Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Divider Print This Chapter Divider

The Prince's Bride by Tsuki no Tennyo

The Beginning

Author's Note: 2017 Me: I will write chaptered stories, but I will not post them until they're completed.

2020 Me: it is what it is ¯_(ツ)_/¯

.

Once upon a time, there was a kind peasant girl named Kagome, who had big dreams in spite of her humble upbringing. When she was not out working in the rice paddies with the other young girls and women of the village, she spent her day helping her mother and playing with the village children. She dreamt that one day she would have a kind husband who would build her a big home and be a loving father to her children. Her dreams were actually the same as the rest of the village girls, but she liked to think she was just a tiny bit more special.

With a song always on her lips, she found out quickly enough that this was to be the cause of her current predicament.

"But I am not a princess!" she protested to the fox demon who had whisked her out of her family home, much to the surprise and outrage of her family. She struggled, kicking and shoving, until finally her abductor decided to just throw her over his shoulder to the shocked gasps of her mother and the other village women. She beat his back furiously. "What the hell do you think you are doing?"

"Prince Sesshoumaru will not be pleased with this," her abductor's partner commented sullenly as he readied the two-headed dragon demon that was to be her ride. "For one thing, this one has a bigger mouth than the actual princess."

"Well," Kagome's abductor growled, annoyed, "If the real princess didn't decide to ditch her own wedding five hours ago, then we wouldn't need this replacement!"

"Replacement?" Kagome gasped, outraged. "Is anyone going to tell me what is going on?"

"Yes," her mother stepped forward after her daughter with worried eyes, "Where on earth do you think you are taking my Kagome?"

Kagome's abductor paused, seemingly to waver under the older woman's large, innocent brown eyes, before finally sighing in defeat. "Tell her, Jaken."

"I will do no such thing!" the shorter demon shouted. "I do not owe this weak human any explanation!"

"You will, unless you want to feel my foot up your ass, you got it?"

The little imp demon, Jaken, gulped loudly before acquiescing. "Very well, Captain Shippou," he said begrudgingly, "The Prince was to be wed to the human princess from the neighboring kingdom, but that is…"

"She jilted him. Gone. Vamoosed," Shippou said with just the faintest hint of amusement in his voice. He dropped Kagome gently onto the waiting dragon's saddle, grinning widely now into her shocked face, "Not that I blame her. The Prince is not the warmest person in the kingdom. Or anywhere, really."

Kagome and her mother frowned at the explanation. Kagome shook her head, still not understanding her part in this. "Alright, I feel sorry for him, but how is kidnapping me going to help the situation?"

"I'm glad you asked!" Shippou laughed, his emerald green eyes twinkling brightly, "You just happen to resemble the princess just enough so that we can go through with the wedding to avoid losing face with the visiting guests from the other kingdoms."

"Go through with the wedding?" she gasped. "I can't marry some guy I don't even know, much less a prince!"

"Really?" Shippou stared at her surprised, shrugging, "Aren't you at an age where your family can marry you off to some guy in the village with two goats and a hog? I would think a prince would be a bit of a step up, don't you?"

Kagome sputtered, crossing her arms in disdain. "That's not the point!"

"Look, um—"

"Kagome," her mother helpfully supplied, much to her daughter's chagrin.

"Yes, Kagome," Shippou continued, giving a gracious nod to her mother, "I know all of this is sudden—" he ignored her immediate unladylike snort, "but the Emperor and Empress are very distressed over losing face with their allies and neighbors. I don't even want to think what the Prince will do once he finds out—"

"Wait," she interrupted the fox demon with another glare, "The Prince doesn't even know his bride is gone?"

"Did I not mention that?" Shippou asked with a nervous laugh, paling under Kagome's glare and ignoring Jaken's little slap to the forehead.

"Even if I do go through with this, how will he react when he finds out I'm not the Princess?"

"It could be like the Moon Festival all over again," Jaken muttered, still gripping tightly the rein of the dragon demon.

"Quiet!" Shippou said in a hushed whisper to the imp demon. He gave Kagome a reassuring smile, which wavered under her heated glare. "Alright, he will be a tad bit upset at first, but rest assured, the Emperor and Empress won't let any harm come to you!"

Kagome was about to protest further when her mother stepped closer, touching her arm gently. She looked at her mother questionably, not understanding the smile she was wearing. "Mama?"

"Kagome, dear, perhaps this could be a blessing in disguise?"

