Chapter 17: Warnings

Disclaimer: I don’t own Spirited Away. Just re-posting the story by moviefan-92

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Haku had long since given up walking and was once again in his dragon form, flying over the forest, yet still following the path the forest spirit had created for him. He flew as fast as he could. Every second he wasn’t with his beloved Chihiro was a second she could be in danger. He had to find her, and nothing was going to-

A flash of light momentarily blinded him. He halted in midair, squinting to see through the light. Once he could see again, he found a tall powerful man standing, or floating really, before him.

“That’s far enough, Kohaku.” The man said calmly.

Haku glared at the man, having never seen the sorcerer before, he had no idea he was in the presence of Lord Okaia. He changed back to his human form and continued to glare at the mighty sorcerer.

“I have permission from the spirit of this forest to pass through.” He growled.

Lord Okaia smiled. “I am well aware of that. What I meant to say is that I’m afraid I cannot allow you to go any further on your quest to rescue your human, Chihiro.”

Haku’s eyes flashed angrily. “Who are you to order me around?” he demanded. “Do you know who I am?”

Lord Okaia’s expression remained the same. “I do. You are Nigihayami Kohaku Nushi, the spirit of the Kohaku River.” He gave the spirit a smug smile. “The question is, do you know who I am?” Haku didn’t reply, he wasn’t going to admit that he didn’t know. Lord Okaia smiled more broadly. “I’ll give you a hint. It was I that spoke to you through Zeniba.”

Haku’s eyes widened with realization. “Lord Okaia?”

The sorcerer nodded. “Very good. But you have a problem with following orders. I specifically told you to return to the bathhouse and to leave Chihiro alone. Let her do as she wishes.”

Haku’s surprise became anger once again. “Never! There’s no way I’m leaving Chihiro on her own in the spirit world.”

“She’s not alone.” Lord Okaia replied, not flinching in the slightest at Haku’s anger. “Zeniba, Yu-bird, and Kaonashi are with her.” Haku’s expression didn’t soften. “Ah, I see that you doubt your friends’ ability to protect her.”

Haku shook his head. “No, I just want to be there with her. If I am there, I know for a fact that she will be safe. I would never allow anything to happen to her.”

Lord Okaia nodded. “I know you wouldn’t. But you can’t always be there for her. Besides, she is stronger than that. Have more faith in her.”

“I do have faith in her!” Haku shouted, feeling insulted. “I just don’t want to take any chances!”

Lord Okaia’s eyes narrowed slightly. “There is no need to shout, Kohaku. And I know that you just want to protect her, but I’m afraid I can’t let you see her yet.”

Haku’s anger hit its boiling point. No one, not even the great Lord Okaia would stop him from being with Chihiro. “I don’t care what you think! I’m going to her! You can either stand aside or I can go through you!”

Lord Okaia’s power exploded outward. Haku was shocked by its intensity. Lord Okaia’s eyes were glowing with a silver light and a silver aura swirled around him, making his hair and clothes wave around as if a powerful wind was blowing them. Haku had to resist the urge to move back. Lord Okaia was scary when he was mad.

“How dare you speak to me in such a way!” Lord Okaia bellowed, his voice echoing. “You dare to threaten me and question my power! You’re smarter than that, Kohaku! You should know better than to challenge my power!”

Haku’s first thought was to cower down before the mighty sorcerer. He was very powerful, but he was no match for Lord Okaia, and he knew it. But then the thought of Chihiro erased all his fears and his stood his ground; not literally since he was in the air.

“Nothing will stop me from being with Chihiro, nothing!” he said fearlessly. “And if I have to face you to get to her, then I will!”

The two continued to glare at each other. It was harder for Haku since Lord Okaia was so much taller than him. After a few seconds, Lord Okaia’s power died down and he returned to his normal state. He sighed as his smiled crept up on his face again.

“Ah, true love.” He said, chuckling. “It makes us do things we never thought possible. No, Kohaku, I have no intention of fighting you. But, I still cannot allow you to go to her yet.”

“Why not?”

“I’d rather not say.”

That wasn’t good enough for Haku. Heck, no answer would have been good enough, and he wanted the sorcerer to know this.

“Well, whatever reason you have, I don’t care. I’m going to her.”

He slowly passed by the sorcerer. Lord Okaia didn’t make a move to stop him. He simply closed his eyes and sighed. He really didn’t want to tell Haku the reason why he didn’t want him to go to Chihiro, but the stubborn river spirit wasn’t giving him a choice.

“Kohaku, if you go to her now she will die!”

Haku froze as Lord Okaia’s words hit him. He didn’t understand. Chihiro would die if he did go to her? That didn’t make any sense. He turned to the sorcerer.

“What do you mean?”

Lord Okaia sighed again. “I didn’t want to worry you, but if you attempt to assist her on her journey, she will die.”

Haku’s heart began racing. “What are you talking about? How will she die? Tell me!”

Lord Okaia reached into his pocket and took out the card representing life and death. “Chihiro will face a difficult challenge ahead of her. What she does will determine whether or not she lives or dies. But if you are with her, she won’t survive.”

“That doesn’t make sense!” Haku yelled, grabbing a handful of his hair in frustration. “How can she die if I’m there to protect her?”

“She will die because you’re trying to protect her.” Lord Okaia replied. “Chihiro will meet a spirit that holds a terrible grudge against humans. If you are with her, you will attempt to protect her. Chihiro will not abandon you, and the angry spirit will kill her.” Haku was staring at the sorcerer in disbelief. “However, if you are not there, she will not worry about you and she will have a much better chance of survival.”

Haku continued to stare at Lord Okaia. He looked heartbroken and it really hurt the sorcerer to see him suffer. Finally, Haku hung his head in defeat.

