Disclaimer- I do not own Inuyasha.
A/N- This is a story that I started a long time ago and I recently recovered it from an old laptop and I thought hey, why not post it. So here is chapter one.
A Father's Legacy
CHAPTER ONE - A Glimpse of the Past
As the woman lay on the pallet of blankets in the darkened room, her breathing growing more labored with every breath she took, her gaze shifted to the young boy who sat huddled in the shadows. Staring at the child made her thoughts drift back to the day, nearly ten years ago, when helping a young girl changed her life forever.
(As the healer of her village, she spent many hours in the forests, gathering medicinal herbs. It was during one such trip that her adventure began. She'd had to travel further into the forest than usual in search of a particularly rare herb and she became disoriented during her search.
"It's okay," the woman muttered to herself when she discovered that she was lost. "It can be fixed."
And so the search for the trail she'd made began. She wandered around the area, closely examining the underbrush for signs that something had traveled through it. She soon found a spot that was very trampled but she immediately knew that she was not the one who'd made these tracks. They were too wide to have been made by a single person.
Something about the tracks didn't seem right somehow and she knelt down for a closer look. Upon closer inspection she noticed that the ground was splattered with drops of blood. It was human blood. And the blood was fresh.
"Someone's injured, I must find them."
Traveling through the forest at a quick pace, she scanned the terrain for some sign of the injured person. She'd traveled quite some distance before she came upon a young woman propped up against a tree. The young woman was covered in blood and wore a pained expression on her face.
"What happened?!" She gasped, running toward the young woman. She dropped to her knees beside the young woman and began to look at her blood soaked shoulder.
"I had a run in with a very unfriendly demon," the young woman answered.
"How horrible," the woman said. "My name is Hina and I can help you."
"My name is Rin," the young woman said.
As the two women exchanged pleasantries Hina began to realize that they weren't alone. "Who's there?" Hina demanded.
She gasped as a tall figure emerged from the shadows cast by a group of tall trees. The man was very tall, with silver hair and bangs that parted in the middle. He had a crescent moon in the middle of his forehead, orange eyes and pointed ears. Hina knew immediately that the man could not possibly be human.
"Is this the demon that attacked you?" Hina asked the young woman but knew immediately that it couldn't be so. Rin's face lit up as soon as she saw the demon.
"What happened Rin?" the demon named Sesshomaru asked, completely ignoring Hina.
"A demon attacked me," Rin said simply.
Sesshomaru looked at Rin's blood soaked shoulder and then glanced down at the two swords he wore at his side. They were useless in this situation. Tenseiga could not be used to heal injuries.
Meanwhile Hina had removed the cloth sack that had been tied around her shoulders. She unfolded the cloth and pulled from it herbs and white cloth used to make bandages.
"Let me see your shoulder."
Rin stared bewildered at the woman for a few seconds and then complied. She lowered the shoulder of her kimono, exposing her shoulder wound. Hina cleaned the wound as best she could, without the aid of water, and then she applied herbs and bandaged the wound.
"Thank you," Rin said softly, pulling her kimono back over her shoulder.
"You're welcome," Hina said.
Sesshomaru stared at Hina in disbelief the entire time she attended to Rin's injuries and he was completely confused. She had to have known that Rin was with him and yet she still chose to help her. This puzzled him.
"Why have you done this?" Sesshomaru asked. "I can tell by your scent that you are a half demon. Why did you help Rin? How could you possibly benefit from this?"
"I can't," Hina replied. "However helping people is what I do."
That statement puzzled Sesshomaru all the more. The woman was a half breed and yet she seemed to harbor no bitterness toward humans or demons. He had never encountered a person such as this woman.
Hina gathered up her things and placed them back in her cloth. She folded the cloth so that it once again formed a sack and then she tied it around her shoulders. "Well I must be off. The people of my village are probably wondering where I am by now. Farewell."
And with that Hina left Rin and Sesshomaru standing in the forest. She quickly located her trail and began the journey back to her village. As she walked, she thought about the demon she'd just met. He'd known she was a half demon. Hina sighed. No matter how normal she looked, demons always knew.
