InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Chronicles ❯ Shock ( Chapter 45 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Waku jumped back in time to avoid the flying scythe. It flew in a wide arc before circling back. Miroku caught the handle with a determined grimace. `He's fast . . . gotta slow him down . . . .'
“Telegraphing your moves isn't a wise thing to do, exterminator-monk!” Waku taunted with a deep chuckle.
“Hiraikotsu!” Sango hollered, letting the huge weapon fly.
Waku waved his wings, creating a vortex. Hiraikotsu careened off course and tumbled, end over end, embedding itself into the frozen earth. Sango started to run for the weapon. Miroku caught her and jerked her back. “Sango! No!”
“How sweet! The exterminator-monk loves the wench,” Waku called out with another chuckle.
Miroku whipped an ofuda at the youkai. Another gust of unnatural wind blew it off course, too. Waku dove forward with his talons outstretched to intercept Miroku. He dove to the side, rolled to his feet, and drew his sword before he hit his feet and sprang up again. “Leave her out of this!” Miroku yelled as he rushed forward. He blocked a wind blade attack with the weapon. One of the blades hit the hilt close to his fingers, and the sword jerked out of his hand.
“So you'd rather die before her? Very well.”
Miroku had to dive again as Waku launched himself at him again. He was a moment too late. Waku caught Miroku's shoulder and tossed him back. The monk slammed into a stout tree trunk and fell to his hands and knees as he winced, forcing back the nausea at the sudden pain that shot through him.
“Houshi-sama!” Sango screamed as she jerked Hiraikotsu out of the earth and dashed forward. She raised the boomerang over her head, swinging it in a wide arc as she grimaced with determination. Waku caught her with a wave of his wing. She flew through the air and smacked against the ground.
Miroku staggered to his feet, shaking the fuzziness out of his mind.
“Shippou! Stay back!” Miroku hollered as Shippou's kitsune-bi flashed in Waku's eyes, blinding the youkai for a precious few moments. Kirara landed beside him. Shippou tossed Miroku the Shakuju. “Kirara, take Shippou back to the village,” he commanded, slapping the fire-cat's rear. Kirara took off with a roar as Miroku jammed the end of the Shakuju into the ground and muttered the words that would cast a protective barrier around the unconscious Sango for a little while.
Miroku took advantage of Waku's momentary weakness to heave the chained sickle again. Waku shrieked in pain and rage as the blade struck his wing and tore the appendage. A fine spray of blood spurted out as part of the left wing fell away.
“Filthy human! You'll pay for this!” Waku raged as he shot forward. Miroku sidestepped the furious youkai. Waku swung wildly at the monk. Miroku slapped an ofuda on Waku's arm and grimaced as the hawk screeched in pain.
Waku managed to pull the ofuda off with his teeth. “I underestimated you, exterminator-monk,” he remarked as he caught his breath a moment. “I won't make that mistake again. Prepare to die!”
“I won't die easily,” Miroku shot back as he chucked the scythe in a broad arc. Waku stumbled back as he sought to avoid the winking blade. `All right,' Miroku thought with a determined grimace, `let's see what you can do since you can't fly, Waku . . . .'
InuYasha scowled as his feet hit the ground in the bottom of the well. Instead of feeling the cold earth under his feet, he felt nothing except the damned shoes. `Fucking Katosan . . . where the hell are you?'
He leaped at the wall, catching sturdy vines and snorted in disgust. `Keh! This is why I hate being human . . . damn it! Climbing! I fucking have to climb out of this stupid well!'
Kagome's stricken face, her bewildered expression raced through his head as he reached higher and pulled himself up. `He asked me what you would do if I smelled like someone else . . . . What did he . . . did he mean . . . ?'
`He threatened to rape you, or did you not catch the gist of that?' InuYasha growled as scarlet rage clouded his vision. `Bastard! I don't fucking think so . . . .'
The fear he smelled on her, the scent of Katosan lingering around her, radiating off her when he'd found her sitting on the ground in the forest . . . InuYasha growled and climbed faster. Human hands weren't nearly as useful as claws, and the shoes were slippery. He slid and fell as the pink light of the time slip opened up once more and Kagome came through.
