• Chapter 1: The Well

    "Sakura…..r-run….." "Mommy? Mommy!" "R-run…" "M-MOMMY!"

    I awoke with a start, the unfamiliar voices echoing in my head. I sat up on the couch, my head throbbing. Ugh, stupid voices! I wish they would just go away…. Why are they tormenting me now! What happened to her…? I guess I'll find out today. I slid off the couch, sweeping the purple blanket from my body and stepping onto the cold hardwood floor. The analog clock on the wall to my left told me it was around 10 in the morning. Good, it's not too late to go to the shrine. Man, not a good way to start my morning.

    Oh, I almost forgot to introduce myself! The name's Sakura Yukimora. I'm (well, was in my case) a sixteen-year-old high-schooler that had been living in Tokyo for as long as I can remember. Typical day, right? Well, you're dead wrong. Just keep listening in.

    I went straight to the bathroom, observing myself in the bathroom's full size mirror. My jet-black hair was messy and dull in the low lighting. I'd never gotten a formal haircut, so it was just past my bottom. My bangs were just above my eyes, and thankfully out of the way. I had cut them yet again recently, so I could see. My eyes I absolutely hated. They were pretty, but an ugly muddy brown color. Most people living in Japan did. My white tee fit me well, but was wrinkled; the grey shorts I wore exposed my long legs. Puberty had been good to me. My body was fit and decent sized, and a good five foot four. I was fairly gorgeous, but I had no boyfriend. Most guys in my school were pricks. I had to admit, I was probably your most average sixteen-year-old girl.

    After a long, relaxing shower and changing into my favorite black tee, black undershirt, jean skirt with shorts underneath, and the matching choker and fingerless gloves, I was preparing to go visit a local shrine, where I had a lead to my birth parents. I had called the adoption center yesterday and they had given me that address. Apparently, I had been a found child when I was four. I was only asking because of my birth parents being the only living relatives left. My adopted parents perished in a fire a few months ago. Yeah, I know what you're thinking: oh my gosh! Poor kid! But, people get over these things. I did eventually as well. I couldn't help fantasizing about my birth parents. I knew nothing about them, since I could barely remember anything before the age of four. I hope they like me, if I find them.

    My thoughts were rudely interrupted by a familiar voice calling me. "Saky-chan! Breakfast is ready!" "Okay, I'll be right there!" I dashed downstairs into the kitchen and spotted my tomboyish best friend, Kari, already sitting at the table, eating hers. Her shoulder-length brunette hair and green eyes brightened my gloomy morning, like a ray of sunshine in a pitch-black room. I sat down across from her and tucked in to my breakfast, barely noticing what I was eating. "You excited, Sakura?" "Hell yeah, I am!" Kari laughed and smiled. "Good. I hope you find what you are looking for." "Thanks, Kari!" I smiled at her, the best friend that took me in when I needed help, the best friend I had ever known.

    About an hour later, I left the house to go find the shrine. It didn't take me long; the Higurashi Shrine was hard to miss. The chilly October air made me shiver, even in my black sweat jacket. The only thing good about the fall season was that it brightened up the shrine and its many buildings. I nervously went to the main building and knocked on the front door. A few moments later, a woman appeared at the door and smiled at me. "Hello? Can I help you, miss?" "Hello! Sorry for coming up here without any notice, but can I ask you a few questions?" "No problem, come on in." I entered the simple house and sat on a seat at the kitchen table. The woman joined me at the table, sitting across from me. "So, what would you like to know?" "Well, um, you may not remember me, but I was abandoned here twelve years ago." "Oh, you mean the little girl from the old well?" "I guess. Can you tell me anything about my birth parents?" "Unfortunately, no. My father and I found you, abandoned, in an old well." "Oh, well, that's all I wanted to know." My excited attitude dropped immediately. I scratched nervously at the tattoo hidden on my left shoulder. That tattoo had been there for as long as I can remember. It was only a Japanese symbol I tried translating and failed miserably. The woman looked at my saddened face and obviously took pity on me. "I'll let you check out the well, if it would ease your mind. Who knows? You might find a clue." "Well, it's worth a shot." "Alright, then, follow me."

