InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ The Dream ( Chapter 78 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Sango awoke with a stifled scream, sitting up straight as her eyes flashed wide open. “No!”
Miroku stirred beside her, rubbing his eyes as he squelched a yawn with the back of his hand. “Sango? Is something wrong?”
Breaking out in a cold sweat that drenched her hair, her skin, her clothes, Sango swallowed hard, choked down the lump that rose to thwart her, throat dry, rasping, cracking like parched earth. “I know her,” she whispered into the darkness, her eyes wild, confused as she turned a pleading stare on Miroku. “I know her!”
“Who?” Miroku asked, scowling in bewilderment.
Sango shook her head. “That woman I saw, that day in the forest! The one who said Kagome would try to take Mari . . . She seemed familiar, houshi-sama . . . and she was.”
Miroku seemed to wake up completely at that. Sitting up, he turned toward Sango and scowled. “How do you know her?”
Sango drew a ragged breath, wiping the sweat from her brow with the back of her hand. “I dreamed about that night—the night my people were killed. When I was in the castle afterward, I remember . . . she was there, but . . . she was different . . . human . . . Her eyes . . . her eyes were different . . .”
“Are you certain?” Miroku asked slowly, measuring his words, deliberately keeping his tone neutral. “You had trouble remembering later, when we went back to find the castle. Are you positive you saw her there?”
Sango tossed back the thin blanket and scrambled to her feet. Stalking to the window to stare at the early summer night, she scowled into the darkness. “I know what I saw, houshi-sama. It was her—Emi—Hisadaicho.”
Miroku didn't answer as he stood up, too. Sango felt him behind her before he touched her shoulder, before he slipped his arms around her waist.
“Why did she come here, Miroku? What does she want?”
Craning her neck to stare up at her husband, Sango winced at the foreboding darkness that fell over Miroku's gaze. He didn't look at her as he stared over her head into the night. Another shiver ran up Sango's spine as his unspoken concern became hers, too. “No . . .”
Miroku shook his head. “Let's pray that InuYasha reaches her in time.”
“But Kagome left with Kouga.”
The monk's jaw twitched as he nodded once. “So she did.”
A haunting sense of foreboding washed over Sango's body, leaving her cold, clammy, and very, very afraid. “Do you sense something?”
Miroku blinked suddenly, forced a smile. “Hmm? Uh . . . no, nothing. Let's go back to bed.”
Sango watched as Miroku dropped his arms and wandered back to the futon. `He does sense something . . . he knows . . . there's something wrong . . .' She turned her gaze out the window again, staring at the moon in the sky. `InuYasha will save her. Kagome . . . be safe . . .'
Kagome shrieked as she slid down the steep incline. Stubbing her feet as she landed at the bottom of the slope, she pitched forward, landing on her hands and knees as pain erupted from each limb to ricochet straight to her brain. As the sharpness of the pains subsided
Kagome slowly pushed herself to her feet, lifting her chin to stare up at the darkened forms hulking so high above her. The only thing she could hear was her own breathing but the youki she'd sensed above was thicker down here, heavier. A shiver ran up her spine. `Something is . . . staring at me . . .'
“Are you prepared?” Hisadaicho called to her.
Kagome winced at the giddy pleasure in Hisadaicho's voice. “Prepared for what?” she forced herself to ask despite the rising dread that threatened to choke her.
Maniacal laughter filled the air, as though Kagome had made a joke. Kagome saw the glowing pink orb of the Shikon no Tama as Hisadaicho held it up in her fingers. “I told you. I need you to help me restore my koishii.”
`Keep her talking,' Kagome thought wildly. `Keep her talking until InuYasha gets here . . .' “Wh-wh-who?” she asked, fighting to keep her desperation out of her voice. “Who is he? Your koishii?”
“Who, indeed?” Hisadaicho hissed, her laughter evaporating like fog in the sunshine. “Think, Kagome. You enjoyed what you did to him. You relished it.”
Kagome shook her head quickly. “I didn't . . . What you say makes no sense. I wouldn't have—”
“You thought you won, but you didn't. This time, I will prevail, and you will be my catalyst. I had a plan, you see,” she gloated as a low whine escaped Shippou only to be cut off by Aki's arms. “First, I had to get rid of Kikyou. Aside from the fact that you needed your entire soul, she was instrumental in my koishii's destruction. Then there was that damned wolf. He has been more useful to me alive . . . for now.”
“What did you do to him?” Kagome demanded, anger nudging aside reason as she forgot her ploy to keep Hisadaicho talking, to keep her reminiscing until InuYasha could reach her.
