The first addition to 'The Bound Youkai Series'

Title: The Bound Youkai

Author: Kiba/KibaSin

Warning: Slight Nudity/Language

Summary: A 'chance' meeting between a freezing prince, and a magically bound youkai female.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Inuyasha characters.

Rating: PG-13/T

Genre: General

The midsummer night air began to shift and change for the new day, the smell of heat washing over the land just as the dawning sun began peeking over the eastern horizon. This did not bother the lone, human looking, creature, which seemed to be relaxed underneath a very large, very old tree, one that housed a youkai spirit within. Though this change did not bother this one creature, many others began rising, stretching, and beginning their lives once more on this, what seemed to be, wonderful day. However, all new days hold many dark secrets, which cling to the shadows that the brightly burning sun cannot touch –

- This, too, did not bother our lone figure that sat beneath this ancient tree, his thoughts turning toward the newest development within his life. They had been small changes at first, simple things, really. His mother, once sweet, kind… and, alive, had turned into a distant person who barely acknowledged his presence, merely staring out her window toward the east, or into her mirror as she constantly brushed her long, flowing, golden hair. When he found out the reason for this change, he, too, had been shocked to find that his father's heart had been snatch away from his mother's grasp, only to be placed within that of a human hime's. He'd understood his mother's sudden change then, though… that was not when he'd began to drift.

No, his heart began to freeze over when they received word that his father, Touga, was challenged to a death match. His father, at the time, had been away with his new love, and did not receive word about anything until it was to late. After reading the challenge, though he begged her many times not to go, his mother strapped on her armor, her ancient weapon handed down throughout her family line, and walked out of the castle. He knew she was merely trying to prove her love for his father, but… when she did not return after two weeks…

When she did not return, he finally sent word to his father of his mother's death. Touga had, from what he heard, managed to sneak into the hime's bedding chamber many times over those two weeks, courting her to become his second mate, though the ancient laws of youkai looked down upon the idea. One should be loyal to their only mate, since inuyoukai, as they were, should only have one mate for their entire lives. No that did not put full meaning into it: inuyoukai should mate with one person, and one person only, for the rest of their long lives, unless their mate happens to die.

His father, Touga, was a lucky bastard, indeed.

True, his father returned, only to go after the male who took the life of his first mate, but when he returned he brought no body, nothing that would seal the memory of her within the House of the Moon. The bastard didn't even bring back her beloved weapon; no, he, Sesshoumaru, rushed to the battleground using his nose to find his mother's dead form, blood covering her from head to toe, her body also covered in another substance, which he could only guess was the monster's—the one that took her life—semen. After washing her of most of the blood using his kimono, Sesshoumaru had been sickened to find, from the look of her, they not only raped, and killed her, but her opponent, or opponents', beat her until her once beautiful face was swollen beyond recognition.

If his father had not already done so, he would have killed the one who'd challenged their family. Surely, he would have, for after washing her the best he could, Sesshoumaru had moved to a small meadow miles away from where the battleground lie, before placing her upon the grass. Using his own claws, which had still not been washed, he'd begun to dig her burial site. After he was done, his claws were mostly broken, some still bleeding from trying to dig with his human looking hands, instead of transforming into his dog-like form.

No, he could not have risked that, not even after putting her to rest within the earth she once loved. Not even after he placed her sword within the ground too not only mark the place, but also to create a barrier. It would protect her body until she turned to nothing but dust, mixing with the soil where she was buried. The sword, however, would find him once that happened, for he held the sheath and the sword would go to where its sheath was located, whether in the hands of good, or evil. He could not risk transformation at all, for he was afraid at that moment, when his first tears melted into the ground where his mother lie that should he transform… he would destroy half the Western Lands -

- No, he would destroy the blasted castle where that whore of a hime resided. It was her fault that his mother was dead, for if she had not cast her sorcery over his father then his mother would still be alive! If she had not appeared before his father's eyes… his mother would not have gone through such a horrible, un-honorable, fate that she was sealed with. However, in the end, his mind would forever place blame on the princess, for surely she was the one who wished to merely rip his father's heart from his chest before feasting upon it like the beast she was.

