Hi again! It's me with another chapter! Hopes the New Year is treating everyone well!
Disclaimer: I do not own either of these great manga/anime. Red River belongs to Chie Shinohara and Inuyasha belongs to Rumiko Takahashi. Ankoku, however, is my OC character although the idea is severely overused. So I can't really take all the credit for her.
~Special Announcement~ Today's chapter is dedicated to tohru78!
Summary: All Kagome has ever wanted was for the Well to reopen so that she could return to her first love, Inuyasha. But the Fates had different plans for when. After she was forced to try to forget her life in the Sengoku Jidai, Kagome rejects Hojo's confession of love to her and ran when he got forceful. Then something happen, she was pulled down into a lake by the Queen of the Hittite's to be sacrifice for a Katashiro.
Before the queen could do she is save by the third prince – Kail Mursili and became his concubine and then the incarnate of Ishtar, Goddess of Beauty and War. Now, she must fight her way back home as well as whatever the Fates throw at her.
Beta: (This is the unbeta'ed version. As soon as my beta sends back her copy, I'll update it with her name here)
As Fate Would Have It
The fire that engulfed several buildings blazed brighter and hotter, casting shadows over the ground below. The orange glow of the flames danced in the reflection of the fourth prince's wide eyes. His mouth dropped opened and he raised his hand to sweep back his disarrayed blond hair.
He set his eyes on the miko, who was staring back at him intently. "Kagome, we cannot allow Mitanni to flood into our land. We, the Hittites, have to embark!"
Kagome nodded her head, her eyes shimmering with anticipation. "Does Kizzuwatna have any troops?"
"They do, but compared to Mitanni's military strength, there's a wide gap. We cannot defend Kizzuwatna with them." Zannanza bit his lower lip, abusing the delicate flesh with his teeth. He raised his head and looked Kagome directly in the eyes. "Can you escape alone?"
The miko narrowed her eyes sharply as she tightened her grip on the hilt of her sword. "What?" she repeated her question when the prince merely lowered his gaze to the ground. She walked over to him and grasped his face with her right hand, forcing him to meet her serious eyes. "What do you mean 'Can you escape alone,' Prince Zannanza?"
Zannanza shifted his hazel orbs away from the warrior miko's piercing gaze, a light red color flooding over his cheeks. "Kagome, we must alert my brother about this situation. You must do it alone." his voice turned dry and commanding as the look in his eyes changed. Zannanza was becoming the Militia General he was raised to be. He waved his hand out, "Look at this, Kagome, Kizzuwatna will fall into enemy hands within a day or so at this rate. I am going to remain here to gather the soldiers stationed here. You will go and bring Brother and the Hittite army here." he locked eyes with Kagome, taking her hand off of his face. "Am I clear?"
Kagome nodded dumbly. "Crystal." she waved off the questioning brow the prince gave her. "I mean, Yes, sir. But it will take more than a week for me to get to Hattusa from here." she explained.
"No. Brother Kail is pursuing us, I'm sure of it." Zannanza countered. "He should be somewhere not too far from here."
The orange flames danced higher, bringing out the blue shine in Kagome's raven hair as her dark blue eyes widened. "Prince Kail is...?"
Zannanza nodded slowly before continuing. "My own soldiers are in Kaneka. Brother, within two days, could rally out the military." he placed his hand over the hilt of Kagome's sword as he leaned in closer. "Hittite warriors are stationed in a small castle. I will try my damnest to hold the Mitanni back for three days." his voice dropped slightly as he pleaded. "Please, Kagome, do you think you can reach Kaska within a day?"
Kagome felt her eyes widened slightly. Zannanza was asking her to reach Kaska in a single day? If she recalled correctly, it took them a little over two days to reach Kizzuwatna from that city. 'And now I have to reach it in a day?' she groaned mentally. 'But Kail might be angry if I leave his most trusted brother alone to face all of these soldiers for three days. I cannot leave Zannanza!' Nodding, the miko smoothly lied, "I can. I will bring Prince Kail back within the time limit."
A small smile broke through on the blond's face. "Good!" he pointed a slender finger in the western direction. "Kaska is west. Just follow the brightest star in the sky."
The Shikon no Miko looked up at the sky, searching out for the bright star pointing west. She smiled when she saw that it was the North Star, 'This was our star,' but then a sharp pain shot through her chest. 'Inuyasha...' Kagome covered the left side of her chest with her right hand, turning away from the fourth son of the emperor. "That's the North Star, got it. I'll be going."
Zannanza reached out quickly and took hold of Kagome's wrist. "Wait!" he turned her back around and cupped her small hand with his larger ones, looking her in the eyes. "I sincerely apologize for bringing you into this and involving you in such a dangerous situation."
A faint blush spread over the miko's fair cheeks. "It's okay, Prince Zannanza. I'm a warrior miko. I'm used to being in danger." she flashed him a small smile.
The blond flushed as he slowly released his grip on the young woman's hand. "You forgive me? That easily? Kagome, I kidnapped you, almost forced myself on you, and...I said words of envy against my brother, the man I respect the most." he covered his face with his hands. "Perhaps that was my true self."
Kagome raised her hand and struck Zannanza across the face. When he looked down at her with shock evident in his eyes, the miko, in a steely voice, said, "You were under Nakia's control, Prince Zannanza. Your actions were not of your own." her fingers curled into a tight fist. "Don't you ever say that again! I forgive you for your actions. Now be careful."
The miko turned on her heels with the grace of a ballerina and, with the speed of a taijiya, took off down the alley, clutching her sheathed blade close to her chest. 'I can still recall the feel of Zannanza's touch, but once I saw the regretful expression on his face, I couldn't bring myself to hold any resentment. Then, with me knowing, the queen was manipulating him.' She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. 'And another thing...I called for Kail to help me instead of Inuyasha. Why?'
Zannanza watched the raven-haired miko hurry down the path, his hand outstretched as if he was reaching for her. "Kagome..."
Kagome peeked around the corner of the wall she was hiding behind, one of her hands holding onto the reins of a stray horse she found with the other clutching her sword. 'Damn! Mitanni soldiers are posted at every entrance!' she growled low in her chest before forcing herself to calm down. The miko needed to be calm or she would awaken Ankoku; something Kagome did not want. Closing her eyes, the Shikon no Miko began to try to tap into the ancient powers of the Eternal Guardian of the Sacred Jewel possessed.
In her mind, the miko searched for her connection to Kail. She was going to try to communicate with him telepathically. Just as Kagome found the link, a shrill scream broke her concentration.
"Please? I beg of you!" a frantic woman's voice implored.
The warrior miko turned around at the sound and her eyes narrowed sharply with anger at the scene she was greeted with. A group of Mitanni soldiers were abusing a small child, kicking him away from the hysterical woman, who was desperately trying to reach for the little boy. 'Those bastards!'
"My baby!" she screamed, struggling in the man's vice grip on her waist. "Don't hurt my baby!"
The Mitanni soldier slapped the boy in the face before kicking him away from him. "Get lost, brat!" he snarled.
Kagome had seen enough! No one should be allowed to hurt a small child! Unsheathing her sword, the warrior miko slid out of her hiding place, but flinched when a hand took hold of the crook of her elbow and yanked her back. Slicing her angry blue eyes at the person who dared to stop her, Kagome snapped. "What do you think you are doing?!"
"You mustn't go out." a large woman said calmly, ignoring the glare the miko was giving her. "I'm sorry, but there is no other way."
A little girl with straight light brown hair tied into a messy ponytail sniffled as she clung to the woman holding her. "If you go out there, you'll face the same fate as them."
The Shikon no Miko's eyes soften just a little when she glanced down at the child before hardening when that hated word echoed through her ears. 'Fate! How I loathe that word! No one controls my destiny but me!' Kagome kneeled down so that she was eye-level with the girl as she said, "But they are your fellow villagers, are they not?" at the child's slow nod, the miko continued, "Then shouldn't we help them?"
The woman holding the girl wrapped her arms tighter around the child as she gazed into the calm eyes of the dark-haired woman's. "We cannot even take care of ourselves! Every time this happens it becomes like this!" she cried, silent tears rolling down her sooty cheeks. "The soldiers burn down our homes, rapes the women, and take our valuables. We can only barely hide until we, too, are noticed."
Anger built up inside Kagome with every pain filled word the frightened women spoke. Her reiki flared up a slightly darker pink than normal as her eyes flickered from blue to orange to silver. A low growl rumbled in her chest when she turned at the sound of the child crying out for his mother. Kagome tightened her grip on her sword, gritting her teeth.
"You mustn't!" the large older woman warned, placing her hand on Kagome's shoulder when she noticed the angry expression on the miko's face.
"Stop it!" the woman yelled when the soldier grabbed her son by the head and aimed his blade at the child' neck.
Kagome yanked her arm out of the woman's grip, ignoring her pleas for her to come back. The miko lifted her sheathed blade to her lips and held it between her teeth as she jumped up. Her hands found the support beam above the attacking soldiers and Kagome swung her long legs out, sending the heel of her left foot into the face of the soldier who held the child, blood spurted out of his nose as the cartilage shattered.
"What the fuck are you doing, bitch!" the soldier cried out, holding his broken nose.
She pulled her sword out of its sheath. "I could ask you the same thing, bastard!" she slanted her eyes at the soldier that held the woman by her hair. "No matter what era I am in, there will always be scum like you around!" in a quick burst of movements, the miko struck down the remaining soldiers. She stabbed one in the shoulder, another in the thigh, and a third one across the chest.
The Mitanni guards heard the cries for help from their comrades had rushed over only to retreat when they saw the young woman, who was brutally attacking them. The man who Kagome had kicked in the face sneered at her, but grimaced as pain shot through his broken nose.
In a nasally voice, he shouted, "I'll remember this, you bitch!"
