One Thousand and One @wwt4982483
Entwined Crossroad

Happy New Year to all the readers and authors!

After reading so many fanfics over the break, I've become invested in writing a story of my own. This is my first fanfic and a lot of the inspirations for the plot are actually from various places. It is my goal that none of the canon characters will act OOC.

Anyway, please bear with me if I make any mistakes or errors, especially in terms of the language (spelling, grammar, etc.).

All characters (Kikyo, Sesshomaru, and Inuyasha) from the series Inuyasha that appear in this fanfic rightfully belong to Rumiko Takahashi. I do not own anything in regards to their creation; I have Rumiko Takahashi to thank for that.

Warning: there will be a lot of OCs as the story takes place in an Alternative Universe.




Chapter 1- Entwined Crossroad

"So, it has finally begun."

"…Many, many years have passed since then. Let's just hope they can entertain us."

The cold marble floor of the throne room was glistening from the flickering candle lights placed on holders fixed to the walls. With its burnished surface, it appeared as though no feet had ever stepped into the room. The eerie glow of the lights created shadows in corners that mutated into silhouettes. They expanded and spiraled of their own accord, casting ominous shades of black.

Two people occupied the vast space. The gloomy atmosphere in the area did nothing but amplify their dread. Sitting crossed legged on the floor, the first person grimaced. He was a compacted middle-aged man with shoulder-length auburn hair. His attire consisted of a yellow silk kimono spotted with breast armor on top.

"Saint Hijiri… what should I do?" Withdrawing his hand from his companion's cool touch, the Lord of the East finally voiced out his thought. His question was directed at the figure clad in white kneeling down before him. Her face was covered with a veil, so it was impossible to read her emotions.

"Takaharu-dono, resistance is futile. The future ahead of you is shrouded in darkness. You will not survive the upcoming battle." The voice seemed unruffled like she was merely talking about the weather.

Takaharu's face contorted to show trepidation as he absorbed her words. If not for the current situation, he would have quirked a brow at her apathetic tone. What did she see to incite such behavior? Aloof as she was, Takaharu knew that the saint cared deeply for him. It was why she came to warn him despite the energy that she must exert in the process. Although useful, the technique that allowed her to foresee the future had its drawbacks. To begin with, it required a lot of concentration and physical strength.

Lost in thought as he was, he was unaware that Saint Hijiri had gracefully risen to her feet; it was only the sound of her voice that dragged him out of his deliberation. "It will be wise if you leave this land. Your life would not be forfeit that way. The future I prophesy only involves your death qualify you remain here and battle."

Takaharu shook his head with a bitter smile. How could he forsake his land? As inexperienced as he was in warfare, it was his responsibility to lead his people. He was trembling with absolute terror at the thought of death. Nevertheless, he was no coward; he would not run away from the enemy. Rather than living a cowardly life, he would take his last breath as a man.

"No, it's my duty as a king to fight alongside my people. If this castle were to fall, then I shall fall with it," he said, a gallant look spreading across his features.

Saint Hijiri said nothing and the silence only prompted Takaharu to speak again. "Saint Hijiri, will you assist me in the coming battle? Your strength is highly revered. Demons and evil spirits naturally fear you."

The figure in white lowered her head slightly, giving his request some thoughts. Despite Takaharu's praises, she had never fought on the front line with the soldiers before. Positioning herself in front of the enemy's eyesight was risky, especially since her expertise was unapt in the open. But upon sensing the desperation from the Lord of the East, sympathy flooded into her veins and she found herself unwilling to turn down his request.

"I shall give my fullest support in the upcoming battle… but on one condition," she eventually agreed.

"State it." Hope rekindled inside his heart and the Lord of the East leaned forward to listen attentively. Everything about the saint was mysterious and unpredictable; there was no telling what she might ask for. Vast riches sounded like the ideal bargain to strike with a ruler, though given her personality, wealth didn't seem to have much of an appeal. Regardless, Takaharu was determined to obtain the saint's aid. If she could be persuaded, then his army would stand a better chance.

