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Hiei's sword remained pointed at Inuyasha as he reminded everyone present, "King Enki laid down the law. Demons are no longer allowed to pass from Demon World to Human World, unless they have prior authorization like me. Clearly these fools," he glared at Inuyasha's group, "are in violation of that law."

Hiei King Enki Inuyasha's group
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Inuyasha drew Tetsuaiga and said belligerently, "If you have a problem with me-"

"Put away your fang," Hiei said disinterestedly. "You're not the one in violation of the law."

The entire audience shouted, "Huh?"

Well, maybe not all of it. But enough of it did to count.

"What do you mean?" Miroku asked, as startled as everyone else.

"Half demons are exempt from King Enki's edict," Hiei explained. "The cat-demon and fox-demon are the ones in violation."

Inuyasha Hiei Miroku
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"But he's got dog ears!" Tasuki pointed at Inuyasha. "Why is he not a demon?"

"You've got wolf fangs," Ashitare pointed at Tasuki.

"And you turn into a wolf," Nuriko pointed at Ashitare.

"Finger pointing won't get us anywhere, you know?" Chichiri pointed out.

Tasuki Ashitare Nuriko Chichiri
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Shippo hid behind Kagome's legs, while Kilala turned into her giant cat form.

Shippo Kagome Kilala Kilala Transformed
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"Um, wow, I'm glad Eikichi doesn't go through growth spurts like that," Kuwabara murmured.

Shizuru clonked him on top of the head and reminded him, "Eikichi is a normal cat, not a cat-demon!"

"I know! I'm just sayin'!" Kuwabara argued.

Kuwabara Eikichi Shizuru
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"I think there are more important issues here," Kurama noted, "such as the concept of ex post facto."

"No spells out of you," Kagome demanded, notching an arrow and aiming it at Kurama.

He explained smoothly, "It's Latin for 'something done after.' I gather that the six of you are the group from the legend."

"We are probably the persons upon whom the legend was based," Miroku said guardedly.

"The law was only passed within the last few years," Kurama elaborated on his idea. "Since you are from seven centuries ago, before the law was passed, ex post facto means that you cannot be charged with a crime."

"That's a relief," Kagome said thankfully, lowering her bow.

"But they crossed time and the barrier, to a time when the law had been passed," Hiei said pointedly, holding his katana at the ready. "The law therefore still applies."

Kurama Kagome Miroku Hiei
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"Out of order!" Yusuke banged his fist on his armrest with a malicious grin. "The pointy-haired prosecution won't step on the kitsune defense lawyer's statements."

"A demarcation between the human and demon worlds," Sango said to herself.

Miroku nodded. "That is the central issue. There is no demarcation in our time. The human and demon worlds coincide. Therefore, it could be said just as easily that we crossed from Human World at one point in time to Human World at another point in time."

Kagome smirked at Hiei and said primly, "The defense rests."

"I think the defense should wait for his inevitable reply," Kurama cautioned.

Yusuke Sango Miroku Kagome Hiei
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"Hnh. A likely story," Hiei said disbelievingly. "You six could've come out of a costume party for all I know. I want some proof that you actually managed to travel seven hundred years in time."

"Ninja food!" Shippo whispered to Kagome.

"But that exists here," Sango whispered to Shippo.

"I don't see why we have to prove anything to you anyways!" Inuyasha challenged Hiei.

"Because our group is not at full strength," Miroku said softly, nodding towards his hands, which were still tied to the armrests. "We're also surrounded by people who may or may not be on our side. Maybe we should just run."

"Hardly an option," Hiei said with his characteristic glare.

Everyone was silent for a long moment.

Shippo Inuyasha
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"Sango," Inuyasha said quickly, "your armor and my sword! They're made out of the corpses of demons from seven hundred years ago!"

Yui nodded, "We could perform carbon dating on the specimens and approximate their age."

Miaka looked back at her and asked, "Um, why do you want to fix up that demon slayer lady with carbon?"

"Did you skip studying for the science exam for this?" Yui asked suspiciously.

"Why would you ever think that?" Miaka said too cheerily while turning around abruptly.

Sango Inuyasha Yui Miaka
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Chiriko noted, "But carbon dating may not have the precision we need here."

"How do you know about carbon dating?" Tetsuya asked incredulously.

"I read up on my way here," Chiriko explained, removing from his robe and holding up a thick paleontology book. "I wanted to make a textbook for Miaka."

