Letters to the King

Dearest Lord

Forgive the late report. We have been much on the move, attempting to locate and neutralise the powers of the child of your son, as you have entrusted us to do so. We have located her, and the child remains under the protection of the Priestesses of Death, as her mother did. We have seen no signs of her power and responsibility as a Inari Priestess rising as yet, but we are certain that they will manifest themselves as she grows older, for she is receiving training as a Death Priestess, and we fear this will awaken her powers.

With your permission, Lord, we request that we be allowed to bring this child back to the safety of Foxes’ Cave, where Inari will be able to influence the child. If the child cannot be reacquired, we will then kill her, ensuring that at least the taint will be ended with her generation.

Your most loyal subject

P.S. Mien also tenders his report

Dearest Uncle

By this letter, I hope you have read Komarasu’s report before mine. This is not so much a report as it is an appeal.

If the child cannot be re-acquired, she must be killed. Rourke’s child has much power within her, being both the granddaughter of your mother and the daughter of a Death’s Priestess. I would be negligent in advising you if I did not say she should be terminated if her powers cannot be suppressed. I suspect her siblings are like her; hybrids bred for Celeste’s nefarious purposes.

If it is the succession you are worried about, one of your illegitimate children will suffice. There is a precedent, Uncle, and you should not worry thus about the succession. Inari will understand; ’tis better to lose a loved concubine than to destroy the country. Please, Uncle, consider this and be reasonable.

Your servant and nephew


Undated correspondence between the King of Foxes’ Caves and unnamed personnel