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Disclaimers: I still do not own InuYasha or any of the manga/anime characters. They belong to the wonderful genius Rumiko Takahashi. However, any original characters do belong to me.
Live and Let Die: Awakenings
Chapter 5: Awakening of the Demon
Kouga was tired of staying put where he was. He had practically worn a trench into the earth with his incessant pacing. The wolf prince had been brought no new news, and it was irritating. “Ginta, Hakkaku, let's go.”
“What about Sister?” Ginta asked.
“Have you found out any more information about the miko that sounds like her? Well, except for the part that she's a dark miko. We know Kagome isn't evil,” Hakkaku added.
“I don't know anything except that there is a bad youkai with a lot of power. We have not heard any other rumors about Naraku, so let's go,” Kouga said before he disappeared into a whirlwind, headed towards the troubled village.
“Kougaaaaa, wait uuuuuuuuupppp,” his two faithful followers shouted after him as they ran.
~ ^~^ ~
“Are you certain,” the monk asked as they headed back along the road that led to their next destination.
“Yes, I'm sure,” Kagome responded. “The only thing is, I can't tell how many yet. I don't know if I'm picking it up from this far away because there are more than one, or because I can pick up everything from further away now. I can tell that it doesn't seem to be moving. For the moment, it's stationary.”
“Keh. Let me know if anything changes. We can pick the pace up if we need to, but as it is, we should be there by sometime this afternoon from what we know,” InuYasha said after he had finished chewing the hunk of meat he had bitten off.
“You are certain the shard is not moving?” Sango asked.
Kagome nodded. She also had a mouth full of food she was chewing as they walked.
“You know, whatever has the jewel shard might be nocturnal. That might be why no one has seen it. If it moved about much during the daylight hours, it looks like someone would have at least caught a glimpse of it. But from what we have found out, no one has seen this thing and lived. I wonder if it only comes out after dark and sleeps during the day?” Sango speculated.
“Though it could be something that is keeping that pattern on purpose, so that it will not be seen,” Miroku contemplated. “A youkai that is keeping itself concealed for some reason. Because no one has lived to describe it, we could be dealing with almost anything.”
“Keh, that's true. We'll have to keep our guard up. We don't want anything to surprise us,” InuYasha stated.
They continued along the road in silence, each thinking about the possibilities of what might be awaiting them, as Kagome and InuYasha finished off the food they had selected for their breakfast.
Their silence was broken when Kagome spoke, “Miroku?”
“Yes, Kagome?” the monk replied.
“Can you tell me anything about that barrier? How did I put one up? I don't know what happened,” the miko said softly.
“Will you tell me what you were thinking at the time?” Miroku asked.
“It…it's silly. I didn't want any of those three to touch me, and I wished I had the strength to just toss them away like I knew InuYasha could. That's the last thing I can remember before InuYasha reached me,” Kagome responded. “I…I just wish I knew how I did it so that I could erect one again if I needed to.”
“Wow,” was all the monk uttered at first. “You did it with just a thought.”
“What?” Kagome sounded confused.
“You actually thought about what you wanted to do and then made it happen. You erected that barrier with such force that it threw the men away from you and knocked them unconscious, just like you wished you could do,” Miroku expounded.
“You mean it's something that I can learn to control?” Kagome questioned.
“Yes, I am certain it is. Perhaps when we get back to the village you can discover what you did; between Kaede and I we are bound to be able to help you. The ability to put up a barrier on command can be very useful, and the one that you erected to protect yourself with was powerful. You did it with just your thoughts when you were threatened, so you instinctively tapped into your power. With some practice, I think we can help you to do it at will,” Miroku answered.
“We can also help you to remain alert to what is going on around you, and to use only the amount of energy you actually need to expend for a barrier. That way, you will know when the danger has passed and it is safe to drop it,” the monk added.
Kagome was surprised when InuYasha took her hand and brought it to his lips. The hanyou kissed the back of her hand before he said, “That would be a good idea. I would feel better if I knew that you could protect yourself like that.”
Kagome gently squeezed his hand and replied, “All right, InuYasha. I think I would like to know how to do it, anyway. I've seen how useful the barriers that Miroku and Kaede have erected can be.”
