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Testament Book 2: Exodus by Deaville

Prologue: Monster in the Closet

All rights to Inuyasha and its characters are reserved by Rumiko Takahashi

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Testament Book 2: Exodus

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What is evil, the action or the intent? The answer, unfortunately, is both.

Sesshomaru-
Age: 1502


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    She was wet, tired, and just a little emotionally exhausted yet Kagome still found the strength to drag Sesshomaru’s unconscious body all the way to the closest tree. She didn’t know if exposing someone’s heart to the sun for an extended period was bad for them but she decided not to chance it.

    Most people with medical experience would never have to deal with a question like that but most people didn’t have to deal with a demon lord who could survive a Fury from Hades clawing her way through his chest.

    Finally propping his back up on the tree Kagome tried to examine his wounds. “Got your work cut out for you this time don’t you Kagome.”

    Sesshomaru had small cuts and burses all over his body though the two injuries that stuck out were the patch of skin missing just underneath the crescent mark on his forehead and the aforementioned gaping hole in his chest.

    The patch of skin probably looked worse than it was but from what she saw the demon lord might have anywhere from a concussion to a cracked skull. “That’s what you get for fighting Greek heroes.”

    With her gaze drifting downwards Kagome couldn’t help but notice the elephant in the room. The hole in Sesshomaru’s chest was a little larger than her fist. Blood vessels, one of his lungs, and the demon lord’s own beating heart could be seen quite clearly. Some of the vessels to his heart were cut and had somehow healed over themselves while the heart itself seemed to have healed over the wounds it had suffered in the Fury’s attack. There wasn’t much blood though, probably because a great deal of the wound had been cauterized by the attack.

    Kagome pulled off her backpack and began going through its contents. “What have we got left. Sleeping bag with pillow and extra blanket? Check and wet. Towel? Check and wet. Two Shikon jewel shards in a hard plastic bottle? Check and dry. Gas powered open flame food cooker with waterproof packaging? Check and dry. Waterproof map of Japan? Check, dry, and useless. Hairspray, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, and hairbrush? Check and kind of dry. Prepackaged food? Check, dry, and thank the heavens in abundance. Four rolls of biodegradable toilet paper still in their original wrapping? CHECK and DRY! Two extra pairs of clothing? Check and wet. Two extra pairs of underwear? Check and also wet. Hangers to dry wet clothing? Check and ironically a little damp. One-piece navy blue swimsuit? Check, and wet. One pot for cooking? Check and dry. Utensils? Check and dry. Two canteens and a plastic water bottle? Check and dry. And finally one oversized first aid kit. Check and dry!”

    Taking the first aid kit Kagome turned back to Sesshomaru and took out the antibacterial spray. “This is going to sting a little. So if you wake up don’t kill me…please?”

    Dutifully Kagome set out to spray and cover each of Sesshomaru’s wounds with the hole in his chest using up most of her adhesive cloth tape as she had to wrap it around his entire torso. Feeling as though she might be pressing her luck she elected not to spray the inside of Sesshomaru’s chest faintly wondering how fast the demon lord could snap back to consciousness and break her neck.

    It was not until Kagome got to the demon lord’s lower half that a blush came over her face. There were a few tears in the demon lord’s black silk pants with a few cuts underneath. If she was to treat them she would have to take Sesshomaru’s pants off.

    “…You can heal those naturally.”

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    Trees, trees, and more trees. That was all Kagome saw. “Is it too much to ask for a little civilization once and a while?”

    The lake and its connecting stream were beautiful, no doubt about it, but there didn’t seem to be any roads or paths that would indicate the presence of a settlement nearby.

    A loud sneeze zapped Kagome back to her physical discomfort. Her wet clothes had now gone from cold to freezing and even the warm weather couldn’t keep her from shivering.

    Kagome began to lift up her shirt when she immediately stopped. Turning back around she noticed the unconscious Sesshomaru behind her. “He’s asleep Kagome you don’t need to worry about it.”

    Seconds ticked by and Kagome put her hands down. “Ugh.”

    The priestess begrudgingly walked behind a tree and began to take her clothes off. “You know, if you hadn’t sexually repressed yourself for the last four years you wouldn’t have any problem taking your clothes off in front of a man who’s probably not going to wake up for a week.”

