Crest

Part 1: Belief

An Inuyasha Fanfiction

By Azurite – azurite_moon@yahoo.com

http://www.geocities.com/azurite_moon

Rated PG-PG13

Fantasy/Romance

Author's Notes: ^^;; If I've said it once, I'll say it a million times—I KNOW I shouldn't be starting another fic again, not without finishing all my others… and that includes both Inuyasha fics as well as Sailormoon, Ranma ½, Peach Girl… to name a few. ^^;; I'm ashamed. But when an idea like this gets into your head, you have to write it… because inspiration doesn't last forever, and I know from experience that just letting something sit on your hard-drive and collect viruses isn't a good thing. ^^;; I keep on sweatdropping because I know someone out there is going to rant at me and say I'm such a procrastinator, but to them and all the flamers out there—BE NICE! Because even if I don't like a fic, I'll find the good points in it, and review based on them, and be helpful, polite, and kind otherwise. If you absolutely hate something, then just… don't say so. Because one otaku's trash is another otaku's treasure. ^^ Also, this is partially based off the excellent (no word suitable enough exists in the English language to describe this fic… I'm just using 'excellent' because it's the first one that came to mind) fanfiction "Turnabout is Fair Play," by Ookami-san. Go read it! I mean… wow. ^^ No other word for it. Wow.

Little Stuff: For starters, I do not own Inuyasha. I had to ask my friend to buy me supper today, so don't even start on money… I have none. This is a not-for-profit, purely fanatic, stark-raving-mad otaku work. I sincerely hope you enjoy… read and review, and be sure to visit my website if you have time. ^^

Oh, the other thing is, this starts the entire Inuyasha series FROM the beginning. Since I know the manga better than the anime, that's probably what I'll base it off of… but you should know, this is a Fantasy/Romance, and definitely AU. You are hereby forewarned.

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In a time long ago, far too back to be dated precisely by any measure of this day and age, the land was pure and unscathed—that is, from anything that modern inventions could throw at Mother Nature. Humans and animals alike wreaked havoc upon the land, but nothing of much importance scarred Her soils, and so centuries passed without much incident and change in the world.

That was, until the Crest.

No one, as I said, can pinpoint the exact date… hardly even the year itself is discernable. The roots of the Crest are shrouded in mystery, and so all I can tell is what I know of, what I am sure of that no one can contradict in a sane frame of mind. And those facts are what follows, in my story of a girl… a boy, and the family matters that came between them.

The Earth has always been covered in more than one form of life—be it flora or fauna, man had no shortage of strange creatures to study, dissect, and spy upon. But never in the history of humanity was there ever a species so nearing the "advanced" level of humans as one—the youkai. Literally translated, the word meant 'demon,' but the creatures described by such a term were hardly deserving of the derogatory expression. True, some were violent and had a taste for blood, but that hardly separated them from some of the most vicious of humans, whose harshest punishment was confinement in a cold dungeon. The torture youkai went through after being discovered by humans was extreme, though it can be said without doubt that not all youkai are alike.

As animals are divided into species, families, classes, and breeds, so also were the youkai. A youkai derived from an insect species, with its familial roots in the Lepidoptera butterfly order, certainly could not be compared to another insect youkai such as the Hemiptera, violent and often carnivorous creatures with a truly odorous smell about them at all times. Butterfly youkai, though rarer, were all the more gentle and shy; whenever they did appear in front of humans, it was out of curiousity, and never an act of aggression. Still, the young maiden youkai of the Lepidoptera clan were often stolen away to be studied by the high priests and sages of the era, forced into actions which would be considered vile by those of saner mind. And so youkai blood mixed with humans, and centuries of mutual mistrust and dislike between the two species began.

Hundreds of years into this "study" of the youkai, a young girl was born—a child from a very traditional human family, one that believed the study of youkai was not progress, but tampering with the Gods' ways. It was to invite trouble, they said, by consorting in any manner with those "lower class beings." Though, through studies, much progress had been made in improved communications between the two species—hanyou children, while uncommon, were not as frowned upon in "modern" societies as they had been when the studies of youkai first began. Such children had been outcasts, easily recognizable for their genetic strength and intense mood swings. Not much difference could be told physically between the two species; the most powerful of youkai that were sought after –be them rare and gentle or common and aggressive—had the ability to turn into a human form, and often fool even the wisest of sages. It wasn't until the youkai numbers began to dwindle significantly that they abandoned the idea of fighting humans as humans. Rather, they retained their pure youkai forms, settling for scaring humans into leaving their race alone.

