The Mysterious Springs

Rebirth of a Love

The following day, both Miko and Inuyasha had quite a hectic day. Miko spent it learning to recognize and mix medicinal herbs, meditating (and falling asleep during it) and practicing archery, while Inuyasha had several kinds of exercises and fencing lessons, although he couldn't transform Tessaiga into its true shape yet. Once night came, they could only go to sleep until the next day, in which they would resume their respective trainings. The next morning, both were training with their weapons again…

- "Go!" – Miko screamed as she shot an arrow, but the arrow ended falling down in front of the target she was using to practice. They were in a small plain outside the village and near a forest.

- "Not again!" – she said very disappointed.

- "You have to learn how to grasp and aim your arrows better" – Kaede sighed upon seeing how hard it was for the girl to understand the basics of archery – "Honestly speaking, I wouldn't mind it so much if at least you could make a Purifying Arrow…" -

- "Ok, I'll try it again" – Miko said as she readied another arrow. When she released the string, the arrow covered itself in a shining blue aura, making Miko fall to the ground from the impression and miss the target again.

- "Kaede-obaasan, did you see what I did?" – Miko asked excitedly.

- "Yes, I see you're improving very quickly" – Kaede congratulated her as she helped Miko to stand up again – "Continue like this, and I guarantee you will have it mastered very soon" -

- "Yes, thanks!" – she said as she made a short bow before Kaede. Then, she turned to face the target and readied another arrow – "I'll try one last time" –

She shot the arrow, and to her surprise, it didn't only cover itself on a blue aura, but it also struck the exact center of the target.

- "Yeah! At last I did it!" – Miko screamed as she jumped up and down in happiness.

- "Splendid, child! Splendid!" – Kaede told her smiling as she put her right hand on the child's shoulder – "We've finished for today, so you can go play now" –

- "Yes! Thank you!" – Miko bowed before her and ran off back to the village.


Meanwhile, Inuyasha was training with Totosai inside the forest. Totosai was an old man dressed in a ragged green kosode and hakama with black markings, was almost entirely bald save for a tied up bun of white hair, had pointed ears, white beard and whiskers and large black eyes.

- "Remember, Tessaiga will only transform if it feels that you want to use it to protect someone else" – Totosai told Inuyasha while the small hanyou swung the sword fiercely, but without getting any results.

- "I'm trying to concentrate in that idea, but I can't do it!" – he replied in frustration.

- "Foolish boy. Just try swinging the sword once more, and let's see what you do" – Totosai said in a tired voice.

- "Ok, here it goes" – and he then swung the sword, which changed into its true shape.

- "At last I did it!" – Inuyasha said filled with happiness, but the sword returned to its battered stated an instant later.

- "Argh!" – he roared as he swung the sword enraged. This time, it did transform and stuck on its true shape.

- "I did it!" – Inuyasha said to then begin jumping joyfully. He then began looking at the magnificent sword he had in his hand.

- "Whoa! I didn't expect it to be so large and so light too!" – he said while he held the sword aloft to examine it carefully.

- 'What strength! Even as a kid, he can hold the sword in its true form without any problem!' – Totosai thought scared. He then went to Inuyasha with a smile on his face:

- "Heh, well done, but don't think we're finished yet. Now, it's time to practice the Kaze no Kizu" -

- "And how I do it?" – Inuyasha asked in amazement.

- "Do you see the blue waves around the sword's blade?" – Totosai asked for the boy to take notice of them - "Just put your energy into the sword while concentrating on them and swing it" -

- "Okay..." – Inuyasha said as he closed his eyes and concentrated into his sword.

- "Kaze no Kizu!" – he screamed as he swung the sword hard downwards. From the point where the blade made contact with the ground, it generated three golden waves of energy which scattered and destroyed the trees they were using for practice.

- "I can't believe it! I did it!" – Inuyasha exclaimed in surprise.

- "Excellent! I see you've got a natural talent for this! Now go rest. We'll continue with this tomorrow" – Totosai told him.

- Yeah!" – Inuyasha said as he bowed before Totosai to then run off to the village.


He and Miko had agreed to meet up in front of the river that crossed the entire village and under a tree beside it once their respective trainings had finished for the day. By now, they had already turned into great friends again, and it could be even said that they were getting along better than how they used to be.

- "How did the sword training go?" – Miko asked him after they met up and sat down under the tree. Some villagers passed by as they returned from their work on the fields and they greeted both children with a smile. They greeted them back before continuing their conversation.

- "Great! At last I could do the Kaze no Kizu and transform Tessaiga into its true form!" – Inuyasha excitedly told her.

- "Wow! Congratulations! You've made a lot of progress in the two days we've been training!" – Miko told him.

- "Thanks!" – Inuyasha said radiating a lot of happiness – "And how did the classes with Kaede-obaasan go?" -

- "We had archery practice, and I didn't just manage to hit a target with an arrow… I even managed to make a Purifying Arrow!"- Miko told him very happy, but she then began coughing.

