Disclaimer: Inuyasha is Copyright of Takahashi Rumiko
Hurtful Words: The Past
They walked along the horizon, the sun slowly setting on their right. It cast an orange-ish silhouette around them, making them appear as if they were an illusion as waves of heat danced around them. Though it was setting, the sun beat upon them roughly, offering them no comfort on the calm summer day. The humidity in the air allowed their clothing to stick to their sweat licked skin. And yet they continued to walk across the open field where there were little trees to offer shade. They stopped only when the smallest figure collapsed to the ground, surely of exhaustion and dehydration.
"Get up Jaken." Sesshoumaru turned, slightly curious to see how Rin was fairing since the toad youkai obviously could take no more.
Rin was sprawled across Ah Un's back, equally exhausted. She lifted her head with much effort and peered at Jaken. "Jaken-sama, daijoubu?"
"I'm dying you idiot! I'm slowly being cooked in this heat! I shall make a fine meal for you tonight..." Jaken lay on his stomach with the side of his face planted weakly into the ground.
The toad youkai cringed at the sound of his Lord's angry voice. Fearing for what was left of his life, Jaken pried himself from the ground and followed after the already departing Sesshoumaru.
He could sense them closing in, the hordes of youkai that had began to gather in the distance. He could smell them, those filthy bat youkai. In his minds eye he could see them hovering in the sky with their fangs protruding from their awkwardly shaped lips. Their beady eyes would be glazed over from blood lust, from the hunger of potentially gaining more power. There was other lesser youkai slithering across the ground, eager to help rid the world of a more powerful and feared youkai.
As if he, Lord Sesshoumaru, would be defeated.
He would deal with them shortly. But first, he must put Rin out of harms way. The child, now nine years of age, had grown to mean quite a bit to him over the past three years. Only now, though still reluctantly, did he admit it. She was like a daughter to him and as such, he provided her with the finest. As any child of a great youkai lord she wore the best kimonos sewn from the best fabrics. There would be much more to offer her once he tired of wandering and settled into his father's estate. Until then, he would provide her with as much comfort and safety as he could.
Sesshoumaru stopped at a small river and watched as his subjects practically drown themselves in the water. "Jaken, once you are done here you are to take Rin and Ah Un to the cave near here. Do not leave or come out until I return. I do not need to advise you to keep her protected."
Jaken turned his gaze warily to his Lord. "Hai, Sesshoumaru-sama!...Are you going to fight those youkai that seem to be following us? There must be hundreds of them, are you sure you should handle them alone?"
Sesshoumaru merely stared at Jaken emotionlessly. The cold gaze sent Jaken sputtering with apologies.
"I..that is...forgive me Sesshoumaru-sama! I did not mean to suggest that you could not destroy them on your own! A powerful youkai such as yourself could handle millions of youkai on your own. Its just that I wanted to be of some assistance to you."
"I do not need your assistance in this matter." He turned away without another word, heading directly toward the pack of youkai.
Rin piped up quickly and stared after him. "Sesshoumaru-sama! Onegai, be careful!"
He paused for a second and then disappeared in the distance.
"You! The brother of that..that hanyou Inuyasha that destroyed our clan." The largest member and leader of the bat youkai stood before Sesshoumaru, the taste of revenge upon his tongue.
Sesshoumaru became somewhat interested upon the mention of his brothers name. "Inuyasha? You were defeated by a worthless hanyou and you come after me, a full youkai. Surely your stupidity is the reason why you were first defeated."
"With one arm you can not hope to defeat all of us. We came after you because while your brother has nothing, you are a noble with land. The last youkai standing shall take it as their own."
"It shall be a pointless waste of my time defeating you." Sesshoumaru withdrew Toukijin from his side. "But since that is the case, I will not keep death waiting for your soul."
The bat youkai leader jumped into the air as Sesshoumaru rushed forward. The horde of other demons rushed forward to distract the inu-youkai, seemingly eager to have their lives end. Toukijin diminished the first wave into mere dust that clung to the humidity in the air. Pieces of the flesh and the scent of blood filled the air as Sesshoumaru twirled gracefully, his energy whip destroying any that came too close to him. And still they came, even though the scent of melting flesh made their stomachs churn.
Sesshoumaru took a regal stance and turned his attention up to the bat youkai, a bored expression upon his face. "Pathetic. Your efforts are pointless."
A sly smile forced its way upon the lips of the bat youkai. "Patience, Sesshoumaru, you will not be so bored for long."
Rin sat quietly in the cave, her chin resting upon her knees. She had a strange feeling in her stomach, one that she had only felt when her family was murdered before her eyes. She had wished that they would be fine even as their screams of pain shattered all her hopes. Though she tried to deny it, the strange feeling in her stomach told her otherwise. She felt it now as she thought about Sesshoumaru-sama. He was powerful, she knew, but her little mind could no help but worry.
"What is wrong with you Rin?" Jaken glanced nervously at the child. She was almost never quiet and her silence left him uncomfortable. "You are awfully quiet."
"Rin hopes Sesshoumaru-sama is alright."
Jaken jumped to his feet, waving his staff wildly. "Of course Sesshoumaru-sama is alright. Those youkai don't stand a chance against him!"
"Still, Rin has a bad feeling."
