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Medieval Arranged Marriage Story by TamashaToko

Punishing a Princess

A young fair skinned maiden didn’t even let out a gasp as hands were placed over her eyes to keep her in the dark about who had been stalking her.  There was no reason to react or call any attention to herself for she knew who it was.


“What do we have here?” a male voice forced an obnoxious tone as he kept his hands firmly over his eyes, “soft skin and done up hair?  Seems a princess has wandered away from home again with no guards or even a chaperone to protect her from a scary attacker. Maybe I’ll ransom you.”


The girl just wore a smirk on her face as she pulled her captor’s hands off of her face, “Ransom me for what?  I’m not worth anything. Haven’t seen you in a while InuYasha, but I know better than to be scared off by you.”


InuYasha, wearing his usual red robes foreign to the kingdom the girl lived in, took a few steps back and made sure to return his hands to his sides just incase anyone saw them.  His words hadn’t been completely made in jest, because despite the dull colors of the girl’s cloth dress that was obviously meant for those below her station the girl he was speaking to was indeed the princess of Havenbrooke, the kingdom he was currently visiting.


“Yeah it has been a while,” InuYasha shook his head allowing his long silver hair to fly in front of his golden eyes, “but same old same old.  Had to go home, get berated, and now I’m bored and here I am. What have you been up to? What’s up with the get up? Actually trying to run away this time Kagome?  Shouldn’t be out here alone.”


“I come out here all the time,” Kagome interjected crossing her arms, “where else could I run into riff raff like you?  The dress is just a compromise so no one robes me or stupid silk or anything like that. As long as I don’t get into trouble no one cares what I do.”


It was true, and given her situation Kagome would be a fool to runaway or act up while away from her castle.  She considered herself one of the most fortunate women in the realm. She was indeed a princess, but was one of many children far behind in the line of succession and importance.  Therefore, she got the benefits of luxury without all the cumbersome rules other women of her station had to follow. She was free to go into the city alone just as long as she didn’t call too much attention to herself.


“Yeah well you always manage to run into me,” InuYasha crossed her arms, “so you aren’t doing a great job at keeping your end of the bargain.”


“Should I find you troubling?” she gave him a genuine smile obviously enjoying his company, “after all you’re the one that keeps running into me from my perspective.”


Kagome had only called InuYasha riff-raff as a joke for the man she was being quite familiar with was no commoner, in fact she found InuYasha and her to be quite similar due to his situation.  He was the son of another king in a far off land, but yet was no prince for he was a bastard born outside his father’s marriage. Kagome didn’t dare discriminate against him for something like that and instead found common ground with him.  He was also caught between two worlds having to be forever tied to the wishes of a family that saw him as less than. Every monarch needed a heir and a spare for their legacy; he wasn’t even a proper spare and her family had way too many spares that seemed to be on a waiting list to receive a purpose or to be married off.  She honestly just saw herself as a royal orphan. Her mother had died while bringing her into the world and when your father was a king you really didn’t have a father in her eyes.


“You know why I come here,” InuYasha mumbled under his breath as though he didn’t want her to actually here him, “and trust me I’d rather be here than home.  Be glad you never met my brother.”


Kagome’s face had a brief blush before she looked down at the ground thinking on what had probably transpired in InuYasha’s life.  He’d come to her kingdom to represent his family for her father’s eighth wedding, that was where they had met each other. He’d been quite rude to her at first, but eventually they became close friends and eventually she found him hanging around her land a lot.  He’d always told her it was to enjoy some drinks and gambling in a place where no one really knew him, but it seemed he was finally admitting that she was the reason he kept coming back. Unfortunately, he’d been absent for a while due to the death of his father.  She couldn’t even imagine what he was going through for his older brother, who was now in power, probably didn’t have much love for his bastard sibling.


“He didn’t exile you did he?” Kagome really didn’t know anything about InuYasha’s brother, “if it’s really bad you can stay here you know?  You can live with me. My father wouldn’t even notice.”


InuYasha shook his head, “No.  He’s an asshole but he wouldn’t do anything my father would’ve been upset about.  Honestly I’d prefer him to do something bold to me, I’d take that any day over his passive aggressive shit.  Whatever. He’s the people’s problem now. Sure it won’t be long before he outlaws singing and drinking all together.”


InuYasha then almost became the victim of blushing himself when he caught the last part of what she said, “Live with you?  Here? That’d be better, but probably not a good idea.”


