A Tail’s Misfortune — V4 – Chapter Twenty-Nine: Dad Brings The Heat
1.Sora Moore (The Fox Girl That’s About To Transform!)
Here we go! Inari’s undone the lid and there’s no going back! Our girl is without her aunt for a bit as we get into Mofupsi verses Sora, winning gets all—literally all—’when’ Sora wins, we’ll get our slave fox girl! Now, how crazy are things about to pop-off? Let’s go!
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Sora opened her eyes, drawing in a long breath while pressing her palm against her breast; her aunt was still with her, and that gave her comfort, but she knew the moment her powers awakened, her aunt’s Intelligent Construct would return to her host.
It was a little strange to think about, yet she couldn’t deny her emotions; this magical copy of her aunt was everything she needed and more. From the moment she first encountered her aunt in the Spirit Realm, a piece of her had been with her—someone that could give her any answer, comfort her in ways no one was able, and direct her in the best direction.
Glancing around the lavish stadium, she saw that Kari was still in an internal discussion with her mother, but a brilliant red aura radiated from the teenage Fenris Wolf.
Sora couldn’t help but smile a little. Kari had been so venomous toward herself and how she was a descendent of Fenrir—something she couldn’t change, and it was killing her. Now, through her mother’s efforts, just like Inari had done for her, she was learning to accept the good and bad that came with exploring what you were.
Getting to her feet, Sora moved to the railing, realizing not much time had passed since she’d talked to her aunt. Eyia was below, standing amongst a flurry of falling snow that would have obscured Sora’s view of the Valkyrie had she not been looking with her spiritual senses.
The arena was blanketed by a thick layer of ice and dozens upon dozens of nine-tailed Vulpes were frozen in blocks of ice with the Valkyrie’s fingers gripped around the glorious two-handed blade of Skofnung. Within the dense mist and blizzard, Sora could see the twelve barbarian women, subduing the foxes in ice; the cutting spiritual wind cut into their spiritual networks, slowing their reactions and allowing Eyia to stand at the ring’s center, frigid gaze following her warrior’s movements.
All Sora could hear was silence from the onlookers, a chill running down their spines; Eyia’s vitriol for Fenris Wolves was being deflected to her opponents, utterly shutting down her competition. Watching how effortlessly her biting hail consumed the Vulpes’s magic, shredding it the moment they tried to form any kind of defense helped remind Sora how frightening Eyia could be.
The blonde Asgardian had been able to defend them against Bathin’s crucible after coming out of a hyper drug-induced state, sealed with Diane’s stuff, and being disoriented. It was only after studying the past battles she’d been around that Sora realized how outclassed they were by the Daēva.
Defeating the unified attacks of the Dragoons was far more troublesome than these nine-tailed Vulpes, and it put things into perspective for her.
The organization that had trapped them sent some of their strongest creatures and safety measures to lock them down until Bathin could arrive, and without Jin and Eyia, they would have been crushed. Sora had to wonder how much energy Maiden’s Call was to her because whatever Eyia did to the Blue Dragoon still chilled and confused her, no matter how she looked at it, it was unnatural. She rubbed her arms as her hair stood on end just thinking about it.
Multiple Daēva had descended upon Eyia and she still managed to defend herself; they acknowledged her as a threat, and it was Jin using their own attack against them that caused enough of a distraction for Sora to use their weakness to disperse them for a short period.
Eyia certainly was powerful; perhaps, if prepared, she could even take Bathin.
A low sigh puffed out of Sora’s lips as more nine-tailed Vulpes took the stage. An open invitation for them to do their worst, I guess, she thought ruefully. Not like it’ll help. Jin scales to Eyia, too … just in a different way. Mofupsi is the peak of what a normal nine-tailed Vulpes can get on their own, which is a threat to Eyia.
Sora flipped her back to the railing with a small grin as Kari opened her eyes, stretched out, and walked over to join her. “Umm … I suppose you could say that,” she whispered, studying the wolf girl.
