Chapter Twelve: Izaiyoi's Tale

Story: Knots of Fate

By: Sky


Musouka snarled silently as she had to retreat from her prize. If she had not been worried about attracting the demon lords attention, he would have indulged in a display of fury that would have shaken the forest to the foundations of its roots. She was so close! She could see the succulent morsel before her, and in her same small form that would have been easy to catch. As well as the spawn who had taken her from her grasp. She had entertained for a few moments what delights she would take in disemboweling him, and feasting on what was left, before she started to take notice of the scene that was before her. The spawn was in a barrier, and there was something strange with him. His hair was now silver, and he was throwing himself mindlessly at the walls of his cage. She could not catch his scent through the barrier, but just watching his antics was enough to tell that something was different.

She had settled in for a few minutes to watch, and try to understand the situation which she had not come across before; curiosity taking root a bit in her gaze. Then a few more creatures had joined in around, and his antics had never ceased until the barrier had gone blue. If she was correct, with that shade, that was probably Sornin pollen. It was rather potent so she had heard, and had that distinguishable color. She could make out there words, though sometimes she had to strain her ears forward a bit to hear them. She was more intrigued in the rest of the conversation. And what was that gem that the human Clansman was wrinkling her nose at? She would have to ask Nuraku if he knew what the Shikon no Tama was. Maybe he would reward her, and she couldn't help shudder with pleasure before forcing the thought back in her mind. She had things to learn first.

Though, the lesson was shortened when the human clansman decided to goad the demon lord about his quest for her Master, Nuraku, and sent him back into the forest, near her direction. She only had a few moment to make her escape as quietly as possible and retreat. So, it was the Spawns interference that had caused her to be able to gain only a human-looking form, and not anything else. She felt her eyes start to bleed red at the thought of wanting to destroy something, but for now, it was time to run, and let her Master know what she had learned.

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Yasha found his face in the dirt, and an incredibly heavy weight around his neck that felt like he had 1000 lbs, or maybe even a full 100-car train, tied to a string. Though a moment later the weight had been released, and it was like it had never been there before. He tried then to take stock of himself in this strange position and felt like he had been thrown at something heavy, and it took him a moment to take in his surroundings by sounds and feelings first. There were voices nearby, and though they started out muffled by the ringing in his ears, they were starting to clear up, and they were saying something about sitting a dog. That sounded like Guthrow. Who was he talking to? His body ached a bit, but he couldn't feel anything broken when he experimentally shifted his hand, and felt the rough sandy soil beneath it. How had he gotten onto the ground? The last he had known, he had been by the graves of those that he had started to consider friends. Had he been attacked? He certainly wouldn't do something as sissy as fainting.

That was his cue to pull himself up onto his knees. In a street fight, if you were on the ground, you were basically dead, so you got up as quickly as possible to block the next blow. The moment he started moving, besides fighting a spinning world, the voices stopped, and he was able to get into a sitting position. He was surprised that he had to stop for a moment to take a breath. It felt like he had been punched a few times in the ribs, and had bruised them; all of them. That took talent, and some pretty big opponent. He thought he would remember a fight like that. Something tickled his nose, and he raised a hand to brush it away, but it was persistent. When he looked up, a curtain of silver blocked his view, and he angrily pushed it aside to grunt in surprise as it hurt. Apparently, it was attached to his head in many different places. A scuffling noise before him brought a weird sensation at the top of his head, but the sound was amplified a bit. What the hell was going on?

Yasha shoved at the silver curtain one more time, threating internally to kill whoever had attached the stuff to him while he had been down, and managed to remove it from his eyes. There before him stood Kagome, Miroku, Sango, and even the two clan sisters, fluffy-butt and psyco-babe. There was even someone with a bad hair-day… or was that feathers? He shook his head to try and clear his thoughts more than anything else, and felt something shift atop his head again.

