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The Perfect Mate by BelovedStranger

Take Up Arms

AUTHOR'S NOTE

I wanted to thank my wonderful beta, Dianna, for taking the time to edit this fanfic for me, so readers from here on in the mistakes and errors I have regreatfully missed have been rooted out and made known to me, and I have made the necessary corrections. Yay, to beta-sama!

It was early in the morning, but it was still very much dark when a sound come whispering in the wind. In a clearing near a small village sat an old well. The people of the village used to throw the bones of dead demons down its depths so they might never come back to the world of the living. They named the wooded structure The Bone Eaters Well.

It was in the bowels of the well that the sound of grumbling emerged. Seconds later, a black head popped out, followed by a monstrously big, yellow bag strapped to a young girl's back. Finally, and with great effort, the young girl managed to climb out, and leaned against the well for support.

"Man, I'm tired. You'd think I'd be used to this by now," complained Kagome.

It was always a hassle climbing out of the well when she had to not only carry herself, but her overly heavy bag with only vines to help her assent. When she finally got her feet on the ground again, her bag fell with a dull thud beside the well as she let out a relieved sigh.

Looking around the dark and deserted clearing, she wondered why Inuyasha hadn't come barging in her room in the future and demand she come with him back to the Feudal Era, to continue their search for the jewel shards. He always tried to guilt her with the fact that she had broken the jewel, so she needed to get her butt in gear and find the remaining shards. He can be a little hard headed at times but she still lo—

Shaking her head from her wandering thoughts, Kagome again peered around the clearing, not seeing or sensing her hanyou friend.

"Huh, he must be helping Kaede or one of the villagers."

Looking down at her burden, she sighed. She had hoped Inuyasha would be here to take the heavy pack upon his strong shoulders and relieve her of the hassle, but it was not to be as her hanyou friend was nowhere in sight. 

“Looks like I'll just have to manage,” she said to herself.

With that being said, she bent down to pick up her backpack once more when she felt it. Straightening, she gazed in the direction opposite Kaede's village towards the woods. Strange. I thought I felt someone calling me.

Then her eyes wondered in the direction of the Goshinboku, located just beyond the tree line. Though she couldn't see the imposing tree, she knew it to be there as it would continue to stand five hundred years into the future to her own time, on her family's shrine.

Releasing her bag but taking a firm hold of her bow and quiver of arrows, she decided, unconsciously, to go to it as her feet, on multiple occasions, made the familiar trek. Later, she would return for her bag and make her way to Kaede's village to meet up with her friends once more, but right now, she needed to see the solid strength of the Sacred Tree. She hardly noticed the passing minutes or surrounding forest as she made her way to her destination, lost in thought.

When the Goshinboku was finally in sight, her thoughts flew to the past. Her mind reenacted the first time she had witnessed the sleeping boy pinned to the tree with an arrow through his chest and tree limbs keeping him firmly suspended. Walking up to the immense tree, her hand came up to hover over the place where Inuyasha had once been bound.

A sad smile hovered over her lips as her memories ran away with her along with the emotions such thoughts evoked. Then the shriek of a bird jolted her out of her reverie.

“Crap! I'm gonna be late! Inuyasha's going to be so mad.” Kagome made to turn and go back the way she had come, but just then, she was pulled up short as she again felt that same feeling from before, as if she were being called but not by any voice, but a deep rooted feeling she could not explain. Raising her hand to her heart, she thought, What’s this feeling?

Kagome took a few steps away from the sacred tree in a direction that would take her further from the village before stopping herself and shook her head sharply. What am I doing? I need to get back to Inuyasha and the others. But instead of heading in her friends' direction, her feet seemed to have a mind of their own as she was drown to answer the unknown summons.

I'll just go a little ways. If I don't see anyone soon, I'll go back. With her mind made up, she swung her bow and arrows on her back and started away from the village and Inuyasha. She wasn't too worried about getting lost because sooner or later she knew her impatient hanyou would come looking for her. Then all thoughts of her friend vanished as she made her way through the forest, as the strange feeling resonated again inside her mind.

Trees were passing her by before Kagome realized she had started a light jog, heading further west. Almost running now, the feeling of being called was stronger, more insistent, telling her to hurry. Running, running. That was all Kagome was aware of.

The pounding of her feet hitting the ground, her labored breathing, and the pounding of her heart was a constant sound in her ears. Out of breath, she had to stop and rest before she collapsed from exhaustion. Sitting on a fallen tree, Kagome was constantly agitated. She had to get up. She had to get to the one who was reaching out to her so insistently. After a few minutes of rest, she was standing again and ready to continue. Somehow, that short reprieve helped her to regain her strength.