It didn't work. Aggressive actions against small, helpless villages or poorly armed wannabe heroes were death sentences for nearby youkai people. The more militant governments often extricated youkai and hanyou families from the cities –where they leaved peacefully among other human citizens—and placed them into torturous camps, where many of them lost the ability to live, learn, and grow as they would have anywhere else.

The child that was born into the traditional family was raised with the belief that youkai were innately evil—that no matter what their initial appearance or attitude, they would only cause harm. How this belief traveled through the generations was never discovered; perhaps it was something simple as a family feud between a youkai and an ancestor. To this day, we do not know. But the rage and hatred against things of the unknown remains, even amongst humans, in this "modern" day and age. The child was kind-hearted though, and lived in a quickly growing village—where youkai were seen often, near the edge of the expansive forest which bordered the village on all sides.

Families of all sorts lived in this village—other traditionalists, some more extreme than others, going as far as training their children as "taijiya" or exterminators, to kill all things non-human. Even tame rabbits could not be trusted, such families argued. Youkai could shape shift, could deceive and then destroy before a human could so much as raise an arm. They had to be protected. Pets were forbidden in such families, and it was not uncommon to see such radicals or extremists taking arms against families who believed otherwise. Families with youkai servants or slaves were outcasted or chastised by these people, and even those with beloved hanyou friends were framed for criminal acts—all to set about the eventual extinction of the youkai species.

Likewise, there were also those that welcomed youkai in there home—even those with strong beliefs in the Old Religion. These people offered safe harbor for hanyou and youkai, so long as they maintained a human form at all times. Most of the time, such families and the refugees in them were never found out, and life continued on as normal.

But in the village where this child lived, normal was an impossibility. Fights between families of conflicting views often broke out, and often death was the result. Children were orphaned, and more and more people grew weary of the constant arguments over a species not their own. Who were they to argue in the stead of a people that could quite obviously speak –and fend for—themselves?

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"Kikyou! Kikyou!" A shrill voice called out to the girl.

The person who spoke stumbled over the knolls blended carefully into a grassy hill, her ebony colored hair sticking in mats to her flushed face. She ran towards a slightly taller girl, with the same shade of hair, but a paler skin tone, and clearer complexion. It was obvious, even from afar, that the child that stood atop the mount, her arms held behind her back in a simple, yet elegant posture, was of a far more mature nature than the younger one. No dirt claimed the pores on her face, no were her knees visible underneath her plain priestess' garb. A small white haori robe, with a hakata skirt of red tied about the waist, all clean and plain in color, became the child named Kikyou. And when she turned, her hair, tied in a neat ponytail at the base of her neck, swished lightly, rather than clumping on a sweat-covered face.

"What is it, Kaede-chan?" Kikyou asked, a very slight smile becoming her face. At the tender age of thirteen, she was between the point when she would sacrifice her entire being for the Traditions, for the Old Religion that her family believed so dearly in. A single shred of her youth and the life and times it brought her lived on; a faint spark in a darkness quickly closing about her malleable soul.

Kaede, a chubby three year old orphan child who had been taken in by Kikyou's family, one of the more prominent traditionalist families in the village, still retained every bit of her light and youth, all of it beaming out at Kikyou in a simple smile.

"Papa says you hafta come down to the village for the Deter… Determin… the uh…"

"The Determination?" Kikyou's face fell into an almost frightened expression; as her family was of a high position of wealth and stability, they were often called upon to settle disputes between other families. In such a case, it was amazing that Father didn't rule in favor of the extreme traditionalists all the time; more often than not, human families who sheltered youkai were spared any sort of horrible treatment after being framed by the extreme families for treason of some sort.

The Determination was a brief legal ceremony of sorts that was the absolute final decision on all matters concerning intra-village family disputes; it seemed this time that a family had been harboring a young hanyou boy, but had not notified anyone about it. As such, when the hanyou helped out his adopted family by performing incredible feats of strength and agility, they were found out. The family could easily be put to death, just as the hanyou could—but the boy was no older than Kikyou herself, and so there was much dispute on his fate, above anyone else's.

     

Kikyou, though firm already in her beliefs of the Old Religion and the Traditions she was raised with, often questioned how people could be so willing to die for someone they barely knew; for a person they would no doubt never see for more than a few years, and then would vanish from their life altogether. Kikyou, for her part, saw quite easily why people didn't trust youkai—they freeloaded off the so-called "rebel" families, and then disappeared altogether. For such a brief involvement, families were murdered in their sleep by extremist factions—and children such as Kaede were left as orphans.

