In the barren icelands of the North, Kidan lays passed out in the in the wintry snow.
Following the emotional debate between Kidan and Naname, he lays unconscious in the snow as the harsh blizzard rains down on his face. The sharp, howling wind can be heard. Surrounding his lifeless body are heaps of snow and the abundance of snow-dipped trees in the background.
There is a silhouette in the distance. It stands there still, and in front of it, it sees a giant mass of spirits moving in serpentine motions above the child. Kidan slightly opens his eyes as he sees the glowing, swaying lights above him, and a person in the distance. The lights above him fade and at the same time, the silhouette begins walking towards him. Closing his eyes frightened at his situation and the person before him, Kidan finds himself hearing voices.
Other voices reverberate in the background.
“It’s the Second!!”
Kidan jumps out of his sleep in a cold sweat and finds himself in a small room. Breathing heavily he notices the visible heat from his mouth. The room appears to be freezing as he shakes. There is a knock on the door, and as the person enters the room, Kidan increases his senses preparing to defend himself. The one who enters is a tall, lanky man with dark grey hair and glasses. Dressed in robes that seem to befit one of high-standing. His presence isn’t one of animosity as he walks to the bed with a smile on his face, and introduces himself.
“Hello child, no need to fear.”
“My name is Hiyoru Koeki.”
Kidan still appears wary as he lowers his guard.
“W-where am I.”
Koeki sits at the end of the bed.
“You are in the Land of Ice, the Northern Village.”
Kidan looks to Koeki with slight relief and astonishment. However, the feelings soon flee, as he remembers the argument with Naname. And his ignorance about whether Yama and the rest made it. Making it to his destination nevertheless, Kidan plans to keep his promise to become stronger, in order to help Yama conquer the continent.
“The Northern Village?!”
With a sparkle in his eyes, Kidan lifts slowly his right hand to the ceiling, and it begins to snow.
“This is just the place I was looking for!”
Koeki looks at Kidan in amazement, as there are few Snow Jutsu users in Shinobi history.
“W-what is your name child?”
Kidan looks down bashfully.
“My name is... Nakami Kidan.”
Koeki moves closer to him with a glorious smile on his face.
“Welcome Kidan, welcome!”
“You bear a rare jutsu, one known to those only of the Northern Village!”
“I must inform the Sonmyō at once!!”
Koeki hurriedly runs out of the room towards the throne room of the Sonmyō. Kidan finds himself speechless, unexpecting of such welcoming treatment, he clenches his stomach in pain. Soon two attendants enter the room, and at the same time speak.
“The Sonmyō requests your presence, please come with us.”
Staying in the freezing room for so long, Kidan notices that he cannot get out of bed, his legs are frozen and numb. The attendants repeat themselves in an emotionless way.
“The Sonmyō requests your presence, please come with us.”
Kidan looks to them confused.
“I-i can’t get out of bed. My legs won’t move.”
The attendants look to each other as they walk to Kidan, they take off the blanket neatly and begin carrying Kidan by his legs, as if he were sitting in a chair.
“W-what’re you doing?!” The attendants ignore him.
As he is taken down the hall, Kidan notices that the temperature is getting frigid. Passing by each room, he incrementally feels himself getting colder and colder. The corridor is silent and there is no one else walking around. There is an ominous sense in the air, as Kidan makes his way through magnificently-detailed huge ice crystal doors, that lead into the room of the Sonmyō.
The attendants walk Kidan to the base of the throne which was lifted a hundred icy steps high. The Sonmyō looks to Kidan, as Kidan immediately lowers his head to the frosted floor.
“I-it’s a pleasure to be in your presence Great Sonmyō of the North.”
“I-i am Nakami Kidan, an orphan from Central, The Land of Sword(刃の地/Kannoji), and I traveled here in hopes to hone my skills.”
The Sonmyō continues to stare intensely at Kidan as Koeki appears from the side and whispers in his ear. A minuscule smirk grows on his face, and in a soft, astute tone, he speaks.
“Very well... Show me these skills of yours.”
Filled with energy at the Sonmyō’s response Kidan shouts “It’d be my honor!” Kidan decides to show the Sonmyō one of his greatest skills. A jutsu with the ability to change the weather itself, he performs the handsign, (Shiro mekura no bōfūu). The atmosphere develops a light film around it, as snow begins to drip from the ceiling. The Sonmyō’s eyes widen in excitement, Kidan raises his face to the ceiling and dramatically speaks.
“This is one of my greatest jutsus.”
