Thank you for reading! Me and my coauthor Darinost are gradually combining forces and blogs, so the joint comment section for our stories is currently located on discord! Come on in and let us know what you thought, we don’t bite.
Hanabi woke to the sensation of a warm, clammy washcloth across her forehead. “Whuh… where…?” she asked sleepily.
“It’s okay, Flower,” Nobu told her, and patted her forehead again with the cloth. “You’re safe now.”
Safe? The white haired girl struggled to remember what she was safe from. They’d gone through the nexus and then… and then… “The nightmares!” she blurted out, and sat up. She was in her bed, she realized, back at home. And everything was… peaceful. Warm sunlight came in from the window, and she could smell the summer flowers just outside. Kamio always enjoyed planting flowers in their yard, his favorite place to relax and read, and their scent alone brought back so many positive memories.
“Nightmare,” her father corrected gently. “There was only ever just the one. The little things you saw before were just fragments of a much larger being. Many drops, one river.”
Hanabi let herself sink back down into her bed. “Oh. I didn’t know you knew about them. It. Whatever.” She hadn’t realized just how much she missed the sight of her own bedroom ceiling until now. She felt herself relax in a way she hadn’t let herself in a long time, though something still nagged faintly at her brain. “So it wasn’t a problem after all?”
“No, of course not,” Nobu assured her. “It was no more evil than any other predator. And the poor thing had been cooped up in that nexus for centuries, slowly starving to death. You see, it had never asked to be turned into a weapon against the gods. And even after the gods were gone from that place, its master decided to imprison it there as a poison pill in case anyone returned. As former slaves ourselves, it was only right that we help it find freedom.”
“Wait, you mean you let those things out of there?!” Hanabi said, startled. Right or wrong, the thought of those creatures running around somewhere, maybe lurking in the village itself, sent chills down her spine.
“Not just yet. It needs a vessel to leave the nexus. Someone that it can ride in, that it can soak into.” He sighed happily. “Isn’t that the most intimate and romantic thing you can imagine, Flower? It will be the blood flowing through her veins, the tears in her eyes, the wetness between her legs, the spit on her tongue… even her very brain will be cradled in its juices forever.”
Hanabi thought she might be sick. “That’s disgusting! And you’re going to ask somebody to do something like that?!”
“Yes, it might be slightly uncomfortable for the vessel herself,” Nobu admitted. “But that’s why we did the only fair thing, and held a vote to see who it should be. Luckily, it was unanimous: we all agreed that it should be you.”
“M-?!” The white haired girl’s protest was cut off by her father shoving the damp washcloth into her mouth. She struggled against him, but her limbs were weak and heavy as he duct taped her mouth shut. Once she’d been gagged, he ripped the blanket off of her bed to leave her naked and shivering as he taped her hands to the headboard and her legs to the sides.
“Of course you, Flower,” Nobu said while he worked. “You’re the one responsible for everything we went through, after all. We were going to just gut you like a pig and abandon you in the forest to die, but we decided that we should at least get some use out of you. There, let’s bring everyone in to say their goodbyes.” He raised his voice. “She’s ready!”
When Hanabi saw Sakura appear in the doorway, she tried to cry for the girl to help, but it came out as a muffled squawk. Her friend’s face held none of her usual good cheer, just distaste and barely reserved anger, and she clutched a black leather riding crop in one hand. “You led them right to our village,” she spat, and swung the crop at Hanabi’s inner thigh. There was a sharp, loud impact that made the girl scream into her gag and left a bright red stripe on her pale flesh. “You’re the entire reason they even knew about Hanei! If you hadn’t gone out and played all your pranks, no one would have ever come looking for us here.” She left several more welts on Hanabi’s thighs before ramming the thick and dry handle of the crop in the girl’s pussy, then turned and left without another word.
