For the next few months under the tutelage of Fuyutsuki Fuji, Sakaki managed to encounter a few demons. From simple creatures like goblins which spawn from greed to rarer demons like low level vampires. With great concentration and guidance from his mentor, he managed to conjure his weapon very quickly as well – a katana with a red-tinted glass-like blade and no handguard.

“An exceptional tool,” Fuji said, “May I ask what your Will was to spawn such a weapon?”

“To quickly complete my task and return to my mother.”

Sakaki is genuinely concerned about his mother. But, he has to respect her wishes for him to travel with Fuji to see more of the outside world and to help who are in need. A privilege that his mother can never afford him.

He was never told that his mother was one of the people who needed help, but Sakaki knows it in his heart – that is why his Will formed from his desire to quickly return to his mother’s side.

“Ma’am, what about -”

“Please, don’t be so formal – you can call me by my name. You’ve been calling me that for weeks now and I feel old whenever you say it. I’m still at my mid-twenties for crying out loud.”

“Hm, okay then… Fuji, what about you? What made your Will?”

Fuji gave him a warm smile and said, “It’s just my personality.”

What a vague answer, Sakaki thought.

It was vague indeed, but there is a ring of truth to it. But he will never find out as she only revealed the details to Karen.

A month and a half after that, Sakaki meets Karen for the first time, on the outskirts of a burning village. Screams could be heard within the flames burning bright hot, demonic roars and growls accompanying it. He was truly witnessing hell itself.

Fuji told him to stay outside to find any survivors while she goes in to find out what is happening.

“This girl walked out of the village using the main road in a shocked daze with badly burnt leg. I carried her further away.” Sakaki said.

“I see, we’re lucky that I managed to cool her body down with the remaining gems I have left. But I can’t fix her leg. Is this her Haori?” Fuji picked up a piece of clothing that was left aside while they were treating her.

No way, she thought.

“Yes, it was on her when she came out of the village. What’s wrong with it?”

At this moment, the girl’s eyelids opened slowly. With tears coming out of her eyes, she asked, “where am I?”

Sakaki turned towards Fuji for an answer but to no avail as both do not know how to answer the question that was posed to them. How would they break the news to her that the entire village burned to the ground overnight?

So, instead of answering the little girl’s question, she asked one of her own.

“What is your name, dear?” Fuji asked as calmly as possible, so as to not alarm the already shocked and fragile little birdy.

“… K-Karen.” The girl answered timidly.

“Karen…?”

“… Tomach.”

Fuji heaved a sigh upon hearing her full name and inadvertently blurted out, “that’s what I thought… Damn it, Rin”

“What’s up?” Sakaki asked.

“Her parents were the reason why we’re visiting this village. But little did we know this would happen.”

Karen tugged at Fuji’s clothes, wondering if her parents were alright. Without having to say, she bawled her eyes out after finding out that she was the only survivor of the village.

Sakaki knew first hand how it felt to separate from a loved one, especially family, so he suggested, “Can’t she come with us?”

“She could, but you’re in charge of taking care of her when I have my alone time.”

“Ughhh… More responsibilities for me.”

Sakaki later found out that Chimeras were the culprit. They were the fiercest demons ever to appear on the lands. They do not spawn like any normal demons, instead, they are artificial, conjured by means of highly advanced and forbidden magic.

Chimeras were the conscious creations of humans to do harm.