- "Cool!" – Inuyasha said smiling, but then his smile turned into a concerned face when he saw Miko coughing – "By the way, are you all right? You look a little pale"

- "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm just a little tired" – Miko told him smiling, but she began coughing again.

- "You should go and rest for a bit then" – Inuyasha suggested a little worried – "And besides, that coughing doesn't look like something good" –

- "Yeah, thanks. Don't worry" – Miko told him as she stood up and began walking to Kaede's hut. Inuyasha followed her with his eyes.

Meanwhile, Miroku and Sango were watching the scene from behind a nearby bush.

- "Hmm, they lost their memories, but they still haven't forgotten their feelings for each other" – Miroku said amazed.

- "It's incredible the way the heart can store the most precious feelings of a person in that way" – Sango said impressed.

- "Yes, Sango..." – Miroku said in a deep tone, but he just did this in a failed attempt to hide the fact that he was purposely putting his hand where he shouldn't.

- "Kyaah! How do you dare…!?" – Sango screamed as she gave the perverted monk a good slap on the face.

- "I'm sorry, Sango" – he said in all seriousness. However, he added thoughtfully - "Miko didn't seem a little strange?" -

That seemed to calm down Sango, as she began worrying about if Miko was okay.

- "Now you say it, you're right. Inuyasha noticed something weird about her too" – she said as she looked at the ground for a moment. She then faced Miroku again – "Shall we go and check on her?" -

- "Yes, we should" – he answered as they began making their way to the hut.


But when they went to see Miko, they found her lying in her futon, breathing with great difficulty, and additionally…

- "What a high fever!" – Sango said after she put a hand on Miko's forehead. She then took a cloth soaked in cold water and put it on the younger girl's forehead - "Why didn't you tell anyone?" -

- "I'm sorry… I didn't want to worry you, Houshi-sama, Sango-nee…" – Miko apologized with a very sad voice as her eyes began filling with tears. Both she and Inuyasha had gotten used to calling Sango that way because of the way in which she always looked out for them, even if they weren't related by blood.

- "Don't mind it… but make sure to tell us whenever you are't feeling well, okay?" – Sango said so Miko wouldn't worry about it and softly caressed the girl's face, which made her smile again with relief despite feeling so badly. Sango wiped off the tears from her eyes, and then went to where Kaede stored her herbs and began rummaging through them, trying to find a way to help her. However, this only finished with her sighing in disappointment – "Looks like we don't have any medicinal herbs that can help us much now…" -

- "Too bad we can't… you know, Sango" – Miroku said in a mysterious way.

- "What are you talking about?" – Miko asked, but she then began coughing.

Sango understood that Miroku meant sending Miko back to her era.

- "About nothing in particular..." – an annoyed Sango said as she threw an angry glance at Miroku. She then turned back to see Miko, sighed and began checking the medicines that were inside the backpack, but this only had the same results as when she checked the herbs – "I don't think any of these medicines will be of help right now. There's none for curing a cold" -

And as she said this, Inuyasha ran into the hut visibly alarmed.

- "Inuyasha!" - Miroku and Sango said surprised.

- "Where's... where's Miko?" – he asked gasping for breath.

- "She's here. Looks like she caught a cold" – Miroku told him in a grave manner.

- "Fool! Why didn't you tell me anything?" – Inuyasha said enraged when he saw the bad shape in which Miko was.

- "I'm sorry… you looked so happy… that I didn't want to spoil it…" - she said saddened to then begin coughing again.

Inuyasha just sighed. He tried to calm down a little to not upset Miko any further, and saddened, he said:

- "Don't mind it. I know how to make a medicine for this thanks to my mother, but I don't think I can get the ingredients. I wouldn't be a match for the youkai that live where they can be found all by myself..." -

- "Sango should go with you. As she is a slayer, she could be of help" – Miroku said as he put a know-it-all face.

- "Maybe, Houshi-sama; but it'd be better if you went with Inuyasha instead" – Sango growled as she gave him a horrible face.

- "Hurry up! I need to get them fast, or Miko could get worse!" – Inuyasha said in desperation as he looked how Miko was lying in the futon.

- "Okay, I'll go with you!" – Miroku said with disappointment - "Sango, please take care of Miko and Shippou!" -

- "Understood!" – Sango said as she watched them running out of the hut.

- "Inuyasha…" – Miko said amazed, but she then put on a small smile when she saw how much they cared for her. She coughed a little again and turned to the side to try and sleep for a while. Sango stood at her side watching over her, ready to change the cloth when the water on it had gotten warmer.


On the other hand, Shippou was hidden behind a window and from there; he had been watching everything that had happened inside the hut.

- 'Perfect! Now these two are gone, it's my chance to win Kagome's heart!' – he thought as he jumped down to the ground.


