Sesshomaru eyes widened like never before; no word of explanation could suffice the description of the shock, pain, disappointment and regret he was feeling at that moment, not to mention his envy. Having noticed his odd expression and having been burnt by his scorching demonic aura, Jaken sneaked a peek at the letter. The toad fainted the next moment in shock.
How could she!? HOW COULD SHE!?! Sesshomaru bellowed in mind.
What did he expect after having declined her!? That Rin is to remain a spinster forever?? That she’ll never let another male take Sesshomaru’s place in her heart and life???
The very thought of being surrogated and let another claim his Rin sickened Sesshomaru. CURSE YOU KOHAKU!! But Sesshomaru could not get mad at Rin or even at Kohaku this time. He was only mad at himself. It was all his fault and he knew that he was.
When she threw herself at his feet, he kicked her away as though she was some troublesome puppy dog. Now that he craves for her attention and love like how ‘an ardent devotee yearns for his God’, she is no longer his to claim!! He felt like a fool….a fool in love (multiple meanings intended)…..
Sesshomaru, in such a devastated state of mind, sought his father for whatever reason, he knew not himself.
Inu No Taisho was standing in the demon pets’ sanctuary. In his hands was Rin, the peahen demon, while Sesshomaru, the peacock demon, was on the ground at a distance.
Sesshomaru, the dog demon, was standing few feet behind his father. The father knew his son has sought his company, but didn’t bother to act as if he had noticed him.
Suddenly, the peahen jolted out of Inu father’s grasp and reached the ground. The peahen was scuttling away, from Inu father and the peacock…..far away….. Inu father and his son were shaken at the sudden rejection of Rin. Inu father’s hands which were held out in air, froze; his mouth fell open by 1.50 centimetre, as he stared at Rin with a hurtful expression in his eyes. His right foot took a step forward in order to retrieve her. But for some mysterious reason, Inu father halted. He let out an audible sigh and his hands dropped to his sides, in defeat. (multiple meanings intended)
He could have used his physical strength to get Rin back in his clutches but he chose not to. If she wishes to depart…. then so be it…. (multiple meanings intended)
Sesshomaru was in agony, but he could not and would not voice it out.
“I presume you have a plan to visit village Edo” Inu father broke the silence. He had already guessed Sesshomaru’s intention to visit, before the letter came.
“I suggest you to attend the wedding ceremony, on behalf of our family” Inu father purposely rubbed salt to his son’s wounds.
Sesshomaru shut his eyes in derision but hung his head low.
“You have triumphed, my son…. You have held onto your pride and honour, steadfastly; you did not let a low-life such her to conquer you with her worthless love-”
“SILENCE!” Sesshomaru’s eyes were crimson red as he began to transform into his dog demon form.
Inu father faced his son without flinching in the least. His face was hard and displeased. “Are you going to kill me, Sesshomaru?.... your own father….?”
Sesshomaru recovered his composure when he realized how much temper he had lost.
“If killing me is what it takes for you to seek the girl’s hand in marriage….then I wholeheartedly submit my life to you….”
“…….” Sesshomaru was taken aback.
“But you’ll never ‘lower’ yourself so much and admit your love for the girl! You’ll never ‘taint’ your reputation and seek her hand in marriage!”
“………..” Sesshomaru only felt insulted at his statements. It was clear that the father was being sarcastic.
“…..Eventually, it has turned out to be too late, even for that. That girl is beyond your reach now….. From what I have heard recently, both of her parents are ailing. She must have consented to the wedding in right state of mind, considering her parents’ welfare…………… She has made the wisest choice for a husband: a close childhood companion”
“……….”, Sesshomaru clenched his fists and his whole body was shaking from the efforts he was taking to control his rage. His father has indirectly justified Rin’s decision to marry and that Kohaku has bettered Sesshomaru as a candidate to marry Rin.
“I had challenged you earlier but I have failed. I admit my defeat to you, Sesshomaru. You have WON.”
“……..” On the contrary Sesshomaru was beginning to feel that it was only his father who had won and that he had failed.
“……what is the matter, Sesshomaru? Are you not happy with your success?” Inu father persisted in pricking him.
“……..” Sesshomaru flinched at the piercing words. He had finally realized that he has FAILED. Yes. He has won in his father’s challenge, but has failed in his LOVE….
“I always knew, that he was born to surpass me…. IN EVERYTHING”
Inu father’s own words rang in his head. Yes. Indeed Sesshomaru has surpassed him….even in failing in Love. Inu father turned to the side; his face shadowed by sadness and resentment; his eyes hidden behind his bangs.
