Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

Bound by Corruption by BelovedStranger

Save Me


This story was created for Stella’s Proverbial Challenge.

Also, this story was once a oneshot of mine named The Spice of The Gods in my lemon oneshot collection A Smell So Sweet. I’ve had people ask me to make this oneshot into a story, and I’ve decided to do so. Be warned that changes have been made to turn the oneshot into a multi chapter story and to fit the new challenge.

First Prompt: 'If eating poison don't forget to lick the plate.'

Word Count: 2,578






Inu no Kami--Dog God


Tasukete--Save me

“I can do it, Kaede-obaasan! Please, I know I can,” beseeched Kagome.

Kagome was kneeling beside her grandmother inside the small hut she shared with the older woman and her absent elder sister, Kikyo. Kaede remained silent after Kagome’s insistent claim as she stoked the small fire with old, gnarled hands, intending to boil hot water over the flames to be used to make tea, her only good eye averted from Kagome’s intense gaze. The older woman had lost her left eye years ago when demons -- bent on devouring them all -- had attacked her village but failed.

“Kaede--” began Kagome again, impatient for her grandmother to speak, to believe in her abilities just this once, but she was interrupted.

“Ye are still inexperienced, child, and it is too dangerous to leave so far from the village during these troubling times. We shall wait for your sister to return to make the journey instead.”

Kagome felt anger and resentment build in her breast as the same argument fell from her obaasan’s mouth. Kikyo, Kikyo, Kikyo. That’s all anyone ever talked about! she fumed silently.

No one could deny Kagome’s love for her elder sister as it was obvious to all, but the younger girl hid a hidden resentment--not hate, but a souring emotion regardless. At the age of eighteen, Kikyo was a powerful and skilled miko few could match, not even their wise grandmother could best her in spiritual strength. Even before she was fifteen, Kagome’s current age, Kikyo had been far advanced in every way a miko could be--unlike Kagome herself. Though powerful spiritually, Kagome had a difficult time controlling her raging reiki.

Kagome did not resent her sister’s skill and control; however, she was not happy to stand in Kikyo’s shadow. Everything seemed to come easily for her older sister, while she had to struggle constantly. Even her archery skills were not as advanced as Kikyo’s. Instead of seeing her accomplishments for what they were, the people of the village were too busy praising Kikyo, comparing the siblings, and finding Kagome lacking.

The villagers were never purposefully unkind, Kagome knew, but it didn’t change the fact that no one seemed to realize that she was growing into a woman with power of her own. Not even Kaede.

Perhaps she should feel hatred towards Kikyo...but how could she when her elder sister did everything she could to include Kagome? To help with her lessons, and give encouragement? Kikyo had told her on more than one occasion that even though her skills were not as advanced as her own, that did not mean she was inadequate or less in any way. What came easier for some, may be harder for another. Kikyo was sure that effort and dedication would most certainly outweigh natural ability--meaning her elder sister believed Kagome to be the stronger of the two. Such a concept seemed impossible to Kagome, but she never called Kikyo a liar.

But sometimes her sister’s encouraging words weren’t enough--like now.

Kagome’s village was in danger. Men and women of all ages had been passing through their village or had collapsed in need of medical attention as they brought terrifying news of brutality and destruction. Bandits had been raiding the country side, pillaging, raping, murdering, and burning everything to the ground. Kagome had never seen such carnage, her village a far remote place in the west. An occasional youkai problem arose, or a vengeful spirit attacked, but never anything a miko coudn’t handle. But bandits weren’t youkai. Miko could not purify humans, even ones evil at heart.

For weeks, the village had assured themselves that the bandits would want nothing to do with such a remote residence, but the number of survivors from other villages had multiplied this past week, bringing dire news of the bandits’ approach.

It was too late to run, not if they wanted to take their possessions with them. And where would they go? How far was distant enough to be safe from these marauders? From what the panicked passersby claimed, they were everywhere.

The villagers clamored for the village miko to go to the Inu no Kami’s temple, a day’s journey by foot, and pray for the villagers’ safety. Kaede was too old to make the journey, and Kikyo was in the next village over, helping the village headman’s wife give birth as the woman had lost her previous child the year before in labor. There was no one to go except for Kagome, but Kaede was hesitant to put her in danger of traveling alone at this time.

