“Master Jaken! Are you okay?” Rin had one of the servants serve him water.
Jaken nodded miserably. Kenji stared at him with surprise.
Even Jaken’s reaction was like that. Then how should Sesshomaru react? Sesshomaru really felt awkward at the thought.
“Lord Sesshomaru, Master Jaken, our servant will guide you to your room. We will invite you for dinner, soon”, with that both demons and the human got up.
Sesshomaru was soooo close to getting into an agreement before everything went haywire.
He knew too well what the result of their meeting was to be. The stay for the night was only going to be fruitless. Anyhow the Negotiation has failed.
-SESSHOMARU’S IMAGINATION STARTS-
(Between Rin and her father)
“What are you saying, father? How can we enter into an agreement with a proud, arrogant demon like HIM??? Have you any idea how he humiliated me? and for no fault of mine?” Rin stormed.
“Really, Rin!?! Did he?”
“YES! Never trust him! If we negotiate with him, we are bound to be betrayed!”
“You are right, Rin! How dare he debase you in such a way! Demons are never trustworthy! Selfish creatures! I will tell him we disagree right after dinner”
“Thank you for understanding, father”
“No, my dear. I should thank YOU for showing me the right direction and enlightening me. Else, I would have entered into an agreement detrimental to the interest of our people. And their respect and trust in me would have shattered!”
(between Sesshomaru and his father)
“You failed?! In such a simple task?!” Inu father charged.
“and YOU tell me of how to be a ‘demon leader’ and ‘landlord of the west’!! ”
“……………” Sesshomaru’s fists clenched. Father is shooting back son’s words.
“Even Inuyasha would have done the job well!”
Sesshomaru’s eyes reddened, stripes on cheeks ragged, fangs enlarged-
-SESSHOMARU’S IMAGINATION ENDS-
Sesshomaru comes back to reality. He cleared his throat and calls out, “come in”
A servant entered. “Dinner is served, Milord”.
Sesshomaru nodded and started following him to the dining hall.
“MILORD!” Jaken spotted Sesshomaru and followed him. The assistant knew what was running in the master’s mind. He was worried of him. But didn’t voice it out and make Sesshomaru feel even more miserable.
Just as he suspected, both the father and daughter wore sore faces. It was clear that both were a bit restless.
“W-welcome, lord Sesshomaru; Master Jaken. Please be seated” said Kenji.
Rin’s smiles had not the usual brightness. Guess they are fake ones.
Sesshomaru was right all along. The outcome is clearly written on their faces. What am I doing here, anyway? Sesshomaru bickered inwardly.
Awkward silence during dinner. Only Jaken seemed to have enjoyed the taste of the food and had his stomach full. Sesshomaru ate very little, for the sake of it.
Sesshomaru’s eyes fell on Rin who was eating; her head facing downwards. What must she be thinking now? And as if she heard his mind voice, she glanced at Sesshomaru through her bangs and caught his eyes. Sesshomaru eyes immediately fell. Face lightly tinged pink at the sudden eye-contact. Jaken failed to notice this silent interaction.
He was watching me the whole time? I wonder what he is thinking? Rin was musing herself.
Sesshomaru was the first to complete. He was followed by Kenji and Rin. Jaken was still consuming the main course.
“Er….I wish to speak with you, Milord. Please tell me what time will be convenient tomorrow”, Kenji said.
Why wait for that long to drive us out? “Any time is fine with me. Even now” So that we may leave immediately after your denial.
“Er……”, Kenji glanced at Jaken who was lost in his foodworld.
“We need not wait for him” For listening to the word “No” I require no assistant.
Kenji nervously nodded. “We shall discuss in the study”
“DESSERT, PLEASE!” Jaken demanded.
Sesshomaru mildly flinched. He wanted to smack his own forehead with hand at his servant’s stupidity.
Both male entered the study and sat.
“Er….. it is about the agreement, Milord…… I…. do not know how you should feel about this but…..”
“If not interested, you may refuse outright. You will not be forced or even influenced” Sesshomaru said impatiently.
“NO, Milord! I am not refusing. I just wish to add one more clause to the agreement which is vital for our Village”
What!?! You do not want to refuse?..... One more clause? Sesshomaru was shocked, but composed himself, “what is it?”
“The humans are substantial in population compared demons in our Village. But we have only limited share in food grains. We…… we would be grateful if we can claim a share of two-third of the food grains. As compensation, we are willing to provide the demons with animals and poultry at half the prize”
“……………..” Sesshomaru did not answer but he was intrigued at the proposal.
“We know that two-third is too high for a share but, we have made this proposal considering the fact that supply animals and fowls are abundant in our Village compared to a relatively limited supply of food grains”
Nice….. While humans consume more food grains, demons consume less of it and more of meat. The demons of this village did complain earlier at the high cost of meat, animals and fowls. In order to meet that cost they charge high price for food grains. What a brilliant proposal! Now both demons and humans can procure their rations at an affordable price. Sesshomaru analyzed the scenario thoroughly.