Kari stumbled once in her heels, making Sora giggle as she let out a curse, her thick black tail flicked to the side as she caught the ledge and brushed her butt-length messy locks over her shoulders. “Geez … seriously, are you trying to torture me in these things … And where are you looking?” she grumbled, plucking at her skirt while twisting her foot out to display the shoes.
“Your tail!” Sora chuckled with a wink. “Oh, and your hair—I swear, every time you transform and turn back, it gets thicker! I swear, it’s as thick as Iris’s at this point.”
Kari lifted a handful of her locks with a low grunt. “Who?”
“Meh, I think I’ve heard of it … something fighting cartoons?”
“Eh … sure,” Sora forced a laugh. “Seriously, though. It’s getting thick—I’m kind of jealous,” she whispered, bringing around her own silky locks. “Maybe I should try and change it a bit. Oh, do you think I can turn into a real fox?!”
Kari lifted an eyebrow, dropping her hair to her front with a shrug. “Sure, why not? I don’t know about it getting denser, though. Why are you so obsessed with my looks? Weirdo.”
“Pfft!” Sora gripped her gut and doubled over. “I-I never thought I’d hear you say that w-word in my life!”
“Weirdo?” Kari scratched her nose, looking away with a small smile. “I mean, I’m not wrong. You’re super weird sometimes.”
“Heh, maybe so, but I’m just happy I can be myself! As to why I’m obsessed with your looks? I have to be!” she huffed, shifting her weight against the ledge to glare at her. “You rag on yourself so much that someone has to say you’re pretty or you’ll get everyone to think … eh, no, heh, I guess there’s no way someone could say you’re ugly. It’s like saying the moon doesn’t glow!”
Kari shook her head, eyes on the ceiling. “I get it; I’m hot.”
“Woah! Woah! Woah!” Sora laughed. “I wouldn’t go that far, but okay, have an ego,” she tittered, nudging her side with her tails. “Seriously, though, I’m happy you’re becoming happy—you know … I used to question how I looked.”
Tone lowering with her gaze, Kari hummed. “Because of everything I did.”
Sora played with a lock of hair, twisting it around her fingers. “Sure, there was that, but every girl has moments they look at a pimple or something and think, ‘God, I’m disgusting!’ and try to drown themselves in sweets to just feel a little better … never works, though, and you feel even worse after—” Eyes widening, Sora twisted and pointed at her butt. “You know, my first pimple ever was right here! I was so mortified!”
Kari’s amber irises dulled. “Mhm … I never got that whole human pimple thing. I’ve never had a pimple in my life.”
Sora threw her elbows back over the railing with a sour grunt. “Lucky. I wasn’t born with my Founder blood active, okay? I was gross and sweaty and had period issues, and everything hurt sometimes, and it just sucked. Congrats on skipping puberty and growing pains.”
“Oh, I had those,” Kari returned, studying her perfect fingernails. “My human transformation is literal, too, unlike most other creatures. It really hurt changing my body the first few hundred times, which is why my mother made us do it dozens of times a day to get used to it—get used to pain since it’s a necessary part of life.”
“Mhm…” Sora’s eyebrows turned dubious. “I don’t know how I should feel about that, but okay—a different culture. So … did you finish spending time with your mom … Is she going to stay?”
Kari slowly shook her head, arms tightening under her chest. “To fight this next Vulpes, she’s going to have to do something … I don’t know,” she grumbled, giving her heels a dirty look. “We’re only sixteen, I guess, even if we’re Founders—our growth is insane, but … we still need time to grow or something like that.”
Sora flipped around to look down at Eyia breaking out each Vulpes and allowing them to individually attack her before effortlessly stripping them of small chunks of hair—she was humiliating them in front of every Vulpes in the Yellow District. “What … do you think about her leaving?”
The wolf girl didn’t respond for a time, tapping the stone railing with her fingernail. “What do I think … It’s more like how do I feel, and it sucks. Do I want her to go? No … I hate it, and … and I don’t get it—not really. She says everything will be alright, though.”
