Disclaimer: (See first chapter)

One Jewel, Two Souls


Youko ran his fingers through his waterfall of silver hair and pulled out a red seed. He held it in the palm of his hand, his eyes glowing as he fed his youki into the little kernel. The kitsune then walked over to the well and let the seed slip from his hand down the mouth of the well. Soon a large Oak tree sprouted from the well; its thick branches covered with bright red leaves even though it was spring - a trait that only demonic trees possessed.

"There." the spirit fox said as he turned to face his partner-in-crime. "That should prevent them from coming back.

"Prevent who from coming back." the soft voice of Shippou called out.

The two full-blooded youkai turned around at the sound of the child's voice and saw that he was accompanied by Miroku and Inuyasha, who were staring at them with stern expression; save for Shippou whose bright turquoise eyes were filled with confusion. Where was Kaori and Kagome? He had saw them get carried away by Hiei and Youko. So where were the twins?

Inuyasha used Tessaiga to help him stand, stumbling a few times as he made his way over to Hiei. He grabbed the imiko by the white scarf around his shoulders and hoisted him up. "Temee," he hissed, his amber eyes livid, "Where the fuck is Kaori?"

Hiei reached up and grabbed the hanyou by the wrist, twisting slightly as he threw his hand away from his body. He glared at him with venomous ruby red eyes as he said, "That is none of your business, Hanyou." his voice was low with barely concealed anger. That filthy half-breed nearly placed his lips against Kaori's untouched ones. "All you need to know is that she is safe where she is." And away from Inuyasha.

The Inuhanyou glared at the forbidden child until something else caught his eye. The massive tree that was jutting out from the mouth of the well and he put two and two together. He growled low in his chest, his amber eyes darkening with anger. "Bastard! You sent her back home and sealed off the well!"

Shippou jumped up and whacked the halfling on the head lightly. "Boke!" he said, pointing at Inuyasha. "Don't accuse Youko-sama and Hiei of such things! Youko-sama would never do that!" he turned a bright smile at the older kitsune but his eyes were pleading, hoping that it was not true. "Would you, Youko-sama?"

Youko shifted his eyes away from the kit, unable to look him in eye. How could he tell Shippou that he sent the girls back five hundred year into the future, back to their true time and home. He knew that the little red kitsune saw the twins as maternal figures since his own mother had been slain. Lowering his eyes so that his long straight bangs cast shadows over his face. "I'm sorry, Shippou."

There were only two things in this world that Youko Kurama never did. Those two things were to cry over anything and to apologize for deeds he committed. And yet, here he was apologizing to a small kitsune child for sending back the only maternal figures he's had since his mother was killed. Sent them back five hundred years into the future and then sealed off the well in hopes they would never return. "Shippou, I'm sorry."

The little red kitsune took a few steps back, his small arm coming up to chest-level as his large turquoise eyes widened and sparkled with unshed tears. Youko was lying! He had to be! The Youko Shippou knew was not this heartless! "Stop lying to me! Youko-sama is lying!" he shouted, his voice cracking as the tears began to stream down his face. "You aren't that cruel and cold-hearted!"

Youko closed his eyes and growled softly under his breath. "I'm not lying, Shippou." His eyes snapped open, golden irises trained on the kit's small form. "Yes, I did close off the well." He took a step closer to Shippou. "And, yes, I am that cruel and cold-hearted." Another step. "Do not forget that I am Youko Kurama, a ruthless youkai and King of thieves." Once Youko was close enough, he knelt down and cupped Shippou's face, staring hard into his large blue-green eyes. "Never forget that, Shippou."

"Let's go, Fox." the imiko's cold voice echoed through the small clearing.

Miroku struggled to remain standing, his legs still weak from the poison flowing through his veins. He leaned heavily on his staff as he stood in front of the imiko. "Where are you going, Hiei-san?"

The dark one cut his ruby red eyes over to the houshi, his lips pulled into a tight line. "Isn't it obvious, Bouzu." he said coldly. "We are going to hunt down Naraku and Karasu." The Jagan Eye hidden behind his white bandanna glowed a soft violet as the dragon shifted and gave off a light hissing sound.

"Going to hunt down Naraku and Karasu?" The houshi said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "So, you have an idea of where they are?" Miroku smiled good-naturedly when the two demons froze in their tracks.

