"I've got a plan so listen up." Inuyasha stated. Sango and Miroku waited for him to elaborate.
"Tetsusaiga has a barrier breaking technique, but I'm pretty sure if Naraku sees it coming he'll be able to counter it. If you guys can just buy me a few minutes to find a weak spot I can take him out." Inuyasha explained.
"How are we supposed to distract him? We have no weapons." Miroku pointed out. Sighing, Inuyasha and Sango sat quietly, trying to think of something when Sango's eyes widened and a smile slowly tugged at the corners of her mouth.
"What’s wrong with her face?" Inuyasha asked the other male standing beside him, slowly backing away from the scary looking girl.
"I know where we can get weapons. My family's ancestors were demon slayers. My father trained me in the art of demon slaying before he died, when I first moved here with Kagome I hid all of the weapons I carried. I knew this hallway looked familiar Follow me."
Making their way down the dark corridor Sango keep her hands on the wall applying pressure here and there until she pushed and the wall slid open.
"Yes! It's all still here!" Sango said excitingly, she darted around the small room grabbing a katana and other small blades. She disappeared in the darkness only to reappear with a huge a boomerang.
Inuyasha and Miroku eyed the weapon with surprised expressions and Sango smirked, while touching it gently.
"This is my favorite weapon, Hiraikotsu, It’s made from the bones of slain demons. My father once told me it has the ability to cut through demonic energy. I've been training with it ever since I can remember."
"Wow." Miroku said unable to take his eyes off the large weapon.
"It's huge!" Inuyasha said unintelligently.
"Why thank you, now get out you can't expect me to fight in this yukata right?" Once again disappearing into the back Sango came back minutes later looking like a true taijiya, her ancestors would've been proud. Her long brown hair was tied into a high ponytail. She was clad in pink and black body armor that hugged her curves in all the right places. The magenta shadow covering her eyelids gave her masculine garment a touch of femininity.
Miroku thought she was simply beautiful.
"Miroku I don't know if you want to fight in those robes but you can have this armor if you want it. It used to be my father's so it should fit you." She said with a sad smile.
"Thank you." After Miroku had changed and gathered his own weapons they moved back out into the hallway.
"So you guys know what you have to do right? Keep a look out for my signal." Inuyasha said. Nodding in understanding they all headed to their positions.
It was time to get Kagome back and destroy Naraku.
It was so dark, so cold.
She couldn't see anything, she couldn't feel, it was like she was paralyzed from the neck down and blind. Her body was suspended in darkness, just floating in the blackness of the void.
"Where am I?" she whispered into the nothingness. Suddenly her ears were filled with a terrible noise. Screeching and blood curdling screams echoed around her.
Feeling was returned to her body when ghostly hands began to claw at her, pulling her in every direction. She screamed for help but her cries fell on deaf ears.
There was no one around to save her.
The screeching became louder and she was sure her ears would start to bleed. More hands tugged on her limbs, they were going to tear her apart.
"Is this hell? How did I get here? Please someone help me!" Tears streamed down her cheeks, she didn't want to die here, not like this...all alone and scared.
You must remember, only then will you find the strength you need to fight.
The voice, it was soothing, melodic almost. She couldn’t concentrate, not with so many hands on her. What was it trying to tell her?
You must remember. You must fight. Or you will die.
“I don't want to die here!" The girl screamed. The voices of the dead and the damned skidded past her ears sending a chilling her to bone.
You must remember.
"Remember what? Who even are you?"
You must fight.
"Fight for what? Fight whom? I don't know what you're talking about!"
You will die here.
"NO!" the girl yelled hysterically, "leave me alone!" She tried in vain to pull her arms from the clutches of the ghouls who were threatening to consume her.
She wanted to remember, she wanted fight, she didn't want to die, not here. Then she heard something, a strange pulse.
It sounded like..."A heartbeat?"
Kagome? Who was Kagome?
"Please. Come back to me Kagome."
"I don't know...who that is." she said uncertainly. But didn't she know? She could feel it, deep within herself. The pulse became louder.
"This girl, is...is she me?" Crimson eyes flashed in the darkness, followed by the most beautiful pair of topaz eyes she'd ever seen. Finally dark violet eyes flashed for a moment and she understood what she had to do.
"My power has already grown ten fold! Soon the jewel will be complete." Naraku stood in the center of his now gigantic barrier.
His head was swimming with the voices of the dead and the demons. They all wanted the same thing he did.
"Soon you'll have everything you've ever desired." Naraku whispered to his pets. They became restless with the promise of power, the promise of their darkest dreams becoming reality.
"Hiraikotsu!" Caught off guard Naraku stumbled as a huge boomerang hit his barrier over and over.
"What the hell is going on?" he screamed. Regaining his composure he saw the friends of prince Inuyasha staring at him with determined expressions etched on their faces.
