A/N: For my Halloween fanfic, "Yurei", I wrote in the present indicative of first-person for a character not even in the series (history buffs, you should know him!). A triple change to my usual objective preterite style. Let's see how another "altered perspective" will work.
The setting is serene enough, a cool stream where I sit splashing my face for a moment's refreshment. Lord Anjiro is expecting me soon and I don't want to keep him waiting any longer. It's been a long few days' voyage from my vessel to this region, and how strange it is! Never had I fathomed such as sophisticated culture would exist this far east. I am strung with the urge to record it all, but…
The bamboo stalks behind me sway and I whirl around anticipating one of those stealthy rappa. I clutch my symbol of faith praying it's not an assassin.
But it's merely a child. She's dressed much finer than any of the other village girls I've seen thus far. Though, what would a child of the gentry be doing out here in the wilderness?
Without warning, like the water rushing from the stream words spill out of her mouth.
"Who are you? You don't look like someone from Nihon. Are you one of those foreign devils Master Jaken keeps talking about? You don't look so fierce. Now, who are you again?"
At least I think that's what she says, so rapid was her speech. I cock my head. "Qué?"
"I'm sorry…ah, could you slower speak?"
"Huh? Why do you talk so strangely? Are you from the Kansai region? What's your name?"
"You may call me Xavier, but where is Kansai? Forsooth, I'm not from here at all."
I tell her where I'm from.
"Po-ru-tu-ga-re? Where's that?"
"It's in the far west."
"It must be farther than Lord Sesshomaru's territories."
Her eyes get sidetracked. "Oh, what's that in your hand?"
I remember the wooden cross I'd been fingering. "It's a symbol of my faith," I reply.
"Does it do anything else?"
I blink, I believe that gesture is universal.
She explains, "You know, like make barriers or ward off evil or bring you good luck."
I scratch my head. These are a very purposeful people it seems. "Well, I'm not sure about luck, but it can protect you from evil demons such as un lombre."
"Ro-mu-ba-re?" she enunciates. I notice she has difficulty pronouncing Ls.
"Los lombres are vicious, rabid beasts," I warn. "Most of the time they appear as nearly human, calm and temperate; but under pressing circumstances, and especially on full moons, they transform into their primal shape to snarl and lunge like a wild dog."
Her eyes are wide and I hope I haven't frightened her too much.
"How does this," she searches for a word, "ornament ward them off? These wild dogs?"
"Well, it usually burns through the flesh of the wicked. They cannot stand to touch it, especially those who mean to harm God's children."
Suddenly, there's an oddly attired nobleman stepping from the bamboo. I know this land is strange, but those quixotic marking on his face and shock of silver hair cannot possibly be of the norm. I have heard the natives murmur of yokai, and bright amber eyes are not human.
"Rin," he says. "Let's be off."
I'm taken aback. The child actually turns around and smiles at the being. Before she runs to him, I grab her hand and press my cross into it.
She nods as if I had only passed along a trinket and not what may perhaps save her life.
But the girl does as I hoped. She runs to that creature gives him my gift. With baited breath I watch.
"What is that?" His tone is lofty.
"The man over there, Lord Xavier, gave this to me."
He plucks it from her tiny hand and turns it over in his. His slender digits finger it, he almost appears to be sniffing it – like a dog of sorts. Como un lombre.
I expect him to howl, to roil in the agony of his own impurity. But nothing happens.
Casually, he drops the cross into her palm. "Do with it as you please; but Rin, don't take anything from strangers."
"Yes, my lord!" She bobs her head in assent, then trots up to me. "I'm sorry, Lord Xavier, but I cannot accept this gift."
The child returns it and I feel myself gaping openly. "But that…that man has the same air, same aura as a hell hound."
"You really think so?" She glances back at him; he's cracking long, long fingers and glaring as though I'm the one who bewitches children. She giggles and whispers, "Lord Sesshomaru reminds me more of a guard dog! Your gift proved it."
Then she's skipping after him, leaving me to ponder this new and different perspective.
A/N: Anyone get the guest character's identity? There are like four easy hints. Hope you enjoyed the story! Reviews are appreciated!