InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Fireside Chats ❯ Part Eleven: Fragmented Soul ( Chapter 11 )
Author's Note: because it seems to be unclear as to what Kiniromaru is, here's the skinny: her mother was a standard uma-youkai horse demon (like Koga and his brethren controlling wolves, the uma-youkai control and command horses) her father is Nijimaru, a guardian demon lord whose true form is a spirit-horse (like Sesshomaru's true form is a spirit-dog). Thus she is half uma-youkai (horse-controlling demon) and half hogosha-youkai (guardian demon).
Update: A few clarifications added, adjusted some grammatical inconsistencies and streamlined the punctuation.
Part Eleven: Fragmented Soul
This was not the Kiniromaru they remembered. Very little remained of the proud horse demon they'd encountered a month ago. Her golden skin had became a sickly, jaundiced yellow; her platinum hair had no life to it and spilled out of her messy ponytail as though reviled by it; her body armor was shoddily-mended and soiled with travel; and her eyes were dark and blank with hatred.
This was a demon gone mad with grief, pain or anger.
"Great," Miroku groaned, "Naraku's taken advantage of someone else. I wonder what kind of lies or deceptions he's used to ensnare her."
Kagome leaned close to Inuyasha. "She has two Jewel fragments in her chest, right over her heart. And they're black."
"Fucking dammit to hell," the hanyou swore. "She reeks of Naraku, too. Alright, Kiniromaru, hold still. I'll end your misery."
"Wait a minute!" Miroku intercepted him. "Don't kill her! She might be a clue to Naraku's whereabouts."
Inuyasha snarled, but the monk held his ground. "Since that showdown with Naraku you haven't caught more than a trace of him. You said he was badly injured and that he barely escaped with his life. But apparently he's doing well enough that he's able to lure more demons into his traps, probably because he doesn't dare try to create any new ones until he's recreated his own body."
"I wasn't going to kill her, I was just going to slice those Jewel Shards out of her. They're probably what's causing her so much pain."
Kagome interrupted; "Inuyasha, they're too deeply imbedded. You'd have to kill her to get them out."
"Dammit, there goes that theory." Inuyasha frowned at Kiniromaru, who was now too weak to fight off the firecat that had her pinned to the ground. Funny that Shippo's Fox-fire had done so much damage to her. And her a full demon too!
Wait.... he inhaled deeply, having caught a stray trace scent. I smell Sesshomaru's venom mixed in with her scent. It's coming from her breath. And there's decay in there too... Oh, I get it now. She's three-quarters dead as it is! She's been fatally poisoned by Sesshomaru's venom, but those Jewel fragments are keeping her from knowing it and are slowing the progress of the poison. That venom is dissolving her from the inside out, inch by inch.
He raised Tetsusaiga. I can't let her suffer like this. I have to end it for her. This is beyond terrible. This is almost as bad as what Naraku's done with Sango's brother. She's only still alive because of those two shards. Even if Kagome purifies them within Kiniromaru, the poison will taint them again, over and over until she finally dies. Tetsusaiga glowed slightly as Inuyasha scouted the best place to plunge the blade into the helpless youkai without striking Kirara as well.
"DANCE OF BLADES!"
Fuck. Kagura. Now I know Naraku's involved ass-deep in this.
A crescent-shaped energy blade wheeled down and grazed Kirara's shoulder as the firecat tried to dodge. In moving, she released Kiniromaru, who flung herself forwards with sudden force and violence, drawing a small knife from her belt and swinging it at Inuyasha. The hanyou barely had time to duck and avoid getting stabbed in the heart. As it was, the blade bit deeply into his shoulder.
Kagura somersaulted off of her feather and landed primly in the spot where Kirara had pinned Kiniromaru.
"How disappointing, Kiniromaru. And here I thought your aim with the spear was flawless, unlike your archery. You were aiming for his heart with that spear, weren't you?"
"So, you did make a pact with Naraku, Kiniromaru." Inuyasha shoved the uma-youkai away. "What for? What'd he promise you?"
"He? I made a pact with no one. My business is with you and that disgusting brother yours, but I can't find him. Kagura only told me where you could be found, and offered to back me up if your wench and crew interfered. I told her I didn't need her damned help, but she wouldn't listen, obviously."
"Silence, you impudent little bitch," Kagura snarled. "Now what are you waiting for? Finish him off!"
"This rancid halfbreed ought to know why I seek to take his head at least," Kiniromaru growled. "After all, if you hadn't interfered, Inuyasha, the only casualty would have been me. Because you interfered, Nijimaru died and the forest lost its protector. Now humans have overrun my forest, killed most of the horse demons and enslaved the horses. And Sesshomaru left me alive. Had you not interfered, he would have been content with my death. He said so himself and you know it's true anyway."
"So you're coming after me in vengeance because you can't get to Sesshomaru?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, did I use too big of words for your puny brain to process?" the horse demon's lips drew back in a hateful sneer. "Your head is mine, because had you not interfered, Nijimaru wouldn't have died."
"Nijimaru chose his own fate, you know. And besides, you shouldn't be able to move. You've been poisoned by Sesshomaru's venom too. Your insides are little better than Naraku's miasma. Those two Jewel fragments are the only thing keeping you alive, and you can't even feel the poison because of them."
