Authors note: Hey everyone! Thank you all for your kind reviews. I apologize for the long wait as I am aware it has been over a year since I last updated this story. I admit that I did hit a road block and ended up with the ever wonderful curse of writers block for some time. I think this chapter was probably the hardest for me to write since I was having such a hard time coming up with what was going to happen next. I know what I want to happen in this story it just a matter of translating it from the brain to the keyboard. Also thank you to the reviewer on Dokuga who had pointed out my misuse of apostrophes, that is one thing I have always had trouble remembering to correct when I write. This chapter is unedited at the moment so please forgive the grammar and spelling mistakes. I did try to catch all the mistakes I could find, but I am sure there are some I missed as it is pretty late in the evening for me.
Word Count: 4592
Chapter 7: Training and a meeting of Old
The next morning Kagome woke up at the same time and once again found herself rushing about with Nabi hot on her heals trying to help her. In record time Kagome was dressed and rushing out the door with a small loaf of bread clenched in her fangs as she readjusted her tail. Her hair was once more in a braid whipping behind her as she sped down the paths and halls until she was skidding to a stop outside the training grounds. She looked around briefly while she re-adjusted her appearance and then scarfed down the bread. Entering the training grounds she went directly to where she felt Sesshomaru's aura. Walking up steps she made her way into the training room that they had occupied the day before. Sesshomaru was there waiting for her, sitting in a lotus position his face was the picture of calm. Kagome slowed her pace and walked slower, her steps becoming lighter as she came closer to him.
"Assume the lotus position and begin meditating," Sesshomaru said without opening his eyes, "You shall meditate every morning before we begin our lesson."
Kagome huffed lightly and tried not to let his icy persona bother her as she positioned herself on the floor a few feet in front of him. She set down, crossing her legs and copied the pose Sesshomaru was in. Closing her eyes she took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. As her breathing calmed and began to even out her mind began to clear and her youki began to gather around her. The energy was so thick she could feel it caress the skin of her cheek as if it were flesh and bone. As she had been taught she began to pull the energy in closer to her until she could feel it practically writhing against her body; like a second skin it melded to her as she reigned the energy in still letting it move freely instead of trying to force it to do what she wanted it to. After what seemed like several hours but was probably only an hour at most, her energy began to calm until it was a soft pulsing, calm even flow. It was as her energy evened out she was broken from her meditative state by his voice.
"That is enough for now," he said, "Stand and take a stance."
All at once the gathered youki seemed to disappear as hazel eyes snapped open. Without a word she stood and then lowered into the stance from the day before almost as if it were second nature to her. Sesshomaru circled her once his eyes dissecting everything, looking for a weakness. When he was satisfied he came to a stop and lowered himself into a similar stance.
"The spar we had yesterday was not planned however you have shown that you are quiet adept at learning self defense. We shall see what you have retained from yesterdays lessons. If it is satisfactory than you shall begin to learn basic attacks."
Kagome didn't even have time to reply as Sesshomaru attacked her head on. His claws came down on her with a swiftness and precision that if she had not brought her own hands up to catch and deflect his attack, she would have been dead or severely injured. He did not give her time to think as his other arm came in from the side. She jumped to the side and then backwards to avoid the attack, only to have to duck and then jump to the side to avoid another. She quickly took up another defensive stance as she looked up to Sesshomaru only to find him gone. Her arms came up in time to block an attack from behind. She twisted her body bringing her leg out to kick at him. Sesshomaru jumped back and then came back at her head on, and feigning to the right and then jumping up to swipe at her once again. They continued on like this for quite a while as Sesshomaru continued to attack her and she continued to dodge and block his attacks.
Elsewhere in the palace laughter could be heard as a strong pair of hands lifted a small silver haired baby into the air only to bring him back down and then up again. Small hands waved in the air as more laughter was evoked from the baby.
"Touga-sama," came the soft yet admonishing tone of voice, "Please do not raise him so quickly, He has just eaten after all."
