Far on the other side of the universe, born is the ultimate evil and also, a battle for supremacy and power. Approaches does a truly unforgettable epic. Will you be ready? For a grand and dangerous journey, prepare thyself. Only of those strong of heart can such be endured. Animosity between darkness and light, shall much calamity be produced. As for the triumphant, only the stars know the truth...
"Havin' fun over there, Yoda!" Inuyasha sarcastically hollered to LuClipse85 in irritation.
Inuyasha! Ruined the dramatic atmosphere, blatantly have you done!
"What're you tryin' to do now, woman! A Star Wars parody?" Koga griped.
A parody of Star Wars I cannot for ignorant of the details of the entire trilogy I am. With the fact that Luke is mackin' on his own sister does familiarity exist. In need of psychiatric help is Luke.
Koga rolled his eyes up and asked, "I take it we're gonna be in another of your stupid stories, LuClipse85?"
Regarding the story, mighty wolf, you are correct. Regarding the adjective, you are not. To write InuYasha Sci-Fi/fantasy, longed I have. Now come the time is. Gone into this has much time and work. For the enjoyment of my fans, to please I hope. Bearing malevolence toward Kikyo shall those be rewarded (evil smile).
"Getting to the point, since she can never say it, LuClipse85 does not own InuYasha, or me. Since you didn't hit on me for once, I thought I'd be nice." Miroku told the author with a smirk, making her swoon.
Extensive my gratitude is, dear Miroku. Continue with my epic shall I.
"May the force be with you, LuClipse85." Miroku joked.
Shall it indeed now with your presence, hot one. For with you will it always. And when the force starts, stop I shall not 'til enough I get!
Miroku teardropped nervously as the author got very close to him. Just then LuClipse85 flew into the air after getting smacked by Sango.
"Mackin' on my man, knock it off!" Sango growled as she flung Miroku over her shoulder like a cavewoman and walked off. He grinned like a happy idiot.
"Get it on with dear Sango, shall I greatly!"
Inuyasha and Koga teardropped in embarrassment. "How in the seven hells do you meet these people, mutt?" Koga asked, seriously curious.
"Ya got me." He answered flatly, asking himself the same.
(I don't own Star Wars. That was a disclaimer for the disclaimer :)
Ahh...the sun shining in the blue cloudless sky, the birds singing, the sound and sparkles of the stream. What a beautiful day to be alive.
The countryside was indeed quite a sight in the eyes of its admirer. On a small patch of elevated ground before a tree in the meadow, stood a young woman gazing at the splendor of the vast land. A gentle wind blew her raven black hair about as the blazing white sun brightened her brown eyes. She looked at the wildflowers covering the lower ground and the numerous butterflies occupying them, when suddenly they flew away into the sky.
The young woman at first gazed at the sight, then her face went blank as she realized what that meant. She stood in her spot perfectly still.
Any minute now...She thought with a smug smirk.
From the vegetation behind her, four men dressed in samurai armor suddenly shot out into the air wielding wooden swords. The young woman didn't even flinch.
"Victory is ours!" Cried one as he neared the woman first, raising his wooden sword, preparing to strike her.
The weapon was just a split second away from her head when she turned around and simultaneously, seized the tip, moved it to the side and leapt off the ground as she sent a fierce roundhouse kick into the attacker's side, sending him hurling into the grass. The young woman flipped horizontally in the air and landed on the ground, moving smoothly out of the way of another samurai just as he sent his weapon slicing down. As her right foot touched the ground, she took the wooden sword and completed a counterclockwise 360° turn by slamming it upward into the second samurai's abdomen. As he yelled in pain, the young woman followed up with an immediate and savage thrust of her elbow to his back, the force slamming him to the ground.
Just as he fell, the samurai's second comrade landed beside him. He immediately rose his weapon to subdue her quickly, but was a millisecond too slow as the young woman sent her heel into his jaw and sent him flying away into the ground.
"Indeed, you are a most worthy opponent, woman!" The leader of the samurai group said as he stood across from his enemy. "Now shall you face me!" He declared as he lunged forward and unsheathed a real sword!
He swiped at her but realized too late that he had swiped through air. One second before he reached her, the young woman had swiftly ducked the blade and made her way behind him. He caught on quickly, immediately turning around and swiping at her again. The blade hacked off the tops of the nearby bushes but missed its target. The woman had leapt into the air over the samurai and landed behind him; before he had the chance to turn completely, she landed, did a downward spiral and fiercely swept her left leg into the samurai leader's legs, causing him to lose his grip on his sword and fall over on his back. She seized the weapon as it spun in the air and with one hand held it against the fallen samurai's throat. He opened his eyes and saw that she was victorious.
The other three samurai had just now regained consciousness and gawked in disbelief that their leader had been subdued. Throughout the whole fight, the young woman had a confident smile on her lips. As she stood, it spread into a broad grin.
"No!" One samurai cried out unwilling to accept defeat, "This can't be! How about the best two out of three!"
Their leader sat up and hung his head in shame, accepting his fate with a very solemn sigh. "You all know as well as I of the code. When the duel is won, the loser pays dearly."
The young woman smiled happily as she anticipated what was to come. The other samurai acknowledged the fact and hung their heads, shamefully forced to accept defeat. Resentfully, they all reached inside their jackets and did what was to be done.
"This is a downright embarrassment."
"Yeah, it's a good thing we got regular jobs!"
The three samurai gave the young woman lighthearted glares as they each took out a thick stack of paper currency and handed them to their leader, who added his larger share and presented the money to their opponent. She stuck his sword in the ground beside him and accepted it with thanks, which they all found patronizing.
The samurai stood to their feet as the young woman counted the money. One samurai tried to sneak up and steal it from her.
"Hey, hey! Don't you see me counting here?" She said lightheartedly as she caught his hand with a pinch and pushed it away.
He shouted back with something of a childish voice, sounding like quite the sore loser, "Aw c'mon, it took us a while to beat you this time! Don't we at least get a rebate for that!"
All he received for an answer was a "Better luck next week!", which the young woman stated with a playful and demeaning smile. The samurai teardropped as he took that as a "no chance in hell, buddy".
The other two gave the same expression, whereas the leader took it better.
"Our opponent has a good reason to smile, my comrades. She only works once a week and makes easy money off of us. She also does not rub salt in our wounds when we lose to her skill."
The young woman thanked him for his kind words while the others wondered how that was supposed to be encouraging in any way.
The leader continued, "But no matter what, we will beat you one day. We shall defeat you and claim the title of strongest warrior!" He looked up at the sun and guessed their mothers had just finished making lunch.
"With that," He said as he bowed before the young woman, who bowed back, "We shall take our leave. We will meet again, Kagome!" The leader winked at her and his party departed. She laughed as she watched the three subordinates beat and scold each other for moving slowly and thus ensuring their defeat.
Kagome walked down a path a few hours after "work". She looked down from a hill and saw a village down below, a village she called home. She was a quite a distance from it, but could hear the noisy hustle and bustle of the lively villagers clearly. Kagome's ears welcomed the familiar sound and she walked briskly down the hill.
"Greetings, Kagome! Such a fine day it is!"
"Kagome, welcome back! My, my! You're lovelier every passing day!"
"Hello, Kagome! I take it that smile means you got paid again this week, eh?"
Kagome returned the warm greetings as she continued on her way home. She suddenly stumbled and a citrus fruit fell from her basket. In an instant, a group of young men rushed out of nowhere and tackled the fruit, fighting one another to pick it up for Kagome.
"H-Here you go, Miss Kagome." The winner said with a shy smile, presenting her with the fruit after emerging from the pile on the ground.
Kagome couldn't help but giggle as she took the fruit.
"Thank you, Shinri, but you guys don't have to fight over me like that. It's flattering, don't get me wrong, but it's really not necessary."
"Absurd!" The others declared as they rose up. "You're worth the pain, Kagome! Give the word, and we'd all fight to the death for you! Only the strongest is worthy of being your man!"
Kagome teardropped, her smile still remaining. Everyday she went through this, nearly every man in her village fighting for a chance to be with her, and everyday she turned them down. Kagome had grown quite used to it. The young man who picked up the fruit for her took a closer look at her basket. It was filled with fruits and nuts. He mentally named each one and widened his eyes, realizing something. He lifted his eyes to meet Kagome's and gazed at her with a hopeful grin.
