CH 1: Prologue - Chrysalis
What is a curse? Most people would think of this as being something that was bad, evil or something that always will lead you to bad things. If that was true, then she was probably cursed. However, this curse that she had wasn't like the ones you get because of some witch's power. She didn't get it at all. She was born with it.
Since she could remember she had always stayed in the house, never to see the real world for what it is. Sometimes, her mother, Sekai, would visit her and tell her that if she knew all the horrible things that happened around then her innocence would be taken away. However, even if the world was as bad as her mother put it, she still wanted to see it. But seeing the world - that would be impossible.
The only things that she had seen of the outside world were the garden outside her window with its little pond, little creatures and the moon above. And the one thing that she has touched of the outside of her house was a flower. It was called, Nightly Radiance.
This flower was all over the garden that she so loved to stare at night. It had a white sparkly colour, which made it looked enchanting. It was simple, but somehow beautiful. When you touched its petals, it shy away by closing, only to open again as if ready to once again show its beauty to the world. The mere smell of it sent a nonchalant feeling to her. It was the most beautiful flower in the garden and also the flower that smelled the best in the garden. However, as beautiful as it is at night, is as ugly it is at day.
Another reason she had loved about this flower: no matter how beautiful it is at night, it showed a side where it is not beautiful at day. It's simple but beautiful petals turned to a dirty brown colour and it's beautiful scent disappears to turn into the smell of dirt and rotten food. This flower was like her. It was her curse. The curse she was born with and will end up dying with. For absolutely no one can take it away.
It was true, after all. What the outsiders would say about her. It was nearly the whole truth. The part where she carried a curse, the part where she does become ugly or hideous (as they put it) at day, is true. However, the part that were said about her. The part of which: she eats humans during the day and is a real monster, wasn't true. It dawned on her that they didn't know that she was still human both day and night, and that she was just more repulsive at day.
No wonder her parents locked her up. Although, she knew that they loved her. But how long could her parents keep her in this chrysalis? She was an only child and would one day need to take over the properties. But how was she supposed to do that when her only window to the outside world were the little books her mother brought in.
They were all beautiful books. They were books about men - nothing about woman or their feelings. The books she read were all about bravery, courage, honour, trust, pride and friendship between men. When she thinks about it, the only woman she knew of was her mother and no one else. She hardly sees her father, and when he visits was only at night. When he said he could call her his actual daughter who would resemble his beautiful wife.
But as the years went by, she watched as her mother's face became old and weary. Also did her father's. With her face, she didn't want to see, never wanted to look. She was ugly - really ugly that she hardly qualifies to being called a woman. She looked more of a man. However, her mother had told that she was becoming a woman and no matter how much they try to stop it, it would have to happen.
It was now night and her thoughts of the passing years surprised her. Was she getting lonely? She didn't want to answer the question. She leaned against the window, as she looked over at the beautiful garden with the moon high above the night sky. The pond was crystallised, while the creatures hummed a hymn. And the flower she loved, Nightly Radiance, now covered the garden with its nightly beauty.
From the corner of the room, a woman stared at her daughter. Her eyes were full of love and sorrow. How she wished she could lift the curse and let her daughter see the world. She had long accepted her daughter's appearance at daylight, but would love nothing more than to also see her stay beautiful like she was now. Sometimes she would even wished that dawn would never come, that the moon will remain to stay up. But it wasn't meant to be.
Focussing on the beautiful form that leaned against the window, Sekai walked towards her. "My dear, are you ready?" She asked, watching as her daughter turned around, her purple kimono gracefully out-lining her nightly beauty.
The daughter smiled at her mother, "Yes, I am."
Seeing the beautiful smile, Sekai took her daughter in her arms. "No matter what happens tonight, my Kagome, I will always love you."
In the castle of the West, the lord stood. He rubbed his temples lightly as he looked over at both of his sons. One of them stood with an emotionless face, the other with a frown. Sitting back on his chair, he let a cough pass as he caught their attentions.
His voice was firm, lord-like and powerful. "I trust that you both know of what is to happen?"
The older son gave a slight nod, as he stared back at his father. The younger one, however, gave a snort. "I'm not bothering with some bitch, father." He answered, clearly saying that he did not want any part of this.
The father with his great knowledge of his younger son gave a nod. "Then, I guess only you, my older and much wiser son, will visit the Higurashi residence tonight."
