With the exception of the plot and the original characters that are depicted in the story, the author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended on the franchise(s) of Inuyasha and Sincerely: I Became A Duke's Maid that rightfully belong to its respective owners: Rumiko Takahashi, Joora, and Roha.
Hello everyone and welcome to this new series! I would like to profusely thank my friend MyWorldHeartBeating writing out the first chapter. And so without further ado, let the opening act of the show begin! :)
An assortment of various lip tints, creams and blushes greeted Kagome as she followed her three friends around a recently opened beauty shop just downtown in the shopping district; it had been Yuka's idea, to spend a girl's day out after spending two weeks studying for their upcoming finals. In fact, it was certainly a relief to all of them, especially Kagome; and for the first time in what seemed like a long time, she felt content.
But Kagome's thoughts lingered on the memories she'd shared with other friends, friends who were no longer beside her. It'd been a year since she last stepped foot in the Feudal Era, let alone inside the well-house. The journey to complete the Shikon Jewel and defeat Naraku was over, and it had happened in the blink of an eye, too soon for Kagome; although the artifact returned to her body, the past no longer conflicted with a terrible evil, she had no other choice but to leave her friends, the only place she truly felt she belonged.
By now, Kagome was sure Sango and Miroku had settled down, likely even started a family. Were they living in Kaede's Village, or had they sought their new life elsewhere? She recalled the conversations with the former slayer about how she had hoped to rebuild the Demon Slayer Village; was it still a work in progress? How were they doing? And what about Shippo and Inuyasha? Were they still bickering like always, or were they finally understanding one another? Shippo had often told her during their previous journey how he wanted to improve himself, to become stronger just like Inuyasha and the others. Maybe right now, someone was training him.
And what about Inuyasha? Was he still lonely, even after the events which had taken Kikyou away from him, as well as herself?
If there was one thing she truly wished for, it was for his happiness. Sure there was a time where she had truly loved him, but when she realized her feelings weren't reciprocated, she started to see him in a different light; more than anything, he was like a brother to her, and he had treated her with enough respect not to complicate matters. Though he had always shown a rough exterior, deep down, he was misunderstood, even more so, he was ashamed of his past, growing up as a bastard child, but he had found comfort in the company of all his friends.
She missed everyone; she missed the journey, the battles and the friendships which had blossomed, and if given a chance to repeat it all, she surely would, or at least would want nothing more than for the magic which once surrounded the well to return; sadly, that magic vanished the day the corrupted gem returned to her body.
Now at the tender age of seventeen, it wouldn't be long before she graduated from high school. Holding her mother's expectations high, Kagome had thoughts on attending a good college, hopefully one she could attend with her friends', but she was uncertain of what major to truly focus upon. Besides, was this really the time to focus on that?
"Oh, that's a really cute shade," Yuka exclaimed suddenly. "What do you think of this color, Kagome?"
Pulled from her reverie, she blinked her cerulean eyes curiously. In Yuka's hand, Kagome noticed a single lip balm in hand, the color somewhere between a pink/orange; it was called Pink Summer, and it held a faint shimmer. "I like it."
Yuka hummed softly, eyeing it and a few others on the shelves. "This one is also cute. It's called Berry Wine," She offered it up to Kagome. "But it seems more like a night out kind of look if any…"
Observing the colors pointed out to her, Kagome felt the soft colors of pinks, reds and subtle mauves best suited Yuka's appearance, especially when it came to her shimmery warm brown eyeshadow pallet, she'd recently bought a week prior. Supposedly, she wanted to look her best for an upcoming date with a guy she had met; surprisingly, he attended their school and had been on the soccer team since middle school.
"I think this highlighter would look good, Yuka," Ayumi pointed to the shelf behind them. "It's called Champaign Desires.
"That just about describes her," Eri laughed.
"I wonder if I should buy a tinted moisturizer?" Ayumi mused. "My bottle is nearly empty…"
"Aren't you going to get anything, Kagome?" Eri soon asked, glancing over from one of the many shelves, her basket of body wash, shampoos, and a new hairdryer hanging snugly on her arm.
She sweat dropped. "I bought a few new blouses and dresses, but I can't think of anything else I'll need…"
"You should buy some makeup," Yuka offered, throwing her a smile. "If you added a little mascara and eyeliner, it would really bring out your eyes. You might even catch a date or two."
"I guess it has been a while since I last went out on a date…" Kagome mused.
"I really thought something would happen between you and Hojo last year, especially during the cultural festival. I hear he's dating a sophomore now," Eri soon replied, throwing some mascara and lip balm into her basket.
