InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Water ( Chapter 8 )

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Chapter 8: Water

Series: Inuyasha

Universe: Ninja AU (NOT Naruto-verse, mind you! Sorry!
Traditional ninjas only).

Pairing: Eventual SessKag

Rating: PG-13 ( For now, suscepticble to change).

Disclaimer: Inuyasha and its characters are the intellectual
property of one Rumiko Takahashi. I only make bad fanfiction about
it.

Author’s notes: So I was going to write
out a training montage scene, a la « Mulan » with coursing rivers and
force of great typhoons. BUt I was honestly not feeling up to it,
and felt it derailed from the story too much. So instead, you get a
quick summary. Enjoy!

Water

Kagome wondered if Sesshoumaru was angry
because he had been defeated by a girl, or because he had been
defeated by 
her.

‘Probably both.’

It was questions like these that kept Kagome’s
mind occupied from thinking of her present predicament, like the
excruciating pain running up her arms, tendons pulled like a
shamisen(1) string about to snap. The handles of the water buckets
were cutting into her fingers, her wrists shaking as she tried to
keep the heavy objects raised, arms extended to the sides at
shoulder level. Her breath came out in short, ragged pants, teeth
bared with the effort of keeping both buckets elevated. If she
could just lower her arms for a few seconds-

« Wench, if that bucket falls anywhere bellow
your sternum, I shall fill it to the brim with more water and make
you stand there an extra hour. »

Kagome’s arm snapped at attention, her breath
doubling. ‘
An extra
hour?!
 ‘ The female ninja paled
visibly. She couldn’t do an extra hour! She wasn’t sure if she
could even finish the last twenty minutes left of her two-hour
torture.

‘Just a few more
minutes!
‘ she chanted shrilly in her
head for the millionth time, her arms quaking under the weight of
the water buckets.

Sesshoumaru had said that all good ninja needed
strength in their arms, be it for fighting enemies or scaling
walls. That had been his reason for putting her through this
particular exercise of endurance, that all ninja in his clan were
expected to perform with ease.

Kagome knew for a fact that was bullshit. He
just hated her guts.

After pulling that trick and managing to one-up
Sesshoumaru at the dojo, the man had taken the hit to his ego
rather badly. Sure it had been sneaky of Kagome to do that, but
ninja often resorted to underhanded methods to win a battle. He
should have praised her for it, commended her even! Instead,
Sesshoumaru took it as an insubordinate act from the young woman,
as if she were trying to emasculate his authority. If Sesshoumaru
had been bad before, he was completely tyrannical in his teaching
methods now. For the past two days he had been squeezing the life
out of the pretty raven, making her go through a ridiculous and
rigorous training montage that no normal human being could ever
possibly complete (except for him, of course, because apparently he
was a demigod or something. Prick.) It was a miracle he didn’t have
her fighting mountain bears bare-handed!

Kagome glared at said prick between puffs of
breath, hoping to scorch his pretty hair with the sheer force of
her fury.

Unperturbed by the dark looks thrown his way,
and hair remaining annoyingly intact and smooth
and 
pretty, Sesshoumaru
continued examining the scrolls laid out before him. He had opted
to sit in the cool shade offered by the roof of the halls while he
supervised Kagome’s « endurance training » in the garden. After
giving his pupil the instructions, he had promptly proceeded to
ignore her as he read scroll after scroll, occasionally signing
here and there. Kagome surmised that they must be accords or
official documents of some kind, though 
what exactly escaped
her. They seemed to be serious enough that the man had remained
completely silent throughout the two hours – except for the
occasional threat whenever slacking off even crossed her mind. That
he could always tell she was thinking it when he wasn’t even
looking at her was both impressive and scary.

Kagome licked her dry lips, panting harshly.
She was so tired. It didn’t help that she had overslept that
morning and had only managed to scrounge up enough time to get
ready and bolt for the dojo, so breakfast had been skipped. And the
night before 
that she had been so
tired she had not even had the energy to eat her dinner, instead
passing out on her sleeping mat. As if on cue, her stomach clenched
down on nothing, furious at the abuse. Panting, she focused on
finishing this task. Then she could have lunch. Yes…that
sounded nice.

Her arms were past the point of agony,
unpleasantly numb now, like a million needles had been stuck to it.
It didn’t help that the sun was bearing down upon her painfully,
making her body and hands slick with sweat. She clasped her fingers
even harder around the metal handle, sure that she was drawing
blood.

Her vision began to blur at the
edges. 
‘Just a few more
minutes…’

Kagome’s arms didn’t want to wait a few more
minutes to stop. They wanted to stop 
now. A short gasp escaped
her, and she bit down hard on her lip to halt the weep that
followed. 
‘Just a few more
minutes!’

