InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Sesshomaru's Children ❯ The Demon Bosoporu ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter 5: The Demon Bosoporu
Inuyasha and his companions arrived in a small town that looked familiar.
“I think we've been here before,” Shippo said.
“That's not surprising,” Sango replied. “We wandered all through this area once tracking jewel shards.” She glanced at Miroku. “Didn't you perform an exorcism here?”
“I may have.” He straightened importantly. “But of course, I have performed many exorcisms in many towns and villages over the years. My spiritual power has improved the lives of countless people.”
“Oh, please!”
Miroku chuckled. “Sorry! But battling demons is a non-stop activity. It seems like we holy men and women always have our hands full.”
“Whatever,” Inuyasha interrupted. “We should ask around to see if anyone here has heard of this Bosoporu. The last two villages were useless.”
“Yeah,” Shippo said. “It seems like this demon doesn't even exist.”
“Let's find a priest,” Miroku said. “If anyone is going to know about a demon in the area, it would be the local spiritual leader.”
“Good idea.”
They stopped the next townsperson to pass, a plump woman with a basket of laundry on her head, and asked her where they might find the town priest.
“Well now, our priest is quite old and just recently retired from his position, but his granddaughter has taken up his duties at the shrine, so I expect you'd want to see her. If you just continue down the main street here and turn right where you see the dog sleeping in the road, the shrine is at the end of that street.”
“Thanks,” Inuyasha said.
They followed the woman's directions, passing the large and rather flea-bitten dog that was sleeping in the middle of the street without any regard for the passage of people and wagons, and continued along toward the shrine.
Shippo looked back curiously. “You know, I think that dog must sleep there every day. People go around him like he's not even there.”
“Makes a good land-mark,” Inuyasha remarked absently. He nodded toward the building ahead of them. “That's a pretty big shrine.”
“Not for a town this size,” Miroku said. He held up his hand and closed his eyes briefly. “But I can feel strong spiritual power coming from there. They must have a relic, which could also account for the size of the shrine.”
They climbed the three steps leading up to the shrine and entered its dark, cool interior. They stopped there, waiting for their eyes to adjust to the gloom.
“May I help you?” a woman's voice greeted them softly. A young priestess approached from the back of the room, where offerings in bowls rested before a small statue and incense burned in ornate brass dishes.
“I hope so,” Inuyasha replied. “We're looking for a demon and we're hoping someone around here might have heard of him. He's called Bosoporu.”
The young woman shook her head. “I'm afraid I've never heard of him, but perhaps my grandfather has. He traveled a bit when he was a young man, so he knows many things. If you'll wait here a moment, I'll see if he's awake.” She stepped out through a side door.
Miroku immediately hurried forward to examine the statue, which was of a kneeling young woman in fine robes. “There's a relic of some kind embedded in this statue,” he said. “I think it's a piece of bone.” He dropped to his knees, held his hand up and began whispering a prayer.
The priestess stepped back through the doorway. “Oh!”
Miroku finished his prayer. He stood up and bowed to the priestess. “I wished to pay my respects to the spirit watching over your shrine,” he said.
Her eyebrows rose in surprise. “You can sense the spirit of the Holy Priestess Sessenowyn?” she exclaimed.
“Yes. Who was she?”
“She was the priestess in this village a long time ago. She saved the people from a terrible demon, but lost her life in the process. Her remains were molded into that statue.”
“I suspected as much.” Miroku bowed again. “You are very fortunate to have such a powerful spirit guarding your town. No wonder you are so prosperous.”
“Thank you.” The priestess smiled and held her hand out toward the side door with a small bow. “My grandfather will see you now.” She led them through the door and along a path through a small garden to another wing of the shrine. She hesitated outside a beautifully hand-painted screen. “Please understand my grandfather is very old. He tires easily so you will only be able to visit with him for a short while.”
“Of course,” Miroku replied graciously. “We appreciate the opportunity to speak to him.”
The priestess slid the screen open. Inside the dimly lighted room, an old man was lying on a mat under an embroidered brocade coverlet.
“Hello! Hello!” the old man wheezed. “It is so good to have visitors! Please come in.”
The four of them knelt down in front of the old man. Sango held Kilala cradled in her arms.
“Holy father,” Inuyasha began. “We're looking for a demon named Bosoporu. It's very important that we find out where his fortress is.”