"What the hell!" he snarled suddenly, and reached up to grab the offending item. Or, he was going to, until he caught sight of his hands. His nails were now pointed near the tips, and elongated a bit past the tips of his fingers, though they were not incredibly long. The nails had also turned white and thickened a bit, and when he touched one with his other hand, it felt like a claw; complete with the smooth outer sheath. All of his anger fled then, and so did most of the blood from his head. These looked permanent, and not like some stupid fake nails that someone may have tried to put on him as a joke. A silver strand passed by his nose again, and it took him a minute to focus on and catch it, and then slowly follow it back to its source. It was certainly attached to his head. But he didn't have any silver hair… Yasha grabbed a lock of hair almost viciously and brought it before his eyes. The entire handful was silver, and that didn't look like a cheap die either. The hair strands shimmered almost like ice, which was not an effect you got easily with dye. The hair was also strangely very well defined to him, as though his vision had gotten sharper.

Deep down in his gut, he felt distress stir, and there was another movement atop his head. He reached up with a clawed hand, and encountered a furry triangle of skin, lightly muscled, which was a bit sensitive. And attached as well, and rather permanently by the feel of them. What were they? He looked up towards Sango, confusion written over every inch of his face, his eyes wide. What the hell was going on?!

OoOoOoOoO

Sango's expression softened as she saw a side of Yasha that was hardly displayed, and he looked more like a young man then the tough fighter he always displayed. Watching as he changed from indignant and angry, to confused and shocked had been something different, and the exploration of the changes that he had not seen yet but could apparently feel. It had been strange watching the triangular set of ears, much like Kagome's, swivel and twitch on his head, and then flatten on his skull as finally his distress started to show. She couldn't imagine how it must feel to have something new moving and twitching atop your head. When he turned to her, she knew it was because she was familiar in a situation that had become strange, and it felt like a child seeking comfort from a parent. She could think of doing nothing else then nodding at him in understanding that these changes were real, though she knew that was not the answer he was looking for as his eyes winded even more and were reminding her of dinner plates; the rich gold almost the color of sunlight through very rich honey, and very different from his usual grey eyes. She doubted she would ever see grey eyes on him again. The golden orbs gave him more of the look of a predator, which she was sure he was even more of one now. Movement at her side caused her to turn her attention to Kagome, who walked towards Yasha carefully yet confidently.

As Kagome drew new him, she lowered herself to her knees before him, and watched him for a moment. Yasha still had a hand on his ear, and avidly watched her as she came near. Sango noticed his nose twitch a bit, and could only wonder what he could scent now, or if that had been changed as well. She only had a moment to wonder though, when Kagome reached forward and gingerly took Yasha's other hand that was resting limply on the ground, and raised it towards her head. She placed his hand gently on her ear then, and waited to see if he would understand. Yasha's brows knit you could see he tried to understand what she was doing, and as his fingers touched her ears, and she stopped, his expression deepened until his brows were almost a 'v' shape. When his fingers moved, Kagome did her best not to twitch, as he examined her own ear with his finger; his eyes were also drawn to them as well. Finally, she couldn't help and she gave an involuntary flick to her ear.

Golden eyes blinked as the muscles moved in her ear, and then slowly, the ear that he was holding on his own head flicked as well as he rubbed it. His eyes lit with understanding, and his ear flicked again. He seemed to understand what was on top of his head now. But that caused his brows lower again in confusion. Kagome gently released her grip on his hand, and his hand dropped back to his side. He looked as though he was trying to ask something, stopped, contemplated again, and then every question that seemed to be rolling around in his thought like leaves through a storm boiled down into one word that encompassed almost everything.

"How?" Kagome's eyes softened as she tried to consider what answer, out of the many that that question could engender, she could tell him. However, she was saved from having to decide what answer to give him.

"Several different events happened that caused this Yasha," Karamina stated gently. Yasha turned to her like he had been stung, and Kagome wondered if he had forgotten that they were all there. Karamina looked rather sympathetic at him as she looked down at him from her sitting position nearby, with her tail curled around her feet again. "Though, what may have started it all was whomever you received your necklace from."

"I think Yasha said that he received it from his mother, Izaiyoi." stated Sango without thinking, and Karamina turned her attention back to the other woman. "Don't think I have forgotten about the tale that you owe me Exterminator Sango. I think now I would like to hear it." Sango raised a finger at Karamina as if she was going to contest, but Karamina tilted her head at her, and then raised an eye ridge.

