Continuing Tales

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 16 of 60

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"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts."
~Arnold Bennett

Sango ran to Kagome and rolled the young girl over. Her gasp echoed in the stillness of the garden as she finally got a good look at her closest friend. Kagome's hair was tangled and dirty her features thin and unbearably frail. Dark smudges under her eyes marred normally vibrant beauty. Sango was shocked to see her friend look anything other than healthy and happy.

"Kagome...wake up Kagome," Sango brushed the hair back from Kagome's face.

InuYasha crouched down on the other side and picked up her limp hand.

"Is she ok?" his eyes moved over her as Miroku approached and knelt down next to Sango.

"She's only sleeping. I'm sure the battle exhausted all of her strength. Her spiritual powers feel much weaker than they were before," Miroku answered after a short pause.

Sango pulled out the Jewel and held it in her palm.

"Can we use this to help her?" she asked, hope filling her voice.

InuYasha's eyes widened, "Where did you find that?"

"Over there on the ground. Can we use it to help her?" Sango looked up at InuYasha as she held the Jewel out to him.

"I don't know, but here," InuYasha drew from his robe the gold chain that Kagome often wore. Sango took it and attached the Jewel, then fastened it around Kagome's neck with InuYasha's help. The moment the Jewel touched Kagome it turned back to a soft pink as her body purified it after Naraku's evil influence. Sango tucked the Jewel into Kagome's shirt for safekeeping.

InuYasha looked from the Jewel to the Crown on Kagome's head. "Let's take this damn thing off of her." He reached forward but stopped when a cold voice behind him spoke.

"Stop," Sesshomaru's deep voice rang out sharply.

"Why the hell are you still here? Naraku's dead, you got no reason to still be here," InuYasha growled as he turned and stood up defensively.

"What I do is none of your business. Besides, my motives are beyond your comprehension."

InuYasha drew Tessaiga and advanced on Sesshomaru. "Fine. Let's finish this at last!"

Sesshomaru said nothing as he watched his half-brother approach. 'I don't have time for this,' he thought impatiently, already focusing on the return to Rin and the House of the Moon.

"We will finish this some other time half breed." As soon as InuYasha got within arm's length, Sesshomaru landed a fist right in the middle of his face knocking him across the garden. Sesshomaru looked dispassionately from InuYasha's still form back toward the others. He approached Kagome and looped an arm around her waist, tucking her unconscious body against his hip. Her long black hair trailed in the dust as he turned back to her protesting friends.

"What are you doing? Where are you taking her!?" Sango bristled as she stood, reaching for Kagome. Miroku had gone to check on InuYasha a moment before, but returned quickly when Sesshomaru had pulled Kagome from the ground.

"What are your intentions Sesshomaru?" Miroku asked, his staff crossed over the front of his body.

Sesshomaru leveled a cold stare at the monk, quickly deciding whether or not to answer. He didn't really see the point of explaining to these humans what he was doing. He never explained himself to anyone, unless of course he wished to. Even then it was a rare event indeed. And he most certainly never explained himself to humans. Not even Rin.

"You need not concern yourself with this woman any longer. She will not be harmed." With that, Sesshomaru took to the air and was out of sight within the blink of an eye.

"Wait!" Miroku shouted as Sango and Shippo cried out in unison, "Kagome!"

"Kirara!" Sango called as the cat flew forward. Sango jumped onto her back and took off in pursuit, Hiraikotsu already drawn. They sailed through the air, heading after Sesshomaru but, he had already disappeared.

'They headed west,' she thought as she scanned the horizon. 'What could he want with Kagome?'

She flew in a westerly direction a few minutes before deciding to turn around.

"Let's head back, Kirara, and get the others."

They returned to the garden a few moments later to find Shippo crying and a very irate InuYasha who had awoken to find Kagome once again taken by the enemy.

"You just let him take her! What the hell is wrong with you Miroku!" InuYasha was standing toe to toe with the monk, his hands fisted in Miroku's robes.

"InuYasha. He grabbed her and had taken off before I could stop him. You know how fast your brother is."

