The Other Woman Who Loved Sesshoumaru II
"Inuyasha, I take possession of the Tessaiga!" Sara proclaimed dramatically, laughing. Katsumi sweat dropped. Sara's laugh reminded Katsumi of the stereotypical high-handed 'Ojou-sama' laugh. Well, she was a hime-sama…
"She took the Tessaiga!" Kagome said.
"That's what she was after all along!" Shippo said. Inuyasha growled. A small gust of wind stirred up some dust as Sesshoumaru and Katsumi landed.
"What is it now!?" Kagome asked. They all looked over to see Sesshoumaru and Katsumi standing there.
"Sesshoumaru-sama! Why are you here? Sara asked. 'And what is she doing here?' Sara thought jealously. Sesshoumaru stared up at Tessaiga, which was now in Sara's hands.
'So, that's what she meant…' Sesshoumaru thought.
"So you were behind this after all, Sesshoumaru!" Inuyasha yelled and charged at them. Katsumi face-palmed. She should've known this would happen. Katsumi didn't think Inuyasha would listen to her even if she explained the situation either, considering their last encounter.
"Sankon-tessou!" Inuyasha yelled as he tried to slash Sesshoumaru with his claws. Sesshoumaru leapt forward and grabbed Inuyasha's wrist before he could strike. Sesshoumaru's claws glowed green as he used his Doukasou on Inuyasha's wrist to weaken him so that he wouldn't be able to cause a ruckus.
"Inuyasha!" Kagome yelled. Katsumi patted Kagome on the shoulder.
"Don't worry, Kagome. It may not look like it, but Sesshoumaru's going easy on him." Katsumi whispered in her ear. "He didn't come here intending to fight Inuyasha… probably…"
"Sesshoumaru-sama, please hold him still!" Sara shouted as the bird-youkai she was riding dived to bring her in closer for the kill. Katsumi's head whipped around and she stared at Sara incredulously.
"Say what!?" Katsumi yelled. She had just told Kagome they weren't going to do that. Sesshoumaru threw Inuyasha away and turned around to shoot a shower of his toxic poison at Sara. Sara managed to jump away and dodge the attack, but her bird-youkai was completely dissolved by Sesshoumaru's poison. Sara landed gracefully on the ground.
"Sesshoumaru-sama!" Sara said, confused.
"Why you—!" Inuyasha growled at Sesshoumaru.
"Stop your barking, Inuyasha." Sesshoumaru said.
"Wha—!?" Inuyasha said indignantly. Sesshoumaru glanced back at Inuyasha, giving him a sharp look. Inuyasha fell silent and his ears flattened against his head, like a naughty puppy that had been scolded.
"This has nothing to do with you." Sesshoumaru said.
'But isn't it his sword…?' Katsumi thought, sweat dropping.
"That woman isn't one of Sesshoumaru's cohorts?" Shippo asked Katsumi. Katsumi shook her head.
"She's no one I know. She just suddenly showed up today, and said she'd make Sesshoumaru's 'wish' come true." Katsumi said. Kagome noticed Katsumi was frowning, actually, pouting, like a petulant child.
"Trouble in paradise?" Kagome leaned in and whispered to Katsumi. Katsumi twitched.
"Yeah… something like that…" Katsumi said. Kagome patted her on the back and smiled sympathetically. "If things don't work out, you're always welcome to join us again." Katsumi smiled gratefully. Kagome felt like someone was burning a hole into the back of her head. Kagome glanced back, over her shoulder, and saw that Sesshoumaru was glaring at her. Kagome sweat dropped. Maybe Katsumi had made more progress than she thought.
"Thanks, Kagome, but I'm not ready to give up on him just yet." Katsumi said. Kagome nodded in understanding, after all, she couldn't bring herself to give up on Inuyasha either. Kagome cautiously glanced at Sesshoumaru again. He wasn't glaring at her anymore. Instead, he was looking at Sara, who was now kneeling before him, holding Tessaiga up to him.
"Please. Take this, and put an end to Inuyasha." Sara said. Kagome glanced nervously at Katsumi. Katsumi shook her head.
"Don't worry, she guessed wrong." Katsumi whispered, referring to Sesshoumaru's 'wish.'
"You are under the wrong impression. Did you really believe that I desire this?" Sesshoumaru said.
"And you do not?" Sara asked, confused.
