The girl rode along silently through the quiet forest. The trail wound through the trees as it climbed higher into the mountain ranges of the rockies. The horse she was astride moved along with never failing steps as sure and strong as his rider. She leaned her head back and let the sun shine down on her freckled face. A smile danced across her lips as she swayed with the movements of her mount.
"This couldn't get any better hey Sen?" the horse snorted indignantly. She laughed.
"Alright I get it I'm sorry I made you work. We'll stop at the next point and make camp. Call it an early day." she looked up at the sky as she felt the sky begin to go dark. A frown troubled her face as her green eyes surveyed the sudden dark clouds rolling in over the mountain tops.
"Damn mountain storms… We better pick up the pace Sen I think its gonna get crazy soon." She urged her horse into a fast canter unable to go any faster because of the state of the trail they were on. The girl knew from experience there was a shelter up ahead with a cook shack they could hide in from the coming rain. It was a mile or two away but with Sen's ground eating canter they should make it there without getting too soaked. Fat rain drops began to splatter on her face, picking up intensity as they moved along.
"Ah crap…" but before she could finish her sentence a bone shaking crack of thunder sounded, ricocheting off the mountains. Sen let out a frightened whinny and lurched forward. Where was the shelter? They should have made it there by now… Feeling a sense of panic at being caught in the steadily worsening storm she looked hard into the rain searching for the cook shack. They really needed to get out of this before the rain turned to hail. Hail was dangerous in the mountains it could come down with the force to bruise or draw blood and could end up blinding Sen.
The rain was coming down in sheets now and she was getting desperate. She looked frantically for anywhere to get out of the rain. Was the trail getting narrower? Just then a tremendous crack of thunder exploded all around her. It was so loud Sen skittered to the side losing his footing on the narrowing trail. The girl grabbed on to the horn of her saddle and shouted as horse and rider tumbled over the side of the trail. Then it was dark…
The great dog demon watched as the girl lay in a fevered sleep. Under any other circumstance he would have left her here to die if it weren't for Rin. When had he become so soft? She asked and he obeyed that's how it was. Nobody else questioned him. The girls animal was strange. He'd seen many horses before but this ones color was strange most of him was a copper red but he had splashes of white down his neck sides and flanks that almost resembled cherry blossoms in the wind. His legs were also white as well as streaks of white in his mane and tail. The horse unfortunately was losing the battle for life. The girl should wake up soon. He looked up from where they had fallen. Although not very steep the slope was long and full of trees and rocks. He was surprised they were alive at all. Then a small girls voice brought his attention back to the girl.
"Oh! Lord Sesshomaru, she's waking up!" Little Rin sat smiling beside the girl as she opened her eyes and began to look around. She blinked a couple times then gasped and at bolt upright almost knocking Rin over. Sesshomaru reached for his sword watching her warily. She put a hand to her head and grimaced as the pain of her broken body assailed her. A great heaving breath made her look up immediately to the direction her mount lay in. She cried out and began to scramble to her horses side sobbing all the way.
"NO! no,no,no,no… this cant be happening! Sen! Come on big guy you gotta stay with me here, come on Sen you're the only thing good I have in this world! Please! don't leave me!" she sobbed as the horse took another heaving breath. Trails of blood running from his nose. Sen as she called him let out a groan and heaved one last rattling sigh before he lay still.
"Sen? SEN! NO! No… no,no,no … Come on … Please god no…" The girl took a deep breath and let out a scream of sorrow and pain that shook Sesshomaru to his very soul. She loved this creature as much if not more than he loved his Rin. His heart made that sound when Rin died the second time and he learned he could not bring her back. Rin moved toward the girl and placed her small hand on her shoulder. The girl flinched and looked up alarmed. She was just noticing she wasn't alone…
She looked up at the small girl that had startled her. She was small and sweet with kind eyes. She looked sad for her. She was about to ask her name when she noticed a man standing behind the little girl. He was tall with the most beautiful long silver hair she had ever seen. He looked like a warrior from ancient Japanese tales. He had bone armour over top the red and white kimono he wore. A long feather boa flowed over his shoulder. A single katana rested in his belt. but what caught her attention most were his eyes… liquid amber shone out from a handsome face that was stern. The eyes were intense … and cold. If she were ever to be afraid of a man… this would be him. And yet… she was captivated. The little girl interrupted their staring contest.
