Salutations friends, fangirls, police officials, and homeless people who should be spend their time doing more productive things than reading fan fiction! It has been several months, I realize since I first posted this story, and I would like to apologize for the wait! There has been a lot of stuff going on in my life that has been keeping me from updating. Due to health, lack of internet, schooling, work, and traveling, I have not found the free time to update! Until today, that it! This chapter is a bit shorter than the first, and for that I apologize. However it would have been shorter and had a longer wait had it not been for my reviewers and those who PMed me! I do need encouragement sometimes, though I will always try to update! I do not intend on abandoning this anytime soon!
A few other things, I know Kagome has been a bit OOC, I hadn't intended it so, and will work it into the story somehow, I promise! Just give me time and hopefully all will be sorted out! If I made any mistakes let me know as well! I love you all, in a totally platonic way of course, and I hope you enjoy this installment "A Song to Soothe the Beast!"
Disclaimer; I do not own Inuyasha or the Washington Monument
Chapter Two: Seeking Answers of Eternity
Ever have that song in your head where no matter how much and loud you sing it, or how hard you try to forget it, you just can't get it out of your head? Yeah, that's just pretty much how Sesshomaru felt right about then. It had been two weeks since his encounter with his half-brother's miko, and he was halfway convinced it had all been a dream; some sort of hallucination brought on by his beast's bloodlust. None of all that could have been real. Her scent, her looks, the whole scene was too unreal to believe. Yet that song, the simple tune that had calmed his beast, dulled the painful need for blood, he couldn't have imagined that. Not in his wildest, inconceivable dreams could he have hallucinated something so beautiful and sad.
His thoughts had been stuck on her for two whole weeks, which was two weeks too long for his mind to dwell on such an insignificant human wench. 'No,' he reminded himself, 'not human, not anymore. What had she called herself again?'
"Nymph," he muttered to himself as the name came suddenly back to him.
"What was that, milord?" Jaken squawked. Had he been a lesser youkai, Sesshomaru would have nearly jumped in surprise. He had forgotten about his traveling party entirely. Recovering from his stupor he quickly covered.
"Jaken, what do you know of the race, called nymphs. Your clan was well traveled before its demise; surely you have some useful information for this Sesshomaru."
The kappa immediately brightened eager to be of use to his lordship, "Of course, milord! The nymphs are a rare breed indeed. They are deceased beings whose souls have been tied to the earth itself, bonded in a way, though none is known as to how it happens."
"Hn, and what of their powers, Jaken?" The lord pressed.
"Their power is definitely nothing to sneeze at. They are considered to be some of the most powerful being in existence," Jaken proclaimed with a self-satisfied nod, before suddenly paling, "Though of course not even the strongest of them could ever hold a candle to you, Lord Sesshomaru! You are by far the most powerful being to ever live, my most benevolent Lord! Surely-"
"Jaken." Sesshomaru interrupted the kappa's spewings in his normal firm monotone.
"My Lord?" He inquired, voice quaking.
"Ah, of course! There are some who believe that somehow when a soul is reborn as a nymph they become a descendent of Kami, which is why they are so powerful. There are several different types as far as this lowly one knows, My Lord. Nymphs with an affinity to nature, trees and the like, are the most well-known and common next only to the water nymphs who are known for their seductive ways with men. They are often the least powerful, but most sought after for the breeds overall ability to produce strong heirs, and often willingness to except a position as a concubine."
"What of the males of the breed?" Sesshomaru questioned at Jaken's pause.
The imp's eyes widened slightly, "Oh no, milord. There are no males, for only the soul of a maiden can under-go the transition." At the Lord's nod he continued, "While all are considered to be highly intelligent by nature, the wood nymphs are known for their wisdom and foresight. Storm and earth nymphs are near unheard of and by far the most powerful. Storm nymphs are known to have exceedingly large auras and can manipulate the weather and often linger in the sky which is why they are never seen. Quite the opposite, nymphs with earth affinities use brute strength and hide in the earth. They along with water nymphs have been said to enjoy toying with mortals of all sorts. However it is also said that nymphs, for all their power are unable to kill. They are protectors and nothing more. As such, they are known to instead turn their enemies into various, harmless things, a flower, a tree, a boulder, all the while still alive and fully aware of themselves; a terrible fate if you ask me." Not knowing of anything else to add he allowed the inu to take in everything he had divulged. For Sesshomaru's part, his mind was going haywire despite his outwardly indifferent appearance.
