InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ The New Student and Kagome's Secret ❯ Chapter 19: The Forest of Spirits ( Chapter 19 )

[ Y - Young Adult: Not suitable for readers under 16 ]

A/N: Hello! Hello! How have you been? Long time no see, eh? HAHA! I have returned and I have found a most excellent site for all of you to visit:

It gives you guys a little sneak peek with screencaps from episodes as they are being released in Japan!!!

Oh and so many of you reviewed that I really don't have time to address all of you one by one the way I did last time…sorry…but I promise I will next time. I have another test tomorrow and then another the next day so I will be able to update again within the next few days. Oh and this week is homecoming at my college! Go Alpha Delta Pi! Go Florida State Seminoles *cough * even though we *cough * sucked *cough * last weekend!

Okay, now on with the next chapter!!!

Chapter 19

Most of the next day was rather uneventful. Kagome was okay with everything that had happened the day before and the group seemed rather peaceful as they continued their journey towards Inuyasha's castle. The group covered a lot of ground that day stopping only for lunch and a couple of short bathroom breaks. They traveled over open field for most of the day, until coming to a deep forest later that afternoon. It was definitely a short cut, but the forest was deep, dense, and dark. It almost screamed that danger awaited them. Myouga stopped in front of the forest and examined it.

"Well, I guess it's through the Forest of Spirits," he said.

"Forest of Spirits?!" Sango shouted. "What are you talking about?"

"They say that this is the forest where spirits go if they cannot find peace in death," Myouga replied. "They normally will protect this forest with whatever means necessary." Kagome and Sango began to shake.

"Is…is there another way?" Kagome asked nervously. Myouga and Inuyasha looked at her.

"Well, Lady Kagome," Myouga began. "There is another way, but it will take twice as long to travel. It will probably add at least another day or two to our journey." Kagome shivered. Inuyasha eyed her skeptically.

"You scared?" he asked with an evil grin. Kagome whipped her head to look at him with a `no duh!' expression.

"Of course I'm scared!" she replied rubbing her arms as if she had suddenly gotten cold. "That forest gives me the creeps! It doesn't look safe at all, and it will be dark in a few hours. There is no way we can get through that entire forest within a few hours." Inuyasha shrugged.

"So, we'll just sleep in the forest. No big deal," he said nonchalantly as he started to walk towards the forest. Kagome grabbed his arm.

"NO BIG DEAL?!" she asked in disbelief. Sango reacted as well.

"Inuyasha, Kagome had a bad experience in a forest just yesterday. You can't expect her to be comfortable with this," Sango remarked. Inuyasha shivered remembering what could have happened to Kagome had he not gotten there when he did. Miroku stepped up and placed a hand on Inuyasha's shoulder.

"It is a lot quicker ladies," Miroku said. "Besides, as long as we all stick together there shouldn't be a problem. Inuyasha will protect you, right Inuyasha?" Inuyasha nodded his head quickly and turned away. Kagome smiled. She knew Inuyasha would protect her. Sango sighed. She had to admit that she wasn't too keen about having to go into that forest either. Kagome looked at Sango as if asking her what she wanted to do.

"Aghhhh!!!" they heard someone scream. Kagome and Sango nearly jumped out of their skin.

"What was that?!" Kagome squealed. They all looked into the forest to find something coming towards them fast. Inuyasha jumped in front of everyone grabbing the hilt of his sword and growling. Miroku stood right behind Inuyasha ready and waiting for an attack. Suddenly, something caught Inuyasha's attention. The thing headed towards them was dodging arrows and spears. Something or someone was attacking it.

"Come back here!" he heard a man shout. Everyone relaxed a little when a little ball of fur whizzed by them screaming for its life followed by a couple of villagers.

"You sense that houshi?" Sango asked Miroku. He nodded his head.

"That little thing's a demon," he said. Kagome sensed it too.

"It's pure. That means…that means that it's in trouble!" she said jumping in front of the group. She started running towards the men that were chasing after it.

"Kagome, stop!" Sango shouted. Inuyasha growled and in two bounds had caught up with her. He jumped in front of her and folded his arms.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" he asked. Kagome dug small trenches with her heels as she came screeching to a stop in front of Inuyasha. She smiled when she remembered how fast Inuyasha could move.

