The Celestial Plain was once a great majesty to behold. It's beauty unparalleled by any other land in existence; it's purity and holiness an incredible feat even for a land of celestials. It was vast yet small and there was no tangible end. One could travel to the poles of it's dimension and still not find the origin of it's creation. Time and space worked differently there, creating a seemingly timeless vortex with no beginning and no end. Like a vacuum of only warmth and light.
Until Orochi brought hell upon the Plain.
With one calculated blow, all the evils to exist made a point of backing Orochi in his plans to destroy the Celestial Plain. Infinitely powerful and with his insatiable thirst for bloodshed, Yamata no Orochi brought the land of light to it's metaphorical knees. Once he arrived, he let loose a curse so powerful even most powerful celestials couldn't escape it's fearsome hold. Even then, the ones that escaped on the ark suffered and arguably more gruesome fate.
The massacre was like nothing ever seen by any God or celestial before. Hundreds upon hundreds slain by the beast in an instant, thousands upon thousands more left defenceless and vulnerable to Orochi's allies. The purity and peace, once that as unbreakable as diamonds, were shattered like glass by the mere taste of a sudden, incurable wrath. As it worked it's way through it left nothing whole and nothing untouched by it's ferocious rage and appetite for revenge. The Celestial Plain was irreversibly devastated by it.
Even after Orochi's departure from the light, a fierce darkness and untempered evil ran rampant throughout the land. No manner of celestial was safe and with no Gods to defend them the celestials were, in essence, left to be erased by the hell unleashed upon them. There was, however, one factor that neither the Gods nor Orochi managed to factor into the outcome.
Okami Amaterasu's return to her homeland with a friend from the Moon Tribe and a particularly determined Celestial Envoy back on the Earth she so cherished, restoring humanities faith in the Gods.
It was a tall order: restoring a land with no beginning and no end, no time and no space, no purity or peace left to work with. But she was the sun Goddess, and she had never given up thus far on her timeless journey so why would she then? With a few interesting new forms and a boundless amount of faith in the light she characterized, she set on a new quest in which she was to completely purify and restore the Celestial Plain.
But for all she was, Amaterasu could not be in two places at once, so when she realized that not only was a new darkness rising among the land of humans, that it was rising impossibly fast, she had to find an alternative. And she had to find it quickly.
With no other option, she found herself forced to turn to her young son for help. After weighing the options in her mind, she decided that there was simply no way for him to manage the task of purifying the Celestial realm by himself while she descended back to Earth in order to rid the world of evil once more. And so she found herself sat down across from that very son, explaining to him the duty he must fulfill in her stead and what to expect of Earth and her inhabitants.
"Does it make sense now?" Amaterasu asked, glancing out at the open sky above the vast aquamarine ocean they were sat in front of.
"Yes? It has for a while, mom." The young boy let the water run between his fingers before flicking a bit of water at his mother. "You're just worrying for nothing. I'm your son, after all, what could possibly go wrong?"
"Ah, Chibi, something you'll learn rather quickly on Earth is that the line 'what could possibly go wrong' will always precede something going wrong." The ashen-haired woman slyly used waterspout in retaliation, chuckling when her son shook his hair out. It was an image not unlike the form of a white wolf pup he would soon be taking on.
"That wasn't fair." He pouted briefly before sighing. "I just don't see what could possibly be so bad down there after you pretty much obliterated Yami." Amaterasu snorted.
"You certainly have much to learn, my son." He spluttered almost indignantly at that, but the kimono-clad Goddess was quick to silence him. "Evil never dies, Chibi. You see, there is a very delicate balance between good and evil. When one side upsets the other, chances are the balance will not have been restored after the first hurdle. Yami was the instigator of such a consequence, but what comes next? The ripples of his defiance will go on for years and years to come and even then, evil never truly leaves us. More specifically, it has always taken a liking to plaguing humanity like an everlasting curse."
"So what, there is no such thing as winning? All these battles I'm supposed to fight are meaningless? All the battles you fought were meaningless?" The pale boy frowned, not quite comprehending what it was he was meant to understand.
Amaterasu shook her head with a faint laugh, "No, that's not it at all. Our fights are what help the good to measure up with the evil. Have you ever heard the phrase, 'light cannot exist without the dark'?" He nodded his head in response. "Good. Then you must have at least a fundamental understanding of the fact the light and darkness, good and evil; they are two sides of the same coin. Without one, the other lacks a purpose. And if we had neither, Earth and beyond would be a sad, bland excuse for an existence."
The waves rolled in gently, splashing against the shore and up against their feet. The sun on the distant horizon began to set, turning the sky a brilliant myriad of reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows which bled up into violets, blues, and navy.
"So... what evil am I supposed to face down there, then?" He looked up at his mother, observing her reaction carefully.