The saint offered no verbal response immediately. Instead, she took off her veil gently to reveal the face of a dazzling woman with porcelain skin and shimmering mahogany eyes. With the covering off, her flowing tresses of obsidian hair was free to descend until it reached past her hips.

"I wish to partake in this battle as Kikyo, miko Kikyo. Under this name, I swear my loyalty to you, Takaharu-dono." In a display of respect, the woman closed her eyes and bowed humbly. Her long hair, as smooth as silk, fluttered down and framed the side of her face. Perchance she was irritated by them, for she immediately reached into her breast pocket and took out a strip of white ribbon. With practiced movements, she swiftly bonded her lustrous hair into a loose ponytail, leaving only two locks of thick strands to dangle freely on either side of her face. They reached just below her shoulders before curling upwards to meet the rest of her hair behind her back.

Takaharu was only half listening as his jaws slackened in amazement. He was instantly memorized by her exquisiteness. The word beauty was comparatively dull to describe her. She was an entity with a godly appearance spoken only in stories and arrived to soothe his troubled soul. Had he not known better, Takaharu would've believed that he had fallen in battle and was in heaven.

His father, the previous king, introduced his son to Saint Hijiri back when he was still a child. Since then, Takaharu valued her as his consultant. Like his father, he never bothered with her true identity, as her unfailing loyalty was all he needed. However, now that she showed her face, he was stunned to see that she was actually a young woman of no more than twenty. How that was possible was beyond his knowledge and he found himself gawking at her blankly.

"Takaharu-dono? Your response?"

The subject of his contemplation spoke and pulled him away from his musing. Blinking to gather his scattered mind, Takaharu cleared his throat and consented, "Very well, I accept and value your decision."

The Eastern Palace was hidden in a misty valley surrounded by a nearby forest. Trees lined the area, encasing the stronghold and the surrounding with leaves that camouflaged the vicinity. Behind the castle were clustered wooden huts that formed one of the smallest villages in the east. Ever since the signal for evacuation was given, the village was deserted as its inhabitants took flight, moving closer to where the majority of the human population was. In comparison to the other regions, the Eastern Realm flourished with life and humans dominated in number. However, many preferred living away from the borders that separated the east and the west, where the Eastern Palace was conveniently situated.

To the west of the forest, the ground sloped slightly upward, barely perceivable, as it as it gradually morphed into a monotonous shade of brownish-yellow. Not a single strand of grass sprouted from the unfertilized soil that used to be beautiful meadows. The place was left abandoned and now stood as a barren wasteland. Its conditions were just ideal for a battlefield.

Further down the dull landscape were rocky cliff faces that marked the end of the Eastern Realm. An impassive figure stood from one of the precipices, with a long flowing silver mane that blew freely in the autumn winds. The morning sunlight bounced off his lustrous armor and breastplate that he wore on top of the upper parts of his white warrior kimono. The clothing was practically designed for the occasion, and the red cherry blossom insignia representing his clan's crest, found on his left shoulder, bore out his royal status.

He was truly a majestic figure, full of pride and self-assurance. The two swords strapped to his yellow and blue obi answered willingly to his strength as they hummed their ecstatic melodies. From afar, one could only perceive him as a wandering warrior with an odd fashion scene, having a white-furred pelt that looked lumbering in battle. It was attached to his right shoulder, miraculously defying gravity that it levitated just off the ground. However, the notion was the furthest from the truth, and a closer examination would reveal his demonic features that his human form still possessed. The pointed elf-like ears, the blue crescent moon that adorned his forehead, and the magenta stripes that ran along the side of his pale cheeks were all evidence of his heritage.

Sesshomaru, the Lord of the West and the ruler of the Western Realm, could see his destination. His sharp eyes caught the magnificent castle glinting in the sunlight. As his golden orbs shifted to the right, his superhuman vision could distinguish the scattering specks below as humans. From his position, it was not difficult to note their effort for a counterattack. They were trying to organize an army to defend against the intruders from the west. But with time and manpower opposing them, their defeat was as predictable as a certain hanyou Sesshomaru knew. And being the opportunist he was, he was going to take full advantage of their predicament.

