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Helping Foxes

By Jupanuma

Romance / Fantasy

Prologue

Prologue

A child, only eleven years old in age, just starting to learn how the world worked, was running through the woods. Her self-chopped black hair whipped through the air while her dirty pink shirt and blue jeans hung loosely off her thine frame. Her green backpack had a broken strap and she had blood dripping from fresh cuts. She was trying to find a place to crash for the night. A cave, a tight group of trees – anything to keep the night air, monsters, and the cold winds away.

Night almost upon her when she spotted a small, red-brown bundle laying on the ground. Curiosity got the better of her and with a closer she saw a fox licking a wound in its hind leg. It didn't look like it could move, let alone protect its self, at this moment. Keeping her hands up, she stepped closer, showing she meant no harm to the poor animal. It growled once, before going back to cleaning the wound. Looking up, she noticed a small shine looking thing, big enough to house the small animal and herself. Murmuring encouraging words along the lines "its okay, I'm going to help you" she picked the fox up and made her way to the shrine.

The first thing she noticed was the warm air inside. It was too dark to see farther than her out stretched arm so she quickly set the fox down in the middle of the floor before reaching to grab her backpack. Taking out bandages, she quickly wrapping her wounds up, before it became too dark to even see anything. Soon after, she fell asleep curled into the other, while the animal kept watch.

Morning came all too quickly. She woke up in a warm and dry place, something that has not happened in a while. She took in her surroundings, polished marble walls and wooden floors without rot or dust covering the surface. The shrine she remembered, a well-kept one too. She looks over to see the fox still curled around her, keeping her warmer then she has been in months. It had its eyes closed, but she doubt it was sleeping. Slowly getting up, she made her way to leave the shrine, and let the fox recover on his own, when its ears twitched towards the entrance.

Seconds later a male voice, neither menacing nor kind, broke the forest silence. "I was looking for where you ran off to." She turns her head to study the short, dark figure. The fox whims a little, making her focus back to the fox instead.

'BIG MISTAKE!' her head screamed at her as she whirls back around to stare back to the figure, only to find he didn't move. That confuses her. "I mean you no harm." He says, stepping into the shrine for her to get a better look at him.

He has messy black hair and pale skin, like he hasn't seen the light of day in a few years, with dark, piercing eyes that boarded into her soul. The strangest part of him was the giant black wings jetting out of his back.

He sits down crossed legged, leaning on the wall, cocking his head to the side. "You helped him." It was a statement. She nods, not daring to open her mouth, for fear of saying something wrong. "Very few would help a wounded animal, rarer still, one that was a runaway."

The fox slowly walks over to the boy. His eyes follows the creature. The boy lets the animal sit next to him with its head in his lap, petting its head soon after. "Thank you, for helping my friend." He looks back up to her. "He likes to run off sometimes. I was looking for him when he didn't come back home one the sun went down."

Silence falls over the two of them, the girl not knowing if it was a good idea to break it while the other finds comfort in it. Finally, the boy stands, making the fox stand up too, and walks closer to her. "To say thank you for helping him, I would like to grant you a wish. Whatever you want."

She licks her lips. She could ask for food, a place to finally be safe in, to not have to be on the run anymore. She opens her mouth, before closing it quickly. Looking down at the floor, not wanting to meet the boy's gaze anymore, she opened her mouth once more. "I want my brother to be safe."

The boy nods. "Alright. I can grant the wish. I will be the one to protect him, for as long as he needed protecting, or until he, himself, tells me he doesn't need me anymore. But know that if the Fates have deemed it is his time to depart from this word, that I would be unable to stop that. Do you still want this to be your wish knowing this?"

She nods. "Yes."

The boy smiles for the first time since being there. "You are truly selfless. I will grant you this wish. I will also appear from time to time, letting you know how he's doing."

"Thank you." The boy stands and starts walking to the entrance, but stops right before stepping outside. "Oh, one more thing. Here." He's pulls out a knife from around his belt. "To hunt or protect yourself when you needed it." He gives her the weapon, before stepping back. "Also, you will soon find a companion to help you out." He was back at the doorway, stopping once more. "I never got your brother's name."

"Jason Grace."

This will not be updated regularly like my other multi-chapter works.

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