He slowly raises his left hand to the ceiling.
“I call it.”
As his palm opens up to the ceiling, the air starts shake.
“White Blind Tempest!”
After uttering these words massive-heavy winds begin to rattle the throne room, the snow begins to multiply onto itself, and the room hit levels colder than usual as the Sonmyō exhales warm air. An immense blizzard was born into the room, the winds are howling as they spin and whip throughout the throne room like a pack of wolves. The tips of Kidan’s fingers begin to freeze, and as the Sonmyō notices this he can no longer hold back his elation. He whips his hand across the room, effortlessly canceling the jutsu.
Kidan notices at once and is in shock, before he could utter a word, however, the Sonmyō is already touching noses with him. Getting a good look at him for the first time Kidan is astounded at the color of his eyes. The Sonmyō is gowned in a long white-gold and aqua dress, glamoured in silver jewelry and crowned with a hat in aqua lining. His eyes are of bright-turquoise with a silverish haze towards the center, his hair the color of the high sky, wielding highlights of platinum gold. The Sonmyō smiles in his face as he places his hand at the base of Kidan’s chin.
“That was absolutely marvelous!”
“You have talent boy, I can see it now.”
The Sonmyō stands and faces his back towards Kidan, thinking of his prowess and the boy’s future.
“You wish to be taught by the Great Sonmyō of the North? The Gelid Genius, Toketsuki Yukiro?!”
Toketsuki Yukiro is the first and only youngest Sonmyō in history, he quickly graduated from all levels of the Academy at the youthful age of 13, and became Sonmyō of the North at age 17, he is now 21. Kidan shouts.
“Yes, Great Toketsuki!”
“Only a genius can learn from one! It would be my everlasting honor to be taught by the greatest of all Sonmyō.”
Toketsuki turns back around.
“You believe yourself to be a genius? One like me?”
Toketsuki smirks and lowers his hand to Kidan for him to hold.
“Then spend the rest of your life proving if, you can even hold a candle to me.”
Smiling widely, Kidan grabs hold of his hand and nods his head intensely.
“It’d be my honor!”
Following the argument amongst Kidan and herself, Naname makes her way towards the Land of Flames, the Eastern Village. The Eastern Village is the one most separated from the other 4 Lands, The Land of Flames is thought to be where the Goddesses descended. Since its inception, the Land of Flames has always regarded itself as a holy one.
Naname’s journey is the longest as her destination is the farthest, after her departure from Kidan she begins to contemplate the situation. Walking with the sweltering heat attacking her face through the hilly region of the East, she talks out loud.
“Stupid Kidan…” She begins panting.
“God, why is it so hot…”
She places her hand over her eyes to block the sun as she looks around at her surroundings, in the far distance she spots several glimmers and gets excited.
She quickly runs towards the shimmer of hope in the distance, as she’s running she notices the animals fleeing from afar. She pays it no mind, however, and continues toward the body of water. As she gets closer she is instantly stopped in her tracks as a large four-legged beast runs past right in front of her. Startled, Naname looks in the direction where the beast in running from and she spots a hunter couple out of range, trying to catch up with their prey. Unknowing of much of the cultures outside the Land of Sword(刃の地/Kannoji), Naname is subjected to ignorance as she hides from sight.
The hunters leave the forest from the direction of where the beast had run, Naname is hiding in the sparse trees that grew close to the river but not connecting to the forest. She looks to the hunters and she sees two very athletic teens. They’re dressed in light, red clothing and are wielding glass-tipped spears. Naname looks intrigued at the weapons and their physique, she wonders to herself if they are from the Eastern Village. “Should I go out there…” “What if they attack me?” She thinks to herself. As she is asking herself these questions a realization comes to her head.
“Me? Scared? I must have forgot who I am."
"I’m Noriagi Naname.”
“I fear no man!”
She gallantly steps out from her cover and shouts at the two hunters in front of her.
“You there! Where are you from!”
The hunters are caught off guard and look in the direction of the voice, their eyes gaze upon Naname’s candied-crimson hair, shining magnificently under the light of the sun. Immediately the hunters drop their weapons and bow their heads. Naname looks surprised, “Hey!” she fearlessly walks towards the prostrated hunters. “What are you doing?” The hunters remain speechless, “Answer me!” Naname kicks one of the men. Neither of them replies as they seemingly ignore the hit. Naname kicks the other one, “Answer me!” The heat begins to affect Naname as she gets agitated. The hunters still remain quiet, thinking to herself for a bit she speaks.
“Well if you won’t speak can you at least show me where you’re from.”
