Usagi's family is killed and she ends up staying with the Higurashi family, but weird things keep happening, this strange guy with silver hair and golden eyes kidnaps her and demands she give him the Shikon no Tama. But what is it?
"Kuso!" Sango cursed to herself as Inuyasha got away with Usagi. She fell to her knees and slammed her fist into the stage. There was no way she would be able to catch up to her kidnapped friend. At least not on foot… Medics had rushed out on stage after everyone realized that it hadn't been a publicity stunt and rushed to Sango's side. One of the bouncers approached the dark-haired girl and grabbed her by the shoulders.
"You can come with us now. You're in a lot of trouble if you don't tell us where your costumed friend is." The bouncer said as he lifted Sango to her feet.
"I don't have time for this. That bastard kidnapped my friend." Sango said calmly as she rammed her elbow into the large man's face and ran to the edge of the stage. She jumped from the stage and began to force her way through the crowd. She could hear cursing behind her as other bouncers tore off through the crowd. The crowd was becoming agitated and people were starting to panic.
"What if that guy comes back and grabs one of us?"
"Is Seiya going to be ok?"
"What happens if he has friends that are going to steal us away too!"
Sango ignored their voices as she searched for the perverted priest in the panicked crowd. She spotted a dark ponytail up ahead that stood above the heads of most of the girls and picked up her pace. She burst through the crowd and grabbed onto that person's arm.
"Houshi-sama!! He took Usagi-chan!" Sango cried as Miroku turned to face her. His teeth were gritted in anger as he turned to face her and Sango knew what else had happened.
"Nani?! They took Kagome-chan too?!" Sango cried in shock and disbelief. She assumed they would have just taken the jewel and left Kagome alone… well, they probably would have killed her, but to kidnap her… It didn't fit for some reason.
"Come on, let's go get Kaede. She might be able to help us. She has really good senses, she might be able to tell us a direction to look." Miroku said as he took her wrist and the pair took off down the stairs to exit the stadium.
"Ne, Shippo-chan. Are you hungry?" Kagome asked as the three walked silently through the park toward Kagome's home.
"I have no interest in staying with a human," Shippo said as he crossed his arms over his chest and closed his eyes. "The only reason you brought us with you is because you saved me from the wolves." Kagome smiled at the determined aura that seemed to surround the small fox child. He seemed to act much too grown up for his size. There was probably a reason behind that, but Kagome didn't want to pry.
"All right then. I'll just go home and make a big meal and the two of you can sleep outside in the cold on the ground instead of a nice, warm futon." Kagome said as she began to walk away from them. Shippo glanced after her for a moment and then began to follow. Kagome smiled to herself as she sensed the two were following her.
"All right, you've convinced me. Kirara and I could use a real meal." Shippo said as he walked next to Kagome with the same proud attitude.
"I'll carry you, if you want, you must be very tired from fighting off those wolves." Kagome said with a small smile. Shippo glanced up at her but nodded slightly and waited for her to pick him up. She scooped him up and held him against her chest.
"Thank you, human girl." Shippo said as he lounged back in her arms as if he had managed to bend her to his every whim. Kagome chuckled quietly to herself as she continued her trek across the park toward her house. She heard a quiet purr that was almost a growl from Kirara and the youkai nuzzled against her leg. The cat turned sideways and leaned down slightly in a gesture for Kagome to climb on.
"Arigato, Kirara-chan." Kagome smiled as she scratched behind the big kitten's ears, which earned a contented purr as they walked slowly through the park.
"Shippo-chan." Kagome started to get the small fox demon's attention.
"Nande?" He questioned as he peeked open one eye lazily.
"Why are so many youkai after the jewel?" Kagome asked earnestly as she looked up at the few stars that were peeking through the leaves of the trees.
"It's yours and you don't even know?" Shippo asked in almost outrage.
"Kaede told me about the miko that took it within herself and was corrupted, but she didn't really tell me what it was or why youkai were after it." Kagome said half to herself.
