Continuing Tales

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 14 of 60

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One may know how to gain a victory, and know not how to use it.
- Pedro Calderon de la Barca

Katsuro had only a moment to gloat before Sesshomaru rushed out of the dust and smoke toward him.

Katsuro quickly moved Kagome in front of him and used her to level another blast while he looked to where InuYasha had been. The hanyou was lowering his sword, which he had used to block Kagome's attack. 'She won't hold up against these two for very long', Katsuro thought as he watched the brothers easily avoid Kagome's spiritual blasts. With every release, he could feel Kagome weaken a fraction more. Sesshomaru's speed was incredible but Katsuro knew he was holding back. For some reason, the taiyoukai didn't seem to want to harm Kagome. He found this puzzling and wondered what it would be like if the powerful demon decided to attack in earnest. Katsuro's excitement spiked at the thought of testing his miko's full strength against one as powerful as Sesshomaru. While he thought through the details of making that happen he remained close to Kagome, using her as a shield every time Sesshomaru got within striking distance, which happened more often than he wanted to admit.

Another burst erupted from the miko a moment later, this time missing Sesshomaru by mere inches.

Sesshomaru arched gracefully through the air and away from the white-hot blast. He dropped to the ground in one smooth movement, planted his feet into the soft soil of the garden and pushed off, rocketing straight up in the air where he remained suspended above the garden.

'This can't continue,' Sesshomaru thought as he looked at the miko. Even though her attacks were fierce, it was apparent that the constant release of energy was taking a toll.

Sesshomaru dodged yet again and shot up and out of Kagome's range. He stayed there not only to give her a short break, but also to formulate a different strategy. 'Perhaps I can somehow subdue her', he thought as his eyes traveled over her noticing for the first time just how small she really was. Sesshomaru found it hard to believe that he needed this tiny human woman. He rejected the idea of needing anyone. It festered in his gut like a rotten piece of meat, burning and throbbing.

At that moment a familiar laugh floated through his mind like a cool rag along a fevered brow. Its soothing melody calmed the inner turmoil, quieting his raging mind. Large chocolate eyes and a toothy grin set in a dirt smudged face filled his vision a moment before he had to blink it away. He needed the Miko in order to save Rin from the poisoning that she received at the hands of Naraku. He made a promise to the little girl that he had every intention of keeping.

Sesshomaru closed his eyes to remember the quiet moments spent in Rin's chamber shortly before leaving the House of the Moon.

The room was warm. Too warm. He reached out and gently brushed the back of his clawed fingertips along Rin's damp brow.

'She's too pale and the scent of death clings here,' he thought morosely as he scrutinized the little girl he had grown so accustomed to seeing every day. Her face had begun to show sunken hollows and dark smudges under her eyes, the first indication of the poison's effect and her transformation into a hellhound. As her soul was being consumed by dark energy, the vibrancy of youth was disappearing.

"I will fix this Rin."

He spent several more minutes just listening to the gentle sound of her breath, allowing the proof of her steadily beating heart to sink into his soul.

Hoshi appeared in the doorway a short time later as Sesshomaru gracefully rose. He faced his oldest ally and as their eyes met, all the thoughts, promises, and remorse of the last few days passed in silence between them.

"I will return shortly with the Miko. Have everything ready," Sesshomaru stated with a calmness he did not feel as he walked past Hoshi and out of the room.

Sesshomaru opened his eyes once again and looked down at the garden below. His eyes fell on Naraku and the rage burning low in his chest flared to life.

'It's because of that worthless bastard I have to deal with this'.

His desire to kill the hanyou was overshadowed only by the desire to save Rin. Sesshomaru dropped back to the earth, his eyes turning red as his youki leaked past normally flawless control.

He landed directly in front of Naraku and pointed Tokijin at his chest.

"You've interfered in my life for the last time Naraku."

"You think too much of yourself Sesshomaru. You're no different than your mangy brother and worthless father." Naraku laughed before cruelly continuing, "No demon aligns himself with a human without becoming weak."

Before Sesshomaru could react, he felt Kagome's spiritual pressure building behind him. A moment before the blast hit, Sesshomaru jumped to the side causing the blast to roar toward Naraku.

The hanyou cursed darkly as he was forced to flee, coming to rest a few feet to the right.

Sesshomaru landed and turned back to Kagome. Her brow was damp, breathing heavy as her ebony hair whipped wildly from her own violent energy. Her arms hung limply at her sides as blood dripped from her fingertips. The power coursing through her was so strong that her own body could not withstand the energy, burning the flesh from her hands as quickly as her miko powers could heal them.

She raised her eyes to once again stare at her unwilling opponent. Sesshomaru knew in that moment that he was correct in his earlier assumption that she wasn't going to last much longer. If he didn't do something soon, he might lose the only chance he had to save Rin.

