InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Destroyed ( Chapter 21 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
InuYasha stared over the landscape with a pensive look as Katosan gave him some time to digest the given information.
“It doesn't make any fucking sense,” InuYasha said slowly. “Why?”
Katosan shook his head, his golden hair whipping behind him in the wind. Standing atop the small cliff behind the castle, the youkai narrowed his gaze as he stared at the young hanyou. “I only wish I knew, InuYasha-sama. Tell me, what will you do?”
“There's nothing I can do. You said—”
“I know what I said. I'm asking if you will let this alone.”
InuYasha shrugged. “What does it matter? I didn't care, in the first place.
“What do you know of your parents? Izayoi-sama was a princess, did you know? She was the only child of Musashi's daimyo.”
No, he hadn't realized that. He'd never stopped to think about it. He recalled the castle where he had lived with his mother. He remembered the private gardens where he played alone as a child, the courtyard where the adults gathered. The particularly poignant memory of the men taking away his ball when he had tried to play with them still nagged at him. He brushed the memory aside and instead focused on Katosan. “What does it matter?”
Katosan's gaze dropped. “InuYasha-sama, why do you think it was that she died?”
“I don't know. I was small. I don't remember.”
“I do. I remember when your father chose her. I do not pretend that it was a comfortable time. The Inu no Taisho had chosen a human---a mortal---a princess. Many of our kind wanted to challenge him. They said he had brought shame to the youkai. The most powerful among us had chosen a human.” Katosan sighed, as if remembering something bitter, vile. Gaze clouding over with bitter emotion, the youkai shook his head slowly as a cynical smile twisted the corners of his lips. “You can imagine the outrage when he chose to sire you, as well. By then Ryukotsusei had come to power. When your father set out that day, there were many who hoped he would not return.”
“What does this have to do with me?” InuYasha asked, unable to keep the belligerence out of his tone. Tired of hearing about how he and his mother had been the death of his father, InuYasha just wanted to hear the crux of it and be done with the insinuations.
Katosan lifted his face into the wind, closing his eyes and breathing deep before he spoke. “I do not tell you this to enrage you, InuYasha-sama. I tell you this because there are things you need to understand.”
InuYasha sighed and folded his arms together under the cover of his haori sleeves. “Keh. Fine.”
Satisfied that InuYasha would listen, Katosan nodded. “The Inu no Taisho died saving you and your mortal mother. Instead of being grateful for the sacrifice your father made, Izayoi-sama's people were angry, bitter. Inasmuch as the youkai raised questions about the Inu no Taisho in dark places, in private circles, your mother was openly ridiculed by those who called her their own. They killed her. Her last request was that I should take her journal to Sesshoumaru-sama. I did this.”
“You did? You were there? When Mother . . . ?”
Katosan offered one curt nod. “It was not a secret that your brother never cared for Izayoi-sama. He accepted the responsibility to protect the journal for you out of respect for the Inu no Taisho. His mistake was that he underestimated the worth of that journal. My mistake was leaving you behind.”
InuYasha's frown darkened. “What do you mean?”
“I believed that the animosity they harbored toward your mother did not extend to you. Your grandfather swore he'd see to your needs, and I believed him. By the time I was able to return, to take you from them, you had already escaped. They gloated that one as young as you would not live through the winter.”
“Why would you even care?”
“Inu no Taisho asked me to do this. He said that if anything should befall your mother that I was to see you delivered safely to Sesshoumaru-sama. When I saw Sesshoumaru-sama later, he assured me that you were fine.”
“Depends on what you call `fine',” InuYasha grumbled.
“When your grandfather died, legitimate issue could not be found. The only one had escaped years before. Izayoi-sama had no siblings. Know you what that means?”
Katosan smiled indulgently. “It means, InuYasha-sama . . . the whole of Musashi is, by rights, yours.”
“It is worth considering, InuYasha-sama. You have the human right to take it because of your mother. Because of your father, you have the physical ability to see it done.”
“I don't want Musashi,” he scoffed. “I would like to know, though, how you know they took the journal. What makes you so sure?”
Katosan pulled a roll of parchment out of his sleeve and handed it to InuYasha. After a long moment, he took it and read it with a scowl. `Find it and destroy it. Izayoi's journal must never be found.' It wasn't signed. It didn't have to be. Though dulled by the passage of years, the scent that faintly lingered on the paper was still one InuYasha would never forget as long as he lived.
`Mama! I want Mama!'
`Your mother is dead because of you, half-breed!'
