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50 Years Too Early

Chapter 14: Kagome's Voice and Kikyo's Trust

Kikyo felt a tremor roll down her body. The air was suddenly cold and her heart began to pulsate. The voice of the headman in front of her seemed non-existent, despite an echo emphasizing her every short breath. Her hands shook and the priestess placed them on the floor to control the spasm but to no avail. Something wasn't right. She felt…scared…on edge, and tense. Emotions she had not felt since her girlhood. Was it a demon? No, she had checked her barriers this morning as she always did. There had been no activity. Moreover, this was not the same sensation she felt when a demon approached. It was too foreign. As if the fear originated from someone else.

"Lady Kikyo!" A strong voice exclaimed.

Whatever trance Kikyo had been locked in, shattered when her ears picked up on the voice. She took a breath to regain her center. She would have to research whatever happened to her at a later date.

"Are you all right, Lady Kikyo?" the village headman, Hisashi asked. He looked at her intently, placing his shaved head and growing wrinkles on full display.

"There is no need to worry Hisashi-san," Kikyo reassured him with a wave of her hand. "I was merely in a…deep meditation."

The older man raised an eyebrow before letting out a small chuckle. "I have spent some time in the temple, Lady Kikyo, but never have I seen anyone go into such a deep trance mid-conversation."

It was Kikyo's turn to chuckle, albeit, humorlessly. "It is…a rare talent."

A silence passed between them while Hisashi took a sip from his lukewarm tea. The headman's home was a modest structure. The tatami mats and shoji screen doors were trappings that would not be found in her home or the other villagers. A scroll of calligraphy hung on the far wall with several sutras and texts beneath it. Kikyo returned her gaze to the headman before her. The older man had been recently appointed head of the village by the Hojo clan several months ago. Never one for politics, local or otherwise, Kikyo had provided him with the greetings and blessings that were expected from her. With that accomplished, Kikyo had been content to allow Hisashi to do his work as long he did not attempt to meddle in her affairs of protecting the jewel and the village. For his part, the headman seemed to oblige her. The two never had an extended conversation beyond fair-weathered topics such as the current day or minor happenings in the village.

It was only when an Imperial messenger descended upon the village this morning did Hisashi break their unspoken arrangement.

The letter laid spread out in the center of Hisashi's small table. The calligraphy beautiful and well practiced. The language, verbose and more akin to poetry. It took three readings for Kikyo to fully understand the letter's message.

The Emperor wished for all prevalent monks and priestesses to travel to the capitol, Kyoto, for the time of Obon.

Kikyo held in a sigh. Obon, for many it was the most important tradition on the calendar. For her it was the busiest time of the year. From the thirteenth day of the seventh month to the fifteenth day of the seventh month, souls of departed ancestors returned to this realm from the spirit world. It was a time for families to come together, clean their homes, and attend to the graves of their loved ones. She was a priestess and a follower of the various kami in the world and Obon was a tradition found in the teachings of the Buddha. Still, the two faiths agreed that the souls of the departed, especially those of the ancestors, needed to be guided and protected during this time.

As a result, Kikyo often found herself overrun with requests to purify grave-sites, offer prayers to every departed family member, provide advice for the best grave offerings, share the location of the best incense, pacify every wronged spirit in the family tree, and so on. Naturally humans were not the only ones who enjoyed Obon. With so many spirits and humans gathered in one place, the Obon festivities were the perfect target for demons. Demons she would, of course, be expected to deal with. By the time Obon concluded with the floating lanterns, Kikyo had always found herself completely drained of energy and vigor. Such an experience was exhausting enough in her modest village. To experience Obon in the capitol….

"I do not like this idea," Hisashi said, somehow voicing her own thoughts. "I know the Emperor wishes to protect his people yet…"

Kikyo wanted to scoff at the idea. Only during Obon does the Emperor recall having subjects to protect? Where was this "protection" during these seemingly endless times of civil war and strife? Where was this so-called Living Kami when villages must endure yet another raid from bandits or from poor samurai seeking their heads for prestige? Where was the power of this "Son of Divinity" to attend to the countless cases of disease and famine that plagued this land?

"For our village, you are the main source of protection from demons and worse," Hisashi continued. "Without you here, Lady Kikyo, I fear for the safety of the villagers. Especially with the cursed jewel still present."

"The Jewel of the Four Souls," Kikyo corrected.