Kagome slipped him the finger as she said, "Run away like the rats you are!" When she finally calmed down from her anger induced high, the miko drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly. She then sheathed her sword and turned to find the woman she had just rescued hugging the child tightly. Kagome felt a slight smile tug at the corners of her lips. She walked over to them, ignoring the cheers of the women behind her, and kneeled down. "Are you okay, little boy?"
The woman holding the child smiled through her tears. "Thank you! Thank you for saving my baby."
"You're welcome." the miko turned on her heels and started to walk away, but once again she was yanked back by the crook of her arm. "What? I'm in a hurry!"
The older woman's lips pulled down into a frown. "Where are you going? It's dangerous out there!"
Kagome pulled her lips back in a tight grimace. "I am in a hurry!" she repeated, pulling her arm away from the plump elder female.
"You're not from around here. Are you going back to your parents?" the woman pressed on.
The miko shook her head vigorously. This woman could not take a hint. Kagome needed to be alone so that she could concentrate on her mental link to Kail. She had to contact him and tell him what's going on. "I don't have any parents here! Now I have to be going!" she tried to move away from the ladies, but the woman grabbed her by the arm again and pulled her back.
"So, it must be your lover you're trying to get back to." A blush seared Kagome's cheeks and the older woman laughed while others cheered and patted the miko on the back. The woman tugged at Kagome's hand. "Come, I'll show you a secret passage!"
"Eh? Then you all should escape!" The Shikon no Miko said.
"This is our country; where else could we escape to?" the woman explained, taking the reins of the stray horse and handed them to Kagome. "Our husbands have been killed by enemy soldiers. Once this battle is over, we still have to bury them."
Kagome felt the pain in the women's aura and tears threatened to spill. They've lost their homes, their families, everything. The miko could not help but to feel sorry for the women. Some of them were so young, younger even that Kagome and yet they were now widows. "In view of the alliance, the Hittite soldiers will surely help you."
The older woman scrunched her face up in a sneer. "There's no difference between the Hittite and Mitanni soldiers. They will do the exact same."
Rage filled Kagome as she heard the agreeing comments of the other women, her eyes glowing ominously. She turned those blazing silver eyes on the woman who dared to compare the Hittites to brutes like the Mitanni. "How dare you compare the Hittites to those savages! They're nothing like them!" she marched up and pointed her finger in the woman's face. "Don't ever compare Kail to brutes like Mitanni!"
"Kail?" the woman repeated in a questioning tone. Soon an all-knowing glimmer shined in her eyes. "Oh, so this Kail person is a handsome Hittite Soldier that you're in love with?" With ease, she picked Kagome up and placed her on the stallion, slapping the horse on the rear. "Then bring him here if he's so excellent
The stallion reared up on its hind legs with a loud whinny before running off into the desert. "Ah!" Kagome cried out. "Wait!"
"Go and be careful!" the woman called out, waving her hand side to side.
The horse picked up speed, galloping into the west and the miko had to grip its cream-colored mane in order to not fall off. "But...Prince Zannanza needs me..." She knew that since this was not Raion, this horse may not listen to her as well as her loyal black stallion. Curling her fingers in the beast's fur tighter, Kagome dug her heels into the horse's sides urging the stallion to go faster. "Since I'm already heading in the right direction, I may as well go." Clicking her tongue, Kagome spoke to her horse, "Run as fast as you can. I have to reach Prince Kail within a day!" 'Prince Zannanza, stay safe. I will bring Kail back with me.'
Sweat rolled down Kikkuri's face as the sun beamed down on them with unforgiving heat and intensity. He panted as he struggled to breath in the sandy air from the dust their horses kicked up as they ran. Shifting his eyes off of the path briefly, the brown-haired servant spotted his prince a few yards ahead. "Prince Kail, we're almost at Kizzuwatna. Let's rest for a while."
"I'm alright!" Kail called back, snapping the reins of his tired horse and urged it to go faster. It's been a total of six days since Kagome was taken from him. Six long grueling days without seeing the miko's lovely face; without hearing her sweet voice; without touching her. 'Kagome! You have to be safe!'
One of the twins, Shalla, glanced over to her left and her eyes widened at what she found. Stretching out her arm, she pointed with her index finger. "Prince Kail! There's someone feeding a stray horse over there."
Kail glanced over to where Shalla was pointing, squinting his eyes to get a better look at the person standing next to the stallion. He drew in a sharp breath as he caught sight of long, flowing raven colored hair and pale ivory skin. "Is that...Kagome!?" Urging his beast to run faster as he approached the young woman and quickly pulled her into his arms. "Kagome!" he cried, hugging her to his chest tightly. "Are you alright!?"
"Nngh...Prince Kail..." she panted, "I can't breathe..." she smiled gently up at the prince when he immediately loosen his hold on her. "I'm fine." her eyes turned hard as they darkened, "But Prince Kail, you must go quickly to Kizzuwatna. The Mitanni is attacking."
"I understand. I'll go there now." he kissed her brow softly, shocked at how feverish her skin felt. Looking down at her carefully, Kail saw that the miko was panting quite harshly and was sweating profusely.
Kagome grabbed the prince's robe tightly, "Prince Zannanza's men are in Kaneka. And make sure the soldiers don't harm the townspeople..." Her head was spinning and the miko felt dizzy; exhausted even. She struggled to remain conscious, but sweet darkness was seeping into her body and she slumped backwards in Kail's arms.
Kail shook her gently, trying to rouse a response from the young woman in his arms, but when he did not receive any, the prince settled for hearing her shallow breaths and embraced her close to his body. The loosened neck of her makeshift kimono fell open and when Kail opened his eyes, it caught his attention. His entire demeanor changed and a silent rage burned in his eyes.
Kikkuri, who saw the change in Kail's attitude, looked at him worriedly. "Is something wrong?"
"Nothing." he closed the gap in Kagome's top. Looking over his shoulder, he called for the Hatti sisters. He told them to take care of Kagome while he goes to rally up Zannanza's troops. "Hadi, catch up to us slowly. Make sure Kagome is well. Kikkuri, come with me."
Hadi walked the short distance between her and Prince Kail, gathering Kagome in her arms and gasped at the burning hot feeling of her body. She turned to her younger sisters and ordered Ryui to set up a cloth to block out the sun and Shalla to set out something to lay the miko on. "We must bring Princess Kagome's temperature down."
As Ryui finished putting up the sheet to block the sun's intense rays, Shalla opened the neck of Kagome's kimono, hoping to relieve the young woman from the heat and to help her breath easier, but what she saw shocked her. "Sister Hadi!" she motioned for her elder sister. "This is..." she trailed off.
The eldest Hatti sister pushed back Kagome's top, gasping at the sight. Decorating the miko's collarbone and the tops of her breasts were dozens of bright, red marks. "Oh my..." her hand came up to cover her mouth as she pulled the sheet up to cover Kagome. "Prince Kail saw them. Prince Zannanza's love marks..."
In less than forty-eight hours, the streets of Kizzuwatna became a battlefield as thousands of Mitanni soldiers began to try to infiltrate the walls. Dozens of Hittite and Mitanni men were dead, lying face down, with an arrow shot through their backs, in pools of crimson life-giving fluids. Soldiers were trying to destroy the iron doors of the gate that protected the city.
"Prince Zannanza!" a lower class warrior rushed over to the blond fourth prince. "The main gate to the city has been destroyed! The Mitanni are flooding inside! Even with the Hittite Alliance soldiers, it's not enough to protect the place!"
Zannanza paused in his motion of pulled the string of the bow back, but his grip even loosened as his hazel eyes hardened into the look of a commanding officer and the soldier shrunk back slightly. "What about Kizzuwatna's soldiers? You should have requested soldiers from King Shunashu!"
The soldier lowered his eyes as he crossed his arm over his chest and bowed. "Forgive me, my prince, but it seems that there is no movement."
That made the fourth son lose his grip as he faltered in his stance. He raised his hand to his face, worry covering his bright eyes. 'Kagome...were you too late...' The sound of his title being called snapped his out of his thoughts. Looking over to where the soldier was directing and a smile titled at his lips. "Brother!"
"Reporting to Black Prince!" a Mitanni soldier dropped to his knees before a man with long, wavy black hair and piercing grey eyes. "We've learned that Hittite soldiers are appearing from the North Side's highlands!"
Mattiwaza, better known as the Black Prince for his brutal military methods, snapped his cold stare at the warrior, causing the man to freeze up with fear. Calmly walking over to the soldier, Mattiwaza pulled his sword out of its sheath and pointed it at the groveling man. "Repeat what you just said." his eyes narrowed when his warrior stutter out the response again. Raising his blade, the Black Prince lopped off the man's head in a smooth strike. "They couldn't have arrived so fast." Flicking his wrist, he shook the blade clean of the sticky red liquid. "Let this be a demonstration of what I want done to the Hittites."
"Brother! Kagome!" Zannanza cheered as he caught sight of his brother's chariot with the young miko by his side. A breath of relief let him as he ran over to the idle chariot and helped Kagome down.
The warrior miko offered Zannanza a smile. "I'd told you I would make it in time." Her smile turned down into a frown when she saw Kail brush passed her and his brother without so much of a greeting. Deciding that now was not an appropriate time for her to question his sudden coldness and turned to Hadi. "Prepare me a horse, dagger, bow and a quiver of arrows. I'm going to aid the prince in this war." pausing, Kagome thought about a technique that she perfected while she was training in the Sengoku Jidai - under the watchful eyes of the Lord of the Western Lands. "Oh, and Hadi-san, I'll need ribbons too."
"Ribbons?" Shalla echoed as she turned to dig through the chest. "Ahh, we have some."
Kagome smiled. "Good."
