Me: Thanks to arandomreviewer (BTW, I DID appreciate your Chap. 3 review), The Purple Jade, DGtnsl, wt183, Tsukino Aisuru-A and ultima-owner.
Amaya: Yo, it's been a while.
Me: Anyway, I am neither Tite Kubo nor do I own Inuyasha. Enjoy!
Sayo: And you conveniently forgot that you wrote yourself into a corner?
9. Truths and Favors
-3PL: Byakuya Kuchiki-
As Byakuya walked away from where he'd left Gina, a familiar reiatsu washed over him.
"Yo! How's it been, Byakushi?"
"Shihōin," Byakuya growled.
"Why so hostile?" The noble woman asked teasingly.
"Why are you here? I thought you'd chosen to move northeast?"
"And you neglected to inform your allies through the Time Crystals?"
"Listen, Byakuya…I need your help…"
Koga wasn't stupid, or even that reckless, contrary to Inuyasha's beliefs. When the word "midget" left his mouth, the air had become unbelievably frosty. Considering the stench of ice on the duo, Koga figured that he'd pissed the boy—Toshiro—off.
"Look, kid," he started, but stopped as a feeling of cold seeped into his fur. Okay, this wasn't working. "What are you? Are you allies of Naraku?"
"Naraku?" The girl asked cluelessly.
"Naraku, a backstabbing bastard who doesn't face his own battles, fairly good at making barriers? Know him?"
"No, sorry. We've only been in this area for a short period of time." The girl said.
"What's your name? You never introduced yourself."
"Rukia Kuchiki," the girl replied.
"KOGA!" Koga's head shot up.
"Well, gotta go…but one last thing: You guys are ice demons right?"
"Why do you ask that?" Toshiro said, visibly stiffening.
"I can smell the ice on you," Koga said, conveniently 'forgetting' to ask the two about the second scent on them.
"You could say that we're ice demons. Now didn't you say you had to go?" Rukia asked hurriedly.
Koga grinned and shot off, creating his trademark tornado.
Hyōrinmaru sighed in relief. A few more seconds and the wolf would've been frozen over.
"You have to be more careful, Master," he scolded.
'He annoyed me,' was his Master's unsatisfactory reply.
Inuyasha and company left the demon lizard village with the captives and Kagome fussing over Inuyasha's "head injury", much to Inuyasha's annoyance.
"I'm fine," he snapped for the fifteenth time.
"Uh-huh. People who are 'fine' don't hallucinate," Kagome replied calmly.
"At the very least stop looking at me like I'm gonna drop dead at any moment!"
"Head injuries are very serious, Inuyasha," Miroku called from his position next to Kaede on her horse, Indra.
"Shut up, Miroku! No one asked you!"
"The village is just up ahead," Kaede said, "just wait until we arrive, then ye can sort this out."
Grumbling, Inuyasha glanced at the old priestess and gave her a curt nod.
Just then, one of the children who'd run ahead let out a squeak of surprise as they tripped and fell down.
"OW!" The young girl, tears welling up in her eyes and nursing her now-injured knee, looked to Kaede, "Grandma Kaede! I got hurt!"
"Are you okay?" A young male's voice called, and Inuyasha jumped. Maybe there wassomething wrong with him, he hadn't noticed anyone's approach. Whipping around, he saw the man—men—in question. One of them had bright orange hair, and though he was wearing a normal villager's clothes, he wore an expensive-looking cloak that was covering what looked suspiciously like a huge sword. The other had long red hair tied back in a spiky ponytail, tribal tattoos and he wore the same thing the orange-haired man did, minus the cape. A katana in a red sheath was at his side
The others turned around to, surprised to see two young men following them.
"Hello, I'm Miroku, who're you?" Miroku called.
"Ichigo Kurosaki. This is my friend, Renji Abarai. Is that little girl all right?" Ichigo replied.
"I'm fine!" The girl called back, jumping up, then wincing slightly. But nevertheless the girl continued to run ahead with her friends.
Ichigo looked on for a moment. Then he started walking again.
"Do you know what's in this direction?" Ichigo asked.
"Our village," Kaede replied, looking at Ichigo with wariness.
Inuyasha picked up their scents just then: a odd mixture of snake-skin, monkey fur, night air, and death...again. What was with people smelling of death suddenly popping up?
"Who are you?" Inuyasha snapped suddenly.
"Ichigo Kurosaki," Ichigo replied, an odd expression on his face.
"No. What are you? You sense it to, don't you, Kaede?"
"You're dead." Kaede said flatly, turning to the two.
"I'm fairly sure we're still breathing," Renji said, nervousness creeping into his voice.
"Dead souls in a fake body, like my sister," Kaede explained.
"Your sister?" Ichigo asked, trying to veer off the subject.
"She died fifty years ago. A demon brought her back." Okay, that was not veering off the subject.
"Uh-huh. I can assure you, I'm still alive." Ichigo said. It was the truth. Technically, he was still human, and still alive, despite having Shinigami powers.
"Are you sure?"
"Very," Renji snapped.
They came to a fork in the road. The children had begun going down the one in which a village was clearly. Ichigo and Renji immediately headed for the other.
"Goodbye!" Ichigo called over his shoulder.
"Were they really dead?" Sango asked.
"They had a unique aura—almost a miasma—around them," Miroku said, "but they felt different from Kikyo."
"Regardless," Kaede began, "they were dead."
-3PL: Sandira Tokage-
Wearily, Sandira opened his eyes. And found a tan man with black objects on his eyes staring back at him.
"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!" Sandira yelled, throwing the man off.
"Boss!" The man yelled. "He's up!"
"Sandira Tokage, an Arrancar from the other side of the Wormhole," a cheery voice said.
Sandira whipped around to see a blond man with gray eyes half-hidden underneath a green and white hat, waving a fan around.
"My name is Kisuke Urahara. Nanao Ise and Nemu Kurotsuchi—you might recognize those names better than mine—were sent by Byakuya Kuchiki to drop you off here."
"Okay," Sandira said, "why?"
"You're a Hollow now, they couldn't very well leave you in a world without Hollows, could they?"
"Candy?" Kisuke asked, gesturing to the aisles of candy in his shop.
"Freaky weird Shinigami," Sandira replied, laying down to go to sleep.
"...That's not very nice."
"Shut up, freaky weirdo."
Just before Sandira fell asleep he could've sworn he heard, "I think I like 'Hat 'n' Clogs' better than 'freaky weirdo'."
Me: Short chapter. GOMEN! But my train of thought de-railed and fell into the bottomless abyss that is writer's block...so I apologize.
Sayo: Right now we'll focus on Return of the Reapers, Shinigami Through Time and Space and Shunkō Shinobi. In that order of priority.
Me: Goodbye for now! Hopefully my train of thought/muse/idea comes back!
Sandira: GAAAH! NO! I'm stuck with a freaky weirdo! One with CANDY!