at the child, her brother had told her how disrespectful the girl was to Kagome after the attack so now the demon slayer was very distrustful of the young priestess.
Natsumi could feel the tension coming from the woman but she ignored it feeling her displeasure was justified in the fact that none of them answered her initial question, "Sango, you shouldn't bring your son outside without permission especially around strange creatures or you risk his health," she looked over her shoulder eyeing the wolf demon and her offspring.
Ayame had sensed the malintensions of the priestess since she entered the clearing, her tail ruffled and she bared her fangs when the human turned to glare at her.
"Oh nonsense my son is perfectly fine here, he has been out of the hut since he was twelve days old."
"If anything, someone would be more likely to catch a cold within the village than out here," Kagome spoke up having knowledge of events like that happening, from reading history books in school she knew more populated areas were likely to spread disease than rural ones.
But the minute she spoke up Natsumi's glare zeroed in on her, "Are you claiming to know more than I, Kagome-san? I have been trained in the arts of healing since I have been able to walk; I have been witness to many births and cared for sick children, have you done so?"
"I can assure you Natsumi-san, Kagome's knowledge is very vast, one doesn't need to be present at multiple births to gain that... it comes with age and experience which I am certain Kaede-san has told you about," Sango fired back not liking the attack sent on her sister.
"Kaede-sama has made me aware of her strange village but I have seen no proof of her knowledge to be accurate; she has no training in the healing arts so no sane person should be listening to her advice."
Sango's temper sky rocketed at the insult that was just thrown out there, but a calming touch from Kagome cooled her rage and kept her from lashing out at the foolish girl. "Natsumi-san is correct in the fact that I have no formal training in the healing arts; however, I have seen battle and used my skills to help others."
Natsumi's smug smirk that crept on to her face when Kagome admitted her inadequate training quickly fell when her field experience was brought up. Living at a secluded shrine her whole life was at a disadvantage there.
"And... Kagome-san is a mother so she does have experience in raising children," Usagi softly brought up, she knew with Natsumi being a priestess she should be respected but she too didn't like how Kagome was being spoken to.
Natsumi's frown darkened but she held her tongue and instead addressed Sango directly, "I shall be at your hut tomorrow for your son's exam." And with that said she turned and proceeded down the path that lead back to the village but not before shooting one last glare at Ayame and her girls.
"Who is that Kagome, she didn't smell like part of the pack; if she's a threat to the cubs I'll rip her throat out," the growl that came from Ayame put the others on edge, they never have seen the she wolf react so viciously before.
"No she isn't pack Ayame, she is the new priestess of the village that Kaede-sama is training. She's not particular fond of demons... or me it would seem," Kagome bowed her head a little embarrassed at what just happened in front of her friends.
"Why would the old human allow her so close to cubs... I thought she excepted us since you are Inuyasha's mate," the female wolf rounded up her girls and brought them closer to the veranda the other two women were still sitting on.
"Well yes Kaede-sama doesn't have a problem with friendly demons... sadly not all humans can change their minds so quickly."
Ayame knew humans were weary of them, even those in this very village, that was one of the reasons the northern tribe was so far away from a human settlement; she also knew Koga's pack used to feed on humans until they met Kagome so there was a lot of tension between the tribes and humans. "And why does she you? She reeked of anger when you spoke."
"I'm not sure... I don't think I've done anything to her," Kagome tried to think of a time when they would have argued but other then the first introduction she couldn't remember every speaking to the young girl. "Maybe it was... that night, I don't remember much of what happened but Kaede-sama said I was upset."
"Well she can't and shouldn't hold that against you," Sango didn't like to think the priestess would hold that night over Kagome's head but it would seem she was still sour about something.
"Yeah well I don't like her," Ayame furrowed her brow, "And if she comes after the cubs I will not hold back."
"Who are you threating now Ayame?"
The women turned to see their respective husband/mates emerge from the tree line, Koga had a small smirk on his face when addressing his woman but she remained frowning. "Are you aware of the little human girl that is threating Kagome?"
All three men's demeanor shifted from relaxed and playful to tense and serious. "Who threatened Kagome?" Inuyasha raced forward to his mate's side to check her over.
Kagome blushed at his public display he was showing in front of the others, "Inuyasha... I'm fine, really nothing happened."
"She wasn't physically hurt Inuyasha, Natsumi is still very sharp tongued when speaking to her," Sango tried to help the other woman out but clearing up Ayame's confusing remark.
