Silver Moon: Chapter 27: The Legend Told
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha, nor do I make any profit from this.
Claimer: Sheba and Sasha are mine!
"Explain this daughter of the moon." Sesshomaru's words hung in the air of the room for what seemed to be an eternity. Keiji's eyes grew wide as the connection was made in his mind…
"The legend is one that has no known time for its beginning, but it has been told for centuries, and it is why this village was built so close to the temple. Over the hill that nestles this now impoverished village lays the temple to the Goddess of the Moon. The Goddess watched over this village for as long as it has existed, and the story goes that she approached a man who had lost everything to war in his time of need, and led him to this hill where the water is fresh and flowing down its slope, where the land is fertile, and where she had constructed her home on the lake atop the hill. That man survived and founded the village. He followed the Goddess' example, and took in the downtrodden and those who were in need. This kindness is why this village is mixed."
"I was unaware of this tale. I only knew that this village was open to all forms of life", Keiji had calmed.
"At one time there were youkai, human, and all that lay in between living prosperously here. However, over the last three generations things have fallen. This takes us back to the story." The headman sighed before continuing.
"Not long after the village came together war reached this land. This was not something that the Goddess could prevent, but she did arm them with what she could. She gave them knowledge. She was able to see from all points of space, and thus she used knowledge to protect this village that bore her as their patron. There were still losses though, and as always the human losses were always greater than the youkai's. It was after this Great War that the Goddess found one young maiden who had lost her intended in the war. She was nothing more than a weak human woman who was said to have no skills, but who had been seen to be kind." He waited for a comment from the lord who had never made a point to hide his disdain for humans. When none came he continued.
"She asked that the Goddess use her as a vessel for her will because she had nothing left to live for. The Goddess beckoned her to submerge herself into the waters of the lake, and that she would find her destiny. When the woman was found the next day the Goddess proclaimed her The Daughter of the Moon. She now possessed her powers to heal, bear, and to see into the hearts all others. This woman spent the rest of her life under this title, healing the sick and wounded, and protecting the temple and village from all threats."
"We have heard a similar tail, but the woman was known as a Silver Sorceress", Keiji watched Sesshomaru tense.
"Yes, there have been many names given to the women. The first woman would pass after a few decades since she was still but a human. However, another followed her after just one more human generation. Their powers became that of legend, and that a woman would sit alongside each headman was something that spread as tales and lore. The village remained at peace until the last Great War; the one that your Great and Terrible Father stamped out in his first years of his reign. That was when everything began to decline. The Daughter of the Moon was still just a toddler, and the Lord of the East attacked this village, and claimed it was our harboring a blasphemy that was our crime."
"He meant the hanyou that were born and raised here?" Keiji asked with a sigh.
The headman nodded, "Yes, but in his attempt to attack the village our miko, youkai, human warriors, and the son of the moon stood ready to fight. They defended the village, but could not prevent the secret from getting out."
"The Son of the Moon?" Sesshomaru questioned.
"Yes, the last Daughter was paired with a brother. He was still a cub, and the last born of the Panther Clan of the West. His mother gave birth to him in the temple, and died in her effort. The Goddess favored him, and from the time the daughter was born the cub followed her."
The Lords exchanged looks that showed no give in their expression, but the action alone acknowledged their similar thoughts.
"When the Lord of the East learned what was harbored here he sent out a band of his best mercenaries to collect the girl, and kill all in their wake. The girl was believed to have been protected by the Goddess, but when morning came her birth mother and the miko to the temple had died, and there was no sign of daughter or son. That was over three generations ago, but there has been a steady decline ever since. The youkai have all but abandoned the village with the exception of the two oldest clans. The humans trust only those youkai, and the old ways of kindness first are embittered memories.
"Which takes us to our current predicament", Keiji was able to move back to the present.
"The village has been left out of most conflicts due to our depth into the wilderness, but we have not seen the Goddess since I was a boy. The land is all that keeps our people together. Then, the maidens began to be taken in the middle of the night. I should note that our maidens are not delicate even the human women here train in defense, and this makes it even harder to understand how they are being taken without a sound. Finally, before the snow fell the village woke to find the temple desecrated and in ruins. Now, there is talk of abandoning the village that is one of the most sacred in all of the land. I am headman not because of strength or prowess, but rather because I am one to keep a cool head and weigh all options, and gentlemen I am out of options. This village is being hunted by a force that cannot be detected. And the stories that are floating from the youkai clans are unsettling."