“What the hell are you doing here, bitch?” he bellowed. “I thought I told you to stay back there!”
Her chin rose stubbornly, and she tossed his fire-rat clothes in his face. “I brought you those, baka!” she shot back, “since you won't listen to me! Don't be so stupid!”
“Who are you calling `stupid', wench?”
“You! You can't go after him! Wait until you're—”
“No! I won't fucking wait! He threatened you, Kagome! He threatened to—”
“I know what he threatened to do!” she cut in, eyes blazing in the darkened well, a glimmer of fire in the encompassing blackness. “I didn't tell you so you'd go after him!”
“Then why did you? What the hell did you expect me to do?”
“I expected you to hold me!” As though her response took all of her upset to form, Kagome whimpered. A soft sob tore from her lips, and she threw herself against him. Still stunned from her yelled answer, he barely had time to react, to catch her. “Please don't, InuYasha! Please don't go after him, not until—”
He sighed and hugged her then pushed her away, holding her shoulders and forcing her to look at him. “I have to, Kagome. Katosan . . . he can't do this to you. I won't let him.”
“Shippou . . . .” Kagome whispered. She pulled away from InuYasha and grabbed at the vines to climb out of the well.
“Kagome, wait!” InuYasha growled, catching the impetuous girl's arm and pulling her back. “Put these on.” He shoved the fire-rat clothes into her arms and started climbing.
Kagome stared at the crimson material spilling out of her arms. “InuYasha! You need these!”
He stopped climbing long enough to shoot her a fierce look. “Wench! Put `em on, already! You've got to be safe. I'll be fine!”
She looked like she wanted to argue. A piercing shriek ripped through the air. She nodded and started to pull on the clothes as InuYasha climbed out of the well.
“Hurry it up, wench! We ain't got all night,” he hollered down into the well. He couldn't see her face from the top.
“I'm trying,” she called back. Her voice sounded like it was higher. A few seconds later, InuYasha grabbed her hands and dragged her the rest of the way out of the well. She shot him a trusting smile as she slipped her hand into his. Wrapped in the billowing material of the fire-rat clothes, she looked even smaller, even more fragile than she ever had before. “What do you think it is?”
InuYasha shook his head. “I can't smell a damn thing,” he admitted. “Let's go.”
Pulling her along after him toward the path that led through his forest to the village he had to admit that he was slightly worried. From the sounds coming from the forest, he could tell there was a decent altercation happening. He had little doubt that Sango and Miroku hold their own, but something about the voice that had screamed was too damn familiar. . . .
He heard Miroku's yell as he ran faster. Kagome didn't falter as she increased her speed, too. He concentrated on reaching the monk as they closed the distance to the trees. As long as Kagome was near him, she was safe.
Kagome's hand jerked out of his. He skidded to a stop and turned as her gasp echoed through the clearing. Held against the chest of a strange inu-youkai, she struggled against his grip. Her back was smashed against the youkai's chest, and he actually smiled as Kagome's panic rose. InuYasha's sensed might have been dulled but he didn't have to smell her to be able to tell that she was fighting the desire to scream. The arm over her stomach tightened, and Kagome whimpered as the youkai brought his free hand to her throat, fingers glowing green. `Poison claws?' InuYasha glared at the youkai. “Let her go.”
Throwing back his wild mane of black hair, the youkai laughed. Slowly, deliberately, he stared at InuYasha. “You? A mere human? You would threaten me? Tell me where the hanyou known as InuYasha is.”
InuYasha's fist tightened as he slowly drew Tetsusaiga. “Who the hell are you? Get your fucking hands off her!”
“Not that it matters to the likes of you, but I am Norimitsu, Lord of the Southern Realm.”
“Norimitsu?” he repeated, racking his brain to figure out why that name sounded familiar, like one he ought to recognize . . . . `Who the fuck cares, baka! He's got Kagome!' InuYasha growled. “Let her go, damn you!”
