The Way to Elysium by Chiaztolite


It was twelve days before Kagome’s wedding to Inuyasha. She had returned to the feudal era about a fortnight ago. Even with the three-year hiatus, life continued smoothly as though she had never left. Her apprenticeship with the old priestess Kaede was going well. Sango and Miroku were busy with their active brood, but they maintained the teamwork they had started at the beginning of the hunt for the Shikon jewel and the pursuit to defeat Naraku.

Nowadays, encounters with yokai were becoming exceedingly rare, but they did still get occasional requests for demon extermination, which they accepted with delight – if only to not lose the skills they had built during the years of fighting as comrades.

Today was no exception.

yōkai was attacking their village. It was a little strange, since she had been told no yōkai had even come near to the village in a couple of years, let alone attacked it.

The four of them: Inuyasha, herself, Sango, and Miroku set out to the outskirt of the village to investigate the source of the disturbance. They could see the troublesome yōkai even from far away. A big, lumbering beast.

Inuyasha landed a fair distance away from the yōkai and lowered himself so Kagome could get off his back. Sango and Miroku, still riding Kirara, stopped beside them.

“Keh, he’s big alright but he looks pretty dumb,” Inuyasha commented.

“He does not look ferocious,” Miroku agreed. “But at that size, he could wreak enough havoc in the village.”

”Let’s destroy it before it does damage to the village then,” Sango added.

Inuyasha stared at Kagome thoughtfully. “Wanna take this one? He looks so easy to kill even you could do it.”

Kagome’s chestnut brown eyes narrowed in mock outrage. If he had not been grinning in good humour, she would have told him to ‘sit’.

“If you’re too lazy to do it, why don’t you just say so?” Kagome retorted. “Or maybe you’re getting too old to fight demons now? I suppose three years is a long time, even for you.”

He chuckled. “Why don’t you consider it a wedding gift? Who knows when you’d get to have fun like this again, after we—“ He suddenly stopped as though a special thought had popped into his mind, one that caused his entire face to turn red.

“Well, you know,” he grumbled. “Married. And all that.”

Married. Her heart clenched a little, but she tamped down her rising panic at the thought and focused on Inuyasha’s reddened face. She could hear Miroku and Sango suppressing laughter beside them. By this time, Inuyasha’s dog ears had flattened against his skull as he glared at her, embarrassment still written all over his face.

“Alright, alright,” Kagome decided to have pity on her betrothed. “I’ll take this one.” 

She rushed to meet the yōkai halfway and took a stance with her bow and arrow. The creature was slowly advancing. She held her hands steady as she took aim, the pointed tip of her arrow was directed at the demon’s heart.

Only a couple of arm’s length away from her now, it raised its arm high; its sharp claws glinted under the sun. She took a deep breath and prepared herself to release her arrow.

Something happened then. Or— something did not.

She did not release her arrow.

Kagome let out a short sound of surprise when the demon sliced her across the chest. The tip of his claws dug deep into her flesh. Blinding pain slashed her torso, burning the synapses of her brain. She saw the spray of her own blood as she staggered. There were screams and shouts, fading away as she fell.

The next thing she knew, she was looking up at the sky. Her vacant eyes seemed to stare at the ominous dark clouds that gathered above her but truly, she did not see those clouds, not really. She hardly felt the drops of rain that started to fall. She did not even feel the wetness on her back as she lay in the mud on the ground, or the warmth of her blood as it poured out of the large gash on her chest and down her torso.

She blinked. Every move felt agonizingly slow. Someone was calling her name repeatedly, his voice so familiar.


She blinked again. She wanted to lift her hand, but just the mere thought of it was so exhausting. After the third blink her blurry vision focused, and she saw his face. His golden eyes. His unruly silver hair. She turned her head and tried to smile.

“Inu… yasha?”

She could feel him holding her hand, she could feel his warmth. The rest of her body felt so cold but her hand, at least her hand was warm.

“Kagome,” he said again, his voice sounded strange, as though he was crying. “Don’t try to speak, okay? Save your strength. Sango and Miroku went to get help. Help is coming, okay? Just hold on till then. Just focus on my voice.”

She mustered up enough strength to squeeze his hand. Her mouth was filled with blood, but she pushed out a query: “E… en… enemy?”

It was so strange, her mind thought hazily. The yōkai had been so close. So close. She should have been able to shoot it dead with her arrow.

How did this happen?

Why did this happen?

“We beat him, Kagome,” Inuyasha said, his voice sounding more and more like a sob. “It’s all okay now. You just hang in there, okay? Don’t talk anymore.”

Perhaps it was just as well. She had no more strength to utter a word, or even to keep her eyes open. It had been a beautiful life, she thought. She had no regrets. She had done things no one from her era could even imagine.

I’m sorry, Inuyasha, she wanted to whisper. I’m sorry to have to leave you.

He was calling her name again, repeatedly, but his voice sounded further and further away. She wanted to keep her eyes open so she could engrave his face in her memory, but her eyes were getting heavier and heavier.

Until there was nothing more.


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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