A/N: First thank you all my loyal readers and reviewers for waiting this long. I know its a pain in the ass but hope the result is worth the wait.

Cosmic-lover: save your vocal cords please don't squeak even if this chapter is squeak worthy

Little Karma: Thank you, I wrote this fic because I was tired of Kagome and Yusuke being cousins or love interest stories

merlyn1382: hey what would grandma be without a little bitch smack here and there? Sometimes what a kid needs is a wake up call

Anime Princess: That's probably next chapter, but I'm still working out the politics of Yusuke and Kagome technically being half breeds and thus subject to ridicule.

loretta537: Soon, but they have to settle down first

Sesshoumaru flew overhead, his cloud streaking a pale path toward the main court of his homeland. Like his southern counterpart the dog demon never stayed in the midst of the political center of his lands. The elder of Inutaisho's sons held little interest for court intrigue, and even less so after his association with the young human he'd taken as his ward. Instead when the urge to wonder had ebbed, the aristocratic assassin holed himself up in the castle built originally for keeping the newly born of the white dog demon house, safe and away from scheming courtiers. Now he kept Rin there, away from those of the western court. Did they know about the child anyway?

Without a doubt, none however were yet foolhardy enough to question him on it. His father's affair with the human bitch Izayoi was a stain on his family's name that had haunted him for most of his rule. It was the general consensus of many demons in supremacy that humans were weak. As a result many had sought to take advantage of the dog general's family's destabilized hold on power. Sesshoumaru had to fight even more for what should've been his with little opposition. He earned the fear of his subjects, but their fright came at a price. Sesshoumaru knew it couldn't last. "Hello my son."

Miroku warily regarded the room around him. Susamajiigashu's mountain palace had already proved to be an impressive fief. But the lavish surrounding him now whispered the amount trouble he and his compatriots were looking to stand before. The dark hard wood floors all but glowed under the sunlight shining petite colored crystal windows. Four ornate settees that doubled as beds, lined elaborately painted shoji. In the middle of the room, the floors lowered into what looked like a copper fire pit, meant to heat the entire room. "Who the hell does he think he is!" The houshi glanced over at where Inuyasha had been thrown onto the soft pile of pillows of one of the beds by Kurama.

The fox demon had taken Shippou with him, despite Sango's many protests. "Now don't ye fret, da fox was just be'n right playful is all." His hanyou was up so fast; it almost made the lecherous monk's head spin. The blue eyed nuisance was far faster. Reizen's companion had followed them in the room held the half demon back, as he tried to escape the confines of the room. Miroku gripped his staff warily keeping his eyes on the unknown threat easily keeping his friend at bay. "Playful, I'll show you playful asshole."

The obviously more powerful being just laughed as the snowy haired half breed did all he could to twist and wrench himself from his iron grip. His effects were for not, as their annoying would be ally easily kept pace. And not for the first time, the houshi wished that Kagome was here to stop the hot headed half breed. "Jin-san, could you perhaps stop provoking Inuyasha? We are quest in this household, and I don't think Susamajiigashu-sama would appreciate you both tearing up his room." The even tempered priest appealed to the juvenile demon.

The demon just grinned as he continued to doggedly keep hold on the orphaned hanyou, revealing a full set of pointed teeth. "Jin-san," at the sudden frozenness of the self proclaimed wind master, the dark haired priest sighed in relief as Inuyasha finally pried away from his exuberant captor. "Gomennesai, Jin-san meant no harm." The voice was decidedly feminine with just the barest hint of recrimination in an otherwise gentle pitch. Miroku looked over at the open shoji screen to the petite demoness whose name he couldn't even faintly recall.

"Don't be like dat, Yukina-san." The wind master whined. Reizen's company varied radically both in physical form and personality type, with power seemingly the only commonality amongst them all. Miroku was hardly fooled by the presumably fragile nature of the blue haired female. Anyone who could boss around someone as wild and as Jin had to be in possession of some type of authority. That didn't stop him from flirting though, "it is alright Yukina-san." "DA HELL IT IS." Miroku ignored his friend's outburst. "I have a question though."

