Chosen – Chapter 19 – Once Burned…

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.


Elsewhere, Japan
1340

The repeated violations lasted from early morning well into the night, slavers departing to work the ship and returning when their duties were completed, and the never-ending parade of abuse left Yuki exhausted and sore beyond anything she could have imagined. Even Kuro had not used her so hard, but then Kuro was only one man. Being taken by at least two dozen slavers was far beyond anything she had experienced at his hands, beyond anything the kitsune had ever imagined… and neither her pain nor her shame was at its end yet.

The white-furred kitsune hung from one of the mast arms now, hanging by both her feet and her tails. A mix of ropes, irons, and her tails twisted into knots had been used to suspend her from the ship. When they had pulled the nails out, they had used the new holes to replace her ragged, cheap nipple rings with smooth steel ones, and now cords tied between them and the deck kept her from struggling much where she dangled… not that she had much choice when they began fucking her face like that.

Feng had waited with increasing impatience as each member of his crew had his way with the helpless kitsune. For the first little while he had amused himself with a full ceramic jug of alcohol, but as the day wore on and his raging erection returned, drink did very little to dull his desire, and nor did how messy and cumsoaked she had gotten as man after man used her. There was nothing he could do except wait, however. He might be the leader of the slavers, but he had his duties to manage the ship, and besides… each member of his crew served him only because they were promised a fair share of the spoils. This beautiful kitsune, possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, certainly fit that description perfectly. So he had waited – patiently, if barely so – as each man took his turn, his mind turning over the possibility of making her exclusively his.

He knew that some crew members might object to such an action, but they would doubtless be mollified when he took her as part of his share. The real question was whether he wanted to forgo his share of the rest of the cargo. The boat was crowded with over two hundred slaves. If they all made it to China in good health they would be worth a fortune. It might be a fortune he could be able to recoup by selling the fox-girl… the black-furred huli jing would pay premium coin for any fox he recovered. Even so, he wasn’t sure if it would be a fair share of the whole cargo… but he also wasn’t sure if he cared. He had never seen so fine a specimen in all his life. If she appealed to the buyers in port the way she appealed to him, then maybe he could get even more for this one than the woman would pay… and in the meantime she would make the next few months while they traveled a good deal more interesting.

He made up his mind as the last of the crew had his way with her. He would take her as his share of the cargo. Feng got to his feet and crossed the deck to where his prize waited. “Get her down,” he ordered.

It was hard for Yuki to believe that her ordeal was not yet over. She had been taken by every member of the crew and was so sore and exhausted she would have passed out if it weren’t for sheer stubbornness. The spikes of pain were still sharp in her pierced breasts, but even that agony vanished into the cloud of general anguish she was swallowed by. When they came free, however, it was like a candle had been blown out… Yuki gave herself permission to untense her muscle, to sway, and then the unsteady, exhausted kitsune swung back and forth by her feet and her tails like a hung sack of rice, incapable of supporting her own weight. Barely conscious, she only dimly heard Feng’s instructions to the men who untied her wrists and ankles. “I’ve decided to take her as my prize. Take her to my cabin and make sure she is properly bound.”

The words sent a chill through her just before she finally fainted.


The slavers had indeed taken her to Feng’s cabin, for when Yuki next woke she was again hanging by her tails, the muscular kitsune’s weight putting too much weight on the nine furry limbs. Thankfully, Yuki had long since trained and exercised them to perfection, but that didn’t mean that holding her up wasn’t painful. Further weights added to her nipples ensured the torment didn’t stop there, either. After completing her bondage, the slavers had left her to recover while Feng attended to other duties.

From Yuki’s point of view his absence was not nearly long enough. Overcome with exhaustion generated by her regeneration, she had slept until she was awakened by the opening of the cabin door. She had no idea how long she had slept except the fact that it was daylight once again when she next opened her eyes. When he opened the door, she attempted to move away from him, forgetting for the moment that he had strung her up from the ceiling of the cabin.

“Easy, slave,” Feng said. “I’ll be there for you soon enough.” He was holding a lantern which he hung from a hook in the middle of the ceiling, not far from her. He then stood over her, his thumbs tucked into his trousers. “I could look at you all night if there wasn’t something else I preferred to do to you. I’ve never seen a woman like you, fox not withstanding. You’re probably the best buy I ever made, and I’m really going to enjoy taking you for the next few weeks.”

Yuki did not answer, knowing that her words would be wasted. It would only give him more pleasure. She was completely in the slaver’s power and there was nothing she could do to prevent him from having his way with her, something that he immediately set out to prove. There was nothing she could do to stop him… She could not have been more open to what Feng wished to do to her, and he took full advantage of it, taking her at his leisure and spinning out her next rape for as long as possible.

“Better get used to it, girl,” he grunted as he thrust full into her asshole. “This is your life from now on. The sooner you resign yourself to it the happier you’ll be.”

Yuki suffered in silence, hoping that her lack of response would be taken for submission. Now that her strength had returned she had formulated a possible chance of escape, but it depended on Feng not deciding to brutalize her into a semiconscious state for it to work. So she gritted her teeth and said nothing as the brutal slaver had his way with her. Unfortunately, as Feng thrust his rigid member into her tight backside, he brought back out his whips.

With the way she hung, her back and ass and legs and breasts were all equally exposed to his lashes, and even as turned on as the slaver was, he was happy to take his time and do this “properly.” Feng started slowly, just those wisps of sensation, with the occasional bite thrown in. He gradually built the intensity, moving it over different parts of her naked, vulnerable body. He took breaks from the whip to ravage her with hands and mouth. In some ways it was harder to bear his hands and teeth than his whips. He towered over her, overwhelming her, taking her as his plaything. He nibbled her nipples, marveling how he could no longer find any remnants of her wounds on them as he did.

Yuki lost track of the intervals of lashes and groping, floating through that magic space where all she could do was feel and react, not think. She was dimly aware of being let down from the ceiling and pushed onto all fours. She held very still as she felt his hands grasp her hips from behind. She felt his cock starting to push into her ass, slowly but inexorably forcing its way into her. She breathed slowly, trying to channel the pain into something else, into the bed beneath her, into the damp air of the river, and into the madness claiming her overwhelmed mind as he sheathed his full length into her and began fucking her. Like the whips, he worked slowly at first, but became more violent as he rammed into her. He grabbed at her tits, her hair, her shoulders… using them as levers to pound more deeply into her. He spanked her ass, aggravating the welts from her whipping.