Kagome read his expression and answered him, "Yes, Shinri. My harvest came in a bit early, and I'm gonna be making my rainbow cakes sometime today."
Happiness flowed through the male crowd. Every single one of them remembered Kagome's annual bake sale in which she sold her famous rainbow cakes, their mouths watering as they reminisced at how sweet and fluffy they were and how each year they tasted better and better. The more they reminisced, the more they salivated.
While her admirers stared up at the sky daydreaming, an idea came to Kagome. She cleared her throat to get their attention and made her proposal.
"I'll make a deal with you all; you go the rest of the day without fighting over me, and I'll give you a discount on the cakes. Deal?"
The men agreed automatically with great enthusiasm, thanking the gods for such a fine woman as her and went on their way, glaring at each other as they separated. Kagome sighed lightheartedly and chuckled as continued on home.
She reached a large Chinese-style house in the center of the village, belonging to the headwoman. Kagome entered the gate and peeked inside the home.
"Kaede! I'm home!" She said loudly as she walked inside, looking around for her.
A woman peeked from the door leading to the backyard. She was an old woman around her mid-sixties with pale brown hair and a patch covering her right eye. Her visage seemed gruff, but was filled with happiness upon seeing Kagome.
She emerged inside the house and was greeting with a hug.
"Welcome home, Kagome!" The old woman exclaimed, then noticed the bright smile on Kagome's face. "Why ye appear as bright as the sun! Did ye defeat Kentaro and his three samurai yet again?" She guessed.
Kagome grinned, saying "yes". Kaede laughed, asking if the four would ever learn.
"Come, Kagome. I have prepared your favorite iyareibi tea and cookies for your return."
The two sat down in the family room to their afternoon snack, watching their show on the HG screen. Kaede glanced at Kagome, noticing a peculiar visage on her face.
(A/N: Iyarebi is raspberry tea mixed with a little honey. HG screens are like TV except with just a holographic screen.)
"Does something trouble ye, Kagome? Ye seem lost in thought." The old woman inquired with concern.
Kaede's question brought her out of her thoughts. "Oh, it's nothing important, Kaede. I was just daydreaming."
Kaede smiled warmly. "Ye are thinking of marriage yet again?"
Kagome stared blankly at the old woman, surprised.
"I have taken notice many times before, Kagome. Your encounters with the young men of the village have caused the concept to cross your mind on occasion in the past. However, as of late, you seem to take serious consideration of it, do I speak the truth?" Kaede inquired.
Kagome surprise eased as she smirked. "You read me like a book, Kaede. I don't know why I've been thinking about it lately. I hear the villagers talk and say how I'm 21 and haven't taken an interest in anyone yet. A couple even came up to me and asked if they could find a matchmaker for me. I didn't get too upset, I know they only meant well. But it's too early for me."
Kagome paused and glanced to the side.
"Maybe what I'm really saying is I'm not ready to get married yet. I haven't found 'the one', Kaede."
Kaede placed her hand over Kagome's, smiling. "Don't fret, young one. I am in no hurry at all to marry ye off. You are most admirable and beautiful, all of the villagers see your qualities. It attracts the young men and has caused them to fall in love with you. But have ye not taken fancy to any one, Kagome?"
She shook her head. "No. I think all the others are all very nice, but none of them are my type."
"I see." Kaede said with a light chuckle. She shook her head when Kagome inquired about it. "'Tis only a passing thought. Nothing important. Kagome, worry not about marriage, it is not to be rushed into. Listen to your heart and it will guide you to 'the one'." She rose to her feet. "Well then, I shall retire to my room for a nap. My work in the garden has made me a bit weary. Should you finish your baking early, Kagome, hesitate not to awaken me. Splash me with water if necessary, but I will not miss such a treat!" Kaede said with a humorous smile.
Kagome laughed. Kaede loved her rainbow cakes as much as the rest of the village did. She agreed and let her go on her way. Kagome stayed in the room, watching the rest of her shows while the old woman peeked inside at her.
Ye say ye have not taken fancy to anyone, Kagome, but this old woman knows better. Kaede thought with a warm smile then went up the stairs to her room.
When her shows ended, Kagome prepared herself and went to her bakery outside to make her rainbow cakes. Kaede's words replayed in her head as she worked. It made her happy that she wasn't being pushed to hurry and marry, also to have someone understanding and patient like Kaede for a guardian.
Kagome had lived a village far away as a child. She lost her entire family to a terrible plague that wiped out her entire village. By some miracle, she survived despite being a child in the midst of it. At not quite seven years old, she was left alone and forced to fend for herself. Kaede was traveling along a road on her way home from business in another village when she found Kagome unconscious on the side. She was dirty, frail, weak and at death's door from hunger. Kaede, at the time in her early forties, took her home with her and cared for her. Almost instantly, Kagome grew very attached to the kind woman and Kaede to her. Consequently, the headwoman adopted her and became her guardian.
Kaede's younger distant cousin, Akane and her husband Ranma, taught Kagome martial arts when she was eleven years old. That is, Kagome received lessons during the time in which the two weren't fighting. Fights between them never bothered her, in fact, Kagome would often laugh and sometimes anticipated a long fight during lessons and would bring a chair and some snacks and watch them like they were having a performance.
Just outside the village boundaries, a man from the village walked out to the river to fetch some water for his wife, whistling merrily as he approached the stream.
Such a gorgeous young one that Kagome is, and yet she has not chosen a suitor? The old man thought to himself as he went about his task. Well, love shouldn't be overlooked. It should always be the priority in choosing a husband or wife. With her wonderful qualities, Kagome will always have plenty to choose from. Second to my wife, of course, Kagome is the most beautiful in existence. Her beauty far surpasses that of the queen. Ah! Now my dear shall have the hot bath she desires.
The old man picked up the large bucket and lifted it from the river, when it was suddenly knocked from him and the water splashed all over the grassy field. The villager, most angry, turned toward his assailant, assuming it was a bunch of mischievous kids.
"Now see here, you scoundrels! Have your mothers taught y-"
Upon seeing his assailant, he abruptly cut his sentence short.
A very muscular man dressed from head to toe in shiny red armor loomed at eight and a half feet in height over the old man. He didn't utter a word.
The old village man, backed away, trembling in terror. Upon backing into something, he tentatively looked upward. Another man of the same stature and armor was behind him. The villager drew away and found he was surrounded by four of them.
Knowing exactly who they were, he fell to his knees and bowed, shaking fiercely with terror. "P-Please, I beg you, have mercy on this old man! I was only fetching water for my wife's bath! I have committed no crime!" He pleaded. He looked up and found them still looming silently over him.
The armored man who stood before the old villager appeared to be the captain of the group and gave a signal to the others. They took hold the man and lifted him to his feet. The captain placed his palm over the badge on his armor and they all disappeared from the river.
The villager opened his eyes and found them all in a forest. Up ahead of them, he could hear noises. The captain proceeded forward, his subordinates following with their captive. The old man hadn't resisted them, they restrained from being rough and he feared if he gave them a hard time then the men would use violence. The captain hadn't walked for very long when he approached a large wall. He gave the password and the section of the wall before him slide open from the sides. They walked through and the wall quickly closed behind them.
The village man looked at his surroundings and found he was being lead through a grand city. Judging by its appearance it was a very prosperous place. The city streets were crowded with people, upon seeing the captain and his soldiers, they immediately dispersed to the sides to clear a path for them. They quieted as they saw the captive being lead forward and murmured amongst themselves.
The old man took notice, his eyes darting from side to side, wondering what they were possibly saying about him.
"They are the least of your worries, villager. Pay no heed to them." One of the subordinate soldiers spoke up upon noticing the old man looking around.
The villager looked forward as commanded, wondering what was going on and what had he done. The captain halted, his subordinates also. They had reached their destination. The old man looked up and stared in awe at the magnificent and grand ivory castle that almost touched the heavens. He looked down at the base where the captain stood and found the majestic building was surrounded by a deep moat that was half a mile in diameter.