Inuyasha, even through his anger at the Hiei and Youko, managed to let out a jerky, bark-like laugh as he tossed his head back and wrapped his hands around his stomach. He cringed when the movement pulled at his wounds and when he pulled his hands away blood coated his palms. "Baka!" he cursed them. "You see now that we need Kaori and her sister. I'm nearly positive that Naraku and Karasu are hunting down the Shikon Shards and you," he pointed at the two full-blooded youkai, "sent back the only ones who could even see the shards!"

Youko glared at the hanyou for his words. "Silence, Hanyou." he hissed, golden eyes livid. "You know not the reason why we sent them back."

The silver Inuhanyou gave the kitsune a skeptical look. Did they really think he was that dense? "Yeah, I do know." He pointed at Youko first, "You sent Kagome back because you care about her. When you saw Sesshoumaru aiming to kill her, you were scared for her life." He then turned to Hiei, an angry fire burning in his honeyed eyes. "And you, konoyaro, sent Kaori back back because you couldn't stand the sight of me and her getting closer. You feel threatened by me."

Hiei lowered his head so that his silky bangs hid his expression. "Shut up." he said quietly under his breath.

Inuyasha smirked, knowing that he was finally getting under the imiko's skin. "You couldn't stand the sight of her tending to me wounds." he placed his hand back over the gaping hole in his stomach, wincing at the sharp pain that nearly crippled him but he was stubborn and refused to allow it. "You hated the fact that she may like me more than you. Hated that I almost kissed her." Pain exploded from his jaw when he finished the sentence.

The imiko lunged at Inuyasha, raining punches down against the hanyou's face and jaw. "I told you to shut up." he growled as his eyes flashed red, "But you had to keep talking." his fist connected with the Inu's mouth, splitting the flesh and allowing fresh crimson blood to flow from the wound. Hiei swung again and struck Inuyasha in the eye.

"Hiei-san!" Miroku shouted. "Stop!" He tried to moved over to the pair, but the spirit kitsune held his arm out and halted his movements. Narrowing his dark violet eyes up at the fox, the houshi said, "Youko-san, what are you doing? Hiei-san is seriously going to kill Inuyasha is we don't stop him."

Youko looked down his nose at the dark-haired human, scoffing, "No, Hiei has more restraint. He won't kill the hanyou."

The forbidden child raised his fist to strike the Inu, but paused when he noticed the dull, yet defiant look in the hanyou's amberish eyes. "Tch." he spat. "There's no sense in beating a half dead mutt." Hiei stood and began to walk away. "Let's go, Youko."

"Please wait." Miroku called out urgently as he held out his hand. "I know that you want to find Naraku and Karasu quickly, because I, too, want them dead." He sighed as he gazed sadly at his cursed hand. "Fifty years ago, Naraku opened the Kazaana in my grandfather's hand and Karasu cursed his entire generation with the powerful void!" Miroku was forced to sit down on a large stone after that outburst, feeling dizzy from the small traces of toxins still flowing through his blood. "We need to think this out rationally. Now, Youko-san, Hiei-san, you said that they laid a trap fifty years ago in this very village?"

The two nodded slowly.

"So, you've met Naraku and Karasu then?" Miroku asked.

Youko shook his head. "We have never met Naraku, but we did personally fight against Karasu and his sister, Yura." he turned to his partner-in-crime. "Hiei, what happened between you and Kaede?"

Hiei closed his eyes. He really did not want to remember that dreaded day. The imiko could still feel the pain in his chest when his beloved shot that Hama no Ya into his body. Her betrayal really hurt. Hiei growled under his breath when his resolve slipped and the memory played fresh in his mind once more.

Two figures, male and female, sat underneath the Goshinboku. The rays of the midday sun basked them in their warmth and the crisp spring air blew the small white flowers that blossomed from the tree around them. The woman, who had long black hair tied back in a low ponytail that fell to her hips and sparkling hazel eyes, leaned her head against the man's shoulder, snuggling deeper into his side. "Hi-kun..." her sweet voice whispered.

The man, who had dark hair that seemed to defy the laws of gravity as it stood up in soft spikes and bright carmine eyes, gazed down tenderly at the woman in his arms. "What?" He circled his arms tighter around her waist and nuzzled her hair gently. "Are you getting cold? Shall I warm you up?"