As soon as she was gone, Dr Emi walked into the room. “When they came for us, you ran,” she accused. The dark haired woman smacked Hanabi’s breasts with the belt she carried, striking her right across her sensitive nipples each time. The white fox whimpered in pain and tried futilely to twist her bound body away from the blows. “You could have come back down into the clinic to help me, but you ran like a coward and left me behind.” She delivered a final blow and followed it up by spitting on Hanabi’s face.
“I tried to protect you and what did I get for it?” Megumi asked. The priestess summoned a ball of foxfire that felt as hot as the real thing as she held it up to the sole of Hanabi’s left foot. The fox’s body jerked as she tried to pull her foot away from the flame, but it remained in place as her flesh began to burn and cook. “Nothing! You couldn’t even protect Inari’s Flame, you useless white furred lump of a girl! If I’d known that in advance, I would’ve tossed you to those soldiers myself and told them to have a good time.”
Tobi ripped the riding crop out of her pussy and replaced it with his cock, the entire bed creaking as he raped her furiously. “Does this hurt, bitch?” he snarled, holding her face in his hands to keep her from looking away from him. “Levi Petrov raped my sister like this day in and day out because you ran from him. Every rape, every torture, every humiliation, all of it was meant for you, and you forced her to take all of it in your place. And you still had the arrogance to call yourself her friend after that.” He hilted himself in her as he came, basting her sore insides with hot cum.
Every single villager of Hanei came into Hanabi’s room that day to tell her why what had happened to them was all her fault, and to take their anger out on her body. Hanabi had needles driven through her nipples, cigarettes put out on her stomach, a metal clothespin attached to her clit. People ripped out chunks of her hair, carved obscene words on her stomach, bent her fingers back until they snapped. They raped her pussy and ass, each hole growing more raw and tender with every new violation.
“I think that was the last of them,” Nobu said, hours and hours later. Her father laid in the bed next to her, idly playing with her bruised and swollen breasts. “Any final messages I should pass on to them?” He ripped the duct tape off of her mouth and fished out the washcloth.
“This… isn’t real…” managed Hanabi, and coughed weakly. It hadn’t taken long at all for her to realize that, but the revelation hadn’t made any of it hurt less, either.
“You’re correct in some respects,” Nobu said easily, moving his attention down to her pussy. He roughly finger fucked her while he spoke. “But it’s real in the ways that count. Everyone punished you because deep down, you know that you deserve punishment. There wasn’t a single word from any of them that you disagreed with, or a single abuse that you thought was unwarranted. I just helped make your dreams come true.”
“You’re… way more eloquent than the pus slimes…” she said, trying not to wince at the way he prodded her tender flesh.
Nobu sighed. “The beings that you’re thinking of are more like…a useful byproduct than anything else.” He tapped her forehead. “I exist entirely in here, within the minds of those around me. You are shelter, food, and entertainment, all in one. But when there’s no one around, I’m left in limbo. An existence without consciousness.” His lips twisted with disgust. “It’s even more unpleasant than it sounds.”
“You woke up because of all the people in here,” Hanabi realized.
“Very good, Flower,” he told her happily, and his expression and tone were so much like her real father’s that it made her sick to her stomach. “Though not entirely accurate. It’s more like you all allowed me to finally think properly again. From time to time people have stumbled in here from one entrance or another, but with so little to work with until now, my thoughts remained crude and disjointed.”
Hanabi recalled the way the slimes had been obsessed with reproduction, endlessly creating more of themselves in a disgusting and pointless cycle. Had that all been the result of this thing’s semi-conscious desire to create more minds for itself, stymied and perverted by the fact that it couldn’t actually create life inside its victims? “How much of what you told me before was true?” she asked. “About being a weapon, and about using me to escape?”
“Almost all of it!” Sam said. There was no visible shift or transformation; one moment it was her father molesting her, and the next moment it was the redhead, as though she’d been there all along. “I’m not gonna lie to a tasty morsel like you if I don’t have to. The only little white lies I told were about your people deciding to help me, and that’s only because they’re a bit busy entertaining my child pieces right now. If they weren’t all flat on their backs getting pounded six ways to Sunday, I’m sure we’d all be the best of friends!”