"Never abandon caution, even while sheltered by your own lair." Recalling one of his father's advices, Sesshomaru relished the thought of a simple victory. His fingers traced the hilt of his swords as he continued examining the opposition.

'As I assumed, their so-called defense is pathetic. The West has guaranteed victory… Nonetheless, the human creatures are indeed importunate and nothing else. They won't submit willingly.' A battle was unavoidable, no matter what angle Sesshomaru looked from. Given that realization, he hoped for a challenge worthy of his status. Although realistically, he knew that no human could possibly be a threat to him, save for perhaps the miko.

The miko, who resigned in the east, was believed to be the strongest of her kind. There were tales claiming that she was chosen by the gods and blessed with powers that could rival a daiyoukai's. From Sesshomaru's perspective, the stories seemed overly exaggerated and provocatively undermined the strength of a daiyoukai. As powerful as the miko sounded, she was still a human and was therefore constrained by a human's stamina and mortality. It was contemptuous to think that she could become his equal.

Certainly, the rumors alone wouldn't have prompted Sesshomaru to spare the miko even a glance. But the fact that said miko was believed to be deeply involved in the legend that intrigued Sesshomaru meant that she warranted his full attention. There was no point in denying that she was an integral part of his conquest and for that reason alone, he had come to claim her as his property. The other humans mattered nothing to him, but he would get some entertainment from their anguish screams as he turned their home into nothing more than a pile of rubble. There was no need for another stronghold apart from his, as he would soon become the only ruler of the Great Continent. It was his ambition and his lifelong purpose.

However, in order to become the chosen ruler spoken in the legend, it was his role to unify the four realms under his name. Verification from the gods was necessary and it came in the form of four celestial kokuho that he would have to take from the other three rulers controlling the east, north, and south.

In the past, many before him deemed themselves to be worthy as the one chosen. Driven by their desire for glory and power, they pursue the path of conquest, only to be humiliated and defeated. They were not the chosen ruler and therefore were not accepted by the gods. Obviously, Sesshomaru had no desire of repeating his predecessors' mistake. He was confident that he was the true ruler; he could exhibit both the strength and intelligence eligible for the position. All he needed now was to assemble the proof and obtain the crucial power to exceed his father, who surprisingly failed to attain the title as the True Ruler.

"Sesshomaru-sama, are you certain that you want my entire division to focus solely on capturing the miko? Is that not too excessive?" A fruity voice belonging to a demoness abruptly spoke, interrupting Sesshomaru from his thoughts.

His face was devoid of emotion as he cast an indifferent glance at the warrior who had scaled the cliff and was now standing behind him. She was a seasoned swordswoman and one of his most loyal servants, having the privilege to wear the Inu Clan's crest on her katana's scabbard. The red cheery blossom insignia was currently barely decipherable, as the weapon strapped to her obi was mostly concealed in her long khaki kimono. As if to match the attire, her outer layer consisted of a winged vest that served as an additional protection against the cold and weapons.

"Do not question me, Kotori. Just do as you are told," Sesshomaru stated in a voice that far surpassed the coldness of the winter winds.

"I understand, my lord. I apologize for my impudence." Having been Sesshomaru's servant since a child, Kotori understood that the Lord of the West loathed any form of insubordination, intentional or otherwise. Her blue eyes widened in apprehension, as not even time could make her immune to the imposing pressure that her lord exerted. Like a rejected puppy, her ears, which greatly resembled a falcon's wings, slouched in disappointment. Disinclined to irritate her lord, the demoness with long brown hair tied into a ponytail retreated several steps, all the while deep in thought.

'My opponent is a human, a species that is inferior to our kind in every way. They are weak… So I don't understand. Why does Sesshomaru-sama proceed with such caution?' Kotori knew that doubting Sesshomaru was scornful for someone of her ranks. Still, she could not help but contemplate on the matter. How much resistance can a miko actually put up against an army of youkai? 'Oh, well. I suppose the answer will come once I see this miko.'

Silence ruled for several minutes until an orotund voice rang out. "Sesshomaru, when do we start? Everyone is ready to go, you know."

