Third Person POV_
Hunger, That was all she felt. Ever since she could remember the ache of hunger and stomach pains seemed to plague her.
Iwai Kiku was a small bedridden child. On some good days she could walk around and move about. Other days she was confined to her futon where she would silently cry about the pains that ran through her body.
Her father and mother were both merchants from well off families. They had not been married long, only 6 short years. They're marriage had started off like any other arranged marriage.
Iwai Tadao had been married to a woman named Tsuchida Yuriko. A beautiful woman with long dark hair and pale skin. They weren't together for long before signs of a pregnancy were clear to see.
The young couple were excited for their first child. They prayed for their first child to be a boy and for him to be in good health. But their prayers fell to deaf ears.
The child that had been born on August 4th was a sickly dark haired baby girl. The girl seemed normal and healthy so the Iwai family celebrated the birth of their heir. The family gathered around the pale child as the union of both families had been completed.
Yuriko and Tadao both held their daughter and showed her off to the family. That was until a few months passed by.
The child seemed to always be crying and in pain. Both parents desperately searched for the best doctor to find out what was wrong with their baby girl. Doctors were puzzled and could never find anything wrong with the small crying girl.
Time went by and soon enough five years passed by. Little Kiku sat in bed as she twiddled with her fingers.
"Kiku-sama, I've brought your breakfast. Please eat as much as you can." Shizuko a servant of the Iwai family stated as she set down a tray with all kinds of food.
Kiku looked up at the maid and nodded. She whimpered as she crawled out of her futon and sat infront of the tray of food.
The servant bowed deeply and left the room. Kiku looked down at the food, her mouth twisted into a frown of disgust as she looked at the food. Her stomach growled as she reached out and grabbed the chopsticks and began to pick at the served food.
The small child whimpered as she took a bite of food. Her body recoiled and her stomach twisted at the foul taste, tears brimmed her eyes as she tried to swallow the food. It was as if her throat was closing and the food did not want to go down her throat.
The smell of the food caused her to want to vomit, the taste was even worse. The meat tasted rotten and as if it were ash in her mouth.
Kiku hated eating and no matter what chef they brought in or how much Yuriko begged her daughter, the girl could never finish an entire plate of food by herself.
With a swift movement the small child reached out and grabbed the cup of water and chugged it. Her body shivered as she held back a gag. She covered her mouth with her small hands.
Miserable, Iwai Kiku had been miserable her entire life. Her parents loved her deeply ever since she was a child. But even as an infant they had trouble keeping food in her stomach. Doctors were always left in shock when they found out how little Kiku ate.
Her arms were thin and her cheeks hollow, the small child always looked like she was tired. Most avoided touching her since they feared they would hurt her. Her parents loved her but hated her as well. They hadn't had another child in fear that they would be as sickly as Kiku. Yuriko constantly cried at the state of her daughter and Tadao always tried to comfort his distressed wife.
Kiku knew the heartache she caused her parents. She could tell because despite how weak and frail her body was, her mind was sharp.
She managed to take a few more bites of food before her body seemed to protest against her. Kiku pressed a napkin at the edge of her mouth and wiped.
She set down her chopsticks and crawled back into her futon. She could hear her stomach growl and twist as it tried digesting the food. Kiku whimpered and curled into a small ball underneath her sheets. She could hear the maid come in and take away the food.
Kiku took in deep breaths, even the smell of food caused her stomach to turn. The maid had left the door open so that the room would air out.
Kiku hated food and the smell of it. But she liked being surrounded by people. People had a certain scent, everyone smelled different. The smell she liked the most was that of her mother. It was soft sweet and it would calm the aches in her stomach.
The young girl laid back in bed, her eyes were trained on her hand as she day dreamed about a life where she was not plagued of illness. If she had never been born then her parents would live happier lives. If she had been born a boy and healthy just like her parents had prayed then she would not be miserable.
If only she could just vanish then the Iwai family could rid itself of a burden.
Thoughts like this would plague Kiku's mind daily. She loathed herself and her body ever since she realized that she was the one that held herself back.
"My sweet little Kiku, how was your breakfast? I heard from another merchant family that this tea was one of the best. Maybe it can placate those pains you have." Yuriko stated as she walked in.
Kiku looked up from her futon and slowly sat up. "Mother I am very glad that you are here." The small girl whispered out as she rubbed her eyes.
"Be still my child. I've instructed the maid to make the tea. They will be here shortly." The woman sat down as she took her daughters small cold hand and tried to warm it up.
