AN: Here's the first chapter, originally uploaded 2-16-2011 and edited 11-15-2012. I hope you enjoy reading and I'd love to know your thoughts if you decide to write a review. :3
Disclaimer: All original Inuyasha characters belong to Rumiko Takahashi.
Chapter 1: First Encounter
The forest was silent.
This normally wasn't a problem for Inuyasha, in fact he rather liked the occasional slow night. On nights such as these he could rest peacefully knowing that the village and the jewel of four souls that his people had sworn to protect were safe. He would often sit with his back resting comfortably against the shrine that housed the jewel, chatting casually with whoever might be on guard duty with him that night or resting his eyes for a few brief moments, all while his sword, the Tessaiga, rested in his lap, close enough to be ready in an instant should a demon appear.
This night was different.
It was the full moon and the full moon was well known for bringing trouble to the village. Demons were more active on nights when the moon was at its brightest and not just in the village where Inuyasha and the jewel resided. Attacks and death tolls were notoriously higher throughout the land, although no one was sure why.
On the full moon demons of all shapes and sizes would come, craving the power of the jewel of four souls and the taste of human flesh and blood. Everyone was always on their toes ready to defend the jewel and themselves, not unlike tonight. Tonight however it had been dark for hours, sunrise was on its way and not a single demon had shown itself.
"Something's wrong." Inuyasha announced, glaring towards the forest that cradled the back of the shrine in an arc of thick trees.
Tsutomu, Inuyasha's friend and partner for the evening, gave the swordsman a sidelong glance. His scruffy brown hair was held on top of his head in a messy bun and his eyes were a gentle blue. He wore a blue colored haori, covered in black hatch marks, a pair of brown hakama that blended in with the soul below his sandal-clad feet.
"Inuyasha-sama, please," he began, straightening himself from where he'd been leaning against the wooden frame of the shrine's doors. He swung his axe over one shoulder as he approached the now anxiously pacing swordsman. "Normally we would be in over our heads but tonight there is nothing! Perhaps the gods thought we deserved a rest, consider it a blessing!"
Inuyasha turned his fiery golden gaze on the poor man beside him, snarling, "How can you be so calm?" His next words were through gridded teeth, "Even on a normal night this is unusual, but tonight is the full moon! They're conspiring!"
Tsutomu rolled his eyes.
"Inuyasha-sama, you're too suspicious…ever since what happened with Akane you've been more anxious about—" His words died abruptly in his throat when he realized what he'd said and he met Inuyasha's eyes cautiously. "I-I apologize, Inuyasha-sama!" he nearly shouted, "I didn't mean to…it wasn't my place to mention her. I apologize."
"Cut that out, Tsutomu," Inuyasha ordered, disgusted by his friend's repetitive bowing and sputtered apologies. "And stop referring to me that way. We're friends," he turned towards the shrine, sliding open the screen, "just don't use her name again."
"Yes, Inuyasha-sama…Inuyasha…" Tsutomu said with a sigh of relief, lifting his head and regarding the man curiously as he stepped inside the shrine, picking up a bow and quiver of arrows before stepping out again and closing the door behind him. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going to scout things out, you stay here," he ordered, slipping the quiver's strap over one shoulder and securing the Tessaiga at his waist. He gave his companion one last glance before heading into the forest.
Kagome tore through the forest at record breaking speeds, swatting at the low branches as she passed to clear her path. Despite the fact that she was in the middle of a heavily wooded forest, there was nowhere to hide, not from the type she was running from.
Her long black hair fanned out behind her as she pushed herself to go faster, her angry blue eyes flashing with determination. 'I'll be damned if I let myself be killed by a bunch of useless vermin like these,' she thought to herself, though, even if she got away there was still a chance she'd bleed out from her injuries.
They were bad, especially for a human body such as the one she currently resided in. Her haori was steel blue and a white kosode peeked out from beneath her collar while her lower half was covered with dark gray hakama that tied snuggly at her ankles. None of this would have been noticeable now however due to the stains of blood and dirt that covered the majority of her clothes.
'If only I was in my real body, then I could dispose of them all easily,' she thought, scowling up at the moon that only stared back at her innocently. She could hear them behind her, demons, hundreds of demons. How on earth she had attracted this many to her on such a night was beyond her.
"Fucking ridicules…" She spat, "Of all the times to—" her words were cut off as she lost her footing and tumbled to the ground in a bloody, broken heap. "Shit."
"You won't get away…"
"He, he, he, she fell… look at how helpless…"
"Stupid girl… this is only what you deserve… you killed my brother!"
"Ugh," Kagome moaned as she made it to her knees, glaring at the mountain of glowing, hungry eyes behind her. "What in the hell are you all waiting for, huh? If you're going to kill me…"
"Ha, ha, ha, wench…" one demon addressed her, slithering out in front of the rest and dragging its long, ugly body around her. It looked like a large, red snake; only with one giant blue eye that took up its entire forehead and a mouthful of jagged teeth. "We would much rather watch you suffer and devour you…piece by piece…"
Howls of laughter rang through the air as the demons crawled, slithered and flew into the clearing where she had fallen, completely surrounding her. Kagome glared up at the snake like beast in front of her. It looked familiar. Perhaps it was the one whose brother she'd killed earlier that day.
'It doesn't matter,' she thought, puckering her lips and spitting into the beast's large, blue eye. 'I will make it out of here alive.'
"ARRRG!" the demon screeched, reeling back and shaking its head furiously. A second later it shot back to her level, its scaly nose nearly touching hers. "You bitch!" it nearly howled, "You will not get away with that!"