Feng pulled out of her abused ass and left her gasping, sobbing for a moment before he entered her mouth, pulling her up enough to reach his engorged member. He wove his fingers into her hair and pulled her all the way to him, smothering her nose against him until she started to see spots, then letting her breathe just a few gasps before smothering her again. She choked and gagged, struggling not to throw up, trying to keep her teeth from grazing his cock as he worked in and out of her… anything resulting in further punishment would be a disaster to the abused fox right now, even if she really wanted nothing more than to bite the thing clear off him.

Finally, Feng stopped violating her mouth. He lifted her up, forcing her to wrap her naked legs around him. With her arms still bound to the bed above her head, it left her front vulnerable and exposed to him, and he sucked and bit her nipples until all she could do was cry out, a keening banshee wail that cut through the air as he invaded her body once again, impaling her on his cock as he fucked her stroke after stroke after stroke after stroke. She felt the pain, the friction, the disgust as it built and built and built until she was so exhausted that she had no more strength to scream or moan or cry.

This final part of her ordeal seemed to last the longest, but by then she had lost all concept of time. She only knew that what was being done to her seemed never-ending. Then he exploded inside of her asshole before collapsing on top of the half-conscious fox, falling asleep on her muscular body without bothering to pull his dick out of her first.

He took her three times before morning. Each time, Yuki roused from his half daze to find him already sawing away inside of her, having woken up… enjoying her fully each time before lapsing into sleep, only to awaken after a few turns of the glass just in time for Feng to repeat his degrading treatment of her. He seemed almost inexhaustible, taking her even harder the third time than the first two, almost as if he was growing stronger with each act of savagery, and it left her painfully sore. When he finally released into her for the third time she lay in sweat-soaked misery, barely able to move. “You’re learning, girl. Fighting me just gets you a beating. You’ve the making of a fine slave once you learn that it is your duty to please your master.”

His words disgusted Yuki… but thankfully, those were his last words to her. The latest of her rapes had lasted until morning, and although Feng must have been suffering from his own lack of sleep almost as much as her, he still had duties to attend to. He left the cabin and within moments Yuki could hear him shouting orders.

And she was, at last, alone.

Yuki couldn’t be sure what her captor was, but he wasn’t human. If she had to make a guess, he was a kyonshi… a human corpse, returned to life by something from the other side. It would explain his endurance… and his never-ending greed. In the end, it didn’t matter… she needed to escape him. Now. Although wearied from her ordeal, Yuki could not afford to wait for a full recovery. Instead she called on the reserves of strength that had served her so well as a warrior, as a smith, and as an apprentice… she might have barely whispers of foxfire left, but she wouldn’t need it for this. Yuki was a predator, with or without her magic… it was time that kyonshi bastard learned that.

The white-furred fox could not break the chains that held her to the bed, but the creaks and groans of the wooden bed-frame as Feng had pounded her had told that there could be another weak link in her captivity. She gripped the chains as hard as she could and then began to heave her powerful body, shifting rhythmically until she had the bed moving a good inch each time. Patiently she kept at it, knowing all the time that the door to the cabin could open at any instant and if discovered she would be locked in the cage in the hold and lose any chance of escape… it was difficult to balance speed with making as little noise as possible but the fox did the best job she could. Slowly the movement of the bed increased, adding another inch, and then another, until with a welcoming crunch the frame tore loose from the headboard, making the loudest noise yet… Yuki winced, but after a few moments she heard no shouts, and no one came to investigate.

Progress.

The chains on her wrists were still attached to the headboard, but now that it was ripped free she was able to bring it around in front of her and use her hands twist the ringbolts that held the chain free from the wood… it took all the leverage she could apply, but at last they moved. She then did the same with the bolts holding her foot shackles, and she was free and could at last untie the ropes holding her tails in place and stretch the nine furry limbs for the first time in days… they stretched with a quiet agony, but it was a good pain.

Yuki was still not entirely free… her wrists and ankles trailed a couple feet of chain. She had an idea for that, however. In spite of the harsh treatment meted out to her while in the cabin, she had kept her eyes open and watched Feng’s movement. She immediately headed for the heavy desk bolted to the wall across from the bed. Pulling open the drawer, she found an assortment of several knives. She had hoped to find an extra set of keys, but that would have made things a little too easy she supposed. However, this would be enough… she could still rely on her smithing skills. Selecting a small folding knife, Yuki worked the blade into the lock and within just a few heartbeats had it open. Pathetic. Must have been designed and built by an amateur, she thought… someone of Kuro’s skill level, perhaps.

One by one she removed all of the shackles… and Yuki was, finally, unrestrained. She would need just a few things to aid her escape, so she started searching the room for them. First, and at the moment most importantly to the raped kitsune, was clothing… she was tired of being naked. Feng’s frame was much larger than hers, but she was about the same height. She quickly pulled on a pair of trousers, a shirt, and a pair of soft leather boots. She ripped a gash for her tails before securing everything with a belt, to which she attached a couple of sheath knives and Feng’s sword… a straight blade rather than the curved kind she preferred, but it would do. Thus dressed and equipped, Yuki made her escape.

Crossing to the stern window of Feng’s cabin, she carefully opened it, making sure that there was no betraying squeak that could be heard from outside. Then, using an improvised rope made from the bedsheets, she lowered herself toward the water. However, instead of vanishing into it, the white fox stopped short of the water and instead set herself to swinging.

She didn’t know much about boats; Hanei was reasonably close to the water but kitsune were definitely not an aquatic people. She had, however, done some minor repair work on a few. This boat was more complex than any of the fishing boats she had worked on, but some things were familiar enough for her to recognize and work with… the ship was long and narrow with a shallow draft, and was steered by a large wooden rudder.

And that rudder was the weakpoint.