"I will not accept help from one such as you to defeat Inuyasha." Sesshoumaru said and turned to leave.
"Please, wait! Sesshoumaru-sama, you let her help you!" Sara said, pointing at Katsumi. Katsumi glanced around before pointing to herself.
"Who? Me? I don't help Sesshoumaru-sama do anything to Inuyasha. Sesshoumaru doesn't need anyone's help anyway. Later, Kagome!" Katsumi said as she shed her haori and flew after Sesshoumaru, who had already started to make his getaway.
"Sesshoumaru-sama…" Sara said sadly as she watched them go.
Sesshoumaru landed in a forest, followed by Katsumi.
"Where are we going?" Katsumi asked as they walked through the forest.
"…" Sesshoumaru said and stopped when they came to a large tree. 'This tree… I see… It was back then…' Sesshoumaru thought as he stared up at the tree. Katsumi looked between the tree and Sesshoumaru.
"… Something significant about this particular tree?" Katsumi asked curiously. Sesshoumaru looked at her.
"… I assume Inuyasha has already told you about my first attempt to take tessaiga when it was still in my Chichi-ue's grave?" Sesshoumaru said. Katsumi nodded. "This is where I rested while I was recovering from losing my arm." Katsumi glanced at the empty kimono sleeve. Sesshoumaru had been a real bastard to Inuyasha, what with the whole using the image of his dead mother to manipulate him bit, and she was glad Inuyasha and Kagome hadn't been killed… but she wished Sesshoumaru didn't have to experience such a sense of loss. She had broken her arm once, and as horrible and frustrating as it had been to not be able to use her left arm and left hand; she had known that she would eventually be able to use it again… Sesshoumaru had no such guarantee. Katsumi unconsciously reached out and gently touched the empty kimono sleeve. Sesshoumaru stared down at her. Where most people would've looked at him with pity, knowing what had happened, Katsumi's eyes merely held a gentle look of understanding. That was one of the reasons he tolerated her company. Katsumi never imposed her own preconceived expectations of what people should be onto them. She just let them be.
"… Shall I tell you what happened?" Sesshoumaru asked, snapping Katsumi out her thoughts. Katsumi realized she had been invading Sesshoumaru's personal space, and immediately let go of the kimono. 'She looks rather cute flustered like that…' Sesshoumaru thought, suppressing a smirk. Sesshoumaru blinked. '… I did not just think that…' "Just tell me 'yes' or 'no.'" Sesshoumaru said. It came out a little harsher than he had meant it. Katsumi snapped to attention when she heard his tone of voice.
"Y-Yes!" Katsumi said, before Sesshoumaru changed his mind about telling her. 'He must be annoyed because I invaded his personal space…' Katsumi thought. Sesshoumaru stared at her for a moment before he began telling her about what happened after his fight with Inuyasha.
"After I withdrew from the graveyard, I searched for a suitable place to rest, where I would not be disturbed by other youkai, and I found myself in this area…" Sesshoumaru said, launching into his flashback.
Sesshoumaru, already back in his humanoid form, landed in front of the enemy soldiers that had been camped outside of Asano Castle. The soldiers encircled Sesshoumaru and pointed their spears at him.
"W-What is that? A demon!" one of the men shouted in alarm.
"You're an eyesore! Get lost." Sesshoumaru ordered them coldly as he held what remained his still bleeding arm. He wasn't in the mood to deal with any nonsense. He was still irritated over losing Tessaiga to Inuyasha, and only having one arm was quite a nuisance.
"W-What did you say!" The soldier shouted nervously.
"He's injured!" Another soldier yelled.
"It matters not! Before we take Asano Castle, tear this bastard to shreds!" The first soldier ordered. They had underestimated Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru's claws glowed as he sliced the soldiers surrounding him with his energy whip.
"Hmph. Mere insects!" Sesshoumaru said with distaste.
"Aggh! W-What are you!" A soldier yelled, cowering in fear of Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru threw aside the corpse of one of the soldiers he had just killed and glared coldly at the man.
"Move!" Sesshoumaru said.
"How dare you!" The stupid soldier yelled and ran at Sesshoumaru with his sword. Sesshoumaru lashed the man with his energy whip, killing him and breaking his sword in the process. Now that the ones obstructing his way had been taken care of, Sesshoumaru continued on his way. He glanced at the castle as he passed.