"I heard that a family by the land of lightning had drank bad water with parasites and that it caused them great stomach pains. A doctor managed to find the cause and gave them this tea. Their symptoms were much like yours. They said that in 3 days they were cleared and their illness were all gone. I searched far and wide for this tea and now I have faith you will be cured." The woman exclaimed her dark brown eyes filled with faith and her milky skin glowing in the suns light.
Kiku looked up at her mother and smiled, she pressed her mothers hand against her cheek. "I can't wait to try it. I will be cured and you and father can finally rest knowing that my body is no longer ill." She whimpered out as she took in a deep breath to take in her mothers scent.
Yuriko couldn't help but frown as she was filled with guilt. Kiku was a kind child that hated how she made her parents worry. Yuriko knew her daughter was aware at how Tadao and her were so distraught about the illness.
With that, the maid came in with the tea set.
For three long days and nights Yuriko sat by her daughters' side to see if there was any improvement in her condition. Kiku drank and drank despite how the drink made her stomach twist and turn and how it hurt to digest it. The girl wished to be cured but there hadn't been any progress.
After the fourth day with no change, Yuriko was forced to once again grieve another failure. Kiku cried silent tears as she was unable to eat.
Food was just so disgusting and unappealing. The meat tasted disgusting no matter how it was seasoned or prepared. The rice was just as nasty in her mouth, the small grains made her stomach churn just thinking about it.
Why couldn't she eat. Kiku prayed to whatever deity would listen and beg them for forgiveness for whatever sin she might've committed or offense she'd done in a previous life or in her current one.
Alone in her room Kiku sat in her bed, the face of dismay on her mother, when she was not cured, seemed to plague her. "Why can't I just disappear, what is wrong with me." She whimpered as she looked down at her small thin hands as she cried.
She crawled out of her bedsheets and stood up. Her vision went blurry for a second as she moved too fast.
"I could leave." She muttered as she stood at the doorway. "I could go far away and end it. Somewhere far so that mother and father can never find me."
Her eyes widened as she turned and slipped on her shoes. She turned and grabbed a blank scroll and ink. Carefully she placed it in a bag, tears blurred her vision but she did not cry. She took a small hairpin made of gold and pinned her hair back.
Ignoring her heavy limbs and tired body she hurried out her room. She rarely left her home, and never by herself. But the will to vanish somewhere secluded seemed to push her forward.
The dark silent streets didn't stop her as she walked forward. She didn't glance back as she moved forward.
She walked and walked despite how her body ached. Soon she found herself among the people of the town. The adults didn't even glance at her as she moved among them.
Different scents seemed to fill her senses, some of them made her stomach turn in disgust, others caused her stomach to rumble in hunger.
She kept walking forward until she ran into a woman. "Brat, watch... well aren't you a pretty little thing." The woman looked down at her, she held a pipe and smoke streamed out of her mouth in elegant puffs.
"Hey, what's a pretty little thing like you doing down here at the red district? Looking for work?" The woman asked and Kiku looked at her confused. She shook her head. The woman had a thoughtful look on her face before a wide smile appeared on her lips.
"Kid, I could show you the ropes. I'll teach you how to survive, how does that sound." The woman spoke and grinned. "Me and you could make some serious ca-" The woman was interrupted by a man grabbing her arm.
He pushed the woman against the wall and kissed her deeply. Kiku was taken back by the sudden change of actions.
"I have a few hundred Ryo If you show me a good time they'll all be yours." The man slurred as he kissed the woman who giggled slightly as she kissed him back.
Kiku stepped back and hurried away from the couple. She ran towards one of the more narrow roads. Her breathing was heavy and she was having a hard time standing upright.
She looked up to see two men, one was counting ryo while the other held the chains on a young woman. "Well, would you look at that, more merchandise." One of the men stated as he handed the metal chain to the other man.
"Get help! They're slave-" The woman started to yell but she was struck across the face by the man. "Shut it!" He yelled at her.
Kiku shook in fear but turned and ran. She should have never left her home. How she missed the feel of her futon beneath her, it was much better than whatever the hell this was.
They were going to take her away and she was scared. She ran as fast as her frail body let her.
She could hear him get closer and closer to her.
Her breathing was heavy and labored, everything around her spun as she was yanked back by her hair. She screamed in pain and began to sob. Her scalp burned and her whole body hurt.
"I want my mother." She sobbed loudly as the man grabbed her face and forced her to look up. "Shut it brat. Hmm, a bit of food to fatten you up and some sleep and you'll sell for a pretty penny that's for sure." The man smirked as he looked down at her.