This time, the Lord of the West didn't bother to glance at the newcomer for he knew exactly who it was. There was only one person in the west that had the guts to not address him by his title. The hanyou known as Inuyasha was clad in a red long-sleeved kosode and matching hakama as he walked towards him, his dog ears twitching in anticipation. His luxuriant silver hair, a little shorter than Sesshomaru's, fell just near his waist and refused to budge against the air current. The sword known to be able to slaughter one hundred youkai with one swing, Tessaiga, rested in his obi.

Unwittingly, Sesshomaru found his attention linger on the weapon.

Tessaiga, one of the three Swords of the Honorable Ruler, was a blade that Sesshomaru desired. Yet, the demonic sword didn't choose him as its wielder. Unlike its two counterparts, Tessaiga rejected him, apparently finding Inuyasha more fitting. The result infuriated Sesshomaru to no ends and he came close to killing the hanyou. Tessaiga put a stop it though, protecting its master with its barrier. Unfortunately, that goaded Sesshomaru further and it was only the remnant of his rationale that prevented him from destroying both the sword and its owner. In the end, he purposely spared Inuyasha's life, so that one day the hanyou would challenge him and be crushed once again. Then, Sesshomaru concluded, Tessaiga would realize its mistake and come to him.

Sesshomaru timely halted his contemplation and brought his attention back to the humans below him, lest he felt the urge to settle the old score with Inuyasha now. Already, he could see that while their forces had grown considerably larger near their castle, they were still not fully prepared. However, he would be foolish to wait any longer. With that in mind, Sesshomaru gave a brisk nod and the hundreds of thousand youkai behind him let loose ferocious battle cries as they ascended the cliffs and charged in assigned formations.

About three dozen or so men had gathered in the clearing. All of them wore steel protections that were hidden by cloaks made from leaves and dried grass. The swathes blended with the green surrounding, almost making the soldiers invisible to a human's eyes.

The soldiers of the east gathered around a lean cloaked figure donned in a similar attire. Unlike them though, the figure wore armor made of bronze and had a kabuto over his unkempt auburn hair. He held a long spear in one hand and was twirling the weapon with ease between his fingers.

"It won't be long before they strike! Make sure get ready and into your assigned position. We need to ambush them here if we want an early lead… Hey you, stop trembling. You're a man!" Tadahiro's lips formed a scowl as he ran restless fingers down his weapon, all the while glaring at the frightened warrior who instantly averted eye contact. He continued rotating his spear until he caught it between his index and middle fingers. Then without any hesitation, he rammed the butt of his weapon into the dread-filled man.

His hands instinctively reached for his broken nose as the newly recruited soldier, Eiichi, let out a cry of pain and lost his balance. He landed bottom first on the mossy ground and looked up to see his prince looming above him. Fighting back a gulp, Eiichi wished that his cloak could shield his whole body from Tadahiro's glare. The prince was famous for his ill-temper and the young man didn't want to face his wrath.

"Get up, you wimp! If you go on the battlefield cowering, the demons will instantly shred you to pieces. Get up and fight! It's your only option. They won't just shove a spear butt in your face; those fiends will devour weaklings like you! You hear me?" spat Tadahiro. The aggressive prince was already left in a foul mood, so the young warrior's cowardice only intensified his rage.

Eiichi sat motionless as he absorbed Tadahiro's lecture. As much as he hated to admit it, the prince was right. Death was guaranteed for wimps like him. The enemy would show him no mercy. He had to either face his fear now or die.

'I-I'm scared. There's no way we can win… That's what I believe, but I can't think that. I can't let father down. I promised him I'll become a hero and make him proud. I'll protect the east. I must!' The inner monologue motivated him further and Eiichi managed to suppress his terror by visualizing his ailing father, who wanted to become a great hero. His father's pleading face, as he passed his dreams to his son, was engraved into his memory. Suddenly, his legs regained strength and he found himself standing back up.

"Thank you, young master. Your words have knocked some senses back into me. Truth is, I'm still scared… but I won't let the fear control me. I intend to become a hero so I'll be brave and fight until the end. I swear it!" Eiichi said. His face was etched with resolve, something that wasn't there prior, as he looked back at the prince with his back straight and shoulders squared.