Her soft laughter was music to his ears as she placed her hand on his chest to give him a little shove. "No, you lecherous youkai." Her eyes took on a more serious gaze as her hand shifted over his fast beating heart. "Are you still in pain? Your fight with the raijuu youkai forced you to use parts of your youki that is still unknown to you. The Dragon actually refused you." Her hazel eyes clashed with him.

"I'm fine, Onna," he said as he looked away. "Do not worry about me. I simply need to retrain the Dragon until it realizes that I am its master." Indifference settled on his handsome features, highlighting the strong contours of his face.

The woman sighed as she grabbed his hand in hers and squeezed until he looked back at her. "Hi-kun, i-if you truly wish, I could persuade Kikyou-nee into letting you use the Shikon no Tama."

The dark-haired youkai stared at her, his eyes widening just a fraction of an inch. "What?"

"If you promise to me that you will be a humane youkai and no longer steal or kill humans," she began, her voice still soft with sincerity. "I'm sure the Shikon can help you gain full power over your unstable youkai." She reach over and touched his bandaged arm gently, feeling the heat of the dragon beneath it. "And the Dragon of the Black Flame."

He narrowed his eyes at her. "Kaede, I swear to you that if you are lying to me..." he trailed off as he scented the air around the woman, her clean scent of maple flowers not once giving off a hint of deceit. She was telling him the god honest truth. Kaede wanted to help him gain control over his youki, to help him end his constant pain of his clashing elements.

Kaede touched his face softly, leaning in slowly. "I am not lying to you, Hiei. Tomorrow at dawn, right here in front of the Goshinboku, Kikyou-nee and I will bring the Shikon no Tama." With those words said, she pressed her lips softly against Hiei's in a tender kiss.

The apparition waited patiently in front of the Goshinboku, wondering where Kaede was. She had left him a note saying that she and Kikyou had some duties to attend to at dawn and to meet him at noon instead. It was getting close to evening and she has yet to come. His elfin ears twitched at the sound of soft footsteps and a small smirk tilted at his lips.

"Hiei!" an angry voice shouted.

The imiko turned at the sound of Kaede's voice and quickly drew his katana in effort to block her strike. He narrowed his eyes at the woman before him, a growl forming deep in his chest. "What is the meaning of this, Onna?" Hiei demanded.

Kaede's once bright hazel-colored eyes were dark with hatred as she bared her teeth in a snarl. "Die!"

Hiei opened his eyes, shaking his head from side to side and growled. "Even if I had met him, he disguised himself as Kaede. I have no idea of what he looks like." He turned to the kitsune. It was Youko's turn to be put in the spotlight and tell his story of what happened with Kikyou. "You never told me what happened between you and the older miko. Care to share?" He arched a fine black brow and crossed his arms over his chest.

Youko stiffened and cut his golden gaze at the imiko. How dare he make the kitsune relive that horrible memory of Kikyou's betrayal? "There is nothing to discuss." he hissed. "She said that she wanted to be with me, to be my mate, after they used to jewel to help you gain full control over your youki and the Dragon." He closed his eyes and sighed. "The simple pure wish would have caused the Shikon to cease in its existence. Thus letting them be ordinary women." Youko's golden eyes open, his irises venomous. "But then she betrayed me..."

"Kaede has asked me to let her use the Shikon to allow Hiei full control over his youki." A woman with long hip-length black hair tied back in a ponytail with two tendrils falling over her shoulders and bright hazel-colored eyes as she reached out and grabbed the hand of her companion. "While the reason is impure, Kaede is so sincere about Hiei's happiness, I think the jewel will allow it."

The golden eyes of the silver-haired male shifted down at the woman, a hint of a smile tilting at his lips. "What does that have to do with you and I?"

A soft laugh echoed around the couple as the woman giggled, her other hand coming to hide her mouth. "With the jewel gone, I could be an ordinary woman again, Youko." A faint red color entered her cheeks as she looked away shyly and bit her lower lip. "I could..."

Youko felt his lips spread into a mischievous smile as he wrapped his tail around her slender waist, pulling her closer. Leaning down, he whispered huskily in her ear, "You could... What, Kikyou?"

