The Other Woman Who Loved Sesshoumaru III
"Hmph… So, that is your true form?" Sesshoumaru said coldly as he stared at Sara.
Katsumi glanced at Sesshoumaru. Other than the red eyes, Katsumi didn't notice any other changes in Sara's form, so she didn't know why Sesshoumaru had reacted that way… although, she did get the feeling that Sara had somehow become more dangerous… and she could smell Inuyasha approaching them… maybe that's why he was in such a bad mood. Sara stopped walking towards them.
"True form?" Sara said, confused. "What do you mean, Sesshoumaru-sama?"
"There you are!" Inuyasha yelled as he arrived on the scene and immediately leapt at Sara.
"Hah! It's Inuyasha." Sara said, smirking. Katsumi stared at Sara. There was definitely something wrong here.
"Sankon-tessou!" Inuyasha yelled as he tried to attack, but Sesshoumaru intervened. He drew Tokijin and swiped his sword at Inuyasha, knocking him back with the sword's kenatsu. It looked like Sesshoumaru was attacking Inuyasha, but Katsumi knew that Sesshoumaru had actually swung his sword slower on purpose. He was just warning Inuyasha to back off. Inuyasha flew backwards, but he flipped over and managed to land on his feet. Inuyasha held his now minorly injured shoulder.
"So, you're gonna get in the way, Sesshoumaru!?" Inuyasha yelled.
"You will not lay a finger on her." Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi's eyes widened. She knew Sesshoumaru must've had a reason for saying that, and it probably had something to do with the creepy vibe she was getting from Sara, but it still upset her to hear it. Sara smirked at her. A vein throbbed on Katsumi's head as she gave Sara her brilliant, but menacing 'I'm smiling, but in reality, I'm going to kill you if you piss me off any more' shit-eating grins. Sara flinched, but regained her composure.
"She is none of your concern." Sesshoumaru told Inuyasha.
"She does have his sword though…" Katsumi said. Sesshoumaru glanced at her. Katsumi knew full well that he didn't like to hear Tessaiga referred to as 'Inuyasha's sword,' but she just couldn't seem to control her sarcasm whenever she was in one of her dark moods.
"No way! Like Katsumi said, I'm gonna get Tessaiga back! Hijin-kessou!" Inuyasha yelled as he attacked again.
"Yeah, but I didn't say to fight Sesshoumaru-sama for it, did I?" Katsumi said as Sesshoumaru blocked Inuyasha's attack with his sword. One of the blades of blood bounced of the sword and flew towards Katsumi's head.
"Whoa!" Katsumi yelled as she ducked. The blade continued flying, right into Sara, and cut off her arm.
"!" Sara said, grunting in pain. Youkai began emerging from what was left of her severed arm. They flew at Inuyasha and wrapped themselves around him tightly, like a boa constrictor.
"Inuyasha!" Katsumi said, worried about her friend, despite how he had treated her before.
"Curse you, Inuyasha! I shall send you to your death!" Sara said.
"Oh, no you don't!" Katsumi said as she lunged at Sara. Sara released more youkai, and they managed to catch and constrict Katsumi too. "Ugh, gross!" Katsumi said in disgust. One of them was slimy. Sesshoumaru turned to face Sara.
"Do not reveal anymore of your disgusting self to me!" Sesshoumaru said in a cold tone of voice that could freeze fire.
"Sesshoumaru-sama…" Sara said, sounding hurt. Katsumi and Inuyasha continued to struggle against the youkai restraining them. Sara glared down at Katsumi. "This is your fault! Because of you…!" Sara yelled angrily as she made the youkai holding Katsumi squeeze her body tighter before sinking their fangs into her.
"Gyaah!" Katsumi yelled in pain as she squeezed her eye shut. "Stop it!" A bright, green light shone from within her and disintegrated the youkai holding and biting her, but some of them had already injected their venom into her. Sesshoumaru sliced Sara in half with his sword, but instead of killing her, more youkai began flooding forth from her body.
"Sesshoumaru…!" A demonic voice roared in outrage as they flew at him. "Damn you! You've exposed us…!" The demonic voice coming from Sara's mouth said as her face changed to resemble that of a hideous oni, with two bent horns and large fangs, as Sesshoumaru stepped over Katsumi and killed all the youkai that came at them.