“Your stratagem is impressive. I agree to this addition to the agreement, on behalf of the demons”
Kenji’s face was illumined at the approval. He smiled and said, “Thank you very much for the sanction! An immediate one at that”
“and I must thank you for your concurrence to the agreement…. and particularly for the addition. It will benefit the demons”
“Oh no! I do not deserve your gratitude. The credits must go to my ‘BEST ADVISOR’!”
Sesshomaru inwardly flinched.
“Your daughter?” Sesshomaru asked stupidly without thinking.
“Yes. She has thorough knowledge of the social and political issues of our Village and actively participates in the administration. She strongly recommended in favour of the agreement and preferably with this added clause”
“……………” That young girl! ......possesses so much knowledge! ……such intellect! No wonder Master Kenji proudly pronounces her as his ‘BEST ADVISOR’.
“Very well then. The agreement will be put out in writing and affirmed by both parties tomorrow” Sesshomaru said as he got up with Kenji.
“and Rin will ready the documentation right away. In the mean time do please rest, milord” with that Kenji left.
He is relying too much on his daughter. What if she gets married to someone outside the village and leaves him behind and- Sesshomaru ceased his thoughts and abruptly stopped walking. What am I thinking?
It was already late in the night. Sesshomaru was laying on his bed. Eyes wide open. His mind was frenzying in one way or the other, from the moment he saw her. It still had not rested. He turned and saw the bright moon in the dark sky. Like her smile. His mind voiced. Sesshomaru blinked. What’s with all these strange thoughts?
He was wide awake. He got up and quietly entered the garden. There was a small pond, which had lotuses and lilies. The water shimmered in the light of the moon. His eyes widened when he heard a known voice singing beautifully.
(Rin was singing. Sesshomaru was hiding….. *ahem* standing behind a tree)
Won’t you come by this time, tomorrow? Oh dear moon!
My beloved is not here now, so please leave soon.
Seeing my solitude, please linger, Oh dear breeze!
Yes, O breeze! Do not abandon me and freeze.
(Sesshomaru’s lips twitched up by 0.5 Millimetre)
My Lord appeared at the colourful entry of my eyes (Sesshomaru’s eyes widened)
He garlands me with golden flowers and my mind flies (Golden flowers?.... are those my eyes?... Sesshomaru mused)
Has he become a poet to sing upon the beauty of this maiden?
Has he become an artist on beholding me with fun?
(Is she making fun of this Sesshomaru, by any chance? Sesshomaru mused and paled at the reminder of the embarrassments of the day)
Why do those well thought-out words remain unspoken?
What’s with this conceited shyness unbroken?
(Is she singing about my failure to apologize? Sesshomaru couldn’t get more embarrassed than this)
Why do my legs follow the path strolled by my King?
Why have this maiden’s eyes turned weak and swing?
Sesshomaru was consoling himself that this was only a casual song. No hidden meanings intended.
What could she thinking be of right now, to sing such a…. a….. passionate song? Could it be that she has a lover? It sounds more like it?............. Sesshomaru couldn’t proceed in that line of thought. He didn’t want to. And he didn’t know why he didn’t want to. Within a day, this girl has managed to make the cold, unfeeling, stoic demon to pale, smile and even blush! What is she doing to me? Insignificant human! Sesshomaru tried to push her out of his thoughts by insulting her humanity. But his insides stirred with the guilt of insulting. And what am I doing here at a time like thi-
Sesshomaru’s thoughts halted at the maiden’s gasp. He was shocked. But he quickly composed himself.
Rin’s eyes became like big sparkling bubbles; she gaped; faced turned beet red which was reasonably visible to him in dark. He was there the whole time! Did he listen to the song? What must he be thinking about me upon listening? she bit her tongue as embarrassment ate her.
Sesshomaru fought hard from chuckling. But his golden orbs which glitters only when he’s amused, gave him away. Throughout the day, it was her who made him color. Now it is your turn to blush. Sesshomaru thought proudly.
Both were only gazing at each other. No words. Neither seemed ready to break away.
The sound of owl reminded Rin that it was night. She was standing at an arm’s length from a young male demon; alone. Her face reddened even more if that was ever possible. She was so flustered that she even forgot to bow with respect in front of him. She turned and began walking away. She was smiling but Sesshomaru didn’t see it. Sesshomaru was in quite a trance himself to note Rin’s smile and failure to bow.
Inwardly he had wished for the pleasant moment not to end. He wanted her by his side a little while longer, at least.
“Uh-Um wait” Sesshomaru called; he was confused at his own stuttering.
Rin halted, unsure whether to turn or not. Then her head hesitantly turned quarter-way i.e. 90 degrees; her big eyes peeking at him; then she turned fully. She gracefully came and stood in front of him.
He was staring at her so intently that she wanted to turn her face sideways. But she controlled. She was still blushing though. Sesshomaru inwardly celebrated his victory. Tit for tat.“May I have a word with you?” Sesshomaru asked.