A/N: Thanks once again for all the faves/follows/reviews! I'd really appreciate your reviews, encouragement/ideas/thoughts and criticism are always welcome! And shout outs go to people who can guess how I used the song and/or lyrics in each chapter, don't forget. ;)
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. I am just borrowing the characters to play with for while. I promise to return them with minimal psychological damage (crosses fingers behind back).
Chapter Six: Hey There Delilah
"Training?" Kagome asked incredulously as she and Kaoru ate their meal in the privacy of his quarters.
Kaoru had explained the reason for his visit to her in plain terms. Sesshomaru the son and heir of Inutaisho had just completed his seven-year tour of the Western lands and had proven himself in battle as a worthy successor. To celebrate, Inutaisho was having a several month long celebration in which there would be feasts, tournaments, and many other entertainments.
"But, my dear miko. You must realize your presence is unusual, "Kaoru said, his eyes sparkling with mischief. Kagome gave him a dry look and popped a bit of rice in to her mouth. "Well in any case, your powers were flaring up, and we simply can't have that happening. You'll make everyone suspicious of you and you're already a target you know."
Kagome set her chopsticks down and stared thoughtfully at her hands. Then she looked up at the youkai she still didn't know that well, "Why do you care so much anyway? You hardly know me. " Kaoru's mouth twisted in a wry grin, "Let's just say I like a good puzzle." He said. Then his face grew more serious, "I mean to make sure you are safe. I've all but declared you officially as my ward. I may not know everything about you Kagome, but I have a gut feeling that you need help." He paused, his eyes getting a far away look to them, "You aren't that much different from my own daughter. I swear to you, I will keep you safe."
His eyes were intense as they locked with Kagome's and she felt her throat tighten. She had had oaths sworn to her before…from him. She closed her eyes against his intense scrutiny and listened to Kaoru's voice. He was sincere, and though she did not yet understand what her new senses where telling her, she felt that his word was good. Something in her was prompting her to trust him.
"Alright." Kagome agreed, making her decision, and picking up her chopsticks again, "So when do we start?" Kaoru smiled, pleased with her response, "Soon. Today however, why don't you take the time to get settled in and take a look around? I have some things to attend to anyway." He said and rose to his feet, "Finish your food, I'll send a servant in for you later."
Before she could protest about not needing any help, Kaoru had already gotten up and left, leaving her alone. She gave a sigh and finished her meal quickly, then exited the room through a door that connected her room to Kaoru's rooms.
She leaned against the door and locked it; glad she had some measure of privacy. Kaoru seemed like a good person, and he had taken care of her so far and been very kind. She was just worried about the puzzle he wanted to solve.
She wasn't sure she trusted him enough to tell him. She shook her head bitterly; no there was nobody she could trust with her secret. Not even Kaoru. She'd have to figure out what was happening on her own.
In the mean time, maybe she should have a look around? Perhaps there was a library with some information in it? If she could find something like that maybe she could figure things out.
She had unpacked her things earlier, and wished she had some more traditional clothes. Her kimono were all rather plain, meant for ceremonies at the shrine, and most of her yukata weren't appropriate either. She knew she had to keep a low profile, and running about in modern clothes would definitely not be a good thing.
With some regret, she pushed aside her jeans and found a comfortable enough kimono and dressed quickly. Just as she was finishing a knock came at her door and a pale face poked around the doorframe.
A female youkai with mousy brown hair and a heart shaped face slipped in to the room and bowed before Kagome.
"My lady, I apologize for not coming to you sooner. I am your assigned servant while you are here. If there is anything you need, you just tell me and I will take care of it." The female had said all f this while staring at the floor, not meeting Kagome's eyes.
Kagome smiled as warmly as she could and gestured at the door, "I was just going to have a look about. Could you please show me around?" The demoness looked at her with wide eyes, "But my lady, your hair, you can't go out with your hair like that!" Kagome frowned and touched her hair, turning to glance at the mirror. Oh, it was rather rumpled looking.
"Here, I shall fix it for you." The demoness' demeanor changed as she took charge and bustled about the room, producing a comb from a drawer. In no time at all, Kagome had her hair properly combed and pinned back and she was ready to go.
"So um, I'm sorry I do not know your name." Kagome said apologetically. "Rashida, my lady." The youkai servant replied.
"Rashida, could you please show me around now?" Kagome asked with a smile. Rashida tilted her head up to look more directly in the miko's face. She had been more than a little nervous about being asked to serve and keep an eye on a priestess, but this woman was not at all what she expected.
Kagome was smiling sweetly as Rashida nodded and lead her from the room. In the halls she deftly avoided other youkai who might be curious and led Kagome around the main areas so the miko's curiosity would be satisfied without giving away the castles secrets.
Kagome in the meanwhile was in awe of the beautiful place she found herself in. Occasionally they passed a youkai seemingly standing guard here and there, but nobody else. Rashida was a quiet sort, her voice soft as she pointed out different pieces of art and different rooms. But it was the gardens that truly took her breath away.
Pathways were edged in flowering hedges and trees. Small ponds lay in various corners. Little places to rest lay scattered around, from private alcoves, to little houses for tea ceremonies, and benches.
Kagome admired her surroundings and then decided to sit for a while in order to admire a gorgeous fountain that splashed softly and sent a cascade of water down a series of steps in to a pool, which held flowering water plants and colorful fish lazily floating in the water. Rashida murmured about the various plants until she fell suddenly silent. Kagome who had been staring dreamily off in to the water, looked up and then stilled in shock.
Rashida got up from the bench and bowed, "My Lord Sesshoumaru."