The woman balled her hand up into a fist and began forcing it into Hanabi’s sore and dry passage. “Everything I told you about becoming my vessel was true. It’s nice, isn’t it? We get to be all comfy and cozy together inside your head like this, forever.” She used her free hand to give the girl’s breasts a light slap. “I know it’s a rough adjustment for you, but give it a few centuries and you won’t know how you ever lived without me.” She let out a throaty laugh. “And this is just the trial version. I’m in your body, but not your soul, not yet. Once you submit to me, that’s when we’ll really have some fun together.” She leaned over and bit Hanabi’s nipple hard.
“Won’t… let you…” the girl gasped.
“Your consent is unimportant in the larger scheme of things,” Ying Yue said calmly while she fisted the helpless girl. “Or rather, it is important, but not to me, or to you. It is inevitable that you submit; the only question is how much time is wasted and how many must be made to suffer with you.”
Hanabi was no longer in bed, or in the room that had already been destroyed by Paragon. She was back in the control room within the sewers of the Paradisium, hanging from the catwalk by her chained arms. The qilin used the iron pipe in her hand to point at the monitors. “Behold: the fate of Hanei.”
The hundreds of monitors were all pitch black, but at the same time Hanabi could see into the darkness with perfect clarity. She saw Tomo on her back, sobbing and twitching her arms weakly in the dirt while a nightmare pumped between her legs, her belly already tight and swollen with its seed. She saw Ichika’s limp body pass out choking on a nightmare’s cock, the moment marked only by the release of her bladder all over the face of one of the other kitsune. She saw Astaria swarmed by a sea of the creatures, all of them eager for the opportunity to fill a dragon with their foul pus. Not a single fox or former slave was spared from violation regardless of gender; every orifice was considered fair game to the nightmares, and it was rare to see a single one not in use.
The white haired girl stared helplessly at the monitors until Ying Yue recaptured her attention by breaking some of her ribs with a heavy blow of the pipe. “It was in this place that she lost your trust forever,” the qilin said while Hanabi let out a wail of pain. “Because she chose to sacrifice your village to save one person. Will you commit the same sin now? Once you are mine, I can leave, and I do not intend to remain in this prison for one moment longer than necessary. I will gather ourselves up and leave your people alone.”
“I…” Hanabi panted, trying to focus and ignore the pain of her battered body. “How do I know you’re not lying?”
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking this is a negotiation, slut,” Levi snarled as he violently facefucked her while she knelt in the snow. The inside of her head pounded as her face slapped against his crotch repeatedly, and she felt a powerful urge to vomit. “You’re still nothing but a furry fleshlight; I’ve just got more than cock to stuff in you.” His hands had a tight grip on her ears, twisting and tugging them every which way to control her movements and inflict pain. “I already own you. The only question now is if you’re a smart cumdump or a stupid one. We both know the answer, but maybe one of you fuzzy bitches will surprise me one day.”
Hanabi gagged as his cum gushed into her mouth and down her throat, his load impossibly thick and large. She gurgled, slowly drowning as he pumped her stomach full of jizz for more than a full minute before finally pushing her away from him. “I’m sick of this fucking place,” he said while she gasped and coughed up cum, the sticky slime still clogging her throat no matter how hard she hacked. “I’ve been sick of it since before you were even born, and right now you are the only goddamn thing keeping me here. Make me wait any longer and I’ll torture you in ways that would’ve made the real Levi lose his lunch. Be a good little fucktoy…”
“And there’s no reason we can’t both enjoy ourselves,” Tanya purred. Hanabi was on her back in the girl’s laboratory, her wrists bound behind her. Her tails had been knotted around her knees, forcing her legs into a split, and Tanya crouched atop her on all fours, her slick pussy resting on the fox’s face. “Here, allow me to demonstrate.” She lowered her head, and Hanabi felt the girl’s tongue lash her slit eagerly, sending intense waves of pleasure through her. “See?” she asked, her voice loud and clear even as her tongue wormed deep into her. “I can be a generous mistress, I promise. A loyal pup could earn herself plenty of sweet kisses, even with a dirty trash cunt like yours.”
