Crossover Fan Fiction / InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ The Journey to the City of Endless Night ❯ Chapter Sixty-Three ( Chapter 63 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
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As he knelt down on the ground, Koga hunched over, and took several deep breaths. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, a low growl rumbling in his throat. The metallic taste of his blood filled his mouth, and he spat onto the grass. Koga's dark hair fell over one shoulder, brushing against his cheek. The wolf-prince dug his claws into the dirt, and thrashed his tail behind him, eyes narrowing in fury. How dare that half-breed take what was rightfully his.
Glaring at Inuyasha's back, Koga prepared to lunge at the half-breed, dissatisfied with how their fight had ended. The wolf-prince froze when he looked at Kagome, and saw how much disappointment and sadness filled her gold-flecked eyes. Koga's tail drooped between his legs, and he whispered, “Kagome---”
She looked away, her loose hair falling to hide her face. Kagome said, her voice soft with disapproval, “How could you be so cruel, Koga? I thought you were better than that. She's just a child.”
Koga began to protest when he heard Inuyasha growl. It still sounded deeper than usual, and the half-breed's scent smelt more like that of a full-demon. Koga still couldn't understand what had overcome Inuyasha. He had never seen the hanyou behave this way. Koga watched as Inuyasha raised one hand, his lengthened claws poised to attack. Because his back was turned to the wolf-prince, Koga was uncertain as to whom the hanyou had turned his anger towards.
A woman's voice reached the wolf-demon's ears as she calmly stated without any fear, “One only wishes to speak with this man-eating wolf. One wants to know why he would break custom, and why he would disgrace himself as a wolf to eat man-flesh.”
Inuyasha snarled loudly, taking a step towards the woman. The hanyou prepared to swipe his claws at her, only to lower his arm to his side, clenching his hand into a loose fist. His ears pinned to his head and he looked down at the ground. Inuyasha muttered gruffly to himself, “Fine. Have it your way.” Lifting his head, the half-demon growled at the woman. His rough voice snapped, “Alright. You can talk to him, but remember, that's the only thing you can do.”
“One will keep that in mind.”
Inuyasha stepped out of the woman's way, turning to face Koga. His red eyes were narrowed in contempt, and his lengthened fangs were bared. “Don't you try anything, you fucking worthless wolf, or I'll rip your heart out.” For emphasis, the hanyou raised a clawed hand, primed to attack. “Is that clear?”
Gritting his teeth together, Koga lowered his head as a sign of submission. Inuyasha's transformation had made him unpredictable and the wolf-prince knew that made the half-breed far too dangerous to defy. He dug his claws into his palms, glaring at Inuyasha from the corner of his eye. While he had backed down, Koga seethed with indignation. First he had found out that the half-breed had taken his woman as his mate, then he had been accused of killing a little girl he'd never seen before. Now he found himself yielding to the mutt.
“One wishes to speak with you,” the woman's calm, alto voice said, bringing Koga's attention to her. She wore a plain brown dress, the skirt brushing her bare feet. Her tawny-hair hung loose about her shoulders, cascading down to her waist. The morning sun reflected off it, making it appear almost flaxen. The woman's most startling feature were her gold eyes. Their hue was not that of burnished gold like Inuyasha's, but rather that of honey. She narrowed them, and a tight frown of disapproval crossed her fair, flawless face.
Occupying the same space, much to Koga's surprise, sat a large, gray she-wolf. Her hackles were raised and her lip had curled back in warning, revealing sharp, white fangs. She pinned her ears to her head, further showing her displeasure with him. Distrust and disdain filled the she-wolf's gold eyes as she stared unblinking at Koga. The duality of the image wavered, leaving the wolf in the woman's place. A strange blue nimbus flickered around the wolf, and she emitted a low growl, vocalizing her contempt. The image of the she-wolf shimmered and there the woman stood once again.
“Who are you?” Koga asked, his voice wary.
The woman stepped closer, looking down at him. “I am known as Poledra in this form.”
“Poledra, huh?” Koga stood, glaring at her as his tail lashed behind him. He sniffed, registering a human scent with no trace of wolves. Narrowing his eyes, he asked cautiously, keeping the blue wolf in mind, “Just what other form do you mean? You smell pretty human to me.”
Poledra stood firm, her gold eyes connecting with Koga's. She arched an eyebrow. “One thinks that you are more observant than you let on. Perhaps real wisdom will come from it one day.”
Koga clenched a fist at his side, growling softly. He snapped, “Don't you fucking insult me. I know your other form is a wolf. I saw it when you came towards me. It wasn't like you hid it very well, you know.”
“One wasn't trying to hide it.” Poledra furrowed her brows, a small frown crossing her face. “I grow ever curious about you, however. You are a wolf, yet you do not act like one.”