"Keh, what's she doing out this far, she normally stays close to the shrine," with no immediate threat the dog demon relaxed again and plopped down next to his mate.
'Alpha.' Hearing her father's voice fill her ears Anna's eyes popped opened and she began to look around for him.
Inuyasha's ears twitched hearing his pup's call, he leaned over his mate's shoulder and softly growled back to her, 'Hey pup.' A human gurgle came from the girl when her father's face came into her visional view, her tiny feet began to kick in excitement so much so that they knocked the blanket away that her mother had her wrapped up in. Inuyasha gently brushed his knuckle again her foot knowing that made her giggle uncontrollably.
"She must have been out looking for me, the baby's exam is needed; Kaede-sama must have sent her," Sango shifted her own child in her arms, all the noise had woken the little boy from his nap.
"Aren't you worried about Kagome's safety!?" Ayame was outraged that the dog wasn't as angry about this as she was; she would hope if someone were to speak to her that way Koga would defend her.
"Kagome can handle herself, the girl isn't a threat to anyone," Inuyasha wasn't worried about the human girl, not when there was a bigger threat to his mate lurking in the shadows somewhere.
And Inuyasha's fears were very much warranted for at that very moment in another plane a plan was coming into place.
"Why was I brought here, if you're going to just stand and stare into a bowl of water then send me back... there is much to be done to reclaim what was taken from me."
"Be silent creature or I will rip the demons from your body and feed your darkened soul to those at the base of my mountain!" Said mountain shook violently at its mistress' rage but the other knew not to speak against her order or her threat would become true.
In the depts. of Yomi in Izanami's palace the two kami or the realm and the creature that once held the name Masanori were in the man sitting room. Masanori watched on with a frown as Amatsu and the much smaller Izanami hovered around a large discus of water. To the demon it looked to be nothing but water so he didn't see why they were so fascinated with it; but to the gods it was in fact a portal to the earthly plane where Izanami's plan was already in motion.
"Are you certain this will work? I do not wish to wait for decades to have the boy."
"Do not question me Amatsu, and you know that this plane's time is controlled by me, seven moons have passed on that plane and it's barely been a day here."
"Seven moons! Seven moons have passed there!" Masanori couldn't believe what he heard, all that time he could have obtained Kagome again but instead he has been stuck here watching these two.
"I told you to be silent creature!"
"You must send me back there at once, too much time has passed, I have to get Kagome before that demon defiles her more," Masanori completely ignored the goddess' order instead focusing his demand on the male kami that brought him here.
Izanami's eyes flashed red for a second and then the shadows that filled the room came alive and latched on to Masanori's arms and legs, suspending him into the air, preventing him from moving. The small woman stood from the pillow she had been resting on and approached the tied up man, "You will do well to know not to cross me creature, Amatsu may have made you but I can send you back to the primordial soup you came crawling out from," as she spoke a fifth shadowy arm came forth and latched around Maranori's neck tightening every few seconds.
"Izanami stop threating my creation and focus on your plan... if this falls through he will need to finish off the dog demon."
The goddess turned back to the bigger man, "Yes... he will be needed to end the dog now that you no longer have control over him."
"Amaterasu should not have interfered as she did... damn Izanagi for allowing her to do as she pleases."
Izanami went back to her previous position and plopped down on her pillow again, "Heh, I told you that would happen... his precious daughter can do no wrong."
With her interests no longer on strangling Masanori the man was able to breath a little easier, "Summon me when I shall return to the earthly plane... until then I shall find something to do here."
"Go and learn to control the demons I gave you, you struggled in the battle with the dog because you lack concentration."
Masanori sneered at the kami's instructions believing him to be wrong, "I have control, I just under estimated the demon... it won't happen again." Amatsu released a low growl at his creations defiance but there was nothing to be done about it now.
"I'm surprised you picked that human to do your bidding... his ego is larger than your own and that will get him killed before he completes your task." Izanami loved to bring forth any mistakes that the larger kami made.