"Inuyasha! Go help the little demon! It's in trouble!" she shouted. She grabbed him, turned him around, and pushed him forward. Inuyasha nearly fell flat on his face, but caught his balance and bounded away grumbling. He caught up to the men in a few bounds and jumped in front of them.

"Why don't you pick on someone your own size?" he said cracking his knuckles. The little ball of fur came to a stop when he saw Inuyasha intervening. Sango and Kagome arrived shortly thereafter riding on Kirara's back with Myouga and Miroku following behind them. Kagome and Sango got off of Kirara and observed the scene in front of them.

"That little fox is a demon!" one of the men shouted.

"Yeah!" another shouted. "Demons are mischief to the villages! I thought they were all supposed to be dead!" The men gasped when Inuyasha bore his claws and fangs and twitched his ears. The men took a few steps back realizing that Inuyahsa was a demon.

"Not all," Inuyasha said with a smirk. The men suddenly withstood their ground and pointed their spears and arrows at Inuyasha.

"Well then," one said. "I guess we'll just have to get rid of you, too!" They thrust their spears at Inuyasha.

"They're either really brave or really stupid," Miroku commented to the others. Kagome realized she had to do something.

"Stop it!" she said running up to them. When she reached them, they all let down their guard to turn and look at her. They eyed her up and down and then dropped to their knees. One looked up at her.

"Are…are you Priestess Kagome?" he asked. Kagome took a step back.

"Y-Yes," Kagome stuttered somewhat shocked by their sudden reaction to her presence. Inuyasha rolled his eyes.

"Not this shit again!" he said folding his arms.

"Silence heathen!" one said as they stood up to face Inuyasha. "You shall not address Lady Kagome in such a way!" Inuyasha flexed his claws and growled at them. He would have pounced on them that very instant had Kagome not jumped in front of him.

"Now, now!" she said coaxing the villagers with her hands. "There is no need in being rude to my friend!"

"This thing is your friend?" they asked puzzled. "But Lady Kagome…he is rude and disrespectful to you!" Inuyasha's face turned red with anger as he began growling at them yet again.

"It's okay," Kagome replied with a smile. "He's always like that!" Inuyasha felt his heart shatter as he heard her say those words. His ears flattened against his head and his face had a look of hurt and shock. Sango elbowed Miroku and motioned towards Inuyasha. He noticed Inuyasha's disposition and sighed.

"It's not like what Kagome said isn't true," he whispered to Sango. Sango nodded her head. Inuyasha normally would have heard them had he not been so caught up in what Kagome had just said.

"I believe you have been misled in some way Lady Kagome and you will need to come with us so we can make sure that this demon has not cast a spell on you," one of the men said grabbing Kagome. He pushed her behind them separating her from Inuyasha.

"Bad move," Sango said out loud. Inuyasha immediately reacted. He growled and flexed his claws.

"You have about two seconds to release her…" Inuyasha began.

"Yusuke, you tend to the fox! We'll take care of him!" one of the men shouted.

"Fox?" Kagome echoed. She looked over to where the little demon stood now in fear as one of the men raced towards him. Inuyasha smirked and was about to jump the rest of the men when Kagome started racing towards the little demon.

"Kagome!" Inuyasha shouted after her. She ignored him and ran as fast as she could.

The man had already reached the little demon by the time Kagome had realized what was going on. He towered over the little fox.

"Any last words?" the man asked. The little fox gulped. Suddenly an arrow hit in between them causing both the fox and the man to jump back. Everyone looked up to see Kagome with another drawn arrow.

"Leave the fox alone!" Kagome shouted. The little demon was confused. She was helping him? But she was a human too. He sniffed the air. No, she was a miko. Great! The little fox scrambled behind Kagome.

"But…but Lady Kagome…" the man protested.

"No buts!" she retorted. "Leave the fox and my friends alone. They haven't done anything to you." The man took a step back in shock.

"It's true!" he shouted to his companions. "That dog demon must have cast a spell on her for her to think like this!" The men turned their attention back on Inuyasha.

"Why would you do such a thing?" they asked him. "You deserve to die!"

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Look you bunch of freaks. I didn't cast a spell on anybody. Kagome is with me of her own free will." They gave him menacing stares.

"That's only because you brainwashed her!" they shouted.