As if getting the hidden message, the younger son walked towards his father. "Fine! Dammit, I'll go! I'll visit that stupid place, but I'm not doing any of the crazy things you wish!" The younger son walked away his steps loud.
Meanwhile, both the lord and his older son stared at each.
"He is truly an idiot." Whispered the older son.
"I know..." Replied the amused father.
"It is not funny nor is it cute. I find it quite annoying - irritating in fact."
"I know." He said again, more firmly.
Golden eyes narrowed only to shut quickly as long silver hair gracefully made a motion of turning away, and the son walked away. His last words were said. "A lord - a ruler, yet you still find ways of how to disgrace yourself."
The lord understood. His sons were still young and knew so little of what they spoke of. He must admit, even at the age of nineteen, it would seem that his older son still knew so little of feelings. So how would his son handle them if they are one day force to face them? He didn't know. And this is why he was afraid to leave the throne. Surely, he could not just let a completely emotionless prince take over or an over emotional one.
He decided, only when and after his older felt emotions other than anger hit him, then maybe...he'll give up the throne...maybe. For now, he guessed he should just be guiding them.
Outside the large, well-decorated, traditional house of the Higurashi, stood Sekai. She was out here to wait for the arrival of the future rulers of the West. They were arriving to check on her family and make arrangements.
The beautiful carriage gave her no doubt on who would be inside. She silently wished that her husband will see nothing of her daughter tonight, so for Kagome not to be in a deeper trouble as she already is. Sekai knew that her husband loved Kagome, so why was he so tough on her?
Soon, the carriage arrived and two bodies came out. Both of them were handsome, with fine features. One a little older and the other younger, but both of them had silver hair and golden hair, but the older one seemed much better defined.
"Please to meet you both, Lord Sesshoumaru and Lord Inuyasha."
It was her first time of being outside and she loved it. She had turned the age of 17 and somehow, her father felt the need to let her out of the house. He said that he would allow her to leave her room every night from now on. However, she could only walk around the large house and around the garden - nowhere else. But still, she appreciated it.
She walked towards the crystallised pond. It was clear and the fishes inside could be seen swimming around. And at last, with great care and great hesitation, she bent down and touched the pond water with her fingertips.
On the water showed a woman. The woman was beautiful. She wore a purple kimono with a white obi. She wore a ribbon on her silky, raven; hair with had a purple glow to it. Her eyes, as Kagome sees it, is what made her felt drawn by the woman. She had dark grey eyes, almost black. Between the colours of blackish grey and brown. The colour of the woman's skin suited her hair and her eyes, for it was fair and milky, but not too white. The woman's lips were not red nor was it pink. It was the colour of pale orange. She envied the woman of her beauty. She would never have that beauty.
She didn't exactly know whom she was staring. She thought it to be probably some enchanting pond creature. A fairy of some sort. She had heard of fairies, heard many stories of their great beauty. Though, because of not seeing much people and not having much communication to the outside world, she didn't exactly know what is beautiful or handsome. She knew that she was supposed to be ugly, but that is all. She just decide on which is pretty and which is not through her own eyes. And now, she decided, that the pond fairy must be beautiful.
A much older woman watched the beautiful maiden who sat near the pond. She had never seen this lady before. Not in the Higurashi residence. But maybe, she was a visitor of some sort. She hardly visited this garden and when she does, it was only at daylight. But as she stood there on the garden, observing her surroundings and the woman near the pond, she realized that the garden was much beautiful at night. Especially with those beautiful flowers around it and the woman near the pond.
With a gentle smile on her lips, she walked towards the beautiful maiden soundlessly. Her old hands dropped on the young maiden's shoulder and she watched as the beautiful lady looked over left shoulder to see. Her features were graceful, well-defined and she was amazingly much beautiful close up. The old woman's eyes travelled from the young woman's face only to land on the reflection on the water.
"Good evening," said the old woman, her features kind and gentle.
Kagome stood up, "I didn't know that anyone would be here at night...I should leave."
The old woman chuckled, "No, no. It's wonderful that you are here." She gave Kagome a reassuring smile. "Though, I wonder why one as beautiful as you be out here on such a lonely garden when you could be out there...getting courted."
