Warriors of the West by Hairann
Disclaimer: Inuyasha and all of it's characters are property of the brilliant Takahashi-sama and I claim no ownership of them. I also do not own the concept of 24. Only the story belongs to me.
Summary: The following takes place on the day of the Ambassador's annual homecoming...
Follows: The Anime and movies. Does not follow the 24 story line from any season, just using the basic idea.
AN: Welcome all to one of my newest stories. If you're a repeat reader, welcome back, if not please feel free to check out my other stories as well. Going to explain a few things before we get started so you won't be completely confused. First this is a concept crossover, which means, instead of bringing over characters or story lines from the second story, merely the concept is brought over. Now the crossovers are, of course, Inuyasha and 24. Sadly there will be no Jack.
Next everyone is human in this story, there are no demons and no one has any powers like priests and priestesses. Whatever weapon they used in the show, however, they will still use. Such as Sango will still use Hiraikotsu. While there is some OOCness, remember this is an AU and so there's bound to be some. I do have a plan to do a second book to this one if all goes well, and I can come up with enough storyline so please don't ask about it.
Here's a little secret about this story. Naraku/Onigumo is not the bad guy, in fact, he's not even in this story. And you'll never guess who is the villain/s is/are...muhahahaha...sorry not enough sleep. Also gonna play a game in this story, this time it's 'Who's name am I?' Here's how it goes...I put in a translation, and you tell me which Inuyasha character it is. Remember these may not be perfect translations, so don't yell at me if it's not the translation you know.
First person to guess correctly in reviews on ff(dot)net and dokuga(dot)com will have the next chapter dedicated to them. 'invisible divine help' Who am I?
And now the moment you have all been waiting for, cause I won't shut up....
The following takes place between 6am and 7am...
"Milord, the ambassador's convoy has just left the kingdom. They should arrive in the East for the yearly meeting sometime tomorrow morning, just as our ambassador should arrive home," an elderly gentleman informed the lord of the kingdom as he entered his office, his back slightly bent with age. His nearly sixty summers showed clearly in his grayed hair, which was pulled back into a pigtail at the back of his head, accenting his balding head, his long, thin mustache parted to hang down on either side of his lips, and his short and stubby goatee.
Even his skin was weathered and wrinkled, almost leather-like, yet still drawn tightly against his face. A complete contrast to the lord he was currently speaking to. At only 37 summers, his features, much like himself, were still young and vibrant. Long, silky, silver hair would pool down to his knees were it not kept up in a high ponytail. Sun-kissed eyes echoed the knowledge and experiences he'd acquired in his years as lord.
His chiseled face, as though as sculpturer's masterpiece, bore not a single wrinkle or blemish. Handsome, and yet breathtakingly beautiful at the same time. He glanced up from his desk, meeting the dark eyes of the man who had just entered, and watched as two others followed suit. The first seemed dwarfed in the height of the others. Standing at only four feet tall, he was quite easily the shortest male in the entire kingdom.
His grayed hair receded to the back of his skull to hang in short curls. Just as with the man that preceded him, his long mustache parted to hand on each side of his lips. The man that followed after, making up the last third of the lord's advisors, had very little to distinguish him from the other two.
His extremely long hair, pulled back from his receding hairline to a low pigtail, long beard and mustache, and the wire rim glasses perched upon the end of his pointed nose, were the only noticeable differences. "Take a seat," the lord instructed as he gestured to the small cushions set before the low table that was currently serving as his desk.
"When can we expect the messenger to arrive from the East, Myoga?" the lord questioned once his advisors had done as he bid and he turned his glance toward the shortest of the three. Myoga's thin, almost non existent, eye brows knitted together, giving the lord the impression that he was calculating the time frame.
"I would say sometime after lunch, Lord Toga. This is of course, assuming he runs into no problems and the weather holds out. But provided he left as soon as, if not earlier, than the ambassador's convoy and no storms arise, the estimate should be correct," Myoga informed Lord Toga after he had run through a few scenarios of what might happen to delay the messenger in his mind.