"He was such a nice catch too," Yuka replied. "But it's alright. There are plenty of attractive guys out there. I have a feeling Kagome will snag a date soon enough."
"Why are you so fixed on setting me up with someone?" Kagome laughed.
"Because you're the only one, out of all of us who's never had a boyfriend," Ayumi clarified, Yuka and Eri nodding simultaneously beside her.
"Trust me, Kagome, you're pretty oblivious when other's find you a nice catch. You even turned down three of them last year without realizing it," Eri went on to further explain. "Besides, you seem down these days…"
"Yeah, is something going on back home?" Yuka asked.
"No … it's nothing like that. I guess I'm just a little bored these days," Kagome replied thoughtfully. "Nothing against any of you, but it just feels like something is missing in my life," She added. Of course, she knew what that something was, but explaining that to her friends would certainly complicate matters if not stir up a lot of confusion.
"How about distracting yourself with some books?" Ayumi suggested. "Whenever I'm bored, that usually cheers me up."
"Of course, it would for you, Ayumi," Yuka rolled her eyes. "You're the only one among us who loves to write. Speaking of which, how is that book of yours coming along?"
The mere mentioning brought a gleam in her friend's eyes, her face alighting with excitement, and soon enough, she clasped her hands together, her mind suddenly caught up in the world she had created. "Great! I'll soon be starting on Part Two! I have a following online that really enjoy it! So far, the main leads have already met and-"
And it was at that moment Kagome and the others had suddenly lost Ayumi. For the remainder of their purchases to the long walk around the shopping district, she'd gone over the entire plot line for her fantasy romance series, even complicating the plot with another woman who ends up stirring up trouble for certain characters. Still, it was a story Kagome found quite interesting, enough that it did in fact, distract her from her dubious musings.
Before long, Ayumi had led them to the bookstore, and from there, Kagome found her friend pulling her towards her preferred section: Fantasy/Romance. There was a vast collection of tomes aligned on each shelf, many ranging from slim pages to thick, with multiple volumes beside one another. From right to left, Ayumi excitedly pointed to various books, explaining the plotlines as though they were a favorite treasure, and behind her, she saw Yuka and Eri curiously browsing the gift shop on the other side of the store.
"So, Kagome, if you had to pick a genre, what would it be? Are you into non-fiction or fiction?" Ayumi asked eagerly.
Despite Ayumi's insistence, Kagome mused. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to buy a book; maybe it would distract her long enough until she was presented with her finals. "I guess if I had to choose, it would be fantasy with a touch of romance…"
"Any kind of plot you are interested in? Time travel? Other dimensions? Magic?"
In an instant, she was reminded of the feudal era, and she wondered if there was any stories focusing on that period of time, but according to Ayumi, there weren't any, besides the usual folklore; it was disappointing, but she allowed Ayumi to lead her to another section, and soon enough, presented a book to her.
"It recently came out about two months ago, but it's definitely a favorite of mine and Eri's," She exclaimed. "It's more of a historical romance, with some elements of magic but it mainly focuses on the main guy lead. Actually, it's more of a sad story, but if you look past that, you see something really compelling."
Alejandro Quillo Vel Laviti
A child of a provincial standing, starved of affection, he grew enamored with the daughter of a prestigious family, but it was not a happy ending. A curse surrounding the son of Duke Vel Laviti, a curse which remains just as mysterious as it started. A curse which would soon bring him tragedy.
The title alone initially gave her an impression that this novel was probably based on the biography of a French man. However, after reading the synopsis on the back, it did sound intriguing for historical fiction. Despite rarely picking up a book to quell her curiosity, Kagome found it difficult to turn away, especially when Ayumi's eyes watched her excitedly. Then again, she needed a distraction from her thoughts. Plus the item was on sale for twenty percent off. What harm could it bring? With a small smile she added it to her shopping basket.
Alejandro Quillo Vel Laviti, son of Duke Vel Laviti, lived a lonely and miserable life, locked away since the curse wracked his frail body. The Duchess, who had married into the family at an early age, treated her flesh and blood as nothing more than a pest, a pest she had no desire to raise or nurture; it had been a political marriage after all, one without compassion and intimacy.
Starved of love, neglected by both his father and mother, Alejandro spent the remainder of his childhood alone, shut in his room. No one loved him; he had no friends or family to call to when the sickness tormented him fiercely. The doctors predicted he would die before he reached maturity, and that alone left the entire Vel Laviti Residence in shambles.