She cried even louder as he held her face. They were at the edge of the town now, nobody was around and the lighting was dim. Kiku closed her eyes and cried, she only wished to go home.
The man dug his fingers on her cheeks. "Can't you shut up? You are so annoying, I hate annoying things." He growled out. Kiku couldn't help but stiffen at the mad look in his eyes. Her eyes trailed down to his hand that held her.
She frowned in anger and moved forward. She bit down on his hand with all her strength.
His flesh was soft and squishy. His scent seemed to fill her senses as she bit down on his hand and sweet warm blood filled her mouth.
The taste of his blood was like sweet nectar. Her mouth watered at the scent and taste. The flesh seemed to melt in her mouth. The taste was heavenly. But it only lasted for a second because the next thing she knew she was hit across the face so hard she flew back and her back hit a tree.
"Damn brat!" The man yelled as he held his hand where a chunk of flesh had been ripped off. He stifled a yell as he held his hand.
Kiku was disoriented, his smell, his scent. She couldn't get his taste out of her mouth. His scent made her want to bite down on him again. It was almost as if she was in a trance.
The man was breathing heavily, he was angry and he was walking towards the small girl ready to kill her.
Kiku watched him approach a feeling similar to excitement filled her. She chewed his flesh in her mouth, her body felt better as she swallowed his flesh.
Her mouth began to salivate as he approached her. Hunger seemed to fill her sense, her body shook in hunger and anticipation.
She slowly stood up. Her mind was completely blank, all that she could think of was the taste of his flesh. 'so good, I need, I need, I need,' was all that was going through her head.
As the man approached her he noticed dark black blue veins on her face. Under the moonlight the man was able to take a better look at the small girl, his body went rigged as two pairs of red eyes met his. The whites in her eyes were a pitch-black and veins were all visible around her eyes. She looked like she was possessed by a demon. The man's anger dissipated a bit as he took a step back.
The small girls body trembled and shook violently as long appendages seemed to sprout from her back. Unadulterated fear ran through the mans veins. He shook like a leaf as he saw the girl turn monster stand up. Saliva dripped down her mouth, it was mixed with blood and her eyes never left his.
The man began to back away. This was no child, this was a demon. He had heard old tales of man-eating demons and here he was in the presence of one of them.
Old tales were usually only passed down by the civilians, but most of them held some similarities. A demon would hid in a form of a young woman or child and pick their prey. The demon would usually feast on the flesh of their targets and sometimes would use the body as a trophy. Or at least that is what they did in the stories he heard.
"Food, I'm so hungry..." She moaned in pain as she walked forward her body swaying as the tentacles pooled around her.
Kiku felt strong, all her life her body felt weak and unable to do what was told of it. But the second she willed her body to move forward and grab the man. It did as told.
Her small hands reached out and grabbed the nearest limb and brought it to her lips. Saliva dripped out of her mouth as she took a bite and shook her head as she ripped out a chunk of flesh.
She moaned loudly as the taste filled her senses. All her life she had been plagued with hunger, no matter what she ate it would cause her pains and she would not be able to eat much of it. But this, flesh, it filled her in a way that had not seemed possible before.
She swallowed before taking another bite. The sound of his anguish screaming seemed to annoy her and a tentacle like object seemed to stuff itself into his mouth. She watched it happen and wondered what it was but she couldn't think.
All her body let her think about was filling her empty stomach with as much flesh as possible.
At some point, the body stopped moving and screaming. She ate and ate until she could no more.
She pulled away from what remained of the man. His eyes were plucked out and most of his face had been eaten off. His body had been ripped open and she had tried to eat all of his organs. He was hollow on the inside and there were some chunks of meat missing on his arms and legs.
Kiku stared at the remains. She starred at the body and then down at her hands as she came to realize what she had done. She backed away and ran. She moved through the forest in fear of her own actions.
At somepoint, she reached a river. She dipped herself in the water scrubbing the blood off her clothes and herself. Tears trailed down her face and she looked up at the full moon.
She sat in silence as the night went by. She was soaking in the water looking up at the sky. It wasn't until she looked down at the reflection of the water that she noticed her eyes had changed. She noticed that something was behind her. They were tentacle like things moving behind her. She turned around and could not see anything there.
It was not until that she looked over her shoulder that she found those tentacles were actually attached to her. She could move them at will, they were hers.
It was at that moment that she understood that she must not be human. All along the sweet scents, she smelled while around others made more sense. She had been enjoying their delicious scent, all along she had wanted to rip them open and devour them. All this time she had been starving in hunger, she had wanted to devour human flesh.
