Landlord of the West

Chapter 19

JAKEN…..! That toad is too much of a trouble than he’s worth! Sesshomaru was still feeling uncomfortable having Rin alone with him in garden, whatever garden it might be. He was surprised that Rin was not feeling the same discomfort as him. However he still wore the mask of indifference as he assented to Rin’s request with a sharp nod.

As they entered the garden, Sesshomaru heard Rin squealing in delight at the beauty. It has every species of flower of that region, and of those which Rin may never have seen. She could bet on that. From creepers to large trees, all were well groomed by the gardeners, befitting the royal palace of the West.

“Where is your….companion?” Sesshomaru couldn’t help his curiosity, so he asked, but with his back to her. He didn’t want her to see the displeasure that was brimming in his eyes, which surfaced despite his best efforts in suppressing it.

“Kohaku? he….he hadn’t proper sleep last night…. so he’s taking a nap now….” Rin managed to say, after hiding her surprise at his choice of subject for a starter of conversation.

“……….”, Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes….suspicion…. how does she know….?

“you had sufficient slumber last night, I presume….” Sesshomaru stated with his tone masked with boredom. Only God knew that it was a question, the answer to which he was dying for to know.

“Um…. uh….reasonably….” Rin dragged, How do you expect me to sleep well after our midnight together, earlier….?

WHAT WERE YOU DOING WITH THAT FILTHY HUMAN…..?!?! Sesshomaru’s demon roared. He knew from her answer that she had not slept well. He obviously suspected, the reason must be Kohaku. He felt his chest tightening at whatever suspicions that plagued him.

Awkward silence again….

Rin decided to brush it off, as she had no clue what to make out of his enquiries and silence.

“Can I collect some flowers.…?” Rin requested Sesshomaru with her smile which made him wonder that Rin was like an eight-year old.

Why would I deny….? Sesshomaru nodded.

Rin ringled as she glided to the spot to pick flowers.

Sesshomaru was standing at a distance, seemingly glancing around the garden; but truthfully, his full attention was with Rin.

“Lord Sesshomaru!” Rin’s energetic call made him turn his face to her.

Rin blushed but readied herself to say, “I…. can I sing for you, milord….? I remember you, telling me that I sing well....”, Rin’s blush got deeper, as her gaze fell to the ground, “….I thought maybe…..”

“Do as you wish” he said in his usual monotone, artfully hiding the eagerness in his voice.

Rin snapped up to see his gaze which was concentrated on emptiness. Her smile got wider and she nodded excitedly.

-SONG BEGINS-

My longing heart loves you, dear

My eyes dispute with sleep, without you near

The very thought of you is soothing

In my mind only you are dwelling

(Sesshomaru positioned himself few feet behind Rin so that he can observe her as well as avoid her catching glimpses of emotions those momentarily trespass his facial features)

May God save me from your alluring gaze,

Let me survive your charming antics,

Lightning slashed the bottom of my heart

Before I could recuperate from it

Oh my beloved! Who dared to etch

Your handsome face in my spirit?

(Very oddly, Sesshomaru was having a hard time maintaining a straight face; he never had such difficulty before; all due to Rin’s amorous song – her earnest voice and lyrics)

My heart felt as if it was hit by a tempest,

Place your hand on my chest to know its state

My soul yearns! To see you again, my soul yearns!

(The whole time, Sesshomaru’s inner being preferred to imagine that Rin’s song was about him, although his common sense nagged him that it could be about Kohaku. Surprisingly, Sesshomaru went for his inner being, this time. His lips upturned by 0.75 millimetre)

No rain dissolved me; Sun never melted me,

My heart was like a rock against males,

But now, akin to the little flower,

Which bloomed on a forest boulder,

This young but vicious ‘LOVE’ has blossomed in me

Oh my beloved! Come to me, oh my beloved!

(The couple was so engrossed in the song, it was as if the outside world totally evaporated, and only two of them were existing)

The very thought of you is soothing

In my mind only you are dwelling

My longing heart loves you, dear

My eyes dispute with sleep, without you near

The very thought of you is soothing

In my mind only you are dwelling

-SONG ENDS-

It took a moment for Sesshomaru to snap out of his trance and come back to earth; for Rin to open her eyes and become aware of the world that reappeared. Sesshomaru was facing Rin with a face that expressed nothing of the great pleasure and contentment he was feeling. His lips were flexed upwards by 1 millimetre, that Rin was almost sure he was smiling.

*LOUD APPLAUSE*

The demon and human were startled; they turned to see a horde of servants and guards, both demons and humans, (including Jaken, mind you) applauding for the award-winning performance. While human servants were applauding with great pride and enthusiasm, few demons applauded excitedly, many demons lightly, while the rest of the demons simply stood haughtily, with arms crossed. On the whole, all seem impressed with Rin’s singing, as they all bothered to suspend their duties and succumbed to their curiosity and eagerness to listen to the lovely voice and to witness the adept beauty. Besides, it was not often that the palace of the West was graced with a passionate love song, sung by a beautiful human woman with such a divine voice, not to mention, in the company of the heir, Lord Sesshomaru.

Both Rin and Sesshomaru were embarrassed, no doubt. While the former, chuckled nervously and bowed to the audience with a tomato face, the latter shot them a “What are you all doing here? Get back to work!”glare. The audience instantly dispersed out of fear and respect for their lord.

Mmhmm!.... Just as Jaken stated…. My daughter-in-law is indeed a great singer…. Inu father proudly smirked. He was monitoring the couple from the beginning, without their knowledge.

Sesshomaru and Rin reached a small wooden bridge in the garden. There was a small edifice facing it, supposedly the only storing tools and consumables for gardening. There stood Inu father secretly spying Sesshomaru and Rin.

