Disclaimer-I do not own Inuyasha and any of the characters that is with the show.
The morning sun bathed the room in its soft golden warmth. Such a glorious day usually would have brought joy and thankfulness to the heart of the young female demon seated before the dressing table. But today a cold fright had laid claim to her heart. An elderly wolf demoness with long black hair brushed the hair of her young princess. The wolf demoness was dressed in a plain brown shen-i. The tunic and skirt were sewed together making it a one piece outfit. It is what everyone wore in China. Although the wolf's colthes were made from hemp. Those of royalty always had their clothes made of silk and are highly embroidered with elaborate designs and jewels.
"Have you seen father this morning, Jun?" the young girl questioned her maid, as she gazed at her reflection in the mirror. She wore a plain, dark blue pien-fu, a silk tunic-like top extending to her knees and a skirt that reached down to her ankles. Her delicate feet were encased in a pair of soft leather shoes. The young demoness decided to go with the simple look today, since she had an appointment with her father.
"No Princess Inuyasha," Jun answered, patting the last piece of the girl's long silver hair into place. "All I know is he told that young downstairs maid to let you know that he wished for your presence as soon as possible in his study."
"I wonder what it is I could have done wrong now?" Inuyasha pondered aloud. The soft silver puppy dog ears on top of her head flicked nervously. "It seems as though the only time he ever wishes to see me anymore is when that bitch of his has told him some lie about me."
"Now that is no way for a well mannered princess to be talking about her father's mate." The old demoness smiled at the child. "Anyway, don't worry about what it is, princess. It can't be anything too bad," the old nurse said patting her shoulder lovingly. "You have never done anything wrong in your whole life."
Inuyasha snorted rolling her eyes and turned around. "You know how Li-hua is. She seems to fill fathers' head constantly with bad things about me," Inuyasha said looking up at the wolf with a forlorn expression on her lovely face. "I know she hates me because I am half human." Inuyasha sighed turning her gaze back to the mirror, staring at her reflection. "I just do not know what to do. She and her niece, Sya are always plotting against me." She snarled in disgust at the mere mentioning of the other demoness.
"Now don't you worry until you've seen your father and listened to what it is he wants to talk to you about," Jun stated reassuringly.
"Oh Jun, I just don't know what I would do without you here beside me," exclaimed Inuyasha as she stood up. The young girl wrapped her arms around the old demoness and held her close.
Jun had been with the Yamamaru family since before Inuyasha had been born, at the time when Izayoi, Inuyasha's mother was still living. After Izayoi's death Jun had been the one who had loved and raised Inuyasha. She loved the girl as a mother loved her own child, and she had promised herself many times she would not let any harm befall her young charge.
The old demoness could not stand the new Lady Li-hua and her niece, Sya. And she also knew that Inuyasha was right in her thinking that they were scheming against her. She herself had heard them on more than one occasion talking about her young princess. Jun did know that the new lady did not like humans. As soon as the bitch got into the house. She had ordered that everything Lady Izayoi had were put in storage. And that niece of hers was just as petty as her aunt. She hated Inuyasha because the half demoness was beauty incarnate. Men would flock to Inuyasha like bees to honey. While the full blooded demoness was left to herself. Jun could see the hate boiling in the dark eyes of Sya. The old maid had a bad feeling that the girl will be nothing but trouble to Inuyasha in the long run.
"Well honey you look just fine." The elderly servent straightened the top half of her pien-fu and placed a kiss on Inuyasha's forehead smiling. "You just calm yourself and do as your father wishes."
Slowly with halting steps, Inuyasha made her way to her father's study. Her mind was in a blazing turmoil of thoughts about what she could have done to have caused this private interview with her father. It had been weeks since last he had requested her presence alone, and that last time had been no different from the others. Li-hua, her stepmother, had accused her of boldly flirting with a married human man, one Lord Tung, at a reception given for Lady Chao-xing. Of course it had been a lie and with tears running down her cheeks. She had told her father so, begging him to believe her.
But he told her that he would not permit such behavior from his daughter, he had sternly reprimanded her as though she had never uttered a word. Li-hua had been behind her father smirking in satisfaction.
Inuyasha remembered feeling rage building up inside of her. She wanted to rip the smug smile off the whore's face at that moment. She still wanted to, but she knew her father would probably never forgive her. So, she sighed.
Inuyasha had given up, hanging her head in a dejected manner as his voice berated her for her disgraceful behavior. What was she to do? She had asked herself. She could not argue with her father. She had always given in meekly where her father was concerned. And Li-hua took full advantage of this one weakness of Inuyasha's.
