The Sword's Owner
"Gugugu… Totosai." Kaijinbo sneered. "Like you, your sword is nothing specia—!" Tessiga's kenatsu ripped Kaijinbo in half, and his body disintegrated. The only thing left of Kaijinbo was one hand, the one that was still clinging to Tokijin.
"What the…" Miroku said, surprised.
"Hmph… The sword was one thing, but Kaijinbo's body couldn't endure anymore of Tessaiga's cutting force." Totosai explained. "He got possessed by a sword he forged himself, the damn novice…" Inuyasha was breathing heavily from exertion as Tessaiga transformed from it's now much heavier form to its inactive, rusty old katana form.
"Totosai, you bastard…!" Inuyasha yelled, pissed off.
"You got another problem?" Totosai said.
"Like—I—said—before!" Inuyasha said, punctuating each word by tapping the back of Tessaiga's blade against Totosai's forehead. "How am I supposed to use such a heavy sword? It was hard enough doing one swing!" Inuyasha shouted.
"You want to know?" Totosai said. "A way in which to be able to handle a heavy Tessaiga, that is…"
"Eh…" Kagome said.
"There is a way?" Inuyasha asked.
"It's simple." Totosai said. Inuyasha and Totosai stared at eachother for a moment.
"… You're not seriously going to suggest 'train your body,' are you?" Inuyasha asked, giving Totosai a brilliant, closed-eyed, shit-eating grin and clapping the old youkai on the shoulder.
"Gulp!" Totosai said as he swallowed his next words.
"So, it was that." Inuyasha said, annoyed, as he bopped Totosai on the head, a vein throbbing in his clenched fist.
"Have you finished your conversation?" Miroku asked. Tokijin pulsed with evil energy. "It seems the sword's evil energy has decreased only very slightly with Kaijinbo's death."
"The sword stained with the evil of Kaijinbo and the oni called Goshinki. Such a thing has to be removed from existence." Totosai said. Inuyasha prepared to draw Tessaiga again. A rumble came from the sky, like thunder, and the sky suddenly became overcast and cloudy. A ball of blue light formed and crashed down like lightning, cutting Inuyasha off from getting to Tokijin.
"Wha—!" Inuyasha said, surprised. It was Sesshoumaru, riding his two-headed dragon, Ah-Un. The lightning had been caused by Ah, whose muzzle had been removed to allow him to fire as they descend rapidly from the skies. Sesshoumaru leaped off of Ah-Un when they were closer to the ground, and landed gracefully beside Tokijin. Ah-Un landed a few feet away, and Inuyasha noticed a second rider that had been hidden behind Sesshoumaru. It was Katsumi.
"Wha… Katsumi-chan!?" Kagome said in surprise. She then remembered something Tsukihime, Katsumi's mother had told her the last time she returned to her era for more supplies.
Kagome climbed up the ladder her family had installed in the well for her, and was now entering her house.
"Mom! I'm home!" Kagome called as she walked through the house. She could hear her mom talking to someone in the living room.
"Oh, kagome! Welcome home!" Her mother said, smiling, happy to see her daughter again, as Kagome entered the room. Her mother had been talking with Katsumi's mother, Tsukihime-san. They had started calling the Dubois-sans by their first names, since she insisted because the two families had become close, and their first names were easier to pronounce than their fancy French family name.
"Welcome back, Kagome-chan." Tsukihime said, smiling at her. "Why don't you sit down with us and relax?"
"Thank you, Tsukihime-san." Kagome said politely as she sat down next to her mom.
"You look tired, Kagome. I'll go fix you a snack to help you regain your energy." Kagome's mom said.
"Would you like any help, Nodoka-san?" Tsukihime asked Kagome's mom.
"Oh, no, thanks for offering, Tsukihime-san, but you're my guest. Please, just relax and enjoy yourself." Higurashi Nodoka said as she left to fix Kagome a snack in the kitchen.
"How have you been, Kagome-chan?" Tsukihime asked. Kagome could tell Tsukihime probably already knew from her visions, but it was nice that she cared enough to ask. Tsukihime often listened while Kagome vented about the more dangerous parts of her adventures in the feudal era since she had also 'been there and done that,' and kagome didn't want to worry her own mother.
"Okay, I guess. It's been the same as usual. I miss Katsumi-chan though. She's been gone for a while now." Kagome said. Tsukihime nodded in understanding.
