A raven-haired man helplessly limped to the grassy clearing ahead. That damned general had gotten many good hits in but the man had gotten more. His bruised arm clutched his torso in vain, blood spilling out of the large gash in his stomach. He had finally killed his pursuer, burned them with the raging fires of his people.
'I have to get to the well' he thought desperately. An image of a brunette woman cradling a baby girl with hair as black as his own, blue eyes staring at him in wonder as the woman beamed with joy, filled his mind. Warmth pooled in his eyes as he realized he wouldn't make it. It would seem the dragon had poisoned him. He was losing too much blood - it wasn't coagulating as it should.
Midnight irises began to dull as white light slowly sparked from his chest and evaporated into the air. The Incandescent Blessing in his soul had lost its strength, his energy hadn't replenished enough to heal him.
As he finally reached a wooden dry well, he fell to his knees. Leaning over the splintered lip, he took a deep, shaky breath. With the last of his flames, he summoned a sapphire the color of his daughter's eyes. He smiled sadly at the thought of not being around to watch her grow up. 'I pray that your life is much safer and happier than mine, my little bird.'
The brown-haired woman appeared in his mind once more. How he hated leaving his love behind, leaving her alone to raise their daughter who was sure to follow in his footsteps in power. His wife, no, his mate would raise her well. "I'm sorry to leave you, Aiko."
Eyelids fluttering shut, he whispered an ancient chant he had only heard once before, at his coronation. "With this gem, I bestow my power onto the next ruler and pray the Incandescent Mother will bless them with its burning purity."
The blue gem glowed brightly until the clearing was engulfed in white flames. Bloodied trees and dead grass pulsed as it was resurrected with warm light. The man sighed in disdain before dropping the crystal into the well, a pink light softly caressing his face. His energy left and he fell to the ground.
"I love you both. I will," he paused with a shaky breath, "watch over you." The wind seemed to push his hushed words into the well, willing it to carry the message with the gem.
Light once again surged through the clearing. This time though, it resonated with a righteous fury, covering the man's body in warmth as if to breathe life into him once more. It lifted him into the confines of the well, carrying his body through the wild rapids of time before he disappeared into white light.
The woman, Aiko, had been sitting in their living room. She gently rocked the infant back and forth, humming a lullaby when his voice echoed in her ears. Panic raced through her before she felt their soul bond break. The pain that consumed her took her footing.
Cradling her daughter, the distraught woman called for her father, asking him to take the baby. A sinking feeling washed over her as she raced to the well house. Willing her suspicion to be ridiculous, she threw open the doors and flew down the stairs to the lip of the dry well in the center and gasped in horror.
There, on the dirt floor of the well, lay a large sapphire. That could only mean one thing. He was dead. She screamed with grief and collapsed to the ground, leaning her forehead on the splintered wood. Her father came in, alarmed and having heard her scream.
"He's gone." Her body shook with her furiously as grief washed over her. The overwhelming warmth that once cradled and protected her soul was gone; forever lost.
The sound of her daughter's crying brought her out of her depressed trance. Wiping her tears, she carefully stood and slowly made her way down the well. Tears fell silently as she reached the bottom and kneeled for the gem.
Smiling sadly, she whispered prayers for him before gathering the large gem in her hands and scurrying up the wall. As soon as she was out, white energy surged through the well, slowly transforming into orange flames. They rose, dancing up the well in a grieving dance of sorrow. Surprisingly, the wood did not catch on fire. The flames continued to rise until it jumped out of the well, rising to cradle the crying infant at the entrance.
The baby's cries slowly dissipated as Akihiko's flames wrapped her in their warmth before settling into her body.
"Kagome, Souta," Her mother called from the kitchen. "Breakfast is ready."
"Be down in a minute!" She sighed, walking to her bedroom from her morning shower to get dressed.
It had been almost a month since the jewel disappeared and locked her on this side. The miko had been depressed the first week back before her mother stepped in. Remembering that conversation explained the regular burning sensations that flared in her chest. It also made a rush of hope race through her.
She would see them again. She would see him again.
But Kagome wasn't just going to wait. No, she was training her reiki with any book and website she could find. Even her mother, who had once been a miko herself, gave her lessons. So far, it was going well. She could heal minor injuries, create barriers, hide her aura and scent, even charge an object with her power and throw it.
That's not all. Turning sixteen, she had to finish school first. Taking advantage of that, Kagome joined the archery club. Her mother had even offered to sign her up for self-defense classes, where she was slowly climbing the ranks. All-in-all, life was going well.
Yellow bag in hand, she made her way downstairs to the dining room. After all its beatings, it had held out. Yet another thing that gave her hope. "Morning, Mama."
"Good morning, Kagome." Her mother set a plate of omurice on the table. "Are you ready for school?"
"Yeah. We have a test in history today." She giggled. It was on the Shikon Jewel. An easy A was always welcome.
Her mother smiled. "Well, good luck. Remember what I told you about tonight."
"I promise to come home once club activities are over."
"And if you have an attack at school?"
"Go to the nurse and ask for a referral home." Aiko nodded.
Kagome swallowed the last bite, threw her bag over her shoulder, and walked to the door. "Bye, Mama. See you after club!" And she was gone.
The young mother hoped the person she'd called earlier would make it in time to help. They would really need it.
Author's Note: If you're following this on Fanfiction, I'm posting the revised chapters only! Please read and review. ^_^