There Ain't No Rest For The Wicked
Jaken had left the village to wait with Ah-Un, where the dragon had been left behind by Sesshoumaru and Katsumi.
"I can't believe I was left behind again… " Jaken grumbled as he vented his frustration. "Even that brat went along, and she's not even a full youkai! Jaken squeaked in surprise and pain when a small rock hit him in the head. "What the…!?" Jaken turned around to face his assailant. It was Katsumi. She and Sesshoumaru had returned with Rin. Sesshoumaru noticed that Ah-Un's saddle had somehow become loose, so he walked over and readjusted Ah-Un's saddle.
"Sorry for not being a full youkai." Katsumi deadpanned as she tossed a rock up and down in the palm of her hand.
"You…!" Jaken yelled indignantly.
"We're back, Jaken-sama!" Rin said cheerfully.
"Yep, mission accomplished." Katsumi said, making a 'V' for victory with her fingers.
"Hmph, bold talk for someone who had to be brought back from the dead not too long ago!" Jaken huffed. Katsumi raised an eyebrow at the imp.
"Eh…? But I was only human at the time, and if I remember correctly, oh green one, you were revived long before I had to be." Katsumi said sarcastically.
"She has a point, Jaken-sama… and Katsumi-nee wasn't the one who made the bridge fall either…" Rin said. A vein popped on Jaken's head.
"You stay out of this!" Jaken shouted indignantly. "You two are just trying to make me look like an idiot!"
"You don't need our help to look like an idiot, Jaken." Katsumi said.
"You're darn right, I don't!" Jaken shouted. Sesshoumaru felt the corner of his mouth twitch up in amusement, but the others didn't see because he had his back to them. Katsumi bit her lip and shook as she tried to suppress her laughter.
"Are you alright, Katsumi-nee…?" Rin asked. Katsumi couldn't hold it in anymore. Fell over, rolling on the ground and laughing her ass off.
"…That… was… pure…gold…!" Katsumi said in between laughs. Sesshoumaru sensed a disturbance in the forc—barrier.
'Mt. Hakurei is… the power of the sacred grounds is weakening…' Sesshoumaru thought as he glanced at the mountain.
"Huh…?" Katsumi said as she looked at the mountain too. The barrier seemed to be flickering, like a faulty light bulb that was about to burn out. "The barrier…!" The barrier suddenly broke, and a loud rumbling sound, like a clap of thunder was heard as the scared energy dispersed in a huge burst, like a popped balloon releasing air. 'The sacred grounds have been extinguished…!?' Katsumi thought. 'This must Sango and Miroku's doing, since only humans could safely enter that barrier, and I doubt Inuyasha would let Kagome go in there without him… Way to go guys!'
"Sesshoumaru-sama, the mountain is…!" Jaken shouted in surprise as hoards of youkai began swarming out of the mountain.
"Youkai are flooding out!" Rin said in amazement.
"Now that the barrier is no longer interfering… I can smell it… Naraku's scent." Sesshoumaru said. 'As well as another irritating scent… Inuyasha…' Sesshoumaru thought. 'Inuyasha must have entered into the barrier, despite the side-affects, if that hanyou is already inside the mountain…'
"What now, Sesshoumaru-sama?" Jaken asked. Sesshoumaru didn't answer, he just started towards the mountain.
"Isn't it obvious, Jaken? We're going in." Katsumi said, smirking.
Jaken clung to mokomoko-sama as Katsumi and Sesshoumaru flew towards the Mt. Hakurei. They had left Rin behind with Ah-Un to protect her, since Naraku's miasma could hurt her. A sudden shudder went through Katsumi's body. She was just hit with the intense feeling that something really bad was about to happen. Sesshoumaru glanced at Katsumi.
"… What is it?" Sesshoumaru said. Something was obviously bothering her.
"… Something bad is going to happen… I get the feeling it has something to do with Kikyo… that miko from earlier." Katsumi said. As they flew closer to where Naraku's scent was coming from, two figures came into view. They were Naraku and Kikyo. Naraku's new form didn't look like much of an improvement, but his demonic aura had definitely gotten stronger… Almost like a full youkai. Naraku had cornered and injured Kikyo.
"The bottom of this fissure is full of my miasma. Your measly imitation body will be helpless against it. Kikyo… this is your grave." Naraku said, smirking as he shot a cluster of tentacles through Kikyo's torso, and forced her off the cliff.
"!" Katsumi said. She glanced at Sesshoumaru. "I owe her." Katsumi said and flew towards a part of the fissure, out of Naraku's line of sight. Katsumi dived into the fissure, hoping she wasn't too late. Naraku retracted his tentacles.