"I look human enough," Hina mused. "Except for my amber eyes. Maybe that's the giveaway." Then she thought about it some more. "No that's not it. It's my scent. I may look human but I don't smell human. The demon blood is there. And of course a full demon like him could pick up that scent."
The image of the handsome demon flashed before her eyes.
"Stop that," she chided herself. "I'll never see him again and even if I did, demons despise half demons above all else. There could never be anything between us. In fact I'm probably lucky I'm still alive."
When Hina arrived back at her small village she immediately headed in the direction of her small hut, which was located near the village entrance. As she walked toward her hut she was stopped by one of the village elders.
"Where have you been all day Lady Hina?" the old man asked.
"I have been in the forest gathering herbs elder," Hina told the old man.
"For such a long period of time?" the elder asked suspiciously.
"Yes," Hina replied shortly. "Now if you'll excuse me I must unpack and sort the herbs that I gathered."
And with that Hina pushed past the old man and ran the last few feet to her hut. As she retreated Hina heard the man mutter, "That girl's lucky she inherited her father's healing abilities or else we'd have been rid of her long ago."
Hina slipped inside her hut and let out a long sigh. "It seems some people will never trust me completely. Oh well," she said, her dark mood disappearing almost as quickly as it had appeared. "Can't have everything.")
That day seemed so long ago and so much had happened since then.
"It seems like an eternity has passed since then," Hina thought to herself.
Having been a healer for many years gave Hina the knowledge that she would not survive her injuries. And with that knowledge came worry. She was not concerned with herself, for she had lived a good life. It was the fate of her young son that concerned her. She knew that once she was gone the villagers would quickly attempt to rid themselves of the young half demon. The boy would not be killed for even at his young age he was easily a match for even the most powerful villagers, however he faced banishment.
Tears formed in Hina's eyes as she thought about the fate that awaited her young son. "I'm sorry Karan . You didn't ask for such a life and you certainly don't deserve it."
As her breathing became increasingly labored Hina's thoughts slipped once again to the past.
(A few days after Hina's encounter with Rin and Sesshomaru, she gathered some herbs and bandages and entered the forest once again. She planned to track down Rin so that she could clean and redress the young woman's shoulder wound. She knew that without proper care the wound could still prove fatal and she did not want that to happen.
So she used her heightened sense of smell to track down Rin, by the scent of her blood. It took a few hours but Hina's search proved fruitful. She came upon a clearing in the forest and she heard voices from within the clearing.
Hina stopped just outside the clearing, hidden behind a cluster of bushes, and listened to the voices. Suddenly Hina realized that someone had appeared behind her. She turned around slowly and saw that it was Sesshomaru.
"What are you doing here half breed?" Sesshomaru asked coldly.
"I simply came to take a look at the young woman's shoulder wound," Hina explained. "The wound must be properly cared for."
"As you wish," Sesshomaru said, in a completely cold and unfeeling voice. "Do what you came to do and then leave this place."
Hina nodded and slowly entered the clearing. As she approached the fire in the center of the clearing Hina saw the young woman named Rin and a curious looking toad-like demon.
"A human!" the small green demon yelled when he saw Hina enter the clearing.
Hina stared at the imp in defiance. "You're not much of a demon. Can't even tell a half demon from a mortal? Not that one is any better than the other in your eyes."
"You," Jaken said. "Who do you think you are?"
"It's alright Master Jaken," Rin said. "She is my friend."
Hina smiled at having been called friend by this young woman whom she'd met only once before. "Hello Rin. I came to take a look at your wound."
Rin nodded and lowered her kimono, revealing her bandaged shoulder. Hina knelt down beside Rin and unwrapped the blood stained bandages. She cleansed the wound, applied more medicinal herbs, and then wrapped it in fresh bandages.
"There," she said, when she was finished. "The wound should be completely healed in no time."
"Thank you," Rin said, smiling at the older woman.
"You're welcome," Hina said standing up.
"Alright half breed," Sesshomaru said. "You did what you came here to do. Leave now."
Hina nodded. "Okay but I'll be back in a few days to change the bandages again."
Sesshomaru said nothing. He neither objected nor gave permission. He simply shrugged his shoulders. Hina took that as unspoken permission to return and she left the clearing.