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    Kagome had never spent this much time swimming out in the open before. Granted she spent most of it in the lake trying to get the smell of sulfur off her while she waited for her towel and clothes to dry.

    An hour later and Kagome was sitting under a tree next to Sesshomaru’s with a blanket covering her. Consigning herself to watching the waterfall until her clothes dried Kagome did her best to put the days events out of her mind. Seconds into her peaceful meditation a quiet sob rocked her body doubling the priestess over.

    He killed her.

    Sango was dead. The woman who had practically become her sister and one of her closest friends was dead.

    Kagome’s tear-filled eyes found the silver haired demon resting under his tree.

    No. It wasn’t him. That was what Kagome tried to tell herself. It was the Sesshomaru she had known or perhaps even the monster she had met only once that had killed her dearest friend. Kagome’s only consolation was that in all probability both of them were dead now.

    Clutching the blanket around her Kagome tried to remember the good times she and Sango had. But even after her tears ran dry and the numb feeling faded Kagome still found herself angry at the demon lord sitting not a meter away.

    “It wasn’t him…it wasn’t him…it wasn’t him…”

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    As the night sky crept over the horizon stars lit up the lake illuminating the entire clearing. Kagome felt completely drained. Putting her now dry clothes back on the priestess grabbed her blanket and settled back under the tree to get some well deserved sleep.

    Seconds later Kagome sighed and took off the blanket.

    “I don’t know why I’m doing this. You’re not even going to thank me when you wake up.”

    Kagome draped the blanket over Sesshomaru’s body.

    Taking a step back she couldn’t help feeling sorry for the demon lord. He been hurt this badly because he’d taken his time escorting her across Hades instead of rushing to safety.

    Opening up her sun dried sleeping bag Kagome laid down and drifted to sleep.

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    Kagome couldn’t help the chills running up her spine when she noticed what she was looking at.

    There were no clouds this time, no fires or corpses. In fact everything in Sesshomaru’s childhood village seemed absolutely peaceful. People were moving, the sun was shining, but it was the look on General Kel’s face that had Kagome worried.

    And with that Kagome felt her consciousness spread and watched on helpless against what the vision would show her.

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    Kel was if anything a little disturbed. Three children were dead.

    This was tragic news of course, though fate or whatever did this couldn’t have picked better targets. The three were troublemakers through and through. Sure picking on kids a couple years younger than you was instinctual in most children but these kids were more than that. They stole, they cheated, they lied, and they even beat the other kids far more than even he did when he was their age.

    And he had been a rotten little bastard of a child.

    But what Kel found disturbing was that they had only found one of them. The other two…Kel had seen a lot of horrible things in his time but whoever did this had gone through the trouble of actually hiding pieces of their bodies. So far they hadn’t even found enough pieces to make one kid out of.

    He’d been up the entire morning trying to figure out what had happened.

    It must have happened before dawn. The three probably snuck out, like they always did, to annoy some of the elderly in the village. But, and this was the kicker, the gates and walls had been watched just like always. No one, unless they could teleport in with the express goal of mutilating children, could have gotten in. That meant the killer was someone in the village.

    So far his prime suspects were a couple of the village elders who had been threatening to take matters into their own hands and of course Verkai and his group of friends who had been tortured by these kids since they arrived in the Nest. Hell, that hatred for Gale, Kandosii, and Cain had been the one trait holding that sad bunch together. They were pathetic really but they were also the only ones who had enough malice towards the three to do something like…well like this.

    Kel looked back at his hut and saw smoke coming from the top. The general placed his hand on his stomach as it grumbled. “If that boy’s making lunch I’ll give him the day off.”

    For the last three years Sesshomaru had been a constant oddity to Kel. The boy was so damn intelligent and stubborn, excelling in just about everything he put the boy to. Granted he wasn’t the best at everything but he was always particularly balanced as long as he could think his way through it. The problem was that the boy just seemed to fight the village culture every step of the way. He quite simply didn’t have any real interest in being a mercenary. He’d go through the actions for the sake of being a good son and making his father proud but he never committed to the life of a soldier.

    Three years and he still couldn’t convince the boy that killing people was necessary in this world. The boy was a saint…aside from being a total pest to just about anyone who wasn’t already on his side. Granted Sai, Akira, and his most recent friend Vincent had his back most of the time but almost every other kid in the village regarded him with either cold indifference or outright hostility. Yet the boy rarely fought back. He would come home with bruises and cuts every other day just because the other kids found him to be an easy target. He’d never talk about it and Kel would never ask. That’s the way his father had taught him. Pick your battles and fight them however you can.

