DO NOT KILL ME!
That basically all I have to say. I have honestly lost all interest in this story but there are some fans out there who like it so here it is. But seriously, was not planning on continuing with this so be thankful. I had a huge list of excuses for my lack of updates but on review nobody really needs to know them, but you may know this one, I'm under a lot of stress and anxiety from various types of things from global warming to uni…. mainly uni, what a bastard that is, so updates as usual are going to be random, few and far in-between. Sorry for disappointing you all, but that's how the fortune cookie rolls :P
Enjoy…and I really hope I haven't forgotten the plot
Disclaimer: Fuck off I don't own it already gawd!
Chapter 11: Dormancy
Hasty footsteps broke the awkward stillness that was the nights curse in a place like this. The trees were stripped bare of any colours representing life. Everything before this pitiful soul's eye was a smoke screen of ash and death.
A heavy fog made itself home to the charred and barren landscape enabling even the keenest of eyes to see more then a few feet in front of them. The scent of mouldy soot and dead wood was coated with the disturbing, hair raising presence of and ancient evil miasma, preventing any hopes of new life to bloom in the once beautiful forest.
The sound of dead leaves and gravel crunching underneath a lone figures bare and calloused feet was the only sound heard for miles in this dead zone. A boy no older then 14 tread cautiously and fearfully through the now familiar landscape. His wide brown eyes searched the area for a familiar tree or rock that would lead him to his dreaded destination. Any other man would have called the boy a fool for returning, after all the opportunity to run and save himself from this burden had shown itself many times, but the boy turned a blind eye to all of them. For his greatest fear is what would happen to his poor little sister if he was not to do the demon lords bidding.
The demon had made it painfully clear of what was to happen to the child if he was not to complete his task. The boy gulped down a pained lump and shuddered as the memory of his sister's tear streaked face, a dagger lightly cutting into her delicate throat as the demon gave him his orders flashed before his eyes.
Squeezing his eyes shut to strain back his tears, the young boy finally came across was he was looking for.
A faint orange glow caught his attention through the dense fog. Slowing down his pace he cautiously approached a distorted looking tree, with a single oil lamp hanging from one of the lower branches.
Gingerly reaching out, the boy relished in the warmth radiating of the lamp on his fingers.
If only for a moment a sense of comfort washed over the boy as the small flicker of flame warmed him. But as quickly as that feeling came it had gone when he noticed another dim glow to the left, then another and another each fading into the mist, but clearly illuminating a path.
Reluctantly pulling away from the lamp, the boy turned in the direction the other oil lamps where and gradually made his way through the thick fog.
The young boy had been following the pathway of lamps for what seemed like hours, but in reality had only been 5 minutes.
He continued through the mist clutching the scroll in his trembling hands as tightly as he could.
A distant wind started to grow stronger carrying dead leaves passed the boys toes and onward into the foggy distance, that seemed to be getting strangely darker, even with the oil lanterns lighting the way.
Was there something up ahead?
Indeed there was. The sight of a mountain side became clear as the boy followed the dim trail of lanterns. Quickening his pase to a light jog he made it to the base of what now appeared to be a cliffs edge. Stepping back away from the gigantic wall of rock, the boy surveyed the area only to find no other indication of where he was meant to go next.
He was in trouble, big trouble. The mission was unable to be completed and he was utterly lost, the lord will surly be angry with him even if it wasn't his fault if the scrolls were not exchanged. Whatever was written in them he did not know for he didn't dare look inside in fear of putting his captive sister's life in anymore jeopardy or his own for that matter. Besides the opening was sealed with some kind of nobles crest, anyone with half a brain would have been able to tell if the scroll had been tampered with.
The young boys face scrunched up in disgust as a most foul smell assaulted his nose. The smell of hot rotting meat and something he couldn't but his finger on washed over from behind him in laboured puffs of hot air, breaking him out of his former train of thought.
A feral animalistic growl sounding right next to his ear suddenly alerted him to the danger he was now in.
Turing abruptly the young boy was meet face to face with a huge hound like creature, it's blood shot eyes glaring with malic straight onto frightened brown eyes.
Out of instinct he took a step back and as he did so the feral canine creature snapped its strong prominent jaws.
