Continuing Tales

Divine Concubine

A InuYasha Story
by CiraArana

Part 7 of 11

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Second Chances Miroku watched from the shadows of the trees as the ghosts floated past. When they had disappeared around the corner of the building, he counted to ten and then sprinted across the lawn and up the hill. Just when he had slipped inside of the temple, he felt the chilling cold from outside again. He peered around the door. Two ghosts were floating by. Miroku smiled grimly.

A barrier alone is not enough for this god. Hm. No one with good intentions has so many lines of defence, he thought and then whirled around and crept deeper into the temple. He had to find Sango and Kagome-sama.

The temple was surprisingly empty. He encountered no further guards and no servants or monks, either. He felt the hair on his back rise. This was not a good god.

The corridors of the temple were a maze of polished wood, ornaments and lavishly displayed treasures. Miroku shook his head. This was not a real temple. It looked more like a palace. He eyed a vase that stood in a small niche. No, definitely not a temple.

He walked on, cautiously approaching turns and corners. But there never loomed a guard beyond them. And though it was nice that there seemed to be no immediate danger of being detected, it would have been nicer if he could have found Sango and Kagome.

As he came closer to the centre of the temple, he heard a woman sing. For a moment, he stood still and simply listened. His heart widened and he sighed. He had never heard anything as beautiful as this woman’s voice.

A murmur of voices shook him out of his reverie. He started and looked around quickly for a place to hide, inwardly scolding himself. He had a mission to complete and no time to be enchanted by this wonderful singer.

The corridor he was in was long and straight. There were no niches or curtains for a cover. Miroku pressed himself flat against the wall, his heart beating wildly. The voices grew a little louder and he perked up. These were female voices!

Cautiously, Miroku crept closer to the voices, wondering whether he had already been so lucky as to find Sango and Kagome-sama.

The corridor ended in another one, and Miroku eyed around the corner. The corridor was empty, but the women’s voices were louder now. He could understand what they said.

‘We will leave you alone now,’ said one voice.

‘Shujin-sama will come to visit you,’ added another.

‘You might want to rethink your decision,’ said a third quietly.

Then there was the sound of a door closing. The scraping sound of wood over wood followed.

‘I don’t like to lock her in,’ said the quiet voice.

‘It’s Shujin-sama’s orders,’ said the second voice dismissively. ‘Don’t worry so much about her, Igaku-oneechan. She’ll come round to our way of thinking soon enough. She’s not impervious to Shujin-sama’s charm.’

‘No, she is not impervious, but she has a strong will,’ answered the voice he now knew belonged to Igaku. ‘She might determine to hate Shujin-sama for what he does, Fudé-chan.’

‘I don’t understand why she still resists,’ said the first voice.

The sound of feet on wood made Miroku press himself once more against the wall of the corridor. The voices grew louder. They were coming in his direction. He retreated a little further and hoped feverishly that the women would not turn right into this corridor but walk straight ahead.

‘… been hurt,’ finished Igaku when he listened on their conversation again. “Both of them, actually.”

‘Hurt?’ questioned the first voice.

‘Yes, Odóri-chan. Haven’t we all been hurt in some way or other? But these two girls … it’s deeper. It is more emotional. You saw how they reacted to the thought of becoming Shujin-sama’s wives.’

‘Yes, but -’

‘Do you think they are already married?’ asked the second voice. ‘But then, Kudamono-oneechan was married, and she doesn’t mind at all.’

The women now stepped into Miroku’s view, but to his everlasting relief they did not turn right.

One of them shook her head. ‘No, not married, but you can tell from both their reactions that they are in love. And she …’ Igaku nodded over her shoulder, ‘she was hurt by the man she loves. We can only hope that Shujin-sama will be able to heal her heart.’

‘Oh, he can!’ exclaimed the first voice confidently. ‘He can do everything!’

The other two laughed and walked on, their conversation turning to this Shujin-sama. Miroku suspected that this was the name of the god. The corners of his mouth twitched into a grin. Had he picked that name himself? What a telling choice!

But his mind soon returned to more pressing matters and his grin faded. One of his female companions was locked into a room a little down the next corridor. Why only one? What happened to the other? Where was she? And who was in this room?

He peered around the corner again to make sure no one was in sight. Then, he hurried as quietly as possible into the direction the women had come from. He turned around another corner and almost ran into a vase.

