A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Forty-Four: Walking In The Dark

The Close Of Volume 4 — I always have to have my little twists he-he-he…


1.Diane (Our Witch from Volume 2 everyone hates!)


Sora met with everyone and had a good time unwinding before telling them Jin was cool with them joining her to go to her eldest sister’s palace!  Naturally, nothing ever gets in the way of our girl when a plan is in motion…  >.>

Now, let’s how things have gone for our little Witch that got a cold dump of reality on her head when entering a court she had no business playing in!

I want to thank my patrons for continuing to support me:

Rexi Boi, Tisolon, Karma Baris, JaPB, Skia, Lars Majewski, Driden, AmberStar, Flaranor, Thriarsis, Alex Griffin, and my other Patrons!


1.Diane (Our Witch from Volume 2 everyone hates!)


Sora met with everyone and had a good time unwinding before telling them Jin was cool with them joining her to go to her eldest sister’s palace!  Naturally, nothing ever gets in the way of our girl when a plan is in motion…  >.>

Now, let’s how things have gone for our little Witch that got a cold dump of reality on her head when entering a court she had no business playing in!

I want to thank my patrons for continuing to support me:

Rexi Boi, Tisolon, Karma Baris, JaPB, Skia, Lars Majewski, Driden, AmberStar, Flaranor, Thriarsis, Alex Griffin, and my other Patrons!

Diane took several silent steps behind the unusual wolfwere that had led her across vast mystical planes and the space between dimensions; ever since they’d left Huitzilopochtli and Stephanie, she’d felt utterly lost, yet never in her long life had she felt such a drive to push forward in this darkness surrounding her.

Her life had been swept up in the hurricane of emotion as Devin navigated their journey across magical lands that she’d only dreamt of entering, and several close calls had made her rethink how she lived her life—the actions she’d taken to get to her position on Earth as an authority of the occult and obscure seemed utterly meaningless now.

Just the sight of Stephanie, the raw power of a Primordial that had eclipsed a horrifying sacrificial god of war and the sun, was overwhelming.  She’d been to El Dorado, yet it was only to be used as a transportation vessel to arrive at Huitzilopochtli’s realm and to see the tens of thousands of continual sacrifices raining down from worlds without number.  It had sparked something she’d thought she’d lost centuries ago … her conscience.

After the sun god’s imprisonment in the hellish primordial plane of Ginnungagap, Diane had the terror and privilege of visiting repositories of fallen realms, dead gods’ decaying worlds, and horrific pocket spheres of banished creatures—nothing wanted to even go near the one-eyed wolfwere.

Devin commanded a level of fear that sent even the most dreaded fiends screaming in panic, yet the boy had only grown more accustomed to the chaotic force that had been infused into him by the team of mad scientists.

She didn’t understand his powers, and in truth, didn’t want to.  Devin was no longer who he used to be, of that Diane was sure.  The visual curse—the ocular plague that had swept the base and alarmed an actual demon—had become interpolated into his spirit to its very Core.  He spoke with a surety and knowledge that was redoubtable at times.

Diane’s gaze wandered to the rings, bracelets, silken robes, and necklaces Devin had given her to wear; he wore similar goods they’d plundered along their path after El Dorado, scooping up artifacts long since forgotten across antiquity.  So far as she knew, they’d gone back in time, skipped dimensional boundaries, and moved multiverses to find things only the wolfwere was able to see.

Nothing was as it seemed, and through their travels, Diane had increased her magical knowledge by leaps and bounds, all in preparation for something Devin saw ahead.  It was bizarre to see someone with so much power, yet so little.  He knew what appeared to be all there was—holding a vast awareness of the cosmos, but he was no stronger than he was before his surgery, which was why they needed the forgotten artifacts.

Many of the items he’d given her were worthless to him since they required at least a tiny bit of magical technique to operate, and it was by her weaves of standard magic that opened the portals through the potent spells imbued into the relics he gave her.

Diane had long since lost interest in anything related to her previous life; it was hard enough to keep up with the hourly proceedings Devin put her through, but when night came, so too came the nightmares, and the worst part was that there wasn’t a thing she could do to stop them.

