Oh, right! Sakaki’s father is right in front of us. Where is his mother? It took us awhile to get to the office and we hadn’t seen anyone but servants.

“After all these years, you’re still thinking of her?” Nao answered.

“Where is she?”

Nao shook his head and said, “she’s gone.”

Sakaki’s face turned white upon hearing the news. He might be going into shock.

“What was the cause?” he asked while tears were starting to form in his eyes.

“Demon, goblin.”

Sakaki tightens his fist, “So your greed did come back to haunt you. But at the cost of my mother… Where is she buried?”

Nao started to laugh and shake his head, “Hahaha! You think that a servant would be buried? Of course not! Burying a lower-class citizen on our sacred lands? Don’t jest! I had her cremated along with her belongings!”

“Mother… A lower-class citizen… You’re the one who let her remain that way!”

Sakaki’s sadness quickly manifested itself into anger from the words Nao had said about his mother.

I whispered to Iris, “Iris, wait outside the room for me, will you?”

Without understanding what’s going on, she complied and removed herself from the situation. Good girl.

I’ve known Sakaki for a long time, but I never knew about his life before Fuyutsuki, our mentor and my adopted mother took him in. And she never told me much about him either. Just the essentials, like what will soon to happen.

Sakaki drew his Will and pointed it at Nao.

“If you haven’t willingly given me to Fuyutsuki, I could have been by mother’s side.”

“Are you going to kill me? No, you’re not.”

“RRRRAH!”, Sakaki lunged at him.

I grabbed his arm, using his forward momentum against him and redirecting it, slamming his back to the floor.

“Kuh,” he grunts as I proceeded to lift him by his collar and slap him continuously.

“Get a hold of yourself! Calm down!” I exclaimed.

This is perhaps not the best way of doing things, but hey, what do I know. Fuyutsuki would have beaten him unconscious. She did that twice, in fact, as she had told me that he would go on a rampage if his emotions were unchecked.

As to why he would, I was never told the reason.

After a few slaps, Sakaki held my wrist to signify that he was out of it. His cheeks were beet red. I wasn’t holding back, even if his actions weren’t justified.

“Are you back with me?” I asked him.

“Yes… So stop slapping. This is much more embarrassing than being beaten unconscious.”

I looked up to Nao and asked, “You said you had something to discuss with Sakaki? What is it? If it’s not important, we’re leaving.”

“Indeed, I do. I want Sakaki to leave the Karmic Harmony and start working under me to be my successor.”

“Never.” Sakaki answered, still rubbing his painful cheeks. “I’m not leaving the Karmic Harmony. And I sure as hell am not leaving for your sake.”

“I am your father! And you will listen to me! This is not just about you or me anymore. This about the entire Eastern region!”

“Then I’ll happily let your reign end.”, Sakaki stood firm and scoffs, “And I’m sure that somewhere in what you said, you’ll be the one sowing the profits in the end if it goes your way.”

“I never remembered raising such an unfilial son!”

“You weren’t the one who raised me. It was mother and Fuyutsuki. My filial piety doesn’t apply to you. Let’s go, Karen.”

Nao slams his fist on his desk and shouts, “Get back here!”

Sakaki will forever be an enigma to me… I know nothing about him, not about his past nor about the time when he suddenly left Fuyutsuki and I. Nothing until recently when we started to travel together again. Will he ever open up to me?

Sakaki has been walking in front of me for a bit as I was deep in thought. I would have to explain to Iris what’s going on later. I know that she’s dying to know. She’s a kid like that.

Sakaki turned around and met me face-to-face and said, “Karen… I need some time alone to think through some things.”

“I understand. But I have to tell you something. Remember the place where we first met?”

“Yeah?”

This might be the chance that I can say that I want to know more about him.
“Fuyutsuki and I built a new house there and she wants me to tell you that you have a home to go back to. I’ll be waiting for you there. Of course, you will be back before heading to HQ, right? And promise me you'll tell me more about you.”

Sakaki steps in closer to hug me and whispered, “Thank you.”

Seeing Sakaki disappear within the crowd of people in the streets, Iris tugged the sleeve of my Haori and said, “I’m hungry.”

I gave her a warm smile and noticed that my shoulder is damp.