"Baka, everyone knows that," Shippo said in an exasperated fashion. "Youkai want it because it increases their power by hundreds of times. They say one small shard will double the power of a youkai."
"Oh…" Kagome said as she looked down at the jewel that hung around her neck. 'I wonder what happened to that miko… was she really consumed by this?' Kagome silently mused to herself as light reflected off the smooth surface of the jewel in her hand. 'Will I suffer the same fate as she did?' Kagome asked as her thoughts remained on the small gem in her hand. There was no way something so small could possess so much power.
Usagi groaned quietly and opened her eyes slowly. Her stomach hurt really badly. She didn't really remember what had happened the previous day but was surprised to find how warm she was. There was a pleasant scent close to her and she could feel someone's chest rising and falling. 'Nani?! Someone's chest?!' She thought as she pulled away from a pair of strong arms and scooted across the bed. She miscalculated the size of the bed due to the fact her head was spinning and fell to the ground with a painful crash.
"Itai…" She whined as she sat up slowly. She glanced up and saw a pair of golden eyes following her every move. He didn't say a word… he just sat there and stared at her. "Why are you looking at me like that?!" Usagi demanded as she struggled to stand up. Her legs wobbled slightly but decided they were going to hold her weight for now.
"Keh…" He said quietly as he looked away from the blond girl. He jumped off the bed and walked toward the door.
"Oi! Where are you going?!" Usagi demanded as she made to follow him. He stopped before he exited the room and shoved her roughly. She stumbled backward and landed on the bed in the middle of the room. Inuyasha was one of the few demons to actually have a bed in his chambers. It was because he was one of the favorites of their master. Most of the youkai slept on piles of leaves or grass that they brought in themselves. It was a constant fight over a place to stay to some of them. He didn't care though; he wasn't going to stay in that underground 'city' for much longer. "Aren't you going to say anything?!" She demanded angrily as she sat on the bed.
"Stay here, human," He muttered as he pushed open the 'door' of his small den. He let it close absentmindedly behind him. "Don't let that human leave." Inuyasha instructed a serpent youkai that stood watch outside of his door. The serpent hissed in response but did as he was told.
Usagi frowned to herself and crossed her arms over her chest. She winced slightly as her arm pushed slightly against her stomach and uncrossed her arms. 'What a jerk!' She thought as a frown spread across her face. 'I healed him and this is how he treats me? I just wish I could heal myself… I'm going to have a huge bruise.' She thought as she touched her stomach gingerly.
"Mou! He didn't have to be so rough." She whined as she lay back on his bed. His scent lingered on the blanket and Usagi could help but breathe in deeply. 'As much of a jerk as he is, he sure does smell good.' She though absentmindedly. "Eh? What am I thinking?! He just kidnapped me!" She scooted to the end of the bed and stood up on unsteady legs. She would leave before he returned. She walked quietly to the door and pushed it open slightly so she could stick her head out and look around. "Where's the exit?" She whined to herself as she saw four different corridors carved right into the stone walls.
"Yousss aren't goingsss anywheresss, human." A serpent-like creature hissed out as it approached Usagi. Her eyes widened in shock and she couldn't help but cry out in surprise. She pulled her head back in the door and slammed it behind her and pressed her back against the door to prevent the youkai's entry. She was surprised when it didn't try to enter and raised a hand to her chest to try and slow her racing heart.
'How am I going to get out of this one?' Usagi silently wondered. 'Sango and Miroku will come after me for sure… demo, what do they want with me anyway?' She was perplexed as to why they had been after her. She didn't even have the Shikon no Tama, that was in Kagome's care, not hers.
She went back over to the bed and let herself fall back onto the soft blankets. She stared up at the ceiling with unblinking eyes. The only reason she could assume is because of her powers. But how would that help a group of youkai? They were stronger than human so it's not like they would need her to heal their wounded. Hell, they probably didn't even care about the wounded. If they weren't going to heal, they were probably eaten. At least, that's the way Usagi figured from the actions of the youkai she had met up to this point. She sighed and closed her eyes.