Tadahiro let a grin spread across his features for the first time since the news arrived about the west's invasion. He gave the man a nod of approval. There was nothing in the world that he despised more than cowards. Humans were born with less strength compared to demons, so they had to be physically and mentally strong to survive. In particular, males should be strong enough to protect those they cherish. Years ago, Tadahiro witnessed his father's display of weakness when ambushed by demons during their family outing. Although the six-year-old Tadahiro and his father survived, his mother suffered fatal injuries after shielding them both from the unexpected assault. Since their accompanying healer, Saint Hijiri, had been busy with vanquishing the demons, it was too late for his mother. She died shortly after. Since that day, Tadahiro had vowed to become stronger and took on the path of a warrior.

"Young master, the west has gathered in the wasteland… They're coming this way," a voice reported.

Tadahiro's head spun left and noticed that his personal scout had wordlessly materialized before him. The man was covered in bearskin and his face was smudged in animal blood, forming triangular tattoos on his cheeks. Since youkai were mostly dependent on their sense of smell, the war paint was done deliberately to deceive them. At any other time, Tadahiro would've been annoyed that the man had once again surprised him, but the current situation left him with no time to worry about the trivial matter.

Biting his bottom lip, the Prince of the East realized that the east was at a complete disadvantage. The enemy would attack at any moment and none of his soldiers were properly prepared. If he was given extra time, then he would surely feel more confident. Although he seriously doubted that the Lord of the West would leave their major weakness unexploited.

His dark eyes blazed with hatred and he muttered a string of curses. Piqued, he cursed the Lord of the West for the sudden invasion, he cursed his soldiers for their lack of vigilance, and most importantly, he cursed his father for his stupidity.

The Lord of the East was renowned for his compassion and generosity. They weren't terrible traits for a ruler, per say, but Tadahiro believed that his father sat on the extreme end of the scale. He was far too kind and naïve, having rejected his son's suggestion to develop the army because he assumed it was too stressful and strenuous for the poor soldiers. In addition, Takaharu promoted peace and avoided conflict, preferring solutions that didn't involve bloodshed. When certain scenarios demanded the act of violence, he would concede the opposition as victor without putting up much of a fight. It was another reason why Tadahiro held little respect for his father.

"Young master, the lord is approaching our way. It seems he wishes to speak to you," said the scout, once again dragging Tadahiro back into reality, who nodded before regarding the men in one sweeping glance.

"Spread out and wait for my message. You all know what to do. Don't fail me." With that command, all the warriors, including the scout, saluted and scurried away.

Somewhat pleased with his soldiers' response, Tadahiro's features flashed with a brief smile that quickly disappeared when he rotated his heels to the left. He had to hide a grimace as the Lord of the East approached in refined steps. Following a few paces behind, was a woman alighted with majestic elegance befitting of royalty. Still, Tadahiro paid her no heed as his attention was fixed solely on his father.

"So… what do you want, father?" asked Tadahiro curtly.

Instead of replying immediately, Takaharu drew near his son and assessed his battle gear thoroughly. His gaze landed on the spear being toyed around in his son's grasp. Despite the seemingly playful action, Tadahiro still gave an impression of a commanding general rather than a young adolescent. And it was the knowledge that caused Takaharu's brows to crease in displeasure. "Son, why must you insist on being difficult? You don't need to partake in the battle. I've already told you numerous times. This isn't a simple street fight that you can handle. It's an invasion from another realm! So leave this to me and—"

"Leave this to you, you say? Hmph, your tendency to run from violence doesn't give your words much credibility," Tadahiro scoffed, a mixture of derisive laughter blended with a snort.

"Look," Takaharu sighed, "I know I haven't been a very inspiring figure to you. You have the right to doubt me. But I want you to place your faith in me, just this once. I'm going to lead the east and fight back. So return me my kokuho and flee to the other side of the forest."

"No, I refuse. I will not flee nor will I return this realm's symbolic treasure to you. Because you constantly run away from a fight, I've decided to take your place. That's why I snuck into your room and took the kokuho. With it, I have the power to command the soldiers. I'll fight no matter what you say," the Prince of the East cut in harshly. He was practically stomping his foot onto the ground in frustration. Not only did his soft-hearted father disregard his abilities, but he was also treating him like he was a little child. The realization irked him so much that he would've surely missed his father's next announcement if not for standing so close to him.

