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The Void: Journey to Redemption by Hairann

Prologue

AN: Well folks the wait is over and I hereby welcome you to the sequel of The Void. I do not know how often I will get chapters out, but I will try to get them out quickly :). This story is dedicated to NtvHawnGrl whose suggestion of “A Journey of Redemption” was partially used in the title. And a special shot out to all of you who sent me in suggestions, there were many great ones and it made choosing just one really hard :). And of course, I want to thank everyone who waited, mostly patiently, for me to get started on this story. This story starts up right where the previous one ended...

And just to try something different, the scene changer is the initials of the story :).

Prologue:

Sesshoumaru continues to watch from the side lines as he has done for the last 500 years...

It is something I have never said before, and no doubt never will again, but just this once; I made a mistake. What I thought to be the right and true path, seems was merely my pride ruling my decisions. I did not wish to follow in his footsteps, having spent my entire life claiming that they were what made him weak, and I never wished to be so myself. I wanted so much to prove that I was stronger, wiser than my sire only to help prove that he was.

What I saw as weakness was strength, truth was fiction, right was wrong. If there is anything I would wish for in this world, given the chance, it would be that I never made that mistake. More than anything I had blamed her for what had happened, had she not tried to intervene in saving Rin, neither of us would have ended up where we did. My ward was my responsibility to protect and by trying to do so herself, it was like she was accusing me of not being strong enough.

As if she were more capable than I and I hated her for it. While we were stranded in that void, I wanted to kill her and almost did every night as she slept, but something always intervened on her behalf. I decided later that it was the void itself working in her favor and for that, I hated the void that much more. If it had been possible to destroy it, I would have done so with my own hands. But like too many things since the day I met her, it slipped through my fingers.

I knew when I told her that I would do nothing about our son, that it would hurt her. Perhaps not as much as if I had physically harmed either of them, but it was painful for her all the same. And I wanted it to be. I may not be an innocent, but I would never take the life of the mother of my child, whether the birth had been welcomed or not. Hurting her emotionally was the only weapon left to me and I unsheathed it every chance I found.

I wanted her to suffer as I had for her actions, wanted her to understand that everything was her fault. The day our son was born, the whole reason I had shown up was to cause her fear, knowing she or the half-breed would be able to feel my presence just on the outskirts of their village. I wanted her to believe her life was in danger, know what it was like to never truly feel safe in the world. Know that whenever I wanted to I could take her life, even if it was not the truth.

I was there the day our son asked about me for the first time, though neither of them were aware, and heard her reply. That was the first time I found myself not wishing to cause her pain, the way she answered had been so respectful to me even after the way I had treated her. At first I simply believed her to be slow in the mind, but soon enough I learned that that was not the case. She was far more intelligent that I ever gave her credit for, even if I would not admit it to even myself.

She was wise far beyond her years and, sometimes, even mine. As each year passed and I watched her grow older, never did she speak against me, instead tried to make me understand that I too was missing out by keeping my distance. I fought so hard to keep my life as I believed it should be that it took me 500 years to realize it wasn't even what I really wanted. More so than my father, I had made a bigger mistake. I had abandoned my own son, my only child.

The day I stood before her grave, after watching her return to the past for the final time, as I stared down at the weather worn engraving upon her headstone, I knew exactly what I wanted and that I would do anything in my power to rewrite the course of history. That I would somehow make it back into the past to make the right choices, to do more than sit on the sidelines watching as their lives went by. To rid myself of the void that continued to follow me around just as it did her.

TV:JTR

Watching as Inuyasha and Inu-Takeshi disappeared from his sight, Sesshoumaru turned away, heading in another direction instead of following after them as he had intended to do in the first place. Unconcerned with human eyes being able to spot him at the speed he was traveling, he broke into a full run, racing toward some of the last remaining forestry miles away from town. Many years ago, he had heard whispers of a being that dwelled within them, powers unmatched by almost every other living creature.

