SIDE STORY 5 - STIR OF EMOTIONS
Sesshomaru enters his resting quarters planning to retire for the night. Rin is there staring out the window at the night sky and immediately he can sense that she seems to be a bit sad; he asks her, "Rin, What is troubling you?" She sighs as she explains, "I've found myself most bored and lonely these days. You are busy handling affairs of the empire and the girls are older now so they don't need me like they used to, they're usually never in the castle anymore and they don't spend time with me anyway." Sesshomaru does understand as he provides a bit of a solution, "Why not take a trip to the human village, Perhaps that will lift your spirits." Rin thinks that is a great idea, It has been a while since she has seen Lady Sango, Kohaku, Kagome, Inuyasha and The Panther demons. Also, she would like to place flowers on the grave of her sweet Granny Kaede who died some years ago. Rin asks her husband, "Will you not join me? You rarely visit your brother and nephew." Sesshomaru responds, "I have informed Inuyasha and his human family that they may visit the castle when they so chose but I have no desire to roam the human village." Rin prepares to rest with her husband and is now full of excitement. Early the next morning she quickly packs a carry sac preparing to travel to the human village for a few days visit. Sesshomaru and their daughters wish her a pleasant trip as she informs them that she will return from her visit at the human village in exactly Four days.
Everyone is very pleased to see Rin when she arrives at the human village. She spends time with Kohaku again like old times as they talk and laugh about their demon slaying days. She also meets Kohaku's wife and child who live in the human village near lady Sango's hut. Kohaku still demon slays for a living which his wife tells Rin she constantly worries for his well being but she knows it is Kohaku's passion to help people. Rin remembers when it was once her dream to help people and rid Japan of evil demons and evil humans however she chose to be a loving mother and devoted queen at Lord Sesshomaru's side. She continues her visit as she, Kagome and Inuyasha also visit the grave of Lady Kaede. They place beautiful flowers on her grave as Rin says, "She is resting now and no longer burdened with ailments and sickness. Towards the end, it was difficult for me to see her that way." Inuyasha responds, "I think your coming here to live with her when you were 8 years old made her so happy, it added years to her life." Kagome adds, "She had a good life and we were all here by her side when the end came near, she was not alone." Rin remembers the day a messenger brought her the urgent and horrible news; She was so distraught, Jaken had to accompany her to the human village to see Lady Kaede before she died." Rin replies, "Yes she will be deeply missed by us all." Rin's second day, the panther demon tribe prepare to celebrate her visit to the village, they love to have huge gatherings and they throw one in Rin's honor and it once again is a huge turn out as they all clap/dance to music, eat a plentiful feast and laugh at old times. Her third day in the village Rin is having a wonderful time but remembers that she was suppose to begin making a special dress for Nephra. Sesshomaru will be presenting her as first born princess of his empire. Rin is already a few days behind in creating it which could cause the dress not to be ready in time for the ceremony. She decides she will head home on the third day instead of the fourth day although she hates to leave the human village she knows her family will be happy to have her back early. Rin says her bitter sweet goodbyes and takes the long trip back to the castle with Au Un flying her there. Once on the castle grounds she takes Au Un for water and food, she praises him for getting her there and back safely. When he is all watered and fed, she walks him back by his reins and she can see her husband outside of the castle but there is a woman standing in front of him; talking with him...it's a female dog demon. Rin wonders: Is it his mother paying a visit? As she gets closer she realizes it is not his mother but a different female of the dog demon tribe. The female is tall and elegant, her hair is very long with a silver hue and she wears it up in a pony tail similar to how Heroshya wears his only hers falls much longer. Her face is mature and beautiful, she has the same dog demon look of Sesshomaru's tribe. Rin approaches with Au Un as Sesshomaru acknowledges her presence, "Rin, you have returned a day early. Was your trip not satisfactory?" Rin replies, "Yes My Lord, I enjoyed myself however I remembered an important task I must complete." She greets the woman standing before her, "Good day, You are Heroshya's mother I presume?" The female dog demon's voice is deep and mature, yet smooth and sultry as she says, "Yes and you must be the human woman that my son spoke of, Sesshomaru's wife." She then looks at Sesshomaru as she compliments Rin in a nonchalant manner, "She is quite lovely." Rin feels like the woman is actually mocking her as it is clear that Rin is not as fasinating to the eye as this silver haired, golden eyed, sophisticated woman who stands before her husband. The woman continues to speak to Sesshomaru, "If our son should visit with you, Please inform him that I wish to speak with him at once." Sesshomaru responds to her request, "I will inform him." She then says, "Good day My Lord." as she transforms into true form flying off into the sky. Rin cannot fight the horrible feelings and emotions swarming through her body as she is extremely jealous, she asks Sesshomaru, "hmf, After all these years...What prompts her to come here to visit the one time I go away for a few days?" Sesshomaru does not answer her as he begins to walk into the castle, although he finds her huffy attitude somewhat interesting since she is usually always so sweet and happy. Rin walks behind her husband and continues, " Did she come to the castle knowing that I would not be here?" Sesshomaru responds as he sits in his chair at the throne, "Rin...I am surprised at your behavior. She was in search of Heroshya, nothing more." Rin asks, "How long did she stay?" Sesshomaru responds with complete honesty, "Her visit was lengthy, We seldom have the opportunity to speak with each other regarding our son's affairs, You must understand that Rin." Rin's eyes raise with shock, "Did you suggest that I go to the human village so that she may visit with you?" Sesshomaru responds calmly, "Enough, I will have no more of this conversation or your insinuations. Unpack your belongings and then return to prepare my afternoon tea, Rin." Rin is still feeling a strong bitterness of the entire situation although she responds, "Yes, My Lord" . She does as ordered and unpacks her clothing from the trip as she thinks: He has never lied to me but still, why would Heroshya's mother visit now? Heroshya has gone missing many times and she has never visited before, besides he is a full grown male demon now, he can care for himself just fine, why would she still be searching for him as if he were still a child. I think she came here to visit with Lord Sesshomaru.
In the dining quarters she prepares her husband's tea and she can not seem to get the situation out of her mind, she also thinks: Heroshya's mother is so beautiful, How could he spend time around her without noticing that? Would he really tell me the truth if he is in love with her?
Sesshomaru remains at his throne as he reads a scroll given to him by a demon messenger, Nephra and Zephra both walk in together to speak with their father...Nephra asks, "Father, we saw Au Un outside. Is Mother here?" Sesshomaru responds, "Yes, she has returned from her trip early." Zephra asks, "Father, What are you reading?" He tells her, "The rulers treaty is approaching once again. You and Nephra will accompany Heroshya to speak on my behalf." Just then Rin walks in the room with her husband's tea as the girls both go over to her and they each kiss either side of her cheeks, Zephra says "Hello Mother, Welcome home." Nephra asks, "How was your trip?" Rin tries to hide her distress as she tells the girls, "Good day girls, I enjoyed the trip very much though It seems that coming back early might not have been the best idea." Rin continues to walk up to the throne with the cup of tea in her hand as the girls look at each other in confusion over her comment. Rin hands her husband his tea and says sharply, "Your tea as ordered." Sesshomaru takes the cup from her ignoring her cross attitude towards him. As she walks away she stops with out turning around to face him and she says, "Just so you know, I will retire in a separate resting quarter tonight." Sesshomaru responds, "As you will." She continues to walk off. The girls witnessed the whole scene as Zephra asks, "What was that all about?" Sesshomaru replies, "She is angry with me." Nephra inquires, "But why?" Their father explains, "Heroshya's mother arrived at the castle seeking to speak with him, Rin believes there was more to the visit." Zephra asks without thinking, "Was there?" Nephra responds quickly in her father's defense, "Of course not Zephra!" Sesshomaru puts her mind at ease, "The reason for her visit was exactly as I've stated. She remained at the castle a while however, we did nothing more than talk." Nephra tries to reason with her father, "Aren't you going to try and talk to mother about this, she seems really upset." Sesshomaru responds, "No, I have given her no reasons to distrust me." Zephra comments, "Mother is just feeling jealousy, It's the worst human emotion of all." Nephra responds to Zephra, "I know, I never want to go through that again. When it happened to us that time, It was pretty bad for us being half human, Mother is full human so you can just image what she must be going through." Sesshomaru is curious of this and asks, "What event do you speak of?" Nephra begins to tell her father of a time she and Zephra both felt that same emotion and how it affected them, she begins recalling the story to her father, "Father do you remember the day you ordered Zephra to accompany me to the human village?" He replies, "Yes, I recall." Nephra begins her story, "Well....