The magical forces she had to use sapped her strength, mind, body, and spirit, which shoved her into a restless sleep.  She had visions granted to her of the areas they traveled, tormenting historical events that came as a side effect of using the artifacts Devin gave her, but she couldn’t stop—it was addicting.

Her dry lips pulled in as Diantha’s focus fell to a ruby-encrusted golden bracelet, left arm quivering as she followed behind Devin along a sea of rolling red hills; they’d just recovered the heirloom from a long since destroyed kingdom of god-like beings that had been ravaged by shadow fiends—creatures of formless night which slipped in through tears between dimensions to feast on life essence, which these people had an abundance of.

Now, not a soul lived on this planet, decay setting in as the tiny insect population that was left died of disease.  The leftover damage the shadow fiends made was ripping the fabric of space, causing a chain reaction that would eventually cause a universal collapse, but that wouldn’t happen for another six hundred and thirty-two years, by Devin’s estimation.

Why this artifact was so important hadn’t been explained to her, but they were in a higher plane of Existence, the fifth dimension, but Diane was blinded to much of the things her Intelligence couldn’t comprehend.

To her, the grass looked like blood but felt stiff and sent uncomfortable tingles up her bare shins.  Devin had made her change into a kimono-like robe and sandals that allowed the blades to lick her skin, but if she didn’t have these protective pieces, the pressure of this world would have crushed her.

The wolfwere had guided her in a patterned way to keep her safe from the places they traveled, which turned her stomach; she had become a dog on a leash to a wolf, yet Diane had long since abandoned any kind of pride—she didn’t know precisely when, in fact, she couldn’t tell what time was anymore—some planes of Existence moved backward, where they’d started at the portal exit and walked time in reverse.

It hurt to even try to comprehend the path they’d walked, and so she let events slide by, holding onto Devin’s invisible collar around her neck and trudging after him.

The sound of unseen waterfalls roared across the orange sky and pink clouds that were as thick as cream.  She wasn’t sure where they were going next but eventually, they came to a fissure in the ground; a path had been carved out of the red stone, leading deeper into the earth, and more alien statues of the long-necked reptilian beings, with their four legs and thin arms, had been crafted along the road, showing various unnatural poses.

Droplets of shimmering, purple liquid floated around them, glazing across her skin and returning to the air to be twisted into small vortexes as they proceeded, tightening her gut.  A male, deep hum could be heard echoing from wall to wall, reverberating against her skull but not a word left Devin’s lips, so she remained silent.

Eventually, they reached the tunnels, large enough for a fire truck to pass through, covered with painted images of worm-like creatures with flaring heads, showing brain-like material inside screamed at them.  It was surreal, watching the grayish fiends with four arms and a flaring underbelly that hissed as it split open and closed, weaving across the walls.

These weren’t living beings but art from the dead race of godly creatures; Diane didn’t understand it, but there was a horrific elegance in their movements she couldn’t deny.

The further they went, and more artful depictions of creatures followed them across the red stone until they came to an altar more than five times her height; melted unknown gold-colored elements and sapphire gems had been the base of its design, and still living flames of jasper were burning across its length.

Devin stood still for several minutes in the glistening dew that spun around them, and the paintings stopped their movements and hissing.  “Hmm … It’s time to meet with your former employer, Diane.”

A shiver ran down her spine as her heart skipped a beat.  “Bathin?  We’re going to … Are we going to Hell?”

He shook his head, single eye still fixated on the flame as the sensation of his skin-covered organ radiated an ominous pulse of unnerving energy—it felt like fleas burrowing into every nerve to scurry through her insides, violating every orphis on her body.

“No … not yet,” Devin whispered.  “Open the rift between multiverses to take us back … the tide of conflict echoing across that seventh-dimensional plane from the Fenris Brothers’ fight with Mundilfari will pull us into the torn rift between time.”

Realizing he was informing her she didn’t need to do anything more than create the deep tear into the fabric of this multiverse, Diane swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat.  Never had she thought she’d hold in her hand the power to transfer to different seventh-dimensional planes, yet Devin had gifted her with artifacts that allowed for that very thing.

