“…………………” Usually Sesshomaru was not one to deny any mission imposed by his father, as each of them was unique; provided a good learning experience for the heir.
But Sesshomaru seemed to have other ideas this time, “I cannot” he said.
This is the first time he denied without even asking about the details of the mission…. The father wondered, inwardly pleased at this change.
“I want you to listen to the objectives of the Mission. To undertake or decline is your choice”
Sesshomaru sighed, “Hn”
“You must stay at Village Edo”
Sesshomaru’s eyes widened.
“To set right demon-human relationship”
Sesshomaru’s eyes met his father’s in shock and suspicion. Father inwardly smirked again, at Sesshomaru’s reaction.
“Yes. You are already aware of the fact that, quite often than not, the relationship between demons and humans in that village has been bitter…. I have deferred the issue long enough. Now, I want you to stay there and administrate on my behalf; to inspect whether Village activities are as per agreement; to attend to demon-human issues that have been suspended from getting resolved; to solve those problems that are common between the two communities as soon as they surface. The final outcome of this mission is to establish favourable relationship between demons and humans”
“If we do not solve the predicament sooner, it will become a serious threat to both communities in future, if not now”
“I am particular about Village Edo because……”
“…………” Sesshomaru’s eyes slightly narrowed, at the pause of his father.
“It is one of the most prominent villages in our dominion. In terms of size, wealth, from generation of food grains to animal husbandry…. and even influence of that village in many other villages around it…... This is not an issue, which we can neglect nor can we defer”
“If the heir of the Western regions, personally attends to these tasks, the demons and humans not only of that village but also of all other regions under our domain will be motivated to develop and sustain the positive relationship and will co-operate in the coexistence.”
“You have listened, as I wanted. You may leave now, as you wish”, Inu father said nonchalantly.
“……………. What is the duration planned for this mission?” Sesshomaru finally said.
Which means you are willing to commence the mission, NOW…. Inu father thought, inwardly satisfied with his success, “For a mission such as this, you cannot fix a specific duration. Because it is not like battling, where you can deduce the time that will take. It is about managing people and relations. It might take few months or even a year” father said while telling himself, or even years….
“If you are interested you may commence the mission now. If it takes longer than you had expected and if you wish not to continue then you may relay it to Inuyasha for continuance and completion”
The mention of the half-breed’s name flared up Sesshomaru.
“I will commence and accomplish it myself” Sesshomaru said promptly.
Good, my son. You have fallen right into my trap…. Inu father was satisfied with his triumph again.
“I will begin without delay” Sesshomaru said and left.
Now Sesshomaru will be fastened there for a significant period. He will not give up even if it takes years to complete, now that I mentioned Inuyasha. He’ll never work so hard, just to let his reward of glory getting shared with his half-brother. Moreover, he’ll never let him have the honour of completion of such a vital task. He’s too proud for that.
……..and at least for the sake of this mission, he will have to coordinate with Kenji, the head of village Edo, and that girl Rin, more often than he’ll ever want…….
Sesshomaru told himself that the ONLY reason for him to commence this challenging mission as planned by his father was that it will develop a good reputation for him, who is the future landlord of the West. He also told himself that he hadn’t agreed upon such a long mission just to stay in Rin’s village for an indefinite period. But the truth was otherwise.
And of course, Jaken was at his heels, following him.
Jaken could figure out that his lord is in a sour mood. But what could be the reason?..... Is it connected to that girl, Rin…… It must be. We are going to her village after all……. But why the bad mood? What must have upset him so much? Jaken raked up his mind but found no answer.
Hey! This is not the right direction…. “Eh?.... Lord Sesshomaru? Are we not going to your uncle Naraku’s manor?....” Jaken asked.
Jaken kept quiet with his lord’s silence.
They stopped in front of Rin’s Mansion.
Jaken was surprised but kept his mouth shut.
They met Kenji.
“Welcome Lord Sesshomaru. Welcome, Master Jaken!” Kenji greeted.
“I have a mission to accomplish and for that I require your assistance” Sesshomaru said.
Kenji was puzzled, but he agreed.