So, he did not risk transformation, but he did not return to the House of the Moon, either. His father did not need him, no, for he had not yet battled him for the title of Western Lord. So, Sesshoumaru wandered into the forest, trying to gather his thoughts, control the raging beast within him, before going back to what he thought was no longer his home. No, the House of the Moon could not be his home, and when his father finally sucked in his last breath he, Sesshoumaru, was going to burn it to the ground, before making a palace better than the House of the Moon ever could be. Maybe with the burning, he would wash away his memories of this terrible year. Maybe…

Just maybe…

The sun finally broke through the limbs of the youkai tree against his back, casting a shadow over his face where the leaves lie. However, his eyes barely opened, before he shifted his bangs further down to block the unwanted light. Darkness surrounded him now; he no longer needed the light that wished to brighten the new day. No, Sesshoumaru would rather walk the darkest cavern at this point, rather than ever once stepping out into the light. Perhaps it was because his heart was freezing over, his thoughts turning toward supreme conquest, instead of knowledge as he used to. Now, he merely wished to stalk the night, leaving the day to the creature's that wished to be bathed in its glow.

Growling, Sesshoumaru turned his face to the side, feeling the heat of the sun on his striped cheek, yet wishing that he could merely grab the glowing ball from the sky and throw it to the darkest reaches of the universe. His lip lifted in a snarl until the youkai tree behind him shifted its limbs to block the daylight, obviously thinking he wished to sleep. He needed no sleep; he needed blood running off his claws, he needed to watch as the House of the Moon became nothing but ash, he needed to watch his bastard father's body be sliced open in the cruelest of ways—what he needed, he could not have.

Someone would always be there to stop him, no matter how hard he tried. After all, that was what he'd been taught all his life. However, that could not compare to the loyalty he had to his mother. His vast knowledge could not compare to his loyalty, which demanded that he right the wrong his father had done. It demanded that he kill the hime who'd stolen his father's heart, squeezing it between her mortal fingers; yes, he, too, was mortal, but that bitch was far more mortal than he would ever wish to be.

Tilting his head back, Sesshoumaru allowed his golden eyes to open a crack, watching silently as the world began to move around him. His hand twitched a little, telling him of the death and despair he wished to bring. The destruction he could bring upon the land. The ultimate sacrifice he was willing to make—to take his life just to kill those who'd hurt his mother to the point where she went up against an opponent she stood no chance against. To the point where his father, once strong and dignified, fell like a rock for a ningen hime who probably wanted the title of Lady of the West and that was it. Someone might try to stop him, but in the end they would have to rebuild nearly everything they cherished.

Sesshoumaru, finally bringing his right knee up to place his hand upon, sniffed the air gently. It was best to be ready than allowing an enemy to come upon you without you ever realizing they were there. Besides, he was youkai; he was not one of those foolish ningen who needed to be protected by weapons such as arrows, or spears. However, his eyes closed once more when he caught scent of the dusking sun, mixed with the slight scent of a thunderstorm, gently bathed in lilacs. The scent was strange, yet refreshing, and he felt his beast rear its head, catching the feminine whiff of female upon the edge. However, the scent seemed old and wise, telling him that there was a youkai female deeper within the forest… yet he felt no aura, except for that of another youkai tree.

Surely a youkai tree would not give off that type of scent. Besides, breathing deeply, he could tell that the scent was that of a beautifully bathed tori, yet he could not place which type of tori the female was. It caught him as odd, and on instinct Sesshoumaru's limbs moved to place him on his feet. His beast controlled the impulse, but he began walking deeper into the forest, quite happy to be getting out of the sun, since the trees crowded around casting mere shadows upon the cool ground.

His long haori sleeves, designed with red hexagons that contained simple red flower designs, flowed back when the trees began to move, their branches moving in the wind. It also picked up his long silver hair, and boa, both of which hung loosely down his back. He'd never been one to tie it back, since he liked to let it flow naturally in the wind, or simply lay against his back. After all, his hair was not thick, it did not create much heat on a hot day, so why should he tie it back like his father always did.