"What are you talking about—"

"Captain Shippou is right. If you were to stay here, the best we can hope is to marry you off to one of the village boys, but the gods have seen fit to choose you to be a prince's bride!"

"Replacement bride," she corrected, then adding quietly, "Fake bride."

"Think of it as a service to your kingdom," Shippou cut in, "You will have the Emperor and Empress' gratitude and protection. They will make sure your family will be well provided in your absence, and I promise to you and your family that I will personally make sure of your safety!"

She fidgeted on the dragon for a moment, still feeling uneased by the deceptive plan. She gave her mother another look, and seeing the older woman was fine with the plan, Kagome gave a defeated nod, realizing her family could benefit from having a more comfortable life if she were to go through with this charade.

Shippou grinned, giving her a gracious bow.

"We must hurry now, Princess Kikyou."

"Princess…Kikyou…" she said quietly as the dragon took flight and carried her away from her home.

.

The Grand Palace was even more fantastic than what Kagome could have ever imagined. It stretched widely across the land, looking like it could encompass several villages within its large gates. At her arrival, Shippou and Jaken had snuck her in through the back where after going through many secret passageways, Kagome found herself in her own private room with several handmaidens bathing her and dressing her in the finest kimono for her wedding.

As she remained seated while two maids did her hair, the shoji door to her room was slid open and in walked the most beautiful women she had ever seen accompanied by three of her own personal maids. She bore several markings on her face, identifying her immediately as a demoness and by her graceful entrance and regal air, Kagome quickly surmised that this was also the Empress.

Kagome noticed that her own maids have stopped in their task to bow down to the demoness before them. She belatedly and awkwardly attempted her own bow in spite of the constraints the heavy kimono put on her.

The demoness raised her hand in dismissal, smirking. "Do not trouble yourself with formality, my dear," she said, sitting down across from Kagome in a chair that was brought to her. "I must thank you for doing us this service."

The human girl blushed in embarrassment, still lowering her head. "It is my honor, Your Highness."

"Yes, well," the demoness's eyes narrowed for a moment, "Never in all of my years would I think a human princess would reject my son, on his wedding day, no less! The nerve of that human!"

Kagome looked up nervously, wondering if her groom's temper was as short as her future mother-in-law.

"What is your name?" The Empress turned her attention back to the girl, her brief ire seeming to have disappeared.

"My name is Kagome, Your Highness,"

She nodded. "Has Shippou told you what your name will be during this little ploy?"

"Yes, I will be known as Princess Kikyou," she answered, feeling a nervous twist in her stomach despite the Empress' approving nod. She bit her lower lip, hesitating for a moment before she asked her question, "Your Highness?"

"What is it, my dear?"

"I've been told that…the Prince is not aware of the situation?"

"Oh, goodness, of course not!" The Empress laughed, practically cackling, "We do not need a repeat of the Moon Festival with all of those eyes out there!"

Kagome's confusion seemed to have been ignored, as the Empress quickly rushed the maids to finish with the preparations before the ceremony would start. She felt her earlier nervousness returned tenfold, and to think, it all started because she couldn't help but sing as she worked, thereby alerting the traveling Imperial Commander and servant of her presence!

She could just kick herself. That was, if she could actually move in this kimono.

She settled with sighing in resignation at her questionable luck, wincing when one of the maids tugged just a bit too hard on her hair.

.

Kagome quickly learned that both the Emperor and Empress were crafty in their deception. The ceremony went through without a hitch as they kept her face covered with a white, sheer veil that obscured enough of her features to help with the masquerade, using the excuse that this was a wedding custom from the princess' kingdom. The Prince—her groom— had simply raised one elegant brow in confusion when she had appeared before him, before moving on with the ceremony without complaints.

Through her sheer veil, she noted that her groom was a tall demon with similar facial markings as his mother. He had inherited both of his parents' beautiful long silky, white hair, which he had braided for the ceremony. He was a head taller than her, standing proud and carrying the regal air that could only be expected from royalty. She wondered if she would be able to mimic the similar attitude to pass for the Princess.

When it was time for the reception, her maids had changed her into a more celebratory kimono with a different veil to match. Kagome had tried to protest, but the Empress had insisted upon it.

"Your Highness, you cannot expect me to wear a veil for the rest of my life?" she had asked, questioning the logic of her new mother-in-law.

"Of course not," she had responded briskly, walking over and readjusting the ornate golden comb in Kagome's hair herself, "You will just need to keep this act up until after the reception when all of our guests will have left."

"And…the Prince?"

