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Cheza knows it is her time and she knows that it will hurt them, but she cannot stand the thought of not spending her last Moon with the wolves.
I could feel it. The plants sang to me with their loving voices and told of the greatness of what was to become of me. I wasn't afraid. How could I be? I had known all along that it would happen.
The wolves are restless. It is time for the moon to cast its brilliance upon us once more. Even Tsume is smiling today.
They have given up on finding that mythical place called Paradise. I think they understand now what it means. I do. That's why I'm not afraid now.
It's time. The world is dark and the silver orb of the moon is rising. They found me a fountain to celebrate the moon on. It's shallow and the rock is soft. It will do for my purpose.
Toboe jumps and dances about me, his innocent eyes joyful and wide. Even in the darkness, his brown fur shines out with the innocence of youth. His voice rings in my ears and soothes me.
Hige can barely contain his happy cries. The moon is good for him and he serenades her like an old lover. His twisting body dashes about and leaps into the air, sometimes clearing his fellows. I love to watch him.
Tsume is so different in the light of the full moon. Those beautiful eyes of his shine like jewels with true, unrestricted pleasure. He is at peace with himself and all around him.
Kiba, my Chosen, my love if I can love anything. He has given himself fully to the moonlight and worships her as only a true wolf can. For, he is the truest wolf that ever lived and his eyes tell stories of Paradise.
I feel sad, even in this celebration of continued life. These are my wolves, my friends. To leave them… but I know I must. It is time.
They are too caught up in their dance to notice I have stopped. Standing there, gazing upwards at my mother and father and lover and rival, I feel peace flow over me. It's all right. She will watch of them for me when I cannot.
My body is going cold. I can feel the change happening. The light cloth surrounding my body fades into nothingness. Now they notice. They yell at me with worry. They can see the trails of dark taking my skin. I want to smile at them and tell them it's all right, but I cannot speak any longer. Instead, I call for the Lunar Blossoms.
White flowers appear from all around, surrounding us in their shining white petals. The wolves are caught between awe and worry. They don't understand.
My feet dig through the soft rock of the fountain. It gives with little difficulty and I feel my body becoming one with the earth, my legs the roots that will sustain me forever. They cannot see this. The wolves howl in horror and sorrow. They think I am dying.
I lift my hands to the moon. Her light saturates me, completes me. I close my eyes and I smile. She will take care of the rest and that she does.
The flowers will still be here when tonight is over. My last gift to the precious wolves, my dearest friends. I am sorry to leave them. Their howls would bring tears to my eyes if I had either any longer. My body is long and strong. My limbs are budding with new life.
I have completed my journey. I've completed myself. Now, I can forever live on in this shape and watch over my beautiful wolves, though I can never again tell them how much I love them.
My consciousness is fading. I can feel their bodies as they lay against my trunk. The morning is almost here. With my last strength, I move my arms just so and shield them from the oncoming sunlight with my leaves.
I could sing forever with the joy and sorrow I felt, but forever had a price and that was my voice.
I was fading.
My last true thought, last worry, was of the wolves.
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