Kagome let out a sigh as both friends turned their backs on each other to not give away the expressions on their faces.  InuYasha didn’t want her knowing how much he wanted to be by her side, and Kagome didn’t want him knowing how disappointed she was.


She’d thought a lot about her and InuYasha and how well they enjoyed each other’s company.  Princesses and Princes had to pay for their lives of safety and luxury by marrying for political gains, there was no love involved.  However, Kagome and InuYasha had their freedom due to their low status. They could choose each other. They had the ability to, but she didn’t know if the same idea crossed his mind.  If he really took the long journey to come to her kingdom just for her didn’t he feel the same way? If so she kept hoping that maybe he would propose so they could just follow their hearts in the matter.


“Why couldn’t we live together InuYasha?” Kagome asked him quietly with her back still turned, “I mean is there really anyone who would stop us?”


“Kagome dontcha think you’re being too fast and loose with everything?” he asked shaking his head, “just because you’re allowed to do whatever you want doesn’t mean you’re free you know?  We’re not the same.”


“What do you mean we’re not the same?  We are. We are free. We’re not important to our family’s, are we?”


“What I mean is you’re a girl.”


“What does that have to do with anything?”


“Don’t be ignorant Kagome.  You’re still a full fledged princess of a huge kingdom.  No one is going to let you shack up with some bastard born noble.”


“You don’t know that if we don’t try.  I’m telling you my father probably doesn’t even remember what my name is.”


Just thinking about Kagome’s large family gave InuYasha a headache and caused confusion.  He still had very much doubt a princess could get away with hanging out with any man she wanted to, but at the same time he could see how she could be treated as though she was less than.  Kagome, after all, was an oddity. Her father, King Naraku, was a half-demon with many demonic children, but to him Kagome seemed very much human. She aged like a human, could get hurt like a human, and to his knowledge seemed to have no abilities at all.


“I’m sure that’s not true,” InuYasha scoffed, “you have to stick out like a sore thumb in your pack I bet.  We’re not the same Kagome, so stop thinking it. You have value to somebody, even if it’s to the wrong person.”


InuYasha’s eyes darkened as he took a few steps away.  There was something about his expression that worried Kagome, as though he knew something about her that she didn’t.


“InuYasha what is it?” she tried to close the distance between them.


A proposal from him was what she wanted.  Not a fight or something to worry over, so she had to get to the bottom of what InuYasha meant.


“I’ll see you later,” he forced Kagome’s heart to drop in her chest, “maybe when I’ve taken the edge off a bit.”


“InuYasha,” Kagome didn’t care if anyone could see them as she grabbed on to his arm, “you just got back.  Don’t leave yet. Stay with me. Please.”


“Go home Kagome!” InuYasha crushed her heart further when he shouted at her and removed his arm from her weak grip, “don’t say that kind of stuff to me.  Not out in a place like this, and not ever.”


InuYasha being a half-demon was much faster than her and quickly disappeared through the alleyways of the city.  Kagome had spent about ten minutes trying to find him, but decided to give up. He clearly didn’t want to see her or talk about it, so why should she bother?  What was going on with him? He had been his normal self when they encountered one another only a few minutes ago.


The princess just wanted to be left alone in her chamber to sulk and pout about InuYasha for the entire evening, but of course there just had to be a knock on her door.  Kagome ignored it thinking it was just a servant wanting to see if the room was vacant for a cleaning, or someone trying to serve her food. Unfortunately her visitor was someone that outranked her and had the right to just walk on in.


Kagome could talk a big game on the outside of the castle about how the rules didn’t apply to her and she could do whatever she wanted, but things were different inside the walls.  Upon seeing the Queen of Havenbrooke the teenage girl had no other choice but to get out of bed and bow low to the floor.


“Queen Kikyo,” Kagome greeted trying to force her voice to sound genuine, “I apologize for not greeting you properly.  I did not know I would be honored with-


“Stop,” Kikyo rose an eyebrow almost seemingly annoyed at Kagome’s display, “you do not need to do that you know?  I am not fully versed in the rules of your father’s court, but as long as we are in private I don’t require that kind of etiquette Kagome.”


Of course Kikyo wasn’t well versed in the rules regarding her station as Queen, because there was nothing noble about her.  Her father’s many past marriages had been to royalty from other kingdoms or to the daughters of wealthy noblemen, but Kikyo was the exception.  Before marrying her father she had no titles or any wealth. She seemed to be just an average woman. Her and her siblings had no idea why their father married her.  It couldn’t have been love. In order to find love their father would have to either have time on his hands or leave the castle, or at the very least have a heart.