Kagome's eyes onced again landed on the reflection on the water. For some reason, she loved to look at the fairy creature. Seeing the creature gave her a great calmed feeling. Also, the creatures swimming around it made it looked...just much more realistic to her eyes.
"Isn't she beautiful...?" Kagome asked suddenly, unable to help herself. She looked towards the old woman. First there was a question on the old woman's face, then, some emotions on her eyes. But before she could reply to Kagome's question, Kagome quickly added, "To me...she is beautiful."
Another chuckle broke free from the old woman's lips. "Child, you are amusing me. Of course she is beautiful, I think you would know this yourself. How many times have you seen her?" The old woman asked, but didn't give Kagome time to answer. "She must be everywhere you go." The old woman paused, then added. "It was nice meeting you, I am Kaede Higurashi. However, just call me Kaede. I am the high priest here." The old woman gave another smile. "What is your name, my dear?"
"I cannot say,"
"Surely, you can tell me your name?"
"I'm sorry, I cannot tell you."
Kaede just smiled. "It's ok child. Maybe one day." With that, she gave another assuring smile and left, leaving Kagome alone in the lonely but beautiful garden.
Inuyasha walked around the residence. His brother did the checking and talking with the Higurashi family. Why is it that his father bothers with this? He didn't want to become a lord - never did. He just wanted to fight and have the honour of a warrior. But he guessed, that the only for that to happen is for him to do this.
They were supposed to be here to check if the Higurashi family was hiding anything or anyone from the Western lord, Inutaisho, his father. It would seem that more warriors were needed for the defence of the Western land. The Higurashi family wasn't able to send any sons or warriors. There was a rumour that they had a son who could kill a hundred enemies or even swallow them whole. This boy was suppose to be very ugly and a monster.
He snorted, annoyed by the fact he will have to spend the night here. The steps on front of him were confusing and this house seemed to have so many turns and rooms. It annoyed him, and only when he saw the moonlight from some room was he able to find himself outside on a beautiful garden.
The garden had a wonderful scent he had never smelt before. Beautiful white, sparkly flowers also surrounded it. They were simple and beautiful. Then, as he walked around more, he spotted a form of someone. A woman. Her back was turned towards him, her kimono the colour of purple with a white obi tide around her waist. On her back was the long silky, raven hair. From what he could see, she was observing or playing around with the water on the pond.
Even when he walked closer to her form, she still remained enchanted by the pond. What's so damn great about a pond...?
"Hey!" Inuyasha said aloud, he watched as she turned around and faced him. Her beauty struck him and his voice quivered. "D-do you know the way around here?" He asked, his tone now lower.
Her eyes observed him as they widened. She seemed surprised to see him. Deep in them you could see great wonder and great innocence, making him wonder what was up with her.
Finally, after what seemed almost like an eternity, he watched as she stood up and walked towards him. As if not knowing or not sure of what she was doing, she raced up her hand to touch his cheeks, her soft hands sending chills down his spine.
"W-what the...?" Inuyasha stammered, amaze by the girl's action. He didn't stop her hands, but merely let her caressed his face. Only when she finally moved them away was he able to gain his focus again. "W-who are you?"
She didn't answer, but merely gazed at him. Her features kind and simple. Only after a couple of minutes did she started to talk. "I'm sorry...I thought you weren't real." She admitted. "I have not met much people in the past."
He looked away, "Well, I guess you wouldn't know where to go then..."
"Where do you want to go?"
"Just out of here."
"Oh. Well, the way you came in is the way out." She said, pointing towards where he had come from.
He gave her a sarcastic look, only to stop when he saw from her eyes that she didn't get it. What's up with this girl? He thought. Is she from another planet or something? "No, what I meant is I want to get to the guest room."
"Oh, I don't where that is."
"Well, you're a big help."
"I was being sarcastic..."
She gave a questioning look. "Say-ras-tic?" She asked. "What is say-ras-tic?"
"What's wrong with you?" He asked, annoyed and surprised at the same time.
Almost bluntly, "Many things."
He gave her another sarcastic look, "I see that."
"That's it, I'm leaving." He said, giving her a glare.
With a half smile, "It was nice meeting you."
Inuyasha gave a smirked, "What's your name?"
"Kagome," she said, and then asked. "What's yours?"
"Inuyasha," he replied, then said, "Yeah...well...maybe I'll meet you again."
