Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

A Single Strand - Chapter 12 - Gaining Better Footing

The attempt at finding a better hiding spot started bright and early the next day. Sango and Miroku managed to get the internet up and running. Inu Yasha, being skeptical of modern technology and claiming it as evil (“Why do you think Youkaibo uses it?), took off on foot to explore the area. Kagome was left with nothing to do, so she wandered around, checking on things

By the end of the day, Sango and Miroku had picked out several locations that might work. Inu Yasha came back just before nightfall, tired, but satisfied. He mentioned a place that might take a little while to get too, but it fit the description.

It was a combination of a plain and a valley. It was large enough to fit two armies, according to Inu Yasha’s guess. Sango showed him a couple pictures on the internet, and he was able to pick it out. Sango and Miroku had also been looking at that one as a possibility.

They took the matter up with Kagome, and she agreed easily. Not long after that, she called all of the demons and the hanyou that she knew to a little meeting.

Kagura shoot Shiori several dirty looks, which the young hanyou pointedly ignored. Sesshomaru stood by passively, watching everyone carefully. Rin sat by Sesshomaru, leaning against his leg. Kouga sat at Kagome’s feet, watching and waiting incase any of the demons wished to result to foul play. Inu Yasha was at her other side, standing with a hand on the hilt of his katana. Shippou was with Sango and Miroku, who knew the plan and decided to stay out of the meeting. Kagome looked around at her companions.

“Well, I’m sure you all are wondering why I called you here,” Kagome started, hesitantly.

The demons shrugged. There could only be one reason, they were going to move out.

“Ok, well, the forest doesn’t hide all of you too well, so I thought we’d move to a different location. There’s a nice little valley a good ways away, and I thought it would be a good place for us to hold our ground.”

“If you think it is a good place, I believe we should go there,” Sesshomaru stated quietly. Rin nodded her head frantically in agreement with her demon. “Me too! Me too!”

Kagura shrugged. One place was as good as any other as far as she was concerned.

“That’s all fine and good, but what about us? Some of us are seriously wounded. We need a couple more days to recover,” Shiori asked. Her hanyou companion nodded.

“You can have it,” Kagome decided quickly. “Naraku’s troops shouldn’t be here for at least another week, maybe two. The injured will have enough time to recover by then, and they can hurry and catch up to us. We are talking about demons, and hanyou heal faster than humans, right?”

“You know your stuff. We will be able to catch up within the week. I ask for a three day wait, just to make sure.”

“Ok. Well, Kagura, do you think you can inform all of the demons you brought about the plan? Get them ready to leave in the morning.”

“I think we’d attract way too much attention traveling in broad daylight. There are a few too many of us to sneak around,” Kagura replied.

“We will start in the morning. Only until the end of the forest, then we can wait there until nightfall. We can keep going. Inu Yasha, how long would you say it would take?”

“I got there pretty quickly, it only took me a couple hours. But, with a large group, we don’t want any stragglers, so we need to stick together. Moving at a human’s pace, I’d say it would take a day. But, we’d be traveling by night, so…probably three days. Course that mountain’s a bitch to climb, that might add a night or two.”

“Five night’s then. Think we can do it?”

“Most of us can,” Kagura stated almost proudly.

“In three day’s time, we will be able too,” Shiori spoke for the hanyou. Again, her companion just nodded.

“Ok, get everyone packed up and ready. Sesshomaru, if you could help Kagura…”

“I don’t need any help. I can take care of it faster on my own,” the Wind sorceress snapped.

“Suit yourself,” Sesshomaru replied coldly.

“Behave,” Kagome warned.

Kagura snorted lightly. “I’m off then.” She headed off into the forest.

“You’re starting to become a leader now, Kagome,” Sesshomaru complimented before taking off with Rin.

“Shiori,” Kagome started quietly. The hanyou was preparing to leave as well, but stopped at Kagome’s small request.

“Um…do you think you can get the hanyou that weren’t hurt ready for tomorrow? Leave a few here, incase there’s an attack, but…”

“It won’t be a problem. Shall I accompany you or stay here?”

“Whatever you want to do. I can send someone back here to lead you to the area.”

“I would like to come, but…”

“But what?”

“Jinenji was hurt. I’d like to stay with him.”

“Jinenji?”

“My companion. We were cellmates, so we have suffered much together. Jinenji is too much of a softie, see?”

“Jinenji,” Kagome confirmed, looking closely at the large hanyou. Kagome realized the large cut on his arm.

“Kagome,” Jinenji replied quietly, bowing slightly.

“Ok, well then, I will see you around. Good luck.”

“Yes. Good night, Kagome,” Shiori waved as she turned and walked side by side with Jinenji into the forest.

“What about me, Kagome?” Kouga asked eagerly.

“What do you mean?”

“What can I do?”

“Scout. I’ve seen you Kouga. You’re really fast, so you should have no problem keeping lookout for obstacles.”

“I can go back after I know where it is, too, if you want.”

“Why so eager, wolf? Trying to get Kagome to like you more?”

“I want to help Kagome, mutt!” Kouga shouted, standing.

“Boys, knock it off,” Kagome put herself between them. “Kouga, I’d be very grateful to you if you would do that. You don’t seem to mind the hanyou too much.”

“Just me. Course, you must not think I matter,” Inu Yasha muttered.

“Enough of that,” Kagome snapped back.

“I know how they must feel. Being out casts, considered abominations, like Kagura said. Treated like their scum just because their blood is a little different. Youkaibo did the same to me.” Finished with the statement, Kouga headed for the woods as well.

“Hm. You can’t really judge people, can you?” Inu Yasha mused.

“No, you can’t. So, be a little nicer.”

“Fine, fine.”

“You said that last time.”

“Yeah, and I was until he started sucking up to you.”

“He wasn’t sucking up, he was trying to be helpful.”

“Sure, take his side.”

“Inu Yasha, if you’re going to be so immature about this, you can sleep alone tonight. I owe Shippou some attention.”

“Kagome!”

“Fine. I’m sorry and I’ll treat that wolf better. Happy now?”

“Yes, but I still owe Shippou some time. We’ll all sleep together, just like old times.”

“Bleah,” Inu Yasha stuck out his tongue.

“Did you say something?”

“Not a thing!”

“Good boy. Now, let’s go get ready. We have a big day ahead of us.”

……………

The next day, Kagome’s group of demons, hanyou, and a handful of humans set out. Shiori and Jinenji showed them off. They made it to the edge of the forest by the time it started getting hot, and they stopped there. Kagome started practicing with her weapon of choice, and by the end of the day, was able to hit the target most of the time.

They continued on at sunset, carrying on throughout the cool night. They continued that way for three days, until they got to a large mountain. Kouga went back for the hanyou.

The next night, they skirted around, looking for a lower rise, and finally found an entrance at a little stream. They gathered in the center of the large plain like area, ready for an attack on any side. A few days later, they were joined by the rest of the hanyou.

Kagome set lookouts on the points of the mountains. She didn’t expect any encounters for a while.

Two weeks after they had arrived, the sky grew dark and it rained ash upon them. One of the scouts abandoned his post to inform them that there was a large fire in the area that they had abandoned. Sango swore, upset at the loss of her house. The sentry returned to his post.

Later that week, they received the information that Youkaibo’s army was approaching. The most distressing news followed. Kikyou was at the front of the army.

……………

……………