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DLDL Vol. 2

Since I don't have any more room on the old post to edit, Here's the...next installment, I guess.

More than 700 years ago… I have no particularly strong feelings about this header one way or another, but the rest of them I think are really totally unnecessary and they drive me crazy. It's just personal opinion, but I think it looks a ton better and reads more naturally without them.

“My lord, you must reconsider!” the brewing storm whipped through the silver hair of the figures standing atop the cliffside.

The mournful howl of the gale was her only answer, save the splash of blood that painted the stones whenever he moved. Her tone calmed, “I cannot let you do this,” she said, one hand inching toward her sword.

“You would kill me?” his deep voice finally cut through the air, sounding more curious than angry.

“You’ve left me no choice, my lord,” her voice just above a whisper. “You will always do as you wish. If you will leave your swords behind, I will not interfere.”

His silence was answer enough.

“Very well then,” no sooner had her hand closed over the hilt of her sword than the lady of the West completely lost sensation of her hand at all. “My lord?” she whispered, a single bubble of blood forming on her lips as she collapsed, a heap of slowly reddening silver hair and silk. She hadn’t even seen him move

“Resist the pallbearers. I will revive you.” His golden eyes betrayed a brief sense of regret as his wife bled out on the ground before him.

Her fading eyesight watched him turn away, steeling himself to stay alive long enough to save both women from the fate he was fast approaching.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0


Present
The Fairy Tale

The world as we know it has not one, but two beginnings, both of them true. This feels kind of off, I think. It's hard to pin down, but the truth of both beginnings comes off as implicit in what you said in the preceding clause, and so a comparatively unadorned phrase such as "both of them true" appears a bit redundant. Not sure what the solution might be, try experimenting around? One is the origin of the universe taught in school, the other is the origin of spirits. Nobody knows what happened, exactly, because no consciousness existed to see and remember, but at some point in the Void before time, there was an Event… and Fire Capitalised. was born. With fire Now it's not capitalised. Which is it? was born the first fire elementals, and through them, the universe became conscious of itself Huh? I'm not really sure what you're getting at here, could you explain? Otherwise I'm not sure how I can give advice or make suggestions so that meaning is more readily accessible. Unless the explanation would wind up being some weird Spinozan...metaphysical...thing. Then I'd rather not know. .


“Wow, Kagome, you weren’t kidding when you said the beginning was the beginning…”

“Hey, zippit. You guys asked for it, yes?” she growled, pinning them with an impressive glare. The other girls nodded meekly.


Fire, water, stone, air, the elementals were alone in the universe, but then … When some invisible threshold was met for the first time by living things, the spirits were given form. Which life form was the first and when has been lost to time, but once in a while a certain kind of living thing would appear that had spirits, conscious spirits, of its essence and form.These two parts are kind of confusing and hard to follow. I realize that, of necessity, you have to be vague here since most the details have been lost to time and all that, but is it possible to be a bit less vague? The elementals took whatever forms they pleased, but the animal spirits had at least two forms, one they chose and one reminiscent of the creatures they were kin to. These were the first youkai.

Youkai were real, tangible, and visible – one of the only ways their magical nature manifested is that their bodies vanish and cease to exist soon after they die, to a dimension between worlds. Youkai and some of the elementals could live as long as they desired, provided they are were not killed. You could always recognize a youkai that was growing weary of life, since the youkai it Repeating "a/the youkai" feels a tiny bit verbose, but I have no strong feelings one way or another on this suggestion. would appear withered and aged. Sometimes it would happen days before its death; sometimes it took many centuries
.


“In fact, youkai of one of the smaller flying dinosaurs existed - and were rather young-looking - to within only a few centuries of today!”

“Wait, how would you know?!” Ayumi interrupted.

Eri elbowed her in the ribs, “Her fairy tale, duh!”

Ayumi blushed, mumbling, “I forgot.”

“Hey! Would you guys just let me tell the thing? The point was supposed to be that youkai live until they are killed or choose to die, but anyway…”


Time progressed, and eventually there was another strange twist of chance or fate. Humans arose. Humans, it seemed, were unique in that they didn’t have any youkai for the species, but were, themselves, aware. They had no need of youkai, since they were aware of themselves and of the universe. Strangely, many youkai appeared around the same time as humans that resembled nothing the Earth had ever seen, and no one knew where they came from. Oni, gaki and the many other relatively low-level youkai from folklore were suddenly common. Curiously, youkai for disease, grief, and other abstract concepts also sprang into existence. Even more curiously, ever since humans appeared,Wait, are there still youkai as Kagome is narrating? You suddenly changed tenses in this next part. most higher-level youkai have chosen forms that are human or humanoid.


“Lots of pretentious mystical reasons have been proposed to explain why… but it’s probably just because of the opposable thumbs. That or the recreational sex drive.”

“Kagome!”