He ignored InuYasha. “Is InuYasha in hiding? Where is he?” he asked, tightening his claws around Kagome's neck though he didn't break her skin. “I can't detect him . . . all I smell is this miko-bitch . . . and she smells just like him.”
“No!” Kagome gasped out. Norimitsu's claws tightened even more.
The youkai's eyes flared. “You . . . you're InuYasha!” He laughed once more as InuYasha gritted his teeth together. “You smell like your mother . . . . So your scent changes when you become human? Interesting . . . . Watch, InuYasha . . . watch as your bitch dies . . . .”
Raising his claws, he started to swing. InuYasha raised Tetsusaiga and started to dash forward. The sword pulsed in his hands, jerked in his grasp. He understood. Pointing the blade at Kagome, her body instantly radiated the bright blue light, and the barrier solidified as the youkai's claws descended.
“Damn you!” Waku bellowed as he glanced at his torn wing. His eyes flashed red as he brought his glower up to meet Miroku's violet stare. “Prepare to die!”
With an angry screech, Waku raced forward and jumped. Miroku dodged his talons and whipped around, zipping the sickle in a broad circle and embedding the razor sharp blade in Waku's thigh. He jerked back on the chain to dislodge the weapon, sending the hawk youkai sprawling on the ground.
Waku pushed himself up again but lost his footing, unable to bear weight on his injured leg. Miroku held the chain between his middle and index fingers with the solid metal ball nestled comfortably in his palm. “Are you finished, Waku? Come at me again, and I'll kill you.”
Waku choked out a laugh. “The day I fear a mortal is the day I will surely die.”
In the distant clearing where the dry well stood, a sudden flash of bluish light erupted then faded like lightning followed by a woman's scream and a violent shriek. Miroku watched the youkai stagger to his feet. “Day or night, makes no difference to me, Waku. Either leave now and forget your vengeance, or I'll destroy you.”
“Spoken like a true monk!” Waku lunged again, bringing his claws down across Miroku's cheek as Miroku raised the sickle and sliced Waku's shoulder. Crimson droplets that looked like jewels in the darkness of the night spurted out of the gash and flew through the air to rain down like tears of blood on the ground.
Miroku swung the weapon once more. Waku spun around with his injured leg outstretched, catching the monk across the back and sending him flying.
He landed beside the barrier he'd created to protect Sango. She moaned softly as Miroku forced himself back to his feet, wiping the blood from his cheek with the back of his hand. `I don't want her to have to fight,' he realized. `Sango . . . .'
Waku's eyes pulsed from red to yellow with the beat of his heart. `He's going to transform. If he transforms . . . .' Digging the small dagger out of his belt, he straightened up and hurled it in one fluid motion. The small knife sank into Waku's collarbone just above the youkai's heart.
Waku didn't even flinch as he stared down at the dagger. With a sickening slurpy-suction noise, he jerked the blade free and tossed it aside before staring at Miroku with an entirely shocked expression on his face. “Baka!” he hissed quietly. “Should have killed me when you had the chance!”
And with a ground-shaking shriek, the hawk barreled forward.
The barrier created around Kagome repelled the youkai's hand at the last moment, and Norimitsu skidded across the ground, rolling over and over again, carried along by the momentum of the barrier.
Kagome screamed as the youkai hurled her as though holding on any longer might cause him further harm. Her body was tossed like a rag doll, and InuYasha leaped to catch her but wasn't counting on his weakened human body being unable to return them both safely to the ground. She knocked the breath out of him as he caught her, and they fell as another flash of light split the night. She leaned over him, shielded his eyes from the brilliant flash, moaning softly as she moved all of her limbs to make sure nothing was damaged.
Finally, she scrambled to her feet and reached down to help him. He ignored the hand of assistance since he was still smarting over his inability to properly execute her rescue. “Where the hell is he?” InuYasha growled as he slowly got to his feet.
“I don't know . . . he just vanished.” Kagome rubbed her neck and shook her head. “InuYasha? He said his name was Norimitsu, didn't he?”
“Yeah . . . sounds familiar.”