Yukina looked up at him inquisitively but still managed to give the dark haired monk an indulgent smile. Miroku moved closer, a sweet grin teasing the corners of his lips. "Will you bare my child?" The koorime looked upon the lecherous fighter in amusement as Jin roared with laughter. Inuyasha sputtered, dispelling the minute traces of tension that had lingered from his scuffle with the ever teasing red haired warrior. But the Buddhist monk's gaze did not waver from the sweet face of the small demoness, whose answer he patiently waited for.

Yusuke stood a frozen statue, he dare not move. His daughter had every right to be upset; the potential Mazoku didn't know him from Adam. And after being independent for so long, the former street punk could understand the thought of being lorded over was foreign to his self-sufficient child. He himself had the same issue both when he began training under Genkai, and even more so when he came into Reizen's keeping. But at the same time Yusuke couldn't allow Kagome to run wild. Her life was more precious than her pride, and everything in the Mazoku's instincts yelled at him to hammer this fact into her stubborn hide, as it was beaten into him so long ago.

Susamajiigashu watched his heir, "lady Kagome was out of line and you shouldn't have let her conduct gone unchecked, she needs to know- "She needs her father," the younger demon interrupted harshly, "and I'm struggling to be that." The dolphin of the south wasn't fool enough to believe that the admission came of anything more than frustration. Reizen, it seemed ruled through the strength of his sword arm, the drive of his passionate heart, and loyalty of his honored few. It was a refreshing change. Still the half Amemasu clicked his teeth warningly. Young Kaezen wasn't the only one that needed to know proper manners.

The young future lord ignored the sound in favor of desperately trying to hold onto his already frayed temper. It was a futile exercise but one that the Mazoku was committed to in lieu of becoming even more unhinged. A loss of control would come at an all too high price if Enma's attention was drawn. The ailing dolphin made an entirely frustrated sound that vibrated his gray form. He would not let this go, not with the future of his domain on the line. "It is too dangerous for a young lady to behave as she did now in court."

"I know."

Susamajiigashu continued as if he didn't hear him. The half Amemasu needed to knock in the fact that the Mazoku was no longer living in the wilderness of demon realm. There was more power to be had with a lot less opposition here. Ruling by honor alone in this world wouldn't cut it, when there were so many willing to knife someone from behind. "Courtiers are more likely to use subterfuge, and poison your drink rather than fight you, either way your daughter will not be able to keep up with their scheming." Reizen grit his teeth his eyes suddenly shooting sparks of molten fury.

"I know."

Undeterred by the snarling vehemence that was creeping into Reizen's voice, Susamajiigashu persisted in his barbed yet still muted tirade. "I am dying Reizen, and you are ill prepared for what is to come. They will see only weakness in your integrity. And though you could kill them in mass, more will come, and you will lose." The former spirit detective was worldlier than his predecessor was giving him credit for. Yusuke Urameshi had grown up under the influence of politics, first on the streets where violence was means by which manipulation wrought.

Then, in school Yusuke was exposed to the hypocrisy of emasculated teachers, using their titles to lord over their students, and last, the politics that governed spirit world had always beyond the former spirit detective. Koenma's father obsessive vendetta against anything that even existed outside of his influence was all Yusuke ever wanted to know of the regime. The mess left behind by Raizen upon his death was just another reason to want nothing to do with the diplomatic arena. It would be putting it mildly to say that the Mazoku hated politics. The only time he had ever really engaged in the realm of manipulation, and intrigue was when he proposed the establishment of the demon world tournament.

