The sun shone down through the many branches as Ryan made his way through the forest pathway. A twentysomething male, Ryan was always looking for new things to do, and new places to explore, and as he had moved to a new town recently, he wanted to see just what the town and the surrounding areas had in store.
"This place sure is nice." He smiled to himself as he walked through the forest, stopping every few moments to check out the wildlife. This forest seemed to have an abundance of foxes and owls, as well as the occasional squirrel. "I just wonder if the rumors I heard are true.. if there is an old shrine around here."
Not too long after he moved to the town, he heard some rumors from online friends that said that the old forest outside of town used to hold a shrine dedicated to kitsunes. He thought it sounded a little bit off given that kitsunes stemmed from Japanese mythology, and why there'd be a kitsune shrine in the middle of the forest in the USA was anyone's guess. Still, he thought he might as well check to see if such a place existed.
"I'll have to stop to take a break soon, i'm starting to get hungry." He chuckled as he looked towards his backpack. He had packed a small lunch with him in the eventuality that he'd be out in the forest for a while, and it seemed like his prediction was correct. Just as he was about to set down under a large shady tree, he noticed something from out of the corner of his eyes. His eyes widened a little when he noticed a stone path coming from seemingly nowhere, the concrete slabs sticking out of the muddy path like a sore thumb. Thinking it could be a sign, he started to follow the pathway, having to bat the occasional tree branch out of the way as he followed it.
As he followed the path, the trees eventually became less and less, the area around him becoming clearer as he stepped along it, sunlight flooding the area as he looked ahead of him to see a lovely sight.
"The rumors were true..." He grinned, his eyes looking upon the remnants of an old shrine, the structure of which had long since fallen into disrepair. It was amazing that the shrine was still standing, despite a good few chunks of the pedestal it sat on being missing. Moving closer to it, he cast his eyes upon the large bronzed kitsune statue that sat upon it, the creature looking down upon him. He noticed that in place of a pair of eyes sat a pair of large sparkling rubies. Amazingly there was no wear on them, the gemstones still sparkling like the day they were imbedded into the statue.
"Those things look valuable... maybe I should take them for safekeeping..." He chuckled as he started to reach up for them. The shrine had been lying in ruin for so long, it wasn't like anyone was going to notice that they were missing.
Just as he was about to take them for himself, the gems shone with an unnatural light, a beam of crimson energy firing from them, striking him right in the eyes. "Ghh...my head..." He winced, holding his head in his hands as he backed away, his head throbbing from the sudden blast as he clamped his eyes shut.
"Hehe... think again, mortal!" a dark, sinister voice crept out of his mouth. As he lowered his hands from his head, an evil smile crept across his face, his eyes opening as the once blue orbs shone an eerie crimson.
"Wh...who are you?" He said in his normal voice, his eyes going back to blue as he tried to find the source of what was doing this.
"My name is Ikari.. I won't bother asking for your name, as it's meaningless to me... all I need is a body to call my own... and your body will do just fine."
"No... get out of my head!" He tried to fight off the influence of the demon who had taken over his body, but he was having no luck. His eyes turned back to a piercing crimson as brown fur started to sprout over his head, white fur growing around his chin and the front of his neck.
"Not a chance!" Ikari snarled, Ryan's jaws starting to slowly push forwards as tufts of white fur grew around his cheeks. He felt his ears twitch, growing larger and pointed as they moved to sit atop his head, his hair receding into the fur that was consuming him as black fur lined the tips of his ears, white fur lining the insides.
"NOOOOOOO!!" Ryan tried to yell in protest as his jaws stretched further outwards, his nose sinking into his upper jaw as it turned a deep black, his nostrils flaring wide. He felt his teeth shift, growing into razor sharp fangs, his front most canines poking out past his now vulpine lips.
"I've been trapped in that infernal statue for over a millenia, waiting for a new host to come along! Your body is mine!" Ikari snarled as his conscious seeped further into Ryan's body, corrupting him further. Ryan felt his shirt starting to grow tighter, his body starting to grow increasingly more muscular as his chest barreled outwards, growing broader with each breath he took.
