From the person who brought you Nemuri no Kagura comes another parodied fairytale of the Sesshoumaru/Kagura variety, this one being a strange, strange version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This was started months and months ago, around the same time as Nemuri no Kagura, though for some unfathomable reason I have not uploaded even the part I had written. Until now. You see, I'm kind of in the middle of a major writer's block, and so I have no fresh ideas, especially for the InuYasha fandom.
(I truly apologize to those who have been waiting for me to write something new...)
Disclaimer: (And it's a long one) I do not own InuYasha (Rumiko Takahashi), Snow White (Brothers Grimm), Snow White (Disney), End of All Hope (Nightwish), Nightwish (themselves), Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki), and anything else I may have forgotten.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, where faeries were still able to grant wishes and evil witches cast spell, there lived a young maiden who lived in a tower-
Oops, wrong story, sorry. Shall we start over?
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away that was called Toyoashihara no Mizuho no Kuni, there was a wealthy and powerful clan lord who ruled from a castle so white it blinded all those unworthy to gaze upon it. The lord of the castle, Touga, was a great leader and terrifying on the battlefield. It was best to avoid any direct confrontations with him, lest you had extra limbs to part with. His lady was the beautiful princess Izayoi. Although she could not fight, Lady Izayoi kept the castle safe in her own way, either by negotiations, or by the many priestesses she employed, all of which were very scary.
Touga and Izayoi were very happy, but for one thing. They had no child to dote on, or force into odd clothing of which they would then take pictures for use as blackmail later on in life.
The one day, as Izayoi sat polishing some weapons of mass destruction, she cut her finger on the edge of her sewing needle. Yes, a bone needle now falls into the category of a 'weapon of mass destruction'.
Watching the blood drip from her finger to the dark wooden floor, she prayed to the Suijin, goddess of childbirth:
"I hope that doesn't stain… I mean, I wish for a child with hair as dark as this ebony floor, with skin as pale as this castle, and with lips as red as blood."
The goddess heard her prayers and answered them. Unfortunately for the lady, Suijin was also in the middle of suing a water sprite for impersonation, and misheard her. Instead of hair as dark as shinning ebony, the child had hair several shades lighter than the dark wood. Instead of lips as red as blood, it was the child's eyes that were crimson. (The goddess seemed to have missed the second demanded entirely… It was either because of the insanely loud courthouse, or the crappy cell phone reception, or both.)
Nevertheless, Touga and Izayoi loved their child and named her Kagura. Kagura was well cared for and loved by her people, given whatever she wished. Although she was surrounded by riches, her favourite object was a tessen given to her on her sixth birthday by her parents. With it, she could control the wind and slice people's heads off. Fortunately for just about everyone, she didn't figure this out until later on in this story.
Unfortunately, this is also a fairytale, so the happiness has to end somewhere. In Kagura's case, it was the day her mother died. No one really knew how Izayoi died, but the important thing is that she did.
Anyway! Touga then went mad with grief and remarried the first person he saw. Of course, that just so happened be Naraku, the only in the kingdom that did not like Kagura… and who also just so happened to be a man.
To the sorrow of the princess, Touga, upon finding out that he was forced to marry Naraku of all people, went crazy and was carted off to a mental asylum somewhere in Fiji, where he is still believed to be today.
Under the reign of 'Lady' Naraku, the land suffered. Water evaporated very quickly, and man and beast both died of hunger and thirst. The skies were forever dark, clouded with Naraku's shouki so that not even the strongest of suns would be able to pierce the darkness. Thus the land of Toyoashihara no Mizuho no Kuni sustained great pain.
The demons were just as angry with Naraku as the humans were. The mini-demons in particular were extremely vicious, as they would often stalk Naraku from the trees and bushes and throw objects ranging in size from acorns to washing machines at him. Somehow, Naraku never figured out that it was the mini-demons. Instead, he put the blame on the squirrels. Upon questioning, he started twitching and muttering something about how 'cute, cuddly wuddly forest creatures should never be trusted, especially the ones with large, fluffy tails.' Yes, he did indeed use the non-word 'wuddly'.
As well as being paranoid, Naraku was very vain. Everyday, he would climb the stairs of the tallest tower in the castle, up to where he hid his greatest treasures. Upon entering the room and seeing its contents, he would smirk.