Her swinging allowed her to reach out with a pair of tails and catch hold of the rudder post, wrapping around it and refusing to let go. Pulling herself in, she wrapped her legs around the post and then looked for the ropes connecting the rudder to the ship’s wheel. Holding herself in place, she took out the largest knife she had taken from Feng’s cabin and began to cut through it. It was thicker than her upper arm and saturated in tar, but Yuki sawed determinedly at it until she was three-quarters of the way through, then she went to work on the other rope. This one she cut almost through before going back to the first one and finishing the job. Then, just as the rope parted, she released her hold on the rudder post and dropped into the water.

After her heavy exertion in cutting through the steering ropes, the water seemed frighteningly cold, but she ignored the chill and swept out toward the shore, swimming as quickly as she could just as a loud cry came from the stern of the ship. “The fox cunt has escaped!” Feng’s voice shouted. “Find her!”

Yuki snorted. Not in this lifetime, fucker.

The fox didn’t quicken her pace, though. Rudderless, the boat was already beginning to swing broadside to the current. By then she was several body lengths from the boat and with her head barely out of the water she would not be easy to spot provided she did not stir up the water. She also expected that no one on the boat was likely to plunge into the river after her.

It was about that time as well that someone on board the boat noticed that it was no longer answering to its helm and the shouts of alarm turned completely in another, more urgent, direction. She increased her speed as she neared the shore. By now the effort of swimming fully clothed and weighted down with several weapons had warmed her up, but she was fortunate that the place where she had chosen to enter the river was one of the more placid stretches. Reaching the river bank, Yuki caught hold of a large root that extended into the water and exhaustedly dragged herself ashore. For a few heartbeats she lay gasping, almost too tired to move.

She was soaking wet and miserable, and she swore to herself that she would never, ever take her skin for granted again… she doubted she had ever missed it as much as she did right now.

Then the kitsune struggled to her feet. She had escaped and the slavers were in no position to recapture her, but escape was not her only goal. There were still about two hundred men, women, and children on board the slave boat and she did not intend to leave them there. And then… there was the little matter of revenge.


They had looked for her, of course… but they hadn’t found her. Even without her illusions, Yuki had been hiding from people ever since she was a little girl, and these men were idiots… avoiding them had hardly taken any effort at all. Attempting to chase a kitsune in a forest was the equivalent of fighting a ghost. By late morning they had given up, and Yuki had watched from the woods as the slaver’s boat had dropped anchor to keep it from drifting and had lowered a small boat which was now secured to the stern by a line while several slavers worked on splicing the two severed steering ropes.

Yuki wished them all the luck in the world with that. It would take hours to complete that repair if the ship were out of the water and there was no tension on the rope… with it, they would be days at that task. That worked for her. It was now noon and she had kept the slavers busy for several hours already with this. All the rudder had to do was keep them busy until nightfall. Then the most dangerous part of her plan would begin.

Yuki watched as the slavers worked on the anchor ropes for hours, giving up in frustration several times. She gauged that they were making progress, but it didn’t matter – she had achieved her goal. The sun was setting when the slavers brought their small rowboat back in. The white fox, however, waited until the sun was all the way down before she headed back for the river and kicked off her stolen boots. She hated the thought of slipping into the river again, but she could think of no other way of saving the hapless slaves inside the hold. It was now quite dark, but her eyesight, better at night than any human’s, could clearly make out the looming hulk of the slaver ship as she swam toward it. Reaching the anchor chain, she caught hold of it and climbed the thing.

She swung upward as she neared hawsepipe and used her momentum to hook her feet over the gunwale. She hung upside down for a heartbeat and then flexed her legs and flipped herself into the bow of the boat. Due to the fact that the slavers had not hung out their usual lanterns for fear of drawing attention to themselves while they were helpless, she was completely hidden in the darkness as they worked to settle the ship for the night.

“You and you and you,” Feng ordered, selecting three of his men. “You take the first watch. And you three,” he commanded pointing to three others. “Make sure that the cargo is fed and watered and then secure the hatches.” There was considerable grumbling, but the men did as they were told. Yuki watched as Feng headed for his cabin and then she waited for the men he had sent below to finish their tasks.

Her efforts of the day had left Yuki quite tired, but unlike most of the slavers she was used to hard work and she was far from finished. From her hiding place near a roll of sailcloth she hid, watched, and listened.

“Fucking bitch,” one of the men placed on guard complained. “We should have cut her throat when we finished fucking her. Should have known she’d find a way to get away.”

“You’re right there,” one of his companions agreed. “Gods-cursed fox demons just aren’t natural. Should never have brought her aboard the boat.”

“Tight cunt though,” the third man said. “Best fuck I ever had.”

There was a murmur of agreement as Yuki shrank down in her hiding place, vanishing entirely. She did nothing right away, staying still. She was still outnumbered at least twenty to one, but she knew that they would not stay awake all night after the excitement of the day, even if they wanted to. Once again she waited, this time for the men below decks to return from their feeding and watering of the slaves. And then she waited a bit more until the three ordered to take the first watch moved to different points on the boat. And again she waited instead of committing to rash action, staying small and stowed among the cargo, her eyes carefully listening to even the slightest sound until she was positive nearly all of them were asleep.

By this time several lanterns had been lit anyway, but she had no trouble staying out of sight – there were more than enough hiding places on the deck that the light didn’t reach. The boat was lit with lanterns hoisted at the bow and the stern. They provided enough light that anyone daring to move on the river at night would see the ship, but not enough to do more than throw dark shadows across the deck. Yuki moved silently from her hiding place.

The first guard died without a sound as her knife cut through his windpipe. It was ugly work, but after what the slavers had done to her, she cut his throat with an easy conscience and eased his body to the deck. The second died in the same way. Only the third guard had time to cry out before she killed him. He turned just as she approached, perhaps by chance, perhaps warned by some sixth sense. “You,” he cried, just before her knife took him in the chest. He staggered backward, not yet dead and opened his mouth one last time. “He…”

Then his voice trailed off and he fell.

As he collapsed to the deck, Yuki stood silent. He had made enough noise to alert anyone who was not in a deep sleep, but there was not the slightest response from any of the slavers. It appeared that their day’s exertions had plunged them into oblivion, and after a few heartbeats she continued with her plan.

It took her only a few moments to unlock and swing back the heavy grating leading below decks. Taking one of the lanterns with her, Yuki silently dropped into the hold. Once again she was hit by the stench generated by the imprisoned slaves, but this time it aroused only anger that these bastards would treat even their own kind this way.

