Mirrored Fate

By: Midnight Siren

Chapter One

The small white fox ran with all her strength but the wolves were catching up fast, she couldn't run for much longer since they had already chased her for a good two hours already, no, she wouldn't give up when she was so close to freedom. Her silvery white coat glimmering in the dim light that filtered through the tree tops and onto the forest floor as she flew over the ground, she could sense one of the wolves gaining on her as she slipped on a loose stone and it snapped at one of her five equally silvery white tails her sapphire and emerald eyes widening in fear. Finally she saw her hollow and sprinted inside, hearing the wolves dig at the entrance, she blew air out of her nose and laughed as only a fox could, by blowing out more air and waggling her tails at her tormenters, they weren't about to get into her burrow.

The small kitsune decided that if she was ever going to go that far from her burrow ever again she would go on foot, instead of slinking around on the forest floor. One of her tails unraveled to reveal a small bundle of an elephant ear leaf, she unfolded it carefully and ate the aburage she had swiped, being a kitsune was easy once you knew how to swipe things from the temple. It kept her nice and full and it kept the villagers thinking that the gods had accepted their offerings. After she had gobbled up her stolen treats she walked towards the entrance searching for the wolves that had plagued her from the beginning of her trek. They were still there digging away at the entrance and annoyingly enough for them, there was a layer of stone beneath the top soil and gave the small kitsune perfect protection from the wolves.

She snickered mentally at them and watched them for a short while, soon falling asleep a good ways away from the pack so she was not in harm's way. When she woke the smell of wolves was almost gone, they had left and she cautiously stepped out of the burrow to inspect the damage done by the wolves' digging. To say the least, she wasn't happy they had dug right down through the bedrock and down to the solid limestone beneath the loose pebbles. She could see the claw marks from the paws of the pack, she wasn't going to be able to easily sneak past them next time that was for sure. The small kitsune huffed and began replacing the dirt that had been dug up, her work was soon done as the full moon rose over head and she wandered off to the stream.

The stream was actually a large river that cut her burrow off from the human village, it was a full moon tonight so she could roam openly with no fear of humans bothering her. She wasn't surprised when a small caravan of people stopped at the bridge to watch her swim, they watched the small silvery white fox swim around in the moonlit pool and were shocked as she rose from the water. Her five tails fluffing out as she shook the water form her coat and surprised gasps rose up from the bridge as squeals of children filled the night.

"A kitsune, she's so beautiful," a mother said as she held her two daughters back so they wouldn't scare the kitsune off.

"What exactly is a kitsune mom?" the younger of the girls asked.

"Well, a kitsune is a fox spirit that is very mischievous and will sneak any food or shiny objects that they can get their paws on, they're usually harmless but can be very scary if they think they are in danger," the mother replied to her daughter.

The small kitsune was curious about these people especially the ones who had stepped from the caravan, they were different from the other people who she usually saw. Their clothes were very strange and they smelled of many people and other unpleasant things, unlike the humans she usually saw which smelled of the forest and this intrigued her to go closer. A small human male, his father and his mother all stood together watching her with amazement.

"This is quiet amazing," the father whispered to the mother who had spoken before, he seemed worried that he might scare her off if he talked to loud, well, she was going to fix that right now. She stepped toward the group of people then jumped up high over their heads, landing in front of the strange boy, Hand out, she ordered silently as the boy's mind obeyed and his hand came up to run over the kitsune's head and shoulders.

"Don't get to trusting her too much she might steal something precious to you before you even realize it," the mother chuckled as the she-fox gladly accepted more pets from the children.

"Be careful not to bother her tails, she won't forgive your grandchildren if you do that," the mother said smiling.

The boy's hand flashed away from the silver tails before they could come in contact and the small kitsune grinned with the most fox-like and mischievous grin any kitsune could come up with. He looked annoyed by her amusement and she jumped onto his head, she liked this boy, he was funny. His mother laughed lightly at the kitsune's behavior as the small silver fox leaned over to look into the strange boy's eyes upside down and the other children laughing and giggling at the kitsune's silly position. The strange boy held his arms out and the small kitsune gladly snuggled into his arms, she liked him, he was fun to mess with.

