InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Sesshomaru's Children ❯ Rin's Life ( Chapter 7 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 7: Rin's Life
Inuyasha stalked up to the massive iron gate of Bosoporu's fortress with the Tetsusaiga resting on his shoulder. On top of the wall, guards stared down at him contemptuously as he came to a halt within comfortable shouting distance.
“I've come for the woman Rin!” Inuyasha shouted. “Send her out and I may not kill you!”
Harsh laughter echoed from the top of the wall.
“Are we supposed to fear you, half-demon?” one of the guards shouted back. “You're no threat for anyone here. Go about your business and maybe we won't kill you!” More laughter greeted the man's words and he grinned at his companions.
“I'm not going to waste my time on trash like you!” Inuyasha responded. “Tell Bosoporu that Sesshomaru's little brother has come over to clean up his mess.”
The laughter died away. “Sesshomaru's brother?” The same guard leaned over the wall to squint at Inuyasha.
“I didn't know Sesshomaru had a brother,” another guard said. He threw a worried glance at Inuyasha. “We'd better get the Captain.”
“Why bother?” said the first guard. “He's just some petty half-demon. I'll go take care of him.” The man disappeared from the top of the wall.
“I'm getting the Captain,” the second guard said and he, too, disappeared. The remaining guards crowded along the edge of the wall, looking down at Inuyasha and talking quietly among themselves.
A small door, just large enough to admit one man, opened in the right-hand gate and the first guard stepped out. He was taller than Inuyasha by two hand-spans and his broad shoulders supported thickly muscled arms. He hefted a heavy axe as he moved clear of the gate and a cruel grin spread across his face.
“I'll make quick work of you, half-demon,” the guard growled, “because I'm such a nice guy.”
Inuyasha snorted. “Yeah, right.” He swung the Tetsusaiga forward and gripped it with both hands. “You just gonna talk or can you fight?”
The man snarled a coarse oath and charged forward, lifting his axe. He swung the heavy blade at Inuyasha's head in a flat arc. Inuyasha didn't bother to duck. He blocked the axe with the Tetsusaiga and knocked it back. The guard grunted in surprise.
“So you got a little strength in those puny arms, eh, half-demon?” he growled. “At least that will make hacking the life out of you a little more fun.”
“Talk, talk, talk!” Inuyasha grumbled. “Why do the big ones always spend more time talking than fighting?”
The guard's eyes bulged. “Wha…?! You stinking, little...!” He raised his axe and chopped straight down at Inuyasha's head.
Rather than move aside, Inuyasha blocked the strike by lifting the Tetsusaiga over his head. The power in that blow forced him to bend his knees to absorb the shock, but he stopped the axe and held it. He grinned savagely at the guard, showing his sharp white fangs. Surprise blossomed on the guard's face and he stared at Inuyasha. Up on the wall, cries of surprise and alarm rang from the men watching.
Realizing he couldn't force his way past Inuyasha's block, the guard disengaged and leaped back. He studied Inuyasha with narrowed eyes, observing Inuyasha's stance and the way he held his sword. “You're still no match for me, little demon!” he growled. “I've killed bigger and better men than you.” He charged forward again and launched a ferocious attack, swinging his axe much faster than one might have expected for such a heavy weapon.
Inuyasha blocked the attacks effortlessly without returning any offensive blows.
Shippo, Miroku, Sango and Kilala watched the fight from a safe distance.
“Why isn't he fighting back?” Shippo demanded. “He could have killed that guy three times by now.”
“I think he's waiting for something,” Sango replied. Rather than watching the fight, she was studying the men standing on the top of the wall. “There! I bet that's it.” She pointed at the wall, where another man had appeared. Even from where they stood, they could see the gold patch on his shoulder identifying him as an officer.
