Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha.
A/N: A short, but long overdue chapter. I needed to get the plot moving along!
The True Master
Inuyasha watched, with silent chagrin, as two women scrambled around the hut, Kagome with her giant yellow backpack and Rin, an old satchel she'd found hidden in the corner of her bedroom. The hanyou could see that their luggage was becoming heavier with each passing moment, not that he was worried about carrying anything. Why was it that women felt the impulse to bring along the entire hut? He had doubts that they would be getting through the well anyway. If by some miracle they did, Inuyasha was not planning any extensive stay in another era. Being in Kagome's world was unnerving enough, with its loud noises and strange devices. If the three of them were to make a journey to the past, he wanted to get the job done that very day.
Myoga the Flea was nowhere to be found. No surprise. One of the few times they could have used his advice the lowly coward vanishes, probably to ensure he did not have to tag along. Kagome had not used the well in a number of years since her return to Sengoku Jidai. There were several instances where she would visit her family in modern Tokyo, but gradually felt with each passage it was becoming increasingly more difficult to go through. Then there came times when the well would not permit passing at all. On her last visit home Kagome said goodbye to her family, permanently. The well sealed itself afterwards.
As anyone could see, Inuyasha did not have much hope it would work again. But now they had a reason for it. Just like Kagome had been destined to help defeat Naraku and search for the Shikon Jewel shards, Rin needed to deliver Susanoo's sword. The hanyou still felt it was a long shot that Sesshomaru had appeared to his mate in a dream, on the order of a Kami for such a dangerous mission. Something did not feel in place, but Rin was so eager to leave he had not the opportunity to think of a good reason why they should stay.
Other than that, Rin was pregnant. She easily brushed that particular argument aside. Like him, she was not planning on spending very long on the other side. It would still be awhile yet before she delivered her pup. Kagome was also going with them, who now had several years training as a proficient midwife. Rin was not concerned about her physical condition.
While he waited for the women to finish packing, Inuyasha made a quick review of what he knew about Kusanagi, perhaps something that could give them a lead on the whereabouts of the sword.
Unlike Tessaiga and Tenseiga, it was not a demon fang, but a katana that can only be wielded by a god. The petty humans that claimed to be descendants of Amaterasu were probably lying, or the sword they thought they possessed was a fake. Either scenario was possible, or even both. Kusanagi was a gift from Susanoo to his sister. No one knows how it was forged or from where, but directly after its discovery a demon had stolen it. Rumors have it since disappearing in and out of history, but the so-called "genuine" piece presently resided in the Imperial Palace of the emperor.
Once they went through the well, they were estimating about five hundred years in the past, the trio would have to find the blacksmith that forged Kusanagi. This would be the hardest part. Then, it was only a matter of ensuring that the demon does not steal the sword from them. Inuyasha was fairly confident in his abilities as a fighter, and with the combined strength of the Tessaiga, it should not be too difficult to keep him at bay.
They would just have to have faith that Susanoo will appear to them and grant Rin her wish of bringing Sesshomaru back to life. For some reason Inuyasha felt there was something very sketchy about this whole arrangement. First of all, because they were going off of a dream Rin had, and given her pregnant condition, none of this could be of any relevance at all.
He was also concerned about the sudden disappearance of Reizo. Whatever he had been doing in the shrine was definitely suspicious. Miroku and Sango volunteered to keep a watch on… the body, and an eye out for the mysterious inuyoukai. He was bound to stir up more chaos.
"Inuyasha, are you ready?" the voice of his wife called from the doorway. "Rin's going to leave you behind if you don't c'mon!"
"Feh." He climbed carefully to his feet. "She might not even be able to get though on her own." In fact, he was half hoping she wouldn't. A woman who looked two seconds away from popping shouldn't make a dangerous trek like this.
Kagome smiled at him, knowing exactly what must be on his mind. He cared for his sister-in-law as family should.
The two of them left the darkness of the hut into the warm summer sunshine of midday. Miroku greeted them at the exit; meanwhile Sango was tending to her little ones, scolding a boy for pulling his sister's pigtails.
"Will you three be back soon?" Miroku asked, clutching one of his youngest daughter's hands. He was looking particularly at Rin, who walked about regally in her elaborate white kimono. She stopped wearing the noblewoman's garb immediately following her mate's death. Today; however, she wore the finest silks money could buy.
The Lady of the West grinned. There was still no sign of the pure happiness she had once held in her doe brown eyes, but in the least there was a steady beat of life and hope that restored the color in her cheeks.
"We'll take as long as we must," she answered quietly. Gesturing to the miko and hanyou, she began the trek through Inuyasha's Forest, to the location of the well. Sango and Miroku bowed respectfully as she walked past, and then turned abruptly to glare at their children as they took off the moment their parents' backs were turned.
Inuyasha made a move to take the lead, but then thought better of it. Rin was of a higher status now; it might appear insulting to her if he tried to walk in the front. So instead he hung back with Kagome.
"Do you really believe this is handling the situation?" he asked, crossing his arms. "If the well even works, how do we know it will take us to the past?"
