Princess Mononoke Fan Fiction ❯ The Chronicles of Princess Mononoke ❯ Intensity ( Chapter 17 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

“You never been here before, have you?”
“Where are we Sasuke?” Ashitaka and Sasuke continued to walk side by side as they slowly paced themselves down this lonely lit hallway of candles, with Rhyolite still striding in front of them both. Ashitaka was still probing about this strange place he ended up after he thought he died from the macabre of the Hunter's Moon. But his thoughts were half distorted by the girl who was walking in front; Rhyolite. Her presence and body language intrigued him; especially the way she reacts with others around her, it was as if she was acid that can easily corrode another person's skin. Shrewd, that's what men say about women like her. Ashitaka hate it when men defile their sovereignty, their privileges. Yes, he shows respect to women, but with Rhyolite, he senses something, that seemed more than skin deep.
They all then reached up to a slide door that was shut. Ashitaka was still prying on where he was; where he was taken to within the middle of the night, dragged in by a mysterious hand that took him to a secreted room. Just where? Rhyolite reached up to the door as she pressed her hand against the wooden side, she slowly turned her head to both Ashitaka and Sasuke, but mostly the young prince. And then, she lowly spoke…
“The Other Side.” Ashitaka was still embezzled by what she meant, so then Rhyolite unhurriedly slid open the door, and saw…what dreams looked like.
The prince's eyes gazed at the silver stars glistening above the silken black velvet sky rippling sheets away within the invisible dancing wind. The butterflies flickered off sparkling metallic dust that floated in mid air whilst slowly drifted away into the thin. Ashitaka smiled and laughed silently with delight, as he never saw anything so surreal, so, vibrant and powerful yet tranquil. Then, he saw the river flowing turquoise liquor reflection from the Hunter's Moon. It was actually there. The prince then pointed up at it with surprise.
“What….?” He muttered to himself.
“I pulled you in from there.” Sasuke answered his silent question. Ashitaka turned as he stared at him with a small chuckle drawn from his lips. He carried on being mesmerized by the vivid view of this new world he entered. The rivers flowed peacefully near the banks of the path where it was laid right in front of his feet in a straight line. The water seemed lucent enough to see what swam beneath its surface. Ashitaka became gaped by what he saw; Fish. All colorful and scaly, five times it size. The skin echoed the moonlight off their fins and back as it made slow steady movements streamlined with the water. The path he walked on was pure fresh grass as green as nothing he had seen brighter than before. Dragonflies as small as a finger swiveled and played with the breeze, with then snowy Dragons soared across the midnight sky as patches of translucency painted on their pelt, along with wavy horns stiffened on their heads, yet they showed innocence and serenity in their marble eyes. Ashitaka couldn't help but stop moving, and encircled around himself, as he saw the flowers of gem and crystal shatter and reproduce elegantly, as then the broken fragments levitated up into the sky, to become more stars above. All sorts of colors hypnotized Ashitaka. Never once he thought that this was a dream. The truth was, it was dream on one side, and reality on the other.
“Ashitaka?” Sasuke stared at the dozy prince for a moment, and then made a measly tap on the cheek, which made him snap his yes a little and looked at him.
“You were dozing away for a moment.”
“I was?” Rhyolite stared at Ashitaka for a moment and drew a smug look upon her lips as she smirked a little.
“Newborn rookies.” She muttered under her breath. Ashitaka was still hypnotized by this magical globe he entered mysteriously. Sasuke was either acting like he had seen this all before and he got irked with it, or that it was just that the vivacious colors had made him cringe inside and that he suffers to break free.
“Can we go now?” Ashitaka then stared at Sasuke with a small tinge of distraught.
“Why? Don't you like this place?”
“It's just…” The Kira sighed in sorrow in a small amount, but refused to show any emotion. “…it's just…nothing's normal.” He then walked away from the prince as he became tepid of this place.
“Nothing's normal? What does he mean?”
