Oh look, a new chapter. Didn't think I was telling the truth? Sure it took a while but whatever. Enjoy

Disclaimer: Getting tired of saying this over again. I own none of the characters nor the story etc etc


Chapter 24: Step Forward

"You're what?" Sango asked skeptically.

"Is it necessary that I repeat myself?" Kikyou answered ignoring the glare coming from the taijiya.

"Uh... are you sure?" Miroku asked intervening between the two females. "I mean, how do you know?"

"My grandmother told me when I was a child."

"Any details on how the monks sealed Katsurou?"

The priestess shook her head. "Nothing on the seal, but she told me about the battle. How five travelling monks were approached by a youkai messenger from the southern youkai palace."

"Lord Sesshomaru told us about that," Miroku interrupted. "That it was the southern youkai lord's mate who sought them out."

"Kikyou looked at the hanyou next to her. "You talked to your brother?"

"I'll explain later," Inuyasha replied with a shrug.

Kikyou just sighed and continued. "Anyway, at first the monks refused. Who ever heard of spiritualists aiding youkai? But realizing the damage Katsurou would cause on humanity, they agreed to assist. And you probably know the rest of the story. They sealed Katsurou once the youkai lords and their warriors weakened him."

"I have a feeling there's more to the story," Sango said after Kikyou paused in thought.

"After the battle was over... the monks each died mysteriously one after the other."

"What do you mean?"

"The way they were killed. It was executed by someone smart, powerful, and held a grudge. Not only the monks but anyone associated with them, including their family. One of them realized their life was in danger and hid his family."

"And that's your ancestor," Inuyasha stated.

"Yes," the priestess nodded. "Unfortunately all records of the monks, their names, and the seals they've done were lost or destroyed."

"Well we may never know their names but we do have the means to seal Katsurou," Miroku said after she had finished speaking.

"We do?" Inuyasha asked. "When did you do that?"

"When I went to Mt. Fuji."

"Why were you there?" Inuyasha asked again.

"Like I said before, talking to people wasn't helping. If I was going to get any information I would have to ask the source. And by that I mean the dead monks."

"How-"

"Mt. Fuji is one of the most spiritual places here. It can be used as a gateway to the spirit realm. Hence my reason for meditating."

"So you spoke with them?"

"Yeah. They told me how they created the seal."

"Did they mention anything about their deaths?" Kikyou asked.

"No. To tell you the truth it was hard getting anything out of them. Once I mentioned Katsurou's name they all became furious. It's a hand full dealing with angry spirits. But from the way they talked, I might have an idea on who killed them. The one that never left his side. The only survivor."

"That old witch." Inuyasha commented.

Miroku nodded. "She may be our biggest problem."

"So what's the plan now?"

"We sent word to Kagome asking her to retrieve some ingredients needed for the seal."

"Where is she anyway?" Kikyo asked.

The three looked at each other before unanimously decided to tell her the truth. "She's in the western lands."

"The western lands? She's with your brother?"

"Yeah. That is also a bit of a long story." Inuyasha said, not really wanting to explain it.

"I'm sure we have enough time for you to tell me."


"Are you sure you should be out of bed?" Hayate asked as he led the young girl down the hall.

"I'm fine. I can stand and walk fairly well." Kagome replied.

"So you say. But you had trouble getting up earlier."

"That's because of the pain in my shoulder and back."

"Which is why you should stay in bed and rest."

"Hayate, I'm okay. Besides I should show the other lords that I am a capable ally."

"You have already proven that fact." Hayate said stopping in front of her. "No one doubts your skills."

Kagome just sighed and continued walking. "I also don't want to be alone healing in a room. I get bored very easily."

The youkai chuckled behind her. "You better hope that excuse works well against Lord Sesshomaru."

The young girl just smiled before opening the door to the dinning hall. All eyes turned to her once she stepped into the room. She gave a slight bow and slowly sat down in her usual place.

"What are you doing," Sesshomaru demanded beside her.

"I wanted to eat with everyone."

"You are supposed to be resting."

"I feel fine."

"You do realize I am able to smell deceit. That and your face gives away your discomfort."

"I did not mean to deceive you but I feel fine. I promise to rest all day tomorrow."

Sesshomaru just stared at her as she gave him her best puppy-dog look. "That won't work."

Kagome pouted and was about to beg again when a chuckle was sounded from across the table. Daichi smiled at the young priestess. "Lord Sesshomaru why don't you let her stay?"

The taiyoukai held back a sigh. "Fine."

"Thank you," She smiled at the taiyoukai. She gave the southern lord a grateful smile as their food was brought in. After some time she turned to speak to the inu next to her. "Lord Sesshomaru, where is Lord Isamu?"

"Gone."

"Oh. So he was still mad?"

"Mad wouldn't be quite right," Arata smirked from across the table. "The man was furious. Once he was able to move again he confronted Lord Sesshomaru and tried to pick a fight."

Kagome gave the taiyoukai an apologetic smile. "I seem to keep causing you problems."

"I can deal with Isamu. You should worry more about yourself."

"What? Why?"

"You angered a youkai lord. No doubt you will be in more danger because of that."

Kagome's shoulders slumped as she let out a sigh. "Just what I needed, another enemy."

