Chapter 19 – Epilogue

The final shards were gathered in an anti-climactic journey that was so easy that Kagome probably could have done it herself. When the jewel was fully completed, Kagome wished it out of existence. With the jewel gone, the group of shard-hunters went their separate ways.

Inuyasha stayed at Kaede's village for a year before the memories of Kikyo grew too overbearing. He left the village, promising to return every few months, and traveled across Feudal Japan once again. He helped those in need doing everything from slaying troublesome demons to harvesting crops. Everywhere he went, good tidings followed and though his half-human, half-demon heritage frightened some, his willingness to lend a helping hand was what most people remembered.

Kirara, in accordance to her loyalty and love for Sango, stayed at Sango's side.

Sango and Miroku married in the Fall. Their wedding was beautiful and earthy, with close friends being the only ones' invited. Sesshomaru, as a wedding gift for them (and to please Kagome) had bought Sango a wedding kimono that fit tailored to Sango's form. Sango had been so overcome by the thoughtful gift, she had all but cried. Tying their lives' together, Sango and Miroku made a vow to rebuild the demon-hunter village and kissed underneath the rising sun.

Shippo, in a brush of clinginess had refused to leave Kagome's side. Sesshomaru grew acclimated to Shippo's presence quite easily, deciding that having the little fox with them made Kagome happy and that could only be a good thing.

Sesshomaru and Kagome took many years to get to know each other, taking their courtship slow and easy. Sesshomaru, ever patient, found that he enjoyed learning each nuance of Kagome's personality. The different ways her eyes sparkled, the different smiles, the scents that followed her everywhere. He wanted to know all of it and found that this slow courtship gave him the time to do so. Kagome, in turn, learnt how to decipher Sesshomaru's moods and what it took to be the Lady of the Western Lands. She took to the etiquette with stubborn determination and devoured the different texts about the Western Lands. Her progress came slow (especially with anything having to do with grace) but Kagome's natural tenacity lent her strength to overcome the near-brutal lessons.

The years passed as Kagome began to age, at first so quick that before she knew it she was in her mid-twenties, but later slowed and stopped altogether. Kaede had the theory that with Kagome's time through the well, she became immune to the effects, her soul adapting to the differences in time by shutting down by increments her aging process.

Sesshomaru was overjoyed. He'd worried about Kagome aging and dying before they could make their vows but now… now? He had all the time in the world, they had all the time in the world. It was knowledge that brought comfort when it seemed like the courtship was becoming unbearably long.

The Eastern Lands remained ruler free for quite a few years before the three remaining Lords decided to host a tournament to find the strongest and most cunning demon to rule the lands. This was decided easily enough as the three remaining Lords; Sesshomaru, Valcrin, and Tupol, were tired of splitting the duties to keep the land grounded.

The matches were bloody and a few demons actually perished before there stood a winner in the arena. His name was Tobe, a higher-level hyena demon with the ability to take human shape. He had long black hair and bright yellow eyes but he was kind, fair, and surprisingly gentle-natured. With his appointment to Lord, the Eastern Lands flourished.

Koga remained a bachelor for seven more years until he settled down with Ayame at behest of the Wolf Tribe Elders. Ayame had gone to them and complained, loudly, that Koga was renegading on his promise and they finally grew tired of hearing it. Koga was actually quite happy in the relationship, enjoying the fiery red-head's wit and strength.

There were little skirmishes around Japan here and there, but with the jewel gone, no one had the power to rise up and spread chaos and pain.

Kagome and Sesshomaru mated nine years after the defeat of Lord Lear and the death of Kikyo. They had no children but instead, Sesshomaru appointed Shippo his heir, grooming the fox kit whom had a leader's mind, to rule.

Kagome and Sesshomaru lived throughout Feudal Japan, making it to 'present' day Japan where Kagome's mother had feared her daughter had died. The reunion was heart-felt and tears were shed but life had grown even brighter with that missing link re-found.

Inuyasha never mated. Content to go about life with an eye towards saving people. The stories of the half-demon were wide-spread and awe-inspiring.

The adventures of the jewel hunting group faded from memory and soon became but legends. As the years passed and the reign of demons ended, humans grew more plentiful and soon the land shifted and changed. Demons passed and blood lines thinned, but not those that had a link to the once priestess that guarded the Jewel of Four Souls. They thrived in the booming metropolis and all was well in their world. Peaceful.

The End.

A/N: Well, this is the last chapter. It was touch and go there for a few chapters as I wasn't certain where to go with the plot and some things were certainlly a surprise but I enjoyed it. Some of it fell flat in my opinion and lacked luster but, overall, I was happy with the ending. A rewrite of Chapters 1 – 8 are in progress and I also plan to post one-shots in this universe and a tiny sequel that'll go through life after Curiosity was finished. A special thanks to Kjminame and Doctari for their help with plot and listening to me ramble at odd ends of the day. Thank you!