Yusuke had done so to get out of being king. So as hard on Yusuke as Susamajiigashu was being, the dolphin of the south was no more reprimanding than the spirit detective was on himself. Plain and simple Yusuke had run, fast and far away from responsibilities he did not want. Straight into the arms of his precious Keiko, he honestly believed that his days of fighting just to live through another day were over. It wasn't. Yet running away was no longer a choice. Failure was not an option, not with the life of his child on the line, launching Yusuke's already precarious mood into much more dangerous ground.

The Mazoku didn't know how much his demonic instincts ruled him until this moment. It was like a storm inside of his skull. Insidious whispers reverberated soundlessly around in the half breed's head. "You have need of me master?" "Huh?" Yusuke didn't have time to formulate another thought in his cranium, as paralyzing throbbing froze him in his mental tracks. It stole whatever breath Yusuke had in him to scream. The dark Mazoku's right arm suddenly felt like led at his side, stiff and bursting at the seams of his skin. The symbol in his hand was a raw pulse of parting flesh and contracting muscles.

Puu really didn't like this. The spirit beast remained in the courtyard outside of the main fortress. His bulk wouldn't allow him to pass the entrance, causing the blue bird to be left behind by the rest of the former Tantei. Unlike Kirara, Puu wasn't able to retake his more compact form, leaving him unable to accompany his humanoid reflection. Being left behind was nothing new, he mused with a rusty growl-like coo vibrating his gullet. First when he finally hatched, Yusuke left him with his female Keiko, and then when they came into their demon heritage, Puu remained in Genkai's temple.

Puu was too knowledgeable about his other self to be offended that Yusuke wouldn't care for him himself. The former spirit detective had only Genkai as an example of nurturing, and the old woman could only do so much in the face of an entire lifetime of essentially being spat upon by his fellow man. That didn't ease the feedback moods the spirit beast got every time his other self was in turmoil. He squawked; it suddenly felt as if he'd been shot in the foot. Puu awkwardly hopped on one foot while trying to take pressure off the other.

The guards watched him warily from their post, neither they nor the servants had been told what to do about the colossal creature in their midst. As a member of the party that came with Reizen the new heir apparent, Puu was entitled to a place in the household. But their new lord's mount was too big to fit in the small stables they had. And seeing as Susamajiigashu-sama did not want to be disturbed until he had properly addressed Reizen alone, they were left to watch the creature.

Now the thing seemed to be in some manner of pain and none whom watched knew what to do. The awkward hopping, and flapping the avian was doing made the guards nervous. A few edged around the great beast, their shields and spears trained up it. "Where are you going? Get back to your post!" one of the senior guards barked. The subordinates shot their superior a sickened look, fear stealing their normally well-trained features. The demon's answering growl was drowned out by the duel-let shriek of the now red eyed mount. And before anyone could do anything, the blue creature took to the air.

Genkai all but dragged the dimwit's offspring behind her. Really why the idiot believed that she was right to talk some sense into the girl was beyond the spirit wave master's understanding. 'Then again I was the only one there,' she thought wryly, actively searching for the fox's and sociopath's ki. Yusuke needed some semblance of stability in the anarchic sea that was his mood, and whatever attraction they had for the boy, Genkai knew that Hiei and Kurama would put Yusuke's wellbeing before them. The spirit wave master still cursed herself for letting the old bastard talk them into leaving.

So far the mission had been going south from the moment the former Reikai tantei had entered this time frame. They needed to keep a low profile if Yusuke and his merry band of misfits had any chance of preparing Kagome's group for what was coming. Right now her young protégée was more vulnerable than he had been in years. Recalling her own death, the pink haired woman winced. Death was reality that everyone had to face, but there were few who could actually shut out life as thoroughly as her successor. Yusuke was like a rebel Buddha in this way, embracing the impermanence of life, and extolling in the seemingly endless freedom of having nothing to hold onto.

