“So, how did it go?” Karen inquired about Sakakki about tailing Iris.

“Well, she wandered around randomly and eventually stumbled upon a waterfall and stayed there for awhile playing.” He answered.

“Hmm, a waterfall, huh? That’s quite a way away. I suppose she knows her directions well since she explored around in Temp Pines. Anything else?”

“Oh! He met a boy, they played around the waterfall.”

“Hm?!”

Sakakki later explained that Iris had met a boy about the same age as her at the waterfall and they played together. He couldn’t listen very well because of the distance he had to stay away to not be found out. Though the boy's name was heard, he didn't think it is important enough to mention.

“We’ll leave the day after tomorrow to make it in time for the Karmic Harmony gathering. Any progress on Iris’ training?”

“She’s smart, she’ll be able to at least protect herself by then.”

“I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“Don’t worry~ I’m just teaching her what Fuji taught me!”

As the night grew older, Karen decided to prepare a little gift that she had brought back – a bottle of fine wine and a few glasses. Of course, she wasn’t going to give any to Sakakki and he is already sleeping in the guest room, and god forbid, give any to Iris – there are laws protecting minors.

Those gifts, are for her parents, including her adoptive mother, Fuji.

Looks like Iris is fast asleep in my room.

She took the items out in front of the three gravestones and poured a glass for her mother, Rin and father, Allen.

“I wasn’t old to know if you liked alcohol, maybe I did, I was seven, but it’s here anyways.” She held of her own up for them and chugged it down. “I wish I could remember what it was like back then… But I can’t, I can never. It’s been too long and I’ve given up.”

All I can remember were loud screams and demons killing. I miss you, mom and dad.

Now, on to Fuji. She poured herself another cup and placed the glass bottle with the remaining alcoholic content in front of her adoptive mother’s gravestone.

“Hey Fuj- Mom. Hope you didn’t wait too long for me to bring this bottle to you. I had to wait till night cos that’s what I’ve been trying to make you do, so, this is my only chance to do it, hehe.”

She chugged it down as fast as her previous one and gagged from the dryness of the liquid she had ingested.

Aack, how does this hydrate her?

“I miss you too. Wish you were still with me… Oh, I’ve recalled something about the dream that you asked about after I woke up from the village attack. It was… A dream about my mother. All I can remember is her talking to me about something… Ahhh, it’s no use, I can’t remember anything clearly from that time!”

After Karen had woken up from being treated to her injuries, she was questioned unrelentlessly through which she can not answer due to being traumatised from the earlier event that had transpired. Ever since, she had tried to recall her life before the attack as well as the dream she had while being unconscious.

She wished she could remember what her biological parents like as there is undeniable evidence that links to the void that is inside her. A void that she feels is eating her inside out. She hugs her legs as she shivers at the fear that is welling up inside her.

Please, please, please.

“Mommy?” a voice called out to her.

She turned around to find that Iris is standing behind her rubbing her eyes and holding her ribbon in her hands. Hearing her adorable daughter calling out for her, she was pulled away from her cold, isolated world back into reality.

With a huff of relief, she carried Iris into her lap and introduced her to her parents, “Moms and dad, this is my adopted daughter, Iris… Tomach, that’s right, I’m using that name. Iris, this is my moms and dad.”

“Mmm, are they…?” she asked innocently.

“Yes, so this is how I’m spending time with them. Anyways, mom, isn’t she adorable?! I first met this cutie in Temp Pines where I helped kill a Gashadokuro. Impressive, isn’t it? Then she tagged along with me until I adopted her a just the other day. And, she just recently had a Will to. It’s a conceptual weapon and I helped name it Luminary.”

Karen proceeds to rub Iris’ cheeks.

“Mom, stop it!” Iris said whilst laughing uproariously. “Mommy, what is that? Can I drink that?”

She points to the bottle that is placed in front of Fuji’s gravestone.

“No, silly, not at least until you’re eighteen!”

The day to set out for the Karmic Harmony came and it appears Sakkaki had just made it in time to teach Iris the very basic in self-defence – to call up her Will and shield herself.

Well, I guess it’ll have to do for now. She’s just four years old after all, Karen thought on the matter.

“Karen are we set to go?” Sakakki called out to her from the front garden.

“Yes! Just let me tie her hair up!”

Karen then secured the house as she had decided to return to it untouched and safe.

On the journey ahead, little did she know that the dream she can’t remember actually had an effect on her, something that Fuji had suspected but no one else had known of it.