On the north wall of the room was a small shrine with three objects on it. One was a pale pink magatama, one was a gold-edged mirror, and the third object was a long slender sword.
Naraku would go first to the magatama and ask:
"Shikon no Tama, Shikon no Tama, who has the greatest power in the land?"
The Shikon no Tama, or rather the spirit trapped in it, that of the priestess Midoriko, would reply in a bored voice:
"Thou art, my lord, but thou would do well to disposing of the eye shadow, as it makes thy look like an escaped circus clown."
Smirking, and pointedly ignoring Midoriko's warning, Naraku would turn to the second object, the mirror and ask:
"Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"
Like the magatama, the mirror also had a spirit trapped inside it, this one of the Heaven Princess, Kaguya. To Naraku's question, she would answer,
"Thou art, my lord, but thy would do well to free me, before I trapped thee in a mirror for an eternity… and to lose the monkey pelt. It does nothing but ward thy fangirls away."
Once again, Naraku ignored the advice (he was incredibly fond of that pelt), and turned to the next item, the sword.
"Kusanagi no Tsurugi, Kusanagi no Tsurugi, who is the sole ruler of the land?"
Unlike the two others, the sword was not an item with a spirit in it, but rather a highly annoying talking sword.
"For the last time! My name is Souunga!" Souunga would snap back.
"Souunga, Kusanagi no Tsurugi, same thing! Just answer the question!"
"Fine, fine. Amaterasu is."
Every time Naraku asked, Souunga would answer with the name of a different god, ranging from Amaterasu to Zvaizdikis. How he knew about Zvaizdikis was questionable, but no one was brave enough to ask.
At Souunga's answer, Naraku would glare at the sword until it would relinquish.
"… Okay, thou art, my lord, but thy would do well to lose the tentacles as they do nothing but make thy look like an asylum escapee."
Needless to say, Naraku ignored Souunga's advice and would walk away, muttering about how he shouldn't have bought it off some random stranger for three sen.
But the day of Kagura's eighteenth birthday was different.
When Naraku went up to Midoriko and asked her his question, and she, for once not bored, answered, "Thou would be, my lord, if not for young princess Kagura, the rightful ruler of this realm that thou has seemed to have forsaken!"
Seriously pissed off, and slightly worried that Midoriko hadn't given him any odd and random advice, he stalked over to Kaguya's mirror.
To his question, the Heaven Princess answered, "Thou would be, my lord, but for young princess Kagura, the rightful ruler of this realm that thou has seemed to have forsaken! …Now can thy let me out of this damned mirror?!"
Deeply troubled by Kaguya's words, he turned to Souunga, who was loudly humming 'End of All Hope' by Nightwish and pointedly ignoring the 'lady'.
"Stop humming damn it!" Naraku snapped. The sword stopped, and, had it had a face it would have glared daggers at the monkey-man. Naraku cleared his throat, and continued. "Kusanagi no Tsurugi, Kusanagi no Tsurugi, who is the sole ruler of this land?"
"For the love of- Oh, what's the use?" the sword asked pitifully. "Nobody ever listens to me. Anyway, thou would be, my lord, but for young princess Kagura, the true ruler of this land that thou has seemed to have forsaken!"
Naraku glared at them. "Okay, so what do I have to do to get back in first place?" he asked.
"Um, thou knows that this is not a race, right?" Kaguya questioned in return, raising an eyebrows.
"Just answer the question!" snapped Naraku.
"Thou must kill princess," Souunga stated blankly.
"Souunga!" Midoriko hissed. "Thy wasn't supposed to tell him!"
"Well, I'm bored!" Souunga snapped back. "It's time that we had something to do around here!"
"Like getting blasted into hell?"
"I am from hell, in case thy hasn't realized it yet!"
"Is that why thee is so annoying?"
As the sword and the miko argued, Naraku turned around and brought a hand to his chin in a pensive gesture.
"Hm… Killing Kagura? That will not only assure my position as sole ruler of this land, but as the fairest of them all! Bwahahaha!" he laughed. "It was worth those three sen in the end!"
"See what happens when thee tells people stuff they shouldn't know!" Kaguya replied irritably.
"Vvvreeziraeravers…." Souunga muttered. It might have meant something in the sword's mind, but it came out as complete gibberish.
