Dying Is Easy, It's Living That's Hard

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The bridge creaked as Suikotsu stared at his new prey. Katsumi placed herself completely in front of Rin, but Jaken was too surprised to react yet, and he was still in front of them. Suikotsu swiped at them with his metal 'claws.'

"You're not getting away!" Suikotsu growled.

"Aaah!" Rin cried in surprise as Katsumi quickly hopped over Jaken and caught his fist, placing her fingers in the gaps between the blades, so that she wouldn't injure her own hand. She wanted to draw her sword but with her dominant hand occupied she didn't have the confidence to draw it carefully enough with her free hand not to cut the ropes on the narrow bridge as she did.

'He's absurdly strong for a human...' Katsumi thought, chagrined. Suikotsu smirked as he started to win their little arm wrestling competition. 'No... it's not really that... I've just gotten weaker!' Katsumi realized when she looked at her own hand and saw that her claws had reverted to normal fingernails. 'Did I get too close to the barrier...!?' Katsumi wondered in alarm as she brought her other hand up to hold his hand too and keep from being overpowered by Suikotsu. Suikotsu smirked and clenched his other hand into a fist. He stabbed Katsumi in the side with his claws.

"Urgh!" Katsumi grunted in pain, but she gritted her teeth and held her ground. "Get back, Rin!"

Sesshoumaru glanced back at them when he smelled Katsumi's blood. His eyes widened slightly in surprise. Katsumi must have gotten too close to the barrier, because she had transformed into a human, but even though she was weaker, and her opponent was twisting the metal claws he had stabbed into her side, She wasn't giving an inch. If anything, she just looked pissed off. Still, if they didn't stop the bleeding soon, and get her back to her youkai form, Katsumi might bleed to death.

"Hehehe, if you look away, your head will fly off!" Jakotsu yelled as he attacked again. Sesshoumaru dodged, of course. Back on the bridge, Katsumi was starting to feel weak from blood loss, and the bastard attacking them was now twisting the claws he had stabbed her with while they were still stuck in her side. She gritted her teeth harder and bit back a scream.

"Heh. You're pretty tough, aren't you?" Suikotsu said mockingly. "But in the end, you're still only a human brat right now!" Suikotsu yelled as he suddenly yanked his claws from her side and slashed Katsumi's throat. Katsumi's eyes widened in shock, and she loosened her grip on his hands. Suikotsu stabbed Katsumi in the heart and knocked her off of the bridge.

"Katsumi-neeeeeee!?" Rin cried in horror as she watched Katsumi's limp and bloody body fall into the river below them. "Noooooooo!" Rin sobbed. Sesshoumaru could tell without looking what had just happened because of his heightened senses of smell and hearing. He could feel his blood starting to boil, but he kept it under control. He needed to concentrate.

'Oh, no! Now that Katsumi's dead, she can't protect Rin... If something happens to Rin, I'll be killed by Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken thought, breaking out into a cold sweat. 'Th-This is the only way!' Jaken slammed his staff in front of them on the bridge. "Nintoujou!" Jaken shouted as flames burst from the staff.

"!" Suikotsu said in alarm. The flames from Jaken's staff died down, and Suikotsu, along with a huge portion of the wooden boards of the bridge, was nowhere to be seen.

"Hehehe, blown away, eh?" Jaken said. The bridge suddenly jerked and started to fall.

"Ah! Jaken-sama! The bridge is starting to fall!" Rin cried.

"I know that, run!" Jaken yelled as they both tried to outrun the bridge's collapse. "Geh!" Jaken squeaked in surprise when Suikotsu's metal claws shot up through the wooden boards between himself and Rin. "Wha...! He's alive...!" Jaken shouted when they looked down and saw Suikotsu hanging from underneath the bridge.

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