“You sing well, Rin”
With that Sesshomaru immediately withdrew. For some unknown reason Sesshomaru didn’t use the title ‘Lady’ while referring her.
When Rin snapped out of her trance and opened her eyes, he was at an arm’s length from her; his face as cold and indifferent as always.
Her face turned into a tomato when embarrassment ate her.
Sesshomaru smirked. Rin widened her eyes and gaped at that. But she was still blushing.
Sesshomaru was never of that type to act in such a way with a woman. He hates women. But at that moment, he had wanted very badly to tease her. That was why he purposely conducted the play although his disposition would never permit him to act so. He was content that they were even, when he saw her embarrassment. Tit for tat!
For a moment, Rin almost forgot to thank him for the compliment, “Thank you, Milord”
If I stay any longer, he may play with me again. Also, there was nothing else they could talk about. “I shall take my leave now, Milord”, Rin bowed; Sesshomaru nodded. She left.
She responded almost spontaneously as I neared her face, as if to kiss. If she is in love with that ‘Kohaku’ boy, she’d never respond so. Even if she is in love with him, my presence and touch does seem to stir something in her…… Sesshomaru’s common sense interrupted: SO?
Sesshomaru blinked. He was actually analyzing a woman’s feelings for him and for another male. Humph! I don’t care! I’m just curious…. Was the answer he gave his common sense.
“Lord Sesshomaru! There you are!” Jaken scurried to him.
“I explored the mansion and was chatting with some of the servants….blah…blah…blah”
“………….” Sesshomaru’s body language told that he had no interest in the topic and he was only half-listening.
Jaken noted this from the corner of his eyes and said, “I managed to find out the age of the girl, Rin”
Sesshomaru suddenly stopped on his track; the next moment he resumed his walk, but at a slower pace that Jaken will be able to catch up.
This was also noted by Jaken; no doubt. He knew his master was eager to know the answer. “She is eighteen years old, Milord. She is a great singer, they say. I wonder if we’d get a chance to listen to her singing”
“Why should we listen to a woman’s singing?”, Sesshomaru said boldly, as he had already heard her singing. Although he was eager for more, he was not curious.
“Gah!” Jaken was surprised at the cold reaction from his master.
A girl in her eighteen with so much knowledge….. Sesshomaru was impressed.
Sesshomaru was walking inside the palace. Few paintings were hanging on the wall. Most of them are those of the ancestors. He stopped his on track at the sight of a picture. Rin in her fifteen or sixteen; shiny brown eyes; such pretty face; well-groomed hair; a small ponytail at the side; in a stunning violet kimono; one of her hands gripping an umbrella above her head; the other holding a small pouch; the artist seems skillful…. Sesshomaru’s mind voiced. He didn’t want to admit that she’s beautiful. So he complimented the artist instead.
The next picture had Kenji seated with a beautiful adult woman; and a pretty little girl of eight or nine, with lustrous brown orbs seated in between; the picture seemed to be of Rin’s family. Sesshomaru’s eyes fell on the adult woman. Must be her mother…. But Master Kenji had not mentioned about his wife; nor was she seen around till now….. Perhaps she passed away….
Sesshomaru proceeded with his observation of other paintings. There was one picture – it had a big sturdy dog, with white fur; its size was much bigger than the average; there was a cute girl beside in her teens; she was wearing a wide smile; her hands were around the dog’s neck caressing it; the dog was looking at her; its eyes and body showed that it seemed eager for her touch…..
“You seem to like it, Milord”
Sesshomaru turned to face Rin. He gave her a slight nod. He wore a hard face, so that she cannot make out what he was thinking. He could have walked away, but his eyes were drawn to the picture again. His face was lifeless; but the way his eyes keenly ran across the picture told that he really liked it.
“I painted this……. You can take it, if you like”
Sesshomaru looked at Rin. You draw?
The girl seemed to have heard his mind’s voice. “I draw once in a while” she said as she took the picture from the wall and offered to him.
Sesshomaru glanced at the picture and then at her blankly.
“This is the first time you visited us. Let this be our gift for you” (Ahem…. Implied meanings here are ‘Us’ equals ‘me’ and ‘our’ equals ‘my’)
Normally Sesshomaru would have refused the offer. But the girl had diplomatically framed the sentences, in such a way that he could not refuse. He held out his hand and received it.
His eyes carelessly ran across the picture and fell on hers. “Thank you”
Then she bowed, “I must leave, Milord”. She left.
Sesshomaru glanced around to make sure nobody was there. Then he rushed to his room and took a seat in his desk. He didn’t get the opportunity to study the picture after she said, she painted it. He leaned his hand on the desk and bent it to support his chin; his eyes thoroughly examined the picture. He was really impressed with the perfection, intricacies and exuberant colours. The fingers of his other hand began tracing across the teen girl in the picture. What is she trying to do?...... Taming her unyielding pet?.....
Sesshomaru’s common sense interrupted the line of such thoughts, because his mind was harmonizing the picture with Rin and himself. He immediately turned the picture upside down.
