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Pirates of the Western Seas by tenchi no mai

Interlocution

Authors Note:  The wonderful and extremely artistic sugar0o has made me an absolutely beautiful piece of fanart for this story.  Go have a look at it:  

http://www.dokuga.com/gallery?func=detail&id=1415 

Disclaimer: The characters of InuYasha are not mine, they are the property of Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise, and Viz Media.   Only the plot to this story and my original characters, Shun, Maya and Jack, are my intellectual property.  I do not make any money from the writing of this story. 

‘Italics’ = thoughts

“~Foreign Language~” – i.e. – spoken English 

Chapter 2 - Interlocution 

 

Awakening somewhat later than normal the next morning, after some strange and somewhat disturbing dreams, Kagome was amazed to see the number of beings on the beach with Sesshoumaru.   There were several dozen of his soldiers, all garbed in the distinctive House of Taisho colors with many and varied types of weapons held plainly in view. 

Leaving the children to sleep a while longer, Kagome gathered the water containers to fill so she could start breakfast.  Immediately, one of the two soldiers that had been standing nearby began to follow her.  “That’s okay, I don’t need any help.”  Kagome tried to wave him off.  

“Miko-sama, we have been assigned by Sesshoumaru-sama to be the personal guards for you and the Lady Rin.”  Takeshi was not about to let the miko out of his sight, not after the very strict orders he received from Sesshoumaru-sama when he had arrived at the shoreline before daybreak.   

“Um, okay.  Well… I need to get water and attend to some personal things.  I’ll be right back.”  Kagome tried again, unsuccessfully, to widen the distance between herself and the tall, imposing inu youkai, then finally settled on having him follow her to the stream.  

Sesshoumaru glanced over his shoulder at the miko and her guard, smirking the entire time.  She thought he was overly protective before, he couldn’t wait till he had some time alone with her once the sun set this evening to see what she would complain about first. 

Surprisingly, there had been a number of his soldiers that had grown up in coastal areas that were extremely familiar with ships and how to sail them.  He had been getting some very informative lessons on the inner workings of ships and their sails as well as basic navigation. 

He was sending a small contingent of his soldiers along with the two crewmen, Shu and Shuichi, out to the ship to see exactly how many people were on board, gather up and secure all weapons, inventory what was left of any cargo, and check the condition of the ship itself.  Once he had this information, he would be able to make a better decision on what exactly to do with the ship and its contents.  

One of his generals had the foresight to send several different sizes of flags with the red and white Taisho crest on them, along with a message that it might be advisable to replace whatever flags were currently on the ship so that no one would attack them.   

There were two soldiers waiting next to the heavy chest that the pirate captain had been about to bury, with orders to place it in the captains quarters.  They were then to secure said quarters and a guard was to be posted outside the doorway; no one was to enter the cabin without direct orders from Sesshoumaru, himself.  

Sesshoumaru had the large metal key tucked in his obi, and would open the chest to check its contents later tonight.  Hopefully there would be some things, either in the chest or within the purloined cargo on board, that could be used as trade to finance any needed supplies or repairs.  He instinctively felt for the pouch of gold coins inside his haori.  He would not use any of his personal wealth until he had definitely decided to keep the ship.  

Sesshoumaru smirked again as he heard the miko arguing with her guard, Takeshi, about something.  She had returned extremely red faced from her trip to the stream after completing her morning ablutions.  Glancing at her again, he noticed she was currently adding kindling to the fire to get it built back up to make breakfast.   

Returning his attention to the ship, he observed two people being brought ashore.  One was very obviously a woman, the other was the exceptionally tall, light haired assistant navigator.  

Kagome had made tea and oatmeal with raisins, fed Rin and Shippo, then settled them near Ah-Un with paper and crayons.  They both loved to draw and that should keep them busy for several hours, giving Jaken a break from having to chase them all over creation. 

Sango and Miroku were awake now and were also astounded by the goings on around the shore line.  Kagome spoke quietly with the two of them while they ate breakfast, keeping an eye on Sesshoumaru and the two people from the pirate ship. 

Approaching Sesshoumaru, she waited patiently for a break in the conversation, then asked him if anyone wanted tea or breakfast.  It sounded like the woman, along with Sesshoumaru, was speaking Chinese, and the European looking man hadn’t spoken much except a few words in broken Chinese with a strange accent.  Sesshoumaru gave one nod of his head, and Kagome quicky returned with three cups of tea, then went back for two bowls of oatmeal.  

