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Feb 03, 2023 8:05 AM
portals to the 16th century are kind of a big deal
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"Forgive me, brother, forgive me!"

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"So unbelievably stupid of you -"

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Kagome is glancing between the brothers and the dead demon girl and pointlessly trying to figure out how likely it is that the same thing is going to happen to her without warning in the next five seconds.

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And Manten will try to explain about the fox kid, and how he got distracted!

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"So it's a fox demon who has the shards? Very well!"

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"Do we - pursue him now, brother?"

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"What else, fool? Follow me!"

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Okay, it doesn't seem very likely that they've just forgotten about her and are going to leave now, but on the off chance that they have, she's gonna, you know. Not say anything to interrupt them.

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"Oh... Hiten. One moment."

And then he'll grab the ridiculously huge cleaver and raise it to take a swing at her.

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Kagome throws herself out of the way, not very gracefully, but fast enough not to be dead. She's getting to be concerningly experienced at dodging giant weapons.

"Hey, watch it!" she says, before her brain can catch up enough to recognize this as a ridiculous response.

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Manten looks almost confused. "Why? I must kill you before we depart, or you'll flee."

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Well, that's.... true.

"You don't want to kill me," she says, like this is very obvious. Why is it obvious. They want - "Unless you think your hair is more important than the jewel shards."

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That is enough to buy her another five seconds, yes. "What?"

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Okay, slightly mushed brain, think! And don't look like you're thinking!

"Now that you've gone and kidnapped me, the fox will have gone to find Inuyasha, who will want to get me back. The fox is no problem, of course, but Inuyasha is incredibly strong. I certainly wouldn't want to bet on beating him, if I were you. But if you conveniently still have something he cares about more, and haven't gone and murdered her for no reason... well, he might be more receptive to discussion."

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"Really, you say. Strong." He gives her a cold glance over his shoulder. "He's only half a demon."

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"He's not an ordinary half demon! He's the son and heir of the legendary phantom dog demon who used to rule over the lands to the west. He defeated his older half-brother, a full demon, in single combat, and was able to defeat lots of other full demons who dared to underestimate him, even before he had any jewel shards of his own. Now he's got lots of them, and he's even stronger than he was then."

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"Why would he possibly value you more than the shards of the Shikon Jewel?"

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Well, he doesn't, actually, he mostly values her instrumentally for getting more shikon jewel shards, but when you say it like that there's at least an obvious lie.

She tries not to think about the body on the floor and what it implies about this guy's worldview.

"Because he's in love with me." Somehow she thinks she actually said that the way a person who believed it might say it. "He swore on his father's grave that he'd protect me forever, and he always has, no matter what. So I'm sure he'll do everything he can to keep me safe, even if it means giving up the jewel shards."

He will not. But all she needs to do is get back to him. That's it. That's all. He'll figure something out, then, because he does want her alive, because she can get him more jewel shards.

Assuming he's not still stuck. She really hopes he's not still stuck.

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"Hiten... my wiser brother... Surely," Manten pleads, "this is a deceit intended to -"

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"I can believe it!"

He grabs Kagome's wrist; his grip is warm and strong as steel.

"Girl! Lead us to this lovestruck half-breed. And know -" his eyes play over the corpse on the ground, and he pulls her to where he can stare into her eyes "- that if I find you have deceived me, you shall find yourself with a hole in your lovely face to let the wind blow through. Do you understand me?"

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"I understand."

She tells herself that's not actually any worse than getting sliced in half by a cleaver, and tries not to tremble, and makes a mental note not to complain about Inuyasha at all for, like, an entire week, if she somehow makes it another week.

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Meanwhile, Inuyasha is running to the rescue! Beneath storm-clouds overhead loom to shroud the Thunder Brothers' mountaintop castle in darkness, he cheerfully jogs through the rainstorm at his usual superhuman speeds, leaping from rock to rock as he surveys the distant terrain. He's still holding Kagome's bike in one hand (with Shippo on it), and is cheerfully jogging through the rainstorm at his usual superhuman speeds, as lightning strikes and the thunder-rolls.

He's gonna HAVE A FIGHT and BEAT UP SOME DEMONS and STEAL SOME JEWEL SHARDS and SAVE KAGOME. This is gonna be GREAT.

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Shippo is perched in the bike's basket and hanging on for dear life, yelling every time the bike jerks under him.

"Almost there..."

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"Hey, you know, if you're frightened you can always run home!"

HOP.

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"Stupid! I'm going to avenge my father!" This would probably be more convincing if he didn't yell again as the bike lurched, but he can't help it. "You'd better be as strong as you say you are! The Thunder Brothers already have a bunch of jewel shards making them stronger!"

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