The One, The Warrior, The Shadow by ChaosWingDragon

The Beginning, The End, The Beginning

Being the only human in the Demon Academy made life horrible.

Being a miko on top of that made life unbearable.


~*11 years ago*

A 5 year old Kagome ran happily around the God Tree. Today was a wonderful spring day, filled with butterflies and ice cream cones. A soft caress of the wind carried the sweet smell of cooking oden and reminded the young girl that soon it would be lunch time.

Turning to head back to the house, Kagome suddenly froze. Aware of how eerily quiet the shrine grounds had become, she took a hesitant step toward home; but before she could do anything more, a hand gripped her neck. Filled with fear at the unknown touch, Kagome latched onto the arm holding her aloft.

Wide cerulean eyes locked onto stunning violet orbs. Kagome resisted the urge to squirm as she was filled with confusion. It seemed like the stranger's eyes were looking inside of her rather than at her.

A peaceful silence, broken only by the soft keen of the wind, spread throughout the clearing as Kagome was gently set on the ground. Taking several steps back, the exotic woman plopped herself on the ground in front of Kagome. Still wary, Kagome stayed standing in case she needed to run. Mama had always said not to talk to strangers.

Settling herself comfortably, the woman smiled gently at Kagome. "Your mother knows I'm here." With a quick throat clearing to hide any amusement in her tone she continued. "She said that lunch will be ready in half an hour and that you have to eat your vegetables this time, not feed them to Buyo."

With a childish pout Kagome quickly sat criss-cross applesauce across from her. There was no reason to be scared now, seeing as her mother knew she was here. Only mom could have made such a comment.

"For starters, my name is Ai. Little One-"

"My name is Ka-go-me and I'm not little! I'm this many years old!" Holding up her fingers, Kagome scowled with all her five year old might at Ai.

Ai gave a quiet laugh and hid her grin behind her hand. "Ok then, I'll call you Kagome. I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask you. Would that be ok?" Receiving an affirmative nod, Ai smiled. A twig snapping in the distance caused one of her ears to twitch and Ai noticed a wide-eyed Kagome following the action. So she can see right through my glamour, even at such a young age. Ai mused. How extraordinary. "How long have you known things that other people don't?"

"Since forever!" Kagome eagerly replied. "I see them and feel them and even taste them sometimes too."

"Taste?" Startled, Ai was taken back for a moment before she ventured another question. "What do you mean by taste?"

"Oh!" With a smile for her 'audience', Kagome pointed to her mouth. "Everyone tastes different, just like they look different in my head. You taste like the lollypops I get after going to the doctors."

Bemused and bewildered, Ai sat in silence for a moment. There was definitely more to this child then she had ever expected. Being able to feel the auras around her at such a young age was an astounding accomplishment by itself...but that tasting sense? That was truly the amazing thing. Kagome was obviously a very observant child. Every living creature had aura tags which identified what skills a being possessed. All healers, weather they be human or demon, carried a tag which was very hard to distinguish. For Kagome to have picked up and identified that tag, even going so far as to give it a 'flavor', was quite the feat. Incredible.

A hesitant "Ai-sama?" interrupted her pondering. Flashing a quick grin at the shy child, Ai turned her attention back to Kagome. "Yes?"

"Um...I was just wondering why you don't look like you do in my head." With a blush, Kagome glanced away. Raised in a very respect household, such a personal question was embarrassing to her.

A gentle finger on her chin brought her eyes back to Ai's face. "What do I look like, cub?" Ai asked softly.

"A big cat!" Kagome exclaimed with arms thrown wide. "And I think you have spots. But all the pictures I see in my head are fuzzy, so I'm not really sure."

Instead of answering her question Ai asked Kagome if she had ever heard of demons.

Confused by the abrupt change in subject but unwilling to be disrespectful, Kagome nodded. "Grandpa is always telling me legends about demons. My favorite story is the one about the Dog Demon General."

"Well then, this will be much easier to explain than I thought. The reason I look like a cat to you is that I'm a demon, a snow leopard to be precise." Kagome made a soft 'Ah' sound as her eyes light up in realization. With a gesture, Ai dropped her glamour. There was no reason to hold it anyway, seeing as the cub could see right through it.

Ai laughed gaily when Kagome gazed longingly once more at her ears with twitching fingers. "Would you like to touch them?" She asked, humor lacing her voice. Before the words were out of her mouth the young one had launched herself into Ai's lap and was reverently stroking the soft skin. Five minutes, a nudge, and one last stroke later, Kagome carefully climbed off of Ai and settled back in her previous position.

