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~Kith looked from Kitsune to Akina and whistled somewhat sadly. he flicked his tongue out and licked Kitsune's nose as she nudged him away. something wasn't right, but it was no longer his place to question it. he would simply have to return with his message~

*Hai, Kitsune-onee-sama...I will tell her. Perhaps she might even sleep off the rest of her weakness now. Please, take care.*
~Kith's voice had an odd feminine touch in the void's mind at the last sentence. probably a mixture of his own thoughts and those of his celestial mistress. he backwinged and disappeared just as abruptly as he'd arrived~
Kitsune's avatar

Eloquent Elocutionist

Her eyes slide shut as she sighs, unable to watch the dragonet's departure. The tone underlacing his final words had cut through her resolve like a hot knife through butter and now it is taking every bit of her will to keep from revealing her true emotions. When his scent vanishes, she assumes that Kith has gone and once again attempts to reinforce her calm demeanor. This time, she is interrupted by a strange tingle of coolness that bites back the feverish wave in her mind. That strange coolness came with Isa's telepathic voice. Her eyes shoot open and she looks down at Isa, unconsciously taking a step back. "A-ano... you have come as well?"

Kitsune reluctantly sits back on her haunches to give her tiring hindlegs a rest. Now that the two kitsune had come, she will relay the message to them and have them pass it on to any of the others that wish to hear it. The void looks at the two sitting near her and sighs. "No matter. Whatever has brought you two out here must be aware of my plans and desires to set the reluctant gears into motion." Again, her words were somewhat idle, but she spoke them with confidence nonetheless. "Isa-san, Akina-san... I have searched and searched and finally, I found them. I never would have thought that I would stumble across such a place, but I did. It's perfect, too. They didn't even notice my arrival... They're sitting ducks now...sitting ducks awaiting the butcher's strike."

She recalls the conversation with Shifter some time ago and frowns slightly. It was her talk with the wind kitsune that convinced her to try out the daring plan she has in mind now - no matter the risks involved. "My army may be dwindling now, but should I join the fight, I know we will succeed." She looks down at the two kitsune and smiles faintly. "That is why I have decided to leave this plane behind and join them on the battlefield."

"I have accomplished little to nothing here in my time and I doubt that I will accomplish anything should I stay. But if I join them, I just might bring this drawn out battle to an end. So...I suppose this is...a...farewell, in short." It has become obvious to the listeners that the void has no plans of returning to this plane once the fight is finished.
Akina's avatar

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Just a bit tired? But she looks about ready to keel over!
The emerald eyes set amongst the silver coat could barely hide back the confusion and worry flooding her mind. She had been just about to answer the void when a tiny green dragon-like creature came down and bowed before them, then proceeded to perch on Kitsune's nose.
What is that thing? It looks like a dragon, but it's so small, and polite... must be a messanger of some sort, I best not interupt it.
Akina sat still and respectfully awaited her chance to speak. The conversation seemed to take a rather long time, which worried the forest fox even more. Finally the creature left, and Kitsune's eyes shut as her body slumped. The vixen's muzzle opened to speak, but once again she was interupted, this time by a friendly face, the river vixen Isa. As her blue furred friend sat down, Kitsune began to speak. Her words baffled the two-tailer, and frightened her.
"Kitsune sama, I do not understand..." her voice soft and frail in her throat as she choked out the words. "I had come here to ask your permission, if you would allow me to take care of Entei as an adopted 'cousin'..."
A long, silent, painful pause followed.
"But... from what you have said..." Tears flowed from the corners of the vixen's eyes, staining her gleaming silver fur. "It appears that neither one of you will be with us for long."
Akina's head hung low, eyes flooded, teeth clinched, ears and tails drooping towards the ground.
Kitsune's avatar

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Kitsune stares at Akina in silence, her gaze transfixed on the tears spilling from her eyes. Though she knew they would be upset to see her go, never did she believe they would shed actual tears. She steps forward and brings her head down, gently nudging at the vixen's cheek with her muzzle. The salty tears stung her nose, but she dismissed it with all the other pain coursing through her body. "Do not cry, Akina-san. It was inevitable that my life would lead me down this path. I knew from the very first time I spilled blood with my fangs, that it was destined to be this way. I am willing to give my broken life to better others'. That is how I will make ammends for the evil I have done."