"Excuse me. What's you're name?"
"Uh…" she said in a hoarse voice "It's Miranda… and you?" she really wanted to know his name… but she decided politeness was the best way to go.
"I'm Rin." she turned toward the man. "Lord Sesshomaru. Do you think tenseiga will help this pretty lady's horse?"
"Why would I do such a thing?" the lord looked down at Rin and said matter of factly. "It is but an animal."
Rage tore through the girls body at his words. Every inch of her body began to shake as she wanted to scream her frustrations at him. Just an animal?
"That animal was my life! And because of me he's gone! He was the only thing I had left that was pure and good!" a huge sob wracked her body as she buried her face in her hands.
Rin turned and looked at the dog demon. "Please lord Sesshomaru. I don't want her to be sad. She has kind eyes."
The things I must do for this child… Sesshomaru sighed and stepped forward putting his hand on the hilt of tenseiga. The sword pulsed. So this is the right thing to do tenseiga?
Miranda looked up as he approached drawing his sword. Her face lit up in alarm as he continued to advance.
"Step aside." Sesshomaru commanded. She hesitated. But Rin spoke up encouragingly.
"Don't worry Miranda my Lord will make everything alright again you'll see!"
Miranda moved aside reluctantly and watched on with weary fascination. The sword in Sesshomaru's hand seemed to pulse then glow. He raised it with one hand then made a series of slashes above Sen's body. He stepped back. Then to Miranda's amazement Sen took a deep breath. It was a strong healthy sound. She cried out and rushed forward as Sen rolled onto his belly and began to stand up. Miranda wrapped her arms around the horses neck and began to weep. The horse gave a soft nicker and nuzzled her neck.
Sesshomaru's heart softened a little. The amount of love she had for that animal was astounding. She would walk the paths of hell for that horse it seemed. But why? As Sesshomaru watched on he noticed two things start to happen. Miranda's breathing became shallow and forced and her knees began to collapse. She was succumbing to her wounds from the fall. Sesshomaru moved forward just as she fell back and caught her gently in his arms. He looked down at her face to find intense green eyes staring up at him. She smiled and whispered.
"Thank you…" and with that she lost consciousness in Sesshomaru's arms. He picked her up and moved her back to the blankets they had on the ground for her. He laid her down gently and covered her up, his eyes lingering for a moment on her face. Even in sleep she had a fire about her that intrigued him. Clamping down in his emotions he stood up abruptly and turned around. Then a small voice caught his attention.
"Will she be ok Lord Sesshomaru?" Rin looked down at the girl with a worried expression troubling her face. He didn't like for her to feel anything but happiness.
"Yes Rin. She will be fine." In truth the next couple hours were going to be touch and go but the girl had a strength that seemed to flow from her. He had a feeling she would be ok.
"Rin, stay here." Sesshomaru turned and walked into the forest surrounding their camp.
"Come back soon my Lord!" Rin smiled after him as he disappeared into the shadows of the trees. Rin walked over to the sleeping girl and sat down beside her. Sen the girls horse was standing over her nuzzling her face and making soft nickering noises.
"Its ok boy." Rin said reassuringly. " Lord Sesshomaru said she will be ok. And if he said that it will be true!" The horsed gave another low nicker before he moved over then folded his legs under him and laid down beside Miranda. Rin smiled at Sen "you care for her very much don't you." The horse flicked his ears towards Rin but kept his attention on his sleeping rider. Rin smiled again and settled down beside them.