"Oh brother!" Sango said slapping a hand to her forehead. "This is getting really old! Inuyasha, if you're not going to kill them then at least put tape over their mouths so they will shut-up with this crazy talk!"

"Agh!" one of the men shouted. "The exterminator has been brainwashed too!" Sango sweat dropped.

"MI-RO-KU!" Sango said slowly as she gripped her boomerang. She was losing her patience quickly.

"Now, now, Sango calm down!" Miroku said walking towards the men.

"Gentlemen," he began. "I would not like to see blood spilt today so if you would please just return to your villages peacefully, we will forget any of this ever happened. You have a half-demon and an exterminator that would very much like to see you dead right now so I would suggest doing it immediately."

"Half-demon?" one of the men asked as if he was remembering something. "Half-demon Inuyasha!!!" Suddenly, the group of men gasped and took a few steps back.

"You're…you're…please excuse us!" they said to Inuyasha. "We never meant any harm to you or Lady Kagome!" With that, they all took off running back towards their village leaving everyone confused.

"Okay," Sango said slowly.

"I don't know why they didn't put two and two together earlier!"

They all turned to see the little fox had spoken.

"It talks!" Kagome said.

"Of course I talk!" he shouted back at her somewhat offended.

"How cute!!!" Kagome exclaimed picking up the fox and cuddling it. The fox twisted and turned in her arms until finally it was able to break free from her grasp. He smoothed his fur down and looked at the rest of them.

"The villagers have heard of you Inuyasha," he said pointing to Inuyasha. "And you Kagome. They heard of how you guys got rid of most of the demons…though I think they are too stupid to realize that it was by purification method rather than extermination." Inuyasha stepped forward.

"And you are?" he asked.

"My name is Shippo," he said taking a small bow. He turned to Kagome. "Thank you for rescuing me." Kagome smiled and squatted next to Shippo.

"No problem," she said with a smile. "So you're a demon?"

"Yeah…well, actually, I'm a kitsune," he replied.

"A kitsune?" Kagome asked.

"Kitsunes are masters of trickery and illusions," Myouga said stepping forward. "Their attack methods are all about tricking someone into thinking they are seeing or being attacked by something that is only an illusion." Kagome raised her eyebrows.

"Cool," she replied.

"I take it you guys were planning on entering the forest?" he asked with a smirk.

"What of it kid?" Inuyasha growled.

"Inuyasha!" Kagome scolded. "Be nice!" The kitsune frowned at Inuyasha.

"Is he always this friendly?" Shippo asked Kagome. He soon screamed however when Inuyasha jumped in front of him baring his claws and fangs and scaring Shippo.

"Inuyasha!" Kagome scolded again as Inuyasha chuckled at the sight of the kitsune's scared face. Shippo scowled at Inuyasha behind Kagome for scaring him.

"Hmph!" Shippo said folding his arms as he walked out from behind Kagome. "I ought not to show you how to get through the forest." Kagome looked at him.

"Oh?" she asked. "You know how to get through the forest?" Shippo nodded and sighed.

"Do you live with your family there?" Kagome asked. Shippo turned around so his back faced Kagome.

"I don't have a family," he said solemnly. Sango and Kagome gasped.

"No family?" Sango asked. "What happened to them…if you don't mind me asking?" Shippo turned around to face them.

"I come from a fox demon tribe that lived in a village in the middle of the forest," he began. "They protected the forest. They made sure that not too many men came to destroy the forest and its wildlife. They would attack anyone who tried to bring harm to the forest…but they would do it out of secrecy." Shippo smirked. "That's how the forest got its name…the Forest of Spirits. As you have heard…we are kitsunes. We never allowed our enemy to see us and since most kitsune attacks will eventually disappear right before your eyes, people thought it was the spirits of the dead warning them to stay away from the forest. We lived in peace for as long as I can remember…until a couple of weeks ago."

Kagome looked up at everyone and they all knew what the little kitsune was about to say.

"The sky suddenly turned black and I remember my parents saying something about a prophecy," he said sadly. "The Fox Tribe had heard of the prophecy and knew it well. My parents explained it to me quickly before they left me in hiding. They said that the fate of the world lie in the hands of a young miko and a half-demon. Everyone saw the demons fly overhead and knew that they were ahead of schedule. My father, the leader of the tribe, was very good at sensing things. He knew that you guys weren't ready for the demons to arrive yet, so our entire tribe attacked the demon pack to slow them down. Unfortunately, everyone in my village was slaughtered. My father had left me hidden in a tree so I managed to escape. When I finally came out of hiding, the entire village was destroyed and I was the only one left from my tribe still alive."