"Thank you!" Miaka gushed.

"In any event," Hiei cut in, moving his katana slightly, "my katana may be hundreds of years old, on my say so, but that doesn't mean that I'm not five years old."

"That would explain your height!" Kuwabara heckled him good-humoredly.

Hiei's lips turned down slightly.

Chiriko Tetsuya Miaka Hiei Kuwabara
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Yukina piped up, "Hiei, I'm very sorry to interrupt, but may I ask a question?"

His eyes turned to her, "What is that supposed to mean?" he asked roughly.

"I crossed the barrier today, am I in violation of the law?" she asked sadly.

Hiei paused a moment, but grudgingly admitted, "No, you got a pass, didn't you?"

"Yeah, what're you talking about, Yukina?" Kuwabara asked her. "Shizuru and I met you at the border patrol station! We said hi to George the ogre there too!"

"Oh, good. It was just, I was worried I had done something wrong, and, well." She smiled in relief and slight embarassment.

"Then you're fine. Don't worry when you know you're in the right," Hiei said in a voice that was too gruff to be real.

Yukina Hiei Kuwabara George, Koenma, and Botan
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"What about me?" the demon Itsuki, Sensui's partner, asked.

"Have you got a pass?" Hiei asked irritatedly.

"No," Itsuki admitted. Sensui pointed out, "But he hasn't crossed from Demon to Human world since the law was passed either. He's been here the whole time."

"Then you haven't broken the law either," Hiei said impatiently.

Itsuki Sensui
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"Yusuke," Keiko whispered, "you told me that you killed Sensui when your ancestor Raizen took over your body that one time."

"So?" Yusuke asked, not seeing the immediate application.

"So what's he doing sitting right there?" she asked incredulously.

Yusuke stood up and announced to the theater at large, "Hiei, do you mind if I break in a bit? Keiko just made a good point. What are all of you dead guys doing here? How did you come back to life, Sniper? Hiei got you pretty good. My old man certainly killed you, Sensui."

Yusuke Keiko Yusuke and Raizen Hiei Sniper
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"If it comes to that," Nuriko asked, "how come Ashitare's still alive after I killed him?"

"I'm the one who actually killed Ashitare," Nakago corrected him.

"And Nakago should be dead too!" Tasuki nodded at Nakago.

"Your emperor should be among the dead as well," Nakago mentioned.

"I suppose we were too beautiful an emperor to remain dead," Hotohori pontificated aloud.

Nuriko Ashitare Nakago Tasuki Hotohori
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"The cat and the fox are coming with me, or they will be dead," Hiei reasserted himself.

Kilala Transformed Shippo Hiei
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"Wait, listen to us!" Kagome insisted. "I'll tell you how we got here."

"Why?" Hiei asked bluntly.

"We really did come here from 700 years ago! Well, they did, anyhow. I'm from this time," Kagome tried to explain. "See, usually I go down a well that takes me back in time 700 years ago. That's where I met my friends," she gestured to her companions. "Usually only Inuyasha can go with me through the well from 700 years ago to this time. But then we met this guy who showed us a newspaper ad that explained that the Band of Seven would be here. We wanted to know how they had come back to life for the second time, so we wanted to come to this concert. The guy gave us some discs, and this time all of my friends could pass through the well." Kagome held up a black disc.

Hiei Inuyasha's group
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"Can you tell us what this guy looked like, you know?" Chichiri asked suddenly.

Kagome put a hand to her chin. Shippo hummed to himself, unable to recall. Inuyasha offered, "He didn't smell like Naraku, or much of anything."

"He was ordinary," Sango recalled, and Miroku agreed, "Almost nondescript."

"Gee, a rather plain guy gave me a black disc too, you know?" Chichiri held up an identical disc. "He said it'd let me take my friends to Miaka's reality, you know?"

Chichiri Inuyasha's group Naraku Miaka
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Nakago held up a black disc and droned, "When I was dead, a boring person gave me a black disc and told me he had a use for me performing in this concert. I had nothing better to do, being dead, so I came. Here I am."

"I wanted to get revenge on the Suzaku Seven-" Ashitare panted as he clutched his disc.

"But there's no point to it now, so you'll stay in your seat," Nakago told him callously. Ashitare slumped back with a small whine.

Nakago Ashitare Suzaku Seven and Miaka
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Sensui held up a black disc and smiled, "Well, what do you know? I guess that's how we all got here."

