Disclaimer: I don’t own Spirited Away. Just re-posting the story by moviefan-92
Chihiro flew through the air, pulling No-Face along with her, Yu-bird following closely behind. From up here, the spirit world was beautiful. It reminded Chihiro of the times she flew on Haku’s back. She wanted desperately to fly with him again, only instead she wanted to fly beside him.
They were covering ground fast. Of course, that was to be expected since they didn’t have to walk. Yu-bird kept slowing them down though, unable to match Chihiro’s speed.
“Come on, Yu-bird!” she cried. “Can’t you fly any faster than that?”
Yu-bird glared at whatever it was No-Face had said, but was still barely able to keep up. Chihiro stopped to allow her friend to catch up before deciding to just take her in her arms to go faster. They were on a time limit. They had to get back to the bathhouse so she could complete her transformation.
But she still had enough time to observe the view. The spirit world was truly a gorgeous place, far more beautiful than the human world, which, she realized, had not been properly taken care of. Pollution, global warming, natural disasters, none of these were present in the spirit world. That was because the spirits had such a deep connection with the environment. They knew how to take care of their world and didn’t abuse it. And for those spirits that were bonded, they had to pay for the cruel way humans took care of their world. It was becoming more and more apparent as to why so many spirits disliked humans.
It was for this reason that Chihiro was able to forgive Yuteela so easily. She had been provoked. It was just as if someone provoked an animal. She understood this and forgave the forest spirit, just like she had forgiven Yubaba, Bôh, and No-Face after they tried to kill her 12 years ago. Now they were her best friends, well not so much Yubaba.
“Ah, ah!” No-Face cried, pointing at something on the horizon.
Chihiro looked and saw what appeared to be a beautiful angel flying a short distance away. The angel waved to them before disappearing behind a cloud. Chihiro smiled. The spirit world truly was a magical, beautiful place. Even the dangerous places, such as the toxic forest they were currently flying over, which Chihiro had no problem breathing in any toxins, was beautiful. If only humans could live in harmony with their world.
Chihiro frowned at the thought. She herself had once been arrogant about her former world. Coming to the spirit world had changed her in many ways. It had also changed her parents’ appetite, since they suddenly seemed to find something wrong with any food made from pigs, although they didn’t know why.
The thought had amused Chihiro in the past, but now, thinking of her parents, it was depressing. She had lost them in a way. True, they had moved away and they rarely saw each other, but she could always call them up if she wanted to speak with them, or right them a letter. Now they were separated by different worlds, and only death could reunite them. Well, that wasn’t exactly true. She could still return to the human world before she completed her transformation.
No, she couldn’t do that. She would miss her parents, but she knew that she couldn’t live without Haku. On top of that, the human world hadn’t felt like ‘her world’ since the first time she left it. She knew that she was doing the right thing by staying here, but there would be some things in the human world that she would miss; the most important thing being her parents. She knew that at one point in the future it would really hit her that she had lost them. It would be hard, but everyone went through that pain eventually, and she would have Haku and her friends to help her get through it. She wished she could at least say goodbye though.
No-Face noticed Chihiro’s sadness and grunted questioningly. Chihiro gave him a smile, letting him know that she would be all right.
“Don’t worry, No-Face, I’m fine.” She assured him. “Look, I can see the train tracks!”
The tracks were indeed in sight. Now it was just a matter of following the tracks back to Zeniba’s to drop off the gold seal and No-Face, since she didn’t want to risk bringing the monster to the bathhouse, although he would probably behave since the bathhouse wasn’t so full of negative emotions anymore, but better safe than sorry.
It was well after dark when Swamp Bottom was finally in sight. It shouldn’t take too long to reach the bathhouse from here. The moment Chihiro’s feet touched the ground the door to Zeniba’s house burst open and the witch flew out at light speed.
“Chihiro!” Zeniba cried, hugging the girl. “I was so worried! After I lost connection I feared the worst! Did she hurt you? Are you ok?”
Chihiro laughed. Zeniba was sounding just like Yubaba. “Everything worked out fine, Granny.” Zeniba opened her mouth to say something, but Chihiro cut her off. “And don’t you dare apologize; you did nothing wrong.”
Zeniba closed her mouth. It was then that she noticed something different about Chihiro. She had a powerful aura surrounding her, very much like a spirit. “Chihiro, what exactly happened after Yuteela cut us off? You seem different somehow, yet you’re still the same.”
Chihiro smiled and handed Zeniba the golden seal. “I found the spirit of life.” She said. Zeniba’s eyes widened, but Chihiro stopped the witch from questioning her. “Granny, I can’t talk now. The spirit of life agreed to help me, but I have to get to Haku as soon as possible to become a spirit entirely.”
Zeniba looked confused at first, but then a look of understanding crossed over her face. “So that’s why you looked like you were trying to outfly Porco Rosso.”
“You’ve never heard of the Crimson Pig?” Zeniba asked in disbelief.
Zeniba sighed. “Never mind. You go to your dragon, dear. You can tell me all about it when you literally have all the time in the world.”
Chihiro hugged the witch and kissed her cheek. “Thanks again, Granny. Thank you too, No-Face.”