Kagome nodded. “Your mother wrote in her diary about a man named Norimitsu . . . . Do you suppose he's the same person?
“Keh! How the hell should I know? Damn it! He must have taken to his energy form and escaped.” He stepped over and yanked Tetsusaiga off the ground where he'd dropped it before lunging to catch Kagome. Staring at the rusty katana thoughtfully, InuYasha had to ask himself yet again how the blade had gained the ability to protect Kagome. “I don't have time for this crap!” he bellowed. `I'm supposed to be looking for Katosan . . . .'
Another angry roar echoed out of the forest, and InuYasha glanced at Kagome. “Are you okay?”
She didn't answer as she broke into a dead sprint toward the trees. “Damn it! Don't take off like that, sneaky wench!” he bellowed as he plunged after her, skidding on patches of old snow in the shoes he loathed.
Kagome stopped short as she drew up next to the small barrier that covered Sango. The spell was anchored in place with Miroku's Seibai, and Sango sat up slowly. “Houshi-sama . . . ?” the exterminator whispered.
“What in the—?” Kagome mumbled as her hand lifted to cover her mouth. Dressed in all black in some sort of skin or pelt that absolutely hugged his frame, the monk she knew so well looked quite different as he advanced on Waku slowly, methodically, as though he knew exactly what he was doing. “What is he doing?”
InuYasha ran into her back when she stopped so quickly. “Fuck, Kagome, wha—what? What the hell is Miroku . . . wearing?”
In a flash of movement, the monk whipped the scythe-like weapon toward Waku. The blade struck true, decapitating the youkai as Kagome winced and looked away. Miroku caught the blade and, breathing hard, the monk watched as Waku's body fell. Moments later, the slain youkai exploded in a burst of purple light. The ashen remains blew away as the wind dropped away. He knelt down, and for a moment, Kagome thought that he was going to offer a prayer, as he normally did. Instead he carefully wiped the blade of his weapon and stood, sticking the end of the sickle through his belt. Slowly, Miroku turned to face his friends as he wiped blood off his cheek with the back of his hand.
“The Monkinator,” Kagome mumbled, unable to tear her eyes off the young man she thought she knew.
“Wh—wh—what the hell are you staring at?” InuYasha hollered.
Kagome broke her attention away from Miroku to glance back over her shoulder, feeling more than a little guilty for oogling the monk.
InuYasha wasn't glowering at her, though. He was glaring back at Sango as a deep flush crept over his face. Sango shook herself, as though she hadn't realized she had been staring. “You look so . . . different, InuYasha,” she remarked as she turned away and got to her feet.
Miroku jerked the Shakuju out of the ground as the barrier it held in place dissipated, which brought Kagome's attention right back to the transformed monk. “Miroku? Why are you dressed like that? I mean, you don't look bad at all, just different, but not different in a bad way. Different is great, and you look really different! Um, I mean—”
“Oi, wench!” InuYasha snarled, grabbing Kagome's arm and drawing her attention back.
Miroku sighed. “Sango has been training me in the ways of the youkai exterminators.”
“Keh,” InuYasha snorted. “I figured as much.” Kagome didn't miss the narrowed eyes as InuYasha purposefully avoided her gaze.
“InuYasha, why are you wearing that?” Sango spoke up, staring at the human-hanyou and asking her question in an overly cautious tone. Kagome hid her smile as Miroku's violet eyes darkened considerably.
“Kagome wanted—never mind,” he growled, pushing past them and stomping off toward the village.
Miroku shot Sango a last chagrined glance of his own before he ran to catch up with InuYasha.
Kagome couldn't help it. She started to giggle. Sango suddenly giggled, too, and the girls fell into step well behind the guys. “I wonder how InuYasha would look in one of those outfits,” she said between rounds of giggles.
Sango blushed but giggled, too.
Kagome had the distinct feeling that Sango was wondering what Miroku might look like in the clothes that InuYasha was wearing . . .
Shakuju: Miroku's staff.
kitsune-bi: Fox Fire (Shippou's attack)
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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.