Amatsu didn't take the bait offered by the female and instead thought back to how he pulled the human into his services. Humans were really pathetic creatures, they had no purpose other than to do the bidding of the kami. But with the war over them lost Amatsu found no reason to walk among the earthly plane anymore, that was why he sent demons to terrorize them. But the child of the dog demon and priestess he had his eyes on since the two bedded he should have been the key to having all human souls brought to Yomi after their deaths. It should have been easy to control the boy at birth had Amatersu not interfered making the boy too strong to resist his will; the perfect balance between his two sides is what prevented the Amatsu from gaining access to him. Now if his human side were to be corrupted and his demon side take control then it would be quite easy for the kami to tame him into obeying his will... and that is where this weak human comes into play.
Amatsu needed a way to bring forth the child's demonic nature since he was very passive and the easiest way it would seem would be to go to after the priestess; the boy was very attached to her the child and surely if anything were to happen to her the child would lose control. Amatsu at first didn't know how to go about this plan till he remembered the love sick boy that pined for the priestess. He reminded the kami of the bandit Onigumo who he tempted with power over fifty years before; there was no doubt in his mind that the same outcome would occur.
Finding the human was very easy, the old fake priest covered their tracks rather well but only to the human eye. The two were in a small coastal village next to the only port that went to the continent; not surprisingly they were in a rather lavish inn most likely do to the priest's lies. Said priest had already begun to pack the items the villagers had given him in payment for purifying the area of demons, and was planning to leave the next morning for the continent.
After staying in the village for several nights the old man had given up that the younger would survive the next days let alone the trip across the sea. Despite Yukio's some what tentative vigil over the young man Masanori's wounds had become infected and the man was sick with fever spouting delusions that his teacher did not care to listen to; several women of the house had stopped by affording aid but Yukio had dismissed them. There was no point in trying to save a dead man, and even if it were possible to treat his wounds the quality of life would be deplorable; Yukio was no expert in medicine but it wouldn't be needed to see that the wolf demon tore through skin and muscle leaving nothing behind... the younger man would never walk again so Yukio thought it would be more heroic that he pass on to his next life.
"It's my fault..."
Yukio rolled his eyes hearing his pupil's mumblings from the other room, the first few times this had happened he had ignored Masanori not wishing to humor him; now it would seem he wasn't going to stop till someone did speak to him. "What is boy."
"She's been taken... taken from me... again," a long moan of pain followed up the young man's confusing statement.
Yukio released an exasperated sigh of annoyance, "Who was taken boy. Speak clearly, you know I hate when you mumble."
"Emi... the demon... has taken her again."
Yukio suppressed a bout of anger that came through him, "You still pine for that wench... it didn't take much for that demon to corrupt her; she was a cursed woman anyway," Yukio never actually met the girl that was his student's bride till they cleansed the village and purified her soul from the demon's taint; but just the thought that the boy he chose for an apprentice may be distracted from his duties angered him.
"She was my wife... and she's gone again," another pained moan came from the man as Yukio picked up some shuffling from the other room.
"Stop moving boy, how many times must I say that!"
"I... I have to save her... I must save... Kagome."
Masanori was silent after that declaration and Yukio assumed the younger man passed out once more from his wounds. 'He's delirious from the pain and no doubt infection... why does he not yet pass on already.'
Early the following morning Yukio took his final leave of the inn they were staying in, the boat to the continent would be leaving mid morning and he would be on it with or without his student.
Masanori had come to from his coma like sleep a few hours before dawn, he had heard movement from his master's room, "Sensei... are you there?" His throat was raspy from lack of water, there was a jug brought to his room a few days ago but it was too far out of his reach. "Master?"
The noise in the other room stopped and Masanori concluded it was a maid servant straightening up and not his teacher; the man had been so kind to him over the years for his faithful service to their cause, surely he wouldn't ignore him in this time of need... right? The sky was starting to lighten when Masanori heard movement once again come from his teacher's room he called out again, "Sensei?" This time a figure came to the door that connected the two rooms; laying on his stomach still all Masanori could do was turn his head, "Yukio-sensei... is that you?" The door remained closed but Masanori was certain the figure behind the screen was his teacher.
"Boy... I can wait no longer for you to heal."
Yukio's words caused Masanori's heart to race, "W-What?"
"The boat to the continent leaves shortly, the following has been lost here and I must strengthen it across the sea before returning. I have heard word of a group of powerful men that reside on the continent not far from the port... I must go before the demon finds us here."
"You're... you're leaving me!" Masanori tried to sit up but pain wrecked his body as the wounds on his back began to reopen and spew blood and puss into the already filthy cloths that were serving as bandages; tears came to his eyes as he collapsed once more to the bedding. "Sensei please... please don't leave me!"
