After all what happened between us, he has chosen to leave without a word! ….If I hadn’t ran into him, he’d probably have left without even apologizing…. HOW COULD HE! Rin was running, tears flowing down her eyes. She didn’t even bother what the servants would think of her gracelessness, if they see her in such a state. Of course he would! He’s a demon after all!... All of a sudden she got caught be a pair of familiar hands.
“OH! Kohaku!” Rin hugged him tightly and wept to her heart’s content. The confused and all the more anxious Kohaku could only hold his friend without a word escaping his mouth.
Hours had passed after Sesshomaru’s departure, and a lifeless Rin was in the garden with Kohaku. She was laying on the ground on her side; knees bent and wrapped around by her hands; her head pillowed by Kohaku’s lap; her eyes focused emptiness. Kohaku’s long fingers were gently caressing her scalp and hair.
“What happened, Rin?”
“I know it’s about something between you and Lord Sesshomaru. Tell me, what it is.”
Kohaku let out an audible sigh and said, “I had thought you would have solved the issue by yourself, but I was wrong! In fact, it only seems to have gotten worse. I’ve waited long enough! Now out with it! Every single detail!”
Rin knew when to surrender, so she did. She got up and straightened herself.
All particulars from the day she met him, excluding yesterday’s episode was explained to Kohaku. Rin had a good lashing from him when she disclosed the part of the crow demon’s attack which was purposely hidden from his knowledge. Rin had a hard time disclosing those small but intimate moments she had with Sesshomaru, so her revelation on those parts were not elaborative or explicit. Kohaku was able to understand the awkwardness from her face and tone, when she began to disclose, so he cut short those parts from getting disclosed by her. He is such a civilized, dignified man.
“That was a good love story you have there but….” Kohaku dragged, being lost in thoughts.
Rin pouted at him at his mockery, “But what?!”
“That doesn’t explain why the engagement got called off”
Rin’s jaw dropped; she turned her head away; her eyes hidden behind her bangs; her cheeks burning. Kohaku turned his attention to his friend’s form. He moved and settled himself in front of her.
“You’re silence proves the fact that the cancellation is directly connected to you and Lord Sesshomaru”
“Rin…..” Kohaku said, with a half-closed eyes. “You know you can’t hide things from me for long. At least tell me now, so that things don’t get worse, like the last time”
“I’LL TELL YOU!........ but promise me you will not mistake me…. or get mad at me…..”
“huh?!?” Kohaku was puzzled. What could she possibly have done to make me mad at her or mistake her....?
Rin looked at him, her face full of doubts.
“……….Hey! What’s with all the fuss?”
“PROMISE ME!” Rin shouted.
“Alright! I Promise!” Kohaku gave in, “Now tell me….”
Rin turned her tomato face away from his view, in embarrassment. She elaborated from the message she got from Jaken up till the conversation concluded by Sesshomaru’s kiss. Then she shifted to the part of Bankotsu’s confrontation.
“Rin, I should be grateful that you have explained to me so much, but…. is that all? I mean- aren’t you hiding something else?” Kohaku asked in suspicion.
“Huh!?!” Rin was shocked Damn that Kohaku! How did he guess?!?
As if he read her mind, he dragged, “Well, your voice did tremble at a critical part of your explanation…..”
Rin’s jaw dropped again, “…….”
“I’m sorry, being a friend, I shouldn’t be asking you this, or prying on further, but…… did anything else happen before Bankotsu came?”
Rin’s whole being turned red; she quickly turned around and walked a few feet away from him.
Kohaku observed her as he followed, “So something did happen….”
Her silence chimed a ‘yes’ in his ears. He felt embarrassed, still he had to pry for the sake of Rin. Even his cheeks were tinted pink. He gulped and whispered, “was it something serious....?”
Rin slowly nodded her gaze fixed on the ground.
“WHAT!?!? I’LL KILL THAT DEMON-”
Rin’s head instantly turned facing his, “NO! Kohaku! You’re wrong!.... It wasn’t that serious….”
