Hello! I do not own Inuyasha, although I do own my own plot twists and OCs. This story would not get out of my head so here we go! Two things to note: I am starting the story in my OC's home country, so there will be distinct Western elements and the spoken sections will not have the { } yet. Second note, I am starting this in the cannon shortly after Inuyasha gets the enchanted beads around his neck.

Important text distinctions:

{ } means in Romanian

Italics mean thoughts or locations

"Italics" means written words or spoken memories

Bold means emphasis

Country: Romania, Time Period: Renaissance

"Get out!"

As she is thrown out the doors to the study slam shut and Runa glares at them before picking herself off the ground. Yet another day in the life of an indentured Rune Caster to an annoying Lord. With some effort Runa controls her temper- it's not as if his throwing her out of his study is new. She dusts off her skirts carefully and straightens her vest before walking away briskly.

Runa has enough to do without getting yelled at by his Lordliness.

She goes to the kitchen of the castle to discuss with the cooks what the evening meal is, then gathers the receipts to tally in the household lodger. Normally a visit with the Brownie cooks calms her, but her aggravation is still strong. Runa stalks down a corridor back to the office she had taken over for book keeping. One of the messenger spirits trots up to her and hands her a letter, trembling.

"Maestra, it is from his Lordship. I was instructed to hand this to you directly and make sure you had read its contents." He shifts from hoof to hoof, unwilling to meet her eyes.

Runa sighs inwardly, looking over the faun. He was decidedly more nervous than she was used to seeing in one of his kind. But given their Lord's current mood, it is not surprising to her that the faun is not cheerful or energetic. She accepts the letter, pulls out her dagger and deftly slices the wax seal. After putting her dagger away, she starts to read.

"Maestra Runa,

I have had ENOUGH.

You are my vassal, not my interrogator! Must you question every single order I hand down to you?!

Given how you constantly contradict or otherwise sabotage my decisions concerning my household, I am forced to consider solutions to your behavior I would otherwise ignore. Your behavior is un-seeming for a vassal of mine!

Since your behavior is fit for barbarians, go join them! Perhaps when you return, you will be properly appreciative of your place in my household.

As of now, you are officially relieved of your current duties and are ordered to annoy someone else for a year!

Enjoy your stay in the country of the Rising Sun and give my greetings to Inu-no-Taisho. Do not forget!

Lord Brativistche"

Runa's hands twitch with the childish need to crush the letter between her fingers.

That pompous-!

Her internal rant is interrupted when she notices a rune glow on the parchment. Runa's eyes widen in panic when she realizes what had been triggered. Quickly she drops the letter and steps back.

A master Rune!? Shit!

Swiftly she tries to call up her own rune magic to counter it only to feel it be bound. Her eyes flicker about frantically for the source and she sees a secondary spell on the letter.

Temporary binding?! That bastard!

Stubborn, she does not stop trying to break free as the spell runes glow brighter and she feels the floor beneath her disappear. Golden light, the light of thousands of runes working in tandem, envelope her and she blacks out.

Country: Japan, Time period: Warring States

Inuyasha sniffs the air and frowns as he stares out into the darkness.

What a rotten day- that wench has the Shikon Jewel but I can't even grab it thanks to these beads!

He once again tries to yank them off and fails. Annoyed, he leaps off the roof of Kaede's hut and heads for the forest.

"Inuyasha? Tis not wise to wander this late." His ears twitch as Kaede scolds him from her doorway, her one good eye watching him.

He glares at her, unimpressed.

"Feh, please. Like you care." He snaps and walks away, needing to breath.

Kaede shakes her head and goes back inside to sleep. As Inuyasha wanders deeper into the woods, his thoughts whirl around the revelations that had arisen. Kikyo dead, that Kagome girl is Kikyo's reincarnation and fifty years had gone by. He shakes his head, trying to banish the thoughts of Kikyo.

That witch is gone- dead. She betrayed you! He reminds himself.

As he argues with himself, he gradually notices an increase in power building in the forest. Curious, he tracks it to the epicenter; the Sacred Tree. His ears flatten against his head.

That damn tree again!

