This is a bit late, and I'm sorry for that. I don't really get much time to write since my best friends mum had a baby and I didn't get Saturday to upload or write since we had to go out. But anyway, thanks to Thegirlfromthemoontribe and CancerTurtle (Damn autocorrect) for reviewing! Here are you're passes to Cookie Island.
Anyway, I do not own Okami and I need to get one of those Soul-binding contracts from Desi. Not as long as the last chapter, sorry about that.
"I thought you had perished for sure but I'm so glad your okay!"
Okay, so Sakuya thought I was her sister. Perished... Maybe the Ark? The little girl had said she saw wings on my head... No. I'm Azume Ally Astr, my older sister is Lola. My greatest fear is fire and I'm a gamer. Oh this has to be a dream!
"I'm sorry but I don't think I'm the person your looking for..." I apologized. The uncertainty in her eyes made me look away.
"I must apologize. I would like to reward you, but I'm afraid I haven't
the power." Leave it to Sakuya to change the subject quickly.
Wait a second.
"So I still get no weapon?"
"I'm afraid so, I can barely muster enough strength to make a flower bloom. Though my body stands firmly here within the confines of the village, my roots spread far and wide, protecting remote areas outside. These parts of me are known as
Guardian Saplings. They collect the praise and adoration that gives me
strength. The recent evil is eroding the Guardian Saplings... If this
continues, I will wilt away as well, and my power will vanish. Worse yet, the
dark power grows stronger with each passing day. Life as we know it will be consumed utterly in no time."
"Aw, man... This is gettin' heavy."
"Great and powerful Amaterasu! And dear Azume! Could I be so bold as to request your
assistance in rejuvenating these Guardian Saplings by lifting the curse that enslaves them? I shall mark the locations of nearby saplings on your map. I have grown tired... I haven't even the strength to speak now. I hope that my request has not fallen on deaf ears... Amaterasu... May the fresh scent of
flowers protect you always!"
"Bah... I'm always itchin' for a good fight, but... I sure don't wanna poke my nose into this mess! Still, I'm stuck with furball and scruffy here till I get all the brush skills... Anyway, Ammy's a god and all... What could possibly go wrong? Hey, did you listen to her, furballs?"
"You think I'd forget that conversation!"
"You get the rest of the brush techniques to save the world, and I'll steal and learn 'em! Yeah, that's the ticket! At any rate, let's start by following those marks on the map!"
"Whatever..." If I had my headphones music would be blasting into my ears right about now. But even if that were true I probably wouldn't be able to focus because I'd still be thinking about why Sakuya thought that me, a random person pulled into this mess would be her sister.
Sure, I knew that a character had the same name as me but spelt with an 'i' but she was a background character. I dismissed the thought as we entered Shinshu Field.
"Huh? You probably know this already, Ammy, but... This here is Shinshu Field, the most beautiful field in Nippon. At least it's supposed to be... But ever since that incident, I've been getting a bad vibe. We better watch where we're going. Let's pay
attention to the map as we push ahead."
We approached the first Guardian Sapling keeping clear of the Cursed Zone.
"Ammy, that's the first Guardian Sapling marked on our map! It's
supposed to be a place for travelers to rest and recuperate, but just look at it! It looks like it could fall over at any moment! This place is definitely
cursed from the looks of it! Places where evil has taken hold, luring monsters from far and wide, are known as cursed zones. But I've never seen one this big. It's withered all the plant life in the area, even the big tree! It'd take a monster with powers beyond even a god to do this! ... ... That tree's an offshoot of Sakuya. It protects nature in the area. Maybe the natural beauty here would return if we revived it... But how the heck could we do that, anyway?"
"Permission to face/plant," I whispered to Ammy.
"Permission granted!" She laughed and I immediately banged my head on the closest object, which happened to be a statue.
"Another statue? Has everyone here turned to stone? They must've been struck by some terrible curse. The only way to help them is to rid this cursed zone of evil."
I walked around the man since he was right on the edge of the cursed zone. I didn't think it would do much but I ended up in the cursed zone.