Sesshomaru’s eyes were surveying the surrounding, while those of Rin were surveying Sesshomaru.

Come on Rin! It’s now or never….. Rin took a deep breath and began “Lord Sesshomaru….”.

Sesshomaru turned and faced her in silence, “……..”

“Remember, that I said there is in one other purpose for my visit?” Rin was blushing. But her tone was a bit melancholic.

“……….” Sesshomaru’s slient cue to go on.

Rin let out a sigh. “I couldn’t concentrate on….. administration, personal chores, painting, assisting father…..aiding mother….on anything” Rin said, her tone vaguely tinted with complaint.

“…………” Sesshomaru was indeed puzzled.

“I even forgot how to sing….”

“………” puzzlement.

“Can’t even talk to anyone properly….. No appetite. No sleep…..”

“………” puzzlement.

“I have just made this visit to convey that……….. the reason is you…..”

“………” ABSOLUTE PUZZLEMENT.

“I love you, Lord Sesshomaru” Rin said in her softest tone, which caressed Sesshomaru’s heart like a peacock feather. Her cheeks were burning.

“Huh?!……….” REALIZATION….. Sesshomaru’s stoic mask slipped; eyes visibly widened; mouth fell open by one centimetre; breathe got caught.

Rin’s face reddened even more (if that was ever possible) at his reaction.

Inu father smirked in triumph.

“………”, Sesshomaru forcefully broke their gaze, turned to the side and scrambled the stoic mask back in place on face.

Do not forsake the girl, Sesshomaru! Accept her! Inu father inwardly commanded his son.

“………I cannot wed a human” Sesshomaru responded, faking a monotone reply.

DAMN YOU, FOOL! Father cursed the son.

Interpretation for “I cannot wed a human”: Sesshomaru’s choice of words in the denial implies the fact that he has no issues in ‘loving’ Rin back, a human that she is. Ideally he should have said, “I will never wed a human” which would mean that he has not the least intention to wed a human. But he has said, “I cannot wed a human”, which means that he cannot wed her even though he intends to do so. But throughout the ordeal, Sesshomaru had not yet realized his love for Rin.

“I know” Rin’s reply was almost instant. She was not a bit surprised at his response. She mistook Sesshomaru’s rejection that he does not and will love her ever.

“……….” Sesshomaru was struggling to sustain his composure.

“I know you’d never love me back and take me for a mate, being a human that I am” Rin’s voice was shaking as she struggled to fight back tears. Her tone became more melancholic.

“…………” Sesshomaru almost flinched at those words; he quickly turned with his back to her, as pain started from chest and swelled across his throat and stomach.

The infuriated Inu father was listening as the girl’s bitterness contaminated him.

“Yet I love you with all my heart…. and I’m proud of that…. You’re the most perfect male I have ever met…. No matter how indifferent you may seem from the outside, I know very well, that you are very kind and compassionate from the inside, and I love you for that…. and for everything that makes who you are….” Rin said with such a confidence that Sesshomaru’s head involuntarily turned to the side as his curious eyes caught the warm, loving expression the girl’s face was displaying.

“…………”

Inu father smiled a small 2° smile and his face softened at Rin’s earnest assertion.

“I just wanted to…. to tell you how much I love you…. before it’s too late”

‘too late’…..? Sesshomaru was puzzled. He slightly tuned to see her face. Rin’s eyes were surfing across the scenery around her, as her eyes struggled to prevent those tears collected in her eyes, from shedding.

“A wise demon told me that life doesn’t always give a second chance…. I doubt whether I may get one …. So I have used this opportunity to…. to tell you how I feel about you….”

It was Inu father’s turn to feel warm inside. This time he gave a small, bittersweet smile.

“…………” Those words pierced hundreds of needles into Sesshomaru’s throat and chest. For some reason, those words created a very ominous feeling inside his heart. His gaze was intent upon the girl. His insides were tearing to see her distress. Just to drive her distress away, he could have given her the world….anything…. but himself. He knew that, as well. He was gradually getting aware of the kind of regard he has for the girl. ‘Regard’?.... That word sounded too plain…too scarce…. It did not suffice the feelings and emotions those were overwhelming his being.

Having been ‘successfully’ discouraged by his silence, Rin turned around with her back to him.

“You are my treasure, Lord Sesshomaru…. My greatest treasure”

“……….” Sesshomaru could not help the warmth that flowed into his chest and spread across all the veins of his physique.

“I love you, and I always will…. wherever I am, whatever I do…. my heart lays with you….always

“………” Sesshomaru’s eyes shut at the piercing yet all the more warm statement.

“I shall take my leave now, Milord. Thank you very much for your hospitality” With that Rin began walking away, without waiting for an answer.

As usual, Sesshomaru was standing like a sculpture in the middle of the bridge, eyes fixed on the one woman he truly loves, walking away from his sight and…..grasp….

WHAT A FOOL! ADAMANT, OUTRAGEOUS FOOL!! Inu father had to painfully fight back the urge to destroy the edifice he was hiding in and to bring it down to dust.

Inu father had always been proud of his son’s intelligence. While his half-breed son Inuyasha has not the best of wits, the rightful heir, Sesshomaru has the aptitude and mental acumen to take his place. That was the first time for Inu father to declare that his son was a fool, with such affirmation. He was indeed a ‘fool’ when it comes to emotions.

Inu father’s plan worked fine as far as Rin was concerned. Perhaps he should not have been disappointed as much as he has, knowing too well Sesshomaru only gave the most predictable reply to Rin and responded in the most probable manner to her proclamation.

He let out a defeated sigh as he was mentally bracing himself to take next course of action, regarding his son’s romance.
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