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.
“So,” Merielle said as she ripped a board out of the ground and tossed it onto the trailer that they were loading up. “What is this prophecy I keep hearing about?”
“That piece of bullshit,” Yuki growled. “It’s nothing.” She held a crowbar in her hands and was using it to pry up blocks out of the foundation of the burned building, freeing up room for this area to be rebuilt. She was sweating, even in the cool winter air. It felt… good. It was honest work, and it distracted from the horrible feeling of seeing her home like this.
“Kinda doesn’t feel like nothing, mistress,” Merielle said lightly as she tossed in the next piece of wreckage. She was trying to stay away from iron, but it was hard to always tell so she was just being careful… the way everyone else had to be. “I keep hearing about it. From your story, from Mai… what is it?”
“Just an old legend that has caused me no end of trouble,” Yuki muttered beneath her breath. She wasn’t too worried about talking openly… she had an illusion wrapped around them, silencing their conversation. Any kitsune would have no issue recognizing the privacy magic in use, but it would be incredibly rude to try and break through it, and using one wasn’t even remotely uncommon… or, at least, hadn’t been in Yuki’s days in the village. From the fact that no one had remarked on it, she assumed that was still the case. “Kitsune born with white fur are rare,” she explained, looking up at the sky as she spoke. “Happens only once or twice a thousand years.”
“So… you and your sister, then?” she asked.
Yuki chuckled darkly. “No,” she said grimly as she resumed her work. “Akari was… Akari is the reason for that myth. She wasn’t born like this… she was transformed. Akari is a zenko… one of Inari’s chosen. When a new one is made, her fur turns white.”
Merielle made a clicking noise with her tongue. “So that’s why the… what, the police officer?… fox reacted like that when Akari showed her tails?”
“Right,” Yuki said. “So, when a fox is born with white fur, everyone thinks Inari’s eyes are already on them. That they’re going to be the next fox to ascend to the ranks of the Zenko-Kitsune… that they already have one foot in the door.” Yuki scoffed. “It’s not true. Inari doesn’t give a shit. It’s just fur.”
“Is that all?” Merielle asked, and there was something… earnest in her voice. Something disarming. “Just superstition saying that you and your mentor were going to be the next servants of your goddess?”
The nogitsune paused, leaning down on the crowbar. “Not… quite. There’s a little bit more, but it’s even more bullshit than the last part. My mom… Yui, that is… told me that I was going to do something special.” She shook her head, staring at the ground. “Save the world.” Yuki sighed in disgust. “I don’t know how the village found out. Yui didn’t tell them before she died, I’m pretty sure of that. Still, everyone started acting like it was true. Pain in my ass.”
“Is that why you were banished then?” Merielle asked. “Why you have to hide?”
Yuki barked a laugh. “No, Red. I’ll get there.” She tossed the final block into the wagon and started walking. “Shouldn’t you be going to see Maya, anyway?”
“Later tonight,” Merielle responded. “Taking dinner with her.”
“Fine,” Yuki said, clapping her hands and tossing the crowbar on top of the rubble before she put her shoulder against the edge of the trailer and began pushing. “We’ll see what else we can do.”
Yuki pushed the trailer through the town, shoving it towards the dump near the middle where rubble was being sorted to salvage, burn, and discard piles. That was where people were reporting for assignment. From what Yuki had seen and heard, there were four people more or less calling the shots in Hanei right now, directing people to where they could do the most good. The first was the town’s Mayor, a woman named Kaede that Yuki remembered from a long time ago. She was just a little younger than Yuki was. Second was her daughter, a much younger fox named Rei who seemed older than her age. Third was a woman named Hanabi, whom Yuki hadn’t met yet, and lastly was the one that was the most worrying to her… Ichika, who was still trying to learn more about who “Yusika” was. She seemed to be doing it more out of admiration than suspicion now that she thought Yusika was a zenko in disguise, but as far as Yuki was concerned, that was even worse. She felt far more comfortable being treated with hostility than respect.
The middle of town was starting to get crowded with piles, but Yuki found space easily enough. Dumping the trailer out onto the ground seemed like a hell of waste after all the time they had spent filling it up, but that was just how it went… most of the task of cleaning was in moving things from one location to another. Now she just needed to…
“You’re… Yusika, right?” a young woman’s voice asked. “The new fox in town?”
Yuki winced. “Yeah, that’s me,” she said, and turned around. “What can I d-”
Her first thought was one of panic… that Inari had decided to enforce her ban. The kitsune before her had stark white fur, just like Akari’s, and it shone in the sun. Yuki’s heart raced and her eyes widened as she immediately considered whether it was better to run or to fight. Then a few small inconsistencies began to add up. She was wearing very modern clothing and looked at ease in it, unlike Akari who looked uncomfortable in anything made in the last 300 years, and this one was young. Maybe only a century old or so. It wasn’t impossible for one so young to be a Zenko, Inari didn’t exactly restrict it by age, but Yuki had a hard time believing someone like her could have that kind of experience… and she wasn’t looking at Yuki in a threatening way, or with guile. She seemed almost earnestly calm.
