Second Alliance – Chapter 8

Back to Chapter 7: Powerful Revelation

Chapter 8: The Priestess of the Demon

“Eiichi-san! Eiji-san! Rin is so happy!” Shippo worried that Rin was going to yank his arm right out of the socket, she was pulling so hard. He was eager to see Kagome and Sesshomaru too, but he wished the girl would let him get there on his own. Inuyasha had managed to pull away somewhere on the second staircase, and he followed behind, but Shippo was still firmly in her grasp. She laughed and waved at the two rock demons that stood in front of the screens to her Lord’s rooms. They were both pale and looked shaken. Eiji – at least, Shippo was pretty sure it was Eiji – was bent at the waist, hands on his knees. Eiichi leaned back against the wall, breathing heavily. Rin skidded to a stop in front of them and beamed. “Open up for Rin!”

“That might not be a good idea, Rin-yojosan,” Eiichi frowned and straightened away from the wall.

“There was a…disturbance,” Eiji finished, also standing and checking over his brother carefully for injuries.

“No kidding?” Shippo muttered. Eiichi shot him a disapproving glare, but Rin continued as though nothing had happened. Shippo felt around carefully with his youki. Kagome and Sesshomaru were definitely still in there, with a whole lot of spent power. They seemed okay though.

“Rin knows, wasn’t it wonderful?” She smiled brightly and hugged Shippo against her. Shippo wanted to roll his eyes. He was happy too, but he didn’t know why girls had to touch – all the time. It was embarrassing. The twins exchanged glances that clearly stated they thought Rin might be crazy.

“Keh. Of course it wasn’t for them, kid. They were right next to that ruckus. Even if it didn’t hurt, it had to be shocking as all hell.” Inuyasha strolled up behind them, and the twins snapped to attention. Shippo realized that they hadn’t sensed his presence. Inuyasha could be stealthy when he wanted, but the guards must have been pretty distracted to not smell him in the empty hallway. Shippo frowned. How much stronger was the purification up here? “She fry you a bit too?”

“This is the family’s quarters, no one is allowed here,” Eiichi threatened. “Who are you?”

“Ain’t you got a nose, stupid?” Inuyasha snorted derisively, “Or you castle boys spend so much time indoors you can’t scent out a bloodline?” Eiji sniffed discretely, and promptly sneezed, shaking his mohawk.

“Inuyasha-san is Sesshomaru-sama’s brother!” Rin finally let go of the kitsune to grab Inuyasha’s hand and pull him forward. Shippo took the opportunity to step out of arm’s reach and try to sneak past the guards.

Eiji answered the hanyou more diplomatically, “The holy power was more unexpected than painful. It was the youki that stunned us.” He paused for a moment, considering the newcomer. “It seems to have stifled our senses, temporarily.”

“But I think they are coming back,” Eiichi completed his brother’s thought and snagged the kitsune by the scruff. Shippo grimaced, then smiled as innocently as possible from his position, dangling from an irritated demon’s hand.

“Rin wants to see Sesshomaru-sama!” Shippo was grateful for the girl’s redirection, but the rock demon did not let him go. He crossed his arms and huffed. You fool a youkai’s senses with one little illusion, and they get all peevy. “Let’s go see Kagome-san together and tell her how well it worked! Don’t you want to thank her?” Rin asked them.

The guards shared a confused look, and Inuyasha rudely pointed out, “She healed you, idiots. She healed everybody in the whole fuckin’ place.”

“That is not a nice word, Inuyasha-san,” Rin reprimanded with a frown. Shippo was shocked to see the hanyou blush. Inuyasha never did that when anyone else told him to watch his mouth, not even Kagome. Of course, she usually followed it with a ‘sit’, but still… “Open the doors, please.”

“Perhaps we should wait-” Eiji said.

“For Kento-san,” Eiichi finished.

Shippo could see Rin was ready to get upset, but Inuyasha interceded. “If you’re worried they fried each other, or that they’ll blast whoever goes in, I’ll go. It’s not like I ain’t fought with either of them before.”

“This is…” Eiji paused, uncertain.

“You wouldn’t stand a chance,” Eiichi concluded. Inuyasha opened his mouth to argue, eyes blazing with stubbornness, but Rin beat him to it.

“Rin will go,” she announced. “Rin is human and can’t be purified, and Sesshomaru-sama would never hurt Rin.” Shippo wanted to go too, but at least if they let Rin in, the demon would set him down and they could finally find out about Kagome and Sesshomaru.