"Give birth to a second child! I can't tolerate this any longer!"
"Do you know how long it took to regain my health after having him?!" The Duchess cried.
"Calm down! Can't you see the situation is dire!" The Duke chastised. "Our family will be ruined if we don't conceive a healthy heir!"
"It's my fault … I should never have married into this family," She sobbed loudly, loud enough that the servants could hear from outside the chamber.
"No one is stopping you from leaving, but just know that your own family will turn their backs on you, and you will no longer have my support. Now, enough of this. We should make preparations for this evening…"
"I hate you! I can't stand this anymore!"
Without so much of a warning, the vase within the Duchess's hand crashed to the marble flooring at her feet, the shards scattering across the entire room. In a fit of rage, the Duke left the room, slamming the door upon his exit, and she turned her glare towards the very person responsible for this misfortune. "It's just as they say … you really are a monster."
The child collapsed upon his knees, his large blue eyes welled with tears, and he pleaded silently to his mother, but she scorned him terribly. "M-mother… please…"
"Don't look at me like that! It's not my fault you became like this!"
"Madam, we've had all the best physicians look into this curse, but they've been unsuccessful. Perhaps you should reason with the Duke and try for another offspring?" A servant woman inquired softly; her hands clenched firmly upon the sides of her dress.
"Try for another? And if this offspring is also inflicted with the same curse, what then?!" She inquired angrily. "It's useless. This family is ruined! I regret ever having him! We're a laughing stock to the entire country!"
"Mother, p-please … don't abandon … me… I'll get better!"
"You're a monster! You shame this family! How could you do this to us?!"
Pausing from the final line of text within the chapter, Kagome couldn't help but growl in frustration. Collapsing her head upon her pillow, she moaned irritably. Ayumi was right; this book was certainly interesting, if not a bit dark for her liking.
And although no tears presented themselves, she still felt an ache within her chest, and she could see vividly the child's misery. How could the author create such a saddening story, let alone allow such tragedy to claim this boy's life?
Lifting herself from the pillow, her ocean eyes drifted to the one line of dialogue which had nearly brought tears. How could a mother treat their loved one like that? Regardless if it was a curse or not, no child should ever be treated like this. Although she wasn't familiar with Juara's works, she wondered why she pitted everything upon Alejandro? What child deserved this?
More importantly, what exactly is this curse? She thoughtfully mused. Where did it stem from originally? According to the book, the physicians claimed it as some kind of life-threatening disease, despite the strange letters slowly encompassing the boy's body.
"Mother, p-please … don't abandon … me… I'll get better!
In an instant, Kagome was reminded of Shippo, but it'd been a year since she last saw the kit. However she could vaguely recall how his small hands had reached out for her when the Bone Eaters' Well claimed her at the final moments of their battle against Naraku; there had been no time to say goodbye or even hold her surrogate son in her arms. Peace was ultimately assured, especially with the Shikon Jewel infused within her body once again, but she still missed him and everyone.
"I miss everyone…" She mumbled, reaching for a thin Dorito from the bag beside her. "More importantly, I wish I could understand this curse afflicting Alejandro. If I know anything about the dark magic and curses in the novel, then the Sacred Jewel could easily purify it." Or in any case, the spiritual powers from a priestess could certainly benefit in this matter. Too bad he was a fictional character from a book.
The sound of her phone buzzing took her attention away, and flipping the cover open, she noticed a message from Yuka; she was sending various pictures of clothing she'd found in a magazine and wanted her opinion. A jean jacket with the word Sassy embroidered with white gemstones, or a sheer black crop top with a low neckline?
"Couldn't the two go together with some leggings or hip hugging shorts?" Kagome mumbled, replying to the message.
Her eyes shifted from the phone and towards the clock above her writing desk. It was nearly midnight; fortunately, there weren't any lessons tomorrow. As a yawn escaped her, she lifted herself from the bed and placed her phone on the charger. After which, she reached for a pink sticky note from her desk and slipped it upon the next chapter.
It'd been four days since she started reading this book, but because she was fairly busy around the house with chores and studying, she'd only had enough time in-between to make progress. Although she had reached chapter four with no problem, she found her eyes staring curiously upon the next chapter. It was titled Elenora.
"I wonder who that is?"
Unfortunately, she didn't get a chance to gather her thoughts when something unexpected happened. The words printed upon the pages suddenly distorted before her very eyes, and though she blamed it on her lack of sleep, she was definitely aware of the odd golden light emanating from the pages.
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