Ryui held up a sheath that was decorated with small red gems, a silver bow, and a quiver full of arrows. "Princess Kagome, here is the dagger Father crafted especially for you. It is made of the same type of iron used to forge the dagger that aided you in the defeat of Zuwa. The horse is in the main hall."
As Kagome was tying her hair up in a high ponytail and putting on a dark blue headband to hold her long bangs out of her eyes, Hadi returned with the ribbons as well as a long cloak. "Princess...please put this on."
"A cloak? In this heat?" the miko looked at Hadi strangely as accepted the long white threads, tying one around her waist, neck, and each arm. "I don't require one."
Hadi grabbed Ishtar's arms. "Princess, your chest..." she whispered the last bit in Kagome's ear.
Looking down at her breasts, the warrior miko saw the red marks scattered over her collarbone and grimaced at the sight of them. There were so many, especially over her left breast above the mark of the Shikon. 'Prince Zannanza left so many hickeys on me.' A bright red blush touched her cheeks. 'Kail must have seen them!'
In command of Hittite's three hundred chariots and twenty-five hundred foot soldiers is the third prince, Kail Mursili II, while the second-in-command is the fourth prince, Zannanza Hattusili. They are defending Kizzuwatna from the five hundred chariots and five thousand foot soldiers of the Mitanni, who are led by the infamous Black Prince, Mattiwaza.
During the start of the war, both sides have sent out their strongest troupe, the conclusion is still far away.
Zannanza dropped to one knee as he bow his head before Kail, his eyes low to the ground. "Brother! I want to apologize for taking Kagome out of the palace."
Kail lifted his hand, stopping his younger brother's words. Shaking his head, he ordered for Zannanza to stand. "Now is not the appropriate time to discuss such matters. Zannanza, take the left-wing soldiers behind the enemy lines and try to drive them away."
"Yes, sir!" The fourth prince quickly spun on his heels and headed for the door, calling out commands as he did so.
Kagome walked up to Kail's side, calling out his name. Once she gained his attention, the miko opened her mouth, but he cut her off.
Turning away from the dark-haired woman, Kail said, "Kagome, you remain here in this castle with Hadi." he dismissed her with a wave of his hand.
"What!" she yelled, furious that he dismissed her so care freely. She was not one of his maids that he could bend to his will. "I am going!"
"The Goddess of War should stay in the Imperial Hall." he said as he kept walking away from her.
That set the miko off, causing her infamous temper to surface as she marched over to the prince, grabbing his cloak and forced him to look at her. She gasped at the furious look on his face, the angry glow in his bright amber-gold eyes. The look shocked Ishtar Incarnate so much that her grip on his cloak loosened.
Kail snatched his clothing from her hands and in an authoritative tone that he'd never used with her before said, "Do as I say!" turning on his heel, he ordered for Kikkuri to come with him, his cloak billowing out at the bottom as he left.
Kagome tugged at the neck of her own pale yellow cloak, glaring at the red ovular spots decorating the top of her breasts. 'Kail is very angry...He really did see these...' Her dark blue eyes shimmered with sadness as she gazed at the prince's retreating form.
Kail bit his lip so hard that blood trickled down his chin and into his mouth, coating his tongue with its metallic flavor. His hands curled into tight fists as he threw off his cloak, tossing it in some unknown corner. 'I want to know what happened between Kagome and Zannanza, but the questions are caught in my throat.' he sighed as he mounted his chariot, allowing Kikkuri to take hold of the reins. 'Kagome does not belong to me. She is still in love with Inuyasha. She told me that when we almost... I don't have the right to retain her.' Thrusting his hand into the air, Kail commanded, "Right-wing soldiers! Proceed after me!"
The war commenced. Chariots with both Hittite and Mitanni soldiers alike plowed through the open plains, the sun gleaming off of their bronzed swords as they hacked at one another, trying to gain the upper hand. The foot soldiers of each side fought hard and soon the ground was stained crimson with blood. The Hittite Archery continuously shot arrows at their enemy, taking of several unsuspecting Mitanni warriors; the opposing side gained knowledge of the Archery and soon began to fire their own arrows at them.
Back at the Mitanni Camp, the Black Prince stared down at the kneeling soldiers. "How is the situation?"
The warrior cringed at the cold, detached sound of the prince's voice. It was the same tone he used when he killed his older brother. "We're in a tight situation, Black Prince." he reported, keeping his eyes low so that the prince could not see the fear in them.
"As for foot soldiers and chariots, our side has more, but on strength, we are even. Why is that?" Mattiwaza mused, his arms coming up to fold against his chest as his sharp grey eyes turned calculating. "Hm...This is a strategy used by skillful leaders to make up for an insufficient number of foot soldiers." he pointed a single finger over to the battlefield when he heard the baffled sound his soldier gave. "Look, you fool, even with the Hittite soldiers divided into two separate paths, their movements are well-organized. This, in turn, means that there are two commanding officers. The right-wing leader must be a powerful person."
"If this goes on, it'll use up all the resources." the soldier said timidly. "What should we do?"
"What of Kizzuwatna's soldiers?" Mattiwaza asked.
The soldier snapped his head up. "They show no moment, sir."
Slicing his sharp grey eyes over to the kneeling soldier, they narrowed when the man flinched and dropped his head. A short chuckle left the confines of his throat. "That is expected of a cowardly king like Shunashu. Good. We will attack the palace, conquer King Shunashu, and make Kizzuwatna's soldiers my allies." An evil smile titled at his lips as he stroked the hilt of his sword, "After that, the Hittite soldiers will be dead in pools of blood."
"Foot soldiers!" Kail called out, throwing commands over his shoulder. "Go and guard the town lane! Don't attack the townspeople! Protect the women and children and help them escape!"
A dark-haired soldier opened the door of a nearby house and was greeted by the shrill screams of the women hiding inside. Wincing slightly at the high-pitched cries, he frowned, "Please don't be alarmed. Gather around, I'll take you to a safer place." he smiled charming at the females as he held out his hand for them. "We won't act rashly. Our Goddess of War will surely punish us if we were to treat women and children violently." he chuckled and rubbed the back of his head. "I've heard her wrath is on par with Teshub's."
A Mitanni soldier with black hair and beady black eyes carried a torch across the pathway, the orange flames dancing along the thick wood. "Burn down the houses! We'll smoke the Hittite soldiers out!"
An elderly man gasped, his hand held out as if he was about to grab the Mitanni. "Please stop it! It's taken us so many years to build our home..."
"Get lost!" the man growled, his eyes narrowing in his slits of anger, "If you dare to interrupt me again I'll kill you!"
Arrows whizzed through the air, heading towards their targets with deadly precision, slicing through the tendons of the Mitanni soldiers' wrists and causing them to drop the torches. Many of them barely had time to move out of the flames path before it set their clothes on fire.
Kagome lowered her bow; a frown marred the graceful contours of her face as she glared down at the opposing soldiers. "You weren't really planning on burning down those houses after that nice old man kindly asked you to stop." her eyes slanted at the Mitanni when they looked up at her sheepishly. Slinging her bow over her back, Kagome reached for the ribbon tied around her neck, pouring her reiki into the silky fabric. The shimmering white threads began to glow a soft pink as they stiffened, becoming diamond hard. "Hadi-san, Ryui-san, Shalla-san! Go!"
The miko jumped into the air, somersaulted on her descent down and landed gracefully on her feet. Using her new technique - the Ribbon Blade - Kagome used the threads to shatter the swords of the opposing warriors, smirking at the dumbfounded look on their faces as they gazed down at the remains of their weapons. Removing the tie at her waist, the Shikon no Miko used it as a lasso and wrapped the enemies in a tight circle.
"Superb!" one of the women cheered.
"If women put their mind to it, they can fight also!"
"That girl!" the eldest and larger woman scrunched her eyes to gain a better look at the young woman, who fought without the aid of a horse. "Young girl! You came back?"
Kagome paused in her actions, a smile tilting at her lips. She placed her fingers near her mouth and whistled. Soon her pitch-black stallion, Raion, jumped over the wall and galloped over to its master, allowing her to mount him. Pulling on Raion's reins, Kagome directed him over to the woman who called for her. "Miss, you're alright! That's great!"
"You didn't go back to the man you love?" the woman asked.
The miko blushed lightly as her smile brightened. Lifting her right hand, Kagome pointed with her index finger. "I went back to him, but I came back here again with him. He's over there. On the carriage pulled by the Tsukige."
The woman followed the path Kagome's finger directed and her eyes widened when they landed on a man with glistening blond hair and warm honey colored eyes. "Oh! He's such a handsome young man." her eyes trailed down to the peach colored horses. "He's a high-ranking person?!"
Kagome smiled sadly down at the woman. "Miss, the Hittite soldiers haven't mistreated anyone, have they? That was Kail's order as well." 'There is nothing between Prince Zannanza and myself. While I find myself think less about Inuyasha and more about Prince Kail. Am I...I can't be...I am just the Goddess of War and Beauty to the Hittites and nothing more! I am by Prince Kail's side for that reason only!' Though deep inside, Kagome knew that her words were false, slowly but surely, the young miko was beginning to fall in love with Kail.
Turning to face the eldest of the Hatti sister, Kagome ordered for them to take care of the women as the snapped Raion's reins, urging him to a fast paced gallop into the battlefield.
"Wait! Young girl!" the woman called out. She rushed over and grabbed Hadi by the shoulder, turning her around. "Who was that girl?"
Hadi pulled away from the older woman and smiled, "She's Prince Higurashi Kagome, the third Prince Kail Mursili II's Royal Concubine! Our Hittite Kingdom's Goddess of Beauty and War, Ishtar-sama!" she motioned for the women to follow her to a safer destination.