"Very well. And I assume our messenger has already been dispatched to the East?" Toga inquired and received three simultaneous nods as his answer. "Good, then we can move on to the next order of business," Toga informed them as he reached across his desk to grab a scroll. Breaking the seal, he began to unroll it and read it out loud to his advisors.
Beginning to tiptoe as she neared her destination, a young woman smiled to a nearby guard and held up a slender index finger to her lips before he was able to question her approach. The guard raised a single eyebrow in her direction as he gave the young woman a once-over.
Long, silky black hair was pulled back into a loose braid. Deep brown eyes, lit with excitement and laughter, matched well with her pale, ivory skin. Her dull, unattractive clothing fit those of the current fashion, but with one small exception. The green and off white kamishimo was meant for a male to wear. The forest green kataginu and hakama stood out against the dull white of the kimono. Had the girl been anyone else, the guard and many others like him surely would have complained to the lord about her running around in men's clothing, but alas, they knew it would do them no good.
As she stopped in front of a closed door, the woman turned back around to the guard to give him a quick wink, before beginning to slide open the shoji door. Careful not to make a sound, she slowly made her way into the dark room and turned back to close the door. Before she was able to venture any further into the room, and do what she had come here to do, strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her tight against a firm chest.
"That's not fair, Sesshoumaru. How am I supposed to scare you if you always know I'm here?" she inquired with a pout as she mock-glared over her shoulder at him. Sesshoumaru seemed disinclined to respond as he began trailing light kisses along her neck. "That's really not fair," the woman insisted as she turned around in his arms and teased his lips with a feather light kiss.
"And who, my dear Kagome, ever accused me of being fair?" Sesshoumaru questioned rhetorically as he placed his hands on the small of her back and pulled her tighter against him. Kagome merely rolled her chocolate eyes at him before wrapping her hands around the back of his head and pulling him down to her lips.
"Well, as much as I would love to stay here all day," Kagome began as she pulled back to catch her breath from what had quickly become a heated kiss, "I really should be getting to my post. Inuyasha will throw a fit if I'm late again, especially when he finds out it was because of you."
"And just who is going to tell my little brother that you were late because you were with me?" Sesshoumaru inquired as he refused to let her go and instead pulled her back against him for another kiss. "Surely neither you nor I would do such a thing."
"Ah, but alas, I shall once again be unable to wipe the large smile off of my face and even your brother can deduce what the cause of it is. And as much as I couldn't care less about being late, the last time you made me late he had me tending to everyone's weapons. I have no desire to relive that experience, thank you very much."
"Very well, my dear, but I shall come find you the moment I have a second's worth of free time. So do not wander too far," Sesshoumaru instructed kissing her lightly on the forehead before letting her go completely and taking a step back. "Until then," he whispered into her ear as he passed and walked out into the hallway after opening his door. Kagome stood rooted in her spot for a moment before shaking her head and heading back the way she had come.
"Good morning, father," Sesshoumaru greeted as he entered the dining hall and began making his way over to his usual cushion near where his father was sitting. The white-with red honey-combed pattern- silk of his haori and hakama fluttered slightly behind him with his long strides. Lord Toga glanced up to meet the eyes of his son before giving him a slight nod and going back to breaking his fast. "I trust the convoy left without complications."
"Yes, both the convoy and the messenger to let the Eastern Lord know that the convoy had left, departing without a hitch. My advisors tell me we should hear word from their messenger around lunch," Toga informed him as the shoji door opened and his younger son walked into the room, taking his custom cushion as well.
"I see you have decided to grace us with your presence, little brother," Sesshoumaru greeted as he turned his attention away from his father to his younger brother, who began shoveling food into his mouth the moment the plate was set before him. He was wearing a deep red haori and hakama, and his long, white hair was undone, cascading down his broad back. "Do try to at least pretend to have manners."
"Oh, be silent, Sesshoumaru. I don't have time for manners this morning. I'm already running late as it is," Inuyasha informed him in between bites of food. "That was good," Inuyasha commented, more to himself than to the others, after he had finished off his plate and stood up. "I must be going, I need to give my team their orders. Good day Father, Sesshoumaru," he bid with a quick bow before turning and hurrying out of the room.
