InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ Bokuseno ( Chapter 47 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
“Why do you seek my council, son of the Inu no Taisho?”
“Do you know anything of a youkai named Hisadaicho? She's a butterfly,” Kagome asked when InuYasha snorted.
“Hisadaicho?” Bokuseno echoed thoughtfully. “I have not heard this name.”
“Keh. Are you sure?” InuYasha pressed.
Bokuseno's leaves rustled in the breeze. “I have heard that your brother has found one that he thought he lost. Is this true, InuYasha?”
“Kagura,” Kagome murmured. “Yes, it's true.”
“What's that got to do with anything?” InuYasha growled.
Bokuseno sighed as he gazed at the hanyou. “One thing is connected to another, InuYasha. This is how the world maintains a balance. You cannot have one life bestowed without taking another somewhere.”
Rolling his eyes, InuYasha grimaced. Kagome knew that look and sighed. “Keh! I shoulda known. Do all old geezers have to talk in riddles? If so, count me out. I ain't never getting old . . .”
Bokuseno laughed. “Riddles? I do not have all the answers you seek, young one. Have you asked your brother about this?”
“Keh. He's the biggest bastard alive, and yes, I did already ask him.”
“I see . . . and he had no answers for you?”
InuYasha made a face. “If he ever gave me a straight answer then he wouldn't be living up to his bastard-ness.”
“Do you have any idea how to counteract a butterfly youkai's toxin powder?” Kagome asked before InuYasha could add any more to his bleak assessment of his brother.
“A butterfly's toxin . . . ? It is not so painful, is it?”
“Keh!” InuYasha snorted as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Not painful, my a—”
“This one uses her toxin to make her looks like other people,” Kagome explained.
Bokuseno nodded. “There are only two ways, young miko. One would be to destroy the butterfly youkai, and the other is to give life to the dreams.”
InuYasha's cheeks reddened as Kagome tried not to fidget and tried even harder not to look at InuYasha. Kaede had told her that much . . . but, to her knowledge, no one had told InuYasha as much . . . “I just thought maybe there was another way . . .”
“Are the dreams so terrible?”
“About Hisadaicho,” InuYasha interrupted loudly. “You have no idea about her? Nothing at all?”
“Nothing at all.” The ancient tree's branches shook and bowed in majestic apology. “I am sorry, InuYasha.”
InuYasha stood up and grabbed Kagome's hand. “Yeah. So am I,” he mumbled.
“Thank you!” Kagome called as InuYasha dragged her away from the tree.
Bokuseno sighed and smiled vaguely as he watched the retreating forms: the hanyou and the miko. “If the Inu no Taisho could see you now, InuYasha . . . The son who most resembles his father . . .”
Kagura sat on the hillside with her legs tucked under her and her back straight and proud. She could feel the intensity of Sesshoumaru's gaze on her back. He sat, leaning against a tree with his legs stretched out before him, one bent at the knee. She smiled sadly.
There was a time when she had believed that the control Naraku held over her was the worst thing imaginable. She hadn't really believed, back then, that there could be anything worse. She'd been wrong, terribly wrong. The body her soul now occupied obeyed her will, so long as her will did not contradict Hisadaicho's.
`How did she do it? How could she have called back my soul, recreated my body? How could she possibly have done such a thing?' Kagura asked herself as she gazed at the falling night sky, as she reveled in the feel of the air against her skin. She'd forgotten, hadn't she, what a physical body could feel . . .
“A blood red moon rises,” Sesshoumaru commented softly.
Kagura shifted her attention to the slightly less than full scarlet orb that hung against the horizon. The majestic sight was enough to send a distinct shiver down her spine. `A blood moon . . . innocent lives were lost this night . . .'
For some reason, she remembered the first time she'd talked to Sesshoumaru. `A night with a full moon . . .' She sought only to tell him where to find his sword, Tokijin. Something about his quiet nobility, his uncanny reserve spoke to her. Silvery beams of moonlight shined in his hair, cast a bluish shadow over those startling amber eyes. Perhaps he had bewitched her then. As beautiful as he was cold, those who knew of him used to call him the Aristocratic Assassin. It fit, didn't it?
