-Water, the Ever Unchanging and Changing Essence -


Grandpa hobbled back toward the house from the shrine's storage, several scrolls in his hands. Muttering to himself, he entered the kitchen and sat himself at the table, his notebook and pen already ready. He had been writing in his note book ever since his granddaughter left a year ago with her Lord.

He had discovered that most of the scrolls he had in his shrine storage was devoted to history of youkai. He knew it was there but for the longest time, he had believed them to be a myth but until the reappearance of his granddaughter as one of the mythical woman in the scroll, his belief was turned around a hundred and eighty degree.

A year later, he was close to completing the history of his own granddaughter through the last five hundred years and it was almost as if he was keeping close touch with her. The scrolls were written by his family's ancestor, tracing back to the closest friends of Kagome, the monk and the slayer.

From his understanding of the ancient writing, Kagome had gone through many wars, aiding her Lord mate. By the end of the four hundred reigns, SesshoMaru had taken full control of entire Japan and nearly the entire eastern world. The scroll didn't mention the full details of her life but just enough for him to understand who she had become into. Pride swelled in his heart as he read the scroll, reading her success, her devious plan and kind reigns.

"Father, how is it coming?" Aniko asked as she entered the kitchen, getting ready to prepare dinner.

"If I had studied these scrolls before, I would have been able to foresee all of this. It is amazing, Kagome had done so much. I'm nearly complete." He stood and stretched, closing the notebook and gathering up the scrolls, "Over the time, she disappeared from the society as a Lady of the West. It's hard to tell where she ended up with her husband."

Aniko smiled, "The correct term, I believe Kagome told us is mate. So, where could she be? Did she die or something?"

"No, no I do not believe so. I have just about enough to publish a book about her; sadly, the rest of the world would believe this is a myth. How about those dinner?"

"I am going to make Oden, just thinking about her, I just miss her and to make her favorite dish makes me feel better. And if you do publish this book," She patted the notebook, "It is enough for the world to have more information about 'Lady Yokononishi'. There is very little information out there and you have nearly everything. It is a quiet find."
"Dinner do sound good, daughter. I shall leave you to your cooking. And you are right, I think the world needs more information about Lady Yokononishi, who had single handily changed Japan into what it is nowadays, only if I could know what happened to her toward the end. I'll be in the shrine."

"Sure thing, Father."

Grandpa chuckled as he hobbled out of the kitchen with scrolls in his arms, bounding toward the shine. He paused to see Souta in the courtyard of the shrine, doing his soccer kicks. He shook his head as the ball went down the front steps and knew it was a long way down. Thinking it would do the boy good to run down and back. He hobbled away to the shrine, muttering himself about old age in his bones.

Souta groaned and wished to the Kami that the steps actually have gates to prevent him from losing his ball. He considered about actually asking to install the gates after all. He ran to the steps and halfway down, he stopped, watching three black limos pull up in the street in the front of the steps. His ball had rolled to the first one, stopping at the back door.

The door opened and a tall man with silver hair stepped out, he was dressed in rich dark colored kimono that indicated he was of a higher class. Souta stared with awe as the man picked up his ball and looked up, his face was stoic but a hint of smirk played on his lips, his eyes were bright blue. He had crescent moon on his forehead and he remembered his older sister to have it on her forehead as well her husband from a year ago. This man was unfamiliar to him.

The man stepped away from the door and the two other limos doors opened. Souta gaped as he watched several rich kimono clad people started to come out of the limos. Thinking better to go and warn his mother and grandfather, he ran back up the steps, calling, "Mom, Grandpa! There are people coming here!"
Aniko stepped outside from the kitchen door, "What is it?"
"Three limos, they're coming up, they look very, very rich." Souta said with one breath and Grandpa joined them.

They turned to the entrance to see several people coming on top of the stairs with grace and air of nobility. Aniko gasped as she noticed they were all youkai, with some exception of few. She recognized SesshoMaru and Kagome in the front. They looked as if they came out of Japanese fairy tale pages with their elaborate kimonos. The only people nowadays would wear kimonos of such color and class would be of high nobles.

Kagome stepped to her mother and smiled, "Mom…"

Aniko smiled her eyes watery from tears, "Kagome… you're back…" They both embraced long and finally they broke away, she looked over her daughter's shoulder to the other strangers, "Who are they?"

Kagome smiled as she turned to SesshoMaru, "You remember SesshoMaru. These are my family." Aniko gasped softly as she saw the resemblance of both her daughter and her mate in some of the people. "My sons and daughters" She gestured for her children to step closer, "This is my mother, Aniko, your grandmother." She turned back, "Mom, your grandchildren," She grasped the first man that Souta had saw earlier by the arm, "This is Sesshoichi, you remember when I was pregnant, and this is him. Our first born."