The door slammed, marking Naraku's departure from the room.
"We're never going to get out of here, are we?" asked Kaguya. The two others agreed.
Naraku skipped down the stairs like a preppy schoolgirl. He was soon going to rid his kingdom of the one that threatened him in power, crown, and looks. He continued skipping until he reached one of the rooms where his hunters resided.
"Gozu! Mezu!" he yelled, slamming the door open.
The two hunters looked up from… whatever they were doing. Which was most likely nothing.
"I want you two to go kill Kagura. Now," he told them.
"Do you wish to pass?" asked Gozu… or was it Mezu? Naraku could never tell them apart. (Actually, it was Gozu)
"…. Huh?" was Naraku's great comeback.
"Do you wish to pass?" Mezu repeated.
"…" Naraku stared at them through narrowed eyes. He had never had any idea of what the two stone giants were saying. Guessing that it meant something along the lines of "Yes, my king, we would be happy to go kill an innocent young girl that has never done anything to you." He began to turn to leave.
"Okay, just go, kill her, and to make sure bring me back her heart in this box." He tossed the two a small jewelled comb box that would probably never fit a human heart. Mezu caught it.
"Shall we open the gate?" Gozu asked. The other one agreed with a "Then we shall open the gate". They brushed past Naraku, who just stared at them.
"They should make a book for this type of thing," Naraku thought aloud as he walked towards his personal quarters. "It could be called 'How to Translate Gibberish Spouted by Giant Stone Men for Dummies."
In some other corner of the grounds outside the castle, Kagura was poofed with no explanation into a pretty, sparkly field full of brightly coloured flowers and butterflies and bumblebees and-
"What the hell am I doing here?" demanded the princess, glaring at the sky, which was somehow blue and filled with sunlight.
Compared to the bright happiness of the rest of the field, Kagura's graying, torn rags, and dusty, dirty skin made her seem more out of place than a camel in the arctic.
*Ahem * Anyway, Kagura was prancing through the fields, singing and picking flowers as she went.
Kagura glared up at the sky, where she believed the narrator to be. The narrator gulped, and corrected the previous statement.
Kagura was actually just standing in the middle of the field, glaring at the bees and other insects that dared approach her.
She stood like that until she heard the sounds of branches being broken by the sounds of stone feet.
"Who the hell's there?" she demanded, whipping around.
"Do you wish to pass?" Mezu asked, as he and Gozu clambered out of the forest.
"Huh?" Kagura replied, her elegance and wits impressing even herself.
"Do you wish to pass, or not?" Gozu repeated.
"Er, I, uh…" Kagura started backing up, away from the two odd men. She was sure she had seen them around the castle, but knowing that didn't change the fact that two stone men walking out of a forest asking her if she wanted to pass through some gate was pretty weird.
"May I be of some help?" a new voice asked. Kagura glanced to where the voice emanated. Standing next to her was a mini-demon as tall as her knee.
"And who in the hells are you?" she asked.
"I am Bunza," replied the mini-demon. "I'm from the lynx demon tribe and it just so happens that I speak Gibberish Spouted by Giant Stone Men."
"That's an actual language?" the princess asked, cocking an eyebrow.
"Or so the writer says," replied the furry brown youkai. Turning to the two stone men, he said. "We wish to open the gate."
Gozu inclined his head, then exclaimed the best he could while still speaking in monotone; "Then, we shall open the gate!"
"Do you still wish to pass?" Mezu added.
"What are they saying?" Kagura asked, very confused by the odd exchange.
"They're saying that the evil queen Naraku, your step-mother, wants to kill you and sent them to give him your heart in a box."
"…Is that even physically possible?"
"Apparently. Anyway, they say for you to go deep into the woods," Bunza advised. Then, as an after thought, he added; "And to be careful of the giant purple, people-eating mind reader that lives in the forest."
With that, both hunters turned their backs to Kagura, and returned to the castle, stopping only to spear some boar named Nago so that they could give Naraku a heart in the place of Kagura's. (They really hoped that he didn't notice that Nago's heart was three times lager than the average human's.)
With Bunza's help, Kagura managed to get out of Toyoashihara no Mizuho no Kuni, and into the mountains without seeing hide nor hair of the giant purple, carnivorous mind reader that the huntsmen had mentioned.