Her bashful blush deepened as she placed her hand against his chest. Kikyou still would not look the kitsune in the eyes as she softly said, "I could...become your mate, Youko."

"You wish to be my mate, Kikyou?" he asked, staring down at the petite woman held so snuggly against his chest. He chuckled when Kikyou nodded her head, still refusing to look at him. Youko reached out and cupped her face in his hand, making her look up at him. Once he caught her hazel eyes with his golden orbs, he smirked. "You do know that kitsune mate for life." Youko's face turned serious as he said, "Do you truly wish to be with me?"

Kikyou smiled beautifully at the silver kitsune "Yes, Youko. I want to be with you. Forever."

Youko smirked before he swooped his head down and caught her lips in a fierce kiss. He replaced his tail with his arms as he swept her off her feet. Never once releasing her petal-soft lips, the kitsune jumped onto the highest branch on the Goshinboku and placed Kikyou in his lap. "Then you are mine." he growled against her mouth. "No one else can have you."

The miko wrapped her arms around her kitsune's neck, pressing her herself deeper into Youko's body. "Only yours." she purred as she deepened the kiss.

Youko walked over to the Goshinboku at the destined time that Kikyou had told him to meet her at. A lustful smile spread over his lips because this would be the day he'd finally get to taste that beautiful pale flesh of his delicious looking miko. "Kikyou? Where are you?" he called out huskily. One of his large ears twitched as a soft 'whiz' sound rushed through the air. Youko moved to the left just in time for the arrow to miss his body, embedding itself in the thick bark of the tree behind him. The kitsune ran his fingers through his hair, pulling out a small green seed, and transforming it into his Rose Whip. Turning to face his opponent, Youko froze. "Kikyou?"

The dark-haired miko said nothing as she pulled another arrow from her quiver and notched it in place on her bow. She raised her longbow and took aim at the silver fox, her finger pulling the string taut. "Die, Youko." she said as she released the thin weapon with a low 'twang.'

Miroku rubbed his jaw, his eyes closed as he hummed. That is very strange for the women, who obviously had deep feelings for Youko and Hiei, to turn around and betray them the next day. "And neither of you know Naraku or Karasu personally." He shook his head when the two confirmed his accusation, "And yet they disguised themselves as Kikyou-sama and Kaede-sama and attacked you. Do you suppose you've done something to embitter them?"

Hiei narrowed his eyes and growled low in his chest. "We've never seen Naraku's face and we've already told you that we fought Karasu personally." He crossed his arms over his chest. "But he gave no recognition towards us."

Youko heard a small grunt come for the tree he planted in the well and looked over to find Shippou trying to uproot it. "Shippou, stop." he commanded, his eyes slanted into a reprimanding gaze. "That tree will not move unless I say so. Keep doing that and it will send an electrical shock through your body." Youko chastised, hoping the kit would listen to him.

Shippou turned to glare at the older kitsune, his tiny fangs bared at him in a growl. "I hate you!" he shouted, tears shining in his unforgiving turquoise eyes. "I hate you, Youko-sama!" How could his hero send the women Shippou saw as mother figures? How could Youko be so cruel to rip a child from his only guardians? "I'm never speaking to you again!"

The silver kitsune sighed and turned his attention back to the monk.

"In any case, Kikyou-sama and Kaede-sama were miko." Miroku said, rising to his feet and leaning on his staff. He walked over to check on Inuyasha, who was starting to come to from the beating he'd gotten from Hiei. "Could it be that they had something to do with the twin miko rather than you two?"

The two full-blooded youkai's eyes widened as they repeated what the houshi said, vivid images of their twin miko surfacing in their minds.

Kagome sighed as she drug her feet along the sidewalk as she and her twin slowly made their way to school. She could not believe that the well refused to let them through without their jewel shards. How did Youko and Hiei know that without the Shikon no Tama the girls would not be able to return? Why did they send them back? Kagome glanced over at her older sister and saw that Kaori had her head hung low with her bangs covering her face. "Back to school we go." she attempted a weak smile.

Kaori raised her head at her sister's weak attempt of a joke and returned her smile. Her once bright grey-blue eyes were dulled, showing more grey than blue. "Yeah, I guess so." She wrapped her arm around Kagome's shoulders and hugged her tightly.

