InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Here at the End of All Things ❯ Riddles Passing Through Time ( Chapter 3 )
Part Three: Riddles Passing Through Time
"It's latched," Kagome said in frustration as she pounded uselessly on the well cover. "Dammit, I hope that that only means there are visitors to the Shrine. Ever since I first came through the well, they always close the cover on it when there are visitors, just so no one has any issues." Kagome reversed direction and climbed back down the ladder, stepping carefully so as not to step on anyone. She settled herself down next to where Inuyasha still lay motionless. She felt something soft and furry brush across her leg.
"We can wait here for a while, and if no one comes and opens it back up, we'll see if we can draw some attention. Inuyasha isn't even conscious, after all."
"Miroku, is your wind tunnel gone?"
"Yeah it is," Miroku said, "but there's still some form of hole in my hand. But it's not sucking anything in, so I can live with it. Still, it hurts like hell and I can barely move my fingers."
Sango groaned and shifted, then yelped. "Ugh! Rock walls!"
"I hit my elbow on the side of the well. Hurts like crazy."
There was a long, dry silence. No one had anything to say. Finally, Miroku broke the silence. "So... does anyone know exactly what the hell happened? I mean, one minute Naraku is kicking our butts, and the next minute, the Inu no Taisho shows up, then Kikyo gets involved, and all of a sudden, Naraku and the Jewel are both gone and the Inu no Taisho is telling us we need to go through time if we wish to survive."
From a corner of the well came a thin, wavering voice that was unmistakeably Inuyasha's. "I do."
"Barely. I haven't the energy to move. In fact, I barely have the energy to breathe."
Kagome felt her way through the dark to where she was sure Inuyasha lay. She knew immediately that she was right when she touched a shoulder and encountered long hair and the distinctive weave of his fire-rat clothing. "Just rest, Inuyasha. We're here in my own time. The well's been covered up, probably because of visitors to the shrine."
"Yeah... I heard." He heaved a sigh. "Let me tell you what went on, before I lose the capacity to retain it."
"Just hear me out... and please don't interrupt. H-he made me see things as I passed through that time portal." Left unsaid was who this 'he' was, which was most likely the Inu no Taisho. Kagome patted his shoulder awkwardly. "Take your time, Inuyasha."
"I saw all sorts of things. It's almost like... like I'm supposed to be the keeper of secrets or something.
"What happened at the battle was that Sesshomaru distracted Naraku. Kikyo fired an arrow that, upon impact, fused Naraku with the Jewel. Then she ran in and hit him with the arrow in her hand, thereby purifying the Jewel and, by extension, Naraku. She did it that way so that she could maximize her purifying powers. Shot from a bow, the arrow would have lost some of its power; directly from her hand, it was at full strength.
"Upon purification, Naraku was rendered powerless and immobile. That's where the Inu no Taisho comes in. By striking Naraku directly just as he was rendered powerless, my father was able to obliterate Naraku and the Jewel by driving them both into the void between worlds."
"Void between worlds?" Miroku asked when Inuyasha paused.
"Between this world and the land of the dead where my father's remains are, there is a void. This, according to my father, is the only place to dispatch of beings as evil as Naraku. There literally is no escape. Your wind tunnel was a portal to the void. It is possible to pass through the void, when moving between worlds, but once you have become ensnared in it, you cannot escape and cease to exist."
There was another long silence, punctuated by Inuyasha's slightly-labored shallow breathing. Finally, he continued. "Sesshomaru... now I understand why he was the way he was. It's even there in his name. While my father reigned over the land, humans and youkai existed in concert, if not in harmony. But when he died, the world became dangerous as youkai became more and more base and destructive. They... they were ruining themselves with their narrowmindedness.
"My father reigned over a golden age of diversity. But Sesshomaru was destined to reign over an age of purging. It was his fate to rid the world for the most part of youkai.
"Sesshomaru's name can be translated as 'Killing Circle.' That's essentially what he had to do for the span of his reign. That explains why in Kagome's time, youkai are nothing more than a fairy tale. Because that was the only way the world would survive. The youkai were threatening the very existence of the world. They had to be exterminated and humanity had to be allowed to flourish. Sesshomaru was the way he was because he couldn't have feeling and do his destined task."
Another long silence.
"That's why we all had to get out of there. The time of youkai was ending. Sesshomaru would have had to kill us all. Even the humans. Humans who were at all sympathetic to youkai were killed as well. I... I can't recall now why that was. Dammit! I knew I'd forget things!"
