A/N: Hey everyone :3 Yes, another story. This is an AU, but set around the same time as the series. I think this one has the potential to be my next favorite fic, but –shrugs- who knows? Enjoy!
A huge special thanks to my friend Kayelyn for helping me sort out this plunnie. Thank you so much, girl! If it wasn't for you, I probably wouldn't have started this story :3 You've gotten me excited about it and helped me shape it so far! You're the BEST!
DISCLAIMER: All Inuyasha goodness belongs to the amazing Takahashi-san!
BETA READER: sesshoumarusama33 (Sama-chan!)
The Sword Smith's Secret
Chapter One: Origin of the Blades
The great taiyoukai of the West made his way to his old friend's cave, his mind set clearly on his goal. His boots sunk into the soot covered ground, a few of the many, small streams of lava swimming dangerously close to the path that led to the entrance. He glanced up at the skeleton of the large, worm like youkai, its mouth serving as the door to the sword smith's work shop. Ducking past the rows of sharp teeth, he continued down to the belly of the deceased creature.
"Totosai," His voice rang out strong, the power in his tone bouncing off of the hallow bones that lined the room.
The old sword smith blinked his bug eyes a few times, realizing someone was speaking to him. Looking up at his guest from his current project, he closed his mouth to stop the stream of fire from burning the all-too-intimidating inuyoukai. The blade in his hands glowed red with anger in protest before slowly fading back to a grey color once its heat source had vanished. "Ah, Touga-sama, what brings you here on this summer night? Need an escape from the pups already, eh? Or perhaps from your bickering women? Must be hard to have the two of them within the same walls."
Touga let out a chuckle and sat down on one of the tatami mats by the small fire pit in the floor. "They have gotten better since Inuyasha was born," He replied and accepted the cup of tea from his long-time friend. "Still, despite their difference in races, they are both skilled in the sharp wit of words."
"You do know how to pick 'em. I trust your bond with Izayoi-sama is keeping her well?" He questioned and sat down across from him.
The lord grinned. "Indeed; she still has the same fire she had the first day I met her. Plus, she is a great mother to Inuyasha."
"Ah yes, young Lord Inuyasha. How old is he now? Twenty-three summers?"
Touga shook his head, his long ponytail of silver silk swaying as he did. "Time moves much too quickly. He is now fifty-seven falls and is already standing as tall as my waist."
He sighed softly and nodded. "Time seems to give no pause when it comes to war and loved ones."
"Unfortunately not, my friend," Sipping his tea, he hummed thoughtfully. "I can only hope this war will be the last in my rein."
The old man wiggled his brows before grinning mischievously. "Your age must be catching up with you."
The taiyoukai let out a short laugh, fangs gleaming in the dull firelight. "Perhaps so, Totosai, but as much as I disapprove pointless fighting and wars, sometimes it is necessary to prove your dominance over other lands and foes." The two fell into a silence, reminiscing on their past battles.
"How goes the Young Heir?" Totosai knew his friend had been having issues with his eldest.
Touga stared down into his mug, amber eyes dull with troubling thoughts of his son. "Do not get me wrong, he is everything I want him to be and he is my blood no matter what."
"But?" He pressed, sensing pause and dismay from the youkai across from him.
"His thirst for power is great. He is too eager to join me in battle and slash down our foes. He is constantly requesting a sword to be created for him because each one that he touches, breaks." He tapped his claws alongside the cup. "It troubles me, especially his attitude towards his half-brother. He is not pleased by the mixing of our blood with that of a human's."
He nodded and raised his hand, using a single claw to scratch the top of his head. "Perhaps it is just a phase, Touga-sama. He is still in his adolescent years, no?"
"Yes, barely two hundred," A smile graced his lips as he thought of his first born. "But he is strong and tall, his head already at my shoulders. His posture is perfect, his stance is almost there. His attacks are swift and calculative. His mind is sharp and words intelligent; he is a cunning boy, there is no doubt about it."
"Yet you question his morals."
It was not a question.
He nodded once. "I simply hope that, as you said, it is but a phase. The people need a fair ruler, not a heartless one."
Totosai nodded once more and looked over his friend carefully. So'unga was strapped to his back, no other swords resting within his obi. Thinking back, he had not seen the great youkai before him with any other powerful weapon. He wore no replacement armor, and had insisted on waiting until his new set was finished, which he no doubt was checking on. It was rare for him to receive a visit from the Western Lord and he could not help but be suspicious. So, he cut straight to the point. "So, my friend, what can I do for you?"
Touga's face grew serious once more and he lifted his gaze. "I have a rather large request for you and your assistant."
"Oh? Did I hear the great Inu no Taisho make a reference to me?"
He looked away from Totosai and gave a small smile when he saw the beautiful miko walk into the room to join them, a large, covered item in her arms. Her long, dark brown hair was tied back into a low ponytail, the crest on her forehead showing her powerful status. The inuyoukai got to his feet to help her with the item, knowing all too well what it was. He tore the cloth from the metal and smirked down at the find craftsmanship of his new armor.
"Totosai, Midoriko-san, you have out done yourselves this time." He commented, running his fingertips down the shoulder plates and across the spikes.
She bowed to him. "It is only because you continue to challenge us, Touga-sama. And, if I heard correctly, you have yet another task for us?"
