Ready to Face the World
Almost two months has passed since Kagome has been in the H.E.R., the healers kept everyone informed of her condition and if there were any signs of awakening, though they have yet to see it. As Kagome was still in a trance-like sleep, Kouga and Shiori kept the kingdom in order also told the village generals to be on high alert for anything out of the ordinary. They were to keep everything on high security since Kagome wasn't there to keep everything in line or in check.
Tinotsu walked into the H.E.R. and stopped in front of the entrance as the door closed behind him. The healers looked up over at him then gave a curt nod telling him he may continue on. He returned the nod and slowly walked over to the pool where he saw five men standing around the pool. By the way they dressed and how their shadows seems to be currently missing, he instantly knew they were one of the hell shadow demons. He had seen them once or twice wandering around the dark corridors of the kingdom.
As he reached the edge of the pool, he looked at the demons from the side of his eyes. When he did, all five pairs of eyes turned to him making him quickly look away from them to gaze at Kagome's floating form. He felt their eyes linger on him for a while before leaving, which he silently sighed with relief, he had no clue what those demons were capable of.
'I wonder how Lady Kagome came in contact with such demons?' he wondered to himself as he stared at Kagome's slumbering form floating in the water.
After a while, he relaxed and examined Kagome's form more closely as he felt more secure sensing that the those hell demons were completely gone. His eyes almost popped out of his sockets when he saw not a sixteen year old looking girl, but an older and battle worn looking woman. The woman almost looked similar to the young woman he saw only a month ago.
'What…what happened?' he exclaimed mentally though unbeknownst to him that he asked the question aloud. The five shadow demons suddenly appeared around him, two on his right, two on his left, and one behind him. He almost fell into the pool as he jumped at their sudden appearance, one of them spoke, "I see you are having a hard time grasping the situation at hand here."
Tinotsu looked to his left, then to his right then spun around and looked at all five shadow demons that were around him. He blinked once or twice then swallowed down the saliva within his mouth; he nodded his head, unable to find his voice at the moment.
The shadow demons stared at him with calm, impassive expression, "it would have been a surprise if you had grasped on to what was going on here. The healers or any of us know what is going on with our lady, this has been going on for quite some time and none of us could find out what has been the cause of it."
"But," Tinotsu's words died on his lips as he turned around to look back at Kagome to only see her look exactly like she did a month ago, that sixteen year old girl. He blinked a repeatedly then closed his eyes and shook his head, "this must be some kind of mind trick."
"Sadly, it is not. Our lady's appearance has been shifting to young to older as though time around her was fasting forward then going back." said the one with white highlights in his hair.
Tinotsu opened his eyes and looked at him with an astounded expression, "wait, are you saying-" "yes. It would appear that what you, the workers, the soldiers, all of us has seen Lady Kagome as she was," there was a brief momenet of pause. "Was but just an illusion," a drop of water shot up from the pool then fell back in with a small drip sound.
"Uhg, we have been traveling around these stupid lands for about a month now and we still can't find that damn jewel shard!" Inuyasha shouted with frustration, looking about ready to pull his own hair out and just…cry.
Kikyo put her cold pale hand on his tense shoulder in attempt to comfort him, "calm down Inuyasha, shouting or whining will not make the jewel shards appear right in front of us," she said trying to reassure the frustrated and pissed off half demon.
"Looks whose talking, you're suppose to be the GREAT priestess, though you haven't been sensing the jewel shards, just lazing around like the walking dead. Oh, oops, I forgot, you are," sneered Sango.
'Here we go again,' Shippo and Miroku rolled their eyes, Kirara just flicked her tail with irritation, now starting to wonder if this was really the woman she helped and risked her tail for, for all these years. She shook her head now thinking that those years she was wasted, she was not going to get back. She took one leap and landed on Shippo's head though he didn't look at her or say anything.
All of the sudden, two tiger demons and three wolf demons with different color fur jumped out in front of them and growled and roared. Everyone instantly stopped and tensed up. Sango's eyes widened while Kikyo quickly hid behind Inuyasha, who growled and put his hand on his sword, ready to pull it out.
Seeing this, the wolf and tiger demons tensed up, their hackles rose up making them look a bit bigger. They growled even louder, baring their pearl white fangs that glistened as the sun shined down upon them.
"Tsu, Cho, cease!"
"Nos, Kah, Nian, calm down!" two male voices ordered.
Everyone watched in amazement as the five demons instantly stopped growling and sat down looking as though nothing had ever happened.
'What the hell?' thought Inuyasha.
Two male demons walked out from the forest foliage, both of the demons were wolf demons. One looked to be some mixed breeds of a wolf demon while the other one... "Kouga!" Inuyasha shouted with shock and anger.
