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A New Life by Solessia

Limbo

Author's Note:

This is my first fanfic in over 6 years and so I decided to jump right back in with something that will hopefully consume your minds like it has mine. The plot is loosely based on Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, of which I have read in both English and the original Italian dialect it was written in. The story is an omniscient point of view whereas the tale there in is expressed in Sesshomaru's point of view as he guides us through his version of the Divina Commedia. Sesshomaru is not Christian in this story, rather uses Christian concepts as prompts.

I do not own Inuyasha or the Divine Comedy. 

Chapter 1: Limbo

The limits of the human body is a fearful yet realistic notion that consumes many. Heated too high, the body will be inflamed within their own flesh only to perish woefully. Cooled too low and said human body will then quietly wither away to a slow death. Lack of food and water will cause the body to painfully and exhaustingly crumble. Whereas too much of the same, overindulging, will only lead at one point to engorgement of the body to the point of disease, and perhaps death. This along other factors, communicable diseases and violence as such, leaves the human body a wonder to behold. The fragility of the human body, whether under duress or improper care, is something that not only intrigued him, but made him cautious all at once.

Sesshomaru quietly turned his head back to the lush forest behind him. To the right, his son stumbled upon the cliffs his father so often retreated to. The noise, abrupt and loud, had alerted him to his son's return. Sesshomaru tipped his head slightly and instantly a look of intrigue crossed through his eyes.

Standing there looking faintly amused, was his son, of standard height for a demon roughly 8 decades old, holding a strange new item. And while his moonlit hair and shining golden eyes gave a hint of knowing, his mystified gaze was focused on the object in his hands. This prompted Sesshomaru into questioning where his young heir had disappeared off to, and how he came into possession of said object. The youthful inu looked at his father, towering and powerful as always, and in a vibrant voice responded clearly.

"I found a building not far from here," he began, still looking faintly amused. "Rectangular in shape with a dome in the center and tall, oddly painted windows." He then gave a tiny clear of his throat as to appear somewhat bashful before continuing. "I did not mean to intrude, father, but it was empty and quiet, so I went inside to look. I found this on the ground and couldn't quite tell what it was." He held up the item in question in front of him so he could show his father.

"That, my son, is a cross." Came Sesshomaru's sullen response.

"It is an object with deep meaning behind it belonging to the people of the Christian faith, for which they use to represent their God. The son, is said, to be the one laying upon it, carved into the same wood." He continued.

The young demon furrowed his brow as he stared at the cross, deep in thought. His parents had indeed, informed him of certain topics regarding religion, but being more knowledgeable of 'eastern' religions, as his wise mother had once put it, he had not recognized it as a symbol of Christianity.

Sesshomaru turned his head back to look over the ocean, waves swaying to and fro in their restless motion. He uttered a quick sentence and looked up at the moon, hoping the kamis would hear his words. He continued to gaze at the bright waning moon as he addressed his son once more.

"If you wish, Katsuro, because we have some time yet before returning to your mother, I can briefly review the knowledge I possess about this religion." Katsuro followed the direction of his father's solid gaze to the moon far ahead, the scent of sea salt and marine life working to soothe him.

He nodded his head despite his father not being able to see him, and mumbled a quiet "yes." He knew what kind of thoughts currently filled his father's mind, only hours before witnessing what could only be a jumbled turn of events. While normal and expected, they had turned Katsuro into a nervous mess, and Sesshomaru, anxious to see his second child born into the world, had taken his son out to calm the nerves.

Sesshomaru glanced quickly in the direction of his son, appraising the cross in his hands at once, realized where to begin his explanation. "My father, the great Inu no Taisho, and this Sesshomaru once stood at these precise cliffs as you and I." He took a breath to calm himself before continuing.

