A dark haired priestess knelt into the soft dirt below her peeling the necessary leaves off the herb for healing practices. Her fingers were gentle, now practiced with her work, to ensure no unnecessary damage to the valuable plant. She had to restock her shelves full of medication and herbs quickly. Conditions were growing harder to maintain and with it would bring more illnesses. But when a low rumble of thunder caught her attention she glanced up from her work. She silently watched the dark storm clouds roll in from the east. Chilly wind whipped her hair about her and raising goose bumps on her lightly tanned skin, but she ignored the chill. It was like this often during this season. Her companion, another priestess, glanced up from weaving a basket to stare into the darkening sky. There was a momentary silence.
"Kagome," the older priestess said. "Our work is done for today. The storm is moving quickly and we must quickly put shelter over our heads.
"As you wish, Kaede."
The two women heaved themselves to their feet. Kaede gently patted her friend on the shoulder.
"You have done well for today, Kagome. I am proud of ye."
"Thank you, Kaede. It is because I have a good teacher."
"That is a kind thing to say," the village miko said with a slight blush on her wrinkled cheeks.
"I wish I could continue though. I still have to restock on more supplies."
"There is tomorrow, child. Be here at noon, we will continue your studies."
By now they had reached the village again from the fields. The older miko smiled at her companion once more before giving her shoulder an affectionate pat. As she moved away from her toward her hut, she called back over her shoulder.
"I will see ye later, Kagome."
"I will see you later, Kaede!"
Kagome let off a small smile at her friend's farewell wave. The young miko headed towards the village swinging the basket of herbs in her arms side to side in boredom. Rain was always a good thing to her, she was thinking, as she hummed to herself. It watered the crops, refilled the rivers and ponds nearby, and kept the earth healthy and alive. Besides, she loved to dance in the rain, but she wouldn't admit that to really anyone. She had not realized the pure importance of rain, however, until she had come to this time. When she passed the villagers she'd smile and nod in greeting before continuing on her way, but sometimes stopping to talk momentarily to a villager. And it was that moment she was stopped again.
"Priestess Kagome," Yuki greeted warmly.
"Yuki. How are you? How is little Mia?"
"We both are fine, thank you. Ever since you have us that tonic we've never been better!"
Kagome smiled warmly. She loved to hear praise about her medicines, because she was still a bit new to the whole thing. She was glad it had worked its 'magic.'
She turned around to see her favorite hanyou, Inuyasha, racing toward her. She had to let off a huge grin at her husband's attics before quickly turning to the woman. She only had seconds.
"Have a good day, Yuki."
"You too," the woman grinned.
Kagome opened her mouth to say more but Inuyasha picked her up bridal style mid-run before she could. She immediately looked up at her husband with a playful glare.
"I wasn't done with that conversation!"
"Feh, wench," he returned with a wicked grin.
Only a day after her return, Inuyasha had stolen her away from the village and they'd spent some time together but what had been the most shocking was they'd admitted their feelings while telling each other of what occurred during their separation. Inuyasha and she began to date, or court is what this time called it, until he finally proposed to her only a few months after they'd been together. He'd been so nervous. But she had accepted without hesitation and they had never been happier. They'd been meant to be.
But she had to admit, she had never really seen the playful side of Inuyasha until they became boyfriend and girlfriend or what the villagers had protested that was called courting, and now even more since they were married. He was also very romantic at times too, to her utter surprise, but still he was the same Inuyasha. She loved how he now was just himself all the time around her and never closed her out anymore.
"Inuyasha!" She began to giggle despite the horrid nickname.
"Did I scare ya, wench?"
He ran through the village still carrying her, so she kept a tight grip on her basket of herbs. She looked up at his handsome face before flushing slightly. Honestly, every time he zipped by now despite even if she saw him it still sent a small jolt through her heart. But it was a nice one.
"Well, maybe a little bit."
He just laughed in response and began to slow once they reached the cottage she had been given at her return to the feudal era. He walked inside playfully bouncing her in his arms before setting her down in a chair gently. She just grinned at him.
"Get what you needed," he asked as he took the basket from her.
"Yeah I did, but I still can't find the herb that would be useful for cuts," she returned.
He placed the basket on a nearby table. She loved the fact how he could be a gentleman at times, especially times like now. He really could be unpredictable at times. Usually though, he didn't show this side of him even to their best friends, only her. But she was satisfied with that.
"How are Sango and Miroku?"
He had gone to see their friends while she had picked gone to get more herbs to stock back up on supplies. He wasn't happy about that much, but he had given in after a kiss or two. It was sometimes easy to convince him nowadays.
"They're pretty good, I suppose. Sango is getting huge with their 4th child and Miroku is well, a hentai."
She began to laugh lightly in response before saying "That's good. I should go visit soon to check on Sango."
"Keh, sounds good."
She looked out her window to find it getting extremely windy. Kagome looked at her husband, who was looking through their food.
"Don't eat now; I will be making supper in a few minutes!"
"I want to eat now!"
She leapt forward and caught the fruit just as Inuyasha began to kiss the ground. She heard him growl in annoyance before looking up.
"What was that for, wench! I'm hungry!"
She just shook her head in response. Sometimes he could act like a child all over again, just like in the past, but she enjoyed it sometimes. It was fun to batter around like that. She sighed lightly at his puppy expression in his eyes before handing him a different but smaller fruit from her shelf. He grumbled but accepted it, taking a rather large bite.
"You eat like a pig," she complained.
His ears (which she completely adored) suddenly perked up giving her a warning before a knocking sound resounded through the hut. The miko immediately went to the door to see who it was. To her utter surprise and delight it was Rin, Sesshomaru's ward.