“Now what does that mean?” Koga crossed his arms. His tail waved in annoyance behind him. “Of course I act like a wolf. I'm a wolf-demon, after all.”
“One would like to know why you would break custom as a wolf, then.”
“Custom? What custom? I don't have a fucking clue as to what you're talking about.” Koga glared at her, baring his fangs. “I certainly don't have to follow any custom of yours.”
“So it is a custom amongst your pack to kill children and consume their flesh?” Poledra's voice took on a deadly edge and her gold eyes flashed in anger. She challenged, “Well?”
Koga sputtered. He glanced towards the little girl who still clutched tightly onto the strange dog demon he had met when he had arrived. She shrunk herself against the dog demon's body, her face hidden into his shoulder. He held onto her with his arm, gently threading clawed fingers through her dark hair. The dog demon brushed his nose against her hair and whispered into her ear. The little girl whimpered softly, burrowing her face deeper into his chest. Koga's eyes connected with the dog demon's, the rage swirling in their cold depths unnerving him.
The dark-haired woman near the pair looked towards them. She called out to the old man who was pacing not that far away, breaking his train of mutterings, “Father, make yourself useful and fetch me my medical kit. I might need some of the pain suppressors in there.”
The old man stopped, frowning. He sighed, making his way towards the campsite. He shook his head, muttering, “I still wonder when it started talking to Inuyasha.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Koga noticed that Kagome stood to the side, staring at the ground. She bit her lip, holding her hands clasped together in front of her chest. Their eyes met, and she frowned. Kagome looked away, in the direction of camp. The accusation that he had killed this little girl stung, but not nearly as much as the reproach from Kagome did.
Poledra's voice snapped, “Well? Are you going to answer my question, or not?”
The wolf-prince looked back towards Poledra, and growled. “Listen, I've never seen that little girl before in my life. I don't know what the fuck you're talking about.” He frowned. “I still don't know what custom you're talking about, either.”
“The custom that all wolves follow. It is a custom to never eat man-flesh.”
Koga shrugged. “I've never heard of that custom. It's new to me. I don't know anything about any of your customs. What do wolves need those for, anyways?”
Poledra furrowed her brows. “How can a wolf not know anything about customs? I don't understand.”
“I already told you, I'm not like you. I don't have to follow any of your customs. I don't need them.” Koga crossed his arms, and swished his tail behind him. “They'd just get in my way. They sound like a waste of time, if you ask me.”
Koga frowned, narrowing his eyes at Poledra. “There's nothing remarkable about it. Just what the fuck do you mean by that, anyway?”
“One merely finds it most remarkable that you, a wolf, do not have customs, while I, also a wolf, do.” She frowned. “One still does not understand something, however.”
“What now?” Koga sighed.
“Why would you disgrace yourself as a wolf to eat man-flesh?” Poledra asked, frowning further.
“I haven't.” Koga lashed his tail behind him.
“But you were accused of eating man. Why would that be if you did not break this custom?” Poledra's curious gold eyes bore into his blue.
“You and your customs.” Koga snorted.
Poledra's eyes narrowed and she placed one hand on her hip. “Well? Why would you be accused of such a thing if you did not do it? Why would Rin be so frightened at the sight of you if you did not break custom?”
“Beats me. I keep telling you, I've never seen that girl before.” Koga shrugged. “Maybe it's because when my pack was hungry, as their leader, I let them eat whatever they liked. Sometimes that just happened to be humans.” He bared his fangs at her, mindful not to approach. Inuyasha, who stood behind Poledra, narrowed his red eyes. Koga didn't like this interrogation about something he and his pack hadn't done in a very long time. Koga snapped at the strange woman, “You got a problem with that? I couldn't let my pack starve, now could I?”
Poledra's eyes flashed in anger. She held up a hand in front of her chest, and flicked her wrist. “You behave no better than a cheeky pup.”
Koga reeled back as if he had been backhanded. He clutched his stinging cheek in his hand, growling. “Why you bitch---”
Poledra glared at him, stepping closer. “Moreover, a pack-leader who encourages their pack to disregard custom is not worthy to have the dignified position of pack-leader.”
Koga growled, baring his fangs. “Not worthy to be pack-leader, huh? I'm the leader of the Eastern tribe. Who are you to tell me how to lead my pack? What would you know about leading a pack,anyways? You don't seem to be a pack-leader to me.”
“One notes that you lack the honor to follow the custom that demands you respect your elders.” Poledra glared at him, her back held straight. “Perhaps once you reach maturity and leave pup-like behavior behind, you will acquire true leadership skill.”
“My elder? Don't make me laugh. You may be able to change shape, but you're still human,” Koga scoffed, folding his arms over his chest.