“Mmh,” Sora rubbed her left arm while needles moved down her spine, causing her to shiver. “My aunt told me that I’ll need Mofupsi.”
Kari’s head jerked in her direction. “You can’t be serious? That…” she trailed off, trying to find the right word. “That … creepy Vulpes with corn for hair wants to join us … follow us?”
“Rude,” Sora smiled. “Corn for hair? I mean, sure, she’s a little bit creepy—and you should see her room! Talk about problems.”
Kari turned to face her with concern. “Room? When did you go into her room—why—do you know how that sounds? What stuff did she have in there?”
“Woah!” Sora chortled, taking a step back while raising her hands in protest. “What kind of kinky things are you thinking about?! Geez, heh, I didn’t think you were that kind of girl! No, seriously, what are you thinking about? I’m super curious—there’s that blush!”
“Shut up,” Kari grunted, scratching her left ear as it twitched and looked away. “I was actually worried about you for a second, yet you can turn anything into a sexual joke.”
“Aww,” Sora smiled. “It’s just the easiest thing to get you out of your shell! If you don’t want me to poke, then don’t react!”
A doubtful tone rumbled in Kari’s throat. “Oh, I see how it is. If a guy slaps your butt, then don’t react if you don’t want him to poke.”
“Oof,” Sora winced. “I felt that one, but, heh, I guess I deserve it with that logic. You like it … Oof … again! Oh, no, you have me second-guessing myself!” she moaned, folding down her ears.
Kari shrugged. “I’m just sayin’ how it is. I’m perfectly happy with joking around, but I’m totally not into all that stuff; it’s just not me, but I get it, you’re a Vulpes.”
Realizing she was serious, Sora hummed, resituating herself against the stone barrier. “I get that, and let me be clear, heh, I’m not saying I like you in that way, you know, but it’s just fun for me—I don’t know, maybe it does have something to do with me being a Vulpes. Huh … I’ve never thought about it, but when did I start making jokes like that?”
Kari scratched her ear again. “I don’t know … sometime after we came into this world, but I wasn’t really around you that often before.”
“Hmm…” A spark flashed across her mind, and she let out a sad chuckle. “Shadow. It was after I met with Shadow.”
“Again,” Kari sighed, “I have no idea who you’re talking about.”
“My inner Shadow,” Sora mumbled, rubbing her right arm. “I guess it was when I embraced more of my Vulpes nature … wow, I honestly didn’t even notice. Isn’t that a good thing?”
A resigned laugh bubbled up Kari’s chest. “Well … heh, honestly, I’m happy you told me that. My mom told me you’d say that, but I didn’t really believe her, I guess. I just … I felt so conflicted because I owe you so much, and I couldn’t return something that’s fake—I was going crazy whenever you’d make remarks about my body and stuff because … well, yeah.”
Sora’s lips fell a bit. “Sorry … I didn’t know I was causing you that much trouble. I just wanted to lighten your mood a bit—you’re always so serious and down on yourself.”
“That’s true,” Kari whispered. She flicked around her tail to stare at the bristling fur. “I just felt like you were pulling our relationship down this super complicated path that … I was kind of scared—of how it would end, and all. I want to be your friend, Sora … I really do, and if those kinds of jokes are just that—jokes, then I’m totally fine with that. I was scared.”
“Scared, huh?” Sora asked, following Eyia’s twelfth Vulpes domination; more than a few were simply falling to the ground and hugging themselves while crying in the blizzard under her intense hatred that wasn’t meant for them. A shiver ran down her spine to the tips of her tails. “I can see that—I wasn’t taking into consideration why you were freaking out about my comments. Still, heh, you admitting you were afraid? That’s huge.”
Kari slowly walked forward, brow showing concentration as she tried to balance in the shoes Sora had purposefully made uneven to trip her up. “I haven’t thought about that, either … I guess … dammit, these things suck,” she mumbled, dropping to a knee and flashing her undies with her flaring skirt.