As though she were once again a small child, she found herself facing the massive door to her father's study. Bracing herself for whatever might come, she lightly knocked.
From within came the sound of her father's strong, dominating voice. "Come in."
Inuyasha entered, her hands clutching the folds of her skirt as she viewed the dark scowl on her father's face. The red demon markings on his cheeks seemed to get darker as he waited for her to speak. "You wished to see me father?" she questioned softly. The elder dog demon was seating behind his desk wearing a red colored robe.
"Yes Inu, take a seat. I will just be a moment," he stated as he riffled through a stack of papers upon his desk.
Inuyasha, ready for the worst, looked to her father with surprise written across her delicate face. He had not called her Inu since she had been a small child. Perhaps this interview was not ruled by Li-hua's cruel hand, and she had misjudged her father's motives. She took the chair he had indicate. Her whole body seems to relax somewhat with that one word.
She looked about her as she awaited him to address her. The room had not changed at all. It was exactly as she remembered it when she was a small child. She thought back to when she had been a little girl, whenever she could sneak away from Jun she would make her way to her father's study. She would come to this room and just marvel at the rows and rows of expensive scrolls that lined every wall, and the large imposing furniture that seemed to vibrate and come alive with her father's presence.
As Inuyasha looked over to her father, he too, seemed to be deep in thought. His papers lay to the side of his desk, forgotten for the moment. His brooding fawn colored eyes seemed to be drilling holes through her. The ears atop his head drooped slightly as he continued to stare at her.
Lord Akemi, ruler of the east part of China prided himself highly on never having backed down from a duty or obligation in his life. When he first came to China from Japan, the land was rough and violent, dangerous demons roamed about killing at will. But with his strength and tenacity, he was able to tame the land and make it his own. He had hoped to have a son so he could pass it on to him, but alas, he had been blessed with a beautiful girl. But at times, the child truly tried his patience. Now, at this time though his thoughts ran rampant on how best to approach his only daughter on the subject of mating.
He loved his daughter very much, though at times, he knew he had been harsh to her. Still he had always thought that he had held her best interest at heart. Now the subject of mating had to be discussed and though he knew her feelings well, he was her father, and it was his duty to see she did not spend her life in spinsterhood.
Had he not given her plenty of chances to find her own mate? He argued with himself. Had she not promised over a year ago that she would find herself a mate? She had cried that she could not marry without love, and him, with the heart of a loving father going out to his only child, had agreed to give her at least another year.
The year had now been long up and still she had not found the man she would wish to take as her life long mate. He had watched the way she had treated the many men who had come to call. She had led the men, demons and humans, around for the last few years as though they were a bunch of puppies chasing after her; and she, with her mother's lovely looks, had not chosen the one to whom she would throw a bone.
The dark scowl returned to his face as he went over his daughter's fragile features. She was so like her mother, he could almost imagine her to be Izayoi sitting across from him now. Inuyasha had the same delicate features and firm set chin as her human mother, Izayoi. Her lustrous black hair, black as the night, with a satin texture which tempted a man's very soul with the desire to run his hands caressingly through its dark mass. And her deep violet-blue eyes were so deep one could lose himself in their depths. Never in Akemi's life had he set eyes on a more beautiful woman than his first wife, and now her daughter was proving to be even lovelier than her mother. Her lustrous silver hair was like spun moonlight with a silken sheen. Her deep honey golden eyes were mesmeric. In those golden depths a man would walk into hell for her. The color of her hair, her eyes and those adorable puppy dog ears along with her fiery temper was all that she inherited from him.
With a jerk he pulled himself from his thoughts and addressed his daughter softly. "Inuyasha, my child, I do not know how to start. I must confess I am rather at a loss for words."
Inuyasha's wide golden eyes looked toward him questioningly. "What is it, father?"
He looked upon her with sympathy as he began. "I have called you here this morning to discuss the matter of your mating."
Inuyasha looked at her father, not understanding his meaning. "My mating? But, father, you know I have not yet met the man I would wish to mate."
"Let me finish, daughter," he stated flatly. "You are of an age now where you should be mated and bearing pups. I am getting old, Inuyasha and I wish for grandchildren."
"You're not that old, father. You act as though you are human and that you are going to die soon," Inuyasha said softly, feeling a shiver of apprehension run through her body as she saw the set look on his face. "Anyway, in time I am sure I shall find the right man for myself and mate."
"That is of no matter, child." He waved her objections away with a turn of his hand. "I have given you plenty of time to find for yourself a suitable young man. Be he demon or human, and you have failed. So, therefore, I have felt it my obligation to arrange the matter for you. Before you oppose my decision, let me remind you that plenty of young girls are married by arrangements made by their families. You will not be the last girl to be in a situation like this."