"Hold on a bit longer," he murmured quietly as he raised his sword.

Gathering his demonic energy, he concentrated it into Tokijin. His body began glowing a bright green as he released his own youki for additional strength. It was apparent that he needed to hit her with quite a bit of demonic energy in order to have even the slightest effect. Most of the blast would be purified before it even touched her.

He swung his sword and a massive explosion erupted, carving the soil of the garden as it sped toward Kagome.

InuYasha landed across the garden and watched Kagome level another attack at Sesshomaru, almost hitting Naraku in the process. He was beginning to worry about Kagome as he felt her aura weaken with every attack.

He kept trying to get to Naraku but Kagome had done an effective job in keeping him occupied. InuYasha looked again for the hanyou and located him through the dust and smoke. He was just about to try again when a flash followed by a blinding light erupted from his brother. InuYasha looked back just in time to see Kagome enveloped in the wrath of Sesshomaru's sword.

"KAGOME!" InuYasha screamed as he ran toward her.

Kagome had never been this scared before. The look in Sesshomaru's eyes before he sent that enormous blast of energy at her had sent a chill straight to her bones. His icy eyes seemed to look right through her as he murmured something she didn't quite hear. Her body burned as he released his immense demonic aura moments before swinging his sword. She watched the blast approach as if in slow motion, though in reality it was only a fraction of a second. Until that moment Kagome had felt confident Sesshomaru had little intention of killing her. Considering his comment when he first arrived, perhaps he hadn't really come for her. She decided not to think of the reason why he showed up to save her, especially since it would not matter to him if she died right there.

'What if I don't survive?!' Kagome had only a moment to think about this before she realized that death was approaching in the guise of a very bright, sickly green light. She closed her eyes as panic took over, rendering her body and mind useless.

'What do I do!?' Kagome asked Kikyo before she felt her arms raise and her own spiritual powers flare. Her body glowed incandescent as Sesshomaru's blast roared to envelope her.

With outstretched arms and her palms braced in front, she deflected the attack.

The blast parted for a brief moment, her own holy powers effectively protecting her from being torn asunder. As the energy continued a relentless assault, Kagome could feel the pressure growing and pushing harder against her own. Her arms began to buckle as she planted her feet more firmly into the ground. It felt like she was trying to stop a freight train as she summoned more of her powers, fighting for her very survival.

Tears streamed down her face as she felt her strength fade and body weaken. Sesshomaru's attack seemed never-ending, what was only a few seconds seemed like hours. She had hoped to be of help to her friends, but now it seemed impossible. Instead she was going to die without ever doing anything to help, not to mention all the heartache and misery she would leave behind. For if she died, Naraku would be able to corrupt the jewel and follow through with his malevolent plans.

Through the violent battle of holy powers and demonic aura, Kagome's mind floated to the comforting thoughts of her friends. She finally understood what the saying 'your life flashes before your eyes' meant. Sinking into the comfort of her memories, she left behind the malevolent force surrounding her. InuYasha with his head held high, Tessaiga slung jauntily over his shoulder after a victory. Sango's beautiful smile and kind eyes as they shared whispered secrets in the deepest dark of the night. Miroku's solemn patience and wisdom as he counseled InuYasha through angry outbursts and impulsive decisions. Shippo's fluffy tail and bright green eyes sparkling greedily while taking Kagome's markers and paper whenever she brought them from home.

Her mind then turned to 500 years in the future. Thoughts of her mother, brother, and grandfather made her throat tighten. They would never even know what happened to her. She couldn't do that to them. She couldn't do that to any of them.

'I can't die,' the thought seemed to bloom out of the darkness in an instant.

"I can't die!" she yelled against the maelstrom of energy and emotions consuming her.

As quickly as it had come, it was over. Her eyes opened to see Sesshomaru standing in the same place, carefully watching her. She focused on him a moment before her vision blurred and she sunk to her knees, exhaustion finally claiming her. Kagome's body was burning as it purified the residual youkai energy left from Sesshomaru's attack. Her arms were heavy and fell limply to her sides to trail in the dirt of the garden. She didn't even want to look at them, knowing that they were severely wounded. She could feel the warm stickiness of her own blood dripping down her fingertips to pool in the dirt. Her head bowed as she concentrated on keeping awake, fatigue climbing up to take her over.

Her clouded mind registered InuYasha's approach. He was screaming her name as he ran toward her. Somehow she was still aware of what was going on but could not rouse herself enough to care. InuYasha skidded to a halt and crouched down next to her, laying a hand on her shoulder.

"Kagome, are you okay?" He asked anxiously as he bent down to look at her face.

She shook her head slightly but couldn't force her mouth to form the reassuring words he needed to hear. Kagome knew that InuYasha would not be able to fight at full strength when he was worried about her.