Kagome, however didn’t mind Kikyo.  It was nice to have someone more down to earth in the royal keep.  Kagome’s sister, Kagura, on the other hand was quite cruel to the Queen.  Always talking behind her back about how she was a peasant in silk clothing.  That was another reason Kagome had a fondness for Kikyo, anyone Kagura despised probably had a good head on their shoulders.


“If that’s alright with you,” Kagome said getting back up to her feet looking into her stepmother’s cold brown eyes, “is everything alright?  None of my siblings have done anything to offend you have they?”


“Just the red-eyed wind one,” Kikyo shook her head examining Kagome’s room, “what was her name again?  I do apologize. There is a lot of you.”


“Kagura,” Kagome shook her head, “no sense in remembering it.  She’s top of the list to be married off to someone so she’ll be gone eventually.  Hopefully.”


“I came to remind you that your father wants to host the bi-monthly family dinner this evening,” Kikyo stated her business for coming, “since there are no servants in here preparing your formal attire I assumed you have forgotten.  All of you will be there tonight, except Goshinki of course, so perhaps with you all properly seated and lined up I can finally figure out this family tree.”


“That’s tonight?” Kagome groaned not really in the mood for it.


Every other month her and her siblings were all required to have dinner with their father where idle chit chat would be attempted while he stared at them coldly as though he hated every single one of them.  Her and her father lived under the same roof, but those dinners were the only time she ever laid eyes on the cold and calculating man that was King Naraku. Apparently the concept of having a forced family dinner was something started by Kagome’s mother before she was born and the tradition continued despite nothing ever being accomplished by them.


“Did you have other plans?” Kikyo asked, “as I said I’m not too well versed in the rules of court, but if your father the king orders something you best do it Kagome.  He doesn’t ask much of you. This would be the first one I believe since I became your father’s wife. I wish to know the family better.”


“You might regret it,” Kagome muttered under her breath before giving a nod, “I’ll start to get ready.  The sooner it’s over and done with the better.”


Kikyo took her leave and Kagome got her maid Sango to assist her in getting dressed.  Sango was both her lady’s maid and protector, but was only one person so of course Kagome didn’t bother her when she left the castle earlier.  Naraku’s heirs and heiresses were given staff depending on their importance. The ones further up the line of succession had several guards and servants appointed to them while the ones like Kagome in the back row had one that did double duty.  Not that Kagome was complaining, but reflecting on it made her more angry at InuYasha for the way he spoke about her. She wasn’t important and she didn’t have value, that meant she was free.


The only nice thing about having the whole family together was that Kagome could take her usual seat by her brother Byakuya, whom she hadn’t seen in a while.  She liked Byakuya a lot. He was intelligent and funny, and mostly the reason Kagome was as carefree as she was. He told her the truth about their station in the royal family and often urged her to just enjoy the good thing she had.


“Oh if it isn’t the runt of the litter,” Byakuya had a smirk on his face when Kagome entered the dining hall in a pale pink silk dress with her hair done up much like it had been earlier, “I didn’t recognize you for a moment actually looking like a lady for once.”


“Likewise,” Kagome taunted him pulling at his long blue sleeve, “is this one of those kimono things they wear in the other kingdom?  It looks good on you.”


Their conversation was paused before it even started.  King Naraku, in all his glory had entered the room dressed down in lavender silks not even bothering to look at any of his children.  Of course, they all had to bow in a show of respect only being allowed to sit down at the dinner table once he and Kikyo were seated.


“This kimono is a lot more fashionable than those rags I spotted you in earlier,” Byakuya smiled at Kagome the moment they were in a position to resume their conversation, “I know that was you I saw in the city.”


“If you saw me you should have said something to me,” Kagome remarked eyeing all of her siblings as she quickly became intimidated.


Seated closest to the king was Hakudoshi, the heir apparent.  He was the biggest proof that Kagome was not normal in this family.  Hakudoshi was the oldest male in line to the throne, but hadn’t grown in years having the appearance of a child due to his demonic blood.  It was the same for his older sister, Naraku’s first child, Kanna who looked like a pale toddler. After those two came Kagura, who looked a lot like their father.  There was then Juromaru and Kageromaru, who terrified her more than Naraku with their pale skin and purplish hair, but in the line of succession they were behind Goshinki, who was probably dining in the basement somewhere due to his oni appearance.  After that came Byakuya and then Kagome herself. There were a few other siblings out in the world somewhere, but they were never around so Kagome assumed they were either as unimportant as she was or were off serving their kingdom.


