A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Seventeen: The War Ahead


1. Sora Moore (Our Vulpes Founder with a new daughter to protect)

Recap: The truth revealed … Inari’s keen interest and the careful preparations given to her niece made clear … Their family can be revived—there is a dream left to cling to, and Sora can accomplish it with her own hand!

Now … what must she do to accomplish this monumental task?

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Sora’s world was blurred as she stared at Loral, waiting for the answer that could change everything in her entire life.  Her family could be revived.  Emilia was still trying to process what all of that meant.

Loral’s excitement had diminished while pondering her question, shifting her gaze to the figure of Sora’s grandmother.

Kari wasn’t so patient, though, releasing a low growl while eyeing the former Council Leader with distrust.  “Sora … be careful.  There’s always a catch with these kinds of things.”

Jin studied the purple-tailed Vulpes, vision darting to Eyia for a moment.  “Eh … I’m not saying a First Generation couldn’t have that kind of power, but … there’s a reason the First Generation haven’t restored their numbers.”

Eyia’s intense gaze targeted Loral like a laser.  “I cannot disagree, Friend, and though I despise the very thought … I agree with the Fenris Wolf.  Still, I would give much in the quest to have my father’s presence by my side once more.  Surely, the Great White Fox would have prepared Sora for such a circumstance.”

Kari rolled her eyes at Eyia’s statement.

“True…”  Jin reluctantly conceded.  “Why isn’t she answering, then?”

A low moan came from Githa, stretching out in the air where she floated.  “Gah … because it’s complicated.  Although,” her expression sharpened, “Nilly would…”  She paused, drawing Tola, Loral, and Emilia’s gaze.

“You have mentioned a Nilly before … what about your leader?”  Tola asked, arms tightening around her stomach.

“Loral,” Sora jumped in, just wanting to know the answer, “please, tell me how to do it.”

The purple-furred Vulpes’s gaze had narrowed, now focusing on the Nekomata’s confused expression.  “… There are many steps, which is why I am in the process of enacting all of them.  However … the anomaly in all of my plans is conflicted with the accelerated timeline I have been granted due to your arrival, and that breeds complications.”

“Which is why you’re here,” Jin mumbled, spinning her fingers around, “and bringing us full circle.  There are more players in the mix.”

Hallaway had practically retreated into herself after Loral’s story and exposing Niomie’s past; she’d lived hundreds of thousands of years with the woman, yet a small, seemingly infinitesimal period as a few dozen years hidden actions could warp one’s entire perspective.

Kari’s long poofy tail flicked with agitation, scratching her left wolf ear.  “It’s complicated.  That’s great, but you have to think there’s something more she’s not telling us to string Sora along.  It’s just too convenient.”

Sora’s eyes closed, ears folding back; Kari was right, but she wanted to tell her to shut-up and just hurry everything along.  Taking a deep breath to temper her bubbling emotions, her vision cleared as she wiped at the tears clinging to her cheeks.  “… I want to hear what her plan is … Loral, if you want me to follow through, then I need solid proof.  I’ve had a demon try to make deals and trick me before.”

Eyia’s grip tightened around her weapon, rainbow armor still releasing its soft radiance.  “What plot lies concealed underneath the joyous news of my sister’s family returning?  There must be more than a stalemate between the Tanuki and Vulpes returning.”

“There is,” Loral mumbled, gaze still fixated on Githa; the cat was bobbing her head back and forth as if debating something, “but there are things I must know from you.”

“Such as?”  Jin asked, adding an unassuming smile and hiding her hands behind her back.

A derisive puff of air shot through Kari’s nostrils as she glared at the purple-haired woman.  “How long she can have your firstborn daughter…”  Her comment trailed off as Githa started to chuckle.

“Sora … hehe,” the white cat’s large feline eyes darted to her with a monstrous grin flashing the Nekomata’s fangs, “you didn’t tell me Nilly stopped by!  Hmm?”

“Wait,” Tola’s tails wrapped together as if trying to wring out water, “I believe Jin mentioned Nilly was the First Generation Founder of the Cats during our previous meeting.  She was here, when?”  The light blue-tailed Vulpes asked, vision darting between Jin and Sora.

Githa popped her tongue and did a short wave of her finger.  “Naughty, naughty … you’re not supposed to tell people about Nilly; heh, you guys are so bad at keeping secrets!”

“Who was the one that told us?”  Kari mumbled with a lifted eyebrow.

