Summary: She robs the rich to feed the poor, but one of the rich lords will turn out to be more than she bargained for.
Disclaimer: I do not own InuYasha or Robin Hood or anything else that makes money... I only own this fan fiction piece.
Special Thanks: to anyone who reviews.
Once Upon A Robbery
As all beautiful legends happen, this one too happened… Once upon a time.
Lady Kagome sighed as she listened to the sound of her gelding, Ah Un, plod along on the hard packed ground. Normally, the noise and the rhythmic gate of her gelding served to lull her to an almost sleep-like state; however, instead of calming her, the noise and the motion were only serving to excite her. She was almost home.
Two months ago, she had gone on a brief visit to a neighboring castle, but her stay had been extended far longer than she had originally planned. The morning of her departure, a knight had burst through the castle gates with the warning of a nearing party of knights prepared for battle. The knights were foreigners, and as they approached the castle, they destroyed everything and everyone in their path. Immediately, her trip home was canceled and the castle was immersed in preparations for the coming siege. Fortunately, on the eve of the battle, knights sent by the king arrived and managed to keep the enemy on the outskirts of the castle's lands. Travel, however, was impossible until now as everyone waited anxiously for all traces of the enemy to be removed from the surrounding areas.
Lady Kagome reached beside her and rested her hand momentarily on the hilt of her sword. Hidden in a case the exact hunter green as her riding clothes, the weapon was almost impossible to detect amidst the many folds of her skirt. Yes, some good had come from the trip. Because of the impending attack, Lady Kagome and the lord's daughters had been assigned a fencing instructor to teach them the art of the sword should they need to defend themselves if the castle was invaded. She had thrived under her instructor's teaching; however, it could be said that fear is often nature's best teacher.
Taking her hand off the sword, Lady Kagome glanced behind her and smiled at the three guards assigned to her by her father. Two of them smiled back at her. The youngest of the knights, Kohaku, was the brother of her friend and lady's maid, Sango. It was he who smiled the brightest. Though the smile never appeared on his lips, a youthful exuberance shown from the pleasant sparkle in his eyes. His father, who rode directly behind her, appeared to be a gruff man, but tiny laugh lines around his mouth and eyes betrayed his kind nature and ready smile.
Turning back around, Lady Kagome strained her eyes as she attempted to catch sight of her home. As she crested the slight hill before her, her eyes caught sight of the outside walls of her estate. A sparkle lit in her eyes as she considered galloping her horse across the field before her.
'Ah Un could use the exercise, and I know Sango would not mind the pace; though, she would probably scold me for the unladylike entrance,' she mused.
She chuckled lightly to herself, and the guards gave each other knowing glances. Sango, who rode to the right and slightly behind her mistress, sighed inwardly as she too saw the mischievous light in Lady Kagome's eyes.
A warm wind blew past the Lady, rustling the long grasses in the field before her. It tickled her face and blew a wayward strand of hair across her eyes. She breathed in deeply of the fresh scent, but the normal fragrance of the surrounding plains was overshadowed by something sinister, something familiar—smoke.
"What is going on?" she murmured.
A male voice spoke, "I don't know, my Lady, but that is too much smoke to be that of the normal chimney fires."
She started at the voice behind her; she had not realized that she had voiced her thought. Clucking gently, she urged her mount into a sharp trot and headed across the field. As she approached the castle, she was overwhelmed by the feeling that something was immensely wrong. Sensing her unease, the knights behind her moved forward to flank her sides. Then wasting no more time, she left properness in the dust and urged Ah Un into a gallop. His nostrils flared in irritation as he inhaled the acidic smell of smoke. Never slowing, she rode up to the castle gate. Frantically, she called for the guards to let her in. The gate lowered and she burst through. The sight that met her eyes was utter chaos—a living nightmare. Smoke billowed from different areas within and without the castle, and a mob of panic-stricken people rushed around before her, many clutching children and prized possessions. The unseeing eyes of a mother with a grubby child latched to her skirts and another clutched tightly in her arms, met hers for a mere moment before latching on to the sight of the open gate. The gate clanged shut moments before the woman reached it. Startled, Lady Kagome turned to look at the knights operating the gate. She gasped. The uniforms of the guards and the crest on the shields were not those of her family, but she recognized them instantly. The shield bore the crest of the king.
"What is going on?" she managed.
Stepping up protectively around her and her maid, her knights shook their heads.
"We do not know, but we will find out. Stay close to us," yelled Kohaku's father over the maddening noise of the people.
Lady Kagome began to cough fitfully on the smoke, "Please, find my family first."