"You did agree to tell your tale that you think we won't believe in if we 'fixed' him," Kanari stated, crossing her arms over her chest, and then pointing her thumb over at Yasha. Sango took a moment to scowl at the other sister. Normally, she was pretty good about being respectful to them, but she had spent enough time with Karamina at least to know that sometimes she could be a little lax. Also, having to tell them her story was not making her very happy either, and for just a moment, she was going to indulge. Kanari snorted in mirth at the rare scowl that darkened the Exterminators face, and then Sango composed herself again. "Would you care to hear it here in the open, or would you rather we went to the village and somewhere less… open."

"I would rather have this out in the open if you will," Karamina replied after a moment, thinking. "There are some pretty good ears in town, and if this tale is rather unbelievable as you seem to think it will be, I would rather the few who know you two best hear it and be the better judge of it." She turned towards the hawk, and he gave her a respectful bow, and headed back towards Momiji; leaving the jewel where it had been left in a small patch of grass. Along the wall of Momiji, a few others turned away at random intervals, to head to different parts of the city where they would be able to muffle any sounds, as they apparently were not meant to hear the story being told. Kanari watched those on the wall retreat, and snorted with mirth again though this time it was at her sister. Of course Karamina knew that a few of them had been listening in. She had let them know everything so far, but apparently that was enough for now. She had to admit, though only to herself, that she was waiting for this tale. She was intrigued as well at these two Exterminators, though she had spent more time watching Yasha then seeing Sango. She had followed his change from the brash young boy Karamina had first met, when he went to fight in the South for Kagome, to the younger man he was now. How he began his life, and what region he actually came from, was a story she was willing to stay to hear.

Sango nodded as if she expected it, and caught a movement out of the corner of her eye. Yasha's hand had reflexively reached for the beads around his neck, and then he relaxed when his fingers encountered them. She watched him for a moment, weighing what she was going to say next, before addressing him. "I think this story starts long before us just arriving here," she remarked softly, her eyes traveling to the beads that his hand rested on.

"What do you mean?" snarled Yasha, unhappy about where he thought this conversation was going. Sango met his gaze steadily. "The Shikon no Tama vanished from the family shrine long before I was born. How she managed to find it….." She then took a few steps back, so she could see both Yasha and Karamina with only a slight movement. She could see everyone else pretty well too. "No, it starts before that. We are from a time, several hundred years later in your future, as best I can recall. I won't say too much about it, as there are things that are hard to describe, and it is not my place to say it." Karamina nodded as if this was something ordinary, like Sango describing the sky was blue, though it was certainly not how any story she had heard before had started. She was, however, not going to interrupt. She would hear it all before she judged, though it did have the makings of being a strange tale. "Our family, like several generations before, were bred to be Exterminators. We had a shrine that we were trained at, and that we protected, much like Momiji." Her eyes briefly lingered on the now empty walls of the city. The hawk had apparently cleared the walls, and had everyone return to what they had been doing beforehand. Then she pulled forth the locket from around her neck, and opened it to show the pictures inside to those around. "Yasha knows who these are, but let me tell you a story that I was told when I was growing up, that I think now pertains to our tale as well."

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Several hundred years in the future though also in the past….

Imiko Samal twirled the chain above her head, listening to the sounds as the metal cut through the air like a well-honed blade. The barbed tip cut a sweeping pattern in the air as she launched it at the series of poles, destroying the various objects that were placed on the tops, and then the chain embedded itself around the last pole, catching the chain 2/3's of the way up so that the rest wrapped around the pole, and then she threw the sickle end of the chain and cut the third item neatly in two. With a tug on the chain, the sickle came straight towards her hand, and she turned her wrist a bit so that the blade passed a hairs width before her fingers, and then they curled delicately but quickly over the handle of the blade before it passed by. The blade quickly stopped in her hand, and she nodded in satisfaction. She removed a lock of dark chocolate hair from her brow, the rest tied back in a long braid down her back. There was pleasure in her silver eyes at a job well done. She felt confident that if there was ever a demon that crossed her path, she would be able to successfully kill it.