The villager looked at the base of the castle and saw that it had no door. He began to wonder how anyone could enter it, when he saw the captain kneel down and bow his head, humbly, his fist covering his badge. He rose back up and they all began to fade away. The villager looked around wildly as he wondered what was happening when his cries were silenced as he disappeared completely, and continued inside the castle.
When they all reappeared, he quickly shut up as the armored men looked at him in annoyance. As he lowered his head, embarrassed, the villager tried to make sense of the transport and figured it was due to their advanced technology. The captain proceeded to walk down the fire-lit hallway to their final destination. As he walked, the villager's heart raced as he felt chills run up and down his spine. He hadn't a clue as to what would become of him, but the darkness of the hallway wasn't helping.
The villager was roughly pushed forward, he tripped and fell onto the hard stone floor. He looked behind him, and found the other soldiers behind the captain in the doorway, all of them bowing down, hiding their faces.
"We have done as ordered, majesty." The captain said humbly.
"Very good, Captain Ueda, be gone for now."
The armored men gave humble responses and departed as commanded.
The villager's attention had remained on the soldiers during the brief conversation, as that chilling voice made him freeze. Upon recovering, he looked around and saw he was inside an enormously spacious room made entirely of diamond! The village turned around to the ground before him, his eyes followed the sparkling red carpet laced with golden fabric upward to other end of the room
His eyes flew open in terror as his body began to tremble again.
Before him was a golden throne decorated with gems and precious stones, and sitting on it was a young woman. She wore a dazzling outer snow white robe over a beautiful pale blue-gray kimono tied with a silver obi belt .The young woman had fair skin almost as pale as the ivory that composed the castle and long ebony black hair with long bangs flowing down the sides of her face. Her dark brown eyes were hard and filled with anger as her icy glare pierced in the eyes of the frightened villager brought before her.
"Q-Q-Queen Kikyo..." He managed to whisper in an audible stutter, his vocal chords almost completely paralyzed with fear.
The queen remained silent as she continued to calmly glare down at her subject from her elevated throne. The villager realized he was in the presence of the queen and bowed, looking down at the ground.
"Y-Your majesty, Queen Kikyo, I beg your mercy upon this old man. I have com-"
"SILENCE!" The queen snapped, her harsh tone echoing frightfully throughout the elaborate room.
Sweat was beginning to drip from the old man's forehead. He had no idea as to why he had been brought before the queen, but it had to have been something grave to receive such an fierce tone.
The queen spoke, her tone calm and cold, "I have no desire to hear a reiteration, Hatsuharu. You already have told my soldiers that you have committed no crime."
The villager's mind raced. He knew of the queen's existence, but was not at all familiar with her. Nor her with him. How did she know his name or what he'd said in his village?
"I b-beg your pardon, my queen." The old man stuttered, "I meant no disrespect, but I have not. However, it is most obvious I have in some way. I implore, what is my crime, Queen Kikyo?"
The queen glared down at him with something of an amused smirk, surprised that he was unaware of it. "Your crime," She stated solemnly, "Treason against the monarch."
He rose his head up, his face washed white upon hearing the high crime. "T-That can't be possible, Queen Kikyo! I have never spoken ill of you ever in my life!"
She looked down at him, unphazed by his aghast reaction. A tiny smirk graced her lips, "I shall allow you time to reconsider your declaration, Hatsuharu. Perhaps you may have never spoken it, but you have kept the notion inside you."
The village man lowered his head as he tried to figure out the cross queen's riddle. He tried to be quick about it as a delay would make her more cross, but he could think of nothing. He slowly rose his head to speak when he remembered his thoughts at the river.
But those were my thoughts! How could she know of them!...Does the queen possess the power to read minds?
As the villager stared up at the queen, he saw a dark smile spread across her lips.
"Indeed I do. I have the power to look into the minds of all those in my kingdom; this planet and beyond. But it would be a waste to monitor all of my subjects every waking moment. Therefore, I allow them to do and think as they wish; with the exception of an ill thought or word of me. Those who show disrespect in any form to the queen are guilty of treason." Queen Kikyo declared sternly, glaring directly into the villager's trembling eyes.
Her admitting that truth made the old villager even more frightful as he was not only afraid to speak but to think as well. He now feared that anything he thought would enrage her now.
"P-Please your majesty, m-m-my thoughts were misunderstood." He begged, praying mercy would be bestowed upon him. "The young woman of which I spoke...I meant that she was merely the prettiest woman in my village! I had lived there all of my life and never traveled beyond my boundaries, so I knew no better! But now that I have been brought before your presence, my queen, I have received the ultimate enlightenment!"
Queen Kikyo's visage seemed to have softened a little upon hearing her subject's declaration. Her expression showed that she expected to hear more, making the old man brighten as he was pleasing her.
He continued, "I have been enlightened by your radiance, Queen Kikyo! You are the most beautiful woman in the universe! No woman nor goddess could ever compare to you, majesty."
The room was quiet. Queen Kikyo had turned her back to him after the old village man finished his speech, satisfied with the explanation of his thoughts. She summoned the soldiers who brought the old man before her.
"You summoned us, your majesty?" The captain inquired as he and his subordinates knelt before her.
"Hatsuharu has been away from his home for a while. His wife must be terribly worried for her husband." The queen turned away from her throne, displaying the warm smile on her lips. "Send Hatsuharu back to her. She shall have to worry no longer."
Early in the morning the next day, Kagome had just finished the preparations for her annual bake sale, the main attraction being her famous rainbow cakes, setting her stand up under the large tree just outside her home. Kaede came along to help out, knowing the young woman would be quite busy as she was every summer. She brought her thick cane with her, just in case any of the young men decided to get too fresh with Kagome and do something like ask her to bear his child.
Kagome looked over her display once more, and was satisfied.
"Okay! Now to rake in the cash!" She beamed in excitement as she and Kaede took a seat behind their table.
Kagome took the bell that sat beside her feet, rose it high in the air and shook it fiercely, the loud ringing echoing throughout the whole village. She put it down and then sat patiently, smiling cheerfully from ear to ear.
Thirty seconds had passed, and there wasn't a customer in sight. Another twenty seconds went by, nothing.
Kaede's eye searched their surroundings, and then looked at Kagome, her cheerful smile never left her face.
"Perhaps, ye should ring again and louder, Kagome." Kaede suggested, "They may not have heard."
Kagome didn't move and continued to wait patiently. "Oh, no Kaede. They all heard it. Everyone's just finishing getting their money together. They're actually early this year."
Kaede rose her eyebrows questioningly at her adopted daughter's prediction. She was about to voice her question, when she stopped and listened.
It was very faint, but Kaede was certain she had heard a sound.
She listened again, and the sound grew louder. It was rumbling. The rumbling of a stampede.
Kaede rose up from her seat and leaned over the table, looking in the distance and saw all of the young village men and women running over the bridge toward them.
Kaede turned to Kagome in astonishment, "Good gracious, Kagome! Did ye promise your hand in marriage to he who arrives as the first customer or do they truly love your baking!"
Kagome giggled and replied it was her baking. The fact that she was not only a beautiful woman, but a beautiful woman who could cook and bake made her all the more desirable. The crowd slowed as they reached the stand and formed two lines for faster service as was Kagome's policy, and the bake sale went underway. With the order of each rainbow cake, Kagome received a marriage proposal and the young man received a bright smile, and his cake. Kaede knew it was wrong, but she couldn't help but laugh at their misfortune.
Truly the young lass is saving herself for that one already in her heart. She though, smiling and laughing more as the rhythm of proposal and denial continued through the bake sale.
By early afternoon, the rainbow cakes were all sold. Kaede helped Kagome hauled the profits home, making plans to count it all later. With all the money Kagome made in just a few hours, she wouldn't have to work for the remainder of the year!
"Hatsuharu! Hatsuharu! My dear husband, where are you?" A woman called as she wandered outside the village toward the river.
She had asked her husband if he would fetch some water for her to bathe yesterday afternoon and he had never returned. She and her grown sons grew very worried. The woman approached the river and found a large bucket sitting beside the flowing water. She recognized it as her husband's but he was nowhere in sight. The woman sat beside the bucket, staring at her reflection in the river in despair, beginning to cry as she worried deeply for her husband.
