A/N: OMG. I NEVER THOUGHT I'D FINISH IT ON TIME. It was supposed to be like 20 000 words but I got my date mixed up.
Prompt: Mimoto (Origin or The Beginning Of) So the title is saying, the Beginning of Youkais, or Origins of Youkais.
Partner: Priestess Skye.
Please remember to read Skye's fantastic story, and then PM TangerineDream to vote for one of us! :)
Thank you so much Fox for beta-reading! (Cakes, Cakes, Cakes.)
Youkai No Mimoto
The night sky had almost completely engulfed the light of the sun and left behind nothing more than an orange glow grazing against the horizon. The forest was deadly silent; not even the leaves on the trees were ruffling. The only sounds disturbing the peacefulness were the footsteps of the demon slayer on the ground. Branches broke under her weight and small rocks were being kicked around.
Sango exhaled heavily while glancing at the disappearing sun. The trip to her old village had taken longer than expected; she had underestimated the distance to travel. A cold sweat drop was dripping down her neck as she set foot in her home. Sadness often took hold of her heart when she visited and though tears stung her eyes she kept her composure.
Hiraikotsu had sustained major damage during their last battle against Naraku and she had come to her village to repair it. Instead of heading for the usual repair house, Sango went in direction of her house. Last time she had been here she had used the last of her materials and knew it was in this place that she would find more. It was with a heavy heart that she entered her home.
Her glance remained focus since she refused to bring herself unnecessary pain. She headed for the first chest she found and opened it. However she did not find inside what she expected. The chest was filled with scrolls; some of them well kept while some were ripped and nearly in pieces. Her eyes roamed all over the place until she finally landed on what seemed to be the oldest one. The yellow color had darkened and made it nearly impossible to read the black ink upon it.
Curious she reached out for it and pulled it from the pile. Slowly she unfolded it, the writing being revealed to her as she did. Sango squinted while reading the title. "Youkai No Mimoto."
She pressed her lips together as her curiosity awakened. Time was short and she should be fixing her weapon but she couldn't help but be intrigued. Her whole life she had been trained to slay demons but she never learned anything about their origins or how they came to be. As a matter of fact she didn't really think they had a story, she simply always believed that like humans, they were just born this way.
Sango decided that it was worth reading and moved near the window to obtain some light. She nested herself in the corner of the walls and laid the scroll on her lap. She held it carefully to avoid damaging it, even though it was already ripped and torn, and began the tale.
"Two thousand years ago, only humans and animals roamed this Earth…
The sun was rising in the horizon and members of the clan were already preparing for their daily tasks. Most of the men were heading for their physical works, which included metallurgy and wet rice farming. The women were weaving the clothes or making pottery. This uji – clan – also possessed spiritual guides along with one leader.
The leader of the clan was responsible for performing ceremonies to honor their Kami. Each clan had their own Kami to please and theirs was Tengu. He was more a spirit than a Kami but they had chosen Him to watch over them. Despite His name meaning heavenly dog, He could take two forms; human or bird-like. He was a shape shifter and with His many abilities, He could protect them well.
Kagome was the woman who had been appointed as leader of the uji. The spiritual leaders were mostly women and it was a duty passed down from mother to daughter. Because of her important role into the clan she was always the first up, even before the sun rose. She was slowly marching around the clan and her long white tunic was being blown around by the wind. Her long black hair was cascading freely upon her shoulders and her shiny unusual blue eyes were shining with each of the smiles she freely gave away.
Her hands were often clasped together since it was the best way to show worship to their Kami. Every day gatherings occurred and they soothed Tengu with many gifts and offerings. Each time they managed to please him he would reward them with protection, fertility and abundance. Because of their never failing worshipping, they had been graced with many luxuries.
Alas, their prosperity did not make everyone grateful and joyful. The clan next door did not have a Kami as kind and they struggled greatly. They had attempted to attack the clan more than once, but each time Tengu had protected them. Now, they simply dismissed the angry clan each time they saw them. As long as they praised him, they would be invincible.
"Kagome," a man said before bowing to her.
He had short black hair and gleaming charcoal eyes. A purple tunic covered his body and his legs were wrapped in black fabric. His feet were bare and his hands were covered in cuts because of all his physical work. At each of his sides he had one of his wives. The women both had extremely long hair and were dressed in brown tunics.
"Tomoya," replied Kagome. She then shifted her focus to the women. "Yuukie, Ayama."