“Keh. He's even saved me a time or two with them,” InuYasha commented. He said nothing more because he really did not like to think about the moth demon that tried to melt the two of them. Miroku's barrier did indeed save their lives, but when it had finally started to fade, it led to the transformation that caused InuYasha to turn into the bloodthirsty demon that slaughtered the moth youkai and all of the human bandits that followed him. The hanyou shook his head to clear it of the gruesome memory.
~ ^~^ ~
Sesshomaru walked silently through the forest, headed towards the troubled village. As usual, he said not a word as he continued on his path though he was lost deep in thought. The only sounds were of the trampling of the two-headed dragon as he made his way through the underbrush, Rin's humming as she followed after him, and occasionally a squawk from Jaken as he tripped over something on the forest floor.
The Taiyoukai had discovered that the little miko's mind was not wide open as he was first afraid it might be. Sesshomaru had actually tried to get through to her, to find out if it was open to someone that she did not expect. Kagome had no idea that he had tried to make the connection with her, so that was a good thing. That meant that even if she did not realize it, the miko had to have made the initial contact that allowed her to speak in such a manner. When Kagome had initially reached out to probe the bear's aura with her own, she had most likely unconsciously allowed her own mind to open. The feelings of pain she had picked up earlier from the same youkai were probably from the natural empathy she had for other living creatures, rather than the direct telepathy she later shared with the bear and then InuYasha.
The Demon Lord also had no success in reaching his younger sibling. In fact, when he attempted to contact him by thought, Sesshomaru felt as though he had been slammed back against a wall. So, whether InuYasha realized it or not, he was not letting anyone in without his permission. Sesshomaru determined it would be logical that he heard Kagome initially because she was, after all, his mate. The Taiyoukai concluded that the pair needed to learn to open and close their minds at will so that they could communicate with each other by thought when necessary, or occasionally use it when in contact with a species such as the bear youkai.
It was because of these discoveries that he had made while speaking with them, that Sesshomaru told them searching for the youkai that was attacking the nearby village was more pressing at the moment. If the little miko's mind had been wide open to attack, the Demon Lord would have demanded the pair remain where they were to address the problem.
Sesshomaru was also thinking about the priest that had tried to seal InuYasha in such a cruel manner. The Taiyoukai had not considered that he might ever run into that vile man again. If they were lucky, maybe the youkai that had been attacking the village they were all headed towards would just eat him.
~ ^~^ ~
“Uh-oh,” Kagome muttered as she came to a halt.
“What is it, Kagome?” InuYasha asked.
“Two jewel shards, approaching fast. He'll be here in a few minutes,” Kagome responded.
They all knew what that meant.
InuYasha spun Kagome towards him and said urgently, “Kagome, I need for you to listen to me. I know you think Kouga is our friend, but he's not going to be happy about the fact that we are mated. He may try to challenge me for you. You cannot interfere if he does. If you do, to Kouga it would mean that you would rather go with him. Do you understand? He may not listen to reason. If Kouga challenges me, I will have to fight him for real. I know you don't want me to hurt him, but I might not have a choice. Either I will have to kill him, or he will kill me. That is the only way it will end if we fight. Do you understand me? That is the only youkai law that he knows. What you want will not matter to him.”
Kagome looked stunned at InuYasha's declaration to her as the whirlwind of dust quickly approached. “Will you at least let me attempt to tell him myself?”
“Just don't be surprised if it does not go the way you expected,” InuYasha replied quickly.
The small tornado dissipated as Kouga leapt in front of Kagome, grabbing her hands as he said, “Yo, how's my…WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO MY WOMAN, DOGSHIT!!”
Kagome had snatched her hands away from Kouga. With her hands clenched into tight fists balled at her sides she yelled back, “I AM NOT YOUR WOMAN. I WAS NEVER YOUR WOMAN. IF YOU HAD PAID ANY ATTENTION YOU WOULD KNOW THAT I HAVE ALWAYS BELONGED TO INUYASHA. HE IS MY MATE!!”
“No! I know you wouldn't mate with dogshit there unless he forced himself on you! I say you are MINE!” Kouga shouted as he made a move to grab Kagome.