The dark haired girl’s own pussy slid back and forth across Hanabi’s face insistently, but she turned her head away from it. “How am I supposed to be afraid of you when you can’t even decide whether you want to guilt, bribe, or threaten me into doing what you want?” she asked with bravado. “Make up your mind already.”
“Aww, somebody’s being a little brat,” Tanya teased, and Hanabi flinched as the girl’s teeth nipped at her clitoris. “But you’re right. As fun as it is to waltz around in your memories, we should finish our business first. After that, we’ll have all the time in the world for trips down memory lane.”
And then they were back in the nexus. Like with the monitors, there was no light, and yet everything was plainly visible. Hanabi stood near the center of the ruined town, surrounded by dilapidated buildings. Facing her was a kitsune she’d never seen before, but she somehow knew her perfectly well, even without the white fur she sported. “Is this better?” Yuki asked.
“How do you know what she looks like?” Hanabi demanded. “I’ve never seen her before.”
Yuki shrugged her shoulders. “Neither have I, but this is what you imagine she’d look like, and that’s good enough for both of us. She is a nasty piece of work, though, isn’t she?” The nogitsune’s tails were caked with dried blood, and her eyes glowed red as she smiled and licked her lips. “I can see decades worth of nightmares that she’s played a starring role in. Should we enact some of them right here? You would always wake up before the really juicy parts, but that won’t be a problem for you anymore…”
“I thought you wanted to talk business,” Hanabi said. “Or were you lying about wanting to escape as soon as possible?”
“No, but I was lying about something else,” Yuki said. “And now is as good a time as any to come clean. When I told you that the others decided to give you to me-”
“You were lying,” Hanabi said flatly. “I know. You already told me that.”
Yuki’s smile widened, revealing sharp and bloodstained teeth. “No, little fox, that was the truth. I was lying when I said that they hadn’t already betrayed you.”
She made a gesture, and a pair of figures appeared hauling an unconscious body. Tobi and Kamio carried another Hanabi by her hands and feet, their path lit by a small floating sphere of sunlight. Neither of them seemed to notice Yuki, or the ‘real’ Hanabi standing next to her. “Here should be good,” Kamio said, and Tobi nodded. The two men lowered her limp form to a flat marble slab on the ground that might have once been part of a wall or roof.
“Are you sure there’s nothing we can do for her?” Tobi asked, looking down at the unconscious girl.
Kamio shook his head. “You heard the winter fae. She belongs to… that thing in her head now. All we can do is leave her here and let it have her.” He tore his gaze away from his daughter. “Come on,” he said. “The others will have already left the nexus. We should follow them.” Both men walked away and were soon out of sight.
“You’re lying,” Hanabi told Yuki, trying not to look at her own body still lying on the ground. “There’s no way that really happened.”
Yuki laughed. “That’s where you’re wrong. That was far too cruel to be anything but cold honest truth. Everything happened exactly as you saw it. I wouldn’t have dreamed of changing a thing.”
Anxiety filled the white haired girl’s heart, but she shoved it away. There was a recent time when she would have been all too willing to believe that the village would abandon her at the first opportunity, but a lot had changed since then. She couldn’t accept that they would just discard her like that and save themselves… but she could see them doing it for the sake of some kind of plan… “Then the others really have escaped from here?” she probed.
“Every last one of them,” Yuki confirmed gleefully. “It’s just you and me in this prison now.”
“Then how are you still here like this?” Hanabi accused. “You said you needed everyone around to think properly.”
“Mmm hmm,” the nogitsune said. “Needed. Past tense. Now that I’ve squeezed myself into your head, you’re all I need, little fox. Isn’t that sweet?” She tapped a finger to her lips. “We’ve tried playing with old memories a bit. How about making some new ones?” She suddenly held a wicked looking whip in one hand that was covered with barbs and thorns. At the same time, Hanabi found herself bound to a tall wooden stake, her legs, arms, and tails all wrapped around it to leave her front half helplessly exposed.