The slaves made no sound as she moved into the narrow pathway where they were chained. No doubt they were used to the comings and goings of the slavers and those who were awake supposed that she was probably one of them, come no doubt to inflict further torment on one or the other of them.

“Make no sound,” she whispered to the first of them. “I am here to free you.”

Fortunately, the chained slaves took heed of her warning and she worked her way down the hold freeing all of them one after the other. To the strongest she gave the weapons she had stripped from the bodies of the men she had killed. It wasn’t much, just three swords and three knives, but there were over a hundred able-bodied men and women among those she freed. They should be able to take the slavers by sheer force of numbers. “Now follow me and keep silent,” she commanded.

Quietly, she and the freed slaves climbed the ladder to the main deck. Here a few of them found some belaying pins they could use as weapons. On a sudden inspiration Yuki found one of the thick coils of rope used to tie the ship. With a few quick blows of her sword she cut it into a dozen lengths. Thick and heavy, the rope was almost a good a weapon as any sword, especially as most of the freed slaves appeared unfamiliar with weapons.

“We take the crew first,” she whispered, motioning toward the crew quarters at the bow. With a few more whispered instructions she had the ex-slaves line up at each side of the door to the forecastle; then she started screaming “Fire! FIRE!”

Her followers caught on immediately, joining her in shouting the warning, and within a few heartbeats the door to the crew’s quarters flew open and the slavers started to rush out onto the deck.

The first few were killed almost immediately, Yuki disposing of two herself before they knew what was going on. The others were attacked by the freed slaves on either side of them. After a few seconds, the rest seemed to get an idea that something was very wrong and retreated back into the quarters, but that did not save them. The freed slaves poured in after them, killing those who resisted and dragging several others who surrendered onto the main deck where they were quickly bound and then hung, kicking and screaming from the yards of the boat.

While this was occurring, Yuki was hustling forward toward the captain’s cabin. She reached the door just as it opened and Feng appeared, sword and knife in hand. “You fucking fox cunt,” he cursed, “I should never have taken you on board.”

“No,” Yuki agreed. “You shouldn’t have.”

He lunged toward her, seeking to catch her off-guard, but Yuki had been practicing the blade before his grandfather was born. She used her knife to block his thrust and then slammed the hilt of her sword into his face. Feng staggered back, his nose broken, tried to lunge for her again… only to find that one of her tails had found his wrist. Yuki used the grip to tug him off balance and followed up with a second blow that knocked him to his knees and then a third that laid him out, his sword flying from his grip. “A quick death’s too good for you, dog,” she said, kicking Feng in his head even as her tails grabbed his weapons. “Thankfully, I have a ship full of your former captives to turn you over to.”

The ex-slaves were quick to take her up on her comment. Within moments they had seized Feng and set upon him with their fists and feet and makeshift weapons. The slaver screamed as they all but tore him apart in their fury. His cries went unanswered, and though they were soon reduced to soft gurgles, they were still going long after the rest of the crew was still and silent. He wasn’t human, and it was going to take more than a few shattered limbs and pulverized bones to kill him, but Yuki was confident his former captives would get there in the end.

She didn’t bother to watch the rest… with her work finished, Yuki felt profoundly exhausted. Instead, she started walking back towards Feng’s cabin… only for Hina to step into her way. “You saved us!” the former prostitute said, her eyes wide. “No one… no one ever comes to help anyone… but you did!”

Yuki sighed. “You’re free now.” She raised her voice. “You all are… free men and women. Take the boat and use it to find your way back to your homes. Share the slavers’ wealth among you to help with your new lives.”

“Stay with us,” Hina insisted, tugging at her sleeve softly.

Yuki shook her head. Her, lead? Again? Never. “No,” she said firmly. “I have unfinished business. I will be leaving tomorrow.” Despite continued shouts for Yuki to assume leadership, she stepped down from the steering deck and moved into the captain’s cabin. She locked the door behind her, looked at the bed she had destroyed, and slid down into it… and finally, Yuki allowed herself to cry.


Yuki awoke before dawn. At some point in the night, Feng had finally managed to die; what was left of him hung from the mast, swaying silently in the breeze. She made no attempt to mingle with any of the freed slaves… She had done what she could for them and they were on their own now. If they chose their paths well, she expected that most or all would get back to their villages and families. Either way, Yuki had already done more for them than could be asked of her. It couldn’t be her problem anymore… she had other considerations.

She took a few moments to equip herself. Keeping her weapons, clothing, and taking food, she took the small boat and rowed her way to shore before making her way into the forest. By her estimate, her river journey had taken her several days’ walk from Nagoro, and without being able to transform into a fox she needed to make the long walk through the forest in human form, for the first time in her life. Despite that she still felt more at home in the forest than she did with the idea of taking the boat back upriver. With that in mind, Yuki began her walk.

It took her three days to reach a road that she recognized. It had been decades earlier that she had come this way, traveling with Seijun as her former mentor had taught her. Just thinking about Seijun set up a mess of conflicting emotions, but in the wake of the nightmare she missed her… she hoped that she had found someplace safer than she had. Nagoro was less than ten hours hours north of here, in her fox form at least. Now it seemed impossibly far, but she began walking. As little as she wanted to return in some ways, some things demanded an answer. Kuro had to pay.

Yuki’s healing was strong… the damage to her body had long been completely erased by the time she had risen from bed. The wounds to her pride and spirit, however, did not heal quite so easily, and her exhaustion went deeper than the merely physical. She felt hollow on the inside, and not just because this was the longest she had ever gone without using foxfire since the first time it manifested for her. She had fought and bled and sacrificed for this town, for these humans… and one of them had done such things to her that not even the jorogumo had managed to do. Between that, and being relatively unused to long-distance traveling on two feet, she didn’t make the town before she was too exhausted to walk anymore, and she instead settled down against a tree. The kitsune, however, felt uncomfortable there… vulnerable, like people were sneaking up to her. It wasn’t until she climbed up into the tree and wedged herself painfully into the branches that she managed to get a few hours of unsatisfying sleep.