Meanwhile…

Inuyasha and Miroku were fighting against all sorts of different youkai in several places as they searched for the ingredients they needed to make the medicine for Miko. They had to go through a beach, a lake deep in the mountains, among other places, and they rode Kirara to do this so it would take them as less time as possible. Inuyasha was very impressed by the way Miroku fought, but he also tried to make himself useful with his Sankontessou claw attack and the Tessaiga, even if he couldn't remember well how to fight. He decided to not use the Kaze no Kizu because that would have obliterated the youkai viscera he needed.


On the other hand, in the village…

Shippou had spent the afternoon picking up flowers from the plains and forests nearby and using them to make a flower crown for Miko, and he was now in route to giving it to her…

- "I hope she likes this gift" – Shippou told himself with a smile as he took out a crown made of white and pink flowers from the inner pockets of his kosode and went inside Kaede's hut.

- "How's Miko?" – he asked cheerfully while also trying to keep up appearances on being worried about her.

- "She's asleep right now. The fever has gone down a little, but don't wake her up until Inuyasha and Houshi-sama have returned, okay?" – Sango told him gently while she showed him how Miko was sleeping despite the difficulties she was having breathing. However, her worried face turned into one of suspicion when she saw the flower crown Shippou had in his hands - "And what you've got there?"

- "What?" – he noticed what Sango was looking at and put the crown behind himself - "Uh! Nothing, nothing!" -

- "Hmmm... Well, go play. Miko needs rest now to get better" – a suddenly severe Sango told him.

- "Y-y-yes, S-Sango" – he said scared. He turned around as if he were to go outside, but he couldn't do more than clenching his teeth and rolling his small hands into fists to then think in irritation - 'Shucks, I couldn't do anything!' -

That precise instant, Inuyasha and Miroku ran into the hut and trampled him. Shippou ended up dizzy near one of the walls.

- "We're back! We've gotta boil these things!" – Inuyasha said as he showed Sango the ingredients for the medicine: he had returned carrying back all sorts of youkai viscera in bags, as well as some crabs and fishes.

- "Okay, okay! Calm down!" – Sango said surprised.


They dedicated themselves to the task of cutting down the ingredients for the medicine in pieces and putting them to boil during a while. Finally, they put the resulting brew in a deep bowl. So when it was ready, Sango looked at Inuyasha with a smile and gave to him the bowl with the medicine:

- "Now go and wake her up to make her drink it" –

- "O-okay… I'll go…" – Inuyasha said as he blushed. Miko seemed to have felt this, as she began moving and slightly opened her eyes when he got closer.

- "Miko, are you awake?" – Inuyasha asked her gently when he saw this.

- "Yeah..." – she replied with a voice that revealed how badly she was feeling.

- "That's good. Well then, drink this" – Inuyasha told her as he handed to her the bowl with the brew. Miko accepted it and sat up in the futon to be able to drink it.

- "What's it?" – she asked Inuyasha with a disconcerted face, and she smelled it - "Ugh, it smells awful!" -

- "The worse it smells and tastes, the more effective it is! Just gulp it all down and by tomorrow you'll be like new!" – Inuyasha guaranteed her with a smile.

- "Okay. If it's as good as you say, 'll try to stand the bad taste" – she said as she smiled back at Inuyasha, and after plugging her nostrils, she drank the entirety of the bowl. As soon as she finished, she put on a face of repugnance.

- "Yuck! It tastes horrible!" –

Inuyasha just smiled when he saw her face, and put one of his hands on one of Miko's shoulders while with the other he took the bowl from her hands and put it on the wooden floor.

- "Well, you better go back to sleep, as that should be enough for you to be cured" – Inuyasha said to her in a supporting way, and he then turned around to Sango - "Sango-nee, are you going to take care of Miko tonight?" -

Sango had an idea that instant and gently smiled at Inuyasha:

- "Why don't you try taking care of her this time, Inuyasha?" -

Inuyasha blushed and began thinking about it. Then, he told Sango as he looked at the floor with some embarrassment…

- "Well... I don't think it'd be a bad idea" -

- "Okay, then you'll be in charge of taking care of Miko, understood?" – Sango told him.

- "Yeah" – Inuyasha answered.


After they ate dinner and went to sleep, Inuyasha awakened every now and then to check up that Miko was fine. In one of these times…

- "Inuyasha, are you awake?" – Miko asked him cautiously as she sat up on the futon.

- "Yeah, I couldn't sleep," – Inuyasha replied to her, trying to reassure her that nothing was happening - "why the question?" -

- "It's just that..." – Miko blushed and joined her hands at about the height of her knees - "I wanted to thank you for taking care of me" -

- "Don't worry about that! Just be at ease so you can get better!" – Inuyasha told her as he blushed too.