Usagi wasn't sure how much time had passed as she drifted in and out of sleep. She was bored out of her mind so the only thing she could do was trying to ignore her boredom by sleeping. It might have only been about an hour, but to Usagi, it felt like an eternity. She was pulled back to her senses as she heard a soft thud. She looked up to see Inuyasha in the doorway holding a small bag.
"Eat it." He ordered rudely as he set it on the bed beside her. Her eyes widened slightly as he sat down beside her and crossed his arms over his chest. His eyes were trained on her every move as she opened the bag and lifted out a roll that she munched on slowly. She didn't like that he was watching her eat; it made her feel slightly embarrassed.
"Why do you keep staring at me!" She demanded as she set down her chopsticks on the bed. He didn't seem fazed at all by her outburst and merely turned his head to the sigh with a small 'keh'. "You've been staring at me since I woke up! Why?"
"You're not a very grateful person." He grumbled to himself without looking at her. She looked down at the food he brought and blushed slightly.
"Ah, gomen nasai," She said with a blush. "Doomo arigato." She said with a smile. He acted all tough on the outside, but it seemed he wanted her to say thank you. He didn't strike her at the type that would care if she thanked him or not. Especially after he kidnapped her. 'What a weird guy…' She thought as she picked up her chop sticks and turned back to the food he had brought. It didn't taste the best, but Usagi was starving so she was finished in a matter of minutes. She set the chipped bowl down and bowed slightly before the red-clad dog demon.
"Will you at least tell you why you kidnapped me?" Usagi questioned as she picked up the dishes and moved to the corner of the room to the slow moving pool to rinse off the dishes.
"Why should I tell you, human?" Inuyasha asked arrogantly as he peeked open one eye in her direction. Usagi sighed and set the dishes on the floor next to the pool.
"You did kidnap me, but you haven't done anything to me. Am I just some sort of experiment or something?" She asked him as she sat on the edge of the bed. He glanced over at her curious expression and backed away from her slowly. The look in her eyes was too innocent… there was no fear there, but he could see how naïve she truly was.
"Baka, I don't know why I kidnapped you. I was just following orders." Inuyasha said as he turned away with his arms crossed over his chest. He didn't like the way she was staring at him. It was like she could see right into his soul and it creeped him out.
"Oh…" Was all she said for a few minutes. He chanced a glance over at her and saw a thoughtful look on her face. "If that's the case, why have you brought me here?" Inuyasha didn't answer right away. Usagi could tell she had caught him off-guard, but it just didn't make sense to her.
"Well, I wanted to wait until you woke up, wench." He muttered huffily as he looked away from her again. Usagi didn't say anything, but studied him closely. Inuyasha glanced over when the girl didn't say anything and frowned at her. "You got a problem with me or something?" He demanded as he punctuated his statement with a growl in the back of his throat.
"Baka, I have a name you know! So don't call me wench, my name is Tsukino Usagi! And you confuse me," Usagi said in an annoyed tone as she tried to reason her way through her dilemma. "If you were following orders, doesn't that mean you're supposed to bring me before your boss or something?" Then she realized what he'd called her and her cheeks puffed up in annoyance. Inuyasha frowned slightly at her words. 'Why haven't I taken her to master-sama?' He inwardly questioned himself with his arms crossed over his chest and his eyebrows furrowed. 'Stupid wench…' He thought to himself as he scowled down at nothing in particular.
"Inuyasha-sama," A raspy voice said, which broke him out of his thoughts. He glanced up to see a young girl dressed in all white and a mirror in between her hands. "Master-sama would like to see you. Master-sama is most displeased with you." Inuyasha hissed through his teeth as he stared at the child. He didn't quite know what she was but she had no youki. She was closer to a human than any of the others, but she was still able to steal souls from living bodies using that mirror of hers.
"Kaede-sama!" Miroku yelled as he rang the doorbell of the house on the shrine grounds. "Kaede-sama, wake up!" A light went on inside and the pair could hear the floor creaking under the older woman's feet. The door opened and the elderly miko stood in the doorway.