"But, father-" She stood up pleading, her eyes flashed with anger at her father's attempt to pawn her off on some ugly troll. "I shall find my own mate in time." Inuyasha could feel her ire rise, but held it in check to continue in a more gentle tone. "Just please have more patience with me. I just cannot marry a man I do not love."
"No Inuyasha, you are eighteen years of age now, and I wish for you to take a mate soon. We have talked this matter over before, I'm sure you remember?" His eyes raked over her as though he misjudged completely her capacity to make this decision for herself. "The way you have treated the men who have come calling on you is shameful, and I have my doubts of you ever finding the man you think worthy of your love."
Inuyasha started to protest, but her father once again waved her words into silence.
"Listen to me, child. I have already picked the man I would wish you to mate." His eyes critically roamed over his daughter, taking in her pale composure. "He is wealthy, Inuyasha, and his father is a dear friend of mine. He lives in Japan." He continued when he saw the look of horror marring his daughter's face. "But it shall not be long before we shall see each other. Perhaps we shall plan yearly visits."
Inuyasha felt an ice-cold dread clutch at her heart. "You cannot mean to send me all the way to Japan, father?" she stammered not believing her ears. "They are nothing but barbarians. You would mate me off to some disgusting savage."
Akemi slammed his fist against his desk knocking some of the scrolls from its surface. "I am originally from Japan. Have you forgotten." He was satisfied when her dog ears drooped in submission of his scolding. "And I shall not have you speaking as such about my dear friend's family. The Aoki's are the lords of the western half of Japan."
The ears on the top of her head stood up as she felt her anger returning. "I don't care if they are the lords of all Japan . . ." Before she could rant anymore, her father spoke up silencing her.
"Child, you shall find in time that we have made a good match for you; the dog demons of the west are the creme of the crop. Women from all over Japan would kill to be the mate to the young Lord Sesshomaru. He is honorable and forthright. Your stepmother and I have talked this matter over at great length, and we both agree that we have done very well by you. You shall be happy in time and adjust quite easily to your new life."
Inuyasha was at a lost for words. How could this be happening to her? Her thoughts were abuzz with the words he had just repeated. Li-hua! She should have known that bitch would be behind this. And like always her father fell into that witch trap by agreeing with her. She faced her father with one last attempt to try to sway his decision. "This is Li-hua's idea, is it not father? Can you not see she hates me and will try anything to get me out of this house and out of her life? Please father, do not do this to me. Do not send me to a land I do not know and to a mate I have never met."
"Nonsense child," he said with a touch of anger tinging his words. "Your stepmother loves you. She only wishes for your best and for you to find happiness. You shall learn dear, there are a great many things one must do in one's lifetime that one has no wish to do, but I am sure you will find happiness in this new country to which you are going. There is really no use in arguing any more on this subject, Inuyasha. I have already sent my vassal to have the agreements between Inutaisho and myself made ready."
Inuyasha stood as if stunned by a mortal blow. She could feel the anger, pain, fear and tears starting to grow in her eyes. She bit her bottom lip willing herself not to cry in front of her father. She turned and stomped out of the room, and ran up the stairs to the safety of her own room. Once inside she raked her claws through the pillows shredding them. She smashed a vase against the wall and tore the cover from the bed. She screamed in frustrated rage and threw herself across her bed and began to cry.
Lord Akemi stood silently by the door watching his daughter's retreat. His heart wrenched within him as he went over in his mind the look of pain in those beautiful eyes. "Damn, she'll just have to adjust to the idea, for my word is already in writing and a dog demon's word is his honor." He swore aloud.
Sesshomaru Aoki had lived his two hundred years of life as a bachelor and a lord of the west in Japan after his father stepped down. His father Inutaisho Aoki, and his mother Sakura Aoki had fought many battles to make the west the thriving success it is today in hopes of handing it to their sons. Their one dream had been to have a large family. But alas, Sakura had died shortly after the birth of her first child.
To this child, Inutaisho had given his most special care. He had taught him to be a demon above all demon, to deal fairly with people, and to stand firm in his beliefs.
Sesshomaru Aoki was a stubborn demon who was used to having things his way and not being forced into anything against his will. He had the tallness and grace of his father which fit with the world as it is today. His eyes the color of the darkest amber and his long ankle length white hair was the color of fresh fallen snow. He had two magenta stripes adorning each cheeks and wrists. A cobolt blue crescent moon in the center of his forehead. Long, sharp claws that could rend an enemy to shreds. Many men, when they were faced with his anger, had claimed that those golden orbs were able to see through to a man's very soul.