When Hina returned to her village she was once again greeted by one of the village elders. "Out gathering more herbs Lady Hina?" the elder asked.
Hina nodded. She hated lying to the elder however she had no choice. She did not want anyone in the village to know about her involvement with the demon Sesshomaru and his companions.
The elder eyed her suspiciously but said nothing.
Hina heaved a sigh of relief and headed toward her hut. She was relieved to be off the hook for the time being but she didn't know how much longer she would be able to travel through the forest to treat Rin's wound. She couldn't bear the thought of being caught in the same place as Sesshomaru.
"I can't be caught with them," Hina said. "It would mean trouble for all concerned.")
Hina smiled at the memories that unfolded before her. Even then she'd known that she was falling in love with the handsome demon, however she'd also known that this feeling was completely one sided. Sesshomaru had a passionate hatred for all half demons and could not possibly return her feelings of love. But that didn't make her care for him any less.
(Hina had been traveling to the forest every few days for the past two months and she knew that this would likely be her last trip. Rin's wound had been nearly healed the last time she'd made the journey and she knew without a doubt that it would be fully healed by now. This thought brought with it a small sense of relief. When she stopped making these trips into the forest she would no longer have to worry about the people of her village discovering that she was spending time with two demons and their companion. Life for Hina would return to normal once Rin's wound was completely healed.
Hina's duties in the village had kept her occupied for most of the day and by the time she finally got a free moment it was late in the afternoon. She usually made her trips to the forest clearing early in the morning however she decided to make an exception since this would be the last trip she would make there.
"I must hurry to the clearing," Hina thought. "It will be dark in a few short hours."
So Hina quickly gathered up her things for the journey. She tied her herb pack around her shoulders just like always even though she would not need them this time. However she had to make the villagers believe that she was going into the forest to find an important herb before the sun set.
When Hina arrived at the clearing she immediately went over to Rin and attended to her. Her prediction was confirmed when she removed the bandages. All that remained of the shoulder wound were four thin jagged scars, mementos from the claws of the demon that had attacked her.
"Well it looks as though you're as good as new Rin, so I guess this is good-bye."
"You don't have to stop coming Lady Hina," Rin told her. "We can still be friends."
Hina shook her head sadly. "I'm sorry Rin but I'm afraid that's not possible." No matter how much she cared for Rin and, secretly Sesshomaru, she refused to endanger the people of her village by continuing to visit them.
Rin's face fell. "I thought we were friends."
"Oh Rin," Hina said, hugging the young girl fiercely. "I care for you very much but my first duty is to my village."
A third voice spoke up and joined the conversation. "Why do you feel bound to those who dislike you?"
Hina looked up at Sesshomaru, her eyes beaming and a soft smile on her face. This was the first time he'd shown any type of concern for her and it pleased her very much.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Sesshomaru asked sharply. "Stop it. It's not like I care or anything. I was merely curious."
"I care for the villagers because they allow me to live with them," Hina told him. "Even knowing what I am they still tolerate my presence among them."
Hina nodded. "My father was the village healer before me but he became involved with a female fox demon. They were lovers for awhile but Mother passed away shortly after my birth, leaving Father to raise me by himself. The villagers were not happy about this. However Father was their healer so they really couldn't do anything. They needed him too badly. Then Father joined Mother in the netherworld when I was fifteen and I was left alone in the world. The villagers had never really liked me and I had been shunned my entire life but I had the gift of healing, passed down to me from my father, and that's why they let me stay."
"Well you should probably make sure you remain useful or else those humans will do away with you."
"You're probably right Lord Sesshomaru but they need me."
The sun sank below the horizon and still Hina could not force herself to return to her village. She was fascinated by Sesshomaru, even though he appeared to be completely without emotions. She wanted to spend as much time in his presence as she could for she knew that she would not be back.
Hina wasn't sure exactly how it came about but she ended up staying the night in the forest clearing with the handsome demon. The moment they made love was the single happiest moment of Hina's life and she knew that she would treasure it forever.
Sesshomaru was gone by the time Hina awoke but that didn't really surprise her. She was sure he would be mad at himself for what had transpired between them and furious at her for a long time.
