InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Transformations ❯ The Final Battle II ( Chapter 54 )
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 ~*~
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 ~*~
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.
Yes. I know very well how much you hate me. But my death will simply have to wait.
Everyone stared openly at the are where Kikyo was moments before, not devoid of trees in at least a twenty foot radius. [DL: Radius is from the center to the edge in a circle.] They all wondered what happened to her and Naraku, but they didn't have to wait long. That laughing voice was back, chorused by several more in the same pitch.
Naraku, dubbed ever in his baboon pelt, waltzed out from the surrounding forest. Everyone in their group got ready: Sango grabbed her boomerang, Miroku held his prayer beads, Inuyasha drew Tetsusaiga, Kagome materialized her arrows, and the three Blue Pack warriors flexed their claws and prepared for the battle.
Kagome's miko sense spiked and she jerked her head right, catching another Naraku stepping into the clearing. "Puppets," she said, loud and angry.
Everyone glanced that way and saw the second Naraku, and then began looking around for more. There were three of them, now four, six, a dozen, twenty. . .He came with his own army of puppets, and there was no way to know if Naraku himself were here!
"Bastard!" Inuyasha yelled.
"Are you actually here?" Kagome spat, brutally.
"Decided not to sully your own hands yet again?" Miroku added, glancing between the puppets.
"Coward!" Sango snapped, eyes still pinned to the very first Naraku to appear. "Afraid we're going to win?"
"Afraid to die?" Gar said with barely leashed rage. Although he'd killed Murlo himself, he still held blame for Naraku and swore revenge on him.
"Afraid of hell?" Kagome continued.
More laughter came from the army of puppets. Then each one began speaking, picking up a single word after a different one, either as a show of power or just to toy with them. "Of - course - not. We - sent - Kikyo - there - did - we - not? And - yes - I - am - here. Can - you - guess - which - one?"
"I don't have to!" both Kagome and Inuyasha said in one. It officially began the fight, Inuyasha leaping forward to slice the first Naraku in half as Kagome aimed her arrow at another one, and that one dissolved under her power. Sango cut two straight down the middle with one throw and Miroku broke two with one strong strike of his staff. The Blue Pack used claws and limbs and did just as much damage on their first run. Kirara herself tore one apart. Kagura waved her fan and three went down; Sesshomaru drew Toujikin and three more were incinerated.
Hojo backed up against the well and watched with wide eyes, trying not to get sick at the show.
Koga showed up just as soon as Kagome noticed Hojo and leapt right into the mix, knowing who to attack and who to help. Kagome called out to Gar with her mind, Watch Hojo. Don't let anything get him.
Mistress, Gar returned, shredding through tentacles and killing a puppet one his way to guard Hojo.
The fight raged on, leaving everyone with cuts, bruises and fractures by the time they had the true Naraku alone. He stood calmly, relaxed, baboon pelt long discarded and beneath it he wore the simplest of armors, a sign that he intended to fight all along. And he was smiling faintly.
Everyone was out of breath and panting or gasping to breath, save for Hojo - who was still huddled near the well and in shock - and Sesshomaru, who must be winded as well but refused to show it.
Kagome's arms were still up, aiming three arrows at Naraku and waiting for him to make a move. Inuyasha was letting Tetsusaiga rest on the ground as his strength returned. Sango was knelt near Kagome, one eye closed and an open cut on her forehead. Miroku was leaning heavily against a tree, a gash on his left arm and a large bruise on his right. Clothes were torn and armor broken for everyone.
Koga and Kagome's pack got the least amount of injuries, simply for how fast they were. But Naraku himself was just as fast as Koga, and as such managed to dodge or deflect most of the attacks sent his way. That's why Kagome was aiming with three arrows, waiting for him to move. Chances are only one of them would hit, and she'd need to keep her focus on him for that one to do any damage.
"Strong as you are, fast as you are, powerful as you are, and none of you have harmed me," Naraku said with a little smile.
