A/N: Last one of the night and I do believe I have been promising this one for a while now. This one has been taking so long as I've got beta to be reading it, looking for plot holes and so on. Apparently Rin sleeps too much but… *shrug*
But anyway, big thanks to lady Shenzuki for her work.
And here it is;
The Ancient Lord.
Once upon a time there was a large forest that bordered between two peaceful countries; both strong, rich and filled with fine people.
The forest was filled with game for hunting and timber for trading, while a mountain towards the south had a rich deposit of gold so it was a popular location for miners.
Unfortunately the forest itself was so dark and deep that no one really strayed from the single ancient path that cut through the trees so the two countries could trade and people could travel. No one ever strayed from the path but those few who did stray from the path would either never return or return with tales of magic and wonders.
One of those who strayed from the path was a young girl in plain brown clothes with long black hair. She wasn't there by choice, she was only five years old and had gotten lost. It had been a few hours since she'd lost her way from the path and now she was tired, cold and hungry as well as limping from a painful leg, blood dripping from the long cut down, unable her to put weight on it for more than a few seconds. With her young age, she was crying from the pain and her body was beginning to fail, causing her to stager between the trees.
The girl sniffed and wiped her runny nose across her sleeve, looking over the forest. "I… I need somewhere to rest." She muttered to herself but the trees overheard her, taking pity on her and parted, revealing a mound of earth and rocks with a darkened cove between them. The girl gasped at the image before limping over to it.
The pitch black area revealed itself to be a cave and the girl found her way to the entrance, peering in but she couldn't see much. It was dry and warm so she limped inside, leaning against a wall and seeing to her leg, tearing the sleeve of her dress and wrapping it around her to stop the bleeding. Once she had, she leant on the cave wall, panting and thinking about how she would get home until it all turned to worry and she just fell asleep, eyes closed and head dropped to the side.
Hours later, the young girl slowly opened her eyes. Her hand closed around something soft and damp so she sat up, rubbing her eyes free of sleep. There was a warm glow coming from a fire beside her and a fur blanket was draped over her shoulders as she lay on a bed of feathers, fur and moss. As her eyes adjusted to the light, she realised she was still inside the cave just a little deeper, the mouth barely visible above her. "Where… where am I?"
Her eyes moved across the cave. The fire appeared to be in an old sunk hole while the smoke was drawn out by a hole in the roof covered in grass. There was nothing else in the cave apart from the bed she was lying in.
"Someone must live here… they must have… have helped me." She smiled, holding the fur over her shoulders. "This has a nice smell." Holding it tight, the girl lay back on her side, closing her eyes and resting on the mossy bed, casting herself into a sleep so her body could recover. A sharp sound woke her and she sat up to see who had helped her. But on seeing her saviour, she gasped.
It wasn't a man as she had thought but instead she found herself sat up and looking at an enormous grey dog. Easily as tall as her if she stood but with thick soft looking fur, its ears perked at the top of its head while it's presence practically radiated strength. She covered her mouth to stop herself gaping as it walked over to her, towered over as she knelt in the bed.
It looked at her with deep strong golden eyes that were narrow with what looked like a mix between both boredom and frustration. It stared at her for a moment then opened its mouth, dropping the small scrap of fabric it had been carrying. On the floor, the fabric opened to reveal three large apples that rolled across the cave floor.
The girl looked at them for a moment then swallowed. "A…are… are these for me?"
As the apples fell still, the dog turned away from her, walking across the ground, its paws padding loudly on the stone floor and claws scratching the earth. Once by the fire, it kicked a log into the dying flames and lay down beside it.
While he sat there, the girl looked at the apples beside her, she grabbed one and lifted it to her lips, taking a long bit and chewing.
One eye remained on the dog as it lay beside the fire and she had to notice the dog had an eye on her as well. As she finished the third apple, the girl turned to look at the dog. "Thank you."
Slowly the dog opened its eyes and stood, walking over to her. Looming over her, it growled a little deeply before opening its mouth. "What is your name girl?"
Its voice was just as much of a growl as a dog would be expected to give but it spoke so clearly and in words the girl could understand. "You… you can talk?" She stammered, a little shocked but more curious and amazed.
"Yes. And I asked you your name." Taking a moment just to believe that the dog before her was speaking, the girl bowed her head. "My name is Rin."
"Rin." It repeated but her name sounded strange in its deep growl of a voice. The dog revealed a mouthful of large fangs in what could be called either a smile or a snarl. "Well, Rin, you have trespassed in my home."
"I'm so sorry. I was lost in the forest and I cut my leg."
The dog moved his eyes away from her head and looked down at her leg. "I see. Very well, you may stay here until well enough to walk."
"Thank you! Thank you so much! Umm… what's your name? If I may ask."
As it walked away from her towards the fire, the dog nodded. "My name is Sesshomaru."
The dog nodded, turning to look back at her. "I am the lord and master of this forest."
Rin smiled and bowed her head. "Well thank you for allowing me to stay here Lord Sesshomaru."
"Get some sleep girl. The more you rest, the faster you recover."
Curling up in the fur, Rin closed her eyes but she felt comfortable in his presence, almost warm. "Thank you my lord."
The dog watched her as she curled up to sleep then set his head down on his front paws, eyes locked on the fire.
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