Right on cue, Inuyasha went on the offensive. He didn't bother to use the wind scar. The Tetsusaiga was just a blur in his hand as he rained blows on his opponent. The guard backpedaled, blocking Inuyasha's attacks with increasing desperation, but the outcome was inevitable. He missed a block and the Tetsusaiga hacked through his middle with such force that the man was cut in two. Inuyasha jumped back to avoid the fountain of blood, but he still got splashed. He shouldered the Tetsusaiga again and stepped casually around the gory remains.
“So, like I said: send the woman Rin out and I may not kill you.”
“I told him to wait for you, Captain!”
The captain leaned over the parapet and glared at Inuyasha. “Do you honestly think that killing one of my men will frighten me?”
Inuyasha shrugged. “I don't care if it does or not. I already said I don't want to waste my time with you. My business is with Bosoporu. If he has a problem with my brother, he should take it up with Sesshomaru, not his woman. What a damn coward!”
The captain flushed angrily. “Bosoporu is the lord of this region! You better show him the proper respect!”
“If he's lord of this region, you might want to mention it to the locals, who've never even heard of him!” Inuyasha snorted. “He's just some has-been demon who doesn't know better than to stay in the hole my brother shoved him into.”
Some of the guards began muttering uncertainly among themselves. Inuyasha's confidence was clearly opening up doubts in a few minds. The captain looked around quickly and his angry glare darkened.
“Are you going to listen to this nobody?” he exclaimed. “Or are you going to remember the proof of Bosoporu's power? He could crush this insect with one hand. But it's our job to defend the castle, so get down there and destroy him!” He pointed at Inuyasha as he shouted.
There was a sudden scramble and the guards rushed down from the wall. Loud clangs announced the gates were being unlatched and Inuyasha watched calmly as they swung slowly open. A dozen guards stood in the opening as the gates clanged back against the wall, with more rushing up from behind.
Miroku glanced at Sango. “That seems like just a few more than Inuyasha can handle without using the wind scar.”
Sango hefted the Hiraiku. “Don't tell him that.” She leaped onto Kilala's back. “Let's go, Kilala!” The two of them swooped away.
“Coming, Shippo?” Miroku dashed toward the fortress.
Shippo sighed. “Here we go again.” He raced after Miroku.
Inuyasha didn't look at Miroku as the monk stopped beside him. “I don't need any help.”
“I know, but why should you have all the fun?”
“Shippo,” Inuyasha said, again without looking, “once the fighting starts, see if you can get into the fortress. Try to find Rin.”
“What about Bosoporu?”
Inuyasha showed his fangs. “Oh, I think he'll come out once the fighting starts. Shall we?”
“Let's go!” Miroku cried. He and Inuyasha charged forward together.
Shippo hung back and watched as Miroku and Inuyasha clashed with the enemy forces, aided by Sango from above. Bosoporu's forces were well-trained, but it became clear rather quickly that they were no match for the ferocious attack of Inuyasha, Miroku and Sango. Archers who appeared on top of the wall with drawn bows were immediately cut down by Sango's Hiraiku. Inuyasha and Miroku's charge had bottled the guards up in the gateway, preventing them from fanning out to surround the two men. Using physical strength alone, Inuyasha and Miroku systematically cut down the guards as they tried to force their way out.
Standing behind his men, the captain screamed orders, growing increasingly panicked as his forces were rapidly diminished.
“Look out!” Sango shouted from above. “Demons!” She flung the Hiraiku in the direction of the fortress, into a swarm of demons. Kilala followed after it with a roar of fury, diving into the swarm with tooth and claw.
“That looks like too many for just Sango!” Miroku cried.
“I've had enough of this anyway!” Inuyasha shouted back. “Wind scar!” He raised the Tetsusaiga up over his head and slammed it into the ground. Giant fissures shattered the ground as the Tetsusaiga launched a wave of power through the gate and into the demon swarm. Several of the guards, caught by the full brunt of the blast, were flung away like rag dolls. Kilala zoomed clear as the wave tore through the demons, burning them away to nothing on the spot.