Golden light is dancing among the branches and seems to be condensing near the top of tree. With a flash, the light brightens and fades away as a figure appears out of it. A young woman in a strange garment the color of storm clouds with red embroidery along the hems and a bright red and black short jacket-thing falls onto a branch. He stares at her- she doesn't move.

Finally Inuyasha jumps up to take a closer look at her; he is startled to see her clothes are even stranger this close. The garments she is wearing seems to be one piece of fabric with no folds anywhere, with the jacket thing only going to her waist and buttoned shut. Her shoes are weird too, made of leather and completely covering her feet.

Cautiously he sniffs her- human, but with many overlying scents of creatures almost like youkai. He glares at her, puzzled. She is breathing normally, apparently asleep. Inuyasha doesn't like it; her, the glowing lights, the Sacred Tree, the lack of answers or any of it.

Fine! I'll make her talk! Shouldn't be hard to wake her up. He reasons.

With that in mind, he leans over and yells in her ear.

"Wake up!"

Her eyes snap open and her hand flies to her ankle, drawing a knife. She looks about and her eyes land on Inuyasha. Grey eyes stare into gold and the knife whips towards Inuyasha's throat. He just leans back, avoiding it, but surprised by her willingness to attack so quickly.

{Who are you?! Where am I!} She growls at him.

Inuyasha blinks at her.

What the hell what that?! Were those supposed to be words? Whatever, I'll take her back to the village for old hag to interrogate.

Decided, he lunges forward to grab her. She jerks back and flails as she loses her balance.

{Shit!} Runa yells as she frantically tries to summon her runes- no such luck.

How long is a temporary binding supposed to last?! She rages.

As the ground grows closer, Runa tries to flip her body so her feet hit the ground first then grits her teeth for the impact. It never comes. Strong arms grab her and toss her over a large shoulder, carrying her like a grain sack. She can see the ground flying beneath them as the creature holding her runs out of the forest.

They soon arrive at a village, or what she presumes to be a village. The crops seem to be in fields of water and are not a grain she is familiar with. Her captor marches up to one of the buildings and goes inside without even knocking. Runa gets an upside down view of the room- is it really only one room?

"Hag! Wake up!" Inuyasha snaps at one of the sleeping forms next to the fire.

A silver-haired old woman sits up and directs her sleepy glare at Runa's captor.

"Inuyasha- what tis this about? Can it not wait for morn?"

"No! This wench appeared out of nowhere in the Sacred Tree! She stinks of magic and supernatural creatures- plus she can't even speak like a normal person!"

Inuyasha dumps Runa on the floor and she struggles to control her temper.

How many times in one day am I going to be dumped on the ground?! And what should I do to understand them-? They seem to be discussing me…

She sits up and pushes her brown hair out of her face as she observes the two of them natter in another tongue.

I could try the Hearing rune combined with Language rune- that might at least let me understand them. Please let the binding have ended by now! She prays quickly before trying to tap into her magic.

This time it responds readily, simmering through her veins and giving her confidence as she prepares to weave the runes into existence. She moves both of her hands to her ears and pauses, letting the runes take shape in her mind's eye and carefully linking the two together. When she feels she is ready, she materializes the runes and directs them to her ears.

{Hearing married to Language,} She murmurs as she guides the runes, wincing as they burn for a moment before disappearing.

"What the hell was that?!" She focuses on the other people in the hut and sees her captor with an angry and uneasy expression. The older woman seems to be cautious but not outright afraid.

Well, at least I know that worked. I probably should learn to speak the language too-

With that in mind, she summons some more runes to 'taste' her captor's words and to replicate the language. Inuyasha jumps when he sees the words he had just shouted manifest faintly in the air, with hundreds of tiny golden runes whirling around them. They fade after a moment, but now Inuyasha is freaked out by the weird powers this woman seems to have. She ignores him and summons three more runes which glow brighter than the others.

{Voice and Tongue harmonizing with Language unknown} She says before touching both her tongue and throat with the runes. One lingers on her tongue, making it glow while the second stays on her throat- the third she touches to her forehead, making that glow as well.

When they fade, she opens her eyes and meets the eyes of Inuyasha and Kaede.

"Who are you and what land is this?"

What the Hell?! She can speak Japanese now?! Inuyasha thinks frantically, not sure if he should attack her or not.