Cursing softly, he caught the precious object before it shattered on the floor and shoved it back from the corner. Then, he took a look at the corridor. It was long, and there was a door at its end. The walls were hung with several colourful wall hangings. Lamps hanging from the ceiling lit it. Their light made the polished floor glow in a deep reddish-brown. And there, not far from him between two hangings, was a locked door.

Miroku took another glance around the corner and, satisfied there was no one around, he hastened to the door. Slowly and carefully, to keep the noise as much down as possible, he pulled on the bolt. It scratched across the door with a soft sound. Miroku paused, listening. But nothing happened.

He unlocked the door, took another glance around, and then opened the door cautiously. Considering what he had heard from the other women, he might be greeted with something thrown at his head. But, once more, nothing happened, so he opened the door fully and took a look at the room. His breath caught in his throat.

There in front of him, in full sight from the door, stood Sango, her back to him. She wore a beautiful kimono in shades of yellow and gold. The fire in front of her made the garment seem to be woven flames. It also allowed him to see that the kimono was transparent.

Miroku’s mouth went dry. For a moment, all he could do was stare at her. Despite her tensed body and rigid back that clearly spoke of rejection she had never looked so warm and welcoming. She had never been so lovely.

‘My answer has not changed.’ Her angry voice interrupted his breathless admiration. ‘It is still no.’

She did not turn as she spoke, and Miroku was thankful for it. It allowed him to school his features into their usual calm cheerfulness.

‘Well,’ he remarked nonchalantly, ‘and here I thought you wanted to get out of this place.’

At the first sound of his voice, she whirled around, her eyes wide in surprise and happiness. ‘Miroku!’

His hand tightened around the shanjuku until his knuckles became white. Great Buddha, this kimono was a crime! She was a beauty, his Sango, and that expression in her eyes …

But as if a curtain had been drawn, the expression was gone, and her eyes grew hard and cold. Her smile vanished, and she crossed her arms across her chest.

It didn’t make things easier for Miroku.

‘I am sorry to disappoint you,’ Sango said icily, ‘but the willing women have just left. If you hurry, you might reach them, though.’

Miroku bit his lips. He deserved that, he supposed. Still …

‘I’m not here because I’m looking for willing women,’ he said impatiently. ‘I’m here to find you and Kagome-sama and get you out of here.’

Sango regarded him for a while. ‘Where’s Inu Yasha?’

‘There’s a barrier around the place and neither he nor Shippo could get through it. Koga couldn’t, either.’


‘Yes. We met. Now, do you know where Kagome-sama is?’

She shook her head, suddenly worried. ‘No. We were brought here together, but got separated.’

‘What happened?’

She shrugged. ‘We were unconscious when we arrived. After we had woken up, this Shujin appeared …’ She flushed and avoided his eyes.

A sudden, sharp pang of jealousy shot through Miroku’s heart as he remembered the woman’s earlier words: She’s not impervious to Shujin-sama’s charm. His hands clenched. But another memory followed quickly.

… she was hurt by the man she loves. We can only hope that Shujin-sama will be able to heal her heart.

He gritted his teeth. Right. He’d hurt her. He had no right to be jealous now …

‘… and when we woke up, these girls were there,’ Sango was saying when he listened to her again. ‘We were right; this god is responsible for the kidnappings of the missing girls. They are all here. They’re his concubines, though they call themselves his wives.’

She snorted derisively, then looked back up at him. ‘But they are content. They don’t want to leave.’ She shook her head.

‘It’s not bad to be content with a good husband,’ Miroku said with forced mock-piety.

Sango shot him a murderous glance.

‘No desire to become Shujin’s wife, then?’

‘I. Don’t. Share,’ Sango growled, and Miroku backed away from the expression in her eyes.

No, she didn’t share. He knew that. He knew her so well … He pulled himself together and gestured towards the door. ‘Well, then, let’s go.’

She hesitated for a moment, then straightened her back and walked past him. The see-through cloth of the kimono presented him with a beautiful view, and his body reacted with a force that shook him.

‘That’s a nice kimono,’ he remarked. Make her angry; then she won’t look at you and notice ...

‘They made me wear it. Don’t look at me!’ was her growled reply. ‘Pervert.’

