Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.
A/N. Ehehe, so sorry for the late update! T.T Bleargh...I can't believe it's almost school! In just a month! Wah...T-T;;
Anyway, please review! Thanks to all of my reviewers! -huggles each and every one of you- x33
"Is something wrong, little brother?" Sesshomaru eyed Inuyasha ruefully, noticing that the skin under his eyes were slightly dark and tints of red were etched into his chocolate orbs. "You look terrible," he remarked casually, his lips curling slightly into a smirk.
"Feh!" Inuyasha shot back, scowling at his older brother as he removed his jacket from the coat hanger. "Who asked for your opinion?"
"I was simply stating a fact, little brother. There is no need to be so childish and hasty."
"Just shut up, Sesshomaru. Anyway, since when did you care if I looked terrible or not?"
"Who said I did?" Sesshomaru flashed his trademark smirk at his younger brother before gracefully sweeping out of the house. Inuyasha growled a bit and burned holes through his brother's retreating back, but decided to let him go for now. He'd deal with Sesshomaru later.
He rushed out of the door and glided down the sidewalk, his mind calling to the mysterious scene of his dream the previous night.
"How could you betray me? I trusted you...I actually trusted you. How could you turn it all around and betray me?"
The voice echoed through the thick darkness, and something about the voice sent chills running down his spine. The darkness that had a strange, even frightening kind of chill in its depths, with hints of heat licking about in every direction.
What the -? Where the heck am I? he thought in bewilderment, his eyes squinting as he tried to peer through the empty darkness.
"I put my trust in you...I actually wanted to become human for you...but you turned it all around and betrayed me! Why...why would you do such a thing? Why, Kikyo? Why...?"
Kikyo? Inuyasha's eyes widened in shock. What the -
"Why, Kikyo? I really, really trusted you! I really, really...lo...lo - "
Something solid bumped into his shoulder. "What the - " he grunted, extremely annoyed that something had disrupted his thoughts.
"Oh, I apologize..." a soft voice whispered absentmindedly.
Inuyasha whirled around, and his lips curled into a scowl as he glared at Kikyo. "Watch it, wench," he growled, fixing her with a stern stare.
She merely hung her head and rushed off, clutching the strap of her backpack tightly. His frown deepened as his eyes narrowed in puzzled stun.
What's up with her? he thought grudgingly.
Usually, if he snapped at her like that, she would glare at him in that icy way of hers. This was the first time she had actually apologized to him, but it sounded strange, like she was afraid of something. Of him? No, it wasn't that. It was weird to think of Kikyo being afraid, especially of him, of all people. She had made it clear that she wasn't afraid of him when he made sarcastic, mean remarks to her when they first met, and she had made it especially clear that he didn't appeal to her like he appealed to other girls. But she was acting awfully strange today.
Why would she apologize and run off like that? he wondered. Something really weird was going on...
"Hey, Kikyo!" Kagome greeted cheerfully as Kikyo strided slowly into the classroom and took her seat, clutching the strap of her backpack rather tightly.
"Hello, Kagome..." Kikyo smiled weakly, unable to meet her friend's eyes for fear that Kagome would notice that something was wrong.
She did. Kagome's smile faded a bit as her eyes regarded Kikyo with concern. "Is something wrong?" she asked worriedly. "You look...troubled." Sango and Miroku, who sat behind them, nodded their agreement.
Kikyo shook her head. "No, I'm fine," she lied softly, hoping her voice sounded reassuring and perusasive.
"Okay." Kagome tapped her chin thoughtfully as she stared suspiciously at Kikyo. From the corner of her eye, she noticed Inuyasha enter the room with an expression slightly similiar to Kikyo's. "Are you still bothered by that whole legend thing?" She tried to fight a smile.
Kikyo sighed softly, shaking her head furiously. "Of course not," she said defensively. "What reason would I have to be bothered by such nonsense?"
