InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Here at the End of All Things ❯ A Diamond in the Rough ( Chapter 5 )
Author's Note: This story is completely separate from "Fireside Chats" and does not take any of my original characters there into account. And as for the horse names, well, let's just say I'm a HUUUUUGE fan of horse racing. XD Also keep in mind that this story does NOT take chapter 407 into account. As far as this story is concerned, Tokijin is still whole at the time of Naraku's defeat. And another note: anyone who's seen Highlander (both the first movie and the TV series) will understand to some degree where I've gotten the ideas for Sesshomaru's power-ups. XD
Announcement: I'm not sure why this story is taking me so long to write. Considering how popular it is (despite the lack of reviews) I'm surprised I can't seem to turn out much for it. I get emails weekly begging me to continue the story. To which I am hereby proclaiming: I WILL! Just give me time! This story was never meant to be a serious one, like "Fireside Chats" was. It was mostly just a fluffy idea that kinda got away from me.
Here at the End of All Things:
Part Five: A Diamond in the Rough
These days everyone called him Kin no Hitomi, though he preferred the name given him by his father centuries ago. However, the use of the name Kin no Hitomi as a title rather than a name didn't really bother him, so long as the humans left him alone for the most part. He preferred to be left alone. Alone was safest.
His father had named him Sesshomaru. "Circle of Destruction." He never knew his mother. He knew all too well his younger half-brother, though he tried to not think too much about the miserable half-breed.
He rose from his bed in a dark mood. He showered quickly and rinsed his long mane of hair with a solution of black dye, to keep its black hue even. The dye barely lasted 24 hours, so he had to re-dye it every day. His hair was actually not black, nor was it white or silver like it once had been. It was colorless, translucent. It looked shimmering white when left alone, because there was so much of it, and had been known to refract some lights in a rainbow of colors, but it was such a standout that he chose to keep it black to avoid undue attention. He stubbornly left his eyes untainted by society restrictions. So what if no one had golden eyes? Besides, the eyes resisted any attempts to change the colors as it was.
As he dried his hair and tied it up into a functional ponytail, he scrutinized his frame in the mirror. The prosthetic arm was affixed to the stump of his left arm, about six inches below the shoulder joint. It was attached very well and it moved like a real arm, responding to his every command, but it still lacked the one thing he missed about his original arm -- the ability to touch, to feel.
Stop that. He shook his head irritably. You do not need that, and thinking about it merely distracts you.
The blue crescent moon that adorned his brow shimmered with a golden veneer. Like his golden eyes, the crescent moon defied any attempts to hide it cosmetically. The dark-ruby stripes on his cheeks and on his right hand likewise resisted cosmetic disguising, but a simple, tiny glamour cast over anyone who saw him made them disregard the marks on his cheekbones as mere scars. On his hands he wore black gloves, partly to disguise the distinctive marks, and partly to disguise that one of the hands was prosthetic. For his forehead, he used a simple black band of fabric -- a bandana of a sort -- tied around his head to disguise the mark.
As he dressed in black trousers and a dark steel-gray sweater, the sunlight glanced off the facets of the diamond set in a simple titanium ring he wore on his right hand. The diamond was more precious to him than anything in the world. It had been set into a number of different pieces of jewelry throughout the five centuries since he'd acquired it.
The diamond was all that remained of the one person to ever love him unreservedly, and the one person he revered above all others. The one person whose very presence saved his soul and his sanity in the darkest hours, when his destiny as exterminator threatened to overwhelm him.
He downed a tall glass of water and nibbled on a slab of raw beef that he kept refrigerated. His first-floor apartment was very small and spartan in decor. He had no need for lavish surroundings. His entire life was centered around finding and exterminating any youkai that raised its head.
He'd purged Hokkaido of the youkai horses that had begun invading quietly in the form of Thoroughbreds. While at a particular stallion farm, Shadai, he met one half-demon, half-horse named Sunday Silence -- the product of a demon-horse and a regular horse. Sunday Silence had proven to be no threat and unfortunately had died of illness shortly after he had determined the animal to be no threat.
He shook his head at the memory. He'd met other half-demons like Sunday Silence in his world travels, one by the name of Danehill. That animal had also died shortly after he'd determined it unthreatening, but he of a mortal injury incurred in an accident. The irony of it was not lost on Kin no Hitomi. He'd also met a few in America, one by the name of Secretariat. The animal had died about three years after Kin no Hitomi had met it. Strange how these kinds of half-demons were in fact revered by their non-demon brethren, including the humans who cared for them.