"Ah you are worrying to much Izayoi," He replied, "he is enjoying himself." Izayoi gave Toga a stern look which caused him to wince and lower Inuyasha into his lap. "However I shall comply to your wish." He bounced his knee lightly while allowing Inuyasha to play with his hand. Izayoi giggled lightly as she watched father and son interact.
She had never once imagined that she would end up living in the house of the moon. As her interactions with the inu lord increased and their feelings grew doubts began to surface but she always pushed them to the back of her mind afraid to touch upon those thoughts. When she found that she was expecting the lords child those fears resurfaced. As each day passed and she grew heavier as the child in her grew, she worried about what would happen to her and their child. She feared for her future yes, but she feared for her child's future more. Would her child live to adulthood? Would he be killed after he was born? Would he know his father? Those questions plagued her thoughts an some of them were almost made real.
Shaking herself from her morbid line of thoughts she refocused on the two beings before her just in time for another figure to enter her line of sight. Dressed in a light blue kimono covered in a swirling design of interlocking and over lapping clouds with a pure white obi was the Western lady and the first mate of her love. Her hair was pulled back into a loose tail tied at the nape of her neck with wisps of hair framing her face. Izayoi stood then to greet her bowing her body in both greeting and respect.
"My Lady," she said as the Western Lady drew close. The inu female stopped a few feet from them bowing her head in return.
"Izayoi-san," she returned in greeting her face almost completely devoid of emotion though her golden eyes betrayed her amusement. "I thought I told you to refer to me by name."
"Yes," Izayoi responded, "Though I do not yet feel worthy of the privilege."
"Megumi," came Touga's voice, "Stop teasing Izayoi"
"Very well," Megumi said. She moved over to Touga then bending down to peer at Inuyasha. "How fares the pup?" Megumi leaned in reaching out to let Inuyasha to wrap his small fingers around her index finger.
"He is in good health and has been feeding properly," Izayoi answered, "He doesn't fuss much though if he is anything like his sire I'm sure that will change as he ages." Megumi chuckled at this a small smile gracing her face as her features appeared lighter.
"Yes I feel that Inuyasha takes after Touga much more in attitude than my Sesshy ever will." Izayoi blinked at the name which Megumi used to refer to her child. They had been here for sometime now and it was only yesterday that she was accepted at second mate to the former Western Lord. She had not spent much time with the Western Lady and it was no secret that the lady was only tolerating her and her child at this moment in time. Izayoi hoped that one day she and the female Inu who was currently cooing at her child could make amends for the hurt caused by Touga's actions. It was true that the Western Lady had approved of her as second mate to her lord, but she had yet to truly accept her as a person.
"The pup already has such a strong grip," Megumi said wiggling the finger that he still had in his grasp. Inuyasha giggled and let out a small growl as his face scrunched up. He tugged on her finger pulling it into his mouth to gnaw on it with his gums. Megumi let out a soft growl of her own that sounded almost like a rumbling purr. Inuyasha released her finger with a squeak and let out a soft squeal before he giggled and then tried to latch his fingers onto a lock of hair that was in reach. Megumi swiftly moved back out of his reach and tutted at him.
"Sorry little one but my hair is not a toy."
Inuyasha scrunched his nose up once more and growled a little louder his face contorting into a frown as he squirmed in his fathers arms. Touga readjusted his hold on him and gently pat his back letting out a soft growl to sooth him. This proved tome fruitless though as Inuyasha continued to fidget and let out small growls and wining noises.
"It seems that it's feeding time," Izayoi said smiling as she stood and stepped over to take Inuyasha from Touga's arms. Once in her arms she began to make cooing noises as she rocked Inuyasha and gently pat his back. Inuyasha calmed slightly, but he continued to let out small whimpering sounds to show his displeasure. "If you will excuse me My lord and Lady, I must attend to my Chil- pups needs." Izayoi bowed to both of them in turn as she began to turn.
"I shall escort you back to your chambers," Touga said as he began to stand. A hand on his arm stopped him from moving forward.