“I had failed to express my true affections to my human mate when she lived….” Inu father uttered in a tone which sounded gentle and shaken to Sesshomaru’s sharp ears.
“……” Sesshomaru was perplexed at his father’s sudden change in demeanor and subject of conversation.
“….and I regret it almost everyday….”
“……..” Sesshomaru was still in the state of surprise he was in. His father never opened himself to him before.
“……and I regret even more that my son has failed as I have….. or even worse, he even had not the happiness of having his beloved woman as his mate and bearing her with his pup….” This time, his words were not meant to be stinging or sarcastic, but were only of bitterness. Sesshomaru could comprehend it in his own state of regret.
The son could hear his father retreating towards his quarters. Sesshomaru stood beaten; not knowing what he should do; how he should act. If only….if only he had accepted her when she offered herself to him…. Things would have been much different….. much wonderful…..
Sesshomaru’s thought flows got interrupted by the peacock’s feathers. What he saw at that moment solved his confusion and changed his perspective. The demon peacock scuttled after the peahen and embraced it’s neck with its own. The peahen rejected the peacock’s affection and moved away from it. Surprisingly, the peacock did not give up. It glided towards its mate and blocked it from moving. The peahen rejected it again. The peacock cornered it, and embracing the peahen with more determination, screeching words of love and comfort to its mate in a language, Sesshomaru could not comprehend. Minutes passed by and the peahen finally gave in! Now, the peahen and the peacock were embracing and coaxing each other!
Sesshomaru was indeed taken aback at the sudden turn of events. He mulled over the situation. He regained the spirit and fortitude he had just lost. Then he decided what he must do. He started off from his palace, without telling anyone. But how would Inu father miss the sight of his son, leaving to retrieve the music of their home; sunshine of their family; the pride of their palace; the bride of his son; the landlady of the west? HIS FUTURE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW, RIN.
The wedding was due in three days. Rin’s mansion was greatly decorated for the occasion. The ambience of celebration filled the atmosphere. Even the servants were excited at the function that was due. Rin’s room was filled with expensive gifts, ornaments, jewels and kimonos.
Rin was sitting in her room; Sesshomaru’s white haori in her hands. Wedding happiness was completely absent in her. She made her best efforts to cheer up but, she only felt more and more miserable. As the day of wedding neared Rin only grew regretting the decision to marry Kohaku. Not that she had a choice. But if only she were allowed to remain a spinster forever, she can at least live peacefully with her one-sided love for Sesshomaru. But even that option is not available for her. She has to marry for her parents’ happiness. Not that she would not be happy with Kohaku, but it would never be the same if she were to be with her lord Sesshomaru. She knew all too well that even if she were to live as Kohaku’s wife, her heart would remain with Sesshomaru.
What truly pained her was not because she was to wed someone she does not love, because she knew from the start that her love for Sesshomaru was hopeless; like waiting for the sun to rise in west and set in east. But her beloved friend Kohaku was to wed someone who does not love him as a lover; who would never love him as a wife. Someone as noble, kind and loyal like Kohaku deserves an angel from heaven. Those facts troubled Rin day and night. Kohaku’s intention had always been Rin’s happiness. He never cares for himself, as how he cares for her. He was utterly selfless. But now, Rin herself is to be so ignoble, unkind and disloyal by becoming the reason for his loss of happiness. In her attempt to be selfless with her parents, she has eventually ended as being selfish with her friend.
Rin shut her eyes and bit her lips as tears flowed along her fair cheeks. The divine form of her Godly lord Sesshomaru appeared like the sunlight swallowing darkness in her mind’s eye. She snapped her eyes open. Oh! Why does he keep haunting me like this?
Rin shook her head in denial as she resolved to steady her mind from straying far away from reality. She immediately left her room. From the balcony outside Rin could see her fiancé standing regally in front of her servants. He was giving instructions to them and they bowed in agreement as they left. The admiring looks the servants gave Kohaku informed Rin that they hold high respect and regard towards their future master.
Suddenly Kohaku looked up and caught Rin red-handed, who was gazing at him the whole time. His eyed widened. Then he quickly turned his handsome face away to hide his flushed cheeks and flustered smile. Rin raised her eyebrows in surprise. Her bold, talkative friend has turned into a bashful fiancé!