The fox’s face fell a little bit as Yuki stared at her, and she forced a self-effacing grin onto her face. “Suppose I’m going to have to get used to the occasional surprised look like that,” she said, and held out one hand. “Hanabi. Pleased to meet you.” Yuki took her hand, mostly by reflex, and shook it… it was hard to pull her eyes away from the pure white hair and fur. “I was looking for people who know about true foxfire to work on some of the wards… they need to be rebuilt after Paragon came through here, and there are few enough people with the ability… hoped you might be able to help.” She noted Yuki’s gaze and sighed. “You were… Aunt Ichika tells me you were around during the war. I guess that means you knew the last white fox of Hanei too, huh?”
“I’m… yeah,” Yuki said neutrally. “I met her.”
“Well, don’t worry,” Hanabi reassured her. “I’m nothing like that monster, I swear.”
“Oh yeah?” Yuki said, filled with morbid curiosity despite herself. “You’re what, a hundred? How do you know you’re nothing like her?”
“Well, let’s see,” Hanabi said, and began ticking statements off with her fingers. “I’ve never betrayed my village and or my goddess… never burned down half of Northern Japan, though I’m still young, so I shouldn’t make any promises there… never led a rebellion against the village that resulted in half the town vanishing or being fed to monsters…”
“Yuki wasn’t like that.”
Yuki stiffened, sudden panic making her back tighten so much she felt like she was going to break bones. She turned in a panic to see Merielle stepping forward, but she couldn’t think of a way to silence her submissive without doing more damage than she was. “Yuki was just trying to protect the village is how I heard it,” continued the redhead. “Defend it from the jorogumo.”
“Yeah, Yuki tried to do a lot of things,” the nogitsune said, unable to keep all of the bitterness and self-hatred out of her voice. “And all she really managed to do was fuck everything up.”
“But-” Merielle began.
“It’s true, Red,” Yuki said, and held the selkie’s gaze. “Everything she said. Yuki is probably the worst thing that ever happened to Hanei.”
Hanabi looked between the two of them. “Sorry,” she said apologetically. “I shouldn’t have brought her up in the first place. I didn’t mean to dredge up any bad memories.” Then she brightened. “Hey, you guys have been working all morning, right? Why don’t we take a break, grab some food, and talk about less depressing stuff?”
“I’m not hungry,” Yuki said, eager to end this conversation. “What did you need done with the wards?”
“Hmm? Oh yeah. One of our sentries, Shura, is gonna head out to the eastern wards tomorrow… they were what took the most damage in the attack. You mind going with her to lend a hand?”
“Fine.” The nogitsune turned away. “Let’s get back to work, Red.”
Merielle hesitated for just a moment, then seemed to make up her mind. “No,” she said resolutely. “Hanabi is right: I’m starving. Something to eat sounds wonderful right now.”
“Perfect,” Hanabi said cheerfully. “I’ll go let my dad know we’ve got a couple guests for lunch, while you guys finish up what you’re doing over here. Meet you back here in, like, five minutes, okay?” Without waiting for a response, she transformed into a white fox and loped away.
“What the hell was that?” Yuki hissed at the selkie, barely maintaining the presence of mind to put the privacy illusion back up first.
“These are your people,” Merielle said simply as she began to empty the trailer again.
“Yeah, and if you weren’t listening just now, they all hate my fucking guts!”
“And do you hate them?”
The question brought Yuki up short. “I… no, of course not.”
Merielle nodded as though she’d just won the argument. “Then you should spend some time with them. Even if it’s just as ‘Yusika’.”
“Whatever,” Yuki grumbled. She couldn’t back out from the invitation now without looking weird and maybe making that white haired girl suspicious. And at the moment, she couldn’t imagine anything in the entire world worse than Akari showing up to vouch for her again, like she was so pathetic that she couldn’t even manage this much without needing constant literal divine assistance from her own sister. “But I’m gonna make you pay for this tonight,” Yuki threatened as she joined the selkie in emptying the trailer.
Merielle turned to look at her, beaming. “Promise?”
“I have to admit,” Yuki said as she looked around at the food on the table. “When you said it would be lunch I wasn’t really expecting all… this.”
Hanabi’s home was nothing special… almost spartan, actually. Some basic utilities, a table, cushions, mats. Unsurprising, given that most of the buildings in town had been ruined… those that hadn’t just been wholesale burned to the ground. Even so, though, there was something comforting here, something lived in… even after a short period of time. Maybe it was the flowers… how even in winter, they had gathered some to keep in their home. Maybe it was the painted walls, done inexpertly but in warm colors. Or maybe it was entirely in the foxes living there. Hanabi didn’t live alone, and she hadn’t cooked the food, either… she lived with her parents still, and one of her fathers, Nobu, had been in the process of cooking when Yuki and Merielle walked in. The man had been unfailingly gracious and kind to the two strangers in their village.
It was more than Yuki would have been, probably… but then, Yuki was used to others being a better person than she was.
“What?” Hanabi asked as she reached down and dipped the crust of the goddess-forsaken pizza in a bowl of curry. “I said there was going to be food. Did you think I was joking?” she said around a mouthful of her food.
“It’s more the type,” Yuki admitted, looking over it. “I wasn’t expecting anything quite so… modern… from the village.”
Hanabi raised one eyebrow. “What, your village more traditional or something? Do they only eat things we’ve been making for half a millennium?”
“Last time I was there,” Yuki answered wryly with a chuckle. It wasn’t that the food itself was novel to her, of course… it was the surroundings just seemed so incongruous.