His sharp golden eyes narrowed, his feet picking up pace when swore he heard his name softly whispered on the wind. However, the 'shoooooooshoo' sound cut it off, making him feel like he was finally beginning to lose his mind. Perhaps he was, but he knew for a fact that his senses still worked to perfection, and he just hoped that his beast was not creating the scent itself trying to get him moving to where it wanted him to go. However, the scent continued to caress his senses, and he breathed deeply to inhale as much as he could. After all, his nose seemed to think that if he took enough in he'd taste it upon his tongue –

- Besides, the scent was beautiful, why waste it?

He walked for hours, never understanding how the scent had traveled so far. Perhaps it was merely his imagination, but the scent seemed to get stronger at certain moments, before breaking apart to where his beast began sniffing for it. It was clear to him now that his beast merely wanted to rut with the female, but he would not be driven to such meaningless desires, since the female would probably be killed in the end. After all, his darkening thoughts were still lingering in the back of his mind, making it nearly impossible to think about anything such as bodily pleasures. However, his beast was merely that, a beast that wanted something and thought he would jump to get it for him. Well, the animal was wrong, and would learn a lesson later on when he killed the female with his claws.

No one ran from him and got away. It was obvious that either the female was doing that, or he merely wished to create a female that was as perfect as his mother, searching for her until the end of his days. His thoughts would forever be his, but it would occupy him, and he was beginning to think that perhaps that was what was happening… until he came upon the northern border, which separated the Northern Lands from the Western Lands.

His nose rose into the air, sniffing delicately, trying to catch everything he could on the wind. However, it came at him from the west suddenly, making him turn when the scent assaulted him once more. His feet moved of their own accord, traveling into the deepest, darkest part of the forest and for a moment he felt like he was finally home. He felt like he could merely reach out and touch the darkness, watching as it twisted around his form before dragging him down into the darkest levels of Hell. Still, his mind continued to travel backward in time, and his thoughts were continued over and over again: Damn you, father, you let mother die… you let her die for your mortal bitch… you went away… she wanted to please you, making it your fault… you let mother die… you let her die… When this Sesshoumaru is strong enough, I will slice your head from your shoulders, before cutting your whore to pieces before your dying form… Yes, I shall take pleasure in that, father…

On and on the torment of seeing his mother's form within his arms flashed around the thoughts. The knowledge that she'd died to please his father, while the male merely raced off to his ningen whore once more, probably to tell her the wonderful news, caused him to drift a little further. Still, another voice nagged at the back of his mind, asking him many things. Perhaps his mother's soul would find love once she returned to the world. Perhaps his father was crying within the arms of the whore he'd chosen. Perhaps… perhaps… perhaps… perhaps… continued over and over again, while maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe

- It continued until he could not take it anymore and thrust his poison filled claws into a tree nearby. It was then he heard the solemn voice just a little deeper beyond the trees. It was growled out, anger clear within its feminine depths.

"You should have more respect for the nature living around you, youngling." Sesshoumaru lifted his eyes, gazing beyond the trees at the most awe inspiring site he'd seen in his entire life. A woman, tori-youkai by smell, was lifted so her body was upright against the tree at her back, a tree that seemed to hold her youki within it. However, the strangest thing was her midsection was covered by the trunk, her body put at an angle that made her look as if she'd grown from the tree itself. He could see only one of her legs, half her thigh hanging from the inside of the tree while the rest of her long leg hung down limply—looking closer, however, he could see her other foot sticking out further down the trunk, telling him of her height. Both her hands seemed to be trapped within the tree's trunk, making her look as if she'd struggled greatly to get that far out. Glancing upward, Sesshoumaru took in the markings she held upon her face, the silver and black strips on her cheeks, along with an 'X' mark on her forehead, one line silver, the other black. Her midnight hair, silver streaks throughout the strands, hid her eyes from him, but when he looked close enough he could see flashing red and blue peeking out from beneath the bangs.