- "Yeah. I wanna go outside and play with you again tomorrow" – Miko said smiling, and then they both went back to sleep.


The next morning, Inuyasha was the first one to wake up. He noticed the others had already gone out and thus, he sat down beside Miko's futon to watch over her. He was still worried, although she was now breathing normally and had a smile in her face: she seemed to be having a very pleasant dream. After a while, she awakened…

- "Ah, I feel so good!" – she said as she stood up and stretched – "Thanks, Inuyasha! Your medicine is really effective!"

- "Yep, my mother taught me how to make it" – Inuyasha replied as he smiled.

- "She must be a great person" – Miko commented as she sat down beside him. However, this only made Inuyasha's face get gloomy…

- "She was..." -

- "What… do you mean?" – Miko asked very disconcerted, but having a bad hunch about what had happened.

- "She died several years ago..." – Inuyasha replied, his face showing he wanted to cry, but he was trying to bear it.

- "Huh?" – Miko got all scared, her eyes began filling with tears, and then she prostrated herself before him to apologize. That was the very last thing she wanted to happen – "Please, forgive me! I didn't mean to make you feel like this!" -

- "Don't worry... It was long ago, after all..." – Inuyasha said with a very faint voice as he looked at the floor.

Miko fell silent beside him for a while, trying to think up of something to do, and finally she asked:

- "Eh... ummm... don't you wanna go out and play?" -

- "Yeah!" – Inuyasha replied all cheered up again, and they both ran outside.


Once outside, they met up with Shippou under the same tree below which they both had sat down the previous day.

- "Hi, Shippou!" – Miko cheerfully greeted him.

- "Miko... I'd like to give you this..." – Shippou shyly told her as he gave Miko the flower crown.

Miko's face lit up when she saw the crown, and she took it from Shippou's hands with trembling fingers.

- "How pretty! Thanks, Shippou!" – she said as she put the crown on her head.

- "It looks great on you!" – Shippou told her.

- "Thanks!" – Miko told him with a big smile. However, this also made Inuyasha's jealousy explode…

- "Hey fox; don't dare try anything funny with Miko! – he screamed at Shippou in rage.

And to make things worse, this in exchange caused the hatred that Shippou had for Inuyasha due to the latter always hitting him to flood out…

- "You're no one to say that to a true youkai, stupid and insignifcant hanyou!" – Shippou screamed at him.

This left Miko and Inuyasha shocked. However, it undoubtedly was a low blow to Inuyasha, who put a weird face, as in the middle of both sadness and rage, and he then ran off. Shippou smiled satisfied at his handiwork, but he would end up paying a high price for it…

- "Inuyasha!" – Miko screamed while trying to stop him in vain, and then she turned enraged towards Shippou - "How could you say these things to him!?" -

- "I... umm... I..." – Shippou muttered, as he couldn't even speak due to how scared he was.

Miko was so furious that if the cause was Inuyasha and they were their normal selves, most likely she would have said "Sit down" at him until she was out of breath.

- "Shut up! I won't listen to your excuses, and I never wanna see you again!" – she screamed at Shippou as she took off the flower crown and threw it at him. She then ran off after Inuyasha - "Inuyasha, wait!" -

She left a saddened and shocked Shippou behind.

- "Wha... wha... Waaah!" – he began crying - "I ruined yet other love! First it was Mizuki; and now it was Kagome!" -

He then began hitting himself on the head with both hands as he screamed - "I'm a fool!"-

Then, Miroku's and Sango's hands shot out from a nearby bush and pulled Shippou inside. When Shippou became aware of what was happening, he noticed that Miroku and Sango were looking at him in a very scary way.

- "W-w-what're you doing!?" – Shippou asked, scared out of his wits.

- "Sorry, Shippou, but we can't have you interfering in our plans" – Sango told him.

- "That's correct, so you better keep away from Kagome and Inuyasha... or else" – Miroku said as he put on a mysterious face.

- "And what are you planning?" – he asked scared.

- "You'll know tonight" – Sango replied in the same mysterious tone as Miroku.


Meanwhile, Miko continued running after Inuyasha, trying to calm him down.

- "Inuyasha, wait for me!" – Miko screamed in desperation.

- "Please... Leave me alone..." – Inuyasha said with a tearful voice.

- "I can't!" – Miko replied, who herself was on the verge of crying too - "Shippo might be an idiot, but we don't think that way of you!" -

Then, Inuyasha crashed into someone, making him fall backwards to the ground due to how fast he was running. The first thing he did was asking:

- "Who hit me?" -

- "Are you okay?" – Miko asked worriedly as she stopped at his side.

- "So you're the new kids, right?" – the person into who Inuyasha had crashed asked: it was a girl a little taller than they both, around ten years old, who wore a yellow kosode and had a dark blue hair tied up in a ponytail, and was barefoot like them both. The most notorious of her features was that she had pointy ears.