Hina got up and walked over to the camp fire. She sat down beside Rin and placed her chin on her knees. She gazed at the dancing flames, a thoughtful expression on her face. Now that the wonderful night was over and her head had cleared somewhat, Hina knew that she had a problem. She had been away from her village all night and didn't know how she was going to explain her absence to the villagers. Fears of what they might think, and worse what they might do, plagued her thoughts.
"What's wrong Lady Hina?'
"I should have been home hours ago," Hina said. "The villagers must be so worried."
"It'll be okay," Rin assured her, placing a comforting hand on the older woman's shoulder.
A few minutes later Jaken and Sesshomaru returned to camp. Sesshomaru sat down some distance from the camp fire and leaned against a tree. He totally ignored the two human girls who sat beside the fire.
Hina gazed at Sesshomaru out of the corner of her eye, attempting to gauge whether or not he was angry with her. As she stared at the demon, she noticed that the bushes on the east side of the clearing were moving. She heard the sounds of people approaching. Suddenly a group of men holding torches and various weapons burst into the clearing.
"Look my lord," Jaken said. "It's an angry mob."
Sesshomaru remained in his relaxed position, paying no heed to the angry looking group of humans. He'd heard their approach for some time and had caught their scent much earlier than that but had judged them not worthy of his time.
Hina jumped to her feet. "What are you doing here?"
"I think a better question would be what are you doing here Hina?" the leader of the group said coldly.
Hina stared at the group of angry men. Their eyes were full of accusations and she wasn't sure whether or not they'd believe anything she told them at this point.
"She was helping me," Rin spoke up.
The men all stared at Rin.
"She appears to be human," the group leader said. "So we may be able to trust her."
"I don't think so," one of the younger men in the group said. "Anyone who would willingly ally themselves with demons cannot possibly be trusted."
"You have a point," the group leader said. "Hina you're coming with us. Now!"
Hina hesitated, a little scared of what they might do to her if she went with them. Her hesitation angered the leader of the angry mob. He took a few menacing steps toward the young woman, who stepped away from him quickly.
Sesshomaru stood up. "She doesn't have to go with you."
"Quiet demon," the group leader ordered. "We'll deal with you after we finish with the girl."
Sesshomaru glared at the group leader. It had taken guts on the part of the human to speak to him in that manner and Sesshomaru was about to rip them out and show them to him. He drew his sword, the Tokijin, and took a few steps toward the group of humans.
The men all raised their various weapons, preparing for the demon's impending attack.
Hina gazed in horror from Sesshomaru, who held up a huge sword, to the village men, who all held various, dangerous looking weapons. She didn't know who would win the battle but she didn't want any of them to be harmed. "No!" Hina yelled, stepping between Sesshomaru and the villagers. She turned pleading eyes to the village leader. "Wait! I'll go with you but only on one condition. You must not harm the demon."
"Fine," the group leader said. "Come with us now and we will spare him."
Hina gazed upon Sesshomaru's handsome face one last time before following the villagers out of the clearing. Hina bowed her head, to hide the tears that had formed in her amber eyes, and followed the men back to the village.
"Alright Lady Hina," the group leader said. "We'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume nothing happened. You may go."
"Yes elder," Hina said softly, her head still bowed. Hina walked slowly toward her hut, entered and sat down on a mat beside the fire pit. She placed her head in her hands and cried. She cried both for the fact that she would never see Sesshomaru again and for the fact that she had lost the small shred of trust the villagers had for her.)
A single tear rolled down Hina's cheek as she recalled that day, so long ago. The villagers had not treated her the same since that fateful day and would probably have killed her had she not been the only healer for miles. Their need of her was the only thing that had saved her life.
"I thought my life was over that day," Hina thought to herself. "I could see little point in living and had it not been for the innocent children who's lives depended on my skills I would probably have killed myself. However it's a good thing I didn't."
Hina's thoughts once again drifted to the past. This time to the day she knew she was with child. She smiled a soft smile as she remembered.