He sat beside her. She started. She hadn't heard him move. “Do you wish to return to the castle?”
Kagura smiled and shook her head. “It's so peaceful here . . .”
Eyes glowing, he nodded as he stared over the darkened landscape. “Peaceful . . . yes . . .”
Her smile turned sad, and she sighed. Peace was something that eluded her. In her heart, she wanted to be here, with him. The war between her soul and the prison of her body was a bitter thing. Hisadaicho's command echoed through her mind, and she closed her eyes, willing them away yet powerless to stop them as they tore at her.
“What do you want from me?” Kagura demanded as she tightened the belt of the kimono she'd been given.
Hisadaicho's smile was wicked, almost seductive, and it made Kagura seethe with anger. “That's simple, Kagura. I want you to find Sesshoumaru . . . give him what he wants . . . and then . . . I want you to destroy him.”
“I won't do it.”
Hisadaicho laughed. “You will. You must. I've graciously restored you to a body. I've recreated you into exactly who you were before. You owe me your very life, and your body . . . we'll call it a loan, for now. After you accomplish what I want you to do, then you'll be free.”
Magenta eyes flashing with outrage, with anger born of the years when she had ceased to exist in a physical body, Kagura narrowed her gaze on the hanyou who continued to smile. “And what makes you believe I want a body badly enough to do what you ask?”
Hisadaicho's smile faded into a mulish pout. “It doesn't really matter what you want, Kagura. Your body is mine, and it will obey me regardless of your petty whims. Now go, before I change my mind. If I suck out your soul, you'll never be free. You won't return to the wind. You'll simply cease to exist.”
“Then do it. I'd rather be destroyed than have anything to do with your debased scheme.”
Hisadaicho's smile returned, her catty expression enough to grate the last fraying ends of Kagura's nerves. “That's enough. Henceforth, you will speak only the things that are pleasing to hear. Now go and do as you are told.”
And her body had a mind of its own. She wanted to strike down the hanyou before her. Instead, she turned and left. Her mind willed her body to do as she commanded but the blood bond forged between Hisadaicho and the animated shell of flesh would not be broken.
“What are you thinking, Kagura?” Sesshoumaru asked, his voice tugging her back to the present.
She smiled as she tried to forget the feeling of utter helplessness, the torment of the soul that had become too real, too poignant. “About the past,” she answered, relieved to hear her own words, even if they weren't the complete truth.
“The past,” he echoed.
Her soul ached, bled, cried out in a voice that he couldn't hear. She wanted to be here, with him, and yet she wanted to run away, and both of these desires stemmed from the same reason. she loved him too much to hurt him, and in the end, no matter how Hisadaicho's plot turned out, wouldn't that still be the end result?
`No! I . . . I won't let it happen! I cannot!'
Bolstered by the words that echoed through her mind, Kagura tried to believe them. `I'll find a way . . . I won't hurt him . . . I won't.'
“Oh, come on, InuYasha . . . it can't be that bad,” Kagome hollered as InuYasha sat in the tree branches, glaring at the surrounding forest as she splashed behind a huge boulder. He could see the top of her head where he sat, and it was enough to give him reassurance that she was still where he could keep an eye on her.
`Keh! That don't even deserve an answer,' InuYasha thought with a disgusted snort.
Myouga's words haunted him. `You could act out your dreams! That would do it!' Then, of course, Bokuseno had confirmed that . . .
He winced. “Hurry up, wench. You're not that dirty.”
Kagome turned around and gripped the boulder with her hands as she stood up on tiptoe to look over the rock at him. Her eyes were narrowed suspiciously. “Something just occurred to me,” she said slowly, her tone carefully neutral.
“What's that?” he made himself ask.
“If your dreams really weren't . . . that bad . . . then wouldn't we have already broken the toxin?”
He grimaced. `Damn it! How can she be so fucking perceptive, anyway?' “You going to take all night?”
“InuYasha . . . what did we do in your dreams?”
