InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Transformations ❯ The Final Battle I ( Chapter 53 )
She met Inuyasha at the edge of the forest, and he was eying it all suspiciously. She'd helped up Hojo, and now she stared, watching the Spirit Gatherers swirl around one certain area, apparently pointing out the whereabouts of the undead priestess. But that wasn't all.
Kagome's pack and all their friends were just inside the edge of the forest, all looking somewhat scared. As if that wasn't enough, a few others were there to top it all off. Sesshomaru, Kagura and Kanna. And Kagome could feel Koga speeding their way, probably with his pack in tow.
It looked like Naraku was tired of waiting.
~*~ Well ~*~
"It's started. Get here. We need you. Now."
~*~ Previous day, Sesshomaru ~*~
There was Rin, chattering on again. Jaken, as usual, was glancing between Sesshomaru and Rin, confused as ever to why he let the child stay with him. And as usual, Sesshomaru hardly spared either a passing glance.
Just now they were outside one of his smaller castles, letting Rin run about and - hopefully - wear herself out. Energetic she may be, but when drained, she slept like a rock and it was better for everyone that way. She'd made a wreath of flowers and adorned them, and offered Sesshomaru a bouquet of a dozen types she'd picked. While Sesshomaru always accepted them, he always did so with an annoyed air, sometimes rolling his eyes at her efforts.
The flower thing just made no sense to him. Silly humans. What strange creatures.
His head snapped up when a familiar scent hit his nose, one he'd never forget. He looked up calmly as ever and awaited the arrival of Naraku.
But it wasn't Naraku. It was that little incarnate of his, the wind sorceress Kagura, as she called herself. Aboard a giant feather along with a small demon child and drifting further down. Once landed she returned the feather to her hair and placed a hand at the child's shoulder.
"Sesshomaru," she said, "Lord of the West Lands."
He stepped forward. "You have a foolish nerve to come directly to my castle, sorceress," he told her.
"Not quite," she replied. She glanced down at Kanna, took a deep breath and looked up again, sharply. "I need to request your aid," she said, bluntly.
While such a request caught him off-guard, Sesshomaru simply nodded. "And why would you need such a thing?"
"Naraku had made plans to kill either myself or my sister. I left and I know he will give chase."
"And you always led him to me, I presume."
Kagura hadn't though of that. "If you'd had left me where you found me the first time I tried -"
"You were an intruder of my lands," he cut her off, brutally.
"Were," Kagura quoted.
"And you are still. I should kill you now for coming twice," he told her, knuckles cracking as he flexed his fingers. He hadn't had a good fight since Kagome mated his whelp of a half-brother.
Kagura's face was pained at the words and she looked down at Kanna. Hardly able to believe she was going to do so, she dropped to her knees and bowed, forehead on her hands. "Please," she tried. "I do not think anyone else could possibly hold him off in a battle."
"You fear losing that child," he observed, stepping forward. "And what would you do, provided I protect you and your sister?"
"I know he'll attack Kagome and Inuyasha," Kagura offered. "And I know how he works. You would undoubtedly go to help Kagome in the fight, and I would go as well." She looked up. "I can help you in the final battle."
"Doubtful," Sesshomaru returned evenly. He didn't bother to list the reasons why, but simply turned and gestured Rin and Jaken into the castle with him.
"Stop!" Kagura said suddenly, sharply. Her voice was as panicked as her face when Sesshomaru turned halfway to see her.
"You try to order me?" he asked, incredulously as he could manage while remaining controlled.
Caught for the moment, Kagura looked at Kanna, realizing how much of a mistake she'd made with that one word. She doubted she could beg any better than she'd done; Naraku created her with too much pride. She swung smoldering eyes on Sesshomaru after a moment and stood to her full height.
"Yes," she replied at last. "I did try to order you. And as you can see, it worked."
Those golden eyes narrowed at her. "And now your presume to think I, a Lord, would take your orders? You are treading shaky ground, sorceress. Rin, go inside and do not come out until I say."
Rin twirled and said a quick, "Okay!" before doing as she was told. Jaken took his place at the doors, guarding them as Sesshomaru always told him to do in such situations.
