Inari was born in the slums of Mancia to a mother who only wanted a son and a father who left them soon after for an aristocrat woman. She found herself living on her own, often, with only her Vulpix to guard her back in the dangerous back streets of the formerly enslaved city.
Eventually, Inari was plunged into the world of magic when she discovered that her Vulpix was gifted—or cursed, when she thinks about it—with the powers of Ichor, manifesting themselves in an intense burst of fire magic, even more than characteristic for her species. The powers imbued in the Ichor also allowed her Vulpix to converse with her using its extrasensory powers, and may well have done other things, had they had the time to delve into them. She soon developed a deeper link with her Vulpix, and quickly dubbed her “Kitasu”, at the fire-fox’s suggestion. Their bond only grew deeper over time, and Inari found herself naively working to fight the crime as a team, often with Pokémon battles and the like.
By the time she was twelve, Inari and Kitasu had formed a simple vigilante force, although they greatly underestimated the power of the enemies they created. Although Kitasu was a wielder of the Ichor, Inari was not, and she often found herself pretty useless in situations like these, despite her ability to pack a surprising punch.
The meadow was quiet when the two entered, tiny shadows in the cheerful spring greens. Inari’s footsteps barely made an sound in the grass, and neither did those of Kitasu. The girl, probably only fourteen but with an expression that was aged beyond her years, frowned in confusion. Her heart prickled. Something, although she could not place it, was wrong.
<I sense it too,> Kitasu whispered gently in her mind. <There is something out of place here, although I cannot describe it…> Her six tails flicked in indecision. <We have been deceived.>
Inari heard a twig snap behind her and knew what had happened. “Isn’t it obvious?” she asked, looking around the meadow fruitlessly around for an exit. Instead, she was met with a figure cloaked in all black, his eyes glimmering in the darkness. The clenched her fists and glared at him, barely understanding what was going on. She locked her blazing gaze with him and spat, “Ambush.”
The man smiled. “It is better than denial, foolish little girl,” he growled.
Kitasu had already sunk into a low fighting stance, her teeth bared in hatred. Beside her, Inari’s hands clenched into fists. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” she hissed.
“It means,” the man said calmly, turning away, “that you have been talking for far too long.” He had the wickedly pointed dagger out of his pocket in an instant, long before Kitasu could release a jet of fire or even prepare herself, and ages before Inari could register it.
<Move!> Kitasu shrieked, running into her and tackling the girl to the ground just as the blade flashed above their heads in a glimmer of silver. Dumbfounded, the girl skidded to the ground, only to watch as Kitasu jerked abruptly in midair, her body flying as if on a string... and the dagger buried itself solidly in her chest.
The man smirked. “Foolish little girl,” he growled, watching as the Vulpix fell to the ground and Inari hoarsely screamed, running over to her and cradling the fox’s limp body. “You’ve interfered with the wrong people.”
He prepared to fire again, but was stopped by a scintillating green shield that appeared around the crouching girl and dying Vulpix, a perfect sphere that seemed to protect them wonderfully. How. Convenient.
Inari didn’t question it. She turned to the limp Vulpix in her arms, gasping as a dangerous flow of blood began oozing from around the ragged wound that the dagger had left. Every instinct Inari had screamed at her to rip the dagger out and fix the wounds, but she knew it would be no use.
<I’m finished,> Kitasu said quietly. <Don't you dare start crying on me...> The fox smiled weakly.
Inari dropped to her knees, cradling to Vulpix’s limp body in her arms. Tears began to form in the corners of her eyes as she gently stroked the swirl of fur. “You… no…” she whispered quietly, her words catching in her throat. “You can’t.”
<You can react to the situation later,> Kitasu whispered in her mind. <You can mourn for me later, too. But for now… you have to go. I can’t hold up this shield forever.>
“Kitasu,” she managed to say, the words coming out like lead.
<We had a good run, Inari,> Kitasu whispered quietly. <You learned a lot from me, I think. There’s just one thing left.> She closed her eyes weakly, and a strange blue-green crystal appeared in front of her, pulsing gently as it floated. <It will hurt,> Kitasu said sheepishly, regret in her voice. <But it will also keep you alive in this world.> She paused, thinking wistfully. <My own magic comes from my creator, and I am going to see who that is, soon. But this... this is Ichor. That is the only word I have for it. It is not the source of my powers, but it amplifies them. It will not give you all of the magic that I possess, but it may just keep you alive.>
Inari opened her eyes, blinking. “You’re not going to die, Kitasu. I can save you.”
The Vulpix shook her head weakly. <You cannot. Even with all of the power in the world, we are still not immortal, Inari. Remember that.>
<No,> Kitasu said firmly. <I’m going to die now. That is the way of the world. The cycle of life and death, if you will. But I will live on in you, in the powers that I have given you. Ichor is a rare but abundant thing, beautiful but terrible... do not wield its power without knowledge of where it will take you. I will live on in you, until one day there is a better future and I can see it.>
Inari glanced down at her hands, watching as tiny tendrils of fire wrapped around them and seared off the gloves around her fingers. “I’ll build that future,” she said quietly. “I won’t let you down.”