“If he’s sick, you don’t know that bastard won’t-” Inuyasha began. The little human girl rounded on him, one finger extended in warning.

“Do not call This One’s honored father such things.” Shippo’s mouth fell open at her perfect parody of the daiyoukai. Inuyasha must have been similarly stunned, because his eyes went wide and he actually backed up a step. Rin’s voice softened and she placed a small hand on the sleeve of the fire rat, “But it is sweet of you to worry about Rin, Inuyasha-san.”

She turned back to the guards and gave them a sugary smile. “Please open up, Eiji-san, Eiichi-san.” Wordlessly, the guards slid back the doors just enough for the child to slip through, then closed them behind her. Shippo stared at their shocked faces and felt a shiver run down his spine. Girls are scary.


“Sesshomaru-sama?” The soft, high voice slipped through the deep sleep that had claimed him and the daiyoukai opened his eyes. The miko was still curled against him, and he breathed in her scent, searching out the source of his wakefulness at the same time. Rin. He turned his head fractionally, careful not to disturb the female using him for a pillow, and looked to the anteroom.

Rin stood, poised to move towards him, frozen between the open screens of his sleeping chamber. She had a healthy glow to her face and her hair was slightly disarrayed, as if she had been running and playing. He felt a deep satisfaction that his ward, his daughter, was well. Because of the miko. Kagome.

“Hn.” The single syllable caused her face to split with a grin that made his heart lighter and his own lips nearly twitched in response. She clapped her hands and gave a little squeal, racing towards the futon, and the miko twitched in her sleep, making an uncomfortable moaning sound. Sesshomaru frowned at the girl and used his eyes to gesture at the priestess beside him. Rin stilled immediately, managing to look both chastised and overjoyed at the same time. She leaned over carefully to study the sleeping face of the miko and then caught Sesshomaru’s gaze.

“Sorry, Sesshomaru-sama,” she whispered. Rin had been with inuyoukai for several years. She had a respectable, quiet whisper. She crept closer, making almost no sound, and peered into Sesshomaru’s face. He allowed her inspection. He could smell the happiness and anxiety in her, the lingering fear. “Rin was so worried when she saw how ill you were.”

Sesshomaru held back a frown. He did not know who had made such an error in judgment to let the child near his sickbed, but they would be dealt with. She should not have been re-exposed to the disease, and certainly his time of minor inconvenience was not a thing for one who looked up to him to see. He corrected himself almost immediately, reminded of his long-standing habit of truthfulness, even to himself. The pox had been considerably more than a mere inconvenience. And many of those under his responsibility still suffered.

He glanced down at the miko. She had more than proved her worth, but as soon as she recovered, she would have to return to treating the others at the castle. He shifted to extract himself from the futon, despite the call of sleep and his protesting body, until Rin stopped him with a small hand on his shoulder.

“You must not wake Kagome-san, Sesshomaru-sama. She worked so hard to save you,” she paused, eyes downcast, “and after Rin was so mean to her. Rin said some not very nice things to Kagome-san. Rin is ashamed.” She glanced up and Sesshomaru raised a brow, inviting her to continue. “Rin told Kagome-san that she should use her miko power to heal you,” she whispered, pale with shame. “Kagome-san tried to tell Rin it was dangerous, but Rin would not listen. Then Kagome-san did it anyway! Rin was a bad girl, but Kagome-san is very good! Her miko power saved Sesshomaru-sama. It saved everyone!”

Sesshomaru frowned and listened with growing astonishment to the girl’s retelling of his healing, of the clearing of the castle and the many hours the miko worked to save him. To save a demon. Him. Then his cool mask slipped and his eyes widened when she described the eradication of the disease in the entire castle, or at least the upper bailey that she knew of, and finally told of how Inuyasha had arrived, and he and Shippo waited outside with the guards.

So… The miko had saved him. She had managed to use reiki, the opposite of youki, to cure not only him, but all, or at least most, of his people. He stared down at her head in wonder. Perhaps she was not almost his equal in power. Perhaps… He shook his head faintly. Those were thoughts for another day. He extended one arm and placed a hand lightly on Rin’s head. However crudely she had done it, his daughter had convinced the miko to move past her fear and risk much – to gain everything. He was grateful.

