Landlord of the West

Chapter 24

Sesshomaru heart picked up pace as Rin’s scent got stronger every second. Wait till he gets his hands on her! He will never let go of her and leave her in peril!

Much to his annoyance and frustration the stray demons those which were guarding the entrance to the cave that imprisoned Rin, hurdled him from reaching her. Kenji and Misao were left on the ground so that they may take shelter somewhere hidden. The tremendous, alabaster demon lord combated with them ferociously like a rabid dog! Had Inu father seen the scene, even he would have been confounded at the image of the vicious beast.

The battered bodies of stray demons were getting dispersed in chunks. The dog demon’s fangs and claws were dripping with blood and his silver body was sprayed with the crimson liquid. He was mad! Furious! Bloodthirsty! He had almost cleared off all the stray demons. He could not help the sick feeling at the pit of his stomach as he grew more and more anxious about Rin’s security.

*SHRIEK*

RIN! Sesshomaru instantly dashed into the cave after reverting back to his humanoid form.

Just as Sesshomaru feared, he found Rin in the grasp of the wicked demon Naraku.

“Unwise nephew! Do not tell me, you choose to defy me just to save your weak human girl!” Naraku hissed. He had transformed into his true humongous form that emits poisonous miasma.

“Lord Sesshomaru!” Rin called, joy overwhelming her agony. Something tiny, fluttered inside Sesshomaru’s chest when he heard her loving call of his name. But he did not utter a word to her in response to her call.

“Indeed I shall defy AND destroy the demon who was so despicable as to slay his own daughter for his self-interest. You are a disgrace to the whole of demon community” Sesshomaru shot his iciest retort.

“*GASP* Wha-?! K-Kagura’s dead!?!” Rin exclaimed.

“huhuhun….. But that is what makes us demons, different from the sentimental humans, doesn’t it Sesshomaru? We never HAD a heart. Then where is the question of protection and love?”

No matter how well Sesshomaru’s stoic mask hid his emotions, inwardly he was already in panic to find Rin in Naraku’s clutches while an injured Kenji was at a distance, with Misao by his side. Misao was crying helplessly at her daughter’s state while Kenji was completely terrorized.

“Lord Sesshomaru! Please! I beg of you to take mother and father and leave! I-I cannot have them in danger for my sake. I can never forgive myself if anything happens to them!” Rin pleaded, with a tear-stained face.

“RIN! NO!! If you are to die, then we will die with you!” Kenji declared.

Sesshomaru could not utter a word. Rin cares about everyone but herself. Naraku will pay for all his offences. Sesshomaru will make him pay….

Naraku paid no attention to the sentimental scenes which were playing in front of him. He was focused on his nephew instead. “l should have taken your father’s place as the ruler of the Western lands. But your cunning father, gained the support of both humans and demons by proposing and setting up the coexistence between the two races. He ultimately took control and ruled us all. *HUFF* Humans are never equal, even to the dust of demons’ feet. If it was not for you and this wretched human girl, my design of enslaving humans by demons, by use of force and taking control of the whole region would have been accomplished. Huhuhun….. But now, I shall kill her *HUFF* My gratitude to you, dear nephew, for bringing along the village head and his crippled wife, I shall kill them as well. The blame will fall on demons.”

Sesshomaru felt sick with disgust towards his uncle. So this is what he has planned all along! How vile and disreputable!

“Oh! I have forgotten! Yes!” Naraku went on, pretending as if he had really forgotten to mention something, “My confidential human servant Bankotsu will set the human homes on fire with the help of some of my demon servants. This will only aggravate the crisis. These will do to destroy the alliance between the two communities for another millennium!” Naraku said as he burst out his evil mirth.

Rin and Kenji gasped at the mention of ‘Bankotsu’. He was a bad guy after all!

Bankotsu….?! So his true intention earlier, had been to wed Rin only to kill her and her family and cause havoc to demon-human affiliation!? ­Sesshomaru could now put the pieces together, in spite of lack of explanation from Naraku’s side and figure out what had been the original plan of Naraku. The evil demon must have set Bankotsu up and sent him as Rin’s suitor to achieve his wicked designs.

And it was him who told Naraku of me and Rin…. Sesshomaru then realized that Bankotsu must have told what had happened between him and Rin the other night. That was how Naraku came to know of Sesshomaru’s feelings for Rin.

“Don’t act too smart, Naraku!” Kohaku voice thundered the cave.