But the fact remained no one could survive for long in such a transited state. Everyone has to live for, or hold onto something even if they had to come up with the purpose themselves. 'Live for nothing,' the once elderly woman remembered the almost confused hurt look Yusuke had sported with a grim smile, 'die for nothing.' And that day she had died for something truly great, she had died for him, her son if not in blood. She had died with the peace of not being alone, that at least one person in the whole world would remember her and care. Genkai would never admit to it, but the spirit wave master had come to adore that stubborn boy whom life had given a shittier hand than some.

Atsuko was a debased drunk with nary a thought of her son in her alcoholic head. Before he became spirit detective everyone, save Keiko seemed to believe the boy would end up in a gutter somewhere. And their' assumptions colored their behavior toward the young punk. Yusuke's commitment issues weren't at all surprising, not when failure was always the foregone conclusion. The spirit wave master wondered how many times the youngster had busted his ass, how many more times still, did he have to swallow the bitter tonic of disappointment before finally saying fuck it all. With Yusuke's resurrection, and later under Genkai's tutelage the former punk had found reason to care, and a series of emotional resiliency taxing events followed.

Now with the discovery of his daughter, and the all too imminent threat of King Enma Yusuke was being tested once again. Genkai had no way of helping, at least not directly, not with demonic instincts compacting upon her successor's fragile sanity. Plus she still needed to deal with Kagome; the pink haired woman glanced back at the mute woman child she was all but dragging behind her. The girl was white as a sheet. And she hadn't said a word since Genkai had dragged her toward where she sensed her other students. This was hardly the time or place for a confrontation, not with all the ears and eyes likely following them.

The diminutive martial artist sighed, "I could probably come up with something scathing about you childish stupidity, but we don't have the time, and I am not going to waste my breath if you can't figure it out on your own." It was Kagome's personal opinion that Genkai's tone could skin a cat. It certainly shred Kagome's terrified stupor to pieces, "well what the fuck do expect me to say? I'm sorry I got tired of people fucking with my life, deciding what the fuck I should do without so much as a by-your-fucking-leave. Well fuck you, FUCK YOU!" Kagome was too livid to care that she was sounding more like her dog eared companion with every breath.

"Who the hell do you think you are? You not my mother- "You're right I'm not your mother brat. She is dead, and you father is doing everything in his power to make sure that you aren't as well." The coffee eyed master didn't even break stride, her grip a band of steel even as Kagome attempted to rip her arm away. Subtle Genkai was not, but subtle just wouldn't cut it in their current predicament. Unlike Yusuke, Genkai had no hang ups on guilt nor did she fear Kagome would break. "INUYASHA AND THE OTHERS CAN HELP ME. DON'T NEED HIM OR YOU!" Still riding the high of fury the Shikon priestess was unaware of vivid blue markings flashing into existence on her face. Knowing better than to give the child a chance to truly get worked up, Genkai rounded on the girl.

Pulling hard, Kagome's momentum was propelled straight into the pink haired master's outstretched free hand. "CRACK!" The taller female's eyes involuntarily began to tear in pain. Kagome's free hand automatically shot up covering her abused cheek, disbelieving the woman she hardly knew would hit her. Indignant the teenager glared at the diminutive teacher. Genkai was far from impressed. "Get over yourself little girl; this isn't just some demon trying to get the Shikon jewel. If you're found out they will come with the sole purpose of killing you. And right now your little band of misfits doesn't stand a chance."

Shippou was fascinated. And by no means was holding a young kit's, let alone this kit's attention a small thing. But the red haired youkai was enchanted by the older fox of his 'mother's' story. Yoko was likewise interested in the diminutive creature. This worried Sango more than she wanted to think about. The demon exterminator kept a ready hand on the Hiraikotsu on her back. The dark eyed woman didn't particularly believe in the demon that claimed to be her friend's father. It didn't matter to Sango that they managed to convince even Inuyasha, it wouldn't be the first time that anyone of them been tricked.

