And, So We Meet Again

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Katsumi smiled as she breathed in the fresh air and enjoyed stretching under the warm sunshine as she walked along the road with her new friends. One thing she did not miss about the future, other than tests and homework—which she still ended up helping Kagome with most of the time—was the pollution. A lot had happened since that fateful day when she fell through the well. Since her mother had trained her in various martial arts, including ken-do, Katsumi had gotten herself a katana and joined Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo on their quest for the jewel shards. It turned out Inuyasha and Katsumi both turned human on the night of a new moon (a discovery that had nearly cost them their lives), but unlike Inuyasha, Katsumi's transformation into a human lasted for three nights and the two days in between. None of them knew why, but Katsumi suspected it had something to do with her father's mystery youkai genes. She could fight well because of the training her mother had given her when she was 'human', but unfortunately, Katsumi was still getting the hang of her youkai powers. Poor Kagome had part of her soul stolen by a witch, and it was used to revive Inuyasha's ex, Kikyo. Then, they met the perverted monk, Miroku. Once they came to an understanding that he would lose the offending hand if he touched Katsumi—or Kagome, for that matter—inappropriately, then it was all good.

Later that day, as the sun was setting, a band of rag-tag samurais galloped together down the road on their horses, laughing about their most recent victory.

"That was quite a haul, Chief!" one samurai said to his leader, referring to all the bales of rice and other goods they had looted. The leader laughed.

"For such a puny village, they sure had a hoard!" their chief boasted.

"Let's hurry, Chief," another samurai said anxiously. "Youkais are supposed to appear around here after dark."

"You can't be a mercenary if you're 'fraid of youkais!" the chief reprimanded him.

"Chief, look!" another man said.

"Huh?" the chief said as he looked ahead and saw what appeared to be the figure of a man silhouetted against the red-orange light of the sunset. The stranger, whose facial features he couldn't quite make out, was wearing a style of armor he hadn't seen before and dressed in a high quality kimono. The unknown man also had a long fur draped over his shoulder, and his silver hair swayed in the gentle breeze. To have that color of hair, it seemed safe to assume he must be an old geezer. The chief laughed.

"Ah, that's just a mere human. What interesting armor he's got. Kill 'im and strip 'im!" he ordered as he drew his sword and led his men in a charge towards their intended victim.

They didn't see the clearly demonic, clawed, blue hand that was poking out of one of the figure's kimono sleeves. The silver-haired man turned to face his attackers, revealing an unnaturally young and beautiful face, and raised the inhuman arm. His amber eyes glowed red. The band of rogue samurais realized their mistake too late when the mysterious figure jumped into the air and pounced, destroying them all in a single blow. A green imp emerged from the bushes, chuckling darkly.

"Well done! You are the one and only Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken cheered. "Slaying that blue oni and taking his arm was a splendid idea!"

"Are you blind?" Sesshoumaru said, pulling the blue arm off.

"Eh?" Jaken asked, backing up when Sesshoumaru tossed the arm on the ground near him.

"This arm is already useless," the daiyoukai told him coldly.

"Oh... gone bad again?" Jaken asked. The arm twitched, then its hand grabbed Jaken. "Arggh!" he cried as it squeezed the breath out of him.

"Find a youkai with a more suitable arm," Sesshoumaru ordered as Jaken began hitting the blue oni arm with his staff in an attempt to free himself. "Or else... I'll kill you," the daiyoukai added before calmly walking away.

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