The next day she reached the outskirts shortly after sunrise. However, the last thing she wanted was for someone to see her and Kuro to possibly be tipped off that he hadn’t gotten rid of her nearly as permanently as he had hoped, so instead of taking the road directly into Nagoro as she approached, she headed off on a rutted track. The dirt trial quickly deteriorated into little more than a rough footpath and soon it was not even that. She made her way slowly, wary of the treacherous ground as she made her way around the side of town, back towards her own smithy…

To see smoke rising from the forge.

Yuki narrowed her eyes, settling down in the trees to watch… her fingers tightening on the hilt of her stolen sword. That bastard… had he truly dared to take over her home? To take her smithy from her? Could he be that foolish, to think he was going to get away with that? She was going to gut that son of a bitch, the town’s opinion of its resident exile fox be damned.

Yuki crept closer, prowling to the back of her building and circling it. The shades were down… even with the forge lit it was early in the morning, and the heat wouldn’t be so bad. The forge was quiet, no hissing of coals and no hammering. Moving closer, Yuki lifted up one of the edges, peering inside, and after spotting no one she lifted one over the edge and slipping into the familiar smithy. The building wasn’t empty – Yuki could feel someone in it, could hear sounds from the other side of the curtain. She drew her sword, prowling forward… then she ripped back the curtain and—

Revealed her very startled apprentice changing into his apron, staring back at her – and her sword – with very wide eyes.

“Hiro!” she cursed, lowering the blade and letting out her breath. Of course… how hadn’t she thought of that? Of course her apprentice would be here, lighting the forge and waiting for her. He didn’t know that she wasn’t going to be coming back. Kuro wasn’t here. She sighed in relief, but also in annoyance… she had been ready to get this over with and finish that bastard. Instead, it looked like she was going to have to go get the prick.

“Mistress!” Hiro gasped, eyeing her sword. “…Where have you been? I, I’ve been keeping the forge working, but people have been asking about their orders… soon they’re going to take their business to Kuro.”

“I don’t think we need to worry about that,” Yuki growled as she started looking around the forge. The place was a mess. Kuro’s hurried smithing and cleaning up had left rags and her clothing strewn all over, and Hiro had evidently collected everything all together and just shoved them into piles. Her sister’s sword, she noted, was gone… no doubt stolen by the other blacksmith. A high quality sword, of kitsune manufacture no less, was probably more valuable than every item that ogre had in his shop… the thought of something belonging to her sister in that man’s filthy hands made her want to vomit. Even more troubling, though, her skin was missing from the hook it had hung from, the white pelt gone from the smithy. Yuki felt sick to her stomach at the thought that he had taken it as a trophy. “I don’t think Kuro is going to be doing any business here anymore.”

Yuki looked around again, growling. At least it didn’t look like he’d completely looted the place. She touched the sword at her belt, tightening her fingers around it. Hiro seemed to notice, and tightened his hands on the smithing hammer in front of him. “Mistress Yuki? Is everything alright?”

The fox sighed. “Just fine,” she said, shaking her head as she fought to keep the fury from her tone. “I just need to go kill a man. Stay here.” She began to turn around to head back for the door, and sagged before she could stop herself. The adrenaline of sneaking into here had being fueling her, but now that she was left without an immediate outlet her arms and legs shook like leaves. She only barely caught herself on the wall, holding herself up.

“Mistress!” Hiro said, a hint of hysteria in his tone. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong,” she snapped. When her apprentice flinched, she softened her voice. “Nothing’s wrong, Hiro. I just… I’m just tired. Been through a lot. Haven’t really slept, or eaten. Feeling a little run down.” To say nothing of the fact that she was running basically on empty as far as her magic went, and she hadn’t spent this long outside of fox form in a century.

“You should rest then!” Hiro insisted. “Your bed is right here. Take your rest… I’ll bring you some food, and you’ll be better prepared for… for whatever you need to do.”

“No!” Yuki growled. “I’m not going to sleep while that bastard is still breathing. I’ll handle this.”

“Wait!” her apprentice said, urgency in his tone. “You can’t do this! If you do, the town’s guards, the soldiers… they will…”

Yuki pushed herself slowly up off the wall, fighting not to sigh. “I really don’t care,” she said, turning away from him. “I’m used to being exiled. If they want to persecute me as well for killing a slaving rapist, well… that’s their choice. A poor one.”

“Then… then let me help you!” he said, and she heard the scrape of metal as he hefted the smithing hammer. “Please, mistress!”

She closed her eyes, counting to ten silently. “You shouldn’t…” she said softly. “But thank you, Hir-”

Yuki didn’t even remember falling, and she certainly didn’t remember the bright light spinning on the ceiling of her smithy… so bright they were almost blinding. She wanted to raise a hand to shield her eyes against the light but nothing responded to her commands… her arms lay limp on the floor.

Then she saw Hiro stand on top of her, raising the bloody-headed smithing hammer up again… and bringing it back down again.


“You were supposed to get rid of her!” The person yelling was angry… and loud. It made Yuki’s head hurt even worse, and it was already throbbing. Just how much had she been drinking if her head still hurt this bad after waking up?

“Quit your yapping, I did get rid of her,” another voice said.

“Apparently not!” The first man’s voice wasn’t just angry… it had a frantic edge to it, something almost like panic. “Because she’s back again! What were you even doing? I didn’t pay for a fortune in opium so you could send her on vacation for a few days!”

Shut up… gods, they were making her head pound. She wriggled her head a little, trying to bury it into her blankets and mute them, but it only hurt worse.

“So what’s the problem?” the second voice said with a sneer. “She left. She came back. Now she’s leaving again. Easy… I wish all the merchandise I sold was polite enough to come back for sale a second time.”

“Sale? Sale!? You sold her!?” His shouting was really starting to annoy Yuki. She was going to have to tell that kid off, make him understand what too much sake could do even to someone like her.

“Why the fuck not?” the rough voice of the second man said back, starting to get annoyed himself. “You could have gotten in on it, but you didn’t want to get your precious, delicate hands dirty. So sorry that when you said all you wanted was your precious trophies I took you at your word. Why shouldn’t I make a bit of money off all the business that whore stole from me?”

