After several lectures about appropriateness, the departure of the tora tribe from the south, and the departure of the taiji-ya, it was time for the delegation from the west to head home. Sango, before she left had swore she’d write the girls and couldn’t wait, as Kagome had invited her, to see them for the mating ceremony. Nikki nodded as she knew Sango would probably arrive home to a familiar character, as Sesshomaru had told her how impressed Kouga had been with the human girl. Minami and his clan had packed off fairly quickly and quietly, though the boys having caused some trouble with Nikki’s brothers didn’t help them, when they had left.
“Well my friend,” Nishi said to Higashi as they watched the last of the belongings get loaded up onto the carriage, “it looks like we are the last.” Higashi nodded in agreement.
“Of course,” he replied with a smirk, “we always were the inseparable ones.” Nishi chuckled and nodded in agreement. “Just keep an eye on her, old friend.”
“A jewel of one kingdom is more valuable in another,” Nishi told him as Higashi nodded in agreement. “You should take the rest of this winter to relax, train up a bit, and start thinking about moving on.”
“I know,” Higashi bemoaned as his friend chuckled at him. “Don’t remind me, your mate has done so a few times.”
“Yes, well she wanted me to let you know, she knows of a few females that are single, beautiful, and in desperate need of strong mates,” Nishi advised him with a smirk as Higashi eyed him warily. “I am telling you that they aren’t beautiful, while they are single and quite desperate, so don’t do it.” The two laughed at what was said as Izayoi walked out of the castle holding Eri in her arms.
“You two are always laughing together more than anyone else at the table sometimes,” Izayoi mused as she watched them. All of Nikki’s brothers were lined up and saying their goodbyes to their little sister.
“That’s a good sign,” Higashi told her as Nishi nodded in agreement.
“How so?” she asked him confused as the two looked at each other and shrugged.
“Well, we can’t go to war,” Higashi answered as he thought about it, “we wouldn’t be able to attack each other, we’d be too busy laughing at each other.” At this both lords chuckled amused as Izayoi shook her head with a sigh. She hugged Higashi goodbye and then each of the boys.
“Remember, if you need anything,” she said as the boys nodded, “don’t hesitate to write us.”
“Of course,” Seiji said for his brothers as they all nodded, “thank you my lady.” She was helped into the carriage by Inuyasha before Kagome was helped in and he hopped in himself.
“Be good kitten,” Higashi said gruffly as Nikki turned to him. He hated this, he hated goodbye, but he hated more that his daughter was an adult and acting like one.
“Papa,” she said softly as he pulled her into a tight hug, “I think it’s more I should be telling you that.” He chuckled and nodded as they hugged for what felt like forever. “Don’t make me come back here and put you all through your paces. And you had better write me every day that I’m gone.” He nodded as he let her go, it was the same thing he’d tell any one of them when they would leave home for whatever reason.
“And you do the same, and if you need anything, you say it and it’ll be there,” Higashi told her. “We’re already anticipating when you come home.” Nikki nodded as she turned to the carriage and Sesshomaru. Higashi watched as the younger inu lord helped her into the carriage. “Sesshomaru,” he waved him over and the younger walked over prepared for anything the father of his court could possibly say to him at this point, “she is more valuable than any jewel in any kingdom. Treat her as such and remember, if anything happens to that princess you’re going to have a lot more than me after you.” He motioned to his five sons as they all crossed their arms. Sesshomaru looked at them mildly amused and nodded.
“You undervalue her,” Sesshomaru replied as Higashi watched him. “The five of you wouldn’t get this Sesshomaru if something happened to her, because she is worth more than my life and if she were harmed, I’m already dead.” Higashi nodded as he listened and watched as Sesshomaru turned and climbed into the carriage with her. That was the response he was looking for.
“He’s a good boy,” Higashi said shaking his head; it was more to him than the inu youkai next to him.
“He’s a stubborn fool, but I did my best,” Nishi agreed as the two smirked and nodded. “We will send a runner to inform you when we’ve arrived safely. If you or the boys need anything, send us word and it’s yours, old friend.” Higashi sighed as he tried to think.
“To wake up from this nightmare,” Higashi muttered in hopes no one around them heard him.
“That I can’t do,” Nishi said shaking his head as Higashi chuckled and nodded.
“Yeah, I know,” he replied as he thought. “There is nothing I require, just the safety of my daughter that I can think of at the moment.” Nishi nodded in agreement as the two hugged before he turned towards the carriage to get in and start the trip.
Higashi and the boys all remained within the courtyard as they watched the carriage take off and disappear into the distance. He sighed as he looked at the five, they suddenly felt very vulnerable without the constant affections of the females. He waved them to the castle as they prepared to relax some and prepare for their regroup.
“So, think Nikki is going to resume her training in the western lands?” Seiji asked curiously as the six of them chuckled at the idea.
“Think Sesshomaru will attempt to stop her again?” Jiro asked as well while they all continued to laugh a little.
“I don’t think Lord Nishi knows what exactly he took home with him,” Rinji added softly as they stopped laughing and thought about it.
“Not even close,” Higashi told them all with a smirk on his face. The boys all looked at him curiously as he sighed and tried to think of what to do next. “We have the rest of winter without your sister. I’m sure she’s as worried about us as we are her, so we will need to work hard to show her that we are just as capable of surviving here without her as we are with her.” The five nodded in agreement as they started discussing their training plans for the rest of the winter.