"But I guess girls can't go much places. Well, I'll see ya around, weirdo." He said, giving her a grin. He saw her give him a questioning looked only for her to try and smile back. He left the garden, leaving Kagome by herself.
She stared after him; amazed by the way he had treated her. She was amazed that he didn't say anything about how ugly she was. But she guessed she wasn't that ugly at night. She wanted to meet him again. And wanted to know more about the way he speaks. "Weirdo...?" She asked aloud. I guess I'll never know...what that means.
Sesshoumaru observed the house. It was appropriate and well decorated. It was a sophisticated house for this time. It had everything that a house in Japan 15th century should have. It was also larger inside than what it looked outside. However, he knew of the Higurashi's reputation. He had to meet everyone of the family. He had met with the Lord and Lady of the house and some people of the extended family. However, he has still yet to meet with their children.
He wasn't the type to care about rumours and gossips, but if it had anything to do with his problems, then he cared. It was told that the Higurashi family had a monster. He would meet this monster tonight. He would meet everyone of the family. This is why he was here in the first place: to meet all of them.
Looking around, he could see that the family members of this family slept early. Everyone was getting ready for sleep. He did not know where his brother would be and he didn't care. For now, he guessed, he will have to look around. Maybe he will find the monster everyone was talking about.
Lady Sekai had led him to the guest chambers, so for him to sleep.
"Lord Sesshoumaru, let us discuss further more about my family and the Western lands tomorrow." Lady Sekai said. She gave a bow and left.
He waited until the Lady of the house's form completely disappeared before stepping out of the room. The house was big. When Lady Sekai was showing him around the house, he knew that she wasn't showing every great detail. She missed out rooms, which he put a mental note to check on. One of those rooms, as he remembered, was the room with the moonlight somehow showing much brighter. The room somehow intrigued him, as if it was calling him to go in.
Silently, he walked around the house. He was sure that his ninja-like footsteps would not be heard by anyone. The halls were slightly lighted with fires. He opened doors and closed them; he turned to the left and then to the right, until finally he arrived at the door that has drawn him to it.
First he looked around, checking if anyone could see him. Then, he opened it. His eyes adjusted to the light of the moon, then search for anything interesting.
It was a garden. On the middle of it was a little pond, blue and crystal-like. Flowers he had not seen before surrounded it. The flowers were beautiful, but simple. There was only one cherry blossom tree with great age, but still beautiful. It was on the far right of the pond. Other flowers were also on the garden, but they did not show or made great distraction like the white, sparkly flower that surrounded the pond.
Stepping down from the house, he walked towards the flowers. With his hands, he touches them. He was amazed that something so beautiful could only be found on such a little garden. Why had he not seen such a beautiful flower before? Then, as he graces his hands over the petals, the flowers gracefully closed. He looked at it with a question. And out of nowhere a melodic voice spoke, making him look over his shoulder.
"It is shy," said the young woman behind him. "Don't worry, just watch, it will open up again."
He gave her a look, demanding who she was. However, he could not help but look back down at the flower in his hands. As if they obeyed what she said, the flower's petals lazily and gracefully started to open. He looked his shoulders once again, only to find her gone. He looked around and found her near by the little pond. He watched as she touched the water on the pond, the tip of her fingers gracefully outlining a face.
Now that he had the time and the effort, he observed her. She wasn't like the others that he had known. She gave a different light. The way she moved was also different, for she looked as if she hasn't at all moved that much in the past.
"Who are you?" He asked, or more so demanded.
She looked up at him, her eyes unknowing. "I cannot say,"
He gave her a glare, as he walked towards her. It surprised him that she seems to not be scared. Everyone or anyone should have been scared by now. And he was not one to brag. He was the older son of the Lord of the West, one of the most powerful warriors alive. Being the first son, he was greatly known for his great skills in battle.
"Do you know of whom you stand before?"
He narrowed his eyes, "I am the first son of the West, Lord InuTaisho's son."
She gave him a questioned look, as if telling him to go on.
"Your ignorance will get you no where."
"Ignorance?" She asked, tilting her head to the side.
His emotionless face did not fail him. However, he was far from annoyed. Was this woman really trying his patience? Was she doing this on purpose? His eyes narrowed, "You shall tell me who you are," he said, his voice threatening and he added. "Now."
