A new day has begun in the village of Sanahobi. Out in the back of their house, Sasume and Haru has been training with each other and against each other. Haru has vowed to this because of the conversation and event that has happened before. Sasume agreed and vowed to get stronger so she could face off against tougher enemies when the time comes. Haru focused on her physical strength and defence as well as spiritual and mental state. Hirashi was a place that was severely harsh to the soul of anyone who wasn’t ready. Legends have it that if someone isn’t spiritually strong enough to bare the pressure of the land, their soul would be ripped out of their physical form and turn them into a wandering fighting spirit. Sasume and Haru landed some good time sparring before they both went back inside and drank a small cup of tea together with the sun slowly rising over their head.
“Haru,” Sasume spoke, softly setting her cup down.
“What is it Sasume?” Haru responded, wondering what was on her mind.
“That fox demon we saw Orochi fight,” she cut herself off, wondering what would happen if she talked about it.
“What about her?”
“Why were we told not to speak about this to Master Kanata?” she finally asked after a long pause. Haru took another sip of his tea before sighing softly.
“A Yokāi, as they are called, were all once human. They become such monsters through death, whether unwanted or wanted. It’s a process which takes place under the spiritualization of dying and releasing the soul. The forbidden part, that’s hard to describe.” Haru explained with his sister starring at him intently. “A Kitsune is a vengeful spirit, they all are.”
“Are there any reason why?” Sasume asked with her older brother smiling and patting her head.
“Your mind wonders a lot Sasume.” Haru said, holding her head to look up at him. “I won’t keep it from you.”
The siblings shared a smile before a knock came to their door, catching both of their attention. Haru reached for his blade as Sasume went over and opened the door to see who it was.
“Hello?” she greeted.
On the other side of the door was a young-looking man who held a certain aura of energy within him. His hair was pure white and messy while his eyes was a golden-yellow colour. He wore a white and blue kimono with wooden slippers. His smile couldn’t be took for anything except friendly as he looked at Sasume with the same kind eyes.
“Sorry to intrude, but is this the resident of Sasume and Haru Aoi?” the young man asked hopefully.
“Yes it is.” Sasume answered with her opening the door wider and her brother walking over to the door beside her.
“Thank goodness.” he said, hanging his head in relief to those words he heard. “I thought I had to sneak through another window and feel your spirit energy. It was bad enough I did that three-time already.” he laughed as Sasume let out a nervous laugh which made Haru slowly draw his weapon. “Please, don’t draw your sword. I came on behalf of your master, Kanata.”
All three of them were now sitting in the backyard with fresh tea made. The young man smiled brightly as he drank the tea and let out a satisfied sigh. Sasume smiled slightly while Haru’s expression was a bit less tense.
“My, you sure know how to make such excellent tea. I might come every morning just to have a cup.” the newcomer said, softly placing his cup down. “Now, to business.”
“Yes, and I suppose you can start with your name-”
Haru was cutoff by the showing of ears and tail that resembled a cat. But instead of them being white like his hair, they were coloured black. He twitched his ears and tail to show they were both real before opening his eyes and showing them to still be golden. Haru and Sasume both jumped back out of fright with Haru drawing his sword.
“Yokāi!!” Haru yelled, staring dagger at the young male. “No wonder he looks so young. Sasume, get your- Sasume!”
Haru watched as his younger sister then walked up and touched his ears. He smiled with closed eyes and purred softly as Sasume began rubbing them between her fingers. Haru watched with a surpsrised expression and stood up straight.
“He’s not evil.” Sasume told Haru as he sheathed his katana. “He seems more childish than anything else.”
“Hey! I’m almost a hundred years older than you!” the cat-boy said with puff cheeks. Sasume giggled and patted his head softly.
“I’m sorry.” Sasume apologised with Haru walking back over.
“Why did Master Kanata send you?” Haru questioned before sitting back down.
“Oh right.” the cat-boy got up and bowed respectfully. “My name is Kamoto and Kanata has sent me to be your local guide in Hirashi. He’s sending you both there today and wants to see you before you leave.”
Haru and Sasume looked at each before looking back at Kamoto who smiled with a child like expression.
Inside his zen garden, Haru, Sasume, Kamoto, and Kanata all sat together at a table, talking among each other for their expedition towards the land of ninpo.
“I’m sorry if Kamoto here has startled you. I thought he would’ve already shown his full self to you.” Kanata apologised with his head bowed slightly.
“Master, not to be rude, but why do you have a spirit living with you? And why haven’t you told us?” Haru questioned quite seriously.
“That’s because he isn’t one.” Kanata stated, confusing both siblings. “I know he looks like one, but in actuality he isn’t. Kamoto here has been blessed by gods with an extended life, since he’s was taken away from him at an early age.”
“I’m sorry to here that Kamoto.” Sasume said, looking over at the worried cat-boy. “How young were you at the time?”
“I was only eight at the time. An attack that happened at my home village, Zetusho. We were attacked by ninjas.” he sadly explained.
A small time of silence has passed by before Kanata rested his hands on the young boy’s. He smiled over at him and returned his gaze on the sibling before him.
“On that day, I found him on my doorsteps with the cat ears being shown and I have taken care of him ever since.” Kanata spoke.
“So, how does he know so much about Hirashi?” Haru spoke up, looking over at Kamoto, who was smiling again.
“Oh, that’s easy. I taught him.” Both Sasume and Haru looked surprised.
“What?” they said in unison.
“Well, he didn’t look like the one for fighting, so I made him my personal scholar and teach him about the many lands that prosper around us.”
“That’s amazing.” Sasume said, getting a small giggle out of Kamoto.
“I’ll do my best to help you both on your travels.” he said happily.
“Well, I think it’s about time you all get going. You got a lot of ground to cover.” Kanata said as they all got up from the table and walked to the stables together. “I bid you farewell on your journey to Hirashi.”