Once outside, Sango stopped to look around and frowned.

‘What is it?’ asked Miroku, his eyes glued to her enticing little bottom.

She rubbed her arms. ‘I don’t have the faintest idea where Kagome-chan might be. You?’

She still did not look at him.

‘No. But I would suggest we try the corridor the women took. Probably they went to see Kagome-sama after they left you.’

‘No, Kagome-chan had her own … guards.’ Her voice was calm and collected, though he could still feel anger radiating off her. ‘What’s through that door?’

Miroku shrugged and went to have a look. ‘It’s a garden,’ he reported back.

‘Any other exits?’

‘I didn’t see one.’

‘Then let’s try the corridor.’

They walked down the corridor, Miroku in the lead and Sango following closely. For the moment, she seemed to have forgotten her fury. Miroku felt proud that she was able to control her emotions while they were trying to find their friend, and annoyed at the same time. When Kohaku was involved, she was never that calm. Were her feelings for her brother stronger than …?

You have no right to complain, he admonished himself firmly, and forced his mind to concentrate on finding Kagome.

They moved slowly and cautiously, stopping from time to time to listen if someone was near. The closer they came to the centre of the temple, the more opulent the décor became. The corridors also had more doors, and they cautiously opened each to peer inside. The rooms were all magnificently decorated. Sango huffed in disgust.

‘He’s a bit too interested in worldly possessions,’ Miroku agreed under his breath.

‘Worldly possessions and girls,’ Sango hissed. ‘You ought to become his priest. You’d get on well with each other.’

Miroku watched her walk over to another door with a regretful look. Not so controlled then. But that kimono offered a real feast for his eyes. His body agreed vehemently.

Sango caught him looking at her. ‘Start thinking with the head on your shoulders,’ she hissed with an angry flush.

‘That’s difficult as long as you wear this kimono,’ he told her gently when he stepped up to her.

‘I’d rather wear a sack than this … thing, but I had no choice!’

‘Hush, Sango.’

She abruptly turned and jerked the door in front of her open. Fortunately, the room behind it was empty. Miroku grabbed her elbow.

‘Careful! If there’d been someone in there …’

She jerked her arm out of his grasp. ‘Don’t touch me!’ She whirled around and walked stiffly to the next door.

Miroku closed the one behind him and followed Sango.

They kept searching for their friend, creeping through corridors and cautiously opening doors. But the rooms were empty of people. Occasionally, they felt coldness seep into the rooms and they knew that the god’s servants had to be somewhere around. The feeling of coldness always had them freeze in whatever they were doing. After all, the servants were ghosts, formed of cold water as Sango told Miroku in a whisper. They might be able to suddenly pop through walls. But no ghosts did, and they kept searching.

An indefinite amount of time later, they heard a shout that seemed to be coming from the room Sango had been locked in. A couple of shrieks followed the shout. Then, a loud clatter.

‘Damn,’ breathed Miroku. ‘They must have gone to your room and found it empty.’

‘Shujin,’ answered Sango softly. ‘They told me he would come and visit me.’

Miroku cursed. That made their search for Kagome-sama a lot more difficult. This Shujin would command his servants to look for them, maybe even his concubines. And they still had no idea where Kagome-sama was!

‘Let’s hurry, Sango.’

She nodded and ran down the corridor. ‘Take the doors on the left. I’ll take those on the right.’

But none of the rooms contained Kagome.

They hurried into the next corridor. Upon entering, Sango stopped dead in her tracks and gasped. Miroku ran into her and had to wrap his arm around her waist to keep her steady. ‘Sango, what -’

A shriek jerked his head up. His eyes widened as he saw a woman standing in front of them. She gaped at them, her hands clapped in front of her mouth.

‘Oh, no,’ whimpered Sango. ‘Oh, please …’

‘A man in here …’ whispered the woman. Then, she turned around and ran away, screaming, ‘SHUJIN-SAMA! SHUJIN-SAMA, SHE IS -!’

But Miroku had caught up with her and knocked her out.

‘Miroku!’ gasped Sango in shock. ‘How could you …?’

Miroku quickly threw the woman over his shoulder. ‘Stop being stupid. She would have alarmed the whole temple. Do you want to be found?’

Sango shook her head. ‘No …’

‘Good, then open that door for me.’

