Continuing Tales

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 3 of 60

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We often pretend to fear what we really despise, and more often despise what we really fear.
- Charles Caleb Colton

As the youkai reached his destination, he was finally able to look upon the miko tucked under his arm. Shifting her to the front of his body, vivid green eyes swept over the waist length black hair, delicately arched brows, and flawless skin that seemed to glow in the darkened hallway. 'For a human, she is quite beautiful,' he thought as he continued his perusal. 'She is dangerous too.'

Still under the effects of sedation, he was surprised at the strength of the holy powers humming forcefully throughout her body. Even though she was harmless at the moment, his youki knew that she posed a very real threat to him. This unconscious state was only temporary so he needed to hurry.

Turning to walk down the hallway, he was startled by the young girl clutching a round mirror to her chest standing silently before him. Kanna's hollow dark eyes looked from the miko to the demon's face as she spoke in that eerily soft voice.

"Welcome back, Katsuro. Naraku wishes to see you immediately."

"When I finish," was all Katsuro said as he brushed past the girl and continued down the hallway.

Striding quickly through the maze that made up the castle, he turned and descended a long stairway. The castle was built on the side of a mountain and had many passageways that led deep underground. Reaching a large wooden door, he opened and deposited the miko on a palette lying against the farthest wall. Next to the palette was a plain wooden box. Katsuro opened and reached carefully for the contents. His large clawed hands withdrew a crown made of two golden strips that created an X shape in the front and back. Inlaid on the front where the gold converged sat a luminescent pale stone. Its color shifted between pale pink and white, as if both hues were fighting for dominance. Katsuro could feel the pure energy radiating from the stone, making his youki rebel against the sensation. He wasted no time in placing the crown upon the miko's head.

Reaching back inside the box, he drew out the remaining item. The clinking of metal echoed off the stone walls. He drew out a gold chain, and dangling at the end was another stone. Where the white stone emitted a bright energy and soft glow, this stone seemed to consume the very air that it touched. Oblong in shape, the stone was black as the darkest night. The air in the cell appeared to crackle with energy as the stones seemed to feed off one another.

Katsuro slipped the chain over his head and took a deep breath. Drawing up his sleeve, he exposed his forearm. Hissing slightly, he drew his claw along the back of his wrist and allowed the blood to collect. The youkai then did the same to the still slumbering miko.

With one finger, he smeared his blood onto the white stone. Picking up her hand, he used her index finger and did the same to the stone hanging from his neck with her blood. Katsuro then sprinkled ashes from a small leather pouch over the two stones. Sizzling and hissing, both stones began to glow a deep red. Katsuro shifted uneasily as he began to feel the effects of the binding spell take hold.

As the light faded the youkai slowly rose to his feet, eyes never leaving his new weapon.

"Well little Miko, let us see if this plan of Naraku's will work".

Katsuro allowed his mind to link with the miko. Along with the sensation of standing in the center of the cell, he also felt the cold palette pressing into his back along with the burn of the recent cut along the top of her arm.

Kagome sat up slowly; eyes still closed, and raised both arms up to remove the crown. A red light shot from the crown and sparked against her hands. Katsuro's fingers twitched as he felt the sparks burn the miko's soft skin.

Satisfied, Katsuro allowed the miko to lie back down. He stared a moment longer at the young woman and reveled in the immense power contained within her small body. He separated his mind from hers and left the room, locking the door behind him.

A lone campfire burned deep within the woods. Miroku watched as the firelight danced across Sango's face, who was still unconscious. Though her breathing was regular, Miroku could not stop fear from creeping throughout his bones. His anxiety for Sango was only intensified by his worry for Kagome. Knowing that Naraku was behind her abduction, the monk could only imagine the suffering that Kagome would be subjected to while in his possession.

"Do you think Kagome is okay Miroku?" asked Shippo.

"I don't know Shippo, we can only hope that InuYasha can find her before anything can happen," the monk replied gravely.

