It had started out as a relatively peaceful night in the capital, Shikon, of the Veshrane Kingdom. The villagers were, on the most part, sleeping soundly. A few citizens that lived in the poorer sections of Shikon were up and about; more worried about making ends meet then what was happening on the streets. So no one noticed when a group of cloaked figures made their way past the city gates and headed towards the castle. In fact no one knew anything of what happened that night until late until the next day.

~~~~

King Higurashi bolted up through the misty haze of troubled sleep. Something wasn't right. He could feel it. His gaze shifted over to a rather large oil painting. It was the portrait of a young, dark-haired woman. Blue-gray eyes, glittering with amusement, stared back at him. A small smile graced the woman's face as she stared back at him.

~Megumi.~ A wistful sigh escaped Higurashi's sigh as he stared at the portrait, his earlier worries momentarily forgotten.

His wife had been a quiet and gentle woman, and a loving mother and wife. At the time, before the marriage, both of them had lived in rather moderate sized kingdoms. It had been their union that had formed the kingdom of Veshrane.

Higurashi shook his head as his thoughts dwelled on that of his daughter, and only heir, Kagome. Kagome was nothing like her soft-spoken mother. The 20-year-old princess took more after her father then her mother. Higurashi let out a sigh. It was well past time for Kagome to find herself a husband. Perhaps that would bring Kagome's wild ways down a peg or two.

King Higurashi was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he failed to notice the dark figures that entered his chambers until it was too late.

~~~~

A man with long, curly, dark hair, pulled back in a ponytail, watched as his minions did his dirty work for him. He had always been a man with a large taste for power. Killing the lord of the Kashete Territories had just been one small victory compared to what he hoped to accomplish in the whole. Whoever ruled the Veshrane Kingdom owned a good portion of what land the world had to offer.

~Now all that's left is the princess.~

The man smiled an evil smile. Yes, he had heard a great deal about Princess Kagome. She was said to be very beautiful (is somewhat rebellious). Her beauty was supposed to succeed that of Queen Megumi, her mother. That in itself was an accomplishment. If everything went to according to plan getting to her would be very easy.

The man's cold, black eyes lingered on the king's severed head before he, and the others with him, left. So far everything was going by without a hitch. It was a well known that the princess was the first one that King Higurashi saw every morning. So of course she would be the first one to discover the corpse of her father.

~~~~

Sleepily, Princess Kagome blinked away the sleep from her eyes, and raised a hand to block the sun that filtered through the curtains that covered her balcony. As she became fully conscious of the waking world, the dark-haired, young woman shivered. Something about this morning just didn't feel right. The morning seemed to carry a numbing cold with it. It wasn't the type of cold that chilled her skin, but it disturbed her subconscious. Something was wrong.

Shaking her head, Kagome pushed aside her silk sheets, and slipped on a robe. It was probably best that she go talk to her father about it. It wasn't like it would be the first time that it ever happened.

~……Of course,~ she thought, a tinge of sadness echoing on her thoughts, ~that was the same morning that Mama died.~

Kagome had been 10 when her mother had passed away. She had entered parent's room to go to talk Megumi. (Her father had been holding an important council meeting at the time, and was unable to talk to her.) She had entered the room to find her mother's body lying on the floor, brutally cut open. Various severed limbs had littered the room, covering it in blood.

Kagome shuddered. The incident still ran fresh in her mind, even after 10 years.

~One things for sure.~ she thought as walked across the hall to her father's chambers. ~I never want to see that again.~

She paused a moment before turning the handle. Although, it was convenient to have her father right across the hall from her rooms, it was still a painful reminder of what had happened. After Megumi's funeral, King Higurashi had moved his chambers to the many rooms across from his daughter's. It just disturbed the king too much to live in the same where his wife was murdered. Kagome shook her head again. Nothing was wrong! She'd just go talk to her father and he'd soothe her fears like he always did.

~~~~

"Chichi-ue?" Kagome's voice seemed to bounce back at her. "Where is he? He can't be asleep, can he?"

Kagome stepped inside her father's sleeping quarters, frowning when she saw that the velvet curtains that covered his bed were still closed. Snorting in annoyance she closed the distance between herself and the bed. How could he still be in bed?! He was supposed to be up!

~Well, I don't care how tired he is! He's getting up!~

"Chichi-ue! Get up!"

No response. Not even a groan, or a 'Please let me sleep some more.'

"Chichi-ue, don't you have a council meeting in a few minutes?" That one usually always worked like a charm.

Still no response.

Getting more then just a tad irritated, Kagome pulled back the curtains. She needed to talk to her father and she needed to do it now!

The first thing that Kagome's mind registered was the sensation of something warm and wet falling against her bare feet. More out of reflex, Kagome's gaze automatically went downwards, an action that she immediately regretted.

There, on the floor, nestled between her robe and her bare feet was the severed head of her father staring back up at her. His once kind, gray eyes stared back at her dully.

Kagome stumbled back, shock stifling the scream that was lodged in her throat. Then she raised her eyes to the bed.

Dark, crimson blood covered the pristine, white sheets. Kagome stood there in frozen horror. It was like she was seeing her mother's death all over again. Chopped fingers and shreds of bloody skin littered the golden pillows. A midst the fine sleeping garments that her father once wore was just a messy heap of blood, skin, and protruding bones.

A wave of dizziness overcame the princess as she raised her hand to her mouth. As she stepped backwards, towards the door, her scream was suddenly dislodged. Kagome screamed shrilly, again and again, a blood-curdling scream that sent all of the guards rushing towards the royal rooms. She screamed until her throat felt her raw, and even then she continued to scream. It wasn't until blackness engulfed her, covering her with its brief mercy, that the screams stopped.

~~~~

On that day, a day when the kingdom would forever mourn the death of their kind king, that was how the guards found the king and his daughter. The princess lay crumpled on the floor, mere inches from the door; and the king a bloody heap. The guards stood there in shock before two of them left. One to fetch the princess's lady-in-waiting, a miko named Kikyou. The other to inform the council of King Higurashi's death.

A/N: Whaddya think? The idea just came to me? Does it suck? Do you like? Hate? Please R/R. (Even if it's just to flame.) The real action doesn't start until after she marries a certain someone. (It isn't Inuyasha!)