Continuing Tales

Dragon's Prey

A InuYasha Story
by CiraArana

Part 2 of 10

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Second Chances

When the group emerged from the cave they met Shippo, who was sitting on Kirara's back. The fox had been scared and had followed Inu Yasha and Miroku as they had hurried off to rescue their girls. Now he threw himself into Kagome's arms, squealing in delight that she was still alive.

Kagome hugged the little one, and together they returned to their camp, always carefully watching the sky. They knew that there was at least one more dragon around.

Yet nothing happened on their way back, and as soon as they entered their camp Kagome and Sango hurried off to dress in their own clothes again. They returned the borrowed clothing with thanks, feeling much better now that they were decent again. Inu Yasha, too, was glad - now he was able to look at them again without blushing. Only Miroku mourned the change and received another forceful slap from an irritated Sango.

They sat down at the fire and Kagome brewed some tea, for she and Sango were still frozen to the bone from all their naked and half-naked travelling. Hot tea was the best cure for feeling cold, Kagome remembered her mother saying, and wrapped up in a warm blanket, a mug of hot tea in her hands she found her mother had been right. The cold seeped out of her and the terror of the last hours vanished. Kagome sipped her tea in silent contentment.

Across the fire Sango was having a hard time with Miroku. He kept on snuggling closer to her under the pretence of sharing body-warmth, yet somehow his hand would always end up caressing either her breasts of her bottom. Finally Sango used Hiraikotsu on him and he was silent until he regained consciousness.

He came round some minutes later, sporting the expression of someone wrongly accused of a crime and a developing bump on the head. Sango ignored him pointedly as he tried to talk to her, so he turned at last to Kagome, who had watched her friends with a grin hidden by her tea-cup.

"Now, Kagome-sama," Miroku began with a very serious face. "Would you please tell Inu Yasha and me what happened this evening? You said there was one more dragon around. It might be useful to know what we have to look out for."

This caught everybody's attention. Even Sango stopped pretending the monk didn't exist. Kagome sighed and set down her cup.

"Well, there isn't much to tell," she said. "Sango-chan and I were having a bath when suddenly we heard some rustling. Then there was a rush of cold air and the next second we were carried away. There was no warning in advance. We didn't even feel some... presence. It was just there!"

Miroku weighed his head, but Inu Yasha huffed. "Keh. You've probably just been gossiping and didn't pay attention. You must've felt something otherwise!"

"I'm not so sure," Sango answered while Kagome glared at Inu Yasha. "I have never before seen such a dragon, and neither has Kagome-chan. Moreover, it said they had come from very far away... Maybe these dragons have a different aura that we can't detect."

"Or they are able to hide it," Kagome went on. "It said that they had great powers!"

Inu Yasha snorted. "Keh, ‘course it would claim something like that! Just showing off!"

"Sorry to say that Inu Yasha," said Miroku, "but I think you're wrong on this. I haven't felt anything, either, while we followed it. Did you?"

Inu Yasha shrugged. "Don't have to feel anything to follow ‘em. Can do this by smell only."

"So they at least have a scent," the monk concluded and Inu Yasha snorted again.

"Okay, what do we know about these dragons? The one that captured the girls claimed to have come from far away and to have great powers. Neither of us detected any known aura around it. There was no warning whatsoever before it abducted the girls," listed Miroku. "Anything more?"

Kagome pursed her lips. "I don't know whether this is important, but the dragon captured me and Sango to eat us, and when I asked why it doesn't eat animals it became angry. It roared something like ‘we don't eat animals, only the pure flesh of-‘."

"Pure flesh of what?"

The girl shrugged. "I don't know. Inu Yasha attacked it before it was able to finish the sentence."

"How unfortunate," regretted the monk.

"Well, sorry for saving you," sulked the hanyou.

"I didn't reproach you, Inu Yasha," Kagome said with a smile at her gruff friend. "I just mentioned it."

Inu Yasha grumbled a bit more, but the discussion ended there. Miroku seemed to be deep in thought, Shippo was long asleep in Kagome's lap, and the girls felt tired. So they went all to sleep.

They were attacked the next day shortly after lunch break. Again they had no warning but a rustling of wings in the air before a huge shadow fell over them and giant claws tried to grab the girls. Luckily Inu Yasha's reaction was quick: he pushed Kagome to the ground so the claw caught nothing but thin air, then he tackled Sango and before the beast was even able to comprehend what was going on, the hanyou had cut one claw with Tessaiga. The dragon screamed and rose into the sky again, hissing at the offender from a safe distance.