Screaming he stumbled backwards and hit hard ground, looking up he was the hound bare its massive teeth in a gut turning snarl.
"Heel" a foreign baritone voice called from above. For a brief second relief warmed the young one veins, but looking up into the face of a huge humanoid looking demon instantly had his on edge again. On the bright side that murderous looking hound was apparently an obedient one, as it had ceased its approach only the feral growl could still be heard rumbling deep within it's chest.
Grasping the scroll he was to deliver, he scrambled to his feet and stepped to the side for be at a less life threatening distance from the hound and its apparent demon master.
Daring a look at the new demons face the boy struggles to stifle a gasp. He was unlike any man nor demon he had ever seen. The demons skin was the colour of soot and earth, his hair was black and tied up at the crown of his head, but it was not strait like other men it was sprawled out in odd clumps like mangrove roots, there were animal bones and small animalistic figurines occasionally imbedded within certain dreadlocks of his hair. He was taller and broader then all of the men in his home village.
The demon wore no shit an exposed six parallel markings on either side of his chest, it looked as though he had purposely run a blade three times over his breast. The only clothing he wore was a foreign looking pair of brownish hakama pants that were tucked in to a pair of black and worn looking leather boots that ended just below the demons calves.
He was rugged but that only made him more intimidating.
The demon eyed the boy and scrunched his nose slightly in distaste. He was never a fan of humans though the fear in there eyes was always intoxicating to watch.
The boy was terrified, the demons black eyed turned to stare into his and he was startled to find red pupils within there murky black depths. Those red dotted eyes travelled down to find the scroll still clutched tightly in the grasp of young nimble fingers.
"Come" the stranger all but growled his ascent unidentifiable and slack.
Clearly this dark skinned creature was not of this land.
The demon abruptly turned and walked into the smog the brown dog like creature following closely behind.
Officially fearing for his life, the young boy quickened his pace soon after as to not loose sight and to keep up with the demons. God help him if he should become lost after being told to follow, his life and the life of his sister were in enough peril as it were. Disobeying two orders already there death was surly around the corner 'literally' but he still had to try, he believed in the gods, kami would save us if he stayed strong, prayed, begged, pleaded and had complete faith the kami would save him.
The kami had to.
The air became warmer yet it did nothing to quell the goose bumps crawling over his flesh. Oil lanterns donned the walls of a tunnel that the black demon stalked down, his heavy footsteps and the panted of that fowl animal that had yet to leave his side seemed like the theme music of his impending death.
The boy's senses became more alert to the sounds of people and music? The lively atmosphere dulled the sound of his rapid heartbeat in his ears but still put him on high alert.
The end of the tunnel was finally upon them, but the boy was confused the end of the tunnel was a dead end nothing but a curve of hard stone with two lanterns highlighting its end on either side.
But where was the music and sound of people coming from, despite the obvious the dark skinned demon and his hound strode forward in confidence seemingly unfazed by the wall of rock that he was to run straight into.
The hound picked up its pace to an easy trot as it passed its master and ran through the wall then vanished. The boy stopped completely bewildered 'it was magic' he had heard of such visual phenomena preformed by priestesses with there barriers also with powerful demons but this was the first time he had seen anything magical in his life.
Noticing the pitter-patter of small feet has stopped the demon grasped the shoulder of the boy and pushed him through the wall with no words but an irritated grunt.
There was momentary blackness and a very sudden cold rush that froze him to the core as he was none to gently shoved through the stone wall. And then there was heat that sent his skin into a frenzy from such extreme temperature changes in only a matter of seconds. The inside of the mountain it seemed was completely hollow and harvested a secret coven of demons of all kinds.
Black banners decorated the place with what looked like the coven crest.
Three scarlet claw markings
Animal furs lined the cold stone floors where the demons sat, ate, drank and watched captured demon girls dance in less then revealing clothing, that shimmered and jingles with the sway of there hips. Demons were all over the place. It seemed that the inside of the cave was divided into natural occurring levels, with demons of different class and ranks ate there fill.
The boy was pushed through a path that was marked in oil lamps suspended from the mouth of dragons that were hanging from the walls and from posts sticking up from out of the ground.