The wolf prince found himself flying through the air before he had laid a hand on the miko. He was surprised to find himself being picked up by a single clawed hand around his throat and then pinned against a tree. Kouga was even more astonished to find that it was InuYasha that held him there, though he didn't look like the InuYasha he knew. There were purple slashes on his cheeks and the scent of his blood had changed. His eyes were flashing between amber and red as the hanyou worked to retain control of himself.
The meaning was very clear; Kagome was InuYasha's. Kouga went limp under the hand that held him, pretending that he was going to submit. Instead, he kicked out at InuYasha to try and dislodge his hold.
Kouga was stunned. The hanyou turned almost full youkai did not move; instead, he started to glow a fiery red. As the wolf prince tried to kick and hit him, his blows just bounced away. Kouga could not touch him. For all intensive purposes, the hanyou's aura had turned into some sort of barrier.
“MINE,” InuYasha growled again. If Kouga continued to fight against him, InuYasha was likely to lose control of his youkai. If that happened, there was no hope for the young ookami prince.
Kagome watched at first in fear. She was afraid that InuYasha would destroy Kouga immediately when she saw the slashes appear on his cheeks. The miko was surprised when she realized her mate was trying to subdue the wolf prince without harm. Hoping she could diffuse the situation, and praying that she would not make it worse, Kagome dropped her bow and quiver and walked up behind the hanyou.
“InuYasha,” the miko said quietly, as she touched his arm that was not pinning Kouga to the tree.
She heard a growl, but he turned to look at her. When he did so, she stretched her shirt collar past his mark on her shoulder with one hand as she bared her neck and pulled her hair out of the way with the other.
“Yours,” she said, hoping it would be clear to both males who she belonged to.
InuYasha wrapped his free arm around her and brought her to him, nuzzling his mark on her shoulder with his nose.
“MINE,” The hanyou stated again.
“Yes, I'm YOURS. Your mate,” Kagome responded.
This time Kouga really did go limp. There was no doubt about it - Kagome had chosen InuYasha. Kouga realized that he was lucky that the hanyou had not killed him outright. InuYasha certainly had the authority to eliminate the ookami youkai for threatening his mate. And Kouga knew that, even with the shards in his legs, he could never defeat InuYasha in the state the hanyou was in right now. He was both powerful and deadly. The wolf prince could see that he was trying to maintain control to not slaughter him in front of Kagome.
Kouga gave a whine and bared his neck to InuYasha, signaling his submission. InuYasha abruptly turned him loose, and wrapped both arms around his mate, who now had both of her arms wrapped around him. Suddenly, he scooped her up in front of him and dashed off into the woods.
Kouga looked like a dejected puppy, shoulders slumped, looking at the ground as he walked towards the monk and demon slayer. He knew that he should be happy he was still alive, but still…
“How long have they been mated?” the wolf prince practically whimpered.
“Not long,” Sango replied.
`Oh shit, and I challenged him.' “What happened?” Kouga asked. “What happened to him?”
“It is just a guess, but I think when you attempted to grab Kagome, your threat caused InuYasha's youkai to surface. It is astounding that you are still here to talk about it,” Miroku responded.
“What…what do you mean?” Kouga questioned.
“He means that normally when InuYasha's youkai is brought to the surface, he kills everything in his way. Kagome is the only one not afraid of him in that form,” Sango answered.
“You mean…” Kouga started.
“Oh yeah, we are afraid of his youkai. It does not necessarily know who is a friend or who is an enemy, but destroys anyone or anything that crosses his path. He has never harmed Kagome, though,” Miroku offered.
“Hey, Kougaaaaa!” They heard a distant call. It was Ginta and Hakkaku.
Ginta and Hakkaku ran up, stopped and leaned over to rest their hands above their knees while they gasped for air. “Have you found out anything?”
“Not yet,” Kouga replied.
“Where are InuYasha and Sister?” Ginta asked.
About that time they heard cries and howls from the wood. Miroku grinned and Sango blushed.
“Is that…?” Hakkaku stated.
“Yeah. They are mated now and I made the mistake of challenging InuYasha. Right now, he's reclaiming her,” Kouga said.