The warrior woman shuddered as she thought of when Naraku disguised as Kagewaki using her brother as a puppet to kill the other demon slayers. She would watch their new 'allies' with a judicious eye, and her free hand subtlety on the throwing dagger hidden in her kimono sleeve. There still was a very good chance that this was a trick by the insidious hanyou. But as Sango watched Kurama, Hiei watched her, a not so subtle hand idling on the hilt of his sword.

The only thing prevent the forbidden child from attacking the stupid human was Kurama's eerie 'voice' reminding him that the foolish girl was now an alley. The three eyed demon forced his ruby orbs away from the uneasy exterminator to the room which he and his mate would be occupying for the time being. Like the room Kurama dumped the insolent pup in, this room had a sunken fire pit, surrounded by solid Japanese maple floors. The servants that led them there had already opened the shoji containing the 'linens' to adorn the four couches-shaped beds lining the northern wall. They also opened the shoji leading to a court yard which connected to Jin, Touya, Inuyasha, and Miroku's room.

Both the former shenobi had silently took it upon themselves to watch over the surely half-breed and lecherous monk. Hiei's scowl became even more severe. Touya might as well have been by himself for all the childish tendencies that Jin was prone to indulge. But he the black haired swordsman wasn't going to leave Kurama alone with the exterminator and her hellcat. The elder youkai sat on the settee closest to the inner courtyard, knowing that his diminutive lover would want the bed closest to the potential danger. Regardless of his own ability of defending himself, the fox felt no insult toward the half-koorime's defensive behavior.

The reincarnated thief half-listened to Shippou's ceaseless chatter with one velvety ear, and listened to the plant-life of his new surroundings with the other. The fauna in the garden whispered of well tending and predator free environment. The bamboo stalks rattled of kind winters and plentiful water. To them this was paradise. Flora didn't have eyes to see, and ears to hear, so Kurama had to use years of experience to interpret the impressions that his new 'allies'. The tiniest shift of chemistry in the plants he was communicating with could tell him the most vital information.

By no means did this come easily to Kurama; it had taken centuries of patience, observation, and more empathy than one would expect from a kitsune. But much like his mate's Jagan eye, the benefits of having such a versatile ability far out-weighted the inconvenience of specialization. In fact what made him such a good tactician was due in large part to his routine of communing with foliage. "Where is momma's momma?" The part-time red head mentally paused, looking down at the all too innocent eyes of his current charge. Kurama wasn't fooled.

The wide eyed curious fascination the kit exhibited couldn't quite cover the intent that shone through his innocent façade. It was nowhere near as effective as his own guileless "I'm just a mild-mannered human" act. Kurama was going to have to fix that. "I suppose she is still at her home." Placidly he watched Shippou's mask crack, revealing frustration by way of thinning lips and narrowing eyes. To anyone else it would be hardly notable, but Kurama was already of the mind of teaching Shippou, and he wanted the kit to harness all his weapons to their fullest potential.

"Kurama," the kitsune turned from his unknowing pupil, to his dark haired lover. The little dragon was removing the seal on his third eye. Ignoring the wary human who was watching his mate with a challenging glare, Kurama stood placing Shippou down on his own two feet as he did so. "Trouble?" The legendary thief reached out with his own senses again, seeking what caught Hiei's attention. And was almost slammed in the face with the cloying fear of fauna outside of Susamajiigashu's mountain retreat, still he had no way of telling exactly what was happening.

"Hiei," the ruby eyed demon didn't even pause at the demanding edge in the kitsune's tone. "Yusuke is losing it again," and set out at a blistering pace without another word. Had he been more prone cursing Kurama would have scorched the air with suitable vernacular. But as it stood he had better things to do. "Who's Yusuke?" Kurama ignored the question, heading to the room across from them through the small garden. Sango, Shippou, and Kirara followed, confused and suspicious. The older kitsune immediately began issuing orders, not pausing to even give his shadows breathe to question him again.