The miko's personality change, and her ability to fade into the foliage in their last encounter led him to believe that she must be a wood nymph, however, "Jaken, what do you know of musical affiliations of these nymphs?"
"Forgive this lowly servant, but I don't quite understand, my Lord."
Sesshomaru had to fight the incredible urge to pinch the bridge of his nose, "Musical instruments? Do nymphs often employ the use of musical instruments in order to harness certain powers?" he growled out.
Jaken's eyes widened considerably, "Yes, my Lord. However not any ordinary nymph is capable of using them. Pan flutes are the tool and weapon of choice for Elder Nymphs, nymphs who have been given charge over all others while also governing the same powers as every different kind of nymph. They are infinitely powerful, my Lord. It is said that the flutes themselves are crafted of wood from the Tree of Life, the tree which seeded the birth of the universe. They can be used for any number of things, healing, strengthening others, possession, certain attacks, the list is endless for what powers the flutes can give. However, should anyone other than the nymph whom it was crafted for who so much as touches it, they will be driven to insanity by its sheer power. Elder nymphs are the only ones amongst the nymphs with the ability to kill. Although from what I've heard only do so as a last result." The kappa waited a few moments for any response from his master, but after receiving none cleared his throat, "My Lord, perhaps you would grant this lowly one to know as to why you are so interested in such an ancient and rare creature?"
Sesshomaru paused in his step. Without so much as throwing a glace back at the three members of his small pack he turned in a completely different direction than that which they had set on before. "Wait here for my return. Should anything happen to Rin, your life is forfeit, Jaken." He quickly threw the threat over his shoulder, knowing it would keep his young ward safe, before continuing forward and into the trees. Once he was a good distance away he gathered his youki and encased himself with it, rocketing across the sky in a brilliant display of light. The miko and here group had been traveling at the very edge of his territory for about three days, making it easy enough for him to since when they had finally set toe over the boundary that morning; all the more reason to pay them a little visit now.
It only took but half an hour to traverse his lands to reach the clearing his brother's pack had chosen to rest in. Swiftly masking his presence, Sesshomaru returned to his material form and perched high in one of the tall trees surrounding the clearing, easily observing the group's happenings without being detected. As Sesshomaru would have guessed, the miko and half-breed were, of course, fighting.
"Idiot wench! I thought you said there was a jewel shard here! That's the only reason we risked coming here in the first place! If Sesshomaru senses us- no when senses us in the West- we're screwed!" Inuyasha yelled.
The miko let out a rather agitated sigh and yelled right back, "Oh and when were you one to doubt your skills? Whatever happened to the 'that ice prick can't do anything to me' attitude of yours, huh?! So you're admitting you're afraid of what Lord Sesshomaru is going to do to you once he realizes we're in Western territory?!"
Several things were off about the entire situation, Sesshomaru could tell. Firstly, he hadn't received any reports of jewel shards in the West, or any abnormal happenings that could have been spawned by them. Second was the fault in the miko's sensory abilities, as they had never betrayed her before. Lastly was the miko herself, and in which case nothing seemed different, but that was the problem. Here she was, arms crossed indignant and unrefined across her chest like some disapproving man, an agitated scowl poised on her still adolescent face much like how he had last seen her with her pack. No, exactly like how she was; nothing about her had changed.
Though of course she was still amusing to watch especially now with Inuyasha, red faced and stuttering, rushing to safe his pride and arrogantly almighty façade. "No of course not! But if the lord Asshole come around I'm gonna have to protect you too idiot wench! I can't have my idiot brother killing my only shard detector! Although now that you seem defected, maybe I should get a new one." The last part Inuyasha muttered to himself, though not quiet enough to go unheard by Kagome.
Even from his distance, Sesshomaru could see the tensing of Kagome's frame, her shoulders shaking in what he assumed was either hurt or anger; the Western Lord guessed it was the later as she took in a calming breath before releasing it with a whispered "sit." The hanyou promptly fell to the ground leaving a four foot crater in his wake. Sliding her gaze to the top of th tree line where the sun had just begun to set Kagome announced, "I'm going to take a bath, I hope your attitude improves while I'm gone, Inuyasha, or you'll be sleeping in that crater for the next week, then we may never leave the West! And my name isn't wench!"
