Back in the days of gods and demons, there existed a princess of spirits. Her name was
Moro, the Wolf goddess of the Shishigami forest, gazed down upon the forest she was destined to protect. Of course, the humans didn't call the forest 'The Shishigami Forest.' No, Moro's lips turned upwards in a snarl as she thought about the loathsome creatures. No, they called it the 'Forbidden Forest' and the Shishigami was the Forest Spirit. Moro closed her eyes in exasperation. What could she expect? After all, they were just humans.
A few days ago, the noisy presence of humans had echoed throughout the forest and their vile stench filled her lungs and caused the feeling to retch. Atop of the boulder leading into her den, Moro's eagle-like eyes scanned the forest, searching for her lifemate. He had not yet returned from hunting.
Being particularly irksome, Moro restlessly stood up and leapt down onto the sleeping part of her den and paced around. In the far off corner, two wolf pups snored incessantly, their miniature paws thumping. Moro stared at her pups for a long time. She was worried about their safety; would they grow up fast enough to evade the humans when necessary? Moro mentally chided herself for thinking such an outlandish thought like that. She needn't worry about those pathetic life forms for several reasons.
Her soft yet callused paws silently padded across the stone den as she sat down on her haunches just outside the den's entrance. The humans were horribly stupid; they would never have the wit to come look for the wolves up here. Besides, Moro closed her eyes as her body heaved with a giant sigh, the wolves were gods. Enormous gods to be exact, as Moro smirked a wolfish grin.
Moro's ears stood erect at the top of her elegant white head as her two tails swished impatiently. Her mustard yellow eyes glowed in the dark as she stopped moving, listening intently to the forest surrounding her. She heard the kodama making their odd clacking noise in the east. Down in the south, she heard the squeals of the boar tribe. Over in the north, Moro heard the trees cry out in agony as they were being torn down by those irritable humans. Moro scrunched her eyes tight as a pang of torment shot through her heart. Then, the emotion of rage swept through her as her yellow eyes blazed and they snapped open. Her mate was up there in the north, trying, it seemed in vain, to save the trees.
Leaping to her feet, Moro stole one last glance at her cubs sleeping soundly in the den and made the decision to help her mate. She leapt off the edge of her den and blasted north.
Moro felt the cool wind whip through her fur as she sped towards the humans and her mate. A blind blood rush to her head propelled her forward with more ferocity.
The pungent odor of her lifemate filled her nostrils and she urged her paws to move faster. She finally entered the clearing with an ominous growl and leapt to her lifemate's side. He was in front of a myriad of trees, dripping blood in various places and snarling menacingly at the humans. Moro stole a swift glance at him and dug her claws into the ground feeling the fresh life under her paws.
There was a group of about twenty humans scuttling about in front of them, some with fear, others with rage. Moro leapt into the middle of them thus scattering them in many directions. She moved like a lightning bolt, swift and precise, her jaws clamping shut on anything that moved. It was then she heard the yelp of agony.
Moro fearfully whipped her head around to her mate. She saw him stumble and collapse on the ground writhing in agony. Her keen eyes caught an arrow tip sticking out of his chest. Normally an arrow alone couldn't kill a god, but since her mate was somewhat sickly and already greatly wounded.
Moro snarled viciously and she inhaled the air deeply, catching the scent of the arrow shooter. It was a female and out of her range. Moro roared and fury and turned to her mate. Her pupils contracted as she saw a pair of humans cradling something, slinking along her lifemate's body. With a quick bound, Moro was at her mate's side and baring her teeth at the bothersome creatures.
She could sense their cowardice. That only added to the flame already burning hotly in her chest. The alarmed human female screeched and threw a sack at Moro's clawed forepaws. They fled. Moro dug her claws into the earth and was about to leap after them when she heard an almost inaudible cry. Shoving her enormous snout into the human bundle, Moro's eyes contracted as she moved the covering away to reveal a human baby. A girl.
The forest was silent now, excluding the smell and crackling of the burning flame engulfing the trees. Her dead mate lying close nearby, Moro's eyes softened as the child looked up innocently at her. For a second, Moro's eyes narrowed. The child's own parents had done this to her! The impudence! Moro growled and stopped instantly as the baby began to cry. Her tongue came out and careened the child until it was fast asleep. Moro looked down at her lifemate in sorrow. The arrow shooter will pay, Moro thought as she picked the child gently up in between her jaws and slowly trotted off to the sacred pool of the Shishigami.
The kodama stood clacking their miniature heads as Moro lay the child down on the cool grass. When Moro found the plant she was looking for, she carried it over to the baby. Moro knew what this child was. The way the baby looked at her showed strength, courage; features of a wolf, not a human. Yes, Moro thought as she applied reddish tattoos to the child's face with her sleek snout, this was a wolf trapped in a human's body. When this cub grew up, she shall make the humans pay for what they've done. Moro added the finishing touches to the child's face; the cub opened its enormous, naïve eyes full of shimmering blue. Moro smiled a wolfish smile and licked the cub's face tenderly. She was her cub now and she would take her under her claws and teach her how to be a wolf. The girl was now...