Trembling right arm lifting, Diane braced for the spiritual backlash and gripping euphoria of raw infused magical energy that she was about to release.

The topaz-colored pinky ring turned black as she whispered the incantation.  A conal whirlwind of yellow liquid erupted from the gem as her spell poked the sealed deity inside at the place Devin instructed her—every second in this twisted space felt like an eternity.

It created a painful reflux within its glutinous system that drained off the gathered dimensional energies it had slowly pulled in over eons—it was their last use of this particular item.

The fallen deity had turned into a blight on its previous universe, drawing in its essence to strengthen itself, and so various other lesser gods had gathered their power to seal it into this gemstone.

The torrent bore a tiny hole through the multiverse like a knife, slipping between dimensional cracks to open a way for them to escape the multi-layered sphere.

Diane’s vision lingered on the now black gem on her pinky finger; the universal threatening deity inside was utterly drained, and it would take eons to rebuild itself from within its prison, setting it back to square one on its possible escape.  Never in Diane’s wildest dreams would she have thought before this journey that ridding herself of such an all-powerful artifact would be the first thing on her mind.

As previously instructed, she took off the ring and dropped it on the floor—when this universe collapsed, it would destroy the fallen deity, acting as a bomb.  She could practically hear its screams in her mind as the metal left her skin, but once it was off, its whispering influence vanished.

She breathed a sigh of relief, left hand pressing against her breast; other artifacts helped to ward off its corrupting influence, but it was nice to finally be free of its mind-numbing touch.

“Feeling better?”  Devin asked in a somewhat smirking tone.

Diane grunted, rolling around her neck.  “It was an … unpleasant thing.  I’ll be happy to be rid of at least its nightmares in my sleep.”

She shivered upon looking at the open portal in front of her; there was a pulse far more potent than anything she’d felt, rivaling Stephanie in terror.  “Is that…”

Devin’s lips fell, his eye returning to the swirling mass of golden energy.  “Mundilfari and the Fenris Brothers, locked in battle, and the only thing protecting this, and every other nearby multiverse is the First Generation Vulpes’s lingering magic … We need to go before the way is closed.”

Carefully stepping over the dropped ring, Diane cleared her throat as Devin moved forward.  “I know these protections will keep us safe from Bathin, but is there anything I should know?”

The wolfwere stopped in front of the portal, head tilting with a smile.  “Bathin … There is someone far more frightening than Bathin that we’ll be meeting.”

He stepped through without further explanation.

Diane puffed out a long breath of air, slowing for a second to look back at the drained ring; the visions he’d sent her, putting herself in the place of the victims of her past, had sobered her over the length of their journey.  If anything, it had been justified, yet horrifying, and the image of Sora strapped against a metal table flashed across her mind—swapping their places.

“You opened up my heart again … only to cut it,” she whispered in French.  “I don’t know if I should thank or curse you…”

Her lips pulled in, vision falling to the red stone floor; it felt odd to leave the fallen deity in the dust to be destroyed—yet because of his work against her psyche, she thought it was only fitting that he pay the price for his sins, as much as she needed to atone for her own.

Rubbing her shoulders, Diane sighed.  “Goodbye … I hope you find peace in the end.”

She turned and walked through the gateway.

Her mind blanked as she fell through time, space, and dimensions; it wasn’t fast or slow, but a constant tug that spun her through Existence in a torrent of unfamiliar energies.  After what only seemed to be a blink of the eye, she blinked, finding herself standing in a black space as large as a gymnasium.

The only light came from a golden aura surrounding a divine figure—a nine-tailed Vulpes wearing a fox mask and black kimono.  Shining rosy stitching was crafted into various runic patterns Diane wasn’t familiar with, and the masculine presence he radiated made her self-conscious how out of reach he was.

She’d never seen a male Vulpes, but it wasn’t unheard of, yet this wasn’t just any male Vulpes—she knew at a glance upon seeing the intricate marks across his nine glorious tails—this was a Myōbu, the highest-ranking Kitsune of Inari.

