In His Service

By Koniro Rose

Fantasy / Romance

home of the Inuyokai

Sesshomaru’s home suits him well, Kagome thought. It was built into the side of a mountain with high stone walls and an arched iron gate that looked like a mouth full of fangs. If there was any doubt to whom the place belonged to, the dozen or so inuyokai that lined the gray walls soon quelled it.

Kagome memorized the faces above her of those who looked down upon her and her charge with hatred and bigotry. She was surprised that there was not more in that number, but most looked to be reserving judgment for now. She returned the glares of those who clearly disgusted by their presence, wanting them gone. She would not allow them near Rin. Sesshomaru also assessed those faces as well. He would see it as a challenge to his authority if they tried to harm what he considered his.

Within the intimidating, iron gate, the place was situated like a small city or a large town. There were several clusters of small homes. The higher you climbed the larger and grander they became, most however were made of stone, hardly done in that era. It was very obvious that Sesshomaru cared for his people well, low or high. To her delighted surprise, there were humans who came out to greet the western lord as well. None appeared to be starving or abused in any manner. She took it for a good sign that maybe their being here would not be one constant battle.

Of course, Sesshomaru’s home was the grandest at the highest point of the fortress. It was behind yet another gate just as intimidating as the first, but appeared more silver than the dark gray of the first. Inside that wall, Kagome and Rin gasped. There were several blooming trees and intricate flower beds and koi ponds. Hidden within, they caught glimpses of statues done in all manner of precious stone and metals. Most were of inus in various stages of war and play. All of the buildings also held engravings of mighty battle scenes. One held her attention, it was of an inu in beast form sounded by pups as she rested. It would come to be her favorite.

People lined the stone walkway, waiting to welcome their leader home. Just to the side of a bowing Jakan, a beautiful white haired inuyokai stood out. She held herself proudly, with elegance and grace. A dark blue crescent marked her fore head along with dark red lines on her cheeks, enhancing her otherworldliness. She held her hands out toward Sesshomaru, who took them, kissing the mark on her fore head. “Mother.” He greeted her.

Kagome hid her surprise. She had never really thought of the brothers having other family, assuming that only the two of them left. She held Rin’s hand as the woman’s attention turned their way. Though she was just as aristocratic as her son, she looked welcoming, her gaze focused on the child. “This is your ward, my son?”

He led her to where they stood. “This is this one’s chosen daughter, Rin.” Rin bowed cutely with her beaming smile. “And this is this one’s servant, Kagome, the child’s caretaker.” From the looks they were now receiving, most of the group along the path had heard him as well.

“I am delighted to meet you, Rin.” She stated, bending down to take her hand. “I am named Kirei na Ansatsusha, but you may call me Obaasan if you so choose.” Standing once more, she glanced at Kagome, “You may call me lady Kirei na. Come, I will show you where you will be staying.”

Kagome looked toward Sesshomaru. Go, his voice sounded almost grumpy, echoing throughout her head.

As you like, she replied cheerfully before following behind Rin and the current lady of the west.

She led them down several long hallways. “This is the family wing of the house. It has only been Sesshomaru and I for so long now, it is welcome to see a child here again. I think I have missed the noise.” Lady Kirei na said.

Kagome watched the inu before her as she told Rin of life within the palace walls. There was no sign of hostility toward them as humans what so ever, which was unexpected. There were led into a large bedroom lovingly designed for a small girl. It was bright colored in pinks and golds, large flower murals covering the walls and in the fabric of the bedding. There were handmade toys and dolls and a doll sized replica of the main house that took up a quarter of the room. Rin herself could have probably sat in one of the small rooms. The girl was ecstatic, even giving lady Kirei na a huge hug before beginning to explore all the room had to offer.

She then led Kagome to a much smaller room, connecting to Rin’s’ by an arched doorway. “This will be your room, Kagome.”

Even though it was small compared to Rin’s, it was still the largest room she had ever called her own. It was done in soft blues and whites, making it very relaxing, which she was grateful for. She rested her bow against a wall and laid her bag down. “I am surprised” she faced the inu. “I expected you to hate humans.”