"For once, I agree with the wench," Inuyasha spoke up from beside Kikyo, crossing his arms over his chest with a deep scowl. "I mean...that whole lover thing is just a load of crap. And...who would fall in love with a wench named Kikyo, anyway?" Inuyasha's lips curled into a smirk and he laughed.
Kikyo tightened her grip on the strap of her backpack and stared icily at her desk, a bit surprised that she was taking his cruel remark so seriously. She wasn't sure why she was so offended. Of course, she had never believed that anyone would like her, and she would like them back.
But to hear Inuyasha say something she refused to admit aloud proved to be too much.
"A guy named Inuyasha would, that's who," Kagome cut in defensively. "And stop calling Kikyo a wench! Calling people names isn't very nice, you jerk!"
"Look who's talking! And I can call anyone anything I want, wench!"
Kagome opened her mouth to shoot back a reply, but the bell rang, signaling the start of class. Midoriko looked up from her agenda from behind her desk and stared at her class patiently until the chattering slowly subsided.
"Pass up your homework from the previous night, class."
After all of the homework papers had been collected and placed in a neat pile on her desk, Midoriko adjusted her glasses and cleared her throat before speaking.
"Please take out your history books. We shall read one chapter of the unit we're learning this semester." There was a small commotion as her pupils took out their history books.
"Any volunteers?" Midoriko scanned the class, but could find none. Typical, she thought with an inward sigh. She focused her stern gaze on Inuyasha. "Inuyasha, will you please read page 546 for us?" she asked sweetly, her lips curling into a faint smile.
His scowl clearly said "No," but he obediently turned to the correct page and began to read.
The Jewel of Four Souls or Shikon Jewel, is a magical jewel made up of four souls. The four souls described are from the Shinto philosophy of Naobi: Aramitama (Courage), Nigimitama, (Friendship), Kushimitama (Wisdom), and Sakimitama ( Love). When all united in one person, they unite to form a powerful balance within the soul that can be used for good or evil. The Shikon Jewel was created by the battle of the great shrine maiden Midoriko and a powerful demon.
"Stop right there. Sango, you're next."
Sango slapped Miroku's hand from beneath her desk and forced an innocent smile before lowering her eyes to the paragraph where Inuyasha left off. She began to read.
Midoriko was able to seize the souls of demons and purify them, this power coming from having a positive balance of the four souls within her heart, and in a time of many demons ravaging the earth those who possessed spiritual powers such as hers were considered to be as powerful as one hundred samurai. Her spiritual power alone paled that of any other person alive, and it was said she could purify and destroy ten demons at once. Her final adversary and the one that claimed her life was created by many demons joined and anchored within the evil heart of a human who secretly loved her.
"Thank you, Sango. Eri, please continue."
After seven days and seven nights of fighting, Midoriko realized that she would be unable to fight off the demons, and as she was drawn into the creature's massive jaws, she seized the spirit of the demons and bound it within her own with the last of her power, killing both of them and creating the Shikon Jewel, which burst from her chest. Within the Jewel, her soul and the souls of the demons she bound with it still battle on. The state of this battle is influenced by the person who possesses the Jewel.
"Excellent, Eri. Miroku, carry on."
The Jewel was controlled by various humans and demons for several centuries until it ended up being rediscovered by a demon exterminator in the body of a centipede demon named Mistress Centipede. After realizing what would befall upon the world if the Jewel were to be placed in the wrong hand, he and his men searched for a miko who had the power to purify the Jewel.
"Thank you, Miroku. Hojo, continue, please."
A miko named Kikyo was found and entrusted with the guardianship of the Jewel due to her purifying powers. Kikyo was denied to feel and show any emotions, for if her any signs of emotion would weaken her heart and demons that tried to gain possession of the Jewel would use it to their advantage. Kikyo could not be an ordinary woman because of her life as the protector of the Jewel, and because of it, her heart was full of longing and loneliness.
"How heartbreaking," Kikyo heard someone whisper from in the back of a room, which was followed by a small chorus of giggles. Kikyo sank slightly in her seat. Would she have to put up with an entire semester with this?