A quick glance at the sun told Ai she needed to hurry before her absence was noted. Knowing that what she was about to do would change this adorable cub's life forever, Ai took a fortifying breath and turned old, knowing eyes toward the child.

"Kagome, you're different. You know that, I know that, and your mom knows that." Her carefully folded hands hiding her tension, Ai brought up her purpose for being there. "Your mother and I have talked and we want to get you some training. We'd meet here every afternoon and you'd work with me to learn how to use your special abilities. Those fuzzy pictures you see? They wouldn't be fuzzy anymore. Does that sound like fun to you?"

"Really? You want to play with me every day?" Overjoyed, Kagome simply stared wide-eyed at Ai for a few moments before bursting into happy tears. "I would love to Ai-sama!"

*~2 years ago~*

Where is my bag...where is my bag... "Mom! Where is my bag?" Kagome shouted down the hallway.

"On top of the kitchen table where you left it, dork!" Souta replied from his doorway. Laughing, he ducked the box of Kleenex that she threw at him.

With a glare in Souta's direction, Kagome grabbed her shoes and dashed to the bathroom. Today was registration day at high school and she didn't want to be late. With a quick swipe of the brush, the world's fastest teeth cleaning, and a freshly scrubbed face, Kagome was good to go.

Giving her mother a quick peck on the check and Souta a noogie, Kagome threw on her back pack and pulled open the door. Her headlong flight into the courtyard though, was stopped abruptly. Standing on her walk way was the person she least expected to see.

"Ai-sama?" Confused by her mentor's presence, Kagome stumbled over her words. "Wh-what are you doing here?"

Ai gave her student a small smile for and gestured towards the house. "May I come in? There is something I'd like to discuss with you."

"Of course you can come in Ai, you're family!" Mrs. Higurashi, who had come up behind the still stunned Kagome, swept Ai into a warm hug and ushered her into the kitchen. "You'll have to forgive Kagome. Mornings really aren't her 'thing'. Cookie?" she offered, holding the plate of baked goods.

With a small shake of her head Ai declined. Her shadowed eyes passed briefly over Kagome before wearily sliding closed. Everything had happened so fast. A need to know basis. Ai mentally scoffed. More like 'let's make life a living hell for an innocent girl'. Finally her eyes flickered open and regarded the faces before her. Kagome, honest and loyal, her eyes filled with love for her mentor. Mrs. Higurashi, caring and loving, her eyes already full of a fierce desire to protect her daughter from the unknown.

"I guess I should start from the beginning." Ai quipped with a rueful grin. Taking a deep breath, Ai began change before their very eyes. Her stature become rigid and her eyes turned all white. And when she spoke, her voice rang with the depth of untold ages.

The Hidden Legend of Miko's Fury

Long ago, when the mists of time yet hung heavy, there was a shadow that traversed the heavens. Bored with the God's realm, it slithered to earth to experience life there. The Gods had forbid anyone from leaving the realms and bothering the inhabitants on the earthly plains. But then, what is one shadow to many? Oblivious, the Gods didn't notice the creatures decent.

Traveling far and wide, it came across a man, one who was just as corrupted in his heart as the shadow. Once the headman of a prosperous village, the man had been ousted under no fault of his own and had allowed bitterness and anger to turn him from the right path. The left path turned out to be easier for him to traverse. Without his morals, he found it easy to please himself and many fell for his pleasure.

One morning during his travels the man stumbled upon a slumbering woman. She was stunning. The wind blew her dark locks across her peaceful face and ruffled her loose clothing in soft flutterings of red and white cloth. In that instant, the man knew that he must have her. With evil intentions he approached the maiden to take her as his own. Imagine his surprise when he suddenly found the sharp tip of a sword against his throat.

'What business do you have with me?' she asked.

Hands held loosely at his side, the man replied that he only wished to rest with her against the large tree she had been laying against. But the young woman was not fooled. She could feel his evil heart and her eyes narrowed.

'Lies!' she hissed. With two quick flicks of her blade she laid open his cheeks and watched indifferently as twin rivulets of blood flowed down his face. 'Forever will you be branded as evil,' she intoned coolly. 'Wherever you travel those scars will make you an outcast and no one will ever be unwary.'