- "Hmm... you are?" – Miko doubtfully asked her.

- "My name is Asagi, and I'm one of the kids from Hourai Island" – the girl introduced herself as she put her hand over her chest.

- "Ah, yeah! Kaede-sama told us about you!" – Miko exclaimed upon remembering how Kaede had commented about this in the training she had two days prior: they were a group of hanyou children that had come from a faraway land to live there, and that they most likely would meet soon.

As for Inuyasha, he had his eyes fixed in Asagi due to her ears:

- "You're also a… a…" – he tried asking, as he seemed to have lost control of his voice.

- "Yeah, I'm a hanyou. All the kids from that place are hanyou, and I didn't think any people would accept us outside of the island" – Asagi replied cheerfully.

- "I heard about that place once… wasn't that where youkai, humans and hanyou could live together in peace?" – Inuyasha pensively asked.

- "That's how it used to be, at least until a group of youkai that called themselves the Shitoushin appeared and killed everyone living there, leaving only the hanyou to use them as sacrifices and extract their energies. My turn was about to come up, but in the last moment, some travelers came, defeated the Shitoushin and saved us. We've been living here since that time" – Asagi narrated with pride.

- "That story sounds very familiar, but I don't know why… I've never heard it before…" – Miko said deep in thought, as if she had forgotten something important.

- "Could you tell me your names, please?" – Asagi gently asked them.

- "Eh, yes, sorry... My name is Miko" – Miko replied a little embarrassed as she bowed before her.

- "I'm Inuyasha" – he said as he bowed too.

When she heard their names, Asagi corroborated that what Kaede had told her about what had happened to Kagome and Inuyasha was true. She already had begun having suspicions on this when she first saw Inuyasha in his current state.

- 'Kaede-sama was right about this... I'll have to be very careful with whatever I say now' – Asagi thought, but she decided to still go ahead with what she had planned to tell them. It was the reason for which she was seeking them in the first place - "Well, the village will be holding a festival tonight, and we're going to sing a traditional song from our island and well… I was wondering if you'd like to sing it with us" -

Both Miko and Inuyasha were so impressed by having something like this offered to them, that they couldn't believe it:

- "What?" -

- "Are you serious?" -

- "Yes! Then, what do you say? Will you do it?" – Asagi asked them again.

- "Of course!" – they both replied with large smiles.

- "By the way, where are the other children?" – Miko asked upon noticing that Asagi was all by herself.

- "They're on their way here right now" – she said cheerfully, and when she saw them coming - "Ah, here they are!" -

The other five children from the island arrived shortly later. They were Ai, a little girl of around five years that was dressed in a pink kosode, had fish fins instead of ears, long light brown hair tied up in a bun, and blue eyes; Moegi, a girl of around the same age as Asagi, who was dressed in an olive green kosode, had dark blonde hair in twintails with a pair of small yellow horns protruding from her head, and had yellow eyes; Roku and Dai, a pair of identical male twins that had the hair half orange, half green, wore dark blue kosode and had yellow eyes; and finally, Shion, who was a boy with a dark skin, purple short hair, red eyes and dressed in a white kosode with purple stripes.

- "Onee-chan!" – Ai screamed when she was close enough to Asagi.

- "Hi, guys," – Asagi greeted them - "Is everything ready for tonight?" -

- "Yeah, nee-chan" – Roku replied to then take notice of Inuyasha and Miko's presence - "They two are..." -

- "Yeah, they're the new ones: Inuyasha and Miko. They're gonna join us in our song" – Asagi replied while the two aforementioned bowed as they smiled in order to introduce themselves.

- "Pleased to meet you" – both said in unison.

- "Tee hee, it's the same for us… Inuyasha-oniichan and Ka…" – Ai began with a little laughter, but when she saw how Asagi got all scared behind Miko when Ai began saying the name, she corrected herself at the last second with a bit of nervousness – "…Err, Miko-oneechan" –

- "Hmm, are you okay, Ai-chan?" – Miko asked a bit worried when she saw Ai's behavior. Asagi just sighed in relief behind her.

- "It's nothing. It's that you remind me of another person" – Ai said blushing as she smiled.

- "She's the youngest of us, so there are times where she gets a little confused" – Moegi explained as she smiled shyly.

- "Well, that's no problem" – Inuyasha said as he patted Ai's head. She simply smiled in satisfaction from this.

- 'Well, at least dog boy won't be able to continue hitting us'- Dai thought when he saw how they were behaving, and then said aloud – "Shouldn't we go and rehearse?"

- "Yeah. They both have to learn the lyrics to the song" – Moegi said in reference to both Miko and Inuyasha.

- "Do you think it'll go well?" – Shion asked a bit scared.

- "Come on, Shion. Don't be such a pessimist" – Asagi put a hand on his shoulder to cheer him up.

