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|Originally Published in:
||Shonen Sunday 2002 Vol. 19 - 39|
|Published in English as:
|Inuyasha Graphic Novel Vol. 28|
Kurayama no naka
(Inside the Darkness)
Miroku is shocked when he discovers that Naraku has brough Hakushin back to life, and that he is willingly helping Naraku. He tells them how he allowed himself to be buried alive so that he could pass into the next life and watch over the people of his village. He felt betrayed as he sat beneath the ground waiting to die. As he sat alone, he realized that the villagers were praying for his death so that his spirit could protect them. He began to have doubts, and when he died his body acended to Buddhahood but his soul could not be saved and remained in the dark, underground where he was buried. Naraku allowed him to live again, without judging him or criticizing his choices. Meanwhile deep inside Mount Hakurei Jakotsu is hunting Inuyasha who has become a human. He has wounded him badly and Inuyasha does not seem able to withstand much more punishment.
Hakurei-zan no ihen
(The Mountain Changes)
Inuyasha almost slices Jakotsu's shard from his neck, but only nicks him. Jakotsu continues making his perverse threats while Inuyasha falls to the ground after losing too much blood. Miroku attempts to break Hakushin's barrier, but his spiritual powers are nothing compared to those of Hakushin. He threatens the old man with his Wind Tunnel and that causes him to flee and break the barrier. Outiside Kikyo watches as the seal is broken and she is allowed to venture closer to the forbidden mountain. She watches as a ball of energy, Hakushin, escapes. Inside the mountain Inuyasha returns to his half-demon form now that the barrier has been lifted. Jakotsu thinks he can still kill Inuyasha but is met with the Scar of the Wind instead.
The Wind Scar slices through Jakotsu but Inuyasha smells Naraku deeper within the mountain and leaves to find him. Jakotsu has been sliced to pieces, but his Shikon shard is keeping him alive. Renkotsu approaches and removes the shard in order to power himself up and allowing Jakotsu to die. Outside Kikyo detects a barrier like the one that had been around the Mount Hakurei and finds Hakushin, the resurrected priest. Kikyo talks to him and tries to convince him to allow her to approach him, and hopefully save his soul. Deeper inside the mountain Inuyasha is able to feel something around him... a pulse.
(The Sanctuary Destroyed)
Renkotsu also feels the pulse where he is and realizes Naraku must be starting to move. He heads for the exit with Jakotsu's shard in his throat. At the entrance to the inner part of the cave he meets Bankotsu, the only other surviving member of the Shichinin-tai. He decides if he is going to kill Bankotsu now is the time to do it. Before he can though, Bankotsu shoves his fingers through Renkotsu's throat and pulls out two of the three Shikon shards he has. He is angry with Renkotsu for betraying the Shichinin-tai for his own power, and then removes the final shard. For a moment he reflects with sadness as he realizes he is all alone now. Kikyo convinces Hakushin that he no longer needs to harbor such guilt and hatred and as she comforts him, his soul is able to enter Nirvana. The mountain begins to shudder as Sesshomaru and Koga watch seperately. Inside Bankotsu has tracked down Inuyasha and now, powered by nine Shikon shards, he plans to kill him before he can reach Naraku.
Kairou no soko
Shippo and Kirara are feeling better now that the barrier is completely removed and Koga finds Kagome and they prepare to enter Mount Hakurei together. Bankotsu is battling Inuyasha and hoping to gain revenge for the fallen members of the Shichinin-tai. He is able to bat away the Scar of the Wind with his halbeard. Miroku can sense the evil powers within the mountain growing much stronger and realizes that Naraku's powers have increased significantly. Deep within the darkness Naraku's face emerges.
Futatsu no kehai
(The Two Auras)
Naraku vanishes back into the darkness as Kagura attacks Miroku and Sango. Miroku asks her if Naraku is still weak against Tetsusaiga's red, barrier breaking blade, but Kagura says they will have to ask Naraku that. She knocks them into the dark pit where Naraku's face was seen. Inuyasha continues to try to hold off Bankotsu has Kagome and Koga approach. She tells Koga that she senses two Shikon fragments, a large one in the center of the mountain that is probably Naraku, and a second one at the base- Bankotsu. Koga opts to go after Naraku. Inuyasha manages to rip two shards from Bankotsu's arm and promises that his head will be next.
Bankotsu no chikara
Bankotsu manages to fight Inuyasha off and keep him from taking anymore fragments, while Miroku and Sango find the remains of many demons deep inside the mountain. Miroku realizes that Naraku has been taking himself apart once again and reforming with only the best parts of the demons he has absorbed, thus becoming more powerful. The also find hundreds of small, white, child-like oddities that seem as if they were some type of aborted creatures. Inuyasha is able to remove three more fragments from Bankotsu when he fakes being unconcious and rips them from him when he moves in too close.
(Cut in Two)
Inuyasha tells Bankotsu that his life is about to end, and even if he were able to escape now that Naraku would hunt him down and take his shards. Bankotsu reflects on the deal he made with Naraku- to work for him in exchange for enternal life. Bankotsu is able to get free and knocks Inuyasha back with Banryu, his Shikon-enhanced halbeard. Inuyasha quickly cuts him while he holds Banryu in his left hand... a trick to take advantage of the fact that all of Bankotsu's shards would be in one place and make them an easy target. The right half of Bankotsu's body withers away as the left half is kept alive, by the shards although he is unable to function anymore. Suddenly the ground around them begins to sink as something tries to absorb them.
(The Wall of Flesh)
Inuyasha begins to sink when he realizes the ground is made from flesh rather than stone. Huge tentacles wrap around he and Bankotsu and carry them off towards the center of the mountain. As Kagome and Koga make their way through the cave, Koga is also sucked into the wall, and Kagome is able to sense his fragments being taken towards Naraku's location. She and Shippo pursue him as best they can on Kirara. Kagome finds the white child-like creatures and Miroku and Sango are still there as well. She is upset to discover that Inuyasha is not with them, when more tentacles begin to move past them dragging Inuyasha towards Naraku.
Naraku tells them they have all reached their final destination and they will go no further. His tentacles pin them all down as he explains that Mount Hakurei is actually his body, and they are all within him. Shippo asks if they will be eaten like Koga was, which shocks Inuyasha. Naraku says that absorbing weak demons and human into himself would only weaken him. Naraku's tentacles take Bankotsu's fragments as well as the ones Inuyasha took from him during their battle. Naraku's new body forms before them and Miroku can sense his immense new power. Inuyasha fights his way free and uses the Scar of the Wind, but Naraku deflects it. Naraku tells Inuyasha that his own attack will kill his friends.