“Wolves live for as long as they choose.” The strange woman smiled coldly. “I have chosen to live a long time, and will choose to live for as long as it pleases me to do so.”
“Whatever.” Koga shrugged. “If you say so.” He rubbed his hand on the back of his neck. “Besides, we haven't hunted humans in a long time. I told my pack that they can't do that anymore.”
“Perhaps there is hope for you, after all, young wolf.” Poledra turned her back to him, giving a slight nod to Inuyasha. She glanced over her shoulder, a mysterious smile crossing her face, and said, “When the time comes, one hopes that you will be ready.”
Koga sputtered, staring at her retreating form. He took a step forward to follow her when he heard a deep growl. The wolf-prince stopped, lowering his head in hope that it would pacify Inuyasha. Koga glanced toward the strange wolf-woman, and noticed that she had knelt down next to the dog demon, her hand resting on the little girl's shoulder. Koga wanted to ask Poledra what she had meant by her last comment, but with her near the little girl, he knew that would be impossible.
Kagome ran past him, rushing to Inuyasha. She threw her arms around the hanyou, burrowing her face into his chest. The half-breed wrapped his arms around her, his lengthened claws running through her hair. Kagome nuzzled her nose under Inuyasha's chin, and said, her voice hushed, “Inuyasha, it's alright.”
Koga gasped, watching as Kagome hugged the enraged half-demon. He blinked, disbelieving his eyes. The wolf-prince stepped closer, and asked, “Kagome?”
Inuyasha glared at Koga over Kagome's shoulder, baring his extended fangs. His red eyes fell shut as he brushed his nose against her ear, and a guttural, possessive growl escaped his throat. Kagome pulled away from the half-demon turned full, and brushed her fingertips along the strange jagged stripes adorning Inuyasha's cheeks, before cupping his face in her hands. Kagome whispered, “Inuyasha, I'm here.”
The wolf-prince's shoulders slumped, and his tail drooped as he stared at the couple. He whispered, “Kagome---we were supposed to be mates.”
Kagome brushed Inuyasha's bangs out of his eyes. The harsh red eyes flickered gold momentarily, and his enraged expression softened. Kagome reached up and rubbed an ear, earning her a pleased, low growl. The half-demon closed his eyes, leaning into her touch as she massaged its tip. She slid her hand down, and rested her palm on his cheek, kissing the other cheek. “I'm not going anywhere.”
Inuyasha opened his eyes, their crimson depths swirling with heated desire. He touched her cheek with his long claws, gently brushing the skin, before pushing her hair away from her throat. There rested Inuyasha's mark, the small white scar eerily similar in shape to the uneven lines on the hanyou's cheeks. Inuyasha's tongue darted out, lapping at it. His rough voice hissed, “Mine.”
Koga's shoulders sagged further. The mark on Kagome's throat proved Inuyasha's claim. He stood stiff, unable to look away from the pair, no matter how much it pained him. The wolf-prince clutched a hand into a fist at his side, lashing his tail behind him. He grit his teeth together, anger boiling in him. How dare the half-breed take what was rightfully his first. Koga raised his hand to strike Inuyasha, growling. “Kagome was mine first.”
Inuyasha lifted his head, his red eyes flashing with renewed anger. They narrowed, and he snarled at Koga, his fangs bared. The half-breed pulled Kagome flush against his chest, his hand gripping her waist. He said, his gruff voice deathly soft, “What did you say, you disgusting, useless wolf?”
“You heard me, dog-shit. I said she was mine first.”
The hanyou stood stiff, his arms pulling Kagome closer to him. He started to push her behind him when she hugged him fiercely. She buried her face into his chest, pleading, “Inuyasha, no.” Kagome gripped Inuyasha's haori in her fists, pressing herself closer to him. “Don't.”
Koga narrowed his eyes, taking another step closer to the couple. He growled at the hanyou, baring his fangs. The wolf-demon held up a fist, shouting, “You took Kagome from me, you bastard.”
Inuyasha growled, wrapping his arms tightly around Kagome. He glared at Koga, intense rage and hatred filling the red depths of his eyes, and filling the clearing with killing intent. A sneer crossed his face, and his ears pinned to his head. Inuyasha flashed his fangs at the wolf-prince, a harsh chuckle escaping his throat. His gravelly voice snapped, “You never had her, wolf. Admit it. She was never yours.”
The wolf-demon dug his claws into his palm, drawing blood, and glared at the half-demon, rage building within him. Koga gnashed his teeth together, knowing he couldn't strike Inuyasha as long as he held Kagome. The wolf-prince growled in frustration. “You bastard half-breed! You took what was rightfully mine!”