    Later, I found myself in a separate building, completely empty and dark except for the single well. Like most old wells, it was square and made of wood. I went down the two wooden steps and looked inside of it. It was damp, dark, and smelled like wet dog. I pinched my nose, disgusted at the smell. "Ugh, I can't stand that smell!" I held my breath as I leaned over the side, trying to get a better look, with no success. "I need a frickin' flashlight to see inside this stink hole. Is she kidding? How am I supposed to find clues if I can't see three feet in front of me?" This is totally pointless! A furry thing suddenly rubbed against my right ankle, and I totally lost it, screaming in fright. I lost my balance when I instinctively jerked my leg away from the thing. My upper torso fell down the well, my lower body following. I screamed again as I toppled into blackness.

    Weird thing was, I didn't hit the bottom and crack my skull in two. What the hell? I seemed to slowly float down, suspended by nothing. I turned myself upright, with some difficulty. What is this? I should be dead or severely hurt by now! Is this well that deep? After a few seconds, I landed with both feet hitting solid ground. Good, I'm glad that's over…I stood up quickly and dusted my clothes off." What the hell was that!?!" I looked up to see a clear blue sky out of the top of the well. That's strange… wasn't the well indoors? That doesn't make any sense! I quickly took a look around to find a ladder or something to pull myself out. I noticed a strong, thick-looking vine to pull myself out with. I grabbed it and yanked it to make sure it was secure. Okay, here I go! I hauled myself out of the well. Thank goodness for gym class! I never thought that I would say something like that… I looked around, and immediately noticed that the shrine was gone! I was completely surrounded by only a thick forest. What the hell? Where am I? What just happened? What do I do now?


    I was such an idiot! I'd taken off into the dense woods with no sense of direction at all! The soft crunch of leaves under my feet was my only companion. Besides that, I was utterly alone. Or at least, I'd thought I had been alone. Shortly after starting my trek, I heard another noise that sounded like movement and the crunching of the leaves. "Hello?" Anybody there?" Not a single response, but the sound was coming towards me. "Hello? I'm kind of lost…can you help me?" No response. So, I decided to go to the person instead of waiting to be rescued. BIG mistake. I stopped in a clearing, finally spotting the silent stranger. But, this was no person at all! I was face to face with a horrific creature! It looked like a giant snake, but the upper part showed the head and torso of a man. Even its fangs were inhuman! As you could imagine, my mind was in total chaos. I mean hello? Giant monster that isn't' supposed to exist right in front of my face, here? Who wouldn't freak out?

    Before I could scream or run, it reared its devil eyes in my direction, and slithered towards me. Its coils were around my body before I could blink. "Mmmm….what a deliciousss ssscent. Mind if I have a sssmall sssnack?" I finally had my chance to scream. It was so terrifying; I scared even myself with it. It didn't last long, as it's coils squeezed tighter, the hard green scales nearly tearing my flesh open. "Ssscream all you want." Its jaws snapped open. It was getting harder for me to breathe! I panicked, yelling out half-strangled cries of help, but it was no use as he slowly suffocated me. My sight was fading to blackness as his jaws snapped closer to my head.

    "Iron Reaver Soul Stealer!" Deadly, sharp claws ripped through the snake as a young male voice echoed trough the quiet forest. A golden slash was all I could see with my limited vision. The snake thing relaxed his grip slightly, allowing me to breathe. Once I caught some of my breath, I looked up to see another creature standing a few feet away, but this one didn't scare me much. It looked more human than anything. He was probably around my age, and maybe three or four inches taller. His silver hair was longer than mine, the bangs bushy and in need of a really good brushing. He also had two shorter sections of hair, one on each side of his face and reaching to about the middle of his chest. He wore an old-fashioned Japanese hakama that was red. The jacket, probably hitoe-style, as well as the pants, had slits in them, one on each arm near the shoulder and from his hips to mid-thigh on the sides of his legs. He had a white shirt on underneath, and a strange purple-beaded necklace was around his neck, with beads that resembled fangs on it every few purple beads. The stranger also had a sword, (sheathed) on his right hip, the sheath tied diagonally around his torso. I also noticed he was barefoot. The only inhuman things were his silver dog ears, fangs, claws, and his yellow eyes. Not a golden yellow, but a bright yellow, like an animal's eyes.