"That I can't be sure of. Waka has seen visions of darkness but nothing that takes any sort of solid shape." She met his gaze evenly and smiled sadly. "There is no way for me to know what I am sending you down to. Whatever was born from Yami's husk will in no way be easy to stand against and it will certainly not be less of a challenge than the Dark Lord himself. I can only send you with good luck and pray you find friends on Earth that will accompany you on your journey as I did."
"You're talking about Issun, right?"
"Oh, not just Issun, I'm not that hopeless." Amaterasu ruffled her son's hair playfully. "There were many others. Sakuya will forever be one of my most trusted friends. And Susano and Kushi, for instance, were equally brave and honest allies of mine. The Sparrow Clan and the Canine Warriors have my trust as well, along with Princess Fuse. I often ran into Kokari and that dog of his, too. They made a curious pair, they did. Oki will always have a special place in my heart because for all that he did wrong he always pulled through and did the right thing in the end. And of course, Waka had his... oddly methodical approaches in trying to help me. But yes, I suppose Issun was my partner in crime while I roamed Earth." She smiled fondly at the memories, leaning back on her palms and staring up at the ever darkening sky.
"Do you miss it?" Chibiterasu asked quietly, watching the last half of the sun begin to disappear behind the vast blue of the water.
"Of course." She flicked some water over her feet as she answered, her smile turning somewhat wistful. "I would go back in an instant. But, my time there has passed for the moment. Maybe one day I'll go back, visit, explore some more, but for the time being I cannot abandon the Celestial Plain. If I did it would surely fall to ruin."
"Duty above all else, huh." The boy sighed quietly, turning his eyes up to the darkened sky to watch the familiar stars peek out from behind the few wispy clouds that remained.
"In this case, it has to be that way." The Goddess tilted her head to stargaze as well. "But one day, when all of this has been settled, we'll go on an adventure together. I promise."
"Pinky promise?" Chibiterasu held out his tiny finger and Amaterasu smiled tenderly down at him.
"Pinky promise." She folded her clawed pinky around his and gave it a light shake before drawing the moon high up in the sky to bathe the coast in shades of pale white and grey.
"Am I ever gonna be able to do that?" Her son peered up at the sky with something akin to awe reflecting in his eyes. It was incredibly endearing, the way he was unendingly impressed by her range in brush techniques. She smiled again.
"Some day, yes." Amaterasu paused briefly. "You may even surpass me in the future, who knows." She added, observing the boy's expression turn to shock.
"No way!" He exclaimed, eyes wide. "No one could ever be better than you, not even me!"
"Nobody? Really?" Amaterasu laughed at his gobsmacked expression. "Even I have a rival or two out there, Chibi. So do you, for that matter. It's just a matter of finding them."
"No buts! No one is at the top of the food chain around here, son. There is no such thing as 'the best' or 'the worst'." She stood up abruptly and brushed herself off. "Now I'd say it's about time we found a place to stay for the night, hm?"
"But I want to stay out." Chibiterasu huffed under his breath, clambering to his feet anyway.
"We'll come back tomorrow. And maybe even the next day, if you want." His mother assured him, patting his shoulder.
"And the next day and the next day and the next day?" He asked, smiling cheekily.
"And all the next days to ever exist." She grinned wolfishly, flicking him on the ear in response.
"Good!" He dodged away from her and ran up ahead a little, his bare feet pattering against the trail as he did.
She watched him pretend to draw moons in the sky, a fond little gleam in her eye. She was proud of the person he was slowly becoming, more proud than she ever thought she would be. She knew he could purify Earth in her stead, that much was set in stone in her mind. He was quick-witted, a fast learner, eager to help the cause, and incredibly selfless for one so young. There truly was no way he could fail if he found the right allies in time and managed to avert certain catastrophes from coming to fruition. She knew this better than anyone, and yet the inkling of doubt still nagged her.
Even while claiming that Chibi would be fine and that he could take on this little quest all by himself, she was really taking a gamble. The bet was her son's life and the wager was whether his destiny to vanquish the new evil plaguing Earth was fact or fiction. Deep in her heart she knew he was more than capable. She knew he was more than ready and more than responsible enough to take on such a massive task. Yet the uncertainty caused by the countless unknown variables still plagued those dark recesses of her mind where she feared for the worst.
If her son were to die down on Earth, alone and afraid, she feared she would never forgive herself for allowing it. She would hate herself for not seeing it coming and preventing it, or for not finding a better way. She would regret every step she had taken to making the decision that he could handle such a daunting mission. She would never be able to live the same way ever again.
But without any way to conjure the future, all that she could do was wait and see like everyone else.
All she could do was hope and pray for the best.
a/n: So I hope it was obvious that they're humanoid here. Mainly because I somehow got the idea in my head that while they're on the celestial plain they can take on their 'true form' (or any form really) while on earth they can't, so they traditionally take the form of a white wolf instead. Anyway. The end.