Disclaimer:  Inuyasha characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi.  Other characters are property of Dark Star.

Rating:         PG-13 for possible language and just in case.  ^_^

Summary:    An elf, captured from overseas, was abused in all ways imaginable.  She finds it, now, too hard to bear.  She will live on through Kagome…but what problems will it pose to the young girl?  Sess/Kag

Genre:         Romance/Drama, as usual.  I'm not sure if it's much of a drama, but yeah…

A/N:             Yes, I know, I'm writing another story.  With this one, it'll be planned out a little more.  I hope the format is more attractive, so to speak.  Format says a lot, you know.  For anyone willing to read this, it really helps if you have a nice format.  It makes it, one, easier for readers, and two, though it has almost nothing to do with the story, presentation is everything.  It'll help, believe me.  You will probably be seen as more…organized?  ^_^  Well, anyways, here's the story…

Dedication:  This story, the idea, anyways, is dedicated to all those who supported me…to my cousins and to my brother especially…thank you.


M e r g e d    S o u l s

Chapter One: Desired Freedom

October 2002

The fair elf-queen's blonde hair flowed freely in the whispering wind, her blue eyes alighted with fiery spirit as she nocked another arrow to her bow.  The picture would have been perfect had there not been bodies strewn around her in bloody heaps, the bodies of the many fair elves of her kingdom, Fyora.  War was on the rage, and her followers were falling quickly.  Only a few fought alongside her, determined not to go down without a fight.  It was the modernization of man that did this.  The civilizations had grown steadily more powerful and cunning.  Before, the elves and men had lived in peace, but now, humanity was after them for their beauty, their intellect, and their riches.  And they intended to take every bit of it, even if it meant killing the whole of the elvish population.

            "Lady Erianthe!"

            Turning at the sound of her name, the elf-queen temporarily stopped her barrage of arrows.  Nodding for the warrior to continue, she turned back to her firing.

            "Lady Erianthe, we are losing.  We cannot continue," the archer said, also nocking an arrow.

They both fired at once, striking down two men, who in turn struck down for more in their blind falls.  Erianthe was furious that the warrior would ever think as such, but she, too, knew it was true.  They were fighting a losing battle.  Warily, she nodded and turned and fled, her nimble legs carrying her far away, her subjects following closely behind.  As they moved together toward the forest, where they would seek cover, Erianthe relayed instructions to her most trusted advisor.

            "You know what to do, correct?" she quickly asked, dodging through the undergrowth.

            "Yes, my queen, and you?" the subject answered, his emerald green eyes filled with worry and concern.

            "You should worry not about me," Erianthe scolded, "Your concern is for the Elven-people of Fyora."

            "I understand."

They flitted through the forest like sunlight.  Upon reaching a waterfall, they all stopped and listened, their sharp elvish ears twitching to any sound in the forest.  The queen urged on the few elves left, gesturing to the waterfall.  The green-eyed subject nodded grimly before leading approximately seventy-five elves behind the thundering wall of liquid.  All could almost hear the war cries of the humans, lustful for victory.  Panicking, the subject motioned and called for the Elven queen to come, to go with them to the safe keep behind the waterfall.  Looking down at her clothes, stained heavily with the blood of men and elves alike, she shook her head sadly.  Never would she make it in time.  Lifting her chin slightly in determination she nodded and waved for him to leave her.  Reluctantly, he slipped behind the waterfall and magically sealed the area, never allowing the wrath of humanity to come near it.

The men were coming steadily closer…yes…she could feel them…hear their ragged breaths as they stumbled through the forest…was this the end for her?  Well, if it was, she wouldn't go down without a fight.  Nocking another arrow, she stood in an attack position, the tip of her sharp arrow glinting as she aimed it directly at the chaotic din of rustling leaves and cracking branches.  At the first sight of human flesh, she fired and killed the unlucky warrior.  Her hands moving in a familiar motion, she nocked three more arrows at once, every one of them hitting their target.  Before the soldiers had gotten hold of her, she had killed off ten men.  Now, with their bloodstained hands grasping her shoulders and wrists, she concentrated on them.  Within seconds, they were howling, every inch of them burning with an unseen fire.  She couldn't do any more, though.  One man, bright enough, had knocked her out.  Erianthe, the Elven queen, was bound, hand and foot, and taken away.  Mankind had won.

