Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

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As they moved further away from the barrier, Katsumi finally started returning to her youkai form. Katsumi had never thought anything of being human before, but she found that she was relieved to regain her strength after being so overpowered. Facing normal humans like that had never given her too much trouble before, it simply evened the playing ground; but the Shichinin-tai were something else. It would probably be better if they didn't go near the barrier again, but if that was where Naraku was hiding, then they didn't have many other options.


Jaken had left the village to wait with Ah-Un, where the dragon had been left behind by Sesshoumaru and Katsumi.

"I can't believe I was left behind again..." Jaken grumbled as he vented his frustration. "Even that brat went along, and she's not even a full youkai!" Jaken squeaked in surprise and pain when a small rock hit him in the head. "What the...!?" Jaken turned around to face his assailant. It was Katsumi. She and Sesshoumaru had returned with Rin. Sesshoumaru noticed that Ah-Un's saddle had somehow become loose, so he walked over and readjusted Ah-Un's saddle.

"Sorry for not being a full youkai," Katsumi deadpanned as she tossed a rock up and down in the palm of her hand.

"You...!" Jaken yelled indignantly.

"We're back, Jaken-sama!" Rin said cheerfully.

"Yep, mission accomplished," Katsumi said, making a 'V' for victory with her fingers.

"Hmph, bold talk for someone who had to be brought back from the dead not too long ago!" Jaken huffed. Katsumi raised an eyebrow at the imp.

"Eh...? But I was only human at the time, and if I remember correctly, oh green one, you were revived long before I had to be," Katsumi said sarcastically.

"She has a point, Jaken-sama... and Katsumi-nee wasn't the one who made the bridge fall either..." Rin said. A vein popped on Jaken's head.

"You stay out of this!" Jaken shouted indignantly. "You two are just trying to make me look like an idiot!"

"You don't need our help to look like an idiot, Jaken," Katsumi said.

"You're darn right, I don't!" Jaken shouted. Sesshoumaru felt the corner of his mouth twitch up in amusement, but the others didn't see because he had his back to them. Katsumi bit her lip and shook as she tried to suppress her laughter.

"Are you alright, Katsumi-nee...?" Rin asked. Katsumi couldn't hold it in anymore. The blonde fell over, rolling on the ground and laughing her ass off.

"... That... was... pure... gold...!" Katsumi said in between laughs. Sesshoumaru sensed a disturbance in the forc—barrier.

'Mt. Hakurei is... the power of the sacred grounds is weakening...' Sesshoumaru thought as he glanced at the mountain.

"Huh...?" Katsumi said as she looked at the mountain too. The barrier seemed to be flickering, like a faulty light bulb that was about to burn out. "The barrier...!" The barrier suddenly broke, and a loud rumbling sound, like a clap of thunder was heard as the sacred energy dispersed in a huge burst, like a popped balloon releasing air. 'The sacred grounds have been extinguished...!?' Katsumi thought. 'This must be Sango and Miroku's doing, since only humans could safely enter that barrier, and I doubt Inuyasha would let Kagome go in there without him... Way to go guys!'

"Sesshoumaru-sama, the mountain is...!" Jaken shouted in surprise as hoards of youkais began swarming out of the mountain.

"Youkais are flooding out!" Rin said in amazement.

"Now that the barrier is no longer interfering... I can smell it... Naraku's scent," Sesshoumaru said. 'As well as another irritating scent... Inuyasha...' Sesshoumaru thought. 'Inuyasha must have entered into the barrier, despite the side-effects, if that hanyou is already inside the mountain...'

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