"Miroku, what are you doing here at this hour?" Kaede asked with a slight frown on her face.
"We're sorry to wake you, Kaede-sama," Sango started as she stood next to the casually dressed priest in her concert clothes. "We need your help, though."
"Where is Kagome-sama and Usagi?" Kaede asked as she tried to peer behind the two taller people.
"They were kidnapped, Kaede-sama." Miroku said as he bowed his head in shame.
"We were wondering if you would help us look. Neither of our senses are as keen as yours." Sango said as she looked at the woman with pleading eyes.
"This is not a journey for an old woman like myself to take," Kaede said seriously. Sango's face fell and Miroku squeezed his fist into a tight ball. "But I might be able to help you, none-the-less." She stated calmly. She went back into her house and came back a few minutes later with a small mirror about the size of a makeup compact. "This mirror reacts to the Shikon no Tama. It was how I found you that first day. It will not tell you exactly where it is, but it will lead you in the right direction."
"Arigato, Kaede-sama," Miroku said as he bowed and accepted the mirror. He slipped it into his pocket and grabbed Sango's arm. "We have to make a stop at Kagome-sama's house to pick up our weapons."
"Hai, Houshi-sama." Sango replied as she tried to match his speed. She silently cursed herself for her footwear and stopped briefly to pull them off. Even if the rocks hurt her feet, it was better than breaking her ankle when she fell.
Kagome flopped down facedown on the couch. She decided that Sango, Miroku, and Usagi would eventually turn up and so should just wait inside the barrier around the shrine. She had peeled off one of the wards briefly so Shippo and Kirara could pass through the barrier and then put it back in place afterward. There was no way those two could be evil in any way. They seemed to be going against the plan of the other youkai so she assumed it was all right to let them through. Also, by the looks of it, Shippo didn't have anyone to take care of him. She had made him some instant ramen and had given Kirara some fish from the fridge and Shippo had fallen asleep on the table as soon as he had finished. The fox demon was lying on the couch beside her with the small throw they kept on the couch and Kagome couldn't help but smile. He looked so cute and innocent sleeping.
"You're back already neechan?" A sleepy voice said as a little boy came into the room. Kagome glanced over and saw her little brother Souta in his pajamas.
"You're supposed to be in bed, Souta." Kagome said as she crossed her arms over her chest. He walked into the room and plopped down on the couch next to her.
"I couldn't sleep. Where's Usagi?" Souta asked as he looked at his sister. Kagome shrugged her shoulders and glanced over at the sleeping youkai on the couch next to her and that cat that was curled up in her lap.
"I'm not sure. We were separated in the crowd," Kagome said as she looked away from Souta. "I'm sure they'll know to just come home, though. We talked about it earlier, if we were separated, we would just meet back up at our house."
"Oh… it's kind of late, though. Maybe we should go look for them." Souta said as he looked over at his older sister. Then he glanced down in her lap and his eyes widened in surprise. "Neechan, I don't think Buyo would like another cat in the house. And you haven't asked mom either!"
"Eh?" Kagome said as a sweatdrop appeared on her forehead. Souta hadn't noticed the second tail that was curled around the cat. "Oh don't worry about it, Souta. I'm sure Buyo will love Kirara, she's a really sweet neko-chan." Kagome said as she pet the purring youkai in her lap.
"We have to hurry." A muffled voice said as the front door opened. Kagome recognized the voice as Miroku's and stood up to meet them in the front hallway.
"Miroku-sama!" Kagome said as she ran to the priest.
"Eh? Kagome-chan?" Sango questioned as if she didn't believe Kagome was really standing in front of her. "How… How did you get here? That youkai is here isn't he?" She asked, instantly on guard.
"Iie, iie," Kagome said as she waved her hands in front of her face. "I managed to get away with the help of some new friends." Kagome said as they walked back into the living room. Souta was sitting on the floor with a look of sheer horror on his face at the creature that was sleeping on the couch silently. Miroku and Sango's eyes turned immediately toward the ball of fur on the couch.