The demon that everyone instantly recognized as Kouga, turned around and looked at Inuyasha. When his eyes landed on his fiery gold amber ones he just scoffed and turned back to the other wolf demons. Everyone was shocked at this, usually Kouga would jump at the chance of making smartass remarks and do something to antagonize the half breed. However, never in their wildest dreams would they have imagined Kouga just ignoring Inuyasha as though he was nothing but an annoying little bug that flies around dead meat.
Blinking a couple times "hey you mangy wolf, don't ignore me!" Inuyasha growled then pulled out his sword though was shocked to see it didn't transform to its original glorious form. His ears twitched a bit in confusion, Kouga looked over his shoulder at him "hm, I see your sword is not cooperating with you, how pathetic can you get Inuyasha, fighting with a sword that is temporarily useless to you" he inquired in a bored like tone. Inuyasha growled at him "why you?" he snarled, about to charge at him, Miroku and Shippo quickly went in front of him, blocking his way of attacking Kouga.
"It has been a long time Kouga," Miroku greeted with a slight bow.
Kouga gave Miroku a curt nod of acknowledgment, "as of you monk. I see you and the kit has been fairing well over the pass few years," he said observing the two.
"Yes, but barely," Shippo said, mumbling that last part. He quickly moved to the side, dodging Inuyasha's foot as he threw swift kick.
Kouga frowned at this, "I see you are still picking on demons who are younger than you Inuyasha," he commented with a condescending look.
Inuyasha snarled at him, "shut up you mangy flea bitten wolf! Where the hell have you been for all these years, hiding in a small den when you realized that you were no match for me?" Inuyasha asked smugly with a smirk to match.
"Actually," Kouga rolled his eyes from Inuyasha's cockiness, "no. I've been doing more important things than play petty games with pups such as you," he said dryly.
Inuyasha smirk instantly dropped and his face turned beet red in rage, "that's it!" he lunge at him, but was quickly caught by the scruff of the neck by Sango. Inuyasha yelped like a wounded puppy and fell back onto the ground onto his butt.
"Inuyasha, quit it!" she screamed at him, Inuyasha rubbed his injured neck and pouted at her. The other wolf demon looked at Sango then at Inuyasha then at Kikyo, who seemed to be ready to shoot them with an arrow. He then scoffed and turned his attention to Kouga, "it would seem there is no real threat here. We should continue on with the patrol around the lands, but this time we should separate, you take the borders while I take the center."
Kouga nodded in agreement to this plan and both the demons turned, about to dart in different directions.
"Wait!" both the two wolf demons stopped in mid-stride then turned to see Shippo standing a bit closer to them then the last time they saw him.
The demon raised one brow with curiosity in his eyes, "yes?"
"Do you know where the Southern Kingdom might be, we are searching for it since we heard a rumor of a jewel shard being here," he explained to them.
The demon tilted his head and looked to the side, reminding Shippo of Kagome when she's usually thinking back on something, he mentally shook his head of the thought.
"Hmm, I haven't been informed of any jewel shards being around the area nor at the kingdom," the demon answered as he tried to recall if there was any news of the jewel shard being sighted.
"Feh, that mangy wolf has them, he always uses them to boost his speed and strength like a weakling," interjected Inuyasha.
Kouga again rolled his eyes but this time, with exasperation. He was now beginning to wonder how he was able to tolerate Inuyasha all those years ago. 'Oh yeah, Kagome,' he thought with an inward smile before speaking, "I don't have them anymore."
"WHAT?" yelled everyone simultaneously hurting the demon's ears, they inwardly winced as their eardrums throbbed painfully.
Inuyasha was instantly on his feet with a fierce glare on his face, "what the hell wolf! you're that pathetic that you lose two shards from your legs?" he shouted.
In a flash he was lifted in the air with a hand on his neck in a firm, but tight grip.
He instinctively grabbed the offender's wrist and clawed at it, trying to get loose from their grasp. The offender, Kouga, growled at him lowly, "I had quite enough of your disrespect to my person also strength. As head general of the Southern Kingdom, I hereby granting you till sunset to leave these lands at once before I send my men and wolves after you." With that said, he let go of Inuyasha neck, not caring if he got hurt at all and turned on his heels and walked away from the coughing half demon. He paused in his step when he was about close to the other wolf demon, he nose twitched a bit then he turned his head to the side and sniffed.
The other wolf demon took one step closer to him, his eyes immediately began scanning the area for any danger and the two tigers and three wolves crouched in a fighting stance.
"What is it?" he asked, Kouga took one more whiff before looking at him with a surprise and almost happy expression "she's awake" he whispered quietly. The other wolf demon's eyes widened with shock then it slowly melted away into a smile filled with relief and happiness, "well, I think we should go and greet her" Kouga nodded. Both the wolf demons turned and ran back into the forest which the other tiger and wolf demons followed, leaving behind a very confused group and two suspicious ones.
"In life, everyone's lives are limited, not by time, but by fate."