Her feline eyes grew larger, fingers rising to her chin.  “… Oh, I did, didn’t I?  Hehe, I’m bad at secrets, too!  Still, no more!  Geez, Nilly’s going to cut off my tails and feed them to me if it keeps getting around…”  She grumbled with a bright grin.  “Oh, oh, but Nilly was here, wasn’t she?”  Githa asked, somehow basically teleporting in front of Sora, face beaming with excitement.

“Uh … yeah, she was here…”

Kari sighed, tone aggravated while cutting her off.  “She showed up talking about playing with my uncle and how she grew bored, then took off someplace to look for food or something.”

Sora was almost about to say Frankenstein invited her to his lab before Kari saved her; the news about her family had frazzled her brain.  “… Yeah, that’s what happened.”

“Hmm?”  Githa mused while staring uncomfortably into Sora’s eyes before dancing back with a sort of twirl; the fact she could freely move through the air while Loral held them up made Sora wonder what the cat was up to and why this was so important to her.  “Nilly will be Nilly!”

“What … exactly does that mean?”  Loral asked, focus hounding the cat.

The phrase sent Sora’s mind into flashbacks of her encounters with the mercurial Founding Mother.

Nilly’s Nilly, and Nilly’s really fast … she’s sealed, but for some reason, that seal unleashes when around strong creatures, meaning she can’t be with her old friends, or at least, I think that’s how it works.  Wait … is that why she looked like a little girl when I first met her and grew a little when I followed her to the playground?

Why is Loral so centered on Nilly, though?  She’s supposed to be keeping me safe because of some deal she made with my mom.  Although … if Aunt Inari knew about this Realm’s secret the moment she arrived, so would Nilly.  Would that change things?  There’s also…

“Githa,” Sora tentatively asked, knowing the sooner they answered Loral’s questions, the quicker she’d get a response about her family, “how did you figure out Nilly was here?”

“Wait … true,” Jin mumbled.

Everyone but Hallaway’s focus shifted to the cat as she looked up at the statue of Sora’s grandmother with a curious look.

“Mmh … oh, that?”  She asked with a short snicker.  “Nilly slipped through the fissures in the Sea of Spirits to catch up with Nephesh!  They probably had a good chat; it’s been ages since they connected,” she hummed.

Kari stiffened.  “Hold-up, when did this happen?”

Githa was shifting positions around the statue to get different angles on the First Generation Vulpes.  “Uh … I don’t know, a bit ago.  I just caught a strange scent; Nilly doesn’t typically smell like that.”

“Like…”  Jin pushed.

“Well … like that!”  Githa huffed, giving them a light glare.  “Nilly smells like Nilly.  What more do you want me to say?  Geez, I’m going back to sleep!”

With that, she instantly dropped to her back in the air before turning her back to them, tails draping over her side.

Jin and Kari’s lips pulled in with a hint of frustration.

Eyia threw her voice in next, but her focused demeanor had shifted, and concern now filled her deep blue eyes.  “Githa … the Nekomata Faction is working with Mia.  Nephesh is a very strong enemy of Mia … if Nephesh was a threat to Sora, then would not the most reasonable response be to kill him?”

Githa flipped around with a long groan.  “Asgardians…”  She grumbled, rolling her eyes.  “Nekomata don’t do that whole boring … enemy pow-destroy stuff unless it’s fun.  Nilly doesn’t have fun like that because Nilly’s Nilly!  It’s so simple!”

She floated to a cross-legged position, animating her hands as if they were stupid.  “Nilly … are you following?”  A few of them eyed each other before nodding.  “Uh-huh … Nilly … is … NILLY!  How much clearer can I be?!”  She growled.

The dots clicked as Loral released a sad sigh.  “In short, Nilly is a First Generation Founder and is so powerful that destroying things is boring; she does what she wants, which will generally be what will be the most fun … meaning, she’ll create chaos.  Creating something new is more entertaining for her than the same old collapse of everything around her.”

Githa’s twitching ears and irritated tail flicks vanished with her scowl.  “She gets it!”  And the white fur-ball flopped back to her stomach to sleep.

However, with added context from Kari’s experience, things could be different.  Frankenstein’s troubled warning to the Intelligent Constructs of Alva and Inari brought questions, Sora knew there was much more layered reasoning within the unpredictable Founding Mother than met the eye.

“Guys,” Sora slowly mumbled, drawing their attention, “so … what if Nilly makes a deal with Nephesh?”

Jin nodded.  “Right … raise your grandma with the other Vulpes Founders.  I could see that since Nilly could basically do it herself if she really wanted to.”

