Tenjin looked down at the world and, with a sigh, turned back to the paradisiacal landscape around him. Things were not going according to plan. At this rate, he was going to lose a great deal to his ember eyed enemy. Going to his scroll, he looked through everything that had happened since the beginning. His eyes scanned the words looking for the right moment when everything started to go wrong.
"Ah, this should set things straight!" he said and chuckled as he withdrew the symbols from the page and began an incantation.
"Flesh and bones once more I call you into being," he said and watched as the ink transformed, grew into the body of a man, and filled out with flesh and hair. Dark eyes perceived him and struggling to speak. A rasping voice came from behind. "Not too quickly, Ren, the spell is finishing the last of your resurrection."
"Resurrection? I am alive?" he asked, finally able to speak.
"You are alive. What do you remember last from your life?" he asked, and rem cringed.
"I remember him! I remember those claws! I'm going to kill him!" he roared and looked around. The wind began to pick up around the kami, and with a few motions, Ren began to descend.
"See that you do. I have a great deal riding on your success," Tenjin said, and ren turned back to the kami.
"Where are you putting me?" he asked before the clouds enfolded him, hiding the realm of the gods from sight.
"I will place you back where you died. Blessed guardian."
Sesshomaru was tired by the time kagome woke from her slumber. With his mind full of broken thoughts, he found everything else to be irritating in the worst way possible. Students complained, bags ripped, and servants were missing from pseudo chores that the students deemed necessary. "Everyone gather together. We are about to leave," he said as she crawled from the tent. He spared a moment to watch her emerge with messy hair, disheveled clothes. The space was too small to move around correctly, and so he imagined the struggle she went through to get to that level of dress and smiled.
"Are we leaving now?" she asked sleepily. She still looked half asleep but seeing everyone else in motion, she turned back to her tent and gathered her clothes and sleeping bag. Sesshomaru didn't help her fold up the tent, but even so, she was ready before the tengu came down to their perch.
Dachi, Genki, and Goro were the next. With a little as they brought, the only delay was in the constant bickering and joking between the three ogres. With their natural powers out for the world, they competed with feats of strength and power. As they sat not too far away from the curious woman, they talked about the power of pandemonium that they each had been practicing.
As kagome watched, she got a feeling of eeriness that penetrated her bones. Nervously she shifted, looking around for a threat but found herself surrounded only by the people who had been in her study sessions and who would be vital to their group project. Rubbing her arms, she was taken out of the feeling with bark from Sesshomaru.
"Enough of that, boys. Some humans could be affected by your showboating." he was offhandedly chastising them. Kagome saw a small smile in his eyes that meant that he hadn't found them very threatening at all.
"Lord, Sesshomaru shows Genku that he's just a weakling. Unleash the pandemonium," he said, hollering for the professor to show off too. Kagome watched him close his eyes, and for a moment, she waited and then felt a penetrating scream as every fiber in her being was assaulted with needles pressing on every nerve. Like sandpaper in her eyes, it was inescapable.
She was frozen in unmoving terror when she felt a shift inside of herself that braced against the harsh intrusion. Clinging to it, Kagome felt a hum of energy light up in her and vocalizing it. She felt a small relief from the pain and fear that was focused on her mind. With eyes closed, she could feel a bubble of energy around her.
There was a quiet sound of clapping around her, peeking through one of her closed eyes. She saw the students staring at her. Some of the servants fainted, falling where they were when the energy flowed unbound through them. Sesshomaru was standing outside of the barrier with his hand on it, and he was saying something she could not hear to the students who started clapping again. She began to look around at it, seeing it extend to just around the place her body was. Slowly moving to touch the inside of the barrier, she felt it burst just like a soapy creation and disappear without a trace.
"That was a perfect barrier. As you see, our power cannot penetrate the barrier without a tremendous amount of pressure. You must focus on a single point, or distract the barriers creator, to the point where it will shatter," he said and seeing the students amazed faces she tried to look like she had done it on purpose and stood calmly next to Sesshomaru.
"It was nothing." she smiled.
Kagome kept her mind focused on the feeling of power that had flooded her in defense of their bursts-energy. It had been an unconscious response to a situation she had never encountered. It was Sesshomaru's energy that had terrified her so thoroughly, and as much as she tried to push that aside, there was a nagging feeling that she had felt that fear before, but more intensely. Traveling in front of him on AhUn, there was little time to talk where they wouldn't hear, and so she let her questions move to the back of her mind, where they settled alongside many other unanswered questions. She glanced at his face several times during their ride but failed to say anything though her mind stayed busy.