'Hmph. So, that's why there were so many humans swarming in one place, they were after this castle… How foolish.' Sesshoumaru thought. If they had simply moved out of his way, Sesshoumaru wouldn't have had to waste time killing them like that. Sesshoumaru continued on his way.
Sesshoumaru was resting and laying against a large tree, the same one he and Katsumi had just come to in the present, but it was not a peaceful rest.
"Curse you, Inuyasha…" Sesshoumaru growled in his sleep. Sara had been walking through the woods, and she stopped when she heard and saw Sesshoumaru, watching him from afar. "Tessaiga… Give me Tessaiga."
"Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken cried as he ran to his lord. "How we searched for you, Sesshoumaru-sama!" Sara hid behind a tree.
"Jaken…" Sesshoumaru said, knowing who it was without having to open his eyes, keeping them closed despite being awake now.
"Oh, that despicable Inuyasha! He not only took Tessaiga… he took your left arm too!" Jaken wailed dramatically.
'Sesshoumaru-sama…' Sara thought.
"I am so mortified!" Jaken cried.
'You're mortified...?' Sesshoumaru thought, his eyebrow twitching in irritation. He was the one who was injured by a mere hanyou, and on top of that, he had to listen to an annoying imp's shrill hysterics.
'So, he is called Sesshoumaru-sama.' Sara thought, smiling. It was love at first sight for Sara.
"I see… Jaken must've been really fussy and annoying… you've had it pretty rough." Katsumi said.
'You have no idea…' Sesshoumaru thought. Sara's scent was drawing closer.
"You remember now?" Sara asked as she came from behind them, holding Tessaiga. Katsumi turned to face her. Sesshoumaru didn't. Katsumi didn't miss the flash of hostility in Sara's eyes when she saw that she was still with him. Sara apparently decided to ignore Katsumi's existence, because she continued to speak.
"Yes, on that day, you were leaning against that tree and resting. I will never forget the sight that day. I had never before seen anyone as handsome as you, and I gazed at you for a long, long time. Later that day, I went to a nearby pasture to pick flowers for you, and I was filled with so much happiness…" Sara said as she launched into a flashback.
"Is that youkai still there?" The lord of the castle, Sara's father, asked.
"Yes, he is still there." One of his soldiers informed him.
"What is Sara doing?" The lord asked.
"It seems that hime-sama goes there everyday to check on him." The vassal said. The lord stood up.
"All right, summon the troops! We go to slay the mononoke!" The lord proclaimed.
"O-Oyakata-sama!" The soldier said nervously. The soldier hadn't forgotten how Sesshoumaru had single-handedly slaughtered and entire army, effortlessly.
"I will not have my dear daughter stolen by a mononoke!" The lord said. "Before we shame the Asano clan for all of eternity, we must take action now!"
Sara was walking along the road, holding the flowers she had picked in the pasture. She heard the sound of horse hooves stomping on the dirt road. Sara looked up and saw that her father and some of his soldiers were riding their horses, dressed for battle. There could only be one place they were headed. Sara ran up to her father's horse and held her arm out to stop it.
"Please, wait, Chichi-ue!" Sara pleaded. "Sesshoumaru-sama protected our castle! He is our savior!"
"Out of the way, Sara!" Her father yelled and hit her with his riding crop. Sara cried out in pain as she fell, throwing the flowers up in the air.
"My Chichi-ue's actions were unforgivable." Sara said.
'I'll say, what kind of father hits his own daughter like that?' Katsumi thought, fuming over the abusive behavior of Sara's father.
"There is no way I can make amends." Sara said in apology to Sesshoumaru.
"The sound of a flute…" Sesshoumaru said.
"Huh?" Sara and Katsumi said.
"I thought I heard a flute on that day." Sesshoumaru said.
"Yes." Sara said. She took the wooden flute that had been sticking out of her kimono and held it. "It was this flute." Sara began playing. It was beautiful. A gentle breeze blew, making their hair flutter as Sesshoumaru continued to stare at the tree.
Sesshoumaru was resting under the tree, and Jaken was standing nearby when the soldiers from Asano castle surrounded them. Sesshoumaru had smelled them coming, of course, but he hadn't felt like moving just yet.
"Who are you men?" Jaken said.
"Demon, prepare to die!" The lord shouted.