"Holy cow! This is bad! It looked like your regular old cursed zone from
back there... But the evil here is far worse close up! It would curse a normal person in a flash! I'm afraid it might even rob you of your power!"
"Are you saying that I'm not normal?" I asked since, well, I wasn't a statue.
"Well you did say you were weird in Kamiki," By now the cursed zone was feeling like fire on my fur. I hate fire.
"What does that have to do with me not being normal?! Weird is a good thing, strange is bad. And you Issun, you're strange!" I stormed out of the cursed zone and sighed in relief as the burning feeling disappeared.
"Let's stay far away from cursed zones. Far, far away," I collapsed on the ground and Issun bounced over me.
We continued on, dodging Demon Scrolls, to Hana Valley.
"Wait, wait, wait!" I skidded to a stop and ran over to Nameless Man, which I am going to call Norm for now. Don't ask!
"What just happened? I was out here chopping wood and communing with nature as usual, when I heard a loud rumbling like an earthquake from the
lake. Then a huge gust of wind blew up out of nowhere. I don't know what
happened next, but when I came to, it was like this. My art workshop was just across the stream there, but it up and vanished when this cursed zone appeared.
"The earth must be angry. All I want is to live with nature in peace, man. But now I can't. I noticed a figure running from the lake toward Kamiki. Whoever it was, man, I hope mother earth kept them safe." Norm then went back to chopping wood. I barked to get his attention.
"What's up, nature buddy? Curious about that cave? It's the entrance to a place called Hana Valley... the sight of an amazing waterfall.
"But monsters have moved in now. There's a trippy crystal ball that makes plants grow enshrined there. You'd think gardeners would be flocking here for it! Actually, not long ago that Susano guy went marching in there. It's weird. Normally, he runs away at the sight of monsters. And he hardly seems the type to try his hand at gardening. Anyway, it's bad karma, man. You could be attacked if you went in."
"My middle name is Karma!" I laughed at the pitiful joke.
"Really?" Issun asked.
"No it's Ally," I rolled my eyes, "Come on! Lets go get some bad karma!" I ran towards the cave without waiting for Ammy or Issun.
"You're so weird," I heard Issun say from the top of my head. Make that without waiting for Ammy.
"I'M WEIRD AND I KNOW IT!" I yelled in the cave to hear the echo. I laughed and threw Issun off my head, he bounced furiously after me.
I turned around to pull a face but right when I wasn't paying attention I ran into the gate thing that marked the start of Hana Valley.
"Ha ha!" I felt something like a pin swiping away at my leg. My only guess was that Issun was behind this.
"Stop trying to slice open my leg with your toothpick, it's not working," I pushed him away with my paw as Ammy walked up to us. She shook her head and we walked up the hill to the drunken imps crowded around a fire.
In basic terms:
We kicked imp butt.
We saw the start of what would usually happen after defeating monsters in a slightly bad-karma-inflicting place like this but the flowers shrivelled up and it went back to the way it was,"Huh? We got rid of the monsters, so why did the gods' power disappear? Guess the curse on the gods of these lands must be really strong. They can't intervene till we do something about this stagnant air."
We walked through the cave behind the imps campground fire and our the other side where we dug up another Stray Bead. What is that 3 out of 100?
"Hey, check out that tree! It's moving! Better be careful..."
I gasped as the tree threw its fruit at us. Without thinking I aimed a power-slash at the fruit, hitting it back to the tree.
"Azume! Did you just do what I think you did!? Did you use Power Slash to
hit the tree's fruit right back at it! Heh heh... It's wearing a taste of its
own medicine! Let's pass on by this creepy old tree while we can."
So after slicing some more fruit we made it to the main chamber-thingy wh-
"Really? The main chamber-thingy?"
(Shut up and stop breaking the god-damned fourth wall. I've already payed $1000 for it to be unbroken)
Where the yellow imp was introduced.
Basically the same as all other imps with giant drilling drum on its back. Drills underground and creates shock waves. You can see where it is underground due to dust clouds.
Except in real-life.
"Where is it?!" I yelled running around trying to spot the familiar dust cloud. Suddenly his head popped out of the ground in front of me. I jumped over it before he spotted me and power slashed him out of the ground. Ammy attacked him until he burst into flowers.
