This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Her name is Setsuna and she is like a lone wolf. She never trusted humans. After all, they killed her mother and left her for dead. She didn’t have any memories before that point. Her mother might have been a kind woman, but Setsuna couldn’t see her face. The only lasting memory that she had of her mother was of her bleeding body lying next to her on the road in the rain. The little cub nudged her in vain. Setsuna couldn’t remember her attackers, but she could remember that she was crying.
Setsuna learned to take care of herself and fight. She had to in order to survive. If this the forest, she would have an easier time. However, Setsuna ended up in the city. She didn’t trust humans, but she had to learn how to take on their form in order to blend in. For years, the girl lived alone in an abandoned house outside of town. It wasn’t clear if anyone knew that she was there or if they even cared. Setsuna kept to herself and worked in a small bakery to make ends meet. The owners didn’t ask her many questions either.
“Can you bake?” the husband asked.
“No,” Setsuna said without making eye contact.
“Can you clean?”
The owner and his wife had reservations about hiring the kitsune at first, but they really needed the help around the bakery due to their first baby on the way. So in the end, they hired Setsuna.
She was amazed to find herself quick to learn different traits and tricks around the bakery. Her jobs were to clean up the place and make the repairs. The owners were impressed with how good she was with her hands.
“You are blessing, Setsuna-san,” the wife said.
“Uh-huh,” the kitsune said as she was fixing the sink. She wouldn’t talk about her past. The couple didn’t bother to ask any questions. Why would they? Setsuna never had a criminal record and she kept to herself. Nothing stood out about her.
That was until one July morning in 1991.
Setsuna had just finished cleaning up for the morning when she happened to look out the window. A group of people were crowded in the street. Usually, those type of things didn’t interest her. But for some reason that day, the kitsune happened to go outside and investigate. She pushed her way through the crowd. To her horror, a small child was being crushed underneath an overturned wagon. His mother stood by wailing and crying for help.
“Somebody save my son!” she shouted. The men in the crowd couldn’t get the wagon off the child. Looking at the kid’s face reminded Setsuna of herself in a strange way. The vague memories of her being beaten half to death by faceless humans resurfaced in her mind. Before she knew it, the kitsune raced over to the window. She got down on her hands and knees and pushed it up with her back. The mother and the crowd all stared at her.
“W-What are you doing?” she asked. “Are you okay? Miss? Miss?” Setsuna ignored her as the wagon started going upwards. She turned to the injured child beside her.
“Can you move?” she asked.
“M-M-My leg,” the little boy whimpered.
“Somebody grab him!” Setsuna shouted. “Grab him, quick!” Two men rushed forward and dragged the child out from the wagon. Once he was out of the way, Setsuna set down the wagon and stood up. The crowd cheered amazed.
“Thank you for saving my son!” the mother said. She tried to hug the other woman, but Setsuna pushed her away. Her facial expression didn’t change as she walked back into the bakery.
To Setsuna’s dismay, her heroic act drew attention from the town. Suddenly, everyone wanted to know more about her. The owners of the bakery tried to chase those people away, but they kept coming back. One day, Setsuna just left in the middle of the night, never to return again.
However, this is only the beginning of her story. There was more to come out of the lone wolf lighting kitsune.
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