InuYasha did not understand it, but after the claim had been made against his mate, he was burning with the desire to couple with her again. Instinct drove the hanyou to run so that they were secluded away from the others; then he stopped, setting his mate on her feet while he struggled with his hakama.
Kagome could feel his intense need, and even though the others were waiting on them, she knew that this could not wait. Something deep within her mate was driving him this way. The slashes were still on his cheeks, though at least his eyes were more amber than red. She hurriedly pulled off her panties and then helped the hanyou discard the fundoshi. Realizing that he was far more youkai than hanyou right now, Kagome dropped to her hands and knees to present her pink cheeks to her mate.
InuYasha growled in approval as Kagome thrust her rear towards him. He moved her skirt out of the way as he mounted her and sheathed himself quickly within her, and then howled as he thrust into her welcoming body. She was his, all his. There was no doubt in his mind. In spite of what the wolf had said, Kagome belonged to him. She had bared herself and submitted to him in every way. She was a good bitch.
Kagome gasped as InuYasha pounded into her. As soon as he had entered her she was glad that she had dropped to this position to receive him; he actually felt larger inside of her in his mostly youkai form. She started rocking back into him in rhythm, helping him to hit that sweet spot deep inside her that was about to make her orgasm wildly.
“Oh… Oh… Kami… InuYashaaaaaa!” Kagome cried out loud as her body responded to his. She had tried to keep her sounds down to pants and moans, but she couldn't help herself when her orgasm rocked through her, setting her entire body on fire.
InuYasha howled even louder when he exploded into his mate. Hearing his name from her lips cried out in such pleasure, in addition to the extra sensations her orgasm added to their coupling, sent him over the edge. He lay across her back, growling, as he emptied himself into her womb.
“Mine,” the hanyou stated again as he poured his seed into her.
“Mmmm, yours,” Kagome replied as she wriggled against him, though she was starting to get tired holding up their combined weight. Her arms were starting to tremble from the efforts.
Feeling her fatigue, InuYasha wrapped his arms around her and rocked back so that he was sitting with his mate in his lap. Still joined at the hip, she leaned back against his chest and wrapped her arms around his. When she felt him start to slide out of her, she turned around so that she was facing him, now with her legs wrapped around behind him. She wrapped her arms around his body, and leaned in so that her nose was nuzzling under his chin. When Kagome finally looked up at InuYasha's face, the slashes were gone and his eyes were completely amber again.
Kagome reached up and cupped his face in both hands. “Are you okay now?”
“I…I didn't kill him. I was able to keep control,” InuYasha said as he rested his forehead against Kagome's.
Kagome kissed him gently on the lips. “Yes, you did. I'm proud of you. But are you okay now?” she asked again.
“Keh. Thank you. I don't know what came over me. I needed to know that you were really mine, I think,” InuYasha responded.
“It's all right. I could feel your need. You mostly kept control of your youkai, but I think something deep within you was driving you. I'm sure it was some instinct that had something to do with the fact that Kouga tried to claim me,” Kagome told him.
“I…I didn't hurt you, did I?” InuYasha asked hesitantly.
“No, InuYasha you didn't. In fact, I almost felt the need for you to take me as much as you needed to do it,” Kagome replied. “Take my word for it, it felt really, really good.”
InuYasha blushed. “So you didn't mind…”
“InuYasha, I've been with you as a hanyou and human. Now I have had you as every part of yourself. Never forget, InuYasha, to me, you are just you. I do not care which form you are in. All right?”
“Should we get dressed and go back to the others?” Kagome asked as she stood.
“Keh, but I should clean you up first,” InuYasha said, and then proceeded to dart his tongue up Kagome's thighs and then between her folds, licking away the results of their furious coupling.
Kagome just sighed in pleasure as she felt his tongue bathe her. She tried to remember that the others were waiting so she wouldn't tackle the hanyou again. However, when he finished and stood, she dropped to her knees and did the same for him.
“Okay, I think we can get dressed now,” Kagome said as she licked her lips and stood back up again.
InuYasha pulled her to him and kissed her again. When they pulled apart for air she said, “We'd better get dressed before I throw you to the ground for another round.”