“Mother's father ordered this?” InuYasha said, crumbling the paper in his hand. Something ugly welled up in his chest, something dark, something bitter. He tried to ignore it. Suddenly he turned and stalked away.
Katosan watched the hanyou's retreating form with a slight scowl. Impetuous, passionate, and deadly. It was a combination of those traits that had best described the Inu no Taisho. That combination had also led to his death in the end.
He smelled the young miko before he heard her. The wind blew her scent right to him. Katosan slowly turned to face her. Wearing a strange sort of heavy wrap over her even stranger hakama, Katosan grudgingly admitted that the girl exuded spiritual power in her aura.
Stopping a respectful distance away from him, she forced a tepid smile and wrapped her arms closer around herself. She did not bear the scent of InuYasha's mate though he could smell the hanyou all over her. The miko bowed slightly. “I was looking for InuYasha. Wasn't he with you?”
Katosan stared in the direction the hanyou had taken. “He wished for some time alone.” Golden eyes shifting back, he regarded her in obvious interest. “Tell me, miko. What is your relationship with InuYasha-sama?”
A guarded light entered her expression, and her dropped her eyes to her hands. Fiddling with her fingernails, she shifted nervously under his perusal. “We're . . . friends,” she finally said, measuring her tone carefully.
“Friends?” he echoed. “Interesting answer.”
Kagome lifted her chin defiantly and stared the youkai in the eye, meeting his gaze steadily, without fear, and without hesitation. “What do you want from him?”
Katosan looked surprised for a moment. Then he smiled. “Not a thing.” Suddenly he chuckled, his eyes cold as he assessed her. “I'm harmless, Miko, I promise you.”
She didn't comment on that. “Would you tell me which direction InuYasha went?”
He inclined his head to her and pointed in the direction that InuYasha had gone. “If you'll excuse me, I've some things that demand my attention.”
Kagome watched the youkai walk away with a thoughtful frown. It wasn't the youkai's demeanor that bothered her. There was a dangerous feeling in the aura that surrounded him. The look in his eyes unsettled her. She rubbed her arms through the sleeves of her coat. `There really is something about him . . . something I don't trust, at all.'
She shook herself and smiled as Sango, with Kirara in her arms, ran toward her. Kagome's brow furrowed as she noticed that her friend was sporting her youkai exterminator's outfit once again. She'd been wearing that a lot more often lately . . .
“Sango, why are you wearing that?” she asked, careful to keep her tone light.
Sango shrugged. Kagome didn't miss the slight pink that tinged her friend's cheeks. “I was training.”
“Oh? Was Miroku with you?”
“Yes, Miroku. The monk? The one who's always trying to grope your rear?”
“Oh, no, haven't seen him.”
Kagome eyed Sango suspiciously. `Yep, definitely something weird going on here.' She sighed. “Is there anything you want to talk about? You seem a little nervous.”
Sango laughed but it didn't sound at all like her normal self. “You worry too much, Kagome . . . so tell me . . . is there something going on between you and InuYasha?”
It was Kagome's turn to blush. “No,” she said slowly. “Should there be?”
“Oh, no, just wondering. He's been pretty . . . nice . . . to Shippou lately.”
“Has he? I hadn't noticed,” Kagome remarked with a forced giggle. `Eep!' They walked along in silence for a few moments. Kagome reached over to pet Kirara. “Miroku's been really nice to Shippou, too, lately. Well, I guess he's always been nicer to Shippou than InuYasha has, but he's been . . . extra nice.”
A vague idea occurred to Kagome. The same one must have dawned on Sango, too, because the two girls slowly turned to stare at each other. Suddenly they both burst into fits of giggling. The giggles escalated into full-scale laughter that left them clutching the other's arms until their humor died down.
“I'll tell you all about it as soon as Miroku says I can,” Sango promised with a bright grin.
“Me, too,” Kagome assured Sango. “Me, too . . . but what about Shippou?”
Sango thought it over then shrugged. “Being nice to Shippou isn't a horrible thing, is it?”
Kagome grinned. “No . . . no, I don't think it is.”
Miroku winced and pressed his hand against the small of his back as he slowly made his way back to the castle. `Beautiful and deadly,' he thought with a wry grin. `That's my Sango . . .'
The extermination lessons were killing him, plain and simple. Unwilling to tell Sango just how badly his body hurt from the sessions, Miroku was suffering plenty. He hadn't fully appreciated exactly how much work it was for Sango to maintain that flawless body of hers. He squeezed his eyes closed as his back spasmed. He appreciated it all on a whole new level now.
“Oi, lecher! What the hell happened to you?”
