Ignorance Isn't As Blissful As It Sounds @kawaii_chibi_phantom
Chapter 21

SammyJams, good to hear from you again! And yes, it is pretty bad, but it will only get worse in this chapter as windbreaking stated... Naraku has brought out the big guns and these guns just enjoy watching their targets writher in misery at their hands.

Thanks to my reviewers and readers! Enjoy the next installment!

It wasn't long into their trek into this village that Kagome got the feeling that something was being kept from her and not just her, but from all save for the three demon males. They seemed to be sticking extra close to them, Sesshomaru staying almost on top of Rin while Koga kept pace next to her on one side while Inuyasha stood on the other side, growling lowly at the wolf demon. She sighed, drawing the attention of both males. She wanted to ignore it, that feeling of shame that had come from her dreams, the fact that she had enjoyed a man's touch whom she had no idea of identity. But it still lingered and she knew that both men could smell it, but she could scent their own guilt, like it was hiding below the surface and with Inuyasha she could scent his unease. He did walk close to her, but at the same time she could feel he was holding her at a distance while Koga smelled angry. Hmm...

"What is going on?" she asked, glancing at the girl who was their guide. She wasn't asking her and the pair knew it as she noted that they both tensed. Sango and Miroku looked over at them, both walking in front of the trio while Sesshomaru and his group brought up the rear. The girl didn't even acknowledge them, almost acting as if she forgot they were there. Her calmness was alarming after yesterday, but she still held the thought that something was wrong with the child. "Inuyasha?" she asked, his golden eyes refusing to meet her chocolatey orbs as he said nothing. Turning to Koga she tried again. "Koga?" He looked away from her, anger fading slightly as guilt filled the air and she stopped, her feet coming to a stop. "I have had enough of this! we have been on the road for less than an hour and you all are acting weird! All of you!" she hissed as she threw a look to the older demon.

"It's nothing, Kagome," Koga stated, answering for the other two demons. He looked toward the young child ahead of them, as if to push it off on the child for the weirdness going on. She knew that was part of it, she herself could smell it now too and she wondered if they had realized it as well.

"Is it the death?" she whispered, drawing her brows up to let them know she too had smelled it and while it alarmed her as well she wasn't worried about the child being dead. This girl was alive, but her aura was darkened like death. That had to be where the scent was coming from. Inuyasha nodded, not surprised that she was getting a strong sense of smell. "It's her aura," she stated simply. They couldn't see the aura that was coming off her the child, but as a Miko she could see it. It unnerved her with how dark it was, as if the energy were being taken from her and that was what was bringing about the scent of death.

"That's not all," Miroku stated as he narrowed his eyes at the Hanyou. The male was hiding something, they all were and none of them were hiding it as well as they thought they were. "You know something," he accused, his eyes falling on each male in turn. Sesshomaru didn't look away, but he didn't deny it either as Koga let out a grunt, also returning his unwavering gaze at the monk. Neither gave him anything, but Inuyasha started to move away from the Miko and when she noticed this she said but one word.

"Sit." 'Thunk' he hit the ground with a silent omph and there she was, the child had stopped walking, shooting the others a cold look that even Sango noticed while Miroku was too intent on Kagome and Inuyasha. "Are you going to tell me?" She wanted to walk away, to not force him to tell her, a fear that something was wrong...something deadly was waiting for them and he knew what it was, but she needed to know. He shot her a look and in those golden orbs of his was a warning, a silent thought that caused her to fall silent, her questions stuck in her throat. He was keeping silent about something that could not be discussed before the intruder of the group and yet it was important. "Are you worried about my reaction?" she asked softly and when he refused to look at her she felt anger rise in her throat, killing any questions that had resided there only moments before. He was acting like Sango had only days ago when they had been in the springs. She wasn't a weak person and she could handle whatever it was that was hiding, but when she noted that Minako was watching her she said to him instead, "This is not over." Walking over to the small child she told her that they were ready to leave and off they went.