"Are you quite sure we are indeed related?" Sesshoumaru questioned after watching Inuyasha leave before turning back to his father. "Perhaps my true little brother was switched at birth? Living somewhere off in the country now, gracing them with his refined manners," Sesshoumaru suggested, as was customary when they broke their fast. Each morning he would come up with a different scenario, and each morning his father answered the same.
"I assure you Sesshoumaru, he is in fact, your younger brother. Even if I had not been there for the birth, he looks far too much like me to have been anyone else's but mine and your late mother's. He may not have your manners or be as refined as you, but he neither does he have the weight of the entire kingdom resting on his shoulders. Give him a break, son, he is still young."
"Father, the boy is already 15 summers. By then I was already taking over some of your work load and meeting with visiting diplomats. He is not a child anymore and he needs to learn that. How can he ever expect to be my right hand, if he does not grow up and become responsible?"
"When the time comes for you to take over as Lord of the West, your brother will mature and meet his responsibilities head-on. He is simply having a bit of fun and enjoying life, something I wish you would do more often," Toga insisted as a servant entered and began clearing the plates from the table.
"Father, you know I had no choice. With Mother passing away, Kami rest her soul, you needed my help. Should I have been off gallivanting around the kingdom when you needed me by your side?" Sesshoumaru questioned with a heavy sigh.
"I understand this, Sesshoumaru, and I do regret the way some things were, but that does not mean I want to see both of my sons stuck in meetings all day and having no chance to be themselves before everything is thrust into their hands and they no longer have a choice," Toga insisted as the same servant returned and began pouring them each a glass of tea.
"I have fun, Father. I simply do so after my duties are taken care of. I am not going to shrink from my responsibilities in order to go running around like a child. We have a responsibility to you and to this kingdom and it is high time that he learns this. Especially with his up and coming engagement."
"Speaking of," Toga began, deciding it would be best to move the topic of conversation off of his youngest son, "have you given any more thought about an engagement of your own?"
"No, Father, you already know my stand on this. I cannot marry the woman I wish to so I have no desire to marry. And please do not bring up the topic of heirs again - one will not be needed for many years to come and perhaps by then I will be able to reason with you that my chosen bride need not be a lady of another kingdom, but one of our own."
"Son, you know I adore Kagome and would wish nothing more than to have her as my daughter, but the land is in turmoil, new wars are cropping up daily. It is far better for the kingdom for your engagement to create a treaty with another kingdom, just as your brother's is fortifying one we already have. I wish nothing more than to give you this, since you ask for so little and I want for not but the happiness of my children, but if the war moves here, the West may very well fall if we do not have more allies. Please think more on this," Toga pleaded as he stood and began making his way out of the dining hall, his untouched tea cup still sitting where it had been placed.
As Inuyasha arrived in the courtyard, he found his entire team waiting for him, most of whom had a look clearly stating he was late, on their faces. Fighting the urge to roll his eyes, he gave each member a once-over to make sure they were in good health and fit for their posts. The first member, the original member ever since he had started the group with her five years ago, was Kagome. She stood in her customary green and off white kamishimo, her long, dark hair pulled back in a loose braid. A wooden bow was swung over one shoulder, a quiver of arrows over the other.
Standing next to her, abruptly ending her conversation with Kagome when Inuyasha arrived, was Sango. She wore a dark and light purple kimono with a green, almost apron-like skirt over it. Thrown over her shoulder was a large boomerang she had affectionately named Hiraikotsu. Her long, dark hair was tapered near the bottom with a single white ribbon.
Standing on Sango's other side was her husband, Miroku. He wore a long, black and purple robe, much like you would expect to see on a shrine priest, and carried with him a staff. Golden in color, it was accented by a large hoop at the top, which had three smaller hoops adorning each sides He had been studying to become a priest, as his forefathers had done, until he met Sango and decided to settle down with her, opting to keep the clothing of his heritage in respect to his ancestors.
