A decade had past, but the time of war was approaching, as a Toshiyama Makoto was talking to the hygenkyoi tribe. Toshiyama was the Lord of a small domain neighbour to one belonging to Mizuhara, a strong supporter to the Emperor and an ardent Seer sympathizer. As for Toshiyama-sama, although he was a human, he is one that always thought that hygenkyoi should be treated as normal citizen and that their formidable abilities could be used in their advantage against China or any other potential invader. However, having Mizuhara-sama's domain nearby poses a threat to his ambitions as this lord could brand Toshiyama-sama as a traitor.
The assembly was composed of Kojima Shoji who was now the tribe leader, Kamiya Yumi, Kinjiru-san who is the son of a wandering herborist, Toshiyama Makoto, Yamamoto Anji who is Toshiyama-sama's personnal advisor and four guards.
- Mizuhara-sama keeps doing some insinuations about me, hinting that he might know my opinion about the hygenkyoi., shares a the middle-aged lord who's attirace respect every Samuraï protocol, It'll be only a matter of time that he'll give my head to the Emperor.
- However, we need this to be a very discreet operation as we do not wish to attract any attention on us., advises Anji, a slim man in his fifthies who wears a diplomat attire, while stroking his long beard, I wonder if any of your fellow warriors could do it.
Kojima-sama nods and glances at both Kamiya and Kinjiru. He knows too well how delicate and dangerous this mission was but he knows that he couldn't protect Kamiya from danger forever.
- I can do it, my Lord, hushes sofly Yumi, I've served as a geisha there often and I know now would be the best time to strike as he'll have the fewest number of guests. I know how risky it'll be but if we can kill a Seer and a Herborist in the same time, it'll worth it.
- A Seer and a Herborist?, asks Kojima-sama, Are you sure about it?
- We are sure about that Kojima-sama, answers Kinjiru-san, My father sold many types of herbs, some more exotic than others, to the Mizuhara castle weekly. Also, both Kamiya-san and I felt a Seer's presence on numerous occasions during our visits. However, we don't know who they might be.
Yumi feels her mate's worries but she knows that she have to carry on the plan. The assembly decided that the first victim would be Kinjiru-san's father as he might be in the way for the future killings. The risk of losing both hygenkyoi is high, but it could result in either having Mizuhara-sama dead, or having his honor severly tarnished. Both issues would be satisfying for Toshiyama-sama, who agrees to pay a hefty sum for the services.
Later that nigh, both Yumi and Shoji where in the futon, in their wereform. The fox buries her muzzle in the dark wolf's chest. Shoji recalls the day he saw Yumi for the first time, showing all her beauty while she was bathing and how she was fascinated by him. He recalls feelings her delicate frame against his rugged one when he made her his mate. He recalls when she went from the innocent cub to the vixen that she is now. He knows that Yumi made many missions, but he fears that he might lose her on this one.
- I am afraid, replies the kitsune geisha, but I know I have no choice if we want to have more and more freedom. I'll promise that I'll get out of this castle alive.
- My love, replies the werewolf, I trust you and I trust Kinjiru-san. I know you'll do the best to get out alive.
Both mates sleep in each other's arms for the remainder of the night, hoping it wont be the last time.
Yumi departed first to the Mizuhara castle, as all geishas were expected to be there by noon. Before she left, she had been informed that the Emperor was expected to visit the lord a week later and it might be interesting to kill him. As for Kinjiru-san, he joigned his father first and they headed for the castle later that morning. When Yumi was greeted at the castle, Lord Mizuhara was pleased to see the highly reputable Geisha he whispers in her ears that he would like some private services this afternoon. Yumi knows too well what he meant, but since he gives her extra for it, she doesn't mind it that much.
After the first murder, Yumi's strategy was all too clear for her; remain discreet and calm while using credible guest's opinions in order to deflect any attention from her, but also from Kinjiru-san. Shimizu Akane, Lord Washima's head concubine, was the perfect guest for that purpose. Unwittingly, she always accused anyone but the two hygenkyoi until the Herborist's death. But since both Seer and Herborist were gone, her purpose was over and she was promptly executed by Yumi and Kinjiru.
After the last guest's execution and the following massacre, both Hygenkyoi waited for the Emperor's arrival in vain: someone must have warned him. After snarling her dissapointement, Yumi looks at Kinjiru-san.
- There's no use to wait for here. If he's warned, he'll come back with his army. Let's head beack to the castle and removes traces of our presence and... let's bring some presents for our client.
Kamiya Ritsuko and Yoko waited for their sister's return impatiently at Kojima-sama's lair. The werewolf lord was discussing with Toshiyama-sama who was accompagnied by his Yamamoto-san and a third man. At that moment, ruffles and hustles are heard coming from the entrance of the lair. The Kamiya sisters rushed to the gathered people with haste.
- Kojima-sama! They are back! Yumi-san and Kinjiu-san are back!
Joy invaded Shoji's heart as he learned that his beloved mate is still alive. When he saw Yumi at the entrance, he was delighted and drops any formallity to hug and kiss her passionnatly. He then invited both her and Kinjiru-san to the gathering. The third man introduced himself as Washibu-sama, lord of a domain that was nearby Toshiyama's. Kinjiru-san was carrying a bloody bag and empties it's content in front of the lords.
- Ahhh! Mizuhara's head!, rejoices Toshiyama-sama as he exams the severed heads, This is one I'm glad to see dead. Oh? Is that Washima-sama? What a delightful surprise!
- He was among the guests, however,adds Kinjiru-san Mizuhara hid his son in safety.
- Worry not about the child, comments Washibu-sama, Few nobility offpring will survive these trouble times we planned ahead. Is that Iago-sama's head?
- Yes. He was also a Shinto Seer.,adds Yumi
- Excellent! And I believe that this man's head is the herborist you and Kinjiru-san talked about?, asks Toshiyama-sama.
- Indeed. However, it seems that someone warned the Emperor about us., frowns Yumi.
- A messenger told us that the Emperor delayed his visit to the Mizuhara castle, which is why Washibu is here. , explains Kojima-sama, He's offering us hospitality in his domain as a reward for killing Mizuhara. We'll need to hide after this incident, especially if two lords and a proeminent Shinto Seer had been killed by your hands.
A week after the incident, the hygenkyoi are now living on Washibu's domain for their services. Yumi and Shoji were pondering of the consequeces of the events and the turmoil ahead.
- Do you think one day, humans will stop repressing us? , asks Yumi.
- Humans will still fear us, replies Shoji, although if more humans like Washibu takes the time to understand us, things might be for the better.
- I can only hope so, my love.
Both hygenkyoi looks over the setting sun, with hopes for a better world for their kind...
Author's note: In this last chapter, I took the liberty to borrow characters from the Werewolf game this story comes from. However, I used them as minimally as possible and I tried to be as faithful to the character as needed.