Zeniba smiled. “Oh, you’re very welcome, dear. Would you like me to summon a Kittenbus?”
Chihiro shook her head. “No thanks, I’ll just fly. Bye guys!”
Wasting no more time Chihiro took flight again. Zeniba, No-Face, and the enchanted lantern waved to her and Yu-bird as they flew further and further away.
“Ah, ah?” No-Face asked.
Zeniba smiled. “Yes, No-Face, I’m sure everything will work out fine.”
As the sun began to rise, Chihiro put on a burst of speed. She wasn’t sure how much farther she had to go, but she knew she was getting close. She wasn’t entirely familiar with her surroundings so she turned to Yu-bird for confirmation.
“Yu-bird, we are almost there, aren’t we?” She received no answer. Looking down, she saw that Yu-bird was asleep in her arms. “Hey Yu-bird!” Her friend snapped awake with a screech. Chihiro chuckled. “Sorry, Yu-bird. I just needed you to take a look around to see how much farther we need to go; you are more familiar with the area than I am.”
Yu-bird looked around and confirmed that they were indeed almost there. Chihiro was starting to get a little nervous. She didn’t have a watch or anything, so she looked at the position of the sun to estimate how much longer she had.
After another hour or so of flying, Yu-bird screeched happily and flew out of Chihiro’s arms and began flying around excitedly. Chihiro wasn’t sure what was going on until she saw something very familiar in the distance. Yu-bird had spotted it first since her eyes were better for seeing things far off. But now there was no mistaking it. The bathhouse could be seen.
Chihiro beamed happily. “We made it!” she cried. “We made it!”
She sped forward, leaving Yu-bird behind as she sped toward her home and her love.
Clam yawned. Keeping lookout was so boring. He was about to fall asleep and he had only been watching for a few hours. How had Haku stayed awake for several days just keeping watch?
“Gotta stay awake.” He yawned. “Gotta keep watch.”
He sat back, twirling his fingers. He was bored out of his mind. He needed to find something to do or else he was going to go crazy. He decided to just lay down and look at the different shapes of the clouds.
“Ok, that one looks like a cat.” He muttered dully. “And that one looks like a flower. And that one looks like a fish. And this is very boring.”
He sighed. Who knows how long he would have to wait. According to Haku, Chihiro was supposed to come back today, he was told by Lord Okaia himself. But really, this was taking forever.
“I should have brought a manga.” He muttered, impatiently. “Why doesn’t she hurry up already? Come on, where are you?”
The words had barely left his mouth before he saw a finger appear along the horizon.
“Just another customer.” He muttered.
But as the figure got closer, he realized that it wasn’t a customer, but an employee. The one he had been waiting for. “She’s here!” he cried, jumping up. He ran towards her waving his arms around and crying out for her to land. “Hey, over here! Miss Chihiro! Down here!”
Chihiro spotted the spirit waving her down and she landed by the bridge. Clam ran over to her. “Miss Chihiro, you’ve finally come back.”
Chihiro nodded. “Of course I did.” She said, surprised that he even had to ask. “Um, not to be rude or anything, but who are you again?”
“Clam.” He muttered. “Just another one of the many toad spirits of the bathhouse. We haven’t formerly been intro… wait a second! Since when do you fly?”
Chihiro chuckled. “Since yesterday. I met the spirit of life. He gave me the opportunity to become a spirit. But I have to get to Haku as soon as possible.”
Clam looked guilty. “Um, that may be a problem.” He muttered. “You see, there was a little incident.”
Chihiro’s eyes widened with worry. “Is he alright?”
Clam nodded. “Oh yes, he’s fine. Let’s just say he’s ‘sleeping it off’. That’s why I’m here to greet you.”
Chihiro smiled. “Well thank you.”
“It is no trouble. Now lets go alert everyone else of your arrival.”
Chihiro smiled more broadly and hurried passed the bowing Clam. As she walked by, she failed to see the dark expression come across the toad’s face and the evil glint in his gray eyes.
“It’s a shame your return will be so short.” he whispered, pulling out a knife.
He crept up behind the unsuspecting human and raised the knife. A loud screeched startled him, as Yu-bird suddenly appeared and began scratching at his head. Chihiro turned around to find Clam batting at Yu-bird and stabbing forward.
Using her new speed and reflexes, Chihiro dodged Clam’s attempted assassination. Clam cried out angrily and began swinging the knife wildly. Chihiro kept backing away until she remembered that she could do magic now.
Clam was thrown backwards by an unseen force. He sat up and glared angrily at Chihiro who glared back. “You just tried to kill me!” she shouted.
“That’s right, you disgusting human.” Clam snarled. “You worthless piece of filth. You’re a disgrace. You should have stayed in your world with the rest of your miserable species.”
Chihiro’s eyes narrowed. “So what did humans do to make you hate them so much?”
Clam growled. “Nothing. It’s more along the lines that they exist to begin with.” He raised the knife. “I should have done this long ago.”
Chihiro eyed the knife. She wasn’t a spirit yet; a stab wound could still kill her. “Why didn’t you?”
