It had been three years since Toga woke up in Izayoi's hometown. Three years since Suguru had wrapped Toga around his finger. And now, Toga was sitting in a war meeting with the samurai that made up Suguru's small army. Aside from Toga, only ten men made up the force that would be let loose onto the battlefield.
Toga was grateful Suguru waited at least this long before he made him get ready for battle. He had yet to know if Izayoi had pleaded with Suguru for this outcome or if Suguru had some common sense when it came to threatening a demon with said demon's son's safety by throwing him and his family out into the wilderness.
Regardless, Toga loathed that he was Suguru's war puppet. He had no desire to shed blood in senseless conquest. The powerful demon's claws dug into the palms of his own hands, drawing some blood as he gritted his teeth at that thought. The only thing keeping him from throwing Suguru off the roof of the castle was Izayoi and Inuyasha's continued safety.
In front of the army of ten men and a lone demon, was Suguru. His eyes narrowed at Toga. However, unlike Suguru, the ten samurai were all visibly pissed that Toga was in the room as they were.
"Who let the bitch's demonic lover in here?" one samurai asked.
"This is no place for a demon!"
"My lord, may we execute this demon for intruding?"
"Silence!" Suguru snapped, quieting the room in an instant. "This demon, as much it pains me to say, is off limits. You may not kill it as it is a general in my army."
Shouts and cries of "Booo!" echoed throughout the room that the war meeting was taking place in. Suguru clicked his tongue and shook his head. This was not what he had in mind when he organized this war meeting. Then again, it could not be helped as Toga had to be present.
Toga on the other hand, snorted as he glared at no one in particular. Everyone in the war meeting was testing with his patience, especially Suguru.
'Pompous human...' Toga thought.
"Silence!" Suguru shouted, once more creating toxic and strained peace in the room. "Now, we have important matters to address. The ruling family in Kamakura has recently called upon us to go put down a small uprising in a nearby castle town. We are directed to use any means necessary to ensure they do not further destabilize the area."
'Just what I thought… This is another petty power struggle...' Toga mentally growled. 'If I had a choice in the matter, I would refuse to take part in this. I only fight to protect those precious in my life, not to ensure that a self-entitled shikken, who bathes himself in blood when there is confusion, remains in power.'
"During this campaign, the demon will be leading you," Suguru said, sounding as if he bit into a sour peach and causing outcries of protest in the process. "I expect this campaign to be fulfilled, regardless of the costs," Suguru then sent a pointed glare at Toga specifically. "There is no backing out of it under ANY circumstances. You all will bring the rebellion to its knees through any means necessary. That includes slaughtering the entire castle town down to the very last infant."
'Shut your mouth,' Toga thought as an actual, small growl threatened to erupt from his throat. 'If you think I enjoy killing humans, especially innocent babes, you are sorely mistaken, you bastard.'
"Now, men and demon," Suguru said loud and firmly. "Go say your goodbyes and move out."
Toga embraced his wife and son near the village gates as the sun began to set. In the background, the human samurai were being bid farewell by their sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, and friends.
"Be safe Toga," Izayoi said as she planted a kiss on his right cheek, on top of the purplish streak. "Return to us in one piece."
"I do not plan on dying this soon, my beloved Izayoi," Toga replied. "Not after all that has happened."
"Papa go now?" the small voice of Inuyasha asked as his thumb found its way into his mouth.
"Yes, Papa has to go," Toga said as he rubbed his son's right ear gently.
"Stay with us, Papa," Inuyasha protested with a pouty lip.
"I wish that I could, my boy. I wish I could," Toga said with a quiet voice, his heart aching from the sight of his son's upset facial expression. "Papa needs to go to make sure that you and your Mama are safe. I promise to return to you. Who knows? I may bring you both something special."
"Sp-eh-shaw?" Inuyasha tried to replicate.
"Good try, Inuyasha," Toga chuckled as he ruffled his son's hair with a clawed hand. "But yes, I will get something special for the both of you. If I am going to, I have to leave for awhile, understand?"
Inuyasha nodded and said, "Yes, Papa."
"Good, now, be a big boy and take good care of yourself and your mother."
Inuyasha beamed with confidence as he then nodded with determination. "I be like Papa!" Inuyasha proclaimed. "Keeping Mama safe!"
Toga could not be any prouder than he was to hear those words. So far, he had not failed with Inuyasha like he had with Sesshomaru. In the latter's case, he could only hope Tensaiga could rectify the mistakes he had made with his eldest son. In Inuyasha's case, the boy was on the road to learning everything that Toga had failed and struggled to teach Sesshomaru. Toga was very thankful that Inuyasha was receptive towards what he was learning and had Izayoi to help out.
"I love you, Inuyasha," Toga said and took him from Izayoi to give him a hug. The three-year-old's tiny arms wrapped around his father as he buried his face into his father's neck.
"I love you, too," Inuyasha said, his voice muffled by the clothing that Toga wore.
Toga returned Inuyasha to Izayoi's arms and gave her a kiss on her lips. He then ruffled his son's hair one last time before walking towards the gates of Kokama. The middle-aged dog demon looked back at the family he was leaving behind one last time, flashing a sad smile towards them.
'I will be back soon,' Toga thought. 'I promise you that.'
"Hurry up, demon trash!" a samurai shouted. "We don't wait for the likes of you!"
Toga looked forward once more and sighed with a grimace. He could already tell this was going to be a long and unpleasant trip, and it was not because of how the war meeting went nor was it the fact he was being forced to preserve the rule of the current shikken. These samurai were going to kill every last shred of his patience. Toga prayed that the higher powers would have mercy on these samurai for he knew that he himself was not going to be very merciful when they inevitably push him over the edge.