‘Do you want to leave her there?’

‘Yes. Hurry!’

Quickly, the deposited the woman – Sango thought it was the singer – in one of the rooms before they ran on.

They had not come far before they heard the sound of several feet. Both looked wildly around for cover, and just when the steps neared the next corner, Miroku grabbed Sango and pulled her with him into a niche. She gasped when she was pressed flush against him and was about to protest, but he clamped one hand over her mouth and hissed, ‘Silence!’ into her ear. Sango froze.

Suddenly, the corridor seemed to be full of talking women.

‘It was Fudé-chan!’ – ‘But where is she?’ – ‘Why did she shout -?’ – ‘Maybe she saw someone?’ – ‘But where could they have gone?’ – ‘Search the rooms!’

Doors were flung open. Then, a shriek. ‘She’s here! Fudé! Fudé-neechan, are you all right?’

The women trooped into the room, and the fugitives heard their agitated chatter. Then, one shouted, ‘I’ll get Igaku-oneechan!’ She ran past the niche were Sango and Miroku were hiding, but since she was far too focused on getting help for her poor sister, she did not glance left or right.

‘Now,’ breathed Miroku into Sango’s ear. ‘Let’s go.’

Sango shivered and darted forwards. Miroku followed her, grabbed her hand, and they dashed into the next corridor. There were several doors in this one, but Miroku did not stop and when Sango tried to get to one, he mercilessly pulled her after him.

‘Miroku,’ panted Sango. ‘Kagome-chan could be in there! We have to look!’

‘If we stop now, they’ll find us. Besides, if Kagome-sama was in there somewhere, she’d have started shouting. Now, come!’

They ran on into the next corridor. Now it was Miroku’s turn to stop suddenly and Sango’s to run into him.

‘What -?’

‘Steps! Coming closer! In here!’

He shoved her into another room and had barely closed the door behind them when feet ran past. A breathless voice accompanied the hurried steps. ‘… found her in a room, don’t know what …’

Miroku took a deep breath and leaned back against the door. The danger was gone – for now.

‘That was close,’ panted Sango.

He nodded. ‘We must get out of here.’

‘What? Without Kagome-chan?’

‘Sango! If we keep looking for her, they’ll find us! And capture both of us.’

‘But I won’t leave without Kagome-chan!’

Miroku grabbed her shoulders. ‘It’s madness to try to find her! This temple is a maze, she could be anywhere! And they’re looking for us.’

‘Don’t touch me!’ Sango pulled back from him, her eyes shooting daggers. ‘I won’t leave without Kagome-chan! I won’t abandon her here!’

‘Sango, you wouldn’t abandon her. It’s a strategic retreat. We’ll find a way to get her out of here.’

‘And in the meantime kami-knows will happen to her! You didn’t meet that god. You don’t know … And Kagome-chan …’ Sango choked.

Worriedly, Miroku touched her elbow. ‘Sango?’

‘You don’t know … how he is … and Kagome-chan … she talked of Sesshomaru, and … kami, her face practically glowed! I can’t leave her here, at this god’s mercy!’

Miroku frowned, confused. ‘I thought he wasn’t much of a god, but that he’s evil …’

‘He’s not! That’s the problem!’ She whirled around to stare at Miroku. ‘He’s nice. You should have heard him talking to her. I was in a kind of trance, but I heard him. What he said to her! He … he …’

She trembled and clutched Miroku’s robes. The monk did not understand what had her so distressed, but began to caress her back soothingly.

‘He said all kind of … of sweet words … said he loved her … more than he could say … said she was beautiful as a rose … and he would make her his first!’ She looked up imploringly. ‘Miroku! We must get her out of here!’

‘But Kagome-sama wouldn’t fall for that.’

‘No, not if it was anybody else. But this god …’ She shuddered and closed her eyes. ‘He’s gentle. He’s kind. He means everything he says, you can feel that. When has Kagome-chan ever heard such words? And he’s so beautiful …’

Suddenly, Miroku grabbed her shoulders. ‘Beautiful, is he? And gentle? Convincing? Are you sure you haven’t fallen for him?’

Sango pushed him back. ‘And what if I have? It’s not your business, monk!’

‘Sango …!’

