Chapter 5 Unnecessary Tension
"Perfect everything's almost ready!" Kokkuri-san stared proudly down at the kotatsu neatly decorated for the festivities. He opened the screen door that led to the porch, breathing in the fresh air and lighting the lanterns adorning the roof of the shrine. The sun was setting over the small town, from where Kokkuri-san stood he could see food, lanterns, decorations, and people leaving their homes to occupy another; some even carrying gifts. What really caught Kokkuri-san's attention was a man and a woman both holding hands with their child. The fox sighed if he could he would fall in love, but Kokkuri-san had only loved one woman and now that woman was his daughter.
The memories Kokkuri-san had buried long ago resurfaced, he saw Kohina's life and her death replay in his head. The fox grunted fisting his hair, ears laying flat against his pounding head." Please Oinari, make a vow that whatever happens in the next life for me, you will be by my side always even if it means we can never be together as husband and wife." Kokkuri-san closed his eyes, those were the last words Kohina had uttered before she was killed. Small tears soaked his face, there were days the fox wished he could forget that horrible event, but then again if he did Kokkuri-san wouldn't be the spirit he was today.
Kokkuri-san wiped his tears and walked back inside, setting the big trays of food on the table.
" Alright Takoyaki (Dough balls with octopus), Yakisoba noodles, Yakiori (Grilled chicken on a stick), rice dumplings, Ikayaki (grilled squid), Karaage (grilled chicken), Jaga Bata (Potatoes with butter) and finally Hotate Butter Yaki (Scallops with butter) good all here." The fox stated satisfied that the food looked presentable." Hey fox, oh this looks good!" Shigaraki said his hand reaching toward the tray of rice dumplings. Kokkuri-san frowned and smacked his hand away." You know the rules taunki abide by them!" he said as Inugami in female form walked into the room.
Immediately, the taunki's focus went from the food to the beautiful girl in the room. He glided towards the beauty taking her hand in his own." Have I ever told you how much your eyes sparkle under these lights?" Shigaraki leaned forward to kiss her, but was kicked in the face sending him colliding into the ground. Inugami huffed and took a seat in her regular spot, she scanned the trays of food looking displeased." Less food as usual, by the way fox where are the moon cakes?" The fox narrowed his eyes at her and took a breath to calm himself." I will bring them out after dinner." Kokkuri-san said walking into the hall.
"Kohina time for dinner!" he yelled as Shigaraki took his place at the kotatsu near Inugami who was awaiting Kohina's presence. The girl appeared standing silently in the doorway her hand intertwined with Imani, who wore a silk lavender dress with a pair of brown fur boots. Kokkuri-san would have admitted the spirit looked stunning if she wasn't narrowing her eyes at him." Kohina what is Imani doing out of her room?" Kohina's eyes were glued to the floor," I had Shigaraki remove the seal, I-I want mom to join us!" she said Kokkuri-san growled low his eyes narrowing along with Inugami's.
"Kohina do not call her that ever!" Kokkuri-san whispered causing the girl to look up and frown." Why! She did adopt me so I am her daughter not just yours!" Kohina shouted surprising everyone in the room, this was the first time the girl had raised her voice and against her father figure. The fox whimpered looking at Kohina with hurt eyes, as the wolf leaned down to the girl's height." Kohina that was unnecessary, Kokkuri-san is your father please do as he says, little one." Imani said in a stern but loving voice.
The girl nodded walking over to the fox and reaching out her hands. He smiled, scooping Kohina into a hug. Kokkuri-san buried his face in her hair as he proceeded to nuzzle his offspring." I forgive you." The fox set Kohina down in her seat, but she pulled his sleeve allowing a whine to leave her." Please." She pleaded pointing to the wolf." Come on fox the moon festival is family time, and the wolf is family let her join!" the taunki added taking the girl's side. He sighed," Alright I give, she can join us since she's more well-behaved." Imani frowned, but took a seat in between Kohina and Shigaraki.
She placed a napkin on her lap and tied one around Kohina's neck, Kokkuri-san looked on impressed and a little jealous." Do not compare me to a common fleabag, fox." This caused everyone to burst into fits of laughter except Kokkuri-san who ignored her and reached for some food. He witnessed Imani help Kohina put food on her plate and cut the big pieces into smaller ones so they were easier to chew then proceed to fill her plate. He noticed the wolf's favorite dishes were the Takoyaki, Ikayaki and Hotate Butter Yaki probably because some wolves enjoyed fishing.
"Imani is it true you lived in the forest?" Kohina asked nibbling on a dumpling. She smiled wiping the girl's face with a napkin." Yes actually I was born in a cave under Mt. Ontake." Inugami looked at the wolf surprised. He knew that mountain all too well and that it was prone to eruptions." So you were part of a pack?" she asked again. Imani nodded," Yes I was part of the Timber wolves pack and my parents were their leaders." The entire table looked at Imani speechless, this meant the wolf was technically of royal blood." So it seems we are in the presence of a princess, forgive me for being so rude at our first meeting. Shigaraki stated taking Imani's hand in his own and kissing it gently, this caused Kokkuri-san to look on in shock, especially when Imani blushed in response.
"It's alright I am willing to start over and get to know everyone here better." She reached over the table and grabbed a large pot which contained the tea. Getting up, Imani poured everyone a cup including herself." Let this be a new beginning for us." She said earning head nods from everyone minus a certain fox. Kohina pulled Kokkuri-san's shoulder to gain his attention. He looked and saw everyone staring at the fox, wanting him to agree. But Kokkuri-san remained silent, his mind again remembering the wolf's cruel words." No! I am not willing to start over after those comments!" He faced Inugami who during Imani's declaration had changed back into a male." You dislike her too and yet you're agreeing with starting over and making her part of this family?"
Inugami narrowed his red eyes at the fox," My darling likes her therefore I can tolerate it." Kokkuri-san rolled his eyes, this coming from the guy who hates everything." If it pleases you then I apologize, but I did mean some of things I said regarding my pup." Imani said muttering the last sentence in a warning. Kokkuri-san sighed, he accepted her apologize, but the wolf was being unreasonable." Everyone the fireworks are starting!" Inugami yelled dragging Kohina outside, Shigaraki followed. Kokkuri-san on the other hand held Imani back," I can't believe your being so nice, why are you anyway?" Imani stood stoic staring at the fox with little interest. "I have been in this shrine for a while, it is natural for a wolf to be accustomed to those around her. I know Kokkuri-san that you do not like me, well I loathe you and your skills as a leader. I know you want me to leave, just disappear, but in fair warning I can't do that or else I take Kohina with me. I know you don't want that and personally neither do I. Lastly, it is best not to get on my bad side, in my pack I was future leader trained aggressively in fighting and hunting."
Imani bared her fangs and exposed her claws to show she was a serious threat. Kokkuri-san took a step back, seeing this she hid her claws and grabbed her tea joining the others on the porch. The fox followed cautiously with his tea, Kokkuri-san officially disliked the wolf, but he knew for Kohina's sake that toleration between him and Imani was necessary. He glanced at the fireworks, as everyone lifted their cups in the air: "Happy New Moon!" They shouted drinking their tea in unison. Soon it grew late, Shigaraki had gone to his room earlier after the toast and Inugami had snatched some leftovers and walked to his doghouse. Kohina was yawning and rubbing her eyes." Time for bed my pup." she said putting the girl in her arms." I can take her to bed." Imani growled and walked to the girl's room tucking her under the covers.
After a few minutes, she remerged and strolled slowly to her room, her brown eyes staying locked on Kokkuri-san's golden ones before quietly shutting the screen door.