- Text Size +

50 Years Too Early

Chapter 7: Regroup

Kagome collapsed on her bed, the mattress folding around her body. She took in the sweet smell of her shampoo that washed over her pillow. Buyo leaped up and snuggled next to her with a flat purr. Kagome stroked the stout cat, her fingers taking in every bit of fur and skin. Her other hand felt around her bed for the remote on her dresser. A click of the power button brought reality TV booming into her room. Kagome buried her face in the pink pillow, ignoring MTV's latest Teen Mom confessional. She took another deep breath. Laying in her bed, waiting for her mother to call her down for dinner, the TV in the background, it all made it seem as if she never left. It was as if she had just woken up from a strange dream. Maybe that was all her trip down the well had been. On the way down, she must have hit her head and only came to when Grandpa and Sota came looking for her.

But the sensations she felt had all been so real. She remembered the lash from that Yura girl's attack and the feeling of those hairs slowly strangling her. Kagome shivered at the thought and passed her hand over her throat to make sure no hair remained. Last she checked dreams and hallucinations weren't that vivid, not the mention the fact that Sota and Gramps found her in Kikyo's spare robes. Kagome sighed. Ok, maybe it hadn't been a dream. So what else could it have been? There's no way she could have been in that strange feudal Japan with demons, sacred jewels and body doubles….right? At the thought of her twin, Kagome remembered the look on Kikyo's face when she mentioned her duties had taken a toll on her and when she tried on the rouge Inuyasha gave her. To Kagome she seemed so sad but beautiful in a weird way. She had wanted to help her somehow but what could she really do for her? Kikyo could already vanquish a huge demon with a single arrow. What kind of help could a normal girl like her give a priestess? Kagome groaned and sat up. There was no use in obsessing about it.

She clapped her hands together like she closed a book. "Chapter closed," she announced to no one. "As far as I'm concerned it was just a fairy tale."

"Kagome," Chihiro called. "Dinner's ready!"

"Coming!" Kagome sprang up from her bed, the scent of her mom's cooking almost allowing her to float downstairs to the living room. Already her mouth watered at the sight of the boiling bowl filled with potatoes, beef and vegetables. Her first full meal in how many days! She had no idea how Kikyo and Kaede could survive on a single bowl of rice and three fish each day.

"Real food! Real food! Real food!" she chanted.

"You don't need to worry about the well anymore Kagome," she vaguely heard Gramps say. "I've covered the well with the sacred sutras passed down our family's line for generations! No demon or specter shall enter our home. And if they do, I shall protect you with my last breath!"

Kagome grabbed her chopsticks and filled her bowl with beef and rice. "Sorry Gramps, were you saying something?"

Sota sighed. "I don't think she heard you Gramps."

Kagome only shrugged when Gramps went off about this current generation. If there was any doubt she was truly back….

She filled her mouth with her mom's cooking and nearly swooned.

"What a marvelous time to be alive!" she breathed.

She was about to go for more when a pair of footsteps caught her ear. The living room door slid open with a slam, revealing an all too familiar figure decked in red. Kagome's eyes met his scrunched up face and ever-present frown. Her family stared blankly at their unwelcomed guest unsure what to do. Kagome could only gape. There's no way he could be here.



Yura lay on her bed of skulls with a huff. The full moon basked her lair in an annoying sliver light that left her exposed. From its position it was an hour before midnight and the priestess had yet to arrive. Her hairs covered most of the forest and some of the village and since she had taken the youngest sister, she felt no vibrations. She had been sure the priestess would ride to the rescue. But then there was no reason to worry, as long as she had the priestess's precious sister, Kikyo would arrive soon enough. She stroked her precious red skull with a sneer as the image of killing Kikyo crossed her mind. She would be infamous among the demon world and feared in the human world. With the power of the Shikon jewel, she would be unmatched. Her conquest of the western lands would be absolute and then she would move on to the lands in the north. It wouldn't be long now.

A pluck on one of her hairs brought Yura out of her daydream. The vibration rippled down its line until it reached her ring finger. The hairs attached to her index, middle and thumbs vibrated as well. The vibrations were out of sync and moved in different patterns and rhythms, indicating more than one person. Yura scoffed. She had hoped for the priestess but a little warm-up couldn't hurt.

Yura pulled on her hairs sending her swinging upwards through the trees and towards her prey. The closer she got, the stronger and more frequent the vibrations became. The intruders had heavy steps and walked without any grace. They were no doubt humans. And from the lack of reaction from her hairs, they had no spiritual power either. Yura huffed, normal human prey were no fun. The demon settled on a high branch that overlooked a moderate clearing. From the vibrations she felt, her prey would be approaching any minute. Now came one her favorite parts of the hunt, figuring out how to slaughter them best. Yura leaned against the tree trunk, weighing her options. She didn't want to use too much of her energy, not with Kikyo arriving soon. But some of her more fun techniques required more energy. Then again it was only some humans. She wouldn't have to take it too seriously regardless.