Next to him was Sango's cousin Kirara. She wore a black and cream colored kimono, much in the same style as Sango's and her long, golden hair was pulled back into two large pigtails. Her weapon of choice was a set of clawed gloves which she was able to retract when they were not needed.
Next to her was Kagura. She wore a white and dark purple kimono accented with a yellow and gold obi. Her long dark hair was pulled back in a half ponytail, half bun style toward the back of her head. Her weapon, which she was currently tapping against her open palm, was a razor sharp fan.
Next came Hachiemon, or Hachi as he was known to most, wearing a red and white kimono, a purple kataginu and a sea green hakama. Standing at only 4'11 he was easily the shortest member of the group. A slightly plump physique and thinning light brown hair quickly identified him as an oddball member of the group. His weapons were small daggers kept away in hidden pockets of his kataginu.
The last three members of the group had all joined at about the same time, merely two years ago. The first was Bankotsu. He wore a white and navy blue haori and hakama, accented by a bright red obi. His weapon was a massive double-edged broadsword he had dubbed Banryu. His long dark hair was pulled back into a single braid.
Next was Suikotsu, who wore dark armor over a dark blue haori and hakama, with a bright green obi. His weapon was a shuko, much like Kirara, on each hand with exceptionally long blades. The only difference between their weapons was his were not retractable. His short black hair was styled slightly wild.
And the last member of the group, was also easily the oddest. Jakotsu wore a light purple kimono with green leaves adorning it and a reddish-purple obi. His dark hair pulled back, pale complexion and feminine voice gave the illusion that he was female, and he was constantly getting on Inuyasha's nerves by hitting on him. His weapon of choice was also by far the strangest. Jakotsuto was a snake-like sword made up of several linking blades that were able to twist and turn, making it very difficult to determine which direction an attack is coming from when facing him in battle.
Seeing each member of his team was in good health and awaiting his orders, Inuyasha began to call out orders. "Bankotsu, Jakotsu and Suikotsu, you three are on royal guard duty. Bankotsu - you're with my brother, Jakotsu - my father, and Suikotsu - you're with me," Inuyasha informed them as he glanced at them in turn. "Kirara and Kagura, you two are on observation duty. Keep an eye on the comings and goings of the kingdom. Spot anything out of the ordinary and report it to me immediately.
"Kagome, Sango, Miroku and Hachi, you four are on sentry duty. Pick a wall and stay there. That is all, you are dismissed," Inuyasha informed them and with a quick bow they each began making their way to their posts. After he had watched the group head off to follow his orders, Inuyasha began heading toward the wall Miroku had picked as his post.
"How goes things with the royal engagement?" Miroku questioned, not taking his eyes off of the surrounding area. Inuyasha heaved a sigh as he stood next to Miroku and turned his attention toward the horizon. The first rays of the morning sun were just beginning to appear.
"Same as always. I hate the idea of marrying some Lady I have never met, but it must be done to straighten the treaty with the East. Want to hear something funny though?" Inuyasha inquired as he turned toward Miroku with a smirk. Miroku glanced over, nodding his head before he turned back to his previous position. "Her brother, Kouga, is even less thrilled with the match and rumor has it he's been opening objecting it."
"Openly? Like to the Eastern Lord? That takes guts. Have you heard his reasons behind the objection? What is your future wife like, anyways?" Miroku inquired as he glanced down to watch the large double gates be opened to allow the first arrivals of the morning into the kingdom. Giving them a quick once-over, Miroku decided they were just villagers and traveling merchants and turned his attention back to the horizon and Inuyasha.
"Not sure if their lord has heard about it yet, but apparently when word reached the East that Father had accepted the engagement, Kouga threw a fit and wouldn't come out of his room. Kinda childish if you ask me," Inuyasha whispered with a laugh. "As far as what she's like, I don't really know that much. Kagome told me the last time she saw her was about three years ago when she went with her parents for the yearly meeting.
