InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Old Seer ( Chapter 39 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Is this really necessary?”
“Keh! If this old woman knows something, then yes, it is.”
“That's not what I meant.”
“What did you mean then?”
“I mean, I told you what she said.”
InuYasha peeked over his shoulder. Kagome was frowning, chewing on her bottom lip. “Why do I get the feeling you don't want me to meet the old hag?”
“She's not an old hag, and I don't know what you're talking about.”
“If she knows something about the jewel, then I wanna hear it for myself.”
Kagome leaned forward and rested her chin on his shoulder. Not for the first time, she noticed how safe she felt, traveling with InuYasha. It was a feeling of security that she didn't always feel, and it was one that had become increasingly hard to come by. She sighed happily as she closed her eyes and rested her cheek on his shoulder.
“Oi! No sleeping, wench!”
Kagome popped an eye open and reached up to flick InuYasha's ear playfully. He twitched away from her. She giggled and tried again.
“Don't make me drop you,” he warned.
“You won't,” she scoffed. “You're too nice.”
“And you swore to protect me, not dump me on my rear.”
“Oh, it isn't!” She managed to rub his ear a few moments before she settled herself against his shoulder again. “Anyway, if you drop me then I'll be mad, and you hate it when I'm mad.”
“Because you yell.”
“You're such a baka.”
“And you're such a wench.”
“Can we stop for awhile?”
“We're almost there.”
Kagome made a face. “I know that.”
“Then why do you want to stop?”
“Because I want to walk awhile.”
“Keh!” InuYasha snorted but stopped to let her off his back. “We'd get there faster if you'd just move it, Kagome.”
“I will, I will,” she assured him as she stretched. “Wow . . . my muscles all locked up . . . See what happens when you don't let me walk some?”
“Too bad your jaw didn't lock up,” he grumbled.
“InuYasha! You take that back!”
“Keh! Make me!”
“Oh, you asked for it!” she promised as she ran after him. She knew he was playing. He could have outrun her easily enough. Still he let her catch up, and when she hurled herself against him, he caught her and rolled so that he took the brunt of the fall. “Give up, dog-boy!” she demanded as she straddled him and lunged for his ears.
“In what world?” he shot back.
“This one or you'll be sorry!”
“Keh! I don't think so.”
She captured one of his ears and rubbed. “I love your ears,” she remarked as she traced the outline with her fingertip.
“I think your brain's broke,” he grouched as he tried to jerk his head to the side.
“Be still so I can rub your ears,” she retorted.
“Keh!” He tried to jerk away again.
Kagome scooted forward and pinned his arms with her knees on his sleeves to impede his movement before she leaned forward and contented herself with a hand on each ear. “Ready to give up yet?”
She paused and arched her back so that she could glance down at his face. “What?”
He had his eyes squeezed closed, a grimace like he was in pain etched into his features. Kagome let go of his ears and scooted back. “InuYasha? Are you okay?”
Cautiously, he popped one eye open. “You'd better get up,” he told her.
Kagome frowned. “You're just trying to get out of surrendering,” she guessed.
“All right, then I'm not moving.”
“At least say please.”
“Fat fucking chance,” he snorted. Rolling his body enough to unseat her, Kagome yelped and fell against his chest, her arms pinned between them. He stared at her, a rush of emotion filling his gaze just before he groaned softly and pulled her down to kiss him.
The connection of their lips was a heady thing. His mouth was hungry, searching, searing against hers yet with an underlying charm, a gentleness that touched her. Leaning to the side to free one of her arms, Kagome traced the contours of his face with her fingertips. He reached up, caught her hand, twined his fingers into hers.
Something about the sweetness of the gesture brought tears to her eyes, and she kissed him back, telling him how much she adored him, even if he didn't understand. Every breath she drew was his, every heartbeat she felt was his. As though everything about him spoke to her, the invisible bonding of two hearts was a tangible thing, and in those moments, InuYasha let his guard down. His emotion was a breathtaking spell, a balm that spoke to her soul, the promise that he would make everything all right for her.
`InuYasha . . .'
