Kage Houseki no Himitsu

Chapter 22

Abandoned Shrine, Inuyasha

Kagura gasped with pain as I snicked her with the edge of Tetsusaiga; she leapt away from me, but staggered when she landed, her kimono dripping with blood. I was panting; she was so damn hard to kill…

My head whipped around when I smelled something. Blood. Kagome's blood.

Oh, crap…!

"Screw this," I snarled, and whirled around to face the swarming demons still fighting with the others. "GET OUTTA MY WAY!"

The others leapt out of range as raised Tetsusaiga high above my head.


I didn't stick around to watch how many demons I'd slain; I'd just needed to get the damn ugly things out of my way. I spun around again, abandoning my fight with Kagura, who looked half-dead anyway, and sprinted to the shrine doors.

"Kagome!" I roared as I entered, looking all around me as I ran. "Kagome, where are you?!"

I didn't have to run far; I skidded to a halt and growled menacingly.

Blue-girl was holding Kagome tightly around the throat. Kagome was struggling and trying to breathe, but the other's grip was too strong. Blue-girl slowly turned to look at me; she was possessed by Ryuusai again. I'd smelled it on the way here, but it had been weak; now it burned my nose with the intensity of it.

"Ryuusai!" I snarled, bracing Tetsusaiga. "Let Kagome go!"

Ryuusai didn't respond at first; Kagome was going blue. I was getting desperate. "Let her go, damnit!"

Ryuusai finally released Kagome's neck; she fell heavily to the floor, coughing and gasping. Blue-girl's nails had pierced her skin.

Ryuusai turned to face me. She was distorting Blue-girl's expression; a mask of cold, burning hatred had replaced the happy-go-lucky, airy-fairy face Blue-girl usually had.

"Where is he?" Blue-girl asked; her voice wasn't that of Blue-girl, though. Unlike the last time she'd been possessed, I couldn't hear Blue-girl at all. There was only Ryuusai.

"I told you before, I don't know who you're talking about," I said angrily. Ryuusai didn't seem to like that answer.

"Where is he?" She repeated, her teeth growing into fangs as she spoke; Blue-girl seemed to be unable to hold the restraints of her animalistic features when she was in this state. "Where is he? Where is he?! Where is he?!"

A sudden burst of energy blew out from Blue-girl's body, knocking me over. What the hell was that?

"Amazing," I heard someone say quietly. Abruptly, I realised that Naraku was in the room, crouched in the furthest corner from me. "Such power… even I hadn't thought there would be this much…"


I jumped as I heard a voice I recognised. And hated. I leapt to my feet and spun around; sure enough, Sesshomaru was standing in the door to the room, staring at Blue-girl with shock.

Sesshomaru's expression was almost comical. I'd never seen his have much expression before; now he looked like he was in utter shock. Then again, this was probably like seeing Ryuusai's ghost… meh.

"What're you doing here?!" I snarled.

Sesshomaru seemed to pull himself together. He glared past me at something that wasn't Ryuusai. "What sorcery is this?"

"Only the finest, Sesshomaru-sama," Naraku chuckled.

"You…" Ryuusai whispered. I turned back to look at her; she was staring at Sesshomaru with much the same expression Sesshomaru had worn while staring at her. Then her face turned to that of intense, fiery hate. "You!"

With a ripping noise that echoed through my head, Ryuusai suddenly morphed into a dragon. My eyes almost bugged out of my skull. How was that possible?! Ryuusai was in Blue-girl's half-demon body; she shouldn't be able to assume her full demon form. It was impossible!

With an ear-splitting wailing that sounded vaguely like a cat in pain, Ryuusai threw her enormous body at Sesshomaru; Sesshomaru morphed just as quickly into his demon-dog form. The roof of the shrine wasn't able to contain the two enormous demons, and burst outward in a flurry of splinters and chunks of wood; I leapt to where Kagome lay, picked her up, and jumped out of the shrine as the whole thing started to disintegrate.

"Inuyasha!" I heard Miroku shout; keeping my eyes on the screeching demons, who were locked in battle, I landed a few meters from where I'd heard the shout.