Hisashi inclined his head. "Yes, of course."

The jewel did present her with some difficulties. Protecting the Sacred Jewel was her priority. Nothing, not even the Emperor, should be enough to take her away from that. Yet it was also her duty to protect the souls of the departed. With so many demons failing to gain the jewel it was likely that they would change their targets to the vast array of humans and souls that the Obon festival provided. Taking the jewel with her was out of the question. It would not only bring even more demons to the festival but also expose the jewel to the collective darker desires of the humans present. In the village the jewel was isolated and surrounded by villagers who were, thankfully, ignorant of its malevolent power.

"Both the villagers and the jewel shall be safe here," Kikyo concluded. "The Obon Festival is tempting enough for demons to, temporarily, overlook the jewel."

Hisashi sighed. "Then I assume you will be attending then?"

"That is correct."

It would be an exhausting ordeal, but protecting the souls of the dead and the living, who prayed for their safety, was of far more importance than her own comfort. If she only thought of herself, she would be a rather poor priestess.

"Very well, I shall respond with your agreement."

"I thank you Hisashi-san," Kikyo said with a bow.

Kikyo rose to take her leave. Since Kagome applied the medicines from her world on her wounds, her recovery speed had increased. Today for instance, she was able to get around without the need of a crutch. Her limp however still remained, but some progress was better than none. She saw Hisashi rise in the corner of her eye. He most likely wished to provide assistance on her way out, but the priestess motioned that it was not necessary.

The headman nodded in understanding and produced a fresh parchment in order to write the reply. Kikyo was nearly out of the room when she heard him clear his throat.

"Lady Kikyo, can I also assume that you will be taking the half-demon with you?"

Kikyo immediately halted. She felt a twitch in her eyebrow as the spark of irritation surfaced inside her stomach.

"If Inuyasha wishes to accompany me," she replied, emphasizing his name. "He is welcome to do so."

She heard the headman sigh. "I understand that he is your ally in protecting the jewel, but I am not comfortable with you traveling with such…an unpredictable being."

Under her sleeves, Kikyo's hands curled into fists. The dark-haired priestess took a deep breath, reminding herself of Hisashi's status as the village headman and his connections with the Hojo clan. If she alienated the elder man or insulted him in any way, he had the potential to make her life and Kaede's life by extension, far more difficult than it was already was priestess or no.

She turned to face the headman, her face impartial, she hoped. "I am afraid that I do not understanding your meaning Hisashi-san."

"There is no need for you to feign ignorance with me Lady Kikyo," the headman said, rising to face her. "I know the boy may look human but we both know that the treacherous blood of a demon still flows through his veins. You cannot expect me to believe you would be safe around that…creature."

"Inuyasha has been instrumental in the defense of this village," Kikyo said, her voice dangerously low and the edge blatant even to a deaf man. "When Yura of the Hair attacked and took the people as her puppets, he helped to defeat her. He kept the demons at bay while I recovered from the battle. And he has saved my sisters on more than one occasion. He is more than just a mere ally. He is my friend."

"Lady Kikyo, tell me you are not that naïve," Hisashi muttered. "Demons do not make friends. A demon who claims otherwise is a fox or worse in disguise. We are nothing but food and playthings to them."

"Inuyasha is half-human."

"The point still remains, my lady," Hisashi pressed. "Do not think of me as a distrustful old man. In my previous service to Lord Hojo and in my short time as a temple monk, I have seen all manner of demon. Not once did I see one capable of even understanding the notion of friendship. And I am sure you have experienced the same."

"Do you truly believe I would entrust Inuyasha with the lives of my sisters, Kagome and Kaede if he were anything like the demons you and I have encountered previously?"

"I believe you are mistaking pragmatism for friendship," Hisashi said frankly. "You informed me, several months back, that the half-demon was merely interested in that jewel you are so keen on protecting. And now you expect me to believe that suddenly, he has lost all interest? If I were in his position I would be biding my time as an ally to learn your weaknesses and then strike once your guard has been lowered. That is how Lord Hojo regained the Musashi province after all."

"If that is case then I am glad that I am placing my life in Inuyasha's hands rather than yours," Kikyo said, her evenhanded tone long gone and her impartial expression replaced with a venom-filled scowl.

"I do not mean to offend, Lady Kikyo," Hisashi said, holding up his hands in defense. "I am merely attempting to give you insight into what the half-demon is thinking."