Many people bestowed respect or gifts upon her because of the work she did. It was her link with Tengu that kept them safe and they were always quick to show their gratitude. Kagome was also the one who granted unions and had married nearly each couple in the clan. She had even overseen her own marriage with Sesshomaru.
At the moment she was his only wife. Many men took more than one bride to have more children and populate their clan. She had presented Sesshomaru very appealing women, but he had always turned them down. Kagome would be lying if she said she did not appreciate having her husband for herself alone, but it also put more responsibility on her.
She had to give him many children, be the spiritual leader, and satisfy all of his needs.
During harvest times, sleep became a luxury for her. These times were now. Most of the time, spiritual leaders did not marry since they had to dedicate all their soul and energy to pleasing their Kami. Kagome on the other hand was quite special. She could establish a connection with the Kami that no other leader had ever been able to accomplish.
Suddenly, Kagome was pulled out of her thoughts when she felt a presence behind her. Immediately she spun around and came face to face with her husband. His long black hair was wrapped into a ponytail by a white ribbon. His chocolate eyes were fixating on her while he waited for her to speak. Sweat was coating his skin because of the harshness of the sun, but his light white tunic helped cool down his body temperature.
"We will need to retrieve water and will not return until nightfall."
Her husband worked in the wet rice farming field. It meant he was the one away from home the longest. Night could be quite dangerous because of the lack of vision along with all of the enemies roaming around. There were more than other clans; there were wild dogs and wolves that were waiting to sink their fangs into human flesh. They had never seen a killing happen, but then again nobody who had seen them had returned alive. They had deduced what had happened by themselves.
"Be safe," she said with a bow.
Sesshomaru raised his hand and held it near her. Kagome imitated his actions and pressed her palm against his. It was with loving eyes that he gazed at her. She was everything he had hoped to find in a bride. She was still quite young and had many child bearing years ahead of her. Along with that, she could help provide them with protection.
He enjoyed the softness of her skin while knowing he would have to leave her soon. He bowed forward until his forehead touched hers. Her pinks lips were pursed and it made her appear younger than she was.
"Tonight," he finally said.
She smiled. "Tonight."
It was how they parted ways each day. They promised they would see each other at nightfall and they would not break this promise. From the moment they had been married they had done this. In this dangerous world it was the hope they held on to. A promise and protection from a Kami was enough to know they would always see each other when the sun would disappear from the horizon.
Sesshomaru was like no other man. He was determined and the kindness of his heart made anyone else look pale in comparison. He never hesitated to take someone's place or finish their work for them. He gave their extra luxury to those who needed it and rarely kept anything for himself. He was a pure soul that only sought to help and protect.
He did not want money, luxury, or power. He could work the higher power tasks in the clan, but he preferred focusing on gathering as much food as possible for them.
Others always came first in his heart. Especially her.
Sesshomaru finally pulled his hand away from her and held up the glance as long as possible until he felt he had his fill of her presence to last him through the day. And then he turned around and began walking away from her. Kagome stood still and refused to gaze away. Each time she would stare at him until she could no longer see him.
As her husband kept walking, the sky began changing color. Instead of the bright blue it was now a muddy grey. A cold weather loomed over the clan and Kagome could feel her skin prickle. It would rain. It was a blessing since they required it for the plants and to collect water for their people. On the other hand, it was slightly dangerous for those working far from the clan.
Despite the feeling of darkness surrounding them, Kagome approached their shrine. She would pray for his protection, she would offer sacrifices to keep him safe. The darkness was causing her heart to flutter and she refused to ignore it. Her instincts were always right.
She would ask for all their protection, and especially for his. The kindness of his heart had to remain and be preserve. He should live a long life.
As the day went by, the wet rice farmers found themselves nearly drowning. Most of their equipment was located downhill and the water was collecting. The water reached their knees in some locations and they had to trudge through it. Rain had fallen from the sky all day long and now that the sun was vanishing, they knew they could finally return to their homes.
They were completely soaked as they headed to the clan. Many minutes were required before they could even be able to catch a glimpse of their home. When that finally occurred, they regretted it.
Grass and flowers usually decorated the path to the clan but this time there was nothing but what seemed to be bodies. They all held their breath before they began to run. Despite the rain they could see clouds of smoke coming from houses. Fire? Water extinguishes fire… unless… they were inside the houses?