"I see that you are mastering the Kusari-gama Imiko. It is well and truly your weapon of calling." Imiko was started by the voice, but then tried not to blush as she turned to face Takizo Jagan. They had been training together for years, and he was one of the best students here. He was also one of the most handsome lads here, with stunning bright green eyes the color of spring grass, and hair as black as jet that he always kept tied into a small ponytail at the nape of his neck. Imiko wasn't the only girl here that had noticed it, but she seemed to find a way to spend more time with him then the others. She smiled, and gave him a slight bow in greeting.

"You honor me Takizo with your praise." He smiled at her with a boyish grin that made her grin. Imiko was the pride of the Samal clan, and she knew it. They had been the guardians of the temple for several generations now, and had proudly kept it safe. Her father could have been no prouder of her then if she had been born a boy instead. Her sister Imarda, was also a pretty good fighter, choosing a staffed blade with twin blades on either side for her weapons of choice. If you were new to the area, you may think that there were only two daughters in the Samal family, as they were all you ever saw and heard of. But there was one more daughter.

No one could really explain the youngest, Izaiyoi. Her sisters showed their Exterminator heritage, but she showed a different side. She did not like the traditional garb that they wore, and instead fancied the several layered kimonos that would be restricting in a fight. Where her sisters had excelled in weapons and tactics, Izaiyoi had found books and worked with doing fine stitching and tatting. She loved creating kimonos that were works of art so amazing, that they fetched small fortunes when they were sold, and only the highest nobility would wear them. When it came to training though in the arts of the Exterminator, her sisters would climb out of bed in all weathers while she was amazingly reluctant. She never closed in a fight, and there wasn't a single weapon she showed any talent for, or any proficiency. Her instructors were baffled, and her father did not know what else to do with is youngest. Her mother had died giving birth to her, so she could not provide her own ideas on the situation. Even those that often came to the shrine looked at her askance. She was born of them, but she was not one of them.

That became even more apparent as she had gotten older. She always dressed up now in clothing that could only be called 'impractical' for the shrine and for their occupation. None of the boys would even speak to her, though she was a stunning beauty like her eldest sister, and Izaiyoi began to feel incredibly lonely. Even her father hardly spoke to her anymore; showing his displeasure in her in his silence. He spent most of his time trying to get Imiko to take Takizo, and it seemed like his plan might be working. Imiko seemed too involved in her own quest to pay any attention to her youngest sister now, and Izaiyoi's only comfort came from Imarda. No matter what she was doing, she always seemed to have time for her little sister, and her 'eccentric' behaviors. In fact, currently she was working as a string holder; having the threads wrapped between her hands and Izaiyoi wrapping them carefully into balls and setting them to the side. They sat in companionable silence for a while, completing this task, when Imarda finally spoke.

"You know they talk about you." Izaiyoi tried not to sigh. She knew Imarda meant well, but her sister really was tiring on this topic. She just seemed to lack tact. There was no deceit in Imarda. Izaiyoi claimed that there wasn't a deceitful bone in her body, but she did say things how she saw them, and that had gotten her into no small bits of trouble when she grew up. But you also knew were you stood with her, and did not have to worry about a knife in the dark unless she told you to.

"They hardly ever speak of me anymore. I do not even exist to fathers eyes any more as I am aware."

"Yes you do. He's just not sure how to handle you since…." Izaiyoi interrupted before the long regular argument started.

"Because I do not wear the garb, and I do not get sweaty in the arena, waving blades around for a day when I may defeat large demons which I hardly doubt even exist anymore. And no…." She raised a finger towards her sister, who was about to interject her own comment. "I do not think I will ever be able to."

"You could always continue the tradition. If you bred a son for father, and the child was raised as an Exterminator, then they would just know you were some sort of atavism, and there was nothing wrong with you. Father would understand that."

"No boy or man will have me because there's 'something wrong' with me. You know that." Imarda grinned with a wicked expression.

"You could always go by the bar after the boys celebrate. They're never very picky then."

"Imarda!" Izaiyoi was shocked at her idea. "I would be demeaning myself to find just some random guy to… to…. There would be talk!"

"Of course there would be talk. They would wonder first who have been desperate enough, and then I am sure they would be proud of the child you produced, when they grow up to be an amazing Exterminator."

"And what if he doesn't?" she shot back. Imarda shrugged.