“Not so sure on that one,” Kari replied with a deep scowl.  “Nilly’s way more cunning and sporadic than that; she isn’t so simple.  Without a doubt, Sora will be safe, but … everyone else is free-game.”

Sora shook her head, gut tightening at the prospect; Nilly’s deal with her mother probably didn’t include a granddaughter, and one more realization crossed her mind.  “I don’t think so.”

Kari pulled her hair to the side to scratch the back of her neck.   “What do you mean?”

The scene of encountering Nilly that she relived from Kari’s memory was stuck in her head.  “Nilly was really close to Fenrir, right?”

Eyia’s gaze frosted with the mention of her father’s murderer.

“… Yeah?”  Kari mumbled.

“Which means … she probably has taken a special interest in you, which … you know.”

Githa was suddenly back in a sitting position, eyes full of wonder.  “Woah!  I didn’t even notice that!  You’re totally right, Sora!”

Kari’s tail and ears went on-end, bristling with shock as Githa basically tackled her across the air.  They spun in circles with the laughing cat on top of her, floating through the large space.  “You’re Fenrir’s granddaughter!  Nilly talks to Fenrir’s grave all the time!  She’d love you!”

“H-Hey!”  Kari shouted, struggling to push the cat off as Githa snuggled into her chest.  “Get … grah!”

She cut off, transforming into her Fenris Form when the cat vanished from her grip to hug her tail.  “Oh, your tail’s just like your mom’s, nice and prickly!”

The Nekomata giggled as Kari chased her around the room, more than a little embarrassed and too angry to care that the cat was stronger than most of the people in the room.  Kari appeared to have the ability to run on the air as much as the cat, which put Sora at a bit of a disadvantage, but it was only a passing thought that was swiftly replaced.

Nilly didn’t like Alva or her brothers because they talked trash about her to Fenrir … her best friend … She wanted to tell Fenrir he had a granddaughter, and that was it, but the way she looked at Kari before Frankenstein distracted her … there’s something Alva did that Nilly wasn’t happy about.  The thing is … she’s a wildcard for everyone.

It didn’t take long for Sora to realize how stupid and silly her thoughts were; it was like being told a tidal wave was coming, it was rushing toward shore, and you were trying to figure out how to save your house.  It was done for.  Nilly was the water, and you needed to just get out of her way.

A sad smile brightened Sora’s cheeks; there was something cathartic about being able to just let things go.  “Tola, Loral … it doesn’t matter what Nilly does.  I think that’s a part of the Nilly is Nilly thing that Githa was talking about.  If she is going to do something, we can’t stop it.  We just need to work on dealing with what we can.”

“Mom…”  Emilia whispered, her hands held tightly at her chest.  “Can I … can we really meet everyone … can they come back?”

Sora turned to Loral.  “… Tell us what you want to know so I can give her an answer … Emilia and I need this answer.”

Loral closed her eyes, folding her hands at her front.  “That is surprisingly mature advice, Sora … it would do little good to try and plan around a being such as that, which is why adaptability is the strongest play.  Yes, Emilia, you may meet your family.  However, the thing I am leaving out is that your grandmother’s resurrection must wait until last.”

Before any of them could question why she continued.  “I want you to think about this, Sora … your grandmother’s pregnant, hormonal nightmare episode created the source of this chaotic and vastly powerful seed of potential energy.  In fact, I am not sure how it will evolve after we use it.  I know that it will cause the collapse of this entire Realm as it has been its source of power.

“Your aunts must be revived first, and while that is in motion, Nephesh will have the chance to revive his grandfather.  At this point, I will be out of my league.  I have set things up in a manner to slow the speed he can revive Tsukuyomi as much as I am able.  I expect your aunt to have also made her own plans, considering what I know about her, but I am doing everything in my power to give us the most time to revive your family.

“Once your grandmother is revived, she will be in a severely weakened form; even this power source cannot return her to the height of her strength.  She will need to recover, and it should be the same for Tsukuyomi if he is able to return.  We must prepare for those waiting to snap their jaws outside this Realm.  From what I am aware … it will be the Fenris Bothers, Tsukuyomi, Nephesh, and the others…”

Jin snickered, giving Sora a look.  “Can you imagine your aunt getting another shot at killing Tsukuyomi?”

Actually, that was a fair point; her aunt hated the Founder more than the Primordials themselves, but Sora got the impression the vitriol between the two factions primarily stemmed from the First Generation, at least, from what she’d seen.