"Hey! Kagome! Kaori!"

The twins looked up from their embrace to see their three best friends running over to them with small smiles on their faces. "Hey, Yuka, Eri, Ayumi." they greeted somberly.

Eri was the first to reach the girls, her soft brown eyes shining with concern for her two friends. Giving them a small smile, she reached out and touched their arms. "It's been a while." she looked over at the younger sister and gave her a sympathetic look, "Kagome, is your rheumatism better?"

Yuka shook her head and placed her hand on Kaori's shoulder while giving her a concerned look. "No, it was Kaori who had rheumatism. Kagome had beriberi."

Ayumi stared at the twins for a long moment. Something was different about them. Kagome's hair was a bit shorter than the last time she'd seen her. Was she going through hair loss too? She felt tears well in her eyes at the thought of her best friend losing her beautiful raven locks when she finally got a good look at Kaori and something in her mind clicked. "Kaori-chan, you're not in uniform. Did something happen to it?"

Kaori glanced down at her red pleated dress and black cardigan sadly as she remembered why she was wearing it, her excuse note in the pocket. "Oh, my uniform was dirty. It was covered in blood." She made a show of slicing her finger across her stomach, in the same spot of the hanyou's wound, and acted like blood was dripping down her abdomen.

The three girls gasped, hands coming to cover their mouths. "Now, it's hemorrhaging?!"

Kagome sighed. She knew that Kaori would feel bad about not being able to treat Inuyasha's wounds. Wrapping her arm around her sister's shoulders, she gave their friends a grave look, her greyish blue eyes dull. "Looks like our illnesses are going from bad to worse. Probably won't be long until we're cremated. Let's just get to class."

The five girls nodded, hurried to their classroom. Kaori quickly placed the excuse note on the sensei's desk and rushed to her desk. The sensei, a man with short cropped black hair, bright grey eyes, and thin-wired glasses, walked into the room just as the bell rang. He picked up the note on his desk and nodded. "Stand. Bow. Be seated." he said before starting the lesson.

Kaori turned her head, looking out the nearby window and became lost in her thoughts. Inuyasha's wound had not stopped bleeding and it frightened her to think that he might have bled out. But another thing kept replaying in her head was the tight embrace Hiei had given her. She had felt so warm and protected within the cage of his arms and almost regretted not hugging back. Hiei's embrace felt as if he never wanted to let go of her. But, he took the Shikon Shards from her. 'Did that asshole hug me just to distract me?' In a fit of anger, Kaori shot out of her desk and to her feet, hands clenched into tight fists. "That insensitive bastard!" she cursed. "I'll never forgive him!"

Kagome quickly jumped out of her seat, rushed over to her twin, and covered her mouth with her hand. "Ah!" she said loudly while laughing nervously. "Gomen ne, Sensei! My sister was recently diagnosed with tourettes. I'll take her to the nurse's station now to give her a shot to calm her down! Sumimasen!" With those words, the younger twin down and excused Kaori and herself. Once they were outside of the classroom, she slowly removed her hand and gave her sister a sad smile. "You were thinking about when Hiei embraced you, weren't you?"

"Kags," Kaori said as she paced the hallway with her hands behind her back. "Do you think he hugged me just to get the Shikon no Tama?"

The younger twin sighed and leaned back against the wall. If she closed her eyes, Kagome could feel Youko's warmth and his rose scent around her when she was in his arms. She's felt so safe within the kitsune's embrace and nearly wanted to wrap her around around his waist to hug him back. Kagome sighed wistfully once more as she looked over at her sister, "I'm not sure, sis. We've never been held like that by a boy." she paused when Kaori gave her a strange look. "Well, I think Youko can be counted as a boy, but I don't know since he's a youkai."

Kaori giggled softly under her breath as she walked over and placed her hand on Kagome's shoulder. "I don't think Youko counts. He has kitsune ears, silver hair and tails, golden eyes, claws, and fangs." She giggled once more. "Heck, Hiei looks more..." Kaori trailed off when she remember that the imiko had elfin ears, a white starburst highlighting the center of his spiky dark hair, crimson-colored eyes, claws, fangs, and a jagan eye. "Never mind."