Hours passed as she realized this. She had walked away from the river stream and had walked. Her feet had unconsciously lead her back to her home. She was back home.
Slowly she took off her shoes and walked back into her room. Her eyes felt heavy and she was lulled into a deep sleep. They say that the best sleep came after a big fulfilling meal.
She awoke to a loud scream. Kiku sat up in her futon, her clothes and bed were soaking wet. Her hair was semi-dry and sticking to her flesh.
The maid placed both hands on Kiku's face. "Kiku-sama, You're soaking wet!" The woman stammered out. "Did you break out into a fever in the middle of the night?" the woman asked as she tried to feel Kiku's cheeks. "You're a little warm, I'll go fetch the Master and Lady, I'll send a guard to fetch the doctor." The woman stumbled as she stood up and ran out of the room.
Kiku was confused as she was left alone, She glanced over and noticed that it was the maid that usually brought her breakfast. The food was on the tray at the foot of her bed.
She crawled over and looked over the food. She could see her reflection on the soup and she was left in shock. For once her hollow cheeks were full. Her eyes were no longer sunken in. She looked down at her hands and they were no longer thin and pale. They were plump and soft. Her skin was no longer deadly pale but seemed to hold some color to it.
The sliding door was slammed open. Yuriko stood at the doorway in her nightgown. The woman's hair was in disarray and she looked frantic.
"Mother?" Kiku softly whispered as she looked up at her mother.
The woman stared at her in shock, she was frozen in place as she looked at her small child. Never before had Kiku's cheeks been so plump or her skin as lively. She no longer looked like a sickly child on her deathbed.
"The Gods have answered my prayers. Whatever sin I must've committed that caused my womb to give me such a sickly child must have been forgiven!" The woman exclaimed as she stumbled forward and fell to her knees and engulfed the child in a hug.
Kiku sat in shock as her mother hugged her and held her close to her chest.
Kiku stiffened as her mother smothered her. She sniffed as she took in her mother's scent. It was pleasant, like lavender flower fields.
She relaxed at the familiar scent. She snuggled against Yuriko a smile slowly making a way to her face.
For the first time in her life, she woke up well-rested.
Her body felt light and for the first time, she felt well. There was no more pain in her abdomen or her stomach.
Yuriko pulled away and looked at her daughter. She gently pushed back Kiku's damp hair.
Yuriko's eyes filled with tears as she looked down at her young daughter. Kiku looked up at her smiling mother, warm tears fell on her face as she looked up at Yuriko.
"I've never seen you this well. You..." she trailed off as she stroked Kiku's plump warm cheeks wiping away the tears. "I'm so happy." She sobs out as she hugs her small daughter.
Kiku smiled and hugged her mother. She wrapped her arms around Yuriko's waist and smiled.
She heard a few voices and loud steps coming towards the door.
Kiku and Yuriko pulled away and looked over at the sliding door.
"Yuriko!" Tadao yelled as he looked over his wife and daughter.
The man's eyes filled with tears and he gasped as he saw Kiku.
The sight of her soft rosy cheeks and the bright look in her eye was enough to tell.
Overnight his one and only child went from looking like she was at death's door to a healthy little girl.
Kiku smiled as she looked at her father's face. She wiggled out of her mother's arms, she smiled widely and happily.
'I'm cured! Finally, I'm no longer a burden! I'll be the best daughter, I'll do everything for them!' Kiku thought to herself.
"Father!" She squealed as she opened her arms and hugged her father's waist.
"Its a miracle." He stammers out as he wrapped his arms around Kiku and held her close.
"Bring the doctor. Let him check over her." Tadao called out to the guards that were beside him.
"Amazing, her temperature says that she should be running a high fever." The doctor gasped as he held the thermometer. It read 107.
The doctor fumbled slightly as he cleaned the thermometer. "Usually a child with this temperature would be dead or at least have some convulsions." The doctor stated as he looked over the small five-year-old child.
He pulled out a small flashlight. "Open your mouth." He says as held up a flat tongue depressor.
The small girl opened her mouth wide and stuck her tongue out.
The doctor furrowed his brows. "It looks normal, well as normal as it gets." He says as he looked at her tongue. It was almost a tone of purple her taste buds were tiny, it almost always looked sleek.
" Your body temperature is high but other than that I can't seem to see anything wrong with you. You look healthier than I've ever seen you." The man says as he pulls away.
"I suggest you have someone with her at all times in case she falls ill and drink a lot of fluids so she doesn't get dehydrated." He adds as he glanced back at the small girl.