Kikyou was more curious about the hanyou's fate than anyone else's—too often she had seen human children orphaned by extremist factions, but never a hanyou child. As a matter of fact, she had not once in her life seen a hanyou child—only young adults and vicious men. Other children, perhaps, would have had their curiosity piqued as well, had the child been female. Even the extremist families seemed to have reservations about causing the death of a youkai woman or child—especially when she was in her human form. Yet the hanyou in question was male… and all the more interesting to Kikyou, apparently a boy orphaned before he'd come into the village under the protection of the rebels. He was also of a class Kikyou had never seen before—a dog demon. Or so Kikyou heard. As part of her training, she was to witness the Determination. It would be her first ever, and Kikyou could not be more excited.

Emotions at all were frowned upon in Traditionalist families of power, such as Kikyou's. Yet, that spark within her, lingering from her childhood, remained. She wanted to know more about these creatures, these youkai. Her family hated them so, but why? There were those even more extreme, claiming things about going against the Will of the Gods, and that interspecies breeding was vile and should be condemned. For the most part, Father let Kikyou make up her own mind about such things; the way he'd raised her allowed most of her beliefs to conform along a line quite similar to his own, and there was never any argument. At least, not yet.

Kikyou followed a jubilant Kaede back down to the village from the grassy knoll overlooking the clearing. From that one point, you could see the mountains far off in the distance, capped by white clouds; a vast plain of yellow-green fields; a blue-green ocean shimmering off to the East, and a mass of dark trees all around the South and West. Youkai lingered in the forest right behind them, yet Kikyou wasn't afraid. No matter how Traditionalist her family's beliefs, and such teachings as how simple contact with a youkai would be the end of her purity, she was never afraid of youkai. For she had been raised with the simple belief that she was superior to them—and so had nothing to fear.

So she believed.

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Upon reaching the village, her beliefs could not be shook more. Rather than a simple gathering in the Village Hall, or, when matters required discretion and privacy, as well as absolute security, her family's Meeting Room, it seemed as though the entire town –and even those from afar—was there to witness the fate of the rebel family and the hanyou boy they had been holding.

Kikyou calmly and quietly took her seat atop the stage, beside her father on the podium. A slightly lower, yet above-ground-level platform was where the two families in question sat—the accusers, a highly extremist family of taijiya known for its hatred of youkai; and the accused, a simple two-person family consisting of a young man and his bride, along with the hanyou boy they'd adopted.

Kikyou peered anxiously around the platform, searching for the hanyou, but she could not see him.

Befuddled, she wondered what had happened to the child, and tried to suppress her disappointment. Against her will, she supposed, excitement had grown, blossomed in her stomach at the prospect of meeting a boy –no, a dog hanyou!—refugee who was an orphan.

Were Kikyou not so stoic, so calm and expressionless in face, she would have been jumping up and down as excited as little Kaede, who sat in the first chair to the right of the stage, sucking her thumb quietly. Yet earlier, the child had been looking about almost frantically, her bright eyes meeting those of everyone else present, giving them a pleasant nod, as she was taught to do by her surrogate family.

Giving in to her regret at not seeing the boy, Kikyou did something she'd never dared to do in public before—she extended her senses, reaching out with her spirit to find one unfamiliar and new to her. As sudden as a lightning bolt in a thunderstorm, it came to her, and then it vanished, as if the holder of the unfamiliar aura discovered her, and retracted his energy around him, tight like a winter cloak, ashamed and angry to have been found out. Or at least, that's what Kikyou imagined such a reaction was. She couldn't really interpret it, because she'd never Extended all that often. When she did, it was under the close supervision of her father, or some other High Priest or Mage.

Kikyou sat, baffled in her chair, wondering just what she had felt. Perhaps it hadn't been the hanyou boy at all…? However, once Kikyou paid closer attention to the argument at hand that her father was trying to mediate, she realized the boy she searched for was not even among the audience. Whatever she had felt –that jolt of fear inside—hadn't been from a spectator. It truly had been from someone inside, or at least, not in sight. Then, when her father sighed, and announced loudly, "Bring the boy out," the energy Kikyou felt earlier appeared, suddenly and powerfully—and it came from a boy being held on either arm by two heavily armed guards.