Ren tightened the bandage around Inuyasha's abdomen, using a sharp stone to cut the ends and tucked it into itself. "With these injuries ye won't be able to fight for a while, Inuyasha." When the old priestess saw the extent of the hanyou's wounds, she was surprised that he was still standing with a giant hole near his spine. It was a miracle that it missed every vital point in his abdomen.

"Keh." Inuyasha scoffed. "Shuddup, babaa! It'll be be better in a few days." His eyes took on a longing gleam as his voice softened to a whisper. "Would've felt a lot better if Kaori was here to tend to my wounds." The hanyou sighed before growling, "Hiei no baka!"

"Trying to act brave!" Ren laughed as she playfully slapped the halfling on the back where his wound was located. "I'm done."

Inuyasha yelped out in pain when fire spread down his back. He quickly placed his hands behind him as if to protect his back from anymore of the elderly woman's cruel, playful whacks. "What the hell, babba!" he cursed a tears crept into his eyes from the pain.

Ren grinned as she rose to her feet. "With that kind of energy, ye may recover quickly." her cut her single brown eye over to the two brooding youkai leaning against her hut's back wall. "But, I've been thinking. Ever since that time my sisters were resurrected from clay; they say that ye stole the Shikon no Tama, Kurama and Jaganshi. Don't ye think it strange?" She opened the black stove and threw a few pieces of wood inside before sitting back down. "These men, Naraku and Karasu disguised themselves as you. But why? They could have easily made off with the jewel. Yet they tricked ye into terrorizing the village and going after the jewel. Then they had Kikyou-onee-sama and Kaede-onee-sama seal you to the tree." Her gaze turned serious as she stared at the two demons. "Did they want to make ye despise each other or were they trying to fill my sister's hearts with hatred and bitterness?"

"What are you saying?" Youko and Hiei both growled low in their chests.

"In Kikyou-onee-sama and Kaede-onee-sama's possession, the Shikon no Tama remained pure." She explained, memories of her sisters flashing through her mind. "But, if their hearts were to become unclean and hateful, the Shikon no Tama would also become tainted and filled with evil strength. At the time, only two people hoped for that." Ren stared deeply into the youkai's eyes. "Do you wish to go there? To where those men lived?"

Ren lead them through a field of tall grass, telling the tale of how her sisters cared for a pair of bandits inside a hollowed out cave near a small lake. She told them of her sisters' kindness and sympathy for the rouges until the reached the opening. "My sisters had decided to care for the two..."

Inuyasha cut the old woman off with a snort as he stuffed his hands into the billowing sleeves of his haori. "No wonder those girls were attracted to Youko and Hiei. They tended to thieves." He let out a jerky bark-like laugh, but it was cut short by both the ache in his wounds and the murderous glares he gotten from the kitsune and imiko. "Keh!" he sniffed, lifting his nose in the air.

The elderly woman glanced over her shoulder at the hanyou and gave him a stern look. "It was only because they couldn't move at all. " Ren explained. "They called themselves Onigumo and Bakudan. Onigumo had the most terrible of burns all over his body, but his face was the worse." she shivered slightly at the horrendous scarring the man had over his entire body. "He must have fallen from a cliff for both of his legs were broken. Bakudan, however, had his right arm and left leg cut off. The fingers and toes of the remaining limbs had been sliced off. He also had a terrible sword wound near his throat." Ren sighed sadly as they approached the mouth of the dark cave. "But even with those wounds and broken bodies, Onigumo and Bakudan lived. They were unable to move, but sloly they healed enough to be able to talk. However..." she trailed off, becoming lost in a memory.

"Oi!" a scratchy voiced called out. "Gaki!" it yelled again until the young girl turned harsh eyes at him.

The girl glared at the man with hard brown eyes as she snapped, "My name is Ren, thief." she then turned back and resumed her task of rinsing bandages in a small clay bowl filled with the lake water.

The bandit that had his entire body wrapped in beige bandages coughed before his burned lips peeled up into a sickening grin. His single visible eye narrowed at the child next to him. "Your sisters have something called the Shikon no Tama, right?"

Ren glared at the man who spoke with unforgiving eyes. "How do you know of the Jewel, bandit?"

