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|Originally Published in:
||Shonen Sunday 2002 Vol. 8 - 17|
|Published in English as:
|Inuyasha Graphic Novel Vol. 26|
Hakurei-zan no kekkai
(The Shield of Hakurei)
Kikyo explains that Suikotsu was kept from transforming before because of Mount Hakurei, the giant mountain that is said to purify evil. Inuyasha and the others decide to head for the mountain, but Kikyo cannot accompany them due to the purity of the mountain preventing her from nearing it. Kagome is still trying to deal with the realization that Inuyasha still harbors feelings for Kikyo, and Inuyasha starts provoking her over this when he should not. When they approach the mountain they encounter it's barrier and Shippo and Kirara are immediately affected. They cannot approach. For Inuyasha, a half-demon, it is also quite uncomfortable. The humans though are able to move about freely. Elsewhere the fleeing Shichinin-tai are going to meet up with their leader.
The remnants of the Shichinin-tai meet up with Bankotsu who is struggling to write a letter to the people that killed them 10 years prior. His first order of business is to kill them and retrieve his halbeard, Banryu which they have placed on display since they killed the Shichinin-tai. They make good on their word and retrieve the weapon and viciously murder everyone at the castle with little effort. Bankotsu proves to be an excellent opponent with his blade as her kills an entire troop with only a few slashes.
Kagome senses the presence of Shikon shards nearby and Inuyasha smells the Shichinin-tai and large amounts of blood nearby. The Shichinin-tai lie in wait, relaxing when Koga runs into them. The Shichinin-tai quickly attack, but Koga's speed allows him to dodge quickly. Bankotsu enters the fray and Koga seems surprised by his power. Inuyasha and the others arrive and the Shichinin-tai now have to deal with everyone. Kagome is able to see that Bankotsu has three Shikon shards in his throat, other other two he took from Kyokotsu and Mukotsu, and because of this he is much more powerful than the others.
Seiiki no sakaime
As the battle rages between Inuyasha and Bankotsu, Renkotsu tries to attack the others who are standing by watching, but Koga makes a quick save. Kagome sees that he is still carrying the Shikon shards he took from her, and he realizes that she has the ability to see sense the shards. Renkotsu worries that Bankotsu might find out he has been keeping the other shards for himself and plans to kill Kagome before he finds out. When Bankotsu wonders why Naraku had such trouble with Inuyasha, Inuyasha realizes that Bankotsu must know where Naraku is hiding himself. At the edge of Mount Hakurei, Jakken and Rin approach. Rin sees Kohaku and follows him through the barrier where Jakken and Sesshomaru cannot follow. Inside of the the caves. Inside one of the caves there seem to be a large number of small demons. As Naraku's wasps arrive at the battle between the Shichinin-tai and Inuyasha and the others Inuyasha unleashes the Scar of the Wind.
Ginkotsu fires his wires to tangle Inuyasha as he sends forth the Scar of the Wind. Bankotsu manages to hide behind Banryu his blade and survives thanks to Ginkotsu's meddling. He realizes just how serious Inuyasha is when he looks down at Banryu and notices it has been severely knick where the Scar of the Wind hit it. He decides it is best to retreat, and orders everyone away. As they retreat Renkotsu tries to kill Kagome in the confusion, but Kirara saves her. At Mount Hakurei Kohaku orders Rin to leave before the demons attack her. She emerges from the barrier just as Jaken was telling Sesshomaru what had happened to her. Rin tells Sesshomaru that Kohaku protected her from the demons inside Mount Hakurei, and Sesshomaru is shocked that somehow demons managed to penetrate the shield and live inside the sacred mountain. As the Shichinin-tai make their escape Naraku bursts forth from the ground in front of Inuyasha.
