Come Into My Parlor

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"Shisho-ichijin!" Katsumi yelled as she swung her sword at Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru countered her attack with a small burst of energy from Tokijin. He charged forward, grabbed her by the neck, and slammed her against the ground.

"!" Katsumi grunted and winced in pain when she hit the dirt, but her hand shot out in front of her reflexively. "Dokugeshi...!" Katsumi gasped out as she released her knockout gas. Instead of knocking him out, a slight smirk formed on his face. Sesshoumaru was amused. He loosened his grip on her neck and stood up.

"Congratulations, you have finally managed to make this Sesshoumaru feel slightly lightheaded with that last dose," he told her. Katsumi stood up and brushed herself off.

"Oh, sure, rub it in," she said. "You're ridiculously strong, you know that." After the battle with the Panther Tribe, Sesshoumaru became curious about Katsumi's abilities, so he had been repeatedly testing her off and on. It was like a game of cat and mouse, and poor Katsumi was the mouse. Katsumi glanced around looking for her sword. It had been knocked out of her hand. "Where's my...?"

Katsumi noticed that Sesshoumaru was staring at something. She followed his gaze. Jaken was sitting on the ground, blue with shock. He had just narrowly avoided being scalped by her sword. Taifuu Kochou was stuck in a tree, pinning Jaken's hat to it.

"Oh... So, that's where it went..." Katsumi said, sweat-dropping. 'I have to be more careful... it could've hit Rin...' she thought. 'Speaking of Rin...' They heard a tiny tummy growl.

"Oh, I guess I'm hungrier than I thought!" Rin said. It was nighttime now, and time for her dinner.

"I'm sorry, Rin. I didn't realize it was getting so late. If you're hungry, you should've just said so. I'll go with you to get food," Katsumi said, but Sesshoumaru grabbed the back of her collar.

"Rin, go find food for yourself, by yourself," Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi sweat-dropped. She was grateful Sesshoumaru was training her... in a way, but she needed a break!

"Okaaay!" Rin said, oblivious to Katsumi's suffering.

"Jaken-sama, you're standing guard properly, aren't you?" Rin asked while she munched on a melon. She was currently crouching down in a field of them, getting her dinner. "I guess I should bring two or three with me. Do you think Katsumi-nee would like one?" Jaken sighed wearily.

'Although Sesshoumaru-sama told Rin to go by herself... Why must I be the one to accompany her?' the imp thought miserably.

Sesshoumaru and Katsumi had agreed to start teaching Rin to be more independent, so Katsumi would simply keep an eye on Rin to make sure the girl was safe while she gathered food for herself, but lately Sesshoumaru had taken an interest in training Katsumi.

'Thanks to that, I've had to stand guard over the field plundering many times...' Jaken thought. A sudden, strong gust of wind knocked the imp over. "Geh!?" Jaken squeaked in surprise. He looked up to see what had caused it. It was Kagura. "Y-You're..." Jaken stuttered.

"Hmph... how careless of that Sesshoumaru... to take his eyes off his companions," Kagura said disapprovingly.

Katsumi sighed as she plopped down onto the soft grass. She was worn out from sparring with Sesshoumaru. The man was a beast. Despite how much and how hard they fought, he never seemed to get tired.

"I'm beat..." Katsumi said wearily.

"Your endurance is sorely lacking," Sesshoumaru remarked.

"Yeah, well, you—What is that?" Katsumi asked. She could just barely pick up a faint new smell. It was familiar, but it wasn't strong enough for her to be able to tell what it was.

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