It’s been 2 days since I left Koi Village, leaving behind Sakaki - my companion, senior, and close friend. The villager thanked me with a backpack of rations, telling me that I would need it as my journey towards the South is going to be tough. Not managing specifics, I waved them goodbye, while Sakaki is still fast asleep in the inn.

I made the decision to travel around the country to search for clues on my biological parent’s death after my mentor kicked the bucket.
Mentor Fuyutsuki Fuji told me that my parents were demon hunters who migrated to the east from the northern region, hence my very northern name. The town they resided was attacked and overwhelmed by Chimera--artificial demons conjured by humans the most powerful monster known, and only the most skilled and experienced demon hunters could bring them down. Their origins remain unknown, and conjuring chimera require a level of magic few could dream of attaining. The court could suspect any skilled mage, but without evidence, the charges are dropped.

I was 6 when that happened, she found me on the outskirts of the burning town in my haori with a badly burned left leg and crying my eyes out. My mentor managed to slay most of the chimera with me in tow on a shoulder. In the end, I was the only survivor from that town. My memories all in a mess to the trauma I went through.

After that, I was adopted by her and promptly met her apprentice, now a close friend. Sakaki Sakurai would often be put in charge of babysitting me just so she could have some alone time, that’s how we got to know each other.

As I walked through the jungle at the border between the Eastern and Southern region, I hear a bush rustle. Looks like my sixth sense was correct.
I let out a deep sigh and shouted, “I know you’re there…”
No response.

“My dear Mister Sakurai, have you been following me for the past 2 days?”, I asked sarcastically, pointing towards the direction of the bush.
The bush shuffled again and in a comical style, Sakaki rose up with an awkward, wry smile.
“Heh… Heh…”, he said bashfully, “I was thinking we could stick together…?”