"Allow me to escort her koi," Megumi said as she moved towards Izayoi and Inuyasha. "You should go and check on our other pups progress. I believe you had recently expressed that she still needs to learn how to hunt, did you not?" Touga frowned slightly but Megumi gave him a pleading look which softened her features for only him to see. Touga sighed and nodded understanding that this was something that both of his mates needed. Megumi graced him with a smile that made her face glow with the very light and beauty that had first attracted him to her on their first meeting.
"Very well," Touga said holding back a sigh, "I shall see the both of you later this eve."
Megumi nodded and bowed her head to him before turned back to Izayoi. As she turned her face returned to the stoic facade which she always held. Together the two women left with the babe, leaving Touga with his thoughts.
Touga let out the sigh that only moments before he had held in. For a moment he could see the in Megumi that he had first fallen in love with. He still loved her but they had both hurt each other in recent years that he didn't know if things would ever be like they had been. His actions in the last year or so definitely didn't help with getting into his first mates good graces since she had been hurt the most because of them. Despite how he tried though he could not get the human who he now loved just as much as his first mate out of his mind. He didn't know how things had gotten as far as they did, but before he realized it he had fallen in love with the human women and done the unthinkable. Inuyasha was both poof of their love and of his sin against his first mate.
He thought back on when he first met Izayoi. At that time Megumi been giving him the silent treatment for about two years for what he could not fathom and to this day she still refused to tell. He had decided to blow some steam by patrolling his lands and maybe going for a hunt after he had had a heated argument with embarrassingly enough a door. Megumi had locked herself in her personal chambers refusing to open the door on top of not speaking to him. In his frustration he left the palace before he did something he might come to regret.
It had been raining lightly that morning when he left the palace on his youki cloud to patrol his lands. He did not expect to save a human hime's life that morning when he felt the Youki of a lower level demon flair with killing intent some distance off in the first few minutes of his patrol. He growled softly irritation still coloring his mood he decided to take his frustrations out on the youkai he sensed. Within minutes he was landing at the edge of a clearing in time to see a boar youkai throwing a Human woman to the ground. Before the youkai could do anything more Touga rushed forward tearing through the youkai's chest with his claws. He watched as the blood splashed outward hitting the ground and the female before him. With a soft growl before the youkai could get his bearing an try to retaliate, he removed his hand and used his energy whip to rip the youkai to shreds. The result was the woman before him being covered in more blood as the youkai's shredded remains fell to the ground.
The woman stared up at him in wonder and a slight amount of fear. He began to wonder if she had gone into some kind of shock. Touga flicked the blood off of his claws an then held his hand out to the woman. He watched as the woman seemed to snap out of the daze she was in and look at his hand. She looked from his hand to his face and then back to his hand before hesitantly placing her hand in his. Gently Touga tugged on her hand pulling her to her feet.
"Are you alright?" he asked in as gently as he could with his gruff voice.
"Huh?" was her intelligent reply as she blinked before she jumped and proceeded to take inventory of her body and clothing. She sighed as she looked at her ruined kimono, it had been one of her favorite. Her kimono was covered in blood and she could feel the blood and small bits of guts in her hair. She turned her attention to the patiently waiting youkai who stood before her and once again took in his appearance. She had been surprised when his hand had just burst forth from the chest of the youkai who had been pursuing her from no where as he materialized behind it. He stood tall and proud before her now completely unfazed by the carnage that was on the ground between them. Standing tall she straightened herself and bowed to the being before her.
"Yes my lord I am fine," she said, "though it appears that my kimono has seen its last. I will have to depose of it when I return home." Her tone became slightly sad as she said this. "If it is not too forward of me to ask, may I know the name of my savior so that I may thank you properly?"
"I am known as the Inu no Taisho," he replied after a moment of thought. He watched as the humans eyes widened slightly.
"Thank you my lord for saving my life," she said as she bowed to him once more.
"Hn," was his reply as he turned and began to walk away with.