Kagome leaned down closer to Raion as she urged him to run faster. 'I have to help him! I promised to stay by his side and help him!' Whizzing through the air was hundreds of arrows and before Kagome could notice it, a stray flew towards her.
"Look out!" a man's voice was her only warning before the miko was shoved off of the stallion, narrowly avoiding the arrow that would have pierced her skull, leaving her for dead. "You idiot! I told you to stay in the castle! You, of all people, should know that stray arrows are one of the major causes of deaths in war!"
"Prince Kail..." Kagome murmured, lowering her head in shame. Of course she knew that! It was the very first thing that was drilled into her head under her training. How could she be so careless? "I'm sorry, Prince Kail. My mind was preoccupied with thoughts of helping you."
The third Prince turned away from the young woman. "I don't need your help in this war!" he snapped.
Kagome narrowed her eyes sharply as she yanked of the collar of Kail's cloak. "What is your problem? I said I was sorry! There's no reason for you to snap at me!"
Kail released a surprised grunt when the young miko pulled of his robe and he stared down at her with shock evident in his eyes. He's never seen Kagome this upset. Her bright dark blue eyes were shimmering with unshed tears and her bottom lip was quivering. Sighing, the blond prince covered his face with his hand as he closed his eyes. "I apologize for yelling at you, Kagome. It's this war, my mind is in a constant state of agitation and I took it out on you. Sorry." he rose to his feet and grabbed the miko by the arm, helping her stand. "As the Goddess of War, you've helped me substantially. Which is enough. You don't have to participate."
"Prince Kail, I am a warrior miko! I'm destined to fight! Tell me to do anything! I want to help you!" she confessed, balling her hands into tight fists as she doubled over.
The third Prince of the Hittites gazed down at the young woman at his side, taking in her confession. Then he remembered their promise on the day Zannanza came back. Her promise to help him, to aid him in his goals. He remembered the sincere look in her deep, dark pools of sapphire, the way her words brought happiness to his heart. Reaching forward, Kail grabbed the priestess by her chin, tilted her head back. 'Kagome, I don't want you on this Warfield. I don't want you to step a single foot out of my palace. I desire to lock you in my chambers, not letting anyone see you and not allowing any man to gaze upon your beauty. I want you to be mine.'
Kagome gasped as Kail moved in closer to her lips, a faint blush tinting her cheeks pink. "Prince..."
He ignored her, inching closer and closer still to her lips until he finally closed the gap between them. It was the barest hint of a kiss and before either one of them could take it any deeper than that, they were interrupted.
"Your Highness!" Kikkuri rushed into the alleyway just as the couple broke apart. "Kizzuwatna's soldiers have gone to Mitanni's side!"
"What!" Kail and Kagome said in unison. They looked at each other briefly before turning their attention on the brown-haired servant.
"Isn't Kizzuwatna Hittite's allies? Why are they aiding the Mitanni?" Kagome inquired.
Kikkuri gritted his teeth. "King Shunashu has betrayed us!"
Shalla placed her hand on her chest, her greyish-green eyes wide with shock. "By adding Kizzuwatna's two thousand soldiers, even if Prince Kail has the ability, the outcome is still hopeless."
"Shalla!" Hadi reprimanded, striking her younger sister on the head.
Kagome lifted her right thumb to her mouth and bit it, chewing on the digit, thinking over what Kikkuri has informed them as she glanced over at Kail. She took in the stoic, calculating look on his face and her eyes narrowed a bit. 'What's going through your head Kail?'
King Shunashu cowered back into a corner as blood covered sword was waved in front of his face. His eyes drifted over to dead carcasses that used to be his concubines. A warm liquid dripped down on his pristine robe, causing the old King to look up at the owner of the crimson stained blade.
The Black Prince smiled innocently as he brought his sword up closer to the man's nose. "King Shunashu, choose wisely. If you do as I say and send your troops out now," Flicking his wrist, Mattiwaza spattered more crimson fluid down at the King's clothing, "I'll stop the slaughtering and you will have as many concubines as you like, but only after I've conquered Anatolia as my own." His innocent smile turned cold and deadly, "Now swear your loyalty to me! Become a part of the Mitanni!"
The King of Kizzuwatna could do nothing, but dumbly nod his head and swear his oath to Mattiwaza.
Disaster was spelt for the Hittites once Kizzuwatna's soldiers joined Mitanni ranks. They quickly outnumbered Hittite Soldiers, slaughtering and capturing those who crossed their paths. Hundreds of dead bodies, men and horses alike, littered the battlefield. Each of them coming from the Hittite's army.
"Your Highness Kail!" a soldier called out as he cradled his wounded arm, blood staining his hand crimson. The right-wing troops have retreated! The enemy is too many." he panted as his head began to swim from the blood loss. He smiled a thanks when Ryui rushed over and began treating his wounds. "Prince Zannanza is returning here now."
No sooner than those words left the warrior's lips, Zannanza came in limping on his sword, red life-giving liquid dripping down his forehead and into his eye. "Brother!" he panted, leaning heavily on his blade. "The left-wing soldiers have fought to the best of their abilities, but were still unable to withstand..."
Kail growled low in his chest as his teeth worried his lower lips. His eyes narrowed in thought as his brows furrowed in a scowl. 'Losing Kizzuwatna will cause our defenses in the South to crumble and will increase Mitanni's intrusion. What should I do?'
"Brother?" Zannanza's voice broke Kail from his musings. "If this goes one, we'll lose all our soldiers."
A soldier rushed in, bleeding heavily from a wound slashed across his stomach. He fell to his knees as his eyes began glassy, "Your Highness..." he choked up, blood dribbling from his lips, "Mitanni's soldiers are charging."
"Dammit!" the third prince cursed. There was too wide of a gap in their strengths! There was only one possible choice to make if Kail wished to save his men. They'd have to retreat! Opening in his mouth to state the order of their retreat, a black blur whipped passed him. His eyes widened when he saw Kagome running towards the door, her long dark hair fluttering out behind her. "Kagome!"
Ishtar Incarnate lifted her hand into the air as she commanded, "Do it now!"
The jugs that were perched on top of the many buildings toppled over, spilling their contents on the Mitanni warriors. The soldiers screamed at the boiling pain of the clear liquid that scorched their skin red. They cried out when red bricks pummeled them into the ground, striking them in the head and rendering a few of them unconscious.
Kail watched in shock at the townspeople of Kizzuwatna continued their assault on the Mitanni.
"Go to Hell!"
"We're much more familiar with these streets than you bastards!"
Ryui turned a smile at her princess as she continued to dress the wounds of the fallen soldier, her bright greyish-green eyes sparkling. "Princess Kagome! Your idea is working!"
"If we're to live under another person's ruling, rather than let the Black Prince conquer, we would rather have the Goddess of War conquer us! She will protect us!"
"Even if the King chose Mitanni, we choose to help the Hittites!"
Kagome placed her hand over her chest as she let out a breath of relief. If she had been a second too late in telling the residents her plan, everyone she loved would have been slaughtered by the Mitanni. Her dark blue eyes sought out the old woman who helped aid her in ideas, smiling when she saw the woman ordered for more water to be boiled and brought to them. "Thanks Miss!" she called out, waving her hand.
The woman turned and waved back at the miko. "Anything for our Ishtar!"
"Reporting to the Black Prince!" a soldier dropped to his knees, his eyes low. "The townspeople are having a riot! All of Kizzuwatna's residents are attacking our soldiers!"
The black jewel on Mattiwaza's forehead glimmered in the sunlight as he clenched his fists up, glaring down at the soldier. "Those damned peasant! At first they only knew how to escape, what the hell is happening?" he demanded.
The soldier cringed at the angry bite of the prince's words, instantly fearing for his life. "I-I'm not sure," he stuttered, "but the peasants kept shouting about a Goddess of War."
"Goddess of war?" the dark-haired prince echoed. He growled under his breath before turned to his troops. "If the peasants are rioting, then our soldiers are no chance of winning. Retreat! We will stop here!" slicing his sharp grey eyes back to the kneeling soldier, Mattiwaza asked, "Do you know the name of the leader of the Hittite troops?"
The warrior lifted his head up, "According to the prisoners, the third prince, Kail Mursili II."
"Kail Mursili II." the Black Prince mused as a scowl settled on his face, marring his handsome features. "I'll remember that name."
Kagome grinned in triumph as she saw the hundreds of Mitanni soldiers flee, running away like a pack of wolves with their tails between their legs. Her smile faded a little when a memory of her adopted son flashed through her mind. It was when they first encountered Kouga and Kirara scared off some of his wolves when she transformed into her saber-tooth cat form. Shaking her head she pushed those sad memories away before the heartache could settle in her chest. 'This is no time for feeling sad, Kagome! Kail has won this battle!'
A few hours later, the warrior miko found herself standing beside Kail as the King of Kizzuwatna groveled at their feet. She desperately wanted the old man to rise to his feet, but she knew that it was not her place. That privileged belong to Kail.
King Shunashu sunk lower to the ground as he begged for Kail's forgiveness. "Prince Kail! Your Highness, I am truly sorry! I aided the Mitanni despite the treaty I have with your country!" his voice cracked with emotion as he cowered deeper into the stone floor beneath him. "Please forgive me! Don't kill me..." he whispered the last part so lowly that Kail nearly missed it.
Kail softened his eyes slightly at the shaking king, his voice was empty as he said, "King Shunashu, only his Majesty, the emperor can sentence your offence. Before your verdict is out, you must hand over your control to the Crown Prince." his tone was even as Kail continued, "Think about what you have done."
Shunashu looked up at the third prince before casting his gaze down. "Yes, your Highness."
"Goddess of War!" the townspeople cried, their arms raised into the air. "Give us your blessing! Bless us Goddess of War!"
Kail sighed as he turned his eyes on the miko at his side. "Your popularity is greater than mine. You won't be able to get away from this." he gave her gentle push forward. "Go and give them your blessing, Kagome."