Kagome glared over her shoulder at Koga. Anger flashed in her gold-flecked eyes, and she frowned at him. Turning back, Kagome reached up, cupping Inuyasha's face in her hands. She whispered, “Look at me, Inuyasha.”
Koga gasped, his eyes wide as he stared at Kagome. His tail drooped between his legs, and he asked, “Kagome?”
Inuyasha looked down, a strange tenderness flooding his red eyes as they connected with Kagome's. She brushed her nose underneath his chin before resting her head onto his shoulder. Inuyasha's arms encircled her, his red fire-rat hiding most of her from view. He glared at Koga, before his eyes closed, and he took a deep breath, inhaling her scent. His deep voice whispered, “Kagome.”
Kagome pulled back, looking up into Inuyasha's face. She brushed the back of her hand against his cheek, and said, her voice soft, “Mate. Mine.”
Koga gaped, the air rushing out of him. His shoulders sagged and his tail hung listlessly behind him. The wolf-prince let his arms fall to his side, the anger flowing out of him. He hung his head, his eyes locked on the pair, unable to look away. Koga whispered to himself, “I can't believe it. She chose him over me?”
Inuyasha's eyes opened and flickered gold again, and he leaned in, kissing Kagome deeply. A low growl elicited from his throat, and his eyes fluttered shut. The half-demon's arms possessively pulled her flush against his chest, his fingers tangled in her hair. Kagome kissed him back, her hands on either side of his face. Their tongues tangled together as they fought for dominance. Kagome's arms snaked around Inuyasha's neck, her hands twisted in his silver hair. The half-demon ran a hand down her throat, brushing a claw against his mark, and Kagome moaned softly into his kiss. Inuyasha's hand ran down her side until it gripped her hip, drawing her even closer. Kagome reached up, and rubbed one of his ears, causing a soft, carnal rumble to escape the half-demon. Inuyasha's tongue plunged deeper into Kagome's mouth as she yielded to him, her moan muffled. Inuyasha broke it off, gruffly whispering into her ear, “Mate. Mine.”
Koga stood dumbfounded, his hand clenched at his side. He felt numb. The way that Kagome had submitted to Inuyasha's kiss had said far more than her vocalized statement. Koga's shoulders sagged further in defeat, and he sighed. The wolf-prince looked down at the ground, clenching his teeth. He had been competing for Kagome's affections only to discover there had never been a contest in the first place. She had never held any interest in becoming his mate. How could he have been so blind?
Koga looked up, his eyes meeting Inuyasha's crimson, noting the satisfaction in them. The half-breed rested his head on Kagome's shoulder, a small smirk on his face. Koga dug his claws in deeper into his palm, feeling sticky blood between his fingers. The wolf-demon growled softly to himself, looking away. He muttered to himself, “How could I lose her to him?”
Kagome hugged Inuyasha around the waist, her head resting on his shoulder. She sighed contently and whispered, “Yes, Inuyasha. I'm yours. As you are mine.”
Koga turned his back, unable to watch anymore. He took a deep breath, his eyes falling closed. As defeated as he felt, the wolf-prince felt even more foolish. How had he missed all the signals? There had been so many. Kagome had always insisted to him that she would stay by Inuyasha's side when he offered to take her with him. Koga had thought it had been out of obligation, that she felt she had to put the Sacred Jewel back together before she could leave the hanyou for him. In reality, Kagome had wanted to stay by Inuyasha's side, and had tried to let him down easy. All his overtures to win her heart had been for naught. He had mistaken Kagome's kindness for something else, for affection and possibly even love. Koga knew that to be untrue now.
The wolf-prince opened his eyes, and raised his fist. He opened his palm, finding the angry welts etched into it. Fresh blood welled up and Koga closed his hand, dropping it to his side. No matter what he did now, he could never again lay claim to Kagome. She belonged to Inuyasha, and nothing Koga said or did would ever change that. That had become obvious to him after the display he had just witnessed. Koga also knew that if he were to behave as he had in the past that next time Inuyasha would very likely kill him, no matter what. Worst of all, the wolf-prince knew the half-breed would have every right. Koga had been lucky today that something had stopped Inuyasha. The split lip, cuts, and bruises he had received were fairly light compared to what could have happened---or would have happened had it not been for whom ever Inuyasha had argued with.
Glancing over his shoulder, he noticed that Inuyasha's eyes had closed again as he nuzzled Kagome's hair with his nose. The stripes remained on the half-breed's cheeks, indicating that whatever transformation Inuyasha had undergone still remained in effect. Koga still couldn't explain it, but he knew that whatever had happened made the hanyou stronger and frighteningly more deadly.