"Ah..." Izayoi started as though she was wanted to say something else though words failed her at that moment. Touga paused at the edge of the clearing to look over his shoulder at her.
"Are you coming?" he asked, "Or do you wish to sit there for another youkai to find you? I can guarantee that youkai will come as the blood will attract them."
"O-of course!" was her reply as she jogged up to him until she was just behind him as they left the clearing.
"Where do you make your home?" he asked after a few minutes of walking.
"Not to far from here My lord," she replied as she pointed south-east of them, "My father is a minor lord of a small province. If we walk at this pace we should make it to my home by nightfall."
Though he didn't say anything he nodded only slightly to show that he had heard her. He was only vaguely curious as to why this human female had been so far from her home. Not wanting to waste time he stopped and turned to the woman lifting her into his arms he then jumped into the air. The woman let out a small squeak as she turned into his embrace and tried to wrap her arms around his chest. If they traveled at this pace he knew that he could cut their journey down by several hours.
Touga remembered very well how the woman had scolded him without fear for his forward actions towards her when they had reached the outer perimeter of her home. Afterwords she had been huffing an short of breath glaring at him before she seemed to remember herself and blushed as she apologized profusely. Touga chuckled as he sighed again shaking his head as he turned and made his way towards the dojo to check on the progress of his ward.
Meanwhile back in the dojo Kagome had successfully fended off most of Sesshomaru's attacks and was facing him crouched down on one knee currently rubbing his arm as Sesshomaru stood from his own crouched attack position.
"Hn," Sesshomaru began as he stood. "You have preformed proficiently, though you still have much room to improve." Kagome grunted as she stood wondering if it was even possibly for him to try and give her a compliment or some form of encouragement. We shall begin the basic attacks of hand to hand, however before you can attack me you must learn the movements of the attacks. I want you to watch me and mirror each of my movements with the utmost accuracy."
Kagome sighed and nodded to show she understood as she wiped the back of her hand across her forward and watched as he sunk down into the same basic stance that he had showed her on her first lesson. She did the same and watched him, mirroring his moves as he slowly performed a series of basic punches and kicks. Each move was done slowly and with such precision that she knew if he had been attacking her when she had been human she would have been severely hurt. They went through the moves a few times together before he had her do them on her own. Trying not to let his annoyance show when he had to correct her placement of her feet or the angle she through a punch at. He also had to correct how she was throwing the punches as she ha been curling her wrist in a way that she could have injured herself had she been punching someone. Out of the corner of her eye she watched as Touga entered the dojo off to the side. Sesshomaru ha also noticed as he made his way over to his sire's side.
"Continue," he said to her over his shoulder,not allowing her a small respite while went to find out what he father wanted.
"Father," He said as he bowed his head in greeting as he neared Touga.
"Sesshomaru," Touga replied bowing his head in kind. "How fairs the pup in her training?"
"Hn," Sesshomaru said as he turned to face where Kagome was currently practicing the forms he had just shown her. "She is adequate, though it will be a long road till she is able to defend herself proficiently."
"I highly doubt you came just to see how her training was fairing," Sesshomaru spoke once more, "What else brings you here?"
"I was told that I should come check on her progress as well as begin her hunting lessons," Touga replied with a straight face.
"In other words mother was trying to get rid of you," said Sesshomaru.
"You didn't have to put it so bluntly," Touga said as he seemed to deflate with a sigh, "Why must you be so cruel to your sire?"
"Hn," was Sesshomaru's only reply. The stood for a few moments in silence watching as Kagome went through each movement slowly an carefully. A look of intense concentration was on her face as she tried not to over think what she was doing so that she wouldn't mess up.
Touga chuckled when he noticed the look she was wearing remembering very well that Sesshomaru had once held that same look on his face as he learned that very things she was now learning. Touga stayed off to the side watching as over the next two hours they went through one set of forms to a second set. Near the end Sesshomaru had Kagome combine both sets preforming them in one continuous string several times in a row until he felt that she had indeed learned them. Once they were done Sesshomaru had her go through the same series of strength training exercises that she had done the other day.