The Shikon no Miko nodded, her eyes tearing up when Kail simply turned away from her. Pressing her hands together, Kagome chanted, "Heavenly Father above! Your humble servant comes to ask of you! I ask of you to bless that people of Kizzuwatna! Bless them in the way you know best!"She smiled down at the people, thrusting her hands out. "I give you my blessings to all the people of Kizzuwatna!" a gasp left her lips when hands suddenly landed on her hips, tugging her back.
"That is not the Hittite way of blessing." Kail's voice murmured in her ear.
Kagome rolled her eyes, all traces of sadness replaced with annoyance. "Well, excuse me! I only know the Shinto way of blessing people. I don't know the Hittite way!" A blush crept up her neck when Kail leaned in close to her face. "Prince..."
Kail's eyes hardened as flashbacks of the miko's kidnapping traveled through his head. Leaning in close to Kagome, he touched his lips with hers coldly for a brief second before pulling away. Turning around, he pressed his hands to his mouth and thrust them away. "The blessing of the Goddess of War welcomes the people of Kizzuwatna in its comforting embrace!"
The tears that previously filled Kagome's eyes fell down her cheeks in silent rivers. Such a cold, empty kiss...I know it's his duty to fill the people with passion, but why does he have to kiss me so emotionlessly!' Ishtar Incarnate jolted at her thoughts. Why did she care if that prince kissed her like that? It was not like she was in love with him.
"Yes, you are Lady Kagome..."Ankoku's voice filtered through her mind.
"Shut up! I love Inuyasha! Not the perverted prince!"
"Oh, Little Kagome, you have so much to learn about what the heart wants." the corrupted side of the Shikon chuckled. "You still haven't realized that I did not take control of your body at first on that night. The night you almost gave Kail your most sacred gift..."
Kagome balled her hands up into tight fists as she pressed them against her head. "Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" Tears fell unabided down the miko's cheeks as she excused herself from Kail's presence. Once she was out of earshot, the dark-haired priestess fell to her knees. "My heart is so conflicted. I...I...I like Prince Kail..." she admitted to herself. Within the ocean of her consciousness, Kagome felt Ankoku stirring restlessly, but the dark embodiment remained silent.
Ryui stretched her arms above her head, arching her back. "Gleaming sunlight and clear blue skies, Hattusa is all fired up about the recent victory over Mitanni!" she smiled at her younger siblings.
Tito pouted as his hand balled up into fists and raised them up to his chest. "But...Sister Ryui..."
"Why is it so gloomy in this palace!" the younger Hatti siblings demanded, their voices echoing throughout the walls of the palace.
Hadi placed her hands on her hips as she gave her siblings a stern look. "Do we have a choice?" she pointed a slender finger over to her left. "Look at the proprietor. His Highness Prince Kail," her right, "Prince Zannanza," and finally behind her at a tree in the courtyard, "as well as Princess Kagome, who refuses to come down from that tree, everyone is in this state."
The three younger Hattie siblings huddled up as they gathered their respectful trays.
"I believe that there's nothing between Kagome-sama and Prince Zannanza," Tito whispered to his sisters.
Ryui scoffed softly as she lifted up her tray. "Don't be silly, Tito, neither of them didn't deny it."
Shalla picked up where her twin left off. "Yeah, both of them were alone for a few days; it's no wonder Prince Kail is doubtful of them!"
Apparently the younger siblings were not as quiet and subtle about their conversation as their eldest sister smacked each of them on the head, her fist still smoking from striking them. "Ryui, Shalla, Tito! Stop talking nonsense and get back to work!"
"Sister Hadi~!" they whined, holding the swelling knots that were forming on the tops of their heads, but the stern glare Hadi graced them with silenced them.
Hadi pointed her finger to the horse station. "Go clean Raion's stable! There are more things to worry about than that incident!" she chastised.
Before the Hatti siblings could, begrudgingly, do as their sister told them, a voice stopped them,
The elder sibling turned at the sound of the voice and found the tall figure of Ilbani strolling over towards them. "Ilbani-sama..."
"Compared with the personal feelings and problems of his Highness, the palace panel of judges is another big problem." he sighed and placed his hands inside his sleeves as his grey eyes turned down towards the ground.
Shalla tilted her head slightly to the side. "The palace panel of judges?"
Tito turned sad jaded eyes at his older sister. "Sister, have you forgotten? Prince Zannanza's serious offence of kidnapping Kail-sama's concubine? Kidnapping Kagome-sama?"
Ilbani nodded before continuing. "And with Prince Kail in charge of the prisoners, even if we have won this battle in Mitanni's War, it is not enough to make amends for their guilt."
Hadi gasped, her fingers covering her lips as her dark green eyes widened. "But this whole incident was the Queen's doing!"
"True." the Imperial Clerk agreed, "By such, the Queen will not let them off easily. She will most definitely hold a conference in the palace on this issue."
As if on cue with Ilbani's words, Kikkuri came rushing in, his chestnut-brown haired wild from his running. He immediately dropped to his knees in front of Kail as he relayed his urgent message. "Prince Kail! The King has summoned you, Prince Zannanza, and Princess Kagome to the grand palace at once!"
Kagome shifted her eyes down at Kikkuri from her perch in the tree. While she did not want to leave the comfort of nature, the miko knew that she could be punished for denying to meet with the emperor. Slowly, she hopped down from the branch she was resting on and walked over to Kikkuri, her thumb caught between her teeth. 'What has Nakia planned now? We are not ready to confront her at the moment...I especially...'
The miko glanced around from her position of kneeling before the Tarbana, though she was seething on the inside for having to grovel in front of Nakia, but she kept her peace. She looked over at Ilbani when he commented on how the Queen has called for the Elders. Quietly, she questioned the Imperial Clerk about the dozens of old men around them.
Beginning his explanations, Ilbani informed the raven-haired miko of the authority ranks. How there are three people who are in charge of making major decisions. First and foremost was the emperor, then the queen, and after her were the Elders. He explained that after the Elders were two hundred rulers that formed the Hittite's regulation administration. The Hittite country is unlike that of Egypt or Babylon, where the King, alone, makes the decisions.
Kagome gritted her teeth. 'So, in this situation, the Tarbana's decision is not alone. It's a very good system, but not in our favor...'
"Kail Mursili II and Zannanza Hattusili!" the emperor bellowed out. "I congratulate you on the matters at Kizzuwatna!" He stern dark brown eyes hardened as his voice steeled. "However, that is unable to make up for all of your mistakes! As Crown Princes, you two are role models for the people, but rather, the both of you have done otherwise! Your 'good deed' has stirred up an uproar in the palace and among the people. This fault will not be easily rectified!" his eyes cut over to this fourth born son as they narrowed in distaste. "Especially you, Zannanza! Kidnapping is a serious offence! Do you understand? What were you thinking!?"
"Dear Father!" Kail pleaded. "Please wait! This is not a kidnap..."
Nakia cut him off with a firm 'Quiet!' She glared down at the young prince with cold, emotionless eyes. "Prince Kail, don't you dare side with him!" she pointed a finger over to the guards who were standing base by the door. "The guards of Hattusa and the peasants of Kaska all saw Zannanza take that girl by force with their own eyes!"
Kagome growled low in her chest, feeling Ankoku stir. Forcing herself to calm down, the miko took a few calming breaths and when she felt the corrupted essence of the Shikon fade away, Kagome glared back up at Nakia. 'That rotten Queen! I cannot believe her!'
"According to the Hittites' Law Book, kidnapping offense, if the offender is a peasant then his whole year's supply would become his penalty. If a Prince is found guilty, the penalty is two hundred times that of the normal penalty!" the Tarbana announced.
The Queen stood from her seat, her staff clenched tightly between her hands. "That is too easy on them! I ask that they be removed from the List of the Royal Succession!"
"What!" Kagome shrieked. She turned to Ilbani, whose skin lost all its color. "She wants to remove Prince Kail from the Royal Succession?"
Ilbani nodded slowly, his face pale as he bit his bottom lip. "Meaning that he would go from a prince to a noble. Eliminating Prince Kail's chance at gaining the throne."
Dark blue eyes widened at the Imperial Clerk's confession. Kail would be eliminated from being a candidate for King? What about the prince's goals and dreams of ruling with peace? Kagome could not let Nakia destroy his precious ambitions!
"His Majesty just mentioned that princes are a role model for the people," Nakia continued, looking at the Elders, "That is why I dare to make such a request! Please allow the Elders to decided!"
Stealing a glance at Kail, the miko watched the blond bite his bottom lip as his brows furrowed in a scowl. 'The Elders will not agree. Prince Kail is a very important person.' Her attention was drawn from the third prince as the sound of people rising from their chairs echoed throughout the room.
"I agree to the Queen's proposal."
"Me as well."
Kagome shot to her feet, her eyes narrowed in a glare. 'Have all the Elders been possessed by Nakia?' Collecting her reiki into her eyes, the miko scanned the crowd for signs of the Queen's possessing in the bodies of the Elders, but found none. 'What the hell? The Elders actually support Nakia!'
The Queen smiled smugly as she stroked the ornament on top of her staff. "It would seem that all the Elders agree to my proposal." she turned to her husband, her smug smile becoming sweet and charming. "Dearest, please announce the decision."
'No!' Kagome screamed mentally as she racked her brain for answers. 'Even the emperor cannot deny this!'
The Tarbana glanced down at his sons sadly. He did not wish to remove his children from the Royal Succession List. He only wanted them to be reprimanded for their actions and go back to being the perfect sons he knew they could be. "Th-then I will announce that Kail Mursili II and Zannanza Hattusili are hereby removed..."