The wolf prince looked up, seeing his two loyal pack mates running towards him. They looked winded, and they slowed their furious pace as they neared. Hakkaku and Ginta leaned over, their hands on their knees as they took some deep breaths. Ginta gasped for air, rasping out, “There---you---are---Koga.”
“We're---sorry, Koga.” Hakkaku closed his eyes, panting. He dropped his head down, wiping sweat from his brow. “We---tried---to---keep---up.”
Ginta finally caught his breath, and looked up. “What's going on, Koga? Weren't you going to meet Sister and find out what was going on?”
“Yeah. That's what you told us---” Hakkaku stopped mid-sentence. “What happened to you, Koga? You're bleeding!”
Koga crossed his arms, wincing at the contact with the slashes on his chest. “I'm fine.” He sighed, swishing his tail behind him. “Nothing I can't handle. I'm not some weakling.”
“Ah, Koga, are you going to let Inuyasha get away with holding Kagome like that?” Ginta tilted his head towards the pair.
A low, menacing growl issued from Inuyasha at the sound of his name, and Koga winced. He glanced over his shoulder, noticing that the hanyou's angry crimson eyes still rested on him. Inuyasha pulled Kagome against his chest, baring his fangs. He flattened his ears, a sneer crossing his face. Koga bit his lip, facing his pack mates. His shoulders slumped and he sighed. Koga whispered, “Yes.”
Hakkaku's eyes went wide, and he took a step back. “What---what happened to Inuyasha?” He sniffed. “It's almost like he's a full demon.”
Ginta sniffed. “Yeah. You're right. He does seem like a full demon.” He also took a step back. “He sure looks terribly angry. I can't say I've ever seen him like this before.”
Hakkaku nodded. “I agree.”
“Just what did you do to make him so angry, Koga? He looks like if it weren't for Sister, he'd rip everyone apart within reach.” Ginta shuddered, stepping back a bit more.
“I don't want to talk about it.” Koga clenched his hand into a fist again. He stared at the ground, frowning. “It doesn't matter what I did or didn't do.”
“He's---he's staring at us, Koga. I don't like the look in his eyes,” Ginta whispered. “I don't think it's such a good idea to stay here. He looks like he might rampage no matter what, even with Sister there.”
Hakkaku nodded his head vigorously. “I agree. I don't like how he's looking at us.”
Koga looked again, his eyes connecting with Inuyasha's. It chilled him at how calculating they looked. They narrowed, rage burning deep inside their red depths. Inuyasha's hand gripped Kagome's waist tightly, his fire rat shielding her from view. They were right. With the way Inuyasha's form had tensed, he was certain that whatever calming effect Kagome had on the hanyou was tenuous at best. Inuyasha had relaxed a little when it had been just him, but now with the addition of Ginta and Hakkaku, it seemed that the half-breed would become explosively violent at any moment. Koga looked back towards his followers, trying to shrug it off nonchalantly. “Whatever. Are you scared?”
“Yes.” Ginta nodded. “Koga, I think we should really leave. I don't want to be here when Inuyasha loses it.”
Hakkaku gulped. “I don't want to find out what happens when he does lose it. It can't be good. Koga, let's go. We can find out what's going on later. When Inuyasha's not so angry.”
Koga snorted. He crossed his arms, shaking his head. As much as he knew that they were right, he didn't want to lose more face in front of them than he already had. He rolled his eyes, and sighed. “Alright. We'll go. It's pretty worthless trying to talk to Kagome or dog shit right now anyways.”
Ginta said, his voice shaking, “Let's go then.”
Koga growled, narrowing his eyes. “I'm the leader, here. I decide where we go and when.” He turned his back on his pack mates, averting his gaze from Inuyasha and Kagome. “Now, let's go.” The wolf-prince broke into a sprint, rushing past them as he turned south.
“Koga, wait for us!” Both Ginta and Hakkaku called after him in unison.
The wolf-prince increased his speed, ignoring their calls for him to slow down. His surroundings blurred into greens, browns, and blacks as he accelerated even further. The sooner he got away from Inuyasha and Kagome, the better off he would be. Koga drove himself to run even faster, hearing his pack mates fall farther and farther behind. He didn't care. Once he started to run, he wanted to put as much distance between himself and them. Right now, Koga wanted nothing more than to be alone. He had a lot of things to mull over, especially where it concerned Kagome.
Veering to the south-west, Koga dashed past several decimated villages. He had no time to stop and investigate, nor did he have any interest in what had caused their destruction. All he wanted to do was run as far and fast as he could until he wore himself out and felt as numb physically as he did mentally. Koga had been so excited when he had caught Kagome's scent. He had anticipated meeting her, the first real familiar scent he had encountered since arriving in this new land. The wolf-prince had hoped to learn more about where they were and if they had heard anything about Naraku's whereabouts. Most of all, he had just wanted to visit with Kagome.