Handing one bowl to the woman, who gave it a curious look, she then handed the other bowl to the man.  He was looking at it like it was something he hadn’t seen in a long, long time.  Kagome looked up when she heard him mumble ‘~oatmeal~’ under his breath.  After bowing to her, he began shoveling it into his mouth.  Noticing the woman still looking suspiciously at the bowl of food, he touched her hand gently and spoke her name, “Maya”, then made eating motions with the spoon, nodding his head.  

Kagome sat, waiting for them to be done so she could take the bowls away, all the while wondering where he came from and how he had come to be on the pirate ship.  The man quickly finished, handed the bowl back to her with a big smile and a bow, then said, “~Thank you!~”  Kagome smiled back at him and replied in somewhat halting English, “~You are… welcome.  You speak English…yes?~”  His eyes went wide, as his jaw dropped.  Everything in the surrounding area suddenly became deathly quiet as all eyes turned towards the miko and the man sitting across from her. 

Sesshoumaru’s eyebrows shot up under his bangs almost to his hairline in surprise as his head snapped around to stare at the miko.  As a lord, it was expected of him to be able to speak several languages, after all, he had scholars and tutors when he was a pup who schooled him in the ways of court and knowledge of the world. 

On the other hand, during his long life he had only met one female who spoke more than the language with which she was born.  She had been the foreign born mate of a minor youkai lord, who had learned Japanese after she was mated.  

To hear such unusual, foreign sounding words spill fairly easily from the parted lips of his miko was, to put it mildly, astonishing.  ‘Another heretofore unknown facet of this unique jewel.  I wonder if she is capable of surprising me further?’ 

After several long minutes of stillness the dam on the silence broke, with the man beginning to speak quickly.  He clasped his large hands tightly together in his lap, leaning forward with earnestness towards Kagome as he spoke.  Kagome’s eyes were getting wider as she tried to figure out how to get him to slow down.  She was having trouble understanding him;  his speech patterns were so different from her friend at school in Tokyo, who was an exchange student from America. 

Sesshoumaru watched the one sided conversation with some amusement at his miko’s expression, once he recovered from the shock.  The foreign male had suddenly developed a case of logorrhea, and it appeared that he could rival the miko with excessive talkativeness.  As the Kami well knew, she could chatter for hours without stopping.  The miko may have just met her male counterpart. 

Kagome began rapidly waving her hands back and forth in front of herself.  “~Please… slow down… I’m having difficulty understanding you.  First, what is your name?~”   She was now wishing she had paid more attention in history class.  ‘Who was King of England in the early 1500’s?  Was it Henry the VII or Henry the VIII?’  

“~I do apologize, my Lady, it is just that I have not heard a single soul speak my mother tongue in well over two years.  John Bartholomew Roberts, from Wales, at your service, my Lady, but everyone calls me Jack.~”  From his sitting position, he took one of her hands in his, bowed over it, then raising it to his lips, kissed the back of her hand.  

Sesshoumaru watched Kagome blush at this courtly flourish with a surge of possessiveness which manifested itself in his eyes tinging red as he quickly reached over and pulled his miko into his lap while growling a warning to the presumptuous male. 

This display of inu youkai dominance was cut short by the crack of an explosion which carried over the water from the ship along with the sounds of a fight breaking out.  Kagome ducked her head and clutched onto Sesshoumaru’s haori as he jumped to his feet, pushing her behind him.  Jack and Maya also sprang to their feet, turning to look at the ship. 

Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes as he gazed across the water, which was sparkling in the morning light.  Inuyasha had gone along with the group of his soldiers on the exploratory expedition out to the ship.  Now he was wondering what kind of trouble the unpredictable hanyou had started.  That question was quickly answered when he saw one extremely agitated Inuyasha being thrown overboard by his soldiers, along with several other males.  

Inuyasha splashed around for a few minutes until he got his bearings, then made his way ashore, shaking the water out of his clothes and hair.  Stomping over to the group, he grumbled, “Keh, a couple of them bastards had… I think Kagome calls them guns.  All the swords and other weapons have been gathered up and put in one of the storerooms with a guard outside.”  He pulled an object out of his haori and shoved it towards Sesshoumaru.  “Here’s one of them.  I was bringing it for you to look at.” 