"Do you understand, Kikyo…?" Naraku said. 'This was my desire… a new body.' Naraku thought.
"Simply to finish off just one woman, you sure were cautious, eh, Naraku…" Sesshoumaru said coldly as he landed, and Jaken let go of mokomoko-sama.
"Sesshoumaru… huh? Where is Katsumi? Did she leave you, like she did to Inuyasha?" Naraku said as he glanced at Sesshoumaru.
'Th-This guy, addressing Sesshoumaru-sama so casually! He's gotten a huge ego…' Jaken thought.
"Oh…? You kill one miko, and suddenly you start dropping honorifics? Don't get too cocky, Naraku." Katsumi said as she landed beside Sesshoumaru.
"That the two of you would also come after me is unexpected… are you that interested in me then, eh?" Naraku said. Katsumi cracked her knuckles.
"Fool! You're the one that carelessly meddled with us!" Jaken yelled indignantly.
"The only thing I'm interested in is kicking your ass." Katsumi said giving Naraku one of her terrifyingly 'nice' shit-eating grins.
"Stand back." Sesshoumaru ordered Katsumi and Jaken. Katsumi pouted, but did as he said. "That you've come out from the barrier means that your power's gotten a bit better, huh…"
"…" Naraku said as he narrowed his eyes at Sesshoumaru. "Why don't you test me, then?"
"Heh!" Sesshoumaru said and swung Tokijin, unleashing a blast of energy at Naraku. Naraku's eyes widened as the attack tore up his body.
"Got him!" Jaken cried gleefully.
'… Why do I get the feeling this is too easy…?' Katsumi wondered.
"!" Sesshoumaru said. A barrier, in the shape of a sphere, had formed around what was left of Naraku. Although he was now basically just a head and shoulders, Naraku didn't seem to be in pain or even the least bit frightened.
"Kukuku." Naraku chuckled darkly.
"Eh?" Jaken said, sweat dropping.
"… Why do the bad guys get all the good stuff…?" Katsumi said, chagrined.
"Sesshoumaru… the power of your sword… I shall return the same back to you." Naraku said, smirking. The blue energy from Sesshoumaru's earlier attack suddenly swirled around Naraku's barrier and shot out at them in a powerful blast of energy.
"!" Katsumi cried in alarm. It was too fast for her to dodge.
"Yipes!" Jaken squeaked as he jumped behind Katsumi, trying to use her as a shield. Sesshoumaru could have easily dodged it, but he stepped forward and used Tokijin to block the monstrous attack. However, while Sesshoumaru had managed to keep the attack from harming any of them, Katsumi realized something scary. Sesshoumaru, though she hadn't seen him move his feet, was sliding back into her… he was being pushed back.
'Wha… Sesshoumaru-sama is being pushed!?' Jaken thought nervously.
Katsumi braced herself, and held her hands against his back, trying to act as a break for him, so he could focus on the attack. Sesshoumaru felt Katsumi's small hands on his back, and he stopped sliding back, thanks to their combined efforts, but Sesshoumaru was still pissed that he had even been pushed back to begin with.
"…" Sesshoumaru said as he glared at Naraku. Sesshoumaru deflected the attack to the side with his sword, and leapt at Naraku. Sesshoumaru kept the sword's energy from being released, so that it couldn't be used against them, and struck Naraku with what should have been a deadly blow.
"Kukuku, it's futile…" Naraku said, smirking smugly. He was just a head attached to a neck now, but he only seemed to be getting cockier. It really pissed Katsumi off.
"That's it!" Katsumi yelled as a vein popped on her forehead. "Hyo_kogamo!" Katsumi swung her sword and sent a wave of her crystallized youki shards at him.
"You fool! It'll just be deflected!" Jaken yelled. Naraku chuckled as Katsumi's attack came at him. To his surprise, her attack passed through the barrier as well. Naraku hadn't expected her attack to be that powerful, since it had looked so harmless compared to Sesshoumaru's. Naraku managed to stop the shards, and send them flying back at her. Katsumi didn't even flinch.
"Release!" Katsumi shouted and held her hand up in front of her. The shards, which had only been inches away from her face, suddenly glowed and the solidified youki dispersed into a harmless breeze.
'Che! Damn that girl…' Naraku thought. He could easily stop her attack, but it irritated him that it could not be used against her. Naraku kept his composure. "I won't die." Naraku said as he flew off in a swirling cloud of miasma.
"Yeah, you better run!" Katsumi yelled after him.