    Kel made his way down the street to his house and stood briefly at the door. Just give him time. That’s what he kept telling himself. Just give him time.

    Opening the door Kel’s senses were enveloped with the smell of cooking fish and exotic seasonings. At least the boy could cook.

    Kel took off his armor at the door and made his way to the kitchen noticing that Sesshomaru wasn’t there. “You here boy?”

    The general turned as he heard his son’s distant voice come from the darkened hallway behind him. “I’m in the back. Food‘s on the table.”

    The table was indeed set for five people. Kel picked up a small fish off the plate and damn near swallowed it skeleton and all. Damn fine cooking. “Taste’s great!”

    “Glad you like it. I used a new recipe. Got some new spices from that merchant that passed through a few days ago, Divinter or whatever his name was.”

    Kel picked up another fish though this time savored the taste a little longer. “Come up here and eat. I’ll call the others in for lunch.”

    “Sorry, I already ate.”

    “Fine but at least come up here.”

    “Can’t. Busy.”

    Kel ate one more fish and turned to the hallway. “Busy with what?”

    The sent of fish was strong even in the hallway making his stomach growl even louder. Kel entered Sesshomaru’s room and found the boy sitting in the shadows on the edge of his bunk. The boy was balancing a knife on his middle finger and seemed to be completely focused on it.

    Kel suppressed the annoyance he would have normally felt. “You know the rules boy. If you want to play with something sharp you do it outside where the trainers can watch you.”

    Sesshomaru didn’t take his eyes off the knife. “Went outside already. Got bored and came back here.”

    “To your room?”

    “To my room.”

    “Without a candle.”

    “Yup.”

    Kel sighed and snatched the knife from Sesshomaru who refused to meet his father’s eyes. Tossing the knife aside Kel lorded over his son. “What’s wrong?”

    “Nothing.”

    “Look at me when I talk to you.”

    A green eyed Sesshomaru looked up and Kel took a involuntary step back.

    Rushing forward Kel grabbed Sesshomaru’s head much to the boy’s surprise. “What happened to your eyes?”

    Sesshomaru batted away his fathers hands. “What are you talking about? I’ve always looked like this.”

    Kel listened closely. Sesshomaru‘s heart beat hadn‘t increased. He wasn‘t lying? Impossible. “Don’t play games with me Sesshomaru! Tell me what happened.”

    Sesshomaru’s eyes narrowed. A cool breeze flooded the room sending chills down the dog demon’s spine. “Sesshomaru’s not here.”

    Kel hesitated for a moment and then felt a flash of rage. “I don’t have time for this childish bullshit Sesshomaru! Three of the kids in the village are dead! So far we’ve only found one body and barely enough pieces to make another corpse! Who do you think has to figure out who did it? I’m not in a good mood now tell me what happened to you!”

    “Nothing…and as far as I’m concerned good riddance.”

    Good riddance? Sesshomaru had never been that cold before. Kel felt a knot form at the bottom of his stomach. “You know don’t you? You know what happened.” Kel seized Sesshomaru’s shoulders, “Who did this? Are they the ones that did this to you? Did you see them? Who was it?”

    Sesshomaru suddenly began to look extremely bored. “Is it really that hard to figure out? I honestly thought you’d get it faster.”

    Kel’s mind was racing. No, something was wrong, this whole situation was wrong. The general couldn’t stop his hands from shaking. This couldn’t be possible. This is some kind of nightmare. Not Sesshomaru. There was no way…

    “He never told you. He got into fights with them all the time. That’s why Vincent liked him so much. He would try and stop them from attacking the younger kids. But he never told you. He thought that because he couldn’t beat them you would think he was weak. He wanted to make you proud that’s why he’d never let the others know when he was fighting. He stood up to them. But soon they got tired of the big hero always getting in their way. They told him about what they would do to his friends. Bad things, horrible things. But he couldn’t just let them do whatever they wanted and at the same time he couldn’t let his friends get hurt.” Sesshomaru smiled. “What to do, what to do? He was so scared and he had no one to talk to. He knew how to stop them but he couldn’t do it. He was too weak. Too…sentimental. That’s when I came. He needed someone to talk to. I told him everything would be alright. I told him that I could fix his problem. But he wouldn’t let me. He tried to stop me. But like I said…he was just too sentimental. So I killed them. Made them suffer. I made sure that they felt every bit of pain they caused the others. And I loved every second of it.”

