Obligatory Disclaimer: The "Inu Yasha" series and its characters are the property of Rumiko Takahashi, Sunrise, Shounen Sunday, Viz, and other corporate types. I am none of those entities. I'm just a silly fan writing silly stories because it's fun. Suing me would only be a waste of time and funds, so please don't.


Overall Rating: M

I CHOOSE NOT TO WARN!

This story contains material that might be disturbing or outright triggering to some. Reader discretion advised.

30 Kisses Theme: #6 - the space between dream and reality


Seed of Memory
by Misarae

Prologue
Beware of Shikigami Bearing Gifts

"You two! What are you doing there?"

Kaede had just come back from her work in the fields to find two young girls at the entrance to her hut. The reed mat was swinging a bit, meaning they'd been inside. It took her a moment to recognize them, but when she did, she shifted subconsciously into a defensive stance despite her lack of weaponry.

The girl with her hair in two separate tails simply stared, while her companion, dressed in yellow, bowed respectfully. "We mean you no harm, Kaede-sama," she said.

"Then you will explain to me what you are doing in my hut."

The girl in yellow bowed again. "We meant no disrespect. We are simply here to repay your village for the soil we took."

"And just what did you do with my sister's grave soil?"

"Your sister was in need of it."

"Asuka!" the girl in yellow chided.

Kaede's eyebrows rose in surprise. "My sister continues to survive?"

The girl addressed as Asuka nodded, the ties that held her hair away from her face on either side bobbing a bit. "For now. There is no need for concern."

Kaede came a bit closer, something about the name seeming familiar. Then she sensed the aura around them. "You're my sister's shikigami, aren't you?"

Asuka nodded, and her companion bowed yet again.

Kaede's gaze softened. "If you are Asuka," Kaede addressed the girl in blue, receiving a nod in return, "then you must be Kochou?" she asked the girl in yellow.

"Yes." Kochou turned to Asuka. "I told you she'd recognize us."

"Humph. We are done here, anyway."

"Won't you stay, since you've come all this way?" Kaede asked.

Kochou shook her head. "It drains our mistress to have us so far away. We must go back. Please be assured that your sister is well, thanks to the miko named Kagome."

"Some miko," Asuka scoffed, earning herself an admonishing glare from Kochou.

"Good afternoon," Kochou said with a final bow before drifting upward. Asuka followed silently, the two making their way northeast.

Kaede watched until they were just two tiny specks in the sky. Shaking her head, she adjusted her basket of herbs and entered the hut. Once she'd put her afternoon's work away, she spied what the shikigami had left. Her brow wrinkled in confusion as she noted the wooden bowl of umeboshi that had been left off to the side just inside the doorway.

Kaede made a face as she picked the bowl up off the floor before someone tripped on it, storing it away on a shelf while she decided what to do with the awful things.

She hated umeboshi!


Author's Note: This story has gone through so many direction changes, even I'm dizzy! I've done my best to smooth out the changes from where I intended it to go, to where it decided it was going to go whether I wanted it to or not. Le sigh. Oh the joys of being a writer! I do have a rough draft completed, and we're looking at six chapters (seven if you include the prologue) in total.

There will not be any outright Kikyou bashing in this fic, so if you're looking for that, I'm afraid you're in the wrong place. I'm not a huge fan, but it just didn't work for the tone of this particular story.

Finally, the "M" rating is there for safety. I almost posted this story as "T", but since there is nudity and I went over the allowed number of a particular swear word, I'd rather disappoint those looking for lemons than get my story yanked for not rating high enough. Sorry!