It took only another thirty minutes for others to note the change in Sango first, her eyes wide when she looked over the land before them, as if she saw something and while no one else saw it she froze, her body tensing. Kagome was about to go to her side when she noted that Miroku hadn't even appeared to notice that his fiancée had stopped, no, he was more concerned with his hand as he continued on. The Miko went to her friend's side, trying to get the slayer to move with her and after a few soft words managed to do just that as she talked with the older woman. "What is wrong, Sango?" The slayer looked to her, her brown hair shifting over her shoulder as she spoke, her words so soft.

"Do I truly love my brother?" she asked, her eyes closing for a moment as she sighed. She knew that Kagome was aware of what had transpired at the castle, while none of the others had ever been told the full tale, not even Miroku knew. She was afraid to confide in him all that had happened, and how weak she had been. Too blind to see that they were just lambs to the slaughter. Inuyasha was still close enough to Kagome, still sticking to her, to hear what the slayer had asked.

"Why would you think that you don't?" Kagome inquired. Inuyasha knew why and it was the same reason he had bound himself to Kikyo after she had been resurrected and the same reason that he hadn't wanted to admit his feelings about Kagome to her, not even himself, but with her final death he had seen what she was so now the slayer had to see that her brother was in the same boat. That she herself was in that boat, she had been tricked and like him she had been tortured by the continued existence of her brother, long past when he had died or if he had died. No one had an answer to that, even when Naraku had claimed that the young male was only alive because of the shard in his back. No one had seen him in so long that it was a fear that he was dead and while he too worried that she would be forced to accept the slayer's death without her to relieve him of his tortured existence, his grief over what he had done, he hoped that she would understand like he had, that it wasn't her fault.

"I should have seen it," she muttered. Koga also could feel her pain, her own life miserable because of her perceived failure with her own clan as he had with his own pack. He had lost so many of them because of Naraku and because he had failed to see the trap that had been set. The mood that took over the group was one that weighed them down, kept them occupied with their own tragedies and failures. "I should have known to investigate this sudden call, but we knew this lord, he had called upon us before. Even then I fell for the lies fed to me by that bastard and went after someone else that I had no business with, ever." She looked over at Inuyasha, an apology on her lips, but at his look she shut her mouth. He was looking at her, with such an open expression of his own self loathing.

"You don't owe me anything, Sango," he said. "We were all tricked by that bastard and we all want to kill him, but even knowing that once we kill him that we will be better off, it will not change anything." He sighed. "I would have reacted the same way as you, but Naraku didn't give me anyone to hunt down, no, that's not true. He gave me Kikyo to hate, to want to kill, but I didn't give into it. I would rather just be done with her and her supposed love, but in the end I couldn't really bring myself to hate her as she was doing what others had already done." Kagome was in shock, as were a few others that had been listening.

"But still," she began only to be cut off by Koga this time, his face set in a sneer though, it failed to change his eyes, the blue orbs watching her with the same self loathing of the Hanyou.

"I, too, have fallen under that same category, human," he spat, the pain and abhorrence of his actions tainting his speech. "I went after Inuyasha with the idea that he had slain my men when in reality it was Kagura under the orders of Naraku who had slain my men." He sighed and tensed when the whimper of Rin reached his ears. All of them turned to see the fright on the girl's face as she watched him, heard his anger and was afraid for her life since it had been his own wolves that had come after her. "I have done more wrong than good before I came across one human who didn't seem to fear me." He looked to Kagome. "Hell, she even slapped me in front of my men." That drew shocked looks from most of the group, save for Sesshomaru who knew how formable she could be when she was defending herself or her friends. "I could have struck back, but her gall had me shook and mesmerized. Never have I ever had a woman, a human at that, strike at me with no fear for herself. All the more reason she would have made a fine mate for me, even my pack have recognized her as one of us. She saved my people, saved me, when she could have just turned her back on us, allowed those birds to kill my men. She fought alongside of us as if we had been friends, allies, forever."