“Here…” Sora sighed, weaving the desire to fix the heels. “My bad—I was playing another trick on you. That should be better.”
Kari shot a dirty look up at her, still kneeling on the ground before a small smile softened her features. “Really?”
“Meh, I thought it would be funny to see you stumbling around—cute even. Watching you act, well—more girly tickles me to no end. I mean, you know what kind of image I had of you going through school. This is a whole new you that I’m thoroughly enjoying!”
Hesitantly rising to her feet, she tested her balance with a short shake of her head. “Okay … I can see your perspective, too. Gah, these things still suck, even when they’re done right,” she turned a shady gaze her way, causing Sora to raise her hands.
“No, really, I fixed them! Here…” Sora changed her own shoes into black heels and walked around her. “It just takes some practice—see how it changes my gait and posture—throws my tails … oh, my, I’ve got more curves than I thought!” she mused. “Look at my tails pop! Swing those hips!”
Kari watched her with a slight frown. “… You walk like a duck.”
“Rude!” Sora glared at her. “I’m totally sexy!”
“If you say so,” Kari rolled her eyes, “but I’m not seeing it. All I see is you trying not to fall on your face. I think you look better without them.”
“Oh?” Sora hummed, returning to her sneakers. “You really think so?”
“Mhm,” Kari mumbled, kicking off her heels before pointing an expectant finger at them. “Way better.”
Eying the footwear uncertainly, Sora wondered if she was saying that to get her to change them or if she really meant it; the question was only passing before she decided Kari was being genuine. “Fine … I guess a wolf girl has different tastes than men—and many women.”
“Humans are weird sometimes—same as Vulpes,” Kari replied, fitting into her new sports shoes after Sora transmuted them. “Hmm … perfect!” She hopped up and down while testing the items, causing her skirt to bounce a little with her hair.
“Want a hair tie?” Sora asked, studying her wild locks.
“Finally!” Kari huffed, pulling her hair around. “I was wondering when you’d bring it up—you talk about it enough without getting to the useful stuff.”
“He-he-he.” Sora took from Kari’s jacket thread count to create the white tie. “It’ll contrast that black.”
“Whatever, I’m not picky … for practical stuff,” she added with Sora’s lifted eyebrow. “Anyway, how long do you think Eyia’s going to be playing with them?”
“Not long, I think,” Sora said, staring down at the winter wasteland below. “She’s blowing off steam at this point—taking on anyone that will so much as look at her.”
Kari was silent for several seconds, still refusing to make eye contact with the Valkyrie. “Sora…”
At her tone, Sora turned. “Hmm?”
“Do you think … Will Eyia ever accept me?”
A quiet sigh shot through Sora’s teeth, and she flipped around, closing her eyes. “I don’t know … I hope so,” she mumbled, stretching out her neck. “I’m just glad she’s so disciplined … How long she’s fantasized about what Fenrir took from her—I can’t even imagine, and I don’t know the real context, so I can’t really have an opinion. We’re growing as friends … let’s just take it one step at a time.”
Vision opening, she smirked at the girl that gave her PTSD for years of abuse. “Heh, I couldn’t imagine being friends with you, but…”
“Here we are,” Kari whispered. “I couldn’t dream of … of where I am now, and it’s all thanks to you.”
Sora shook her head. “C’mon, we can’t give anyone but Aiden credit after everything we’ve seen. He bought time and caused so many things to happen—I bet I would be dead if he didn’t show up and make your brother go on a rampage and really hurt you … giving me room to run for Jin and Eyia to find me.”
“I was unconscious during all that,” Kari sighed, pulling her hair into a low ponytail, which made Sora smile; it was so close to Iris’s hairstyle. “I wish I got to see Eric plowed into the ground. Eh, what’s up with that room of Mofupsi’s or whatever her name is?”
Pointing at her head, Sora snickered. “I’ll show you some time; we’ll make a movie night out of it. Oh, I’ll show you the embarrassing fails of me trying to beat him! Gah, I was creamed so many times!”