“I didn’t want to interrupt,” Byakuya mocked her with a smirk on his face as he took a cup of wine, “you were seeing that InuYasha boy again?  Tell me runt how has that been progressing? Did he come on a white horse to whisk you away from your mundane life.”


“Not at all,” Kagome had already confided in Byakuya her wishes to be married to InuYasha, “everything was fine but then he went cold.  I know things are probably hard in his home so I tried to make him an offer to live here with me. I thought he’d get the hint, but there is something up with him.  Do you think I was wrong? Maybe he’s not interested in me at all.”


“InuYasha not interested in you?” Byakuya shook his head, “everyone knows you’re the reason he even comes to Havenbrooke.  He’s just a boy Kagome. Boys get intimidated when they know it’s time to confess their feelings. He probably just needs a bit of time to build up courage to ask you.”


“I don’t think he’ll ask me,” she replied nervously, “not with the way he was acting.  I wish you were right. It’d be perfect. He feels worthless to his family I feel worthless to mine.  We can just marry, disappear somewhere quietly, and we won’t have to be a burden to anyone.”


Kagome and Byakuya usually spent these dinners conversing quietly.  Kagome knew her siblings could hear her, but nothing that involved her would be important to them.  Hakudoshi and Kagura would probably make fun of her and mock her later in private, but that was about the only risk there was.  At least that was what Kagome had believed until the red eyes of her father locked on to hers for the first time in years. She’d gotten her father’s attention, which meant she’d done something wrong and later she’d regret it all.


“Worthless?” her father’s voice then became the only thing that could be heard in the dining room as the air became freezing, “perhaps.  You’ve been fed, well looked after, and given an education and yet it would seem nothing has been gained from it.”


Kagome remained in her chair frozen and dumbfounded for what felt like moments as she did not even know how to respond.  She hadn’t exchanged words with her father since his wedding to Kikyo and he had seemed bored of her then, but now this evening his full attentions was on her.  It wasn’t good. It couldn’t be good. Was she supposed to feel guilty? If she was she would show it.


“I apologize for my lack of respect father,” Kagome finally said though her words sounded more like a squeak, “I appreciate everything you do for me and-


She quickly went silent when her father waved a hand.


“Save it,” Naraku’s words were harsh, “my point being why have I wasted funds educating you Kagome?  What do you have to show for it? You can’t even grasp the words coming out of your mouth. You are my true born child.  You are a heiress to wealth and estates not to mention in line to rule the kingdom despite how long that line has become.  Did you honestly believe you could lust after a bastard and that would be acceptable? That bastard born InuYasha came to this kingdom to represent his family at my wedding for the means of insulting me.  Those dog demons think they are better than us and don’t believe our kingdom deserves respect. If I weren’t your kind father I would deem your feelings for this InuYasha as a form of treason.”


“Father,” Byakuya spoke firmly trying to protect his little sister, “as an ambassador of our kingdom that has made many visits to the dog demons I assure you that it wasn’t an insult.  Inutashio was ill at the time and the presence of Sesshoumaru or his mother wouldn’t have made the atmosphere of our home any better.”


“As an ambassador of this kingdom you’ve shown that you’ve also wasted your intelligence Byakuya,” Naraku’s eyes had become dangerous warning his son to not talk out of turn again, “you should know what the dogs want.  Why that InuYasha is really here.”


Naraku reached into silks and pulled out a letter with a broken seal.  The seal had the emblem of a crescent moon on it showing it had come from the dog demon’s.


“Kagome,” Naraku’s eyes went back on to his youngest, “Kagura is currently the most suitable female to be married off but yet sits here a maid.  Do you know why this is? Do you know why I took Kikyo as a bride? A woman of little standing? Tell me. Do you take me a fool and believe I’ve simply ignored you and Byakuya’s chit chat all these years?  You always speak as though you know everything, so share you knowledge with me. Why is Kagura unmarried, and why do I sit next to Kikyo?”


Honestly Kagome had no idea.  Kagura should have been married off to a prince somewhere a long time ago, and no one seemed to know why Naraku married Kikyo.  She simply lowered her eyes to the ground in defeat.