"Wait!" Kagome called out, stepping forward. She dropped to her knees before the emperor, bowing her head. "Please forgive my rudeness, your Highness. But I can no longer remain silent about this. I was not being kidnapped like you all believe. It was all a part of Prince Kail's plan."
Ocher and hazel eyes widened as they looked over at the small woman.
Nakia snapped, "Little girl! What nonsense are you saying?"
The Tarbana held his hand out, silencing his wife. "Let her continue with what she has to say."
Kagome smirked inwardly at the dejected look on the Queen's face as the miko rose to her feet. "Thank you, my liege. As I was saying, my being kidnapped was a part of Prince Kail's idea to outwit the Mitanni soldiers." the lie came from her lips smoothly, never once showing in her face as she deceived the emperor with her words. "Days before Prince Zannanza's return, we received word that Mitanni's Black Prince would be attacking Kizzuwatna soon. So, once the fourth prince had returned, Prince Kail assigned myself and Prince Zannanza over there in advance to prepare for the battle." Kagome stole a glance at Kail, "But it would have failed if the enemy knew about it and that would have spelt disaster. So, we chose to use that method.
Finally, Kail met her gaze and caught on to her plan. Nodding subtly, he encouraged the woman to continue.
Taking a deep breath, the miko resumed in her false tale. "It was not a kidnapping. Why would anyone do such a thing to jeopardize their reputation?" When no one was able to answer her inquiry, Kagome answered it herself. "There is no validated reason!"
"Is...Is that true?" the emperor questioned, his eyes wide and brows nearly touching his hairline.
"Of course that's a lie!" Nakia hissed. "A bunch of nonsense!"
Ilbani chuckled lowly under his breath as he caught on to the miko's string of lies. "If it wasn't for the earlier preparation, how would our troops have possibly defeated the enemy?" he questioned the Queen. "Our success is evidence of this."
Nakia clutched her staff tightly in her hands as she snapped out, "In that case why wasn't the palace informed of Mitanni's attack!" her nostrils flared with her agitation. Why did that accursed child have to open her mouth and say something? Her plan was working!
Kail smiled slyly at his stepmother. "Because, Mother Dearest, deceiving the Royal Troops is not something to boast about. If we had informed the palace, then the plan would be easily exposed." his lips tilted even further into a wider smile when Nakia narrowed her hazy green eyes at them.
An elder smiled sheepishly. "Is that so?" he laughed nervously. "Just like his Highness...truly ingenious."
"We knew from the very start that things would not be as it seemed." another rubbed the back of his head as an extremely nervous chuckled left his lips.
"I understand." the emperor said, relieved that his sons would not be removed from the Succession List. "Kail and Zannanza! Both of you did a good job! I shall reward you highly some other time." he waved his hand, stamping his staff on the ground. "Leave us!"
Kagome sunk to her knees, thoroughly exhausted. She's never told that big of a lie since back when she first met Shippou and was captured by the Thunder Brothers. A smile spread over her lips as she tilted her head back and praised the kami for saving Prince Kail and Prince Zannanza from being eliminated from the path to the throne. 'Everything is alright!'
"I thank you Kagome," Zannanza said as he followed the young miko down the stairs. "You've saved my life again."
The dark-haired priestess waved her hand back and forth at the younger prince. "You don't have to thank me, Prince Zannanza." She smiled wearily. "I'm normally a bad liar. It's because everyone helped as well." her smile turned down into a frown as she reminisced about what Nakia had almost done. A growl formed in her chest and threatened to escape. "That rotten Queen is too much. She really is such a..." she trailed off when a small pink flower landed in her hair and watched Zannanza reach over and pluck it out. Just as she was about to thank the young prince, Kagome saw the solemn expression on Kail's face as he walked past them. "Prince Kail?"
Zannanza watched as the small woman bowed before him before running after his brother. Gazing down at the pretty, pink blossom he held between his fingers, the fourth prince raised it to his lips where he pressed a gentle kiss upon it.
Kagome followed Kail all the way to his chambers, explaining all the way that nothing happened between her and Zannanza. She grabbed his robe, bringing him down to her level as she said, "Are you even listening to me?"
Kail blinked slowly as he reached up and removed her tiny fingers away from his clothing. Looking down at the miko, he said, in a very high authoritative manner, "Yes, I am listening, Kagome. And I have told you time and time again that I understand. I thank you for your assistance, but I am tired. I'm going to take an early rest."
Huffing, the Shikon no Miko grabbed the nearest object next to her and chucked it at the prince. Her dark blue eyes seemed to pierced right through him when he looked at her questionably. "Bakayarou!" she cursed at him. "Why won't you tell me what you really want to say? Look me in the eye and tell me!" she picked up an apple from a nearby tray, tossing it at the prince's head.
The third prince raised his hands to shield himself from the oncoming objects that Kagome continuously threw at him. He looked at her, but not meeting her eyes as he yelled, "Stop throwing things at me, you vicious woman! I really don't mind what happened with Prince Zannanza!"
"PRINCE ZANNANZA?!" Kagome snapped, her eyes flickering between silver, dark blue, and golden-orange. She sprung up on the balls of her feet and threw herself at the blond, tackling him to the bed. "You stupid idiot! Why did you call your own brother by him formality name if you didn't mind!" her voice was a mixture of her own and Ankoku's as her anger began to get the better of her. The shimmering tattoo over Kagome's left breast began to glow an ominous violet color.
Upon seeing her eyes change colors, Kail quickly reversed their positions, so that he was on top of Kagome, holding her down by her wrists. "Calm down! You're going to let 'Her' take over!"
"Let go of me!" The miko struggled beneath the prince, her eyes flashing dangerously. She ceased in her fighting when Kail merely tightened his grip on her wrists and flared his aura, wrapping her in the soft yellow energy. Her eyes stopped flickering, settling on her normal deep blue orbs and tears welled up behind her lids. "Why Prince Kail...why won't you talk to me?"
Kail's amber-gold eyes softened at the young woman's plea. Gazing deeply into her eyes, a spark of his feelings went down his body and the look in his bright eyes turned almost loving. Lowering his face towards hers, Kail slid his eyes shut.
Kagome felt her pulse speed up, her heart thumping behind her ribcage. 'He's going to kiss me.' Closing her eyes in anticipation, the miko tilted her head back, expecting to feel Kail's warm, soft lips upon hers. Her eyes flew open when the silky strands of his long golden hair tickled her mouth. "Prince Kail?" she questioned when he swiftly removed himself from her person.
"I'm going to rest." he announced, turning his back to her.
"I suppose I'm only Ishtar to you as well." Kagome said as she sat up. Her fingers sought out something, anything for her to take her anger out on the prince with.
"What are you..." Kail turned around, recoiling back when a bouquet of light blue flowers smacked him in the face.
Kagome rose to her feet, walking over to the door. She shot Kail an angry look. "Besides, it's not like you don't have a lover! Go to some other Princess! See if I care, Baka!" she ran out of the room, slamming the door shut behind her. She faintly heard Kail call out for her, but she continued to run down the hall until she reached the entrance to her loyal handmaids' room. "Hadi-san, Ryui-san, Shalla-san, may I stay with you for a little while?"
The three sisters rose from their beds sleepily, rubbing their eyes. "Princess Kagome?"
Angry tears fell down the miko's pale cheeks as she laid her head down on Hadi's lap as Ryui and Shalla wrapped her up in a blanket. 'Baka! Kail no baka!' she cursed at the blond prince angrily as she pulled the covers over her head, shielding her crying face from the world. 'I've explained it to him so many times, but he won't get it through his thick skull!'
Back in the room with Kail, the third prince sat on the edge of his head, his head cradled by his left hand as he replayed what happened in his head. Gritting his teeth and balling up his right hand, Kail let out a low growl. 'Dammit! What am I doing? Kagome will have to go back to her original world soon and if I touch her now, I won't want to let her go...'
For the first time since Kagome arrived in Hattusa, she and Kail slept in different rooms. Since her promise to remain by the prince's side, Kagome was no longer next to him. Slowly, the miko felt her heart break all over again at the thought of losing Kail.
"What?" a dark-haired woman questioned when the shopkeeper restated the prince. "A stack of oat is three shillings?" she held up her index finger. "It was one shilling before!"
The elderly female shopkeeper struggled to bear the heavy weight of the basket. "I'm sorry. It's hard to get them in stock lately. I had to raise the price of the oat."
The other woman was not listening. "Sell it cheaper. We always buy from you!"
Placing the heavy stack down on the table, the woman tried to appease to the crowd that was beginning to gather around her shop. "Please calm down! The traders from Yasu are not coming here, that's why everyone is experiencing a shortage."
"You stingy old lady!" the people were not listening to reason as they began to throw things at the elderly shopkeeper.
"What are you saying?" she shielded herself from the oncoming objects. "I'm not the one causing this!"
News of the price raise of oat soon reached the Tarbana's ears and he was shocked. The imports should have sufficient! They just placed an order for another stock that should have been in by now. What was going on? The emperor voiced this question out loud to the soldier who reported in to him.
The soldier bowed his head. "It is because there haven't been any traders who came from Mesopotamia in the past month."
Kail felt his eyes widen at the statement. "What do you mean? I've received news of the all the trader's departures."
"That is true, your Highness, but we lost contact with them after they entered East Anatolia." the soldier replied.
"Then that means that all the traders have disappeared when they reach East Anatolia?" Kail crossed his arms over his chest.
Kagome narrowed her eyes. 'Disappearing traders?' She shifted her attention to the pedestal when a loud snapping sound vibrated through the room. Looking up, she noticed Nakia standing with the broken remain of her staff in her hands.
The Queen threw the pieces of her staff at the soldier, hitting him on the head. "Why don't you send your troops to East Anatolia at once!" she snapped. "That area is within Mitanni's boundary, and since the traders have disappeared there, they should have informed us!" Nakia was seething, her pale face turning an unattractive shade of red. "It looks like to me that Mitanni wants to seize all the trading goods coming into our country!"
