Author's Notes: Hello again to friends of old, and greetings to those of you who I have yet to know. This is my seventh story here on , and I hope you will find it as enjoyable as you have found my others. I will say that this one is slightly more unique then the plots I have attempted before, for several reasons: the first is that there will be many characters throughout this story, rather then have it simply be an Inuyasha/Kagome romance story. While there will certainly be plenty of that, this story will also focus on the relationship between sisters, obviously Kikyou and Kagome, and the process Kagome goes through as she matures from an innocent into a young woman with a better understanding of the realities of the world. That having been said, though, there will be plenty of romance too, because I'm a hopeless romantic myself.
While this is a chapter of the story, this is also going to serve as an introduction to the world I'm going to be putting the characters into, so I hope that, if only for this time, you all will read over the notes that follow so that you can have a better understanding of what's going on, and what the setting is like. But whether or not you read it is your choice, and either way, I hope you enjoy the story, and the next chapter will be coming out in the next day or so, after you've all had a chance to read this and become acquainted with my new plot. Enjoy!
Setting: This story is going to take place in a fictitious country that has similar characteristics to England in the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. While it will not be identical to those times, as I will have taken a few liberties of my own, most of the styles, language, and traditions throughout the story will be based on a historical foundation. The country itself, while fictitious, is a part of the rest of the world, so references will be made to places such as Spain, France, and Scotland, which were major powers in the world at the time when this is taking place.
The main character is Kagome, which is no change from my previous stories or from the anime or manga either. Kagome is sixteen years old when the story begins, and is the younger sister of Kikyou and the daughter of the Marquess Higurashi. Kagome should stay, for the most part, in character, and the only thing you might find a little off from normal is her relationship with Kikyou as the story progresses.
Inuyasha is of course a main character as well. He is the ruler of the country, and at the beginning of the story engaged to Kikyou Higurashi, Kagome's older sister. Both his parents are dead, his father having left him the throne, which left a chasm in the relationship with his half-brother, Sesshoumaru. Inuyasha, too, should be in character for the most part, however there will no doubt be times when he drifts a little towards the unusual simply because this is an alternate universe plot which makes me think I can take a few small liberties with the characterization.
Kikyou will have a much larger role in this story then I have given her in most of my other plots. She is the eldest daughter of the Marquess Higurashi, is nineteen at the start of the story, and has been living at court for nearly six years, or since she was thirteen years old. Her life has been plagued by scandal since she was fifteen and she had a rumored affair with a nobleman named Onigumo, which changed her for the worst so that now she is nothing like the young woman she once was. Her character will no doubt be the most out of character of anyone in this story, but all the same I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping her true to form, with only a few scattered moments where she is not.
Naraku/Onigumo is, as always, the bad guy, though I'm trying to put a twist on his evil plans this time to make it not quite so predictable. Yes, he'll still be obsessed with Kikyou, but some things will change, which is where the OOC stuff will come into play in regards to Kikyou. So be prepared for that.
Sesshoumaru will have a supporting role, but mostly he won't be a part of this story beyond making the occasional appearance to either assist or hinder his brother's attempts at ruling the country. He does not have the desire to kill Inuyasha, however, as is true in the anime/manga, which might make him out of character to some of you.
Kouga is, as he always is, the third wheel in Inuyasha and Kagome's relationship. He is ruler of the North section of the Kingdom, but still a vassal to Inuyasha (who you might say is an ultimate king), and we first meet him when Kagome comes to court. Kikyou has engaged Kagome to Kouga without her permission, but even so their relationship gets off to a good start, and for the most part Kouga is just there to spice up the relationship between Inuyasha and Kagome. He is pretty much true to form.
Miroku is Inuyasha's right hand man, at his side in every endeavor he makes. They are best friends, though no one is sure why since their personalities are so different, and in this particular story Miroku plays more of a supporting role then a main role...sorry everyone. There will be plenty of romance between him and Sango, if that's any consolation.
Sango is Kagome's best friend, having lived at court two years longer then Kagome. Mostly her job is to play the peacekeeper between Kagome and Inuyasha, along with Miroku, and to give Kagome a chance to calm down when situations get rough. Her character stays true to form for most of the story.