"I hardly doubt it. Look at Imiko and I. How could he be any less?" And that was when it dawned on Izaiyoi, that Imarda looked at her the same way as everyone else. She just wasn't too afraid that speaking with her would cause her 'illness' to rub off on her, and that her family ties were strong with her little sister, whom she spent a lot of time raising. To discover the person she had though had known her best, had hopes that she would become pregnant off of some Exterminator lad, and the child she bred would redeem her name and honor, was like having her head shattered into thousands of crystalline shards. Though there would not be any shame in not knowing who the father of the child was. Their people had always been a little more loose about the custom of who fathered the children, though it was better if you were married so that they could track the bloodlines. Some Exterminator women had kept such accurate accounts of their lovers so that they could still track the bloodlines of their children, that they were allowed to never marry if they did not wish.

She really was alone here. The last straw happened when Imiko came home a month later, pleased with the fact that she was pregnant, and that Takizo was the father of the child. He had also apparently agreed to marry her, and was going to ask her father for permission that night. Imarda was happy with her sister and her choice of mate, and of course her father had a beaming grin that could light the room. They had left to celebrate, and had left Izaiyoi alone in the back garden, where she had been the entire time this had happened. She had come in to find the house deserted, and tried to locate where they were. She walked to the bar where they had set up the party to celebrate, and stood outside the window watching them. She had not even been invited to the party that they had. That was it. She was done with being ignored because she was different. She went back to the house, and packed a bag of her sewing things, and a few of her almost finished and blank kimono's, some clothing, and headed out into the city, turning her back on the Exterminator clan, and her family forever.

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"That was the last anyone had ever heard of Izaiyoi." Sango completed the story, was about to close the locket, and placed it around her neck again, when Kanari stopped her. She grabbed the locked out of the Exterminators hand, and examined the images inside

"So the three sisters on the side…" asked Kanari, though her let his voice trail off as she examined the black and white photos.

"That is correct. That is a photo of my mother and her two sisters. The one on the right is Imarda, though for some reason she wanted to be called Cody. I don't really know why, but that is what we call her. The one in the middle is my mother, Imiko. And the one on the left is … Izaiyoi." She stopped for a moment, and her gaze involuntarily flicked towards Yasha. "She was Yasha's mother." Kanari's head shot up as she looked between Yasha and Sango.

"You two are related?" Sango nodded, and had to remind herself that Kanari hadn't been there when they had discovered that he was blood-kin to her. It was still a bit of a shock, and in some ways, thinking back to her story, she guessed Yasha really was redeeming his mothers name. He was an amazing Exterminator where his mother had not been. And also for a moment, she felt incredibly sad for him as well. It seemed Izaiyoi's bloodline was just not going to receive a break from the fates. She was pulled back to the conversation when Kanari pointed at the other picture. "So would this be your father?"

"Yes. Takizo Jagan."

"Those are amazing replications that someone drew," Guthrow said with awe; breaking the silence that had fallen after Sango explained who was in the pictures. "I have never seen them completed with such detail, though I am not sure why one would make such detailed images so… small." Then, he looked at the locked, and gave a small grin at himself. "Though, I guess they fit just perfectly in that small locket. I guess that would answer my question."

Sango opened her mouth to retort, then closed it and shook her head, deciding to continue on with her tale. "No one could find Izaiyoi. She had learned at least one thing from the Exterminators… how to hide. We searched for years, had concluded that she had died at some point, though he will have to tell you what happened in that time that we searched." She looked back at Yasha, and her gaze traveled to the necklace that his hand still rested on. "…and how she managed to find the Shikon no Tama."

Karamina turned to him, and gave him a steady gaze, and Yasha returned it, though he still felt rather shaken to the core about the fact that he had ears atop his head now, and that his hair changed colors. And now, he had heard a little more of the story of his mother. She would never explain why she didn't have any family, except to say that she had never really belonged, and that they were no longer her family. She had tried to make up for the lack by always being with him, and laughing, and playing. That also meant, that there was no family to mourn her when she was gone, or take the child that she had had. The only one left to remember was Yasha himself. He was not sure he felt like forgiving Sango's mother or sister for causing things to happen as they did. Because of them, he had lived in hell. Because of them, she had died alone. Because of them, she had a small plaque with the letters falling out of it to mark where she now lay. His ears flattend at the thought.