Princess Mononoke: Ponderings
Part one: Moro
Disclaimer: I do not own 'Princess Mononoke' or any related works. This story is purely fiction and the wolves' names and San's past are not entirely true.
Moro growled softly as her three children's scents rushed through her nostrils. That Eboshi woman shot her in the chest. She grunted softly as she slowly rose on her two forepaws as her daughter, San, came rushing up to her and began to clean the wound, sucking the infected blood in her mouth and spitting it out. Her youngest son was poking around in the water, sniffing intently for something.
Moro smiled, as she was proud of her daughter taking a more physical role against the humans today. Everyday she was filled with more remorse for the arrogant beings, what with them destroying even more of the forest. A disgusting stench filled the air and Moro's nostrils flared as looked across the river and growled.
Immediately San whipped her head around and stared at the source of the smell. A human male quickly climbed to the top of the rock. Moro narrowed her eyes at him as he spoke. She could understand him well enough; she just didn't care for what he was saying. She caught the name Ashitaka and that he was looking for the Shishigami, but something else bothered her. The boy was looking at San oddly. San, being naïve about human emotions in that way, glared right back. Moro could sense something about that boy, and something else when he San stared at each other...
Moro gracefully got up to all four of her paws and started walking into the forest. She didn't want her daughter to be hurt by the humans ever again; to know the torture of human love. And just love, in particular. San leapt onto her oldest pup and shouted at the young man to go away. Moro grinned wolfishly.
****************************** Later that night **********************************************************
Moro sighed as night settled over the forest. She had just sent San off to kill that Eboshi witch. She knew that San loathed every single piece of fur on that woman. She shifted her body on the cool boulder above their den. From over by the mountain area, she could hear the boar tribe of Okkoto moving in on the forest.
Snarling while she thought, Moro closed her eyes. The boars were a proud and utterly stupid race. They were growing weaker, smaller, and, less, bright, as Moro put it into nice terms. But that was the way with all the gods now. Her wolf pups were half her size and didn't have two tails. Moro sadly opened her mustard yellow eyes, piercing the darkness of the forest. The gods were slowly being wiped out.
Lounging up here on the boulder was what Moro enjoyed every day and night now. She knew she was going to die soon. The Shishigami was just keeping her alive for one more task. Moro shivered slightly as the breeze nipped her fur. It wasn't just from the cold Moro was shaking from. Moro knew that the war between humans and the gods were coming. The boars were going to start it. Moro shook her shaggy head. There was no reasoning with the boars; they were too stubborn. She grinned slightly. Moro wondered if that's were San got her fierce stubbornness from.
Her two tails twitched impatiently. It should not have taken San this long to kill Eboshi. After several more minutes of waiting, the scent of her three pups intoxicated her nostrils. Moro was happy that San was alive, even though she reluctantly had to accept the fact that when the forest died, so would San.
Her three children loped up to the den and below the boulder. Her two sons soon left to hunt. San stood staring at the moon for a long time.
'San,' Moro growled softly. 'What took you so long?'
San kept staring at the moon. Moro inhaled deeply.
' Why do you smell like that human we saw today?' Moro's growl grew more audible.
San finally looked at her mother. ' He saved my life in Iron Town. I took him to the Shishigami's pool.'
'You know that was a foolish move,' Moro reprimanded. ' Why would he, a human, risk his life for you?'
' I don't know and I was wondering if you knew.' San quietly said. ' Since you know more of the dirty-handed human tactics than I do.'
Moro narrowed her eyes for a mere second. She knew why he had saved her daughter's life. ' Why did you take him to the Shishigami pool?'
'I don't know,' San said wistfully.
' Go to bed, San, and you can check on him in the morning after the Shishigami has decided his fate.'
' Yes, mother,' San smiled up at her mother.
Moro herself looked up at the moon as San left. It was the one thing she had been dreading. A human had finally become infatuated with her daughter. A sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach told her that the Shishigami was going to save the human. Moro was going to have to make sure of that; Ashitaka was it? Yes. Moro snarled silently. She was going to have to make sure of Ashitaka's feelings for her daughter. Moro sighed as she mused at the moon. She was deathly afraid that San might be having feelings for Ashitaka, too.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The next morning, Shishigami pool ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
San had left early in the morning, not doubt eager to find out the Shishigami's decision. Moro walked through the brush to the Shishigami forest. There she saw San rising up from the familiar human, and a red elk. She turned her head straight to see the boar tribe heading into the clearing, also.