The miles of streets and buildings passed him by completely unnoticed as they had nothing to do with his destination and paying them attention would only slow him down. And he couldn't slow down, it had already taken him too long to get to this point and he could not stand to wait a moment longer. For far too long he had been following the path he had chosen and now it was time he veered off of it. Even at the speed he traveled, his feet stopped the instant his mind told them to, finding himself standing mere feet before the forest he had been heading to.

Silently he stood there unmoving as he tried to find any sign of power in the air that would lead him toward the one he sought and soon found the slightest hint of it radiating around him. The power so weak he almost missed it. He knew it did not mean the one he sought was in fact weak, merely far enough away that the power was diminished. Paying the strength of the power no further mind, Sesshoumaru drew out his own power beneath his feet, creating a cloud for the first time in well over a hundred years.

With the invention of cars and very little open space left where he could use it without being spotted, he had found very little use for it. But now he had and as his fastest mode of transportation, he knew it would get him to his destination quickly. As he soared above the tree tops, Sesshoumaru could feel the rise in the strength of the power, ensuring him he was in fact going in the right direction. Soon spotting a cave that seemed to be where the power resided, Sesshoumaru touched down outside of its mouth, watching as the barrier surrounding it shimmered upon his approach.

Knowing the barrier would be unable to stop him, seeing as it was only there to keep those without power from being able to see the cave behind it, Sesshoumaru wasted no time in crossing its threshold and making his way into the cave. With each step he took, torches on either side of him began lighting themselves of the own accord; as though showing him the way. Dismissing the torches from his mind, Sesshoumaru continued deeper into the side of the mountain until he found the tunnel opening up into a much larger room.

Seated in the center, was a woman gently stroking the fire beside her with her back to him. Though she seemed to be bent with age, Sesshoumaru could see no outward signs of her true age and if he had not known any better, he would simply assume her to be in her early twenties. Though the rumors of her were enough to know that this was not true, as he himself had learned of her existence over fifty years ago. The moment seemed to drag on in silence as Sesshoumaru began to wonder if she had even noticed his presence, but soon enough he learned this was not the case.

“It,” she began only to clear her throat, her voice coming out raw and unused. For a moment Sesshoumaru wondered just how long it had been since she had spoken out loud as it did not seem as though anyone else had been there in quite some time, but soon his curiosity was abandoned as she began to speak again. “It has been a very long time since I have felt a demon in my presence. I had almost begun to believe them to be long dead; pity. Since you are here, what is it you seek, demon?”

Ignoring the insult against him as it was not the first time those with holy powers looked down on his kind and if there was another he could have sought out, he would have already done so instead of coming here. There was no need to ruin his only hope to merely appease his pride by slaughtering her. “I have heard you to be the only one to have the power to do what is needed.” Instead of answering, she turned harden eyes to him as she glanced her her shoulder, her earlier question repeated in the coldness of her eyes. “Time travel,” he elaborated, ignoring the faint memory his mind was supplying him with. Knowing who she was did not matter to him at that moment.

“You are right, demon, I and I alone am able to do so, but I will not. One can not go into the past without altering history and therefore one should not try. And there is no need to go into the future for one of your kind, you simply need wait and you will arrive there eventually,” she told him coolly before turning her attention back to the fire before her and beginning to stroke it once more. Sesshoumaru stood silently behind her for a long moment as he fought the desire to educate her on what happens when you deny a demon lord's request.

“And if altering history is exactly what I wish to do?” he voiced instead of the death threat on the tip of his tongue, drawing her attention back to him once more. Her eyes only settled on his form for a moment before she gestured for him to continue and turned back to her fire. “I seek a way back to the past to undo a mistake I made many years ago,” he explained, growling a moment later when she had the gall to actually laugh at him.

Apparently unconcerned by his increasing anger, she simply questioned in a calm voice, “So even the great Lord Sesshoumaru makes mistakes?” Not hearing a response, she glanced back at him to find a confused expression marring his face before he quickly returned to his normal emotionless one. “Yes I know who you are, we have met in passing and I never forget an aura; not even after all these years. Now perhaps you can tell me exactly what it is you wish to change in the past,” she prompted as she gestured to the other side of the fire having become tired of having to glance behind her.

