Whoops. I started another series. I was struck with the writing mood and didn't want to deny it, though! Anyway, this series should be fairly short, unless it gets away form me. Which is very possible. All of my stories get away from me. uwu
Critiques welcome! Opinions? Is everyone in character? Anything seem awkward? Would love reviews! I huff over all of my reviews~
It had been two years since Naraku was defeated. Two years and nothing had changed. It was getting closer to the time when he would inherit his mother's palace, since he had surpassed his father, but Sesshomaru did not feel like it was appropriate yet. He would get it eventually and there was still the castle in the mountains for his use, though he didn't go there often. Remaining trapped inside never suited him. He always preferred to be traveling, sometimes with no destination in mind.
Currently, he was traveling west to the sea, his party having a sense of completeness again. Rin had rejoined their group for a short while, planning to return to the village in the spring. He would admit that it was pleasant to have the girl back in his company, even if she did reek of human and half-breed. It was just a short trip to the seaside and then back to the human village.
It was odd, but not unwanted to be traveling solely by foot again. The change of pace was nice and Rin's chatter was pleasantly filling the silence. Two years had passed, but not that much had changed.
The small group was passing an older man, human, and bowing at the side of the road. Sesshomaru had sensed the man a while ago, his human scent making it easy to distinguish him for the forest, but chose to ignore it. If it didn't bother him then he had no reason to bother it.
"My lord!" the man suddenly addressed, though Sesshomaru kept walking. "My lord, please take this as a token of my gratitude!"
He stopped and glanced back over his shoulder. There was a comb in his hands giving off a spiritual light. Worthless for one such as himself.
"My lord," Jaken started, "Do you know this pathetic human?"
He paused a moment more before continuing forwards, his silence answering for him.
"Please! You have saved my village from bandits in the past! I have waited here merely to repay your kindness," the human man continued. Pathetic and groveling.
He was content to keep walking until he heard Rin speak up. "Wow, it's so pretty!" she said, jumping down from Ah-Un's back to more closely admire the object. Sesshomaru stopped again.
"Do you want it, Rin?" he asked.
She gasped. "Oh, very much milord! It's so pretty."
He thought about it for a moment more. Apparently, for all of her time with the withered priestess, Rin had no spiritual powers of her own. She could not see the glow coming from the object, though himself and surely Jaken could. Still, it was purified light. The most it could do was protect her and she did seem rather taken with the object, probably due to it looking like a flower.
"Foolish girl! Don't waste your time with such-" Jaken was promptly cut off.
"Then you can have it," Sesshomaru said, walking ahead again and waiting for no one.
Rin squealed from happiness and Jaken made some displeased noise, probably with a scowl on his face as the girl jumped around with her new possession; a flower that wouldn't wilt.
"Thank you, my lord!" the human said, bowing again before slipping away into the forest towards the more concentrated stench of human. As far away as it was, he could still smell the village. It would be nice when they finally reached the sea for the ocean's water overpowered almost everything.
He could hear Rin still running around, trying to catch up before she came in front of him. "What do you think Lord Sesshomaru? Do I look pretty?" she asked.
He looked down, hardly moving his head in her direction. The comb was placed haphazardly into her hair, simply pushed into the pony tail on the side of her head. The white flower that started white and edged out into pale gold stood out against her dark hair. She was smiling at him, still anticipating an answer.
"Fix your hair," he said, and was all he was going to say on the matter.
"Yes!" And then she returned the back of Ah-Un where she fumbled around on her own, trying to make her unruly hair behave the way Kaedae had taught her.
The next morning, when Sesshomaru returned to the camp where his companions were sleeping, he was hardly surprised to see an extra person present. Walking towards them, he saw that it was woman sitting next to Rin, her comb no longer glowing. The woman had short blonde hair that framed her glowing face and matched the warm colors of her uchikake which had a pattern of foxes running along the bottom.
"Good morning, Lord Sesshomaru," she said, smiling as if she knew everything.
He held gaze with her for a moment more, taking in how her eyes mirrored her smile. Then he broke contact and moved over to Jaken. He kicked the toad, waking him rather quickly.
"My lord!" he started loudly, "Are we leaving so soon? I must-" He stopped abruptly when he turned to Rin, seeing the woman beside her. "Wench, who are you to enter the presence of Lord Sesshomaru?"
Sesshomaru didn't give an answer, though he knew already. The woman raised her sleeve to her mouth in a coy attempt to hide that grin. "You shall soon see great misfortune," she said, "Be wary of those greater than yourself."
Sesshomaru watched Jaken's face change expression from irritation to surprise, and then back to irritation. "Jaken," he started before the imp could speak again, "Wake Rin."
"O-of course my lord, but this woman-"
He stopped speaking on his own, met with the impassive glare of the man he served. Sesshomaru continued to observe as Rin was awoken from her sleep, the woman continuing to sit. As soon as she turned her eyes on the new visitor, the sleepy haze was gone from the girl's face.
"Wow!" she began, her voice sparkling like her eyes, "You're so pretty! What's your name? Do you know Lord Sesshomaru? Will you be traveling with us?"
The woman's arm dropped, her smile no longer holding a hidden knowledge. "I am Lady Inari. I do not know more than I can, but may perhaps be with you for a while longer."