    Kel felt dizzy, almost like he wanted to throw up. “Sesshomaru, do you have any idea what you’ve done? Do you have any idea-” Kel pushed Sesshomaru back onto the bed and saw a small red stain on his bunk. Letting go of Sesshomaru Kel reached under the boy’s covers and pulled out the arm of a ten year old boy.

    The general stumbled back in horror. “Wha-what is-”

    The boy smiled innocently. “I told you. I already ate.”

    The world around Kel began to haze over. Falling back the general noticed that his son was calmly rising to his feet.

    “Noticing that numb feeling yet? Works fast doesn’t it?”

    Kel‘s chest was on fire. Struggling to find his breath the general flipped over and began to crawl into the hallway listening as his son slowly followed.

    “The fish was a solution to both problems. You would have noticed the smell of blood the second you came in if I hadn’t been cooking all day. But the poison was the hard part. You have no idea how worried I was that you would taste the poison over the spices. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not stupid enough to think you would die from something like this. You’re body will reject the poison in a bit.”

    Kel had almost reached the kitchen when he felt a sharp pain in his back. He didn’t need to be a experienced soldier to know that his son had just stabbed him with a knife.

    “This, however, can do the trick no problem.”

    Summoning what strength he had left Kel threw an elbow back not particularly caring where it landed. Relief flooded him as he felt his elbow connect with his son’s chest launching the boy and his knife into the hallway wall.

    Sesshomaru grunted and then stood back up advancing once more. “Do you really think you can stop me like this? Your village is weak old man.”

    Kel crawled into the kitchen and tried to use the table to stand but only succeeded in knocking it over and spilling the poisoned fish on the ground.

    “You justify death with money even when you know the reason you kill.”

    Sesshomaru’s foot connected with his father’s chest putting Kel on his back.

    “You kill for pleasure and you know it.”

    Unable to right himself Kel backed his way against a cabinet trying desperately to fight back the muscle spasms working their way across his body.

    Sesshomaru kicked again causing his father to clutch his chest in pain. “Doesn’t it feel wonderful father? Feeling your blade slash through their flesh. The taste of warm blood on your lips. Tearing that first muscle from its bone. The way it twitches even as it slides down your throat. Don’t lie to me father. I know the truth now.”

    Kel tried not to look into his son’s green eyes or at the teeth that somehow seemed sharper in the boy’s wild grin.

    “You always tried to teach him that the world was a cruel place. That sometimes you needed to be cruel to survive. He never learned that. But I did. I’m everything he couldn’t be. Everything you wanted him to be! And now, with you gone, no one will look for me. I’ll disappear. Just another victim of the silent killer that wondered into the village and vanished. Don’t worry, I’ll make it look like you put up a fight.”

    Kel struggled to breathe as Sesshomaru grabbed his collar and positioned his knife for its final strike. The world slowed down as Sesshomaru thrust his knife down and abruptly halted its descent.

    Sesshomaru’s face strained. His green eyes darted to the right and widened in surprise. “YOU!”

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    Sesshomaru knew he was in his room. That was where the thing had stabbed him.

    He had been frightened at first when this creature who looked exactly like him appeared next to his bed several nights ago but considering his emotional state he’d dismissed it  as a figment of his imagination. He had so desperately wanted someone to talk to that he’d imagined a mirror image of himself. It was a lie. A lie he repeated to escape the truth of his deepest thoughts.

    But this was not quite how he’d imagined the end of his life. Being tormented by this creature, this monster that looked so much like him. This thing had spent hours explaining to him the things he’d done. It kept telling Sesshomaru that it had solved the boy’s problem, that he should be grateful. The boy had a hard time arguing with it while he clutched his stomach, balled up in the corner. It just kept…eating. Telling him that it would put Sesshomaru out of his misery once he was finished.

    The blood had stopped a little while before his father had entered the room. The poison, however, had not worn off. He’d pleaded and begged, trying everything to draw his father’s attention but it was almost as if he didn’t even exist. Why couldn’t he see him? His voice felt dry and weak as he called out to his would be savior, “Dad! Dad! Please, dad look…”

    That was when he watched the thing attack his father. He tried to stop it but his corpse of a body just wouldn’t move. He could hear them in the hallway and in the kitchen.