Hearts were racing and breaths were cut short while every man rushed to their wives. Once they arrived, they found a heart wrenching sight. Dead bodies were on the ground and blood was tainting the Kami's statues. They all began to hunt for their families but Sesshomaru was frozen. Someone had taken the time to shame their Kami and the thought process that came from that was terrifying. Kagome was the link to Tengu and he was afraid that she had been murdered.
Once his limbs agreed to cooperate he rushed to his home. Once he was inside, he found emptiness.
His heart ceased to beat for a second and he felt his soul shatter into pieces. They took her, her; she was his entire life. His bottom lip was quivering in anger and he clenched his hands into fists. He did not even need to inquire who had done this, he could already tell. What he did not understand was why this had occurred. For a long time now Tengu had protected them from their attacks.
Why now? Why would his protection have been lifted?
His anger sky rocketed when he felt a hand wrapping around his ankle. His eyes gazed on the floor and he saw a wounded man gasping for air. "They – di-d not."
Sesshomaru raised an eyebrow but he refused to let this dying man's words give him hope. "They did not what?"
"She i- is a-live. Un-har-med."
Tears began to form in his brown eyes and for a second he felt himself being whole again. "Why?"
It did not make any sense. If they went through all the trouble of killing them, why not Kagome as well? She would not help them, they should know that.
"They spa-red some of us. Sh-he went willin-gly."
One tear slid down his cheek; she would sacrifice her life for the safety of others. It was not only in her nature but it was also her duty. Under the weight of the realization, Sesshomaru dropped to the ground as his legs gave up on him. They had taken her away from him. Forever. Only Kagome had knowledge of other clans' locations, everyone else was left in the dark.
How could he find her? Alone? He could not do this alone… after all it would be foreign territories. On top of that, he was not a fighter, he was a worker. Sesshomaru did not know how to fight or harm. He had basic defense skills, but nothing that would help him in this situation.
Everyone else would move on. They would mourn her and hope her suffering would not last long but they would find another leader and rebuild the village. Sesshomaru on the other hand would be losing a wife and his life in a way. He could find another woman and marry her and start all over again, but he did not wish to.
His reaction was not appropriate, but there was something unusual about Kagome. She pulled in people and she enveloped them with comforting warmth. No matter the troubles, her presence alone could chase them away. She had made it so he needed her. His mind had always been troubled with worries and concerns. At her side he had learned to be peaceful.
Not only that but he knew something about her… about her powers. Kagome had not shared it; she already seemed unusual and her ways of communicating with their Kami was without precedent. The more the outside world might hear about her, the more in danger she was.
In spite of that, she had shared the power with him. Kagome could make her hands glow and heal. When she had spoken of her talent he had not believed it but once he had seen it with his own eyes he had been amazed. Her gift could rescue many lives and he knew that she would do great things with it. He slaved everyday to provide their clan with food because it was all he could offer.
He would never betray Kagome; she could save them from darkness. She was pure and she was their salvation. He knew that Tengu had given her to them for prosperity. If she could save their lives, they could live longer. Before her it was death and diseases. People had never been as healthy as they were now. The veil of darkness had been lifted with her presence.
Sesshomaru did not need to wonder how she could practice her miracles. Since she was not an evil being, it had been bestowed upon her. It was not actually her power but Tengu's powers being channeled through her. He had enlightened them with blessings. He could not go back to chaos, he would not.
Sesshomaru was quite tall, perhaps taller than any other men in the clan. He had no skills except for farming, but… perhaps the other tribe lacked weapons and organization. Yes, they had been able to overtake the village but nearly only women had been left behind. They were fragile and peaceful and they had probably been taken by surprise.
If he could sneak around, he could save her. Despite the way Tengu had abandoned them during this time of need, Sesshomaru believed he would watch over him. There had to be a reason why he lived and why Kagome had not been killed on the spot. Perhaps Tengu could not protect them from this, but maybe He planned to save Kagome.
There was hope that she lived and he needed to have hope if he was going to rescue her.
Sesshomaru glanced around rapidly hoping to find a weapon – any would do. His eyes finally landed on an old sword. It was probably no longer sharp, but he could not see anything else. Since the inside of most houses had been lit on fire, he would not take the risk of trying to find another one. He reached out for it and wrapped his fingers around the hilt.
The best way to follow the tracks of those who had done this was to follow the footsteps in the mud. It would not be much considering it was still pouring, but he had nothing else to go on. The water caused his bangs to cover his eyes and yet he kept walking. The west lead to a river and the south to their farming ground. It left two sides. Not knowing which one to pick, he closed is eyes and listened to his surroundings.
