"Rin-san, you look lovely." Tatsuyo blushed.

"You will bring her home directly after the festival." Sesshoumaru glared at the boy.

"Yes, sir. It is an honor to escort Rin-san and to finally meet you. You can trust me to bring her right back." Tatsuyo grew serious, yet seemed almost giddy as he bowed to Sesshoumaru, which caused Sesshoumaru to narrow his eyes even more. The human seemed TOO sincere and enthusiastic, in Sesshoumaru's opinion. The human seemed to only be respectful, yet not cowering in fear.

If Rin wasn't there, Sesshoumaru would still be tempted to slit the boy's throat and be done with the trouble.

---

Rin and the human boy, called Tatsuyo, said their goodbyes to Sesshoumaru, who was trying to pretend he didn't care too much for the fate of his follower. They then started down the path that would lead them to the village in the middle of the valley.

After walking a good distance away from the demon manor, Tatsuyo turned to Rin and said, "Rin, since I have to get you home by a certain time tonight, why don't we skip the festival so I can take you to a secluded place where my deceitful tongue will craft promises of my undying love to you? You have been so sheltered by your caring lord for so long and kept from the evils of men, you will be easy prey to my lies. So then I will take your precious innocence and then proceed to break the delicate bloom that is your heart. I will leave you nothing by the seed of my bastard child and the sound of my laughter in your ears as I go to brag to my fellow curs of how I disgraced you and your honorable lord. So what do you think of that plan?"

"Okay!" Rin said, smiling enthusiastically. And together they skipped off the path leading to the village . . .

Sesshoumaru clenched his jaw. He would not allow his follower fall prey to such a scenario. She had been gone already four minutes. Who knows what could have happened to her?!

"Jaken." Sesshoumaru summoned his loyal toady.

Usually, Sesshoumaru didn't need any assistance that late in the day and, with Rin finished and gone (Human females take ghastly amounts of up-keeping in Jaken's opinion.) Jaken was already in bed. He wanted to go to bed early so he could have an early start the next day on the preparations for that year's land survey. Jaken scrambled to go wait on his lord. "What, milord?"

"We are going to the festival." Sesshoumaru reflexively cracked the knuckles on his poisoned claw. He raised an eyebrow at his toad-like servant. "You have exactly one minute to ready yourself. Wash your face." Why someone as ugly as Jaken would insist on wearing a beauty mask was beyond Sesshoumaru.

---

Jaken looked to the side at his stately lord . . . who was somehow still stately even if he was hiding in some bushes.

"Sire, excuse this poor Jaken's confusion, but why are we sneaking into the town to spy on Rin? She is with her kind."

"Humans are vile creatures. Males especially. "

Jaken blinked."But this lowly Jaken thought you morally objected to youkai-human matings, Milord."

"Of course! Rin could never mate with a male youkai. They are too aggressive."

Jaken blinked again. He was expecting an answer more along the lines of his master's previous declarations that such practices only result in disgraceful hanyous like Sesshoumaru's despised brother, Inuyasha. "So you don't want Rin to find a human or a youkai mate. You want her to just remain content and frozen in time as your child follower even though she is human and- eep!" Jaken caught the angry glint in his master's eye and Jaken instantly rethought the utterance of the sudden spurt of insight he had. "This lowly Jaken will be silent now."

Sure, being the voice of reason was a rare occurrence for Jaken, but sometimes being the voice of reason was dangerous.

As they neared the village, they noticed something. A crowd of people bowing before a large white statue of a graceful figure with long flowing hair and robes, stood at the opening of town. The artist had taken great pains to capture the legendary beauty and grace of the figure as well as the personage's virtues of dignity and mercy.

Jaken read the small plaque at the bottom of the statue. "The villages are celebrating your majesty and glory, Lord Sesshoumaru."

"Jaken." Sesshoumaru just blinked up at the statue a bit taken aback. "Do I really look that girly?"

~*~*~

Yuppers. I'm revamping this fic! It is not forgotten!! Expect a one or two week gap between chapters. I'm going to try and stagger them in between my S/K/K fic.

That is IF I get enough reviews for it to keep my attention. So enjoy.

Love all the reviews I've gotten thus far and am hoping to incorporate some of the suggestions into the plot. This fic is going to be the most "Feedback equals ficcage" of all my fics. So plot suggestions are very welcome.

-BattleJoy