"There is no need for you to do this. Kikyo-san is here to assist me. Even if I am to have second thoughts, which I must not this time, she will certainly lead the army in my stance." The Lord of the East took a sharp intake of breath, used to his son's disrespectful tone. Not one to be easily angered, he calmly told him of his bargain with the miko, hoping that his son would understand. He wanted Tadahiro as far away from the war zone as possible, steering well away from the possibility of death. On that thought, his fingers unconsciously curled to form two balled fists shaking by his sides.

Hearing his father, Tadahiro finally spared more than a glimpse at the mentioned woman. His eyes instantly traced her curvaceous figure and he was nearly captivated. For the briefest moments, he considered the possibility of him being bewitched by her beauty. However, deeming it as ludicrous, he forcefully shoved the notion to the back of his mind before sneering in disgust. Too absurd, he thought, that a woman would act as the commander of the army. He tilted his chin in an arrogant manner, directing a gesture that ridiculed Kikyo before his words. "Just who the hell are you? A petite woman like you shouldn't be here! A war is a serious business! Hurry back to whatever bed you came from and continue warming it!"

Rendered speechless by his son's brusque attitude, Takaharu slid a discreet glance at the miko behind him. If she was offended, then she was hiding her displeasure well. There was no indication on her stoic feature at all. In fact, she seemed completely unruffled by Tadahiro's rudeness. Still, Takaharu thought to apologize for his son's lack of manners. But before he could open his mouth, the person on his mind beat him to it.

"This is the second time you have spoken poorly of me because of my womanhood. Your mother would have been frantic had she witnessed such insolence. Tadahiro-san, need I remind you to watch your words? For they shall determine the kind of man you will become."

Tadahiro stiffened instantly. As if he was slapped in the face, he flinched and took a step back in astonishment. It didn't take him long to recognize who the woman before him was. Tadahiro-san, she said. There was only one person who would address him like that. And if he was right in his assumption, then the consequences of his bashfulness would not be overlooked. A gasp escaped his lips and he dropped his spear. "Saint Hijiri, forgive my rudeness. Without your usual attire, I didn't recognize you. I'm so sorry."

Tadahiro was a man known to be fearless and showed respect to no one, not even to his own father. So it was unusual for him to act modestly around anyone excluding Saint Hijiri. During their first encounter, the young Tadahiro had openly disrespected the saint. His royal status stemmed his confidence, as he believed that no one would dare to wrong the ruler's son. No matter how much he teased her, the saint, with all her power, could certainly not lay a finger on him. It was only when he found himself stuck on a tree with arrows pinning down the sleeves of his kimono did he realize that the saint was not someone to mess with. From that day onward, Tadahiro was a lot more courteous around Saint Hijiri and valued her renowned strength and accuracy in archery.

From the sidelines, the Lord of the East let out a sigh of exasperation as his son continued to apologize to his advisor. He came to reflect what a failure of a father he was; his son saw him as a wimp and completely disregarded him. As his eyes drifted to the scene behind his shoulder, he took in the sight of his castle's towers one last time and smiled bitterly. 'Saint Hijiri has never made an error with her predictions. Now that I have chosen to stay, my fate is sealed… sadly. It looks like I'll be joining you soon, my lady. But know that our son will be alive and well.'

Tadahiro's mentality had suffered a drastic blow when he was little and despite Takaharu's best efforts, he could not close the wounds in his heart. However, the Lord of the East was slightly relieved knowing that even after his death, there was someone else he could pass the baton to. And if there was anyone who had the patience and capability of mending Tadahiro's grieving heart, it would have to be the woman his son was conversing with.

Author's Notes: Since the story takes place in an alternative universe with a variety of changes thrown into the mix, here are brief descriptions about some of the settings and characters. Naturally, they're only brief to avoid spoilers.

Great Continent—a giant mass of land split into four sections known as realms.