"I have no choice boy, you are too weak for the journey, and I cannot put my mission on hold any longer. You have served well these last few years but now we part ways." The figure stood and moved away from the shoji causing fear to course through Masanori.
"Sensei! Wait please don't go!" But it was too late, the old man had already left the hut completely ignoring the younger man's pleas.
'He... he left me' Masanori's mind just couldn't process what happened, the man he had dutifully followed for more than half his life... had left him in an unfamiliar village gravely wounded.
"The honorable priest has left, hopefully his protection will remain with us for some time."
"Ah yes... especially with what has happened with the man who came with him."
Masanori had fallen into a depressive stated not long after Yukio had left, the feeling of loneliness was consuming him to near madness at this point; but the soft voices of two young servant girls pulled him from the darkness. He was just about to call out to them for help but their next words froze his tongue.
"I hope with the honorable priest's blessing the young man's soul will find peace."
"Yes hopefully he will not haunt us... Akami-sama said we should not disturb the body until tomorrow to allow the soul time to move on."
'Soul... body! I'm not dead... why would Yukio-sensei tell them I've died.' Stunned by this knowledge Masanori missed when the two servants left the other room; by the time he realized he was alone again it was too late. 'They aren't coming back... the whole house thinks I'm dead... they won't help me!' Masanori was not a fool, he knew if no one came to this side of the inn within the next day he would surely be dead; since being here he has been in too much pain to consume any food and since Yukio had refused to allow the servants in his room only his teacher had given him water when he was parched... but even Yukio hadn't set foot in the room since his fever spiked two days ago.
Masanori was certain he wouldn't last two days and that threw him into a deeper state of panic. 'Please... please... I don't want to die... I don't want to die!'
"I can save you human, grant you the power you seek."
Masanori wasn't expecting someone to talk back to him, let alone answer his thoughts, but the offer that was purposed was very tempting for one in his predicament. "Power... I will not be weak?" The man was in so much pain at this point his whole body was numb preventing him from even lifting his head from his bedding. But from the corner of his eye Masanori could see thick black smoke seeping from under the shoji that lead from his teacher's room, 'A demon!'
"I can give you the power of the gods," the smoke began to take on a humanoid form with glowing red eyes.
"Yes, but with this gift there is something you must do in return."
Masanori tried to move again but there was no use, his pathetic body was starting to shut down, 'Curse that demon... curse them all... they've taken everything from me... they must pay.' "Whatever... whatever you want me to do... I'll do it."
"Very good human," the humanoid figure reached forward and touched Masanori's hand transferring the promised power to him.
At first the man felt nothing and he thought the creature lied to him, but then burning pain anew shot through his back drawing a cry from his lips. His body left like it was on fire from the inside out, his mind was racing with imagines of different battles that he knew were not his own memories. He could feel his muscles shifting under his skin and even his scalp was tingling as his once short brown locks suddenly grow in length brushing down his back... which after that last shock of pain surprisingly didn't hurt anymore. That alone caused Masanori to hesitantly sit up on the bedding, and when it was confirmed that no pain came from his wounds he immediately began to move his stiff arms and check his other extremities as tears of joy came to his eyes. "This feels amazing, I can move without pain... surely the kami have been pleased with my faithful service to them for granting me such a wonderful gift."
"Remember the price for this generous gift."
"Yes... whatever... whatever you want me to do."
"I need you to kill a certain demon that is keeping my greatest creation from me."
A devious smile came to Masanori's lips at the figures request for this power, "As you wish... kami-sama."
"Those boarding for the continent stop forward!" The boatman called from the dock to those milling around the port. It was quite bust this morning, people out at the market buying ingredients for that night's meal, fisherman preparing their boats for the day's trip and other villagers wondering around.
Yukio was making his way through the crowd toward the boat after he went about to different vendors trading blessings and purification sutra for non perishable foods and clothing for his trip. His passage onboard was already secured as the boatman was more than willing to give a free ride to a powerful priest in trade for protection from demons that live in sea.
"This is a new beginning for my mission, once I make it to the continent I must locate these men and have them join my cause," Yukio recited his plan over serval times to keep himself focused and not think about his failures here. He cursed his deserting followers, those that claimed they would be willing to die for his cause and yet the minute the opportunity presents itself to prove their loyalty they run away like scared children. "Useless... all of them, they have wasted precious time that could have been used to cleanse these lands of their demon infestation. And Arata, what a simple minded fool... the path the kami have given him now is his own fault; if he had simply listened to me instead of trying to save that tainted woman he would be-."