As Yura mused, she heard the bushes part below and the chatting of the prey. There were only 15 of them. Bandits based on the cheap and damaged brown armor they all wore. Yura had to resist the urge to laugh outright at their pathetic formation and quivering feet. The fear already present in most of them. Their leader however, walked with no fear present in his steps. He wore a full suit of armor with a mask over his face. Still the spider symbol on the back of his armor was difficult to miss.

"Come on you cowards!" he shouted over his shoulder, his voice the slimmest she's heard from a human. "The village can't be far."

"Chief," a foot soldier whined. "I've….heard stories about this place….it's supposed to filled with demons….And that priestess is said to show no mercy to any seekers of the jewel."

"Bah!" the chief scoffed, cuffing the frightened over his head. "I will not have my chance at ultimate power blocked by a mere woman! Her spiritual powers have no effect on humans. She'll be no match for us!"

If they were after the jewel, they were more foolish than Yura thought. The Sacred Jewel was hers and no one was going to steal it from her. The demon pulled out her crimson comb from her bosom and loudly cleared her throat.

"I'm so sorry boys….but I'm afraid there's been a little mix-up," she said announcing her presence.

"Who are you, witch!" the chief exclaimed drawing his sword. Yura barely contained a laugh when the chief's men pointed their arrows at her. Save for the chief, all of them were close to pissing themselves.

Yura twirled her comb. "You needn't bother to remember. You'll all be dead."

"Enough of this nonsense!" the chief said. "Men attack!"

Before any of them could take a step, the demon swung her comb as if it were sword, creating four jets of flame. The fire ran down the wires of hair surrounding the bandits and within seconds, the clearing lit up like a bonfire. Yura stood over the conflagration taking in their screams of agony. She watched as the skin and bones slowly gave way to the flames until they were nothing but ash feeding her flames. The demon smirked at the thought of what that little sweep could do when enhanced with the power of the Sacred Jewel. It would certainly make hunts like this one more akin to swatting flies.

"Y-y-y-y-you….witch…." she heard.

The bandit's chief, his armor and most of his skin long burned, attempted to rise. But his efforts only resulted in more pain. Yura huffed; some insects just didn't know when to die. She had half a mind to finish him but using more energy on such weakling was a waste of time. The bandit would be dead soon regardless. She pulled on her hairs again and swung back to lair to await her true prey.

All the while, she listened to the bandit's struggle to move.


Inuyasha could already tell he hated this world. The moment he stepped out of the well, his nose was raided by these strange smells. The smoke he picked up on had this stinging bitter scent that was all over. To make matters worse there was a faint but prominent smell of metal within every scent. It was as if a thousand swords had been melted into the air itself. But even through the chaotic scents, Inuyasha could still single out the dumb girl's scent. It was the usual weird scent of cherries and sweat. She wasn't too far away. The half-demon cleared the well house in a single bound and moved towards the white house, far larger than any hut he'd ever seen.

Another leap through an open window brought him into the house. Already he could hear the dumb girl with three others, a woman, a kid and an old man enjoying a hearty dinner. A growl vibrated against his throat. Kikyo was injured, Kaede captured and here she was, stuffing her face! He slid the door open, almost making it fly off its path and glared at the scene before him.

Kagome gaped at him, her eyes growing wider than usual. He heard her heart skip a beat in surprise.


"Idiot!" he barked. "Who said you could go home!"

"B-But how did you-?"

"Through the well of course!" this girl was stupider than he thought. How else could he have gotten here?

"You lie!" the old man said. "I made those sprit wards myself, there's no way you could have-."

Inuyasha didn't need any spiritual sense to know this old guy had none whatsoever. "Hate to break it to ya old man, but they don't work."


While the old guy cried out in despair, Inuyasha grabbed the object of this little visit. "Come on, you're going back."

"No!" Kagome said as she struggled against him. She was no match for his strength of course but it was still annoying. "And you can't make me! Why should I go back to that crazy world?"

"Because some crazy demon-bitch took Kaede, that's why!"

Her struggling almost instantly stopped. "What? What do you mean? What happened? Is Kikyo all right? What demon are you talking about?" she managed to say in one breath.

"Some bitch who calls herself Yura of the Hair took the kid and wants the jewel in exchange. Kikyo sent me to get you cuz she thinks you'll be useful. Keh, she has more faith in you that I do."

"What about Kikyo is she ok?"

"She can still fight if that's what you're worried about." It would take far more than a few cuts to bring Kikyo down. Inuyasha knew that for a fact.

"That's not it-!"

"Kagome…what in the world is going on?" the old man asked.

"What's a…Yura?" the kid asked.

"Are you kids talking about some TV show?"