“You should rest, Sesshomaru-sama. And Kagome-san, too; she worked so hard!”

“Hn,” he agreed. He slid his hand down her hair and cupped her cheek in a rare display of affection. Tears sparkled in her eyes, stinging his nose with salt, but he could also smell the bright melon of her happiness. “Apologize later,” he ordered, and she nodded solemnly. “Well done, my daughter.” Her face almost split in two with her grin and she hugged Sesshomaru’s arm tightly. He gently extracted his limb and waved her away, sleep tugging at him even more insistently than all of the information she had given him to think about.

“Make sure Kagome-san sleeps really well, Sesshomaru-sama,” Rin reminded him. His mouth twitched in a tired smile at her serious attitude. “I will have food brought and left in the anteroom when you are ready, but sleep first. No one will disturb you.” She grasped each of the shoji screens and slid them together. Just before they closed, she whispered one last thing, for his ears alone, “I love you, Papa.”

Sesshomaru stared at the ceiling and analyzed the strange, expanding feeling in his torso. His lungs and heart felt over-full, but not painful. Light and filled with… He closed his eyes and lightly stroked the miko’s hair, stirring up a small cloud of her scent. It was a good feeling. He would let it be for now, there was no need for further examination. His palm drifted over the woman’s shoulder, across her ribs and the dip of her waist, to settle on her hip. He let out a breath and relaxed back into sleep. A very good feeling.


Something smelled delicious. Kagome’s stomach rumbled but she did her best to ignore it and snuggled deeper into bed. There was creamed rice and fish. Her mouth watered, but she stubbornly refused to open her eyes. The bed was so warm, and she felt so good, she didn’t want to move. Her nose and belly were plotting against her. Soup, vegetables, and…cloves. Cloves? Kagome blinked in confusion, staring at pale dips and valleys. Her eyes followed a slash of dark magenta, and she looked up – only to come face-to-face with Sesshomaru. She squeaked, flailed, and nearly fell off of the raised futon.

“What- you- Sesshomaru,” she finished in a whisper. She knew her face must be red, and her cheeks were only getting hotter as she realized that he was naked. Her leg twitched where it had escaped the parted opening of her robe…and rubbed against hard muscle. Completely naked, hard muscle. She pushed herself away, and then realized her palm was directly over his nipple. Kagome snatched back her hand and squeaked again. Sesshomaru was staring at her. She closed her eyes in mortification. Please, please, just part the earth now and take me to hell. It would be a huge favor to me. Unfortunately, her closed lids turned out to be the perfect backdrop to replay everything she had seen in the five seconds she had been awake. Sculpted muscle. Purple-red markings that angled exactly where she shouldn’t be looking. Slitted, golden eyes. Smooth, perfect skin that just made her want to-

Kagome’s eyes snapped open and she sat up. Smooth, perfect skin. Her embarrassment completely forgotten, she ran her hands across his chest and shoulders. Her fingers skimmed his collarbones and she seized the hand that lay on his stomach to examine the unblemished skin and deadly claws. Still gripping his hand with growing excitement, she turned back to his face. She traced his jaw and markings, brushing back his bangs to see his crescent, completely free of the pox. She bit her lip in anticipation and dragged her thumb across his lower lip, demanding entry. His mouth fell open slightly, and she didn’t even hesitate, unconcerned with why the cold daiyoukai was allowing such intimacies with his person. His mouth was exactly what she hadn’t dared to hope. Pink, healthy tissue on his cheeks and throat. A strong red tongue free of lesions. And, of course, sharp, deadly white fangs.

“Perfect,” she breathed. She caught his gaze and smiled, and then was struck with the realization that she had just mauled the Killing Perfection. The naked Killing Perfection. She had, quite literally, felt up the Lord of the West and even rubbed his lips and… Her face burned and she opened her mouth, unable to say anything.

“Of course.” She blinked. What did he say? “I would not be anything less.” Did Sesshomaru just call himself perfect? How much ego can one body hold? “You are hungry. Food has been provided.”

He did not move, so Kagome didn’t either. She remembered deciding to use her reiki, she remembered the arduous process of pushing her power through his body. She remembered the heat of his youki, its…embrace. She remembered that the disease had almost won; it had reached out to her and then – it was a blur. Her eyes raked over Sesshomaru again. She must have been successful, because he certainly didn’t look sick. And he must have been grateful, because she had practically fondled him and she was still breathing. She fought back another wave of blushes and pushed those thoughts aside. He was healthy. She had not killed him. Focus on the successes, Higurashi.