"Yes, I'm sorry she had to leave you, but you'll see her again soon. Actually, that's part of the reason I came to visit today. I have another package for Katsumi-chan if you wouldn't mind taking it back with you once you're ready to return. You see, her adopted grandfather, Steve's uncle, was having his garden re-landscaped, and the workers uncovered a time capsule that Katsumi's biological grandmother had buried before she died. So, he mailed some of the items in it to us since he they belonged to Steve's mother, and he thought he should have them. Steve wanted to give one of the items to Katsumi, so it's in here, along with some other things from me." Tsukihime said. Kagome was glad to hear that she would see her friend again soon.
"Of course, I'd be happy to give it to her, Tsukihime-san." Kagome said. Tsukihime smiled fondly at Kagome. She was glad her daughter had made such a good friend.
"I do have to warn you though, Kagome-chan. You may be surprised when you see the one she has been traveling with, but please remember this; Katsumi would never turn her back on a friend. Once Katsumi cares for someone, she will never betray them. She is able to see good in everyone, and she would never stay with someone if she didn't believe in them. Even if she is not with you, I can guarantee that she still considers you and the others as friends. Please trust her." Tsukihime said. Kagome could see how serious the older woman was, and although she didn't fully understand yet, she knew that what Tsukihime had just told her was extremely important.
"Alright, Tsukihime-san. I'll believe in Katsumi-chan." Kagome promised.
"Sesshoumaru! What are you doing here… and why is Katsumi with you!? If you hurt her…!" Inuyasha yelled.
"That's my line. I just came after this sword. It seems like the oni killed by you still wanted revenge, even after it became a sword. As for Katsumi, she followed me on her own." Sesshoumaru said.
"Wha—!" Inuyasha said.
"He knows that Tokijin was made from Goshinki's fangs…?" Sango said.
"… Which means that…" Miroku said.
"I was the one who commissioned the sword." Sesshoumaru said.
"Eh…" Kagome said.
"Sesshoumaru! You mustn't touch Tokijin!" Totosai yelled. "Even for you, if you touch it, you'll be exposed to Tokijin's evil, and be possessed, like Kaijinbo…!"
"Totosai-ojii-san, your warning is only going to make him want to try more…" Katsumi said from where she was standing besides Ah-Un, sweat dropping.
"Hnn…" Sesshoumaru said. He reached out and wrapped his hand around Tokijin's handle and pulled the sword out of where it had been stuck in the ground. "Kisama, just who do you think I am?" Sesshoumaru said, smirking slightly as held Tokijin.
Tokijin's evil aura swirled and dissipated as it was overpowered by Sesshoumaru's own youki. The others were shocked. Katsumi was slightly surprised, not because Sesshoumaru beat it, but because of the sword's design. Instead of a katana, Tokijin's design looked like it was a cross between a Chinese jian and a European bastard sword. She hadn't really seen a sword like that in this era before.
'Tokijin's evil energy lost to Sesshoumaru? Yeesh, what a creepy guy.' Totosai thought nervously. 'Why would Katsumi willingly follow that guy?'
"Hnn… This means this sword has also chosen its master." Sesshoumaru said as he gazed at Tokijin. "Draw, Inuyasha. I want to verify something about you."
'!?' Inuyasha thought, surprised. 'He wants to… verify something about me…!?'
"Wait, Sesshoumaru-sama… I thought we were only here to retrieve the sword?" Katsumi said uneasily. She had promised she would remain neutral, but she didn't want them to fight. Sesshoumaru gave Katsumi a sharp look.
"You said you wouldn't interfere if I allowed you to come." Sesshoumaru reminded her. "It is your own fault you did not verify my intentions." Katsumi frowned. What Sesshoumaru had said was true. She messed up.
'Eh… If Katsumi-chan is worried about Inuyasha, then she really does still care about us, even if she's with Sesshoumaru right now.' Kagome thought, relived. Her relief was short-lived though.
"Get back, Kagome." Inuyasha said.
"Don't do it, Inuyasha! It's too dangerous!" Kagome pleaded.
"Just do as I say!" Inuyasha said.
"Do you think you can win?" Totosai asked.
"Keh! He's not an opponent who'd listen, even if you said, 'please wait.'" Inuyasha said.
"That's right. Come at me, Inuyasha." Sesshoumaru said. "If you won't come, then I will." Sesshoumaru said as he sped toward Inuyasha.