The soldier could only bow his head lower as the Queen's wooden staff smacked him, leaving a small, bleeding scratch on his cheek. "You are right, Queen Nakia! Mitanni might be behind the missing traders, but East Anatolia is so vast. But, we've dispatched investigators to spy on Mitanni's troops for any movement."
"Too slow!" the queen yelled, her blonde hair was beginning to look disheveled as her fist balled up tightly and she began to tremble. "Go and search for the missing traders immediately!"
Zannanza shook his head as he looked over at his stepmother. "What's wrong with the Queen. She's acting more hysterical than usual."
Ilbani grimaced. "Women! It happens once every month." he flinched in pain when someone jabbed in the ribs. Holding his sore side, the Imperial Clerk turned to glare at the one who committed the action only to gaze into the narrowed eyes of Ishtar Incarnate. "Oh! Princess Kagome..." he rubbed the back of his head as he laughed sheepishly. "I didn't realize that you were there."
Kagome's eyes narrowed even further. "Uh huh...sure you didn't Ilbani-sama."
"Is this really the time to be joking around?" Kail questioned, cutting his eyes over to the trio. "The Queen only involves her matters concerning inheritance, and since she feel this is a serious matter; it means the missing traders are a link to the inheritance."
Ilbani lowered his head as he moved over to the third prince, taking his place at Kail's right hand side with Kikkuri stand next him. "Forgive me, your Highness."
Kail nodded at his foster brother. "We cannot overlook this. She must be up to something; send someone on it! And Zannanza..." the blond turned to address his younger brother and invertedly locked eyes with Kagome. He briefly saw the sadness within her blue orbs, before she hid it away and lifted her chin defiantly. Sighing, Kail finished what he was saying, "You have to be ready for any sudden attack against the Mitanni."
Zannanza looked worried as he saw his brother walk passed the young miko without so much as one word. "Yes, Brother..."
Ilbani turned to the Hatti siblings, watching Kagome twist on her heel and exit the building from the southern entrance. "Prince Kail and Princess Kagome have not made up yet?"
"No. And it looks like it's getting worse." they sighed dejectedly.
Kagome leaned on one of the many white pillars just outside the throne room and blew her bangs out of her eyes. She crossed her arms below her breasts as she fought off a wave of tears that threatened to spill from behind her eyelids. 'Even though I started the argument between us...'
"You never thought that Kail would actually ignore us?" Ankoku voiced from her realm in Kagome's consciousness.
The miko sighed. She did not have the energy to snap at her corrupted version right now. She was emotionally drained. Her heart was hurting from the simple thought that Kail was ignoring her. "I don't know what to do...He's acting like Inuyasha when he used to get mad at me."
"Okay, first of all, you need to stop comparing my sweet little prince to that mutt!" the miko youkai snapped. "He is better than that trash!"
Kagome rubbed her temples, trying to ward off the oncoming headache that was starting to develop. "I don't have time to argue with you, Ankoku. Besides this is all Kail's fault for neglecting me and choosing to remain quiet about his questions. If he would only tell me what he truly wanted to say then I could explain exactly what happened."
"Well...you do know that I took control for a bit. So I know what transpired better than you." Ankoku's voice took on a seductive purr, "You should let me explain things to my prince."
"Yeah, like I'm going to fall for that." Kagome scoffed as she shut her corrupted side off, filling her body with her reiki and placing a small internal barrier over the mark of the Shikon."It's Kail's own disregard for this matter that puts him in the wrong." Ishtar Incarnate lifted her face towards the sun and basked in its warm glow.
Hadi handed Tito the barrel of water she was carrying, smiling down at her younger brother before patting him on the head. She turned to her younger sisters. "I wonder if Prince Kail won't be coming home again tonight."
Ryui placed her face in the palm of her left hand. "He is so busy with the council of war and the Queen is plotting something again."
"What do you mean, sis?" Shalla questioned.
"Remember how she demanded that the traders be found? Well, she's still ranting on about it." the older twin said. "I believe they were bringing her something from Babylonia and because of what happened it may have gotten stolen. The Queen is very angry about it."
Kagome, who was leaning against the doorway with Tito, walked inside and heard the last bit of the sisters' conversation. Arching a dark brow, the miko quipped, "You really think that, Ryui-san?" 'Just what is Nakia looking for?'
"Oh, Princess Kagome." the girls echoed together.
Ryui nodded her head. "Yes, Kikkuri said as much to me."
"I see." Kagome commented. "Then his Highness must be tired. I hope he is taking care of himself." the miko carefully avoided saying Kail's name, less Ankoku would stir restlessly inside her realm and bug the hell out of Kagome about talking to the blond third prince. 'Perhaps I should talk to him...'
Tito grinned as he looked up at his sisters sneakily. Once he caught their eyes, they quickly shared the same look and somehow the same message was going through their heads. Set Kail and Kagome up.
"Kagome-sama!" the young boy chirped as he grabbed the young woman's hand. "Let's go give Kail-sama some food."
Kagome lifted her brow once more. "Why should I?"
Hadi picked up a nearby basket and began to pick up the stray rags on the ground. "Don't you want to know what Prince Kail has learned about the Queen?"
Shalla appeared with a large jug of wine in her arms and a bright smile on her lips. "I'm sure Prince Kail will be very happy to see us."
The miko turned her sharp gaze on the younger twin. "I only want to know what Nakia's up to!"
Ryui eyed the simple white dress Kagome chose to wear. It was nice enough with it being trimmed in amber, but it was still missing something. "But first. Let's accessorize this dress!"
"No." Kagome crossed her arms. "I do not have to get all pretty just for a simple visit to the military meeting room." she placed her foot down when it came to wearing those heavy accessories. She'd much prefer to wear the light jewelry that she had came to this world with. Her earrings shined in the sunlight, sparkling like dark matter in space; her father's ring gleamed prettily in the lighting; the diamond of her pink bow ring twinkled and sparkled; and lastly, the Higurashi hairpin danced with the colors of tangerine and gold. "I look fine!"
The older twin pouted as she grabbed a basket filled with fruit. "Fine. Let's take the food the Prince Kail as a guise, okay?"
Tito pulled the miko closer to the door of the military room, but frowned when he heard the droning voices of the councilmen. He sighed, Kail-sama is still in his war council meeting."
Kagome threw her arms out to her sides as she moved in front of them. "I've told you that I don't want to see him!"
Hadi smiled and pushed the miko back behind her. "Yes. Yes." she waved her hand up and down.
Ishtar Incarnate huffed, blowing her long raven bangs out of her eyes. Movement to her immediate right caught her attention as two figures disappeared around the corner. One dressed in flowing white robes, while the other was dressed, in the opposite, stark black robes. 'That looked like Nakia and her advisor Urhi.' Glancing back at the military room, where the Hatti siblings were, and back to where she'd spotted the Queen wandering off too, Kagome snuck off. 'Just where are those two going?'
"Princess Kagome!" Hadi chirped, her eyes closed as she turned around. "Let's wait in his Highness's chamber until his return and surprise him." Opening her lids, a gasp left the elder sibling as the spot where the miko had previously occupied was empty. "Princess!"
Nakia looked over her shoulder as a precaution before looking back at her most trusted servant. "No one will disturb us here." Folding her hands across lap, the Queen continued, "Have you discovered where the 'item' is, Urhi?"
"Yes, malady." Urhi answered, keeping his head low in respect.
Kagome pressed herself closer to wall as she leaned in to hear what the couple was conversing about. Normally, the miko would not eavesdrop, but this was an important matter. Plus Nakia could not be up to any good if she needed to be secluded. 'Talking about the thing you ordered from Babylonia? Just what are you plotting?'
"According to the survivors of the caravan, they were attacked by Mitanni soldiers and..." he trailed off, looking to the side.
Nakia clenched her fists. "Then the Mitanni does have it?"
Urhi bowed his head further down as he felt the brunt of his Queen's fury, her aura lashing out violently. "Probably so."
Slanting her eyes at the couple, Kagome peering from behind the corner, controlling her breathing so that it would not give her away. 'Just what is 'it'? Perhaps something that Kail should know about.' She strained her ears to pick up more information from the Queen and her advisor, but they lowered their voices to a near whisper that even the miko's acute hearing had problems hearing. 'I can't hear what they are saying. I'll have to chance it and get a little closer.' Rising up on the balls of her feet, Kagome slowly leaned further around the corner, but unknown to her a small twig was beneath her foot. As she tilted up on her foot, the dry wood snapped loudly.
"Who's there?!" Nakia whipped around, her green eyes narrowed sharply.
'Kuso!' Kagome cursed, pressing her back against the wall.
"Whoever is spying on us must die!" the Queen turned to her servant. "Urhi!"
Ishtar Incarnate pushed herself off the wall, springing to her feet and opened her senses. She cursed herself for not keeping her bow or dagger on her at time like this and she did not want to drain her energy by crafting one of her ki. So, she did the one thing every sensible seventeen-year-old girl would do if she was cornered. Kagome ran. Entering one of the many open doors, the miko found herself in a storeroom filled with underground barrels of oat. 'Looks like I'm hiding in the oat.'
"She's in the storeroom!" Urhi's voice called out from outside. It sounded close. Too close for Kagome's comfort. Just as the miko finished covering herself with the beige grains, the Queen her adviser burst into the room - Urhi having drawn his blade. "She can't escape!"
"Our scouts have reported." the Tarbana announced, rising to his feet. "The Mitanni are using the fortress city of Malatya as their forward base." narrowing his dark oak eyes, the emperor proclaimed, "I have decided to send an army to Malatya! Prince Kail Mursili II," he looked over at his third born son, "You shall lead that force."