Kagome picked herself up from the ground and looked at the circling dragon. It was larger than the one that had abducted her and Sango yesterday. Its scales were of a dirty orange, its huge eyes deep red and its talons of a sickly green colour. Kagome shivered. The combination of colours was dreadful and did nothing to help the dragon's non-existent beauty.

It screeched, revealing its long yellow teeth. Kagome shuddered again. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a movement and turned her head in time to watch Miroku hit the ground. Sango marched over to Kagome with a dark scowl on her face.

"Offered to help me get up," she answered Kagome's questioning look. "Of course one of his excuses for groping."

Kagome shook her head at the monk and was about to answer when a shriek from above called her attention back to the dragon. The girls looked up at the beast. It was still circling them, dipping lower every now and then, but not reaching for them again.

"That's not the second we saw last night," observed Sango.

Kagome nodded. "Yes, the other one was green, too. This is another dragon. That means there have been at least three of them. Why doesn't it attack again?"

The girls looked at Inu Yasha who was standing protectively in front of them, Tessaiga still raised.

"Inu Yasha? Why doesn't it attack again?"

"Keh, as if I know!"

The dragon howled again. This time it became clear these noises were not simply that - noises - but actually words. "Jungfrauen! Gebt mir die Jungfrauen! Oh, köstlich weiches, reines Fleisch! Gebt sie mir!!"

"Hey it's talking!" Kagome exclaimed.

"Yes, but I don't understand a single word," complained Sango. "Do you?"

"No. It's talking in a foreign language."

"Smart ass," grumbled Inu Yasha.

"Oh, shut up!" Kagome huffed. "Why don't you use the wind-scar on it?"

Inu Yasha growled in annoyance. "I can't. Somehow there's no energy at all to work with!"

"Gebt mir die Jungfrauen! Gebt sie miiiir! Ich will sie haaaaaaaben!"


The dragon did not shut up. It kept on screaming odd words that nobody understood. But it didn't attack them, either. Inu Yasha tried to fight it, yet each time he jumped into the air the dragon made a move to dive down and grab one of the girls. Finally Miroku, who had come round again, grew tired of this game and ordered Inu Yasha to stand back. Removing the rosary that sealed the void in his hand he sucked the dragon in. That done he smiled at the others.

"Well, shall we go on?"

Inu Yasha sulked the rest of the day.

The next morning they left the forest and travelled through more cultivated land. They had not been walking for long before another giant shadow darkened the sun. The rapidly becoming familiar rustling of wings reached their ears and a sudden wind whirled up dust from the road.

The girls had enough presence of mind to throw themselves flat on the dirty ground. Growling Inu Yasha drew Tessaiga and Miroku's grip on his staff tightened. They assumed protective stances as close to the girls as possible, and the dragon screeched in anger.

They all had the feeling of déjà-vu: the dragon circled above them, shrieking words in a foreign language, neither attacking nor leaving. Inu Yasha was once again not able to use the wind-scar, and every time he tried to fight the beast it adroitly evaded him. After several futile attempts the hanyou landed next to his friends.

Sheathing Tessaiga he turned to the monk. "Show ‘im the air-rip, Miroku," he huffed, annoyed.

The monk nodded, handed Inu Yasha his staff and removed the rosary on his right hand. The suction of the void was stronger than the dragon, and with a last, high-pitched shriek of "Les vierges! Délivrez-moi les vieeeeeee-" it was gone.

Wordlessly Inu Yasha turned and stalked away. The others hurried to follow him.

Shippo scrambled up to Miroku's shoulder and peered into the calm face of the monk. "Are you all right, Miroku?" he chirped. "This was the second dragon you absorbed. Aren't you tired?"

The two girls, walking in front of the monk, turned their heads, awaiting the answer. Both faces showed slight worry. Miroku smiled and patted Shippo's head.

"Ah, don't worry for me, Shippo. I'm very strong and can take more than two dragons." His grin broadened and he winked at Sango. "A lot more!"

The huntress huffed, shot him a cold glare and marched off to join Inu Yasha at the head of their group. Miroku fondly eyed her butt, outlined by her clingy kimono, moving in time with her sharp steps. Kagome shook her head. The monk was able to turn even a friendly inquiry about his well-being into something lascivious. And flash you an innocent smile afterwards!

A little later that day the small group came across a village. As soon as the inhabitants had realised that the group included a monk, a priestess and a demon huntress they ushered the travellers to the house of the village's eldest.