This time, Kikyo allowed herself to scoff. "So you are able to read minds then? Tell me did the mighty Lord Hojo impart this great skill onto you as well?"

Hisashi narrowed his eyes. "Lady Kikyo…."

Kikyo looked away, ashamed of herself. This back and forth was of no benefit to her or Inuyasha. She allowed herself to take a step back and took a cleansing breath. The fire that had taken hold of her abated. She felt her lips move out of a scowl and back into their neutral position.

"I apologize for my outburst Hisashi-san," she began slowly. "You have brought valid points to my attention. I will work to ensure that even if you cannot trust Inuyasha, you and the villagers are able to trust my judgment in regards to him."

Hisashi nodded. "I accept your apology Lady Kikyo. Please understand, I only speak with your safety and the safety of the village in mind."

"I thank you for your concern headman, but I give you my word, Inuyasha would never harm humans."


"Inuyasha stop!" Kagome cried, stumbling backwards. The harsh wind of his swipe passed over her face, taking a few strands of her hair with it. Another swipe with his left came immediately after. Kagome ducked as low as her body would take her. The attack passed over once again, giving Kagome the chance to somersault to her feet and dash down the dirt path. She heard Inuyasha snarl. She peaked over her shoulder and all she saw were four golden arcs heading her way.

"Lady Kagome, get down!" Kaede shouted.

Kagome dove forward without a second thought. An arrow whizzed overheard, wide of its mark. The crazed Inuyasha whirled his body around, striking down the projectile as if it were paper. His crimson eyes left Kagome, and followed the path of the arrow. Kagome wasn't sure how to feel when she saw Kaede holding Kikyo's bow and fumbling to notch another arrow. But the moment she saw the feral Inuyasha smirk and crack his claws, she knew exactly how she felt. She panicked.

"Kaede! Run away now!" the schoolgirl exclaimed.

"I won't leave you Lady Kagome," Kaede said, closing one eye to aim.

Kagome saw Inuyasha inch forward, wary of the bow. Time was running out. "I'll be fine!" she lied. "Just get out of here now!"

"Sister Kikyo wouldn't run," Kaede whispered. "I won't either."

Kagome scrambled to her feet, throwing herself between the half-demon and the girl. "Inuyasha if you're in there, I need you to listen to me!"

A snarl was his only response.

"You don't want to do this! This isn't you!"

Inuyasha crouched, his fangs on display.

Kagome gulped.

"It's useless girl," Jun said from above them. "He belongs to me now."

"That isn't true!" Kagome shouted. "Inuyasha, you're in there, I know it! We're your friends! Kikyo asked you to protect us! Remember that!"

Inuyasha flinched. His snarl died down to a small grunt. The crimson in his eyes flickered as if a light switch was being switched on and off inside his skull. Kagome's stomach jumped at the sight. He was half-demon after all, maybe Jun's music only affected half of him. It wasn't much, but it was more than what she had to work with a few seconds ago. She took one step forward, despite every instinct screaming at her to run.

"Inuyasha…." She said slowly and softly. "You recognize me…right?"

A series of low growls behind them, forced Kagome to look over her shoulder. A pack of ten or more three eyed wolves were inching towards them. Drool oozed out of their mouths in anticipation of the kill. Kaede whirled around, pointing her arrows at the approaching wolves. Despite the distance between them, Kagome could see the sweat and trembling in the little girl's hands. Royakan, at the flank of the wolf pack, got down on all fours. He licked his lips and shifted his weight on his back legs, ready to pounce at the command of Jun.

"Face it priestess," Jun chuckled, preparing the final note. "I've won."

No, this couldn't be it. It couldn't be. What would Kikyo do if she were here?

"Half-demon, Royakan…..finish them."

"What would Kikyo do? What would Kikyo do?" Kagome muttered to herself at inhuman speeds. Knowing her twin, she would probably have some super purifying technique that would work on both Inuyasha and Royakan. And she would unleash it perfectly without a single hair out of place. But Kagome didn't have anything like that. Did she? Kagome could remember using some power to blast back that centipede demon and some of it to fight Yura, but those were all accidents. She could never remember how to activate them.

