Before we continue with Sesshomaru's lessons on vices and virtues, I want to let you guys know that this story will have chapters of different sizes (word counts) due to the fact that there are some subtopics to these sins and virtues and will lead to short, drabble like collections in between the longer chapters. There will be no chronological order to Sesshomaru's tales as they are based solely on topic only. And last but not least, topics will definitely be darker in the beginning and middle of this story. We will approach 'happier' topics near the end of the story once he is on the virtues of those in heaven.
TRIGGER WARNING: References of sexual assault contained in this chapter.
Chapter 2: Lust
Katsuro's face turned a bold pink after his father spoke the word lust. He understood what it meant of course, but was not at all familiar with what it entailed. He was not yet expressly of age to became entangled in the pleasures of the flesh but his father had once briefly gone over the meaning of lust.
"It is quite easy to be taken by the feeling of lust," Sesshomaru stated, taking in the meek look on the boy's face. "The first encounter is never the best yet always the most intriguing. It leaves you craving more and wondering less."
"Lust, simply put, can impact your life in one of two ways: you are either completely overcome by it or affected only through certain encounters." Sesshomaru reflected on this but pressed on anyway, "This tale is not only of how lust affected my life and decisions I made, but that of others around me. To which I observed their triumphs and downfalls, their conquests and failures."
"To explain properly, I will begin with how I viewed lust before it affected me, as a young pup." Sesshomaru paced forward to the edge of the cliff and took a seat, propping his knee up to support his right arm and leaned back on his left.
"My parents were mated simply because they were both extensively powerful inu daiyoukais, and thus would be assumed to breed equally, if not more powerful, offspring. My mother always held a tender heart for my father, even when he was away traveling the lands or at war. Ever the faithful, she would treat him with love and kindness on his return home and spoke only of greatness about him. She was never bothered by him taking concubines, never batted an eye when she heard of his obsession with the human princess Izayoi. Even in his quest fueled by lust, my mother remained ever the loyal and faithful.
"She took responsibility of the shiro and oversaw those who personally trained me. Meanwhile my father was only concerned with his battles on the field and his conquests in the bedroom.
"These are two examples of how people are affected by lust. My father, in my opinion, became overwhelmed by lust and later succumbed to the consequences. However I would say these actions specifically would not exactly condemn him to hell. He possessed many attributes that you could consider virtuous. That however, is not our current topic." He grunted.
"I bring you back to the times of my youth, however now as a demon of age in court, I was expected to rut with concubines and succumb to the lust the court would assume I possessed. While I did indeed partake in the pleasure of the flesh, they did not satisfy or hold my attentions enough to deter me from my path of supreme conquest. My first encounter was one of rushed work and not at all for pleasure, but only to be done with it so that I may return to my formal training."
"I never intentionally sought to keep concubines as I was concerned only by my need for physical strength and glory. I traveled great distances across Japan and only rarely did I let lust overcome myself."
Sesshomaru paused, searching for a hint of where to start next. "Over the next few centuries, this Sesshomaru came upon various moments where he witnessed individuals overtaken by lust and how it affected them. How the different courts would gossip only of the adulterous actions of those who held high positions, the human countrymen who took the innocence of many a virgin, and the always unfaithful, searching only for the next rut."
"When your mother and I first became intimate for example," He continued, ignoring Katsuro's uncomfortable twitch. "We were not mated, nor at the time was I absolutely sure that I would in fact take her as my mate. She and I were previously enemies because of Inuyasha and because of her human heritage for a few years before we all came to a certain understanding.
"However I believed at some point that I may only have been attracted to Kagome due to strictly lustful reasons. Unlike her, I sincerely thought my attraction would be the start of my demise, much like the Inu no Taisho. How could I not, when my father's lustful attentions after a human female had ended in his untimely fall?" He pondered.
"After one encounter with your mother I briskly informed her of my opinions to which she took great offense. She introduced to me the notion of romantic ideas that included companionship and love...This Sesshomaru tried to persuade her that our encounters had been a miscalculation, a blunder, on my end, but to no avail."
Sesshomaru directed his attention to a sole bird flitting across the waterfront before proceeding. "For your mother and I, lust was a mutual indulgence we partook in before and after our mating. But son, I should warn you that lust does not always take the form of mutual indulgence. Arguably the simplest form of lust is succumbing to one's basic fleshly desires with another being. However, the foulest form of lust is best described as unbidden and undesirable attentions to those who do not seek it."
"When Rin was older and of age, I began to leave her behind more often at the shiro so that she may learn courtly etiquette and how to be a proper lady. Ever so often I would take her to Kaede's quaint village so that she may partake in human interaction and interests of the females there.
"I would take these moments to spend time with your mother, either wandering the countryside or enjoying time alone at the palace. One year, the humans seemed to be in a frenzy, scattered about like locusts in heat. For some reason I could not imagine, there seemed to be more instances of crimes throughout the country. And while I did indeed condemn these violent acts, especially in the west, I did not do everything in my power to hinder these growing rates.