Though he moved around to the other side, Sesshoumaru refused the offered seat and remained standing. “I have only made one mistake,” he began, ignoring her mumbling about how she doubted that, “I have but one child and I have never been there for him, even after his mother asked me to be from what would be her death bed. I wish to go back and be a father to my son.” For a long moment, she simply stared up at him in silence and Sesshoumaru began to think she was ignoring him, or perhaps had forgotten about him, but in truth she was thinking over his request.

“If, and I mean if, I decide to do this, to what point in time would you be looking to go back to? There are certain points in history that can not be altered for they are far more important than whether or not you get to play house,” she warned, once again ignoring the growl that came from the demon lord before her, knowing he could not kill her. No one could and she had stopped fearing beings such as him many years ago.

“Right after we were released from the void, it would allow me to be there for the pregnancy as well,” Sesshoumaru decided only to be met by her shaking her head at his request.

“That I can not do, there is no telling where you will be instead of where you need to be in order to kill Naraku. His death is far more important,” she informed him, reminding him of her earlier warning.

“Very well, than just after he was defeated,” he began only to find her shaking her head once more causing him to grow in frustration. “And why not? It will not effect his death if he's already dead.”

“Any more stress on the mother and she might miscarry. The fear of what would happen to her friends was already bad enough on Kagome's pregnancy. You showing up out of the blue might be more than she could handle and it would make all of this pointless.”

Dismissing the question of how she knew who the mother was out of his mind, as it really had no barring on his plan, Sesshoumaru decided to make things easier and get this over with quickly. “Perhaps then you can simply tell me the earliest point in history you can send me back to that will not undo what needs to be done and would also not put my son's life in danger.”

“The birth of your son. It would have already started, but if you move quickly you should be able to get there in time to witness his birth. It all would depend on how far away you are at that moment,” she informed him and quickly remembering that he was in fact on the hill over looking the village when she went into labor, he nodded his head in agreement. “You must understand that if I do this, you will not actually be traveling back in time.

“Two of the same being can not exist in the same point in history, it would only be your current consciousness that is transported back into your younger body. And even more importantly, you will only have one week. Seven days to do whatever you needed to do before the magic would fade away and your younger self would return to his own body. And whether you succeed or fail, your current consciousness would cease to exist as you will have changed your own history.” Again he simply nodded his head in agreement.

Though he was upset that he would only get seven days and would be unable to stay there himself, he knew he would forget all about missing out if his plan worked. And if he failed, he could only hope the new present him would attempt the same once more. “Very well, let's say I do help you, what is in it for me? How do you plan to pay me for my services?” she questioned and having already expected her to ask this at some point, knowing nothing in life came for free, Sesshoumaru already had his answer ready.

“The one thing you have always wanted, your soul back,” he informed her only to be met with startled eyes. “Yes, priestess, I know who you are. I too never forget a presence I have come across.”

“You plan on killing my reincarnation? Because killing Kagome would be the only way for me to get my soul back,” she reminded him, finding herself startled once more when he actually laughed out loud. It was humorless, but none the less, it was a strange sound coming from the emotionless demon lord.

“Kagome only lives for about 80 years. Once she dies naturally, you can have the soul back. You can have it for the same time she had it, but then it needs to be given the chance to be reborn. If not, Kagome may never been born in the first place and that is most certainly a moment in history that is far too important to be altered. Though your younger self will still have to wait, 80 years is nothing compared to the 500 you have waited.”

As she sat there silently, she thought over the wisdom of his words. And though it was true that 80 was not very long, it would be 80 years she could spend with Inuyasha as a real woman. She would be given the chance to live and grow old with the man she still loved; a man who had long since been able to be in her presence as he found her continued existence to be disturbing. “Very well, you have a deal, Lord Sesshoumaru.”

Even as the words left her lips, small glowing orbs of light began to rise up from the fire, circling around the demon lord as they began to increase in speed. The orbs soon began to multiply in numbers until his body was completely covered in them, their magic surrounding him and transporting him 500 years in the past. A moment later, they shot back into the fire and disappeared, leaving Kikyou alone in the cave once more.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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