“That’s what I thought,” Naraku shook his head, “let me give you the answer.  Havenbrooke is the strongest and most powerful kingdom in the known world. Nothing will overthrow me and nothing will stop me from taking what I want.  I have not arranged a marriage for Kagura, because I do not need any alliances. I have taken Kikyo as a wife, because all the alliances that have been gained by my own previous marriages were hollow.  Those kingdoms all at one time attempted to stab me in the back, so if I must marry I will not waste my time throwing my faith into another marriage arranged by my council that harms this family later. Your mother being the biggest shining example of what those sort of arrangements bring.  Kagura is unmarried and will remain unmarried for the rest of her days as a show of how this family does not need others anymore. You, however, are a different story entirely. Unlike Kagura you are growing and aging like a human. At first glance I thought the dogs were taking pity on you, but I believe this to be another insult from that family.”


Naraku threw the letter across the table and Byakuya picked it up reading it.  The blue haired boy looked confused as he handed it to Kagome.


“Sesshoumaru wants Kagome to be his queen?” Byakuya asked in disbelief, “Sesshoumaru of all people?  I thought he hated hanyous and humans alike? Kagome is pretty much both. Why would he want her?”


Kagome only glanced at the letter.  She couldn’t focus on InuYasha’s brother wanting to marry her at the moment as she returned her eyes to the ground.  She was terrified of looking up. Terrified of her father and terrified of Kagura most of all. Kagura had been the one rumored to have a thing for Sesshoumaru.  They all doubted Kagura would become a mate of Sesshoumaru, but to be told she’d never be with anyone because of her father’s wishes? The wind demon had to be livid.


Naraku didn’t want to answer Byakuya’s question, “It’s all treason.  Every bit of it. Kagome you are a fool. InuYasha didn’t come to propose to you or make any grand gesture of love, which you aren’t entitled to.  He is here as a warning. You marry Sesshoumaru or InuYasha will forcibly take you out of my custody and deliver you to his brother. I’ve been waiting for the half-breed bastard to return so I could have him flayed alive.  I was going to take his flesh and send it with a letter rejecting Sesshoumaru’s offer to show the dogs I do not wish to deal with them.”


“Father don’t hurt InuYasha!” Kagome finally looked up facing her family with tears in her eyes, “I’ll never talk to him or go near him again.  I promise. Just don’t touch him. He didn’t do anything. He wouldn’t commit treason against you or do his brother’s bidding I swear!”


As Naraku saw Kagome’s fearful expression he chuckled.  His chuckle was something that hadn’t been heard in a long time, and wasn’t anything anyone was really yearning for.  It was more terrifying than his cold glances.


“I wasn’t finished,” Naraku announced with a smirk still on his face, “that was what I was planning to do.  I had it all arranged with men waiting for my say so, but then things changed. Things changed when you opened your mouth Kagome.  As I said you are a fool to think you had any kind of freedom or say just because your daddy doesn’t pay attention to you. I am offended that these dogs are plotting to steal something from me, but that offense pales in comparison to transgressions made by my own children.  You thought that your life was your own and you would be allowed to marry whom you wanted and go where you wanted? That isn’t true, because you belong to me and will do as I say. You will all know your place and fall into line or be punished with no mercy. Kagome there was going to be a rejection letter sent to Sesshoumaru one or another, but I’ve changed my mind.  If you truly love this InuYasha, so much so you’d stand up for him against your king, I can’t think of a more fitting punishment than to accept the dog’s offer. Having to be married to a man that is under the same roof as your beloved is the fate you deserve. Enjoy it Kagome. I’ll have word sent to him immediately. Since he is the one who sought you out I’m sure he will be quite thrilled.”


That had been the night Kagome’s life fell apart.  She’d woken up that day convinced she had a fortunate free life only to go to bed knowing she’d indeed be a fool.  She was going to be sold off to a stranger that was related to the man she really wanted, and all because she had opened her mouth one time too many in front of her father.


The punishment Naraku had inflicted upon her that day was not some sort of scolding or temporary imprisonment, but something that would scar her for the rest of her life.  She’d become the property of another man, expected to be loyal only to him, follow his rules, birth his children, and all while InuYasha had to be on the outside looking in before finding someone else.  InuYasha had known this was going to happen, that was why he’d been distant. They weren’t allowed to be with another. He knew that the whole time while she’d been nothing but an idiot in love.


(End Chapter)


AN: The plot of the story is the title.  Nuff said.


 


 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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