    Suddenly, as if his body had simply been asleep, Sesshomaru moved. He raked his claws across the clay wall pulling himself to his feet. The boy told his legs to move. They responded wearily, shaking all the way to the door.

    Not good enough! Sesshomaru closed his eyes willing, commanding, demanding that his legs move. He paid no attention to the spasms in his muscles forcing the pain from his mind. It would do nothing but slow him down.

    Racing into the kitchen he found the creature standing over his father with a knife.

    Sesshomaru jumped forward just as the creature thrust his blade down.

    The knife stopped just before it reached it’s destination. The creature looked at the person holding it by the wrist and growled in surprise, “YOU!”

    Sesshomaru pulled the creature forward and lashed out striking the creature in the temple.

    The blade tumbled from the creature’s hand as it stumbled back.

    Sesshomaru dove for the blade and when he stood again the creature was back on its feet. Launching himself at the creature he was caught off guard as it moved to the side and caught his arm. As the world spun around him Sesshomaru felt his back hit the ground.

    Noticing he was now facing the ceiling Sesshomaru tried to roll to the side but found the creature had not let go of his arm and proceeded to try and pry the knife from Sesshomaru’s hand.

    Sesshomaru kicked the creature away but failed to keep the knife. Rolling back he forced himself back to his feet but was tackled to the ground again. Reason and rationality fled from the boy as he instinctually began to fight back against the creature that had attached itself to him. Feeling the wound in his stomach open up again Sesshomaru almost didn’t notice the knife that was plummeting towards his head.

    Pain erupted in Sesshomaru’s hand as he moved to block the blade that then pierced the boy’s palm. The creature drove the knife into Sesshomaru’s hand only stopping once the hilt reached flesh. Crying out Sesshomaru pulled the creature forward and bit down hard on the creature’s neck.

    Snarling the creature pushed Sesshomaru away and turned back with hell’s fury in its eyes.

    Sesshomaru fell to his knees clutching his hand.

    “You pathetic little worm. Do you really think you can stop me? You’re weak, you’ve always been weak!” The creature grabbed Sesshomaru by his hair and pulled him up. “I’m going to cut open your chest and eat your beating heart while you watch-”

    The creature’s words were silenced as Sesshomaru ripped the knife from its bloody sheath and plunged it into it’s chest. Its green eyes widened and stumbled back clutching it’s chest.

    Sesshomaru grabbed the creature by its neck and brought both of them to their knees. The boy squeezed as hard as he could and pulled the creature to the ground making it harder for it to pull out the knife.

    The moment seemed to stretch on for eternity as Sesshomaru slowly choked the creature into unconsciousness. Sweat ran down Sesshomaru’s face as the creature’s green eyes rolled back. But even as Sesshomaru felt the creature’s heart slow he refused to relent.

    Sesshomaru knelt over the boy that shared his face and squeezed until he finally felt something pop in his hands.

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    He felt light headed. The pain in his stomach also seemed to have moved up into his chest. The green eyed body beneath him was gone though the hole in his left hand remained.

    Sesshomaru’s breath’s came in shallow pained whimpers as blood trickled down his chin, chest, and hand. He could feel a warm sensation where the knife protruded from his ribs. Memories upon memories came flooding back to him. Everything it had done…everything he had done. Why? Why did this happen? Did he create that thing?

    Reaching up the boy pulled weakly at the knife. After a few tries a mixture of fear and guilt raced through his body sending warm tears streaming down his face.

    The boy looked to his left and saw his father staring at him in disbelief. What had he seen? What just happened? He hadn’t seen me in the room. Does he think I’m the same as that thing? Does he think I tried to kill him? Every soul tearing thought tore through the eight year old boy in less than three seconds.

    He had to get away. He had to run. There was so much blood. He had to get it off.

    Sesshomaru’s legs felt numb under the boy’s weight. He couldn’t go outside, not like this. Where? Where? So much blood.

    The boy slowly limped down the darkened hallway and made his way to the storage room in the back of the hut. Sesshomaru took the small piece of flint and steel on the closest counter and lit the candle by the door. Making his way past the old boxes and scrolls he knelt next to the small stone tub in the corner of the room.