    The kid laughed with a smirk on his face. "Alright, demon, let the human go and I won't have to dismember you." "Hah! Ssshe'sss mine!" The dog-boy's smirk grew wider as it tightened its grip and I cried out in protest. He's smirking as this thing crushes me? "Well, you asked for it!" Dog-boy drew his sword, but it wasn't very impressive. It looked old, shabby, and dented. What the hell is that stick going to do? Of course, I had thought too soon. The sword changed into a huge fang-shaped sword with silver fur for the guard. The blade had to be about as big as a person, but as wide as two people next to each other. Now that was an impressive sword."Alright, now you die!"

    The dog-boy attacked the snake, charging at him with the mighty sword. The snake, somehow still managing to hold me, was up in a tree before the blink of an eye. Now that my feet were off the ground, I kicked the monster as hard as I could. "Put me down, now!" he totally ignored me, like my kick was nothing. Dog-boy refocused on the snake and charged for him again, this time slicing deep onto his tail coils, and a few tree branches. The snake completely relaxed his grip and I slipped through, heading towards the ground. "Wah!" Thankfully, one of dog-boy's clawed hands grabbed the back of my jacket. His feet were balancing on some thick tree branches. How the hell did he do that? Pretty impressive for a kid. He glanced at me as the snake, tumbling to the ground, landed with a thunderous BAM! Its wounds were gushing blood, all evenly spread along its tail. Its forked tongue slipped out of its jaws and the thing hissed at me as it slithered away in retreat. Dog-boy slowly lowered me to the ground, and then jumped out himself. I landed on both feet, panting as I caught my breath again and calmed down. "WHAT…THE HELL…WAS THAT? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU?" Again, my mind was in disarray now that I could process what had just happened. He smirked. "You obviously aren't from here if you're asking that question." He stared at me, taking in my appearance for several moments. For some reason, realization hit his face. "You dress like…!" He grabbed my wrist. "Come on, we have to go talk to Kaede!" Before I could protest, he slung me on his back and took off at an incredible speed, the trees whizzing past us faster than a bullet train.

    It took only a few minutes for dog-boy to reach a small town…. or a village, by the looks of it. It was so old-fashioned! The houses were small, old, and had small families wearing old fashioned clothes. The women wore kimonos and the men wore simple pants with tie-on shirts. This is so freaky! It's like I stepped through a time machine! He stopped at one of the houses and I slid off his back. "Mind telling me where we are?" He totally ignored me, sniffing the air. "Yup, the old hag is definitely home." Rudely, he grabbed my wrist and pulled me inside. "Hey! Hag! Look what I found wandering the forest near the Bone-Eater's Well! Mind explaining?" An elderly woman in a shrine maiden's uniform was sitting at her table, sipping tea. She had grey, long hair and an eye patch over her right eye. The woman intently stared at me for a few minutes, and then gestured for us to sit down. The boy sat down in the corner while I sat across from her. "Never thought I'd see you again, Sakura." "You know me?" "Why, of course. That's the only reason you could fit in at your time." "My time? I'm in the past?" "It's actually your present. You're originally from here." "So, how did that happen?" "You disappeared after your mother was murdered by an evil Demon and I put a seal to suppress your Demon powers on you." "Wait, I'm a MONSTER?" "Only half, though, like Inuyasha." That peaked dog-boy's interest. "So, you're telling me she's a Half-Demon, too?" "Yes." "So, my birth parents died, hunh? Guess I did finally find what I was looking for. Why can't I remember?" The woman sighed. "The seal keeps the memories mostly blocked." "Are you sure, Lady Kaede?" "She couldn't be here otherwise, Inuyasha." I stood up, quickly. "How am I supposed to believe you? I could just be dreaming! I want to go home!"