Jaken quieted down, taking Rin's words into consideration. "Well I could sense a large number of youkai...and Sesshoumaru-sama telling us to hide in a cave is a little unusual..." His eyes lit up. "Sesshoumaru-sama! Can it be that you are really in danger?"
Ah Un gave a small grunt and stood upon his feet. He blocked the cave with his body and glanced up at the sky. Jaken quickly raced to Ah Un's side and turned his attention in the same direction of the two-headed beast. A flock of bat youkai littered the sky and blocked out the moon as they made their way towards the area Sesshoumaru had gone. When Jaken let out stuttering sounds, Rin rushed over and climbed upon Ah Un's back. Her eyes widened a bit and her stomach churned as she saw that her fears had taken the shape of the creatures in the sky.
"Jaken-sama," she spoke softly and seemed to stare into space. "Are they going after Sesshoumaru-sama?"
"Hai, there is no doubt that they are headed towards the battlefield. You shouldn't worry, Sesshoumaru-sama will handle them!"
Rin said nothing for a moment as thoughts raced through her mind. She thought only briefly of the consequences before she made her decision. "We have to go help him."
"Nani!? Don't be silly, what could you possibly do to help him? You're just a little human girl! And besides, he gave us strict orders to remain here until he returns."
"Lets go Ah Un, Rin knows you want to help Sesshoumaru-sama." Rin took hold of the reins and began to urge Ah Un to move.
Ah Un hesitated for a moment and then much to Jaken's surprise began to walk away. "N-nani!? Ah Un, what are you doing! You heard what Sesshoumaru-sama said! We have to stay here and protect Rin!"
No reply came and the pair kept heading out, leaving Jaken behind. He gaped after them, shocked by Rin's disobedience. The child had never so much as spoke up to Sesshoumaru-sama let alone disobey one of his orders. Ah Un too was usually obedient. Could it be then that Sesshoumaru-sama was really in danger? If he was, Jaken might be rewarded for helping or he risked losing yet more years from his life. But he was sure that either way, Sesshoumaru would be angry. He sighed, realizing his only real choice was to make sure Rin was protected.
He let out another defeated sigh and held his head down. "Sesshoumaru-sama is going to kill me..."
"Jaken-sama, are you coming?"
"Hai! Wait for me! Oi! Wait for me!"
"Reinforcements?" Sesshoumaru did not bother to look behind him. He had sensed the bat youkai coming long before they filled the sky behind him. "No. More fools who wish to die."
"You're very cocky Sesshoumaru but soon you will be begging for your life!" Nagayumi, the bat youkai leader, laughed at Sesshoumaru as he began to fight the remaining youkai. He hoped to tire the inu-youkai but so far his army was not having much luck. He was nervous, but he did not let it show. He believed that the reinforcements combined with whatever youkai were left would be able to defeat their enemy. So he ignored his small doubts but decided now was a good time to set his second plan in motion.
The leader of the reinforcements came to Nagayumi's side when he was beckoned. "Hai, milord?"
"What of the girl he travels with?" Nagayumi spoke quietly, watching and learning Sesshoumaru's attacks.
"We saw nothing of them as we passed over the terrain. But we did see a mountain and we are left to assume that there is a cave at its base. I sent someone too look and sure enough, there was a cave."
"It was empty, milord. There was a small fire still burning so it is very possible that the girl was hiding there."
"Well why are you standing here?" Nagayumi fumed at the youkai's ignorance. "Send someone out immediately to find them. If worse comes to worse we may have to hold her captive."
"Hai, milord, I will do so immediately. But are you sure that Sesshoumaru will give up his lands in exchange for the girl?"
"Fool, never doubt me! Now go!" Nagayumi shot darts at the youkai's back as he flew off before turning his eyes to Sesshoumaru. That inu-youkai will lose his lands one way or another.
A sudden blast of what looked like lighting distracted Nagayumi from his thoughts. Sesshoumaru and those he was fighting were distracted as well. They turned their sights up to the sky where a two-headed dragon-like creature was attacking the bat youkai. A single blast from the beast's mouth scattered the body parts of nearly five bat youkai across the sky. A small girl held tightly to the reins and skillfully glided the beast closer to the battlefield. Another creature sat behind her with a strange staff in his hands that emitted a large stream of fire. Many were destroyed by this newfound enemy. Many were angered and afraid, but Nagayumi smiled with glee.
Sesshoumaru stared at the ground with his back to his enemies. His hand twitched.
"Capture the girl and victory shall be ours!" Nagayumi hovered over Sesshoumaru, pleased with the turn of events. "I sent someone to capture her Sesshoumaru, but it seems she is willing to deliver herself into my hands." He laughed, but cut himself short as the ground beneath Sesshoumaru began to shake.
He was angry. No, angry did not correctly define the feelings Sesshoumaru felt at that moment. He burned with it, shook with it, and to his surprise, was consumed by it. His only thoughts were to punish and to kill. With blood red eyes Sesshoumaru gave into the transformation. He turned into a stream of pink light and shot across the ground, stopping when he was beneath the two-headed beast. He took shape quickly and formed the giant white inu youkai that was his true form. He growled ferociously and drooled poison filled saliva. He turned his head up and jumped on his back legs into the sky.
"Nani!?" Nagayumi stared in shock. "Why is he attacking the girl?"
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