The female demons of Japan, from the most respectable to the most outlandish, thought of Sesshomaru Aoki as a most handsome demon and more than eligible. Many was the time Sesshomaru had felt the bite of a woman trying to seduce him into her bed and into more. But all their plans to catch him had been for naught, for Sesshomaru would take that which was given freely and would leave with only a good night, making no promises for tomorrow.
Now, as Sesshomaru sat drinking from his third bottle of sake, he thought to himself, all of his caution with women had been for nothing. "Damn," he swore out loud. Who did his father think he was, arranging a mating for him?
That morning a messenger had arrived at the palace with a packet from China containing a letter from Sesshomaru's father, Inutaisho. Upon reading the letter Sesshomaru had reached for a jug of sake and started to drink.
"The old man is insane," he shouted to the empty room. He had no right to sign any agreement concerning a mating for him. Because the old man found himself in the position of being the eldest of the clan left, he thought himself capable of ruling his son's life. The old man knew how much Sesshomaru loved and respected him and thought to take advantage of this, he stormed.
"This is preposterous," he mumbled, looking at the letter for the hundredth time. He could find his own mate when he so desired one. But even with these thoughts, he knew deep inside he would honor his father's wishes. Sighing, he tossed the letter on his desk.
Jaken a toad like imp stood outside of the study door pondering what could be bothering his master. Every since that messenger had brought him a letter he had shut himself up in his study, and he could hear him shouting and cursing. He knew he must be drinking, which was not like his master at all. Curiosity was getting the better of him, but he could not think of a way in which to find out what was going on.
A loud crash sounded from within the room and here he saw his chance. As he went to the door and knocked he asked in a low voice. "Lord Sesshomaru are you all right?" Peeping into the room, the curtains were drawn. It was dim inside the study with only a torch glowing in the darkness.
"Come in, Jaken." He shouted in a drunken voice.
"Yes my lord," he answered, thinking he would finally get to the bottom of this. As he looked at his master, who was now good and drunk he asked. "What ails you, my lord? And why are you in here drinking yourself sick?"
Sesshomaru stood looking at this short, green imp who had been in this palace since before he had been born, and who had taken care of him all of his life. "Jaken, you shall be glad to hear that one of your wishes is finally going to come true."
Jaken stood trying to understand what his lord was talking about and shook his head from side to side. "I don't know what you are talking about, my lord. I have not been wishing for anything."
"Really?" Sesshomaru asked with a drunken slur to his voice. "I received a letter from my father this morning informing me of my coming mating."
"I still do not understand?" He asked with questioning large, round eyes.
Sesshomaru looked upon him with anger contorting his features. "I am to be mated! A spoiled little demon princess shall arrive in Nagasaki within the next few months and that means there will be a new Lady of the west."
It took a full minute for the meaning of his words to form in Jaken's head, but when finally the meaning took shape his face burst into a huge smile. "My lord, if that's the truth why are you getting drunk and acting like you just lost your best friend? I would think you would be happy. The west shall have a new lady, and you shall have someone to share your life with. I just about gave up on you ever getting yourself a mate." He rambled on.
"Get out!" Sesshomaru shouted, rising to his feet and almost falling in the process.
"Yes lord Sesshomaru, I'm going," he said bowing and backing out the door with a huge smile on his green face. He shut the door, and Sesshomaru could hear him chuckling. "It will be nice to have a new lady around here. Maybe she will be able to get the master out of the black moods that he gets himself into."
Sesshomaru sat slumped over his desk cursing himself for ever telling the big mouth imp, and his father for ever having started this whole business. What he didn't tell the imp was that his new mate was a hanyou. He sneered in disgust. How could his father have been so stupid as to pick a filthy hanyou for his mate. The old man must be punishing him for sleeping with Lord Ryuuoketsusei's daughter. Inutaisho despises the dragon. It's the only reason he could think of why his father would mate him to a half breed.
He could picture in his mind the type of woman he would be saddled with. She would probably be homely, without a trace of beauty. Or to put in simple terms, uglier than the rear end of a horse. Why else would her family need to pawn her off on a man in a foreign land? He snorted and reached for his fourth bottle of sake. Placing it to his lips, he tossed his head back and gulped the rice wine down. Tiny rivers of the liquid trickled down the corner of his mouth. Throwing the bottle against the wall, it shattered into a million pieces. He smiled in satisfaction at the sound the bottle made as it smashed against the wall painting it with the sake. He cursed his life. He cursed his father, Jaken, the gods and the spoiled little bitch that will be residing in his home soon. /What was her name? Ah yes, Inuyasha./