InuYasha smiled as he turned her loose. “Keh.”
Kagome pulled her panties back on while InuYasha got dressed as well. Brushing the leaves and other debris off of their clothing and out of their hair, she finally said, “Ready?”
“Keh,” InuYasha responded. “He's still here though, isn't he?”
Kagome reached out to determine that Kouga was still with the others. “Yes, but I don't think he will cause any more trouble. Kouga got more than he bargained for when you came after him. He probably just wants to find out what's going on now.”
“Keh,” InuYasha said as Kagome took his hand and led him back towards the road.
Kagome and InuYasha each had a slight blush across their cheeks as they returned to the others. Well, InuYasha's cheeks were pink; Kagome looked like a chameleon that was trying to blend in to his fire rat.
Sango, blushing as well, nodded her acknowledgment that they had returned as she asked the three wolves, “So what are you trying to find out?”
“We've heard talk of a dark miko that can speak to youkai and travels with a hanyou, youkai, a demon slayer and a monk that are under her spell. We heard she also enchanted an elder and his entire village,” Hakkaku answered.
Sango and Miroku looked at each other and said together, “That priest…”
“What priest?” Kouga asked.
Miroku told the ookami youkai about the priest they had come across and what he had done so far, with Sango occasionally interjecting with details that he had left out. In just a few minutes, the three wolves understood that the stories they had heard were the rumors spread by the group that was now traveling with the troublesome priest.
“So this priest was upset that Kagome would not let him kill a bear youkai?” Kouga asked.
Kagome finally spoke, “She had been the village's protector for many, many years. The bear was completely peaceful until that priest showed up and started throwing ofuda on her. He was really pissed when I used Kirara to help me remove all of the sutra that he had placed on her hindquarters. The man was such a coward that he did it while she was asleep.”
“And the part about you speaking with youkai?” Kouga pressed.
InuYasha cut him off. “That priest is just a troublemaker. He was telling the others that Miroku and Sango were bewitched, and that Kagome is a dark miko. The headman gave us shelter for the night and food, so the priest tried to convince others in the village that Kenmei was evil because of it. That priest left the area with some other followers when he couldn't get any one to listen to him. The elder is a good man and is well respected in his village.”
Kouga had enough sense not to ask about Kagome speaking with youkai again, so instead he asked, “InuYasha, what happened to you when I tried to hit you? I couldn't touch you.”
InuYasha looked puzzled. “What are you talking about?”
“You…you were glowing red, InuYasha. You said that you could not touch him, Kouga?” Miroku asked.
“Yeah. I've never come across anything like it. It was almost like your aura had formed a barrier,” Kouga responded.
“Huh,” InuYasha replied.
“It must be something you gained from the mating,” Miroku offered.
“If that's the case, it sounds like you and Kaede will have to help both of us when we get back,” InuYasha commented.
“So you don't know how you did it, either?” Sango asked.
InuYasha shook his head. “I knew that Kagome wouldn't want me to kill him, but I wasn't going to get injured in the process of trying to shake some sense into him. I just remember wishing that I could keep Kouga at bay without either of us getting hurt so Kagome wouldn't be sad.”
Kagome leaned over and kissed her hanyou on the cheek and said softly, “Thank you,” and then added, “Is anyone hungry? We might as well eat while we are here so we won't have to stop again.”
Kagome pulled the parcel that Kenmei had sent along out of her backpack. “It looks like we have enough for one more meal if we all share. Kouga, Ginta, Hakkaku, would you like something?”
They did not want to admit it, but all three were hungry. Kouga would hardly let them stop to piss when he was on a mission. There were still plenty of the dried meats, so each of the three ookami youkai took some. Kagome offered the food to InuYasha next, who also appeared to be craving meat after his near-transformation, and then to Miroku and Sango. The miko took some out for herself and then rolled up what was left. There still was enough for one more small meal if it was just the four of them.
As they ate, Kagome asked, “So are you also headed towards the same village we are? The one where people are either disappearing or turning up dead?”
“Yes. We heard there's a terrible evil aura there, and since there's been no other news of Naraku, we thought we'd check it out,” Kouga said as he rose to his feet.
“Be careful. No one that has seen it has lived,” Miroku told the three.