(Hina had been feeling ill for some time and none of her herbs seemed able to cure her affliction. The illness persisted for several months despite all she tried and it finally dawned on her what the cause must be. She could have slapped herself for being so stupid. The signs had all been there and up until now she had missed them.
"I'm with child," she murmured.
Hina was happy about the pregnancy however she was also afraid. Now the villagers would know that something had indeed happened between her and Sesshomaru. They would not be happy about that and would probably want to destroy the child.
"I won't let them harm my baby," Hina vowed.
Hina was a very petite woman and was thus able to hide the fact that she was with child for the duration of the pregnancy. However, as the months went by there could no longer be any doubt in anyone's mind that Hina was with child. And just as Hina had feared the villagers were none too keen on the idea of her bearing the child of a demon. Hina was about seven months pregnant when a group of villagers confronted her.
She was walking across the village when the village elder grabbed her by the arm. "What have you done you half-breed wench?"
"I've done nothing wrong," Hina said defiantly, her amber eyes flashing fire. "Now release me."
Hina jerked her arm sideways and the elder released his grip. He was stunned. This was the first time that Hina had ever stood up for herself and the villagers had no idea how to react to that. It only took them a moment to recover however.
"How can you say that?" another villager demanded. "You're unwed and with child. And we all know who the father is. That silver haired demon from the forest."
Hina nodded, confirming their suspicions. She raised her chin in defiance. "He is, indeed, the father of my child."
"See? She admits it," the elder said.
"There would be no point in denying it," Hina said. "You'd all find out soon anyway."
The village elder cleared his throat, once again capturing the attention of Hina and the group of villagers. "When the child is born it will immediately be put to death. That shall be the punishment for your misdeed Hina."
Hina's amber fox eyes flashed, giving her a malevolent look. "If any of you even attempt to harm my baby, I'll kill every single one of you. And I assure you that your deaths shall be slow and excruciatingly painful."
The villagers had never seen Hina looking so angry and they all took a few steps away from her. They were terrified of the angry half-breed.
"You wouldn't," the elder said, although the quiver in his voice undermined his confident words.
"Try me," Hina warned.
The day Hina gave birth came and only one of the villagers aided the young mother with her labor. Hina's one and only friend Miatsu stayed with her throughout her labor and helped her deliver her baby. After nearly a full day of painful labor Hina brought her child into the world.
Miatsu cleaned the baby and wrapped the child in a blanket. Then she handed the baby to Hina. "Here's your son Hina."
Hina took the baby in her arms and stared at his tiny face, framed by the blanket. The child had the silver hair of his father but he had his mother's amber eyes. And to Hina's amazement she saw that the child had dog ears. She gently touched one of the child's ears and discovered that it was velvety soft to the touch.
Miatsu gazed fondly at the mother and child. "So what are you going to call your son Hina?"
"His name will be Karanosuke," Hina replied.
Miatsu nodded. "It's a very fine name Hina."
Hina gazed down and smiled at her infant son. "A fine name for a fine boy. He will grow up to be very powerful, just like his father."
That thought comforted Hina. She knew that her child would be an outcast in the village of his birth, however she also knew that he would be able to stand up for himself at an early age, thanks to the demon blood that he had inherited from her and his father.
Hina smiled at her newborn son. Having him somewhat eased the feeling of loss that she had felt ever since she'd stopped visiting Rin and Sesshomaru. The little boy strongly resembled his father, even at his young age and this pleased Hina. She gazed down at the child in her arms. The child stared up at his mother, a strange look in his amber eyes. "Are you trying to figure me out kiddo?")
Hina gazed at her young son, who grew to look more like his father with each passing day. He had the long silver hair of his father which he wore pulled back into a pony tail, with the exception of two strands in the front which refused to be confined. The two wavy strands were shorter than the rest of the boy's hair and fell in front of his eyes. He was tall for a child his age.
However there were two main characteristics that separated Karanosuke from his father. One was the boy's dog ears and the second was his eyes. His eyes were the only thing that linked the boy to his mother. He had her amber fox eyes.
As she gazed at her son Hina's thoughts shifted to the fact that when she passed on her son would be left alone in the world to fend for himself. Hina was somewhat comforted by the knowledge that her son was a strong young man.
