The red string of fate ~ Understanding relationships across time.
According to Chinese ancient mythology, the red string of fate is an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, destined to be soul mates regardless of time, place, or circumstance and one are fated to be together.
The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
Disclaimer: The depictions of the characters in this story are completely fictitious. In no way does this represent the views or the story arcs as envisaged by the original copyright owners of this franchise and its characters. The ownership if the characters and the original concept are sole properties of Rumiko Takahashi.
Chapter 1 – A meeting of two souls by the window
Rin's eyelashes flutter as she slowly parts her hazelnut eyes and scans the surroundings. She has been pretending to sleep for some good 30 minutes to make sure Reu, her personal maid has left her chamber to retire for the day.
Reu is an old dog demoness who has been assigned to serve Rin when the girl decided to return to her lord's side. She was brought to the western palace and it has become her new home ever since.
Reu has the responsibility to enhance the girl's personal needs as well as to teach her about courting and mating.
Sesshoumaru has no doubts that the old miko Kaede has well educated his ward in many aspects during the girl's maturing stages. But the demon lord believes that the girl still needs to be exposed to some demon knowledge in case she gets courted by a demon one day.
He does not deny the possibility of Rin having a demon mate in the future since the girl has once again returned under his care and is surrounded by demons. So the western lord plays a major role to ensure that the girl's future is well taken care off.
After what feels like 5 minutes of rolling her non-tired eyes, Rin shifts to a sitting position carefully, slowly pushing the blanket away and drops her slender legs out to hang at the side of the bed. Since Reu's hearing is very sensitive, the girl has to be cautious with her movements. A slightest noise can spoil the girl's plan for the night.
Rin will turn 17 years old tomorrow and she is so looking forward to her private dinner with the Daiyoukai. She knows that he would no doubt once again give her another precious gift and therefore this time the girl wants to do something to thank her lord.
She touches her feet on the floor and without bothering to put her sandals on, she then makes her way to the nearby wardrobe.
A new yellow kimono decorated beautifully with flowers hangs at the front of her wardrobe. A small smile graces on her lips as she runs her long fingers on the fabric.
Receiving kimonos from the Diyoukai has become a tradition for the girl. She got her first kimono from the demon lord not long after he revived her. And continued receiving them each time the dog demon visited her at the miko hut when she was placed under the care of Kaede.
Even when the girl returned to the demon lord's side, Sesshoumaru has never failed to present his ward with a new kimono every year. Sometimes Reu would joke about getting another empty room for Rin just to store all her beautiful kimonos from the great dog demon, Sesshoumaru.
The girl would chuckle at the old demoness's suggestions but also nod in agreement. There is no doubt she might need one, since her current room is running out of space to keep another wardrobe.
As she continues running her fingers gently all over the new kimono, a memory of how she had this birthday flashes in her mind.
The girl never remembers her actual birth day, not after the tragic night when she lost all her family members but ever since she stayed with Kaede, she was exposed to a celebration name 'birthday' from Kagome. When she gets to know about the meaning behind that special day, the girl feels downhearted for she does not remember her date of birth.
When Sesshoumaru noticed his ward turning rather dejected in each of his ritual visits, the girl was questioned and she revealed what was weighing in on her mind. The Daiyoukai presses no further upon hearing it and the girl has spoken nothing about the matter there after.
Few months passed after that conversation, the Daiyoukai made an unscheduled visit as he brought along a special gift for the girl.
The 12 years old Rin was jubilant and accepted the gift with exhilaration. Later that night when the girl unpacked the gift, it revealed a wooden comb with a butterfly painted on it. Along with the comb there was a note and it read 'Happy Birthday'.
That day was when Rin hit her first cycle; Kaede thought that Sesshoumaru was quite thoughtful and might have even made intense observations around the village for a good amount of time. But to the young girl, she was just a happy bunny on that day. Not only did the demon lord grant her another chance to live, he gave her all the necessities and protection which she would have never imagined to have.
