Continuing Tales

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 6 of 60

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"We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future."
-George Bernard Shaw

Sesshomaru had no idea how to cope with the overwhelming emotions that chased him from the House of the Moon. He knew that if he stayed any longer, he was going to kill someone. Unfortunately, the general population usually frowned upon killing one's own staff, so it was prudent to find another avenue of outlet.

The idea continued to hold appeal; after all, he could just revive them with Tenseiga. Well, he could if the sword did his bidding for once. No, he wasn't going to think of that particular annoyance at the moment, since all it did was irritate him even more.

He really didn't like the feeling of restlessness that seemed to be growing steadily. It wasn't like he even had an excessive amount of free time. The duties to maintain the Western Lands were enough to fill even the most energetic ruler's day. The truth was, he took back the position vacated by his father without considering the ramifications. He didn't particularly enjoy being the Lord of the Western Lands and often had moments of regret surrounding his impetuous decision. Rin's safety was just an easy excuse he used to reconcile the decision in his mind.

Sesshomaru didn't pay attention to the little voice that whispered in the deepest recess of his mind. It was annoying that this voice didn't fear him as it ought to, and that it said stupid things like he was still chasing the legacy of his father and only reclaimed the title to prove he was an equal in every way to the mighty Inu No Taishou.

'Ridiculous', he thought as he sliced cleanly through a nearby tree, poison melting the stump into goopy paste. If he had been paying attention, he would have been surprised to see how many of his trees had met a similar fate over the past few months.

He remembered the last conversation with his old man before his death. Sesshomaru successfully buried his anger deep inside for years, but interactions with InuYasha was like salt in an old wound. It was to save InuYasha and his human mother that his father died, and the resentment that the young taiyoukai harbored had yet to diminish. That Sesshomaru always intended to kill his father in order to gain prestige and claim a place in the world greater than the Inu No Taisho was of little consequence.

What still bothered Sesshomaru was his father's parting question. 'Do you have anyone worth protecting?' Sesshomaru had no idea what his father meant at the time, and in fact only began to understand over the past few years. It was this belated realization that spurred his actions to reclaim the House of the Moon. His father knew that great power was only mastered when there was an honorable reason to use it. Since Rin had entered his life, events had occurred to increase his power immensely. His sword was stronger as well as his heart, which until Rin, had served only a perfunctory purpose.

Sesshomaru's graceful stride made no sound as he walked through the woods that bordered the House of the Moon. His senses stretched out and searched for a suitable recipient to let loose his pent up energy and stress. Trees didn't seem to put up much of a fight.

As he continued along, the perfect opportunity to blow off some steam wandered right across his path. It was just the thing he needed to improve his mood.

With a smirk, Sesshomaru changed direction and headed toward his little brother.

"InuYasha, are you positive that you don't want to ask him?" Miroku asked tentatively. "We're close to the House of the Moon."

The group had been on pins and needles since Kagome was taken, as their friend remained in an even worse temper than usual. They had all tried for days to persuade InuYasha to ask his brother for help. Miroku and Sango both had been forced to step in more than once to protect Shippo from InuYasha's explosive temper, as the little fox youkai was usually the one to pester the hanyou.

"I told you Miroku, I'm not asking that bastard for anything," InuYasha grumpily replied as he stopped and sniffed the air.

InuYasha had been able to smell his brother faintly for the last few minutes but it was becoming stronger. That was fine, he could use a chance to blow off a little steam.

InuYasha smiled as a flash of white streaked through the trees directly at him.

Miroku had just enough time to grab Sango and leap away as the two brothers crossed swords. Landing, he twisted and deftly put Sango behind him on the off chance that Sesshomaru would turn his attack against either one of them. Kirara had grabbed Shippo in her teeth and landed on the opposite side of the brothers. They all looked at the two squared off in the middle of a small clearing in the forest.

"What the hell do you want Sesshomaru?"

"I think it's high time that we finish this," Sesshomaru calmly stated as he raised Tokijin toward his brother.

"Fine by me!" InuYasha launched at his brother.

The two brothers met in the air and the sound of metal clashing filled the clearing. The force of the blow sent the brothers backward, one landing with grace, the other landing on his back and sliding to a stop.