“It means HE want's to be normal.” Rhyolite decided to answer his question in a low-key tone. “I thought you would know that since you stuck by his side for quite some time.” Ashitaka stared at her almost as if she was a stranger, which truly he felt she was to him, only with a secret interest into him.
“He's fine the way he is.”
“Do you really think that?”
“Yes.” Rhyolite stopped talking and stared deeply into his eyes once more.
“Tell me again when he begins to turn.” She then walked away from him like Sasuke did, as her dark multi hair gently danced in harmony with the summer breeze.
“`When he begins to turn.' What does that mean?” Ashitaka questioned himself once more, only without a reply from either the mystifying girl or Sasuke.
Hours had passed and minutes are gone, but the Hunter's Moon still remained high in the sky; it was as if it was always night here.
“Do the nights always seem so long here?” Ashitaka asked Rhyolite with curiosity.
“They do, but the days are much longer here.” She then carried on walking on the path of fresh prairie. He slowly continued to stroll, but then he looked up at the silver stars; they lit up gently, glowing brighter and then dimmer with every star he passed under; like they were just helping him see where he was going. Although the sky was velvet black, it somehow seemed bright every time you looked up; it was beautiful.
They then reached up to a forest, glazed with moonlight shimmering off the dark emerald leaves as some of them parted from their home branches and danced their way down in the deepened twilight. The trees of giants stood and spread tall and boldly within the height of their limits, and the gaps between them were divided, but never too far away.
Ashitaka still was amazed by this overlooking view of the woods.
“Well…aren't you coming?” Rhyolite interrupted his observation with a flicker of his eyelids and a deep breath intake as he nodded politely. They then entered into the concave woodland. Within its bold walls, it didn't seem too different from San's forest, only more, glowing and tranquil. But still, Ashitaka was in the world where immortals would live; of course the view would be beautiful. Immortals are only born when they live for a purpose; to guard the human world from any eerie activity from any other malicious super naturals. And yes, they too hate humans themselves, but the mortals are the dominant claimers of the earth, and it's their duty to protect the globe they live in, and to learn and reflect on their mistakes. So the people with never-ending age expectancies live in secret; to not tamper with the human world too much, for them to also live in peace.
Ashitaka carried on walking, staring his bulging eyes at the leaves that spiraled and roofed over the carbon sky, yet the stars continued to shine through the gaps; revealing a beautiful sparse outlay of pretty lights in a circle pattern. The out ahead of him, he saw one gigantic tree, its old bark stood bold and stiffened to the ground, and its bob-style foliage grew dense within its area across the sky, but in the middle was an enormous knot in the middle about the size of a five year old to be precise. All three of the young immortals then stood about a metre away from the tree.
“Why are we standing in front of a tree?” Sasuke irritably asked out openly, when then Rhyolite scoffed at him under her breath with displeasure. But then she slowly walked up to the tree; right in front of the knot, and Ashitaka couldn't believe what he saw, again. The knot on the tree began to grow and infest bigger and bigger, and afterwards, it then developed a hole as it swirled out larger and larger, when then the it began to mould out a hole; big enough for someone to get through. Ashitaka saw what was inside the hole; it was black and empty, life no life would ever venture inside. He began to feel a little weary of the tree; thinking about what lied ahead of him. But Rhyolite refused to go scarce, as she then boldly walked up to the tree and set herself inside; she stared at the other two men behind her and scoffed.
“It's not going to bite your heads off.” She snickered cynically as the thick shadows endured her when she strolled further and further away from them.
“Let's go.” Sasuke implied to Ashitaka as he ambled on ahead and entered inside the bark of the tree. The prince was still carrying a doubting look upon his face. “Well come on.” The tiger stripes urged him on when then the prince finally walked up, but only slowly, inside the tree.