“I’d like that,” Kari smiled.
Sora’s smile became forced. “Right, the room, eh … heh, you see, she has claw-marks all over it … literally, everywhere … everywhere, everywhere! It’s her counting thousands of years feeling empty. It’s a total dump—hundreds of mirrors all shattered, and I’m pretty sure she sleeps in a corner, wrapped in blankets … kind of sad if you ask me.”
“Sad?” Kari snorted, but her face showed concern. “I’d go with red flags … a lot of them. That sounds like the serial killer movie stuff the humans make.”
“Not wrong,” Sora hissed, brushing back her bangs. “I mean, she has been kind of isolated and directionless for basically the majority of her life.”
Kari’s expression fell a little. “I guess … I can relate. Still, that doesn’t sound good.”
“No, heh, it does not after I said it!” Sora mumbled.
The two of them watched Eyia challenge every Vulpes left until no one stood against her, crying their utter defeat while groveling before her.
“Hmm,” Kari’s fingers tightened against the railing. “So, Mofupsi will be joining us?”
They turned as the Vulpes in question appeared behind them with another red-furred fox, Eyia floating up to land on the rail guard shortly after.
“Have you not told them, Sora?” Mofupsi asked.
Sora’s chest tightened from the focused waves of energy radiating out of the Yellow Councilwoman; she was in a whole different league after preparing herself for what she thought could be her last battle.
“Told us what?” Eyia growled, refusing to look at Kari or even acknowledge her existence as she held her shimmering crystal blade over her shoulders, protected by her aura from the edge. “Is there another trick or game you wish to subject us to?”
“No,” Sora groaned, eyeing the new Vulpes beside the blonde woman; the elder Vulpes’s pipe was gone, and her yellow eyes were back. “Mofupsi has made a bet with me. If I can dominate her, then she will become my slave, and if she dominates me…”
“You become hers, huh?” Kari mumbled, her amber eyes narrowing. “Well … I suppose you will be joining us, Mofupsi. Is there anything else?”
A charming smile lifted the woman’s cheeks. “Indeed! Sora has asked the loser to wear a collar and leash.”
Kari choked. “W-What? Sora … I knew it.”
“No!” Sora squawked. “No! It’s not what you think! I swear! I just … it was a joke, and she took it waaay too far! She’s totally into it! I’m not—I’m good!”
“It fascinates me to no end!” Mofupsi brazenly admitted. “I look forward to the experience as a slave. Please, do not disappoint me. Now, to business.”
“Mmm…” Kari made a sound in her throat that said she wasn’t going to be convinced.
Eyia’s fingers were held into an iron fist, and not a twitch moved her lips. “Who is my next opponent … Surely the Vulpes next to you is not her.”
Mofupsi smirked as the woman stiffened. “Jemissa?”
The red-furred fox shook her head. “As … much as I would love to make you eat your own hair, I have been selected to fight the four-legged creature called Kari.”
Kari ignored the declaration, skeptical gaze still on Sora. “You were the one that brought it up.”
“Again, it was a joke!”
“That you used twice? Wasn’t there a human saying about that?”
“No! No! It’s three times! Not, two!” Sora defended.
Eyia was oblivious to the conversation. “Send me to them.”
Sora puffed out a hot breath; she couldn’t remember feeling so embarrassed, but Kari’s doubtful, accusatory dirty look made her flustered. “Look, I’ll explain, okay? She pulled it in that direction.”
Mofupsi waved her hand, teleporting Eyia away while listening with an engaged grin. “I do not believe I pushed any direction. Perhaps I’m wrong, though.”
“I’m just saying,” Kari mumbled, “it’s just a little iffy.”
“I’m not sus! I’m not!” Sora protested. “Uh … let’s just … let’s get to the fight!”
Kari rolled her eyes. “Fine … a collar. A freakin’ collar—with a leash.”