“What?”

“You’re coming up with theories about your own fairy tale?”

“Um…What if I am? Unless you want to take over the stories, shut up and let me tell it! Anyway…”


Many thousands of years ago, Man found an ally in Wolf, and over millennia, Dog was born, and with Dog, came inu-youkai. The greatest among these was known only as the Inu no Taisho. He lived for millennia and grew powerful, wandering the world, until eventually he came to Japan, where he ruled over the West, until, about 700 years ago, two very important things happened at roughly the same time.

First of these was the rise of a warrior priestess named Midoriko. She not only had the power to destroy malevolent youkai, but she had the power to cleanse and purify their souls, stripping them of all power. The times were dark, and ceaseless famine and war spawned evil youkai, who feasted on the dead and dying, creating more of their own at an alarming rate. Midoriko was the only one who could stand against them, so she did, and that made her many enemies.

One day, the ogres, dragons, and other dark youkai of the lands joined in a massive attempt to end Midoriko’s life. They battled for seven days and seven nights, until a great demon finally captured her in its jaws and sank its teeth into her flesh. Midoriko, refusing to yield, took hold of its soul, and in doing so, her own soul was forced from her body, and the entire mass of demons turned to stone along with her. What she had forced out of her body was the Shikon no Tama, her soul waging an eternal war against the souls of the demons trapped inside with her
.


“Hey, I recognize that legend!” Yuka chirped, shrinking back into herself when she saw the glares the others leveled at her. Kagome, however, only smiled wanly, her eyes and thoughts still far away as she continued to speak.


The second thing that happened around this time… is the Inu no Taisho, despite recently fathering a son to inherit his domain, fell in love. Her name was Izayoi, a hime living in his domain, and she was a human.


The other girls grew very quiet when they heard this. A youkai and a human, the classic setup… which never ended well.


This kind of thing had happened before, for every sentient creature is capable of falling in love with another, and hanyou children had been born. However, never had a daiyoukai fallen so low, and when it became known that the hime was with child, the Inu no Taisho was challenged to fight the most powerful and wicked youkai that existed as they tried to use this misfortune to bring down the terrible daiyoukai and seize power for themselves. With the strength of a demon lord who has something to protect, the Inu no Taisho slew them all, until only their leader stood in his way. Ryukossei, the dark dragon, was his final bloody battle, and the ending was horrific. The fight occurred on the night Izayoi was to give birth, and the Inu no Taisho was pushed to his limit and beyond. The fight was long and bloody, and both parties were wounded gravely. The Inu no Taisho, in a final act of desperation, sealed the great dragon into dormancy and raced toward the distress he sensed from the beautiful hime. Nearly all was lost as the Inu no Taisho’s first wife, the mother of his heir, at last turned on her husband and tried to challenge him, hoping to salvage the family honor before all was lost. The Inu no Taisho, in desperation, slew his wife, intending to revive her once he had rescued the hime, but even that slight delay had cost him dearly, for by the time he reached the castle, Izayoi lay dead, slain by a jealous human with a spear through her heart. Her newborn wailed alone on the floor as the mansion burned around them.

The Inu no Taisho drew on the last of his power and channeled it into an enchanted sword to revive his lost love. He placed the babe in her arms and wrapped them in a haori enchanted to resist flame and blade alike. The lord summoned the last of his power and turned before the mortal wounds inflicted by Ryukossei overcame him, buying time for Izayoi to escape and holding off the guards as the mansion collapsed on top of him, sealing the fate of all who were still inside
.


Kagome heard a small noise and paused her story. Ayumi, clutching her nearly empty wine cooler, had overly-bright eyes, and the other two looked solemn.

“That was rather depressing,” Eri murmured. Kagome felt tears in her own eyes as she unscrewed the cap of her canteen and took a swig to wet her throat before speaking.

“Do you guys want me to stop…?”

“No!” they chorused.

“…Because this next part doesn’t get any better,” she finished quietly after her friends interrupted her.

They paused, then Eri spoke up, “Sure, Kagome. It’s not like we have anything better to do, and it’s just a fairy tale after all, right?” Yuka was the only one who noticed the shadow passing over Kagome’s face at those words, and deep in her mind, she began to wonder…

Kagome sighed, and once again lost herself to the story.


In the moments before his death, the Inu no Taisho had named his son Inuyasha, and so the boy grew. Life was unimaginably difficult for a hanyou, and he knew suffering since the day he was born. His mother loved him with all her heart, but she passed away when he was still a young man of about fifteen, though he looked even younger. He encountered persecution and hatred from everyone he met, and that is how he lived his first century, and half of his second, until, 550 years ago, he learned of the Shikon no Tama.