Setting down his armor, he nodded and looked at them once more. "I need two swords to be forged."
"Oh," She said softly, blinking. "Well, we do make swords after all." She laughed lightly before giving him a brilliant smile.
He let a smile ghost his lips before continuing. "And no other could make swords to fit my expectations."
"Of course not! You are the one who got the two of us working together, after all." She retorted. It was true. She had never expected to be a youkai sword smith's partner, but Touga had changed her mind. The Inu had approached her a few years ago, asking for her help in building his first set of armor. She had accepted, owing him for saving her village from a pesky boar youkai.
When she first agreed, she had not expected to work with a youkai in order to make the armor. She thought she only needed to cast a spell on the armor and create a protective barrier, but she was gravely mistaken. The two bickered the entire time, cursing each other for doing one thing or another wrong. But, once the task was complete, neither could deny how great the outcome was. From then on, they decided to work together in secret.
Totosai let out a heavy sigh. "Oh, I can see the amount of work already."
Touga nodded. "I will not lie, I ask for much. For both swords, you will use my fangs as the blade. The first sword must be powerful enough to kill one hundred souls in one swipe. It will be for Inuyasha when he is older."
Midoriko furrowed her brow. "Does this have anything to do with the ridicule he has been receiving due to his hanyou nature?"
"Indeed, I foresee it becoming only worse. I anticipate youkai and humans alike coming to raise arms against him. He is forever an outcast by the two; accepted by neither, hated by both." By leaving his youngest with a powerful sword, he felt he would be able to protect him even if he was not there.
"Are there any other attributes you wish this sword to possess?" She asked, a smile on her face as she noted what a loving father he was, to look after his son even after death.
His amber eyes met her grey ones. "I wish for you to mix your reiki into the sword so that it may subdue his youkai side," He was no fool, he knew how strong his youki was. He assumed that one day the youki in his son's blood would try to overpower that of the human mixed within it. He did not know what it would do or how bad it would be, but he would take no chances. "You must also make it so that no youkai, other than Inuyasha and I may touch it. A sword of this power must not be usable if it were to fall in the wrong hands."
"Do you mean young Master Sesshoumaru?" Totosai asked, raising a brow at the taiyoukai.
Touga glanced to the side. "He, as well as others. If rumors of the sword's power were to spread, I have no doubt that others would seek to wield it."
"We understand, Touga-sama. You are doing the right thing." Midoriko offered him a supportive smile. "It will be done."
Her calming aura soothed his upset mood. "Thank you, Midoriko-san. As for the other," He paused and let a small smirk curl up his lips. "It is for Sesshoumaru, but he will hate it greatly."
"Any son should be proud to have a sword given to him by his father." The miko pointed out, her tilting head to the side.
"Not with this particular sword. I want you to create a blade that can revive one hundred souls in one swing," He watched Totosai's mouth fall open and nodded to the unspoken question. "Yes, for Sesshoumaru. He is so obsessed with power that I fear giving him a powerful sword will do nothing but harm everyone."
"So, you wish to make a sword that cannot kill?" Totosai asked, bug eyes widening even further.
His devilish smirk returned. "Not a sword that cannot kill, a sword that cannot cut at all."
Totosai fell over in shock. That was it; his friend had gone mad! Oh, how the mighty have fallen! He would have to start preparing his grave when his kingdom shunned him for lack of sanity! Oh, the despair!
"A sword of the Heaven's, hm?" She asked, putting her hand to her chin. "It can revive the dead, but cannot cause death of its own. I must say, Touga-sama, this is a challenge indeed, but I look forward to forging it!" She nearly giggled at the idea of it. She loved when she was pushed to her limit, making her powers stronger by straining them.
"You agree to this, Midoriko?! You have gone mad as well! Woe is me!" He screeched. He turned to Touga and pointed a wrinkled, clawed finger at him. "You have doomed me by giving me this task."
"How has he doomed you? The sword is not even in existence yet!" She retorted, pursing her lips at her partner. And he said they were crazy?
The taiyoukai snorted out another laugh. "I believe I may have, indeed, for Sesshoumaru will hate it with a passion and render it useless. My apologies, Totosai, but this is a test for him."
"Test?" She echoed while Totosai sat crying about fallen miko and youkai.
"Yes, when the day comes that he uses the sword for something meaningful and forgets about Inuyasha's sword…that will be when you will forge him a sword of power. I press that you do not create him a true sword until this day comes. Can I rely on you for that?" He asked, his tone serious. He did not want his heir to have anything close in power to Inuyasha's sword until he showed compassion for someone else.
"Ah, I see," The miko said in understanding before looking at the stunned Totosai. When he nodded in agreement, she looked back at Touga. "Milord, I must ask, did you wish for me to add something as well?"
He broke out into another grin. "You know me too well, Midoriko. I wish for Sesshoumaru to be protected from the first sword's power. If I know my sons, their bickering will only get worse. They will come to draw arms against each other and when Inuyasha masters his sword, I want Sesshoumaru to be protected from its power. Perhaps when the spell is activated he will finally give up his desire for it, but I doubt I will be around to find out."
She frowned and clenched her hands on the fabric of her hakama. "Please, Touga-sama, do not speak of your death. It would bring about much sadness for many."
He gave her a sad smile. "It will come, Midoriko-san, the only question is when."
A/N: Updated 2/11/16 with Beta edits!