AN: I really did mean to get around to starting a new chapter on this story, especially since I had finished a few other things. However, publishing a book and trying to find an agent got in the way. I really like where this story has come from and I hope to finish. Thanks for the support so far.
If you like my writing, buy my book – check out my profile for the link!
So, obviously, AU, and going further off the track now…and there may be some continuity (hey, it's been a few months), but please let me know if it's anything obvious, and I'll do my best to edit it.
I do not own the characters.
"Follow me," growled Inuyasha as he veered in a completely different direction than his group had been traveling for the past number of hours.
Sango and Miroku exchanged a look with each other. They had to have some suspension of disbelief as they made it through the dark night, but as dawn approached and their feet grew tired, it seemed that their patience started wearing out. The little cat that Sango had befriended also seemed reluctant to let them out of her sight.
Sango looked to Miroku, who nodded and asked, "Can I ask why we're going to your brother's place??"
Sango asked cautiously, "Is there danger ahead, Inuyasha?"
"No," came the too immediate reply.
Sango and Miorku settled into their own thoughts as they trudged through the night. There were simply too many questions to ask and not enough breath to answer them. Inuyasha's thoughts were doing an excellent job keeping him occupied. Why had he fallen through the well in the first place? Why was he even bothering to look after these humans? What business did he have bringing them to his brother, a full demon? Where in the hell was Kagome? Was she safe? Inuyasha didn't know what he'd do with himself if something happened to her…and if he found the one who had harmed her…
Kagome glanced up from the fire to the stars twinkling like diamonds overhead – it was like the stars at home, but here, in the forest…in the past…they seemed so much brighter. Considering the heavens, and her place in them, Kagome knew that somewhere, deep down that it was her destiny to find and purify this jewel. Suddenly, she could see how everything in her life had been preparing her for this moment. Every decision she had made, the death of her father, the pull of the arrow against the bow, and the recent unexplainable events that had turned her world upside down, were they are planning for this? Deep inside she knew there was only one answer. Gathering the bow, she leaned on it and stood up, telling Kaede confidently, "Let's go find it. Show me where it is."
The old woman looked across the flames, at the dark haired girl in front of her and sighed deeply. Kaede had purposely left out the darkest parts of the legend – the path would be full of despair, death would be waiting at every turn, and there would be many trials of heart and spirit. However, if the miko remained pure of heart and vision she would be triumphant, and peace would be restored throughout times. She said gently, "Aye, child, I'm glad you feel that way, but we need not begin our quest this moment."
Kagome sheepishly sat down. Kaede topped off her tea, and questioned, "I must ask, how ye came into this world?"
Warily, Kagome decided it was okay to mention the details of her night up until this point and caught the old woman up with her unbelievable adventure, before she ended with, "But I get the feeling I am not alone. I feel as though there are others who passed through the time slip into this world tonight."
Although Kagome hadn't vocalized it until now, she had definitely felt something pull at her during the evening. Even now, if she concentrated hard enough, there was a sense of three additional auras that she just knew were here from another place – her place.
Hopefully Inuyasha is among them…
Maybe the reason I can't feel him is because he already belongs here.
Or maybe it's because something happened to him…
The old miko considered the story before responding, "It seems as though ye own spiritual powers are growing, which is good, because ye still have many skills to learn and the time grows short. However, ye concern mirrors my own worries exactly. Those others in the prophecy have made no appearance yet, however, an interesting wind crept through the land tonight – I think the changes will be happening soon."
Goosebumps went down Kagome's arms, and she wondered what happened to those who had come over with her, creepy Kanna, the beautiful and cold Kagura, and, she shuddered, Naraku. What had happened when they had crossed into this world? If she had gained spiritual powers, what could that mean for the others? Could that explain Kagura's sudden bizarre departure? Kagome queried, "Do you think the change in time would affect others as well?"
Kaede nodded, "Yes. Traveling between one world and the next is not something that can be done without consequence. The changes may be large in nature or small, depending on the heart of the individual."
Kagome rubbed her arms to try and control her goosebumps when she thought of Naraku. As formidable as he had been in their own world, it seemed there was nothing he would stop at in this place and time. His strength had been incredible, and it had taken much of Kagome's energy and all of her concentration to put him to sleep. She said, half to herself, "I wonder how Inuyasha will change…"
I hope he doesn't change at all…
Kaede looked at her sharply, "What name was that, child?"
"And what was his appearance?"
Kagome's eyes watered at the mental image of him. Would she ever see him again? Shaking her head, she said, "He has long white hair, and is most comfortable in his red pants and the cutest doggy ears…"
"The dog lord's son." It was a statement, not a question.
"He never mentioned his father was…"
"Not surprising. He never had the chance to know his sire."
Kagome's eyes grew wide, "Did you know his father?"
Kaede stoked the fire for a moment, then sipped her tea, before shaking her head and responding, "No. His father died the night he was born…it was at least fifty years ago."
Kagome frowned, "How is that possible? Inuyasha can't be much older than I am!"
Kaede smiled and continued her tale, "Time for mortals is very different than time for youkai and their spawn. A lifetime for us is a mere moment for the strongest demon."
What does that mean for our future?
What future? Whose future? In case you hadn't realized it, you're five hundred years in the past and you've just agreed to take on some sort of Lord of the Rings type quest. You don't even know if Inuyasha is still alive, so how can you even be wondering about your future together?