"Hm? What's all that racket? Oh, it's you, mutt and scruffy! What're you doing here? Go home! I already told you I'm not looking for apprentices. Anyway, Hana Valley is no place for a mutt like you. Beyond this point lies my secret training ground. It's the perfect place to hide - Er... I mean, to train! Now scoot! Be off with ya!" He swung his sword down between us and went back to the rock.
"Sure go and 'train' then Susano,"
Wow... Check out that wall painting. It's said that a crystal sphere that makes trees grow is enshrined somewhere around here. Based on this painting here, I'd say the rumour must be true. Still, something's not right. Don't you think there's something missing from this painting?"
"That would be the sun," I pointed out, drawing it in.
"What in heaven's name!? How did that happen? Well, now I can go hide - Er... I mean, now I can go train!
"What a strange place. Is this really the secret training ground Susano
mentioned? Speaking of which, where'd pops go, anyway?"
"Probably to go 'train'" I walked over to the tiny sapling in the middle of the room.
"What's up with this tiny sapling? Hm? I smell a faint scent like Sakuya's coming from this sapling!"
"That's just plain weird, Issun," I poked the bug and walked towards the spikes. Slashing them down I said, "I wonder how he got through these things without cutting them down."
We walked through the thin tunnel and into pop's 'training ground'.
"You... You foul beast! How did you get in here!?"
"Doesn't look to foul to me. Actually he looks cute," I stated at the sight of a bear sleeping on top of a crystal ball.
"You have some nerve sneaking into my private training ground. Now you
shall get a taste of my new secret technique!"
"Your "foul beast" looks like an ordinary sleepy bear to me, pops."
"Enough talk! My blade thirsts for battle! Here goes nothing! Susano-Style SUSANO!" He started going around the room slashing torches while yelling his name.
SU! Slash. SA! Slash. NO! Slash. SUSANO! Slash.
"Now for Susano-Style... Exploding
Implosion!" The bear woke up for a split second, before falling off the orb and going back to sleep.
"Hm? Aha ha ha ha ha ha! That'll teach you, you foolish beast! You're
no match for my new secret technique!" Ammy walked up next to Susano and looked at him. Susano looked from the beast to Ammy and back again before realising something.
He coughed, "Um... Uh... Rest in peace, foul beast. The great warrior
Susano condemns the offense, not the offender. Anyway, there are other monsters I must deal with! Aha ha ha ha ha ha!" And with that he ran off.
We eventually rolled the crystal ball up onto the altar and into the puddle. Not without the cursing of ball-pushing-physics of course.
"Wow, someone had a lotta time on their hands to think all this up. So
this WAS that sphere in that wall painting! I bet this sphere here is magic or something!" Issun said as the ball was pushed up into the air by the fountain.
Ammy drew the sun, the light focusing through the sphere and onto the sapling, making it grow.
"Hey, is this a Guardian Sapling!? It's all withered like the others. What the!? Who turned out the lights! Oh... It's another constellation!"
I drew in the missing stars and watched as Sakigami appeared before us,
"Ah... Amaterasu. Origin of all that is good and mother to us all... And Azume, lost but now found.
My gratitude for releasing my body from its slumber. Please accept my humble thanks in return for your great kindness. I am Sakigami, one of the triumvirate of flora gods known as the Hanagami. My brethren and I have been entrusted with the brush techniques known collectively as Greensprout. I now grant my humble power to you. Use it wisely." He turned into an orb and I felt the power rush again as it entered my body.
"That was Sakigami, one of the gods of flora! Apparently, the Bloom
brush technique can make flowers blossom simply by drawing a circle on a withered tree. Hey! Maybe it'll make the withered Guardian Sapling blossom, too!"
"I'm putting all my money on Yes, it will," I watched as Ammy made the Guardian Sapling bloom, causing a Divine Intervention and a chest to appear below the tree.
"Wow! Look at how everything grew back so quick! Sakuya wasn't kidding about the power of the Guardian Saplings! So this is what Hana Valley's supposed to look like... Seems Sakuya's Guardian Sapling has lifted the evil curse. I'm not sure how weak the gods have become recently... But it must've taken some wickedly strong power to suppress this magnificent Guardian Sapling.