"W-What!?" Jaken said incredulously.
"Jaken." Sesshoumaru said.
"Yes?" Jaken said.
"Get out of the way." Sesshoumaru said.
"Y-Yes! But…" Jaken said, concerned for Sesshoumaru's wounds.
"Get out of the way!" Sesshoumaru said with a little more emphasis. He disliked having to repeat himself.
"Y-Yes!" Jaken said. The imp bowed to Sesshoumaru and moved out of the way.
"Rifle squad, step forward!" The lord commanded. The men in the rifle squad took their positions around Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru opened his eyes and stared at the men. The sound of a mournful melody of a flute could be heard on the wind.
"Sara…" The lord said when he heard his daughter's flute. Since Sara could not convince her father with words, she was sitting on a cliff, playing her flute to express her feelings.
"It matters not! Rifle squad, fire!" The lord shouted and a cacophony of loud bangs sounded throughout the forest when the men fired.
"Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken yelled in alarm.
"Huh! Sesshoumaru-sama…!" Sara cried in alarm when she heard the sound of gunshots in the distance. Sesshoumaru didn't even bother to stand up. He just repelled the bullets with his energy whip, sending them right back at the soldiers. He lashed his whip again, and took out the next wave of men who were closest to him.
"Th-The rifle squad!" A soldier shouted in alarm and disbelief.
"Why that mononoke…!" The lord yelled angrily. Sesshoumaru stood up, holding his claws up, ready to unleash his whip again if they dared to make another move against him. He stared coldly at the lord of Asano Castle. The lord flinched.
"You foolish mortals! Don't think you can get away after defying Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken yelled as the men scrambled to get away from them.
"Retreat! Retreat!" The lord yelled as they all ran away.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, just leave the rest to me, Jaken." Jaken said.
"Let them go." Sesshoumaru said.
"Huh?" Jaken said, surprised.
"The flute… The flute stopped." Sesshoumaru said. It was a shame. It had been a while since Sesshoumaru had listened to such skillful playing.
"It was shortly after that… the Asano Castle burned to the ground. The one who set fire to the castle was my father, Soju Asano." Sara said. "He was so frightened by you, Sesshoumaru-sama, that he must have gone mad. He chose death and went down with his castle. I harbor no ill will towards you, at all. My deranged father was to blame. After that, I entered a nunnery to pray for the repose of my father and his vassals. But call it punishment or fate… I became ill with a contagious disease… and learned that my days were numbered. I intended to end my life forever keeping secret my feelings for you. But then, Inuyasha appeared."
'Eh? How did she know it was Inuyasha…? I mean, they have the same eye and hair color, but Inuyasha is a dog-eared hanyou… and most people who see Tessaiga, think it's just a rusty old sword, until he uses it and it transforms…' Katsumi thought.
"When I saw Inuyasha, I had second thoughts. If I could live but a little longer, I would bear my fangs at him, and even if it meant dying in the process, steal the Tessaiga away from him. It was the least I could do to atone for my father's deed. It was then that… many apparitions appeared before me…" Sara said, launching into another flashback.
'Can no one else see this?' Sara wondered as a group of lesser youkai swarmed around her, circling like sharks stalking their prey in the water. A particularly ugly purple serpent-like youkai, that had three creepy yellow eyes and a face similar to a tengu mask, but with a shorter nose, came to hover just inches away from her face.
"Sara, we can make your wish come true. Your spiritual energy will become our strength. If you give us your physical body, you will be able to kill Inuyasha and take possession of the Tessaiga. Well, Sara?" The youkai said. "Don't you want to tell Sesshoumaru how you feel?"
"Sesshoumaru-sama…" Sara said, her eyes filled with longing. "Beautiful Sesshoumaru-sama…" Sara closed her eyes and let the youkai in the room enter her body.
"I had no doubts. Without reservation… rather happily, I gave my body and soul to those youkai. Thanks to the overflowing spiritual energy… my body and soul, which had been released… was reborn." Sara said as she tucked the flute back into the front of her kimono. Sara's eyes turned red.
'Well… that's not ominous at all…' Katsumi thought, chagrined. '… And I find it suspicious that Sara's human soul is still in charge when Onigumo became a completely different person when he went through a similar transformation and became Naraku… and I don't think it's my jealousy making me think that…'
Mononoke is another word that can mean demon or monster in Japanese.