Kagome jerked back to her family and turned a faint shade of red. She grabbed his arm and shuffled him into the hallway. "We'll be right back ok?" She slid the door closed behind them.

"Come on!" Inuyasha said, grabbing her arm again. "We're wasting time."

Kagome pulled away. "Look, I appreciate Kikyo's faith in me, but what can I do against a demon that she can't? She's a trained priestess for crying out loud! I'm…just a schoolgirl! I don't have any special powers. What does she expect me to do against a demon? Throw my tiara at it or something? I can't-.,,,"

"Shut up!" Inuyasha shouted. If he had to hear her whining for another second he was going to claw out his ears. "I don't give a damn what you think you can't do! This ain't even about you; it's about saving the kid! Are you really just gonna let that Yura-bitch have her way because you're too scared to do anything about it?"

She looked down and shifted her legs. It had to be only for a minute but it seemed longer than that. She was completely still, save for the quivering in her lips. Inuyasha groaned this was waste of time after all. He whirled around calling her a lost cause. He didn't need her. He could take on that Yura-bitch himself. He was halfway down the hall when she called out him. When she looked up at him again, Inuyasha saw the same fire in her eyes he saw in Kikyo when she was faced with another seeker of the sacred jewel.

"Let's go," she said simply.

Inuyasha looked at her up and down. From her eyes alone, she had the will to fight. But he knew first-hand that Yura wouldn't take it easy on her. No doubt, Yura would target her, the weakest of the three of them, first. If she got cut down, all this crap would be for nothing. Inuyasha pulled on his robes, shedding the torso portion of his fire-rat kimono. He tossed it to her before heading for the well house.

"Put that that on," he said over his shoulder. "It should give you some protection."

She offered him a small smile. "Thank you…"

"Yeah well if you weren't so weak you wouldn't even need it."

Kagome narrowed her eyes at him. "You really know how to charm a girl don't you, dog boy."

"Yeah, yeah. Let's go, Kikyo's waiting."


Pain shot up and down Kikyo's leg as she climbed off the mare. Despite the large quantities of herbs she had applied to her wounds, the pain and some blood still cracked through the bandages. If she hadn't, she imagined the pain would have been far worse and movement would have been impossible. Her current predicament was still less than ideal for a battle however. She had applied the bandages hastily and with only one fully capable arm, the process took far longer than it should have. The members of the village were still unconscious from Yura's control. Kikyo surmised that they would only awaken if Yura was defeated. With her current strength, or lack thereof, such a requirement seemed rather arduous.

Kikyo approached the well, using her bow as her crutch. Putting any weight on her right leg made her body scream. She had thought about putting her injured arm in a sling, but that would only hinder her archery. Her only option was to fight the growing pain as much as she would fight Yura. She managed to sit with her back to the well to observe her surroundings. Almost the entire forest was covered in Yura's hairs, making tracking her difficult. Every bit of Yura's demonic energy was in the strands. Kikyo was sure a main strand existed but too many of the hairs overlapped. The hairs also made any direct assault impossible. Any vibrations on the wires would alert Yura of her presence. Kikyo looked over the thick web of hairs for a time, straining her eyes to find some blind spot in them. As the priestess began to look upwards, a plan began to form.

"Aw man…I can never get used to all these bones," Kikyo heard in the well.

"Would you quit your whining, we have a job to do damn it!"

Within moments Inuyasha leaped out of the well with Kagome in tow. Kikyo raised her eyebrow at the fire-rat robes draped over Kagome, but it was a detail not worth exploring at the moment.

"Kagome, I'm glad you are unharmed," she greeted. "Thank you for coming back."

"No problem, although I wouldn't mind if my escort was a little more gentle," Kagome replied glaring at Inuyasha.

The half-demon just scoffed. "Do I look like a damn servant boy to you?"

Kikyo sighed. It looked as though getting over their objections would take more time than she anticipated. Time they didn't have. But before she could say anything, Kagome rushed to her side.

"But forget about me, Kikyo are you all right?" Kagome looked over her bandages and began to retie and readjust them with an expertise, Kikyo had not seen from her prior.

"There's no reason to worry," she said. "I've taken the necessary precautions against infection."

"Yeah, but you're going to need stronger bandages if we're going after Yura," Kagome replied, tying her bandages even tighter than Kikyo had. "These will tear with too much stress."

Inuyasha scoffed. "And just what the hell do you know about medicine?"

"Duh, my mom's a nurse," Kagome said. "You tend to pick up on a few things."

When Kagome finished, Kikyo found her bleeding had stopped completely. The bandages were far tighter than they were before, which cut down on the feeling she had in her shoulder and leg. But at the very least she didn't have to worry about them tearing over the course of the battle.

Kikyo attempted to stand but her injured knee still turned against her. Kagome offered her hand. Usually she was not one to take assistance from others in her injured state, but perhaps she could make an exception in this one instance. With Kagome's help she was able to stand and use her bow to keep her up.

