Disclaimer: I in no way, shape, or form own Inuyasha. Well, I do have some merchandise…but you know… I'm not going to make a lot of money off of it or this story.
"Mother, please. I can do it by myself." A young Sesshoumaru snapped at the inu youkai by his side.
"Patience, Sesshoumaru." His mother replied, still looking over his shoulder. "You are trying too hard. You need to remain calm, no matter the situation."
"It is only writing, Mother."
"A hard and tedious task, my Lord." Her eyes sparkled with youth as she called her son his pet name. Her husband was the real Lord of the Western Lands, but one day Sesshoumaru would inherit those lands and prove his worth as a ruler. She delighted in seeing that day.
"It's not that hard," Sesshoumaru said proudly, showing her the parchment he had been writing on. "I'm nearly finished."
"When you are finished, we will see Sensei Myoga for your history lesson."
"Don't you think I have done enough today, Mother?" Sesshoumaru frowned slightly. He didn't like his Sensei Myoga very much. He was always trying to suck his blood. He didn't know why or how his father put up with it.
"The faster you learn, the shorter you have to learn it."
"Faster and shorter?" Sesshoumaru carefully wrote the last symbol. "I do not understand. If I learn everything right away, then I have nothing to learn later."
"No, Sesshoumaru." His mother's honey eyes smiled down on him. "The less trouble with give Sensei, the quicker your lesson goes, and you have more time to play and train. You are never done learning."
"So you wish for me to treat Sensei Myoga fairly? That is much harder than writing, Mother." Sesshoumaru cracked a small smile he saved only for her.
"No, no, Rin. You've gotten that symbol all wrong. It goes like this." Jaken started to write the symbol correctly in the dirt.
"I can do it myself, Master Jaken." Rin frowned, trying to copy the symbol.
"Patience, Rin." Lord Sesshoumaru said from the tree he was perched in. His thoughts had been interrupted by his followers' squabble. "Listen to Jaken. He knows what he is talking about and you do not."
"Lord Sesshoumaru, he knows no more than I do! He's making this up. I am certain!"
"Rin," Sesshoumaru looked away from her, staring at nothing. "Someone once told me the faster you learn, the shorter you have to learn it. The less trouble you give Sensei Jaken, the faster your lesson goes, and then you can play."
"Wise words, Lord Sesshoumaru." Jaken nodded, staring at Sesshoumaru in awe. "May I inquire on who told you that?"
Rin looked expectantly up at her lord. It sounded like something Lord Sesshoumaru's great father might have bestowed upon him. "Yes, my lord, who?"
Sesshoumaru's eyes flicked in their direction for a long time before going back to nothingness. Rin and Jaken both noticed the far away look in his eyes when he finally spoke. "My mother."
"I wish I could meet Lord Sesshoumaru's mother, Master Jaken." Rin said absently. "She must have been a beautiful and wise lady."
"I'm certain she was, Rin." Jaken said, looking thoughtful. "I've never heard my lord speak of her before. She's been long dead. How strange. I wonder what drove him to it?"
"Jaken," Sesshoumaru's voice came from his tree.
"Yes, my lord?" Jaken turned to watch Sesshoumaru leap gracefully to the ground. His clothes didn't even rustle with the jump.
"Yes, of course, my lord." Jaken turned to the girl. "Are you ready to go, Rin?"
"Yes, Master Jaken." Rin erased the symbols in the dirt and picked up Ahun's reigns as she waited for Sesshoumaru to start moving.
Sesshoumaru frowned slightly as he began to walk. His mother had been dead for years. It had been strange to stumble across that insignificant memory. Maybe it had happened for a reason. His mother had taught him everything he knew. One day he would teach his own children what the Great Lady had taught him. All things are sacred and that time was short, no matter how long you could live.
The remembrance of a beloved mother becomes a shadow to all our actions; it precedes or follows them.