"She is one to garter respect," the large demon stated, assuring the girl beside him again that no one would hurt her, not while he was on watch. "She has saved my ward as well, even when she knew that I was out to kill her and my half breed brother." Everyone seemed to be cheering up as Kagome shook her head.

"I am nothing," she stated as she looked down at her hands. "I'm the one that messed up, shattering the shard." She noted that Miroku was still looking at her hand and with a look toward Sango she motioned to the forlorn male. The slayer moved to stand by him as Kagome yawned, her dream from the night before keeping her from getting a restful sleep.

"You tired, wench?" the silver haired male inquired, pulling her onto his back without waiting for an answer. At first she complained that she wasn't tired and didn't need to be treated as if she were a child. He chuckled at her, worry still haunting him at what the child had said. He wouldn't allow her to fall, no, he couldn't live without her and knowing that he had allowed it to happen brought shame to his scent. She hugged him from behind, words not needed as she allowed her own scent to calm him, to wash over him.

"Miroku, what's wrong?" the slayer asked, his hand that was still out holding his attention, only to be brought out of it when she clasped said hand. He shot a look over at her before attempting to remove his hand from her. "Miroku?"

"You shouldn't touch it," he murmured, sounding vaguely angry. He was never angry, not really. He was a jolly guy almost all the time, joking and teasing. She didn't like the way he was acting. Asking him why softly only seemed to make him even more upset, his voice rising a notch. "Because it is cursed and you would be cursed to even think that we could live happily with this deadly curse attached to me!" All eyes fell on him, Kagome blinking at the malice behind his words. She knew of his fear, hell, she held the same fear that she was cursed, after all she had once held the tainted pearl in her body. She had cursed them by shattering it. She had lost her normal life because of it. Even with all her friends around her, her family by her side on both sides of the well, she still felt that she was cursed. If she hadn't come to this side of the well, to this time, she wouldn't be where she was. Pregnant, mated to someone she had no information on and wouldn't until the children were born because then she would see some of the male who had claimed her. If she had not come to this time then Sango would not have lost her family nor would Kikyo been brought back to torment the Hanyou holding her, but she tried to mask it. She didn't need him to worry about her, not when it was clear something was bothering him.

"We all bear a curse, monk," Sesshomaru spat, angry at all the misery that was befalling the group and all courtesy of the child before them, no, not even her held that power. No, Naraku did and he was behind this, the lord was sure of that. "And while yours will kill you, it is not going to in the end...unless you wish to allow it." Sango shot him a look of pure rage while Miroku seemed stunned at the demon lord's words. "The Miko held a curse, my brother was also cursed, the slayer was cursed, we all have something to bear and if we allow it to destroy us than why are we even fighting?"

"We fight for our friends," Kagome said, laying her head against Inuyasha's back with a soft smile. "We fight for our family. For those who have lost their lives to Naraku and those that are still alive for him to torment." Miroku managed to smile at that. Knowing that even the almighty demon dog was able to admit that he too fought for something, that he was willing to fight alongside them even when he hated humans, or even any kind of companion, as it had been apparent that even Jaken suffered his wrath for nothing more than opening his mouth. No more words were spoken, but it wasn't needed as the village appeared before them, still in the distance, but they were there and the screams that filled the air from it made them rush, the girl left behind for a moment as she watched them run toward the trap, a smirk twisting her lips.

Appearing at the entrance they found the source of the cries as a male, obviously once human loomed over ten feet tall with a warped body that while still human in some way was more like a being that had been doused in acid, his body physically melting as bubbles oozed over his entire body. He was thrashing against the pain, tearing apart huts and destroying a field as he ate the inhabitants. Kagome slipped off Inuyasha's back, but found herself being moved behind the Hanyou when she tried to come around him. "Stay back," was all he said as he drew his weapon, the other members of their group rushing to aid him as they went after the human turned monster. Kagome just stood there for a moment in anger at his dismissive tone, his words mixing in with her own torrent of feelings, but with a mental shake she grabbed her bow from the discarded yellow bag, the quiver thrown over her shoulder as she ran to aid them, knowing that even though the human would not be spared since he was going to die from whatever had infected him that they might still need her help. She could bring him down just as easily as them, after all she had her own power and that of her unborn children.