Some of the demons stopped what they were doing to stare at him and the other demon shoving him, but didn't seem like they were going to interfere with the black demon.
Soon the halls became littered with fine looking rugs and ornaments that indicated that they were heading to a place that consisted of wealthy and powerful beings.
And then he realised who it was that they were going to see. Before he had time to shake himself of his thoughts the boy was once again thrust into an opening and landed on his stomach.
"The boy has returned my lord"
There was a long pause after the black man had spoken. The young lad heard a slight rustling in the near distance and looked up for the first time.
An elderly man sat crouched over on a throne surrounded by several regal looking soldiers. The man was aged a great deal, his hair had lost all of its traditional shade of ebony to be replaced by snow white hip length hair, that was tied into a formal top knot. His eyes were a steal grey that lacked any other emotion aside from irritation. He also had on one of the finest royal red kimonos he had ever seen.
The man eyed him down fiercely and spoke in a raspy aged voice.
"Why do you return to me without that, in which I desired boy. Where is the scroll from the soldiers?" his cold worn eyes bore into the boy in such a way that it made his knees quiver, the adrenaline hormone taking over once again in the urge to flight away from this old man, from everything was tempting. But he knew that it would prove fatal.
Parting petrified lips he spoke "T-they, n-n-never came! I waited for two days. And n-nobody c-came". the kid dropped to his knees and bowed as low and respectfully as he could to such an intimidation figure.
There was a twinkle in the old man eyes, as if a particularly exciting thought had crossed his mind. There was silence for a few moments, and then laughter, the old man was seriously laughing.
"Ah so the time has finally come m-lady" he murmured to himself, he graced the young child with another sinister smirk.
"It appears you have delivered me news of a different kind without knowing, how fortunate for you" he looked to the scary looking demon that had shepherded him in the demon's den in the first place.
"Kuro, it appears the cover of human delivery boys has become innate, this is good news yes?" the burly black demon grunted and gave a short nod, and then in a language the boy did not understand spoke to the old man.
"Yes your right, there is the matter of that missing army of mine", at this point the boy was certain he was going to meet his maker, right here, right now this would be the end, for how could a demon of all creatures forgive him for not completing his task.
This meant his sister was as good as dead too.
"I am quite bored today boy, I think I will spare your life today, but only if you are truly strong enough to avoid it home, I suggest you run home as fast as you can before my hounds get you first, there quite hungry you know!" there was the sudden grinding noise of a boulder moving against another stone, dust fell from the ceiling and light shone into the dark dorms of the cave.
It was almost to good to be true, but he could hear the ferial looking hounds from before snapping there jaws not to far behind.
He hesitated, and he old demon noticed "perhaps you choose death then young one, what is your name?"
"Choji" he gulped before adding "M-m-my sister?" he prompted. The old man thought for a second and then recognition dawned on his face.
"Ahh yes, the girl, what ever would we do without hostages, and if push comes to shove kid, in the end you may only need to be faster then her" he waved his hand and within a moment another pale, almost green, gangly looking demon, obviously a servant, brought in the tear stained face of his little sister.
"NI-CHAN!" she shouted and ran strait into the arms of her equally tear stained brother. Without even thinking he dashed for the exit and was out the door and into the dead tree forest in record time.
As soon as they reached the green forest grounds they heard the sounds of barking.
"So I'm thinking, when I'm alive again I'll have some chicken, though I might have to have chicken soup cause I'm thinking that after x many number of thousands of years NOT eating I might need to start off with something gentle, however a huge steak does sound very appealing, but I also might be underestimating my appetite in the future, I might just lunge for the first thing that moves.." Airah, the talking golden ball, as Inuyasha had dubbed her, had not stopped her heavenly chatter for quit some time. He couldn't shut her up and he couldn't block her out either, it was infuriating.
Kagome insisted that he be patient because Airah was just excited, and that this was one of her habits, he Inuyasha didn't care.
The group of friends had managed to avoid anymore freakishly random bad guy armies, and Sesshoumaru for the rest of there little quest, and where now somewhere north of there previous encounter.
Airah the talking golden ball, had been giving directions, deciding that her book could wait for her to find it in person. Apparently the appearance of those shadow demons and soldiers had changed her mind for whatever plan she had been concocting at the time.