"Kagura couldn't even kill them? I knew she was useless." He thought to himself. This is why he needed them out of the way...they were nothing but a nuisance.
"If you leave now, I'll give you a chance to run." Naraku said tauntingly.
"Fat chance!" Sango screamed hurdling Hiraikotsu back at Naraku. The boomerang did little damage as it bounced off the barrier. Running and catching her weapon in mid air Sango was forcefully thrown in the opposite direction when her foot connected with the barrier.
"Sango!" She crashed into Miroku and they both landed on the floor, winded after the hard impact.
"You pathetic humans really think that you can defeat me! You'll have to do better than that!" Naraku said as he continued to suck in more tormented souls.
"Just a little more." he whispered in his mind.
The female threw her huge weapon once again, though this time it was covered in spiritual ofuda, creating a small tear in the barrier.
"Now!" the humans darted out of the way as the prince came sprinting out of the shadows, sword brandished and ready to do damage.
When its red blade came in contact with the barrier the rest of it fell to pieces. Seething in anger Naraku eyed the prince with a wild expression.
"Damn you! I'll kill you for what you've done!" He pushed aside a piece of his robe as demons were released from the inside of his body. Inuyasha furiously slashed at them all, but Naraku just kept freeing more.
summer-saulting out of range Inuyasha used his most practiced attack.
"Wind scar!" tendrils of golden demonic aura shot from his sword and engulfed all of the demons coming his way.
"You think you’re pretty little sword is going to be enough to save you, to save her? You're only a hanyou, you're still nothing!" Naraku seethed.
"Yeah like you're one to talk! You used to be human till you sold your soul to those demons, that makes you a hanyou too!" Inuyasha countered.
The evil hanyou said nothing as he unleashed another wave of demons upon Inuyasha. Hidden among the demons was once of Naraku's octopus like tentacles, which embedded itself into Inuyasha's shoulder. Crying out in pain he wretched himself free and he sent another wind scar in Naraku's direction.
Catching Inuyasha off guard by evading the attack, Naraku grabbed him by the throat slamming and hoisting him against the wall. The unexpected impact caused Inuyasha to drop the Tetsusaiga.
"It's over!" Naraku prepared his claws to slit the hanyou's throat, when he felt an immense wave of purity wash over him, strong enough to make his knees shake.
"Let him go." Both half demons turned their attention to the young girl standing in the center of the room, streams of pure spiritual power whipping around her form.
"K-Kagome?" Inuyasha barely chocked out. She looked like an avenging angel sent from heaven to save him.
Naraku stood in both horror and amazement at the girl before him.
"This cannot be happening!"
Kagome moved forward and Naraku made the mistake of letting her get too close. She reached out a small hand and when she made contact with him the strong volt of spiritual energy was enough to send him flying. Inuyasha coughed as the pressure on his throat was finally released and stayed kneeling by Kagome’s side to catch his breath.
"Admit defeat Naraku. It's over." 'Kagome' said.
"Who are you? I don't care if you're in that girls' body, I'll kill you!" He screamed.
"He's lost his mind." Sango whispered to Miroku as they looked on a few feet away from Inuyasha.
"Inuyasha I need you to fire your wind scar one more time." said the voice coming out of Kagome's body.
"Who are you?" He asked gently.
"Now is not the time. When this is over I'll tell you all you need to know, but for the time being I need your help. Will you trust me?"
"Yes." With renewed determination Inuyasha readied his sword prepared to attack when Naraku started laughing maniacally. Naraku turned to face them, a wild look in his eye.
"You're all idiots! Did you really think I'd let you defeat me so easily? Never! I've worked too hard, planned too long, I won't go down without a fight!" The castle grounds started to tremble and shake with Naraku's growing power. His body stretched and extended as his limbs and torso grew to form a large spider web, encasing everyone in the hallway.
Raising his sword Inuyasha was ready to deliver the final blow, "Wind-!"
"Wait! Not yet." The voice said. Naraku's web continued to expand crushing the walls of the castle, threatening to make the whole thing collapse.
"The whole castle is coming apart! We have to stop him now!" Inuyasha yelled to her.
"Wait." She said again. Her eyes closed and a soft pink aura began to surround her. It collected in of Kagome's body as she molded it to become a bow and arrow.
"So much concentrated spiritual energy. He'll never survive that." Miroku commented.
"Die!" Naraku exclaimed as he sent sharp tentacles in the direction of Inuyasha and Kagome.
"Now!" Kagome screamed as she fired her arrow of pure spiritual power.
"Wind scar!" Inuyasha released his attack soon after, the demonic energy of his sword intertwining with spiritual power of Kagome's arrow, creating a powerful attack that Naraku was forced to take head on.
"NO!" He screamed as his body was blasted apart and purified at the same time. The explosion of power forced everyone to take cover from the falling debris.
