A/N: Three in the morning writing, hollah. I have no idea where this is going. It might just stay like this forever, but I unno.
The half-brightness of the morning sun hit his face as it slowly tore its way through the watery mist that had been left behind by the night's raging storms. He looked at it directly, the fiery ball reflecting in his eye as he sombrely clasped his hands in his lap, a small frown tugging at his lips. He knew that it was inevitable that the great wars should touch these lush, virgin lands, but it did nothing to quell his feelings of regret. In this new morning, each blade of grass and each rustling of the flowers swinging lazily in the valley were sharp and stark to his sensitive ears. They seemed to be plead with him to lead the bloodshed away and to save the expertly crafted petals that they had spent the winter weaving underground.
He had always appreciated the artistry of the natural world around him, and now more than ever he hated to be the cause of its destruction. One small flower is worth ten thousand lives, an ancient and long-forgotten voice echoed in his head. He closed his eyes and revelled in the memory for a moment, picturing with detailed clarity his father's face and the soft tone as he spoke. Young and naive and innocent, he had asked his world-weary father why. My son.. We as demons are the most powerful ones in the world, and as such, we must take the responsibility of being the ones who must perish the most. His young mind had churned around those words, but still he could not understand them. My dear child…, the voice chuckled, what use are we to the world but to murder and kill? The tiny flower, however, supplies the insects who come looking for their nectar, and the insects carry the pollen away and spread them far and wide, growing new life and seeding new, great trees… The trees breath in the poisons of the world and exhale the pure essence of life that floods into our lungs when we breathe long and deeply as we sleep. You see, my child… We are nothing to the world around us… To live fulfilling as someone with extreme powers such as ours, you must understand this.
In respect for his late father, he took a long, deep breath inwards and felt every sensation possible as it entered his lungs. He opened his eyes once more and peered over the valley. Another sense of regret crept through his being and caused him to ache deep in his belly; a black spectre of mixed feelings shoving its twisted dagger deep into his flesh. He clenched his teeth together as he thought of his own son. If only I had remembered father's words when I needed to the most…After his own father died, he had inherited the lands to the west. For many years as the great lord descended into illness there had been unrest in the land; disconcerting rumours of the great panther tribe of the east planning an attack, tidbits of information on a pending attack from the eagles to the north. It was no surprise then, that after the great lord passed on to the netherworld, the tribes commenced their wars. He himself was a young man at the time, arrogant and weightless, with more wealth and power than he could ever want and a beautiful woman at his side to ease his aches from battle.
The war lasted one hundred straight years, before he managed to seal the foolish panther in place and end the fighting. Victorious, he returned home with his war party only to find a silent wife and a squalling, sickly young dog demon infant. His heart was crushed as he parted the thin paper door to peer in at his gasping young son. The infant seemed to be in perpetual agony, but the cause was completely unknown. His wife, her eyes drawn and tired from the century she had carried her hurting baby, cast her proud eyes down to the scrubbed wooden floor. She was unable to meet his gaze. She felt as though she had failed him by bearing him a dying son.
However, he wasn't convinced that the child was going to die. He quickly entered the room and wrapped the bawling infant in a thick silk kimono, holding him tightly in his armoured arms. Soothingly, he stroked the baby's straight silver hair and exited the castle, leaping into the sky and taking flight. He knew what he must do.
He must find the great priestess.
"Father", a soft, emotionless voice asked him, "why do you gaze at the sky so?"
The great demon did not bother to turn to his companion, but instead said, "I am thinking about you."
This seemed to take the young demon off guard. He blinked and, managing to regain his composure said, "Why are you thinking about me?"
His father's voice seemed far away as he replied vaguely, "Because you are my son."
He flew through the air faster than he would have ever thought possible, whipping through the clouds and dancing across the surface of the crescent moon. As he soared through the twinkling night sky, he turned his eyes down to the small form in his arms. The child was pale, and his face was completely clear of any markings at all. His eyes, from what the great demon could tell, were as pure and gold as his parents' eyes. A tiny smile quirked the sides of the demon's mouth as he observed the child's strange, but very decisive part in the silver hair of his forehead. The arm that was free of the infant reached up and touched his own decisive part. Well, he had thought, at the very least we have that in common.When he finally reached the edge of the poor human village that housed the powerful priestess who could save his baby, he slowly melted down to the grass and landed lightly in the forest. He knew he had to be cautious, for humans tended to be extremely untrustworthy of demons. He crept to the side of the village, and spotted the exact thing he needed. Quietly, a long cloak was stolen in the night.
He donned the cloak and held his infant close to his chest, trying to hide it's more inhuman features in the long kimono he had wrapped it in. He approached one of the men still hanging about the stables and asked in a humble voice, "Where might the priestess Midoriko be? I heard that she was living in this village. I have an infant here that is in desperate need of her powers…" The men heard the sniffling cries of the baby and seemed sympathetic. However, their suspicion outweighed their desire to help. "Who are you, stranger?", they asked, their voices hard and rough.
"I am a father like many of you must be, and I really must find the priestess before it is too late for my son… He is my first born, and I refuse to lose him to whatever illness plagues his every waking hour…". He put all of the concern and fear that he felt for his son into his explanation, hoping to all of the gods that the men would be gracious and comply. They gazed over him suspiciously one last time before deciding that he was safe. "We will lead you to her, traveller. Come". Quietly, the great dog demon fell into step behind the calloused human farmers.