White hair fell down to his mid-back in a cloud, a striking contrast to the boy's oversized red kimono. His head was bent so that Kikyou could not see his face –could not see if he appeared to be as afraid as she felt he was—but, prominently displaying themselves from under a thick crop of hair were two very inhuman ears—they were pointed, fur-covered ears, much like a dog's. And Kikyou gasped, delighted.

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The entire mess had started out seven years ago. Inuyasha had lived with his family on the far edge of a great forest—even from the highest treetop, all one could see for miles around was trees. Unlike other youkai, who lived in a very conventional manner, preferring caves and treetops to buildings of any sort, Inuyasha and his family lived in a palace. Inuyasha couldn't imagine life any other way—he was proud of his ancestry as the Prince of the powerful Dog Demon clan. True, he had an older brother who had more youkai blood in him, but he'd run away some years ago, and as far as Inuyasha knew, his father had disinherited him. His older brother –older half brother, to be more precise, had been born of his father and a demon consort that had frequented the palace in Father's earlier years, not long after a savage war between the Humans in their Cities, a good distance from this place.

This forest was a stronghold of youkai, and it had only become so because all demons, of any class, race, and breed, were protected by the Dog Clan. There was but one rule to this infinite protection—and that was that harm to humans would not be tolerated. Many youkai, afraid of the punishment otherwise, and unable to change their beliefs that humans were vile creatures, left the forest. Most youkai remaining either tolerated humans themselves, having consorted with them at one time or another, or were gentle enough not to act aggressively, should humans venture this deep into the forest. It was for the best.

Though the palace was large, Inuyasha only lived there with his mother and father… and it was a good life. He ate everyday, played, learned, and slept. Such simple things were of the utmost importance to a child like Inuyasha. But when he reached the age of six, everything changed. The youkai that had left the protection of the forest came back—in phenomenal numbers. They had been kicked out of their homes, they said, and wanted to remove the Dog Clan from power. Though Inuyasha lived only with his father, and had nary seen another dog youkai since he was three, and his brother had left, he believed so resolutely in his father's power that the youkai creeping into the forest in steadily growing numbers were of no threat. Inuyasha maintained this peace of mind, while his mother's was not so steady.

She was human—only human, Inuyasha told himself, though his father reminded him everyday that not all humans were cruel. Not all humans liked to dissect youkai, liked to tear apart their families, calling them savage and vile when they were doing the same thing. Not all humans liked to kill. Inuyasha had never had a taste for blood anyway, despite his love of rough-and-tough games with his father as part of his training. Power came unaccustomed to the hanyou, and sometimes it overwhelmed him. He was infinitely proud of being of youkai descent—and tried to ignore those lonely nights when the new moon rose into the sky, black and obscured, and his power ebbed away from him, as termites slowly chip away at a block of wood. For a single night in every month, Inuyasha felt like that piece of wood—like part of him was dying, ever so slowly, and that nothing and no one could save him. Yet every morning after that, he would feel refreshed—as if the Human Night had never happened. It was all just a bad nightmare.

But of the worst nightmares, he never could have imagined… his own mother's worst fears coming true. Late at night, she'd often expressed fear that the youkai determined to bring an end to the Dog Clan rule would succeed. More often than not, it was Inuyasha convincing her that Father was unbeatable—that he was the Taiyoukai of the Great Western Lands, and all the forests as far as the eye could see. Not humans, not youkai—nothing could stop him! So innocent was Inuyasha at the tender age of six. The youkai that his mother feared so terribly made her nightmare come alive—and they stormed the palace.

Unexpected was the sheer force of the attack; the sudden rush and stampede of their great numbers. Inuyasha had watched his father die at the hands of a pathetic WOLF demon, of all creatures, and then, with startling realization, came to know that his world had collapsed around him. Inuyasha and his mother barely escaped the palace with their lives; what little strength Inuyasha had compared to his father saved them from the weaker youkai guarding the perimeter of the palace. They escaped into the deep forest that had once been under their protection, and filled only with their allies.

Now youkai of an untold number and allegiance lurked in the trees, crept in the caves and prowled in the glades. No place was safe for them… no place except a human village. And so away they ran, crossing river and sea, far to the Eastern lands. Inuyasha, of a greater stamina than his mother, arrived at the village which was to be their home, with only tired legs. His mother had not fared so well. Only human, she had contracted some disease on the way there, and suffered greatly from the poisons it had injected into her blood. Inuyasha had tried his hardest, using all that he had learned to help her, but none of it did any good.