"Before his demise, this Sesshomaru seeked to posess the great dog general's powerful swords. There, son, is where I will begin our story. So that you may, in a clearer way, understand the thought process and beliefs of the Christians. However, understand that I merely relate this story to these ideologies, not to persuade you to undertake these religious beliefs as your own, but to teach and inform you of ideas and problems you will encounter on your own one day." Sesshomaru adjusted his mokomoko, which had been nuzzling his face from the sway of the wind before turning his attention back to the moon.

"My father's demise was the beginning of my own personal journey through what Christians refer to as "Hell"." Katsuro blinked quickly in surprise before interrupting his father's tale.

"Father," he started. "Haven't you traveled to Hell before? For Rin?" He questioned. "Why would Hell be some sort of idea if it's an actual place?"

Sesshomaru grunted before answering his curious son. "That is because being hopeless is a state of mind and the actions you make during life will either lead you to or away from that place. It is in a hopeless state of mind that the true nature of your inner self is revealed and what actions you take are your own to answer to." He paused to think on his son's questioning.

"Indeed, I have encountered Hell before, and the minions thereof that move a person's soul from their bodies to the afterlife. But I will begin my story simply with my journey through Hell, that came about because of my hopeless state of mind. To understand Christianity you must understand that there are sins and virtues. These factors play a deciding role in how people, humans and demon alike, consciously act and behave on a daily basis. The end result is a journey to the afterlife, whether it be in Hell, Purgatory, or Paradise." He elaborated.

Clearing his throat, he moved onto his first point. "The great Inu no Taisho once asked if this Sesshomaru had anything worth protecting." Katsuro stepped forward, closer to his father, in interest at this.

"This Sesshomaru had sought only power and glory in his youth and thus gave no interest in protecting the lives of others, only my own power." He said gruffly. "Because of this, the Inu no Taisho decided he would not bestow upon me the swords which could bequeath me great power, but instead a sword to teach this Sesshomaru what many would think me lacking, compassion." Tilting his head to check on his son's attention towards his story, he continued on.

"In Hell, son, you slowly descend to greater states of misery than those before it the lower you go. The first state, we shall call it, is named Limbo." Katsuro saved the name to memory, in case it came up later again.

"I experienced this inferior form of Heaven when I learned of my great father's final demise. Those loyal only to him had scattered the lands, and those still loyal to my mother and I stayed to serve and protect the western lands alongside myself. My time as the heir to the western lands was no longer. This Sesshomaru then became the Lord of the West and has been since then." Katsuro nodded his head, having heard this piece of information before.

"To me," Sesshomaru recounted, "my foolish father's downfall was a consequential turning point in my life. The lady princess Izayoi and her half-breed son where then of little importance to me, but the sound of just their names being said in court caused my blood to boil for then unknown reasons."

"My mother, then still Lady of the West, congratulated me on my new position and title. She mourned the loss of her mate's life privately, where I only held contempt for the way my father tossed his life away because of a human female. He left to me in his will, not the swords of great power I sought, but one to teach me of humility. Delivered to me by Totosai at the great tree, Bokusensu, was the weaker fang, one that had no combative use, the Tensaiga."

Katsuro breathed a strange, silent gasp of of recognition at hearing the sword's name. He interrupted, unwittingly, his father paying no mind, and asked "But, father, is that not the sword you used to bring Rin back to life?" Katsuro wondered why on earth his father would speak of the valued sword as though he could not care less about it.

"Indeed," came Sesshomaru's response, "I saved Rin's life with the Tensaiga as well as others I will inform you of later on. But," he hissed, "I would not find use for that sword until many years after I gained its possession. Therefore my contempt for my father grew upon realizing he had bestowed upon such a useless sword as I had once thought it." Katsuro acknowledged this response and urged him to continue the tale.

"For this Sesshomaru, the position as Lord of the West was a merry event, if you could call it such. I had finally risen to my glorified throne and was now in a heavier position of power as one of the cardinal lords in Japan. For the next few decades, or centuries, I suppose, I was as close to my idea of paradise as I could be."