"Another time, perhaps…" was all Karamina said, and then turned back to Sango. "If you are from such a far time, as you proclaim, then how are you here now?" Kagome's ears swiveled towards Sango, and her gaze followed as well. If her story was the truth, how had they come back to this time? Sango shrugged at the question.

"At the shrine, there was a well off the side. There were legends about it, but it had never proven to be very active, so we rather forgot about it. One day, when Yasha was visiting the shrine, I guess he fell in."

"Screw that. That centipede thing grabbed me and you know it," shot back Yasha, offended that she would have forgotten that attack, and would think he could just 'fall into" the well. Sango couldn't help but smirk at his answer. She wondered if that would get a rise out of him.

"He would be right. He did get attacked by a demon, and I followed after him, knowing that he would get himself killed as he hadn't really had any proper training on killing a demon. And that is how we ended up here."

"Why didn't you just jump back in the well and go home instead of staying here?" Guthrow asked curiously. "Surely it would have made things easier." Sango shook her head.

"It wasn't nearly that simple. First, I was taken away and Miroku saved me from that death, as you may recal. Then Yasha was hurt and you were taking care of him, and we lost track of each other for a while. However, I have gone back to the well, twice now, and have found just that; a dry old well. I have been down to the bottom, and emerged here, instead of home. So for now, for better or for worse, we are here. For how long, I do not know. But this is now our home. And I think it would be best, even if we could go home, that we would stay here, until we know if what has happened to Yasha is permanent, or if it can be reversed."

Karamina nodded her head.

"A wise decision. Now, I think, we will go back into Momiji."

OoOoOoOoO

Izaiyoi had been away a year before she came back to the shrine. Life had been difficult without her family, and she had sorely missed them. She wasn't sure how she had survived if an ancient woman had not found her sleeping in a park, and had taken her home with her. Her kimono's still fetched a pretty price, but the funds did not last as long as they did anymore. She knew her family had been looking for her, but she thought it was more a token motion then anything else. They didn't really want her, and she didn't want to go back. So she made sure to hide, though she was sure she would have been found by now if the older woman had not taken her in. She was trying to feed and clothe herself, and she still might have to think about seeing if the woman would hire her as a servant, or if she could receive work elsewhere while still remaining in the house. She was getting desperate enough, that she had even found herself considering Imarda's suggestion. She had even created a cozy little nest before she had firmly yanked herself back to her right mind, and had sealed it up. Finally, she had come back to the shrine, slipping through the gate as she used to when she was younger, and found another celebration taking place. Making her way to the window like she once had, she looked in at those that she had once known. She could not discern what the celebration was for, but at the bar sat Imiko, holding a small bundle in her arms. Several of the other women were around her, wiggling their fingers at it, and making funny faces. She could only think that that had to be Takizo's child she was holding. Some of the women made beckoning motions, and Imiko shook her head, laughing and indicating the child in her arms. Imarda came over then, and gently took the child, and then pointed forcefully over to where others were dancing. The other women took their cue, and dragged Imiko laughing, to join the dance.

The pieces of her heart ground together as she watched her sisters act as they had. Once, they had been the same with her. That traitorous portion of her mind took over again, and Izaiyoi became determined. She might have had time to change her mind, except with loud laughter, a man appeared out the door. He was one that she had been hoping would look at her for years, but of course she was invisible to him. He was perfection, and he was drunk, and for one night, he was going to be hers. She had her face hooded to protect from the snow that was falling, and offered him the world, which he gladly took. Unlocking her nest, she forgot the hurt and the heartache for a time, and let herself fantasize about a different life, and the pleasure it would have brought.

At the end, when he slept exhausted on the bed she had created, Izaiyoi felt an overwhelming abundance of shame at what she had just done, and fled back to the old woman's house; throwing herself onto her bed and weeping herself to sleep. She had been so despondent that morning, that the older woman had bullied, and nearly threatened the story out of her houseguest. After hearing her tale, the woman had placed a warm arm around her, and let her cry, and then shocked Izaiyoi.