( At this point the story now turns to the past tense as a flashback being retold.)
It is another beautiful sunny spring morning as Nephra and Zephra walk about the Western Human village. Nephra is handing out her usual hello's, warm smile and fruit baskets to the human families of her father's Western lands, Zephra has accompanied her sister on this journey at her father's command but stands by quietly and somewhat anti-social as she watches Nephra's friendly interaction with the human children and families of the village. As they move on to the next family's hut of their visits Nephra asks Zephra, "Would you at least try to interact with the people? You're starting to creep them out the way you just stand there with that stern look on your face." Zephra is getting the next fruit basket ready for Nephra as she tells her, "Look,...... father said I should come with you to see how you help conduct his affairs but he said nothing about me having to play little miss angel like you. I'd rather just stand here and watch. Honestly, I know father favors you but I can't believe that he expects me to be like you." Nephra in a shocked voice responds, "What...father does not favor me, he favors you because you resemble our mother and because you are just like him...all you care about is fighting and gaining power." Zephra disagrees, "Why do you think I'm here with you Nephra, He just told me that I should be more like you and he told me to come and watch how you interact with the human and demon villages." Nephra informs her sister, "Well, if you ever want to rule father's empire one day than you should learn these things. Perhaps he's preparing you, did you ever think about that?" Nephra smiles as she proves a point " Happy demons make for happy, stealthy empires." Zephra rolls her eyes, "And what of these humans, what does their happiness bring?" Nephra explains to her sister, "Zephra, people will help you and work hard for you if in return you keep them happy. Humans can be of great benefit also, where do you think we get some of our human vegetables, rice and the fine fabrics our mother uses to make our kimonos and dresses from? The humans are happy to provide our father with what we need because we keep them safe from bandits and evil demon attacks and this is also how we show our gratitude in return, providing them with fruit from our forest as well as warm friendly visits. Now c'mon, try and put a smile on your face would ya?" Nephra grabs the fruit basket and proceeds to the next hut as Zephra thinks: This is just not me, I'm a fighter, a warrior...not like little miss perfect over there. Why would father think that this is something I would want to do. The girls continue to visit with the humans and before taking the long trip back to the castle they stop and have dinner at Lady Sango's house with her family. Thier uncle Inuyasha, Kagome and their cousin (now old as they are) also sit together at Sango's as if it were a big family reunion. Everyone is having many seperate conversations, Nephra talks joyfully with everyone as Zephra is a bit quiet. Inuyasha asks her, "Zeprha you're awfully quiet tonight, what's wrong huh?" Zephra replies, "I guess I'm just not feeling well, turning human makes me feel a bit queasy when it first comes on." Inuyasha responds, "Is this the night you turn full human??" I don't want you girls traveling at night in your human state, you'll stay with us tonight. Your father would literally kill me if I allowed you to be out anyway." Nephra assures him, "We'll be fine uncle, Thanks to lady Sango... we have excellent weapons to fight with, besides, father knows we roam about on the nights we turn human and he will be worried if we don't come home tonight." Inuyasha still does not like the idea of them traveling so far at night as humans, "Well alright but after dinner I want you girls to go straight back to the castle, no stops or lolly gagging." Moroku jokingly comments, "Inuyasha, these are Sesshomaru's daughters...We know they are fierce, The most evil of demons hide from THEM." All at the table laugh a bit except Inuyasha who is worried for his neice's saftey, "I don't care, I don't want them to be out when in human form." Kagome agrees, "Inuyasha's right, It's dangerous out there at night without your demon powers. You girls better head home as soon as possible if you won't stay with us."
After dinner... It's night and the girls are now in full human form. They go to the area where they left Au Un, When they get there the dragon demon is sleeping. Nephra places a hand on his head, "Awww, he is resting so peacefully. It's been a long trip for him as well...the poor thing. Let's allow him to rest a bit more while we head over by the lake and grab some of the herbs and leaves mother likes to use to prepare father's tea with. I know we told Uncle Inuyasha we wouldn't make any stops but we will be quick. C'mon." Zephra follows, "Alright let's get this over with, this entire day has been a drag." Near the lake, Zephra sits on a nearby stone watching as Nephra is picking special herbs and leaves to bring back to her mother. Nephra is steadily talking about the herbs, "Oh wow, look a this.... mother will be so happy...these herbs help with sleep, Oh and these help with calming...yep, father could use these for sure." Zephra is barely listening, hearing bits and pieces of what Nephra is saying when suddenly male voices appear. "Well, Well men...Look what we've just come across. Two young girls out all by themselves." Another man replies, "Ah...looks like we are gonna have some fun tonight after all." Nephra and Zephra turn to look and they see a group of 6 ruffians approaching them, they look large and mean as they have malicious smirks on their faces. Zephra stands from the rock as she says, "Oh thank goodness, finally some action." Nephra turns back around and grabs her last bit of herbs and leaves as she comments, "Yeah but we really don't have time for this, we needed to head home some time ago...we're already way behind schedule." The ruffians look at each other with confused faces, wondering why Zephra and Nephra are showing no fear which is what they thrive on but they continue to approach any way as one says to Zephra, "After I have my fun with you, I'm going to snap your pretty little neck." Zephra chuckles softly and replies, "Oh no, After I've had MY fun with YOU...You'll beg for me to just kill you." Nephra stands preparing to fight off the ruffians with her sister as she warns, "Alright Zephra, let's not prolong this...we gotta get back." The girls strike first...One of the ruffians tries to grab Zephra in bear hug but she jumps backwards avoiding him with ease. She instantly jumps and kicks the ruffian in the chest with extreme force causing him to stumble a bit but before he can catch his balance, Zephra flips and twirls in mid air so that she is now positioned behind the thug, she grabs and snaps his neck before he can turn to face her. The other ruffian that threatened Zephra sees all this and realizes that they may have chosen the wrong girls to harrass as he thinks about running away but before he can act Zephra warns, pointing her sia weapon at him, "If you run, you will get worse than your friend just did." She walks toward him with both sias in her hand and he backs away from her slowly. Meanwhile, Nephra punches one of the men in the face but he seems to not be affected by it as he smiles and attempts to punch her back, she dodges the punch and says, "How dare you! you would attempt to strike a lady like that?" at that very moment she elbows him in the throat puncturing his adams apple, this does cause pain as she then knees him in the groin, as he bends to hold himself from that blow, Nephra continues to kick him directly in the face and the impact from the kick of her fit, strong legs is so powerful that he goes flying backwards to the ground. Nephra manuevers very quickly as she pulls out her hand weilding blades and stabs swiftly at a man attempting to approach her from behind catching him in the chest as blades go directly through him. Zephra still has a couple of sia weapons in her hands, she is enjoying this as she swipes left and right with the sharp death instruments. The man that she is fighting is attempting to dodge the strikes but Zephra is intimidating as she jumps forward using the weapon in stabbing motions and swiping motions. The man walks back slowly as Zephra approaches towards him also slowly, all the time with a smug smirk on her face and teasing him with her weapons. Another man attempts to run at her from the side but Zephra,(very aware of her surroundings) sees him from the corner of her eye and wastes no time in throwing one of her sias at him with much force as it strikes him with perfect precision, directly in the forehead, causing him to fly back against a tree. He is instantly killed as his eyes roll up into his head and blood flows down his face. Zephra never took her eyes off the man in front of her when she threw her sia and she never took the smug smile off her face. That frightened the ruffian beyond words, she speaks to the now very cowardly thug in front of her as she jeers, "What was that you said about having your fun with me? I don't know about you but I'm having loads of fun." The man shakes his head 'No' as he continues to walk backward he trips over a stone falling on his back, Zephra stands over top of him as Nephra kicks one of the other men in the chest causing him to go flying back and uses her hand weapon, slashing another ruffian almost in simultaneous motion. He screams in agonizing pain as she yells out to her sister, "C'mon Zephra...stop playing with him, we still have two more to finish." Zephra stands over the man looking down at him lying there, her smile widens as she says, "Well aren't you a lucky man.... You get to die quick since my sister and I are in a hurry." She then uses both hands to grip the one sai she is holding and she raises it high above her head intending to finish him off when suddenly a man that was not with the group of ruffians jumps in front of her and stabs the scared ruffian in the chest for her. Zephra says, "What the hell ?!!" as the man dissappears just as quickly. The strange man then Jumps in front of Nephra keeping her out of harms way as he draws his sword and finishes off the remaining two ruffians for the girls, Nephra and Zephra look at each other with confusion and back at the stranger. The man finishes off the two remaining thugs and then turns around to check on the girls. He is a tall man, dressed in fighting gear, wearing some armor and carrying a sword as he sheaths it back he says, "Don't worry, they are all taken care of...Are you girls okay? Nephra nods and is smiling kindly at the man "Yes, Thank you." Zephra is extremely irritated by his interference, she responds, "Uh...Hellooooo, we were killing them off just fine. No one asked for your help after half of them were already dead." Nephra nudges her sister, "C'mon Zephra be nice, He was very much a gentleman to come to our aid like that." The man then says, "Please, my apologies...I didn't mean to take your kill. I just hate to see two beautiful women such as yourselves in a tussel with such filthy scoundrel, delicate hands should not be wasted on such. I felt it was my duty to finish them off for you." Zephra responds, "Well since you put it that way, I guess there's no harm done." Nephra jumps in, "You are very kind sir, Please what is your name?" He informs, "I am Romaji, the villagers here call me Blaze. Although crime seems to be less and less these days, I still watch over the villagers and protect them from vandals such as those you've just encountered." The night goes on, hours go by and the girls find themselves having a long conversation with Romaji.