The hunters heed her words without a vocal response, they both stand as one walks a little ahead and the other directs Naname with his hand to where they’re going, as he walks behind her. They walk in silence further East towards their village. Naname not fully trusting of them keeps her guard up the entire time as they walk through the lush forest pass the river. Naname hears the birds singing in the background and the bugs rustling in the plants on the ground. She notices that neither of the men is walking with their heads held high, she thinks to herself, “They’re heads are down and they didn’t retaliate against me attacking them… they’re treating me like I’m important…” Naname doesn’t dwell on it too much as they continue their march.
Soon dusk hits and at this moment, the guards lift the heads and the atmosphere around them changes. Naname can notice the hunters becoming more attentive to their surroundings, yet they still have not spoken a word. The silence starts to get to her once again as she shouts in annoyance, “Why won’t you speak!” The hunters continue to ignore her taunts as they make their way further East, hours into the night Naname becomes restless.
“Let’s sleep, we’ve been walking for hours and it’s late.”
The hunters stop moving and begin setting up camp, seeing this Naname is even more sure of her theory now, “Perhaps, I am important…” Still not fully trusting of the silent hunters, Naname sleeps with one eye open. Morning hastily comes and Naname wakes to the hunters with their heads lowered, normalizing it by now she tells them to begin the march back to the village. It having been her first sleep since the breakout from the orphanage, she wakes up to the thought of Yama and the others. She runs through many scenarios in her head of how they could’ve died and how they could’ve lived, causing her to shake with emotion. Flashing back to her argument with Kidan, and the vow to herself, she quickly snaps back into focus and soon meets the edges of the village.
In the wide distance, she can see the vast lands of the Eastern Village in the Land of Flames. Surrounded by hills, trees, and beautiful bodies of water. Making their way closer to the village, Naname notices how unusually loud it is. Entering into the village she can’t help but notice the large number of men that are present. She speaks to the hunters, “There are so many men… can you lead me to the home of the Sonmyō?” The hunters switch direction as Naname follows, walking through the bustling town, the group makes a turn down a darkened alley. Naname feels uneasy as they walk through, yet no harm comes to them. Leaving the alley the hunter in front suddenly flies down the street as Naname is abruptly grabbed.
The kidnapper quickly flees jumping from roof to roof, Naname begins shouting and kicking at him, “Let me go! Let me go!!” The kidnapper punches Naname in the face with heavy force knocking her unconscious. Naname regains her consciousness, and in a haze, she can feel herself stable and on the ground. Opening her eyes wider she can see the man on top of her with his mouth open and his tongue out.
“Beautiful, Beautiful.” He constantly repeats.
Naname begins to shout as she can feel his weight on her body, he holds the two of her hands back with his left as he undresses her with his right. Naname’s chest becomes exposed to him as she cries in fear, she begins kicking him ferociously in the abdomen but it’s to no avail against his hugely muscular body. He begins kissing her on his neck as she screams while he removes his pants placing himself closer to Naname. At this moment she beings thinking to herself, “This cannot be real.” “This is a dream.” She cries harder.
“This can’t be happening…”
“Men! I hate men!!”
She still struggles as the man places his hand down her pants to ready her for penetration. Seeing this Naname kicks even harder than before, his torso is covered in darkened bruises but the man seems unfazed, in fact, he seems almost to enjoy it. Just as he is about to force himself inside Naname, at the top of her lungs she screams.
[While this is happening Yama & the others have just met the Sonmyō of the West at the table.]
She feels a warm liquid hit her face, warm flesh on her inner thigh, and the feeling of the man above her erased from existence. Opening her eyes she sees the gushing, headless body of the man, and the hunter who was behind her. She quickly throws the man off of her and covers her body. She screams.
“WHERE WERE YOU!?” As she cries.
The hunter remains silent and walks closer to Naname. She takes a few steps back cautious of his actions.
“WHY DON’T YOU SPEAK! WHY WON’T YOU SPEAK!!”
The hunter still walks closer to her with his head bowed, he reaches out his hand in silence.
Naname looks to him infuriated.
“Don’t you see what just happened?! What kind of village is this.”
“Take me to the Sonmyō at once!!”
Hearing a certain tone in her voice the hunter immediately grabs hold of Naname carrying her like a bride, and takes off towards the home of the Sonmyō. Jumping and running from rooftop to rooftop Naname finds herself at the front of the home of the Sonmyō. Having finally made it to her destination Naname faints from exhaustion and anxiety from her traumatizing journey.