“Yeah … she’d like that, I suppose,” Sora mumbled, glancing across the room to watch Kari growl at Githa.

Kari seemed to now be on the defensive as the cat played a game of pet the wolf before she could bite.  It was really something, watching a foot-tall house cat prowling around a defensive nine-foot-tall wolf … was Kari growing every time she transformed?  9-foot-tall was way better than the last time she’d shifted.

Figuring it wasn’t worth the effort to sour Githa’s mood and her game wasn’t really hurting Kari, she decided to let the cat get bored of the chase and take a second to examine the others around her.

Hallaway was still working through hundreds of thousands of years of memories while trying to connect Niomie to the figure she was turning out to be.  Emilia was trying to sort through the reality that she could be surrounded by family, which sparked a bit of surprising jealousy in Sora; she’d have to share her daughter’s time, and of course, they’d be way better teachers than her.

… I need to step it up.

Jin and Eyia were pondering Loral’s news, probably looking at various angles, and Tola had something troubling on her mind.

“Okay,” Sora mumbled, pulling Loral’s attention, “what is it you want us to do, though?”  Her two tails wrapped around each other.  “I get it, Nephesh is way more powerful than all of us put together, and he’ll be quick to revive Tsukuyomi.  How do we get this started, and what precautions do we take?”

Tola’s eyes fell to the ground while hugging herself.  “… You need us to stop Mofupsi … don’t you?”

Sora’s mind blanked.  Mofupsi … it reminded her of the kind of name a nine-year-old would call their pet cat.  The image of the Yellow Seat came to mind, the blonde-furred Vulpes Council Member, and shards of information she’d uncovered collected together as she pulled them in with the Outer Body Technique, practicing the more advanced version she’d been learning from reading the book.

Mofupsi was over the district that harvested negative emotion for the ritual that Niomie had been performing every year for hundreds of thousands of years; she’d been used by Nephesh again to do this.

“What about her?”  Sora asked.  “If we destroy the dark energy mountain, then it will stop Nephesh’s influence, right?”

Tola’s lips tightened, giving Loral a questioning look.  “It’s already performed its purpose, hasn’t it?”

Loral teleported them back into the Sea of Spirits; a massive bulge had been created from Sora’s lingering magic, but the mountain was still visible in the distance.  “If there was one good thing Niomie did, it was creating this as a singular mass of raw hardened materialized emotional energy,” she explained, swapping locations to the top of it.

Kari had retreated to the opposite side of Sora after the change of scenery, glaring at the cat while Githa hovered in the air with a mischievous grin.

“Yo … where’s the help?”  Kari grumbled nearly under her breath, her chest pumping hard.

“Been a bit busy,” Sora mumbled.

Jin whistled while studying the substance.  “Well … that’s something.”

What was supposed to be a hardened crystal-like substance appeared to be turning gelatin-like.  Small clumps were nearing liquefaction near the tip.

“It’s beginning…”  Hallaway whispered, finally stepping out of her existential crisis.  “The black ooze will devour the spirits if we don’t lock it up.”

“Eh…”  Jin popped her tongue a few times.  “Why didn’t you just get rid of it?”

Loral brought them a bit closer.  “Actually, it’s fairly simple … emotional energy, condensed like this, can turn into a wave of chaos.  They didn’t want to repeat the events of five-hundred thousand years ago, and Nephesh used that fear against them on the last bastion they had left.”

Sora shook her head, running her hand through her copper hair.  “Gah … okay, but that doesn’t answer the question of why Mofupsi needs to be stopped from doing … what?  Why does that connect to this, and what do we do to this, then?”

“Mofupsi isn’t bad … she was just conditioned…”  Hallaway mumbled, tight hands trembling at her front.  “A district needed to be the focal point of negative energy to generate what we needed to stop the tragedy from happening again … it was the only way we discovered.”

A soft sigh left Loral’s lips, her head slowly shaking while observing the monolith.  “Nephesh used the remnant of Tsukuyomi’s broken Core to infuse that negative energy he felt upon death to start this cracking, and then fueled it with his own power, but after a while, he no longer needed to do that … Niomie did it for him.  It set off a never-ending cycle of building this force of power he could later use.

“By destroying it, we can cut him off of a large source of energy he’s been building, but to do it safely, we’ll need to create a bridging point … a link from this to something else, which means you don’t need to stop Mofuspi…”  Loral turned to give Sora an unsure frown.  “You must finish her tournament of power.”