As she stared, the woman looked to the side up the river and saw a straw woven basket floating toward her on a small wooden raft. The raft stopped right in front of her. Curiously, the woman picked up the basket and set it on the grass beside her. On top of the basket's lid was a note:
"As I have spoken, your worries shall now end, wife of Hatsuharu."
The woman stared in confusion at it, the set it aside and opened the lid of the basket.
"The gods bless you bountifully, Kagome! Such an income from only baking and working only a few hours!" Kaede marveled as she helped count the money from the sale.
Kagome marveled herself, she had made much more than last year! She was all smiles. In addition to money, she also received a number of presents from her many suitors insistent on wooing her.
Kaede laughed. "They shall not quit until one has won your hand."
"Even then they probably won't; they'll still try to woo me away from the one I have chosen!" Kagome joked, giving the both of them a good laugh.
Their laughter was silenced by a horrible shriek. Kaede rushed outside and found other rushing to the source of the shrieking, following them.
The villagers led her to the river, where they found the woman with her sons trying to calm her, unsuccessfully. She cried and screamed hysterically until Kaede approached her and bid her calm down.
"Rika! Rika, calm ye self! What has brought you this sadness?"
The woman calmed herself enough to wail her husband's name, Hatsuharu, while pointing to the covered woven basket. Kaede opened it and yelled in horror.
The basket contained Hatsuharu's head!
Rika sobbed into the shoulder of her youngest son, who tried to comfort her. He and the two younger sons swore to hunt down the murderer and avenge their father, when the eldest silenced them, saying they couldn't. When they demanded an explanation as to why, the eldest son read the rest of the note to them,
"This old fool, Hatsuharu, has been punished for the crime of treason against the monarch, comparing my incredible beauty to not only another, but two women. Placing me second a young wench and third to an old had who nears death every passing day. Such an idiot wasn't even worthy of having his blood cover my hands; I graced him with that honor. May he be a lesson to all, Queen Kikyo."
He growled the queen's name in utmost disdain as he felt hot tears well up in his eyes. The other villagers seethed in anger at the vain monarch's mercilessness. Rika's sons felt the most anguished; they wanted to avenge their father's murder but they dare not go up against the queen. If the rumors they had heard about her were true, they wouldn't stand a chance in hell against her.
Kaede could only lower her head in grief and pray that Hatsuharu's soul found peace. As the headwoman, she conducted a funeral for him. Kaede looked up and found Kagome present. She had witnessed the whole scene, leaving her money and immediately following the old woman to the river. The two returned home in silence, Kagome fuming over what the queen had done to an innocent man under a wrongful charge.
That night, Kagome and Kaede sat down to dinner quietly. Their jovial mood earlier demolished completely. Kaede glanced up at Kagome, hearing a sniffle from the young woman. "Kagome?"
She lifted her downcast eyes.
"Are ye well? I understand the previous incident might've had greatly upset ye." Kaede spoke softly.
Kagome nodded, trying to fight that tight lump in her throat to speak. "I can't imagine what Rika and her family must be going through, losing a family member like that. And then when I think about why he was killed, it just infuriates me!" Kagome's voice started out quiet, but soon grew strong. "Kikyo had no reason to take away a woman's husband because of something stupid like that! The heartless-"
Kaede bid Kagome to stop lest her tongue slip.
"Aye." She said calmly, agreeing with her adopted daughter's anguished feelings. "The queen Kikyo is cruel one indeed. She carries no regard for anyone save herself. Nearly all who inhabit her realm resent her reign. Unfortunate Hatsuharu was not the first to fall victim to her malevolence; the same and similar fate is bestowed upon all who dare to voice their ill-will of her. I see no point in why she chooses such a method to prove her powers are great."
"She's evil." Kagome hissed under breath in disdain. "To kill someone for thinking another is more beautiful, and then saying such cold-hearted words when she knows the widow will be mourning…"
Kaede told Kagome to restrain herself. Kikyo was a heartless woman, but she was also the queen who possessed great and fearful powers. It was best to stay on her good side.
The village slumbered as the night grew late. Kagome had gone to bed, but not to sleep. She was still too angry and upset at the heartless queen for murdering an innocent man. Kagome sat in her bed and looked up outside her window, gazing up at the stars in the heavens. She shed a tear for Hatsuharu's family, and for Hatsuharu as well. In her thoughts, she gave a short eulogy and then prayed for his soul.
Kagome wasn't alone. The queen was also troubled with insomnia, but far from the same reason. She stood on the balcony outside her room, staring up at the stars, in deep thought.
The queen had the entire planet, Ukato, under her rule as well as every planet and star within a 500 million mile radius of the planet. She had incredible and unparallel powers and could punish any subject who even thought ill of her. Kikyo ruled her kingdom with such an iron fist that even the mention of her name spoken in the gentlest tone struck terror in those who hear it. With all her power, Kikyo was practically a goddess.
But it wasn't enough.
Her powers were great, but she wanted more. She controlled every single thing within her boundaries, but the universe was infinitely larger than that.
Kikyo wanted the entire universe for herself, and she wanted even more power to go with it.
Her eyes narrowed at the irritating thought of her limitations. "Damn that abomination. My powers would be infinite if not for his deceit." Kikyo quietly growled in great bitterness as a memory crossed her mind.
Her sneering thoughts were interrupted. Her powers were telling her that she was being spoken about. Kikyo held out palm and created a mystic window that enabled her to see the face of whoever was talking about her.
The person resided in a village on the other side of the planet. She lay in her bed, hugging on her pillow, crying. "Hatsuharu, why were you taken from me? Only because you said Kagome and I exceeded the queen in beauty? Why were you punished for speaking the truth? Such a cruel and utterly vain woman that Kikyo is! May the gods strike her dead for my dear husband's slaughter! To hell with her!"
It was Rika, Hatsuharu's widow. Before the queen could frown at the ill-spoken words, she discovered several others from the village speaking and thinking same.
Kikyo clenched her palm into a fist, the window disappearing. She brought her angry eyes upward and then smiled, passing her judgment on those of the village.
It was early in the morning. The moon was still high in the starry night sky and Kagome's eyes were still watching it. She had managed to calm down some and fall asleep but several hours later, she reawakened. Something was preventing her from sleeping. Kagome underestimated it as being a bad case of insomnia.
Unable to sleep, she got out of bed and stepped outside into the backyard, taking a seat on the porch and staring down at the flowers. She remained there for several minutes, trying to figure out why she couldn't sleep.
Suddenly, Kagome felt a strange feeling in her body, a sharp jolt of electricity shot through her stomach. Her entire body felt alert afterward. She looked around her but found nothing that would agitate her.
Kagome stared down at her bare feet in confusion. "What's going on? I feel like something's gonna happen."
Right after Kagome finished voicing her thoughts, the village drums sounded fiercely, followed by loud frantic yelling.
"EVERYONE! EVERYONE, RISE UP AT ONCE! SOMETHING COMES THIS WAY BY AIR!"
Kagome soon heard the other villager's commotion and walked toward the front door, Kaede following behind her. The headwoman looked up into the dark night sky. At first she saw nothing, but then something in the far corner of her eye caught her attention. Kaede focused her attention on that aura and watching it closely.
It slowly grew larger and larger until it was distinguishable. It was a horde of demons! They were gigantic in size and bared their sharp talons and fangs, roaring ferociously as they approached the village, hungry and thirsty for blood.
The villagers ran to their homes, fetching their bows and arrows and anything that would serve as a useful weapon, and opened fire on the demon horde before they reached the village. To their horror, the weapons had no effect! The weapons that got anywhere near the demons disintegrated into vapors.
You dare stand up against my judgment, insolent peasants! Retaliation is useless.
A woman's voice sounded through the air; it sent chills through Kaede as she recognized it. "Queen Kikyo speaks!" She exclaimed.
Correct old woman. These demons are sent to annihilate your village on the charge of treason against the monarch.
"You hold us under false charge, Queen Kikyo! None in this village has spoken ill of you!" Kaede stated.
Kikyo chuckled. You think so, headwoman Kaede?
Kaede's eye widened. We have never met! How is she familiar with me?
My capabilities are beyond you! I know of your ill-will against me! Spoken or thought, it does not matter! All in your village shall die for your trespasses against the monarch!
