Kagome’s arrow flew as those of lady Shi’s household flooded the garden, weapons and claws ready. Aoi stood behind her, staff in hand, fully prepared to defend her.
The light of her arrow struck his chest, surprising the hell out of the snake when it threw him back, a light burn across his skin. It was the very first time he had felt the sting of purification. Even so, the edges immediately began to heal. Hisuihebi scowled at her as he stepped forward, making her new guards tense. “You will pay for that, little bride.”
Kagome met him glare for glare. Firing rapidly twice, she managed to hit him once more in the side, the other missing as he fled toward the courtyards. Kagome followed, determined. She might not be able to kill him just yet, but would make him think hard before coming for her again.
Shikyomi waited, the sight of Shiro’s horrid scars renewing her pride in her mother and the damaged she had caused him. The half blooded snake was livid, making his next moves clear to her as if he had spoken them. A malicious grin spread across her face as he moved, just missing her, her poison whip wrapping around his throat. It burned and tore through flesh and bone alike as she severed he head, his body falling lifeless to the ground. The thrill of vengeance and victory filled her.
It was short lived. Already angered at his failure to gain the priestess and the damage she had caused, rage flowed as his brothers head landed at Hisuhebi’s feet. Within the beat of a heart, he behind her, his long fangs buried deep within her shoulder, forcing deadly venom into her blood. “Since you would not take your mother’s quick death, you can share you fathers slow one.” Laughing, he released her, speeding away just as Kagome entered the courtyard.
Lady Shikyomi went to one knee. It felt like freezing acid had been dripped into her veins, steadily eating away at her with every breath. This is what her father had felt until the last moment of his life. Through the tremendous pain, she felt the same presence as earlier, this time with recognition, nearly making her smile. Before she could look around or try to rise, Kagome was by her side. Knowing what she would attempt, she tried to halt her. “Do n…”
“Hush.” There was a slight command in her tone which tickled the lady, somewhat. “I will do this, so you might as well relax and let me.” Kagome told her. The others were drawing near, anxious eyes upon them. She had nearly managed to strike him again when he had moved, appearing behind Shikyomi. Watching helplessly as she dropped, she could not imagine the kind of agony that would take one such as her down even for a minute.
Aoi helped brace her as Kagome looked at the wound. Inside her, the words returned, the guide that had never failed her until she began to doubt it. First she carefully purified the venom, making sure not to burn Shikyomi worse. The damage was terrible, the green essence branching out, making new veins as it bled through her flesh. After she was positive not a drop remained, she began to close the remaining damage, a small scar remaining that even she could not remove.
“My lady?” Aoi asked, worried for his longtime friend.
“I am fine.” She said, standing, pulling a tired Kagome to her feet as she went. Her sons approached them, anger written on in both sets of golden eyes. Inuyasha she was not concerned about. He knew how to deal with the emotion. Sesshomaru, however, had probably not felt it since he was a pup. Even then, his reactions were always off, becoming colder instead of hotter unlike her other son. This would be a long night.
Sesshomaru was indeed seething inside. The venom that had killed his grandfather had been extremely painful and deadly, no known treatment for it above removing it. Still he had fought until the last moments of his life, ending the second war with the dragons. That was one of the first stories he had ever been told. That same venom had nearly killed his mother, had been so close to his mate and children, the mate he had told to wait safely within the castle walls.
Inuyasha did not like the uneasy feelings coming from his brother. It was almost as if he were seeing through a red haze, his mind fixed on something. "Sesshomaru?” he asked.
“Come, all of you, now.” He walked off, headed inside. His head was clouded, images swirling in his head of what might have been.
“Damn.” Shikyomi said, Aoi helping her follow behind him, still sore from the venom’s burn. Inuyasha and Kagome shared a look, then fell in place behind her. He led them into a large council room, used for meetings between Shikyomi and those who managed villages and towns in her territory. Other than the immense table, it only held a huge fire place and a large balcony that more than one offending official had been tossed from. She had not patience for politics, like her son.
They entered behind him and waited. Sesshomaru looked at Kagome as she serenely stood beside his mother. Inuyasha stood behind him trying to think of a way to calm him. “This one commanded you to return to the palace, why did you not do so?” His tone and expression as cold as the last time he tried to kill her.
Unafraid, the fire of rediscovering herself still burning within, she stepped toward him. “I did try, Sesshomaru, but the way was blocked. I am sure Aoi will confirm it for you.”
He moved closer as well. “And when were free to, why did you foolishly follow after him?” A hint of red ringed his eyes, before disappearing. He did not even give her a chance to answer him, though she doubted he would have liked the answer she would have given anyway. “When I give you a command, you will follow it from now on.” His words were steal.
Kagome’s chin rose, willing her hands to remain still at her sides. “To the best of my ability, lord Sesshomaru, however, I will always do what my heart tells me is right, regardless of orders or consequences, whatever they may be.” Her head held high, she left the room. Her chest ached a little, but she was steady in her resolve.
The temperature of the room dropped after her departure, as if the fire had followed her out. “Perhaps you might wish to reconsider son.” Shikyomi said, saddened for them.
“Quiet.” He said, his voice low, still staring at the door where she had left.
“Sess…” she began again.
He turned on her. “You will be silent.” She froze as if struck, recognizing the command in his voice.
Her own temper fired, straitening her spine. Her amber eyes hardened to stone as she looked him over, weighing his strengths. It was the same look she had given Shiro when Sesshomaru had entered the courtyard earlier. One she only gave to enemies. It finely shook the angry fog from him, reminding him that his place had been given, not fought and won. Given to him by her. It was a long tense moment before she dropped her eyes just a little. She turned from him and left the room, not a word spoken. A visibly disappointed Aoi followed behind her.
Inuyasha watched these events with sorrow. He wanted to comfort and help, but this would have to be fixed by his brother alone. He remembered a time when he and Kagome had fought, the only way clear was to work it out between them. There had been a light in Kagome when she stood up to him, familiar and new all the same. She had come back from the dark place she had been hiding. Though he wanted to go to her, after what he had just witnessed, Sesshomaru might need him more. “Damn, Ani, you’re so fucked.” Inuyasha had never been good at softening his words.
“Well spoken, pup." Came a slightly amused voice from behind them. Inuyasha could have sworn his brother caught his breath when he saw who was standing there. The woman leaned against the balcony edge was full blooded inuyokai, her eyes a startling sky blue, more so were the slight lines at their corners. Inuyokai did not age for a very, very long time. “The great and proud lord of the west stands before me,” she walked into the room, her long white hair brushing against the floor. She began to circle Sesshomaru. “Being so harsh to his pupped mate and ordering his injured mother in her own home, my how proud Touga must be of such a strong son.” She stopped before him, meeting him eye to eye. “Is this truly the child this one blessed at his naming ceremony?”
“Yes, Obaasan,” he answered quietly.
“Is this foolishness over with then, or will you order me silent as well?” She grinned, revealing very sharp, pointed fangs.
“This one will not.” He replied in a respectful tone.
“Good.” She said, headed toward the door. “This one has come to speak with your mate. Fix this mess as a true alpha would. After you have spoken to your mate and your mother, this one expects to be greeted properly by you all.” She left the room, silence heavy behind her.“Fuck.” Sesshomaru said before the word could leave Inuyasha’s mouth, staring blankly after her.