Yusuke shrugged, "Another Spirit Detective case solved. Spirit World gave everybody passes and told them to come here."

Botan pointed out, "Those aren't Spirit World passes."

"Or even Demon World passes," Hiei told them all. "But I grow weary of this yammering. I shall accept your story, if only because the fox doesn't pose enough of a challenge," he eyed Shippo. Sheathing his katana, he disappeared and reappeared back into Yusuke's row.

Sensui Yusuke Botan Hiei Shippo
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Genkai walked to the middle of the stage and announced sarcastically, "Now that the intense legal drama is over, we'll be having a five minute intermission before the Seiryu Seven begin their act."

"Finally, let's hit the road!" Inuyasha exulted.

"Wait- Shippo, where is your black disc?" Miroku asked.

"It's right where I put it, in my belt next to my spinning top-" Shippo began to say as he reached for it, then exclaimed in horror, "Oh no, it's gone!"

Sango suddenly ran her eyes along the group. "Our discs are all gone!" Kagome looked at her hand and found the disc she had held up was gone.

Genkai Inuyasha's group
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"They've been stolen!" Inuyasha was outraged.

"No," Miroku contradicted him, "I watched the disc in Kagome's hand. As soon as you said we were going to leave, only a few seconds ago, it disappeared."

"The plain guy has trapped us here?" Shippo asked in horror.

"Or he refuses to let us leave the concert early," Sango considered.

"I don't believe it!" Inuyasha sighed, flopping back into his chair.

"I can see how being trapped here has upset you," Miroku said seriously. "Trust me, I quite understand your sentiments-"

"We're not untying you, Miroku," Sango interrupted him. He hung his head.

Inuyasha Miroku Kagome Shippo Sango
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The Seiryu Seven set up the stage for their act, Miboshi floating up to the stage lights and adjusting them properly.

"Hey!" Amanuma called out, throwing Ashitare's words back at him, "since Suboshi left, there's only six of you! You're not allowed to perform in a Band of Seven!"

"The Seiryu Seven will not-" Ashitare began.

"Will not be baited by children," Nakago finished for him. Ashitare snarled but returned to his work.

Seiryu Seven Miboshi Game Master Ashitare Nakago
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When the act was ready, Nakago strode to the front and told the audience, "I didn't really ever like music when I was a child. Probably because I was too busy trying to figure out why my ethnic group was being persecuted. I found out that nowadays there's a thing called a 'grunge band'. Since I've finally accomplished vengeance upon my tribe's enemies, I thought it'd be appropriate to sing a song about how I fulfilled my grudge in grunge band style."

Ashitare suddenly began to play on an electric guitar at a volume level far too loud. Soi was either playing the drums or causing continuous thunderclaps- either way, it was very loud. Nakago began to sway precipitously, causing his long blond hair to flop and swirl all over the place. Suddenly he began to scream in a high pitched voice, very different from his usual low-pitched one, horrifying words about his many treacheries and his desire for death and mayhem. For the chorus, Miboshi joined him, adding a second harsh voice to the acoustic melee. Tomo projected with illusions some of the more horrifying scenes Nakago depicted with his lyrics.

Nakago Ashitare Soi Miboshi Tomo
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"I don't know that this is really a grunge-style song," Mitarai winced as another thunderclap came.

"But it's certainly a grudge-style song," Sensui noted.

"Don't let them win, don't let them win, music still exists, they can't destroy it," Chiriko whispered to himself as he clutched his armrests so hard that his knuckles turned white.

"I'll have to use all of my energy to restore everyone's hearing after this song is over," Mitsukake reflected.

"We aren't going to lose you again!" Chichiri insisted.

Sea Man Sensui Chiriko Mitsukake and cat Tama Chichiri
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"And that's my story," Nakago finished.

"That was sick and yet sad," Kagome commented.

"Hey," Inuyasha wiggled his ears, "I haven't lost any of my hearing!"

Genkai leaned against the wall holding a remote. "I was able to turn down the volume on the amplifiers just before the song started," she thought to herself. "I won't lose to loud music no matter how it tries to destroy my ears."

"Inuyasha," Kagome said while staring entranced at his ears, "could you wiggle your ears again?" He was puzzled, and stared at her blankly. She sighed, "Oh, never mind."