Koga had not expected to meet some strange woman who could transform into a wolf. He most certainly hadn't anticipated her accusations or admonishments. The wolf-prince pumped his legs, surging even faster. The woman had sent chills through him, the way she had stared at him with her unblinking gold eyes. She had seemed unimpressed with him, and his stature within his pack---or what was left of it. Koga also had no idea what she meant by customs. That had utterly confused him. Sure, it was his responsibility to protect his pack, provide for them, and make decisions, but this Poledra had outlandish ideas. And yet, while he hadn't understood her adherence to her odd customs, he felt a twinge of guilt for breaking the one she had felt to be the most important.
Shaking his head, Koga ran past another village, their cries of fear and anger filling his ears. He didn't have the time to stop and see what their fuss was about, rather driving himself faster and faster. Koga pushed himself to run up one of the hills before him, dashing down the other side of it as fast as he could. It felt good to have the wind in his hair, flowing past him. It sounded like a low roar as he ran. Whatever Inuyasha's transformation had done to him, Koga knew there was still no way the half-breed could possibly hope to compete with him at running. The wolf-prince relished in the freedom it provided him, rushing past a small, abandoned farmstead.
Koga slowed down, coming to a halt at a small stream. He leaned over, his hands on his knees as he caught his breath. The exhilaration of his run rushed through him, and he took delight in it. Koga knelt down on the stream-bed, splashing water on his face. He cupped some in his hands, greedily gulping it down. Looking up, Koga realized that it was about midday, the sun nearing its highest point. He panted, lying down onto his back, staring up at the cloudless sky, his hands behind his head. A bird circled above, its lonely cry piercing the air. Koga watched as it dove down, aiming for some prey on the ground. For now he figured this would be a good spot to sit and wait for his friends.
Scuffing his barefoot into the dirt, the wolf-prince, relaxed. His eyes closed, and he took a few deep breaths as his body calmed after his run. Koga sighed, seeing in his mind's eye Inuyasha and Kagome's kiss. Throwing one arm over his face, he growled. The wolf-prince still couldn't understand exactly why Kagome had chosen the half-breed over him, but she had. He clenched his hand into a fist, smashing it into the ground at his side. Koga opened his palm, looking at the cuts that resided there. They looked angry and sore.
“Damn him. Damn that Inuyasha,” Koga muttered to himself.
He sat up, running his hand into the stream. The cool water felt good on his abused palm, and he sighed. Koga couldn't blame Inuyasha. Kagome had freely accepted the hanyou as her mate, and there would be no dissuading her from that now. Not with the way she had submitted to Inuyasha, or the way she had spoken to him. Her choice had been made, and it would be final, for the rest of both Inuyasha and Kagome's lives.
Rolling onto his side, Koga watched as a small doe came to drink. Her liquid brown eyes cautiously watched him as she lowered her head slowly to the stream. Her tongue lapped out, drinking the water quickly. Koga shifted, and the doe froze, staring at him with wary eyes. She turned, fleeing back towards a small thicket. Koga shrugged his shoulders. He had no interest in hunting the doe. He lay back down, feeling the sun warm him. The wolf-prince stretched. This day certainly had not turned out as he had expected it to and it left a sour taste in his mouth.
Koga sat up, resting an elbow on one knee. He picked up a rock, throwing it into the stream. It splashed, sinking quickly to the bottom. He did it again, finding that it relieved some of the tension in him. Koga punched the earth, leaving a small crater. He growled to himself, hurling another rock into the stream. Koga shouted, “Fuck! She was supposed to be my mate, damn it!”
The sounds of someone approaching reached his ears, and he looked over his shoulder, seeing that Ginta and Hakkaku had finally caught up with him. He smirked at them slightly. “About time you two showed up. You were the ones in the big hurry, yet you can't keep up.”
Ginta slowed, stopping in front of him. He collapsed unceremoniously to the ground, panting. “Koga---we---asked---you---to---wait---up.”
Hakkaku followed suit, lying down onto his back. His eyes closed and he took deep breaths. “Yeah. We're not as fast as you, and we ran almost all morning trying to keep up.”
Koga shrugged, looking into the rushing stream. “Whatever.” He sighed, skipping a small rock across the water. “Hey, do you two happen to know about a little girl some of the wolves supposedly hunted?” The accusation from earlier stung, and he was curious to discover the answer. “I'm just wondering.”
Ginta and Hakkaku whispered to one another. They scooted up to sit down next to him. Ginta shook his head. “I don't. Do you, Hakkaku?”
Hakkaku drew random designs into the dirt with his foot. “Well, not really in particular, but I remember a few of the wolves talking about a little girl once or twice. Why?”