Clam humphed. “The first time you came here, you didn’t have any intention of staying. When you got to leave, I cheered along with everyone else. But not because you got to go home, but because we got rid of you. I was the only one that was glad you were gone. Everyone else missed you, especially Haku. It was disgusting!” He spat the final word to show how much he despised her. “Then you came back and everyone was happy again, everyone but me, I was sickened by the very thought of a human here once again.
“I was patient though. The others wanted to send you home and I was all too happy to agree, even if our reasons were different. Then you left for Zeniba’s and Haku realized he loved you too much to let you go. He, along with the others decided to let you stay if you wanted to. I wouldn’t have it though. I waited for you to return, which was why I was the first to know that Haku came back without you. And then my plans were nearly ruined when Lord Okaia told him of my attentions to kill you, though he didn’t mention any names.”
That last part really aggravated Chihiro. ‘Why didn’t Lord Okaia tell me that someone was going to try to kill me?’ she thought angrily.
“I was very careful in my planning.” Continued Clam. “I offered to help find whoever wanted you dead to avoid looking suspicious. I made up false theories, such as it was most likely a jealous woman. And it was me that came up with the idea to drug Haku.”
“You drugged Haku?” Chihiro shouted in outrage.
Clam snickered. “I told you there was an incident. And then I volunteered to take his place as lookout, so I could get to you first.”
Chihiro glared at the spirit with great dislike. She started clapping just to irritate him. “Very good. I bet you thought you were being very clever. Seems like an awful lot of work to do just to get rid of me though.”
Clam sneered at her. “I would never allow a union of a human and a spirit. It’s an abomination!”
“I know that a relationship between our kind wouldn’t work.” Said Chihiro. “Why do you think I went to find the spirit of life? So I could become a spirit.”
“YOU’RE UNWORTHY!” Clam bellowed. “Miserable, disgusting creature! You don’t even deserve your own mortal life, let alone the one of a spirit! Now die!”
He charged at her. Chihiro instinctively reached for her powers and Clam was lifted into the air.
“Put me down, you wench!”
Chihiro caused him to spin around in the air, until he was about to be sick, before letting him drop on the ground. The knife flew out of his hand and into Chihiro’s. Once everything stopped spinning around, Clam looked at Chihiro with pure hatred. The only thing that stopped him from attacking her was the knife in her hand. She wouldn’t be able to kill him with something like that, but it would sure hurt.
“And what are you going to do with that?” he demanded.
Chihiro looked at the knife in her hand then looked back at Clam before tossing the knife aside.
“You know what,” she said, “you really disgust me. I’ve met spirits before that don’t like humans, but they have always had a reason. But you, you’re just plain prejudice. It’s because of people like you that there is so much hatred in the world. Many people died in the human world due to prejudice. You’re just like those people. Spirits and humans have more in common than you think. You know what, you’re the disgrace!”
If it were possible, Clam’s gaze became even darker as Chihiro turned away. She continued speaking even though her back was turned. “I’m going to report you to Yubaba, but she’s not the one you should worry about. I suggest that you leave and never come back, because when Haku finds out what you tried to do, he won’t be happy.”
Clam was outraged as he watched her walk away. How dare that miserable human turn her back on him. How dare she speak to him like that. Oh how she would suffer. He would be sure to make her death as slow as possible.
Moving quickly, he retrieved the knife and dove for Chihiro. “You wretched creature, I’ll kill you!”
Chihiro turned around and saw Clam practically flying at her. Before either of them could react, lightning struck in between them, throwing both of them backwards.
“What the?” Clam cried angrily. His eyes widened in fear. “Lord Okaia!”
Chihiro sat up as the tall figure of Lord Okaia towered over Clam, and he did not look happy.
“You just couldn’t stop.” Said Lord Okaia coldly. “You and your meaningless hatred have done enough trouble. I spared you after you allowed the woman I loved to die, and now you go and try and take away the same happiness from Kohaku that you took from me.”
Clam got angrily to his feet. “It was for your own good!” he shouted. “That human being in your presence was a disgrace. She wasn’t worthy of your love.”
“THAT IS NOT FOR YOU TO DECIDE!” Lord Okaia bellowed, and both Clam and Chihiro winced as the sorcerer’s power exploded. “You do not get to decide who is worthy of what. I loved her.”
“She was an inferior. A love such as that shouldn’t exist. She was nothing; she was vermin. Would you fall in love with an insect?”
“One cannot help who they fall in love with. And you are the vermin, not her. And I will not let you take away someone else’s happiness. Soon Chihiro will be a spirit, and she and Kohaku will have what you took from me.”
“She doesn’t deserve it.” Clam growled, turning back to Chihiro. “She doesn’t deserve to be a spirit. She doesn’t deserve eternal life. She deserves death!”
He dove for Chihiro again with the intent to kill. Lord Okaia’s eye began glowing with silver light and Clam was rendered immobilized.
“No, you’re wrong. She’s earned it. She does deserve it.” He raised his hand as his body began to glow with a silver light. “You don’t.”
Clam’s eyes widened. He cried out in despair as the light consumed him. A moment later, he was gone. All that remained was a single lump of coal.