    The old woman, Lady Kaede, looked at me inquisitively. "Why were you searching for answers?" "Me? Oh, well, to be honest, they were my last living relatives, or so I thought." "What about the parents that took you in?" "Died in a fire, a few months ago." Her curious look changed to one of pity. "So, there is nobody left to go home to, for you?" "Pretty much, but I can't…" A thunderous roar stopped me mid-sentence. "WHERE IS HE?" We all rushed outside the house, immediately seeing the cause of the commotion. A great, big, ugly purple ogre with four arms and only wearing a fur loincloth was tromping around, squishing villagers and homes. The ogre was accompanied by a familiar reptile. "I almossst have hisss ssscent, he ssstole my dinner!" Inuyasha growled. "Looks like that pathetic snake brought a friend." He drew his sword again and charged at the Demons. But this time, the snake was ready. He flung himself at Inuyasha as soon as he spotted him, digging his fangs into his neck. "Oh my gosh!" Inuyasha gasped and dropped his sword. Lady Kaede gasped as well. "Inuyasha's paralyzed! The Demon's venom has made him motionless!" The Demon released him, Inuyasha's limp body hitting the ground. "Oh dear! Dog-boy needs help!" Lady Kaede turned to me. "You can help him out! I can release the seal! But, you won't ever be a full human again, because I cannot conjure up a new seal that will be as strong as the one you have now. You would be stuck as a Half-Demon for the rest of your life." I contemplated my options as I watched the snake coil around him. I may not be human anymore, but nobody else can save him and he's going to die because of me! I have to! "Alright, let's do it!"

    Lady Kaede nodded and grabbed my shoulder, over the exact spot of my tattoo. Her hand glowed a brilliant white, and a burning sensation ripped through my body. The cloth around the tattoo dissolved into nothing, and the tattoo itself glowed a scarlet color. After a few seconds, it simply vanished. A sudden wave of scents and other smells hit my nose, and my body felt stronger, faster. A few locks of hair had blown into my face and they weren't black anymore, they were cyan blue. The urge to fight swelled within me, an urge to protect the villagers and Inuyasha. Lady Kaede released me, and then all was still. I needed swords, dual swords. "Kaede, I need some swords, please!" "Alright." I brushed my new hair out of my face and focused on my enemies as Kaede came back with two non-matching old swords. What am I doing? I've never picked up a sword in my life! But I wasn't that weak human girl I'd left behind anymore, I was something else: I was a Half-Demon.

    I took the swords from Kaede and headed for the Demons. When I reached the snake, it turned to me and glared. "There'sss my dinner…but it sssmells funny." "You don't exactly smell like a patch of roses, serpent!" It hissed and lunged, fangs bared. I smirked; his moves were actually too slow for me! I sliced him on the chest diagonally with my right hand blade. I had cut a huge gash from his left hip to his right shoulder, and he screamed. Inuyasha, whom I hadn't noticed until now, looked at me, his eyes bugging out. Hm, the paralysis is wearing off already? The snake loosened his grip, but didn't let him go. The ogre roared at me, too. "You little witch! I'm going to smash you!" He drove a mighty fist into the ground, where I had been about a second ago. I landed about three feet from my original position, swords at the ready. "You're not very bright, are you?" I refocused on my serpent target, glaring. Inuyasha's rescue was a top priority.