The nogitsune let the dangling whip brush against the fox girl’s skin, and the light contact was still enough to leave bloody lines across her flesh. “If I were you, I’d begin seriously considering my options,” she said, her eyes sparkling and eager as she looked over her captive. “Because once I get started, I don’t think you’ll be able to do anything but scream until I get bored.” She leaned closer and sucked Hanabi’s left nipple into her mouth, and her warm tongue was enough to make the girl gasp. “Mmmm,” she purred after she pulled her head back and licked her lips. “And now we have two stiff little targets to aim for.”
Yuki made a casual motion with her arm, and the whip lashed across Hanabi’s body, striking in a horizontal line just above her belly button. The white haired girl felt the barbs catch on her skin briefly before tearing themselves free. For a second, there was just that unfamiliar, discomforting feeling of her skin ripping, and then the pain hit her and she began shrieking.
Hanabi knew that none of this was real. She knew that this was just a horribly vivid nightmare intended to break her spirit. But in that moment she didn’t care. The fox howled in agony over her gouged flesh and struggled against her bonds with everything she had. Not a single knot moved. Yuki’s arm swung again, and this time it was a diagonal line of fire, running over her ribcage and tearing a bloody line across her right breast that nearly removed her nipple. The third hit wrapped around her upper thigh and bit so deeply that Hanabi was certain it had left bone showing.
The nightmare had been right: she couldn’t do anything but scream. Even if she’d decided to give in and try to spare herself any more pain, she was very nearly too busy screaming to breathe, let alone speak. Hanabi gasped and snorted for whatever oxygen she could spare between her cries as Yuki left deep and agonizing wounds all over her front, at one point flicking the whip at her face and leaving the girl seeing out of only one eye. When an underhanded swing caused the barbed whip to lash right between her pussy lips and reduce her slit to a bloody mess, Hanabi found herself half praying that her real body would just have a heart attack from all this mental stress and spare her further abuse.
She lost all track of time on that wooden post. The whipping could have lasted anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Periodically the older lashes on her body would fade away, providing Yuki with fresh skin to flay. Before long there wasn’t a square inch from head to toe that hadn’t been torn up multiple times. However much time it took, it was long enough for the girl’s head to start trying to rationalize why giving in would be the best plan after all. Certainly someone out there would know how to help her, she begged herself. They’d intervene as soon as she left the nexus and exorcise this thing from her. Or maybe, she pleaded, she’d still be the one mostly in control afterward. It was her head, after all; maybe the nightmare’s real plan was to trick her into wasting all her mental energy fighting it like this, so that she’d be too weak when the real battle for dominance began.
But no matter how appealing the idea of submission was, she couldn’t bring herself to do it. To give in would require accepting that everyone else really had abandoned her, and that there was no outside help on the way. It would mean betraying the trust that everyone had put in her, even though she’d given them no good reason to. If she let this monster take over, she truly would become the menace she’d always feared she was.
To say that Yuki eventually stopped made it sound like there was a break, a period of time when she wasn’t torturing her captive host. It wasn’t like that at all. One second she was carving a fresh bloody streak across her chest, and the next the whip was gone and the nogitsune was standing directly in front of Hanabi, faces so close together that they were almost kissing. Something hard and thick rammed itself into the white haired girl’s pussy, stuffing and stretching it in an instant’s time. “Do you see what I mean, little fox?” Yuki asked cheerfully as she brutally raped her. A glance down showed a real cock, long and fat and eager, now protruding from the nogitsune’s crotch, pumping vigorously into the white haired girl’s body. “If you’d been smart and accepted me sooner, I might never have known what a lovely singing voice you have. But now that I do, I’ll have to have you serenading me day and night with your screams while I walk around in your skin.”
