Seven Feudal Fairy Tales
Published on / 60 Chapter(s) / 187 Review(s)
-Complete-After reading a poetry scroll amongst the relics once belonging to Inuyasha's mother, Kagome traps herself and Sesshoumaru in another world, where they must journey through seven, different fairy tales and complete the poem if they wish to return home.
Chapter 1, Ink on Skin
Chapter One: Ink on Skin
“Have you found it yet Inuyasha?” a voice sang out from the exit of the shallow cave. A dusty figure paused in his digging and peered over the rim of the deep hole he stood in, his once white, triangular ears trained on the source of the interruption.
“Feh,” the hanyou replied flippantly, his voice coarse and slightly irritated. ‘It was close though. Maybe another foot or two,’ he thought as he inhaled the clean air a final time and bent over, scooping the cool, stained earth with his clawed hands. The acrid scent of rust stung his eyes and burned his nose. It took a moment for him to get a hold of his bearings and then with a quick deft movement, he thrust the dirt between his legs and over the edge of the hole into the growing pile behind him.
Kagome repressed a smirk at the scene, deciding the wrath of the hanyou was not worth indulging in her amusement. Shippo had already proven the result with a few choice remarks and received several bumps on the head for his efforts. She couldn’t deny the efficiency of Inuyasha’s method, despite how dog-like it appeared to be.
Nails sang across a metallic surface and he let out a triumphant cry as he swept dirt off of it, searching for the edges. Hearing what sounded like success, Miroku, Sango and a rather sheepish Shippo appeared at the entrance of the cave, curious about what the secretive hanyou had insisted on retrieving so far from the village they were supposed to be exorcising. With a grunt, he dragged the large iron chest out of the hole and shook the dirt off his clothes and bleached mane. Inuyasha crouched down and studied the latches on the once ornately engraved box, which exposure to the elements had long robbed it of its original beauty. ‘It had been seventy years after all, fifty of which he had spent sealed to a tree,’ he thought to himself, frustrated at the seemingly complex lock.
“Allow me,” Miroku said kneeling next to the perplexed hanyou. With a few yanks and a quick blow from his staff, the rusted lock released. The monk’s smug smile was only slightly more disconcerting than the ease with which he was able to open the chest. Gently, Inuyasha removed the lid and began to carefully sort through the neatly packed contents. Their curiosity overwhelming their patience, everyone crowded around the chest, desperate to know what had so enraptured their usually rough companion. Inuyasha eyed them warily as they each picked up a package and delicately unwrapped various items. Satisfied with their level of respect, he went back to his search, occasionally pausing to smell different objects, his thoughts wistfully wandering to another time in another place.
“It’s a kimono,” Sango remarked, surprise hinting in her voice, “It’s beautiful.” She held the fine silk up examining the striking pink and lavender lotus flower pattern. She hadn’t seen anything quite like it, except perhaps donned by the most elegant himes from her travels as a youkai taijiiya. She held it close to her face, letting the cool fabric brush her skin. She was not one to desire lavish clothing, but it was hard not to think of what it would be like to be adorned in such rich fabric.
Kagome slipped hers out of the soft wrappings, revealing a black lacquer tanto. The dagger, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, featured sakura blooms and branches entwined around the length of the hilt and sheath. She removed the saya revealing the tarnished, but exquisitely crafted blade. Entranced by the beauty, she did not notice the hanyou standing expectantly in front of her.
“Kagome,” he said softly, smoothly slipping a comb-style kanzashi into her free hand. Kagome carefully held the half-moon hairpin in her palm. She had never seen an ivory comb before and she marveled at the tortoiseshell design along the spine that trailed finely down each of the teeth. The gold gilding glinted in the low light of the cave. She looked back at Inuyasha and his gentle expression and immediately felt a deep blush rising to her cheeks.
“For the yurei at the village,” he said after a moment, puzzled by her reaction and then flashed a knowing grin. Kagome’s redness immediately receded and she returned her gaze to the delicate hairpin. It was true they were attempting to put to rest the vengeful ghost of a hime at the village, but she had eluded their efforts for several days.
“Inuyasha are you sure you want to risk this? Miroku could be wrong about her desire for the finery of her past life,” Kagome said at length, turning the ornament over in her hand. She looked up into his amber eyes and studied him as he turned the thought over in his mind.
“Feh! I’ll dispatch her before she can do anything,” he proclaimed with unerring confidence, his hand not-so-subtly touching the hilt of the Tessaiga. Then with a quick turn he began to stalk after the mischievous kitsune who had disappeared outside with the leather, playing ball from inside the chest.
“So are all of these mementos from his childhood?” Sango asked after a moment, folding the kimono neatly and placing it once again in its protective wrapping.
“I think so,” Kagome replied, thinking back several years, “I remember the illusion of his mother that was used to trap him once, wore clothing similar to this.”
“The age of the chest lends to that theory as well,” Miroku commented half-mindedly, distracted by a scroll he had found. Kagome continued to stare at the ivory comb perplexed by it. Ivory was not terribly common in Japan at this time and her thoughts rested on who would have given Inuyasha’s mother such a unique and special gift. The image of a great inu tai youkai traveling to China or India, searching for the perfect, rare gift for his lover formed in her thoughts. The school girl sighed despondently. ‘I’d settle for half a youkai getting me a bowl of ramen,” she thought to herself. Two years of attraction and moments of near intimacy had taken their toll on her self-esteem. What was she riding on anyway? All she’s managed was a hug and a kiss. Not to mention she’s been competing with Kikyo for his attention. How was she supposed to win against the dead?
