Naraku's Happy Ending
It was a bright and lovely morning, sunshine fairly sparkling in the air. Naraku had awoken early and decided that he was in a grand mood. He felt upbeat, positive and more than ready to get a good start on his day.
After a quick moment for his morning ablutions, he dressed himself in a light robe and a striking fur mantle. It was his favorite casual wear for around the castle, made of snowy white fur that flowed behind him in two black striped tails. The firecat that had graciously donated its pelt had not gone quietly, but in the end he was rather pleased with his staff's success in getting all the blood out of the fur. The lord Naraku made a mental note to increase the laundry staff's rations as a reward. It was so difficult to keep good help these days, the human slaves had a distressing tendency to die of his miasma.
Well, that was hardly anything for him to worry himself about, now was it? After all, there were always more humans and most of them made good, hard workers for the short time they were in his employ. Naraku considered himself to be a fair minded master when it came down to it. Simply obey orders, keep your mouth shut and do your job. Never ask questions.
If that was too difficult, there was an ever growing pile of human heads outside in his garden that he had plans for. As soon as the flesh had decomposed until nothing was left but bone, he was going to use them to build a little shrine. His slaves liked to pray. What they prayed to wasn't really his concern, not any more than what they prayed for, but the shrine would look nice in his garden. In the end, death came fast enough for the mortals and waving around a few sticks of incense wasn't going to hurry things up no matter how hard they begged the gods.
Speaking of prayer in general, he was really beginning to regret he'd let that monk be sucked into his own hand. Naraku hated nothing quite so much as sloppiness and that had been very sloppy indeed. After all the trouble the dear houshi had tried to cause for him, Naraku really thought it was a shame he hadn't given him a more fitting death. Something involving more entertainment, more flash. More...pain. More...humiliation. Yes, that was what he'd missed in watching the annoying monk die. Sometimes he had to admit his own eagerness was his worst enemy.
With a sigh, he left off chastizing himself for the matter of Miroku and sat down to breakfast. A blank faced woman immediately brought him his tea, served as he liked in the top half of a child's skull. It wasn't that he hated children, he planned on having many, many more of his own. Some even from the body of his bride, he hoped. But the size and shape of the tiny skull was exactly right for his hand and the bone kept his tea at the perfect temperature for drinking.
"And what is for breakfast today?" he asked the old serving woman. For the life of him and his many incarnations, he could not remember this one's name. She'd survived rather longer than he'd expected, but having once been a priestess he supposed she was tougher than she looked. Of course, he'd had to destroy her memory to make her at all useful, as useful as an elderly one eyed witch could be anyway. However, she had annoyed him by trying to assist his sworn enemies and a lord in his position just couldn't let that slip by.
She stood staring fixedly at him until he poked her with a sharp finger. A little bit of drool was hanging from her lip and he guessed that somewhere deep inside her, the old woman's soul was bleak with torment. She seemed to snap back to herself when he poked her, shuffling away to go fetch his meal. He sighed, drumming his sharp fingers restlessly on the tabletop. He was probably going to have to let her go. There was no point in keeping a servant who could barely even understand his orders. One more for the pile in the garden.
By the time she returned, he was starting to become annoyed. This was not going to spoil his morning, he told himself firmly. He had far too much to accomplish. The Western lands had been conquered only just recently and he was still dealing with Sesshoumaru's scattered former allies. The West had fallen remarkably fast after he'd dispatched that annoyingly superior taiyoukai. Just thinking of Sesshoumaru's defeat put a smile on his lips and he was willing to forgive even doddering old humans.
"Your breakfast, Naraku-sama," the old woman said in her boring monotone. Eagerly, he sniffed the dish and burst into a happy smile. "Ah, my favorite. Kitsune stew. Absolutely delicious." He did not miss the sudden flicker of pain that crossed his servant's face before the woman shuffled away from him. The day was certainly looking to be a splendid one. Now what had he been thinking?
Ah yes, Sesshoumaru. At first he had been disappointed that he was unable to absorb the demon's pure energy. But then he'd already completed and taken on the full power of the Shikon no Tama; who needed to worry about a little taiyoukai's strength? Just the memory of Sesshomaru's shocked expression as he was defeated was enough to make new lord of the West chortle with glee. Naraku shook his head and finished his breakfast, washing back the last of the kitsune meat with a final sip of his tea.
One small problem still remained over the matter of Sesshomaru. It was taking considerably longer than expected for the tanners to treat that dauntingly huge dog pelt. Naraku wasn't at all sure what he was going to use the skin for, but it was exceptionally lovely, the fur long, lush and soft as down. It was just that he was such a sentimental creature and liked to keep little mementos to remind him of the good times in life.
Thinking of that, the demon lord stood up and went to the far wall of his private study. A small array of weapons was neatly displayed, each one lovingly cared for and cherished. Here was the houshi's staff, all that was left of the unfortunate young man. And these were the two swords had belonged to Sesshomaru.