The old priest's eyes went round. “Bosoporu?! I have not heard that name for many, many years.” He struggled to sit up on one elbow and face them. “That is an old story, one that has been passed down for many years. I told it to my son, may he rest in peace.” He began coughing and his granddaughter filled a cup with water for him. He took a sip and smiled at her affectionately. “Your father would have passed the story on to you my dear, but alas, he was taken from us too soon. It is as well these good people asked. I will tell you the story as well as them.”
She helped him to sit all the way up, wrapping the coverlet around his shoulders. The old man leaned forward and began to speak.
“Many years ago, a terrible demon named Bosoporu built a great fortress in a canyon and began conquering all the people around him. He was merciless and cruel, and slaughtered anyone who did not immediately swear to follow him. Our town was just a poor small village then and Bosoporu fell upon it like a terrible plague. But at that time, the village was led by a priestess named Senowyn, and she defied Bosoporu and his army of men and demons. She prayed for the strength to raise a barrier strong enough to keep out Bosoporu's army. Now, some say it was in response to her prayers and others say it was just coincidence, but that same day there arrived in the village a demon of incredible beauty. He told Senowyn he would give her the strength to save the village, but it would cost her her life. He gave her part of his name, and with it some of his power, and Senowyn became Sessenowyn. She cast a great spell and a mighty barrier sprang up around the village, strong enough to withstand any army or demon power. But in the same instant that she saved our village, she fell down dead.”
The old priest paused to catch his breath. He sipped more water before continuing.
“The barrier remained for three days. When it disappeared, there was no sign of Bosoporu or his army. It was as if he never existed. We learned from refugees returning to their own villages that Bosoporu had been destroyed by another demon. From the description, we believe it was the same demon who helped Sessenowyn save our village.”
Inuyasha leaned forward. “What was that demon's name?”
“He called himself Sesshomaru.”
“I knew it!” Inuyasha declared triumphantly.
“But why would Sesshomaru help a human village?” Shippo asked, bewildered.
“I'm sure he had his reasons,” said Inuyasha. “Maybe he did it to set Bosoporu up so he could defeat him. Maybe Bosoporu's campaign interfered with something Sesshomaru was trying to do. Who knows? At any rate, now we know why Bosoporu wants to kill him.”
The priest listened to their exchange intently. “Excuse me, but are you saying Bosoporu has returned?”
“Yes, I'm afraid so. But right now, all he's trying to do is kill Sesshomaru.”
The young priestess paled. “But if he succeeds, he'll attack us again!”
“Perhaps,” the priest conceded. He patted his granddaughter reassuringly on the knee. “But tell me, young man,” he said to Inuyasha, “do you know the demon Sesshomaru?”
“Yeah.” Inuyasha frowned. “He's my brother.”
The priest and priestess stared at him.
“Well, he's my half-brother. Anyway, we need to find Bosoporu's fortress. Do you have any idea where it is?”
“It was in a canyon a few days journey west of here, but Sesshomaru pulled down the walls of the canyon and buried the fortress when he destroyed Bosoporu.”
Inuyasha leaped to his feet. “That's good enough. We should be able to find it.” He turned to the others. “We should fly over and check the place out, but I don't want to raise his suspicions. I don't want to do anything to endanger Rin.”
Miroku stood up and bowed to the old priest and his granddaughter. “You have our heartfelt thanks for your assistance. It is our intention to find and destroy Bosoporu, so do not fear for the safety of your village.”
The priest inclined his head and the young priestess bowed forward from the waist, touching her head to the floor. “I will pray to Sessenowyn to guide you and keep you safe,” she said gravely.
“Thank you.”
The four stepped outside into the garden while the young woman helped her grandfather stretch back out on his mat. Once she had the screen closed again, she led them back through the garden to the shrine and out onto the steps.
“This is frightening news,” she said worriedly, “but I will keep it to myself. There is no need to alarm the townspeople.”
“That's good,” Inuyasha replied. “We would rather Bosoporu didn't know we were coming. Thanks again.”
“You are most welcome.” She watched them walk down the street for a few moments before re-entering the shrine.
“We should leave town before Kilala changes,” Sango said. “We don't want to cause a lot of talk about unusual visitors. Inuyasha's appearance will probably cause enough talk.”
“True,” Miroku agreed.
“So, once we check out this fortress, what are we going to do next?” Shippo asked.
“Once we see what we're up against, we'll form a plan of attack,” Inuyasha replied. We need to know what kind of forces Bosoporu has and what powers he's got.” He crossed his arms confidently. “I'm sure I can kill him, and wipe out his henchmen too, but I need to do it without destroying everything or I might kill Rin.”