The theif with long inky black hair cackled loudly, drawing Ren's attention to him. "All bad men are after it."

"You as well?" Ren questioned harshly.

"We understand that the more evil the Jewel absorbs, the more evil it becomes." the two men chuckled lowly. "How nice."

Ren glared at the two bandits with poisonous brown eyes before she went back to scrubbing the bandages clean, although they were already pristin looking. She merely wanted to know just how far these men would go. "My sisters have it under control. The Jewel will never go bad."

Onigumo turned his single eye over at the young girl's form, practically burning a hole into her soul. "Kikyou is always so smug. I'd love to see her scared and worried." His lips pulled up into a wide smile, showing his crooked and cracked teeth. "Now, that would give me such a rush." he purred.

Bakudan nodded his head, grimacing when it sent small shocks of pan from his sword wound. "That same goes for Kaede. I would abesolutely love to see her pure heart black and malicious with hatred." He shivered with pleasure. "God, how I wish I could move and witness that with my own eyes."

Ren, having heard enough and was thoroughly disgusted, threw the wet bandages on the ground and ran out of the cave. She yelled out her sisters' names as she searched for them. The young girl ran and ran until she spotted her twin sisters picking lavender and other herbs. "Kikyou-onee-sama! Kaede-onee-sama!" The instant Ren was with her sisters, she told them everything the bandits said.

"I see..." Kikyou said as she looked over at her twin.

Kaede finsihed what her elder sister began, "So, Bakudan and Onigumo said that?" she lifted the basket she was carrying and placed it against her hip.

Ren nodded, her lips pulled into a thin line, "Sisters, I don't like them."

Kikyou frowned down her her youngest sister. "Forgive them, Ren. For they shall never be able to move from those spots." She and Kaede then began to shirt trek back to the village with Ren following close behind.

Ren sighed as she relayed her memories to the four men who accompanied her to the cave. "Shortly after my sisters seal ye to the tree and died, several days later when I had returned to the cave, I found it completely burned down." She closed her eye in deep concentration. thies was always the part that seemed a little strange to her. "The flames must have been great and since Onigumo and Bakudan were unable to escape, they perished. No bone or ashes were left behind." Ren said, "Or so I thought."

Inuyasha stepped forward, his amberish eyes narrowed. "Babba!" he said when he was next to the elderly miko. "There's something wrong with your tale. Naraku and Karasu are youkai!"

When Ren looked over at the kitsune and imiko for answers, Youko said, "The hanyou speaks the truth. I personally fought with Karasu and he was a full blooded youkai.

Hiei leaned against the smooth surface of the cave's mouth, his arms crossed over his chest. "And I'm sure that this Onigumo and Bakudan were human, correct. No matter how weak and evil they were, there's no way they could be Naraku or Karasu."

Ren slowly nodded in agreement. Onigumo and Bakudan were surly completely human, because if they were not, her sisters would have purified them instead of aiding them. She blinked when the monk placed his hand on her shoulder and offered her a kind smile and said,

"Shall we go inside?"

Shippou wrapped his small arms around the large trunk of the demonic tree and gave a sharp tug. The tree retaliated, glowing bright red and sending a current of electricity through the kit's small body. The force of the attack caused Shippou to be blown away and slide across the ground a few feet. He slowly rolled over and punched the ground. "It's no use." he bemoaned. "Everytime I pull, I get shocked." Shippou glared at the large three jutting out of the well. "Unless the well is unblocked, Kagome and Kaori can't return to the world." Falling backwards, Shippou began to whine, "Youko-sama no baka! Hiei no baka. I'm never speaking to them again!"

"Did you say Youko and Hiei?" a dark voice rumbled from behind the kitsune child.

The red fox froze and sat up slowly. Gingerly, he turned his head and his turquoise eyes widened to their fullest extent when he spotted several three-eyed grey wolves snarling at him. He tilted his head up and spotted the leader, a large orange-furred demon with bulging yellow eyes. Drool leaked out of its mouth as he took a step closer to the kit.

"Where are Youko and Hiei!?"

Shippou opened his mouth and screamed as loudly as he could.

Finally done! And since it's now the summer, I can update more! I hope you enjoyed the chapter just as much as I enjoyed revamping it! Til next time!

Ja ne

~Kirei Ai Tenshi