"What are the two clans suggesting?"
"The clans think that the daughter and likely the son have returned to this world, and the Lord of the East knows, and is hunting us until he finds what he is looking for. He started with the maidens who have dedicated their lives to the temple, the Goddess, and her actions. Now, all that is left are the villagers… the more time that passes the more this one also believes that the daughter has risen, and will soon make her presence known." The headmen took a deep breath, and released it slowly before closing his eyes. "I have told the villagers that I do not dismiss their fear or intuition, and that they may leave at anytime. I will remain behind until it is safe. Most of the families are preparing to leave upon the thaw in a few months time."
"What is your name?"
"I am Nobuo, and I am from the clan the claims to be of the original man Masayoshi." He bowed.
"You are an honorable man, and this Sesshomaru believes that we could help each other."
Nobuo looked up at the Lord with curiosity.
"This Sesshomaru believes your fears to be well founded for the proof has been seen." Sesshomaru rose to stand, and the two other men followed him out of the home.
"Yyour certain?" Nobuo stuttered as he followed the Daiyoukai up the hillside toward the ruins of the once great temple.
"She is the current bride of the West", Sesshomaru never looked back, but he heard the man's stride falter and stop all together.
"You cannot be serious my lord!" the man held his fists to his sides and shouted.
"Yes, my son. She is held up at the palace now. We were not aware of the entire legend or else many issues could have been sidestepped." Keiji sighed and motioned for the man to follow.
"It can't be!" he repeated, "The Goddess should have appeared in some form if her daughter and son have returned!"
"Why do you believe this?" Sesshomaru reached the top. The lake was not the pristine clear water that had been spoken of before. Instead it was clouded with over growth, run off, and the shattered remains of what had been a solid stone temple that now lay under its waters.
"The Goddess truly saw them as her own, and if they are here and she has not made her return to this land then something much darker is at power here, and not just a power hungry lord." Nobuo's expression grew dark and his eyes fell closed.
"You are correct. This Sesshomaru can detect the scent of Naraku." The Daiyoukai knelt to reach for the earth to decipher the age of the scent.
"This Naraku has never been detected or even heard of here", Nobuo sighed.
"…" Keiji moved to explain, but suddenly all three men fell into defensive stances. All of them suddenly detecting the presence of a fourth creature. Its yuki drifted from the ruins, and despite never allowing itself to be seen it was clear that it was sizing them up.
All sound died from the hilltop. No movement was heard, until there was a break in the water. Even the youkai's sharp eyes could not make out more than a dark blur before the sound of projectiles caused them to dodge. Then, the creature was gone with no trace.
"Are you two alright?" Nobuo moved his hands over his frame searching for injuries, and when he found none he turned to his visitors. His expression fell when he saw that the Daiyoukai had three rips to his haori around his heart. Despite the small amounts of blood from the wounds he felt fear creep into his veins. How could something have moved fast enough to ever hit Lord Sesshomaru, and to do it three times…?
"The creature bore the scent of Naraku, and something much older", Sesshomaru nonchalantly plucked the throwing pins from his flesh as the wounds began to close.
"What does this mean?" Nobuo asked as the Daiyoukai began to descend the hillside.
"It means that you must evacuate this village until it is found to be safe. Whatever has hunted you girls and destroyed the temple has found a way to defy the very gods, and that my son is something that should be feared. We will continue to hunt for the source, and I will update you as much as I can. For no, you must safely move your remaining population." Keiji placed a heavy clawed hand on the young man's shoulder, and was pleased when a steeled expression took his expression.
"I will follow your advice. Please, have a save journey", Nobuo spoke sternly as he watched them fall into the distance.
Darkness had engulfed the land when the lords could spot the palace in the distance. It was in this darkness that the dragon spotted the lord of the West do something he had never seen. He curled forward and grasped at his wounds.
"Sesshomaru-sama! Have the wounds reopened?" the dragon dismounted and ran to the younger lord's side.
The dragon did not wait to see, and instead he swatted Ah-Un and hollered for the beast to rush for the fortress. Before he followed at a speed that his own stead had not seen in a few decades.
Sheba suddenly stood to her feet. Inuyasha was next, and in a whisper the room her the Lady of the West's voice break, "Something is wrong."