He'd prayed to all the Youkai Gods, prayed to all the Human Gods, and wished on all his heart that his mother would get better. Never so much in his life had he cried as he slept—his mother had warned him against sleeping with her, as he might contract the disease as well, and against his will, Inuyasha obeyed these wishes. His heightened senses didn't allow his mother's pained cries to slip past him, and it was rare that Inuyasha ever slept fitfully since the death of his father.

It was no better in the human village. Disgusted to see a human woman with a hanyou child, many of the villagers shunned Inuyasha's mother, refusing her medical treatment. Inuyasha became envious of the human children playing with their parents, and on more than one occasion had tried to join into their games—only to be cruelly left alone. He always returned to his mother with the best smile he could muster—and in kind, she'd smile back, with all the will she could find in herself. She hated to see her son suffering so, but there was no other option—youkai wouldn't accept her; humans wouldn't accept him. Such was the fate they lived—their benevolent malefactor was deceased in the Great Western Palace miles away from here… and there was no hope anymore.

Inuyasha tried his hardest everyday to find those kind humans that his father had spoken often of—those humans who cared for youkai and their own kind alike—yet the only one who seemed to fit such a description was his own mother. In response to the innocent, "Mother, do you love me?" Inuyasha's mother would laugh lightly, and press a kiss to the boy's brow. "Of course, my son. Be you youkai, hanyou, or human, you are my son, nothing less, and I will love you until the day that I die and beyond." Such words often upset Inuyasha, since he knew that his mother was ill. He just hadn't expected it so soon…

"Ofukuro! Ofukuro!" Inuyasha cried, tripping over a few stones. He stumbled back to the embankment just on the outskirts of the human village where he and his mother had been staying the past two weeks. Life was far from perfect here, but it was livable—and now, Inuyasha believed he had found that one human who could help his mother get better. He rushed back to the place where she was always half-sitting, half-lying, but found no trace of her. He searched around for a moment, his amber-colored eyes sweeping the vicinity.

Timidly, his voice raised an octave, "Ofukuro?"

This wasn't like hide-and-seek. Mother was too ill for that anyway. A sudden fear –and a burning bile- rose in the hanyou's throat, when he saw his mother's hand lying limply on the damp grass. He rushed over to her with a speed that he didn't know he had, his glance falling on a crumbled rice cake at her fingertips. The seaweed wrapped around the sticky rice had a strange white paste on the inside, and upon sniffing it, Inuyasha immediately withdrew his nose, covering his face with his haori sleeve.

"Ofukuro!" He shook her, grabbed her and forced her to sit upright, but she only fell again, limply on her own lap. It was then that another scent pervaded Inuyasha's senses—that of cold. Cold was more a feeling than a scent, but it seemed so crisp and fresh in Inuyasha's nostrils that it startled him with its intensity—and even more so that it was coming from his mother.

Tentatively, Inuyasha dared to extend his senses and move closer to his mother's form—and when the gross smell became more intense and odorous, the bile rising in the boy's throat came out as a burning vomit. She was dead.

"Ofukuro…" Inuyasha murmured, his eyes welling with tears. She'd seemed so well this morning… so happy…

The woods around them were silent a moment, as if in mourning. In contrast to the silence, Inuyasha let out a feral, primal cry of despair and rage: "MAMA!!!!!!"

All was quiet for a moment more, and then Inuyasha's ear twitched. A human—not far away. The crunch-crunch of their strange human 'shoes' could be heard coming—and in this direction. Their scent—familiar, but unable to place immediately—came to the boy, who, with an odd sense of uncertainty, moved towards the fallen rice cake his mother had only halfway eaten. The paste which he had smelled—it reeked of a poisonous flower that Inuyasha had smelled—in the herbalist's shop.

The crunching of human shoes got louder and louder, and with sickening realization, it all came together—his mother hadn't died of the sickness… she'd been murdered. By her own kind… those she trusted—those FATHER had trusted…! The herbalist… the man who said he'd help Inuyasha and his mother… it was his scent all around here, his scent on the poison paste. He… he'd lied!

"Well, well, my little hanyou, I guess you found out. Too late, though." The herbalist stepped into the clearing where Inuyasha and his mother had been encamped, his face coming into full view. Instead of the kind expression he'd been wearing earlier, his face was a contorted mask of pleasure. He was proud of what he'd done--!

