Inuyasha sat peacefully in his favourite tree near Kagome's village... or so Shippou called it. The sun had been risen for all of an hour and already he was tired. As of late, weariness began to grow on him. It was not something he particularly enjoyed, but nevertheless something he could live with as it never seemed to let him alone. Still, Kagome and the others were starting to notice.

Thinking of Kagome, she had been gone for four days now... longer than she has intended or longer than she has told Inuyasha she intended. He admitted to himself that he was a bit hard on her. He wouldn't much like living in two worlds. If only she would choose. 'But I can't. I can't just leave my mom... and my brother... and as annoying as he may be, my grandfather. If only you could realise what they mean to me. They're my Kikyou.' Inuyasha's insides twisted. It was an awful comparison. Kikyou meant nothing to him... nothing.

A breeze rose up, rustling the leaves of the forest trees. Inuyasha opened his eyes. Reflection was not in his character. Almost subconsciously he scanned the grounds and found Shippou heading towards him with Kirara. The little fox demon had a grin plastered on his face and his tail twitched about in a cheerful manner. Kirara, too, was jumping about and pouncing innocent flowers. As the pair neared the tree Inuyasha spoke up. 'What do you want?' he asked in a blunt tone.

'Kagome's back!'

'I don't see anything to get all excited about.'

Shippou raised his inquiring face to Inuyasha's. But of course Kagome's returning was something to be happy about. 'She's brought ramen...' Inuyasha perked his ears up. '... and those little cookie things.'

'Alright... alright. I'm coming.' In the past few months, Inuyasha had become a top star actor. He only ever slipped up a few times, and shamefully it was usually Kagome who made note. Inuyasha spotted Kagome speaking with Sango. '... needs to lighten up... only a few days... algebra.' He grimaced as he caught parts of her conversation. ' I can hear you, just so you know.'

'We really need to get a mile range on those ears.'

'What took you?' the hanyou asked in a rude way. 'You said three days and you've got work to do. Those shards aren't going to find themselves, you know.'

'Well, if that's how you feel... Here,' Kagome handed Inuyasha's ramen off to a villager, 'you can have this.'

'Gyah! Hey- you can't just-'

'Osuwari!'


That evening, having decided to stay one more night in the village, the group shared supper with Kaede. Inuyasha's impatience grew with each passing hour, but bothered only him. Sango had gone to bed early, Kirara and Shippou joining her. Miroku was leaning quietly against the wall of the hut lost in meditation, his breathing steady and reassuring.

'I am glad ye are back, Kagome,' Kaede informed her. 'I have been feeling wary these few days past.'

'Perhaps you are getting a cold.'

'Nay, child.' Kaede gazed around the room, pausing at the open doorway. The moon was rising accompanied by rolling clouds that threatened pouring rain in the morning. Kagome sighed and closed her eyes. She knew that Inuyasha wouldn't stand for another day with Kaede and she wasn't all keyed up to go dancing in a downpour.

Kagome started at the sound of shattering clay. Kaede, who had been making preparations for the new morning, stood gasping for breath, an eerie aura glowing about her. Miroku quickly jumped to his feet. 'Demon, be gone!' he yelled.

'It's not a demon, you fool. She's a priestess. Kagome get-' Inuyasha was cut off by the silence that soon engulfed them all. He could hear only the beating of his own heart. A wind that surely wasn't natural whipped at his skin and burned his eyes. The ground felt as if it were falling away before his feet, the air tasted bitter, and darkness blanketed their eyes. It was then that Kaede began to speak:

'Listen to me...

Blood by blood shall we be bound.

Blood of my heart and of yours.

Once the new moon to set our path.

Twice the new moon to name us true.

Once the sword for remembrance lost.

Twice the sword for the price he must pay.'

Kagome gasped and coughed, the puzzling words still ringing in her ears. But they soon vanished... vanished with the wind, with the darkness, and with the aura that was anything but demonic. 'A prophecy,' she whispered.

Sango entered the room with her hair spilling wildly about her shoulders and hiraikotsu at hand. 'What?' she demanded of them all. No one could answer. Shippou arrived next on Kirara, both looking slightly alarmed.

'Kaede! Are you alright?' Kagome rushed forward. Kaede sank to her knees and blinked.

'What did you mean?' Inuyasha asked. He knew all to well that his name was somehow tied to this- this prophecy. 'Tell me, old hag, what did you mean?'

'Inuyasha, fetch me a pail of water.'

The hanyou's eyes widened. 'I am not-'

'Just do as she says,' Miroku advised. Inuyasha snatched up the wooden bucket and stomped heatedly from the room.

'I am afraid he may do something rash. This was not meant for his ears.' Sango looked at Kagome, then at Miroku silently urging them to tell her what was going on. 'I cannot tell ye what I meant, for I do not know. I know only this... Beware Inuyasha's wrath. His emotions run wild... he may have yet to cause unnecessary deaths. Trivial details will prove to be much more than that and I do wish ye the luck of the good.'

Inuyasha appeared again in the doorway still frowning and muttering to himself. Temptation to pour the cold water right on top of Kaede was strong. Instead, Inuyasha pitched the pail at Miroku. He let out a groan. 'What did I do? Why take it out on me?'

'Why not?'

COMING NEXT... CHAPTER TWO: MIROKU