Miroku stifled the urge to groan as InuYasha dropped out of the tree he'd been passing under. “I don't know what you're talking about, InuYasha.”
“Keh! You look like you just had your ass kicked, that's what,” InuYasha remarked with a suspicious stare.
“Of course not,” Miroku assured the hanyou, trying for a little more ebullience than he actually felt.
“Finally grope Sango one too many times?” InuYasha fell in step beside Miroku. “I warned you before, monk. If she can exterminate youkai, she could easily wipe the floor with the likes of you.”
Shippou ran up beside them and hopped onto Miroku's shoulder. “Miroku! I was looking for you!”
“Oh?” Miroku asked. “Why is that?”
Shippou bounced around happily. “I wanted to practice my foxfire! Come on!”
Briefly Miroku had to wonder just how much teasing he'd have to endure from InuYasha about Sango training him because at the moment, the last thing he wanted to do was to run around the meadow as Shippou blasted foxfire at him.
He heaved a heavy sigh and veered off toward the field.
InuYasha frowned as the monk and kitsune headed down the hill. Kagome was right about one thing: something really strange was going on . . .
He stared at the two as Kagome ran toward him. “I've been looking for you!” she exclaimed breathlessly as she stopped beside him. She glanced over to see what he was watching. Her eyes widened in surprise and then narrowed suspiciously. “What's Miroku doing?”
“Dunno,” InuYasha admitted without taking his eyes off the monk. Miroku ran in a wide circle around Shippou as the kitsune blasted off balls of foxfire. “You're right, that is weird.”
Kagome shrugged. “Maybe he's just trying to help Shippou train. That's really nice of him, if you ask me.”
InuYasha watched for another minute then shook his head. “Nope. That is weird, nothing nice about it.”
She grabbed his hand and dragged him in the opposite direction. “Come on,” she coaxed.
“Where are you taking me?” he asked dubiously.
Kagome smiled. “I just thought it'd be nice to go for a walk.”
“We've been walking for days,” he reminded her.
She sighed and stopped, whirling around to stare at him. Dropping his hand, she crossed her arms over her chest and leaned her head to the side as she critically regarded him. “What's wrong, and don't tell me nothing.”
Hands on hips, InuYasha glared off to the side. “It's been destroyed.”
“The journal,” he growled. “Mother's journal.”
“How do you know?”
The concern in Kagome's eyes only served to irritate him more. He hated making her worry, and as her worry grew, so did his upset. “Katosan found a letter. Mother's father wrote it. It reeked of him. He wanted it destroyed. It's gone.”
“Are you sure?” she asked quietly.
He scowled at her. “Of course I'm sure!” he bellowed, frustration winning out over common sense. “Oh, hell! I don't care!”
“Keh! Weren't you listening? I said—”
She reached out and turned his face toward hers with her gentle fingers. Eyes glowing with unshed tears, she shook her head slowly as she stared into his eyes. “I heard you. I also know you.”
He growled and jerked away from her. “Not everyone is like you, Kagome. Not everyone cares about memories or the past . . . It doesn't matter! Knowing what happened back then isn't going to change a fucking thing now, so why pretend it will? You come from a time and a place where everything is nice and kind and happy, but I don't. Stop trying to change me into you.”
She recoiled with a visible flinch. Stubbornly blinking back tears, she glared at him through the ones she couldn't hide. “Is that what you really think?” she asked, her voice tainted with an angry tremor. “You think I've spent all this time with you trying to change you?”
“Keh!” she spat back as she stomped away. She stopped after a few steps and turned back to face him again. “I've never asked you to be anything you aren't! I've never implied that you're worthless or stupid! I've never asked you to change! I've never wanted you to be anything or anyone you're not! I'm not Kik---”
He winced as she bit off her last word. White hot rage shot through him, and before he said or did anything that he would regret, he drew a deep breath and balled up his fists so tightly that his claws dug into his palms. The pain was enough to ease the edge of his anger. “Go ahead and finish,” he said quietly.
Arms wrapped protectively over her stomach, Kagome shook her head slowly. She couldn't meet his gaze. “I didn't mean that,” she whispered. “I'm sorry.”
“You're right,” he replied tightly. “You're not Kikyou.”
He turned and stalked away, leaving Kagome standing alone with the wind whipping her hair into her face to hide her tears.
A note about InuYasha's mother, Izayoi. While it isn't stated anywhere that she was a princess or anything, her mannerisms and dress indicate a very high rank in nobility. (Basically, the more layers of clothing, the higher `rank' one is.) I have based the crux of this on these assumptions.
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Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Chronicles): I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga. Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al. I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.