Sesshomaru’s breathe hitched.
“That girl, Rin. She is to be abducted. (panting) She will be killed by the end of the day”
Sesshomaru’s heart soared from his chest and got stuck in his throat. His stomach was on fire.
“I happened to overhear my father’s conversation with one of (panting)….one of his men. I protested. I threatened to spoil his design….. (panting) and I tried, but….” Kagura’s voice broke as tears from her eyes, stopped her explanation midway.
She had not needed to continue to know what had happened afterwards, as her broken body states the repercussions very clearly. But why….? What is that foolish demon, Naraku plotting…? Sesshomaru felt that his uncle no longer deserves any respect.
“My father’s scheme is to have Rin abducted by his confidential servants, some lowly demons…(panting) They will have her tortured, before slaying her…..(panting) It is to permanently demolish the coexistence of demons and humans of this village and the whole of the western lands. (panting)”
Sesshomaru’s eyes went crimson red at the very thought of the torture and execution Rin was to be subjected to.
“The village head and his family were already attacked by stray demons, some ten years ago. (panting) It seems it was only my father’s arrangement….(panting) to destroy the relationship between the two races.”
Sesshomaru’s blood boiled as he mused over the sufferings Rin and her parents had undergone due to the misfortune, and the hardships both humans and demons endured on account of the enmity between the two races. He just could not believe that he had been trusting his uncle enough to stay at his manor, all these years.
“I am sorry, Sesshomaru (panting) I could not save your woman” Kagura said in a softened tone, hurt and sourness obvious in her tone.
Sesshomaru only felt grateful towards his cousin at that moment. Kagura was not a protective type, saving lives, especially humans. Nor did she bother about hostility between the two races because she was strong enough to take down a small army humans and demons alike. She must have known from her father’s conversation that Sesshomaru loves Rin. That was why she had gone out of her way to save Rin; to save Sesshomaru’s happiness.
But how did Naraku come to know of how I feel about Rin…?! Sesshomaru wondered.
“You must hurry….save her…” Kagura interrupted his stream of thoughts.
But Sesshomaru did not move an inch, “Kagura……” How can he leave her like that….?
“It is all right…. At least I happened to see you once……. before dying….”
Sesshomaru’s eyes widened.
“……finally…..I am free…..as the wind……” Kagura said breathlessly.
She smiled as she shut her eyes.
It took a while to Sesshomaru to even realize that she had passed away, let alone believe it.
Her dead form dissolved into the wind, as the feather that was clinging to her dark hair was carried away by the breeze.
He felt his insides tug at the loss of his cousin.
FREEDOM….! Sesshomaru could hear the unspoken words Kagura’s alleviated soul whispered.
The fact of Kagura’s demise, although saddening, Sesshomaru could not help the feeling of relief that she was finally liberated from the hell of a life…. Just as she pronounced, she was ‘finally free as the wind….’
Several moments passed like hours to Sesshomaru and he became aware of the fact that he cannot afford to spend the crucial moment in grieving over Kagura’s death. He must hurry to rescue the only other woman left; the most important woman of his life. Rin!
Sesshomaru took flight immediately.
The whole mansion was haunted by mournful silence; not at all emanating the aura of wedding celebration. Sesshomaru almost prayed that what he thought would have happened had not happened. He found Kenji down and despondent. He was kneeling beside Misao, who was bed-ridden.
Kenji finally came out of his world of angst and noticed Sesshomaru’s presence. “Lord Sesshomaru! Those wicked demons! They have my beloved daughter….. Oh, my Rin! What is to become of her!” Kenji lamented.
The servants around, explained to Sesshomaru, that when Rin was on her way to the shrine, she was abducted by some stray demons. The maid and guards who accompanied her were injured. Kohaku and many other men of the village have gone to rescue her. Sesshomaru bitterly acknowledged the truth, one which he had hoped was not the truth. However he vowed to save her life even if it was the last thing he would do.
Sesshomaru learnt that Rin had been taken into the forest, as told by the injured servants. The demon lord felt that it was a small fortune that he became aware of Naraku’s design. Since it was his uncle who was involved it this, he could vaguely guess the location where he would have Rin hidden. In any case, he can locate Rin at ease once he transforms into his dog demon form. He can scent her out.