Sesshomaru let out a low breath of air, not entirely pleased with that answer himself, before turning away and heading back on their intended path.
"My lord! Do you intend to let this woman travel with us?!" he asked rather boldly, his tone incredulous. Jaken was met with another glare and he cowered within himself. "N-not that I'm questioning you or anything!"
Sesshomaru held his gaze on him for a moment longer before continuing on. "We're going."
"You need to be more careful, Master Jaken," Rin chastised as she went over to Ah-Un and climbed on his back. She then looked over to the woman who had not moved from her spot. "Lady Inari, are you coming?"
Their faces mirrored each other with wide smiles and she answered before Jaken could give his opinion again. "I can do nothing else." With that, she faded into the air, leaving only white and yellow flower petals behind.
That night, when they set up camp again, though this time by a river, their strange guest joined them once more. Rin and Jaken were oblivious, attempting to catch fish in the stream. It had been so long since they last tried it that they weren't too successful. Sesshomaru stood at the tree line, his arms at his sides, as he felt the woman approach. She had great spiritual power, but no scent of her own.
"Good evening, Lord Sesshomaru," she greeted, standing on his right with her arms folded inside of her sleeves.
He did not say anything for a while. Then, out of an itching curiosity, his lips parted and the question left his mouth before he could condemn it to silence, "Who are you?" He did not like asking questions of others, and disliked it even more so when he had to since they were not offering the information on their own.
"I am Lady Inari," she repeated from earlier, "I do not know more than I can, but perhaps more than you will."
He looked at her from over his mokomoko, his eyes telling her to elaborate. She grinned. He was beginning to detest that expression.
"Explain yourself," he finally said. He did not like being toyed with.
"I am bound to a sacred object, far away from my shrine." He closed his eyes and continued to listen, grateful that she was no longer speaking in riddles. "I bestow fortune where I go, though it is difficult to know where that is."
He opened his eyes and went back to watching the two in the stream as they grappled for fish. They stood there in silence and he was almost disappointed in Jaken for failing to notice the presence.
"Lord Sesshomaru," she started, catching his attention, "In fifty years time you will lose something precious."
His eyes widened ever so slightly as he looked back over to her. She slowly faced him, her red eyes and lips grinning once more. Then, she faded into petals leaving him alone with the second fortune told. Or was it better to call it a prophecy?
On the third day of travel the spirit had joined them once more. She appeared walking next to Ah-Un, startling only Jaken and Rin.
"Good day, Lord Sesshomaru," she greeted. He gave her no response.
"Lady Inari!" Rin shouted, her voice covering up Jaken's protests. "I thought you said you'd be traveling with us."
"And I have." The strange woman walked next to Ah-Un, her head remaining level as if she was gliding along. In fact, not even her uchikake was dragging through the dirt, seeming to hover just above it.
"But I haven't seen you at all. How could you still be with us?" Rin asked.
She smiled again. "I have yet to be tossed away, thus I am still here."
Rin looked confused, not understanding what she had meant. Sesshomaru knew and he suspected that Jaken did as well now.
Sesshomaru abruptly stopped, his party following suit. He smelled a field of flowers close by and knew that Rin would enjoy it. "We're stopping here," he said.
"Yes, milord!" the young girl said before hopping down off of Ah-Un.
The woman offered her hand to the child. "Here," she started as Rin grabbed her hand, "Let's go pick some flowers."
Excited, it took all Rin had to not drag the woman off to where she thought they might be headed. That left Jaken, Ah-Un, and the silent Sesshomaru alone.
"My lord," Jaken began hesitantly, "Are you sure it's such a good idea letting something like that follow young Rin around?" Sesshomaru looked over at him. "Not that I'm questioning your judgement! But it might lead to some unwanted interactions with humans."
Sesshomaru turned his gaze back to where the two women left. "There's nothing to worry about."
During the fourth day they had stopped in an open clearing of long grasses more than flowers. There was a stream close by, well shielded by a dense forest. This stop was to allow time to prepare for crossing the mountains. It was the last chance Rin had clean herself before spending the next two days in solid travel, stopping only to sleep. While she was at the stream, Jaken with her as a guard, the spirit appeared by Sesshomaru. She was on his right again, but sitting while he remained standing.
"Greetings, Lord Sesshomaru," she said.
He offered her no response.
"Do you wish to know more of what will be?"
This time he allowed himself to give an audible answer. "Hmh. I have no need for such worthless knowledge."
She nodded knowingly, not looking up for her lap. "One such as yourself does not fear the possibility of tomorrow." He gave no response, so she continued. "Perhaps you could indulge me for just a moment." He still did not respond, keeping his gaze locked on the distance in front of him. "You will come to be thankful of a power not your own and despise it at the same time." His eyes sharpened to a glare, though he refused to look at the woman beside him. "Controlled by your compassion and pride, you will slay a god. Then, regret."
His hand tensed and he finally looked over to where she was sitting, only to see flower petals fluttering softly to the floor. He loathed when someone told him what he was to do, even if they were a deity. Her status was the only thing that spared her from being torn by his claws and he had doubts that he'd be able to restrain himself if she tried to speak to him with such nonsense again.
The prophecy had been delivered, but he had no use for such garbage.