"Hi Rin, come on in!"
Rin quickly hurried in and looked about the small cottage, immediately smiling when she saw Inuyasha. Though she accompanied his elder brother whom he still didn't really like but they did have an uneasy truce and did get along more nowadays, they did like each other. Inuyasha just didn't like the fact she loved his brother so much sometimes.
"Hi, Rin. What's up?"
"Well," Rin bit her lip before turning to Kagome. "I was wondering, if I could stay here until the storm passes? Kaede left for a nearby village earlier and I don't want to be alone."
"Of course Rin, you're always welcome to stay here!"
Kagome had come to adore the sweet little girl. When she had discovered that Rin was staying with Kaede until she came up age to pick if she wished to go back with Sesshomaru or stay in a village of humans, she had tried to see the little girl as much as possible. Rin was more than delighted to have a new friend. It had been at least 2 years since she had been living with Kaede, now being 10 years old and almost 11, but Sesshomaru still came to visit it her always bringing gifts for his little pup.
"Rin, would you like some?"
Kagome rummaged through her cabinet for a moment before handing over a fruit to Rin and quickly began to sort her herbs, hearing the pitter patter of rain begin to hit the roof. Wind howled outside the cottage but the three people inside the cottage chatted well into the night, having laughs and just enjoying each other's company. But little did they know, in that large storm, a vicious battle was occurring that would change everything..
Only a mile away from the village, a young demoness held her hand to her mouth, wiping away the dripping blood. Her long light green hair had been yanked out of its usual braid so it flew about her face like it had a life of its own. Her sparkling sky blue eyes searched the storm clouds looking for her enemy with a grimness and attentive alertness. Silver swirls coating the sides of her eyes gleaming brightly despite the dull light of the storm and very pale skin was glowing like moonlight. Despite the wounds covering her upper arms, chest, and back she was truly a beauty. She raced through the storm clouds using her wind element to keep her aloft despite the blurriness of her vision and the red blood falling like rain down her skin. But she had to hurry. She may not be able to keep this up too much longer.
Immediately responding to her name, she looked behind herself to see a gold Chinese dragon racing at her with maw open to take a bite of her flesh. With a growl in frustration, she let lose a blast of wind from her palm, knocking the dragon back into the clouds after losing control of its own flight. Why wouldn't they leave her alone? She'd never done anything to them! After ensuring the enemy was gone she returned her gaze to her path but not before screaming in surprise. The dragon's partner, a black dragon, sank its foot long fangs into her thigh. She shrieked in pain before raising her hand and bringing her claws down hard onto its blazing green eye. It let loose a yowl of pain before throwing her high into the sky as it shook its head as though it would rid itself of the agony. Hoshiko gritted her teeth in pain but managed to get a grip on her powers again to catch herself. She held the wound closed. This one was worse than any of the others she had and she was losing too much blood at the same time! She was getting in deeper trouble. Blood ran down her trembling fingers.
"Well, it looks like you're wounded. Want me to take the pain away, little demon?"
She looked up into amused red and green eyes and glared in return, deciding not to answer. She summoned up the last bit of her energy and shot wind from her palm once again, forcing the two dragons to retreat. They honestly didn't want to get blasted away again. Circling around her the two dragon demons remained weary for a moment before noticing the broken look in her eyes as she tried to keep them in her vision. The golden dragon chuckled.
"You don't need us to kill you, and then die of your wounds!"
Hoshiko let off a scream of pain as the black dragon suddenly darted forward to spin around to hit her straight in the chest with its tail. She began to fall with increasing speed, stunned from the blow. They had been aware of her failing vision. They'd taken advantage of her weakness because of her blood loss. Foolish girl! She'd been completely off with her targeting. Her chest throbbed in agony.
'Darn it darn it darn it,' she growled as she continued to fall.
Her energy was leaving her! Taking one last chance she pulled herself together and to her surprise she had enough energy to catch herself but still she slowly descended. The wind knocked her almost off balance a few times but she managed until the last 30 feet or so. Her energy was gone. Hoshiko yelped as she lost control of herself to fall the last few feet slamming into the ground with a loud crash of body colliding with the earth. She gasped in pain. The rain pounded in ears and rushed down her skin like tears.
She laid there almost like a broken doll on the sodden ground letting the rain wash away the blood and the hurt. She couldn't believe it. Hoshiko was still alive, despite that fatal fall, and still kicking. Someone must want her to live she was certain of that. Maybe it was – No. He was gone now. No reason to think of him. There was a small stinging of tears behind her eyes but she fought back the pain. Hoshiko slowly raised herself to her hands and knees with a few groans of pain but she managed. She needed to get out of the rain to attend to herself. Examining her surroundings with a blurry vision was a bit hard but she finally made out she had crashed on a hill and large trees were only a good fifteen feet up. She would be safe there.
Hoshiko began to drag herself up the hill gritting her teeth at every ragged bump or when she bumped a wound. This was getting her nowhere really. What was the point in living anyhow? But something compelled her to keep fighting so she listened to that sense. Was it the promise she made so long ago? Maybe.
'Move, move, move..'
After a good few more minutes of a slow moving process and pain, she finally reached the top. Okay, now to find shelter. Her gaze found a bush like thing so she drug herself over to the bush before laying herself beneath its large shade. Almost immediately, the rain ceased. That was good. Hoshiko forced herself into a mid sitting and laying down position to look at her broken body and the site wasn't pretty. She needed to.. uh oh. A huge wave of dizziness overcame her and with a grunt her body slumped to the ground. She couldn't, not now! The last thing she saw was the bright red of her blood. But without her consent, she slipped into a dead faint.