With that the miko grabbed her black bag which had replaced her old yellow one when it was destroyed in a battle, and headed out of camp. Though from what Sesshomaru could sense, the hot springs were in the opposite direction of the way she was headed. The river was in the direction she was currently heading; the river and the tree Sesshomaru was sitting in. Sesshomaru, with his eyes glued on the girl's form, acted as her shadow, following her as she walked briskly towards the river. Once she reached the rushing waters edge she dropped her things, but made no move to undress, leaving the inu somewhat disappointed. Instead she took a few steps back before taking a running leap into the likely frigid waters of the calm river. The girl was an idiot, the Lord deduced, and clearly not the person he was looking for.
Sesshomaru snorted and turned to leave until he heard an extremely familiar voice echoed in his ears which had his eyes wide with shock, "And where do you think you're going, Sessh?" He snapped back around to face the river, and sure enough, there she was. Just as the night they had met she sat perched atop one of the many boulders that protruded above the water's surface, her toes dangling in the water. She was wearing a simple white and blue wrap skirt with a piece of dark blue fabric wrapped around her breasts, both pieces being soaked with water that glistening in the receding light of the setting sun. The strange silver markings, Sesshomaru now found, spanned across her abdomen as well as everywhere else on her body as it would seem; they too lit up with an iridescent glow. She had a peaceful smile on her face as well as a fueled amusement alit in her emerald eyes. "Honestly Sessh, didn't your mother ever tell you it's impolite to spy on a lady while she's bathing?"
"Miko-" Sesshomaru began, but was cut off.
"Who? I beg your pardon, my Lord, but I see no miko here." Kagome interjected while combing through her wet hair with her clawed fingers.
The inu growled, "Nymph, why have you brought your pack into this one's lands?"
Kagome blinked then turned away from Sesshomaru, huffing with an upturned nose "What is it with you inus and not calling people by their names. I have one you realize; a name that is. It's Kagome, and if you want this conversation to go anywhere, I suggest you begin using it."
"This Sesshomaru shall call you as this one sees fit."
"This Sesshomaru? I hadn't realized there was more than one. Oh no, I don't approve of that at all. I'll never be able to keep two of you in line while I still have that brother of yours to watch," Kagome said as if to herself, but knew it gave rise to Sesshomaru's anger. Glancing over her shoulder she made a shooing motion, "Now go away so I can bathe. I may be a nymph, but that doesn't mean I put out."
"You will not dismiss this Sesshomaru like some mongrel pup set to answer your every call!" Sesshomaru raged. Sesshomaru never raised his voice, never, and when he did the one who cause the near unheard of accurance was immediately reduced to groveling on his hands and knees. So, angry as he was, he couldn't keep the shock from being displayed plainly on his face when the nymph laughed at him.
Her form shimmered before disappearing, sinking into the very stone she had sat upon. However her laughter never silenced, seemingly coming from the air itself, till it was replaced by her smooth voice from behind him. "Oh but isn't that what you are, Lord Sesshomaru? When I call, you come just like the dog you are. You wasted no time in coming to me today, did you?"
Sesshomaru sneered at her relaxed form as she lay on the ground, completely dry and back in the white dress and attire he had first seen her in, arms pillowing her head. "You didn't call for me. You don't even have that pathetic instrument with you, so how could you call me?"
"As soon as you sensed me in the area, you came running just like I wanted you to, did you not?" she asked. The Lord's eyes widened. That's what they were doing in the West; that was the only reason. There was no jewel shard, she just wanted him to come running. "Oh, and Sessh, I always have my flute with me." Holding both hands above her head, wrists touching, palms open, the silver markings gracing her pale hands rose from her skin to materialize in the air. They wove together, gradually losing their shimmering quality till the seemingly harmless flute hung suspended in the air above her hands. It floated back to her hands when she asked the seemingly innocent question, "Shall I play a song for you?"