“Don't worry, we will. We'll see you later,” Kouga yelled over his shoulder as he disappeared into a whirlwind.
Ginta and Hakkaku looked at each other, yelled, “Thank you, Sister!” and took off after him.
They were back on the road again, discussing the possibilities of what lay ahead. They would arrive near the village in just a couple more hours, before it got dark.
“I think we must be careful,” Miroku said, though he was really thinking out loud.
“Oi, Monk, we know that. We don't know what kind of youkai we are dealing with,” InuYasha stated.
“No, not just that. It sounds like our troublesome priest is spreading wild tales about Kagome. We will have to be careful of the villagers, too. He has had ample time to poison their minds against us,” Miroku added.
“Remind me again why we are going, then?” InuYasha asked.
“Because there are three jewel shards,” Kagome responded.
“Three!” the others exclaimed together.
“Yes. Now that I have determined that two I felt belong to Kouga, I can still pick up three additional shards. I'm also starting to pick up the demonic aura that accompanies them, as well as several others,” Kagome replied.
InuYasha looked at his mate and then the monk and demon slayer. “She's right; there are a number of youkai involved, though I cannot tell what they are. There is one aura that is so strong that you will probably start to feel it pretty soon. That must be the one that has the jewel shards.”
“Kagome?” InuYasha asked.
“It is still staying in one place, and it is pretty far away. Whatever it is must actually be on the other side of the village from us. I'll let you know if it starts to move,” Kagome answered as she shifted her bow to her other hand.
InuYasha nodded his head in response. Sango and Miroku glanced at each other. The nonverbal communication the two exhibited was still uncanny to them.
Falling into silence, the group continued to trudge along the dusty road, only to be brought to a halt when they heard a scream and a roar that pierced the stillness of the afternoon.
~ ^~^ ~
The Demon Lord of the Western Lands had stopped as he approached the village. He could feel the evil aura that emanated from somewhere on the other side. He stopped, looking back at his young ward as she followed faithfully behind him.
“Rin, stay here with Ah-Un,” Sesshomaru commanded.
“Yes, My Lord,” Rin replied. “We will wait for your return.”
“Come, Jaken,” Sesshomaru said as he headed towards the source of the evil.
The Taiyoukai had not walked very far when a scream rang through the wilderness, accompanied by a roar of pain.
`RIN,' Sesshomaru thought as he raced back to where he had left the young girl, Jaken desperately trying to follow.
~ ^~^ ~
InuYasha leaned over so that Kagome could hop on his back while Kirara transformed so that Sango and Miroku could ride her. Headed in the direction of the scream, InuYasha took off at a run with Kirara flying alongside of him.
~ ^~^ ~
Sesshomaru returned to where he had left Rin with Ah-Un, only to find several men trying to drag her away. Ah-Un seemed to be paralyzed. He could not move from where he was.
“RELEASE HER,” the Demon Lord commanded.
“Lord Sesshomaru!” Rin cried out as she struggled. “Help me!”
“Remain calm, Rin. These men will release you, or they will die,” Sesshomaru stated as his eyes rested on those of the priest, who looked rather smug.
The priest approached the Demon Lord, waving an ofuda. “I will stop you just as I did that beast over there. You will not use this young girl to satisfy your demonic desires.”
“That child is Lord Sesshomaru's ward! He only makes certain that she is clothed and fed!” Jaken yelled. He had finally caught back up with his Lord.
“No human would willingly travel with a youkai. He is obviously keeping her for some vile purpose,” the priest stated.
InuYasha had come up from the other side of Ah-Un, and Kagome quickly hopped down to pull the immobilizing ofuda off of him. The two-headed dragon stood and roared again, approaching the men that were holding the girl that had been left in his care.
“What are you doing!” yelled Kagome. “That girl is an orphan that Lord Sesshomaru takes care of!”
“YOU!” The priest screamed. “It is she! It is she, I tell you! She is a dark miko that consorts with hanyou and youkai!”
