Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

Fennel by CookieAsylum

Coltsfoot

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.

A/N: After indulging in as much samurai and historical content I can get my grubby little hands on (which, let’s be honest, mostly consisted of me rewatching Sword of the Stranger and Samurai Champloo multiple times), I'm super excited to share this little story. I've taken some liberty with the historical stuff, so it's loosely correct. Head's up - the rating may change. I hope you all enjoy!

 

•º| |º•.

 

Coltsfoot

Justice shall be done to you

 

.•º| |º•.

 

Rain pelted her face in fat, icy droplets. It slid through her hair, soaking the silk of her haori. Mud slicked her sandals and clung to the hem of her hakama. Under the cover of the deluge and deepening eve, Kagome made her escape. She wove through the trees, gasping for breath. The stench of smoke and blood clogged her nose.

“Hurry,” she panted. “I have to hurry!” Greedily gulping in air, she cast a harried look at the scene below.

Red.

The shrine was burning. The valley was an ocean of fire, steam, and acrid smoke. The torii arches blazed hot from the oil-fed flames. Despite the rain, the courtyard choked with billowing plumes of smoke. There was nowhere the fire hadn’t touched. From the storage sheds to the Head Priest’s quarters, everything cracked and cindered. From her vantage point upon the ridge sloping along the mountainside, bodies dotted the premises.

Unmoving.

Teeth clenched, Kagome glowered at the scene. “That monster…”

Voices cried out. A shout hollered not far behind, spurring the young woman into motion.

“I won’t fail,” Kagome swore. “I promise!”

.•º| |º•.

“Any sign of it?” the man demanded, swinging down from his steed. Adjusting the straps of his hand guard, lurid red eyes took in the remnants of chaos.

The subordinate steadied the horse. “Not yet, General Naraku. But we are still searching the premises. Oshio Hachiman’s grounds are extensive and-!” Rough hands snared the man’s lapels, yanking him off his feet.

“Excuses. Find it!” Naraku snarled.

The shrine was in disarray. Flames licked in tongues of red and orange, and blood spattered across the stone courtyard. Orders had been given to pile the dead and burn them.

“Only a matter of time,” he murmured.

This was the fifth shrine his men had attacked. All throughout central Japan, they’d followed the whispers and hushed secrets. Since Lord Ryukotsusei’s conquer of Echizen - and subsequent sundering of the Kirishima Clan - their lord sought greater and more wondrous treasure. As if the coastal province wasn’t treasure enough. And for this, Naraku was all too willing to please his liege.

Removing his kabuto, he scrubbed fiercely through his dark hair. A sneer pulled at his lips. They were close; he could almost taste it.

“Over here!”

That was enough to catch his attention. Waving a squadron over, he followed the samurai to a secluded portion of the shrine. Surrounded by ten men, swords drawn, two miko remained. Backs pressed against the high wall behind them, they raised bow and sword in their defense. And as the second troop of samurai fanned out around them, the women huddled closer.

“Oh? What have we here?” Naraku crooned, naginata propped against his shoulder.

"You!" The older miko hissed. Her white haori stained red, her armor in tatters, she could barely maintain her grip on her blade. “How dare you attack this holy place!” she barked. Finding strength, the women raised her sword between them. 

At her side, the younger miko’s cold gaze drifted across the gathered soldiers. Cautiously, she pulled at her bow.

“Ah ah,” Naraku tutted. At a wave, his men shifted forward, blades low and ready to strike. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

“Demon!”

“Maybe.” Stamping the naginata against the ground, he eyed the older miko with a smirk. “Perhaps you can help this demon. I seek the Shikon no Tama for our lord. Last I heard, it was housed at this shrine.”

With a roar, the miko lunged. Naraku parried. Naginata clattering against steel, the blade arched across the courtyard. He spun, thrust, and met solid flesh. Red trickling from the corner of her mouth, the miko spat.

“I, Midoriko, Head Priestess of Oshio Hachiman Shrine, will tell you nothing,” she snarled.

Naraku sneered. “So be it.” The naginata withdrew with a sickening squelch, and the miko slumped to the ground. Blade pointed downward, he punctuated his command with a finishing blow. “Take the other,” he growled. “If the master would not talk, then maybe she will. We’re through here!”

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.