When the blast subsided, everything was quiet and everyone went still. In the center of the wreckage stood a beautiful woman. Her hair fell to her waist in a beautiful waterfall of midnight, her pale skin was radiated by the sun that beamed through the hallway. Her brown eyes were soft and gentle as she looked into the sunrise.
Whoever this woman was she was stunningly beautiful. The formal red and white kimono of a priestess suited her well, and was only enhanced by the ancient looking armor she wore as well. Sword in hand she looked like a fierce warrior who was to be respected and feared at the same time.
Inuyasha, Miroku, and Sango continued to stare at her as if in a trance. Realization hit Inuyasha first when he saw Kagome's still body lying at the beautiful warrior's feet.
Standing quickly he ran to her side, picking her up gently and cradling her to his chest. He couldn't hear her breathing and her skin was almost freezing.
"Kagome?" He whispered fearing the worst. This couldn't be happening to him. After all he'd done to protect her, after everything they had been through, this wasn’t how it all was supposed to end.
"Kagome, get up, it's over. You can open your eyes now." He said shaking her softly. When she still didn't stir his voice became shakier as he filled with panic.
Inuyasha buried his face in her hair praying to any God that would listen. In the back of his mind he could hear Sango sobbing and Miroku trying and not succeeding to console her.
"Do you want to save her?" Everyone's head snapped in the direction of the voice, her presence momentarily forgotten in their grief.
"Who are you?" Miroku asked.
"I go by many names, though you may know me as Midoriko." She said.
Miroku and Sango stared at her in shock, while Inuyasha looked mildly confused at their reaction.
"You-you're the one who created the first sacred jewel." Sango stated.
"What happened to it? I mean how did it disappear?' Miroku asked her.
"The demons and I were already sealed within the jewel hundreds of years ago, by resealing them and myself inside the shikon I was able to mask our auras and cut off our presence to the outside world." Midoriko explained.
"That's amazing." Miroku said.
"Why are you here and how can I save Kagome?" Inuyasha asked sharply, Kagome was his first and only concern right now.
"Naraku's goal was create a new sacred jewel," she started, "because Kagome had a soul pure enough to counter the tainted souls caused by all this death and distraction she was the key ingredient to creating a new Shikon No Tama. But when you all destroyed the barrier Naraku missed a crucial step in his ritual. Kagome's soul was shattered when he was unable to complete the ritual."
"Shattered?" Sango asked.
"Kagome is now floating around in the darkness of the unfinished Shikon No Tama. When I first reached out to her she didn't even know who she was. She's trying to bring herself back together but it all depends on her own strength. If she cannot find the will to fight, then her soul will forever be lost." Mirdoriko explained.
"Is that why you used her body to defeat Naraku?"
"Yes. Because Kagome's soul is no longer being housed inside her body I was able to fill it with my presence, the combination of my spiritual powers and Inuyasha's demonic aura was enough to totally eliminate Naraku from this world." She answered.
"So what about Kagome? We're supposed to just sit here and wait?" Inuyasha shouted. Once again Kagome needed him and he felt as if there was nothing to be done.
All he could do was watch and wait.
"Inuyasha, Kagome is a strong girl, she won't give up that easily I can assure you." Miroku said trying to sedate Inuyasha's anger and sadness.
"There has to be a way, please..." Inuyasha begged quietly as he looked to Midoriko for answers.
"You love her very much." Midoriko stated more than asked.
"More than anything."
"There is one thing I could do," Inuyasha's eyes lit up with hope, "I can send you to where she is in the counterfeit jewel, but you will essentially be in the same condition she is in. Though your soul will remain intact there is strong possibility you will not be able to return to the physical world. Even if you could somehow manage to return it is not guaranteed that Kagome will return with you." Midoriko said gravely.
"I'll do it." He said cutting off Miroku.
"Inuyasha you should think about this. There's a high chance that one or both of you won't make it out of this." Sango tried to reason.
"I understand that," Inuyasha said in a serious tone, "I know the consequences of what I'm about to do. But the need to save Kagome outweighs all those risks. If leaping into the unknown is the only way to get her back then I'll do it without a second thought."
"You are strong Inuyasha. Your iron will and compassionate heart make you a force to be reckoned with. I will grant you your request and send you inside the jewel. I wish you the best of luck." The ancient priestess said with a smile.
"Thank you." He said quietly. Lifting her slim fingers to land on his forehead, Inuyasha's breathing slowed and he began to feel the distinct sensation of falling. His eyelids became heavy and soon they closed completely. Slumping to the ground next to Kagome his face took on a peaceful look, it seemed as if he was only sleeping.
"I've done all I can do." Midoriko said to Sango and Miroku.
"You've done more than enough, great priestess." Miroku acknowledged. As the beautiful woman disappeared both Sango and Miroku bowed their heads in respect.
Looking at the bodies of their friends the only thing they could do was wait, pray, and hope that they would both make it back safe and sound.