After a few moments, he felt the wind pushing him north and decided that it was where Tengu wanted him to go.
Despite the lightning exploding in the background, his eyes remained determined. He had to save Kagome; she was his wife. He would not let them butcher her and sacrifice her to their Kami.
He could only wish Tengu would give him enough protection to keep him alive.
It required a lot of time, but the rain finally ceased. By then however, it had done a lot of damage which included wiping away any trail Sesshomaru might have had. All that was left was destroyed mud with nothing imprinted in it that even resembled a footstep. It did not matter if he went north or east; it was the same everywhere. Had Tengu abandoned him?
By now he was covered in dirt, which was beginning to harden since it was no longer raining, and he could feel it pinch his skin. He was used to physical labor, but this was much different. At every instant he had to be on his guard and ready to attack. He was pretty confident that he could win over an animal, but a human he did not know.
Suddenly the quietness of the vicinity was broken when the sound of a crackling branch was heard. It echoed through and he stood completely still. His eyes moved left and right and he hoped he would spot a small animal. His hopes were quickly shattered when a growl came from behind him. He stiffened while turning around as quietly as possible.
Standing behind him was a pure black wolf that was bearing his fangs at him. Sesshomaru made sure to barely breathe- almost as if he was thinking that barely moving would save his life. He had heard the gruesome stories of what occurred in the woods and he was not about to risk it, especially when he had to find Kagome.
It was his test to survive this and bring back Kagome. She had been made his for a reason. He knew that if he could get through this Tengu would give them more powers and perhaps he would have more strength to defend their people.
He clenched his hand around his only weapon and tilted it down. The animal did not seem to be threatened by the sword, but then why should he be? It was not like he recognized it as a deadly sword. Sesshomaru swallowed hard while not allowing his fear to take hold of his body. He had to defend himself. The beast was ready to jump at him and Sesshomaru stretched his hand forward while hoping he could stab it.
His eyes closed before they made contact since he feared the beast would rip him to pieces. But then… nothing. His sword speared the emptiness and nothing came anywhere close to him. When he finally opened his eyes again he found a sight he did not expect. The wolf was dead with empty black eyes staring into space. His throat was bleeding and another beast was devouring his flesh. Sesshomaru tilted his head, unable to tell what the animal was. It resembled a wolf, but it was not one.
Its fur was a mixture of white and shiny silver and his eyes were glowing like fire – almost an amber color. Sesshomaru's first reaction was to back away since he was counting on the fresh kill to distract the deadly animal. Apparently he was wrong. The animal stared right at him as if he was trying to pierce his soul. Sesshomaru kept his sword pointed at it, but the animal was unfazed.
Sesshomaru felt his back hit a tree and he sighed. He was trapped; either he fought it or he died. There would be no escape for him. Once again, he prepared himself for battle but just like the previous time, it did not happen. The animal turned around, blood still dripping from its chin, and left as quickly as he had come.
Somehow, it was if its only purpose had been to save Sesshomaru.
Knowing this was protection that came from all the offerings Sesshomaru had done during his life, he clasped his hands together. He took some time to whisper a chant with his eyes tightly closed. Once he felt he had properly thanked Tengu, he resumed his walking.
The sun was about to rise again and he knew he had been doing this for too long. Also, he had not eaten or drank anything since he had left the previous sunrise. His body was weak and the only thing that kept him walking was his determination. Now that Tengu had rescued him, he knew this was his mission and it was the path to follow.
Kagome had to still be alive.
He gazed back one more time upon the dead wolf's body. The blood was still pouring, but there as no life left he was certain of that. Sesshomaru could not forget that it could have easily been him in that position.
It was with wobbly steps that he continued upon his journey. He could not longer ignore the possibility that perhaps he would not make it out alive. Maybe his task was to rescue Kagome and bring her back to the clan. He was completely fine with that notion. If he could use his life to save someone else, he would do it. And her life meant everything to him.
The way he had been drawn to her from the beginning was not explicable. The way she moved, the way she spoke… it had enchanted him. The power of her soul was enough to draw him in. He had barely spoken to her and yet he had already decided he wanted her for his bride. Her soul had called out to him and he had answered the call.
The first time he had touched her hand, he had felt electricity. Tengu had blessed them and they were meant to achieve something together. His influence had been great and he knew their fate was secure. Perhaps it was in the form of a child growing within Kagome and they simply weren't aware yet. But they were meant to accomplish an important event.