Shippou will have a very small role in this story, but he will be there and befriend Kagome as he always does. He is a pageboy for Inuyasha, and that is how Kagome meets him, and from there the relationship grows. He is also pretty much true to form.
The North, The South, The East, The West: All these are pieces of the kingdom, ruled separately by Kings, but who all, at the end of the day, have to answer to Inuyasha. Throughout the story you will meet each ruler.
The Tower: This is an idea that is 100 extrapolated from history. In England there is the Tower of London which, in the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, was used as a prison for criminals. It was said that in those times its shadow would cause even an innocent man to shiver because it was a horrible place where you rarely came back out after you went in. The Tower in my story is the same concept.
Hunting Parties: Hunting parties were extremely common in old times, with the King riding out with his court to hunt for the days meal. It was so common that it became an opportunity for a social gathering, and women would come along as well to follow the men, though they would rarely hunt.
The Court: Though obvious, this needs explaining. The Court consists of everyone who lives at the palace with the King, who serves him or is there as a courtier. Kagome, Kouga, Kikyou, and Sango are all members of Inuyasha's court because, in the end, their job is to serve him above all else.
A Courtier: A courtier is someone who lives at the palace day in and day out, with their main job being simply enjoying the hospitalities of the royal family and the King. They attend the royal banquets, the dances and masques, and live in the palace.
Summer Progress: This is something that the old courts of England would do every year, making a summer 'trip', if you will, around their kingdom, staying in the homes of different noblemen. In this particular story I have used the concept and taken it to a different level so that during the Summer Progress Inuyasha's court will visit the four sections of his kingdom individually.
Masquerade: I realize this may be a familiar term for all of you, but in the context that I'm using it, you might be somewhat unfamiliar with it. Historically, masquerades were actually orchestrated performances at court, where the King, or his friends, or a chosen woman, would actually plan out a theme for the masque and play out a story, giving different parts to different men. A very common theme, for example, at Christmas would be the three wise men coming to see the baby Jesus. After words, naturally, there would be dancing, but the masquerade itself was more of a performance, and that's how I'll use the term in this story.
THE FASHION OF THE TIMES
Okay, so I realize that there are always many questions regarding what people are wearing, and why. Keeping true to the concept of following historical England, the women will be wearing the old gowns that English Nobility would wear, with either short or long sleeves of varying styles, and sweeping skirts (though they are not the hoop skirts people associate with England...that actually came later). The men will be wearing shirts and pants with shoes...yes; even Inuyasha will have to part from his red haori for this. Sorry.
Title: The King's Mistress
Rating: PG-13 (for language and, at times, implied sexual situations)
Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha, nor do I take credit for several of the historical ideas, facts, and realities I have taken and used.
Writing this personal memoir is something I have been avoiding for some time now. I'm not the type who enjoys dwelling on the past, and its triumphs and mistakes. However, in this case my advisors say it would be wise to put to paper all I know before I grow too old and the clarity of events starts to dim. I laugh at the thought of aging. I'm only twenty. But then, I suppose time does go by quickly, and one can never be too efficient with one's life. So here I am, sitting down at my desk, which once belonged to my father, to write out how I came to power...how I became Queen.
It's not the kind of story one would expect. I am no great person, born into wealth and power and prestige. I was by no means poor when I was born; in fact I was the daughter of Lord Higurashi, a Duke in his own right. But that does not make me a great person by any stretch of the imagination. There are far nobler women then I, who probably feel I have stolen the crown from their rightful little heads. And all I can say to them is, frankly, oh well.
But I digress.
What will follow is an account of my life from the moment I made my debut at court to the time when I married the King. Of course, now that you know the end, you are probably thinking the middle of the story shall be quite boring? I assure you, the reason my advisors are so adamant that I record my story is for its extremely interesting plot; the kind one would usually expect to find in a thick novel by some great author, which I am not. I have the joy of having lived this story, rather then depending on a muse, as authors must. So basically, what I'm saying is, you won't be bored.