The others digested this information. Kagome closed her eyes - even though it was completely dark in the well - and reflected on her fallen friends. So they would've died anyway. Whether by Naraku's hand or by Sesshomaru's, they all would've died.
"Someone's here," Inuyasha said in a strained whisper. "I can hear someone up there."
Kagome strained her hearing. She could hear her brother Sota jabbering to their grandfather. She couldn't hear what they said, only the nuances of their voices. Then the wood over the well shifted and the wooden covering came away.
"I don't think she'll be back any time soon," Gramps said. "She said they'd cornered that Naku feller."
Naku? Kagome smothered a giggle. Trust Gramps to screw up the name.
"Down here!" she called. "Please, can you help me? We're all exhausted and can barely move."
"Kagome!" Gramps said, shining the flashlight down into the well.
"Sis! You're back!" Sota exclaimed. Kagome flinched and resisted the urge to comment on the statement of the obvious.
Inuyasha had no such inhibitions. "Thank you, Captain Obvious," he muttered so softly that even Kagome had trouble hearing.
"Who are these people?" Gramps asked. "I thought you and that dog fellow were the only ones who could come through the well."
"Long story. Please, it's crowded in here and we're exhausted. Help us out of here and we'll explain everything."
Sango had no trouble climbing out of the well. She had regained enough of her strength to climb out on her own, and she even carried Shippo under one arm. Once she'd reached main ground she saw that she carried a regular little fox kit, not the fox-like child she was used to.
So this is what the well did to him. Well, at least he's still alive.
Sota had to climb down into the well to help Miroku, whose right hand was useless because of the pain. Gramps pulled the young monk to safety once they reached the top of the well.
Inuyasha proved to be the real problem. Being the tallest and most muscular of the group, he was therefore the heaviest. The effort of retelling the story of his passage through time had rendered him nearly unconscious, and he couldn't move a muscle on his own behalf. Kagome opted to stay in the well with him until some energy returned. Sota retrieved her battered yellow backpack and any other items in the well and brought them to the surface before retreating to go find Mrs Higurashi.
Now that there was some light - not much, granted, but some - Kagome got a good look at Inuyasha. It all made sense now. His hair was black and his dog ears were gone, replaced by human ears. He was fully human now. He'd been virtually half-dead from all the exertion as a hanyou; as a human he was almost catatonic.
"Kagome? Are you alright?" a voice called from above.
"Mom! Can you help me get him out? He's almost unconscious, he's so weak."
"Sure, dear, just give me a moment." Mrs Higurashi climbed over the well side and down the ladder. As she reached the well floor she looked askance at her daughter. "Who is this?"
"This is Inuyasha, Mom. He looks different because... he lost his demon powers in coming forward this time. We killed Naraku and destroyed the Jewel, and we had to come forward in time or else we'd all be killed by the aftermath."
"I see. Well, let's get him out of here. Come along, Inuyasha." Mrs Higurashi maneuvered Inuyasha around and hauled him upright by hooking her arms under his shoulders. Between the two of them, Kagome and her mother managed to drag Inuyasha out of the well, with Gramps helping them once they got to the top.
Sango and Miroku were sitting just outside the wellhouse. Shippo was sniffing around. Kagome looked at the fox kit and felt mixed emotions. He was damned cute like that, but she'd kind of miss his humanoid form.
*Don't grieve for me, Kagome. This form is fine. My dad used to travel a lot in it, if you remember.* She felt the fox kit's voice in her head.
"Wow, Mom!" Sota said appreciatively. "I didn't know you were so strong."
Mrs Higurashi laughed; "Well, hauling all those groceries around has helped me build up my strength. Come along, Sota, let's go fix something to eat for Kagome's friends. Gramps, why don't you come help me?"
Kagome knelt beside where they'd laid Inuyasha out in the gently sunshine. "Are you feeling any better, Inuyasha?"
"A little," he murmured. "I'm sorry that I'm such a burden. I just..."
"Hush." She lifted him up a little and laid his head in her lap. "Just rest and get your strength back."
He chuckled softly; "This is familiar, isn't it? Except I'm not full of spider venom." His eyes opened slowly. "Thank you for everything, Kagome."
Kagome felt a gasp escape her. "Inuyasha! Your eyes...!"
"What about them?"
"They're... they're like your hanyou eyes! They're gold!"
"Keh," he said, "I figured that'd be the case. Father said that I was losing most of my hanyou form because I couldn't fit in here in this world with them, but that I could keep some of my senses." His eyes closed again in fatigue. With a soft, puppy-like whine, he twitched a bit and then lulled into a restless sleep.
last updated: march 6 2005