Part One: The Kitsune-Mochi and Tora Baku
Part Two: He Does Not Dream
Part Three: Kitsune-Mochi and The Bara Oni
The bramble hugged Hisoka the tailor’s body, his blood pooling on the ground as the prickly shrub tightened around him. He had screamed when it first began, then plead for help, then looked into the eyes of the beautiful rose woman before him, gasped three times, and died. Keikyoku, the Bara Oni, smiled, dipping her toes into the red liquid. She closed her eyes, head back, threw her arms open, and sang as she drank in his essence.
Chiyoko, the Kitsune-Mochi, and Fox had watched all of this occur in silence, sitting on a rock out of the way. Fox looked around him, licking his lips, hoping Bara Oni would leave some fluid for him to lap up, but he knew that wasn’t going to happen.
The Bara Oni stopped singing once all the blood had been absorbed. The roses that ran across her body grew deeper in color, standing out against her milk white skin like a beacon of life. The rose petals were moving of their own accord as she lowered her arms and turned around to face Chiyoko and Fox. Her smile did not waver.
“Did this please you, Kisune-Mochi? Was this all that you wished?” sang out the Oni.
Chiyoko nodded. “Hai. It was well done.” Fox ignored them, cleaning himself as they ignored him. “He knew, at the end, did he not?”
Taking root where she was, the Bara Oni nodded. “He knew, when he looked into my eyes, all that brought him to this. He was not a good man at all.”
“No, he wasn’t,” Fox chimed in. “Chiyoko, I could have done for him. Why did we need…her?”
“Hush, Fox. She is our guest, and has done a great service. Honor her, or no salmon tonight.”
“Hmmpphh,” Fox swished his tail, licking his lips as well at the thought of Chiyoko’s preparation of salmon and wild onions. “I am sorry if I did offer you any offense, Bara Oni.”
The demon stared at him with wide red rimmed eyes. “The tailor will make a fine addition for Maoh Mikoto in his Oni realm. Do you wish to join him, Fox?”
A slight shudder passed through Fox, but he would not let it show. “Try what you will, Keikyoku. You are no match for me.”
“Enough of this pissing contest! The two of you!” Chiyoko demanded. Both Bara Oni and Fox turned to the Kitsune-Mochi and bowed acquiescence. “Good. There is no need for this. Fox, we have many, many more vile ones to take vengeance on. Your nature will remain sated. In this case, it was good to enlist the help of our honored guest.”
“I saw what he did, as he died. It was good of you to call me for this. I am in your favor, and will come again when you call. Farewell, Chiyoko.” The Bara Oni faded away, leaving behind an exquisite Blood Rose bush with hungry thorns in her place.
“What about ‘Farewell, Fox’?” he humphed.
“HUSH! You are too full of yourself today. This was just, and you know it. Hisoka killed many, many women. He lured them to his home, raped them, then slit their throats in his back garden, feeding their blood into the soil and burying their bodies in patches, where he later planted rose bushes. This one belonged to Keikyoku. Now Keikyoku owes us a favor as well, and our allies grow. This was handled in the way I deemed it proper. Do you not agree?”
Fox sat silently, staring at the glistening bramble where the body of the tailor was encased. “Salmon?” he asked, finally.
Chiyoko sighed. To keep her familiar happy, he must be fed. To keep her powers ready for what lay ahead, he must dine well. “Yes, Fox, yes. Let us go catch and prepare our dinner. Come.”
The Kitsune-Mochi rose and walked east towards the river. Fox stared after the witch, then, when she was out of sight, padded over to the rose bush and tore out one of the largest roses, chewing it up and spitting it out. A thorn pierced his nose, he yelped, and a drop of his blood fed the bush.
“Hmmpphh,” Fox said, as he sauntered off towards his soon to be prepared meal. The Bara Oni savored her meal of Fox blood.