The farmers lead him to a small and humble shack near the other side of the village. He tried desperately not to react too much to the strong, purifying energy that permeated the tiny abode, and instead thanked the men and hesitantly pulled back the door flap. As he entered, he heard the chuckle of a woman amused coming from across the hut. He entered himself fully into the building and sat by the fire burning merrily in the middle of the room. The priestess calmly, regarded him, her hands clasped on her lap. "To what do I owe this pleasure, great dog demon?" she asked him lightly.
He did not try to hide from her. He pulled his hood down to reveal his silvery hair, pulled into a high ponytail. His tan skin was still stained in places from the grit and grime of battle, the purple markings on his face nearly illegible in the half-light. He swallowed and then said quietly, "It is my son… His waking hours are filled with agony and pain, and his cries pierce my soul, priestess. …You must understand that though I am a demon, the connection to my children still stays as strong as a human's would… I do not know what I would do with myself if I were to let my first born son die in misery… If you cannot save him, at least relieve him of his pain so that he many die in peace…" he trailed off, unable to finish.
The priestess was long in answering. Quietly, she began "There is not much that I can do for demons to help them… Most of our powers are trained toward using them against demons, you understand." She peeked at him from across the room, and the great demon's sadness echoed across the void between them. She felt his misery at the knowledge his poor son was dying. She blinked and finally began once more, "However, there may be one thing that can be done for your son… Though it has a great cost".
"I will pay anything, anything at all!" he assured her quickly. She smiled sadly at him, shaking her head. "It is not something that you can pay with wealth or power. It is something that you must pay with blood." The great demon blanched at this, swallowing hard. "What do you mean, priestess?" he whispered. She closed her eyes and said quietly, "To complete the ritual, you must feed the infant the blood of an innocent. I myself cannot complete this task, for it goes far too hard against my nature and my profession to do so… Even telling you this goes against all that I have worked for, nonetheless…" she opened her eyes, and fixed the demon across her with the hardest stare she could muster, "You mustpromise me that whichever blood you use, you use it with the permission of the being."
He looked at her, and though his tongue spoke false, he agreed to her condition. Sighing as though she were an old woman, Midoriko the priestess began to tell him of the ritual which would save his only child's life.
He found the human infant screaming on the outskirts of a large village, three hundred miles from the very spot where he had learned of the cure to his son's ails. The child was dirty and abandoned, starved and even beaten. It had no home, no one taking care of it, no one loving it. It was the perfect candidate for saving his son's life. He picked it up gently, alongside his son, and stared down at it. Guilt suddenly washed his entire being, and he wondered if he would ever be able to perform such a thing on something so innocent. Then his eyes turned to his son, and the tears that streamed down the child's face decided for him. He took both of the bawling infants to a quarry of rocks. He placed them both on a flat, smooth boulder and pulled out the enchanted dagger to begin the ritual. He squeezed his eyes shut, bile rising in his throat as he lifted the dagger over his head, preparing to stab the tiny creature below him.
Sweat poured down his forehead. He couldn't do it. He could not cut the human infant. The ritual required its blood… But perhaps he did not need to end its suffering so brutally. Clinging desperately on to the small bit of logic in his brain that reasoned that thousands of human infants were abandoned and died from starvation each day, he pulled the human girl into a warm embrace and stroked her head gently. She calmed as he softly hushed her with his voice. His eyes closed once more, hushing her until she was silent from sleep. When he heard her even breathing, he took his great hands to her tiny neck.. And snapped it like a twig.
Shockwaves spread throughout his body. His very nerves seemed to recoil in on themselves as though disgusted with what he had just done. A feeling of utter numbness slugged through him like an icy drug, freezing his veins. He stifled a strangled cry in his throat as he replaced the tiny girl on the rock and took the dagger in his shaking hand. He cut into her flesh just above her heart and took the tiny clawed hand of his son. Unable to watch, he placed the tiny hand in the hole he had cut in the girl's heart, holding it there. Tears beginning to fall from his eyes he repeated the incantation that he was taught, feeling more and more like as though he had failed in everything in his life.
Suddenly, he felt a warmth beneath his hand as the incantation came to a stop. He wrenched his eyes open to gaze down at his son. From the chest of the dead human infant a bright, fantastic light shone and followed the path up his son's arm all the way to his son's forehead. There it glowed bright for a moment before taking the shape of the beautiful crescent moon above. Like two pink battle scars, slash marks appeared on the sides of his son's face. Slowly, as the light faded and the markings became more pronounced, his son's cries stopped. He fell into a deep, restful sleep.
Since finding the human girl, the great demon let out a breath he had not known he had been holding. Then, just as quietly as it faded, the light returned, full force and terrible. Wind caused by its terrible power whipped around the clearing and whistled through the rocks. The great demon stared wide-eyed as something pure and gold rose in a fantastic, wondrous ball from his son's chest and then flew off into the moon. Immediately the great dog felt a sense of extreme foreboding.
The human girl paid with her life, and the demon infant paid with his heart. Looking down at his sleeping son, he now viewed him in a different light. The child was fascinating and beautiful, but it repulsed him. In strange reverence, he picked it up and finally gave it a name.
"Sesshomaru", he said softly, "Destruction of Life".