It took what seemed an eternity for Haku to convince Lin that she needed to stay there to look after things while he was looking for Chihiro. It went against everything she was to wait patiently while someone she loved was in danger, but she knew tagging along would only make things more difficult, so she gloomily agreed to wait there. Ayame had vanished as soon as Lin had arrived, before Haku could do anything to stop her; she knew what she was up against and he could easily catch up with her. So the very moment Lin agreed he was nothing more than awhite streak across the sky.
The only clue Haku had about the direction they had gone was the faint smell of Chihiro's perfume, and even that was quickly fading. He knew he must hurry; he would never forgive himself if anything happened to either Chihiro or her mother. His eyes searched for any sign of either Chihiro or Ayame in the sky and on the ground below. He knew it was more likely that he would spot Ayame first, but he couldn't help looking for Chihiro.
Closing his eyes, Haku took a deep breath and concentrated on Chihiro, reaching out to her with his mind. He had only heard of things like this working but never really believed it, but it seemed the only chance he had at finding Chihiro. Suddenly an image of her flashed before his mind. She was clasped in the claws of Kusiro in dragon form; they were headed toward the entrance to the world of the living.
Once the image had faded from his mind he sped towards them, hoping to reach them before they crossed it. The landscape beneath flew by in a blur and the entrance loomed on the horizon, but there was no sight of Ayame or Chihiro. As he grew nearer he saw the worried figure of Ayame pacing by the door.
"They have already gone through haven't they." Haku stated more than asked, knowing somehow that he had just barely missed them.
"Yes, you must hurry." Ayame said fretfully. "I cannot follow them through. The two worlds are not meant to cross over. You must bring her back before she loses her wings."
An impatient breeze pulled at his legs, and with an impatience to match he let it lead him back to the world of the living. Sifting back into his dragon form he sped away after them. Bright light and softly rustling trees met him as he burst through the door but high above was a charcoal streak with something precious clutched in its claws and a sparse but steady stream of soft white feathers.
As he shot into the sky he was enveloped in a cloud of living paper that had once attacked him. Rather than trying to harm him they sped ahead of him on a gust of wind. A faint smile touched his lips, it seemed Zeniba couldn't help but meddle in other peoples affairs.
The living paper swarmed the dark dragon, slicing the flesh of his legs. Kusiro twisted and writhed to escape but nothing seemed to help, they were intent on their purpose. In all his thrashing about, his clasp on Chihiro loosened and she managed to slip free. She spread her wings but they were still too weak to hold her and she began her plunge to the ground.
Before Chihiro could even think to scream she was caught in another set of claws, beautiful white ones instead of the grey. Haku set her gently on the ground before surging back into the sky towards the cloud of paper. Claws clashed as the living paper began to crumble into nothing. He knew this meant their time was running out.
Haku knew that there wasn't enough time to settle things properly; he and Chihiro had to get back soon. He swooped quickly into the sky only to charge back down, whipping his tail across Kusiro's face leaving him unconscious. Being trapped in the world of the living without his powers with a short mortal life to look forward to would be adequate punishment for Kusiro.
As Kusiro's body hits the ground with a thud, Haku landed long enough for Chihiro to jump on his back before he sped towards the spirit world. He could feel Chihiro's grasp slipping as they neared it. He burst through to the spirit world and didn't stop until he had reached the bathhouse.
Gently, he placed her on her bed, but she was unconscious by then. Everyone crowded into her room but all they could do was wait. Once Haku was back in his human form he sat on Chihiro's bed and pulled her into his lap, waiting for what would come.
Sign up to rate and review this story