It didn't take long for the people get to safety with the help of Kagome and Miroku, Rin left in the care of Jaken under strict orders from Sesshomaru to get her to a safe space, Shippo also following them. Sango busted her boomerang out, taking the giant down with a few precise strikes while Inuyasha tore him limb from limb and the dog lord struck him with his own weapon while Koga helped in removing any people left straggling behind to Kagome and the monk. They knew that this monster wasn't the one that was really their opponent, but they wanted him out of the way to deal with the real one behind the random attack. "Ah, so you are the Miko," came a male voice from behind her, she turned to see that it was a dark haired male, his eyes shining with lust as he looked her over. She squirmed under his watch as his eyes came to her slightly rounded stomach and noted the disgust in his black gaze. Before she had a chance to react he had her in his arms, crushing her backside against the front of his body as he hissed in her ear, "Do not worry, little human. I will not hurt the pups, but you must give me the Shikon no Tama or you will find that your friends cannot be saved from what is poisoning their blood."

She gasped in fear, her mouth unable to move with the threat of her friends lives. What was he talking about? No one seem- The fears that had came to light this morning. Though they were fears that she knew plagued her friends, she also knew that they hadn't been this strong in forever. They had gotten past them, moved them to the back burner since she had met them. "The fruit," she whispered, his head brushing against her as he nodded. "Take it," she whispered, but instead of taking the jewel he yanked her away from the battle, Miroku noticing that she was no longer helping him. He narrowed his amethyst eyes at the male holding her captive. He brought up his arm to attack, ready to remove the beads if need be as the sound of the fight behind him just background noise. Kagome shook her head at him, but he still kept his arm up until the sound of wind hit his ears. Koga turned now, noticing that while the villagers had escaped, Kagome and Miroku were quiet, no longer calling out to let him know that all was clear. His blue eyes narrowed at the dark haired male.

"The fuck?" he asked, his blue eyes watching as Kagome tried to relax, her body refusing to allow such a thing when not only she was in danger, but her pups were also in a dangerous position. "Let her go, bastard!" The male shook his head with a smirk.

"Ah, but I can't do that, Naraku would be displeased that I let his prize go," he replied as he tightened his hold on the Miko in his arms. "Not that I really care what the half breed wants, but we were promised the joy of devouring you all and that is what makes me just a bit more compliant." Miroku shivered in disgust at his words, but lowered his hand, the winds still whipping around in his head. He had to get past this, just like Sesshomaru had said. What were they fighting for? RIght now, they were fighting to save Kagome and her babies. "Now, unless you want I should run her thru and killing not only her but that fucker's babies, then you will lay down your weapons." He placed a hand on her stomach as his tongue lapped at her neck, next to the mark that flared in anger. The monster fell with such force that the ground shook, but neither one of the demon dog males paid it much attention as they too looked over at his loud words. He wanted them to know he had the one that would be able to kill the spider demon. No one put a weapon down though, Inuyasha still holding Tessaiga before him and Sesshomaru standing tall, his golden gaze cold as he noted the weak demon before him. Yes, he was weak, but the dog lord felt that there was another one around them, hiding in the darkness of the huts, but waiting for a moment that he would not allow to come to pass.

"You mother fucker!" the Hanyou hissed as Kagome shivered in both disgust and fear. She wouldn't allow them to hurt her pups, no, she would rather die than for something to happen to the innocent creatures that were still waiting to be born, but she didn't want to go with them and with the words they were saying it was obvious that Naraku was waiting for her. The air around them was charged, the heaviness of it almost chocking her. She could smell it, see it, sense it as it swirled around her. She felt the auras of her children just seconds before the male holding her hissed in pain and surprise when her stomach burned his fingers. He didn't release her though, growling at the unseen opponents.