The voice rang like thunder through the canyon. The few guards who were still standing, or who could regain their feet, went still. Sango and Kilala dropped to the ground inside the curtain wall as Inuyasha, Miroku and Shippo made their way inside over the ground ripped up by the wind scar. A figure stood on the steps in front of the large iron-bound doors of the fortress.
“Do you feel it?” Miroku murmured. “The miasma is coming from him. That must be Bosoporu.”
Inuyasha nodded silently. He glanced at Shippo and lifted an eyebrow. Shippo nodded and the five of them walked forward. Hastily, the remaining guards and their captain hurried to form a line at the base of the steps between the advancing party and their master, although they clearly knew this to be an inadequate defense.
Like Sesshomaru, the demon Bosoporu did not look dangerous, but he radiated a sense of dark power. Except for his pointed ears and clawed hands, his appearance was more human than Inuyasha's. He looked the five of them over with open contempt, unfazed by the destruction of his human and demon forces.
“This is quite amusing,” Bosoporu said in a light voice. “I did not know Sesshomaru had a brother.”
“That's because he ground you into dust before I was born,” Inuyasha retorted.
A slight tightening of his jaw was Bosoporu's only reaction to Inuyasha's words. “Indeed. Well, you and your brother must be quite close for you to come here in his stead. Or does his woman mean more to you than she does to him?”
“Actually, I hate my brother and Rin means very little to me. Arrogant demons like you just piss me off.” Inuyasha pointed his sword at Bosoporu. “But give me Rin and maybe I'll decide I don't need to kill you right now.”
Bosoporu threw his head back and laughed. “You call me arrogant? A wretched half-demon like you does not even have the right to speak my name!” He lifted a hand and made a throwing motion in Inuyasha's direction.
Something unseen slammed into Inuyasha and sent him tumbling. The backlash scattered the other four in all directions. Inuyasha rolled over three times and came to his feet, skidding to a halt with the Tetsusaiga at the ready in front of him.
“I hope you're just warming up,” Inuyasha growled. “I've been hit harder by little kids.”
A wrinkle of annoyance formed between Bosoporu's perfect brows. He came down the steps and passed between two of the guards, who moved aside hastily to avoid actually touching the demon.
“My lord!” the captain said nervously. He stepped forward so he was almost level with Bosoporu. “Do not put yourself at risk.”
“I have nothing to fear from this creature,” Bosoporu said. He favored Inuyasha with a contemptuous smile. “He is a mere half-demon. The power of his blade cannot touch me.”
“Is that so?” Inuyasha raised the Tetsusaiga and summoned the wind scar again. Behind Bosoporu, the guards dove to either side to get out of the damage path as the sword's power swept over the demon. The front portal of the fortress partially collapsed as the ground under the steps shattered.
Bosoporu stood calmly amid the swirling dust as if nothing had happened.
In the confusion, Shippo slipped past the sprawled guards, scampered over the tumbled stones of the front steps and disappeared into the fortress.
“You are wasting your power, half-demon. I can endure a strike one hundredfold stronger than that.” Bosoporu lifted his hand and flung his power at Inuyasha again.
Inuyasha was knocked through the air this time. He landed on his back, but he quickly rolled onto his feet to face Bosoporu again. “I could say the same thing, demon. Your little love taps are just foreplay.”
Bosoporu snarled and lifted both hands. His body began to swell and his skin darkened to a deep blue. Sharp horns sprouted from either side of his head and his face pushed forward to form a square, blunt muzzle.
“He's a ram demon!” Miroku shouted. “Sango! Get down!” But Sango was already diving behind a tumble of fallen stone with Kilala. Miroku flung himself flat on the ground.
Bosoporu opened his mouth and his voice shook the air like thunder. “Now you will feel the true weight of my power!” He brought his hands together with a loud clap. Dark flows of energy twisted up his arms and surged like flame into the air above him.