"Did you truly believe I would not see through that disguise!?" Sesshoumaru said, infuriated that he had been underestimated to such a degree, that it was insulting to his intelligence. The youkai possessing Sara laughed sinisterly.
"Good for you, Sesshoumaru… you found us out. As you thought… Sara was simply a medium. Our true aim… is you, Sesshoumaru!" The youkai said. "We made use of Inuyasha, and took his Tessaiga, knowing with certainty, that you would appear. It seems our plan was right on target, though we did not expect you to already have a woman with you." Sesshoumaru didn't respond. He just stared back at the youkai coldly. The rest of the Inu-tachi arrived, riding on Kirara's back. Sango and Miroku immediately dismounted, ready to fight.
"So many youkai!" Shippo said in alarm.
"Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled when she saw him, still being restrained by the youkai, though, unlike Katsumi, he hadn't been bitten.
"Hiraikotsu!" Sango yelled as she threw her Hiraikotsu and killed the youkai restraining Inuyasha.
"Inuyasha, get down!" Miroku yelled as he removed the seal on his wind tunnel. "Kazaana!" Miroku began sucking the huge hoard of demons into his wind tunnel. The youkai possessing Sara's body began sliding towards Miroku.
"Hey, Miroku! Don't suck up my Tessaiga too!" Inuyasha yelled.
"I know that!" Miroku said as he sucked in a few more youkai before resealing his hand.
"Dammit!" Inuyasha growled as he glared at they youkai holding Tessaiga. "Kagome, Katsumi was bitten by some of those things. I think she was poisoned!" Inuyasha said. He had already forgiven Katsumi for the incident involving Kikyo at Mt. Hakurei, and felt guilty for taking his frustration out on her, since he knew that Katsumi would've definitely at least tried to save her.
"Eh? Katsumi-chan!?" Kagome shouted, worried for her friend. She looked around and saw Katsumi lying on the ground. It looked like Sesshoumaru was possibly trying to shield her, but Katsumi looked extremely pale, and she had broken out into a cold sweat. 'Where's that poison antidote I have in here…!?' Kagome thought as she began hastily digging through her bag for something that would help Katsumi. "Got it!" Kagome said as she found the packet of medicine from the modern era, and a can of soda for Katsumi to take it with. Kagome quickly ran over to Katsumi and knelt beside her. Sesshoumaru glanced back at them, but didn't make any move to stop Kagome. Kagome pulled Katsumi up, and held her against herself in a sighting position. "You're going to be alright, Katsumi-chan, you just have to swallow this, it's a poison antidote from our time." Kagome said as she opened Katsumi's mouth and placed the pill in it.
Kagome held the soda can against Katsumi's lips, and Katsumi's eyes opened slightly. She glanced weakly at Kagome and the can, and then she took a sip and swallowed the pill. Katsumi's eyes closed again as she drifted off to sleep, tired from the sudden burst of energy she had instinctively released, and the poison that was wreaking havoc on her body. It was even more potent than Mukotsu's had been. Kagome sighed in relief. Then, something clicked. Kagome glanced up at the youkai. There was a wooden flute partially sticking out of its kimono.
"Wait, Inuyasha! That flute…" Kagome said.
"What!?" Inuyasha yelled, frustrated that he couldn't get closer to the youkai with out being able to use his sword. Yet, Kagome had gotten through so easily… it was almost like Sesshoumaru had made a path for her to get to Katsumi while he was fighting, but Inuyasha figured it was probably just his imagination.
"The nun had that flute with her when the shrine exploded!" Kagome said.
"So, what of it!?" Inuyasha yelled.
"The youkai could be that nun from the shrine!" Kagome said.
"You mean, that mass of youkai…?" Shippo yelled, from where he was still perched on Kirara's back.
"So, those youkai possessed that nun?" Miroku said.
"That must be it!" Kagome said.
"Keh! Then all we can do for her is destroy her!" Inuyasha said as he dodged more youkai.
"This woman's spiritual energy has become our power, and once we absorb your demonic powers, Sesshoumaru, we will become the most powerful demon of all!" The youkai said.
"Hmph! Trash, the whole lot of you!" Sesshoumaru said coldly.
"!" The youkai said, and flinched as they heard Sara's voice.
"S-Sesshoumaru-sama…" Sara said as the lesser youkai stopped flowing out at them, and a transparent image of her face appeared instead. "Please, forgive me…" Sara said with teary eyes.