He could sense it.
All of a sudden, Sesshomaru found himself at a fork in the paths. His eyes troubled him and his mind was confused; he could not pick. It was then that a flash of silver appeared along the left path. It was a sign and he would follow it.
Although Tengu was guiding him, Sesshomaru had to make most decisions himself and it was a new concept for him. He was not used to being in charge. Instead, he helped and let others direct him. It was clear that this was not his vocation; all this wasted time and he was still unsure of where Kagome was. A life of leadership was not right for him.
Time passed to the point that the sun was high in the sky and Sesshomaru was still roaming in the forest. His steps were slow and his body was tossing itself in every direction. The heat, the dehydration and the lack of food were beginning to affect his functions. He kept dragging his body knowing there had to be a reason why he was here.
Since his vision was affected, he was unable to see the rock in front of him. His foot hit it and he tripped, his face hitting the ground. His face began to sting and he knew he had been scratched. He pressed his palms down and tried to lift himself up. Unfortunately his body was heavy – too heavy for his struggling arms.
He was about to force himself to use whatever energy he had left when suddenly, through the bushes, he spotted a bit of hope. There was smoke. If there was smoke, there was a fire and if there was a fire… there were people. He had no way to tell if he would find Kagome among them, but he had to try.
Of course he was so weak that his best defense would be to hide and try to confirm his suspicions. It was with a pounding heart that he dragged his body towards the bushes. As silently as possible he pushed the leaves apart and peeked through. In one corner he could see men ripping meat apart with bloody fingers while others were sharpening their weapons.
They might not have Kagome, but they seemed rather dangerous.
"Why did he want us to bring her back?"
At the word her, Sesshomaru stopped breathing.
"He said he needed her. She is the one who will make our Kami happy."
The other man frowned. "Are you sure? She seems a little too pure to please Daikokuten."
The Kami of Darkness. It was no wonder that these people had tried to kill them so many times. The more blood they spilled, the happier their Kami was. The only way for them to prosper was at the detriment of other's lives. Maybe their plan was to kill Kagome and take all of her goodness and waste it. If they did that, surely their Kami would be pleased.
Sesshomaru felt a rage rise inside of him and the new feeling refused to stop bubbling within. He would not let them kill her. Although, he was almost scared they had done something to her; he could not see her. Perhaps they had divided themselves into multiple groups and other people had taken her?
At this point, he had to fight the tears.
"What do you want this time?" the man addressed to someone on his left.
Sesshomaru moved more leaves to the side to catch a glimpse of the person. And when he did, he nearly gasped and gave up his cover. Kagome – his Kagome, was sitting on the floor, tied to a tree. Her white tunic was covered in dirt and her hair was tangled. He could see blood and wounds from where he stood and his heart hammered in anger.
How could they do this to her?
He had never seen her shed tears like this. She usually kept herself collected, but he knew why she was crying. She had given herself up to protect their people and she was probably afraid they would not respect their promise. He could also sense her pain and her fear. What if she bled to death before she could accomplish what they wanted from her?
What if it was what would break the deal?
He had never asked anything of Tengu except to be able to protect his people and Kagome. Not a single selfish request had been made ever. However for the first time he wanted something. He needed to rescue her but he was completely powerless. If he charged ahead, he would lose his life. Was that his path? To die in front of her?
No, his destiny was to live. The only way to achieve that was through power. Perhaps hidden within him was the strength to defeat them? It could be a gift of Tengu. Someone believed this Kami to be capable of evil, but Sesshomaru believed differently. Kagome would not be so pure if it was the case. She could only be the link between the people and a good Kami.
After time went by and the moans of death coming from Kagome filled his mind he decided that his best plan of attack was to surprise them. He took a deep breath to give himself courage and before he knew it he was using all of his strength to charge at the group. His body was trembling because of his bad state but he still pierced a man from the back with his sword.
The instant the group heard the blood spilling and spotted the outsider, they pointed their weapons at him. Sesshomaru could see the arrows and the swords but he did not flinch. In one swift motion he retracted his word and he stood there with his chest heaving. Blood was leaking upon the ground from the tip of his sword while the body of the dead man fell face forward.
He had never killed anyone before.
In any other situation, the sight and smells would probably sicken him but at this instant he had nothing more than rage flowing through his veins. The men standing in front of him were not fazed by the death, instead they were ready to charge at him. He expected them to ask a few questions, or even ask who he was but they did not.