‘No! Don’t touch me, you bastard!’ She turned away from him, but unfortunately, the room was not very large, so she could not get as much distance between them as she wanted.

Miroku felt torn. Insane jealousy was raging inside of him; he wanted to grab her and shake her and tell her she wasn’t allowed to love anybody else than him. He wanted to kiss her and peel her out of that kimono … He wanted to hold her and apologise for the pain he caused her … He felt he ought to push her away from him, anger her even further, to spare her more pain …

‘Well, you could of course stay here,’ he forced himself to say.

With an inarticulate scream, she turned to him and began to pound him with her fists wherever she reached him.

‘You … bastard!’ she panted between furious sobs. ‘I ... hate … you … you … rotten … cad …’

Miroku tried to grab her wrists, but she was too fast and in her fury too strong to hold. ‘Sango …’

‘I wish … I’d never met you … bastard …’

This cut him, more than he thought possible. He, for one, would never regret that he had met her. He only regretted that he had not been strong enough to keep her from pain … A fist caught him square in the chest and he stumbled backwards. As she raised her arm for another blow, he got a clear view of her tear-streaked face. His restraint crumbled.

She went after him, punching him with all her strength. ‘Perverted … bastard! You’re no better than that god … only he’s not lying … and-and cheating … and … he d-doesn’t h-hurt h-his g-girls and … I hate you! How could you do that to me!’ she cried.

This broke his heart. He seized her flailing arms and pulled her against him. He wrapped his arms around her, capturing hers, and held her in an iron grip to subdue her struggles.

‘Sango …’ He moaned in pain as she kicked him. ‘Sango … please stop …’

Suddenly, she sagged against him and cried into his chest. ‘I hate you.’

His embrace loosened; now, he held her gently, and caressed her back and her hair. ‘Sh, Sango … don’t cry.’

Weakly, her hands pushed against his shoulders. ‘D-don’t touch me … ever a-again …’

He kissed her hair and leaned his head against hers and closed his eyes. ‘Sango … I’m so sorry,’ he whispered into her hair. ‘I’m so sorry … I never meant to hurt you, my lovely Sango.’

She snorted derisively. ‘You could have fooled me.’

‘I know.’ His arms tightened around her; his resolve to keep her away was gone, washed away by her tears. ‘I know. I’m sorry. All I meant to do is keep you safe, spare you more pain.’

‘Don’t make me laugh,’ she hiccupped, and kicked his shin again.

He winced, but did not budge. ‘No, I’m serious, Sango-ko. I wanted you to … be free … once I was gone.’

She froze, and he went on softly, his face buried in her hair, ‘I don’t think that I will have much more time left, love. The kazaana … grows. And we’re not anywhere closer to killing Naraku. I don’t know how much time I have left … a couple of months, perhaps.’

She sobbed. Her fingers dug into his robes.

‘And so … I didn’t want you to … become too attached. I didn’t want you to suffer. The dragon problem … I let it go too far. I was too happy with you, too blinded to see … I knew I had to … end it. I couldn’t allow you to get in too deep. You have already lost so many people that were dear to you. I didn’t want to add … more grief.’

Sango had become very still, and when he ended, she looked up. And slapped him.


She grabbed his collar and shook him, her still wet eyes flashing. ‘You bloody idiot! You damn, stupid, idiotic … idiot! I would have grieved for you even if we hadn’t … become so close. I love you, you moron! And what you did to me was far, far worse than … than everything. Don’t you dare do that again! You can’t save me from pain by playing the martyr and making sacrifices. I’ve been in too deep for months!’

‘Sango …’ He shook; her words cut him to the bone and at the same time made him forget all his own pain. ‘Sango …’

She kissed him, and after a second he let go and kissed her back hungrily. Her lips were warm and welcoming and tasted salty. They clung desperately to each other, oblivious of the ruckus outside the door and lost in their own world of fading pain and healing hearts.

At long last, Miroku raised his head. One hand, the cursed hand, came up to caress Sango’s face. She caught the hand and kissed the sealed palm. His breath hitched.

‘Sango …’

She looked up defiantly. ‘I love you, idiot. And if I can only have you for a few months …’ Her voice wavered, but then she went on confidently, ‘then I’d rather have a few, happy months with you to remember once you’re gone.’

He crushed her in his arms. ‘Sango, Sango … foolish girl … oh, I love you!’