"So your tribe helped us," Kagome thought out loud. "Guys! That's why we sensed the demons stopping that one time. It was Shippo's tribe attacking them!" They all thought for a minute and remembered that Kagome had strained herself helping those men recover from their injuries from one of Sesshomaru's spies. She was hurt and they weren't ready for the demons to attack. Shippo's tribe had given their lives for the fate of the world. Sango came over to Shippo.

"If it means anything…I'm sorry for your loss and thank you for your tribe's help," Sango said softly. "I know there is nothing that we can do to repay you…"

"Wait a minute!" Kagome said suddenly interrupting Sango. Everyone looked at her. "Shippo would you like to continue on our journey with us?" Everyone was caught off guard by Kagome's question. Inuyasha gave her a questioning look. Sango and Miroku exchanged confused glances.

"Shippo!" Myouga said suddenly. "Why don't you come over here and tell me more about your tribe?" He walked passed the others and took Shippo's hand leading him away from everyone else.

When they were out of hearing range, Inuyasha said, "Are you nuts? We don't even know if this kid is telling the truth and you are just going to let him tag along with us?"

"Why would he lie?" she argued. "He's just a kid and all of the evil demons were destroyed in the battle. Besides…we owe him that much." She looked over to where Shippo seemed to be excitedly telling Myouga about more of his tribe.

"What…" he began before Miroku cut him off.

"She's right," Miroku said. "Shippo is just a kid and his tribe apparently came to our aid when they didn't have to."

"Again how do we know he is telling the truth?" Inuyasha argued folding his arms in his haori.

"I agree with Kagome," Sango chimed in. "I just don't see why the kid would lie about it. Besides, even if he is lying, he's just a kid and we should at least take him in until he finds a home." Kagome and Miroku nodded their heads in agreement then looked to Inuyasha. Kagome took a stood in front of Inuyasha and whispered so quietly that only Inuyasha could hear her.

"You of all people should know what it's like to be without a family or home," Kagome whispered. Inuyasha glanced at the little kitsune still rambling on to Myouga. He looked back down to Kagome. Her eyes pleaded with him.

"Oh, alright!" he huffed. "But he's not my responsibility!"

"Thank you, Inuyasha!" Kagome squealed jumping into his arms giving him a tight hug. He blushed heavily not really sure how to react. When Kagome finally released him, he cleared his throat and turned to face the other direction. Sango and Miroku shook their heads. `The hanyou still can't admit it,' Sango thought. Kagome scampered off gleefully to retrieve Myouga and Shippo.

"If anyone could have gotten through to Inuyasha, Kagome could have," Miroku whispered to Sango. Sango nodded her head. Inuyasha whirled around.

"I HEARD THAT!!!" Inuyasha shouted as he shook his fist at them causing Miroku and Sango to jump back and sweat drop, embarrassed that they had been caught.

Kagome returned with Shippo and Myouga shortly. They all stood in front of the forest.

"Follow me!" Shippo suddenly said. Everyone turned to look at him.

"You sure you know the way?" Kagome questioned. Shippo nodded.

"I've lived in this forest my whole life," he said. He looked to the sky and noticed the sun would be setting in a couple of hours. "I don't normally travel at night though." He shivered. Kagome knelt beside him.

"Don't worry," Kagome said with a smile. "You have us here to protect you. You just lead the way, okay?" Shippo smiled and nodded.

"Okay…as long as I can stay close to you," he said hugging Kagome. She hugged him back. Even though the fox was just a kid, a pain of jealousy ran through Inuyasha's body for just a split second.

"Enough mushy shit!" Inuyasha retorted. "Let's go!" Kagome stood and with that, they all walked into the Forest of Spirits.

A/N: Haha! Done with another chapter! Thanks so much for hanging in there with me guys! I stay busy!!!

Okay 10 reviews and I will post the next chapter! If I get 20 reviews (not by the same person over and over again ;) ) I will post the next chapter within two days test or no test!!!

Happy Reading!!!

Next Chapter: Into the Forest of Spirits