- "It's gonna turn fine!" – Ai said cheerfully.

- "Ok, let's go then!" – Miko enthusiastically said. They all began going to the place where they would rehearse, excepting for Inuyasha, so Miko decided to go and see what was happening to him.

- "Are you okay?" – she asked a bit concerned about him.

- "I've never sung in front of anyone, so..." – Inuyasha replied as he looked at the ground, trembling - "I'm a little scared…" -

- "Don't worry. If you can slay large youkai, you should be able to sing a song too" – Miko said as she held one of Inuyasha's hands.


They got going, and after a little while walking in silence, they arrived at the place where the main attraction of the festival would be held. It was a large stone stage in front of a lake located behind the village.

Miko was very impressed, as she had never seen such a large lake in her life.

- "Wow! What a big lake! It'd be a nice place to sit down by!" -

And thanks to that, Inuyasha's rosary shone and made him crash face-first into the ground.

- "Ugh, what was that!?" – he said with fury when he managed to stand up again.

- "Are you okay?" – a concerned Miko asked. She had covered her mouth with her hands due to how much this had scared her.

- "Yeah, but I felt that something in this rosary pulled me to the ground when you said these words" - he replied in a puzzled tone while he pulled a bit of the rosary so Miko could see it.

Miko simply gave him back a puzzled expression.

- "Words? Do you mean… Sit down?" – she said, and this made Inuyasha crash into the ground again as he groaned from the pain.

Miko panicked from this.

- "Aah! I'm sorry! I didn't know that saying that would harm you!" – as she ran to help him stand up again and gave him a hug, as she felt very guilty for this.

- "It's okay, don't worry. Just don't say it while I'm around" – Inuyasha said as he hugged her back.

- "Are you two finished playing?" – Asagi asked a bit angry. They both just apologized with a bit of embarrassment.


They then began rehearsing: Asagi, Inuyasha, Miko and Ai were the singers, while the others played instruments. Dai played the flute, Moegi the lyre and both Roku and Shion played a koto and a biwa. Once this attempt ended…

- "We're doing pretty well so far, but... Miko, you have to fully memorize the lyrics; and Inuyasha, you're singing too low. Try to make your voice a little louder so we can hear it better" – Asagi told them in a severe manner.

- "Yeah, okay" – Inuyasha replied, who was still having a little case of stage fright.

- "I'll do everything I can" – Miko said as she struggled to memorize the rest of the lyrics.


They began rehearsing again, and this time, they fared much better. This left Asagi very satisfied with the results.

- "This time we did it pretty well! If we do it like this during the real thing tonight, it'll be perfect!" – she said cheerfully.

- "Sounds wonderful!" – Miko said as she clapped her hands in happiness.

- "That's great!" - Inuyasha said rolling one of his hands into a fist.

- "Onee-chan, we're finished?" - Ai asked Asagi with a smile on her face.

- "Yeah. We can rest until it's time for us to sing" – she replied to her sister as she went to her and caressed her head.

- "I'm so glad!" – Miko said. However, she was assaulted by a sudden thought, and thus she went to Asagi's side - "Umm, Asagi-chan... I wanna ask you something…" -

- "What is it, Miko-chan?" – Asagi gently asked.

- "What does this song mean to you? It's very beautiful, but it also sounds very sad… especially because of what the lyrics say…" – Miko asked very worried.

Asagi simply gazed at the sky with a sad smile on her face before answering - "This song is a prayer, and its lyrics are a very ancient poem from our island. It means that our parents sacrificed themselves to become a protective light for us" -

- "I see. I'm sorry if I made you feel bad by asking about it" – Miko said as her face saddened.

- "It's okay" – Asagi gently smiled at her, to show her it was nothing to be worried about – "Anyway, our island doesn't exist anymore, and our parents will continue watching over us wherever we are" -

Inuyasha had been listening on the entire conversation, and decided to do something to cheer them up:

- "Wanna go play? We've got a ball in Kaede-obaasan's hut" – he said as he smiled

All the others answered - "Yeah!" – so they went to grab the ball and spent the rest of the afternoon playing. However, Miko noticed that Inuyasha seemed a bit uneasy for some reason, but she didn't learn what the reason was until night came…


- "No! I don't wanna go out like this!" – Inuyasha said after it had gotten dark: it was a new moon night, so he had lost his hanyou powers and appearance, and now looked like a typical human boy: his silver hair turned black, his golden eyes became brown, and his dog ears and claws were replaced with human ears and nails.

- "What happened to your hair and ears?" – Miko asked amazed. This was the first time she saw Inuyasha in his human form, and like this, he looked like a completely different person. Most likely she wouldn't have recognized him if she hadn't seen the transformation with her own eyes.

- "It's due to being a hanyou. Every now and then, we hanyou lose our powers and turn into normal humans for a while" – Asagi explained in a very serious tone.