The demons were several hundred feet from being directly overhead when they slowed and dived toward the village! The villagers grew more and more frightened as they opened fire again and got the same result. Kaede immediately positioned her hands and recited her most powerful spell of protection. The demons abruptly slammed into a white sparkling shield that instantly surrounded the village.
Kikyo watched everything from her balcony, looking into her window; she scoffed at Kaede's efforts, unimpressed.
Idiot. Prolonging the inevitable will prove torturous for them all.
Kaede staggered and fell to her knees; the spell took a great deal of strength from her. The villagers rejoiced that they were saved, then the bright light from the shield flickered and very slowly started to fade.
"The shield will not hold! The demons will devour us alive!" They screamed in terror.
Kagome was knelt down beside Kaede after she had fallen to her knees. She looked up at the demons fighting to break through the weakening shield, then looked at the terrified villagers, screaming, praying to the gods and begging Queen Kikyo for mercy. The queen ignored them for her heart was hardened towards them.
Kagome brought her eyes back to the shield, narrowed with anger
The shield weakened enough to where a demon was able to puncture it with its arm but had to struggle to wriggle through the opening. Kagome rose up, picked up a nearby bow and arrow a villager had abandoned and stood before Kaede.
"Kagome? What are ye planning to do?" Kaede inquired.
Kagome didn't answer but glared at the demon struggling to get inside the shield and the others trying to do likewise. The demon's glowing yellow eyes met her angry brown eyes and suddenly froze and stared. It sensed something was wrong and then struggled to go back outside of the shield, getting stuck. Kikyo saw the demon trying to escape and screamed for it to obey her and advance toward the village. It would not heed her. It sensed that its life was in danger and refused to fight under the circumstance.
Kagome rose her bow and arrow, taking aim at the demon. "First, you wrongfully take the life of an innocent old man; now you wish to spill the blood of an entire village." Her eyes narrowed more as she drew the arrow further back, "I will never forgive such an evil woman as you, Kikyo!", and released it.
As it shot through the air, a pale bluish-white aura glowed around the arrow, leaving a trail behind it. The arrow collided with the demon and Kaede's shield. The horde roared loudly as they were engulfed in a burst of light. Kagome unshielded her eyes and looked up at the shield.
It was gone and so were the demons! Their only remains were scattered body parts that turned to ash as they fell to the ground.
Kikyo's window flashed a blinding light and disappeared. She stared at her palm where the window was in total shock, her eyes widened to their full extent.
"What..! How is that possible…! A mere peasant did that!"
Kikyo was astonished upon witnessing Kagome's power, then her eyes widened more when a thought came to her. "That power…she must have it! She must! Such power as that couldn't have come from her alone! At last, my longing shall come to an end!" The queen exclaimed joyfully.
Just before dawn the next morning, Kagome awoke, finding herself in her bed. She sat up, staring into space blankly, then remembering what had happened. She had used some kind of strange power and somehow used to kill off the demon horde with a single arrow. Kagome remembered feeling very tired and her legs gave out, someone had caught her before she hit the ground and she fell asleep.
"Man, what was that?" Kagome mumbled to herself, her forehead resting on her palm, referring to the aura on the arrow.
"Ah, ye awaken." Kaede greeted as she entered the room with a tray containing Kagome's breakfast. "Are ye well, Kagome?"
Kagome groaned quietly, "Yeah, I don't feel bad anyway. I just feel a bit out of it."
Kaede took a seat on the side of the futon, placing the tray on Kagome's lap. Kagome looked up at her and found her eyes downcast at the floor, her visage showing grave concern. The headwoman held her position even after she was asked of her thoughts.
"It is all clear now." Kaede rose her head and spoke, "For the first few years that I raised ye, Kagome, I was uncertain. But now it's true, ye are the daughter of my departed friend, Miyuki. We had gone our separate ways upon her marriage and remained in touch several years after. I learned years later that she had fallen victim to an epidemic that swept through her city upon returning home from a journey. I saw ye on the road and after caring for you, called upon my memories of Miyuki and took notice of how ye seemed to resemble her."
Kagome chuckled upon recalling an early childhood memory, "I remember how people in my village always said I looked more like my mother.
Kaede smiled and continued, "Miyuki was a woman who possessed great spiritual powers. Powers similar to mine own, but exceedingly powerful. Every woman in her lineage inherited this power and its potency increased with the generations. The power would remain dormant and would awaken upon a certain age, which is twenty-one for ye, Kagome."
She looked awed at this discovery, looking down at her hands. "Kaede, how….uh…" Kagome stuttered, trying to word her question.
"How do ye bring forth your power?" Kaede asked for her. "Early this morning, ye were rightfully angry with the queen's actions and fought against her tyranny. Your heart is strong and pure. Your justified anger in addition to that seems to have been what was needed to bring forth the dormant power. Now that it has been awakened, ye can invoke the power at will." She answered.
Kagome was still awed, staring at Kaede and processing the information. The old woman's face then darkened.
"Kagome, heed me," She stated firmly, "Your newly awakened power is great now and shall advance further in time. Ye must take caution; the queen, Kikyo, is a woman who's hunger for power is insatiable. If she discovers the full capability of ye, there is no doubt she will attempt to somehow steal your power for her own gain. Until ye have mastered the use of it, she must remain ignorant."
Kagome nodded solemnly, taking Kaede's warning to heart. She looked at the tray and regained her appetite, devouring the food. Just before she finished eating, the village drums sounded again.
"HER ROYAL MAJESTY, QUEEN KIKYO IS COME! THE QUEEN IS COME UPON US! MAKE YOURSELVES READY!" The drummer cried loudly to the village, also alerting the headwoman the queen was heading toward her house.
Kaede bid Kagome to remain inside and stood outside in front of the house, awaiting the queen.
Servants rushed up to the house, quickly making a trail of cherry blossoms for the queen to walk upon. They stopped in front of Kaede's feet then stepped to side to wait on her. Queen Kikyo took her sweet time walking up the trail. She appeared before Kaede wearing elegant silk robes and her hair in an elaborate style. Despite the disdain she had for her, the old headwoman bowed to show respect.
"Greetings, your majesty. How may I be of service to ye?"
The queen didn't respond, but looked down at Kaede, then with her eyes, searched around her. That gesture made the headwoman very uneasy. The minute Kikyo broke eye contact, Kaede knew what she came for.
"Where is the young woman name Kagome, headwoman?" Kikyo coolly asked.
Kaede didn't respond. If she wanted Kagome, then the queen would be denied, regardless of the threat of death. There was murmuring among the crowd as they wondered if Kaede was defying the queen.
One of her guards spoke up, "Her majesty asked you a question, old woman! Obey her with an answer!"
Kaede still did not respond. She was insistent that Kikyo sought Kagome's power, and maybe even her life.
Kikyo was surprisingly patience with her. She knew that the headwoman was suspicious of her. "I will state my command, headwoman Kaede. Call your adopted daughter, Kagome, and bring her before me. There is something I require of her. Be quick about it, woman, my patience shall soon expire." She said firmly, narrowing her eyes.
Just then, Kagome, despite Kaede's orders, emerged from the side door of the house and walked forward, giving Kikyo a soft glare. "What do you want with me?" She inquired with a strong tone.
The servants murmured at Kagome's tone, knowing the queen couldn't have been pleased.
"You have a lot of nerve coming to our village after trying to destroy it, Kikyo." The disdain in her voice was obvious.
The queen indeed grew angry, but remained collected. "I witnessed your attack on my minions, young woman. I will say I was quite impressed that a mere peasant could possess such great power. But no longer," Kikyo held out her hand, "Give it to me."
Kagome stared at her in confusion, "Give you what? I have nothing that belongs to you."
The queen began to fume. "Do not make a fool of me, lowly peasant! I know the source of your power! Now give me the shard of the Shikon no Tama that you possess this minute!"
Kagome didn't flinch despite the queen's harsh tone. Kikyo narrowed her eyes and bared her teeth, her rage neared its peak. "Peasant, you are either deaf or in dire want of death! I shall not repeat myself after this, hand over the sliver of the Shikon no Tama, or I shall take it from you!" The queen yelled, her soldiers prepared to follow an immediate order should they be commanded to level the village.
Kagome grew tense with anger, glaring at Kikyo who held out her hand like a spoiled child. "I have never heard of this Shikon no Tama. Neither do I have it or anything similar; and if I did, I would see to it that you never possess it!"