“Because whoever you sold her to was an idiot and she’s come back!” The tone of his voice suggested he thought he was talking to an idiot too. “I came to you with this because I thought you could get this done! That you were capable! If I’d known you really were just a drunk bastard like she always said, I’d have taken care of this by myself.”

The second man cut loose with a belly laugh. “You came to me because your stomach is too yellow to do what needs to be done,” he said, loudly, confidently. A hand was on her leg, squeezing at her, and the dazed kitsune winced. Why couldn’t they just let her sleep? Then a moment later she felt the weight settle onto the bed between her legs, and a few moments after that a man was inside her, roughly pumping away. She whimpered, and the big man laughed. “So she is still alive. Good… I thought you might have hit her too hard with that hammer of yours, boy.”

“You’re disgusting,” her annoyed apprentice said, his voice quiet.

Raped.

“Don’t be like that,” the big man beside her grunted as he forced his way further into her, one hand squeezing one of the half-unconscious kitsune’s breasts. “I’ve seen the way you look at her. I promise, she’s well worth a fuck… maybe if you got your dick wet for once, you wouldn’t be such a wuss.”

She was being raped.

“Just… get it over with and put her in the ground,” Hiro muttered.

Again.

Yuki screamed. Her eyes flew open, and while her head hurt no less – in fact, it hurt more than it had a few seconds ago – the fog around her thoughts began to clear a little bit. She saw the shape of the large, rough bear of a smith above her and reached her hands for him, intending to claw his eyes and throat out with her bare fingers. Her hands didn’t move, and her frenzied thrashing didn’t accomplish much more… she was thoroughly, if quickly, tied down to the bed with ropes. Her arms, her legs, even her tails couldn’t budge more than an inch or two as she screamed and thrashed on the bed. The man inside of her cunt laughed at her, grabbing her by the throat and continuing to fuck her. “I’m glad you came back to me, fox cunt,” Kuro grinned at her. “I missed you.”

Snarling, Yuki tried again to strain against the ropes, struggling to claw at him, to buck him off of her. Her struggling, however, served no purpose but to bounce her hips against him, her attempts to push him away yielding no results except a vile laugh from his lips. The blacksmith slapped her, hard, and her already scrambled skull was sent stumbling by the attack, leaving her seeing stars. By the time she got herself back together, by the time she was able to see straight again, he was still fucking her, holding her by the jaw with his thumb and middle finger pushing brutally into her cheeks.

As he thrust into Yuki’s tight snatch, the smith sneered down at her. “Listen up, slut. You must be one cock-hungry bitch to come back here, but it was a dumb decision… you already escaped from the only people I’d found that could pay enough to make the risk worthwhile. You, you nine-tailed freak of nature, are a dead woman. No one is gonna come looking for you, no one gives a shit about you. You don’t exist.” He thrust in particularly deep to punctuate his statement, and a cry of pain erupted from Yuki’s throat, her eyes starting to tear up. “I thought I already taught you, but I guess you’re a slow learner… so listen carefully this time. You’re just a collection of holes. You’re going to be my fuck meat until I’m through with you.”

Yuki didn’t survive those… things… didn’t survive exile and Mai’s betrayal, didn’t survive the slavers and the death of her sister to become some filthy human’s fuck toy. She didn’t go through all she went through just to roll over and play dead… or die. Her face twisted in a rictus of hatred, and she made her stance on the subject perfectly clear in the only way she can. She gathered up the saliva and blood in her mouth and spat the entire load directly into the face of the man raping her. “Fuck you, you worthless, subhuman piece of shit!”

She looked over at where the young man she had taken into her home stood staring at her from behind the other smith. “And fuck you too, you rotten bastard!

There was a pause for a moment as the big burly man buried in her cunt leaned back and lifted his free hand to wipe the bloody spittle off of his face… but it was Hiro who moved first. The boy wasn’t small… Yuki had had him working the forges for most of a year, and he had grown into quite a muscular man in his own right, so when he backhanded her across the face her thoughts were abruptly cut off, her head spinning. “Don’t you dare speak to me like that, you murdering bitch!” he snarled. He punched her across the face again, and Yuki’s entire world becomes pain. “Don’t you fucking act like you’re innocent, not to me!

Yuki snarled and struggled helplessly as Kuro continued to pummel her with his cock. Much as she was loathe to admit it, his cock was quite large… no matter how she thrashed and tried to pull herself off of it, all she was really doing was bouncing back and forth on his length. He was laughing as he held her by the pale tits, holding onto them like handles before he rammed back in harder skill. The rough treatment elicited a pained squeal from the beautiful fox, even as Hiro continued to slap her around until she thought he might knock her unconscious again. It was a close thing… by the time his fists swung tiredly at his sides and he was breathing hard, her head was spinning like a pottery wheel.

“You took everything from me…” he growled, panting.

Yuki had no idea what he was talking about, but she didn’t have enough thought in her head to think about it… not while her head was swimming, not while Kuro was stabbing her uterus with his fat prick. He was neither gentle nor slow in his use of her, and the only times he held back at all were out of concern for hurting himself and not at all about what happened to her… the crude blacksmith displayed all the grace of a raging bull with its hooves on fire and all Yuki could do was arch her back and squirm, trying to get away from the pain of having her tits mauled and her cunt skewered at the same time. She whimpered in pain as he groaned in desire while he plundered her.

Brutal as the forced sex was, Kuro was not finished with her yet. When the man pulled out of her for a moment, not even the dazed, beaten kitsune was fooled that it meant anything good… and sure enough, moments later the blacksmith was forcing himself into the supreme tightness offered by her tiny tailhole. Despite the fact that he had taken her there before, as had dozens number of the slavers, Yuki had grown no looser, and still squeezed tight around him… and it certainly was no less painful for her as he grunted and swore and shoved and slowly, to the rhythm of her screams, forced himself into her asshole to the balls.

Yuki fingers gripped the mattress below her and she cried out in pain, but that didn’t stop Kuro’s slow, relentless voyage into the depths of her tunnel. She felt her walls slowly being forced open by the thick pulsating invader and stinging with pain… Kuro was like a wild animal, grunting and pawing at her breasts as he relentlessly hammered away at her ass. The stars in her vision were slowly receding and her brain was coming back to itself now that Hiro was no longer beating her, but the way his weight repeatedly slammed against her body wasn’t helping.

