Monster Manor Chapter Four: Kayo the Kitsune.
Even after the hunter was gone, Mark and Vesper remained motionless, not moving an inch from their position. It was several minutes before they dared to move. The hunter was long gone, for the time being.
“That hunter was unlike any I have encountered in my two hundred years of life.” Shaken, Mark said. “The liquid he splashed onto the vines was a powerful weed killer, not something one can buy at the local store.”
“He appears to have everything he needs for any encounter.” Darkly, Vesper hissed. “I doubt any one of us could take him alone with much success.” He sighed. “I suggest we keep the living house among the tree tops.”
Mark nodded. “I agree. I will ask the spirits to lower the house when it detects a lost soul. In the meantime, we should check the damage below from that explosion.”
Deep within the maze of caverns and tunnels, Viva and the kitsune saw the damage to the manor. In that moment, Cire walked through the large spike of limestone. Seeing Viva, he sighed, a look of disappointment on his face.
“Viva, what did you do?” Scolding, he demanded.
Viva pouted; she was sad, almost insulted that Cire blamed her right off the bat. She could not help it if the ground around her reacted to her emotions. “It wasn’t me!” Hurt, she blurted out. “A hunter threw a bomb down the entrance!”
“She’s telling the truth, sir.” Stepping forward, the Kitsune said. “He calls himself Morgan.” She bowed her head. “He has been after me for a few days now.”
Cecil gasped. “Kayo…?”
The kitsune looked at Cire more carefully then gasped as well, taking a single fearful step back. “That’s Cire the relentless!”
Cire winced then looked at the kitsune with tears in his eyes. “I am no longer the monster hunter I was, Kayo.” Sincerely, he said. “I have been dead for nearly ten years now; I don’t hunt monsters anymore, I protect them here in my manor.”
Viva turned between from Cire to Kayo, confused. “You two know each other?”
Cire and Kayo both nodded. “This is Kayo Nagasaki.” Sadly, Cire said. “She was the only monster, err person to ever escape me in my entire evil career.”
“He started hunting me after a chance meeting just outside the Aokigahara forest in my homeland of Japan.” Softly, Kayo said. “I finally lost him when I hid onboard a freighter that was just about so set sail to parts unknown.”
“What kind of forest?” Lost, Viva asked.
“A-o-ki-ga-ha-ra; it is better known as the suicide forest, Viva.” Calmly, Cire explained. “Compasses do not work in there and the trees are so tightly intertwined that hardly any daylight filters through.” He sighed. “It is acres of perpetual twilight where anyone can easily get lost and never find their way out.”
“It was my home.” Tearing up, Kayo said. “I had stepped out of the forest to see what the sun looked like.” She scowled at Cire. “That was when I first ran into him. He introduced himself then tried to hit me with a net fired from a strange rifle.”
“Why didn’t you run back into the forest?” Confused, Viva asked.
“I had caught her in the net.” Flatly, Cire said. “At first, I thought she was a fire type kitsune.” He smiled ruefully. “Only she turned out to be a lightning class; the electrified net was shorted out the moment it hit her.”
“He managed to drag me away from the forest to his van.” Now crying, Kayo said. “When he stopped to get gas, I escaped him but I was too far away from the forest to find my way back.”
“Where did you go after getting away from me?” Darkly curious, Cire asked. “I’m glad that you did today but I am still very curious to know.”
“We were near the docks.” Sadly, Kayo said. “I hid on board a cargo ship just as it was about to set sail.” She sniffed away a few tears. “I ended up being taken to the States where I hid myself in the forests and national parks.”
“That is where you met eventually ran into Morgan by chance.” Darkly, Cire guessed. “I knew him in life; he is as relentless as I was only he had taken it to an obsessive level.”
“What did you want from her?” Accusing, Viva asked.
“Please understand; I was a different person then.” Crying himself, Cire said. “I… wanted her fur.”
Kayo gasped in horror. “You called us monsters!?” Angry, she demanded. “How could you!?!?”
Cire bowed his head, shame clear on his face. “I do not blame you for your anger.” Softly, he said. “I can only beg for your forgiveness, Kayo Nagasaki.”
Viva sighed as she turned to Kayo. “He’s not a bad guy anymore.” Kindly, she explained. “He was killed defending a monster.” She smiled. “That’s why he is here instead of he- um, the bad place. He has to save as many as he had hurt to get into Heaven.”
Kayo let out a long sigh, looking at Cire who had hunted her away from her homeland so many years ago. Finally, she managed a weak smile. “I forgive you, Cire.” Softly, she said.
Cire bowed respectively. “I am grateful. Thank you.”
It was then Mark and Vesper arrived upon the scene. Kayo seemed fearful to set eyes upon Vesper but Viva gently touched her arm and smiled. After a few introductions, Mark inspected the damage to the manor. “It’s nothing serious, structurally speaking.” Calmly, he said. “However, we will need to find some wood, nails, and supplies to make the necessary repairs.”
“Um, I passed through an abandoned town several miles from here while running from Morgan.” Chiming in, Kayo said. “It was completely deserted; we might be able to find everything we need there without bumping into anyone.”
“That’s all well and good.” Frowning, Cire said. “Only how do we get rid of this big chunk of limestone?”
Viva smiled. “Let me try.”
She ran over to the stalactite; grunting with effort as she punched it with all her might. The huge spike of limestone cracked but it did not break.
“Let me try.” Stepping forward, Mark said.
He raised his hands, muttering something in his native language. Vines shot out of the ground and quickly wrapped itself around the limestone. They embedded themselves into the cracks, forcing them to open more.
“I think I can help.” Stepping up, Kayo said.
She raised he four tails over her head then snapped them together with their tips pointed right at the stalactite. A bolt of electricity fired forth, striking the limestone. With it being cracked and literally crushed, the blast shattered it into thousands of pieces. The entryway had been cleared but a mess remained to be cleaned up. Viva picked up one piece and sat down; happily munching on it. Vesper chuckled, seeing her knowing that rock golems literally ate rocks and soil.
“You know you will get too big if you eat a lot of that.” Smiling, Mark said. “You can have some but not all.”
Viva pouted then smiled as she stuck her tongue out at Mark. The group laughed before Cire spoke up. “I will clean this mess.” Kindly, he offered. “Kayo can show you to that abandoned town.”
“We will need to be cautious.” Serious, Vesper said. “We do not need to run into that hunter.”