"Half-brother!" InuYasha replied heatedly before continuing, "And what does it matter how fast he is. You should have stopped him!"

Kirara landed a few feet away and Sango hopped off. She strode over to the pair and grabbed InuYasha's hands. With a force than neither knew her capable of, she shoved them apart and rounded on InuYasha.

"Enough! Instead of wasting time standing around shouting, let's go get Kagome back!" Sango then turned and picked up a tear streaked, wide-eyed Shippo and walked back over to Kirara.

InuYasha and Miroku exchanged a glance and then stared after her, jaws open.

She didn't turn around as she put Shippo and Kagome's yellow bag onto Kirara's back. "Are you two coming or what!?" she shouted and then jumped up to join Shippo.

The two remained still a moment longer before jumping into action. Miroku ran up and hopped behind Sango, careful to keep a proper distance. He was rather aware that a playful slap across the face would be the least of his injuries if he tested her present mood.

They took to the air a moment later with InuYasha alongside on the ground heading west.

Red eyes followed the departure from the shadows of Naraku's castle. Kanna stood nearby and quietly spoke as soon as they were gone.

"It is time to collect him." She quietly entered the garden and held out her mirror. Red eyes continued to watch from the shadows as pieces of flesh and armor swirled around the small girl until absorbed into the mirror. She turned and walked back into the castle. Black eyes met red, her voice floated through the silence.

"You will go back and wait. He will contact you soon."

Sesshomaru returned to the House of the Moon in the middle of the night. He landed in the courtyard where Hoshi was waiting patiently. The moon shone down on the trio as Sesshomaru held the miko while the dark sorceress pulled back the thick tresses of Kagome's hair. Hoshi took in the frail exterior and reached out her senses to read the girl's spiritual powers.

"She will need to rest until morning before she can help Rin."

Sesshomaru only nodded as they turned toward the entrance of the house.

"I have prepared a room for her. Please carry her there and I will attend to her comforts."

Sesshomaru snorted before replying, "The woman does not need any comforts. She will perform the necessary task and leave."

"This woman is going to save Rin's life. Perhaps you should care a little." Hoshi shot back, her tone clipped.

She received another snort in response.

"You owe her Sesshomaru, like it or not. Your father raised you better than to disregard an owed debt."

This time she was met with silence.

They made their way to the room Hoshi had prepared for Kagome. Sesshomaru dropped her onto the bed unceremoniously and turned to leave. Hoshi's voice stopped him before he could take another step.

"The stone?"

Sesshomaru turned back around and pulled the silk pouch from his obie. He dropped it into her outstretched hand and turned once again to leave. He paused in the doorway and spoke, his voice low.

"I owe nothing to this woman." He was gone in an instant and failed to hear Hoshi's quiet response.

"We shall see won't we yama."

Hoshi pulled Kagome's dirty clothes from her body and replaced them with a clean soft juban. It was then that she found the Sacred Jewel around the miko's neck. Hoshi held the Jewel a moment before tucking it under the collar of the juban and pulled a blanket up and over the sleeping woman.

"Well, this promises to become rather interesting," Hoshi smiled as she looked at the young woman lying in front of her. 'She is rather beautiful, or at least will be after a proper bath and some food.' Hoshi brushed the hair back from Kagome's face and sat on the edge of the bed. She felt the young woman's spiritual powers as they repaired her body and recovered their strength. Hoshi wondered if Naraku knew that the use of the Crown of Chikara had actually been his biggest mistake. Not only would it aid the miko in healing Rin, but it also was the reason she was able to defeat him.

Chuckling to herself, another thought floated through her mind. She pulled a chain from beneath her own robes and fingered the amulet that hung heavily at the end.

"Perhaps this mess will end up being worth all the trouble Leiko has caused," she murmured seemingly to no one.

Hoshi got up and walked silently to the door, sliding it shut behind her. A softly murmured spell sealed the room from intruders. As she walked back in the direction of her own rooms, a sinister pair of red eyes followed her every move until she was out of sight.

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 16 of 60

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