Pleased, he reached up to caress Toukijin's blade and thought wistfully of the demon Goshinki who had provided the fangs for its forging. Truth to be told, he was still a little bit miffed over losing his incarnation like that. Such a pity, such a waste. But he had to admit, Goshiki's teeth made for a darned nice sword.
The other sword that had belonged to Sesshoumaru, he didn't care for as much. Tenseiga seemed to detest him, he could feel the blade's abhorrence of his touch every time he so much as brushed its scabbard. Naraku did not like things that would not obey him and wondered about the possibility of finding a more practical use for the katana. Perhaps he would find a skilled smith and have the sword reforged into a really nice set of table knives. Although that might not work after all given the blade's more esoteric properties. He couldn't suppress a giggle at the idea of his supper rising back to life every time he went to cut his meat.
Still chuckling, he went to look fondly at the next set of weapons. A large boomerang and a sickle blade with a chain. Just the sight of them together made his eyes misty. What a battle that had been, what a splendid piece of entertainment! After dispatching the unpleasant Sesshomaru, he had been eager to show his youkai allies that he was a generous lord and had thrown an amazing fete to celebrate his victory. And what was a celebration without entertainment?
The exterminator siblings had been entirely under his control as they'd battled each other viciously, hacking into each other's bodies with a mindless fury while scores of demons had watched and howled their approval. He was pleased he'd been able to briefly sustain Kohaku's life after removing the shard. The completed jewel was just full of surprises. They'd both died of their wounds eventually, bleeding out their lives in front of his honored guests. There was a simplicity, a beauty about their demise that so satisfied Naraku's pride. He was glad to have done such admirable foes justice in their deaths.
He was just about to move on to the next weapon, his favorite of all, when a soft voice called to him. "Husband?"
Naraku turned to his wife, smiling as he reached out to draw her close and kiss her cheek. "Good morning, my dearest," he said. "Did you sleep well?"
She nodded, her eyes wide and innocent. Such a pretty little thing she was, so delicate and sweet. Unfortunately, her mind had been hopelessly damaged when he'd tried to wipe out her memory. The young priestess had fought his mental domination with every last ounce of spiritual strength she'd had and now had become as guileless as a child. Gently, he turned her away from him and sent her wandering from the room with a soft pat on her rump. His bride might not be the brightest creature in the land, but he found that didn't bother him in the least. She still resembled Kikyou enough that it was worth keeping her.
Thinking on the subject of the dead Kikyou and her warm reincarnation made him look forward to his favorite part of the morning. Deep in his heart of hearts, he was truly not so much of a dark and evil demon as much as he was an artist. He liked to create, experiment, and be surprised by what resulted. Which of course brought him to his current work in progress.
Naraku stepped outside and walked over to the far end of his garden where a sturdy pen had been erected. He whistled sharply, hearing an answering yip from the rude shelter at the rear of the pen. "Inuyasha," he called. "Come."
His pet hanyou raced happily around the edge of the pen, barking in happiness. Naraku smiled fondly as he reached over the side and scratched the little white ears. Inuyasha whimpered and whined, straining to get closer to his beloved master. The transformation was progressing very slowly, Naraku thought, stroking back the silky silver hair. Inuyasha's mouth fell open in a happy smile at the caress and his tongue lolled wetly from his lips. Critically, Naraku examined the results of his experimentation. The half demon still looked more like a human than a real dog, but his mannerisms were all canine. Naraku reached into a pocket and produced a tidbit he'd saved from his breakfast. The golden eyes tracked his hand, small ears alert and watchful.
He had to smile at the ready obedience to his every command. "Sit boy," he ordered and was pleased when the hanyou's haunches immediately dropped to the ground. He moved his fingers in a slow circle and Inuyasha rolled over, panting and showing his belly to his lord.
"Up," the demon lord said, holding the bit of meat high. Inuyasha rose to his knees and pawed at the air with his claws. Naraku chuckled, tossing his pet the treat and grinning as Inuyasha snapped and caught it midair. "Good boy," he cooed, leaning on the side of the pen and scratching again at the cute little ears as his hanyou sighed in doggish contentment.
He had taken control of all the youkai, then killed those who had defied him. And the same would soon be true for humans. Naraku had plans, he had ambitions even for the worthless mortal lives that populated the countryside. Under his control they would no longer be allowed to war at each other with such impunity. No, Naraku had a different sort of plan.
He smiled to himself, thinking on the beauty of it. After he'd assumed complete control over this small land he would move on to the rest of the world, just filled with foreign youkai and humans that would need his benevolent domination. Under his control the world would become a peaceful paradise, a utopia where none would know hunger or war as all life was under the protection of the great Naraku. It would be a better world under his rule. And his rule would be nothing less than absolute.
It was a beautiful day. All was right with the world. And Naraku couldn't be happier.