"Her name's Kikyou. Kagome said she was very beautiful, a great archer and educated. She loves horses and won't eat any vegetable that's green. She wouldn't give me any reason for the last one, though. Who knows what's changed in three years. She has seen 18 summers, so she's a bit older, but not by much. Father says that even if it wasn't for the treaty that she would still be a good match for me. I don't know about that, but at least I'm not in Sesshoumaru's position."
"What do you mean?" Miroku inquired taking his eyes off of the sunrise and putting his full attention on the man standing next to him. "Did he finally agree to an engagement?"
"No, I'm talking about the whole him and Kagome situation. I mean, I can't imagine my brother marrying anyone else and he's unable to marry her. Father won't give in. And we all know it has nothing to do with Kagome - my father loves her - he just wants more alliances. It's for the good of the kingdom and all, but it won't do any good since I doubt Sesshoumaru would marry another even if Father ordered him to."
"Wow, I didn't know their relationship was so advanced. Where have I been? Would he seriously disobey a direct order from Lord Toga if he told him to marry someone else?"
"Easy Miroku, you were busy with your relationship with Sango and then getting married. While courting her, you literally saw nothing else. Those two have been attached at the hip for the last, oh, what has it been, three or four summers now? They kept it kinda of quiet in the beginning, but the rest of the time it was your own fault for missing it. And yeah, I think if there was ever a time where my brother would disobey my father, it would be over this."
"Whoa, I never thought I would see the day when Sesshoumaru didn't obey Lord Toga's every whim. I do kinda feel for him though, I don't know what I would have done if someone told me I couldn't marry
"Where had we left off before I took my leave to break my fast?" Lord Toga inquired after his three advisors had resumed the cushions in front of his desk. They watched as a servant began pouring tea into the cups sitting on the desk in front of them. Giving him a minute to finish up, they waited until he had bowed and made his way out of the room before answering the lord.
"I believe we had been discussing the young lord's engagement," an elderly gentlemen, with a long pigtail, informed him. "We had just touched base with the subject when the servant came to inform you the morning meal was ready."
"Very well, Hosenki. The last correspondence with the East has the date set for early spring of next year. Lady Kikyou will be arriving here, along with her father, perhaps a half of a moon cycle before the ceremony is to take place. Lord Menomaru has opted to leave his son Kouga behind in order to watch over the kingdom. He is scheduled to stay the remainder of the moon cycle before returning back to the East.
"When the time comes, have the room adjacent to Inuyasha's prepared for Lady Kikyou and the one on the right of hers for Lord Menomaru. Begin inquiring about any non perishable items we will be needing for the ceremony and the moon cycle surrounding it. We shall spare no expense on this ceremony, trade has been lacking as of late in the kingdom and we need to attract more travelers.
"Lady Kikyou will be arriving with her own wedding kimono as well as a good amount of clothing, but we should begin procuring others just in case, as well as jewelry, hair combs and the like. Also, I would like one of you to speak with my son in the next moon cycle to begin getting an idea of what he would like served at the feast. I will, of course, have final say, but I would like to get his input as well."
"Have you made any headway with your eldest milord?" the third advisor inquired when Toga paused for a moment. The three advisors sighed in unison when the lord shook his head in the negative.
"I am afraid not, Totosai. My son is being adamant that if he is not allowed to wed the woman he wishes to, then he will not be getting married to another. He refuses to see my way on this account and I have neither the time nor the energy to try and sway him at the present time. Once everything is over and done with, pertaining to my youngest son's wedding, then I will try to persuade him more.
"Our next order of business would be the changes we plan to discuss with the ambassador when he arrives. I believe yesterday we spoke of rice, furs and cloth. We decided on a third more of rice, four dozen more furs and another 100 bolts of cloth, did we not?" Toga inquired and received three nods as an answer. "Very well, today we move on to grain, spices and men."
"Men, milord?" Hosenki inquired with a single eyebrow raised. The two men sitting next to him each sported a confused expression as well to the lord's most recent statement.