Banryu no kizu
(The Scratch on Banryu)
The Naraku standing before them is clearly only a mere puppet, but it attacks, and Inuyasha quickly kills it. Kagome realizes that this puppet is different from the others and it somehow seems like it has been purified as if it came from Mount Hakurei. Koga chases after the fleeing Shichinin-tai, but encounters a Mount Hakurei's barrier that blocks his passage. Because the Shichinin-tai are human, they can pass through it with little difficulty. On the other side they meet Kanna and Kohaku who tell them Sesshomaru is near and that the Tetsusaiga is too powerful for Banryu. This angers Bankotsu until Kanna tells him he can make it stronger. Kanna rats out Renkotsu who was holding the shards he took from Kagome in the temple. Bankotsu threatens him and he turns over the shards. Bankotsu places the two shards into his halbeard, Banryu, and the weapon powers up significantly.
Inuyasha and the others search around bodies of water near the mountainside. Naraku's puppet had the scent of flowers and water, so they think Naraku is perhaps hiding nearby. They come to a small village and discover a boy trying to rent a boat to go out to Hijiri Island in search of his father. The boy named Shintaro tells them that the males of his family are charged with traveling to Hijiri Island and caring for the shrine of Hakushin, a high ranking Buddhist priest. Hakushin was a living Buddha who mummified himself while still alive during his final days. As they travel to Hijiri Island the boy tells of the great deeds Hakushin did while he was living. Kagome wonders to herself who placed the purifying barrier around Mount Hakurei, which can be seen in the distance. As they arrive at the small island there is a weaker version of the barrier found around Mount Hakurei. The scent of flowers and water prove that this is wear Naraku's puppet originated from. They find the remains of Shintaro's father as well. The shrine of Hakushin is badly damaged and out of the mist Bankotsu emerges.
Kekkai no chushin
(The Center of the Shield)
Bankotsu says he was told to wait there until Inuyasha arrived. Inuyasha immediately uses the Scar of the Wind, but the barrier around the island makes it ineffective. The barrier severely weakens Inuyasha compared to Bankotsu, a human, who is unaffected. Shintaro rushes inside the temple to prey before the corpse of Hakushin, and ask him to grant Inuyasha the power to beat Bankotsu. He is shocked to see Hakushin's mummified remains are no longer in the temple. Miroku searches for the origin of the barrier, and finds a dokko, a Buddhist implement that is generating it. Miroku realizes that Hakushin the devout Buddhist priest must be helping Naraku. The barrier is lifted and Inuyasha returns to full power.
Bankotsu tells Inuyasha to try to use the Scar of the Wind again, and Inuyasha happily obliges. This time the full power of the technique is released, but with the powered up Banryu Bankotsu is able to easily deflect the blast. Suddenly Hakushin's dokko flies forward and knocks against Tetsusaiga, returning it to its small, useless state. Inuyasha is about to be cut down when Kagome fires her arrow into Bankotsu's arm. His flesh is seared away leaving only the bones of his arm visible. Suddenly the dokko flies beside him and together they both vanish.
(The Living Mummy)
Bankotsu is transported to a temple where he meets Kanna and Kohaku. He says he feels ill and Kanna tells him it is because he is within the barrier of Mount Hakurei. Bankotsu notices the mummified remains of Hakushin placed on a pedistal, and then realizes that it is he who is generating the barrier around the mountain. Miroku has figured out the same and realizes that Naraku must be hiding inside Mount Hakurei. Miroku and Sango decide that only they can venture into the mountain to investigate since Inuyasha, and other demons cannot go. They leave Kagome, Shippo, and Kagome in Inuyasha's care and vanish into the mists of the mountain. At the village Kikyo takes her leave of the children so that she can investigate as well. Unfortunately the barrier also keeps her from entering the mountain. Further away Koga is also trying to penetrate the barrier with no luck.Suddenly an explosive force blasts out of the mountain and Renkotsu and Ginkotsu emerge from the barrier. Koga's legs are badly injured, but he realizes that if he is able to take their shards he can kill them. He dashes forward only to be caught in a net of flames by Renkotsu.