"To finish our training you shall run 10 laps at normal human speed around the outer edges of this dojo complex," Sesshomaru said as Kagome whined in complaint. "There will be no complaints, you will do these exercises and run laps at the end of each training session to build you strength and endurance. As your strength and endurance increase so will the amount of exercises and laps."
"I swear you are trying to kill me," Kagome muttered as she jogged out of the dojo that they had been training in. Touga chuckled as he moved towards the doorway to observe Kagome as she began her laps. Sesshomaru came up beside him then his eyes narrowed in annoyance at the female inu's attitude towards him.
"You know," Touga spoke up, "She is a lot like you were when you first began learning how to defend yourself." Sesshomaru's eyes narrowed further but he didn't speak. The stood for a moment in silence before Sesshomaru turned and began to walk away.
"She is yours for however long you need her," He said over his shoulder, "This Sesshomaru has work he must attend to." Touga sighed and shook his head as he watched his son walk away from him. He had been tough on him during his younger years and as a result he had become closed off from his emotional side and had buried his beast so far down under lock and key that Touga feared we would never see the ray of light that his son had once been. He'd done what was needed to teach Sesshomaru who to rule and act in court as it was dangerous for one to show emotion in any form in youkai high society. He had not meant to push his pup away from him and everyone else, but what was done was done and he would not make the same mistakes with his second son or any of his future pups. While they would still need to learn how to hide their emotions in society they would not have the pressure of ruling a land hanging over their shoulders and thus he would try and be a better father for them starting with Inuyasha.
A smirk graced his features though as he thought of how his son acted around their new pack member. Though he knew Sesshomaru would never be like he once was he could only hope that through his interactions with Kagome he would begin to open up once more even if it was only a little bit. Already he could see some small changes in his son even if Sesshomaru hadn't noticed it yet he was already being drawn closer to the intriguing female that was Kagome. Touga was snapped out of his thoughts by a light panting as Kagome jogged up the steps to come to a halt next to him. Her breathing was somewhat labored which was to be expected after her run though Touga was surprise that she wasn't more winded after everything else she ha done today.
"Figures the ice lord wouldn't stick around," Kagome muttered under breath, "Stupid prick with his ice pole so far up his ass..." Kagome muttered a few other choice obscenities to which Touga chuckled catching her attention. Kagome jumped her face lighting up with a blush as she realized what she had just said about his son in front of him
"Calm yourself pup," Touga said as he gave her a pat on the head, "though a lady really shouldn't use such language." Kagome sputtered and continued to blush thoroughly embarrassed. "Come now I am sure you would like to wash and change out of your current attire," Touga said as he placed his hand on her back and began to lead her out of the dojo. "Today you shall begin to learn how to hunt. It is an essential skill for survival and in some youkai breeds it is considered a rite of passage. For Inu's especially, one must learn to hunt and successfully complete their first hunt on their own to be considered an adult and be given the rite to be heard in the pack."
Kagome nodded in understanding as they walked on, though she wasn't looking forward to killing a poor defenseless animal. As if sensing her unease Touga placed his hand on her head once again this time in reassurance.
"Do not worry yourself. Today you shall only be observing and learning. We will probably go on a few hunts before you will have to make you first kill. Now go clean yourself an meet me at the entry courtyard."
"Yes Sir," she said as she bowed to him before running ahead of him to go to her room and get a change of clothing before she took her bath.
Touga chuckled as he was apt to do lately. Things had be gradually changing with the introduction of his second mate and the birth of his second son as well Sesshomaru's ascension to Lordship and his new ward. So much had happened and he had a feeling that things would only get more more interesting. He wondered briefly how Sesshomaru would react and adapt to the coming changes. Touga was an old dog and he was going to find as much amusement as he could in his old age even if that amusement came at the expense of his oldest son. With a grin on his face he slowly made his way towards the palaces entrance to await his ward.
~To be Continued