Sesshomaru quickly briefed out to Kenji and the servants that it was Naraku who is behind all this and about his plot. He also instructed the servants to seek Kohaku and the others and tell them the location. In the mean time, Sesshomaru would be after Rin.
Kenji was infuriated when he came to know of what his supposed ally, Naraku had done and what he intends to do to him, his family and his village.
Misao recovered her consciousness. Her eyes began to pour and she was making some gestures to Kenji which Sesshomaru was not able to fathom much. Kenji’s eyes were covered by sheen of tears and he hung his head.
“What is it?” Sesshomaru could not help his curiosity.
“She…..she says, she wants to see her child one more time…..” Kenji said, as his tone shook. It implies that Misao is in her last moments of her life.
Misao’s brown eyes and body pleaded Kenji in her gestures with desperation. Sesshomaru felt a pang in his chest that, Rin was to lose her mother, the one whom she took care of day and night, for ten years. And she is not there with her mother at the moment she really needs her. To make things worse, she is kidnapped.
“I shall take you and Lady Misao with me. We will be returning with Rin” Sesshomaru stated assertively.
Kenji could not refuse him. If Misao was to die, let her die peacefully after seeing Rin. Misao’s condition was such that, she may not survive more than a day. And it is highly doubtful that Rin will be rescued before that, if at all she is rescued before she is killed.
Misao thanked Sesshomaru with the gratitude flowing in her eyes and body language. Sesshomaru glanced at her once and gave a small but sharp nod.
Sesshomaru transformed into his magnificent dog demon form. Kenji mounted on his back, with Misao in his arms. The demon raced towards the direction of the location, his excellent sense of smell guiding him through.
“…..hmm…a..a…ow….!” Rin finally came back to consciousness as her whole body ached. The last she remembered was, she was snatched away by a pack of stray demons, when she was on her way to the shrine along with her maid and guards.
She took a look around. She was in a huge, gruesome cave. She felt sick at its filth. There seemed only one narrow way connected to where she was imprisoned. She quickly got on her foot and ran for it. She stumbled twice, as her legs were numb, not able to support the weight of her body as how it should.
The narrow way was only a path to a big arena of innumerous stray demons. They were all staring at her menacingly; ready to tear her apart if she moved a muscle to escape. The very sight of them brought the horror that terrorized her from childhood.
Why have they abducted me? What do they want from me? She darted away, back to her prison as fear consumed her.
Great! What am I going to do now?........ What about mother? Father? Kokaku? Rin’s thought flows were in torrents. Lord Sesshomaru…..Is this it…? Will I not ever see you again….? Then her tears began flowing in torrents.
She recalled how she was saved, the last time when she was attacked by a stray crow demon. It was her lord Sesshomaru who came for the rescue. But now? She is kidnapped and Sesshomaru would not even know it. He would probably be engaged in his stately affairs too much to even think about her. Her death would only come to him as a news, much later than her departure from the world. He would probably be relieved that he is permanently free from another, annoying pursuer of his. Rin felt her heart breaking at such thoughts; bitterness tore her heart. She really did not wish to live any longer. Not after being unloved by the only man she loves. She was almost happy that fate has given her a chance to die peacefully without further agony. At least Kohaku would not have to marry the woman who will not love him as how he wants her to. But…..wait!!! what about her mother…? She has to survive at least for her! Only for her….
Rin jolted at the sudden clamour behind her and turned her attention to the source which wass emitting heavy demonic aura.
“*GASP* Master Naraku!” Rin was in utter shock. The powerful and aristocratic demon of her village who was supposedly an associate of her father.
Naraku looked as evil as ever, though he was in his humanoid form. His eyes seeped with wickedness. He smirked evilly at Rin.
His expressions alarmed Rin and told her that he is no longer an ‘associate’ as how he had pretended to be till date.
“You have escaped me the last time I attacked you, ten years ago, you weak mortal girl! I should have ended your pathetic life after that. Due to my oversight, I had let you live your worthless life all these years to such an extent that you have grown up to be my greatest threat, by bringing a liaison between my race and yours…… huhuhun….. Did you really think that us demons would ever lower ourselves to your state and coexist with you filthy humans? How foolish!”Rin could not move a muscle at his declaration. Naraku was an enemy all along, but he had pretended to be an ally the whole time! It was only HIM who had attacked her and her family ten years ago! Forget about that! What does he plan to do to her NOW….?