"Nani!? Youkai?!" Miroku nearly yelled as he took a few steps toward the small youkai on the couch.
"Matte! That's Shippo-chan, he helped me escape!" Kagome said as she stood in front of him.
"What's all the noise?" A sleepy voice asked from the direction of the couch. Shippo sat up and glanced at the three new people in the room. "Can't you see I'm trying to sleep here? Servant, get rid of these irritations."
"Servant?" Sango asked with one eyebrow raised. "Kagome-chan, what have you been telling him? Kitsune are known to be tricksters so you can't be too careful around them."
"I'm sorry Sango-chan. He helped me so I wanted to help him. And besides, he's too young to be all alone." Kagome said as she glanced at the young kitsune. She didn't know why he was all alone with only Kirara but it made her want to take care of him.
"He's a youkai, he can't be trusted, he has to go!" Miroku said sternly as he took a step closer to the young kitsune.
"It's humans that can't be trusted!" Shippo said as he jumped off the couch and stood to his full height. Kirara stood next to him with her fur standing on edge and was growling low in her throat.
"Kagome, what's going on?!" Souta demanded as he stood shakily off to one side. That small kid on the floor had a big fluffy tail and it looked like he had paws or something. The cat also had two tails and strange markings on her face. "What are they talking about? Youkai?" Souta asked in confusion and slight fear. He had heard about demons in old legends but to have an actual demon in his house was almost more than he could take.
"He's a kitsune, Kagome-sama. He must be taken outside of the barrier! He can't stay here, he's working with the enemy!" Miroku said sternly as he tried to walk around Kagome. Kagome moved and stood in front of him to prevent him from getting any closer to the small child.
"I won't let you hurt him! He helped me so the least I can do is return the favor!" Kagome said determinedly. She wasn't going to let him throw Shippo out until she had heard the kit's story.
"I have no intention on tricking this human girl." Shippo said as he turned his face away and crossed his arms over his chest. He was still trying to act strong and confident. Kagome saw right through that and walked toward him. She scooped him up in her arms and held him against her chest.
"See, he has no intention of hurting us." Kagome said calmly as she held the kit in her arms. Shippo looked up at her and smiled slightly. He could learn to like this girl. No one had stood up for him since he'd lost his father. "Besides, I don't think he has anywhere to go, do you?" Shippo's face fell slightly and he shook his head.
"The Thunder Brothers killed my father…" He said slowly as his eyes fell to the ground. Sango's eyes widened in slight surprise. This small youkai was not only an orphan, but he seemed to feel some amount of sorrow or remorse.
"Let's let him stay, Houshi-sama." Sango said as she took a step closer and knelt down by Kirara. Kirara stopped hissing and growling instantly as Sango extended her hand toward the neko. Sango scooped the small youkai up in her arms and began to rub her soft belly. A loud, contently purr issued from the cat as she lay comfortable in Sango's arms. Miroku looked skeptical but decided that he would have to keep a close eye on the kit.
"Will somebody tell me what's going on!?" Souta demanded angrily as everyone around him seemed to know what was going on, but he had no clue. "And where's Usagi-chan?"
"Chan?" Kagome questioned as she smirked in her little brother's direction. Souta's face immediately began to turn red at her look. "Since when have you called her Usagi-chan?"
"Well… I… uhh…" Souta's face was an unreal shade of red as he stammered to find an answer. "It's none of your business!" Souta finished lamely as he crossed his arms over his chest and looked away. Kagome only smiled at the younger boy. She had known about his little crush but she couldn't help but tease him about it.
"Where is Usagi-chan?" She asked as she turned back to her protectors and friends. She didn't get an answer immediately and neither could seem to look her in the eye. "Did something happen? Is she all right?"
"Gomen, Kagome-chan. Inuyasha took her right off the stage." Sango said as her eyes narrowed in anger; anger at Inuyasha for kidnapping and hurting her new friend, and angry at herself for not being able to protect Usagi from him.