Meanwhile back at the castle it is about 4 hours until sunrise, however it is still very dark outside. Sesshomaru remains in the huge quarters where his throne sits, he stands and stares out the castle window at the night sky when he suddenly hears Jaken's voice behind him, "Master, will you not rest tonight?" Sesshomaru does not turn around but he does respond to his servant, "My daughters have not yet returned to the castle, I will rest once they are back." Jaken replies, "But Milord...the girls never...." Jaken's response is interrupted as Rin comes down the stairs from the sleeping quarters she says, "Milord, have the girls still not returned yet?" Sesshomaru does not respond still looking out the window. Rin continues, "I can't sleep, I'm worried about them...they're in full human form this night and we've always told them to come back to the castle no matter what on human nights." Sesshomaru then responds, "They have more than likely remained with Inuyasha or Sango if they were not able to return for some reason. Go back to the resting quarters, both of you. I will wait for them and if they do not return by sunrise then I will travel to the human village to find them myself." Jaken responds, "Yes, Milord." as he heads back to his resting area and back to sleep. Rin is hesitant and she asks, "My Lord, might I wait with you." She goes to her husband looking at him with worry showing on her face. Sesshomaru places a hand on her cheek as his thumb slowly brushes across it, he tells her, "No Rin, you are to go back and rest. You need not worry, The girls are excellent fighters, even in human form and they are together. No harm has befallen them, that I am sure of however I will wait alone for their return none the less." Rin follows her husbands orders and heads back to their resting quarters as Sesshomaru continues to look out at the night sky he thinks: They have never stayed out all night like this, especially on a night of the Gemini star forming....I expect them back when the sun is at it's peak tomorrow.
Back at the human village, the girls completely forget the time as they are enjoying themselves talking to the handsome stranger while sitting in the wood around a warm fire. Romaji tells them that he had a very hard life as a child and his family struggled to make a living in the Southern lands of Japan for many years but he now makes a good living on his own and travels quite a bit. Romaji states, "I am growing weary of traveling, I would love to find a young wife to have children with and settle down, maybe here in the West. This seems like nice territory." Nephra responds, "You should settle here, It is friendly and peaceful for the most part. Our father rules over these lands." Romaji replies, "Ah so you are royalty, no wonder you can handle yourselves so well in a fight. " Zephra chimes in, "Well, we are half demon. Our father is Lord Sesshomaru." Romaji nods his head, "THEE.... Lord Sesshomaru, I've heard of him. The most feared demon of the West. Did he teach you to fight so well?" Zephra replies, " Yes, He and our mother, we have had plenty of practice believe me. We learned to fight at a very young age." Romaji takes note speaking directly to Zephra, "But there's something about you, I can tell you enjoy battle, you thrive on it. You are a natural born warrior if I ever met one and you're feisty...I really admire that in a woman, Any man would be extremely lucky to have a beautiful and fierce woman like you for his wife." Zephra can't help but blush a bit at his remark but Nephra feels a little left out, however that feeling does not last long as Blaze suddenly shifts his focus in Nephra's direction, "I knew you were royalty when I first laid eyes on you. You look like a princess...those light eyes, snow white hair and with that white fighting outfight, I would have thought I was looking at an angel." Nephra is delighted by his compliments and says, "That is very sweet of you to say, thank you." They stare at each other a moment and Zephra now feels a bit of jealousy rising up in her as she thinks: If only Nephra wasn't here right now, I would have all of his attention....Oh I hate this night of being human, I wouldn't normally feel this emotion of jealousy would I? Especially not towards my own sister. The night is steady passing and daylight will be approaching soon as Nephra says, "We really should be going Zephra, father is going to be furious with us for staying out all night." Zephra responds, "Relax, we'll just tell him that we stayed at Uncle Inuyasha's for the night and came back in the morning." Nephra responds, "But that would be lying Zephra, I hate to lie to father." Zephra rolls her eyes as Blaze takes notice of Nephra's sweet disposition he states, " A man could easily be taken by a woman with a heart so pure and kind as yours." Nephra smiles and replies, "Such flattery..." He declares, "What I speak is truth." Zephra feeling the jealousy rising with in her again recants, "Of course, we won't lie to father...I was just joking." Nephra narrows her eyes as she thinks: No she wasn't, she always lies to mother and father ; she's good at it too...what is she trying to pull? Romaji asks Zephra, "So you have a good heart as well do you? Not wanting to be dishonest to your father?" Zephra responds, "Yes, I believe I have a good heart. I've done many good things throughout my life." He inquires, "Such as?" Zephra starts off, "Well....I....I'll let you tell him Nephra, I don't like to brag on myself." Nephra thinks a moment, "Well...there's that time....Nooo,Hmmm." Zephra gives Nephra a look as to say c'mon think of something...Then Nephra remembers, "Oh I know a time you did something really kind..." Zephra is in shock, "You do???" Nephra continues, " Yes, when you fought that man that lived in the North Eastern region, You know the one that insulted you and challenged you to a fight..... You let HIM live." Zephra has to think for a few minutes until she remembers the event, "Oh yes, I recall it...I DID let him live...that was very kind of me considering I could have destroyed him." Nephra adds, "The man's face is permanently disfigured and he only has one arm now but never the less, he is still alive." Zephra agrees proud of herself, "That's right, he is alive because of me." Romaji laughs and says to Zephra, "How adorable, I really find your spirit and attitude very attractive." Nephra raises her eyes a bit in surprise and envy of his compliment to Zephra as she says, "I'll get Au Un so we can prepare to leave. It was nice meeting you." Romaji quickly kisses Nephra's hand as he says, " Perhaps we shall cross paths again in the near future." Nephra responds, "It is quite possible, I will be in the human village again in 3 days to help the villagers with some issues they've been having with crops. Feel free to stop through if you like...good bye for now." Nephra walks on ahead as she is not sure what to make of this man, she has mixed feelings about him. Zephra lags behind as she says her goodbyes to her new friend, "Well, I don't come to the village too often but I do have friends and family I visit here from time to time. So maybe I'll see you around." Nephra is no longer in sight as Romaji takes a hold of Zephra's hand stopping her from walking away as he asks her, "Perhaps we can see each other sooner, I'd really like to see you again maybe the day after tomorrow?" Zephra asks, "You want to see me? It seemed as if you were taking more notice of my sister." Blaze responds, "Oh she is beautiful and kind, but you are beautiful and intriguing...please Zephra, say you will meet me here on that day." She agrees as he kisses her hand saying goodbye. She catches up with Nephra feeling a bit of joy that this handsome man has chosen her instead of Nephra. Zephra always felt that Nephra is the beauty of the family resembling their father, brother and grandmother and she usually gets a lot of attention from males in the human and demon villages so for him to chose her instead of Nephra, Zephra finds this most exciting. As they prepare to leave, Nephra can't help but bring to her sister's attention, "I don't know about him, first he says he likes a woman with a fierce attitude and feisty like you then he says he likes a woman with a kind, pure heart like me...something is strange, I don't think he knows what he wants." Zephra pretends to agree, "Yeah, who cares about that guy, we won't see him again anyway." Nephra gives her final thought, "Yeah he seems a bit sleazy, the nerve of him flirting with both of us at the same time. I don't think I will pay him any attention if I do see him again." Zephra agrees..."That's a good idea Nephra, you should totally ignore him." Nephra finds Zephra's last remark questionable but quickly dismisses it as they begin to fly home to the castle soon to turn back into demon form when the sun rises in a couple of hours.
