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Sword of Supreme Conquest by Langus

Chapter One

Author's Note Part 1: Welcome to the sequel to "Incomplete"! For those of you who read the preview at the end of "Incomplete" please read this chapter again, or at least the second half. What I showed you was only a PREVIEW. This chapter has been re-worked and important plot info added so read away!

Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the Present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy Future, without fear, and with a manly heart - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The air inside the shrine was uncomfortably hot and thick as it always was at this time of year. The humidity settled on her skin like a film and made her clothes cling uncomfortably to her body. With a tiny grunt of effort Kagome heaved her body up out of the Bone Eater's well. She'd stood at the bottom for the better part of the past ten minutes working up the energy to climb the rickety ladder. Her eyes had glanced dubiously between the seemingly never-ending ladder in front of her and the mouth of the well above her that appeared much farther away than she remembered.

Safely out of the well and nearly exhausted from her efforts, she sat her weary bottom on the wooden stairs to catch her breath. It just keeps getting harder and harder, she remarked with a wry smile and placed a hand over her protruding stomach. She felt a small kick from within and her smile grew. The doctors had warned her to take it easy but she'd gone practically stir crazy sitting around the palace. After weeks of endless, restless pacing she decided enough was enough and told Sesshomaru, in no uncertain terms, that she was heading home for a much needed vacation.

He hadn't exactly taken the news lightly. She remembered with a wry smile the way he'd scowled and paced and fumed and ranted at her in the privacy of their bedroom for nearly three hours before he finally conceded defeat. He put up a valiant fight, a true warrior by any definition, but there wasn't a force in the world that could change her mind once it was set. Though he tried her patience with his overprotective concern for her well being, she found it endearing at times, just one of the many ways he showed his love for her. Sesshomaru was never a man of many words, and certainly not one to serve his heart on a gilded platter, but actions like these demonstrated his affection for her far better than any words could have done.

When she'd announced she was pregnant nearly nine months ago while lounging with him in bed she never for a moment thought it would change him as much as it had. At first it was cute, the way he doted on her and indulged her, even in front of his men, but constantly being on his short leash and surrounded at all times by servants quickly made the what was endearing annoying. The palace began to feel more like a prison than a home and it was steadily taking a toll on her relationships with everyone. Now safely home and staring up at the crumbling wooden beams holding up the roof overhead, she silently hoped she would finally get some well needed rest and the chance to relax to re-energize her spirits.

"Alright little one," she said, with a gentle pat to her stomach, "let's go!"

Holding onto the hand rail for support Kagome dragged her heavy body up the wooden steps. She silently cursed under her breath at the way her body felt like it weighed a thousand pounds and the fluids already starting to painfully swell her tiny feet. It would be a long LONG time before she ever did this whole pregnancy thing again she determined as the last step was conquered. At this point she didn't give a damn what Sesshomaru had to say about it. Still grimacing and panting from her brief stint of stair climbing, she slid open the well house door and stared out into the empty yard. The bright sunlight beaming down upon her family's home gave it a warm and welcoming glow and her grumbles were instantly forgotten.

Stepping out into the yard she sucked in a deep, cleansing (figuratively of course) breath of Tokyo city air and exhaled loudly. Everything was just as she remembered it. The clean linens were hanging on the line to dry, Sota's abandoned soccer ball meandered around the walkway, and the branches of the shrine's aged trees swayed back and forth in the gentle breeze. The blossoms had just begun to fall as well and coated the ground in a lush pink carpet of velvety soft petals. It was beautiful to say the least, like stepping into a postcard on the pages of a tourist's scrapbook.

Stepping carefully to avoid crushing the delicate petals at her feet, she made her way towards the house. After brushing imaginary stray bits of dirt from her pants and straightening her shirt, she lifted her hand to knock on the door. Why she felt the need to knock she wasn't sure, but it might've had something to do with the fact that she hadn't been home in over six months. Her increasingly long and periodic absences had given her the unfortunate feeling of being a stranger in one's own home. It was her home yes, but somehow he didn't quite feel like it was hers anymore. So despite how silly it made her feel, she knocked.

The side door was flung open in a heartbeat to reveal Mrs. Higurashi beaming on the other side. After a momentary look of confusion, no doubt wondering why her daughter had knocked to gain entry to her own house, she pulled her into a fierce hug. After a moment she was pushed Kagome away with a warm smile and held her at arms length while her eyes glanced over her much changed body with a knowing look.

