FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:
This story was written and finished long before manga chapters 466 onwards are released; therefore, I invented my own character to play Sesshoumaru's mother. Whatever parallelisms that have come out between her and Sesshoumaru's canon mother are not intentional,for I used my own creative license to create my own rendition of their family's past.
Prologue: Early Dusk
Genre(s): Romance, Angst, AU, Action
Warning(s): More battle scenes, some violence, fluff... What more can I say?
Disclaimer: None of the characters, except perhaps some, are mine. They are owned by Rumiko Takahashi.
Summary: Two years after IMotC, Sess is challenged to surpass an enemy in recovering a mysterious relic left behind by his mother. But can he protect Kikyou, who now carries his child, at the same time?
A/N: Alright, I finally decided to start IMotC's sequel! I know many of you are anticipating this, but forgive me if it would take ages for me to update because I am kinda undergoing a difficult time in my life, both academically and emotionally. Anyway, this prologue is set centuries before the start of the series itself, so don't be confused!
A shard of the moon
O'er mist coming and going,
A jewel of doom
O'er water still, unmoving,
O'er depths endless, awaiting...
Dusk is drawing nigh in the Western Lands. The bright halo of the sun is just touching the tip of the horizon, casting dark shadows on the old forest blanketing the section of the lands. But within this forest lurked a shadow far deeper and darker than the shade among the treetops...
An ever so slight whistling of the thick air in the forest floor made the drooping leaves rustle in their boughs. Ordinary eyes would not have seen it, but this seemingly weak gust of wind was in fact a woman, a beautiful she-youkai running with almost the speed of light.
Her long black-violet hair streamed out from behind her as she ran, exposing the mark of a Prussian blue crescent moon and magenta stripes on her forehead. Her eyes, gray as a winter sky, had on a look of determination that finely contrasted her beautiful features. One of her long-fingered hands clutched at her side, staining her pale skin with the same blot of crimson that dripped from her robes, falling like drops of rain on the tree roots as she passed.
Still keeping an impassive expression amidst the excruciating pain of her wound, the woman kept her eyes steadily alert. Just then, she muttered some mysterious words to herself.
"...Now, only he can unleash its true power..."
Her whispered words were drowned by the soul-shattering shrieks that rose up from behind her. The Demon Lady's deep gray orbs narrowed slightly to hear her pursuers closing in on her. In spite of her powers, which by then were among the most respected and greatest in the West, they had managed to wound her mortally. She could no longer maintain her lightning speed as her life began to ebb in slow, tortuous trickles.
A tree was felled, sending a tremor through the forest floor. The Demoness automatically took off, but it did not take long for another of the age-old giants to collapse to the ground, the shuddering of the land causing her to slow herself. Just then, her pursuers began to emerge from the trees. At first glance they resembled human warriors, but their blank, heartless stares and hellish cries proved that they were something else.
The Demon Lady stopped completely in her tracks as a couple of the unnamed creatures leaped on her path and pointed their spiked bamboo spears at her. The most massive of them proudly brandished his weapon that had a bloodstained tip; clearly, he was the one who managed to draw blood from the Demoness.
"Hand it over to us, Lady, and we'll spare your life," he sneered, exposing yellowish uneven teeth in a crooked grin.
She, however, stood steadily and kept her steely gaze as she imperiously raised one of her hands, exposing sharp magenta stripes snaking her wrist. Though she was in pain, the beautiful Demoness looked extremely forbidding; the lesser humanlike entities could not help but draw back slightly at her gesture of power.
"You presume too much," she said in a little more than a whisper, "to think that I will give it to you." Her hand began to glow a poisonous green, a neon whip, bright and hot with its toxic spell, emerged from her fingers. With deadly grace, the Demon Lady swung her arm and sent a wide radius of her enemies up in the air, where they were torn to pieces even before they landed on the soil.
With enraged shrieks, the evil minions rushed at her from all directions, the sharp points of their weapons aimed at her. Effortlessly, the Demoness held out her other hand to conjure another whip from her slender fingers and with her double Dokkasou, she decimated the rest of the entities.
