"It really doesn't matter whether it's the villain or the hero. Sometimes the villain is the most colorful. But I prefer a part where you don't know what he is until the end."

-Glenn Ford

When the land was still old and he was still young, his father took him up into the sky, supporting him gently with claws that had slaughtered human, demon, and even children.

"This is ours. Anything under the sky will be ours." His father rumbled, like almighty thunder in the distance.

And of course, a son cannot help but believe his father.

So it was that by the time that the dawn of the first century of his life had come, there were already hundreds of thousands who feared his name by right. Where he soared, only destruction reigned.

Those who crawled in the mud below learned to fear the roar of the dragon, the sudden darkness that was inexplicably feared by all.

But he was not a villain. He was a conqueror, a warrior. Yes, he would proceed to annihilate an entire valley of living creatures if they opposed him, and leave naught but ashes. Yet if the enemy was valiant and determined, he would often spare the whole people, at the cost of their allegiance.

It was in this way that he achieved the domination of the Western skies.

Yet for every power, for every force, there must be opposition.

For every villain, there must be a hero.

So when Ryuukotsusei came home, flush with the allegiance of yet another tribe of demons, he found a sight that would haunt his life and determine the path he would chose for the rest of his life.

A silver haired man with the fiercest, most evil eyes of liquid gold stood over the desecrated corpse of his great father, a mighty fang in hand and his beloved father's blood spilled out across the gilded floors paid with conquest.

Those who had sworn their loyalty to him were bowing to this intruder, this rebel, as though he were a God come down from the heavens.

"All hail the Lord of the Western Lands." They rumbled in unison, and this time, they faced away from Ryuukotsusei.

It was then that, for the first time, Ryuukotsusei understood the meaning of hatred, all consuming, unending hatred.

"I will kill you." He roared, but without movement. Force that had slaughtered thousands was paralyzed by something as mundane as grief.

"Leave. I will not kill you like this." The man said softly, gently cruel with a smile like a true villain.

He tried to find support among those who he had counted as friends- yet there were none, only unforgiving looks, like he was the villain.

Perhaps he was, to them.

And so he left, shamed and in exile, into the skies that were no longer his.

But he would not forget, he would not forgive. His father's words were still in his heart.

The skies would be his, again.

And so he plotted and planned, wished and dreamed and waited. Meanwhile, the demon who had slain his dreams became known, as the Inu no Taisho.

Until the day came when he confronted this demon again, finding him with a wife of similar pale, silvery moonlight hair and a child with the same eyes of liquid, wicked gold.

And it was then that he crushed the happiness of this enemy, as the skull of this wife collapsed beneath his claws, a bouquet of blood in offerings of revenge, and he laughed.

Though the demon child's eyes were crushed, broken and left dead, and his enemy's face contorted in a look of sheer, righteous fury, Ryuukotsusei could not help but laugh.

"Now your happiness is crushed."

The years stretched on, and the game continued, with both consumed with wrath and fury, as the earth and sky shook beneath their battle. They needed no other foe- all others were mere distractions and annoyances.

The dragon and the dog, the villain and the hero, interchangeable to those who were trampled in their battle that no longer had any meaning to anyone, even themselves.

Even as the Inu no Taisho claimed a new wife and a new love, Ryuukotsusei still lived, still hunted and hounded the step of his enemy, his villain.

And yet it was that all villains and all heroes must inevitably have their final, resounding conclusion.

The valley to which there was once so much life, where hundreds of futures had stretched out, burned beneath their war, their unending hatred, until only rock and ash remained, and the final victor was decided.

Yet as Ryuukotsusei froze under an endless sleep of dreamlike death and the Inu no Taisho bled and died underneath the wintery skies, it seemed as though this story had lost its meaning to those who carried on amid the ashes of this eternal war.

A decade after the End of the Battle (there was no Happily Ever After), Sesshomaru had at last found it in himself to return to the grave of the dragon who had crushed anything that could have resembled warmth in his soul.

"This is the ancient villain who battled your noble father, the terrible Ryuukotsusei?" Jaken asked curiously, stumbling over himself in fearful awe of this once mighty and noble dragon.

Sesshomaru did not have an answer.