"Mom! Let me come inside at least!" Kagome pleaded with an awkward laugh, feeling instantly uncomfortable at being examined so closely. She realized it was entirely her own fault that her family hadn't seen her grow and develop throughout the pregnancy, but that didn't make the self-conscious churning in her stomach ease any.

With a dismissive flip of her hand Mrs. Higurashi laughed genially and ushered her daughter inside with an embarrassed blush. "Of course honey. I'm sorry. It's just been so long since we've seen you! Come in, come in, I'll make some tea," she said apologetically over her shoulder and turned towards the kitchen. As she shuffled her way past the stairs in her well worn indoor slippers she casually called up them in search of Sota.

Kagome waited patiently at the bottom of the stairs and grinned at the incredibly loud racket emanating from the landing. What sounded like a herd of ten elephants trampling down the hallway, ended up being nothing more than Sota's feet pounding along the carpeted floor. He caught sight of her instantly and bounded down the stairs two at a time to slide elaborately across the lacquered wooden floor and stop in front of her. It reminded her of the infamous scene Tom Cruise did in "Risky Business" but she had a feeling the comparison would be lost on him. Without hesitating she opened her arms to him and he instantly obliged, pulling her in for a hug.

"Wow Sis! You're huge!" he exclaimed as he pulled away, his eyes growing wide at the sight of her bulging stomach. Kagome put a hand to her belly subconsciously and used the other to tousle his dark hair.

"I could say the same to you! When did you get so big? I haven't been gone that long have I?"

The boy chuckled sheepishly and jammed his hands into his pockets, suddenly looking bashful and much younger than he had a moment before. When Kagome tried to tousle his hair again he ducked out of her reach, an embarrassed flush gracing his cheeks.

"Hey where's Sesshomaru?" he asked suddenly, all embarrassment gone, and she caught the way he glanced over her shoulder in search of her mate. Not seeing the majestic demon lord anywhere in sight his face fell. "Didn't he come along too?"

Taking a seat at the kitchen table Kagome gratefully accepted the cup of piping hot tea her mother offered her. Taking a slow sip she closed her eyes blissfully and swallowed the scalding liquid. Her entire world may have been turned upside down but her mom still made the best tea in all of Japan. Turning her attention back to her brother she shook her head.

"No, he had to stay home and take care of some things. Besides, I need some time to myself every once in a while. Hey! Speaking of silver-haired demons," she interjected, setting her cup on the table with a dull clunk, "has Inuyasha been by lately?"

Sota's eyes immediately lit up and he grinned from ear to ear. Human or hanyou, Inuyasha would always be his hero. He nodded emphatically and quickly jumped into an elaborate explanation of all the fighting techniques he'd been taught, making sure to demonstrate each one for her in detail. She half listened to his story while watching him move about, her mind drifting to the boy she hadn't seen since that day many months ago when she'd returned with Sesshomaru to the west.

Leaving him behind hadn't been easy. She'd consoled herself with the thought that perhaps he would come visit her at the palace, but it'd been nearly a year and that visit had yet to come. She was finally starting to accept the reality that it probably never would. Inuyasha may have loved her at one time, and maybe he still did, but not more than he hated his brother.

In a way she hoped that his absence meant that he was moving on and starting a new life for himself, but a part of her was still hurt by it. A part of her desperately wanted her friend back, one who wouldn't take her crap, call her on her mistakes and not kiss her ass because she was the Lady of the West. Though she was constantly surrounded by people most of the time, she often felt an intense loneliness in her heart and longed for the days when it'd just been her, Inuyasha and their small crew of friends.

Well, at least she could take some comfort in the fact that he was still visiting her family. She found herself actually feeling jealous of the time they'd spent with him. She had so many questions to ask! How was he doing, had he found anyone special to be with, did he discover a way to become a hanyou again? Before hopping down the well she'd taken a tour through Kaede's village in the hopes of running into him.

After an hour or so of wandering she'd finally broken down and asked the old miko where he was. Kaede had simply shaken her head and shrugged her shoulders, saying vaguely that she didn't expect him back any time soon. She'd tried to hide her disappointment at the news but thinking back on it now she probably hadn't done all that good of a job. She made a mental note to check in on him again before returning to Sesshomaru and hopefully this time he would be around.