He floated a foot off the ground, and beside him stood Bathin, narrowed red irises fixated on Devin; it was at this point Diane realized a blackish goo, dripping down the ceiling in long flowing lines fed into crevices in the rough brown substance they stood on.

“What do we have here?”  Bathin muttered, focus drifting to her.  “Diane … I figured you’d been killed.  What a pleasant surprise, and … where did you find such robust and impressive magical items such as those?”  he growled, irises following the silk covering her skin.

Devin was the one to respond, ignoring the demon lieutenant.  “Hikaru, it must have annoyed you when we slipped your net.”

“Three times,” he mused, arms coming up to rest inside the opposite sleeves at his front.  “I find it curious that you would seek me out, seeing as you’ve come prepared to take at least one strike from me … A way to get me to listen?”

“He-he-he,” Devin held his hands behind his back.  “At least three—you wouldn’t want to make your presence known with Inari so close.  No, I have but a single sentence that will draw your undivided attention.”

Bathin’s leer tilted to the wolfwere.  “You’re beyond corrupted … You’ve been twisted by the Primordial Evil.”

Diane held her breath, unsure of everything now.  A Kitsune of the highest order that doesn’t want Inari to find him?  What is happening?

Devin chuckled, not showing a hint of fear.  “Ironic most call it the Primordial Evil when it was a Founder that created it.”

Bathin’s eyebrows pulled together, and Diane made a note of how off his presence was while possessing Benjamin’s body; she doubted there was anything left of the man inside.  “What did you say … A Founder created it?”

A crack of unseen thunder rolled through the space, rattling Diane’s brain and making her fall to the brown-stone floor—the golden gateway behind them to the previous multiverse collapsed.

Silence followed, Bathin looking slightly perturbed, his vision moving upwards, directed at the increased goo that was now backing up to create puddles around them.

A rumble sounded in Hikaru’s throat as he stared to his left before returning to Devin.  “This pocket will collapse soon … I was planning to slip into the dimension with the Fenris Brothers, but it seems Inari called Qebhet to act as her guard snake again…”

Devin gave a single cough, smirk on his lips, and a glint in his eye.  “The First Generation Vulpes and Tanuki will be reborn and captured by Anansi within ten minutes of this time gap.”

The atmosphere instantly changed, Hikaru’s light increasing brightly as he teleported in front of Devin, with a separate force gathered around Diane; he pulled both of them into the air, streams of powerful golden magic radiating from the eyes of his mask, but his stiff tails told Diane he was alarmed at the prophecy.


Diane couldn’t breathe, feeling the defensive properties of her artifacts draining rapidly as they attempted to counter the panicked Myōbu.

Devin’s voice was as calm as a gentle breeze.  “Seiōbo and Nari will be making their return, as well, and your little spy is on her way to report the disastrous news, but she will be far too late.  The Spider of the Void is making his move against the forces that be, and the stagnant game is about to make its resurgence.  Sora has unlocked her father’s hidden power, and your enemies are about to increase ten-fold.”

Bathin teleported beside them.  “What is happening, Hikaru?!  What does this mean for the plan?”

“It’s worthless,” he hissed, tails slowly closing around one another.  “It ruins everything … No, I’ve been so careful.  I have to get to Sora … What power, creature?!  What is this force that Sora holds, and who is this Anansi that can capture two First Generation Founders without the rest going for their neck?”

The wolfwere’s eyes shifted to Diane, watching her face turn purple.  “Release us, and we can talk … I’m here to help you, Hikaru.  Allow me to give you a path forward without being skinned and ripped to pieces while being healed for eons to come … You know Qebhet is closing in, and in this zone, you won’t survive without taking significant damage.”

Diane doubled over in the air as the vice against her lungs eased, coughing vehemently as tears leaked out of her eyes; her chest burned and ears rang, yet still, she did her best to listen, not wanting to miss a single word.

“If we can no longer do business, I’ll take my leave,” Bathin snarled, but he paused as Devin shook his head.

“On the contrary, Bathin, I’m sure you’ll want to listen to what I have to say.  Don’t you wish to release your master from his cage?  Beelzebub would certainly be pleased by your work.”