Lifting his chin to sniff the air, InuYasha made a show of gazing at the sky. “I think it's going to rain,” he told her.
Kagome sighed. “Why don't you just tell me?”
“Move it, wench. You hate sleeping in the rain.”
With a defeated shake of her head, Kagome let go of the rock. “All right. No peeking, dog-boy!”
InuYasha felt his cheeks heat up at her warning. “Keh! As if!” he shot back as he tried hard not to look out of the corner of his eyes. Kagome swam for shore, ducking behind another boulder after making sure InuYasha had his head turned away.
“De Nile is a river in Egypt, you know. Visit there often?”
“Funny, wench. What's `Egypt'?”
Kagome heaved a sigh as she emerged, fully dressed and hair wrapped in a fluffy pink towel. “I'm right, aren't I? That's why don't you want to tell me about your dreams!”
InuYasha dropped out of the tree and crossed his arms stubbornly as thunder rumbled in the distance. “Told you it was going to rain.”
“Have it your way,” Kagome relented. “Sooner or later, though, you're going to have to tell me.”
`Keh,' InuYasha snorted inwardly as he led the way to a nearby cave that would do for the night. A fleeting memory of those all-too-familiar dreams solidified in his mind, and he stifled a groan. `Later . . . much later . . . like never.'
“Kouga, wait up!” Hakkaku panted as he and Ginta struggled to catch up with their leader.
Kouga glanced over his shoulder and rolled his eyes at the two. “Come on. We've got a lot of ground to cover, and I'm not giving up till we find her.”
Ginta and Hakkaku exchanged nervous looks. “Are you sure this is a good idea?” Ginta asked carefully.
“Why wouldn't it be? She's not going to get away with what she did . . . I'll make her pay . . .”
“But . . . we don't even know who we're looking for,” Hakkaku pointed out. Cringing and laughing nervously when Kouga spun around and pinned him with a menacing glare, the youkai shrank back as he skidded to a stop just out of Kouga's reach.
“We don't need to. I'll find her. I can smell her,” Kouga growled as he spun around and raced off again.
With a groan, Ginta and Hakkaku sprinted after him. “Hakkaku . . . I don't think we should be doing this,” Ginta puffed.
Hakkaku grunted. “Kouga won't give up.”
Ginta nodded. “Yeah, but . . . she's his mate, right? He can't hunt his mate . . . He'll be subject to the tai-youkai . . .”
“Isn't the tai-youkai InuYasha's half-brother?”
Ginta winced. “I forgot about that . . .” he admitted as he frowned at Kouga's back for a moment before he turned his head to stare at Hakkaku. “You tell him.”
Hakkaku shook his head. “Oh, no . . . you thought of it. You tell him.”
“I'm not going to tell him . . .”
“Well, I'm not going to tell him, either.”
Ginta sighed. “This . . . could be bad . . .”
InuYasha stared at the falling rain as Kagome slept soundly. Ordinarily they'd be well on their way, but since she didn't like traveling in the rain and was sleeping so peacefully, he didn't have the heart to wake her.
`Keh! That ain't true. You just don't want her to start questioning you again.'
He winced. There was that, too.
She hadn't let go of the topic all evening, to the point that he'd been close to making up some excuse to get out of the cave until she did. If it weren't for his own stupid idea that she needed to be where he could see her at all times, he would have. Instead he stopped answering her questions . . .
“I don't understand, InuYasha. Kaede and Bokuseno both said that the only other way to get rid of the toxin was to act out your dreams, so I just want to know what, exactly, you were dreaming?”
“Will you drop it, wench? I ain't telling you, so give up, all right?”
Crossing her arms over her chest as she leveled a defiant frown at him, Kagome shook her head. “But you can't fight her if she looks like me to you, right? There isn't any other way, is there?”
InuYasha snorted. “Keh! There's another way, and I'll find it. Don't worry about that.”
She sighed. “I don't like talking about this any better than you do, but I have to know!”
“No, you really don't,” he retorted.