“The fool could have killed me. Too bad his lips were close enough. I sucked out part of his soul . . . just enough to put him under my power. Not enough that you couldn't see the difference until it was too late. Clever, wasn't it? You and your pathetic heart. Your healing soul . . . tell me, where has that gotten you now? You can't even save yourself. Both you and your darling kitsune will pay.”
“Leave Shippou alone! He's a child!” Kagome yelled, thick panic welling in her at the mention of Shippou and his precarious position. Aki's arms tightened around the kitsune, and Kagome darted forward a few steps when he whined.
“Cooperate with me or he will die,” Hisadaicho retorted. “Why else would he be allowed to come along?”
“You're evil,” Kagome said quietly, her voice shaking with her frustrated rage. “Pure evil.”
“Evil, perhaps, but you see the beauty of my plan? The great and mighty Sesshoumaru has been broken, humbled. My samurais will dispose of your love since they cannot die. He shall cut them down, and they shall rise again. Who do you think will last longer?”
Hot fury scorched through Kagome, seared her veins as she struggled for calm. “You can't hurt him,” Kagome challenged. “He's battled far worse than you or your undead soldiers. InuYasha will come for me.”
“I have little doubt that he'll try. By the time he finds us, it will be too late.”
Backing away in the darkness, Kagome fought back her fear as she tried to make out something—anything—in the darkness. “You still haven't answered my question,” she hedged, grasping for time. “Who are you doing this for?”
“Wouldn't it be better to ask me how you'll help me?”
Kagome shook her head. “I'll never help you.”
Hisadaicho chuckled nastily. “Oh, but you will, Kagome. You will.”
`Damn this to hell!'
InuYasha grimaced as he skidded to a stop on the rise of a large hill. The jyaki was thicker here, almost enough to choke him. If he didn't know better, he'd think that something should be standing here.
`But Kagome's scent is here, damn it! I know it is!'
The open field before him seemed to tremble, shiver. He narrowed his gaze. `A barrier? Why can't I see it, then?'
Narrowing his gaze as he picked up a small rock, the hanyou hefted the stone a few times before chucking it straight ahead. The stone made contact with the invisible shield, and the ground shook, rattled. A hiss rumbled through the air as the barrier solidified just for a moment before righting itself once more.
InuYasha snorted as he ripped Tetsusaiga out of the scabbard. “Keh! Like that fucking matters!” he growled as the huge fang shifted into a blood-red hue. Shoving off the ground, InuYasha brought the sword over his head. “Akai Tetsusaiga!” he hollered as he brought the blade down to meet the barrier.
In a flash of light and wind, the barrier dissolved. InuYasha landed on his haunches and glowered at the legions of samurais that surrounded the outer walls of the castle. Kagome's presence hit him hard, and he blinked quickly as he fought back the desire to go charging straight past all the samurais to find her.
They closed ranks around him. InuYasha stood up. `They're dead . . . every last one of `em,' he realized as they came closer. Their body movements seemed jerky, stilted, and the reek of death clung heavy in the air. `Damn it! I don't have time for this!'
Whipping Tetsusaiga over his head as thin strands of wind wound around the blade, InuYasha slammed it down on the ground. “Kaze no Kizu!”
Hundreds of samurais fell to the flames of the Wind Scar. InuYasha didn't have time to savor his victory as he swung Tetsusaiga against more soldiers. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the fallen men rise up again. `Fuck!'
Gritting his teeth as he leapt out of the way of a whizzing katana, InuYasha avoided the attack as his anger grew. `How the hell am I supposed to get to Kagome if they won't fucking stay dead?'
InuYasha leapt into the air and unleashed another Kaze no Kizu before propelling himself toward the gates. He managed to get half way there before the samurais resurrected. They closed in around him again. InuYasha growled in frustration.
He heard the whistle of a blade slicing through the air before he glanced over his shoulder. Sesshoumaru intercepted his gaze and narrowed his eyes for a moment before he slashed through more samurais with Tenseiga. The holy blade released the undead souls on contact, and this time the bodies did not rise again as the flesh disintegrated, leaving behind the bleached skeletons of those long-dead.
“If you think I'll say thank you, bastard, you've got another thing coming,” InuYasha snarled as he hacked the opposition and pressed further.
“Ungrateful baka,” Sesshoumaru remarked dryly. “You're so pathetic. Leave these aberrations to me. You're useless against the likes of them.”
InuYasha started away but stopped suddenly. “Did you kill him?”