- "And what does this to you, Inuyasha?" – Miko asked very interested.

Inuyasha didn't want to reveal it because he believed it was a terrible idea that anyone else knew about his secret, but in the end, he decided to spit it up to show Miko that he trusted her.

- "The... new moon nights…" -

- "And why didn't you tell us!? We could have found a way to leave the festival for tomorrow!" – Miko said enraged because this could end up throwing dirt upon everything they had done in the afternoon.

- "I didn't want to ruin everything you all had done" - Inuyasha said in an apologetic tone.

- "That doesn't matter now! We'll lose our chance to sing if we don't go out now!" – Asagi exclaimed in fear.

- "There's no helping it… I'll have to go out like this..." – Inuyasha said as he stood up both embarrassed and annoyed.


Meanwhile, Miroku and Sango were conversing amidst the festival the village was celebrating in order to pray for good crops.

- "Do you think they'll do well?" – a doubtful Sango asked.

- "Well, I heard them rehearsing, and they sounded pretty well" – Miroku said with a smile.

- "Then, our plan may be successful?" – Sango asked in excitement.

- "I think so. But first, let's go to listen to them, and then we'll see what happens" – Miroku said; and they both began walking to the place where the stage was located. The entire village was gathered in that place already, and there, they met up with Shippou.

- "Ah, I was getting sick of waiting! We can't all enjoy this if we aren't together!" – the kitsune said cheerfully.

- "Did you think that we would miss out on Kagome and Inuyasha's stellar presentation?" – Miroku asked as he laughed.

- "That means this was your great plan?" – a suspicion-filled Shippou asked.

- "Of course not, it was just a part of it" – Sango said mysteriously.

- "What!? You mean there's more!?" - Shippou said scared.

- "Yes, just wait and see" – Miroku said with a voice that implied he would learn about it soon enough.

- "Be quiet! They're about to begin!" – Sango said, but her eyes became wider when she saw Inuyasha – "And look! Inuyasha is on his human form!" -

- "It's true!" – Shippou exclaimed with the eyes and mouth left gaping wide.

- "It's because tonight it's new moon" – Miroku said as he gazed up at the dark sky: there was no moon on sight, although it was covered in shining stars - "I'm surprised that he wanted to go out in public like this" -

- "Be quiet!" - Shippou and Sango said, as now the children had begun playing the instruments. Then, Inuyasha, Miko, Asagi and Ai began singing the song: it was the Song of Spirit Sending.

When they finished singing and the instruments stopped playing, the crowd gave them a large applause.

- "Thanks!" – Asagi said to the crowd as she and the others bowed before them. Then, she turned to Miko and Inuyasha - "We'll be giving an encore now, but… do you mind going to that shore of the lake and just stay listening over there?" –

She said this as she pointed to a shore located at the left of the stage.

- "No, we don't mind, but... Why?" – a puzzled Miko asked.

- "You've done enough already. I'd rather have you two listening now, okay?" – Asagi told them with a smile.

- "Okay" – Inuyasha replied as he shrugged, while Miko just nodded.

Both walked down the steps of the stage to the ground and went to sit down in the place that Asagi had pointed them to.


- "Now Sango!" – Miroku said when he saw both children going to the lake shore.

- "Yes!" – Sango said while she brought out the binoculars and listening device that Miko had brought with her, and then they hid themselves where no one could find them to watch and hear Miko and Inuyasha. Shippou jumped into Sango's shoulder to know what was happening.

- "What do you think? Isn't that song beautiful?" – Miko gently asked.

- "Yeah... and it reminds me a lot of my mother" – a melancholic Inuyasha replied to her.

- "It's because of these children being like you, and what the lyrics say?" – Miko asked with a lot of interest.

- "Yeah... Where it said "And thus we'll become a light that will bestow protection over our children…"" – Inuyasha said as he gazed up at the sky.

- "I see..." – Miko said as she looked at the ground with a bit of sadness. That same moment, the others finished singing and playing, making it obvious that their part of the festival had ended - "It's a shame that it didn't last longer" -

- "Yeah..." – Inuyasha said. Miko then looked upwards, and she greatly cheered up due to what she saw…

- "Look! Tonight's sky it's very beautiful!" – she said as she stood up and pointed to the sky – "It's all filled with stars! Do you wanna see them with me?" –

Inuyasha had no problems with this, so they both lied down on the grass beside each other, and began gazing at the stars. The sky was practically covered with stars, and the shadow of the Milky Way could be seen perfectly behind them.

- "How pretty... I didn't feel so good since long ago" – Inuyasha said in a very pleased tone.

- "You mean doing this while I'm around makes you feel good? It makes me very happy... to know that..." – Miko said as she blushed.

- "It makes me happy to know it too..." – Inuyasha said as he looked away from Miko. She then leaned on his shoulder, making him blush.

- "Do you want us to make a promise?" – Miko softly asked him.