Midoriko’s jewel was said to grant any wish, and if a pure wish was made, the jewel itself would be purified, and vanish. Then Midoriko’s soul could move on at last. But Inuyasha finally saw a way to end his suffering, and become a true demon. He found the priestess who guarded the jewel, named Kikyou, and



Kagome paused. She still couldn’t bear to fully tell this part, so she brushed past it, “and somehow, despite their opposite goals and backgrounds, the two outcasts of the world fell in love.”

Kagome sighed and shifted position slightly. Her leg was already falling asleep.


The hanyou and the miko made a plan to use the jewel and free them both. If Inuyasha used the jewel to turn himself into a human, Kikyo believed it would be a pure wish made to free her, and the jewel would vanish. Inuyasha would no longer be hated and hunted, and Kikyo would be free of her duty to guard the jewel, so they could finally be together and happy.


Ayumi was getting misty-eyed, but the others remembered Kagome’s warning too well to relax.


However, it was not to be. A wicked man whose injuries Kikyo cared for lusted after her body and desired to taint her soul with malice. I'd break this into two sentences. One for introducing Onigumo and one for his plans and desires. As it stands, this part of the narration feels strained and I think you're trying to pack too much into too few words.He gave himself to be devoured by countless demons in return for their power, and became a hanyou who called himself Naraku, with the ability to change his appearance at will. He set Kikyo and Inuyasha up to believe they had betrayed one another, and hoped it would taint the jewel and leave Kikyo at his mercy. The plan began perfectly, and after each thought the other had betrayed them, Inuyasha set off to steal the jewel and Kikyo set off to kill Inuyasha.

It was at this point that events started to diverge from Naraku’s plan. Kikyo shot Inuyasha through the heart and his body hung limp and lifeless from a single arrow against a holy tree, but Kikyo, rather than using the jewel to save herself, died and took the jewel to the afterlife. Also not in Naraku’s plans, Kikyo’s arrow had been an arrow of sealing, not purification, and so Inuyasha did not fully die. However, both of their souls cried out in hatred and betrayal, and neither could move on, until another fifty years had passed
.


Kagome fell out of the storytelling trance. She decided to just outline just the rest of the story and move on. “Kikyo’s reincarnation arrived on the scene fifty years later, and accidentally freed Inuyasha from his prison… and to make a very, very long story short: the jewel reappeared with Kikyo’s reincarnation, and was (purely accidentally!) blown into a million smithereens. So now, the reincarnation, let’s call her, er, ‘Kagome,’ has a duty to gather the fragments until the jewel is whole once again. First, she finds a spell of subjugation just in time to keep Inuyasha from killing her, then they travel around, finding shards and battling Naraku, and pick up traveling companions consisting of a kitsune cub, a lecherous monk, a taijiya, and a… saber-toothed nekomata fire elemental.”

“…Kagome, I thought this was a fairytale, not a self-insert!” Eri groaned.This line is a work of genius.

Kagome yawned. “Would you like to tell the stories for a while? I’d be happy to just listen, you know!” Kagome was actually rather proud of herself. She’d had to fudge a little for some of the story, but the structure was all there.

“No, no. Go ahead!”

“Oh, and I forgot, Kikyo is also resurrected into a clay doll made of bones and gravesite soil.”

“Kagome…”

“What? Do you want me to stop? I can do that, just ask!”

“… Go ahead.”

A sudden flash of insight. “Heeeey, let’s pretend that this really is a self insert! The Kagome in the story is me, and I have a… a magical mirror that can send me 500 years back through time!”

“…”

Well, at least now she wouldn’t have to pretend she was talking about someone else…

“So, where was I? Oh, wolves!”

0o0o0o0o0o0o0


The air was thick with the smell of blood. The shard hunters ran into the village and froze, horrified at the sight of an enormous wolf pack devouring the poor villagers with abandon. How was this possible? Wolves didn’t attack humans! How…

Unable to contain their horrified gasps, the group realized they had a fight on their hands. The wolves had noticed them.

In moments they were surrounded. The group stood back to back, facing outward at the wolves on all sides. In moments the pack leapt for their throats, and Kagome only had a moment to panic before a blur of silver and red flashed before them, “Sankon Tessou!” The score of wolves fell to the ground in a spray of blood and agonized whimpers, the remaining handful backing away and turning tail, running to a small hill before sending up a chorus of mournful howls.

The group of shard hunters only had moments to wait until a demonic aura and a whirlwind appeared, racing towards them. Kagome gasped, “Jewel shards, closing in fast!” a moment before the swirling vortex reached them.

A figure leapt out of the whirlwind. The figure of a man, impossibly fast, shot out of the tornado toward them, bracing himself as he slid to a stop. There was a blur of motion, and his hair whipped around his face as he skidded to a halt in front of them. The wolves immediately gathered around him, and after a few seconds the stranger approached them, his face dark with fury.

“You bastards! How dare you kill my wolves!”


0o0o0o0o0o0o0


To be continued…