'How impudent… He used I, Sesshoumaru, as a test for his new body, huh…' Sesshoumaru thought as he glared after the fleeing Naraku. It would be pointless to pursue Naraku at the moment, since their attacks would only be used against them. The only advantage they had was that Katsumi could stop her own attack from harming her, but Sesshoumaru had decided Naraku was his prey, so that wasn't really an option. Besides, he had other things to deal with right now…
"Sesshoumaru…!" Inuyasha yelled as he arrived onto the scene.
"Well, hello to you too…" Katsumi said. 'Don't I get a hello…?' Katsumi wondered.
"So, you're still alive, Inuyasha…" Sesshoumaru said. "At any rate, it seems that… Naraku wanted to kill that woman much more than killing you."
"!?" Inuyasha said. He looked around for Kikyo, but instead, all he saw was her bow, broken in half. 'Kikyo's bow! Kikyo! Naraku has… killed Kikyo!?' Inuyasha thought angrily as he held Kikyo's broken bow tightly. "Kikyo…" Inuyasha said sadly. Katsumi stepped towards Inuyasha. Now that Naraku was gone, she didn't have to worry about that ass-hat finding out the truth.
"Inuyasha, Naraku forced Kikyo into that fissure, but…" Katsumi started to explain, but she heard a buzzing sound. It was saimyosho. Naraku must have left a few of them behind to spy on them. Katsumi bit her lip. With those things there, she couldn't talk openly about how she had saved Kikyo. Her healing techniques only worked for youkai, and Kikyo was still seriously injured. Inuyasha deserved to know that Kikyo was safe for now, but if she killed the stupid bugs so that she could tell him, Naraku would definitely suspect something.
"This is a terrible miasma. There's no way that woman survived." Jaken said. Katsumi glared at Jaken, and the imp flinched. Sesshoumaru glanced at Katsumi. He could smell the miko's scent on her, and if Katsumi had truly failed to save the woman, being the bleeding heart she is, Katsumi would have been acting much more upset. Sesshoumaru glanced in the direction the saimyosho were hiding in. He had heard them too.
'I see… she's protecting the miko…' Sesshoumaru thought. Sesshoumaru turned to leave. There was no point in lingering any longer.
"Ah… Sesshoumaru-sama." Jaken said when he noticed they were being left behind. Katsumi hadn't hurried to follow him, like she usually did. She didn't feel it was right for her to leave Inuyasha alone with his grief like this, and if she waited long enough, the saimyosho might leave…
"Inuya—" Katsumi said gently. She thought if they could just get away from the saimyosho, maybe she could tell him, but Inuyasha cut her off.
"Wait a fucking minute, Sesshoumaru!" Inuyasha roared. Sesshoumaru stopped and glanced back at Inuyasha. Katsumi paled slightly. She couldn't tell whether the seemingly emotionless expression Sesshoumaru had on his face meant that he was angry at Inuyasha or slightly impressed with him for having the gall to yell at him like that.
"You bastard… did you just watch it happen? While Kikyo was killed… Katsumi, what were you doing while Kikyo was killed!?" Inuyasha yelled. Sesshoumaru glanced at Katsumi. She was wearing a pained expression. She wanted to tell Inuyasha what had happened, but if Naraku found out, Kikyo might really die.
"I'm sorry, Inuyasha…" Katsumi said sadly. '… I'm sorry I can't tell you.' She thought.
"…" Sesshoumaru said as he watched the exchange between the two friends. Inuyasha looked betrayed and angry, and Katsumi looked like she was going to cry out of guilt and frustration. "What kind of connection do you have with that woman…?" Sesshoumaru said, drawing Inuyasha's scathing glare onto himself instead of Katsumi. "Not that I want to know, but… Naraku is the one who killed this Kikyo person. Besides… the one who couldn't save her was you, Inuyasha."
"!" Inuyasha said and grit his teeth in frustration. As infuriating as it was, he knew Sesshoumaru was right. He was just taking his frustration and anger for being so helpless out on Katsumi.
"If you have time to growl at us, then go after Naraku." Sesshoumaru said as he turned to leave.
"Exactly." Jaken said as he followed behind Sesshoumaru. Katsumi glanced back at Inuyasha one last time, but he had his bowed, and wouldn't even look at her. Katsumi frowned sadly and left with Sesshoumaru and Jaken.
In case you're wondering why Katsumi didn't smell Inuyasha right away on Mt. Hakurei like Sesshoumaru did, it's because her nose isn't as sensitive as his, so she misses things sometimes.