The boars demanded to know how the humans were alive and why they were there. Moro explained, but the boars were outraged. She was extremely relieved as Okkoto stepped into the clearing.
' Okkoto,' Moro growled. ' At last a voice of reason.'
Okkoto stooped over Ashitaka while San pleaded with him to spare his life. Moro knew what was going on inside of San, even if her daughter didn't. Human emotions, she ruefully thought as Okkoto sniffed Ashitaka, thus saying he believed Ashitaka's tale of fate of Nago.
' You know you cannot win against the humans,' Moro quietly growled.
Okkoto replied that he knew, but it would be a battle they would never forget. As they left the forest, Moro shook her head. Those insolent boars, she thought. Why couldn't they see that they were just setting themselves up for death?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~` Late that night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Moro exhaled softly as Ashitaka came out of their den.
' You could always jump boy; end it all,' Moro said. ' Once your strength returns, the mark will kill you.'
Ashitaka turned. ' It feels like I've been asleep for weeks. I had a dream that San was by my side, nursing me.'
' I was hoping you'd cry out in your sleep. Then I would've bitten your head off to silence you,' Moro growled more.
' It's a beautiful forest. Are Okkoto and the boars on the move yet?' Ashitaka ignored the threat.
' Yes, the boars are marching. The trees cry out as they die, but you cannot hear them. I lie here and listen to the pain and the forest and the ache of the bullet in my chest. And I dream of the day when I will crunch that gun-woman's head in my jaws.'
' Moro, why can't the humans and the forest live together? Why can't we stop this fighting now?'
' The humans are gathering for the final battle. The fire of their guns will burn us all.'
' And what happens to San? What is your plan? To have her die with you, too?'
' Typical, selfish. You think like a human. San is my daughter. She is part of the wolf tribe. When forest dies, so shall she.'
' You must set her free! She is not a wolf! She's human!' Ashitaka cried.
' Silence. Boy!' Moro snapped. 'How dare you speak to a god like that! I caught her human parent defiling my forest. They threw their baby at my feet and ran away. Instead of eating her, I raised her as my own. Now my poor, ugly, beautiful daughter is neither wolf nor human. How could you help her?'
' I don't know. But at least we might find a way to live.'
Moro roared with laughter. ' How? Are you planning to join forces with San and get rid of the humans?'
'No! All that would do is cause more hatred!' Ashitaka called back.
' There is nothing you can do, boy. Soon the mark will spread and kill you. Leave this place at dawn. Return, and I shall kill you.' She watched as Ashitaka silently stalked back to the den, with San.
Moro put her head between her paws as she heard their conversation. The boy did love San, after all. Maybe he was different...
****************************** Next morning *************************************************************
' You know that that boy wanted to share his life with you,' Moro softly whispered.
' I hate all humans!' San indignantly cried.
San buried her head in Moro's fluffy fur after they got through talking about the war between the boars and the humans. San was going to go help Okkoto. Her youngest son came trotting up to San, his pink tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth. He handed San a crystal dagger from his mouth. San looked genuinely surprised at the gift. It was, Moro sniffed the air to double-check, obviously from Ashitaka. She told her two sons to keep an eye on her daughter. She had to go to the Shishigami pool.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Several hours later ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Moro scrunched her eyes a body bounced off of her back and splash into water. Taking one whiff, she realized it was Ashitaka. She was lying here, saving the last reserves of her strength to bite off that gun-woman's head. Moro wearily opened her eyes. She realized that she must save San, instead.
After warning her sons to stay away from the Okkoto turned demon, her eyes flashed dangerously and she shoved her snout into Okkoto's head, her jaws furiously snapping through the demon hide, trying to find San. She had finally cupped her daughter in her jaws when she felt the Shishigami enter the clearing. As the magnificent god walked across the water, she called to Ashitaka.
' Ashitaka, can you save the woman you love?' Moro sighed as she accepted the fact that he truly loved her daughter.
Almost immediately, Ashitaka surfaced from the water and rushed and gently pulled San out of Moro's mouth. As the Shishigami arrived and looked at Moro she slowly blinked as she felt her daughter was now in safe hands.
Moro's body fell to the ground as her life slipped away from her. Or, at least she thought she was dead. Moro had no idea how much time had lapsed between her death and the time she opened her eyes, but she suddenly didn't care. That Eboshi woman was in her sights. She launched herself towards the woman and bit off her entire right shoulder. That was all before Moro slipped off into the world of the spirits, for there was a hidden reason why she hated Eboshi. Eboshi was that same woman many years ago that had released the bow that shot the arrow into the chest of her lifemate. Moro smiled as her life ceased and eternal bliss was laid upon her weary soul.
Part one is finished. I hope you like it! If you want more, all you need to do is nicely review! No flames, please!