Inuyasha let out a feral growl, the soft sound growing louder as it made its way up his throat. The herbalist didn't look impressed. He wielded a bow and arrow—a contraption of which Inuyasha had seen before but never understood—until the man, with lightning quick reflexes, drew an arrow from the quiver, slid it along the bow, and aimed it at the boy's head. It shot past him, only missing my a fraction of an inch, as Inuyasha somersaulted to the side and out of harm's way. A mixture of rage and fear boiled inside of the hanyou, his youkai blood struggling to take charge and fight the human who had dared to harm his mother. It was too late to do anything but revenge his mother… who lay cold and motionless, an arrow struck firmly in the ground less than an inch from her knee.

Another arrow followed the first, and it took the startling sound of a voice not his own –and not his mother's—inside his head, telling Inuyasha with simple clarity to run. He ignored it at first, but as others arrived to assist the herbalist in his execution of Inuyasha, it persisted, growing louder.

Run, boy! RUN!

And he did. He left the coldness of his mother, the sticky poison paste whose vile scent still lingered in his nose, and the herbalist who set to kill him. They gave chase, of course, but were no match for the hanyou's enhanced speed. He lost them after a half-mile, and simply kept running, blindly.

It was less than a week later that he found himself at a place all too familiar—his old home. But the palace was dark and quiet, and so was the surrounding area. In the two and a half weeks Inuyasha and his mother had been gone, the gardens had grown wildly out of control, and ivy vines crept up the stone walls like snake youkai.

Inuyasha, fueled with rage and grief, stepped into the palace without fear… and was surprised to see the place abandoned. Completely and utterly empty. He'd expected to see the place littered with bodies, skeletons, or some remains of a horrendous battle. But there was none. In fact, the deeper he went into the palace, the emptier the place got—it seemed as though a shield had prevented the youkai from getting too deep into the palace; many things were just as intact as when Inuyasha'd left them.

But upon entering the Main Hall—the "Throne Room," as it were, Inuyasha was startled—there was a presence here, and not that of a youkai he recognized. His senses extended immediately, the youkai blood in him surging due to recent events. Human weakness was suppressed by the power flowing through the boy now, at such a young age, and all Inuyasha could be was a demon. It was his only protection. He finally found the youkai that he'd sensed—and he wasn't sure whether to be disgusted or amused. A roly poly mosquito demon lay on its belly near a particularly large mass of rotting flesh… and with a sickening realization, Inuyasha recognized the decaying form of his father's shrinking youkai body.

To his surprise, the mosquito rolled upright and stared at Inuyasha, not at all surprised to find him standing there.

"Ah, Inuyasha-sama. Your father left this for you." The mosquito said, tossing something at the boy. Still young, Inuyasha fumbled to catch what the bug had thrown at him, but before he could, there was a great golden flash, and then everything went black.

When Inuyasha woke up later, the palace was clear, and his head was groggy. He could not remember what he had seen in the room, or why he'd been knocked out… only that that the right side of his head hurt horribly. The palace was awfully cold and lonely, now that Inuyasha thought about it. He'd never seen it as such before, even though the only other people who'd ever occupied it were his mother and father. But now… now, they were gone. Where could he go?

Surely his father hadn't been all wrong in telling him that kind humans did exist out there, somewhere. Recently, Inuyasha had begun to doubt his father's ideals, considering how those "kind humans" proved that they had to mercy, not even for their own kind. Inuyasha could have bared being alone for a while, as long as the humans could have cared for his mother. But instead, they'd shunned them both, and then, when Inuyasha finally thought he'd found someone willing to help the mother of a hanyou, he found his mother murdered by the same "kind man."

"I can't stay here…" Inuyasha realized. He cast one faint glance at everything that had ever been imprinted in his mind, his senses extending to the tops of each room. With a few sprints and quick hops, Inuyasha was on the highest turret, overlooking the Western Forest. The humans had extended their territory since he'd been here last. Perhaps that was what had driven the invading youkai out of the palace. Perhaps… just maybe, Inuyasha could find the person who was kind, caring, and tolerant—someone like his mother—in that village on the horizon.

Perhaps.

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End of Part 1: Belief

I just had to get this all out. It's a whopping 9 pages, typed all at once (without any breaks, except for those to the washroom). I'm amazed. ^^; I have no right to be putting this out for two reasons—I have so much else to do, especially in terms of fic writing and web designing, and certainly not because so many other great fics are out there that you'd be better off spending your time reading. But I just had to write this—and I have to post it, because if I don't, it will turn into gibberish on my hard drive. I just know it.

So please read and review… and let me know if this is worth continuing. I still have inspiration for it, but I need the motivation to do so. I thank you kindly for your time…

~Azurite

azurite_moon@yahoo.com

http://www.geocities.com/azurite_moon