Kail looked determinedly in his father's eyes. "Yes, your Majesty!"
Turning to address his fourth born son, the Tarbana said, "Prince Zannanza Hattusili, you shall lead a second army."
"Yes, your Majesty!"
"Only Crown Prince Arnuwanda shall remain in Hattusa. The second Prince Telipinu and the fifth Prince Piyasili shall stand ready to march at any given time." the emperor stated.
Kail rose from his chair. "Dear Father, this is such a large force to attack only Malatya."
The Tarbana swung his staff around, his eyes narrowed sharply. "Precisely. Malatya is not our only target. Our objective is the destruction of the Mitanni Kingdom! We have been in this war with Mitanni for many years now and since we have acquired the skills for crafting iron, this is our chance to eliminate them." the look in his wooden eyes was stern as he looked at each one of his children in the eye. "No matter how long this war will take! Do not return until Mitanni's King Tushratta is sent to the netherworld."
The blond third prince felt shock enter his body, stunning him to his seat as his eyes widened and mouth fell open. 'No matter how long?' Slowly Kail brought his thumb to his mouth, capturing it between his teeth.
"I will oversee this war myself!" the emperor continued in his booming voice that commanded everyone's attention.
"The Tarbana's direct supervision?!"
Kail walked out of the war meeting, his thumb still wedged between his teeth as he continuously gnawed on the tender flesh, ignoring the tingle of pain that came with the action. Kikkuri walked behind him, matching his footsteps as he carried the prince's sword on a small pillow.
"Congratulations, your Highness." the chestnut-brown haired man commented. "You'll be leading the forefront troops by His Majesty." with a small smile, he added, "Along with Princess Kagome, victory is surely ours."
Tito rushed over to the two men, his hand clenched into fists as he brought them against his chest. "Kail-sama, have you seen Kagome-sama."
The third prince looked over at Hadi. "Is Kagome in the palace?"
The eldest Hatti sibling shifted her eyes around, "Well, she was. But she's disappeared all of a sudden."
Kail blinked. "Have you checked the tree in the courtyard?" A puzzled look entered his eyes when Hadi nodded. Rubbing his bruised thumb along his tongue, third prince contemplated on the places where Kagome could have gone. His eyes widened at the one possibility she could be. 'That woman certainly loves to put herself in dangerous situations.'
Nakia entered the storeroom, followed quickly by Urhi. Her cat-like eyes narrowed at the silence of the small enclosure. "There's no one here."
"I'm sure I saw someone enter..." Urhi trailed off, the hood of his cloak hiding his facial emotions.
The Queen let out a slow breath as he shoulders relaxed. "Perhaps we're a bit overwrought." she clenched her fists. "Oh, if only I had the Dragon's Eye." she whispered, "I'd need worry about Kail no more. I must get my hands on it!" Nakia turned on her heel, the long trail of her veil fluttering lightly with the movement, and exited to storeroom.
Urhi gazed around the small room once more before following his Queen out the door.
A few minutes after they left, the underground barrel that was closest to Nakia when she was there shifted and a head of raven hair poked through. Dark blue eyes peeked open and scanned the area, before the young woman pulled herself out of the jug. "Dragon's Eye?" she tiptoed over to the door, looking left and right. "I'm not sure what it is, but if Nakia if after it, I have to stop her."
The oat the clung to her hair fell and tickled Kagome's nose. "Kuso! The oat...my allergies..." the miko covered her nose with her hands and stifled the sneeze as much as she could, but it was still loud enough for Nakia to notice.
"You!" the Queen hissed as she rounded the corner.
Kagome turned around and smirked at Nakia coldly. "I have a name, Queen Nakia." she giggled at the snarl that came on the Queen's face. "Keep frowning like that and you'll get wrinkles." she twisted on her heels and broke off in a jog.
Nakia snapped out her stunned shock at the girl's comment about her getting wrinkled and turned to Urhi. "That little wench! She overheard our conversation!" a smirk slithered onto her red lips. "Kill her and we'll perform the Katashiro as previously planned."
Urhi nodded and withdrew his sword, giving chase to the young woman.
The miko tilted her head back and laughed. It was so much fun teasing the Queen that she could not contain her excitement. A gasp was ripped from her throat when strong hands reached out and grabbed her by the waist, drawing her close to the person. "Iya! Let go of me!" she blinked when her body relaxed instantly against the being holding her and she looked over her shoulder. "Prince Kail?"
Nakia came to an abrupt stop when she spotted the blond third Prince. "Kail!" she narrowed her eyes.
Kail wrapped his arms tighter around Kagome mid-section, nuzzling her hair. "Mother Dearest, has my princess done something?" he smiled slightly.
"That's what I should be asking you." she hissed. "Why is your concubine lurking in the storeroom."
A small chuckle left the prince's lips as he opened one of his eyes. "I told her to see how much oat we have in the reserves." he lied smoothly. "An army marches on its stomach, you know?"
"Something wrong, your Highness?" A soldier questioned as he rounded the corner.
Kail slid his fingers up Kagome's arm, feeling her shiver against him. "Mother Dearest, please return to your palace. It's unseemly for a Queen and her henchman to chase girls about with swords." he glanced at Urhi, who still had his blade drawn.
Nakia bit her lip as a low sounding growl rumbled in her chest. "It's also unseemly for a concubine to wander these halls unattended!" she turned around, her sheer veil fluttering in the wind, "You'd be wise to keep her locked up in your chamber where she belongs."
"I may just do that." the prince murmured at he looked down at the woman in his arms. He quickly pushed her away and turned on his heels. "Let's go, Kagome."
"Wait, Prince Kail!" Kagome said as she chased after the male, taking two steps for one of his. "I have something important to tell you!"
Nakia turned her head, looking over her shoulder to glared at the retreating forms of Kail and his annoying concubine. 'Damn that little wench! Now Kail will know about the Dragon's Eye.' she bit her bottom lips so hard that after the initial sting, blood flowed onto her tongue.
"The Dragon's Eye!?" Ilbani's questioning voice ran through the space of the room where Kagome divulged everything she heard from the Queen. His eyes widened even further when the young miko nodded. "The Queen sent for such an artifact. I never thought that thing existed."
Kagome glanced at Kail before voicing her question, "What, exact, is the 'Dragon's Eye'?"
Kail caught her eyes and quickly looked away once Kikkuri moved over to take his cloak. "It's a powerful talisman." his voice darkened as he told them all he knew about the item at question. "It is said that Dragon's Eye can control people's wills. The possessor can control anyone."
"What?" the miko said, her eyes narrowing. The Queen was after something like that! Touching the area over her left breast, Kagome briefly wondered if the Dragon's Eye and the Shikon no Tama were somehow related. 'If so, then I can't let Nakia get her hands on it!'
The blond third prince slipped behind the curtain so that he could change his clothing and still speak to his comrades. "With it, Nakia could rule the entire Empire. Still, I'm astonished that the Dragon's Eye actually exists."
"I also heard Nakia say that the Mitanni have stolen it when they ambushed the traders." Kagome added.
Zannanza stepped forward, his hazel eyes still wide from all the information he took in. "The Mitanni? It would be catastrophic if they possess it."
The Imperial Clerk folded his arms over his chest as he let out a puff of air. "It seems that our expeditionary force has yet another task."
Tito's bright green eyes sparkled as he looked up at his savior. "Kagome-sama, does that mean we're going after the Dragon's Eye?"
Kagome smiled and placed her hand on the child's head of curly, auburn highlighted hair. "Yes, Tito-kun, we are." her eyes held a motherly light as her lips dipped down in a frown when he cheered. "But you will be staying here." She laughed softly at the pout that spring to his lips. "Remember, you have a very important task of your own. You have to protect my clothing for me."
"Oh yeah!" Tito smiled brightly as he thumped himself on the head.
"Okay!" the miko turned around, facing the adults of the group. "We cannot let Nakia or Mitanni get there's hands on the Dragon's Eye!"
Hadi grinned as she and her twin sisters surrounded the young priestess. "And with our Goddess of Beauty and War aiding us, victory is surely ours!"
Ryui beamed. "We'll start preparing for war at once!"
"Tito, you help out too." Shalla said, looking at her little brother."
"Of course, Sister Shalla!"
Kail silently listened to them as he disrobed, removing his formal robes for a more simple pale blue one. As he tied the flowing white sash around his waist, the third prince emerged from behind the curtain. "In order for Kagome to return to her world, she must go through Hattusa's springs, the one's, which brought her here," he continued when everyone looked at him. "She cannot depart from any other location."
Amber-gold eyes narrowed slightly. "It's dangerous for her to remain far from Hattusa for long."
Kagome slanted her eyes right back at the golden-haired prince. What he was saying was logical, but since missing her last chance, the miko still had ten more months until the Venus Star rises again. "What are you trying to say?"
Kail refused to look at her, knowing that with his next words, those beautiful dark blue eyes would be clouded over with anger. "What I am saying is that I shall not take you with me to this war. You shall remain here in Hattusa."
So, no Fate encounters here, but Kagome and Kail are fighting! What's going to happen- okay I'm seriously not going to do this because most of you have read Where the Sky and Red River Meet, so what already know pretty much what's going to happen. Oh! And for the readers of that fic, I'll be updating soon if not I will by next month. So, please be patient.
DragonFire Princess: Thanks for you ever faithful reviews!
CrescentMelody: My good Friend! I'm glad your New Year was well. Mine was great as well. I checked out your VK fic and you did a wonderful job editing it. I liked it.
Guest: Next time leave a name so I can thank you properly for your review! :)
dark-driex-07: My story is that good? Thanks for the review!
tohru78: I'm glad you like it. I read your review and immediately began working on to finish this chapter. And for that This chapter is for you!