"What is it, Kagome?" he asked, looking out into the coming foothills, `` Sesshomaru instructed the dragon to fly inclined towards a flattened space alongside the rocky cliffs. They landed a moment before the students, who still traveled disjointly with their servants and baggage floating through the air with powers she could only guess.
"I don't know, I can't tell, but something strange is happening. Do you sense anything?" Kagome asked. He dismounted and, helping her off of the irritated dragon, paused a moment before speaking.
"Yes," he said and commanded Ah un to stay in the area as the others landed around them. With a group of nearly twenty, they were not quite going through the forest. The students' level of excitement and their groups kept animals at bay but drew in several lesser demons who came out of nowhere to inspect them. Seeing so many different kinds kept her enthralled. Kagome stopped several times to study a few of the demons who seemed curious about her as she was of them. A small sprite began to follow her, and with some amusement, she let it ride in her arms as she walked at the back of the group.
Sesshomaru shooed it away when he realized it was with her. He found the bold actions unacceptable, but, moving on, the sprite kept following at a distance. "They bring trouble," he warned, and she sighed but nodded.
"They are so cute," she complained, seeing more peeking through the leaves of trees and bushes around them.
"They are a nuisance if you let them be, but they are not too different than the ones on our land if you truly care for them," he said
"But you could always use one more sprite. Just look at how sad she is." kagome pointed out the green creature following at a distance, and Sesshomaru sighed.
"Go ahead." he allowed it but only because it made her smile.
The sprite was in her arms before he had finished his sentence. A green hand waved thanks, and they walked on. Sesshomaru sighed. He hated sprites.
At the end of the trail was a set of stairs that seemed to have come out of nowhere. Himari and Bunko ran to the stairs and stopped at the sutras strung across the walkway. "Lord Sesshomaru, there is a barrier," she called, and Sesshomaru went to it with some interest. He hadn't expected it but wasn't worried about breaking it. Sending out a wave of energy, the barrier rippled. The tanuki girl went to the border and touched it. She was sent backward and yelling stumbled through the bushes with the neko following.
"Himari!" bunko caught her and, looking back, saw the rippling section of the barrier that encased the entire area in front of them.
"Thanks, that was not what I was expecting." she laughed and stood working the strain from her limbs.
"Kagome, what do you make of this?" Sesshomaru asked as she approached him through the crowd. The sprite flew from her arms when she reached out to the barrier, and her hand slipped past it without resistance.
Stepping through, she saw that it was intended for them and not for her. Looking around, she could feel something in the air within that barrier that sent a wave of nostalgia through to her bones. She had been here before.
Turning back, she stepped back through. "This is constructed to keep you out. I can feel something inside that is familiar. I think I should go inside and look around," she said, and Sesshomaru grabbed her hand before she went inside.
"Not yet. Let us make camp here and wait for any sign of its creator," he said. There was an unspoken worry in his eyes that told her that it was more his worry for her than his fear of whatever was inside.
The night moved with rustling branches and feint youkai movements. At the foot of the stairs, the group had made a fire. Just off of the pathway, and had taken shifts watching the stairs to see if anyone appeared. Kagome stayed awake. Her mind raced with questions she could not ask and things she had but only to act to solve. She wanted to go inside of the barrier. It was a nagging pull from whatever source had made the power she had felt inside. Kagome recalled the warm, wrapping sense of energy that had called to her like a song in the distance. Still, she could hear the wordless melody at the edge of audibility.
Sesshaomur had been meditating at the edge of the barrier for the entire time since calling for camp. He was gathering energy. She could feel the mounting power and knew it was only a matter of time before the whole thing came down. But, there was something that bothered her when she thought about them going inside the protected area. She had never recalled feeling that way when Sesshomaru had entered her family's shrine, but this was different. There was something up there that was more than her family's small horde of items.
Standing quietly, she walked around the camp to the fire and looked around at the group, who chatted away happily as she edged closer and closer to the barrier. It was calling her, and the closer and closer she got to the nonpermeable border, the louder she could hear it until faintly she could listen to the words.
"Kaomge," he said as she came within inches of the border.
"I have to," she said, and before he could move, she was through it and running up the stairs with considerably more energy than she had exerted in a while. She knew he couldn't follow her, and so after a period, she slowed to a walk, daring to look back at her frowning inu youkai. "Sorry," she said and kept walking. When the stairs ended at the path evened out, she was inside of another stretch of forest. She saw statues of kami and their guardian youkai scattered throughout the woods on either side of her, but there was something else there she could sense further in. a smell came to her as she rounded into a small stone gate found a small shrine next to a large tree. The fruit was a funny pink shade and had a smiling face's likeness as she inspected it. "How strange," she said and looked at the altar beside it. There was a fresh cup of wine and incense burning already.