InuYasha turned to his brother as his youki spiked furiously.

"What the hell are you doing? You could have killed her you bastard!"

Sesshomaru had already turned his attention toward Katsuro leaving InuYasha even more enraged. The young lord didn't bother to look his way as he focused on a new enemy.

"If I had so desired it, she would indeed have perished by my sword just now," he answered blandly before taking off in pursuit of Katsuro who had watched the attack on Kagome and was now moving quickly toward the entrance of the castle. He had every intention of getting away to a safe place before using the Crown to make Kagome follow soon after.

The lizard youkai stopped when he saw the four figures in the doorway of the garden.

Miroku, Sango, Kirara, and Shippo stood in awe after witnessing their meek friend live through such a devastating attack.

Sango stepped forward, her gentle voice conflicting with her warrior appearance.


Miroku stopped her with a hand and raised his staff at Katsuro. He recognized the stone swinging from the youkai's neck and knew that this was the enemy they needed to defeat in order to save Kagome.

"Sango. We need to defeat this demon in order to help Kagome."

Sango's eyes traveled from her friend to Katsuro. Her mind traveled back to the pleasant summer evening she and her softhearted friend were returning from a relaxing bath. Sango unconsciously raised her hand to brush against the small scar left from that night on her neck. Without warning, she sent Hiraikotsu at Katsuro before anyone knew what she was going to do. The youkai leapt out of the way before it landed a blow but in the process only succeeded on trapping himself on the other side of the garden between the enraged Taiji-ya and a rapidly approaching Sesshomaru.

The monk yelled for her to wait but she continued her charge at the lizard youkai, ready to fire off her weapon again. Sango's heart cried out for vengeance against any that would ally themselves with Naraku. She could not tolerate the sight of her gentle friend reduced to a slumped and broken figure being used as a pawn for Naraku's gain. Just as she got ready to throw her mighty Hiraikotsu, Sesshomaru arrived at the youkai's side with Tokijin pressed firmly against his neck.

Sango skidded to a halt and stared in confusion at the pair of youkai, wondering why Sesshomaru was there and why he had not killed Kagome after she survived his last attack.

InuYasha watched as Sesshomaru took off in pursuit of Katsuro. He wanted to follow but was too worried about Kagome. He couldn't leave her in this condition.

"Kagome, are you okay? You're not hurt are ya?"

"No. I'm fine. Just a little tired," Kagome replied, her voice hoarse.

InuYasha picked up one of her hands to examine the damage. He hissed as she accidentally seared him with her holy powers. Her hands were already healing themselves as her spiritual powers began to restore.

Kagome could feel the presence of everyone in the garden. Sesshomaru and Katsuro were facing off behind her, Naraku's ominous presence was somewhere in front of her, InuYasha next to her and Miroku's own spiritual energy somewhere close by. Everyone was here to fight for her. They were all risking their lives to protect and save her. Her friends had once again braved the violence and evil of Naraku and it was time that she began fighting for everything their friendship and love stood for. Even though the Crown had a firm control over her, she knew that she could influence her own power long enough to make a difference. She was ready to fight every minute of control and even if she couldn't stop her forced onslaughts, she could at least make it harder for Katsuro to attack the ones she loved.

'I won't be a pawn anymore,' she thought to herself.

Kagome pushed herself off the ground to stand facing Naraku. She reached out with her senses to find Katsuro preoccupied with Sesshomaru. This was her only opportunity. She gathered up her powers again and raised a hand. A ball of light, white flamed and torrid shot from her right hand hitting Naraku squarely in the chest.

"Gotcha," she stated with a weary sigh. She was disappointed to see that she hadn't done much damage.

Since the hanyou had not expected an attack from her, he didn't even try to dodge it. The look of disbelief on his face was almost comical as he looked from Kagome to Katsuro and then down at the hole closing back up in his chest. He stared a minute longer at his chest before he looked back at her, murder glittering in the depths. Suddenly a tentacle shot toward her.

InuYasha stepped in and blocked the first attack, but a barrage quickly followed. He hacked and sliced his way through the deluge of Naraku's angered assault, but a few made it past his furious Tessaiga. Miroku, who arrived shortly after Naraku sent the first slimy appendage after Kagome, blocked the few that did make it past InuYasha.

"Bout time ya show up Miroku," InuYasha bit out as he angrily slashed through another tentacle.

"Well it's a big castle, and we all don't have the advantage of your heightened senses now do we? Some of us have to solve problems using our brains, something I know you find difficult."

"Are you sayin I'm stupid Miroku?!"

"No, no, no. I'm simply saying that you rely on your sword to solve the problem. I must use my superior intellect. That is all." Miroku punctuated the last sentence with a downward slash of his staff.

"Still sounds like you're callin me stupid!"

Miroku just grinned.

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 14 of 60

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