"Ha!" Inuyasha snapped back. "We weren't fighting you - we were fighting your lackeys. But now that they're gone, so are you." He lifted Tetsusaiga and slashed, the Wind Scar rushing towards Naraku.
Naraku leapt out of the way and Kagome released her arrows. One split the skin at his arm, a second hitting only dirt and created a crater, the third whizzing past his head to lodge in the tree behind and burning a hole in it. Sesshomaru as well was in action, Toujikin sending streams of power along the ground and nearing catching Naraku.
They all seemed to act with a single mind. First Kagome, Inuyasha and Sesshomaru would attack in one, and then as they prepared another assault, Kagura, Miroku and Sango would send a second wave towards Naraku. Koga, his pack and Kagome's warriors were mainly in charge of killing anything that attacked in the middle and filling gaps between assaults, basically fighting whenever they had an opening.
Kirara had taken over guarding Hojo for the time being, and Hojo himself got in a few punches at long last. So far he didn't seem to be able to do anything else.
The fight continued in such a way, with wave after wave directed at Naraku and hitting trees mainly. By mutual consent Kagome and Inuyasha turned the fight away from the well and managed to knock over several more trees in the process. If this kept up, Kagome would always know what happened to all the trees in Tokyo. She helped destroy them.
After what had to be a solid hour of fighting like this, Naraku leapt back, out of their reach, looking enraged. "Enough of playing!" he shouted. "I'll kill you now!" Fated words.
Upon saying he began twitching. Then his eyes shut with difficulty, and his entire body seemed to be stretching upwards, as though some god had grabbed his head and feet and began pulling. His clothes quickly grew too small and split, falling off as his skin darkened to black. His hair drew back into his scalp and muscles bulged. On either hand two fingers retracting into his palms, and the same for his toes. A thin, long tail emerged from his backside.
And he was still growing.
In the end he had to be fifty feet tall, hugely muscled, with two extra arms, a tail that split in half, and half a dozen horns, each with its own twist. It was monstrous.
It looked like everyone's nightmares had grouped together and created something more frightening than all of them put together. Something worse than anyone could imagine. Something with more pointed teeth, even, than any being could fit into its mouth. Something that laughed at you with burning blue eyes and showed a tongue split in three. Something that made you want to cry out for your mother and huddle in her arms until she wished the beast away.
Something that held Kagome's feet firmly to the ground and made her heart race in fear.
The very same something that was doing the same for Sango, Hojo, Sana and several of Koga's pack.
And this something was pure evil. So evil, in fact, it stirred the jewel's darker side, red swirling into it and making the lavender color darken.
Naraku laughed at them all and stretched his arms above his head. His head then tilted back and his laughter grew in volume and malice, believing himself invincible. Kagome stared, unable to look away or flinch at his tone. Her thoughts had stopped completely. Her heart leapt about wildly in her chest; her jaw worked, trying to issue forth a scream; her knees jerked, trying to step back; her mind struggled to find words.
And then Naraku stepped forward, aiming his foot for her, and she finally screamed. "Inuyasha!"
Her arm was grabbed and she was jerked to the side, and found it was Sesshomaru that had moved her. Looking back up she saw Inuyasha leaping, aiming for Naraku, Tetsusaiga turning red and preparing for its ultimate attack -
And Naraku swat him to the side like an unwanted fly, the movement so fast it bellied the usually slow speed that came with such a size.
Sesshomaru leapt up this time, half flying, and slashed Toujikin. Naraku lifted his upper right arm and it took the attack, breaking off completely below the elbow. And then regenerating like any of his puppets. Sesshomaru was already in the motions of striking again, but this time he didn't get the chance. A tentacle branched off from Naraku's chest, wrapped around Sesshomaru, and brought him down into the ground, hard. It lifted again to reveal that Sesshomaru now had a bloody face and what looked to be a broken collar bone, and then slammed him down again.
It let go this time and retracted into Naraku's chest again.
Kagome found her legs, and her voice. Fear forgotten in the face of a life or death battle, she began ordering everyone like a Mistress would. "Kagura, get Sesshomaru out of the way! Gar, find Inuyasha! Koga, get over here!"