A final loud and sour note screeched through the air. The hesitation in Inuyasha's eyes vanished and the crazed half-demon sprung towards her. The wolves circled around Kaede and charged, their fangs ready to tear her apart. Kagome grit her teeth, Kaede's cries filling her ears. A fire ignited in her stomach and spread up to her throat, into her heart, and into her lungs. The burning seemed all consuming. Inuyasha's claws came directly for her neck and as she looked into his eyes, Kagome could only do one thing.


Bright purple light exploded from her body with the intensity of her scream. The light consumed everything around her. Inuyasha, Jun, Royakan, Kaede and the wolves. The trees were torn from their roots and snapped in half like dry twigs. The grass vaporized into nothing, leaving only dirt and rock in the wake of the light. As the power faded, Kagome felt strength leave her body. The schoolgirl fell to her knees and was met with silence. The remaining purple light sparked around her like small lightning bolts. Around her it looked as if a bomb had gone off in the area. Kagome took a deep breath, only to be caught in a coughing fit from the intense heat in the air.

Once the fit ceased, Kagome looked in front of her and saw Inuyasha laying flat on his back some distance away. His fire-rat robes damaged and near tatters. His eyes were blank with unconsciousness. Panic gripped her chest, but she found herself unable to walk. She looked over her shoulder and saw Royakan in the same position. But someone was missing.

"Kaede…." She called her voice hoarse. "Kaede…are you here?"

"I'm here…." Her little voice said. The younger girl emerged from a pile of ashes, which Kagome could only assume used to be the wolves. She rushed to Kagome's side, helping the schoolgirl to her feet. "That was…incredible Lady Kagome….! I've only seen spiritual power on that level from Sister Kikyo. How did you do it?"

"I…wish I could tell you…" Kagome replied. Her gaze fell to the still unconscious half-demon. "Inuyasha…"

She left Kaede's assistance and slowly made her way his still form. She took his arm and felt for a pulse. Thankfully there was one. It was slow and steady. Kagome let out a sigh of relief.

"Is he…?" Kaede asked.

"No, he's alive," Kagome said. "Just knocked out."

"But…do you think that Jun demon still controls him?"

"A very good question little priestess," a sly voice said from above them.

Dread overtook Kagome when Jun swooped down from the air, her body none worse for wear after the blast. The demon must have taken to the air to avoid the more severe damage.

Jun darted forward before Kagome could blink. Her talons wrapped around her throat, cutting into the skin. A single flap of her wings took them airborne. Before Kagome knew it, she had an aerial view of the entire forest, with a very angry demon as her guide.

"You destroyed my territory priestess!" Jun growled. "Do you have any idea how long it will take to find a better hunting ground?"


Jun just smirked. "It's just as well. At least I can say I killed the sister of the infamous Priestess Kikyo."


"Don't despair. The child will be joining you."

"Don't you touch her!"

"You don't have a say in the matter priestess. Any last words?"

"How about four! Iron Reaver Soul Stealer!"


For Inuyasha it was hard to describe the experience of being under Jun's music. All he knew was that when he arrived to take on Royakan again, he saw the bat demon pulling the strings. The next thing he knew he heard some weird music that seemed to awaken…something that had been sleeping inside of his soul. After that, all he could see was red. It was as if a haze had overtaken him. Nothing seemed real. He couldn't feel, he couldn't think. The only sense he still had was his hearing. And Jun's music was all he could hear. A part of him was content to remain in this haze.

That is until he heard Kagome's voice.

Inuyasha wasn't sure how or why, but he heard her. She said 'friends' and 'Kikyo'. The haze surrounding him, for a moment, lifted. When he saw Kagome approach him the haze or whatever yearned for him to slash her open with his claws. Inuyasha pushed back against that urge, forcing himself to stay still if it was the last thing he did. But when she looked over her shoulder at the approaching wolves, whatever power she had over him vanished and the haze returned. He felt himself lunge towards her, willing to cut her to pieces like the music wanted.


Inuyasha couldn't be sure if it was the immense spiritual power or her voice or both, but either way the moment she screamed and unleashed the wave of spiritual power, the haze shattered. Inuyasha felt himself burn with the sacred energy. Through the blinding light, he saw the wolves of Royakan reduced to ashes and Jun hastily retreating to the air. For a few moments everything went black.

When he came to, the world was still fuzzy. His ears were ringing and the scent of burning wood overwhelmed his nose. When he sat up, dizziness and nausea met him. Kaede sat next him but her eyes were fixed on the sky. Inuyasha looked over the young girl for injuries but other than a few scrapes and dirt on her robes she was fine. Inuyasha allowed him a sigh of relief, which quickly caught the girl's attention.