"Keh, don't regret digging your own grave, Sesshoumaru!" Inuyasha yelled as he drew Tessaiga. The sword's weight strained against his hand. 'Damn. It's so heavy…' Inuyasha thought, gritting his teeth. Sesshoumaru swung Tokijin at him, and Inuyasha just barley managed to block it with Tessaiga. "Ugh!" Inuyasha grunted as he struggled against Sesshoumaru.
'Is it just me, or does Tessaiga look bigger than the last time I saw it…?' Katsumi wondered. The kenatsu from Tokijin broke through Tessaiga's and cut Inuyasha. 'Oh, no!'
"Like I thought, he can barely manage to block it!" Kagome yelled, worried.
"He even lost the kenatsu battle!" Shippo said.
"This is really baaad!" Totosai said.
"Does Inuyasha have no chance?" Katsumi asked. The others hadn't noticed her approach since they were too preoccupied watching the fight.
'When did she get here?' Miroku thought. He would have sensed her presence if she hadn't been in her human form. Katsumi noticed they had a new member in their group.
"Hi, I'm Katsumi, by the way. I wish we'd met under better circumstances." Katsumi said, nodding in a slight bow to Sango.
"… I'm Sango…" Sango said, returning the gesture. She had heard about Katsumi from Kagome.
"Katsumi-chan… is there a reason why you chose to travel with Sesshoumaru?" Kagome asked. Katsumi gave Kagome an apologetic look.
"I'm sorry, it must feel like I've betrayed you, but various things have happened. Sesshoumaru isn't as evil as he acts, and there is someone very important to me that I must stay to protect." Katsumi said.
"Sesshoumaru?" Shippo asked in surprise. Katsumi laughed.
"Yeah, right! I think we all know Sesshoumaru doesn't need anyone's help for protection. It's someone else. She is to me what Shippo is to you, Kagome." Katsumi said. Kagome nodded in understanding.
'That must be why Katsumi-san promised to stay neutral…' Miroku realized. She didn't want to hurt them, but she didn't want to be Sesshoumaru's enemy either.
"I understand." Kagome said. "Your mother had warned me this might happen, but she said I should trust you… and I do, Katsumi-chan. Which is why I'm giving you this, as I promised your mother I would." Kagome pulled a rather bulky package out of her bottomless pit of a backpack and gave it to Katsumi. Katsumi smiled gratefully.
"Thank you. Please, remember that I will always be your friend, and you can come to me if you're ever in need." Katsumi said gratefully. She was glad her friends hadn't turned against her.
"So, Totosai-ojii-san, could you please tell me the answer to my previous question?"
"Weeell… he can't swing Tessaiga." Totosai admitted. 'Besides, that inherently dangerous sword, Tokijin, ended up in the hands of Sesshoumaru of all people…' Totosai thought. Inuyasha jumped back, putting some distance between him and Sesshoumaru.
"Da… Dammit…" Inuyasha said, panting from the effort it was taking to fight with such a heavy sword.
"…" Sesshoumaru said as he analyzed Inuyasha. 'The blood's scent… is that of an ordinary hanyou's after all… but at that time, while fighting Goshinki, the smell of Inuyasha's blood definitely changed. Whatever that means, I shall have to see for myself!' Sesshoumaru thought.
'Unless I settle this in one swing… I'll be done for…' Inuyasha thought.
"Have you changed your fighting style, Inuyasha? You always used to wave Tessaiga around…" Sesshoumaru said.
"Ugh!" Inuyasha growled. "Shaddup!" Inuyasha yelled as he charged forward with Tessaiga. The two swords clashed when Sesshoumaru blocked Tessaiga with Tokijin. Even Sesshoumaru was straining slightly against Tessaiga's new weight, but he was unaffected by its kenatsu. Inuyasha was not as lucky. Sesshoumaru applied a little more force with Tokijin and Inuyasha was cut by its kenatsu.
"Oh-ho… Tessaiga's become a little heavier, has it?" Sesshoumaru observed. 'What have you done to this sword, Inuyasha…?' Sesshoumaru thought, irritated. He knew it would need to be repaired after it had been bitten apart, and it was holding up well against a sword made from the fangs that had previously crushed it, but he was still irritated that something had happened to his father's sword.
"It's… It's not just 'a little,' you damn jerk!" Inuyasha yelled in irritation.
"Hn. If the sword is too much for you… you're better off without it!" Sesshoumaru said, using a strike from Tokijin to knock Tessaiga out of Inuyasha's hands.