I still need something to hope for.
Shaking her head to clear any thoughts of the future aside, Kagome asked, "Tell me more."
Kaede considered something a moment before speaking, "I have seen many things in my time on this earth. When I was young, during my apprenticeship, my mistress and I were called to the palace of the Lord of the Western Lands. Such splendor and grandeur my mortal eyes had never seen."
Kagome, asked, her brown eyes wide, "Why were you called?"
"The young lord, the second son of the Great Dog, had gotten into serious trouble."
Something didn't make sense, and Kagome asked, "Didn't they have doctors, er, healers at the palace? Why you?"
"Do ye not know, child?"
Kagome shrugged, "Oh, that Inuyasha is a half demon? I know…"
"He told ye about his human half?" Kaede squinted at her.
Kagome squirmed under the attention, "So?"
"So, it's obvious he must trust ye. Did ye cast a spell on him?"
More squirming, "No, he just told me, okay? Anyway, what was wrong with Inuyasha?"
"As far as we could figure, something he ate or was forced to eat caused him to go into a deep sleep that none could awake him from. With the passing of Inuyasha's father, the new Lord of the West, Inuyasha's brother, had many enemies. Although the two were frequently at odds with each other, no one could figure out why Inuyasha would not wake up, or who was responsible for his slumber."
Inuyasha…was Sleeping Beauty?
But who woke him up?
Kagome sipped her tea, "What happened next?"
"Many remedies has been tried to awaken the young prince, but nothing succeeded. As a last effort, because of his human lineage, we humans were called in to try and wake him. It was a dangerous time to be at the castle – rumors circulated and no one could be trusted. It was only because my mistress had amazing spiritual power, and the protection of Sesshomaru, that we had the confidence to enter the demon's lair."
"My mistress and I gathered herbs from all over the countryside in order to prepare a potion to attempt to wake young Inuyasha. In the end, we were successful."
The fire crackled merrily.
Kagome asked, "Did you ever find out who was responsible?"
Kaede shook her head, "Nay, child, and as soon as Inuyasha awoke, we were escorted away."
Kagome looked concerned, "So, the person that basically tried to kill Inuyasha could still be alive in the kingdom?"
Kaede nodded, "Tis true. For the past five decades the entire region has been in turmoil, because the great dog demon's sword has gone missing. Those who didn't believe that Inuyasha's brother had the strength to rule, wondered where it was. Some view it as a taiyoukai birthright – without it, or the power to wield it, Sesshomaru is seen as a disputed heir to the throne."
Kagome asked tentatively, "The…Tetusuiga?"
Where did that word come from?
Kaede's eyes widened, "Ye've heard of it?"
"I've seen it. At least, I think I have."
"Where is it now? It is with this evil man ye spoke of?"
Kagome shook her head and looked out into the night, "No. I have no idea where it is."
The sword in question was under careful consideration by the discerning golden eyes of the Lord of the Western Lands. How could it be that it had simply been returned to him on the wind? This weapon that he had been secretly searching for during the better part of a century…dropped at his doorstep by a mere slip of a demon. What did it have to do with the legend? Would this finally quiet all those who opposed him? Could he wield it as his father did?
To look at, the Tetsusaiga… was nothing special. It was battered and small…nothing like the paintings and tapestries that lined the walls of the castle. That sword was giant and fearsome – it was rumored and witnessed to have slain over one hundred demons in a single swing.
Breathing deeply, Sesshomaru had waited so long for this moment, that it didn't seem real. So, why were his thoughts broken by the female who delivered it to him? Did she have some scheme in this? How had she actually found the impossible? Why were her pinkish eyes so difficult to get out of his mind?
Cracking his knuckles, he walked forward confidently to the sword and placed his palm around the hilt – and was consequently sent a shock of energy that sent a jolt to his system that sent him reeling away from the object. He felt something he hadn't in a long time – pain.
Looking at his slender fingers, he considered the weapon again. Its very existence seemed to mock him – still, merely having the Tetsusaiga at his side would go a long way in shutting down the rumors that had been swirling around his court for so long.
He painfully returned the sword to its scabbard and placed it at his side. There was only one he could go to, to trust with questions about the Tetsusaiga…
Striding out of the room, he spoke to Jaken, who had been waiting patiently, "Gather my things, this Sesshomaru is leaving the castle."
As Jaken tried to keep up with the inuyoukai's long strides, he asked, "But master, do you think this is the best time?"
"Scouts have spotted Inuyasha en route to the castle."
Kouga decided his best option would be to follow Inuyasha's scent. The best he could figure, wherever Inuyasha was, he would most certainly be looking for Kagome. The prince from a foreign land didn't need to sleep to get energy, he had one purpose, and that was making sure Kagome was safe.
Naraku cracked his neck and lumbered up to a standing position. So much of his plan was going correctly. He had gotten to the past. He knew that the Jewel was somewhere in this world – he could feel its power calling to him and longed to be united with it. He knew the only one who could find it was Kagome. So, he would track her. Looking up, she had left a wide and easy path to follow. When she led him right to the Jewel, that would be his moment to act and hopefully be united with the sword along the way. It was only a matter of time.
AN: Again, apologies for my absence, I really do have plans to finish all my stories. Some just take a little longer than others. Reviews please!