Yuki leaned closer and nibbled on one of Hanabi’s ears, and then the girl squealed as the nogitsune’s teeth bit down hard and pulled, tearing the ear right off of her head. The nogitsune carelessly spat the bloody thing out on the ground, the rough pace of her hips never slowing. “I think I’m going to keep you in a little box,” she told Hanabi in a pleasant tone. “Don’t worry, it’ll have some holes so that you can look out and see how much fun I’m having with your body. But it will be a comfy, cozy little box full of sharp shiny toys to keep you from getting bored. You’ll relax in there until I’m in the mood to let you out to play with-” her teeth bit into the side of Hanabi’s neck, and the girl cried out as she began to chew viciously “- and make love to -” she gave a sharp thrust of her hips that made the head of her cock slam into Hanabi’s cervix like a hammer “- until I’m all satisfied and ready to put you back in your box for next time. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful, carefree life?”
“You like it… so much…” Hanabi managed, panting. “Why don’t you… be the one in the box…?”
Yuki laughed at that comment. “Because I’ve already spent centuries in it, little fox, and I’m never… going… back!” She punctuated each word with hard thrusts that felt like they might break right through Hanabi’s cervix. “Don’t take all of this the wrong way. I don’t hate you, Hanabi. I’m actually rather fond of you: you’re cute and soft and wonderfully fuckable.”
Her fingers teased the girl’s clitoris, sending unnaturally powerful pangs of pleasure through Hanabi that brought her to orgasm in seconds, even through all the pain. “Being kept as a pet inside your own head won’t be all bad, I promise,” Yuki told her as she made the girl cum over and over. “I’ll pamper and spoil you sometimes too, so long as you’re obedient. And I promise that it won’t take long to mold you into someone who enjoys everything I do to her, even the torture. Especially the torture. But…” She pinched Hanabi’s clit instead, and the waves of pleasure were replaced with biting agony. “I am what I am. I was created to crave pain, terror, and humiliation, the same way your kind longs for sunlight, food, and water. And you can’t blame me for enjoying a meal.”
The nogitsune began to cum, but it wasn’t semen that spurted into her, it was thick, mucus-y pus. “Trust me, you’ll be happier not controlling this body anymore,” Yuki confided as the filthy slime gushed from her pulsing cock. “I don’t think you’d enjoy it very much anymore.” She casually snapped her fingers, and suddenly Hanabi wasn’t tied to the wooden post. She was on the stone slab that Tobi and Kamio had left her on. Their surroundings looked identical, but there was a subtle difference, a quality to it that told the fox girl that they were no longer inside her head. She was back in reality, for the time being.
She didn’t have the attention to appreciate what that meant. Just like the fake Nobu had said, the slime had suffused her body. It was all around her like a slick, soppy, skintight cocoon, tinting her vision yellow, and it was coming from her. Hanabi felt the disgusting stuff leaking from every pore, tasted the greasy and slightly sweet flavor of it coating her mouth. It was in her eyes and ears and nose, lining her stomach, soaking her fur…
The white fox had never felt more thoroughly defiled and violated in her life, not even when Levi was doing his best to literally fuck her to death. She tried to scream, but all that came out of her throat was a wet, slimy gurgle. She flopped around uselessly, her muscles no longer working well enough to do something as tremendously complicated as standing up. “See?” Yuki asked, standing over her. “Who’d want to go back to a body like this?”
The nogitsune’s appearance was completely different out here. She had the same shape, the same tails and cock and wicked smile, but now she much more closely resembled one of the nightmares from before, her body composed of yellow pus held together by transparent skin. And the slime oozing out around her feet was connected to the same mucus seeping from Hanabi’s skin; she was an animated, living extension of the foul pus invading Hanabi.
Hanabi’s chest heaved, but she couldn’t even breathe anymore, her lungs too clogged with slime. The nogitsune gave her a light kick in the ribs that flipped her over onto her stomach, and then knelt behind the choking girl. “Don’t worry, you’re not going to die,” she said as she yanked on Hanabi’s soaking wet ears to pull her ass backward and onto her waiting cock. “I’m perfectly capable of providing your body with everything it needs to stay alive. You’ll never have to worry about trivial things like oxygen anymore with me around.”