Shippo had cried the minute he found out that Kagome had been abducted. When the tears finally subsided, an endless stream of questions followed. All of which Miroku had no answer.

"When will InuYasha come back?"

"I can only assume he will not come back until he finds her." Miroku looked back at Sango. "Shippo, will you bring me Kagome's water bottle?"

The little kitsune brought the bottle and sat down next to Sango's still figure.

Miroku poured some water into a small bowl and placed it next to the taiji-ya. Wringing out a cloth, he placed it upon her brow and noticed a slight movement, as she turned her head into Miroku's hand.


A soft moan escaped her lips as her brow furrowed. It was the first movement that Miroku had seen in almost 24 hours and though small, it lifted his heart just the same.

"Sango, can you hear me?"

Her eyelids fluttered faintly and slowly opened. She turned her head slightly and looked into Miroku's eyes. His delighted smile chased away the lingering confusion that seemed to cloud her mind. She sat up quickly and grabbed her head as she struggled to speak the questions swirling around her mind.

"What happened? Where's Kagome? Did you kill that youkai?"

"Sango, lay back down and rest," Miroku pushed gently on either shoulder and forced her back down.

"Miroku, answer me or I swear…" she bit out through tightly closed eyes. Her head ached too much to fight against his forceful suggestion.

"Sango, the youkai wounded you and took Kagome. InuYasha left immediately after the pair but has yet to return. You have been unconscious for a full day. Unfortunately I have no other answers to offer you."

Miroku handed the water bottle to Sango. As she took a drink, a familiar youkai filled her senses. Before she could say a word, InuYasha broke through the trees and landed on the other side of the fire.

His head was bowed and he was in his customary crouching position. When he looked up at his companions, Sango's gasp broke the silence. InuYasha had never looked this way before. His hair was covered in leaves and branches; his clothing mussed, and more disturbing were the emotions flickering in the golden hue of his eyes. Desperation, anxiety, anger and most surprisingly panic. For one who was always so brash and confident, it was humbling to see the rough exterior of their friend so thoroughly stripped away. The gravity of the situation hit the group like a sledgehammer.

"InuYasha?" The monk tentatively spoke, wondering at the mood of his friend. Though he knew the hanyou would never harm him, this was a new side to InuYasha that they were all unfamiliar with. All bets were off when it came to Kagome's safety. They all knew InuYasha cared for Kagome. However, Miroku suspected that InuYasha's sense of duty toward her safety was amplified by his past failure to protect Kikyo from Naraku. The fact that Naraku now had Kagome was probably a bitter pill for his friend to swallow, especially since he had made a vow to Kagome that he would never allow Naraku to touch her again.

InuYasha remained silent and just stared at Sango as a myriad of emotions played across his features.

"InuYasha, did you find them? Were you able to track them?" Sango's voice held a pleading tone.

He finally blinked, his face clearing. He seemed to look at his friends as if for the first time. With a deep breath he stood and walked to the fire. "I couldn't find anything. It was like they disappeared into thin air."

"How is that possible? You said yourself that Kagome's scent is strong and easy to track."

"I don't know Miroku, but I looked everywhere and I can't find a trace of either one!"

"I know you have tried your best InuYasha, everyone here knows that," Miroku shot a warning glance at Shippo. The last thing they needed was to provoke InuYasha when tensions were already high.

"Now that Sango's awake we can look for her. Since that demon was working for Naraku, his scent's hard to miss. I'm sure we can find her easily enough." Softly InuYasha added as if to convince even himself, "I will find her."

Shippo, who had remained silent until now, added just as softly, "If anyone can find her, it's you InuYasha."

Katsuro entered the dimly lit room at the back of the castle and immediately found his quarry perched on a ledge, gazing out the window. He approached slowly and stopped several feet away. He was not afraid of the hanyou, but he also did not trust him. Katsuro was fully aware that he was doing the hanyou's dirty work by controlling the miko with the Crown of Chikara. This task was very beneficial to Naraku, however Katsuro had every intention of getting what he wanted as well. A deep voice broke the heavy air and brought the youkai's thoughts back to the present.