“Well, this eats fast,” Hanabi admitted. “And there’s a lot of work to do. You want something more traditional, Yusika, you should come by for dinner sometime… I think it half kills dad to make something this simple for a meal, even with a time limit.”
“I’m not sure I’d call it simple, either,” ‘Yusika’ acknowledged, looking again as she picked up her own piece. The meal was handmade, certainly… cooked to perfection, and the curry was rich and warming to the tongue without being especially spicy. She bit into the food, and had to resist making a small, pleased moan… Yuki had always appreciated good food, and relearning close to seven hundred years worth of technique with modern tools and ingredients had, if anything, only made her more so. And this was good food.
“See, Dad?” Hanabi raised her voice in between bites. “They like it. So stop your grumbling. I can hear you from over here.”
“No you can’t, Flower,” he said. “I checked.”
Yuki had to laugh, and soon Hanabi joined in. “You really should come over for dinner, though,” the white-furred fox said, her face growing more serious but her eyes still twinkling. “Aunt Ichika told me she’s been trying to get you to answer some questions for a few days. She takes security around here pretty seriously right now, but I know she can be a little… intense?” The young kitsune shook her head. “We can have have her over at the same time. She can’t grill you too hard if we’re all here too, and then she won’t have an excuse to pull you aside or keep making a fuss about it.”
Yuki opened her mouth to decline on instinct before closing it. That… actually didn’t sound so bad. That would get the annoyingly persistent kitsune off her back, and it sounded like… it might be even be a little pleasant. She hadn’t exchanged words with Hanabi’s other father yet, but she was pretty sure she’d recognized him when he had grabbed some food before heading off to do his own job, and that was proving to be the case most places she went… that there was at least one fox old enough to remember her. Doing something to get the suspicion off her back would probably be wise.
“That would be nice,” Yuki admitted. Next to her, eating quietly, Merielle just kept smiling. Insufferable bitch. Still, this was pretty fun. Maybe she might not go too hard to her tonight.
The shock of seeing another fox with white fur had certainly stunned her, but the young kitsune was hard to dislike. She had a wry sense of humor and seemed… comfortable, surprisingly at ease despite the amount of responsibility foisted onto her for how young she was. If the stories Yuki had heard about the village were to be believed, that wasn’t too surprising… she had apparently been one of the main reasons Hanei was filled with people rather than ghosts. At least one white fox of Hanei had come through for her home.
“So,” Yuki asked, before she could second guess herself. “Please tell me the village hasn’t been insisting you were the chosen one or something for the last hundred years.” She took another bite of her pizza, savoring again the rich curry as it coated her tongue.
Hanabi barked out a quick laugh. “Uhhh, no,” she said after a moment. “Not at all. I think any notion of that ended with Yuki.”
The nogitsune tried not to wince. “Must not have been a fun way to grow up,” she observed.
Hanabi sighed, looking down for a second. “Honestly, I’d say it wasn’t… but that’s not fair to all of them. I… sort of made it an awful lot worse for myself.” She shrugged, taking a drink before turning to the meal. “Live and learn, right?”
“While you can,” Yuki agreed.
“Tell you the truth,” Hanabi said, “none of them really ever mentioned it. Honestly, I was a few decades old before I even heard her name. Never could get anyone to tell me much about her. Dad… he never talks about the war. None of them do, really.”
“Then how do you know what she was like?” Merielle pressed, pointedly not meeting her mistress’ eyes as Yuki frantically tried to get her to do it. No, no, she was not going to be going easy on that little, arrogant, uppity- “You just said no one will talk about her. How do you know?”
“You can still know someone from their actions,” Hanabi argued. “The results speak for themselves.”
“And does intention not matter then?” Merielle argued back, folding her hands in her lap stubbornly.
“Sometimes,” Yuki said, cutting it before this could get further out of hand. “But not always, and rarely enough.” She looked to Hanabi. “Thank you for having us for lunch. I think I’ll go assist… Shura was it?… now.”
“She said at one,” Merielle said stubbornly. “It’s twelve thirty. And Yusika here was just telling me a bit of about the war and the last time she was here. I’m sure you could learn a thing or two about Yuki.”
Definitely, definitely, definitely going to let her have it.
Hanabi had been rising, but now the fox had sank back down, an odd expression on her face. “Really?” she said, and no matter how she tried she couldn’t quite keep the excitement… and quiet longing… out of her voice. “If it’s not a bother…”
Yuki swallowed. “Well, I was already halfway through the story, and-”
“I don’t mind us starting over,” Merielle said sweetly, her face twisting in a mischievous smile. “Please, by all means Yusika… from the beginning.”
Yuki sighed, closed her eyes, and mentally counted to ten to convince herself that she didn’t really want to stretch all nine tails across the table and throttle her slave unconscious. “Alright Red,” she more growled than conceded. “You win. From the beginning, all over again. My story… well, my story began with the jorogumo, but Yuki’s story began before that…”
“To the fallen,” said Yuki as she held up her cup to meet those of her family and lover.
“To the fallen,” said her sisters and Mai in unison.
“To the fallen,” repeated Seijun, her head down as she trailed behind them.
It was clear, at least to Yuki, that her mentor was lost in thought and had been ever since that terrible battle nearly three days prior. As was expected with the behavior of the jorogumo, there was an uneasy quietness that came from the grace periods between battles. Seijun didn’t think it was a time to celebrate anything, much less a time for her to be happy after the heartbreaking events that caused them to lose more of their people. Yuki understood the feeling… her heart still ached each time she thought of Hinata and realized that she wasn’t there anymore, that she had no idea if she would ever see her again.
