Noise of Rain by Jafndaegur

Endless Forlorness Made Me Numb

a/n: Just incase you were curious this is a Mo Dao Zu Shi inspired fic, it's not really an AU of that but kind of.  

Kagome watched with pursed lips as the last of the sun set over the horizon. Gilded rays fluttered over the earth, streaming across the trees and grass like rivers of fire. Warm. Beautifully and utterly warm. The dying sunlight drenched her skin, and she tilted her head back—trying to drink in it's comfort. 

Trying to ignore the pressing cold digging its way into the edges of her senses.

Sunset's birth left a wake open for the creatures she'd come to dislike and maybe even hate. Soon she knew the faint pale wisps of the Soul Stealers would come into view. They would approach but never broach, as if taunting the unspoken agreement of distance. Time and time again, they teased the limits, dancing along the edge of her sights until she spun around. In the back of her mind she wondered if it would be worth it to just fork her spirit over to Kikyo. The undead priestess deserved a life, free from trickery or deceit. Something pure—

Only caught by the ascended.

After all, before her egregious turn to...what Kagome liked to think of as the emo rebellious phase, Kikyo had been rather fair and just. The death dealt to her an unfair blow by fate into the hands of a psycho spider demon.

But as the thought began to teeter close to the cusp of action, Sango's voice called her from their campsite and the idea dissipated.


That darkened patch in the back of her mind, the one that hid behind bright smiles and dazzling sapphire eyes, pulsed. It reached out and brushed against her reiki, causing the edges to crumble to dust, unreplenished. Not that Kagome knew.

It wasn't as if anyone were helping her cultivate her priestess powers. So if she felt a bit more fatigued or a little more drained, she blamed it on the fact that Inuyasha was nowhere to be seen in the camp. Although she hadn't expected to see him. With the Soul Stealers in close proximity, they always chimed his cue to leave.

The passing scenery is going to collapse—

Cold wrapped her mind and complete midnight gripped her reiki. She cried out for help but no one could hear. 

They didn't need her. Just a jewel-shard detector.  They didn't want her. Just a lesser reincarnation.

—along the obsequious side.

"Oi, Kagome," Inuyasha's voice drew her from her sleep-deprived autopilot. "Can't you pick up the pace?"

Her brow twitched and she tried to find a good reason to not "Sit" him then and there. But her chest heaved and the exhaustion washed over her, and she acquiesced. Today was neither the time nor the place. As their group moved forward in the direction of the next Shikon jewel piece when the hanyou had picked up scents of Sesshomaru traveling their direction. In a bout of stubbornness, he refused to change course. Insistent that if his half-brother wanted to fight, then he wouldn't shy away.

Kagome's brow rose as Sesshomaru’s own little group met up with theirs. 

Rin perched happily on Ah-Un's back, Jaken in tow, and the proud daiyoukai at the front—the little quartet brushed passed them as if they weren't there. Other than the pleasant wave and hello Rin shouted in their direction, it was almost like they didn't exist.


As they continued on, Kagome shivered as the sensation of Sesshomaru’s youki swept over them. It probed with an innocent inquisition that was disarming. She wondered why he was searching to change the hidden. But in the moment that she detected his power, it eased away and left them.

"What an asshat, he probably just came around to show-off," Inuyasha huffed.

Kagome wondered if that was the case. The full youkai had been searching for something. But what? 

She felt herself going to the dark spot in her mind, wondering if she took hold of it and reached out—would Sesshomaru’s presence return? Was this darkness, this strange thing, was this what he looked for? Kagome felt half inclined to try. She wanted him to turn around.

To notice that she felt…

Miroku called out that he noticed a dark aura from the north, something suspicious and chilling.

Kagome sighed and supposed that it didn't matter how she felt. Hitching her backpack onto her shoulders, she closed her eyes and sifted for that familiar feeling of the sacred jewel. While she wasn't sure, something stirred her heart in the direction the monk had pointed to. 

With a triumph smile, she hopped up to the front next to the half-demon. "I'm not 100% sure, but I think there's a shard in that direction."

That pleased Inuyasha enough. "Alright! Let's get a move on then."

They made camp a couple miles out from wherever they were headed next. A heavy dread had covered the little campsite, the nearby evil seeping close enough to have everyone on edge. Inuyasha and Miroku both kept a vigilant watch neither one comfortable to rest. Sango helped keep Shippo and Kirara calm enough to doze into a restless sleep. Kagome stared off into the distance. The Soul Stealers were in the opposite direction of the unholy aura; wandering, looking.