After calming his throbbing nerves down, Kohaku looked up and faced her again with an embarrassed smile plastered on his face; his fine-looking eyes were twinkling in joy. Rin shot him a bright smile in response. Kohaku then waved her a ‘bye’ as he turned to leave to monitor the work of the servants.
Rin was still smiling at the retreating form of Kohaku. This Kohaku! He’s so sweet!....and charming! Rin tried to console herself that this wedding alliance was not as bad as she deemed. In fact, it was the best she could get. Kohaku is the best male she could get in her life. She should and would be happy with him and she could live a normal life as his wife, like any other girl…..
Rin was supposed to go to the shrine, so she mentally noted to take the blue shawl which Kohaku had gifted to her on an occasion. She was thinking over how she could muster a ‘happily ever after’ life with Kohaku as she took the clothing from her bed and started to leave.
Yes! You can do this Rin!! Rin motivated herself as she sat in her carriage. But something seemed strange. Kohaku’s gift of a blue shawl somehow looked white to her eyes.
She held up the clothing in her hand and unraveled it.
Sesshomaru’s white haori.
Rin’s heart sank to the depths of Pacific Ocean.
In the process of brainwashing herself consciously, her hands have unconsciously sought Sesshomaru’s haori instead of Kohaku’s shawl. When she makes a conscious attempt to keep Sesshomaru off her mind, the demon lord invades her sub-conscious mind. What was she thinking?! That she could manage to live a happy, contended life without Sesshomaru..?! Who is she kidding..?!
I’m coming for you, Rin…. I will not let you become another’s…. You’re mine! ONLY MINE! Sesshomaru was pursuing towards Rin’s village at jet speed.
By far, Sesshomaru had declined the love of countless females. But his recent refusal to a certain female has made the process of the refusal and its aftermath, most devastating. He had been foolish enough to deny the one woman he truly loves and also let some other male to seek her hand in marriage. Sesshomaru slammed his eyes shut, having disgusted with himself. The hurt in Rin’s eyes and tone when he had uttered his refusal was scorching him from that day. She must have been in anguish…. A woman’s unrequitted love….
Kagura….! Sesshomaru swiftly opened his eyes at the reminder of his cousin. She must have been the the same state of anguish upon his rejection of her proposal. But Sesshomaru simply walked off and did not even bother to check up on her thereafter. It was not that he neglected her on purpose. He was already tangled up with the complications of his own love-life that the thought of Kagura completely slipped his mind. It was not that he would ever accept her, in the way she had wanted him to. But he at least should have made efforts to make sure she is in good, or at least in peaceful state. He changed his direction and headed to his uncle Naraku’s manor.
The manor seemed eerily quiet for Sesshomaru. He could not find anyone there. Strange…..
After surfing from within the manor he reached the garden. At least someone should be there. Hmm….None here…. Sesshomaru was perplexed. Are all of the occupants, including the servants away…? Sesshomaru started to retreat before he heard a soft panting from behind a huge tree. He glided after the sound, without expecting in the least, what bewilderment he was to encounter at the sight in front of him.
The brutally injured Kagura on the ground, struggling to keep her soul from departing from her now disoriented state.
Sesshomaru’s eyes widened and his mouth fell open and uttered, “Kagura!” He was kneeling by her side in a moment.
Shock was evident on the wind sorceress’s face. “……Sess…shomaru….?” was all the battered woman managed to say, which was not even close to a whisper.
Sesshomaru was infuriated beyond words and his glowering face showed it well.
“Who was it…?” Sesshomaru said as fury dripped from his words.
Kagura made what was close to a chuckle. Perhaps she had thought that it was an obvious question.
“My father” Kagura said bitterly, distress tinted in her tone.
Sesshomaru was not as surprised as he should have been. Her only foe, who was powerful enough to destroy her was her father. But Sesshomaru truly had not expected his uncle to act so low and vile as to harm his own daughter, no matter how much of a heartless demon that he was. No wonder demons were hated so much by the humans.
“You must be treated” Sesshomaru said as he motioned to lift her. But Kagura protested.
“NO! Sesshomaru! It is far too late for that…. (panting) I may die any moment….”
Sesshomaru felt a pang inside his chest that showed him what they call as regret and helplessness. She was right. It was apparent that she was in such a state for almost two hours. She should have been tended to at least an hour ago, if she was ought to survive. But that does not have to mean that Sesshomaru should abandon the very idea of aiding her multiple fractures and injury.“(panting)Sesshomaru, heed me! It is of great importance. Your(panting)…. human companion…..”