The pupils of her eyes contracted further, and she bent almost double as a fresh wave of pain and exhaustion coursed through her body. Several drops of blood escaped her lips as she clutched further at the wound, worsening on her abdomen. That was extremely cunning of him, to catch her unawares; but it was a cowardly thing to do, to send out minions instead of facing her himself...
"You were no less powerful since the last time our powers clashed, I am impressed," a voice of cold malice said, making the woman look up. She resumed the passive glaze of her face as she brushed away the side locks on the left side of her head away from her flushed face. Like the regal lady that she was, she straightened herself and met ice-blue eyes squarely with her gray orbs from a distance, silent yet knowing.
"The light of the moon is fading from your life." A willowy demon, clad in robes of a pattern of mottled bamboo, stepped out of the trees' shadows with a twisted grin on his slender face. Yellow-green hair slightly covered one side of that evil face, but above all else, most of his locks were pulled back in a low ponytail. "You have but one thing to do: reveal to me where you have kept it!"
"Karatake," the lady said in her composed voice, "you have failed once in your attempt to defile the Waters with your minions, and you have failed yet again. It has been kept in a place where only the worthy would find it, and none of those who wish to mar my blood shall get hold of it...even you."
The demon called Karatake apparently didn't share the other youkai's patience, for his icy oculars immediately narrowed in irritation at her taunt, and his hand tightened its grip on a sharpened bamboo spear similar to that of his minions. Only, the bamboo's wood was made to be as tough as steel, and could easily pierce through tough hide.
"I have no time to play games with you," he hissed, and he immediately leaped up in the air with his spear raised, ready to slit the beautiful demoness on the throat. "And if you have nothing further to say, I see no reason to allow you to draw breath still!"
A deadly whirlwind swept through the forest as Karatake engaged in a furious, bloody battle with the she-youkai, his attacks dodging her whips as she struggled to defend herself with the little strength she had. She fought a noble fight, though in vain it was.
Eventually, they swept clear of the forest, to continue the final lap of their battle on the unforgiving ground of the rocky wasteland beyond. The uneven, dusky obsidian crumbled beneath the energies of the two youkai as they flew across harsh crags and claw-like rises, but it was evident that the battle will end soon. Gushes of blood already flowed from the lady's side, and her breathing became shallower with the passage of each second.
Eventually, they reached the highest and most forbidding point of the region: Minetetsu, the Peak of Iron. At its base, the demoness alighted in an attempt to recover her failing strength, only to have Karatake dash at her, his spear targeted at her heart. She instinctively held up her hands and got hold of the spear near its sharpened tip before it could strike her. Ordinarily, she would have melted it with her poison, but it would deplete her strength further; she couldn't hold him back for long. She was dying, and only sheer will enabled her to go through to the end. She'd better use something beyond the Toxic Flower Claw...
"Die a miserable death, fool!" Karatake bellowed as he gathered his strength behind his hands to finally end the demoness' struggle, but his frosty eyes widened in shock as the Prussian blue moon on her forehead began to glow in the verge of her final attack. A strong ribbon of wind, silvery with a sealing spell, enveloped Karatake and bound him to the cold stone of the Minetetsu, transforming his demon-body to become one with the dark metal for many hundreds of years.
But he put forth his efforts to annihilate his adversary before she sealed him, and he caused a breath of flame to escape from his mouth to loosen her grasp on his bamboo spear, whilst thrusting it clean through one of her lungs. Her equally shocked eyes began to turn glassy as her body fell backwards down into the rough crags below, the yellow flames engulfing her flowing locks and silken robes, her milky skin turning into charred ash.
Her final thoughts returned to someone far younger than her, someone who alone could enable the passing on of her bloodline...someone she loved dearly and had given the task that would fully end the battle centuries later.
"My beloved son, remember me...remember the rhyme..."
The final scarlet rays of the sun vanished from the western horizon, deepening the shadows that have settled on the broken shards of rock and blood.
It's kinda violent for a start, I know, but please bear with me. It took me about a month to write this whole thing out, with all the academic pressure. Please be patient if I only get to update twice a month or even monthly...I really do want to start this fic, you know.