"No... this can't be happening to me!" He tried to shake his head in disbelief, the brown fur creeping down his arms as the front of his shirt tore open. Deep black fur burst forth, covering his chest and back as his chest grew broader still, his waistline growing thinner.
"Oh but it is..." Ikari chuckled, watching as Ryan's hands twisted and grew. His fingers shrank a little, the digits growing thicker as wicked claws grew from his fingertips, pitch black in color as the palms of his hands swelled outwards, growing thick pads. His wrists realigned to better fit his stretching hands, his thumbs pulling back slightly as they shrank to sit along the inside of his now forepaws. "I don't know just why you aren't enjoying this... you think a human would be understanding of my problem, being trapped for so long."
"Understand... yeah, right!" Ryan snapped. "I can feel just how evil your mind is... your spirit is just like that of a cold blooded murderer!"
"And what, you've never had any desire to kill people before?" Ikari asked, black fur growing over Ryans hands and up his wrists, stopping just short of his elbows. His shirt tore apart, revealing his furry torso to him. "I can sense it in your own mind, I know you've had the urge to commit unspeakable acts on those pathetic mortals..."
"Well yeah... but... this is different..." Ryan stammered a little.
"Is it really that different?" Ikari smirked. He knew that Ryan was starting to fumble now, his defenses falling. "I can feel all the pain that you've gone through in your life, all the hardships you've felt... In the end, we are more or less the same... I've been wronged too."
"But...still..." Ryan was failing now, unable to find anything else to say as he felt his feet cramp up. A groan left his mouth as his shoes burst open, his feet growing larger as his toes shrank. Much like his hands, giant claws emerged from his toes, the undersides swelling into thick pads as all weight was shifted to the balls of his feet, his feet stretching as his heels raised upwards, his big toes shrinking into a pair of dewclaws, black fur covering his feet all the way up to just below his knees..
"Trust me, I'm doing this because I know that you want to get revenge on those who wronged you... just like I want revenge on those who sealed me inside that damned statue... it's just a shame that those people are long dead... so how about I make a deal with you - I help you get revenge on those who brought harm to you, and I'll leave you at peace... sound good?"
"Yes.... sounds... good..." Ryan said as his mind fell into limbo, his body now more or less that of the monstrous fox that Ikari had turned him into. He fell to all fours, the creature arching his back as he let out a low snarl. Something still felt off...
As he stretched himself again, he felt his now constricting camouflage jeans tear away, his spine suddenly erupting from the back of his jeans as his legs bulked up a little bit, growing into lithe, muscled hindquarters. A singular tail grew outwards, wagging behind him as it grew longer and longer, a tuft of white fur lining the tip of it. As it grew out a little more the new limb suddenly diffused, splitting apart rapidly as one tail quickly grew into nine separate limbs, brushing against a nearby tree as they grew to be a good couple of feet long.
"That's it... just take a nice long rest... and never come back..." A grin crossed the kitsune's maw as whatever was left of Ryan's mind and subconscious drift away, lost forever. "That feeble-minded human... are they all this gullible?" A chuckle left his throat, soon turning into a demonic laugh that filled the forest, the kitsune throwing his head back as he howled triumphantly.
"Oh it has been far too long!" He laughed still, kicking off the remnants of Ryan's clothing, casting it aside as he looked upon the statue that had been used to seal his spirit away. The gemstones that were imbedded in his eyes had cracked, shattered into several pieces.
"And to think that they were able to store me inside that tin can for all this time... it's almost embarrassing really." He snarled, his eyes glowing as a column of fire erupted around the statue, quickly bringing it to its boiling point as it slowly melted. He knew that in this day and age no-one existed that knew magic, but he wanted to make sure that there was no way at all that he could be sealed away in that thing again. The statue was soon reduced to a bubbling puddle of molten metal as he looked back towards the forest pathway, quickly running along it as he approached the side of a cliff. In the distance, he could see the town that Ryan had come from, his crimson eyes scanning the area as he smiled again.
"Isn't that nice... the fools built a nice town nearby... so many souls to corrupt, so many humans I can slaughter..." He giggled madly, throwing back his head and letting loose an ominous howl.
"Enjoy the last little bit of freedom you have mortals, for this world is mine!" He roared as he leapt down the cliff, eager to get to the city and cause chaos anew.