At the last headcount, the estimates were that they had lost nine newcomers and a single veteran. Even from a loose count, they had killed thousands of jorogumo… hundreds for each one of theirs they had lost.
Yuki was pretty sure sure that was a ruinous rate of exchange… jorogumo seemed without number. She tried to put that thought out of her mind, but it was hard. At least the alcohol helped. Not much… but then, maybe she just wasn’t drinking enough.
“Are you alright, Seijun?” asked Akari as she swigged the last of her sake. She seemed utterly unaffected by the strong drink, as always… sitting primly on the ground with perfect posture and perfect manners.
Seijun sighed and nodded. “As alright as I can be, Akari,” she said. “I’m not sure anyone should be alright.”
The blonde fox just sighed and nodded quietly with her. It was a somber moment for all of them… each of them knew that this wasn’t anywhere close to being the end of the war. The point of this dinner was supposed to be to relax, to think about anything else… they were even back in Hanei, where she could be with Mai again. Seijun had bought the fish from the markets in Nagoro, and Akari and Yuki had roasted them, laughing easily and arguing about silly things like how much spice was too much or whether the heat was too high or too low. Familiar things… unimportant things. Things that didn’t raise tensions between them. Things that didn’t risk getting people killed. While they had fought over the fish, the one thing they were in complete agreement about was shutting down Akemi each time that their sister tried to help. Their elder sister had taken after Yui in more ways than her talent with the blade… she had inherited her incompetence at cooking, and her eagerness to try anyway. Yuki and Akari seldom agreed on much, but both sisters were always in agreement that letting her cook anything would be a catastrophe and were more than happy to work together to make sure it didn’t happen.
“It’s nice to have the band of sisters together again,” said Akemi, breaking the tension with a much more light hearted toast. “With nothing to fight for a change.”
“I have missed relaxing with you all dearly during these times,” said Akari.
“Truly,” agreed Yuki as she nuzzled closely to Mai. She reached down under the table and squeezed Mai’s leg gently. Mai looked at Yuki and just smiled as she used one of her tails to tangle into hers. The white furred fox raised the glass and drank again while Akemi pawed her food like she expected it to start running so she could chase it. Seijun had to remind her that she hadn’t cooked it, so it wasn’t going to get up and walk away.
Yuki looked around, smiling… her gaze drifting over her lover, to her sisters, to her mentor, and she felt… she really did feel like everything was going to be okay. This was a world worth protecting… moments like these. She talked and drank and laughed the night away, until the sun was nothing but a memory and the moon was high in the sky, only stopping when Mai squeezed her inner thigh beneath the table. The brunette kitsune kissed her on the cheek before standing slowly. “Well,” she said, “it’s been wonderful, but I’m getting a little light headed after such a fun night. I would ask you don’t mind if I steal your sister away once again.”
Seijun and Akari laughed and waved them off as Akemi laid her head down on the table and started singing an old folk song like she was a drunken sailor. Akemi and Akari joined in harmony as Yuki hurried out with Mai on hand. “They always get a certain way once the drinks settle in,” she said as she looked at Mai with a smirk. “Though you know I get in my own way, too.”
“I’m well aware,” chuckled Mai as she was whisked away to Yuki’s home. Her house in Hanei wasn’t large by any means, but it was beautiful… she had built it herself, with her mothers. Akemi had Yui’s sword, and Akari had their home… this was what Yuki had left of her. Its walls were covered with art… painting and weavings mostly, but some calligraphy and a few statues also adorned the walls of her home. An altar to Inari, its burner still softly trailing incense, rested prominently against the main wall where it would be the first thing a visitor would see. Yuki had carved it herself out a single block of Koya, just as she had made all of these. Many of her best efforts she wanted to share with the world, give away or put in the hands of those who would display them, but the ones that inspired her she kept.
Tonight, however, she didn’t even glance at them. Tonight, her gaze was only for her lover.
Once inside, Yuki hardly paused to close the door before she all but tossed Mai onto the futon in their bedroom, leaving the smaller fox sprawling out before her as she closed their windows against the moonlight for additional privacy. She turned and smirked at Mai as she approached her, grabbing her by the kimono and pulling her back up to her feet to lay a passionate kiss on her lips. Mai cooed into Yuki’s mouth and breathed out happily as she slipped her hands into Yuki’s robe and slowly pulled it off. Yuki’s skin kimono dropped to the floor, revealing the kitsune’s beautifully naked body. Yuki kissed on Mai’s neck as she did the same, dropping her kimono and revealing her naked body underneath.
A delighted grin washed over Yuki’s face as she reached down and gave Mai’s breasts a firm squeeze. Mai’s body jolted in surprise which only caused Yuki to laugh with delight. Mai breathed out and laughed some too. “What’s gotten into you?” she asked. “You’re acting like this was the first time all over again.”
“I feel like it is the first time all over again,” said Yuki as she continued to to play with her submissive’s breasts. “Your perspective of life’s pleasures change when you face death. All its treasures seem all the more valuable.”
