Their Walking Legend

There was a general scuffle and confused shouting, moving like a wave through the dens of their ookami pack. Kouga looked up from his talk with his mate only to grin at the familiar sight. Ayame noticed his grin and sighed while shaking her head. Three pups were rushing through the labyrinth of tunnels looking for their two favorite elders. She laughed noticing that her and Kouga's pup was one of the causes of the disturbance. Where their pup was, you would find Sesshoumaru's Rin and the kitsune Shippou.

Panting they run up to her, asking for the location of the elders they were seeking. She pointed them in the right direction.

Laughing she followed them, the age old ritual of a story or legend of this pack being told at night in the moonlight an enjoyable tradition. If only the mischievous Hakkaku and Ginta wouldn't hide from the pups every night. Grinning she spotted the two elders dragging the pups that were refusing to un-attach themselves from their person. They eventually settled down by the clearing that a few pack members were working in.

With the pups cries and requests of an unusual and unique story Hakkaku and Ginta looked around for a sign amongst the nature around them. The pack - a conglomerate of youkai species forming the central lands of the blue moon - stomped their feet and whistled or hollered in anticipation of the coming tale. Ginta and Hakkaku's eyes widened and they seemed to have a deep discussion with just one twinkling glance before agreeing with secretive smiles.

Gradually the pack members assembled and settled themselves in a semblance of order. An anticipatory hush fell over all those gathered. Ginta smiled at the group and looked at Hakkaku. They always seemed to be doing that- a silent communication that allowed them to finish each others sentences and thoughts.

So they started, weaving a spell with their words; dragging the pack into memories of long ago and not so far away.

"Not so long ago, here in the land of the rising sun there was a powerful warrior miko who was renowned for her battle prowess and her kindness. One day she was challenged, many low-class demons bonded together in a forbidden ritual and fought with her. The battle only ended when, in a desperate move, Midoriko the Pure thrust her soul out of her body and used it to entrap the demons' soul as well. It hardened and formed the Shikon no Tama; the jewel of four souls. It was a rather interesting power, the purity and promise of Midoriko balancing the power and greed of the numerous demon souls.

The jewel went to the hands of the Taijiya, rumored to descend from Midoriko's own line, and it was protected by their people for generations. Eventually it grew to be too great a burden, and they searched for a miko pure enough to house the Shikon without either being tainted.

They found one such Miko."

Their words blended together into one voice, seemingly familiar with a story never before told. The pups were enraptured and the older youkai were gradually getting more interested in the tale of old.

"The miko was a pure being, lonely but pure. Lonely enough to seek companionship in an inu-hanyou, who was son of the InuTaisho and half-brother to one demon Lord Sesshoumaru. He in turn fell in love with her and protected her, while she gradually came to care for the hanyou that had a harsher past than most would ever care to contemplate. Together they protected the Jewel, even though the hanyou at first wanted to take it as his own.

Once a bandit tried to take the jewel from her, but was wounded almost insultingly easily by her inu protector. This bandit was actually leader of a group of outlaws and bandits, his partner being the cunning Onigumo. Discovering a hoax to take the band from him, the bandit found his group and the traitorous Onigumo, cut them down, and he burned them.

It was that Onigumo did not die, although he was burned extensively. He was found in a cave by the miko, where she tended him and waited for his imminent death.

But Onigumo was far too stubborn to die. And he had slowly started to lust after the miko that possessed the jewel he so coveted. He wanted a tainted jewel, as he wanted a tainted miko. Acquiring both would fulfill his greatest desire."

The tone in the demon brothers' voices shifted, moving down an octave and lulling the senses into complacency, to notice only that which their mind created with the aid of their words.

"So he offered himself to demons, offered his soul, offered his identity, and became the hanyou Naraku. Plotting and manipulating, he used his newly acquired abilities and his old ways to find their deepest fear and present weakness.

With this knowledge he made them believe they had betrayed each other, using his resources, and in they're bitterness they actually attacked each other. The wounded hanyou made to steal the Shikon from its holy resting place and the injured miko confronted him. With their feelings of betrayal tense in the air she sentenced him to an eternal sleep."

The whole pack was now enraptured by the story, and even those who knew what the weave was creating listened as if they had never known it before.

"Dying from the wounds the cursed hanyou caused, her last breaths were for the jewel to end with her in cremation. This became the catalyst for many a misunderstanding and heartache.

Fifty years later, a young woman suddenly appeared. A mystery she was, and mistaken for a demon she was often. In an attack on the village she was forced to free the pinned inu-hanyou to save the village.

He killed the demon, one Mistress Centipede, but turned on the girl.

During the fight the Shikon no Tama had been slashed from her side. The hanyou turned to her, earlier he had mistaken her for the miko and now with the Shikon present, and his past experience and the Beast within called for vengeance. The only reason he couldn't complete his action was the old priestess Kaede who guided her through a subduing spell.