It was way much larger when he entered inside. He felt the hollow wind echoing the distance that could reach forever. Is this what it was like inside a tree? He wasn't sure, but in the immortal world, it seemed nearly anything was possible. The substantial darkness blurred his vision as all he could see was black. But then, he sharply turned his head behind him as he saw the hole closing it self up; blocking out the moonlight from inflowing into the tree. He then heard his breathing get heavier as they pass through his ears. His tension span was rising now; anything could happen in the dark. He couldn't hear the footsteps from either Sasuke or Rhyolite; the tension was increasing into his blood. A ringing alarm sounded in his ears, as it increased louder and louder…and louder…and louder…
Suddenly, a firm grip on his right harm made him grunt a little and shudder from the tightness of it, when then he heard someone else's breathing near his neck.
“I don't understand; why would an immortal be scared of the dark? Well you are a newborn anyway.” Rhyolite's deep voice made Ashitaka calm down slightly, as then he saw a light, very high up above, began to lighten up the room, when then the glow beamed gently inside the tree, where he saw surreal patterns of auburn and timber in long wavy styles, and roots inside that were crooked and twisted that could form platforms up and below height. Ashitaka was quite amazed, yet again, but Sasuke still bored it.
“This is my hideaway tree.” Rhyolite explained the location of where they were.
“But…why couldn't we stay outside?” Ashitaka decided to pick up the question, as then Rhyolite's eye turned gradually towards him, with a small sense of coolness in her coffee-rich iris. Ashitaka wondered a little, when then he heard a low boom from outside of the tree cavern; he gasped silently as he piercingly looked at the closed entrance.
“Do you hear that?” Ashitaka turned his head back to Rhyolite and nodded slowly. “That's the sound of the giants that take the dominance of the night; they take care of our environment whilst we sleep, until we wake up and they sleep.”
“Why can't we see them?”
“These creatures aren't as intelligent as us; they will kill anything that seems as a threat to them, so we stay quiet and hide within trees; the place where they will always protect.” The low booms continued to rumble deeply outside, as if they were warning alarms to get every immortal into their shelters to sleep. Sasuke looked profoundly around the walls of the tree; it was dimmed, but at least it was dry and very warm. “We will rest here tonight.” Rhyolite quote firmly spoke that echoed the atmosphere. Sasuke then looked down from his chest as he felt something prickling him. He pulled out a long arrowhead jade crystal attached to a rope of threads around his neck, and remembered how he was given it.
“Wear this for me.”
“Motoko, I don't believe in this stuff.”
“Then believe in me. It will protect you from malevolence. And when we meet again, you can return it. When we meet again I will be back to protect you.”
“I still don't believe, but I'll wear it for you.” He lowly spoke to himself.
Then, she was found throwing away scraps of broken timber, to revealing some form of pelts. She held out three blankets to the male pair. “These are for you.” She chucked one of them to Sasuke and then to Ashitaka, as then they spread they blankets out widely and spread the creases out.
A few hours had passed; the lighted was at a low navy blue glow that entered into the atmosphere. It let off a cool ambiance in the air as the three slept peacefully.
But Sasuke didn't.
He just kept tossing and turning, spreading the sheets of the pelt over and over again; dragging it towards his chest and then throwing aside as he flung his body over. His fringe stuck and dampened against the sweat that trickled down his face. Could it be a nightmare? No. If it was a nightmare he would be screaming out in horror. It looked more as if it was another headache. Similar to before? It could be. More grunting voices came out within Sasuke's deep throat when he gritted his teeth from an ache that couldn't be identified. But then a quite loud mutter entered out as he then raised his upper half up and crooked his back to rub his forehead with his hand. His hard sigh brought out a sign of depression as he staggered a little from the deep pain in his mind.
Rhyolite opened her eyes slowly but refused to make any sound or whisper. She gradually turned her head towards Sasuke out of pure silence, as he observed him rubbing his forehead over and over again; she saw the sweat drops linger from his skin, his teeth gritting barely, and his fingers clenching onto the pelt tightly. Her brows lowered into a stern and low expression, with her eyes staring deeply at the Kira. But then, Sasuke took a deep gasp, and sharply turned his head towards Rhyolite, but she was found back in her sleep. Ashitaka was still soundless like the long hours that had passed. He took out another deep sigh, and dropped his body back on the pelt, as he tried to sleep once more before the dawn rises in the next day.