She twined her arms around his neck. ‘Promise you’ll never try to play the martyr again.’

He gave a choked laugh. ‘I promise, love. I promise, whenever I despair or doubt again, I’ll let you beat it out of me.’

This made her laugh as well, but the eyes she raised to his face glistened with tears. He smiled lovingly and kissed them away. She sighed and buried her face in his shoulder. For a long time, they stood like this, simply holding each other.

A loud shriek brought reality back. With a start, they pulled apart and looked at the door. It did not open; no one came. Miroku sighed in relief and then looked at Sango.

‘We’d better go.’

She nodded, but then gasped and clapped her hand over her mouth. ‘Kagome-chan! I completely forgot her. No, Miroku, we must find her!’

‘If this running around out there,’ Miroku pointed over his shoulder, ‘is any indication of what is going on, I’d say they are still looking for us. We can’t search this temple for Kagome-sama while they are searching it for us.’

Sango shook her head. ‘It’ll be dangerous, yes, but we can’t leave without her. I don’t want her to face the god again.’

Miroku frowned. ‘Yes, that is something you said before, but … I don’t quite understand why.’

Sango sighed. ‘Miroku, I told you how this god is and what he said to Kagome-chan. He said all the words a woman wants to hear! She has never heard things like that from either Inu Yasha or Koga, and I very much doubt Sesshomaru would say things like that at all!’

‘Yes, but –’

‘Don’t you see? It’s so nice to know you are cherished and loved … maybe Kagome-chan falls for him in earnest? Maybe she doesn’t want to leave again once he visited her? I could never allow that to happen! Especially …’


‘Look, didn’t I tell you earlier that when Kagome-chan spoke of Sesshomaru, her face suddenly lit up? Believe me, it was more than gratitude.’

‘What? Kagome-sama’s in love with Inu Yasha’s brother?’

Sango frowned. ‘No, not in love, but … I don’t know … But I know that Kagome-chan would not want to fall in love with the god. So, I won’t let that happen!’

Miroku sighed and shook his head. He still did not get it. But what he got was that it was useless to discuss with Sango. She was determined. He shook his head again.


‘Nothing, love. Let’s go?’

He cautiously opened the door and peered into the corridor. There was no one in sight. He stepped out of the room and gestured Sango to follow. He led her into the approximate direction of the centre of the temple in the hope he would find the long corridor again through which he had come in.

Several times they had to hide from the ghost servants. The cold the ghosts radiated was horrible, but they were thankful for it since it warned them of their approach. Once or twice, Miroku dragged Sango into a niche to avoid detection by human eyes. The god’s concubines were apparently still fluttering around.

It felt like hours later when Miroku finally recognized a corridor. He now knew the way and sped his steps up.

‘Miroku?’ Sango sounded suspicious. ‘Have you had a vision where Kagome-chan is?’

‘No, but I had a vision where the exit is.’

Sango stopped. ‘Miroku! I told you I -!’

‘Yes, and I told you it’s madness. If we go now, we can think of a way to get Kagome-sama out of here. If we stay, we will in all probability be captured. You will be locked in again to become the god’s concubine, this time without hope of rescue because neither of the others can get in. And I … well, I don’t want to imagine what this god does to a man who tried to escape his intended bride.’

Sango blanched. ‘Oh … I hadn’t thought …’

‘No, but I did. So, let’s go already.’



‘No! I can’t go without Kagome-chan! I … Miroku, what are you – put me down! Put me down this instant! How dare you! Put me down!’

Miroku had flung her over his shoulder like the woman he had knocked out earlier. Since Sango was very much conscious, it was a lot harder to carry her. She kept wriggling and fighting to get down.

‘Stop wriggling, Sango! I’m determined.’

‘So am I. Now, put me down! If you don’t want to go, I’ll go alone. Miroku!’

‘Sh, are you mad? If you keep screaming like that they’ll hear you!’

Sango tuned her protests down to a hiss, but did not stop. Miroku’s way down the corridors towards the gates was not easy. Hiding was impossible with Sango on his shoulder, and he prayed to Buddha that he would encounter no ghosts.

Buddha seemed to hear him, and Miroku reached the gate of the temple. He waited until he was sure no ghost was around, and then hurried as fast as he could down the hill. He had almost reached the forest when he felt the tell-tale coldness. It did not need Sango’s choked ‘Miroku! The ghosts!’ to know that they had finally been seen.