'Whore!' he bellowed in fury, his hands covering the deep gashes marring his face. 'What right have you to judge a man whom you have never met?!'

The woman sneered and gave a small, shallow bow. 'I present myself to you simply as, the Miko. From you I take my leave.' The miko took one step back and vanished.

In a rage, the man went on a rampage to try and find what he considered his. Weeks later, the shadow came upon him and, recognizing an opportunity, quickly seized it. It called out to the man, its insidious voice carrying to the man's ears. 'Open yourself to me,' it said, 'and I will grant you that which you desire.'

In his madness, the man quickly agreed. Coming together, the two became a creature of great evil. Without a human form the shadow could not access its powers; and so the bonding between the two unleashed a great darkness upon the land.

Summoned by the wave of evil, the miko was quick to appear. The village she arrived at was decimated. 'What have you done?' she asked in horror. All around her lay the carnage the being had caused. In its grasp struggled the last survivor: a heavily pregnant woman.

Blood red eyes fell upon the miko and the creature rejoiced. 'Finally!' it called gleefully. 'You are here!' A disdainful flick of its wrist flung the women into a burning hut and it turned toward its true prey. 'I thought you'd never show,' it taunted with a malicious sneer.

Her eyes dark with sorrow, the miko swept her gaze around the village grounds. Fire burned brightly and smoke billowed into the air. Weak, dying moans floated to her ears with the aid of a weak breeze. Once again she faced the creature. 'All of this you did just to summon me?' she questioned in muted horror.

Harsh laughter flowed from poisonous lips. 'He wanted you, I want you.' it replied.

And so the battle began. He fighting to claim what he thought was his. She fighting to protect those who couldn't protect themselves. Three days and three nights the two clashed, and on the morn of the fourth day the Miko knew she could never beat this being. And so, she did what all mikos were warned not to do. She built her fury to a fever pitch and purposely let loose the binds of her miko powers.

'What is this?!' The creature yelled furiously.

'Our end,' she answered. 'You shall be bound, until such a time that my wards wear thin. My Fury shall hold you fast for centuries, and the diligent work of protectors who watched over those on earth will strengthen your chains. Be gone from my sight as you fall to that which you sought to own.'

And letting loose her powers, the miko entombed the being. She walked in a wide berth around its coffin like prison, three times clockwise and two times counter-clock wise. The path she traveled began to sink into the ground until it was deep underground. As she walked her tears fell and the earth heard her plea. Where the drops fell, seven of them, marble columns arose.

Two lay close together and formed an archway as stairs built themselves up from its doorway. The other five supported the doomed roof which formed over the crypt.

Wearily, the Miko labored up the stairs. Awaiting her at the top of the stairs was the pregnant woman who she had saved. As the miko reached the top stair and once again stood on ground level, she waved her hand. The deep boom of a door closing echoed up the staircase and knowing she had completed her task the miko collapsed.

The woman, who was a youkai, gently cradled the miko on her lap. 'Thank you,' she said. 'Thank you from the depths of my heart.'

With a radiant smile the miko raised her hand to the woman's cheek. Information rushed into the youkai's mind before the Miko's hand trembled and fell back to her lap. 'Do me a favor?' the Miko murmured.

'Anything!' the youkai eagerly agreed.

'Tell them everything that I gave to you, so that all may be protected for many generations to come.' The miko turned her attention to the youkai's stomach. 'And raise your daughter to look for and train The One.'

With one last breath, the Miko who had sacrificed her life to protect everyone, died.

Shortly after the Miko died, several of her comrades showed up. They had traveled far after they felt the great darkness and were deeply saddened by the fact that they were too late. They talked to the youkai, a snow leopard by the name of Rikka, and learned what the Miko had wanted them to hear.

They were told about how the creature was bound by her Fury, her power. That although her wards would last for centuries without any tampering, something must be erected around the crypt in order to protect it. That additional power sources would need to be found in order to keep the chains binding the creature strong. But the most stunning thing spoken of was that whatever was built would need to be protected by both demons and at least one powerful miko.

And so with the help of the pregnant demoness, who had been tasked with rearing her young daughter to search for The One, an academy was built. The Demon Academy.

Ai's eyes finally turned back to her normal violet color. It was like watching purple dye being added into a glass of water drop by drop. A wave rippled through her body, and, all at once, she slumped.

Alarmed, Kagome was about to rush towards Ai when she spoke. "Damn I hate doing that!" she growled. "It always makes me itch." With one last shake Ai turned her attention back to the Higurashi women. "So, did you get that?"