Three days later Nephra and Heroshya are walking and talking early in the afternoon, she tells him she is on her way to go to the human village to meet Kagome and some of the other villagers to assist with crop problems but she notices that Au Un is no where to be found as she says, "Hmm, that's strange I wonder where he could be. I bet Zephra left somewhere with him...oh, she must have forgotten that I need to go to the human village again today. It would take me days to get there without him and I'd hate to take that long trip with one of father's flying demon servants." Heroshya assists her, "C'mon I'll take you but I want to be heading back here before night fall." She is most grateful and agrees they will not be there long. When Nephra and Heroshya get to the human village Kagome is there waiting as she waves, "Oh Hi Nephra...Over here!" Nephra waves back and Heroshya tells her, "I have no desire to hang around humans all day, I'll be back to pick you up just before dusk at the lake." Nephra responds, "Okay, I'll be there." He flies off to tend to his own affairs as Nephra starts to assist the villagers. After a few hours of helping with the crops, Nephra looks up and she sees the handsome young man that they met the other night. He is walking directly towards her and she stands to greet him at the same time dusting her clothes from the dirt of the crops. Romaji greets her, "Hello again." She replies "Hello, I suppose you've come to pay a visit?" he responds, "Of course Milady...These are for you." He hands her a bundle of rare beautiful flowers that are a vivid violet blue color with an unusual shape. She is amazed at them as she says, "These are fantastic, I've never seen anything like these before." He tells her, " Well, these flowers are grown only in the Southern lands at the human village where I was raised and they only grow this time of year." Nephra can't help but ask, "You brought these back from the Southern lands just for me?" He explains, "Nephra, I would climb the highest mountain if it meant I could just see your smile." Kagome listening and watching is touched by this as she thinks: Oh how romantic; Nephra is a lucky girl.... he is very handsome. The villagers recognize Blaze and are happy to see him as they greet and praise him treating him like their savior. They comment that Nephra and Blaze make a great match because they are both so kind and helpful to the villagers. This causes Nephra to blush as she and Romaji excuse themselves to be alone to talk, they walk and conversate for some time when Nephra realizes she is allowing the time to pass her by again as she says, "Oh... my brother will be picking me up at the lake in a little while, I must go." He asks her, "Let's meet again, next week...will you be able to." Nephra replies, "Yes, same day next week at noon." He agrees, "Great we will meet at the old oak tree in the meadow. They go their separate ways as Nephra begins to walk back to the lake to meet Heroshya. She is in high spirits and has a soft smile on her face as she admires and smells the flowers he gave her, she feels a bit of a warm feeling for this tall, handsome warrior that she now knows is smitten with her but the feeling does not last long when she bumps into her sister just near the lake. Zephra has Au Un with her and Sango's twin daughters accompany her also. Nephra notices that Zephra is holding the exact same type of rare flowers that she is holding. Zephra notices also and she immediately asks her sister, "Where did you get those flowers?" Nephra responds, "Romaji came by the crop field to see me. Where did you get your flowers?" Zephra responds, "Take a wild guess." Zephra continues angrily, "Ohhh, that rat, I can't believe he would go behind my back and with my very own sister! I thought you said you wouldn't pay him any attention if you saw him again Nephra?" Nephra responds, "Well, I thought we agreed that neither of us would deal with him." Zephra replies, "No... I agreed that YOU should never see him again." Sango's twin daughters stand by listening and looking back and forth at the two girls argue at each other. Zephra continues, "Nephra, perhaps you should do as you said you would and leave him to me. Blaze and I have been seeing each other every day since we met." Nephra responds irritated, "So that's where you've been secretly sneaking off with Au Un to. To spend time with him?" Zephra responds proudly, "That's right, You heard him say he likes his women fierce and fiesty, let's be truthful Nephra that's not you." Nephra now feeling a strong liking for Romaji is jealous of the fact that he has spent 3 days with Zephra and she hates the comment that was just made as she responds to it, "Hmf, Do you wanna see feisty?" Nephra uses her finger whip to quickly snatch away the flowers that Romaji gave Zephra and adds them to her set of flowers as Zephra shouts, "Nephra, give those back!!" Nephra shouts back, "No, Serves you right for being deceitful." Zephra in turn uses her slash blades and purposely aims at an apple tree that Nephra is standing under causing one of the apples to fall and bop her sister on the head. Nephra holds the top of her head for a minute as that caught her off guard but she is even more upset now as she uses a bit of water element from her sword to drench Zephra's hair. Nephra responds, "Ha, I wonder if Blaze will think you're so beautiful now with your hair in such disarray?" Zephra exhales deeply in anger and walks hastly up to Nephra attempting to yank the flowers out of her hand as she demands, "Give them to me Nephra!!" The girls tug back and forth causing them to fall on each other as a cat fight breaks out between them. Sango's twin girls look at each other in shock as they attempt to stop Nephra and Zephra from tusseling but they are unsuccessful. Several minutes pass with the girls rolling around on the ground, tugging at hair and hitting each other. One of Sango's daughter's shouts out, "Would you guys stop this already?!!!" Just then, Heroshya (returning to retrieve Nephra) flies down and sees the girls tussling, they are so busy cat fighting they do not see that he has approached. He stands by for a moment, leaning against the apple tree with his arms folded as he smirks and shakes his head at their silly behavior, allowing himself to be amused at the sight of his two sisters scuffling with each other like children fighting over a toy. Sango's oldest twin sees Heroshya standing there and she is instantly attracted to him, she can not control her staring as she gazes at his tall stature and regal appearance. She admires his handsome face and long silver hair that resembles Nephra's but is worn in a masculine manner. Finally seeing enough, Heroshya easily stops the feud by using a strong demonic blast which causes the ground to shake and wind to burst. Both girls being caught off guard by this immediately cease their fighting and look up at Heroshya. Sango's two daughters find Heroshya's power incredible, all the disturbance he caused with a bit of his demonic blast. The oldest daughter finds his powerful, attractive and royal demeanor extremely to her liking. Heroshya does know that the two human girls are there but he pays them no attention as he asks his sisters, "What is this silly quarrel about?" Zephra responds, "Oh it's nothing really...I'm just being betrayed by my own sister, that's all !!" Nephra responds, "I am not the one who has been keeping secrets." Heroshya responds, "I still do not understand. What is this all about?" Sango's oldest daughter steps in and speaks to Heroshya, "Excuse me, I am Chiora. My sister and I are friends of both Nephra and Zephra, they have both been spending time with a young warrior named Romaji...we villagers call him Blaze. He is quite the lady's man, It seems he has stolen both their hearts and now it has caused conflict between sisters." Heroshya takes a look at the human girl standing before him as he notices her cute but very small build he says, "You're as tiny as a bird, aren't you?" Chiora looks surprised at his comment and she thinks to herself: Tiny? is that a good thing or a bad thing to him? Heroshya turns his attention back to his sisters as he says, "So all this fuss over a human male? Fine, I'll kill him and then you two will have nothing more to fight over." Everyone stands in shock as Nephra replies, "You can't be serious!" Zephra immediately responds also, "That's insane Heroshya!!" He orders, "Then resolve this issue by morning or I will. Both of you can go together with Au Un back to the castle and come to a mutual agreement." He then looks back at the human girl that spoke to him, he does not care to remember her name so he calls her "Kotori" Which means "Small Bird" in Japanese. He says to her, "Kotori, Be sure they don't fight again?" Chiora responds, "I will keep them at peace." she watches him fly off as she thinks: Little bird?? Hmf, I'm not sure I like being referred to as a small helpless animal but I think that's how he sees me.