Sango rested her comforting hand on Kagome’s shoulder. At least Sango understood, but there was little she could do or say anyway. She had her own problems in romance and one could debate all night over who is more trouble, Inuyasha or Miroku? A series of gruff curses and a wet squeak startled her out of her self-pity and Kagome made her way to the exit of the cave. Shippo probably earned his punishment this time, but she should at least intervene to keep Inuyasha from getting too carried away.
Miroku puzzled over the worn scroll he held gently in his hands. The exotic calligraphy appeared like black liquid on the off-white parchment and almost seemed to dance on the thin paper as he shifted it under the candlelight. It was definitely magical, but the kanji was so unfamiliar that even he a well-educated priest had difficulty deciphering it.
“Kagome,” he said as she reentered the cave carrying a battered Shippo and accompanied by a guiltless Inuyasha tossing a ball contentedly in the air. “Can you read this?”
“Maybe,” she replied, handing the kitsune off to Sango. Her brow furrowed as she looked over the scroll. She had thought that if the monk was struggling to read it, then it would be challenging at the very least, but even the style of the lettering seemed innately foreign.
“It seems to be regarding folk legends and perhaps a portal of some sort, but that’s all I could piece together,” Miroku said at length, his left hand skillfully inching toward her waist. With equal deftness, Kagome slipped away from his prowling reach, her line of thought intact as she knelt next to her overstuffed backpack and rummaged inside it.
‘My treasured kanji notes,’ she thought victoriously as she pulled out a worn notebook and thumbed through the wrinkled pages. Years of kanji practice from school were soon coming back to her as she began to match the various, obscure characters from the scroll to their meanings in her book.
Ink glides across skin
Shifting symbols part a way
Darkness swallows two
Black water breaks upon wood
Shells sing shelter within wind
Hidden from the sky
Brave through storm the sun and moon
Seeking the before
“Sesshoumaru-sama,” a small, hopelessly cheerful voice called out. The tall, elegant figure paused in his step and looked over his shoulder expectantly.
“Rin!” an even smaller voice exclaimed and a tiny, green youkai scurried over the hard-packed dirt toward the young girl. His bird-like feet worked furiously under his slight frame and in his hands, invisible beneath the heavy sleeves of his brown haori, protruded a great wooden staff with skillfully carved heads of a young woman and an old man. Since it was many times his own size, the youkai almost seemed ready to topple over from the lack of leverage, yet he managed to keep his step as he made his way over to the scaled mount the young girl was perched upon.
“Rin, do not bother Sesshoumaru-sama with your trivial needs,” Jaken spoke tersely, peering up the side of the two-headed beast and into Rin’s quizzical expression, “He is busy searching for Naraku or something to that end.” Jaken glanced back at Sesshoumaru who had since resumed his course down the worn path.
“Jaken-sama, there’s a voice coming from A-Un,” Rin said calmly.
“A voice?” he replied, his tone doubting. He opened his beak-like mouth, ready to scold her for now wasting his time, let alone their lord’s, when a voice, hollow and faint echoed into his pointed ears. “Sesshoumaru-sama!”
Sesshoumaru sighed inaudibly and stopped once again. The notion of releasing his retainers from their duty to him filtered through the tai youkai’s mind and then lingered longer than usual with the next comment.
“There’s a voice coming from A-Un!” Rin exclaimed, her observation validated by Jaken’s anxiety and apparent lack of an explanation. With a swift, fluid motion, Sesshoumaru pivoted and casually strolled back to the commotion. He too found himself equally confused moments before arriving at their sides. There was a voice. Swiftly, he honed in on the sound and nimbly unfastened one of the horse-like youkai’s packs. Within it, he selected an old scroll, an inheritance from his father. The parchment dimly glowed blue in the bright sunlight and the voice poured from it like water droplets in a cavern. With a practiced ease, he unrolled the scroll with his single hand and studied the luminous letters before him. As each syllable was uttered in the rhythmic tone, the strange glow leaked into the new characters, slowly drowning the paper in the light. The scroll had held little of the tai youkai’s curiosity in the past and he had simply dismissed it as a relic of his father’s previously unknown affinity for poetry.
Distant tales seven there are
Battle cries and wishes scorned
The bear challenges
Boy of golden will and strength
Trees hold victory
“Sesshoumaru-sama?” Jaken spoke up, the perfect, yellow orbs of his eyes widening in dismay, “Sesshoumaru-sama, you’re vanishing!” The tai youkai’s eyes flashed around his form and he found himself staring through his white silk robes and polished metal armor to the ground beneath the vague shapes that had once been his feet. He snarled, hot with rage at the apparent trap and attempted to release the vile scroll, but found even his hand was a vaporous notion of its former self. Desperately, he struggled to keep his form as his body dispersed into nothingness and finally despite his efforts, his mind was consumed by darkness.
A/N: This is my first fanfiction and I hope people enjoy it and I’m looking forward to any feedback people might have for me.
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