All five of them came at him at once and all he could do to protect himself was raise his sword. If he did not make it out alive, Kagome would die. That thought alone was the only thing he could think of to make him repeat this awful action once more. He kept stabbing the air around him wishing that eventually he would hit one of them.
He did not.
Instead, a sword sliced into his right side and caused him to wince in pain. Unexpectedly, he managed to raise his arm and blocked another man from wounding him. The problem was that they could surround him. They formed a circle around him, and while he blocked one of them, another hit him.
An arrow found its way to the side of his neck and a groan of pure suffering escaped his lips. He felt blinded by the pain while he began wielding his sword in every direction, hoping it would stop one of the attacks. He had never done this before and lacked training, these men on the other hand seemed to know exactly how they wanted to kill him.
He could hear her voice in the distance, but it was muffled. There was something over her mouth but he could tell she was telling him to stop and leave. He could hear the silent tears she was shedding, but he could do nothing to cease her pain. He'd do anything to save her from suffering but this he could not do. If there was one thing he would not let happen it was her death.
They could take him if they wanted, but they could not have her.
While the metal sliced his flesh, his annoyance grew. He was weak and he could not do anything to help. How could he have been foolish enough to believe he would be protected? He was not the special one, Kagome was. He helplessly attempted to wound more of the men but he only managed to cause a few superficial wounds.
Blood was tainting his flesh all over his body but he could not feel the pain. He had to hang on because of her. He finally opened his eyes wide only to see one of them ready to pierce his heart with a sword. In spite of his eminent doom, Sesshomaru managed to live. Much like in the wood with the wolf, he was rescued once again. He watched in shocked as the same silver animal as before sunk his fangs into the men's throat.
The man fell to the ground helplessly and did his best to fight the animal off but he no longer had the weapon in his hands. The others stopped afflicting damage upon Sesshomaru and instead went to help their companion. Despite having more than four men attempting to pull him off the animal never let go. The man's throat had now been shredded to pieces and it was clear that if he was not dead, he would soon be even if they freed him from the animal's hold.
It was then that Sesshomaru realized he had the perfect distraction. While the men were busy it was his chance to free Kagome. It was with his heart racing that he dashed in her direction. The moment he was in front of her he dropped to his knees and pulled on the cloth covering her mouth. Her eyes were drowned in tears and her lips covered in blood.
"Sesshomaru, you must leave."
"I will not leave you behind. I came to rescue you."
She shook her head. "If I leave, they will hurt everyone. I must stay."
"I will not let them hurt you."
Her expression saddened. "You know we must save them over me."
"I will not lose you. You can do more good than they can."
"We must not think this way. Many lives are worth more than one."
"Even if you can save more lives than the ones we would save by letting you die?"
She did not wish to part ways with him, but there were no other solutions. The clan could be completely safe if she agreed to give up her own life. How could she not take that deal? Her life was meaningless and they would easily be able to replace her. She needed Sesshomaru to understand this.
Kagome leaned her head forward and pressed her forehead against his while their noses almost touched. "You have to let me go."
She loved him dearly, more than anyone. However, he was loving and caring man; he would find someone else to give him the life he deserved.
"I will not," he said while reaching for her hand. "I am not leaving without you."
'They will come to kill you soon. You must leave now, you have no more time."
"I am not leaving. I will save you even against your will."
"This is not you. You know we must save the others. Please, do not turn to anger." It broke her heart to see him so shattered. He was always the strong one, the gentle one. Now anger flickered in his eyes and she was afraid to lose him.
"I will not-" Before Sesshomaru could finish his sentence blood came pouring out of his mouth.
His body convulsed slightly before he glanced down. Through his chest was the tip of a shining sword. His hold on Kagome's hand became weak and then he completely let go. Kagome could only watch horrify as his lifeless body dropped upon her, his warm blood spilling on her stomach. Her eyes were wide open, her heart was barely beating and she was holding on to a only shred of sanity.
The man who had murdered him pulled his sword out with a smirk upon his face. Near his feet was the animal that had viciously killed one of his companions. He would make a fine dinner for their clan. A feast and a sacrifice – actually two; they could not come back bearing greater gifts. Finally their dark days would be over and their Kami would be pleased with them again.
"Throw the bodies over there. I do not want more of those animals coming around."