Nephra begins to try and reason with her sister, "He's right Zephra, we are being silly about this." Zephra agrees, "I say we confront him and demand that he make a choice between the two of us." Nephra responds, "Yes and whom ever is not the chosen one...she will except defeat graciously." The girls agree that this will be the best way to handle the situation as they call a truce with each other. Now that the fighting is over Chiora cannot help but mention to her friends, "Heroshya is extremely handsome and dashing." Zephra attempts to fix her hair again as she says in a disinterested manner, "You think so do you?" Chiora continues, "How does he feel about humans?" Nephra answers her, "Heroshya is a good demon, he doesn't hate humans." Chiora replies, "I really would like to see him again." Her twin sister Myiora is listening as she says, "Forget it, There's no way a powerful demon like him would be involved with a mortal, you know how demons are, You would just be setting yourself up for a broken heart and hurt feelings." Nephra responds, "You're wrong Myiora, Have you forgotten? my mother is a full human and my father is the most powerful demon in the Western province." Myiora explains, "That was a once in a lifetime thing, that rarely happens." Zephra now finishing up with her hair says, "Well, let's test it shall we?" Chiora inquires, "What do you mean?" Zephra continues, "I'll fix you up really pretty, we'll do something really fancy with your hair." Nephra jumps in, "Good idea and I have some really gorgeous dresses my mother has made that you can possibly fit." Zephra finishes, "Right, Let's see how he reacts to your new look, but personally..I think it's a waste of time Chiora. Heroshya is a conceited peacock, He won't think you're good enough."
A couple of days later Chiora flies with Kilala to the castle as Zephra instructed, she knows that Heroshya will be there so the girls begin work on Chiora's new look. Zephra goes to work on her hair putting it in a pretty updo as Nephra has her choose from the many dresses she has. Chiora's build is tiny but attractive as Nephra's dresses fit her a little loosely causing her to tie them tightly around her waist. When they are done, she looks very pretty as they take her down to present her. Heroshya is with Rin and Sesshomaru in the back of the castle near the hot spring as all three girls approach, Zephra speaks first, "Father, is it okay if Nephra and I stay overnight in the human village at Lady Sango's in a few days from now?" Sesshomaru responds, "I would prefer you not spend nights away from home unless it is absolutely necessary." She replies, "Oh it is important father, It's very important business. Nephra and I will be together." He replies, "If you remain in the human village for the night, you are to stay with your uncle." She responds, "Yes we will. Father, This is lady Sango's daughter Chiora. Mother knows her but you have never met her." Sesshomaru responds, "No, I recall her as a small child. " He directs his next comment to Chiora, "You have grown into a lovely young lady." Chiora slightly bows, "You are very kind Milord." Zephra looks over and notices that Heroshya is speaking with Rin and paying no attention to any of them. Zephra narrows her eyes a bit at Heroshya's disinterest as she clears her throat loudly to get Rin and Heroshya's attention. They both look and Rin responds right away, "Oh Chiora, You look absolutely beautiful." Chiora smiles and says, "Thank you Milady." Zephra replies, "I did her hair myself." Everyone looks at Heroshya waiting for him to give a kind word to the pretty young human girl but he says nothing. Zephra and Nephra glance at each other as Zephra is getting increasingly irritated at Heroshya's rudeness; she asks him in a stern voice, "Heroshya, doesn't she look stunning !?" He responds, "She's okay I guess. Who cares." Nephra, and Chiora sigh as Sesshomaru slightly groans and walks back inside, disappointed at his son's unchivalrous attitude. Rin gives Heroshya a poke with her elbow and he shrugs his shoulders as he asks.."What??" Zephra gives up as she tells Chiora softly, "C'mon, I told you he was hopeless." Zephra and Chiora leave and go back into the castle as Nephra tells Heroshya, "I can't believe you. All she wanted was a little of your attention, she got all pretty just for you to take notice." Heroshya responds, "That's ridiculous, You should have informed her that I would never be interested in a human." Rin folds her arms and asks him playfully, "And what's so wrong with humans, hmm." Heroshya explains, "Lady Rin, you know I have no problem with humans but I would never fall in love with one. I just don't find them interesting." Rin acknowledges, "You are just like your father. You know he once hated humans. Now he has a human wife and daughters who are half human and he loves us all as much as he loves you." Heroshya responds, "I'm not like him in that way, I won't follow the same path that the male dog demons of the family have. When I marry, she will be a full bred demon female." Heroshya tells Nephra as he walks away, "You go and tell her to find a nice young human guy to impress." Rin and Nephra look at each other and realize there is no getting through to him as they also walk inside the castle.
A few days later, Zephra also had plans to meet Romaji at the oak tree in the meadow of the human village. The girls agree that they will both show up at the meeting spot and demand that he make a choice between the two of them. When they arrive Romaji is there but he does not seem to be surprised to see both girls there as he says, "Well, Hello ladies." Nephra instantly finds this a bit strange as Zephra begins her demand, "Blaze, You have caused a great rift between my sister and I with your play of affections. We want to know here and now, which one of us is it that you are pursuing?" Blaze explains, "Well at first I was sure you were the one I wanted Zephra but now I think I will just take you both." The girls are confused but before they can inquire further, darts are suddenly flying at them from all directions. The girls realize the whole meeting Romaji set up was a trap as several of his henchmen blow through tubes that shoot out darts. The girls jump, dodge and use their sword to block the flying darts but Zephra is still struck in the arm with one as she slowly loses consciousness and falls limp to the ground. Nephra is unable to run to her sisters aid as she must first fight off the men that are shooting the darts but as she is doing so, Romaji takes Zephra and lifts her over his shoulder and begins to walk away with her. Nephra will not allow him to take her sister away somewhere so she attempts to abandon her fight with the other men and run to go after Romaji but they will not let her as four men gang up on Nephra she finds that Romaji is getting further and further away so she yells out loudly to him, "Romaji !! I beg you, Do not take my sister alone, take me along with her?!!" Romaji stops walking and turns around, he sees Nephra is being held back by his henchmen while she pleads with him not to seperate her from Zephra. Romaji responds, "Very well, Do not struggle with my men and they shall escort you to the same place I will be taking your sister." She surrenders for the sake of being near Zephra for this ordeal, Nephra thinks to herself that they are going to get out of this dilemma together.
Meanwhile that same day, Chiora is alone near the lake by her mother's hut enjoying the beautiful scenery but a bit sad as she thinks about Heroshya. She thinks to herself: He will never see me as anything more than a weak, useless human. He probably doesn't even see me as pretty. Just then she hears a males voice behind her, "Kotori...I'm glad I've found you." Chiora knows it is Heroshya because he calls her Kotori but she does not turn around because she is still irritated with him for ignoring her a few days before at the castle but she comments in a sour tone, "Hmmm, I'm surprised you noticed me...You sure didn't the other day." Heroshya teases her, "How could I not notice that scrawny little body of yours." Chiora's face turns red with anger but Heroshya can not see her because she still has not faced him. She then says, "Oh, What do you want with me? Did you only come here to insult me?" He replies, "No, I'm looking for my sisters. They are suppose to be here in the human village but my father wants them back at the empire." Chiora still annoyed says, "They should be at the old oak near the meadow. That's all I know, now good bye." Heroshya responds, "I don't know where that is, You will have to show me the way." Chiora finally turns around to face him as she says, "What nerve!! Why should I help you when you have done nothing but belittle me since the day we met !" Heroshya replies, " C'mon, show me the way and I will owe you a favor in return." Chiora sighs, she wants to spend time with Heroshya but also she feels that it is useless and that she will never be able to get him to notice her in a romantic way however she agrees to direct him to the old oak in the meadow where the girls should be.
As they walk, to Chiora's surprise...Heroshya is inquiring about her, as he asks, "So you are a demon slayer huh?" Chiora responds, " Yep, I've been training since I was a little girl, I'm almost as good as Nephra and Zephra when it comes to fighting." he then tells her, "Perhaps you should spend more time eating instead of fighting, then you would not be so thin." Chiora stops walking and angrily replies, "I'll have you know, I'm only a few pounds lighter than your sisters!! That was Nephra's dress I was wearing the other day for your information!!" Heroshya responds, "Alright Kotori, Calm down." Heroshya continues to ask her questions about her age, her hobbies and favorite foods. She answers all his questions but this peaks Chiora's curiosity as she wonders: Is he trying to get to know me or is he just trying to avoid awkward silence as we walk?