"What the fuck was that?" he hissed before raising his hand to bring it down upon her stomach, the woman arching her body back as her power surged around her, but the male, her target, was yanked from her as her purifying aura burst forth. When she fell forward Inuyasha was instantly at her side, clutching her to him as they all turned to see that the male was no longer alone and neither person before them appeared human anymore.

"Ah, so she is as powerful as they say, even allowing her children to aid her," the white haired woman spat, her eyes narrowing. "You would be the most delicious, but for now, you will enjoy those nightmares that will replace your reality." And with a snap of her fingers all hell seemed to break loose as Inuyasha found himself no longer holding Kagome, but Kikyo, her body slashed and blood running down her. Letting out a surprised cry he released her, the Miko falling back in surprise at the male before her. She didn't know what to say, but it didn't matter as he seemed to transform before her eyes and she found herself staring into the narrowed eyes of Naraku, his red eyes flashing.

Miroku fell to his knees as he felt himself dying, his heart clenching at the pain that was somehow making it around the poison that was supposed to stop that pain, the old man had kept his promise, but now it seemed futile. Sango rushed to his side, but was stopped when he turned into her brother, Kohaku looking down at his hand as the Monk had been, but there was a puddle of blood around him. It was all going to pot as Sesshomaru let out a cry of rage when he found Rin's body at the feet of Koga, his mouth dribbling the red blood of her life, but Koga was on his knees as the pack members had died because of him looked down at him in rage, taunting him with their cries of betrayal.

The only ones that seemed unaffected were the pair of demons who smiled, pleased with the chaos before them. "I thought they hadn't eaten the fruit," Chimei-teki asked, his black eyes narrowing in suspicion.

"They didn't, but the orchard is still standing, its scents are releasing into the air," she said, waiting for a chance to snatch the woman that weilded too much power for them to deal with now as she seemed to be struggling to keep it tamped down with whatever she was seeing. "And soon we will leave them to their misery and allow them to become more succulent."

Ah, so now the group is faced with their fears and no one is safe from them, or are they? Where is Rin? What about Jaken? Hell, even Shippo is not with the group that is being tormented! Stay safe!

1. Chapter 1 3276 0 0 2. Chapter 2 3577 0 0 3. Chapter 3 3170 0 0 4. Chapter 4 3331 0 0 5. Chapter 5 3380 0 0 6. Chapter 6 3196 0 0 7. Chapter 7 4671 0 0 8. Chapter 8 3475 0 0 9. Chapter 9 3265 0 0 10. Chapter 10 3855 0 0 11. Chapter 11 4643 0 0 12. Chapter 12 3331 0 0 13. Chapter 13 3567 0 0 14. Chapter 14 3606 0 0 15. Chapter 15 2976 0 0 16. Chapter 16 3874 0 0 17. Chapter 17 3291 0 0 18. Chapter 18 3448 0 0 19. Chapter 19 4073 0 0 20. Chapter 20 2641 0 0 21. Chapter 21 4294 0 0 22. Chapter 22 3832 0 0 23. Chapter 23 4258 0 0 24. Chapter 24 4350 0 0 25. Chapter 25 3315 0 0 26. Chapter 26 4108 0 0 27. Chapter 27 3007 0 0 28. Chapter 28 3641 0 0 29. Chapter 29 5249 0 0 30. Chapter 30 3630 0 0 31. Chapter 31 3868 0 0 32. Chapter 32 3931 0 0 33. Chapter 33 3860 0 0 34. Chapter 34 3418 0 0 35. Chapter 35 3167 0 0 36. Chapter 36 3417 0 0 37. Chapter 37 3055 0 0 38. Chapter 38 4408 0 0 39. Chapter 39 2189 0 0 40. Chapter 40 4298 0 0 41. Chapter 41 3419 0 0 42. Chapter 42 3492 0 0 43. Chapter 43 2999 0 0 44. Chapter 44 1605 0 0