"Touya, find Genkai. Jin, Yukina-san if you could come with me?" The bland eyed demon breezed by the addressees and spirited into the hallway, gainfully ignoring the raging sputter of the inu-youkai half-breed. He had neither the time nor the inclination for bullshit. "Sango, what the hell?" "I don't know what he's on about, the other one, Hiei, said someone named Yusuke lost something." They all vacated the room, Touya doing as he was told without question, and the rest followed the determined kitsune.

Yusuke wanted to die. There was nothing particularly new about the sentiment but it made it no less true, painfully so. An ungodly measure of agony coursed through his right arm, his veins bulged under his skin, becoming visible under the now black marks of his tribal tattoos. It felt as if his arm would burst at seems that didn't exist, and the joints were locked as a result. Fruitlessly Yusuke tried to make a fist, attempted without success to stop the wild spasms of muscles in his palm, opening and leaking copious amounts of viscous fluid and blood.

He wasn't aware of Susamajiigashu calling for help, nor the suddenly full garden, nor was he aware of his own tormented howling. Instinctively Yusuke raised his throbbing hand, not realizing that though he was taking off a minute amount of pressure of it, he was unleashing something dangerous. Suddenly a silver and gold mass shot out of the open wound and toward the helpless lord of the south. The former detective could only vaguely hear the panic shouts before he knew no more.

Kanna waited in the shadows, unnoticed and unmoving. Her "father" had sent her here in order to commune with his eyes and ears of the south. They, what was left of Naraku's "children" that is still had yet to retrieve the jewels from the prince Koga, and the greedy bastard had a mind to acquire them as soon as possible. The white haired goddess of the void mused depressingly, that if she were here, Kagura would probably be sneering, while speaking what she herself had neither the ability nor inclination to say. If only for that reason alone, Naraku's eldest "child" missed her "younger sister".

Out of all of the former human's detachments the wind sorceress bucked hardest under the enslavement that had been foisted upon them since the moment they came into existence. Which was why most likely the eldest detachment was usually paired with the now deceased Kagura. Kanna had no delusions of what she was, 'her father's most obedient and successful pet.' And as a result she had Naraku's trust; her word was law to the delinquents under the usurper's tenure. "Fools. Do they pity Kanna? But Kanna cannot feel a thing, be it pain, fear or sorrow. She cannot even understand the reason for your pity." A microscopic scowl thinned her childish lips; her creator was truly an ass.

Bakku approached the tiny being waiting patiently for him at the edge of the palace city of Kagoshima. And as distasteful as it was to do so, the bureaucrat had forgone his court attire for peasant wear. As there was always someone watching, the calico bear wanted as little connection to him and anyone who could be seen as a threat to southern interest as possible. At best anyone that might have been spying on his household within the city could say that a servant had left its walls, and was seen talking to a diminutive white haired creature.

If someone was able to connect the child-like being to Naraku, then at best there would be an inquiry after the servant that spoke to her. A servant that would never be found, the hanyou wasn't the only hostile Bakku gave his information to. Naraku was just another part of a grand few that paid Bakku too well to cut all ties with. He needed the funds, and allies to fuel his own agenda after all. "What news?" inwardly the Onikuma bristled at not being properly addressed. But as arrogant as he was Bakku was no fool. He had no illusions of who would win in a confrontation between himself and Naraku's slave.

He focused determinedly on the mirror in her grasp, both a deadly weapon and useful artifact. There the baboon pelt of his 'ally' was revealed in its reflective surface. The hanyou seemed to stare at him through wherever he was now, taking his measure without impediment of not being there himself. As if he were stupid enough to lie when his thrice damned puppet wouldn't hesitate to put him out of his misery, "Mizunonaka has left for mount Koya. He has implied that Susamajiigashu-sama would be establishing Kataiyouji's household."