InuYasha regained his feet and stared at his half-brother. He was about to use the Kaze no Kizu when Sango's voice called out.

"Sesshomaru! Please stop for a moment. We need your help." She tried to step around Miroku but was stopped as he extended his arm to his side and stubbornly pushed her back behind him again.

Sesshomaru's eyes turned towards the taiji-ya but soon returned to InuYasha.

"Is this true InuYasha? Do you need my help?" His tone and words intended to provoke InuYasha into attacking again. It was successful as InuYasha growled and launched himself into the air releasing the Kaze no Kizu.

Sesshomaru easily evaded the attack by leaping into the air and landing on the opposite side of his brother. Seeing InuYasha wield Tessaiga was still infuriating. Even though his brother was improving his skills with the blade, he was still nowhere near competent enough to use the powerful sword to full potential.

"I don't need your help with anything," InuYasha finally answered, irritated with the whole situation.

Sesshomaru only raised an eyebrow.

Sango took the opportunity to dodge Miroku's attempt to stop her and made her way toward the brothers.

"If you aren't going to ask him, then I will!" Sango looked angrily from InuYasha back to Sesshomaru. "We need your help to free Kagome from Naraku".

"Naraku?" Sesshomaru's interest was piqued with the mention of the hanyou's name.

"Yes. Naraku is using another demon to control Kagome in order to track down the remaining jewel shards. He's using the Crown of Chikara and the only weapon strong enough to break the spell of the crown is your sword."

Sesshomaru was not interested in helping his brother free the miko that usually traveled with him. It was no concern of his that she was taken, and aiding his brother held no benefit to him.

"No." he said to Sango and then turned toward his brother and sheathed Tokijin. "This isn't the first time that you were unable to protect your mate from Naraku. That is not my problem."

With that Sesshomaru turned and walked away from the group, leaving one seething with anger, and the others filled with despair. They were beginning to doubt they would see Kagome again.

Getting her back was going to be up to them.

Kikyo watched the exchange from a distance and learned the recent fate of her reincarnation for the first time.

'So Naraku is using Kagome to track down the Sacred Jewel Shards,' Kikyo thought as she stared at InuYasha.

He hadn't moved since Sesshomaru left. She could tell he was overcome with emotions that he had no idea how to handle. She knew enough about InuYasha to know that he was taking Kagome's capture very hard. Kikyo had accepted long ago that InuYasha cared for the girl. In fact, Kikyo herself could not hate the young woman. Kagome had saved her more than once without hesitation. The girl had a pure heart unlike any Kikyo had ever seen. It was rare indeed when a woman would be willing to save the life of the one person who was in competition for the same man's love.

Buzzing sounded not far off in the forest. Naraku's Saimyosho were patrolling the woods again. She needed to be moving on before they discovered her.

Kikyo reluctantly turned from the clearing and headed back into the depth of the forest. She needed to put some distance between herself and InuYasha. She knew that he was trailing Kagome as she searched for the shards. Kikyo didn't want to come across the young Miko until she was fully prepared to follow through with the plan she had devised. It was regretful that she was going to cause InuYasha pain. However, she had to do it if she was to defeat Naraku. She was glad Kagome wasn't with them, for if she had been then the shard that Kikyo now carried would have given her away and the confrontation with Kagome would have come earlier than the older miko desired. Instead Kikyo needed to delay this until the time was right and she was absolutely sure she would succeed.

If all went according to Kikyo's desire, one Miko would walk away relatively unharmed and Naraku's plan would be foiled for good.

Sesshomaru returned to the House of the Moon in an infinitely better mood than he had left. Along the way he observed some of Naraku's Saimyosho fly off to the north but was unable to stop them. He knew they were occasionally sent by Naraku to keep tabs on his whereabouts, but he usually killed them before they were able to report back to the hanyou. On occasion, he would try and follow them back to Naraku's hiding place.

Sesshomaru's mind was so engaged with thoughts of Naraku, that he never noticed one of his servants returning from the forest and fall in step a few yards behind him. Nor did he feel a pair of red eyes bore into his back as they continued their walk through the gate and toward the castle.

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 6 of 60

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