All of the demons in InuYasha's Forest fled in terror. They were all alerting other friends and allies that the demon Lady of the South was approaching. This stirred up panic and every demon that couldn't get out of the way in time was slaughtered brutally.
"Make way for the Demoness of the South!" one demon cried.
"It is okay, my pet." the demoness said, "Let them cower in fear. I love to see them squirm in flocks."
"As you wish, My Lady."
The demoness laughed a little and said, "Be prepared for our meeting, Inuyasha. I've waited so long for this day."
"I don't understand how it's so hard to get your daggers that high into a tree." Kagome said, looking at where Minoru's daggers had gotten stuck during their latest round of training, "Minoru, you have to be more careful."
"I was being careful, Mom." Minoru defended, "Dad just went overboard."
"What?!" Inuyasha defended, "I didn't know that would happen!"
"You need to realize that Minoru's a lot younger than you. Not only that, he's your son and your youngest. Be gentle with him."
"I was never gentle with you."
"That's because you were such a jerk back then."
"Hey, that's going too far!"
Minoru sighed, knowing that his parents had, once again, gotten into a friendly marital quarrel. He jumped up into the tree and got his daggers, jumped back down and walked away, his parents oblivious to his actions.
"It'll take them forever to get out of it now." Minoru sighed.
Tsuyonoru nodded in agreement and said, "Mom and Dad do know how to keep an argument going for hours on end."
"I'm going to get Kikyo." Izayoi said, walking back into the house to get her sister, but didn't find her. Izayoi sighed in exasperation.
"She's always with Bankotsu as of late. What on earth could those two have in common?"
In actuality, Izayoi was halfway right; Kikyo was talking to the entire Band of Seven, save for Jakotsu. He decided to not bother talking to her, mainly due to her being a girl. He was actually a little jealous of how well she got along with them; it made him sick.
"Hey, Jakotsu, come join us!" Bankotsu called, waving his arm.
"No thanks." Jakotsu replied.
"Aw, come on! You don't know what you're missing!"
"Actually, I do." Jakotsu commented to himself.
Kikyo noticed Jakotsu and asked, "Do you think it has something to do with me?"
"Nah." Bankotsu reassured her, "He's always like this when it comes to women."
"Why does he hate women?"
"Now that you mention it, I don't really know."
Kikyo looked back at Jakotsu then got up and walked over to him, sitting in front of him to get his attention. He glared at her, but that didn't faze her in the least.
"Why don't you like me?" she asked, "I want to know so that we could get along."
"I don't like that you're so close to Bankotsu." Jakotsu said, "You could take him away."
"Take him away? Don't be silly, Jakotsu. He and I are just friends. I'm not going to come between your bond with him. That's one thing I respect the most about you all. Even in death, you guys are never apart."
Jakotsu looked at Kikyo with a slightly shocked expression. He wasn't expecting her to be so respectful of anything, considering whose daughter she was. Not only that, inside, something was different about himself; he couldn't really find it in him to hate her. Was this because of her being a former priestess? If it was, that meant her spiritual powers had to be immense.
"Are you going to join us?" Kikyo asked, snapping him out of his thoughts. Before he could answer, Izayoi came up to Kikyo and whispered something in her ear. Sighing in hopelessness, she got up and dusted off her skirt, saying to Jakotsu, "Don't forget what I said, okay?"
With that, she and Izayoi left, leaving the still confused Jakotsu watching them. Bankotsu came up behind him and said, "Now you know how I felt."
Jakotsu looked up at Bankotsu, still confused.
"I was confused too. I didn't know what the hell she was doing to me. Then I realized something over the past couple of months. It wasn't her that was changing me...I was changing myself. Kikyo helped me remember the good times in my life, times that I can't even tell you, Jakotsu. She could see the real reason why I became a mercenary."
"Why did you, big brother?" Jakotsu asked.
"I was angry at the world and everyone in it. A group of bandits took my mother and little sister away from me. My father died in battle, so I also had every reason to not take orders from a samurai. For years, I hid that pain, anger, and sadness deep down where no one would be able to try and find it. Then Kikyo comes along and sees right through me. She's able to remind me of the same love my mother used to give me."
"What are you saying, Bankotsu?" Renkotsu questioned, not liking where Bankotsu was going with the conversation.
"I think...I think that I might be falling in love, Renkotsu."
Inuyasha's ears perked up, sensing that something was wrong. Kagome also felt this same thing, going inside to get her bow and arrows. Minoru and Tsuyonoru took a stance next to Inuyasha, also sensing the demonic aura. They watched as a woman dressed in a dark green kimono purple sash, and blood red robe approached them. Her skin was paler than the moon, her eyes black as pitch, lips painted red like a rose. Her long, ebony hair was tied at the nape of her neck and she had a mark on her forehead that was a six-pointed star.
"Who the hell are you?" Inuyasha demanded.
"It's an honor to finally meet the famous Inuyasha." she said, her voice deep and malicious, "The only half-demon to defeat the supposedly invincible Naraku."
"Answer the damn question!"
"Don't demand anything of me, half-breed."
She flicked her hand down and Inuyasha almost instantly went to the ground, alerting his sons and Kagome.
"Inuyasha!" Kagome said, running over to her husband, then looked up at the woman who was keeping him down.
"Who are you?" Kagome asked.
"The priestess, Kagome." The woman replied, "So you're the wench that Inuyasha married? Not only that, you've conceived four children with him. Pathetic and disgraceful, Inuyasha."
"I'm not going to ask again, who the hell are you?!" Inuyasha continued to demand.
The woman sighed and said, "If you must know, I guess I'll tell you."
She released her hold on Inuyasha, who was gasping for breath and relieved he was out of that tight grip. Tsuyonoru and Minoru went over to Inuyasha and knelt beside him, everyone looking at the woman.
"My name is Takako. I'm the Demoness of the Eastern Lands. It was I who resurrected the Band of Seven."
"You're the one who possessed Kyokotsu as well, aren't you?" Kikyo yelled from behind her.
"Hmm. Clever one aren't you girl? Why don't you come here so I can see you?"
With a flick of her wrist Takako flung Kikyo and Izayoi into their family, chuckling a little. She then continued with her speech.
"I take it these are your daughters? They're beautiful for humans. Oh, forgive me, I mean quarter-demons. After all, they'll never be completely human. What have you done to your father's bloodline, Inuyasha?"
"How the hell do you know about my father?" Inuyasha asked.
"He and I were allies in a great war hundreds of years ago. When I learned that he mated to your human mother, I had no choice but to sever my ties with him, including your stepmother."
"Does Sesshomaru know about you?" Kagome questioned.
"Of course he does. At one point in time, he considered me as a possibility for his mate. However, I learn that he marries a human woman as well. Now he has two half-breeds of his own. What a shame. The great Dog Demon would never have allowed this to befall upon his bloodline."
"What did you say?" Inuyasha said, his voice seething.
"Oh, come now, Inuyasha, I'm only here to introduce myself. If you do wish to fight me, then try this on for size."
Takako pulled a sword out from her sleeve, shocking everyone. With one fell swoop, she sent a wave of demonic energy right at the family. Before Inuyasha had time to react, the wave was deflected into the woods. Takako looked at the person who deflected the wave and smirked.
"Well, well, well. It's good to see you too...Sesshomaru."