The subtle touch of a burgeoning need blossomed under the tender rise of sensation. The breeze rippled over her, soothed her, but couldn't calm the growing sense that some small part of her was coming undone. The velvet touch of his lips to hers evoked a deeper ache, a frightening thing that she couldn't define. Innocent passion mingled with an inner knowledge, a secret truth that nothing in the world mattered but the way InuYasha made her feel, and maybe, just maybe, he felt the same way . . .
A whimper, a sigh, a low, hungry growl as he tugged at the silken fibers of her soul, aroused in her the will to live, the need to feel, the indecision of a heart tainted by sadness that dared to wish for something more. A tender awakening of hidden desire, a gentle fanning of beautiful sensation as languor seeped into her body combining with the heady tide of her desperation. His youki wrapped around her, sheltered her from the ache in her aura, the broken part of her that he wanted to save. In the touch of his lips he gave her everything, sought to show her through his own weakness that she could again be strong.
Stroking her hair with his free hand, his claws grazing against her skin now and again, InuYasha sighed against her lips. She pressed soft kisses along the outline of his mouth, reveled in the heat of his body under hers. “Kagome . . .” he mumbled.
She sighed. “I know,” she answered. “It's just . . . I feel so close to you, and . . .”
She would have been content to lie there forever as InuYasha stroked her hair, as she laid her head against his shoulder, savoring the feeling that he really did care about her. He allowed it for another few minutes before gently rolling her off him so he could sit up. His eyes took on that far away look, the one that meant he was thinking about something. “Come on. We're almost there.”
He reached down to grab her hands and help her up. “What?”
She opened her mouth to ask him what he was thinking. Something about the near-sadness in his gaze stopped her. She wasn't entirely sure she wanted to know what was on his mind. “Nothing.”
He retrieved her bag then started walking. “What are you waiting for, wench?”
Shaking her head slowly, Kagome hurried to catch up with him.
Holding the hem of her kimono up off the dirty floor, she descended the spiraling, creaking wooden staircase. This part of the castle was deserted, almost forgotten. Used to house prisoners of war or those who couldn't pay their debts to the previous lord, the dank surroundings reeked of stale sweat and old urine, of vermin and a thing that could not be named.
It served its purpose, however, and for that, she was grateful. Hidden away, sealed off, the secret that lay in the deepest recess of the dungeon beckoned her forward, hurried her step as anticipation rose inside her.
`Not quite yet . . . almost . . .'
Hisadaicho touched the thick door, unlocked the seal with the press of her hand. The door creaked open, and she stepped inside.
The darkness was nothing to her. Discerning shape and form without lighting the torches, she swept toward the pulsating mass, the shell-like casing. Not a crack, not a seam . . . `Perfect, my darling,' she thought with a smile as she ran her hands over the smooth surface before sinking to her knees in the thick, pliable flesh at the base of the cocoon.
The dreams had been changing of late. The dull dreams of an innocent girl were giving way slowly to the more tempestuous desires of the being she was becoming. The shapes in the mist had no form, as yet, but they would, and when they did, the girl would be reborn.
Slowly pulling the dagger from the belt of her kimono, Hisadaicho ran her fingers lightly over the dull side of the blade. “One last thing, my lovely girl . . .”
Gripping the dagger tightly in her fist, Hisadaicho braced herself as she lifted her other arm. With a swift strike, she sliced the tender flesh of her wrist, watching in mute fascination as the blood twisted a scarlet path down her arm and dripped from her elbow. The soft plop of the blood hitting the mass under her brought a smile to her lips, and with another flash of the dagger, the undulating mound oozed sticky, thick, pungent fluid.
Hisadaicho let her blood seep into the newly created wound, her satisfaction growing as the blood forced the membrane to mend. Licking the last traces of blood from her wrist, she sighed.
`Infused with my blood . . . my child of illusion . . . you are bound to me.'
Standing slowly, she ran her hands over the cocoon once more, noting with a pleased glimmer in her lavender eyes that the pulsing had increased with the addition of her blood.
`Now hurry . . . I have plans for you . . .'
“You wish to know about the Shikon no Tama?”
InuYasha sat next to the fire pit with his arms wrapped around Tetsusaiga as Kagome knelt beside him. Old Seer leaned forward to stir something in a pot on the fire. InuYasha wrinkled his nose at the stinging scent of the steeping herbs. “Yes, please,” Kagome spoke up. “InuYasha wanted to hear more about it, if you don't mind.”