Hmm, strange! The lass has learned our tongue so easily… Kaede muses and decides to take advantage of the situation afforded.

"Lass, I be the Priestess Kaede. This fellows goes by Inuyasha. You are in Edo in the land of Japan. Whom might you be and where whence did thou come?"

Runa nods, pleased that there is someone with a cool head and is clearly willing to at least open dialogue.

"I am Runa Skald, a vassal in service to House Brativistche in the land of Romania and Rune Caster."

Kaede tilts her head, confused but trying not to be rude.

"Romania..?" Runa notes the confusion.

"Romania is on the main continent. Far to the west. Japan is near China, is it not?" She gently questions, trying to make certain that the maps she had studied were at least partially accurate.

To her profound relief Kaede nods in assent. Inuyasha scoffs, clearly not buying any of it.

"You could be lying! What proof do you have?" He demands, aggressive.

Runa gives him a level look that takes him aback- despite his posturing, she was not the least bit intimidated by him. She considers his question and then says coldly.

"My clothes, to start. Your culture does not seem to have dresses made of wool, vests or leather boots. My language is another example, which is clearly foreign no matter how you want to look at it. It is also not in my nature to lie, since lies always come to light. But it does not matter to me especially if you chose to believe me. What should matter to you is if I decide you are a threat to my well-being."

He blinks in surprise at her bluntness, then he starts to scowl.

"You-!" She interrupts him before he can go any further.

"Who kidnapped whom? Who was carried like a sack? Who was startled into falling from a tree at a height that would have killed a human? It was not I. So tell me, for what reason should I deign to trust you?" Inuyasha has no idea how to react to this woman.

Kaede steps in before the situation can escalate any further.

"We mean thee no harm, Lass, but tell us true- art thou a seeker of the Shikon Jewel?" Runa gives her a look that clearly says 'what the hell is that'.

"I have no knowledge of such an object. Since that is the case, I would have no reason to seek an object I have no information about."

Kaede sighs and turns to Inuyasha.

"I believe she means no harm, Inuyasha."

He growls in irritation and points a finger at her.

"I don't trust her!" Runa's eyes remain cool as she looks him in the eyes,

"I do not trust you either and yet here we are." She bodily turns her body away from him and faces Kaede.

"If I may, might I shelter in your abode tonight? I will leave in the morning." Runa bows slightly from her seated position to Kaede.

Kaede weights Runa and then nods slowly.

"Best ye be quiet then- Kagome is sleeping yonder." Inuyasha stomps out, furious that Runa was allowed to stay despite her oddness.

Runa goes to sit against the wall and settles her skirts carefully before sighing.

"Good night, Priestess Kaede." And drifts into slumber, with the priestess' thoughtful eyes on her.

Next morning:

Runa starts awake and wildly looks about the small wooden room. Her heart pounds until she remembers the events of yesterday and she sighs before meeting the gaze of the other occupant of the room. Kagome stares at Runa, who sighs again.

"Good morning." Runa tries- it's been a long time since she last interacted with a human girl her age. Kagome blinks and stammers,

"G-good morning, um, who are you?" Runa inclines her head at the sensible question.

"I am Runa Skald. I arrived in this country last night. And you are?"

"Kagome Higurashi. Where are you from, Skald-san?"

"I am from Romania." She says stiffly and stands, brushing off her skirts and then makes sure her vest is straight. Runa casts about for something to say and her eyes land on Kagome's clothes.

"And yourself? Your garb is stranger than most…" Kagome shifts uncomfortably then mumbles

"I'm from the future." Runa blinks.

"I beg your pardon?" Kagome glares at Runa defiantly.

"I'm from the future- I'm not a spy or fox spirit! And I'm not a prostitute!" Runa surveys her clothes and understands why others might think 'prostitute'.

"… perhaps we might find a covering for you. Shall we go break our fast? I am quite starved."

Kagome gives Runa a strained smile and says,

"You go on ahead, I have something to do first." Runa nods curtly and enters the village proper to find Kaede.

"Good morning Priestess Kaede. Is there a task I may assist with?" Runa inquires after offering a small curtsy.

Kaede blinks and makes a thoughtful face as she considers the question.