"It has been too long. I never thought I'd see your face again." a stranger stepped out from behind the tree. He wore blue Shinto robes with beads up the side of his arm.
"Do I know you?" she asked, not feeling intimidated but aware of his spiritual powers. Kagome had felt this only when her grandfather had performed his most serious rituals. She turned and looked for the source in the form of an item. There was nothing visible when she looked at his simple robes, but she kept her guard up.
"Yes, I suppose it's been a long time since we met last. The curse has been triggered many times in this area. As you can tell, the purification needs are much greater than last time. Fortunately, you came, but tonight demons are working towards our failure." he said, making the last comment as if she would be as disgusted as he felt towards them. Hearing the apparent disdain, Kagome took a step backward.
"What did you say your name was?" she asked, trying to stay away from the topic of youkai.
"It's Ren. I was once the guardian of this shrine," he said.
"I don't recall meeting you here before." she said, looking around. " you are the one making this barrier, aren't you?" she asked, and he shook his head.
"It is the previous guardian. I replaced him nearly three hundred years ago when my predecessor died in battle," he said, going to the altar and letting himself kneel in prayer.
"There is still something strange about you. Are you making that sound then?" she asked, and he stilled to listen to what she had referenced.
There was an explosion at the entrance to the garden. Kagome felt the tear in the barrier and looked for Sesshomaru in the forests around them. She noted the strange feeling of familiarity, hearing ren chanting, and creating a spiritual bow and arrow.
Sesshomaru did not come out into view. She had the sneaking suspicion that he was just beyond the bushes in the shadow of the trees. His aura was unmistakable, and seeing rens reaction in the form of a gasp. She knew he could tell too. "Kagome, get your bow! We must defend the altar," he said, and she turned to him.
" Funny, you should mention the altar-" she started, but ren grabbed her and made her stand behind him.
"Your memory must be gone, don't worry ill get you back to the shrine, and we will find out what's happening," he said, and kagome wrenched out of his grasp.
"Don't touch me! I don't know who you are," she said, trying to back away.
Ren looked at the dark-haired woman and knew it was the same person he had fought beside for nearly a century. "We are the last defense kagome. In the name of Tenjin, I beg you to come with me," he said, and kagome paused. She had heard those words before, and with a strange feeling coming over her, she felt herself reach out and create a bow with energy. Looking down at it, she felt the automatic movement as if she had practiced.
"Kagome!" it was Sesshomaru through the night. " we are with you," he said, and she nodded and aimed at ren.
"I don't know who you are or what you're saying, but I have an important mission to complete," she said, and Ren looked at her with wide, horrified eyes. Reaching to his belt, he drew a necklace from his pocket.
"This is yours. Do you remember giving it to me," Ren said, and Kagome looked at the crystal moon suspended on a leather thong, and her bow faltered.
"Yes," she said, recalling his face more and more. "Who are you-" she started and saw from behind him that Sesshomaru had charged with claws reaching for his throat.
"Get away from her!" he seethed. Kagome backed away, her heart racing, confusion set in. there was no way to tell who was winning as they went back and forth, making and blocking shots meant to kill. Kagome could hear Ren chanting, he was conjuring energy that made a sizzling sound when connected to Sesshomaru skin, but his regeneration kept him from harm as his claws sliced cloth and leather when able.
Kagome felt the students' presence around her, and through the trees, only a few of them had come through the barrier, but they were searching for the item. The tanuki and kappa waded through the bushes as the tengu both flew through the low underbrush, searching for what they needed. Kagome signaled them. Moving closer to the strange tree, she looked with them for the energy she had felt earlier.
As the demons grew closer to the tree, the strange humming sound became even louder to the point where even Sesshomaru could hear it moaning through the cries of battle.
Going closer to it, Kagome could feel a familiar sickening feeling, and touching the bark of the tree, felt the warmth of a human body. Gasping and looking at the fruit, she saw the faces of many people. Turning to where the students scoured the area, she noticed the trouble that the two tengus had getting out of the branches once they had landed. Struggling to free themselves, Kagome began to climb it. She could feel the trunk shifting and limbs as she moved higher and higher in its grasp. The bark was sticky. It was harder and harder to move as she felt the bark turn almost gelatinous. Her shoes sucked into the bark as she tried to hang on and reached out for the tengu twins.
