A gentle wind blew through the clearing. Leaves rustled, loose branches fell and eyes were shut as long tresses of raven hair were blown about. The breeze had a cool feel to it, the outflow boundary coming from a thunderstorm approaching the area. Rumbles of thunder made themselves known to the ears of the people present in the area devoid of plants and animals.
Even grass does not grow anymore in this sacred spot. Sacred not for what died here or who was buried here, but for what happened here and who survived here. Today marked five years since Naraku's final defeat, a momentous occasion that everyone present would remember for the rest of their lives. Five Demons, one Half-Demon, and five Humans that had participated in some manner or another in the battle directly stood in rank with another four Humans and two Demons that had known of Naraku or was related in some fashion or another to the battle participants.
"I always wondered...still wonder, what it was like during the final battle," said Kouga softly as he looked at the stone marking the spot where the evil being vanished for good, near where the well once stood.
"It was brutal for most all of us, from what I recall. In some fashion or another we were all wounded but none of us would give up. I think that looking back on the battle that some of us shouldn't have survived and yet we all did," said Inuyasha while glancing around to everyone.
"It was only by the dimmest of margins that some of us made it, even if it was by a spark of light," spoke up Kohaku softly.
None of them would be speaking loudly as each was lost in their own thoughts. For her part Rin tried not to remember the worst of what'd happened to her and instead focused on the parts of Inuyasha controlling himself from hurting her and the others.
Another strike of lightning lashed out from the clouds and much closer this time. Several people startled at once as the booming thunder sounded much closer than last time.
"We need to be going soon Inuyasha," said Kagome as she tugged on his sleeve.
"Of course. Anyone who would like to eat with us is more than welcome. We do an annual celebratory feast each time this year for the occasion," said Inuyasha which was more of a benefit to those attending this service for the first time.
"No thanks. I think Ayami and I'd better get back to the den. Ginta and Hakkaku must be going nuts over taking care of the pups," said Kouga.
"Lord Sesshomaru, would you please join us?" asked Rin simply and to the point which she knew he preferred. A nod of acceptance was the answer she was looking for and she wasn't disappointed, although everyone else was surprised. Another pleasant surprise was Kohaku staying for the dinner as well.
The first drops of rain were just starting to fall as farewells were made with the groups departing the clearing soon afterwards.
* * *
The short and squat old man sat up straight as a few passages of ink that was actually legible came into his view. Excitement grew within his bitter old heart as what he had been searching for in years was actually coming close to fruition.
"I've found him, I've finally found him!" he exclaimed out loud, startling the other nearby researchers, some of whom shushed him with quick hissing sounds. The archives of the Shogun were allowed access only to those with the dedication to the research of history, particular to incomplete stories of legend. Gathering up his books and scrolls with haste, the old man plodded from the room and headed to the main hall where his lord awaited.
After waiting for about fifteen minutes he was granted audience with the lord of the castle and the local lands. The lord looked down upon him with disgust that wasn't bothered with the pretext of being hidden or disguised.
"This had better be worth my time Akiboshi; I grow tired of your prattling for more research materials. Have you any worthwhile results for once?" asked the lord.
"Lord Aiya, I've finally found him at long last. The whereabouts of the legendary Kappa Kaiya are now known to me," said Akiboshi. That grabbed the lord's attention, as he knew it would.
"Tell me more...," ordered Aiya as he and his council members leaned forward with interest....