Everyone did as they were told. Kagura's winds picked up Sesshomaru and brought him back down, unconscious, near Kagura, who looked him over. Gar sped off to find Inuyasha and check over him, and Koga came forward to stand by Kagome.
He seemed to already know what she was planning. He cupped his hands and Kagome jumped, using his hands as extra propulsion to make her go higher, her powers coming alive in two forms. The first being a barrier around herself so Naraku couldn't grab her like he'd done to Sesshomaru, and the second being her Spirit Slash, being the more powerful of her two Spirit attacks.
"Spirit Slash!" she cried, thrusting her arms out and sending the attacks directly for Naraku's head.
As she expected, he used an arm to catch the attack. Drifting down from her jump she aimed an arrow at his middle and fired, and it ripped straight through his stomach. Blood gushed forth and he hunched, holding the spot until it healed. By then Kagome had ushered everyone back and Gar had returned with a somewhat dazed Inuyasha.
In the brief moment of decision, Kagome turned to Sesshomaru and quickly sent a stream of her power into him, healing what it could and waking him up. She had just enough time to turn and face Naraku again when said person swept out two arms and a foot, and everyone went flying. They all got up again as one body and split, surrounding Naraku.
Tentacles appeared from nearly every part of his body and he sent each one after a different person. As a result, three of Koga's pack were lodged in trees, one was knocked out, Sango's boomerang snapped, Kanna hit the well and dented it, and Kagura yelled in pain as her right leg shattered.
Battling those tentacles was just like battles the puppets. In order to kill the puppet, you have to strike its center; its heart. They all tried to do so on Naraku, while fighting off those tentacles and dodging them and his limbs, but none of them made it that high without getting thrown back down. And what was worse, Naraku laughed at them.
It was enough to enrage a Buddhist.
Their fighting plan was torn to pieces. While it was previously a single mind with a dozen bodies, now it was a dozen bodies all trying to get a hit in at the same time. This disorganized effect did wonders - for Naraku. It was getting easier and easier for him to slap one person into another.
After an hour of fighting this beast, they were worse for wear.
Kagome had healed most of wounds, but by now the healing was taking longer and longer, showing her loss of blood and Spiritual Power. Her left forearm was fractured, as was her neck, and her right foot was broken in two places. Other than that she simply had two healing sprains and a torn ligament on her back. All in all, she just needed a few minutes to concentrate on healing herself.
Inuyasha was worse, being slower, but Kagome's blood was still fresh in him so it was easier to take and healed faster. His fire rat haori was nearly shredded into nothing and he'd discarded it only to lose half his white kimono. It showed both his arms and barely hung to him, exposing the large split across his left arm and his broken wrist. He could feel his right thigh was fractures in two, maybe three places, and his body was littered with bruises.
Everyone else adorned much of the same injuries. A few major ones, a few minor ones, and bruises. Everyone, that is, except Naraku.
His body had automatically regenerated everything, and Kagome found to her distress and frustration that her powers couldn't stop him from doing so every time they hurt him. She couldn't use them beyond her own attacks, trying to power-up everyone when they weakened, and erecting a barrier. But after so long, she couldn't do that anymore.
Her Burning Arrows were weak and often missed the huge target that Naraku made. Her Spirit Slash wouldn't work at all, no matter how many times she tried. Her barriers were choppy at best, hardly able to hold back a fly.
In a word, she was drained. Physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally. They were all feeling the same way, down to the ever unmovable Sesshomaru. Even Hojo, who was just trying to knock them out of the way, was getting tired.
And there Naraku stood, immortal.
. . . .
I've thought it over and decided that during this last battle, I'll make no threats. It would too much of a thought-breaker to make you laugh.
As such, I've also decided not to add any more ending notes until this battle is over, unless I have a new artwork that is finished and (should be) up.
Also, it turns out that my squiggles and stars that I use to separate scenes have been removed on ff.net. I've begun using bold and italics on them as well, but I advise fanfic readers to switch over to media miner. Like I said, the direct link is on my bio. Just click it.