Chapter 8: Demons, Shards, and Monks

Thanks for keeping up with reading and reviewing! Sorry this has taken kind of long, but the holidays and jaw surgery are kind of my life right now. Don't worry, I'm focusing on getting more chapters written before I go back to college, so I'm predicting at least one more chapter before Tuesday for each story I'm writing. Oh, and FYI, that's three right now. All are InuYasha fanfics, and you should check the rest out! They're pretty decent and coming along fairly well right now. Anyways, enjoy the chapter!

Kagome's home was no longer before her eyes; the shrine had disappeared around the sacred well and was replaced instead by a clear opening in the middle of a dense forest. The stars littering across the seemingly expansive sky winked and blinked at the pair as if to invite them within their gaze. As InuYasha placed her on the ground and watched her face, she kept surveying this place. It was absolutely magnificent, like a page straight out of a fairytale. Everything was so picture-perfect, the way the trees were lush and vibrant, the vast spread of the midnight-blue sky, the light wind passing playfully across her face and tousling her hair a bit. It was… beautiful…

InuYasha just watched her for a bit, trying to take in what she was thinking by her reactions, but she wasn't doing anything except staring. What could she remember from her double life before? He had hoped that by bringing her here it could start something in her brain towards getting her memory back… he had hoped…

A gasp brought InuYasha out of his thoughts and he jumped when Kagome turned towards him, a surprised look plastered over her face.

"There's something coming…" Kagome nearly whispered. InuYasha instantly grabbed his Tessaiga's hilt from his hip and started to pull it from its sheath.

"What kind of thing? Can you tell if it's a jewel shard?" he growled, eyes and ears on constant defense.

"Well, I can just tell something's coming closer… but it's like seeing a bright light coming our way… I can't really explain it past that…"

InuYasha continued to focus on his surroundings, waiting for whatever it was to come closer. "That's your shard-detecting power. Y'know, being a priestess and all."

"I'm a priestess?" Kagome gaped, unable to believe what she was hearing. "So what are you, a monk?"

"No, Miroku's the monk, and a lecherous one at that."

Something flashed in Kagome's mind: A man standing with her with the sun dropping behind them, he was holding her hands, it was so romantic… till he asked to bear his children and groped her ass.

"Wait, he grabbed my ass, didn't he? What a lecher. When will he realize that I'm not the one for him?"

InuYasha snapped his head back at Kagome. She remembered something! Unfortunately, it was the monk and his perverted ways, but still, it was something. "So who's meant for him?"

Kagome shook her head as if trying to get something off. Her head was starting to ache with each flash scene she had. She was sure it was part of her past, but still it seemed surreal to be on the outside looking in on things that happened in her life. "Uh, I can't think anymore… my head's feeling like it's going to explode…"

"Keep your focus! You've got to keep bringing your memories back! Can you think of him standing next to someone else, perhaps carrying a hiraikotsu?"

"A wha-" she started, but then another memory began to play in her head, more muddled than before. He was sitting on the hillside, staring at the moon, and his arm was around another girl's. She leaned into his shoulder while they just enjoyed the company of one another… Before she could focus in on the girl, Kagome snapped out of her memory and saw a large beast right behind InuYasha, whose focus was completely on her.

"Behind you!" she screamed as the snake-like thing lunged in attack. InuYasha grabbed Kagome just in time as the serpent's fangs hit dirt and he slammed into the ground. They sailed through the air far enough from the beast that had just attacked. InuYasha set Kagome down on the ground then turned to face the thing.

"Kagome! Focus on the light! Where is it?" InuYasha yelled as he ran towards it, sword drawn and ready to attack. She shook her head and squinted at the snake slithering quickly across the dusty earth and saw a purple shimmering of light in the middle of his forehead.

"Smack dab in the middle of his forehead!" she screamed, which was all InuYasha needed to wipe the hideous thing out. A grin splayed across his face as he raised his sword up and brought it swishing down. His voice bellowed out across the air: "WIND SCAR!"

Jets of light shot like bolts of lightning from the place he hit the ground and created deep gouges trailing towards the snake. There was no time for it to dodge as they reached its body and engulfed it completely. It was chopped into tiny pieces of steaming flesh that rotted all over, and it stank of horrendous proportions. Kagome almost wanted to throw up, and yet part of her remembered those jolts of light. She couldn't have seen them before; why were they so familiar? She didn't have time to contemplate any further, because InuYasha came over following his kill.

"Alright, go find the shard," he demanded of her.

"Woah, excuse ME?" Kagome exclaimed. "You want me to go digging through the decaying piles of dead snake guts just to get some silly piece of jewel? If that's what I did before I lost my memory, then I don't think I want to go back!"

InuYasha scoffed at her reluctance to comply. "Geez, Kagome, you're the only one who can purify it by your touch; now get in there and find that shard!"

"Whatever. This is SO gross!"

Kagome started stepping cautiously between the now sizzling gooey pieces of the once ferocious snake and squinting back and forth, trying hard not to let the rancid smell reach her nostrils. She saw the same shimmering she did before embedded deep in the snake's skull right in the middle of the mess.

"Uhm, InuYasha, the shard's deep in his head," Kagome shakily said, staring at the grotesque, misshapen form before her. "There's no way I'm digging it out. You do it!"

InuYasha sighed heavily before bounding to her in one jump. He glanced down at the head, then shook his as he unsheathed his sword and smashed the skull directly in two.

"There, NOW you can get it," he said sulkily as he walked away from her. Kagome looked down and now saw a tiny sliver glowing in the dark mass of flesh. Even though it was so small and seemingly meaningless, it still shone brighter than the sun. Kagome was entranced by its beauty, and as she reached down and touched it, it emanated an even more beautiful, pure aura from within. Kagome gasped as she handled the tiny shard within her palm at what happened to the snake's body. It seemed to melt like ice on blacktop into the ground, and as quickly it started there remained only a twisted skeleton of their once menacing foe.

"This place is so weird," Kagome concluded out loud, but as she followed the seething InuYasha back to… wherever he was going, she couldn't help but think that this place was where she belonged.

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