I used to think that I could rely on my own power to conquer every obstacle in my way. I used to think that my skills as a martial artist trained in judo, jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, and karate would be enough for me to survive. However, time and time again, I have been proven wrong because I have my family who have always stood by my side and have helped me keep me well grounded should pride invade my code of honour and, most especially, my code of brotherhood. Whenever I fall, they would always help me rise back at my feet. Whenever they are down, I would do what is possible to encourage them to never surrender. Although I have vassals and wards at my side as The Lord of the Western Lands, that title, let alone my strength as a warrior, would be insignificant if I did not have my family beside me. These people who I am proud to call my family and not just allies and friends are Ginta and Shunran whose good humour always make me feel a sense of joy in simplicity, Shuran and Hakkaku whose loyalty I can never discard, Ayame whose valour should never go unscathed, and, most of all, Inuyasha whose strength inspired me to always work side by side with him as the co-leader of The Splendid Seven, a fellow dog Yokai warrior, and, most importantly, my brother.
My dear youngest adoptive brother Ginta and my little sister-in-law Shunran have a brand of humour and charm that make me understand that there is more to my life than just glory and conquest and that I can enjoy life’s simple pleasures when I am not about to attack an oppressor. They have also done really well for themselves as a couple who have their family to look after and have been our family’s source of light, kindness, and happiness. Even I know that my life would be meaningless without Ginta and Shunran to remind me of how fortunate I am to have naturally kind, selfless, and positive people stay by my side.
I consider my younger adoptive brothers, Shuran and Hakkaku, to be the loyalest, most attentive, and most understanding of my brethren. I have seen them go from strength to strength and persevere with all of their being to the point where abandoning them would make me the most dishonourable and most atrocious person in the world. Shuran’s physical strength and boundlessly loyal heart have kept me well protected from all perfidious harm. Hakkaku’s enthusiasm and energy have kept me alive in my dour days, and I only wish the best for him. Therefore, I will do what I can to stay loyal to them as they have stayed loyal to me.
By far, the family members I consider to be the greatest people in my life are without a doubt Ayame, who I am most proud to call my sister-in-law, a great wife to Inuyasha as well as a most valuable member of the family, and, of course, Inuyasha, who I am most grateful to call my brother. They have done greatly in challenging every single aspect of me as an individual, as a warrior, and as a family member, and I have grown stronger because of them. I am even just as proud and happy to see them be the unconditionally loving couple that they have always been, especially when it came to seeing how my children and their children have grown to be the strong warriors they aspired to be. I am going to continue to support their every endeavour as a couple, and I will always be grateful to them for helping me reach my full potential.
I always knew Ayame was not just good for my brother by flesh and by blood. She was excellent for him. My grandfather-in-law knew it. Father knew it. And both of my mothers knew fully well that Ayame was going to be a great wife for Inuyasha. Her fierceness in battle, her combat prowess when she puts her iron punches and her asteroid-like kicks to work, and her unparalleled determination are what make her a warrior worthy of admiration on my brother’s side and worthy of all of my respect. I should know because she is one of my personal favourite sparring partners in Tae Kwon Do, judo, kenpo, and jujitsu. Aside from her great physical strength, she radiates with an inner and outer beauty that no queen could ever compare her to and is one of the most courageous, most self-sacrificing, and most dedicated souls I have ever met and had the pleasure of calling my sister-in-law and my brother’s loyally wedded wife. Despite the fact that Ayame has been married to Inuyasha for nearly twenty-six years now, it almost seemed like yesterday that she had sentiments for me when she was a lot younger, although it was nothing more than just a fleeting crush. Sure, the prospect of having her as my wife might have brought more political unity between The Western Lands and The Northern Yoro Tribe, but I knew Ayame would not have been totally happy with me as her husband, given the many occasions she attempted to make herself more presentable than she thought she was. My most fatal mistake if Ayame had been my wife would be depriving her of any agency as her own warrior and her own fighter, thus making her gain the sole title of being The Lord of the Western Lands’ wife and nothing more. She never deserved to be submissive, for she always had her own mind, her own heart, and her own soul which she had used incredibly well, especially when she called me out on my selfishness and my condescension to those I used to believe were beneath me. I could at least acknowledge how much she has inspired me to look at the bigger picture and look beyond the surface. Seeing how much happier and more at ease Ayame has always been with Inuyasha, I always did my best to ensure that they love each other unconditionally, stay strong for each other with all of their heart, and stay true to themselves. For that, I will always champion Ayame as a loyal sister-in-law and a true warrior who never backed down from a fight.
I cherish Inuyasha as a fierce, valiant, and passionate warrior who always gave more than one-hundred ten percent in everything he committed himself towards. His physical strength more than compliments his drive and determination, and I am just as thankful to my grandfather-in-law and all of the wolf yokai warriors for making Inuyasha the powerful yokai warrior he aspired to be and the man I am most proud to call my brother with all of my being. As Inuyasha and I grew from boyhood to manhood, I have seen him cut his own path as the leader of the Northern Yoro Tribe and a truly formidable warrior someone like me who is the Lord of the Western Lands can salute and honour as a champion. His mighty physical strength and his unparalleled combat prowess are worthy of aspiration, for I can attest to the several bouts I always had with him in wrestling, kickboxing, boxing, and jujitsu. I also thoroughly enjoy the weightlifting sessions we have been having, with our personal favourite ones being bench presses and deadlifts. Overlooking his strong headlocks, bone-shattering bearhugs, and, of course, his meteor-like bodyslams that still do take me some time to recover from because of their impact, he has always been encouraging, steadfast, and brave not only as a warrior but, most of all, as my brother. I might have been envious of how greatly Inuyasha’s muscles developed during his tenure with the Wolf Yokai Warriors, especially those of the Northern Yoro Tribe. However, seeing him be the strong, handsome, and powerful Yokai warrior he was and will always be whose bulging biceps could crush various demons’ heads definitely challenged me to be just as physically strong as him and made me really proud of him as my equal. Furthermore, it is a great pleasure for me and him to transform into our full Yokai forms whenever we head into battle because every headlock, bearhug, back-breaker, and bodyslam perfectly complimented my series of punches, kicks, chokeholds, and flips. Our victory roars have also shown our enemies that Inuyasha and I are brothers first and Yokai warriors second. We have also made it our duty to transform whenever danger occurred, thus making me accept that I would never use my strength for self-fulfilling purposes. I am very proud of Inuyasha, and I will always champion him in all of his endeavours as a strong Yokai warrior, the leader of The Splendid Seven and of the Northern Yoro Tribe, Ayame’s husband, and my brother for life.
It goes to show you that I would be nowhere without my younger adoptive brothers Shuran, Hakkaku, and Ginta, my youngest sister-in-law Shunran, my dearest sister-in-law Ayame, and my younger brother Inuyasha, for they have made me the strong warrior I am today. I would consider myself the world’s biggest fool to ever abandon them, and I will do everything in my power to help them stay as strong and as formidable as ever. As co-leader of The Splendid Seven and Lord of the Western Lands, honour and integrity are in my blood, and I share that with my family who I hold nearest and dearest to me. That is one promise I will never break.