Hello, and welcome to the revision of my very first story, Lunar Destiny! I originally published this story almost ten years ago. When Inuyasha: The Final Act was released (and I finally watched it), I realized something: that my original storyline did not make sense against the Inuyasha storyline. At all. Also, my writing was completely and utterly atrocious, and I was really embarrassed. So, I decided to start re-writing this story.
For returning readers, thank you for coming back. For newcomers to this story, I hope you enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I use elements from many stories that I have read over the years. These include: Inuyasha; the Daughters of the Moon series by Lynne Ewing; and...and I think something else. I can't think of it off the top of my head. Either way, I claim no rights to the aforementioned works, as this story is merely a work of fanfiction. Everything else in this story is mine, though.
Chapter 1: Identity
Something was horribly wrong. That much I was sure of.
In the dark of night, my father's guards had intruded into my chambers, waking me from my sleep, though it had been a restless one. The dark circles beneath their eyes, accentuated by the shadows of night and the small lanterns they held, told me that they had not gotten a wink of sleep, either. I doubt anyone in the castle had been sleeping save myself and perhaps the mice hiding beneath my bed. I had found them one afternoon when I was hiding from my father. They were only just born, and their mother was nowhere in sight. They kept me company on days when I was not allowed out of my room, which was most often.
My mother and father did not want me roaming the castle or the grounds outside too often. My mother told me that demons roamed about just outside of the walls and wanted me to be safe. When I was allowed outside, it was specifically approved by my father, and I was always surrounded by at least a dozen of his most trusted soldiers. Despite having so many people around me, I was usually quite lonely, as they never wanted to play. The guards only spoke to me if I wanted to go inside. Children I met while in the village closest to us were never allowed to speak to me, and when I asked if the children could visit the castle and play with me inside, father absolutely refused and grew very angry with me, telling me to learn my place as a lady and a child.
I looked out the windows as we passed down another long hallway towards my father's war chambers. I could not see the moon. Its soothing light always made me feel safe, and on the nights when the moon was gone, I felt vulnerable and weak, as if all strength had left my body. It did not help my feelings of anxiety that grew from glimpsing the equally anxious faces of the guards escorting me through the castle. Most times I would protest at being followed at every hour of the day even inside the castle, but this night, I was grateful for the extra protection. My legs did not feel like they could hold my weight much longer, and if I couldn't continue, one of the soldiers would be able to carry me the rest of the way. I wasn't going to give my father the satisfaction of succumbing to weakness during the time, and willed my legs to hold on for just a while longer.
As my mind shook the fogginess away from my slumber, I became aware of the chill in the air. My skin prickled and my hair stood on end, whether from cold or fear, I wasn't sure. The air felt damp against my skin, and I wondered if it had recently rained. The sky was clear when I last glimpsed outside, so it must have rained soon after I drifted to sleep. I thought about voicing my inquiry to the guards, but I couldn't quite find my voice. I decided it best not to linger too much on the thought. I would need the energy to face whatever my father had summoned me for so late at night.
"Princess, please wait here."
The voice of one of the guards startled me, and I almost fell backward. The other men looked at me nervously, waiting to catch me if I did fall. I found the one who had spoken, and nodded in his direction. Without another thought, he opened the magnificent red oak doors to the war chambers and disappeared into the room. Just as quickly as he had left, however, he returned, and beckoned me inside.
Thankfully, the guards did not follow me inside. Instead they took post outside and locked the door behind me, ensuring I remained whilst my father needed me.
The war chambers are a vast room, full of maps my father had drawn himself hung up neatly on the walls. There was a map of a cave nearby, a map of the lands to the south and east, a full map of the lands to the north, and a partial map of the lands to the west. My father and his army were currently on a mission to complete the map of the western lands, but have met strong opposition from demons that reign heavily there. I don't know much about what is going on except what I overhear from the soldiers when they talk while watching over me. I've gathered that they don't feel I understand much of the language and technical jargon that they use, since I am still young (a fact I am reminded of daily), but my mother has let me into our library on many occasions. I have spent countless hours just scanning over loose-leaf books and scrolls written since ancient times. While I don't know many of the characters they used, I've learned much from what I did know. Of course, this has been kept secret from my father and the guards, as children, especially little girls like me, shouldn't be reading, but my mother and I are a kindred soul, yearning for knowledge and the fantastic. She understands my soul better than anyone.