But Kagome was adamant she go, to prove to her village, to herself, that she was just as capable as Kikyo, too blind in her youth and impatience to truly acknowledge the danger.

“Kikyo won’t be back for days,” Kagome tried to explain calmly but failing in the end. “There’s no one else but me. I’m not a child anymore, Kaede-obaasan! I can do this. All I have to do is go to the temple, offer up an offering to the Inu no Kami, and pray for the village’s safety. The shrine is but a day’s journey on foot. I’ll be careful. I know how to take care of myself.”

Kagome clenched her hands on top of her knees, bunching the fabric of her red hakama of the traditional garb of her trade in her agitation. Her grandmother, too, wore the clothes of a miko as she knelt beside her, taking the kettle off the fire as she prepared the tea.

After another lengthy silence where Kagome was sure she would go mad from waiting for a response, Kaede sighed tiredly and looked at her with a worried but accepting expression in her old wrinkled face.

“Ye are right, Kagome. I just worry for ye, child.”

Smiling in both relief over the older woman’s capitulation and gratitude for her obvious concern, Kagome placed a hand on her obaasan’s sagging shoulder. “I know you do, Kaede-obaasan, and I thank you, but I’ll be fine.”

Her grandmother didn’t seem to react to her confidence, but Kagome was too elated to let the knowledge dampen her mood.

Nodding her grey head, Kaede set the kettle aside and rose slowly to her feet, her knees paining her in her old age. Confused, Kagome watched her grandmother move around the interior of the hut, grabbing a large cloth used to transport items on a person’s back like a pack along with what looked like a sake bottle and small clay cup. Wrapping the bottle and cup in a small white strip of cloth, Kaede then put the bundle in the larger cloth before walking back over to Kagome, who stood and took the proffered sack. Understanding dawned as Kagome looked at her bundle.

“This is the highest quality sake our village has to offer. Give this to the Inu no Kami when you arrive at the temple, and pray for our deliverance,” Kaede said solemnly.

Kagome knew her obaasan did not mean she would be meeting the Inu no Kami personally when bringing her gift, but hoped the god would hear and answer her prayers from the spirit world.

It was an important task. She would not fail her village, Kagome vowed, bowing to her grandmother and rushing to her rooms to add to her pack of necessary supplies for her journey.

In less than half an hour, Kagome was leaving the village, a smile on her face as the villagers bowed to her respectfully as she passed. Word traveled fast, and all knew about her important travels, thankful for her aid on their behalf.

No one interrupted her or commented that Kikyo may be better served to accomplish the task, and if any did, Kagome did not hear.

It was a long walk. Kagome knew she would not reach the temple before night fall. Looking up at the midmorning sky, Kagome judged her way by the sun’s position in the sky, heading farther west where the shrine lay.

All day her spirits were high as she thought how she would prove to everyone her capability, that though not as skilled, she was just as useful as her elder sister. It wasn’t until the afternoon stretched into evening, then darkness fell over the land that unease began to filter through her mind, her step slower, faltering.

The creeping shadows of the surrounding forest, the night sounds made by insects and animals caused the hair on Kagome’s arms to stand up as alarm and dawning fear settled into her conscious. She was alone and it was getting eerily darker by the second.

Deciding now was as good a time as any to make camp, Kagome set her pack aside. She had already collected several fallen branches to make a fire to dispel some of the thickening shadows when she realized it was too dangerous to start one. Anyone would see her, know her location.

She was alone...or so she hoped.

There were predators. Animals, youkai...bandits.

Swallowing her rising fear lest she choke on it, Kagome shuffled over to a tree, deciding she would use the shadows to her advantage as she sought rest, knowing she had to start early tomorrow to finish her journey. She knew she would be expected to kneel at the shrine’s altar for many hours before making the return trip home. 

As the forest descended into complete darkness, the sounds of the night kept her eyes darting from one spot to the next as she tried to control her fear. It was then that she realized the folly of her decision, her rash behavior.

One of Kaede’s proverbs filtered through her mind, ‘If eating poison, don’t forget to lick the plate.’ In essence it meant, if you’re going to start something, you might as well finish it--whether or not it was a good or bad idea from the beginning.