The men nodded and began to push through the throngs of people. The crowd started to thin as they neared the door to the castle. In fact, this seemed to be where the crowds were running from. Abruptly, her view of the castle was blocked as Kohaku stepped in front of her.
"I apologize, but I need to be in front of you," he said without even turning to look at her.
She could not see his face, but the tone of his words brooked no argument. She ground her teeth in frustration and worry, but let him do as he said. After moving forward only a few feet he stopped, and she heard a deep- throated growl that appeared to shake his entire frame.
"How dare they!" he spat, but refused to move from his protective stance.
"What do you see?" she asked. He did not answer, but only pushed her further behind him.
"Please, tell me what is happening?" she begged. Tears began to pool in her eyes as the thick smoke began to burn her eyes and throat. When he still refused to answer, she panicked and pushed past him and her other guards.
She screamed as her eyes met those of her father's… moments before he died. She stood rooted to her spot and her eyes refused to move from the gruesome scene before her. Her father lay in a pool of his blood, spilling violently from the hole in his stomach. That was all she saw before she collapsed in a world of black.
"You weren't supposed to kill him, Renkotsu,"
"He refused to answer your question, Bankotsu. Surely, you did not intend to let him live?"
The cold, voice of her father's killer broke into her unconscious state. She groaned as a fresh wave of pain and realization crashed into her, but that did not last long as she fell into a dark sleep once more.
Slowly she opened her eyes. For a moment, she wondered if she was truly awake. It was nearing evening, and the ceiling above her was not that of a castle.
Blinking rapidly, she sat up and looked around the room. Hearing the sounds of muffled sobs, she turned to find the source of the noise.
A sob clenched her throat, and she cried out as she saw who it was, "Mother!"
Her mom turned to her daughter and wrapped her in a crushing embrace. Rocking back and forth from the emotion wracking their small frames, mother and daughter sought comfort in each other's presence. They cried until the tears would no longer come. Then after a few quiet minutes, panic struck Kagome once more.
Pulling slightly away from her mother, she choked out, "Where- where is Souta?"
Her mother leaned forward and whispered, "I sent him with Kaede. He should be safe with her for the time being."
It bothered her that she was not able to see her younger brother now, but she trusted her mother's judgment. She sat silent for a long moment before bringing her red- rimmed eyes to meet those of her mother's.
She questioned, "What happened back there? Who would want to kill—?" her voice trailed off as her mind refused to acknowledge her father's murder.
Her mother looked away as she was assaulted with the memories of this horror-ridden day.
"This morning we received word from a traveling salesman that the King died in a fierce battle south of the kingdom and that his sons battling with him have yet to be heard from. Then almost directly after we heard about the King's death, the royal knights approached out gates. Of course, we let them in."
Taking a breath, she continued. "Seven men appeared to be leading the group. Apparently, the leader of the seven was a young man named Bankotsu. As soon as he saw your father, he walked up to him and demanded that we give up the Shikon jewel."
Kagome gasped. The Shikon was a legendary jewel handed down to kings by kings for centuries from the very first ruler of the lands. It was their symbol of power. The owner of the jewel was king; it was as simple and as complex as that. It was ludicrous to think that the Higurashis would have the jewel. Though it was true that they were distantly related to nobility, their holdings were only average at best.
Kagome broke in, "But why would they think that we have it?"
Standing the Lady Higurashi began to pace. "Apparently, the jewel is missing, and they were convinced that we had knowledge of its whereabouts. Your father refused to tell them anything, and they murdered him for his silence," her mother spat.
Kagome quivered as she heard the venom drip from her mother's every word.
"But that is not the worst of it, Kagome. Not only did they kill your father and scorch the insides of our castle, but apparently the royal advisor, Naraku, is taking over the responsibilities of the king, and in doing so he has ordered that all the men from the villages and the castles be sent at once to the castle of the king."
"For how long?" Kagome asked.
"Kagome," her mother looked down at her daughter, "I doubt any of them will be back for a long time. They will probably all be sent to work for the king as knights and common laborers."
"But what will the villagers do? They could starve—we could starve— without the men here to work the land."
"I really don't know what we will do, Kagome. We will decide when that time comes."
The silence stretched around them for a long moment before her mother began to speak once more.
"Kagome, you need to know that your guards put up a fight once you passed out. They were subdued and two of them were taken with the other men."
Kagome's brow rose, "Why only two guards, Mother?"
Lady Higurashi paused and seemed almost unwilling to answer her daughter's question. Finally, she whispered, "There were only two guards to take. Your maid's father is dead. They killed him and almost killed his son. Kohaku was dragged out of here unconscious."
