Jomei has a dream. InuYokais prepare to hunt
The Evil in Men's Hearts
Chapter 11: Trailing
Dig the pond
without waiting for the moon.
When the pond is finished
the moon will come by itself.
When you open your eyes clearly,
when you have mindfulness
and see with certanty,
an inconceivable realm appears
that seems to exist,
that seems not to exist..
The garden was a pleasant green oasis that offered him a way to ignore the chaos for a moment. Hakuzo, his green eyes looking friendly, but guarded, sat sipping his tea while the Daiyoukai and his brother and Matsuo prowled through his house for whatever clues or scent they could find about the monk who attacked him, a task as Inus, they were all well suited for. Kagome, Rin, and Jaken, none of which had good noses had joined him, sitting in the late afternoon sunlight and enjoying the kitsune's garden. He had set up a low table near a stream that ran across the property, emptying into a small pool, adorned with the dappled shade of sakura trees. Near the pool was a shrine to Benzaiten, patroness of water, learning, poetry. A single rose lay in front of the image, an offering from Rin.
"How peaceful this place is," Kagome said, also sipping at her tea. "You are feeling well now, Hakuzo-san?"
He closed his eyes, listening to the wind in the pines, the sound of bamboo windchimes. Dappled light flickered across the pool.
"Yes, very well, Kagome-san. Rin, you will like these," he said, passing a plate of sweets her way.
The girl solemnly accepted the treat with grace, and smiled. "Thank you, Hakuzo-sama. Your garden is very lovely. I have a little garden that Sesshoumaru gave to me, but it's not nearly this nice."
"Do you think so?" he replied. " Then you must ask Sesshoumaru-sama if you can come here at Sakura-blossom time. That's when it's at its best." .
She looked happily at the thought. "I will remember that, Hakuzo-sama. Do you mind if I go look around?"
"Not at all. Feel free," the kitsune said.
She ran off. Jaken grabbed a sweet off the plate, got up and followed.
"You cannot wander far, Rin. Sesshoumaru-sama will not want to wait while you look at flowers!" he squawked.
"She is an interesting child." Hakuro said, watching her run. "I think I have a poem for her:
"Summer sunlight calls
like small feet on a green field
"That's Rin," said Kagome She took another sip of her tea, then asked "How do you know Matsuo?"
"Once, long ago, he was my student." he said. "And you - how does a miko become so involved with youkai affairs?"
"It's a long story. Once, on my fifteenth birthday, I went looking for my cat in this well house --"
Jomei walked into a meadow, surrounded by forest. Once again, he had wandered a a clear trail, following what he was hoping to be a path to a human settlement, but once again, the clue had proved to be false. At the north end of the meadow, there was a rockfaced hillside, and a spring. Overhead, he saw a bird - an eagle, perhaps, soaring overhead.
He knew he had stumbled into some type of enchantment or trap, and he suspected he was crossing and recrossing the same paths. He had tried various things - reading sutras, placing ofudas, meditating, but even in spite of his training, nothing worked. This added to his confusion, for he was not without spiritual powers, and spiritual powers were supposed to break through kitsune illusion. No nogitsune, wild Kitsune should have been able to do this to him.
Yet three times, a white fox had appeared to lead him. The first time, he had found himself in a clearing, where there was a small fire. It was the smoke form the fire that the fox had nudged him to see. It was a good clearing similar to the meadow he found himself in now, but he walked away from it, feeling uneasy about it.
Yet after an hour or so, found himself back in the same clearing. He had been walking in circles. It was getting dark. He settled down by the fire, ate, went to sleep.
That's when he had the dream.
He had been a child again, sitting in his mother's house.
Suddenly, he heard his sister's voice yelling for help. He and his mother ran outside, and saw the village elders standing before his sister. Her clothes had been ripped and torn. She had been thrown to the ground, and was crying with great heavy sobs.
"We found her with this youkai!" a young man yelled. "She was pleasuring him in the forest!"
"Hoshiko!" he yelled, struggling in his mother's arms. She pulled him tight to her, trying to hide his face from the scene unfolding..
They dragged behind them a person of ethereal beauty, dressed in torn but fine silks. The boy Jomei would have thought he was a samurai lord -- except for his red, red eyes and sharply pointed ears. He was bound by sacred ofuda and tied by ropes. The gathering crowd yelled, waited for the priest to come.
HIs father, carrying the axe he used his his work, pushed his way through the crowd, saw the girl lying on the ground His face was incredibly angry. He lifted up his axe and....
Jomei started awake, his heart pounding. He went and stirred the fire. Looking into the forest, he saw a glint of eyes, glowing redly.
The memory of that dream had stayed with him all day. He hadn't thought of his sister's death in years, not the memory of how ugly it was. After she died, her name was never mentioned in the family. It was like she had never lived, his older sister. Walking through the woods, he thought of how terrified her face was when she saw their father's axe, the anger in his face.
"Delusion is the nature of ordinary beings" he said. "Apart from delusion, there is no mind in us Namo Amida Butsu. Namo Amida Butsu. Namo Amida Butsu"
Finding a good place to lay out his sleeping roll, he built a fire and began to wait for what the night would bring.
Jaken stood up and squawked as the youkai walked into the garden.
'"Teijo-sama!" he said. "Wherever you go, there is trouble!" said the small youkai. "Sesshoumaru-sama! Sesshoumaru-sama!" he said, running off to the house, jumping on the porch nearly bumping into Daiyoukai where he stood, hand still on the shoji door.
"Silence yourself, Jaken" Sesshoumaru said as he stepped off of the long porch surrounding the house then down into the walkway. The small green youkai toddled off with the staff of two heads to take a position near Sesshoumaru but out of the way.
Kagome could feel the youki rising as Sesshoumaru looked at Teijo. She looked first at Sesshoumaru, then at InuYasha who seemed clueless about the newcomer.
Hazuko whispered to Kagome "They don't like each other."
A windless breeze stirred the hair of the youkai lord. As if he had heard the quiet whisper, Sesshoumaru said "Hakuzo, you need to air our your house. It smells like strange ningen" then returned his concentration to the newcomer.
InuYasha, feeling his brother's tension, stepped down from the porch, and stood next to him, arms folded across his chest. "And who is this guy?" he asked.
"'This guy' as you put it, is your father's younger brother. I am Teijo"
"He was my swordmaster when I was young, but then he left." Sesshoumaru said. "Your actions yesterday don't change much."
InuYasha looked at him, eyes narrowed. "So how come I've never heard of you before?'
"I was away," Teijo replied. "But now I am here." Teijo said "I would travel with you, Nephew."
"Suit yourself. We leave in the morning." Sesshoumaru turned to move off to a corner of the garden near Rin.
Matsuo came up behind InuYasha. "He is my sensei."
"But he's not a monk." InuYasha said.
"No, he's not." He replied.
InuYasha wondering about the undercurrents of things unsaid, went off to join Kagome. He sat down next to her. She leaned her head on his shoulder.
"We're not going to get to go home yet, are we?" she asked.
"Doesn't look that way."