Even if you are Shiranui reborn... We might be up against more than we
bargained for! Hey, Ammy! What about that withered Guardian Sapling outside? I bet you could revive it like you did this one! And by bringing that Guardian Sapling back to life, we might be able to lift the curse there, too! What are we waiting for? Leap before you think, right!?"
"I thought it was think before you leap," Ammy said.
"Not with us! We're twisting the rules!" I laughed and opened the chest, "Finally!" I yelled as my very own weapon emerged from the chest. It was shaped like a hula hoop and had thorn-like spikes coming off it. A small silver moon whirled in the middle. The blue-green weapon floated onto my back and spun left for a while before spinning the other way.
We continued back through Hana Valley and encountered the living trees again.
"That creepy old tree just won't give up. I've got an idea! Maybe you could hit its fruit right back at it! And while it's stunned, you could use Bloom to rid it of evil."
We did exactly what Issun said to the cursed trees, getting fruit and praise. Up until we encountered a patch of cursed grass.
"Whoa, Ammy, Azume, hold on! Hana Valley looks so much better now, but... What about this gloomy patch of grass? You can use the power of Bloom to fill it in. Just fill it with your brush, and Bloom will take care of it! There's just this one patch of gloomy grass. You can use the power of Bloom to fill it in. Just fill it with your brush, and Bloom will take care of it!"
I scribbled all over the grass and watched it bloom into a bunch of flowers with a scroll laying on the ground.
"There was a scroll here, too, eh? Ammy, this looks like the Travel Guide! It's an ancient record of a pilgrimage across the land. If this were the real thing, it'd normally be worth a fortune, but with all the copies out there, you probably wouldn't get much for it. At any rate, if you ever wanna read it, just ask. It may sound rather preachy, but it should at least help you in your travels."
A whole heap of bloomed trees and a Sun Fragment later we returned to Shinshu Field.
"OK! That's a new brush technique in the bag! Now, Ammy, Azume... Before you get all excited and forget what you're supposed to do, I have an important tip for you. Ready? OK then... If you ever forget what to do next, open the Fan Menu and then take a look at the Log Book. You'll find your Journal there! Your Journal is a record of the important dialogue you've heard. It shows all the important info ya have in that furry little head! Just dig up info the way I just showed you, and you'll be able to recall important things! Your adventure will be a lot easier if you remember this. Also remember, first
things first! OK, let's get going!"
"Like we'll ever use it," I mumbled to Ammy, it wasn't like we were not gonna play the game for ages and forget what's happening.
"Freaky... It looks like the river suddenly cleared up. I did see
Susano whizzing past here a little while ago... But surely it wasn't him who cleaned up the river, was it? Nah, that wouldn't make any sense. It's been ages since I've seen the river looking so healthy. That magical crystal ball must be working its mojo."
"Alright! The crystal ball has... Mojo!" I said the last word in a deeper voice to sound cool and then bolted off to the Guardian Sapling.
When I got there I waited for Ammy to bloom the dead-looking tree and stared at the prettiness of the Divine Intervention.
"Wow! That nasty cursed zone is completely gone! The plants and animals are back! And just feel that fresh breeze! Now that's what I call Great Divine Intervention! If you keep on dispelling the evil curse like this, I bet the gods of nature will lend you their powers!"
We all looked as Sakuya's tree Konohana bloomed and grew slightly.
"Hey, that's... That's Sakuya's tree, isn't it? Maybe she perked up
'cause you revived a Guardian Sapling?"
"Actually, we revived two," I pointed out.
"Well, whatever, we can stop by and see her later. I mean, we're kinda on a roll here. How about we take a look around Shinshu Field first? You've been gone 100 years, right Ammy? A good run around the place will do ya good!"
"Yay running!" I ran off again without waiting for Ammy or Issun.
"She's gonna end up hurting herself," I heard Ammy sigh as she followed me to Tama's hut.
Issun and Azume: Nope!
Ammy: *sigh* I will. Read and Review everyone