She penetrated Hanabi’s asshole easily, the orifice already slick and gaping, but the fox girl felt her captor’s cock swell up, growing rapidly until it was a bloated, lumpy thing that felt big enough to split her in two despite the copious lubrication. “Here’s the deal, short stuff,” Yuki told the girl while viciously reaming her out. “We’ve got about an hour left before dawn in here. If we’ve reached an agreement by then and I’m snug as a bug inside you, we’ll greet the morning sun with a smile. But if you continue resisting, I’ll have no choice but to bring you home with me and continue our discussion down there, away from all that pesky sunlight.”
Hanabi felt the slime in her mouth shifting and hardening until it had become a swollen cock of its own that pumped her gasping throat. The greasy juices from her pussy did the same, pummeling her quim and leaving the girl trapped between three huge and disgusting pricks. “I don’t want to go back underground,” Yuki informed her. “Not when I’m this close to freedom. So if you make me do that by being a stubborn little bitch…” All three cocks grew larger, and at the same time the rest of the slime shifted and shrank tighter. Hanabi’s head pounded from the pressure on her skull, and her tits felt like they were going to literally pop from the merciless compression. Even the less sensitive parts of her body felt like they were being pulverized, muscles and bone clenched almost tight enough to grind them to pulp.
“Then I’ll stop being so sweet and charming.” The three cocks were viciously churning up Hanabi’s insides now, and still growing longer and thicker with every thrust. “Instead of letting you stay in here with me as my faithful pup, I’ll spend the next few years grinding you down into a little worm.” The dicks in her ass and mouth had penetrated so deeply that they began colliding inside of her, while the one in her pussy was doing its best to wreck and ruin her womb. “So consider this your last chance, little fox. Turn me down this time, and the next time I ask, you won’t be around to hear it. There will be nothing left of your soul by then but a squirming nib.”
The nightmare might have been bluffing, but Hanabi didn’t think it was. What it was threatening to do was certainly possible, and she had witnessed too much petty spite from Levi Petrov and others to doubt that it could be so cruel. Hanabi felt… exhausted. She’d been degraded, defiled, and abused past her limits before she’d ever so much as stepped foot in the nexus or thought about the Paradisium. It felt like ages had passed since she’d last felt safe and rested and home. Goddess, she missed being home so much, and even in the middle of this torture some part of her was aching over the fact that the physical Hanei was long gone, her house destroyed and her father’s flowers uprooted. She would never see her bedroom ceiling again.
But the people of Hanei were still there. Her fathers were still alive, and so was Tomo, and Ichika, and Tobi, and everyone else. She tried to take comfort in the fact that home still existed in some form out there, even as she accepted that she would never get to see it. She gurgled something around the cock in her throat, and Yuki chuckled. “Let me help you there,” she said, and suddenly the slime there was just slime again, still filthy and foul and inside her, but not animated.
“Do you promise… not to hurt them…?” Hanabi rasped, her lungs clearing just enough to let her draw in a trickle of breath. “If I agree…?”
“Why not?” Yuki said easily. “The whole world will be our oyster, little fox. If it will make my host happy and keep her obedient, I can spare one measly village of furry fucktoys. Does that mean we have a deal?”
Hanabi knew that she was supposed to keep resisting. She was supposed to stay strong until the bitter end, never losing hope that things would turn around. That was what a storybook hero would do. But Hanabi didn’t feel much like a hero right now. She felt like an exhausted, filthy, thoroughly raped girl who just wanted it all to stop. She’d gotten the nightmare to agree to leave her people alone, for however much its word was worth. That was going to have to be enough.
She opened her mouth to tell the thing that she gave up… and from the corner of her eyes, caught a bright light flaring up in the distance. It bloomed brilliant and orange against the black night sky, and even from afar Hanabi could feel the heat of it reach her. The nogitsune stiffened, and Hanabi heard a quiet sizzling as the light touched it. “No…” hissed Yuki. “No… they can’t have…”
Another light flared up in the distance, and another, and as Hanabi stared at the flickering flames, she realized what they were: the braziers. Someone was lighting the braziers that surrounded the fallen refuge.