A golden chain hung from around her neck, a small round jewel hanging off the end. The power radiating from it was great, but he did not need power simply given to him—no, he would obtain it on his own. Her tattered clothing, which looked to have once been a royal purple, was sliced to pieces, most of it grown into the tree as she was, while the rest hung off her almost completely naked skin. She was almost completely naked because one of her naked breasts—full enough to fit in his hand, yet, not large enough to be overly so—was covered by a piece of bark which had grown over her chest, up over her shoulder until it connected with the tree once more. However, her other breast was firm, would have been bouncy if she was not attached to her tree, and shown in plain sight, the dark nipple perky in the cool air around them.

Her skin was paler than the moon, yet gave off the healthiest glow he'd ever seen. Just as her locks seemed to shine in the dark, though the vines from the, what he'd now concluded was a willow, were strung throughout them, giving them an earthy look. Now that he looked harder, he noticed that the vines were grown over almost each limb she had, but were thin enough to be unnoticeable.

He was about to speak when the female cut him off, "What do you want, youngling? What do you think you can find here?" Her voice was like the morning sun, yet it seemed to be chipped with ice that had formed over many years. Many, many heart fallen years that she could not control.

He could not seem to answer her question, and instead asked his own. "Who are you?" he said, walking closer, making sure his eyes were still cold and hard, making him look deadly to those around. However, the tori youkai merely gave a smirk, as he continued, "What, are you?"

However, her eyes narrowed a little, before her lips turned into a neutral expression as she said, "What are you, youngling?" Her head never raised, but he had a faint feeling that her keen predator eyes were gazing at him like he was nothing more than scum behind her leg, which she had begun to swing back and forth against the tree she hung from.

Growling, Sesshoumaru felt anger rise within him, hotter than the anger he felt when he had learned of his father's affair; hotter than when he found his mother's dead body; hotter than any he had felt before. However, the demoness before him continued to smirk, her leg continuing its motions as if she didn't have a care in the world. "Do not speak to this Sesshoumaru as if he is just a pup to throw around for your pleasure!" he snapped, his fangs bore to the female. He noticed how her head tilted to the side, before turning to the other side quickly, as if trying to look at him from different angles, but she did not seem to be bothered by his sudden dose of anger.

Her neutral expression turned to amusement, obviously having dealt with this many times in the past. "Now, now, Sesshoumaru, no need to get hasty. This Kagome meant no harm, for she calls all wandering souls that."

"Wandering souls?" he asked. Seeing her nod, he snorted, saying, "You mean to tell this Sesshoumaru he is a wandering soul?"

"All souls who begin to split come here," she whispered. "You are beginning to swim in the darkness that surrounds us, Prince Sesshoumaru. You will soon be devoured by it, your inner youkai taking full control while you wallow inside your memories of the past…"

Narrowing his eyes, he said, "This Sesshoumaru will never lose that much control, wench!"

Her eyes, which were still covered by her hair, flashed a dangerous red, her pupils becoming a dark purple, while her wrists transformed into the rough skin of a birds, her talons probably forming inside the trunk. Her hair began to change, transforming into black features, when Sesshoumaru felt something slam against his back. It was not enough to throw him off balance, but he turned to find the branches of the trees whipping out at him, while the female screeched, "My name is Kagome; Ka-go-me. Too many times have I been called a wench, along with many others names you men decide I am! You should know these, Sesshoumaru: whore, slut, cock sucking hag… oh, or perhaps you'd be more accustomed to this term, dog, youkai bitch!"

Her body tugged away from the tree she resided on, before her body began changing into her true form—the smell golden chain around her neck transformed into a large silver chain, a small mirror, the jewel centered in the middle, hanging from the end. Her mouth stretched out, but before she completed her transformation she cried, "Do not cross me, young prince, for I control this part of the forest! I control this place you have been called to! I control your soul if I wish!"

The jewel shined through the darkness, and Sesshoumaru felt fear creep up his spine when his body suddenly stopped on him. He growled, angered that this female had gotten the upper hand on him, but when he managed to glance at her from the corner of his eye he noticed that she was no longer transforming, but had simple changed back to her humanoid form. It was strange, since her eyes were once more covered by her bangs, her head tilted downward while her lip curled up into a deadly smile, which told him that the magic working here was very ancient and he would not be able to control what happened.

