Inuyasha Vol 46 (Ch 456-458) *SPOILERS*

Thanks to Freelance for the scans.

Chapter 456

Kohaku finds himself captured by Byakuya and is wrapped with numerous small (youkai?) snakes who bite him. Before he can corrupt Kohaku’s Shikon shard, an attack from Sesshoumaru-sama stops him. Sesshoumaru notes that Mouryoumaru’s scent is gone and that Naraku must have devoured him. Byakuya wonders if Sesshoumaru came to save Kohaku, but Sesshoumaru states that he simply came to kill a nauseating stench. With that, Byakuya flees and Rin comes forward to aid her friend Kohaku. She’s warned against touching him since the snakes are poisonous while at the same time, Jaken gets bit.

Inuyasha carries Kikyou in pursuit of Kohaku and come upon Sesshoumaru’s scent. She’s getting weaker because the shouki is spreading within her, and her only hope is Kagome acquiring the new bow string. Kagome and the rest of the group come to Mount Azusa, and the group attempts to climb the stairs to the top of the mountain (and the shrine on top) but make no progress. Kagome wonders if her own feelings are preventing them from making progress since she’s not happy about the Kikyou-Inuyasha situation. She suddenly is able to see a shape and falling off Kouga’s back, finds herself alone with a humanoid, faceless shape. Back with Inuyasha, Kikyou explains what Kagome is facing and that this being’s form is chosen by the heart of the person looking at it. Kagome sees Kikyou.

Chapter 457

Kouga is upset that they are back at the base of the stairs without Kagome. He wonders if that “youkai” he saw did it. Miroku urges calm, stating that the mountain most likely has accepted Kagome-sama. Kagome follows the form of Kikyou into the shrine and is told that she is tainted and wrapped in dirty spider webs. Kikyou’s form retrieves a bow and gives it to Kagome providing she truly wishes to save the real Kikyou. Kagome takes the bow and runs back down the stairs. She realizes that she’s making no progress and as before, there’s a mist. Its then that she sees Inuyasha running and calling her name. She calls to him, but finds herself trapped in thick strands of spider webs.

Kagome sees that Inuyasha is holding an injured Kikyou, telling her he’ll find Kagome soon. She yells for Inuyasha, but discovers he can’t see or hear her. Kikyou tells Inuyasha that Kagome may be caught as the mountain tests a person’s heart to determine their worth for the bow. Seh states that even if Kagome wasn’t tainted by Naraku’s webs, Kagome only sees Kikyou as a rival for Inuyasha’s attention. Inuyasha wonders if Kagome doesn’t really intend to save Kikyou, and she protests out loud, and Kikyou seems to look right at her. At that moment, the ground gives out underneath Kagome.

Meanwhile, Inuyasha and Kikyou race to Mount Azusa and Kikyou’s bow shatters. Kikyou states that something must have happened to Kagome. She silently thinks about how the mountain causes illusions and thus traps people.

Kagome finds herself hanging off the edge of a cliff by a vine with the bow she was given suddenly very heavy. She sees Kikyou at the top of the cliff. She asks her to get Inuyasha, but Kikyou states that because Inuyasha is a hanyou, he cannot come up the mountain. Kagome states the bow is too heavy and she can’t lift her arm, leading Kikyou to observe that Kagome must really want her dead. Kagome protests since Kikyou isn’t helping her.

The spirit of the mountain shows up and advises Kagome to throw away the bow. The spirit, in Kikyou’s form, observed that Kikyou wishes for the death of Kagome and that even if Kagome helped her, Kikyou would abandon her to be with Inuyasha. As such, Kagome should throw away the bow.

Chapter 458

As Kagome clutches the vine with one hand while dangling off the cliff, the spirit of the mountain reminds Kagome that Kikyou hates her and that she should throw away the bow, which Kagome finds very heavy. Kagome begins to consider this, knowing that she’d be happy if Kikyou died. Meanwhile, Inuyasha and company are at the bottom of the mountain with Inuyasha holding the real Kikyou. She asks to be put down and knows that only Kagome can save her if she chooses to do so.

The illusion Kikyou states that its OK if Kagome abandons her since Inuyasha would never know. The spirit of the mountain concurs. Kagome is unsure, but gets mad when illusion Kikyou is laughing. Illusion Kikyou states what Kagome was thinking — that Kagome would be able to forgive herself even if Inuyasha did. The illusion Kikyou continues, stating how Kagome is jealous and hates her and even pretended to pity her. Kagome protests and illusion Kikyou continues by stating that Kagome is unhappy that she cannot sever the bond between Kikyou and Inuyasha. As Kikyou continues to speak of Kagome’s feigned kindness, Kagome gets mad and tells Kikyou to shut up because she can’t take her any more.

At the base of the mountain, Sango and Miroku notice the change in the mountain’s atmosphere. Kouga decides to attempt to come up the mountain, but is stopped by Inuyasha who decides that only he can hep. As he runs up the stairs, Kagome is observed by the illusion Kikyou and the spirit of the mountain. Kagome goes off on the illusion Kikyou, stating how she’d been quite and listened to everything she had to say, but that what Kikyou has to say isn’t any more important that what Kagome has to say. Kagome goes on to state that Kikyou is afraid of Kagome. She acknowledges the past between Kikyou and Inuyasha is something she cannot interfere with but Kagome has seen more of Inuyasha than has Kikyou. The illusion asks if she and Kagome are equals and Kagome agrees. As such, there’s no reason for Kagome needs to be afraid of Kikyou or abandon her. When Kagome says this, the bow gets lighter.

The spirit of the mountain states that Kikyou cannot now kill Kagome and asks what Kagome will do with the bow. Kagome states she feels better having said what she said to Kikyou and that Kikyou can decide what to do next. It is then that Kagome notices that she’s not clinging to a vine, but to a large bundle of webs with Kikyou wrapped in them. Kikyou fades and Kagome falls from the webs. As Kagome falls, the spirit of the mountain states that the dirty spider webs that held Kagome have been broken and that she should save the miko with the bow.

Thoughts

Well, it seems that Takahashi-sensei may be trying to resolve the love-triangle between Inuyasha, Kagome, and Kikyou. I could be wrong because we’ve had these stories before, but there have been signs that she may be trying to wrap up the manga.

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