His nose twisted with distrust.  “I don’t like this thing, Hikaru … It is a worm—a festering blight on Existence that could destroy Hell by its machinations.”

“It does have the knowledge of The Herald of Sakura…”  Hikaru’s frustrated tone pacified.  “Detestable as it may be, it cannot lie—of that, I’m sure.”

“Mmgh … fine,” Bathin grunted.  “I’ll listen to its words.”

“Excellent,” Devin snickered, pointing at a particular point that was swiftly filling with the miasma falling from the ceiling.  “Make a cut there and let us drift through the sway of the dimensional veins … We will be masked for a time, and when we exit, Inari should be far too busy to pursue us.”

Hikaru acted without hesitation, sending a slash of golden light to open the floor; a vacuum was created, drawing the four of them into the mass to be encompassed on all sides like a cord that wiggled across Diane’s body, pumping her through some tidal passageway.

She couldn’t see a thing, but the men’s voices carried to her consciousness.

Devin’s tongue was hot against her ear, yet it seemed somewhat distant at the same time.  “The Fenris Brothers will be thrown to our destination, licking their wounds from the battle they had with Inari and Mundilfari … They’ll join us.”

Voice becoming studious, Hikari whispered, “In what?”

“To have a ‘chance’ at everything we want … There is no other way.  Bathin wishes for his master’s freedom, you desire the chance to have Sora’s ear, and the Fenris Brothers want their niece.  If you do what I say, I can guide you to the closest means possible to achieve your goals.”

Bathin snorted.  “Oh, and what would you get out of this deal?  As a manner of principle as a Demon, I refuse to be manipulated by others, nor look past their motivations.”

“Understandable,” Devin chuckled.  “My motivation is really quite simple … freedom.”

Hikaru’s words held caution.  “And who’s speaking?”

Mirth fueled Devin’s response, and Diane could feel the malevolence radiating through her from his unseen eye.  “Isn’t that the question?  I can’t answer that myself.  After all, as both of you are aware, I’m as much a slave as I am a master … I manipulate myself, which is why you are rightfully on edge.  Ultimately, I can give you what you want … What more can you ask for?”

“What is the price?”  Bathin hissed.

Diane winced as what felt like a snake wrapped around her core and breasts, squeezing her like a rag; it eased for a moment, making her gasp in the gaseous black substance around her that acted like heavy air, yet the other three didn’t appear to have the same issues as her.

“For you?”  Devin hummed.  “You’ll return to Hell and go to war with Paimon’s forces to free Eric … You can do whatever you want with him—I can’t say exactly how it will turn out for you, but at the end of that route, Beelzebub will be unsealed with Oriens.”

“Oriens…”  Bathin whispered, pondering on the information.  “The Cardinal Demon Kings could prove useful, and owing me a favor would be quite beneficial, but Paimon … he-he-he, I never liked him in any case.”

“What if I broke the half-breed out of his Hell prison?”  Hikaru asked, shifting positions to Diane’s left in the darkness as she regained her breathing.

Devin paused for a moment, appearing to ponder the question.  “It … would be impossible, and the moment you stepped into Hell, Inari would grab you by the tails and yank you back to her sanctuary for punishment.  No, you need to be cautious … even more so after our meeting.”

Hikaru sighed.  “Meaning I must continue to play puppet master…”

“On the contrary,” Devin returned, his voice becoming lilting.  “You’re going to have to do something you don’t want to do … Lead Sora to the Hunter and save the Myōbu you condemned.”

“What do you know about that?”  Hikaru asked, danger flooding Diane’s bones.

Devin hummed as Bathin chuckled.  “Sora is going to Nüwa’s palace, and you’ll need to send a hidden message in a bottle for her to find … It needs to be convincing because she needs to rescue the poor little Myōbu you sent to The Hunter.”

“I’ll see,” Hikaru growled, sounding far more agitated after the discovery.  “Nüwa’s palace is neutral territory … I believe I understand the direction, but…”

“It complicates things, true,” Devin mused, “but you cannot deny that it will give you the opportunity you desire.  Everything you want can be yours, and even more … Sora has powers not of this Existence … Power that could be used in many ways your devious mind can craft, and her daughter is the key.”

