The Lord and Ladies of the Western Lands by Niongi

Vassals

The Lord and Ladies of the Western Lands

By: Niongi

Chapter Two: Vassals

-A Meadow in a Dark Forest-

The once handsome meadow had succumbed to the recent slaughter; blood drenched the ground.  Puddles of crimson and bits of demons shredded beyond recognition were strewn across the field.  The very aura of the meadow was shrouded by the swirling demonic auras of those slain and a thin sheet of miasma blanketed the ground.  Only two demons stood in the scarred field, and both were spattered in the dark blood of their slain kin.

The blood soaked leaves squished softly underneath the ethereal youkai lord’s shoes; the wind caressed his long, silvery hair, bringing the scent of the battlefield to waft under his nose.  He calmly observed his opponent, both were wounded, the wolf demon more so.  It was time.

“Wolf, you will join your brethren this day.  I will make certain that you shall never leave.”  Sesshoumaru cracked his knuckles; the wolf just laughed clutching his side.

“Oh great Lord!  I will not be the only one.”  The red-eyed wolf demon panted for breath, struggling to staunch the blood, “It amuses me to know that I will carry the knowledge of your death to the afterlife.  Tell me Lord Sesshoumaru how does your chest feel?” 

“Silence!” 

The wolf slumped to the ground, his body split in half, Sesshoumaru gripped tighter to Tokijin flicking the blood from his sword.  ‘Damn you…’  Sesshoumaru clutched his chest, his own blood spilling over onto the ground.  ‘Poison…my wound…I did not…I...I-cannot.’  The regal lord stumbled, supporting his weight with his sword, the stench of the rotting corpses overwhelming his senses; he could no longer feel his fingertips. 

Sesshoumaru slowly made his way through the trees, the fresh air caressed his nose; he welcomed it with several gasping breaths.  Sesshoumaru looked up wearily; he sensed a presence, and it fortunately whoever it was it wasn’t another demon.  ‘Someone is…coming, damn.’  Taking another breath, he held in a groan.  ‘A human army.’

“You there!  Oi!  I say stranger!”  A group of human warriors, not warriors, bandits called out to him, gathering around him on foot.  Sesshoumaru leaned against the trunk of the tree, resting his legs.  They had the heads of several imps, and other lesser demons impaled on rough wooden spikes.  Sesshoumaru had dealt with the pack of wolves, but humans were just tiresome; he wished he had Jaken to finish them.

 ‘I am Sesshoumaru; I do not need the help of an imp.  However, you are weak.  Quiet.’  Sesshoumaru silenced his voices and coldly watched as the humans gathered in a wide circle around him grinning and brandishing their catches, most of them had the pelts of demon wolves or foxes.  Obviously, the leader stepped forward holding out his hand to Sesshoumaru, the human reeked with the scent of blood, human and demon alike.

“Stranger, let us help you.  We saw the carcasses of all those wolves you slaughtered in the glen not far from here, why with your strength you could really help us.  We are rebelling against the youkai’s rule.”  The band of men cheered beating on their armor, and waving the heads of the dead back and forth.  “Will you join us?”  The leader reached forward to take Sesshoumaru’s hand, Sesshoumaru growled low in his throat.  He looked up at them, staunching the pain in his face, “This Sesshoumaru does not deal with humans, you’re beneath me.  My underlings have called me from my den.  I see now why they demand your death.  I shall oblige them.”  Sesshoumaru drew his youki whip with a flick of his wrist; his eye’s burning red with his lust for blood. 

“He is the youkai!  Kill hi–!”  Their leader gurgled, and stopped mid word when his head flung to the ground, blood slinging on some of his companions.  Sesshoumaru ripped through the rest with his bare claws, his youkai blood surging with excitement, his eyes flashed darkly.  Before he knew it, all of them were dead save one who was on his knees begging for mercy, Sesshoumaru looked at his claws covered in human blood.  Sesshoumaru automatically licked the blood clean from his hands, his injuries were making him lose his senses; his torso was numb.

“Please Great youkai, do not kill me!  I will be your lowly servant for the rest of my earthly life, I beg of you, please spare me,” kissing the ground near Sesshoumaru’s feet, whispering words of praise to his name and pleas of mercy.

“Disgusting,” Sesshoumaru reached down with a single clawed hand, letting his poison seep through the man’s delicate neck tissue, his head falling to the ground among the rest of the bloody piles of human flesh.  ‘Disgusting humans have no honor at all, it makes me sick.’  Sesshoumaru walked calmly to a spring and disowned the filthy human blood.  He gripped onto his chest, his arms and legs beginning to tingle. He shook his head it felt useless and heavy on his shoulders, staring at his hands he realized he couldn’t count them.  ‘More…more are coming…I must stand.’  Sesshoumaru fell in the creek tripping over his own mind.  ‘I can’t see anything…it’s dark.’

“Lord Sesshoumaru?”  A handsome youkai with golden eyes, much like Sesshoumaru’s, appeared next to the stream.  The demon sheathed his sword, and tied his hair back, he grinned walking closer to the bloodied Sesshoumaru, his face quickly fell watching him fall in the water. 

“I didn’t realize that—my lord!”  Shido pulled the fallen Sesshoumaru out of the water, “You’re wounded.”  A rather young youkai came on the other side of Sesshoumaru with a grim look; he also had the eyes of Sesshoumaru, his hair a light rust color to his shoulders.  Both vassals kneeled near Sesshoumaru helping him sit up; he was unconscious.

“You did not call for us young Lord, not even with your father died.”  Shido moved Sesshoumaru’s blood stained kimono to the side, “And your wound is…festering.  Jigo come we need to get him to our den, it’s safe.  He’s been poisoned.”  Jigo took hold of Shido and kicked Sesshoumaru’s body into the creek.  Shido growled at the younger a look of confusion on his face.

 The metallic twang of blood radiated from the river.  Dusk was falling; small insects crept out of the water avoiding the demonic blood.  Jigo drew his sword, lifting it over Sesshoumaru’s head, “I could end it!  We could!  We could just end it and let him die here and just go!  Let’s be free of him!”  Jigo grabbed a hold of Sesshoumaru’s hair jerking his head up he brought the sword down. 

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INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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