Several more exhaustive hours spent catching up, laughing at Gramps's quasi-senile ways and getting reacquainted with the ever fatter Buuyo later, Kagome decided to step out on her own for a short walk to clear her head. The evening sun was already sitting low on the horizon and she longed to see the treetops in the nearby park burn in its dying light.

"Are you sure you don't want me to send Sota along with you?" her mother asked as she threw a knit cardigan over her shoulders to ward off the chilly night air.

"Don't worry, I'll be fine," Kagome reassured her with a gentle smile. "I'll be back in a bit!" she called over her shoulder, snapping the door shut behind her. Glancing back over her shoulder, she watched as the middle aged woman shuffled about in the kitchen for a moment longer before disappearing into the den.

Blowing the breath that felt heavy and stuck in her lungs out in a hurried puff, Kagome tucked her hands into the front pockets of her navy blue cardigan and began the slow trek towards the park. Turning her face up towards the dying sun, marvelling at how it set the sky ablaze in a crimson and orange inferno, she wondered if the sunset was as beautiful at home as it was here. It'd barely been a day but already she missed him. She wondered when she'd become so dependent upon him for stability, but not liking where that train of though led she quickly brushed it aside.

She realized as she walked that coming back to this home was the best idea she'd had in a while. She loved the palace and everyone in it, especially her little family, but sometimes it was all a little overwhelming. Somehow in a fortress built with over a hundred rooms, it was nearly impossible to find one unoccupied. Someone was always asking for her help, or wanting her to play, or needed her permission to do this, that or the other thing. Being the Lady of the Western Lands was not an easy gig by any means!

Closing her eyes she inhaled deeply and let out a sigh, rolling her shoulders back in an effort to force the tension out of them. She had to de-stress both for her own sake and the health of the baby. It didn't do either of them any good if she was wound tighter than a drum. She didn't want to take any chances this time, not with so much riding on the birth of Sesshomaru's heir.

For the past eight months the palace had been buzzing with excitement. Everyone was anxiously awaiting the birth of the child who would secure peace in the realm for the next millennium. They respected Sesshomaru as their leader, but should anything happen to him there was no one else to fill his shoes. Placing her hands gently, almost protectively, overtop of her stomach, Kagome reflected on the life that awaited her child. Boy or girl, it would be a hanyou, a half demon, an outcast by many demons' standards. It was only recently that the social stigma towards hanyous began to change, but it was still moving at a fractional rate.

Taking a human as his mate had shocked many in Sesshomaru's court but it'd also opened their eyes to the possibility of a successful union between humans and demons. That was another thing that was completely exhausting always having to prove she was worthy to sit at his right hand. Sesshomaru insisted she didn't have to prove anything to anyone, but she knew differently. If she wasn't strong, if she showed any kind of "human" weakness they would pounce on it in a second and use it to tear her reputation to shreds and his along with it. No...being weak or average wasn't an option. She had to be the impeccable wife and mother they all expected her to be; her family's very future depended on it.

It was just one of the many reasons why she was so happy to be home. Here she could pull away the many masks she wore: the mother, the wife, the priestess, the Lady of the Western Lands. Alone and in the privacy of her own company, she could strip them all away and be plain old Kagome. Only here could she truly be herself and as plain and uninteresting as it might be to be plain old Kagome, there was a certain comfort to it; a reassuring knowledge that she hadn't lost herself along the way despite the many trials and hardships life had thrown at her.

As she strolled slowly through the park lost in her own thoughts she noted absently that the sun had set faster than she'd expected. Before she realized it the fiery light was gone from the horizon, replaced by the impenetrable magenta blanket of the night sky and the twinkling stars above her head.

Well I suppose I should be heading back anyways. Turning around on the path she remarked how beautifully the cherry blossoms shone in the moonlight. It was almost as if she was walking on a blanket of tiny diamonds or polished pebbles. Her footfall was soundless as she walked atop them towards the shrine.

The serenity of the night was broken the instant she stepped foot outside the park's main gates. To any normal passerby the night was quiet and cool, the only disturbance being the crickets chirping their cheerful greetings in the long grass. To Kagome though, it was as if she was standing in the middle of a pair of railway tracks with a freight train barrelling at her with nowhere to run. A demonic presence swept of tickled her subdued spiritual powers in the briefest of flashes before disappearing again.