"I can't get out!" Setsuko called as kagome got closer. Kagome thought about protecting the barrier she had made earlier and tried once more to create it around the two. Concentrating, she saw a small barrier form. Her hands were absorbed into the bark, sinking further and further in. takane tried to calm her brother as they felt the spiritual magic engulf them. Setsuko screamed when he felt the surrounding energy but kagome pushed them out of the moving branches' grasp.
Himari and Akiro scrambled to the trunk beneath her and tried to give her some support. "Get back," she called and pushed them back with her energy before making a barrier around her and the tree. Kagome felt herself be devoured by the gelatinous bark and within moments of creating her barrier.
She fell into a dark place. Her screams sounded distant in her ears; fighting didn't help. Nothing did, as she reached out for anything to grab onto. There was an energy around her, the feeling of a large crowd, but nothing was to be felt around her when she reached out. "Who are you?" there was a voice around her, everywhere but coming from no exact place.
"Kagome," she said. There was a pause, and then she felt herself touch down in a field.
"This one has seen kagome before. Get out," The spirit of the tree said, and a portal formed to the outside. Akgoem felt herself lunge for it but hesitated when she got to the door.
"Who was I last time?" she asked.
"Leave." the voice seemed afraid, "your soul does not become fruit here," he said, and she turned back. Kagome felt her mind racing. A moment before she made her decision, but kagome ran back into the darkness to the sconce of power. She came to a core, a seed in the shape of a human child suspended in the depts of the tree.
"Tell me who I was," she demanded.
"I cannot tell because we only met once," it replied. Kagome sighed.
"Then show me what happened last time I was in here," she said and felt the darkness ripple around her until she could see herself walking. She saw the robes of a Miko red and white, and her hair was much longer than he had ever kept it in her memory. She was walking down a narrow platform. She stopped.
Kagome watched Sesshomaru walk up behind her and expected a greeting of sorts, but the two just looked at each other. "You dare follow me here, demon? There will never be a demon who surpasses my authority here. Leave now before your life is forfeited. She drew her bow and pointed it at Sesshomaru's heart. Sesshomaru stopped in, drew power to his claws, and summoned a poisoned whip.
"I am not like the others, human. There will be no, stopping my ascension." he was cocky, very much the man kagome knew, but there was something different. There was no emotion in his voice, nothing but cold hatred and dispassionate effort. Sesshomaru and kagome fought a battle similar to what she had seen outside and shuttered at the close calls she saw from both her and him ash they battled.
"When did this happen?" she asked.
"Five hundred sixty years ago," he said, and kagome exhaled the breath she had been holding.
"This is not what I expected," she said aloud, watching to the end of the fight. There was a tear that formed in the darkness around her, and she saw Sesshomaru's white robes as he forced himself into the darkness. The image vanished as the two came face to face.
"You must leave too. The damage sustained in your last fight will destabilize my structure." the voice seemed urgent. Kagome watched the surprise in Sesshomaru's eyes and turning around. He inspected the area.
"Where is the artifact? If we get this, then we will leave in peace." Sesshomaru didn't know what was happening, but he didn't sense anything wrong with kagome and nothing more than he could destroy if they have to fight.
The seed animated, and with the child's small hands reaching out for them, they received the essence of the tree spirit in the form of a small pod. "Take this and go," it said before going back to its inanimate shape.
"Kagome. I was worried about you." Sesshomaru grabbed both her shoulder s and pulled her into an embrace. Kagome felt a small twinge of doubt.
"Sesshomaru, is there anything you haven't told me? Like things you remember from our past or things that aren't quite right?" she asked him. Observing him, she could see a few shadows deepen in his face, and he nodded.
"I am afraid there are a few things I can't quite remember when I try," he said, and she nodded.
"I am starting to remember things, Sesshomaru. I feel like we aren't what we were supposed to be like we are doing something dangerous by being together," she said.
"Yes," he confirmed. Kagome felt something inside of her burst and stepping back. She could feel a gulf between them. "I am very dangerous, so it stands to reason your instincts are telling you to run. I remember our life. One, we lived together. There is something else happening. Kagome, please continue to trust me. I am not your enemy." he said.
Even as he said it, kagome recalled the battle she had witnessed, the pendant from a long-time friend, and the messages from Tenjin she had received. Everything she had learned so far told her that they were enemies. "What happened to us, Sesshomaru?" she asked and turned to leave through the portal. He was behind her as she stepped out into the cleared space beside the tree. Ren was gone. The students surrounded them and cheered when their professor came through the portal. He showed them the bounty, and they cheered again. The group made a second camp below the man faced fruit, and it didn't move again while they were there.
AN: Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy it, as always take care and please leave a review and let me know what you think of this latest character introduction