"I too had a hard time living at the shrine, so I left it in charge of my son and grandson. They did not see fit to provide me with any granddaughters, but I do not feel bad about giving it to you." Izaiyoi had blinked at the woman's words.

"The shrine? You were an Exterminator?" She woman smiled. One of her eyes was milkey, and Izaiyoi was not sure she could even see out of it anymore, and it looked like there was a scar that went from above her eye to below it, though her wrinkles did a good job of hiding it.

"I still am. Though, do not worry about me telling them where you are. If he felt you needed to leave, who am I to tell them where you are. Just under one condition. You see the box on the shelf there?" Izaiyoi turned to see a worn wooden box, lovingly polished but dark with age, setting on a shelf across the room. "Bring it to me." She obliged, and set the box gently before the other. With a grin that made her main violet eye sparkle, she opened the box, and pulled out a beaded necklace. The beads looked hand-carved and very old, and in the center of the beads was a red jewel, that looked oddly familiar.

"This is the Shikon no Tama." Izaiyoi rose to her feet.

"The Shikon no Tama! But the Exterminators have been looking for that for years!"

"And they will continue to do so," remarked to woman, with a sly grin. "It was given to my ancestor for safe keeping, and then it was passed to her daughter, and then it came to me. I was given no daughters of my own, and my sons could not produce daughters either. I would never trust this to another who was not an Exterminator as well." She ran fingers lovingly over the bead like it was an old friend.

"Then, you would not want to entrust it to me, as I am a very bad Exterminator." Izaiyoi stepped away from the table with her hands behind her back, and head bowed.

"But that is why I am entrusting it to you. Maybe you were never meant to be swinging blades and fighting demons. Ever think that you may have been meant to be a guardian?" Her head shot up as she looked at the older woman in shock. Could there be a purpose to why she was different?

"Those that have been entrusted with its safe keeping have never found peace in the temple, and the jewel has never returned. I left, and was entrusted with it. You have left, and now you are as well. This may just be what you were born to do child."

Izaiyoi had accepted the gift, and burden of the jewel, and had settled into her new home. Life was not easy, especially once she started feeling very ill in the mornings, and then she noticed her belly growing hard. She had indeed succeeded, but maybe she didn't need to redeem her name after all. The old woman, who had declared herself Izaiyoi's grandmother now, had told her she still may want to raise the child, as there was room in the house, and there was nothing that brought more joy to an old woman then the hear a childs laughter. She would never get to hear Yasha's laughter though, as she had finally succumbed to her age two months before he was born.

She was startled one day, as she waddled around the house that had been left to her, when she looked into the mirror, and noticed that her irises had gained a reddish tint to them, and had changed her eyes from dark brown to a dark violet, and after several days of checking, they did not change. She remembered Grandmothers eyes being violet as well, though of a different shade. Why had her eyes changed? And why so suddenly? Then her eyes traveled to the jewel around her neck.

Since grandmother died, she had not been able to leave it in the box. She wore it as a reminder to the woman she had known for only a short time, but had learned so much from. The shade that was added to her eyes was much like the color of the jewel she now wore. She wondered if it really was causing it.

She received her answer six years later on her deathbed, when she placed the jewel shakily into Yasha's small hands, and she watched his eyes shade to violet. She wished she could watch him grow. The world was not going to be easy on a 6-year-old, and because of her cut ties with her family, they were never going to know that he existed. They were never going to know what a remarkable little boy she had, that would probably even make her father proud. She only hoped that things would not be too bad for him, and that he would never forget her. Then finally, she closed her eyes, and slept for a final time, happy to see Grandmother waiting for her.


There you are. A little back story for ya'll, and hopefully it answers a few questions, though it may generate more as well. Here's something to think about. If you were thrown back in time, how would you explain to someone where you were from? And hope that they didn't think you were crazy of course. I thought I would catch up pretty fast, as it took me so long last time, so that you didn't have to sit with that small cliffie I left last time. So here is the next chapter.

I really do appreciate reviews, and I do not mind constructive Criticism. I know it was a little slow in the beginning, and a little off kilter, but hopefully now it is picking up for you.

~Sky