(When Karanosuke was growing up the other village children took great delight in tormenting him. They thought it great fun to taunt and pick on the young half breed. Hina rarely witnessed these acts of hatred directed at her son and yet she too had grown up a half breed and she knew that they occurred.
Hina was walking toward the hut she shared with her son, having just returned from gathering herbs in the forest, when she saw a group of children gathered just outside the village boundaries. The children were in a circle and as Hina got closer she saw that her young son was in the middle of the circle.
The children were taunting the young boy, calling him names and occasionally shoving him. Karanosuke stood in the middle of the circle, staring defiantly at the other children.
"Demon boy, you're pathetic," one of the older village boys taunted. "Can't even stand up for yourself."
Karanosuke glared at the boy and suddenly his amber eyes began to glow red. "That's it," the boy growled, his voice calm but lower than usual. "I'm gonna kill you all."
Hina gasped and ran up to the group of children. "Karanosuke no!"
Karanosuke's eyes reverted to their normal amber color and he stared up at his mother.
Hina glared at the group of children. "Go home. All of you."
The circle of children scattered, each child heading toward their respective homes. Hina heard them muttering derogatory comments about her under their breath but chose to ignore them.
Once the group of village children was disbanded, Hina grabbed her young son by the hand and led him toward the hut that they shared. Then, once they were inside, Hina dropped to her knees in front of Karanosuke.
"Karan, you shouldn't have threatened those children," Hina said.
"But those idiots were asking for it," Karanosuke said.
"I understand Karan," Hina said. "The same thing happened to me when I was your age but I knew an important fact that made violence toward my tormenters unnecessary."
"And what's that?" Karanosuke wanted to know.
"What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger," Hina said. "Now I'm not asking you to tolerate physical abuse but I don't want you to hurt people just because they call you names."
"I understand," Karanosuke said.
Hina smiled at her young son. "Good boy."
Karanosuke smirked. "If what you say is indeed true I'll be the strongest person in the world by the time I'm an adult."
Hina embraced her son. "I know the torment seems like it'll never end but I just want you to know that you will get through it and it won't always be like this.")
Hina smiled fondly at her son, knowing that he would be able to fend for himself when she joined her parents in the netherworld. She had raised him well and had complete faith in her beloved son. Pride shown in her eyes as she gazed at the boy.
Karanosuke noticed that his mother was staring at him and he stood up and walked over to the spot where she lay. He knelt down beside the pallet. "Do you need anything Mother?"
Hina shook her head. "No my son. I just take comfort in your presence."
Karanosuke gazed fondly at his mother. "You must hurry and recover your strength Mother. Then you and I can go back to doing all the fun things we used to do together."
Hina shook her head sadly. "I'm afraid that's not going to happen Karan. I will not recover from my injuries. In fact I won't be in this world for much longer."
Karanosuke stared at his mother, a sad expression on his face.
"I'm sorry Karan," Hina whispered. "But there is nothing that can be done for me. You must think only of yourself and your future now. You must go and find your father."
"Why would I want to do that?" Karanosuke asked. "I want nothing to do with someone who abandoned us before I was born. I've never known him and I've never had any desire to."
Tears formed in Hina's eyes at her son's accusation but she knew that she didn't have time to explain the fact that she was the one who left. Her time was running out and she had to convince the boy to search out his father. "Listen to me Karanosuke. The villagers will not allow you to stay here once I'm gone. In fact they will most likely try to end your life. However this does not worry me because I know that you are strong like your father. You will have to leave however so you must find your father. He is a dog demon and his name is Sesshomaru. You should have no trouble recognizing him because he looks very similar to you. You have to promise me that you'll find him. Do it for me, okay?"
When she finished speaking Hina gazed at her son, a pleading look in her amber eyes.
The look in his mother's eyes deeply affected Karanosuke and made him quickly change his earlier decision. He picked up his mother's hand. "Alright Mother. If that's what you want, I'll go and find him."
Hina smiled. "Thank you Karan. Now I can die in peace."
A/N- And there you have chapter one. This fic is one of my earlier works, and like I said I just retrieved the file. Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to review and let me know what you thought.