The villagers, as well as a few of the soldiers, were aghast by Kagome's denial of the queen. "The woman is suicidal!" "Foolish woman just signed her own death warrant." The soldiers took a few cautious steps backward, preparing to run if necessary to escape any inadvertent effects of the queen's wrath. They jumped back several feet when a red aura burst from Kikyo's body as she was enraged at Kagome's defiance.
"You insolent wench! Do you know who you address!"
"Yeah, I do!" Kagome responded not at all afraid of her, "A vain, spoiled little heartless snake of a queen who should be dethroned and executed for slaughter and tyranny!"
All who were near the two quickly moved farthest from them as possible as the red aura surrounding Kikyo grew larger and darkened to almost black.
"How dare you defy me, you insignificant bitch! I'll teach you respect the queen!"
Kikyo unleashed a blast of her dark aura on Kagome, who blocked it and rendered it harmless. Her eyes flew open in disbelief, then engaged in a fist fight with Kagome, determined to put her in her place. The queen's opponent blocked every hit she threw at her, with practically no effort. Desperate, Kikyo slashed her nails at her, cutting deep into her arm, resulting in Kagome to send her heel into the queen's ribcage. Her heel glowed with her aura and forcefully sent Kikyo slamming into a tree across from her!
Kagome stood, cautiously eyeing the queen in case she decided to spring back up. Kikyo leaned against the tree as she tried to stay on her feet, her left arm wrapped around her injured abdomen, her robes dirty and torn and her hairstyle half-unraveled and wild. Her breath was heavy through her gnashed teeth as she glared fiercely at her opponent with intense hatred, and at the same time fear.
That…She overpowered my every move! Is…Is it possible she could be as powerful as I? Or even greater?
Kagome's breath was heavy. She saw the Kikyo could not fight any longer and calmly as she could, told her to leave. What she sought was not at the village so there was no point in her staying. The defeated queen roared in rage and send a blast of her dark aura at Kagome, who moved to the side just in time to avoid a fatal injury, but nonetheless was struck.
"You shall regret this day, peasant! I shall see to it you pay dearly for this humiliation!" Using her powers, she teleported herself and her group back to her castle. Kaede ordered medical attention for Kagome's wound.
At the castle, the queen stormed through the halls, infuriated. Her servants tried to tell her to allow a physician to tend to her, but she ignored them and continued to walk, entering an area that was off-limits to everyone but her. As she continued down a flight of stairs, Kikyo felt the pain in her abdomen escalate but fought it and continued down the dimly lit hall and entered a room. Floating in the center of it, was a dark pink jewel, a bright aura of the same color surrounding it and providing lighting for the room.
A warm smile spread across Kikyo's lips as she limped toward it and gently took it in her hands. The aura spread from the jewel and engulfed her body. Kikyo felt a warmth flow through her battered body as her injuries vanished instantly, her cracked rib taking a few seconds. Its job done, the light faded from the queen's body and she returned the jewel to its place. She gazed at it, then picked it back up and caressed it lovingly, nuzzling it against her cheek, smiling happily.
"Shikon no Tama, such a beautiful creation. How joyous I am at the bountiful power you give to me." Kikyo whispered to the pink jewel, worshipping it. "Such bountiful power, and you wish to give me more….if only you were complete." Kikyo said as she glared before her into space. She turned the jewel onto its other side and winced sorrowfully at the sight.
At the very top of the Shikon no Tama was a tiny slit, indicating a piece of it was missing. Kikyo was very frustrated at that indication as it prevented her from what she truly wanted: ultimate power and rule of the entire universe. The jewel she held in her hands was able to grant the desire of her black heart, but only if it was completely whole. In its current state, all it could do was grant Kikyo with awesome but limited powers.
She snarled at the fact, "Damn you! Damn that mutant to hell…!" Kikyo scoffed with a vengeful smirk as she gently put the jewel back in its place. "You got your just punishment for deceiving me. Enjoy your time in hell, dear one."
Kikyo emerged from the dark chambers to the hallway leading to her room where a servant waited at her door with the preparations for her bath ready for her. The queen took a long soak in her lavish bathtub, having a moment alone with her thoughts. The servant peeked in her chambers after an hour passed, finding her in a white yukata looking up in the sky on her balcony again. She stepped inside and stood near the door.
"Your task is complete?" Kikyo questioned without turning away from the blue sky.
The servant bowed as she answered, "Yes, majestic Queen Kikyo. Everything is as you have said."
A wicked grin spread across Kikyo's lips. "Excellent. Tonight, I shall gain that which I desire…."
"…And you won't believe how many times a day I'm proposed to! I think all the men of my village are very nice and kind, but none of them are my type. Maybe, maybe I….never mind. That was a really long time ago." Kagome smiled sadly. "I miss you all, Mom, Dad, Souta. I miss you all so much, but I know we'll be together again someday."
She spoke to her family through prayer as she visited their graves nearby her garden where she grew the fruits for her rainbow cakes. Kagome visited them daily, usually during the day, but her unexpected encounter with Kikyo had pushed her visit to the early night. She left the small gravesite and began her walk home, which wasn't very far. As she walked down the path, she gazed up at the starry sky. When she was eleven years old, Kagome had a very close childhood friend who used to visit her every summer. She hadn't seen him in six years since she was fifteen, when he stopped coming to Ukato. She neared the hill that lead downward to the village and gazed at the crescent moon.
If you're wondering, I haven't forgotten you. How could I when you suddenly stopped visiting every summer? I wonder if something happened to you…..Kagome thought as if trying to speak to her childhood friend through the moon. She sighed, missing him.
Kagome continued walking through the vegetation when she smelled something. She rose her nose in the air and found it to be smoke. Glancing upward, Kagome saw a thick black cloud of smoke quickly rising the sky. She picked up her pace and ran outside the forest, looking down the hill.
The smoke was coming from her village!
What was left of it.
Kagome ran down the hill and into the village. It was completely destroyed. All of the houses and buildings were either leveled or in ruins. Kagome was horrified as she walked through the devastated village. An even greater horror, every inhabitant had been killed. She held her hands tightly over her mouth and tried with all her might not to vomit at the sight of the mutilated and dismembered bodies of the people she once knew, tears streaming down her face.
A thought coming to her, Kagome ran hurriedly through the destruction to the headwoman's house, and found it completely demolished! Save for the remains of some of the walls, the house lay in scattered rubble, the plants and flowers uprooted and scattered all about as well.
Kagome broke down sobbing, her beloved foster mother was gone. She raised her eyes and found a shadow cast over her.
She looked up at the person.
It was Kaede! She leaned onto her thick cane for support as she was seriously injured, her clothes stained with blood.
"Kagome…" She whispered feebly, "Thanks the gods, ye live."
"Kaede, who did this! Who did all this!" Kagome inquired, hot tears streaming down her cheeks.
The old woman strained in agony, but tried had to fight death, refusing to die. She was about to answer Kagome when she heard a sound.
"She returns!" Kaede exclaimed in fright, "Kagome, flee at once! It is ye that she seeks! I bid you, flee!"
"She…" It took no longer for than a split second for Kagome to figure out who the perpetrator was.
"So the old woman was right when she told me you were not here earlier."
A familiar voice entered Kagome's ears from behind her. She turned around and found Kikyo in battle armor, her soldiers behind holding torches and weapons. Kikyo looked at her with a smug face, holding a sword in her hand, the other resting on her hip and an evil smile on her face. "Where have you been, Kagome. I went through the entire village trying to find you." The mass of soldiers behind her laughed at her joke while Kagome grew furious. Kaede strained, fighting her pain to stand up straight.
"Kaede, don't move! Your wounds-"
"Pay no heed to me, Kagome! I am of the least importance!" Kaede stated firmly, keeping her attention on Kikyo. "Kagome, I bid you, flee from here! The queen seeks your life!"
"No!" She automatically answered. "I'm not going to abandon you, Kaede!"
Kikyo chuckled. "It would be of no benefit to either of you. This old woman is just minutes from death and you, Kagome," She said, meeting her eyes and raising her sword, "Your powers shall become one with mine."