Nakago Kagome Inuyasha Genkai
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Amiboshi stepped to the center of the stage, getting many surly looks from the other Seiryu Seven since they considered him a traitor. The audience, however, looked fairly relieved that the others would not be participating in this song.

Amiboshi Seiryu Seven
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Putting the flute to his lips, Amiboshi began playing a beautiful melody. Yusuke began screaming and thrashing, and Kuwabara joined him a second later. Amiboshi stopped in surprise, and Yusuke and Kuwabara stopped thrashing and began to laugh. "Your song is killing us, man!" Yusuke quipped, "Just like in the play!"

Yusuke and Kuwabara laughed like idiots. "Yusuke!" Keiko shrieked in anger and embarrassment.

Amiboshi Yusuke Kuwabara Keiko
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"That did almost kill us!" Hotohori shouted at them, stalking over their row, towering over them and placing his hand on his sword hilt. Yusuke and Kuwabara remained seated and continued laughing.

Tasuki stepped between the giggling duo and the Suzaku Seven. "That was actually somewhat funny," he sincerely told Yusuke and Kuwabara. "I'm still going to have to get you for it, though." He leaned forward to beat them with his iron fan.

Hotohori Yusuke Kuwabara Tasuki Suzaku Seven and Miaka
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Almost lazily, Yusuke blocked the blow with an arm as both he and Kuwabara continued to chuckle over their prank.

"Yusuke, you idiot!" Keiko yelled at Yusuke, and Shizuru muttered at Kuwabara, "Stupid baby brother." Keiko tried to slap Yusuke, and Shizuru meant to clonk Kuwabara on the head, but the quick reflexes of Kuwabara and Yusuke allowed them to block these attacks as well.

Keiko Yusuke Kuwabara Shizuru
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Kuwabara and Yusuke continued laughing right up until the moment when Yukina caught them both on the back of the head, simultaneously, with a single blow from Botan's paddle. After that, they flopped about on the floor and moaned.

Kuwabara Yusuke Yukina Botan
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Kagome and Sango stood up and began to clap.

Kagome Sango
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"Please accept our apologies for these idiots," Keiko and Yukina said politely as they bowed in turn to Amiboshi, Hotohori, and Tasuki.

Keiko Yukina Amiboshi Hotohori Tasuki
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"Er, I don't mind, really," said Amiboshi, his eyes bugging out at the scene below him. "Apology accepted," Hotohori said quickly, backing away in disgust from the fallen forms of Yusuke and Kuwabara. "Yeah, no problem," Tasuki said nervously. Hotohori and Tasuki tried not to be too obvious about hurrying back to their seats.

Amiboshi Hotohori Yusuke Kuwabara Tasuki
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"Please forgive me," Yukina said as she handed back the paddle to Botan, "I took this without asking."

"As far as I'm concerned, you had my heartiest permission and endorsement," Botan smiled at her.

"Nicely done," Shizuru complimented Yukina. "You've learned well under our guidance," Keiko patted Yukina on the shoulder.

Yukina Botan Shizuru Keiko
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"I don't want a girlfriend anymore," Amanuma said in a small voice.

"I'm surprised that Old Genkai isn't talking about a fee," Shippo said to himself.

"Being old and feeble, I couldn't quite tell," Genkai announced aloud to the audience, "did something just happen?"

"Nothing of consequence," Hiei lounged in his seat.

"Well, then please, keep playing," Genkai gestured to Amiboshi.

Game Master Genkai Shippo Hiei Amiboshi
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"Er, yes, of course," Amiboshi agreed. He began to get into the song again, and his parents held up the sign cheering him on. Eventually the whole audience- well, all of it that was conscious- began to get really into the song, and gave him a standing ovation. Chiriko showed his approval with a small trill on his leaf whistle. Amiboshi smiled, bowed, and left the stage. The remaining Seiryu Seven followed him sullenly.

Chiriko Seiryu Seven
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"Right," Genkai said, walking onto the stage and taking the microphone, "it's time for another intermission, then the last band of the evening, the Seven Psycho Psychics, is on."

Keiko looked at Yusuke's unconscious body and at Inuyasha's necklace. It was now or never, she decided.

Genkai Keiko Yusuke Inuyasha
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Next Chapter:

"I'll start off our act by doing a bit of resshukoukyuuha."

"Is that a made-up word?"

"I won't allow you to die before I do."

"The tickets will sell faster than your ogres lose paperwork!"

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