It wasn't much, but it was enough to make the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. She'd been a priestess and demon slayer for far too long to ignore what her instincts were telling her. Spinning around, she half expecting to see a blood thirsty demon looming behind her, yet her eyes saw nothing but a quiet suburban street lit periodically by the bright halos of streetlights. Putting her hand to her heart she took in a few calming breaths and shook her head in disbelief.

Get it together Kagome! Her shoulders tense and her pace quickened, she continued towards the shrine. Despite the fact that the demonic presence seemed to have left, she couldn't shake the eerie sensation that she was being watched. It felt as if someone or something's eyes were burning a hole in her back yet every time she turned to glance over her shoulder there was nothing there. Her heart raced and the sweat tickled her palms as she hurried along, all the while trying to will her legs to not break out into a dead run. She couldn't risk hurting the baby, not when so much depended upon his birth, and almost cried real tears of relief when the imposing gates of her family's shrine rose up out of the darkness to greet her.

Her pace quickened further sending her wooden slippers clacking loudly against the pavement and echoing noisily along the deserted street. She panted as she walked, her heart ramming against her rib cage both out of fear and exhaustion. She wasn't used to exerting herself and felt immensely out of shape. Long gone were the days when she could chase and fight demons almost tirelessly in search of sacred jewel shards.

She was both out of breath and scared out of her wits by the time she reached the stairs leading to the shrine. Placing her hand against the crumbling cement wall for support, she leaned hard against it and bowed her head to catch her breath. Closing her eyes she strained her ears the way Sesshomaru had taught her in a vain attempt to pick up any indication she was in actual danger. Stubbornly her human ears only heard the faint hum of traffic in the distance and she tsked her tendency to overreact. There was absolutely nothing to be concerned about!

Even so, the nagging, uneasy feeling refused to relent. With barely a moment to react her spiritual powers kicked in once more and she sensed it again a demon was nearby and this time she was certain. She froze where she stood, the breath stuck in her throat as his aura barrelled down upon her weakened spiritual senses. Despite the nearly overwhelming rush of power that would've brought her to her knees had she not already been propped up against the wall, she could tell from experience that this demon wasn't particularly powerful. But then again, compared to Sesshomaru most demons were inconsequential. Powerful or not, in her current condition she couldn't even defend herself against a measly weasel demon.

Looking longingly up the shrine steps, she wearily resigned herself to failure. She would never make it up them in time. Maybe if she was a little less pregnant she might've had a chance but as it was her legs already swollen and aching from her walk and she was still badly out of breath. Her panic rising, she opened her mouth to scream for help but was thwarted when a clawed hand clamped down sharply over her mouth. It muffled her cries and the rest of the screams died silently in her throat.

Another arm clamped tightly around her waist in a vice grip and she suddenly found the strength to struggle and squirmed against him in an attempt to free herself. Despite her best efforts though, the demon's strength easily overpowered her own and she felt herself being helplessly dragged into a nearby alley and away from the prying eyes of the street.

Her brown eyes, wide and filled with panic, darted back and forth in the hopes of seeing anyone who could help her but it appeared the gods were not on her side tonight. There was no one. Apparently, as fate would have it, she was utterly alone with this demon, whoever he was. Sucking in a shuddering breath through her nose she closed her eyes and allowed her body to be pulled further into the darkness. If she was going to get herself out of this mess she'd need every ounce of energy she had left.

As he dragged her further and further out of sight, her mind raced with the numerous grizzly possibilities for how she'd meet her end. What did this demon want with her? Who was he? Why would he attack her? A pregnant priestess? It didn't make any sense and yet the power in his hands as they held her left no mystery as to his intentions. Whatever he wanted with her it wasn't good. As if to rub salt in the gaping wound, her mind flashed news bulletins before her eyes of girls who were snatched and murdered just steps from their family homes. Realizing that she could easily become another headline, another tragic unsolved murder, Kagome renewed her struggle in an effort to break free and escape. She renewed her efforts to scream for help but his fingers locked tight against her lips prevented any sound from escaping but for the most muffled shouts of indignation.

