(Reasons To Keep Living)
The forests around the growing town of Konoha are haunted. At night, there are sounds and shapes and lights and movements that make their way out of the thick curtain of trees; it is eerie and fearsome and beautiful.
If a man goes into the forest, he is never heard from again–or so it is said.
Good thing you are no man.
The stranger has travelled from far away lands, dressed in strange clothes and riding a long horned deer.
She comes in search of a cure for her brother and she knows she is in the right place:
Either it will be found in the town at the forefront of progress, or it will be in the forest of magic and miracles.
All your life you have been told to stay away from the forest. There are dangerous things in there, beasts and monsters and horrors–a good son would not make his parents worry so, just look at your brother, what an upstanding young man.
But they are too enamored by him to notice you, and you are ever so curious about what secrets are within.
When you are told to act as the stranger’s guide, you see an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream.
You’ve been to the town before–it’s your best kept secret, because if your father knew, he’d eat you, just as he’s always said.
You love the forest, of course you do, it’s your home: the cave where you and your father curl up together for warmth, the rivers where the otter clan chatter and play their tricks, up in the treetops the monkey clan howl and down below the boar clan stampede.
You love your home, but you want to see the world outside of it.
The kodama come out at sunset, when the Shishigami walks the forest and begins to transform; they watch and click their curious little heads, observing a phenomena that has happened daily for centuries and yet is still so breathtaking.
Sometimes, the fox boy joins them, head tilting in unison, mesmerized.
Sometimes, from the very top of the town walls, the second son can see the top of the Night Walker’s head breaching the canopy.
They both wait, though they don’t know it, for the stranger to arrive.
A/N: Out of order sections–they were written as I thought of them, sorry, and it seemed weird every time I tried to put them in chronological order.
I don’t know about you, anon, but I got very strong Princess Mononoke vibes from the prompt? Or was that just me? Regardless, new AU! 😀
… I might have turned Naruto and Sasuke into Disney princesses what with the whole “wanting to see the world outside my forest/town/castle.”