She walked Mai back onto the futon and laid her down, kicking aside the comforter as she pressed her naked body against hers. Mai couldn’t help but curl her toes into the sheets as Yuki’s thumb and forefinger grasped at her nipples, squeezing them lightly and rotating them all the same like she was adoring her breasts. Her cute, stifled moans filled the air around them, causing the tip of Yuki’s tongue to salivate with anticipation as she slowly went down and suckled on her tits. Mai rubbed her hand between Yuki’s legs, feeling the wetness as she started to move up and down again against her lover’s moist and ready pussy. She used the juices Yuki emitted as lubrication for her hand against her clit as she started to speed her hand movements, going up and down, up and down once more and squeezing the bulb as she often did, making Yuki squirm in delight.
“Love you,” Yuki slurred around her nipple. Mai looked up towards her, blushing heavily as she spoke. Before either of them could think too much about what she said, Mai felt her mouth on her lips again. The kiss was deep but brief, and she responded with a light gasp as the wetness of Yuki’s tongue found its way to Mai’s nipples once more. The sensation of pleasure was immediate as it overcame her… her breathing got faster and more shallow as she seemingly started gasping for air. Yuki’s hands, her lips and her tongue were on her all at once. All she could think to do was rub her hand more as she started pushing her body wantingly up against Yuki and grinding against her leg for a greedy amount of sensations.
Yuki gasped with pleasure as she kissed harder, pushing her tongue into Mai while her movements, like usual, began to grow more aggressive. Mai shifted her weight beneath Yuki and spread her legs, and the white-furred fox made sure that her lover felt every inch as her hands made the journey towards her wet and wanting pussy. She squirmed enticingly on the futon, and Yuki chuckled again watching her shift around, Mai’s hands still pressed against her wet lips as her body moved in rhythm with her own. Mai looked at her, her eyes wide and needing… the redness that was once on her cheeks now flushing bright over the top of her chest as well as she was getting hotter from the sensitive touching. She rubbed over Yuki’s muscles, taut beneath her pale skin, and moaned again.
Yuki squeezed Mai harder, and the other fox shifted herself downward to get a better grasp of Yuki’s pussy, pushing her fingers up inside of her so she could match the same ferocity as Yuki finger fucked her. Yuki felt the same riled up energy her lover felt as they started rubbing against each other more vigorously. She wasted no time taking her two fingers as she shoved them deep inside of Mai and pumped. Mai couldn’t help but squeal as she let her knees rise and her legs spread further apart. She squeezed her fingers tightly into Yuki’s quim in return, only making her competitive lover push harder and faster. She drove forward, fucking her with her hand, pumping her fingers in and out of her hard and letting Mai’s wetness aid in the stroking as it coated her hand from how vigorously she pumped.
Mai’s toes curled up as squirmed and cooed and moaned into Yuki’s mouth while they kissed. She moaned and groaned, the smell of their hot and steamy bodies filled the air. Each pump of their fingers inside their tight pussies sent jolts of pleasure through their bodies from the hips, ass, and abdomen. Every now and again, Yuki could feel Mai curling her fingers inside her and pressing against all the right spots inside of her, which only sent Yuki spiraling deeper into the pleasure. Mai pressed harder still, making Yuki shake against her.
Before Mai could even feel triumph at that reaction, her mistress’ thumb was on her clitoris in turn. Keeping two fingers in her pussy and pumping, she took her thumb and pushed against Mai’s swollen little clit, grinding it in. Mai gasped out in mingled pain and pleasure, taking her hand and putting it over her mouth to try and keep herself quiet. She didn’t want to wake up the the entire town, Yuki thought with a smirk. She could feel the heat building in her cunt. Each long stroke of the white fox’s hand caused Mai to stroke her harder and faster, trying to stay in rhythm with her mistress. Mai opened her eyes wide and arched her back as Yuki pushed into her hard and deep and pressed her thumb upon her clit flicking, massaging, and rotating on top of it wildly… slowly winning the war to make her submissive cum first. Yuki’s touch was like magic, because as soon as Mai cried out in pleasure she felt the first contraction hit her abdomen. Her entire body felt hot with intensity, and one contraction of pleasure after another came in waves over her body. She couldn’t control herself as she moaned, flailing and detaching her fingers from inside of Yuki in tense defeat as she came.
Mai finally took a breath as she fell back against the futon out of breath and flushed all over. Almost immediately she felt herself tossed over onto her stomach. A light slap from Yuki’s hand fell against her ass followed by a harder one. Yuki’s tails snapped out quick as a whip, the strong extra limbs holding her down almost as firmly as shackles would have as Yuki leveraged her weight against her. Then, with a cry of surprise from Mai, two of Yuki’s tails were inside of her. They took turns thrusting into her pussy one after the other at first, but it wasn’t long before Yuki’s hands pressed firmly against Mai’s ass cheeks, grasped in her strong hands as she pried them apart. Seconds later, one of her cunt-slicked tails drove into her asshole, making Mai cry out into the bed in between whimpering, overwhelmed noises.
Yuki hesitated for a moment, but Mai didn’t protest, so she continued. With the quick burst of pain and pleasure past, she shoved forward with consistent force, seeking to sheathe herself entirely in her slave. Her tail were sensitive, and doing this frequently had only increased how much they were, how much pleasure she got from the sensation of being inside of her. It wasn’t sexual pleasure, exactly, but it felt amazing anyway… sort of like a good backrub on sore muscles, and she would have done it if she felt nothing just for the reaction… her lover’s panting whimpers did more to bring Yuki closer to cumming than a half-dozen hands would have. Yuki bent down and licked at her neck, causing Mai to shiver to the point she actually thought she might shake herself right off the futon if Yuki stopped pinning her down.