Sora lifted an eyebrow, multiple images from pop-culture and anime springing to mind.  “You’re serious?”

Hallaway hesitantly explained as Loral gave her an expectant look.  “… One of the best ways to create resentment and toxicity … place the reward of a Council Seat at the head of a tournament, and whoever wins gets the chance to fight Mofupsi to become a servant or a combat god … basically, with the ability to have whatever or do whatever you wish.”

Tola glared at the woman.  “Which is far from the truth … they quickly learn who’s in charge once they actually win and perform the ritual.”

“Hold-up,” Jin gave them an incredulous smile.  “Sora’s got the keys to the entire Realm; she could think of blinking her out of existence, and it would happen, or destroy this thing here no problem, right?”

Eyia shook her head, ignoring Kari at this point.  “No … I do not believe so, as such a method would not be possible in Asgard.  If Sora was to use the power of the City Core or Realm Core, then it would be like putting black blood in the pure rivers of the Körmt and Örmt … corrupting Yggdrasill.”

“Gah … Asgardian references,” Jin grumbled, brushing out her black hair.  “Fine, okay, I get it, but Sora could then just take her out and force her to submit.”

Loral once again shook her head.  “You don’t understand it, young Dragon.  We need the negative emotion, and where will we get it within this blissfully ignorant Realm of Vulpes and humans?  Only in the Yellow District, and how do you draw out those emotions?  In combat and chaos during the tournament where factions are made, bets cast, slaves and lives governed by victors … a governerless society, locked inside a prison of four walls.”

“How could you be so heartless and stupid…”  Tola accused, blue irises practically searing Hallaway’s soul.  “To mindfully condition and promote such a place is … abominable and goes against everything The Council is supposed to stand for.  How many of those lives down there lived in torment their entire lives?”

“… Too many,” Hallaway mumbled in shame.  

Eyia’s brow set.  “In short, we will be winning this tournament to free them of this culture?”

“Precisely,” Loral replied.  “They will not be as strong as Vulpes with their tails should be because of the effects Nephesh’s aura has had on them.  However, they are still far stronger than you currently happen to be, Sora.  It must be a Vulpes that is not of the council to garner the most negative feelings, an outsider that forces their group out of the competition and subjects them to the payment of losing.  All of that force will be gathered in the Black Gem.”

Emilia was giving Sora a conflicted look that said both she was confident in her and worried she’d drop dead on the first match.

I almost died helping Mimi … but this is different … it’s for my family.  Wait…


“Mhm!”  Githa leaned over with a mischievous smile.  She was back in her human form, spinning around in circles while sitting cross-legged in the air, tails wrapped around her waist.  The cat more than likely knew her question.

“You’re practically negative emotion made flesh.  Isn’t that what Nekomata are?”

“Oh … smart,” Githa snickered.  “Indeed, I am!  I’ve got lots and lots and lots of negative stuff built up inside my breast, but guess what?”

“What?”  Sora tentatively asked, realizing it was now a stupid question.

Jin laughed, giving Githa a knowing grin.  “Why would Githa basically willingly kill herself by giving away the very energy that keeps her alive?”

“No, wait,” Sora’s head tilted to the side while scratching her right fox ear.  “I mean, couldn’t you eat this mountain of negative energy?”

Fits of laughter erupted from Githa.  “I … I’m … you’re rich!  Haha!  Me?  Do you see that?!”

After a moment’s thought, studying the mountain of fathomless evil energy, it dawned on her.  The enormous bundle of darkness condensed into a magical solidified crystal made her reconsider the approach.

Githa giggled, “I’m … I’m glad you think so highly of me!”  She darted down to bite a small chunk out of the tip.  “MMH!!  So good!   Okay … I’m full … nap time … glad I could help … hehe…”  She promptly returned to her Snow Leopard form and tucked into a ball to rest.

A tiny nibble, and she’s good after the ravenous hunger she had before … okay.

Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly, thinking about her aunt’s lectures.  “… I don’t like it … but if it can return my family and release all the Vulpes and humans from this endless cycle … I guess I can do it, but … will I have to kill them?”

Eyia gave her a bright smile.  “No, Sister.  In fact, sparing their lives as an act of showing pity on them could spark even more hatred!”

“… Thanks for the suggestion, Eyia…”  Sora mumbled.

“Always, Sister!  I will join you!”

“Eh?”  Sora’s wide green eyes shot to Loral and Tola.

They both nodded with a short shrug.

“True,” Tola growled, clearly irritated, “an outsider like Eyia would be even more hated if she advanced.”

