Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread

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'I smell it...' Sesshoumaru thought. 'This is... Naraku's subordinate... that brat's smell.'

They had been trying to track Naraku for quite some time now, but when he abandoned the castle, every trace of him disappeared, including his scent. It was different than before, when he used the barrier... It was as if he had been wiped off the face of the planet. That was ridiculous, of course, so Sesshoumaru had been tracking Naraku by following Kohaku, once he picked up the boy's scent. Sesshoumaru was keeping his distance though, because he wanted the boy to lead him to Naraku, and he could not catch even a hint of that charlatan's scent yet.

"Say, Jaken-sama. What is Sesshoumaru-sama searching for?" Rin asked curiously as she rode on Ah-Un's back.

"Naraku, most likely," Katsumi answered, when it seemed like Jaken wouldn't, as she walked alongside Ah-Un and Rin.

After her accidental confession to Sesshoumaru, and his subsequent rejection, things had been a little awkward between them, but in order not to ruin the relationship they already had, Katsumi had been doing her best to act like everything was normal, and after awhile the awkwardness wasn't so bad. Now, they were sort of back to normal... sort of. She could faintly pick up on Kohaku's scent too, so she knew who they were following, and Katsumi hoped Sesshoumaru wouldn't hurt the boy. Rin had told her all about the time she spent with Kohaku, and she could tell he was a good kid who was just caught up in a bad situation. It sounded like Naraku had somehow managed to put Kohaku under some kind of mind-control.

"Rin, that incident when you got kidnapped, raised the wrath of Sesshoumaru-sama," Jaken said.

"For Rin's sake!?" Rin asked excitedly. Her eyes were shining with joy and admiration, and there were practically sparkles floating in the air around the radiantly happy child. Katsumi smiled at Rin. She was just too cute.

"Don't get conceited, fool," Jaken said. Katsumi gave him a look of warning not to say anything meaner than that. "Sesshoumaru-sama is a proud person, you see. He may appear to be calm, but after that folly, I'm sure he's furious..."

"You do realize he can hear you, right?" Katsumi pointed out. Jaken glanced at Sesshoumaru to see that the daiyoukai had stopped walking and was staring at him. The imp flinched and sweated nervously.

"..." Sesshoumaru stared down at Jaken for a few more minutes to psych him out. Then he gave Jaken one very large lump on the head and kept going.

"Are you okay?" Rin asked.

"You're still alive, aren't you lucky?" Katsumi said, patting the imp on the back.

'I hit the bulls-eye, huh...' Jaken thought.

"Does it hurt, Sango-chan?" Kagome asked as she bandaged a wound on Sango's arm.

"I-I'm okay," Sango said. They had just had their first run in with a member of the Shichinin-tai, Jakotsu.

"That bastard Jakotsu shouldn't have gone too far," Inuyasha said.

"You going after him, Inuyasha?" Miroku asked.

"You bet I am. After all, we haven't got a single clue yet. You lot wait here," Inuyasha said.

"Inuyasha..." Kagome said.

"Sure, Sango is injured after all... However, Inuyasha... what did you think of that poisonous smoke? I felt that Jakotsu seemed to know something about it," Miroku said.

"Yeah... like Jakotsu, it might be another of the Shichinin-tai," Inuyasha said.

"Another revived corpse has come out, you mean...?" Sango asked.

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