"Carry the morning repast to those in the rice paddies, Runa-san." She says after a short pause. Runa nods in assent and goes about her task.

She ignores the stares and walks to the rice paddies with a basket full of cooked fish and onigiri that she hands out to the farmers. Whispers follow her and she can't help but remember another village where they whispered in her wake.

"She's cursed by the Devil, the Clergy confirmed it!"

"A witch, a witch!"

"Hey, hag! Cast a spell, I dare you!"

"Poor girl- there's no hope of her ever marrying now."

"When's the hanging?"

"Hanging?! Hanging is too good for a witch!"

Runa grits her teeth and shakes the memories away, focusing on her tasks. Inuyasha watches her from a nearby tree, eyes narrowed.

"Oi, witch!" He yells.

Runa stops and glances up at him, expressionless.

"Runa." He blinks.

"Huh?"

"My name is Runa. If you continue to forgo the use of it, I will simply ignore what you have to say Inuyasha-san." He bares his teeth at her.

"You-!"

"That is not my name." She starts walking again.

Inuyasha growls and jumps from the tree, racing in front of her.

"Oi!" Runa simply moves around him and makes to keep going. Vexed, Inuyasha grabs her arm tightly.

"I'm talking here!" He snarls in her face.

Runa glances at him then away, not bothering to meet his gaze. Veins pop in his forehead and he tightens his grip.

"You think you can ignore me?!" He yells, enraged by her lack of a reaction.

Runa calmly presses the blade of her dagger against his armpit.

"If you do not release me in the next few moments, I will use this." She states calmly.

Inuyasha looks down and furrows his brow in shock.

When did she-?!

"Did you know there are many big veins under the arm right here? It is fatal if they are cut. A fast death though, compared to others. Now, are you going to act like an adult or am I going to have to use this?" Runa says conversationally.

"I'll kill you, witch!" He spits.

She nods, expressionless.

"Yes you likely can- perhaps even before I can use my dagger. But you will not kill me swiftly enough to avoid my death curse, Inuyasha-san." He feels a shiver go down his spine.

What is wrong with this witch?! It's like she's not scared!

"Inuyasha! Runa-san! What art thou doing?!" Kaede demands, marching up to the two of them.

Inuyasha growls but releases Runa as the aged priestess approaches. Runa slips her dagger back into its' sheathe. Out of the corner of his eye, Inuyasha notes this is not the same spot as the last knife. Runa curtsies to Kaede.

"I was instructing Inuyasha-san in proper manners for when addressing a lady, Priestess Kaede." Kaede quirks her eyebrows.

"Tis this so, Inuyasha?" He is taken aback by the question and scowls.

"Well, she was nattering about using her name and stuff." He mutters, suddenly uneasy with the intense gaze of Kaede.

"Hmph. Very well. Now, hast either of thou spied Kagome this morn?" Inuyasha snorts and shakes his head.

"Why would I want to see that wench?" He demands.

Runa tilts her head in acknowledgement.

"I did see her this morning. She rose when I did but stated she had 'something to do' before joining everyone in eating. Has she not returned, Priestess Kaede?" Kaede shakes her head, worried.

"Nay, she hast not returned."

"The wench wandered off with the Jewel?!" Inuyasha snarls.

"Like I'll let her!" He takes off and races towards Kaede's hut. Runa and Kaede watch him vanish into the village.

"It seems we can leave Kagome-san to Inuyasha-san, Priestess Kaede." Runa remarks before lifting her basket more firmly on her hip.

Kaede nods thoughtfully.

"Aye, Inuyasha will not let Kagome disappear whist she possesses the Shikon Jewel," Kaede agrees, accompanying Runa.

After Runa had stowed the basket, she gladly accepts the offer of breakfast with Kaede.

"If I may, what type of object is the Shikon Jewel?" Runa inquires.

Kaede hesitates then says,

"Tis an object that may give power to demons and grant wishes. But always leads to bad ends," Kaede shakes her head sorrowfully. Runa stays quiet, absorbing the information.

"The Shikon Jewel may grow corrupted in hands of greedy and foul souls. By the same turn of fate in the hands of a pure soul it may be purified. My elder sister, Kikyo, twas the last Guardian of the Jewel and died in a battle over its' possession with Inuyasha. Her last words were to burn it with her remains, taking it with her into the afterlife. But with Kagome, her reincarnation, the Jewel was reborn in her body and found its way here again. Ah, what troubles will begin anew over it." Kaede sighs and then fixes her eye on Runa.