She raises her head and sighs softly. "As for Entei... You wish to be the child's adopted cousin, ne? He would like that. I would be honored, as well. Entei is with Tanuki in hiding now, but when the battle ends, he and the retainer will return here. Please allow them to stay if Tanuki should ask. As a favor to me. I know they would be safer here than on their own out there." Kitsune turns her head away and folds her wings, sliding her eyes shut as she turns to leave.
Akina's avatar

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As the void nuzzled her cheek, Akina forced herself to choke back the tears enough for her to look up into Kitsune's face.
"Yes... That is a good way to go... honorable I guess some would say," the two-tailer fought hard to keep control over her shakey body, but she could not keep the tears from spilling down.
"It is well that Entei and Tanuki are in a safe hiding place. When the battle ends, they are most welcome to stay with me, if not with the others here, though I see little reason why they'd disagree to it. For however long they need to stay is no concern, your son and his care taker may have a home with their forest cousin."
There was a moment's pause as Akina sat lost in thought. Suddenly the little vixen's form became far taller, as she stood on her two hind legs that transformed into human legs, and her figure became that of a young human woman with the tale-tale signs of her true nature remaining visible.
"This is a battle in which I know I will not be fighting in, but I still may be of use," the fox-girl plunged her hands into her pockets and pulled out two small, crystal vials attached to long woven cords: a clear one in her left hand, and rose colored one in her right.
"The clear vial contains a deadly poison that would bring down the biggest dragon with just a drop. Be careful, do not inhale its fumes. The rose vial is filled with a strong medicine that greatly enhances one's own ability to heal. A shattered bone or a deep gouged out flesh wound may heal over completely in a few hours time. It also detoxicifies lesser poisons. These come from very rare plants that few know of, so their extracts are precious. May they aid you in your battle."
With that the fox tailed girl placed them around the winged creature's neck.
"Sayounara, Kitsune, nine-tailer of power and legend, friend and mentor to the nogitsune of this shrine," she wrapped her arms around the void's neck, hot tears meeting pale flesh and black fur for a minuet, then Akina steped back and glanced over at Isa.
Kitsune's avatar

Eloquent Elocutionist

Kitsune had turned back to look at Akina when she heard her speak again. She paid close attention to her words and stared at the vials as she gave the explanations of the contents of each one. They will indeed prove useful and she will not waste a single drop. She smiles sadly when she places them around her neck and follows it up with an embrace. "Akina..." By now, she realizes that it's pointless to hold back her feelings and so she allows a few tears to fall from her eyes. "I never thought that this place would grow on me so. I will miss you all dearly."

She cranes her neck around and closes her maw around a few feathers on her wing, plucking them off with a little effort. Leaning down again, she hands the feathers over to Akina. "When you have the time, please burn these at the altar." Her wing folds back against her side and she stands up at her full height once more. Her eyes narrow slightly as she stares off at seemingly nothing, somewhat wandering in her thoughts. Her reverie lasts but a few seconds and she returns to the here and now.

"Akina-san, you took on the job of this shrine's healer when Arcali disappeared. You helped many, including strangers, without asking for anything in return. You even braved countless dangers to help me save my forest. I never got the chance to thank you personally for what you had done." Straining slightly, the void forces her aura to spark up around her, engulfing her entire form. "I wish to thank you now by presenting you with a gift. It is your choice to accept it or not."
Up until now Shifter had been unaware of Kitsune's presence within the outer edges of the shrine grounds. Indeed, she probably would have never sensed a spirit from the distance separating them unless he was actively searching for the presence of another.