I expect that if you are reading this, you are either one of my descendants, or a curious page wanting to learn more about the history of the palace and its occupants. Either way, it is of no concern to me. All that matters is that I get this story finished so that I may go about my life, and attend to my beautiful son, who is always wanting of attention, considering he will be almost two years old as of a week from now.
He is a wonder to me, and to his father. He has my ebony hair, and my husband says he has my kind smile too. But he also has the hard, proud gaze and straight back of his father, as well as his beautiful and stunning amber eyes. I feel so blessed to have him, and another on the way...
Yes, yes, I know, I need to stop giving away the ending to my story, but from what I've already said I might as well tell you straight out that there is a happily ever after, in the end, and I must insist you remember that, for there will be moments, I am quite sure, when you will doubt my words. But the fact that I am writing at all, with the seal of a Queen, should be proof enough to you that I speak the truth.
Yet one must ask: what is happily ever after? Countless authors have written about such a concept, and yet, now that I have lived my own version of a fairytale (if one could even call it that) I'm not sure I understand what it means to live happily ever after.
Does it mean that you are happy, and surrounded by people who love you? That I surely am. Does it mean you have many children? If that's the case then I'm certainly on my way to being very happy in old age. Or does happily ever after simply mean that: everything turns out alright in the end, and there are no regrets? If that is the case, then I most certainly am not living happily ever after, for I have my regrets...
I have learned much, in my young life. More, my mother believes, than I should have. I have lost, too. God knows how I've lost a great many things and a few souls who were very dear to my heart. I have lost my other half, my other self...but now is not the time to mourn.
It never ceases to amaze me, how being a Queen makes you older than your years, in ways you wish desperately were not true. I have seen but twenty years, as I stated before, and yet, my heart feels like it carries memories and burdens enough for a woman over fifty. I no longer belong to the circle of friends I once held, except for one, and without her I think I should go quite insane with loneliness and despair.
You are probably surprised to hear this...surprised to know that, being Queen of an entire realm is not something that makes me happy...but it's true. I never wanted a crown, although my husband tells me that is why I, in the end, received one. And that burden is something of a dark shadow in my life.
However, I want to assure you that I am happy in other areas of my life. I am happy in my husband, the King, whom I love more then life itself. He gives me such joy, and loves me no less then the day we were married two years ago, and I crowned his Queen. Frankly, if not for his love, the light in my life should have gone out ages ago.
I am happy in my son, the young prince, who brings joy to both his father and I. He never ceases to amaze us in his strength and agility, even at his tender young age. Already, he can crawl, and roll over, and pick up objects one would suppose too heavy for his frame. We love him, and I have already given the King his early Christmas present with the announcement that our boy will soon have a younger brother or sister.
I am happy in my mother, who is a constant well of support and strength. Even now, at the age of forty-two, she looks young and vibrant, and never allows anything to get her down. And when I am angry or depressed or weighted down by matters of state, she is always at my side immediately, lending me her own light and energy.
I am happy in my brother, one of the first knights of my husband's circle of friends, second in the King's favor only to my lord Miroku. He supports me in everything I do, and is my defender if ever there is a soul who would speak ill towards my name.
So you see, there are many things that bring me joy, and it would be wrong to suppose that, just because the crown of a Queen makes me unhappy, I am unhappy as well. My husband always says I have a way of bringing light wherever I go, and that I can see joy in places he cannot. If only he knew how much of the light I carry is thanks to him and his love. That I give so much to others I rarely keep enough light for myself, and that if it weren't for him, my light would go out. Perhaps he does know...
But I digress once more.
I shall stop this preamble, as I'm sure you are all anxious to move on to the real story. As I said before, it is not the kind of story one would expect in the telling of how a Queen came to the throne. I did not simply meet my prince and live happily ever after, I did not have a fairy godmother offer me a magical night so that I could enchant a King. What I have, I have earned, and at a great price...a price, I sometimes think, that wasn't worth it. But then, whenever I see my son, I know that it was, and so I am content. So now I shall, to the best of my ability, portray to you honestly and justly how I, Kagome Higurashi, came to the throne of this great country.