That isn't to say that I dislike my father. That is far from the truth. He is brave and strong. When he isn't busy being a powerful lord, he plays with me and takes me to beautiful flower gardens around the castle. While he is around, the guards are sent elsewhere, which I am grateful for. He may be over protective, but that is because he is a lord, and has many powerful enemies. I have no doubt that he loves me just as much as my mother does, and would do anything for me. I often dream of my future husband, and every time I picture him, I picture someone very much like my father.
"My daughter," my father's voiced boomed through the room. Once again I was startled backwards and a small squeal escaped my lips. I prayed for this moonless night to be over, so my nerves could stop being so on edge. Or maybe the cause of my hypersensitivity was the overwhelming sense of doom that lurked through the hallways and now especially on my father's face, as he walked into the firelight of the lanterns about us.
"I apologize for frightening you. I understand how much these dark nights affect you," he addressed me quietly, a calm but intense quiet. "It is precisely that reason for which I have summoned you at this late hour." He gestured for me to sit across from him on the floor, which I followed without a word. Full attention and compliance where the only actions I could possibly execute with full control, outside from walking. I did not trust my voice to be heard enough.
A small pause loomed between us before my father looked away from me and out the small window high on the wall. Normally the window let in just enough moonlight that lanterns were not needed to see most nights, except for the new moon. Now, the window revealed a night that seemed much darker than usual, almost pitch black, as if even the stars had gone from the heavens.
Suddenly my father snapped his eyes back towards me, locking his piercing eyes with mine. I squirmed, frightened by his intense gaze. Then almost immediately, he directed his gaze downward, towards my hands, lightly folded in my lap. What was he staring at, exactly? I suddenly grew highly self-conscious of my hands and felt them become cold and clammy. I wanted to hide them between my legs to warm them up, but mostly so my father would stop staring at them—but I sat still, as he taught me to act in his presence.
"Your bracelet. The one your mother and I gave to you when you were born, " he started. My bracelet? That is what he was gazing at so intently? I looked down at my hands. My bracelet was a charm bracelet. Eight charms of moonstone linked equidistant from each other, each depicting a different phase of the moon. Every few nights, a different charm would light up under the moonlight depending on the phase of the moon. Tonight, however, my bracelet lay cold against my wrist. The new moon provided no light, and thus no energy for my bracelet.
"It tells you of the phases of the moon. However, it also serves a…different purpose." The lord breathed deeply and scrunched his eyebrows together, as if struggling with some thought. "It serves as a symbol of your power, of who you truly are."
Confusion settled in, easing my anxiety only slightly.
Several loud explosions breaking in the distance broke the silence that had once again settled between us. Father's breathing suddenly grew ragged, and his eyes darted to every corner of the room, as if anticipating something, or searching for someone.
"I do not have much time to explain," he said, "So forgive me for what I am about to say. Kira, my dear daughter…. You have special powers, as you are undoubtedly aware." He paused for a response from me. When I gave him none but a confused stare, he sighed. "Do you feel different on nights of the full moon?" I nodded. "And on nights of the new moon, such as tonight, do you feel different as well? Vulnerable, perhaps?" I could not look at him any longer, so I chose to look at my hands instead. Those weren't special powers. Everyone feels less secure on the new moon because there is more darkness. The opposite goes for the full moon. It wasn't anything special.
"These nights affect you more than anyone else because of your powers."
I couldn't help but interject. "But Father, what powers do you speak of? I've never witnessed anything special that I have done."
The serious castle lord was back. "I will overlook your blatant rudeness this once, as we don't have much time. Yes, you have powers that you are not fully aware of yet. I have seen them with my own eyes. Or, perhaps, in some instances, heard them. You have several times answered my unanswered questions out loud. You have imparted critical information about my soldiers' behavior to me, saving me from sabotage several times. Kira, you have the power to read minds."
I could not believe my ears. Read minds? I was good at interpreting behavior, but not like this. Father must be so exhausted that he was hallucinating.