Kohaku’s striking eyes glared, soft lips pouted, and handsome face scowled at her in disbelief.
“HEY! You promised me not to mistake me or get mad at me! You just broke it ‘cause you’ve done both!” Rin argued as if that is the most important thing to argue about at the moment.
“WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT-” Kohaku began yelling, but abruptly stopped for the fear that some servant might hear or eavesdrop them. He took a deep breath and let it out. His face was glowering as he whispered with gritted teeth, “Who’d have thought you’d let him do something like ‘that’???”
“NO!!” Rin shouted but immediately shut her mouth with her hands; then even she began whispering, “No Kohaku. I’m telling you. It wasn’t that serious!”
“……….”Kohaku was still glaring at her in disbelief.
“It wasn’t-I mean-I hadn’t-” Rin let out a sight of defeat. “It wasn’t serious as it would have seemed in the eyes of Bankotsu…. or those of anyone else”
“………..” still the disbelieving glare.
“Trust me! You know me too well! I’d never let it go that serious!” Rin pleaded.
“……………” Kohaku’s glared vanished and his expression softened.
“Kohaku….” Rin’s voice was shaky and she was close to tears.
“I know you wouldn’t…. But you’re too naïve, I’m just worried about his effect on you”
It was Rin’s turn to glare at him with a pout.
“What?! Don’t you know he’s the most sought after male in the whole of western region? He’s extremely popular among the girls for his good looks and physique, not to mention his status, strength and power. They say, every house in the western region has a girl pursuing him…… It could be an exaggeration though. But the number of girls who’re after him is quite large…. Only he never seems to heed any of them….”
Noting Rin’s expression of hurt at his last sentence he went on, “…..up until now….”
Rin searched Kohaku’s face with hope in her eyes.
“Surely you must have known by now, that he has the hots for you” Kohaku said with a wink.
Rin went red at that. “………..” Her silence asked Kohaku ‘You really think so?’
Rin’s mind-voice reached Kohaku’s mind-ears perfectly, “Of course! His reputation has it that he hates women…. But from what you have told me, he doesn’t seem to have a speck of hatred towards you….. In fact, he likes you…. a lot!.... It is possible that he may even be in love with you-”
“Stop it, Kohaku! Stop seeding false hopes in me! If he does, then why did he abandon me like that?”
“……..” Kohaku had no answer to that.
“He just used me like…like…..” Rin couldn’t go on, for if she did, it would be inappropriate. She broke into sobs again.
“Now, Rin….. I don’t think he could be nasty as you were about to say he is. This must be the first time he’s handling a woman’s feelings; and also his own feelings, like that. He has been detesting women, his whole life. All of a sudden you just can’t expect him to change himself and confess the love he has for you….. To make things worse, he’s a demon, known for his pride and arrogance….. It might take a while but…. he’ll surely change….”
“………” Rin still doubted it.
“You have changed him so much within blink of an eye…. Just give him some time. He’ll change for good and will come back to you soon” Kohaku did his best to cheer her up.
But that only made it even worse for Rin. “No he wouldn’t! I don’t want him to!”
“Are you crazy?! Why not?!?”
“…….I can’t leave my mother behind if I get married. If he loves me back and proposes to me, I’d only refuse…. That’d be even more painful….. He’d better not love me at all…. The pain will be much less for me…. for us both”
“…..you are crazy….” Kohaku admitted softly. “You can’t take care of you mother forever! You must get married and leave someday-”
“Kohaku, enough! You got all the information you needed. This conversation ends here…. Stop bothering me, okay?!?”
“…………...Okay….” Kohaku submitted in a low tone. Rin was never this harsh with him before. Rin knew she has hurt him. Tears started streaming down her face.
“I’m……I’m terribly sorry Kohaku” with that she jumped into his arms and buried her face on his chest. Kohaku hugged her back.
“It’s not you that I’m mad at….. I’m just mad at myself!....” Rin said in her muffled voice. But Kohaku understood.