The queen lunged toward Kagome, drawing her sword and sending it on a course for her body, when it clashed with another. Kagome and Kikyo looked and saw Kaede holding up a sword and blocking the queen's blade. Her cane was all along a sword disguised as a walking stick.
Kikyo smirked, finding it cute. "So be it, old woman. You shall meet death sooner than anticipated!"
Kaede pushed the blade away from Kagome and swung at Kikyo, slicing the armor of her breastplate. The queen glared at her opponent, surprised she could actually use the sword. The soldiers seized Kagome and held her so she couldn't break free of them. Restrained, she was forced to endure the torture of watching her wounded foster mother fight against the wicked queen.
Kaede held up against her, despite her grave wounds, managing to strike the queen several times. However, that was all she was able to do; Kaede was too weak to pierce through the armor. Kikyo stood across from her, watching the old woman pant wearily, nearing death.
"You fool, going through such pain to protect that defiant wench. Does she truly mean so much to you, headwoman?" Kikyo sneered.
Kaede glared. "How blind ye are to ask a question with an obvious answer! Kagome is a daughter to me, I will not sit and allow you to take her life for your sadistic purposes!"
"Touching." Kikyo coldly stated. "Indeed you will sit as I claim your little lamb," Kikyo lunged in a flash and drew up her sword with one arm, "You shall lay on the ground as I do so!"
Kaede held up the sword to block the attack. Kikyo's blade sliced through the sword, cut into the base of her neck and came out through her lower hip, blood spraying everywhere.
"KAEDE!" Kagome screamed as the old woman's severed body fell onto the ground.
Kikyo stood before her slain opponent, looking down on her with disgust. "Stupid hag. She wasn't even worth my time."
Kagome's head hung mournfully, her black hair covered her eyes as tears streamed down her face, contorted with anguish. "Kaede…." She choked, catching the queen's attention but receiving an icy glare.
"Don't bother wasting your tears on this pathetic fool, peasant. She knew well that she sealed her demise by raising her sword against me. Such punishment is fitting for her." Kikyo scowled and heartlessly kicked Kaede's head.
Those words echoed through Kagome's head. Her teeth gnashed, she then rose her head and screamed at Kikyo, her tears flowing heavily.
"YOU BITCH! MAY YOU BURN IN HELL FOR ALL ETERNITY, YOU HEARTLESS BI-"
Kagome was silenced as Kikyo's fist slammed viciously into her face, rendering her unconscious. The queen glared at her prisoner, still bound in her soldiers arms, blood dripping from her nose.
"You shall arrive there beforehand, Kagome."
Kagome was surrounded by darkness, her face in agony. She groaned from the pain, the narrowly opened her eyes.
She was in the queen's dungeon. It was dark and lit by a single torch on her far right. Kagome tried to move her arms and found she was hanging from a stone wall, her wrists shackled and bound to strong chain, her feet barely touching the cold bare floor.
"My, my, such a heavy sleeper you are, Kagome. I trust you had a pleasant dream?"
Kikyo glared in the direction of the voice. From the shadows, Kikyo appeared before her prisoner, an evil grin on her face. "I wish to know something; why did you defy me? My subjects are inferior to me but I give them enough intelligence to know they do not stand a chance in hell against me."
Kagome continued glaring at the queen, who glared back, waiting for an answer.
"You're evil." Kagome answered in a low growl. "Your hands are soaked and dripping with the blood of innocent people. By your opinion, they're guilty of so-called crimes against the queen, but they have only spoken the truth when they say how cold-hearted and vain you are, Kikyo!"
Kikyo's eyes narrowed, but the rest of her face was still as stone. She got a few steps closer to her prisoner. "You are an unusual peasant. It seems the threat of death cannot phase you. But you are wrong to place your misfortune on me, Kagome. Had you have placed the shard of the Shikon no Tama in my hand, I would gladly have forgotten your trespass."
Kagome's eyes flew open as she grasped what Kikyo had said to her. "You annihilated my home for that stupid jewel shard! I already told you I…don't….have it! I have nothing even remotely similar! Murderer…you murderer…" Kagome's hysterical shrieks turned into sobs as her sorrow overtook her, hot tears escaping her lowered eyes.
Kikyo firmly took Kagome's chin in her hand and lifted her eyes to hers, smiling. "Do not be so sad, Kagome. Your pain shall be temporary." Her smile broadened, showing her teeth in a sadistic smile, "Very soon, you shall be reunited with them all in hell!"
Kikyo seemed pleased with Kagome's expression. "You know of my powers, what are you plotting, Kikyo?" Kagome inquired, her heart racing.
Kikyo spoke in a low ominous tone, "I have seen that your spiritual powers are great; so great that they rival mine own. At first, I feared you exceeded mine, but this power is new to you and thus unmastered. Within the hour, I shall have you sent for and the ritual will begin. When the Shikon no Tama is bathed in your blood, I shall gain your spiritual powers for my own."
Kagome was left alone in the dark dungeon to await her death.
She's glutton. That woman is a glutton for power. I can't help but sense she wants my powers for another purpose other than satisfying her appetite." Kagome shook her head. Worry about that after you get outta here, Kagome!
She remembered that she was chained and the guard was on the other side of the door far across from her. Then Kagome remembered Kaede saying she could invoke her power at will whenever she needed it. Kagome focused her power on the chains, two seconds later, it unlocked, releasing her.
So it's almost like telekinesis. Kagome thought as she moved her arms around to wake her up. Okay then, let's have another practice shot. She walked up toward the door and heard men talking, the guards. Kagome concentrated on them and then tried to apply her power to knock them unconscious.
Her face went blank, puzzled. She wondered what she did wrong, and then recalled what she did with the shackles. Getting an idea, Kagome placed her hands on the door, behind each guard and tried again. Her spiritual power went through the iron door and to the guards. They dropped to the ground in a deep sleep. Seeing as she was getting the hang of her powers, Kagome used them to unlock the door. She peeked outside, checking for any other guards or soldiers of Kikyo. None, she quietly but quickly made her escape down the darkened hallway.
Upon taking different routes to avoid several of Kikyo's servants, Kagome became lost in that section of the castle. Trying to figure out how to get out, she came across an even darker hallway, the forbidden area of the castle that only Kikyo went in. Thinking the exit might be down there, Kagome ventured down hallway and down the dimly lit staircase.
She reached the end of the long flight of stairs and saw a glow coming from a room down another dark hallway on her far right. She stayed on the wall of the room and cautiously approached it, stopping when she neared the doorframe. Kagome listened carefully for any sounds indicating Kikyo or anyone else was in there. She peeked and found the room was empty. The glow from the center grasped her attention.
A jewel floated in mid-air, glowing brightly, but what surrounded it was what caught Kagome's interest.
The jewel was red and was surrounded by an aura that glowed an ominous deep crimson.
Kagome entered the room and approached the jewel, then abruptly stopped as she neared it. This must be the Shikon no Tama. It's giving off the same evil energy as Kikyo. This must be the source of her powers. She took another look at the jewel, looking at its size and how it was able to give the queen such power. Seeing as it was the source of Kikyo's power, it had to be destroyed at once.
Kagome began to place her hands on the jewel, when they were sharply repelled by a painful shock. She drew back, caressing her injured hands, narrowing her eyes at the jewel as it seemed to have a will of its own. It wouldn't be subdued so easily. Kagome stood where she was and made Shinto hand gestures, as Kaede used to, and tried to invoke her spiritual powers without the direct use of her hands. Her bluish-white aura emerged from her body and engulfed the crimson jewel. Kagome opened her eyes to see the result. Her aura surrounded that of the jewel's, but its red aura still remained. It was resisting her.
Kagome narrowed her eyes as she tried harder, this time reciting a chant she learned from Kaede. The red aura began to diminish, it was being pushed into the Shikon no Tama. The jewel was soon engulfed in Kagome's aura. She then increased the intensity of her chanting, attempting now to destroy the evil jewel. Her aura had taken over the red aura, but the jewel itself remained scarlet. Kagome kept chanting and invoking her spiritual powers, but nothing happened.