Realizing that that plan of action was getting her nowhere fast, she arched her head backwards and craned her neck at a sharp angle in an effort to catch a glimpse of her attacker's face. If she did get away she wanted to be able to identify the scumbag so they could put him in jail for good. Realizing she was trying to do this he pulled her sharply against his chest and rested his chin atop her head to hold her still. Once her struggles lessened he bent his mouth to her ear.

"I'm not going to hurt you or the babe," he whispered harshly, his hot breath cascading across her cheek. "I just need you to listen." Kagome breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that at least her child was safe. Realizing that she really had no other options at the moment, she nodded her head complacently and let her body relax in his arms.

"If I let you go do you promise not to scream?" His voice was almost pleading with her now so once more she nodded behind his hand and after a deliberate pause he finally released his hold on her.

Feeling the cool air wash over the heated skin around her mouth where his sweaty palm had rested, Kagome took a tentative step backwards. Her entire face felt dirty and she longed to wash it but stuck as she was she settled for rubbing the sore spots on her cheeks where his fingers had brutally dug in. Standing in silence she allowed her eyes to roam over his body and was disappointed to see that he kept himself intentionally hidden within the shadows. All she could make out were the crisp white linen trousers he wore and black leather shoes adorning his feet; everything else was swallowed by the inky blackness.

When he spoke next she listened to the smooth melodic baritone of his voice, noting that it sounded vaguely familiar, and searched her mind for any hint of recognition.

"I'm sorry," he began apologetically. "I hope I didn't hurt you when I grabbed you just now, but I had to be sure you wouldn't cry out."

Feeling feisty, Kagome crossed her arms in a huff and narrowed her eyes at what she could see of him through the dark. "You know you could have just come up talked to me like any normal person. You didn't have to drag me into some creepy old alley!"

The demon in front of her went silent at her scolding and she was sure if she could see his face there would be a blush of embarrassment hinting his cheeks. "Yes...well...as I was saying I have something very important to tell you so you must listen. Are you the Lady of the Western Lands?"

Kagome's brows knit together in confusion. If this demon was from the modern era how did he possibly know who she was? Had he somehow come through the well too? "Who are you?" she demanded suspiciously, hugging her arms around her body to drive off the cold chill that shivered down her spine.

"That's not important. Are you the Lady of the Western Lands or not? The mate of Sesshomaru?"

Still unsure how much information she should divulge about herself to a complete stranger, much less one that'd just tried to kidnap her, she nodded her head slowly. "What is it you want with me exactly?" She heard a relieved sigh come from him which confused her all the more.

"I was certain it was you," he confessed, "but I had to know for sure..." This last part he muttered under his breath more to himself than to her which left Kagome with her eyebrows raised and her mouth hanging ajar in confusion. More than curious now about this strange demon she stared hard into the shadows, trying to pierce their inky depths to see the face of the man before her. Realizing she was doing this he stepped closer to the wall, obliterating any view she may have had.

"I will return tomorrow to tell you what you must know. Please don't leave before then. Until then, my lady," he finished, bowing with a flourish before leaping around her and out of the alleyway. Kagome spun around to catch a glimpse of him beneath the street lamps but all she saw was a flash of silver hair before he disappeared from view. The child within her belly, who'd been uncharacteristically quiet throughout the entire ordeal, now kicked restlessly at her stomach. Her eyes still glued to the spot where the demon had disappeared, she rubbed her stomach mystified.

"Don't worry, he's gone," she said softly into the night, absently wondering if it was herself or the baby she was trying to console. Stepping cautiously out of the alley she glanced left, then right only to see that the street was once again deserted. With one last suspicious glance over her shoulder, she quickly jetted along the sidewalk and up the infinite number of stairs leading to her family's shrine as fast as her legs could carry her.

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Author's Note Part Deux: So yeah I've started with the drama right off the bat. I'm going to warn you that this story is full of drama, angst and includes a major character death. Yes, you heard right and it may not be who you think.

The quote at the top is by a wonderful American poet by the name of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It's from his work "Hyperion" and I thought it fit pretty perfectly with this story...you'll see why later. I give props where they're due...I stole this idea from IvyStone. Check out her fic "To Know The Man" for an amazingly entertaining and well written read.

Alright...nuff said for now. Please leave a review and let me know what you think! Chapter 2 will be up soon!

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