Kagura didn't move. She stared straight back into Sesshomaru's eyes. When he created his lightning whip and thurst it at her, she didn't move when it snapped directly next to her. She knew very well what Sesshomaru was doing - testing. It was something she'd expected from him. After all, Sesshomaru, the Lord of the Western Lands didn't just take in anybody. He had standards, honor and a strong reputation to uphold. So strong, in fact, that the news he'd taken in a human child hadn't hurt his reputation a bit.
Kagure gestured Kanna to step back as she herself stepped forward and awaited what Sesshomaru would do next. He contemplated which action to take for a moment before drawing Toujikin. With a single swipe blades of pure power flew past her, and without the aid of her wind, either. She never once broke the contact of their eyes.
It continued. Until Sesshomaru himself was satisfied that she could, indeed, be useful to him in some way. Somewhere along the line he'd told her to use her wind, and adorned a shredded cheek from it. Other than that, he wasn't hurt at all, although Kagura was in slightly worse shape. Nothing to worry about, really - just a few bruises and cuts.
At last Sesshomaru halted and then nodded. "You and your sister may stay. However, when the last battle strikes, I will not help you should you need it. Or your sister."
Kagura nodded, calming her breath. "I knew you would say that. All I need is your protection until then. Afterwards I don't expect you to help either one of us."
It was the end of the conversation, and soon servants - demon and human alike - were showing Kagura and Kanna to their room.
~*~ Kikyo ~*~
She could feel Naraku, his anger and danger. She knew he would attack soon, very soon, and before that, she needed to make amends with Inuyasha and Kagome. Summoning her Spirit Gatherers, she let them take her to the skies. Inuyasha's Forest was far from the East Lands, and first she made a stop at the Eastern Valley to inform them of the upcoming battle. The princess of the little pack was quite vocal about it.
"Is Sesshomaru going to fight?" she asked, both excited and terrified.
Kikyo nodded at the girl. "Undoubtedly. Naraku has three main enemies: Inuyasha, myself, and Kagome with a multitude of others, Sesshomaru among them. As well, Sesshomaru is bound to Kagome to heed her call if she were to be in need of aid. Of course, it works both ways. A lot of demons would likely come out for this fight, if they know about it soon enough. And I, myself, must be going. Beware, all of you," she told the pack as the Gatherers lifted her to the skies again.
It was quite a while before she touched ground again, nearly the middle of the night. She slept by the God Tree and moved further inland the next morning, hiding herself well. She knew that old well was powerful; Kagome and Inuyasha often visited it. Only recently did she understand why, and how much power the well actually concealed.
As she waited, she began feeling the souls within her, and several got out and drifted away before a Gatherer caught it. She was getting weaker, and the two shards she'd collected weren't helping much. She wasn't using them, either. She'd just begun thinking that maybe she should use them until Inuyasha showed up when a very certain demon showed up, coming for the two shards she had in her possession. It was the Finch she located days ago, the one wit the third missing shard.
It was almost too easy to get the shard from the bird and kill it. It didn't take up much time, and now she was at a loss for what to do with herself.
Really, when were they going to show up? Her patience was running thin.
~*~ Village ~*~
Sango sighed, leaning back against a wall and watching the orphans as they were all doing. It was making the villagers nervous to see so many demons nearby and apparently, not leaving. But as long as Kaede wasn't worried, they kept themselves from lynching the children and adults alike. Sango herself was fairly certain they were planning something, and that soon she and Miroku would be outcast from here as well.
Not like it would matter. They would simply marry somewhere else and build a home with Inuyasha and Kagome in another place.
Sango blushed and withheld a giggle at her own thoughts. We will simply marry elsewhere, she thought again. With Inuyasha and Kagome, we would build our own village. And there we would have our children and raise the orphans, and our children would raise their own. It would be a grand village.
Truthfully it would. She could imagine it all. . .The huts - no, houses - the scenery, the smiling faces and happy greetings. . .
But while she was daydreaming about her own village, the demons nearby were getting uncomfortable. Yoshi, being the eldest, recognized it for what it was sooner than anyone else, and quickly told Gar and Kure. Sana was told last and gathered the orphans, including Shippou - who was antsy as always at his adoptive mother being gone - and ushered them into the hut they were all using.
