Chapter Four

"Hey, you guys are blocking the way," Izumo suddenly announced, standing before the two girls. She glanced unimpressed at Shiemi's tear streaked face and Kagome's impassive one as she said, "I got sent here to get medicinal plants too, so move aside."

Shiemi quickly stuttered out an apology and moved. Kagome though narrowed her eyes, uncaring for the rude attitude. But still she moved out of the way.

"Kagome-san, this is Kamiki Izumo," the blond reintroduced. And Kagome made it a point to actually learn names this time around. "She comes from a long line of priestesses."

The purple haired girl nodded her head proudly. Kagome snorted at the action and the girl's sharp gaze landed on her.

"Something you want to share?"

Kagome shrugged nonchalantly and spoke, changing the subject, "Seems like you two got this. I'm going to go see if Okumura needs help."

She left before any of the two girls could protest. Sighing, she wandered aimlessly around the ryokan, inwardly berating herself. She shouldn't have brushed them off like that but she didn't want to get involved especially in the line of business they were training for. She couldn't go through that again.

Rounding a sharp corner, she found herself bumping into someone. Luckily the impact was not enough to knock either of them down. Kagome quickly apologized. And when she caught site of the head priest robes, she bowed respectfully.

"I'm so sorry high priest-sama."

The old man laughed. "That's quite alright. And please, Suguro will do."

Kagome looked up and nodded her head. Now that she was looking at him, she realized how much he looked familiar to her. The outline of his face and the scruffiness were definitely where Bon received half of his looks. But the kind smile he showed her sent a wave of nostalgia through her.

He eyed her peculiarly and a flash of recognition gleamed in his dark eyes.

"You look familiar," he stated, rubbing the stubble on his chin thoughtfully. "Your eyes give you away. Higurashi Kagome, I haven't seen you since you in years. You look just like your grandmother."

Kagome blushed, embarrassed by his words. Her grandfather and mother were always telling her that as well. It was a nice change from being compared to Kikyo, but it felt as if a bigger weight was being put on her shoulders. After all, she had grown up hearing of her grandmother's great prowess and deeds. Between her and Kikyo it was a lot to live up to.

"I'm sorry but I don't remember you," she sheepishly admitted, fiddling with the cuffs of her shirt.

He laughed again, loud and cheerful and it eased the tension out of Kagome and she found herself smiling in response. He was a nice contrast compared to his surly son.

"I imagine not. The last time I saw you, you were probably five years old and we still had the temple," he replied before continuing on. "Your father was always eager to show you off. We were deeply sorry to hear about his death."

"Thank you Suguro-san," she politely muttered back.

"He was a good man. Always busy trying to keep your grandfather in line," he said, rambling on. Kagome actually laughed at that, believing the older man's words. Her grandfather was a handful, especially after her grandmother's death.

It wasn't until much later that Kagome actually caught up with Rin. She had grabbed a bento from Shura before being pointed towards the courtyard where the boys had taken off to with the drinks.

She arrived just in time to see him get blown off by Bon and the short kid from class. Surprisingly though, the pink haired boy stuck around though he sat a good distance away from the half demon.

She wrestled with herself for a moment before she decided to sit down beside Rin. She cursed herself and her bleeding heart, but there was something about him that she genuinely liked. And she felt for him, especially after seeing him be rejected by his classmates.

"I'm sure your bento taste amazing," Kagome commented, startling the two boys.

Rin flushed a bright red, but accepted her compliment.

Picking at the food, Kagome decided to ask, "Why are you sitting so far away anyway, Pinkie?"

"You're scared of me too, aren't ya," Ri grumbled, spewing food everywhere.

He nervously chuckled, sweating nervously as he replied, "The name's Renzo, not Pinkie. And I'm not scared at all. If I had to say something, I'd say I hate troublesome stuff."

Rin made a face and began to mock the other boy. "Lame! Well you are uncool after all."

"Who's at the top of your cool list then" Renzo demanded.

Rin smiled broadly as he answered the question, pulling out a random list from his pocket with a list of names. "My old man of course. Then there's a tie between Kagome and Bon, but she's definitely getting a spot above him. She's very cool."

Kagome found herself giggling, genuinely flattered by Rin's praise. They had only known each other for about a day and already he thought so highly of her. "Aww, thank you Rin. But you give me too much credit."

He casually shrugged his shoulders as if it were not a big deal at all. "I just call it as I see it."

Renzo pouted, looking dejected but resigned to Rin's outlandish claims. It was a look that instantly sobered Kagome. He reminded her too much of Miroku that it hurt.

Thankfully the two boys didn't notice.

Sighing sadly, she chugged down one of the drinks.