They finally make it to the old oak in the meadow but the girls are no where to be found as Chiora comments, "Well, I am not sure why they are not here. Nephra said she and Zephra would be meeting Romaji right here today." Heroshya wonders for a moment if something could have gone wrong but dismisses it as he says out loud, "Those two are probably out in the village somewhere with that human man competing with one another for his affections." He tells Chiora, "Let's go, I'll walk you back." Chiora says to him, "So you ARE capable of being a gentleman after all." Heroshya throws her a look and does not respond while Chiora smiles a bit, proud that she was able to strike an insult at him finally. She walks ahead of him but as she does Heroshya shouts out, "Kotori, Look out!!" He runs towards her and takes hold of her little waist, lifting her up and stopping her from stepping on a dart that was sticking out of the ground as he says, "You almost stepped on this dart." He places her down in a safe spot and bends to examine the tiny dart closely as he says, "Who knows what type of venom these things could have in them." As he studies the dart Chiora notices something, "Heroshya, there's a bunch of these little darts everywhere on the ground. How did we not notice?" Heroshya begins to worry as he instructs, "Kotori, Let's go quickly, I will fly you back to your mother's hut. I have to find Nephra and Zephra. I have a bad feeling." Chiora requests, "Please Heroshya, I can help... let me come with you, I can't just go home now knowing my friends may be in some trouble, besides..I know they had to be with Blaze last.
I know where he spends his time and the men that follow him. We will find him and ask where the girls are." Heroshya agrees as they fly off together to where Romaji stays in the village.
-----------------------------------------------------------Meanwhile, Nephra finds herself in a trap while her sister Zephra remains sleep from the fluid in the darts. Romaji has lead them to a hidden cave that no one would ever notice due to it being covered with leaves that have grown all around it in the deep of the forest. The Inside of the cave is all set up to look like some sort of lair. Nephra sits nearby and her hands are tied with rope in front of her while Romaji gently places Zephra down on the floor. He then goes and unwraps a cloth that has tubes with many different colored liquids in them and he begins to place them all together in a small pot. Nephra is not sure what he has in mind as she asks him, "Why are you doing this Romaji? What have my sister and I done to deserve whatever fate you have planned for us?" Romaji responds to her, " You were simply born as demons, I never mentioned this when I first met you girls but I despise demons." Romaji begins to talk to Nephra about his past as he combines these liquids, " I've told you that when I was younger I had a hard life. Well once my father, mother , older sister and I all lived a good comfortable life in the Northern lands. My father was exceptional at creating liquid concotions that could help cure illness, hair growth and sleep problems. As you may have guessed by now, he taught me well in the art of mixing, anyway we lived well and my father was paid a decent wage from the villagers who required his liquid remedies. Then the day came when an evil demon became ruler over the Northern lands at that time and ordered his servants to drive us out. The demons were on a rampage as they killed anyone in sight, destroyed our huts and eventually drove us out of the North causing us to migrate to the Southern lands. My family and I survived that attack, when we got to the Southern lands, it was not much better, the demon ruler there allowed our families to live in the South however we were at his call when needed. My father had to fight in demon wars, which he was no match for and he died in the very first battle. My elder sister was taken by one of the demon servants and forced to be his mistress. My mother's grief was so overwhelming that she no longer had control over her mind, she also fell ill, so I a boy of only 12 years old, had to work hard for the demons who were mean and hateful towards me. I also had to work in the crop fields for money to help keep my mother and I alive. I created my liquid mixtures as side money but it took many years before I was able to become as good at it as my father was. So now you see, I survived that horrible life and now I have a mission to fufill. I will rid the world of evil demons...It may take some time but I will." Nephra tells Romaji, "That is an awful story, It saddens me to hear what happened to you and your family but killing my sister and I will not bring them back, it will not fix anything." Romaji says, "Killing you? I have no intention of killing you Nephra. I originally had no intention of even taking you at all. See, I had been watching you secretly for some time now. Yes, I'd seen the way you come to the village every 30 days with your smile and fruit baskets, I've seen the way you are with the villagers, you greet the families warmly, smile and play with the children, I knew then that you, being only half demon was utilizing your human side when you've shown your concern and care for the villagers and I had planned not to bother with you but then I saw your sister that one day, I saw the two of you fight those ruffians...I watched her closely, I knew right away she was not like you." He looks over at Zephra as he continues to speak, " She enjoys killing, She likes battle...she loves being a demon. When I saw her, she was the one I wanted and now I have her." Nephra asks in a worried voice, "What are you planning to do with my sister?!" Romaji puts her at ease, "Relax, I am not going to kill her either. I am merely going to eliminate her demon powers. She is half human, Therefore, I have come up with a concoction that will make her full human permanently. Since you are here I will make you full human as well. You don't need those demon powers Nephra, You both are excellent fighters in human form...the best I've ever seen in fact." Nephra is in shock as she says "That's not possible, you are insane if you think it will work...powerful demon blood flows through our veins." Romaji responds confidently, "I assure you it will be successful, I have been working on this mixture for several days now all the while keeping Zephra close, by having her visit with me." Nephra is not sure how to get out of the clutches of this man who is determined to filter them of their demon blood and powers. She is not sure if he is creative enough to actually create such a mixture but still she will not allow him to try as she sits with her hands tied in front of her thinking desperately of a way to get she and Zephra out.
Heroshya and Chiora fly to the village where Blaze is known to be but he is no where to be found. They begin to question some of the villagers as Chiora asks a few of them who are standing about, "Have you seen the princess Nephra around or Blaze?" The villagers all shake their heads no as Chiora and Heroshya wonder where they could be. Suddenly a small boy speaks up, "Excuse me, I may have information for you." Chiora and Heroshya go over to the boy as she asks him, "What can you tell us? Any information would be greatly appreciated." the boy explains, "Blaze has a secret lair around here somewhere but I can't tell you where because I don't know. He keeps it very hidden." Heroshya asks the boy, "How do you know he has a secret lair?" The boy responds, "Because he told me. A year back, I had trouble with my vision...I was slowly going blind. I was crying one day at the lake when Blaze appeared and asked me about my troubles. I told him my problem and he said he could fix it for me and he certainly did. He stuck with a dart full of some sort of fluid, and my sight is even better now then it was before. I asked him where he got this fluid and he told me that he created it along with many other types of mixtures at his secret lair." Chiora says to Heroshya, "Those darts we saw, they must belong to Blaze." Heroshya responds angrily, "That bastard better not had done anything to my sisters with those darts!!" The small boy replies, "Oh no, Blaze is kind he would never harm anyone. I'm only telling you this because I really like the princess Nephra, she's so beautiful and sweet. I just want you to know where you may be able to find her." Heroshya says, "Thanks kid, c'mon Kotori...We gotta find his hideaway. We'll go back to the place where we saw the darts."
Back at the lair, Nephra is still pondering on what to do. Romaji has finished his mixture and is placing them inside the tiny tube that is connected to the needle of the dart as he measures and says, "This amount should be what I need." He creates one for Nephra and one for Zephra. Nephra looks over at Zephra thinking: Oh wake up already.