The moment Kitsune decides to empower her aura, the ethereal ripples displaced by the creation of the effect registers with the wind kitsune’s somewhat paranoid spiritual senses like the rapport of a gunshot for someone of a more mundane nature.

Reflexively looking partially towards the disturbance, the silvered youko frowns slightly as she quickly compares this latest surprise with all of the other sudden troubles visited upon her kind for no reason. Though that may not be the case, she doesn’t feel like leaving the sudden event unchecked. Shifter has suffered through more nasty surprises in her lifetime than she would have cared for. If she can help it, she will try to spot any possible future attacks before they are completely underway.

Looking back at Tenshi seriously, Shifter quickly breaks from their conversation with a warning so she can check the unknown disturbance. “Something close by the shrine is emitting a fair amount of power… Excuse me for a moment.?

Pulling a loose strand of hair from her head, Shifter quickly reforms its appearance into a plain yet razor sharp wakazashi through an illusion. As she finishes forming the illusory weapon into an appropriate likeness of a real design, a patch of fog that seemingly came from nowhere covers her from sight. This small cloud starts floating away, dissipating into the surrounding air once more once she has left the stairs in front of the shrine altogether.

A similar patch of fog forms next to a tree within eyeshot of Kitsune and Akina with the destruction of the first cloud as Shifter’s form of teleportation magic completes itself. Concealed from sight by another illusion she had formed within the fog, the wind kitsune steps out from this second pale shroud with the temporary blade held loosely by her right side. The slightly grim expression darkening the youko’s face would betray her suspicion of the unexpected spike in energy to anyone that could still see her.

Silently darting a few feet away from the fog in case she is dealing with some trigger happy self-proclaimed enemy of the kitsune, Shifter starts warily checking her surroundings for movement or some other sign of life with a methodical precision. Accompanying her search is a silent hope that she doesn't miss anyone and get seriously hurt like some occasions in her past.
Akina's avatar

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Kitsune's tears slightly stunned her, she had never seen nor heard of the old nine-tailer crying. Somehow, though these new drops of salt water burned like boiling water upon her skin, they were comforting, and for the first time in what seemed like hours to her, the silver furred fox's tears ceased. As the void wrapped her neck around the forest youko in an embrace, Akina burried her face for a second in the rough black fur.
But the two-tailer's eyes were not to remain dry for long. Taking the feathers in hand, the only response she could give was a nod of the head. Akina wiped her eyes free of tears for a second to look up at Kitsune, her mind a jumbled mess of thoughts and emotions colliding. Quite to her suprise, the void spoke to her yet again.
She is... giving me thanks? But those are things forest kitsune inately do...
"How can I refuse a gift from you? To do so would be foolish and terribly rude of me." She kneeled down, "I humbly accept."
Kitsune's avatar

Eloquent Elocutionist

If she were in a better state, Kitsune would have sensed Shifter's presence. However, she is having enough difficulty maintaining her own aura so her arrival goes unnoticed. She looks down at Akina and chuckles softly, raising her right forearm to lightly place her hand on the forest vixen's head. "I can only hope my son will be as well-mannered as you someday."

Focusing her energy and applying it to the task at hand, the void slips into a trance-like state. Her aura fluctuates and brightens as it moves along her extended hand to encircle the kneeling Akina. The vixen can now feel the foreign energy moving throughout her entire form as a tickling sensation that mirrors the feeling she would get while feeding from a robust forest. As the infused energy merges with her very being, the beginning of what looks like a tail composed of ethereal light, sprouts to join the other two, already established appendages. The light lengthens and curls around, taking on the form of a full fox tail. All in all, Akina felt no pain what-so-ever and the act itself lasted but a few seconds. Kitsune removes her hand and breaks the spiritual link, allowing her aura to fade out once more. The glowing energy surrounding Akina fades out as well, leaving the silver vixen with three silvery tails.

