A bouncing green ball cackled as it bounded towards a blue-colored tooth of sorts, a Demon Fang. It scooped up its prize and continued to laugh. Issun the Wandering Artist proudly admired his catch, his small eyes gleaming. One could almost see the gears in his head turning as he thought of what his prize could get him. Shiny trinkets, weapons, there were myriads of opportunities to trade these seemingly worthless, discarded teeth.

Watching in dulled amusement was a white wolf with golden eyes, crimson markings marring the pure white fur. It made no sound, but merely lied down and rested its snout on its crossed front paws, eyes watching the tiny man. The Divine Instrument, a green mirror that spun to create magical fire, hummed to a quiet spin after being used so fiercely to win said Demon Fang. Okami Amaterasu was amazed how one small creature could be so greedy sometimes, and completely forgetful of the fact that these prizes were technically her own, given she was the one who killed the stupid imps in the first place. But, as usual, she let it slide.

"Well, furball, that makes about thirty something of these. Shall we head to Sei-An to claim a few rewards?"

Ammy responded with a bored whimper, getting up as Issun bounced onto her head for the ride. She turned and trotted to a nearby water pool, where a sparkled emanated from the surface. With a spiral brushstroke, the water opened up a portal for the two travellers to leap inside. Moments later, the water spit them back into a bustling city. With Issun still cackling over thoughts of treasure, Ammy walked instinctually to the home of the Emperor, who was always full of rare goods. Bypassing the guards casually, the duo went right to the Emperor, who looking ecstatic to see what was probably his best customers.

"More? My, such bravery and ferocity for a mere wolf and bug!" the Emperor chortled delightedly.

"Who are you calling a bug, tubby?! You should happen to know that Ammy and I are not mere in any sense!" Issun erupted angrily, beginning to rant and rave about their superiority and excellence until, with a quick flick of her head, Ammy had silenced him by throwing him into her mouth. She waited until he stopped bouncing and screaming before letting him out. Issun now turned his irritation to Ammy as he complained about her slobber and blah, blah, blah. Ammy tuned him out as she presented the Emperor with their array of Demon Fangs. The man jumped in shock and giggled in a manner similar to a child's.

"Fantastic! I have many goods to offer to you, my friends. I have recetly stumbled upon something so marvelous I highly recommend you take!"

Ammy and Issun casually browsed the noble's wares, picking a few cheap objects that would probably serve them well. It wasn't until they were at the end of their trade where they noticed this "marvelous" object. It didn't look too marvelous; it appeared to be nothing but a mere hairpiece. It was pearly ivory, with a bundle of deep crimson and violet flowers arranged on it, with white flowers dangling down.

"That's it? What a load of junk! What use do we have for a haircomb?" Issun piped up, turning away to examine the other shiny objects.

But Amaterasu didn't move. She stood and admired the comb. It was so sleek, so elegant, so beautiful. She could even see her reflection on the shining ivory. Something about this object was marvelous; something about this object cried out to her in a siren song. She wasn't sure what did it. The bundle of flora beckoned her hypnotically, their beautiful colors mesmerizing her. Buy me, buy me. they sang. Not even acknowledging the object's strange hold on her, Ammy kicked the Emperor the last of the Demon Fangs and grabbed the comb in her jaws. The Emperor laughed excitedly, as Issun gaped and chased after Ammy, who had turned and left already.

"Hey, Ammy! What are you doing! We don't need that junk! Hey, furball, are you even listening?"

But Ammy merely looked back at Issun and shrugged her shoulders, walking away with her prize.

After a bite to eat, Ammy and Issun had retired to the Coast, where they had set up an impromptu camp by the waterfall. The sun was sinking below the horizon line at a rapid pace, covering the Coast in an orange glow. Issun, full of free sake from a grateful cook who the two had helped with a few errands, fell asleep almost instantly when darkness settled over the area. Amaterasu, meanwhile, was batting at the comb with her paw, examining the curious accessory. What had compelled her to buy the mysterious object? In her wolf form, she clearly had no need or use for the hairpiece. Although it was very beautiful. Ammy desired to be beautiful. Sure, in this form she was beautiful, but only as a piece of nature. Not that this meant Amaterasu, Mother of All and Sun Goddess, did not value nature's beauty. It was just she had been around humans too long now. Seen people like Kushi and Susano, who were so in love, that it made her feel lonely. Home, the Celestial Plains, home she never felt this way. But she met so many people and watched their happiness grow. She only wished someone would see her as beautiful and help her own happiness.

But, alas, Ammy was nothing more than a mere wolf sent to fulfill a duty to the world she loved dearly. Just a wolf.

A rustle nearby caused Ammy to start, jumping up to stand defensively. A demon? A foe? An unwelcomed guest? Bristling the hair on her neck, Ammy quietly slashed the bushes nearby, revealing what appeared to be an old merchant. The merchant gasped, frightened by his being revealed. But noticing it was only a wolf that greeted, or better said waited for, him, he eased.

"Oh, it is only you, doggie. I thought you were another monster," he said in a relieved voice. Ammy eased as well, sitting on her hind legs to look at the man. He was old, with a graying beard and a hunched back, which was probably not helped by the bundles of fabric strapped to his back. The old merchant shuffled over to Ammy, examining her as well. He chuckled and reached down a hand to rub her ears tenderly.

"Well, aren't you a beautiful doggie?" he commented with a calm smile. Ammy appreciated the compliment, but it still stung a little. The old merchant seemed to pick up this, as he cocked his head curiously.

"You seem awfully sad, there, doggie. Are you lost?" A shake. "Alone?" A shake. "Cold?" A shake. "Hungry?" A shake.

The old man pursed his lips as he looked Ammy over. Ammy blinked her golden eyes up at the man. He looked into them, then smiled again.

"Ah, just sad is all then. Well, I can understand that feeling. Sometime being dissatisfied can make us that way, can't it?" he chuckled, "Well, what's important is to find what makes us feel satisfied with ourselves. Just something small to make us feel good. For me, it's usually a good glass of sake. What about you, pup?" Ammy blinked at the merchant, unsure of what that thing was. His voice interrupted her thinking.

"Oh, ho, what is this? A comb?"

Ammy looked and saw the man crouch and grab her hairpiece. He turned it in his hands, admiring the craftmanship and detail. He looked to Ammy, who was looking at the comb fondly, thinking how beautiful it would look in a girl like Kushi's hair. The merchant laughed a little and tucked the comb into the fur around Ammy's left ear.

"Well, doesn't that look pretty?" he said, tapping the comb. Ammy smiled to herself on the inside. She closed her eyes, imagining what she would look like if she were human as well. Suddenly, she became very tired, and, with a soft crumple, she fell asleep at the merchant's feet.