"Runa, who art thou? Why hast thou appeared here if not for the Jewel?" Runa pauses, then she clasps her teacup carefully.

If she wishes to know, then she shall- and it would be a good test of her character. Runa thinks.

"You know that I am from a different country, Priestess Kaede, and that I am a vassal Rune Caster to House Brativistche. What I omitted was House Brativistche is a House whose members are Dragons. They serve as a stabilizing influence and form of governance for many supernatural beings- while they are not the only power in Europe, they are obeyed and seen as nobility. They offer sanctuary for those that are hunted by humans, many refugees are from other countries avoiding persecution. They also act as mediators in disputes between supernatural groups or humans. As a Rune Caster, my task is to assist magically and in whatever other capacity I am able to towards those efforts. If there is a rogue magic user, it often falls on me to deal with them."

She pauses to gather her thoughts. Kaede is stunned by the enormity of what Runa is telling her.

There are other beings in the world that are not demons? And she hast chosen to serve a Dragon?

"I also serve as a 'Champion' in the eventuality of my Lord being challenged for his position. I rarely have to do so, since he prefers to fight such challenges himself. But recently, he has become- irked by my work in his household. He thinks I am bossy and need a lesson in humility, so he sent me here with that in mind. Additionally, he also wants me to contact an ally in the region and convey his regards while I am here. Aside from that, his orders are 'annoy someone else for a year,'." Runa sips some of her tea, letting her words sink in.

"Perhaps, thou would help guard the Jewel?" Kaede ventures.

Runa considers it.

"I will not mince words- Inuyasha is not one I would keep company with. If he is to be a key bodyguard, I will have to consider it most carefully." She sighs and looks into her teacup.

"Even if I was willing to do so, I must first meet with my Lord's ally and pass on his regards. Although it seems that the manners and terms of address are different here than in my homeland. I would need to learn those first so as not to offend."

Kaede nods slowly in understanding.

"Manners art important to thee, no?" Runa nods shortly.

"Priestess! Priestess Kaede!" A villager rushes up, yelling in terror.

"What tis it? Speak up!" Kaede orders, standing.

"There's a demon! Lady Kagome and Inuyasha have gone to fight it, but it seems to have, uh- it et the Jewel!"

"What?!" Kaede gasps.

Runa listens intently then follows Kaede when the aged priestess hobbles out the door. They exit in time to see a bright flash light up the sky and it fracturing into hundreds of pieces. Both sense the power of the Shikon Jewel fragment and scatter across Japan. Kaede shivers at the ill omen while Runa silently observes the phenomena, musing the implications.

So trouble begins- at least it was not of my doing. Should I continue on now- or wait? I fulfilled my debt to the Priestess…

No. Do not even consider it! It is not your problem, Runa! You have other obligations!

I am a fool.

But since when has that ever stopped me from doing something truly idiotic?

Runa smiles in self-deprecation then turns to face Kaede.

"Priestess Kaede." Runa waits until she has Kaede's attention then continues.

"It seems foul consequences are to occur from this, no?"

Kaede nods.

"Aye, tis bound to be." Runa closes her eyes briefly.

Do I really wish to do this to myself again?

Damn conscience.

She opens her eyes and there is resolve there.

"Then I formally offer my aid in the matter of resolving this problem." Kaede stares at her and stammers out,

"But, Runa-san, tis not your concern! And thine Lord's orders-!" Runa slashes a hand, dismissing her concerns.

"My concerns are that a powerful relic has shattered and scattered itself across the land- this is not a matter I can easily overlook. As for my orders, I am capable of completing more than one task, Priestess. So. Do you accept my offer of aid, given in sincerity and honorable intent?"

Kaede hesitates again.

This lass- I know not why, but methinks she seems older in spirit than most…

"I will think on it- tis not a light matter, Runa-san." Runa tilts her head at Kaede and for a brief moment seems to smile.

Kaede blinks and Runa's expression is her regular polite mask.

"They rarely are, Priestess."