Before the monster was able to act on its promise however, it was silenced by an arrow that struck it right through the side of its scaly head. The beast reeled back a second time, it's cry much louder this time as it tried pointlessly to shake itself free from the wooden projectile. Still alive despite the arrow sticking out from either side of it's skull, it spun around to glare into the trees from where the weapon had been shot. The surrounding demons parted their bodies, all eyes landing on the red clad stranger standing partially hidden in the shadows.
"I was wondering why there were no demon attacks tonight. I guess I found my answer." A young man said as he stepped from the shadows and into the moonlight where he would be seen. His hair was long and black, falling past his waist in length, and he wore all red, aside from the white kosode visible only beneath his collar and breaks in his sleeves. A sword was secured at his hip and in his hand he still held the bow he'd used to shoot the demon with.
He glared at the mass of demon through narrowed, golden eyes, and then his gaze snapped to Kagome, still in a heap below the herd of beasts. "Hey!" He snapped at her, tossing the bow to the ground in favor of drawing his sword, "Get over here where it's safe!"
She didn't need to be told twice. She scrambled to her feet, ignoring the sting of her injuries each time she moved, and took off in his direction. The demons, weak but not stupid, lunged after her.
The woman's eyes widened as a blinding light was ripped from the sheath as the man drew his weapon. When the light cleared seconds later, he held a blade in his hands that resembled the fang of a dog, white fur spun around the hilt. He only waited long enough for Kagome to dive behind him before he brought the sword down upon the hundred or more demons that were charging after her.
"Wind scar!" He howled into the crisp night air, and following his shout were the tortured screams of many demons as they were torn apart by the force of the wind. When the dust settled nothing remained but four wide and lengthy trenches dug into the earth, looking as if they'd been caused by the claws of a large dog.
Kagome's eyes grew wide as she looked at the damage from over one shoulder. Then she slowly lifted her gaze to watch as the man sheathed his weapon and scooped his bow up from the ground. She bit back a moan as she forced herself to her feet, trying to look natural as she brushed herself off. Once she got away from the red-clad stranger she'd have to find a safe place to land until the sun rose, that is, if she wanted to make it through the rest of the night alive.
"Umm…" she started, glaring at the man's back, "that sword…"
"Tessaiga," The man said easily, and Kagome shuffled backwards a few feet as he turned towards her. He raised an eyebrow at her behavior, but didn't question it. "What's your name wench?"
She bristled at his rude way of addressing her, already sure she disliked him, but answered the question despite herself, "my name's Kagome."
He gave her a once over and nod of acknowledgement before introducing himself, "I am Inuyasha." His eyes narrowed as he went on, "now, what is a human like you doing out in the forest in the middle of the night fighting demons that you obviously can't handle?" he snapped.
Kagome opened her mouth with a snappy retort on the tip of her tongue but stopped herself from voicing it, her eyes drifting the ground. "Well I…" she muttered, "We're both human."
"Obviously," he said with a roll of his eyes, "however I am trained to protect the jewel of four souls and am amongst the strongest in my village and in this country. You…" his unusual golden gaze dropped to the twin swords on either hip, "despite the fact that you have a weapon you didn't even use it. You clearly aren't fit for being out here alone."
Kagome's glare darkened as she fought to restrain herself. 'If it wasn't the full moon I'd be teaching you to keep your big mouth shut, human.' She thought furiously. Instead she settled for changing the subject, "jewel of four souls…what on earth are you talking about?
Inuyasha sighed, reciting the words as if he'd said them a thousand times, "it's a powerful jewel that grants wishes of power to whoever holds it. It must be protected from both humans and demons alike who seek it…" he hesitated, and Kagome noticed with curiosity the way his expression grew sad, although only for a moment. "Nothing good has ever come from the damn thing. It only causes problems for everyone involved. That's why it must be protected." He explained, then made a grab for her arm, "come to the village. I'll show you the way, someone can bandage you up and give you something to eat…"
"No!" Kagome shouted, eyes widening as she caught the shocked look on her saviors face. she blushed and quickly put another couple feet in between them, "I mean, that is…" she started uncertainly, "I'm much better on my own. I'll be fine. I've got to get going anyway."
"Are you kidding me?" Inuyasha snapped, "I'll be lucky if you don't bleed to death on the way to the village!" He took another swipe at her, intent on grabbing her and dragging her back to the village kicking and screaming if he had to, but she managed to dodge his hand. His eyes widened as he gaped openly at her. For a human, and a seriously injured human at that, she was very fast.
"I don't need your help." She said, interrupting him. She didn't wait for him to protest again, instead she turned and jogged deeper into the forest.
"Damn it woman!" Inuyasha howled after her before giving chase, "come back here! You'll only make your injuries worse!"
He made it to her side easily enough, but when he reached out to grab her she spun around and latched onto his arm, twisting it painfully and shoving him face first into the dirt. "Wench!" he cried after her, grunting when she kicked him in the ribs for good measure before taking off. He was furious when he sat up, wiping the dirt and leaves from his face and hair.
He looked around as he stood up, "wench suddenly got a second wind huh?"
She was gone.
Not that he was bothered him any, that woman could curl up and die alone in the forest for all he cared. He frowned, pulling back the sleeve of his haori to stare at the angry purple bruise already forming on his arm. He shook his head, grabbing his bow from where it had fallen when she pushed him down and turning back towards the village.
'At least the demon problem is taken care of,' He thought, glancing up at the sky as he made his way home, smiling at the sight of the first rays of sun coming over the horizon.
The sun was rising.
AN: First chapters finally complete (edited 11-15-2012)! So what do you think? Is it horrible? Should I write more? Let me know! :D
Toodles! – K