"I would be where Daiki, please enlighten me with your... wisdom."
Yukio was so shocked to hear that voice free of agony and see the very man he thought dead, standing not a few feet in front of him; that he completely missed the snarky tone the younger man had used. "H-How... is that p-possible?"
"What's the matter sensei... you look like you've seen a ghost," Masanori confidently stepped toward the older man, a small smirk creeped on to his face when he saw how pale his teacher became.
"You... you were moments from death's gate at sunrise... how is it possible you now stand before me?" Yukio dropped his satchel causing several jars to tumble out and the group of villagers closest to the pair to stop and stair at them.
Masanori noticed the crowd starting to gather, not wanting to cause more of a disturbance he quickly scooped up the rolling items and Yukio's bag before putting a smile on his face, "Now sensei calm yourself we don't want to miss the boat to the mainland now do we?"
Almost as to reiterate Masanori's question the boatman once again called for passengers travelling to the continent to please step forward. Yukio seemed to snap out of his shock then and took up his bag again, "Yes... we must move quickly," he tried to mask his fear of not knowing what was going on, but it was clear to his student the old man still wanted answers.
Once the two boarded the boat and took up the room Yukio had been given for the journey, the old priest turned back on his student, "Is this some trick, are you possessed by a demon?"
"Being a priest of your skill shouldn't you know already if I was?" Masanori looked around the lavishly furnished room; it was clear that a feudal lord, should he wish to travel across the sea, would be housed here... the priest must have whipped up some lie to get this room.
"I don't like your tone boy, answer again like that and I will assume it true and have no choice but to purify you."
Masanori rolled his eyes but since his back was turned to the other man Yukio didn't see his blatant disrespect. "My apologizes sensei... I am still recovering."
"That's precisely what I am talking about, for three seasons now you have been near death and yet now you stand before me like a new man... this could only be the work of a demon."
"Not exactly new sensei," Masanori loosened his haori and allowed it to fall from his shoulders revealing his back and the four jagged scars that were there, "These are a constant reminder of what I have endured," rage filled the man once again as the memories flashed through his mind.
"Yes well, surely now you will listen to me when I said that wench is a lost cause; but no matter, once we reach the mainland and convince the monks to join my mission both the demon and his whore will be no match for our strength." Yukio walked over to the large futon that was placed in the room.
Masanori straightened his haori, his anger flared when the older man reprimanded him but he held his tongue, 'The demon will be no match for my strength and when I am finally able to control these powers the kami gave I will return and take what should be rightfully mine.'
"Damn-it why was I not able to defeat him!" Masanori punched the ground close to where he was sitting causing a small crater to form, just remembering the promise he had made to himself all that time ago only to fail at the chance that was given to him. "With this power nothing should have stopped me." He thought back to the countless hours he spent while on the continent honing the skills he had been given; he knew every attack as if he were born with them and yet it wasn't enough.
Just thinking about how Kagome slipped through his fingers again caused an animalistic growl to rise in his throat, "I had her... she was right in front of me!" His eyes flashed red for a second before he released a roar that shook the ground and caused several of the shadowy demons of that realm to scurry off in fear. "I have to get back there, I can't let that beast keep hold of her."
'So then what are you going to do about it?'
Masanori released a grunt of annoyance at the echoing voice his heard several times before, "I thought I told you to be quiet, I don't need your advise.
'I am apart of you now there is no getting rid of me. You think you can defeat Inuyasha with brute strength alone and you will surely parish next time.'
"Yes, and your methods were quite victorious, I've looked into your memories Naraku and have seen every battle you lost! I saw all your cowardly tricks, you're the epitome of scum in the human world."
'And yet you used the same ploys to capture Kagome as well, you are no better than the demons you despise.'
Masanori shook his head trying to rid the raspy chuckle from it, "That wasn't my plan, that stupid false priest thought those monks would stop the demon and laid a trap; it was just my good fortune that Kagome came along and I took advantage of it. If she hadn't started birthing that demonic spawn I would have been able to take her away without anyone noticing."
'Yes, I always knew Kagome was powerful, Kikyo was strong but her reincarnation was something I had never seen. I'm not surprised Inuyasha bedded her, once the choice was made for him it was only a matter of time before he would. I can see why you crave her so, for the short time she was in my presence her power became quite addicting; if I had known what strong offspring she produced I would have taken her myself.'