'So, she hasn't been completely taken over.' Sesshoumaru thought. This woman appeared to be just as resilient as Katsumi.
"Hah! Silence! You are now a part of us!" The youkai growled. "Soon, you will lose all volition, and you will not be able to move or die."
"All because of my foolishness… I have been such a burden to you, Sesshoumaru-sama. That girl even got hurt." Sara said regretfully as tears slid down her face.
"Hey, I said to keep quiet!" The youkai growled angrily.
"Sesshoumaru-sama… If you are able…" Sara pleaded. Sesshoumaru glanced at Sara's tear stained face and her sorrowful, by loving expression… it reminded him too much of the way Katsumi had looked at him when she asked to remain by his side after he rejected her. "If you are able… please, destroy me along with the youkai." Sara said. Sesshoumaru instantly slashed the youkai down the middle with Tokijin, not even a second after Sara had finished speaking. A new wave of lesser youkai burst forth from the wound.
"It's useless!" The youkai gloated, laughing. "That sword is consumed by anger and hatred! To those of us who thirst for blood, that sword revitalizes us. You cannot destroy us, since that sword only gives us power!" Sesshoumaru swung Tokijin, slicing off the youkai's arm that held Tessaiga. The detached arm transformed into another youkai, and Tessaiga landed, stuck upright in the ground, beside Sesshoumaru. Kagome drew one of her arrows and prepared to shoot the youkai possessing Sara.
"Kagome!" Inuyasha yelled.
"I'm going to try! I want to save her! Maybe I can purify her body of those demons!" Kagome yelled back. Kagome fired her sacred arrow at the youkai. It pierced all the way through its chest, but then even more youkai flooded out.
"Damn you, girl!" The youkai yelled angrily.
"The demons have multiplied!" Shippo shouted. Inuyasha sliced a youkai with his claws as it flew at Kagome.
"Sorry!" Kagome said. 'But if we don't do anything, that woman will…' Kagome thought sadly. "Besides, she feels the same as Katsumi-chan… I can't just leave someone alone when they remind me so much of my friend…" Kagome whispered softly, but Sesshoumaru heard her. Sesshoumaru gave a quick glance back at Katsumi. She was still unconscious, but some of the color had returned to her face.
"If I cannot use my Tokijin…" Sesshoumaru said as he put Tokijin away, and grabbed hold of Tessaiga. There was a huge spark and intense energy crackled and shot out of the sword, due to the spell placed on Tessaiga that was supposed to prevent any youkai from wielding the sword.
"The Tessaiga!" Inuyasha yelled in surprise.
"Sesshoumaru is wielding the Tessaiga!" Kagome shouted. Katsumi's eyes opened slightly when she heard that last sentence and felt the energy from the sword. She watched with leaden eyes as Sesshoumaru pulled Tessaiga from its sheathe. None of her inner thoughts of worry and concern for how much pain it was causing him, were outwardly revealed. She was too limp from exhaustion to even be able to change her facial expression.
'Tessaiga, you who can destroy a hundred demons in a single stroke, lend me your power!' Sesshoumaru thought as he finished completely removing the sword from its sheathe, and the blade transformed, despite the fact that the barrier on it was still reacting to Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru raised Tessaiga as the whole swarm of youkai flew at him. Sesshoumaru swung Tessaiga, unleashing the Kaze no kizu. The others all watched in amazement as Sesshoumaru's attack wiped out everything in its path, and even left a trail of molten rock behind where it had scorched the path it had traveled on the ground.
"Tessaiga!" Inuyasha shouted in surprise when the sword flew through the air and landed at his feet. Sesshoumaru had let go of Tessaiga once he no longer needed it, and the blast of wind, stirred up from the attack, had blown it back, towards Inuyasha. Sesshoumaru stared at down at his hand. Though Tessaiga had transformed for him, the barrier had not given in at all, and parts of Sesshoumaru's hand were now covered in third-degree burns where he had gripped the sword. He still could not fully wield it properly.
"Hah!" You've come back at last, Tessaiga!" Inuyasha shouted happily as he held his sword up by the handle. A few of the remaining youkai, that had just barely managed to escape Sesshoumaru's attack, charged at Inuyasha. "Now I'll show you! This is my Tessaiga!" Inuyasha shouted cockily as he turned to face them. "K-Kagome!" Inuyasha yelled as Kagome drew another one of her sacred arrows and fired.