Then, the world seemed to blur for the group. The three mobile members flew at the heels of the oldest woman. She broke through the doors into the gardens from the family wing in time to see her mate to be fall from his stead just as they touched ground. Sheba made to rush to him, but her own feline stopped her. Inuyasha, Kagome, and the maids reached his side.
Kagome tossed all fear and rules to the side and sat the lord up. Leaning him against Ah-Un the miko was not bashful in the least as she shoved aside the silks of his haori. The lord had fallen unconscious, and the miko was grateful. Shoving around his armor she gasped at the sight of his chest. Three small wounds were still pink from heeling, but beneath the skin the veins that passed by the wounds. The green had colored each vein making them especially visible and looking very much like vines under the lord's skin.
In these seconds Sheba had turned to her feline, and attempted to free her kimono from his jaws. His eyes pleaded with her, but her gaze returned to her beloved rather than focusing on his. She swung her weight, and tore the fabric on his own fangs in a dispirit attempt to escape him. He couldn't let her do it. He would not have that blood on his soul, so he did the unthinkable.
To everyone's shock when they turned to see Sheba brace herself as her own Sasha tackled her to the ground with his massive jaws locked down on her left forearm. The scent of her blood brought Inuyasha to her side, and as he attempted to settle the beast he felt the burst of yuki that it sent into its master.
"No! You will kill him if you approach!" the unfamiliar male voice rang in her mind as Sheba gasped and stared into her capture's eyes.
"What?!" Sheba screeched. Everyone watched as the beast continued his hold on her a heavy growl rumbling from his body.
"That poison is specialized, and was used on our village long ago. If you approach him it will spread to his mind, and render him a sniveling beast, and nothing more. There is no reversing it! You must not approach! You must get as far away from him as possible until the one who placed this curse is eliminated." The man's voice rang forth again despite the physical silence around them.
"Sheba?" Inuyasha drew her attention.
She looked between the two, and then to her groom. "Is Sesshomaru poisoned?" her whisper was heard by the miko.
"Yes, and it doesn't look good", Kagome began attempting to remove his armor to get a full view of the spread.
"Wait!" Sheba called, and turned her attention back to her beast. "You are certain?"
The beast nodded, but kept his hold. "Sister you must listen to me, and we must flee while he is still alive! If you remain this close you will sentence him to something worse than death."
"Ok", she frowned, and was allowed to rise to her feet. "Inuyasha! Watch his condition and find me when he has stabilized, please…"
"What the hell are you talking about?!" the hanyou moved to take her waist, but she swung onto the beast's back, and only then did the beast release her arm, and take off at speeds that the hanyou could not follow.
For a moment, shock kept anyone from doing much. That was until Kagome turned her attention back to the fallen lord. The green began to fade from his veins until the coloring was only near the three small wounds.
"Inuyasha it has receded. He's waking!" Kagome shouted.
"Miko lower your voice", the lord opened angry golden eyes to her. The miko looked between his exposed chest and her hands, and had the decency to blush and scamper away.
"You were poisoned, and it appears lady Sheba's presence activates the venom." Keiji informed him.
The lord's expression darkened. "You are certain?" he made no move to stand, and was certain that if he tried he would falter. When Keiji nodded, he felt his heart clench. His bride was to be separated from him…
"Keiji find out how this curse can be removed", the lord's words were bruised by growls, but the older lord bowed before moving toward the palace.
"What do we do?" Kagome asked no one in particular.
"Sasha seemed to know immediately what was up, and saved you life as a result." Inuyasha's voice was oddly solemn. "She told me to go to her as soon as you stabilized."
This caught the Lord's attention. "The village that was under attack was likely the village that Sheba and Sasha were born in…" he conferred a brief version of what he had been told.
"This is too much… Sheba was actually from farther in the past?" Kagome gasped.
"From when the old man was young?" Inuyasha sighed.
"You must act as go between and inform Sheba", Sesshomaru growled.
"Cool your heals! I am going", Inuyasha scoffed, but took off with all the speed he could. How was he going to tell all of that to Sheba?
He found her a few miles from the palace in a cave in a particularly thick area of evergreens that sheltered them from the snow. He did his best, but Sheba seemed lost. She turned to her beast, and held his massive head in her delicate hands. "Well dear brother, where do we start?"
The neko youkai huffed before words fell from his jaws, "One curse is lifted just as another is cast… Inuyasha fetch the Miko and the dragon we have plans to make and a hunt to begin."
Hey, I know I just dropped a few bombs, but I hope they are well received! Please, read and review cause I have a big hunt on the way!