"Shut up, shut up I say! As if I would allow something like you to touch her."
'You keep referring to me as if I was standing right in front of her, why does it bother you so to acknowledge that we are one in the same... that you are what you hate the most.'
"I am not a demon, a demon is no better than an animal, they have no morals and torture mankind for their own sick pleasure."
'And isn't that what you did, you can't admit you enjoyed the look of terror on Kagome's face or the pleasure you felt from killing that half breed.'
"I did what was right, neither of those creatures should have taken breathe; they throw off the balance of natural order."
"Ar...Arata, is that you?"
Hearing the name he had only used for a short time come from a very familiar voice drew Masanori from his discussion with his inner demons and turned to see the very man he had been thinking about standing not but a few feet from the rock he was sitting on.
"Arata... wh-where are we, what happened?"
Masanori watched as the ghost like spirit of his former sensei scanned the area, his eyes landing on the large lake a few yards away, and a hint of a smirk appeared when the dead man's face became fearful seeing the giant wheel in the sky. "I'm not surprised to see you here Yukio... though you seem to be."
"What is the meaning of this!? Arata why am I here!?"
"Did you think you wouldn't be? That the kami would bless you for what you did while alive?" Masanori jumped down from his perch and approached the spirit.
"I have done nothing but good in my life, I cleansed the lands of evil beings, I should not be here!"
"Even in death you spout lies... I was such a fool to blindly follow you. It would seem what you thought were righteous deeds the kami have thought different," Masanori looked beyond where the spirit was standing to the near by village where he could spot several shadow demon hovering just at the edge of the town.
"Why are you not a spirit as well, surely the dog killed you too," Yukio was both shocked and angry to see his student standing before him in a solid form while he was nothing but a spirit.
"The dog didn't kill me because I am not destined to die by his hand; I was granted a higher purpose," Masanori frowned when a laugh came from the other man.
"A higher purpose... you? The sniveling little weakling who was begging for death not but a few seasons back; you think you have a higher purpose than I."
"I was chosen by the kami for a great mission and was rewarded greatly for accepting it," to show proof and get the other man to stop laughing Masanori raised his hand palm up and allowed a little of his new power to come forward. Yukio continued to laugh but only for a few more seconds as he lost his breathe the minute a small sphere of miasma appeared in his former students hand. "You see now you old fool, I'm not weak, the kami have blessed me with the power to destroy that dog and anyone else I chose; with this I will get Kagome back by my side."
"... You're a demon."
Yukio's statement caused Masanori to flinch, "I'm not a demon."
"You're a beast, you're no better then those I have hunted. I knew something was wrong with you when you were suddenly healed before we left for the mainland... but I never would have allowed you to follow me had I known this; when you said you were given a gift from the kami I thought it was a second chance at a righteous life... not this curse."
"Feh... you know nothing!"
"I know you are tainted, that woman has corrupted you, I warned you this would happen, you have damned your owe soul to this world," Yukio gestured to the barren space around them, when he turned to look farther out he froze as he saw the horde of shadow demons now standing a few feet away. "W-What."
"Those are what is left of the ancient demons that serve Amatsu; they feed on the souls of humans that are far too tainted to return to the human plane... their reincarnation cycle ends here. I know. I know what my fate will be once my time has ended in the human world, I knew the moment I accepted this mission; but as long as I have Kagome in this life I will willing give my soul to these demons. But I'm not the one they are here for right now," Masanori smiled when he saw the other man, even as a spirit, flinch. "It's time you accept your fate Yukio."
Masanori turned and began to walk back to Izanami's mountainside palace, surely the two gods would be finished staring at that stupid bowl by now; maybe he could convince Amastu to allow him back to the human plane. A devilish smirk came to his lips when he thought of how surprised Kagome would be when he returned to her, "I can almost taste how sweet our reunion will be... just a little longer Kagome... I'm coming for you."
I know, I know... bad me. It's been a long time since I've updated... sorry. A lot has been going on... working a lot. But now you have Masanori's back story on how he got his new gifts... his story remind anyone of another person's tale?
The next chapter is going to have a little switch up featuring a couple we haven't seen in a while. There will also be a long explanation of the time of year with some dates just to keep my head straight and yours too.
For the review, love em, keep it up!