He was forced to watch over the lady and protect her and the jewel as long as she controlled the spell with one word. During one such occasion where the jewel was stolen as well as a young village boy, the new miko tapped into her powers to save the child. The force of her power, even as unused and untrained as it was, shattered the jewel to the four corners of Japan.

Now they had a quest, gather the shikon shards and survive the constant attacks presented for the pieces they did have. It was in this quest that they acquired the aid and friendship of a small kitsune, a cursed houshi, and the last taijiya as we'll as her demon companion.

It was also in this quest, in a time before their human comrades, that the miko was resurrected. A Witch demon Urusae used her grave soil and ash to form her body, a hollow husk that wouldn't draw a soul. The witch perceived the new miko to be her reincarnation, and she made to steal her soul.

Only a small part of it was taken, as the kitsune had called out to the new miko and had restored her faith in herself."

The pack was holding its breath and glaring, some were even growling. The importance of this 'new miko' was not lost on them. Her character was calling to their hearts, calling to their soul. And Hakkaku and Ginta better have a good ending for her!

"The hanyou was torn between his friendship with the new miko and the past love that was tainted. This caused strain on their part, the love that was blossoming between them died.

It was crushed."

Many females gasped in outrage and Kouga could feel his mate growing enraged once more at the callousness she remembered the miko being treated with.

"That is when this tribe comes into history. On one hunt we ran into their group and Kouga noticed the ability of the new miko, and planned to use her for our tribes benefit. His plans went astray and he learned of her unfading loyalty and inner strength. The new miko was the strong one.

His initial claims of love for the miko gradually became that of a brotherly affection and she was accepted for her intelligence and sincerity by all members of the pack. Her kindness and determination endeared her to every wolf, for she had what we valued above all else.

The corrupted hanyou that had tainted the love of the first was gradually gaining more power, itching to warp the jewel and all who touched what he considered his. As his power multiplied, so did the disaster and heartache caused by the jewel.

Our tribe was affected by one such disaster and his trickery, but we were not the only ones. He thrived on manipulating his enemies, seemingly proving their deepest fears true and hidden weaknesses to be fatal.

Even though all his attempts on the new miko failed, many who believed themselves better were felled by his cunning.

Thus the corrupted hanyou made many enemies and also thus the miko was well known for her virtuous ways and loving heart. The true Miko they called her, one who would deny none her aid, and would only fight to protect.

Nature seemed to follow her steps and humans and demons alike dared to hope in the promise and the power she displayed. Eventually all she had met who could claim to fight, and to fight well, gathered to become the Miko's ally in battle.

Lord Sesshoumaru of the west, Kikyou from the dead, Jinenji the gentle, Koga of the wind wolves and his tribe, the demon cats, Takeda-sama and his trained infantry, the cat clan and their great warriors- Karan, Shunran, Shuuran, and Touran, as well as an army of trained ningen sent from a grateful Lady Tsuyu's husband, and several samurai and bandits were some few who came, even one female self-trained warrior appeared- our fabled Nazuna. All seemed to come to her souls call to end the suffering and destruction caused by only ones greed."

The pups eyes were shining and some pack members were nodding their heads in pride, reminiscing of the past battle even as the two brothers wove them deeper into their memories.

"They finally caught up with the hanyou, and the first battle was long and tiresome. The strong Miko became howl sister to this tribe and confidante to every being fighting the filth. All lost their need to discriminate and fight amongst comrades at arms - despite their differences. Such was the power and love of our Miko.

All gathered protected her and trained her as they knew how. She was never without a smile for them, and they felt the need to repay a debt she never placed upon them.

The filth fled and it was only a few days before he was back, with more powerful allies and more of his detachments.

The skies seemed to weep harder of its pain, never having ceased since the initial battle.

The final battle started.

Three days in, while the Miko was in the healer's tent, tears had started to flow down her anguished face. No one had known that the injuries sustained were wracking upon her soul. Her blood was crying, her heart was anguished, and her soul was torn.

It came out of her mouth in an anguished cry that rose to the heavens.

Her part of the jewel had seemed to glow as she walked through the camp, openly weeping for others she had never known previous."

Some of the elders were smiling fondly, everyone adult present had tears in their eyes, remembering the anguish of a loving Miko and caring friend.

"She seemed to converse with the very earth around her, and the earth heeded her call. The heavens ceased its mourning, the clouds rolled away, and the sun shone in rays upon The Miko. She spoke aloud, her voice ringing through the hearts of all present.

'With this I agree…

With this I want…

With this I will accomplish.

She turned towards the battlefield, she raised her hands, and she spoke a prayer.

'I am in agreement, let the gods have mercy for our souls and let the earth cease its mourning.