Mai’s voice was growing louder as she snaked towards a second orgasm, and that sounded like a wonderful plan to Yuki, but she had to keep her quiet, so she wound her hand in Mai’s hair and shoved her face down against the sheets, muffling her by smothering her in the mattress as she slammed her tails in and out again and again and again, insatiably hungry for more. Yuki’s cunt throbbed the same, and her other hand was busy finger fucking herself while her attention was focused on using Mai’s body almost like an instrument to produce pleasure instead of music. In this moment, Mai was her art, and Yuki was determined to make a masterpiece. She pumped Mai’s holes, each thrust of her hand going harder and faster than the last. Yuki could tell Mai was going to burst at any minute, but she wanted to make the most of it. She stopped rubbing herself off to get to Mai the best way she could as she reached around and under her belly. Now as Yuki fucked her fast and hard from behind she used her own hand to stimulate her lover’s clitoris.
The intensity and pleasure were unlike anything she had ever felt before. Once again she began to feel the heat rising in her body. In and out, in and out, back and forth Yuki pumped, as she rotated her fingers around Mai’s clit. Without much warning she felt it again, first the heat, then the contractions as she squeezed on Yuki’s tails and started cumming with such ferocity that her shoulders fell limp causing her upper body to lay now against the futon, unable to hold herself up. Yuki felt herself gushing with orgasmic juices just from watching Mai convulse and shake with pleasure. She pulled her arm around and spread open Mia’s cheeks to show her red, quivering pussy hole. She pushed her face to it as her tongue forced its way inside along with her tail and started licking wildly on the sweet inner walls of Mai’s hot cunt.
Mai gasped and kicked as she buried her face into the pillow and let out a shrill, surprised scream as she orgasmed a third time without a moment’s break from Yuki’s efforts. She gasped and fell forward as Yuki pulled on her tails to turn her around. Mai looked up as Yuki crawled up on her and pushed her own throbbing pussy into her face. She grabbed hold of Yuki’s white ass and squeezed it tight as she pulled her pussy into her mouth and sucked on her clitoris with little moans escaping her lips every so often. Yuki thrust her whole body against Mai’s face like a wave as both women were still in sync with their orgasmic moans. Yuki finally peaked and orgasmed hard as she grabbed her breasts and squeezed them hard, pinching her nipples and just shaking uncontrollably. Mai struggled to breathe through the juices and steamy confines of Yuki’s pussy as her thighs clenched tightly around her head until the contractions ended and Yuki finally collapsed next to Mai.
Yuki sighed with great relief and rubbed the sweat off her brow as she stared up at the dim light of the lanterns that illuminated the small bedroom. Mai cooed pleasantly as she cuddled right up next to Yuki and pulled the blanket over the two of them. “You know, mistress,” she said after a long pause of silence. “I can tell you have been very stressed and worried about what’s been going on.”
“You have no idea,” said Yuki with a deep breath.
Mai looked down then shook her head and looked at her. “But I do, Yuki,” she said. “You can’t keep thinking of me as such a child.”
“I don’t,” said Yuki as she looked at Mai and rubbed her forehead against hers. “I’m sorry. That wasn’t how I meant to say it.”
Mai nodded, paused… then continued. “I… I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you’d be worried but… it’s been days now and I haven’t found a good way yet, so I just have to do it,” Mai admitted softly. “Something happened during that battle the other night, Yuki.”
That immediately caught Yuki’s attention as her ear twitched and she turned to look at Mai with a look of concern. Mai looked back at her with a scared look, because she knew it was not going to make her happy that she’d kept a secret from her. “I… you sent me back to Hanei but… I was attacked on the way.”
“Mai!” Yuki gasped as she sat up. “What? What happened?”
Mai sat up with her and placed her arms gently around her body. “It’s okay! It’s okay, mistress… I’m fine,” she said as she carefully made Yuki lay back down. “I was traveling perhaps too close to the forest, and a few of the jorogumo tried to pounce on me and take me… but… someone saved me. A newcomer to the battle, from the south. Another kitsune.”
“Another? And she slew several jorogumo herself?” asked Yuki, curiously… and a little excited. That probably meant another veteran… and while they had plenty of human villagers to fight and fresh-faced foxes, their warriors were still few in number.
Mai gently stroked Yuki’s cheek as she nodded in confirmation. “She did… effortlessly. She… she destroyed them, Mistress. I’ve never seen anything like it. Afterward, she came to me to make sure I was alright, and to ask about the battle… and about you, Yuki. She had heard of you and Akemi even from far to the south… and she wanted to offer her aid.”
“I don’t think we’ve gotten a new recruit in the last few days,” Yuki mused, raising a brow.
“I wouldn’t expect so,” Mai agreed. “She said she had no intention of joining the army until after she had spoken with the army’ leaders. She…” Mai chewed the words for a second, seeming uncertain. “She seemed very different from the other kitsune I met in the army, Mistress. She seemed… stronger.”
“Stronger?” scoffed Yuki. “More so than Akemi? Seijun? Myself?”
Mai paused for a second, then offered a small, shaky smile. “Perhaps, mistress,” she admitted. “She asked for you by name. She wants to meet you, and Akemi. She told me she would be waiting until you came in the abandoned village of Shiyomi… she said that the sorcerer’s eyes wouldn’t find her there.”