"Yes, men, warriors. It is no secret that the East has a far larger army than our own. And as it stands now, a good half of our men are out on reconnaissance making sure that the wars do not cross our boarders. How can we expect to come to Lord Menomaru's aid, if called upon, when we do not even have the manpower to fortify our own kingdom? I have mentioned this in a correspondence with him, and he has given me right to ask for some.
"I would suggest 500 to perhaps 1000. More than enough to pick up the slack around here, have men to send to our allies' aid and not impede on the safety of his kingdom. Now how does one dozen extra barrels of grain and three boxes of spices sound? That should be enough to prevent the need to skimp toward the end of the year, no?"
"That sounds fine, milord. Also, I would suggest adding rice paper to the list. Two of our normal suppliers have ended trade with us just this year. One retired and I believe the other was killed in the war. The East has a large supply of it and can no doubt spare a few cases," Myoga suggested after thinking for a moment. The other two advisors nodded in agreement.
"Rice paper, huh? Very well, it will be added to the list. Last thing on the agenda for this meeting, our current supplies. Totosai, how are we looking?" Toga inquired as he turned his attention to the elderly man he had just spoken to.
"Fresh water is above the normal level at this time of year, high harvest count, so we are good on fruits and vegetables, the servants have already begun collecting the wood for winter and should be finished by the end of this moon cycle," Totosai replied after pulling a scroll from his haori pocket and unrolling it. "We do seem to be getting low on meat however. I estimate that it shall not last us until the end of this moon cycle."
"Very well. Then I suggest we send out a hunting party this morning. It would not bode well to let the supply deplete too much in case some of the meat goes bad. Have the men ready themselves to leave shortly. I will inform Sesshoumaru that he is to lead it," Toga informed them, clearly ending the meeting. The three of them stood, bowed deeply and began making their way out of the room.
"It isn't right, Father. It's a downright insult to you and to this kingdom! Engaging my sister to his second-born? It's an insult, that's what it is! Kikyou should be engaged to his heir, that is the only way to truly ensure this alliance," a young man insisted as he stormed into his father's office and seated himself on a cushion in front of his desk. He was dressed in dark brown, black, and gray armor that included shoulder pads, arm guards and an obi that kept his sword in place at his side, most of which were made of fur.
"You very well know the conditions of the engagement, Kouga. We agreed, over 20 summers ago, that when two of our children of same rank came of age that we would engage them. It would not be fair to expect Lord Toga to engage his heir when I am not doing the same. Now if you wish, I can speak with him about engaging you to his firstborn, as that would be fair by your account," Lord Menomaru replied with such seriousness that Kouga thought for a moment that he might really engage him to another man, but the small glimmer of amusement in his dark eyes put that worry to rest.
"Your sense of humor does not amuse me, Father. It is not fair to wed Kikyou off to someone who's three summers her junior," Kouga insisted, his harden expression easily showing his father that he was set in his opinion.
"Three summers, either way, makes little difference and I refuse to doom my only daughter to a miserable life simply so I can marry her off to an heir. She and Lord Toga's eldest have not a thing in common and truth be told, he is a bit too cold for my taste. The young lord, Inuyasha, makes a fine match for your sister and I do believe she will be much happier with him. Now this matter is no longer open for discussion. Be on your way, I have a meeting scheduled for any moment."
Huffing, Kouga stood abruptly from his seat and began storming out of the room. As he passed the threshold, he ran into the very man his father was about to meet with and ended up knocking him to the ground. Growling a quick 'watch it' as he passed, Kouga continued to stomp down the hall and away from his father's study.
AN: Couple of things to go over just so things make sense. A moon cycle is a month. A kamishimo is kinda of like an ancient Japanese three-piece suit. It's made up of a kataginu, which is a sleeveless jacket, a kimono and a hakama. And when referring to having seen summers, such as she has seen 13 summers or 3 summers her junior, it's referring to years. i.e. 13 years-old and three years younger. If any of the other lingo I used doesn't make any sense, please let me know and I will be happy to explain it.
Please R&R, good and bad reviews are welcome, however, I will ignore flames.