Romaji begins to walk over to Zephra with his fluid filled dart as Nephra shouts, "No please, If your mixture does not work it may kill her. Don't let me witness her death, Test it on me first." Romaji agrees, "Fine, I will cure you first and you will see it's harmless. " He redirects and walks towards Nephra with the dart in position for sticking, Nephra times it just right as her feet are still untied she is able to kick him in the chest sending him flying across the room. Romaji's men are behind Nephra so she moves fast with her hands still tied in front of her she balls both hands in a fist and swings upward knocking one of the men in the chin as he falls back as well. Another man throws a dagger at Nephra and she dodges it as it hits the wall of the cave with much force causing it to remain lodged there. Nephra continues to kick and knock the men with her roped hands until she is able to find a free moment to run to where the dagger is lodged and slices the ropes around her wrists by bringing them down against the dagger's sharp blade freeing her hands. Romaji had the wind knocked out of him when she kicked him; he hit the wall of the cave causing him a few moments delay in getting up, by the time he does, Nephra's hands are free as she now has full access to her demon powers and her sword again. Nephra quickly uses her demonic powers through her sword and creates a thick ice barrier so that the men are on one side of the cave blocked by the ice while she, Zephra and Romaji remain on the other side. Nephra goes to Romaji with her sword and she puts the blade to his face as she asks, "When will my sister wake?" Romaji tells her, "It was a tiny amount to make her sleep, she should wake soon." Nephra looks over and the dart that Romaji was going to use to make them full human is lying right next to him. Nephra raises her hand and uses her demonic blast to burst and destroy it along with the other dart that was to be used on Zephra. She goes to Zephra and tries to wake her but she remains sleep, Nephra can only think of one other thing to do. She uses her sword on Zephra causing a bit of water to hit her face hoping it will revive her and it does as Zephra slowly begins to wake she asks, "Wha..What happened? Where are we?" Nephra tells her, "I'll explain later, Let's just get out of here." She helps her sister to her feet, Zephra picks up her sword but is still a bit light headed from the sleeping fluid. The other men are still on the other side of the ice wall that Nephra created and can think of no way to break through the thick ice as this gives time for Zephra to recoup her strength. As they sit a minute Zephra asks Romaji, "Why did you do this to us?" Nephra responds for him, "He holds a lot of bitter feelings towards demons Zephra and understandably so." Zephra asks, "What do you mean?" Nephra repeats the entire ordeal of Romaji and his family history and at the end of the story Zephra sympathizes, "That's horrible. Romaji, there's nothing wrong with wanting to get rid of evil demons...but Nephra and I are not evil." Romaji responds, "I know that Nephra isn't." Zephra insulted responds, "Hey...I'm not evil either!!, What gives you that Idea !?" Nephra comes to her sister's defense, "My sister may have a really bad demeanor but she's certainly not evil." Zephra nods hard, "That's right!! Sure I like to fight and even kill but never an innocent person who doesn't deserve it." Romaji says, "I suppose I deserve to die for tricking the both of you. Go on, just do it quickly." Zephra and Nephra look at each other, they think the same thing as Zephra says, "Nah, Whadya say we let the whole thing go? Call off your henchmen out there and we'll all go our seperate ways." Romaji is a bit surprised to hear this coming from Zephra, "Really? Perhaps I was wrong about you." Zephra gains her strength and uses fire to melt the ice wall enough for them to exit the cave. Romaji tell his men to back down and leave, they do as ordered. The three of them stand in the meadow for a moment and Romaji says, "I truly regret my actions, I could have had two beautiful friends...maybe even a powerful half demon wife had I not ruined it all just now. Oh well, I guess that's the story of poor Blaze." He winks and waves as he walks away the girls watch him fade as Nephra says, "That was a close one, I don't know what those darts of liquid really could have done but I'm just glad it's all over." Zephra says, "Yeah, Oh how could I fight with my sister over some silly guy." She takes Nephra's hand, "Let's never argue over a guy again okay?" Nephra agrees, "Right no man will ever come between us like that again." They hug and then begin to carefully pick up the darts from around the meadow Nephra says, "But did you notice how he winked at me?" Zephra says, "At you??? he winked at ME and when he said he could have had one of us as his wife, he looked right at me." Nephra sighs, "Zephra, the man tried to destroy you a minute ago...He was going to spare me, I had to save you." Zepra replies, "Oh Please Nephra...." Heroshya and Chiora are close by and can hear the whole arguement, They look at each other and Chiora says, "Guess everything's okay, Their still arguing over that guy as normal." Heroshya walks up, "Well, Well...Seems like you two are still working things out are you?" Nephra and Zephra look at each other and laugh as Nephra responds, "No, It's all settled." Heroshya responds, "Good, Father sent me to find you, He want's you two home right away." Zephra asks, "What's he want? Is he angry?" Heroshya responds, "I dunno, find out. It's getting dark, I'm gonna walk Kotori back home.
Heroshya walks her close to her home, back to the lake where he found her. The sun has not yet set completely as he tells her, "I think you better get back to your home. It's not safe for you to be out at night." She responds, "I will." He tells her, "You know I really appreciate you coming with me, helping me find Nephra and Zephra. That was real nice of you." She stands in front of him and smiles, "That's the first nice thing you've ever said to me." She continues to look at him and smile a bit as he softly brushes a strand of her hair away from her eye, she likes Heroshya so much she can not help the urge to take hold of the same hand he used to brush the strand of hair away with, when she does they interlock fingers for a moment and Chiora moves in closer to him. He places his other arm around her waist and her hair is so long he can feel the many soft strands that fall past her waist. She is standing so close now that Heroshya can smell the lovely scent of cherry blossom in her hair as he takes notice, "You spend a lot of time under the cherry blossom trees." Chiora hopes he will kiss her but he snaps himself out of the trance he is in and he softly shoves her away and tells her, "Don't try to tempt me, I will never allow myself to fall for a human." He turns and walks away and Chiora shouts, "Uggg, Fine, I never want to see you again!!!" she is so upset at the way he rejected her yet again that she takes her shoe off and throws it at him. It misses him as he ignores her temper tantrum and flies off.
A few days later, Zephra and Chiora are walking around the empire's forest as they talk. Chiora tells Zephra that she is going to fight a demon without her sister Myiora, when asked why she explains, "This is not a demon slay job, it's a personal score I'm going to settle. He has something of mine and I'm going to get it back." Zephra suggests, "let me come with you, We'll get what ever he has of yours back together." Chiora replies, " Thank you but I need to defeat him all on my own so he will know not to take from me again." Zephra asks her, "Well okay if you're sure. Do you have your weapons?" Chiora informs "Yeah, I have a couple of weapons on me. Don't worry I'll be fine." Zephra insists, "I have a really great weapon, I'll feel more comfortable if you use it for this fight." As they are talking they are slowly approaching the castle when they see Heroshya with a demon girl leaving together. Chiora stops in her tracks when she sees this, her heart stops as she can't believe it. The demon girl is very pretty with stylish curly pink hair that falls at her neck and a very attractive shape, she holds on to Heroshya's arm with both her arms as they walk. Zephra notices Chiora is deeply destressed by this as Heroshya and the girl walk and stop directly in front of them. Heroshya says, "Zephra, Lady Rin has been looking for you." He then looks at Chiora, "Hello Kotori." The demon girl with Heroshya laughs, "Ha, ha...She does look just like a little bird." Chiora can barely contain her anger as she throws Heroshya a furious look and walks past the two of them bumping the demon girl's shoulder as she passes by her causing demon girl to stop laughing and ask, "What's her problem?" Heroshya watches as Chiora walks away, it bothers him to see her so angry at him. He tells the demon girl, "Look, Perhaps we can meet up later. I have some thing I need to do." He looks back in the direction that Chiora walked. The demon girl asks him, "When will I see you Heroshya." She places her arms around his waist and he slowly removes them again as he replies, "Soon, I promise but I really must go for now." She says, "Okay, see you soon" She gives him a kiss on the cheek just as Chiora is getting another weapon from Zephra and leaving the grounds again. The demon girl heads on her way and Chiora walks straight ahead and past Heroshya as if he is not standing there. He follows behind her, "Hey Kotori, Wait up!" She ignores him and continues walking but he walks beside her and says, "Will you slow down, why are you walking so fast?" She responds, "I have business to attend to and I'm sure you do too. Shouldn't you be catching up with your girlfriend?" Heroshya responds, "She's not my girlfriend." Chiora rolls her eyes, "Whatever." Heroshya asks her curiously, "Where are you going in such a hurry?" She tells him, "I just told you, I have business. I'm going to deal with a Troll demon from the Western Mountain Mishobe." Heroshya tells her, "Whoa hold on, Kotori, That's not a good Idea. That's a dangerous area and a deadly tribe of demons." Chiora stops walking abruptly and says, "My name is Chiora...I hate being called Kotori and you know it." She continues walking again as she then says, "Anyway, I'm a demon slayer. I can handle those trolls just fine." he warns, "I don't think you should go there alone. I owe you a favor so I'll go with you." Chiora says, "Thank you but No, I really want to do this alone." She stops walking once again and says, "Look, you've made it painfully clear that you don't think I'm good enough for you. So, walk away...go find a worthy demon girl to be your perfect wife and bear your perfect children. I give up on you Heroshya and there is nothing more we need to say to each other." She continues walking while Heroshya stands shocked by her remarks, he shouts out to her, "Fine, serves me right for trying to be nice to a stupid human!!" Chiora never looks back as she continues on with her business.