Sesshoumaru's choice of birth date might still remain a mystery but Rin beamed with happiness and was in tears about it as she even called out her lord's name in her sleep on that night.
The girl chuckles softly at that intensely sweet memory. Her birthday is getting even meaningful ever since she chose to return to the Daiyoukai's side. It is not because of the amount of gifts she has received but it is all down to the times that she will able to spend with her lord.
"I need to do something for Lord Sesshoumaru." Determined to continue work on her special gift, Rin walks to the table and picks up her sewing tools before making her way to the nearby window.
Setting the things on the floor, she reaches out her hands to push the window's frames ajar allowing the beautiful moonlight to shine through the small space and light up her bed chamber.
With her palms supporting her chin and her elbows rest comfortably on top of the window's edge. She relaxes with a small sigh and dreamily stares up high into the sky to admire the beautiful half moon. Her lips curl upwards for a small smile.
I love the crescent moon better.
Her lips inch towards a huge grin as she shifts her gaze from the sky to fix on her private garden. Closing her eyes, she inhales the floral scents with a blissful smile.
Sesshoumaru has permitted the girl to plant all types of flowers that the girl desired and this private garden of hers is the only place in this huge fortress that she can call her own.
Whenever she is free from her assigned lessons, she will spend most of her time there for gardening purposes or simply doing her daily routines. On several occasions, the demon lord would pick the garden as the venue for him to meet up with the girl.
Some people in the castle believe that this private garden of Lady Rin is the liveliest place in the entire fortress.
For Rin though, she does not agree with the idea, she believes that the liveliest place in the western palace would be wherever her lord is at. A small bashful smile wears on her face at the thought of it.
Large hazelnut eyes scan the surroundings for the last time. Safe! The girl turns away from the window, leaving the frames ajar as she takes a seat under the window. She picks up the handkerchief and continues sewing on the fabric.
A good undisturbed twenty minutes pass, Rin has completed sewing the desired flowers on it. She observes the handkerchief and smiles with satisfaction. She is going to add some wording on it and then she's done.
"Forever with Lord Sesshoumaru." She whispers sheepishly as she chooses a new thread color from the small basket and continues to stitch the silk.
As Sesshoumaru passes by the hallway to make his way back to his bed chamber, he notices one of the windows of Rin's bed chamber ajar.
Puzzled, the girl should be resting at this time and so he decides to check on it.
As he closes in the girl's bed chamber, his sensitive ears can pick up the girl's breathing sounds and knows she is wide awake and probably doing something in the dark.
Being a gentleman, he should have knocked the door before entering a grown up girl's private room but at this time he thinks that it will be best to just go in without distracting the girl from her embroiled task.
He rests his right hand on the door but is taken a back a little. He wants to ensure there will be no servants around for who knows what these people would think to see a demon lord walk into a young girl's chamber at this time of night.
Once satisfied with his intense observations, Sesshoumaru pushes the door slowly and makes his way into Rin's bedroom. After closing the door behind him, he makes his way further into the room and spots the open window with moonlight shining through it. There he can see his ward sitting close under the window and she seems to be busy sewing something.
As the Daiyoukai makes his way closer to the girl, to his surprise Rin is not aware of his presence. She seems to be so happy, having a high level of concentration with the fabric she is working on. What could be so happy to be sewing at midnight? The dog demon is baffled.
"Rin." The girl jolts up at the firm manly voice as she accidentally pokes the tip of the needle on her index finger.
"Ouch!" She pushes her index finger into her mouth to suck the blood out.
A concerned Sesshoumaru sits himself close next to the girl and takes her hand into his to inspect, a small bead of blood is visible.
"It was not my intention to scare you in such a way." He voices with guilt while Rin pulls her hands away and gently wipes the blood away from her finger.
"No, it was my fault. I should be more alert about your presence, sorry for not greeting you properly my lord." She apologizes embarrassed with her head hanging low.
"There is no need for such custom Rin, how does your finger feel?" Rin relaxes at her lord replies as she tilts her head up and faces the demon lord with a small smile.