Two of them each dragged a body near the forest and carelessly tossed them away. They had planned this for far too long to be overtaken by a wild animal and a foolish man.
What none of them knew was the promise of protection. The morning Sesshomaru had departed she had promised the greatest sacrifice in exchange for Sesshomaru's protection. She did not make many selfish requests, but this one had been. How could her trust have been betrayed? He should not have died. But not everything was black and white and some Kamis did have evil within them.
Two spirits to make one.
The mysterious animal was nothing more than a dog; a vicious dog that had been sent to protect Sesshomaru. Unfortunately he had been foolish and it had not been enough. Now two spirits were ready to exit this world, but the youkai of the dog could be used for a greater purpose.
A request granted in exchange for a sacrifice.
What greater sacrifice than the one of love?
However, one dead soul was not enough. Two souls were merged into one, two spirits became one. The dead body nearly gave up under the pressure of too many souls. No longer human, no longer dead. The body began to transform and a silent scream of pain was released while his eyes remained closed. He dug his fingers into the ground as his fingernails became sharp like claws. His chest became sturdier and his ears stretched to a fine point.
When his eyes finally flashed open, the ghostly presence that had surrounded him dissipated. His old chocolate eyes were now bleeding red with amber in the middle. Before he could take his first breath, fangs grew and dug into his bottom lip- only adding more wounds to his body.
Despite the hole in his chest, air began to fill his lungs. It was with shaky arms that he rose to his feet and began looking around. Everything around him seem slower, everything seemed to smell better as if he were more alert. Pain was filling him from the inside, but it was not his suffering he chose to listen to, it was his instincts. He could hear her heart pounding and smell the salt of her tears.
He didn't need to think to act.
He bolted through the bushes and before he realized what he was doing, he was holding a man's throat in his hand. He squeezed down, barely, yet the sound of crushing bones echoed through the forest.
A man finally took notice of him and what he was doing to his friend. He lifted his sword and plunged it into Sesshomaru's arm. In spite of the wound, he acted unharmed. "What is-"
His sentence could never be completed. Sesshomaru dug his hand through his chest and wrapped his fingers around his heart. He snarled at the man and his chest rumbled. In one swift motion, he ripped the man's heart and allowed him to drop dead on the ground.
Upon seeing the massacre, the other two men left running for their lives and left everything behind. Sesshomaru was about to run after them when he was stopped by the sound of her voice.
It was weak, it was broken but it was her voice. He turned around his red eyes seeking her approval. All he found was her face stained with tears and confusion dancing in her eyes.
"What happened to you?" she inquired with her voice cracking.
He rushed to her side and with one slice of his claws he set her free. She dropped weakly into his arms with her face in his chest. "Who did this to you?"
Sesshomaru wanted to speak but he could not find the words. He could not speak, he could not explain.
"You would not do this." Even if he went against what she suggested this had not been self-defense, it had been ruthless murder.
Why did she look at him with those eyes? His rage increased and before he knew it, his fingers slipped and his claws dug in her arms. The scent of her blood filled his nose immediately and his eyes widened. He released her immediately and his eyes saddened. Had he done this? Had he hurt her?
He expected her to be afraid of him, but instead she seemed hurt.
His arms were shaking while he wrapped them around her body and using his new found speed he managed to bring her to safety quite quickly. During the trip back to the village he could not block the scent of her sweet blood from his nose and his guilt only increased.
Once their silent journey ended, he set her down on the ground. Kagome sat on the nearest rock while her head was spinning. Behind her, the sky was decorated with pale orange and a streak of silver.
He never gazed away from her blood stained tunic and he knew he could not look her in the eyes. He had hurt Kagome when she was the one he was supposed to protect. Did he have no control over himself? He finally broke the stare and glanced at his hands. Was he the monster, just like he thought that animal was?
"Sesshomaru," she tried but he backed away from her.
"I must leave," were his words before he ran dashing through the woods.
Kagome stretched out her hand as her heart broke. She wanted to fight this, to bring him back but then she remembered. The greatest sacrifice. To protect his life, she had chosen to lose him.
With tears cascaded down her face, she turned her head to look at the sky. Could he still be the man she loved? Or had he been turned into something that he could never come back from?
After the rumors of what he had become had spread, the tale was shared to help people protect themselves in the eventuality of an attack. She believed in him, but others did not. He never did attack because he could not. She was the one he loved and only she could damage him and hurt him like no other. Everything about her became his weakness.
Despite the danger more people-those with dark hearts- wished to become powerful.