    "Hey, reptile-face! Mind calling off your pet?" "No thanksss, girl. Anywaysss, I'll at least have thisss for my sssnack!" He went for Inuyasha as the ogre attacked me. "Fine, so be it!" I easily dodged the ogre's crushing fist, and then tossed both swords, one at each, while I was still in the air. As I landed, I heard them both hitting their targets: One through the snake's head, the other through the ogre demon's chest. The snake's bloody, lifeless body dissolved into ashes, and Inuyasha landed on his a**. Obviously the venom had worn off, because he grabbed the fang sword. "Alright, time to kick some a**!" He stood up, shakily, and held his sword. I retrieved the blade that had gone through the snake and refocused on the ogre. That one had ripped my sword out and tossed it to the ground, snapping it in two with his mighty strength. "You little witch! Now you shall die!" It attacked me again, but this time Inuyasha struck first before he could even get within ten yards of me. He smirked, and sliced the air. Wait, what? What was slicing through the air going to do? But, I had underestimated Inuyasha yet again. "Wind Scar!" 4 streaks of light went straight from the sword to the demon, and it was instantly obliterated. 4 long cracks in the ground were left behind from the attack.

    My jaw dropped to the floor. "What…the…HELL?!?" He smirked again and sheathed his sword, the blade transforming back into its dented, old self. "Well, thanks for saving my a**, I guess. But, I probably could have taken it's head off without your help." Lady Kaede came up to us, laughing. "Inuyasha must be having a good day to use his manners." He immediately growled at her. "What was that, old hag?" What a jerk! Lady Kaede sighed." You never change, Inuyasha. Well, we have a more puzzling problem at hand: obviously our friend here can't go home looking like this, and I can't put another seal on her." Right, my Half-Demon problem. What now? Inuyasha smirked. "She could stick with you, like a guard dog or something. This town could use a Demon killer around here." "Well, yes, but it won't be much help when I die of old age and the people start to resent her because of her Half-Demon nature." "You have a point, hag. So, what do we do with her?" "She could go with you…" "WHAT? I am not doing some stupid baby-sitting duty!" "It would be better for her, and you haven't had anyone since…" "Don't even say it, hag!" He looked upset that she had almost brought up someone. I wonder who that person was? "Alright, I won't. But, she could learn a few things from you. Besides, you can't stop her if she follows you." I finally had to cut in. They were talking like I wasn't even in the room! "AND since you're the only good Demon here, I'd follow you anyway." He growled. "I'm NOT baby-sitting the kid!" "Too late, you're stuck with her. Follow me, I've got everything you need, child." I tossed the useless sword away and followed Lady Kaede. Inuyasha, reluctantly, followed behind.

    Back at Kaede's place, Kaede was rummaging through her house, grabbing things and shoving them into a rugged backpack. Inuyasha was scowling to himself in the corner, sitting cross-legged on the floor with his hands in his sleeves; each hand in the opposite sleeve, like a monk or some holy person would do when sitting alone. I myself was at the table, examining my burnt shirt and jacket. "These will be impossible to salvage, the damage is too bad!" I tossed the jacket on the seat next to me, and my fried shirt sleeve I ripped off, it was about to fall off anyway. I tossed that on top of my jacket. Now I only had one sleeve and my skin on my shoulder and a tiny bit of my chest was exposed, which was making me very uncomfortable, especially with a guy in the room. I blushed as I waited silently for Kaede to finish up and find me some clothes. Oh, please hurry up!

    Hours later, Kaede and I were sitting at the table, eating soba noodles, Inuyasha sat in his corner, eating alone, and very quietly. It was slightly bugging me. "Is he always like that?" "Pretty much. He hasn't traveled around since…well, anyway, so he's been here." "Oh…" "By the way, I have some new clothes for you, entrusted to me by your mother. These clothes are special; they can repair themselves using a special object I packed with your things." "Why am I not surprised?" "Probably because you're remembering her." She was right, of course. I hadn't fully remembered her, but I had had glimpses of her and my father. Supposedly, he died long before my mother did, most likely around the time I was two, from a disease. The room was deathly silent after that. Images were now roaming my mind: most of them of my mother. She was a beautiful Demon, with blue hair, eyes, and wings. She had feathers going from finger to elbow and toe to mid-thigh. She even had fangs and talons, like me. I could even remember her name: Kira…fitting for a Demon of her caliber. My father was the total opposite: young face, black hair, brown eyes, and obviously human. And he was a priest, no less! It is kind of ironic, if you think about it. I sighed and stabbed at my food. I was now too depressed to eat, with all these painful memories resurfacing in my mind. So, I politely excused myself and went to my temporary room for the night.