"Ah this is nothing, it is just a light poke on my skin, it should be better in few minutes." While answering, the girl's left hand slightly pushes the fabric at the back of her hoping that the Daiyoukai does not notice it.
"What are you up to at this time?" Sesshoumaru rests his back on the wall with one of his legs raised up. He always feels more comfortable being with the girl than with the others.
"I-I was completing something." She smiles toothily. The demon lord rolls his eyes to the girl's side bewildered.
"I shall get you a new sensei for hand craft lessons."
Rin widens her eyes in shock. "Why?"
"Your current sensei has assigned you far too much work and that makes you stay awake to complete it." He stated seriously but the girl defends quickly.
"No my lord, this has nothing to do with Uri sensei. This i-is my personal stuff." Rin lowers her gaze onto her laps and intertwines her fingers nervously.
"If this was meant for personal interests then you should know better to not stretch your health for it." The Daiyoukai states coolly, the girl knows very well that her lord is not pleased with her sleeping habits.
"I am sorry my lord, I ju-st errr well I shall not doing it again, I promise." There is no way she is going to reveal about getting it done before her birthday or it will look rather suspicious.
Sesshoumaru frowns at the girl's incomplete statement but he is not really the type of demon who would inquire a lot so he chooses to not speak further.
As he glances at the entire chamber, his gaze falls on the kimono that hangs on the wardrobe.
"Do you like the kimono?" His gaze fixed on the attire that shines beautifully under the dim moon light.
"Yes my lord, I love it. Thank you so much. The silk used for this kimono is better than the one used last year." Rin follows her lord's gaze and stares at the yellow silk kimono. A short comfortable silence fills the room; neither of them wishes to interrupt the moment.
Rin shifts her gaze from the kimono and slightly lowers her head to stare on her lap, and then to the demon lord beside her.
She smiles blissfully; they are sitting quite close to each other with their hands which were rested on the floor only inches away. Her little finger aligns with the Daiyoukai's and it makes Rin wonder. If only our fingers were tied with a red string of fate...
A bitter memory rushes through her mind.
Sesshoumaru picks up the change of scent on the girl. He cocks his head to the side to meet with a rather disconsolate expression on his ward's face.
He admits that ever since the girl hit her maturity, he seems to fail at reading the girl's mind and most importantly he no longer understands her needs anymore.
Perhaps like lady mother once warned the Daiyoukai, after some time he won't be able to fulfill the girl's necessities anymore, for she will need a mate to share her life.
Sesshoumaru is never the type of man who would care for what a girl thinks. He enjoys freedom and being alone is just way too amazing for him. But when it comes to Rin, he thinks he wants to and has to care.
It almost feels like Rin is his source for emotions, if the girl skips into the meadow through the flowery patches, weaving blossoms into her hair and occasionally turning to flash him smiles of happiness, a strange self satisfaction builds inside him. He feels content and sometimes unknowingly a small smile would grace his lips.
When something ails his precious ward and makes the girl feel downhearted, the demon lord would feel a strange heavy heartedness plaguing his mind and he would be determined to do something to cheer the girl up.
After battling with all these strange feelings it leaves he bemused; how could Rin unknowingly become his utmost important person in his life that he has never had before?
"Lord Sesshoumaru." A sweet melody voice calls out bringing the Daiyoukai back to the present. Discarding his own battles away, he turns to meet the girl's warm hazelnut eyes.
"What is it?" His usual short replies never change, but how he feels for the girl has changed considerably.
"Have you ever heard of the red string of fate?" Her eyes blink curiously.
Sesshoumaru furrows his brows, cautious not to supply any inaccurate information he chooses not to comment.
Somehow Rin did not expect this answer; she was hoping her lord would at least have some idea of it. The girl looks away, locks her gaze on somewhere with her mind floating to another place.
"Lady kaede told me, every human who is born into this world would have a red string tied on their little finger with the other end on their future mate." She smiles bitter sweetly.
"Oh that is very interesting. I have not known of such thing." Sesshoumaru amused by the new information from the girl.