Kiniromaru looked confused. "Jewel fragments? I have no Jewel fragments. I had a stone-flower but your wench identified it for the counterfeit it was and it was lost in the battle with Sesshomaru anyway."
Inuyasha blinked. "Kagome, you're sure?"
"I can see them."
"You lying wench! I have no fucking Shikon Jewel fragments! I'd know if I'd taken possession of any, wouldn't I?" Kiniromaru clawed at Kagome, who jumped back in surprise.
"Kagura, what is the meaning of this?" Miroku demanded. "You must know something."
Kagura clicked her fan closed and smiled indulgently. "The Shikon Jewel is amazing, isn't it? A single tiny shard contains such powers that it can stop a taiyoukai from dying."
Kiniromaru turned to stare uncomprehending at Kagura.
"Nijimaru was very old for a taiyoukai. He should have been much more powerful than he was. He was a weakling. And now I understand why. I saw the battle," Kagura smirked as she spoke. "It was a rout, really. Nijimaru didn't stand a chance. Oh, he led Sesshomaru on a merry little chase, but in the end Sesshomaru ripped him apart. Quite literally." Kiniromaru flinched visibly. Kagura's smile became bloodless and malicious. "It's a shame, really. Sesshomaru actually did Nijimaru a favor by killing him as such. After all, Naraku wanted to lure Nijimaru and entrap him. He can't touch Sesshomaru's power, but Nijimaru was such a weakling that Naraku, even in his weakened state, could have absorbed him easily. But of course, Sesshomaru thwarted him.
"This little filly here lay on the brink of death, poisoned and battered." Kagura flicked her fan in feigned carelessness, and Kiniromaru blanched. "Naraku decided to use her and her hatred for the hanyou who had interfered. She cursed you, Inuyasha, with her dying breath, crying for your blood as payment. By inserting a Jewel shard in her heart, I was able to spare her life. Now, Naraku would only risk one shard, but as you can probably tell, she has two. Luck and fate provided me with the second shard."
Kiniromaru's eyes were going dark and her breathing became labored and heavy.
"Would you like to know where the second shard came from, Kiniromaru?" That bitch was enjoying this! Kiniromaru sank to her hands and knees, her breaths now coming in ragged gasps. "The second shard came from none other than your dearly departed sire. Ironic, isn't it? The demon lord who professed to hate the Shikon Jewel and who refused to allow any who possessed fragments of it to enter his forest, was harboring a shielded, dormant shard himself, deep within his heart."
"You lie!" Kiniromaru wailed, her voice raw with agonized emotion. "Nijimaru hated the Shikon Jewel because he knew of its taint!"
"Of course he did," Kagura said with false congeniality, "because he knew firsthand. Tell me, Kiniromaru, why would a full taiyoukai land-ruler suddenly diminish in power in the span of a few months? If he ruled the forest, why did he live in such fear of regular demons? Why did he resort to having Royakan patrol his forest?"
The wind sorceress then flicked her fan open. "The answer lies within your heart. Literally. He harbored a tainted fragment of the Jewel. He used most of his powers of shielding to suppress the Jewel Shard, to keep it dormant and undetectable to even the most sensitive of searchers. After all, the girl over there -- " she motioned toward Kagome " -- can sense them, and I'm sure she didn't know about his fragment either. Nijimaru sought to ensure that the Shikon no Tama would never be whole.
"And in doing so, he provided his own downfall. His shielding weakened him and he fell prey to Sesshomaru's temper. Ironic, isn't it, how things end up?"
"You... bitch..." Kiniromaru gasped for breath. "Go... to... Hell..."
Kagura turned an eye on Inuyasha; "Here's the truly ironic part. The second Shard provided some measure of healing. It reversed some of the damage done by the venom. But the malice was strong enough to taint even that Shard. Thus, Kiniromaru's own festering hatred of you, the rage that has empowered the Jewels and enabled her to move about, has also given way to a rampaging consumption. Even as she stands... or kneels... there, she is being dissolved from the inside out."
Kagura clicked her fan closed with a sharp snap and tilted her head at Kiniromaru. "Shall I remove the Shards? Since you don't want them, I can take them back. Then you'll feel every little scoring from the venom, and you'll die writhing in excrutiating agony."
Inuyasha stepped between Kagura and Kiniromaru. "You're not getting those Shards without a fight."
"I see," Kagura grinned maliciously. "Very well, then, Inuyasha. If you can take those Shards from Kiniromaru, consider them a gift." She reached up, plucked a feather from her hair, called up a whirlwind, and soared away on her feather.
Inuyasha turned to face Kiniromaru. "There's no help for it. I have to kill her."
"Uh, Inuyasha," Miroku inched closer. "Is it just me, or are the saimyoshogetting closer?"
Inuyasha favored the monk with an "I-don't-care-about-the-damned-bugs" look, but Sango replied; "I think they're going to attack us! They're not here just to prevent your Wind Tunnel - they're really going to fight us!"
The cloud of poisonous insects was surrounding them and moving in steadily.
"Fuck!" Inuyasha gripped Tetsusaiga in frustration. "NOW what?"
Fight Kiniromaru and a cloud of poisonous insects at the same time?
last updated: August 28, 2005