"Inuyasha!" she exclaimed, causing him to wince. "You're all right!"

"Yeah…sort of…." He groaned. "Where's that damn bat-demon bitch?"

Kaede pointed into the sky. "She took Lady Kagome into the air! I can't shoot that high up!"

Inuyasha growled. Suddenly his unease vanished. The image of Jun being sliced to bits by his claws filled his eyes. "That damn bitch! This fight ain't over yet!"


"Stay here kid."

A number of trees strong enough to support him still remained despite the blast. It didn't take long for Inuyasha to find them and launch himself towards the two figures hanging in the air. The wind howled past his face while his claws twitched in anticipation. That bitch had some nerve using him as her puppet! He'd show her!

With each leap Jun came closer and Inuyasha already knew the best way to attack the wicket bat demon.

"It's just as well," Inuyasha heard her say to Kagome. "At least I can say I killed the sister of the infamous Priestess Kikyo."

Inuyasha scoffed. She was just another glory-seeking blowhard. Even if Jun killed Kagome, Kikyo would not let that stand. Neither would Inuyasha.

"No…please…." Kagome's hoarse voice reached his ears, making him pick up the pace of his leaps. With Kagome so close and so high in the air, his attack would have to be swift so Jun couldn't keep him too occupied.

"Don't despair," Jun said. "The child will be joining you."

Inuyasha pushed himself even further. One more leap and he would be close enough to strike. He landed on a rather weak branch. He felt the branch bend to his weight, bringing him back down to the ground below.

"Don't you touch her!" Kagome managed.

The branch nearly reached its breaking point and Inuyasha sprang off, soaring higher than he could on his own. As the aerial figures came into view, the half-demon realized he would end up behind Jun, just as he had hoped.

"You don't have a say in the matter priestess. Any last words?"

Inuyasha could barely hide his glee as Jun finally came within striking distance of his claws. Golden energy laced his fingertips, allowing him to pull back his arm.

"How about four!" Inuyasha exclaimed. "Iron Reaver Soul Stealer!"

Four golden arches slashed into Jun's back. Inuyasha could feel his claws slice through the sensitive membrane that connected the bat's wings to her torso. The leather-like material stood no chance against his steel-like claws. In one pass, Jun's leather wings flew off their home covered in her blood. Time seemed to slow down for Inuyasha. Jun's face was frozen in shock. She lingered in the air for a few extra seconds before she dropped like a rock. Her grip on Kagome loosened to nothing.

Kagome shifted from relieved to terrified in only a few seconds. Her shrill shriek stabbed his ears like a needle to his eardrum. Inuyasha allowed himself to fall in her direction. The distance easily closed between them, allowing the half-demon to scoop Kagome into his arms. He felt the girl grip onto his robes (or what was left of them) as their fall slowed. Inuyasha reached the top of a nearby tree and easily hopped his way back to Kaede.

Inuyasha set her down as Kaede rushed to meet them. Kagome stared at him, her face unreadable. Inuyasha took a step back fully expecting her to go off on him with that temper of hers. She took a step forward, her chocolate-brown eyes not leaving his face.

"What the hell are you looking at?" he asked.

Without any further word, Kagome flung herself onto him, wrapping her arms around his neck in a tight embrace. Inuyasha could barely let out a grunt of surprise.

"You're back to normal!" she exclaimed. "Thank goodness!"

Like Kikyo, Kagome's body was extremely soft. But unlike Kikyo there were certain…features on Kagome that were much more…developed. And those twin features were pressed firmly on his body. Inuyasha felt his face grew warm at the realization. His heart sped up to levels that weren't healthy. His thoughts even more so.

"Uh….Kagome…." he muttered.

Kagome let out bashful squeak before pulling back to a safer distance. Her face just as red as his, he couldn't help but notice.

"Sorry…." She said looking down. "I'm just glad you were able to shake off that freaky music."

Inuyasha brushed himself down. "Yeah well, thanks to you I probably went deaf. What kind of technique requires you to scream you lungs out like that?"

Kagome frowned. "The kind that saves the life of your companion who was dumb enough to fall under the spell of a bat demon sorcerer…"

Inuyasha looked away. "Yeah well…about that…..Thanks…you know…."