"Katsuro, did you bring the woman that travels with InuYasha?"

"Yes. I have already cast the binding spell".

Naraku turned from the window, red eyes meeting green. "Are you sure that her powers are completely under your control?"


Naraku's laugh slithered through the darkness. "I'm anxious to see InuYasha's face when you turn her powers against him."

"She is still unconscious, but I was careful to not harm her as you insisted." Katsuro strolled up to the window and looked straight ahead as he continued, "She is very powerful, I haven't come across a human with that kind of power in a very long time."

"She's a menace. Do not underestimate her or you'll be sorry. The only reason she still lives is to track the Sacred Jewel shards with the crown. With your control over her, I'll have the jewel completed in no time."

"She will awaken soon and we can begin searching immediately."

"No, we'll wait a while longer. I have a score to settle. I wish to know if my latest plan has been successful before I begin my search." At this Naraku turned to Katsuro and extended his hand.

Katsuro looked over and fixed his gaze on a small vile filled with red liquid resting on the hanyou's palm. "What is that?"

"Poison. A very special poison that can only be cured by an individual with tremendous holy powers. And I happen to have the only individual with those powers in my possession."

Katsuro looked nervously at the vile. "Who is to be the recipient of such a poison?"

Anger flared in Naraku's eyes. "A mongrel that has been a thorn in my side for far too long."

Back at the campsite the small group was deep in discussion on what their next course of action would be.

"We need to leave now and begin looking," InuYasha said as he stood on the edge of the firelight staring down the path Kagome was abducted from.

"I understand your impatience InuYasha, but Sango needs time to recover before she can travel. Besides, it is difficult for us to search in the dark. We should wait and rest the few hours that are left before dawn and then we can begin our search."

"I agree with Miroku, if I can have a few more hours I'll be as good as new and I won't slow you down. As it is now, I don't think I would be strong enough to remain on Kirara's back," Sango said ashamed. She despised feeling weak and was struggling with further feelings of guilt over not being able to protect Kagome from the demon.

InuYasha turned abruptly and shouted, "Every minute we waste here, the more danger Kagome's in. I can't just sit around and do nothin' while that bastard could be hurtin' her!" With this he stalked off into the darkness.

Miroku, frustrated and tired, turned toward Sango and caught the glistening of tears in the firelight. "Sango?"

She stood up stiffly and began packing her belongings, ignoring Miroku.

"Sango, please look at me?" Miroku began walking toward her as her legs buckled trying to lift Hiraikotsu.

Miroku rushed forward and caught her around the waist and they both sagged to their knees. Her quiet sobs reached his ears.

"Sango, please don't cry. InuYasha's just worried about Kagome. He knows it's not your fault that you were injured. He's not thinking clearly right now."

"It's all my fault!" Sango bowed her head and gripped Miroku's arms that were wrapped tightly around her waist.

Miroku pulled her closer to his chest and spoke low into her ear. "This is not your fault Sango. None of us knew Kagome was in danger of being taken. If anyone is to be blamed, it's me. I stopped InuYasha from going to watch over Kagome. We should have protected both of you better." Miroku inhaled Sango's sweet scent and closed his eyes. Her tears where ripping at his heart and he wanted more than anything to take the pain she was feeling away.

Sango released a shuttering breath and relaxed a little. While he often infuriated her with his perverted acts, he was also just as good at comforting her when her sadness became too much. With the death of her family and Naraku's enslavement of her brother, Kohaku, Sango often slipped in and out of depression. The person most attuned to her moods seemed to be Miroku, as he would try to distract her either through conversation or fondling her rear end. Both worked remarkably well and if she was completely honest with herself, she didn't mind his wandering hands half as much as everyone thought.

Miroku's arms remained around Sango until her sobs turned into sniffles. Both were reluctant to give up this rare moment of contact.

It felt a little something like home.