He pulled out again before ramming his hard length dick back into her pussy, making Yuki buck in the abruptly changing agony. “Fucking bastard!” she growled, twisting her body anew in her attempt to wriggle away. The kitsune was utterly unable to get away, however… too bound to overpower him, too completely helpless to do anything but be raped – again – by an insect she could crush under her boot. He was groaning loud as he continued to rip her little hole into something much larger, his savagely strong thrusts making her whimper in pain.

But he had no mercy. All he wanted to was to fuck her. If he could, he would fuck her all day… and he just continued ramming into her hole until, with a cry, he threw his head back and his swollen cock erupted inside her. Yuki moaned in misery as she felt Kuro filling her up again, the disgusting, filthy heat of it making her want to vomit. When the blacksmith pulled out, she felt his seed drip out with him, just as vile as toxic sludge.

Kuro pushed himself to his feet with a groan. “Gods she’s a good fuck,” he grunted, staggering on wobbling legs as he managed to get up.

Yuki was so sore and her head hurt so badly that even blinking ached, exhausted beyond measure and hungry and thirsty to boot, but at least her thoughts were clearing a little and she could think again. “Fine,” Hiro grunted, still breathing heavily and refusing to look at her. He had blood on his knuckles, and not all of it was hers… he had hit her hard enough to split open his hands. He picked up a piece of clothing from the pile on the floor, using it to wipe his hands… and Yuki felt her heart soar when she saw the flash of white peeking out of the mess of clothing and rags.

It was here!

Yuki wanted to kick herself. Of course it was… Kuro had mentioned Hiro’s “Trophy.” Of course he had taken her pelt. He might have wanted it out of sight in case anyone came looking, but he wouldn’t have gotten rid of it. Now all she had to do was find a way to get to it…

“We done here?” Hiro grunted, tossing down the dirtied clothing on the pile and not quite blocking her fur from view again. “You can go put the bitch in the ground where she belongs now?”

“You sure that’s what you want?” Kuro said with a laugh and a suggestive gaze. “Not like I can’t see you, boy. You’ve got a cock that’s throbbing so hard it’s shaking the building, and I’ve seen the way you’ve been looking at her. Why not take a ride? You want her mouth? I was keeping her intact for sale before, but if she’s not going to need teeth again we could just get the tongs and give you a ride to remember.”

“No,” Hiro said, though his tone of voice sounded anything but convinced. “Just get rid of her.”

“…took you in,” Yuki grunted out. Her voice was weak, but the pain in her words made them heavier still. “I took you in… taught you. Paid you. Gave you a home. How could you?”

Hiro whirled, glaring at her. “And why did I need to be given a home?!” he snapped at her. “My village. My home… it burned to the ground with Shirakami Sanchi. My father died defending it!” He glared at her. “You did this to us! You damned foxes don’t give a shit about people… you turned my family into refugees… you’re the reason my sister is sick, the reason my mom cries herself to sleep every night. You destroyed everything I ever cared about!”

“I saved you, and your sisters, and your wretched mother!” Yuki snarled at him, straining against the ropes. “All of you, even further South than this, would all be dead if it weren’t for us!”

His eyes flashed and Hiro punched her again, snapping her head to the side. “Shut up! No more of your lies! You’re a monster! You’re all monsters! They should have never let someone like you into town!”

“You about done?” Kuro asked, rolling his eyes. “Done bitching now?”

She was about to die.

It seemed insane. After everything, after the war and its end, after her exile… she had survived all of it, to meet her end in the backroom of her own makeshift smithy in a human town with no other kitsune in miles. She would never be returned to Inari’s flame… it was likely no one would ever know that she had died at all. Yuki, the white fox of Hanei, nogitsune, would have vanished into history.

And Yuki couldn’t bring herself to give a shit.

She had fought to her dying breath for Inari, and the goddess had betrayed her… turning her back on them. She had learned under Syllana and feared for Mai, but they had betrayed her… leading her on, engineering the trap that had gotten her exiled and the rest of her army recruited under Syllana’s guiding hand. She had done all of that, had tolerated all of that, because in the end what she did was important… it was what Yui and Sarada had always taught her, the life Akemi had always tried to live. That the first ideal was strength… not for its own sake, or for her own, but to protect others. That the kitsune were guardians.

She had led soldiers to their deaths to defend the people who couldn’t defend themselves. She had sacrificed herself… her mentor, her home, her pride, and the love of her people in her, to protect both Hanei and the people of Japan. Hanei had turned its back on her when Inari had told them to, but the humans… she had fought alongside them as they defended their homes. They had seen the threat. Had known how the kitsune defended them from it.

And this was their repayment?

Yuki remembered all the times she’d been praised as some kind of “Chosen One”, and the bitter irony of it was almost enough to make her laugh despite her sorry state. Chosen? By who? Akari had chosen Inari over her own sister, and the Goddess had chosen self-righteous pride over the fox who had fought so hard for her sake. Mai had chosen Syllana over the woman who loved her. Seijun had chosen cowardice over her apprentice. Even Akemi… her sister had thrown herself into battle again and again, heedless of the risks. In the end, she had chosen the war over everything, including Yuki and everyone else who loved her. No one in her life had ever chosen Yuki. Not one. Not ever.

“No,” Hiro whispered, standing over her. “I’m not done.” He started pulling his shirt off, and his cock made an obvious tent in his pants. “Get the tongs. This bitch wants a lesson… I’m going to give it to her.”

Yuki was running almost on empty but only almost. And there was a ready source of it right there. “No,” she growled. “You are done.”

She was finished with being “chosen”. It was finally time that she made a choice.

Years of training under Seijun and weeks of practice with Syllana made it easy… she didn’t even need to think as she wove what power she had left into the destructive form of witchfire. She barely had a whisper, but it would be enough… when she supplemented it with the foxfire lurking in her soul, anyway. It was nearly impossible to get any energy out, but Seijun had been teaching her to do it since she was a child. It was almost completely impossible to give it any substance, make any working of true foxfire with it… but with the little bit of her usual foxfire she had left to build around, it was only almost impossible. She crafted what little she had into flame, and supplemented it with everything else she could pour in… and cut loose.