"I thought myself a great and honorable ruler," he said with a huff of indignity, "and sought only one thing: more power." Katsuro turned his gaze from the side of his father's face back out onto the ocean, reflecting on his words.

"This idea, this great notion that I deemed so worthy of my time and efforts is what made me realize later on I had been stuck in my own version of Limbo." Katsuro's head perked up again at hearing that word. "I was satisfied, but never satisfied. Powerful, but never powerful enough."

"With these realizations I took to a new goal, a mission if you will." Sesshomaru thought back on a time of war and strife, appreciating the stillness of the current moment. "I had once again defeated the Panther demon tribe, the very same which tried to take the western lands just centuries before from my father. The Inu no Taisho, of course, defended the West and struck down the panther king."

"Of course!" Katsuro exclaimed, excited to hear of his grandfather's accomplishments. Sesshomaru gave a low chuckle at the boy's hearty reply before returning to his tale.

"This Sesshomaru accomplished the same, and felt immense pride at how easily I had defended my lands and people.

"Throughout this time and more, I searched hungrily for my father's famed sword, the fang Tessaiga. After many years, I sought out your uncle Inuyasha, demanding he tell me the location of our late father's tomb. At the time," he recalled somberly, "I held only hatred and disgust for my half brother and all hanyou, believing them beneath me.

"Figuring he could somehow be the key to my late father's tomb, I used an unconventional, and not to mention foul, method to attack Inuyasha and find the tomb. Where I thought he would be alone and fight alone, he was not. I quickly succumbed to the onslaught of his and his partners counter attacks and fled.

"Inu no Taisho was an intelligent demon. Of that you should not doubt, my son. I found that he had hidden the entrance to his great tomb in a black pearl behind one of Inuyasha's eyes, the craft of which was cunning, indeed. The fact however, that he had placed the pearl within Inuyasha was enough to confirm the fact that his hidden fang was meant to be his, not this Sesshomaru's."

Sesshomaru paused momentarily to close his eyes and breathe in the scent of the nature around him.

"In a quite embarrassing turn of events, I was not able to garner the possession of my father's famed sword. I instead, to my shame, left wounded, missing an arm, and thinking about the young human girl who had been a hindrance of my getting to the Tessaiga. I then returned to the forest that I had just days before journeyed through and encountered a group of bandits who sought to attack me.

"After I disposed of their ragtag group," Sesshomaru smirked, "I was approached by a strange man who I later learned was Naraku in disguise. He offered me a human arm, in which a shard of the shikon jewel was embedded, that could supposedly help me wield the Tessaiga. I took his word and found Inuyasha again and challenged him once more for the sword. After another crippling battle where my new arm had again been torn off and I was left with no option, I fleed the scene once more.

"I returned to the Palace of the West to seek further knowledge and recover from my time away."

Sesshomaru sighed as he turned his whole body around to face Katsuro. "That, my son, was my personal battle with wanting more but getting less, and where I began to learn the important lesson in life, which you will later come to learn. I was stuck in my own inferior form of paradise, everything I had grown to crave but could not attain mocked me in the face of adversity. That, son, is what I would understand Limbo to be."

Katsuro shook his head not completely understanding. "Was it because of your greed?"

"No," Sesshomaru started, "though my greed and pride certainly had an existential weight upon my consequences, it is the fact that I lacked certain 'virtues' that left me ill-appeased and not at all gratified."

"So what stage is next?" Katsuro questioned. Sesshomaru pivoted back to look at the dark ocean with its heavy waves.

"The next stage is something that swayed this Sesshomaru back and forth, like the harsh waves in this ocean. A constant push and pull I could never ignore from the time I was a at least a century and a half old. Imagine being in the ocean with the harsh waves rocking your body to and fro, and no land around to keep you from going under. That is the embodiment of the restlessness of a person who is led purely by desire for the fleshly purposes.

"The next stage, my curious son, is Lust."

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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