“So I can’t go to her?” he muttered. “But… I… how can I…”

Lord Okaia turned to face the depressed spirit. He rested his large hand on Haku’s shoulder. “Do not fear, Kohaku. All will be well. But you must return to the bathhouse. There is something you have to do as well.”

“What’s that?” asked Haku, not really caring.

Lord Okaia took out the second card, the one with the half black, half red heart; love and hate. “After Chihiro faces the three emotions, she will, her love will meet it’s opposite. Hate. You see, Kohaku, before you and her can be together, hate will attempt to stop it. There is a spirit back at the bathhouse that hates humans. They will not stand a human and a spirit to be together. They will try to kill her before she becomes a spirit.”

Haku’s head snapped up. “What?”

Lord Okaia nodded. “Yes, it’s true. The same thing happened to me, and I do not wish my fate to befall upon you and Chihiro. You will be the key element to Chihiro becoming a spirit, which is why you must be where she will find you. But before she does, the one filled hate will find her and attempt to kill her before she become a spirit.”

Haku’s anger erupted. How dare anyone even think about hurting Chihiro. He would kill them if they tried anything.

“Who are they?” he demanded. “I’ll kill them before they get the chance!”

Lord Okaia sighed. “I cannot tell you that. If you know, it may change the events I have foreseen. I told Chihiro that destiny is like a card game and her game strategy is her future. I have looked at the next card in her deck, so I know what comes next. But if I tell you, it may change your strategy and thus ruining everything I have seen. Destiny is so uncertain. The smallest thing can change it. This is why I cannot tell you. But, I will say this; the one who will attempt to kill her has been at the bathhouse a long time. Keep your eyes open and keep watch for her when she returns.”

A look of determination came over Haku’s face. “Yes, I will.”

Lord Okaia nodded. “Good. And have faith in her. Your love is strong enough to get through anything.”

There was a flash of silver light and Lord Okaia was gone. Haku hovered in midair thinking over everything that had been said. If Lord Okaia was right, then he couldn’t go to her now, no matter how much he wanted. He had no choice but to return to the bathhouse and wait for his love to return. In the meantime, he would search for the one who dared to consider harming Chihiro.

Turning, he looked out on the horizon and saw the end of the toxic forest. Somewhere beyond it was the woman he loved, and he couldn’t go to her.

“I’m sorry, Chihiro.” He said with tears in his eyes. “I will wait for you. Please, come back to me.”

With that, he changed back into his dragon form and headed back for the bathhouse.

(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)-(-)

“That plan will never work.” Rita complained as Lin went through another one of her ‘Chihiro and Haku’s love confession’ plans.

“Ok then, how about this one.” Said Lin, taking out another plan. “We get them both really drunk and then leave them alone in the same room over night.”

Kamajii snorted. “That won’t work either; neither of them drink.”

Bôh yawned. He didn’t have much interest in this romance stuff and was rather bored. “Why don’t you just lock them in a room until they admit their feelings to each other?” he suggested.

Lin shook her head. “That only works if they’re fighting. How about this plan? We send them to Haku’s river and not let them come back until they confess.”

Bôh gave her a confused look. “How is that different from my plan?”

“It just is.”

“And how are you planning on pulling that off?” Kamajii asked.

“Uh…” Lin didn’t have an answer. “I’ll figure that out later. Right now I’m just brainstorming ideas.”

“Yeah, and look at some of these.” Rita muttered, going through Lin’s plans. “Blackmail, bribery, truth potions, tell one that the other is dieing, spells, tickle them until they confess… what the heck is this one?”

Lin looked at the plan Rita was looking at and snatched the paper away from her. “That one I thought up out of frustration.” She snapped.

Kamajii sighed in his own frustration. “Do you have any ideas that will actually work, or are these just things that came to you?”

Lin didn’t answer, but she did turn away and start whistling to herself. Rita rolled her eyes.

“You’re really bad at this.” she said.

Lin glared at her. “Oh, and like you could do better!”

“This was your idea, not mine.”

“Well you wanted to help!”

“Why are you yelling?”

“I’M NOT YELLING!”

Bang! The door to the boiler room burst open and Yubaba came in, looking furious. She glared accusingly at Kamajii, Lin, and Rita. “So it’s true! You’re down here filling my son’s head with… with… inappropriate ideas!”

“Mama, we’re just trying to find away to get Chihiro and Haku admit that they love each other.” Said Bôh, as if this were an everyday discussion.

Yubaba didn’t seem any less angry. “You don’t need to take any part in that!” she yelled. “You should just leave the two of them alone and let things progress naturally. Besides, I don’t need any little half-spirits running around here anytime soon.”

“But mama, I want to play with their kids!”

Kamajii cleared his throat. “Aren’t we getting a little ahead of ourselves?”

“Hello!” cried Lin, waving her plans around. “We’re in the middle of something here.”

“Not with my son!” Yubaba snapped. “Sweetie, we’re leaving.”

“But we live here.”

“I meant the room!”

“But mama-”

“Now, mister!” Yubaba shouted, pointing at the door.

Bôh frowned. This was new. His mother was very mad. He didn’t know what he was doing wrong, but he had the feeling that he wouldn’t be able to change his mother’s mind this time. “Yes, mama.”

Yubaba was momentarily taken aback by her son’s obedience. She was also surprised that she had been able to deny him something he wanted. Perhaps Chihiro was right and she needed to assert her parental authority a bit. Not too much though, she liked spoiling her son, but a line needed to be drawn.

‘As much as I hate to admit it, I’ll have to thank the human when she gets back.’ The witch thought. ‘If she comes back.’ That last thought made her frown and feel rather sad. ‘I hope she comes back.’

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