"Go!" Kagome yelled at the arrow. "Hurry, use your Kaze no kizu!"
"O-Oh!" Inuyasha said, having lost his moment. "Kaze no kizu!" Inuyasha yelled as he swung Tessaiga, and his attack combined with Kagome's, not only wiping out all the youkai, but also purifying the air around them.
Sesshoumaru glanced down at Katsumi. Her strength was finally starting to return to her. Katsumi's eyes flicked between Sesshoumaru and Sara, whose soul appeared to have been saved, after all, but Sara was still dying… alone. Katsumi looked up at Sesshoumaru and smiled softly. 'Go,' she seemed to be saying. Sesshoumaru stared down her a moment longer, before turning and walking over to Sara. Sara smiled at him, weak, but grateful and relieved as he body slowly decomposed into some strange shimmering dust. Her flute lay beside her on the ground.
"I am free at last. Sesshoumaru-sama…" Sara said. Sesshoumaru stared down at her emotionlessly. "Thank you." Sara said. Sesshoumaru knelt down beside her and picked up her flute, staring at it. "I have no regrets… because at the very end… I was able to express my true feelings… to you." Sesshoumaru glanced at Sara again as she closed her eyes, and nothing was left of her, except the pile of shimmering dust. Sesshoumaru stuck the flute into Sara's remains, like an impromptu sotoba. Sesshoumaru picked up Katsumi and put her over his shoulder.
"Go and play your flute in the netherworld." Sesshoumaru said as he walked away with Katsumi.
"Where could he have gone?" Jaken grumbled as he paced back and forth. Rin and Ah-Un were both lying down and taking it easy. It was growing late in the day. The rock walls of once gloomy valley they had been left to wait in, now glowed a brilliant read as they reflected the sunset. Rin hummed as she played with a stray branch she had found. She saw white and black out the corner of her eye.
"Huh? Oh, Sesshoumaru-sama! Katsumi-nee!" Rin said cheerfully and waved as they both walked closer. The reason they had been so late was because they agreed it would be better if Rin didn't see Katsumi looking so close to death, because it would've just made the poor girl worry unnecessarily, since Katsumi recovered completely after an hour, thanks to Kagome's medicine.
"Where have you been, Sesshoumaru-sama!?" Jaken asked excitedly, using the same tone of voice as Rin. Katsumi almost bit her tongue. It was cute when Rin, an adorable little girl talked like that, but when an adult male, like Jaken, talked cutesy like that, it kind of weirded her out.
"Nowhere." Sesshoumaru said as he passed Jaken by without even looking at the imp. He too found it slightly disturbing when Jaken spoke to him like that.
"Nowhere?" Jaken said, drooping slightly. "Oh, don't be so vague… Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken said in a girly voice again.
"Jaken… when I told you the other day that you 'catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar'… This is NOT what I meant. Please, don't ever use that tone of voice again…" Katsumi said as she passed him.
"I've brought you a souvenir, Rin." Katsumi said as she pulled a bouquet of wild lilies out of the sleeve of her haori. Sesshoumaru and Katsumi had stopped in a nearby pasture that was filled with wild flowers while he waited for her to heal. "I saw these on our way back, and thought you might like them." Rin's happy smile was positively radiant as she hugged Katsumi.
"Oh, thank you, Katsumi-nee!" Rin cried joyfully as she held the bouquet and smelled the sweet and fragrant flowers. She scratched Ah-Un's ears for him and climbed onto the dragon's back with Rin. She had just recovered from being poisoned, after all.
"Let's go." Sesshoumaru said as he started walking away.
"Yes!" Rin and Katsumi said as Ah-Un followed Sesshoumaru.
"I'm sorry, Sesshoumaru-sama." Jaken said, still using his girly voice as he ran to catch up to them and walked beside Sesshoumaru. He began singing Rin's song. "Sesshoumaru-sama, where—" A genuine vein mark actually throbbed on the always composed Sesshoumaru-sama's head. He'd had enough. Sesshoumaru whacked Jaken over the head, effectively silencing the imp, who grunted in pain and surprise at the sudden blow.
'I tried to warn him…' Katsumi thought, sweat dropping.
A sotoba is a type of Buddhist wooden grave marker. It is usually only temporary and is used to display the 'kaimyo' or Buddhist posthumous name given to someone after their death.