"I don't see what's so funny. If there are any more interuptions, there will be detention given out." Midoriko stared sternly at the back of the class before she fixed her gaze upon Hojo and smiled slightly.
"Thank you, Hojo. Yuka, will you continue reading for us?"
A half-demon named Inuyasha happened to cross paths with Kikyo after she defeated a powerful demon. However, she was left weakened and exhausted from the battle. Hidden from sight behind a tree, Inuyasha transformed into a human, for that night was a new moon. Kikyo sensed his presence and confronted him, asking him if he wanted to steal the Jewel as well. However, at this time, Inuyasha did not know what the Shikon Jewel was, or what its powers could do. Satisfied that Inuyasha didn't intend to attack her for the Jewel, Kikyo turned to leave...
Midoriko cut off Yuka in mid-sentence and called on Ayumi to continue.
Kikyo turned to leave, but as she did so, her lack of energy and strength caused her to pass out. Inuyasha rushed over to examine her condition, but ran away when he heard people calling for her. That night, Inuyasha overheard Mistress Centipede, who was searching for the Jewel, excitedly speaking of the Jewel and what its powers could do, and Inuyasha found himself goaded to take the Jewel and turn himself into a full-fledged demon. Therefore, he could finally be accepted among his kind instead of being an outcast among both humans and demons.
Midoriko took a quick glance at the clock. "You have ten minutes left to do whatever you wish. However, I would recommend you finishing today's homework with this free time, so you won't have to do it at home. Your assignment tonight will be the 5 questions on page 546. This assignment is due tomorrow, class."
Midoriko walked over to the blackboard and wrote the assignment on the board as her pupils copied down the assignment in their agendas.
"I will finish the questions with my free time," Kikyo whispered to Kagome. "When do you plan to finish them, Kagome?"
Kagome smiled. "I'll finish them at home. I'm going to talk to Yuka, Eri, Ayumi, Sango, and Miroku. There's only..." Kagome looked at the clock briefly. "...eight minutes left, anyway." With a smile and a wave, Kagome rushed off to chat with her friends.
So much for company. Ignoring a mumble of "geek" from Inuyasha, Kikyo took out her history book and a clean sheet of paper from her binder. She flipped to page 546 and worked on the questions. She finished her assignment just as the bell rang.
Kikyo rushed out of the classroom along with her classmates, and instead of running ahead, she decided to wait for Kagome and the others. She didn't want them to be suspicious if she acted strangely.
Something solid collided roughly into her, but she quickly maintained balance and lifted her head to look at the person who bumped into her.
"Oh, it's you. What's with you getting in my way all the time?" Inuyasha grumbled, scowling deeply at the stunned girl. He paused, as if waiting for her to respond. The look on his face seemed to say, "Are you going to apologize or what?"
Kikyo pursed her lips slightly and narrowed her eyes. When she finally forced herself to look straight into his eyes, a sudden dizziness shot through her and she gasped in shock and pain, clutching her head tightly.
..."Auuugh!" A scream...a terrible scream of anguished pain shattered the emptiness of her mind, and bright red light flashed before her eyes...and blood...crimson, thick blood splattered everywhere, staining the air with its strong stench...and a horrible cackle erupted in such a way that it sent shivers running down her spine...
"...Kikyo! Kikyo!" Someone was calling her name, and their dim cries seemed so far away. With every passing second, the cry became more louder, and she could feel herself being shaken. Her knees buckled slightly, but she straightened, leaning against something solid for support. She blinked her eyes to clear her vision, and she lifted her head to look into the anxious eyes of Higurashi Kagome.
"Kikyo!" Kagome called again, her large eyes of hazel regarding her friend with worry. "Are you okay?"
As Kikyo slowly turned her head to survey the hallway, she could see that many students were watching her curiously, while Inuyasha stood where he had been, staring at her through narrow eyes. Kagome was supporting her, while Sango and Miroku stood beside Kikyo, their eyes wide with concern.