"So demons don't have something similar, like a destined mate?" Rin draws her legs up and wraps her arms around it. She rests her chin in between her knees and looks curiously at her lord.
"We do believe in destined mate Rin, after all everyone has to have a mate someday." He realizes his own foolish reply. The great dog demon himself has never believed in something called 'mate' and here he is putting himself in trouble to educate a young girl about a future mate. Strange.
"Everyone has to? Even Lord Sesshoumaru and I have to?" She presses further, seeking confirmation.
"Yes Rin, we both have to have a mate one day." A little reluctantly, the demon lord meets with the girl's gaze.
"Do you not wish to be mated?" The Daiyoukai notices his ward looking rather hurt by his inquiry.
"I don't." Her answer startles the dog demon. At this rate she is almost in tears and it worries the western lord.
"Why is that?" His curiosity increases as he sees the girl burying her face within her knees.
Why? Because if I have mated I would never ever be with Lord Sesshoumaru again.
A long moment of silence makes Sesshoumaru fidget. He can distinctly smell the scent of tears and feels the sadness emanating from her body.
The tense aura increases in this room, the demon lord does not know how to comfort the girl or perhaps he should say he doesn't even know why this topic of conversation seems to upset the young girl.
Anyway, the Daiyouaki thinks that perhaps this is the right time for him to cheer the girl up with a gift. He slips his right hand into his left sleeve and pulls out a fabric folded neatly. He then brings the fabric close to the girl's side and rubs it on her face.
Rin jerks up at the soft thing contacting with her skin and notices her lord is holding something that she thinks is a handkerchief.
"My lord this is?" She stares at the handkerchief with astonishment. She never knew her lord owned a handkerchief. Oh no! I thought I would be the first one to give him a handkerchief. Rin curses her bad idea.
"Happy birthday." Sesshoumaru's voice is firm yet comforting.
Rin's arms slip away from her knees as she takes the precious gift from her lord's hand with tears brimming in her eyes.
"But my birthday is tomorrow." Her voices turn out rather shaky with a small lump in her throat.
Sesshoumaru reaches out his hand and wipes a small bead of tears at the corner of the girl's eyes away with his clawed finger.
"If this would bring a smile on your face then I would be glad to give you a present everyday without occasions." Rin's heart almost races with her lord's statement. She is truly overjoyed now. Sometimes she wonders if the demon lord realizes a simple gesture or words from him would make her float into the heavens.
"Thank you my lord." She wipes the remaining tears away with her sleeves and inspects her handkerchief intensely.
As she unfolds the handkerchief it reveals a fine silk with flowers stitched on it. The fabric feels extremely soft and the neat stitches on it are way better than her own work.
"This is so beautiful, I love it." She kisses on the handkerchief and beams with delight.
Sesshoumaru satisfied with the reaction from the girl; he stands up, turns to the girl and stretches out his right hand in an invitational gesture.
"Come, you should rest." Rin smiles with a nod as she places her fingers into Sesshoumaru's hand.
She grabs on the incomplete handkerchief with her other free hand before rising up with the help from the demon lord.
Setting her work on the table, she is lead to her bed and lays on it with a thick silken pulled up to her shoulders.
"Good night Lord Sesshoumaru." The Daiyoukai nods without a word as he makes his way to exist the girl's bed chamber.
As Rin watches her lord's shadow disappear from the entrance, she rolls to her back and presses her stomach flat on the bed. With her arms slipping under the fluffy pillow, she rests her head sideways on it.
"I wonder how long we are still able to wish each other good night." Rin whispers in glum. If either she or the demon lord has a mate in the near future, both of them will not be able to meet each other so often.
Rin buries her face into the pillow with her arms stretch high up and collides with something.
She cocks her head up and smiles at it. It is something called a plush toy that Kagome taught her to make during the days she was with Lady Kaede.
Back then at the beginning years, living with the humans at Inuyasha's village, Rin often missed her lord. She would alienate herself from the village kids to stay indoors and hugged the kimono presented by the Daiyoukai.