"I imagine he will be in for quite a wedding night surprise."

Kagome had nodded in agreement before pausing with a flustered face, having caught the Empress' secondary meaning. "Wait, I wouldn't have to…well, that is—"

The Empress had smirked, giving Kagome's cheek a gentle, not quite maternal, stroke. "Well, the expectation will still apply in spite of this charade," she had said with a soft purr, "But that will of course be entirely between you two."

Kagome had stared after her new mother-in-law with shock, feeling like she was being punished by the gods instead of blessed as her own mother had hoped.

"Goodness, I hope this won't be anything like the Moon Festival!" The Empress had crowed, leaving with her three attendants in tow.

.

"You may take off that veil now."

Kagome jumped in her seat. She and her groom had left the main reception over half an hour ago and were now in their own private room, which had its own table set with an abundance of celebratory food for the newlywed. Close by in the adjacent room, she was very well aware of the single large futon prepared for the wedding night.

"I-It's alright, Your Highness—"

"I wish to see my bride's face," he interrupted her, voice commanding and left no room for her to argue. Not that she could come up with any feasible argument for this situation. She really regretted not staying in her village and waiting for her family to marry her off for the two goats and a hog.

Through her veil, she could make out his piercing golden eyes. He was waiting, but she knew his patience would not last long. Breathing in slowly, she slowly lifted off her veil, seeing clearly for the first time now her groom, and subsequently, nearly becoming breathless by his ethereal beauty.

"Who are you?" he asked, causing her to stiffen and forgetting her momentary appreciation of having a handsome husband. Had he already figured out her deception? She really wasn't sure how much he knew about his intended, but based on everyone else's assurances, it seemed like Kagome didn't really need to put in too much effort with her farce.

"My name is Princess Kikyou—"

"Your real name," he demanded, eyes narrowing only a fraction in anger, "Your scent reeks of deceptions. What are you hiding, and answer quickly before I lose my patience with you."

She instantly backed away when she saw his claws beginning to glow green at his side.

"My name is Kagome! Please, Your Highness, I had never meant to deceive you like this!" She held up her hands in defense, though in the back of her mind, she knew this would do her no good against a strong demon like him. Honestly, she really didn't understand how she had gotten herself into this mess! "The Palace had asked me to take the place of the missing princess and—"

"They did what?"

She felt her heart pounding heavily in her chest when it seemed like her groom's anger had heightened by the revelation. She could only hope he would realize quickly that she was just an innocent party dragged into this filthy lie by his own family and servants. She honestly would have been fine with being traded off for some goats and a hog!

Perhaps the gods did take a sliver of pity with her, because right when it seemed like he was to direct his anger at her, the door slid open with the Emperor and Empress standing outside.

"Honestly, son," the Emperor began in his chiding, "This is not the kind of passion one would have on one's wedding night."

Kagome blushed immediately, but she was very grateful for the sudden interruption. The Empress knelt by her side, instantly wrapping her arms protectively around Kagome. Her blush deepened even further when the Empress pulled the human girl into her well-endowed bosoms.

"Sesshoumaru, dear, you have your little bride terrified! Just listen to her heart!"

"That kind of beating should only be brought on by one way—"

"Dear!" The Empress gave her husband a look of disapproval before turning her attention back over to her son. "Now, Sesshoumaru, we realize we owe you a bit of an explanation."

Sesshoumaru glared at both of his parents, giving Kagome only a brief look of disdain.

"This is Kagome," The Emperor started, gesturing to the frightened human girl, who had now been released from his wife's embrace.

"So I've been told," his son answered dryly, giving Kagome another look, and causing her to flinch in fear.

"Well," The Emperor continued, ignoring his son's rude tone, "it seems Princess Kikyou had some second thoughts about the wedding."

"And?"

"And she jilted you, my son. Gone. Vamoosed."

"Which is why Kagome is here," his mother interrupted before he could yell. "We needed her to help with the charade, and goodness, have you seen how many people have shown up? What would we ever do if they found out the eldest son of Emperor Touga was jilted by a human princess?"

"So you thought it would be a fine idea for me to be married to a peasant instead?"

Kagome gave him a quick glare, even though he wasn't incorrect about her social status. She just didn't like his tone of voice. It wasn't like she was any happier with the sudden arrangement.

"Well," The Emperor started, stepping over and kneeling down on the other side of Kagome, "Technically she is a princess now, by marriage."

Sesshoumaru was unappeased with the technicality. He breathed in, turning his back from his parents and new bride, and then he spoke with measured calmness. "And why was I not informed of this situation earlier, Father?"