Resolved, pride battling with fear, Kagome passed a fitful night in the forest, thinking she would never fall asleep; though, she did eventually--hours later.

The next morning, Kagome once again moved toward her destination, though less chipper than she had been the previous day. After her less than restful night, she was tired and aching from sleeping on the unforgiving, cold ground. She had forgotten how miserable traveling could be, but she was determined to complete her mission.

A few hours later, she exited the forest, coming to a grassy plain with a large hill a little over a mile away where at the apex was a shrine--her goal. Even from this distance, Kagome could see the beauty of the shrine, remembered how its elegant craftsmanship had held her in awe whenever she had traveled here with Kikyo. It had been more than three years since last she had seen the impressive wooden structure, and she was eager to lay her eyes on it once more.

She unconsciously hurried her step, finally bringing herself at the bottom of the steep hill. Her progress slowed by her upward stride, her breath quickly became more shallow, her legs feeling the strain, but she kept going.

Halfway up, Kagome became aware of a commotion below and far in the distance. Turning her head to look over her shoulder, her step faltered. Behind her, men--dozens of them--where pointing and running in her direction. They were still a distance off, but she saw how quickly they ate up the ground in pursuit of her. In growing horror, she noticed a few were even on horseback.

A chill of premonition slithered down her spine. Fear had her turning around and running upward. The men on horseback would catch her before she reached the woods, so she had little choice but to run for the shrine, knowing she would be trapped if she were to make it inside, but where else was she to go?

Already she heard the pounding of hooves thundering over the ground, masculine voices becoming louder with every tortured breath she took. Both the physical excursion and fear had her panting, sobbing for air, her legs and side cramping. 

Before they could catch her, she was at the shrine doors, her lungs screaming. The men’s words became horribly discernable as they gained on her, promising to do unimaginable things to her. Yanking on the doors with a choked cry, she threw herself inside, slammed the doors closed and gazed around her with frantic eyes. Finding a long candle stick, she grabbed it, ignoring the unlit candle that fell from its perch to the tiled floor beneath her feet, and thrust the metal stick through the bars of the door to lock herself inside.  

Panting for breath, her hand clenched into a tight fist at her breast where her heart pounded a frantic beat. She waited, fear clouding her wet eyes.

In seconds, pounding sounded against the doors. They shuddered against a heavy weight, and Kagome screamed and fell backwards, stumbling as she turned and ran for the temple steps, ignoring the majestic temple’s interior. Falling to the floor before the three steps that led to the altar, Kagome begged for help.

“Please, Inu no Kami! Help me!”

Frantic, she shook off her pack. Her hands trembled with fright as the pounding at the door intensified. Kagome almost dropped the clay cup when her pursuers demanded she open the door or her punishment for making them wait would only be worse.

Placing the cup on the altar above her kneeling form, Kagome tried to control her trembling hands as she clutched the jug of sake, intending to pour her offering into the cup as an added incentive for the Inu no Kami’s aid. The lewd comments and cat calling made the effort impossible.

Tears spilled over as she prayed for help, begging to be spared between wretched sobs.

“Please, oh kami...oh kami...don’t let them h-hurt m-me! Save me!”

She wasn’t even praying for the Inu no Kami’s aid any longer, but for any assistance. She was going to die, but first she was going to suffer. Why hadn’t she listened to Kaede? Why did she have to care so much what her village thought of her? She wouldn’t complain or try to move out from beneath her sister’s shadow if only someone, anyone saved her!

“Oh kami, ohkamiohkamiohkami...” her words threaded into one sound as the sake splashed into then out and around the cup, spilling the precious liquid on the tiled floor. 

A crash against the doors caused her to whimper and close her eyes, her teeth biting painfully into her bottom lip until she tasted iron--her blood.

They were breaking in!


Then she felt warm, long fingers wrap around her own where she held the sake bottle. She gasped, intending to scream but her lungs seized on a spasm of fear. Her eyes opened impossibly wide, tears cascading in fierce waves down her face as she gazed at the one before her.

She feared the bandits had somehow gotten inside, that she was about to be raped and tortured.

Her liquid, brown orbs collided with amber.


INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.