He set Sango down, grabbed her hand and turned to the forest. ‘Run!’

Hand in hand, they ran into the forest, the ghosts hot on their heels.

‘Miroku! Do you know where you’re going?’

‘Away from them!’


But once more fate smiled on him, and when they burst out of the forest, panting and with burning lungs, they saw their friends in front of them. The sight and their relieved shouts fuelled a last out burst of strength, and then they were past the barrier. The ghosts followed, but Miroku sent them back with his ofudas. Then, he collapsed next to Sango, who had been knocked to the ground by an overjoyed Kirara.

‘Miroku!’ squealed Shippo, and suddenly Miroku was choked by a small, colourful bundle.

‘Uh, Shippo, let me breathe.’

The fox released him and smiled hugely at him. ‘You are okay! We were so worried! And Sango!’ He hopped over to her and hugged her as well.

Free of Shippo, Miroku regained his breath. When he looked up, he saw both Inu Yasha and Koga squatting in front of him.

‘Where’s Kagome?’ they said in unison.

Miroku grinned weakly. ‘Sorry, guys, still in the clutches of an apparently very charming god.’


‘You, monk, wha -!?’

‘Yes, beat him,’ said Sango as Koga grabbed Miroku’s collar.

‘Sango,’ moaned the monk.

‘No, you held me back from looking for Kagome-chan!’

Inu Yasha shoved Koga aside and grabbed Miroku’s robes. ‘You did what?’ he snarled.

Miroku waved his hand feebly. ‘I’m sorry, Inu Yasha. The temple is larger than I thought. There were so many places to look for Kagome-sama, and we weren’t given enough time.’

‘Look for her?’ queried the hanyou.

‘Yes, we got separated,’ explained Sango. ‘Miroku found me, and then we went to look for Kagome-chan.’

‘But before we had found her,’ continued Miroku, ‘the god detected that Sango was missing, and everybody in the temple began to look for us.’

‘The concubines and the servants,’ added Sango.

‘That was enough. We managed to escape detection a few times, but I thought it wiser to come back and make a plan to find Kagome-sama than to stay and get captured. No, Inu Yasha, let me finish! Because, if we had been captured, you would never have known what happened. There wouldn’t have been another chance for me to get the girls out of the place. And you can’t get in.’

Inu Yasha growled and stalked away, then drew Tessaiga and slew a tree.

Shippo sighed. ‘Seems you convinced him, Miroku.’

‘Yeah, but he didn’t convince me,’ snarled Koga.

Miroku looked at the wolf demon with forced patience. ‘Let me put it that way, Koga. What would you prefer? Get Kagome-sama out of there or wait here until you rot?’

Koga blinked. He blinked some more. ‘Can you get Kagome out of there?’

Miroku’s shoulders sagged. ‘I will think of something if I could have a moment’s peace.’

The wolf demon growled and stalked away, then began a fight with Inu Yasha.

‘Yup, convinced him as well,’ commented Shippo.

‘Did I convince you, Shippo?’

Shippo looked at Miroku with large eyes. ‘I know you’d never leave Kagome alone if you could help it.’

Miroku smiled and ruffled his hair. ‘Thanks, Shippo.’

An arm was twined around his waist and a head was leaned against his shoulder. ‘Shippo’s right. Sorry, Miroku.’

Miroku pulled her closer and kissed her. Sango snuggled closer against him. Kirara, now small again, climbed into Sango’s lap.

Shippo regarded them with a knowing grin. ‘You beat some sense into Miroku, Sango?’

They stared at the child, and then laughed.

‘Yes, she did, Shippo.’

Shippo nodded. ‘That’s good.’ He eyed Sango closely. ‘Hey, Sango, that’s a nice kimono you’re wearing.’

Sango flushed and tried to hide behind Miroku. The monk grinned, winked at Shippo, and pulled Sango to his side. ‘I agree.’

Sango’s hand twitched, but she did not slap him. ‘Pervert,’ she mumbled gently.

Miroku smiled, and Shippo grinned broadly.

‘He’ll never change.’

Divine Concubine

A InuYasha Story
by CiraArana

Part 7 of 11

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