"Usagi-chan was kidnapped?!?" Souta cried as he fell over backward into a dead faint.
"What are you doing here, Kanna?" Inuyasha growled low in the back of his throat. He was tired of his master sending all of his 'underlings' to spy on him. First it was Kouga and now one of those worthless 'detachments'. They weren't even true youkai, especially this little brat.
"Master-sama said to bring the healing girl immediately. Master-sama is most displeased that you did not bring her last night." Kanna said in her low, slightly raspy voice. Inuyasha growled low in his throat but reluctantly grabbed Usagi roughly be the wrist.
"Come on, wench." He growled as he began to drag her toward the door. Usagi pulled against his hand and managed to pull free.
"I have a name! Stop calling me wench!" Usagi nearly yelled. Inuyasha came face-to-face with her, his golden eyes narrowed on her cerulean blue ones. Usagi didn't waiver in the slightest under his gaze.
"Come on now or I'll have to hurt you." He growled quickly as reached to grab her again.
"Osuwari!" She shouted in anger. The beads around his neck began to glow pink and he crashed violently to the ground. Inuyasha growled low in his throat from his place on the ground. He was getting mighty sick of this stupid necklace that he couldn't seem to take off. He sat up and resumed his earlier attempts at pulling the beads off over his head.
The girl named Kanna said nothing but she turned her mirror so she had a hand on either side of it instead of one on the top and one on the bottom. Usagi looked over at the girl and immediately began to feel lightheaded.
"N… nani?" She questioned slightly as she fell to her knees. There was some white-ish smoke or steam that was being pulled from her body and sucked into the mirror. In a matter of minutes, Usagi was completely unable to move.
"Master-sama awaits you, Inuyasha-sama." Kanna said as she turned and began to head down one of the long hallways. Inuyasha growled low in his throat and picked up the catatonic, nearly soulless human and threw her over his shoulder.
Inuyasha and Kanna walked down the dark, slimy corridors that were lit with only a few torches here and there and the white glow that always seemed to follow the young girl. The mirror in her hands was glowing brightly and it looked as if there was some murky, cloudy smoke that was on the surface of the mirror. They passed many doorways and Inuyasha nearly had to hold his nose to block out some of the awful smells they passed. Inuyasha sometimes wished he didn't have such a sensitive sense of smell because some of the youkai didn't exactly have the same hygiene practices as him.
"I see you finally accomplished your mission." A deep voice said to the side. Inuyasha growled low in his throat as he caught the familiar scent and voice. Sesshoumaru stepped out into the open followed by a small green youkai called Jyaken.
"It's none of your business, Sesshoumaru," Inuyasha growled. He was in a really bad mood today for some reason that he couldn't quite place his finger on. "I don't see you even trying to complete yours. Do you even know where the Shikon no Tama is?" Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes slightly and a small smile spread across his face. Jyaken shrunk back in terror… it was much more scary to see a smile on Sesshoumaru's face than when he became angry.
"I can get the Shikon no Tama any times. Master wanted the healer brought first." Sesshoumaru said with a smirk. He had already made his decision. He was going to break away from their supposed 'Master'. He wasn't one to be controlled by any other person or youkai. He had only played along long enough to find out about the Shikon no Tama and its powers.
"We must hurry, Inuyasha-sama," Kanna said quietly without turning to face him. "Master-sama will become angry if we do not arrive soon."
"Keh!" He said as he turned away from the older, silver-haired dog demon. He adjusted the girl on his shoulder so he had a better hold on her and followed the white-haired child. They continued on down the corridor and stopped in front of a huge door that stood at least three stories high. As they approached the door, it slowly swung inward on its hinges. The chamber beyond was absolutely huge with vertical, pillar-like supports supporting the weight of the heavy stone ceiling. There was a wide bridge-like walkway that ran to an elevated throne-like chair at the very end of the room. On either side of the 'bridge' there were deep pits filled with the weaker youkai that were sometimes used to feed the strong depending on the availability of food at the time. Some of them rose out of the pits at Inuyasha's arrival but were sent falling back into their prison at the glare they received from Inuyasha.