Kagome took the initiative to approach the girl and suggested that if she missed someone she could draw the person down on a piece of paper so that she could look at the portrait every time she missed the demon lord.
But Rin was not a great artist; she wouldn't want to draw an ugly Sesshoumaru because that would be such an insult to the magnificent dog demon.
She then suggested if only she could make something which looked exactly like Sesshoumaru's true form that would be enough. A brilliant idea strike kagome as she helped out Rin to gather some unused clothes to make this plush toy.
This might not be really the greatest work out there but at least it does look like a dog and the markings that she stitched on it are just perfect and well resemble the Daiyoukai.
Her finger brushes the head of the dog plush as the girl smiles contently. She pulls out a red string, which has one end already tied to one of the plush's leg. Rin ties the other end onto her finger.
She then rolls to her side with the plush clutching tightly on her chest. This is how the girl falls asleep every night, with a red string that she believes will be able to tie the fate between the demon lord and herself.
Although the red string of fate is a mythology that is only believed amongst humans, Rin tries to live in denial. Ever since she learned about this soul mate legend that is believed to have an invisible red thread that connects two souls, a destined mate to be, the girl always wondered if her lord and herself were being tied by this special string.
Destiny had brought her into the forest and meet Sesshoumaru. Fate had made the demon lord revive her and keep her to tag along. So the girl believes that there has to be an untold future that has yet to be revealed. She might sound foolish at this point but she is truly so reluctant to leave the Daiyoukai's side and wishes to spend her entire life with the demon lord.
Slowly, the girl's eye lids are getting heavier as sleep claims the girl with the plush safely wrapped in her arms.
Noises can be heard clearly; many people seem to be panicking at something. Rin feels like she has just fallen asleep not too long ago and wishes these people could at least tone down the noise to let her sleep peacefully but unfortunately she feels someone tapping on her shoulder lightly at the beginning.
Ignoring the disturbance she continues her sleep but she earns a small shake on her shoulder, this time Rin reluctantly half parts her eyes and it reveals a vision in front of her, it is Reu her trusted maid who is trying to wake her.
"My lady please wake up now, something terrible has happened." Reu's panicking voice makes the girl feel slightly discomforted. For some reason her heart feels extremely heavy with her left eye twitching.
"What is happening Reu and what is with all the noise out there?" The girl adjusts to her sitting position with the concerned old demoness sitting closely at her side. The old lady looks extremely pale and it worries the young girl.
"Lady Rin, Lord Sesshou-maru is..." She pauses, swallows hard and places her hands on the girl's firmly.
"What is with my lord, Reu?" Rin impatiently waits the demoness to reveal something that she thinks is not pleasant but keeps up her hopes somehow.
"Lord Sesshoumaru... he is back from duty but ..." Reu swallows even harder as she has a hard time completing her sentences.
"Reu! Please tell me what happened to Lord Sesshoumaru?" Rin grabs the old demoness's shoulder and makes her look straight at her.
"He is dead." The old demoness's voice might be crackly, shaky and vague but Rin can pick up the word clearly.
Her hands drop on the mattress, her large hazelnut eyes widen with her jaw dropping in disbelief.
Chapter end notes:
Another new story that I had written along with 'Twist of fate'
I was not planning on publishing this until I got an update up for Lily of the Valley.
Unfortunately, my beta reader is stuck with his graduation work and has no time to look over my long chapters. I expected there will be a huge delay in getting that chapter out so Beta wants me to get this up first.
I apologize to all the Lily's readers. Beta promises to get it done as soon as he has time to breath. Poor man and let's greet him 'good luck' with his graduation!
Shout out for my beta 'Good luck beta san' !
Special thanks to KagInu4evre1, .apparition, Divine Rose, Taraah36, tpklover, sesshomarucrush, The Ice within , YwhyY , Caraline Fisher and Kokurai-Alchemist for your wonderful birthday wishes. I had an enjoyable day with my family and loved ones (^_^)
Until then take care guys and hoping to get Lily up as soon as possible.