At the very edges of Toyoashihara- I give up. At the very edges of the country, Bunza turned to Kagura.
"Here I must leave you, princess," the lynx demon told her. "Keep on going, and never turn back, for the evil queen will try to kill you if you do!"
He shot back the way they had come.
Taking Bunza's advice, Kagura ran.
She ran deeper into the thickly forested mountains, hair streaming behind her as she went. Twigs and brambles tugged at her dress, tearing it and scratching her arms and legs deep enough to draw blood. She continued to run, blinded in the darkness, her senses fading away, until nothing was left but blackness and the princess collapsed in a sobbing heap-
"What are you talking about?" Kagura demanded. The narrator sighed, and told the truth.
The truth was that her dress only had a couple of small tears, and there was no blood coming from the few small scratches she had gained. The path was actually quite clear for being in the middle of the forest.
"And who decided that it would be so dark in here?" No sooner had the words left the princess's mouth did the whole area light up, as if a cloud had been passing over the sky and had moved on.
And there, in a bright patch of sunlight, a large temple stood. The gardens were in disarray, but the house itself was in good shape, she noticed as she approached.
Heedless of the warnings given to her as a child, Kagura entered the house, and found the inside in complete disarray.
The dishes were piled high around the kitchen sink that had somehow managed to find its way into feudal Japan, a sword had been thrown into the wall, and a head cloth had been thrown over the weapon. The floor had not been swept it what looked like centuries, and a large mouse ran across it. Digging around a bit, she found a shoe in a pot.
Kagura sneezed as the dust got into her nose. Whoever lived here really need to learn how to clean.
Then, feeling the hand of some unknown and unseen force on her back pushing her towards the closet where the unused cleaning supplies lay collecting cobwebs, she decided that this was one part of the movie she could not ignore. Sighing, she grabbed some rags and started to clean the grime away.
Several hours later, she was beginning to think that it was a waste of time. A house this dirty couldn't be inhabited, could it? She had even found a shirt stuck in the drain of the kitchen sink. She truly wondered how it got there.
With a shrug of tired shoulders, Kagura walked towards the now-sparkling room that she assumed was the bedroom of the inhabitants. She crumpled into a tired heap upon one of the beds, and there she slept.
As it were, the seven inhabitants of the house that Kagura had trespassed in were walking home, weapons slung over shoulders or across backs, talking and laughing amongst themselves.
It was near full dark when the Shichinintai returned home. The first thing that startled them was that the lights in their house were lit. How they noticed this from so far away is still unknown.
"It looks like there's some one in our house!" exclaimed Mukotsu, the smallest in stature in the Shichinintai.
"Thank you, general obvious," Suikotsu, a schizophrenic with a personality disorder muttered as he crept silently towards the house.
Their leader, Bankotsu, pulled off of his sword the purple sack that acted like a sheath before giving his commands.
"Okay, seeing as this is a fairy tale," Bankotsu began, "We'll only need to go in the front doors. No need to secure the back ones or any other was a person could get in or out of a fairly large Buddhist temple."
So then went into their home, the only sounds coming from Ginkotsu's metal body, until Kyokotsu rattled the doors shut. Because the Shichinintai are really a bunch of scaredy cats, they jumped at the sudden sound, and shushed Kyokotsu. Kyokotsu then turned to the two poor, innocent doors and shushed them as well.
Can't you just hear the sarcasm dripping off of that paragraph?
"Spread out, guys," Bankotsu ordered softly. He was stunned by the state of the temple. Who new that maple wood floors weren't actually black?
The other six also found that the house had been changed from when they had left it that morning, at the break of dawn. The dishes had been done, the cobwebs cleared away, the cutlery shined, the table had been set, and there was a large pot of…something… on the fire.
"Hey, that smells good," the leader of the Shichinintai commented as he made his way towards it.
Renkotsu, his second in command, stopped him.
"What if it's poisoned, Oo-Aniki?" the bald man demanded. "It's could be a witch's brew!"
"Smells like chicken soup to me," commented Jakotsu from where he was inspecting a certain princess's cleaning job on the fine china and porcelain.
"Um, guys?" Mukotsu called from the hallway that led to the Shichinintai's bedrooms. "Come see."