    It was everywhere on his clothes on his hands!

    Sesshomaru grabbed the wooden pump at the tub’s edge and fought through the pain in his hand as he pumped some of the villages underground water out from its small aqueduct and into the stone tub. He stopped several times to catch his breath but eventually filled the knee high tub.

    The boy dropped to his knees and dipped his hands in the water desperately trying to wash off the blood.

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    The poison wore off quickly though the wound in Kel’s back would take a little more time to heal over.

    Kel had used the time to try and sort through what had just happened. Sesshomaru had thrashed around on the kitchen floor for only a few seconds before he’d stabbed himself in the hand and begun growling at himself. Chills shot down the demon’s spine as he recalled Sesshomaru’s voice. “You pathetic little worm. Do you really think you can stop me? You’re weak, you’ve always been weak! I’m going to cut open your chest and eat your beating heart while you watch-”

    Deafening silence. That was what he remembered as Sesshomaru cut off his own furious words by plunging the knife into his chest.

    The boy knelt there in silence holding himself up with trembling hands and legs.

    Kel knew he hadn’t imagined it. What he had seen defied all logic and reason.

    Sesshomaru’s eyes had turned from a sinister green to an unearthly blue.

    Kel’s heart tore as he listened to Sesshomaru’s weakened gasps for air. He flinched every time the boy tugged at the knife that was so deeply imbedded in his chest.

    He couldn’t speak. Kel wanted to call out the boy’s name as the terrified child looked up at him with those tear-filled angelic blue eyes. But he couldn’t. He was speechless. He could see it in the boys eyes. Sesshomaru knew what he’d done. And now…he was afraid. Afraid as only a child who had never felt such an emotion could be.

    There were no words that could console him. Nothing anyone could say that would take the terror from his cold beautiful eyes. But that was his job. This was his son. SAY SOMETHING YOU IDIOT!

    The boy stood weakly and limped into the darkness of the hallway.

    That was the last Kel had seen of him but not the last he heard.

    From the dark portal of his hut he heard the child’s sobs. His labored breathing. The sound of water.

    As his body fought back against the poison Kel finally stood again.

    Kel walked to his armor by the door and pulled out his sword. Maybe this was just part of his game. Maybe Sesshomaru was too dangerous to be left alive.

    The images of the three children flooded his mind.

    Kel  tightened his grip on the sword’s hilt.

    Without a word the demon general entered the darkened hallway carefully checking each room for signs of an ambush. Without his sight to guide him his senses were flooded with the smell of poisoned fish and his son’s quiet sobs.

    Kel entered the storage room and found only a single candle lit. Its dim flame cast an eerie shadow on the random assortment of boxes and scrolls that had littered the room even before he’d come to live there.

    It was there that he saw a small child kneeling in the corner of the room.

    Time stopped as the boy acknowledged his father’s presence without even turning around. Through quiet sobs and pained breaths the boy managed to form words that quivered as much as his body did. “Dad…are you going to kill me?”

    His son’s voice cut through the hardened warrior like no steel ever could. The sound of metal clattering to the floor filled the room for a brief second. His sword had no use here. “No.”

    Kel made his way through the boxes and knelt next to his son.

    The boy’s head was draped in shadow hiding most of the boy’s features. The sound of splashing water drew Kel’s sight down to the stone tub.

    Both of Sesshomaru’s hands were working furiously with some kind of cloth in the blood tinted water. As Kel drew closer the first thing he noticed was that Sesshomaru’s eyes had returned to their previous golden yellow that had always lit up his home. The second was that his son was as pale as a ghost.

    Kel reached down and grasped the knife in the boy’s chest. “Sesshomaru, I’m going to pull the knife out. This is going to hurt okay?”

    Sesshomaru made no move to acknowledge what his father said. He just kept moving his hands under the red water.

    Kel pulled and Sesshomaru gasped in pain. Whatever strength was holding the boy up fled him as he collapsed onto the side of the tub. “Sesshomaru?”

    The boy took in a few quick breaths before he spoke. “It did-It made me do…I…I did…I didn’t want to. I-I-I ate-!” Sesshomaru’s eyes went wide as he doubled over the tub and painfully emptied his stomach’s contents into the red water. “I didn’t know! I tried to fight it!” Sesshomaru coughed blood from his lungs and tried to lift himself back up. His voice was weaker. “It wouldn’t come off. I tried to wash it off. It wouldn’t come off. It wouldn’t come off.”