The lady smiled, fangs flashing. “I never hated humans. True I do not like many of them and I definitely was not thrilled to find my mate marrying one as a second wife. It was my anger that kept them away from here, but eventually, I accepted it and calmed my temper. It is a man’s way, even in the yokai world, to take wives and concubines. Of course, a strong yokai woman could also have more than one husband, but was never something that I wished to do.” She could see a spark of old pain, gone but not forgotten, with in the ladies silver eyes.

“Maybe it’s a man’s way, but it still totally sucks.” Kagome said, then had to explain what she had meant. She had gotten out of most modern slang, but sometimes it just popped out, along with a few words she had picked up from Inuyasha over the years.

“I agree” she laughed, “I had heard that Inuyasha had offered for you as a second mate as well.”

Kagome blushed. “Not going to happen, I can assure you.” She smiled at her, deciding that she liked the older woman.

Onna, the mark on her neck tingled suddenly, making her hold her hand over it, come to this Sesshomaru. she sighed.

“He is calling you?” Lady Kirei na asked.

“Yes,” She replied, “would you know where I might find him?”

“Most likely he is in his chambers. It is three doors down and to the left. I am right across the hall if Rin or you need help with anything.” She paused at the archway, “I will stay with the child until you return from your duties.”

Kagome made her way down the hall. She passed two fox youkai, both dressed in modest sage green kimonos marking them as servants. She supposed that she would be getting one as well in the near future. Moving on, she soon found his door and knocked softly.

Enter.

Kagome found him sitting by a large window, looking toward the sky as it darkened. She half smiled, easily imagining a tree behind him instead of the intricate pattern painted on the wall. Surprisingly, he only wore his yukata, the top half of him bare to her. As a woman, she allowed that he was probably the most attractive man ever born, his half-brother no too far behind him. The tattoo like marks followed the lines of his body, starting at his wrists and going up his arms, then flowing down his chest, stopping just above his ribs. She could see that they began again, just visible above his hips, though she didn’t let herself linger there. “You summoned me, lord Sesshomaru?” she asked, her voice calm.

Golden eyes cut her way. “You will see to this one’s wound. It is not healing as it should.” He commanded.

“As you wish.” She approached, careful not to seem smug after her offer to heal him the other night. It would not be good for her health. He turned, completely facing the window, revealing the mark high on his right shoulder. It was a raised, thin red line. He was right, something this small should have been gone within a few hours for someone with his healing abilities. She laid her hands flat on either side of the torn skin, sending power into the wound. She focused, finding it far deeper than it appeared on the outside, trying her best to ignore the feel of his body under her palms.

Sesshomaru noticed that her hands were warm against him. Despite the lingering pain, he found he enjoyed the sensation of her touching him. Pushing that disturbing thought aside, he waited for her to finish.

“There is something within the wound.” She said, concern lightly coloring her voice. “It seems to be slowly making it way to your heart, lord Sesshomaru. It has been covered in a numbing oil so that you would not notice it presence. I must draw it out,” she told him.

“Hn.” He said, granting permission for her to continue.

First she took his long, silver hair and lay it over his left shoulder. Bracing one hand on his left shoulder, she gently trailed her fingers down his back, sending more of her energy into him, seeking the object inside.

Sesshomaru’s eyes slid half closed, his flesh heating under her touch. Her hand continued down his back, stopping midway on his right side. She then lay her hand flat against him, massaging as she pushed it back up the laceration it had made. Finely she pulled a thin, circular disk from the injury. She glared at the metal, watching as it dissolved in her hand. Then she traced the red line with her finger tips, healing it. “It is done.” She nearly whispered, pulling her hands away from him. They tingled slightly, making her curl her fingers into her palms. She rose softly and began to leave.

Sesshomaru surprised them both by grabbing her wrist, stalling her departure. He felt the slightest tremble under his hand, but knew she did not fear him. “This Sesshomru is not ungrateful.” He said, his tone low with a hint of a growl, as if the words were drug out of him.

“You are welcome.” She bowed faintly before taking her leave. He caught a glimpse of her rubbing her wrist where he had held her. He could not help but speculate on whether she had felt heat from his touch as well. He turned back to the night sky, allowing the glimmering light from the full moon to ease his mind.


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