“I, ah, how do you feel?”

“Well enough.” He must have realized she wasn’t satisfied because he continued. “Good. Healthy.”

“Good. That’s good.” She nodded and smiled.

He quirked a brow. “Are you unwell, Miko?”

“No.” She frowned and tried to analyze his expression. “I’m kind of sore, and I’m really hungry. I could probably go back to sleep, though.”

“Which will it be, Miko?” She stared at him blankly and he explained, “Food, or will you continue trapping me here by sleeping on me?”

“Well- no, I-” she sputtered, struggling to get off of the bed and unwind the white fur that seemed hopelessly tangled around her. Sesshomaru sat up slowly, and Kagome managed to slam her eyes shut just in time to keep from seeing everything that had been under the bedding. “I didn’t do it on purpose, you know!” She finally got the fur to release her legs and shoulder and tossed it in his general direction. The tail end must have caught in her obi, because it snagged her around the waist and she tripped, tumbling forward. Her eyes flew open and she caught a glimpse of pale skin and white fur before she slammed into his chest. “Ooof!” He secured her with one arm and ran his hands slowly down her arms and back.

“You are not injured,” he stated. His breath was warm on her ear and Kagome felt a warm, and completely inappropriate, tingle slide down her spine.

“Nooope,” her voice sounded breathy, even to her ears, and she swallowed. “Just clumsy. And really, really hungry!” She wanted to slap herself for how idiotic she sounded. A low vibration thrummed through her chest and then he was gently standing her upright. The rest of the mokomoko released her waist and he stood, as decent as an insanely well-built demon could be in nothing but smooth muscle and a length of white fur.

“Then eat.” He leaned down, closing the distance between them, and whispered against the side of her neck. “We will speak later, when we have fed.” Something about the way he said a perfectly normal word had her breath hitching in her throat. “And we are properly dressed.”

Her eyes were wide and staring at the slope of his shoulder. She certainly agreed that conversation would be much easier, at least for her, if he was not mostly naked. One clawed hand lightly traced the collar of her kimono, and Kagome’s breath stopped. Then he tugged. Sharply. Her eyes went wide and he pulled back, letting her catch a glimpse of a lightning fast smile. Then he was gone in a trail of fur, silver hair, and smug youkai.

Kagome turned to the shoji screen, one hand clasping together her neckline where it must have been gaping indecently. She was sure he could have seen, well, a lot more than he should have. At least he hadn’t been embarrassed, she thought grumpily. She was humiliated enough for the both of them. She tucked her clothing back together as well as she could, trying to banish the waves of heat that she blamed entirely on a deserved blush. Sesshomaru was more than egotistical enough to not be bothered that others saw his naked body. He certainly doesn’t have anything to be ashamed about. Kagome groaned and tried to throw a muzzle on whatever dark and perverted part of her brain had that thought. She had been hanging out with Miroku too much.

She slid open the screen and inhaled the delightful aroma of breakfast. Happily plopping onto the cushions and piling her bowl with everything she could reach, she let out a moan of contentment. She had a dumpling in her mouth and pickles on her chopsticks when a belated thought occurred to her: Did Sesshomaru speak in the first person?


Sesshomaru set down his brush and stared at the pile of papers and scrolls he had worked though. It had been mid-morning when he woke, and he did not pause to eat once he’d entered his study, working steadily through the reports and lists of decisions and reviews he was required to make as Lord of the West. His industry was interrupted several times each hour. High ranking youkai begged entry to offer him wishes of good health. Servants and guards slowed as they walked past, waiting for a glimpse or sniff of his sudden recovery. He knew it was reassuring for them to see him, to ascertain for themselves that their Lord was strong and well and able to protect them and carry out his responsibilities. Still, it was irritating.

Even Kento was bothersome. He completed his duties with the same deferential efficiency as always, but he also…fussed. Trays of tea and food appeared as though by happy accident, and when Sesshomaru touched nothing they disappeared again, only to be replaced with more appealing or exotic fare. His ink was refilled before he could use even half of it. The cushion at his desk was replaced with one more luxurious each time he stood to replace a scroll or pace while he read. His stomach felt like a cavernous tomb, his muscles trembled as though he had run across the length of Japan, and his eyelids would have drooped long ago if not for sheer determination. He desired nothing more than to finish what was required and return to his rooms. To Kagome.

