“Rin….I’m proud of you!” Kohaku said on their way back to Rin’s village.
Rin smiled sweetly and uttered, “yes”.
Rin was acting normal. Kohaku felt he’d rather use the words ‘pretending to be’ than ‘acting’. But he remained quiet, though. He chose not to pry on, as he could guess almost exactly, what she would have told and how Sesshomaru would have responded.
Another month rolled by. The only progress Sesshomaru made which can be considered substantial enough was the mission. The reports have that the association between humans and demons of village Edo has become less hostile. A cordial connection is expected shape up gradually over a period of time.
As far as his feelings were concerned, it must be said that Sesshomaru was….mystified. All he knew was the very thought of her brought peace to his mind. Every memory of her pleased him; especially the two incidents – the recollection of that midnight with Rin and of her proposal. The mental recollection never failed to bring the 1.50 millimetre smile on his frozen face. He was happy; refreshed…. After having known that she loves him. ONLY HIM…. And not Kohaku or any other male… But…. he is yet to know for himself whether he wants Rin. The thought that a demon such as him, should never stoop from his status to mate one of inferior class, a human, was etched in his subconscious mind so much that his love for the girl was concealed from his mind. The Himalayan pride of him, hindered his glacial heart from recognizing that the feelings he has for Rin are those a male has for his beloved mate. But he refused to believe that he would ever fall for a woman, not to mention his mental makeup not to fall for a human woman, not to fall for any woman for that matter, particularly after his father’s avowal:
“someday, someone WILL come to shatter your pride and conquer your arrogance; on that day, you’ll comprehend my situation; you’ll regret every single word of hatred you fired at me!”
All these days, Sesshomaru managed to drive away thoughts of Rin by reminding himself of his father’s avowal, but he could not keep her off his mind for long. How long can he remain isolated and imprison himself within the walls of his worthless pride and his father’s swear…?
Sesshomaru was having his usual stroll along the forest surrounding his palace. This time, Jaken was not able to accompany him, as he was given some important task to do, by Inu father; possibly the task of feeding the demon pets, Rin and Sesshomaru.
Sesshomaru found a human, who seemed to be lost in his way. The human seemed young, around his twenties; seemed like a street performer. When the man saw Sesshomaru, he was alarmed. He was trembling at the sight of the demon in front of him. As Sesshomaru neared him, the man flinched. He prostrated in front of Sesshomaru and begged of him to spare his life.
How pathetic! Sesshomaru scoffed, “Human. I have no intention of killing one without reason. Fear not”
Sesshomaru could not help raising his one eyebrow at the sight of the relieved man who pouring out his feeling of gratitude to him.
“Enough” Sesshomaru interrupted, “leave”, with that Sesshomaru proceeded his walk.
“…Er…”the human dragged, “….please pardon me, sire, but….”
Sesshomaru did not cease walking. However the human had the demon’s half-hearted attention. The man scampered after him as the demon lord did not stop.
“I-I have lost my way….. could you….. the nearby village…. I mean…what I-” the man fumbled as fear was eating him bit by bit.
Sesshomaru let out a sigh of impatience and began, “Proceed in the direction of east. On your way, you will find a stream. Adjacent to it, there is a large meadow of wildflowers. If you find them, you can be rest assured that you are in the right direction. Continue in that direction and by dusk, you will reach village Ranchi”, having said thus, Sesshomaru resumed walking without waiting for a response.
“Thank you so much, master! You have not only spared my life but you have also given me the direction to the nearby village. I have no words to express my gratitude!” the man said excitedly as he continued to follow Sesshomaru.
“No need” Sesshomaru said to shut the man.
“But I must do something in return for your kindness!” the man said eagerly.
“….for your kindness”……..“kindness”………
Sesshomaru immediately halted at the central word. Memory of Rin’s proposal filled his mind.
“you are very kind and compassionate from the inside”
The man was encouraged by Sesshomaru’s halt and went on, “Being a poor street performer, I cannot give any material that will suffice a wealthy master like you” From Sesshomaru’s looks, attire and speech, the man could guess that Sesshomaru was not from an ordinary family, “….But I can perform for you, master…. Please, allow me of the honour”
Sentimental humans! Sesshomaru stifled a sigh. He could simply dismiss him and walk off, but being in a mission such as building a positive liaison between demons and humans, his morality prevented him from acting so uncivil.
“…..What will you perform?” Sesshomaru just wanted to know how long it will take for the performance. He just wanted to get it over with.
“I can sing, master!”
“…….of what?” Sesshomaru was not very hesitant because the young man had a pleasant voice. Perhaps, listening to his song will help him keep his mind off Rin for a while. Or so he thought.
The man took a moment to think; then as if he caught something, “Ah! Yes!.... there is one very good piece, master. It is my favourite. It is about a demon landlord who fell in love with his human ward”
The subjects ‘demon landlord’ and ‘human’ and the object ‘love’ caught Sesshomaru’s complete attention.
Having been encouraged by his silence, the man started detailing in excitement.
“The demon landlord had always been cold-hearted and unfeeling. One fine day, he saved a young human girl from the attack of wolf demons. The girl being an orphan, having none to protect her, the demon lord took her in; he sheltered her and provided for all her necessities. The girl was a great beauty; virtuous; a gentle character. She loved her lord so much. She was extremely devoted to her lord. As time passed, the lord gradually fell in love with her. But he was yet to profess his love for her. His hard heart, which had believed the concept of ‘love’ never existed, was softened….. softened so much that he wrote this song, as his emotions overflowed….”