"Mmm…" Kagome moaned, coming to. Her eyes fluttered as she woke up. "… Inuyasha…?"

Her eyes widened. "Aoi! Where's Aoi?! Ryuusai's back, she's taken over Aoi-"

"We kinda figured that out already," I commented darkly, nodding to where Ryuusai was attempting to rip off Sesshomaru's head.

Kagome gasped. "Sesshomaru? When did he-? Why is-? Is that Aoi?!"

"What happened, Inuyasha?" Sango said, her eyes dark as she watched the fight. "Aoi is a half-demon; she can't assume a full-demon form."

"I dunno," I said, glaring at nothing in particular. "She just saw Sesshomaru and flipped out. I don't know how it's possible – it's like Blue-girl really is Ryuusai…"

Kagome gasped so loudly that she coughed. I glanced down at her worriedly. "What if… what if Aoi is Ryuusai's reincarnation?"

There was a short silence. Then it clicked. Of course! I was so stupid! How could I have not seen it before?! I'd said myself that Blue-girl was like a walking replica of Ryuusai… That was why Sesshomaru had known who she was right away. That was how Blue-girl was able to be a half-demon without having demonic parents – because her demon 'parent' had been Ryuusai…


The wailing screech ripped through Sesshomaru; it had been so long since he'd heard that sound; yet, again it sounded through anger and hatred. It was probably the same anger and hate from before, carried on through the years that separated Ryuusai and her reincarnation.

Sesshomaru quickly leapt into the air, high above Ryuusai, and landed behind her; he quickly spun on two of his legs and charged at Ryuusai's back, praying that he wouldn't fall over due to his missing limb. His teeth fastened on air, though, as Ryuusai's wings flicked out and carried her away from him. She breathed in a huge gulp of air, expanding her chest until it was almost spherical, then released an enormous ball of white-hot flames careening in his direction. Sesshomaru had to sprint to dodge it in time.

"Give up!" Ryuusai shouted above the crackling of the flame as it died and flickered into nothing. "You cannot win against me, Sesshomaru!"

Sesshomaru growled and didn't reply.

They circled each other, a large circle that to their enormous sizes seemed rather small.

"You couldn't even get rid of a stone and a sword effectively," Ryuusai continued, jarring painful memories in Sesshomaru's mind. "What makes you think you could possibly defeat me now? You're past your prime, while this body is new and strong. There is no way I can lose!"

They leapt at each other at exactly the same time; Ryuusai's enormous fangs dug into Sesshomaru's back, her claws sinking into his stomach; Sesshomaru grabbed the base of one of her wings, and tried to tug it off. Shrieking in agony, Ryuusai released him and whacked his head, hard, with her spiny elbow. Sesshomaru stumbled, but didn't let go of the wing.

"Ryuusai!" The dragon glanced, out of the corner of her eye, at a tiny, red half-demon, far away on the ground. "WIND SCAR!"

Ryuusai shrieked as the trails of light ripped across her back and tail, leaving deep gashes that gushed shockingly scarlet blood.

"Aoi!" A girl somewhere shrieked. "Aoi! Please, come back! Please!"

Aoi… the gigantic dragon recognised that name… from where?

I'm sorry, Kokuei. I can't let you do this.

The dragon shuddered as she suddenly grew weak, too weak to hold her demon form.


Suddenly, she was shrinking, so rapidly that it was like someone deflating a balloon. Sesshomaru morphed back too. The problem was that the girl's body stayed the same height above the ground as the centre of the dragon's body, which was alarmingly high off the ground.

Her body convulsed, as if she was experiencing extreme pain; her arms gripped her torso as if she were falling apart.

Then she began to fall.

To everyone's surprise, Sesshomaru caught her as she fell, landing softly on the ground. Dragon and dog blood smothered every surface.

The girl's wide eyes slowly began to close. As they did, their colour flickered; fluorescent, jade. Fluorescent, jade.

Sesshomaru and Inuyasha both relaxed as the girl's scent changed slightly, back to that of Aoi Higurashi.