"What I relay to you next, my son, is something of substantial importance. I hope that you heed my words and avoid partaking in these actions. I tell you this not to make you afraid, or to anger or sadden you. I tell this to you, son, so that you may understand grief, and why this realm needs its leaders to stand up for their rights." He waited for Katsuro confirm his understanding before moving back to the topic of importance.
"One late summer afternoon," Sesshomaru drawled, "I received word by messenger hawk from Kaede herself who informed me of one terrible thing: Rin, who had been near the fields with one other human girl from the village around her same age, had been kidnapped by a group of rough looking men." Katsuro's brow furrowed in worry as he listened to his father speak.
"I had already been on my way to take her from the village and back to the shiro, but nevertheless my instincts hurled me into a frenzy as I began my search. Being humans who had taken them, it did not take me long to come upon them. As I did however, I realized something that sparked a rage inside me. Sprawled on the muddy forest floor was Rin, her kimono being torn open by two pathetic human males, and her face awash with tears of agony. The other human girl was being beaten bloody by another man who's face I could not have been bothered to remember. These foul men's scent smelled of three things.
"The first was anger," Sesshomaru said as he clenched his jaw. "Angry as they were, they could not see through their mindless actions to register that someone else had come upon them. As I cut down the first man, who's putrefying scent was filled with fury, I felt no shame in tearing his head right off his shoulders to toss it somewhere deeper in the forest. That, is probably why I can never recall his face." He stated smugly.
"The second scent was one that made me all the more malicious at once. The fact that one of the men could not contain his glee at having captured these two girls was sickening. He held Rin's hair tightly in his fist, and to have him let go I severed both of his hands off with the use of my acid whip, and dragged him away from her before striking him down as well. I did so quickly and with urgency so I could take down the third."
"After this the final and third man's scent became overwrought with fear, but I could still smell the hint of arousal that had been permeating the air just before. This man, if he even deserves to be called such, was the epitome of what it means to succumb to the foulest version of lust. Mind you, his demeanor changed quiet abruptly at the sight of this Sesshomaru."
"However no amount of trepidation could have held me back as I approached the man who had just moments before been groping at my ward's womanly parts. I will never comprehend the audacity of some males to take a young woman by force. This Sesshomaru could only feel shame at having not protected Rin fast enough or readily enough."
Katsuro sat still and quite throughout this, absorbing the grimly description of Rin's assault.
"I can assure you," Sesshomaru continued. "That I did not show any mercy, apprehension, or empathy as cut all these men down. To me, they embodied what is called 'sin' itself, and deserved nothing but to rot in the pits of hell."
"These are the outcomes of succumbing to lust, Katsuro. Whether it be lovers who are so carried away by their passions that they see no wrong or right, or those who allow their fleshly appetites to sway their logic despite having been refused.
"For your mother and I, it was realizing that there was more than lust to our relationship, that we mutually indulged and thus became self-centered in our desire. The only flaw in that my son, was that I had for many years harbored a dislike for humankind, yet the mere presence of Rin and later on your mother had grown on this Sesshomaru. Our relationship had real virtues attached that I had at first refused to acknowledge, regardless of your mother's emotions."
"The other outcome, however, in the face of Rin's sexual assault, was that it not only left her in a state of despair, but that of self-loathing as well. She sought solace in Kagome's arms as a mother figure while I swore to better protect her in the face of adversity." Sesshomaru let out a sigh at this, a whisper of some unnamed emotion passing through him at remembering his beloved ward's tragic past.
"It took many years for Rin to become comfortable again in the presence of strangers, and many more for me to consciously be able to allow her to leave the shiro on her own. Kagome provided a deep connection to Rin for which I am deeply thankful, as they are both aware."
Sesshomaru broke his gaze from the navy tides to look upon his son once more. He noticed the look of being deep in thought on Katsuro's visage before returning to his point.
"I hope that with the telling of this story, Katsuro, that you may develop a feeling of empathy towards those who succumb to the most heinous versions of lust and realize the fallacious nature of imposing your will on others. Know that while many sins are embedded in the perversion of love, many virtues arise from it as well." Katsuro nodded his head in understanding, still processing the horrid details of Rin's past.
"As long as you understand this, my son, we will proceed onto the next sin." Katsuro nodded, willing his father to go on. Sesshomaru listened to the noise of nearby animals hunting in the forest and felt at ease with the sounds of nature around him. "In this life, there is a certain amount of discomfort to be anticipated for every person. However, for some, these discomforts are intolerable, and they submit to their inner desires.
"These are people who are much too weak-willed to wait to eat and drink, and therefore fill themselves with food before and after appropriate eating times at the cost of sharing less with others. People who excessively obsess over minor inconveniences and seek perfectionism. And those who demand far too much of another person, so much so that they continually drive them away with their unyielding expectations."
"This next sin, Katsuro, is about those who want for things in excess. The Gluttons."