So for now it was full steam ahead to a place once called Mushikurako, a temple that she and her legacy of miko's and magic beings had used as a place of learning, teaching and experimenting.
Miroku was excited, Sango was thinking twice about the idea, Shippou really had no say in the plan even if he had one but was more or less curious and dear old Kagome was relishing her in her new abilities and was keen to meet Airah in person.
Inuyasha smelt trouble brewing…but as Miroku had told him "It's hardly an uncommon thing for you" and everyone laughed at his expense.
But there was indeed trouble brewing somewhere, and it was to catch up with them faster then they would hope.
According to Airah's spiritual calculations they should be able to reach Mushikurako within a day or so and that whenever they started to grow tried from travel anytime would be a good place to stop.
Airah had told them stories of the provinces she had controlled before and after her father, and that the areas they travelled where once part of her territory or where at the very least allies of her kingdom.
She was highly experienced with medicines and when she had a day to herself she would often be with her priestess's and monks creating new remedies.
But when she was alone at night she would experiment with her magic, and explained that only her trained and most trusted miko guard knew the extent of her meddling.
Sango had thought she smelt smoke and took off on Kilala about 10 minutes ago to investigate.
And soon enough her giant cat and boomerang flying in the distance alerted the group that she was on her way back.
"Great news, there's a decent looking village not to far from here, we should stay the night" she spoke to the group, but gave Inuyasha a pointed look to emphasise that he should agree with her.
"Fine!" he said rolling his eyes as Sango and Kagome high fived it and strutted ahead of the others in the general direction of the village.
"You still reckon we're swimming up shit creek on this one?" Miroku asked on the sly once the girls where out of hearing.
"Fuck yes!" was the instant reply.
Miroku laughed and kept pace with Inuyasha as they tailed the girls.
"We've faced plenty crap whilst on shit creek before, why are you so paranoid now, you've sorta been frowning the whole time since Kagome got back, what's up" Mioku asked.
Inuyasha gave him an incredulous stare, as if the problem wasn't blatantly obvious.
"Are you kidding me, we should have never stopped in the damn stupid forest to begin with, now we have one more thing to distract us from out original goal, I know that Naraku has somehow managed to get involved, but returning some demons queens spirit to her body isn't really my idea of kicking Naraku's ass in a hurry, and besides LOOK AT KAGOME, you should have seen the looks on your faces when I brought her back"
"Hey guys, I'm back, you wont believe what hap- guys?" Kagome had entered the clearing and approached her other friends, within moments of her speech eveyones face mimicked each others.
Eyed wide, mouth opened, jaw slack and faces forward.
There was more then enough moments of silence then necessary before Sango finally blurted out the question in everyone's head.
"WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO YOU?"
(end of flashback )
After explaining the situation to them for what felt like hours they seemed to finally understand, that Kagome was now a half demon, but it wasn't entirely permanent, her features will fade in time, but only once she's separated from the orb and Airah's spirit. Even now Inuyasha was convinced that the others merely chose to ignore most of this information, simply because it was easier to comprehend.
"Besides" Inuyasha continued more sombrely, " I get the feeling that this stupid talking golden ball chick, is keeping a lot from us, she talks a lot, but kinda like a cover, I don't know why she would need to, it's not like we know what questions to ask, but my instincts are telling me where knee deep in shit creek if we keep this mission up"
Miroku looked forward, thinking about what Inuyasha had just said. It made sense in a way but is own instincts told him a different version of what's to come.
"Your right Inuyasha, but I'm afraid where're all to involved now to turn back the clocks and make a more educated decision, as far as I see it, another being needs our help, she has secrets like everyone else, and may not choose to tell us them now but maybe if we treat her with the dame courtesy she has shown us then one day maybe she will tell us some of her secrets. And if danger does come, like it normally does, we'll just have to fight, and pray that in the end when all is said and done, everything works out for the best. Its really all we can do at this stage, its best to not try and resist fate"
Miroku's little lecture had exhausted Inuyasha for the day and he was suddenly glad to be able to sleep in comfort for the night, he could definitely trust Miroku to forget his woes and chase after some pretty looking girl. Or maybe that would mean he would have to watch his lecherous behaviour so they don't all get kicked out of the village, then he'd never get any rest.