"No, not God, not a Goddess nor even the devil himself. Everything that happens in life is depending on the person who lives it; destiny is ruled by the path the person chooses, the choices they make. Fate, well,, It depends on how they go on with their lives."
"What do you mean?" silver red eyes look into curious blue ones, "sometimes man can't take only one path and think their journey will go on smoothly. Sometimes you have to take chances and go onto another path. Fate is kind of like flipping a coin of life or death, it depends only on that coin, everything." Silver red eyes looked away from those curious blue ones to an image of where a coin was slowly descending down from the sky.
"That coin is the only thing that decides if you are to continue on or to stop on your journey, that is like watching your life flash before your very eyes. And when it all comes down," the image of the coin fell to black nothingness ground "…fate will decide whether or not to open a door to a new path," the coin showed it to be on heads. Blue eyes stared at the coin on the black ground.
"Just like my destiny was never to be with Inuyasha."
"No, all that happened to you was an example of the game Destiny and Fate. If your destiny were to be with that half-breed, your fate would have been a hollow life. Sn image of a past lover who he thought should have been given another chance to experience life once again. This would have been your fate," with a swish of a wrist an image of what looked to be a battlefield with Inuyasha and the rest of the gang appeared.
Blue eyes widened when seeing them and Kikyo in the grasp of Naraku, the evil half-breed laughed evilly, "who do you choose Inuyasha, your past lover or your precious mate?"
Inuyasha growled, tightening his grip on Tetsusaiga, "let them go you sadistic bastard!" he yelled out angrily.
"Oh, sadistic bastard am I?" Naraku said with false aghast, "I am not the one who goes around fucking other women when they already have a mate especially one of their comrades." He looked over at Sango who looked at him with wide like eyes, reminding them of a deer caught in headlights.
She looked over at Miroku who stared at her with the same look, "no," she whispered.
Miroku's face slowly turned to a blank mirror-like stare then took a step away from her, "no, he's lying! I would never, we would never." She tried to come up with an excuse, but no matter what she tired to say, it would seem it lead to the unmistakable truth.
Naraku laughed loudly this time then looked at Inuyasha who seemed he was about ready to charge at him, but he tightened his tentacle around Kagome and Kikyo's body harder making them scream loudly in pain. Inuyasha took one step back with shock showing in his eyes, "ah, ah, ah~ I wouldn't do anything stupid now Inuyasha," he taunted.
Inuyasha growled then looked to Kikyo then Kagome then back at Kikyo, after what seemed like centuries he slowly lowered his head, "I choose…"
Tentacles went through the chest of both Kagome and Kikyo and their highly pitched screams mingled in the air and throughout the battlefield. Not one single tear spilled from those golden amber depths which one woman had so dearly trusted with all her might and power.
Blue eyes instantly looked away from the sight and the image disappeared.
"Now do you see, lives are limited by fate, also destiny. When you put your fate into another person's hands, you had better be ready for the consequences."
Fingers twitched slightly then slowly flexed a bit before curling inward. The healer, seeing the movement, immediately notified the other healers as swiftly and quietly as possible. The other healers entered the pool and walked over to Kagome's body, which was slowly descending down into the water.
They stood there for a while as her body floated into the water then the door flew open revealing Kouga and Chino "is Kagome/Lady Kagome awake?" they both asked in unison.
Eyelids flew open revealing silver and red tinted eyes.
"I can't believe that bastard, calling me a pathetic. Ha! Says the person who controlled by some spoiled ruler," Inuyasha grumbled to himself.
The group were now leaving the Southern Lands as Kouga had told them to do, well directly to Inuyasha. However, they didn't want to leave him alone, not really knowing what he might do if they did.
"I can't believe how…grown up Kouga looked. Did you see how casual he looked, and he didn't even try and put up a fight with Inuyasha like he normally does," Shippo said to Miroku who nodded in turn.
"Yes, I am quite surprised as well, but what I'm really surprised about is that he's the general of the Southern Kingdom," Miroku commented.
"Yeah, I though he was the prince of the Southwestern lands," Shippo frowned thoughtfully.
"So did I," Miroku matched his thoughtful expression as he tried to remember what lands Kouga had ruled before.
Shippo suddenly perked him, his tail going shot upwards, "oh wait! Since he was the prince of the southwestern lands that give the ruler- oh, that make perfect sense," he slapped his own forehead. "After all, wolves are loyal," Shippo said the last part loudly enough for Inuyasha could hear.
Inuyasha's ears shot up and twitched a few times before he turned his head and gave him a death glare though Shippo just stuck his nose and the air.
Inuyasha turned his head only to bump into Kikyo and Sango, he stumbled back a bit but quickly regained his footing.
"Hey, what's the big deal?" he looked at the two girls to see them staring at something. He followed their line of sight to see the one thing he never thought to see in a thousand centuries or even another lifetime.