The two nodded their heads slowly. "But Ai-sama," Kagome asked, "What does that have to do with anything?"

"Impatient cub," Ai rumbled. "Would you like me to finish?" Blushing, Kagome dropped her head and muttered a 'yes'.

"Let me tell you how this tale involves you." Focusing on Kagome, as the matter had been discussed with Mrs. Higurashi years earlier, Ai prepared to reveal her greatest secret to her pupil. "I am the daughter of Rikka; and you, Kagome, are The One."

And so Kagome proceeded to do an outstanding impersonation of a fish. That is until a light momma slap knocked some sense back into her. "So that means that, plain old me, has to save the world?!"

"Well, yes dear. Weren't you paying the least bit attention?" Mrs. Higurashi joked.

With a smile at the pair's antics, Ai interrupted before Kagome could launch any more protests. "Let's take it one step at a time, cub. First you have to know why I'm here." Serious once more, Ai pinned Kagome with her gaze.

"You heard how at least one powerful miko must guard the tomb at all times?" A quiet affirmative was given. "Well, one of the previous guardians just passed away, and while I wanted to wait until you were older, you're needed now."

"Quick question, Ai-sama. Why are you so sure that I'm this One you've been looking for?" With a raised eyebrow and crossed arms, Kagome leaned back into her chair. There was no way she was getting involved in anything having to do with a great darkness and world saving without definite proof!

"Do you remember when we first met?" Ai asked in response. "When I was looking at you very closely in the beginning?"

"Of course I remember!" Kagome said. "I had the freakiest feeling that you weren't looking at me so much as you were looking inside of me."

With a flashy grin, Ai laughed. "I've always said that you had the rawest talent that I've ever seen. Yes, I did end up looking inside of you, only because I couldn't find the darn blasted thing on you."

Confused, Kagome just looked blankly at Ai.

"The selection of the tomb guardians has always been helped along with something called the Shikon no Tama. It is used to search out someone with the qualities needed for such a strenuous position, and as times changed and mikos became scarce, someone with the power for the job. 14 years ago, the Tama went missing. Five years after that, I was drawn here, to this shrine, by a pulse which the Tama was giving off." Ai explained.

"Every time a new guardian was needed, an incantation was said over the Tama to find the fully trained shrine maiden to replace her. The Tama would vanish and then call to us. The selected maiden would be found wearing the Tama as a piece of jewelry. However, when it vanished all those years ago, it had gone off on its own. We though we were never going to see it again and were in fact in the process of making a new one when it called to us. Imagine our surprise, when it showed up inside of an adorable little cub." Ai finished gently.

"Inside? Of me?" Eyes unfocused, Kagome looked down at herself. There. She thought, noticing a strange glow emanating from her side. Tentatively, she touched it and gasped in surprise when a round object suddenly filled her hand. "What...the Shikon no Tama?" Kagome asked, holding the sphere out to Ai.

"Yes." Ai said, her eyes neutral.

"And that means...because it was inside of me...because it picked me...that I'm...The One?" Kagome asked incredulously. Another 'yes'.

"And that means?" she prompted.

This time, it was Mrs. Higurashi that answered. "It means, dear, that you're headed to Demon High Academy."


A/N w0w, finally! I've only been getting ribbed for months to write a story and you have only Shadowsweaver1 to thank for this thing ever getting done. (and for helping me to fix some oo-gly mistakes) Thank goodness for cattle prods. :P

From the first flashback: Ai is a healer/doctor, which ever you prefer. That is why Kagome said she tasted like lollypops because every time Kagome had visited a doctor she got a sucker and to her, that's what represents a doctor. That little tidbit came from my life. I wish I still got candy for going to the doctor!*pouts* As a side note, Kagome is only 14 in the beginning of the second flashback.

*looks at chapter*0.o...I sure do seem to like using commas...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it. I plan to have an update up soon. High School is such a fond memory, ne? Although I didn't get in much High School action, this chapter was needed to set everything up. Oh, and please review! Anything will do, even a flame as long as it has merit. If you do I'll send you some of my extra Easter candy. Run little peeps runs!! *cackles madly*

Ai-indigo Reason: her eyes are a purple color and while I know Indigo is more blue its close enough gosh darn it!

Rikka- snow Reason: She is a Snow leopard. How simple.

What a long A/N. Huh. lol. Chow^^!


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