He snapped his brush and threw a poisonous glare at Kento. His secretary paused in the act of placing a new stack of work on his left. “My Lord?” he asked politely.

“I’d step back if I were you, Kento-san,” Hisao advised from the doorway. The captain slid the screen shut behind him, ignoring the fluttering anxiety of the administrator who was in charge of announcing visitors, and tossed a blast of youki over his shoulder. There was a yelp, followed by a retreating scurry, and Sesshomaru felt a vicarious wave of pleasure. There were many days when he wished he could do more than glare to send his retainers and servants running. Those were the days when he left to inspect his lands, rather than deal with the endless drone of paperwork and routine. Unfortunately, he could no more escape his duties than he could blast every youkai in the castle until they left him alone. He considered it for a moment. Perhaps… “If Sesshomaru-sama is half as ill as you are treating him, we are both in for another round of alpha-blows.”

Sesshomaru suppressed a frown at the name of a childish game where young pups tested the strength of their youki and tried to push each other out of a circle. Much as he would like to forcefully ensure his solitude at times, he had not engaged in such antics since…ever, that he could recall. “This One would not bend so low.”

“Really?” Hisao’s raised brow sent a worm of unease wriggling in the daiyoukai’s mind.

“My Lord was most…powerful in his battle against the disease,” Kento said diplomatically. Hisao guffawed, and Sesshomaru waited impatiently for explanation. It was not long in coming, and he stared in disbelief as his captain described how he had oppressed everyone within sight – except the miko – with his youki. Hisao’s voice grew somber as he spoke of how she had approached, unafraid and seemingly unaffected, and managed to soothe his beast.

“I doubted your wisdom in bringing that woman here.” Hisao lowered his head, smelling of apology and shame and something else Sesshomaru couldn’t quite place. “I was wrong. No one else could have braved your youki to get to your side. When I discovered that she was a miko, I demanded she be removed from your rooms, my Lord. Removed from the castle.” A wave of anger so strong he was sure both Kento and Hisao could smell it, despite his tight control, washed over him. He had melted the flesh from Gekien’s arm for attempting to touch what was his. Hisao thought to take her awa Both youkai dropped to their knees before their Lord, fists on their thighs and eyes downcast. “I was worried she would injure you, hurt or kill other demons. I was wrong, Sesshomaru-sama. She is your savior. Our savior.”

His anger receded and Sesshomaru considered those words. The miko had truly saved him. It was incomprehensible, and yet, strangely…expected. Right. He pieced together all that he had heard and remembered of his illness. Of her. Her power was immense, exceeded only by her capacity for compassion. And apparently, foolish behavior if she charged into a room filled with his youki without a thought. He was torn between amused exasperation and a delayed, irritating fear. He could have hurt her.

He would never have hurt her.

“The most honored guest of this House,” Sesshomaru began, then he smiled. A tiny, wicked smile, “will be most pleased to hear your apology – personally.” Hisao looked pained but resigned, Kento looked entertained by his old friend’s humiliation. The miko would be embarrassed by such a display, but it would reinforce her place. Sesshomaru found himself almost eager to make certain that her station at the castle was secured, that his people respected her.

She had Rin and Shippo, children to love and coddle. She had creatures who needed her care and healing. She had safety and comfort at the castle. If she felt respected, perhaps she would…

Sesshomaru’s eyes widened a fraction of an inch as he realized what he had been considering all day, without knowing it. He wanted her to stay. She had come to treat the ill. By all accounts she had done so – with exemplary results. Since he’d left his rooms that morning he had been turning over things to keep her occupied in the West. At the castle. With him.

He had woken with a sense of peace and languid heat coiling in his belly in a most pleasant fashion. The scent of cherry wood and magnolias was heavy in the air. Her silky hair had brushed across his skin and her body was warm against him. He hadn’t been sure if it was because he was intimately familiar with it, or because she was still aroused from the storm of reiki she released, but he had been able to sense her power. Hidden from everyone…but him. It’d thrummed inside her like a beast slumbering until it could be released. He’d reached out with his youki and tested it, and was rewarded with a tingle of response that sent gratifying ripples across his senses and tweaked his ear with gentle, teasing reproof that promised – later. For once, he did not question the source of his feelings or the nature of his attraction to the miko. He had simply enjoyed her nearness.