Kagome was trying to peek around Sesshoumaru to see what Inuyasha was talking about.  Her eyes widened as she watched Inuyasha hand a blunderbuss matchlock pistol to Sesshoumaru.

It looked like the stereotypical pirate pistol; she had only ever seen one of these in the movies.  

“Hn.”  Sesshoumaru took the wood and metal apparatus from his half-brother, rotating it in his hands several times, noticing the finely crafted firing mechanism.  It appeared to be along similar lines to a weapon he had seen in China, but much, much smaller.  Turning to his miko, he demanded,  “Explain.” 

“It’s a pistol.  People use them to kill other people or things.”  Kagome reluctantly took it when Sesshoumaru handed it to her, surprised at how heavy it was.  Using two hands, she held it by its grip and pointed it towards a nearby tree.  “You point it at what you want to hit, then pull the trigger.  I’ve never shot one before, only seen it done on the television or in a movie.”  At Sesshoumaru’s quizzical look, not realizing it was at the words “television” and “movie”, she added, “It’s sort of like an… arquebus, only smaller.  You can carry it with you, stuck in your obi.” 

Sesshoumaru knew what an arquebus was, he had seen them used during a war on the mainland of China a couple centuries ago when he was there with his sire, the Great and Terrible Inu General.  He was also aware of the immense damage that could be inflicted from them.  He wanted to see this foreign weapon in action and glanced over at the male called Jack.  If he proved to be trustworthy he would demand a demonstration later. 

Inuyasha was watching as the men thrown overboard swam towards shore and were rounded up by several of the soldiers.

“Shu said that those men were part of the original pirate crew and were loyal to the captain.  He also says that there are leg irons in the hold of the ship if you want to chain them up.” 

Sesshoumaru glanced over at the rather burly men with the unusual, dark facial tatoos.  They gave off a intense aura of danger.   After he put them under heavy guard, with orders to kill if it became necessary, they were moved a far distance down the shore until they could be shackled with the leg irons and returned to the ship.  

Deciding it was time for a personal tour of the ship, Sesshoumaru leapt across the water, landing on the deck.  

“Keh, show off.”  Inuyasha plopped himself on the sand next to Kagome, who had sat back down when Sesshoumaru suddenly disappeared.  He took the gun from her and added it to the small pile of stuff behind him.  “What’s up with them?”  He jerked his thumb at the two humans who were once again sitting quietly across from Kagome. 

“Inuyasha, this is Maya, she is from the mainland, can speak Chinese, and is their healer.”  Kagome then turned towards Jack.  “This is John Roberts, he is from Wales, speaks English, and is the assistant navigator.  He says everyone calls him Jack.” 

Inuyasha glared at him.  “Keh!  If he speaks English, how can you understand him – is it like that crap your friend, what’s her name, Sushi, talks?” 

“Yes, Inu-baka, and her name is Susie.  She’s the exchange student from America that’s staying with Yumi’s family.  I’ve shown you where America is on the globe that Souta has.”  Kagome sighed, she was already getting exasperated with the hanyou this morning.  “If you can’t be polite, be quiet.  Unless you want me to use the ‘_it’ word.”  

“Keh!”  Inuyasha shoved his hands inside his haori sleeves and sat there, cradling Tessaiga, continuing to glare at everyone.  He couldn’t help the feeling that today wasn’t going to end well.  Sesshoumaru had taken over everything, completely, including his tachi.  Kagome listened more to Sesshoumaru than to him, one of the assholes’ guards was following her around, and now she was speaking in some gaijin language he couldn’t understand to some gaijin male that was paying way too much attention to her.  How was he supposed to protect her if he didn’t know what the hell they were talking about?  This just wasn’t turning out to be a good day.  Maybe he would go search for Kikyo later tonight, he always felt better after he spent some time with his original miko. 

Once they noticed that Sesshoumaru had left, Sango and Miroku approached Kagome to find out what was happening.   Kagome introduced them to Maya and Jack, then found out that Miroku could also speak quite a bit of Chinese.  The tachi was soon thoroughly engrossed in a round about conversation, interspersed with quite a bit of laughter, regarding the places they had been and strange things they had seen.  Miroku and Kagome were acting as interpreters in the back and forth, while Inuyasha sat, scowling at the goings on, throwing surly comments out every once in a while. 