The old man welcomed them and pleaded them to help him and his village. It turned out that the small community had been assaulted several times by a dragon.

"The beast came for the first time about ten days ago," the old man told them. "Unfortunately, most men of the village were then out, hunting a demon. Thus we were unprotected and not able to fend the dragon off. It robbed a young woman that was about to be married."

At the back of the room a young man suppressed a sob. Kagome cast him a sympathetic glance. Obviously he was the intended husband.

"The dragon came back five days later," the eldest went on.

"But this time we were here and defended our village!" shouted another man, shaking his clenched fists in righteous anger. The other men murmured and nodded.

"Yes, we were then able to drive the beast away," the eldest agreed, but his shoulders seemed to droop a bit further.

"It came back for a third time?" Miroku asked.

"Yes. Only yesterday it came again," a tear trickled down the wrinkled cheek.

"It took someone dear to you?" Kagome asked quietly.

"My granddaughter," the eldest choked. "She was only fourteen and such a sweet, lively girl."

The room was silent for a while save the strangled sobs of the old man. When he had regained his composure he cast a pleading look at the travellers. "Please, houshi-sama and miko-sama! Please destroy this beast together with your worthy companions! Save our village!"

Kagome squirmed uneasily as the old man bent down to bow. "Please," she said quickly, "there's no need to beg! We are glad to help you!"

Her friends nodded grimly in agreement, and the atmosphere in the room lightened.

The eldest smiled, tears in his eyes. "Thank you, miko-sama!"

After the villagers had shown them the direction into which the dragon had disappeared, the group set out. Inu Yasha led the way. Soon he was able to perceive the scent of the giant lizard and they hurried along, grabbing their weapons tightly. About fifteen minutes later they came to stand in front of a huge hole dug into a small hill. Inu Yasha wrinkled his nose.

"It's in there," he informed his friends.

"Well, what are we waiting for?" asked Sango, her grip on her boomerang so tight her knuckles were white.

"Careful, Sango," Miroku advised, listening to an odd, rasping sound from within. "We don't know what awaits us there!"

Inu Yasha huffed. "Okay, you go in first, Miroku! You're the dragon-slayer around here!"

Miroku tried to protest, but the hanyou grabbed his collar and shoved the monk into the entrance of the cave. The rest followed cautiously. They stalked down a short corridor before it opened to an uncraftily dug out cavern. Crammed in lay an orange-blue dragon, deeply asleep. The odd, rasping sound was the dragon's snore.

"Keh, it's asleep," grumbled Inu Yasha. He took a few steps forward and kicked the dragon. "Wake up, you stupid, man-eating snake!" he yelled.

"Inu Yasha! Don't" whimpered Shippo from Kagome's shoulder. The kitsune was clearly afraid.

"Keh!" was Inu Yasha's answer and he kicked the dragon again.

Nothing happened. The beast snored on.

"Well, that's unexpected," remarked Miroku, rubbing his chin with his cursed hand. "Why won't he wake up?"

"Digesting his meal," spat Sango, her face a mask of suppressed fury.

As the others turned to look at her she pointed to an accumulation on what was supposed to have been a human skeleton once. Brightly coloured rags where scattered underneath.

Kagome felt sick. After all the horrible things she had witnessed and experienced, this shook her to the core. The others seemed to be as badly affected as she was.

Inu Yasha snarled and a string of violent, colourful curses left his lips. With a quick movement he had drawn and transformed Tessaiga. Before anybody was even able to say something the hanyou had leaped forwards and severed the dragon's head.

Strange greenish blood squirted out of the body with every heartbeat of the dying creature, and the rump writhed on the ground, smearing the blood everywhere.

Kagome felt her stomach roil and quickly left the cave, closely followed by Sango. Once outside the girls took several deep breaths, trying to get the sickening stench of blood, guts and half-digested ... meat... out of their noses.

After a while Inu Yasha and Miroku joined them, Inu Yasha dragging the cut-off head after him.

"The villagers'll want to see it," he growled.

The brought the head to the village and told the people the dragon was dead. The village's eldest and the young man both thanked them for revenging the killed young women and invited them to celebrate the death of the dragon. Miroku accepted for them all, and that evening everybody in the village was happy, eating and drinking, laughing and telling stories, sitting around a fire, and forgetting their sorrows. The large head of the dragon, impaled on a stake which had been placed in the middle of the village, watched the feast with dead eyes.

Dragon's Prey

A InuYasha Story
by CiraArana

Part 2 of 10

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