“This could get tricky,” Sango muttered.
“We've managed under worse circumstances,” Miroku pointed out.
“Do you think Sesshomaru will turn up?” asked Shippo
Inuyasha shrugged. “Sooner or later, but we can't count on that. Now that we know what Bosoporu is like, the sooner we get rid of him, the better. The villagers around here don't need his kind of trouble.”
Miroku grinned. “You've gotten very compassionate in your old age, Inuyasha.”
“Shut up!”
Kagome could not remember the last time she was this tired. She lay sprawled on her bed with her clothes on, too tired to change into her pajamas.
“Inuyasha,” she groaned aloud. “You have to get Rin back soon. I don't think I can survive much longer with these children.”
Mrs. Higurashi spoke from the doorway. “Come now, Kagome. These are some of the sweetest children I've ever met. You talk as if they're little demons.”
“They ARE little demons!” Kagome exclaimed. “Where do they get so much energy?”
Mrs. Higurashi laughed. “They are young, dear. When you and your brother were that age, you were just as energetic. You kept me on my toes.”
Kagome draped her arm over her eyes. “They didn't just keep me on my toes. I don't think I could have kept up with them if I had wings.”
“Well, you go ahead and rest, dear. I'll look after the little ones for the rest of the evening.”
“Thank you, Mother.”
Mrs. Higurashi closed the door as she left.
“What was I thinking?” Kagome said to herself after her mother was gone. “I didn't learn from the incident in the park, did I? I had to take them to the Spring Festival.” She groaned. “I was such a fool.”
It had seemed like such a good idea at the time. After a few days staying close to the shrine, the children had started to get restless and began fretting about their mother. Surprisingly, it was one of the boys who started it. Kagome had just gotten them settled around the table playing a game of Chutes and Ladders, when Kebakushin had started to whimper.
“Miss Kagome, do you suppose Mother is all right?” he asked in a tearful voice. “I miss her.”
Koshitenba's golden eyes immediately filled up with tears and she began to cry. “I miss Mama, too!” she wailed.
Kagome quickly put an arm around her. “It will be all right, children,” she said. “I know it seems like a long time, but we have to be patient. We have to trust Inuyasha and your father.”
“But Father doesn't care about us!” Massenmaru said. He started to cry, too.
“But your father cares about your mother,” Kagome said earnestly. “I know he does or he wouldn't have given her all you. We need to be brave now for your mother's sake. You can do that, can't you?”
They nodded, but all four children continued to cry softly. Kagome looked around for something to distract them and her eyes fell on a flyer that had come in the mail a few days before. The brightly colored paper announced the local Spring Festival and invited everyone to attend. The Festival was that day. Kagome reached for the flyer.
“Look at this, children. Here's something we can do. It's a festival. They'll have food and games. Why don't we go?”
Sonnemaru wiped her eyes and sniffed. “A festival?”
“Food and games?” Massenmaru and Kebakushin spoke in unison.
“Yes!” Kagome said brightly. “It will be fun. Go and get your hats.”
“All right.” The children scurried off to get their hats.
“Do you think it's a good idea to take them out in public again?” Souta asked.
Kagome turned around in surprise. “Souta! I didn't hear you come in.”
“I finished at the temple. But what about taking them into town again? You said the park was kind of a disaster.”
“I know, but they need to get their mind off their mother. We'll just go for the afternoon.”
Souta shrugged. “If you think so.”
“Oh, how bad could it be?”
The festival was being held in the same park where they'd gone before. The wide central area was filled with booths. Brightly colored flags and paper lanterns hung from wires strung overhead. The Spring Festival was held primarily for children, so the food, drink and games were of the sort that children would find most appealing.
Right after they arrived, Kagome bought meat buns and soda for the children.
“Now, I'll give each of you a little bit of money, which you can use to play the games. Don't spend it too quickly, though.” She handed out the coins. “When you go to a booth, ask them how many coins it costs.”
As soon as they finished eating, the boys dashed off to try their hand at the balloon dart game. A mere game of chance was no match for demon skills. Within minutes, the boys had earned their way up to two large stuffed dogs.
“Like Papa!” Koshitenba said with a giggle.
“Great!” Kagome muttered as she tucked the giant dogs under either arm.
The boys dashed off to the ring toss game, whose object was to throw wooden rings around the necks of closely spaced bottles.