Chiora goes to the Western Mounting Mishobe and finds the demon she needs to fight, she yells to him, "You took a special ring that belonged to my grandfather, I want it back!!" The demon, having no intention of returning the ring responds in a raspy voice, "If you want it, you will need to take it by force." Chiora puts up a good fight using the weapons she has. She fights well as she kicks, jumps and weilds her weapon at the troll demon. She wounds and kills a few of them but more troll demons join the fight as they are beginning to out number her making it difficult for her to fight them all on her own. She is caught from behind as a power is used against her causing her to be tossed across the mountain and she is knocked into a large, tall stone with great force. The impact was so strong she is instantly knocked out cold and falls to the ground. The trolls think they have defeated her as they all slowly begin to gather around and approach her intent on taking her down to an area where she will be kept as a human servant. Just then a troll yells out as a sword comes crashing down on him slitting him in half lengthwise. The other troll demons die one by one with ease as Heroshya is there killing them off, the numerous amounts of troll demons is not a problem for him to handle. The leader of the Troll Demon intends to take Heroshya down but Heroshya wields his sword flawlessly; dodging all of the troll demon's attacks. In an instant, Heroshya strikes his finger whip manipulating it to wrap around the Troll leader's neck and tightly pulls choking him as Heroshya asks the troll demon leader, "What possession of hers do you have?" The troll demon tries to lie and says, "We have nothing of hers." as he responds to the question, the troll demon leader uses his powerful claws to destroy the whip that is tight around his neck and again begins to attack. Heroshya swings his sword and slices the trolls pudgy belly leaving a bloody gash and says, "Consider that a warning, Do not lie to me again. What possession of hers do you have?" The troll hands over the ring as Heroshya takes it along with Chiora whom is still unconscious and he leaves the Mountain.
When Chiora awakes, She is lying in the castle on a bed in one of the resting quarters. She sits up as Nephra notices she says, "Oh Chiora, you're awake." Rin comes into the room and says, "Chiora how are you feeling?" Chiora responds, "A bit dizzy. How did I get here, I was fighting the troll demons for my grandfather's ring." Nephra asks, "This one?" She is holding the ring ; Chiora is very happy and says, "You got it back for me." Nephra responds, "No, Heroshya did...He saved you and brought you here." Chiora is in complete shock but it is the happiest feeling of her life to know that Heroshya was worried enough to come back to check on her. Rin says, "Just relax Chiora, I'll prepare you a cup of tea." Rin leaves the room and Nephra tells Chiora, "My father says you should remain here for the night. You're in no condition to travel to the human village and it's getting dark out." Chiora is surprised, "Lord Sesshomaru said that? My mother always spoke of him as if he were such a cold blooded demon." Nephra laughs, "Ha, He's not so bad, I'll tell you a secret.... My father has a soft spot for pretty girls. If you were a male, He might have sent you on your way." The girls both laugh a bit. Nephra tells her again, "So, You will sleep here tonight." When night falls Chiora is preparing for bed, she loosens her long hair from the pony tail she normally wears it in and begins brushing and the more she does... it begins to form lovely deep waves as she continues to brush while looking in the mirror. She suddenly hears a males voice, "Katori, how are you feeling?" Her heart jumps as she replies, "Much better, Thanks to you." Heroshya replies, "I guess we are even now huh?" she turns and looks at him as she responds, "Yes, I suppose we are." She smiles. Heroshya takes notice, "Hmm, I can smell those cherry blossoms even more now that you have been brushing your hair. I suppose, now everytime I see or smell cherry blossoms you will enter my mind." She asks him, "Do you like cherry blossoms?" he responds, "Of course, the scent is very alluring." She is happy to hear it as she responds, "Then that is good." Heroshya tells her, "Well, I wanted to check on you and say goodnight." she smiles again and says, "Good night Heroshya." He says, "Good night." before he walks away he say, "By the way, You look very beautiful with your hair out like that, It really brings out your eyes. You should wear it like that more often." He walks off and Chiora is in heaven replaying his voice just telling her that she is beautiful. Chiora goes to bed and has pleasant thoughts until she falls asleep, when she wakes the next morning she finds beautiful Cherry blossoms outside her bedroom door and she knows that Heroshya put them there as she thinks: He is so romantic and sweet suddenly, I wonder if I could actually have a chance with him after all. Would he follow in his father and Grandfather's footsteps??
THE STORY NOW RETURNS BACK TO PRESENT AS NEPHRA'S STORY ENDS
Nephra finishes her story as her father exclaims, "Hmm, interesting story." Lord Sesshomaru finishes his tea as he continues, "It would seem that the human heart has dominance over the human mind." Zephra replies, "Yes but it's strange how it felt kinda good to admire someone so much that it caused those feeling to rise with in us in the first place." Nephra agrees as she replies to Zephra's comment, "Yes, Mother loves father so much I bet the thought of losing him to another woman is killing her inside." Sesshomaru responds, "That will never happen."
A few nights later, Rin is still upset regarding Heroshya's mother visiting the castle and she has not slept in the same resting quarters as her husband. Rin sits outside near the hotspring looking out into the night sky and thinking to herself trying to understand her own feelings, why is she so upset about this? She knows that if Lord Sesshomaru said the visit was nothing, then it is as he said but she can't help remembering how beautiful the woman was and how this same lovely full demon woman was once an intimate part of his life. She asks herself: Could they possibly unite again? Would he abandon me for her? Rin's thoughts are interrupted by Heroshya walking out to greet her, "Lady Rin, I'll be staying a few nights in preparation for the empire presenting. Why are you outside so late at night?" Rin responds, "Oh, Heroshya good evening. I was just thinking I guess. I suppose I have something heavy on my mind and heart." Heroshya picks up on the fact that she may want to talk so he asks, "Is there anything I can do?" Rin looks at him wondering if it is appropriate to talk to Heroshya about his very own mother as she says, "I don't know if you would be able to understand my feelings. You are not a human." Heroshya says, "Well, try me." Rin explains, "Your mother came by the castle looking for you a few days back, I'd never met her before. I never knew how beautiful she was... standing next to her, I instantly felt....well, like a nobody compared to her. Every night since that day I fear your father's thoughts and memories of her. I have not even rested in our quarters with him because my feelings on the issue are too strong." Heroshya responds, "Lady Rin, You should not feel that way. You have nothing to fear, that I can assure you." Rin replies, "I don't understand." Heroshya explains, "My mother is very beautiful that is true and in my eyes she is the most perfect woman I will ever know however in my father's eyes she is beautiful but lacking something extra that he wants and that something extra he wants, you DO have. Lady Rin, You'll never know how long it took me to understand that about my father." Rin asks, "What could I possibly have that she doesn't?" Heroshya replies, "Only father knows that but in addition to you having something special, I would suspect he has a very close bond with you, He has cared for you and protected you since you were a child. Whereas my mother and father had a short courtship." Rin gives Heroshya a big hug as she feels so much better, her feelings of jealousy and envy have gone and she doesn't think they will return again.
When Sesshomaru retires to his quarters, Rin is there and he is very happy to see her though he does not change his expression or tone of voice as he asks, "I suppose you are no longer cross with me." Rin responds as she stands close to her husband, " I've been a silly fool. Please forgive me." Sesshomaru caresses her face as he says, "There is nothing to forgive. I am to blame...I should have had the two of you meet long ago, Instead I have kept you both hidden from one another." Rin smiles and says, "You did not know your human wife would behave in such a silly manner." He responds, "I find it flattering however I hate to see you distressed." Sesshomaru has something for Rin as he pulls out a beautiful sapphire diamond necklace that resembles the ring he gave her many years ago. He places it around her neck as he says, "It has been many years since I have given you a gift, I felt it was time." Rin loves her new necklace as she responds, "Every day of my life with you is a gift." He kisses her softly before they retire for the night together. Rin thinks to herself: How understanding he is of my feelings, He may be a demon but perhaps capable of understanding human emotions very well.