Sora opened her mouth, but their environment instantly changed. “I said I would … shoot.”
“Will it matter?” Mofupsi asked, standing a little ways away; her pipe was back in her hand, and she took one thoughtful look at it before tossing it to the side. “If you become my slave, then will they honestly stay—oh, will they try to fight me for your freedom? That would be interesting … I just thought of that—how fun!”
Sora pulled her fingers through her hair, closing her eyes to pray to her aunt for support. Please … help me.
Inari’s voice spoke in a soft tone in her mind, calming her pounding heart. “Be at ease, Sora. Unlike your Vulpes powers, this will be a slow burn. It will rise and then fall to a constant … You will be unable to utilize your Founder magic for some time after this.”
What! Her heart stopped; this was not what she expected. I won’t … What do you mean I can’t use my Founder powers? I can’t use True Fox Magic?
“No. I tried to find a workaround, but it is impossible, and why it was sealed away until a future date. However, I confirmed the details with Frankenstein when we met—I just hoped to find a way around it, but he explicitly told me it was impossible. Your Founder powers will return and in force, but this new power must stabilize before that can happen.”
Mofupsi gave her a confused smile. “Has something happened? You look shaken.”
“I … give me a second,” Sora gasped as a fearful quiver ran through her bones. “I’m … I’m dealing with something right now.”
Aunt Inari! What do you mean? I’m going to lose all my Vulpes powers? What about … How am I supposed to do the whole Kitsune thing with her after then?
“No, not all of them … Just your Founder magic. This is why Mofupsi’s aid will be needed, and Emilia’s Founder magic to act as the bonding agent; she will show you how to use the limited magic non-Founder Vulpes possess, which will help your overall growth.”
Great … Just great … I … I just learned how to use all my powers and now they’re being stripped from me?! This sucks!
“Ugh…” Sora moaned, running her fingers through her copper hair. “This sucks! Grrargh … mmgmgm … fine … fine. Okay, I’m ready,” she sighed, allowing her Shadow to help her through the frightening transformation.
Mofupsi’s head tilted to the side with a questioning look. “Have you … gone insane?”
Wait … How will I help Emilia? She needs to learn, and I’ve never done the Kitsune thing…
“It’s like riding a bike without the bike, Sora; you’ll know how to guide her, and it will help the two of you bond. Now … it’s starting.”
An ember lit in Sora’s chest as pins and needles ran down her spine to her tails; a blazing white flame engulfed her frame with such an intoxicating intensity that it froze her lungs. Every beat of her heart sent a sweet, fiery liquor raging through her veins.
Mofupsi took a step back. “This … What is this … this inferno?” Her lips parted in shock. “Your tails…”
Stumbling back a little, Sora caught herself. She pulled her tails around in shock; two new brilliant flames followed her two copper appendages. In excitement, she watched her orange coat seethe with an ivory flare, removing the color—she had four tails, and her whole body was changing—height, bust size, hips, and waist.
Two perfectly circular elemental bracelets enclosed her wrists. The jewelry was like a part of her soul that she could feel, and in an instant, she knew their purpose and abilities.
If her Vulpes Founder abilities gave her endless possibilities to adapt with her malleable magic, this was raw power at its finest. Her fur flickered—everything, her clothes, eyebrows, and hair were now coated her in a luminosity that was the definition of holocaust.
The flames were slowly eating away at the impossibly complex weaves of Vulpes Founder magic infusing the room under her feet; it would take a long time, but she’d destroy it by simply being in its proximity.
Laughter brought Sora’s focus back to the councilwoman. “Yes … I would be smiling, too, if I produced such … chaos. You aren’t like other Vulpes, Sora! This is what I want!”
Flexing her fingers, Sora’s blazing white bracelets expanded to hover in front of her fingers. “It’s like there’s a supernova in my chest…” She took a shuddering breath as her smiling silver eyes focused on the Vulpes. Never had she felt such confidence—or was it recklessness? She didn’t care. “Let’s fight.”
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