Sonnemaru, meanwhile, was busily knocking over milk bottles with a softball. By the time Kagome reached her with the two stuffed dogs in hand, Sonnemaru had claimed a large stuffed monkey with arms and legs that wrapped around her and stuck together. She modeled it proudly for Koshitenba, who clapped her hands and giggled.
Kagome herded the two girls toward the booth where their brothers were playing. They arrived just in time to see Massenmaru get a ringer.
“Another winner!” the game operator cried. His shout attracted more customers. “Look what this lucky young man won!” he cried as he handed a giant stuffed cat to Massenmaru. “Who wants to be next? Step up! Step up and try your luck!”
People crowded forward, offering coins so they could try to get a ringer.
Massenmaru handed the cat to Koshitenba. It was as tall as she was. “I won this for you, Koshi!” he said.
Koshitenba giggled and hugged the cat tightly. “Thank you, Massen! It's so pretty!”
Kagome sighed. “I don't think we can carry anything else right now. Let's go watch the puppet show.”
“Yay!” the children cried.
After the puppet show, the children were thirsty, so they had more soda and Kagome got them some Pocky. Then they went on several rides, after which they were hungry, so they had yakisoba, and a little later some cotton candy. The children dashed about excitedly, eager to see everything there was to see and to try everything there was to try. They watched the puppet show again while licking large, multi-colored lollipops.
By this time, of course, Kagome had the monkey wrapped around her waist, a dog under one arm, a dog and cat under the other, and myriad other smaller prizes tucked in her pockets and inside her shirt, such as balloon yo-yos, porcelain masks and folding lanterns.
And then Kebakushin asked if they could play the coin toss game, where the goal was to land a coin in a crystal plate sitting on a pedestal.
Kagome eyed the prizes hanging from the top of the booth. “You aren't going to win are you? I don't think I can carry any of those.”
“But we haven't won anything for you, Miss Kagome,” Kebakushin replied. His eyes sparkled.
Kagome sighed. “Why not?” she said with resignation. “Go ahead.”
Kebakushin trotted over to the game with one coin in his hand. He held it up for one of the game operators to see. “May I toss this?”
“Go ahead and try your luck,” she replied.
Without a word, Kebakushin flipped the coin into the air. It rotated slowly as it rose and fell. It bounced off the first plate it touched, flew straight up, and plopped into a neighboring plate with a ringing plink.
The operator stared in surprise for a moment and then she cried out, “A winner! A winner at the coin toss! Come now while the good luck is spreading!” As people rushed eagerly to the booth and began flinging coins, she spoke to Kebakushin. “Which one do you want?”
He pointed at a stuffed bear that was larger than all the stuffed animals they'd won so far. The operator used a pole to lift it down.
Kagome groaned. “I'd better take that,” she said. She handed the cat to Koshitenba and the dogs to the boys and accepted the bear from the game operator.
The young woman smiled. “It looks like you've had a good day,” she said cheerfully.
“Oh, yeah,” Kagome agreed with a stiff smile, “it's been great.” She turned to the children. “It's starting to get dark. I think maybe it's time to go home.”
“This has been really fun, Miss Kagome,” Sonnemaru said. The other three nodded vigorously. “Thank you for bringing us to the festival.”
“You're welcome, children.”
The children bounded back and forth ahead of her all the way back to the shrine. They sprang up the steps shouting as Kagome trudged wearily up behind them. They tumbled into the house all talking at once as they tried to relay the entire afternoon's activities to Mrs. Higurashi and Souta apparently without taking any breaths.
Mrs. Higurashi smiled at Kagome. “They had a little sugar, did they?”
“I don't want to hear about it,” Kagome grumbled. She slowly divested herself of the bear, the monkey, and various odds and ends from her pockets and shirt. “I want to take a bath, but I'm too tired.”
“Why don't you go lie down for a little while? I'll get the children settled down.”
“How?” Kagome stared at the four silver-haired half-demons, who seemed more like blurs than children.
“Just leave it to me.” Mrs. Higurashi put her finger by the side of her nose.
“All right, I will.” Kagome went upstairs to her room and collapsed onto the bed. She listened to the sound of the children downstairs, amazed that they still had so much energy. “I clearly was not cut out to be a mother,” Kagome groaned.
Lying there listening to the house slowly go quiet, Kagome wondered what was happening in feudal Japan. If I don't hear something soon, I'm going to go to find out what's going on. Then she sat up stiffly and ran her fingers through her hair. “But first, I'm taking a long, hot bath. I'm going to need a vacation when this is over.”