"It is said that if you grab the tail of a kitsune that you will be cursed for a thousand years for each tail that is grabbed," an old withered voice came from around the caravan, the kitsune immediately recognized the voice and jumped from the boy's arms and into the ones of an old woman.

"Hello there little Akahana how have you been these past years?" the old woman whispered to the silver fox in her arms.

"What is it?" the strange boy asked and the she-fox lifted her chin for the older woman to have better access to scratch?

"What a beautiful and unusual white fox," the boy's mother whispered.

"My mother sealed this kitsune long ago to the village temple but the seal will soon be broken see the collar?" she replied fingering the talisman around her neck from which dangled a pair of silver bells, the she-fox jumped down and flew gracefully across the surface of the water in sweeping motions unlike the humans had ever seen.

"Don't get too close Tsukune I don't want you falling in." the boy's, now named Tsukune, mother said.

"Haruko leave him alone this is a rare spectacle indeed," his father said chuckling, suddenly the sweet melody of a flute drifted over the water. The notes drifted up and down in a haunting song that seemed to captivate the children and older humans, it was rare that the she-fox would ever have an audience. Suddenly Tsukune looked down at her reflection and saw not the fox but a beautiful young girl with silver hair, five tails and a pair of near-white ears, she was playing a wooden flute with designs running the length of the tube. The music was beautiful as she played, and soon some of the children skid across the water to the fox as she played softly.

"No, Kumiko, Minato come back here!" their mother called out as the two girls walked across the water without falling in.

"Take tight hold of your son, she will gladly steal him away if he as made her curious," the older woman chuckled.

Tsukune's mother grabbed hold of him tightly and wouldn't let him go. "Why would she want my little Tsukune?" she asked, worry slightly edging her tone?

"He's something new and interesting, not to mention he can probably see her reflection in the water," the old woman replied as the fox reared up and turned into silver mist then reformed into the body of the beautiful young girl that the strange boy had seen in the water's reflection, she was still playing the flute.

"But he's my son why would she-" she was cut off as Tsukune jumped the railing and joined the other children in a circle around the now human-looking kitsune, they were already singing but not to the song she was playing.

Kagome, Kagome

Crouch little bird inside your cage

When, Oh, When will he get out?

Out before the light of dawn

Crane and turtle slipped and fell

Who is behind you,

Can you tell?

The vicious light will shine no more

darkness stands before no one

Now to save once vicious light

Is now white, fox demon's fight

"The song is an old faerie tale from long ago, no one really knows what it means but the children all seem to love it," the old woman continued as the children moved in a circle counter clockwise around the kitsune. They all seemed captivated by the kitsune's presence as they stepped across the water without falling in, Tsukune looked happy and was laughing with the other children until suddenly wolves appeared on the bank and lunged at the kitsune as she changed back into her fox form. The children screamed and ran back to their families before the charm wore off on the water, the wolf held the kitsune in its jaws as it cleared the water using the small white fox's charm against itself. It dropped the fox on the other bank while the others either padded across or waded, blood trickled from her shoulder as she stood but soon there was a ring of hungry wolves around her and the she-fox could not runaway.

"Grandmother do something!" one of the girls exclaimed along with the other children.

"Lycanthropes." the old woman swore like a curse as the wolves circled the small fox more menacingly.

"Lycanthropes?" Tsukune asked unfamiliar with the name.

"Werewolves," the old woman replied. "Kitsune are deathly afraid of dogs but wolves are even worse, they are a lot smarter than a dog. Kurama get my bow and arrows I'm not about to let that kitsune be eaten by a pack of mindless dogs."