<Do not walk the road I did,> Kitasu said quietly. <Do not lose yourself. It will consume you, if you are not careful.> She smiled, laying her head down. <Finally, peace…> she whispered quietly.
Before Inari’s shocked eyes, the body of her closest friend glowed a pale blue-green, her vulpine features smudged over in the brilliant light. In Inari’s arms, Kitasu’s body dissolved in a swirl of sparkling stardust, wrapping lazily around the girl’s body before spiraling away, up into the welcoming sapphire sky. The bloodied dagger fell to the ground in front of her hands that were clutching at nothing, a cold reminded of what had just transpired.
The pulsing stone before them buried itself in Inari’s chest, glowing with brilliant light.
And she could only scream.
The flowers had lost their beauty when they were splattered with blood. It was a strangely perfect for the final resting place of a fire whelp and her master. The magic was dead. The man smiled cruelly, lighting a cigarette and surveying the damage. The girl was sobbing over the remains of her pathetic Vulpix, and the protective shield had flickered away. He presumed that the Vulpix, the horrid wielder of Ichor, had died. He smiled grimly, raising another knife. He would make her squirm, he realized with glee. So much trouble such an insignificant girl had caused them; it was the least he could do in return for her arrogance. She had thought that she could stand against them with her puny Vulpix and win. How wrong she was, he realized with a grim smile, stepping quietly closer. She would be helpless. She was unarmed, unprotected, and her Vulpix was dead.
And then it all exploded around him.
The man flew backwards through the air, knife falling from his hand as if it had burned him. Inari slowly stood up and turned around, her eyes glowing with uncharacteristic bloodlust. She wiped a tear away, glaring at the man through blurry vision. Her teeth were clenched in hatred, alongside her fists, and she panted for breath. <Kill him,>
the voice whispered in her head. <He has made us suffer.>
The man, abashed, leapt to his feet, his eyes widening in fear. He hurriedly replaced his swagger, trying to remain calm. “You’re fourteen years old,” he said coldly. “Maybe older. You shouldn’t cry, little girl. No one wants you to cry, even if you’re afraid of me. It’s annoying,” he growled to her. “You should know that by now.”
Her voice was calm, deadly, razor sharp. “I’m not afraid of you,” Inari whispered. She paused as the flames forming in a circle around her intensified, cloaking her in a column of billowing red flame. “And I’m not crying.” Her tears evaporated in the heat.
With a vicious shriek, she ran towards him, contorting her fists. Fire sprang to her bidding, great blazing tendrils of it, and lashed out at the man. He froze in fear, his mouth a perfect ‘o’, and then stumbled to run away, finally understanding what had happened.
Inari didn’t even bother pursuing him, her movements whipping into a frenzy as the fire sprang to do her bidding as it once had done for Kitasu. The fire would reach the man, anyways. The grass erupted in flashes of smoke, sending crumbles of ash into the air. Tendrils of fire formed themselves into a blazing maw, down to the jagged teeth that snapped and devoured all.
<He has made us suffer,>
the voice repeated in her head. <We shall kill them all.>
She retracted at the sound of the voice, but what it told her was soothing. The voice was primordial, archaic. As Inari whirled around, destroying the meadow in anger and sorrow, she understood what it was. Feral.
<We shall make them all suffer for what they have done to us,>
the Feral growled in her mind, its voice impassive and commanding. Inari couldn’t help but agree. They all deserved do die.
Do not lose yourself, Kitasu had told her. It will consume you if you are not careful.
Inari finally understood Kitasu had meant. The flames around her puttered and died out as she fell to her knees, but the destruction was done. The springtime meadow had turned to ash. Kitasu was gone. Inari understood their power, now. It was a fire that blinded, one that consumed and licked at her very soul, one that would destroy her long before the future was perfect enough for Kitasu.
Inari sank to her knees, finally feeling the pain that she had forced back for so long.
The last thing she remembered was drifting in a burning sea of green and red, knowing that Kitasu was gone forever and wishing that the fire’s hatred would consume her faster than a lifetime.
Inari had drifted then, combating the voice(s) in her head that plagued her since Kitasu’s death. She understood that the powers she wielded came at a terrible cost, but she accepted them to complete her revenge. She was torn for years, though, between causing death and pain and succumbing to the Feral or to listening to Kitasu. Oftentimes, Inari tricked herself into believing that the Feral was actually Kitasu, speaking to her – in her head, their voices sounded horridly similar.
Eventually, Inari encountered a group known as VILE – although she did not always agree with their ways, she opted to join them instead so as to get revenge on the men who killed Kitasu, and then to forge a world better than the one in which she lived, so that her Vulpix would live in a better world. She despises and loves VILE at the same time: they are cruel and ruthless, but they do not hate mages, unlike many of the others in Mancia. She regretfully rose up the ranks, intoxicated by the power that the stone gave her but afraid, and now awaits news of the new recruits who are rumored to come soon.