The Eastern Realm—a region in the east of the Great Continent, ruled by Takaharu. Out of the four regions, it is known for its lush vegetation. While it seems peaceful to an outsider, the people there are deep in conflict. There are many who do not submit to their king's rules and instead have shoguns and daimyos govern over them.

The Western Realm—a region in the west of the Great Continent, ruled by Sesshomaru. It is inhabited by countless youkai species.

True Ruler—a title bestowed to the one who can collect the four kokuho and use the key to unite the four realms under his name. It is the core in a legend passed down for generations and up to this very day, no one has ever attained the title.

Kokuho—four symbolic treasures, believed to have been gifts from the gods, that have been passed down to the rulers of the realms. Legend claims that whoever holds all four kokuho in his hands shall reign as the True Ruler of the Great Continent.

Swords of the Honorable Ruler—three legendary swords believed to have been gifts from the gods. Each possesses a unique ability and its true potential can only be unleashed by its rightful owner. The three swords are Tessaiga, the sword of destruction, Tenseiga, the sword of life, and So'unga, the sword of death.

Takaharu—the current Lord of the East who abhors violence more than anything else. While his methods of promoting peace seem questionable in his son's eyes, he has earned the respect of the mysterious Saint Hijiri, who supports him unfailingly.

Saint Hijiri/Kikyo—a miko who has served the east's royal family for generations. She often goes around using the alias Saint Hijiri and is revered by demons for her immense spiritual powers. She possesses the ability to see into the future. Due to certain reasons, she is sought out by Sesshomaru.

Sesshomaru—the current Lord of the West who intends to become the True Ruler spoken in the legend. He is a prideful daiyoukai from the Inu clan and wields both Tenseiga and So'unga, two of the three Swords of the Honorable Ruler.

Kotori—a skillful swordswoman who has served Sesshomaru for many years. She belongs to the Tori clan but is somehow born flightless. Because of this, she has instead adapted her innate agility into her swordplay.

Inuyasha—a hanyou with a hot temper and a rebellious attitude. He wields the Tessaiga and secretly regards Sesshomaru as his main rival.

Tadahiro—the son of Takaharu and the next in line to become the Lord of the East. He despises his father's weak attitude and is determined to fight in his stead during the war against the west.

1. Entwined Crossroad 4785 0 0 2. Frosty Battlefield 6761 0 0 3. Gold and Mahogany 5839 0 0 4. Holding the Upper Hand 5048 0 0 5. In the West 6109 0 0 6. Jumbled Feelings 5839 0 0 7. Keeping Up 5523 0 0 8. Lingering Memories 5309 0 0 9. Mutual Friendship 6627 0 0 10. Negotiation in Preparation 3029 0 0 11. Opening Stage 3267 0 0 12. Precaution 6545 0 0 13. Questionable Intent I 6360 0 0 14. Questionable Intent II 4755 0 0 15. Ruminative and Nostalgic 4472 0 0 16. Seeking Retribution 7745 0 0 17. Three Swords of the Honorable Ruler I 4116 0 0 18. Three Swords of the Honorable Ruler II 4816 0 0 19. Three Swords of the Honorable Ruler III 5050 0 0 20. Unconscious Yearning 5478 0 0 21. Vexatious Sensations 5803 0 0 22. Wandering Souls, Lingering Thoughts 5612 0 0 23. Kako-hen: I Am… 3859 0 0 24. Kako-hen: Change the World 4761 0 0 25. Kako-hen: Deep Forest 6113 0 0 26. Kako-hen: No More Words 5666 0 0 27. Kako-hen: Come 3599 0 0 28. Kako-hen: Brand New World 2761 0 0 29. Kako-hen: Grip! 5261 0 0 30. Kako-hen: Farewell for Tomorrow's Sake 4582 0 0 31. Kako-hen: Four Seasons 3123 0 0 32. Kako-hen: Paradise 4907 0 0 33. Kako-hen: Down the Distant Road 5523 0 0 34. Kako-hen: With You 5868 0 0 35. Kako-hen: Every Heart 5268 0 0 36. Kako-hen: A Future without You 6796 0 0 37. Without You 2059 0 0 38. Vantage of the Past 6322 0 0