Mini-Scene: The River[Primary setting: Land of the Cats*, c. 3000 B.A.E.]OF NOTE:
Story is set in the Ancient Period. While this story is later in posting than any previous one, it actually is earlier in the timeline of the Kitarian Universe - the first story to be set in the Ancient Period (well before 0 A.E. - by comparison, the "current year" - for most of my roleplaying purposes with my characters - is 3310 A.E.). The Kitarian Timeline is just as much of an open framework as everything else within - feel free to plug your own ideas in, if you so choose.
Story is told from the "first-fur" point-of-view. This is a first in the Kitarian "canon." Like his player, Fenny's writing is meant to be pensive - when he's not too busy being silly. =;o)****************
Deep within the mists of time - when I was only half my age, as well as half my rank-of-tails (a social status ranking among us kitsune) - I was alone amongst the trees and the cool waters running cross the land.
For the first time on this side of the Gateway - in the Land of the Cats - I prepared to carry out a tradition** I had performed for almost 100 years in my homeland.
Tonight.. was also the first night I would be seen in such a manner.
"Fenny!" the cat-warrior Misty called out, in the stillness of the night. "Fenny, what are you doing out here?"
Never before had I a need to deal with company during this custom - a youkai, much less a mortal. How in the world would she respond to such an alien practice?
And furthermore.. How had she been able to get so close without my knowledge? I am a kitsune, after all - I should be able to detect sneaks, as well as be a sneak.
Could it have been the feeling in my heart then? I had felt it before.. but it was never quite the same.
Was it love?
Could love be so strong, as to blind mortal and youkai alike?
I certainly know now, but I could never have known then. After all, I had never been in love before..
..How could I have known that she - a mortal - and I - a youkai - would mate?
How could I have ever dreamed that she would give me a family.. a true home..
..A guest among mortals.
My thoughts were broken with a warm paw upon my shoulder, my 5 fox-tails bumping up against leg-plates.
"I'm surprised you're down here," Misty meowed.
Puzzled, I yerfed in reply, "Why would that surprise you?"
"Well, you haven't exactly tried to hide yourself from us." The femme-fighter then picked up and stroked one of my tails, teasing gently at its tip. "Not like some of your kinsfurs." She giggled.
I think my temperature must have risen ten degrees in that moment. "Heh.. eh.. I suppose not. Many of my people are like that.. but I try to use kitsune-youjutsu*** for more productive ends, whenever I can."
Misty smiled, and then said something I've never forgotten: "Courage does not always drive the blade of a sword, Fenny - it comes in many forms. One of them is following not the old, worn trail of those who came before you; but to instead break a new wood - following the call of your own heart. Because you never know - your trail may be the one preferred, by those who come after."
Time has shown me that it was not my heart - but hers - that truly was the greater. Not for thousands of dawns and twilights would I find another heart which shined so brightly - and even then, it was a quite different glow.
Youkai may live forever, and wield incredible magical powers.. but it is mortal who possess the greatest power of all -
The greatest powers of love.
"You're awful sweet, you know," I yerfed, blushing.
"Why's that? Hehe.. I've never been considered all that sweet."
"There are many places we go, where the local population tends not to be too happy - particularly if our true nature is found out."
"Well, I must admit, there have been a few odd tales involving minor mischief, and the occasional kitsune flushed out by one of our Clerics. But," she looked coyly at my tails, "never one with 5 of those. Besides.. you've been up-front from the start. I couldn't imagine you being anything but nice."
I blushed while stumbling for words. "Thank.. er.. thank yo.."
She interrupted me with a kiss - our warmth becoming as one. Being in physical contact, I could not help but reach into her mind.
"Fenny.. stay, or let me stay.. but never leave me again.. I would never seal you.. but I wish you could be bound to me.." her thoughts said.
"If you stay with me.. you do know I will outlive you. I can never really grow old, the way you might want from a mate."
"Always modest unto the last.. I worry about you outliving me - but not for the reason you think -
I don't want you to have to feel alone, my unique fox."
"That is inevitable.. so we might as well enjoy the time we have..."
At that moment, the psionic link broke, and we found ourselves looking into each other's eyes.
So warm were her eyes.. that my kitsune-bi**** was an iceberg in comparison.
I know, from then on, she would melt all coldness within my heart.
* Land of the Cats: Known as Felicia Prime after the advent of interstellar technologies, the Land of the Cats was reachable, in ancient times, via a magical portal connecting it and the homeland of the Kitarian kitsune. That place was sometimes referred to, in kind, as the Land of the Foxes.
** "Tradition:" Though Fen's romantic encounter this evening prevented him from getting to it, the tradition referred to is a release of stored energy. After becoming a Paladin, Fenny began to absorb large amounts of power directly from the Sun - following the ideals of Christianity, he would feel quite guilty wasting all this energy - and it has to come out sometime. Therefore, he releases it back into nature - where it would have gone, if he hadn't tapped it. This takes quite some time, and requires an opposing element - in Fenny's case, Water - to neutralize as much of the discharge as possible.
*** Kitsune-youjutsu: Literally, "fox-magic." This is a general term for Fenny's magic (as well as any kitsune's) - but in particular, that magic which is native to either himself (as a demon), or his people's lore. He will use this magic for his own purposes - generally day-to-day needs, or low-level opponents (the Paladinic Code - which governs acceptable behaviour for Paladin - allows the use of non-Sacred magic, as long as it is not used for evil). This is an observation of the principle, "God helps those that help themselves." He almost never refers to Sacred Power - that granted to him by his training as a Paladin, or through his sword Salvadore - as youjutsu, or a jutsu (a single spell, or act of magic).
**** Kitsune-bi: Literally, "fox-fire." This is a native jutsu in Fenny's repertoire - his fire-casting ability. This can range from a tiny warmth - allowing him to become a living "electric blanket" to comfort other furs - to a raging inferno, capable of causing mass casualties in battle.