"Now that that's settled, we can find that Yura-bitch and take her down," Inuyasha said cracking his claws.

"Calm yourself, Inuyasha. We mustn't approach too hastily. The entire forest is covered in Yura's hairs. If we trip any of them, she will know we have taken moves against her."

"So what the hell are we supposed to do? It's almost midnight and she said she'd kill the kid if you don't show up."

Despite everything, his show of concern was amusing. As before, Kikyo could feel the warmth in her chest, only this time it seemed slightly stronger. "Inuyasha, I was not aware Kaede's safety meant so much to you."

The half-demon flinched and reeled back like a child being caught in a forbidden act. He stammered a bit before scoffing and looking away. "Keh, it doesn't. I….just don't want that Yura-bitch thinking she can run her damn hairs all over my territory is all."

Kikyo could feel herself smiling. A small one, but one of the few she had been blessed with for a while. "Of course."

"Not much of a liar is he?" Kagome muttered to her.

Inuyasha growled at her. "I heard that you know."

"Our first priority," Kikyo interrupted before the two of them went off again. "Is locating Yura. These overlapping hairs make it difficult to sense her demonic aura. Kagome, I will require your assistance."

"What do you need me to do?"

"There should be some kind of main strand that connects directly to Yura. It should be a strand that allows her to project her demonic aura to the rest of her hairs."

Kagome looked around, her eyes move between every strand before letting out a frustrated groan. "There's too many. How am I supposed to find a single one?"

"Concentrate," Kikyo said simply, reiterating the same advice her teachers would give her. "Look with both your eyes and your spiritual sense."

Kagome took a breath and squinted. Kikyo could feel her twin's spiritual aura rise. It felt like the first jet of water of a broken dam. In only a few minutes Kagome let out triumphant cry.

"I got it!" she announced. "It's right there!" She pointed down the eastern pathway. Kikyo followed her fingers and noticed a strand of hair filled with more demonic energy than the others. It was hidden by countless strands crisscrossing each other forming almost a wall that initially blocked Kikyo's sense. The fact that Kagome could see through it was a good indicator.

"Well what are we waiting for, let's go!" Inuyasha exclaimed. His energy and eagerness was welcome but they still needed a proper strategy.

"Inuyasha, a moment," she said, halting him. "Can you smell Kaede's scent down that path?"

He took three strong sniffs of the air. "Barely. I'm getting mostly Yura's."

Kikyo nodded, she had expected as much. "I'll take the mare and go down this path. Inuyasha, Kagome I want the two you to take the path that runs parallel to this one. Inuyasha, be sure to stay high in the trees, where the hair is thinnest. Kagome, be sure to inform him of any hairs he is approaching."

Inuyasha raised his eyebrow. "What for? We know where she is, what do we need to split up for?"

"Yura is expecting me to deliver the sacred jewel to her in exchange for Kaede. If I approach with the two of you in plain sight, she will no doubt know that I have no intention of following her demands…."

"And she'll kill Kaede before we even get there," Kagome finished.

"Exactly," Kikyo nodded.

"Ok…" Inuyasha groaned, the realization hitting him. "But why can't I trail behind you?"

"The path Kagome pointed out leads to a small valley. It's a wide open area, with plenty of room to maneuver, which is in Yura's favor. The path I've pointed you down, will take you and Kagome to cliffs that flank the valley."

Kagome's eyes lit up. "I get it. You draw Yura's attention by making your presence known and make her think you're doing the deal, while Inuyasha sneaks up behind her and takes her out."

"Yes. It would appear Yura does not have an affinity for close combat, something Inuyasha excels in. But while Inuyasha and I are engaging Yura, Kagome it will be your job to locate Kaede and get her to safety."

"Got it."

Kikyo approached the mare and with great difficulty managed to climb onto the saddle. From the corner of her eye she saw Inuyasha inch forward but ultimately stayed where he was. Kagome hopped and his back, much to his obvious annoyance, and turned towards his path.

"Kikyo," he called out over his shoulder.


He stood there frozen for a few moments. His mouth opened and closed several times before he just shook his head.

"Just don't do anything stupid."

"Same for you."

Their eyes met for a brief moment before Inuyasha huffed and bounded into the trees. He was a strange one without a doubt. But in her world of meeting expectations, rigid schedules, and strict training regimens, a little strangeness was always welcome. She took several breaths to regain her calm, focused center. The warmth she felt her in chest slowly died down, giving way to her priestess training. She ordered the mare forward but noticed that it was getting harder and harder for her to fully diminish that warmth. Inuyasha's golden eyes were becoming a constant presence in her mind's eye.

Not that she minded.

But for now she needed to be focused. Kaede was depending on her.

Their counterattack started now.

You must login (register) to review.