Let the wounded dance, the repressed fly, the cold gain life, and those with power gain truth. Let the evil see its errors, leave the innocent free of terrors, and let the blind – though they lack sight – gain their vision.

Let there be none torn apart, end the war that starts, heal the broken hearts, bless all with friends, and let right always win, and never let love end.

With this I desire, with this I want, with this I will accomplish. Let me complete this task and let me conquer our demons. Let me restore what has been wrought apart by greed and lust. Let me bring what peace I can to the lands- and please guide me to protect what I love.'

The earth shock with the power in her words, and the skies brightened ever more.

A shocking pulse echoed through everyone and the forest quieted for miles. Nothing could be heard. The battle strangely stilled and The Miko walked through the mass unhindered.

Even the enemies seemed to stop in awe to glance The Miko who protected in her purity and could never seem to bring herself to hate.

She reached the corrupted hanyou, who managed to pull him self into some semblance of a glare.

But when she just gazed at him with pity in her eyes, he faltered.

She continued her approach and reached out to touch his face.

He jumped into action and sent his tentacles in perceived victory. One pierced her shoulder, causing her to stumble and for her blood to rain upon the field.

Now even his allies were gaping in horror, and her comrades were seething with rage.

Yet as he pulled out his tentacle, she straightened her back and continued. The masses parted once again, the warriors he placed between himself and The Miko bowing to her as she passed.

A sad smile graced her lips and the Shikon pulsed again. The corrupted hanyou was gasping in pain. The shikon around his neck, coveted close to his heart, was shining a pure white. And The Miko herself was glowing with an unearthly light.

As the shikon pulled itself together in front of her praying hands, she continued to walk towards the weakening hanyou.

The demons could hear the four winds singing, the heavens rejoicing, and nature itself dancing.

'Don't look away Naraku

I bring your demise

My blood rejoices in the downfall of this greed before me…'

A tear escaped her eye.

'Be Free…'

And he was gone. No ashes. No grandiose show of power. No scream of agony. Nothing.

Her head fell back and her mouth opened in a silent scream, her face projected agony and despair and yet…

She smiled.

A blinding light flashed through the clearing blinding all their senses and shocking them into momentary stillness. Then amidst yells of confusion and sounds of scuffling a tinkling sound was heard.

A child's laughter...

A waterfall dashing…

A mother's lullaby…

A father's praise…

and life's promise.

Gradually sight became clear and senses returned, everyone was healed and The Miko smiled at those remaining on the field. The opposing army had mysteriously disappeared and those left felt peace barely remembered, from when they were protected unconditionally.

The dead regained life. The lost found their way, and the bitter rejoiced.

So The Miko is our Legend.

And she is The Protector of; life, love, innocence, loyalty, valor, honor, dreams, and of balance.

Her immortality grants us reprieve from our fears, and she walks the dreampaths at night soothing us with her lullaby-

- A lullaby of promise.

If you listen closely even now: you can hear the wind singing with her, the heavens dancing to her tune, and the very earth humming its bass.

She is the guidance for our ways, and that is why we are as we are. The equality of our tribe was founded by her kindness that all admired. Now our tribe of humans, hanyous and demons will forever speak of her virtue. We central lands, the blue moon of promise, formed of the East and the West, Kouga and Sesshoumaru, and all who wish to be, will forever follow her teachings- our thanks and reverence to her soul.

At certain times you can still feel her smiling, more warming than the sun on the brightest day and more fulfilling than even the grandest feast.

And so, we will always love our Miko. She granted us what we needed most and sacrificed her ways to guide ours. Conforming and compromising but remaining true to us and to herself."

The pack sighed collectively and the pups were wide-awake with stunned reverence. Though one pup looked disbelieving he didn't move to voice his opinion.

Kouga, Ginta, Hakkaku, and most the other adults glanced to the west. The humans were smiling through their tears and the demons bowing their heads in respect.

The pups turned their heads as well. If even the half-demon Inuyasha could bow down with his proud brother Sesshoumaru, then something was deserving of reverence.

A mist started to form into the general shape of a woman, and a rainbow of power seemed to solidify her form. Standing before them was a proud woman with long flowing hair, seeming to blend into the wind with the energy that created her. Her gentle hands held a miko's bow and upon her back was a quiver of arrows. She tenderly smiled and bowed back respectfully.

The pups jaws dropped in awe and Ginta turned while Hakkaku stayed bowed to the ground. The misty figure turned with her smile still in place and walked into the sunset. The reds, oranges, pinks, and gold of the sky were shining through her figure, bending and warping to create a physical manifestation of her form, yet it only managed to confirm the fact that she was there.

"And there, young ones, walks our Legend. Kagome."

The pack bowed as her form dissolved into nothingness and a bell-like voice echoed on the wind.

'Be at Peace'

And with her voice they heard;

A child's laughter...

A waterfall dashing…

A mother's lullaby…

A father's praise…

and life's promise.