"Tell me, Prince, what bothers your soul?" she whispered, her smile never wavering. The jewel around her neck glowed suddenly, before she said, "You tell me your story and I'll tell mine." Her smile turned even more cunning, the jewel around her neck glowing like the sun, brightening the darkness surrounding them. However, even though the darkness seemed to scream and shrink away it continued to leak its way up the trunk of her tree, wrapping itself around her body as if it were alive.

It was then he realized she was no ordinary demoness. Whoever had wronged her had corrupted her soul until she turned into a creature of darkness. A powerful female who sought out souls that began walking in darkness. For what reason he did not know, but this Kagome woman was deadly to him and to all. However, the tree she was on stopped her from leaving this place, and for that he was glad.

Opening his mouth, Sesshoumaru asked, "Why are you bound to that tree?"

Finally, her eyes lifted, and he was sucked into their blue depths, the dark oceans seeming to swim with gray. When she blinked they flashed to their red color, telling him that this demoness could be very dangerous to him. Especially when he took notice of the branches still pointed straight in his direction. Perhaps this demoness judged wandering souls more than questioned them. "That is a very long story, Prince Sesshoumaru. However, I shall not tell you my story until you tell me yours. Then I may help you from this place you have traveled to… I can stop you from becoming like me." Her breasts heaved upward as she sighed, her eyes blinking at him, before they rested halfway downward, barely peeking out at him.

Wanting his information, Sesshoumaru began telling her of his father's disloyalty, how his mother went out to please him, hopefully bringing him back into her arms, how his father continued to break the ancient laws of youkai by bedding another woman when he already had a mate. He told her everything, from the time when he first noticed his father's strange behavior, to when he buried his mother's remains. Something within him wanted to tell something; someone, and he felt his beast whine thoughtfully as he did, telling him that this was what he needed to do. Throughout the entire time the demoness Kagome remained silent, her eyes gazing at him as if she barely cared, yet her expression told him that she was interested in his tale, probably even becoming apart of it, since he felt the treads of magic caress his skin, weaving back to her entrapped body.

Kagome bowed her head when he finished, her magic showing her his life clearly within her mind. However, in the darkest reaches of her mind she felt her old life, when she was a complete soul, reaching out to touch her. However, she pushed it into the background once more, not wishing to be reminded that she was no longer a complete soul, but merely a half. She did not wish to remember the man she thought loved her, but in the end betrayed her, which locked her into this dark place. Over the centuries, however, she became accustomed to being alone, speaking with wandering souls and placing them back onto the path they were meant to take once more.

Closing her eyes for the longest time, she allowed his future to flow from the strings of time and into her body. She felt compassion when she saw the hardships he would face, but she suddenly felt joy rush through her body when she saw a familiar face underneath him, their body's link together in a passionate embrace. However, the voice of the future taiyoukai cause another smile to appear on her lips, happy to know that her other half would find happiness in the end. Her other half, which had been thrust into a life where it would forever be ningen, possibly miko each time, reminding her of her old life when its wandering self came to her, before she sent it on its way.

Nodding her head, she lifted her eyes, locking them with the unmoving prince once more, giving a small smirk. "Do you know why you are here, wanderer?" she asked, her fangs shining in the light made by the jewel around her neck.

"No," he whispered, his eyes haunted by his current life.

"Very well, wandering soul of Sesshoumaru, you have told me your story, I shall tell you mine in a shorter version then it happened. My life has been long lived since I was cursed to forever remain here, but before then… before that accursed wish I was a miko, a simple ningen who protected her village. My name had not always been Kagome, but it has long since passed when I forgot the name once given to me by my birth mother. My life, Prince Sesshoumaru, has been filled with many things: happiness, despair, love, torment, loneliness, joy, and destruction. However, Prince Sesshoumaru, these things were apart of my life before that accursed wish! Before I met that damned man who once ruled over the Northern Lands… who ruled this piece of land before the Western Lord, probably your grandfather drove him out," the demoness gave a soft sigh, "That, however, is only a summary of my life, before and after I was chosen to become the holder of the Shikon no Tama…

"I was young, and foolish, trying to protect a jewel with my powers, while protecting the village as well. However, those who possess the Shikon no Tama bring nothing but unhappiness to those around them, and in the end I left the village I was born in, becoming a wandering miko. I helped many; I was kind to all, no matter what they were: hanyou, youkai, or ningen, it did not matter to me. However, even the iron I used to create a sealing necklace did nothing to stop the youkai from coming after the power the Shikon no Tama possessed so many years' ago. Within time, though, I found a small village where another miko resided and she allowed me to stay because with our combined power we could easily fight off not only the village attackers but youkai, ningen, and hanyou coming for the Shikon around my neck," her eyes took on a haunted look, telling Sesshoumaru that she was reliving her life within her consciousness.

Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes, wishing now that he could move, since he was accustomed to sitting before his mother when she told a story. However, he knew with this female he should not, for not only was she clearly not his mother, but she was poorly dressed, though that did not seem to bother her. It seemed that her modesty had been lost to the ages, along with most of her memories, since she was blinking away things, before apologizing for getting distracted. Still, his eyes stayed locked on the demoness who was bound to remain within this forest for the rest of eternity.

"I stayed for the longest time, the villagers treated me like I'd been born there, and I loved them as a mother loves her children," her eyes darkened with the words. "The current miko, however, died around ten years later, but she would always ask me why I never seemed to age… why I seemed to forever be young, though, clearly I was not. I found out many years later that the jewel around my neck thought of me as its truest, kindest, and most unselfish protector it had ever had, so it slowed my aging. However, watching people die around me from illness, old age—when I did not age—, war and famine I began trying to take my life. Of course, the Shikon would not allow this, and protected me from myself each time…" her voice was nothing but a whisper. "Still, even now, I wish for my death.

"As a shy, modest young maiden I never gave myself to a man. I believed that I should give my greatest gift to the man I learned to love, but every man I tried to love died years later. I knew they would, but still, I hoped that perhaps they would not. They did, they always did, in the end. The Shikon no Tama never gave me that, no, it never will," she growled in anger, her lips pulling back to show off her fangs. "However, after… hm… two hundred years of living I met the most beautiful youkai male. You have probably heard of him, have you not? He was a deer youkai, Lord of the Northern Lands years' ago. I believe he was called Sai."

"Yes," Sesshoumaru replied, "I have heard of Sai. It is said that he took on a second mate, thrusting his first into the background, much like my father did."

Smiling, Kagome said, "Those stories are true, young prince. They are, for I was his first mate. True, for many years I was ningen, but he made me a promise. That through his love he would make me happy… that we would live together forever—that we would be mated once he found a way. That… we would be one." She stopped for a moment, her eyes flashing to their red form, doubling in size, "He lied."

Unsure as to what to say, Sesshoumaru replied, "Why would he lie about such things? They are sacred among youkai."

Though her eyes returned to their blue color, he knew her mood was still darkened by her slumped stance. "I do not know why he lied—at least, not completely. However, I do know now that he wanted my power; he wanted the power the Shikon might give when we mated. He did not get it then, and would never get it, for that is the way of the Jewel of Four Souls," she sighed, "You see, Sesshoumaru, I met him on the day he said we would mate. He told me in order to complete the bond he would need the Shikon, and like the fool I was I handed it over without question. I truly was a fool, for I would have seen the greed within his eyes otherwise, instead of the false love I was given.

"What a fool he was, as well," she began to ramble. "He truly thought the Shikon no Tama would hand over the power within it when we mated. I still, these many years after his wandering, his madness, his death, cannot believe that he believed that the Shikon would even give him an ounce of power. Not for his selfish wish, no. Oh, no, never for a wish that was based off his foolish desires to have the most loyal, who would also be the strongest female mate in the land." Turning her eyes toward Sesshoumaru, she said, "That is why the Shikon placed me in this form, you know. That is why I am a called the 'Black Phoenix of Hell'. He wished for me to be another deer youkai, yet I became a tori… poor him, ne?"