Old Seer sat back and nodded, lifting her gaze to stare at InuYasha, eyes narrowed, discerning him as she had Kagome earlier. InuYasha scowled but didn't look away from her as she assessed him. “You seek to purify the jewel, and yet you fear that this will cause despair.”
InuYasha didn't answer that. “What do you know?”
“Kagome, would you fetch me some water? From the old spring, down the path . . . ?”
Kagome nodded and stood. InuYasha growled low. Kagome nodded at his unvoiced warning to be careful before she took the bucket and stepped outside.
Old Seer uttered a small laugh, the sound old, brittle. “You seek my council? Be patient, hanyou. I will tell you what I know in my time, not yours.” Reaching out, palm up, she scooted closer to InuYasha. “Give me your hand.”
He shot her a quizzical glance before he did as she asked. The old woman placed her other hand on top of his and let her eyes flutter closed. “A noble heart, a battle of wills . . . your youkai fights against your human nature, a struggle between what you want and what you perceive you do not deserve . . .”
InuYasha jerked his hand back, shoving his arms together under the cover of his haori sleeves. “Keh!”
Old Seer opened her eyes and smiled, her faded gaze suddenly brightening with unshed tears. Leaning forward to cup her hand against his cheek, she chuckled at his heightened color. “Some things, InuYasha, are inevitable. You are bound to Kagome, both in heart as well as in soul. You know this yet you choose to fight it. Why?”
InuYasha shook his head. “What does it matter? I came here—”
“For answers, didn't you? To have the answers you seek, you must first understand what you are. What are you, InuYasha?”
“I'm . . .”
“Say it. Painful, what you think, but necessary to hear. Say it.”
“I'm . . . nothing.”
She let her hand fall away as she sat back. “You truly believe this, in your heart. You believe that you are nothing, because you are neither human nor youkai. What you should believe is that perhaps . . . you are everything, both human and youkai. Your humanity allows you to feel. Your youkai allows you to protect, and that makes you everything.”
“You do not believe this. It is not important that you do, but you must allow Kagome to believe this, for this is what she needs.”
“What do you mean?”
Old Seer smiled. “The purity in your heart matches the heart of the girl. Your souls are in harmony. She is the one who completes you. At present, she suffers in silence. She holds onto her pain, unwilling to burden others with whatever it is she thinks she has done. You, alone, have the power to heal her, just as she has already healed you.”
“You talk in riddles, old woman,” InuYasha grumbled.
“If you give her what she thinks she wants, you will lose her, InuYasha.”
InuYasha's chin snapped up, eyes flashing with a myriad of emotions. “What do you know?”
Old Seer shrugged and stood with the help of her walking stick. “I know only what I've seen in Kagome's heart . . . and what I've seen in yours.”
“But what about the jewel?”
“There is a trace of an evil aura that lingers on the jewel. You must destroy the evil in order to dispel the aura.”
“Just tell me where to look,” he said, his eyes glowing with fierce determination. “My Tetsusaiga can handle it.”
She shook her head and slowly turned back to gaze at him. “Your Tetsusaiga—legendary Sword of the Fang . . . It is useless against this evil. Physical power will not work against it.”
“Can you tell me where to look for this evil?” he asked, discarding her warning about his strength. “What am I looking for?”
Old Seer lifted the pot off the fire and set it aside to cool before she sank back down on the floor. Kagome slipped back into the hut and set the bucket beside the door before returning to her place beside InuYasha. “Thank you, child . . .”
Turning her attention back to InuYasha, Old Seer pursed her lips, shook her head. “Your impetuousness will lead to disaster, InuYasha. As for your question, I know not. The evil is shrouded in mystery, veiled in a blanket of deception. Seek it you must, but in this, I cannot aid you. The eye of wisdom only allows me to see what it will.”
InuYasha snorted. “There's gotta be something you can tell us.”
Old Seer closed her eyes again, tried once more to see the answers to InuYasha's questions. “I see only this: it is malignant and stale, no more than a whisper in the darkness. Find it, InuYasha. Find it and send it to hell.”
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Final Thought from InuYasha:
Keh! I think the old woman's insane!
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Metamorphosis): 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.