Everything said and done, she only managed a small, blue-gold flare. It was nothing like the torrents she had thrown at the jorogumo… it wouldn’t have even been an especially impressive spark if she was hammering metal. If she launched it at a person, it probably wouldn’t give too much worse than a small burn.

But the pile of oil-soaked fabric in the corner was much more flammable.

Both men jumped away, yelling in panic as the fabric suddenly went up in a blaze. “Get some water!” Hiro spat, running over and beginning to stomp on it. “Psycho bitch… what did you do! What di-”

Yuki stopped listening as she felt it. Not the heat of the fire… but instead a deep, abiding cold. It spread over her skin, her lungs, her heart like a tingling numbness, and for a moment it hurt… but only for a moment. The shivering sensation only persisted at the warm parts of her body… where her lungs and stomach burned fuel to live, where her heart pumped hot blood. When it brushed against her warmth, it hurt… but everywhere else the pain was pure and cold. Sweet, even. If she were cold, if she were dead, there would be no pain… the power encouraged it. Lusted for it, even.

The cold burned in her, spreading. Yuki shivered, but it wasn’t a purely physical sensation… there was an empty, heartless hunger to it, a frozen quality that reminded her of staring at the night sky when there were no clouds and no moon. That cold raked at her soul even as the shivers raked at her body, not frozen but mindlessly hungry, racing through her veins like anti-fire burning everything she was. Yuki closed her eyes and allowed herself a single, wretched pained sob.

She felt the exact moment the witchfire consumed her skin, tentacle of freezing agony penetrating her body and soul in a thousand different places, stilling her breathing, slowing her heart, her thoughts crystallizing into a brilliant, crystalline moment of frigid clarity.

And when she opened her eyes, things were different.

She could feel the two men in the room with her, in a way she hadn’t been able to before. Could feel the fire burning beneath their skin, inside them. A warmth that contrasted with the empty hollow feeling inside of her, the one she’d had to live with for the last several days of deprivation and torment, the pain of being empty. Suddenly, ignoring that pain seemed impossible to do… because now, unlike before, she could do something about it. Why should she suffer through the indignity and discomfort of having that powerless void inside her when she could just reach out, pluck a vessel filled with what she needed…

And make herself whole.

Yuki had seen the other nogitsune as they ripped the souls from the captive jorogumo. She had worried, on some level, that she wouldn’t be able to do the same. She needn’t have been concerned… Yuki had always been good at replicating any foxfire technique she watched someone else do. And this one, as it turned out, was almost effortlessly easy.

Kuro dropped like a puppet with his strings cut, dead before he hit the floor.

It took long moments for Hiro to turn his attention away from stomping out the fire that contained the ashes of her skin, and by the time he did Yuki had burned the ropes off her. He recoiled in horror, flattening himself against the back wall of her bedroom as she approached. “Oh, great kami…” he whispered, eyes wide as a full moon. “Kuro! Kuro!”

“He won’t be answering you,” Yuki growled, stepping up beside the fallen body. She could feel it flooding into her… witchfire, stolen from Kuro’s soul as she ripped it from his body. The hollow feeling vanished, and the cold sensation of the fire inside her felt fantastic by comparison… so much closer to normal and comfort that it was easy to ignore the ways in which it felt utterly wrong. “It’s better than he deserved,” Yuki growled, and while every single muscle in her body ached, and she felt less like a collection of bruises and more like tenderized meat, the sheer ecstasy of no longer being helpless send a thrill through her far larger than any discomfort. She kicked the fallen smith hard enough she felt one of the dead man’s ribs crack. “Going out like this. It was too easy… but it had to be one of you.”

She prowled forward and he shrank against the wall, shaking, eyes filling with tears. His knees wobbled from utter terror as Yuki approached him, towering over the smaller man, her hand resting on the wall by his shaking head as she leaned over him. Black tails, black as coal, black as night, caressed his ankles and swung in agitation behind her as her eyes glowed with the witchfire burning within. “Please…” he whispered. “I… don’t kill me too…”

Yuki’s face twisted in a scowl is disgust for the pathetic traitor for just a moment before she schooled her face into a twisted smile that showed far, far too many teeth. “Don’t be like that,” she purred to him. Her hand caressed his bare chest briefly before reaching down to grab hold of his groin through his pants. “What’s the matter…” Yuki whispered. “You seemed so… excited… to see me, just a few moments ago. I thought you wanted to play… wasn’t that it?” Her hand slipped inside his trousers, closing around his shaft and squeezing… making sure he could feel the edges of her nails.

“No, my mistake…” the nogitsune chuckled, though the expression never touched her eyes. The panicked man lashed out at her, hands flailing wildly, and her black tails effortlessly grabbed them and wrestled them back to the wall, restraining him. “That wasn’t it at all. You wanted to ‘teach me a lesson’.” She smiled again as her tails wrapped around him, and as she closed a hand over his throat they helped her begin to lift him up off the ground. “I’m not in ropes now, tough man. I’m not chained and helpless. I’m ready to learn… big, strong, tough man…”

“W-” he choked out, gagging. “W-wh’gh… w-what are yugh… g-g-goughing to… do…”

Yuki purred. “You had such strong ideas of what you wanted,” the nogitsune said in a husky tone of voice. “I wouldn’t want to disappoint my dear friend and apprentice, would I?” She squeezed his cock against as she stroked, and smiled when despite himself he began to harden. “I’m going to give you just what you wanted, boy… “

If no one was ever going to choose her, so be it. Yuki would just have to choose herself from now on. Always herself, over everyone else.

“Oh Inari…” Hiro whispered, voice shaking. “Please…”

“Don’t waste your time,” Yuki scoffed. She threw him against the bed she had just been bound on moments ago, stalking towards him. “She doesn’t listen. Pray to me instead, and maybe I’ll make this quick.” She leaned down and whispered her words right against his cheek as she pressed her lips against a tear, tasting the salt and fear on his skin. “…but I doubt it.”

4 thoughts on “Chosen – Chapter 19 – Once Burned…

    1. Quite the opposite. At this point, I think she’s pretty dedicated to making sure she’s never the tragic character again.

      Of course, since this is the past, we know how that works out…

      Like

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