He had been here before so he just looked around the room unimpressed. Not that anything impressed him in the first place. Not even the bravery of the human girl over his shoulder had impressed him. He wasn't sure if he would call it bravery. It was more along the lines of stupidity. Did she really think that he was incapable of killing her?
"Bring the girl forward." The deep voice seemed to fill the entire cavern as it echoed through the empty space.
"Hai hai…" Inuyasha mumbled as he brought the nearly soulless girl to the back wall of the cave. He approached a set of chairs that would resemble a 'throne' in a palace except that they weren't decorated in any elaborate way. They were carved out of the very stone of the cave so they were unmovable and had black cushions on the seat, back, and arm rests. Behind the two chairs there was a large canopy bed with the curtains drawn closed. The voice was coming from the figure sitting in the chair on the right hand side.
"Why was she not brought to me immediately?" The figure asked as a pair of red eyes glowed in the silhouette.
"She was unconscious at the time," Inuyasha said with his eyes narrowed at the figure. "Why am I talking to you anyway? You have no control over me, kisama." Inuyasha muttered as he glared darkly at the figure in the chair.
"Oh? Master-sama is indisposed, so I am in charge," The person rose from the seat and took several steps forward toward Inuyasha. "Kanna, return this girl's soul so we might have a little chat."
"Hai, master-sama." Kanna said as she turned toward the soulless girl. She turned the mirror again so her hands were on either side of the mirror. The cloud-like soul that was spilling out the front of the mirror shot out of the mirror and struck Usagi. Her body was lifted up out of Inuyasha's arms as her soul returned to her body. Usagi's eyes opened slowly as she floated in mid-air.
"Nani? What happened?" She wondered aloud as she sat up slowly. In doing so, the last wisps of her soul disappeared and she fell roughly to the ground. She landed hard and groaned in protest. "Itai…" She whined as she stood up and rubbed her behind in annoyance and pain.
"Come forth, human." A cold voice broke into her whining. Usagi looked up toward the voice and saw a silhouette with long black hair and glowing red eyes.
"Eh? Who are you?" Usagi demanded as she recoiled slightly. 'What a creepy looking person…' Usagi thought as she took a step backward. The figure walked slowly down the stairs toward her and she took a few more steps back.
"Hold her still." The advancing body ordered to someone Usagi couldn't see. She gasped as two floating youkai with long tails that seemed to glow white wrapped around her arms and began to drag her forward.
"Let me go!" Usagi shouted as she tugged against the strange youkai. She was brought face-to-face with the shadowed person and gasped slightly as her eyes fell on the face.
"How are we going to find Usagi-chan?" Sango asked as the group sat in the living room with cups of tea. Shippo was sitting on the couch next to Kagome with Kirara lying behind him in wait. Sango sat on the opposite side of Kagome and was staring down into her cup of tea with no expression on her face. Miroku, on the other hand, sat across the room in an arm chair while he kept casting suspicious looks at Shippo and Kirara. Then there was Souta, still unconscious but up in his bed now thanks to Miroku.
"We don't even know where to begin looking." Sighed Sango as she took a small sip from her tea.
"Usagi-sama shouldn't be too hard to find," Miroku mused to himself as he stared at the floor. "She has a pure energy that it will be easy to find her among all of the jyaki."
"There is still the problem of trying to get her out of their stronghold, though," Sango said thoughtfully. "They are dound to have thousands of youkai in there. The sheer numbers would be enough to beat us."
"Not necessarily." Miroku said slowly as he looked down at his right hand. The beads were wrapped tightly around his hand to seal his kazaana.
"Houshi-sama, that will have to be a last resort. What happens if Usagi-chan is among the demons you try to suck in? She could be pulled in as well." Sango objected as she looked up at the perverted priest.