    I peeled my boots off as I walked into the small room, and then slid the door shut as I observed the room. All it had was that old-fashioned bed on the floor, the backpack, and a folded set of clothes. I ignored those for the moment, as I spotted the floor-length mirror hiding in the shadow of the left back corner. I stood in front of it and observed myself. I could have been my mom's twin! I looked exactly the same as I did before, all but for my hair, fangs, and talons. My eyes had turned blue to match my hair. I stared down at my hands, my now clawed hands. They were human hands, but the nails were pointy now, so I called them talons, considering my mom resembled a bird. I sighed as I stared at my inhuman hands…my inhuman everything! I wasn't me anymore! But, it was a small price to pay for saving Inuyasha, getting my memories back, and freedom from the modern world. Here, I was free. Plus, I hadn't lost all my humanity. This might actually be a good thing for me!

    As I dozed off later, a plain dream turned into a nightmare of death.

    My four-year-old self watched as my mother was cut down before my eyes. Her bloodied form lay before me as a dog demon stood over her, sword in hand. I knew that face! Cold, whitish-grey eyes, long white hair, silver ears, fangs, claws, skimpy white kimono…. I was viewing my mother's murder, and the monster that took her life. "Yasha! Why?" "S-Sakura…r-run…" "Mommy? Mommy!" "R-run…" "MOMMY!" I held her hand as she took her last breath, leaving behind a bloody mass of blue feathers and limbs. But, that soon vanished as she turned to ash. "Y-you…YOU WITCH!"

    I awoke with a start, panting, sitting straight up in my bed. I rubbed my eyes tiredly as I recalled the dream. Gosh, that was brutal…..why did she kill her? She and my mom were best friends! I wish I could remember! I don't think it was bad enough to kill her! That witch better be dead, because if she isn't, she will be. A loud rapping came from the bedroom door. "Hurry up, kid! Or I'll leave your a**!' I got out of bed with a grunt as his footsteps echoed away from the door." What an a*****e!"

    I got dressed in my new clothes as quick as I could, and then admired myself in the mirror. Not bad mom, not bad at all. It was a black kunoichi dress tied with a cloth belt around my waist, with the right overlapping the left side and bell sleeves. It looked similar to Inuyasha's clothing, but it was black, for a girl, had no slits and no small black lines in the sleeves. God, the sleeves were huge! I could probably fit the contents of my purse in them along with my hands, like Inuyasha had done with his hands the day before. My choker, fingerless gloves, the hidden tank-top underneath and black hair ties gave me a more modern look, as well as my old knee-high boots. (People didn't wear shoes much here, like Inuyasha.) I tied my long hair into pigtails with the hair ties to give me a cuter look. All in all, I didn't look too bad, it just needed more color (as if my hair wasn't enough already!) I straightened the mid-thigh length skirt so my shorts that I still had did not show underneath, and then I was finally ready. I grabbed the backpack and ran outside to meet Inuyasha.

    I dashed out into the bright sunlight to see Inuyasha and Lady Kaede waiting for me. "Sorry to keep you waiting so long! I had a rough night and needed to change my clothes." Inuyasha scowled, but when he saw what I was wearing, his jaw dropped and Kaede giggled at him. He soon snapped out of his gawking stupor and grumbled. "Whatever, let's go, kid." I grumbled myself and started to follow him, but Kaede stopped me and smiled. "If he becomes too much of a problem, I want you to just say something out loud, and your words will do the rest." "Well, what is it?" She quickly whispered the word into my ear. "Just say that, and you'll see what I mean." "Uh, okay." "Trust me, it works. An old friend of mine originally had that power over him because of that necklace, but I used the spell to transfer it to you. Good thing your father was a priest." "Oh, who was it that could use it?" "Well, I can't remember, I am old, you know." Obviously, she didn't want me knowing, by that mysterious look she now had on her face. So I dropped the subject and followed after Inuyasha, waving good-bye to Kaede.