Inuyasha gripped the Tetsusaiga in front of him with both hands. Its blade rippled with white flame.
“Now you DIE!” Bosoporu roared. He flung his arms forward and the dark energy arched toward Inuyasha.
Inuyasha raised the Tetsusaiga over his head. “Backlash wave!” he cried and threw the combined energy of his own and Bosoporu's power back at Bosoporu.
“WHAT?!” Bosoporu roared in shock as his own attack slammed back into his face. Black fire raged around his body, consuming him. Bosoporu screamed in agony. The echoes of his cry started landslides at the back of the canyon.
Inuyasha watched in grim satisfaction as Bosoporu was completely consumed by his own evil flame. The few surviving guards staggered to their feet and fled in panic as the last traces of their master disappeared in wisps of oily smoke. Inuyasha and his companions let them go.
“That was something,” Miroku said. “I haven't seen a ram like that demon for a long time.”
“Me neither,” said Sango. She walked up with the Hiraiku dangling behind one shoulder. “Do you think Shippo needs help?” She glanced toward the fortress entrance. “Oh, never mind, here he comes.”
Shippo appeared carrying Rin, but it was immediately clear that something was wrong. Her stiff body was fixed in a sitting position and Shippo walked with her balanced carefully on top of his head. The others hurried forward to meet him.
“She's encased in some kind of barrier!” Shippo announced as he put her down.
Up close, they could all see the faint shimmer of the spell holding Rin captive. Miroku closed his eyes and laid his hand on the barrier.
“It is a barrier,” Miroku confirmed. He reached under his robe and pulled out a strip of paper. He pressed the sutra against the barrier. The barrier shimmered faintly and the sutra peeled away. “Damn!” Miroku muttered. He produced a different sutra and stuck it on the barrier. That sutra, too, just peeled away. Miroku shook his head. “Nothing I have will defeat this. Can you use the red Tetsusaiga, Inuyasha?”
Inuyasha immediately shook his head. “The amount of power I'd need would crush her.”
Kilala growled and looked up. Sango followed her gaze. “What's that?” She pointed at something flying toward them over the top of the ridge.
“It looks like a dragon,” Shippo said.
“It's Sesshomaru,” Inuyasha said decisively. As he spoke, the small figures on the back of the dragon became plain to the other three.
As the dragon swooped toward the ground, someone leaped from its back. The figure immediately began to change shape and by the time it hit the ground, a white dog that towered higher than the fortress galloped toward them.
“Back off!” Inuyasha ordered quickly. “Get away from Rin. He doesn't think well in this form.” The five of them immediately retreated to the curtain wall.
The ground shuddered beneath Sesshomaru' paws as he stalked past the fortress. His great golden eyes blinked for a moment in their direction and then he looked down at Rin. By this time, the dragon had landed and Jaken hurried to join his master.
Jaken stared at Rin in alarm. “She is under a spell, Lord Sesshomaru! It is a powerful barrier.”
Sesshomaru did not make a sound. Slowly, he lowered his head until his nose was just touching the top of Rin's head.
“If you try to break it, she will die!” Jaken exclaimed.
Sesshomaru opened his mouth, carefully closed his jaws around Rin's body and lifted her off the ground.
“My lord!” Jaken cried.
Sesshomaru closed his eyes and tightened his jaws. There was a loud crack and Rin suddenly went limp, her limbs dangling out between Sesshomaru's sharp fangs. Sesshomaru set her gently on the ground.
Jaken dropped to his knees beside her body. “Oh, no! My lord, what have you done?”
And then the demon dog was gone and Sesshomaru stood beside them, looking down at Rin's lifeless form.
“Her life has always belonged to me,” Sesshomaru said quietly. “She will forgive me.”
“But, my lord…”
“Besides,” Sesshomaru continued, just as quietly, “I have already parted the veil between death and life for her once.” And he slowly drew the Tensaiga.