That movement raised eyebrows and - in a rush - Sango and Miroku were told what was happening.
"Malice," Yoshi told them. "Rising from everywhere seemingly at once, pointed at us."
"Naraku," Sango finished.
"This is it, then," Miroku said, knowing it. "This is his final move."
"We have to alert Kagome and Inuyasha," Sango realized suddenly, growing frightened at the thought. "I don't think we could defeat Naraku without one - or both - of them."
Miroku nodded, already thinking of a solution. He looked up at Gar. "Go with me to the well."
"Why?" Gar asked, but the two of them were already moving.
With something of an amused smirk, Miroku said, "I need the aid of your claws."
Confused, Gar simply followed, and stopped at the well when Miroku did. "And now what?"
"We need to write a message to Kagome," Miroku told him. "She would feel it when we need her, if we do the right thing."
"What are you getting at?" Gar asked.
Miroku looked at him full-on. "Go inside the well. Near the bottom, carve in a message that we need Kagome and Inuyasha here - now. Kagome will feel it; I'm sure of it. Go."
Gar nodded and leaped down, and began carving out the message. While doing so, Sango appeared with Kirara, trailed by Sana and Kure and in her armor already.
When Gar came back up, it was beside Inuyasha.
"You received the message already?" Miroku asked the hanyou.
"No, we were planning on coming," Inuyasha told him. "Kagome is right behind me, with Hojo."
"Kagome spoke of him," Sango put in. "He was very nice to her."
"Not entirely," Inuyasha corrected. "He's a demon, but he's been hiding nearly his entire life."
"Much like Kagome," Miroku deduced.
"More or less. Hojo was in control of himself his entire life." Inuyasha turned his gaze to the forest and caught the Spirit Gatherers circling the area a short way in front of him. Before he could even think of something to say at that, he caught a few scents from several people. Shortly after Sesshomaru came into view - with Kagura and Kanna, nonetheless.
He heard Kagome climb out of the well behind him and heard Hojo as well. And he heard Kagome's heart skip a beat and her feelings start to spiral. If he would have had time, he would have done his best to comfort her, but there just wasn't any time left.
And Hojo seemed to get it, too, because he didn't ask any questions, and no one did anything more than glance at him and deem him an ally.
Inuyasha snorted, hoping to lighten the mood even slightly. "About time he came out of hiding," he said. "I'd bet that he's not gonna win against all of us, too."
"Koga's coming," Kagome spoke up. "I can feel most of his pack. . .And so many others. . .And shards. I can feel the shards. I think Kikyo's got them."
Everyone seemed to stiffen at that - everyone that knew of Kikyo and her relationship to Inuyasha, that is.
"Then I guess I have to see her," Inuyasha said after a long pause.
"I'm coming," Kagome decided, and Inuyasha didn't try to thwart her. Instead, the two of them followed Kikyo's scent and the path the Gatherers were making until they saw her, Kikyo, leaning heavily against a tree and. . .it looked like her skin was peeling.
"Kikyo?" Inuyasha asked, half to be sure it was her and half to gain her attention.
"Inuyasha," Kikyo returned, the word sighed heavily on a pant. "And Kagome," she continued, eyes barely flicking to her. She lifted her hand and three shards glowed. "Put these in the jewel," she said, more of a request at this point than an order.
Kagome eyed Kikyo carefully, wary of her after what happened last time they met, before deeming it okay and taking the shards. She put them in the jewel and creased her brows at the last two holes. But Koga had two, and Kohaku had one. . .It didn't add up right.
"You look horrible," Inuyasha broke in, blunt as ever. "What's been happening to you?"
"I've been losing my power," Kikyo explained, allowing herself to sit. "Little by little. The souls have been freeing themselves lately. Originally my plan was to use the shards to gain back my power and kill Kagome to regain my soul, but it wouldn't have made any difference. Now I have one thing left to do."
