Prologue (Miyuki's birth)
Youkai. The very definition sends shivers down our spines. Evoking their rage leads to a terrible fate, even worse than death. Shrines were built to appease these youkai and offerings are made to pacify their unbridled wrath. Get on the wrong side of them and it will end badly.
As well as demons, they are also allies, friends or even lovers. They say if you befriend a demon or Youkai, you are in it for life.
This tale is one of a great yet unique demonic aura. This particular aura was that of a hanyou.
First off, what is a hanyou? They are beings born to a demon and a human parent; usually the father was a demon while the mother is human. They aren’t as powerful as a full demon but powerful nonetheless. A hanyou usually have half the power of a full demon, as it has both a demon heart and a human heart. But never underestimate a hanyou. Especially if their demon parent was very powerful.
~16 years ago at a temple and shrine that no longer exists~
Hana slid the door to her room open. She sat down on the tatami outside. It had been a few months since she came here after losing everything at the young age of 17. In exchange for a place to stay, she worked as an unofficial shrine keeper. She watched the full moon, her pale green eyes wide awake. Her grey sleeping kimono slacked loosely on her shoulders. She closed her eyes to wish on the moon for something, anything to happen.
On the shrine steps, a pack of foxes with various tails were feasting on the offerings left at the shrine. But that was fine, since they were the ones the offerings were left out for; the kitsune. A few had taken human-like forms but with fox ears and tails.
One particular kitsune who is in a humanlike form, Kyo had nine tails; he was in fact the most powerful kitsune of his time. His hair, tails and ears were a tan orange. His kimono was a bright teal blue. His gold eyes wondered the area. Pale yellow bandages were wound around his biceps down to his wrists and fingers. Whisker markings were prominent on his face. His tails lay slack.
Kyo caught sight of Hana. He was taken aback by her beauty. If it were not for her delicate floral scent or the nervous beating of her human heart, Kyo would’ve assumed she was a celestial maiden. If the full moon feasts couldn’t satisfy his long-awaited need of companionship, maybe something else could.
Kyo stood up and snuck off, over to where Hana was seated. As he quietly walked over, his ears rearranged themselves into human ears and his tails merged into his back. His markings faded too. Walking out of the shadows, he crouched down beside Hana. “Can’t sleep either, huh?” he asked her.
Hana opened her eyes and glanced to see Kyo. “Huh? Who...” she began to question.
“My name is Kyo, merely a wanderer. You do know it is dangerous for one as lovely as yourself to be outside all alone. A demon might nab you and try to claim you. Fear not, I will ensure that won’t happen” Kyo assured her.
Hana blushed. “I’m Hana. Why exactly are you here?” she asked.
Seeing the human woman blush made Kyo happy. He didn’t notice one of his tails morph back and wag. His markings then returned and his ears reverted back to fox ears. Sometimes, even the strongest kitsune’s disguises may falter when they fall for a human.
And Kyo was smitten pretty bad.
Hana blinked. “You..you’re a kitsune..” she whispered. Curiously, she reached up and petted an ear. She had heard of kitsune before but Kyo was the first one she had ever met.
Now it was Kyo’s turn to blush as her petting his ear caused his tail to wag faster.
“Aw...for a demon to be reckoned with, you’re so adorable” Hana giggled. “But why are you here?” she then asked.
“It’s the full moon...we’ve been doing this for years” Kyo simply replied.
“You’re not the only one?” Hana asked.
“No, there are plenty others. But they have mates of their own, they don’t get lonely like I do” Kyo admitted.
“I know how you feel. It gets lonely out here too” Hana answered.
Kyo then had an idea. “Hana...since we’re both lonely, would you mind if I made you mine?” he asked.
Hana blushed again. But the more she thought over it, the more it made sense. After all, Kyo was very charming and kind, so she knew she could trust him. A minute later, she nodded her consent.
Kyo smiled a canine-like grin. “Don’t be nervous, ok? I’ll be gentle” he promised as he leaned forward to claim Hana for himself.
When all had been done, the newly mated pair were in Hana’s futon. A fresh foxfire-mark was clear on Hana’s right shoulder. Kyo kissed the mark. “Not all of us hate humans...some of us like humans enough to protect them” he stated softly.
“Is that so?” Hana asked.
’Yes, most demons mate for life, Hana. If I hadn’t smelled the human in you, I would’ve mistaken you to be a celestial maiden” Kyo replied as he peppered Hana’s skin with affectionate nips and kisses.
Hana and Kyo both saw the sky turn a rose shade as dawn drew near.
Kyo sighed. “It seems I must go...” he mused, shifting to stand.
Hana immediately held onto her beloved kitsune. “Please don’t, Kyo. I don’t want to be alone again..” she pleaded, tears brimming her eyes.
Kyo felt his own tears surface as he gently took Hana’s head in his hands and raised it so her eyes would meet his. His fingers were woven in his beloved’s long black hair. “My sweet Hana, this isn’t goodbye. I’ll come back to you every night. You have my word, Hana. One day, I’ll take you away so that we can live together in peace. I will see you again, my love” he promised her, kissing her in parting. He then stood up, put his haori back on and flew away.
Hana found that Kyo was in fact true to his word. He visited her every night to teach her more about his kind. She also felt a light demonic aura around her. Kyo always said that the day he would take her away was drawing nearer.
All throughout the temple, the monks sensed the same aura. Rumours soon spread around that a demon had gotten into the temple.
Hana knew what it really was; she was carrying a hanyou child. Kyo's child. She didn’t care what any of the shrine workers thought.
Imagine the head priest’s, who was nothing but a perverted old man, rage and shock when he realised that the beautiful Hana had already been claimed by a kitsune.
One late night in October, during the full moon, a little girl was born. Her fox ears and tail were tawny orange, as well as her curly hair. Her eyes glowed gold, just as her father’s did. The child did not bear the markings her father had. Hana lovingly wrapped her newborn in the green-blue shawl she had worn when she first came across the temple.
In his rage, the head priest took a match and set the temple and shrine alight. He gave a disgusting smirk. “Dear, Innocent, Hana. If I can’t have you, no one can. You and that halfbreed will burn” he declared.
“Foxfire!” a familiar voice yelled. Blue-green fire surrounded the mother and child. Sure enough, Kyo had appeared in demon form, his nine tails were out. He stood in front of Hana protectively. “Trying to kill a new mother and a baby? You really have sunk low, old man” he scolded.
“Be gone, demon! If I couldn’t have the virgin, she dies! Her and the child!” the head priest shouted.
Kyo placed his haori over Hana’s head. “My kimono is made of my own foxfire, it will protect Hana. And my daughter...Miyuki is not to be underestimated” he stated. “Hana, take Miyuki and run. Leave this coot to me” he told Hana.
“Kyo...” Hana began.
“I’ll live, I’m a demon. As a human at his age, he has no chance. My haori will protect you both. Now take Miyuki and get somewhere safe...I’ll find you two soon enough” Kyo assured her.
Nodding, Hana turned and ran out, carrying Miyuki.
Kyo took on his true form; an enormous fox with black markings and nine tails. He snarled. “You made a very grave mistake, mortal”
As soon as she was far enough, Hana looked back at the burning shrine. “Kyo...please make it, my love” she muttered. Then she gazed down at the sleeping hanyou baby in her arms. “Well, Miyuki, looks like its just us until we meet with papa again. My little half demon, people may look at you funny, treat you differently, even fear you but it’s ok. I’ll still love you. We’ll get by” she whispered, walking to the nearest town with her infant.