Sesshoumaru had unobtrusively returned and was watching and listening from a distance, just out of sight, although he was sure Inuyasha knew he was close.  He was carefully noting the cumbersome conversation taking place.  Jack would ask a question or state something, which Kagome translated into Japanese, with Miroku, Sango and Inuyasha following the conversation.  Miroku would then translate it, as well as he could, into Chinese for Maya, who would answer, then the conversation took place in the reverse. 

He couldn’t understand how the pirates had been able to sail as far as they had if this was the convoluted manner they used to communicate with each other.  

Inuyasha had rudely questioned the miko several times, accusing her of not telling them the whole truth of what was being said.  Sesshoumaru knew the miko would not lie, after all, she wasn’t very good at it to begin with, plus Inuyasha should have been able to tell that she was not lieing.  He was, apparently, feeling  resentful about something and trying to stir up trouble. 

Sesshoumaru was waiting to see how long it took before she used the ‘sit’ command to activate the kotodama no nenju and flatten the irritating hanyou into the sand, curious to see how deep he would sink into the soft surface.  Smirking, he realized he wouldn’t have to wait much longer as the miko had risen to her feet and put her hands on her hips, yelling at Inuyasha.  Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes as he continued observing.  The hanyou had also stood up, getting in her face and screaming back at her.  He was going to have to have a talk very soon with his little brother about his manner of speaking to the miko.   

Her face was getting redder by the second, then she finally shouted “Sit, boy!”  The kotodama no nenju glowed brightly as Inuyasha was unceremoniously dragged face down, sinking rapidly into the soft sand.  Miroku was attempting to explain to Maya what had just happened as Kagome angrily strode away, Takeshi following a few steps behind her. 

Kagome came back a short time later with Rin, Shippo, and Jaken, now trailed by both guards.  “We’re going to go forage for some things for lunch.  Do you want to come with us Maya?”  She thought that maybe Maya would like to have the company of some women after being on the ship for so long.  

Miroku translated, then they all stood to follow Kagome as she walked towards the path to the clearing they had left yesterday.  Jack stood quickly, not wanting to let Maya out of his sight, but unsure if he was included in the invitation.  When Kagome saw him standing there, looking confused, she waved him over.  “~Come on Jack, you can come with us, too.  A short hike will be good, you can stretch your legs.  It must feel nice to get off the ship for a while.~” 

“~Yes, this is the first time I’ve actually been off the ship in probably two years.  It’s good to feel the ground beneath my feet.~”  Jack was taking in the scenery as well as noting the continued presence of the guards as they headed out on their quest for ingredients to make the midday meal.  

Inuyasha pulled himself out of the sand, and shook it off his clothes and out of his hair.  Grumbling about anything and everything he could think of, he followed at the rear of the foraging party.  ‘I ain’t letting them outta my sight.  I don’t care if two of Sesshoumaru’s elite guards are with them.  I don’t like that gaijin, Jack.’ 

Sesshoumaru watched from within the treeline as the miko and her friends disappeared from view.  He wasn’t worried about their safety, with his two guards, plus Miroku and Inuyasha, they would be able to take care of any problems that arose.  While he called a quick meeting with his lieutenant general and captains regarding this afternoons schedule, his mind was on his miko and the plans he was making for tonight.  ‘This Sesshoumaru doesn’t often have too much time alone with the miko.  That will change while we are aboard the ship.’ 

~*~

A short walk from the shoreline Kagome came upon some berry bushes, and she left Rin and Shippo picking the berries along with Jaken and Yasuo, the guard assigned to Rin.  She knew that Jaken would be able to find some mushrooms and possibly some wild vegetables.  

She noticed as they walked along that Maya was slowly gathering some plants, probably to restock her medicinal supply.  Handing her the small basket that she used for just that purpose, Kagome told Inuyasha and Miroku that she hoped they could find some rabbits.  She wanted to have roasted meat along with whatever fresh vegetables and fruits they could find, something other than fish, that Maya and Jack would probably appreciate. 