"Useless war… useless…," the words struggled forth from a man bloodied and bruised almost beyond recognition. His only identifying trait was his waist length silver hair (a trait of the nobility) which was now almost black with mud. Leaning haphazardly against the firm trunk of an oak, the man attempted to stay alert, but even he, the king's own son, was unable to fight against the blackness that lay waiting to claim him.
Silently, a young girl watched the fallen prince. Dressed in a ragged potato sack with her hair pulled into a small pony tail on the side of her head, this diminutive figure hardly looked capable of helping anyone; yet, timidly she approached him and pushed away a muddied strand of silver hair. Then with determined strides, she turned and ran into the surrounding forest in search of something for the injured male to eat.
Hours later, Lord Sesshomaru, Prince and ruler of the Western Lands, looked disgustedly down at his wretched state. He was covered in mud and caked with the dried blood of himself and countless other men. His sharp ears picked up the sound of running feet and he looked up to meet those of a small child, a little girl with a pigtail, who now stood watching him with child-like wonder. He looked away from her in hopes that she would disappear; however, the child refused to leave and instead approached him with a small bundle of wild berries.
His tongue was swollen from lack of water and he was in sore need of the hydration the fruit offered, but he shoved his need away. He, Sesshomaru, needed the help of no one, especially not the help of a little girl.
"I do not eat the food of commoners," he said icily.
The words would have stilled a lesser mortal, but the child appeared only to be momentarily puzzled. Then after a moment of decision, she walked up to the wounded prince and stacked the berries in a neat pile beside his hand. Then turning, she rushed back into the forest in search of something else.
Prince InuYasha woke up in a slight daze. Everywhere his body tingled in pain. Slowly sitting up, he took in his surroundings. He was in a small, sparsely furnished hut, common in the poorer villages. Hanging from the rafters above him was a vast variety of plants and herbs.
'This is probably the home of a doctor,' he surmised.
His answer came in the form of a woman, clad in the red and white gown of the village healer. Seeing that her patient was awake, the woman spoke.
"I am glad that you are now awake and able to sit up," she said pleasantly.
InuYasha scowled. "Of course, I can sit up. I am hardly weak like the rest of you humans."
His caustic comment did not seem to bother the young woman as she approached him and began to check his bandages.
He hissed as she began to pull at the white cloth surrounding a gash on his side.
The young woman leaned forward and gently held onto his skin as she tugged at the sticking bandage.
He yelped at the pain, "Stop that woman! What are you trying to do to me?"
Giving a final tug on the bandage, she leaned forward and studied his wound as it came into view. She sighed in relief as she saw that she had not reopened the wound. She did not wish to cause the young man pain, but if his skin started to stick to the bandage on his side, they would both regret it later.
Deftly, she changed his bandages before finally stepping away to assess her handiwork. A loud growl met her ears, and the youth in front of her blushed.
Smiling, she stated, "You are hungry. I will get you something."
Moments later, she returned with some broth she had prepared for him earlier. Pulling up a short stool, she sat and prepared to feed him. InuYasha face blanched as he realized that she intended to feed the broth to him.
"Woman, there is no way that I am going to allow you to spoon feed me. I am capable of feeding myself." He crossed his arms and huffed before wincing at the pain from his actions.
"If you insist," calmly she handed the bowl to him, but did not move from her perch by his bed.
Clumsily, the prince lifted the spoon and attempted to bring the broth to his mouth; however, the liquid missed his mouth and spilled down his front. He attempted to eat again, but met with the same result. Frustrated, he growled and pushed the bowl away.
A moment later, the quiet woman beside him picked up the bowl and brought the spoon to his lips. Surprising them both, he clumsily sipped the broth. He was rewarded for his effort as the heated liquid slid down his parched throat. He continued eating until none of the broth remained. As she fed him, the young woman introduced herself. She was the only source of medicine in the village, and today she had found him injured in a nearby field. Her name was Kikyou.
Author's note: I have wanted for a while now to try this pairing. I apologize to my fans who do not like these two as a couple. This story is AU, but I will do my best to keep the characters in character. I welcome suggestions and all kinds of reviews, though I would prefer that you not leave flames.
If you would like me to continue this fic, please review and let me know. I am working on two other fics right now, and I will work on the ones that people enjoy most.
The legend of Robin Hood inspired a small portion of my story line, so that is why I mentioned it in my disclaimer. Do not expect the stories to be very similar.
So… please review and thank you!!