Dangerous Liaisons

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He could hear it. Someone dangerous was approaching his swamp.

GLUB. GLUB. GURGGLE...

The surface of the water bubbled up around Mimisenri's large cranium as he raised it to get a better listen to determine exactly who or what this approaching danger was. He grinned when his suspicions were confirmed. His great, big ears were still as sharp as ever. They had to be, or else there was no way a blind youkai like him could have ever survived in this harsh world.

"Ke-ke-ke... So you came, Naraku," Mimisenri cackled. "I could hear you coming from over 4 ri away." He could hear the telltale buzzing of saimyōshō as well.

"Oh-ho... Well, that makes things easier," Naraku said, allowing the whirlwind around him to dissipate as he landed to stand on the shores of the swamp before the deformed and grotesque youkai. "Mimisenri. You are said to possess ears that can hear everything in this world," Naraku stated grimly, all business. It irked him that he could not locate the remaining shard with his own power, and the infant and Kagura had failed to corrupt Kagome and bring her under their control so he could make use of her eyes.

"Indeed, Naraku, I've heard rumors about you as well. Do you intend to absorb my ears into your body as well, eh?" Mimisenri asked, cocking his head to the side as his lips twisted into a mad grin that showed what were left of his crooked and jagged teeth.

"Don't worry. I have no interest in your filthy body," Naraku stated, not even bothering to hid his disgust. Bitch, please. He wasn't anywhere near that desperate. "Mimisenri... have you heard about where the remaining Shikon shards could be?"

"Well, then... as per the rumors between youkais, Naraku... Isn't it true that you have almost all of the shards in your hands?" Mimisenri asked.

"One more..." Naraku said. "There's only one remaining fragment that I don't know the location of."

"Humph, then... I shall listen carefully..." Mimisenri said, lifting his head to the dark sky. He hadn't missed the veiled threat laced in Naraku's voice. If he couldn't tell Naraku what he wanted to know... Well, who knows what this uppity but dangerous hanyou might do to him?


{The Next Day...}

Once again, Sesshoumaru was leading Katsumi and the others on a trek through a forest, when a certain someone's tiny tummy let out a big growl.

"I take it you're hungry, Rin?" Katsumi asked, smiling wryly in amusement, as she glanced back to see Rin holding her tummy and trying to keep it quiet while perched on Ah-Un's back.

"Yes. Sesshoumaru-sama, Rin is hungry. May I go and look for something to eat?" Rin asked sweetly.

"Be quiet, Rin!" Jaken snapped, earning a sharp look from Katsumi. "A forest like this will have nothing for you to eat. Just bear it." Katsumi raised an eyebrow at that. Was he serious?

"But..." Rin said hesitantly, not quite ready to give up.

"No buts!" Jaken said.

"But, aren't we always foraging for food in forests like this?" Katsumi pointed out. This forest didn't look that different from any of the others they had already been through.

"I'll be real quick!" Rin promised as she suddenly hopped off of Ah-Un's saddle and made a quick break for the woods before any of them could stop her.

"That girl!" Jaken said, nearly face-palming.

"Wow, Rin's really growing up. She's gotten so fast!" Katsumi said, smiling proudly after her adopted little sister. "I guess I might as well get some food too real quick while we're stopping. I'll be right back!" she told Sesshoumaru, giving them a little wave as she darted off into the woods after Rin.

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