“No reason.” Koga glanced up at the sky. The little girl had been so terrified of him, yet he couldn't recall ever seeing her before. The fear that had emanated from her, and her terrified cries had disturbed him. He hadn't let his pack behave that way in such a long time that seeing the frightened girl had shaken him a little. Koga lay back, crossing his legs. “I was just curious, that's all.”
“Okay, if you say so, Koga.” Ginta sighed, and sat up. He cupped some water into his hands, eagerly drinking it down. “What are we going to do now?”
“I like this place. We'll stay here for the day. I saw a doe run into that thicket, so we won't have any trouble finding any food. Besides, I'd rather stay as far away from all of those villages. I don't want to smell death and decay.” Koga closed his eyes.
“So you didn't get to really talk to Sister at all, Koga? You had hoped to find out what was going on and where we were,” Hakkaku said.
“Yeah, I did say that.” Koga snorted. He placed his arms over his face.
“Well? Did you get to talk to her or what?”
“What do you think.” Koga glared at him from the corner of his eye.
“So no, huh?” Ginta shook his head. “Inuyasha wouldn't let you, I take it.”
“Shut up. Like that mutt could tell me what I can and can't do.” Koga growled.
“I don't know, he looked pretty angry to me. I wouldn't have wanted to fight him, that's for sure.” Hakkaku drank some water from the stream, splashing more onto his face. “It looked like he didn't want anyone near Sister.”
“You saying I couldn't take dog shit? I wasn't scared of him, like you two cowards are.” Koga sat up, glaring at the pair. He knew they were right about fighting Inuyasha. At that moment, he would have most certainly lost to the hanyou. He wouldn't have simply lost his stature and his reputation, but most likely he would have lost his life. Koga knew that, he knew that the moment Inuyasha had undergone his strange change, he just didn't want either Ginta or Hakkaku to know that. Koga turned his nose up at them, frowning. “Besides, I wasn't going to fight him with Kagome right there.” He leaned towards his pack mates, sneering. “You got that? I didn't fight dog shit because of Kagome. I wasn't scared of him.”
Ginta and Hakkaku exchanged glances. They shook their heads and sighed. Ginta said, “If you say so, Koga. We've seen Inuyasha pretty angry in the past, but nothing like what we saw today. I know I didn't want to find out the results of a fight between you and him. I don't think it would have ended well.”
Koga clenched his teeth. He scooted away from them, staring into the stream. The silver bodies of fish rushed by, the sun reflecting off of them. Koga glared at Ginta and Hakkaku over his shoulder, baring his fangs. He picked up a fairly large sized rock, hurling it into the stream with a large splash. “Just shut up, the both of you. I didn't fight dog shit because I didn't want to accidentally hurt Kagome. It has nothing to do with Inuyasha.”
“I wish we could've found something out about where we are.” Hakkaku stretched out, his eyes falling closed.
Ginta sighed. “Yeah. It sounds like Naraku's up to some strange things lately.”
Hakkaku grunted his agreement. “I wonder who that Nahaz demon is. Do you think he's another of Naraku's incarnations? All the people we've run into lately seem to think it's a good thing that Nahaz is working with Naraku.”
“That's true. I bet it's more like Nahaz, who ever he is, is working for Naraku. I just wish we could have asked Sister what she knew about it. She might have heard something, anything that would help.” Ginta propped his head up with his hand. “Don't you think so?”
“Well, we know Naraku's at this strange City of Endless Night. I think maybe Sister might have known about that, at least. Just about everyone you talk to seems to know that. I wonder why he's not hiding his location. He's always done that in the past.” Hakkaku sighed. “I bet it's all a big trap. I hope it isn't to lure Inuyasha there. Sister could get really hurt.”
“Yeah. And what about those creepy men with the silver masks? Everyone hates them, yet they do what ever those men tell them to. It's weird.” Ginta yawned. “Do you think they're with Naraku or against him?”
“Beats me, but the way they sacrifice other humans makes me wonder, that's for sure. I can't imagine what Naraku would get from that, at least not really.” Hakkaku shook his head. “I just know I don't want to go anywhere near them. Some say they can do strange things with a simple word. Maybe they're really demons posing as humans. That's a possibility. Or maybe they have some jewel shards.”
“Then they'd have to probably get them from Naraku, which would mean they'd be working for him.” Ginta scratched his chin.
“Maybe, maybe not.” Hakkaku stared down at the ground, a frown on his face. “That's another reason we needed to talk to Sister. She probably knew what was going on, if they had jewel shards or not, at least. Maybe she knew where some shards were and they were going to get them.”