“It’s okay….. I understand…..” Kohaku said, in a gentle tone as he rubbed her back in circles for comforting her.
Rin made a tiny smile Kohaku, you always understand me…. Oh! What would I do without you??
But one thing kept nagging him throughout their conversation. “This Bankotsu….” He began and went on, “He simply left with a note”
Rin was puzzled why he brought this up, all of a sudden. But she nodded, still hiding her face from Kohaku.
“He gave up on you so easily…. Was wedding you his ONLY intention or…. the REAL intention?..... I wonder now….” Kohaku dragged, as if he was speaking to himself.
The same thought had already hit Rin earlier. But her mind had gotten so busy with Sesshomaru that she had not deliberate on it. She didn’t want to bother about it, at least for a while.
Sesshomaru entered his palace, not at his graceful stride, but at a rapid pace that you can say that he was close to running; walked past Inu father without even acknowledging him, as if he never saw him. It told him that his son was in his worst of moods. Then Jaken made his entrance, trying to catch up with his speedy lord. Inu father shot a glare at Jaken, which halted the toad demon. Jaken hung his head low in defeat and self-pity. The father and toad entered the former’s study.
“Now what?” Inu father started.
“Confidentiality of the matter shall be strictly maintained…..”
“Those who infringe shall die”
“………..” Sesshomaru’s warning rang death-bells in Jaken’s head and he was perspiring like hell.
Inu father seemed to possess the power of mind-reading. “It is much wiser to divulge to me and die in my son’s hands than die a painful death in my hands without divulging” Inu father said in a firm tone.
He has a point there….. Jaken thought at the moment.
Jaken started his narration from their (i.e. Sesshomaru’s and Jaken’s) departure from the palace till their return, which was just minutes ago. Yes. His narration included everything: Sesshomaru’s pursuit after Rin to village Kyoda; his revisit to her mansion; their odd, repulsive behavior (when Rin misunderstood Sesshomaru); Rin’s engagement; cancellation. Yes. He told about the midnight episode as well. YES. He didn’t miss out any detail due to the persistence of Inu father. Poor Jaken had the toughest time exposing it to Inu father, although his explanation was not so explicit beyond the level of decency. As embarrassment swallowed Jaken, his green head turned red!
Inu father had his own tough time tolerating the reddened toad. That was the first time in his life, that he had witnessed a green toad demon that can change its colour like a chameleon.
As Jaken ended his narration, he saw Inu father wearing a small smile of big victory; his eyes focused on something distant, which Jaken could have betted upon that it was a daydream of RinXSesshomaru’s future love life.
“It is quite an improvement. Much better than I anticipated….. So the woman-hater of a son, has gone that far, in such a short time! I must say, I am indeed impressed with this girl, Rin….She MUST be unique; one of her kind…. Having transformed someone like Sesshomaru….”
Then his gaze fell on Jaken, “And this would not have happened without your efforts, Jaken. You have risked your life to carry out my orders as well as for the happiness of your Master Sesshomaru.…. The true credits for the development must go to you” Inu father made one of his rarest praises.
Jaken’s eyes became a pair of shimmering black balls. He was crying in joy. He felt so fortunate to be among the rarest few who have been praised so highly by Lord Inu No Taisho. After this honourable moment, Jaken actually felt that he wouldn’t mind dying for this Master, after all!
“OH, thank you, Lord Inu No Taisho! Thank you!” Jaken said tearfully.
Inu father nodded and went on, “The secret is safe with me…. but remember, whenever the going gets tough, do not hesitate to take such initiatives to bring Sesshomaru and Rin together…. Those two need external influences very much if they deserve a happy-ending…… you may leave now”
“Yes, Milord!”After Jaken left, Inu father let out a sigh. He was wearing a small smile as he tried to piece out the midnight events elucidated by Jaken…. Did my son actually…. do that!?..... Where did he get the courage from?..... Something which even I would not have dared, if I were him…. Inu father smirked I always knew, that he was born to surpass me…. IN EVERYTHING….