Damn it! 'I'm clearly over thinking things'
And so they made it to the village and in no time Sango and Kagome had snuffed out a decent enough inn for their liking and their wallets.
They ate at a communal dining hall in this particular hotel, and at a decent enough distance from the other guests as per managements request for the accompaniment of demons.
Airah had spoken to Kagome without the others knowing about what the food is like, and Kagome politely told her what her meal was like. During there small talk Airah had suddenly fallen silent, Kagome's puzzled face had grabbed the attention of the others and suddenly the others where prompting her to tell them what was going on.
Inuyasha was beside her and placed a hand on her shoulder to try and knock her out of her stupor.
"I was talking to Airah and then she suddenly just stopped, she's not relying to me" she said looking toward him.
'here we go' thought Inuyasha as he struggled not to point out the irony of his anxieties being proven right.
"Relax dear, I'm still here, listen to the villagers, I can feel their thoughts, they are worried about something that happened a couple of days ago in another village a mile or so from Mushikurako, a couple of tables are talking about it, there thoughts are a little frantic, but it sounds like a couple of missing children were found in on the border of some…forbidden territory is all I can understand from them, their frightened about some monsters that where trying to eat them" Airah spoke to them all this time.
The table went quiet as they all tunned in to what the other tables where discussing. There were three women possibly in their thirties sitting a couple of metres away from Inuyasha and the others. They were talking in hushed tones but the frantic pitch to their voices alerted the gang that whatever they were talking about was not something pleasant.
"I heard that the children had been missing for months, their village feared that they had been killed by the demons-"
"They come from a very small village so to have thought that they had lost two children to demons would have been devastating, just be thankful that those kids came back in more or less one piece"
"Those children are very lucky, but this is so scary, what if that just angers the demons more and they come back to other villages like ours and steal out children, I don't even want to think about what would happen in my son was taken from me, he's only 4"
"Your missing the point Chio, its scary yes, but we should be asking ourselves what were these demons doing with these kids, if they weren't going to eat them!" the three ladies shuddered before the one addressing the woman known ad Chio continued on.
"The young boy, some famers near the boarder of rice lands and that forbidden forest of ash, swears on his life that he saw a young boy run into that forest-
"But if that's true then why didn't the farmer stop in, no ones ever gone in that place and come back alive"
"Machi! Let me explain, the farmer said that it was for such a brief moment that he had doubts that he saw anything but a trick of the mind, and then he feared that it may have been some demon trying to trick him into following after the boy, that's how the farmers wife to the southern side of that forest disappeared"
The table was quite for a moment before the ladies continued eating their food in silence. Before anyone else could intervene Miroku had gotten up and walked over to great the three silent women.
"Excuse me ladies, but my companions and I" he made a gesture with his beaded hand towards his own table, "We couldn't help but overhear your conversation, did you say that some children were kidnapped by demons in this area?" he inquired politely with his every pleasant smile in the company of women.
The three ladies looked between themselves then gave Miroku a once over, and then his so called 'companions' frowning a little as some happened to look a lot like demons and he, evidently, was a monk.
Miroku noticing the looks his friends where receiving quickly diluted the situation before they girls got any ideas of refusing to talk to him.
"They are quite harmless, I promise you, where one a quest to free a friend of ours from a curse in the area that you mentioned, and it would be good to here of any possible dangers that we may face you see?"
He smiled charismatically and eventually it won over the three women "Yes you heard correct monk, two children disappeared a little while ago, they were presumed to be taken by demons that have long been known to dwell in this forbidden place called the forest of ash" the one known as chio had spoken, Miroku nodded to show he was listening, and she continued with more information.
" These kids would be the first to come back from that place alive, but barely, they were being chased by demonic looking dogs-" Miroku butted in to ask a vital question at this point "dogs? Not wolves? What makes you sure they were demonic dogs" he inquired.