Kiku smiled as she looked up, she was well and that's all she cared about.
Kiku became a lively child, eager to help everyone around her.
She ran up and down the halls greeting all the maids and guards. Her laughs and smile seemed to fill the large estate.
Yuriko watched her daughter from afar. Just the sight of her once sickly child being healthy and playing for the first time brought her joy.
Days went by and things seemed to be getting better and better. The only issue was how Kiku avoided food.
After tasting flesh she was unable to stomach normal food. She would carefully hide bits of food into the sleeves of her kimono.
She would wait until she was alone before opening the door and throwing the food out in the garden.
For some reason she was not hungry again. Days went by and at first everything seemed fine. But soon she could feel herself craving.
Sometimes it was a maid or guard nearby. But the sweet scent flesh would pass by and she would get lost in their delicious smell.
This continued for a few days before her stomach started to growl. It wasn't the pains of hunger that she used to have. But she found that her mouth watered at certain times, or that she stared at some people to intense.
She found that she was holding herself back at times.
That was until she couldn't hold back anymore.
She waited until after her mother sang her lullabies before getting up.
She crawled out of bed. She put on one of her yukatas and slipped on her shoes. She glanced back at the bag she had used last time.
She had taken the scroll to write her final words. But this time she knew she'd return. She left the bag behind and proceed to slip on her geta shoes.
She grinned as she hurried out of the estate.
Her body moved swiftly and fast. The guards hadn't even seen her run past them.
Her blood was pumping as she moved through the village.
She was able to change her eyesight as well. It was almost as if she could see warmth radiating or people.
As she moved through the streets at night. She watched as courtesans and oirans walked the streets and men moved from bar to bar. Some women were out drinking along side the men.
She could hear different voices around her.
She smiled as she let her nose lead her. The smells ranged from mouth watering to simply apeasing.
That was until one of the scents caught her attention.
It was a mouth watering kind of smell. And she followed it until she found a woman.
The woman had a thin figure, her face was beautifully sculpted.
Kiku stared at the woman in shock. She was the one that made her mouth water the most.
She stood by watching the woman as if she was a delicious candy.
The woman seemed to be on her way back home.
"Excuse me m'am could you help me?" Kiku stammered out trying to get the womans attention.
The woman stopped and glanced at her. She narrowed her eyes and turned away.
"I'm not interested in whatever you have kid. And I'm not following you either so scram." The woman said in a condensing tone as she waved Kiku away.
Kiku was slightly taken back because nobody treated her like that at home.
She frowned and looked around. They were alone and she was hungry.
Kiku frowned as she thought about it. She was hungry and this woman smelled so delicious.
The woman had started to walk away when Kiku threw herself on the woman.
The woman screamed as she stumbled to the ground.
As she looked down to see what had been thrown on her. All she saw was bright red eyes with a black sclera eyes and tentacles rising into the air.
After that night Kiku had changed. Every few days she would sneak out and find the best smelling human.
She had come to realize that no matter how mouth watering everyone at home smelled she wanted to keep them around.
At times she would drag some of the bodies into the woods to hide them for a meal later on.
Throughout the day she would play and run around, at night she mostly ate until she could no more.
"Kiku-sama, please come inside. Lady Yuriko doesn't want you playing outside." One of the maids called out to Kiku as she ran around the compound gardens.
"Why, it's fun out here. I like the sun and the sky." Kiku giggled happily as she spun around.
She grinned as she felt the warm rays of sun on her skin.
"Because it's dangerous Kiku-sama." The woman added as she waited. "Please m'am if you want I'll play a game with you if we go inside." She added and Kiku stopped.
"Hmm okay." Kiku shrugged as she ran towards the maid. She didn't mind playing with the maid.
Kiku was playing with one of the maids when she was called to see her parents.
"They brought guest and they want you to meet them." The maid explained as she lead her to where her parents were at.
"Oh okay. It's probably someone from another merchant clan." Kiku shrugged as she followed behind the maid.
"Ah there she is, this is my daughter Iwai Kiku. She used to be a very sickly child." Tadao stated as Kiku walked into the room and bowed.
"Kiku, these are Konoha Shinobi. Our clan has brought them here for a mission in the village." Tadao stated as he gently stroked her hair.
"Yes, father." Kiku nodded as she looked back at the ninja. She'd never seen a ninja before. The men were all built and muscular. They also had a head band on their forehead.
Kiku wondered why they had come to her village.
I think this is a good starting point for this story.
Yes she has Ghoul like abilities like in tokyo ghoul :)