"Are you ill?" Sango inquired.
"Do you need to be taken to the nurse?" Miroku added.
"I-I'm..." Kikyo stammered weakly, shaking her head to shake off the dizziness. She straightened up, holding her head with her palm. "I'm all right...I just...felt odd for a moment..."
Kagome glared at Inuyasha, whose eyes widened with bewilderment. "What did you do to her, you jerk?" she demanded angrily.
"Why are you blaming me? I didn't do anything!" he snapped defensively.
"Yeah, and pigs fly!"
"Whatever! Since when did pigs grow wings, anyway?"
"Exactly!" Kagome shot back.
Kikyo touched Kagome's arm shakily. "It's all right, Kagome," she reassured softly. "He isn't the reason for what happened earlier. I'm all right now. Let's just go home."
Kagome nodded, but she shot Inuyasha an angry glare before turning away and walking through the curious crowd of students with her friends.
Inuyasha narrowed his eyes as he stared at Kikyo's retreating back. Something weird was definitely going on around here...
A small smile of triumph crept onto her lips as the arrow she had just released stuck straight in the center of the tree. She stood motionless, feeling the gentle breeze whip across her face. Finally, she drifted over to the tree and removed the arrows to place them back into her quiver. She looked up at the sky, and, judging from the gray clouds and the dim roar of thunder in the distance, it was going to rain.
Deciding that it was enough for today, Kikyo put her quiver and arrows back into her shed and made her way into her house. She still felt a strange chill inside herself, perhaps from the incident that afternoon, so she decided to make herself a cup of herbal tea. She always depended on herbal tea to make herself feel better when she was upset or troubled, and hopefully, it would work in this situation as well.
Rummaging through the cabinet where she kept her herbs,she found a small package of tea leaves and ripped it open easiyl and soundlessly. Placing the small, green leaves in a pan, she poured boiling water over the plant parts and let them steep for a few minutes before straining them carefully and filling up an empty teacup with the hot liquid. After adding a bit of milk and sugar into each teacup, she stirred it absentmindedly, relishing in the way the steam rose from the teacup and caressed her cold face.
After blowing at the steam for a few minutes, Kikyo sat down on a couch and sipped at her tea, and even though the warm liquid soothed the coldness in her body, it didn't help get rid of the sickening feeling that the incident had scarred into her heart.
What had happened? she wondered. What was the vision that had flashed into her mind? Why did it happen?
Upset and dismayed that she couldn't figure it out, Kikyo decided to take a long walk outside and get some fresh air. It wasn't raining yet, but she didn't mind rainy days anyway. She gulped down her tea and placed the empty teacup into the sink. Not bothering to change her miko outfit, she swept out of her house with a graceful flourish.
The sky was a dull but lovely shade of blue-gray, and the cool breeze swept her into its gentle cradle. Even with the comfort of the weather, Kikyo couldn't take her mind off of the vision she had witnessed that afternoon.
Thunder rumbled in the distance, but the sound was dim in Kikyo's ears. She closed her eyes, wondering.
First the dream, and now the vision. Was it all because of the legend? Perhaps her dream and vision was somehow connected to the legend? Or perhaps it was just coincidental rubbish? Yes, that was probably it...she was getting worked up over nothing.
Satisfied, she turned back and retraced her steps, her feet gliding across the sidewalk soundlessly. But as she closed her eyes, the vision replayed within her mind again, this time, more clear than before.
The echo of the woman's scream of terrible pain and agony pierced through her heart, leaving a bleak coldness that would reach to every part of her body. The flash of red light ripped through the air, and even now, her eyes ached from the chill of the evil illumiance. The blood...thick, crimson blood tainted the once pure air and left behind a sickening fear in her heart. And the laugh...that horrible laugh that echoed in such a way that it seemed as if several of them were all laughing at once...and the malice that dripped from the evil voice sent shivers running down her spine.