Kagome's eyes widened and she looked sharply at Inuyasha, who hadn't yet looked away from Kikyo. She couldn't thinking what Kagome thought she meant. . .Kikyo couldn't have come back to give Kagome three shards and then take Inuyasha to hell!
Inuyasha was thinking along the same lines. But Kikyo stunned them both.
"I free you of your promise," she told Inuyasha. "You and Kagome can live together and have as many children as you like. But I ask one thing in return."
"What's that?" Inuyasha asked, although he already had an idea of what she meant.
"Kill Naraku for me. For everyone and everything he's ever done. Do this and I will require nothing of either of you, ever."
"Kikyo. . ." Kagome began, but couldn't seem to finish. There seemed to be no words to say.
Inuyasha looked away sharply for a moment, obviously thinking things through. He looked up again just as sharply, but Kikyo cut him off.
"Just kill Naraku," she told them. "I'll meet him again in hell to punish him myself."
"Do try," another voice said.
They all knew instantly who it was, and the two hanyous wondered briefly why they hadn't smelled him approach, or heard him or felt him in any sort of way.
Kikyo yelped, and two sets of eyes drew to her immediately. Straight through the center of her chest was a tentacle, like those on Naraku's puppets - only this one was oozing.
"Kikyo!" Inuyasha exclaimed and slashed quickly at the appendage. He was reaching for Kikyo when she shoved at him.
"Get out of here, both of you!" she snapped. Her body was glowing, tapping into the last of her powers for one last attack. "Go! Go now!"
Both Kagome and Inuyasha were reluctant to leave her, but did so when she shouted again and they heard Naraku's laughter. They might not be able to do anything for Kikyo at the moment, but Kikyo was doing her best to help them. They were just rejoining their group - who were apparently getting to know Hojo - when that light shone brighter, followed immediately by an explosion and a yell, both which shook the forest.
La dee dum. Like the ending? I did. Hence the reason why I wrote it. Oh, I just remembered something! Something from a while ago - a review at media miner. I can't remember all of it, but one part jumped out at me. . .
From Mr. I Don't Remember His Name:
". . .Overall it leaves a lasting impression of 'For Joe Schmoe, by Joe Schmoe."
In that case, I have a rebuttal (that took my god-knows-how-many chapters to get around to. Damn, I get carried away easily. Damn distractions. . .)
Dear Joe Schmoe,
First off, thanks for the review in the first place. Second, I agree. I began this (as does nearly every author) as one of those "for me, by me" things. But trust me, by chapter seven it made a big u-turn. If it weren't for all my reviewers (of which you are one, bud) I would have let it die slowly and painfully. Really, I've learned the significance of writing solely for the enjoyment of others, not excluding the fact that I enjoy much of the same types of fanfics myself. I certainly never expected this to be such a hit, so you could say that I began this with myself in mind.
Also, if I am indeed a Joe Schmoe, then for this fic to be such a hit, it looks to me like most of the ff.net and mm.org population are Joe Schmoes themselves. Including YOU for reading it as far as you did. Oh yeah, that bring me to another point.
Mediaminer readers and reviewers: Have any of you noticed the lack of chapter numbers when you review? They don't show up at all, so really, I have no idea when you reviewed. Especially for those of you who review an early chapter and point out something THERE, leaving me wondering what the hell you're talking about. So I have a solution.
In the part of the review where it says "subject", you write down the chapter number. I.e. . .
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Ya sure you go it?
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Uh-huh. . .
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HEY!!! You don't have to be so MEAN!!
. . . . . . . .
*Glare* You guys are SERIOUSLY mean. Evil, even. Mean, mean, meanie-pants people.
But you still review, so. . .=^. .^= Me happy!! YAYNESS!!!
Got a present for ya.
<(^ ^)> <(^ ^<) (>^ ^)> <(^ ^)>
Dance, Kirby, dance!!!
Hee hee. Wanna see a black eye?
Or how about a knocked-out face?
Like? We all know these. . .
^_^ Y_Y O.o O.O x_x @.@
Maybe even. . .
^\\\ (Hair falling over right eye)
And. . .
^^; (Sweat drop) ^^' (Second version sweat drop)
Hmm. . .
Guess that's it. . .