Her ears twitched, causing the small bells to clink and jingle. Despite her new found attention on the boy in front of her, she still didn’t trust him. Her shrine had been destroyed and she had been too weak to stop it. Humans then no longer left offerings each year and soon the priests left as well. The future had no place for Kitsune or other spirits. She was the last of her kind, forced to exist in this disgusting world because of the one boy.
“What did you say?” she asked, bending down to look him in the eyes.
“I said I believe in you,” he muttered back.
The boy pushed a bento box towards her filled with rice balls. An offering. She snatched it and began devouring them all. Her four tails swished behind her in delight, the last time a human provided her a meal was at least thirty years ago and yet this boy remembered all the same.
“Why?” Kitsune asked and wiped her mouth.
The boy sat before the spirit and bowed, “My father became ill and said you had cursed the village when he left as a priest. I am here to repay all those debts and say I am sorry.”
She smiled. Here before her was the offspring of her bane yet also now her savior. An ironic twist that was well within her favor. “One offering won’t suffice. Return for the next year each day, reopen my shrine, and serve as a priest here then I may consider lifting the curse I placed.”
“But my father-“
“He won’t die. Take this,” she summoned a small vial and handed it to the boy, “and place it in his food each day. So long as you keep your promise then he will live.”
The boy was awestruck. Again he bowed in thanks to the fox spirit and left. It grew quiet once again but the Kitsune knew she was not alone. At least not anymore. The boy was her newfound life force and faith in the world.