Kagome chose stare at her sandals in reply, as she could not think of a reasonable reply. Still, in her mind she was lost in the thought that if this doesn't work, Rin and Inuyasha would be married, and everything they had striven to build in their life after the death of Naraku would be for nothing…
A rustling sound from the trees saved her from answering. Inuyasha swiftly grasped the hilt of Tessaiga, sniffing the air attentively. The lowest growl escaped from his throat. "Reizo, that bastard."
" He's here?" Kagome looked around the forest with sharply narrowed eyes. "I thought he ran away."
"Well, apparently not!" Inuyasha snarled, scanning the vicinity. "Alright, c'mon out! We know you're spying on us, you fleabag!"
More rustling of leaves.
"Where's Rin? We have to warn her!" Kagome brandished an arrow.
Inuyasha started spinning in circles. "He won't stop moving… really fast…!" He gnashed his fangs in frustration. "What's he trying to pull…?"
"I'm going to find Rin," Kagome left her husband chasing after Reizo, his swearing echoing high and low. While she ran, her arrow was pulled back in its bow, posed to release at the slightest detection of a threat. Upon living in the Feudal Era full time, she had gain the reputation of the village's Master Archer, surpassing even Kikyo. If anyone was responsible enough to protect Rin, it was Kagome.
Her long stride followed the familiar trial she used to walk so often. The Bone-Eater's Well… her gateway to the future… was just around this corner…
She let out a sigh of relief. Rin was there, sitting on the ledge with her feet dangling. The pregnant woman's hands were cradling her fully belly, thoughtful.
"Where is Inuyasha-kun?" she asked, lifting her head to the miko.
Kagome was panting, trying to catch her breath. "Reizo's back. Inuyasha said he would deal with him quickly. Okay, do we have everything we need? Let me see what's in your satchel-"
"Look out!" Rin yelled, grasping the sleeve of her kimono and tugged her aside.
Kagome lost her footing and fell face first in the grass. "Hey, what was that for… ?" She lifted herself off the ground, "OH MY GOD, RIN!"
The Lady of the West sat on the edge of the Bone-Eater's Well, her small chin held defiantly in the air as she tried to lean away from the glistening sharpness of a silver dagger, a dagger that was held by a long arm, an arm attached to a blue eyed inuyoukai.
"I cannot take Tenseiga, but I'll finish you!" he snarled, drawing back to strike.
Rin acted only on instinct, her newfound will to live. And her trust in Sesshomaru.
She pushed herself backwards and fell down the well.
"RIN!" Kagome shrieked, picking up her weapon. What if she reaches the bottom and …?
Reizo did not hesitate to throw himself over, too. "…Kill you… !"
"NO!" Kagome leaped onto the wooden ledge and shot an arrow down after him. Hopefully the purification would take effect before he reached Rin…
There was the sound of the arrow embedding itself in the ground.
They were both gone.
"Gods!" Rin panted, clinging to the stone walls. What had happened? It was as if… she'd passed through some sort of barrier made of water. She vaguely remembered seeing Reizo with her, but no matter how hard he lunged; his dagger fell just inches away from her, leaving her skin unscathed.
If the inuyoukai had passed through, then where was he? On the other hand, perhaps she should be thankful for his absence.
Rin squinted her eyes, gazing up the well. It didn't look like she'd gone anywhere. How was she to get to the top? Inuyasha was supposed to help her; maybe she should just wait for the others to arrive.
A figure blocked out the sun, casting a shadow down on her.
Her eagerness to leave this dirty, dark hellhole overrode her fear of an enemy.
"Hello?" Rin called up, cupping her hands around her mouth, "Can you help me? I, uh, I fell!" It was the truth.
The person at the top seem to silently deliberate her request, and then their silhouette leaped inside.
It was a man, or more correctly, a demon. He landed lightly beside her with a lithe, graceful manner that seemed very familiar.
Her brown eyes quickly scanned him over, now that he was in so close a proximity. The demon was towering over her with his height, and his frame was distinctly lean with a toned, rugged built to it. Even with the little assistance from the sun, Rin could clearly make out the silver hair that flowed down his back in a free flowing motion, and two captivating amber irises that seemed to glow a hard cold and stoic disposition…
"Sesshomaru," Rin whimpered, tears stinging her eyes as trembling hands grasping her mouth. It was like he had come back from the dead!
The demon tilted his head to one side, scrutinizing her with those very same eyes.
"My Sessho, I've missed you-!" Rin made a move to touch him.
The point of a very sharp sword halted her advances. And she recognized this blade almost instantly.
Suddenly the demon spoke, the sound of rich, deep vocals deafening to her human ears:
"Do not insult me by mistaking my appearance for that of this 'Sesshomaru' you speak of, Woman." It was low, a little more than a growl. "Bow to your Lord of the West, Toga Inu No Taisho!"
A/N: I don't know if anyone saw that coming, but if you thought it was Sesshomaru who was going to be waiting for her, I did a little change up on you. (^_^) Toga is essential to the plot and bringing his son back to life. If anything confuses you in this chapter, it'll become clear later on. At least I hope. Thank you all for being so patient with me! A special shoutout to cinderelladreaming, you made sure to give me regular reminders that I needed to work on this story. This is for you!