"No, not truly," Sesshoumaru replied. His ears continued to listen, understanding what she meant by her story being long. However, he sensed that she would soon end the story for some reason or other. Still –

"He made his wish, transforming me into this creature. However, after many years' together, Sai noticed one thing odd about me. I never told him, but after he made his selfish wish on the Shikon it became apart of me. The Shikon and I were one, just as it had wished to be, but the soul of Midoriko was disappointed with me, and decided my fate—that I shall tell you later, however, for I do not wish to go off on that at the moment, young prince. However, there was another factor that wasn't brought into the relationship before many years later when the soul of Midoriko visited me. She later told me that with the Shikon no Tama apart of my body I could not bare children, and when I told Sai out of love… he backhanded me, before disappearing suddenly for days on end…"

- her story was beginning to sound a lot like his mother's. However, she was still alive, though something told him that she was not complete in a way. That she was not completely truthful when it came to her story… or perhaps it was something else underneath it.

"I shall tell you something else, Prince Sesshoumaru," she whispered, her eyes catching his. "I shall tell you this because I have told no one else, and I know, from seeing what you will become, that you need to know this. You see, Prince Sesshoumaru, my soul was ripped in half when the Shikon no Tama became apart of me. It could not survive within me, for my soul was too large, to massive. So, Midoriko ripped my soul in two when I had not noticed, melding together her soul with mine. However, my other half shall forever be ningen… when you meet her, youngling, her name shall be the same as mine. Best you remember that.

"Now, the end of my story, Sesshoumaru," she said. "My mate brought home a wife as he called her. However, that bitch quickly took over my place, before Midoriko decided it best not to completely allow my soul to break from the pain I felt. The pain that I was being cast aside for a female he met in the forest one day. I was a good mate, yet he wanted another! So, the day when I was crying beneath this tree was the day I felt its ki mix with my own, before suddenly I was sucked into a very dark place. A place where no one could reach me, before finally I blossomed into this creature like a flower.

"Though my soul was trapped inside this forest, eventually becoming one with all the nature around me, I was happy to know that Sai got what he deserved. My own youkai would not allow me to simple let him suffer, but to make him suffer, which was what I did, from right here. With all this magic, and my aura spread out through the forest it was quite easy, actually," she ended, giving another soft sigh. "Of course, my story is much longer, but the shortened version is easier to explain. My life has had too much disaster to put it all in words."

She coughed a little, her bouncing breast catching his attention. "Now, tell me wanderer, why are you here?"

"To stop the darkness from taking me," he whispered.

She nodded, "Yes, very good, youngling. You have learned well. However, you must keep this knowledge with you forever, even when you find yourself in the worse position. You must remember that though there is another side to life, you need to focus on the side you're living on, instead of both at once.

"Now, wanderer, who are you?" she asked.

"Sesshoumaru, Prince of the Western Lands, inuyoukai who will be faithful to his mate," he replied.

She dipped her head in acknowledgement, before casting her face to the side, saying, "You may leave now, Prince Sesshoumaru. Hopefully, we do not meet again in the future. However, should you meet my other half, make her happy, for though she will be a simple village ningen she shall have the kindest heart… she will be loyal to her friends.

"Now, goodbye," her voice became a whisper on the wind, before Sesshoumaru felt like he'd been blown out of the darkest reaches of the forest. However, in his line of sight were her eyes, which flashed again in the darkness, before his connection to her disappeared and he found himself once more in the light of the day. Though, at first he wished it were only a dream, he knew it was not for a simple reason: he did not dream while standing erect.

Turning from the entrance to the strangely bound youkai female named Kagome, however, Sesshoumaru began to walk, traveling, ready to face his future. Whatever they threw at him he would be ready for it, for her listening ears would more in likely hear him from wherever he decided to speak with her. However, for now he was traveling back to the home he wished to burn, though he knew that the ancient place would still be standing for many years. After all, not only should he cherish his future, but he should also cherish his past.

Shaking his head, Sesshoumaru shot off at youkai speed, racing through the trees, wishing to simply feel the sun beating down on him for the rest of the day. Though his heart still ached for his dead mother, he knew that he had to continue on, cherishing the days he spent with his mother, remembering that she had lived, but never dwelling on the past forever. After all, that, too, could affect his future, and after meeting the bound youkai Kagome he no longer wished to simply let himself be overcome with darkness.

Light seemed more appealing now.