“Nah, not my thing,” Jin yawned, waving her hand.  “I’ll watch, though.  It’s not my time.”

“What does that even mean?”  Kari mumbled, reaching over to tap Sora’s shoulder and draw her attention.


“Uh…”  Kari glanced away, looking a bit sheepish.  “You know it wouldn’t be the first time we kind of … you know, teamed up.  If that’s allowed…”

Eyia’s frosty aura deepened, causing snowflakes to fall around them.  “It will be my Sister and me; why would we need the help of a dog?”

“What’s your deal?  Look, want me to say sorry my grandpa killed your dad?  Sorry, now get over it!”

“An insult?”  Eyia growled, spear pointing at Kari.  “Sister, allow me to show this pup her place!”

“Come at me!”  Kari shot back, amber eyes beginning to glow.

Sora’s stomach tightened as the two started squaring off.  “STOP IT … gah!”  Using her magic to put them both in a bubble and push them apart since she had no idea how to actually fly or walk on air like everyone else seemed to know how to do.  “I get it, Eyia, it’s hard for you that Kari’s my friend,” Sora sighed with exasperation, “but can you please just keep it neutral with her?  You both can help me; I’ll need all the help I can get!”

Kari’s tail drooped a little, vision falling to the mountain with a bit of shame, and Eyia’s features pacified, with everyone looking at her.

“I apologize, Sister … I let my emotions get the best of me.”

“Yeah … sorry for antagonizing her,” Kari mumbled.  “I’m just … nevermind, umm … yeah, it’s whatever.  I just want to help you out.”

The only emotion that seemed on Emilia’s face recently was conflicted; two of the girls she viewed as kind of aunt figures were at each other’s throats.

A low moan rolled through Sora’s body while pulling back her hair.  “Gah … if I need to go into a fight where they’re looking to kill me, and I can’t kill them … how am I going to do that with Vulpes that have been fighting for like their whole lives?!”

As if in response, and for the first time in what seemed forever, her aunt’s calming voice spoke from within her Core.

“Darling, what do you think Alva and I have been preparing the two of you for?”

Aunt Inari!  Sora cried with joy.  I … it’s just so nice to hear your voice.  There’s so much I want to ask about all of this!

“It will need to wait, dear … I’m afraid we are running out of time, and I expected Nilly to get involved … I have an idea of what she might be up to, but … that will be something for the future.  For now, we must focus on the present, and that means you must grow.”


Everyone was giving her a strange look with the tears coming to her eyes … everyone but Kari, who was probably in a conversation with her mother.  Her aunt was a beacon of light in the storm that was her life.

“You recall me telling you about the other half of your bloodline … whatever your father is?”

Yes?  She asked, getting excited.

“I’ve been able to pin-point that section of your Core and have been in the process of unlocking it, which will fuse with your Vulpes Founder half and grant you far more power than even I previously thought.

“The frightening part is how it will fuse with your current Vulpes nature that you’ve grown accustomed to; this is a fusion that, as far as I know, has never been done, and Frankenstein has worked meticulously to allow this physical vessel you currently have to let these two parts merge.

“With my help, your Vulpes side has stabilized far sooner than he had planned, which means we can move onto the next stage of the process.  It will increase your tail count and change you physically in some ways … we will see what kind of abilities your father’s side possesses.”

That sounds … cool and terrifying at the same time.  Sora laughed.

“Your honesty always amuses me,” Inari chuckled.  “There is a downside, I am sure, but until I investigate further it is unknown … I cannot tell you when I can unseal it but can say it will be soon.  This is an area I have not explored, which has been exhilarating, I must say.”

Umm … will it hurt as bad as it did last time?  She hesitated.  … ‘Cause that was … umm, yeah, you know, I had to go into Eyia’s dream to escape the pain.

“No, dear, this should feel more … addicting rather than painful.  The regenerative feats of your father’s side are … peculiar is the word I would use.  I cannot say how much power you will gain, but it is fair to say more than enough for what is ahead of you.  Now, I must return to my work.”

Feeling much better now that her aunt was fine with this path they were on, Sora prepared herself, telling the group that her aunt had her covered with power.  Next, Loral explained what was expected of them.  She had a few hours to prepare herself for the challenge … because the opening ceremony was going to begin shortly.

Kari and Eyia could act with her since the beginning rounds could have dozens of people on the same side to whittle down the competition.

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A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Sixteen: The Grand Secret
A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Eighteen: Niomie’s Design