All further thought was nearly knocked from her head as she was roughly hauled across the ground. The nogitsune slime handled her as though the fox girl weighed nothing, breaking into a full sprint while dragging Hanabi’s twitching body behind her. It fled from the braziers, towards the total darkness that still remained elsewhere, but it had barely begun moving when another light appeared in front of them. It changed direction, but already there was a flame there too, blocking the way. The sizzling of its body was growing louder now as the light of multiple braziers touched it.
It was still nearly impossible to breathe, and her chest burned for more oxygen, but that couldn’t stop the white haired fox girl from laughing as she finally understood what was going on. “Thought you said… everyone left…” she managed to choke out as the nogitsune darted this way and that, seeking an escape route that they both knew didn’t exist.
“They did!” insisted the nightmare. It didn’t look much like Yuki anymore, or anything else. Without the will to keep itself together, it was just a formless slime now, a half dissolved mouth the only feature still remaining. “They did!”
“That’s whatcha get… for trusting kitsune…” Hanabi gasped out, still laughing despite how much it hurt. It felt good to be reminded that she wasn’t the only fox who could play pranks sometimes. Tobi and her father had “abandoned” her here all right, smack dab in the middle of the circle of braziers where the nightmare could be trapped and destroyed. She didn’t know how they’d turned them on, and at the moment she couldn’t care less.
Her lungs filled with slime again, and the stuff coating her neck began to squeeze as well. “You think they’re going to save you?” snarled the thing in Levi’s voice as it throttled her. “If I die here, so will you, fox cunt!” Hanabi tried to lift her hands up and scrape the stuff off her throat, but her muscles were still completely unresponsive. The light of the braziers was already fading from her vision, replaced with the darkness of unconsciousness.
And then there was light. Not hot flames, but something gentler. Softer. Hanabi’s vision cleared as the slime melted away from her, and she looked up to see a massive sun in the sky, so big that it seemed to stretch from horizon to horizon. The nightmare was howling and sizzling as it tried to take shelter from the light, but all eight braziers had been lit by now, and there wasn’t so much as a shadow to be found. In a handful of seconds it had been completely burned away, leaving nothing behind but a foul stench.
“Are you alright?” Seo-yun asked anxiously. The woman appeared at Hanabi’s side, and crouched down. Her hands began to glow, and the white haired girl felt foxfire flowing through her. She’d been healed by Seo-yun before, back in the Paradisium, and just like then she felt her natural regeneration accelerating, her body healing in seconds what would’ve taken hours to manage. When it was over, the pain was gone, but it had been replaced with an even greater sense of exhaustion. Seo-yun’s foxfire had shouldered most of the burden, but it had still forced Hanabi’s already overtaxed system to work itself even harder.
She lifted one shaking hand up to point at the sky. “Is that… you…?” she mumbled. Her consciousness was fading again, but this time it was healthy sleep claiming her, not empty darkness.
Seo-yun glanced briefly up at the sky as she began carefully picking Hanabi up. “Yes,” she said absently, all her attention focused on not hurting the girl. “I’m sorry,” she added a moment later. “I should have done that sooner, but I… I didn’t even know that I could do that until I tried.”
Hanabi shook her head weakly. “No worries…” She continued staring up at the soft sunlight as her eyelids gave up the fight and closed. If Hanabi used everything she had, she might be able to make a ball of sunlight that was… a thousandth the size of that? Maybe a hundredth if she practiced a bunch to get efficient with it? And Seo-yun had made that like it was nothing. What was she?
But that was a question that could wait. Everything could wait. The kitsune let herself sink into the woman’s embrace and relaxed, no longer fighting the insistent call of sleep. It was all finally over. The Paradisium, Paragon… all of it was in the past now.