They did. In the first bedroom –which was, incidentally, Bankotsu's-, a girl was sleeping. Her dress and hair were tousled, and she was snoring in a manner that did not befit royalty of any sort, even royalty that had been forced to work in their own kitchen.
Everybody turned to Bankotsu, whose eyes were twitching at the sight.
"The hell?" the sharyou demanded. "Who is she and what is she doing here?"
Jakotsu death-glared at his young leader, not believing a word. He might not look like it, but Jakotsu could really scare the crap out of someone when he wanted.
"I'm not saying this," Renkotsu said suddenly, reading ahead in the script. He tossed the script to the ground. "You can not make me say this."
A bolt of lightning struck the ground next to the fire-breather. Still he remained perfectly still, his jaw all but locked shut.
A mini thunder cloud appeared above his head. He ignored it. It was only when the mini cloud started to produce rain, thunder, lightning, and very large, very painful chunks of hail that rained down unchallenged upon his head did he yielded.
"She's beautiful," Renkotsu growled, jaw clenched.
"She's more than that," Mukotsu replied, leering at Kagura's sleeping form. "She's an angel."
Just then, Kagura hand came out of nowhere and caught Mukotsu full on the side of his head. He was flung into the wall due to the force of the princess's slap.
"Eh? Wadda? Was goin' on?" Kagura asked, only half awake. Realizing that she was surround by seven unfamiliar men, she jumped up, suddenly awake, and pulled out her tessen.
"Um, calm down?" Bankotsu tried, holding his hands up in universal gesture of surrender. Or something similar, as Bankotsu of the Shichinintai never surrendered.
"Who are you?" the princess demanded, eyes flicking from face to face.
"The Shichinintai. Surely you've heard of us," Jakotsu told her, crossing his arms.
"Uh, yeah, but I thought the Shichinintai was made of seven men," Kagura pointed out, closing her tessen and pointing it at Jakotsu.
Jakotsu's right hand twitched as he reached towards Jakotsutou.
"…I am a man."
"Um, sorry?" Kagura apologized quickly.
"Since this plot has to go somewhere…" Suikotsu muttered, then stood between the two. "So, who are you and what are you doing here?"
"I'm Kagura, princess of Toyoashihara no Mizuho no Kuni," she introduced herself. "I'm here 'cause my bastard of a step-'mother', Queen Naraku, wants me dead for some obscure reason."
"…" The seven looked at her blankly.
"Yeah, pretty lame, I know," the princess admitted. "So can I stay?"
"Provided you keep the house clean, I don't see a problem with it," Bankotsu replied. "We've got more than enough rooms as it is."
Kagura raised an eyebrow at him. "Why the hell should I clean up after you people? You seem perfectly capable of taking care of yourselves."
All seven of the Shichinintai looked around, obviously searching for an excuse, any excuse.
After about three minutes, Kagura got tired of waiting. "Fine, as that paranoid schizo pointed out, this plot has to go somewhere. I will do your housework. Speaking of which, that soup the ravens, I mean, I made is probably boiling over by now…"
The seven ran off, in a hurry to save their next meal, and Kagura followed, sniggering silently. The only way that meal was going to be eaten was with many whacks of her tessen, and many long, colourful rants.
... To be continued sometime in the vague future!
Okay, some notes for this chapter:
-According to one book I own, Toyoashihara no Mizuho no Kuni is or was another name for Japan.
-I've heard someone somewhere on the 'net call the water goddess in volumes 10 and 11 'Suijin', who is a real Shinto water goddess, but she is also a goddess of childbirth.
-A tessen is a Japanese war fan made of iron, made to look like a harmless folding fan.
-About the Magatama, mirror, sword thing… I swear that it's just a coincidence that these are sacred items to the Shinto. I really was not thinking at all when I chose the items…
-Kusanagi no Tsurugi is the Japanese name for the Sword of Kusanagi, which Jii-chan mistakenly thought Souunga was in movie three.
-Yes, Zvaizdikis is a real god. A Baltic god of the stars, if I'm not mistaken.
-Sen is a medieval Japanese coin. Or something…
If there is something else that does not make sense, please do not hesitate to ask me about anything.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could review and tell me what you thought of this. Go ahead and click the button, it doesn't bite!