“Daughter?”  Bathin laughed.  “Oh, this is getting interesting.  Very well, I’m actually looking forward to this now, Hikaru.  A mother is most vulnerable when she has a child, and if she’s as powerful as you say … He-he-he.”

Hikaru had a different question, though.  “The Vulpes Sisters are returning, correct?  Tell me, how strong will they be?”

Devin took a second to answer, causing the ringing to return to Diane’s ears.  “Seiōbo will likely have four tails, and Nari one … They will be returned to their youth.”

“How unexpected,” Hikaru said, and Diane couldn’t read his tone.  “Their mother?”

“Trapped and brainwashed … Inari, Mia, and even The Herald will be utterly engrossed with Anansi’s web, leaving us to work in the shadows.  There’s much to be accomplished—oh, yes, Hikaru, Bathin, and we’re only getting started.”

Diane blinked as something wet struck her forehead, and in the next moment, she was standing in a thunderstorm; ahead of them, more expansive than mountains, were both Fenris Brothers, fur scorched with blue flames that ate away at the destroyed landscape the rain couldn’t quench.  Gashes larger than skyscrapers were displayed across their bloodied coat as rivers of blood made their way across the ripped-up valley.

As she watched, they were beginning to heal, broken limbs repairing and a blanket of fog rolling out of their mouths to haze their lower halves.  Thunder and lightning rolled across the sky of the pattering rain, now soaking her silken garment and making it stick against her underwear to leave an impression.

She pulled her black bangs out of her face to look at Hikaru, Devin, and Bathin as they faced each other in the downpour; Diane couldn’t believe the conversation she was in—the plots she was going to be a part of—she didn’t want to hurt anyone else; it sickened her stomach even thinking about it.

“Devin,” she whispered, drawing their notice.  “I don’t want any part in this.”

He smiled, a glint forming in his eye.  “That’s fine, Diane.  You can take your leave … I’m sure we’ll meet again soon enough.”

Bathin gave her a sneer as he led the pair down the tundra to meet with the recovering Second Generation Founders, sides heaving with effort while recovering.  “My, you’ve changed, Diane.  You’re so … pathetic now.”

Hikaru ignored her, but she caught Devin giving her one last mysterious glance that told her that everything was still going according to his plan.

Trying not to give anything much thought, Diane hugged herself, vision lifting to the dark heavens as the water struck her wet skin.  I’m alone again…

She didn’t have a clue where she’d landed, but by the purple crystal mountains to her left, it certainly wasn’t Earth.  A shiver ran down her frame as the glint of her emerald bracelet caught her eye; its slick appearance brought her mind back to the place Devin had taken it from.

It was the first place they’d gone after the golden city, a sky island filled with cloud-like creatures that played in harmony, eating the fluffy substance of the heavens around them—a broken people that resembled seagulls.

Devin could somehow communicate with them and had picked out this bracelet from a junk shop, using a bag of potatoes they’d purchased at the market in a Mexican city, where their plane had dropped them off.

They didn’t have a clue about its worth, but Devin walked her through how to manipulate and activate each of her artifacts with her spells—this one could lead her to dimensional rifts that only operated within close proximity to the parallel worlds that bordered her current location.

Of course, it didn’t indicate if it was dangerous or not, and so it was a risk, but she didn’t have any other option.  She didn’t know what she wanted to do, but she needed to find food and shelter in the meantime.

Turning her focus back to the colossal divine wolves, Diane sighed, knowing if they released their spiritual pressure and weren’t holding back to heal, her spirit would be flattened.  She was on a clock to exit this dimension.

Releasing another long puff of air, she sent the spell to the unusual device, and a ray of emerald light pointed back at her and toward the ground.  Turning around, she watched it keep focused like a compass and start her journey.

Where will this lead me?

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A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Forty-Three: Closing The Book
A Tail’s Misfortune — B5 — 1. Can Family Be Trusted?