Jaken began to tutor Rin not long after his master took her in; an offhanded comment about her lowly ignorant state had landed him with the task. He rather suspected Lord Sesshoumaru found the idea very amusing. That was no surprise, his master often amused himself by tormenting his poor servant, Jaken was only trying to do his best for his lord, hard as it was stranded out here in the wilderness--
Ahem. That is, Jaken was teaching Rin how to read. At least he didn't have to teach her courtly manners, although as Lord Sesshoumaru commented sometimes, he could have made a profession out of it with the way he lectured the girl on her behavior.
Rin was a quick, bright girl, and picked up reading swiftly. Writing was not so easily mastered, especially since proper brushes, ink, and paper were not easy to procure or maintain when one was living off the land, forced to scrape and scrounge and sleep on rocks, really it was quite a barbaric lifestyle--
Ah, no matter, Lord Sesshoumaru replied with a shrug. Demons had no reason to write to each other anyway. (He'd gotten a funny look on his face when Jaken had pointed out that humans wrote to each other quite a lot.) So as long as Rin could write her name, and her kana were legible, that was enough of that. Rin did insist strongly on being taught how to write Lord Sesshoumaru's name as well, and Jaken's, which was good of her. That seemed to give his master some pause, and he'd knelt down when Rin had asked and drawn the characters of his name in the fine silt with one long claw. How pretty, she'd said, and she'd traced them with her fingers, and afterwards repeated each stroke over and over on the night sky before she fell asleep.
Rin's lessons usually began in the evenings after settling down for the night. Jaken had started out with utilitarian stuff-- records and lists and things he kept because someone had to do all that for Lord Sesshoumaru, he was a great demon lord after all-- but Rin quickly mastered the meanings and sounds and became bored. Lord Sesshoumaru, who had been pretending not to pay attention, suggested that Jaken find something else to use. Jaken protested that he knew nothing about human scribblings, he had better things to do with his time than read silly fairytales anyway, but his master waved him away. I don't care how you get them, he'd said, just make sure it's something long and interesting to her so she won't complain.
Poor Jaken eventually procured The Tale of Genji and most of The Tale of the Heike. He refused to explain how or where he'd gotten them, saying Rin wasn't old enough to hear such horrible accounts. Lord Sesshoumaru said that was rubbish if Jaken was going to teach her to read war stories and tragic romances anyway, and that he was just embarrassed by the indignity of it all. It took Jaken a while to realize he ought to wonder how his master knew what those tales were about, but Lord Sesshoumaru merely replied that all stories were about love, death, or fighting, and Jaken should know that by now.
Lessons proceeded apace, and soon Rin could read aloud as Jaken minded the fire or took care of Ah and Un. Lord Sesshoumaru continued to ignore them, unless Rin stumbled over a difficult word or hesitated at a new character. Jaken tried his best to pay close attention, he really did, he didn't want to be reprimanded for not keeping a closer eye on the girl, but usually his master was quicker with the answer, and eventually Rin just asked Lord Sesshoumaru instead, whenever he was in sight. She wasn't making as many mistakes as before, in any case, and her speed was improving. His master was always the one who noticed that Rin was nodding off, though, and ordered Jaken to call it a night before she nodded right into the campfire.
Even so, sometimes Rin got tired of the paper stories, and turned her inexhaustible curiosity on Jaken. Jaken was a terrible narrator, however, Jaken was only concerned with the glories of his Lord Sesshoumaru, and Rin said that didn't make a proper story. So she asked his master if he knew any good stories, with demons and warriors and tragic princesses.
Lord Sesshoumaru looked dismissive, then thoughtful, and then something else Jaken couldn't name. He said yes, as a matter of fact, he knew a very good one, and it had all of those things and more besides. Once upon a time, you see, there lived a great demon lord, and he fell in love with a beautiful human princess....