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General by Philosophy Blue

General Kagome of the West

Kagome grinned fiercely and lashed out with her twin katana. Hot blood sprayed her face, and when she wiped it out of her eyes, she was just in time to see the disintegrating form of a snake youkai. All that was left was a red sash and the tip of its tail.

She kicked at the sash contemptuously and, in the same motion, swung her other leg around behind her, knocking back a human who had been trying to sneak up on her. She was on him like a wildcat, slashing and jabbing. He fell to the ground, bloody froth bubbling at his lips. She let him live; he would not be able to fight again any time soon.

Kagome swiped her finger along the Taka, littering the ground before her with red; not that it wasn't stained scarlet already. She frowned. The stench of the blood and bodies was disgusting. She readjusted her yellow and blue sashes self-consciously, taking care to expose the purple flower that adorned the blue strip of fabric.  Did she look a mess? Was her hair clotted together in clumps with blood? What would he think?

She shook her head. Gah! It doesn't matter what he thinks! The miko barely had a moment of peace to think about this when she sensed an attack coming from behind. She threw herself to the side, narrowly avoiding a set of claws that would have ripped into her back. She whirled around, Taka and Tsuru, her katana, at the ready. It was a panther youkai.

Kagome narrowed her eyes. "Taking down an enemy from behind. How noble."

The youkai laughed, baring sharp fangs. "All's fair in love and war!" Her scarlet hair looked like it had been drenched in blood. She pounced, her tail flicking. Kagome leapt backwards. With a gasp, she threw her head back. She felt the searing heat of the fireball as it whizzed past. Recovering quickly, she sent a current of reiki into her katana.

I'll have to be careful with this one. She's a tai neko, a great cat.

Kagome knew that if she managed to get a hit on the neko with any one of her reiki-infused blades, it would be no more cat. Which was fine with her. The panther seemed to realize that, and put her cat agility to use, dodging the blades with alarming ease.

"That all you got, human?" taunted the panther. "I heard great things about you, but I guess they were tall tales! I will write the final chapter of your life, General, with my name, Karan!"

"Cat, don't underestimate me," growled Kagome. She pointed Tsuru at the infuriating nekoyoukai. "Today, you meet your end!"

She lunged forward, and with a speed that most humans did not possess, swept the blade of the crane across the cat's middle. With a shocked yowl, Karan tried to hurl herself backwards, but the aura of reiki around the blade made contact with her chest. She let out an unholy shriek as she felt the holy energy burn and blister her skin. But being the stronger youkai that she was, and the blade not having any actual contact with her body, Karan survived, but barely. She clutched at the huge gash in her stomach. Her flesh was slowly unraveling from the reiki, her own youkai body trying desperately to mend itself.

Eyes flashing vivid scarlet, Karan yowled, "This is not over, human!" She then turned tail and flung herself into the fray.

As the long, twining tail vanished in the mass of bloody bodies, Kagome smirked. "All talk and no action," she mused. The cat hadn't managed to land a single blow on her.

Kagome scanned the battlefield, looking for something that shouldn't be very hard to spot. Yes, there it was.

There was a huge circle of clear grass smack dab in the middle of the fighting, occupied only by two figures.

Both had the same long, silvery hair, but one was taller, more slender, and more graceful than the other. One had a blue and yellow sash, the other had red. They had very different methods of fighting.

Sesshomaru, the fair one, was eloquent and flowing, and Inuyasha was rough and brute force. Kagome smirked. Her lord was obviously the greater youkai.

I mean, he's an actual youkai, not to mention a taiyoukai, unlike him. He's just a half-demon.

She watched as her lord hurled Inuyasha backwards, cheering silently. Yes! This battle will be a victory for the West! Her eyes widened as Sesshomaru stepped forward and held his blade to Inuyasha's throat. Can this be it? Could this be the end to this war?

Before she could find out, Kagome realized that there was a projectile hurtling towards her to her right. She turned. It was a large, tan blur.

The miko ducked neatly as the thing spun past, over her head. But there was something wrong. No decent soldier would throw away a big weapon like that. It had to be retrievable.

Shit!

Kagome spun around. Sure enough, the thing that she knew now to be a boomerang was just making its turn and making its way back to her. She crouched down again, following it with her eyes. It soared into the hands of a black-garbed warrior.

Was that a ponytail? What was that aura she sensed?

A girl? And the uniform…a taijiya? A girl one?

Kagome squinted through the dust. "Who are you?"

"Sango, of the Taijiya clan!"

Kagome eyed the red sash that adorned Sango's waist. "Well, you chose the wrong side to fight on, Sango of the Taijiya clan!" She gestured to her own, yellow and blue sashes.

The taijiya scowled. "I know where my loyalties lie. And it's on the winning side. I believe that Inuyasha can win!"