The void bites back an exhausted sigh and smiles instead, lowering her front half in a bow to her friend. "It is done..." She rights herself and looks up toward the sky above. "And I should get going now. The battle awaits..."
Mildly satisfied that she has found everyone nearby that she could, Shifter returns her attention to the unusual vulpine demon and Akina and tries to think of some reason why they should meet out here away from the shrine. A part of the kitsune’s thinking is concerned that the demon is planning on causing the forest kitsune some sort of harm. In the moment before she recognizes Kitsune’s aura, the worst of Shifter’s paranoid leanings speak of betrayals and deals with dark powers. Thankfully the wind kitsune could laugh that nonsense off this time.

The silvery youko smirks slightly as she identifies the demoness' aura then thinks to herself. 'Kitsune, you certainly have an interesting taste in forms, but why have you decided to hold onto such a spiritually taxing shell and emitting an aura if you have become so exhausted...?'

Walking closer to the pair, Shifter prepares to reveal her presence when she finally learns the reason behind Kitsune's aura. Rather than risk distracting Kitsune from the moment, Shifter discreetly watches as the void gives Akina a new tail with a minor feeling of awe. Even if the wind kitsune is strong enough to so bless a one tailed kitsune, such an occurrence so rarely happens that this is the first time she has witnessed it performed in person.

Smiling as Kitsune announces the gift's completion, Shifter prepares to appear and politely announce her presence when she hears the kyuubi's fateful line. Any good cheer the wind kitsune would have felt for Akina was shattered as she turns her attention to finding out what Kitsune is up to.

Though she hopes her fears are unwarranted, more than a few beings have gone and gotten their selves killed pointlessly after deciding they had to act alone in her experience. Were Kitsune healthy Shifter would have not worried; only being curious about the void's other actions earlier in the day. She is certain that if the elder kitsune goes off into a fight against anything worse than a band of humans now Kitsune will risk having to sacrifice one of her tails to regain the necessary power to survive the battle. Such rash action deserves to remain with the young kitsune.

Completely certain that Kitsune is up to something more serious than another battle, she drops her weapon - which immediately reverts back to the hair it was made from - and runs to close the remaining distance as she drops her illusion. Appearing close by the demon-form void as she slows to a stop from her run, the silvery youko looks up at her with a mix of confusion and apprehension.

She would have preferred revealing her presence in a more gentle manner, but she suspects that Kitsune is about to engage in a fool's errand that will seriously injure or permanently weaken her if she is forced to consume one of her tails. Any thoughts of the void sacrificing her life for what would probably be a foolish reason are forced away since the wind kitsune has more respect for the kyuubi's wisdom and talents than that. "You are planning on going into battle in your current state?"
Liandria's avatar

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[Liandria now snapped out of her drifting state. Her body had fought out any remaining effects of her wounds. But, the tiny fox was more concerned now with the energy flux. She had barely sensed the youko coming, but that was clearly due to her previous state. With her spirit sister's energy coarsing through her the kitsune backed away slightly. The forest healer was bestowed her third tail as well and Lia couldn't help but chortle at the timeing of events lately. Shifter disapated to nearer the massive dragonic beast and the spirit kitsune moved slowly farther back to the underbrush. As she slid into the cover of the wood, she watched the creatures of the Nogitsune say goodbye to their senior member. Though she had been of the Nogitsune for quite some time, the spirit fox still withdrew from them. Once again feeling quite the outcast.]

// Best not to evesdrop Liandria... \\

[She thought to herself. IN a brief moment she was retreating back into the woods from whence she came. She would find another healer elsewhere. Kiyumi had her orb and everyone else was otherwise occupied. Gritting her pearly fangs against the twinge of pain in her shoulder, the spirit quickly sent a thread to her fellow kiko in regards to the former energy transferal.]

// Kiko... Thank you for restoring me my energy earlier. I won't take up anymore of your time speaking with you now. But, we much speak later. Farwell for now. \\


((Sorry guys! That ban set me back a bit. o.< ))
Kitsune's avatar

Eloquent Elocutionist

((*beats the ban on Lia's name with a stick* Evil Gaia! >_> Ahem...))