"That isn't the only power you possess, however. You also possess incredible healing powers. With a touch of just your hand, you once healed a very grave wound suffered by one of my captains who was an inch from death. Any minor injuries that you suffered—," he cringed at the thought, "—healed almost instantly."
"What are you saying, Father? If I have all these powers, how could I not have known about them? What do you mean by all of this?" I could not stand seeing my father so delirious. I wondered where my mother was. She would be able to calm him down and show him how silly he sounded. "Where is Mother? I'm sure she will say that you are not making any s—"
"No!" he bellowed. "You must listen to me," he said a bit a softer. I could see the visible panic taking over his features. "When you were just new to this world, you became very ill. Not all the priestesses in the village could cure you. All had given up and advised us to abandon you as you continued to decline. Desperate, your mother and I prayed to the gods to spare your life. Miraculously, they answered."
Another series of loud booms echoed outside. They sounded much closer than before, and sent vibrations surging through the floor and up my legs. My father grew more fidgety and began speaking more hastily.
"That night, a single tear from your mother's eye caught on your hand…or maybe you caught it. We still are not sure. However, as soon as it touched you, a soft white light enveloped you, growing brighter every second until we could bear it no longer…and then it just disappeared."
"Disappeared?" I asked, confused.
"Yes. When we looked again, a beautiful young maiden was sitting next to you. We could almost see right through her, but we somehow knew she meant no harm," Father almost smiled and started to visibly relax.
"Who was she, Father?" I was becoming engrossed in the story, almost forgetting that a war was at our doorstep.
"She called herself Sereni. Several days later, I asked the wise sage, and he told me that was the name of the Goddess of the Moon. She seemed to know all about you and more, telling us that you would grow up to be a strong woman—"another blast stopped his speech mid-sentence, "—but that's a story for another time. After talking with us, we asked the Goddess if she could help you. She said she would try, and touched your hand—right there, on your left wrist," he looked down once again at my bracelet.
The bracelet was a mark, then? It made no sense to me, as I could easily remove the jewelry whenever I wished. However, when I did, a strong sense of dread would overcome me the further away I walked from it. If I was far enough away, the feeling would be strong enough to make me ill, something I learned when one of the guards (who had been an enemy in disguise) tried to steal our jewelry, including my bracelet.
"Within moments, you opened your eyes for the first time in days. You cried for the first time in weeks. Your mother and I cried tears of joy at your recovery. But then Sereni gave us a warning." He paused a moment, as if collecting his thoughts. "She told us that you were completely healed, but that was only because of your soul. You were her daughter…or, as I understand it, a reincarnation of her daughter. A "Daughter of the Moon," as she called you. It is a reincarnation that occurs every couple of generations in your mother's bloodline, activated only in times of need. When Sereni touched your hand, you became a demi-goddess: half mortal, half god."
I grew light-headed under all this new information. A demi-goddess? What did that mean? I was the reincarnation of the daughter of a goddess? I could feel the feeling escaping my legs as blood circulation was hampered by sitting for quite some time. I wanted desperately to leave and go back to sleep, hoping this was all a strange dream. At the same time, however, I knew everything my father was telling me was the truth. Enlightened with this knowledge, I was becoming aware of a light-ness in my body, a purring feeling of energy just beneath my skin. My previous anxiety soon gave way to a sense of power and the need to protect my family.
Without warning, the door I had entered from burst open. Instinctively, my father sprang up and rushed to cover me, a sword already brandished. Where had that been hiding?
Several guards stood before us, eyes wide with panic and urgency. We could now plainly hear the commotion that was occurring elsewhere in the castle. Screams echoed loudly, and my body tensed in fear.
"The demons are at the gates, my lord! You must get to safety now! We can't hold them off for much longer!" The first guard to stumble in shouted.
My father cursed something under his breath. He looked at me. His face held worry and determination all at once. "Kira, listen to me closely. Go and find your mother and escape. The both of you must leave at once. Run as far away as you can. I will catch up with you later."
Tears began to well up in my eyes, and it took all of my will to prevent them from falling. A demi-goddess, even if only half strong, must still be strong, right?
Without another word, I turned and ran towards my mother's chambers as fast as my legs would carry me.