Sesshomaru elaborated on the details of the mission. Kenji was overjoyed at the prospect. They have finally brought out a permanent solution for their critical predicament.
“I will co-ordinate to the best extent possible…. and so will my daughter…..”
Kenji glanced at Jaken and said, “She is away on the planned trip, to her friend’s village Kyoda. She just left this morning”
Instantly, Jaken felt a strong demonic aura blazing him that made him quiver with terror.
So we happened to reach here only after her departure? Jaken mused. He forced his coward eyes to Sesshomaru’s face. Stoic as ever. But Jaken saw through that face and found serious displeasure.
Before letting Kenji invite them as he always does, Sesshomaru said, “I have planned the stay at my uncle’s manor. I will dine there”
“…. Yes, Lord Sesshomaru….”
“I shall take my leave now”
With that Sesshomaru and Jaken started for and reached his uncle’s manor.
“That girl…. She will be away only for two days, milord….. even if she takes longer time, she’ll return in few days. She will not leave her mother for so long” Jaken did his best to console Sesshomaru.
The flared up Sesshomaru only glared at Jaken which startled the toad. Sesshomaru knew that Jaken can reasonably see through his face and demeanor. He also knew Jaken would have noted his tendency and behavior towards Rin. But Sesshomaru never acted as though he knew that Jaken knew. Else, Jaken might tend to pry on or probe him.
It was not particularly the number of days of her visit that bothered him. The main fact that was hassling him was that Rin was going to be with Kohaku, an intimate friend. Will the intimacy cross the borders of friendship and tie their souls together?
Sesshomaru was so frustrated.
“Let’s go, Jaken”, with that Sesshomaru started without waiting or turning back.
“Eh?.... where to, Milord?” Jaken asked as he scurried after his master.
“Rin, you are not in your usual self” a young man said. He looked almost the same as in Sesshomaru’s dream except that he tied up his hair in a high ponytail. Kohaku. He had brown eyes; handsome face; tanned complexion; sweet smile. The friends were sitting together in the middle of a vast grassy plain.
“Huh?!?..... silly Kohaku! Of course, I’m normal!” Rin lied, chuckling nervously. Lying is not her specialty at all.
“It’s obvious, Rin. You always keep talking. But you’ve hardly spoken to me, since you came.”
“………” Rin couldn’t argue with that.
“Rin…... Is it a man?” Kohaku asked.
“WHAT!?!?” Rin was baffled at the right guess. She blushed instantly, visible enough for Kohaku.
“So I’m right!” Kohaku chuckled.
“*GASP*….. of course not!”, Rin huffed and turned her head away. She was still blushing though.
“Rin, you know there’s no point in lying to me. We’ve been together for so long. I can read you like a book”
“Rin…..” Kohaku said as he placed his hand on her shoulder.
Rin automatically leaned on his arm. As Kohaku began rubbing her arm up and down for comfort, Rin shut her eyes and sighed.
“Does he not love you back?..... Or is he into another girl?”
“…………” Rin opened her eyes, but didn’t say a word.
Kohaku looked down at Rin, trying to read her face. He couldn’t bear having her with so much pain.
“He must be a fool to miss someone like you!” Kohaku flamed.
Rin immediately straightened and shot back, “Kohaku! Don’t say such things!” about him…..
Rin sighed and went on, “It’s not like I’m keeping things from you, but…. I don’t want to talk about it….. At least, not now……. Please understand” In fact, I’m trying hard to forget it.…
Kohaku studied her face; then he smiled and said, “I understand….”
Rin decided to break it. “Hey! I’ll be leaving in a couple of days. Why are we wasting time? Just come on! Let’s have some fun!” she said as she got up in enthusiasm.
Kohaku knew she’s just pretending to be her energetic self, but he decided to play along with her. He nodded and said, “yes”
Rin caught his hands and began running. Both were laughing as they ran towards Kohaku’s horse that was tied near the road to the village. Kohaku untied the horse, lifted Rin and placed her on horseback. Then he mounted the horse and they were off to the village.So they ARE lovers. Just as I suspected…… Just as the dream…. Sesshomaru thought bitterly, although his dream was more confirmatory.