The men had all stopped what they were doing, and were looking in the direction of Kagome and the priest. Sango and Miroku took the opportunity to sneak up behind them. Rin had still been thrashing wildly around, and looked back and saw the pair coming. Miroku placed his finger over his lips to let her know to be quiet. Rin's eyes opened wide, but she gave a slight nod to let him know she understood. She stopped struggling so hard, hoping the men who now held her would loosen their grip on her at least a little.
The men that had accompanied the priest were startled when Kirara, still in her battle form, roared and leaped in their midst. They turned loose of Rin and ran towards the priest, and then Rin jumped on Kirara's back, wrapping both arms around the firecat's neck. Kirara gave another roar as she took to the air with the young girl. Not to be left out, Ah-Un joined them, hovering well above the ground.
“YOU! You not only consort with hanyou and youkai, but you encourage others to do the same! I will destroy you!” the priest yelled as he charged at Kagome, still holding out the ofuda he was threatening Sesshomaru with in his hand.
“You will NOT touch Kagome!” InuYasha shouted as he jumped between them.
The priest grinned evilly and slapped the ofuda on InuYasha's chest. “I will purify the abomination first!” he screamed as he jumped back and waited for the ofuda to work.
InuYasha was so intent on protecting his mate that he had caught the ofuda square in the chest. Everyone was now staring at him, waiting to see what would happen.
The priest started to chant, trying to speed things up as best as they could tell. But then, something totally unexpected happened - the ofuda flashed and turned into a pile of dust, scattering into the wind.
“I…I do not understand. That was one of my most powerful ofuda!” The priest said to his followers. “What manner of hanyou are you? You purified my ofuda that was supposed to purify you!”
“The hanyou appears to be protected by a spiritual power that is much greater than your own,” Miroku stated as he walked forward.
Everyone's attention had now fallen on the monk, so he continued, “What this priest has told you is nothing but a pack of falsehoods. This miko is not a dark miko, and the demon slayer and I are not possessed, nor under any kind of spell. All of us have traveled to this village to see if we can help with the vile evil that has been attacking it. This misguided priest has responded by attempting to attack us. Tell us, how many people have vanished or been found dead since he arrived? What good has he actually done for this village?”
One of the men that were local to the village stepped forward. “He sends men out to scout, but they do not return. This is the first time he has ventured out of the village itself, and it was only at our insistence. Since most of the women and children have fled, there is practically no one left. And our village elder has fallen ill, so he has been unable to help.”
Kagome moved to the front to speak, “Did the priest mention that the foul evil that has been attacking your village is in a different direction? The aura that youkai has comes from the other side of your village. All he did by leading you in this direction was to try and kidnap an innocent girl and risk all of your lives by threatening the Demon Lord that protects her.”
“Do not listen to her! I tell you, she is a dark miko!” the priest shouted again. “Look at her! She consorts with a hanyou and other demons!”
Sango finally stepped forward. “Priest, I was once like you. I thought that nearly all demons were an evil that needed to be exterminated. I did not even learn from my own companion who fights by my side. However, I have grown wiser. Demons can be of all kinds, some good, and some evil. Most are simply doing what they need to in order to survive. You do not discriminate. You try to kill every youkai that crosses your path.”
Miroku added, “We know that you know that InuYasha is half human, and yet you still tried to purify him. I am surprised that your power has not diminished because of the hatred that you carry.”
“NO! My power is strong because I fight evil! I live to battle evil youkai and destroy them!” the priest shouted.
InuYasha had finally had enough. “As far as we can tell, you are nothing but a coward. You attacked me once before by luring me into a trap. All I wanted to do was help a girl I thought was hurt, and you left me sealed in a cave to die. When you attacked the bear youkai at the other village, you ran up and slapped ofuda on her in her sleep. Now, here, you send men out to almost certain death while you wait safely back in the village. So tell us, what have you actually done other than spread lies about others with more power than you?”
“I have battled countless youkai! I am getting older so I must preserve my strength! Therefore, I have to send others out to scout for me. I will battle this youkai when we finally find it!” the priest screamed.
Kagome looked around her as she pulled an arrow from her quiver and nocked it in her bow. “Well, you are about to have your chance. The youkai we all seek is coming to us and will be here in a few minutes. It is moving fast, so it is too late for any of you to run. And, it is not coming alone.”
To be continued…