Like a bolt of lightning, Sesshomaru's beast leapt to the surface, his awakening being so sudden and unexpected that Sesshomaru hadn't a chance to even begin to restrain it. The Lord's consciousness was instantly locked in the back of his own mind, unable to break the surface as his body bolted forward to sit beside the nymph. He could still see her kind smile as she rose to a sitting position and began to play a soft and slow song that instantly had his beast relaxing. Hell, it even had Sesshomaru's logical mind relaxing, and soon he forgot all his anger at the onna because the only thing that mattered was that song and the person who was playing it.
When she finished, Kagome reached over and began to scratch the top of Sesshomaru's head, eliciting a deep rumbling growl from his beast who leaned into the touch. "You know, you're a lot easier to deal with than Sesshomaru himself," she said affectionately looking into his beast's red eyes, "and as much as I'd love to spend some more time with you, I didn't bring my pack all the way here to argue with him, perhaps you could let him come back now?" Her reply was Sesshomaru nuzzling her face affectionately and sticking his nose in the crook of her neck, the smell of rain and grass mixed with the light scent of water lilies filled his every sense for both Sesshomaru and his beast, causing him to growl even louder. "Please? I'll play for you again soon, okay?" she asked nudging the underside of his chin with her nose, the inu way of asking permission. The red faded from Sesshomaru's eyes as Logic and instinct switched places in their consciousness.
Still feeling overly calm, the Western Lord hadn't th heart or mind to glare at the nymph like he wanted to, "What is it you needed me for, nymph?"
Sesshomaru saw her smile, a fang poking out of her upper lip cutely, "There's a new incarnation of Naraku that I have sensed is massacring villages and stealing their souls, not allowing them to pass on. Izanami-sama would like us to be rid of him and return as many souls as possible to the living realm."
He fought the urge to sigh, but failed, "Where are these killings taking place, they are not in the West, of that I am certain. Why is it any concern of mine?"
"Because the kami have bid us to, and if you don't then I can't do my job. When I don't get my job done, I get reprimanded; when I get reprimanded I'm not happy, and when I'm not happy you're not happy. I may be forced to turn you into something that may be a bit more agreeable, then." Kagome said with narrowed eyes, "The last massacre was in the North and they have been gradually moving south west. So eventually they will be in the West soon and it will be or your concern."
"Very well, I shall accompany you to the North to slay this incarnation, however I will need at least a day to return my pack to the Western Fortress. Did you plan on having your pack accompanying us?"
Kagome's eyes widened, a look saying 'are you crazy' painted on her face, "Kami no! They are not to know of my change for quite some time if it can be helped."
"Then how do you plan on getting away from them, the hanyou especially?" he asked, genuinely curious, causing the onna to smirk.
"Oh, I'll just play the water works, through a temper tantrum and tell them I'm going home until I feel like coming back. It's nothing they haven't seen me do before." Glancing at the dark night sky, Kagome rose to her feet and went to retrieve her bag, "I best be getting back now. I shall meet you at the Western Fortress tomorrow afternoon at the latest. I shall have to seal the well to make sure Inuyasha doesn't come looking for me in my time."
Once again, time had gotten away from him as he could clearly see at least an hour or two had passed since they had both entered the clearing. 'How could the hanyou not have come looking for her yet?'
As if reading his mind, the miko spoke, "Don't worry about them, they were put to sleep when I played so they couldn't interrupt us." She began to walk from the clearing, finding his still live beast to have a strange fascination with watching her hips sway, his eyes followed her. "Good night, Sesshomaru." She said as she faded into the trunk of a rather old cypress tree, leaving nothing but her scent behind.
Sesshomaru's beast whined at seeing her go before fully receding into the Lord's subconscious. The girl was arrogant, disrespectful, irritating, annoying, and completely insane; yet he couldn't help feeling at a loss at seeing her go. She had strength as a reason to be arrogant, pride enough to afford to be disrespectful, and being annoying was just her thing. She made him loose his precious control no matter how hard he tried to ignore her, and he hated her for it. He just couldn't bring himself to stay mad at her for it, though.
Soon, he too stood and made his way towards the edge of the clearing, opposite the side the nymph had left from. Throwing a quick glance over his shoulder to the tree she had left through, he sighed, "Good night, Kagome." As he left the clearing, he heard the unmistakable sound of laughter, and he couldn't help but smile slightly.
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Please note, that I have edited both chapters for inconsistancies and grammer issues!
Bless your Face!