Kin no Hitomi picked up his subway pass and his keys, then with one pause at the doorway to survey his surroundings, he locked up the apartment, pocketed the keys and strode down the walkway to the street. Pausing for a crossing signal, he indulged himself in a deep inhalation of the world around. Despite the pollution of traffic and modern living, he was able to scent any unusual new arrivals.
Nothing out of the ordinary. Good.
Upon reaching the subway entrance, he felt a tingle of suspicion sparkle up his spine. There was something about this day that sang a different note than most days.
Kin no Hitomi remained on alert as the subway arrived to pick up the people at this particular stop, casting a mild glamour about himself to keep anyone from noticing him. This power to cast glamours certainly came in handy at times, a power he'd acquired over the past two hundred and fifty years with the defeat of the last of the daiyoukai, a spellcaster named Mahoujin.
As the subway whirled down its tunnels, the tunnel lights flashing rhythmically, Kin no Hitomi had a brief moment where his heart nearly stopped as a young woman next to him laughed merrily. Her laugh and her looks were so alike to Rin's. Even now, after more than four and a half centuries, her laughter was still clear in his memory.
He shook his head, trying to rid himself of those painful memories. Rin had been dead for nearly five hundred years. But the memories assaulted him still. She had died after only twenty years of traveling with him and Jaken. Her death had brought home to him the cold truth of the limits of Tenseiga's powers. There were two kinds of deaths it could not reverse: death of old age; and death of long-time illness. Rin had suffered the latter. A wasting in her lungs had given way to weakness and eventual death. She had been barely in her mid-twenties at the time of her death. Her only request, which had been her last words as well, had been for him to not forget her.
He had placed her remains on a funerary pyre and reduced her to ashes, to prevent her remains from being desecrated, and he'd made Jaken carry the ashes with them on their travels. From the site of her cremation he'd journeyed to the fiery mountains in the north, where the son of his father's old ally Housenki lived. Upon arriving at the home of Housenki II, he had made the daiyoukai an unrefusable offer.
"You have two choices to choose from, Housenki. Either you do as I ask, or I kill you now."
Housenki reeled back, startled. "Why?"
"It is my reign now. And I dictate who lives and who dies among youkai. Tenseiga only stipulates that I kill no innocent humans; it does not care about youkai. I can leave you alone so long as you leave humans alone, but only if you do as I ask."
Housenki swallowed heavily; "What do you ask of me?"
"These ashes are precious to me. Make them into a diamond, or similar mineral that can be carried."
"That's all. But do not waste a single ash. I will wait until you are finished."
"What you ask of me may take me a hundred or more years."
Tokijin flashed out and poised under Housenki's throat. "If you are half the jewelmaker you claim to be, this will take you no more than a week."
It had taken Housenki three months to complete the gem, but complete it he did, and Sesshomaru, as he'd been known at that time, had honored his deal with Housenki, allowing the reclusive youkai to live in peace and solitude for the rest of his days. Recently, he'd received word through his uncanny telepathic network that Housenki II had finally passed on from old age, like his father.
Jaken had been middle-aged by the time he'd begun serving Sesshomaru, and about two hundred years after Rin's death, he too died of old age. In the two hundred years he had had Jaken with him following, Totosai also died of old age. Tenseiga seemed to lose some of its chutzpah after the old metalbender died.
So for the last three hundreds Kin no Hitomi had traveled alone. Tenseiga seemed to have lost its powers over the living and dead. Perhaps not; perhaps it merely no longer allowed him to see the difference. Ever since Rin died, he felt a distinct emptiness and lack of caring toward anyone. And then losing Jaken had made it harder for him to care about anyone. Only his destiny kept him moving. Demons ranged throughout the world. Many had escaped Japan when he rose to power, hoping to outdistance him. It was his destiny to exterminate the dangerous ones. He waited patiently for most of them to reveal themselves, and many mysteriously came back to Japan to do so.
As Kin no Hitomi stepped off the subway at the stop right in front of the police precinct he was currently helping, he took a breath of the air.
What? This scent... He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, allowing the scent of the wind to course over his tongue. So they've come. All of them have arrived, and right on time. Well, Inuyasha, we shall meet very soon. I will then be able to determine whether you are a threat to my dominion... and if you are, I will kill you, as I always said I would.