But unlike the previous night where they had toyed with the notion of trying to take her spirit again, their movements differed. Unorganized and haphazard—the ghostly creatures meandered in confusion.

Heart pounding against her chest, Kagome couldn't help the small smile wiggling its way onto her face. In her mind's eye, she cupped the darkness more. After all, it had swallowed her reiki whole, hiding it from even Miroku's detection.

It protected the treasure by throwing away the guidance everyone depended on.

The middle of the night sung out to her and she awoke on a cold sweat. Someone was crying. But everyone had fallen asleep. Miroku and Inuyasha seemed fitfully sleeping at best, while Sango and Shippo curled in for warmth against Kirara's warm side. The fire-cat however, glanced at her with worried large eyes. 

Kagome hoisted the holy bow and arrows onto her shoulder. She gave an appeasing pet the demon's nose.

"Don't worry, I'm just going to investigate," she murmured gently. "Something's off. And I want to make sure we don't walk into a trap later."

Kirara gave a low growl but she did not move otherwise.

Kagome smiled and snuck forward. The morning had yet to start, so the air felt frigid and moist. Dew just barely started to accumulate on dark forest and heavy grass. Pushing her way through the underbrush, the inner compass in her chest pointed the direction she needed. Not to mention the voice she'd heard began to cry louder. Words still weren't quite comprehensible but the sentiment was there.

The forest started to scar away, replaced by shale and growing rigid crags. Heavy mist permeated the area more. Kagome drew her bow and crouched low, still persisting. The crying started to take on a form.

 Noise of rain. It wept. Noise of rain your footsteps cry.

And suddenly just like that, Kagome spun around, arrow ready to shoot. Naturally,  Naraku stood behind her—his arms behind his back, his face pensive.

"Kagome," he greeted, voice heavy and hesitate.

Her brow cocked. "Naraku. What do you want?"

Noise of rain—

"What are you doing here so far from your watchdog?" He asked, still nothing but curiosity and even perplexity radiating off of him. 

—your footsteps cry.

"Something called me," she whispered.

The spider hanyou's crimson eyes narrowed and he walked away. "Follow me."

As they trekked, the mist began to seep with a type of miasma, but for some reason... It didn't hurt her. Shady, inky tendrils looped slow through the air as they trudged upwards, following the rise of the mountains.

"I found this place, yet it confounds even me." Naraku drawled, dark hair wavering. "There is some type of life. But it refuses to interact."

"Can you blame it?" Kagome bit back.

He chuckled darkly.

They reached the peak. 

Below them an infinite spiral of darkness. Except this time not one voice cried out to her. They all whispered and unfurled. They all heard her. 

They reached for her.

"What's down there?" She murmured. 

"As far as I can tell, these are burial mounds." Naraku hummed. "Any one place you dig, there are bound to be bones."

The darkness over her reiki swelled. Kagome trembled.

"The miasma here is not my doing," Naraku continued. "It's not poisonous. Just resentful. It's quite the odd place."

She reached out her hand and the voices smiled. "You are wanted here. Please help us here. This is the end of all lies."

"I don't think it's resentful," she whispered. 

"Interesting theory," Naraku's voice curved and drawled. "Would you like to test that?"

Before she could ask what he meant, his foot collided into her back. She screamed as her body tottered over the edge. Loafers slipped, hands grasped air, and her body tumbled into the abyss' embrace.

Weak and limp she couldn't move her limbs. Every fiber, every bone, everything must have shattered at the impact's drop. Her lungs heaved painfully. The voices giggled and suddenly they were no longer begging but controlling. They grabbed at her, trying to tear her apart and reach for the reiki within her soul.

Yet that darkness from earlier, the darkness that had appeared one day and started to grow the next…

She imagined Inuyasha looking mournfully around his surroundings, wondering where she abandoned him—just like his first lover...

Her mother and brother called out for her endlessly. Their worried tones climbing and climbing but never finding the ears they wanted…

Sesshomaru’s youki poked and prodded, searching, searching, searching for her…

Her darkness consumed every part of her reiki, like a wildfire over a bonfire, it ignited a flash that had her toes digging into the ground and her will sending her to stand.

Her aura spread and she clenched her jaw, commanding the voices to quiet.


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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