Disclaimer: All Inuyasha characters are owned by Rumiko Takahashi. I only borrow them…One Arrow
He knelt by her body, the arrow he had pulled from her chest just moments ago was clutched in his bloody hands. Her blood.
There was no string of curse words, no shouting or yelling, just a quiet command as he gathered the girl's body into his arms and held her close.
"Leave. If I ever see you again, I will kill you."
It wasn't a threat, and I knew it. It was a promise.
I watched as the dog eared half demon carried my reincarnation off towards the village. He never once looked back.
I will miss the encounters with Inuyasha. I will always remember the rare hugs and the one kiss I stole from him. He reminds me of when I was alive.
Although I did care for him once, I never truly loved the hanyou, not the way that girl from the future does. She was allowed to. For me duty had been more important, it had been the focus of my entire life. Eventually I saw the surly dog demon as a way to escape my fate as the cursed protector of the jewel.
I laugh without humor. Fate had seen to it that my role as the protector of the Shikon jewel had indeed ended, but instead of being granted the life of an ordinary woman, I had been murdered. Murdered, then brought back to life in a body of grave soil and bones, living by borrowing part of the soul of my reincarnation, forced to take the souls of dead maidens to continue this wretched life.
It is most definitely not how I had imagined life would be.
Eventually the red of Inuyasha's fire rat robe disappears from sight. He never really loved me either, not the way he loves that girl, the one I shot with my arrow only minutes before. Kagome.
The girl hadn't begged for her life as she stood before me. She hadn't cursed or cried. She simply stood there. Stood there and let herself be shot. There had been a calm, but sad, acceptance in her eyes.
Obviously she still thinks that Inuyasha is pining for me. She would give her life so that he may be happy with me. Stupid girl. He chose her long ago, though even he may not know it yet.
I will admit to being envious of Kagome. But I do not hate her. I would like to hate her. My life was stolen and she has replaced me.
I turn my head to acknowledge my approaching younger sister. It saddens me to see Kaede. She has grown old. I missed most of her life. She was but a child when I left this world and an old woman when I returned. It is yet another reminder that I do not belong in the world of the living.
"What do you want?" I ask my younger, yet older, sister.
Kaede stands before me now. She is no longer the child I remember. She is a wise and powerful priestess. If I had not died, she would have been able to live the life of an ordinary woman. Perhaps she would have had children and grandchildren. I wonder if she ever has the same regrets of being forced to give up a life of normalcy.
"You shot young Kagome." It wasn't an accusation. It was a statement of fact.
"Yet you did not kill her."
"No." My sister is not a stupid woman. She is a skilled healer. She knows that I missed the heart on purpose. She knows that I did not intend to kill the girl. I wonder if she told Inuyasha. I hope not. It would defeat the purpose of the attack.
We stand beside each other in silence. The wind is cool. The moon is beautiful on this clear night, and the stars twinkle merrily. Occasionally the silence would be broken by the chirping of crickets.
"She has a pure soul." I had not necessarily intended to speak my thoughts.
"Yes," agrees Kaede.
"And she loves him."
At last I turn to face my sister. "Will she be strong enough to face Naraku?"
Kaede smiles. "Without a doubt." She says this with such surety that I can not disbelieve her. "Once she heals."
I look once more to the moon. "In the end, it will all be up to her."
"She will likely have to sacrifice her life."
"That too do I know," Kaede said sadly.
"She can not do it if there is evil in her heart. No envy. No jealousy."
I turn again to my sister. More than likely she already knows, but I feel as if I should explain to her my actions. "I do not hate the girl. But it had to be done. His sense of duty to me would have killed her in the end. Her doubts would have caused her to falter and all of humanity would be lost under Naraku's rule."
There is silence. I can see in her face that she knows this as well. Kaede also loves this young girl from the future. Yet another person in my life who would choose the life of the girl over mine. But that is the way it should be.
"He hates me now."
"That I do not doubt," Kaede says in all sincerity.
I remember his parting words. "He says he will kill me if he sees me again."
"Aye, that he will."
"I wish it was me, Kaede."
She does not pretend to not know what I am talking about. "I know."
"I will miss you. And him."
Kaede looks at me sadly. She knows that this will be the last time that we meet. At least this time we get to say our good-byes. "Where will you go?"
I look off to the mountains.
"I will stay near until I am certain that Naraku is defeated. Then I will simply wander. I will help those I can with the life left in me. It is the only way to atone." I can not bring myself to end this life of mine to return the girl's soul to complete it once more.
There is no doubt in me that she will defeat Naraku.