Kitsune would have gladly shifted back to a more simplistic form if the option was available. The setback to invoking the power of a foreign demon was the fact that it would remain for a certain amount of time, even after its usefulness had passed. That certain amount of time has not yet expired and therefore she is forced to stay in her current form. She will not allow it to get in her way, however. As her father always said: "One must work with whatever they have."

The void's nose twitches as Shifter's unique scent wafts by on a subtle breeze that rustles her spikey mane. She turns her head just in time to see the wind kitsune's somewhat rushed approach and nods once in both a greeting and confirmation. "Aye, I am indeed heading into battle." She raises a hand to silence the kitsune should he attempt to speak up in protest or otherwise. "I plan on destroying those wretched dogs in one massive attack. I will hold nothing back. I can not afford to."

"With me gone, that makes you one of the strongest kitsune here. I trust you will help to keep things safe. Also, I wish you and your mate the best of luck, Shifter-san." Kitsune spreads her wings and bows to her friend. "May you father many healthy kits in the future." Righting herself, she shakes off the cramps now threatening to rebuild in her muscles thanks to the previous exercise and turns about face. If she looks Shifter in the eyes, she knows her resolve will fall apart once more and she does not wish to rebuild it for a third time. The winged demon starts to walk across the grassy expanse toward the forest a short distance away.

"By the by, feel free to make use of any of the spell books and artifacts I have stored away in my old room. What was once mine, now belongs to all of you."

She casts a sideways glance to seemingly nothing in particular as she sends a brief telepathic message to Liandria. For some odd reason, she could sense her quick departure without even feeling for it. "That includes you, Liandria-san. Farewell, spirit vixen. We may not have gotten the chance to fight side-by-side, but I still see you as a close ally and friend."
Shifter frowns in response to Kitsune's words. To say that she did not expect hthe void's current actions would be an extreme understatement. "Before you rush off to your own demise so.. eagerly. Who are you fighting that you feel you must act in such a rash manner?"

As anyone that knows Shifter's adventuresome side could guess the odds of the wind kitsune insisting on getting involved in whatever conflict Kitsune has found herself in are almost certain. Even if the reason behind the battle chould be that the kyuubi has finally decided to pass onto the next plane and wishes to cause her enemies trouble one final time before departing, she does not wish for her friend to pass on in such a violent manner and without getting the chance to properly say farewell to the other nogitsune.

The word impossible never held much meaning to the kuko beyond that of a mere concept even in the worst odds.
Kitsune's avatar

Eloquent Elocutionist

"Heh. Eager to meet my demise? Nay, I merely wish to keep the element of surprise on my side. By delaying, I'm affording them the opportunity to strengthen their defenses and possibly, anticipate my arrival. Plus, they could be preparing to make a move as we speak." She stops and looks back at the kuko.

She already knows that Shifter will attempt to join her in battle once she discovers who her enemies are and what they have planned. However, the void will not allow him to join her this time. She feels it is a fight that she alone must face. Kitsune turns away from the wind vixen and shakes her head. "I finally found that faction of deities that has a vendetta against me and I was shocked to find out they had gathered quite an army of their own. Quite an army... Normally, I would sit back and allow them the first move and then act accordingly, but intelligence revealed to me their true intentions. They are making plans to begin a crusade against all kitsune in hopes of flushing me out."

A shudder courses over her entire body, causing her feathers to ruffle along with her mane. Their underhanded tactic could spell disaster for the species if allowed to go underway. "I will not sit by and allow that to happen because of me. If they want to fight that badly, then by the gods I shall bring the fight to them."
Shifter's expression becomes very grim as she quickly comes to understand the implications of such an army. She knows of an almost certain way to ruin their enemy's chances of success, but the implications of the act she is considering are not to be taken lightly. "I see... Kitsune, I would like- would need to speak to you alone on a very important matter that you must tell no one else about. Our decision on this could make or break our race's chances for survival."

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