"!" Inuyasha said in surprise as he was knocked back and watched Tessaiga fly out of his hands.
"Ah!" Katsumi gasped in dismay. She didn't want to go back on her word, but she wasn't just going to watch Inuyasha as was killed. If things didn't improve soon, she might have to break her promise to Sesshoumaru…
"Tessaiga was knocked, flying!" Miroku shouted in surprise.
"Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled in concern.
"Oh no, it'll be like a fight between a child and an adult!" Shippo said. Inuyasha landed on harshly on the ground, and Tessaiga landed a few feet away from him, stuck in the ground.
"Da-Dammit…" Inuyasha grunted.
"Inuyasha-sama! Qu-Quickly pick up Tessaiga!" Myouga urged him.
"Myouga-jijii…" Inuyasha said.
'Eh? How long has Myouga-ojii-san been here?' Katsumi wondered when she saw the small flea youkai hopping up and down on Inuyasha's shoulder.
"…" Inuyasha said, glancing at Tessaiga. "Don't need it!" Inuyasha shouted as he ran towards Sesshoumaru.
"Eh!" Myouga shouted. Sesshoumaru stood silently, waiting as Inuyasha approached him.
"Don't, Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled.
"You intend to fight Sesshoumaru unarmed!?" Shippo yelled in alarm.
"Just pick up the damn sword, Inuyasha!" Katsumi yelled. Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes at her. "What? You don't need a cheerleader!" Katsumi pointed out.
"Inuyasha-sama, don't be so desperate!" Myouga pleaded.
"Such a heavy sword won't help me win this fight at all!" Inuyasha yelled back.
"You don't need to win, stupid! Worry more about your own survival!" Katsumi shouted.
"You don't know your own limits." Sesshoumaru said to Inuyasha as he pointed Tokijin at him. Tokijin pulsed with power, and Inuyasha came to a sudden stop before being blown away by the sword's kenatsu.
"Uwaah!" Inuyasha cried as the kenatsu cut him.
"He was blown back by the kenatsu!?" Sango said. Inuyasha managed to land in a crouching position. 'That bastard…' Inuyasha thought angrily. There was a pulse of energy.
"Eh…?" Katsumi thought out loud, confused. She suddenly felt as though something was about to go very wrong…
"So, the hanyou is just a hanyou, huh…" Sesshoumaru thought out loud. "Enough. Die, Inuyasha." Sesshoumaru said as he charged at Inuyasha.
"Oh, no! Inuyasha, run!" Miroku yelled.
"No! Sesshoumaru, I'm begging you, please—!" Katsumi yelled. There was a swishing sound as the grass rippled outward, blown by a wave of energy that pulsed from Inuyasha.
'!' Sesshoumaru thought in surprise when the wave of demonic energy hit him.
"Wh-What is that!?" Katsumi asked in shock as she felt the stir of power pulsing through Inuyasha. She had never felt anything like it from him before… it vaguely reminded her of Sesshoumaru.
"Inuyasha…!" Kagome yelled. 'He's not going to transform again, is he…?' Kagome wondered worriedly.
"Everyone, flee with Inuyasha!" Totosai yelled as he inhaled and his cheeks inflated.
"Eh." Miroku said. Totosai exhaled, blowing a jet of fire between Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru.
"Whoa!" Katsumi yelped in surprise. She had never seen Totosai breathe fire on such a huge scale before. It had formed a huge wall of flames that was as tall as a high-rise building.
"!" Sesshoumaru said as he stopped short, before the flames could singe him. "Totosai…" Sesshoumaru said, irritated that someone had interfered.
"Inuyasha, sit!" Kagome cried, and Inuyasha slammed into the ground, unconscious.
"!" Sesshoumaru said when the demonic energy was suddenly snuffed out after he heard kagome yell. Katsumi helped them get Inuyasha onto Kirara's back.
"Good luck, and be careful!" Katsumi said and waved goodbye as they escaped. Katsumi turned back to watch the wall of flames, waiting for them to die down. Hopefully Sesshoumaru wouldn't be pissed enough to kill her...
I put kisama in here because it's tough finding an english equivalent that truly expresses the full meaning of a word sometimes. Kisama literally translates to 'prescious enemy,' but it's really just a much more polite and lordly way of calling someone a bastard.
I forgot to mention this before, I think, but kenatsu means 'sword-pressure.' I used it because, well to be honest, I just like it better. ^_^