“Kohaku!” Rin called out in both joy and anxiety. Now even Kohaku has come. What if he gets hurt by Naraku…?

“Bankotsu and your demon servants are dead now” Kohaku said as an assertion.

Naraku’s malicious smirk disappeared. For the first time, his malevolent face expressed mild uncertainty, which can be interpreted partly as alarm and partly as worry.

“Now, let Rin go” Kohaku commanded, in such a tone, that even Naraku felt threatened for a split second.

Although Sesshomaru was inwardly relieved of the Kohaku’s accomplishment, he could not help the feeling of envy and guilt that took him over, when he had realized that he had only told that he had come to defy his uncle who has disgraced his race, while Kohaku has clearly expressed in few words that he has come only for Rin. What would Rin think of Sesshomaru and what would she think of Kohaku…?

“Huhuhun…..” Naraku made his evil chuckle only to launch his attack on Kohaku. Sesshomaru darted his way towards his uncle and hit him with his poison whip. Sesshomaru’s poison whip and Kohaku’s weapon were causing reasonable damage to Naraku’s form. But it was not enough to defeat the demon. Sesshomaru attacked Naraku with his weapon Tenseiga which was forged from his father’s fangs (A/N:- This Tenseiga can be used as a weapon; it can hurt and kill) which greatly injured Naraku.

What Rin was unable to decipher was, how Sesshomaru’s attacks were so powerful, when his moves were only so graceful. To untrained eyes, Sesshomaru’s elegant moves might have even seemed like dancing. Rin’s admiring eyes were vigilantly following Sesshomaru’s every move, documenting his every motion in her memory. These mental documents might come in handy whenever she can daydream about him in solitude.

Sesshomaru was already a demon too powerful for someone like Naraku to handle. Kohaku was by no means weak, because he was a fierce fighter for a human. Naraku began to understand that he was going to lose the battle. He swung his tentacles at Kenji and Misao.

“Mother! Father! NOOO!!!” Rin cried in distress.

But what the spectators saw was that the couple were pushed away by Kohaku who was knocked out of consciousness, in their stead.

“KOHAKU!” Rin and Kenji called in unison. Misao was shaking hard, with fear and anger at the state of Rin and Kohaku. If only she was not crippled! If only she could speak! If only….!

Sesshomaru could not put up with Naraku any longer. He made a final blow at him which proved to be the fatal strike. Naraku’s face was contorted with the immense pain he was experiencing; his huge form was collapsing to pieces. But the failure made him no better. He smirked his vile smirk at the last moment of his life. Sesshomaru was annoyed to no limits, he literally kicked him on the face to wipe the smirk off.

Sesshomaru darted towards Rin to get hold of her before Naraku could-

“Did you really think I will die in vain, nephew….?”

Sesshomaru’s breathe got arrested when he realized what was coming.

Sesshomaru roared, “DO NOT DARE-”

*SHRIEEEEEK*

The contemptible demon pierced his poisonous tentacles into the human girl’s chest.

“LET GO OF MY BABY!”

All, including Rin turned their attention to the source of the command.

MISAO!!!!

She was standing on her foot! Her wobbling legs were rushing towards her daughter. She made a sincere but an unsuccessful attempt to run towards Rin. But her untrained legs gave away, which was about to be followed by a grave fall. Sesshomaru glided caught the elderly woman in time.

“Huhuhun….So something good has happened with this girl’s death….” Naraku uttered the venomous words as he dissolved into thin air, departing earth for eternity.

Rin’s tattered form was falling, ready to hit the ground. Her eyes were fixed on her mother the whole time. She was in the happiest state of mind that she had not felt the pain that filled her body. Sesshomaru swiftly caught Rin with his other hand. He left Misao wailing at one side of Rin while he took another. A terrified Kenji rushed his way to his daughter.

Sesshomaru’s mind was in such condition that he was only half-aware of the world around him. He had lost part of his consciousness, from the moment he witnessed Rin getting stabbed. He had realized that Rin’s injury was undoubtedly fatal, and that she is living her last moment in her miserable life. His mind was foggy. Sharp needles were break through the veins in his wrists as anxiety devoured him. His broken stoic mask revealed glimpses of the tight emotions he was experiencing.

“Mother……you are…..well…..” Rin’s eyes were flooded with tears.

“Oh my RIN!!” Misao slapped her face hard with both her hands.