“Will you two be quiet? We didn't get to talk to Kagome and that's that.” Koga narrowed his eyes, glaring at them. “I can't take listening to you two babble on and on. You've been saying the same shit for days. We'll just have to find a way to this City of Endless Night ourselves. If Naraku isn't hiding, I'm fine by that. It makes it easier to find him so I can kill him. Now shut the fuck up.”
Silence filled the small glen they sat in, save for the babbling brook. Koga closed his eyes, feeling the warmth of the sun on his face. He sighed, feeling drained. The wolf-prince stretched out, making himself comfortable. He yawned again, scratching his stomach. Koga hoped that the rest of the day would improve, especially after its dismal start. He had intended on asking Kagome all of the questions that Ginta and Hakkaku had discussed non-stop for the past week and a half at least. He couldn't recall when they had started, but it had gotten on his nerves ages ago. When they had caught onto Kagome's scent, he had gotten as excited as both Ginta and Hakkaku, anticipating a reunion with her. Rolling onto his side, Koga drew in the dirt with a claw. Now he wished he hadn't picked upon her scent.
So far this strange land they found themselves in made little sense. Koga had seen religious men in the past, but nothing like these steel masked men. He knew they were religious, due to their chants and reverence for some god he had never heard of. Unlike the other religious men he had met in the past, Koga noticed that these men seemed less concerned with exorcising demons and more interested in sacrificing other humans. The way everyone looked at him when he neared them disturbed Koga, too. They acted as if they had never seen a wolf-demon before. And the strange men with all the tattoos baffled him even more. Koga made it a point to distance himself away from them, especially when they started to chant. He hadn't seen the results of whatever spell they were using, but he knew something had been wrong, and therefore had always gone the other direction.
Koga blew the hair out of his eyes, looking at the cuts in his palms. As soon as he had arrived at the camp Kagome stayed at, all of these questions had flown right out of his head. He could tell as soon as he stood close to her and could take a deep breath of her scent that the half-breed had mated with her. Then he had been furious. It hadn't helped that the strange dog demon had interfered, not to mention Inuyasha's angry accusation. Now that he could sit and think, a lot of those questions came back, ones that would remain unanswered. Koga couldn't say when he would be able to try and at least talk to Kagome or even Inuyasha. He wouldn't like it, but he knew that they needed answers. If he was going to ever avenge his slain pack mates, he'd have to find Naraku, and to do that, he'd have to know where this City of Endless Night was.
“So, Koga, what will we do when we leave here?” Ginta drew him back from his thoughts.
“I don't know. I guess keep traveling.” Koga stared at the ground, frowning. “I can't think of anything else we can really do. We'll find someone who can tell us where this stupid city is.”
“But so far everyone we've asked stops talking as soon as we mention that place. Do you think it's evil or something?” Hakkaku bit his lip.
“Don't know, don't care. If it's where Naraku's at, that's where we'll go, no matter what it takes. Got that?” Koga glared at him.
“What about the rumor of a jewel shard some place a little south and east of us? So far we haven't had any real proof, but you know if there's some mischief down there with a jewel shard, Naraku has to be involved somehow,” Ginta said, furrowing his brows. “We can't sense it like Sister, but if there is a demon with a shard somewhere down there, then we should be able to find it.”
“You've got a point there.” Hakkaku nodded. “I say we should check it out at least. It might be the best lead we'll have on anything to do with Naraku for now.”
Koga narrowed his eyes, glaring. “Hey, I'm the leader, remember?” He stood, glaring down at them. “I get to make the decisions, not you.”
“But Koga, it's a good idea. If we can't talk to Sister, and everyone else seems to be so hesitant to talk about the City of Endless Night, it might be our only shot at finding information out,” Ginta said. He sighed. “You have to admit it, Koga, so far we've turned up with nothing.”
Hakkaku nodded his agreement. “Yeah, Koga. We have to find something out.”
“It could also be a waste of our time. What if we waste all this time looking for some demon with a jewel shard that's supposedly wreaking havoc only to find out that the whole thing was made up?” Koga put his hands on his hips. “Seems to me we'd be better off trying to find this city some other way. If we could find something out about it, we could just go there. Naraku seems to want people to know where he's at, after all.”
“I still say it's at least worth looking into. Sister would be so disappointed if we didn't at least try and take another shard away from Naraku when we had the chance. You know she wouldn't want a demon under Naraku's control causing a lot of death. Besides, it'd be one more jewel shard in our possession.” Ginta sat up, running his hand in the water.
“At least think about it, okay, Koga? We really should at least investigate it a little before we try something else to find Naraku.” Hakkaku yawned.
“Alright. Fine. Have it your way, you two. I just think it'll end up being a waste of our time.” Koga shook his head. “I guess we'll stay here for the day and start making our way south east tomorrow morning. I just hope that when we get there it's worth something. I'm sick and tired of not getting any answers.”
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