Kagome's eyes widened but a smile quickly formed on her face. "You're welcome. See, was that so hard?"

Inuyasha scoffed. But there were still a few more blows his pride had to take. "And…for attacking you two like that…it's not easy for me say…so…..you know…."

"Apology accepted, Inuyasha," Kaede said, dragging Kagome's bag at her heels. "Lady Kagome, I managed to re-gather your bag for you."

"Thanks Kaede! I was worried about it for a while."

"So what happened to that Jun demon?" Kaede asked.

Inuyasha smirked at the memory of cutting down her wings. "If she survived that fall, she won't be bugging anyone else anymore."

"And Royakan?" Kagome asked.

At the sound of his name, the wolf demon emerged from the bushes. Inuyasha immediately jumped in front of his charges and growled. To his surprise, Royakan flinched and cowered away.

"Oh no, please!" the demon cried. "I mean you no harm half-demon!"

"What the hell?"

"He was under Jun's control too remember?" Kaede said. "That's why Lady Kagome and I entered this forest to begin with. Some villagers asked us to find out why their guardian went mad."

"Keh, wasn't there for that part."

"Probably because you stormed away in a temper tantrum," Kagome reminded him.

"Yeah? And whose fault was that?"

"Not mine."

"Keep tellin' yourself that."

"Anyway," Kaede said cutting in. "Royakan had something he wanted to say you Lady Kagome."

Inuyasha saw the massive demon approach Kagome who gulped but held her ground. The wolf took a knee and lowered his head to her feet.

"I owe you my life Priestess Kagome," Royakan declared. "Without your assistance I would have remained under that witch's spell for the rest of days. I offer you my most humble of thanks."

Kagome blinked before waving off the strangely modest demon. "Err…don't worry about it. We were just passing through after all…"

"If you or your allies are ever in need, you are welcome to call on me. I will provide you with any assistance I can muster."

"Thank you…." Kagome replied, glancing at Inuyasha for help. The half-demon just shrugged. A demon prostrating himself to a human priestess was a new experience for him too. "We'll be sure to take you up on that someday."

Royakan nodded and rose to his feet. "I must now make amends to the villagers for my wrongs. Farewell for now Priestess Kagome."

"Can you believe that guy?" Inuyasha spat as Royakan made his leave. "What kind of demon makes a promise like that to a human?"

"He called me 'Priestess Kagome'," Kagome whispered. "I…kinda like the sound of that."

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Yeah it almost sounds like you did something important. Almost."

Kagome glared at him. "Must you ruin everything!"

"Lady Kagome, may we return to Nami-san's tea house?" Kaede asked. "I don't think we ever got to finish our dumplings."

"Sounds good to me," Kagome said with a smile. "I could use another snack." She turned to Inuyasha before heading back on the trail. "Are you coming? Or are you just going to have another tantrum when we get there again?"

"Get off my back, I'm commin'" Inuyasha scoffed, falling in step with them.

As they walked, Inuyasha constantly brushed his robes.

He could still feel Kagome's soft touch on his skin.


From the top of her head to the soles of her feet, all Jun could feel was pain. Her body laid sliced and broken. Her back ached for the wings that despicable half-demon took from her. Her arms and legs broken beyond use. Her demon blood would soon repair what it could but her wings would not return. To lose one's wings was like taking the fangs from a wolf or taking the fins from a fish. Without them she was nothing. She was less than nothing. She was grounded.

"That…disgusting…worthless…mongrel….!" she growled. "How dare he….!"

Inuyasha was that half-demon's name. She would have to thank that novice priestess for frequently yelling it out for Jun to hear. When she healed, if she healed, she would track down this Inuyasha and slaughter him with all she had.

"Beware….Inuyasha! My vengeance will know no quarter…!"

"It would appear we share an enemy then," a crass voice said from behind her.

Unable to turn her head, Jun could only stare at the sky until the newcomer entered her field of vision.

A female oni with a lose fitting human robe and red bowl of sake looked down on her. A rather satisfied smile on her face.

"Who are you?"

The oni took a sip out of the dish. "I am Moriko. And you and I are going to make a deal."


From her scrying bowl, Tsubaki witnessed the scene unfold between the two demons.

The dark priestess could only smile.

"All according to plan."

Chapter End Notes:
Kind of a breezy ending admittedly but I was eager for this part of the arc to be over.
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