Yuki’s eyes went wide. “Sorcerer!” she snapped. “She said that?”
“Yes… is it important?” Mai swallowed. “I didn’t want to upset you… At first, I wasn’t going to say anything but…”
“No, no,” said Yuki with a nod as she cuddled Mai close to her body. “I am glad you did.” Her eyes darted around the room as she thought seriously about this mysterious fox character. Maybe she held the key to what the army needed to defeat the jorogumo, or at least had answers that they currently didn’t, concerning the origins of the mysterious force that commanded the spider demons. Her mind was already made up before she said anything, but still she felt the need to declare it. “Tell me more about her,” she said firmly.
Mai breathed out and smiled. “She told me her name was Syllana.”
“Black tails?” questioned Akemi as she walked alone down the dirt road with Yuki, both of them in their fox forms as they moved at a pace that was effortless and tireless and nonetheless would have left humans in the dust. “Are you sure she didn’t have more to drink than the rest of us did?”
“I haven’t heard of a fox like that either,” Yuki admitted as she padded along. “But, you know, rare fur colors do exist.” She fanned out her own tail as if by way of demonstration. “At least with you by my side, sister, I don’t feel as worried about Mai potentially being used by some crooked charlatan or rogue thief,” explained Yuki.
“I’d be more worried about her making it up, honestly,” Akemi said, her voice displaying absolutely no shame at her comments. “Honestly Yuki. I know you like her, but if that girl told you the sky was blue I’d insist you double check.”
Yuki sighed. “Can we not do this today, Akemi?”
“I’m just saying that she would probably be willing to do anything to impress you and seem important. Not everyone gets to be the chosen one,” Akemi protested.
“I’m not the chosen one,” Yuki said tiredly. “And just because you can’t imagine wanting a life other than falling into any available bed at the end of the day, with anyone who happens to catch your fancy, doesn’t mean that some of us don’t want to settle down, sis.”
“My way is more fun,” Akemi said sagely as the two of them stepped foot into the abandoned village of Shiyomi. Once, this has been the fortress of the clan that ruled these lands… no longer. It was too close to jorogumo’s territory, and it had been overrun more than a year ago. Its residents had mostly been safely evacuated, but its fall had been the event that got Hanei directly involved in the battle as more than just individual warriors assisting the human clans they were pledged to protect. Now, most of the clan leaders that still lived made their home in Nagoro, and that town had swelled, leaving Shiyomi as a town of ghosts.
No further words need to be said… both foxes fell silent by mutual agreement, understanding without needing words what to do next. This area was still close to the forest so they stuck to the open areas… even in broad daylight, they felt better the less likely they were to be ambushed while they searched for this Syllana. She had, it seemed, given very specific instructions to Mai about where she would be waiting and hiding to see Yuki when she came. The air was warm, filled with a gentle breeze, and the buildings remained beautiful despite being abandoned. The town had seen the ravages of war but not of infestation by the Binding Brides… their webs were nowhere to be seen. All of the debris that filled the streets and empty market remained from the hasty evacuation out of fear for the spider demons. No one had even come to loot in any meaningful amount… The place was abandoned and frozen in time. “You said it was by the sakura trees?” Akemi whispered as she crept onward, prepared for anything that could happen to them under the midday sky. Yuki nodded.
The empty village seemed silent as the two sisters approached the grand tree that centered the old town. Even the wind didn’t whisper though the empty buildings or the trees… and it made the voice that came seem all the more piercing and alien. “I’m glad you both came,” it said as they approached the blossoming tree. There was a chuckle that echoed around the empty village… and then a kitsune woman in human form with fur as black as the night dropped out of the tree. Yuki couldn’t help but stare. Mai hadn’t been exaggerating in the slightest… her fur was so dark that it looked more like coal than even dark fox fur did, so dark it seemed to eat light rather than reflect it. There was almost no shine off her tails as she stepped into full light.
To Yuki’s surprise, two more kitsune dropped right behind her with fur just as black. They looked sim- no, they looked identical. “I’ve been waiting for you,” the lead kitsune – Syllana – said, as she held out her hand in a gesture of peace. “I come only to speak with you. To help you.”
“Akemi hears everything you have to say to me,” said Yuki as Akemi nodded very matter of factly.
The dark fox peered back at the twins, who hadn’t so much as changed expression, much less moved. “What do you say, girls? Is it perhaps for the best that here, before me, are the two greatest warriors in all Japan to teach?”
“Yes mistress, your wisdom is best shared to all who are willing to listen,” one of the twins said. Something in her tone unnerved Yuki… she spoke the way a corpse would speak if you gave it the ability. No life, no emotion, no personality. When the other twin spoke, it was with the same voice. “Wisdom will bring strength. Strength will bring victory.”
“So you’re Syllana,” muttered Yuki with a curious stare.
The black kitsune smirked and nodded with a respectful bow. “I am,” she said. “I was drawn to this land to help aid in the battle against those vicious monsters, the jorogumo.” She spoke very eloquently and in a wise manner that reminded both girls of their mother. With a glance to each other, they shifted back to their human forms to listen. Behind Syllana, the twins knelt down into seiza, becoming as motionless as statues as they listened to their leader speak.
“You spoke of a sorcerer?” Akemi said, fingering her sword idly.