Suddenly a young man ran into the back of the caravan and emerged again moments later with a large bow and silver tipped arrows. The old woman took both weapons and fit an arrow into the draw string then pulled it smoothly back to her ear, then let it fly straight into the side of one werewolf. The limp canine form fell to the smooth stones of the rock bed as the kitsune stood, then one of the wolves noticed her tails and grabbed one while two others grabbed one of their own. Another three grabbed the back of her neck and two of her legs but she refused to uncurl her tail she wouldn't give up her treasure for anything. Now a separate wolf had four of her five tails one still twisted around her treasure and held close her stomach she only had one thing to do so they wouldn't get it, she whipped her tail up and over sending the white sphere sailing through the air and into Tsukune's hands. He looked at the simple pearly white ball in his hands seeming shocked that it was even there or wondering why the wolves were after it.

"Her hoshi no tama?" the old woman said, shock clearly on her face and in her voice as she looked at the ball.

"A what?" he asked as he cradled the ball in his hands, but the old woman whirled away from him as she shot a wolf that had lunged at the strange boy, the wolves were now advancing on the small group of people as more of the men and boys of the caravan gathered silver tipped bows and arrows. Tsukune was more worried about the kitsune lying on the bank while the wolves that still surrounded her toyed with her, causing pained whimpers to escape her throat. Finally he had had enough and he jumped the railing and ran across the water, the charm being reconstructed because he held the kitsune's hoshi no tama, her kitsune ball and her life. He reached her side as the ball exploded with light suddenly and the wolves were gone when the light faded he knelt down beside the small silvery white fox and set the ball beside its owner.

"Thank you," she said quietly then she winced in pain. "It hurts... "

"You can talk?" Tsukune asked, amazed as she dragged herself to her feet and limped over into his lap.

"I need to tell you something," she whispered as he leaned down closer to her, so he could hear.

"I need some of your energy so please do not hate me," she whispered as she licked his cheek and the boy slumped over, unconscious. She stood and undid the seal on her, she enjoyed her smaller, more convenient form but it was times like this when she needed all nine of her tails. Her body grew to almost three times the size of the wolves and four more tails sprouted from the base of her spine, the talisman still around her neck as the silver bells jingled lightly. She shot forward knocking away the wolves from the humans before they could hurt anyone and they disappeared as short blast of light enveloped them.

"What was that?" one of the young girls asked as she stuck her head out of the caravan?

"Those wolves will be dead in a few days time, she's sealed them inside a Realm and they won't be getting out of there anytime soon.

"Tsukune!" Haruko exclaimed as she ran to her unconscious son who still gripped the hoshi no tama in his arms and pulled him into her lap as the nine-tailed transformed back into her five-tailed form and walked up to the sleeping boy, the old woman following her every step. "I don't want that fox anywhere near my son!"

"It was not her fault," the old woman said gently as the small, silvery white fox bristled. "She just borrowed some of his energy, he is not harmed he will only be a little tired for a few days. But thanks to his bravery this kitsune will watch over him like he was a fellow kitsune."

"Why would she do that?" his mother asked tearfully?

"Kitsune are very proud and never ask for help unless forced on them, luckily enough she is very humble and accepts help from humans happily. Kitsune will repay any favor of kindness by watching over and protecting that person right little one?" she explained turning towards the small five-tailed fox. "Come on, show her you're harmless, show her the real you."

The small fox remained silent but transformed into a small girl about Tsukune's age, nine or ten, and walked up to the small boy who had saved her ball. She kneeled down next to him and looked at her savior, his hair was a strange blackish blue and his skin was tanned unlike his mother and father's. Then she looked up at his mother, pale, with golden brown locks gently waving and bright blue eyes swimming with tears, the small girl reached up and wiped the tears away with a small fair skinned hand. The she-fox gently lifted the ball from Tsukune's limp form and hugged it close looking extremely happy to have it again, then she transformed back and disappeared in a white mist. She could sense Tsukune's thoughts as she left, hoping he would see the she-fox again but even she knew that it wouldn't be likely.