Kagome had been caught in constant nightmares for more than a day. The demon that attacked her and Sango showed up frequently and was the cause of most of her torment. He told her that her friends were dead and that she was all alone. He often caused her pain in her nightmares as well. Kagome knew that if she could only wake up, then she could escape the youkai with the cold green eyes.

She finally fought her way to the surface and the first thing she felt was cold. As she opened her eyes she knew immediately that something was wrong, but couldn't quite put her finger on it. Her head felt as if it were underwater and her limbs were heavy with fatigue. She raised her hand and rubbed the side of her neck, instantly recoiling in pain. It felt like something had burned the side of her neck. Slowly, she rose up on her elbows and blinked rapidly to bring her surroundings into focus.

'Where the hell am I?' She forced herself into a sitting position and folded her legs underneath her.

The room seemed to be enveloped in a soft pink light. As she surveyed her surroundings she noticed some very important things. The walls were stone and the only break in them was the large imposing door directly across from where she was sitting. Underneath her was a rough and uncomfortable palette that had obviously seen better days. Next to the palette was a wooden box, that when she looked inside, found empty. The room was damp and cool and Kagome was soon wishing that she had more on than the blue tank top and black pajama pants she had donned after her bath.

That's right, she had taken a bath…The demon on the path…SANGO!

The memories flooded back and screamed inside her head. The demon must have taken her. 'Was Sango okay? Will InuYasha be able to find me? What should I do?'

Fear began to rise as she replayed everything she could remember. If she was okay, then it stands to reason that Sango would be fine as well since they were both attacked in the same way. Kagome could only hope that was true.

She stood up and shakily made her way around the room. The pale light seemed to move along with her as she followed the perimeter of the walls. When she reached the door she stopped and looked it over. There was no handle on this side of the door, nor a window. Large bolts ran vertically that anchored wide sheets of metal along the length. It reminded Kagome of the doors in medieval movies that massive armies would batter on with a large tree and still couldn't knock down. Regardless, she pushed on the door with all her might. After a while, she sighed in defeat when it didn't even move within its hinges.

Suddenly her ears began to buzz and her mind felt as if it was being tugged in two directions. She wrapped her arms around middle as she sensed a presence in the room with her. A voice rang out in the stillness.

"Ah little Miko, you're finally awake. I trust you had a nice nap?" The voice was raspy and held a strangely familiar whistle.

"Who are you…where are you?" Kagome said as she spun in circles looking for the source of the voice.

"I am Katsuro, but you can just call me Master."

"Fat chance, now where am I? Where's InuYasha?"

"Do you really think I am going to tell you anything? The game has changed little one, and I suggest you behave. If you don't, things could become, shall we say, uncomfortable for you."

"What can you do to me?" Kagome knew she was pushing her luck, but her fear seemed to make her reckless. Besides, InuYasha had never failed to come to her rescue. He would show up before anything bad could happen, she just knew it.

"You would be surprised what I can do to you." His chuckle echoed in the dark, "In fact I'm looking forward to our time together so that I can show you all the things I can do to you."

"We'll see how much you enjoy being purified," Kagome replied hotly. She wouldn't allow the fear that was rising up to take over.

"Hmm. Do you like your new surroundings? I picked it out especially for you. I thought the atmosphere was lovely. And how about the new jewelry? You look lovely wearing my crown."

Kagome's hand shot up to her head and noticed for the first time the nearly weightless metal there. The thin strips were cool to the touch and she could barely feel it resting atop her hair. She tried to take it off but stinging pain lanced down her arms as red sparks shot across her vision. She yelped and a cold laugh rang inside her head.

"Do you begin to see? A whole new set of rules to play by. Learn to play nice and we might even have a good time."

"What the hell is this thing? How are you able to talk to me like this? What is going on!?" Kagome's desperation only seemed to entertain the voice named Katsuro more.

"I can feel your powers. It's quite a heady feeling to know that those powers are at my disposal. Yes my little miko, I will enjoy our time together very much."

With that Kagome could feel that she was alone in the dark again. She sank to her knees and felt the true meaning of loneliness for the first time in her life.

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 3 of 60

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