|Synopsis - Page 2||(Version 1.05, 24dec2002)|
Ashitaka and the two men arrive at the Tatara Ba, which is a huge island fortress on a lake. Black smoke is running from the center of it, and the mountains around it are totally devoid of trees. Thanking him for her men's lives, Eboshi invites Ashitaka to stay as a guest, although her lieutenant, Gonza, suspects him to be a spy.
From the men of Tatara Ba, Ashitaka learns that Eboshi is a competent leader, and is respected by everyone in Tatara Ba. She provides jobs and a place to stay to social outcasts and women who were sold to brothels. She does not fear any taboo, giving jobs to women, who are traditionally banned from the sacred iron smelting process. Her men proudly say that she doesn't even fear the Gods of the mountain, and tell Ashitaka the story of how she killed a boar god called Nago no Kami.
Although the mountains around the Shishi Gami's forest have been known to be rich in iron sands and trees, no one could touch the land until Eboshi came, since the mountains were protected by Nago no Kami and his boars. With her Ishibiya Syuu, Eboshi shot Nago no Kami, and drove the boars out of the mountains to build Tatara Ba. Ashitaka realizes that this Nago no Kami must be the Tatari Gami he killed.
Ashitaka tells Eboshi about the Tatari Gami and the curse he received from it. Eboshi asks him what he wants to do, and Ashitaka answers that he will see things through with his clear eyes. Eboshi laughs, and invites him to her secret garden.
In Eboshi's secret garden, Ashitaka finds many lepers, who are working as blacksmiths. They are developing and manufacturing a new model of Ishibiya.
Ashitaka: "Is it not enough for you to rob the mountains from a God and drive it to be a Tatari Gami? Are you willing to create further hatred and curses with that Ishibiya?"
Eboshi: "I am sorry about your curse. That bullet surely belonged to me. That stupid boar; if he wanted to curse someone, he should've cursed me."
Hearing her laughs, Ashitaka is consumed by rage. His right arm moves on its own as if it had its own life, reaching for his sword. But Ashitaka restrains his right arm with all his strength. He knows that even if he killed Eboshi, the curse won't stop. It will not stop until it kills everyone in Tatara Ba.
The leader of the lepers asks Ashitaka not to kill Eboshi. He says that he can understand Ashitaka's sorrow since he is also "cursed" by the disease. But Eboshi is the only person who treats them as human beings. She took them in and takes care of them when everyone else is afraid of their disease.
"Cursing the world, cursing other people, and yet, I still long to live - please forgive her for the sake of such a fool as I."
As he says so, tears flow on his bandaged-up face. Ashitaka falls silent.
Eboshi asks if Ashitaka is willing to stay at Tatara Ba and work for her. Ashitaka asks her if she is going to take even the forest of Shishi Gami.
Eboshi: "Once we let the light into the forest, and suppress the wolves, this will become a rich country. And Mononoke Hime will become human again."
And she says that the Shishi Gami's blood is said to cure any disease. She says that maybe it can also cure Ashitaka's curse.
Ashitaka leaves the garden, and enters the main building of the Tatara Ba. In the middle of the building is a huge furnace, and women are pushing huge Tatara (foot bellows) to send air into the furnace. Ashitaka works with the women, and realizes that this is very strenuous work. Toki, Kouroku's wife, laughs and says that they keep pushing it for four days and five nights. The women of the Tatara Ba seem to be really happy. They say that it is heaven compared to where they came from.
Ashitaka says good-bye to the women, saying that there is someone he has to see. Next moment, he senses that Mononoke Hime is approaching Tatara Ba.
Under the moonlight, Mononoke Hime (San) attacks Tatara Ba. Ashitaka tries to persuade her to return to the forest, but she will not listen. She attacks Ashitaka and her knife cuts his cheek.
Wearing a clay mask, and a knife made of a wolf fang in her hand, San fights as if she is possessed. She engages in a fierce one-on-one fight with Eboshi.
But she is alone, and men and women of Tatara Ba surround her as if she is a trapped animal. They have lost their friends and loved ones because of Moro and San, and they shout to kill her.
As Ashitaka watches this, "snakes" appear on his right arm. He approaches towards San and Eboshi. Gonza tries to stop him, but Ashitaka easily bends Gonza's long sword only with his fingers, as if it was made of paper.
Pushing the crowd aside, Ashitaka cuts in between San and Eboshi. With a superhuman power, he separates them to stop the fight. The "snakes" on his right arm are now running wild. Ashitaka shows them to the people and says:
"Everyone, look at me! This is the vengeance and hatred that grow inside of us! It is a curse that rots the flesh, and invites death. Don't let the hatred possess you anymore!"
But Eboshi laughs at him:
"Don't flaunt such a pitiful misfortune! Shall I cut your right arm off!?"
"There is a demon inside you. And in this girl."
Saying so, Ashitaka knocks Eboshi and San unconscious. Giving Eboshi back to the concerned women, he carries San on his shoulder, and starts walking toward the gate to leave Tatara Ba.
Then, a woman whose husband was killed by Moro fires her Ishibiya.
The bullet hits Ashitaka on his chest. Blood gushes out of the wound, and drips onto the ground. Still, Ashitaka keeps walking, with San on his shoulder and Yakkul following him. The main gate of Tatara Ba is so heavy that it requires ten men to open it, but he pushes it open with his right arm.
Ashitaka disappears into the darkness with Yakkul and the two wolves who have been waiting for San outside.
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