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In cleansing a hundred year old blemish from his family, Sesshoumaru invokes not only the wrath of his great and terrible sire, but even the gods themselves. Faced with the impending loss of that which he values most, he must find a means of absolutionâ€¦ or he will be destroyed.
Chapter 1, The Prologue
No one knows for certain when the first youkai came into existence but their very presence upon the earth was contrary to the gods’ desires.
It is said that the first youkai was born of the spirit of a bereft crane. It is well known that cranes mate for life, so when a pair of these devoted birds was separated by death, the male was left behind to mourn the loss.
Now most would not attribute such care and affection to an animal, but it is said that the crane mourned its mate bitterly, even going so far as to shed tears for its lost love.
It spent the remainder of its days in its lonely nest, leaving only to visit the last place it saw its mate alive.
After the female’s demise, the male’s health waned quickly. It hardly ate, rarely slept and became completely unwary of humans. It was the last of these which would end the crane’s miserable life. Crouching beneath an ancient tree, the crane ignored the footfalls of the hunters and just like his mate before him, the bird was struck with an arrow and died just inches from the place his female drew her last breath.
The hunters took his emaciated body away, but something intangible remained.
The bird’s spirit…
Instead of surrendering to the pallbearers of the underworld, the crane’s spirit clung to the mortal plane in the misguided belief that if it remained, its mate would return.
The spirit remained in the same place for twelve consecutive cycles of the moon, but spirits were never meant to remain on the mortal plane so even the gods could not predict the outcome of such an anomalous event.
They looked on in wonder as the bird’s soul became more and more cohesive with the passage of each cycle. Eventually, the crane became a solid form and appeared much as it did when it was alive.
This was the birth of the first youkai, or so the legends say. As the creatures did not initially seem intent on harming humans, the favored among the god’s creations, the gods did not seek to intervene. As time went on, more youkai were born by the same method, and more youkai were born of these.
Since the gods were not directly responsible for their birth, the youkai were less bound to the laws of creation. It was because of this that the youkai were able to wield power that was not meant to exist on the mortal plane. In time, the more exceptional among them learned that they could alter their appearances, some even daring to take on the forms of humans. Many developed strange and awesome abilities, while others learned to steal the powers of these, and others still learned to command the elements themselves.
These abilities, together with their great strength and seemingly endless life spans caused the demons to develop a sense of superiority. They turned against the humans claiming them to be an inferior race not worthy to share the land with them. Unable to defend themselves against such great power, the humans fell in droves.
It was then that the gods decided to make their presence known upon the earth.
A man was born…
This man, unlike any before him was gifted with a tiny portion of the god’s power and could burn the youkai clean, or “purify” them with but a single touch. Awed by his abilities the humans under his protection bestowed upon him the title of “Priest.”
To this priest were born many sons and daughters, all gifted with the powers of their father. He advised his progeny that with their power came the responsibility to protect their dwindling race from the youkai who sought to eradicate them. They were to spread out, take residence in one of the villages and destroy any youkai who drew near. None were to be spared!
The young priests and priestesses did as they were told and with the generational growth of their numbers the human race returned from the brink of extinction.
Each new priest, priestess or monk seemed to grow more powerful than the generation before them and with the added gift of greater intellect among their species even the humans that were not granted with godly power learned techniques to stand against the youkai. It was these who began to hunt the youkai for profit.
Without the aid of the gods, the youkai’s numbers began to dwindle and the gods were pleased that the humans were saved. But, as there are exceptions in nearly everything else there came into existence a youkai that was unlike all the others.
This youkai was not only compassionate toward humans but treated them as equals, in spite of the great power he came to wield. He claimed a territory in the west and even went so far as to take a human female as his second and most cherished wife. The gods were not without mercy and upon seeing his great love for humanity; they removed from him the one weakness they had placed upon all youkai.
He and those of his line would be granted immunity from all forms of purification.
His name was DaiGin, and this is the tale of his sons.
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