- "What kind… of promise?" – Inuyasha asked back, very embarrassed and amazed.

- "That no matter what happens from now on… even if I get my memories back… I want us to never be away from each other as long as we live..." – Miko explained as she looked at the ground with a shy smile - "Then… do you promise?" -

Inuyasha's face had already gotten so red that he looked like an insulated tomato, and when he saw Miko's face, he noticed that he wouldn't be able to say no to her. And anyway, he had already planned to tell her something along these lines: that he would protect her from now on, no matter what the future might have in store for them.

- "Well... Yeah, I do... I promise. And I also promise to… protect you forever…" – he said as he looked straight at Miko's eyes.

- "Thank you" – Miko said with a large smile as she blushed and closed her eyes. They then separated a bit and continued watching the stars, lying at the side of the other, although they joined their hands after they made the promise.

Meanwhile, Sango and Miroku were celebrating from the place in which they were hidden.

- "We did it! They made a promise!" – Sango said as she jumped in ecstasy.

- "Our plan was a success! Now we're even with them!" – Miroku said as he raised a fist in the air as if he had won a fight or something.

- "So this was your so-brilliant plan? Getting them together again?" - Shippou said with arms crossed. He had an annoyed attitude that would have reminded anyone of Inuyasha's behavior at his normal age.

- "Yes, that's it, Shippou" – Miroku said in a tranquil tone.

- 'They're fools' – Shippou thought, but then he noticed something that had escaped from Sango and Miroku's attention - "Huh!? Look! You're gonna miss out something!" -

At that instant, they noticed that Miko and Inuyasha stood up and they were getting closer and closer to each other. As there was just a pair of binoculars, Sango and Miroku began fighting over who would be the one that would see the resulting scene, so Shippou used his trick of transforming into objects to turn into a second pair of binoculars which Sango took and used. Then, they all held their breath in when they saw what happened next: from the image reflected on the clear surface of the lake, they saw that Inuyasha and Miko kissed each other, their faces covered by the sleeves of Inuyasha's haori, in a very similar fashion to what Kikyou and Inuyasha had done many years prior…


The next morning, they had quite a hectic awakening, but it came accompanied by a very nice surprise…

- "Come! It's time to wake up!" – Miroku energetically told them.

- "Uh... What happened?" – Miko drowsily asked.

- "I'm sleepy..." - said Inuyasha rubbing his eyes lazily.

- "We've found a way to restore your memories!" – Sango cheerfully announced.

Upon hearing that, Miko fully awakened and was greatly cheered up:

- "Really!?" – she said as she rose from her futon.

- "For real!?" - asked Inuyasha as he jumped from his futon.

- "Yes! A traveler told us a rumor about a cave in the mountains east of the village, in which two medallions that have the power of restoring lost memories could be found! Want to come with us to search for them?" – Sango enthusiastically asked them.

- "Yeah! Let's go!" – both replied.


They then began with the preparations. Inuyasha had Tessaiga sheathed and tied to his hip, while Miko carried a small bow and quiver filled with arrows on her back. Noticing how her small body wouldn't be able to carry such a large weight, Sango decided to carry Miko's backpack in her stead. Before departing, they went to say good-bye to both Totosai and Kaede.

- "Sorry I can't train you further, Miko, but with the skills you've developed so far, it should be enough for you to defend yourself" – Kaede said as she smiled in order to cheer her up.

- "As for you, Inuyasha, no monster should be able to match you as long as you handle the power of the Kaze no Kizu" – Totosai said in all seriousness.

- "Now, go on, and I wish you good luck. I hope that you'll have regained your memories by the time we meet again" - Kaede told Miko.

- "Yes! Thank you, Kaede-obaasan!" – Miko cheerfully said as she bowed before her.

- "Thanks, Totosai-sensei!" – Inuyasha thanked him as he bowed.

- "Yeah, yeah, now take care" – Totosai said, but then he sorrowfully thought - 'How sad this treatment he's giving me will go away when his memories come back' -

- "Come back soon!" – Ai joyfully told them.

- "Take care!" – Asagi said to give them support.

- "I hope no youkai eats you up!" – Dai said in a mocking way.

- "Yeah! – Roku sent them off in the same way as his twin.

- "I hope you accomplish your goal!" – Moegi wished them with a smile.

- "Do your best!" – Shion said cheerfully.

- "Thank you! See you later!" – Miko said good-bye to them smiling, very grateful for all the support they were giving them.

- "Well then, no matter the dangers or obstacles we might find on our way, it's time to set out in search of these medallions!" – Miroku said cheerfully when they set out.

- 'But I don't like the idea in the slightest. Kagome won't want to play with me anymore, and Inuyasha's gonna hit me again' – a displeased Shippou thought.

And thus, they departed on a new journey, seeking a way to restore Miko's and Inuyasha's memories.


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