Sesshomaru didn’t expect such an elaborate history behind a song. But he could not deny the fact that the Sesshomaru did found the history intriguing.
“Shall I begin, master?” the man asked sincerely.
My beloved soft woman!
A gentle love has budded in my heart
Which was once, hard and unfeeling
My love for you is so extensive and towering
That even the sky cranes upwards to have a glimpse
I am one who is as far and invulnerable as the skies
And you tugged me to you with your tresses at ease
How did you summon my youth,
Within a matter of seconds?
(Sesshomaru could not help from placing Rin and himself with the human ward and the demon lord)
Even the strongest tornado had not shaken me, (A/N: the demon lord is comparing himself to a very strong tree)
But a fragile butterfly knocked me off my roots
I harbour this love for you without confession
For the fear of your refusal and rejection
My proud heart has finally fallen to the ground,
It leaps on the earth, with sheer joy,
It chants your name at every beat
Welcome, my dreamflower! Come, touch my heart!
Give me your heart as you take mine
(Sesshomaru could imagine the picture between himself and Rin. He was…..happy!)
The rain has no goal, till it reaches the earth
Once it reaches it, it’s service begins (i.e. rain water from the clouds is useful only when it reaches earth/ soil)
My life commenced not, before I saw you,
Having seen you, my life finally functions
I am one, who soars in the sky and arrests lightning
But now, my hand trembles even to pluck a frail flower
Even though the God is yet to bless, an ardent devotee continues his prayer
Even when you are yet to respond, my love for you remains forever….
If it wasn’t for the visibility of Sesshomaru’s gentle breathing, the man would have concluded that the demon somehow turned into stone.
The man gulped, “M-m-master….?”
“Take this” Sesshomaru swiftly held out his fist to the man.
The puzzled man blinked and fearfully held out his palm. Sesshomaru’s fist opened and few gold coins were dropped.
The man was surprised. “B-but why, master-”
“Leave” Sesshomaru interrupted impatiently, as he started in the opposite direction – towards his palace.
The man gaped till Sesshomaru was out of range.
“Appreciable performance. Sufficient to deceive my son into rewarding you….”, said Inu father as he came out of his hiding place.
The man bowed in respect, to the demon lord.
Inu father offered the man with his own gold coins.
“No, thank you, milord. I have already been abundantly rewarded by your son.”
“That was only an incentive for your excellent performance. This alone is the charge I had contracted with you” Inu father said.
“I am not one who takes ‘no’ for an answer” Inu father interrupted icily.
“y-yes, milord” the man rushed as he received his fees.
Inu father started towards his palace, with a feeling of resentment darkening his facial features. Izayoi…. *SIGHS* I had never expressed my love for you, when you lived…. All due to my pride and conceit……. And this song I had written on you…. *SIGH* I had failed to share it with you…. It is now used as a means to change my own proud and conceited son, so that he should not fail as I have….. in expressing his love to his beloved woman…. from heart….
Inu No Taisho had always loved Izayoi. Even Izayoi had known it. They mated and even gave birth to a half-demon pup. But not once did Inu No Taisho explicitly express his love for the woman. And she eventually died of ill-health. There was not one day, he had not regretted of failing to express his true feelings and love for her. By the time he had actually wanted to express himself, it was too late. She was no more to experience his honest acknowledgments and confessions.
A week had passed from the encounter with the street-performer. Sesshomaru was becoming more and more aware of his love for Rin. Inu No Taisho was becoming more and more impatient with his dead-slow son. The inu father had inwardly resolved that, if Sesshomaru failed to act upon his love-life within a week, then he (inu father) himself will kidnap Rin and hold her in his custody before she slips right through his clawed paws.
And as for Sesshomaru, he was in better spirits. Yes! HE LOVES HER! AND HE KNOWS THAT HE DOES!.....
Sesshomaru was laying lazily on his bed in the afternoon, after a strenuous training Session. His eyes were admiring the picture of the teenage girl and the white pet dog. His lips upturned by 2°.
“Even though the God is yet to bless, an ardent devotee continues his prayer
Even when you are yet to respond, my love for you remains forever….”
Golden words of a beautiful love song…. When he heard the song for the first time, he could not even believe that a demon, a proud and unfeeling one, at the status of a lord, could ever love, that too, a human woman with such intensity. As days passed by, Sesshomaru began to comprehend the demon lord’s feelings as he was experiencing the same himself. Yes! He realized that, even Rin is like GOD to him; that even his LOVE REMAINS FOREVER….
So what if Rin is a human? So what if his pride is to be compromised by an ounce? So what if his arrogance is surmounted for once? It is only Rin! HIS RIN!
So what if he proves his father’s words right? In the end, Rin will be happy to have him for herself, would she not? Yes. If he is to lose to his father, the failure is worth it!....only for the sake of RIN….
Sesshomaru got up instantly with full of life. He strode towards his father’s study with a fresh resolution in his mind.
A month and week before….
Rin and Kohaku reached the mansion after their departure from Sesshomaru’s palace. A worried servant rushed to them. What they were about to stumble upon was most unexpected.“FATHER!” Rin cried as she raced to Kenji’s quarters. She was away for hardly two days and something like this had to happen!