Sniffing the scent of burning wood, the creature couldn't have been more pleased...
It lit. Thank Inari, it lit! The sweet, sweet smell of its burning filled her utterly, blocking out all of her other sensibilities as she blew and coaxed the tiny spark into a healthy blaze. It was not simply smoke in general that she enjoyed and there was a great deal of difference in the smell among things that could burn, particularly to her
sensitive nostrils. There was the acrid stink of seared flesh for example, the rotten stench of smoldering sulfur, or even the choking reek of flaming pitch. But this... There was just something clean and good, almost purifying about the smoke of wood. And this was not just any smoke mind you! There on the gilded alter before her lay a sizeable pile of the pinkish, sacred cedar wood that Lord Inari preferred, all that she could gather in her haste.
She raised her seemingly red velvet sheathed arms high above her head as she chanted the words of the Kitsuneinori
Sutra passionately. Her ample breast heaved with the fervor of her entreatment, bushy red tail swishing almost frantically behind her as she knelt naked in the mighty god's holy presence. White-tufted, red ears flicked reflexively as the sweetly smoldering cedar smoke wreathed her pretty, auburn head and tickled her all too human-looking nose.
She was torn between ecstasy and agony as she spoke the sacred words. Fat, bitter tears leaked from the corners of her piercingly yellow eyes even though, as always, she was made positively giddy by the Great Lord of the Fields' shining presence here in his own inner sanctum. Despite her zealot's joy however, and almost blasphemously she was sure, her mortal heart was being rent in two by the clearly audible cacophony outside that was the all too obvious death throes of the only home she had ever known, the only people she had ever loved.
But her faith was not lessened! No, no, not in the least. Her will was as iron. She was one of the faithful! Surely the god would hear her impassioned prayers. Surely he would see her devotion to the sutras. Surely he would come to her aid in this last, dark hour!
She could hear them now in the corridors beyond. They were coming for her, killing, raping, murdering, and burning on their violent way. The bitter smoke of the destruction that they wrought threatened to overwhelm the sweet scent of the sacred cedar even in this sealed cloister of the temple. The creature faltered in her chanting as she sobbed once, but caught herself. She would not, could
not doubt. Her faith must be unbending, unshakeable, absolute, now more than ever. Inari would
come. He would
save them. She believed it with all of her being. She yearned for it like a parched man might long for water or a drowning man air.
With a deep, shuddering breath she drew the sacred, golden dagger from the center of the burning pile of wood, once delicately pink, but now glowing fiercely red. The soft metal of the blade shone crimson as well. Its withering heat seared her hands as she held it, but she did not cry out. She did not slacken her vicious grip in the slightest as she raised the glittering blade high over her head in both hands, eyes following it intently to it's triumphant zenith. Inari would come
The door to the chamber shuddered suddenly under the force of a monstrous blow and she heard the grunts of the invaders at their grim labors in the hall beyond. They were here. She was out of time.
"Inari-sama!" She cried wrenchingly, willing the deity to hear her, to see her, to save them all. "Answer our fervent plea! Accept this, your supplicant's willing sacrifice!"
The fox girl's tearful eyes widened to near owl-like proportions as she used all of her strength to thrust the long, burning blade home...