    Kel put a reassuring hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Come here Sesshomaru.”

    Sesshomaru didn’t move. He knelt bent over the tub with his hands dipped in the foul water no longer working. “I tried to wash it off. It wouldn’t come off. It wouldn’t stop.”

    Kel pulled his son’s hands out of the water. “Give me your hands.”

    Sesshomaru grasped the cloth as tightly as he could. “It wouldn’t stop. Why wouldn’t it stop?”

    The demon gingerly opened the cloth and found his son’s hands in tatters. “Oh-Sesshomaru…” The boy had literally scrubbed the skin from his hands leaving only scraps of flesh, muscle, and revealed bone.

    “The blood wouldn’t come off. It just kept coming.”

    Kel’s hands trembled as he covered Sesshomaru’s hands with the cloth and pulled his son into strong hug.

    “It wouldn’t stop. It wouldn’t stop.”

    Kel’s mind was blank. All he knew, all he wanted was for his son to stop crying. He wanted for all of this to be a horrible dream.

    Sesshomaru buried his face in father’s shoulder trying desperately to escape the reality he had created.

    The demon general cradled his son in his arms. “Shhh. It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.”

    He would lie. He would steal. He would kill. He would do anything to keep this a secret. Though he had no idea what had happened and who the green eyed child was that had killed those children he knew that it couldn’t have been his son. Not his boy. Not his little saint. He would ask, he would listen to any problem his son had. Whatever had happened…whatever this was…it would never happen again.

    “Shhhh. It’s going to be okay. I’m right here.”

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Author’s notes (important):

If you haven’t noticed yet Exodus is here and I’m so glad you’ve stuck with me all this way. The support I’ve gotten from Dokuga, Fanfiction.net, and Deviantart is truly heartwarming. You guys are what keep this story going strong (that and my towering egotism).

Real quick, I want to sum up the direction I’m taking “Exodus,” any problems I’ve heard from the reviews that I got from “In the Beginning,” and finally respond to one person in particular.

First off, the entirety of “Exodus” will not be like this chapter if you were wondering. But it does appropriately set the mood for Sesshomaru’s past which will be addressed in much greater detail in this part of “Testament.” This part of the story will be used to address Sesshomaru’s past and expand on Sesshomaru and Kagome’s ‘relationship.’ Most of it will be from Kagome’s perspective except for when she’s looking into Sesshomaru’s past of course.

Secondly, I am aware that this story is confusing if you do not read carefully. That is the way its supposed to be. If you’re not thinking and enjoying I’m not doing my job. I am aware that I left you hanging with the other character’s fate at the end of “In the Beginning.” This was intentional and was done to transition into “Exodus” where you are seeing the story primarily from Kagome’s perspective. She doesn’t know what happened to her friends and neither do you (for those of you who read “In the Beginning” Sango is still alive unbeknownst to Kagome). This is a three part series, everything will not be resolved until the end. Oh, and Sesshomaru’s age in the quotes I put at the beginning of my chapters do not represent his age in the chapter. Its just something I like to do for added effect.

On an added note, I do a lot of research for this story. I know history and I know mythology (its kind of my thing). That said I take a lot of liberties with both. Call it ‘poetic license.’ For example: Hades is not supposed to look like the way I presented it. I looked at the way it was supposed to be and said that’s nice but I like this better. Explanations for these discrepancies will usually come later in the story, you just have to wait. I do try to make things as accurate as possible but when they are not I usually have a good reason. But if you think something is completely off please sign in to your account (so your review doesn’t appear as anonymous) and tell me. I will either tell you why I made it that way or say “oops well I guess I’ll either have to change that or work a clever explanation into the story.”

Now onto the particular anonymous review that I wanted to respond to.

While I, like everyone, enjoy positive reviews I do not delete reviews with actual literary criticism. If it helps me make this story better for all of you I’m always willing to listen. I want to entertain all of you with this story. It is not my purpose to make you feel stupid or angry. If you want to ask me something or have genuine criticism please sign into your account on whatever site you’re on so I can get back to you quickly and privately.

To that reviewer, whoever you are, if you’re still reading I’m sorry that you feel I wasted your time with my story.

 

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