"Son, we did not need a repeat of the Moon Festival," his father answered back in the same grave tone.

Kagome was beginning to wonder what her new groom did that caused repeated mentions of this certain event. She decided this was a question best asked another day when her new husband wasn't feeling so murderous and miffed with her.

"Now!" The Empress clapped her hands together in delight, smiling radiantly, "We will leave you two to get better acquainted."

"Right!" his father answered heartily, "No need to let that futon go to waste, my boy!"

Giving Sesshoumaru a quick clap on the back, the Emperor and his wife quickly left before Kagome could even protest, having felt safer with both their presences in the room. She winced when the shoji door slid shut. She took a hesitant look up at her new husband.

He sighed.

She blinked, having expected a more hostile action from him.

"You may sleep in there alone," he said, "I will not touch you tonight."

"Thank you?" She felt strangely offended by his wording, though she was also entirely grateful that her maidenhood wouldn't be squandered on this farce of a marriage. Before Kagome could say anything else, though, she heard her stomach rumbling. Blushing, she realized her husband did, too. "My apologies, Your Highness. I-It's been a long day and I haven't really had anything to eat with, you know, the abduction and getting married suddenly?"

He nodded once before reaching over to the table and handing her a plate of food. She took it gratefully, realizing just how hungry she was now that all of the lies and deceits were out in the open. He sat down on the floor, leaning against the wall, and watched her eat.

"Are you not going to eat, Your Highness?"

He shook his head once, golden eyes still piercing her.

Nervously, Kagome set the food back down on her plate. She gave a brief bow of her head guiltily. "I really did not mean to deceive you—"

"Then why did you agree to this ridiculous ploy?"

She bit her lower lip. "Well, Captain Shippou was saying—" she flinched when she heard him growl lowly at the name. "They seemed desperate and my own mother saw this as a blessing for me."

"A blessing?"

She shrugged, and then gestured to the room, the food, her clothes, and finally him. "Not even in my wildest dream would I imagine being in the presence of such luxuries."

"Hm."

She tilted her head to the side, unsure of how to discern his impassive expression. She then brightened up suddenly when an idea popped into her head. "I know!"

He looked at her, confused by her sudden enthusiasm.

"We could look for the real princess!" Kagome explained, setting her plate on the floor. "We could convince her to marry you and I could, you know, just slip away quietly and no one would ever have to know about this whole thing!"

He gave her a look as if she had gone mad. He turned his head away, scoffing, "I do not need to beg a human to marry me."

"Well," she frowned, furrowing her brows together, "but that means I would have to be your wife now?"

He turned his attention back over to her, "As Father has mentioned, in technical terms, we are husband and wife with several hundred witnesses, I might add."

"Erm, oh," she said quietly. She remembered tuning out all of the eyes on her during the ceremony, focused only on making sure her groom suspected nothing, which evidentially, she had failed from the get-go. She gave herself another mental kick before looking at her husband, "Do you have any idea why Princess Kikyou would disappear like that?"

"I would not know," he answered, "I have only seen portraits of her and this morning during the ceremony would have been our first meeting."

She frowned. "So I am stuck here now?"

He raised a brow at her, similar to how he did this morning during the ceremony when he saw her veil. "You say that like this is a horrible position for you to be in?"

"I don't mean to sound ungrateful—"

"And yet you do," he pointed out quickly.

"But," she continued with a quick glare at him before reminding herself that this was the Crown Prince of the Western Kingdom, who was also very capable of melting her with acid if he so chose, "This is all very sudden and overwhelming."

"I see your point," he conceded with a nod. He stood up and headed towards the door, giving her just a single glance, "Rest after you have finished eating. We will figure out this situation in the morning."

"Wh-where are you going?"

He gave her another look before deadpanning, "Were you looking forward to sharing the same bed as your new husband?"

Her face burned up again. She covered her face with her billowy sleeves, her response coming out muffled as a result, "No!"

"Hm," he seemed to be smirking now, a bit amused by her embarrassment, "I will be having a talk with Shippou about this situation. I will sleep later in my own room. Have a good night's rest, my bride."

He slid the door shut, catching one last glimpse of Kagome's face turning brighter.

Kagome buried her face into her sleeves again, wondering just how a little singing in the morning could have thrusted her into this puzzling predicament!

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
No money is being made from the creation or viewing of content on this site, which is strictly for personal, non-commercial use, in accordance with the copyright.