"Well, he won't try anything while you're here." The northern lord commented.

"You don't know him well enough. Lord Isamu would do anything to get rid of his enemies." Daichi said. "I personally never trusted him."

"So I'm guessing you were never allies?" Kagome asked.

"No. The east and the south have never been on perfect terms with one another."

"None of us have been on good terms with the eastern lord due to his personality." Arata added. "Although in the past I was considered an ally."

"What happened?"

"He wanted me to help eliminate the previous western lord. When I refused he cut off our alliance and even threatened to take over my own territory."

"Things will be difficult for all of us. Especially if this Naraku person is aiding Katsurou." Daichi stated. "So in the meanwhile, I will increase my patrols by the mountain."

"And I will have my soldiers on the look out for Naraku." said Arata.

"Your help is most appreciated." Sesshomaru said to them. "If any new details arrive I will send you word."

The rest of the evening went by quickly and quietly. Once everyone had finished their meal they turned in for the night. As Kagome tried to get up to leave, Sesshomaru gently wrapped his arm around her and lift her up so she was standing. With a blush she thanked him and shuffled out of the room biding everyone a good night. "I can walk fine so you don't have to follow me," she said after some time to the taiyoukai behind her.

"You have forgotten that I will not allow you to be alone at any point." He said firmly.

"I did, sorry. But wait, what about when I am sleeping?"

"Hayate guards your door."

"Are you sure you not being too cautious?"

"You are in constant danger. So no, I do not believe I am being over cautious."

"Okay. Can I check on Rin and Shippo before I go to sleep?"

He gave her permission and they soon found themselves in each child's room. She said goodnight to each and tucked them in. Once done, they headed for her room. Inside Tsume had just placed Mizuki to sleep.

"Kagome, Lord Sesshomaru," the demoness gave a small greeting before leaving them.

There was a bit of an awkward silence, to Kagome anyway, as they stood in the room alone. Clearing her throat, she gave him a small bow. "Thank you for walking me back. Good night."

Sesshomaru stared at her for a second before reaching out and touching her shoulder. "Let me see your wounds."

Her head shot up immediately. "What?"

"Your wounds. Let me see them."

"But why? You can have the healer or Tsume look over them if your worried."

"Miko."

"It's indecent!"

Sesshomaru raised his brow. "You travel around the country in the shortest kimono I have ever seen and you say this is indecent?"

"That's different." Kagome said flustered.

"How?"

"It just is!"

"Let me see the wound." He said again. "I want to see for myself how your body is healing."

"But why?"

"Curiosity. A wound that bad should have easily killed you but it didn't."

Kagome closed her eyes and sighed as she walked to her bed and sat down. She loosened her kimono and slipped the sleeve off her right shoulder. Sesshomaru sat beside her and began removing the bandages covering her wound. Once off, the full extent of the damage could be seen. Her injury was so bad the healer had to sewn it shut. The area around the wound was red, though he could tell it wasn't from an infection. The injury went from the top of her shoulder to just below her collar bone. Although the damaged was bad, the wound had stopped bleeding.

"Are you done?" Kagome asked, her face beet red.

"No, turn around."

The girl groaned as she did what he asked. Her blush getting deeper as he pulled her kimono down so he could see her back. The injury there was not as bad as the other one. It was pretty much a scratch that trailed down her back. Underneath of it her old injury, from a month back had already healed, though it was now a scar. He pressed a finger on the old ones. "Do this hurt?"

Kagome shook her head. "No."

"What about this one?" He asked again this time on the new scratch mark.

"It stings a little."

"Hn." He pressed on the upper right area of her back, just behind the shoulder.

"Ow." Kagome hissed moving away from his hand.

"Your muscles are sore. The injury to your shoulder is the worse."

"Am I healing ok?" She asked pulling up her kimono.

"You are. Slower than a youkai but still faster than normal for a human."

"Is it because of the youkai blood?"

"Most likely. Wait," He stopped her as he noticed her left shoulder. "When did you get this?" He asked touching the demon mark that lay there.

"The day after I took in Mizuki. Why?"

Sesshomaru didn't say anything as he examined the mark. His finger traced the red crescent moon.

"Lord Sesshomaru?"

"This mark. It is from an inu clan. Inu-youkai are rare, as you know. It is even rarer for an inu to have a demon mark that represents their house."

"Like the one on your forehead?"

"Yes. Mine represents the house of the moon."

"And the one I have?"

"Hn. I do not know for sure." He said, letting her pulled the kimono sleeve up then helping her lay down. "You should heal fine within a few days. Just rest for now. And no wandering by yourself, am I clear?"

"Yes sir." The miko said with a smile.

He left her and stood outside her room. The mark on her shoulder was familiar to him but he couldn't remember where he had seen it. Shaking the thought from his head he leaned against the wall, and sat down. For tonight, he would be her guard.


And done. You like? I sure do. Gonna leave it as that. Look forward to the next one. Five days, maybe. Don't get your hopes up :) But it won't take long that's for sure. Oh and please review. BTW just a heads up. The plot of this story is going to be somewhat confusing and/or complicated in the future so bare with me. Also every thing that has happened in the beginning of the story will all come together and make sense.