"Wrong," Kagome said matter-of-factly. "It's only a matter of time before Sesshomaru cuts him down!"

Sango's eyes flashed. "You, General Higurashi of the West. If your lord can defeat mine, than you must be able to defeat me. Using that logic, if I beat you, then Inuyasha will defeat Sesshomaru!"

Kagome considered it for a moment. "Is this a challenge? Or a bet?"

"Both!" Sango brandished her oversized boomerang. "So how about it, Higurashi?"

"Let's go!"

Kagome raised Taka and Tsuru. The Hawk and the Crane. She grinned. "Bring it on, Sango of the Taijiya clan!"

Matching Kagome's smirk with one of her own, Sango lunged forward. She unleashed her giant weapon.

"Hiraikotsu!"

"Shinseina hakai!" *sacred destruction*

As the boomerang raced along the dirt, aimed firmly for Kagome, she released a wave of reiki. It churned the earth as it passed by, and dirt clods flew in the air. A blinding pink light filled the air, and the soldiers fighting nearby had to shield their eyes. Sango shielded her face with her arm, protecting it from the debris flying around. Distracted as she was, she could not receive the returning Hiraikotsu properly, and it slammed into her chest, knocking her backwards several meters.

When at last the light died away, Kagome was standing triumphant yet a little windblown, at the end of a long trough of destruction. Sango looked at her, grudging awe in her eyes.

"Not bad, Higurashi," she admitted. "Now quit with the fancy tricks and fight like real humans! Blade to blade!"

Kagome sneered. "Why, Sango of the Taijiya clan? Are you scared?"

Sango glared at the General of the West. "No. But I was not born blessed by the kami, and I have no reiki to use. So let's make this a fair fight."

Kagome shrugged. "Fine. But I'll still obliterate you."

Sango scowled. "We'll see, Higurashi." She dashed forward, abandoning her Hiraikotsu. In close fighting, the bulky boomerang was no good. She would have to make good with her sword.

Kagome watched her come, twin katana resting comfortably in her hands. Although this warrior woman was well versed in combat, her main weapon was the boomerang, and she had signed her own death warrant when she turned their duel to a close-bladed fight.

Sango attacked her with a barrage of complicated sequences. Overheads, feints, jabs, cross-bodies, she used them all.

And not a single one got past Kagome's defenses.

Kagome had been trained since childhood by expert, youkai swordmasters. They were much faster than this girl, and to Kagome, Sango seemed almost slow, although she could have guaranteed that Sango could have defeated almost any other human.

Kagome let Sango step in close, then with a deft bit of play with Taka and Tsuru, sent her taijiya sword burying itself tip-first in the turned-up soil. Now Sango was unarmed. Or so Kagome thought.

"Surrender?" she offered with a smirk. Her smug look morphed quickly into one of surprise and annoyance as Sango released her hidden blade, the one concealed in her arm. The knife sliced into Kagome's arm, and blood immediately came forth, spreading scarlet blossoms on the navy blue uniform sleeve.

"What do you think, Higurashi?" fired off Sango. She took the opportunity to back away to what she judged to be a safe distance.

The General gave a scornful laugh. "That? That was your secret weapon? Your grand finale? Well, sorry, Sango of the Taijiya clan—"—she spun her katana and buried them into the soil—"They're just not gonna make the cut."

One moment she was at complete ease, the next she was lunging forward with the speed of the wildcat. Now Kagome was on the offensive. She forced Sango back, step by step. The taijiya had recovered her sword and tucked it into her sash. She had armed herself with the Hiraikotsu, which she was more comfortable with. She was a more difficult opponent, but Kagome's training was far superior.

"Sango!"

A man's cry echoed through the air, and Kagome saw Sango's eyes widen, and…blush? She turned in time to intercept a blow from a handsome, dark man who wielded a golden staff. He didn't wear a sash, just a monk's robes. He was a neutral.

"What, Sango of the Taijiya clan? Is this your lover?" she taunted. "Do you let men fight your battles for you?"

The warrior flushed. "No! Miroku, stay out of this!"

The dark man shook his head emphatically. "No! Sango, I will protect you! Step back!"

Sango hesitated, meeting Kagome's scornful gaze. Then she nodded and stepped back. Miroku stepped forward, putting her behind him. He glared at Kagome.

"If you value your life, run!"

Kagome laughed derisively. "As if you could ever send me running. Do your worst!"

His eyes darkened. "Very well." In a dramatic gesture, he swept the beads wrapped around his wrist off and stretched the hand out to Kagome, who stood there frozen, unaware of the terrible danger it posed.

-oOo-

Okay, this break wasn't the most subtle one, but this chapter was getting too long, and I needed a spot to break it off. So basically we can call this Part One, and the next chapter is Part Two. 

 

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