Sesshoumaru didn't look back. “Kill who?”
“Keh! The fucking wolf! Did you kill him?”
Sesshoumaru spared InuYasha a condescending glance. “Does it matter? Or will you wait until it is too late to save your miko?”
InuYasha didn't wait to hear more. Cutting down the samurais that tried to bar his path, InuYasha finally burst through the barricade and into the empty courtyard. Following his nose, he dashed toward the doors, throwing his shoulder against them as they crashed open. The sound echoed through the seemingly-empty castle.
InuYasha raced inside, calling out as he trailed her scent, “Kagome!”
He followed her scent down a corridor, unleashing a round of swears as he came up against the dead end. “Kagome!” he bellowed again, hoping that she would hear him, that she could answer him. Silence greeted his ears.
Where could she have gone? When he got his hands on Hisadaicho, he was going to rip her to shreds . . . `Kagome's here . . . I know she is . . . where the hell is she? Damn it!'
He could feel her presence, sense her near. He knew she had come down this corridor, but where had she gone?
“Fucking hell!” InuYasha roared, slamming his fist into the wall. He nearly fell when the wall sprang open, and he stared into the darkness before him.
He didn't hesitate as he plunged headlong into the corridor. `Hang on, Kagome . . . don't give up on me . . .'
“I won't help you,” Kagome said, proud that her voice didn't waver.
“You believe you'll have a choice?” Hisadaicho challenged. “That would work if I were inclined to ask you. I'm impatient, however, which is why your kitsune is here, isn't it? You'll help me or he will die.”
“No!” Kagome screamed as Shippou shrieked in pain. “Don't touch him! Leave him alone, please!”
Hisadaicho's chuckle was dark, sinister, menacing. “So long as we understand one another, Kagome, your kitsune will be unharmed.”
“What do you want from me?” Kagome whispered, the papery-thin sound echoing in the voluptuous cavern.
“Do you know how this jewel was created?” she asked, ignoring Kagome's question. Holding up the Shikon no Tama once more, Hisadaicho turned it slightly as the Sacred Jewel of the Four Souls glowed in the darkness.
Kagome shook her head. “Midoriko . . . she fought youkai . . .”
A slow chill crept up her spine. There was something a little too unsettling in Hisadaicho's question, something that whispered a truth that Kagome didn't know if she wanted to hear.
“She was said to have been the most powerful miko anywhere, wasn't she?” Hisadaicho challenged. “There has never been another as strong—as pure—as Midoriko. There has not been another miko of legend like her . . . until you.”
“What do you mean?” Kagome asked, her voice cracking in the quiet.
“It's simple, Kagome. In order to bring my koishii back, I need more power than this simple little bauble can provide. Before that could happen, I needed you to complete your power.”
“What do you mean?” Kagome demanded. `InuYasha, where are you?'
“Surely you're not as simple as that,” Hisadaicho challenged, prowling the ledge high above with palpable impatience. “You were born a miko. You required no training, no instruction. What you required was experience to free your mind, to unlock your potential. You call it pure love. I call it nothing more than a dream. I have waited for this moment, Kagome. I've waited for the time when you would be ripe. The time is now.”
“That makes no sense!” Kagome argued. “I didn't do anything! I—”
“Didn't you, Kagome?” Hisadaicho scoffed. “But you did! Don't you see? In merging your soul with your filthy mate's soul, you have attained this power. In the healing of his spirit has come something else, as well. You have done this. You have accomplished the power I need now.”
“Come now. Surely you aren't as simple as that? Surely you know that of which I speak.”
The shrieking wail of a myriad of youkai drifted from the darkness to surround her. Kagome shivered as the sounds surrounded her, as the cries borne of rage threatened to shatter her. She knew what Hisadaicho wanted. There wasn't a doubt in her mind. Repulsed by the very idea of what Hisadaicho was demanding, Kagome shook her head again, refusing, denying, disbelieving. “You're crazy if you think I'll—”
“You'll do it. You have no choice. The very things that are your strengths are your weaknesses, too. Fight, Kagome. Fight the youkai. If you do not, all those you love will die, starting with the kitsune . . . and when you grow weary . . . when you lose the will to keep fighting, when you are left seething in your absolute desperation, then you shall merge your pure soul with them—with the bitterest dregs of the earth, and you shall become a whole new power . . . a whole new Shikon no Tama.”
Akai Tetsusaiga: Red Tetsusaiga, breaks barriers.
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Final Thought from InuYasha:
Over my dead fucking body …
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.