Kagome looked around herself and realized that the sun was high in the sky, no longer morning but early afternoon. Frowning, Kagome thought, How long have I been running? Maybe I should go back. But looking around herself, she realized she had no idea which way Kaede's village was. She was deeply puzzled and grew increasingly worried. She had no idea how she had been able to run for hours with little to no rest and not remember the passage of time during her mad marathon.

So caught up in her thoughts, she didn't even sense the barrier ahead as her feet unconsciously continued moving forward, heeding the indistinct call. Once through, the sense of urgency was almost wiped away, and unfortunately for Kagome, so was any chance of her friends finding her, for the barrier hid her scent from Inuyasha.

Come to me.

Kagome suddenly stopped and looked around herself, trying to find the owner of the commanding voice but found nothing. Must have been my imagination, she thought. Starting forward again, she made her way through the forest, staying on the alert in case of danger.

She was more than a little confused at her mad dash and the absence of that persistent pull that brought her to this unknown stretch of the woods. After a dozen or so steps, her senses came to full attention, telling her she was approaching two demons, and by their flaring auras, she could tell they were in the middle of a battle.

Over the two years she had been traveling around the feudal era with her friends, she had become increasingly powerful and in more control of her miko energy. Gripping her bow tighter, she continued towards the two combatants, hoping to find some answers to her many questions; though, she knew how dangerous it was to interrupt demons or even humans out for blood.

Ahead, she could see a clearing through the trees and underbrush. Wary, she stood behind a tree as she witnessed two female demons battered and covered in blood.

Not wanting to interfere and catch the two's notice, she started walking slowly backwards, deciding the answers she desired wouldn't be found here. About to turn away, she then heard a shrill cry and another quickly followed. Turning back around, she saw a beautiful demoness, claws bloodied and standing over the two demons she had witness fighting only seconds ago.

They were clearly dead, for one head was nearly severed from its body, while the other's torso was gutted; her intestines spilling free to saturate the already bloodied ground. Even youkai had a limit to their healing abilities and ultimately died, especially depending on their power levels.

This new foe raised her black head to clash ice, gray eyes with her own chocolate brown. Quickly looking the demon standing before her over, Kagome could see the woman wore an obviously expensive kimono. Dark blue in color, it had black birds racing up the right sleeve and down the left and sporting an equally black obi. There was a slit from waist to ankle on the left side to show of porcelain skin, which also made movement easier.

The sound of the demoness' voice snapped Kagome from her inspection.

"What is a worthless human doing here?" demanded the demoness.

Not understanding, Kagome gave a lame, "Huh?"

Raising a clawed hand for the miko to see their bloody sharpness, the demoness spoke again, undaunted by her lack of response. "No matter. You will soon die by my claws."

Rushing the miko, the demoness swiped her claws at the girl, expecting an easy kill, but instead crashed into a blue barrier and thrown several feet back. Seeing the rushing demon, Kagome had quickly raised her barrier as she assessed her opponent's power and soon came to the realization that she wasn't all that strong. Then how did she defeat the other two demons so quickly? Kagome asked herself. Then it came to her. She waited for them to weaken each other then attacked from behind! Keeping her eyes on the demoness, who was raising herself from the ground, Kagome quickly notched an arrow and pointed it at the demoness' heart.

Looking at her smoking palm, the demoness bared her fangs and issued a fierce snarl at the girl who dared to injure her, growling menacingly. "Do you think a mere human can defeat me and take what is rightfully mine?"

"What are you talking about?" a confused Kagome asked.

"Don't play dumb with me, human. Sesshomaru-sama belongs to me!"

"Sesshomaru?!"

In her shock at hearing the Lord of the West's name, she forgot to concentrate on her barrier and it wavered. Seeing her chance, the demoness leaped at the girl. Throwing herself to the ground, Kagome escaped the attack and quickly rose to her knees so she could point her arrow at the demoness, as she came charging at her again. With a bright flash of light, her arrow was released and struck the demon in the chest, killing her instantly.

Getting up slowly, Kagome gazed down at the ashes that had once been the demoness. What was she talking about, and what does Sesshomaru have to do with this? Kagome silently asked herself. Feeling another aura behind her, she stiffened. Notching her bow with a swiftness born of experience, she turned to face her new foe.

"Sesshomaru!" 

 

AUTHORS NOTE!

Hey! I hope you enjoyed my first chapter. I hope to get the next up in about a week. Till next time!

 

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