Hello all~ Hopefully someone is reading this story! I've been a member of fanfiction.net since as far back as 2001 yet I have yet to review, and other than one posting years ago, which I have taken down, this is my first contribution to my beloved fanfic community.so, since I've never reviewed any of the stories, I feel I have no right to require that you r/r, too.only if you want to! Comments and critiques are always welcome.I ask only that you try not to be too harsh. Give me and the story a try. Who knows, maybe you'll like it! Bon voyage ;op

Oh yes.I almost forgot the most important part!

Disclaimer: I don't own Inu-Yasha or any of the characters. They all belong to the wonderful Rumiko Takahashi-sama! I'm just borrowing them for my own enjoyment! I'm a poor undergrad student; I have no money, so please, no problems, k?
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God Amongst Men

.::. Prologue .::.

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Silence.

Amazingly thick silence. It stifled the room with its intensity. A soundless war raged beneath the quiet. Great warriors, all gathered together. No careless shuffling of feet, no unconscious intake of breath dared intrude upon the stagnant air. These brave men, who daily fought for ideals, willing to give their very essence, their souls for an ideal, now cowered before the gravity of a mere syllable, one word that could seal their fates.

"No."

A mere whisper. It hovered above the warlords, ringing within their ears. One second. Two.

The spell broke. Suddenly the whole assembly of men turned to face the last member, obscured in shadows in a corner of the meeting room. The last vote cast, the solitary dissenting voice...

Silence again. Awe-inspired.

Respect infiltrated the room fueling the warriors with courage they believed abandoned them forever. This man refused to be coerced into a deal that would cast the world into shadow despite the very real threat of the loss of everything he had. A great wave of cacophonous murmuring filled the once ominous room with life, with hope.

"Kukuku..."

Silence. Deadly silence.

How did they forget...how could they. The one they sold their souls to, the one they must never defy, the Devil himself.

"Intriguing. Have you no respect for your superiors, _my lord_? I thought nobles born with diplomacy...I find you sadly lacking; however..."

Golden eyes narrowed, locked-in, and targeted the pest. 'Naraku.' A low growl, so savage with rage and hatred it went unheard by everyone except the one it was intended, the manipulator.

The omnipotent tyrant had the gall to smirk in triumph.

"...however, I am willing to overlook this slight lapse in judgment and manners should you reconsider your decision..." Naraku's emotionless voice continued. There was no need for emotion when the lack thereof was more effective in delivering the message. The unspoken hung heavily between the two men.

'Disobey. Come, let me have my fun. See what destruction you have caused, those you hold dear, those you protect, your family, your home, your lands, your honor, even your name shall witness ruin. Yes, yes, yes...let me torment you. Let us play.'

'Bastard.'

"Very well."

Naraku's smirk disappeared, the first sign of weakness.

"I will lead your legion of men. I shall help you all to hell." His voice equally inflectionless. He would not give Naraku the upper hand. Damn his soul to the very core of the Earth, he would see this vile creature's defeat. He would learn, all would realize the greatness of the Lord of the West. Even Naraku, especially him. 'I am controlled by none. The bastard shall fall...by my hands.'

Naraku's sneer reappeared with this last statement. "Let the games begin."

Sesshoumaru's response, the frosting over of golden eyes to an icy, hard yellow, speckled with silver. Just as intimidating. He stood and gracefully walked out of the room.

All eyes followed the movement, some with pity, some with hatred, some with poorly disguised admiration, yet all with despair. That is all, except the glittering crimson eyes, narrowed with the promise of danger. It was so much more fun to play with his prey before squashing it beneath his heel. 'Sesshoumaru will fall, but first I shall have fun.'

As the heavy oak doors closed in upon the remaining men, they knew the time had come. A new era they helped to create, full of war, strife, greed, hate, loss...how they longed for the freedom they just witnessed.

Naraku's reign has begun.

Unmindful of these dreadful events, despite the dawning apocalypse, the sun rose.

A new day...a new world.

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The sun slowly peaked over the green mountains. Slowly, in all its brilliant splendor, it dispersed the last clinging darkness that lingered over the emerald valley. As the sun cast it's beaming glory over the picturesque countryside, the valley appeared to come alive. The lovely, blooming flower fields blossomed under the warm, loving caress of the sun rays, offering up their wonderful colors and perfumes in the crisp spring morning air. Thriving fields abundant with foliage abounded with wildlife as evidenced by the first chirp of welcome, soon joined by rustling and more chirps of thanks to the golden god above.

A cheerful tune drifted with the wind as an equally upbeat girl appeared outside. Exiting the cozy hut at the very edge of the valley, the woman- child, for upon closer inspection that's what she is, began her daily chores with such youthful energy and good will that even the most menial tasks she performed seemed interesting and fun.

As she headed toward the stream a few minutes walk into the surrounding woods, the forest seemed to stir, gently welcoming her into its embrace as if she were a most precious and prized treasure. She always felt calm, peaceful within these woods...as she should. These were her friends, her companions from her earliest memories. She felt as though these trees understood her thoughts, her feelings.