~*~*~*~*~

Her body was bruised, her spirit broken, and all her muscles were sore.  This was not the life of a queen, an Elven one no less.  However, she was a queen no more.  No, Erianthe was now a slave of men.  The race, to her, was detestable.  Everything they did was an insult to her every breath.  No, the race was not detestable.  She did not dislike them; she despised them.  The man behind her pushed her then pulled on the rope that bound her hands.  She was weak; she needed to rest.  Her spirit had long ago lost the energy that had once fueled her successful and enthusiastic reign over Fyora.  Her eyes had long ago lost the determination that had burned there so familiarly.  Everything that had made her what she once was had been lost.

Erianthe now marched with a strange army of men, one of the several she had been traded around with.  They were fast approaching a village, where they would stop and rest.  For this, she gave a soft sigh of relief.  The man who held her rope pushed her again and laughed.  Erianthe clenched her teeth together.  One day, she would get back at these disgusting creatures called humans.

~*~*~*~*~

            "Kagome-chan!" Lady Higurashi called to her young daughter.

            The seven-year-old responded obediently to her mother's call.  "Yes, okaa-san?" she answered cheerily.

            "Go down to the well and fetch some water, please," her mother said, handing her daughter a bucket and smiling warmly.  "Good girl."

Kagome nodded enthusiastically and skipped off, her raven black hair whipping behind her.  Her brown eyes were alight with young innocence and curiosity.  The kimono she adorned was shortened slightly, to accommodate the little girl's habits of running around.  When arriving at the well, she dipped the bucket in, drawing out a full bucket of clear water.  Across from her, she noticed a worn-out lady, strange in appearance, drinking water from a container.  Curiosity getting the best of her, she walked over and observed the woman carefully.  She had long sunlight-colored hair and bright blue-gray eyes.  The woman didn't look like anyone from this time era.  As if startled, the woman jerkily turned to the little girl, observing her as well.  A look of mild curiosity graced her pretty features.

Erianthe was puzzled.  This little girl…was human?  She didn't think it possible that humans could be female as well as male.  Really, she had never seen a human female before.  Every single example of mankind she had seen was…well…man.  Looking around, she discovered more of the female species.  This village, on the whole, seemed to represent humans on a different level than the barbarians she was being held captive by.  Concentrating, she put her long-dormant magic to use, observing the little girl's aura.  Even before she had done that, Erianthe could sense the innocent kindness radiated by this one little girl.  It emanated off of her like warmth.  Her aura was filled with curiosity, most of all, and wondering concern.  She studied the auras of other humans and little girls, none of them matching the unique warmth of this young one.  She was special.  She was innocent.  She was pure.  Gathering her energy, Erianthe forced a warm smile at the youthful girl, whom smiled back affectionately before skipping away.

            That girl…she is special.  Erianthe stared at the child's retreating back.  Maybe…she will be the end of my suffering…the key to my freedom…  The elf-maiden was lost in thought when a man shoved her roughly.  Her body, fatigued by the un-practiced concentration and nonstop marching, reacted.  She fell faint against the lush green grass of the ground.

A/N:  Hey, what do you think?  Do you like the new format?  ^_^  I hope so, I spent a lot of time on it.  Well, I have, now, six stories going at once, I think.  ^^'  I seemed to be getting too sidetracked every time I get an inspiration.  A note to all readers, I might start another story.  ^^'  I know!  I'm sorry!  I think I'll put some on hold, though that won't be official.  Please don't get scared off!  I promise I'll make the stories worthwhile!  Just to clarify, the story is set in the Sengoku Jidai.

Story:  Erianthe is a Greek name that means 'flower lover' or something like that.  In any case, it has to do with a flower.

            Fyora is also a name, but I used it as a name of a kingdom.  It is a different spelling for Fiora, which means flower as well.

IMPORTANT!  I know many don't read Author's Notes so I will put anything really important down here.  If you wish to receive e-mail notification of the updates of this story, please let me know if:

A) If you already receive e-mail notification of Dark Star's stories, if so, then don't say anything, you will automatically be updated on every one of my stories.

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C) If you submit a review, if you would like to get a review response in the next chapter.  Please, I would prefer that if you are a one-time visitor, please let me know so if you review.  Otherwise, anonymous reviewers will receive a review response addressed to the name with which the review was submitted.

I completely understand if you do not wish to submit a review or receive e-mail notification or review responses.  ^_^ Suggestions are appreciated.  On the whole, nothing major will be done to alter the plot.  Inu/Kag fans, don't be scared off.  ^_^  Although, it won't turn out as an Inu/Kag, there will be a time when…never mind.  Please give this a chance!  ^_^  Arigatoo!

~*~*~Dark Star~*~*~