Bakku couldn't see the former human's eyes through the baboon mask, but he was no less aware of the intent behind said gaze. "And do you know if you commander has been called to his lord's side?" The calico demon could see what his 'ally' was implying. Susamajiigashu, or rather, Kataiyouji himself wouldn't want anyone to interfere with the true establishment of his power base. "Perhaps the foolish one could be replaced?" Naraku's voice was inquisitive, yet unthreatening. The courtier wasn't fooled; the south was a rich land, turbulent because of constant war within. It wouldn't take much for a powerful enough outsider to gain foot-hold inside Susamajiigashu's court if it was done right.

Fortunately for Bakku, Naraku was a coward, and all he had to do was make it more appealing to have someone else on the thrown rather than risk himself. "One of my informants has reported him, returning from his boarder inspection, apparently with trespassers." Bakku rolled his eyes. Though patrolling was a way of life for most lord's, Kataiyouji just used it as a way to further cement himself in the minds of those at court as the rightful heir. Not exactly subtle but effective nonetheless, "the state of health of Susamajiigashu is still unknown."

Naraku fell silent, contemplating the pros and cons of going through with the plan he had in mind. Replacing Kataiyouji with a puppet or better yet himself would guarantee his place as lord of the south. Monetary and resource remuneration aside, the crafty demon was well aware that he was no match for any majorly powerful demons that might take offense in his quest for the Shikon no Tama. Plus the jewel shards that were in the possession of the wolf prince could be assured, with the added benefit of another highly trained battle ready military force.

But then the reality of effort it would take to bring all the factions that divided Susamajiigashu's territory came to mind. Besides the wolf tribes that trawled the mountains were the invasive Onikuma, the Ainu that still pervaded the southern water ways, Ameonna who were enemies of the wolves, and Bake-kujira, just to name a few. 'I would have to replace the stupid bear myself.' He mused, not trusting even Kanna in this matter. Naraku would not settle for ruling by proxy if there was even the slightest chance his puppet could cut her own strings.

And even if somehow the former human managed to figure out how to fool Susamajiigashu into marking him heir, and bringing the southern courtiers to heel, there was still the problem of exposure. A chance for his enemies to converge and kill him while his hold on power was tenuous at best, he needed to plan. 'Kanna, you are to go to Mt. Koya yourself. I want to know the goings on in Susamajiigashu's fortress.' Undaunted by her 'father's' threat , and the fierce glower that Bakku shot her way, Kanna turned to begin her long trek to Mount Koya. Naraku had failed to specify 'when' he wanted his report.

Susamajiigashu watched in awed horror as a gold veined silver segmented staff shot out of his heir's hand and toward him. It was only by sheer desperate instinct that the ailing lord was able to call on his power over water, using the liquid of his sunken pool as a semi-solid barrier between himself, and the unexpected projectile. At the same time a small contingent of mountain retreat guard spilled into the grove. Immediately three of their number moved on the offensive as all they had seen was the attack on their lord by the demon kneeling on the floor.

Neither the Sansetsukon, nor the wolves of his guard made it very far. A flash and clang christened the entrance of Reizen's salvation. Followed with the beheading of one of the foolhardy guards, and the setting ablaze of another, the last along with his shocked cohorts moved to help their burning comrade as Hiei, one of his Toushin heir's closer companions suddenly appeared in front of him. Both the petite demon's arm and forehead were no longer warded, revealing why the Sansetsukon was frozen in mid-air. Hiei was holding onto it through sheer force of will.

"Do not move." Susamajiigashu's water defense dropped just as quickly as it was called up. His mind burned with rabid questions as the glowing third eye and equally luminescent black dragon tattoo was revealed to him. But the half Ainu held his tongue, seeing the telltale shaking of the weapon the diminutive half-breed seemingly held control over. By this time the guards were able to put out the unfortunate one, and were once again moving to attack the assumed threat to their lord. They were brought up short once more by the flash of Hiei's bloody and naked blade. "Make no mistake, I will kill you all." They froze, finally seeming to comprehend the severity of the situation.