Sesshomaru was called for lunch. No Rin the whole time. Sesshomaru was a bit puzzled. Dinner time. No Rin. Sesshomaru became restless. Jaken glanced at his master, then asked Kenji, “Your daughter does not have much appetite, is it, Master?”. Jaken managed to ask why Rin didn’t join them without sounding too inquisitive.
“Oh! She….. she said, she’ll have dinner in her private quarters”, Kenji said. A tinge of uneasiness was there in his tone.
Sesshomaru’s aura told Jaken that he was disappointed and a bit angry.
Sesshomaru settled on his desk and studied the parchment he brought. Hours passed. His mind had already visited Rin’s private quarters many times; not finding her once.
He let out a sigh, got up and went to the garden.
There was moon; but there was no Rin.
Then he recalled her song she sang last night,
“Won’t you come by this time, tomorrow? Oh dear moon!
My beloved is not here now, please leave soon.”
His eyes widened as realization struck him. She sang as though her lover was not there last night; she asked the moon to leave so that it will come tonight…. Which means she’d be with her lover tonight…….. If her trip was not cancelled, she would have been with…… the Kohaku boy…..
Sesshomaru felt deceived. He was really angry. But his inner being tried consoling him that it was only a casual song, and that Rin being in love with Kohaku was only a probability….
He strode to his room.
And why is she avoiding me?.... Is it because I played with her this noon?.....
Sesshomaru was so pissed off, he harshly shoved the parchments from the desk. They fell on the floor with a *THUD* and a *CLANK*. Then his eyes fell on the upside down picture. His hand hesitated at first; but the next moment it took the picture.
Then why did she give me this? ….something which she painted by herself, as a gift, just because I admitted that I like it...... she seemed fine with me when she gave me this………... and what about her feelings for that Kohaku boy?
His eyes were intent upon the smiling teen girl’s face.
He slept poorly, as puzzlement awoke him at intervals.
Breakfast time. STILL NO RIN.
Jaken gulped. But didn’t dare to ask anything.
Glancing at Jaken, Kenji told by himself, “Rin won’t be joining us”
Sesshomaru looked indifferent.
He had not proper food yesterday, since Rin was not there every time. That fact annoyed him so much that, he ate more than he usually does, just to prove to himself, that her absence meant nothing to him. After breakfast, Sesshomaru headed to his room.
He bumped into a servant woman who was carrying a load of bed covers, curtains, blankets and clothes.
Sesshomaru said, “You are carrying so much by yourself? What about the others?”
“They are away on an errand, Milord”
He pitied her and offered to share her burden, which she politely refused. Sesshomaru insisted and got much of the load from her.
“Thank you, Milord. You are very kind”
Sesshomaru inwardly scoffed. His demon’s pride was hurt. I am not kind!
Following the woman, he ended up in Rin’s private quarters. He placed the load as told by the servant. His pride was so much that he wanted to leave immediately before Rin found him.
Then Rin’s singing voice caught his attention.
(A/N:- I hope motherlovers will like this song….. Tell the following words to your mother, and make her cry in joy ^.^ )
There is no life-form that doesn’t call its mother
There is no better virtue than revering her
(Sesshomaru’s legs walked towards the source of the voice. His eyes widened; breathe hitched; mouth fell open. The same adult woman as seen in the picture! She was ailing; one of her hands bent upwards; head constantly shaking; she seemed to have some nervous disorder; a smiling Rin was drying that woman’s hair with a towel. Sesshomaru was observing Rin from a distance without her knowledge.)
The only God who stands before us in form,
Is none other than our mother; she’s warm
(Rin combs and grooms her mother’s hair)
Yes! You are my God! The only God I know!
And I am your humble devotee, before you I bow (Rin bows before her mother; the latter smiles, tears welled up in eyes)
Wealth, power and glory are not what I seek of you
Please bless me with all your heart, that will do (Sesshomaru was indeed taken aback at such words)
(Rin is feeding her mother with breakfast)
If ever I happen to be reborn after I wither
Even then I want ONLY YOU as my mother
I pray to you, grant me this boon hither
(Rin gives her mother some medicines; then she makes her lay, as she massages her legs)
Diamonds, rubies, pure gold and new silver
Can any of them equal a mother?
No matter how much you bargain and trade
you cannot buy a mother’s pure love and aid
(Rin gently strokes her mother’s head, while smiling brightly; her mother sheds tears of joy; Rin wipes away those tears and cues her to sleep)
For ten months you carried me in your womb, (A/N:- Ten months is only an approximation, for the sake of the song)
I realize what pains and troubles you have undergone
Even if I take ten rebirths to serve you in this soil
Will I ever repay my debt, no matter how much I toil?
(By now Rin’s mother is asleep)
“I love you, mother” Rin said, while wiping away her own tears.
Sesshomaru felt his frozen interior melting at such loving words and her tears. He had never witnessed such love before, being born and brought up by and along demons. There were few humans in his palace, but they were all servants. There was nobody to show him or even display in front of him, the manifestation of such pure, intense love.“It is my wife, Lady Misao” Kenji entered the scene.