"Why do you want to know?" She asked and saw him narrowed his eyes much more. A feeling went through her, and she didn't now what it was. But somehow, the way he stared at her, she felt like she wanted to tell him. "Promise not to tell anyone else?" She asked, her voice low and whispered.
"I shall only tell if I am in need to tell."
"I don't get that..."
"I will not tell."
She stood up, "I'm Kagome."
His eyes narrowed. "Not only is your name needed, but also, tell me why are you in this house?"
She flinched at the question, but answered. "I am Kagome Higurashi, the daughter of Lord Sayoseke and Lady Sekai."
He looked away, as he took in the knowledge. "They had not mentioned that they had a daughter."
"Don't tell them that I told you." Her eyes were serious, making it obvious to him that she wanted no one to know.
He didn't really know what made him promise this, but he did. "You have my word."
She gave a slight nod, her eyes lighting up and he serious face turning back to their usual kind and simple features. She gave him a look, then bent down once again to examine everything around and near the pond.
What made him asked the question, he didn't know. But the way she just stayed their and play or examine the pond made him wonder. How can one be so interested in one thing? - A mere pond at that? "What do you find so interesting about this pond?"
By the way she instantly looked up at him, it was obvious she was surprised. "Well, I guess it's just beautiful, don't you think?"
"Beautiful - yes, but that is all."
"There are far much more things in this world than a mere pond. Much more things to examine, to study and to know." He stated. "But you, however, would stay here all night to study a mere pond?"
She looked up at him, "Yes." She answered fast. "What else can I do? I haven't been out of this place since I was born. I don't know anything about the outside world. So I guess, a mere pond is worth a lot more things to me than to you." Her voice was protective over the pond. However, she had seemed not to notice.
However, he was taken back by the answer. How can someone stay in one place? He sure couldn't. He had always travelled, around the world. He had seen too many places, and sometimes had forgotten about everything. Actually, when he thinks about it, he had never really learnt how to appreciate anything. He had taken everything for granted.
"You have never left this place?" He asked, more like stated. He watched as she nodded, her eyes telling him the truth. "Then, why not leave?"
Her voice was reducing to little. "I can't..."
"A pathetic answer."
He resisted the urge to sigh, annoyed at himself. Because the truth is, he wanted to let her out of this place. "Hn, is it because of your parents?"
"You can say that...I guess."
"It is after all true. Women can only leave when their parents told them too. However, men may leave and travel wherever they wish."
"Is that really true?"
"Indeed," he answered.
"Then, why do you waste your time here? You could be travelling around the world, why here?" She asked.
"I am the son of Lord Inutaisho, it is my duty to find men from families of the Western lands to train and defend." He answered. "Your family was suppose to send out a warrior so to fight."
"We don't have any warriors."
He looked at her, and saw that she knew so little. He decided that it would do no harm to tell her of the rumours. "It was said that a monsters reside at this house. A monster that could kill hundreds of men and maybe, even more powerful than I."
Then, as if she knew what he was talking about, her saw her eyes widen slightly and she turned away. The way she reacted made him suspect something. "Is it true?"
"A monster..." She whispered. "No, we don't have any monsters in here." He watched as she looked towards the moon, her eyes focused and as if deciding. "However, there is a boy who could become a warrior." She said suddenly. "His name is Kago- I mean, Kaji." She turned to face him. "The family has been hiding him from everyone else. He is a hideous creature they said. But I don't think so. He is just...cursed without any beauty. I think he'll be glad to fight for the land." Her eyes focused on him and she pointed towards a lonely, dark window. "He sleeps in that room."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"I think Kaji wants to leave this place. He is my brother, after all. I wish for him to see the world. I wish for him to leave this place." She looked towards the man before her. "Take him away in the morning. Tell my family that you did not find anything interesting in here and that you are leaving. Don't tell them anything about Kaji." Then, she started to walk away, only to stop. "I'll tell Kaji of the great news and get him preparing for tomorrow."
"Then, I shall meet this Kaji in the morning?"
"Yes, just visit that room and disappear."
"This will be done."
"Thank you." She said, and left him, leaving only one message. "Do not fear him."
END OF CH 1 - Nightly Radiance
Demon Tenshi: I started another one… Oh, well. I'll update soon, like in the weekends or something, for now, please review! I hate first chapters! I know its very different form my other ones… Heh, heh… That's what I like about it.