'It has been so long since the last person who truly understood me left. Oh how I miss him...but I must not think of it, he is gone, will never return. Why is it that I must lose one so dearly beloved? It is unfair. I don't ask for much...No! I won't dwell on this, it is too pretty a day to waste wallowing in sorrow and self-pity.'

The woman-child dispelled the depressing trek her mind seemed prone to wander today with a firm shake of her head. Thus cleared of further depressing thoughts, she felt once more at peace for the woods seemed to comfort her and coax her from her distress. As she approached her destination, the girl felt absolutely blissful looking upon the sparkling stream that seemed to dance before her, flowing down and away from her sight through the sun-dappled flora.

'Heaven.'

"KA-GO-ME!!!!!!!!"

'Or not.' The girl attempted to hurriedly fill the two pales with the cool mountain spring water and head to safety. Unfortunately, in her haste, her foot snagged upon an unseen root that protruded from the ground. She went hurtling forward only to land in wetness.

'At least I dropped the buckets upright this time and won't have to refill them'...with this last thought she resigned herself to the inevitable. Soon, a lively, enthusiastic young man appeared at the water's edge.

"Kagome! I found you! I thought we were going to get the water together this time and then we could...why are you in there? OH! I am so sorry I didn't realize that you were in the middle of bathing otherwise I wouldn't have come but you should have just told me the truth that you were intending to bathe that is why you were reluctant last night but I just thought that you were being shy and didn't understand what you were trying to tell me I am so sorry I feel so stupid and embarrassed but you are probably more embarrassed than I am so I shouldn't complain I just wish that - "

"That's okay Hojo. I wasn't really bathing; I accidentally fell into the stream when I tripped," Kagome laughingly interrupted the boy's one-man conversation. 'Even though he gets annoying at times, he is just too cute!' "Could you run back to the village and get me a spare set of clothes? Mama will kill me if I go home soaking wet once again..."

"Sure, no problem...don't you worry! I'll be back in a jiffy!" With that the clueless youth bounced off in the direction of the village, happy to be of use to the sweet, kindhearted girl he adored.

Kagome almost felt guilty sending him off with that excuse, but she really felt the need to be by herself today, to just relax and enjoy the nature around her. 'I'll make it up to him this afternoon.' Content and appeased with that thought, she slowly picked herself out of the water and wandered further into the forest to seek her secret base.

Once she reached her intended destination, she walked to the center of the clearing and flopped down upon one wooden side of the dry well. Glancing around at the wildflowers irregularly dispersed with the soft green grass and clovers covering most of the ground, the beautifully ancient trees surrounding the area, hiding it from unwanted guests, Kagome once again sighed at the majesty of nature. 'Surely this is the most beautiful spot in the whole valley, much prettier than the man-made gardens, which are much too tame. It's sad that the villagers miss out on such splendor because of silly superstition. Oh well, this way I get to keep the place for myself. Curses and mysterious powers, ha, as if.' The cynical girl scoffed at the idea that her hideout could be even remotely evil. Sighing in contentment, Kagome slowly breathed in the sweet smell of wildflowers that seemed to surround her and reached into the shallow bottom of the dry well for her hidden treasure; her hand emerged with a book in tow. Bathing in the warmth of the sun, with the endless blue sky above and the soft soil beneath, Kagome leisurely read her book with pleasure until she drifted off to a peaceful slumber.

When she awoke, the sun was high in the sky. Scrambling to her feet, Kagome rushed back to the stream, changed into the clothes Hojo must have left for her upon returning and finding her missing, picked up her two buckets, and tread home. She hadn't meant to fall asleep, but it was just too good to pass up.

As she entered the hut, she opened her mouth to apologize to her mother for not having finished her morning chores, when she noticed that no one was there. Walking back outside, Kagome decided to head to the village. As she approached, she paused as a very unnatural wave of foreboding washed over her. Nearing the town square, she saw all the inhabitants gathered there with a gloom and quiet that seemed to engulf everything in deathly dejection. Walking to the rear of the crowd, she was about the ask Sasaki- obasan, the town gossip who happened to be standing beside her, what was going on.

That's when she saw it. Everything went still as she stared at the black cloth hanging above the scaffolding of the town center. The day she dreaded and hoped would never be had come. The end, judgment was approaching, and her happy life had just been thrown into complete and utter destruction.

All that she had ever known came to an end at the sight of the hated cloth, a symbol of an approaching darkness so all encompassing that the world would cease to exist.

'No. This wasn't supposed to happen. No. No. No. Nonononono.' The revulsion rang in her head for an agonizing length of time.

But she would not submit...and eyes that were a dull and defeated blue-gray sparked to life and seemed to glow a mesmerizing sapphire lit from the depths of the soul with fierce determination and hope. Had the townspeople turned to look at the girl at that moment of epiphany, they would have sworn an avenging goddess had descended to deliver them from darkness, stunning and breathtaking in her passionate devotion to proffering salvation.

Kagome would see the world happy and gay with life as it was this morning against all odds, she would deliver her loved ones from shadows herself.

~*~ end prologue ~*~