The lady was not entirely put off with being interrupted so she answered diligently "Because they did not have the build of a wolf, apparently they where monstrous looking, big black and brown and bulky with red eyes, and fowl breath, and there as big as I am apparently, most people in this district know of them through folk tales, the hounds of hell are the trackers for a lord of ancient times made from trapped human souls and the blood of a demon and the body of a dog they find his masters enemies and track them down and mostly kill them without fail, these things fear nothing! But one thing, the feline guardians of the queen of the old lands, if you look closely at the surrounding of the village there are shines with symbols of great stone cats on them, and a few statues near all the temples" Miroku paused to properly sort out this information, he couldn't quite shake the feeling that this was somehow more important to their mission then he realised, and before he could say anymore Airah spoke quietly to him in his head.
"Those guardians are like my trackers, this lord is active when he shouldn't be, this might be my fault, its possible this my old enemies have managed to stay alive this long and place some kind of curse to respond when I become most active or move from that temple in my woods" she said, she didn't sound at all pleased.
The women were giving Miroku odd looks for being so still and silent, as if he were listening to someone else. He quickly thought of something to make home appear less of an idiot "Perhaps I shall take it upon myself to bless this village before we leave, maybe then everyone will rest a little easier?" Miroku quickly departed from the women and returned to his own table.
Now that the others had an idea of what they were headed for the tension they felt before a predetermined battle started to sink its way in.
"I wouldn't worry tonight, there is no danger to be found here, but it is paramount that I be returned to my body quickly, if I am destroyed before I can return, then I can never set the record straight, and that lord the lady was talking about may make a move that could spell disaster for all of you"
Airah spoke to them all quietly. They had realised that the situation they were in was beginning to seem more serious then they had thought before. And they all silently agreed to get Airah home before anymore trouble could intervene.
After dinner and well into the night when most patrons where sleeping, Inuyasha could be found on the roof top above his and Miroku's room looking into the sky with his arm draped over his raised knee.
His thoughts would appear to be a million miles away but, they were much closer to earth then anyone could have guessed.
His urges had subsided little with his other instincts telling him to protect his pack and stay on guard. And this small moment to himself allowed his more safer fantasies to sooth him. In fact he was proud to admit that he felt more in control now then in the previous week about his reactions to Kagome.
He day dreamed of them laying in the grass together, her head resting on his arm, her scent sending his mind and body into a euphoria, as she would be oblivious to his raging blood and beating heart as she toyed idly with a strand of his hair, as she sometimes liked to do, and an ear rub, oooooooh yes definitely and ear rub somewhere in there.
There would be no Naraku, no demons, no annoying as shit brother, no goddamn trace of Kouga for at least a 1000 mile radios and his friends would have buggered of to go frolic or do whatever they do when he's not around.
It would be just him and Kagome, together forever like this, with no worries and not problems, and they would be happy.
He dreamed of her smooth skin her eyes the brown colour they once were, though he could get used to the green they were now. Her hair would catch in the wind and blow strands to his nose, such as soft sweet smell could so easily overpower his senses it was like a drug.
He inhaled deeply and could smell her for real, but it was mixed in with all the other smells around him. He so wanted to just be near her and to smell only her, to touch her again.
But Sango and Shippou were also there. Inuyasha sighed and tried to focus on his fantasies again, but his little break in reality had illuminated the previous euphoria, making him feel lonely for some odd reason.
Reality sucked…it sucked hard!
Shorter then others but that it seemed was partially one of my problem with the updates being few and very far in-between. So I'm just going to keep it simple and limit myself to something reasonable this time.
On that note, I too and feeling rather euphoric for actually finishing this chapter, I know it's been years since I thought of this story and gotten around to finishing this bastard chapter.
But if anyone one want this to be continued review and encourage me, because that is seriously the only reason I got this up the other night, I looked over the reviews in my account and I felt so disappointed in myself that I was leaving everyone who likes this story hanging and unsatisfied, so for that I am so so sorry.
Go visit my profile for the goss on my chapters ect, I have two new story ideas for other anime's that I am now a lot more engrossed in then Inuyasha, I never thought I would move off being obsessed with Inuyasha but I guess that's what happens when you get older, you tastes in things change. My new fics are based on an old fav 'Beyblades' and a new fav 'Naruto' none of them are posted yet as plots are still developing and im going to write the story in full before I upload.
Spanks for reading love muffins :D