When she’d woken, her scent had stirred with another emotion that it took him a moment to categorize it. He had smelled it often enough on other females and been either disinterested or disgusted. Her hint of arousal was uniquely intoxicating, a warm cinnamon that seeped into his pores and had lit a slow fire in his blood. The scent had been tempered with excitement and growing wonder as she had examined him and realized he was no longer marked by illness. Her hands had traced over him in a way that only a mate should. But strangely, he was not affronted. On the contrary, he’d held himself motionless in fear that she would stop. That she would regain her usual modest sensibilities that were so at odds with her dress. She’d then taken her plump bottom lip between her teeth and Sesshomaru almost forgot right then why he had not simply taken the woman from Inuyasha the first time he had seen her and kept her for himself. Then her embarrassment had flared.

Even that was appreciated by his nose. Her emotions had flown by so quickly, his senses could barely keep up. Contentment, elation, arousal, embarrassment. He had wondered how she could feel so much…and what else she was capable of. He’d teased her, needled her, just to see her response. She did not disappoint. She’d gaped and fluttered. Blushed and gasped and frowned. He had known she needed food, perhaps even more than him and he’d wished briefly he could have taken the time to hunt down a stag, or a boar, or both. His mokomoko had slid along her skin and he was entranced by the dual sensation of her skin on his fur and sweet, spicy cinnamon in his nose. He had forced himself to leave her, to bathe and clear his head and let her deal with the pressing needs of a fragile human body. He could not resist one final push, satisfied with an action that had both concealed what his eyes sought out from any others and sent a spike of peppery irritation through her.

Such thoughts had been in the back of his mind all day. As he managed the Western Lands he puzzled over what to do with her. He wanted her. He was honest with himself, always, and that was an undeniable truth. She was strong and loyal. He had already accepted that she not only deserved a place in his pack, but would be an excellent addition to his House. To the West. She surprised him, which was difficult for anyone to do. She teased him and pushed him and tested him, and he had only tried to kill her that one time – and he hadn’t really known her then. The miko had forgiven him as well, so that incident could be set aside. She was pleasant company. Even her incessant chatter was often soothing, in its own way. Certainly she was amusing. She was beautiful, intelligent, maternal.

He resettled his mokomoko, only listening with one ear to Hisao and Kento discuss the latest news of the castle. How family packs were coping with loss, how the residents were reacting to the revelation of a miko in their midst. Her scent rose from his fur and he breathed deeply.

He wanted her. He would have her. Human or not, she would add to the West. And if he was honest with himself, he did not care about that anymore. He wanted her not for what she could add to his house, his strength, his position. He wanted her for himself.

“-I had heard that too, but I did not realize the new title had spread so far.”

“You frown, Kento-san. Do you worry she will not be pleased?” Hisao asked. Sesshomaru snapped back to full attention.

“Kagome-isha is most deserving, but I am not certain the name will-”

“What name?” Both inuyoukai turned to him. He glared, demanding explanation. If any voiced slurs against her, he would make certain they regretted such foolish action.

“Many call her Kagome-sama,” Kento replied calmly. “Everyone in the castle is grateful for her eradication of the disease. They wish to show her high respect.”

Hiseo snorted. “Respect. Damn near awe. Your servants are falling over themselves to attend her. Her former patients are clamoring to sing praises of her kindness and healing skill. My soldiers debate how strong her power would be in battle against our enemies. Every male in the castle speaks of her beauty.” Sesshomaru did not bother to quell the instinct to narrow his eyes and a low vibration pulsed across the room, dragging silence behind it.

Kento cleared his throat, “They all refer to her only in the most honored tones, my Lord. Kagome-isha, Kagome-ue, Kagome-sama-”

“Miko no Mao,” Hisao said with a smile. Sesshomaru considered his captain. The demon nodded. “I heard that one in the village late this afternoon and it has already spread up to the castle.”

“Hn.” Sesshomaru rose, ignoring the audible cracks of his stiff joints and the lingering soreness in his muscles. He handed a last scroll to Kento. “Prepare a report for This One by mid-day tomorrow. Hisao will assist you with news of the North.”

He left them behind him and made his way to the stairs, gradually picking up speed. Her scent stirred in his fur again and a small smile lifted the corner of his mouth. Kagome. Miko no Mao, indeed. Priestess of the Demon.

Chapter 9: Breaking Down Walls

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