Suddenly, the Shikon no Tama glinted and its red aura slowly began to re-emerge, pushing back the bluish-white aura. Kagome put extra force in her aura to overcome it, her body straining to invoke every last bit of her energy. The jewel glinted again and turned a blackish-red, then released a fierce blast of its evil aura at Kagome, slamming her into the stone wall! She slid down on her knees. Shaking off her daze, she looked up at the jewel. The evil aura had returned, its color matching that of the jewel.
"What is that thing!" Kagome exclaimed in an exhausted whisper.
"It is beyond your feeble powers."
Kagome's eyes shot open; she brought them to her left where she heard the voice.
Queen Kikyo stood in the doorway, looking down at Kagome. The instant she entered her sight, Kagome leapt to her feet, stepping away from Kikyo. The queen didn't pay her much attention, but went to the Shikon no Tama and held it in her hands, nuzzling it against her cheek.
"My beloved Shikon no Tama, what has this simple heathen done to you?" She cooed to the jewel as if it were her child, caressing it lovingly.
Kagome stood against the back wall of the room, staring at the queen with a raised questioning eyebrow. This woman needs a king, she's entirely TOO lonely.
Kikyo's closed eyes opened, revealing a burning glare of intense hatred to Kagome.
"I see. You realized what the Shikon no Tama is and attempted to destroy it to eliminate my powers, didn't you?" Kikyo inquired.
Kagome's silence answered her question.
"You are a fool indeed." She sneered. "I, like you, also possess spiritual powers. Even before I encountered this jewel, my powers were far beyond yours. Now that I have it in my possession, my powers are greatly enhanced. I am practically a goddess."
"Practically." Kagome emphasized, taunting the queen with a smirk. "That jewel may have enhanced your evil powers, but you're not all powerful as you have people think, Kikyo. The jewel is incomplete and so are your abilities."
Kikyo snarled in agitation at the unwelcomed reminder. "It will be complete soon enough, peasant." Her scowl turned into an evil smile. "Unfortunately, my longing continues as you truly do not posses the sliver I require, but at least I shall gain additional power."
Kagome eyed Kikyo cautiously, preparing to fight. She threw her palm forward to attack her with her powers, but nothing happened.
She teardropped and brought her wide-eyes to her hand, "What…!" She exclaimed, shaking it to bring extract her powers, panicking when still nothing happened.
Kikyo appeared equally surprised as Kagome could not invoke her spiritual powers. At first, the queen feared her opponent had exhausted it attempting to destroy the Shikon no Tama, but thought otherwise as she could still sense its presence within her body. Kagome looked up from her hand and saw Kikyo's smile.
"What're you smiling at, Kikyo?"
The queen chuckled then answered, "In attempting to destroy the Shikon no Tama, you have exhausted all energy required to invoke your power. Funny, is it not?" Kikyo found the situation amusing, though it was obvious Kagome didn't. "But that will make it all the easier for me to take it."
Kikyo took the Shikon no Tama in her fist and extended her left hand toward Kagome, unleashing her evil aura. The aura engulfed her body in a matter of seconds and thickened as it flowed to her from the queen's hand.
"Not only shall I obtain your spiritual powers, but I shall also suck the very life from you and my youth shall be further prolonged!"
Kagome fell onto her right knee. The aura made it difficult for to breathe as it was smothered her. Her vision grew blurry as she was beginning to blackout. Positioning her fingers, Kagome mentally chanted a spell, causing the evil aura to thin enough to allow her to breathe; she then spoke an alteration of the incantation aloud and sent Kikyo's aura back at her, forcing her against a wall! Kagome took the chance and fled the room before Kikyo could recover from her daze.
The castle was a complete maze. Kagome ran down various hallways but could not find the way out. On top of that, Kikyo had screamed for her soldiers to hunt her down and arrest her. She ran for all she worth to escape capture as well as death. She came across a handful of guards and used her martial arts to defeat them, then ran like hell from the band of soldiers down the hall firing their laser cannons at her. Kagome ran down another hall and saw an open door up ahead of her. She ran even faster, trying to get to it before the soldiers could catch up to her and ran inside hitting a button on the inner wall to close it.
Kagome froze behind the door as she heard the soldiers' rushing approach and run down the hallway. When everything was silent, she slid down to the ground, panting heavily. After catching her breath, Kagome opened her eyes and stood to her weary feet, looking before her to see where she was.
The room was enormously spacious. Kagome looked down from the top floor over the railing and saw hundreds of thousands of army spaceships.
She stared in awe at the fleet; her gawking was cut short when she heard the sound of the soldiers' remote footsteps growing louder. They were returning. Kagome hurried down the stairs to the fleet to hide amongst the ships. When she neared them, she heard a loud bang that echoed frighteningly in the room. Kagome looked up and found part of the iron door protruding. The door was locked from the inside and they soldiers were trying to break inside. She hurried among the fleet of ships, picking one at random and entered, the door closing just as the soldiers broke through the door.
Kagome's body froze with fear, her heart pounding rapidly against her chest. Now she was trapped. It was only a matter of time before they found her.
They'll either kill me on the spot when they find me or they'll take me to Kikyo. Either way, I'll die. I have to escape somehow; I won't just let them catch me.
Kagome's eyes searched around the ship for a solution, and found the control panel. She commissioned her stiffened legs to carry her over there as quietly as possible. The surface was covered with buttons and levers. Kagome's frantic eyes searched for the one that activated it. She heard the footsteps growing closer; in a panic, Kagome haphazardly hit a black button on the floor beside the seat.
Alarms sounded deafeningly throughout the room as the roof parted, revealing the morning sky, daybreak approaching. Kagome then pushed two more buttons, praying one of them would launch the ship and that a self-destruct mechanism wasn't installed. When the roof parted completely, Kagome's ship activated and a yellow button flashed. Hearing the soldiers now rushing toward her, she slammed down on it. All the doors were tightly secured and the ship angled upward. Kagome scrambled to get in the pilot seat before she fell to the bottom, and the second she sat, ship rocketed through the opening and into the sky!
In the screen on the right side of the control panel, Kagome saw that the soldiers had immediately boarded the ships and were coming after her!
"OPEN FIRE!" The captain ordered his fleet.
Lasers rained upward at Kagome! One of the buttons she pushed activated the defense shield, protecting it from damage. Quickly getting familiar with the controls, Kagome moved the ship side to side out of the way of the lasers. The shield was thin and could only protect the ship from minor damage. Kagome noticed the sky before her and found as she shot further up, the sky became blacker and blacker. Her eyes widened when she realized she was practically in the planet's exosphere, she was in space!
The ship suddenly shook violently, a laser had hit her. Desperate, Kagome once again tried to invoke her powers to form a more powerful shield.
This time it worked. The ship glowed with her aura and blocked each laser that came near. Kagome saw that her powers were back and shot blasts of the aura at the enemy ships in defense. She laughed triumphantly, happy that she would escape them.
Kikyo stood on her balcony, watching the whole scene as the fight went on into space, enhancing her vision so that she could see into the exosphere. She laughed as she saw Kagome fumble around with the controls, trying to figure out how to operate her spaceship properly. The windshield wipers came on when she meant to try and shoot plasma, then using the plasma cannon when she tried to make the ship accelerate more.
Kikyo looked up at the sky and smiled sadistically. Though telepathy, she bid the captain to hold fire and clear a path to Kagome unless they wished to die. He obeyed and gave the command to the fleet.
Kagome saw the enemy ships cease fire and fly away from. She felt that jolt in stomach again.
"What's going on? Why are they retreating?" She wondered uneasily, knowing something was going to happen.
Kikyo rose her pale arm to the sky, opening her palm. Her blackish red aura formed into a large mass before her palm and when it was to her liking, Kikyo released an enormous blast of the aura combined with the tainted power of the Shikon no Tama shooting forward into the sky!
Kagome's ship alarm sounded, telling her something was approaching as the vessel shook. Tentatively, her eyes went to the screen and widened in terror as she saw Kikyo's aura coming at her, the entire screen turning blackish red.
The blast reached the ship in a matter of seconds and engulfed it completely! Selected parts of the ship blasted off and seconds after the aura hit, the small spaceship exploded!
The soldiers shielded their eyes from the blinding light; when they looked, nothing remained except for smoke and scattered debris. They all stared in fearful awe of the queen's power, praising her.
The evil visage remained on Kikyo's face as she lowered her arm.
"So be it with all who oppose me."