Sesshoumaru glanced up briefly. His yellow eyes
fell upon the lines drawn in the dirt in front of a small slab of
dark rock, which they were using to measure how much time the young
ninja had been holding the buckets. The shadows were reaching the
final line. It would only be a few minutes now…

« You are almost done. » He informed the kunoichi
in a bored tone. « One more line to go. »

Kagome nearly cried with relief, except she was
too focused on keeping her arms at a proper upraised angle like
Sesshoumaru demanded.

Some might’ve deemed the exercise a bit
extreme, and Sesshoumaru would’ve called them idiots and cut off
whatever appropriate limb was closest for daring to speak against
him and his methods. Unruly ninjas needed to be taught to respect
their clan leaders or be killed, and since he had already promised
that insufferable old woman, Kaede, that he would not kill her
beloved pupil, he was definitely going to do his best to break
her.

Still, Sesshoumaru found himself squashing that
damnable side of him that felt a stab of guilt at the sound of the
woman gasping for air. ‘
Well,’ he reasoned,
of course she would be panting like
a dog, it meant that she was properly feeling the brunt of his
training.’ 
It would truly
surprise him if she wasn’t exhausted at the end of this, as she
well should be. No one, 
no
one
 dared to make a fool of
Lord Sesshoumaru. And despite the occasional grumbling, the girl
had accomplished every task given by him with flying colors, much
to Sesshoumaru’s pleasant surprise. She wasn’t completely useless
after all; just incredibly brazen. The young clan leader was sure
that after 
this the spirited
raven would give him the proper respect he deserved. If not, then
at least think twice before giving him attitude.

‘She does look rather fetching when she is
angry though…’

Annoyed at his thoughts, his yellow eyes
returned to a particularly boring treaty – regarding territory
guidelines between his neighboring clans – and called out loudly to
the kunoichi. « Your arms are slacking, girl. Maintain your stance
or you shall have the pleasure of starting over again. »

Kagome’s heart momentarily faltered.

Again?

She couldn’t do this again. She couldn’t!

What little she had learned about Sesshoumaru
these past two days was that he was a man of his word. She wouldn’t
doubt for a second that he would make her start the exercise right
there and then, without even a minute of rest.

Sesshoumaru resumed his reading as he saw from
the corner of his periphery the girl straighten. Satisfied, he
immersed himself in the dreary technicalities of state affairs. One
of the many tedious tasks of being a leader; it was not all glamour
and blood after all, and taking care of the legal affairs was as
much his responsibility as was disposing of enemy
targets.

The lord of the House of the Moon continued
working in silence until he noticed something was off. He couldn’t
quite put his finger on it, but something in the background noise
had shifted abruptly. Eyes glazing over the words before him, he
focused his hearing and listened intently. Trees rustled the nearby
leaves of the flower shrubs in the garden, and in the distance he
could hear the soft chirping of birds. All right, that was all
perfectly normal. Something in the back of his brain prodded him
insistently. 
Listen
closer!,
 it seemed to say, and
Sesshoumaru, never one to ignore his instincts, did as
instructed.

He frowned, as he was prone to do when
something escaped his notice and he couldn’t decipher it
immediately. There did not seem to be any threat nearby from what
he could hear, and other than the girl before him there was no one
else around. Besides his scribbling on parchment and the girl a few
feet in front of him, no one else was making noise –

The girl…

Sesshoumaru’s eyes widened and he looked up as
in that moment he realized what was different.

The sound of panting had stopped.

His eyes fixed on the woman scant feet before
him. The kunoichi was still standing there, admirably holding on to
the buckets for dear life. Sesshoumaru would expect that she would
be sucking oxygen through her mouth like she had never inhaled air
before in the past twenty years. But she wasn’t; she was eerily
quiet, and Sesshoumaru realized with a skip of his
heart-

She wasn’t breathing.

She wasn’t. Breathing.

Sesshoumaru stood up, knocking some scrolls to
the ground in his haste. He saw her arms falter, eyes roll back to
the inside of her head, and 
still she wasn’t breathing –

« KAGOME! »

Someone was shouting at her. But that didn’t
matter. She had finished her exercise and now could rest for a bit.
Maybe get some food right after. Yes. That would be nice.
She 
had finished the exercise, right? Oh Kami, if not
Sesshoumaru would make her do it all over again.

She hoped he wouldn’t be too upset with her.
He’d never grow to like her if that trend continued.

The last thing Kagome saw was bright yellow
eyes, before her world sank into darkness.

(1) Shamisen: a traditional Japanese
three-stringed lute with a square body, played with a large
plectrum.

So I am getting a few follows, but not as much
as my other stories. Is there something that you guy’s don’t like?
Feel free to comment your thoughts in the review section! Good or
bad, I want to hear all of it. 🙂 That way I know if you all like
the direction where this is going, so don’t be shy and leave a
critique.

Disarm