Sesshoichi, with silver hair and blue eyes bowed, "Grandmother, mother had told us about you, keeping fond memories of her family. I am pleased to meet you at last."

Aniko laughed, "Oh, you don't have to be so formal with us."

Kagome smiled and turned to silver haired and golden eyed woman, she looked every bit like her father but with her mother's feature. "My eldest daughter, Hanaginko." She bowed as well, demurely and smiling. "Then, Jirokin." She gestured to the second male, her second son with black hair and golden eyes, "He is every bit like his uncle, InuYasah." She laughed as Jirokin crossed his arms on his chest, muttering a soft 'keh' under his breath. "Miya and Miyo, twin daughters." She turned to identical women.

Aniko smiled as she saw two identical women, they looked every bit like her mother when she was younger, and one had an exception of golden eyes. She assumed they were strong willed and defiant like Kagome once was.

"Our last son, Togazo." Kagome waved her hand to the younger man with high pony tail, he grinned rakishly, exposing his canine teeth. He was named after his grandfather and had his personality to boot.

SesshoMaru stepped up to Kagome and turned sideway to expose a young girl, few years younger than Souta hiding behind her father's hakama. "Kohana."

Kagome smiled as she pulled Kohana's hand away from her father's hakama, "She's rather very shy. Our youngest." She pushed Kohana to stand in front of her, she had silver hair and golden eyes, yet her feature were soft and reminded Aniko of Kagome when she was younger.

Aniko smiled, "Hello Kohana, you're a beautiful girl. Oh, Kagome, it's a dream come true for you to be alive after five hundred years and to bring your family to us."

Kagome nodded, "I wanted to come last year but SesshoMaru felt it was wise for you to wait a year, to adjust to the time change in all of us. I missed you Mom. Never once I have forgotten you or my family."

Her grandfather stood by, silently watching, observing the people with pride in his heart. He knew he could die happy, to see his great-grandchildren at last, despite them being youkai and many hundred years older than himself and now he knew how Yokononishi fared in the end of his book.

"Remember I told you about Shippo and Rin?" Kagome asked and she saw her mother nod. She gestured to the tall red haired man standing beside a youkai woman, "Shippo, and his mate, Souten. Then," She turned to a human looking woman with long brown hair and deep brown eyes, "Rin and her husband Kohaku, they are the only two humans to remain immoral along with the family. Kohaku's sister was our ancestor, Sango."

Grandpa nodded, "I recently learned that. Kagome, I've been following your life through the old scrolls left in the shrine. You've done amazing things."

"Thank you grandpa. Is that Oden I'm smelling?"

SesshoMaru cracked a smile as he wrapped his arm around Kagome's waist, "She's been looking forward to eating Oden after five hundred years."
Aniko laughed, "Oh my, I better prepare more for everyone. I suppose it would be good to eat outside this evening…" She turned and gestured to the house. Soon, her grandchildren burst with chatters, following her to help her and get to know their grandmother after all those years.

SesshoMaru watched his children scatter after Kagome's human family and turned to her, meeting her eyes of ocean, "Promise kept, we survive those five hundred years… Are you happy?"
Kagome looked up to meet his eyes of fire, "I've always been happy, not even one moment I've ever felt sad in my entire life, yes, all five hundred years."

He traced her cheek and leaned down, giving her kiss, "Good, look forward to another five hundred years, more children?"
She laughed at him, "Always, for just you."


Souta smiled as he came to the last page of the book, the tale of Lady Yokononishi, he spoke, his old voice strong as he read to his grandchildren gathered around his legs, watching with rapt attention. "After five turns of centuries, despite the fading away legendary empress, Yokononishi remained alive, blended with the changing of time, becoming into a fabled myth, she remained true and loyal to her mate, Lord SesshoMaru, whose name also faded away as well, both becoming nothing more than a mist in a dream of the mortal kinds. They lived long and happy, with their children and their children as well.

Perhaps, in the street or in the restaurant, if you ever come to find a woman with ebony hair and eyes of water, with a man of a noble look, silver hair and the eyes of sunset, perhaps, they are Yokononishi and SesshoMaru of the myth, though don't ask, for they will deny and laugh, their time as noble creatures had long been over and they merely lives among us, like a wisp in the wind."

He closed the book and smiled as he brought the story to conclusion that he remembered by memory, "She once told me a long time ago, 'This is simply the story of Kagome, a girl who was everything, a simple school girl to a Miko and into a Geisha then to a Lady and finally an Empress. But the soul remained the same, much as water carves path in the earth, always changing, adapting but the essence stay the same. That is who I am, Kagome.'"

The End