Suddenly, a sharp stab of pain surged through her head, and a soft gasp escaped her lips as one hand flew up to clutch her head tightly. The energy drained instantly from her body, leaving behind a light, empty feeling within her, as if she were a mere shell. Thunder crackled again, but its dim roar was lost as Kikyo felt her conscious slip away, and her eyes slowly shut as she collasped.
"It's gonna rain..." Inuyasha lifted his head and scowled at the hazy blue sky, which was shedding tiny tears that splashed onto his face.
Closing his eyes solemnly, he pulled his hood over his head and jammed his hands into his pocket. He never did like the rain for some reason. He didn't really mind it, but something about the rain bothered him.
He walked silently down the path, and all of a sudden, what happened that afternoon came rushing back to him. Instantly, anger surged through him.
Who the heck did that wench Kikyo and that other wench Kagome think they were? First, Kikyo bumped into him that morning. Then when he made that casual remark to her in class, Kagome had the nerve to say that he, of all people, would someday fall in love with Kikyo, of all people.
Then Kikyo bumped into him yet again (well, actually, he did notice that he bumped into her, but of course, he would never admit it.) Anyway, she got in his way, and everyone knew that nobody gets in Tashio Inuyasha's way. Heck, she should have apologized, not that he cared whether people apologized or not. But then she had to act like she was dying or something, and then Kagome blamed him, of all people. What was wrong with them?
Heck, what was wrong with him? Why did he keep thinking about them? Why did he keep thinking about Kikyo? Why did he keep thinking about her and feel like it was his fault everytime she was troubled?
He shook his head vigurously, trying to clear those thoughts. He lifted his head to look at the path before him, and his eyes widened in bewilderment and a barely audible gasp erupted from his throat. A figure was laying near the curb! Was it a person? Well, it had to be...but...who was it?
He rushed over to the figure, only to purse his lips in distaste when he realized that it was...her, of all people. Miyawaza Kikyo.
"This isn't a good time and place to be taking a nap, y'know," he grumbled, crouching to examine her intently. He narrowed his eyes, but they never left the young maiden before him.
Her damp miko outfit was stained with mud and dirt, as well as the delicate skin of her milky face, but the rain quickly purified the grit and left her wet, but clean. Her dark hair was swept behind her into a loose ponytail, and her wet bangs clung onto her tresses. She wore a peaceful expression upon her face, and Inuyasha found himself thinking that it really was true when people said you looked innocent and cute in your sleep. No, cute couldn't be used to describe how Kikyo looked right now...beautiful was more like it.
His head whipped from side to side. How stupid. Kikyo, beautiful...What was he thinking?
It suddenly dawned on him that he couldn't stay there and stare at her forever. What if a car ran them over or something? What if her body was so cold that she got ill? Well, that would do him a favor...he wouldn't see her at school tomorrow. But still...he wasn't that cruel to let someone suffer something he could have prevented.
He sighed loudly, closed his eyes, and opened them to study Kikyo briefly. He froze as she shifted slightly, and even in the pouring rain, he could see that her eyelids were trying to force themselves to open. He pulled his hood tighter over his head, rose to his feet quickly, and rushed off.
She awoke to the sound of fading footsteps. Her eyes managed to fully open, and even though her vison was blurred from the rain, she could see the retreating back of a figure as he turned a corner. Groaning inwardly, she slowly rose into a sitting position and slowly turned her head, surveying the vacant area, dazed.
She recalled passing out when she was walking home, and just a few minutes ago, a familiar voice had pushed its way through the darkness within her subconscious. And then when she awoke, she saw the retreating back of a figure. Who was it?
She closed her eyes. If it was just someone passing by, wouldn't they see her and try to help her? she wondered. Or perhaps it wasn't just someone passing by. Perhaps it was someone who came to check on her and see if she was okay, only to run away when she began to open her eyes.
Kikyo smiled faintly. She didn't know what that person was doing, or who it was, but she could only be thankful that she was all right.