"No matter how you look at it, it's going to be nearly impossible to save her." Miroku said angrily as he frowned deeply. He didn't like the idea of leaving that girl in their filthy hands.
"It doesn't matter. We at least have to try. She would do the same for us even if it killed her," Kagome said determinedly. "She's my best friend, I won't leave her with those monsters." Sango and Miroku both looked up at the teenaged girl in surprise. She had just seemed to grow before their eyes. There was strength behind her that they hadn't seen before. Miroku couldn't quite put his finger on what he was feeling radiating from her, but it was a very strong spiritual power. That's when it hit him.
"You're a miko!" Miroku cried out as he stood up suddenly. Kagome raised and eyebrow at this and remained in her place on the couch.
"How can I be a miko, I've never been trained," Kagome said as a sweatdrop appeared on the back of her head. "Grandpa has been trying to get me to learn for years, but I'm just not interested in it."
"It doesn't matter, Kagome-sama," Miroku said as he kneeled in front of her and took both of her hands. "I've been trying to find out what this feeling I keep getting from you is, and I just realized it's your spiritual power. You have to be one of the strongest I've ever encountered."
"Eh? Me?!" She questioned as her eyes widened in surprise. A sweatdrop appeared on her forehead as she realized Miroku's hand had made a dramatic shift to her thighs. Shippo, Kirara, and Sango all winced at the loud slap that resounded through the room a moment later. "Hentai…" Kagome mumbled as Miroku slumped forward on the other side of the room with his hand over his stinging cheek.
"Do you think you could shoot a bow, Kagome-chan?" Sango asked as she stood up. "That would probably be the easiest weapon for you to try."
"Eh? But I've never shot a bow in my life," She said with a sweatdrop and a nervous expression. "I don't even think we have one anywhere around here."
"We'll have to ask you grandfather in the morning, Kagome-sama," Miroku said. "But for now, we should head to bed." Kagome and Sango nodded in approval as they all stood to go to their rooms.
"Shippo-chan, you and Kirara can sleep in my room if you'd like." Kagome said as she picked up the sleeping kit. Kirara was curled up on the couch beside her as she ran a hand over the soft fur of the cat's head and ears. Shippo mumbled incoherently in his sleep and rolled over so he could be closer to the source of heat, which happened to be Kagome. She giggled lightly and began to head toward her room. Kirara stood up and followed her up the stairs with Sango right behind.
Usagi was pulling with all of her might against the strange white youkai. There were more of the strange bug-like youkai flying around the room, some were carrying glowing balls of cloud that looked strangely like when Kanna had used her mirror earlier. The creatures pulled her face-to-face with the strange figure with glowing red eyes and Usagi couldn't help but gasp.
As evil as the aura was that surrounded him, she couldn't help but admit that he was attractive. He had long black hair that had a little bit of a wave to it and his eyes seemed dark up close, not the blood red as she had seen from farther away. Just looking into these dark eyes made Usagi's skin crawl. They didn't seem to be any end to them, and they were devoid of any emotion. She could sense a huge evil energy that surrounded this man and a chill went through her body. He was no human despite his appearance.
"You are a perfect likeness of 'her'," He said quietly as he grabbed her face and twisted it to one side, then to the other. "Your power is nothing compared to hers, though."
"Bring her forth…" A weak voice said from behind the chairs and inside of the curtains of the bed.
"Hai, Master-sama." The man said as he motioned for the youkai holding her to bring her closer. Usagi was brought up to the edge of the bed and forced to her knees by the youkai holding her arms. The curtain opened slowly and a faint blue light filled the interior as Usagi's eyes fell on a weak looking woman lying on the bed limply. She didn't seem able to move as she lay fixed to her spot on the bed, not even looking in Usagi's direction. The white youkai kept swirling around and dropping the glowing blue clouds into her body, which seemed to absorb them. 'Souls?' Usagi thought to herself as she tried to remember the description Kagome's grandfather had given them of a soul.
The woman slowly turned toward her and Usagi gasped audibly as she looked at the woman… she looked like Kagome…