“Keh.”  Inuyasha wasn’t too happy about Kagome catering to the two newcomers, but didn’t want to get sat again, the sand was itchy, and he could still feel some of it in his firerat and hair.  Giving a quick shake of his head, he grimaced, the tiny granules were sliding down his back and working their way into his hakama.  He may have to take a bath to get rid of it all, plus the salt water had dried into his firerat; the now stiff and roughened cloth was rubbing against his skin, making him itch in places, some of which were better not scratched in public. 

He quickly darted off, returning with several rabbits, which he handed to Miroku, who was walking behind Maya and Sango.  ‘That should help keep his hand off its intended targets.’  

Kagome finally found the plum trees she had noticed yesterday.  The ume’s were ripe and she wanted to pick enough to serve with lunch and have some for later tonight or tomorrow.  Shippo had caught up with them, leaving Rin picking berries with Jaken.  Kagome had him climb the tree and pick the plums, which she carefully packed in two of the furoshiki’s she had brought with them.  Turning to head back towards the shore, she handed one of the packages to Sango, and was surprised when Jack took the other one from her. 

Inuyasha hunted down several more rabbits, which he once more handed to Miroku before sniffing the air and taking off again.  He met them about halfway back to the shoreline with two good sized suckling pigs.  “Figured I may as well catch something for tonights meal while I could, since it’s not like we have to cart it around with us.” 

“Thanks, Inuyasha.  That was really nice of you!”  Kagome wondered what had gotten into the usually cranky hanyou, he didn’t often think ahead, scoffing that he would find something when they stopped to make camp.

 They met up with Rin and Jaken on their way back, and as they approached the shoreline, Inuyasha stopped.  “Miroku, you stay here with me.  We can gut and skin these while the others start the fire.”  

Knowing that Kagome didn’t appreciate seeing them dress  their kills, Miroku agreed, wondering again about the future that Kagome came from where she didn’t need this skill.  Early on, both he and Sango had tried several times to teach Kagome how to properly butcher a kill, but quickly concluded it was a lost cause.  Kagome and Inuyasha had both tried to explain about the stores in her time that were larger than any of the markets they had here, and how you could buy anything and everything that you needed to make a meal, but he still couldn’t picture it.   

Miroku also realized that Inuyasha wanted to talk to him about something, he had stopped well out of earshot of the rest of the humans and most of the youkai.  He had an idea what the hanyou’s problem was, but was going to wait for him to bring up the subject. 

Once Inuyasha could see that the group was almost to the camp, and not going to turn back, he sat down with Miroku as they began to butcher the carcasses.  Ears twitching and keeping his voice low, Inuyasha told Miroku that between the two of them they had to keep an eye on that Jack fellow.  “I don’t think that gaijin can be trusted.  He’s  always talking with Kagome, and I can’t understand what he’s saying.” 

Miroku tried to reassure him that it was because Kagome was the only one who could communicate somewhat fluently with Jack, and that he didn’t think that there was any other reason.  “Inuyasha, do you really think that Sesshoumaru would allow anyone to harm Kagome?” 

Little did the hanyou know, but at that exact moment Jack Roberts was thinking precisely the same thing about both of them, as well as Sesshoumaru and his soldiers.  He didn’t trust any of them, and was worried about Maya being around the strange males; she had suffered much at the hands of the pirates before he had been brought aboard.  He had put a stop to the physical abuse, and over the past two years she had come to trust him.  He wasn’t about to let that trust be broken; he would sooner die fighting than allow anyone, human or youkai, to rape her again.  Staying close to her now, and not letting them get separated, was his only concern until he could find out whether or not these beings were honorable.

  

~*~ 

Author’s Notes: 

Arquebus – an early muzzle loaded firearm used in the 14th to 17th centuries.  It was the forerunner of the rifle and other longarm firearms.  Arquebuses were a standard weapon in the “Divine Engine Division” of the Chinese Ming army in the late 14th century.  Arquebuses were introduced to Japan in 1543 by Portuguese traders. 

Gaijin – foreigner; comprised of two kanji – gai = outside plus jin = person. 

Interlocution – conversation; dialogue 

Kotodama no nenju – beads of subjugation, Inuyasha’s necklace or rosary 

Logorrhea – incessant, compulsive or excessive talkativeness.  

~*~

To be continued…

 

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