Scooting over beside him, Kagome gently turned his face, forcing him to look at her. “I want to help you. You know that, don't you? I can't help you if you don't tell me.”
InuYasha couldn't meet the pleading light in her gaze. There were some things that he couldn't tell her. There were things that she was better off never knowing, and the things that his dreams had showed him . . . he never wanted her to know because . . . because those things were never meant to be Kagome. “Don't worry about it, wench. If you're there . . . if I can see you . . . I can defeat her.”
The doubt that lingered in her eyes was a painful thing to see. He'd never seen that expression in her gaze when she stared at him. He'd never seen her doubt him like that before.
“Morning,” Kagome murmured. He heard her sit up, heard her yawn. “Wow . . . I slept late . . . sorry about that.”
Turning away from the cave opening, InuYasha shrugged. “Don't worry about it. You won't travel in the rain, anyway.”
“Still,” she argued, “you haven't had anything to eat this morning, have you?” Scooting out of her blankets, Kagome stood up and stretched before scrunching down to poke at the fire before dropping on a couple more logs.
“I ate,” he told her, gesturing at the empty ramen cup he'd already rinsed out.
She wrinkled her nose. “That's not real food. You need something more substantial.”
“Keh. Well, unless you want to go wandering around in the rain, I can't go catch anything else.”
She conceded his point with a heavy sigh and a shake of her head. “I'll be fine here, you know.”
He didn't bother to comment on that as he grabbed her bag and dug out a box of pocky.
“That's for Shippou and Ichisaru!” she complained.
“Keh! So they'll have one too few boxes. They won't die . . . might beat on each other awhile over it, but they won't die.”
Kagome grinned. “You're so bad sometimes.”
“If they don't fight sometime they'll grow up weak,” InuYasha argued. “Weak and worthless.”
She stopped suddenly and slowly turned to stare at him. “That's really what you think, isn't it? That you're only worth something if you fight?”
He didn't answer as he shifted his gaze to the side, glowering at the shadows dancing over the walls of the cave.
Kagome stood up, approaching him cautiously. Wrapping her arms around his waist and laying her cheek against his heart she squeezed. “It's not true, you know. You don't have to fight to be worth a lot.”
He snorted. “Keh. Let me do this my way, wench.”
She nodded. “All right,” she agreed, “as long as you realize that I've never based your worth on that.”
He smiled, just a little. She didn't see it. “And what do you base it on?”
“That's simple. It's what's in your heart that matters.”
`It's you, Kagome . . . you're in my heart . . .' He held onto her, closed his eyes. “You sound like a girl, wench,” he scoffed, his voice gruff, thick.
“I am a girl, baka.”
“Yeah, I know, but now you sound like one.”
She leaned back, smiling as she tried to look irritated. “Would you rather that I talk like you?”
He rolled his eyes. “I'd rather that you didn't talk at all,” he teased.
She pulled away from them and headed toward the cave entrance.
“Oi! Where do you think you're going?”
She glanced over her shoulder and wrinkled her nose. “Well . . . if you must know, I have to go.”
He frowned. “Go? I told you, wench, you can't leave my sight.”
She shook her head. “You're not coming with me, InuYasha. I'll be fine.”
He stomped after her. “And I said you can't be where I can't see you.”
“I'm not peeing in front of you!” she countered.
He made a face. “Then you're gonna keep talking the whole time,” he growled.
Suddenly, she grinned. “I thought you wish I didn't talk at all, dog-boy,” she remarked sweetly.
InuYasha pulled off his haori and slung it over her head before they stepped out into the rain. “Can't have you getting sick and slowing us down,” he explained when he caught her smile.
“I see,” she answered. “Wouldn't dream of it.”
“Good,” he replied as she started away. “I don't hear you talking!”
He heard her sigh and grinned despite himself.
“We're going to have to talk about this,” she called back to him. “I think you're being a little overprotective.”
He snorted. Overprotective, maybe. There were some risks, though, that he wasn't willing to take.
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought from Kagome:
I knew this `don't leave my sight' thing was a really bad idea …
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.