Syllana nodded. “The jorogumo would not have returned to this land alone. They serve a master… the sorcerer who created them, long ago. I have come to kill the three of them and remove their blight from the world.”
“Three sorcerers?” Yuki blurted, unbelieving.
“No,” Syllana corrected. “Three jorogumo.” She met their eyes in turn. “There are only three of them. The rest are just pawns, weaklings compared to those three. Kill them, and you kill the threat. I am here for them… to claim their heads for what they have wrought on the world in blood.”
“On with it,” said Akemi as she started to feel anxious. “I like it when people are straight to the point.”
Syllana smiled. “I have heard that of you, Akemi the Hurricane. Very well. I come to you now to share my knowledge on how we could unite to defeat a common enemy. The magic we share, what burns within us… foxfire,” said Syllana. “It comes with it great unlockable potential beyond the powers you’re familiar with. It can accomplish so much more.”
“More?” Yuki said, quirking an eyebrow.
Syllana held up one hand, and to Yuki’s surprise flame kindled to light there… a cold, blue and green flame. “So much more,” the dark fox promised. Then she turned and hurled that flame at one of the nearby buildings.
The flame hit and exploded outward in a rush, consuming the building in a second. Yuki threw up her arms before her face as splinters went flying, debris crashing down surprisingly far away. And Syllana just… stood there. Everything that Yuki knew about true foxfire told her that Syllana should be exhausted after a display like that. Seijun had almost passed out weaving the dispelling during the battle, and she was the most skilled user of foxfire Yuki had ever met… and she refused to believe that Syllana could be that much better. But… she just stood there, seemingly unaffected by the massive amount of energy she had just tossed around… like it was trivially easy.
“With this,” Syllana said as Akemi lowered her hands, her eyes wide in surprise. “We can end the threat once and for all. I have discovered a way to use foxfire to destroy.”
“Yes, destroy,” said one of the twins.
“Destroy the jorogumo,” stated the other.
Akemi and Yuki both looked at each other in silence. Akemi looked excited by the prospect, but Yuki felt uneasy. Her eyes kept flicking back to the burning building. That wasn’t… exactly… an issue. It wasn’t fundamentally very different from what she did every time she heated her forge, creating fire… but to use it to kill? Inari’s teachings were clear… the foxfire was as sacred as their own souls, as life itself. To use it in such a profane way as to kill another being with it… the idea made her uncomfortable to even consider. And yet…
And yet, the way Syllana spoke of it made it sound tempting. Such a power used to nullify a horrific threat that could wipe out kitsune and human-kind… that would be worth its weight in gold, surely. How many lives could be saved if the jorogumo never hurt anyone again? How could such an action be wrong if it saved lives?
While Yuki was lost in thought, Akemi had turned her attention back to the black foxes. “You know about how to conjure this kind of magic? How?” she asked. “Strength like that… that will allow us to defeat them. That is strength worth having. You can show us?”
“Akemi, we should go,” Yuki muttered, the thoughts filling her mind with too many negative possibilities to think clearly. All she knew was that the idea twisted her stomach… and Yuki had long ago learned to trust her gut instincts. “I don’t think this is wise, sister… this is a path we should not walk.”
Syllana tsked, clicking her tongue. “Disappointing, Yuki. I took you for someone more practical. Perhaps the tales of you were not right after all.” She shrugged, and then leaned back… apparently against nothing, holding herself up somehow with her magic as effortlessly as breathing. “Just the same… I am here to help. You will know where to find me if you need me. She hopped up into the air and vanished only to appear on top of one of the old abandoned building’s roof. A second later, the other two black foxes appeared beside her. “Take all the time you need to consider. I am patient… but I do not know if our enemy is.”
Akemi rubbed her chin as she watched the black kitsune move about with such ease. She was clearly not impressed by the effortless use of foxfire illusion magic, but Yuki was… Beyond even the destruction she had wrought, the ease and completeness of the illusions to do what she did spoke high praise of her skill. The white fox no longer doubted Mai’s appraisal of her talents. Akemi, however, had eyes only for the burning building. “You know it is very brave of you to even come out here and suggest such a thing,” she said to Syllana. “I admire your gall.”
Syllanna smiled and nodded. “I understand what it is I offer can be considered very taboo,” she said. “Know that I wish only to help.”
“Let’s go Akemi,” said Yuki as she looked at Syllana. She grabbed her sister and pulled her along as they started back the way they came, looking at several miles back toward their camp. “This was a fool’s errand.”
“I’m not too sure,” said Akemi as she turned and walked with Yuki. She pulled her sister in and whispered as the two departed from the main street. “What is with you? Why would you deny such a tempting gift to finally win this war?”
“I’m denying it for the same reason you should,” said Yuki. “It is far too tempting. I want it too much, Akemi. But it is dangerous. If we stay, I might just be convinced.” She shook her head, firmly. “This is wrong, Akemi. Inari has not steered us wrong… and she had forbidden only one use of our fire. There is a reason for it, I am certain. No good can come of defying her like this.” She took one last look back at where the foxes had been before she headed onward, guiding Akemi from the town. “We will find another way.”
Behind them, Syllana watched as the two sisters left as her tails fluttered in the cool night. She looked to the twins who accompanied her and just chuckled. “They will be back,” she said, the two dead-eyed foxed nodding in silent agreement before all three of them vanished like mist into the light.