“Rin-NO!” Kenji held his chest with was twisting with ache, “I am sorry dear. I have failed to-to...” Kenji broke into sobs as he was unable to go on. Both the parents were in such misery that they could not say anything….. What’s the point of it now? It is too late….!

“Please do not worry, father. It was never your fault….At least….mother has recovered her health….. Now I can rest in peace….

“NO!!!” the parents howled together. Only now they had realized how painful it would be if a loved one uses the phrase ‘Now I can rest in peace’.

Two reasons for which Rin desired to live were her mother and Sesshomaru. The second one no longer existed after the dog demon’s rejection. Now the first one has also ceased to exist as Misao’s vocal cord and nervous system have begun to operate as they should. How fortunate she is! Only she will not live to witness the progress in her health.

Sesshomaru’s hands were lightly trembling as regret and agony penetrated through his chest and tore the insides of his head.

Rin’s gaze faced Sesshomaru, which emitted love and devotion to her lord. “Thank you, lord Sesshomaru….”she whispered. She reached behind the folds of her kimono and took out Sesshomaru’s haori she had held. Now the haori was in shreds due to Naraku’s stab. But it was bluish green in colour.

Only then Sesshomaru remembered that his Haori had the power to absorb poison from entering the body of the one wearing it. Else Rin’s flesh and bones would have been completely burnt by Naraku’s venom, leaving only subtle ashes behind that would have been disintegrated without trace and carried away by the wind. The haori was poison-proof and that was the main reason he had left it with Rin. And she has carried it with her all along. How she must have loved him!

“Rin…” was all Sesshomaru managed to say, while he had at least one thousand words to express he true love for her. He had lost his eloquence of speech at the most inopportune time…..

“I love you” Rin whispered as she shut her eyes. Misao and Kenji were shocked. Their eyes darted between Rin and Sesshomaru in surprise.

“Rin.…” Sesshomaru uttered in his softest tone, “I love you too”

Then everything came to sense for Rin’s parents. Sesshomaru and Rin were in love with each other all along….

No response from the girl.

“Rin…” Sesshomaru stated, as a matter of questioning her sudden silence and her lack of expression for his confession.

No response.

Sesshomaru did not dare to realize what he was supposed to realize.

“Rin.…wake up…” Sesshomaru whispered.

No response.

“Rin”, Sesshomaru called.

No response.

“Rin…. Heed this Sesshomaru!” Sesshomaru commanded.

No response.

“RIN, ENOUGH!” Sesshomaru raged.

No response.

“Rin, please!” Sesshomaru finally pleaded.

No response. Instead, only the noise of the loud howling parents was heard.

“………”Language and vocabulary failed Sesshomaru and he could only shake her shoulders desperately in his attempt to bring her back to consciousness. Or more like bring her departed soul from the underworld.

No response.

The girl’s face was pale; body was cold; she had stopped breathing.

Sesshomaru bit his lips as he repented for what had just happened. He hung his head in shame. Eyes behind his bangs. His insides were completely shredded and his mouth twisted, baring his fangs as the anguish strangled him.

She can’t be saved….?! I cannot save her….!?!

Just as his father pointed out…. He had failed to express his love for his woman….like his father…. Even worse, he never mated Rin and bear her with his pup…. even worse…. Rin never came to know of his love for her…. Sesshomaru placed Rin’s corpse on his soft pelt and embraced it. His face hidden into the crook of the now cold neck of Rin. It was all due to his worthless pride…. Insignificant adamancy of proving his father wrong….. Now what has he achieved by it??? NOTHING!!!

For the first time in his life, he felt himself to be the most pathetic demon alive! When she was alive, she was yearning for his love. She even pursued him to his palace out of her way and proposed to him. But he was of no avail. But when he has come to seek her out; to confess his love for her; to mate her; to claim her as his……she has become one among the dead…. This was fate’s severe punishment for Sesshomaru’s denial of his love for her….of HER love for him…..

No….! NO….!! RIN…!!!

All of a sudden, strong demonic aura engulfed Sesshomaru as he was mourning over Rin’s dead form. Minutes passed and the demonic aura only got stronger. Kenji had to drag Misao from Sesshomaru and Rin in order to avoid the suffocation of the toxic aura.

* POUND*

“………” Sesshomaru who was in a different world, was retreating back to earth at the foreign feeling.

* POUND - POUND*

Sesshomaru’s eyes snapped open.
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