"Tengu became a popular Kami and more of his chosen ones were given youkai spirits of dead animals. Over the years they became more powerful and deadly and began breeding."
Sango rolled up the scroll with an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Although the story had been quite vague, she couldn't help but feel as if she recognized the doomed lovers. She also wanted to ignore the name Sesshomaru and the black haired woman with blue eyes but she couldn't. It couldn't be – it was a mere coincidence.
Also, how could something as evil as a youkai be born out of love? Yes, the man sought power, but it was to protect the one he loved.
Not only that, but was this how Mikos were born? Out of love as well? The woman became the only weakness, the only one who could defend the people from the youkai. They balanced each other; he was too dark and she was too bright.
She quickly stuffed the scroll back where she had retrieved it and with a confused mind she began to complete the task that had brought her to her village. She worked with a distracted mind until the sunrise and by then she was done. She rested her weapon on her shoulder and headed back out for her journey home.
Questions filled her mind the entire time, but she answered each one of them by telling herself she was being foolish. What were the odds that Sesshomaru had an ancestor, the first youkai who was also named Sesshomaru? To help her sane conclusion, she conveniently ignored the fact that their physical appearances were very similar.
And Kagome. How could Sesshomaru and Kagome ever be long lost souls of two lovers? To think of the two of them together – it would never happen. He was so cold and indifferent and Kagome bubbled with life. It was a coupling that would never work even if they tried.
This was all the result of her associating people from 2000 years ago to people in her right now. She took a deep breath and once again attempted to free her mind from this silliness.
It required half a day, but Sango finally made it back to camp. However, she did not find the greeting committee she expected. Instead of all her friend being there, only Miroku and Shippo were present. She glanced in everyone direction but she did not see Kagome and Inuyasha.
"Where are the others?" inquired Sango while she sat down beside Miroku.
"Lady Kagome should return from her time shortly. Inuyasha," he paused before taking a deep breath. "went to see Lady Kikyo."
"I think he's an idiot. She's dead, it's never gonna work. At least Kagome is alive," Shippo said while glaring in the direction of where Inuyasha had disappeared.
"Maybe he's doomed either way," began Sango. "Maybe she is just not meant for him."
Miroku raised an eyebrow at her strange words and glanced at her for an explanation. When Sango realized what she had said, her eyes widened. "I mean, sometimes people are just not meant to be." She felt sadness form inside of her. "And some are, but they will spend forever looking for each other and they'll never be together."
"Sango, are you okay?" Shippo asked with concern.
She smiled. "I guess I'm just over thinking it."
Not too far from their campsite, Kagome had pulled out of the well minutes ago. Instead of joining them right away, she was standing a few feet away, near the top of a small hill. Her legs were pressed against a rock while she stared away at the horizon. She did not know why, but there was something about the unusual color of the sky that had attracted her to this spot.
The bright blue mingled with the pale orange while a streak of silver ran through. It felt so familiar.
Unknowingly, she was being watched.
Close to her was Sesshomaru. He had caught her scent while they had been traveling near a river so that Rin could feed herself. He had felt the need to follow her tracks- though even now he had no idea where the urge had come from. He had met her a few times and he did not care for the girl. She was the Miko who traveled with his half-brother and except for her strange clothes there was nothing interesting about her.
Yet there he was, staring at her. At her and the sky.
It felt like he had been here before. With her. It was clearly impossible, but he could not chase away the feeling. It felt too real.
For the first time in his life, he was experiencing a sense of loss. It was not like when his father had died and he had felt anger because his birthright had been stripped from him. It was not like when his arm had been cut because he had been careless. No, it was profound loss, something he had never felt before.
Something was missing from his life.
Then suddenly before he could go deeper into his thoughts, she turned her head. Somehow she did not seem surprise to see him. He glanced right into her eyes and the familiar feeling only deepened. And then, he made a decision.
"This Sesshomaru must leave."
The words he had spoken made no sense, yet it had felt like the natural thing to say. Without even waiting for a reply from her, he turned around and walked back the same way he came.
He had done this before too, hadn't he?
Once he left the vicinity, Kagome sat down on the rock and stared away at the view in front of her. This was not how an encounter with Sesshomaru should go, yet she was not even unsettled. She wasn't certain why but her chest felt heavy with a burden and her eyes were burning as if she was ready to cry. Only one thought came to her mind, but it made no sense to her.
"Maybe in another life."
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