I know I usually do this when I initially post the chapter, but it's better late than never, eh?
I realize that it has been an incredible long wait for this chapter, and for that I apologize. That ugly beast called Real Life seems to enjoy butting himself into things and intimidating my muse until she doesn't want to do anything. The good news is that I do have the next chapter started, so hopefully things won't take as long. I know that people want the updates, so that's one reason to keep going---besides the fact that I want to see where the story goes just as much as you do.
I would like to thank those that nominated Journey for the last IYFG term, although I didn't place in the voting. I appreciate that people enjoy my work enough to consider it worthy for awards and recognition. I don't write for that reason, but it's nice to see that from time to time.
Speaking of awards, the Maximum Challenge at MM.org has just announced its winners and I am thankful that Shake the Disease, from Songs of Faith and Devotion, placed third for Best Songfic. I am very proud of that story, and consider it my best completed effort of 2007. Hopefully I can actually get back to the next story in the series and finish it as I've meant to for some time. It's too bad I didn't place in the other categories I entered, but one placement is very rewarding.
Now for the review responses:
shatter the sky comes quietly: I thought it would be a nice gesture! No, I don't believe Kagome has ever killed humans in the story, but one has to ask themselves if she has done so in this chapter. Technically, the answer would be yes, but at the same time no. Those Grolims were not ordinary Grolims. Those who are not talented cannot readily tell the difference between ordinary Grolims and Chandim. The possibility that those who were going to sacrifice Inuyasha were not mere Grolims and were actually Chandim is very high. Chandim are not just those that appear as Hounds. Some were Hounds for a period of time, while others were converted back to humanoid form, yet still retain their Hound mindset and can thus communicate with their pack. I would say that these Grolims that Kagome purified were most likely this variety. How did she do it? Well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we? I would say that Sesshomaru will indeed have his hand full with his own problems. Zedar is a tough opponent and regardless of Sesshomaru's prowess in battle, never forget that Zedar is almost the same age as Belgarath. I would almost say that at this point Zedar is more tragic than he was in the Belgariad series. Zedar is nearly 7,000 himself, has had his spirit broken by Torak, and has just emerged from about a decade being encased in stone---alive and conscious. There is also whatever Naraku is doing to him now. Sesshomaru will have to tread carefully against this foe if he wishes to win. But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. As for a return to FF.net, I'm afraid not. Their policies on adult theme stories makes it almost impossible for me to return.
Shaid: I'm glad you enjoyed the story and hope you'll continue to read. It's been a fun ride, hasn't it?
Patty530: You're welcome and thanks for reading and reviewing.
Adeneri: Glad you enjoyed it.
Kate: I'm glad you enjoyed the chapters. Don't worry about Miroku. We'll get to him all in good time.
knittingknots: I'm glad you think Inuyasha's character has grown in the right direction. I think it would be pretty stupid and boring if Inuyasha remained the same boy he was at the beginning of the manga---or in the case of my story, the insecure and uptight boy he was. He has had to confront a lot of things in this story that has made him grow up some. I wanted to have his side of the story, since we had seen Shippo's. I think he's unsure of just what to do or how to handle it considering his upbringing. I'm also glad you enjoyed the telling of Vo Mimbre. I struggled with how much to tell, but knew it was important for hints about my own storyline. I also had fun bringing it into the story without glossing over some important parts and thus letting those, like you, who haven't read it to learn about the characters in the other series. I'm glad you found that enjoyable. I'm glad you enjoyed the lemon scene and Kagome's rescue of Inuyasha. I thought it was about time she save his ass from trouble rather than always been the rescued.
Doggieearlover: I felt I had to tackle Inuyasha and Kagome's side of the story considering Shippo. We've seen how Shippo feels, but not really them. I wanted to delve into why Inuyasha and Kagome behaved the way they did with him and how they have to change that. It will take a long time for Shippo to learn, yes, but I don't think he'll be as difficult as he has been or as belligerent. In the long run, he'll be an asset, not a determent. I have placed the Battle of Vo Mimbre in the story for a good reason, although it might take some time to arrive at just why I did it. I would say that Inuyasha might know something more than he's letting on, but he still doesn't know everything, either. You'll just have to wait and see. I had Inuyasha trust Garion because I've been building their relationship up and this one will be crucial for Inuyasha. I also figured he must have learned from his past experience with the hiding it that it would be just easier to come out to someone and say it before it became another issue. Just wait, Inuyasha will really need Garion's guidance down the road. I wanted to dedicate a chapter to someone, so feel proud! I do think Kagome has every right to be a bit wary of Inuyasha's new invisible companion, even if he's not evil. She doesn't know that yet! I really wanted to approach the lemon with tenderness and communicate their love for one another in the physical act. A lot of the time, lemons are thrown in for the pure PWP effect, which is fine, but I wanted to do something more. I'm glad you find Kagome's actions believable. I've had some people concerned that she killed some humans, but I made it so she had no choice. Either she watches them cut Inuyasha's heart out or she acts and kills these evil men. I had her act. There is also the question one must ask, considering not all human appearing Grolims are technically human. We shall see how that comes out. I would say there is a possibility that Inuyasha's secret is not so secret anymore. Someone certainly knows and is using that to his advantage, but just how many actually know is not going to be revealed just yet! As for Miroku and company, just wait and see what happens to our monk. You might be surprised.
Bookreader9999: I'm glad you're enjoying the story. Don't worry, we'll get to Naraku all in good time.
Charles Watford Jr: I'm glad you're enjoying it.
GrayPheonix: I would love to update more often, but as you said, real life does get in the way! I hope you'll continue to enjoy the story.
La623: I'm glad you really enjoyed the chapters! Keep reading.
New Fan: I'm glad you enjoyed the chapters and hope you'll keep reading.
Nikki Coley: I'm glad you enjoy the story. Hopefully we'll return to Sesshomaru and Rin soon, eh?
Litele_one: I wanted to approach the Inuyasha/Shippo father/son dynamic in this story. So much of the time in the manga, Shippo gets away with crap he shouldn't and for whatever reason, Inuyasha is unable to respond in an effective manner. I also wanted to highlight that it's not all his fault that Shippo behaves as he does. Kagome is partially to blame as well. Yet, having said that, both of them did the best they could with their own emotional capacity at the time, and while they made mistakes, Shippo could probably behave much, much worse than he already does. I think what was also necessary was that united front between the newly crowned parents. They've been his parents all along, since he joined them, but this is the first time they're actually acknowledging this fact. I also don't think it would make any sense for the relationships to remain as they were, considering all the changes in other areas. Inuyasha and Kagome have both matured through their experiences in this new world and the experiences in their own relationship growth that for them to act the same way about Shippo makes no sense. Shippo is behaving just as a little boy in his situation would. He's not very happy about change and it'll take some of his power away to muscle things to get his way. He also isn't entirely certain if there's still room, so he's retaliating the only way he can: by complaining. In time, he will grow beyond this type of behavior and be a worthy member of the family. It's another reason I paired him with Sesshomaru to teach him how to grow up properly and about being a demon. Inuyasha and Kagome's job are to provide comfort, love, and in many cases, discipline. It's Sesshomaru's ONLY job to provide discipline. He won't have any soft feelings for the fox kit, nor will he be distracted by past instances. I think it's also about time they put a stop to this behavior otherwise Shippo may never grow up to be a capable demon. It's all for everyone's benefits in the long run. I do hope you'll keep reading and enjoying the story, though!
Until next time,
Far Away Eyes